Earlier today, my NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard posted the disparaging words White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had for the Fox News Channel, a sentiment that Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod echoed on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
"Your colleague Anita Dunn told The New York Times this week that Fox News was undertaking a war against the White House, and said the White House would treat Fox the way we would an opponent," Stephanopoulos said.
"Sentences that begin 'The president says' are not as impressive as they used to be."
So marvelously stated ABC's George Will on Sunday's installment of "This Week."
But Will wasn't the only "Roundtable" panelist to utter something clever and/or revealing.
Quite the contrary, host George Stephanopoulos, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne also made statements on Sunday guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
First up was Stephanopoulos who made a rather startling admission concerning exactly why the White House decided to give every senior citizen $250 (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, relevant section at 19:12):
A marvelous thing happened on Sunday's "This Week": Donna Brazile said Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was "well-deserved," and host George Stephanopoulos couldn't restrain his laughter.
Such deliciously happened moments after George Will said, "[T]he Nobel Prize committee would with this decision have forfeited its reputation for seriousness if it had a reputation for seriousness."
Quite comically, Brazile was as serious as the Nobel committee (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, video available here for Internet Explorer users):
Longtime ABC journalist Cokie Roberts on Sunday harshly criticized fugitive director Roman Polanski, going so far as to joke, "As far as I’m concerned, just take him out and shoot him." Appearing on the internet-only segment of This Week, she bluntly stated, "But, Roman Polanski is a criminal. You know, he raped and drugged and raped and sodomized a child. And then was a fugitive from justice." She followed up with her "shoot him" quip.
Roberts’ comments were in stark contrast to the cautious remarks coming from many other journalists. On Monday’s Good Morning America, host Diane Sawyer referred to the director's arrest for the 1977 rape of a 13-year old as an "international incident." On Tuesday, Sawyer described the capture of Polanski in Switzerland as the culmination of "a 31 year-old prosecutorial obsession."
On Sunday, ABC's George Will uttered an inconvenient truth about Barack Obama that his adoring media have been ignoring since he first threw his hat into the presidential ring in February 2007: his rhetoric is filled with constant references to himself.
To prove the point on the most recent installment of "This Week," Will counted the number of times Mr. and Mrs. Obama used the words "I" and "me" during their speeches in Copenhagen Friday.
The numbers are shocking making it likely in Will's view that the word "vain" is going to eventually attach itself to Obama (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
In the series of network interviews recorded Friday at the White House for airing on the ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC Sunday morning interview shows, all highlighted Jimmy Carter's charge that racism is fueling the anti-Obamacare protests – with CNN's John King and NBC's David Gregory following up with Nancy Pelosi's claim the heated rhetoric may incite violence – and CBS's Bob Schieffer asserted the “meanness that has settled over our political dialogue” had “started this summer at these town hall meetings.”
Only NBC's Gregory chastised Obama for not taking on the left on malpractice reform and only ABC's George Stephanopoulos brought up ACORN, but painted Obama as a victim: “Have some of your allies made it easier for, handed your opponents some ammunition, like ACORN, for example?” Schieffer and King, but not Stephanopoulos or Gregory, pressed Obama on how seven former CIA directors urged him to drop the criminal probe of interrogations of terror suspects.
I watched them all so you didn't have to and here are some notes about what the four anchors chose to pursue in their allocated 15 minutes with President Barack Obama (should also note that all devoted time to Afghanistan and the likely request for more troops):
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
Leave it to George Will to perfectly explain in just two words all the recent accusations by Democrats and their media minions that anti-government sentiment sweeping the nation is caused by racism.
Fortunately for those not understanding the reference, Will explained further when the Roundtable discussion on Sunday's "This Week" turned to all the recent pronouncements of racism directed at anyone having the nerve to challenge President Obama's agenda (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
It took Van Jones' resignation, around midnight Saturday night on a holiday weekend, for ABC and NBC to mention him for the first time in Sunday morning news shows which broached, but failed to quote, the insidious “911truth” petition he signed, while ABC's George Stephanopoulos, seemingly trying to rationalize ABC's spiking of the subject, came aboard Good Morning America to dismiss the matter as “a summer squall.” Stephanopoulos was impressed by how the White House handled it: “The fact they got it out of the way before the end of the Labor Day weekend, before his spokespeople like Robert Gibbs, who's appearing on This Week come on this morning, I think will contain any kind of damage.”
That, and a compliant news media. As Bill Kristol observed on Fox News Sunday: “The mainstream media did not cover this story.”
Mike Viqueira reported on NBC's Today: “Van Jones, that's the President's 'green gobs' czar, has resigned overnight after it became known that before joining the administration he signed a petition put forward by those who believe that the government had a hand in 9/11.” Later, Viqueira relayed how “Jones says he is the victim of a 'vicious smear campaign' from the right, but he says he's resigning because he doesn't want to draw attention from the fights to come this fall over health care and energy and climate change legislation.”
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, syndicated columnist and ABC News contributor George Will created quite a firestorm last week with his call for American troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan.
Readers are encouraged to review the article in question as well as the criticisms here.
On Sunday, at the beginning of the panel segment of ABC's "This Week," Will took on his critics by reading a letter he received from Marine Commandant General Charles Krulak (video embedded below the fold):
Liz Cheney fans got to see quite a faceoff between her and Sam Donaldson on Sunday's "This Week."
As the panel discussion turned to Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate the terrorist interrogation procedures of the CIA, Cheney and Donaldson predictably shared opposing views.
Despite both parties being guilty of interrupting and stepping on one another, television critic Tom Shales, in a column published by the Washington Post Tuesday, felt Cheney was "intentionally rude" while employing "guerrilla rhetoric."
Not surprisingly, Shales had nothing negative to say about Donaldson's behavior (highlights below the fold with video of the exchange, h/t Jennifer Rubin):
During an interview with John McCain on Sunday’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos practically begged with the Arizona senator to repudiate "death panel" claims by former Governor Sarah Palin. Speaking of the health care bill, Stephanopoulos attacked euthanasia worries and lobbied, "[Obama] called that an extraordinary lie. And he is right about that, isn't he?"
The former top Clinton aide turned journalist reworked the same query four more times. After McCain referred to the fact that a Senate panel dropped a provision on end-of-life counseling, Stephanopoulos interrupted, "I don't think that's correct, Senator. The bill, all it said was that if a patient wanted to have a Medicare consultation about end of life issues, they could have it, at their request. And the doctor would get reimbursed for it. No panel."
A common theme of the new administration and their media minions is that all the problems associated with the economy and the rising budget deficits are George W. Bush's fault.
On Sunday's "This Week," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said (video available here, relevant section at 9:40):
Remember we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. The cumulative consequences of the policies this country pursued over the last 8 years left us with 6 trillion dollars of more debt than we would have had by making a bunch of commitments to cut taxes and add to spending without paying for those.
Sadly, host George Stephanopoulos didn't challenge Geithner on these numbers. Here are the facts:
Catching up on a short item I noticed over the weekend, conservative columnist George Will has finally found a bright spot to the media's wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson over the past couple of weeks: at least it's time not spent pushing a liberal big government agenda. Will pointed out on ABC's This Week: "When the mainstream media is preoccupied with this, it's probably doing, on margin, less damage than when it's dealing with public policy."
At that, longtime ABC newsman Sam Donaldson interjected, "Oh, thanks a lot!"
During the July 12 roundtable, host George Stephanopoulos opened a segment on the media's coverage of Jackson (under the graphic headline "Michael Jackson: Media Overkill") with a clip of Republican Congressman Peter King decrying the lavish coverage given over to Jackson, who faced trial four years ago over charges he molested a young boy. Here's the full exchange:
In light of recent reports that Vice President Cheney had ordered the CIA to withhold information about a counterrorism program that was being planned during the Bush administration, on Sunday ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on both Good Morning America and on This Week suggested that the revelations may be "vindication" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or that they at least "bolster" her claims about the CIA lying to her. Stephanopoulos even seemed to be pushing Pelosi to claim "vindication" even while the Speaker’s office was reluctant to do so. Stephanopoulos, from Good Morning America: "I spoke with Speaker Pelosi's office about that, and they don't want to use the word "vindication," but, clearly, it does bolster their case that on several occasions, they were either misled or not given relevant information that the Congress was supposed to have."
During the roundtable discussion on This Week, after conservative columnist George Will brought up the danger of leaks by members of Congress, since congressional members leaked the current story, Stephanopoulos again suggested the story helps Pelosi: "And part of the reason they wrote those letters was in defense of the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi ... they said that they had been misled, and, of course, the Speaker had said the CIA has lied to us on many occasions. I think she said they lie all the time. So this is a measure of vindication, I suppose, for the Speaker, even though she doesn't want to claim it."
During the roundtable discussion, it was left to Will to point out not only that the program "remained in the planning stages," but that the law Democrats are alleging may have been broken has a loophole, suggesting that withholding information on the program may have been legal. Will:
Sarah Palin hasn't had it as tough as Hillary Clinton and at her Friday announcement Palin “came across as petty and vindictive. Richard Nixon without the policy knowledge or the experience,”Washington, DC-based Atlanta Journal-Constitution political columnist Cynthia Tucker contended during the roundtable on Sunday's This Week on ABC. Both George Stephanopoulos and George Will pointed out, that after Nixon said “you won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore,” he came back and won the presidency twice.
Tucker, who oversaw the paper's editorial page from the early 1990s through last month and won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007, charged: “If Sarah Palin thinks that she's had it tougher than anybody else, she's been more harshly criticized, I have for two words for her: Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was savaged for eight years.”
ABC's This Week roundtable took up the media's favoritism toward President Obama. George Stephanopoulos marveled at “how obsessed the President and White House are with Fox News,” prompting George Will to observe that's because “it's the discordant note in an otherwise harmonious chorus.” New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, however, cautioned “don't confuse attention with love” as he maintained of Obama's coverage: “I don't think...it's been unskeptical or uncritical.” Indeed, Keller insisted, “he's getting examined pretty microscopically.”
Sam Donaldson cracked up the panel with a back-handed slap at the White House press corps. Asked how they are doing, Donaldson proposed before being drowned out by guffaws led by Stephanopoulos: “I think it's doing okay. I mean, they're going to come to life as the public gets more skeptical-”
(Fox News Sunday also had a segment on the media's love affair with Obama. Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard saw “a clear ideological affinity for Barack Obama and his programs” as well as “a huge do-something bias” for government action to solve perceived problems. NPR's Mara Liasson predicted: “I think the honeymoon is probably going to wind down sometime this fall.”)
"I’ve always been struck by how -- and it’s not too strong a word -- how obsessed the President and the White House are with Fox News."
So said ABC's George Stephanopoulos during the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week."
I kid you not.
With an on-screen chyron shockingly asking, "Free Media Ride For Obama?" the former member of the administration exceedingly paranoid of what it declared was a vast right-wing conspiracy actually discussed with his guests the fawning coverage the current White House resident is getting from the press.
As President Obama tours the country advancing his universal healthcare initiative, there are some dirty little secrets that he and his minions in the media don't want Americans to know.
On Sunday, George Will during the panel discussion on ABC's "This Week," exposed some inconvenient truths about this controverial subject that would likely change much of the public's view if they were regularly made aware of them.
After host George Stephanopoulos opened the roundtable segment, Will marvelously cut to the chase (video available here):
On Sunday’s This Week roundtable, ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman tried to argue that it would be “very hard” for Republicans to label Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a liberal. “When you look at Sotomayor's record and look at the cases, it's very hard for people to make the case that she's a typical, you know, elite liberal judicial philosopher,” Shipman declared.
That was too much even for liberal columnist Cynthia Tucker, who is currently the editorial page editor of the Atlantic Journal-Constitution but will this summer move to Washington as the paper’s D.C.-based political columnist. “She is certainly liberal, she’s called herself liberal,” Tucker informed Shipman, but agreed that Sotomayor is “nobody’s knee-jerk radical.”
For the past three weeks, controversy has swirled around Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has called for a “truth commission” to expose the supposed war crimes of the Bush administration but who herself was briefed years ago on the use of waterboarding and the other enhanced interrogation techniques that are now drawing howls of outrage.
ABC, CBS and NBC have said nothing about the Speaker’s shifting stories, or the potential hypocrisy of her once supporting (or at least not objecting to) policies that she would later condemn as illegal “torture.”
The current round of stories began April 22, after the Obama administration released selected memos from the Bush administration on the legal limits to interrogation. That night, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell offered a brief mention of how Pelosi was one of those who had been told: “Members of Congress were briefed at the time and reportedly didn’t dissent, including intelligence committee leaders Nancy Pelosi, Porter Goss, Bob Graham and Richard Shelby.” ABC and CBS said nothing about Pelosi that night.
Asked by George Stephanopoulos to name the “most important thing we've learned” about President Barack Obama during his first one hundred days in office (which is still three days away), David Sanger, a Washington correspondent for the New York Times, asserted: “I think we've learned that he's more moderate than we had expected.” That says a lot about the mindset of New York Times reporters and prompted George Will to retort, during the roundtable segment on ABC's This Week: “He's less moderate than I thought. He's going to design our cars. He's going to design our light bulbs. He's going to tell us where our house shall be built. This is supervisory liberalism in the most nagging, annoying sort.”
Bob Schieffer brought aboard CBS's Face the Nation the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast site, to assess Obama. Brown could barely contain herself, trumpeting “what a force-multiplier Michelle Obama has turned out to be” as she and her husband work in “flawless concert,” so while “the world is talking about torture and the Bush administration, then we have Michelle with her vegetable garden. Talk about Spring time in America!”
Those who “devised” what ABC called “torture memos” and the “methods” they defined, retired ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson contended on Sunday's This Week, “should be held responsible” and so “should be held accountable in the court of law.” Donaldson allowed that “people who thought they were following the law as outlined” should not be punished, but:
The people who devised these methods and devised these memos, if, in fact, they knew that they were just trying to find cover, just trying to find a way to get around American values and American law and the American Constitution, I think they should be held responsible. I think they should be brought in and if President Obama wants to pardon them as one President pardoned a former President, then let him do so, but they should be held accountable in the court of law.
ABC's Sam Donaldson let a little of his inner-conspiracy theorist out this morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
In a discussion of President Barack Obama's lessening the sanctions on Fidel Castro's Cuba, Donaldson began his analysis with one of a number a Kennedy-Truther notions that have been knocking around ever since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
Ever since Lee Harvey Oswald first squeezed the trigger, there have been numerous others for whom he was the alleged fall guy. The Grassy Knoll, the Zapruder films, etc.
Then-Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson has been mentioned, as has the Mafia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, Howard Hunt and the Eastern Bloc of Soviet States, or some cabal of some or all of the above.
Another wild card in this crazy deck was Cuba's El Presidente, Castro. The theory being that Castro was upset with JFK's woefully planned and executed Bay of Pigs attempt at ending his nascent dictatorship, and therefore exacted his revenge by executing the 35th President.
Donaldson's buy-in for this house-of-cards game is apparently the Castro connection.
She's been popping up in a lot of places lately to chime in on the economy.
This time Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington appeared on ABC's April 5 "This Week," where she voiced her disapproval of the March 30 decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) relaxing mark-to-market accounting rules.
"This week, we saw so many concessions to the banks," Huffington said. "We saw the suspension of mark-to-market, which is absolutely tragic. Japan, by not having mark-to-market, made it much harder for them to recover."
But as Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Portfolios recently wrote for Forbes magazine, mark-to-market accounting reinstitution was reinstated only in recent years. The last time it was in effect - during the Great Depression - it caused many bank failures.
If you needed some good news to brighten your Saturday evening, this could be it: ABC's George Stephanopoulos believes Democrats have abandoned their goal of enacting a carbon cap and trade program this year.
For those unfamiliar, this is a scheme backed by global warming alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore designed to place prohibitive taxes on emitters of that dastardly carbon dioxide.
Most rational economists not under Gore's influence believe such a plan would have a devastating effect on our economy, and would likely force companies to continue exporting manufacturing jobs to countries like China and India which don't have such business unfriendly practices.
Fortunately, according to Stephanopoulos, this idea has been scrapped for the time being (h/t Hot Air):
In January, Politico's John F. Harris exposed a liberal cabal involving telephone calls between White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, and CNN's Paul Begala and James Carville.
Since then, Americans on both sides of the aisle have wondered just how far-reaching the political influence of these four is on the mainstream media.
More importantly, just how much is the Obama administration, via its press contacts that worked in the White House before, involved in controlling the message being disseminated?
Consider the following sequence of events involving Stephanopoulos that began with a March 13 press release by the Democratic National Committee:
CRITICAL UPDATE at end of post: AUC's founder and former president is now the communications director of the DNC.
On Sunday's "This Week," ABC's George Stephanopoulus played an advertisment created by a far-left political organization to bash the Republican Party and his guest Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Maybe even worse, the group responsible for this recent attack, Americans United for Change, targeted the Kentucky Senator for his position on the Iraq war back in March 2007.
As ABC's Chief Washington Correspondent, it seems hard to believe Stephanopoulos was ignorant of the political leanings of this group or its past opposition to his guest.
Regardless, after introducing McConnell, and allowing the Senate minority leader to offer his views concerning the 2010 budget recently proposed by President Obama, Stephanopoulos went on the attack himself: