On Thursday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd reveled in the wall-to-wall media coverage of the bridge closing controversy surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "Welcome to the NFL....he has gotten a lot of benefit by being sort of this Republican rising star in the New York City media markets, so he gets a lot of access to media attention, access to national media. And so he's had a free ride, if you will. Well now, welcome to the vetting process." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd's comments were prompted by co-host Matt Lauer declaring: "[Christie] is a political star for the Republican Party. He's now the head of the Republican Governor's Association, a lot of power there, so Democrats are gonna work this story for a long time." Todd replied: "Absolutely....Now that he's essentially shown interest in being a presidential candidate, this is what life is like. This is what happens when the bright lights start burning."
In the competition for most obvious Obama administration apparatchik at the Los Angeles Times (i.e., the biggest tool in the toolbox), Doyle McManus has to be considered a front-runner.
As I noted on Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), McManus, in a Sunday column, contended that "President Obama has run into his share of controversies, but none that quite reached scandalhood." He even petulantly asked, "Does anyone even remember the IRS flap?" McManus was apparently so unconcerned about being seen as inconsistent that he didn't bother telling readers that he held exactly opposite positions on at least two Obama administration "scandals" — that's what he called them – just eight months ago (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall).
ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir. All three networks also played up Gates's self-identification as a Republican.
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning brought on former Obama administration officials on Wednesday morning. Both guests did their best to counter their former colleague. Matt Lauer touted David Axelrod's "important perspective" on the issue, and asked, "Did you get a sense that he was a guy who...was disgruntled in any way?" The CBS morning show turned to former chief of staff Bill Daley, who slammed Gates for going public: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican congressional members who have spoken of the possibility of impeaching President Obama, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank labeled such talk "tribal politics" and compared it to a "revenge killing" against the President because he won the election.
After host Al Sharpton played clips of several Republican members of Congress from a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Milbank dismissed the likelihood of impeachment and then added:
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer portrayed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as an ungrateful and disgruntled ex-employee: "Blindsided. President Obama's former Defense Secretary Robert Gates takes on his old boss – the man who awarded him the Medal of Freedom – in a blistering new memoir. This morning, what may have made him turn?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed later, correspondent Andrea Mitchell fretted: "President Obama's decision to keep George Bush's defense secretary, a Republican, has now blown back on the White House." Like Lauer, she made sure to note how Obama had honored Gates: "Gates gave no hint of his resentment when he left the cabinet two years ago and President Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor."
In an outrageous ad aired on the local Washington D.C. NBC affiliate WRC-4, Virginia Democratic state senate candidate Jennifer Wexton – running to replace newly elected Virginia attorney general Mark Herring – made a shocking comparison between violent rapists that she once tried as a prosecutor to "Tea Party Republicans" in the Virginia legislature. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After describing women being assaulted and "traumatized again by facing the criminal in court," Wexton made this declaration: "...as a prosecutor I put violent offenders in prison. In the Virginia Senate, I'll fight just as hard against Tea Party Republicans who would take away a woman's health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest."
Introducing a report on Monday's NBC Nightly News about Al-Qaeda forces seizing control of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, anchor Brian Williams went out of his way to blame the President George W. Bush for the deteriorating security situation: "U.S. fighting forces are gone from Iraq. But as so many predicted when President Bush chose to go to war there after 9/11, the fighting has started up again." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, in the report that followed, correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin featured a sound bite of President Obama – not President Bush – celebrating the "historic moment" of an abrupt U.S. troop withdrawal from the country after failing to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government. Mohyeldin noted: "Some warned the U.S. withdrawal left a security vacuum."
In a report for Sunday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Kristen Welker eagerly promoted efforts by President Obama to use class warfare against Republicans leading up to the 2014 midterm elections: "President Obama will aim to reboot his presidency this year after a rocky 2013. The first item on the agenda will be extending unemployment insurance benefits....In his weekly media message, Mr. Obama blamed Republicans for leaving those benefits out of last month's budget deal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A clip played of Obama ranting: "And denying families that security is just plain cruel. We're a better country than that." Moments later, Welker proclaimed: "The President will also renew his call for an increase in the minimum wage in his State of the Union address. Another piece of a Democratic strategy designed to paint Republicans as the party of the rich ahead of the fall elections."
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of conservative Christians making plans to push their agenda, liberal guest Frank Schaeffer charged that Republicans have a "pathological hatred" of President Obama, asserted that the GOP's goal is to "Stop the first African-American President from succeeding at all costs," and then drew a parallel with racist opposition to school intregration decades ago.
After recounting conservative concerns about same-sex marriage, Schaeffer continued:
In June, the Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn filed a report with the following headline: "Kathleen Sebelius: Exchange enrollment goal is 7 million by end of March." She reported in her first two paragraphs that "7 million" is "how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March."
Apparently that clearly expressed target isn't supposed to matter now, and the White House is trying to pretend that it never existed. Of course, the press, including the Politico, has been helping them.
On Thursday night’s edition, the PBS NewsHour held a discussion about President Obama’s prospects for making 2014 more successful than 2013. Of course, the panelists defined success as the president enacting more of his left-of-center agenda.
Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal posed a “really interesting strategic choice” that he thought the White House had to make: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In a taped interview with former Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich aired on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd scolded the GOP for supposedly not making "any progress" in reaching out to minorities and women since the 2012 election, citing the party's defeat in the 2013 Virginia governor's race: "You lost because the Democrats were able to essentially win social issues – used social issues as a wedge." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Ehrlich hit back: "But that's a euphemism, let's just call it what it is. It was scaring young women." Todd dismissed the accusation: "What campaigns aren't about scaring some voters?" He then went after Republicans: "Attacking health care is scaring voters, too." Ehlrich replied: "Attacking a dysfunctional health care is not scaring anybody. ObamaCare is scaring enough people."
CBS stood out as the only Big Three network to devote full coverage to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Tuesday night stay of the federal government's birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare. As of Thursday morning, CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News devoted three full reports and a news brief to the ruling against the controversial regulation.
By contrast, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have only aired one news brief on Sotomayor's decision, and mentioned it in passing in two other reports on the Affordable Care Act. ABC has yet to report on the development on either Good Morning America or World News.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today to provide his New Year political predictions for 2014, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd assured co-host Savannah Guthrie that despite the ObamaCare disaster, Republicans would be "in just as bad of a place, if not worse than they were." He explained: "It just doesn't look like it right now because of health care." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd's wishful thinking was prompted by Guthrie observing: "[Republicans] were widely blamed for the government shutdown. I think they were, in some ways, rescued by the debacle with the ObamaCare rollout because the heat was off them." Todd pushed back: "...they haven't fixed their structural problems....it's a false sense of security....they threw out this whole, 'Okay, we've got to get better with minorities and get better with technology and get better with various issues, not look like we're so anti-woman.' They've made no – they've made no accomplishments on that front. None of it."
On the Monday, December 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Richard Wolffe -- executive editor of MSNBC.com -- mocked "ObamaCare haters," tagging them as the "biggest losers of the year," as he appeared as a panel member to select awards in various news categories for the year 2013.
As he suggested that the reduction in glitches at Healthcare.Gov solves ObamaCare's problems, Wolffe compared opponents to people still "fighting the Second World War on a lost island."
After host O'Donnell asked who was the "biggest loser of the year," Wolffe began his gloating:
Appearing on the Monday, December 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart charged that, in the year 2013, Republicans had "told" women, young people and minorities to "go bleep yourself" as he divulged his choices for "worst political move" of the year.
Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.
After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:
On special edition of MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Monday in which a panel of MSNBC regulars selected awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that the "Knockout Game" was the "most overrated story of the year," as she complained that conservatives "went absolutely ballistic" and "wanted[ed] to stoke issues of race."
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams then brought up the IRS scandal in which conservative organizations were given closer scrutiny before the 2012 elections, with Williams charging, "Ain't nothing there. Never was, never will be," and with fellow panel member Krystal Ball chiming in that "It's not even a scandal."
On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton asserted that Republicans "don't care" about the unemployed whose unemployment benefits are expiring and went on to accuse Republicans of having a "heartless ideology that says if you're out of work, you're out of luck."
Appearing as a guest on the Friday, December 27, Hardball on MSNBC, comedian and Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah -- who has also been a CNN contributor -- cracked that "conservatives hate a lot of women" as he recounted that the woman whose face appeared on the ObamaCare Web site had been tagged "the most despised woman in America" by "some bloggers on the right," whom he failed to identify.
Remember when George W. Bush was intensely criticized in 2004 for using a couple of seconds of footage from the World Trade Center attacks in a campaign commercial? He was "exploiting" 9/11. Let's talk about an example of really crass exploitation which the press has largely ignored.
As reported by Politico's Joseph Delreal, recently elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter Chiara recently opened up "about her struggles with depression and substance abuse and for her decision to seek treatment." White House National Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske, "in a statement issued by the White House," praised "her and the entire de Blasio family for addressing this important public health issue." Fair enough. But he went one step further, as seen after the jump:
With a headline at a Washington Post story by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin reading "Obama administration quietly extends health-care enrollment deadline by a day," you would think that the administration issued some kind of press release without comment — or at least, as was the case with its announcement waiving the individual mandate for those who had individual policies cancelled, communicated the change to sympathetic senators or congresspersons.
Nope. The Post's detailed coverage tells us that those involved merely made "a software change that government officials and IT contractors inserted into the computer system over the weekend for the online insurance marketplace." Readers will see who was actually told about the change after the jump (bolds are mine):
On April 10, the New York Times almost singlehandedly revived the political career of disgraced Anthony Weiner with an 8,300-word profile of the former Congressman, his wife, and their baby boy Jonathan. Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted shortly thereafter that Jonathan van Meter's profile, which revealed Weiner's intention to become a candidate in New York City's mayoral race while somehow avoiding still-open questions about Weiner's "underage girl problem," had its intended effect, as the major broadcast networks fell in line to "promote his political rehabilitation."
We all know that the attempted rehabilitation failed spectacularly, because the supposed personal rehabilitation which formed its basis turned out to be completely fictional. In late July, a Times editorial called for Weiner to withdraw from the race without owning up to the role the paper had played in his attempted revival. So it figures that the Times, which identified Weiner's demise as one of 2013's "political lowlights" earlier in the day, would ignore Weiner's "Look at me" Thursday Facebook post.
Today’s installment of the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our 42 expert judges: the “Let Them Eat Dog Food Award, for Freaking Out Over the Sequester’s Puny Cuts,” and “The Kamikaze Award, for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown.”
In late February, as automatic spending cuts were about to take a tiny sliver off of the $3.5 trillion annual federal budget, reporters mindlessly parroted the Obama administration's doomsaying about the consequences. Then in October, when conservatives attempted to block the implementation of the dysfunctional ObamaCare law, journalists blasted them as lunatic terrorists out to destroy America. (This year’s winners and videos below the jump.)
Not to worry, people. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D got through "technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements." So will Obamacare.
That's the Christmas love letter delivered to the left by Tom Raum of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, late this morning. Raum "somehow" failed to note that the size and scope of Obamacare's screw-ups, errors, and from all appearances deliberate omissions (e.g., no system for paying subsidies to insurers after a 42-month head start) dwarf that seen in any previous major rollout. Though other programs had their share of broken promises (e.g., Walter Williams ran down Social Security's original lies in a November column), no program has been handicapped by anything near the equivalent of the President's false guarantee ("if you like your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider, you can keep your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider"). Of course, Raum didn't mention that bitter reality. Excerpts from Raum's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On the Monday, December 23, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton led the show by accusing Republicans of "stinginess" and of being "grinches" because of GOP opposition to a further extension of unemployment benefits. With the words "GOP Grinches Steal Christmas" on screen, Sharpton opened the show:
In a Monday dispatch about Obamacare's really bad year and future prospects at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, reporter Calvin Woodward took as a given the left's assumption that Republicans and conservatives take pleasure in the suffering of real people as long as it furthers their political aims when he wrote that "Republicans, of course ... feigned indignation that the law many of them despise wasn't working out so well." That's pure lefist projection.
The genuine indignation has two sources, Mr. Woodward. The first is that much of what has transpired as a result of the deeply flawed Affordable Care Act was predicted or known and ignored. The other is that there were red flags galore ahead of the debut of the HealthCare.gov web site that it wasn't ready. They were deliberately ignored. To name just one instance, those in charge of security wouldn't sign off on the idea of going live on October 1; of course, Team Obama launched anyway. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Past winners of this venerable award include: Nina Totenberg in 1991, for verbally accosting then-Senator Alan Simpson after a Nightline appearance on October 9 of that year: “You big [expletive]....You are so full of [expletive]. You are an evil man....You’re a bitter and evil man and all your colleagues hate you.”
In 2005, Helen Thomas took top honors for a quote she gave The Hill newspaper: “The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for President, I’ll kill myself. All we need is one more liar.” Luckily for Helen, Mr. Cheney did not choose to run in 2008. (This year’s winners and videos after the jump.)
Did you know that the left has been almost completely starved for funding all these years? Why, there's almost nobody out there providing seed money for "community organizers," activists, and "advocacy groups" to offset the evil impact of the Koch brothers.
Continuing an establishment press meme going back at least to April, as NewsBusters' Tim Graham noted at the time, that's the impression one would get from reading Evan Halper's coverage of Tom Steyer, the left's most recent addition to what is really a decades-long line of deep-pocketed providers of the mother's milk of politics — and the guy sure knows how to pick 'em when it comes to identifying a pet cause (HT to Gary Hall; bolds are mine):
Kelsey Snell "is a tax reporter at POLITICO Pro." Her output in a column entitled "Indiana lures 'Illinoyed' biz with tax breaks" makes one wonder how she arrived at her current position.
Snell's piece is riddled with striking omissions and lame progressive talking points. But the most jaw-dropping element in her report is her clear inability to detect erroneous numbers which she and her employer should know make no sense.