President Obama is currently on a week-long tour of Asia and all three networks took the opportunity to promote the tenure of Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. On Thursday April 24, all three morning shows sat down with Kennedy and heaped praise on the long-time Democrat.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl and NBC’s Chuck Todd both used their interviews to plead for Kennedy to support Hillary Clinton’s prospective 2016 run for president, with Todd beaming that “Ambassador Kennedy said she was looking forward to Hillary Clinton running and thought she’d make a great candidate. [See video below.]
With only weeks left before she retires, View co-host Barbara Walters on Wednesday found time to fawn over another liberal Democrat. The veteran journalist repeatedly hyped Senator Elizabeth Warren as a possible president. As though she were the politician's publicist, Walters enthused, "A small town, Oklahoma girl grows up, handles the challenges of being a young, single mother, practically a teenager. She becomes a Harvard Law professor, a congressional advisor, and then the first female senator in the history of Massachusetts."
The host blurbed, "...Could her next move be the White House?" This was a topic Walter kept coming back to. Regarding a 2016 bid, she wondered, "What about the future? In the back of your mind, do you think maybe?" The journalist insisted that "some" are calling her "the future president" and "Hillary Clinton's nightmare." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC's Ari Melber seemed downright gleeful at the news that vulnerable Senate Democrats have started running campaign ads touting their support for ObamaCare. Filling in for host Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday April 21, Melber hyped how "there are signs that President Obama's new call to run on the Affordable Care Act has gotten through to Democrats."
The regular host of MSNBC's daytime program The Cycle hyped a campaign ad by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) that edited comments made by Thom Tillis, her potential opponent in the November general election, making it seem as though the North Carolina Republican supported ObamaCare. The fact-checking website Politifact labeled the ad "mostly false" yet Melber chose to promote the ad anyways. [See video below.]
Even though the Supreme Court voted 6-2 to uphold Michigan's ban on affirmative action, New York Times's Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak in his lead story in Wednesday's paper first quoted Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent, the "most passionate and most significant dissent of her career."
Liptak also promoted liberal ex-Justice John Paul Stevens's tirade against money in politics in a Tuesday interview, with the reporter lamenting that the Citizens United case -- in which the Court made the pro-free-speech ruling that government can't ban election spending by corporations -- had become "a judicial landmark."
Chelsea Clinton announced she’s going to be a mother this year. That should elicit the same reaction reserved for the daughter of any former president: a polite ... how nice. But this is a Clinton; everything with the Clintons gets filtered through politics. It is fitting (and equally crass) that this news is met with this reaction: "Hillary in 2016, does it help or hurt?”
Indeed that is precisely how pro-Hillary pundits reacted, leaping to profess this will succeed in adding warmth and humanity to Hillary’s image in the years to come. But put the celebration on hold. This was surely the same concept the Democratic pundits had in Little Rock when Chelsea was born in 1980, and the warm image never really stuck.
One minute the liberal media will tell you that Hillary Clinton is a tough-as-nails politician and stateswoman who is eminently qualified for the White House and in the next the same folks are in high dudgeon about how the former secretary of state is the target of mean ol' "sexist" and "ageist" Republicans.
Witness msnbc.com's Aliyah Frumin riding valiantly to the rescue of the poor sexagenarian damsel in distress/grandmother-to-be. "When it comes to conservative criticism of the Clintons, not even Chelsea’s unborn child is immune," Frumin laments, citing a New York Post columnist as her evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy to rain on Grandma Hillary's 2016 parade:
In his story (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes — and in case it gets edited later today; Update: It did) on the Supreme Court's decision this morning upholding Michigan voters' 2006 approval of a ban on race-, ethnic- and gender-based preferences in university admissions, USA Today's Richard Wolf failed to identify the size of the court majority, which was 6-2. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself because she was previously the U.S. solicitor general before being named to the high court. The court's decision effectively upholds such bans in seven other states.
Additionally, by focusing on Justice Anthony Kennedy as "the man to watch," Wolf initially left many readers with the impression that only five justices, Kennedy and the four others usually describe as "conservative" (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) made the ruling. The fact is that they were also joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the supposedly reliable "liberals." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is often talked about as the liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. As such, the hosts of CBS This Morning used their exclusive interview with the Massachusetts Democrat to press her on her presidential ambitions as well as promote her liberal agenda.
Appearing on CBS on Tuesday, April 22, co-host Gayle King lobbied Warren to consider running for president: "You sit today as a United States senator. And people are already thinking, buzz, buzz, buzz, president president, president. I have heard you say no. I've heard you say no. But you have said no to many things. Why would you not even consider this with the passion that you have?" [See video below.]
Earlier today, just an hour before a hearing was to begin at the National Labor Relations Board, the United Auto Workers union dropped an appeal of the election it lost in February as it attempted to become the bargaining representative for workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
In a writeup which appears at the Associated Press's "Big Story" but which somehow failed to appear in a 6 p.m. search on "UAW" at the Big Story site (sorted by date), reporter Erik Schelzig pretended that two Democratic Congressmen who last week started an "inquiry" into the circumstances surrounding the union's loss will be conducting a "congressional investigation." No they won't, because they can't, because their party is in the minority. What they can do is conduct a theatrical exercise which looks like a "hearing" which has no power and which a responsible AP reporter wouldn't call a "congressional investigation." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Apart from gutting America's military, our standing in the world, our fiscal stability, the economy, the office of the presidency, conventional energy sources, the free market and religious liberty, Obama has little to boast about other than Obamacare, so let him go for it.
Yes, let him gloat, because the more he bloviates in defense of the indefensible — the more he spins the unspinnable — the more damage he'll do to the cause he's trying to promote: the election of Democratic congressmen in November.
Last Tuesday, in an incredibly childish piece, even by his non-standards, Politico's David Nather acted as if the resistance at Clive Bundy's ranch was endorsed and supported entirely by the tea party movement and/or Republicans and/or conservatives, so he could then characterize their post stand-off behavior — i.e., pursuit of their longer-term political goals — as some form of abandonment.
I was tempted to ignore Nather's nattering, but a couple of subsequent events are making Nather look even more foolish than usual. The first is the fact that Bundy still has significant armed assistance, something the Politico reporter appears not to have anticipated. The second relates to allegations of misbehavior, including illegal property destruction, by Bureau of Land Management agents. First, let's get to some of Nather's blather (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Sunday's This Week on ABC, CNN's S.E. Cupp called on social conservative Christians to drop their opposition to same-sex "marriage" and adoption: "I will say conservatives have got to move on gay marriage....[and] on gay adoption. If abortion is the abhorrent option – and I believe it is – then adoption by any two loving people has got to be the better option."
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile agreed with the atheist Crossfire host, and took the opportunity to attack conservatives by implying that they are somehow against human rights and in favor of human trafficking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor George Will mocked President Obama’s claim last week that the debate over ObamaCare is over and that Republicans need to stop trying to repeal the law.
Appearing as a guest on Fox News Sunday on April 20, Will argued that “The debate is over is something of a mantra. The debate is over about climate change, everyone be quiet. The debate is over about early childhood education, everyone be quiet. Lots of things are supposedly over. And you hear that from people who are finding the evidence inconvenient." [See video below.]
Chelsea Clinton announced this week that she and her husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child, and the big three networks dutifully heaped enormous praise on the entire Clinton family. After the initial fawning coverage on April 17 and 18, ABC’s Good Morning America took the Clinton baby obsession to a new level on Sunday April 20.
ABC’s Susan Saulny began the 2 minute 3 second report by declaring “Prince George is doing wonders for the royal family's popularity. Look at those cheeks. This morning, speculation abounds. Could Chelsea Clinton's own baby announcement have a similar impact on an American dynasty? [See video below.]
It either doesn't take much to surprise Josh Lederman and Dana Capiello at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, or they have very short memories.
The AP pair described the Obama State Department's Friday afternoon statement (roughly 3:30 p.m., based on the "9 hours ago" result returned in a Google search on the document's title at 12:30 a.m. ET) that it would "provide more time" for eight federal agencies involved to submit "their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline Project" as a "a surprise announcement Friday as Washington was winding down for Easter." It's as if something like this has never happened before during the Obama administration. Well, yes it has.
In a Friday morning dispatch which comes off more as a set of election instructions from "Democratic strategists" than as a real news report, David Espo at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wanted to make sure that political operatives who don't read boring pollster reports still get the message: Don't use the word "recovery" during your fall campaign.
In the course of his missive, Espo falsely claimed that economic growth since the recession officially ended has continued unbroken, and failed to remind his audience that the party has trotted out "recovery" themes several times, only to see historically weak economic and employment results each time. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
It's time once again for NewsBusted. Click the play button in the embed below the page break to watch NewsBusted's Jodi Miller skewer Hillary Clinton, ObamaCare, and CBS News. To get be sure NewsBusted in your inbox by going here. To subscribe at YouTube, click here.
Who would deny that Hillary could use a little softening of her icy image? But when Andrew Ross Sorkin had the audacity to suggest that Clinton's impending grandma-hood would work to her advantage in that regard, the collective wrath of the Morning Joe panel descended on him.
John Heilemann, as is his habit, sneered. "Republican" Nicolle Wallace actually led the Sorkin scolding, suggesting it was "stupid" to think as he did. View the video after the jump.
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Natalie Morales seized on Chelsea Clinton answering a question she "gets asked all the time, just about every other day": "In a new interview she is saying she is now perhaps is opening that window that she may possibly think about running for public office." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Morales touted Clinton's comments to Fast Company magazine on the subject, fellow co-host Willie Geist proclaimed: "She is a very, very impressive woman." Morales agreed: "She is." Geist continued: "And she'll do whatever she wants to do in life."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sat down with CBS News’ Major Garrett on April 17 at George Washington University and made some comments about the 2012 election that should cause some eyes to roll.
Appearing alongside Garrett in an event entitled “A conversation with Jay Carney,” the press secretary claimed that during the 2012 presidential election “If you look back at 2012 and the series of interviews the sitting president of the United States gave, probably the toughest interview he had was with Jon Stewart.” [See video below.]
As those of you who follow my hate mail know, I am opposed to running untested candidates against perfectly good incumbent Republican senators this election cycle. It will be a long time before Republicans have as good a year as this to win a Senate majority.
Unfortunately, we have idiots doing the idiot thing, pretending to be "tea partiers," while challenging sitting Republican senators over fairly minor ideological differences.
Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro.
According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016.
There's a gut-wrenching dilemma facing gay Democrats in the District of Columbia and the Washington Post was determined that we read about it, placing staff writer Mike DeBonis's story, "Catania perplexes gay D.C. Democrats"* on the front page of the April 16 paper.
You see, David Catania, an openly gay white man who is a registered independent, is facing off against Muriel Bowser -- a straight African-American woman -- this November in the mayoral contest in predominantly Democratic Washignton, D.C. This, has prompted some soul-searching among otherwise staunchly partisan gay Democrats, DeBonis noted, devoting 29 paragraphs to the existential crisis. Deep in the article, DeBonis noted how Catania's former party affiliation, a decade ago as a Republican, might be a deal-breaker for yellow-dog gay Democrats (emphasis mine):
The liberal journalists at MSNBC have been quite enamored with Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, constantly promoting her Democratic campaign. Yet, a new poll showing her trailing by 14 points has gone unmentioned on the network. Even more interesting, Republican candidate Greg Abbott is beating Davis even among women, 49-41. The Public Policy Polling survey was released on Tuesday. Also, it should be pointed out, PPP is a Democratic polling firm.
In the past, MSNBC hosts have attempted to spin bad news for Davis. In January, Andrea Mitchell gently explained, "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume." In July of 2013, the journalist became one of her early cheerleaders, prompting, "Are you thinking about statewide office? Are you thinking about running for Governor?"
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall."
It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that "the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report." That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall's elections. Everyone together now, say "How convenient."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.