A Friday article in Politico described a "GOP on the Rise" while citing the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, noting that "Republicans are now leading Democrats on handling several key issues..." By contrast, on Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd minimized that development, claiming that Republicans "only fare a little bit better" in the poll than Democrats. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Today segment began with news reader Natalie Morales declaring: "...many remain disappointed with high unemployment, a sluggish recovery, and limited job growth. 45% now approve of the President's handling of the economy in our new poll. 52% disapprove." She then turned to Todd and wondered: "...we've got a gridlocked Congress, so does the President have much of a shot of turning this around? Do Republicans fair much better?"
At the start of an interview with Senator Bob Corker on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd demanded the Tennessee Republican justify criticism of President Obama's poor handling of Syria: "You've been very tough on the President, you said he's a diminished figure on Capitol Hill. And you even questioned whether he knew how to speak as a commander-in-chief. Explain yourself on that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Corker replied: "I am really disappointed in the way the President addresses our country and does not really make a case for what is our national interest." Todd quickly pushed back: "He had no political support. It was pretty clear. I mean, this was...going down in flames in Congress. It wasn't going to be a close vote. What was he supposed to do? He didn't have – he did not have the political will of the country, nor the political will of your colleagues on Capitol Hill."
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show to devote a full report to Colorado voters recalling two pro-gun control state legislators. Barry Petersen highlighted how "those who oppose gun control have a lot to celebrate" with the recall, and how "those backing the two senators spent seven times more money – $3.2 million" than the gun rights supporters who spearheaded the campaign [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, NBC's Today on Wednesday didn't devote a second of air time to the Colorado recall election. Instead, they set aside 36 seconds of reporting to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's Good Morning America also minimized their coverage, as they merely broadcasted a 16-second news brief on the story.
President Obama has been facing an unusual amount of criticism lately for his handling of the Syrian crisis, so it was only a matter of time before someone in the mainstream liberal media tried to cut him some slack for his weak leadership. On Wednesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, the host-turned-apologist asked if Obama could really be blamed for not calling on Congress to authorize a military strike in Syria.
Mitchell was talking to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee and a supporter of military action against Syria, about the president’s Tuesday night speech. Rogers expressed disappointment that Obama was not more forceful in making the case for intervention in Syria. Mitchell then defended Obama’s indecisiveness: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently we can't grasp the full brilliance and nuance of Barack Obama's speeches without having someone from the establishment press telling us what he really meant to say when he said what he really said.
That's the impression one gets from reading "What President Obama said, what he meant" early Wedesday at the Politico. In it, along with an accompanying video dedicated to the same idea, we see Carrie Budoff Brown's exercise in explaining Obama's 15-minute speech on Syria to the ignormamuses of the world. Her weakest translation concerns the extent to which Obama apparently assumed he'd automatically have support from the vast majority of Republicans, apparently because, as the web site's equally surprised Alex Isenstadt and Reid Epstein also believed two days ago ("'Party of Hawks,' Has Gone 'Dovish'"), they just love to go to war for any reason, no matter how incoherent or unplanned. That passage follows the jump:
The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday briefly noted the one-year anniversary of the Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, but not one pointed out the latest development in the ongoing controversy over what happened. On Tuesday, CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported on Twitter that Secretary of State John Kerry "tells [C]ongress he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning."
Norah O'Donnell highlighted on Wednesday's CBS This Morning that "Republican Congressman Darrell Issa wants to interview survivors" and that "he's giving the State Department until Monday to meet his demand", but didn't mention Kerry's refusal. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
As the Virginia governor's race heats up in the Washington Post's backyard, the liberal broadsheet is doing its best to skew coverage in a favorable manner for liberal Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chief and longtime friend of the Clintons.
An excellent contrast that illustrate's the paper's bias is how it has handled the back-to-back defections of Republican strategist Boyd Marcus and Democratic activist David "Mudcat" Saunders. The former is backing McAuliffe and the latter is endorsing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Post devoted stories to both men's decisions to buck the party line, but staff writer Laura Vozzella had a considerably longer piece on the front page of Metro which painted Marcus's move as a harbinger of a deeper GOP party split. [RELATED: check out my colleague Rich Noyes's study on Virginia newspapers slanting towards McAuliffe]
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd engaged in a strategy session over how President Obama could minimize any political damage from Congress voting down a strike on Syria. Lauer fretted: "Is there an escape hatch for the President? Is there a way for him to save face politically if this vote goes against him?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer's concern was prompted by Todd observing: "[The White House is] very concerned, Matt, because it's not just that they believe they need Congress on this and they want to punish Assad and all of the Syria policy, but they realize a loss like this could be politically crippling to him [Obama] all over Washington on all the different battles that he's got coming in the next six months."
When it comes to light that a prominent liberal Democrat has committed a series of sexual transgressions, there are two typical responses from media outlets: ignore the story and hope it goes away or spin it as best as they possibly can. The latter approach typically involves either highlighting how said politician and his wife are grappling with rebuilding their marriage and family or by virtually lamenting the emotional turmoil suffered by the adulterous pol as a result of his inability to control himself.
A textbook example of the latter was dutifully provided by Time magazine's Dan Kedmey in a September 9 post Swampland blog post headlined, "Report: In a Secret Journal, RFKJr. Records a Painful Struggle With 'Lust Demons.'"Kedmey picked up on a New York Post exclusive about a journal purportedly kept by Kennedy in which, "[o]n the days he resisted the temptation to have an affair, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. marked the occasion in his secret journal with a one-word exaltation: “Victory!” But on the days of defeat, the ink really began to flow across the page." Kedmey continued (emphasis mine):
No website outdoes the Politico when it comes to looking at the world through Beltway-stereotyping glasses. A post this morning on Republican congressmen and senators' views towards attacking Syria exemplifies that outlook.
Apparently, in the fevered minds of Alex Isenstadt and James Hohmann, a GOP lawmaker learning about any idea to intervene militarily automatically salivates at the prospect and shuts down all critical thinking processes. The Politico pair are puzzled at how so many of them can possibly be opposed to President Obama's proposed Syria intervention. It's really not that hard, guys, if you abandon your stereotypes and do some thinking yourselves for a change. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In back-to-back interviews with members on Congress on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, fill-in host Luke Russert desperately tried to sell Democrats and Republicans on the importance of supporting President Obama taking military action against Syria. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to Democratic Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly, Russert worried: "How much of this do you think, within your caucus, falls on this idea of, 'Okay, we're not necessarily comfortable with the idea of launching any missiles into Syria, but God help us, if we cut the President off here at the knees he becomes a lame duck quite early in his term and looks entirely weak. So we're going to kind of go along with him here in order to preserve his ability to govern on other major issues.' Is there an element of that here?"
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor joined host Al Sharpton to go after Republicans for trying to cut back food stamp allowances, with Sharpton seeing "vile rhetoric" from conservatives and a "stunning new attack on millions of Americans trying to put food on the table."
The MSNBC host also fretted over reports of Fox News sending copies of its special on welfare fraud to members of Congress, and again distorted FNC host Bill O'Reilly's contention that some recipients are "parasites."
[Update, Friday, 1:45 pm Eastern: Carol Costello is standing by her anti-Limbaugh Tweet, according to a report on TVNewser blog. The unnamed CNN spokesperson claimed Costello's Tweet was deleted, but it's actually still up -- see link below.]
Someone pass the smelling salts. Liberal CNN host Carol Costello expressed her disgust over conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's upcoming children's book, "Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims." Costello first snarked on Twitter about Limbaugh's book announcement: "Um. Oh. Seriously?" Minutes later, the on-air personality Tweeted, "I'm a little sick now."
Costello's openly slanted post was the first response to a Huffington Post Tweet on Limbaugh's book. [Update, Thursday, 5:55 pm Eastern: second paragraph corrected, as Costello's Tweet is actually still visible on her timeline.]
On Wednesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, minutes after President Obama denied setting a "red line" on Syria's use of chemical weapons, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd excused the obvious falsehood: "I think it was clear that the President was trying to depersonalize the Syria issue a little bit....to say, you know, 'Stop making this about the President personally, depersonalize this.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following those instructions from Obama, Todd proceeded to blame Republicans for the President trying to distance himself from his own red line: "...there are some House Republicans who are looking at this only view – through the prism of their disagreements and dislike for President Obama rather than the policy itself. And so [the White House is] trying to make the policy argument, 'Forget who's in the seat as commander-in-chief, would the United States believe this was a red line no matter who was president?'"
"For years, police officers in North Carolina had a choice when it came to confiscated guns. They could use them for law enforcement purposes—training, testing, examining—or they could destroy them," Daily Beast writer Jamelle Bouie noted in a post to the website on Wednesday.
But now, thanks to "a new law... passed by Republican lawmakers in the state," that's changed. Now, "Police officers can still use confiscated guns, but as of this week, they can’t destroy them," Bouie groused in his September 4 post, going on later in his piece to whine about how the bill is evidence of an almost religious devotion to guns by conservatives. Left completely out of his story, however, was any note that nearly all the state senate's Democrats and a majority of Democratic state representatives backed the so-called Save the Gun law, Senate Bill 443.
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor joined host Al Sharpton to lambast the GOP for suffering from "Obama Derangement Syndrome," picking up on criticism of President Obama putting his foot on his desk in the Oval Office, without noting any of the visceral hatred felt toward George W. Bush by the Democratic base during his time as President.
At one point, Milbank may have been vaguely hinting at hatred coming from Democrats in the past, although the Washington Post columnist accused the GOP of greater transgression as he claimed that Republicans "have taken it to an entirely different level" in going after Obama.
Sharpton complained of President Obama being "disrespected" as if it were unprecedented during Republican presidencies:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford boosted the latest pro-ObamaCare campaign from the President's supporters in Hollywood. Crawford played back-to-back soundbites from liberal comedian Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website, and highlighted the list of celebrities who have signed up for the campaign.
The correspondent did later acknowledge that the controversial law is still "deeply unpopular", and featured a clip from a recent anti-ObamaCare ad released by the Crossroads GPS super PAC [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
In an exclusive interview with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to blame the Bush administration for President Obama's difficulty in garnering support for military action against Syria: "Looming over this debate time and time again has been the specter of Iraq. Most recently, the U.K. Parliament, many members cited the failure of intelligence leading up to Iraq as the reason that they won't take action now in Syria..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Rumsfeld, Guthrie wondered: "Do you personally take any responsibility for that? Or feel any responsibility for that?" Rumsfeld reminded Guthrie of the lengthy process that led up to the Iraq War: "President Bush went to the congress, got the support of the congress. Went to the U.N., got the support of the U.N. And fashioned a very large coalition. So it seems to me that all the appropriate steps were taken and the congress, a Democratic congress, voted for regime change in Iraq."
A Michigan State University professor started his first creative writing class last week going on an eight-minute tirade about members of the GOP.
In the video published Thursday by Campus Reform, William S. Penn said Republicans "are cheap. They don't want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Monday morning, 22-term Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, as reported by Tal Kopan at the Politico, said that President Barack Obama's drawing of a "red line" on Syria is "embarrassing," and that he is against "putting our kids in harm’s way to solve an international problem."
Rangel is the third most-senior House member of either party. If a senior Republican congressperson similarly criticized opposed a Republican or conservative president in a matter such as this, there would be widespread establishment press coverage. In this case, there's very little. This is not unusual for stories detrimental to Democratic Party interests, as the rest of the establishment press all too often seems content to say, "Oh, that was already in the Politico, so we don't have to cover it."
Its actual headline is, "Obama's history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria." As Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds noted a short time ago: "You can read this entire article about Obama going to Congress over Syria without seeing any mention that Bush went to Congress over Iraq and Afghanistan." After the jump, readers will get as much as (or maybe more than) they can stand, complete with the "There were no WMDs in Iraq" lie (bolds are mine):
Almost all of today's conservatives believe that their predecessors in the 1950s and '60s should not have opposed the civil-rights movement. Plenty of liberals counter that the right's wrongness on racial matters is by no means a thing of the past. This week, three Daily Kos writers advanced that idea.
Laura Clawson asserted on Monday that "for a hundred years after the Civil War, white people gave themselves the most extreme form of affirmative action by law and at gunpoint. Then for 50 years, they've insisted that any real steps to undo that damage were unfair."
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, liberal talk radio host Joe Madison referred to Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as "Jim Crow's grandson" and "Jim Crow Esquire" during a discussion of the absence of Republican figures at the Martin Luther King, Jr., 50-year commemoration.
After a couple of clips of O'Reilly critiquing the social problems of some poor Americans, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor accused the FNC host of "wholesale maligning of an entire race and class of people" that is "simply unconscionable," even though O'Reilly specified no racial group as he responded to a clip of President Obama in which the President complained that some Americans, "regardless of color," are still having economic difficulties.
After host Al Sharpton asked if O'Reilly is "somebody we ought to be taking seriously," Taylor began her response:
The four panelists of MSNBC’s The Cycle each weighed in on yesterday's nationwide fast food workers’ strike on Thursday’s show. All four of them voiced their support for the strikers, including the supposedly conservative member of the panel, Abby Huntsman.
Huntsman claimed the strike was “bigger than the minimum wage. This is about making enough to live.” She groused that the average minimum wage employee in Missouri was only bringing home about $10,000 a year. “I mean, people deserve higher-paying jobs,” she complained. “I think this speaks to a much bigger problem. It's jobs across the board where people aren't getting paid enough to live.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although he didn't dare mention him by name, there's little doubt that Joe Scarborough had Mark Levin—who has taken strong shots at Scarborough's criticize-conservatives-first approach—in mind as a radio talk show host who is "jealous" of him and for whom Scarborough feels "sorry."
On today's Morning Joe, James Carville told Scarborough that the hard core of the Republican party does not consider him one of them. Scarborough defended himself, claiming that whereas some basement-dwelling, underwear-clad bloggers and a couple of "jealous" radio hosts might not like him, Republicans regularly come up and hug him, proclaiming "thank God!", when he's out in public. Let's review the record: Mark Levin is the author of The Liberty Amendments, a current #1 New York Times bestseller. He hosts the the fourth most popular radio show in America that is #1 in its slot in several major markets. Perhaps most importantly, Levin can put his head on the pillow every night knowing he hasn't sacrificed his principles. Raise your hand if you think the Great One is jealous of Scarborough. Bueller? Bueller? View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd laid blame for Republicans not speaking at Wednesday's anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington on the GOP, rather than event organizers: "...the Bushes couldn't go, there were health reasons why neither President Bush could go and speak. Other Republicans leaders were invited to speak and they politely declined. In hindsight, do you wish there had been Republicans that had agreed to speak?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Republican strategist John Feehery pointed out that the only African American in the United States Senate was not invited to speak: "I find it completely shocking that Tim Scott [R-SC] was not invited." Todd still faulted Republicans: "But why didn't Boehner and Cantor say, you know....they could have, by going, they probably could have said, 'By the way, we want you to invite Tim Scott,' and I don't thing the King family says no."
Appearing on MSNBC's All In show on Wednesday, August 28, MSNBC's Chris Matthews called it a "great irony" that only two Republican Senators opposed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, an implicit suggestion that the modern GOP opposes voting rights.
The MSNBC host's observation came as he recounted that many Democratic politicians in the 1960s, including friends of President Kennedy, were segregationists. Matthews began:
Now that he has managed to return from weekend purgatory, MSNBC host Ed Schultz is resorting to desperate measures to keep his weekday television perch including seriously asking a poll designed to inflame to passions of his angry older viewers.
“Are conservatives the new confederates?” Schultz asked.