On Thursday's The Last Word on MSNBC, during a segment with food activist Tom Colicchio, substitute host Alex Wagner raised the left-wing activist's stated desire that those who oppose his agenda be labeled as "pro-hunger" as she seemed sympathetic to the idea. Wagner:
Norah O'Donnell boosted Politico's slam of the Republican-led House of Representatives on Friday's CBS This Morning, after the body voted down a proposed farm bill. The anchor made the attack in a question to CBS News political director John Dickerson: "John, one more sign of dysfunction in Congress and Washington – the farm bill, which, for two years straight, has failed to pass the House. Explain why this matters to people."
Dickerson hyped how the rejected bill "affects all kinds of different parts of the economy", and asserted that the vote "shows that basically, the House leadership is weak."
Thursday's CBS Evening News all but hinted that the border security measures included in a new compromise attached to the immigration reform bill in Congress was overkill. Scott Pelley emphasized, "To win over Republicans, negotiators today added a military-style surge for the southern border." NBC's Tamron Hall echoed Pelley on Friday's Today: "It [the bill] would involve fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border and flooding it with a military-style troop surge."
CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes also spotlighted how "the compromise...spares no expense to fortify the southern border....And it would blanket the border with infrared ground sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and drones."
Introducing a report on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced "a significant breakthrough in a bitter fight on Capitol Hill," followed by correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declaring that "immigration is pitting Republican versus Republican."
O'Donnell explained that Senate lawmakers "worked late into the night writing a new version of immigration reform with more border security," noting how, "Democrats want to get something passed with a dozen or more Republicans, and that's the hard part."
On their website, Politico insists that it exists "to prove there's a robust and profitable future for tough, fair and fun coverage of politics and government." While promising to remain objective, the goal is really to provide "a distinctive brand of journalism that drives the conversation." Of course, the paper repeatedly fails to be fair and balanced and repeatedly succeeds in steering liberal media conversation, and always with a meme that accords to the liberal media's desire to bash conservatives and boost liberal Democrats.
Take today's Jake Sherman piece, "The dysfunctional House," which lambastes House Republican leadership for being bested by a conservative faction of 62 Republicans who helped to doom the "farm bill" in a floor vote yesterday. But Sherman's goal wasn't so much to defend a bill that is 80 percent pork but to set a narrative that paints the House GOP as obstructionist and uninterested in governing, thanks to a minority of renegade conservatives. That of course will feed into a larger narrative the media hope to drive prior to the 2014 midterms:
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton charged that Republicans are waging a "full-scale war against the poor" because of GOP efforts to reform the food stamp program, and went on to assert that "This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again."
With the words "The Hunger Shames" in the background, the MSNBC host began the show:
Charles Krauthammer brilliantly and effortlessly raised an issue on last Friday’s Inside Washington that is near and dear to our hearts here at NewsBusters. It came during a discussion of the immigration reform effort now underway in both houses of Congress. Panelists Evan Thomas and Nina Totenberg agreed that if immigration reform fails to pass, given that many in both parties support it, it would be a sad commentary on Congress.
This prompted moderator Gordon Peterson to confront Krauthammer with some new Gallup poll data about Americans’ confidence in certain institutions, including Congress: “Congress ranks last out of 16 [institutions]. A 10 percent approval rating – 10 percent! The lowest level of confidence Gallup has ever polled. The lowest for any institution on record.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again claimed that House Republicans are waging a "jihad" in trying to cut the food stamp program, asserting that "the GOP's jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day."
The MSNBC also fretted again over the possibility that violent felons may lose benefits while MSNBC contributor Joy Reid tried to link racism against minorities to the battle over food stamps. Reid:
The Big Three all punted on covering the Capitol Hill "Audit the IRS" rally on their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts. CBS This Morning played a four-second soundbite of Senator Ted Cruz addressing the thousands of Tea Party activists in attendance, but CBS, along with ABC and NBC, didn't air a full report or news brief on the protest.
The CBS morning show also stood out for spotlighting how the "IRS is under fire again...it's paying $70 million in employee bonuses, despite a White House order." CBS This Morning devoted 47 seconds of coverage to this latest IRS controversy, while ABC and NBC ignored the development.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday'sAll In show on MSNBC, Newsweek senior writer Michelle Goldberg -- also of The Daily Beast -- observed that the House Republican push for a vote to ban abortion seems "wacky and counterproductive," and later asserted that "Most people intuitively know that an embryo is not a human being."
When host Chris Hayes raised the issue by asking why House Republicans were pushing for a vote, she responded:
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about an "anti-food stamp jihad" by House Republicans, and attacked the GOP for putting on a "shameful spectacle" in trying to cut the food stamp program.
With the words "War on the Poor" and an image of House Speaker John Boehner displayed on screen behind him, Hayes railed:
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
Craig Melvin typified MSNBC’s stance on abortion Tuesday morning. Filling in for Thomas Roberts as the anchor of MSNBC Live, Melvin conducted a rabid attack-dog interview with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) about an abortion bill before the House of Representatives that would ban abortion after 20 weeks with a few exceptions, such as rape and incest. Minutes later, Melvin brought on hard-left abortionist Irin Carmon from Salon.com for a gooey softball interview which served as a platform for Carmon to rip into Blackburn's stance on the bill.
Melvin was ticked off that this abortion bill, proposed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), only allows exceptions for rape and incest when those crimes are reported. He condescended to Blackburn: “Congresswoman, do you know how many cases of rape and incest go unreported in this country every year?” [Video below the break.]
It looks like some liberals in the media are now judging the Republican Party’s actions through the prism of the party’s supposed need to change. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt and MSNBC contributor Perry Bacon Jr. were scrutinizing the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, held over the weekend, when Witt asked about the conference’s ability to help the GOP evolve. According to Bacon, the conference was not doing the job:
"I mean, if you look at the core problem – the RNC released this report earlier this year that says the GOP needs to really expand out to young voters and expand out to minority voters. You’re hearing very little of that at the conference. I mean, jokes about the IRS are not going to bring any new voters to the table." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Either CNN's Tom Cohen, his headline and subheadline writers, or both thought it was a bit over the top to describe the IRS's targeting of Tea Party, conservative, and religious groups as a "forgotten scandal" in a Friday story. Evidence that the subheadline originally read "Republicans try to keep the public focused on the forgotten scandal of IRS targeting of conservative groups" is here and here.
As will be seen after the jump, Cohen tries to make the case that there's nothing to see, that everyone who matters agrees with him, and that forgetting about the scandal would be defensible (bolds are mine):
In a four-paragraph "Big Story" item time-stamped 10:48 a.m. ("CURRENT, FORMER OFFICIALS BACK SECRET SURVEILLANCE"), Stephen Braun at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, names several Sunday news program guests who he writes are "are supporting the government's collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs aimed at disrupting terrorist plots." Meanwhile, the Politico is hyping former Vice President Dick Cheney's characterization of Edward Snowden as a "traitor."
Both outlets, and thus far most of the establishment press, are ignoring a report by CNETs Declan McCullagh Saturday afternoon which I believe would be dominating the news by now if anyone except Barack Obama were President. It directly contradicts an assertion Obama made -- "Nobody is listening to your phone calls" -- shortly after the NSA-Snowden story broke, and one of Congress' most liberal Democrats is the source (links are in original; bolds are mine):
In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked, and that polling data he cited near the end of his report (to be covered in Part 2) contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."
You can tell that Babington's effort was something out of the ordinary, because the self-described "Essential Global Network" actually used the term "far left" in the story's headline and content. In a U.S. story, that almost never happens unless a reporter is quoting a far-leftists' conservative or moderate opponent. Usually, the only time you see "far left" used in U.S. AP content is to identify a person's placement in a photo. Excerpts from the story follow the jump.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton complained about "shameless" Republicans trying to cut food stamp benefits and creating "a whole bunch of ugly names for people who need a little help," as he was joined by MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe and Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia. The MSNBC host grumbled:
Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense sees dead people, and Joe Scarborough, like pretty much everyone else at MSNBC, sees racism. That’s just the way it is. On Friday, the Morning Joe crew was chatting about a recent NRA attack ad against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) when Scarborough took issue with the image of President Obama shown briefly in the ad:
"[P]eople called me up and said, what do you think of, do you think that they may have shaded that ad to make Barack Obama look more ominous and black?"
Jonathan Karl interviewed RNC chairman Reince Priebus last week for the ABC News online series Politics Confidential, and the veteran reporter tried his very best to create a juicy headline for his video and accompanying article. It took a little stretching and some selective editing, but Karl managed to do it.
The headline for the entry, posted to ABC News’ Power Players blog, reads “Priebus: GOP Hurt by Dumb Comments; Needs to Work Harder to be Competitive in 2016.” The second paragraph of the article contained this Priebus quote regarding recent comments made by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.): “I don’t think any party has a monopoly on dumb things that are said, so I’m not going to sit here and defend those comments.” But here’s the interesting thing: that quote did not appear in the video accompanying the article. All of the other quotes in the article also showed up in the video. If Priebus spoke that line, why did Karl not show him saying it? [Read the article and watch the video here.]
Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.
The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.
Democrats terrify Hispanics into thinking they'll be lynched if they vote for Republicans, and then turn around and taunt Republicans for not winning a majority of the Hispanic vote.
This line of attack has real resonance with our stupidest Republicans. (Proposed Republican primary targets: Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.) Which explains why Republicans are devoting all their energy to slightly increasing their share of the Hispanic vote while alienating everyone else in America.
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton went after Republican Senator Ted Cruz for embracing being called "Obamaphobic" via Twitter, and went on to accuse the Republican party of being "built on fear and obstruction." After reading the tweet from the Texas Senator, Sharpton responded:
On June 11, Slate editor Emily Bazelon whipped out the Nazi card against Congressman Trent Franks. The media site, which is an affiliate of the Washington Post, unsurprisingly went after the Republican legislator for his remarks about rape on Wednesday concerning a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
Of course, liberals tried to tie these remarks to Todd Akin, who made scientifically inaccurate statements about sexual assault and pregnancy last year. Yet, even some notables on the left are saying Franks is no Akin.
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes condescendingly compared House Republicans to a "bunch of really ideologically zealous teenagers" who put on events equivalent to "campus conservative clown shows."
As Hayes complained about Republicans pushing votes on restricting abortion and the repeal of ObamaCare that are not likely to pass into law, Hayes complained:
Virginia's junior U.S. senator, Timothy Kaine (D) became the first member of the world's greatest deliberative body to deliver a speech in Spanish. The former governor did so during debate on immigration reform on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
Covering the development, Washington Post staffer Ed O'Keefe gave readers an 18-paragraph story devoted to the history-making oration in his June 12 page A2 story headlined, "Kaine's Spanish speech on Senate floor is a first." Yet nowhere in the entire article did O'Keefe find any critics to complain that, maybe, just maybe, Kaine's ploy was a cynical effort at pandering to Hispanic Americans. Neither was there any concern about the logistics of debate in a chamber that is accustomed to speech and debate being conducted for the record in English.
Karen Finney recently began her new gig as an MSNBC weekend anchor, but on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, she got a little nostalgic for one of her old jobs.
Appearing as the subject of Witt’s "Office Politics" segment, Finney continued the liberal media tradition of making the GOP the focus of the current Obama administration scandals. “[Republicans] clearly think that they can ride this to the midterm elections on this sort of culture of coverup,” she huffed. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes accused Republican Senator Marco Rubio of "showing both faces" in trying to make additions to his immigration reform plan, as he found fault with the Florida Senator for trying to add border security and an English language proficiency requirement to the bill. Hayes complained:
Appearing on Monday's The Last Word show, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- joined MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell in defending the actions of IRS employees who focused on Tea Party groups for scrutiny, and ended up suggesting that it was Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, rather than the IRS, that was "acting out of public view for purely partisan reasons."
After reading the statement of an IRS employee who used the word "patriots" to help identify Tea Party groups, the MSNBC host continued:
Norah O'Donnell unsurprisingly conducted a confrontational interview of Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, pummeling the Kentucky Republican for his strong opposition to the National Security Agency's controversial PRISM surveillance program. The anchor played up how "all three branches of government have approved this surveillance" after Paul asserted that "we don't want the government looking at our entire life."
O'Donnell also hammered the senator for supposedly not speaking up earlier about his objections to this electronic monitoring: "There was an invitation in 2011 for...all lawmakers to view this classified report on what was going on....Did you go to that? Why not? Why only now raise these concerns? Congress was briefed on this." [audio available here; video below the jump]