The Associated Press managed to report on yesterday's primaries in North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio while muddling the incontrovertibly disastrous results for Democrats in those states. Even while touting the races as harbingers for November, the AP failed to extrapolate the trends right before their eyes.
In short, turnout for Republican primaries in all three states was up almost across the board, while Democratic turnout "dropped precipitously," in the words of National Journal's Reid Wilson.
The AP noted the "exceptionally light [turnout] in Ohio and North Carolina," failing to mention that GOP turnout in these states was up in virtually every race, while a drop in Demcorats at the polls produced the "light" numbers it mentions.
CBS's local affiliate in Chicago today threatened to stop covering the Illinois Senate race if the Republican candidate continues to harp on an issue extremely damaging to his Democratic opponent.
If a candidate for the United States Senate was a senior loan officer for a bank that made over $20 million in loans to convicted bookies and pimps (while he was employed as a loan officer), is that candidate's opponent in the wrong for harping on the issue?
Chicago's CBS affiliate apparently thinks such connections should be off limits. A reporter from Chicago's CBS Channel 2 told Mark Kirk, the Republican opponent of former Broadway Bank loan officer Alexi Giannoulias that his channel is "not going to cover the Senate race, if it’s consistently only in your terms, is about Broadway Bank." (H/t Big Journalism, via Steve Gutowski)
Editor's Note: NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President President Brent Bozell released the following statement today regarding the broadcast and cable news media's silence about President Barack Obama's use of a crass sexual slang term to refer to Tea Party members.
If President George W. Bush had slurred the gay-rights movement during his presidency, it would have immediately dominated the news of every single national media outlet. Reporters would have pummeled the Administration and demanded an explanation and apology for the offense, and rightly so. You don’t smear anyone – let alone fellow Americans who elected you to office – regardless of your political differences.
Yet ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN haven’t even lifted an eyebrow since news broke that President Obama used the raunchy ‘teabagger’ slur to demean the hundreds of thousands of Americans who comprise the Tea Party movement. Reporters should be asking questions like:
"Tea party groups battling allegations of racism," reads a May 5 page A3 Washington Post print headline. The online version header softened the word choice a tiny bit, substituting the word "perceptions" in for "allegations."
The underlying poll data which prompted the story tells us more about the Post's prism through which it views the Tea Parties than how the public at large does.
After three paragraphs pounding readers with the meme that "the [Tea Party] movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism," the Post's Amy Gardner and Krissah Thompson quickly dispatched with the fact that most Americans see Tea Parties fueld by distrust of big government and opposition to the Obama/congressional Democratic agenda before highlighting how a minority of poll respondents think race is a motivating factor:
In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party.
Of course, in the very next paragraph we learn that:
The Washington Post is making the transition from a powerhouse liberal newspaper to a network of powerhouse liberal blogs. While the paper's Old Guard is worried that the move will tarnish the Post's supposed reputation for political neutrality, it should be seen more as a embrace of the agenda the Post has evinced for years.
"Traditionalists," wrote Politico today, "worry that the Post is sacrificing a hard-won brand and hallowed news values." One such "traditionalist," Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review, said a more openly-liberal approach to reporting, mostly done online in the form of various blogs, would be "a danger to the brand."
To the extent that the Post still pretends to be objective -- and to the extent that its readers believe that claim -- then yes, an opinion blog-centric approach is tarnishing the brand. But for those who acknowledge the Post' consistently liberal approach to the news, the only change is the way that that news is delivered.
Listen to the surprise in Luke Russert's voice as he reports that many African-American Republican candidates for congress are seeking support from the Tea Party. After all, says Luke, the Tea Party is a group that "a lot of folks have claimed to be racist against African-Americans."
Russert expressed his amazement on MSNBC this morning, discussing a New York Times article that reports that at least 32 black Republicans are running for Congress.
About 45 minutes ago, Red State's Caleb Howe reported that a package filled with a white powder was sent to the office of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Brewer, picture right in a file photo, has become a controversial figure since she signed into law a bill giving state authorities more power to determine an individual's immigration status.
Andrew Staubitz, the chief of Phoenix's Capital Police Department, told Howe that a state employee opened an envelope addressed to the Governor and found a "powdery white substance." The first floor of the Arizona Capitol was closed for about half an hour. Paramedics were called, but the employee required no further medical assistance. The powder was sent to a lab where it is undergoing tests.
