The press continues its disinterested fiddling while the royal mess known as Obamacare burns through money and exhausts the patience of those attempting any kind of oversight.
One of the more obvious examples of this is how the Washington Post's May 17 story on errors in calculating Obamacare subsidies has gone absolutely nowhere. About one-third of the 20 results returned in a Google News search on "healthcare subsidies" (not in quotes) at 11 p.m. ET Friday evening were partial reprints or rewrites of the original story by WaPo reporters Amy Goldstein and Sandhya Somashekhar. Most of the remaining results were from center-right outlets, while a few came from medical sites. The results didn't change much when searching on "health care" instead of "healthcare." What the WaPo pair reported is a breathtaking cacophony of incompetence which, as Heritage noted last year, won't even "solve" itself when Obamacare enrollees file their 2014 tax returns. Goldstein and Somashekhar also missed an opportunity to make a fundamental point, which is that everyone who has enrolled has some exposure.
On Friday, NPR political director Ron Elving asked in an online article “Is The Tea Party Finished?” Then he answered: “Yes, if you insist on calling it the Tea Party. Because that phrase implies the phenomenon is some sort of organized unit in the usual sense. And the Tea Party never really was one.” You might be able to read some delight between the lines, since the Tea Party wanted to defund public broadcasting.
Elving wrote like he was assembling an obituary: “the energy never really assumed the form of a conventional political party, and it did not build the machinery that could produce reliable candidates and campaigns.”
The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson reported yet another black mark against Maryland's rollout of ObamaCare. It seems the "board that oversees Maryland's troubled health insurance marketplace repeatedly violated a state law that requires such groups to fully explain their reasons for meeting behind closed doors" according to a ruling issued Tuesday by the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is challenging Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in November, and the Kentucky Democrat seems to be the liberal media’s newest political darling.
A front-page Washington Post piece by Ben Terris on Thursday, May 22 declared that Ms. Grimes is “Running With, Not From, Gender. (In Heels.)” before devoting nearly all of the 27-paragraphs article championing her “no pantsuit politics.”
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
So it should be interesting to see the coverage, or lack thereof, for Mr. Aiken having tweeted a while back, "Anyone else watching @piersmorgan want to punch Ann Coulter in the face?" What's more, reports blogger Sooper Mexican, Aiken once all but urged fans to call Coulter a c**t.War on women, anyone?
World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who once summarized Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign by connecting the Democrat to Jesus Christ, has landed the exclusive first interview as the potential 2016 candidate promotes her book, Hard Choices. Sawyer will talk to Clinton for a one-hour special airing on June 9. According to Politico, the former Secretary of State will also appear on the same day's World News and live on the June 10 Good Morning America.
A look back at Sawyer's reporting on Clinton reason reveals the reason she was chosen. On June 4, 2008, as the politician's presidential bid ended, the then-Good Morning America host quoted from a 17th century poem about Christ: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.'' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
One would think that Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia can only get so many free passes from the national press before they'll have to acknowledge his serious problems. We'll see.
Back in January, the Associated Press and the rest of the national establishment media managed to limit their coverage of the arrest and ultimate guilty plea of Garcia's chief of staff for illegally plotting to obtain absentee ballot to local outlets. They did this even though — or perhaps because — the Congressman excused the man's attack on election integrity, for which he received a wrist-slap sentence of 90 days in jail, as "a well-intentioned attempt to maximize voter turnout." A week or so ago, there was an ear wax incident, which I'd rather skip. Earlier today, America Rising posted a far more important video, wherein the congressman bizarrely claimed — he says he wasn't serious, but it doesn't sound like it to me — that additional money spent on Mexican border security proves that "communism works."
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd offered an obituary for the Tea Party based on a handful of expected primary losses and sympathized with Democrats hoping for weak Republican candidates in November: "Democrats are watching this Tea Party fade with disappointment....They were counting on a few bad Tea Party nominees to bail them out of a race or two, and as you can see, that might not happen this year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, Todd gave his assessment of the "struggles" for the Tea Party: "[Kentucky Senator Mitch] McConnell's aggressive campaign is reason number one why the Tea Party has struggled – established Republicans have taken the Tea Party head on....reason number two why the Tea Party has struggled – establishment Republicans have played up their own conservative credentials....reason number three – the defining Tea Party issue of cutting government spending has faded."
