Two weeks after Texas state senator Wendy Davis and a mob of abortion activists prevented popularly supported pro-life legislation from being passed in the Lone Star State, on Tuesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales warned of another upcoming vote on the bill: "The battle over abortion rights is focused on Texas, where a controversial bill that failed last month will be back up for a vote." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez declared Texas to be at "the epicenter of the national debate over abortion" and hyped "another showdown" at the state capitol. He detailed the bill's "controversial" measures: "...banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and mandating that abortion clinics meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers. It would also require that a doctor who performs abortions be able to admit patients at a nearby hospital."
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid compared abortion restrictions to "Shariah law" as she blasted North Carolina state senate Republicans for the "sneak attack" of including the restrictions in a bill banning Islamic law in the state. Reid:
In an interview aired Sunday for Meet the Press's Press Pass, host David Gregory teed up left-wing NBC political analyst Jonathan Alter to promote his new pro-Obama screed, The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies: "...you write the following: 'A set of values that had been part of the American consensus since at least the New Deal would remain in place....The United States would remain a highly partisan and often gridlocked nation, but a centrist one.' Is that the emerging legacy of this president?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alter cheered the President's re-election: "I believe it is. Yeah, and that's where I think the 2012 election was so pivotal. Because it really was all on the line....You had one party, the Democrats, who were pretty close to the center, maybe a little bit left of center. And then you had another party, the Republicans, who were way out there and much more conservative than Ronald Reagan was."
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- joined host O'Donnell in complaining that congressional Republicans refuse to help the Obama administration make changes to ObamaCare that even the administration has concerns about, with Klein charging that the GOP is trying to let the act fail "no matter how many people get hurt along the way." Klein:
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd blamed Republicans for ObamaCare beginning to collapse under its own weight: "...you could argue that there are some Republicans that are trying to sabotage the law, that they're hoping to not get it off the ground and then they can suddenly make the case, 'See, we've got to get rid of it.' And they've got some state governors that are openly trying to sabotage it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd went on to attack Republican senators who protested an effort by the Obama administration to use the NFL to promote ObamaCare: "Look at what [Mitch] McConnell and [John] Cornyn did to the sports leagues? That was a shakedown. That was a threatening letter by the two leaders of the Senate Republicans, who essentially said, 'If you participate in this, if you help them try to enact this law of the land, be careful, there's going to be political repercussions.'"
Appearing as a guest on Monday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Guardian columnist Ana Marie Cox -- formerly of Time.com -- asserted that "a lot of Republican women out there" are upset over the abortion issue because the GOP "is really taking a step backwards when it comes to women's rights."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, July 1, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:
As one who supports traditional values and a conservative political agenda, I'm more worried about the right wing's erosion of resolve and moral courage than I am about the left's relentless assault on our values and ideas.
Surely, no one can dispute that the political left has been tirelessly chipping away at America's foundational values for years and ruthlessly demonizing conservatives. But if Republicans truly believed in themselves and fought with the same conviction as Democrats, it would be a different story.
The Big Three networks still can't get enough of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, nearly a week after her extended filibuster against pro-life legislation on June 25, 2013. All three brought on Davis during their Sunday morning talk programs, and continued hyping the supportive response on social media that Davis received in response to her "epic eleven-hour filibuster", as NBC' s Janet Shamlian sympathetically labeled it on Monday's Today.
ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted a beyond softball interview of the liberal politician on This Week, and was awed when the liberal politician showed off the pink running shoes that she wore during the filibuster [audio available here; video below the jump]. Bob Schieffer touted Davis' "wonderful biography" on Face the Nation, and added that "few outside Texas knew of her until last week when she became an overnight sensation." NBC and CBS each devoted another full report to Davis on their Monday morning newscasts.
Appearing on Friday's Political Capital show on Bloomberg News, Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson -- formerly of CNN and Time magazine -- charged that Republicans are opposed to "giving dignity to immigrants" as she recounted reluctance by Republicans to entertain granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. Carlson:
The three major networks devoted four times as much coverage to obsessing over Paula Deen's use of a racial epithet 30 years ago than they did of outspoken liberal Alec Baldwin's anti-gay rant on Twitter. Over the first three days of the revelation that Deen used the N-word in 1983, ABC, CBS and NBC featured the story for 32 minutes and 41 seconds. Over the three days since Baldwin's tirade, the same networks allowed a mere seven minutes and 49 seconds-- not counting nearly five minutes on ABC, wondering if there was a double standard in reaction to the two cases. [See a chart below, also video. MP3 audio here.]
The biggest disparity came on CBS. The network covered Deen for almost seven and a half minutes, but a meager seven seconds for Baldwin. Over the first three day period, the CBS Evening News never discussed Baldwin. From June 20 through the 22, ABC investigated Deen's actual offense for a whopping 12 and a half minutes. Yet, the network, from June 28 to the 30th, featured a scant two minutes and 16 seconds on Baldwin's attack against the "toxic little queen" who wrote a negative story about his wife.
On Saturday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, as host Ed Schultz ranted about the Supreme Court decision on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, he asserted that "keep[ing] a minority down" was one of the few things that "satisfies the conservative movement." Schultz:
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC host Harris-Perry ranted against Texas Governor Rick Perry, tagging him as the "evil archenemy" of "super-heroine" Wendy Davis, and comparing the Republican governor to the Snidely Whiplash cartoon character known for leaving a woman tied down in the path of an oncoming train. Harris-Perry:
On Sunday, in a report which I contend would surely have been published on a weekday -- and more importantly, published with far greater clarity -- if a Republican or conservative were in the White House, the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman essentially explored the following question: "Why aren't people spending more if they're so much richer?"
The answer he found, which should surprise no one in touch with reality, is that quite a few of us aren't richer. We're poorer. But Wiseman also cryptically revealed some of the dollar amounts involved and enough other information to enable one to back into an estimate of the shocking degree of wealth redistribution which has taken place during the recession and the first term of the Obama administration -- and it's not in the direction you might think.
Since Wednesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have all played up the social media frenzy over Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' multi-hour filibuster on Tuesday against a pro-life bill. On Friday's Today, NBC's Tamron Hall claimed that the Davis story is "another example of how social media can turn a story into a whole other stratosphere. I think without Twitter and Facebook, this would have been a big story, but not to this magnitude."
By contrast, during the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier in 2013, ABC and NBC completely ignored the widespread outrage on Twitter over the case. It took CBS four days to notice Kirsten Powers' April 11, 2013 USA Today column which "accused the media of ignoring the story because...[of] a bias in favor of abortion rights," as Jan Crawford reported on CBS This Morning. Crawford then pointed out how "those charges went viral on Twitter."
In the wake of her filibuster in the Texas state senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all expressed their outrage at Texas Governor Rick Perry daring to criticize their anointed abortion "folk hero" Wendy Davis. On Friday, Today co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The battle over abortion gets very personal as Governor Rick Perry takes on a female senator whose filibuster helped block a controversial bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer attached the "folk hero" label to Davis as she fretted over "Perry creating a kind of high noon between the two of them." In the report that followed, correspondent David Kerley hyped Perry's mild critique of Davis as setting up "a true Texas showdown" and exclaimed: "Today, Perry made it personal."
Texas state senator Wendy Davis has been lauded by the liberal media this week after filibustering legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and put in place common-sense safety measures for abortion clinics. But one liberal Texas journalist went over the top by comparing Davis to a certain fictional folk hero.
Appearing on the PBS NewsHour, Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith told the tale of how Davis filibustered a $4 billion public education cut back in 2011. The Texas legislature later passed the cut anyway, but Davis “became something of a folk hero,” according to Smith. Speaking to anchor Gwen Ifill, he then made a glowing comparison to a cinematic hero from the early 1970s: [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
ABC, NBC, and CBS began their Wendy Davis love fest on June 26 during their evening newscasts, but it was also rehashed for their morning shows. Davis, a Texas state senator, has become a rock star of the left for a filibuster, which temporarily scuttled a bill, which was vociferously opposed by pro-choice advocates, to regulate the state's abortion clinics.
The liberal Democrat became a single mom at nineteen, yet put herself through Harvard Law School. Those are admirable achievements, of course, but the Big Three networks have egregiously used her life story to mask the extreme agenda she supports with her opposition to the bill.
On Wednesday's All In show, host Chris Hayes celebrated a filibuster by Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis to thwart the passage of a bill restricting abortion, calling her 11-hour filibuster "absolutely-epic" and "one of the most remarkable acts of political leadership that I've ever seen."
Hayes plugged the segment recounting a Twitter response to the speech from President Obama, as the MSNBC host added:
CNN really showed its bias in reacting to two very different Supreme Court decisions this week. On Tuesday, the Court struck down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; in the hours that followed, CNN's coverage included four times as many critics of the decision as supporters (8 vs. 2).
Then on Wednesday, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and permitted the nullification of California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. This time, CNN's coverage skewed in favor of the Court, with roughly three times as many on-air guests supporting that decision as opposing it (20 vs. 7).
CBS This Morning led its Thursday broadcast with overwhelmingly slanted coverage on the Supreme Court's pro-same-sex "marriage" rulings. Ben Tracy played up the "long night of celebrating in West Hollywood", after the Court paved the way for the termination of California's Proposition 8. Tracy also prominently featured a homosexual couple's informal ring ceremony, who "after being blocked by Proposition 8...will now get re-married in their home state."
The morning newscast loaded its reporting with six soundbites of the liberal plaintiffs and lawyers in the case, along with their supporters, and only included two clips from conservatives decrying the decisions. [audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts on Wednesday spotlighted Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster against pro-life legislation, hyping how she stood for hours in "comfortable pink sneakers" to stop a vote on the bill. The networks trumpeted how "the unfolding drama topped the list of worldwide Twitter trends", but ABC and NBC failed to include any tweets or soundbites from supporters of the proposal. [audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS This Morning did include two clips from a pro-life Texas state legislator, but anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell gushed over Davis. Rose harped about her "very interesting life story", while O'Donnell asserted that "she's going to become big figure now, I think, in Texas politics."
CNN's Joe Johns pitted some "conservatives" against "civil rights advocates" on Tuesday in provocative fashion, after the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
"I think you can say this is a home run for conservatives who said this law shouldn't be in place and this is a big loss for those civil rights advocates who have been fighting to go sustain this law year after year for decades, Carol," Johns reported from the Supreme Court steps on Tuesday morning. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Charlie Rose forwarded the latest liberal spin about the IRS scandal on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. The anchor hyped how the agency apparently placed liberal groups on "be-on-the-lookout" lists, and asked Rep. Paul Ryan, "Does it look less partisan with this new information?"
Moments earlier in the morning newscast, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported that "groups were flagged for a whole variety of reasons when they applied for tax-exempt status, and Democrats say that's proof that there was no partisan agenda at the IRS." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on MSNBC moments after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Voting Rights Act, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd wrung his hands over the prospect of Congress having to make adjustments to the 1965 law: "I don't think Congress is mature enough to do this right now, to be perfectly blunt. That the political, ideological, sort of the way some of these members conduct themselves, I am a pessimist on their ability to do something like this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Was Todd referring to both Republicans and Democrats? His remarks seconds before that declaration seemed to reveal which political party was on his mind: "...inertia [against the Voting Rights Act] is going to be what, particularly some Republicans, who believe this should be left to the states, that there shouldn't be the federal government involvement that there is when it does have to do with issues regarding voting."
On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about Republicans trying to increase the number of border agents and to bar illegal immigrants from collecting Social Security benefits based on taxes they've paid into the system.
After recounting the time when he worked with several illegal immigrants in a bakery who paid Social Security taxes, and the efforts by Republicans to make the border with Mexico "one of the most militarized places in this country," Hayes concluded:
In a desperate attempt to dismiss the ongoing IRS scandal, on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown on Tuesday, host and NBC News political director Chuck Todd seized on reports "that it wasn't just conservative groups who were targeted by the IRS" and wondered if it was "turning into a story of Republicans overplaying their hand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to his panel of guests, absent any conservative, Todd proclaimed: "The IRS 'scandal' looks like it's a bureaucratic scandal. Not the political scandal that Republicans were wishing that they had come up with." He made air quotes with his hands as he said the word "scandal." Panelist Michelle Bernard eagerly agreed with Todd's assertion: "Absolutely. They – it appears that they have really overplayed their hand."
A stubborn, doctrinaire insistence by hard-line abortion rights advocates that a bill titled the Women's Equality Act must not pass without language further liberalizing the Empire State's abortion laws doomed the bill to failure in the New York State Assembly, the New York Times's Thomas Kaplan reported today. Even so, the Times did its best to shield the abortion lobby -- groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood -- for blame for the death of legislation with "widespread support" that would "strengthen the state’s laws against sexual harassment, human trafficking, domestic violence and salary discrimination."
Once again, CNN welcomed liberal comedian Bill Maher despite the vitriol he has spewed about conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Maher, an Obama donor, actually guest-hosted for CNN's Piers Morgan last summer during the presidential campaign.
New host George Stroumboulopoulos let Maher bash Fox News viewers and the GOP in Friday night's interview. Maher implied that Republicans are "knuckle draggers" and lambasted the ignorance of Fox News viewers. Stroumboulopoulos then accepted that premise by asking what could be done about their "intellectual impasse." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, host Harris-Perry called the rhetoric from abortion opponents "villainous" as she fretted over Tennessee Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn being a woman who is pushing a House bill banning abortion.
And panel members Irin Carmon of Salon.com and Aisha Moodie-Mills of the left-wing Center for American Progress both saw "misgyny" in the measure. After a clip of Rep. Blackburn promoting the bill, MSNBC host Harris-Perry responded: