After being dropped by CNN in 2007, former top political correspondent Bob Franken has gone on to market himself as a political pundit, revealing the inner liberal that more close observers of his supposedly “impartial” reporting long suspected was there.
Appearing over the weekend on the MSNBC program hosted by liberal college professor Melissa Harris-Perry, former top CNN correspondent Bob Franken appeared to endorse the far left notion of a maximum income. “How many vacation homes do you need?” Franken asked during a hotly disputed discussion which also featured a preposterous rant by the host. Video and transcript below the fold.
For six days and counting (including this morning), the broadcast networks entertained the idea that Paul Ryan was lying in his convention speech last week. Yet the problem for journalists was that Ryan’s speech was accurate, even if they didn’t like the implications. NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday evening’s Nightly News, for example, even conceded that “what he [Ryan] said many times was technically factual,” but grumbled that “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
Such a sensitive standard means journalists could endlessly complain, since even truthful speeches or TV ads necessarily omit information detrimental to their campaign objective. The question is, will journalists be so sensitive when liberal Democrats take liberties with their campaign rhetoric?
Ezra Klein, the "former" head of the Journolist news coordination conspiracy (given the evidence of coordination seen during the Republican convention, it's hard to believe it hasn't continued in some form), rolled out a graphic yesterday at the Washington Post which he touted as "the one graph you need to see before watching" the Republican convention.
To show would be to give it more attention than it deserves. Its core contention, delivered via the lefty-driven Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that "Tax Cuts, Wars Account For Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019." They could have changed the title to "we're going to blame Bush for eight more years." Some of Klein's clanking follows the jump; I'll deal with the "Blame Bush's tax cuts" mantra after that (the "wars" claim has been addressed several times before, and is just as dumb):
While all eyes were on the Republican National Convention in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, the White House was quietly jacking up the price of automobiles and putting future drivers at risk.
Yes, the same cast of fable-tellers who falsely accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of murdering a steelworker's cancer-stricken wife is now directly imposing a draconian environmental regulation that will cost untold American lives.
The Associated Press's Anne D'Innocenzio is clearly mystified and possibly even upset that consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board on Wednesday fell sharply to its lowest level since November of last year.
Get a load of the second paragraph's first sentence in the version D'Innocenzio posted late yesterday morning shortly after the report's release, followed by asinine assertions which in effect say that Americans don't understand that things are getting better -- and, as usual, it's all about Dear Leader's reelection (bolds are mine):
Earlier today, the liberal website Gawker did a document dump including 950 pages worth of confidential documents affiliated with Bain Capital.
The idea was to expose Mitt Romney's alleged tax-dodging schemes with offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. Problem being, the parent corporation known as the Gawker Media Group has a little secret of their own.
After Paul Ryan released his last two years of tax returns late Friday, reporters on ABC and CBS not only made sure to point out that Ryan paid a higher federal tax rate than the wealthier Mitt Romney, but also noted that he had supplied more than two years to the Romney campaign as part of the vetting process, as if to put additional pressure on Romney and Ryan that they should make more than two years public.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien just isn't comfortable with anyone criticizing Barack Obama.
On Monday's Starting Point, the host seriously challenged her Tea Party guest, former Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, when she had the nerve to say the President's policies were Marxist (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If we're to believe a report by Heidi Przybyla at Bloomberg News on August 13, the country might be operating under bipartisan deficit-reduction framework instead of being without a budget for over three years if it weren't for Wisconsin Congressman and GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Her lead: "Representative Paul Ryan was a pivotal figure in killing the 2010 Bowles-Simpson agreement, which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney now holds out as a model for putting America’s fiscal house in order."
There are many deceptions and unsupported assertions in Przybyla's report, but before getting to some of the others, many of which relate to her inability to recognize objective truth, the two most important related to her treatment of President Obama's role in the rejection of Simpson-Bowles:
When it comes to family members of Republican presidential candidates, looks like the MSM has decided they're fair game for attacks. Yesterday we noted how ABC's Bianna Golodryga claimed that Paul Ryan's mother was campaigning in a "very calculated" manner.
Today we offer Joan Walsh into evidence. Appearing on the weekend edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," the Salon editor accused Ann Romney of throwing a "tantrum" over her husband's decision to release no more than two years of tax returns. View the video after the jump.
On Saturday's World News, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper explained President Barack Obama's deceptive strategy of trying to get voters to believe that Mitt Romney supports lowering his own tax rate to less than one percent by attacking a tax plan which his running rate, Paul Ryan, once proposed in Congress which is not part of Romney's own plan.
As he introduced a deceptive soundbite from President Obama, host David Muir raised the issue:
On Thursday and Friday, NBC launched an all out assault on Mitt Romney, urging him to release more tax returns. Opening Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams scrambled to resurrect the worn-out line of attack: "Talking taxes. Under intense pressure, Mitt Romney talks about what he has paid." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the lead story moments later, Williams proclaimed: "It is a topic that won't go away. In the hands of the Democrats, it has dogged Mitt Romney from the start and may follow him all the way to the finish of this campaign." He described Romney's "private life of great wealth" and him being "unwilling to go public with his tax returns beyond the past two years."
In what was billed as a profile of Ann Romney set to air on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, a portion of the interview played on Thursday's Today featured news anchor Natalie Morales grilling the Republican candidate's spouse on taxes: "...she fiercely defended the Romneys' decision not to release tax returns from before 2010. A lot of people still are asking why not be transparent and release more than the 2010 and the estimates for 2011." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Romney responded forcefully: "Have you seen how we're attacked? Have you seen what's happened?" Morales continued to press the issue: "It's been in the press quite a bit. Now are you angry that it's been in the press? I mean, should you not be questioned about your finances?" Romney pushed back: "We have been very transparent to what's legally required of us. But, the more we release, the more we get attacked. The more we get questioned, the more we get pushed."
A week passes, and thus far, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has yet to tell us whether he is or is not having sexual relations with a cow. As was reported in this column last week, based on sources in the field, Reid has been involved with the cow for at least three months, possibly more. My sources cannot be identified for obvious reasons. Even The New York Times would not reveal their identities. The story is that hot.
It is, of course, possible that the relationship is purely platonic. On the other hand, possibly Reid is more involved with the cow than might have been anticipated. It is time for him to come clean. He owes it to the American people and conceivably to the Department of Agriculture. Preferably he should make his statement on the floor of the Senate, which he reserves for such solemn occasions. For instance, his recent charge that the probable Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, has paid no taxes for the better part of 10 years, was made there. His statement about the cow is no less important. Reid, we are waiting.
Jesus Christ would favor a tax rate as little as 50 percent and as high as 100 percent. So really, President Obama's preferred tax rates are a bargain. That's one of the big "idea" of Erika Christakis's August 14 Time magazine Ideas blog post, "Is Paul Ryan's Budget 'Un-Christian'?"
Christakis has a master's in education but apparently hasn't a clue about exegeting Scripture, nor does she seem to care. Jesus is just a convenient figure to use to make a flawed political talking point:
On Morning Joe today, Chris Matthews exposed the ugly face of class warfare politics at its most primal.
Matthews claimed that Paul Ryan wants to "give" money to rich people but "doesn't like" people who depend on government, and indeed, as a conservative, wants to "screw" them. As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth earlier noted, this isn't the first time Matthews has resorted to this vulgar metaphor. View the video after the jump.
Piers Morgan on Monday picked the wrong guy to toss Democrat talking points at.
After the CNN anchor spoke the typical liberal nonsense about Paul Ryan's budget only benefiting rich people, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scolded, "I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly...You guys almost sound like you're an extension of the Obama campaign" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Advancing a false narrative about how the wealthy are paying a lower tax rate than the middle class, CBS Bob Schieffer used his 60 Minutes session with the Republican ticket to push Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to agree “fairness” means the rich should pay higher taxes. “A lot of people,” Schieffer contended, “think corporations and rich people are getting all these breaks and they’re getting stuck with paying the bills. They see some of the wealthiest paying the lowest tax rates. How are you going to fix that?”
Schieffer next insisted: “Doesn’t fairness dictate that the wealthiest people should not be paying the lowest taxes because that’s what happening many times?”
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Schieffer demanded of Ryan on the April 17, 2011 program. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:
On a special Saturday edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews twice claimed that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget "screws" needy people. During a segment with Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, as he asked what it was like to work with Rep. Ryan as his colleague, the MSNBC host asserted that the plan "really screws the people who desperately need Medicare and programs like that."
Politifact has set Harry Reid's pants on fire with the lie that Romney hasn't paid taxes in ten years. Even the Washington Post called out Reid's paranoid rants about Romney, labeling his statements as baseless drivel. However, the L.A. Times seems to think this whole sordid episode is scoring points for Obama.
In an obnoxious piece by James Rainey published today, the columnist wrote that "while Reid’s tax claim strained credulity, it did not seem to strain the Nevada senator. Accustomed to pitched partisan battles, he showed little inclination to back down. One of the journalists who follows Reid most closely, columnist Jon Ralston, told the Washington Post that the old pol was 'fearless and shameless.”
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl informed viewers of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years, with the ABC correspondent dismissing the accusation as "outrageous and apparently unfounded."
On Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Bianna Golodryga seemed to admire Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for making an unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years, as she ended a short discussion of the smear by gushing: "Harry Reid, always one to speak his mind," inspiring a chuckle from correspondent David Kerley.
“Harry Reid is disgrace. But you expect this from Harry Reid,” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes zinged on FNC’s Special Report Friday night before turning his ire on a certain Washington, DC-based anchor for CNN for advancing Reid’s baseless allegation that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any income tax for ten years.
“The disappointing cohort in this, to me, is journalists,” Hayes contended as he recalled how “I saw another network anchor ask a Romney supporter about this accusation, saying Harry Reid is a really honorable man.”
The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."
Today, ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis issued a strong critique of Politifact's analysis and unfair conclusion, explaining how it is fundamentally flawed (portions bolded and underlined reflect my emphasis):
For the "You didn't build that!" file: Our friends at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) did some number crunching and calculated that American Olympians who win gold medals this year will face nearly $9,000 in federal income tax per each one earned. Silver medalists would pay just a bit over $5,300.
What's more, in undoubtedly one aspect of American exceptionalism that American liberals love, the U.S. is the only developed country that taxes income earned overseas by its citizens, notes ATR's Hugh Johnson:
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I critiqued a short Associated Press item posted earlier Monday by reporter John Hanna which seemed quite alarmed at the notion that "Conservatives in Republicans are turning against moderates in their own party."
Hanna expanded his report on Monday. Its apparently final version, time-stamped at 5:16 p.m. at the AP's national site, goes further into describing those scary conservatives who want Republicans who will act on principle instead of just going along. What follows are excerpts from material added after the initial report:
Gosh, I think John Hanna and the Associated Press need to do something about their use of eliminationist language and violent imagery.
Look at how AP headlined Hanna's late morning report on the rise of conservatism in several midwestern and southern states at the likely expense of moderate incumbents (shown in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes).