Washington Post writer Suzy Khimm, a former reporter for far-left magazine Mother Jones, did her best to portray the Heritage Foundation's lobbying outfit, Heritage Action, as an extreme cabal in a Thursday item on the front page of the Style section. Khimm used two variations of "hardline" to label the two-plus year old group, as well as the term "hard-right."
In her article, "The right’s latest weapon: think-tank lobbying muscle," the writer ballyhooed Heritage Action's influence in the halls of Congress, particularly in the continuing budget battle. She first likened the organization to the alter-ego of a well-known superhero:
On Wednesday, a Fox News dispatch to which the Associated Press contributed reported that House Republicans hope to pass a bill on Wednesday which would "allow the government to keep borrowing through May 18," but that "Democrats have generally reacted coolly to the three-month extension" beyond February 18, when the government is currently expected to hit the ceiling. Despite all of this, Jim Kuhnhenn, AP's White House and politics reporter at its Washington bureau, called the House's move a "retreat," with his Tuesday morning story's headline claiming: "Obama stands his ground." Really (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Here are two things the major liberal media outlets aren't telling you.
While guns have dominated the national political dialogue, the clock is ticking on Obama’s budget, and he’s already admitted he will yet again be late, missing the Feb. 4 deadline mandated by federal law. What's more, for a president who originally campaigned on continuing to create jobs and economic growth for the American middle class, Mr. Obama has not met with his job council in one year, last meeting with the brain trust on January 17, 2012.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously exposed NPR's Nina Totenberg as one of President Obama's shills in the media.
When Totenberg - appearing on PBS's Inside Washington - tried to make excuses for why Obama is totally in favor of raising the debt ceiling today despite having voted against doing so when he was a senator, Krauthammer scolded, "Don't cover for him" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a fiscal poke at President Obama Thursday.
After mentioning that it was Michelle Obama’s birthday, and that she told reporters that she wanted “a nice gift from Barack, but nothing extravagant,” Leno quipped, “Oh, don't worry. Obama is very responsible when he's spending his own money. Don't have worry about that. No problem there” (video follows with commentary):
Serving as President Obama's stenographer on Monday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd eagerly touted the President hammering Republicans on the debt ceiling during a midday press conference: "And with Washington once again careening toward a fiscal crisis...the President made it clear he intends to stand firm....[He] acknowledged Republicans could end up shutting down the government if he doesn't yield on spending cuts. But he warned against it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During the final press conference of Obama's first term, Todd urged the President to follow the recommendations of fellow Democrats and unilaterally raise the nation's debt limit without congressional approval: "Harry Reid sent you a letter, begging you, essentially, to take – consider some sort of executive action on this debt ceiling issue....Jim Clyburn asked you to use the 14th Amendment....He brought up the Emancipation Proclamation...he compared the debt ceiling to that. So are you considering a plan 'B'? And if not, why not?"
The self-described "essential global news network" known as the Associated Press, more aptly characterized as the Administration's Press, has from all appearances chosen to minimize the exposure given to Friday's letter from four Senate Democrats to President Obama encouraging him to unilaterally increase the nation's debt ceiling if Congress fails to do so.
A search on Harry Reid's last name at the AP's national site at 8:30 ET this morning returned nothing relating to that letter. But there was an AP writeup about it on Sunday morning. A search on a few key words in Andrew Taylor's report found at another web site demonstrates that it's no longer available at the AP's national site. Gosh, it's almost as if AP doesn't want Americans to know that four Democratic senators are urging Obama to blatantly violate the Constitution. The first six paragraphs of Taylor's report follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Reflecting the typical Washington definition of a budget “cut” – in which a slight reduction in a projected increase is a “cut” and a measurable decrease in the rate of growth is a “draconian” cut -- on Sunday’s Face the Nation CBS’s Bob Schieffer despaired over how “to stave off these horrendous, these gargantuan cuts in defense and social programs” in the sequester?
In fact, as Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University pointed out, “without a sequester,” by 2021, “federal spending would increase $1.7 trillion (blue line). With a sequester, federal spending would increase by $1.6 trillion (red line).”
CNN had a friendly take on President Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew, despite the pick receiving sharp criticism from conservative circles. "He's definitely the guy for the next several months," CNN's Ali Velshi gave the White House spin on Thursday's Newsroom.
"Yeah, funnily enough if Wall Street hates him, he might be perfect for the job," chuckled anchor Michael Holmes."That's what a lot of people think, Michael, actually," Velshi added. Back in 2008, however, CNN framed Wall Street support for potential nominee Tim Geithner as a good thing.
The left must think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a magician, since they think funds to evade the debt ceiling can be conjured up in the form of a platinum coin.
The left-wing blogosphere has been promoting a loony idea to prevent the GOP from being able to cut spending in debt ceiling negotiations. The idea has gained traction with a Bloomberg News contributor and well-known liberal economist Paul Krugman, and being heavily promoted by sites like Huffington Post. So many people are talking about it that it has a twitter hashtag: #mintthecoin.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on all three network morning shows on Wednesday and was greeted in each interview by the host seizing on his harsh words for congressional Republicans over a delayed vote on Hurricane Sandy relief. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "You're not happy, it seems, with the course of the Republican Party right now. You blasted some Republicans in Congress last week after their inaction over Hurricane Sandy. You said they showed 'callous indifference, selfishness, duplicity,' they were, 'practicing toxic politics.' Strong letter to follow. Those aren't the words of a guy who's happy with his party."
Getting reactions to the “fiscal cliff” deal/postponement from Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles – they of the much-cited “Simpson-Bowles Commission” – Meet the Press host David Gregory wistfully speculated on what might have been, had only Republicans agreed a year ago to raise income taxes.
He cued up Bowles: “Had Republicans conceded the point on revenue earlier, say, in 2011, could we have had a broader agreement along the lines that you think is necessary?”
On Wednesday, as President Obama signed -- er, auto-penned -- the legislation preventing the onset of the "fiscal cliff" passed by Congress the previous day, the establishment press was busy understating its impact. A Friday evening Wall Street Journal editorial (note: not a regular news report) in today's print edition lays out the gory details.
But first, I will cite four examples of coverage which pretended that 99 percent of Americans won't see their income taxes increase in 2013.
CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.
In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It didn't take long for new Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to get lectured by liberal CNN. After Cruz told anchor Wolf Blitzer that he opposed the fiscal cliff deal, Blitzer reproved him and told him to "deal with reality."
"[Y]ou're in the minority in the United States Senate. You've got to deal with reality.You can't just be -- you can't just be overly idealistic on those issues," said Blitzer, who shed his objectivity to lecture a sitting congressman on what he should do. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman strangely painted the fiscal cliff deal (which displeased conservatives with its tax increases and lack of spending cuts) as a fiscal dream come true for Republicans in his "news analysis" for Wednesday's front page. Weisman also mocked the GOP's historical support for low taxes.
Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through Congress on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president’s credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed equally and gently.
The perilously liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is not pleased with the President's handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations.
So angered is the Nobel laureate that he wrote at his blog Wednesday, "[If Obama doesn't] finally stand up for his side...nobody will ever trust him again, and he will go down in history as the wimp who threw it all away."
After worrying on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News about possible House GOP "shenanigans" preventing a fiscal cliff deal, on Monday's Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathed a sign of relief: "...this 112th Congress does leave us today, and some people say finally leaves us today....it began with a threat of a government shutdown just two months into this congress. And then, of course, we had the debt ceiling showdown. Then it culminated with this fiscal cliff..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Picking up on Todd's rant against Congress, co-host Matt Lauer eagerly quoted New York Times columnist David Brooks: "If Congress couldn't make a single tough decision under these circumstances, why should we think it'll make any further down the road? More likely, there will just be more squabbling and brinkmanship, more posturing and punting, which could not only poison future budget talks, but also prospects for immigration reform, tax reform, gun control and many other projects."
Neither Todd nor Lauer laid any blame on President Obama for the contentious atmosphere in Washington.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted the passage of Senate Democrats' temporary fiscal cliff fix by the House as a "big bipartisan victory", immediately after pointing out that "the votes were about two-to-one Democratic in favor of the bill." Cordes also hyped how the bill is "a milestone, finally settling a decade-long debate over the Bush-era tax cuts," despite the fact the bill raises tax rates on top earners.
The correspondent also likened Congress to a teenaged student: "Well, if this was high school, you'd say they turned in the assignment a little bit late. It was kind of a rush job, but at least they got it done."
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, hours before the House of Representatives approved a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd wrung his hands over Republican opposition to the lopsided legislation that increased taxes and offered no spending cuts: "I think we're in the last throes of sort of the typical theatrics that have become the norm for Washington over the last couple of years. And there is going to be a few more shenanigans before the night is over." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That was in response to fill-in anchor Kate Snow observing: "There are some voices out there saying, 'Good for the House Republicans, they're standing on their principles.' But there are also a lot of voices saying, 'How much longer is this going to take?'" Todd lamented: "Well, it may be a new year but old habits are dying hard with this congress." He reiterated: "It could be a real mess. But I do think we're in the last throes of sort of the Washington shenanigans."
Time magazine’s Joe Klein can’t get his basic biographic facts straight, but he’s sure the “fiscal cliff” impasse should be blamed on Grover Norquist on Rush Limbaugh for leading a conservative culture “removed from reality” and “extreme in the most egregious way.”
On CBS’s Face the Nation, after Peggy Noonan regretted how President Barack Obama allows “dreadful enervating dramas” while Ronald Reagan was big enough to make deals with Speaker Tip O’Neill, Klein sputtered: “When Ronald Reagan was President, Grover Norquist was in diapers and Rush Limbaugh was a disc jockey, I think, in St. Louis.”
During the past two years, Republican governors and lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have been the targets of a great deal of negative attention from the establishment press, particularly on TV, as a result of taking necessary actions to get their states' fiscal houses in order and to become more economically competitive. Meanwhile, the Midwest's largest and Democrat-dominated state careens toward bankruptcy, and it's barely news.
In early 2011, Illinois enacted massive personal and corporate income-tax increases of 67% and 46%, respectively. The tax hikes were advertised as required to address the state's huge backlog of unpaid bills to vendors and other service providers, and to shore up its badly underfunded pension funds. Almost two years later, as two separate Associated Press reports this weekend demonstrate, the state still has a huge and possibly even larger stack of unpaid invoices, and its pension situation has worsened.
With four days until the "fiscal cliff," CBS This Morning peppered its report on the Congressional negotiations with four Democratic sound bites compared to just one from Republicans.
Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) three times and simply relayed his smear of Rep. John Boehner's Speakership as a "dictatorship." Both ABC and NBC called out Reid's rhetoric, however. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Here’s something I bet you thought you’d never see at the perilously liberal Huffington Post.
In a Dean Baker article published Tuesday with the astonishing title “There Is No Santa Claus and Bill Clinton Was Not an Economic Savior,” the second sentence read, “Just as little kids have to come to grips with the fact that there is no Santa Claus, it is necessary for millions of liberals, including many who think of themselves as highly knowledgeable about economic matters, to realize that President Clinton's policies sent the economy seriously off course.”
"I think quite bluntly leaving and losing their virginity on the issue of tax cuts is an important thing to these Republicans who have not voted – make it understood - no Republican in the House or Senate for 22 years has voted to increase taxes."
So said PBS's Mark Shields on Inside Washington Friday (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):