Some politicians have the same public image throughout their careers. Others at least try to give themselves a makeover (e.g., the “new Nixon” of 1968). In a Wednesday post, Esquire’s Charles Pierce claimed that for the past decade, we’ve had what amounts to a new Al Sharpton, and that “the transformation began when Sharpton ran for president in 2004.”
Pierce noted Sharpton’s Tawana Brawley/Crown Heights “not-entirely-concerned-with-the-truth-of-things period,” but argued that in ’04, Sharpton the candidate “reintroduced himself to the country as a serious man with serious concerns,” and that “more or less, that's been the path on which [he] has remained ever since.” These days, Pierce remarked, “bringing up the sins of [Sharpton’s] past now seems as strange an avocation as summoning up Malcolm X's early career as a burglar.”
A Friday afternoon dispatch at the Politico from Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein tells us that "The White House is putting the finishing touches on a post-Labor Day schedule that will send the president to states where he’s still popular."
The list of states where the Politico pair alleges that's the case is quite short: "Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California." That's it. Obama, in a situation resembling that of Richard Nixon in the final months of his presidency, when "Tricky Dick" was mocked for being able to find friendly audiences in just a few Southern states, is apparently toxic everywhere else, just in time for midterm elections. Moreover, it didn't take much research to show that the Politico's pair's claim Obama is "still popular" in most of those five states is either false or shaky — especially after considering that such polls are all too often overloaded with Democrat and liberal respondents.
On Friday morning, the major broadcast networks were out in full force to defend President Obama after his remarks at a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to militarily address the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Syria.
Leading the way was NBC’s Today, where co-host Matt Lauer told NBC News political director and moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd that “[c]ritics pounced” when Obama made that remark and wondered if they took “his words too literally.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
I struggle to come up with a reason, other than an irresponsible attempt to minimize the impact of the horror, why the headline at a Thursday evening Associated Press story by Zeina Karam and Ryan Lucas about "more than 160 Syrian government troops" massacred by ISIS is "JIHADISTS KILL DOZENS OF CAPTURED SYRIAN SOLDIERS."
On Wednesday night, Megyn Kelly, perhaps the best host on the air today at adapting and responding to new information, did a double-take when Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry told her that President Obama would be traveling to Rhode Island on Friday for a Democratic Party fundraiser.
Having been so informed, she then made those plans the first topic of discussion with each of her next two guests: Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute and Democratic Pary strategist Penny Lee. Along the way, it because obvious that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's claim that the administration has "a comprehensive strategy" for dealing with ISIS is a load of rubbish. Video and transcribed highlights follow the jump (HT Fox News Insider via The Blaze and Mediaite):
Despite a Thursday New York Post report that President Obama's upcoming Labor Day weekend fundraising junket would shut down airspace across the northeast and hurt business for local pilots, neither NBC's Today nor ABC's Good Morning America covered the controversy. CBS This Morning offered a mere 18-second news brief on the topic.
This Morning fill-in co-host Vinita Nair informed viewers: "...the FAA is forcing no-fly zones beginning Friday. That includes grounding sea planes from the Hamptons to Nantucket. One company says it is a major hit on their busiest weekend of the year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chris Matthews devoted a segment during his MSNBC show Hardball on Wednesday evening to the tragic shooting death of a firearms instructor at a Arizona gun range after a nine-year-old girl accidently shot him with an Uzi submachine gun. Instead of discussing how tragic this incident was or possible safety measures to take in the future, Matthews and his guests chose to rail against the National Rifle Association (NRA) for somehow being connected to this terrible incident.
At the conclusion of the six-and-a-half-minute segment, Matthews shamefully declared: “This is the slippery slope, what we're watching. This is where you get when you go all the way with gun rights. All the way is what it looks like – take a look at that girl. That's a slippery slope to hell.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Among the things that conservative firebreather Rush Limbaugh deservedly loathes, it's sanctimony from an ostensibly neutral news anchor.
