In her January 28 story, "House passes abortion insurance restriction," MSNBC.com's Irin Carmon quoted from just one Republican who voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and yet found three male Democratic congressmen and one female Democratic congresswoman to slam the measure:
I guess when you've run out of anything meaningful to say, you revert to your tired old one-liners, even when they are — or should be — embarrassing.
In early 2009, five days after President Obama's first State of the Union speech, Alex Castellanos, who at the time was apparenty a "Republican strategist," said the following on a CNN Sunday show: "I think, as a friend told me once, that -- listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex. The worse there ever was, was excellent." Tuesday night, as Politico's Lucy McCalmont reports, Castellanos was at it again:
Did Al Sharpton just stumble into some unfortunate phrasing, or did he take an intentionally vulgar shot at Rand Paul?
On his MSNBC show tonight, discussing the fact that Paul recently raised the most salacious scandal of Bill Clinton's presidency, Sharpton said "Rand Paul is really going to try to do the Monica Lewinsky on the Democrats as a way of countering the war on women that they're doing with legislation and all kinds of things." I'm inclined to believe the sly Sharpton knew exactly what he was doing. View the video after the jump.
The conventional wisdom in Washington was succinctly expressed in a recent Washington Post article, "The GOP's Uphill Path to 270 in 2016." The Electoral College, claims Dan Balz, now gives the Democrats a decided advantage that will be hard for the GOP to overcome. He correctly noted that many formerly Republican-leaning states have shifted to the Democratic column.
On one level, Balz is correct. There has been a massive shift in the state-by-state leanings over the past two decades. From 1968 to 1988, the Republican candidate carried an amazing 34 states five or more times. During that stretch, only Minnesota and Washington, D.C. were equally secure for the Democrats.
Ever since MSNBC launched its sister website MSNBC.com, writer Zachary Roth has been obsessed with new voting laws, and has consistently demonized GOP-sponsored legislation as a form of voter suppression. Roth’s latest piece, published on January 28th, continued MSNBC’s scare tactics surrounding popular voter ID laws.
The title of Roth’s article fretted that the “GOP wants to change Missouri constitution for voter ID” and the MSNBC author made it clear once again where he stood on the issue of requiring voters to show a photo ID to vote.
He has a lifetime American Conservative Union (ACU) score of 12.5 (his lowest marks were in 2011 with a score of 5), a 100 percent rating by the NARAL Pro-Choice America, a zero rating from the National Right to Life, and a solid 85 percent in 2012 (the last year the ADA scored) from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. With numbers like that, Virginia's senior senator Mark Warner (D) may be a rather plain vanilla legislator when it comes to rhetoric and demeanor -- he's no bombastic camera mugger like say Chuck Schumer -- but he is far from a political moderate on either economic or social issues.
Yet in reporting on Republican senator John Warner (no relation) endorsing the former governor's 2014 reelection bid instead of getting behind former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's bid for the seat, the Associated Press's Larry O'Dell described Mark Warner as a "centrist" and uncritically forwarded the meme that both Warners exemplify the sort of bipartisan collegiality that is missing in Washington today but which Americans and Virginians particularly long for (emphasis mine):
NPR reporter Cokie Roberts had some harsh words for President Obama when she appeared as a guest on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, January 26th. With President Obama scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union speech on Tuesday January 28, the ABC panel had some tough advice for the embattled president.
Roberts, who in the past has made incendiary comments about conservatives, agreed with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that President Obama cannot continue to blame the GOP for his recent problems. The NPR reporter argued that, “He's now been going back and reading his history and understanding that that's the case. And so that he has to learn to deal with it.” [See video below.]
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press and pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats accusing Republicans of a "war on women" despite their support of former President Bill Clinton, who "took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office." Despite Paul making on the comments on NBC, only CBS This Morning on Monday reported the remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers: "Senator Rand Paul says any Democrat who believes there's a GOP war against women should think about former President Bill Clinton....Paul said Sunday that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is a legitimate campaign issue."
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday morning and was met with a barrage of questions from host Bob Schieffer about his involvement in the government shutdown. Apart from being the victim of Schieffer’s accusations that the Tea Party senator was to blame for the shutdown, it also appears that Mr. Cruz was the victim of editing by CBS.
Based on video from Senator Cruz’s YouTube page and what aired on today’s Face the Nation broadcast, the senator’s comments surrounding President Obama’s “abuse of power” were edited from the program. Instead what aired was a segment that ignored many of the senator’s complaints directed at President Obama. [See the aired and unaired videos below.]
