MSNBC continues to fail to take the IRS targeting scandal seriously. On Thursday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Ms. Wagner and her guest, Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post, showed their utter disdain for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his committee’s ongoing investigation into the scandal. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wagner took particular offense to Issa’s move to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, dismissing it as an attempt to “gum up the government works.” Mocking Issa and his fellow House Republicans, Wagner screeched:
MSNBC had a bit of trouble keeping their guests on-message during Wednesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. While speculating as to why Democrat Alex Sink lost to Republican David Jolly in Tuesday's special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, Wagner and her MSNBC crew tried to push the idea that low turnout was to blame. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Addressing Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Wagner wondered:
On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
In fawning puff piece aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Craig Melvin was delighted by three Democratic congresswoman – including left-wing bomb-thrower and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz – sharing a Washington D.C. townhouse when Congress is in session: "For Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alabama's Terri Sewell, and New York's Carolyn Maloney, it's all business during the day. They're congresswomen. Oh, but by night....This is like a sorority house." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schultz declared: "It's a sisterhood, for sure." Melvin observed that New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney "is less a house mother and more the landlord." Maloney explained: "Well, when I was first elected, I lived alone....I was used to a husband and two children and a cat and pandemonium, chaos at home. So I decided to buy a house and fill it up with friends, which is exactly what I did."
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
It was an absolute certainty that MSNBC would attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) following his Thursday morning speech at CPAC. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host wrung her hands over Cruz’s continued criticism of ObamaCare. With the air of an impatient mother, Witt fumed, “I know he’s just serving up red meat to the base. Republicans believe this is going to help them in the midterms. But aren't we past that yet?”
GOP strategist Susan Del Percio, a real MSNBC-type Republican, seemed to feel the same way about Cruz. She replied to Witt’s question, “Not if you're Ted Cruz. I mean, that's what he has become known as, is as a firebrander. He just throws this stuff out there.” With timid, apologetic Republican analysts like Del Percio, it’s no wonder MSNBC can’t have any real debates on their programs. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got rather self-righteous on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, chiding Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who have criticized President Obama’s weak-kneed response to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough asserted his belief that “politics should really end at the water's edge” during international crises like this, proclaiming, “I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander-in-chief during dangerous international crises, whether it’s with the likes of Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, well, that provides comfort to nation-states who choose to be our enemies.”
The Obama administration is preparing to put in place yet another delay in ObamaCare, forestalling a wave of insurance policy cancelations that are mandated by law in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In doing so, some of the negative repercussions of ObamaCare will be delayed until well after the November 2014 midterm election.
The political journalists at the Washington Post are no fools, they must surely realize the nakedly political nature of the move, but the reader would not get that from Amy Goldstein's coverage in March 5 print article, which editors buried at the item at the bottom of page A6 with the bland headline, "Americans may be able to keep old health-care plans longer under rewrite of rules."What's more, Goldstein waited until the eighth and final paragraph to give a fleeting, misleading account of Republican criticism:
Here's another entry for the "name that party" file. Ambulance-chasing lawyer cum melodramatically hyper-partisan Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson (Fla.) has been accused by his estranged wife of violently shoving her during a dispute.
The Orlando Sentinel has the story. The paper buried the party affiliation at the tail-end of the article, but they at least mentioned the "die quickly!" demagogue's party affiliation. The Daily Beast website picked up on the item for it's "Cheat Sheet" digest [screen capture follows page break], but omitted any party reference in its 75-word brief [excerpted in full below the page break]:
The three network morning shows combined gave less than two minutes of air time to President Obama's proposed 2015 budget on Tuesday, though they all managed to highlight how the plan "will cut taxes for thirteen and a half million working Americans" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]. What the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all ignored was that the debt projections under the President's budget were off by $2.7 trillion compared to recent numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office.
As the Washington Post pointed out on Tuesday, "[Obama's budget] forecasts a dramatic reduction in deficits over the coming decade. The request paints a much rosier debt scenario than a report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a month ago."
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday morning, only NBC's Today marked the beginning of the 2014 midterm primary season and explained the dire situation for Democrats ahead on the November election. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "While President Obama's dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, here at home, the future of his presidency could be at stake. The midterm primary season kicks off today, and this will affect who will control the levers of power in the coming years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd warned: "...it sets the stage for what's going to be an epic national battle in these midterms between the two parties for control of the Senate, which in turn, holds the fate of the rest of the Obama presidency."
In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
Patrick Moore is one of the early members of Greenpeace, and was an important official in that organization from 1971 to 1986.
Moore is among the last people one might expect to be a "climate change denier," as those who irritate us with the idea that human-caused global warming is "settled science" like to characterize people who disagree with them. But he is, as seen in Congressional testimony earlier this week. The establishment press is ignoring Patrick; the few identified results at the link come from British newspapers and center-right outlets. An Investor's Business Daily editorial yesterday highlighted what Moore had to say (bolds are mine):
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
Double standards in the establishment press's treatment of Republican and Democrat politicians is an unfortunate reality. Evidence that it's getting worse — to the point of begging the question, "At long last, have you no shame?" — can be seen in the disparate treatment of Florida's two major-party March 11 congressional special election candidates, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
At the Associated Press, it is headline-making national news, via reporter Tamara Lush, that Jolly "was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report." Again: "NOT at fault." Meanwhile, it is not news at AP's national site that less than 30 hours ago, Sink, in a televised debate, resorted to offensive stereotyping in advocating changes in immigration law when she asked, "Where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?" Excerpts from Townhall.com's story, plus a video containing Sink's statement, follow the jump.
Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
The AP's White House correspondent, surely at the suggestion of the group she is supposed to be covering objectively, writes that President Barack Obama's forays into unilateral executive action have been good for his soul. The President's authoritarian moves have apparently also been "cathartic" for the White House staff, now reportedly "buoyed by a new sense of purpose." Isn't that sweet? Excerpts from this piece of journalistic junk follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On February 10, in a rare moment of candor which was quickly edited away in subsequent revisions, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote that President Obama had unilaterally instituted delays and revisions in Obamacare's employer mandate because he was "angling to avoid political peril."
Of course he was. Postponing and revising the requirement that firms cover their employees "or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30," delays the decidedly negative impact of the statist healthcare scheme until after November's elections. But in a Friday evening report, Politico's David Nather essentially tried to claim that Obama really acted against his own best interest (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, had an interesting pair of headlines near the top of its raw feed yesterday.
The first headline used the typical "Republicans attack" approach any time President Obama does something objectionable, which has been quite often. The headline was "Issa Rails Against Obama's 'Imperial Presidency.'" Of course, reporter Steve Peoples didn't let readers see the exact statement Issa made, perhaps because it would have shown that he wasn't "railing" (uttering a "bitter complaint" or a "vehement denunciation") at all. The current headline at the story at AP's national site doesn't have quote marks around "imperial presidency." Clearly, Peoples doesn't think much of Issa's claim, which makes the raw feed's next headline about Obama all the more ironic:
Now for a dose of MSNBC-style conservatism from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent network contributor and former White House communications director under George W. Bush. On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Wallace trashed Tea Party members and other conservative Republicans as children while praising House Speaker John Boehner and his moderate ilk as the “grown-ups” of the party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
During a discussion about Republicans gearing up for the midterm elections, Wallace praised Boehner for caving in on the debt ceiling earlier this month:
The big story about the federal budget this week was the Republican Party's struggle to deal with raising the debt ceiling. Last year's big budget story was President Barack Obama and the Democrats coming to grips with the so-called sequester, a policy gimmick that modestly slowed the growth of federal spending.
Neither of these storylines came anywhere close to dealing with reality. The two teams of Washington insiders get hung up on these side issues because they're better at symbolism than substance.
On Fox News Sunday earlier today, George Will got in some tremendous rips at global warming/"climate change" alarmism.
Although Will's criticism was primarily aimed at politicians, we cannot overlook the fact that their enablers in the establishment press have made their immature "climate denier" and "flat earther" name-calling rants possible by unskeptically allowing their so-called "settled science" to be seen as explanations for Britain's recent floods and California's droughts. President Obama is pushing the drought nonsense, when it's bad man-made water policy which is to blame. Video and the relevant portion of the FNS transcript are after the jump (HT Mediaite; bolds are mine):
There was some huffing at the Huffington Post on Wednesday over House Republicans’ reluctance to pass a clean debt limit increase. Contributing writer Mitchell Bard was glad that the increase was passed, but he was incensed that the vast majority of GOP congressmen (201 of 229) voted against it. He took out his frustrations in a post titled, “Lesson From the House Debt Ceiling Vote: The GOP Is the Tea Party.”
Bard railed against those 201 Republicans: “Voting against the debt ceiling isn't ‘conservative’; it's reckless, ideological, irresponsible and not something anyone charged with governing the nation should consider.” Following that logic, Barack Obama was reckless, ideological, and irresponsible in 2006 when, as a senator, he voted against a debt limit increase.
Dana Milbank of The Washington Post was one of the many liberals in the media who were elated that House Republicans caved in to President Obama’s demand to increase the debt limit with no offsetting spending cuts or concessions on ObamaCare. Milbank was so gleeful, in fact, that he brought a blueberry pie onto the set of Tuesday’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC to celebrate with host Al Sharpton. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
But Milbank warned the reverend not to get too excited, explaining:
At the top of MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Wednesday, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd triumphantly declared: "What a difference a shutdown makes. Picking their poison, Republican leaders retreat on the debt limit, handing President Obama a victory....Are we done with the days of the debt ceiling being wielded as a political weapon?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Todd rhetorically wondered: "Does this mean the budget wars are over, or are we in at least a cease-fire, and who won?" He concluded: "...the President stuck to his guns on this. He stood firm and forced this scenario, making it much more difficult for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a political weapon."