If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
Wouldn’t it be great if Congress reinstated earmarks and started legislating from behind closed doors? That was the argument pushed by political reporter Zeke Miller in a Tuesday article on TIME.com’s Swampland page entitled “The Bipartisan Call to Bring Back the Smoke-Filled Room.” Miller presented a thoroughly one-sided view of the subject, refusing to acknowledge the considerable downside of a lack of legislative transparency.
According to Miller, this idea to resurrect the proverbial smoke-filled room is championed by Colorado’s liberal Democratic governor, "John Hickenlooper, a potential 2016 democratic [sic] candidate for president" who "has a creative — and controversial — idea for ending Washington, D.C.’s partisan gridlock: start legislating from behind closed doors and bring back the earmark.”
Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks. On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way. Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.
That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt is still steaming over the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On Saturday’s edition of her program Weekends with Alex Witt, the host spent considerable time fuming about the House GOP’s 40th attempt to thwart ObamaCare, even hilariously worrying that the repeal votes were costing taxpayers money.
Addressing Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, Witt inquired, with no hint of irony, “So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes declared his belief that Republicans currently in Congress "are the worst Republicans ever, and they're so extreme," as he asked Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan if he believes congressional Republicans are "more extreme" than "an earlier cohort of Republicans" that the Minnesota Democrat used to serve with in the 1970s.
Later in the show, during a discussion of cars of the future, the MSNBC host made a declaration that even conservatives can agree with, as he described himself as a "liberal caricature." Hayes:
Inside the liberal echo chamber that is National Public Radio, the stale show known as “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” addressed Congress on Wednesday with New York Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman. Host Terry Gross announced “this Congress has been one of the least productive in history. They have accomplished so little that the president is looking into how he can bypass Congress and use executive actions to make changes in areas like job creation, immigration and the economy.”
Gross put all the blame for Congress on the “radical” Obama-resisting conservatives: “What do you think have been the most dramatic examples of partisanship or obstructionism or radicalism during this 113th Congress so far?” Weisman said tax hikes made Congress "productive" at first, but conservatives ruined it:
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt continued the tradition of liberal media hand-wringing over congressional Republicans on last Sunday’s edition of her eponymous show Weekends with Alex Witt. At the end of a discussion about President Obama’s renewed focus on the economy, Witt erupted against the GOP in a question to Ana Marie Cox of The Guardian: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"What do you think, Ana Marie, how does this president get past the folks who say no on everything, and is there no incentive for the GOP to work with the president on anything ever or do you think the disastrous poll numbers in terms of the congressional approval in this country, if those stay consistent people are going to be like okay, really, we actually do need to get something done because the American public is ticked off?"
This just in: John McCain supports Hillary Clinton over Rand Paul for president in 2016! That was the message that CBS’s Gayle King implied during a news brief on Thursday’s CBS This Morning. King reported on a recent interview in The New Republic in which Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) was asked who he would vote for in 2016 if former Secretary of State Clinton faced Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) in the general election. McCain’s reply, which King reported, was, “It’s gonna be a tough choice.”
That was enough for CBS to run with. King then proclaimed, “McCain and Paul have butted heads a few times in the Senate. In the interview, McCain praised Clinton's work as secretary of state and called her a rock star.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"It took the networks 13 days to run a single story" on the fact that Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins was "getting direct reports" on the IRS's review of conservative/Tea Party applications for 501(c)(3) status, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell told Blaze TV's Andrew Wilkow on the Tuesday edition of his Wilkow! program. Likewise, it took 15 days for the mainstream media to get around to covering the Obama/Holder Justice Department was "refusing to investigate any government employees who were improperly accessing tax records."
