It took 15 years to become official, but Carole Simpson has now confirmed what we always suspected: she's a Clinton backer. Readers will recall that during the 1992 campaign, the then ABC News anchor moderated a presidential debate in which she made life uncomfortable for Bush 41, notably with her snide "who would like to begin, the 'education president?'" poke.
According to this Boston Globe article, back in 2003 Simpson was "eased out" of her anchor chair in favor of Elizabeth Vargas. Simpson has now taken a teaching position at Emerson College in Boston, and last night turned up at a Clinton campaign stop in Salem, New Hampshire, where she proceeded to endorse Hillary's presidential bid. Here's how "First Read," a frequently-updated analysis of the day's political news from the NBC News political unit, reported it [emphasis added]:
He might be a middle-aged white guy from the Mountain West, but Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) suddenly understands the travails of people stopped for "DWB": driving while black. In the course of his interview with Matt Lauer, aired last night and excerpted on this morning's "Today," Craig tried to play the profiling card.
MATT LAUER: The fact that these motions seemed to replicate a well-established sequence of signals for soliciting anonymous sex, it's a coincidence?
The MSM's McCain mania of 2000, the hysteria of the Straight Talk Express, might be history. But some of the liberal media's infatuation with John McCain clearly lives on. It was on display during today's "Hardball" in Chris Matthews's friendly, respectful interview of McCain. The most telling point came as Matthews suggested that compromising his principles exacts a psychic cost from McCain, whereas Mitt Romney does so without problem. Matthews began by teeing up a very comfortable question for the Senator from Arizona.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: On the questions of who's the real Republican, now the issue has come up here with Romney saying he's from the Republican wing of the Republican party. He stole the phrase obviously from Howard Dean, when he was "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party." Is that a fair claim?
ABC contributor Cokie Roberts apparently approves of propaganda, as long as she agrees with it. The veteran journalist appeared with George Will and Sam Donaldson on Sunday's "This Week." In response to a claim by token conservative Will that Al Gore grossly exaggerates the threat of global warming, Roberts positively assessed, "The truth is, there have always been propagandists who make something popular."
Using a strained comparison, Roberts continued to justify Gore's misinformation by arguing that the former Vice President popularizes the work of climate change scientists: "Go back to the revolution....You had Tom Paine and you had the Continental Congress. So you do have the two and they both work for a debate."
Wired magazine's Sarah Lai Stirland is reporting that liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org is reversing course after it was lambasted for censorship for pushing Google to censor anti-MoveOn.org ads by Maine Senator Susan Collins' (R) campaign.:
The left-leaning political advocacy group, MoveOn.org, is backing down in a flap over the use of its name in online advertisements, permitting an influential Republican senator to criticize the organization in a reelection ad on Google's search engine.
"We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression," says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org's communications director.
There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
Saturday's lead editorial in the New York Times celebrated Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize for his work on "global warming," "A Prize for Mr. Gore and Science." Before the praise, the Times stopped to spout misstatements on Gore's effort to overturn the 2000 election results.
"One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000. Mr. Gore certainly hasn't let his disappointment stop him from putting the time since to very good use.
But the Supreme Court "ruling for Al Gore" would not have automatically put Gore in the White House, as the paper assumes. Gore asked for a statewide manual recount -- which the Times's own comprehensive report shows Bush would have won.
"...for Newsweek staff, all conservatives look alike."
Thus is the complaint of Rudy Giuliani adviser Daniel Pipes, reacting to Newsweek erroneously confusing him with fellow Giuliani backer Martin Kramer, and pretty much mixing and matching all but one of the Giuliani foreign policy adviser photos.
ABC host Diane Sawyer and 2008 Republican contender John McCain engaged in a friendly conversation on Monday about who would be the most conservative GOP candidate, certainly a rare sight on network television. Amazingly, the interview, which took place on "Good Morning America," didn't frame the quest to be the most right-leaning contender as a bad thing. Sawyer began by asking McCain about this "verbal brawl" among Republicans for the conservative crown. She then quizzed McCain over his contention that Mitt Romney isn't authentic in his current positions and wondered, "Is he a con artist? Is that what you were saying?"
Sawyer allowed McCain ample time to question Romney's pro-life credentials and to bring up past disparaging remarks the former Massachusetts governor made about Ronald Reagan. The GMA host even laughed at McCain's joke that "Time flies when you're having fun" on the campaign trail. On Monday, Sawyer did question some of McCain's attacks on Romney, but, in general, the show's coverage of the former governor has been harsher in tone. In June, reporter Dan Harris wondered if "uncomfortable questions" about the candidate's Mormonism would torpedo his White House Bid. In April, co-host Robin Roberts grilled Romney about the source of his fund-raising and fretted about how much money was coming from Utah.
The Heritage Foundation's Robert Bluey reported in his Sunday Townhall column that there was disinterest at the hallowed "newspapers of record" in the government's news about the just-ended fiscal year's deficit (links to White House deficit announcement and to Business and Media Institute report are in the original):
The U.S. budget deficit fell to the lowest level in five years last week, but three of America’s leading newspapers -- the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times -- couldn’t find the space to mention the dramatic drop.
Journalists who have spent years trashing President Bush’s tax cuts appeared to suddenly lose interest when the budget picture brightened. That’s not surprising, however, considering that mainstream reporters frequently ignore upbeat economic news.
In reality, there were a lot of disgraceful moments during Friday's "Real Time" on HBO, like "The View's" Joy Behar saying "the Republican [presidential] candidates are a bunch of pussies," and calling Michelle Malkin "a selfish bitch."
Despite such lowlights, the most deplorable moment of the evening -- and maybe the most despicable thing Bill Maher has done his entire entertainment career -- was to invite former Mexican president Vicente Fox on his program to bash George W. Bush.
After all, it's one thing to have actors, musicians, comedians, and pundits on your show debasing the most powerful man on the planet who also happens to be a fellow citizen. But to invite a former president of one of America's closest allies and neighbors to participate in insulting your own president is about as low as a member of the media can go.
Is Associated Press economics writer Martin Crutsinger quietly converting to supply-side economics?
This is noteworthy, because Crutsinger has usually been the go-to reporter for uncalled-for gloom and doom about the economy for at least the past few years (a few examples are here, here, here, and here).
Here are the specifics about Crutsinger's possible epiphany. In May, covering the record US Treasury receipts in April, the AP reporter told readers the following about why the Uncle Sam's budget was running at a deficit (though there is no byline at the MSNBC link, Crutsinger is indeed the author; the now-expired Yahoo! story I linked to in May at this post did have his byline; bold is mine):
The federal budget was in surplus for four years from 1998 through 2001 as the long economic expansion helped push revenues higher. But the 2001 recession, the cost of fighting a global war on terror and the loss of revenue from President Bush’s tax cuts sent the budget back into the red starting in 2002.
But Thursday, in writing about the full fiscal year ended September 30 deficit of $162.8 billion just reported by the US Treasury -- over 34% lower than it was in fiscal 2006, and $249 billion lower than in fiscal 2004 -- Crutsinger had quite a different take (bold is mine):
"Good Morning America" anchors and reporters effusively lauded Al Gore on Friday after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. Diane Sawyer opened the program by breathlessly declaring, "Former Vice President Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for helping awaken the world to global warming. Now is it time to run for president again?" In her introduction to a piece on the subject, Sawyer gushed that the ex-VP is receiving the award for "for educating the world."
Reporter Kate Snow was no less laudatory. She asserted, "For Al Gore, winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a personal milestone, vindication of a sort." The ABC contributor also claimed that the victory is "a new entry for the history books." To be fair, Snow did inform her viewers that the American politician beat out some very worthy individuals, such asa 97-year-old woman who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust. However, the GMA correspondent never questioned whether there was a political element to Gore receiving the Peace Prize or about the film's factual inaccuracies. She simply labeled the win not just a personal victory for the former vice president, but also "a symbolic victory for his cause."
At the top center spot of Wednesday's front page -- above those debating Republicans -- The Washington Post spotlights its interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The headline is "Clinton Cites Lessons of Partisanship: Senator Says She's Best Equipped to Unite America." (Washingtonpost.com changed its header to "Clinton Cites Her Resilience.")
Since when has Hillary been either a uniter, or a centrist? Post reporters Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz offered little skepticism (and no account of her consistently liberal voting record) in their account of her remarks, summed up with this: "I intend to win in November 2008, and then I intend to build a centrist coalition in this country that is like what I remember when I was growing up."
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," ABC contributor Brian Ross chose the day of Fred Thompson's first debate to slam the 2008 candidate for his work as a lawyer on the Watergate hearings 34 years ago and also play clips questioning the then-attorney's intelligence. The investigative correspondent intoned that although Thompson has touted his role in the hearings, "a much different, less valiant picture of Thompson emerges from listening to the White House audiotapes made at the time as President Nixon plotted strategy with his aides in the Oval Office." Ross proceeded to play several clips of Richard Nixon calling Thompson "dumb as hell" and of administration associates alleging that the lawyer will help the White House.
As all of this information is old news, the Ross report is clearly timed to injure Thompson on the day of his big debate. The New York Times reported the same allegations way back on August 27, 2007. The article, by Jo Becker, used many of the same Nixon quotes. (And, in fact, a report by ABC's own Jake Tapper preceded the NYT article and also mentioned Nixon's "dumb as hell" line.) Ross closed his October 9 segment by snidely noting, "We tried to get a response from Thompson but his staff did not return our phone calls and he walked right by us when we tried to put the question to him in person." However, the ABC reporter also referenced other Thompson associates, such as former Senator Howard Baker, who appointed Thompson to the Watergate investigation. And although Baker is very much still alive, did Ross seemed unable to find anyone of that era who would go on record and say something positive about Thompson.
Jonathan Chait is one of the Founding Fathers of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Way back in '03, the New Republic senior editor authored one of BDS's early, seminal works: "The Case for Bush Hatred," whose very sentence was the subtle: "I hate President George W. Bush."
Ah, but Jonathan Chait isn't a mere one-hatred man. As of this morning, we can conclusively state that in addition to his animus toward our nation's chief executive, Jonathan Chait also hates lower taxes.
Republicans facing what is sure to be a liberally-skewed forum moderated by former Democratic partisan Chris Matthews need to take a cue from the host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show," a conservative opinion journalist argues:
Matthews is an over-the-top liberal, a brazen cheerleader for Clinton. He can also be a bully. Remember the incident about two years ago when he reduced Michelle Malkin nearly to tears? And how Zell Miller gained instant hero status for asking Matthews if he wanted to take that discussion outside?
To beat Chris Matthews the candidates don’t need to punch him in the nose. But they need to do two things. First, they need to follow Jon Stewart’s example.
In what left Matthews squealing that it was his worst interview ever, The Daily Show’s hyperactive (but not hyperliberal) Jon Stewart’s interview of Matthews on his new book not-so-gently poked fun at Matthews’ outlook on life. If -- with humor -- any of the candidates can take a few shots at Matthews and the premise of his questions, they can come out as the winner.
Writing the day before the October 9 MSNBC Republican presidential debate, Human Events editor Jed Babbin added that taking on Matthews specifically and media bias geerally is a sure-fire way to electrify the GOP voting base and awaken the general public to what they instinctively know. The media are biased to the left and actively engaged in furthering a left-wing agenda:
"Washington Examiner" White House correspondent Bill Sammon reported to the October 8 edition of "Fox and Friends" that the Clinton campaign hired convicted document thief Sandy Berger. In questioning Sammon, guest co-host Greg Kelly asked if the story "has legs." Sammon responded noting the mainstream media’s double standard reputation.
"Greg, I think it's entirely up to the mainstream media. Let me give you an analogy. If one of the Republican campaigns had hired 'Scooter' Libby can you imagine the hue and cry? The guy would be run out of town on a rail. We will see how the mainstream media reports this. I have a feeling they won't work up quite as big a head of righteous indignation. "
In the wake of MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews's deplorable comments regarding the Bush administration having "finally been caught in their criminality," many conservatives are wondering if this clearly left-leaning pundit should be allowed to moderate GOP presidential debates including this Tuesday's.
To address the growing controversy, Fox News's "Fox & Friends" invited media members from both sides of the aisle Monday morning to debate the issue. On the left were Ellis Henican of Newsday and Ellen Ratner of FNC; on the right were radio host Herman Cain and Jim Pinkerton of Newsday (video available here courtesy Johnny Dollar).
In the end, I strongly agree with Henican and Cain who felt that candidates should be willing and able to answer anybody's questions regardless of political leaning if they want to attain the highest office in the land.
Joe Scarborough: MSNBC's kind of Republican. The sort who not only tells a Democrat he's "very badly" needed in Washington. Who not merely expresses the desire to write him a campaign check. But who even volunteers [tongue-in-cheek, one would hope] to do illegal check-bundling for him a la Norman Hsu.
After recently putting in an embarrassingly sycophantish performance when interviewing Hillary Clinton, Scarborough was back ingratiating himself with another Dem today. Interviewing former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey on "Morning Joe," talk inevitably turned to the possibility of Kerrey seeking a Senate seat again. Scarborough waxed wildly enthusiastic.
"This is Anne Jones, reporting live from the headquarters of the ACLU, where the organization has issued a 'DEFCON 1 Threat-to-the-Constitution Alert' in the wake of a Republican presidential candidate's call for the creation of God's 'kingdom on earth.' We're speaking with ACLU representative Amanda Rogers. Ms. Rogers, now that a Republican candidate has brought the wall that separates church and state crashing to the ground, can our constitutional system be saved?"
"Anne, I'm afraid the answer is a resounding 'no,' at least, not if someone who thinks like this, and who sadly reflects the thinking of his entire party, is elected president. Fortunately, there are candidates from another party who respect the constitutionally decreed separaration of church and state."
"Thank you, Amanda; very frightening stuff. Now back to our studio, where we'll be breaking into our regularly-scheduled programming throughout the day to bring you updates on this unfolding crisis. I'll be back a little later with an interview with the pro-Constitution group 'People for the American Way,' which has called the Republican candidate's statement 'the gravest threat to America since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.'"
OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a tad with this apocryphal dialogue, but you get the point. The MSM would surely be in full threat-to-the-Constitution cry if ever a Republican presidential candidate had said exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday:
Last Sunday, NewsBusters introduced readers to Media Matters for America, the left-wing organization behind the recent smear campaigns against conservative personalities Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
In the days that followed, although news outlets and leading Democrats continued to reference articles written by this shadowy group, few details were offered about the organization behind them, and virtually nothing was shared concerning its founder, David Brock, who in a short period of time a decade ago remarkably went from a staunch enemy of the Clintons to one of their strongest supporters.
As National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote in Sunday's New York Post, "Brock was once a right-wing hatchet man, penning a book, ‘The Real Anita Hill,' and some articles in the American Spectator on the Clintons that for a time earned him considerable notoriety on the right and hatred on the left."
Despite the influence Media Matters currently has with the mainstream media, Brock's extraordinary political metamorphosis ten years ago, though obviously a journalist's dream, has received little recent attention from press representatives typically clamoring for such juicy dish (emphasis added throughout):
Blogger "Conservative Belle" has a penchant for getting to the bottom of stories. You'll remember that a couple weeks ago, she discovered that the fallen soldier whose name David Shuster blamed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for not knowing had his official residence in another district. It was a Dem congressman, not Blackburn, whom the Department of the Army had notified of the soldier's death.
Conservative Belle [or "CB," as we like to call her] has gone Sherlock Holmes again today. And this time, she's discovered that "Media Matters," the outfit that denies that Hillary Clinton [contrary to her assertion as pictured here] helped start it, just happens to use as official agents a firm whose head honchos include . . . two senior political operatives from the Clinton adminstration.