Will the media report this event as vehemently as they have other instances of purported political violence? Will they extrapolate a larger threat posed by opponents of the new immigration law as they repeatedly have with the Tea Party movement (even though it has been completely devoid of violence)? Or will they apply the journalistic scrutiny to this incident that they failed to apply to the claims of members of Congressional Black Caucus who said protesters had shouted racial slurs at them? We will see.
Although to ask this question is to invite with a good degree of criticism, it is still worth asking: Is Obama administration's approach to publicly reprimanding private industry cause for concern?
On CNBC's May 4 "Squawk Box," host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera raised this point and asked Washington correspondent John Harwood if White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' recent statement BP was a little overboard.
"The spokesperson says, quote, ‘We're going to keep our boot on the throats of BP,'" Caruso-Cabrera said. "How is the Business Council going to react to that when they see President Obama?"
Harwood, who often goes easy on the Obama administration, wasn't so quick to criticize Gibbs for this. His explanation was that it was a little "hostile," but repeated Gibbs' suggestion it was just a regional saying.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes claimed in Tuesday's Obama-pitying "For Obama, A Nonstop Juggling Act" that his "supporters" call him a pragmatist. So does that make Times reporters Obama supporters as well? And is the Tea Party really "far right"?
By his own reckoning, Mr. Obama has always been hard to peg ideologically. His Republican opponents charge that he is masking a left-wing agenda in centrist-sounding words.
His supporters, including those who work for him, say he is a pragmatist whose instincts are genuinely centrist, both as a matter of politics and style.
The Times also constantly sells its readers on the idea that the big-spending, socially liberal Obama is some kind of moderate "pragmatist."
Filling in for host Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, Early Show co-host Harry Smith grilled former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth on Arizona's new immigration law: "Some people would contend that this law in Arizona is racist in nature. Some have equated it even with Jews having to carry identification during Nazi Germany. How do you respond to that?" [Audio available here]
Hayworth shot down the absurd comparison: "That is overblown rhetoric. And it's a tool that's been used before....what's going on is a deliberate distortion to move this from a question of enforcement to one of ethnicity. It's not the case. I read you the language of the bill-" Smith interrupted: "But hang on second...J.D. let me ask you this. If you were Hispanic and you were walking down the street today in Arizona, would you have some concern if a squad car drove by?"
Only minutes earlier, Hayworth had read from the Arizona law, citing a key provision that directly contradicted Smith's assertions: "It says the law, quote, 'shall be implemented in a matter consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.'"
Hayworth attempted to reiterate that point: "The law is very finely crafted, protecting-" Smith again interrupted: "It was amended Friday." Hayworth replied: "because good people of good will want to go the extra mile to ensure there is not a hint of racism here."
In wake of Arizona's new immigration law, CBS 60 Minutes anchor Scott Pelley fretted over illegal immigrants entering the United States by swimming across California's All-American Canal: "a national moat on our southern border, and hundreds of people have perished in its waters. It is a carnage that has gone mostly unnoticed because many of the victims are buried without their names." [Audio available here]
Pelley began the story by proclaiming: "In the California desert, in a field of mud, is a graveyard that is hard to imagine in America.Bricks mark the final resting place of hundreds of human beings, identities unknown. They died traveling to America in search of a life better than their home countries could offer." Moments later, Pelley explained: "While the canal is a death trap, it is also a lifeline for the nation....Two thirds of our winter fruits and vegetables are grown with this water. But half of the people who pick those crops are illegal immigrants. To get the jobs created by the canal, they cross the canal, usually at night on makeshift rafts or using plastic jugs for flotation."
It did not take long to for Pelley place blame for drownings, not on those crossing the border illegally, but on those operating the canal: "The water is 225 feet across, 20 feet deep, with almost no rescue lines or climb-out ladders, safety devices that you would find in some other canals....management is controlled by a regional authority called the Imperial Irrigation District....They've taken votes, commissioned studies, but done almost nothing."
For many far-left MSNBC fans, one conservative on the cable network is one too many. Combine a tired tirade against Joe Scarborough of "Morning Joe" with the inanity of a Hollywood leftist's lame attempt at media commentary, and you have one entertaining Huffington Post column.
"Are the programmers at MSNBC nuts?" asked legendary actor Donald Sutherland (pictured right) on Sunday. "They give us refreshing afternoons with Chris and Ed, put us to bed with the clarifying sensibilities of Rachel and Keith and then, idiotically, wake us up with Mr. Small Mouth."
Yes, Sutherland did just use the terms "refreshing" and "clarifying sensibilities" in reference to Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann, respectively. And no, apparently he was not being sarcastic. Then comes the Scarborough-bashing:
It took a while, but MSNBC President Phil Griffin has finally admitted and embraced his cable network's hard-left slant. He told the Chicago Tribune that he will try to carve out a niche on the left, hoping some day to rival the Fox News Channel's record-setting ratings.
Not so long ago, Griffin insisted that MSNBC was not "tied to ideology" -- unlike Fox, which simply could not be trusted, he claimed. Griffin even knocked FNC President Roger Ailes's business model, criticizing him for "creat[ing] an ideological channel… I give them total credit. I tip my hat to them. They scored. But it was ideological and opportunistic. It was a business plan."
Griffin has apparently abandoned his disdain for that business plan. He spoke glowingly of Ailes in an interview with the Tribune, saying the FNC president "changed the world" with his wildly successful business model, which went beyond just reporting to create brand loyalty and provide viewers with commentary that speaks to their views and preferences. MSNBC will now be (openly) emulating that model.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Bill Whitaker reported on protests against Arizona's new immigration law, citing several opponents of the new measure, but failing to feature a single supporter. On Thursday's Evening News, Whitaker filed a nearly identical report that included a clip of at least one proponent of the legislation.
In the Early Show report, footage was show of an immigration law protestor declaring: "We are America. Get over it." Whitaker followed by proclaiming: "Opponents say requiring police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect is un-American. Even the mayor of Phoenix is suing to have the law overturned." A clip was played of Mayor Phil Gordon ranting: "Arizona and Phoenix is not the Arizona or Phoenix that you have seen portrayed by some individuals that have brought this racist, this hateful law to the state."
Whitaker noted how "protesters turned up the star power. Pop star Shakira voiced her opposition." A clip was played of the singer fretting: "I'm worried about the impact that the implementation of this law will have on hard working Latino families." Whitaker added: "Mexican American singer Linda Ronstadt spoke out, as well." Ronstadt remarked: "Gee, I better pack my passport, you know, coming to Tucson."
During Thursday's 11AM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall asked former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean about Florida Governor Charlie Crist's expected announcement to run as an independent in that state's senate race: "Is this a sign that people, perhaps centrists or moderates, like Charlie Crist, have no place in this new emerging Republican Party?"
That set up the left-wing Dean to bash conservatives and the GOP: "What effect does the tea party have on the Republican Party? And this is a really good example. They've driven another moderate out of the Republican Party....there just apparently is no place in the Republican Party for moderate, thoughtful people anymore."
Hall first asked Dean about an odd rumor: "There is a story online that's being picked up by conservative blogs that you offered to contribute to Charlie Crist's campaign if he left the Republican Party. What happened there?" Dean explained: "That was a joke between me and Joe Scarborough which some enterprising staffer for Crist picked up and pushed it around. It's not true. I'm supporting Kendrick Meek." He then added: "I actually think that the two big winners out of this are the United States, who are hopefully going to get a real senator instead of a far-right person, and I do think, of course, it helps the Democratic Party and Kendrick's candidacy as well."
After Hall introduced Dean at the beginning of the segment, she remarked: "I say it like you're a correspondent now....I love that being a possible segment Governor Dean, you coming on and talking about the top political news of the day."
Timothy Egan, liberal New York Times reporter turned liberal nytimes.com columnist, is the latest former reporter to weigh in on Arizona's anti-immigration law, "Desert Derangement Syndrome."
It would be hard to top former NYT Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse's hysterical conflation in her Tuesday print-edition column of Arizona's stricter enforcement of immigration laws with a Nazi police state, but Egan gets in his share of insults, some of them courtesy of comedian Jon Stewart, the "Mark Twain of our day."
But for all its diversity of land and people, Arizona is also a lunatic magnet. As I drove, I listened to the radio blather of a state in mob-rule frenzy of cranky old men. Once in Phoenix, I saw on television that sign in a car's rear window, the new image of Arizona to the rest of the world: "I'm Mexican. Pull me over."
Time magazine's website on Thursday named me to their tongue-in-cheek "Least Influential People of 2010" list, ranking me with other notables such as Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and Clarence Thomas. Contributor Joel Stein stated that he was "short on morons" to put on his list, so he picked me after CNN anchor Rick Sanchez told him about our recent dispute.
The Time writer got to me after listing three-pages-worth of notables. I was immediately preceded by actor Joaquin Phoenix, "political extremist" Lyndon LaRouche, and Justice Thomas. Stein detailed that "Rick Sanchez told me to put him on because they got in a fight about whether Sanchez was serious or kidding about being surprised volcanoes exist in cold places like Iceland. I forgot to ask Rick what category he thinks Balan should go in, but I was short on morons so I put him here."
As you might remember, I put up an item on NewsBusters on April 15 about the CNN anchor's remark about "when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland. You think it's too cold to have a volcano there." Four days later, Sanchez named me to "the very top" of his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," and devoted more than four minutes to how I did a "hot job" on him for his "joke."
On April 22 and 27, CNN and The Washington Post both helped forward Islamic advocacy group CAIR's publicity stunt which demeaned an anonymous Virginia motorist as a racist. The Post finally found the driver on Thursday – and apparently, both news outlets jumped the gun, as the owner claimed that the numbers on his license plate were a tribute to his favorite NASCAR drivers, not secret code for “Heil Hitler.”
Anchor Rick Sanchez devoted a brief on his Rick's List program on Tuesday to presenting CAIR's side of the story on the controversy. After showing a picture of the pickup truck and the plate in question, as well as the anti-Islamic message on the truck's tailgate, Sanchez explained that "CAIR...also noticed the vanity license plate. It reads '14CV88.' CAIR says that is a coded hate message. We're told the number eight is for the eighth letter in the alphabet, 'H.' Two eights equals 'H.H.' for 'Heil Hitler.' Fourteen represents imprisoned white supremacist David Lane's motto about securing the future for white children." The anchor didn’t mention the owner’s side of the story.
Did anyone at CNN or the Washington Post consider the possibility that the story was underbaked until they communicated with the driver? Did they consider someone might find the driver and his truck and be spurred to angry talk and/or violence based on the media’s incomplete accounts? The Washington Post, at least, printed an update on Thursday to their initial article from the 22nd (the ball, obviously, is also in Sanchez's court now, as well, especially since he went after NewsBusters for not calling him before we took the "cheap shot" at him). The Post's Brigid Schulte returned to the scene of her incomplete story and provided the driver’s perspective in her Thursday article, "Virginia driver denies license plate had coded racist message."
On MediaBistro.com's TVNewser blog, Chris Ariens reported on Wednesday that CBS News has announced a list of special guests seated at its table for Saturday's upcoming White House Correspondents Association Dinner, a list which includes a handful of celebrities as well as a seven prominent political figures, only one of whom is a Republican.
The public officials who will be sitting down for a meal with CBS anchors and correspondents are White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Democratic Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and the lone Republican, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor. I wonder who Katie Couric will choose to sit next to?
The non-political guests are actor Morgan Freeman, who narrates the opening of the CBS Evening News, actress Julianna Margulies, actress Betty White, talk show host Chelsea Handler, and Ayla Brown, the daughter of Republican Senator Scott Brown and newly named contributor to the CBS Early Show.
You have the makings of a New York Times hit piece on conservatism. In the April 27 issue of the Times, a story in its Style section of all places by Patricia Cohen, singled out and accused a number of conservatives of "closed-mindedness" or as the article claimed "epistemic closure."
"It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as ‘epistemic closure' could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement's intellectual health," Cohen wrote. "The phrase is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism's proud intellectual history."
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith lamented Republican opposition to the Democrats' financial reform legislation: "The Senate is expected to vote for a third time on financial reform.Republicans blocked the previous two attempts. President Obama says he can't understand why, and plans to make his case once again later today."
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Chip Reid described the Democratic strategy against Republicans:
Of course, both parties have accepted millions of dollars in political contributions from Wall Street over the years. But now Democrats are doing everything in their power to portray Republicans as the party of Wall Street. It's an argument the President believes is especially effective here in the heartland. President Obama was back where it all started, Iowa, this time denouncing Senate Republicans for blocking debate on financial reform.
A headline on screen read: "Presidential Push; Obama Takes on GOP on Financial Reform."
Sam Tanenhaus, editor of “The New York Times Book Review” and “Week in Review,” and the author of the book, “The Death of Conservatism,” went on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC talk show Monday night to discuss her being featured in a fundraising letter from the right-wing John Birch Society. But the friendly chat soon veered off into a comparison of the nationalist John Birch Society to the Tea Party movement, with Tanenhaus confidently proclaiming “there are no serious ideas left on the right.”
Tanenhaus is pretty assured, for a man who published a book called “The Death of Conservatism” months before a conservative resurgence. At least he didn't refer to Tea Party protesters as “tea baggers,” as he did in an exchange on Slate last October. (Watch a clip of Tanenhaus chatting with Maddow at Times Watch).
SAM TANENHAUS: But there were many on the right who actually supported [John Birch Society president Robert] Welch on the principle we're seeing in action today -- no enemies on the right. If they can be useful, you keep them in the tent. Then, by the mid-'60s, as you said before, they'd gotten so far off the grid that Buckley, a guy who kind of trafficked in intellectual circles, particularly in New York, and had a lot of smart liberal friends, like Murray Kempton and John Kenneth Galbraith, got a little embarrassed by them. At the same time, though, as you said, they were forceful. They were useful. In the Goldwater campaign in ‘64, they were the foot soldiers. In some sense, they're the precursor to the tea partiers we're seeing now, so the right is always nervous about evicting people like that.
On Tuesday's Rick List, CNN's Rick Sanchez unquestioningly forwarded Islamic advocacy group CAIR's admitted speculation about a Virginia license plate containing a supposed coded message of white supremacy/neo-Naziism, which they found on a pickup truck that also had an anti-Islamic message on it [audio clip available here].
Sanchez devoted a brief to the controversy over the Virginia license plate 18 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Earlier in the hour, the CNN anchor gave a teaser on the issue, summarizing CAIR's take as their publicist might: "Take a look at this: what's wrong with that license plate? Opponents say it has a message of nothing but bigotry and hate. I will take you through it. There's more there than meets the eye." He showed a picture of the pickup truck in question, which had a large Confederate flag on the back window of the cab and the message "Everything I ever needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11" on the tailgate.
As Father Daniel Coughlin marks 10 years of ministry as the chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Washington Post found an occasion to suggest to readers that Republicans who now praise the priest's service as the first-ever Catholic to hold the post have overcome a prejudice against the Catholic Church.
"In the beginning, there was partisanship," staff writer Ben Pershing began his April 27 article with a clever homage to the opening line of Genesis, but flash forward to last week and behold, "lawmakers from both parties streamed onto the House floor to honor [Coughlin's] of service."
Pershing explained to readers that back in 2000, another Catholic priest, Timothy J. O'Brien, "had more support on the [bipartisan chaplain search] committee" than Presbyterian minister Charles Wright, the candidate whom then-House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) picked to replace outgoing House chaplain, Rev. James Ford, a Lutheran.
"Democrats suggested that Hastert's choice might reflect an anti-Catholic bias among Republicans," Pershing noted, adding that a "furious" Hastert then "urged Wright to withdraw" and then named Father Coughlin, a priest who had not been among the finalists, as the new House chaplain.
But Pershing left out a more plausible and decidedly less sinister explanation for why Hastert picked Wright in the first place, something that Post staffer Bill Broadway noted in his February 19, 2000 article, "Holy War in the House" (excerpt below via Nexis, emphasis mine):
Hitting from the left in an interview with Republican Senator John McCain on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith worried about the ability of financial reform legislation to expand government control over Wall Street: "How are you going to dis – how does any of this dismantle these giant financial institutions?"
On April 22, ABC Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner a similar question: "Why shouldn't those big banks be broken up?"
At the top of Tuesday's Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez put the GOP on the defensive: "Democrats continue to push for Wall Street reform. But are Republicans on board?" Smith later introduced the segment by portraying Democrats as fighting for reform: "Democrats refuse to give up on reforming Wall Street. Yesterday Republicans put the brakes on, but another vote could happen today."
In a report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "Senate Republicans voted last night against moving forward with debate on the massive financial reform bill. That drew angry recriminations from Democrats." A clip was played of Democratic Virginia Senator Mark Warner slamming Republican opposition: "I never got the memo that said our job wasn't actually to get stuff done."
Near the end of an interview with Arizona Senator John McCain on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith turned to the subject of illegal immigration and the new Arizona law to combat it: "a very tough immigration reform bill which basically makes it illegal for you to be in the state without some sort of documentation. Is this law the answer to the immigration crisis?"
McCain noted the number of illegal immigrants entering Arizona and the level of drug trafficking taking place: "Across the Tucson sector of Arizona last year, there was 241,000 apprehensions of illegal immigrants....1.3 million pounds of marijuana intercepted on the Tucson border just last year." Smith followed up by wondering: "And for the millions of Hispanic Americans who live in Arizona, what do you say to them who feel like this bill is purely discriminatory?"
In a news brief on the topic at the top of the 8AM ET hour, fill-in news reader Betty Nguyen described how: "The Obama administration and activists are considering legal challenges to Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, which has reignited a national debate." A series of signs from an immigration protest in San Francisco appeared on screen: "Latinos Today, Who's Next? Shame on Arizona;" "Boycott Arizona;" "Brown Is Not A Crime."As footage of the protest rolled, Nguyen explained: "The law makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrant." On Monday, an MSNBC headline made the same odd statement.
One week after mocking comedian and Tea Party activist Jim Labriola as "no brain trust," HLN host Joy Behar brought him onto the Joy Behar Show Monday to discuss his involvement in the movement. Behar was surprised by his contention that he had seen no racism or anger at the events he has attended, except from anti-Tea Party protesters, with the HLN host responding: "No, that doesn`t make sense because we`ve seen the footage of them showing things, woman walking with a monkey, another one having Obama in white face."
After Behar, who admitted last week "I'm scared to go" to Tea Party events, asked if Labriola had seen any African-Americans at events he attended, he asserted that half the people he appeared with on stage were minorities, and criticized the media for ignoring black and Hispanic Tea Party members:"I noticed the news never showed any of the black speakers or the Mexican kid and all that."
The comedian and alum of the TV series Home Improvement had earlier commented on the absence of racism or anger by Tea Party participants at events:
On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, substitute host Laura Ingraham and FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg discussed the mainstream media's double standard in handwringing over whether peaceful Tea Party protesters will inspire violence while actual violence perpetrated at left-leaning rallies is ignored. After playing a clip of police officers in Phoenix being hit by bottles thrown by protesters who oppose Arizona's planned crackdown on illegal immigration, Ingraham set up Goldberg: "Why are we surprised when we have some thugs out there in Phoenix over the weekend causing trouble? And we don't know who is responsible, but there was thuggish behavior. Meanwhile, still hearing about the Tea Parties that were largely peaceful, of course."
During the Monday 12PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer described the "firestorm" over a newly passed immigration law in Arizona and fretted: "does this lead to a situation where neighbors are turning in neighbors or families turning against families?" Later in the segment, a headline on screen read: "Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant."
Brewer discussed the issue with Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and wondered: "Is this an effective way to deal with the problem?" In response, Sanchez declared: "to stop people and say, 'I think you look like an illegal immigrant' and then drag them off to jail is not the way to deal with this issue."
Brewer followed up by quoting current Homeland Security Secretary and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano: "she would veto these kinds of bills because she said – she thought it was important for police to be doing actual police work, that they are not immigration enforcement officers." As Brewer made that argument, the headline "Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant" flashed on screen.
At the top of Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith referenced a possible Senate vote on the Democrats' financial reform bill and proclaimed: "Showdown in the Senate. Democrats are scrambling to get enough votes. Will anyone in the GOP break ranks?" It was just the latest example of a week of CBS coverage pressuring Republicans to sign on to the controversial legislation.
In a later report, correspondent Nancy Cordes explained: "both parties say they are for reform and they are deep in negotiations over it....But without a deal, many, if not all, Senate Republicans plan to vote 'no' today, blocking a floor debate on the bill." That was followed by a clip of Democratic Senator Chris Dodd declaring: "Here we are 17 months after someone broke into our house, in effect, robbed us, and we still haven't even changed the locks on the doors." A headline on screen read: "Financial Reform Showdown; Will Anyone in GOP Break Ranks?"
In his introduction to the report, Smith described the Democratic effort as a "test vote." Cordes pointed out: "this vote that Democrats have called for today could very well fail." She later concluded: "Even if the vote fails today, negotiations will go on and Republicans and Democrats seem confident that a financial reform bill will pass sooner rather than later." However, neither her nor Smith questioned holding the vote or suggested it was political theater to force a deal.