Dr. Ben Carson sat down with Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough on Wednesday, May 21 to promote his new book “One Nation” and had some harsh words regarding America's future.
Carson argued that “I want people to understand that we, the American people, are not each other’s enemies. The real enemies are those people who are trying to divide us into every little possible group.” [See video below.]
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was at it again, slamming the GOP while hosting the network’s primary coverage on Tuesday May 20. Appearing during a special edition of Hardball during the 10:00 p.m. Eastern hour, Matthews did his best to shill for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) in her battle with Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
During the segment, Matthews asked Republican strategist Steve Schmidt “Why is Mitch being such an S.O.B. so fast? Going after her as a toddler, calling her basically sort of a puppet tune of the president.” [See video below.]
Tuesday, May 20 was primary day in six states across the county and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was dubbed the point man for the network’s election night coverage. Unfortunately, the Hardball host couldn’t resist taking an inappropriate swipe at the five Republicans seeking the nomination for Senate in Georgia.
At the very end of a segment that aired at 7:27 p.m. Eastern, Matthews commented that the GOP primary will likely head to a runoff and “the reason they have these runoffs is to make sure no black guy ever won a nomination down there.” [See video below.]
Facing a respectful if at times skeptical panel as he promoted his just-released book, One Nation, on ABC's The View today, world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson described his prescription for fixing health care in America, which revolves around market-oriented changes which empower consumers rather than bureaucrats.
Asked about his presidential aspirations, Carson made clear he doesn't desire to seek office and hoped a solidly conservative candidate would enter the race, but, failing that, "as a patriotic American, I certainly have to think about" running. Carson received a rousing round of applause from the audience after his brief appearance, which you can watch in its totality by clicking play on the video below the page break [h/t The Right Scoop]
CNN's Chris Cuomo forwarded a liberal talking point about the infighting inside the Republican Party on Tuesday's New Day, as he covered the primary elections in several states that day. Cuomo asked Republican strategist Kevin Madden, "Are you worried that these challenges are pushing your mainstream or establishment or traditional candidates farther to the right than they might be may like?"
The anchor could very well have gotten his talking point from colleague Van Jones, as the left-wing Crossfire host made the same argument just over two hours later during a panel discussion with Republican Ana Navarro: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
If there was ever drop-dead obvious proof that it's more than fair to call the Associated Press the Administration's Press, it's in the opening phrase of the first sentence of the wire service's Monday morning report on the House's select committee on Benghazi: "Republicans hoping to ride their Benghazi investigation to a November election sweep ..." As far as reporters Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper are concerned, there can't possibly be any other motivation for holding the hearings.
Cassata and Klapper's agenda-driven drivel makes several trips into the land of "Republicans say," when the correct words should be: "The facts are." More crucially, Klapper completely ignored two reports he filed on October 10, 2012 which showed that the State Department "never believed" that the murder of Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Benghazi attack was inspired by an anti-Muslim video (bolds numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
Pressuring Democratic congressional candidate and former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken from left during an interview on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted that the openly gay singer wasn't campaigning on gay marriage: "You've been open about your own status and you have criticized North Carolina's ban on gay marriage in the past. But for observers of your race, it seems you're downplaying this in this particular campaign. Is that a fair assessment?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Aiken gave a rather surprising answer: "I don't know that we're necessarily particularly specifically downplaying anything. You know, we're up-playing the things that are affecting people's lives....We're talking about the things that are affecting people's lives and that's not necessarily one of them."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that a series of congressional primary races were evidence "the ongoing family feud between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the GOP festers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed how Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell "waged a ruthless campaign" against his Tea Party challenger, then announced: "As tough as Kentucky's been, it's even nastier and more personal in other GOP primaries."
As is customary for a mainstream media outlet, Politico spun the results of its new poll question on abortion pretty much 180 degrees.
“When it comes to abortion rights, however, midterm voters are more aligned with Democrats than with Republicans: 54 percent say they support the right to an abortion either with no restrictions (19 percent) or some restrictions (35 percent)," they claimed. "Forty-five percent said there should be either a near-total abortion ban with some exceptions (34 percent) or a total ban on the procedure (11 percent).”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews did his best to cheerlead for Hillary Clinton to run for president during his Hardball program offering up numerous talking points to sell her potential candidacy to his audience.
On Monday, May 19, Matthews declared: “Let me finish tonight with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming not just the next president but a truly great president. Let me be the first to say that the elements are there: her political positioning, her talents and personality.” [See video below.]
In a Monday evening report at the Associated Press, reporters Bill Barrow and Christina A. Cassidy did their best to try to minimize the impact of a politically disastrous dodge on the part of Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.
In a weekend interview with NBC, Nunn refused to say whether she would have voted for or against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, saying that "it’s impossible to look back retrospectively and say what would you have done if you were there." (And besides, she was working for a not-for-profit foundation at the time, so how could she know?) Additionally, Nunn got so rattled that she invented a new use for the word "architect" — as a verb: "I wished that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation." Clearly, the AP's Barrow and Cassidy were hoping for a real answer from Nunn. But they didn't get one. Not even close (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush Administration warned the Obama Administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19.
Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration.” [See video below.]
Good Morning America is a profoundly superficial show. The ABC program on Monday devoted air time to Full House star Jonathan Stamos responding a blogger's criticism of the '90s show. So, what does it take for the program to cover the 2014 midterm elections? A Republican scandal helps. GMA reporter Mara Schiavocampo highlighted the revelation that Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby's ex-boyfriend in 2013 called police, accusing her of stalking.
Referring to her former boyfriend, Andrew Miller, Schiavocampo made sure to note: "The millionaire timber executive claiming the rising Republican star is a stalker..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] To underline the point, the journalist reiterated, "So far, Wehby has been leading her Republican opponent in the polls."
Opening Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "Republican attempts to take down Hillary Clinton are in full swing after a headline-grabbing attack from Karl Rove. So will Republicans stop at nothing to keep her from running in 2016?" Introducing a report moments later, he wondered: "Is this just the start of a Republican strategy to persuade her not to run?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory turned to correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who declared: "...there is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton..." Mitchell snidely remarked: "It all started when Karl Rove, once called 'Bush's Brain,' said Hillary Clinton suffered traumatic brain injury after a 2012 fall and concussion."
Fox News analyst Juan Williams re-appeared on the radio network that fired him (NPR) on Friday. Halfway through the domestic-politics hour on the Diane Rehm show, they discussed the hullaballoo Karl Rove started by questioning Hillary Clinton’s transparency on her health.
While former Fox reporter Major Garrett said Democrats railed against Rove for "a completely illegitimate and, you know, indefensible approach to politicking," Williams insisted that the first-woman-president appeal of the Hillary 2016 campaign is a “steamroller” that is too strong for Republican criticism:
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, sat down with David Gregory, moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press and was immediately met with a barrage of questions on Hillary Clinton ranging from Karl Rove’s questioning of Clinton health to her tenure as Secretary of State.
Appearing on Sunday, May 18, Gregory did his best to defend Ms. Clinton from her legacy and asked Priebus “Is she the candidate that you, as the head of the Republican Party, most fear” following a confrontational discussion about her role in investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi. [See video below.]
On Sunday, May 18, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today hyped President Obama’s selection of Julian Castro, Democratic Mayor of San Antonio, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Both NBC’s Jenna Wolfe and ABC’s Ron Claiborne beamed at how Castro is a “rising star in the Democratic Party” with Wolfe praising how “there’s been speculation that he could be vice presidential pick in 2016.” [See video below.]
In a textbook case of damning with faint praise, the Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore asserted on Thursday that of all the "dramatically underqualified people" who may run for president in 2016, Ben Carson is the frontrunner.
Kilgore opines that since Carson is black, his popularity with white conservatives "absolve[s] them of any racist motives when they complain about those people on welfare, and indeed accuse white liberals of being the real bigots." (Italics in original.) He adds that should Carson run, "it seems likely he [would] be even more overtly than [Herman] Cain a pure instrument for conservative resentment and—if you will forgive the unavoidable term—whitewashing."
Via The Right Scoop, we noticed that young New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore – a veteran of the liberal opinion journal The Washington Monthly – thinks Hillary Clinton has a resume problem on her way to the White House, and it’s not Benghazi, exactly.
On MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. Friday, he said “I actually think that the real thing they have to overcome, the question everyone’s asking is ‘What was her biggest accomplishment as Secretary of State?’And you know, I just see flailing on this question, from her own supporters, I don’t see any good answer, or at least a solid, strong answer. It’s sort of surprising to me.” (Video below)