If George W. Bush's approval rating hit a low point for any president in 33 years, do you think the network evening news programs would have reported it?
Maybe as the lead story, right?
Well, a new Gallup poll was released on Tuesday stating that the approval rating for Congress tied the lowest point since Gallup began tracking such a thing, and none of the broadcasts networks thought it was newsworthy last night.
The likely reason for the boycott, beyond the obvious fact that the Democrats are now in control, is that much of the recent decline in this favorability has come from Democrats and Independents (emphasis added):
In the recent past, CNN, to its credit, has highlighted the Democrat-controlled Congress’s reluctance to reform the congressional earmark process. Co-host John Roberts on Tuesday’s "American Morning" brought up the issue of earmarks again during a sympathetic interview to Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense. But instead of bringing up the Democrat’s continuing lack of leadership on the issue, the segment instead began with a discussion on the pork-barrel spending project of the former Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
When Nancy Pelosi rose to be the House Democrats’ leader in 2002, Katie Couric said to NBC colleague Ann Curry: "Is it okay to say, ‘You go girl!’?" That cheerleading spirit continued in her Monday "Katie Couric’s Notebook" commentary (featured at her blog Couric & Co.) lauding the new Democratic Congress: "this new crop worked much harder than the last. A big accomplishment was in challenging executive power with oversight hearings on Iraq, Medicare, the Department of Justice, and global warming." She concluded: "Promises, promises. Sometimes they are kept – even in Washington."
That was certainly not the tone of CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather took toward Speaker Gingrich and the new Republican Congress in 1995: "The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor." Their attempts at oversight were part of a "political carpet-bombing attack."
Keith Olbermann a "fair and balanced" journalist for a day? Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by the AFL-CIO. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging questions, a few even posed from the right. Olbermann not only asked "what should we not be funding" to find the money for repairs to infrastructure, without even suggesting a tax increase, but the MSNBC host also asked about the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq. Olbermann: "If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al-Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?" (Transcripts follow)
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann charged that the "endless war and endless spending" had "crippled our ability to repair or just check our infrastructure," as he hosted Air America's Rachel Maddow in a discussion blaming the Minneapolis bridge collapse on Iraq war spending and unwillingness by conservatives to raise taxes. Olbermann quoted Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar's charge of "messed up priorities" and New York Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's labeling of bridge collapse victims as "almost victims of war" because "perpetual war depletes the funds available to maintain our infrastructure." Maddow charged that America is "paying this incredible deadly price for a brand of American conservatism that hates and demeans government." (Transcript follows)
Aren't the MSM and the Dems the "let every vote count" clan? But when the Dems snuff out a GOP win on the House floor in a manner that would send the New York Times into the mother of all snits were the shoe on the other foot, the Gray Lady camouflages the facts, and even manages to place blame on the Republicans.
Take the headline from the Times' story on the way in which the Democrat wielding the gavel somehow transformed a 215-213 Republican win into a 214-214 tie resulting in the motion failing: "Partisan Anger Stalls Congress in Final Push." The Times neatly switches the focus away from the Dems' theft of the vote, and onto those angry old Republicans, who are letting their anger stand in the way of progress. To that end, the article worked in a quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) [file photo]: “Their party has been hijacked by people who don’t really have an agenda but to stop progress.”
Well, the L.A.Times certainly followed the Democratic National Committee's stylebook for reporting the news with this one, it is obvious. In a story about the new "sweeping ethics bill" making its way through Congress this week, they mention all the Republican corruption they can dredge up, but somehow miss every single Democrat example of the same. They also misreport a Nancy Pelosi rules change that makes it seem as if she is a corruption fighter when the truth is that she backed off from the very rule the Times cites as an example of how "ethical" the House is! This one is a perfect example of partisan, agenda driven "reporting," for sure.
So, the L.A.Times gives us the hero Democrat Party who has quashed that "culture of corruption" and cleaned up Congress' "sullied image." Yaaa, Democrats and boo Republicans who are so "corrupt." Read on for some fair-and-balancedness that'll curl yer hair!
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) was quoted in an Orange County Register article as saying about a recent trip by Senators to investigate Greenland's glaciers, "I think everyone who has seen this is changed."
"There is absolutely no disagreement that the greenhouse gas emissions are adding to climate change and global warming," [Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)] said. "No one disagrees that it would be a healthy thing for our world to have less greenhouse gas."
Sadly, neither of these articles chose to get opinions from the two Republican senators on the trip. If they had, another picture might have been presented, as reported by the Associated Press Monday (emphasis added):
Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon's surprising op-ed in the New York Times on improvements in Iraq may have been ignored by NBC Nightly News on Monday , but CNN's John Roberts thought it was worthy enough to mention the article in an interview of Representative John Murtha on Tuesday morning. Murtha, a frequent guest on CNN when the subject of discussion is the Iraq war, dismissed the Pollack/O'Hanlon assessment. "I dismiss it at as rhetoric. I dismiss it as -- you know, in my estimation, the things that I measure are not -- oil production, electricity production, water. Only two hours of electricity. I don't know where they were staying. I don't know what they saw. But I know this, that it's not getting better. It's rhetorical is what is getting better. It's over-optimist. It's an illusion."
As noted here at NB yesterday, Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda walked out of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Friday after hearing General Jack Keane testify about the potential impact of a bill meant to micromanage troop deployment. Keane also testified about progress being made in the counteroffensive that has come to be known as "the surge."
Boyda walked out because the objections to that bill, and the descriptions of an improving situation in Iraq, were apparently too much to bear. She said as much when she returned. Boyda and the fly in her pocket (based on her several references to "we") went into full-rant mode (painfully long and slow-loading audio is here; scroll down to July 27's entry and click on "Audio Transcript"; Boyda's tantrum is about 60% of the way through it; also note that at least a half-dozen hecklers and demonstrators had to be removed during the hearing):
"..... As many of us, there was only so much that you could take until we, in fact, had to leave the room for a while, and so I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things that after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."
"But let me just first say that the description of Iraq as if some way or another that it's a place that I might take the family for a vacation, things are going so well, those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying here’s the reality of the problem and people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue."
On Saturday’s "Early Show," host Jeff Glor framed a political headline in a way that portrays President Bush as criminally uncaring. The story was about a seven year old Orlando boy who wrote a letter to the president, pleading for him to do something to make his community safer.
Jeff Glor (Host): "And one seven year old boy's cry for help has gone as far as Capitol Hill and the White House."
Santiago Valera: (Video) "Dear Mr. President, hello, sir, my name is Santiago Santana Valera...."
Glor: "In a letter to the president, Santiago describes the shooting death of his aunt and his fear of even playing outside in Orlando, Florida now. His words were read this week on the House floor by his congressman. It led to the passage of a bill to beef up police departments nationwide. President Bush is expected to veto that legislation."
Glor offered no specifics about the bill nor did he provide any explanation as to why the president is expected to veto it. Rather, from the framing of the story, the president is portrayed as something of a heartless monster, inexplicably denying the impassioned pleas of a scared child. According to spokesman Blair Jones, the administration has spent 2.5 billion dollars on the issue since 2001.
From the Gavel -- At a House Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq Legislation Friday morning (revised from "this morning" when originally posted on Monday), Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda apparently heard as much good news as she could stand.
So she did the old cut-and-run by walking out (as The Gavel explains, "She is responding in part to General Jack Keane, who testified before the Committee but left before Rep. Boyda’s remarks, and was reportedly one of the architects of the escalation policy"; there should probably be a "from" before the second mention of Keane's name):
"I was certainly hoping that General Keane would be able to be here as well. Let me say thank you very much for your testimony so much, Mr. Korb, and I just will make some statements more for the record based on what I heard mainly General Keane. As many of us, there was only so much that you could take until we, in fact, had to leave the room for a while, and so I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things that after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."
