Eleanor Clift on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" made a truly absurd comment about the disparate ways Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan handled Libya during their respective presidencies that left Monica Crowley in stitches.
After Clift mocked Reagan by saying, "You don’t need leadership that goes into a Muslim country all alone," Monica laughed loudly before replying, "American presidential leadership, Eleanor, never goes out of style" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Unlike President Bush in both Afghanistan and Libya, President Obama chose not to seek congressional approval for the mainly-U.S. bombing campaign against Libya's Moammar Qaddafi, but the big broadcast networks are barely noticing.
On Friday's Fox & Friends, Media Research Center President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell offered the evidence of the media's glaring double standard on this issue, pointing out that Obama himself had explicitly said that it would be "unconstitutional" for a President to go to war without such approval -- and yet the media are by and large failing to hold the President accountable to his own standard.
In the lead-up to the Iraq War, the media "hammered Bush" about getting congressional approval, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on last night's "Hannity" during the "Media Mash" segment. Yet such scrutiny has been missing in President Obama's actions on Libya, he noted.
What's more, the media have failed to press Obama on violating his own standards on presidential use of military force:
Last evening we detailed Cenk Uygur's hypocrisy in supporting military action in Libya. This morning brings news of another liberal nouveau-hawk: Howard Dean. The man who was a scream away from winning the 2004 Dem presidential nomination based on his opposition to the Iraq war suddenly supports a muscular foreign policy. On Morning Joe, Dean told Joe Klein (who is surprisingly skeptical about President Obama's Libya policy):
"I don't think you stay out of these things. You can't if you're the most powerful country in the world . . . You have to take chances."
The Obama administration launched its air war against Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya after a vote of the UN Security Council, but without any congressional authorization — and apparently not even very much consultation with congressional leaders. A review of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from Friday night through Monday night finds virtually no network interest in Obama’s bypassing of Congress — an attitude in stark contrast to their approach to the Bush administration during the run-up to the Iraq war in late 2002. (Video montage below jump.)
With Libya, only the NBC Nightly News has even mentioned the controversy over the Obama administration’s decision to cut Congress out of the decision-making. On the March 20 Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd offered one sentence taking note of John Boehner’s objections in a laundry list of other congressional complaints:
The perpetually anti-war Ed Schultz took his seat behind the desk at MSNBC studios Monday with the expressed mission of selling Barack Obama's air assault on Libya to his viewers.
So passionate was the "Ed Show" host in supporting the President he several times showed video footage of downed Pan Am flight 103 while claiming that Moammar Gaddafi was responsible thereby justifying an attack on him over 22 years later (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's 60 Minutes on CBS, correspondent Bob Simon noted the eighth anniversary of the war in Iraq by describing how "questions still remain as to why the United States launched the war in the first place. The Bush administration said it was because of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. But there were no such weapons."
In the segment that followed, Simon interviewed Rafid Alwan – also know by his code-name 'Curve Ball' – a former Iraqi chemical engineer who claimed the Hussein regime was pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Before the interview Simon implored viewers to "ponder how anyone could ever have believed one word he [Alwan] said." After the interview, Simon concluded that the Bush administration had fallen for "one of the deadliest con jobs in history" by listening to Alwan and going to war in Iraq.
Former Clinton advisor and current CNN contributor Paul Begala thought he was being clever Friday evening when he took a cheap shot at George W. Bush on HBO's "Real Time."
Without skipping a beat, St. Louis Tea Party founder and Big Government editor Dana Loesch smacked down her CNN colleague with a delicious jab at his former boss (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift found herself in a hostile crowd on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
During a lengthy segment about the crisis in Eqypt, after Clift claimed the protesters were secular, the entire panel almost pounced on her with Mort Zuckerman saying several times, "That's nonsense" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As CNN’s Fareed Zakaria concluded his Fareed Zakaria GPS show on Sunday, he recommended to his audience that they read former President George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, but, even while recommending the book, he still took a dig at the former President as he described the book as "surprisingly well written." He also acknowledged that "you might not think he’s super-smart" before praising the former President as "agreeable" and "frank."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, February 13, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN:
Most of the media were predictably jubilant and giddy on Friday when it was announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down.
Acting as the voice of reason was syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer who on PBS's "Inside Washington" spoke some inconvenient truths about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's similarities to pre-Islamic Revolution Iran that America's press have been dishonestly downplaying for weeks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Friday said that Hosni Mubarak's exit from Egypt and the jubilation now happening in Tahrir Square took Barack Obama to have happen.
As soon as he said it on the 5 p.m. installment of MSNBC's "Hardball," the host quipped, "His critics will probably say, 'Yeah, we knew this was coming'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday repeatedly hectored Donald Rumsfeld, goading the former Defense Secretary to apologize for not supporting a troop surge in Iraq. At no point did the former Democratic operative admit that some in the media, including reporters at ABC, were skeptical of such a surge.
Stephanopoulos chided, "So, can you now concede what Senator McCain said last week was correct? That had you stayed in office, there would have been defeat in Iraq and the surge would not have taken place?" Stephanopoulos asserted that individuals such as then-ambassador to Iraq Paul Bremer called for a surge. The host argued, "It's documented in Bob Woodward's book." Rumsfeld retorted, "Bob Woodward wasn't there."
On January 10 2007, then-GMA host Diane Sawyer lectured White House aide Dan Bartlett about the surge: "I just want to run through a partial roll call of the number of people who have either opposed what the President is going to do, or expressed serious reservations." After reading off several names, she complained, "What don’t they get? What don’t they understand?"
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift must have felt like a fish out of water during the taping of this weekend's syndicated "McLaughlin Group."
In a lengthy and tremendously informative segment about the crisis in Egypt, the host and his other three guests - Pat Buchanan, Monica Crowley, and Mort Zuckerman - gave the perilously liberal columnist quite a lesson regarding the Obama administration's diplomatic mishandling of Hosni Mubarak as well insights about the Muslim Brotherhood that most in the media are ignoring (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There was some fascinating historical revisionism that took place on Friday's "Inside Washington" as almost the entire panel made the case that Democrats were largely opposed to the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002 and that the decision to invade was mostly George W. Bush's.
This included PBS's Mark Shields who completely misrepresented the historic vote in the Senate that month (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Having mercilessly attacked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for six days in a row, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday set his sights on conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.
After an opening teaser in which the "Hardball" host referred to "the right-wing freak-out over Egypt," Matthews ended up doing two segments about the Fox News star in which he and his perilously liberal guests called the object of their disaffection a "fear mongering," "completely crazy," "full mooner," "Captain Queeg" (videos follow with partial transcripts and lengthy commentary):
Chris Matthews on Friday asked the panelists on the syndicated program bearing his name two questions about the crisis in Egypt that must have made his liberal viewers gasp.
Moments after surprisingly asking NBC's Andrea Mitchell if "neo-conservatives who believe in really trying to push democracy" were right all along, Matthews asked David Sanger of the New York Times if George W. Bush was "better equipped than this President to deal with this crisis" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a metaphysical certitude that whenever anything happens in the Middle East, the media will quickly blame former President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
Not missing the opportunity to do so, Chris Matthews began the 5PM installment of "Hardball" Friday connecting the riots in Egypt to a man that has been out of office for two years (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For general discussion and debate about all things relating to politics, the economy, and sports.
Possible talking point: Egypt.
How serious is the situation in Egypt? Will this result in a full-scale revolution that topples Mubarak? If so, will this become religious leading to some kind of new Islamic government such as in Iran? Or will Mubarak get control of the situation?
On Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, host Keith Olbermann announced that the episode would be his last, and spent a few minutes near the end of the show saying goodbye. He mentioned a number of infamous and pivotal points in his show’s history when he went after the Bush administration:
The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of "Mission Accomplished," to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the "Nexus of Politics and Terror," to the first "Special Comment."
As he listed a number of prominent supporters of his show, he ended up notably giving credit to the late Tim Russert of NBC for being "my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader."
Below the fold is the video and a complete transcript of Olbermann's announcement from the Friday, January 21, Countdown show on MSNBC, from about 8:53 p.m.:
Just when Joe-mentum was building for Lieberman-Huffington '12!
Say this for Arianna Huffington: she didn't stab Joe Lieberman in the back. On Morning Joe today, the HuffPo founder went for the full frontal assault, telling the outgoing senator to his face "I sincerely hope for the sake of the country that you do not become Secretary of Defense."
Lieberman was not defenseless, at one point condescendingly spelling out for Arianna's sake the name of the author of a report he relied on to conclude Saddam was developing WMD. When Arianna huffed that the report proved nothing, Lieberman sniped "I don't think you've read it, sweetheart."
The New York Times ran a rather serious report on Tuesday, regarding former Vice-President Dick Cheney and the new mechanical heart pump he received in July. The addition of the new pump means that Cheney’s heart will never again beat at full strength, and leaves him with a daunting decision whether or not to have a full heart transplant.
Naturally, juveniles in the liberal media have had a blast with the news.
Political Wire, a supposedly non-partisan political blog led off a post about the heart transplant with this gem:
The New York Times confirms what many of his political opponents always assumed: Dick Cheney has no pulse.
Jeffrey Sachs has attacked distinguished military historian Victor Davis Hanson as an "extremist" who "has done more harm to the American people" than any other commentator.
Sachs, a Columbia prof and income redistributionist supreme, launched his surprising verbal assault in commenting on Hanson's National Review Online column, "The Obamites' About-Face." Hanson there makes the case that out of political pragmatism, Obama has flip-flopped on everything from "the environment, radical Islam, taxes, stimulus, the economy, national security" to foreign policy.
Could Michael Kinsley possibly be any more predictable? His review of George Bush's "Decision Points," appearing in today's Sunday New York Times, is precisely the smug piece of sneering partisanship you would expect in this paper and from this quintessential liberal MSM elitist.
As the headline indicates, Kinsley flatly accuses W of "stealing" the 2000 election. Kinsley offers no proof, but surely most of the people who will read this review require none. They take it as a matter of deep partisan faith. Speaking of faith, the former Crossfire man is mocking of Bush's. Consider this excerpt:
"[H]e stopped drinking with the help of God, who spoke to him while he was out jogging. (I make light, but this part of his story is actually fascinating, gutsy and very well told.) Thirteen years later, after he had made a quick fortune buying and selling a baseball team and then had been elected governor of Texas, God told him to run for president."
If Kinsley admired Bush's telling of how his faith helped him to stop drinking, why then would he "make light"? Could it be that he needs to remind his audience and himself that they are way too sophisticated to take this religion stuff seriously?
For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the President a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved, and Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American Presidential history.
On December 3, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave CBS's Katie Couric a much-needed lesson on why America invaded Iraq.
When Couric said to her guest during an "HBO History Makers Series" interview, "Documentaries have been made about how intelligence was incorrectly analyzed and cherry-picked to build an argument for war, and memos from that time do suggest that officials knew there was a small chance of actually finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," Rice stopped the host dead in her tracks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on CNN’s Parker-Spitzer, rocker Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS and the TV show Family Jewels related to viewers that he is "very conservative" on fiscal and foreign policy issues, voiced his support for President Bush and the war on terrorism - including "nation building" in Iraq - and declared that he wishes he could take back his vote for President Obama from the 2008 election.
As he later explained that he normally does not talk about politics because he believes entertainers are not qualified to speak about such matters, he also took a jab at Hollywood liberal Sean Penn and suggested that politically outspoken celebrities are "morons."
Simmons, who has a history of declaring his love for America because of the rescue of his mother from Nazi concentration camps, also discussed his visit to the house of Holocaust victim Anne Frank and its inclusion in his TV show Family Jewels.
When asked by co-host Kathleen Parker about his support for President Bush and the invasion of Iraq, Simmons revealed some of his voting history: