With Sen. John McCain making conservative noises on illegal immigration, Lugar may be the best bet for the Times to foster its dream of a moderate (i.e. toothless) Republicanism to counter the Tea Party, one that accommodates Democrats and supports, as Lugar did, President Obama on issues like amnesty for illegals. In November 2010, Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer marked Lugar as a brave "maverick" who had refused to succumb to "hyper-partisanship and obduracy," like the rest of the G.O.P., presumably.
After accusing presidential candidate Newt Gingrich of racism during an interview on Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC host David Gregory later posed this question to the show's political panel: "Do you think he [Gingrich] dialed back the reputation as...a flamethrower?...I mean, talking about Obama and anti-colonial views, about anti-Americanism."
The mostly liberal panelists used the opportunity to bash Gingrich and the Republican 2012 field in general. Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin remarked that "the animating force in the Republican Party today is be in Barack Obama's face, be aggressive, be out to destroy his presidency."
Strom focused mainly on the Koch brothers of the right, and an accompanying photo caption claimed that while David Koch gave to libertarian causes, the left-wing Soros merely "donated millions to other causes."
Big donors like David H. Koch and George Soros could owe taxes on their millions of dollars in contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing an increasing role in American politics.
Can someone call himself a Tea Party candidate even though he has no visible support from local Tea Party groups and has been asked by one of them not to run? The Associated Press's Carolyn Thompson apparently thinks so.
Thompson's 3:03 p.m. report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) makes no mention of congressional candidate Jack Davis's lack of Tea Party group support. The AP reporter also waited until the final paragraph of her 17-paragraph report to tell readers that Davis is "a wealthy Republican businessman" who ran for Congress in 2004, 2006, and 2008 -- as a Democrat.
The large body of evidence that Davis is not a legitimate Tea Party candidate consists of at least the following:
NPR's Mara Liasson noticeably left out anti-illegal immigration conservatives on Tuesday's Morning Edition as she reported on President's Obama's latest push for "comprehensive" immigration reform. Liasson only played clips from the President, Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Republican consultant Marty Wilson, who claimed that "the hardline approach on immigration...is not going to work."
Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent's report by noting the President's forthcoming speech later in the day outlining his "principles for an immigration overhaul." He continued by recalling how "President Bush's immigration efforts encountered opposition from his own party, and many Republicans are also likely to resist President Obama's efforts."
Instead of turning to those who would be part of such a resistance, Liasson quickly turned to an excerpt from Obama's recent commencement address at Miami Dade College, where he proclaimed, "I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system...and I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers."
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft failed to bring up key issues related to the killing of Osama bin Laden during an interview of President Obama, such as the enhanced interrogation of captured al Qaeda leaders which provided the first intelligence that ultimately lead to the Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan.
The journalist set the overall tone of his interview, which he conducted on Wednesday, by tossing a softball in his lead question to Obama: "Mr. President, was this the most satisfying week of your presidency?" After the chief executive gave his initial answer, Kroft followed up by asking, "Was the decision to launch this attack the most difficult decision that you've made as commander-in-chief?
On the website WowOWow.com, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl on Tuesday declared about the Osama bin Laden takedown "The initial reaction is triumphant: a feeling of justice done; of unfinished business dealt with; of a hurtful wound cauterized." But then she wondered about luck:
The next step for me was thinking about Barak [sic] Obama and luck. If there’s one thing we Americans want and expect from our presidents, it’s that they’re blessed with good fortune, and that they then spray their fairy dust on the rest of us.
When Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office, you got to think the gods had turned against him, with his double-digit inflation and gas lines. You knew he had lost his mantle of heaven when his helicopter mission to recue the American hostages in Iran failed tragically in a sandstorm.
NPR's Ari Shapiro emphasized the possible political benefits for President Obama on Thursday's Morning Edition in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. Shapiro lined up sound bites from three pundits who touted the "big moment" for the "bold" President and how it amounted to a "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."
Midway through his report, the correspondent introduced a clip from former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol: "He [Shesol] believes this week could mark a fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama." The Clinton alum claimed that it would be "very hard after this moment to suggest that President Obama doesn't have the guts to make tough calls, to make bold and risky calls...and then to go ahead because he knows it to be the right thing to do."
On Monday and Tuesday, NPR played up how Osama Bin Laden's death might translate into a political win for President Obama. Mara Liasson trumpeted the "huge victory" for the President and spotlighted a scholar who gushed how Obama now looked "strong and competent and decisive." Cokie Roberts boasted how the military operation was a "score" for the Democrat and that it was a "game changer politically."
At the beginning of her report which lead Tuesday's Morning Edition, Liasson gushed that "every president benefits from moments of national unity, but none so much as Barack Obama, who ran for office promising to bridge partisan divides." Later, the journalist noted that, with the raid against Bin Laden, "he [Obama] made good on his repeated promise to act unilaterally if he had actionable intelligence."
