I paused a bit before putting this post up because the last thing an AP reporter needs is some guy on the right telling him he did a good job. I suspect that it's not a resume enhancer.
That said, there are two reasons not to to ignore Terence Chea's coverage of the Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The first is how it contrasts with Brett Zongker's dismissive and incomplete coverage of the far larger DC March for Life the previous Wednesday. For starters, Chea appropriately described the San Francisco march as "massive"; Zongker's story covering a much larger throng in the hundreds of thousands had no comparable adjective. Put the two stories side by side, and the average reader might believe that the West Coast march was larger. Equally as interesting, Chea's accurate description of relatively minor legislative changes in abortion-related laws since Roe v. Wade make a mockery of the left's "war on women" battle cry. I'll compare the two stories after the jump.
Ever since MSNBC launched its sister website MSNBC.com, writer Zachary Roth has been obsessed with new voting laws, and has consistently demonized GOP-sponsored legislation as a form of voter suppression. Roth’s latest piece, published on January 28th, continued MSNBC’s scare tactics surrounding popular voter ID laws.
The title of Roth’s article fretted that the “GOP wants to change Missouri constitution for voter ID” and the MSNBC author made it clear once again where he stood on the issue of requiring voters to show a photo ID to vote.
In a shocking declaration on her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell asserted that one of America's fiercest enemies was actually a friend to the U.S. before George W. Bush came along: "Up until that moment, Iran was cooperating with the United States on the border of Afghanistan, it was post-9/11, Iran was more or less an American ally. By being included in the Axis of Evil, it turned the Iranian government in a completely different direction." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The topic came up when The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza told Mitchell that the last "memorable and impactful" State of the Union address was President Bush's 2002 speech labeling Iraq, Iran, and North Korea to be an "Axis of Evil." Mitchell interrupted: "No, let me challenge you on that....Colin Powell and the State Department did not focus enough on those words and get them taken out of the State of the Union."
In a weird way, you have to love the blatant, in-your-face disingenuousness of MSNBC. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the program's host trotted out the newest liberal rallying cry – former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) recent comments about the Democratic Party and women. As was the case on some other MSNBC programs last week, the network edited out all context from the former governor’s remarks, showing only the most embarrassing part.
After playing that edited, context-free clip of Huckabee, Witt remarked to Politico’s Juana Summers, “So Juana, Mike Huckabee has since said that the media distorted his comments. But why even open the door to that possibility?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Rush Limbaugh's response to President Obama blaming him and Fox News for people disapproving of his presidency, liberal talk radio host and frequent guest Joe Madison took Limbaugh's words out of context and asserted that Limbaugh admitted to "lying" about Obama.
The liberal talker then alluded to the controversy over some critics calling black NFL player Richard Sherman a "thug" and whether doing so has a racist motivation as Madison suggested that Limbaugh has called the President by the same word as a substitute for the N-word.
Referring to a soundbite of Limbaugh from a few minutes earlier, Madison deceptively charged:
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press and pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats accusing Republicans of a "war on women" despite their support of former President Bill Clinton, who "took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office." Despite Paul making on the comments on NBC, only CBS This Morning on Monday reported the remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers: "Senator Rand Paul says any Democrat who believes there's a GOP war against women should think about former President Bill Clinton....Paul said Sunday that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is a legitimate campaign issue."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose name has come up as a possible 2016 presidential contender, had his name splashed all over the nation by the establishment press three years ago when he largely succeeded in reducing the disproportionate influence of public-sector union members. That attention remained steady until Walker beat back a statewide recall in tbe spring of 2012.
One might argue that Walker's now-obvious success is boring and unworthy of national attention, except for the fact that the press still features Walker in national stories from time to time — really important stuff like the fact that he got selected for jury duty but didn't serve. Turning a projected $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus, bringing down the unemployment rate, and proposing an across-the-board tax cut? Forget about it. And what little coverage does occur is almost comical, especially from the mostly unionized Associated Press. Take the last sentence of the following excerpted paragraph from AP reporter Scott Bauer on Friday morning:
Everyone "knows" it is conservatives who are mean-spirited, intolerant, censors of speech with which they don't agree, anti-gay, anti-black and anti just about everything else, right? We know this because the left keeps telling us so.
Which is why in this era of increasingly corrosive language -- note the overuse of the f-word in the film "The Wolf of Wall Street" -- and acidic political discourse, recent comments by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), ought to shock and outrage everyone, regardless of party affiliation or ideology.
Appearing on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe asserted that Tea Partiers want someone to "be annoying and inflammatory" in responding to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address as the group discussed the news that Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee will give a Tea Party response to the President.
As if Weekends with Alex Witt weren’t bad enough, viewers were subjected to a weekday with Alex Witt as she guest-hosted the 11 a.m. hour of MSNBC Live on Friday. During a discussion with RNC communication director Sean Spicer, Witt brought up New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent insulting remarks about “extreme conservatives.” The weekend host played a clip of Cuomo’s comments and then tried to turn them into an indictment of the Tea Party.
Witt demanded of Spicer: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Carol Costello predictably carried water for the cultural left on Friday's CNN Newsroom during a segment about the firestorm over former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's "Uncle Sugar" attack on Democrats. Costello trumpeted how "Democrats are quite gleeful" over Huckabee's remarks, and bemoaned conservatives' opposition to ObamaCare's contraception mandate: "I just can't believe we're still talking about birth control in 2014. It's just weird to me."
The anchor also glossed over the religious liberty component to the debate, and suggested that the GOP/conservatives should just drop the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While NBC and the rest of the media slammed Mitt Romney in 2012 for daring to voice security concerns about the London Olympics, Friday's Today show welcomed the former Republican nominee with open arms as a suddenly respected Olympic expert and urged him to scrutinize the safety of the upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's stunning turnaround just happened to coincide with Romney no longer being a political threat to President Obama.
In a live interview with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled him on his interactions with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...you see the bridge scandal and other allegations have come forward. And they all seem to have a theme, which is that he uses, allegedly, hardball, sometimes bullying tactics against people who cross him. Have you never experienced that side of him?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Romney dismissed the notion: "No, Chris and I get along very well. We're close friends."
Piers Morgan sparred with Ann Coulter on his Wednesday CNN show over Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's vow to target the NRA in an upcoming movie and over the lack of new gun control regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. Morgan did his best to defend Weinstein, after Coulter blasted him for his "utter hypocrisy" in only recently condemning the impact of violent movies after making a fortune from them.
The British TV host later bemoaned how "there have been 35 separate school shootings in America since Newtown. Not a single changed any federal gun law in that time. Nobody on the pro-gun side seems prepared to relent about anything...to try and reduce the level of gun violence." The conservative author retorted that new firearms regulations wouldn't have done anything to stop them: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A big irony occurred on Tuesday's PoliticsNation when MSNBC's race-obsessed host, Al Sharpton, devoted a segment to fretting over right-leaning talk radio hosts and FNC hosts who have complained about a recent comment by President Barack Obama about there being "some" who harbor racist sentiments toward him.
But it was MSNBC political analyst and MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe who made comments most directly applicable to Sharpton himself as he complained that some "enjoy the politics of race" and find that it "really helps their ratings," adding that they try to "shout 'racist' louder than anyone else."
Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a day when the content of one's character, not the color of one's skin, was how Americans would evaluate each other. So when NAACP official and African-American clergyman the Rev. William Barber made statements fundamentally violative of the spirit of that dream on the Sunday preceding the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, you'd think it noteworthy for the liberal media. Not so much. At least, not when the target is conservative Sen. Tim Scott.
On Sunday evening at a church in Columbia, South Carolina, the Palmetto State's junior Republican senator was compared to a ventriloquist's dummy by Mr. Barber, who heads up North Carolina's chapter of the civil rights organization. For his part, Washington Post reporter and Post Politics blogger Aaron Blake hacked out a brief entry just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday which simply relayed to readers the controversial remarks, but failed to do any significant follow-up to add anything of value to the story, like say trying to pin down the national NAACP leadership for comment. Blake did, however, add an update which included Sen. Scott's reaction, and it reads as follows:
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Today about an upcoming Netflix documentary of Mitt Romney's two presidential runs, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker scratched her head over the footage taken by filmmaker Greg Whiteley: "One of the big questions is, why could this 90-minute documentary by a filmmaker convey a personal, human, warm side of Mitt Romney that his team of very high-paid strategists could not?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the reason lies in the way Parker and her media colleagues constantly portrayed Romney as being out-of-touch with voters. In one article after another during the 2012 campaign, Parker described Romney as being stuck in a "defensive" posture on every political issue he discussed.
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to hit back at the press on Sunday for supposedly misunderstanding his Friday morning statement to Susan Arbetter on the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in New York." As I noted on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Governor made it clear that "extreme conservatives" include those who are right to life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, and believe in traditional marriage.
But to go after the press, Cuomo's people had to find a news outlet besides a public radio station which actually reported on what he said. Even though his Friday remarks were self-evidently newsworthy, that appears to have been pretty difficult. The Associated Press's national site still doesn't have a story; nor does the New York Times or the Politico. Cuomo's peeps chose to go after the New York Post, whose Aaron Short went to the next step in Cuomo's stated logic in running a story headlined "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!." Team Cuomo's response in full follows the jump (bolds are mine; words Cuomo's people left out are in caps; other words Cuomo didn't say are crossed out):
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough acknowledged how eager his colleagues at the left-wing network were to take down Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "I mean, listen, you can attack the network if you want to, there are a lot of people that go after him gleefully, that's not shocking." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Scarborough was responding to criticism from Christie's administration over MSNBC hyping claims from Democratic Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that the Governor withheld Sandy relief funds for political reasons. Co-host Savannah Guthrie cited a Christie spokesperson "pushing back not just on the facts of the story, but on the network that broke the story....'MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him.'"
Much will be written, and should be, about President Barack Obama's whining that racism partially explains the year-long plunge in his popularity since his reelection in 2012. What's also worth noting about the ponderous and painfully long (18 web pages) January 27 writeup in The New Yorker ("Going the Distance; On and off the road with Barack Obama") is David Remnick's apparent obsessions with rewriting history and recasting reality.
But first, here's the paragraph where Obama, apparently feeling that the "it's Bush's fault I inherited all these messes" card may finally have worn itself out, goes for the race card (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Imagine if Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry told a public radio show's host that "people who support abortion, gun control, and same-sex marriage have no place in Texas." There would be breaking news alerts on every cable news station. It would be a press obsession for weeks. More immediately, there would be intense pushback from the show's host.
On the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter on Friday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is surely assessing the 2016 presidential landscape, asserted that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Arbetter just let Cuomo's remarks slide on by without meaningful follow-up, and arguably appeared to agree with their thrust. Audio and relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump.
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC's Chris Hayes ended the show with a commentary appealing to 16 Senate Democrats who are joining with Republicans to push more sanctions on Iran, as the MSNBC host blamed the pro-Israel group AIPAC for influencing these Democrats, and accused the Senators of being "intent on sabotaging the President's peace talks and pushing us towards another war."
As he listed out a number of public figures who oppose the Obama administration's deal with Iran, Hayes also framed skeptics of the deal as being "apoplectic at the thought of peace."
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton seemed to accuse Republicans of deliberately causing economic problems as "part of the plan" to attack President Obama during the midterm elections (video follows page break):
In May 2009, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, announced that it would be "launching an index that will provide monthly, multi-format updates on the economic stress of the United States down to the county level." Not a bad idea, especially if you were concerned that evidence of an economic recovery under Barack Obama would not otherwise be convincing.
The AP likely believed that since an overwhelming percentage of U.S. counties lean conservative (remember those Bush v. Gore county maps?), a large majority of U.S. counties would likely recover in time for the 2010 congressional elections, or in the worst-case scenario, the 2012 presidential election — even if the nation as a whole did not. A statement that "most counties in the U.S. have recovered from the recession" would have been quite useful in defending congressional Democrats and Barack Obama's incumbency. But a recently released report from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which was covered poorly by the Wall Street Journal and virtually ignored by almost everyone else, shows that it hasn't happened.
A search at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the name of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker (not in quotes) returns only two recent relevant items. One relates to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, where Walker is described as saying, in AP's words, "that (last week) he didn't know enough about the situation to comment ... (and) has remained silent in the days since details emerged." The other relates to Walker's brief jury duty stint last week.
Giving items relating to Walker national attention makes sense, given that his name frequently comes up as a possible GOP 2016 presidential contender. But if the two items just mentioned merit national coverage, why doesn't the fact that an out-of-control Democratic Wisconsin prosecutor attempting to dig up "coordination" between interested outside parties and Walker's 2012 campaign to turn back a recall effort just had his hat handed to him in court? On Friday evening, a Wall Street Journal editorial had the news (bolds are mine throughout this post; the link to a previous WSJ editorial was added by me):
Appearing on Wednesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw warned his media colleagues about their excessive coverage of the Chris Christie bridge controversy: "I do think, across the country, however, when they're looking at long-term unemployment, and they're looking at the uncertainty of the ObamaCare, they're saying, 'You've got to move on, guys.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brokaw continued: "You can only close those lanes for so long if you're in the national media. I do wonder if this had happened in Nevada, whether it would have gotten much attention."
Before anyone seeks to level a criticism for picking on someone's mistake, let's imagine what the press, which is so desperate to pin anything on Ted Cruz that one of its members recently tried to hold him responsible for others' comments on his Facebook page, would do to him if he made the error recently elected New Jersey Senator Cory Booker made two days ago on Twitter — and has yet to correct.
In a glowing profile of Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that amounted to a campaign commercial on Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Maria Shriver proclaimed: "Wendy Davis became a familiar name last year when she stood in her pink tennis shoes for eleven hours to defeat a Texas abortion bill. Even though the bill eventually passed, Davis became a star. And her story, her personal story, resonated across this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following footage of cheering Davis supports, Shriver lobbed this ridiculous softball to the Texas abortion heroine: "Everybody says Wendy Davis is an overnight sensation. Does it irritate you that people call you an overnight sensation?" Davis replied: "I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story. I am the epitome of hard work and optimism."
In an interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates for Yahoo News on Monday, newly-named global anchor Katie Couric urged him to express regret for criticism of President Obama in his new memoir: "Do you think in any way, shape or form that this was the wrong thing to do? It was just bad form?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gates replied: "No, I don't. The reality is there are a lot of contemporary issues that are at the heart of this book....And to write about them in 2017, it would be completely irrelevant." Couric followed up: "You have been known in Washington as the consummate team player, a real stand-up guy, a true patriot. Are worried this might tarnish your reputation?"