Gwen Ifill, moderator of "Washington Week" and co-anchor of "PBS NewsHour," was among the panelists who appeared on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday. The discussion inevitably turned to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the civil unrest that followed. (Audio clips after the jump)
Mark Litke hyped the "population explosion – what some are calling a crisis" in the Philippines on Sunday's PBS NewsHour Weekend, and played up how poor "families in Asia's most Catholic country...have had little or no access to contraception or family planning advice." Litke confronted a retired Catholic archbishop on his Church's teaching against birth control: "If the people of the Philippines are in support of...contraception...why would the Church oppose any of that?"
The former ABC correspondent later lamented how the Supreme Court of the Philippines protected the religious liberties of Catholic institutions in the country as it upheld a "new reproductive health care law" that subsidizes birth control: [video below the jump]
As news broke on Tuesday of Burger King buying Tim Hortons and moving its corporate headquarters to Canada, the broadcast networks quickly adopted the liberal talking point that the fast food chain was being unpatriotic by avoiding high U.S. tax rates. On Tuesday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer proclaimed: "Burger King, home of the Whopper, accused of doing something a lot of Americans question, defecting. Heading north of the border to Canada and saving a lot of tax money." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's Today, correspondent John Yang touted "a whopper of a controversy" over the move and announced: "...just the idea of moving the headquarters to Canada has some once-loyal Burger King subjects ready to revolt....On Burger King's Facebook page, nearly 5,000 posts, most critical. 'You abandon the America that made you and we will abandon you.'"
On his show Monday night, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly declared that MSNBC host and Ferguson, Missouri activist Al Sharpton "has become so controversial in America that it's hard to explain how a news agency, NBC, can even have him on the payroll."Mediabuzz host Howard Kurtz agreed, labeling Sharpton's employment with the network "a travesty." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Kurtz pointed to Sharpton "delivering a pretty political speech at the funeral" of Michael Brown and being "the go-to guy for the Obama White House on Ferguson," proclaiming: "It is amazing to me, this just reeks that MSNBC thinks this is acceptable." Moments later, O'Reilly concluded: "I believe that Sharpton almost single-handedly has corrupted NBC News."
Former Florida Republican Governor Charlie won the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary tonight.
In his writeup on Crist's defeat of an overmatched challenger, the Politico's James Hohmann wrote that "Only four years ago Crist was a governor who had run for office as a rock-ribbed conservative." That wording is a bit too clever. One might argue that Hohmann is merely claiming that Crist ran as a "conservative" in 2006 on the coattails Jeb Bush's successful and largely conservative previous eight years as Florida's governor. But Crist certainly didn't flaunt the label, and by mid-2007 it was obvious that he was governing as a "Schwarzenegger-style Republican moderate" — making it clear that any campaign claim to being genuinely conservative was a false front. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton appeared on the Fox News Channel (FNC) Monday afternoon and informed viewers that a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney admitted to his organization on Friday that the e-mails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost likely still exist. He declared to FNC’s Shannon Bream that the story of Lerner’s hard drive being damaged and destroyed and thus her e-mails were permanently lost has “all been a pack of malarkey” and “a big lie.”
When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this huge story on their Monday evening newscasts, there was no coverage to be found as ABC, CBS, and NBC all carried out the latest censoring of news surrounding the IRS. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
In a testament to how slanted MSNBC's coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri has been, Democratic state senator and left-wing bomb-thrower Maria Chappelle-Nadal praised the channel's activist coverage of the story during an appearance on Monday's Jose Diaz-Balart: "I have to tell you that because your network has been here, a lot of truths have come to light. If the national media was not here, everything would be brushed under the rug....we would not be able to hear the stories of police officers who have called us and treated us like animals." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chappelle-Nadal proclaimed: "So what I would say nationally is this is the time to have an honest and frank conversation. This is the time to have cultural engagement." On August 14, her idea of "cultural engagement" was tweeting "F**K you" to Governor Jay Nixon over his handling of the protests following the shooting death of Michael Brown.
On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall asked incoming Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd if all the criticism of President Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard amid numerous crises was "just politics as usual." Todd replied: "Yes, it's politics as usual, but in this case, this is optics, this was stuff they should have seen coming. This is not new to them." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd noted "backtracking" from former Obama adviser David Axelrod: "You know what? Maybe Democrats are too hard on President Bush when they used to beat him up for his vacations in Crawford." Todd concluded that Obama "wanted his downtime" and "guards his downtime," "But, you know what? It's something they should have been more aware of."
Filling in for Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC's 12 p.m. ET hour on Friday, Hardball host Chris Matthews hit President Obama from the left while praising Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri: "...it may be a lesson for the President, too, and I'm not usually a critic of him. But I have to say that I thought that in a very positive way Eric holder showed how you lead in this country. And a big part of leading is showing up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The comment was prompted by correspondent Craig Melvin reporting from the community: "Attorney General Eric Holder being here earlier this week...that was a big deal for a lot of people because a lot of people on the ground here do not have a great deal of faith in the local jurisdiction but they do have a fair amount of faith in the administration."
The press never let George W. Bush forget about that "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln after Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his government's military was routed in Iraq. They often pretend that Bush said it, or adopted it. He did no such thing, saying only that “Our mission continues.”
So while the press has come close to making a claim Bush 43 never made an article of faith, it is virtually ignoring something current U.S. President Barack Obama actually said, namely that, concerning ISIS, "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant." Kristina Wong at the Hill is a rare exception. She reminded readers of what Obama said in January as she reported Thursday on how the nation's defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely disagree (bolds are mine):
Friday’s CBS This Morning dove into the subject of President Obama vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard while events domestically and internationally rage, including the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. While they were the only network to mention this story, the report from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett and discussion among the hosts afterward did little more than cover for the president.
At the segment's conclusion, co-host Norah O’Donnell compared Obama’s golfing minutes after making a statement about Foley’s murder to former President George W. Bush going golfing after speaking about a suicide bombing in Iraq. O’Donnell observed that:[MP3 audio here; See the video after the jump]
During a report on Friday's CBS This Morning about some of the "backlash" against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, correspondent Ben Tracy highlighted Michigan Democratic Congressman John Dingell bashing Republicans who took part in the effort to raise research money for Lou Gehrig's Disease. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tracy declared that Dingell "accuses some Republicans of de-funding ALS research while taking the ice bucket challenge. He tweeted, 'Since 2011, House Republicans have cut National Institutes of Health funding by billions. And you thought dumping ice water on your head was cold.'" Footage ran of Congressman Paul Ryan getting doused with ice water as Tracy recited Dingell's attack.
After Thursday's network evening newscasts ignored a report from the Government Accountability Office that the exchange of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was illegal, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America remained silent on the Obama administration scandal on Friday. Only CBS This Morning made any mention of the violation of federal law, providing a mere 24-second news brief on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meanwhile, both Today and GMA did find time to produce full reports on a contestant on VH1's Dating Naked reality show suing the cable network for showing her naked on the program.
Washington Post parenting writer Mari-Jane Williams took to the paper’s Thursday "Local Living" section to continue the paper’s advocating the name “Redskins” be stripped from the city’s NFL team through a conversation she had with her seven-year-old daughter after she wanted “to buy a Redskins outfit” for a bear she had at home. Upon hearing her daughter’s request, she told readers it was then that “we had to have the talk.” in which she told her “I don’t think so, honey. I think you should pick something else.”
Williams informed her daughter that the team’s name “has become a political statement, and not a good one” that is “an offensive word for a group of people” and she agreed that the team should change their name.
Between Wednesday's evening newscasts and Thursday's morning shows, NBC, CBS, and ABC all praised Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Allen proclaimed: "Those demanding justice for Michael Brown are relieved that Eric Holder is here because they simply don't trust the local authorities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers similarly announced: "The visit by Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson was really an effort by the White House to try to bring back confidence to a community that's just been torn apart by the shooting of the 18-year-old Michael Brown....Now, many here are seeing Holder's presence as a step towards transparency."
On Wednesday night, the major broadcast networks ignored the latest news from the Fast and Furious scandal as a federal judge ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) must turn over a list of documents regarding the botched gun-running scheme that was formally called Operation Fast and Furious.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in court hearing Wednesday that the DOJ will have until October 1 to produce what is known as a privilege log to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. According to an article posted on The Blaze:
In a stunning report by ABC News online, we learned that President Barack Obama and his White House knew that ISIS "recently threatened to kill U.S. journalist James Foley to avenge airstrikes the United States has conducted in Iraq." A video surfaced on Tuesday showing what appears to be an ISIS terrorist beheading Foley with the stated reason of revenge on Obama, suggesting they will do it again.
President Obama recently downplayed the ability of ISIS to carry out significant damaging acts of violence, referring to the terrorists as the JV (Junior Varsity) team compared to Al Qaeda, in an interview with The New Yorker magazine's David Remnick.
On Wednesday, outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins ran to the defense of the all-too-common practice of aborting Down Syndrome babies in a series of posts on Twitter. Dawkins endorsed the New Republic piece of fellow atheist Jerry A. Coyne, which slammed the Catholic Church for its "medieval morality" of opposing abortion, and added that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area....You'd think the Roman Church would have lost all influence."
When pro-lifers challenged his support for this form of eugenics, Dawkins replied, "Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings." He later asserted that such abortions are the only moral option (Twitter post below the jump):
After a long-running "bromance" between weatherman Al Roker and Vice President Joe Biden, the hosts of Wednesday's NBC Today arranged a surprise live appearance from Biden to wish Roker a happy 60th birthday. After Natalie Morales introduced the veep, sitting in a studio in Washington D.C., Roker gushed: "Oh, my gosh. Mr. Vice President!...Oh my gosh, this is such an honor." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the birthday wishes, Roker fawned over Biden: "Look, I have been with you on a couple of stories and you make the Ever-Ready Bunny [sic] seem like a slacker. You are constantly on the move. What's your secret?" Biden replied in part: "I'm more optimistic today about the prospects for our country than I was elected as a 29-year-old kid. And I really mean it."
Liberals and even far-leftists who would normally be inclined to cheer political attacks on Republicans and conservatives have been distancing themselves from last Friday's indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, lawyer Alan Dershowitz (this "what happens in totalitarian societies"), and former Obama White House advisor David Axelrod are just a few of them.
"The Five" co-host Bob Beckel is definitely not in that crowd. In Monday's segment on the topic, Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign manager called his fellow liberals "wusses" and Rick Perry "a jerk." Wait until you see his reason why Rosemary Lehmberg, who was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving drunk with a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit, should remain in her job. Excerpts from the relevant Monday segment follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Ever since police in Ferguson, Mo., released surveillance footage that appears to show Michael Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store minutes before he was shot to death after a confrontation with a local cop, we've heard an endless chorus of perceived wisdom that releasing the video was certain to cause more chaos.
The fact that civil disorder grew far worse in the wake of the video's release, and only 24 hours after relative calm when the Missouri highway patrol assumed jurisdiction over the case, has repeatedly been cited as evidence that putting the footage in the public domain was sheer folly. (Audio clips after the jump)
On Tuesday's This Hour, Michaela Pereira endorsed guest L. Z. Granderson's take on the media's extensive coverage of the ongoing turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. The liberal commentator pointed out that "this past weekend, we had over 30 people shot – seven of them died – in the neighborhoods in Chicago – many of them black and brown. None of that was covered." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Pereira replied to Granderson by asserting that "because of Ferguson, Chicago is sort of taking a back seat in the headlines. And Chicago's a very concerning thing, and we need to keep watching. We need to keep addressing what's going on there." One wonders if the anchor will criticize her own network, as CNN has only mentioned the violence in the Windy City twice over the past week. Back on the August 13, 2014 edition of The Lead, Jake Tapper cited a recent column by Jesse Jackson:
Imagine that a prominent Republican activist proposed a campaign of malicious destruction against Hillary Clinton's latest book. Does anyone doubt that the press would be all over it as proof that conservatives and Republicans are disrespectful and mean-spirited?
Well, Erica Payne is a prominent, aggressively self-promoting progressive. The advanced nature of her activist bona fides might cause you to assume that she would think before stooping to openly suggesting destruction of property. Nope. Via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard (link is in original; bolds are mine):