Eager to defend President Obama from criticism of his vacation in Martha's Vineyard amid multiple international crises, both Sunday's ABC Good Morning America and Monday's NBC Today used false spin to downplay the bad optics. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On GMA, co-host Dan Harris tried to deflect from Obama's time on the golf course by claiming that "George W. Bush played his fair share of golf during the Iraq war as well," an assertion that NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein promptly disproved.
To read the Associated Press's Friday evening coverage of a federal judge's refusal to block North Carolina's election law reforms from taking effect in the upcoming general election, you'd think it was an unsuccessful effort on the part of a group of poor Davids to defeat the Tar Heel State's government Goliath.
As J. Christian Adams at PJ Media noted shortly after the decision, it was nothing of the sort. Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice weighed in heavily, and is in fact listed as the plaintiff in one of the three cases Federal District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder decided. Additionally, a prominent national law firm took the case on a pro bono basis for the allegedly aggrieved groups. I'll first look at a bit of what AP's Michael Biesecker and Gary D. Robertson wrote, and follow it with Adams's reality-based rendition.
Yesterday, Roll Call and The Hill both relayed Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein's call, in Roll Call's words, "for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president." She believes it is needed because "It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries ... and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard."
Searches at their web sites indicate that the Associated Press and New York Times have not reported Feinstein's stark warning, which directly contradicts the President's January ridicule of ISIL/ISIS as the equivalent of junior varsity basketball players. At the Politico, in a worry-wart piece on "Obama's liberal problem," Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb shamefully omitted Feinstein's "in our backyard" warning — while covering the rest of what she said.
The Big Three networks steered clear of labeling the Islamist group ISIS "terrorists" on their evening newscasts on Friday. Instead, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News labeled the genocidal radicals "militants." NBC Nightly News used the more benign "rebels" in their coverage of the group's latest attacks on the Kurdish part of Iraq.
The closest that a journalist at ABC, CBS, or NBC got to using the "terrorist" label was Scott Pelley's teaser at the very top of CBS Evening News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only NBC's Today made any mention of President Obama being criticized over his slow response to the terrorist group ISIS taking over Iraq. Co-host Savannah Guthrie raised the issue to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Listen to the President last night, his reluctance to get into Iraq is palpable. But on the other hand, he's facing criticism, I think you're reporting from all quarters, that maybe he waited too long to do anything and now we see ISIS in an even more dangerous position." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd replied: "For months, some could argue for more than a year, there has been pressure on him from the intelligence community, from military commanders, to say, 'You have to do something about ISIS, they're marching'....he's been dragged into this. He doesn't want to do it."
It looks like Shannon Bream of Fox News lost a friendly bet with Brent Bozell, the president and founder of the Media Research Center, NewsBusters's parent company.
On last night's Kelly File, the fill-in anchor argued that the liberal broadcast networks would have to devote time to covering John Walsh if he bowed out of his Senate race due to his plagiarism scandal. Bozell insisted otherwise and placed a dinner wager on the table [Watch that video in the embed below, fast forward to 2:48 into the video]. Well, this afternoon Montana Democratic U.S. Senator John Walsh did indeed announce he was dropping out of the race, and, alas, neither ABC's World News nor CBS's Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News even made a passing reference to the development.
Several months ago, based on several far from minor out-of-the-gate mistakes, I characterized the candidacy of the Democratic Party's challenger to incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich as "the wreck that is Edward FitzGerald."
In the past week, FitzGerald has utterly imploded. The latest revelation Tuesday afternoon, namely that he had "no license to drive at all from 2002 to 2008," leaves one wondering whether his party vetted him at all. Former Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial director Brent Larkin calls this "at or near the top of the list" of "bizarre developments" he's seen in 45 years of covering politics. Despite the fact that Ohio is a key battleground state and that Kasich had in some quarters been seen as vulnerable after his attempt at Scott Walker-like reforms went down in flames in 2011, national news about Fall-Apart FitzGerald is sparse — and when it appears, it's often made to look like a GOP dirty tricks exercise.
For the second consecutive night, Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williamscontinued its refusal to cover the findings in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in which President Obama’s job approval rating hit a record low. 54 percent of Americans disapprove of how Obama is doing his job, while merely 40 percent approve in what is his lowest percentage since he took office in January 2009.
As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen reported on Wednesday morning, NBC’s morning news show Today did discuss the poll, but NBC News political director Chuck Todd ignored Obama’s job approval/disapproval numbers. Instead, his takeaway from this polling data was that an “exasperated public” is “fed up with Washington” and not Obama in particular. Drennen reported that “[t]he only mention of Obama during the segment when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: ‘Impeach Obama.’”
Readers of the New York Times know it as the "Weddings/Celebrations" section, which appears in every Sunday paper. Cynics have taken to labeling it the Women's Sports Page. It made for delightful reading this past weekend.
Those browsing through the most recent installment weren't likely to miss the prominent placement of a story about attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actress Cheryl Hines tying the knot at the home of Ethel Kennedy in Hyannis Port on Aug. 1.
After NBC Nightly Newscompletely ignored the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday, political director Chuck Todd appeared on Wednesday's Today to promote the survey but skipped the finding that President Obama's job approval rating sank to 40%, with 54% disapproval. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd framed the poll results as evidence of an "exasperated public" being "fed up with Washington," rather than with Obama. The only mention of Obama during the segment came when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: "Impeach Obama."
Conservatives seeking a potential president who’s like Ronald Reagan might be interested to know that Andrew O’Hehir of Salon thinks he’s found such a person. True, they might then be surprised to learn that he's talking about Hillary Clinton.
O’Hehir, who’s well to the left of Hillary on economic issues, doesn’t intend the Clinton-Reagan comparison as a compliment to either. He believes that she is and he was propelled by “the force of money and those who wield it,” and that these days, plutocrats control the whole political process: “You can’t separate the fact that only rich people can run for president from the fact that both parties are fueled by rich people’s money, or from the fact that beneath all their partisan bickering Democrats and Republicans have vigorously collaborated for more than 20 years on a set of deregulatory, low-tax and cheap-credit economic policies that have made rich people a whole lot richer.” From O’Hehir’s Saturday piece (emphasis added):
They had to invent Sarah Palin's supposedly most embarrassing gaffe when she was the vice-presidential nominiee in 2008. She never said, "I can see Russia from my house!" Comedienne Tina Fey did. As noted at NewsBusters several days ago, that hasn't altered the folklore.
You don't have to invent gaffes for Joe Biden, the man who became Vice President after the 2008 election. He generates them continually. The lists seen here and here contain many of the golden oldies through August of 2012. There have been plenty since then. His latest, following the jump, is a doozy. The smart money would be on the establishment press ignoring it, as they have the vast majority of the others.
On Tuesday's Today, Savannah Guthrie had an exclusive interview with Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, but rather than grill the controversial administration official on a variety of international crises, the NBC host merely tossed softballs. Meanwhile, about thirty minutes later, Guthrie interrogated former Ohio State University marching band director Jonathan Waters on being fired over the group's hazing practices.
Guthrie began her exchange with Rice by not even asking a question, just making a statement that "U.S. officials seem very, very confident" that the West African ebola outbreak could be contained. In her first real question to Rice, Guthrie simply wondered if the Israel-Hamas cease-fire in Gaza "will hold?" Finally, Guthrie worried that the ebola outbreak would overshadow a White House PR event with African leaders. That was the extent of interview.
It would almost not be worth noting, because it's so predictable. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, with strategic support at opportune times from National Journal's Ron Fournier, characterized the support within the Republican Party for impeachment as coming from "Tea Party opposition ... (with) no diversity, it's a white, older group of people."
What makes it worthy of notice is the fact that Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, called out Williams for his comments and held his own as Fournier attempted to be the supposed voice of reason while really bringing aid and comfort to Williams. Video and a transcript follow the jump:
On MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry program on Saturday, Dean Obeidallah injected race into the debate inside the U.S. over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict: "You saw a poll last week, young people 18 to 29: only 25 percent think it's justified what Israel is doing; 50 percent said, no. People of color, same numbers...It's really the Obama coalition versus white conservatives. That's the only group saying – the majority saying what Israel is doing is justified."
During the same panel discussion, American University's Hillary Mann Leverett made a very peculiar assertion about anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East – that from a historical perspective, European anti-Semitism was supposedly much worse than Islamic anti-Semitism: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday morning, broadcast networks ABC and NBC and cable news outlet CNN continued their blackout of the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and his shuttering of his own anti-corruption commission. Since the story broke on July 23 in The New York Times, neither one of these three news operations have covered the story.
CBS This Morning, which previously reported on the story on both July 31 and August 1, provided an update on the scandal Monday morning in the form of a 23-second news brief regarding Cuomo’s top aide agreeing to speak with federal prosecutors who are looking into allegations the commission was steered away from anyone with ties to the governor. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Liberal radio host Thom Hartmann is busy at work on two crucial elements of the left-wing agenda -- criminalizing differences of opinion and perpetuating the myth that our politics have never been more polarized.
Hartmann received help in this endeavor from his weekly guest, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bolshevik of Vermont, who frequently appears Fridays on Hartmann's program for the preciously named segment "Brunch with Bernie." (Audio after the jump)
Former Congressman Barney Frank had "a July interview" with the Huffington Post. The liberal blog's Zach Carter put up a post about it on Friday, August 1 at 3:59 p.m.
How convenient, because Frank ripped President Obama and his administration, who he says "just lied to people" about whether they could keep their existing healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Naturally, despite the fact that most of those "if you like your plan-doctor-provider-drug regimen, you can keep them" promises were made before the law's passage, whoever interviewed Frank at HuffPo didn't follow up with the obvious question: "Despite the lies, why are you still comfortable with having voted for it?" Or if they did, they chose not to publish Frank's response. Excerpts follow the jump.
As of 5pm ET on Friday, August 1, CNN has yet to cover the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over his possible obstruction of a commission trying to expose political corruption in the Empire State's government. Instead, New Day, the network's morning show (which is co-anchored by the governor's brother, Chris Cuomo) has covered seemingly more important stories, such as the controversy surrounding the NFL's two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
The New York Times broke the Cuomo investigation on July 23. Since then, the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the story has been CBS This Morning. The morning show aired a full report on Friday about the possible witness tampering. Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron also covered the scandal on Friday's Happening Now: [video below the jump]
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd made a celebratory declaration: "Look, Democrats, for the first time probably in 18 months, you see them walking with confidence. This White House seems confident again....the Republicans in a 48-hour period gave Democrats something to run on. And you see a pep in the Democratic Party step that we haven't seen since the 2012 election." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
So what was the GOP contribution to the supposed comeback? Todd referred to House Republicans suing the President over abuses of power and not yet passing legislation to address the illegal immigration crisis.
Appearing on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted that he had been a completely objective reporter for Time magazine before becoming a spin doctor for the Obama administration: "Right after the election in 2008, I was the Washington bureau chief for Time. And I was an old-fashioned journalist, not an advocate, didn't take sides in my job. But I was extremely excited personally about the Obama-Biden victory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In 1993, the "old-fashioned" Carney described then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as a "polite but passionate American citizen – strangely mesmerizing because of how she matched the poise and politics of her delivery with the power of her position." In contrast, during the 2000 presidential campaign, he slammed George W. Bush as a "pit bull let loose in a slaughterhouse."
This post is not about an item in The Onion. It's about a supposedly serious establishment press story at The Hill.
This morning, Amie Parnes and Peter Schroeder covered the Obama administration's apparent plan to pivot to the economy for the umpteenth time. But this time, Obama and his apparatchiks aren't doing it because they think they need to convince people that things are getting better. No-no-no. They're declaring victory, "tying his legacy" to Obama's apparently wondrous stewardhip of the economy. In the words of the Hill pair, they are "seizing on the administration’s successes in boosting the nation during financial woes." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Carol Costello badgered Congressman Matt Salmon on Thursday's CNN Newsroom over Congress choosing to go into recess instead of dealing with issues like illegal immigration: "Congress is again the butt of jokes on late-night TV. Rome burns and lawmakers go on vacation....Why don't you guys just stay in Washington and deal with problems like immigration?"
Costello later hounded the Arizona Republican for the House of Representatives' vote to sue President Obama, and wondered, "Why didn't Republicans vote to impeach the President then?" She also rattled off a list of GOP politicians who had raised the specter of impeachment in the past: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Tonight at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, a dispatch by Ken Dilanian and Eileen Sullivan reports that "a document circulating among White House staff" about post-9/11 allegedly harsh and inhumane CIA interrogation techniques — a document which was "accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter" — claims that Former Secretary of State Colin Powell "may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002." Given the wire service's unrequited lapdog love for all things Obama, it seems more likely, as posited by Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, that the "AP reporter" in question is on the regular circulation list and was told to call this particular leak an accident. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Earlier today, the Hollywood Reporter told readers that MSNBC had a horrible July rating period. For the four weeks ended July 27, the self-described "lean forward" network saw "its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54" drop by "33 percent from July 2013," causing it come in "below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status":
ABC's World News stood out as the sole Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to not cover the release of Lois Lerner's e-mails, where the former top IRS official slammed conservatives as "a**holes" and "crazies." Instead, the news program devoted full reports to the water main that burst on the campus of UCLA and the controversy over usage charges on cell phone bills.
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Wednesday both set aside about two minutes each of air time to Lerner's "salty language," as NBC's Kelly O'Donnell put it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Anderson Cooper targeted former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura in a Tuesday post on Twitter, after a jury awarded the ex-governor of Minnesota over $1.8 million in damages in a defamation lawsuit against the estate of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, is the executor of her deceased husband's estate.
In the Tweet, Cooper expressed his disbelief over the lawsuit, and wondered what was wrong with Ventura: [post below the jump]
In an interview with Hillary Clinton aired Tuesday on his Fusion show America, anchor Jorge Ramos repeatedly pressed the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate from the left on the ongoing illegal immigration crisis, demanding: "Do you think you have a Latino problem?...I'm saying it because recently you said about the Central American children coming to the United States that we have to send them back." [Watch the video after the jump]
After Clinton argued for only allowing children seeking legitimate asylum to stay, Ramos cited one of her possible 2016 rivals: "But if you deport them, Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley said that if you send them back, you would send them back to certain death. Do you agree that if we deport some of these children that they're – it's a death sentence for them?"
Two years after he was widely vilified for suggesting that Sandra Fluke was a "slut" and "prostitute" for insisting that other people -- taxpayers or insurance companies, she wasn't picky -- pay for her birth control, Rush Limbaugh asked a question about Fluke today on his radio show that we're unlikely to hear from what he derides as the "drive-by media."
Fluke, who somehow survived her brutish treatment by Limbaugh to land a prime-time speaking gig at the Democratic National Convention that year, right before Bill Clinton aptly enough, is running for state senate in California. That she might get elected is due largely to Limbaugh's role in making Fluke a public figure. Poor thing, the fame she's had to endure as a rock star on the left, where they robotically view people they admire as rock stars, has been hellish. (Audio after the jump)
While Chris Matthews avoided the National Review coverage of Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s leaked campaign strategy, the panel of Morning Joe gave the story a brief three minutes during the three-hour morning news show. MSNBC contributor Willie Geist appealed to Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd to brush the controversy aside, stating “these plans exist on every campaign” and “it’s just that we have got one in the spotlight this morning.”
The plan in question confronted Nunn’s need to appeal to minorities in the Atlanta area, especially African Americans and Hispanics. Strategists also recommended that the Maryland native tap into the financially viable minorities, such as the “very tight” Asian community, the Jewish population that holds “tremendous financial opportunity”, and the gay community. While Todd did have enough time to compare Nunn’s strategy to “that scene in the Simpsons where Montgomery Burns starts running for governor,” the panel only chose to mention her appeal to the Jewish population.