The New York Times is always selling its favorite Democrats, like this gooey introduction from Kate Zernike on Thursday’s front page: “Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.“
Who is it, precisely, who has built this expansive national profile? The politician, surely, but he’s had a lot of help from the national profile-builders of the major media. Zernike’s already measuring him for vice-president in 2016:
Electoral politics is frequently more a contest of biographies than it is of the issues, particularly if there is no incumbent involved. Of course, having an inspiring biography is only worth as much as the media allow it to be.
Not only is Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan at a disadvantage in this regard—the press very rarely tells of his inspiring story of overcoming blindness and a modest economic background—he is also harmed by the fact that the Democrat he is running against in the special election that’s being held today, Cory Booker, has a long record of fabricating his own biographical details.
Amidst all the blather about Republicans going over the cliff and taking the world with them, a tantalizing bit of truth broke through on today's Morning Joe. Doomsaying notwithstanding, the GOP is actually positioned to do OK in 2014.
Making the comment particularly surprising was its source: none other than Barack Obama's former senior adviser himself—David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
The Washington Post is going gooey early in the 2016 presidential campaign. The top left of The Washington Post Wednesday carried the headline “And the awards go to...Hillary: A recent flood of honors also offers Clinton an unofficial 2016 platform.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker began by saying that Elton John was honoring Hillary “at a moment when everyone seems to be honoring the former secretary of state for something.” Turn inside, and you see the emcee of Elton John’s Hillary-boosting event was none other than NBC’s Matt Lauer:
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams continued to blame Republicans for the government shutdown, asserting that the budget impasse "traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, he took it a step further by hinting at a way to get rid of such troublesome members of Congress holding up President Obama's agenda: "These members happen to be from very conservative districts where they won by big margins, and their jobs are secure more or less. And in both parties there are congressional districts that are set up by the states to keep the parties in power. But some believe if the system stays this way, our politics will kind of stay this way."
Did you really have to be a pluperfect political prognosticator to have foreseen that none of Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann or Donald Trump was going to be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee?
Yet on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough—by way of establishing his fortune-telling street cred—boasted of having made those predictions, before proceeding to claim that: 1. Ted Cruz will not be the 2016 Republican nominee; and 2. there's a "very real chance" that Cruz will break from the GOP and run as an independent. View the video after the jump.
Three New York Times reporters' coverage of HealthCare.gov's systemic failures is inadvertently funny. Its opening paragraph quotes Henry Chao, described as "the chief digital architect for the Obama administration’s new online insurance marketplace," as "deeply worried about the web site's debut" way back in March, and hoping that "it’s not a third-world experience." The Third World, many of whose developers have shown that they can design functional interactive web sites, should feel insulted.
We've seen it with how the liberal media treats Joe Biden. The vice president's gaffes and erroneous statements are legendary, yet the press give ol' Uncle Joe gauzy treatment, celebrating rather than mocking him for his foibles and admiring his penchant for "retail politics." It's arguable that the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella did much the same for the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate in Virginia in her Metro section front-pager today, "When McAuliffe speaks, facts may take a back seat."*
Sure, the Post staffer noted, "McAuliffe's tendency to stretch the truth stands out even by the standards of politicians," but the Chicago-born Democratic politician owns it, by golly!
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday. As has been the case for nearly six years as his scandals and prosecution have unfolded (seen here in dozens of NewsBusters posts), press coverage has usually avoided the inconvenient fact that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and almost completely ignored Barack Obama's hearty endorsement of him during the early stages of his 2008 presidential campaign. A YouTube video from a May 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club shows Obama thanking Kilpatrick for "doing an outstanding job of gathering together the leadership at every level of Detroit, to bring about the kind of renaissance that all of us anticipate for this great city."
News outlets failing to note Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation yesterday included the New York Times, CBS in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press in an item carried at USA Today, and Mike Tobin at Fox News. The Associated Press outdid itself in this regard, as will be explained after the jump.
Charlie Rose's 18-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Obama administration's decision to review the cases of dozens of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for the possible release. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored this latest development in the ongoing controversy over the Islamist detainees at the U.S. military base.
Rose cited a report from the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg during the brief, and noted that the Defense Department also recently appointed a new special envoy for the closure of the detention camp: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Dan Rather poured cold water on Wendy Davis' chances of winning the Texas gubernatorial race, but maintained a glimmer of hope: "I'm not predicting she'll win. If you have to bet the trailer money, you bet she loses. But overnight's a long time in politics – a week is forever – and we're talking about an election that doesn't happen [until] a year from now. So, let her rip."
Rather and Rachel Maddow also hyped the supposed extent of Davis' likely Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. After the MSNBC host labeled Abbott a "hardcore conservative," the former CBS anchor replied that the Texas Republican is "so far to the right...that he makes Rick Perry look like a liberal and Ted Cruz look like a moderate." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In a story published early this morning by Manu Raju at the Politico which is primarily about Senate Majority Harry Reid's plans to aggressively pursue reelection in 2016, the Nevada senator took shots at the establishment press for "trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair."
Proving Reid wrong in real time, Raju failed to mention Reid's response last week to a question by Dana Bash at CNN — which by the way, as Matt Hadro at NewsBusters noted earlier today, has been pounding Republicans ever since as if to compensate. Bash asked Reid if it would be worth it to continue to fund clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health if doing so could help one child with cancer. His answer, on tape: "Why would we want to do that?" Excerpts from the Raju's report follow the jump (HT Ed Driscoll; bolds are mine):
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
You have to give credit where credit is due. In Saturday's Washington Post, columnist Melinda Henneberger did readers a favor by relaying the nastiness and misogyny that some liberal male voters in Virginia have exhibited towards female campaign volunteers for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
"[A]s Greater McLean Republican Women's Club President Anne Gruner was setting up her table Friday, laying out her 'Women for Ken' stickers and fact sheets, a man walking by suddenly swooped close to her face and started screaming, cursing and calling her a 'terrorist,'" Henneberger noted in the fourth paragraph of her Metro section front-pager. Later in the same story, Henneberger noted that:
CBS rekindled its love for pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis on Thursday's CBS Evening News, after the Democrat announced her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial race. Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "Davis was a little-known Democratic state senator in Texas. But her marathon defense of abortion rights drew national attention."
Manuel Bojorquez heralded how state legislator "stepped into the national spotlight with pink sneakers, during a 13-hour filibuster of new abortion restrictions here." However, Bojorquez was among the Big Three journalists who put that spotlight on Davis mere hours after she stalled the passage of pro-life legislation in the Lone Star State. At the time, he asserted that the filibuster turned the Democrat "a national political star". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"Wendy Davis, Misogyny Magnet," blared a teaser headline on the Time.com front page this afternoon. The headline was accompanied by a photo of the Democratic Texas state senator who is most famous for her lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful filibuster of a bill to regulate the Lone Star State's abortion clinics.
The article in question -- written by Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and former New York Times Opinionator columnist Judith Warner -- was posted in the magazine's Ideas blog, an opinion feature which does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Time's editorial board. That said, the premise of Warner's piece was essentially that the pro-choice lobby's favorite new bogeyman, Republicans engaged in a war on women* will propel Davis into the governor's chair next fall (emphases mine):
The Washington Post kept up its crusade to attack Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Thursday’s paper. In a story covering a debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Cuccinelli as attorney general, reporters Frederick Kunkle and Michael Laris put only one candidate’s quote on the front page: the Democrat attacking Cuccinelli as an extremist and abuser of power.
The Post offered Mark Herring’s outburst, and then waited until inside the paper for his quote to fall apart:
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged the liberal spin that congressional Republicans were punished electorally after the 1995 government shutdown was more a matter of faith than fact: "I mean, for 17 years it's been an article of faith that Republicans paid at the polls after the shutdown in the 90s. But these new House Republicans aren't so sure that's true." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was in response to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring: "...while there are that small band of loud conservatives who are wanting to, you know, not cave, not give in to anything, do whatever it takes to stop the health care law, there is a growing chorus of moderate Republicans who are telling Boehner, 'Don't do this. You remember how bad this was for the Republican Party 20 years ago. What are you doing? You're putting the majority at risk.'"
"Is she Cinderella or Joan of Arc?" Time.com contributor Hilary Hylton mused of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D) in the lead sentence of her Friday, September 27 story, "Wendy Davis Laces Up Her Running (for Governor) Shoes." ] "Now that she’s on the verge of announcing a run for Texas governor, everyone is wondering whether the glass slipper will fit, or will she be a martyr for her cause?" Hylton reasoned.[h/t Joshua Trevino of the Texas Public Policy Foundation]
If by "everyone," Hylton means the subset of humanity that constitutes America's liberal political journalists, than yes, she may have a point. Most Americans and I would imagine most Texans, however, don't even know who Wendy Davis is. Hylton seems to get that and adds that, "In reality, the story unfolding in Texas will likely neither be fanciful nor tragic, but a very long, very expensive and very nasty political tale." Translation: win or lose (likely the latter), Wendy Davis will get banged up something fierce in her race for governor.
Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. MSNBC social media editors marked the occasion with a Facebook post inquiring, "Have you registered to vote yet?"
But for the stock image to accompany the post, editors chose to show a clipboard with an Organizing for America flier which reads, "Register to Vote Here" and bears the O-shaped Obama logo in the top left-hand corner [see screen capture below page break]. It must be an old stock photo as Organizing for America is now Organizing for Action, but the group's mission is the same: pushing President Obama's liberal agenda.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah 'we shouldn't editorialize' O'Donnell hinted that Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour floor speech might jeopardize the Republican Party's chances in the 2014 congressional race. O'Donnell asked Cruz's colleague in the Senate, Bob Corker, if he was "concerned that what your fellow senator is doing could hurt your party's chances of taking back the U.S. Senate?"
Charlie Rose later played up how supposedly, "some people are saying this is about personal ambition and being seen fighting for this, because it serves his [Cruz's] own presidential ambitions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Forget becoming President of the United States. It's too small an office for Hillary Clinton. What the former first lady really needs is a "strong global governing body" to captain, liberal writer Sally Kohn insists in a ludicrous post at Daily Beast, headlined "President of the Universe."
As icing on the cake, editors gave the post prime real estate, placing it in the fourth slot in the lightbox and giving it a propaganda poster-style image of Clinton (see below the page break):
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell broke out the kid gloves for Bill Clinton on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose and O'Donnell failed to press the Democrat on the possible conflicts of interest surrounding his Clinton Global Initiative, as well as his wife Hillary's possible 2016 presidential run. The two anchors granted over 12 and a half minutes of air time to the former president.
Rose played up the "human side" of Clinton, and wondered if Hillary would "rather be – today – she can do both – president or grandmother?" O'Donnell pointed out that Mrs. Clinton "said you guys are watching movies together and taking long walks. And so, how is life different now?" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Drag a $100 bill through MSNBC and there's no telling what you'll find. On today's Morning Joe, the ever-classy James Carville likened GOP primary voters to low-quality prison inmates.
Carville made his asinine analogy in responding to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that Republicans can still prevail in coming election cycles if they do the "smart thing." Carville said the situation reminded him of what Lester Maddox said the problem was in the Georgia prison system: the quality of the inmates. According to Carville, the GOP's problem is the quality of Republican primary voters. View the video after the jump.
A Morning Joe kind of Republican? With Joe Scarborough absent today, was Nicolle Wallace assuming the role of the Republican who gets more satisfaction from ripping fellow members of her party than in criticizing Democrats?
Wallace mocked congressional Republicans who are trying to defund ObamaCare, analogizing them to two-year olds on scooters racing into traffic against a red light. She suggested that the "adults" in the party need to restrain them. View the video after the jump.
A lame ethnic joke made by a Cuccinelli supporter at a campaign rally could be the Virginia attorney general's "macaca" moment. At least that's the concern-trolling pablum that former George H.W. Bush opposition research counsel Lloyd Green published on Wednesday at The Daily Beast.
Daily Beast editors, doubtless no fans of the conservative Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate, prominently teased the story on the front page with a graphic showing a goofy photo of Cuccinelli along with the caption, "Last Supper Flap. The New Macaca?" [see large screen capture below the page break]
It's Science 101 time for the editorialists at the Washington Post, whose opposition to Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is so fierce that they will literally twist the facts of life to fit their agenda.
As Steve Ertelt at Life News noted Tuesday afternoon, the editorial involved includes "a rather un-scientific claim," namely that "an unborn baby shortly after conception" doesn't achieve status as a "living being" until implantation in the mother's womb.
Another left-wing scribe on the Post payroll? Actually, no, that's all from the pen of Jennifer Rubin, who's supposed to be the paper's conservative opinion blogger, but who often takes to her blog to slam other conservatives. Rubin's second charge, that Cuccinelli is absurdly playing the victim, illustrates that she may not really read that much of the newspaper which employs her. As I noted yesterday, Terry McAuliffe did NOT come off smelling likes roses in the Post's page B1 story about McAuliffe-supporting Democrats pushing TechPAC to reverse their endorsement of Cuccinelli for Virginia governor.
"The pressure" over the weekend from Virginia Democrats for a northern Virginia business group to reverse its gubernatorial endorsement decision and back Terry McAuliffe was "hot and heavy," in the words of Dendy Young, whose political action committee TechPAC -- the political arm of the Northern Virginia Technology Council -- voted by secret ballot on Thursday to endorse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the state's governor's race. What's more, in an email State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) threatened payback, saying the Senate Democratic caucus would "be frigid" and that "doors will be closed" as a result of the PAC's move.
A story like this is an excellent front-page-worthy scoop. It most certainly would be on the Washington Post's front-page were the tables turned and it was Republicans playing hardball with a group whose endorsement it sought but lost during a close gubernatorial election. But alas, Post editors shuffled the story to page B1, the front of the Metro section, while opting to run a story critical of the Republican candidate -- "Cuccinelli plays down immigration in Va. race" -- on page A1.