In his "analysis" on Tuesday's U.S. District Court ruling which called a halt to "a secret investigation into his 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups that supported" Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press basically gave away what the prosecution's agenda really has been all about.
It really hasn't been about cleaning up political campaigns, or whatever other similar tired bromides the Walker-hating left dishes out from time to time. It's been about hurting Walker's reelection effort this fall and punishing him for reforming public-sector collective bargaining in the Badger State. Short of that, it's an attempt to marginalize him as a potential 2016 presidential candidate by smearing him with the "under investigation" and "scandal" tags. Let's start with the opening paragraphs of Bauer's bluster (bolds are mine throughout this post):
After enthusiastically promoting an upcoming White House climate change report on Tuesday, all three network morning shows on Wednesday happily touted interviews with President Obama on the subject and continued to hype the "dire" and "alarming" findings. Meanwhile, critics were dismissed as an anti-science minority. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "Millions coping with the first record-breaking heat wave of the season, while the White House issues a dire warning about the nation's climate change." In the report that followed, weatherman Al Roker dutifully parroted White House talking points: "This report has taken years to complete with input from hundreds of scientists and technical experts. The President saying the report's conclusion is clear: If we want to stop climate change, the time to act is now."
Robert Costa's disdain for Tea Party-sympathetic conservatives was quite evident tonight in his coverage of Republican House Speaker John Boehner's primary victory at the Washington Post. Costa, a former writer at National Review, even insulted the noble pursuits of justice and the truth regarding Benghazi and the IRS's targeting of conservative and other groups by calling them "red meat for the tea party faithful."
The WaPo reporter characterized Boehner as having "swatted away" his opposition without revealing that the Speaker got only 69 percent of the vote. Yes, I wrote "only." Costa himself noted that "a sitting speaker still has never been defeated in a primary election," but didn't disclose Boehner's percentage of the vote. That's odd to say the least. I don't recall a sitting speaker ever losing 31 percent of the vote in a party primary, and it's possible that it has never happened outside of circumstances involving scandal or crime. I certainly don't recall a sitting speaker opening his wallet to defend his seat in a primary as Boehner did. Excerpts and analysis follow the jump (bolds are mine):
CNN's John King, along with the AP's Julie Pace and National Journal's Ron Fournier, targeted President Obama from the left on Tuesday's New Day over the issue of climate change. King highlighted Obama's interviews with meteorologists in order to "push his agenda for climate change," and wondered, "If the President has this power...through executive authority, and this issue is so important to him, why did they wait so long? Why not do this in the first term?"
The two guests seconded the correspondent's question, with Fournier hyping how the apparent crucial nature of the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on Monday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz touted Democratic spin that the ongoing Benghazi scandal could actually help Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign: "I talked to somebody over the weekend, a Democrat, who said, you know, this could actually be good for Clinton because the degree to which the right is really after her helps her with her left....if she's under attack by the right, the Democrats across the spectrum will be more forgiving of her." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host and NBC political director Chuck Todd led off the exchange by wondering if the House GOP was just "playing politics" with the issue by announcing a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack. Balz declared: "I mean, I think the base of the Republican Party is very stirred up and continues to be very stirred up over Benghazi." Todd whined: "And they believe the worst in this conspiracy about the White House. And they believe it to the core."
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
On Monday, the three network morning shows provided 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled a mere 47 seconds. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: "Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack." After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday's Face the Nation, Rose added: "House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain." NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.
On Friday, CBS Evening News caught up with its Big Three competitors and reported on the latest developments on the controversy surrounding the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. CBS also finally mentioned its own president's family connection to a White House official involved in the Obama administration's handling of the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Nancy Cordes gave a full report on how the "the White House released previously unseen e-mails" about the federal government's response to the terrorist strike, which led to House Speaker John Boehner forming a new select committee to investigate the attack. Scott Pelley also disclosed that "Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor mentioned in Nancy's story, is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On the Wedneday, April 30, Hardball, during the show's regular "Side Show" segment, MSNBC host Chris Matthews highlighted Comedy Central's Jon Stewart using Donald Sterling's racist talk to make a crack about alleged "crazy talk" from Sarah Palin. Matthews began:
During a 28-second news brief on Thursday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales seized on Obama administration spin downplaying newly-released emails suggesting a cover-up of Benghazi: "The White House is dismissing claims by Senator Lindsey Graham that a previously undisclosed talking points email is a smoking gun about the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans....The White House says the email was explicitly not about Benghazi, but was about the overall situation in the region." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That parroting of White House talking points was the only mention of the ongoing scandal on the network morning shows on Thursday. CBS This Morning did a full report on the topic on Wednesday. ABC World News provided a full report Wednesday evening while NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams offered a mere news brief that glossed over key details.
On Thursday's MSNBC Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough annihilated liberal pundit Donny Deutsch's attempt to defend the Obama White House over emails showing a cover-up of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack: "I got everybody here apologizing for the White House. What about a cover-up here, Donny?!...what's the politics of the White House lying about something that we all know they're lying about?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Deutsch actually tried to spin the Democratic scandal as bad for Republicans: "I want to put up a warning for the Republicans because obviously the Republicans are seizing on this and jumping in. I think this is fools gold for 2016." Scarborough tore into him: "Why are you jumping to political strategy instead of talking....about what [White Press Secretary] Jay Carney did, the double speak?!"
Wednesday's Colbert Report, in an apparent boost to Democrats before November's mid-term elections, mocked GOP congresswoman Renee Ellmers and hosted her Democratic opponent Clay Aiken for a friendly interview.
Host Stephen Colbert made it clear who he supports for North Carolina's second congressional district. He mocked the "message of hope" Ellmers sent to furloughed federal workers after she voted to shut down the government and joked, "if she weren't enough of a shoe-in already, get a load of who the Democrats are running against her." [See video below. Audio here.]
On the Wednesday, April 30, PoliticsNation, Al Sharpton charged that the Republican Party "demonizes the working class" and that GOPers "attack the working poor" as the MSNBC host trashed Republicans for opposing a minimum wage increase. [See video below.]
On Wednesday, Jake Tapper set aside a full segment on his CNN program to Rep. Bennie Thompson's "Uncle Tom" insult of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Tapper spotlighted the "racially-charged" and controversial" remarks, where the Mississippi Democrat also denigrated Senator Mitch McConnell and opponents of ObamaCare in general as "racists."
The anchor turned to correspondent Dana Bash, who pursued Rep. Thompson about his attack on the prominent official. Bash reported that the liberal politician "doubled down" in particular on his inflammatory labeling of Justice Thomas: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
When several members of Congress set out in the early 1990s to improve fiscal reporting and internal controls in the federal government, one thing they certainly had a right to expect is that the press would report on lapses as embarrassments, and that otherwise nonchalant or reluctant bureaucrats would figure out that it would be in their best interest to tighten their ships. It hasn't happened, largely because the press quickly got bored, enabling the bureaucrats to thumb their noses at those who called them out for weak reporting or control violations.
To name just one glaring example: Concerning the Internal Revenue Service, in August of last year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration happily reported "the downgrade of the information security material weakness to a significant deficiency during the Fiscal Year 2012 financial statement audit," and that "the IRS removed it from the December 31, 2012, remediation plan" (that's bureaucratese for "finally solved the problem") — 19 years after it was first identified in 1993. In that context, let's look at an outrageous situation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning featured a full report on an outrageous attempt by Illinois Democrats to shove through $100 million in taxpayer funds for Barack Obama's future presidential library despite the state being $7 billion in debt. Meanwhile, NBC and ABC ignored the brewing controversy.
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell noted the proposed massive spending was "a controversial move for a state that's pretty deep in debt." Correspondent Nancy Cordes explained: "That's right, $7 billion in debt. But Democrats in Illinois say allocating this money will help to convince the Obama Foundation to locate the Obama Library in Chicago, while many Republicans argue the President's hometown is the front-runner anyway and that this is an expense their state can't afford." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC, CBS, and NBC have set aside over 146 minutes of air time on their morning and evening newscasts to the controversy surrounding a racist tirade by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. However, as of Wednesday morning, the Big Three networks have yet to pick up on a Tuesday scoop from Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who discovered "shocking racial comments" by a sitting Democratic congressman.
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson unleashed on Senator Mitch McConnell and Clarence Thomas, and Republicans in general, on a radio program of the New Nation of Islam – a sect that holds that "intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited" and that blacks should be "allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own - either on this continent or elsewhere." Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends on Wednesday devoted a full report to Rep. Thompson's bigoted remarks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After White House emails released on Tuesday showed the Obama administration had a direct hand in crafting false talking points about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012, Wednesday's CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast to cover the latest developments in the ongoing scandal. None of the network evening newscasts covered the story Tuesday night, with NBC and ABC continuing to be out to lunch Wednesday morning.
Introducing a full report on the Benghazi emails, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New emails are renewing controversy this morning over the Obama administration's response to Benghazi. The documents were obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Four Americans died in the 2012 assault, including Ambassador Chris Stevens." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's All In on MSNBC to discuss the controversy over Donald Sterling's racist comments, HBO comedian Bill Maher managed to make a crack about Rush Limbaugh.
He answered a question from host Chris Hayes about whether there would be an increase in the number of people defending Sterling in the aftermath of his punishment. Maher said Limbaugh will "find a way to say something worse" than Sterling. [See video below.]
On the Monday, April 28, The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz devoted the first segment of nearly 15 minutes of his show to trying to link prominent conservatives like Paul Ryan to the racist views of people like Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling, whom the MSNBC host failed to label as a Democratic donor.
Schultz charged that Ryan and other GOPers "support policies that attack minorities" and later reiterated that conservatives "fuel racism by their policies that attack minorities." [See video below.]
On the Monday, April 28, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of the arrest of New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank played up the possibility that this scandal and others involving GOP congressmen could hurt Republican candidates in other parts of the country. Milbank:
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the issue of child sex abuse by priests on their Saturday morning and evening newscasts – twenty-four hours or less before the Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. CBS and NBC both uncritically turned to the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), but didn't mention her controversial affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.
CBS and ABC also hyped how "some of the faithful have complained the canonization process was fast-tracked." ABC's Terry Moran even inserted some slanted labeling of the Catholic practice of venerating the relics of saints on Saturday's World News, and wondered if modern people could relate to the Church's examples of holiness: [MP3 audio from the networks' reporting available here; video below the jump]
Politico's David Nather must have thought he was so clever. Here's how he opened a recent column: "It can happen to anyone, right? You rally behind a guy ... and suddenly he’s spewing racist bile and boy, does it splash on your face." Yes, I left out a few words, and I'll get to that. But before providing them, the quote just rendered would apply to how those at Los Angeles branch of the NAACP must feel about their now-withdrawn but not forgotten plan to confer a lifetime achievement award on Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling, who has been caught on tape allegedly telling a woman that she shouldn't "associate with black people" or have blacks accompany her to Clippers games.
Let's revise Nather's blather a bit for another comic circumstance: "It can happen to anyone, right? You rally behind a guy because he comes over to your side on climate change, and suddenly he’s arrested in 'a 20-count federal indictment that includes charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and tax fraud.' Boy, does it splash on your face." Now I'm talking about the fools at Organizing For Action, who celebrated the "breakthrough" of having GOP Congressman Michael Grimm come over to their side mere days before his indictment, which occurred today.
On the Sunday, April 27, Melissa Harris-Perry show, during a discussion of new laws restricting abortion in Mississippi and Texas, guest Chloe Angyal of Feministing.com ridiculously saw "white supremacy" in Republican state legislators who had worked to reduce abortion, and asserted that these GOPers should be "ashamed of themselves."
Marcus Mabry of The New York Times stated the legal question was "at what point will the Supreme Court say the state impediments to a woman's ability to get an abortion actually represent illegal actions?" [See video below.]
In a Saturday afternoon tweet, former Bill Clinton campaign strategist and former CNN talking head Paul Begala showed that he's quite a confused guy concerning Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. Sterling, as noted previously (here and here), has been caught on tape chiding a person who is apparently his girlfriend for "taking pictures with minorities" and "associating with black people." Sterling sees her as a "delicate" "Latina or white girl" who shouldn't "associate with black people." He asks her not to bring black people, including NBA legend Magic Johnson, to games.
Given these developments, Begala gave a "friendly tip" to several conservatives and Republicans, specifically talk radio's Sean Hannity and GOP Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. In the process, he betrayed a likely need to broaden his media consumption habits beyond the liberal bubble. Begala's tweet follows the jump:
A Friday afternoon email I received from Organizing For Action, aka BarackObama.com, aka the group whose mission in life is to support whatever President Obama wants them to support, took me by surprise.
The email, which is replicated at an OFA post, told readers that "There's one fewer climate change denier in Congress." I figured that the congressman who flipped almost had to be a Republican, and I was right: "Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11) is standing up for an honest and reality-based discussion on what to do about climate change." I also thought to myself that something else must be going here. Is it ever. I hope OFA didn't spend too much on party favors for what it described as a "breakthrough," because they happen to be cheering the "conversion" of a guy who is about to be indicted:
On the Friday, April 25, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Sean Hannity's reaction to racist comments by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, MSNBC host Al Sharpton went after Hannity's decision to reiterate some of his complaints about the Obama administration on his Hannity show after condemning Bundy's racism.
Guest Joan Walsh of Salon magazine ended up comparing Hannity's anti-Obama complaints to criticisms of the Clinton administration in the 1990s which she asserted "culminated in Timothy McVeigh." [See video below.]
On the Thursday, April 24, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, during a discussion of conservatives rejecting Cliven Bundy after the airing of the Nevada rancher's racist comments, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart claimed that other Republicans, including officeholders, had similarly "extol[led] the wonders and the virtues and the beauty of slavery," without naming any names, as he asserted that Bundy's words were "not an isolated statement."
From time to time, leftist media members have regaled us about how the Obama administration somehow remains totally or nearly scandal-free (two of many examples are here and here). Part of the reason they actually believe this is because real-time press dispatches covering scandalous circumstances are rarely described that way.
The journalistic gymnastics involved were on vivid display Friday evening at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. In one of the more ridiculous such dispatches to date composed by the Obama-supportive media, AP reporter Alicia A. Caldwell lauded new Department of Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson for taking actions to "to tamp down what could have been political scandals." The problem with that assessment in two of the three instances Caldwell cited is that a "scandal" ("a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.") had already occurred.
A search at the Associated Press's national site on the last name of Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn and "Jews" at 7:30 this evening returned nothing.
That's pretty amazing, considering that Quinn's campaign enthusiastically retweeted its support for an outrageous April 17 column by Neil Steinberg at the Chicago Sun-Times. For all practical purposes, Steinberg equated African-Americans who might support Republican Bruce Rauner in November's gubernatorial election against Quinn to "Jews (who) collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go." Quinn's people quietly deleted the tweets, according to the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo, "after local Jewish community officials quietly communicated their outrage to the governor." Given that the time between the tweets and the deletes was apparently a few days, and that the sort-of apologies came almost a week after Steinberg's column, I'm not detecting a lot of sincerity here. Coverage from CNN's Political Ticker follows the jump (bolds are mine; links are in original):