On Friday, the CBS Early Show promoted President Obama’s stronger anti-terror language as correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: “The President accepted responsibility for the attack. He said the buck stops with him. He also adopted his toughest tone yet, stressing that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda.”
Reid later cited security improvements made under the Bush administration to minimize the failures of the Obama administration: “Security expert Edward Alden says despite the Christmas day attack, U.S. intelligence has improved dramatically over the past decade.” Alden explained: “This is a difficult job and I think that we are much better placed now, by a long shot, than we were before 9/11.”
Reid concluded his report by describing Obama’s relief at being able to move on to other topics: “After two weeks of dealing with terrorism, almost around the clock, today, the President hopes to shift the focus, he’ll be giving a statement on what he’s doing to create jobs.”
First of all, let me wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, and I want to thank you all for reading this column and letting your thoughts be known by responding.
Whether your reaction to what I write be pro or con, it's always good to know what's on your mind, and I sincerely hope that you will continue to do so.
There is a great frustration abroad in America these days and goodness knows we have enough to be frustrated about; the economy, the two wars we are fighting, people walking unimpeded across our border from Mexico, a country that for all practical purposes is being controlled by a ruthless drug cartel.
The closing of businesses, the loss of jobs and the relentless cruelty of Islamic terrorists around the world all add up to a myriad of serious problems facing America today.
Although you will not hear it articulated in the mainstream media, I think what's bothering Americans more than any other single subject is the fact that we've lost control of our government.
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller inaccurately claimed on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday that former President Clinton “put the Cole bombers in jail.” Miller also predictably blasted former President Bush for not “taking responsibility for 9/11,” in contrast to President Obama’s recent acceptance of responsibility for intelligence failures prior to the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas [audio clip from the segment available here].
Host Larry King first turned to the leftist talk show host during a panel discussion which began 12 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour: “Stephanie, the President said the buck stops with him. Was that a good move today?” Miller immediately made her full Bush Derangement Syndrome apparent in her response:
MILLER: Well, it’s certainly a different move than we ever heard in the Bush administration. I never heard anybody taking responsibility for 9/11, for Katrina. I thought he stepped to the plate. And I couldn’t disagree with Paul Bremer [who appeared in the previous segment] more, Larry. I think he [Obama] is prosecuting the exact same way President Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, as a criminal. You don’t want to make them holy warriors. You want to prosecute them as what they are and that’s criminals, and that’s what Clinton did when he put the previous- you know, Cole bombers in jail, instead of letting them get away, like Osama bin Laden.
Hate-filled left-wing talker Mike Malloy was at it again last night (see our full archive on him here), hurling hateful invective against conservative talk radio host and author Michael Reagan.
The occasion? Malloy took perverse delight in 31-year-old Reagan son Cameron's recent arrest by Los Angeles police. The incident, Malloy declared, was sure fire proof of how "these right-wingers so pollute and destroy their own families."
Of course, Malloy had no evidence to back his claim, and even though he's never met the man nor does he "ever want to," Malloy lashed out at Michael Reagan as "an absolute ghoul" and "sick bastard."
But perhaps the most astonishing part of his screed is that Malloy was not just content to bash Reagan personally and politically, but that in doing so he threw in a gratuitous and mean-spirited attack on the institution of adoption (emphasis Malloy's):
CNN continued its spin on the retirement of Senator Byron Dorgan on Wednesday. Anchor Campbell Brown one-upped Wolf Blitzer’s “moderate Democrat” tag of the senator, going so far to label the liberal a “conservative Democrat.” Correspondent Dana Bash also noted how the outgoing senator is apparently “popular” in his state, contrary to recent polls. Not once was Dorgan labeled “liberal” or “left.”
Brown’s interview of Dorgan aired at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. During the second half of the segment, the anchor expressed some of the left’s concerns over his decision to not run for reelection: “You know, this is that rare moment where Democrats have a supermajority and are able to get through what they wanted to accomplish. And so there are people- fairly or unfairly- who are saying, why are you doing this to us now?”
Suffice it to say, liberal radio host Ed Schultz of the exceedingly short fuse was mightily steamed.
Schultz on Tuesday celebrated the sixth anniversary of his radio show, the top-rated of any libtalker in the country, and among his guests was Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced by Schultz as "a guiding light for me for a long, long time and a great friend."
Whereupon in the course of their nine-minute conversation, Dorgan kept alleged buddy Schultz in the dark about Dorgan's plan to retire from the Senate, major news regardless of where one sits on the spectrum.
While the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore, Shelia Dixon, resigned on Wednesday amid a criminal scandal, the evening news programs on NBC, ABC, and CBS all failed to mention the political downfall.
On Thursday, all three network morning shows offered news briefs on the resignation, however, all forgot to note that Dixon was a Democrat.
On NBC’s Today, co-host Ann Curry mentioned: “Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced her resignation on Wednesday after she was convicted of embezzlement. She also agreed to plead guilty to perjury in a deal reached with prosecutors.”
Speaking to Virginia Governor Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pointed out a potential dire situation for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election: “Your party stands to lose a lot in the fall. Its 60 vote majority in the Senate, dozens of seats in the House, as well as Governor seats across the country.”
An on-screen headline posed the question: “Democrats in Trouble?” Rodriguez summed up the circumstances under which Democrats could do well in the fall: “...two things have to happen. One, the economy has to improve, and, two, health care has to not only pass, but show that it’s working.” She assumed that health care passing would be a good thing for Democrats and failed to ask Kaine about the lack of openness in the legislative process.
Rodriguez asked for Kaine’s assessment of the situation. Unsurprisingly, the DNC chair was optimistic about his party’s chances: “I think both are going to happen....I think the passage of historic health care and continued improvement of the economy is going to actually surprise some people in November in terms of how Democrats do.”
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”
King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”
Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”
On Wednesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty surprisingly blasted top Democrats, especially President Obama, over the secret negotiations being conducted to reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care “reform” legislation: “President Obama hasn’t even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie.”
The CNN commentator, who sang the praises of President Obama not even a year ago, devoted his first Cafferty File segment, which began 13 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, to berating the chief executive and congressional Democrats over their closed-door sessions. He even went so far to express his hope that “the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.”
In the eyes of many in the liberal media, President Obama can do no wrong. If he does, it's not his fault; he is simply a victim of circumstance, or he made the best decision he could given the options. One can tell news items portraying Obama in this light by their descriptions of problems in the passive voice.
Take yesterday's New York Times article by Jackie Calmes, for instance. The piece displays a conspicuous use of the passive voice in the headline: "Promise to Trim Deficit Is Growing Harder to Keep", instead of, say, "Obama's Policies Make Deficit Reduction Unlikely".
The refrain is getting old. When Obama's economic policies caused the debt to skyrocket, and didn't lead to recovery but rather to more federal spending aimed at shoring up the economy, it was because the recession was worse than the administration had planned. Obama's brilliant plans to raise taxes on businesses failed because Congress succumbed to political pressure. Anticipated savings in Iraq were nullified when it turned out winning a war in Afghanistan might actually require significant funding. And Medicare is already being cut to pay for the health care overhaul, so those cuts can't go towards drawing down the deficit. You see, it's never actually Obama's fault.
Speaking with Republican New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Congressman, here you are a Republican talking about everything that’s wrong and everything that went wrong....Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said quote,‘we should dismiss the partisan bickering over the security failures over this issue.”
Rodriguez went on to place the blame for partisanship on the Republican side of the aisle as she asked: “Do you agree and do you say to your colleagues let’s try to support the President here and get to the bottom of the real issue?” King replied: “I have never made one partisan statement on terrorism since that day....I will give the President credit when I think he’s right. But on the other hand, when mistakes are being made, I think it’s my obligation to speak out because this issue is so vital to all Americans.”
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
The Obama presidential campaign indisputably used new media better than any before it to build a virtual army of grassroots supporters, and to wield that army as a powerful tool for fundraising, rapid response messaging, and boots-on-the-ground campaigning.
But the energy that surrounded Obama and his team after the election, and supporters' expectations that President Obama would be the empowering community organizer that was Candidate Obama, fizzled as it became clear--campaign slogans notwithstanding--this administration represented less change then it would have the country believe.
After the election, commentators buzzed about the potential for a small-d democratic upheaval in the American political process that the Obama camp's mastery of new media could bring about. Newsweek summed up the excitement in the lede of an article in late November:
If there was ever any doubt National Public Radio had a political slant, check out the animated video posted on the network's Web site. That should clear up any doubt.
This video dated Nov. 12, 2009 was created by Mark Fiore, a political animator, who NPR reports is described by The Wall Street Journal as "the undisputed guru of the form." The video demonstrates for viewers how to speak "tea bag," which is a term lefties for whatever reason seem to find absolutely hilarious. (h/t Jesse Hathaway via Bob Parks). Transcript as follows:
Moderator: Finally, learning a new language doesn't have to be hard. You can be fluent in conversational tea bag in just a few short minutes. Lesson one: Don't get distracted by the confusing words of other languages. Character: I think the public option and the competition it would foster would really -- socialist, socialist. Moderator: Good, very good. Lesson two: If you're having trouble understanding the words of others or being understood yourself, use teabag's stronger, more descriptive words. Character: The Nazi, Nazi, Nazi
A New Year's wish for Congressman Eric Massa, Democrat of New York -- please don't let any microphone or television camera pass unaccosted.
Appearing on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Dec. 30, an angry Massa vilified former vice president Dick Cheney for criticizing Obama's lawyerly approach to fighting al Qaeda and for espousing his belief the Republican Party "owns the high ground" on national security (video below the fold) --
SCHULTZ: ... former naval commander Eric Massa of New York, he joins me tonight. And you have to understand here, folks, the one thing the Republicans hate? They hate a Democrat who served successfully in the United States military. This is one of the reasons why this gentleman is going to be targeted by Republicans in 2010. Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. What's your response ...
The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown targeted Rush Limbaugh for ruining 2009, particularly after Obama’s inauguration, on Thursday’s Today show on NBC, blaming him for the “big discord and toxic atmosphere in politics,” and likened him to the “the bad fairy at Sleeping Beauty’s christening” for uttering his famous words about the President, “I hope he fails” [audio clip available here].
Brown slammed the talk show host just hours after he was hospitalized for chest pains. The British-born journalist appeared with commentator Nancy Giles and comedian Andy Borowitz nine minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour for a panel discussion on the past year. Substitute anchor Erin Burnett turned to Brown first and asked, “What do you think was the most important moment of 2009?”
Brown unsurprisingly chose the Obama inauguration, and after gushing over the moment, set her sights on Limbaugh:
Trying to make sense out of the political analysis offered by MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews can often be a daunting task. And Matthews, a master of failed analogies - recently calling West Point, home of the United States Military Academy "enemy territory" - doesn't give up easily.
If there was ever a textbook example of kissing up to a host in a television interview, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., gave a demonstration on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."
During the Dec. 28 broadcast, Moran, who represents a district that is just a stone's throw away from the U.S. Capitol, encouraged "The Ed Show" host Ed Schultz to keep pushing for the public option as part of health care reform, even though it is losing support as being essential in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"You've got to keep up the pressure, Ed," Moran said. "You know, they pay much more attention to what's said on MSNBC, particularly shows like yours than Fox or something like that. You know that."
The Associated Press should seriously consider renaming itself "Associated Dems" or "Associated Leftists."
This morning, the AP's Charles Babington uncritically relays the latest Democratic Party talking point about its statist health care plan that has been passed in two very different forms in the House and Senate. The supposed point is that anyone who voted to create Medicare Part D in 2003 and voted against ObamaCare is "obviously" a flaming hypocrite.
Along the way, Babington ignores a Congressional Budget Office report response issued just before Christmas asserting that characterizations of the Senate's bill as reducing future government deficits are wrong. Beyond that, the litany of other distortions and errors in Babington's report is perversely impressive in its no-fib-or-spin-left-behind comprehensiveness.
Here are the first several paragraphs of Babington's babble, followed by its final sentence:
GOP lawmakers change tune on costly health plans
Democrats are troubled by the inconsistency of Republican lawmakers who approved a major Medicare expansion six years ago that has added tens of billions of dollars to federal deficits, but oppose current health overhaul plans.
In keeping with the tradition of the holidays - the minds at MSNBC, the place for politics if you're of the lefty persuasion, decided rate the top 10 political stories of the decade.
And leading this gang of masters of the political journalism universe was "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who on the broadcast of his Dec. 24 program, announced that conservative activism, mainly the tea party movement was the eighth biggest story of the decade - but labeled "angry white voters" (emphasis added).
"Welcome back to ‘Hardball' - our number eight political story of the decade, angry whites at town hall meetings across the country," Matthews said. "Lawmakers heard the wrath of angry voters."
Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham was on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday to talk about Katie Couric's concern that Americans were reacting to President Obama's left-wing agenda with "disrespect" and "anger."
"It reminds me a lot of 1994. I mean, when Democrats start to lose, then we have to worry about the angry American," Graham noted, later adding: "When Barack Obama wins, then the American people are very wise people, you know. They are creating history, and you like the American people. Then when the polls go south -- and the polls on this health care bill are not good at all right now and the Democrats are shoving it through anyway -- suddenly the people are angry and not very smart."
You can watch the video over at the Huffington Post (where they don't seem to like the idea of Tim or fill-in host Monica Crowley scrutinizing Ms. Couric's words). The full transcript is after the break:
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
Angry, frustrated, troubled, disappointed, disgust, disrespect - words not normally associated with holiday season. However, they were words Katie Couric used to describe where she sees the mood of country right now.
Couric, the anchor of the "CBS Evening News," in a live Facebook video chat on Dec. 22, took on illustrating her view of the populace - a not very sunny picture (emphasis added).
"I think more distant - I hate to say that, but I think, I think the economic situation in this country, I think, when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage and I think, I feel like right now in many ways, we're a very angry nation," Couric said. "Very frustrated, troubled and disappointed in many ways in terms of people feeling that the American dream just isn't within their reach. I mean I still think it's a place of incredible opportunity and entrepreneurship. But I just think that, I don't know - maybe it's because what I do for a living, I feel that the country is pretty polarized right now."
Early in the 1PM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Norah O’Donnell pressed New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg on Republican efforts to slow down passage of ObamaCare: “You guys are going to probably be there late on Christmas Eve....And a lot of people say it’s the Republicans’ fault, that you could easily go ahead and move forward with this legislation. Are you the Grinch that stole Christmas?”
Senator Gregg rejected that notion and pointed out: “...it wasn’t necessary for the Democratic leadership to back this up to Christmas....We could have come back at the beginning of January and debated this for a week or two in the sunlight. But they don’t want sunlight on the bill, it’s that simple.”
Earlier on Tuesday, during the 10AM ET hour of MSNBC coverage, anchor Contessa Brewer played up the same theme while interviewing Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: “Is it just, at this point, being mean to keep all the staffers here, to force this thing out until Christmas Eve? Senator McCaskill [D-Missouri] said today, ‘look, if we – if the Republicans would get on board we could get this passed today and let everybody go home for Christmas.’”
Appearing Monday on MSNBC during the 10AM ET hour, CNBC White House correspondent John Harwood worked to whip up support for the health care bill passed by Senate Democrats while slamming its liberal opponents: “...so much of the commentary I’ve heard has been really idiotic. Liberals who want universal health care ought to be thanking Harry Reid for getting this thing done...”
Speaking to anchor Contessa Brewer, Harwood told left-wing critics to stop “talking about what’s inadequate in the bill” and said that if they think “that Harry Reid can do better than what he’s done....they ought to lay off the hallucinogenic drugs because we have had a vivid demonstration of the limits of political possibilities on this issue.” Later in the 1PM ET hour Harwood called them “insane” and that they should “have their heads examined.”
Good on the Post for printing this letter from a reader who caught liberal columnist E.J. Dionne in the act of hypocrisy:
E.J. Dionne Jr. ["Democratic fratricide," op-ed, Dec. 17] views the Senate as a "dysfunctional and undemocratic partisan hothouse," presumably because of the ability of 41 senators to prevent a bill from coming to a final vote.
Mr. Dionne has not always taken such a dim view of undemocratic procedures, however.
In 2003, he heartily approved of Democratic obstruction of two judicial nominations by President Bush: "The filibuster is the only way to prevent the president from creating a federal judiciary dominated by ideologues of his own persuasion, appointed to satisfy his political base" ["Order and the Courts," op-ed, May 9].