Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and chastised the networks for skipping the substance of the latest congressional hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, once again refused to answer questions during a congressional hearing, instead choosing to use her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Rather than discussing the merits of the latest hearing, all three networks chose instead to play up the verbal confrontation between Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), making it 99 days since ABC, CBS and NBC have even mentioned the actual IRS scandal. “I do believe that this IRS scandal is bigger than Watergate. And I think if you look at it objectively I think you conclude that” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
On Wednesday morning, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) had a heated discussion with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) during the most recent hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Following the confrontation, the folks at MSNBC rushed to defend the Maryland Democrat and condemn the Republican for ending the hearing after former IRS agent Lois Lerner refused to testify.
Appearing on the March 6 Jansing & Co., host Chris Jansing and Democratic strategist Angela Rye teamed up to criticize Congressman Issa, with the MSNBC host beginning the segment by asking Republican strategist Joe Watkins, “As a Republican…do you wish Congressman Issa had handled that differently?”
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and condemned the media for its continued blackout of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, was recalled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions related to her involvement in the targeting of conservative organizations.
We know that the person that was put in charge of this investigation turns out to be an Obama donor, a clear conflict of interest. And now Lois Lerner, who is at the center of all this, says she will testify if she’s given immunity from federal prosecution, and these liberals are saying there isn’t a scandal?” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.
Is Joe Scarborough turning on MSNBC? On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, the host mocked the “total obsession” of “the media on the left” in their coverage of Chris Christie’s bridge scandal since early January.
Naturally, however, he failed to directly call out his own network for being at the forefront of the effort to destroy Christie. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
If there was any doubt that MSNBC is a mouthpiece for liberal activism, Chris Hayes should have erased it on Wednesday’s edition of his program All In. Hayes was discussing MSNBC’s favorite current topic – the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” saga – with Dan Cantor, national director of the ultra-liberal Working Families Party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Near the end of the discussion, Cantor optimistically declared his belief that Christie will be defeated in the end, thanks in part to Cantor’s own organization:
The left constantly rants about alleged illegal coordination between conservative and Republican candidates and groups with little to no proof. At least once, when it had no evidence, it went to court to try to get a judge to allow them to engage in a wide-ranging fishing expedition to find something, anything, which might "prove" it. Fortunately, a Wisconsin judge in mid-January turned back that request involving Badger State Governor Scott Walker and organizations which independently advocated for his 2010 election and defended him against the 2012 recall effort.
James O'Keefe's latest video involving Battleground Texas would appear to demonstrate that many in the left assume conservatives routinely engage in illegal campaign activity because, well, the left routinely engages in illegal campaign activity. Watch Project Veritas's latest video after the jump, and ask yourself whether the illegal use of voter information O'Keefe exposes would be ignored by the press if a conservative or Republican organization were engaging in it:
Democrat and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has been "shadowing" Chris Christie while taking every possible opportunity to accuse New Jersey's GOP Governor of either "lying" or of being "the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable," tried his schtick yesterday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News show.
Unfortunately for Ted, establishment Republican and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was there to do what the press should have been doing, namely calling out his blatant hypocrisy. But the clever Strickland managed to get in the last word. Viewers not familiar with the details of how Strickland's Buckeye State government went after Joe the Plumber after his preelection encounter with Barack Obama in October 2008 will likely believe that the argument ended in a standoff. That situation needs to be remedied.
So who's being the sexist? Mika Brzezinski went ballistic on today's Morning Joe over Republicans like Rand Paul raising Monica Lewinsky in the context of a possible Hillary presidential run, calling them "sexist" and "misogynistic." But in the course of her rant, Mika mockingly referred to such Republicans as "little peanuts." Hmm.
Did Mika need to use such suggestive, demeaning language in making her point? You have to view the video to get just how derisive was Mika with her "little peanut" line. View the video after the jump.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 counts of corruption and bribery today.
USA Today reporter Rick Jervis did a bit of a profile of Nagin in the course of reporting on the convictions. It included a recounting of his time at the city's helm during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But one thing his 2:39 p.m. report predictably did not include was Nagin's Democratic Party affiliation (bolds are mine):
On Tuesday night, CNN’s Piers Morgan bemoaned Rand Paul’s “sleazy” attack on Bill Clinton’s promiscuity, but guest Ann Coulter roasted Clinton and other Democrats for their own attacks on women.
“This is all very salacious,” Morgan lamented. “And Rand Paul wants us to think about Hillary and Bill as a doublette in a salacious, slightly sleazy way, right?” he added. “Come on, don't attack the woman through her husband,” he said of Hillary and Bill. [See video below.]
During her MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell tried to dismiss unflattering revelations about Bill and Hillary Clinton found in a series of documents from a close confidante: "...they're some of the same headlines we read fifteen years ago. The latest 'breaking news,' quote, excerpts from an archive belonging to a close friend of Hillary Clinton, Diane Blair....So what is new here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell directed that question to Time's Mark Halperin, who sneered: "...what we have so far, because we all need to go down and look at the original documents ourselves, are things out of context without corroboration, and it's not clear when she's – Diane Blair's quoting herself paraphrasing Hillary Clinton versus what Hillary Clinton said."
On her Monday afternoon MSNBC program, Andrea Mitchell brought on RNC chairman Reince Priebus and beat him over the head on his party’s supposed need to sign on to a generous immigration reform which sets millions of illegal immigrants on the proverbial path to citizenship. Feigning concern for the GOP, Mitchell set up the interview by asking her audience a rhetorical question: “[D]oesn’t the Republican Party need to do something about immigration just for its own future?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
With an introduction like that, it was no surprise what came next. When Priebus appeared onscreen, Mitchell immediately pressed him on the matter, asking:
Pot, kettle, hello? If Dems wanted to find someone to attack Chris Christie's credibility for claiming he didn't know what was going on in his administration, couldn't they have found someone less vulnerable than Robert Gibbs? After all, Gibbs served as spox for Barack Obama, the man who has made an art form out of claiming he only found out about his admin's latest scandal when he read about it in the paper.
But there was Gibbs leading with his chin on Morning Joe today, asking "how many times can [Christie] play the card of 'I had no idea this was going on in my own office?" Joe Scarborough was only too happy to oblige Gibbs with a haymaker to his rhetorical jaw: "Robert, it's getting to the point he is starting to sound like Barack Obama." View the amusing video after the jump.
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer denounced the "incredible lack of curiosity of the mainstream media" regarding the Obama administration's IRS scandal and observed: "...had this been a Republican abusing the IRS, you can be sure the mainstream media would have been all over it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Krauthammer added that President Obama "knows, as in Benghazi, as in all the other scandals, that he can hide, he can play rope-a-dope, he can string it out and over time it becomes old news. And that's what he's counting on....what the President hopes for, and he's now succeeded with other of these scandals, is you wait, you wait it out, you stonewall. And he got past – you know, on some of them, on Benghazi – he got past the election in 2012. He thinks he'll get past the elections in 2014."
During an extended portion of Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama aired on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, the Fox News host wondered: "Do you think I've been unfair to you?" Obama replied: "Absolutely, of course you are, Bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When O'Reilly demanded evidence, the President cited the preceding interview: "Bill, we just went through an interview in which you asked about health care not working, IRS, 'Were we wholly corrupt?', Benghazi. Right? So the list of issues that you talk about." O'Reilly pushed back: "But these are unanswered questions." Obama complained: "But they're defined by you guys in a certain way."
Could the GW bridge scandal be causing internal friction at MSNBC? On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough upbraided Chuck Todd for "wild speculation" in the matter.
Scarborough's slap at Todd came in response to the NBC political director's suggestion that, based on a photo showing Christie and Wildstein together at a September 11 event--it was "very likely" that Wildstein--in an effort to curry favor with Chris Christie--had told the governor what he had done with the lane closures. View the video after the jump.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Although to date there has been no evidence directly tying him to either matter, Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics with the GW bridge closure and the granting of hurricane-relief funds to Hoboken. So naturally it's fair game to analogize Christie to the head of cinema's most infamous, murderous crime syndicate.
Fair game, if you're MSNBC that is. Today's Morning Joe segment on Christie treated viewers to a 'Govfather' logo, based on the famous puppet-master logo from "The Godfather." View the video and images of the original and MSNBC logos after the jump.
Did Al Sharpton just stumble into some unfortunate phrasing, or did he take an intentionally vulgar shot at Rand Paul?
On his MSNBC show tonight, discussing the fact that Paul recently raised the most salacious scandal of Bill Clinton's presidency, Sharpton said "Rand Paul is really going to try to do the Monica Lewinsky on the Democrats as a way of countering the war on women that they're doing with legislation and all kinds of things." I'm inclined to believe the sly Sharpton knew exactly what he was doing. View the video after the jump.
We have a new word in the seemingly never-ending saga of "quirks," "oddities" and other sanitizing language the press is using when it identifies serious problems with Obamacare and Medicaid.
The word is "tricky." In describing a bureuacratic nightmare which is leaving some children without insurance (they aren't allowed onto their parents' Obamacare plan, but they also aren't eligible for Medicaid, so they have no coverage anywhere), the Associated Press headlined the situation as follows: "HEALTH LAW TRICKY FOR PARENTS OF MEDICAID KIDS." Those who go to the same article at the DC cbslocal.com web site will at least begin to get an idea of what's really going on thanks to their replacement headline: "Many Children Unable To Be Included In Parents’ Obamacare Family Plans." Content excerpts from Holly Ramer's otherwise fine report, including an unbelievable response from government officials — scratch that, it was unbelievable until Obamacare came along; but now anything's possible — follow the jump (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall; bolds are mine):
For the second straight evening, NBC stuck with Chris Christie's "Bridge-gate" on Thursday as CBS and NBC haven't mentioned the story since Tuesday. And NBC's Nightly News tacked on a story about a dilapidated Trenton high school and connected its disrepair to Governor Christie.
"For his part, Governor Christie tonight is responding to an issue that's been festering for years, right there in the shadow of New Jersey's state house," anchor Brian Williams noted of the school. Nowhere did NBC even wonder about the negligence of the city's Democratic Mayor Tony Mack, who currently is on trial for federal charges of corruption.
Less than 24-hours after former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) was indicted on 14 charges including conspiracy and fraud, all three network morning shows immediately identified McDonnell as a Republican. While McDonnell’s potential crimes are serious, the media failed to uphold the same party ID standard when it involved a scandal plagued Democratic governor.
NBC led their January 22 coverage of the McDonnell scandal with Today host Savannah Guthrie introducing the segment by saying, “And now to that bombshell indictment of the former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party.” ABC provided an on-screen graphic identifying McDonnell as a Republican and CBS This Morning’s Nancy Cordes said that “McDonnell was once considered a possible presidential contender for the GOP.”
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
This is a "Can't Make This Up" item on two levels. The more obvious of the two is an incredibly tone-deaf statement issued by Texas Democratic guberatorial candidate Wendy Davis, whose Republican opponent is paraplegic Greg Abbott, that "I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes."
The second "Can't Make This Up" aspect relates to Nia-Malika Henderson of the "She the People" blog at the Washington Post and Jon Herskovitz at Reuters. You see, they both failed to do what establishment press members usually do, i.e, they failed to filter out the damning sentence; maybe they didn't know better. A mini-grab of Davis's statement yesterday follows the jump:
Wow, I'd better get this post done quickly, because Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been tweeting up a storm and has posted "an open letter" at her web site. If I blink, I might miss a half-dozen more tweets.
Davis apparently thinks that if she accuses Republican candidate Greg Abbott and his campaign of being behind the Sunday Dallas Morning News story which poked gaping holes in her picture-perfect bio often enough, it will somehow become true. It won't. Wayne Slater, the DMN reporter who authored the story, has tweeted that "I talked to no - zero - Abbott people." But sadly, in the current establishment media environment, the in-your-face "poor little girl fights back against bullies" tactic might work. A pic of the eight tweets from three hours ago and excerpts from her "open letter" follow the jump.
David Remnick of The New Yorker showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Monday night to discuss his long, mostly sympathetic profile of Barack Obama from the January 27 issue of the magazine. Near the end of the interview, Rose focused in on the president’s reported desire to be “big.” The host wondered, “[W]hat's his definition of 'big,' and does he believe in his deep recesses of his own mind that the chance of that has slipped away?”
Remnick replied that no, Obama does not think his chance of being “big” has slipped away. The editor then rattled off a laundry list of Obama achievements that might be considered hallmarks of a “big” – meaning “great” – president. Among them were these two gems: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater's substantive story about Wendy Davis's problems with the truth was headlined "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred."
"Blurred" is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis's basic credibility go away. The New York Times ("Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology") and NBCnews.com ("Off to the races: Wendy Davis' 'blurred' bio") have also gotten in on the "blurred" headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):