On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Eliot Spitzer lashed out at President Obama from the left, going so far as to accuse him of forfeiting his campaign promises, simultaneously attacking the Tea Party movement in the process: "He...let the Tea Party- one of the most vapid, puerile groups out there, without meaningful ideas- take over those voices for transformation, and now, he is embracing their agenda."
Spitzer led the 8 pm Eastern hour with his critique of Obama naming William Daley to be his next White House chief of staff: "You know, I don't think anybody is going to view Bill Daley as the enemy. I think everybody agrees that Bill Daley is an honorable guy...The problem I have with this is that Bill Daley, ideologically, is simply not what this president ran on....This is no longer change you can believe in....This is somebody who has been a senior executive at Morgan Chase- no longer the concerns of the middle class, no longer carrying the banner that got him elected."
AP reporters Calvin Woodward and Andrew Taylor answered the bell and came out swinging at the Republican House within hours after John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker, accusing the GOP of supposedly breaking a number of core promises.
As usual when the wire service covers Republicans, there's no shortage of inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy coming from AP's alleged journalists.
Here are selected paragraphs from this morning's report ("PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate"):
MSNBC's Chris Jansing dismissed as "complicated" a new House rule in the 112th Congress that requires every piece of legislation being considered to have a statement laying out where in the Constitution the Congress has the authority to legislate on that particular matter.
"How complicated though, are we about to see things if the Republicans say you have to have a constitutional reason for every bill that goes before them," Jansing asked historian Michael Beschloss shortly after 10:30 a.m. EST on her January 6 "Jansing & Co." program.
Video follows page break. Click here for MP3 audio.
"The Tea Party Patriots call Phoenix 'the great southwestern city, born from the ruins of a former civilization, now the rebirth place of American culture. It will also be our opportunity to support the citizens of Arizona in their current political battles that carry so many national implications,'" Adler noted, before setting out on his attack of the state, first as ecologically and economically "unsustainable"...:
CNN's Eliot Spitzer on Monday's Parker-Spitzer bizarrely labeled former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney "very conservative" on Monday's Parker-Spitzer as he cited the prominent Republican's support for legislation similar to ObamaCare: "I think it was interesting...that Governor Romney, a very conservative Republican, embraced the notion of the individual mandate as a governor" (audio available here).
Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker brought on Congressman-Elect David Schweikert just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour to discuss congressional Republicans' aim to pass a repeal of ObamaCare during the upcoming session. During most of the interview, the former Democratic governor of New York pressed the Arizona Republican about the individual mandate. Midway through the segment, the CNN host asked, "But wasn't the idea behind the individual mandate basically saying to people who do not buy insurance, since you're going to get the care, we're going to charge you something so that when you get it...you've paid for it. Isn't- is that a notion you think is fair at its root?"
Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, the fiery leftist and Republican hater whose offensive comments about Republicans may well have cost him his seat last November, gets a fairly fond send-off in Monday's New York Times.
Reporter Michael Barbaro, previously known for his hostile coverage of Wal-Mart, called Grayson the “pugnaciously partisan, verbal-bomb-tossing, liberal folk hero of the 111th Congress,” and the headline and text box are complimentary. “Enter: Swinging. Exit: Much the Same Way.” The text box: “In or out of Congress, Alan Grayson is a man of strong views.”
Barbaro only briefly dealt with Grayson’s history of foul partisan fusillades, skipping Grayson’s campaign ad calling Republican opponent Daniel Webster “Taliban Dan” (which may have cost Grayson the election).
After relaying a few newly minted Graysonisms like calling incoming speaker of the House John Boehner a “tool of special interest,” Barbaro summarized the bombastic former lawmaker with a stream of ambivalent adjectives:
Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, is leaving office on Wednesday much as he entered it two years ago -- as the pugnaciously partisan, verbal-bomb-tossing, liberal folk hero of the 111th Congress.
On Monday, TVNewser reported that John Roberts, who anchored CNN's American Morning from April 2007 until the end of 2010, will be joining Fox News as a national correspondent. Roberts, who joined CNN in 2006 after a 14-year career at CBS, had a reputation for liberal bias at both networks, particularly in his harsh labeling for Republicans/conservatives and his fawning over liberals.
Here are some examples of Roberts's most egregious bias compiled from the Media Research Center's archives, focusing primarily on his career on American Morning:
Cheerleading for Liberals
"Yeah, it is going to be a transformational primary here on the Democratic side of things. Do you get a sense that people are recognizing this idea of the grandeur of history involved here?"
-Roberts gushing over the "historic" nature of the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, February 1, 2008 edition of American Morning.
"I want to just stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we're going to move on. Is that okay with you?"
-Opening statement from May 5, 2008 interview of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In his report on the escalating dispute between the State of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one thing you cannot accuse Ramit Plushnick-Masti of the Associated Press of being is a master of understatement. He claims that "Both sides and conservation groups agree the battle has put the health of Texas residents and the environment at risk."
Really? The only problem is that the AP reporter never found anyone who is currently on the Texas side of the dispute who is saying anything remotely resembling that.
Here are the opening paragraphs of Plushnick-Masti's prose, followed by a much later paragraph representing the closest the writer gets to naming someone on the Texas side to worry about the alleged "risk" (bold is mine):
From the New York Times on Thursday, in an item put together with the help of a half-dozen Times reporters ("Inaction and Delays by New York as Storm Bore Down"; bold is mine):
... Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, said the problems late Sunday (during the initial stages of the Northeast's post-Christmas snowstorm -- Ed.) underscored how the city could not rely on outside contractors to help with snow removal and other jobs in such storms, particularly during a holiday weekend.
“You can never count on the privates, because they don’t have to show up,” he said. “What obligation do they have? The mayor can’t order them out. The commissioner can’t order them out.”
That's quite an interesting assertion, given the following item carried in the New York Post today:
The dictionary says that a rumor is:
- a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts.
- gossip; hearsay
The dictionaries in use at the offices of the New York Times must include the following backup definition: "Any set of facts and/or allegations reported by the New York Post."
After yesterday's blockbuster report ("Sanitation Department's slow snow cleanup was a budget protest") Reporters at the Post piled on today, so to speak, with additional news relating to the snow removal slowdown in which New York City's unionized sanitation workers allegedly engaged:
Sanitation workers targeted specific neighborhoods
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Thursday each interviewed former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell regarding allegations that she misused campaign money, in the setup piece on each network, the correspondent failed to inform viewers of credibility weaknesses on the part of O’Donnell’s accusers and omitted O’Donnell’s contention that she did not use campaign money to pay for rent on her home. Additionally, only CBS’s Jan Crawford informed viewers that the group pushing for an investigation - the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - is a "left-leaning" group, as NBC’s Norah O’Donnell vaguely referred to a "watchdog group," and ABC’s Rob Nelson did not mention the organization.
Although both accusers who used to work for the O’Donnell campaign were fired - one after less than two weeks on the job - all three networks failed to inform viewers of these details that would suggest they may be disgruntled, and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell on the Today show even suggested that the accusers have greater credibility because they, like Christine O’Donnell, are Republicans, while the NBC correspodnent failed to inform viewers that the group CREW is liberal. NBC’s Norah O’Donnell reported: "O'Donnell calls them phony, but it was members of her own party who first raised the issue. During this year's bitter primary battle, Delaware's Republican Party paid for robo calls where O'Donnell's past campaign manager accused her of breaking the law in her failed 2008 Senate bid."
To those who have spent time following new reports emanating from the Associated Press, it's not exactly a secret that many of the alleged journalists who work there are having difficulty with the idea that there will be a new Republican majority in the House during the next two years. A further annoyance is that many members of that majority, especially the newer ones, hold sensible, Constitution-based views inspired by Tea Party movement. But as supposed professionals, you would think that the folks at the wire service might try a little harder to avoid blatantly revealing their bias.
If the AP's Julie Pace was really trying to stay within the bounds of the patently obvious, she failed miserably, as the bolded words in the following paragraph from her 2:31 p.m. report (also saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes) on President Obama's decision to delay submitting a budget to Congress until mid-February indicate:
ABC's Dan Harris gave a slanted report on Wednesday's GMA about the Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Arizona stripping a hospital there of its Catholic status: "This is a story that involves a nun, described as saintly; a Catholic bishop; a world-class hospital; and a controversy now being discussed across the country." Harris unnecessarily introduced the priestly sex scandal into his report, and played a sound bite from a doctor who thought religion should be kept out of medical decisions involving crisis pregnancies.
The correspondent began his report with his "saintly" superlative for Sister Margaret McBride, and continued by giving a brief summary of the controversy she is involved in, throwing in his line about the sex scandal in the process:
On Wednesday's GMA, ABC's Jake Tapper spun President Obama's victories during the lame duck Congress as a post-midterm "shellacking" of Republicans: "The President and Democrats...have passed a tax compromise package; repealed 'don't ask, don't tell;' and they stand on the verge of getting the START...treaty ratified. To hear...Senator Lindsey Graham tell it, it's his side that was shellacked."
Anchor George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "White House winning streak" at the top of the 7 am Eastern hour, and continued that Obama was "poised for a major victory: passage of a nuclear arms treaty, just days after repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' and the tax deal, ending 2010 on a roll. Can it continue next year?"
Seven minutes later, the ABC News anchor picked up where he left off as he introduced Tapper's report: "We're going to move now to Washington, where Congress is wrapping up its business, just in time for Christmas, and the President seems to be on a rebound from the beating he took in the midterm. Jake Tapper's at the White House, and Jake, with the expected passage later today of the START nuclear treaty with Russia, the White House is racking up significant wins."
Time's Joe Klein, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and CBS's Lesley Stahl were just three journalists to see an outrageously biased quote of theirs land in the Best of Notable Quotables 2010.
A panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers chose the winners, and our news analysts introduce them and a few others in this highlight lowlight reel put together by Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks:
CNN's Eliot Spitzer misleadingly claimed on Tuesday's Parker Spitzer that "President Obama has done everything to push the agenda for choice in schools" [audio available here]. In reality, the President's record shows that he has actually worked against school choice, particularly in the District of Columbia.
Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker brought on Stephen A. Smith, an African-American talk radio host, during the lead segment of the 8 pm Eastern hour to discuss his view that the black community should "play hard to get" with the Democratic Party, as the on-screen graphic summed it. Midway through the segment, the former Democratic governor of New York acted as the defender of the Obama administration's record on education: "It seems to me that President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan- 'Race to the Top,' [is] embracing the things from Michelle Rhee's reform agenda, to Joel Klein's reform agenda, getting quality teachers into the schools - all those things."
Smith retorted strongly that the Democrats don't have a spotless record on the issue:
In the video at the ABC link, George Stephanopoulos's intro at Good Morning America describes Holder as "a pretty circumspect man," but that on the subject of domestic terror threats, "he doesn't seem to be pulling any punches."
Really? If that's the case, Holder must have said a lot of things which got left on ABC's cutting-room floor. That's because in the entire three-page story at ABC (it's easiest to prove the following by looking at the print version, which can only be obtained at the link), the following words never appear:
A funny thing happened on the way to finding yet another year of media emphasis on the use of "holiday" vs. "Christmas" in describing the shopping season.
Google News searches conducted this morning at about 7:30 ET on "Christmas shopping season" and "holiday shopping season" came back with the highest percentage of "Christmas" results I've seen in the six years I've been doing these searches. Not that the result is yet impressive, but at least it's an improvement:
Update (17:23): Monkey see, monkey do: MSNBC's Chris Matthews quoted extensively from this post on today's "Hardball" in a segment entitled "Whatever Happened to John McCain?" Matthews and his guests lamented McCain's swing to the right in 2010.
Hell hath no fury like Joe Klein disillusioned.
The Time magazine writer apparently had a bit of a liberal journalist man-crush on Sen. John McCain back when the Arizona Republican was reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats for illegal-immigrant amnesty.
Now post 2008, not so much, particularly since McCain has tacked to the right on immigration and border security and stayed there even after his successful reelection to the Senate in November.
Klein unloaded both barrels on McCain in a Saturday evening Time.com Swampland blog post entitled "Two Dreams, One Dead" (emphasis mine), calling McCain every label that popped into his head from "troglodyte" to "trigger-happy gambler":
On Monday's Good Morning America, ABC's George Stephanopoulos took a skeptical tone during an interview of liberal Senator Chuck Schumer concerning a new report from Senator Tom Coburn, which pointed out the 100 most wasteful federal government projects of 2010: "He [Coburn] says there are hundreds of billions of dollars of waste. Do you buy that?"
Stephanopoulos turned to Senator Schumer after ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl highlighted the findings of Senator Coburn's "wastebook" report, and led the interview with his "do you buy that" question. After the Democrat from New York gave his initial answer, the former Clinton administration official trumpeted the accomplishments of the outgoing liberal Congress in its lame duck session:
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you are- looking like you're going be [there] until Christmas, doing an awful lot of work during this lame duck session of Congress. I know you were critical of the President's negotiating in this tax compromise, but decided to vote for it. You've also now passed the 'don't ask, don't tell' [repeal], the food safety bill, and you seem to have a breakthrough on something you've been fighting for for years, this several-billion dollar bill to get health benefits to emergency workers for 9/11. Are you confident now that you have the votes to get this through the Senate, and will the House stay in session to make sure it gets passed?
In a Reuters story ("Venezuela assembly gives Chavez decree powers"), reporters Daniel Wallis and Frank Jack Daniel took note of outraged "opponents who accuse him of turning South America's biggest oil producer into a dictatorship," relieving them of the responsibility for stating the obvious themselves.
Romero's item at the Times is particularly galling in its borderline admiration for the tactics employed by the man who is now Venzuela's virtual dictator (bold is mine):
If you look at the description of yesterday afternoon's U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote Number 278 ("A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to clarify and improve certain provisions relating to the removal of litigation against Federal officers or agencies to Federal courts, and for other purposes."), you'd never know it had anything to do with illegal immigration.
But it did. It was a cloture vote (60 needed to get the measure to the Senate floor) about about the so-called "DREAM Act," granting de facto amnesty to a vast number of illegal immigrants for entering college or joining the military. It has been a Democratic Party-"inspired" initiative with heavy Republican opposition from the get-go. It could easily have passed if the Democrats had been able to hold their membership together while picking off a couple of squishy Republicans.
They got their squishes: Republicans Murkowski (AK), Lugar (IN), and Bennett (UT) voted yes. That should have given the measure 61 votes. But Democrats Baucus (MT), Hagan (NC), Nelson (NE), Pryor AR), and Tester (MT) voted no, while Manchin (WV) did not vote. The measure's 55-41 support was not enough to move it to the next step.
Today liberal Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60-vote threshold to end debate on and move to a final passage vote for the DREAM Act.
In covering the story, the news wire credited Republican opposition for "doom[ing]" the legislation, but the math doesn't work out when you look at the breakdown of the votes on the motion to end debate -- also known as invoking cloture. [h/t reader Kevin Davis]
Did you know that the "big new tax law" signed by President Obama yesterday "will save taxpayers, on average, about $3,000 next year," and that it will have "tax breaks for being married, having children, paying for child care, going to college or investing in securities"?
Don't spend that extra $3,000 yet, because it mostly won't be there. With the only major exception being the 2-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, and of course barring new legislation the next Congress may take on, the tax laws for the next two years will essentially be the same as they have been since 2003, when Congress lowered marginal income, capital gain, and dividend income tax rates.
This lack of major change didn't stop the Ministry of Propaganda -- er, the Associated Press -- and reporter Stephen Ohlemacher from calling the new legislation "the most significant new tax law in a decade," when there's almost nothing "new" about it, or from trumpeting how much certain American families will "save" as a result.
CNN's Larry King displayed his liberal slant during an interview of left-wing celebrity Barbara Streisand on his program on Wednesday, his penultimate episode before retirement. King wondered why she was "singled out more than most...the right winger radio hosts will often refer to Barbra Streisand." The host also sought the celebrity's take on "this deal to permit the tax decreases for the wealthy."
King devoted the entire 9 pm Eastern hour to his interview of the Brooklyn native. At the bottom of the hour, as the two discussed her political activism for the left, the CNN host raised how many on the opposite side of the political spectrum do not hold her in high regard, and focused his attention on conservative talk radio:
Maybe we need to add the word "Palinography" to the dictionary. Its definition would be: "The process of preparing news photographs and accompanying captions about Sarah Palin in a deliberately negative light."
One example many will likely remember involved the amateurish wire service shoes-and-calves-only photos frequently seen during Palin's vice-presidential run.
CNN's Roland Martin went on a tirade against Rush Limbaugh on his "Washington Watch" program on TV One on Sunday, labeling the conservative talker a "right-wing blowhard" and "absolute idiot" for pretending not to know anything about the black-oriented TV network. Martin claimed that he was "more fair and sensible" than Limbaugh, but his list of guests alone betrays a definite liberal bias.
The CNN contributor went after the talk show host in his "Call 'Em Out" segment, which lasted just under three minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour program. In a teaser for the segment, Martin trumpeted how "that right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh needs some schooling about this show, 'Washington Watch,' and TV One. Trust me, I'm gonna give it to him."
During the actual segment (video available here), the TV One host led with his "absolute idiot" label for Limbaugh and played a clip from the December 6, 2010 edition of the conservative's show, where he needled Martin and his network (audio of Limbaugh available here):
Introducing her interview with presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner on Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl proclaimed: "...which John Boehner will show up as speaker, the deal-maker he's been in the past or the more hardline conservative of late who's aligned himself with the tea party that helped bring him and his party back into power?"
Stahl noted how Boehner and President Obama "may have exchanged more words via television than in person. And most of them have been, shall we say, unfriendly." She lamented how Boehner "was the one who urged Republicans in the House to vote as a block....Against all of Mr. Obama's initiatives – health care, the stimulus, and on and on." She added that "he escalated the attacks during the campaign" and later dubbed him "Mr. Hell No."
How can you cover a story about Uncle Sam's November Monthly Treasury Statement and the proposed Obama-GOP compromise on taxes and unemployment benefits without using the words "spending," "receipts," any form of "collect," or "unemployment"? It's a neat trick, but the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger pulled it off in his Friday afternoon dispatch shortly after the government report's release.
Instead of communicating apparently boring facts, Crutsinger concentrated his fire on the "tax-cut agreement" with a supposed "cost (of) $855 billion over two years" worked out by President Obama and Congressional Republicans. In doing so, he "somehow" failed to mention that the proposal includes a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits.
Based on a comparison to this detailed analysis at the Hill, which reported yesterday that the proposal's "cost" is really $857 billion over 10 years, Crutsinger's two-year, $855 billion "cost" assertion, which does not include a detailed breakdown, appears to be wildly inaccurate.