Good on the Post for printing this letter from a reader who caught liberal columnist E.J. Dionne in the act of hypocrisy:
E.J. Dionne Jr. ["Democratic fratricide," op-ed, Dec. 17] views the Senate as a "dysfunctional and undemocratic partisan hothouse," presumably because of the ability of 41 senators to prevent a bill from coming to a final vote.
Mr. Dionne has not always taken such a dim view of undemocratic procedures, however.
In 2003, he heartily approved of Democratic obstruction of two judicial nominations by President Bush: "The filibuster is the only way to prevent the president from creating a federal judiciary dominated by ideologues of his own persuasion, appointed to satisfy his political base" ["Order and the Courts," op-ed, May 9].
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen went so far to compare the Senate’s cloture vote early Monday morning on ObamaCare to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Seconds after the Senate concluded its vote, Gergen lamented the party line vote, and contrasted it with the unanimous finding of the Supreme Court which ended the segregation of schools [audio clips from segment available here].
The analyst appeared during CNN’s midnight special coverage as the Senate concluded its debate on its version of health care “reform” legislation. Sixteen minutes into the 1 am hour, anchor Tom Foreman asked the perennial White House advisor about the expected partisan vote: “What’s wrong with the Democrats simply saying- fine, you don’t want to vote with us? This is entirely ours.”
In an interview in which he hit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee repeatedly from the left, George Stephanopoulos pleaded with Sen. John McCain to "name an issue next year where you are going to be joined at the hip with President Obama." [audio available here]
The live interview via satellite occurred six hours after McCain joined the other 39 Senate Republicans in voting against cloture on the Senate version of Democratic health care legislation.
All but two of Stephanopoulos's questions dealt with health care,the other two with Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Transcribed below are Stephanopoulos's agenda of questions, which you'll notice buffet McCain from the left, and/or paint Republicans are the party responsible for keeping the Senate from wrapping up its business until Christmas Eve, even though it is Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who controls the legislative calendar:
Centering a Friday night story on how, as anchor Katie Couric explained, “Republicans are doing everything they can to block” the “health reform” bill, “including delaying tactics in this race against the clock,” CBS put front and center Senator Robert Byrd's “shame, shame” admonition of Republicans.
Reporter Nancy Cordes began her story by showcasing the aging Democrat: “As he was wheeled into the Senate chamber shortly after 1:00 AM, 92-year-old Robert Byrd made it clear how he felt about being pulled out of bed to vote.” CBS showed a wide-shot of the Senate chamber with the area around the wheelchair-bound Byrd lightened with his words on screen as viewers heard the matching audio picked up by a nearby microphone: “Shame, shame.”
Cordes elaborated: “His ire was directed at Republicans who intentionally dragged out debate on a defense spending bill, hoping that in turn would hold up the health care bill Democrats desperately want to pass before Christmas.” She soon demanded of Republican Senator Orrin Hatch: “What's the point of forcing these votes to be held at the dead of night on Christmas eve? Why not just move along?”
New Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos and the rest of the morning show crew couldn’t help laughing at Sarah Palin on Thursday. News anchor Juju Chang highlighted a story broken by the tabloid TMZ that the former vice presidential candidate was seen at a Hawaii beach wearing a blacked out McCain visor. [Audio available here.]
After Chang noted that Palin said she was simply trying to be "incognito," Stephanopoulos, the former Democratic operative, started giggling and scoffed, "Trying to be incognito? Okay. That’ll do it."Joining in, Chang, who is also new to the show, joked, "Apparently there were no other hats to be found."
Global warming alarmist Sam Champion piled on as he began the weather report: "Every shop on the beach in Hawaii sells visors for about $5.99...Just in case no one knew." Co-host Robin Roberts marveled, "Now, that’s truly going rogue. That’s truly going rogue."
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes excitedly proclaimed that Senate Democrats “are tantalizingly close” to passing a health care bill and derided Republicans for trying to “thwart” the legislation using “stall tactics.”
Cordes reported on the urgency of Democratic efforts to get 60 votes in the Senate: “Leaders are trying to craft a compromise that everyone can live with and soon...to pass a bill by the holidays, they must file the bill by this Saturday.” She lamented that “...they could get thwarted by Republican stall tactics....[who] suddenly demanded that clerks read a 767 page health care amendment out loud on the Senate floor.”
