It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
Shameless shilling for the Demcratic Party's presumptive presidential 2016 nominee appears to have reached an all-time peak.
A USA Today email I received this afternoon (email web link here) breathlessly delivered the following "Breaking" news story readers will see after the jump. Keep in mind that this is not a normal, garden-variety news story. No, this one's "breaking," meaning that we apparently must drop everything and read it because of its immediate importance to anyone who tries to follow the news:
You can imagine the field day the media would have with this photograph were it President Bush delivering a lecture to Russian president Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian crisis.
Earlier today, Fox News reporter Bryan Cole, snapped an photo of the president delivering remarks from a podium in a Washington, D.C., elementary classroom. The podium was resting atop a blue oval rug with the letters of the alphabet around the edge [see below page break for image]. After Mark Knoller of CBS radio tweeted about it, our friends at Twitchy had fun lampooning the president, among other folks in the conservative blogosphere.
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday, MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly refused to characterize either Russian president Vladimir Putin or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “evil.” During a contentious debate over Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Hewitt asked his guest point-blank, “Do you agree that what Russia is doing is evil?” [Video embedded below the break.]
The Obama administration's most recent abuse of the English language late last week involved its reluctance bordering on refusal to call Russia's military move into Crimea an "invasion." The press, unlike in 1970 when Richard Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia for under three months, is largely following suit.
CNN (HT Hot Air) began the Team Obama-driven festivities on Friday by reporting that "According to the latest U.S. assessment, there has been an uncontested arrival of Russian military forces by air at a Russian base in Crimea. They are believed to be Russian land forces, CNN was told."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory appeared to caution President Obama against aggressively confronting Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Teeing up left-wing Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, Gregory declared: "Look, part of the Bush era that a lot of people recoiled against was the idea of talking tough and projecting American power as if some how feeling better about that makes the world better." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brown replied: "Absolutely. I mean, there's no need to just go off and be bellicose. And then it's like, 'Now what?' Marco Rubio actually said, 'Now, you know, Secretary Hagel and Secretary Kerry should go immediately to Kiev.' And you think, 'Well, what then?' You know, you have to have this follow-up."
Appearing on NBC's Today on Monday, New Yorker magazine editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick fretted that the United States lacked the moral authority to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "The United States also does not have the leverage it wants in historical terms. Invading countries is something the United States knows about from really raw experience. And Russia knows that and asserts that day in and day out on Russian television all the time. That's a cost, too." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, co-host Savannah Guthrie excused the Obama administration's poor handling of the situation: "So what is the White House supposed to do? I mean, on Friday we see the President coming out saying to Putin, 'There will be high costs if you invade.' The very next day, he invades. What leverage do we have?" Remnick replied: "Economic leverage, diplomatic leverage, but I don't think in any way the United States or Europe has any interest in making this military, making it a military clash between the United States and Russia, because we know how horrible and bloody that could get."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
Perhaps because President Obama is looking pitiably weak in his mano a mano with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, ABC News chose to bury the story during today's Good Morning America. Incredibly, the show-opening teaser didn't mention the Ukraine--but did highlight the latest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As the program unfolded, and before saying a word about the Ukraine, GMA inexcusably chose to air segments on rain in California, snow in the North, a laser being shined into a plane's cockpit, an airplane bird strike, the arrest of a Mexican drug lord, the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and Mardi Gras in Brazil.
When GMA finally got around to the most serious story in the world right now, it did its best to protect President Obama. Two nights ago on FNC, Charles Krauthammer did a devastating take-down on President Obama's feeble statement, saying “the Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” So how did GMA's reporter Alex Marquardt describe the Obama statement? As a "harsh warning." Gag me with a kalashnikov, and view the video after the jump.
Season 2 debuts tonight of The Americans, the FX drama centered around husband and wife KGB undercover agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Reagan becomes President.
In the next to last episode of the first season, at a scene in a restaurant sometime in 1982, a source tells “Elizabeth” she can trust a U.S. Colonel, who wants to pass on information about the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), because “he’s completely disillusioned with the Chicken Hawks in the Reagan administration.”
National Security Advisor Susan Rice gave her first televised Sunday interview since her infamous Benghazi interview in 2012 on February 23, and rather than answer tough questions on the terrorist attack, she chose instead to give a softball interview to David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press.
For his part, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace called out Ms. Rice for her refusal to appear on his show and accused the Obama official of not wanting to “answer the tough questions we would have asked” on Benghazi and a wide variety of foreign policy issues. [See video below.]
President Barack Obama naive on foreign policy? Perish the thought! CBS’s Bob Schieffer seemed appalled that Senator John McCain dared to describe Obama as the “most naive President in history.”
On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Schieffer demanded: “Senator I want to ask you about something you said the other day, you said that President Obama, and I believe these are your words, ‘the most naive President in history.’ Did you mean that literally, or how did you mean that?”
Following Meet the Press host David Gregory’s softball interview with former Ambassador Susan Rice, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews rushed to defend Ms. Rice from criticism surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Appearing as a panelist on the Sunday show, Matthews eagerly asked Gregory if he could defend Ambassador Rice before pushing the White House talking point that “it was a copycat situation Benghazi, came out of what happened in Cairo – which itself probably came out of that crazy movie out of Los Angeles.” [See video below.]
For the first time since her infamous 2012 interview, National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday February 23 to discuss a variety of foreign policy issues, most noticeably Benghazi.
Throughout the interview, which focused primarily on the recent violent protests in Ukraine, host David Gregory provided Rice with a variety of softball questions on Benghazi, and allowed her to push White House talking points without any significant pushback.
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
What's missing from this list of people Mika Brzezinski blasted on today's Morning Joe for "making a lot of money at the Olympics" while Vladimir Putin's suppression of democracy in the Ukraine unfolds: "the people performing there, the people competing there, the people sponsoring there"?
Did somebody say NBC, Mika's own parent network? Give that guy a gold medal! To whom does Mika think "the people sponsoring there" are paying their millions to promote their products? Has Mika not noticed that regular programming on MSNBC itself has been pre-empted by the Putin Olympics? View the video after the jump.
Kudos to the Daily Beast for reporting this story. Don't hold your breath for the network news outlets to pick up on it and doggedly pursue it.
In an exclusive published at the website today, Josh Rogin and Noah Shachtmanexplain how there's credible evidence that regime of Syrian dictator Basharal-Assad may have used chemical weapons in January 2014, something that U.S. intelligence officials are denying but which eyewitnesses on the ground insist occurred (excerpt follows; emphasis mine):
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
Never thought I'd see the day that a prominent member of the liberal media establishment praised the Prince of Darkness himself, aka Richard Milhous Nixon, and one of his liberal media cohorts agreed.
Moreover, Nixon was described favorably while being compared to the erstwhile would-be Messiah occupying the Oval Office, Barack Hussein Obama. Strange days indeed, to borrow from John Lennon, the high priest of hippies. (Audio after the jump)
The liberal media have made much of a recent United Nations committee report insisting that the Vatican needs to ditch centuries of orthodox Christian doctrine as part of its effort to combat child sex abuse.
But as Claudia Rosett of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies noted yesterday in an op-ed published February 10 in the Wall Street Journal, the UN has been curiously quiet about real abuses of children borne about by authoritarian regimes like the Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea. You can read the full piece here. Here's a taste (emphasis mine):
A Christian man was savagely killed Sunday morning by a Muslim lynch mob in Central African Republic, right in front of a Washington Post reporter. "They cut his neck like a cow," Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan quoted a relative of the victim, Polin Pumandele.
Post print edition editors assigned the story to page A6, giving it a rather bland headline, "Solutions elusive as sectarian violence spreads." By contrast, earlier this morning, WashingtonPost.com editors promoted the story prominently on the paper's landing page, using "They cut his neck like a cow' as the teaser headline and accompanying it with a photo of women mourning his death (see image below the page break):
A new biography entitled HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton is set to hit bookshelves later this month, and the folks at ABC News have already jumped on a new endorsement for Ms. Clinton that was revealed in the upcoming book.
On Sunday night, World News host David Muir jumped all over the “eye opening endorsement” made by General David Petraeus, yet when the endorsement was read, Muir ignored referencing Benghazi, which Petraeus gave as the primary reason for his endorsement. Muir only quoted Petraeus’ claim that Clinton would “quote make an incredible president.” [See video below.]
ABC’s Jonathan Karl, alongside Martha Raddatz, filled in for George Stephanopoulos as host of This Week on Sunday February 9 and used the opportunity to hit Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) from the left on a myriad of issues. As of late, the ABC reporter has been especially tough on the Obama White House, but seemed to relish the opportunity to use Democratic talking points to attack the GOP congressman on Sunday.
Following a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report which found that ObamaCare will discourage 2.5 million Americans from working in order to seek ObamaCare subsidies, Karl pressed Cole that despite the CBO report “being a gift to you guys but did you overplay it?”
A cyber security expert featured on the February 4 NBC Nightly News is alleging that producers edited the story in such a way as to sensationalize the threat that tourists at the Olympic Games in Sochi face from hackers.
Hadas Gold of Politico has the story in a piece at the paper's On Media blog:
The spokeswoman who helped circle the wagons for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the aftermath of Benghazi recently found herself in a fresh controversy over a leaked phone conversation in which she exclaimed "F**k the EU!" in reference to the European Union's stake in negotiations regarding internal strife in Ukraine.
Yesterday afternoon three red state Democratic senators -- plus Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) -- joined a number of Republican legislators and the Canadian ambassador to the United States at a press conference called to publicly press President Obama to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Such a show of bipartisan and international agreement on an economic-development issue is surely worthy of attention by the broadcast news media, and yet ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored the development on both the February 4 evening newscasts and the February 5 morning news shows. Here's how Matthew Daly of the Associated Press reported the development in his Tuesday afternoon piece, "Broad coalition backs Keystone XL oil pipeline" (emphasis mine):
Two possible presidential candidates. Although there's no evidence of it on the record, some have accused the first of closing bridge-access lanes for political purposes. The other failed to respond to pleas for help, four Americans died in Benghazi, and her response was a petulant "what difference does it make?"
So where do those two candidates stand as we look to 2016? In the case of Chris Christie, his candidacy is "over" and he "doesn't belong in the conversation." Hillary Clinton? Her biggest problem is fighting an air of "inevitability." Such was the collective wisdom of today's Morning Joe panel. But to what degree have the fates and status of the two candidates been shaped by the MSM? Where would Hillary be, for example, if she were a former Republican Secretary of State with the Benghazi catastrophe on her record? View the video after the jump.