Both Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's NBC Today offered full reports on President Obama being criticized for attending Democratic Party fundraisers at a time of international crises. ABC continued to remain silent on the growing controversy.
On Evening News, White House correspondent Major Garrett reported: "President Obama arrived late today in Los Angeles for his fifth meeting with big donors in two days." A clip played of Garrett challenging Press Secretary Josh Ernest: "Could you address what many Americans believe is either the trivial or unnecessarily-distracting obligation of presidents – including this one – to raise money in the course of conducting important matters of state?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams reported the Apollo 11 astronauts' meeting with President Obama to mark the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, but failed to mention that only photo journalists were permitted to cover the event. Williams spotlighted Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins's visit to the White House, and how "with them in spirit in the Oval Office today was the late, great Neil Armstrong."
During his minute-long news brief, the anchor also pointed out a former NASA administrator's warning about the current state of the U.S. manned spaceflight program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast to notice the criticism of the Obama administration banning U.S. airliners from traveling to Israel. Prominent politicians from both sides of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have denounced this move by the FAA. Senator Cruz accused the administration of using the "federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel."
Anchor Brian Williams zeroed in on Bloomberg's blunt critique of the travel ban, as he introduced a report from correspondent Richard Engel: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The comment came at the beginning of his July 23 interview with Ms. Or live in MSNBC's New York City studios. Video follows the page break and you can listen to the MP3 here. You can read the relevant transcript below the page break.
It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.
Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops' departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been "the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage" in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on "Amos Iraq" (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly's related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump.
Churchill: Never give in. Never, never, never. FDR: The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Obama: Fore left! Sometimes public service demands too much of a man. Take poor Tony Blinken. Appearing on Morning Joe today, President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser actually claimed that the president was exhibiting "extraordinary leadership" in putting pressure on Russia over Ukraine.
Yes, so "extraordinary" that even as Blinken was being introduced, news was breaking that the Putin-backed Ukrainian rebels had resumed their terrorist ways, shooting down two Ukrainian military planes. View the video after the jump.
The man who suggested that the US shoot down Israeli airplanes is at it again. Surveying the Israeli/Hamas conflict, Zbigniew Brzezinski couldn't summon up one word of condemnation for Hamas' intentional targeting of Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and mortars.
Instead, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser had harsh words for only one person: Benjamin Netanyahu. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski said he didn't include Netanyahu in the category of leaders man enough to negotiate, accusing the Israeli PM of having "scuttled" peace efforts--again without a word of criticism for Hamas. Zbigniew ended his anti-Israel tirade by decrying that "the ideologues, hard-liners, the ones that promulgate confrontation are in charge, and that's what's so hard and so disgustingly destructive." Any disgustingly destructive hard-liners in Gaza, Zbig? View the video after the jump.
During the Bush era, the Left were wont to remind us that "dissent is patriotic" and being intensely critical of the president was a hallmark of a vibrant democracy, especially on matters of foreign policy and national defense. But in the Obama Era, especially in a crucial midterm election year, well, not so much.
On the July 21 Hardball, guest host Steve Kornacki brought on Mother Jones magazine writer David Corn and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart to grouse about how Republicans who have been critical of President Obama's handling of Russia vis-a-vis the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Moscow-backed political unrest in Ukraine. "There was a time when politics stopped at the water's edge. That disappeared, apparently, on January 20, 2009," Capehart whined in a segment entitled "Blame Obama First."
MSNBC has truly outdone itself. On the July 21 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the MSNBC host invited Eli Lake from Huffington Post and Italian-Palestinian journalist and MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal onto the show to discuss how Secretary of State John Kerry’s off-air comments about Israeli operations in Palestine revealed a gap between “American officials’ public versus private thoughts when it comes to Israel.”
When Farrow asked Jebreal, “Why can't American leaders be more honest?” she responded that because of “AIPAC and because of the money behind it and because of Sheldon Adelson and because of all of us in the media,” American political leaders are forced into a pro-Israel stance. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."
That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
In the wake of the Israeli military launching a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas militants from continuing to fire rockets into their country, NBC has repeatedly taken jabs at Israel and its military.
In a report filed on Today on Sunday, July 20, Richard Engel, NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, provided a fairly biased report on the ongoing violence in the Middle East which concluded by the reporter hyping a Palestinian official saying Israel’s ground attack “was a war crime in the making.” [See video below.]
The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don't believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.
I don't see why would anyone think that (in case it's not obvious, that's sarcasm). After all, wasn't Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend's column on men's suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn't the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, "Of course not." But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn't seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (that DHS's term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be "informed" and fashionable (HT The Blaze):
The liberal media is hemorrhaging foreign correspondents from Israel and the Gaza Strip. Only one day after NBC suddenly pulled anti-Israel Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza citing security concerns, CNN was forced to relocate journalist Diana Magnay from Israel. Both correspondents struggled to keep their reporting and social media presence neutral in tone.
Magnay reported during The Situation Room from a hill in Israel where citizens were “cheering”while watching the “astonishing” and “awful” launch of missiles into the Gaza. The CNN correspondent, normally based in Berlin, followed the segment with a tweet calling the celebrating Israelis “scum.”
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
It was strange. Joe Scarborough had just completed a comprehensive indictment of failed American foreign policy around the globe. But at the very moment when he should have laid those disasters at the feet of the sitting President of the United States, Scarborough came down with a bad case of . . . cold feet.
Scarborough laid out to David Gregory a tour d'horizon of failed American foreign policy from the Middle East, to Iran, to Russia/Ukraine, describing it as "one disaster after another.One strikeout after another." But perhaps fearful of where the ineluctable logic of his comments was taking him, Scarborough suddenly made nice, saying "of course that is not directed to President Obama." Really? Who's been in the White House for the last six years? View the video after the jump.
MSNBC’s unwavering devotion to President Obama amidst the immigration crisis of his own making was made prominently clear on the July 16 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily. The Lean Forward host actually misreported an ABC News Washington Post poll which determined that 58% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of immigration while only 33% approve of his policies. Farrow claimed, “there's a new poll out from ABC News and Washington Post saying that a majority of Americans agree with the president pushing on Congress on this.”
Seizing on the falsehood, Farrow immediately placed the blame on the Right, asking Republican strategist John Feehery, “should those numbers send a strong signal to Republican congressmen at this point, maybe it's time to change tracks?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
At last, an Obama administration official has come out in favor of a fence. He promises it will bring security to people on both sides of the border.
Unfortunately, Philip Gordon, National Security Council coordinator for theMiddle East, North Africa and the Gulf, was not speaking of a border fence between the United States and Mexico, but a fence between the West Bank and the 1967 Israeli border. That fence, he said, would be built after Israelrelinquishes the territory in exchange for an empty promise of "peace" with the Palestinians.
On the third day of José Díaz-Balart, the latest program to enter the Lean Forward network’s lineup, the former Telemundo host began the July 16 edition with a 9 minute discussion of the immigration crisis. Díaz-Balart, who in a TVNewser blog claimed that his show was “about opening up lines of dialogue, opening up to other communities, opening up to other thoughts across the board,” gave 6 minutes and 43 seconds of air time to liberal immigration advocates.
Of the 9 minutes and 33 seconds of discussion, 15 seconds were given to the opposing point of view by two random protesters in Oracle, Arizona. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
As my colleagues have been documenting throughout the day, both NBC and MSNBC have had their share of biased segments against Israel on their Tuesday programs.
So it was rather refreshing to see Hardball host Chris Matthews defend the United States's staunchest -- and only truly democratic -- Middle Eastern ally in his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for the July 15 program. You can read the transcript below the page break (MP3 audio here, video follows page break; emphasis mine):
For an example of how MSNBC is leaning forward into biased coverage of the latest troubles Israel is having with the terrorist group Hamas, one need look no further than the July 15 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports.
After hearing from NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin about how the Egyptian cease-fire was rejected by Hamas because it “failed to address the comprehensive issues that they (Hamas) were trying to go after,” Mitchell invited the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, to discuss the crisis in Israel and offer “his take” on U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran. When Dermer stated that “Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapon.” Mitchell retorted that they “say they don’t.” Well, that settles it. Just like that time in 2007 when the Holocaust-denying President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insisted there were no gay men in Iran. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Reporting from the Gaza Strip during MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on July 14, NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, formerly of Al Jazerra and CNN, parroted Hamas denials that it deliberately placed missile batteries in civilian buildings in Gaza [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:
They definitely reject the labeling of using civilians as human shields....Hamas military wing people that we've been speaking to and others – not just on these past few days, but in the past several years, because this is an issue that always comes up against Hamas – they will say that this is the nature of the battlefield that they have to fight in. That this is not an issue by design, but as a reality of what Gaza is like because it's so densely populated.
Although more subdued compared to his June 18 anti-Dick Cheney diatribe, MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned on his Monday, July 14 program once again to his unhealthy, creepy obsession with the former vice president. The relevant news hook was what Matthews derided as a "Cheney family offensive," referring to a Politico Playbook lunch event held earlier in the day in Washington, D.C., featuring Cheney, wife Lynne, and daughter Liz.
"Cheney, who was the number one force pushing was on the American people, said he's sticking to his tragic position of 2003," Matthews groused before playing a clip of Cheney saying he "believed it in then" and "looking back on it now, it was the right thing to do." "What did anyone expect, is what I have to say," Matthews huffed, adding, "Is it news that Dick Cheney [chay-nee] is Dick Cheney [chee-nee]?"
U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi has been held in a Mexican prison for more than three months for accidentally crossing into Mexico with weapons and NBC News has yet to acknowledge the story.
On Wednesday, July 9, Sergeant Tahmooressi made his first appearance in a Tijuana courtroom and on Thursday both ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the developments whereas NBC’s Today remained silent. [See video below.]
On Monday evening's NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams used a perhaps revealing verb to describe a belief held by former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who died on Monday at 86.
It would be good to look back and learn how Shevardnadze came to say what he said a decade ago before getting to how Williams framed it. As reported in Doug Martin's obituary at the New York Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
Just in time for Independence Day, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted a two part preview of an interview with Bill Ayers that will air in full July 4. The July 2 segment pitted the former Weather Underground bomber against conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, who’s new film, “America” was also released July 2.
Ayers, who never repented of bombings and other crimes, is now somehow a college professor and education theorist. In 2008, Barack Obama downplayed Ayers as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” but the two sat on philanthropic boards together and Obama actually kicked off his political career with an event Ayers’ hosted in his home. Some, including Stanley Kurtz, believe the association is much deeper than “guy in the neighborhood.”
NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, June 30, it was revealed that the three Israeli teens, one of whom was a dual Israeli-American citizen, that went missing two weeks were found dead, likely the victims of murder from the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
While all three network evening news shows reported on the deaths of the three teenage boys,NBC Nightly News only provided a news brief and completely ignored that one of the boys, Naftaly Frenkel, was in fact a U.S. citizen. Anchor Brian Williams did find time to highlight how “President Obama was among those who expressed outrage over the killings.” [See video below.]
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left The Nation magazine, did her best to attack Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, over his continued support for the Iraq war and the need to take action to stop the increasing violence in the region.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 29, vanden Heuvel tried to verbally assault Kristol by asserting “We don't need armchair warriors. And if you feel so strongly, you should, with all due respect, enlist in the Iraqi army.”