On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that a series of congressional primary races were evidence "the ongoing family feud between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the GOP festers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed how Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell "waged a ruthless campaign" against his Tea Party challenger, then announced: "As tough as Kentucky's been, it's even nastier and more personal in other GOP primaries."
In a Monday evening report at the Associated Press, reporters Bill Barrow and Christina A. Cassidy did their best to try to minimize the impact of a politically disastrous dodge on the part of Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.
In a weekend interview with NBC, Nunn refused to say whether she would have voted for or against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, saying that "it’s impossible to look back retrospectively and say what would you have done if you were there." (And besides, she was working for a not-for-profit foundation at the time, so how could she know?) Additionally, Nunn got so rattled that she invented a new use for the word "architect" — as a verb: "I wished that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation." Clearly, the AP's Barrow and Cassidy were hoping for a real answer from Nunn. But they didn't get one. Not even close (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's Michaela Pereira acted as an apologist for the student and/or faculty-led protests in recent weeks that forced out several high-profile speakers from participating in commencement ceremonies: "Isn't it a rite of passage to question authority and to question things and protest things in college? Isn't that what those college years are about – to take a stand?"
Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter also specifically lauded the Haverford College students whose protest led to the withdrawal of their commencement speaker: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Opening Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "Republican attempts to take down Hillary Clinton are in full swing after a headline-grabbing attack from Karl Rove. So will Republicans stop at nothing to keep her from running in 2016?" Introducing a report moments later, he wondered: "Is this just the start of a Republican strategy to persuade her not to run?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory turned to correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who declared: "...there is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton..." Mitchell snidely remarked: "It all started when Karl Rove, once called 'Bush's Brain,' said Hillary Clinton suffered traumatic brain injury after a 2012 fall and concussion."
In a textbook case of damning with faint praise, the Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore asserted on Thursday that of all the "dramatically underqualified people" who may run for president in 2016, Ben Carson is the frontrunner.
Kilgore opines that since Carson is black, his popularity with white conservatives "absolve[s] them of any racist motives when they complain about those people on welfare, and indeed accuse white liberals of being the real bigots." (Italics in original.) He adds that should Carson run, "it seems likely he [would] be even more overtly than [Herman] Cain a pure instrument for conservative resentment and—if you will forgive the unavoidable term—whitewashing."
The comedian tapped to take over CBS’s Late Show is showing no signs of diversifying his political comedy to tackle both sides of the aisle, preferring to heavily mock conservatives and Republicans while holding prospective 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton virtually above reproach..
Take the May 15 edition of the Colbert Report, where host Stephen Colbert devoted a five-minute segment to lambasting Karl Rove for his statement about Mrs. Clinton’s health.. After Colbert praised her “mastery of the facts” and her “unshakeable confidence” at the Benghazi hearings, he lashed out at Rove’s exaggeration of the length of her stay in the hospital, asking “Has Karl Rove lost track of time because he has a serious brain injury?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As a travelling pastor, Rev. Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, is in a unique position to sense where the political winds are blowing in this mid-term election year. During a visit to the Media Research Center, the elder Cruz said that with just over five months to go between now and Election Day, he sees major conservative gains ahead, including the retirement of Sen. Harry Reid as Majority Leader that would come with Republicans winning control of the United States Senate.
Rev. Cruz has been travelling extensively in recent months, speaking at dozens of pastors’ conferences and political events across the country. In an interview with MRC Latino, he said the “energized” electorate he’s come into contact with is a direct consequence of the cumulative excesses of the Obama administration. [Watch interview excerpts below page break]
Did you catch the story about those conservative Republican male chauvinist pig politicians in Florida who think that it was a waste of time to pass a bill which would make it a crime for a guy to secretly administer an abortion-inducing drug to a spouse or partner he impregnated? How utterly outrageous ... Wait a minute ... It was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who said that? C'mon, that's not possible. What? There's audio of her saying that on a Florida public radio station? Get outta here. If that were true, the press would be printing and broadcasting stories on her outrageous statement 24/7 ... wouldn't they?
Well, no. The audio of Wasserman Schultz can be found here at WFSU in Tallahassee. Excerpts from the related report by Sascha Kordner follow the jump:
During a four-minute interview with Athena Health CEO Jonathan Bush on Thursday's CBS This Morning about his new book, Where Does It Hurt?, suggesting reforms to the health care system, none of the hosts bothered to bring up ObamaCare or its failures. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bush, nephew of former President George H.W. Bush and cousin of former president George W. Bush, even provided the perfect opportunity to bring up President Obama's health care law, warning against "another great top-down fix" of the industry and instead wanting to "invite entrepreneurs to come into health care."
With over two years to go until the 2016 presidential election, the media are already trying to ban unflattering topics about Hillary Clinton. From Tuesday morning through Thursday morning, NBC, ABC, and CBS aired 9 full stories – totaling 20 minutes 12 seconds – defending Clinton from health questions raised by Republican strategist Karl Rove.
NBC was first to go after Rove and devoted the most coverage to issue, with 4 stories adding up to 7 minutes 42 seconds of air time. On Tuesday, Today hosts declared that Rove had "stepped a little bit into it" with his "explosive new claims" and Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed it to be a "nasty" Republican "smear campaign."
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Republicans, the American Prospect's Paul Waldman suggested Tuesday, are a bit like Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel inasmuch as they "can't seem to keep themselves from...turning the accusations up to eleven" on matters involving Hillary Clinton.
Waldman discussed Karl Rove's recent "traumatic brain injury" comments about Hillary and then transitioned to the broader issues of GOPers' "infinite loathing" for HRC and its implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, during which Waldman predicts Hillary will be the target of Republican "outbursts...more shocking" than Rove's.
Jon Stewart and Rush Limbaugh couldn’t be more polar opposite politically and that was never more evident on Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show” when Stewart attacked the conservative talk radio host for criticizing Michelle Obama’s “hashtag activism.” How did Stewart propose viewers could join in his disdain for Limbaugh? With another hashtag, "#F*@KYouRush."
On Monday, Limbaugh called Michelle Obama’s photo with the hashtag “#Bringbackourgirls” “pathetic” and dismissed the use of social media as having any real effect on international politics. This offended Stewart who went on to wonder who could support Limbaugh in his viewpoints, dismissing the talk show host as, “Oh yeah, that f***in guy,” and called him a “quivering rage heap” with no humanity but only the remains of a “superfund cleanup site that was his soul." Continues after video.
According to a Government Accountability Office report released in March but inexplicably only getting attention just now, the pain resulting from last year's sequestration "cuts," which were mostly reductions in the growth of spending in comparison to the previous year, bore no resemblance to the Armageddon-like warnings which preceded their imposition. Only one federal employee was laid off. You read that right — one. Only seven agencies out of 22 furloughed any employees, and they were ultimately given $2 billion in back pay.
What the results exposed by the GAO demonstrate, in addition to the fact that the government had plenty of places to cut and funds to access to keep its operations going without meaningfully affecting the federal workforce, is either that almost nobody in the establishment press cared about what the GAO had to say, or that if they did, they didn't believe that they should tell the nation that the Obama administration's scare tactics had no basis. Excerpts from one of the establishment press reports I found via CBS News's Stephanie Condon predictably turned the whole thing into a "Republicans attack" exercise:
On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."
File this under "Epic Fails: Layers of Editors." National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru submitted a requested column to the Washington Post’s Outlook section. After several rounds of mutually agreed-upon edits, the geniuses at WaPo made a final change without consulting Ponnuru. That change inserted erroneous information into what had been an otherwise clean column. The Post then published two letters to the editor criticizing Ponnuru for the error WaPo had created. That caused Ponnuru to demand a correction, which he ultimately received. Amazon.com CEO and WaPo owner Jeff Bezos really needs to take a hard look at the leftist koolaid-drinking Keystone Cops operation for which he massively overpaid. Otherwise, the default assumption will be that he's fine with the completely unacceptable status quo.
On Monday's CNN Newsroom, ESPN senior writer L.Z. Granderson compared those who decried Michael Sam's kiss with his boyfriend after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams to a racist organization that lynched minorities: "Yes, some of the objection is part of the storyline, but we didn't celebrate the KKK during...the March on Washington."
Anchor Carol Costello praised Sam's "courage," and lamented that Americans haven't gone far enough in their support of the homosexual agenda: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Sunday, the Washington Post's Anthony Faiola spotlighted how Pope Francis is supposedly "the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI" with regard to his consistent teaching on the Devil. Faiola underlined that "Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil's image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call."
The liberal newspaper's London bureau chief also pointed out how the pontiff "praised a group long viewed by some as the crazy uncles of the Roman Catholic Church — the International Association of Exorcists," much to the dismay of dissenting Catholics inside the Church who want to downplay or deny the existence of Satan:
On Monday, May 12, FNC's Fox and Friends exposed Democratic hypocrisy in accusing Republicans of trying to raise money off the deaths of Americans from the Benghazi attack, when Democrats themselves have a history of linking fundraising to deadly events.
Referring to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy explaining this hypocrisy on the previous day's Fox News Sunday, FNC co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck began listing the history of Democrats:
Appearing as a guest on the Saturday edition of Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC, former NBC News man and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert asserted that Republicans are "hostile to the interests of African-Americans" and suggested that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul would not have a problem with a hotel or restaurant barring black customers from entering.
Herbert's comments came during a discussion of Senator Paul's recent criticism of GOP efforts to change voting laws. [See video below.]
This is not a serious question from the Democrats who wouldn’t call it “lowering the bar” to give race-baiting huckster Al Sharpton an hour each night on MSNBC to mangle the English language. He’s angry Sen. Scott has no challenger since he’s “so far to the right” that he’s upset the NAACP:
While I was aware that a fever-swamp Democrat in Wisconsin was planning to pass out Ku Klux Klan hoods at some kind of Wisconsin Republican gathering, I had no idea until this morning that the Associated Press actually considered it a national story back on May 1. It was really even more than a national story at the self-described "essential global news network." It was so vital that the nation know about this offensive plan that the AP carried it at its "Big Story" site.
I should have figured that Scott Bauer, the bitter critic of Republican Governor Scott Walker disguised as an AP reporter, would be the guy who thought that devoting 13 paragraphs and over 400 words to Democratic State Representative and gubernatorial candidate (seriously) Brett Hulsey's anticipated stunt was a worthwhile expenditure of precious journalistic time and resources. Given that level of original attention, the wire service should have followed up (but of course didn't) with a national story noting that Hulsey abandoned the KKK hood idea, but still showed up at the May 2-4 Badger State GOP Convention to call out Republicans as racists — and, as captured in the following video (HT The Blaze), was confronted by a "colorful" Republican attendee:
Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."
Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A lot of politically engaged persons, right and left, believe that those on the other side are well-meaning but mistaken. Then there's the Washington Monthly's Martin Longman, who in two Wednesday posts (here and here) tried to support the idea that "[m]aking people hate each other is at the core of right-wing politics."
Longman opined that "resentment is the key ingredient in [conservatives'] political toolbox" (italics in original) and that "[a]s long as there is some accountability, they are pretty good at forgiveness, but compassion and empathy are tremendous challenges for them."
On Friday, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post (HT Hot Air) gave "Four Pinocchios" (i.e., a "Whopper") to a statement President Barack Obama made about Senate Republicans' filibuster track record on Wednesday in a speech at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Los Angeles.
In the process, Kessler essentially delivered a rebuke to reporters who cover Obama. Every one of them should have recognized that his DCCC claim that "since 2007, they (Republicans) have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class" is false. For it to be true, GOP senators would have had to average 68 filibusters per year only of middle-class relevant bills for the past 7-1/3 years. With the Senate being in session an average of just under 112 days per year during the time involved, that' an impossible frequency of more than one every other day. Excerpts from Kessler's critique follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Appearing on Friday's CBS This Morning, Sirius XM radio and CNN host Michael Smerconish hocked his new fictional novel about the talk radio business entitled Talk, and denounced the industry: "I think it's entertainment masked as news and I wanted to expose it because I think it's had a horrific impact on polarization and incivility in the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Smerconish was teed up by co-host Gayle King, who described the book as "the story of an influential conservative radio personality at a crossroad against the backdrop of a presidential race," before proclaiming: "...many times when I used to listen to talk radio, it's hard to do now, I used to listen to these guys, Michael, and say, 'They can't possibly believe what they're saying.' And after reading your book...the character says it's all for show. Half the time they don't mean what they're saying. It just is a way to just rile up the crowd."
On Thursday’s NewsHour, PBS ran a full-length segment on the new special committee created by House Republicans to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. However, anchor Judy Woodruff and her guest, Robert Costa from The Washington Post -- formerly of the National Review -- pushed the idea that Republicans are exploiting the tragedy by fundraising off of it. The thing is, the network didn’t seem to care back in 2012 when President Obama gave a brief Rose Garden statement after the attacks and then dashed off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Woodruff brought up the issue of fundraising near the end of the interview:
During an interview with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd challenged Reid's suggestion that Republicans were solely to blame for legislation not getting through Congress: "You don't believe Democrats play any role in this? It feels like a tit-for-tat game....you don't belief there's any tit-for-tat going on here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Reid launched into a rant against supposedly unfair media coverage: "One of the problems that the press has in modern-day journalism is everything you do is a tit for tat. You won't call things the way they actually exist. What has happened here is the Republicans have stopped everything from happening....So, you can give me the tit for tat all you want, but the fact is we want to legislate. We want to legislate, we want to take votes."
Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."
Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday’s PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton trotted out a pair of red-framed glasses, a podium, and the image of a chapel’s interior on the green screen behind him. The reverend was pretending to preside over a funeral for what he called “another bogus GOP talking point on the Affordable Care Act.” As somber organ music played in the background, Sharpton announced, somewhat inarticulately, “We're here tonight to celebrate the life of the people are paying not their premium's talking point.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
He was referring to House Republicans’ contention last week that only 67 percent of ObamaCare enrollees had actually paid their premiums as of April 15. After a few minutes of funeral minister theatricality, the MSNBC host finally explained why he was pronouncing this particular talking point dead: “A new report shows most who signed up under health law have paid. 80 to 90 percent of enrollees paid their bills on time.” Conveniently, however, Sharpton left out another nugget from that very same report that undercut one of his own favorite ObamaCare talking points.