Liberal New York Times reporter turned liberal nytimes.com blogger Timothy Egan's latest rant against conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh, "Fears of a Clown," was propped up on the front page of nytimes.com on Thursday for the delight of the paper's liberal audience.
Last February, Egan called Limbaugh "talk radio's leading gasbag." Today, after lamenting about the ubiquity of Limbaugh on the radio, Egan piled onto the White House-driven bash-Rush bandwagon, focusing on Limbaugh's speech to the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was broadcast live on FOX News and CSPAN.
As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else -- the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly -- he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad.
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Wednesday stepped up his attacks on Rush Limbaugh and suggested that if congressional Republicans "align themselves with Rush's statements about wanting the President to fail, they appear unpatriotic." For the second day in a row, Shuster berated a conservative guest about the radio talk show host. He repeatedly encouraged former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer to disagree with Limbaugh and complained, "And, Ari, first of all, when Rush says that all Republicans want the President to fail, Limbaugh's wrong, right?" [Audio available here.]
At one point, Shuster wondered why Republicans couldn't just denounce the "childish" comments by the radio host. He then seriously suggested that GOP members should say, "And we need to isolate Rush Limbaugh because we do have important issues to talk about." Later in the segment, the MSNBC anchor reiterated his assertion that Republicans might be unpatriotic. He challenged, "Ari, is it unpatriotic for somebody to say they hope the President fails?" After interrupting a responding Fleischer, he continued, "...Is it unpatriotic- since patriotism was such a crucial theme in the run-up to the Iraq war in the way the Bush White House defended it- is it unpatriotic to say that you hope the President fails?"
Deep down, Ed Schultz is shallow, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker.
Case in point: Schultz's trite, cliched comparison of conservative talker Rush Limbaugh's remarks before a boisterous CPAC audience with Hitler addressing a Nazi rally.
Schultz, the top-rated liberal radio host in the nation, watched Limbaugh's speech on TV last weekend -- with the sound turned down -- and was convinced he saw "striking" parallels to the German dictator.
Here's what Schultz said on Monday's show, preceding his criticism of Limbaugh with praise for the late radio giant Paul Harvey (click here for audio) --
On Wednesday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez turned to Eric Burns, the president of the left-wing organization Media Matters for America, to “fact check” Representative Mike Pence’s appearance on the program the previous day. Sanchez failed to mention the political leanings of Media Matters during the segment, and didn’t follow-up when Burns obliquely referenced his past occupation as a communications director for Democratic Representative Louise Slaughter.
Before introducing Burns, Sanchez played a clip of Representative Pence stating that he fought President Bush “on education spending. I fought my president -- was one of the 25 Republicans that opposed the prescription drug entitlement. I fought the earmarking culture and run-away spending under Republican control, and I’m going to keep fighting it as Democrats take us further down the road of deficit spending and debts.” The CNN anchor then made his introduction of the Media Matters president, omitting the left-wing stance of Burns’ organization: “Eric Burns is joining us now. He’s with Media Matters. His organization does the following -- you know what they do? They basically check to see if what politicians and people like me say on the air is truthful -- is accurate. When we make mistakes, they call us on it. I’ve been called.”
The latest Stephanopoulos entry on ABC News needs a reality check, in a big way, and Erick Erickson of RedState hit it perfectly.
The Democrat-turned-born-again-journalist posted the following story on his ABC News blog today, claiming that Eric Cantor had repudiated Rush Limbaugh's CPAC rhetoric:
“Defending his attacks against President Barack Obama's economic plans, Limbaugh said Saturday to the conservative conference, "What is so strange about being honest and saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundations?"
Cantor today rejected Limbaugh's rhetoric.
"So the Rush Limbaugh approach of hoping the president fails is not the Eric Cantor, House Republican approach?" I asked.
On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Lara Logan reported on the Obama administration’s effort to improve relations between the United States and Russia by abandoning a missile defense system proposed under the Bush administration: "It's become one of the most contentious issues dividing the U.S. and Russia. American plans to deploy a missile defense system on Russia's doorstep...The Obama administration's willingness to even open discussions on the issue is a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy under President Bush, who dismissed Russian objections. That dispute helped bring U.S.-Russian relations to their lowest point since the break-up of the Soviet Union nearly 20 years ago. Today the President made it clear he's already started to change that."
Rather than offer any criticism, Logan cited Steven Pifer of the left-leaning Brookings Institution, who declared: "It seems to me that when we're looking for issues on which we can signal to the Russians that we're prepared to be more flexible and listen to some of their concerns, missile defense is one." At the top of the broadcast, anchor Katie Couric teased the segment by describing Obama’s proposal as an "intriguing suggestion."
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly pestered Texas Congressman Ron Paul to publicly attack Rush Limbaugh and seemed frustrated when "even" the outspoken representative wouldn't give him what he wanted. After wondering "why it's so difficult" for Republicans to disagree with the talk show host's assertion that he wants Barack Obama's policies to fail, Shuster repeated the same question over and over. He complained, "How can we have that argument [about other issues], when even you, Ron Paul, are not willing to take this opportunity to say when Rush Limbaugh says that every Republican wants President Obama to fail, Rush Limbaugh is wrong?"
He continued, "How can we have the next conversation if you're not willing to have that first one?" Paul, refusing to allow Shuster to guide the debate, snapped back, "Because you want to control the semantics and the definitions." He added, "And, you know, in the media you like to personalize and then have a fight going on and that's the way politics works." The conversation didn't seem to be going the way Shuster had intended. Later, he derided, "It just seems, congressman, like so many Republicans are terrified of Rush Limbaugh. We're just trying to explore that."
At the top of the 12PM EST hour of MSNBC news coverage on Tuesday, anchor David Shuster spoke with Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg about the recent divide between Rush Limbaugh and RNC Chair Michael Steele: "Following the latest Republican Party civil war. A complete about-face by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, after calling Rush Limbaugh's show 'ugly' and 'incendiary.' Steele's now apologized in the face of a withering attack from the radio host." Richburg later observed: "You know, it's fascinating. It's like the circular firing squad. I mean, maybe this is what Rush had in mind when he was talking about ‘Operation Chaos.’"
Shuster later asked Richburg: "I mean, when Rush Limbaugh says that all Republicans want President Obama to fail. What's so difficult with somebody saying, 'no, no, we think that his policies may fail, but we don't want them to fail.' What's so difficult about that?" Richburg replied: "...it almost seems like the Republican Party needs a 'Sister Soljah' moment...It seems like the Republicans need somebody who's willing to stand up and say Rush doesn't represent all of the views of the Republican Party and then not rush and apologize to him...I'll bet you whoever does that could end up as the, you know, the nominee of the party or at least the major party."
The religion site Beliefnet – now owned by Fox Entertainment Group – has a variety of bloggers, including a few conservatives. Rod Dreher drew some network attention last year for attacking Sarah Palin as an unserious choice for vice president. On Sunday, Dreher started lobbing bombs at Rush Limbaugh and his fans. He titled his article "CPAC: White kids on dope," with the subheadline "Ah, to be an anthropologist at CPAC, where the kids was smokin' th' political crack." Dreher was very unhappy that a boisterous crowd cheered Limbaugh’s message to the conference, and saw some kind of creepy censorship emerging when Limbaugh warned: "beware of those different factions who seek as part of their attempt to redefine conservatism, as making sure the liberals like us, making sure that the media likes us. They never will, as long as we remain conservatives." Out of that, Dreher wildly swung at Limbaugh’s head:
Anybody who challenges Limbavian orthodoxy is, ipso facto, the Enemy. If you suggest reform, even from the Right, you are a useful idiot for the Media, which are the Enemy, and can never be anything but the Enemy. Limbaughism sounds a lot like Leninism.
During a 6-minute segment on the Saturday Early Show on CBS, co-host Erica Hill spoke with liberal journalists Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report, and Steven Kornacki of the New York Observer, about the future of the Republican Party. Republican strategist and CNN contributor Leslie Sanchez was also part of the panel discussion, but was only allowed 44 seconds to speak during the segment, frequently being cut off by Hill, Zuckerman, and Kornacki.
Zuckerman described the future of the GOP this way: "Obama's popularity is surging and the support for the Republican Party is declining, in part because if there is any symbol of the Republican Party, it was Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, speaking after President Obama, and articulating a philosophy that was so completely discredited under the Bush administration that it's hard to imagine that they think they're going to do anything other than consolidate their support in a very small number of arch-conservative districts in the United States."
Kornacki shared a similar view, suggesting Republicans give up on conservative principles and simply follow Democratic Party ideals: "Republicans in Congress, the Republicans on talk radio, on Fox News, Republicans who are dominating the party and driving the philosophy of their party right now and they are denying reality...2008 was a revolt against the excesses of the Reagan philosophy, and the Republicans right now seem to be saying...'we got to click our shoes together three times, repeat our favorite Reagan catch phrase and poof, we're going to be good again.' It's not going to work. The public is looking for people who want government to take a leading, active, and aggressive role. Republicans aren't even speaking to that."
In a Newsweek Web exclusive, reporter Mollie Reilly mocked young conservatives attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last week:
At CPAC, 19-year-olds unironically wear bowties and snap photos with their cell phones of Rep. John Boehner and former governor Mike Huckabee, as if they were prepubescent girls at a Jonas Brothers concert.
I doubt any self-respecting conservative male of 19 appreciates being compared to a prepubescent girl at a Jonas Brothers concert -- not to mention how bizarre it is to compare Huckabee and Boehner to teen idols. Is this the way Newsweek would treat college-age liberals at an Obama rally?
No, but like other media outlets, they celebrated Malia Obama asking if the "surprise" they were getting on Wednesday night of the Denver convention was meeting the Jonas Brothers (and instead it was Daddy appearing via satellite.) Was this staged? Normally cynical reporters weren't going to be cynical.
Although the New York Times never complained when lefties called George W. Bush and other Republicans "fascist" for eight years running, reporter Mark Leibovich is suddenly concerned with rhetorical precision now that conservatives are using "socialist" as a "demonizing" epithet against President Obama's massive spending plans.
Leibovich used the news hook of the recent 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington to write a front-page Sunday Week in Review story portraying conservatives as mindless mockers of the concept of socialism: "'Socialism!' Boo, Hiss, Repeat."
Conservatives might be seeking a spiritual leader, organizing principle and fresh identity, but they at least seem to have settled on a favorite rhetorical ogre: socialism.
As in, Democrats are intent on forcing socialism on the "U.S.S.A" (as the bumper sticker says, under the words "Comrade Obama").
It seems that "socialist" has supplanted "liberal" as the go-to slur among much of a conservative world confronting a one-two-three punch of bank bailouts, budget blowouts and stimulus bills. Right-leaning bloggers and talk radio hosts are wearing out the brickbat. Senate and House Republicans have been tripping over their podiums to invoke it. The S-bomb has become as surefire a red-meat line at conservative gatherings as "Clinton" was in the 1990s and "Pelosi" is today.
CNN host D.L. Hughley turned to the standard left-wing tactic of playing the Nazi card against Republicans on his program on Saturday evening: “The tenets of the Republican Party are amazing and they seem warm and welcome. But when I watch it be applied -- like you didn’t have to go much further than the Republican National Convention....It literally look[s] like Nazi Germany.” He went on to say that blacks weren’t welcome in the party: “It just does not seem -- like not only are we not welcome -- not only are we not welcome, but they don’t even care what we think.” He later described the GOP as “reactionary.” [audio available here]
The stand-up comedian-turned-TV host made the remark during a segment with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Chuck D, a former member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Unfortunately, Steele did not verbally react to Hughley’s Nazi characterization. Chuck D, on the other hand, expressed his agreement with the host about blacks supposedly not being welcome in the Republican Party: “I covered the Republican convention in ‘96 for MTV...and -- seriously, their agenda was totally somewhere else, which totally -- you know, didn’t have black people or people of color in mind.” He then expressed his belief that there should be more major parties in the U.S.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez spoke with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, who a year ago was named in a New York Times article implying she had an affair with then presidential candidate John McCain, an accusation Iseman flatly denied: "No, I did not. And four New York Times reporters, two editors, their entire institution, 200 people that they went out and sought to try and figure out if this was true or not, came back and said there's no there, there...They were calling friends and family and colleagues and former staffers, it was just -- people I'd hired and fired at my firm, it was nuts. It was just unbelievable...They became so invested in this that they couldn't walk away...this was just out of control, they just could not, for some reason, walk away."
While Iseman detailed how absurd the Times’ accusations were, Rodriguez still worked to give the paper the benefit of the doubt: "So everybody believed that you had an affair with him, even though the article, according to the Times, didn't mean to imply that and certainly didn't prove that, all of a sudden you were that girl?...You sued the New York Times, they printed a note to the readers that said ‘we never intended to imply she was having an affair with him.’ Where do you think they went so wrong? Because they have sources and they did try to contact you. Where do you think the New York Times failed here?
MSNBC host Tamron Hall on Monday talked to a contributor from the liberal Nation magazine who bashed Rush Limbaugh and also highlighted a historical error in the radio host’s address to the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend. Introducing Ari Melber, the "MSNBC News Live" host began, “Well, a lot of people are talking about Mr. Limbaugh’s comments and, perhaps, an- even- a mistake he made.”
After playing a clip in which Limbaugh incorrectly attributed a quote from to the Constitution (it was from the Declaration of Independence), Hall touted the error to Melber, who is also a Democratic strategist. She quizzed, “So, Ari, Rush thought he was quoting the Constitution. It was the Declaration of Independence. How embarrassing is that for him, especially the way he slammed the President?” Of course, Melber helpfully piled on. He derided, “Well, this is the problem for Rush Limbaugh. He really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
NBC White House political director Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Monday to dismiss Rush Limbaugh as "looking backward" and deride the radio industry as a "dying medium." Todd (see file photo above), who was talking with co-host Mika Brzezinski about Limbaugh’s role as a leader in the Republican Party, also suggested a linkage between the radio host and far left bomb thrower Michael Moore. He insisted, "They [Democrats] want to do to the Republican Party what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore and all that stuff."
Speaking of radio, Todd sniffed, "But, it’s that idea that Limbaugh- even the whole- even the venue that he’s on, radio, not the internet. You know, it’s very ‘90s. It’s very backwards- is looking backwards." He added, "And, you know, radio is a dying medium, potentially- as it is just in general."
He concluded, "It is a backward-looking technology." Of course, it’s the newspaper industry that many would call a "dying medium." (The San Francisco Chronicle is just one of many papers to face bankruptcy recently.)
On Wednesday’s Newsroom program, CNN’s Rick Sanchez referenced New York Times columnist David Brooks and The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan as “conservatives” during a short segment about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s response to President Obama’s address before a joint session of Congress. Both men are known for their less-than-conservative stance on social issues, particularly on the issue of homosexual “marriage;” their sharp criticism of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during her bid for the vice presidency last year; and their sympathy for Obama.
The anchor cited the two writers a quarter of an hour into the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program as examples of how Governor Jindal “hasn’t exactly been getting accolades from members of his own party” for his handling of the official Republican response to President Obama’s speech. Sanchez referred to Brooks as the “heralded conservative columnist for The New York Times,” and read a quote where he criticized the governor’s attack on big government: “It’s just a disaster for the Republican party. In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to say government is the problem -- it’s just a form of nihilism.” He then read an apparently sarcastic quote from “noted conservative” Sullivan: “This guy [Jindal] is supposed to be the smart one.”
Despite calling for massive new spending on education, universal health care and more money for bailing out banks, no ABC anchor on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning used the word liberal in describing Barack Obama's February 24 address to Congress. In contrast, ABC host Terry Moran on February 27, 2001 anticipated that a similar speech by President George W. Bush would be "conservative."Following that address, he spun it as "hard core conservatism: fiscal restraint; deep, across-the-board spending and tax cuts; the privatization of part of Social Security."
And yet, on Tuesday's post-speech coverage, on that evening's "Nightline" and on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," no anchor applied the liberal label to Obama's address. The same Moran who saw "hard core conservatism" in Bush's appearance before Congress, described a "big and bold speech" from the current President. He also enthused that "President Barack Obama didn't sugarcoat it, he found bad guys on Wall Street and in Washington." Regarding the President's obviously liberal plans on the economy and health care, Moran reiterated, "The answer, the President argued, go big, big plans, big changes."
While discussing President Obama’s Tuesday night address to Congress and the Republican response given by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez observed: "And Americans loved it. The polls show that they're very optimistic, and then out comes Bobby Jindal, Debbie Downer, saying ‘hated it, it's not going to work.’" Rodriguez made the remark while speaking with Democrat Dee Dee Myers and Republican Dan Bartlett. She turned to Bartlett and asked: "Do you think the Republican Party's taking the right approach, Dan, being so vocal with their objections?"
At the top of the show, Rodriguez interviewed Vice President Joe Biden and asked: "...the Republican party came out with their own charismatic, young, dynamic, ethnic spokesperson after the speech and said ‘we don't buy it, we're not on board.’ Are you taking any of their objections into account? Are any of their objections legitimate in your view?" Biden replied: "Sure. I'm sure there's -- there's some legitimate objections they have. But what I don't understand from Governor Jindal is, what would he do?...if you choose the inaction that Governor Jindal is talking about, how responsible is that? While people are just sinking into the abyss."
During the Monday 12PM EST hour of MSNBC news coverage, anchor Norah O’Donnell interviewed conservative film maker John Ziegler, creator of ‘Media Malpractice,’ a documentary on media bias against Sarah Palin, and denied any such bias: "Well, let me ask you, you called the treatment of Sarah Palin and her family a, quote, 'media assassination, one of the greatest public injustices of our time.' Is that a little strong? Are you and her a little thin-skinned?"
Ziegler responded by pointing out O’Donnell’s own anti-Palin bias: "The evidence is overwhelming. It's continuing today. I mean, just a few weeks ago, Norah, you incorrectly stated on the air Sarah Palin called Barack Obama a terrorist during the campaign." NewsBusters reported on O’Donnell’s January 29 smear of Palin.
O’Donnell criticized part of Ziegler’s documentary: "Let me ask you, in your documentary you cite examples of media bias by Saturday Night Live, that that's media bias. Aren't those comedians?...How's that media bias?" Ziegler explained: "Poll after poll shows that more people get their news from comedy shows because the line between entertainment and news, as this network has shown time and time again, has virtually evaporated...MSNBC used to be a news organization, now it's an advocacy organization, and SNL is actually thought to be a news organization."
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and CNN’s Rick Sanchez both poked fun of Fox News personality Sean Hannity for his on-air commercials for Stanford Coins and Bullion, which is part of the Stanford Financial Group led by Robert Allen Stanford, who has been in the news recently due to charges of fraud. It was the Huffington Post on Wednesday that pointed out the talk show host’s spots for Stanford. Olbermann named Hannity his “Worst Person in the World” on Thursday evening for the radio spots for Stanford.
Nineteen hours later, on Friday afternoon’s Newsroom program on CNN, Sanchez gave the misleading impression that Hannity was still doing the live spots even after the news of the investigation into Stanford came out: “Sean Hannity unabashedly endorsed Robert Allen Stanford on the air to millions of potential customers -- the same Fox News host who calls President Obama a socialist.” An on-screen graphic during Sanchez’s segment indicated that his source for the story was the Huffington Post, while another graphic asked, “Who’s Your Friend, Sean?”
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor reported on conservative leader Benjamin Netanyahu being chosen as Israel’s prime minister: "Israel's president chose hardline Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu today to form a new Israeli government. As prime minister, Netanyahu will try to cobble together a coalition of right-wing parties. Such a government might dim hopes for peace with the Palestinians."
An article on the CBS News website went on to stress the importance of Netanyahu forming a moderate centrist government: "Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in a seeming about-face, indicated she might be willing to come on board a Netanyahu government. But Livni, a centrist, would certainly exact a high price: sharing the prime minister's job she so fervently sought with a reluctant Netanyahu. Should he balk, his alternative would be an unstable coalition of right-wingers sure to collide with the Obama administration and its ambitious plans for ending 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians." Later, the article stated: "With Livni out, Netanyahu might have little choice but to forge a coalition with nationalist and religious parties opposed to peacemaking with the Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors."
President Barack Obama's recent statement about his opposition to resurrecting the so-called Fairness Doctrine is a good first step, but shouldn't be the only step his administration takes to burying political censorship by the FCC for good, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist argued in a joint statement released today.
[click logo above at right to be directed to the Free Speech Alliance petition]
After all, liberal organizations and individuals like MoveOn.org, ACORN, John Podesta's Center for American Progress, House Energy and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) have expressed their intention to silence talk radio by alternative regulatory means such as nebulous FCC "diversity" in ownership and "localism" requirements.
President Obama must make clear his opposition to those back-door regulations as well, Mr. Bozell declared:
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith opened the show by declaring: "As President Obama heads on his first foreign trip, some state governors are saying 'thanks, but no thanks' to the stimulus money, even in these desperate times. We'll ask one of them why." Later, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and asked: "Even if it takes a while to get the money, how do you justify, let's say, not taking it to your constituents when in your state, for example, in December had the third highest unemployment rate in the country. Don't you need the money?"
After Sanford explained that he was opposed to the bill but may accept some of the funding, Rodriguez responded: "You say you're against it, but you still might take the money. Do you realize how some people might think that you're putting ideology ahead of the interests of your constituents?" He began to reply: "Well, I'd say it's the reverse. If we take the money -- in other words, I've said -- I've made my ideological stand, saying this is a bad idea-" Rodriguez interrupted: "But if you're so against it, why take the money?"
"Well, the saints might go marching into New Orleans, but the scientists are marching right on out. A group of more than two thousand biologists have decided NOT to hold their 2011 annual meeting in the Big Easy," "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric noted at the open of her February 18 video blog entry.
Couric proceeded to turn a biologists convention's PR stunt into evidence that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) is an enemy of the "scientific community.":
The reason? Louisiana has a law that allows teachers to use supplemental materials in science class - things other than the state approved curriculum. Republican-up-and-comer Bobby Jindal signed it last summer after it passed the state legislature with overwhelming support.
The scientific community says the law is nothing more than a free pass for the teaching of creationism, and that religion has no place in a biology class.
On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid described Barack Obama’s signing of the massive "stimulus" spending bill into law: "After a mere four weeks in office, the President today signed what he called ‘the most sweeping economic recovery plan in American history’...A new law that he described as a new beginning...In Missouri, the reaction was instantaneous. As the bill was signed, highway commissioners signed a contract, cut a check, and work began on the first project in the nation."
Reid dedicated only one sentence of his report to those opposing the legislation: "On the steps of the Colorado statehouse today, protestors condemned the bill, while Republicans across the nation vowed to analyze every dollar of spending in search of waste and fraud." Reid followed that up with: "The White House is already fighting back. Today launching a web site intended to instill public confidence in the President's plan." None of the protestors or Republican lawmakers were quoted in the story.
On Monday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on perjury allegations against Illinois Senator Roland Burris and calls for his resignation: "Burris admits he did much more than just talk to one person, in fact, he says he talked to four other people with close connections and took three phone calls from the ex-governor's brother about raising money. In the down and dirty world of Illinois politics, some Republicans are calling on him to resign."
In addition to bashing Illinois Republicans, Cordes’s report featured CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen, who argued: "From a purely legal point of view, it is not a strong perjury case. All it does is suggest that Mr. Burris was a little bit more involved in all of this than he initially claimed to be."
In contrast, in January 2007, Cohen described perjury charges against Vice President Cheney’s former chief of Staff Scooter Libby this way: "The whole thing reminds me of an experience I had in law school. I was serving as a ‘baby’ public defender and one of my ‘clients’ was a man, already incarcerated, who was being brought up on new charges that he stole a car. "I didn't steal that car," he said to me. ‘Great,’ I said. ‘That's great. Can you tell me what did happen?’ ‘You don't understand,’ he said to me, "I'm a crack dealer. I don't do that petty car (stuff).’ That is darn close to what Libby and his lawyers are saying. He was an architect and implementer of (mostly failed) foreign policies, the defense goes, and thus did not have time, inclination or criminal state of mind to be guilty of the petty offense of perjury and obstruction of justice."
On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Kimberly Dozier filed a report profiling moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, in light of their vote in favor of President Obama's economic plan, and relayed their criticisms that other Republicans should show more willingness to "compromise." Dozier also likened Collins to another former Republican Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, who is known for being "the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism."
Dozier began her report: "President Obama owes his stimulus package to three Senators from the losing side. Three renegade Republicans tipped the balance: Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania and two women Senators from the sparsely populated state of Maine – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins."
During a segment on the “Reliable Sources” hour of CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson agreed that it was fine for President Obama to call on Sam Stein of the Huffington Post at his first press conference, and that the correspondent’s left-wing question on a proposed “truth committee” investigation into the Bush administration was “perfectly reasonable.” Carlson also agreed with host Howard Kurtz’s assessment that the “White House press corps not exactly rolling over for the new president.” Her response: “Never do, do they?”
Ifill and Carlson participated in a panel discussion with The Washington Times’ White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni at the beginning of the 10 am Eastern hour of the CNN program. Kurtz brought up the topic of the first presidential news conference, and specifically, how Stein was one of the reporters who asked a question: “So is this a new era for bloggers, in terms of the White House recognition?”