MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Tuesday snarled at a fellow liberal, Congressman Alan Grayson, for daring to compare the National Security Agency's spying program to Nazi Germany. This is the same Bashir who, on January 14, 2013, compared conservatives to Hitler.
Linking Grayson to the dreaded National Rifle Association, Bashir attacked, "The NRA says a bill which prohibits a gun registry is actually an echo of Hitler. And, of course, you've mentioned the Nazis in connection with the NSA." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In January, however, Bashir lectured, "If anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it's not the President. It's the NRA." Mr. Bashir, are Nazi comparisons wrong or not?
On Monday, Charlie Rose was more than halfway through his 47-minute interview with President Obama on PBS before he finally brought up one of the several scandals surrounding the liberal's administration. Rose pursued Obama about the NSA's leaked domestic surveillance program, but failed to mention any of the other scandals, including the IRS's targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department's investigation of journalists.
The veteran journalist also echoed the President's critics from the left about "the notion of that you have simply continued the policies of Bush/Cheney...many people say you're Bush/Cheney-lite. And then, people write columns saying, no, no, no, he's not that at all! He's tougher."
Both parties constantly make accusations that their rival is engaged in hypocritical, unethical, or illegal behavior. But given the drastic lack of ideological diversity in the American elite media, the general public usually only hears about such accusations against Republicans.
Beyond the fact that biased reporting shapes public opinion to favor the left, it may also have an effect on law enforcement. The persistent lies that have been told about right-leaning political groups by leading Democrats, including President Obama himself, may have led to the IRS abuses of power that we’ve heard so much about in recent weeks.
ABC on Monday allowed a scant 22 seconds to the latest revelation in the scandal engulfing the Internal Revenue Service. NBC and CBS have, thus far, ignored the newest detail. The Associated Press on Sunday night reported that an IRS "supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status."
Josh Elliott on Monday's Good Morning America explained, "That testimony contradicts IRS claims that agents in the Cincinnati field office were solely responsible for targeting those groups." Yet, a brief mention was all the morning show host could allow. In contrast, GMA devoted two minutes and 15 seconds to the relationship stars between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. ABC also didn't note that the IRS employee in question, Holly Paz, donated $4000 to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Either CNN's Tom Cohen, his headline and subheadline writers, or both thought it was a bit over the top to describe the IRS's targeting of Tea Party, conservative, and religious groups as a "forgotten scandal" in a Friday story. Evidence that the subheadline originally read "Republicans try to keep the public focused on the forgotten scandal of IRS targeting of conservative groups" is here and here.
As will be seen after the jump, Cohen tries to make the case that there's nothing to see, that everyone who matters agrees with him, and that forgetting about the scandal would be defensible (bolds are mine):
In a four-paragraph "Big Story" item time-stamped 10:48 a.m. ("CURRENT, FORMER OFFICIALS BACK SECRET SURVEILLANCE"), Stephen Braun at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, names several Sunday news program guests who he writes are "are supporting the government's collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs aimed at disrupting terrorist plots." Meanwhile, the Politico is hyping former Vice President Dick Cheney's characterization of Edward Snowden as a "traitor."
Both outlets, and thus far most of the establishment press, are ignoring a report by CNETs Declan McCullagh Saturday afternoon which I believe would be dominating the news by now if anyone except Barack Obama were President. It directly contradicts an assertion Obama made -- "Nobody is listening to your phone calls" -- shortly after the NSA-Snowden story broke, and one of Congress' most liberal Democrats is the source (links are in original; bolds are mine):
In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration, as I demonstrated in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked.
This post will further show that polling data Babington cited near the end of his report contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."
In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked, and that polling data he cited near the end of his report (to be covered in Part 2) contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."
You can tell that Babington's effort was something out of the ordinary, because the self-described "Essential Global Network" actually used the term "far left" in the story's headline and content. In a U.S. story, that almost never happens unless a reporter is quoting a far-leftists' conservative or moderate opponent. Usually, the only time you see "far left" used in U.S. AP content is to identify a person's placement in a photo. Excerpts from the story follow the jump.
Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.
The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.
"The media finally recognized a[n] [Obama] scandal, but then slowly but surely they took their foot off the gas," Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity noted of the media's treatment of the IRS/Tea Party scandal as he opened the "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on Thursday's Hannity. As Hannity opened the segment, an on-screen graphic [embedded below the page break] displayed data collected by Media Research Center (MRC) deputy research director Geoff Dickens which showed the broadcast media's waning interest in reporting on developments in the scandal.
"Look, the first two weeks of this scandal, 96 stories. The second two weeks, 31 stories. This week: one story. It's over," as far as the media are concerned, the MRC founder noted, even though the MRC's own CNSNews.com division broke some damning revelations related to the IRS scandal this week. For example, Bozell noted:
John Dickerson downplayed most of the recent scandals surrounding the Obama administration on Thursday's CBS This Morning, asserting that the White House was "trying to get something done on immigration....they're trying to stay focused on the things that really matter to this presidency, and only trying to spend a small amount of time putting out these little fires."
This came mere moments after Dickerson acknowledged the potential for the scandals to affect the President's legacy: "At the worst end...you get a feeling it's a scandal a week related to the administration, and if that idea sets in – that there's a kind of, rot....that affects the President's legacy." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Karen Finney recently began her new gig as an MSNBC weekend anchor, but on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, she got a little nostalgic for one of her old jobs.
Appearing as the subject of Witt’s "Office Politics" segment, Finney continued the liberal media tradition of making the GOP the focus of the current Obama administration scandals. “[Republicans] clearly think that they can ride this to the midterm elections on this sort of culture of coverup,” she huffed. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
The latest State Department scandal, involving a possible cover-up of sexual misconduct by an ambassador and security officials, was only newsworthy enough to merit one full report each on ABC and NBC's morning and evening newscasts before the two networks moved on. NBC led Tuesday's Today with the "damaging documents" concerning the "possibly illegal...behavior", but ignored it the following morning. NBC Nightly News hasn't even touched the story yet.
ABC arrived late to covering the allegations on Tuesday's World News, but Good Morning America has yet to mention the issue as of Wednesday. CBS broke their scoop on the scandal on Monday's CBS This Morning, and covered it as well on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday night's O'Reilly Factor, mentioning his appearance on NBC's Today that morning, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly observed that the Peacock Network was having a difficult time covering the scandals plaguing the Obama administration: "Look, even when I was at the Today show this morning, NBC News, okay? I would say the most fervent Obama news agency in the country....Even them, they're going, 'Whoa, whoa.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guest Monica Crowley replied: "Even NBC, Holy smokes! That's when you know he's in trouble..." O'Reilly added: "...they can't defend him anymore, the President, because he's in charge." Crowley countered: "Well, I mean, look, they still go to great lengths to protect him." O'Reilly declared: "Not today they didn't."
As NewsBusters has been reporting, it's been a hoot watching typically anti-surveillance liberal media members support the President's program of having the National Security Agency look into everyone's phone records.
Count MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski amongst them, for on Wednesday's Morning Joe, the co-host struck back at any suggestion that leaker Edward Snowden was a whistleblower (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Jay Leno continued his humorous attacks on Barack Obama Tuesday.
During a series of opening monologue jokes about the various scandals plaguing the White House, the NBC Tonight Show host said of quarterback Tim Tebow, “Now that he's associated with the word 'Patriot' he's being audited by the IRS” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seemed perplexed by the Fox News host asserting that "the Obama administration doesn't tell us anything" about numerous government scandals: "So you think there's been less transparency under this administrations than there has been under past administrations?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly responded: "I don't know. I mean maybe, but I can't find out anything. Can you? I don't know what happened in Benghazi, I don't know what happened in the IRS, I don't know what happened with James Rosen....they won't tell us anything."
Appearing on Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC contributor Bernie Goldberg commented on the dominant news media ignoring or downplaying congressional hearings on the Obama administration IRS scandal, and wondered why President Obama is so critical of the media as he asserted that the President's approval rating would be 20 points lower if the media covered Obama scandals "honestly." Goldberg:
Touchy, touchy. Despite Team Anthony Weiner's best efforts at political rehabilitation, there's just no way to shore up his sorest scandal spot. As the New York Post reported this week, Weiner had a bit of a snit fit when a local Democratic official boldly slammed his sexting habits with underage girls.
Chris Owens, the Dems' state committee member in northwest Brooklyn, called out the skeezy ex-congressman at a mayoral candidate forum. "I am outraged and disgusted by you," Owens told Weiner. "Both by what you did and by the fact that you have the arrogance to run for mayor. I want to understand how you explain to us how you used a public facility to tweet offensive material to ... minors you did not know, you then lied about it ... and now you come back."
Isn't it ironic that President Obama, having acquired the highest office in the land by agitating — all his political life — against privilege and discrimination, is now systematically wielding his executive power lawlessly to favor his friends and punish his enemies?
We are witnessing an unmistakable pattern from Obama and those under his command of establishing different rules for different groups of Americans. I'm not just referring to his opportunistic championing of the "poor" and his vendetta against the "wealthy" or his relentless vilification of "fat cat banks," big corporations, private jet owners and the insurance, oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power industries. It goes well beyond that.
In a story which I can attest is accurate, Gina Loudon at WND.com, formerly WorldNetDaily, reports that the Air Force's 624th Operations Center is warning airmen not to look at the news.
That's not exactly what they're saying, but they might as well be. What the "Notice to Airmen" says is that "Users are not to use AF NIPRNET systems to access the Verizon phone records collection and other related news stories because the action could constitute a Classified Message Incident." It's currently pretty hard to go to a news site without seeing a blurb on a "related story," given how many "related stories" there are which go way beyond Verizon to nine tech companies, 50 other companies, Edward Snowden, White House, congressional and bureaucrats' responses, etc. The Air Force's claim that reading a news story or even looking at documents which have been made public is a "Classified Message Incident" is pretty shaky, based on the definition provided in a two-year old memo I located. That definition, and a grab of the censorious memo, follow the jump.
When last seen at NewsBusters in February, the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti was talking down to the public about its "collective obsession with the trivial" less than a week after AP reporter Ken Thomas wasted 500 words of print and bandwidth on how Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a sip of water during a speech.
Now Sidoti, who is the AP's National Political Editor, is quite worried -- actually, obsessed -- that the public might waking up and contrasting what President Barack Obama is delivering compared to what he has promised at a most inopportune time, and that "controversies" might overtake Dear Leader's second-term agenda (bolds are mine):
As was expected, the liberal media is moving into a new mode concerning the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service: Move along. Nothing to see here.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews did his part Monday in a lengthy segment teased by the Hardball host saying, “It could be this whole thing was a big nothing burger” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Of course, Mrs. Clinton dipping her toes in the Twitter waters comes on the heels of new revelations of 'endemic' corruption at the State Department during her watch. You wouldn't know, however, from Miller's brief item, which enthused that:
The ABC and NBC morning shows on Monday ignored or downplayed the role the President of the United States played in the unfolding spying scandal that broke last week. The journalists at Good Morning America never once uttered the name Barack Obama. The hosts of NBC's Today left it to their guest to question the implications for the President.
It was CBS This Morning that saw possible damage to Obama. Major Garrett warned, "The White House knows that this is an intelligence crisis that could become a political crisis." The reporter added that the administration "had to admit a politically and tactically startling truth: It conducts more surveillance than the Bush White House." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
I guess “The Place for Politics” has become “The Place to Dance Around Obama Scandals.”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid was so desperate to stifle the growing scandals facing the IRS, she brought a hip-hop artist on Saturday’s The Ed Show to critique the dance moves of IRS employees. Guest-hosting for the weekend show, Reid spent five minutes interviewing musician Cupid about his dance, the Cupid Shuffle.
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald corrected co-host Savannah Guthrie on her framing of the NSA phone and email surveillance controversy after she inaccurately cited government leaker Edward Snowden: "Snowden makes what I consider to be a rather remarkable claim stating, quote, 'I, sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap you'....He didn't say that he had the ability to do it....He said he had the legal authority to do it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Greenwald responded: "That isn't what he said. He didn't say he had the legal authority. That's a word you included in the statement that he didn't actually include....he said authority, not 'legal authority,' which is what you just quoted him as saying. And what I'm telling you is that is a misquotation..."
Another week, another scandal, as we learn of more malfeasance at the State Department when Hillary was at the helm, but while CBS is all over the story today, their rivals at ABC and NBC censored the story. In fact, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today decided to skip the story entirely.
The contents of the documents obtained by CBS outline lurid details of prostitution and sexual assault committed by State Department officials. Additionally, an underground drug ring in Iraq supplied State Department security contractors with narcotics: