"You tell her. No, YOU tell her!" . . . Richard Wolffe says that in 2012 an all-male group of senior Obama campaign people got together at a White Sox game and decided to fire deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter—but didn't have the "balls" to tell her.
Maybe so. Then again, Wolffe—appearing on Morning Joe today to tout his new book on the Obama re-election campaign—also claimed that Cutter was "one of the single most effective" people in the Obama campaign? Cutter? The nasty gaffe machine? View the video after the jump.
2013 has been a tough year for the political class.
The most recent evidence comes from Colorado.
Earlier in the year, the political elites in Washington were certain gun control would be enacted following the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. When nothing passed, they expected politicians who refused to support more gun restrictions would face consequences for their actions.
The liberal Washington Post editorial board is no fan of recall elections. They opposed the effort to unseat Scott Walker and they similarly don't care much for the successful effort in Colorado this past Tuesday to recall two anti-gun Democratic state senators. Following both recall elections, the Post issued op-eds expressing their objection to recalls.
But this time around the editorial board was more adamant about the evils of the recall, insisting that "[s]tates should examine their laws with an eye toward heightening the barriers" to tossing elected officials out before their terms expire. "Recalls are rare, but their use is on the rise," the editorial board whined in their September 13 piece, "Government by recall." One culprit, the Post carped, was "nationalization of local issues, which prompts huge flows of outside money into state politics."
John Fund at National Review has written about three recent elections that show “Liberals In Retreat,” but only one is domestic: the Colorado gun-rights recall. The other two liberal defeats were in Norway and Australia.
A quick Nexis search demonstrated that ABC, CBS, and NBC all skipped the conservative victories in Norway and Australia -- but all three found time for news briefs in 2007 when Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd was elected in Australia on an anti-Iraq war platform. Meanwhile, lighter-than-air "Good Morning America" on ABC did find "news" Down Under when it came to trickle-down celebrity updates on Michael Jackson's daughter:
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show to devote a full report to Colorado voters recalling two pro-gun control state legislators. Barry Petersen highlighted how "those who oppose gun control have a lot to celebrate" with the recall, and how "those backing the two senators spent seven times more money – $3.2 million" than the gun rights supporters who spearheaded the campaign [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, NBC's Today on Wednesday didn't devote a second of air time to the Colorado recall election. Instead, they set aside 36 seconds of reporting to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's Good Morning America also minimized their coverage, as they merely broadcasted a 16-second news brief on the story.
In 2004, Boston Globe reporter Nina Easton praised George W. Bush’s performance in the third presidential debate: “For a long time, they've ridden that tired horse of calling Kerry a liberal from Massachusetts and out of the mainstream, which doesn't, I don't think, play that well to swing voters.”
But in 2013, Nina Easton of Fortune magazine deeply adores calling conservatives out of the mainstream. In fact, they're so extreme they're childish. She thinks the Tea Party Republicans sound a lot like an obstinate brat in a children’s story by Maurice Sendak that pours syrup in his hair and gets eaten by a lion:
As the Virginia governor's race heats up in the Washington Post's backyard, the liberal broadsheet is doing its best to skew coverage in a favorable manner for liberal Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chief and longtime friend of the Clintons.
An excellent contrast that illustrate's the paper's bias is how it has handled the back-to-back defections of Republican strategist Boyd Marcus and Democratic activist David "Mudcat" Saunders. The former is backing McAuliffe and the latter is endorsing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Post devoted stories to both men's decisions to buck the party line, but staff writer Laura Vozzella had a considerably longer piece on the front page of Metro which painted Marcus's move as a harbinger of a deeper GOP party split. [RELATED: check out my colleague Rich Noyes's study on Virginia newspapers slanting towards McAuliffe]
Last year, the national media spent the campaign highlighting (or inventing) problems for the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, while downplaying or ignoring the shortcomings in Barack Obama’s record as President. Next year, we’ll find out if the media will be more successful than they were in 2010, when they attempted to marginalize and discredit conservative Tea Party candidates in a campaign that turned out to be a crushing defeat for liberals.
This year, however, there’s really only one major political race on the political radar: the Virginia governor’s race between former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe (a longtime associate of Bill and Hillary Clinton) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, currently the state’s attorney general. And a new MRC study of major newspapers in the state finds the GOP candidate is receiving far more negative coverage than his Democratic counterpart — just four positive stories vs. 95 negative ones, a whopping 24-to-1 margin.
One thing is certain: Axelrod didn't do the rest of us any favors . . .
On today's Morning Joe, after Joe Scarborough empathized at length, in the context of the Syrian situation, about what a lonely job President Obama has, David Axelrod actually had the chutzpah to say "there have been many days where I wonder, gee, I wonder if all of us who helped him get elected did him a favor." View the video after the jump.
It's one thing to expect Hollywood to convince young people to sign up for Obamacare, since they're seen as Hollywood-friendly. It's another thing to expect Tinseltown to sway the red state of Kentucky. The Hollywood Reporter relays that one of Barack Obama's staunchest backers, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, "is throwing himself completely behind Kentucky secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes’ effort to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell."
Democrats told the magazine that Katzenberg has decided to make the Kentucky senate race the focus of his efforts during the 2014 midterm elections, and Tuesday he sent out a letter urging La La Land liberals to turn out on Grimes’ behalf during a two-day fundraising visit she will make to Los Angeles September 25 and 26. How will this play in Louisville?
The Washington Post put conservative black minister E.W. Jackson on its front page again Wednesday, replaying its favorite “nutty” remarks. Reporter Laura Vozzella began: “Virginia Republicans have been keeping their distance from E.W. Jackson ever since the fiery minister, who has compared Planned Parenthood to the Klan and linked yoga to Satan, won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.”
Vozzella and the Post could care less that Jackson said back in June "I do not believe that yoga leads to Satanism. One of my ministers is a yoga instructor.” It’s all about baking religious Republicans as fruitcakes. Since the Democratic primary in June, the Post has almost completely ignored the candidate they (and Planned Parenthood) endorsed, abortion-loving Ralph Northam. A Nexis search shows there’s not a single Post article with his name in the headline in the last three months.
On Tuesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray dismissed the notion that if Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost the closely contested Virginia governor's race, it would not be a defeat for his strongest backers, the Clintons: "I'm not sure this race is going to impact Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton if McAuliffe wins or if he loses. Simply because if Hillary Clinton were running against Ken Cuccinelli in this contest, she would be the clear favorite, she'd be leading in the polls by 10, 15 points." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murray didn't bother to cite any evidence to back up his assertion. In fact, recent electoral history would seem to contradict his claim. In Virginia's 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton only garnered 35% of vote compared to then-Senator Barack Obama's 63%.
In a brief segment on the September 3 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC program's host revel in how Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney has supposedly "contort[ed]" herself into an "ideological pretzel." But if you listen closely to the 2009 soundbite that Wagner thinks illustrates that Cheney has flip-flopped on the issue of same-sex marriage, it actually underscores no change in position on her views.
What's more, as I explain towards the end of this post, it seems MSNBC is once again guilty of selectively editing, with the target this time being former Vice President Dick Cheney. [listen to MP3 of segment here; video embed follows page break]
During his 11 a.m. time slot on Tuesday, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts reported on the same-sex marriage policy rift between former Vice President Dick Cheney’s two daughters. However, the veteran journalist omitted one critical aspect of Liz Cheney’s position on same-sex marriage – namely, that she believes marriage should be decided by the states through either popular ballot initiative or state legislative action.
Roberts announced, “[Liz Cheney] said in a statement Friday that she is not pro-gay marriage and this prompted her younger sister to respond in a Facebook post saying, in part, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage. Freedom means freedom for everyone.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
If we're to believe Tom Raum's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the economy is humming along smoothly enough that we really shouldn't think about it that much any more, especially as something to consider when voting. And besides, it's being "eclipsed" by "other pressing events."
I'll stay away from those other "events" in the interest of concentrating on the 3-1/2 paragraphs Raum employed to convince readers that things really are okay, followed by a quote from a reliable leftist apparatchik (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Earlier today in their "cheat sheet" digest of "must-reads," the Daily Beast hailed as "worth it" Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's hours-long, but ultimately unsuccessful filibuster against a measure that toughened abortion clinic regulations and outlawed late term abortions in the Lone Star State. [see screen capture below]
The linked item in the digest is a Politico story about Davis raking in $1.2 million, mostly in small-dollar donations, since her 11-hour-long filibuster. While that's nothing to sneeze at for an otherwise obscure state senator with long-shot odds of winning the 2014 governors race, it's still a drop in the bucket against Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview with California attorney general Kamala Harris during live MSNBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, host Andrea Mitchell fretted: "I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harris seized the opportunity to proclaim: "The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls."
Anyone who’s actually seen the cartoonish Sarah Palin as a mentally imbalanced fruitcake in the HBO movie “Game Change” would laugh (or throw their remote-control) at the sound of the movie’s Jay Roach appearing on the PBS NewsHour on Tuesday night. PBS assembled a panel of political-entertainment makers.
Anchor Jeffrey Brown asked Roach, “How do you fictionalize what you see, you said you see as a kind of [political] dysfunction?” Roach insisted his liberal-propaganda HBO movies were non-fictional:
It would appear that Politico would prefer to see a Democrat win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Otherwise, why would its Elizabeth Titus, in her coverage of Michelle Nunn on Monday, reference a statement by that party's candidate, Michelle Nunn, which articulates a position on abortion that is at odds with EMILY's List, the entity which gave her the reason to do a story by announcing their endorsement of her?
Nunn's supposed position on abortion, according to a July Associated Press item, is that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare and that women should be ultimately able to make this very difficult personal decision in concert with their doctor and their family." Trouble is, that's not how EMILY's List sees it.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham did his best on Morning Joe this morning to lower the bar for President Obama's speech today commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. "The country has put an enormous amount of expectation on him . . . since he first came on the stage in 2004 . . . we sometimes have-often have--unrealistic expectations of the office," empathized Meacham.
Nice try. But wasn't it Barack Obama himself who raised expectations to absurd heights? Does this phrase ring a bell, Mr. Meacham?: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when . . the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." View the video after the jump.
The national media’s love affair with New Jersey’s Cory Booker continued in The Washington Post on Tuesday. On the front of the Style section was the headline “A perfect senator for ‘This Town’? Newark’s Cory Booker isn’t lacking in ideas, energy or self-promotion.””
Who needs self-promotion when you’ve got national media valentine-writers? This Jason Horowitz profile continued on the back page of Style with the headline “Booker seems to be a man made for D.C.” It was illustrated by pictures with captions that called Booker “POPULAR” and “CAGEY.” The Post can’t wait for Booker to thump the Tea Party opponent for the Democrats:
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell touted Attorney General Eric Holder "speaking about the national battle for voting rights" in the wake of new state voter I.D. laws and lead off a panel discussion on the topic by wondering: "How will the President take on those voter suppression laws?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell eagerly seized on former Secretary of State Colin Powell "speaking on the political effects of these voter suppression attempts by the Republican Party." Following the Face the Nation sound bite in which Powell slammed the GOP for passing measures to curb voter fraud, Mitchell posed this question: "Does the White House think that the Republicans are actually doing the Democratic Party a favor by taking on, you know, these issues and passing the laws that they've now passed in Texas and in North Carolina?"
Joe Scarborough is frequently panned in these parts for his propensity to pummel his presumably fellow Republicans. So it's noteworthy when the Morning Joe host goes after the left for a change.
It happened on today's show, when Scarborough defended voter ID laws, saying most Americans don't think it's racist to require a photo ID when you show up to vote. and scalding the left for trying fit to politicians in North Carolina and Texas with symbolic KKK hoods. Scarborough even forced a clearly reluctant Mike Allen of Politico to ultimately acknowledge his point. View the video after the jump.
Following a Supreme Court ruling that said that federal restrictions on certain states’ voting laws were invalid, North Carolina passed a law requiring that people who wish to cast a ballot must show photo identification. Predictably, the left-leaning media have gone into high outrage mode.
In doing so they’ve ignored the facts which show that not only do black voters support voter ID more than whites, getting an ID card is not nearly so onerous as anti-reform groups pretend it to be, and that helping people get identification for themselves is a good way of ensuring they are part of the many other parts of societal interaction that require identification. This much should be evident to reporters who continuously amplify incendiary, racially charged allegations that do not square with reality.
MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and her band of left-wing panelists sneered at the legislative recall effort currently underway in Colorado on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. Serial MSNBC contributor Joy Reid even went so far as to refer to the NRA, one of the groups behind the recall, as “Neo-Confederate.”
Wagner was slamming the NRA, which seemingly everyone at MSNBC loves to do, when Reid joined the conversation and introduced the racial element into the mix: “Yeah, it’s interesting. There is a sort of Neo-Confederate thread that runs through these sort of pro-gun movements and the NRA movement.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's Morning Edition on NPR, Cokie Roberts did little to hide her feelings about the Republican National Committee's recent decision to exclude NBC and CNN from hosting future debates between would-be GOP presidential candidates. Roberts asserted that "some might think it's a little bit childish."
Roberts also brushed off the impact of the RNC's move, stating that it's "not likely to play much one way or the other" with voters.
On MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt on Sunday, Ms. Witt brought on New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan, the businessman and former small town mayor who is running against Democrat Cory Booker for the open U.S. Senate seat in the Garden State. The liberal media consensus around the country is that Booker is practically a shoo-in to win the election, and Witt was more than happy to beat Lonegan over the head with that narrative.
The host began with what seemed like a sympathetic question: “How tired are you of everybody saying this is a race that is Cory Booker's to lose?” Lonegan responded confidently that Booker was going to lose the race. To which Witt shot back, “Okay, based on what?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
After the Republican National Committee voted to refuse CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP primary debates, NBC took two days to even mention the news before again ignoring it. In fact, CBS spent more time covering the boycott of NBC than NBC itself did.
The RNC threatened a boycott after CNN Films and NBC Entertainment both planned productions on Democrat Hillary Clinton as she is predicted to run for president in 2016. At Friday's summer meeting, the RNC made good on its threat, but NBC reported it only once.