The Times jumps into the liberal-inspired brouhaha over the RNC's supposedly racist TV ad against Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., who is running in Tennessee against Republican Bob Corker.
"The Tennessee Senate race, one of the most competitive and potentially decisive battles of the midterm election, became even more unpredictable this week after a furor over a Republican television commercial that stood out even in a year of negative advertising.
CNN’s latest political special, "Broken Government: The Do Nothing Congress," featured Dan Rostenkowski as a quasi-ethics expert, agitation for divided government, and general trashing of the Republicans in Congress. Rostenkowski, for those too young to remember is the former Democratic Congressman who ended up being expelled from the House after being accused of, among other things, charging thousands of dollars worth of gifts to a congressional account. (CNN couldn’t find time to mention his transgressions until 34 minutes into the program.) But, mail fraud and prison apparently aren’t an impediment to being an expert on all things wrong with the GOP. Host Ed Henry used Rostenkowski as a springboard to call for divided government:
Rostenkowski: "The secret of my success, I think, is that, the 14 years that I was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, 12 of them were under Republicans."
Henry: "It seems logical that divided government, Democrats in charge of one branch, Republicans running the other, might cause gridlock. But, when you think about it, it actually seems to produce better results."
Norman Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute) : "I have come to the conclusion, reluctantly -- and I don't have a partisan dog in the fight -- that divided government now may be a better way to go, simply because the incentive, if you're leading an institution that you -- in which you share the responsibility for governing, is to try and make your institution work, because the onus is going to be on you to do so."
What interesting timing? It’s unlikely that CNN had such an appreciation for divided government in October of 1994.
On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered his latest anti-Bush, anti-GOP "Special Comment," (also posted on Countdown's Web site) this time accusing President Bush and Republicans of committing the "dictionary definition" of terrorism in trying to scare Americans into voting for them, even contending that "the leading terrorist group in this country right now is the Republican Party." Olbermann laid blame for the delayed discovery of the remains of 9/11 victims at the feet of President Bush and Republicans. Olbermann: "And yet you can actually claim that you and you alone can protect us from terrorism? You can't even recover our dead from the battlefield, the battlefield in an American city, when we've given you five years and unlimited funds to do so!" (Transcript follows)
Video clip, starting about four minutes into the nearly 11-minute long screed (6:30): Real (4.9 MB at 100 kbps) or Windows Media (4.1 MB at 81 kbps), plus MP3 audio (2.3 MB)
After nearly three weeks of covering every aspect of the Mark Foley scandal, CNN’s "American Morning" still hasn’t tired of the story. Wednesday’s edition of the program featured over 18 minutes of coverage. This encompassed seven full reports on the disgraced Congressman and one anchor read. In contrast, there were no reports on the unfolding controversy of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and his questionable land deal. Additionally, the October 18 "American Morning" featured only two brief anchor reads on a racially charged remark made by Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
"American Morning" has actually increased their Foley coverage over a similar analysis last week. On October 12, the program devoted 18 minutes and 4 seconds to the story. Today, the scandal received 18 minutes and 19 seconds. There’s an important difference however: Starting October 16, "American Morning" shrank from four hours to three. In other words, the show allocated more time to the story, and they did it with a shorter program.
In keeping the the liberal mantra that the Republican leadership is the most "secretive" ever, the Post seemed worried that the House rules change is somehow a danger to American democracy because the persons chosen by Speaker Hastert to succeed him has not been made public knowledge.
The Post's story over this rules change is filled with foreboding, doubt and dread over a possibility that is remote at best as well as a list that is simply perfunctory.
Today's Boston Globe reports: "Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday, days after he was admitted to the hospital after collapsing while walking his dog, his husband said."
The reference to a "husband" may take some of us aback, and the timing of Mr. Studds' passing is certainly coincidental in light of the Mark Foley scandal.
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw returned to the Nightly News set on Thursday night to forecast big trouble in Big Sky country for Montana’s Republican Senator, Conrad Burns: "This campaign sums up a lot of the Republican problems nationwide." Brokaw theorized that the country’s just tired of less-than-honest GOP majority rule: "For Burns and other GOP candidates across the country, their toughest opponent may be their own party, after six years of White House and Congressional rule."
