Today's starter topic: While the verdict of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of President Obama's signature healthcare law won't likely be known by most people until the end of June, the justices on the court very likely will know its fate later today when they meet to cast their first informal votes on the case.
How detached is Chris Matthews from the rest of the country? The Hardball host on Thursday appeared bewildered as he conceded to being "totally unprepared" for the prospect that Obamacare might be "ripped off the books." Talking to Chuck Todd, Matthews asked his fellow MSNBC colleague if he would be "surprised" to see the Supreme Court strike down the health care law.
Matthews then confessed, "I was totally unprepared because of the way people talked." The anchor insisted that "intellectually," he knew it could be a problem, but "I never heard it discussed politically as a prospect, that they actually might get his major achievement just ripped off the books." He never heard it discussed? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After three days of oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Obamcare, liberals seem genuinely stunned that Obamacare has a good chance of going down in flames. They never saw it coming.
Consider this exchange between CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and anchor Wolf Blitzer on the first day of the argument which focused on the individual mandate, provision of Obamacare which forces all Americans to purchase medical insurance or procure it via their employers:
CNN's own legal analyst described Wednesday morning's Supreme Court hearing on ObamaCare as a "trainwreck" for the Obama administration and added "it may also be a plane wreck" – but prime-time hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan made only one brief mention between them of the bill's rough morning in court, during Wednesday night's prime-time coverage.
In fact, during Tuesday and Wednesday night's newscasts, Morgan and Cooper made only two brief mentions of the hearings -- while the rest of CNN's afternoon coverage on those days heavily discussed the Court's hearings on ObamaCare.
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's pro-ObamaCare shill Julie Rovner predictably lined up backers of the contested law. Rover again cited the Kaiser Family Foundation and failed to mention their liberal leanings. She also turned to a former Clinton administration official, without identifying her as such, and played five total clips from liberals, versus only two from a conservative.
The correspondent hyped the "the potential impact on the relationship between the federal government and the states" if the Supreme Court struck down the controversial legislation, and that "virtually any program in which the federal government gives money to the states with conditions attached" could be at risk.
Did CNN's Jeffrey Toobin just hint at his liberal bias? Toobin told Politico "I'm not exactly famous for my hatred of the Obama administration," and added that "If you're [sic] read my books, you know – I don't have a primetime spot on Fox News."
CNN's senior legal analyst had made headlines for his dire analysis of ObamaCare's chances in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. He was explaining to Politico's Dylan Byers that his criticism of the Obama administration's defense of the bill was probably all the more noteworthy because he himself is not a big critic of Obama.
In a piece of propaganda that would make Cuba's Castro regime proud, on her Tuesday MSNBC program, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell cheered the communist state's "highly regarded" health care system, "and especially one of Fidel Castro's signature projects, which is training doctors, doctors who then provide free medical care throughout Latin America."
Mitchell proclaimed: "As the U.S. debates health care....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they're learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves." That soon became disturbingly apparent as student Cynthia Aguilera gushed: "...after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities [in the U.S.] and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us."
Barack Obama's health care law ran into a legal buzz saw at the Supreme Court, Tuesday. So, how did the network morning shows on Wednesday cover the "historic" case? They mostly ignored it. Over two hours, ABC's Good Morning America allowed just two minutes.
Reporter Jon Karl hyped an Obamacare loss as win-win for the President. He insisted it would be a "rallying cry for liberals" and that "it would also take away an issue for Republicans." There's no down side to having one's biggest legislative accomplishment eviscerated? [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Something tells me this isn't an argument that Supreme Court justices will hear this week.
Unhinged MSNBC circus clown Ed Schultz continues to unintentionally help conservatives, making a claim to a caller on his radio show Monday that was inane even by the epic standards for inanity established by Schultz. (audio clip after page break)
Earlier this week NBC News did a segment questioning whether or not former Vice President Dick Cheney deserved his recent heart transplant. Others in the media, including Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, have jumped on the chance to poke a jab or two at the former Vice President and his surgery.
A heart transplant is a serious subject, affecting over 5,000 patients who receive transplants worldwide each year. It's certainly not a laughing matter to patients who receive them or their friends and loved ones. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Charlie Rose boosted New York Times's staff "conservative" David Brooks for his endorsement of the individual mandate on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but Senator Tom Coburn was having none of it. Rose quoted from Brooks, whom he labeled a "a Hamiltonian, and someone...you share views with." Coburn slapped down the pro-ObamaCare argument: "We just don't have the authority to tell people to do that" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
The Oklahoma Republican continued, in part, that "Brooks...[is] a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished." The anchor followed up by spotlighting ObamaCare benefits: "So, therefore, you don't...support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?"
For the second day in a row, CNN appealed to emotion and aired the story of an innocent chid that made the case for ObamaCare. On Tuesday morning they featured a heartrending account of an epileptic three year-old girl who will soon reach her lifetime benefit limits on health insurance – if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare.
CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen made the Court's decision as personal as possible, even though the Court is simply determining the constitutionality of the bill. "These nine Supreme Court justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus," she gravely began. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
[UPDATED with transcript and audio.] Because the left so utterly dominates America's biggest media outlets, part of being a liberal journalist oftentimes involves being utterly ignorant of conservative viewpoints. Since so many journalists, as former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg has said repeatedly, don't really know people who are center-right, they generally tend to have very truncated views of what conservatives think, in part because they have no interest in seeking them out.
That's true not just in political journalism but also legal journalism as well and nowhere has this become more apparent than in the confident predictions that the Supreme Court will uphold Obamacare's "individual mandate" requirement to purchase health insurance. CNN's Jeff Toobin was one such confident liberal who believed the court would rule in its favor. After actually hearing the judges today, though, Toobin has reversed his opinion, calling the Obama position a "train wreck." Video below the fold. [MP3 audio here.]
Apparently most reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Propagandists, lost the memo that Reuters got ("Obama Campaign: Obamacare Not a Bad Word After All"). Either that, or they haven't been paying attention their Obama For America emails.
OFA and President Obama himself both say it's now okay to call the fraudulently named Affordable Care Act which became law in March 2010 "ObamaCare"; the only matter in dispute is whether one should capitalize the "c." Jeff Mason at Reuters, which was already a bit late with its own report, tried to explain it all Monday evening, but "somehow" forgot what may be the most obvious motivation, namely that the "affordable" part of the original bill's title has been proven to be anything but:
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow spun the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare as being a judgment of how partisan the high court has become: "...this may as much be a referendum on the Supreme Court and whether or not the Roberts court is so conservatively politicized that it will make a decision to hurt the President, rather than sticking closely to precedent here."
Maddow touted a recent Bloomberg poll, "that 75% of people think that the Supreme Court will decide based on their political beliefs, not on the law." She conveniently left out the results of the latest CBS News/New York Times poll that showed only 36% of Americans approve of ObamaCare, while 47% disapprove. A recent Rasmussen poll showed 56% favoring repeal of the law.
It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east, but today the Washington Post defended as constitutional ObamaCare's individual mandate. The mandate is defended by the administration as being legitimate under the Constitution's commerce clause, a defense the Post editorial board agreed with while conceding that the arguments against the mandate are "serious."
To justify the individual mandate via the commerce clause would fundamentally obliterate any limit on the federal power to regulate, but that doesn't seem to bother the Post in light of the government's "compelling goals of universal coverage and lower costs." But believe it or not, in the past the Post has hailed Court cases that drew limits on the commerce clause, even and especially when the political goals of the legislation invalidated was laudable. Indeed, after the 1995 case U.S. v. Lopez, which struck down a federal penalty on carrying guns near public schools, the Post cautioned Congress that "in the future, [it] will have to demonstrate some modesty in assessing the elasticity of federal power."
According to CNN host Carol Costello, the White House failed to sell a health care bill that could have been embraced by the American people, many of whom "simply don't understand" the bill.
So during Monday morning's coverage of the Supreme Court hearings on ObamaCare's constitutionality, CNN explained some benefits the bill provides and gave the reason for the individual insurance mandate. Costello did her best impersonation of a White House advisor, explaining the bill's mandate to a public who doesn't understand it yet. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
CBS's Allen Pizzey completely whitewashed the struggling European economy on CBS Sunday Morning to bash the Republican presidential candidates' attack on President Obama's economic policies. Pizzey zeroed-in on Germany's lower unemployment rate and cited left-leaning Professor James Walston, who claimed that "the candidates are dealing in caricatures of Europe that are about 90% wrong."
The journalist played clips from Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, who defended the U.S. Constitution and ripped "European socialism." He condescended in reply, "If you're a candidate who wants to move to the White House, why worry about details?" Pizzey also turned to a European woman who insulted the Republican candidates' intelligence: "I just hope that most Americans are just more intelligent than those politicians" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
Sinking to a new low in their disdain for Dick Cheney, the hosts on Monday's NBC Today wondered if the former vice president should have received a recent heart transplant, with Ann Curry declaring at the top of the broadcast: "...even though he has waited longer than most to receive his donor heart, some are questioning whether someone that old should be getting one..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Fellow co-host Matt Lauer described Cheney as "somebody who tends to stir controversy," who "can cause all kinds of controversy if he orders a cup of tea."
In the report that followed, NBC's left-wing chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman sounded like a one-person death panel, as she fretted: "...this has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions, about whether the Vice President, in fact, should have received his heart against – ahead of other people. And, raises the question, how old is too old to receive such a precious transplant?"
If the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, would it really be by an eight-to-one margin? CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said it's possible, expressing more confidence in that prediction than the common analysis that the Court is evenly split on the issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the tiebreaking vote.
Toobin's analysis echoes the overwhelmingly positive liberal meme that ObamaCare will be upheld by a wide margin. He had already knocked the opposition case as "really weak." [Video below the break.]
ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement with glee during 2011, devoting 33 stories on the air during the first eleven days of October alone to publicizing the protests. However, the Big Three networks have yet to mention the planned demonstrations in 140 cities across the U.S. today at noon local time against the Obama administration's sterilization, abortifacient, and contraception mandate.
The Coalition to Stop the HHS Mandate, which is being coordinated by the Illinois-based Pro-Life Action League; and includes multiple pro-life, social conservative, and religious groups, including Human Life International, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Alliance Defense Fund, and Priests for Life; have organized the "Stand Up For Religious Freedom" rallies "in defense of religious freedom and STAND UP against the Obama administration's HHS mandate at federal building in cities across the country."
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams touted the handiwork of Planned Parenthood's vicious attacks against the Susan G. Komen foundation: "The nation's largest breast cancer charity remains in turmoil tonight after a controversial attempt to cut off its funding of Planned Parenthood. Donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation are down sharply in many areas."
NBC News, and Williams particularly, were quite complicit in furthering those attacks on Komen. On the February 1 broadcast, Williams declared: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"
Claims that Obamacare includes “death panels” sparked the ire of supporters of the law, who called the claim outrageous, but now - as Obamacare turns 2 years old -- the Congressional Budget Office admits the law itself is going to kill the jobs of 800,000 Americans.
At a recent House Budget Committee hearing, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed as much, saying that indeed indeed “there would be a reduction of 800,000 workers.
Historically, Republicans have been reluctant to put forward proposals to reform and reduce the size of government for fear of being denounced by the liberal press. Hours after U.S. Representative Paul Ryan unveiled a new Republican budget proposal, the Associated Press right on cue printed a story that savaged the plan for “cut[ing] spending much more deeply” on popular programs and relied on information favoring Democrats and anonymous “tax experts” to support its claims.
“Mixing deep cuts to safety-net programs for the poor with politically risky cost curbs for Medicare, Republicans controlling the House unveiled an election-year budget blueprint Tuesday that paints clear campaign differences with President Barack Obama,” the news article by Andrew Taylor stated in its first paragraph.
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, but if the media were the judges, the Court would rule 9-0 in favor of it. During its coverage of the health care debate, the liberal press never permitted questions about ObamaCare’s legality to interfere with their dream of a government takeover of the health care sector.
Starting even before Barack Obama became President, the press has been campaigning hard for passage of the most liberal version of health care reform as a cure-all elixir to all of America’s health problems. First, they pitched the public on the desperate need to, as ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson demanded, fix America’s “national shame” of no universal coverage. (Worst of the Worst quote compiliation with videos after the jump)
Charlie Rose surprised Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday's CBS This Morning by promoting the latest smear from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Rose displayed their fake horror-movie poster with Ryan's face beside House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner. It included the caption, "Just when you thought Medicare was safe, THEY'RE BACK. This time, they want to finish it for good."
Rose told the Wisconsin Republican, "Democrats have tried...to portray you as someone who wants to destroy Medicare, and they have a poster in which you are, in a sense, the poster boy of that. And their argument is that you will, in fact, by a voluntary system, lead to the destruction of something that seniors have come to depend on" [audio available here; video below the jump].
One week before the Supreme Court hears arguments on Obamacare, CNN's legal analyst has already come down against the conservative side as "really weak." Jeffrey Toobin gave the legal precedents for an individual health insurance mandate and insinuated that it was constitutional on Monday's Starting Point.
Toobin said, regarding those who believe Congress does not have the power to force people to buy health insurance, "basically that is a really weak argument, in that the United States Congress has been regulating health care for years, has been involved in this market for years, and this is a perfectly ordinary use of Congress's power." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood.
“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”
Legalizing suicide is a controversial subject, but not to the liberal media. On Monday night’s All Things Considered, NPR honored Oregon activist Peter Goodwin, a major force in passing Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act,” for employing his own law and taking his own life with some pills at 83. There was no airing or acknowledgment of the opposing side, those who believe that life should end with natural death.
Culture of death? Banish the thought. Reporter Julie Sabatier’s tone was glowing: “As he was about to turn 83 last fall, Peter Goodwin still had an elfish glint in his eye. You can hear his heritage in his lilting voice.”