NPR's Ari Shapiro leaned towards supporters of the Obama administration's new "voluntary principles" to limit junk food ads to kids on Thursday's All Things Considered. Shapiro played three sound bites from backers, versus only one from a critic who blasted the proposal: "If the federal government decided to issue voluntary guidelines about what newsmen should say to avoid inflaming the public, I think you guys would be pretty upset."
Host Melissa Block did acknowledge opponents' concerns about the proposed guidelines in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "The Obama administration wants to limit the amount of advertising kids see for junk food. It's part of a broader push to improve child nutrition, and, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, it's part of what critics see as a growing nanny state."
Steinhauer’s profile, while not overtly hostile, contained no less than eight ideological labels to describe the “conservative” West, not including the first word of the headline, while his comments on feminism and support for Israel were labeled “incendiary.” This from a newspaper that constantly refers to the truly incendiary Al Sharpton as a “civil rights activist.” A sampling:
But the most compelling part of Representative Allen B. West of Florida is his own biography, there for all to see: an African-American Tea Party activist Republican congressman and ally of hard-right Israelis who, after his beloved career in the Army ended under a cloud, defeated the sitting Democrat in a largely white, politically polarized district here and quickly became one of the right’s most visible spokesmen.
Mr. West’s popularity among conservatives goes far beyond South Florida. He was chosen to give the keynote speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and is frequently featured on the Fox News Channel and in other conservative settings where he enjoys explaining, reiterating or unleashing any number of incendiary remarks concerning what he often calls “the other side.”
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik erroneously claimed that NBC's Meredith Vieira "notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. Vieira...acknowledged those remarks passively." In reality, the Today show challenged the billionaire about the birth certificate issue, twice asking, "Do you believe he's [Obama's] lying?" [audio clips available here]
The media correspondent began his report by noting how "there comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief." After playing two clips from President Obama's press conference earlier in the day regarding the release of his birth certificate, he continued, "Mr. Obama said that for too long, the nation has been distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. Notice, however, the President's words didn't criticize the carnival barker. He criticized those who get distracted, like the press corps sitting in front of him."
[View video clips from Vieira's April 7, 2011 interview of Trump below]
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday played up how opponents of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan shouted down GOP representatives at recent town hall meetings, but downplayed them as "less than friendly," and marveled at their apparently "poignant" questions. The network also omitted how liberal groups targeted these meetings, and trumpeted the "nasty national shouting match" at health care town hall meetings in 2009.
News anchor Jeff Glor noted how "House Republicans are back home for the first time since passing an aggressive deficit cutting plan, including the architect of that plan, Congressman Paul Ryan." Glor used the "less than friendly" label immediately before playing a clip of an unidentified protester shouting, "Ryan, stop lying!" outside a town hall meeting held by the Republican in Wisconsin, and another of a woman who directly accused him of "screwing our generation and the next generation."
In his "Rewrite" segment last night, MSNBC's "Last Word" host Lawrence O'Donnell pounded out a 9-minute-long sermonette against conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
O'Donnell slammed Limbaugh as biblically illiterate, reacting to a monologue from his April 25 program in which Limbaugh complained about liberals co-opting Jesus Christ for political purposes in the federal budget debate, posing questions such as "What Would Jesus Cut" from the budget.
"What would Jesus take?" Limbaugh countered, answering "nothing." O'Donnell vehemently disagreed, going on to cite Scripture references -- divorcing them from context -- in order to argue Jesus was a fan of "progressive taxation," among other things.
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Robert Siegel used violent imagery to underline the supposed extreme nature of Arizona's SB 1070 law targeting illegal immigration: "It has been of one year since the state legislature dropped a bomb into the national debate over immigration."
Siegel led the introduction for correspondent Ted Robbins's report on the controversial law with his explosive phrase. He continued that "the get-tough bill, known as SB 1070, was later signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer." After playing a clip from Governor Brewer, the host noted that "some of SB 1070's key components are on hold, but supporters call it a success, and opponents say it has been a disaster for Arizona's image and economy. Either way, NPR's Ted Robbins says it has changed the state."
Brooks Thistlethwaite -- who previously hit Tea Party conservatives as tribalistic -- apparently believes that politically conservative Christians are trying to serve two masters, Jesus and Ayn Rand (emphasis mine):
The Associated Press's Derek Kravitz seems to have a difficult time quoting government statistics without rewording them. This is a far from harmless habit.
Tuesday, Kravitz the Creative reported on the Census Bureau's information release on March homebuilding industry activity. His first two paragraphs and the story's headline (y'know, the parts that are more likely to be read over the airwaves or seen by readers in a hurry) told us that "new-home construction" increased by 7.2%. Either the poor chap believes that "housing starts," which is the only number which increased to that degree, is a synonym for "new-home construction," or he was trying to put a prettier face than deserved on a set of depressed industry data that barely showed a pulse.
After two cheery paragraphs, Kravitz segued into communicating the truly pessimistic nature of the housing industry these days, and noted two pieces of information which virtually prove that "new-home construction" did not increase by the percentage stated -- if it increased at all.
Here are several paragraphs from the AP report (bolded paragraph is where the two contradictory data points are found):
As part of its effort to "shore up" the backing of social conservatives, House Republicans today "issued a contract today to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement $575 an hour, up to $500,000 to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead insisted in the paper's Politics Blog.
"Republicans claim they will take the money out of the Justice Department's budget, as if that will hold taxpayers harmless. But a cost is a cost and taxpayers will pay it either way. Any funds removed from DOJ are funds removed from other work," Lochhead groused.
This from the same reporter who approved of Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal as "centrist."
As night follows day, the press is beginning to go after a business entity which had the nerve to do its job and call attention to Uncle Sam's dire fiscal situation.
Standard and Poor's is presumably not 100% populated with angels, but it didn't deserve the gratuitous and ignorant shots fired at it this evening by the Associated Press's Bernard Condon and an "expert" he quoted. In attempting to tar the firm, Condon acted as if the mortgage-lending mess was the creation of "banks" which marketed mortgage-backed securities and asleep at the switch ratings agencies. He didn't once mention Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the fiasco's Democratic crony-run uber-culprits, which for 15 years consistently deceived the markets about the quality of the already marginal loans underlying the securities they issued .
Here are selected paragraphs from Condon's cracked creation, including a headline which gives away a resentment that the ratings agencies are still actually able to do what they were designed to do (bold is mine):
Whoever is compiling a list of what journalists really believe when they put forth certain vague but commonly used phrases (e.g., using "some people believe" instead of truthfully saying "in my opinion") should consider adding the following: "small but vocal group" really means "a tiny bunch of people I agree with."
That's my assessment as I look at two uses of the term this past weekend, each referring to pathetically small gatherings of people using tax-filing weekend as a excuse to protest "corporate tax loopholes."
The first comes to us via David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit), where the paper's headline writers cooked up something that would give those who didn't read the underlying report the impression that the city's Tea Party Tax Day protest was small:
The Associated Press's Ben Feller interviewed President Obama on Friday. In the transcript, Feller interrupts Obama's long-winded response to his previous softball question ("Are the Republican leaders lacking compassion and they're pessimistic?") by beginning another question, which is shown as having been stopped before completion:
Q. You said they might lead us to third world -
It's impressive that Feller even knew that Obama, as reported by AFP, indeed accused Republicans of creating a fiscal plan that would, in Obama's words, turn the U.S. into: "... a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought -- that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure."
That's because, as seen in a search on "Obama third world" (entered without quotes), there is no current story at the AP's home site:
VIDEO: April 15 was tax day in the United States, and Tea Party radicals used it to stage demonstrations across the country, including near the site of the original Boston Tea Party revolt of the colonial era.
The photo was grabbed from an Agency France-Presse video with an identical description. The pic and caption follow the jump:
What the media like about President Obama's budget proposal over Rep. Paul Ryan's are the former's insistence on tax hikes, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told the audience of Friday's "Fox & Friends."
"That's the part of deficit reduction they like" but "anytime anybody proposes any cut of any wasteful spending, the media are the first ones there to talk about the sky falling and everyone about to die," the Media Research Center founder added.
The undisguised bias of a dispatch tonight by Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman, with help from Scott Bauer, about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's appearance before a Congressional committee may have as its source two items found at the Newspaper Guild's web site (seen after the jump).
One is an announcement relating to a possible deterioration in the Guild's negotiations with AP, where union members have been working without a contract since November. Immediately below the announcement is an extraordinarily mean and spiteful cartoon produced by "alternative" comic Tom Tomorrow directed at Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan which has no place at the site of a group wishing to at least maintain a fig-leaf pretense of objectivity.
First let's look at several of the sentences seen in the 10:26 p.m. version of the pair's report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) -- after the headline ("Wisconsin governor defends hobbling unions'), with which the AP pair may have had help:
While previous attempts at reform of Medicare by Republicans were eviscerated in the Times as “big Medicare cuts” or (just this week) a “shrinking” of the program, the paper greeted Obama’s own vague proposals with benign, soothing words like “overhaul” or claims that Obama was merely looking for Medicare “savings.” Thursday’s headline insisted Medicare and Medicaid would be “spared” and the text by reporters Mark Landler and Michael Shear described Obama as only proposing “changes to social welfare programs” and to “strictly limit the growth of Medicare and Medicaid.”
President Obama is "Mr. Prudent," a grown-up heralding "deficit sanity" in a Washington gone mad with "delusional" Republican plans for draconian budget cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy.
That's the predictable leftist talking point-laden take that Time magazine's Joe Klein had after listening to President Obama's hectoring lecture yesterday at George Washington University (emphasis mine):
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But there's another "civil war" of sorts on the horizon, this one between the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which has thus far steadfastly refused to accept cuts to entitlement programs in the name of fiscal solvency, and the party's more moderate members (which include, amazingly, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) who recognize that such cuts are all-but-inevitable.
But true to form, most of the media, fond of labeling GOP infighting a civil war, has yet to brand Democrats' budget feud with that label. This despite the increasing uneasiness of liberal legislators and organizations who are worried the president has already caved to conservatives on the budget battle.