Throughout the previous administration, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann would nightly attack President George W. Bush and members of his administration and regularly bash some conservative personalities for being too cozy with Bush.
However, when he and his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow engage in the same brand of coziness, meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this week, it's no longer an indiscretion. Instead, it becomes justified - since Bush did it. Olbermann appeared on the Oct. 23 "The Rachel Maddow Show" and he and Maddow responded to critics. Maddow asked him to respond to particular comments from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, now a Fox News contributor, that there would be an outcry had the Bush administration committed something similar.
The tactic of bashing Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk show hosts to score political points is apparently no longer the exclusive realm of national-level Democrats and moderate Republicans. Now, even local politicians are adopting this political maneuver in their local campaigns.
Democrat David Englin, member of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 45th District (and currently my own delegate), sent out a direct mail piece which I received on Thursday where Englin boldly proclaimed his opposition to the top conservative talk show host: “If Rush Limbaugh is for it, I’m probably against it.” (image at right).
Englin’s mail piece, paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia, not only targeted Limbaugh, but on the reverse side, ripped Glenn Beck and all conservatives: “You and I know that our community’s progressive values are once again under attack. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their right-wing allies want to block progress on issues that matter. But we can’t let them. We have come too far and there is too much at stake to let the rhetoric of hate stop what we know is right.”
CNN featured pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia of Tucson, Arizona on two programs on Wednesday night, and inadvertently caught her giving inconsistent answers regarding a 2008 protest where she participated in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona [audio clips from programs available here].
Correspondent Soledad O’Brien featured Garcia in the first segment of her ‘Latino in America’ miniseries at 9 pm Eastern, where she was labeled as an “unapologetic champion of people many Americans love to hate- illegal immigrants.” After detailing her involvement with a high-profile deportation case, O’Brien stated that Garcia had “nothing to do with creating the pinata and only picked it up to defuse” the anti-Arpaio protest. The CNN correspondent cast a sympathetic light on the activist by noting how she has apparently received death threats for her work.
Want to make a big splash to bolster your chances in a political campaign? A tried and true strategy for some attorneys general has been to champion a populist position by exploiting the legal system for publicity. Just look at the lead up to the launch of former New York AG Eliot Spitzer gubernatorial campaign with his attacks on Wall Street.
And that appears to be the playbook California Attorney General Jerry Brown is using in a lawsuit accusing State Street (NYSE:STT) of cheating the state's two largest pension funds, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, of at least $56.6 million.
However, CNBC's Michele Caruso-Cabrera wasn't afraid to ask Brown if that was indeed the case in an Oct. 20 interview on CNBC's "Power Lunch."
And you thought President Obama just didn’t like Glenn Beck. According to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, the administration’s repeated attacks on Fox News are an attempt to send a message to the rest of the news media: “Fox isn’t a real news organization, so the stories it generates aren’t real news.”
The Oct. 21 “Morning Joe” reported on an exchange yesterday (noted on Newsbusters by Noel Sheppard) between ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jake Tapper and White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs, in which Tapper asked whether it was “appropriate” for the administration to be deciding what news organizations are legitimate.
“I think Jake Tapper was onto what we got onto yesterday morning, because we’ve been having this debate: ‘Does this make sense for them to shoot down at Fox News?’” said host Joe Scarborough. “No it doesn’t if your target’s Fox News.”
CNN’s Carol Costello again omitted the liberal source of a statistic she touted during a report on Wednesday’s American Morning, that 91% of talk radio is apparently conservative. Costello also pushed the left-wing aim of localism in radio programming, playing three soundbites in favor of the proposal, versus two against it.
Near the end of her report, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, the CNN correspondent cited ultra-left talker Randi Rhodes (all three clip in favor of localism came from Rhodes), who “says millions of Americans get their political talk from AM radio -- 91 percent of which is conservative.” Costello didn’t cite the source of the figure, which comes from a 2007 report by two liberal organizations -- the Center for American Progress and Free Press -- and co-authored by Mark Lloyd, who is now the FCC’s “chief diversity officer.” The correspondent touted the figure as well during a report on Monday’s American Morning, where she claimed that it came from “Talkers” magazine. The figure itself is misleading because, as MRC’s Culture and Media Institute pointed out, the CAP report ignored “non-commercial radio,” such as NPR and other public radio networks.
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these left-wing positions. Cafferty didn’t explicitly voice his agreement with the poll results, but presented his own liberal proposal for health care.
Cafferty touted how “a majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance” during his 4 pm “Question of the Hour” segment: “A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option. Fifty-seven percent favor the public option. Fifty-six percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy health insurance, either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.”
Ed Morrisey of HotAir.com pointed out on Tuesday morning that this poll has a skewed sample. On the other hand, the CNN commentator did however subsequently note that “there’s even broader opposition to how to pay for all of this. Sixty-one percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans, and nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit, although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to achieve true health care reform.”
At the top of the 4:00PM ET hour of MSNBC Live, co-anchor David Shuster claimed the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll “numbers appear to back up the concerns of mainstream Republicans worried about the impact of birthers, tenthers, and town hall screamers....moderates have been frightened away and party identification has dropped to the lowest level in nearly three decades, since Nixon and Watergate.”
Shuster later introduced a debate segment on the issue, declaring: “if a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News is any indication, the GOP is in the worst shape it’s been in nearly three decades. Asked which party they identified themselves with, 33% said Democratic while just 20% said Republican.” What he failed to mention was that the poll also showed that those who identified themselves as conservative stood at 38%, a two-point increase from the last poll conducted on September 12. However, liberal identification stood at just 23%, a one-point decrease from the September poll.
After another round of attacks from the White House, this time from higher levels of the Obama administration, Brit Hume, a senior political analyst for Fox News, went to bat for his network.
On the Oct. 19 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier," Hume gave his best effort to rationalize why White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod used two Sunday morning news show appearances to beat up on the highly rated news channel. According to Hume, it was because they disapproved of the stories his channel broke over the last few months.
"It is a little hard to discern a strategy behind the White House campaign of criticism of Fox News unless it's simply this - an attempt to quarantine Fox and thereby discourage other media outlets from following up stories did originate here," Hume said. "The White House is clearly stung by the revelations about former aid Van Jones. He turned out to have harbored views that were out there where the buses don't run and he was forced to resign. And the White House could not much have cared for the hidden camera expose of ACORN - an organization with which the president had a past association and one whose voter registration drives have benefited the Democratic Party."
CNN’s Carol Costello began a new series on political talk radio on Monday’s American Morning, suggesting it was unfairly dominated by conservatives, and brought on a liberal psychiatrist who theorized that Rush Limbaugh has an audience because he’s “operating like the bully, and if you’re on the playground...you want to be...under the bully’s wing and go along with him and get...some power by proxy.”
The correspondent’s report, which aired just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, was the first installment in a “special series on talk radio,” according to anchor John Roberts. Costello zeroed in on the listeners and why the format “can capture people for such long periods of time.” A graphic on the screen during her report heralded “anger on the air: what listeners don’t know about talk radio.” [MP3 audio available here]
Towards the end of her report, the CNN correspondent played a sound bite from radical left-wing host Randi Rhodes, who speculated that “the reason they don’t passionately listen to liberal talk radio is access” (Costello outrageously downplayed Rhodes’s political leanings by describing her as someone whom “many consider a liberal talker”). The “liberal talker” noted that apparently, “ninety-one percent of talk radio is conservative.” Costello continued that “according to Talkers magazine, liberal talkers fill just nine percent of the nation’s news talk radio on the commercial dial. Change that, Rhodes says, and liberal listeners would listen just as much.”
Can you say "bitter"? That's the vibe Slate.com Editor-in-Chief Jacob Weisberg gave off in an Oct. 17 column, which will appear in the Oct. 26 issue of Newsweek, about Fox News headlined "The O'Garbage Factor."
Weisberg, who once diagnosed former President George W. Bush with a learning disability, contends the Fox News Channel goes beyond just making liberal media elitist like himself cringe - it's actually un-American. Weisberg alluded to the recent rift between the White House and the Fox News Channel.
He contended, with an almost-overdone effort to be self-righteous and snarky, that the analysis of the feud, done on a recent broadcast of "The O'Reilly Factor," was all just too slanted for his tastes. He went along with the left-wing noise machine's notion that Bill O'Reilly, who isn't exactly a Reagan Republican, is some sort of tool of the right-wing.
Once again, the nightly train wreck known as CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show" took another jab at conservatism, particularly Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Only this time, Behar threw in a couple of old standbys for whom lefties are fixated upon assaulting - former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Behar, on her Oct. 17 CNN HLN program, suggested to radio show talk host and former child-star actor Danny Bonaduce there was a trend - that people who have had struggles with chemical addictions are now outspoken, particularly those on the right that Behar disagrees with.
"Do you see a trend? Rush Limbaugh, Oxycontin. Glenn Beck, alcoholic, Danny Bonaduce, alcoholic ... and George Bush, ex-alcoholic," Behar said.
Perhaps the 41st president still has it in him - at least when it comes to the left crying foul about the so-called uncivil political discourse on right, but being equally if not worse on the left - particularly on MSNBC, the "Place for Politics."
In an interview on Oct. 16 with CBS Radio, former President George H.W. Bush took a very critical tact with MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, deeming them "a couple of sick puppies." (via MSNBC's Oct. 16 "The Rachel Maddow Show")
"I don't like it," Bush said. "I think the cables have a lot to do with it. I'll take you back to when I was president - we got tons of criticism, but didn't seem day in and day out quite as personal as some of these talk show people."
As reported on NewsBusters on Friday morning, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez read his apology on Friday’s Newsroom for running a unconfirmed quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh earlier in the week on October 12 [audio available here].
Sanchez hinted to his error in a promo for the apology 37 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour: “Rush Limbaugh gets denied [his NFL bid], but when it comes to one specific point, I will tell you this: he was right and I was wrong. Sometimes you got to say you’re wrong when you’re wrong, right? I'll tell you exactly what I’m talking about when we come back.”
After going to a commercial break, the CNN anchor came back, and after giving a summary of the controversy, read the apology, which was released earlier, almost verbatim:
During the 3:00PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC Friday, co-host David Shuster admitted that racially charged quotes he and other hosts attributed to Rush Limbaugh had not been verified: “MSNBC attributed that quote to a football player who was opposed to Limbaugh’s NFL bid. However, we have been unable to verify that quote independently. So, just to clarify.” Shuster did not formally retract the quote or apologize.
On Monday, Shuster revealed the supposed source of the false quote: “Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Farrior says Limbaugh should be denied the privilege of owning an NFL franchise for comments like ‘slavery had its merits.’” Speaking with columnist Stephen A. Smith later that afternoon, Shuster’s co-host Tamron Hall wondered: “Should a person who says there are merits with slavery be able to have this privilege of owning a team?”
As result of the ensuing controversy raised by the false quotes reported by MSNBC, CNN, and other media outlets, Limbaugh was removed from an investment group that was considering purchasing the St. Louis Rams football team.
New York Times reporter Michael Brick went to College Station, Texas, to preview a college visit by Barack Obama today commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first President Bush's "Points of Light" volunteer organization.
In the condescending "At A&M, a Dance of Decorum for Obama Visit," Brick posed fears that campus conservative activists at Texas A&M might embarrass themselves and their college with their "unchecked fervor," which "can be a raw and fearsome thing." Last year, you see, "the Young Conservatives embarrassed the university by throwing eggs at a picture of Mr. Obama."
Brick is being awfully protective of Obama. If defacing a picture of a president is an automatic embarrassment to a university, then every big college in America should be red-faced, since posters of Bush as Hitler were pretty much de rigueur at any decent campus protest. But the Times never showed any concern for campus hatred of Republicans.
Yesterday CNN's Rick Sanchez was set to go on air and issue an apology for running an unverified quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh. Breaking news of the now-infamous "balloon boy" intervened, and Sanchez was unable to deliver his apology.
It came to the attention of the NewsBusters staff that Sanchez plans on issuing a correction today on-air, reading the following statement:
The feud between the White House and the Fox News Channel took another, thanks to one of Glenn Beck's viewers.
On Beck's Oct. 15 program, the Fox News host played a video sent to him of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who had previously slammed Fox News and called it an organ of the Republican Party. In the video, Dunn reveals her two favorite political philosophers - humanitarian Mother Teresa and Mao Tse Tung, Chinese revolutionary and Communist leader responsible for an estimated 70 million deaths (video embedded below the fold).
"A lot of you have a great deal of ability," Dunn said. "A lot of you work hard. Put them together and that answers the ‘why not' question. There's usually not a good reason and then the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers - Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa, not often coupled with each other but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say why not. You're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before, but here's the deal."
CNN’s Anderson Cooper became the first on his network to acknowledge that some of the quotes used against Rush Limbaugh in his NFL bid were false on his program on Wednesday: “I also should point out, on this program, we did not use the wrong quotes.” Cooper also brought back Al Sharpton as a guest, and the activist again brought up Limbaugh’s “Crips and Bloods” remark, which he took out of context [audio clips are available here].
The CNN anchor began by noting how the talk show host had been forced out of his part in buying the St. Louis Rams by the controversy: “Tonight, breaking news: Rush Limbaugh sidelined, his bid to buy into the National Football League sacked. What happened, and is it fair?” After giving a recap of the controversy, Cooper introduced his guests- Sharpton; Stephen A. Smith, whose has consistently expressed sympathy for talk show host’s bid; and talk show host McGraw Milhaven from St. Louis.
Cooper first hinted that the slavery quote attributed to Limbaugh was false in one of his questions to Smith: “Was the criticism fair, though? Some of the quotes attributed to him- you used one of them about the slavery- that was not something he ever said.” Smith acknowledged his hasty use of the quote, but continued that the talk show host was still a racially-divisive figure:
With Rush Limbaugh now out of a group vying to purchase the St. Louis Rams, the continued smearing from ABC's "The View" on October 15 constitutes a late hit.
Whoopi Goldberg said that Limbaugh was dropped as a potential buyer because they're not "pleased" with him: "It actually might not be about conservativism. This one might be personal." She also claimed that Limbaugh is "part of the mainstream media."
Joy Behar added that Limbaugh likes to "be the victim" and, making Limbaugh owner of the St. Louis Rams would be like "making Michael Vick own the American Kennel Club."
NBC and CBS’s morning shows on Thursday completely skipped any reference to the false quotes that forced Rush Limbaugh to be dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams. Only Good Morning America had any coverage at all. News anchor Chris Cuomo simply recapped the development and added, "[Limbaugh] had been criticized for past statements about black players."
Cuomo made no mention of the untrue quotes, such as Limbaugh supposedly having said in the past that "slavery had its merits." Wouldn’t it be only fair for Good Morning America, NBC’s Today and CBS’s Early Show to at least discuss how false statements derailed the conservative’s attempts to own a team?
This ought to get the folks at the left-wing noise machine all wound up.
Fox News host Glenn Beck on his Oct. 14 show, after being a regular recipient of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World" on his "Countdown" program, decided to have a little fun by mocking Olbermann and his MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews.
"Now, the President has an entire network devoted to singing his praises," Beck said. "There is a guy at night I love, he's like Shakespearean, he is waxing poetic about his oratory skills, writing soliloquies - got another one I must say about the greatness of Obama's speaking ability. And then another guy is like, ‘I got a thrill is going up my leg' when they just hear him speak. It is incredible."
On the June 3, 2009 Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow cited a false quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh in which the radio host supposedly said he wanted to award Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin the Medal of Honor. Since Limbaugh expressed interest in becoming part owner of the St. Louis Rams in October, several MSNBC hosts have repeated that and other false quotes.
Reacting to Limbaugh calling then Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist, Maddow declared: “When you get called racist by the guy who says the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. should get the Medal of Honor, consider yourself honored. Also, nauseated.” Maddow’s dishonest rant was originally reported by NewsBusters’ D. S. Hube.
Before lying about Limbaugh, Maddow attacked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for also labeling Sotomayor as racist and not fully retracting his statement: “Last week, Mr. Gingrich used Twitter to declare that Judge Sotomayor is a Latina woman racist. Today, he issued a statement that seemed designed to take credit for retracting that comment without actually retracting it.” Viewers are still waiting for MSNBC to retract its charge of racism against Limbaugh based on fabricated quotes.
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes celebrated one GOP Senator’s support for health care reform: “Democrats can claim a smidge of bipartisan support and that’s because of one yes vote from one rebel Republican....When Olympia Snowe cast the lone Republican vote for the Senate Finance bill, she reaffirmed her place as a power player on Capitol Hill.”
Cordes went on to tout Snowe’s history of going against the Republican Party: “This is not the first time Snowe has bucked her party. In 2006, she helped kill an amendment that would’ve federally banned gay marriage. And she voted in favor of allowing federal funding for stem cell research. This January, she joined Democrats to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and was one of only two Republican senators to support President Obama’s stimulus package.”
After Cordes’s report, co-host Harry Smith spoke with Senator Snowe and wondered why other Republicans on the Finance Committee did not support the legislation: “You’ve described this crisis as like the Titanic heading toward an iceberg and this being an opportunity to turn away from it. If there is no bill, and if there is no Republican support, will they be abrogating their responsibility to avert this crisis?”
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann spewed bile at conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, accusing her of possessing "fascistic hatred," and comparing her to a "mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it." During his show’s regular "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann attacked Malkin for her role in bringing attention to the recent controversy over school children in New Jersey singing a song about President Obama.
Blaming the conservative commentator for death threats made against a woman who posted video of the children singing, Malkin was crudely slammed by Olbermann: "She received death threats and hate-filled voice mails all thanks to the total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred, without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it." [Audio available here]
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, October 13, Countdown show on MSNBC:
Anchor John Roberts became the fourth CNN personality to omit the left-wing affiliation of Wendell Potter, as he interviewed the on Tuesday’s American Morning. Roberts only described Potter as someone who “worked for two different insurance companies in the past, and now he’s working against them to help get reform passed.”
Before introducing his guest, the CNN anchor played up the merits of Senator Max Baucus’s health care reform proposal: “The Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform bill got high marks from the Congressional Budget Office for keeping the deficit down, but now, insurance companies say it will actually cost you and your family thousands of dollars more than you’re paying now. So who is telling the truth?”
After posing this rhetorical question, Roberts introduced his guest: “We’re joined by Wendell Potter. He has worked for two different insurance companies in the past, and now he’s working against them to help get reform passed.” An on-screen graphic gave a glowing description of the former insurance company spokesman’s career: “Former head of public relations at Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc., now a whistleblower against health insurance industry- advocate for health care reform.” Another chyron finally revealed that the guest was also “Sr. Fellow on Health Care, Ctr. For Media & Democracy,” but Roberts never revealed Potter’s affiliation with the left-wing organization.
On Tuesday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez read Rush Limbaugh’s denial that he ever made a quote attributed to him in which he praised antebellum slavery, but added that the denial “that does not take away...that there are other quotes...which many people in...minority communities do find offensive” [audio available here]. Sanchez broadcast the quote yesterday without any source, and made no retraction of it.
Sanchez first indicated during a promo for a segment about the Limbaugh controversy that the talk show host is “now setting us straight on a remark that’s been wildly publicized about what he has said in the past.” The segment came just before the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour, and after giving a brief synopsis of the controversy, read the dubious quote attributed to the conservative: “One of the quotes that has been attributed to Rush Limbaugh is the one about him saying that ‘slavery built the South, and I’m not saying that we should bring it back.. I’m just saying that it had it’s merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper brought on Rev. Al Sharpton- a person with an actual racially-divisive past - on his program on Monday to expound on his argument that Rush Limbaugh is “divisive” and even “anti-NFL.” Sharpton went so far as to claim that the issue of the talk show host’s involvement in the purchase of the St. Louis Rams is “whether or not the NFL is going to have standards.”
The leader of the National Action Network appeared 23 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, along with former NFL player Eugene “Mercury” Morris, who was making his second appearance on CNN that day. Cooper first played a clip from Limbaugh’s radio show where the conservative defended himself against his critics. Before introducing his guests, the anchor read an excerpt from Sharpton’s letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: “Rush Limbaugh has been divisive and anti-NFL on several occasions, with comments about NFL players, including Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb, and his recent statement that the NFL was beginning to look like a fight between the Crips and the Bloods without the weapons was disturbing.”