While concluding a story on the Massachusetts Senate race on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez acknowledged the possibility that Republican Scott Brown could win the long held Democratic seat but wondered: “It’ll be interesting to see if Brown, the Republican, wins, if the Democrats can defer his swearing in and get health care passed. We will watch that.”
At the top of the show, Rodriguez teased the story: “In Massachusetts it’s more than just a Senate race, it’s a battle that could end President Obama’s fight for health care reform.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed up with a report that also focused on the impact the race would have on health care: “The President was here campaigning yesterday for the Democrat. And no wonder, if she loses, it will be a major blow to his ability to get his agenda passed.”
Cordes observed how affective Brown’s opposition to ObamaCare has been: “Coakley’s Republican challenger...has made stopping the health care reform bill a signature issue. A message that seems to be resonating with voters.” She then fretted: “If Coakley loses this race, Democrats will lose their supermajority in the Senate. Meaning they won’t be able to pass Democratic priorities like health care reform unless they can convince a few Republicans to vote with them.”
Teasing coverage on tomorrow's Massachusetts special election to fill its vacant Senate seat, MSNBC's David Shuster avoided any pretense of objectivity as he opened the 10 a.m. EST hour of the network's news coverage with the question: "Has Democratic-leaning Massachusetts lost its mind?!"
Although he ratcheted down the bias a few notches later in the hour when he actually reported on the polling trends showing Republican candidate Scott Brown having a decent shot at upsetting Democratic candidate Martha Coakley tomorrow, Shuster's opening teaser speaks volumes about MSNBC's penchant for rooting for the Democrats.
Joe Scarborough has expressed serious doubts as to his Republican affiliation, and made clear that House GOP whip Eric Cantor "is not my friend." But caution to those who assume Joe has gone left: he has clarified to this NewsBuster that his critique of the GOP comes from the Ron Paul-esque right . . .
Scarborough's stunning comments came on today's Morning Joe in response to Dem Bob Shrum's taunting of Joe over his ostensible GOP membership, in the context of Pres. Obama's attempt to rescue Martha Coakley from the rubble of her campaign.
CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom condemned the voter-approved Proposition 8 in California in an editorial on CNN.com on Tuesday, and labeled the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 as “the gay community's Brown v. Board of Education.” Bloom would later imply that the supporters of Prop 8 were “lunatic-fringe bigots.”
The legal analyst began the January 12, 2010 editorial, titled “Prop 8 is simply unconstitutional,” by contrasting “reckless heterosexual nuptials,” such as the 23 marriages of a grandmother in Indiana, with her friends Wilbert and Carlos, “‘free men’ together 16 years and lovingly raising a son, [who] are shut out of the 1,100 federal and hundreds of state legal benefits that come with marriage.” She continued by dropping another personal anecdote, citing the “children in same-sex families: kids like my friends’ son Dorian, growing up with the sting of knowing that his parents are second-class citizens in their own country.”
But Ted Turner, founder of the first truly 24-hour cable news channel, doesn't see anything wrong with the channel's heading. CNBC's Joe Kernen asked Turner if he had any problems with CNN's direction during a "Squawk Box" appearance Jan. 14.
"I know you love CNN," Kernen said. "It's your baby. I know you're not involved in running it anymore, but when you look at the way Fox News in 10 years has sort of risen above CNN in terms of ratings and profitability and other metrics, would you advise - should CNN stay the course with their idea it's just straight news, or do they need to change with the times and become more opinion-based."
In yet another testament to liberals celebrating liberals, on Thursday the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism announced that CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric won the Alfred I. duPont award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her slanted 2008 interview with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
In the interview, shown over a number of days on the CBS Evening News in September of 2008, Couric routinely sought trip up Palin. As NewsBusters' Brent Baker reported, on the September 29 broadcast, Couric pounded Palin on Pakistan, despite lobbing softballs to Joe Biden on the economy.
MediaBistro.com’s TVNewser obtained note to staff from CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus, who proclaimed that the award was “a testament to Katie’s excellence” and added that “the interviews have gone on to become an iconic moment in television journalism.” He also noted that the interviews “had a profound impact on the presidential campaign.” So much for journalists being neutral observers.
In March of 2009, Couric won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication for the Palin interviews.
On Twitter, Republicans are absolutely dominant, according to a recent study by a prominent Washington policy analyst. The study found that Republican politicians have far more followers and influence on the micro-blogging site than do their Democratic counterparts.
GOP prominence on online social networks heralds a markedly different trend from the technologically dominant Obama presidential campaign, which outmatched its opponents in virtually (no pun intended) every area of online communications. But necessity is the mother of invention, and having been relegated to the minority both in popular opinion and electoral prominence, Republicans have had to turn to alternative ways to get their messages out.
Brzezinski was asked by a member of the audience why she is sometimes reluctant to be more vocal with her ideologically liberal views on their show. She explained that wasn't necessarily her role.
"There's a lot of different things going on with my role," Brzezinski said. "You know sometimes, see - and most of the time, he's taking on three Democrats at the table and I find myself more moderator, making sure the voices are all being heard and that civility prevails, which is something that is really important to us."
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted the double standard exhibited by President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats in the way they reacted so strongly to former Republican Senator Trent Lott’s praise of former Senator Strom Thurmond at his birthday celebration in 2002, and the President's recent more forgiving words about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s "Negro dialect" remark. O’Reilly quoted Obama’s unforgiving statement from 2002 regarding Lott, and then showed his recent statement giving Reid a pass. The FNC host also showed quotes of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Debbie Stabenow from the Lott episode and noted their current unwillingness to comment on Reid.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 11, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
But given that the incident in question is a Weekly Standard writer alleging an assault by an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.), it's understandable, but not excusable, if you don't hear much about this from the broadcast or cable news networks.
For its part, the Associated Press -- in a story run on Boston.com -- all but dismissed the incident for the Coakley camp with a five-paragraph article blandly titled "Reporter takes stumble chasing Mass. candidate," wherein John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was said to have been "involved in a scuffle with one of [Coakley's] aides," a man by the name of Michael Meehan.
Former Democratic aide turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday derided Sarah Palin’s debut as a Fox News analyst, asserting that the Republican "was in pretty loving hands there with Bill O'Reilly." The former Clinton operative, seriously asserted, "...I went through this transition, going from politics to being an analyst. It's very different going from being an advocate to someone who steps back and analyzes the news." [Audio available here.]
Stephanopoulos even proclaimed Palin’s political career over: "I gotta say, I don't think she’s going to come back into politics...I think this is the alternative to politics for Sarah Palin." Tina Brown, creator of the liberal Daily Beast website, appeared as part of a panel. She dismissed, "As a politician, she was often in error, but never in doubt, right? So, now, she can be a pundit, where it doesn't matter where you're in error, frankly."
While speculating that Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien may move to Fox in the wake of NBC shaking up its late night schedule, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to Sarah Palin becoming a contributor for Fox News: “Sarah Palin his sidekick? Because she’s on Fox now, too.”
Co-host Harry Smith couldn’t resist getting in a shot of his own as he replied that Palin could “lead the band” for O’Brien’s Fox late night show. Of course if O’Brien made the move, he would be on the Fox broadcast channel, not Fox News.
Earlier, co-host Russ Mitchell reported Palin’s Fox News debut on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor: “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her debut on Fox News last night. She appeared as a news analyst with Bill O’Reilly, who asked her about the controversy she attracts.”
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show's regular "Pinheads and Patriots" segment, host Bill O'Reilly highlighted an example of left-wing hatred from a man who appears to be part of the anti-war left, as O'Reilly showed video of the unidentified "deranged" man who started shouting at former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston restaurant. The heckler used obscenities and called the former President "murderous" and a "Zionist," and blamed him for millions of deaths.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 12, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
A brief (and humorous) hypothetical: What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if Sean Hannity took the video of President Obama’s obeisant greeting of the Japanese Prime Minister, and turned it into a video loop to be played in the corner of the screen whenever Obama was the subject du jour?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a very similar thing with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele on Friday’s edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’
You may remember the mildly irritating pop-up starring Steele that inhabited the redesigned GOP.com at its first launch. It would launch in the upper corner, helpfully explaining the features of the site like the infamous Microsoft Word paper-clip assistant. Maddow revived this animation for use as a ‘bug’ in the corner.
MADDOW: Also, I‘m very proud that for the first time ever, we had a little dancing Michael Steele as the bug in the corner of our segment there.
Good grief. We're still talking about Palin's clothes? You'd think that with the latest Democratic scandals - like Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's racist comments and new revelations about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' affair - they'd be too busy beating out their own fires to revisit old fodder against Republicans. But apparently U.S. News & World Report's Bonnie Erbe has nothing better to do.
On Jan. 11, Erbe crowed on her blog, "So today Sarah Palin delivers some great news: She's becoming the TV star she's apparently always wanted to be and sparing us (for the moment, at least) the worry that she might run for national office."
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith followed President Obama’s lead by wondering if it was time to move on from the Harry Reid racial controversy, as he asked Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez and Democrat Dee Dee Myers: “Is the Reid story over and should it be?”
Sanchez rejected the notion that the story, which just broke over weekend, was over: “I think it’s just the beginning. It’s actually compounding....you look at his declining poll numbers in his state, declining support for health care reform, and overall his ineffectiveness in leadership.” Predictably, Myers took the opposite view: “Yeah, it’s pretty much over and it should be. Senator Reid has apologized....African-American leaders across the country have been largely supportive, including the President....he has been an effective leader. He’s gotten health care further than any Senate Majority Leader in 50 years.”
In a prior report, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: “...the President needs Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid working at full steam if he wants to pass a health care bill quickly....that’s one of the reasons that he’s giving the leader some very high profile defense.” A clip was played of Obama arguing: “This is a good man who has always been on the right side of history....for people to try to make hay out of that makes absolutely no sense.”
Yesterday, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier picked up on a statement NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell made about "60 Minutes" failing to note Harry Reid's controversial "Negro dialect" remark, even as the news magazine program devoted plenty of time to other revelations from the just-published book "Game Change".
It's utterly shameless for CBS to cover this book, and ignore the scoops about the racially charged comments of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton, but devote a very slanted 10 minutes to more of the same old McCain aides slashing Sarah Palin.
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
The Los Angeles Times has been doing its best to dismiss Senator Harry Reid's racist remark about Preisdent Obama as a minor transgression while portraying Republicans calling for his resignation as political attack dogs. This coverage stands in stark contrast to the paper's coverage of the controversy surrounding former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2002 (h/t Patterico).
"GOP opens fire on Harry Reid," read a Los Angeles Times headline yesterday. The article said the Senator was "pummeled" by the GOP, that Republicans had "called for the senator's head," and that Reid was now "in [the GOP's] cross hairs." (The latest version of the story does not include the last quote.)
Contrast this Times story to the paper's own coverage of Trent Lott's remarks in 2002 and Democrats' calls for him to step down as Majority Leader. The Times portrayed the uproar over his remarks not as an attack, but rather as a spontaneous, impalpable furor. The uproar was a "spiraling controversy" or a "growing clamor." "Outrage Grows Over Lott Remarks" read one headline.
On Monday’s Inside Edition, distributed by CBS, host Deborah Norville cited Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt and proclaimed: “‘A debacle of historic and epic proportions.’ That’s how a former McCain campaign strategist is describing Sarah Palin’s performance as the Governor prepared for the vice presidential debate.”
Norville conveniently left out Schmidt’s later remark in the interview that Palin “did a good job in the debate against Senator Biden” and that he thought the Governor “more than held her own.” Instead, Norville only highlighted the adviser’s pre-debate concerns: “Schmidt reveals Palin was ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘ill prepared’ for the debate.”
Norville later mentioned: “Schmidt also claims Palin was so flustered during the prep for debate, she kept referring to Joe Biden as ‘O’Biden.’” She noted how Palin “did slip up once during the nationally televised debate.”
Also left out of the Inside Edition story was Schmidt’s concluding comment in the interview that: “I believe, had she [Palin] not been on the ticket, our margin of defeat would’ve been greater than it would’ve been otherwise.”
While a story on Sunday’s 60 Minutes about the new book, ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, focused heavily on attacks against Sarah Palin by McCain staffers, it ignored numerous revelations of controversial statements by prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid describing Barack Obama as “light skinned” and lacking a “negro dialect.”
Acting as a guest correspondent, CNN’s Anderson Cooper cited the book’s liberal authors, New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Time’s Mark Halperin, who claimed that Palin was picked by the McCain campaign out of “desperation” after manager Rick Davis found her name on Google. At one point, Halperin went so far as to declare that: “They said, ‘there’s one Sarah who you see in public’– upbeat. But the other Sarah was the one that frightened them. It was someone whose eyes were kind of glazed over, who was literally not responding to questions, who was keeping her head down.”
Cooper made sure to highlight CBS’s role in Palin’s supposed downfall with the Evening News Katie Couric interview: “In her book, Palin accuses CBS News of editing the interview to make her look bad. But [McCain campaign advisor] Steve Schmidt told us Palin did poorly because she didn’t do her homework.” Schmidt slammed Palin, claiming she was “focused that morning on answering ten written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the ‘Matsu Valley Frontiersman.’” After Cooper mentioned Palin’s criticism of Couric’s “gotcha questions,” Schmidt proclaimed: “I don’t think that Katie Couric asked a single unfair question in that interview.”
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, panel member and FNC correspondent Douglas Kennedy referred to Tea Party members as the "Tea Bag movement," prompting admonishment from host Jon Scott who pointed out that he was using the "pejorative" term. In the next segment, Kennedy went on to accuse Tea Party members of anti-Semitism and linked Obama/Hitler posters to Tea Party members, leading panel member Jim Pinkerton to remind viewers that an Obama/Hitler poster sometimes attributed in the media to conservative Tea Party members had actually been brought to a protest by left-wing supporters of Lyndon LaRouche – who ran for President in the past as a Democrat:
DOUGLAS KENNEDY: You know, just tell them to leave the swastikas home and the pictures of Hitler, and the, you know, they might gain a little more popularity.
JIM PINKERTON: The pictures of Hitler brought in by Lyndon LaRouche people, you know, who are actually, Lyndon LaRouche ran as a Democrat seven times.
KENNEDY: Yeah, but there's anti-Semitism and-
Panel member Judy Miller then jumped in and predicted that the Tea Party movement would help liberals by splitting the Republican party, prompting Kennedy to divulge some over-the-top wishful thinking:
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller inaccurately claimed on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday that former President Clinton “put the Cole bombers in jail.” Miller also predictably blasted former President Bush for not “taking responsibility for 9/11,” in contrast to President Obama’s recent acceptance of responsibility for intelligence failures prior to the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas [audio clip from the segment available here].
Host Larry King first turned to the leftist talk show host during a panel discussion which began 12 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour: “Stephanie, the President said the buck stops with him. Was that a good move today?” Miller immediately made her full Bush Derangement Syndrome apparent in her response:
MILLER: Well, it’s certainly a different move than we ever heard in the Bush administration. I never heard anybody taking responsibility for 9/11, for Katrina. I thought he stepped to the plate. And I couldn’t disagree with Paul Bremer [who appeared in the previous segment] more, Larry. I think he [Obama] is prosecuting the exact same way President Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, as a criminal. You don’t want to make them holy warriors. You want to prosecute them as what they are and that’s criminals, and that’s what Clinton did when he put the previous- you know, Cole bombers in jail, instead of letting them get away, like Osama bin Laden.
Friday’s CBS Early Show previewed an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt as co-host Harry Smith declared: “John McCain’s former top adviser comes out swinging and tells "60 minutes" Sarah Palin often struggled with straight talk.” A clip was played of Schmidt claiming “there were numerous instances” when Palin “said things that were not accurate.”
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez later teased the interview by describing how Schmidt “gets tough on Sarah Palin” and referred to it as “explosive.” While introducing a brief preview clip of the interview, set to air on Sunday’s "60 Minutes", Rodriguez proclaimed: “the blunt-talking political strategist who ran John McCain’s presidential campaign, is going rogue, speaking out for the first time since the election....And when it comes to Sarah Palin, he’s not holding back.”
In the featured clip, Schmidt attacked Palin’s credibility and lamented how “...the campaign had to deal with and that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate.” He added: “And I think that that is something that continues to this day.” A headline on-screen read: “Going Rogue; Fmr. McCain Adviser Slams Palin on '60 Minutes'”
On Thursday’s World News, ABC correspondent Kate Snow filed a report that avoided portraying Tea Party activists as extremists, instead conveying the movement’s growing appeal and the fact that even some former Barack Obama supporters have signed on. Snow: "The majority of supporters are long-time Republicans like Danita, but there are growing numbers of independents, and even some former Obama supporters."
After recounting the movement’s recent successes in bringing down moderate political figures for not being conservative enough, Snow related that "moderates are scrambling to show their support." The piece also included a soundbite of ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd who suggested that Democrats are making a mistake in "trying to marginalize" the movement. Dowd: "I think Republicans definitely dismiss this at their peril. I also think Democrats, by trying to marginalize it, underestimate the anger out there."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, January 7, World News on ABC:
The Times dispatched its political personality profiler and snarkster-in-chief Mark Leibovich to Florida to report on the hot race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. In the course of his report, Leibovich ran into a conservative in a parking lot who showed "contempt" for the New York Times. (Wonder why?)
Moderate Gov. Charlie Crist looks set to battle insurgent conservative Marco Rubio in the Republican primary in late August. Leibovich's piece, "The First Senator From the Tea Party?" which will appear in the Times Magazine next Sunday, described the reporter's attendance at a Tea Party rally in Orlando, from which he dutifully filed anecdotes about racist attacks, bullying, and birther-paranoia on the part of conservatives.
First, Leibovich sat down with the "embattled Republican" Crist, the "pragmatist" battling "ideological purists" in his own party:
To many Republicans, the governor's biggest sin was his support for the Obama administration's $787 billion economic-stimulus package. That's what comes up the most, although a fair number of conservatives also blame Crist for his seemingly decisive endorsement of John McCain three days before the Florida primary in the 2008 presidential campaign, effectively handing the state to an eventual nominee for whom many conservatives had little use. They see Crist's career as pockmarked with instances of consensus-seeking, deal-making and bipartisanship -- three particularly vulgar notions to a simmering Tea Party movement on the right. Conservatives have tagged Crist as being part of that pariah breed of Republican today: a "moderate." Or worse.
Speaking to Virginia Governor Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pointed out a potential dire situation for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election: “Your party stands to lose a lot in the fall. Its 60 vote majority in the Senate, dozens of seats in the House, as well as Governor seats across the country.”
An on-screen headline posed the question: “Democrats in Trouble?” Rodriguez summed up the circumstances under which Democrats could do well in the fall: “...two things have to happen. One, the economy has to improve, and, two, health care has to not only pass, but show that it’s working.” She assumed that health care passing would be a good thing for Democrats and failed to ask Kaine about the lack of openness in the legislative process.
Rodriguez asked for Kaine’s assessment of the situation. Unsurprisingly, the DNC chair was optimistic about his party’s chances: “I think both are going to happen....I think the passage of historic health care and continued improvement of the economy is going to actually surprise some people in November in terms of how Democrats do.”
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”
King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”
Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”
Speaking with Republican New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Congressman, here you are a Republican talking about everything that’s wrong and everything that went wrong....Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said quote,‘we should dismiss the partisan bickering over the security failures over this issue.”
Rodriguez went on to place the blame for partisanship on the Republican side of the aisle as she asked: “Do you agree and do you say to your colleagues let’s try to support the President here and get to the bottom of the real issue?” King replied: “I have never made one partisan statement on terrorism since that day....I will give the President credit when I think he’s right. But on the other hand, when mistakes are being made, I think it’s my obligation to speak out because this issue is so vital to all Americans.”