CNN's John Berman revealed on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360 that former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein is becoming the newest contributor to the cable news network. Berman turned to the liberal journalist for his analysis about the recent disclosure that Hillary Clinton once called Monica Lewinsky a "narcissistic looney toon."
Bernstein will be a good fit at the liberal network, which also just hired Obama supporter Michael Smerconish as a host. The Hillary Clinton biographer has a long history of slanting to the left. Here some of the most prominent examples of Bernstein's liberal bias from the archives of the Media Research Center: [video included below the jump for select quotes]
CNN president Jeff Zucker praised MSNBC guest host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday as he announced that the the cable news network would be giving the radio talk show host a weekly program: "We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN...At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN."
Smerconish's record, especially at MSNBC, actually does not point to independence, but liberalism. Here are the worst examples of the talker's slant to the left from the Media Research Center's archives: [video included below the jump for select quotes]
It may be that we can finally identify the type of criminal conviction which might cause the New England conference of the National Associations for the Advancement of Colored People to call for the removal of a state legislator.
Based on a conversation Boston Herald columnist and radio talk host Michael Graham had with the group's president, it appears that some form of felony conviction might do the trick. By contrast, a misdemeanor — apparently regardless of the nature of that misdemeanor — would not. The "if a Republican said something similar, all hell would break loose" observation will become obvious once readers see what former Massachusetts State Rep. Carlos Henriquez stands convicted of doing (HT to James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
On her Monday afternoon MSNBC program, Andrea Mitchell brought on RNC chairman Reince Priebus and beat him over the head on his party’s supposed need to sign on to a generous immigration reform which sets millions of illegal immigrants on the proverbial path to citizenship. Feigning concern for the GOP, Mitchell set up the interview by asking her audience a rhetorical question: “[D]oesn’t the Republican Party need to do something about immigration just for its own future?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
With an introduction like that, it was no surprise what came next. When Priebus appeared onscreen, Mitchell immediately pressed him on the matter, asking:
As I noted Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, displayed rare candor when he opened his 8:28 p.m. report on the latest unilateral changes to Obamacare by describing their motivation as "Angling to avoid political peril." I wrote last night that "I’ll be surprised if it (the "political" characterization) survives revisions later this evening." Well, it didn't.
At the AP's national site, the 8:28 p.m. link now goes to Alonso-Zaldivar's 3:27 a.m. rendition (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes). Just in time for review by morning news show producers and editors, the new story scrubs away any hint of political thinking on the part of the administration itself, instead depositing it with Democrats trying to hold the Senate in this November's elections. A national site search on "angling" confirms the old story's non-presence. There is a politics-related quote in the revised piece — but of course, only from a Republican.
A heated discussion between Fox News's Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera on Friday exemplifies two important points.
The first and most obvious is that the kind of discussion seen in the video segment which follows would rarely happen on Fox's cable competitors — yet it's Fox which the establishment press usually describes as biased to the right, while giving CNN and occassionally even MSNBC a pass. Second, Geraldo's position on O'Reilly's aggressive interview — which was, in essence, "How dare you!" — is a commonly held view on the left, whose representatives and reporters would never have had a problem with anyone using the same style with George W. Bush or any other Republican or conservative president. The video and key quotes from the segment follow the jump.
Leftist protesters trying to portray themselves as mainstream gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday to protest moves made by the Republican-dominated state government yesterday.
One of protesters' major objections is to a voter-identification law passed last year. That's more than a little ironic, because guess what organizers required march participants to have? That's right: photo identification. Though he waited 13 paragraphs to do so, Gary D. Robertson at the Associated Press, apparently aware that several prominent center-right Internet outlets had already noted the breathtaking hypocrisy (examples here, here, and here), actually told his readers about it; I could not find another establishment press outlet which did. However, Robertson, in classic AP style, cited a Republican critic instead of simply reporting the damning fact (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Leftist delusions can be amazing things. One of them is that the financial deck is stacked against their candidates and causes.
Reid Wilson at the Washington Post attempted to explain it all on Friday. On the plus side, at least he didn't try to pretend, as Evan Halper at the Los Angeles Times did in late December, that there's no one donating to Democrats and progressive causes with the financial clout of the Koch brothers except billionaire and relative newbie activist Tom Steyer. But while Wilson recognized the existence of large Dem donors, he bemoaned the fact that they are supposedly not as well organized, and that their motives, unlike the Kochs, are pure. Really (bolds are mine):
Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
To the liberal media, there is nothing sweeter than a Republican who attacks other Republicans. And ever since he left the George W. Bush administration, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has been willing to do just that, loudly and publicly.
Powell appeared on Friday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC to discuss education, but Mitchell eventually steered the conversation in a juicier direction. She asked about Powell’s past criticism of his own party: “You've been quoted -- you said that there's a dark vein of intolerance in your Republican Party.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.] Powell took that as an opportunity to rip the GOP as racist and xenophobic:
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave left-wing environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a platform to denounce the Keystone Pipeline. Kennedy ranted: "The people who are promoting this are the Koch brothers, who spent $2 million trying to hurt him [Obama], the Tea Party people in Congress, and the Republicans who have been trying to block every part of his agenda. There's nobody who traditionally supported him or traditionally supported the interests of children or the environment or democratic civilization as we – you know, at our highest ideals, that wants this thing to happen. It's a catastrophe, and he needs to use his power to say – just say no." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell's response to that outrageous pronouncement: "Robert Kennedy Jr., thank you very much. An impassioned plea against the pipeline."
On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that the Republican decision to put off immigration reform until after 2014 "is a long-term disaster for the GOP." He further declared: "If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision....that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes earlier, after playing a sound bite of House Speaker John Boehner explaining that Republicans simply couldn't trust President Obama to properly implement a new immigration law, Todd sneered: "The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws?"
Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline ("Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law") indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration's Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday's report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.
The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward's longer "fact check" ("ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY") currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward's piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let's first look at the full "modest drop" dispatch.
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell saw immigration reform as a way to save Barack Obama's floundering presidency: "This would be, you know, the jewel in the crown for this administration, they've had so few legacy things that have not been complicated. Health care is obviously complicated by the downsides. Immigration would be the real key to this second term." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus agreed: "It would be the jewel in the crown of an otherwise rocky second term..."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
Was Bill Kristol kidding—just throwing a sop to the not-inconsiderable ego of his host—or could he have been serious? On today's Morning Joe, unveiling his line-up of the nine Republicans he sees running for president in 2016, Kristol included none other than Joe Scarborough himself.
But in an unkind cut to someone prospectively facing the famously conservative GOP primary electorate, Kristol described Scarborough as "filling the Huntsman lane" and representing a "Morning Joe conservatism." Ouch! As interesting as were Kristol's nine [which included Sarah Palin] were the names he left off his list, including Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. View the video after the jump.
On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the New York Times had made a critical change to a story about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's possible knowledge of lane closures in the area of the George Washington Bridge. The initial story was that a Port Authority official "has evidence" in the matter. A short time later, that claim was watered down to a far more speculative "evidence exists."
The erroneous "has evidence" version of the story quickly went viral on Friday afternoon, and is what many news readers likely still believe — especially because there is still no indication at Zernike's story that any change from the original was made. Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has a problem with that — as she should. There also appears to be an undercurrent of frustration at the Times that what comes off as a "gotcha" strategy didn't stick to Christie (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Following White House talking points to the letter on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd bemoaned how "Republicans immediately seized on" the Congressional Budget Office report on ObamaCare costing the economy over 2 million jobs "and spun it the way they want to spin it." He fretted that Democrats would have a tough time defending ObamaCare "in the world of sound bites and 30-second TV ads." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin minutes later, Todd complained: "On health care, a lot of your Republican friends are taking it [the CBO report] and calling it – it is an unfair statement to – they should not be saying this is costing 2 million jobs, is that right?"
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle -- formerly of the New Republic -- accused Texas Senator Ted Cruz of "playing to the passions and paranoia" of the Republican base during a discussion of Cruz's criticism of the Obama administration's record of adhering to the law.
After host Al Sharpton played a clip of Senator Cruz's comments on President Obama, and singled out the Texas Senator's use of the terms "imperial presidency," and "unchecked power," Cottle began her response:
Alex Wagner made it clear that she was in Senator Harry Reid's Amen corner on the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, promoting the Nevada Democrat's green light to President Obama to use his controversial "year of action" end run around Congress to advance the agenda of leftist LGBT activists. Wagner expressed her hope that "with the White House promising a 'year of action'...we can only hope that creating a more fair and equitable society is on that list." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The host also spotlighted the reporting of ThinkProgress.org, and cited new Obama adviser John Podesta, but failed to disclose that she once worked for the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, which runs the left-wing website.
Chris Matthews is at it again. The liberal MSNBC anchor on Friday found a new way to deride conservative concern over Barack Obama's use of executive orders to get around Congress. Matthews dismissed it as unthinking and tribal, sneering, "I think it's a second term birtherism. 'He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Using his typical broad generalizations, Matthews railed, "This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. 'He really wasn't a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately elected president.'" According to the host, the concern over Obama's plan to sidestep Congress isn't even rational: "And this seems to be based upon ideology rather than events or even behaviors of the President."
On Thursday, MSNBC President Phil Griffin apologized for a Twitter post suggesting conservatives (“the rightwing”) are racists who would “hate” a cute new Cheerios ad because it featured a biracial family: “The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”
Griffin’s statement was a good first step, but if an apology is owed for this tweet, then MSNBC owes conservatives many, many more. The Media Research Center has compiled a long list of instances in which the network’s anchors have committed character assassination disguised as journalism, unjustly smearing conservatives, Republicans and the Tea Party as racists. Here are just some of the many outrageous examples we have documented:
Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
In the month of January, Comedy Central's Daily Show devoted over ten times more coverage to mocking Republicans or conservatives than to mocking Democrats or liberals.
The Daily Show aired 11 full segments that targeted conservatives or Republicans. Only one segment mocked President Obama – from the left – over his speech on the NSA spying program. Four segments mocked both conservatives/Republicans and Democrats/liberals.
The reluctance of abortion-rights advocates to call the procedure by its name, and their preference for euphemism, is legend.
To the euphemistic lexicon of "pro-choice," "women's health," "reproductive freedom," etc. ad nauseum, Charles Blow has made the latest contribution. His New York Timescolumn of today speaks of Republican candidates opposing "a full range of reproductive options for women." More after the jump.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NPR's resident ObamaCare booster, Julie Rovner, lionized outgoing liberal Congressman Henry Waxman on Friday's Morning Edition. Rovner trumpeted how "during his 40 years in the House, he focused on passing legislation – lots of legislation – the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Orphan Drug Act, nutrition labels, food safety, and the Affordable Care Act. Waxman played a major role in all of them."
The correspondent left out any conservative/Republican criticism of the California representative, and let a fellow Democratic member of Congress and two liberal talking heads laud the retiring politician, with one heralding him as the Ted Kennedy of the House. She did include two clips from Orrin Hatch, but the Utah Republican senator heaped praise on Rep. Waxman. Rovner also gave the congressman a chance to take a parting shot at the Tea Party-friendly caucus in Congress:
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that "the [Republican] governor of Georgia [Nathan Deal] chose to fall on his snow shovel" over how Tuesday's rare southern snowstorm "was handled, or better yet, mishandled" in the state. However, the coverage that followed failed to mention Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed by name even once. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In his report, correspondent Tom Costello declared: "A lot of anger directed toward city and state officials for failing to heed the weather forecasts. And today we learned that both the Governor and the director of the emergency services for the state were sleeping as those forecasts grew even more dire." Those "city officials" were not specified.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, substitute host Ari Melber tried to hype former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Sue Wagner, who left office almost 20 years ago, as a "conservative" who recently left the Republican Party because of the Tea Party.
But, as she appeared as a guest, Wagner quickly identified herself as having been "somewhat liberal my entire life," and put the icing on the cake at the end of the interview as she sdmitted to which news network she "always" watches.