MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter on Saturday continued the liberal media pattern of siding with the Obama administration on the current government shutdown. Appearing on Weekends with Alex Witt, Alter claimed that House Speaker John Boehner is not acting in a “patriotic fashion” and “can’t even deliver a pizza,” as Team Obama says.
Fill-in host Mara Schiavocampo had asked Alter about the unidentified Obama official who told The Wall Street Journal that the White House was “winning” the shutdown, but Alter got off track and started ripping into Speaker Boehner. He huffed, “[E]verything he's doing is to protect his own skin. I wish I could say that he was acting in a patriotic fashion, but he's just not.” [See video below.]
Poor Carl Bernstein: he's suffering a bad bout of MSM nostalgia. He longs for the good old media days when the news was dominated by the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the then three broadcast networks. They could slam Republicans with impunity, without any conservative media counterweight.
In covering the shutdown, today's media culture, kvetches Carl, is just too darn fair and balanced in its treatment of those lying, McCarthyite Republicans. That's why President Obama and the congressional Dems' poll numbers are surprisingly bad. Such was Carl's complaint on today's Morning Joe. View the video after the jump.
Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had a tense exchange with ABC's Jonathan Karl, who was apparently so taken aback by Carney's answer to another reporter that he interjected himself into the dialog — to correct Carney about what House Speaker John Boehner said earlier today about his openness to negotiating. Carney also announced that Americans won't have to wait to see how the nation's healthcare delivery system changes in 2014 to experience long times spent in waiting rooms (Patience, please; it will become clear later in the post). But first, let's get the Blaze's rundown of the Carney-Karl exchange (bolds are mine):
"This is a welcome change for Democrats who thought Obama was too accommodating to Republicans during previous crises," Bolton noted, adding, "Simply put, they believe less is more when it comes to Obama’s involvement in negotiations with the GOP" (emphasis mine):
In a story published early this morning by Manu Raju at the Politico which is primarily about Senate Majority Harry Reid's plans to aggressively pursue reelection in 2016, the Nevada senator took shots at the establishment press for "trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair."
Proving Reid wrong in real time, Raju failed to mention Reid's response last week to a question by Dana Bash at CNN — which by the way, as Matt Hadro at NewsBusters noted earlier today, has been pounding Republicans ever since as if to compensate. Bash asked Reid if it would be worth it to continue to fund clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health if doing so could help one child with cancer. His answer, on tape: "Why would we want to do that?" Excerpts from the Raju's report follow the jump (HT Ed Driscoll; bolds are mine):
Hard-left MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Monday took his assault on the Republican Party to a new level, declaring that John Boehner is a "traitor" to America for not giving in to Barack Obama on the government shutdown. After railing about how congressional GOP members are trying to destroy the country, the Ed Show anchor delivered his verdict: "And they will shut down the government and they will not pay the bills to get their way. The word is treason, the treasonous John Boehner." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Schultz bizarrely added, "The United States is at risk right now and I hope that there will be some foreign folks that will step up and say, you really don't want to do this." The definition of "treason" is apparently tied to attacking Obama. On May 24, 2012, Schultz shrieked over a Republican Congressman calling the President "not an American." The anchor berated, "That he would attack the commander in chief verbally? This is treasonous for him to say that he is not an American in his heart."
On Monday, the hosts of NBC's Today eagerly played clips of Saturday Night Live bashing Republicans over the government shutdown. In the morning show's 7 a.m. ET half hour, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall played a clip of SNL host Miley Cyrus doing a parody music video blaming the GOP for the shutdown and gushed: "I think she [Cyrus] might become a member of the five-timers club. You know, the group of hosts who've hosted five times." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour, co-host Willie Geist touted: "7th day now of the shutdown. Let's look at the bright side, the SNL side, how they handled it....Weekend Update...had an interesting take on the shutdown's winners and losers." A clip played of SNL cast member Seth Myers ranting: "Loser, John Boehner. I feel sorry for you buddy. It's exhausting watching you trying to maintain your dignity while wrangling those Tea Party maniacs. You're like Seinfeld if they're were 30 Kramers."
Who does George Stephanopoulos work for? ABC News or the Democratic Party? In a This Week Interview on Sunday, the former operative to Bill Clinton foisted the blame for the government shutdown on John Boehner and House Republicans. During the 13 minute interview, Stephanopoulos repeatedly started questions this way: "The Democrats say...The Democrats, including Senate Democrat Harry Reid, have said...But Mr. Speaker, [Obama] says...The President has pointed out..." Six times, the anchor began his query with an observation over what the Democrats "say" on this issue.
Rejecting the concept of Democratic responsibility, Stephanopoulos touted Majority Leader Reid, noting that he "has said he's more than willing to have a conference, more than willing to have a negotiation, but not under the threat of a government shutdown, not under the threat of a default." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The anchor offered to mind read, lecturing of the shutdown: "But Mr. Speaker, this is clearly not what you want."
In a dramatically one-sided report on Monday's NBC Today about the government shutdown, White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared: "President Obama is sticking to his guns, demanding Republicans end the shutdown by passing a so-called 'clean C.R.,' a budget extension without any changes to the President's health care law." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After a brief sound bite of Speaker John Boehner explaining that such a bill could not pass the Republican-controlled House, Alexander offered more administration spin: "The White House is challenging Boehner to put that to a test. And a pro-Obama group is accusing the GOP of being irresponsible."
Dontcha love it when liberals accuse people they don't agree with of not loving their country?
It's especially delicious watching the perilously liberal Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe Monday point her holier than thou finger at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), a man who just two weeks ago stood for 21 hours on the floor of the Senate demonstrating for the entire world how much he loves his country (video follows with transcript and commentary):
(UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.: AmberAlert.gov is working again.)
In yet another news story which has bubbled up through social media and the blogosphere and which will test the establishment press's willingness to ignore obvious news, the Obama adminstration's Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has taken AmberAlert.gov offline.
To the extent that it interrupts what DOJ has identified as one of the three components of its national AMBER strategy for "a Coordinated AMBER Network," the move could make locating and saving missing and exploited children more difficult. Meanwhile, the 83% of the government which isn't shut down includes the following:
CNN viewers familiar with State of the Union host Candy Crowley certainly weren't surprised when she came armed to her Sunday interview with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) with Democrat talking points.
Fortunately, the Texas Senator was prepared and marvelously smacked her down when she twice claimed that Democrats feel blackmailed by Republicans proposing separate bills to fund parts of the government (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is it really the place for a game show to take sides in a political debate?
The folks at Family Feud certainly think so, for some genius actually decided to send a tweet to the show's Twitter followers Saturday which read "@SpeakerBoehner, stop letting extremists sabotage our economy. End the #TeaPartyShutdown now. Speaker Boehner don't let Cruz run the US":
“After the President vetoed several spending bills, not one story blamed him for the shutdown, but nearly two dozen declared the GOP culpable. Furloughed workers and other ‘victims’ were featured in half the stories.” Sound familiar? That’s from a 1996 Media Research Center study on the battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Yes, the current shutdown showdown is deja vu all over again in who gets blamed.
To help illustrate the very familiar media tone and approach, I’ve put three clips together out of the MRC archive, starting with Bob Schieffer anchoring the Saturday, December 16, 1995 CBS Evening News: “Well, they’ve done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the budget.”
It’s becoming quite apparent the American people aren’t as concerned about the government shutdown as the Democrats and their media minions would like people to be.
On the CBS Late Show Friday, when host David Letterman asked the studio audience if they were worried about the shutdown, they collectively said “No” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
White House staff aren’t the only ones looking for sob stories about folks affected by the government shutdown. The media are doing what they can to assist. Columnist Phil Kadner of the Southtown Star, a publication of the Chicago Sun-Times, lends a hand with “Shutdown becomes real for local residents.” The article begins:
Edgar Mullins, of Richton Park, and Justin Jones, of Chicago Heights, became victims of the federal government shutdown on Thursday.
They lined up early in the morning in front of the Social Security Administration office in Chicago Heights.
The office was open for business but wasn’t offering new or replacement Social Security cards, the reason Mullins and Jones were there.
Republicans are godless anti-government zealots responsible for a federal government shutdown that will literally kill people, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged in the closing "Clear the Air" commentary on his Friday, October 4 program.
But in a not-so-clever twist, the ever-sanctimonious Bashir -- who has a penchant for selective Bible-thumping to push liberal agenda points -- sought to enlist the nonpartisan Senate chaplain, Dr. Barry C. Black, to condemn Republicans for him. The relevant transcript is below the page break, as is the video of the segment:
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, George Will has joined Fox News.
In his first comments on the network, Will said on Friday's Special Report, "The President’s rather enjoying this [shutdown], and if the emblematic statement of the first Obama term was 'A crisis is a terrible thing to waste,' this term defined after just nine months is 'A crisis is a beautiful thing to create'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If Republicans were smart (I know, but stay with me) their focus during the Obamacare debate should have been less on blocking its implementation and more on a page they might have taken from the Democrat's playbook, which is to rally the country to its side by use of sentimentality and the threat of impending doom. The good news for Republicans is that there's still time.
It's a sure bet Democrats are right now writing sob stories of tearful children barred from the Lincoln Memorial because of the government "shutdown." The National Zoo in Washington inexplicably turned off its unmanned Panda Cam, which showed video of the newborn panda cub on the Internet. Boohoo.
The political stalemate leading to the so-called shutdown of the federal government has shown with devastating clarity how official Washington is consumed with symbolism over substance.
The symbolism begins with the word shutdown itself. Despite the noise and fury in Washington, the vast majority of Americans haven't noticed any change in their daily lives because most of the federal government has not shut down. It is functioning as normal. Social Security checks go out, and the military is still on duty.
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams introduced a full report on cancer research at the National Institutes of Health being stopped under the government shutdown: "And there are the millions who are feeling the impact of this shutdown very close to home and across this country, including some for whom this standoff feels very much like a matter of life and death for them."
In the story that followed, correspondent Tom Costello declared: "The NIH funds research nationwide. At its headquarters, a lack of funding means 200 patients, including 30 children, each week will be turned away from clinical studies." What he failed to mention was that congressional Republicans proposed a bill to provide the needed funding, but were rebuffed by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The Morning Joe crew, along with much of the liberal media, has lately been ringing the debt-ceiling alarm, saying that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by October 17 would cause a default that would devastate the U.S. economy. But on Friday’s Morning Joe, CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera stepped onto the set and took a wrecking ball to the wall of hysteria surrounding a possible default.
With the air of an economics professor, Caruso-Cabrera educated the other panelists, attempting to set right their erroneous impressions: [See video below.]
In a piece filed today, Associated Press reporter Bob Christie and his editors provided a textbook example of how to use loaded language to tilt coverage while still being entirely accurate with the facts.
Covering a controversy in Arizona over the federal government’s closure of the Grand Canyon National Park and the state government’s attempts to keep it open, Christie painted the conflict as yet another example of angry Republicans run amok.
Are you happy now, Republicans? You went and forced the president to cancel his trip to Asia and with it an important foreign policy overture.
That's the message Time magazine is sending readers with Michael Crowley's October 4 post, "Shutdown Dents Vital Obama Foreign Policy Goal," which was plugged on the Time.com front page with a photo of a frowning President Obama given the teaser headline, "Grounded by the Shutdown." "President Obama cancels a long-planned Asia excursion as the standoff continues at home, yet again putting off U.S. goals to recharge relations with the continent," complained the front-page caption [see screen capture below the page break]. Here's a taste of Crowley's story (emphasis mine):
CBS This Morning has a long established history of conducting softball interviews of liberal/Democratic guests, while unleashing on conservative/liberal ones. But on Friday, the morning newscast surprisingly hounded Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the ongoing government shutdown. Obama supporter Gayle King repeatedly pressed Pelosi about "people [who] are just saying...work it out....both sides have to be willing to leave something on the table."
Anthony Mason underlined how "Senator [Harry] Reid called some Republicans anarchists. You've called them arsonists....How do you get a meeting of the minds when people are talking like that?" Norah O'Donnell also wondered about "a scenario...where Democrats would be willing to give on a larger budget deal – the grand bargain coming back, and giving on entitlements, so that we can move forward." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's PoliticsNation, during a discussion of the government shutdown, MSNBC's Krystal Ball characterized congressional Republicans as "tak[ing] the whole government hostage," and "threaten[ing]" the "constitutional balance."
After host Al Sharpton fretted over the operation of FEMA and the National Hurricane Center during the government shutdown, Ball responded:
While the media are busy painting Republicans -- particularly Tea Party-friendly conservatives in the House -- as the legislators who are ultimately responsible for the government shutdown, they are failing to note that "[t]he Democrats and the president have offered nothing" as a counteroffer on the continuing resolution to fund the government, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the October 3 edition of Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder argued that it's the same biased narrative with the liberal media as the last government shutdown in 1995, when Bill Clinton vetoed funding bills that had passed both houses of Congress. In this instance, it's a Democratic Senate refusing to sit down with a Republican House to hammer out a deal. "In the media coverage, 21 stories blaming Republicans, not one story blaming Democrats. And you know what's more interesting? You go back to 1995 and you will find the same networks, 23 times they blamed the Republicans. Not once did they blame the Democrats," Bozell noted. [listen to the MP3 audio here; watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
Appearing on CBS's Late Show on Thursday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ranted to liberal host David Letterman about Republicans in Congress being to blame for the government shutdown: "It's about a small – they've been called the suicide caucus in the U.S. House, about 80 members.....right now they have a hold on the House of Representatives....because of this caucus, this cabal, nothing moves." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Letterman was eager to join in bashing the GOP: "If we wanted to blame someone....Would it be crazy Ted Cruz? Would it be – can we blame him for this?" Williams replied: "Ted Cruz is the leader of a lot of this."
The three network morning shows on Friday worried about President Obama and the fact that he had "no choice" but to cancel an Asian summit as the government shutdown drags on. On ABC's Good Morning America, Jon Karl lamented, "These were two significant summits in Brunei and Indonesia. The White House says he could legally have gone, but he needs to be here to push for reopening the government and dealing with the pending possible default of the government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reiterating, Karl again noted that these are "significant summits" and the "White House did not want to cancel this trip." Karl read a lengthy statement from the White House (with accompanying onscreen graphic) blaming the "House Republicans for forcing a shutdown." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos agreed that the "President really had no choice." At no time did anyone on the program put the responsibility on Obama for not engaging the GOP. One good question might have been: Why stay home from a summit if you aren't going to negotiate over the financial stalemate?