If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks. On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way. Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.
That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.
Good Morning America's Claire Shipman on Tuesday made no effort to hide her bias, mocking Republicans who object to planned Hillary Clinton TV movies. On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford insisted that actress Diane Lane, who will be playing Clinton in a NBC miniseries, brings "the glitz and glamour of Hollywood" to the portrayal of the former Secretary of State. The Today show described the projects as a "boost" for the Democrat.
But it was ABC's Shipman who thrilled that "even as the uncandidate, Hillary Clinton dominates the air waves with her every move." Describing the GOP response, Shipman derided, "Enough, say rattled Republicans, who call the projects political ads." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wow: Joe Scarborough just outed something naughty that Mika Brzezinski had to say about the Hillary biopic that her parent network NBC is planning.
After Mika admitted on today's Morning Joe that she doesn't disagree with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's warning that the RNC might not cooperate with NBC or CNN on Republican debates should the networks proceed with their biopic plans, Joe took things a big step further, saying: "You said off the air, Mika, it was as if they were trying to climb up something of the entire Clinton organization." "Something"? You fill in the blanks. View the video after the jump.
Former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines (sacked in the 2003 Jayson Blair debacle) provided a positive review Sunday of Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz’s 2012-campaign book “Collision.” Raines claimed Balz was “a fair-minded reporter” in the mold of the late David Broder.
You can’t say the same for Raines, who insists Mitt Romney is “excruciatingly delusional” in assessing what happened last year. Bill Clinton’s convention speech gets “deservedly heroic treatment” from Balz, but somehow, Raines saw Clint Eastwood’s erratic convention speech as a “Monty Python moment,” perhaps one of few times anyone’s ever tried to put Dirty Harry next to Eric Idle in the cultural realm:
In his August 2 article, Theory On Pain Is Driving Rules For Abortion, New York Times's Erik Eckholm set about to critique how the "theory" of fetal pain is driving a push by pro-lifers for state laws tightening up abortion restrictions. Yet, in trying to convince readers that "fetal pain" is a fringe medical theory, he failed to cite any mainstream medical journal that explicitly rules out the probability that unborn children feel pain in the womb.
“[M]ost scientists and medical associations say that perception of pain is impossible without brain developments that occur well after 20 weeks,” Eckholm insisted, overlooking a 1999 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology study finding:
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich showed up on Joy Behar’s Current TV program Say Anything! on Wednesday to chat about some hot news topics – chief among them, the ongoing Anthony Weiner saga. Rich assured Behar that the Weiner situation would not affect Hillary Clinton’s future. On the contrary, he said, it would make people love her husband Bill Clinton even more.
Rich made his remarks after Behar mentioned that the Clintons seem to be distancing themselves from Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. Rich remarked, “[L]ook, Weiner had a lot of enemies in the Democratic Party well before the scandals, but I also think it’s not going to have any effect on Hillary Clinton's future, whatever it is.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly. The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke. Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.
Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:
This just in: John McCain supports Hillary Clinton over Rand Paul for president in 2016! That was the message that CBS’s Gayle King implied during a news brief on Thursday’s CBS This Morning. King reported on a recent interview in The New Republic in which Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) was asked who he would vote for in 2016 if former Secretary of State Clinton faced Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) in the general election. McCain’s reply, which King reported, was, “It’s gonna be a tough choice.”
That was enough for CBS to run with. King then proclaimed, “McCain and Paul have butted heads a few times in the Senate. In the interview, McCain praised Clinton's work as secretary of state and called her a rock star.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In one fell swoop, Howard Dean has managed to expose his ignorance of libertarianism while making a stale and insulting joke about New Jerseyites.
Discussing on today's Morning Joe the dust-up between Rand Paul and Chris Christie and the broader issue of the philosophical rifts within the GOP, Dean declared that "Rand Paul is not a libertarian" because he is pro-life. Dean is apparently unaware of the lively debate over abortion within libertarian circles, with a reported 30% of libertarians being pro-life. Dean also warned Paul: "do not take on a guy from Jersey. Obviously this guy does not watch HBO." That was presumably an allusion to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, two HBO shows featuring Garden State criminals. View the video after the jump.
The Anthony Weiner scandal has gotten so ridiculous that even MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts can’t control himself. Appearing on MSNBC on July 30, Roberts responded to a clip of Weiner’s sexting partner appearing with Howard Stern that “this chick is bats**t.
The woman who’s real name is Sydney Leathers -- yes, that's her real name, stop laughing -- called out Anthony Weiner, who claimed since his original sexting scandal, has changed. Leathers’ response, “bulls***. I’m proof that you have not changed.” [See video below. Audio here.]
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared that Hillary Clinton's lunch with President Obama put the possible 2016 Democratic contender "a safe distance from the scandal in New York that now includes a longtime aide." Introducing a report on the meeting, Williams noted how "Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep their distance from any associations with Anthony Weiner, whose wife is a longtime Hillary Clinton aide and confidante..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to fret over the impact the scandal may have on the Clintons, correspondent Andrea Mitchell decried Weiner's continued candidacy for New York City mayor: "Weiner has become a tabloid nightmare for his wife, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's aide. And for the Clintons, resurrecting embarrassing flashbacks they'd hoped were long forgotten. Weiner said again today, he isn't going away..."
At the Politico, Rebecca Elliott has reported that "EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock will not be running for Senate in Montana," and that Schriock's decision represents "another blow to Democrats’ hopes to retain the open seat in 2014" currently held by the retiring Max Baucus.
Puh-leeze. Two minutes of research would have revealed why Schriock's candidacy, already dicey in a largely pro-life state, had a high likelihood of turning into the mother of all train wrecks.
All three major networks ran full-length stories on their Saturday morning shows on the sex scandals involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. However, none of the networks directly identified either politician as a Democrat.
ABC’s Saturday edition of Good Morning America ran separate stories on each of the two men. Their two-and-a-half minute package on Filner made no mention of the mayor’s party affiliation, while the two-and-a-half minute story on Weiner merely hinted that the former congressman was a Democrat. There was a sound bite halfway through the story in which an angry female New Yorker exclaimed, “I’m suggesting wholeheartedly he ought to withdraw, and I am a Democrat.” Yet nobody from ABC ever referred to Weiner as a Democrat.
Was this a case of Donny Deutsch expressing sincere sentiments—or wanting Weiner out of the way to help Hillary?
Whatever the explanation, the ad man unleashed on Huma Abedin on today's Morning Joe, saying he was "disgusted" by the spectacle of her press conference, accusing Abedin of being an "opportunist" who wants to be First Lady of New York. A much more understanding Mika Brzezinski said that Abedin's performance was "amazing," "extraordinary" and "really brave." Video after the jump.
As members of America’s news media fail to recognize that Detroit went bankrupt due to decades of Democratic Party rule, they’ll probably execute the same protocol when they cover Illinois’ pension fiasco, which happens to be the worst in the country.
In fact, it’s so bad that the Illinois Comptroller has told legislators that they won’t be paid until this matter is resolved. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has also nixed his own pay until the issue is addressed. It seems that all is not well in President Obama’s home state, which is probably why the media isn’t giving it the proper attention.
Recent polls show Americans are perfectly okay with legislation being pursued in statehouses across the fruited plan to institute a ban on abortions occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy. This is despite a drumbeat of media puffery to glorify pro-choice absolutists like Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and to attack the successful pushes for abortion-regulating legislation in Ohio, North Carolina and Texas. So what's the liberal media to do as they are finding out their hard work has been for naught? Why, try to convince Americans that the pro-life movement is on the verge of a bitter civil war.
On July 24, Time magazine's Grace Wyler filed a story on how the "Personhood Movement Continues to Divide Pro-Life Activists." Wyler zeroes in on an isolated incident from Wisconsin to make her case. The core of her piece is summed up with this excerpt:
Organizing For Action claims that its mission is to "support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012." Presumably, on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis, that means it's able to divine the President's priorities and follow them (you see, OFA is "independent," so there can't pooooossibly be any communication between its officials and the White House, cough, cough).
Well, if OFA really is following the President's priorities, one of those priorities is decidedly not the economy, despite Obama's promise in his weekly address on Saturday to "spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again." And yes, I would expect a vigilant establishment press, which we definitely don't have, to notice, and of course they haven't. Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Politico has a list of OFA's "Action August" key event days, which follows the jump:
The situations involving disgraced and relapsed former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Ben Quayle, who hasn't been in politics for about a year, are very analogous. Just ask Katie Glueck at the Politico. Oh, and the the Weiner situation is also very analogous to that of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who has returned $21,000 worth of gifts he should never have taken from a businessperson. Just ask Dana Milbank at the Washington Post.
There appears to be some kind of unwritten rule that you can't attempt to analyze a Democrats' scandalous involvement without dragging a Republican into the mix, no matter how distant or irrelevant the connection. First, let's look at Glueck with Quayle and Weiner (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
Pretty much all you need to know about the current negligent media culture in Washington is summed up in two items involving the Politico's home page this morning -- one which is there, and one which isn't.
The featured story at top of the home page by Byron Tau is about infighting between "Big Marijuana" -- it seems like "Big Pot" would be a more succinct nickname -- and those who want to extend recent electoral victories in legalizing the drug. What isn't there on the home page, as confirmed in a word search, is any story with a headline or tease containing "IRS."
Additionally, it seems that the MSNBC crowd is on board with voter integrity laws as well. Sixty-five percent of respondents, who described themselves as "very liberal to liberal," thought that showing an ID before voting was a "good thing." So, this isn't a legitimate issue. It's only relevant in the liberal boardrooms of America's news media.
Jim Swift at Bomble.com noticed Eliot Spitzer did something amazingly sleazy with the New York Times – something the paper hasn’t noticed yet. In a new TV ad pitching himself as the scourge of Wall Street, he edited a July 9 Times subheadline to exclude that in addition to "Instant Pushback" from high finance to his bid for city comptroller, he’s also opposed by unions and politicians.
Michael M. Grynbaum of the Times did a two-minute video “ad watch” of the 60-second ad that was posted on Tuesday – and obsessed over Spitzer holding glasses in the ad, but somehow missed the blatant edit of the newspaper’s own content:
Yesterday, President Obama gave another warmed-over version of the same economic policy speech that’s been given for the past five years at Knox College in Illinois. He saved the automobile industry. He’s overseeing an economic recovery. Republicans are intransigent. And he’s the best person to ever breathe oxygen on this planet. Yada, yada, yada.
Now with polls showing a record number of people calling for the repeal of ObamaCare, the president needed to pivot towards, well, jobs – again. Not that the liberal media have noticed the maddeningly repetitive same-old, same-old of it all. We’re getting to the point where the media should be calling the president out on this tactic, although with very few exceptions, no one's doing that.
If a relative of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had done what Joe Biden's niece Alana Biden appears to have done in the November 2012 election in New Hampshire, i.e., casting her ballot in a swing state where she doesn't really reside, establishment press coverage would be intense. But as of now, it's a virtual secret outside of the Granite State, and it certainly hasn't penetrated the nation's vast horde of low-information voters.
According to TV station WMUR (HT Gateway Pundit) in a Tuesday afternoon report, Ms. Biden, while working for the Obama-Biden reelection campaign, swore in an affidavit that she was a resident of the state. That claim appears to have been false, at least as normal people would define residency (though it might technically comply with poorly written state law; more on that shortly). Several other Obama campaign workers from other states, all of whom claimed the home of Democratic State Senator Martha Fuller Clark as their "home address," also voted in New Hampshire.
A very misleading sentence appeared in David Caruso's story this evening at the Associated Press about Nik Richie, the blogger who broke the story of disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's latest sexting escapade at his "The Dirty" web site. It certainly supports the notion that tagging the wire service with its "the Administration's Press" nickname is not at all out of line.
Note that the time stamp on Caruso's story is 7 p.m ET tonight, a mere three hours ago. Here is the deceptive statement: "Richie declined to reveal the woman's identity or put her in contact with the Associated Press, saying he had agreed to protect her anonymity." What rubbish. Her name is already known. Caruso and the AP are deciding on their own to withhold it, for obvious reasons which will be revealed after the jump.
While the nation's major news media outlets virtually ignored the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, they media fell over themselves to outdo each other in lavishing praise on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. You will recall that the pro-choice Democrat was hailed for her filibuster of SB 5, an abortion regulation law that bans surgical abortions after 20-weeks into a pregnancy and sets in place strict surgical center-style guidelines for the Lone Star State's abortion mills. Davis's unholy crusade for the unrestricted right to kill unborn children received three times more coverage by CBS, NBC, and CBS than the entire Gosnell case – or at least at the point when the big three decided to report on the story.
Well now, inspired by the Media Research Center, the pro-life group Live Action has announced their intention to March on the Media in protest of their continually-slanted coverage on life issues. Here's the July 24 press release in full:
Throughout the coverage of the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal on Wednesday's NBC Today, hosts and correspondents repeatedly made comparisons between Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, and her long-time boss Hillary Clinton. At one point, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski declared that Abedin "has learned from the master, Hillary Clinton" on how to deal with scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a later segment, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Clinton as Abedin's mentor in damage control: "But you can't help but remember, Huma works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."
For some reason, press reports I've seen thus far dealing with revelations that disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner continued "sexting" after his June 2011 resignation won't directly tell us that he didn't stop sexting -- assuming we've heard the last of this, which is by no means certain -- until November 2012 or January of this year, 4-6 months before he declared his Gotham mayoral candidacy. Additionally, he kept communicating with one of his partners, while supposedly not sexting, until April, the month before he began his run.
The four-month time frame can be inferred from the first excerpted paragraph after the jump in an Associated Press report by Jonathan Lemire (bolds and numbered tags are mine):