"This goes on and on and on. These are all breaking news stories that are leading to one of the largest scandals in modern American history where the most feared arm of government is completely abusing its rights, and it looks like it's coming from the Obama administration, and there's no coverage," Bozell concluded. [watch the full segment below the page break]
Even though President Obama promised a cut in the corporate income tax on the campaign trail in 2012, the media are playing up as a "grand concession" or "grand bargain" his offer to Republicans to cut the federal levy in exchange for a boatload of new deficit spending -- and hidden taxes. On Tuesday evening, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto brought NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on his eponymous program to discuss this latest way in which the media are misleading the American people and helping to uncritically further the president's talking points on the economy.
"It's being announced as a bargain," Bozell observed, although "there is no bargain, there is no agreement" that has been struck. The media using the language of "grand bargain" is simply a set-up to blame Republicans when they rightly push back against the president's plan to ratchet up spending the country can't afford, the Media Research Center president argued [watch the full Cavuto appearance in the embed below the page break]
Recent polls show Americans are perfectly okay with legislation being pursued in statehouses across the fruited plan to institute a ban on abortions occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy. This is despite a drumbeat of media puffery to glorify pro-choice absolutists like Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and to attack the successful pushes for abortion-regulating legislation in Ohio, North Carolina and Texas. So what's the liberal media to do as they are finding out their hard work has been for naught? Why, try to convince Americans that the pro-life movement is on the verge of a bitter civil war.
On July 24, Time magazine's Grace Wyler filed a story on how the "Personhood Movement Continues to Divide Pro-Life Activists." Wyler zeroes in on an isolated incident from Wisconsin to make her case. The core of her piece is summed up with this excerpt:
The situations involving disgraced and relapsed former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Ben Quayle, who hasn't been in politics for about a year, are very analogous. Just ask Katie Glueck at the Politico. Oh, and the the Weiner situation is also very analogous to that of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who has returned $21,000 worth of gifts he should never have taken from a businessperson. Just ask Dana Milbank at the Washington Post.
There appears to be some kind of unwritten rule that you can't attempt to analyze a Democrats' scandalous involvement without dragging a Republican into the mix, no matter how distant or irrelevant the connection. First, let's look at Glueck with Quayle and Weiner (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
At the White House on Thursday, President Obama let his radical leftist slip show when he accepted a 67 year-old letter from from Ho Chi Minh to U.S. President Harry Truman given to him by Vietnam's current president Truong Tan Sang and spoke of the letter's contents: "... we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it's 67 years later, it's good that we're still making progress."
Darlene Superville at the Associated Press relayed what Obama said in the final paragraphs of her report on Sunday without a hint of historical knowledge about mass murderer Ho Chi Minh's motivations for writing that letter. Perhaps she's too young and was so consistently indoctrinated by her teachers about how the U.S. was the "imperialist" and Ho Chi Minh was the "freedom fighter" to know any better. Based on his bio, New York Times reporter Mark Landler doesn't appear to be able to claim that kind of historical ignorance, but he has definitely retained a capacity to make excuses for repressive, murderous regimes. Excerpts from his coverage and a correct rendering of the history follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The establishment press's general refusal to cover clearly newsworthy developments in the Obama administration scandal involving the targeting of conservative, tea party, prolife and other groups by the Internal Revenue Service has been so negligent and blatant that several leading conservatives, including the MRC's Brent Bozell and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, called it out in an open letter earlier this week.
Consistent with the rest of their colleagues, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, appears to have had no substantive story on the scandal since July 18 -- and that one was about primarily Democrats beating the false meme that progressive groups were supposedly targeted similarly. The AP's negligence extends to the tax agency's shocking level of non-cooperation with House Ways & Means Committee investigators, as will be seen after the jump.
Judy Woodruff sat down for a cordial conversation with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday’s PBS NewsHour, and the veteran anchor was not afraid to play up partisan and racial politics. For her final question, Woodruff asked Reid for his reaction to President Obama’s remarks last week on the Trayvon Martin saga and the plight of black men in America, but she added a second part to the question.
