Thursday's CBS This Morning rushed to President Obama's defense over the spat between the Democrat and opponent Mitt Romney over a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt condemning an obscure Internet video about Muhammad. Minutes after Steve Kroft tossed softballs at the President and let him speak uninterrupted for two and half minutes, the show confronted Republican Senator Rob Portman for defending Romney's attack.
Anchor Norah O'Donnell hounded Portman, interjecting five confrontational questions in just over two and half minutes, about the same amount of time that Obama spoke without any disruption. O'Donnell cried, "You're mistaken, Senator," and read statements from Peggy Noonan, Nick Burns, and Mike Rogers to emphasize that "Republicans...are saying that Governor Romney stepped in it." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Angry journalists repeatedly lashed out at a defiant Mitt Romney, Wednesday, pushing the Republican to renounce his criticism of Barack Obama's handling of the crisis developing in Libya. In a statement on Tuesday, the presidential candidate slammed the administration's "disgraceful" response to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, which ended with the murder of ambassador Chris Stevens.
An unidentified reporter complained, "The statement from the President was a very toughly worded statement last night. Do you regret the tone at all, given what we know now?" Another asked, given how quickly events were unfolding, was it "appropriate to be weighing in as this as this crisis is unfolding in real time? " The same question came again and again, a total of seven times. [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Tuesday failed to mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's criticism of the Obama administration for not being aggressive in preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons. The CBS Evening News included a plug in its opening teaser and then devoted a full report to the story.
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.
It appears as though Andrea Mitchell has joined the chorus of "journalists" on MSNBC attacking Mitt Romney for his comments in Israel over the weekend.
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Mitchell tried to scold Dan Senor, senior advisor to Mitt Romney, over what she described as Mitt’s ‘deeply offensive’ comments on the relationship between culture and economic success in Israel. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
Sunday's CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News tried to spin negatively a vague statement by Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor that the GOP presidential candidate would "respect" the Israeli government's decision if it chose to attack militarily Iran's nuclear capability, suggesting that the Romney campaign's words amounted to a criticism of the Obama administration, and thus a breach of protocol that American politicians in a foreign land should not criticize the U.S. government.
But the effort to paint the statement into a gaffe contrasts with the media silence in July 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama, during a trip to Israel as he campaigned for the White House, claimed to be a member of a Senate committee on which he did not serve, in an effort to portray himself as tough on Iran, as he tried to take credit for the actions of the Senate Banking Committee.
One of the most embarrassing yet telling exchanges (using the term loosely, as will be seen) in the history of presidential press secretaries occurred on Thursday. Connie Lawn, described here as longest-serving White House reporter, asked Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney what should have been a really easy question: "What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel -- Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?"
Carney wouldn't answer it, and accused Lawn and relentless national treasure Les Kinsolving of WND.com of asking about something they already knew. Carney's contemptible behavior has been virtually ignored in the establishment press. Here is the complete exchange as relayed at the White House's web site, complete with an asterisk, which I will explain (I have added names of the questioners where needed; a YouTube of part of what follows is here; bolds are mine):
One hundred and six people died in Iraq on Monday, a bloody milestone that CBS's morning show ignored. Good Morning America's Josh Elliott recounted, "And oversees, this has been the deadliest day in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew last year." CBS This Morning skipped the story. ABC provided the fullest context.
On his Political Punch blog, Jake Tapper recounted, "President Obama Praises Self for Ending War in Iraq on Bloodiest Day of the Year in That Country." He wondered, "Is it bad timing or irrelevant?" Tapper featured a video that the Obama campaign released touting the end of the war.
The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the Press is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
On Sunday's Today show, as he read a brief item on the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, NBC's Ron Mott recounted criticism painting the conservative Israeli leader as "increasing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians" by expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mott:
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, a piece by correspondent Andrea Mitchell incorrectly claimed that Mitt Romney "doesn't say how" he believes the Obama administration should assist rebels who are fighting against Bashar Assad's rule of Syria, giving the impression that the GOP presidential candidate was criticizing President Obama without offering constructive ideas. She even hinted that Romney had not voiced support for arming rebels as she noted that "Others, including John McCain, say the U.S. should arm the rebels."
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Richard Engel conveyed that the reform advocates who led the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt are distraught at the kinds of candidates that Egyptian voters are choosing to replace Mubarak, with both major presidential candidates likely to curtail freedom if elected. Engel recounted: (Video at bottom)
Sunday's CBS Evening News refreshingly spotlighted the continuing persecution of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, an ongoing story that the Big Three networks have largely ignored for months. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer zeroed in on the uncertain future for the religious minority as the country gears for a rare election: "[Egypt's] Christians are deeply worried....Two of the frontrunners in the race with a realistic chance of winning are deeply devout Islamists."
The last time CBS reported on the anti-Christian violence in Egypt was a news brief on the October 9, 2011 edition of Evening News, according to a Nexis search. Since January 2011, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning and evening newscasts have only mentioned the issue six times.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, the news network's founder, Ted Turner, complained that a double standard exists between the U.S. and Israel being allowed to possess nuclear weapons while Iran is expected to be nuclear-free, as he suggested that all countries dispose of their nuclear arsenals to persuade Iran not to build such weapons.
After host Piers Morgan asked Turner what he would do about Iran if he were President, the CNN founder absurdly complained that Iran was being held to a different standard than Israel, without either he or Morgan noting Iran's support of terrorism against both Israel and the U.S. Turner:
A week ago, National Journal's Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that "The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." If it's so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier's Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden's death "on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group"?
Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who admitted last year that he held off-the-record conversations with President Obama even though he was covering the President's foreign policy, has now expressed his support for the Buffett Rule – legislation that Obama has pushed for in recent weeks.
Zakaria is reportedly on the short list of considerations for Obama's next Secretary of State if the President is re-elected, and has had to answer for his conversations with Obama and any possible conflict they might have had with his reporting on foreign affairs. Now he is supporting legislation that the President has asked Congress to pass.
Plugging his new book, The Crisis of Zionism, on Thursday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart - formerly of Time magazine - advanced the irrational view that it is the Israeli government and those who support the existence of Jewish settlements in the West Bank who are the obstacles to peace with the Palestinians. (Video below)
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, liberal columnist Mark Shields seemed to show mor skepticism than other panel members about whether Iran is really trying to build nuclear weapons, as he brought up the failure to find an advanced nuclear program in Iraq, asserting, "I've seen this movie before."
He later defended the rationale for Iran locating its nuclear program under a mountain as being a response to threats by other countries to bomb the program.
On Monday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News skipped the news that Israeli diplomats were the targets of simultaneous assassination attempts in two different countries, most likely from Iranian sources.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, former CBS News anchor expressed agreement with GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul in opposing U.S. involvement in the civil war in Syria to protect the civilian population from the terror regime of authoritarian ruler, President Bashar Assad. After describing what he believes should be done to put pressure on Assad, he brought up Congressman Paul's left-leaning views on the Middle East:
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, ABC's Christiane Amanpour characterized conservatives as several years ago "frog-marching" the U.S. to war with Iraq as she and host Colbert discussed the likelihood Israel will soon attack Iran to prevent the Islamic state from producing nuclear weapons. (Video below)
A few years ago, when FNC's Fox and Friends substitute co-anchor Peter Johnson, Jr., accidentally referred to left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as "Cesar Chavez," the famous American labor and civil rights activist, the flub received attention from some of FNC's left-wing critics, even though the FNC host corrected himself moments later.
But Tuesday's World News on ABC demonstrates that you don't have to be a target of the left to make the same flub. (Video below)
On the Monday, January 9, Imus in the Morning, as he was interviewed by phone, New York magazine's Frank Rich - formerly of the New York Times - argued that he believes President Obama should be reelected, and seemed befuddled when host Don Imus, who plans to vote for Mitt Romney, asserted that Obama's foreign policy has been "disastrous." The liberal columnist then tried to give President Obama credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.
After Imus asked, "So you like President Obama, don't you? I mean, you'll vote-"
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Chelsea Lately show on the E! network to promote his book, The New New Rules, HBO's Bill Maher denied that a sexual joke he made last February about ABC's Elisabeth Hasselbeck and CBS's Lara Logan was a reference to the rape of Logan in Egypt from that month, as he recounted that he actually made the joke on his Real Time show before Logan's sexual assault occurred.
During Tuesday's live coverage of the New Hampshire Primary on MSNBC, at about 6:53 p.m., Chris Matthews asked guest Tom Ridge why it is that "crazy neocons" and Republican "chickenhawks" always want to "go to war with other people's children."
As he began the interview, Matthews listed several Republicans who have not served in the military and whose children have not served, and then posed: (Video below)
On Tuesday's The Daily Show on Comedy Central, as he recounted the racist newsletters that were published in the 1990s under the name of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, host Jon Stewart mocked other GOP candidates after clips of them attacking Paul for not taking seriously the threat of a nuclear Iran, suggesting that the candidates were not so concerned about racism. (Video below)
Moments later, as he mocked Republican voters for adding former Senator Rick Santorum to the list of candidates they are willing to consider, Stewart took another race-based shot at the Republican Party as he used a box of Whitman's chocolates as a prop and pronounced the brand name as if it were "White Man's."
After showing clips of the candidates criticizing Paul's willingness to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, Stewart cracked:
Appearing as a panel member on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show on Sunday, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius predicted that President Obama would be more aggressive in taking on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a second term, as he cited the belief by Obama's people that the President "has had success" in Middle East policy so far. (Video below)
Ignatius seemed to go along with the idea that President Obama has a "strong foreign policy record" as he ended up asking rhetorically:
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, as guest Rick Santorum criticized President Obama because he refused to support a democracy movement in Iran that might have weakened the anti-America radical Muslim government of Tehran, but, by contrast, supported a democracy movement in Egypt directed against a pro-America government - which resulted in an election that recently handed more power in Cairo to radical Muslims - host David Gregory accused the GOP presidential candidate of being "patently contradictory." (Video below)
As he moved into the foreign policy portion of the interview, Gregory brought up a recent speech in which Santorum accused President Obama of engaging in "appeasement" against America's enemies, and then the NBC host defended Obama's foreign policy:
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, during a report recounting the gathering of Christian pilgrims in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, correspondent Martin Fletcher relayed Palestinian complaints about Israel, and gave attention to the display of an anti-Israel publicity stunt set to coincide with the occasion taking advantage of a Christmas tree theme.