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.
Don't look for Shuster to be guest hosting "Tucker" again any time soon. -- from my column of September 26th.
Oy, was I wrong!
I had figured that David Shuster wouldn't be subbing again for Tucker Carlson after embarrassing his show, and MSNBC at large, with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprung on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), exploiting the death of a soldier for partisan political purposes.
But tuning to Tucker today, there was Shuster, the so-called MSNBC "correspondent."
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the leftwing organization responsible for the recent smear campaigns against Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, Media Matters, has direct ties to the Clintons.
To be sure, folks on the left, and in the media that support them, will either deny this connection, or ignore it.
In the end, that's going to be hard to do, for on August 4, while speaking at the YearlyKos convention in Chicago, the junior senator from New York boasted of "institutions that I helped to start and support like Media Matters and Center for American Progress."
Our friend Mike Church has been kind enough to provide the following audio of this segment of her speech that day (partial transcript to follow). Those interested can also view the video available here (relevant section at 2:20):
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Kate Snow rose to the defense of Hillary Clinton and the fact that she’s been seen manically giggling in many interviews. Referencing the mocking that the Democratic presidential candidate has taken on "The Daily Show" and other places, Snow asserted that either Hillary Clinton is either "having a really good time out on the campaign trail, or she's the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." So, the former First Lady is vibrant and fun-loving or brilliant in a good natured way? Those are the only two options?
During the segment, only Democratic operatives or Clinton campaign officials were asked to explain the candidate’s recent outburst of giggles (except for a brief "Daily Show" clip). According to Snow, "Her inner circle insists her laugh is not calculated. It's natural." Clinton operative Capricia Marshall found Hillary’s laughter to be "contagious." Democratic strategist Chris Lehane glowingly described the cackling as "smart and pretty adroit." What else would ABC and Kate Snow expect them to say?
NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News both brought out their Republicans-might-be-racists handbook and took advantage of PBS’s and Tavis Smiley’s decision to hold a Republican debate on black issues on the last week of the third-quarter fundraising crunch. Instead of trying to negotiate a better time, Smiley and PBS painted Republicans as making a huge and possibly racist mistake. Both networks loaded up on soundbites trashing the GOP frontunners for snubbing minorities and creating an "image problem" for themselves and their party.
On Thursday’s Nightly News, hours before the Smiley debate took place, NBC was already casting the debate’s losers as the no-shows. MRC’s Brad Wilmouth compiled the transcript:
When elitist politicians and pundits in Old Media rail against "the rich," the implicit assumption is that it's the same people, year after year, who are getting over on the rest of us.
On Friday, using the 1982 and 2007 Forbes 400 lists (2007's main page is here), John Tamny at Real Clear Politics nuked that perception (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine), and landed a not-so-subtle broadside on the campaign of John Edwards:
The smear campaign against conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh will take a dramatic turn Monday if Greg Sargent of TPM Election Central is correct.
According to a blog posting by Sargent Friday evening, "Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) will be introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his ‘phony soldiers' remark."
Last week, two of the leading conservatives in the media, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, were dishonestly and unprofessionally attacked by press outlets that cherry-picked out of context remarks from lengthy radio broadcasts in order to vilify outspoken personalities whose opinions they don’t agree with.
Unfortunately, as folks around the country saw this play out on their television sets and newspapers, few were at all familiar with the organization behind the smear campaigns, or that this same group started the firestorm which ended with radio host Don Imus being terminated by NBC and CBS in April.
Maybe more importantly, even fewer citizens are aware that this organization is linked directly to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as billionaire leftist George Soros.
For some background, John Perazzo wrote a column for FrontPage Magazine in July entitled “Media Matters: Hillary’s Lap Dogs,” that should be must-reading for all citizens interested in who's targeting America’s leading conservative personalities (emphasis added throughout):
Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama might have talk show host Oprah Winfrey in his corner, but a new study from the Pew Research Center found that such celebrity endorsements have little impact on voting habits.
In fact, state governors carry more weight with potential voters than celebrities.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host George Stephanopoulos provided another example of the close relationship that the "This Week" host has with Bill and Hillary Clinton. After playing a debate clip of the New York Senator publicly disagreeing with her husband over a question about torture, Stephanopoulos revealed to co-host Robin Roberts, "My e-mail started going off the minute after that exchange happened. All the Clinton people."
Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, explained that Mrs. Clinton’s operatives "were thrilled" with the retort and "they like any moment where she can show that, actually, she's the one in charge. He's not pulling the strings." In other words, the Clinton camp e-mailed the ABC anchor, told him the debate moment they most appreciated and Stephanopoulos dutifully highlighted it the next day on "Good Morning America." This isn’t the first time the veteran journalist has touted his continuing ties to the Clintons. In March of 2005, he boasted to (then) MSNBC host Don Imus that he talked with liberal political operative James Carville "every day."
Appearing in the 7:00 a.m. half-hour of Thursday's "Fox & Friends," Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted that former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather is in utter "meltdown" over the National Guard hoax "although it's been proven documentably, no pun intended, to be false."
In the wake of the recent media-created scandal concerning statements made by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on his radio show, a rather enlightening discussion has ensued regarding the existence of a well-organized campaign to demonize every television and radio personality whose political opinions don't march in lock-step with the left.
A rather frank and candid conversation concerning this matter occurred on Wednesday's "The O'Reilly Factor" between the host and outspoken radio talk show personality Tammy Bruce.
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland. So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said. Source
I wonder how many NewsBusters readers knew they were racist.
After all, if the New York Times publishes a column saying that we are, it's got to be so given that it is the paper of record in this country, correct?
Ironically, it does seem fitting days after the civil rights protests in Jena, Louisiana, that one of the Times' leading columnists would point fingers at the Party largely responsible for getting civil rights laws passed four decades ago.
Yet, that didn't stop the Times' Paul Krugman, as facts never seem to matter whenever he puts his fingers on a keyboard. As such, for those that can stomach it, here were the lowlights of his "Politics in Black and White" (emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters reported, the Senate voted Thursday to condemn MoveOn's "General Betray Us" ad, even though most Democrat presidential candidates including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) opposed the resolution.
With this in mind, it seemed logical that when Clinton was Tim Russert's guest on Sunday's "Meet the Press," and MoveOn's ad came up, the host would have asked the junior senator from New York about this vote, and why she opposed the amendment.
Amazingly, Russert never did.
In fact, as the following partial transcript of this part of the interview demonstrates, Russert not only let Clinton off the hook on this issue, but appeared to assist her in clarifying her point (video available here):
Reading the actual legal complaint in the Dan Rather lawsuit quickly (but repeatedly) reveals the extreme egotism of the disgraced CBS anchor. The first finding begins: "Plaintiff, Dan Rather, one of the foremost broadcast journalists of our time, seeks to recover damages from CBS, his employee of 44 years" for "CBS’s intentional mishandling of the aftermath" of the fake-documents story.
It added: "Throughout his career, Mr. Rather has promoted, championed, and been emblematic of journalistic independence and journalistic freedom from extraneous interference such as governmental, political, corporate, or personal interests. Defendants’ improper responses to the attacks on the Documents wrongfully damaged Mr. Rather and these values which he championed."
This story about Ohio has nationwide application. That's because Ohio's media have been awfully quiet about the tax increases that will be necessary if the Buckeye State's version of "universal health care" comes to pass. The bill was introduced on April 25, according to this Ohio Legislative Services Commission bill analysis, and has flown under the radar ever since. I expect that national Old Media scrutiny of the Second Coming of Hillarycare will also be minimal.
My interest in the so-called "Ohio Health Care Plan" was perked when I heard an ad from the Ohio Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) claiming that the plan would cost Ohio taxpayers $50 billion.
$50 billion. With a "b." In one state.
That's over $4,400 for every man, woman, and child in Ohio, or over $17,000 for a family of four.
A separate fiscal analysis by the Legislative Services Commission is pending, so I thought that the NFIB might be engaging in a bit of reckless hyperbole.