"But let me just first say that the description of Iraq as if some way or another that it’s a place that I might take the family for a vacation, things are going so well, those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying here’s the reality of the problem and people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer conducted a hardball interview of White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday's edition of The Situation Room about the Democrats' subpoena of Karl Rove and the possible perjury investigation against Alberto Gonzales. Blitzer asked Snow a series of tough questions that you might find on any Democrat pundit's list. Contrast this with Blitzer's colleague at CNN, John Roberts, who earlier the same day, did a softball interview of Sen. Charles Schumer, which helped the New York Democrat echo his talking points. Actually, both Roberts and Blitzer helped forward the Democrat talking points, but the major difference was the approach towards the person being interviewed.
On July 13, NewsBusters reported that Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, sent an e-mail message to Dr. Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute threatening to destroy his career:
If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity.
During a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Thursday, this matter was brought to the attention of Stephen Johnson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, as was the shocking revelation that the EPA is a part of ACORE.
Presenting this information was Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who showed and read the following panel of the offensive e-mail message for the record (video available here):
CNN's John Roberts, co-host of "American Morning," gave nothing but softball questions to New York senator Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning. Prefacing his interview with sound bites from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where attorney general Alberto Gonzales was testifying on the controversial Terror Surveillance program, Roberts got right to the point that Schumer wanted to get out in the press. "So, did Gonzales lie to you?" Roberts was even brazen about his aid to Schumer with this interview at the close of the segment. "Well, there's your newsy sound bite this morning. Senator Schumer, thanks very much. Good to see you."
Americans interested in free speech got a boost Monday when the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin, came out strongly against any reimplementation of the Fairness Doctrine.
As reported by the Associated Press Thursday (emphasis added):
Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.
This letter (PDF available here) quite supported the views concerning this issue being expressed by Congressional Republicans in the past few weeks since this matter took center stage (emphasis added):
Mother Teresa might be allowed to oppose gay marriage. But those falling short of saintliness have forfeited their right to do so.
That, in a nutshell, is the logic that "Morning Joe" panelist John Ridley espoused on today's show. His comments came in the course of a dialogue with host Joe Scarborough in the wake of the public statement that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and his wife made yesterday.
A rather disturbing event occurred in a Minnesota library last Sunday: Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, while implying that the White House was involved in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
Didn’t hear about this? Well, how could you? After all, no major, mainstream media outlet other than Fox News and CNN thought it was newsworthy.
Hardly a week goes by without the New York Times editorializing for more government regulation of something or other. But the Grey Lady takes things to another level in its jeremiad of this morning: scolding the Chinese communists for insufficient regulation of their economy.
Now it's true that a variety of defective Chinese products have made their way into international commerce, from, as the Times enumerates, toothpaste sweetened with an industrial solvent [NB: file photo, not of defective brands] to tainted antibiotics. But for entertaining irony, it's hard to beat the spectacle of the New York Times criticizing a communist government for insufficient regulation of its society.
Hot Air’s AllahPundit posted an absolutely delicious YouTube video on Friday that is guaranteed to lighten your Saturday.
As previously reported by NewsBusters, the Senate on Friday debated a Defense Appropriation bill. During the proceedings, Bill Nelson (D-Florida) made a statement about his military service that comically came across as if he was bragging about his sexual prowess.
Is ABC's Bill Weir a TV journalist -- or a recruiter for Team Defeat? You had to wonder, watching his interview on today's "Good Morning America" of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.). Alexander has co-sponsored legislation that would make the Iraq Study Group recommendations the basis for future U.S. strategy in Iraq.
GMA CO-HOST BILL WEIR: You have introduced an idea now that really centers around redeploying our troops over there. What would it take for you to get behind a timetable for withdrawal?
This could be an MSM first: breaking out a variation on the old used-car salesman line: "what would it take to get you to buy this car today?"
Later in the interview, Weir returned to his effort of luring Lamar to the surrender side.
WEIR: The Democrats say your proposals don't have enough teeth. They really want to see some movement here. But as you watch the President this week, "stay the course," yet again [bad, bad, intransigent President!]. You're defying him in a way just by introducing this. Do you hope that he'll come around to you, or are you eventually just drifting towards an eventual [support for] withdrawal?
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States. -- U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 2.
The faces occasionally change at "Today," but the bias remains the same. Natalie Morales sat in for Meredith Vieira this morning, but the show didn't lose a liberal beat, as Natalie knocked President Bush for his temerity in asserting his constitutional role as Commander-in-Chief.
Chatting with Tim Russert at about 7:10 A.M. EDT, Morales offered this take on W's comments of yesterday:
NBC'S NATALIE MORALES: Tim, what was striking yesterday was the aggressive tone the President took with Congress yesterday,with lawmakers, saying it is not their job to manage the war. Not since Vietnam has there been such a clash between the executive and the legislative branches. If the President is trying to build support, did he lose some of that yesterday?
We are seeing all over the MSM the reports highlighting the Republicans in the House and Senate who are turning away from the Party line and voting against -- or at least seeming to vote against -- the President's Iraq war policies. The MSM is presenting this revolt as a momentous thing, unprecedented and presenting it as a loss for the President's ideas. Yet, even as a small number of Republicans have, indeed, voted against the Party line, an even larger number of Democrats are voting against their Party, too. Yet, somehow, we are not hearing this being brought up by the tongue waggers and controversy-mongers in the MSM.
In a July 12th vote in the House of Representatives to mandate a certain date to pull out of Iraq, for instance, the fact that four Republicans broke ranks is treated as a stampede of GOP defectors. Yet, in that same vote, 10 Democrats did not vote with their Party -- in effect "defecting" to the GOP side of the argument. Of this fact, the MSM seem strangely quite.
Why is it that four Republican votes against the President's plans is some sort of landslide, yet 10 Democrat votes against their Party line is ignored?
As NewsBusters has reported here and here, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) is on a mission to prevent the reinstitution of an archaic Federal Communications Commission edict disingenuously called the Fairness Doctrine.
As most sane people are aware, folks calling for this reinstatement are interested in anything but fairness, and, instead, are looking to kill conservative talk radio.
With that in mind, Congressman Pence spoke on the floor of the House Wednesday about the urgency to pass the Broadcaster Freedom Act which would permanently prohibit the reinstitution of this pathetic doctrine (video available here):
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams presented a one-sided look at the Supreme Court's "shift to the right," conveying complaints by liberals over recent court rulings, but without showing any conservatives who supported some of the court's recent right-leaning decisions. Williams began his piece by quoting liberal Justice Stephen Breyer's complaint that "It's not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much," before playing a soundbite of the ACLU's Steven Shapiro: "Civil liberties and civil rights took a beating virtually across the board from race to religion to abortion to speech to the basic right to come into court and sue when you've been a victim of discrimination." Williams also found that Chief Justice John Roberts "has turned out to be more conservative than even some of the court's liberals thought he would be." (Transcript follows)
Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher did a good job of exposing Mark Green's double-talk on the Fairness Doctrine on today's Fox News Sunday.
Green, who with his brother Stephen have brought Air America out of bankruptcy, was in to debate the issue against conservative talk-show host Gallagher. But when Wallace put it to Green that liberals have plenty of outlets for their views "without having the government mandate that they appear on radio," Green's answer was astounding.
AIR AMERICA'S MARK GREEN: I don't want the government to mandate that.
Really? Expanding on his answer, Green said he doesn't favor the Fairness Doctrine, but wants broadcasters to "have diverse views for diverse communities" and "have local hearings for license renewals."
When Gallagher observed that "it's preposterous to propose that the government mandate speech," Green retorted snidely.
GREEN: Mike, I don't blame you for pretending that you didn't listen to me. I don't want the government to mandate speech.
When Green repeated his claim that he didn't support the Fairness Doctrine, Wallace interjected.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY HOST CHRIS WALLACE: Wait a second, Mr. Green, let me ask you about that. First of all, I believe you told our people that you did support the Fairness Doctrine. But if you weren't going to do the Fairness Doctrine, what's the point of all this? If some station has completely conservative talk and doesn't want to put on a liberal, what's going to happen? Are they going to lose their license?"