It’s hard to pity someone as smarmy and self-righteous as Jonathan Alter. Still, with all the bad luck that the left-wing pundit has faced lately, it almost makes you want to consider it. Well, ok, not really.
May has been a tough month for the MSNBC contributor. First, an anecdote from his latest book was proven beyond doubt to be an outright fabrication. Yesterday, he was revealed by radio host Don Imus as a conniving, two-faced jerk. Now his reporting is being denounced as “patently, provably false” by Fox News president Roger Ailes.
On Wednesday's The Last Word show, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- suggested that FNC host Bill O'Reilly was motivated by racism when he recently called it "shady" for President Obama to select Susan Rice as national security advisor to avoid Senate confirmation hearings.
A bit after host Lawrence O'Donnell played several clips of O'Reilly using the word "shady" to describe the move, Wolffe cracked:
It's thankfully been a long, long time since we've heard from Keith Olbermann.
Unfortunately, he came out of the bathtub long enough on Monday to give a Twitter follower his opinion of Attorney General Eric Holder saying, "He should've resigned or been dismissed after the AP overreach. Instead he made a Fox News figure a martyr":
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on CNN’s State of the Union called White House press secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.”
On Fox News’s Special Report Monday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took issue with Issa saying, “I’ve argued here for months that Carney is majorly underpaid, and I think that really is the problem” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Joe Muto, the former O’Reilly Factor producer who turned into a “mole” for the leftist gossip site Gwker, has resurfaced thanks to an AP report which chronicles how he pled guilty to two separate misdemeanors for passing along outtake footage owned by Fox News Channel.
Muto has already begun serving his sentence which includes picking up trash in city parks and also 200 hours of community service. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to give the $5,000 he was paid by Gawker to charity.
The ice seems to be cracking beneath Attorney General Eric Holder's feet.
When asked by NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory Sunday if Holder is going to "stay in the job" given the leaks investigation scandal, former NBC Night News host Tom Brokaw replied, "Boy, I think it’s tough to see how he does" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday, in an attempt to mock Fox News, actually made a bit of a fool of himself.
After noting on Inside Washington that ObamaCare had passed Congress, been signed into law by the President, and affirmed by the Supreme Court, Shields ridiculed Fox News as being "a fourth branch of government...that hasn't approved it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday night’s O’Reilly Factor, the Fox News host opened the show by attacking former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman for visiting the White House 157 times, almost four times as many appearances as Hillary Clinton. O’Reilly hinted this was a “smoking gun” of the White House running the IRS harassment campaign of the Tea Party.
But guess what: this fact of Shulman’s well-worn path to the White House gates has yet to be reported by ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. O’Reilly can’t believe this number:
Left of center columnist Kirsten Powers on Wednesday called the Obama administration's repeated attacks on Fox News "completely despicable."
Appearing on Fox News's Hannity, Powers noted that "any president would be happy" if there were just one news outlet "that allows people to say things about him that he doesn't like" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
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.]