Amid the U.S. major media focus on hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan first reported a week ago that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure, despite being urged to do so by both the FBI and CIA.
Since that news broke on May 7, NBC, ABC, and CBS have aired a total of 51 stories on the kidnappings but only briefly mentioned Clinton's failure in 3 of those stories – once on each network – totaling barely two minutes.
First, let’s get this straight: By very definition, Hillary Clinton actually did suffer a "traumatic brain injury" in 2012. She fell; she hit her head; she suffered a concussion; and she developed a blood clot which hospitalized her. A concussion is precisely a “traumatic brain injury,” according to official medical definition.
Thus, when Karl Rove indelicately -- and perhaps not wisely for political purposes -- raised a point the other day about Hillary Clinton’s health, based on the "traumatic brain injury" she suffered in 2012, he was technically on solid ground. What wasn’t so solid was the over-reaction by media outlets to Rove’s rather unchivalrous suggestion. To see the difference between the “pile on Rove” mentality and actual, balanced coverage, consider how CNN rushed to paint Rove as evil, compared to how Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza put the issue in broader perspective.
A Tuesday, May 13 headline written by writers Clare Kim and Rachel Kleinman on the homepage of MSNBC.com misleadingly declared “'American Idol' Wins Congressional Race” despite the fact that he merely won the primary to face incumbent Congressman Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
Aiken won the Democratic primary in the heavily Republican district by a mere 390 votes. The primary wasn’t called until his primary opponent, Democrat Keith Crisco died suddenly at his home on Monday. [Note: MSNBC has since changed headline to read " 'American Idol' Wins Primary Fight."]
On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."
No Hillary Clinton news is too unimportant for the liberal hosts on MSNBC. Anchor Ronan Farrow on Monday used part of his show to listen to Clinton's new audio book, enthusing over its touching nature. Stopping a discussion cold, the host instructed, "Take a listen to one bit that we all found particularly moving in the office about her mother."
The possible 2016 presidential contender could then be heard repeating her mom's advice: "Never rest on your laurels, never quit, never stop working to make the world a better place." Talking to a Republican consultant, Farrow demanded, "Robert Traynham, do you think that's enough to melt the coldest of GOP hearts on Hillary Clinton?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Among other things, Cain talked about his political leanings -- socially liberal but conservative on foreign, military, and economic policies -- as well as his disagreements with the Obama administration. "A president's job is supposed to be to enforce our laws, which, it seems to have gone by the wayside at this point in time," Cain observed. After Bevan asked what Cain's biggest "gripe" was with the Obama administration, the actor replied [emphasis mine; watch video below page break]:
It seems as though MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski not only wants everyone to agree with her liberal ideology but also wants to silence all opposing political views.
Appearing on Morning Joe on Monday, May 12, the MSNBC co-host chastised Joe Scarborough for defending Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) over the issue of climate change, arguing that “In order to defend him, you had to move all the way around to Al Gore and extremism. It was a long road to defend him there. Think about that one.” [See video below.]
Someone in the GOP is starting to listen to our refrain of "Say No to Feisty Liberal Moderators." On Friday, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer talked to Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg after the RNC voted to change the rules to include more conservative moderators in the primaries.
Spicer noted the obvious: “ For too long, it’s been the media that’s decided when we’re going to debate, who is going to be in the debate, what questions are going to be asked, what subjects are going to be forward....As we all know, the liberal media does not have the interest of the party at hand . . . You should not just have left-wing, liberal moderators asking questions of our candidates and determining that.” (video below)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) had some harsh words for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she plans to run for president in 2016.
Appearing for a pre-taped interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl which aired on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, May 11, Senator Rubio gave Secretary Clinton a grade of “F” for her time at the State Department and stated “I don’t think she has a passing grade.” [See video below.]
This is not a serious question from the Democrats who wouldn’t call it “lowering the bar” to give race-baiting huckster Al Sharpton an hour each night on MSNBC to mangle the English language. He’s angry Sen. Scott has no challenger since he’s “so far to the right” that he’s upset the NAACP:
While I was aware that a fever-swamp Democrat in Wisconsin was planning to pass out Ku Klux Klan hoods at some kind of Wisconsin Republican gathering, I had no idea until this morning that the Associated Press actually considered it a national story back on May 1. It was really even more than a national story at the self-described "essential global news network." It was so vital that the nation know about this offensive plan that the AP carried it at its "Big Story" site.
I should have figured that Scott Bauer, the bitter critic of Republican Governor Scott Walker disguised as an AP reporter, would be the guy who thought that devoting 13 paragraphs and over 400 words to Democratic State Representative and gubernatorial candidate (seriously) Brett Hulsey's anticipated stunt was a worthwhile expenditure of precious journalistic time and resources. Given that level of original attention, the wire service should have followed up (but of course didn't) with a national story noting that Hulsey abandoned the KKK hood idea, but still showed up at the May 2-4 Badger State GOP Convention to call out Republicans as racists — and, as captured in the following video (HT The Blaze), was confronted by a "colorful" Republican attendee:
Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."
Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post (HT Hot Air) gave "Four Pinocchios" (i.e., a "Whopper") to a statement President Barack Obama made about Senate Republicans' filibuster track record on Wednesday in a speech at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Los Angeles.
In the process, Kessler essentially delivered a rebuke to reporters who cover Obama. Every one of them should have recognized that his DCCC claim that "since 2007, they (Republicans) have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class" is false. For it to be true, GOP senators would have had to average 68 filibusters per year only of middle-class relevant bills for the past 7-1/3 years. With the Senate being in session an average of just under 112 days per year during the time involved, that' an impossible frequency of more than one every other day. Excerpts from Kessler's critique follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."
Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"George W. Bush is a racist." Those where the first words I heard about modern American politics when I came here to study back in 2000. How did my friends know? Well, he was the Republican candidate. I wouldn’t want to be associated with someone like that, so I became a Democrat.
That scenario is not uncommon. That is how a large number of Hispanics get their feet wet in American politics. Conservatives are against other races, other countries and the poor, aren’t they? That general view of distrust for those racist southern conservatives is reinforced constantly in the media. Not that they are all racists, but everyone knows about that elusive “racist element” discussed all day on MSNBC and every day in the pages of the New York Times. The same narrative is showcased on Univision and in Hispanic newspapers all over the country.
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
CNN’s S.E. Cupp had some harsh words for members of the liberal media on the Wednesday May 7, Crossfire about their treatment of Hillary Clinton.
Appearing alongside co-host Van Jones and guests Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, and The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, Cupp condemned the media for how they cover Hillary: “It seems as if there is a bubble around Hillary. Liberals are very cagy. There's a whole list of things you cannot bring up when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Her past is one of them.” [See video below.]
During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about Monic Lewinsky's article in Vanity Fair magazine, correspondent Peter Alexander touted liberal spin that the former Bill Clinton mistress speaking out would actually help Hillary Clinton's political prospects: "Clinton watcher Ruth Marcus argues Lewinsky has done Hillary a big favor." A soundbite followed of the Washington Post columnist proclaiming: "Now if there's a Hillary Clinton campaign for president in 2016, we can move on from the Lewinsky scandal of yore."
In a discussion segment that followed Alexander's report, co-host Matt Lauer wondered to MSNBC host Alex Wagner: "How does this article, this essay, impact Hillary Clinton should she run for office in 2016?" Wagner argued: "Every time Lewinsky is mentioned, it is good for Hillary Clinton. It reminds everybody of her major accomplishments on the world stage. And people tend to be more sympathetic to Hillary Clinton than Monica Lewinsky because she is the woman scorned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC on Thursday morning highlighted more of Robin Roberts’ fawning interview with Hillary Clinton. On the issue of Benghazi and the revelation that the White House had a direct hand in creating false talking points about the 2012 terrorist attack, Roberts could only manage this lame effort: “Benghazi. The new investigation. Are you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what [sic] happened?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
That was it. No follow-up. No interrogation about Clinton’s handling of the incident that left four Americans dead, including a U.S. ambassador. Instead, Roberts moved right on to this 2016 gossip: “And the question I took straight from the audience, were you to run for president in 2016, would you consider Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as a running mate?” Continuing the softball questions, the Good Morning America host wondered, “You're going to be a grandma?”
There are two black U.S. Senators, Democrat Cory Booker of New Jersey and Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina. The Washington Post demonstrated a blatant partisan tilt toward the former by cooing over Booker’s brilliance and national profile last year.
The Post omitted Booker flat-out making things up, inventing a drug-dealer called “T-Bone” to tell inner-city stories. But on Thursday, the Post profiled Tim Scott and suggested his tendency to hang out in South Carolina without telling people he’s their Senator could make him look like a “con artist.”
Chuck Todd, NBC's political director, Chief White House Correspondent and host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, May 7 to pour cold water on the new Benghazi select committee.
Todd appeared on Morning Joe during two separate segments Wednesday morning to suggest that the Benghazi special committee “ has a whiff of politics to it. To some people more than a whiff.” [See video below.]
In his "analysis" on Tuesday's U.S. District Court ruling which called a halt to "a secret investigation into his 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups that supported" Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press basically gave away what the prosecution's agenda really has been all about.
It really hasn't been about cleaning up political campaigns, or whatever other similar tired bromides the Walker-hating left dishes out from time to time. It's been about hurting Walker's reelection effort this fall and punishing him for reforming public-sector collective bargaining in the Badger State. Short of that, it's an attempt to marginalize him as a potential 2016 presidential candidate by smearing him with the "under investigation" and "scandal" tags. Let's start with the opening paragraphs of Bauer's bluster (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Monica Lewinsky has just penned an article in Vanity Fair describing how her life has changed since her infamous affair with President Bill Clinton and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tore into members of the media who still defend Clinton over Lewinsky.
Appearing on Morning Joe on Wednesday May 7, Scarborough condemned the treatment of Lewinsky: “You women's rights ladies , you were sick in the '90s. You all went around, you defended the wrong person.” [See video below.]
After a big promotional push by ABC and NBC, Democratic House candidate Clay Aiken leads his primary opponent by 372 votes out of 28,000 cast on Tuesday. According to Good Morning America on Wednesday, the "American Idol congressional candidate" may pull out a razor thin victory. Co-host Lara Spencer enthused, "Clay Aiken in the public eye for almost a decade, making headlines for his songs, his personal life and now a run at the United States Congress." [MP3 audio here.]
Spencer stated the obvious, noting, "He was considered by many the underdog. [Primary opponent Keith] Crisco outspent him by nearly a half million dollars." However, the liberal candidate has had a lot of help from journalists. On February 6, Mara Schiavocampo enthused, "Well, simply put, he is a long shot but that hasn't stopped Aiken from throwing his hat in the ring."
Robert Costa's disdain for Tea Party-sympathetic conservatives was quite evident tonight in his coverage of Republican House Speaker John Boehner's primary victory at the Washington Post. Costa, a former writer at National Review, even insulted the noble pursuits of justice and the truth regarding Benghazi and the IRS's targeting of conservative and other groups by calling them "red meat for the tea party faithful."
The WaPo reporter characterized Boehner as having "swatted away" his opposition without revealing that the Speaker got only 69 percent of the vote. Yes, I wrote "only." Costa himself noted that "a sitting speaker still has never been defeated in a primary election," but didn't disclose Boehner's percentage of the vote. That's odd to say the least. I don't recall a sitting speaker ever losing 31 percent of the vote in a party primary, and it's possible that it has never happened outside of circumstances involving scandal or crime. I certainly don't recall a sitting speaker opening his wallet to defend his seat in a primary as Boehner did. Excerpts and analysis follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The hosts of CBS This Morning on Tuesday featured Lynne Cheney to talk about her new book on James Madison. However, predictably, the topics drifted towards a grilling on gay marriage and her daughters' public spat over the subject. Additionally, Norah O'Donnell rather obviously quizzed Cheney on whether being a Secretary of State, like Madison, would still be a good path for the president in 2016.
On the subject of Liz Cheney's Senate run, O'Donnell lectured, "I do think this was an interesting story, not because it's two daughters of a prominent vice president, but also because Mary then said that her sister was on the wrong side of history." She added, "Was Liz on the wrong side of history?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Obviously, it was a painful thing for a mother to see her two daughters fighting publicly. If Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, will the co-host bring up painful, personal topics from her marriage?
Appearing as a guest on The Steve Malzberg Show, Democratic strategist and Newsmax contributor Hank Sheinkopf critized the GOP investigation of Benghazi claiming it will actually help Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Sheinkopf argued that the GOP will “commit electoral suicide” by “pillaring her [Hillary Clinton] now” on Benghazi before asserting “setting her up to morally castigate her will only create a heroine and by that they will elect her president.” [See video below.]
Tuesday, May 6 is primary day for the North Carolina race for U.S. Senate, and The Washington Post ran a misleading front-page story declaring “In N.C., Hagan’s attack ad flips script on health law.”
Reporter Rosalind Helderman began the piece by hyping how “Thom Tillis, the Republican front-runner for a U.S. Senate seat, once called President Obama’s health-care law “a great idea” yet the truth was buried 8 paragraphs later on A12. Helderman eventually informed her readers that the Tillis quote was heavily taken out of context and was in fact false.
The May 5 edition of People is focused on “50 Most Beautiful” people, but also has a pictorial titled “Hot Right Now: 10 buzzworthy stars talk about everything from their geeky pasts to who they look up to as beauty icons.”
CBS “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies is pictured in a red gown and talks about how she wears a wig on her show rather than have to force stylists to straighten her own hair every day. But in white text over her red gown is gooey praise for radical feminist Gloria Steinem: