On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose lived up to their reputation for hammering Republican/conservative guests, as they interviewed Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Rose mouthed a line from President Obama's Tuesday State of the Union address, where the chief executive invoked the families of gun violence victims to push for stricter gun control: "Do you agree with the President that those people deserve a vote?"
Later in the segment, O'Donnell strongly hinted that the Florida politician, and Republicans in general, were extremists [audio available here; video below the jump]:
In the first part of an interview aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer interrogated House Speaker John Boehner over saying President Obama lacked the courage to stand up to his Democratic base: "And by calling the President of the United States out in such harsh terms today, on the day of the State of the Union address....I think a lot of people are going to say, 'Here we go. Same old division. Same old animosity.' Don't they have a right to say that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Boehner began to reply: "No. Listen, the President and I get along fine...We have a very good relationship." Lauer interrupted: "So this all politics, these questions you raise today?" Boehner continued: "...the American people on election day gave us a mandate, a Republican congress and a Democratic president, and the mandate was to find a way to work together, find common ground."
In an interview with House Speaker John Boehner aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted the Speaker inviting two girls from a Washington D.C. inner city school to the State of the Union address, but rather than focus on the scholarship program Boehner supports, Lauer wondered: "They're your guests. Could you blame them, though, if they're not a little mesmerized by Barack Obama tonight? The nation's first African American president?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to aggrandize Obama, Lauer went further: "Is he, in your opinion, the most inspirational African American living right now?...You think that's the way these kids will feel when they watch?"
Last night in his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama claimed: "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime." Even considering the inclusion of "should" as a wiggle word, that's a laughable claim.
Politico's Glenn Thrush is one among what will surely turn out to be a legion of pundits and reporters who will ignore Obama's deficit promise while extolling "his new spending proposals" (while describing them as "relatively modest"). It was a speech Thrush said "could have been comfortably delivered by JFK, FDR or LBJ." Sorry, Glenn, but JFK and LBJ, hardened libs that they were, would not have countenanced such a speech in the context of four consecutive annual deficits of over $1 trillion and a national debt that's over 100 percent of the nation's annual economic output. Several paragraphs from Thrush's vain attempt to make Obama's speech some kind of seminal moment follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
NBC's Savannah Guthrie pressed White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday's Today over President Obama's apparent inaction on many key issues. After reading an excerpt from the President's 2009 address to Congress, Guthrie wondered, "You know, Americans have heard these refrains over and over again. What can you guarantee to the American people that will turn these words into actual action?"
By contrast, on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose merely prompted Jarrett to provide the Obama administration's talking points on the upcoming State of the Union address:
As Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters noted earlier today (HT Washington Examiner), at what a White House blog post described as "a roundtable discussion to talk about the Administration’s plan to reduce gun violence" in Philadelphia yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden said, apparently to the members of the press assembled there, that "To be very blunt with you, we’re counting on all of you, the legitimate news media to cover these discussions because the truth is that times have changed."
Biden's clearly key takeaway quote is not present at that White House blog post written up by Tobin Marcus. In what might be an example of a news agency taking a cue from this treatment and deciding to be "legitimate" in the administration's eyes, Joann Loviglio at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, also failed to report Biden's obviously newsworthy comment. A few paragraphs from Loviglio's lapdog effort follow the jump:
On Sunday's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory seized on an item in Politico arguing that upcoming sequester budget cuts could prove to be a "time bomb" for Republicans: "And the political pressure that's being brought to bear....'If sequestration happens now, House Democrats say they'll have tangible proof that the GOP is a dysfunctional party that can't even tie its own shoelaces'....Is that where the pressure is?"
Gregory posed that question to investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff, who replied: "I think the President clearly has the upper hand on the budget. Look, he won the election....Revenues being a part of the equation for cutting the budget, the President won on that....on that particular issue, he's got the upper hand. And it makes sense for him politically to hammer it – hammer it strongly."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory demanded Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor admit that the Republican Party's fundamental principles led to electoral defeat in 2012: "Isn't this more than tone that's an issue? Isn't it more than re-branding? Isn't it some of the central beliefs of the Republican Party that have hurt it with the electorate?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cantor explained that the party needed to "connect our conservative principles with helping people and making their life work again." Gregory interjected: "But Leader, it's core beliefs....There are core beliefs of the Republican Party that the polls show were rejected by a national electorate that you want to try to recapture some of if you're going to get to become a national party."
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller made an eyebrow-raising attack on Michelle Malkin on Thursday. Just before playing a clip of Malkin from Fox News Channel's Hannity program on her radio program, Miller snarked, "Let's unpack this rice ball of health care nonsense from Michelle Malkin." This line could leave one with the impression that it was a racially-tinged insult of the conservative commentator [audio below the jump].
Miller's sidekicks Chris Lavoie and Jim Ward joined in the verbal assault on Malkin with sophomoric jabs about her digestive tract:
When then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was caught in a sex scandal involving inappropriate instant messages to an underage boy, the media had a field day, using the matter to tar House Republicans at large in the 2006 election cycle, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted in a February 7 appearance on Fox Business Network's "Cavuto." But fast-forward six years to allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and the media snoozed on the story until well after he was reelected.
"Silence! You heard nothing from the media before the election. it was this complete opposite view. In other words, we're not going to cover this if it hurts the Democrats," Bozell noted of the liberal media. [watch the full segment below]
Complaining about Senate Republicans being dissatisfied with former senator Chuck Hagel's refusal to turn over information related to speeches he delivered that were financed by foreign sources, MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon took a conservative blogger out of context to suggest that even conservatives were frustrated with how the Senate GOP -- which, by the way, is the minority party in the Senate and lacks the votes to thwart a Hagel confirmation -- was handling the confirmation process.
In a February 8 NewsNation segment entitled "Hagel Holdup," Hall lamented that Republican "senators are also demanding that Hagel give them copies of every speech he's made in the past five years. It's a process Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says, quote, 'could be the most inept and disorganized confirmation effort in recent memory.'" While Rubin did write that Friday morning, the Post blogger was referring to the Obama administration and Mr. Hagel, not Republicans. From "A critical weekend for the Hagel nomination" (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
Sure, you might be cool with Barack Obama calling up a drone strike on an American citizen. But don't forget: a Republican [shudder!] could become President!
That was the Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart's warning to Donny Deutsch when the ad-man-turned-pundit proclaimed he had no problem with the president, under desperate circumstances, ordering a drone strike against an American. View the video after the jump.
What's with Barney Frank and his odd obsession with a Henny Youngman line that—had virtually any other politician used it—would result in him being accused of the worst kind of misogyny?
Back in 2011, I noted that, appearing on Morning Joe, Frank had quoted the hoary Henny line: "How's your wife? Compared to what?" Yet there was Barney again this evening, this time on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show, breaking out the identical line. Really: what gives? And imagine the feminist outrage if, say, Mitt Romney had dared use the line during his presidential campaign. View the video after the jump.
NPR's Ari Shapiro did little to conceal his slant towards same-sex "marriage" on Thursday's Morning Edition, as he reported on the Defense Department granting limited benefits to the same-sex partners of members of the military. Shapiro hyped that supposedly, "as a political move, the Pentagon's action is barely controversial."
The openly-homosexual correspondent later asserted that "it's hard to tell whether President Obama's pro-gay positions are helping to create this wave [of support for homosexuals in the military], or just letting him surf it." He also lined up three left-leaning talking heads during his report, versus only one social conservative pundit.
What's the correlation between Fox News and Playboy TV?
Well, on a relatively new online game show called Let's Ask America, web cam contestants were playfully asked which one would offend liberal parents more if they stumbled upon their teenage son watching one or the other. (video clip below; h/t email tipster John Heckman)
Wrapping up a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poking fun at his weight during a David Letterman appearance, co-host Willie Geist argued the issue was a major political obstacle to Christie: "I think if he didn't weigh what he weighed right now, he'd be talked about as the shoo-in to be the nominee next time. But that's a real problem that people have to think about if they want to cast a vote for him, is his health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Wednesday Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander wrung his hands over the possibility of sequester budget cuts happening next month: "If you think of the federal budget as a t-bone steak, the sequester is like a butcher's knife loping off a big piece, roughly a trillion dollars worth in defense and domestic spending. What experts call the worst way to deal with a budget." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In contrast, back in February of 2009, when President Obama was pushing the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package, Today co-host Matt Lauer grilled former Bush advisor Karl Rove about Republicans daring to oppose the massive government spending: "Doesn't it seem that quick and bold action was necessary?...216 Republicans [who voted against the stimulus] seem to have placed a bet on failure. Isn't that safe to say?"
The regularity with which Joe Scarborough refers to having won his congressional races has become a matter of mirth on Morning Joe. When Joe did so yet again this morning, he wound up contradicting himself on the issue of the electability of conservative candidates.
Scarborough was criticizing candidates who are supposedly too conservative to win, citing Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, whom he called "certifiable" on some issues. But—unable to resist a boast—Scarborough then contradicted himself, recalling that when he ran for Congress from Florida, "Newt Gingrich and the the Republican establishment worked against me, because they thought I was too conservative to win my district." Uh, yeah--and yet you won. View the video after the jump.
Surprised they didn't opt for the auto da fe analogy . . .
On Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this morning, Ali Gharib, editor of the "Open Zion" blog at the Daily Beast, described the questioning of Chuck Hagel at his Senate confirmation hearing as "a Republican purge" and a "Maoist public shaming." Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone begged to differ, finding it more reminiscent of "Stalin." View the video after the jump.
Yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Christopher Rugaber really wrote that the government's Employment Situation Summary released Friday was "mostly encouraging."
The Friday morning dispatch, still present at Yahoo News but which has understandably disappeared from the wire service's national site, stuck with his smiley-faced description even as he noted, "one negative sign: The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent." If January's performance repeats itself for the rest of year, 1.9 million more people will have found work during 2013 and the unemployment rate will be 9 percent -- at which point it would appear that Chris will try to tell us that we've finally achieved heaven on earth. Excerpts from Rugaber's ridiculous rubbish, riddled as it is with errors, omissions, a blatant coverage inconsistency, and political hackery, follow the jump:
Mara Liasson hyped Hillary Clinton as "the most popular politician in the country" on Friday's Morning Edition on NPR. Liasson asserted that "there's no question that being out of politics for four years has enhanced her political reputation," and devoted her report to touting how the supposedly "fireproof" Mrs. Clinton's experience as secretary of state would make her a "field-clearing frontrunner" in the 2016 presidential race.
The NPR journalist played soundbites from just two pundits during the segment, both of them close political associates of the Clintons: former White House Press Secretary Dee Myers, and Geoff Garin, who was the chief strategist for the former First Lady's 2008 presidential bid. Liasson merely identified Garin as some one who "has worked for Clinton in the past."
What’s more embarrassing, hateful, ignorant and racist than a “right-winger”? Not much, according to MTV. The youth oriented network’s reality show “True Life” ran an episode called “I hate the government” last Friday which detailed the lives of three “right-wingers.”
The episode description reads: “Amelia, Caleb and Andrew are three right-wingers who despise the very thing that holds our country together, the U.S. government.”
Sure, Chuck Hagel might have been a bumbling, stumbling mess at his confirmation hearing yesterday. But the real story was how awful were the Republicans who questioned him. That was the collective judgment of today's Morning Joe panel.
For example, so contemptuous was Joe Scarborough of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, that the Morning Joe host announced that he would not even mention him by name. "Clown show" was the panel's operative phrase for the Republican performance. Andrea Mitchell, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle et al. joined in the Republican roasting. View the video after the jump.
Darn that economy. Why won't it behave? Doesn't it realize that Barack Obama has more important things to do than worry about its health and well-being?
That's the tone I get from a story headline at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about how "ECONOMIC JITTERS COMPETE WITH OBAMA AGENDA." The poor guy; he has to pay attention to something he must have thought he could keep at bay with continued but consistent tepid job and economic growth. Trouble is, yesterday's report from the government indicated that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.1% during the fourth quarter of last year. The underlying writeup by the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn also treats the economy as an annoying distraction or possibly even a threat to his gun contral and immigration de facto amnesty efforts (bolds are mine):
Let's see. Last week, USA Today reported that "A federal court delivered a defeat to the biofuels industry Friday, ruling the U.S. government exceeded its authority by requiring refiners to purchase cellulosic biofuel despite the fact the next-generation fuel is not commercially available."
Specifically, the court ruled, in Hebert's words that "the Environmental Protection Agency had 'the authority to set a standard' for cleaner gasoline under the 1990 Clean Air Act, (but that) it could not 'mandate the manner of compliance or the precise formula' for the fuel."
Today, Matthew Daly at AP reported that the EPA in 2013 will "require production of 14 million gallons of so-called cellulosic biofuels made from grasses and woody material." In other words, EPA, in defiance of a federal court order will continue to mandate how these fuels will be produced. Daly, of course, didn't characterize what EPA did as direct defiance. Here are several paragraphs from Daly's whitewash:
Viewers who tuned in to Wednesday's The Situation Room were bombarded with over five times as much coverage of gun control advocates than of the lone gun rights advocate Newt Gingrich.
Host Wolf Blitzer tossed plenty of softball questions to gun control advocates Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), but he grilled Gingrich on background checks.
Marco Rubio's tough talk to Rush Limbaugh yesterday about no immigration deal being done unless certain language on border security, etc. is included? Ignore it. Just Rubio taking care of his conservative base—and saving face. In the end, Rubio will likely give Obama his vote on immigration reform. It's all about finding an out for Republicans when it comes to winning back a decent share of the Latino vote. And conservatives will be willing to take the deal.
Such was the collective wisdom of Morning Joe today, as enunciated by Jon Meacham and seconded by Joe Scarborough. View the video after the jump.
An emailer who is a retired journalist wrote to me today about a January 27 Associated Press item by Andrew Taylor presented as an objective news report, calling it "Appalling ... the worst ever." If it's not, it's pretty close, though I'm not sure how any report on a single congressional action can top the comprehensive slop seen in the June 2008 classic titled, "Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control." Readers visit that linked article at their peril.
The AP report concerns the "no budget, no pay" provision added to the bill the House recently passed to increase the government's borrowing cap. Taylor's travesty reeks of contempt and imbalance. Several paragraphs follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
CNN's Soledad O'Brien, well known for her documentaries on race "Latino In America" and "Black In America," questioned the GOP's credibility among minority voters on Friday's Starting Point.
Quoting an RNC committeeman who said minority voters and the youth vote "simply don't know" the GOP, O'Brien asked former RNC chair Mel Martinez "is it that they don't know you? Meaning you as the GOP. Or is that they know you and they decided they don't like you?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]