Sometimes it’s convenient for a journalist to misinterpret someone else’s words in order to push his or her own narrative, and that was clearly what happened on Saturday’s edition of Weekends with Alex Witt on MSNBC. Alex Witt and various guests spent a good deal of time discussing Sen. Ted Cruz’s Friday appearance on The Tonight Show, and Witt seemed to take issue with this Cruz sound bite: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"I mean, I think the biggest divide we have is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is between entrenched politicians in both parties in Washington and the American people."
On MSNBC's PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton began the show with a segment in which he called Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli an "anti-woman crusader" and complained about "ugly words" and "venom and hate" after playing comments from conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Armed with evidence compiled by NewsBusters senior editor and Media Research Center director of research Rich Noyes, MRC president Brent Bozell sent letters to members of the boards of directors of two prominent newspapers in Utah, demanding that they offer their readers fair and balanced coverage of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R). You may recall that both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News savaged the Tea Party conservative senator for his attempt to defund ObamaCare.
"Your paper can no longer claim that Sen. Lee’s strategy was out of proportion or radical," Bozell wrote Ellis Ivory, chairman of the board of directors for the Deseret News Publishing Company. "Already the nation is seeing ObamaCare for the disaster that it is" with "more than 3.5 million... losing existing health insurance plans as a result of ObamaCare," the MRC founder noted, adding:
Trying to deflect from the political damage ObamaCare has done to Democrats, on Monday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander hyped GOP divisions: "...the Republican Party is facing a war within....Republicans have an issue over defining their brand, an ideological civil war of sorts." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an interview with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin following Alexander's report, co-host Matt Lauer sought to stoke that supposed "civil war": "[Governor Chris Christie] called the shutdown of the government and that strategy hatched by Ted Cruz and members of the Tea Party a 'monumental failure.' If you look at the results of the [New Jersey] election, isn't the message to the Tea Party that the middle ground, not the far right, is the most fertile ground for upcoming elections?"
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared that President Obama "apologized" for ObamaCare failures, "not only the issues with the website, but broken promises as well." Turning to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Lauer hoped Obama's vague statement of regret was the end of the story: "Did he say what he had to say?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Palin shot down Lauer's assertion that the President had taken responsibility for the disastrous health care rollout: "What apology? What apology? He kind of acknowledged a bit that there is a broken website. The broken website is the least of America's worries. This broken website, I think, is symbolic of a broken administration – takeover of 1/6 of our economy and this socialized medicine that's being crammed down our throat, that's what's broken."
For several decades, many on the left have tried to dodge the designation "liberal." They've called themselves "progressives" (sometimes "pragmatic progressives") or claimed to be non-ideological rather than accept the L-word, especially if they were running for office.
This past Wednesday, however, the Daily Kos blogger who calls himself "Crashing Vor" argued that the terminological tide is turning, and that it's "conservative" that's becoming not merely disreputable but, just maybe, synonymous with lunacy:
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein insulted conservative Republicans during an appearance on Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC. Responding to a New York Times opinion piece that likened the current GOP to the Republican Party of Joe McCarthy, Bernstein actually suggested that President Obama may be the one to moderate the GOP: “[T]he great contribution of Obama might be to help create a responsible Republican Party in the end.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough asked for an explanation, so Bernstein elaborated on how the president could achieve that end: “By what we're seeing now and the rejection of the Tea Party and the realization that you have to have a mainstream party and that Obama has made monkeys out of this wedge that is now on the defensive.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On the Wednesday's All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid recalled that she was "fuming" during New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's reelection victory speech as she griped that the Republican governor "hypnotizes reporters" by appearing "so gosh darn every man."
She and host Hayes went on to complain that Christie had satisfied a "low bar" of being a Republican who does not "hate" President Obama.
After Hayes described himself as "angry" about the speech, Reid began:
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor described the Republican Party as "built out of the old Dixiecrats" who "wouldn't want black and brown people living in their community" as she and MSNBC host Al Sharpton responded to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus alluding to the GOP's history of supporting the Civil Rights Movement. After a clip of Priebus, Sharpton posed:
On Tuesday, CNN's Carol Costello lectured Republicans to stop grilling HHS Secretary Sebelius over ObamaCare and "sit down with Democrats to come up with some solutions."
"What in your mind is the point of this? Haven't we heard enough from Kathleen Sebelius?" Costello huffed to GOP Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn as Sebelius testified before the Senate Finance Committee. Costello told her that "Americans want solutions" over more hearings. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The international community won't be voting in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but on Tuesday's AC360 Later CNN's Christiane Amanpour let viewers know that they disapprove of the "extreme wing of the Republican Party."
"Well, from an international perspective, I can tell you that there is a massive and mass scratching of heads as people out there look at what's going on in the United States," Amanpour declared before pointing to the shutdown and the threat of not raising the debt ceiling.
Political anaylst Charlie Cook bills himself as "non-partisan and independent." But on today's Morning Joe Cook couldn't curb his enthusiasm for Chris Christie. Cook said of Christie thatthere is "testosterone coming out of every more pore in his body" and that Christie's attitude "inoculates him against being called a RINO, pantywaist liberal Republican."
For good measure, Cook said he would "pay money" to see Christie reach down the throat and pull the lungs out of Tea Party member daring to call Christie a liberal! View the video after the jump.
Since the end of the partial government shutdown last month, national newspapers have zeroed in on conservative Utah Senator Mike Lee as a potential political casualty due to his leadership in developing the strategy of using the federal government’s October 1 funding deadline as a way to stop ObamaCare. “After a 16-day government shutdown, it’s Lee who faces a revolt within his own party,” the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker declared in an October 23 front-page story.
But for a statewide politician like Mike Lee (who doesn’t face the voters again until 2016), the reviews that truly matter are those of his home state’s media. Thus, Media Research Center analysts reviewed coverage from Utah’s two largest newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, analyzing all 116 news stories, editorials and opinion columns that talked about Lee’s role in the shutdown. Our study included all stories from September 17 through October 31 — a period beginning two weeks before the start of the shutdown and ending two weeks after the shutdown concluded. [Full results after the jump.]
On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd eagerly forecasted Republican defeat in the Virginia governor's race and that all the blame for the loss would be ascribed to conservatives: "There are a lot of anti-Tea Party Republicans who think the Tea Party has done damage to the Republican Party who are going....'You've got a Tea Party that took over the Virginia Republican Party and look at how that's going.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting the possibility that the Virginia GOP "could be swept this year" in all statewide offices, Todd concluded: "I think there's going to be a lot of 'I told you sos' on where the internal split of the Republican Party is. Virginia could be Tea Party losses. New Jersey, moderate Republicans winning."
This morning, in an apparent rush to get a jump on the rest of the excuse-making establishment press, Aamer Madhani at USA Today claimed that President Barack Obama's shameless, lame Monday night attempt to explain away his serial guarantee, namely that "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, period" — made roughly two dozen times in 2009 and 2010, and repeated on the campaign trail in 2012 — represented a "tweaking of his claim" in which he "added a caveat." So that makes it all okay. (/sarc)
Madhani also acted as if it's only Republicans who have directed "an avalanche of criticism" at Obama. He also swallowed the false line that "only" 5 percent of Americans have been affected, ignoring a similar impact in the small group market and several well-known large-employer terminations of plans which had been offered to part-timers and retirees. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
In her closing "Clear the Air" commentary on the November 4 Martin Bashir program, substitute host and longtime Florida resident Joy-Ann Reid rewrote the political history of Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who announced today that he will run for the governorship in the 2014 election cycle.
Reid suggested that Florida Democrats should get over their suspicions about the turncoat and get behind Crist to better ensure that the governor's chair is flipped over to Democratic control. In doing so, however, Reid virtually threw liberal African-American and loyal Democrat Kendrick Meek under the bus:
Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, MSNBC host Chris Matthews launched into a rant denouncing Republicans for daring to be critical of the disastrous ObamaCare rollout: "...one party has a health care plan, the other party does not have one. And the one that does not have a health care plan is least able to be critical....It doesn't have the moral credibility to mock the one party and the one president who has succeeded." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews implored President Obama: "He has to return it to the issue of morality and the fact that we owe our brothers and sisters health care...He can't get involved in letting this be judged on whether it's successfully rolled out or not, he has to make it back to the question, should we try to bring health care to people who don't have it or not? And put his enemies on the defensive."
A recent Washington Post report handed MSNBC an opportunity to blame their rivals for the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, and the Lean Forward network appears to be taking advantage.
On Monday’s The Cycle, MSNBC contributor Perry Bacon was on to discuss Saturday’s report that fear of Republican criticism caused the Obama administration to work slowly and secretively on the development of Healthcare.gov. Bacon summed up the White House’s political concerns like this: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Promoting his new book about the 2012 election, Double Down, with co-author Mark Halperin on Monday's NBC Today, New York Magazine national affairs editor John Heilemann offered Obama campaign spin to excuse the President's disastrous performance in the first debate against Mitt Romney: "...[Obama's] disdain for Romney, his contempt for Romney, he couldn't figure out how to deal with that. He would say, 'What am I supposed to do when he starts spewing his BS?'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Heilemann laughably added that Obama also had "contempt for the theatricality of politics," which, "all got mixed up together and he gave this horrible practice session performance that left them totally stymied about how they were going to fix it" before the second debate with Romney.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, during a discussion of Republican Senator Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, making a birther joke about President Obama, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans prefer minorities who "repudiate" political views supported by minorities. Singling out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she griped:
Monday's CBS This Morning revealed how "a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of ObamaCare". Major Garrett underlined that "the warnings were dire and specific, and ultimately ignored" by the Obama administration. Instead, they "relied on appointed bureaucrats and senior White House health care advisers" to implement the health care law.
Garrett also pointed out how "the White House became secretive about the law's complexity and regulatory reach" because they were apparently "fearful of constant attacks from congressional Republicans" over the controversial issue. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
I just don't understand it. Everywhere we turn, we conservatives are told we need to moderate, be less extreme, be more bipartisan. The public just wants us all to get along and solve our major problems together.
Democratic politicians and the liberal media harp on the alleged extremism of mainstream conservatism, the tea party, Sen. Ted Cruz, conservative talk radio and anyone else who dares to call out President Obama and his Democratic congressional cohorts in plain language for what they're doing to the country.
On the Thursday, October 31, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, after host O'Donnell raised new numbers showing that the federal budget deficit has shrunk, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- dismissed Republican concerns over the deficit. O'Donnell began by posing:
I think we have the winner in the "If a Republican or conservative had said it" media bias category this year, if not this decade.
In the book "Double Down" by liberal journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (reviewed by Peter Hamby at the Washington Post on Friday), President Barack Obama, while discussing drone strikes in 2012, reportedly told aides that he's "really good at killing people." This would have been headline news three seconds after Hamby's review, and Hamby would have headlined it himself instead of casually mentioning it in Paragraph 11. A Google News search on an obvious search string ("really good at Killing people" obama; sorted by date) at 6:45 p.m. returns only 11 items, none of which are establishment press outlets. Michael Kelley at Business Insider, which did not show up among the search items returned, had some interesting thoughts on Obama's alleged remark Saturday evening (bolds are mine throughout this post; Update: important links relating to CIA practices which can only be considered barbaric are in the original):
Bill Maher was a guest on Piers Morgan's CNN show on Tuesday night; the interview segment was replayed on Friday (thanks to NB's Noel Sheppard for that catch). Among other things, Maher confirmed that he is a member of the left's unreality-based community when he described MSNBC as "very rarely wrong" and Fox News's Bill O'Reilly as someone who "says something that is insanely off-base and not true" almost every night.
Maher also lamented what he sees as CNN's biggest problem: They're trying to "play it down the middle," and viewers don't want that.
Charlie Crist will formally announce his Florida 2014 gubernatorial candidacy on Monday. He served as Republican Governor of the Sunshine State from 2007 to 2011. He is now running as a Democrat. In 2010, he fell from being a prohibitive front-runner in that year's U.S. Senate race to a virtual afterthought after Marco Rubio's ascendance.
In the course of a fawning writeup about Crist's candidacy, the Associated Press, in a story carried at the Politico, made the following historically questionable claim about Crist:
On Bill Maher's HBO show Friday night, Democratic National Committe Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that President Obama's promise to the American people made over 20 times during a span of over two years, namely "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," was not a lie.
Maher, appeared to warm to the idea that it was a lie, but at crunch time decided that it was something, like Bush 41's "no new taxes" pledge, that "did not hold up to the realities of governing," representing "a moral complexity I'm okay with 'cause I'm not twelve." Far-far lefty Rob Reiner also felt it necessary to criticize Republicans "who are refusing to make this better." Maher, though he didn't seem to like it, finally concluded that Obama, who in his mind previously had an "almost sterling reputation for honesty," now faces the reality that "to a certain extent that ship (of his credibility) has sailed." Video and a partial transcript are after the jump (HTs to The Blaze and Mediaite, which in my view falsely portrayed Maher's degree of disagreement; bolds are mine):
As individual and small group health care policy cancellations pour in and HealthCare.gov continues to be a phenomenal embarrassment, Obamacare's apologists, when they're not promoting laughable conspiracy theories about Republican "sabotage," are desperate to find something good to say about it.
On Al Sharpton's MSNBC show Thursday night (HTs to Hot Air, The Blaze and National Review), MSNBC analyst Goldie Taylor tried this "logic": "Health care costs alone are the number one driver of financial distress in this country for families. The number one cause of divorce in this country for families is financial distress." Therefore, because Obamacare is providing affordable health care "for all families," it is saving marriages and keeping families together, and it is hypocritical for Republicans, as the self-described party of families, to oppose it. Too bad for Ms. Taylor that, as will be shown after the jump, Obamacare really discourages marriage while encouraging currently married couples to divorce and shack up — impacts which have been known and almost completely ignored by the establishment press since early 2010.
What an odious piece of garbage. Today'sPolitico, in an article by Todd Purdum, accuses Republicans of "calculated sabotage" of Obamacare, comparing their opposition to the "pattern of 'massive resistance' not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954."
Purdum himself seems to recognize just how loony he comes off, writing "[t]hat may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory . . . But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge." Sabotage, really? People who understand democracy would call it entirely legitimate opposition to a philosophy and a program that millions of Americans believe undermine what this country should be about. More after the jump.
Nicolle Wallace has yet again demonstrated why she's a Morning Joe kind of Republican.
Two weeks ago, even after the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, Nicolle Wallace wasn't sure she opposed the big-government monstrosity. Today, when Joe Scarborough alluded to Clinton's infamous "what difference does it make?" line about Benghazi, there was Wallace riding to Hillary's defense: "I don't think she meant it that way." View the video after the jump.