“[W]hat does it say that there’s not a single African-American Democratic member of the U.S. Senate?” Woodruff wondered. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Yesterday, President Obama gave another warmed-over version of the same economic policy speech that’s been given for the past five years at Knox College in Illinois. He saved the automobile industry. He’s overseeing an economic recovery. Republicans are intransigent. And he’s the best person to ever breathe oxygen on this planet. Yada, yada, yada.
Now with polls showing a record number of people calling for the repeal of ObamaCare, the president needed to pivot towards, well, jobs – again. Not that the liberal media have noticed the maddeningly repetitive same-old, same-old of it all. We’re getting to the point where the media should be calling the president out on this tactic, although with very few exceptions, no one's doing that.
While the nation's major news media outlets virtually ignored the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, they media fell over themselves to outdo each other in lavishing praise on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. You will recall that the pro-choice Democrat was hailed for her filibuster of SB 5, an abortion regulation law that bans surgical abortions after 20-weeks into a pregnancy and sets in place strict surgical center-style guidelines for the Lone Star State's abortion mills. Davis's unholy crusade for the unrestricted right to kill unborn children received three times more coverage by CBS, NBC, and CBS than the entire Gosnell case – or at least at the point when the big three decided to report on the story.
Well now, inspired by the Media Research Center, the pro-life group Live Action has announced their intention to March on the Media in protest of their continually-slanted coverage on life issues. Here's the July 24 press release in full:
Michael Tomasky lambasted House Speaker John Boehner on The Daily Beast Wednesday for Boehner’s recent comment that Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal, not how many new ones they pass. The special correspondent summed up his feelings in the article’s sub-headline: "This is unprecedented, irresponsible, and terrifying.”
And why was Boehner’s statement “terrifying?” Because it was a sign of Republicans’ embrace of dysfunction. Apparently the function of Congress is to pass never-ending rafts of new, government-growing legislation:
For some reason, press reports I've seen thus far dealing with revelations that disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner continued "sexting" after his June 2011 resignation won't directly tell us that he didn't stop sexting -- assuming we've heard the last of this, which is by no means certain -- until November 2012 or January of this year, 4-6 months before he declared his Gotham mayoral candidacy. Additionally, he kept communicating with one of his partners, while supposedly not sexting, until April, the month before he began his run.
The four-month time frame can be inferred from the first excerpted paragraph after the jump in an Associated Press report by Jonathan Lemire (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
PBS led off Thursday’s NewsHour with a story about President Obama’s efforts to defend his healthcare law amid increasing public skepticism. But the taxpayer-funded network managed to avoid mentioning the recent harsh criticism of the law from three prominent labor union leaders, despite a vague reference to “worry from some supporters.”
Anchor Jeffrey Brown, who narrated the package, acknowledged, “Today's speech was part of a broader effort to sell the law that comes amid continuing criticism from Republicans and worry from some supporters about its implementation.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Today, as the wire service AFP reported in a story carried at Yahoo.com, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the question and answer exchange after his prepared testimony, told the House Financial Services Committee that "If we were to tighten (monetary) policy, the economy would tank."
That assessment of the economy's fragility qualifies as news, especially given the Obama administration's continued claim that the economy is "continuing to recover at a promising rate." Outlets besides AFP virtually ignored Bernanke's soundbite, which should be considered scary to anyone who realizes that Big Ben can't go on "stimulating" at his current rate forever.
In a contentious exchange with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory lectured the Republican for writing a letter to the NFL opposing Obama administration efforts to use the sports league to promote ObamaCare: "...it was striking how political it was....You refer to it as a bill; it's actually the law of the land....How can you write such a letter at a time when don't you feel the need for people to understand what the new law is?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McConnell stood by his opposition: "It's a massive, complicated, unpopular bill. Obviously, if we had the votes, we would repeal it." Gregory ranted: "But, Leader, it's not – but you support the democratic process. This is not a bill. This has been passed; this is the law of the land. You refer to it as a bill. Doesn't that undermine? I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot and it were a law that was passed by Republicans in Congress, would you not refer to it as the law of the land and want to see it implemented as best it could be, despite the fact you disagree with it?"
