In the race to the bottom event known as South Carolina's First Congressional District special election, Mark Sanford has defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
Not that the establishment press didn't try to help Ms. Busch, to whose background they gave little or no scrutiny. And when two forms of scrutiny did arrive from independent quarters, first of her actual beliefs expressed in tweets before she or someone associated with her deleted them, and then this weekend of her past jailing on contempt charges during a messy divorce, they chose to ignore it.
Wrapping up a report on Monday's NBC Nightly News about a fresh round of congressional hearings on the Benghazi terrorist attack, correspondent Andrea Mitchell dismissed the development as political posturing by the House GOP: "There is an obvious political undercurrent. Republicans are taking direct aim at Hillary Clinton, the country's most popular Democrat and a possible presidential contender." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began the report by noting new testimony from Gregory Hicks, the State Department's deputy mission chief in Tripoli, Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack, "who said he called for military help from four more special forces operatives in Tripoli, but was overruled." Mitchell emphasized that Hicks was "a diplomat, not a military officer," just before quoting his statement on the lack of U.S. military air support during the attack.
This past April, celebrity Obama donors Beyonce Knowles and husband Jay-Z took a controversial trip to the communist country of Cuba. Knowles appeared on Monday's Good Morning America and Nightline, but ABC continued to offer no skepticism about the details of the visit. Instead, reporter Amy Robach discovered her inner-entertainment journalist, wondering, "What did you make of the controversy?"
That was the extent of Robach's questions on the topic. No mention of the fact that Knowles and her husband raised over $4 million for Obama in 2012, prior to being given special permission to make the trip. (American tourists are barred from traveling there.) Robach simply summarized, "But the busy star took a break last month, traveling to Cuba with her husband Jay-Z for their fifth wedding anniversary, igniting a firestorm from lawmakers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
We here at NewsBusters are often extremely critical of MSNBC’s Morning Joe as it often sets the agenda for the daily bias on the cable network. There are a few times, such as the Gosnell infanticide trial, when Morning Joe will actually prompt the rest of the liberal network to begin covering a story that it had previously ignored. Unfortunately that's not the case with Dick Harpootlian's racist attack on Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) at a fundraising dinner with Vice President Joe Biden in attendance.
You may recall that we noted that on May 6, Morning Joe ran a brief segment on the outgoing chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Dick Harpootlian grousing that the Palmetto State's governor, who, like fellow conservative Southern governor Bobby Jindal is of Indian ethnic heritage, should be sent, “back wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.”
On Election Day in South Carolina, as Republican Mark Sanford seeks to regain his old congressional seat, Mika Brzezinski did her best to stop Joe Scarborough from mentioning an ugly slur that the Chairman of the state's Democratic party had made against Republican Governor Nikki Haley.
Former South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian was caught in controversy this week as he pledged to send Haley—daughter of Indian immigrants—"back to wherever the hell she came from.” According to the Morning Joe panel, Harpootlian has apologized for that remark. But Harpootlian has never apologized for his 2012 remark, comparing Haley with Adolf Hitler's mistress Eva Braun. When Scarborough began to cite that slur, Mika sought to silence him. Brzezinski actually resorted to the schoolkid technique of repeating "bah, bah, bah, bah" in order to drown Scarborough out, adding "we don't need to repeat it." View the video after the jump.
It’s not often that people on MSNBC have anything bad to say about a Democrat, especially a member of the Obama administration.
That’s why it was odd to see Hardball’s Chris Matthews Monday wonder if Vice President Joe Biden predicting Elizabeth Colbert Busch will win Tuesday’s special Congressional election in South Carolina is a jinx.
During an interview with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt for the Meet the Press web-based feature Press Pass on Sunday, NBC's David Gregory eagerly asked Schmidt about working for President Obama's 2012 campaign: "...what did you discover, what did you learn, what did you actually help to bring to the campaign that changes politics, that changes a politician's ability to say, 'Who is it that I need to reach and how do I reach them?'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That teed up Schmidt to brag about his role in the campaign's get-out-the-vote operation: "...the Obama campaign used sort of, essentially data modeling of one kind or another, to try to target voters that might be willing to vote for the President, and they did so extremely well....Since there are more Democratic voters in many places than Republicans, if you get the Democratic voters to come out, you tend to win. This sort of is a new fact."
It's not often that yours truly visits Huffington Post. One of those rare occasions occurred early today as I was preparing the post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian relishing the idea that his party's candidate for Palmetto State Governor in 2014 might send current Republican Governor Nikki Haley "back to wherever the hell she came from."
In writing about Harpootlian's response to the controversy over his insensitive and arguably racist and nativist remark, HuffPo's Alana Horowitz, who serves as its Front Page Editor, wrote that Haley "is no stranger to scrutiny over her ethnic and religious background." To what sort of "scrutiny" did Horowitz refer involving Haley's "ethnic and religious background"? See after the jump:
The latest insensitive and arguably racist public utterance coming from the supposed party of tolerance and compassion comes from a Democrat in South Carolina. But not just any Democrat. This one is Dick Harpootlian, the Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Harpootlian has a history of making outrageously offensive public remarks about South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, yet he remained as party chairman until (according to Politico) his term ended on Saturday.
Mediaite, Politico, and almost no one else in the establishment press has reported that Harpootlian, speaking at a Jefferson-Jackson dinner Friday night just before Vice President Joe Biden appeared, said while introducing South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen (as carried at Mediaite; HT Instapundit): "In about 18 months from now,” he said, “hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from."
The Washington Post tiptoed gently on Friday around Joe Biden’s hopes of being elected president in 2016. “For Biden, dreams vs. realities” is the story’s headline, but at the very top of Page One, it says “At the top of his political game, the vice president shines as Obama’s personable No. 2. But events may conspire against a 2016 promotion.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker rather comically took 30 paragraphs to establish one series of “events” that threaten Biden are gaffes. The front page says Biden is a “long shot at best,” but insists he’s seen as “genuine, down-to-earth, rock solid on the issues" and “clearly has the experience and gravitas to ascend to the presidency.”
In the liberal fantasyland that is the Associated Press, it's only Republican governors with an eye on 2016 that are fraught with potential problems that could end their campaigns before they begin. In their May 2 AP story, reporters Bob Lewis and Charles Babington sought to convince readers that the Republicans governors of Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida are all train wrecks.
Lewis and Babington focused in particular on Virginia's Bob McDonnell and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, who are unpopular in no small part because of moves they made on tax policy. McDonnell signed off on massive tax increases for transportation, while Jindal’s failed attempt to reform his state tax code -- making the state income tax free but boosting some sales taxes to make up for lost revenue -- has eroded his once-stellar popularity. Of course, plenty of Democratic governors thinking about 2016 also hiked taxes, but they were curiously left out of the mix.
Hard-left Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky has a nasty habit of smearing conservatives every chance he gets, and it seems he has found his newest target, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.). Writing in a May 1 piece for the online publication Tomasky used the FBI investigation over gifts McDonnell received for his daughter’s wedding to slam the Virginia governor's Christian faith.
Tomasky started off his rant by throwing harsh language at the governor, calling his actions, “sleazy and cowardly.” At issue is the controversial relationship McDonnell has with businessman Jonnie Williams and whether or not the governor accepted money for political benefits aimed at Williams’ company, Star Scientific Inc.
How do you know when a Democratic politician's or candidate's quote will either hurt that person or hurt President Obama (in this case, it's the latter)? When the Politico reports it, and the Associated Press avoids it.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for the congressional seat opened up when Tim Scott was appointed to replace Jim DeMint, apparently felt the need to appeal to those who oppose ObamaCare during a debate on Monday evening. Here's what she said, according to Politico's David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn:
You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.
Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
Sometimes, the left simply can’t argue against hard facts. In a book excerpt warning of the “resurgent right” on Salon.com, leftist Lee Fang accused Brent Bozell of “gross exaggeration” in describing media apathy on Obama scandals.
Fang reported that in a speech at the Council for National Policy in February 2009, Bozell claimed by the time the national networks ran "a single story on Reverend Wright, 42 states and the District of Columbia had voted." Dear Mr. Fang: please identify the exaggeration in that fact.
As per his 1994 NRA questionnaire, Joe Scarborough: Opposed an assault weapons ban. Opposed expansion of background checks. Opposed limitations on magazine sizes. Today, he supports all such measures.
So how would you describe his two very different sets of opinions? Why, as being "very consistent," of course--if you're Joe Scarborough. On today's Morning Joe, responding to the NRA's promulgation of the NRA questionnaire he submitted in 1994 as an aspiring Republican congressman, Scarborough did indeed claim that his positions today, despite the multiple flip-flops, are "very consistent." View the video after the jump.
Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office. During The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd introduced a segment on the former president with a spew of Bush “gaffes." He then mocked, "I miss this part of Bush because Obama never does this stuff."
After playing the clips, Todd spun, "Some of the lighter moments there from Bush's time in office. President Obama's always a little more careful. President Bush would dip into some of those things." Todd has gone so far as to excuse gaffes made by President Obama, blaming his speechwriter for the errors. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The leftists at Mother Jones are brandishing another secret tape. Pollster Frank Luntz, denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks, told a group of college students at the University of Pennsylvania this week that Rush Limbaugh and right-wing talk radio are "problematic" for the GOP and that he and Mark Levin were “killing” Marco Rubio for his immigration proposals.
Democrats have “got every other source of news on their side. And so that is a lot of what's driving it. If you take—Marco Rubio's getting his ass kicked. Who's my Rubio fan here? We talked about it. He's getting destroyed! By Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others.” This might be a surprise to anyone who's listened to Rubio's actual interviews on conservative talk radio.
Norah O'Donnell spotlighted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's "troubles with his ex-wife" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that the disgraced Republican "seemed a little bit out of touch" after running a political ad "saying it's been a tough week for him after...what the people in Boston have gone through."
By contrast, O'Donnell's co-anchor, Charlie Rose, played up how "former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner may be eying a return" and touted "why the unlikely scenario is becoming a real possibility" for the Democrat on the April 11, 2013 edition of the morning program, a mere 12 days earlier.
With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control. Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden. During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.
In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill. While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:
Imagine if you will that in last fall's presidential election -- in a crucial swing state no less -- that the widow of an evangelical pastor voted for her late husband via absentee ballot, committing voter fraud and arguably also violating federal mail offenses in the process. While the story of her prosecution would probably not be headline news, it's hard to imagine a complete or near-total media blackout on the story.
And yet that's exactly what happened in the case of Sister Marguerite Kloos, a Cincinnati nun who pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Hamilton County, Ohio, court of voter fraud. While the charge carried a maximum 18-month prison term, Kloos was instead remanded to a "diversion program" and if she maintains good behavior, her record will be wiped clean, Cincinnati.com's Kimball Perry reported.
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan reported today, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked if President Obama was following the Gosnell case, or NBC’s reporting of it. He dodged the question, but at least NBC acknowledges that a case is actually going on in Philadelphia. The president answered:
Well, I'm familiar with it. I can't comment on it because it's an active trial. What I can say is this. I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic or doing anything else, is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.
Guthrie failed to ask any follow ups on this, but a sharp reporter might have shot back that “safe, legal, and rare” was language that was actually excised from the Democratic Party platform in Charlotte last year. The platform committee was, of course, stacked with Obama acolytes and included Nancy Kennan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In part two of her interview with President Obama aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie lobbed several softballs, wrapping up the exchange by wondering: "I know you're not endorsing, but do you personally hope that Hillary Clinton runs in 2016?...Do you miss her around here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama used Guthrie's prompting to praise Clinton: "I think she was an extraordinary secretary of state and she became not only a great partner for me in foreign policy, but a good friend....I do [miss her]. She's earned her rest and I know that she's going to be able, whatever she does, to continue to be a leader and an incredibly positive force for the causes I care about and that she cares about, all around the world."
The liberal media love to chastise Republicans for writing off minorities and urban voters, insisting that the GOP is becoming a regional and largely rural party. But that concern trolling doesn't cut both ways. The liberal media never seem to care that Democrats are losing rural, blue collar workers or that the party's failure to be competitive in the rural heartland is an indictment of their ability to bring the country together.
As we've noted, the liberal media generally and the Big Three broadcast networks in particular have studiously avoided paying attention to the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. The Philadelphia abortionist is charged with murdering newborns who survived abortion attempts and were born alive.
But aside from the criminal aspect of the case, there's other angle in the Gosnell matter that is of interest to political observers of the 2014 election cycle, particularly the Pennsylvania governor's race. One of the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), who operated an abortion clinic from 1975-1988. J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier News has some great, incisive questions for Schwartz connected to the Gosnell matter, particularly whether Schwartz ever referred any patients to Gosnell. Her clinic stopped performing abortions in 1984, but continued with issuing referrals to other clinics. Schwartz has been curiously silent on the issue, and larger media outlets seem to be silent as well, failing to ask her if she ever referred women to Gosnell, for example.
When a secret, closed-door conversation about campaign strategy is recorded, illegally, and put out in the public domain, it's a significant story about invasion of privacy that should generate media attention. But of course, the target of the recording in question was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), so naturally the liberal media are turning a critical eye on him rather than the group that made the illegal recording.
On Saturday’s Today, NBC brought on the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman to spin the controversy into a story about McConnell’s weaknesses and wrongdoings. Co-host Erica Hill started by asking if the conversation was recorded illegally. Fineman danced around the matter with an evasive answer: “Well, that's an open question... In Kentucky law and federal law it's possibly illegal, but that's open to question because the person recording it could also hear it.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Do you oppose President Obama's gun control proposals? Well then, you must not be against gun violence. So suggested a guest this morning on the new MSNBC show, Up With Steve Kornacki.
Leah Gunn Barrett [insert wisecrack on middle name here], of "New Yorkers Against Gun Violence," was trying to explain away why Second Amendment advocates do so well politically. According to her, gun "enthusiasts" are single-issue voters with good grassroots organization. In contrast, "people who are against gun violence" aren't as well organized. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd urged Republicans to back gun restrictions or risk alienation from female voters: "Look at the massive gender gap....65% of women want stricter gun laws, 44% of men. So if you make the argument to Republicans...if you want to continue to have problems with women voters, don't deal with this gun issue. If you want to start trying to win over suburban women, maybe you need to tackle it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
**UPDATE** As of this posting, Politico reports that a Democratic official told a local Kentucky radio station that Progress Kentucky was responsible for the secret recording of McConnell's campaign office.
Leave it to the Washington Post to provide a sympathetic puff piece to liberal journalist David Corn’s recent release of secretly-recorded audio attempting to smear a Republican politician.
Corn, you may recall, published an exclusive in Mother Jones featuring a strategy session for Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign, where opposition research into potential opponent Ashley Judd was discussed.