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.”
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell today demanded that CNN and MSNBC prove that radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh uttered a racist quote they have attributed to him as fact after Limbaugh publicly denied having ever said, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark” on his nationally syndicated airwaves.
"CNN and MSNBC must immediately and publicly source when Limbaugh uttered this phrase. He has unequivocally denied it. Now it is up to the same news media that reported it as fact to prove that it was, indeed, stated," NewsBusters Publisher Bozell insisted in a statement, arguing that if the charges are undocumentable, the offending networks are "100% guilty of character assassination."
The accusations against Limbaugh came in the wake of reports the radio talk show host is part of a group bidding for ownership of the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise. The full Bozell statement is appended below the page break:
However Brit Hume, now a senior political analyst for Fox News and regarded as a veteran figure at the news organization, took the White House head on. In his "Brit Hume Commentary" segment on Fox News Channel's Oct. 12 "Special Report with Bret Baier," Hume, pointed out this "feud" the Obama administration has decided to elevate is a bad idea.
"Every president ends up disgusted with the news media in general and with certain individuals or outlets in particular, but there is an old adage often attributed to Mark Twain that advises against picking fights with people who buy ink by the barrel," Hume said. "He is speaking of the big media of his day, which were newspapers."
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez read a disputed racist quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh about antebellum slavery on Monday’s Newsroom: “Limbaugh’s perceived racist diatribes are too many to name. Here’s a sample- he once declared that ‘slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.’”
Before discussing the Limbaugh controversy with his guest, former NFL player Eugene “Mercury” Morris, the CNN anchor raised the 2003 scandal involving talk show host’s comments about quarterback Donovan McNabb, reading the statement which got Limbaugh in trouble and leading to his resignation from his job as an ESPN sports commentator. After reading the alleged slavery quote, the CNN anchor read another racially-charged quote from Limbaugh: “In President Obama’s America, white children get beaten up on school buses by blacks.”
This is an actual quote from Limbaugh, which he made on his talk show on September 15, 2009. But, as in the case of the McNabb controversy, he was attacking the mainstream media. Here’s the full context:
[Limbaugh denies. See update below.] For the second time on Monday, MSNBC cited a dubious "quote" from Rush Limbaugh in which the conservative radio host supposedly said that "slavery had its merits." The source? A linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Discussing Limbaugh’s interest in owning the St. Louis Rams, News Live host David Shuster asserted that "James Farrior says Limbaugh should be denied the privilege of owning an NFL franchise for comments like ‘slavery had its merits.’"
An onscreen graphic appeared that read "Limbaugh remarks: Slavery ‘had its merits.’" In the bottom corner of the screen, the citation is simply this: "Cited by James Farrior Pittsburgh Steelers." So, that’s it? A linebacker for the Steelers says something and that’s enough for MSNBC?
MSNBC on Monday featured the Nation magazine’s sports editor to rant against Rush Limbaugh as a "unreconstructed racist," a "swine" and also lobby that the conservative host shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team. Morning Meeting guest host Contessa Brewer completely ignored the left-wing affiliation of Dave Zirin and identified him only as "sports writer." [Audio available here.]
Raging against the idea that the Limbaugh might soon own a football team, Zirin asserted that the issue is "about having somebody in an NFL owners box who [players] know views them with naked and open contempt because of the color of their skin." He fumed that the radio star is someone who "has made hundreds of millions now on the issues of hatred and division."
Zirin even used a dubious, disputed quote that he assigned to Limbaugh: "[Players] don't want an owner who has said slavery was a good thing because it made the streets safer." A Google News search finds this supposed comment attributed to the host: "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."
Thus began El Rushbo’s interview with NBC national correspondent Jamie Gangel. It is remarkable that, even when the media sit down with Limbaugh, they still find a way to be biased. To be fair, Gangel did not conduct the interview like Keith Olbermann might have. But there were a few points of interest which must be noted – and some even pointed out by Rush during the interview.
First up, Gangel asks Rush if he’s a racist or a homophobe:
JAMIE GANGEL [voice over B-roll]: Rush’s brand of satire also keeps everyone talking. Parodies like this one, of Congressman Barney Frank, who also happens to be gay:
BARNEY FRANK IMPERSONATOR, singing: “I am the banking queen!”
GANGEL: And this one about race, and candidate Barack Obama:
If there was any question which side of the ideological blogosphere a lot of the inside-the-beltway media establishment go to regularly, Politico may have just cleared that up.
In an Oct. 11 Politico story headlined "Think Progress makes its mark," which was the top story on its Web site that evening, Daniel Libit paid reverence to the left-wing Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog.
"Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era - a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame - still make its mark in the age of Obama?" Libit wrote. "In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter grouped conservative talk radio with Islamic radicals, specifically singling out Rush Limbaugh for attack, on Friday’s MSNBC Live. While acknowledging that “everybody agrees it was premature” to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, Alter singled out the two groups that, in his view, were actually voicing criticism: “You’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Anchor Tamron Hall brought on the Newsweek senior editor and MSNBC news analyst minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the segment, Hall noted the “reaction from the world” and the “incredible pressure” that President Obama is facing concerning the war in Afghanistan. Alter replied that “it’s important to know that the award doesn’t go for pacifists....There have been plenty of examples of recipients who’ve been heads of state and...were war presidents. But...I also think it’s important to know who is actually sounding off against this. Everybody agrees it was premature, maybe undeserved. But who’s actually attacking it? Well, you’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush [Limbaugh] -- you know, you have his, his [Obama’s] critics here at home” [video from the segment available below the jump].
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer wondered about negative political fallout from President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win: “one European commentator who said ‘will this become a poison chalice?’ In other words, is this going to hurt the President rather than help him?...is this going to widen the part of partisan divide rather than bring people together?”
Schieffer spoke with Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez, who asked: “Clearly a surprise to everyone, including the White House, for the President to be awarded this less than nine months into his term. And already some people are questioning whether he deserves it.” Schieffer expressed that skepticism: “My first reaction was, ‘what?!....It’s almost as if they’re saying ‘we’re giving you the Nobel Peace Prize for winning the election.’...I can’t recall anybody who won this prize for his aspirations. People usually get it for results.”
During 11AM CBS breaking news coverage of the President’s acceptance speech, anchor Jeff Glor got more Scheiffer reaction: “Is this more a commentary on the current administration and the current president or the previous administration, Bob?” Schieffer replied: “It’s almost as if the committee today was giving Barack Obama a prize for not being George Bush.”
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Friday used an odd expression to fawn over Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize win. She cooed that the award is "the Olympic gold of international diplomacy." (Was this Sawyer’s way of saying the prize makes up for the Chicago Olympic failure?)
In a follow-up segment, former top Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos touted what an enormous impact the Nobel Prize would have: "But on a serious note, White House aides do believe this will strengthen the President's hand, both at home and abroad." He explained how these "White House aides" (Rahm Emanuel, perhaps?) told him that "this will really strengthen the President's hand as they try to force inspectors in to the Iranian nuclear sites."
Sawyer should be credited for at least asking the obvious question. Talking to Geir Lundeestad, the director of the Nobel Institute, she quizzed, "Here’s the first question: Nine months into a presidency. Isn’t that a little fast?" Reporter Yunji De Nies mildly observed, "But with critics arguing that Mr. Obama's accomplishments have yet to rival those of previous winners, the chairman of the committee found himself on the defensive."
"But our winner, Michele Bachmann," Olbermann said, referring to the first place contestant, the "worst" person. "[Fox News host Bill O'Reilly], dimly aware of the world around him, asks her, ‘Now you are a pretty interesting politician, Congresswoman. You are second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst. You know, Sarah Palin leads the league, no doubt. But they're after you now. We hear it all the time, Michele Bachmann, she's this, she's that. How did you get into that wheelhouse?'"
In case you missed it, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh will be expanding his resume - long-time political commentator, potential NFL owner and now Miss America pageant judge.
On the Oct. 8 broadcast of Fox News "On the Record," host Greta Van Sustren revealed that Limbaugh would be one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America Pageant, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on Jan. 30, 2010.
"Rush Limbaugh, he's the King of talk radio," Van Sustren said. "He's trying to buy the St. Louis Rams. Well chalk up one more thing - Miss America judge. You heard that right - Rush Limbaugh has been named one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America pageant. Limbaugh will be one of seven judges for the competition. Now that pageant is in Las Vegas now. It's coming this January at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino."
Following the talking points of the Democratic Party, at the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared a win for health care legislation being pushed by Montana Senator Max Baucus: “President Obama’s health care plan gets a green light from the Congressional Budget Office, as a key bill not only pays for itself, but actually saves billions.”
Rodriguez later introduced a report on the CBO estimates by declaring: “This morning Democratic leaders are cheering a report that shows that the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill actually saves money.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed: “The new bill would actually reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion according to the new estimates. The price tag, $829 billion over ten years, would be fully paid for, and then some, by an excise tax on top dollar insurance plans, by fees on drug makers and medical device manufacturers, and more.”
During the segment, an on-screen headline read: “One Step Closer? New Health Care Estimate Raises White House Hopes.” In her report, Cordes cited Jonathan Cohn, the senior editor of the liberal magazine, The New Republic, who praised the bill: “You’re average family will have security they don’t have, they won’t – they’ll know they won’t lose their insurance if they lose their job. If they need financial assistance paying for their health care, that will be available to them.”
"You are a pretty interesting politician, congresswoman," O'Reilly said. "You are second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst. You know, Sarah Palin leads the league, no doubt. But they're after you now. We hear it all the time, you know Michele Bachmann, she is this and she is that. How did you get into that wheelhouse?"
Former President Carter's recent claim that he never portrayed most tea party participants protesting against President Obama as being motivated by racism has been highlighted both on Friday's Special Report with Bret Baier and on Monday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC. As previously noted by NewsBuster Matt Balan, the Thursday, October 1, American Morning on CNN showed a clip of Carter denying what he previously seemed to suggest in an interview with correspondent Candy Crowley. Carter's original accusations of racism by conservatives were reported by NBC and CBS, but those networks have ignored Carter's attempt to backtrack.
On Friday's "Political Grapevine" segment on FNC's Special Report, host Baier relayed to viewers: "Former President Jimmy Carter is walking back from comments he made last month about President Obama and racism. Thursday, Mr. Carter said he did not mean protesters were upset at the reality of a black President."
After reading Carter's denial, Baier then played Carter's original words: "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity towards President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he is African-American."
Today on "Hardball," host Chris Matthews sought to portray President Barack Obama as being on the rebound from a beating in his approval rating during "all the crazy stuff of the summer" such as "the tea parties, the birthers, the nutbags out there" who drove up Obama's disapproval numbers.
But the single poll he cited was dismissed as an outlier by guests Charlie Cook of Cook Political Report fame. John Harris of The Politico also agreed with Cook's assessment.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala can be relied upon to use the “drug card” against Rush Limbaugh whenever the talk radio host is brought up, and he was true to form on Tuesday’s Situation Room. When anchor Wolf Blitzer asked what it would mean if Limbaugh bought the St. Louis Rams, Begala snarked, “Just don’t put him in charge of the team’s drug policy....Don’t give him access to that medicine cabinet” [ audio clip from the segment is available here].
Blitzer brought up Limbaugh just after the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour during in a panel discussion with Begala, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and CNN personalities Gloria Borger, Joe Johns, and Jessica Yellin. The anchor asked Johns, “Rush Limbaugh- he’s thinking about buying, or at least, participating in a group that’s buys the St. Louis Rams in the NFL....What, if anything, would that mean for the St. Louis Rams?” Johns replied, “Probably very little....you know, [if] you’ve got a good football team in a place...like St. Louis, people are going to watch. And so what if Rush Limbaugh is the owner” [see video from the segment below the jump].
"Quite honestly, I don't even know anything about MSNBC," Bachmann said. "It's not a network that I watch and most of the American people agree with that assessment. They aren't watching it either. And that's why Fox's ratings - I mean it's like CNN, CNBC, MSNBC combined. I think Fox even exceeded one of the major networks last week. They're on the ascendency."
So while chuckleheads like Jesse Jackson and Senator Roland Burris hilariously blame George Bush for Chicago losing the 2016 Olympics, whiny columnists like Mike Lupica are up in arms that conservatives might be gloating over President Obama’s big screw-up. Apparently laughing at all this is somehow anti-American, because Obama is our President, and he was doing this for all of us.
You know… kind of like when Bush was trying win a war in Iraq – and all those left wingers stood behind him.
And that’s my first point: The right has every right to gloat over Obama’s humiliation, because, thankfully, NO ONE DIED.
This is perhaps a pretty desperate way for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to try to resonate with her liberal viewers.
On her Oct. 6 show, Maddow specifically targeted Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C. for pursuing foreign policy objectives that run counter to President Barack Obama's on the issues of global warming and Latin America relations.
First she set her sights on Inhofe, who recently announced he would be making a trip to Copenhagen to offer an opposing U.S. perspective on the issue of global warming. Inhofe, who is the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has been one of the most outspoken critics of efforts to force the U.S. government to enact economy-wrecking policy by putting limits on carbon emissions.
Either Richard Wolffe is blatantly shilling for the liberal/progressive agenda in the United States or he really is incredibly cynical about how the Republican Party picks its leader.
Wolffe, appearing on MSNBC's Oct. 5 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," gave his thoughts on the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. Wolffe, a MSNBC regular and former Newsweek columnist, shared his low regard for the former lieutenant governor of Maryland.
"Well, look - it's certainly being clumsy politics," Wolffe said. "And you know today, Michael Steele says he doesn't do policy. Tomorrow he'll say he doesn't do politics either."
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin again turned to his usual labeling of the ideological split on the Supreme Court on Monday’s American Morning. Toobin labeled Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts “very conservative” three times, as opposed to the mere “liberal” justices on the Court. The analyst also bizarrely claimed that the “liberal side” of the body is “basically outnumbered.”
Toobin appeared during two segments at the ends of the 6 am and 8 am Eastern hours of the CNN program. Anchor John Roberts (who has the same name as the chief justice) interviewed the legal analyst both times, and he first asked about the influence of new Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the Court as it starts a new session. Toobin used his slanted labeling from right out of the gate: “You know, Justice Byron White was famous for saying, ‘When you change one member of the court, you don’t just change one member, you change the whole court’...This may be, though, a rare exception to that because her politics seem very similar to David Souter’s, so that the divisions on the court- four very conservative justices, four liberal justices- Anthony Kennedy in the middle- is probably not going to change that much.”
It's not too often where both a prominent conservative and a prominent liberal would deviate from their ideological consensus on a particular issue.
However, the news of the day - Chicago being beaten out by Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is one such instance. MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, who identifies himself as a conservative, said he was glad President Barack Obama gave it shot in an Oct. 2 post on the Huffington Post.
Ironically, the editor of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, who is identified as a progressive, said on NBC's Oct. 2 "The Jay Leno Show" that Obama shouldn't have gone to Copenhagen - but not for the reason a lot of critics are suggesting.
Although some in the liberal media were all too eager to point out instances where some are celebrating President Barack Obama's "epic fail" in the media, it was just a matter of time before conservatives and Republicans got the blame for the President's inability to secure the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.
Enter MSNBC's Ed Schultz. During his Oct. 2 MSNBC show, the liberal host launched into a rant blaming the Republican Party and went as far as comparing the party to the anti-American antics put on by Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War. (audio available here)
A week after aggressively defending school children in New Jersey literally singing Barack Obama’s praises, on MSNBC on Friday, anchor Norah O’Donnell once again expressed her support of the song and went after critics: “I think this is sort of a silly issue, I do, I’ll just say that, you know, and I’m not an ideologue. And I got hammered in the blogs for making that comment.”
As NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported on September 24, O’Donnell argued with conservative columist Tim Carney, seeing no problem with the disturbing song: “I mean, this is children. They're singing a song...If you can make your point again about why this is indoctrination, political indoctrination to praise your President...I remember certainly in elementary school when Ronald Reagan was President and we sent him jelly beans.”
On Friday, during MSNBC’s weekly New York Times Edition program, O’Donnell explained to liberal New York Times columnist Nick Kristof:
Nick, you know, there was – this was something that was on the Right that got a lot of play, which was these school students who were singing a song about President Barack Hussein Obama. It was during black history month, and those on the Right, in conservatives circles, have used that to say they’re now indoctrinating kids, essentially, in schools....I just wonder what it is then, when we can’t allow our children to praise a president or sing about a president, whether they’re a Republican or a Democrat or an independent or even people of different religions.
In his latest opinion piece, Roger Ebert proved that he is very skilled at one thing and one thing only - movie reviews.
Ebert penned a piece in his Journal for the Chicago Sun-Times today; a scathing critique which detests the overt melodrama, the wretched dialogue, and the lack of a plot line. What was he reviewing? The Republican base.
Ebert hammers the party's base with such sensationalistic rhetoric that it is difficult to believe he withheld laughter while typing away on the keyboard. And the work is wrought with such falsehoods, inaccuracies, and sweeping generalizations, that it is difficult to fathom that this work could have passed by the desk of anyone having the word ‘Editor' following their name. Yet somehow, it did.