Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline ("Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law") indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration's Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday's report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.
The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward's longer "fact check" ("ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY") currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward's piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let's first look at the full "modest drop" dispatch.
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell saw immigration reform as a way to save Barack Obama's floundering presidency: "This would be, you know, the jewel in the crown for this administration, they've had so few legacy things that have not been complicated. Health care is obviously complicated by the downsides. Immigration would be the real key to this second term." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus agreed: "It would be the jewel in the crown of an otherwise rocky second term..."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
Was Bill Kristol kidding—just throwing a sop to the not-inconsiderable ego of his host—or could he have been serious? On today's Morning Joe, unveiling his line-up of the nine Republicans he sees running for president in 2016, Kristol included none other than Joe Scarborough himself.
But in an unkind cut to someone prospectively facing the famously conservative GOP primary electorate, Kristol described Scarborough as "filling the Huntsman lane" and representing a "Morning Joe conservatism." Ouch! As interesting as were Kristol's nine [which included Sarah Palin] were the names he left off his list, including Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. View the video after the jump.
On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the New York Times had made a critical change to a story about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's possible knowledge of lane closures in the area of the George Washington Bridge. The initial story was that a Port Authority official "has evidence" in the matter. A short time later, that claim was watered down to a far more speculative "evidence exists."
The erroneous "has evidence" version of the story quickly went viral on Friday afternoon, and is what many news readers likely still believe — especially because there is still no indication at Zernike's story that any change from the original was made. Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has a problem with that — as she should. There also appears to be an undercurrent of frustration at the Times that what comes off as a "gotcha" strategy didn't stick to Christie (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Following White House talking points to the letter on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd bemoaned how "Republicans immediately seized on" the Congressional Budget Office report on ObamaCare costing the economy over 2 million jobs "and spun it the way they want to spin it." He fretted that Democrats would have a tough time defending ObamaCare "in the world of sound bites and 30-second TV ads." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin minutes later, Todd complained: "On health care, a lot of your Republican friends are taking it [the CBO report] and calling it – it is an unfair statement to – they should not be saying this is costing 2 million jobs, is that right?"
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle -- formerly of the New Republic -- accused Texas Senator Ted Cruz of "playing to the passions and paranoia" of the Republican base during a discussion of Cruz's criticism of the Obama administration's record of adhering to the law.
After host Al Sharpton played a clip of Senator Cruz's comments on President Obama, and singled out the Texas Senator's use of the terms "imperial presidency," and "unchecked power," Cottle began her response:
Alex Wagner made it clear that she was in Senator Harry Reid's Amen corner on the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, promoting the Nevada Democrat's green light to President Obama to use his controversial "year of action" end run around Congress to advance the agenda of leftist LGBT activists. Wagner expressed her hope that "with the White House promising a 'year of action'...we can only hope that creating a more fair and equitable society is on that list." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The host also spotlighted the reporting of ThinkProgress.org, and cited new Obama adviser John Podesta, but failed to disclose that she once worked for the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, which runs the left-wing website.
Chris Matthews is at it again. The liberal MSNBC anchor on Friday found a new way to deride conservative concern over Barack Obama's use of executive orders to get around Congress. Matthews dismissed it as unthinking and tribal, sneering, "I think it's a second term birtherism. 'He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Using his typical broad generalizations, Matthews railed, "This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. 'He really wasn't a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately elected president.'" According to the host, the concern over Obama's plan to sidestep Congress isn't even rational: "And this seems to be based upon ideology rather than events or even behaviors of the President."
On Thursday, MSNBC President Phil Griffin apologized for a Twitter post suggesting conservatives (“the rightwing”) are racists who would “hate” a cute new Cheerios ad because it featured a biracial family: “The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”
Griffin’s statement was a good first step, but if an apology is owed for this tweet, then MSNBC owes conservatives many, many more. The Media Research Center has compiled a long list of instances in which the network’s anchors have committed character assassination disguised as journalism, unjustly smearing conservatives, Republicans and the Tea Party as racists. Here are just some of the many outrageous examples we have documented:
Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
In the month of January, Comedy Central's Daily Show devoted over ten times more coverage to mocking Republicans or conservatives than to mocking Democrats or liberals.
The Daily Show aired 11 full segments that targeted conservatives or Republicans. Only one segment mocked President Obama – from the left – over his speech on the NSA spying program. Four segments mocked both conservatives/Republicans and Democrats/liberals.
The reluctance of abortion-rights advocates to call the procedure by its name, and their preference for euphemism, is legend.
To the euphemistic lexicon of "pro-choice," "women's health," "reproductive freedom," etc. ad nauseum, Charles Blow has made the latest contribution. His New York Timescolumn of today speaks of Republican candidates opposing "a full range of reproductive options for women." More after the jump.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NPR's resident ObamaCare booster, Julie Rovner, lionized outgoing liberal Congressman Henry Waxman on Friday's Morning Edition. Rovner trumpeted how "during his 40 years in the House, he focused on passing legislation – lots of legislation – the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Orphan Drug Act, nutrition labels, food safety, and the Affordable Care Act. Waxman played a major role in all of them."
The correspondent left out any conservative/Republican criticism of the California representative, and let a fellow Democratic member of Congress and two liberal talking heads laud the retiring politician, with one heralding him as the Ted Kennedy of the House. She did include two clips from Orrin Hatch, but the Utah Republican senator heaped praise on Rep. Waxman. Rovner also gave the congressman a chance to take a parting shot at the Tea Party-friendly caucus in Congress:
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that "the [Republican] governor of Georgia [Nathan Deal] chose to fall on his snow shovel" over how Tuesday's rare southern snowstorm "was handled, or better yet, mishandled" in the state. However, the coverage that followed failed to mention Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed by name even once. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In his report, correspondent Tom Costello declared: "A lot of anger directed toward city and state officials for failing to heed the weather forecasts. And today we learned that both the Governor and the director of the emergency services for the state were sleeping as those forecasts grew even more dire." Those "city officials" were not specified.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, substitute host Ari Melber tried to hype former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Sue Wagner, who left office almost 20 years ago, as a "conservative" who recently left the Republican Party because of the Tea Party.
But, as she appeared as a guest, Wagner quickly identified herself as having been "somewhat liberal my entire life," and put the icing on the cake at the end of the interview as she sdmitted to which news network she "always" watches.
MSNBC isn't anywhere near done apologizing for reflexively race-baiting conservatives.
The Cheerios biracial ad controversy ginned up by the far-left network did not begin with an isolated tweet. It began with the underlying report itself by Gabriela Resto-Montero. As originally seen by a poster at Free Republic, Ms. Resto-Montero described the reaction to the original appearance of the ad last June as a "conservative backlash." The the original June article at MSNBC does not characterize the "backlash" as anything but, well, a "backlash."
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC's Krystal Ball cracked that Republicans "must feel like they should just take a vow of silence" until the election as she alluded to New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm's meltdown with a reporter and Mike Huckabee's recent comments about the so-called "war on women."
Referring to Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Ball observed:
That there was even one item in the "far-left" search just noted is unusual. It's even more remarkable that the underlying report was written by Steve Peoples, a far-lefty disguised as a reporter if there ever was one. Excerpts from his Wednesday dispatch follow the jump.
Philip Rucker and Scott Clement sure are "Ready for Hillary." The Washington Post scribes dutifully pounded out a January 30 front-pager that furthers the Hillary-is-inevitable meme discernible throughout the liberal media. "Clinton holds big Democratic lead" thunders the print headline, with a subhead noting she enjoys "strong support in all demographics" while the "GOP field shows no clear front-runner."
Nowhere in their 25-paragraph story was the term "Benghazi" used -- indeed, it was also not referenced in the Post/ABC poll, while Bridgegate was -- although clearly it is the former secretary of state's blackest mark on her record. By contrast, potential GOP opponent Chris Christie was depicted as critically if not mortally wounded by the bridge-lane-closure scandal, while opponents to his right were dismissed as unlikely to beat Hillary (emphasis mine):
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
Less than a month after Melissa Harris-Perry's tear-drenched apology for a panel discussion on her MSNBC program which mocked Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson, the cable network again had to apologize on Wednesday, this time for an online post (now deleted) that unjustly accused conservatives of being against interracial marriage and reproduction. An anonymous writer on MSNBC's official Twitter account wrote: "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family."
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin led the charge against the inflammatory Tweet, encouraging her followers to post photos of their multiracial families, using the hashtag #MyRightWingBiracialFamily. It didn't take long for the pictures to come in:
In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made the following pledge: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
One would have every reason to believe from Obama's statement that the change will take effect quickly once the EO is issued — but it won't. Additionally, one would have every reason to believe that when it does take effect, it will increase the pay of anyone currently employed on federal contract work at a pay rate of under $10.10 per hour — but it won't do that either. Somehow, those "little" problems escaped "fact checkers" Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico, who, while they did catch other problems with the President's statement, swallowed a clearly false claim about its long-term impact:
On Tuesday night, Alex Wagner gave the latest example of "if it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all" (a regular saying of conservative talk show host Chris Plante). The MSNBC host took to Twitter to slam Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers's fireside setting, where she delivered the official Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union: "Living room. Lady on a settee. Where's the needlepoint?"
Conservatives struck back at this condescending attack from one of MSNBC's resident uber-feminists. Townhall.com's Kevin W. Glass pointed out what would have happened if the roles were reversed:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank utilized the kind of violent imagery that would make liberals howl if uttered by anyone on the right as he suggested that President Barack Obama needs a "cattle prod" and a "baseball bat" in dealing with Republicans.
During NBC's live State of the Union coverage Tuesday night, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd sneered at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson being a Republican guest at the event: "...after the shooting with Gabby Giffords and for a couple of State of the Unions in a row....There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests that you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now, when you're inviting Duck Dynasty stars. Everybody's trying to make a partisan political point." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd concluded: "You get the feeling that whatever Kumbaya that there had been, at least in the last couple of years, that's – that's gone with this State of the Union."
Though this is a local story, I believe it deserves wider attention. That's because it likely reflects an attitude frequently found in local media around the nation.
A January 21 story at the Cincinnati Enquirer worried that fiscally conservative candidates who have begun winning local school board elections "may be philosophically opposed to the way public schools have been traditionally operated and funded" – as if that's automatically a bad thing. Here's some context the Enquirer's Michael D. Clark "somehow" forgot to include: "40% of Ohioans need remedial math or English in college." Gee, maybe "the way public schools have been traditionally operated and funded" isn't working. Clark also let a former local school board president engage in an unhinged rant about "those that have a goal to destroy public education." Excerpts follow the jump (a related video called "Radical School Boards" — how objective — is here; bolds are mine):
I guess when you've run out of anything meaningful to say, you revert to your tired old one-liners, even when they are — or should be — embarrassing.
In early 2009, five days after President Obama's first State of the Union speech, Alex Castellanos, who at the time was apparenty a "Republican strategist," said the following on a CNN Sunday show: "I think, as a friend told me once, that -- listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex. The worse there ever was, was excellent." Tuesday night, as Politico's Lucy McCalmont reports, Castellanos was at it again: