Appearing as a guest on the Friday, October 18, PoliticsNation show, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry characterized the government shutdown as Republicans "effectively impeaching" President Obama as she fretted that the GOP will create "crisis after crisis" so that Obama "never will have an opportunity to actually enact a second policy agenda."
Host Al Sharpton complained about Republicans talking about thwarting President Obama's agenda:
Just behind the "war on women" and charges of racism, MSNBC's third favorite bogeyman is the specter of "voter suppression." The network was obsessed with that meme in 2012 and will doubtless pound the pulpit on it in the congressional midterms, but it's been relatively quiet about it in 2013. That changed today when MSNBC Live anchor Thomas Roberts brought on Kathy Culliton-Gonzalez of The Advancement Project to forward the complaints of Virginia Democrats against a state voter registry clean-up that has removed about 38,000 from the state's rolls. Liberal Democrats in the Old Dominion took the state to court for daring to kick off the voter registry folks who had registered to vote in other states after having registered in Virginia. Federal judge Claude Hilton turned down their request to reverse the move.
In part two of an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday's NBC Today, focused on his new book about his struggle with heart disease, co-host Savannah Guthrie couldn't resist the chance use Cheney's health problems to promote big government: "...some of this technology that ultimately lead to the pump that kept you alive before you could have the [heart] transplant started in 1964 with government funding. So you can look at it as you're a living, breathing example of government investment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed a "civil war" in the Republican Party and persistently urged him to blame it on the Tea Party. Instead, Cheney began the exchange by explaining: "I think the most radical operator in Washington today is the President. I think he's trying to take the country in a direction that is fundamentally different than anything we've seen before." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie was undeterred and continued to stoke GOP division: "And you would think that might be a unifying moment for the party but instead you have Senator Lindsey Graham this weekend calling the shutdown 'a political gift to Democrats'....Mitch McConnell said, 'I think we fully acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy is.' That suggests there is a real rift."
John Dickerson could not have been more blunt on Monday's CBS This Morning about the political damage HealthCare.gov's well-established technical difficulties is already causing President Obama: "It's been far worse than a glitch. It's been a total fiasco, as Senator McCain said. And the problem here is that the administration could get into, sort of, a credibility death spiral."
The liberal political director, who is usually an Obama apologist, also surprisingly acknowledged that conservatives were right in their longstanding criticisms of ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Continuing to hammer home the Democratic talking point that the Republican Party is to blame for the government shutdown, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gloated: "Politically, it's widely agreed to have been a big loss and self-inflicted wound mostly for the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a later report, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell asserted: "For many Republicans, they're now at that acceptance phase after a bruising defeat. Many, are admitting mistakes, assessing some responsibility." She then noted how "one of the most visible and divisive figures in this whole episode," Texas Senator Ted Cruz, "started the day trying to create some goodwill" by greeting visitors to the U.S. Capitol.
Well, the federal government has been reopened and the debt ceiling has been raised, but to hear CBS’s Bob Schieffer tell it, you would think the United States just made it through another civil war. On Friday’s CBS This Morning, Schieffer compared the recent shutdown haggle to America’s bloodiest war.
The chief Washington correspondent was on the program to discuss the aftermath of the partial government shutdown when he made this comment: “I think the model for Democrats right now is Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address when he said, ‘With malice toward none and charity for all, let us go forward now,’ and so forth.” [See video below the break.]
In an interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on his Thursday night show, CNN's Piers Morgan sounded just like a Democratic strategist.
Morgan told the Democrat that "you sound eminently reasonable" and accused Sen. Ted Cruz of being the problem in Washington. "[H]e thinks that getting the shutdown was good business for Ted Cruz, Incorporated. What are you going to do about this young renegade who doesn't really care about being reasonable?" Morgan asked Manchin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Krystal Ball asserted that Tea Party Republicans have been "actually destructive," blaming them for "destroying economic growth in this country," before later fretting that it is "frightening" that "radical elements" in the Republican Party did not "learn a lesson" from recent events. Ball:
As the government shutdown was nearing it's end Wednesday evening, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conducted a live interview with John McCain, urging the Arizona Senator to slam fellow Republicans over the budget showdown: "Senator, let's talk about the damage in order, to the country, to your party, your profession, and how much of this do you lay at the feet of Senator Cruz from Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McCain began by noting political damage for both parties in the wake of the stalemate but then quickly obliged Williams, launching into an rant against conservatives in Congress: "The problem with their strategy was that it was a fool's errand. We were not going to de-fund ObamaCare. That's why we had an election in 2012. That's part of what that was all about. So it was a terrific mistake. We inflicted pain on the American people that was totally unnecessary....We Republicans have a hole that we've got to come out of."
Hours after President Obama lectured Republicans about governing, CNN boosted his agenda by ordering conservatives and the Tea Party to "lighten up" on Thursday's The Situation Room.
"So while the President is calling for a change in behavior and tone here in Washington, listen to this from CNN's Fareed Zakaria writing in today's Washington Post. He takes direct aim at what he calls the extreme rhetoric of the right," noted The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer. Zakaria explained his withering indictment of conservatism and smacked the "extreme" Tea Party.
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe asserted that Republicans like Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert "should never have been elected [to] office in the first place," as he joined host Al Sharpton in lambasting several Republicans who have talked about impeaching President Obama.
Wolffe, who was a regular on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and other MSNBC shows during the years when the subject of impeaching Bush administration members was sometimes raised, was critical of Texas voters as he responded to several soundbites of Texas political figures talking about impeachment. Wolffe began:
Who's going to break the news to MSNBC's Chris Matthews? Apparently, a study by Yale University -- you know, that great New Haven bastion of conservatism -- finds that folks who self-identify with the Tea Party are more literate when it comes to scientific matters than non-Tea Partiers.
If and when this knowledge causes the Hardball host's head to explode, I hope the suits at MSNBC will be kind enough to donate Chris's cranium to science. Former NewsBuster Matt Vespa has more at our sister site CNSNews.com. Here's an excerpt:
Norah "we shouldn't editorialize" O'Donnell boosted President Obama mere seconds after the liberal politician finished his Thursday presser about the end of the partial government shutdown. The CBS anchor claimed that Obama was trying to "be, sort of, the grown-up in the room, and to look forward and say, here are the three ways we can now work together. "
O'Donnell later asserted that the President had gone back to his semblance of a bipartisanism in his lecture-like address: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The following sentence appeared in a writeup on the ongoing failure known as HealthCare.gov by Politico reporters Kyle Cheney, Jason Millman and Jennifer Haberkorn: "President Barack Obama has gotten surprisingly few questions about the enrollment problems as the country — and Republican critics of the health law — focused on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling battle."
Gosh, President Obama has been in front of the press several times during the shutdown. Whose fault is it that no national establishment press reporter has questioned him about HealthCare.gov? Excerpt from the three Politico stooges' report following the jump (bolds are mine):
Teasing an upcoming softball interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell wondered: "Does she now hold all the cards after President Obama says the Speaker has lost control?" Mitchell later introduced Pelosi by proclaiming: "John Boehner is gonna have to turn to the Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to save the country from default, to put up Democratic votes to get this [budget deal] through." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Near the end of the friendly exchange, Pelosi credited her Senate counterpart for the deal: "I never saw anything like what Harry Reid did. To watch him was to watch a master at work. He was superb, intellectually, politically astute." Mitchell seized on that comment to make a sycophantic segue: "Speaking of masters at work, you have just been inducted, as I understand it, into the Women's Hall of Fame, which is such a high honor. So congratulations to you. "
It’s no secret that the liberal media sympathize with the Democrats’ position on the current government shutdown (and on most policy matters, really). Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown underscored that point on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour when she spun the failure of a House bill as a net positive because it was what Democrats were hoping for.
Brown was making a guest appearance on the NewsHour to report on the latest developments in negotiations to end the shutdown. She announced that the latest House GOP bill was collapsing due to a lack of support in that chamber. Brown then gave her two cents on the matter: [See video below the break.]
Eager to declare Republican defeat in the budget showdown on Wednesday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "As John McCain said, Republicans have to understand, 'We lost this battle.' Let's put this very simply, after a shutdown that lasted 16 days, a shutdown led by House Republicans who wanted to undermine the President's new health care law, by the end of today, those Republicans may leave with little to nothing...to show for it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie used the same talking points in an interview with Republican senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Kelly Ayotte minutes later: "Some of your Republican colleagues over there [in the House] said you guys are the 'Senate surrender caucus.' Are you angry, embarrassed, frustrated?...Do they still need a reality check today? Do you agree with what Senator McCain said, which was essentially, 'This fight is lost, it's time to move on'?"
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor accused the Heritage Foundation of "strapping dynamite to the bridge" in trying to influence the agreement to end the government shutdown, and went on to mock Heritage President Jim DeMint as wearing "clown pajamas."
After host Al Sharpton griped about DeMint being a "far, far right" influence on congressional members, Taylor complained:
Tea Party conservative Republicans like Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Texas) are nothing more than a racist "clavern of sociopaths" who are eager to saddle the country's first black president with a default on the nation's debt. That was the latest foaming-at-the-mouth bile from ultra-liberal Daily Beast's contributor Michael Tomasky this morning.
"Clavern," of course, is not a real word, but "klavern" is the term the KKK uses to refer to one of its local chapters. Of course, Tomasky would have to conduct a seance to talk to the last member of the U.S. Senate who knew what a klavern was from person experience -- former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) -- and the only black member of the U.S. Senate is conservative Republican Tim Scott (S.C.) -- a staunch opponent of ObamaCare -- but those inconvenient facts don't fit Tomasky's simplistic boil-everything-down-to-Republican-racism narrative (emphasis mine)
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford repeatedly underlined that the launch of HealthCare.gov has been a fiasco. After Norah O'Donnell noted the "rough start to ObamaCare", Crawford blunted stated that "'rough start' could be the understatement of the year. It has been a complete disaster." She pointed out that "we can't even find anyone who's enrolled. The Miami Herald is now calling them urban legends."
The correspondent later spotlighted how "the failures [of ObamaCare] are well documented, but the success stories are not." She also asserted that "the backlash, the criticism, the complete failure of this rollout" would be more apparent if the partial government shutdown hadn't happened. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Amidst all the blather about Republicans going over the cliff and taking the world with them, a tantalizing bit of truth broke through on today's Morning Joe. Doomsaying notwithstanding, the GOP is actually positioned to do OK in 2014.
Making the comment particularly surprising was its source: none other than Barack Obama's former senior adviser himself—David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this government shutdown has been the inability of the average person to get a handle on what's really going on.
Outfits like the network evening news shows, the Associated Press, the New York Times and others compose their spin, and almost invariably tilt their coverage towards the Obama administration and Democrats; developments favoring the GOP and conservatives, if mentioned at all, get washed away. Two examples from today of shutdown settlement ideas President Barack Obama rejected will prove the point.
CNN anchor Don Lemon once again ripped into Republicans on Tuesday's Tom Joyner Morning Show. Lemon claims that he is non-partisan, but given his repeatedtirades against the GOP and the Tea Party, one has to wonder about that.
The GOP is "dominated by aging white Americans and some very vocal bigots," Lemon insisted, and "no longer represents the changing demographics of this country." He said the party is "blinded by the Obama hate trees,""in a death spiral," and needs to lay off the "haterade."
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, after beginning a segment about a conservative rally in D.C. by displaying a Confederate Flag in the background, host Chris Hayes asked if connecting the Confederate Flag to the Tea Party was "fair" based on just one instance of its display.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams continued to blame Republicans for the government shutdown, asserting that the budget impasse "traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, he took it a step further by hinting at a way to get rid of such troublesome members of Congress holding up President Obama's agenda: "These members happen to be from very conservative districts where they won by big margins, and their jobs are secure more or less. And in both parties there are congressional districts that are set up by the states to keep the parties in power. But some believe if the system stays this way, our politics will kind of stay this way."
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll produced a finding that must have delighted the entire NBC staff. The poll found that 53 percent of Americans blame congressional Republicans for the current government shutdown, while 31 percent blame President Obama. For the record, 13 percent said both were equally to blame. The pollsters did not allow respondents to blame Democrats in Congress.
This may have been one finding from a survey of only 800 adults in a nation of more than 300 million people, but MSNBC weekend anchor Alex Witt and her correspondents were so thrilled with the result that they repeated it nine times over three hours of Weekends with Alex Witt on Saturday. [See video below the break.]
Touting the results of an NBC News/Esquire magazine survey on Tuesday's NBC Today of the supposed political center in America, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaimed: "Interesting note, we asked the middle who they trust, guys, the most. And the answer is President Obama, Oprah Winfrey. The most trusted people according to those who fall in the middle." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response to the finding, co-host Matt Lauer turned to his fellow co-hosts and remarked: "Sorry about that, guys." Savannah Guthrie replied: "Oh, what, you thought we were in the running?" That prompted laughter from the group of journalists. Weatherman Al Roker added: "Yeah, I didn't think that was coming up." He then joked that Obama could run for a third term with Oprah as his running mate: "There's the ticket for 2016."
Does Piers Morgan even try to show integrity anymore? The CNN host goaded the chair of the DNC into bashing Republicans on his Monday night show and plugged her new book without asking her one tough question about her own party.
Morgan's first question to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was this pathetic softball: "What is going on with the GOP right now?" Schultz laid into her political opponents. "They have the opportunity to do the right thing and not shut the government down and hold the economy hostage with the Affordable Care Act as ransom. And instead they went with the Tea Party," she ranted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Monday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly ginned up the ideological struggle inside the Republican Party as it covered the ongoing partial government shutdown. Chip Reid spun the face-off inside the House Republican caucus as being between "staunch" Tea Party-aligned representatives inside the House and "mainstream" Republicans.
Reid later played up how House Speaker John Boehner could "face a dilemma" if the Senate came up with a compromise to end the shutdown, and that Boehner "can either allow the House to vote, which will likely split the Republican Party in two and create a major backlash from the Tea Party; or...he can refuse to allow a vote, which could lead to default." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]