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."
Imagine if Newtown, Connecticut massacre perpetrator Adam Lanza had lived and gone on to get convicted of the 26 murders he committed. Further, imagine, post-conviction, that his attorney claimed that "things went a little awry" that day. There would be no containing the outrage, or the establishment press coverage.
Kermit Gosnell attorney Jack McMahon was interviewed on Wednesday by Fox News's Megyn Kelly. While a great deal of commendable outrage has been directed at McMahon for his statements and conduct, not enough emphasis has been placed on a comment he made which is analogous to the hypothetical posed in my first paragraph, as it was what triggered Kelly's outrage and her subsequent epic response (YouTube; excerpt begins at 1:33 mark; HT Twitchy.com):
Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry said Friday that when he used to grill George W. Bush press secretaries Dana Perino and the late Tony Snow when he was working for CNN, his colleagues cheered him on in private.
"Then when I was at Fox covering the Obama administration," he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, "it can get a little bit lonely sometimes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
[UPDATED BELOW] News broke on Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder approved the Justice Department's seizure of a Fox News reporter's private e-mails. CNN still has yet to report this development, although the network found time to cover Brad Pitt's "face blindness" on Friday.
Host Jake Tapper ripped into the Obama administration on Wednesday for its investigation of Rosen, but on Thursday NBCNews.com reported that Holder personally approved the search warrant, labeling Rosen a "possible co-conspirator" against the Espionage Act. CNN still hasn't reported this, as of Friday afternoon.
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."
One obvious question which occurred to me and I suspect others when I read Ann Marimow's first account at the Washington Post dated May 19 of the search warrant issued in 2009 for the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen was: "Where has this thing been hiding?"
The "Affadavit for Search Warrant" is dated May 28, 2010. Why did it come out just this week? Marimow didn't say. More stories followed, still without explanation. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Post might have sat on knowledge of its existence, and that someone who works at the U.S. Court may have deliberately worked to keep it invisible for 18 months after it was supposed to have been unsealed in November 2011.
Appearing for his regular "Miller Time" segment on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, comedian Dennis Miller asserted that the Obama administration is "looking more Nixonian" because of recent scandal revelations.
He went on to crack that when President Obama says, "I am not a crook," he'll need a teleprompter to help him. Referring to the Justice Department's focus on FNC reporter James Rosen, Miller began:
The Big Three networks coverage so far of the Justice Department's questionable investigation of Fox News' James Rosen has followed a similar pattern to that of their coverage of the Kermit Gosnell case. Jan Crawford's report on Thursday's CBS This Morning was the first full report on growing controversy on ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts. NBC briefly covered the investigation on Tuesday's Today, and ABC has yet to mention it.
Crawford pointed out how the DOJ's "unprecedented" surveillance of Rosen has "really just set off a firestorm of criticism from the left and right. For the first time ever, a presidential administration is treating news reporting like a crime, and a reporter like a criminal suspect." [audio available here; video below the jump]
With each passing day, it's becoming clearer and clearer that many of the current White House resident's followers in the media are really angered by his attack on the Associated Press and Fox News's James Rosen.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, the National Journal's Ron Fournier said of this issue, "You can't make journalism a conspiracy...The irony here is that President Obama, by raising a jihad against the press, has now made it more likely that we’re going to have what he called 'dumb wars'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Let's face facts: the American media is in an abusive relationship with Obama."
So marvelously said Dennis Miller on Fox New's the O'Reilly Factor in a discussion about the Internal Revenue Service scandal Wednesday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, meteorologist Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell Analytics -- formerly of AccuWeather -- argued against the view that global warming is causing more violent tornadoes and compared Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's recent comments blaming recent weather disasters on global warming to "ambulance chasing." Bastardi:
CNN's Jake Tapper took Obama's Justice Department to task on his Wednesday afternoon show, sounding alarm over the "precedent" that the administration's investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen would set.
Tapper directly challenged liberal defenders of President Obama: "But even if you side with this President over those of us in the media who challenge him in his administration, it is important to remember the precedent these actions set going forward. Perhaps when it's not your guy in the White House." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible 'co-conspirator' in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news."
So shockingly began a New York Times editorial Wednesday.
In statement released on Tuesday, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon, issued this warning against the Obama Justice Department investigating Fox News reporter James Rosen:"U.S. government efforts to prosecute leakers by obtaining information from journalists has a chilling effect domestically and sends a terrible message to journalists around the world who are fighting to resist government intrusion."
Appearing as a guest on Monday's The Daily Show on Comedy Central, Canadian actress Ellen Page criticized Fox News for negatively portraying Canadian health care as she defended her home country's national health care system. Page:
Following a Washington Post report showing that the Obama administration under the Justice Department had singled out Fox News’ James Rosen, including secretly reading his personal emails, FNC’s Brit Hume took the Obama administration to task for its actions.
Appearing on Special Report w/ Bret Baier on May 20, the veteran Washington journalist described the actions by the Justice Department as something where “federal prosecutors have rarely if ever gone before.” At issue are details in which Rosen met with a State Department official and obtained secret details about State Department actions and intelligence on a foreign country now identified as North Korea. As a result, the FBI obtained a search warrant for Rosen's personal files, including his personal email account, to investigate Rosen's activities in connection to the North Korea story. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
While much of the news coverage Monday evening and Tuesday morning was dominated by coverage of the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma, Tuesday's NBC Today did manage to provide two news briefs, totaling a minute and fourteen seconds, to the stunning revelation that the Obama administration searched through the private emails of Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen, supposedly as a part of a leak investigation.
Neither ABC nor CBS bothered to make any mention of their media colleague Rosen being named a "criminal co-conspirator" for simply doing his job as a journalist. Instead on Tuesday, ABC's Good Morning America devoted a four-minute segment to Michael Douglas and Matt Damon discussing their gay love scenes in a movie about Liberace. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning squeezed in a forty-seven-second news brief on the death of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Obama’s Department of Justice was investigating journalists before they started wiretapping the Associated Press – for one, Fox News correspondent James Rosen in 2010. Their headline wasn't "Obama Team Also Spied on Fox News." Fox wasn't in the headline, on A-1 or on A-12, where the story continued.
Newly obtained court documents “reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist — and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010.” Reporter Ann Marimow began:
On Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor, liberal FNC political analyst Kirsten Powers again accused President Barack Obama of speaking "lies" in claiming that he called Benghazi a terrorist attack early on. Host Bill O'Reilly introduced the segment by playing a clip of Powers from Monday's Special Report with Bret Baier. Powers, from Monday:
On the Tuesday, May 14, All In show, Chris Hayes linked former President Ronald Reagan to a former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide as the MSNBC host seemed to suggest that the story was as worthy of attention as Benghazi and ended up sarcastically challenging Fox News to give attention to it.
After playing a clip of Reagan from 1982 praising the then-ruler of Guatemala, Hayes continued:
While Monday's NBC Nightly News was content to accept President Obama labeling the Benghazi scandal as a "political circus" worthy of ridicule, on Fox News Channel's Special Report, chief Washington correspondent James Rosen was actually being a journalist and fact-checking the commander-in-chief's deceptive assertions on the controversy.
Introducing the Nightly News report on Obama attempting to downplay the scandal during a midday press conference, anchor Brian Williams announced: "...the President took the opportunity to hit back hard over accusations of some sort of a cover-up, saying that defies logic."
Kirsten Powers said something Saturday that should deeply embarrass so-called journalists across the fruited plain.
Appearing on Fox News Watch, Powers - who was Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs in the Clinton administration - said of the job the current White House is doing with the Benghazi cover up, "Bill Clinton would not have gotten away with this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, right-leaning FNC political analyst Charles Krauthammer recounted that the initial State Department reports on the Benghazi attack identified it as an attack by the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia, and theorized that the Obama administration must have covered up the initial reports of it being a terrorist attack for political reasons during the election campaign.
He also underscored the significance of State Department official Gregory Hicks apparently being demoted after criticizing the administration's story about the attack. Host Bill O'Reilly brought up Hicks:
During a Fox News Benghazi report, MRC Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor argued that the media covered-up Benghazi news out of adoration for Hillary Clinton.
Speaking with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on May 9, Gainor argued that the media have “been doing this throughout, this is sort of continuation of their policy to minimize a scandal that makes Hillary Clinton look really bad.” He continued to say, “The why is, she’s running for election in 2016, and the media have always loved Hillary.”
Appearing on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor, left-leaning FNC political analyst Kirsten Powers criticized the behavior of Democrats in the wake of the Benghazi hearings in Congress, as she cited the testimony of official Gregory Hicks as compelling. After complaining about Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings's reaction to the testimony, she continued:
Wednesday's congressional hearings on the September 11 terrorists attacks in Benghazi provided a stark contrast between Fox News and MSNBC. From the time the whistleblower testimony began at 11:36am through their conclusion after 5pm, Fox devoted 108 minutes to simply airing the hearing with no anchor commentary. MSNBC, in comparison didn't allow any live coverage. Instead, the cable network aired a scant five minutes and 20 seconds of taped snippets of testimony. [See a chart of coverage below.]
CNN came in second, allowing a mere 17 minutes of footage. After the 2pm hour, CNN lost all interest, instead the network's anchors eagerly promoted the coming verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. (FNC's reporting on the story after 2pm dropped off to five minutes of taped footage.) The hearings commenced at 11:36 and so did Fox's coverage. CNN waited until noon to break in and MSNBC came in last at 12:17 (with a taped piece and discussion only).