On Thursday's All In show, as Chris Hayes complained about the vote by House Republicans to separate the food stamp program from the farm bill, the MSNBC host accused GOPers of taking the action "so they could focus solely on the farm stuff and really embrace not caring about the poor."
Hayes also charged that Republicans had "jettisoned 47 million hungry Americans." The MSNBC host began the segment:
While NBC and CBS covered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell having a "war of words" over GOP opposition to some of President Obama's nominees, neither network detailed the hypocrisy of Reid considering the so-called "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibustering of such nominees.
On Thursday, Time's Michael Scherer cited numerous quotes from Reid decrying the tactic in 2005, when Senate Republicans – then in the majority – toyed with the idea. In one statement, Reid warned that such a move would "set a new precedent – an illegal precedent – that will always remain on the pages of Senate history – a precedent that will thrust us toward totally eliminating the filibuster in all Senate proceedings, a precedent that will eliminate the essential deliberative nature of the Senate..."
Want to be "heroic" on immigration in Andrea Mitchell's eyes? Easy: team up with Chuck Schumer and President Obama to push amnesty through Congress. Want to earn Andrea's ire? Focus on border security. She'll scold you and say you should be "ashamed."
Yes, there was Andrea on today's Morning Joe, praising amnesty-pushing McCain as "heroic," while scolding conservatives who want to focus on border security. They "ought to be be ashamed," said Mitchell. View the video after the jump.
A friend of mine and I separately received an email from the Department of Labor yesterday which made both of us to ask the same question: Why would anyone want to start up or expand a business and hire employees in the current hostile atmosphere?
DOL's release, positioned as part of its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, announces a contest which it calls the "DOL Fair Labor Data Challenge." It is asking developers to "create an innovative tool that lets an informed consumer find out if a business is obeying the law when it comes to paying workers properly." To those uninitiated in the ways of the government bureaucracy, this exercise might not seem particularly troubling. Those who believe that are wrong. Meanwhile, I can assure you that there are many in the press who know exactly what's going on here and believe it's a good idea -- but won't report it, because they'd rather the public not know about it.
In Texas, it’s only a matter of hours until abortions are banned at 20 weeks. It’s a popular bill amongst those residing in The Lone Star State – with 62 percent supporting the law. Nationally, 50 percent of women and 52 percent of Millennials also want abortions to be banned at 20 weeks. Overall, only 14 percent of Americans support late-term abortions. The public is not with them, so pro-aborts vent their rage.
How do they do that? By salivating over women who don’t care they had them in the first place – and celebrating their courage in carrying out the dirty deed. On Tuesday, MSNBC featured New York Times op-ed contributor Beth Matusoff Merfish, who was “incredibly proud” of her mother’s abortion. Today, Jessica Grose of the Washington Post-affiliated Slate news site, who now writes a monthly column for the "Motherlode" blog at the New York Times, wrote that we need to hear more unapologetic voices for abortion because that’ll influence the fight “leftward.”
The July 9 broadcast of Now with Alex Wagner wouldn’t be complete without a panel discussing Texas State Senator Wendy Davis – and the abortion battle in Texas. Yet, it reached a new level with New York Times op-ed contributor Beth Matusoff Merfish declaring that she was “proud” her mother underwent an abortion since “she had the wisdom and the courage to know that her own potential would be cut short by a pregnancy and to terminate that pregnancy and I think many of our mothers have similar stories and it is really important to talk about that.”
The MSNBC network is known for two things: A lack of dissent and touting the official Obama line. So, it's not surprising that the show's panel included Ben LaBolt, a former press secretary from Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Karen Finney, former DNC Communications Director and board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- joined host O'Donnell in complaining that congressional Republicans refuse to help the Obama administration make changes to ObamaCare that even the administration has concerns about, with Klein charging that the GOP is trying to let the act fail "no matter how many people get hurt along the way." Klein: