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."
To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater's substantive story about Wendy Davis's problems with the truth was headlined "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred."
"Blurred" is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis's basic credibility go away. The New York Times ("Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology") and NBCnews.com ("Off to the races: Wendy Davis' 'blurred' bio") have also gotten in on the "blurred" headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
MSNBC darling Wendy Davis is in some hot water over inaccuracies surrounding her personal biography. According to the Dallas Morning News's Wayne Slater -- no conservative he, by the way -- despite Ms. Davis’s own claims, she was 21, not 19 when she was divorced and living in a trailer as a single mother.
Despite the glaring factual inconsistencies in Ms. Davis’s own biography, on January 21, Chris Jansing was quick to rush to her defense. During her daily Jansing & Co. show, Jansing proclaimed Davis a “Democratic rising star” without mentioning that her very own network is in no small way responsible for raising the previously unknown Texas state senator’s rise to national prominence.
"Without the scandal-engulfed New Jersey governor, Republicans don’t have a candidate who could even come close to the votes needed to win the presidency in 2016," promises the subheader to the left-wing journalist's story. Tomasky made no effort to rise above his naked partisanship nor the smug self-satisfaction of his prognostication of certain electoral doom for the GOP two years from now (emphasis mine):
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared near the top of “The Kelly File” on Fox News Channel Monday night to discuss the liberal media’s sudden ardor for Dawn Zimmer, the Democratic mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, who claimed Gov. Christie was handing out federal superstorm-Sandy subsidies in a corrupt and politicized way. Kelly noted she would not answer questions from Fox News.
Kelly pointed out the MRC “has been doing the TV analysis,” and the picture is not pretty: 30 minutes of Big 3 network coverage over the weekend. The discussion began this way (video, transcript below):
All three networks on Tuesday morning continued to pile on Chris Christie, offering gloating coverage about how his “glory days” have gone terribly wrong. After recounting everything that has gone awry for the Republican, Good Morning America's Jim Avila imagined, “You can almost see at the inauguration today, Governor Christie raising his right hand and shaking his head at the same time. “ [See video below.] Co-host Robin Roberts added, “It’s not what they thought today was going to be.”
After reiterating that the new year is “not at all going to plan” for Christie, Avila continued, “Instead, [the governor has been] forced to play scandal whack-a-mole, with new poll numbers falling.” CBS This Morning offered a network graphic that trumpeted, “Christie Crisis.” Journalist Elaine Quijano featured Alex Burns from the liberal Politico to lecture that in order to run for President, Christie needed to “run up the legislative score board in New Jersey. I think we can safely say that all those plans are on hold.”
The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to hit back at the press on Sunday for supposedly misunderstanding his Friday morning statement to Susan Arbetter on the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in New York." As I noted on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Governor made it clear that "extreme conservatives" include those who are right to life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, and believe in traditional marriage.
But to go after the press, Cuomo's people had to find a news outlet besides a public radio station which actually reported on what he said. Even though his Friday remarks were self-evidently newsworthy, that appears to have been pretty difficult. The Associated Press's national site still doesn't have a story; nor does the New York Times or the Politico. Cuomo's peeps chose to go after the New York Post, whose Aaron Short went to the next step in Cuomo's stated logic in running a story headlined "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!." Team Cuomo's response in full follows the jump (bolds are mine; words Cuomo's people left out are in caps; other words Cuomo didn't say are crossed out):
NBC has latched onto the Chris Christie bridge scandal like a leech, so it was no surprise to see a report on the controversy within the first ten minutes of Saturday’s Today show. What was surprising, and dismaying, was that NBC followed up its report with reaction from Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It would be hard to find a less impartial analyst on this matter than the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
Reporter Kelly O’Donnell first mentioned DWS’s name at the tail end of her piece, announcing, “The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she represents Florida in Congress, she'll be doing some of her own public events to try to counter Christie's message.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an online piece teased on the Time.com landing page as "Christie Dodged 'Bully' Bullet," Time’s Mark Halperin hyped his “EXCLUSIVE: Christie Rival Called Him ‘Bully’ In Unaired Ad.”
At issue in the January 20 piece is how State Sen. Barbara Buono produced an unaired anti-Christie ad in which the Democratic nominee for governor asserted that, “she clearly saw the very traits in Christie that have laid him low now.” The Time contributor and frequent MSNBC guest claimed in his piece that, "At the top of Buono’s list was the notion that Christie is a “bully” who lacks the temperament to be an effective leader."
A small but vocal band of critics has forced an actress to bow out of a stage production purely because of her political views. It's a brand of McCarthyistic bullying that the national media would (rightly) condemn if the politics of principals in the controversy reversed. But don't hold your breath for a firestorm of outrage in the case of Maria Conchita Alonso, a conservative/libertarian Latina actress who has strayed from the liberal reservation by not merely voting for conservative Republicans but cutting a campaign commercial with one.
Much will be written, and should be, about President Barack Obama's whining that racism partially explains the year-long plunge in his popularity since his reelection in 2012. What's also worth noting about the ponderous and painfully long (18 web pages) January 27 writeup in The New Yorker ("Going the Distance; On and off the road with Barack Obama") is David Remnick's apparent obsessions with rewriting history and recasting reality.
But first, here's the paragraph where Obama, apparently feeling that the "it's Bush's fault I inherited all these messes" card may finally have worn itself out, goes for the race card (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
CBS’s Bob Scheiffer had some harsh words for former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on his Sunday show Face the Nation surrounding the release of Gates’ new memoir “Duty.”
Schieffer fretted over whether or not Gates should have released his memoir before President Obama left office. He had "problems" with it. The CBS host complained that, "Making the criticism at this point while the president is still a sitting president, I was very surprised that Bob Gates did that." [See video after jump.]
Imagine if Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry told a public radio show's host that "people who support abortion, gun control, and same-sex marriage have no place in Texas." There would be breaking news alerts on every cable news station. It would be a press obsession for weeks. More immediately, there would be intense pushback from the show's host.
On the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter on Friday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is surely assessing the 2016 presidential landscape, asserted 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." Arbetter just let Cuomo's remarks slide on by without meaningful follow-up, and arguably appeared to agree with their thrust. Audio and relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump.
TIME Magazine managing editor Nancy Gibbs is a well-established fan of Hillary Clinton, and on Thursday she brought her cheerleading act to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. Gibbs was there to discuss this week’s cover of TIME, which asks, “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?”
Mitchell asked Gibbs how long Hillary can postpone making a decision about whether to run for president in 2016. Gibbs responded, “I think she can postpone it almost longer than anyone we have seen. It allows her to not have to answer every controversy that comes up, the latest obviously being the Benghazi report today.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In May 2009, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, announced that it would be "launching an index that will provide monthly, multi-format updates on the economic stress of the United States down to the county level." Not a bad idea, especially if you were concerned that evidence of an economic recovery under Barack Obama would not otherwise be convincing.
The AP likely believed that since an overwhelming percentage of U.S. counties lean conservative (remember those Bush v. Gore county maps?), a large majority of U.S. counties would likely recover in time for the 2010 congressional elections, or in the worst-case scenario, the 2012 presidential election — even if the nation as a whole did not. A statement that "most counties in the U.S. have recovered from the recession" would have been quite useful in defending congressional Democrats and Barack Obama's incumbency. But a recently released report from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which was covered poorly by the Wall Street Journal and virtually ignored by almost everyone else, shows that it hasn't happened.