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.
Not that he legitimately deserves our pity, but imagine the difficulty of being Ben Feller at the Associated Press yesterday.
You've just attended a suddenly announced joint press conference with President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton to announce the latter's support for the former's tax- and spending-related legislative proposals worked out with Republicans. You witness the astonishing spectacle of the current Commander In Chief leaving his own presser to be with his wife at a Christmas party, followed by the former CIC acting as if he never left, holding forth on all kinds of things beyond the presser's original intention.
How do you frame this positively while the rest of the nation -- left, far left, and right -- gasps in utter amazement?
The following excerpt, which only begins to reveal the depth of Feller's feckless fawning, shows us how (especially over the top phrasing is bolded):
Kathleen Parker, CNN's resident pseudo-conservative, gushed over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, trumpeting how the San Francisco liberal stood amongst her fellow Democrats: "She's the 'mama grizzly' in this crowd, is she not?" Parker also stated she had "great admiration" for Pelosi, and even cheered her on: "Go, Nancy!" [audio available here]
The host, along with her on-air partner Eliot Spitzer, shared yet another moment of mutual agreement during the lead segment of their program, ripping President Obama for his proposed tax compromise with congressional Republicans. Spitzer wasted little time in launching his attack on the executive: "He is like a school kid who's been sent home again to redo his homework because it was that bad the first time around. And you know what? They're right. He embraced George Bush's economic policies, and the Democrats in the House are saying, start over."
Parker agreed with him to a point, but tried to emphasize a possible long term benefit for Obama:
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Brooke Baldwin continued her network's liberal spin on the proposed compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans to extend the current Bush-era tax rates, treating it as government spending. Baldwin hyped the apparent "two-year cost of this new cut" and how letting taxpayers keep their money would supposedly add to the deficit.
The anchor raised the "cost" issue during an interview of Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee six minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour:
BALDWIN: Congressman, we're scratching our heads a bit over these numbers, and I'm hoping you can help me out here, because they're kind of all over the place. The latest we are getting is this two-year cost of this new tax cut, it's somewhere in the ballpark between $800 billion and $900 billion- that is just specifically the tax cut- and then, the top 2 percent would take up about 20 percent of that $800 billion to $900 billion pie. So, Congressman, how close is that to what you're hearing? How close is that to reality?
The latest meme among the legions of lefty Fox-haters is that FNC "distorted" or "skewed" the ObamaCare debate by instructing employees to call the "public option" the "government option" or some variation of that. The horror!
Of course none of the Fox-haters uttered a word of criticism when National Public Radio officially instructed employees to drop the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" labels in favor of "abortion rights opponent" and "abortion rights advocate," labels that clearly frame the debate favorably for the pro-choice position (who wants someone's rights denied them, after all?).
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN tried to spin the proposed compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans to keep the current tax rates as a "package that increases spending dramatically." Correspondents Jessica Yellin and Joe Johns forwarded the liberal talking point that the Republicans were breaking their campaign promise to reduce government spending with this proposal.
Yellin appeared with anchor Brooke Baldwin just after the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour. After playing a montage of several clips of President Obama promising to "roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans," Baldwin stated that "it's not just the President, as we saw in the montage, breaking a promise. It's also- correct me if I'm wrong- the Republicans breaking a promise as well."
The liberal CNN correspondent replied with the faulty concept that letting taxpayers keep more of their income is government spending (thus treating all income as if it belonged to the government):
There are many areas where the establishment press's terminology preferences are significantly out of sync with everyday usage by the general public. To name just two examples, the ever so PC press routinely replaces publicly favored and more informative terms such as "illegal immigrants" and "Muslim terrorists" with "undocumented workers" and "militants." And of course, we can't forget the press's affection for "a certain late-term pregnancy-ending procedure," when it's really "partial-birth abortion."
Though the disconnect I'm about to describe isn't as serious as the ones just noted, there is another area where press terminology is at wide variance with the public's preferences. That would be in how to describe the shopping season that occurs from Thanksgiving until the end of the year.
For a while, the press's terminology choices seemed to be winning over retailers. But at least this year, that isn't so, as noted in an item at Advertising Age (HT to Tim Graham at NewsBusters, who tweeted on this about 10 days ago):
Even with Monday’s deal between President Obama and top Republicans, no American’s income tax rates will actually decline on January 1 (although, if the deal passes, workers will notice a modest reduction in their payroll taxes in 2011). Yet throughout this debate, the broadcast networks have insisted on framing the debate as about “tax cuts” and “tax breaks,” not about forestalling a tax increase that could jeopardize the weak recovery.
MRC analysts reviewed all 23 ABC, CBS and NBC evening news stories about the tax debate from the start of the lame-duck session of Congress on November 15 through December 5, just before the GOP and Obama struck their deal.
Network reporters used the phrase “tax cut” a total of 71 times to characterize the issue at hand. CBS’s Nancy Cordes, for example, talked about “the battle over the Bush tax cuts” on the November 15 Evening News. Two nights later, NBC’s Chuck Todd related a new poll showing how “49 percent say don’t give the wealthy these tax cuts” — as if the “the wealthy” would be getting some new gift from the government.
CNN's Eliot Spitzer blasted Senate Republicans on Wednesday's Parker-Spitzer for their promise to hold up legislation unless the current tax rates are extended: "Every one of us...[is] being held hostage by 42 Republican senators." Predictably, co-host Kathleen Parker agreed with Spitzer to a point, and snarked, "I got stuck on the image of being held hostage by 42 Republicans- talk about a bad date."
The former Democratic governor of New York led the 8 pm Eastern hour of the program with his rant against the senators. After twice using his "hostage" term, which likens the Republicans to terrorists, Spitzer bewailed how "the day after the Republican leadership meets with the President, and says we want bipartisanship, they send a letter saying, no way, no how. We will do nothing until you give a tax cut to the rich. No START Treaty- something that has been endorsed by...every major Republican foreign policy leader...No unemployment benefits for those who are looking for jobs- can't get it with unemployment at 9, 10 percent." He ended this initial bombast with another cliched label for Republicans: "This is outrageous. This is not the way to govern. The party of no has gotten worse. I think it is a shame, and it is just beyond comprehension."
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer downplayed the criminal factor in the release of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic communiques by WikiLeaks, twice labeling the website as only a "messenger" for the documents. Both Lauer and NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell insisted the State Department "crossed a line" by ordering diplomats to spy on foreign diplomats at the United Nations.
The NBC anchor interviewed Republican Congressman Peter King seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour on this latest release of confidential documents by WikiLeaks. Midway through the segment, Lauer raised the espionage issue: "Were you surprised to hear that Secretary of State Clinton and her predecessor, Secretary of State Rice, asked their diplomats to, in effect, spy on diplomats at the United Nations, asking for things like credit card numbers, computer passwords, DNA, fingerprints? This does cross a line, doesn't it?"
On Tuesday evening, ABC and CBS furthered the mainstream media's largely inaccurate reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on the morality of condom use. While the pontiff stated that condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection," World News anchor Diane Sawyer stated that "the Pope shifts his rules on condom use." Evening News anchor Katie Couric labeled Benedict XVI's comment a "historic statement," and trumpeted how supposedly, "Pope Benedict says, for the first time, that condoms are okay to protect against HIV and other diseases."
Sawyer included her misleading "Pope shifts his rules on condom use" phrase as she teased the lead stories at the beginning of World News. Sixteen minutes into the half hour program, the ABC anchor introduced correspondent Dan Harris's report, who began by giving a false impression of Benedict's remarks during an interview published in book form given by German journalist Peter Seewald. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "A Change in Policy:"
On Tuesday's Situation Roon, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his longstanding Palin Derangement syndrome by rebroadcasting one of his commentaries from September 2008 where he played an excerpt from the infamous Katie Couric interview and disparaged the then-vice presidential candidate. Most of the viewer responses to his 'Question of the Hour' bashed the former Alaska governor.
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to his old nemesis, since the Republican stated in a recent interview that she wouldn't "waste her time" doing another interview with the CBS anchor. He replayed the bulk of a September 26, 2008 segment where he highlighted one of Palin's less-than-satisfactory answers during the Couric interview. He concluded at that time that "if John McCain wins, this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being president of the United States, and if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."
This is the sixth year I have looked into how the media treats these two topics: The use of "Christmas shopping season" vs. "holiday shopping season," and the frequency of Christmas and holiday layoff references.
I have done three sets of simple Google News searches each year -- the first in late November, followed by identical searches roughly two and four weeks later.
A graphic containing key results from the past five years is here.
The results of this year's first set of searches, done at roughly 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, largely reinforce the trends noted last year:
NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell hyped Sarah Palin's criticism of her liberal opponents on Tuesday's Today show, stating that the former governor "rips the heart out of some of her opponents" in her new book. O'Donnell stated that Palin, "in very personal terms, also questions the President's [Obama's] patriotism, concluding he has 'a stark lack of faith in the American people.'"
The correspondent covered "America By Heart," the Republican's second book, for the second straight day. Anchor Matt Lauer introduced her report, which began 40 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour, by immediately noting Palin's attacks on Mr. Obama: "Sarah Palin's much-anticipated new book hits stores today. NBC News received an advanced copy last night, and the former Alaska governor is not holding back when it comes to President Obama." O'Donnell picked up where he left off: "Well, you know, her new book is called 'America By Heart.' It's full of what she calls 'reflections on faith, family and flag.' But with all the attacks on President Obama and others, some say it could be a handbook for her for a 2012 campaign."
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a false impression of Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about condoms. While the Pope stated that condom use "can be a first step...on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed," Phillips stated that the pontiff "says condoms are okay sometimes." Refreshingly, Monday's Today show on NBC accurately covered Benedict's remarks.
The anchor previewed CNN correspondent Atika Schubert's report on the pontiff's comments 10 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour with her inaccurate description: "Well, the Catholic Church and condoms: two things that have never really gone together until now. The Pope, quoted in a new book, says condoms are okay sometimes. Now, that's a talker!" After a commercial break, Phillips continued with another misleading statement:
PHILLIPS: Pope Benedict is bending a bit when it comes to condoms. A new book actually quotes him as saying that they are okay to use in certain circumstances, like to prevent disease, not birth control. It's the first time the Church has ever talked about exceptions to the condom rule....Here's a part of what the Pope says in the book. See if your eyebrows raise a little bit. It says- quote, 'There could be single cases that can be justified. For instance, when a prostitute uses a condom.' Say what? (laughs) Doesn't it kind of sound like the Pope is justifying prostitution, too? Surely not, but what a bizarre analogy.
National Public Radio is right to defend itself against charges of Nazism leveled at the radio station by Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who has since apologized for the remark. But NPR decided to make the leap from defending the station to attacking Fox News as uniquely disposed to Nazi comparisons, an absurd claim on its face.
There are commentators on both sides of the political spectrum who routinely prove Godwin right. But being the predictably-liberal news outlet that it is, NPR invoked vague claims by far-left Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (neither his ideological leanings nor the multitude of his most recent baseless Fox accusations are mentioned) to paint FNC as unique in its invocation of Nazism.
Katie Couric's boosterism of "moderate Republican" Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and NPR's cheap shot at former President George W. Bush's recovery from alcoholism were just two of the "Media Mash" topics NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed on the November 20 edition of "Hannity."
"When will you ever hear the word 'liberal' attached to a Republican?" Bozell asked, noting that Murkowski is in fact a liberal Republican.
"In eight years, she was on [CBS] one time. In the last week, she's been on there twice," the Media Research Center president noted after viewing a clip of CBS "Evening News" Katie Couric's November 15 interview with the Alaska senator.
[Video of the full "Media Mash" segment is available after the page break]
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker bizarrely and inaccurately claimed that Alexander Hamilton came to the United States illegally and drafted the Constitution: "Let's remember...a lot of Americans did come through the back door such as Alexander Hamilton.He got off the boat from the West Indies, and all he did was write the Constitution and become the first Secretary of the Treasury."
Parker raised this false history during a discussion at the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour about Pedro Ramirez, Fresno State University's student body president, who was outed as an illegal immigrant by a student newspaper. After playing clips from Ramirez and his opponent during the student election, who is also the president of the Fresno State College Republicans, the CNN host displayed sympathy for the college student: "This is kind of a classic though, isn't it, really? I mean, you've the college Republican versus the illegal immigrant, and it's kind of a classic clash, you know, that corresponds to this immigration debate we're having in this country. And clearly, when you put a human face on the illegal immigrant, it's a different story. I mean, nobody wants to punish this young 22-year-old."
On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, the host asked about parents who are "overpopulating" the world, and guest Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University professor, compared having a large family to littering, "as if we've got too many people on this planet to begin with." Fisher also bizarrely stated that "for billions of years, we [humans] ended up having one or two children per woman."
Host Joy Behar devoted the last two segments of her 9 pm Eastern hour program to how women are trending away from having children. Besides Fisher, she brought on author Rachel Shukert and Laura Scott, who manages the "Childless By Choice Project" blog. Near the middle of the second segment, the host blurred the line between typical large families, most of whom have children by natural means, and celebrities such as the "Octo-Mom" and Kate Gosselin and her family. This is where Fisher made her extreme leftist remark:
BEHAR: What about these people who are overpopulating- the Gosselins, the octo-moms- these people who have been vitro with hundreds of things in there- you know what I mean? What's up with that?
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Ali Velshi continued his network's promotion of homosexual "marriage" with an interview of two men who conducted what they called an "e-marriage." The two used Skype to have an officiant in Washington, DC, where same-sex "marriage" is legal, remotely perform their ceremony, which took place in Texas.
Velshi introduced the "fascinating story" of Mark and Dante Walkup and described "e-marriage" as "not just the idea that you get married using the Internet- the idea that a gay couple can get married using the Internet in a state that doesn't allow gay marriage....They got married via Skype, and they got married via Skype while they were in Dallas by somebody officiating who was somewhere else."
The CNN anchor tossed softball questions at the two homosexuals throughout the interview, only asking them to "explain...how this all transpired" and how they went about performing their "e-marriage." Towards the end of the segment, Velshi brought on defense attorney Ann Fitz, who stated that "this is absolutely a legal marriage under the laws of Washington, DC, and the fact that they have the ceremony itself in Texas does nothing to negate the validity of it." He also complimented his two guests for their "very innovative way of doing things."
CNN, whose new ad claims that they "keep them all honest, without playing favorites," actually played favorites on Monday's Parker-Spitzer. Hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer failed to give ideological labels to their liberal guests, while clearly identifying Tim Phillips as being president of "Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group" and labeling Bjorn Lomborg a "controversial author."
Parker and Spitzer's first guest was liberal Congressman Anthony Weiner, who appeared two minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. The former liberal governor introduced Weiner as merely a "Democratic representative from New York." The American Conservative Union gave the congressman a zero rating in 2008 and 2009, with a lifetime rating of 5.14. The left-of-center Americans for Democratic Action named Weiner one of their "ADA Heroes" in the House in 2009. Clearly, the New York politician is a liberal, but neither host identified him as such.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is a devout liberal, including on contentious social issues like abortion and homosexuality. But on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein began a story on Archbishop Donald Wuerl's elevation to Cardinal at the Vatican like this:
The archbishop's two brothers will be there. So will a rabbi he knows from Pittsburgh, the D.C. barber who cuts his hair and the fast-talking (and devoutly Catholic) television commentator Chris Matthews.
Do "devout" Catholics lecture their bishops that they should get their churchy noses out of our legislating? Boorstein apparently missed Matthews lecturing the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, in defense of Rep. Patrick Kennedy's pro-abortion politics on "Hardball" last November.
A major news story this weekend here in the D.C. area has been the federal bribery probe that resulted in the Friday afternoon arrests of outgoing Prince George's County [Md.] Executive Jack Johnson (D) and his wife Leslie -- also a registered Democrat -- who was elected two weeks ago to a County Council seat.
At the time federal officials told the media that more arrests were forthcoming, and sure enough, this morning three Prince George's County police officers were arrested as part of the Johnson case.
Yet in their November 15 story on the officers' arrests on the Breaking News Blog, Washington Post staffers Mary Pat Flaherty and Matt Zapotsky failed to note Jack Johnson's party affiliation, despite the fact that Johnson's party ID is hardly a state secret in the heavily Democratic county and the fact that Post staffers Rosalind Helderman, Hamil Harris and Ashley Halsey III noted Johnson's Democratic party affiliation in the fourth paragraph of their Metro section front-pager this morning.
Roland Martin brought his full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome to Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, labeling the former Alaska governor "the Kim Kardashian of politics." Martin continued that Palin is "making a ton of money. We're trying to figure out why. It's the same as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton....She quit her job because she wanted to go out and be a celebrity."
The CNN contributor actually first tried out his questionable label of the Tea Party favorite on his Twitter account. At 5:12 pm on November 9, Martin posted the following Tweet: "Palin slammed then-Sen. Obama as a celebrity in 2008 campaign, and she's more of a celebrity because she doesn't hold office." Mind you, at that time, Palin was Alaska's governor and the Republican vice presidential candidate, but the liberal continued by complaining in a second Tweet that "the media goes ga ga over whatever she says. Palin is often wrong. She's a former governor who quit her job rather than tough it out." During his third Tweet, Martin added, "She holds no position; wants no accountability; and wants to sling arrows and then gets angry when called on the carpet 4 her nonsense." The CNN personality completed his rant by comparing the Republican to the curvy celebrity most infamous for making a pornographic video: "At the end of the day, Sarah Palin is the Kim Kardashian of Politics. She's a celebrity with no real purpose other than picking up a check."
CNN personality Soledad O'Brien revealed in her new book that liberal activist Jesse Jackson put her down for her skin color during a private meeting in 2007. During the meeting, Jackson complained to O'Brien, whose mother is a black woman from Cuba, that there weren't any black anchors on CNN. When she pointed out that she was the anchor of American Morning, the activist replied, "You don't count."
O'Brien, who is now a special correspondent for CNN, recounted the 2007 incident in "The Next Big Story," which CNN.com excerpted on November 3. Just before her meeting with Jackson, the journalist had obtained "exclusive access to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers," as the lead-in for the excerpt underlined. Soon after this, as O'Brien recalled, "Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk." The two met at a restaurant "on the first floor of a famous hotel" and in the course of their conversation, the subject of the racial makeup of her network came up:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, news reader Erica Hill used loaded liberal terms to describe a Texas pro-life event that Sarah Palin attended on Wednesday: "Palin shared the stage in an anti-abortion rights rally with Texas Governor Rick Perry."
Hill touted how despite making no announcement to make a 2012 presidential run, Palin "was looking an awful lot like a candidate," adding that the appearance with Governor Perry represented "a dream ticket for some tea party supporters." However, after playing a brief clip of Palin, Hill noted how "A just-released Associated Press poll finds of all the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Sarah Palin is the most polarizing."