On Friday, McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed detailed two major developments over the past decade or so that, according to some on the right, have hurt conservative book publishing: specialty imprints such as Threshold Editions have had the effect of relegating most righty books to a "niche" a la "science fiction or nutritional self-help guides," and this segregation has created economic pressure for those imprints to issue titles by "cable news and radio provocateurs" instead of "combative intellectuals" in the tradition of the late Allan Bloom.
Coppins presents the massive popularity of Bloom's 1987 work The Closing of the American Mind as the Big Bang for right-leaning books. He opines that it forced establishment publishers to realize "a potentially lucrative fact: Conservatives knew how to read."
MSNBC is at it yet again, slandering conservatives wishing to protect the religious liberties of business owners as "anti-gay" bigots.
The latest example comes with the headline for Adam Serwer's March 21 story, "Georgia Republicans tack anti-gay amendments onto unrelated bills." To his credit, Serwer himself avoided needless invective, giving a rather fair description of the controversy at hand, even though it was a bit paltry in space devoted to those favoring the legislation. What's more, Serwer seemed rather incurious as to how the average Georgian feels about corporate interests -- you know, the bad guys in the eyes of the Left when they favor tax cuts and other pro-business moves -- being a significant factor in scotching the bill (emphasis mine):
Let me begin by saying that I think the only issue in the 2014 election should be Obamacare. In fact, that should be the only issue in every election until it's repealed.
I also think all Republican candidates should be trained with shock collars and cattle prods to automatically respond, upon hearing some combination of the words "abortion," "rape" and "incest": "Yes, of course there should be exceptions in the case of rape or incest, and I also support giving rapists the death penalty, unlike my Democratic opponent, who wants to give rapists the right to vote. Now, back to what I was saying about Obamacare ..."
California Governor Jerry Brown apparently thinks he's some kind of comedian. I would suggest that he not quit his current day job, but many readers would probably prefer he do that.
At a union-organized joint legislative conference on Monday, as reported in the Sacramento Bee, Brown told the following knee-slapper in connection with the high-speed rail project which is on track (excuse the pun) to become the mother of all public works boondoggles: "There's a lot of old people who shouldn't be driving ... They should be sitting in a nice train car working on their iPad, having a martini." More from the Bee's blog post (I would not know if it made it to the paper's print edition) follows the jump:
Appearing on NBC's Late Night on Tuesday – aired early Wednesday morning – New Yorker editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick defended Barack Obama's poor handling of the Ukrainian crisis by bashing George W. Bush: "I think President Obama was elected not to get into more wars....his predecessor, President Bush, foolishly, at the very best, got into a war in Iraq that was a disaster." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Remnick continued: "And by the way, it gives [Russian President Vladimir] Putin some justification [to invade Ukraine]. He says, 'Don't lecture me. Don't lecture me about invasion,' and so on. No matter how justified or not that may be, that's a point he goes out and makes in front of his own people."
Interviewing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Wednesday, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd desperately tried to paint the GOP as anti-woman by ironically citing the top woman in the Texas Republican Party observing that men are better at negotiating higher salaries in the workplace. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd melodramatically proclaimed: "...you talked about figuring out better ways to talk to women....But here's the executive director of the Texas Republican Party....I know you're going to say you can't speak and defend everybody's comments, but this is somebody representing the Republican Party in the state of Texas. These things accumulate."
In a refreshing change of pace, CNN's John King skeptically wondered on Tuesday's New Day about the White House touting the five million "enrollments" in ObamaCare: "They wanted to get the seven million by March 31 – unlikely they'll get there....How important are the next couple of weeks, and...if they get to six, can they spin that as a success, or is this baked in as a failure?"
King later pointed out that "even if they get some policy numbers that point them toward success – maybe not where they wanted to get, but close to that – can they change the political dynamic out in the country? Because if you go to these key states, it seems like ObamaCare is still a liability." Despite this, New Day anchor John Berman still trumpeted the five million figure: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One of the more annoying aspects of establishment press coverage of many controversial issues is the outlets' tendency to act as if opposition to many things (really almost anything) which advance the left's agenda springs exclusively from Republicans. One obvious example is abortion, as if you can't be pro-life and libertarian or liberal (see: Nat Hentoff).
Another budding example has to do with governance of the Internet. Late Friday afternoon, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announced its "intent to transition key Internet domain name functions" to "the global multistakeholder community." Obviously, there is Republican opposition to this move, but you don't have to be either to be opposed. Predictably, though, Jessica Meyers and Erin Mershon at the Politico headlined ("Defenders of Net transition: GOP off base") and framed their writeup as if that's the case. Excerpts from their report and an an excerpt from a blog post at the nonpartisan Information and Technology Innovation Foundation follow the jump.
Lest there be any doubt, Amanda Marcotte really hates pro-lifers. In a two-part rant posted March 14 and 17 on Raw Story, the morally challenged feminist writer attacked pro-lifers as “consummate liars,” “anti-choice kooks” with “boring,” “half-baked nonsense” and “shit arguments.”
But Marcotte’s hate doesn’t stop at pro-lifers. It extends to the babies they want to protect.
Former Louisiana Governor and convicted felon Edwin Edwards now wants to be the Bayou State's Sixth District congressman — as a Democrat.
In his coverage of Edwards' improbable but obviously not impossible candidacy, Associated Press reporter Kevin McGill simply took it for granted that Edwards can appear on the November ballot as a Democrat. That shouldn't be automatic, as a recent example from next door neighbor Alablama demonstrates. Excerpts and discussion follow the jump:
One of the more humorous attempts at furious spin this weekend occurred over at the New York Times. Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker somehow managed to cover how association with President Barack Obama is becoming “poisonous” to Democratic Party candidates in this fall's elections without identifying or even acknowledging the existence of the primary reason for his toxicity — namely his repeated guarantees, now all proven false, that "If you like your plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period."
Martin and Parker claim that the Dems' biggest hurdles are HealthCare.gov's awful rollout and the administration's inept marketing of Obamacare (HT Powerline; bolds are mine):
On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews continued his tirade targeted at Democrats from the previous day, in the wake of the party's loss in the special election in Florida on Tuesday. The MSNBC host bemoaned how supposedly, "Republicans say, we've got to cut entitlements....And yet, they don't pay a price for it politically. I'm determined that they pay a price for their words."
Matthews added that "Democrats better be focusing on what Republicans are promising to do – on issues like choice; on issues like voter suppression – or they're going to get their asses handed to them this November." He later zeroed in on how Republicans apparently "exploited" Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink's "reasonable" approach during her campaign: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
MSNBC continues to fail to take the IRS targeting scandal seriously. On Thursday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Ms. Wagner and her guest, Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post, showed their utter disdain for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his committee’s ongoing investigation into the scandal. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wagner took particular offense to Issa’s move to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, dismissing it as an attempt to “gum up the government works.” Mocking Issa and his fellow House Republicans, Wagner screeched:
MSNBC's Ronan Farrow marked the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on Thursday by browbeating the Catholic Church for supposedly thwarting the fight against AIDS in the developing world, and for the Church's apparent lack of action in stopping genocide. Farrow played up how "Church social policies often fly in the face of skyrocketing HIV rates," and bemoaned how "the Church does still ban contraception in those places. Is that costing lives?"
The neophyte TV host asked one of his priest guests, "You don't think that it's irresponsible, given the emphasis on mercy and the preservation of life, that there's not more leeway on that doctrine?" He also played up how "brutal conflicts in countries with significant Catholic populations demand attention that some say the Church is failing to provide," and faulted the Church for its apparent inaction during the genocide in Rwanda almost 20 years ago: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Reacting to Idaho passing a law to allow teachers and students to carry guns on college campuses, Thursday's NBC Today promoted a Boise State University professor opposed to the legislation who authored a New York Times Op/Ed absurdly titled: "When May I Shoot a Student?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer hyped how the satirical essay was "spurring debate over guns on campuses." Fill-in co-host Tamron Hall fretted over the "controversial measure" to let citizens exercise their Second Amendment rights and declared professor Greg Hampikian's Times article to be "eye-opening."
Talking to Donald Trump on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer complained about the Celebrity Apprentice host and CPAC speaker criticizing President Obama's poor handling of the Ukranian crisis: "You've been critical of the President and his handling of the situation with Ukraine and Crimea. I think you said, I'm paraphrasing here, but basically Putin was playing with or toying with Obama. That is kind of a common refrain of yours....you always think that Obama is being weak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Trump, on to promote the 2014 Miss USA pageant set to air on NBC in June, pointed out that "a lot of other people" had been equally critical of Obama's foreign policy. Lauer countered: "What would you have done differently than he did in the days before Russian troops went into Crimea?" Trump replied: "Well, first of all, it should have never happened." Lauer pressed: " But what would you have done immediately?"
When I wrote a book about mobs and group-think a few years ago, I could honestly say that mob behavior existed exclusively on the left in America -- unless you count Oakland Raiders tailgate parties, which I do not. As described in "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America," the distinctive characteristics of the mob mentality include:
OXON HILL, Md. -- The first "people" I recognized on arriving at last week's Conservative Political Action Committee gathering just outside Washington were two "stormtroopers" and a Wookiee from the 1977 film "Star Wars."
Some of the speeches also expressed sentiments from the past, though not as cleverly as those in costume: Obama is a bad president, even a bad man. America looks weak before the world. Government is too big and taxes too high. "The Force" seemed to have left the building, or perhaps it never arrived.
[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."
What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]
The mainstream media typically pay a great deal of attention to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. In the past few days, two prominent lefty bloggers have ventured to explain why.
In a post this past Saturday, the last day of CPAC 2014, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall asserted that the top two reasons the conference gets a lot of media coverage are that its proximity to Washington makes it "an easy and cheap decision" for news outlets "to send at least one reporter and often many," and that:
CNN anchor Jake Tapper went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday, and naturally the 2016 presidential race came up as a discussion topic. Referring to the battle for the Republican nomination, Tapper proclaimed, “[I]t is a wide-open field, and there is no one, literally no one I would discount.”
The veteran political journalist then rattled off a few GOP hopefuls he would not discount – Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman. He wouldn’t even discount New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in spite of the current bridge controversy. But then Hewitt’s co-host, Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller, asked, “What about Joe Scarborough 2016?” [YouTube video embedded below the break.]
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
When Obama IRS official Lois Lerner yet again pleaded the Fifth Amendment last Wednesday rather than answer challenging questions during a congressional hearing, the liberal media stifled yawns. To the extent the March 5 hearing was covered, media attention turned to the post-hearing fireworks between ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) rather than the substance of the questions Ms. Lerner refused to answer on the record under oath.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon with MSNBC.com lamenting how "Christie aides double[d] down on Fifth Amendment" in a state investigative probe of the Bridgegate scandal. Here's how staff writer Aliyah Frumin reported the story [emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break]
It was an absolute certainty that MSNBC would attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) following his Thursday morning speech at CPAC. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host wrung her hands over Cruz’s continued criticism of ObamaCare. With the air of an impatient mother, Witt fumed, “I know he’s just serving up red meat to the base. Republicans believe this is going to help them in the midterms. But aren't we past that yet?”
GOP strategist Susan Del Percio, a real MSNBC-type Republican, seemed to feel the same way about Cruz. She replied to Witt’s question, “Not if you're Ted Cruz. I mean, that's what he has become known as, is as a firebrander. He just throws this stuff out there.” With timid, apologetic Republican analysts like Del Percio, it’s no wonder MSNBC can’t have any real debates on their programs. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory wondered if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 2016 presidential chances were "done" following the Bridgegate scandal. In response, National Journal's Ron Fournier cited Christie's Friday CPAC address: "Ironically, he might have done himself some good with the Republican primary audience because he now can beat up on the media." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory joked: "Thank God the media's still here because what else would they talk about CPAC if we weren't here to kick around?" Fournier replied: "It's all we're good for sometimes."
Here was the Morning Joe panel bemoaning Ted Cruz's supposed incivility at CPAC in allegedly insulting war hero Bob Dole, when up pops Mike Barnicle to ask "what does it say about CPAC, where the most popular speaker they had, the one who received the most rousing reception is a moron, Sarah Palin?"
A bit later, Mika Brzezinski piled on, calling Palin a "multi-million dollar moron." When Joe Scarborough challenged her, saying "you don't think that, right?", Mika didn't retract her slur, saying only that Palin is "savvy in selling a message that makes a lot of money." View the video after the jump.
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl following his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and from the beginning was met with a barrage of questions over his outspoken criticism of President Obama.
The interview, which aired on Sunday’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos, featured a myriad of topics including repealing ObamaCare. During the segment, Senator Cruz mocked how the “media treats that as a bizarre proposition” to which Karl laughed and asserted “it is because he’s not going to sign it. It is a bizarre proposition.” [See video below.]