After explaining that “Senate business got tied up for three hours,” Cordes declared: “Democrats were predictably outraged.” She concluded her report: “And that’s the kind of stunt that Republicans would happily pull again if it will slow down the Democrats’ goal of getting this bill passed.”
In the third part of an interview on MediaBistro.com’s Media Beat, ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather shared some thoughts on various media personalities. He labeled Fox News host Glenn Beck “controversial,” while hailing MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann: “Love him, as a person, as a journalist. Don’t always understand what he’s trying to do on his program, but I like Keith.”
Rather bizarrely went on to explain part of his admiration for the left-wing bomb thrower: “For one thing, he’s a Yankee fan....give him credit. That Keith Olbermann has been with the Yankees through thick and thin, through good times and bad times, and I really respect that, among other things about him.” Rather did manage to say one kind word about Beck, calling him a “talented TV personality.”
TVNewser columnist Gail Shister also asked Rather’s thoughts on his Evening News replacement Katie Couric. Rather’s assessment of her was not as enthusiastic as that of Olbermann: “Good lady, comes from a journalistic family. Has had a difficult transition but seems to be in a better place now.”
CNN’s Larry King equated efforts against further regulation of the banking industry to letting the mentally ill run their psych wards on his program on Monday. King pressed conservative columnist S. E. Cupp: “Banks are lobbying against a bill to tighten regulatory controls. Are you going to let the inmates run the asylum? You don’t think we should regulate banks?” [audio clips from the segment available here]
The CNN host moderated a panel discussion on the economy during the first segments of the program. The panel surprisingly leaned to the right on economic issues. Besides Cupp, King had Penn Gilette and Larry Elder, both libertarians, and liberal former Clinton administration official Robert Reich. After the host used the “inmates run the asylum” idiom in his question, the columnist first answered that “we do need regulation, but it’s putting them in a really tough spot.” King interrupted with a blunt one-word question: “So?”
CNN’s David Gergen played up the difficulties that President Obama has faced on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, underscored the importance of the coming week for the executive, and compared him to an iconic movie damsel in distress: “For a president who’s had more trials than anybody I can remember in a long time, sort of ‘The Perils of Pauline’ all year, this has become a climactic week for his presidency.”
Host Anderson Cooper brought on the senior political analyst to comment on the latest development on the health care debate, the Obama presidency in his first months, and the President’s upcoming trip to the UN’s climate change conference in Copenhagen. Cooper first asked Gergen about the potential for congressional liberals to turn against the proposed health care “reform” bill if the Obama administration cuts a deal with Senator Joe Lieberman over his objections to a Medicare “buy-in” for people 55 and older: “So, David, dropping the Medicare buy-in, could we be seeing- I mean, a liberal revolt in the wake of this? Because, I mean, a lot of people haven’t been following the minutia of this, but, basically, that idea of expanding Medicare to 55 and above, that was all for liberals, who were angered over the public option being dropped out.”
Adler praised Douthat for saying that conservatives need to "take ownership of prison reform" to "correct the system they helped build" but took strong exception to his suggestion that, even so, Democrats "still lack credibility on crime policy."
As evidence for how Democrats are tough on crime, however, Adler pointed to gun control, Clinton's gimmicky COPS program, Waco, and the Elian Gonzales ordeal:
The USA Weekend supplement in many Sunday newspapers across the country carried a tiny report from academe this weekend on the question "Are you easily disgusted?" Vi-An Nguyen explained that if you are, then you’re probably a conservative:
Imagine taking a sip from your drink, only to realize that it belongs to a stranger. Grossed out? If so, then you may be a conservative thinker.
High "disgust sensitivity," or a tendency to react strongly to things you think are gross, can predict political conservatism, researchers say. Less turned off? That could indicate more liberal views.
Two recent studies link disgust sensitivity with conservative attitudes on gay marriage and abortion. In one, 181 participants were tested for how they'd react to unpleasant situations, such as finding an unflushed toilet in a public restroom. Then they were asked about their political leanings. Researchers found a correlation between being easily disgusted and politically conservative.
Perhaps there is something obstructing the view overlooking Rockefeller Plaza, where MSNBC broadcasts "Countdown" nightly because the show's host, Keith Olbermann fails to see the existence of a news media with a liberal bias.
On MSNBC's Dec. 14 broadcast of "Countdown," Olbermann came to the defense of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" executive producer and noted left-winger Dick Wolf. The Dec. 9 episode of Wolf's program featured a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants and in that episode, one of the characters, played by John Larroquette, blamed conservatives "like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck" for inciting violence against immigrants. That prompted O'Reilly on Dec. 10, the next broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," to fire back at Wolf.
And that led Olbermann to respond to O'Reilly, five days later, which deteriorated into Olbermann making the seemingly laughable assertion there is no such thing as the liberal media. Olbermann began his tirade by attacking Andrew Breitbart, who is launching a Web site called "Big Journalism," which will take on "the Democratic-media complex."
A number of the conservative movement's prominent online figures are battling to be the right's equivalent of Talking Points Memo or Huffington Post--political organizations that report hard news. Many believe that to truly harness the power of the Web, political organizations must report their own news, rather than comment on reporitng from traditional outlets.
"The left needs Daily Kos, but they also need the Huffington Post," Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis told Politico. He praised the roles of activists and opinion commentators on the right such as Red State's Erick Erickson, but noted that the conservatives have not yet matched the left's capability for original reporting.
Though HuffPo, TPM, and other politcally stilted but journalism-oriented sites, liberals "have the ability to amplify stories into the mainstream media conversation," according to Politico. Conservatives have a large void to fill when it comes to producing original content, rather than solely commenting on what is already out there. There are conservative sites providing original reporting, but there are so far no center-right equivalents to the left's powerhouse online news operations.
Friday's Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News showed a pre-recorded interview with Roseanne Barr in which Barr opined that, although Sarah Palin is "likable," the "stuff she says is half nuts," and she's "half crazy and out of her mind." Barr -- who herself has a recent history of doing such bizarre things as appearing in Heeb magazine dressed as Adolf Hitler removing Jewish gingerbread cookies from an oven -- went on to declare that Palin is "like a slave to these, you know, right-wing men. That’s like the only way a right-wing woman can make it."
Barr soon added: "The only way a woman can make it in the right wing, or the conservative, whatever the hell you want to call it, Republican, is to be against all other women. And that is what she does."
Ironically, just moments later as she and Behar expressed disapproval at the man who recently threw tomatoes at Palin, Barr was critical of liberals who have treated the former Alaska governor "badly because she's female," calling it "disgusting." Barr: "I don’t like where she is treated like badly because she’s female. I think that’s so wrong, and I think the left and the liberals are disgusting to do that."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, December 11, Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News:
On Tuesday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, when Maddow recounted a recent incident in which a man unsuccessfully threw a tomato at Sarah Palin at a public event at a mall, Fallon joked that it was "awful" because the thrower "didn’t come close" to hitting Palin. Fallon: "Didn’t hit her at all? Didn’t come close? Awful."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the late Tuesday/early Wednesday, December 8th/9th Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC:
CNN made a real, day-long effort on Monday to address the climate-change debate as a debate, giving skeptics of manmade climate change a series of chances to match the leftist view, especially during its evening programming. CNN is also the only U.S. TV news outlet so far to send an anchor to the Climate Research Unit at the center of the ClimateGate controversy.
International correspondent Phil Black’s interview of Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent skeptic of the theory of manmade global warming, ran four minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour. The “passionate skeptic on climate change,” as Black referred to him, traveled to Copenhagen for the UN’s climate change summit, and is one of the few skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change in attendance. The CNN correspondent actually compared belief in the theory to a religion at the beginning of his report: “Copenhagen’s Bella Conference Center has become an international temple for thousands of true believers, people who have no doubt the planet is warming and humankind is to blame. But there are a few people here who do not believe.”
While interviewing Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith referred to recent comments by Senator Harry Reid: “[He] said Republicans are on the wrong side of history when it comes to this health care bill and very soberly...compared those who opposed health care to those who opposed civil rights legislation....How would you respond to that?”
Steele fired back: “Well, you know, it was not a sober moment for Harry Reid at all. It was an ignorant moment for Harry Reid.” Steele continued: “ I’m kind of sick and tired of, you know, the Left and Democrats in this country, when they get into trouble and don’t get their way...they play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card.” Smith didn’t even mention Reid’s further comparison of Republicans to those who resisted ending slavery.
Steele called on Reid to apologize: “...it was an ignorant comment. Harry needs to go to the well of the Senate, take it back, and apologize for offending the sensibilities of the American people on something so important.”
Monday’s American Morning on CNN covered the ClimateGate scandal extensively, but slanted towards those who deny that the exposed e-mails amount to much. Anchor John Roberts let the interim director of the Climate Research Unit at the center of the controversy give his talking points without question. Out of the four segments on the scandal, two featured skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change.
Roberts, reporting live from the University of East Anglia, home to the CRU, led the 6 am Eastern hour with a preview of the program’s ClimateGate coverage: “I am in Norwich, England at the University of East Anglia and behind me here, this cylindrical building, is the Climatic Research Unit which finds itself at the epicenter of what’s being called ‘ClimateGate.’ Four thousand e-mails and documents were hacked out of the Climatic Research Unit’s server system...Some of those e-mails were looked at by skeptics, and are now being used to cast doubt on all of the science surrounding global warming. Skeptics claiming that some scientists were manipulating data to further their cause.”
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pressed Republican Senator Lamar Alexander on the GOP’s opposition to ObamaCare: “...there’s been a lot of criticism that Republicans have done nothing but oppose this bill, nothing to help pass it, just try to kill it....have you done more than say ‘no, no, no, no, no’?”
At the top of the show, Rodriguez described a weekend visit by President Obama to Capitol Hill: “A rare closed-door rally on Capitol Hill over the weekend as President Obama calls on Democrats to close ranks and pass health care reform.” Rodriguez later suggested that Republicans “were not invited to the meeting yesterday” based on their criticism of the legislation. Senator Alexander responded: “Well that’s really an amazing statement. I mean, the President was elected on the idea of open meetings.”
Rodriguez also spoke with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill but tried not to be too tough as she asked the Senator about the Presidential visit: “There were four holdouts yesterday before your meeting with the President. Did he succeed in changing any minds?” McCaskill declared: “Well, I think we’re getting there. Failure’s not an option.”
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz brought up the scarcity of media attention paid to the revelation that high-profile Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominated his girlfriend to be a U.S. attorney for his home state of Montana, as the CNN host even took to task CNN for ignoring the scandal, calling it a "stunning lapse in judgment," and recounted that he had monitored the news channel on Saturday and did not see Baucus mentioned. Kurtz: "Washington Post has it on page three, New York Times has it on page 33. I watched CNN all day yesterday. I didn’t see any mention of this story, which I thought was a stunning lapse in judgment."
When Kurtz questioned why there was so little media attention, guest Chip Reid of CBS News asserted there was "no scandal" in the story. Reid: "I don’t think it has legs because there’s no sex scandal, and it’s not like Vitter. It’s not like Ensign. There’s no scandal here."
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the regular "Dumbest Things of the Week" segment, host Bill O’Reilly and guest Greg Gutfeld of FNC’s Red Eye, possibly picking up on an item posted the day before on Newsbusters, highlighted ABC’s The View co-host Joy Behar’s recent defense of Tiger Woods as she opined that at least the golf star is not being a "hypocrite" like "one of these pro-marriage, right-wing kind of guys who is anti-gay."
After playing a clip from The View, Gutfeld responded: "I just can't believe she's still single. What a catch. ... This angers me, one, that she says that if you're a conservative you're anti-gay, which is bigotry, her own form of bigotry. Number two, she insults the left. She's saying that the left, because they have no standards, cannot be hypocrites. Therefore, they can get away with things."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from the Friday, December 4, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
On the Thursday, December 3, The View, on ABC, co-host Joy Behar found Tiger Woods worthy of being partially defended over his adultery saga – according to her, at least he’s not a "hypocrite" like "these pro-marriage, right-wing, kind of guys who is anti-gay," like former Republican Senator Larry Craig. As the group discussed the latest news of women who have alleged having affairs with the golf star, Behar offer up her defense of Woods, with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck struggling to rebut her while Behar sang, "La, la, la, la," as Hasselbeck spoke:
CNN’s Larry King carried water for President Obama’s move to send more troops to Afghanistan during an interview of Michael Moore on early Wednesday morning. King later shifted further to the left, asking Moore if he agreed with Jesse Ventura’s call for a new draft and a “war tax” and quoting from Bob Herbert of the New York Times, who labeled the Afghan war a “tragic mistake.”
The CNN host interviewed the famous left-wing director for the first two segments of his program. Near the end of the first segment, King sought Moore’s take on something from his interview of Ventura, whom he interviewed the night before: “Jesse Ventura said last night- and he agrees with your position, by the way- that we should consider bringing back the draft and we should have a war tax so that people suffer if we’re all going to pay a price for this. What do you think?”
The leftist one-upped his celebrity counterpart: “There would be no increase in the troops if there was a draft and if people had to pay for it. I actually have proposed bringing back the draft now for some years, but only draft the children of those in the upper five percent income bracket, because if the wealthy have to send their kids over to Iraq or Afghanistan, trust me, there won’t be many wars.”
The host quoted from Herbert in his last question to Moore: “Bob Herbert, writing in The New York Times today, called this a ‘tragic mistake,’ and then he quotes Dwight David Eisenhower...Eisenhower said, ‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can and as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, and its stupidity.’And then he said- this will impress you, I think- Eisenhower: ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.’ That’s from a four star general and a president.”
...is now ending his CourtWatch blog, all the while insisting that his writings over the years were mostly dry legalese and that those which were not, well, that's the fault of the people he was writing about, namely, the Bush adminstration.
ABC’s David Wright again attacked Sarah Palin on Tuesday, slamming her for using a private jet for her book tour. On Good Morning America, he sniped, "But, while her fans camped out in the bitter cold, just for the chance to meet her, the former vice presidential candidate was quietly traveling in style, aboard this Gulfstream II private jet. Price tag, $4,000 an hour." [Audio available here.]
Introducing the segment, co-host Diane Sawyer chided, "And [Palin] frequently can be seen photographed in front of the bus that she took on the road. But people have been watching her, say you don't often see photos of her in front of a very expensive private plane that she's been taking."
To drive his class warfare point home, Wright derided, "Keep in mind, this is the same former Alaska governor who famously got rid of the governor's jet." It was only at the end of the segment that Wright admitted, "But, one company representative told Good Morning America, Harper Collins paid the tab for the jet. And that Palin took it only for three legs of the journey, when it was logistically necessary."
A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.
In a 10,500 word story on the state of the Republican Party, Washington Post staff writers on Monday waited until paragraph 36 of a 37 paragraph article to highlight the overwhelming belief that the press is biased against Republicans. Jon Cohen and Dan Balz belatedly noted, "One rallying point for the GOP, though, is a broad perception among moderates, conservatives, and younger and older Republicans alike that television news is biased against the Republican Party and tilted highly in favor of Obama and Democrats." [Emphasis added.]
Additionally, the print edition of the paper featured 15 charts about what respondents thought of Republicans in Congress, what issues they saw as important and other topics. Unsurprisingly, the Post did not create a graph to highlight the fact that 74 percent of poll-takers who lean Republican think "television news" is biased in favor the Democratic Party. (It’s unclear why the poll question only surveyed the biases of television. Was the liberal paper afraid of what people might say about the Post?)
CBS devoted half of Sunday's Face the Nation to the pressing question of “divisions within the Republican Party: Is there room for moderates?” Fill-in host Harry Smith of the Early Show allowed guests Dick Armey and Ed Gillespie plenty of time to reject his premise, but he forwarded the media's widely-held presumption in a series of statements as he simply cued up Dede Scozzafava, the Republican who endorsed the Democrat in the special New York House race: “Do you think you were too moderate?”
To Armey and Gillespie, Smith cited a list of principles some in the GOP want candidates to agree to in order to earn party support, and then posed a series of loaded questions, such as, “Is this litmus test a good idea?” and “some have called it a suicide pact,” as well as: “Is moderate a dirty word now in the Republican Party?” Smith was also bewildered anyone could consider South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham inadequately conservative: “Can someone with that kind of credentials be not conservative enough?”
Smith told Armey “some people suggest that the Republicans are fighting a demographic battle that they can't win, that this is going to end up being exclusionary...”
There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):