MSNBC talking heads spend a lot of time demonizing Republicans and conservatives, but on Monday’s PoliticsNation, frequent contributor Dana Milbank made that connection directly and compared the Koch brothers to demons. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Milbank and host Al Sharpton were discussing the verbal attacks on David and Charles Koch that many Democrats, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have carried out lately. Sharpton asked why Democrats were pushing this issue so hard, and Milbank responded, “Look, everybody knows that in politics, you need demons. And the Koch brothers are uniquely qualified to play that role. I mean, they couldn't be any better for it if they were carrying around pitchforks and had horns.”
The conservative website Breitbart.com recently started running a controversial ad campaign featuring Nancy Pelosi’s head superimposed on the body of a twerking Miley Cyrus. Unsurprisingly, an April 8 piece by The Daily Beast’s Emily Shire complained that “Breitbart Twerks Pelosi With Credibility-Destroying Ad” without admitting her publication’s double-standard when publishing questionable images.
Shire began her piece by declaring that the online web campaign was “The ultimate proof that Breitbart doesn’t deserve to be considered a legitimate political news site, regardless of its political leanings” before laying into the conservative organization.
Good Morning America reporters on Tuesday reminded viewers that a Congressman who has been caught in an alleged affair with a staffer is a "conservative Republican." GMA, which is co-hosted by former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos, also included a network graphic that hyped: "Conservative Asks for Forgiveness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC routinely downplays the political ID for Democrats involved in scandals, but correspondent Jeff Zeleny informed viewers about Vance McAllister of Louisiana, noting, "Just one month earlier, the conservative Republican was sworn into office, surrounded by his wife and five children."
Digby is far from the biggest name in the left-wing blogosphere, but she's one of its most influential figures. Lefty bloggers often introduce links to posts on her site, Hullabaloo, with the phrase "what Digby said" (it's sort of their equivalent of "megadittoes").
On Monday morning, Digby published a piece in a higher-profile outlet, the liberal online magazine Salon, in which she contended that because Ted Cruz "has his finger on the pulse" of evangelical conservatives, he has a far better shot at the 2016 GOP nomination than does Rand Paul, even though Paul, Digby opined, should have no problem pulling in the racist voters that are (allegedly) so common on the right.
Carrie Johnson's Monday report on NPR's Morning Edition could have been mistaken as an informercial for the left-of-center ACLU and the NAACP's efforts to help "protect minority voting rights," after the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision from June 2013. Johnson played up how "a divided Supreme Court gutted part of that law – throwing into chaos a system that had required...states to ask for federal permission before making election changes."
All but one of the correspondent's talking heads during the segment were liberal activists who lamented the Court's decision, but she failed to point out their political ideology or that of the groups they represent. Johnson also singled out one attendee of the organizations' "training session," who attacked the Obama administration from the left:
As I noted yesterday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when asked to identify a specific accomplishment during her tenure there, failed to answer the question, instead falling back on the Obama administration's tired "we inherited a terrible economy" meme.
Never let it be said that yours truly doesn't try to be helpful. Here's an "accomplishment" I can attribute to Mrs. Clinton, though I suspect she won't want to put it at the top of her resume as she promotes her anticipated presidential candidacy: presiding over an out of control agency. During each of the past four years, outside auditors have found that State had several "significant deficiencies" in its internal controls over financial reporting (of course, the last eight months of the most recent year belong to current Secretary of State John Kerry). Additionally, State's Inspector General recently identified "contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all." Though the IG's report was released on Thursday, it conveniently escaped coverage by the Associated Press until Saturday afternoon. The unbylined AP report itself was cursory and inadequate:
Last week, the Supreme Court eliminated limits on how much money individuals can donate to all campaigns in any two-year election cycle and NBC’s David Gregory lamented how “American democracy is for sale.”
Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday April 6, Gregory asked Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC: “How do you have candidates in the future now going to the wealthiest donors in the country and saying I want an unlimited amount of money? How does that is not at some-point lead to corruption?” [See video below.]
ABC’s Jonathan Karl did his best to get Bill Kristol to admit ObamaCare is working on ABC’s “This Week” but the “Weekly Standard” editor refused to give into the fill-in host’s demands. Karl attempted to persuade Kristol to “Give the president a little credit here right? 7.1 million sign-ups after that disastrous start. They hit their number; they went past their number.”
Appearing on Sunday April 6, Kristol shot down Karl’s assertion and argued, “It’s like saying you’ve got to give the Soviet Union a lot of credit. 200 million people bought bread in their grocery stores. If it’s the only place you can buy health insurance, they’re going to get people to buy health insurance there.” [See video below.]
Several weeks ago, MRC-TV's Dan Joseph visited the Democratic Party's winter meeting to see if attendees could name a single tangible of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. They couldn't. It turns out that Hillary Clinton herself can't even do that.
Remember how Texas Governor Rick Perry was mercilessly ridiculed in the press for his 2011 debate brain cramp when he couldn't identify the third of three federal government agencies he would eliminate? At the Women of the World Summit in New York City on Thursday — an event held at, of all places, the David H. Koch Theater (you can't make this stuff up) — Mrs. Clinton rambled on and on in a response to a question about what she was most proud of in looking at her time as Secretary of State, but never identified even one specific accomplishment (HT Capitol City Project):
On Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell touted Hillary Clinton attending the Women in the World summit alongside International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde: "One of the highlights, their reaction when moderator Thomas Friedman of the New York Times suggested that Lagarde would one day lead the European Union and Clinton could become President of the United States." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing the clip of Friedman fawning over them amid a cheering audience, O'Donnell declared: "It was interesting to see that reaction about women ruling the world, the two of them together." Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: "Yeah. But it was a great moment between – to see two powerhouse women, I think, is always very exciting."
On Friday morning, CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted “On Hillary Clinton's assertion of media double standard, strongest complaints by her campaign in 2008 were against pro-Obama male journos”.
MRC's Dan Gainor alerted me that the responses from other national journalists about Hillary Clinton’s treatment of the press in the ‘08 cycle were surprising. Perhaps this should be a segment on Tapper's show where we can all learn more before 2016:
Liberal “Daily Beast” columnist Michael Tomasky must really dislike Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) because he took to the internet today to rant against his latest budget. Tomasky blared in an April 3rd piece that Paul Ryan was “still a total jerk” before engaging in a long-winded attack against the Tea Party favorite.
Tomasky began his piece by fretting “Remind me not to get in a foxhole with Paul Ryan. At the first sign of trouble, he’ll pack up his gunny sack and head for base camp, running into the latrine to hide. Or so I conclude from the budget he released this week.”
Matea Gold and Robert Barnes utterly failed this morning as ostensibly objective journalists. In their front-page stories covering yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Washington Post staffers front-loaded their stories with melodramatic political language suitable for a left-wing "campaign finance reform" group's press release rather than objective news copy.
Despite a tragic shooting at Fort Hood, a major Supreme Court ruling and developments on Benghazi, all three morning shows on Thursday devoted time to Bill Clinton's discussion of aliens on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Yet, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning ignored a profoundly dumb question from the comic regarding Clinton running for vice president. [See video of the question below. MP3 audio here.]
Instead, GMA's Amy Robach enthused, "And finally, former President Bill Clinton isn't ruling out a possible alien invasion here on Earth. He visited Jimmy Kimmel last night and revealed that he did, in fact, look into the possibility when he was president." Talking to co-host and former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos, she wondered, "George, was it the common topic of conversation in the Clinton administration?"
On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander decried Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling striking down some campaign finance restrictions: "So just consider this, in just twelve year from the 2000 elections to those in 2012, total campaign spending in this country doubled from $3 billion to $6.3 billion. And the Supreme Court ruling now opens the door even wider for unlimited money in politics that has obviously already skyrocketed." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander assumed viewers agreed with that liberal narrative: "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. The Supreme Court struck down a decades-old campaign law..."
On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello decried the Supreme Court's latest decision underlining that political donations are a form of free speech: "You know, these rulings continue to surprise me – only because so many Americans are concerned about the money factor...They think it's a real problem, and these kinds of rulings seem to only exacerbate those problems."
Costello brought on liberal CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for his take on the ruling, and asked, "Doesn't that give wealthy donors a big advantage?" Toobin twice emphasize the left-of-center opposition to this decision and the previous Citizen United decision in 2010: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Teasing an upcoming story Tuesday on a left-wing smear campaign against conservative donors Charles and David Koch, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell proclaimed: "Battling the Koch brothers, Democrats are fighting back against the family that spent more than $150 million trying to shake up Congress." Introducing the segment, fellow co-host Charlie Rose announced that "one of the best-known families in big-money politics is once again in the spotlight." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes told viewers: "They are the Koch brothers, both in their 70s and two of the wealthiest men in America. They've been giving to conservative and libertarian causes for a long time. But now, Democrats are trying to make them public enemy number one." The headline on screen read: "Big Money Brothers; Democrats Target Billionaires David & Charles Koch."
Liberal MSNBC guest Donny Deutsch made some bizarre comments during his appearance on “Morning Joe” on Tuesday April 1 regarding the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” scandal.
Speaking to the “Morning Joe” panel, Deutsch asserted that regarding “Bridgegate” he couldn’t “remember anything more egregious, interestingly enough that a politician has done.” Furthermore, Deutsch argued that the Chris Christie scandal was much worse than any of the sex scandals involving President Bill Clinton because that “didn’t affect me.” [See video below.]
The ObamaCare health care exchange website that Maryland designed is such a monstrous failure that the state government is pulling its plug tomorrow and replacing it with a website which essentially mimics the architecture of the actually-functional Connecticut state exchange. In the process, Maryland taxpayers have seen $125.5 million of their hard-earned tax dollars flushed down the drain by 2016 president hopeful Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and his protege, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, whom O'Malley tapped as his ObamaCare point man, and who is pursuing the Democratic nomination for governor this June.
How bad are things for Meet The Press? The once-dominant Sunday show has fallen into a distant third place. And now Mika Brzezinski has resorted to an embarrassing attempt to revive her network's failing patient.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika managed to mention Meet The Press by name no fewer than eight times in one segment. Her argument was that MTP is the go-to place for politicians wanting to make news, and that Chris Christie had blown it by not appearing yesterday, sending two surrogates instead. View the video after the jump.
NBC’s Chuck Todd filled in for David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press” on Sunday March 30, and took the opportunity to mock Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a campaign ad he ran last week.
At issue for Todd was an ad by McConnell which erroneously featured an image of two Duke University basketball players mistaken for Kentucky Wildcats, to which Todd ridiculed “was a whole mess that day because first he had the wrong thing, then he changed it, then the NCAA said oh you can’t use our players and then, pretty much insult to injury,” his Louisville team lost to Kentucky. [See video below.]
ABC News Political Analyst and former Bush/Cheney advisor Matthew Dowd attempted to downplay the impact ObamaCare will have in the 2013-midterm elections. Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on March 30, Dowd asserted, “2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.”
Despite the bizarre prediction from the ABC analyst, conservative editor of "The Weekly Standard" Bill Kristol slapped down Dowd’s ridiculous claim and shot back that “I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare… and will be good for Republicans.” See video below.]
According to the front-page story, after a Supreme Court ruling last year loosened restrictions, "swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting," which "shake up fundamental components of state election systems." Reporters Steven Yaccino and Lizette Alvarez Pivotal fretted that "Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election."
Friday's CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how "visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day." Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that "today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday's NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: "[S]upport for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago...26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act." This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.
All three network evening newscasts on Thursday found time to cheer the JFK Library Foundation announcing former President George H. W. Bush would the 2014 recipient of its annual Profile in Courage award. So what specific accomplishment did the organization cite from the Republican's decades of public service? His decision to hike taxes in 1990 that cost him re-election and paved the way for Bill Clinton to become president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Bush had famously said, 'Read my lips. No new taxes.' His decision to break that promise not only took courage, as the award says, it also may have cost him re-election."
Imagine it's March 2006, some eight months before the midterm elections in an unpopular President Bush's second term, and the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has this nasty habit of running afoul of the Federal Election Commission over pricey gifts for campaign donors. The media would most certainly have a field day with the revelations.
But alas, it's March 2014 and it's Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and President Obama's Senate majority on the line. Here's Rebecca Shabad of TheHill.com with details (emphasis mine):
Liberals have a problem, according to MSNBC host Al Sharpton and two of his left-leaning friends. They’re not blaring their pro-ObamaCare message loudly enough. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday’s PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams, worried that his side might be losing the PR war over ObamaCare, unleashed a rant against Republicans. He started by defining the difference between the two parties as he sees it:
At 63, Chuck Schumer can still dance—for awhile. But eventually, age or ambition caught up with the New York senator. On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough grilled Schumer over Harry Reid's accusation, uttered on the floor of the Senate, that the Koch brothers are "un-American."
For as long as he could, Schumer moonwalked away from Scarborough's question as to whether the Kochs are un-American. As one of Harry Reid's top lieutenants—and a lean and hungry senator who almost surely aspires to take Reid's leadership role when the opportunity arises—Schumer was on the spot. But Scarborough to his credit was relentless, and Schumer eventually wore down, making a distinction without a difference. Schumer asserted that the Kochs "actions" in running their run ads "absolutely" are "un-American." View the video after the jump.
Pass the smelling salts. Wednesday afternoon Pacific Time (early evening Eastern Time), someone at the Los Angeles Times actually noticed something quite a bit less than perfect about the Democratic Party and its politicians.
Okay, it's an analysis piece at the Politics Now blog by Political Editor Cathleen Decker. But most LA Times "analyses" are insufferably far to the left and consist of some combination of blatant falsehoods, mean-spirited attacks on Republicans and conservatives, bowing down to the pseudo-science of climate change, and effusive praise of Democrats even as they fail. Thus, Decker's piece sticks out like a red-clad University of Louisville fan sitting in the deep-blue University of Kentucky cheering section. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
The Washington Post gossips were "Happy" on Wednesday to report that hot pop star Pharrell can see into the future in an interview with GQ: “And by the way: We're about to have a female president. Hillary's gonna win.”
The Post did not include Pharrell’s trippy pop-star reasoning, including the thought that no female, “no matter how staunch a supporter you are of no-abortion,” will vote against Hillary Clinton or for abortion limits. Try and parse this assault on reason: