In an interview with Arizona Senator John McCain on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to dismiss growing evidence that the IRS scandal rocking the Obama administration went as far as Washington D.C.: "Darrell Issa...says that his gut tells him this goes beyond the Cincinnati office....He released excerpts of some e-mails that might support that theory, they're not conclusive. Do you take the Inspector General of the IRS at its word saying this – this was something that happened in Cincinnati and went no further?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Is the IRS scandal just not that big a deal in New York City? Perhaps for out-of-touch journos like liberal Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and The New Yorker editor David Remnick, who downplayed the controversy on Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Kristof predictably spun the scandals into a "so what?" narrative for the White House: "I think it's true that the White House has often been tone-deaf, but every second term has scandals." Meanwhile, Remnick called the IRS scandal the doing of "very low level" employees without acknowledging that higher-ups in Washington could have orchestrated it.
A classic case of MSM jujitsu. Yesterday, Darrell Issa called Jay Carney a "paid liar." So did Morning Joe today dig down to see if Issa was right? Of course not. Instead, its focus was on Issa--how he is "overreaching," "overplaying," etc. H/t NB reader Wayne T.
The quintessential statement came from Mika Brzezinski, who actually said that Issa's accusation "makes us all want to walk away and ignore" the White House scandals. It's not as if Mika & Co. needed much convincing! View the video after the jump, along with a medley of statements from Mika, Brian Shactman, Joe Scarborough, Jon Meacham, Chuck Todd and Robert Gibbs along similar lines.
The role of the White House press secretary is to disseminate information to the media, and that should be an especially important function when the president and his administration are plagued by several scandals.
However, Jay Carney has only held six press conferences in the past three weeks, far fewer than usual. In addition, the press secretary only held two brief “gaggles” during presidential trips to New Jersey and New York. Could this be happening because the people in the usually compliant media are actually asking tough questions and demanding clear answers?
This has to be an imaginary story, right? Most Democrats and others on the left continue to insist that voter fraud is not a problem, even in the face of examples like Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken, whose 312-vote "victory" margin in 2008 may have entirely consisted (and then some) of illegal votes by felons in just one county.
More recently, it seems that the claim is under revision. A Democratic Party county chair, in a Cincinnati Enquirer story about three out-of-staters who voted or attempted to vote in Ohio, is reported to have "long said there is no evidence of systemic fraud." Well, though they were were prevented from casting illegal ballots, a Florida Democratic congressman's chief of staff and his alleged cohorts definitely attempted large-scale "systemic" fraud last year. The Miami Herald, which played an important investigative role, had the story on Friday. A Google News search on relevant terms indicates that it's getting very little notice (15 items in total, most in Florida). Excerpts from Patricia Mazzei's Herald story follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Arianna Huffington got a much-needed education about 501(c)(4)s Sunday.
When she claimed during an ABC This Week discussion about the Internal Revenue Service scandal that Crossroads GPS shouldn't have qualified because "it was all about politics," former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears that even HBO’s Bill Maher is starting to question Barack Obama’s abilities as president, for on Friday’s Real Time, the host said, “He doesn't even know what the IRS and the Justice Department are doing” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a stunning example of how desperate the liberal media are to defend President Obama against the numerous scandals rocking his administration, on her Friday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell actually justified the Justice Department targeting journalists: "I think if they had framed it...as this is national security, these were leaks in really major cases, everyone knows how unpopular the media are, far more unpopular." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell further explained: "The American people have said in a number of polls how they feel about this. They feel that national security is more important than First Amendment freedoms. It was not framed very advantageously."
"I've been saying it from the very beginning," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. When it comes to Obama administration scandals, the liberal media are eventually forced to cover them, but "they'll do a couple of stories, and then they'll say, we're done and they'll walk away."
That's exactly why the liberal media returned to adoring lapdog form last week and gushed over pro-Obama fluff like newly-released Obama senior prom pictures from 1979, the Media Research Center founder noted. "Nothing you and I can say can better illustrate how much in the tank the press is for Barack Obama," Bozell concluded, having noted how, by contrast, Lois Lerner's taking the Fifth before a congressional hearing on IRS abuse was ignored on the May 23 Good Morning America and Today programs. [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
Do you want to understand just how astonishingly biased MSNBC is?
On Thursday's Martin Bashir show, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson actually said - without any pushback from the host - that scandal-ridden attorney general Eric Holder is "the Moses of our time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Tea Party grassroots protesters have made no secret of their support for limited government and lower taxes. But from the perspective of network reporters and anchors, the Tea Party’s message was more radical: “no government” and “no taxes.”
On May 10, the IRS admitted to flagging more than 100 Tea Party-related applications for higher scrutiny, including applications that included the words “Tea Party” and “patriot.” But even before that targeting began, the networks had portrayed the Tea Party as a extreme group opposed to taxation, instead of one supporting smaller government.
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked special correspondent Tom Brokaw about his recent comment that the press "has to be careful about having a glass jaw" when it comes to the Obama Justice Department investigating reporters: "...you made a remark that journalists...shouldn't have what you called a 'glass jaw' when it comes to some of these investigations, citing the First Amendment and threats to the First Amendment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brokaw stood by his statement: "Well, the First Amendment is a critically important part of the Constitution. It is not unconditional, obviously. Any number of us over the years have been in dialogues and in conversations with senior government officials about when something can be disclosed and under what circumstances. And it's kind of case by case. It's not unconditional."
While the IRS targeting of conservative groups was still heating up in 2012, a Soros-funded journalism nonprofit was helping fan the flames. The Pulitzer-Prize-winning ProPublica released two stories targeting conservative nonprofits including Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity and the Republican Jewish Coalition.
ProPublica was founded by prominent Democratic contributor and has direct connections to some of the nation’s top news organizations from The New York Times to ABC News. ProPublica was also the organization that received leaked IRS tax forms of conservative groups. ProPublica admitted “they should not have been sent to us before they were approved.”
When it comes to identifying nutcases, some might say that Howard Dean gleans valuable experience daily, while shaving.
The failed presidential candidate put his expertise to dubious use on Morning Joe today, calling National Review editor Rich Lowry a "right-wing nutcase." Lowry's sin? Having written a column mocking Eric Holder, and President Obama's decision to put Holder in charge of investigating himself in the James Rosen affair. View the video after the jump.
David Koenig's Wednesday coverage at the Associated Press of Exxon Mobil's annual meeting contained a predictable headline and related content telling us that the company wouldn't "explicitly ban discrimination against gays because the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn't need to add language regarding gays." Koenig's report apparently couldn't be considered complete without a contribution of misleading climate statistics and statements from the wire service's Seth Borenstein.
Borenstein's apparent input consisted of the following four paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Does L.A. Times reporter Michael Hiltzik read the news? Apparently not, since he penned one of the most lapdog press-worthy articles praising the IRS to bubble to the surface in the wake of the news that it targeted conservative Americans. Hiltzik’s column published in the May 25 Business section labeled the targeting as “supposed,” noted that for a small budget – the IRS does a pretty “good job.”
“Showing some love after the ‘witch-hunt,” Hiltzik insinuates that the current fiasco is rather peripheral since the IRS has done such a great job collecting revenue throughout its history. He noted that the changes made back in the Clinton administration, which shifted the agency from enforcement to a greater focus on treating the taxpayers like customers, is the epicenter of the trouble caused two administrations later. Hiltzik also lamented a that the shift away from enforcement led to a “brain drain” within the agency, and that real criminals, tax evaders, were left to operate freely. As for the bipartisan outrage over the scandal, Hiltzik wrote:
MSNBC continues to do its best to protect the Obama administration from any accusations of wrongdoing in the Benghazi fiasco. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host went so far as to ask whether it is even legitimate to call Benghazi a scandal.
Witt was setting up her pre-taped “Office Politics” interview with Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of The Grio and frequent MSNBC contributor, when she announced that she "asked Joy-Ann about the fallout from the Benghazi attacks and if it's legitimate to call that mess a scandal.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wednesday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on the House Judiciary Committee's inquiry into whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his testimony regarding the Justice Department's controversial investigation of journalists. Jan Crawford's two-and-a-half minute report on the congressional investigation into Holder stood out as the only coverage on the Big Three networks on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts.
Crawford underlined that "conservative and liberal voices" are clamoring for Holder's resignation in the wake of the questionable surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News' James Rosen. She also asserted that "everyone in Washington is talking about is whether...a survivor, like Eric Holder, gets drummed out."
Earlier this afternoon, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters noted that "The owner of Newsweek, the troubled liberal weekly news magazine, has confirmed reports that it is trying to unload the money-losing operation even despite the fact that it jettisoned its print edition last year."
A Tuesday morning puff piece on poor, besieged, downtrodden, regretful Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder posted by Daniel Klaidman at the Daily Beast, Newsweek's online umbrella, perfectly illustrates why the operation continues to shed readers and contributed mightily to a reported $8.8 million loss last quarter. Get out the waist-high-boots for this one:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is no longer willing to call the White House troubles involving Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service, and the leaks investigation "scandals."
No, on Tuesday’s Hardball, the host called them “kerfuffles,” once even correcting himself after accidentally referring to what happened at the IRS as a scandal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.
Leading off a report on Tuesday's NBC Today about President Obama's trip to survey recovery efforts along New Jersey's shoreline after Hurricane Sandy, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "[The President's here] really to see the improvements to this area, and also to refocus the conversation away from some recent headlines. Focusing on what he wants to focus on: government at its best, bipartisanship, and efforts to improve the economy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meanwhile, on CBS This Morning, correspondent Major Garrett almost identically announced: "President Obama is eager to look at federally-financed repairs on the Jersey shore – to his mind, a welcome contrast to IRS bungling and Justice Department snooping....Today's trip could also inject some life into Mr. Obama's scandal-starved push for Beltway bipartisanship."
Just posted to MRC.org this Memorial Day, the latest edition of MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter, recounting the most outrageous quotes from the liberal media. This week: the media warn that "voters will punish" Republicans if they "overplay their hand" and actually investigate the multiple scandals swirling around the Obama administration.
At the same time, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell uniquely insists that there's "nothing wrong" about the IRS targeting the Tea Party, a view which makes him more extreme than most of his left-wing MSNBC colleagues, while the always-sycophantic Chris Matthews has this advice for President Obama: "Stop taking advice from sycophants."
The best quotes (including five videos) are below the jump; the full edition is posted here.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, CBS's Bob Schieffer has been coming down hard on the Obama administration in recent weeks.
That continued Sunday when the Face the Nation host delivered a special commentary wherein he said that Attorney General Eric Holder heading the review of his department "so deeply involved" in the leaks investigation scandal "makes no sense to me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In Thursday and Friday posts at the "Politico 44: A Living Diary of the Obama Presidency," Jennifer Epstein relayed the announcement that President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland as the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
In other words, the President is defiantly giving the person who was integrally involved in altering the Benghazi talking points until they bore no resemblance to what really happened a promotion. In her first item, Epstein acted as if Republicans are the only ones who might have a problem with this. In her second item, she found two usual-suspect GOP senators who said they'd be okay being walked over. Excerpts follow the jump.
Friday's CBS This Morning, unlike NBC's Today, briefly picked up on NBC journalist Michael Isikoff's significant reporting from Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder's "signed off on a controversial search warrant" against Fox News' James Rosen and "authorized seizure of his private emails." However, unlike their strong "Obama's war on journalism" label of the scandal on Thursday, Gayle King and Bob Schieffer gave a more subdued response to this new detail.
King pointed out that "Holder signed off on allowing an investigation into some reporters' e-mails", but merely wondered if President Obama was in an "awkward position" as a result. Schieffer did assert that "there's no question in my mind this was an outrageous overreach", but didn't call for an investigation into the administration's surveillance of Rosen and the AP [audio available here; video below the jump].
As of Friday morning, NBC News broadcasts had completely ignored an important scoop from the network's own national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff that Attorney General Eric Holder personally approved the Justice Department's aggressive investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Meanwhile, both CBS News and FNC provided on-air coverage of the new development. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an article for NBCNews.com on Thursday, Isikoff reported that Holder "signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a 'possible co-conspirator' in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News."