He touted Montana’s Democrat governor, Brian Schweitzer, as popular, and projected a Democrat win: Schweitzer "could help pull independents and Republicans across the line for Jon Tester on Election Day and that in effect would change Montana from a red to a blue state. It would be a big change." Brokaw’s two local pundits on the race both blasted Bush and the GOP for misleading the country into war in Iraq. Brokaw ignored how Tester’s getting major support from far-left outlets like the Daily Kos website and is calling for the outright repeal of the Patriot Act, which is currently the buzz in Montana.
CNN Political Editor Mark Preston posted a 160-word item on the network's Political Ticker this afternoon celebrating with glee a seven-word smack-down from "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos to Republican Congressman Adam Putnam of the Florida 12th. The Congressman, participating in a round-table discussion with show host Stephanopoulos and Congressman Rahm Emanuel of the Illinois 5th, both of whom served in the Clinton White House, contrasted the Mark Foley flap with the Monica Lewinsky scandal that erupted during President Clinton's second term. "[Foley's] resignation was demanded within hours," Putnam said. "Contrast that to previous scandals, where, frankly, two people at this table have had to cover for their former boss' sexual misdeeds while in office, and did not demand his resignation." Stephanopoulos responded to Putnam by saying that he left the Clinton administration in 1996, two years before the Lewinsky scandal broke.
MRC's Rich Noyes has calculated the number of Mark Foley/Will Hastert Quit? stories for Week One of the scandal on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news programs, from last Friday night, September 29, through Friday morning, October 6. So for evening shows, it's Friday to Thursday. For morning shows, it's Saturday through Friday. (One or two evening stories and a smattering of morning stories are brief anchor updates.)The number's a little shocking: 103 stories. It breaks down like this:
-- ABC: Good Morning America, 23 stories; World News, 15 stories
-- CBS: The Early Show, 17 stories; Evening News, 11 stories
Mike Luckovich, the liberal cartoonist for "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," earned a chuckle from CNN anchor Miles O’Brien by claiming that "80 percent of the priesthood" is gay. Luckovich, who appeared on the October 6 edition of "American Morning," was promoting his new collection of comic strips, "Four More Wars." O’Brien began by asking the cartoonist about the Foley scandal and then attempted to link it with a plan by the pope to ban homosexuals from serving as priests:
O’Brien: "And why don't you explain this one?"
[Cartoon appears onscreen. One priest is looking at the other and says, "Does this make me look gay?"]
Luckovich: "Well, OK. The new pope wanted to -- wants to ban homosexual priests, so you are going to have to lose 80 percent of the priesthood if that happens. But -- so I've got a bishop here saying -- he's looking down at his vestments, and he's saying, ‘Does this make me look gay?"
O’Brien: [Laughs]: "It's -- well, you know, it is a fashion statement, isn't it? All right. And, of course-"
Luckovich: "Yes. You know, I was thinking -- Miles, I was thinking about maybe making Denny Hastert maybe like an archbishop and somehow, you know, making the comparison that way. I'll let you know if that -- if that works out."
O’Brien: "Oh, okay. That sounds like dangerous turf, but I would like to see that one for sure."
The editorialists at the Chicago Tribune aren't ready yet to declare that Speaker Dennis Hastert has to be tossed aside, but before they get too high and mighty about the safety of teenagers from lecherous Members of Congress, we should recall that the Trib editorialized in favor of what would become Bill Clinton's last-minute pardon of Mel Reynolds, the convicted teen-sex/child-porn/obstruction of justice Democratic congressman. Headlined "Reynolds, Not Rosty, Needs Mercy," the Trib complained that disgraced Dan Rostenkowski didn't need the Clinton pardon, unlike Reynolds:
Mel Reynolds, elected in 1992 after knocking off 2nd District incumbent Gus Savage, was convicted on state charges related to his sexual relationship with a teenage girl, and then on federal charges of bank and campaign fraud. He's been locked up since October, 1995, first doing his state time and then going to federal prison to serve an unusually harsh 61/2-year sentence that, if nothing is done, will keep him behind bars until March, 2003 -- leaving his wife and three young children to fend for themselves.
Wednesday’s ‘Early Show" continued to hype the Mark Foley scandal. In a segment with Bob Schieffer, called "Capitol Bob," co-host Julie Chen wondered if Speaker Hastert should resign his position over the scandal, while Schieffer cited conservative sources such as "The Washington Times" to emphasize the trouble Hastert is in and conveyed to viewers his conviction that the Mark Foley scandal will cost the Republicans control of the House of Representatives.
"If I were a betting man, I would now bet that the Republicans are going to lose the House. Not by very much. But I think this may be just the thing to give the Democrats control of the House. This is really serious business for the Republicans right now."
The same bias against Rep. Helen Chenoweth that Amy Ridenour recognized in the late Congresswoman's obituary in the Washington Post and by Michael Bates in the Chicago Tribune was also evident in New York Times reporter Randal Archibold's notice.
"Former Representative Helen P. Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho, an archconservative who ridiculed the Endangered Species Act and the protection of salmon in her own state and called for disbanding large parts of the federal government, died on Monday in a car accident in Nevada. She was 68....She said she did not condone violence against the federal government, which militias and racial separatists in her largely rural district called for, but she had a reputation as a sagebrush rebel who sometimes sympathized with their causes....As much as liberals and environmentalists loathed her -- 'Can Helen, Not Salmon' went one bumper sticker -- supporters admired what they considered a principled, call-it-as-I-see-it manner."
After all, it is remarkable that the Post would run any story comparing the disparate treatment Democrats have received at the hands of the press and their constituencies as a result of sex-related scandalous behavior compared to their Republican counterparts.
But upon further review, as surprising as Farhi's effort is, when you group all of the people identified in Farhi's article into categories by party and how they were treated, you realize that Farhi glossed over important elements relating to Democrats who were (eventually) punished, and you note at least two very, very glaring omissions.
The Washington Post, an altogether shameless publication on many levels, is running this inexcusable excuse for an obituary by Patricia Sullivan for the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage, a great defender of freedom who died in a car accident Monday. The obituary, which maintains the Post's tradition of including factual errors, is, in a word, bitchy. (Go read it, if you question my use of that particular word.)
Helen Chenoweth-Hage was a very gracious and kind lady who believed strongly in liberty and fought for it in Congress and out. Although the undeservedly smug mainstream press unfairly parodied her beliefs during her six years on Capitol Hill (95-00 -- unfortunately, before the advent of blogs that could help balance the reporting), she was undeterred.
“It could be too late for damage control,” CBS anchor Katie Couric intoned Monday night in painting the worst-possible scenario for continued GOP control of the House in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal. Reporter Gloria Borger declared: "There is no getting around it: The unraveling of the page scandal could be the undoing of some House Republican leaders, if not their hold on Congress.” With the words on screen, she highlighted how “one senior House Republican tells CBS News that this scandal 'could be the congressional equivalent of Katrina'” and “'our base is moral conservatives, and we look like a bunch of hypocrites who just didn't want another scandal before the election.'”
Over on ABC's World News, George Stephanopoulos unequivocally stated: “This issue became the number one issue in every congressional race in the country. And both Republicans and Democrats say it has the potential to cost Republicans the Congress.” Anchor Charles Gibson noted how House Speaker Dennis Hastert “says, 'Well, I was deceived.'” Gibson then suggested Hastert be held accountable: “Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said: 'The Buck stops here.' What is the jeopardy of the House Republican leadership?" Stephanopoulos replied, "The question is: How much more did they know? And why didn't they act on what they knew? That's what Democrats are going to push.” And the Washington press corps, too.
On Wednesday’s "Early Show," co-host Rene Syler offered results from Tuesday’s primaries, but the labels were remarkably different. In Rhode Island, Syler classified Senator Chafee’s opponent as a "conservative," but in New York, Senator Clinton’s ultraliberal opponent was simply classified as "anti-war." Bob Schieffer offered commentary on the Rhode Island race, and called the Club for Growth "very conservative." Back in August, Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont was labeled as "anti-war" while the "Early Show" never referred to Lamont backers as "very liberal."
The top story on the "Early Show" was the primary results, and the story was narrated by Rene Syler. She noted Stephen Laffey was a conservative:
What would you call someone who, as per Project Vote Smart, within the last six years has received a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and a 0% from the National Right-to-Life Committee? A 100% rating from the ACLU. A 0% rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. A 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and a 0% rating from the conservative Family Research Council?
Oh, and someone who voted against George W. Bush for president in 2004, against the confirmation of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, and who demands the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?
I'd call that person a liberal. Not MSNBC. Not Hardball. Not Chris Matthews's field correspondent David Shuster. The person in question is Republican-barely-in-name-only Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. How did Shuster describe him in a set-up piece for Hardball's discussion of the Rhode Island GOP senatorial primary this evening? A "moderate Republican."
USA Today reported that gasoline prices could be closer to $2 a gallon by Thanksgiving. The paper sites the end of the summer driving season and decreased demand as causes for this predicted decline. Not surprisingly, CNN’s Jack Cafferty sees something more sinister at work here. Before his daily Cafferty File segment on ‘The Situation Room’ Wednesday afternoon, substitute anchor John King and news reader Zain Verjee discussed this report and cheered on lower gas prices as good news. Cafferty then spouted off the old liberal conspiracy theory connecting Republicans and Big Oil:
Jack Cafferty: "You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away."
There was more bad news for President Bush during the 4pm EDT hour of Monday's "The Situation Room." In two separate reports from Bill Schneider and Dana Bash, the President was labeled "clueless" on his handling of Hurricane Katrina and Democratic talking points on the subject were repeated yet again.
Schneider’s piece focused on the toll Hurricane Katrina took on President Bush’s poll numbers. CNN’s senior political analyst argued that the President took two hits from Katrina:
Bill Schneider: "President Bush’s self-declared image as a compassionate conservative also took a hit. The public saw a remote, even clueless, President after Katrina struck."
The New York Times continues its coverage of the world the way they think it ought to be, with the Democratic party in control of the United States Congress. This morning's piece - Issues Await if Democrats Retake House - goes through the issues facing our gallant Dems as they prepare to take back the various House chairmanships that were usurped by Speaker Newt lo these many years ago. The New York Times, of course, is in favor of that happening. So they're willing to make sure that NY Times readers are aware that the potential Democratic committee chairs are "increasingly being portrayed by Republicans as liberal extremists." They aren't liberal extremists, of course. But they're being "portrayed as liberal extremists." John Conyers has a lifetime rating of 5 (out of 100) from the American Conservative Union, Barney Frank and Charles Rangel have 4s, but they're just being "portrayed" as liberal extremists.
The Washington Post on Wednesday maintained its iron grip on Republican ethnic gaffes with political reporter Jim VandeHei repeating the Democratic talking points against Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, who’s made several jokes about Latino workers having their citizenship papers. The headline, playing off their incessant Macaca riffs, is “Comments Haunt Another Senator.” (They don’t mean Hillary’s Gandhi-gas-station joke.)
Just so you know that this is a one-sided tactic, the Post didn’t notice in June that San Diego Democratic congressional hopeful Francine Busby told a largely Latino audience, “you don’t need papers for voting,” until after she lost, despite playing up her chances over the last weekend as a possible bellwether of big GOP losses. Now look at the first paragraphs of VandeHei's story and ponder if it doesn't sound like he's writing for the Democratic Press Release Service:
On his "Political Punch" blog (formerly "Down and Dirty"), ABC reporter Jake Tapper reports that the ethical scolds in the Democratic Party are somehow overlooking the corruption of Congressman Bill "Cold Cash" Jefferson as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina rolls around:
The Democratic Caucus's Katrina Task Force will travel to the Gulf Coast region from August 27 through August 30 to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. One special part of this trip? On Monday, August 28, roughly 20 House Democrats will be guided on a tour of the region by Rep. William Jefferson, D-LA and the National Guard.
That may seem especially odd considering the history of Jefferson and the National Guard in New Orleans. You may remember Jefferson from a year ago, when we broke the story that in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops. (Read the story HERE)
In his 1995 memoir, "Dreams From My Father," Obama recalled his first trip to Africa, when, in his late 20s, he cried as he sat between the graves of his father and grandfather. Obama hardly knew his father. His parents divorced earlyin their marriage.
Taranto dead-panned: "That's very unusual. Although many couples get divorced nowadays, the vast majority do not do so until late in the marriage."
As reported last night by Mark Finkelstein, Chris Matthews interviewed Congressman John Murtha’s Republican opponent, Diana Irey, in Pennsylvania’ 12th district on "Hardball". Part of the interview focused on the Haditha incident in Iraq and Congressman Murtha’s statement of condemnation of American troops surrounding the incident. Matthews challenged Irey, "...if you’re right about Murtha, you must be right about "Time" magazine and all the news publications" and claimed he had no complaints about Murtha’s Haditha comments:
"You know, I think, I think Murtha served in the military as a combat officer in Vietnam. I don't have any complaints, but you have a complaint, that's fine."
In early July, Sen. Joe Biden joked before a C-SPAN camera that “you cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts of a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.” Conservatives had a little fun with it, but said: a harmless slip, but if a Republican ever did it, the media would have a much different standard. That day is now. Sen. George Allen mocked an Indian-American Democratic volunteer as a "macaca," and the Post played it up on the front page, along with a very tendentious staff editorial to boot insisting Allen's racial "bullying" was beyond "the bounds of decency." Washington Post coverage of Biden? None. Not in the paper.
In the wake of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont's win over Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut, the paper's lead editorial on Wednesday, "Revenge of the Irate Moderates," ludicrously tries to portray vengeful anti-Lieberman bloggers and anti-war activists as moderates.
"Mr. Lieberman’s supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution."
As many anticipated, Senator Joe Lieberman lost his bid for renomination to the U.S. Senate in Connecticut yesterday. This morning, as reported here by MRC analyst Geoff Dickens, all three network morning shows interviewed Mr. Lieberman and in essence told him to quit the race. And as reported here by Lyford Beverage, Harry Smith, co-host of the "Early Show" questioned the Senator from the left.
However, some important points have been neglected regarding Mr. Smith’s questions. As to Smith’s point:
"Incumbents do not get turned out of office, especially in primaries in this country."
Harry Smith makes it seem as this is something that has never happened before, that is an incumbent Senator losing a primary. Quite the contrary. In 2002, New Hampshire primary voters defeated incumbent Republican Senator Bob Smith in favor of then Congressman John Sununu. In 1992, Illinois Democrats threw out then Senator Alan Dixon and nominated Carol Mosely Braun. And in 1980, Alaska Democratic Senator Mike Gravel lost his bid for renomination to Clark Gruening, the grandson of the incumbent Senator that Gravel himself defeated in a primary in 1968. But if Smith needs further evidence that incumbents in fact do lose primaries, two other incumbents went down to defeat yesterday, Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney (who also lost a primary election as an incumbent in 2002) and Michigan Republican Joe Schwartz.
On Wednesday's edition of CBS' The Early Show, anchor Harry Smith discussed the primary election results from the state of Connecticut with Senator Joe Lieberman and political analyst Amy Walter. Harry took his standard, normal position - the left side. (I would bet that at some point in his life, some place and some where, at some time, Harry Smith asked a question of someone from the more conservative side of an issue, but I've never seen it.) In the course of his interviews, Smith asked a question or prompted Lieberman with a comment, 5 times. 4 of them could be considered as coming from a neutral point-of-view, though the emphasis and context certainly seemed to be the Democratic point-of-view. The fifth was clearly a question from the Democratic point-of-view. (You can click here to see Harry Smith's questions for Senator Lieberman...)
HS: Incumbents do not get turned out of office, especially in primaries in this country. Do you understand that your support for the war is the reason you lost Tuesday?
HS: And that's why you've said you're going to run as an independent, even though polls show among Democrats, 61% of people polled yesterday said don't do it.
McKinney just can't keep her mout shut. After the horrific debacle that was her debate this past Saturday, today she was on the morning radio show, V-103. Both she and Hank Johnson were in the studio, and having only seen the clip below, I wonder if Hank Johnson ever got a word in edge-wise? V-103 is no friend to the President. Jim Angle had a brief piece about this on Special Report tonight. (MsUnderestimated has the video here.)
“This administration has failed across the board, and I have co-sponsored every…every piece of legislation that seeks to investigate it and I would vote – for – impeachment, and I might even write my own impeachment bill if I get enough support from the 4th Congressional District constituents asking me to do that.”