President Obama is scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union address on January 28, and CBS’s Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer decided to bring on the man who will give the Tea Party response, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Rather than focus primarily on the failures of the Obama Administration over the past 5 years, the veteran CBS reporter chose to use his interview with Cruz as an opportunity to attack the Tea Party favorite and spew White House and Democratic talking points at the Republican. Schieffer began his interview with Cruz by saying that the senator “led the shutdown of the government last fall because the president wouldn't agree to shut down ObamaCare.”
For the past several months, ABC’s Jonathan Karl has been engaged in an ongoing battle with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. The Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News has been one of the few reporters from the “big three” networks who has been consistent in questioning the Obama White House.
Filling in for George Stephanopoulos as moderator of This Week on January 26, Karl continued his tradition of pushing Jay Carney for answers during an exclusive interview with the press secretary. During the interview Karl called out Carney for the lack of access the Obama Administration gives the media, and asked the former Time Magazine reporter turned Obama propagandist whether “Jay Carney would fight with Jay Carney?”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose name has come up as a possible 2016 presidential contender, had his name splashed all over the nation by the establishment press three years ago when he largely succeeded in reducing the disproportionate influence of public-sector union members. That attention remained steady until Walker beat back a statewide recall in tbe spring of 2012.
One might argue that Walker's now-obvious success is boring and unworthy of national attention, except for the fact that the press still features Walker in national stories from time to time — really important stuff like the fact that he got selected for jury duty but didn't serve. Turning a projected $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus, bringing down the unemployment rate, and proposing an across-the-board tax cut? Forget about it. And what little coverage does occur is almost comical, especially from the mostly unionized Associated Press. Take the last sentence of the following excerpted paragraph from AP reporter Scott Bauer on Friday morning:
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)
Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.
Chris Matthews played his favorite type of game on Thursday, using the comments of one Republican to generalize the entire conservative movement. This time, the Hardball host pounced on remarks by Mike Huckabee regarding the so-called "war on women." The former Republican presidential candidate said that Democrats "insult" women by suggesting that they are "helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in" to provide " prescription each month for birth control."
From this, Matthews sneered, "And given that, what is it in the Republican DNA that makes them talk as if they've never talked with women?" He added, "Why do they speak as if they are the party of cave dwellers who come out of their habitats every four years, say, or so, to grunt something so retro, so awkward, so Cro-Magnon as this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While NBC and the rest of the media slammed Mitt Romney in 2012 for daring to voice security concerns about the London Olympics, Friday's Today show welcomed the former Republican nominee with open arms as a suddenly respected Olympic expert and urged him to scrutinize the safety of the upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's stunning turnaround just happened to coincide with Romney no longer being a political threat to President Obama.
Fortunately for Mr. Obama, the president enjoys a liberal news media intent on shielding the president -- and with him his congressional Democratic allies -- as best they can. On Thursday evening, none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even bothered to briefly mention the Moody's downgrade. Likewise none of the Big Three morning news programs thought it worthy of even a brief mention in a news-desk roundup. The New York Times -- motto: All the news that's fit to print -- also ignored the story in its Friday print edition.
Jay Leno had some harsh words for President Obama last night. Speaking on the Tonight Show, Leno said that, “President Obama has a new political slogan. Yes we cannabis!”
The long time Tonight Show host is ending his tenure at NBC in a few weeks and has used the opportunity to mock President Obama at every turn. One of his favorite targets has been the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, which he took full aim at on Thursday night. [See the full video below.]
In a live interview with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled him on his interactions with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...you see the bridge scandal and other allegations have come forward. And they all seem to have a theme, which is that he uses, allegedly, hardball, sometimes bullying tactics against people who cross him. Have you never experienced that side of him?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Romney dismissed the notion: "No, Chris and I get along very well. We're close friends."
Roe v. Wade was horribly decided, as even some prominent supporters of abortion rights will agree. But for now, it remains the law of the land. And it establishes a constitutional right to abortion. Amazingly, Thomas Roberts appears unaware of that.
On today's Morning Joe, commenting on Mike Huckabee's speech of yesterday on how Dems wrongly accuse Republicans of a "war on women," Roberts twice said "if old white men could get pregnant, abortion would be a constitutional right." View the video after the jump.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper blandly admitted the obvious in a radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt. The same reporters that insist their former GOP favorite Chris Christie is ruined for 2016 by traffic jams on a bridge are letting Hillary Clinton skate for embassy-security neglect that led to four dead government employees at Benghazi.
Why would so-called watchdogs of government suggest Hillary is a shoo-in in ‘16 as if Benghazi never happened? Tapper strangely suggested that Benghazi always seemed like more of a White House scandal than a State Department scandal, and don’t blame him, because Hillary didn’t grant him an interview.
Excited about the possibility of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie no longer being a viable presidential contender, Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday swooned about the Democratic potential for 2016: "This could be like the 1964 election with Lyndon Johnson being portrayed this time by Hillary Clinton, grabbing 60 percent of the vote because she grabs the middle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews continued his hypothetical sequence, speculating, "[Clinton] could grab the middle. The Republicans run a wacko bird, as John McCain calls them. We have a sweeping election." It should be pointed out that, as of January 23, 2014, November 8, 2016 is two years and 288 days away. So, a lot "could" happen.
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell tried to downplay the controversy swirling over the misleading biography put forward by Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis: "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume or focused on the single mom aspects of it and didn't really give the timeline correctly." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell continued by actually warning Republicans to tread lightly on the issue: "You never want to be on the defensive about giving your biography when you're running for office, but this is a careful balancing act also, given her appeal to many women and the fact that she's potentially running against a man."
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is currently having its annual winter meetings, and what better way for MSNBC to discuss its progress than to bring on two liberal reporters to discuss the gathering.
During her January 23 Jansing and Co. program, host Chris Jansing invited on no Republican to discuss the RNC meetings, instead opting to bring on MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, who herself is a former Obama campaign operative, and The New York Times’ Nick Confessore -- no conservative he. Jansing began the segment by discussing abortion and concluded that a big part of the GOP strategy was “how to blunt the Democrats' successful ongoing narrative of the war on women.”
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Today about an upcoming Netflix documentary of Mitt Romney's two presidential runs, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker scratched her head over the footage taken by filmmaker Greg Whiteley: "One of the big questions is, why could this 90-minute documentary by a filmmaker convey a personal, human, warm side of Mitt Romney that his team of very high-paid strategists could not?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the reason lies in the way Parker and her media colleagues constantly portrayed Romney as being out-of-touch with voters. In one article after another during the 2012 campaign, Parker described Romney as being stuck in a "defensive" posture on every political issue he discussed.
Well, he’s at it again. The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky posted yet another anti-Republican rant when he declared today that Senator David Vitter (R-La.) was “America’s most contemptible Senator.” Vitter announced that he will run for governor of Louisiana in 2015 and the Beast's teaser headline seethed with contempt, "Vitter slithers back to Bayou.”
Tomasky seemed to have an unusual amount of contempt and disgust for Vitter in his January 22 piece. Tomasky began his Vitter hit piece with an anecdote from an unnamed Democratic Senator, who said “on the S.O.B. factor the senator’s response was immediate: David Vitter.”
Less than 24-hours after former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) was indicted on 14 charges including conspiracy and fraud, all three network morning shows immediately identified McDonnell as a Republican. While McDonnell’s potential crimes are serious, the media failed to uphold the same party ID standard when it involved a scandal plagued Democratic governor.
NBC led their January 22 coverage of the McDonnell scandal with Today host Savannah Guthrie introducing the segment by saying, “And now to that bombshell indictment of the former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party.” ABC provided an on-screen graphic identifying McDonnell as a Republican and CBS This Morning’s Nancy Cordes said that “McDonnell was once considered a possible presidential contender for the GOP.”
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
This is a "Can't Make This Up" item on two levels. The more obvious of the two is an incredibly tone-deaf statement issued by Texas Democratic guberatorial candidate Wendy Davis, whose Republican opponent is paraplegic Greg Abbott, that "I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes."
The second "Can't Make This Up" aspect relates to Nia-Malika Henderson of the "She the People" blog at the Washington Post and Jon Herskovitz at Reuters. You see, they both failed to do what establishment press members usually do, i.e, they failed to filter out the damning sentence; maybe they didn't know better. A mini-grab of Davis's statement yesterday follows the jump:
Wow, I'd better get this post done quickly, because Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been tweeting up a storm and has posted "an open letter" at her web site. If I blink, I might miss a half-dozen more tweets.
Davis apparently thinks that if she accuses Republican candidate Greg Abbott and his campaign of being behind the Sunday Dallas Morning News story which poked gaping holes in her picture-perfect bio often enough, it will somehow become true. It won't. Wayne Slater, the DMN reporter who authored the story, has tweeted that "I talked to no - zero - Abbott people." But sadly, in the current establishment media environment, the in-your-face "poor little girl fights back against bullies" tactic might work. A pic of the eight tweets from three hours ago and excerpts from her "open letter" follow the jump.
On Tuesday, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas noted a new Quinnipiac survey finding that only 35 percent of Americans believe that New Jersey governor Chris Christie would make a good president -- down from 49 percent in November -- and that Christie trails Hillary Clinton by eight points in a hypothetical presidential contest (he led her by one point in November and December Quinnipiac polls).
Moulitsas concluded from these numbers that "people care about" Bridgegate but not about the "fake" Benghazi scandal. He called the fourteen-point drop in Christie's would-make-a-good-POTUS rating "pretty much an epic collapse" and asserted that Bridgegate "is nowhere near its conclusion."