Newsweek has posted a Hillary Clinton question-and-answer session on their website, selecting eight questions out of "more than 1,000 queries from readers," but the "best questions" Newsweek plucked out of the pile often suggested a hostility to America’s current state under Team Bush, with "huge deficits," a "collapsing" middle class, and a teacher "appalled" at the underfunded No Child Left Behind education plan. One asked how she could convince the "Clinton haters" to leave divisiveness behind. Another wondered whether she would plow on with investigations of the actions of "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, etc.?" But there were no questions about her Iraq vote, Clinton scandals, or Democrat corruption of any kind.
Newsweek began its Q&A with the explanation: "Last month NEWSWEEK invited readers to submit questions to Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton. We received more than 1,000 queries from readers—the bulk of them about Iraq, the economy, health care and education. We forwarded a selection of the best questions to Sen. Clinton. Here are her answers." Left unsaid: Was Hillary handed just these eight inquiries? Or was she allowed to narrow it down further?
Cat fight on the left? On today's "Tucker," a "Media Matters" representative denied Hillary's claim that she "helped start" the organization.
Welcome back, Tucker. Really.
While Carlson was away, guest host David Shuster sullied Tucker's name-sake show with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprang on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), then compounded matters by leading a liberal love-in.
Tucker's been back in the saddle for a couple days, and this evening took on Wesley Clark and later a representative of Media Matters.
Speaking with Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects of "Media Matters," Carlson displayed the graphic shown here, in which Hillary Clinton stated that she had "helped start" Media Matters. Under close questioning by Carlson, Waldman wound up contradicting Hillary's claim.
Is Whoopi Goldberg becoming the Rosie O’Donnell type bully? It appeared that way on the October 3 edition of “The View.” A discussion about Hillary Clinton’s $5,000 a baby entitlement plan quickly descended into a heated exchange between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Whoopi Goldberg about abortion.
When Hasselbeck noted that $5,000 a baby could lead to fewer abortions in the world, Whoopi told Hasselbeck to “back off” because Hasselbeck has never “been in a position” where she “had to make that decision.”
Whoopi, who claimed to march in a NARAL rally with Katie Couric, also added Elisabeth should have “a little bit of reverence” to the women who had abortions and then spread propaganda about women “found bleeding dead with hangers in their bodies.”
Last Thursday, on her new show "Tell Me More," NPR talk show Michel Martin held another one of those non-debates on whether the Republican front-runners should have submitted to the debate organized by leftist PBS host Tavis Smiley. She invited both former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Gingrich pollster Frank Luntz to come on and denounce the GOP no-shows for political stupidity and moral cowardice. Luntz insisted "Tavis Smiley is an incredible host, and he is completely fair." But while Martin pointed out that Smiley had prevailed on Steele to help cajole Republicans to attend for several months, she failed to tell listeners that Luntz was hired by Smiley to do polls after the PBS Democratic candidates debate in June. This is not a little-known fact. Liberal Democrat groups like Media Matters had a fit that Smiley hired a Republican pollster for a Democratic debate, and (unsuccessfully) demanded PBS fix it.
In refusing to interview anyone who felt that PBS and Tavis "George Bush is a serial killer" Smiley were offering a hostile forum for Republicans, Martin merely said the RNC failed to send a spokesman – as if there aren’t many conservatives outside the RNC building on Capitol Hill who would accept that opportunity. That's a lazy way to avoid having a contentious debate, instead of a double-beating.
With liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing on "The View" "objective" journalist Barbara Walters hit Speaker Pelosi from the left. After briefly discussing the renewed Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy, Walters attacked Pelosi for not doing enough to retreat from Iraq.
BARBARA WALTERS: The Democrats came in. They were going to try to bring the troops home. They were going to try to end the war. What happened?
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, we are trying to do that. We have a contrast her between a ten year, $1 trillion war that the president is proposing and we’re talking about a year that, that redeployment begins as soon as safely possible and ends within a year. That’s the debate.
On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stepped onto the floor of the Senate and strongly denounced talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for what have proven to be out of context statements made by the conservative personality on his program last Wednesday.