Poll cooking season is officially in full swing. The headline today at the Washington Post reads: "Among likely voters, Obama-Romney close." Dan Balz and Jon Cohen report that in a September 7-9 poll, "the (presidential) race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions." Ah, but Obama supposedly has a six-point lead among registered voters.
Based on pair's report, the easy choices on how to interpret the results are these: Either President Obama really didn't come out of the Democratic Convention with a polling bounce, or, if he did have a bounce, it disappeared after last Friday's dreadful employment news. There's a third and far more likely choice, which only becomes apparent once one sees the mix of respondents in the poll's final listed question.
For the New York Times, what better way to observe the 11th anniversary of 9-11 than by exploiting it for political purposes and seeking to blame George W. Bush?
The Times chose to publish on its op-ed page today a column by Kurt Eichenwald, a former Times reporter now with Vanity Fair, entitled "The Deafness Before the Storm." Its gruel is thin when it comes to actually assembling a case of any real Bush-administration negligence. And that is the best evidence that Eichenwald and the Times were not motivated by any sincere desire to review the historical record with the goal of preventing future lapses. Rather, this is cheap political exploitation and finger-pointing at its basest. More after the jump.
Joe Scarborough has suggested that Clint Eastwood was drunk when he gave his RNC speech.
Today's Morning Joe opened with a clip of Mitt Romney telling David Gregory that it was a thrill to have Eastwood speak on his behalf at the RNC, and that he felt Eastwood spoke "from the heart." Scarborough came on and said that rather than speaking from the heart, Eastwood spoke more "from the bottom of a bottle." View the video after the jump.
Originally syndicated September 6 | At this Democratic National Convention, I am going to be particularly interested in the crowds on the floor. Who cares about what Bill Clinton says? He does not mean it anyway. In the 1990s, he governed like a Republican after saying that "the age of Big Government is over." Incidentally, he governed pretty well. He would have made a good moderate Republican, so long as he had good conservative majorities in the House and the Senate to keep him — you will excuse the word — honest. Now, of course, he has committed another of his episodic tergiversations, writing a book in praise of behemoth government, as though the 1990s never happened.
The same can be said for Senator Jean-Francois Kerry. In 2004 he accepted his party's presidential nomination and continued his fiction that he was a war hero, ludicrously saluting the throng at the convention with "I'm John Kerry, and I am reporting for duty." As though the rest of the nation had forgotten that he came home from the Vietnam War, protesting it, and appeared before a taped congressional inquiry to incriminate his fellow servicemen with lies. Then he flew off to France to be used as a pawn by the Communist Vietnamese — war hero indeed. Possibly Senator Harry Reid could be interesting if he would only tell us what he knows about that cow he has been rumored to canoodle with, and, to be sure, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is always good for a few laughs.
Guess John Harwood was feeling lucky today. CNBC's chief Washington correspondent went on the Today show and boldly proclaimed that not only did Clint Eastwood not accomplish his mission with his RNC speech, but that the speech is almost universally viewed by political professionals as "a big blunder, a big set-back for Mitt Romney."
Harwood did not adduce a scintilla of evidence in support of his contention that the speech hurt Romney. And his universe of pundits apparently does not include people like Jonah Goldberg or Mark Steyn. View the video after the jump.
How deep are MSNBC and its parent company Comcast in the tank for the Democrats? So deep that even the New York Times [!] has headlined an article "Welcome to the MSNBC, Er, Democratic Convention." [H/t Mediaite]
The article details how MSNBC personalities were treated like rock stars by adoring Dems. Even more telling is this: "Four years ago, there was open anxiety inside MSNBC over having the unabashedly partisan Keith Olbermann anchor convention coverage. But the era of liberal hand-wringing appears to have passed." Translation: in the tank and proud. Comcast's servicing of the Dems doesn't end with adoring coverage. It also translates into cold, hard cash from Comcast execs. More after the jump.
In their pre-game analysis before President Obama's nomination acceptance speech Thursday night, ABC News painted the costly cancelation -- "a hefty six figures" in fruitless set-up costs for broadcast equipment for the networks, reported Dylan Byers of Politico -- of tonight's planned Bank of America Stadium venue as a "lucky break."
"Absolutely a lucky break," political contributor Matthew Dowd told anchor George Stephanopoulos, insisting that while the Obama campaign "could have filled the stadium... there is no way they could have repeated the energy in this crowd." But meanwhile over on CBS, anchor Scott Pelley showed viewers at home the scene at Bank of America stadium, where "it is dark and there is not a drop of rain falling in the vicinity here in Charlotte. [video follows page break]
On Thursday's Diane Rehm show on NPR stations, NPR political director Ron Elving was truly beside himself in praising the Bill Clinton speech on Wednesday night, going so far that he presumed Democrats said to themselves at every pause for the next gem of wisdom, "What'll that be, Daddy?"
Elving began by oozing "That was about as full-throated, robust and effective, to use your word, a defense of President Obama as I can imagine. I don't know very many people who were seeing it as inadequate last night... frankly, there are things Barack Obama can do as a speaker. We all know that. But he has not been particularly good at his own defense. This was hiring the right attorney at the right time in the right courtroom."
If Clint Eastwood's "empty chair" speech last week at the Republican National Convention was so weak, pathetic, pitiful, ineffective, and worthless, why is far-left Hollywood not just leaving him alone? Instead, some are so upset that they're starting to take aim at the Academy Award winner's next movie and apparently rooting for it to be a flop (while using the passive-aggressive "will it hurt him?" technique).
At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, entertainment writer Derrik J. Lang seems to have been enlisted to let everyone know that if "Trouble with the Curve" is a box-office flop, it may be because Eastwood had the gall to speak out against Dear Leader:
In a rare moment of reluctant semi-journalism which didn't name names, the Politico's Reid Epstein, in reporting about the God-Jerusalem debacle at the Democratic Convention Wednesday night, buried the lede, waiting until his third paragraph to tell readers (belated HT to Weasel Zippers) that "While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue." (Sidebar: Does that mean Dear Leader watches the despised Fox News?)
Then Epstein just let the disclosure sit there with no additional follow-up. His story has what is in my view a deliberately "this is boring" headline ("Division over platform at DNC" ... zzz). However, it would appear that the folks over at the Associated Press got to Epstein's third paragraph, and went into full-keister-covering mode.
I guess when Chris Matthews stays up past his bedtime, he gets really goofy. In a chat with former Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond -- best known for his skits impersonating Bill Clinton -- Matthews gushed of Clinton that he's such a natural politician and conversationalist that you could put him on Mars and he'd find a way to quickly seduce the Martians.
"I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it with them, he would know how to reproduce, he would know everything. He'd just instinctively know how to talk to people," Matthews gushed. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
A day after CNN salivated over Michelle Obama's DNC address, ABC hyped the enthusiasm at the Democratic Convention as hitting unprecedented levels on Wednesday night.
"Look, I have never seen a Democratic convention like this," insisted commentator Cokie Roberts. "When the President, the former President, comes out, they – it is going to be a moment like no moment you've seen." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
Last week I noted how the NBCNews.com website considered speeches by Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), Obama co-chair-turned-Republican Artur Davis, and Staples founder Tom Stemberg to not be "notable" enough for inclusion in their "curated" follow-up posts the day after their respective speeches. Well, today, NBC Politics has a post with "highlights from Tuesday night's Democratic National Convention speeches."
Yet while the Democratic Convention has purposefully sought to play up their pro-abortion rights, pro-taxpayer-subsidized contraception stands, the remarks last night by NARAL Pro-Choice America president -- and Democratic Party Platform Committee member -- Nancy Keenan were omitted from the collection. One of the more striking lines invoked the Divine:
San Antonio mayor Julian Castro was quite a media hit at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.
Given all the scrutiny presenters got for their addresses at last week's Republican National Convention, one has to wonder if the press will fact-check the following section of Castro's speech (photo courtesy MTC/Newscom):
Instead of Americans asking if their country is better off now than four years ago, CNN's Piers Morgan thinks they should compare the present situation to "three and a half years ago" since President Obama's first half-year was "hell on earth." He aired his liberal points early Wednesday morning at the Democratic National Convention.
"This whole mixed picture we've been getting about is America better off than it was four years ago, would it have been more honest for everyone to get together and say look, here's the reality: 'We're better off than we were three and a half years ago, but for the first half of that first year it was hell on earth'," he posed to his Democratic guests former governors Bill Richardson (N.M.) and Ed Rendell (Penn.). [Video below the break.]
Last week, MSNBC steadfastly refused to dip into a speech by newly-minted Republican and former Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.), who just four years ago was not only a Democrat but an Obama campaign co-chair.
But on Tuesday night, MSNBC showed in full the speech of Maria Ciano, whom anchor Rachel Maddow tagged a "former Republican talking about her conversion to Democratic politics, particularly on the issue of choice." Ciano launched into a misleading, error-laden diatribe, which of course was NOT fact-checked by MSNBC panelists afterward. Also left unmentioned was that Ciano has been a Democrat since at least two years prior to Obama's election to the presidency. From the conservative Power Line blog [emphasis mine]
Yesterday, it was John Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, who "compared Republican tactics during the presidential campaign to the 'big lie' strategy most famously employed by Nazi propagandists." According to the Associated Press, Burton, "'humbly apologized' to anyone offended by his comparison" (that's not an apology, as he didn't admit to doing anything wrong, but it's the best one can expect from a leftist).
Today, it was Pat Lehman, a woman from the Kansas delegation, described as its "dean," and it looks like she's digging in. Geez, how many such references aren't being noted by the Obama-friendly press in Charlotte? First, from the original report at Kansas.com via the Wichita Eagle's Dion Lefler:
Completing a two-month full reversal of a tiny decline which began earlier in the year, the USDA reported on Friday that participation in the Food Stamp program, which the government wants everyone to call SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), reached an all-time record high in June. The program's had 46.67 million participants that month, eclipsing the previous record of 46.51 million in December 2011.
Only the business press seems interested in covering the story. What follows are excerpts from the story at Bloomberg Business Week, where the most important story element for reporter Alan Bjerga was the impact on Dear Leader's reelection effort:
For decades the liberal media have enjoyed poking fun at conservative politicians for their public gaffes, real or imagined. Dan Quayle, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin -- these are just a few of the many conservatives parodied by the press. Vice-President Joe Biden is set to address the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening. There will be many interviews conducted with him during this time. So in the interest of fair play -- the news media are fair, aren't they? -- NewsBusters's parent organization the Media Research Center (MRC) -- has compiled a list of ten questions the media should pose to Joe Biden.
Questions we wish the liberal media would ask Biden:
Our good friend Dan Joseph of our sister site MRCTV is in Charlotte to cover the Democratic Convention. Yesterday he walked around Carolina Fest, a free festival in the Queen City preceding the start of the convention, the theme of which is "We make it possible."
Dan talked to street vendors who insisted that, yes, they built their business, without help from the government. Of course there seem to be a few Obama fans in the mix who self-consciously spinned for the president, including one business owner who said that the stimulus package "indirectly" benefited him because it all "trickles down." For the most part, however, the vendors were unwilling to credit the government for their hard work. Watch the video below the page break:
The Politico, in its report on what turned out to be the center-right's "Empty Chair Day," covered the reaction of one prominent member of organized labor to Clint Eastwood's supposedly horrible (if you believe leftist pundits) speech at the Republican National Convention.
If it was really that awful, they would be taking pity on Clint. Instead, they're getting hostile, meaning that the Hollywood Academy Award winner really got under their skin, as seen in an understated report by the online web site's Tim Mak and Juana Summers (bolds are mine througout this post):
In his weekend syndicated column, Deroy Murdock unearthed and relayed information the establishment press hasn't told the nation about how certain public-sector pension funds and university endowments have chosen to invest money entrusted to them in Bain Capital. Yes, Bain Capital.
Until three weeks ago, it would have been somewhat understandable if the business press didn't expect to find a story here. After all, who would expect that the organizations complaining the loudest and longest about the conduct of Bain, the private-equity firm GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney left over a decade ago, would actually have significant funds invested there? These people couldn't possibly be that hypocritical, could they? Oh yes they could.
Political junkies get excited about the Republican and Democratic national conventions, but for many Americans they provide a stark reminder of how out of touch our political system has become. The strange rituals and bad jokes seem oddly out of place in the 21st century, almost as strange as seeing an engineer use a slide rule rather than an iPad to perform some complex calculation.
While partisan activists tune in when their team's big show is on the air, most unaffiliated voters view the conventions as a waste of time and money. For the past week or so, everyone I know in the political world has been talking about the latest convention buzz. But I live far from Washington, and most people I talk to aren't wrapped up in politics. Among that group, the most common response to mentioning the convention was something along the lines of, "Oh, yeah, I forgot that was going on now."
For sheer arrogance and self-importance, it's pretty hard to top a pair of political pundits at Politico on the power they believe media "insiders" have to tell Americans what Mitt Romney really said and meant in his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican convention Thursday night.
I daresay that most Americans, almost six years after the web site's founding (January 23, 2007, according to Wikipedia), don't even know what the Politico is ("Oh, is that the new bar downtown?"). But by gosh, Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris, in an "analysis" updated early Friday morning, clearly believe that a couple hundred of their colleagues in the media (possibly including themselves), also largely unknown, will be able to take control of Americans' perceptions of Romney's presentation -- and, ultimately, of his campaign (bolds are mine):
Near the end of his Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan told his audience and the nation that "sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government."
This afternoon, NB's Kyle Drennen did a great job of runnng down the pathetic contention by establishment press "fact-checkers" that vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan somehow lied or misled viewers during his speech Wednesday night concerning the closure of the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin and what presidential candidate Barack Obama said at the plant in 2008.
No, WaPo, New York Times, and the Associated Press (called out by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air), the plant didn't close before Obama was elected; it closed in April 2009. But since we're on the topic of lies about auto plant shutdowns, let's look at one from late April and early May 2009 told by President Barack Obama himself with the assistance of his car czars and other apparatchiks. I blogged about this in mid-May 2009. My full post, which also appeared at NewsBusters, includes noting non-existent national press coverage (only the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephen Koff and other local reporters in the towns affected raised their voices).
Once again the folks at NBC News have "curated some of the notable speeches" from a night at the GOP convention. As I noted here and here, NBC left out some compelling speeches by minority politicians who started out in life as Democrats. This time, among the speeches that didn't make the cut was that of Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples. Staples is one of the wildest success stories of Bain Capital, the much-maligned private equity firm that Mitt Romney co-founded.
While the Obama acolytes at MSNBC are insisting that the Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant was "closed" in December 2008 on President Bush's watch, NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray was more nuanced in an appearance with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern today. Even so, Murray's reporting was misleading and is easily negated by a Web search turning up reporting by the Janesville [Wis.] Gazette from February 2009.
Gas prices have risen to a nationwide average of $3.80 per gallon, per gasbuddy.com early this afternoon, and an Ohio average of over $3.90.
Is Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg worried about the effects on drivers' pocketbooks and travel plans over Labor Day? Don't be silly. Loder is worried about its impact on Dear Leader's presidential reelection prospects, and avoids the implications of the ten-year rule of another Dear Leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, on the current situation. Her first three paragraphs in graphic form, plus a few more on Venezuela, follow the jump: