NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday night.
Click here for posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2008. Today, the worst bias of 2009: Journalists are thrilled by Barack Obama’s arrival in the Oval Office, with ABC’s Terry Moran suggesting he’s the “first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office,” and Newsweek’s Evan Thomas seeing Obama’s approach to foreign policy as being “above the world. He’s sort of God.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
The health care debate is a great example of why Americans hate politics.
Both Republicans and Democrats pursue their plans with ideological zeal and reckless disregard for the truth in hopes of winning 51 percent of the vote. Voters hold their nose and choose but would rather have their leaders search for consensus. That would require taking a little bit from the president's plan, a little bit from the Republicans and a lot from what voters think should be done.
Like a missionary, Michael Bailey, a county health worker, spends his days driving his beat-up Nissan around this city’s poorest neighborhood, spreading the word in barber shops and convenience stores about the benefits of healthy diet and exercise. “Look at the kids,” he said. “Overweight, huffing and wheezing. Their lives will be miserable if this doesn’t change.”
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas brought up the term "death panels" as he advised that America will some day have to stop "spending so much money" on people who are near death. As he brought up a few examples of reforms for American health care, he ended up proposing:
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers could only find hundreds of people attending GOP vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan's Wednesday appearance at Oxford, Ohio's Miami University. Perhaps even more troubling is how they somehow chose an odd angle for their coverage, namely that Ryan has supposedly avoiding talking about Medicare in his stump speeches -- and both wrote "that changed" in describing its first mention.
It seems more than a little odd that two establishment press reporters from supposedly separate and independent media outlets both apparently focused for four days on when Ryan would mention the word "Medicare" on the campaign trail. Summers even made it her headline, while Peoples seemed to want to convey the impression that Ryan has been afraid to mention the word:
Now that Mitt Romney has named Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running-mate on the Republican ticket, dishonest liberals are dusting off their old standby of "Mediscare," making false accusations that conservatives want to completely dismantle Medicare and Social Security simply because they wish to make some changes in order to preserve them. Democrats, it is implied, would never dare to change such programs.
Unfortunately for this argument, there is one prominent liberal Democrat who has not only reduced Medicare spending growth, he's even touted his willingness to do the same to Social Security.
The far left has already started a campaign to misinform the public about Paul Ryan's views about Medicare and how he supposedly wants to destroy the program. (The irony, of course, is that President Obama actually reduced funding of the program by $700 billion as part of his healthcare law.)
Be that as it may, for those wondering what Ryan actually says about Medicare, National Review provides a helpful primer on the congressman's views, noting particularly that the newest Medicare proposal he's touting actually is quite a bit different from his older one:
Serious question: is there anything—anything!—Debbie Wasserman-Schultz won't say to promote Barack Obama?
On Fox News Sunday, interviewed by guest host John Roberts, the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee somehow managed to keep a straight face as she brazenly claimed: "I have no idea of the political affiliation of folks who are associated" with Priorities USA, the Super PAC that ran the ad essentially blaming Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. But as is undoubtedly well known to Wasserman-Schultz, Priorities USA is run by Bill Burton—Obama's former Deputy Press Secretary. View the video after the jump.
Apparently CNN considers the stating of cold, hard economic realities to be risky partisanship now. Take the case of Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter claiming that ObamaCare will increase costs for his company.
Papa John's is not the first company to claim Obamacare will raise its costs, but it is the first to be viciously attacked by CNN. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
The media doesn’t like food much these days. Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter is the latest individual in the food industry to draw fire from the left; in his case the he made the mistake of discussing the economic effects of Obamacare on his company. Outlets from the Colbert Report to the Boston Globe savaged Schnatter for having the effrontery of publicly explaining basic economics.
In a conference call with shareholders last week, Schnatter (who is a Romney supporter) said:: “Our best estimate is that Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents an order from a corporate basis.” He also assured listeners that, “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests.”
ABC News is missing no avenue in its promotion of ObamaCare. The liberal network's website trumpeted the news that, under the President's health care law, "it is against the law to discriminate against transgender and LGBT patients in federally funded healthcare programs."
Writer Susan Donaldson James offered several sympathetic stories of individuals who, previously, struggled to be receive treatment after undergoing sex change operations. Ms. Donaldson James promoted the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and their study "Injustice at Every Turn." The author insisted that the group "paints a bleak picture of life as a transgender person in the United States. It revealed harassment in education, employment, housing and health care, as well as in the government and prison systems."
Clay Waters at NewsBusters addressed this item earlier today, but I want to emphasize one particular quote in the related New York Times piece which also caught the (possibly gullible) attention of Chris Ariens at Media Bistro's TV Newser: "In private meetings with columnists, he has talked about the concept of 'false balance' — that reporters should not give equal weight to both sides of an argument when one side is factually incorrect. He frequently cites the coverage of health care and the stimulus package as examples, according to aides familiar with the meetings."
Wow. Where do you start? I'll cite just one example in each area Obama cited. I suspect readers will have more.
On its Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts, CBS didn't file one report or news brief on the controversial federal abortifacient/contraception mandate going into effect. Even worse, the only mention of religious liberty scandal over the regulation was CBS This Morning playing a clip of liberal comedian Stephen Colbert making fun of it.
ABC's Diane Sawyer heralded the mandate taking effect as "an important day for women's health" on Wednesday's World News, and forwarded the White House's talking points on the regulation: "Religious employers, like Catholic charities and hospitals, do not have to directly include free birth control under their health plans." On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams lamented that "simply by taking effect, it started up the health care fight all over again."
Managing to squeeze politics into the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, NBC hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira cheered a tribute to Britain's government-run National Health Service, with Lauer declaring: "Back in the states...we're locked in this kind of partisan debate over the future of health care in our own country. Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system, they're actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremony." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Charlie Rose did his best to avoid asking any tough questions during an interview of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle that aired on Sunday's CBS Sunday Morning and Monday's CBS This Morning. Rose devoted over four straight minutes to the couple's summer vacation, family life, and marriage. He also touted the Democrat's ObamaCare law as "enormously successful," and wondered if it was his "proudest achievement in the first four years."
Rose, who hounded House Speaker John Boehner over Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan during a April 2012 interview, harkened back to the 2008 Obama campaign and early presidency by showing off a 2009 issue of Newsweek with a picture of the President taking the oath of office. He then asked, "This was also a time of 'yes, we can'; hope and change. What happened to that, because that's not the narrative today?"
CNN's Jim Acosta bragged that his network does not call the Affordable Care Act "ObamaCare," a term he said Republicans prefer. However, CNN has repeatedly referred to the law as "ObamaCare" in its reporting.
"He [Romney] used the term 'ObamaCare,' which by the way, that's fine in Republican circles, but there are a lot of Democrats who sort of bristle at using the term 'ObamaCare'," Acosta explained on Wednesday after Mitt Romney used the term when addressing the Democratic-friendly NAACP. "We at CNN use the term 'the President's health care law,' at least in our news reporting," Acosta boasted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As I noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to call a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, even though President Barack Obama days earlier urged passage of such tax cuts as soon as possible. Predictably, however, the July 11 editions of the network evening newscasts -- ABC's World News, the CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News -- all ignored the development. Ditto with the network morning shows today.
Each evening newscast did, however, note the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the first such vote after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax.
Showing a renewed concern for the interests of taxpayers, CBS put “Cost to Taxpayers” on screen Wednesday night as CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley worried not about the cost of ObamaCare, but “how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again?” Pelley relayed how “the Congressional Research Service tells us that the House of Representatives costs us $24 million a week. So with two weeks spent repealing the law, that comes to a little under $50 million.”
What a meaningless point. As if that $50 million wouldn’t have been spent in any event since the cost of operating the House would not have disappeared from federal outlays if the body dealt with other issues.
CNN's Christine Romans played Obama spokesperson on Monday's Starting Point and accused Republicans of creating "uncertainty" about ObamaCare in trying to repeal it. That fits what has seemingly become a CNN line to Republicans of "stop fighting this law and get in line."
"I'm wondering, should Congresspeople be spending more time helping their constituents comply with the law rather than continuing all this uncertainty about it?" Romans challenged Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Ironically, CNN's own poll shows a majority in favor of Congress repealing the law. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, on Friday's NBC Nightly News, substitute host Kate Snow briefly noted that it was former President George W. Bush's 66th birthday, and that the former President was in Africa as part of an effort to fight against cancer on the Third World continent. Snow read the item:
Once again MSNBC has shown it is more a Democratic operative rather than an actual news organization. On Thursday morning, Obama campaign national press secretary Ben LaBolt appeared on both CNN’s Starting Point and MSNBC Live, and the interviews could not have been more different.
LaBolt got the kid glove treatment from MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who first teed him up to slam the Romney campaign's "sloppy messaging." Contrast that with CNN"s Soledad O'Brien grilling LaBolt on whether ObamaCare's individual mandate was a tax or a penalty. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
On the night after seeming oblivious when Michele Bachmann explained the difference in principle between pushing all Americans to purchase health insurance versus pushing only the portion of Americans who make the choice to drive to buy car insurance, CNN host Piers Morgan again brought up the comparison on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight as he hosted liberal actor Billy Baldwin as a guest.
Wednesday's Today show on NBC ran a four and a half minute piece profiling Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor, and congressional candidate Mia Love, who has a very good chance of being the first black female Republican elected to Congress.
During an interview with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Brooke Baldwin skipped her own network’s poll showing more independents disagree than agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on ObamaCare. Such cherry-picking is not uncommon for CNN hosts as Baldwin's colleague Soledad O’Brien has engaged in the practice to prop up ObamaCare as well.
When Priebus challenged Baldwin over her polling claims, she doubled down and continued to selectively highlight data that fit her narrative. Brooke cited a Gallup poll showing 46 percent of all voters agree with the Supreme Court’s decision and 45 percent of independents agree as well. Baldwin left out the key piece of data from CNN's poll which found that while 47 percent of independents agree with the ruling, a majority, 52 percent disagree. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, as host Morgan debated guest Rep. Michele Bachmann on ObamaCare, after the Minnesota Republican explained that a government requirement to purchase health insurance differs from a requirement to buy car insurance because "no one is forced to buy a car if they don't want to," her answer went over the CNN host's head as he continued to press the same flawed comparison.
After asking his guest, "Do you have car insurance?" and the followup, "Who told you to (buy it)?", Bachmann had responded:
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
On Sunday's Face the Nation, fill-in host Norah O'Donnell simply let Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) air his Democratic talking points on ObamaCare while she challenged Republican Senator Tom Coburn (Okla.) over criticisms he made of the law.
O'Donnell asked simple questions of Schumer like "What's your reaction?" to Republican criticisms of ObamaCare, and "Mitt Romney says he is going to repeal this on day one of his presidency. Can he actually do that?"
The Huffington Post decries attacks on women – at least, those it agrees with. But the outlet has no problem with sexually sliming conservative women.
The Huffington Post created a video mixing scenes of Republican congresswoman Jean Schmidt celebrating initial, inaccurate reports that Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate with the iconic orgasm scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally.”
Norah O'Donnell kept safeguarding provisions of ObamaCare on Sunday's Face the Nation, daring Speaker John Boehner to oppose "protections for individuals" in the bill. She also asked if Mitt Romney has a "credibility problem" for opposing the law's individual mandate.
"But he [Romney] was for it before," O'Donnell insisted to Boehner. "Doesn't he have a credibility problem?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]