Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
MSNBC's Ronan Farrow marked the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on Thursday by browbeating the Catholic Church for supposedly thwarting the fight against AIDS in the developing world, and for the Church's apparent lack of action in stopping genocide. Farrow played up how "Church social policies often fly in the face of skyrocketing HIV rates," and bemoaned how "the Church does still ban contraception in those places. Is that costing lives?"
The neophyte TV host asked one of his priest guests, "You don't think that it's irresponsible, given the emphasis on mercy and the preservation of life, that there's not more leeway on that doctrine?" He also played up how "brutal conflicts in countries with significant Catholic populations demand attention that some say the Church is failing to provide," and faulted the Church for its apparent inaction during the genocide in Rwanda almost 20 years ago: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
You know how Chris Matthews gets a thrill up his leg when Obama's rhetoric soars to unprecedented heights from the television monitors at MSNBC? Seth Meyers undergoes a full-body thrill whenever Rachel Maddow is in the same zip code.
Maddow appeared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Tuesday for an interview that quickly degenerated into Meyers essentially revealing he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body and that he and Maddow would make a wonderful couple, they really really would. (Video after the jump)
Reacting to Idaho passing a law to allow teachers and students to carry guns on college campuses, Thursday's NBC Today promoted a Boise State University professor opposed to the legislation who authored a New York Times Op/Ed absurdly titled: "When May I Shoot a Student?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer hyped how the satirical essay was "spurring debate over guns on campuses." Fill-in co-host Tamron Hall fretted over the "controversial measure" to let citizens exercise their Second Amendment rights and declared professor Greg Hampikian's Times article to be "eye-opening."
Talking to Donald Trump on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer complained about the Celebrity Apprentice host and CPAC speaker criticizing President Obama's poor handling of the Ukranian crisis: "You've been critical of the President and his handling of the situation with Ukraine and Crimea. I think you said, I'm paraphrasing here, but basically Putin was playing with or toying with Obama. That is kind of a common refrain of yours....you always think that Obama is being weak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Trump, on to promote the 2014 Miss USA pageant set to air on NBC in June, pointed out that "a lot of other people" had been equally critical of Obama's foreign policy. Lauer countered: "What would you have done differently than he did in the days before Russian troops went into Crimea?" Trump replied: "Well, first of all, it should have never happened." Lauer pressed: " But what would you have done immediately?"
Here at NewsBusters, we've regularly raked Chuck Todd over the coals. So let's give the NBC political director credit for calling out Dems today on their lame spin over the loss by Dem Alex Sink in this week's special congressional election in FL-13.
On today's Morning Joe, Todd mocked Dems in the White House and elsewhere now claiming that FL-13 "is not a swing district. It's an 'R+13.':" Said Todd: "Well, it's only that because your people didn't show up! They didn't move. They still live in the district. They didn't leave!" View the video after the jump.
[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."
What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]
On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
In fawning puff piece aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Craig Melvin was delighted by three Democratic congresswoman – including left-wing bomb-thrower and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz – sharing a Washington D.C. townhouse when Congress is in session: "For Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alabama's Terri Sewell, and New York's Carolyn Maloney, it's all business during the day. They're congresswomen. Oh, but by night....This is like a sorority house." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schultz declared: "It's a sisterhood, for sure." Melvin observed that New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney "is less a house mother and more the landlord." Maloney explained: "Well, when I was first elected, I lived alone....I was used to a husband and two children and a cat and pandemonium, chaos at home. So I decided to buy a house and fill it up with friends, which is exactly what I did."
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows dutifully touted a fake interview President Obama conducted with comedian Zach Galifianakis designed to help the commander-in-chief hock ObamaCare to young people. On NBC's Today, social media co-host Carson Daly gushed: "It's over six minutes long...all of it is really, really funny....You know, the First Lady's been everywhere showing her comedy chops and it's been great. But boy, the President, he is amazing in this. So check that out this morning if you have time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the show's 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker praised Obama's comedic genius: "It's about the delivery and the President shows he's got the comedy chops." Co-host Tamron Hall declared: "Yes, yes. Which he shows at the White House Correspondents' Dinner every year." Co-host Willie Geist explained: "It was part of a – this concerted effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. Because they get into that and the President's allowed to explain it."
When Obama IRS official Lois Lerner yet again pleaded the Fifth Amendment last Wednesday rather than answer challenging questions during a congressional hearing, the liberal media stifled yawns. To the extent the March 5 hearing was covered, media attention turned to the post-hearing fireworks between ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) rather than the substance of the questions Ms. Lerner refused to answer on the record under oath.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon with MSNBC.com lamenting how "Christie aides double[d] down on Fifth Amendment" in a state investigative probe of the Bridgegate scandal. Here's how staff writer Aliyah Frumin reported the story [emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break]
How do you know when Ed Schultz is way off the mark? Aside from the high likelihood of this whenever the man opens his mouth, it becomes nearly certain when what he says drips with bellicose certitude.
A classic example came on "The Ed Show" March 7 when Schultz was discussing efforts to lobby Nebraska state lawmakers to support the Keystone XL pipeline. (Video after the jump)
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."
By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
You would think that MSNBC hosts might not want to invite Bill Press on their shows to talk about supposedly inflammatory conservative rhetoric, given Press’s track record of vile left-wing bile. But on Thursday, host Al Sharpton once again invited Press onto PoliticsNation to discuss what the reverend called conservatives’ “ugly, very ugly attacks on the president over the crisis in Ukraine.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sharpton played some clips of conservative pundits and politicians alike criticizing President Obama for his handling of the crisis in Ukraine. He then asked Press to comment. As he has done in the past, the liberal talk radio host showed his utter hypocrisy when he responded, “I mean, look, Joe [Madison] and I are both talk show hosts. You don't hear that kind of ugly talk coming from the left that you do from the right.”
Appearing on Thursday's CBS Late Show aired early Friday morning, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine with host David Letterman and observed: "...when chemical weapons were used in Syria and they were discovered, I didn't think it was President Obama's finest moment. He said there's a red line, then he kept moving that sucker....[Vladimir Putin] might have taken the measure of President Obama and said, 'I may be able to test this guy'....it has that appearance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That analysis was prompted by Letterman noting: "And people are saying this [Russian invasion of Ukraine] is because of the negotiations, or the unilateral negotiations regarding Syria, when he [Putin] stepped in looking for weapons of mass destruction...and Obama had to sort of acquiesce that because it was not a bad idea. So now he [Putin] feels like he can get away with this. Is that part of it?" Brokaw replied: "Well, I think that's pretty astute."
Introducing a gushing interview with HBO Girls star Lena Dunham aired on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie eagerly proclaimed: "You know, to call her the voice of her generation might actually be underselling her abilities. At just 27 years old, she isn't just starring in the hit HBO show Girls, she created it, writes it, produces it, and she also directs it. And now she can add something else to that impressive resume, she'll be the host of Saturday Night Live this weekend." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
One of the more depressing truths of contemporary society is contained in “O’Sullivan’s First Law,” from British conservative journalist John O’Sullivan: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” For proof, look no further than South by Southwest (“SXSW”).
SXSW started as a meetup for tech experts, but attendance has grown 300 percent since since 2009 (as many as 150,000 people are expected to come to Austin, TX, this year starting March 7), and it has turned into a pop culture party, featuring more celebrity special guests each year. This year, the guest list includes Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers, Mindy Kaling, Rosario Dawson, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Nicolas Cage, Andy Samberg, CeeLo Green, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Bill Nye.
On Thursday's OutFront, CNN's Erin Burnett teed up Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings to call for Rep. Darrell Issa's ouster as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
After a hearing where former IRS chief Lois Lerner dodged questions on the scandal she is at the center of, CNN joined NBC in focusing its outrage instead on Issa, who cut Cummings' microphone when the latter began railing against the proceeding. Burnett called that a "new low" for Congress on Wednesday, and then on Thursday she relayed the call for Issa's removal from the Congressional Black Caucus. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Anyone who's heard Hillary Clinton sing would know that comparing her to one of the great rock singers is a ludicrous comparison. But it stands out as a notable air-kiss in the new book HRC by White House reporters Jonathan Allen (Bloomberg News) and Amie Parnes (The Hill).
When Hillary arrived at the State Department to begin work "as the new boss" in 2009, they wrote, "she brought with her an entourage befitting an international icon. And she was greeted as a celebrity." But she was Bono of U2?
Both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday saw the beginning of the end of an investigation into the Obama administration's IRS scandal following tirade by Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings at the conclusion of a Wednesday hearing on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Well, after a shouting match on Capitol Hill, California Republican Darrell Issa says his probe of alleged IRS abuses may have hit a dead end." The headline on screen read: "IRS Hearing Showdown; Probe In Danger After Chaotic Hearing." CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose similarly declared: "A congressional investigation into the IRS may be stalled this morning because of partisan bickering."
Sunny Hostin blasted an Indiana mall's ban of people wearing raised hoodies on Thursday's New Day: "This is...akin, in my view...to 'stop and frisk' – to the pretext of 'stop and frisk' – and I think many courts have found that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and downright unconstitutional."
The CNN legal analyst also contended that "'hoodie' is code for 'thug' in many places," and later claimed that "to identify just hoodies in my view...it's very, very clear what we're talking about here. We're talking about racial profiling. It's code for racial profiling." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Talking to MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on Thursday's NBC Today about the Ukranian crisis, co-host Matt Lauer saw the Republican Party, not Russia, as President Obama's fiercest adversary: "We're six days into this crisis now, the rhetoric seems to be heating up. Not between Russia and the United States, but between Republicans in Congress and the administration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer pressed Scarborough: "You heard John McCain say it was a massive intelligence failure and a misreading of Vladimir Putin's intentions. Lindsay Graham weighed in, saying, 'What we're seeing in the Ukraine right now is a result of failed policies in Syria and Benghazi.' Do you agree with those assessments?" Scarborough immediately dismissed the GOP criticism: "No, absolutely not....Barack Obama didn't lose Ukraine any more than George W. Bush lost Georgia in 2008, anymore than Ike lost Hungary in 1956."
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NBC has been the only Big Three broadcast network to look back to President Obama ridiculing Mitt Romney for calling Russia a U.S. "geopolitical foe" in 2012. On Wednesday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander reminded viewers: "Republicans have repeatedly attacked President Obama's Russia policy as weak and naive....Helping fuel that criticism, this moment from the 2012 campaign, where President Obama mocked Governor Mitt Romney for calling Russia America's number one geopolitical foe." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning managed to work that into their coverage of the unfolding international crisis on Wednesday.
Shameless shilling for the Demcratic Party's presumptive presidential 2016 nominee appears to have reached an all-time peak.
A USA Today email I received this afternoon (email web link here) breathlessly delivered the following "Breaking" news story readers will see after the jump. Keep in mind that this is not a normal, garden-variety news story. No, this one's "breaking," meaning that we apparently must drop everything and read it because of its immediate importance to anyone who tries to follow the news:
Radio libtalker Bill Press did much yesterday to explain why he more than occasionally comes across as addled. Then again, it's probably only his politics responsible for conveying that impression.
In what is unlikely to come as a shock to his former boss, Press said there were "potheads" who worked in the state bureaucracy for California Gov. Jerry Brown, and that Press was one of them. Correction -- while working in the higher echelons of bureaucracy. (Audio after the jump)
The three network morning shows combined gave less than two minutes of air time to President Obama's proposed 2015 budget on Tuesday, though they all managed to highlight how the plan "will cut taxes for thirteen and a half million working Americans" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]. What the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all ignored was that the debt projections under the President's budget were off by $2.7 trillion compared to recent numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office.
As the Washington Post pointed out on Tuesday, "[Obama's budget] forecasts a dramatic reduction in deficits over the coming decade. The request paints a much rosier debt scenario than a report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a month ago."
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]