If there was a contest each week for the dumbest comment made by a member of the media, this would likely be last week's prohibitive favorite.
On the syndicated Chris Matthews Show this weekend, during a discussion about Barack Obama's America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page actually said with a straight face, "Right-wing wouldn't have that story if it wasn't for the mainstream media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Fox News contributor Jane Hall said Sunday that one of the reasons she left the cable network was because she was uncomfortable with host Glenn Beck who she believes "should be called out as somebody whose language is way over the top and scary."
Fox watchers know Hall as one of the regular liberal panelists on Saturday's "Fox News Watch" as well a frequent guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" where she was typically paired opposite former CBSer Bernard Goldberg.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," with the discussion centering on the White House's battle with Fox, Hall disclosed the decision behind her departure (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 8:20):
As FNC's Sean Hannity devoted his show Hannity on Thursday evening to the plight of California farmers who are suffering unemployment because the federal government is withholding water from their crops in favor of saving endangered fish, Hannity began the show, specially titled "The Valley That Hope Forgot," by interviewing comedian and former Democrat Paul Rodriguez, chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition. Rodriguez, who last year supported Barack Obama but famously turned GOP after Democrats refused to help him and other farmers obtain water for their crops, made a plea for help to President Obama on Hannity's show:
Mr. President, with all due respect, we pray that you will read our letter and look at our dilemma. We don't want you to give us a loan. We didn't do anything wrong. We did everything right. We grew more food than anybody else with less water. And for that, our reward was you cut the water off. Come on, what's up?
On Thursday's Hannity show, Sean Hannity hosted a special edition of his program -- titled "The Valley That Hope Forgot" -- in Huron, California, where drought-stricken farmers are suffering because the federal government continues to withhold water to save endangered fish, leaving tens of thousands of farm workers standing in line for hours at food banks. As the show aired amidst a rally of farm workers, correspondent Ainsley Earhardt informed viewers that conditions have worsened since she last reported from the area in April.
Then, actor Alan Autry, a former Republican mayor of Fresno who is also famous for starring in the television series In the Heat of the Night, slammed President Obama for refusing to intervene. As he recounted post-9/11 fears that al-Qaeda would target the water supply to hurt American agriculture, Autry observed that the conditions created by the federal government by intentionally withholding water are similar to what he would have expected in the aftermath of a terror attack. Autry:
One of the things we were charged with by the federal government was to work together locally to protect the water supply to farming communities so they could continue to provide food for the nation. Now, if you would have told me that those – that water would have stopped, I would have believed maybe al-Qaeda struck, not the federal government.
On Monday’s Hannity show on FNC, actor Jon Voight accused the press of "protecting" and "covering for" President Obama by not giving enough coverage to dissatisfaction with the President’s economic policies, including the anti-tax TEA party protests:
But the press, the press brought him in, and now they want to make sure that nobody topples the throne, it seems. So they don't report anything that will interfere with his policies. But when the news is biased, it can, you know, it can control the people in a dangerous way. We see what's going on in Venezuela, and we're shocked. We're shocked to see Hugo Chavez closing down the, the opposition media. We're shocked when we see what's happening to the truth in Iran. But this same thing is happening in our country right now. The Obama regime is controlling the press. They protect him, they cover for him, and they don't want the truth to come out that there is this dissatisfaction, that people are waking up, and it's being expressed in these TEA parties.
He also charged that Obama had been dishonest in promising to protect Israel, and that the President had a "cunning ability" to push his policies through Congress without proper debate:
On Wednesday, several FNC shows recounted the latest developments in the case of President Obama's suspicious, and possibly illegal, firing of former inspector general Gerald Walpin, after an investigation headed by Walpin found Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson guilty of misusing over $800,000 in funding intended for the AmeriCorps program. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity pointed to apparent inconsistencies in the story so far.
Beck, who had previously interviewed Walpin on Monday, interviewed him again on Wednesday, and informed viewers of a claim by the White House that Walpin had shown up at a meeting "disoriented," leading the President to dismiss him. Walpin charged that the administration was engaging in "an amazing slinging of mud" against him, and later added:
On Tuesday's Hannity show on FNC, while interviewing author Brigitte Gabriel, host Sean Hannity suggested that, rather than make apologies for America in the Muslim world, that President Obama should point out that Muslims have benefited from America's assistance in various countries, and Gabriel pointed out that the United States sided with Muslims against Christians in the former Yugoslavia.
Hannity posed the question: "Shouldn't the President be highlighting, for example, the sacrifice of America to help save some Kuwaiti Muslims and in Somalia and in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in other parts of the world?"
On Memorial Day, 2002, FNC's Hannity and Colmes held an interview with U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Troy Dunlap, who was held in Iraq as a POW during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and his attorney, Steve Fennell, to discuss a lawsuit against the Iraqi government because of torture Dunlap and other POWs endured. During the current debate over how high-level Al-Qaeda prisoners should be treated, and the practical impact harsh interrogations may have on the treatment of American POWs in future wars, it is noteworthy that this kind of review of the violent treatment American POWs have a history of receiving, even before the debate over waterboarding terrorists even began, has been so absent in the media.
Fennell summed up the treatment POWs endured in 1991 in Iraq, despite the fact that the country was a signatory of the Geneva Convention:
We have 17 POWs, the injuries range from broken legs, fractured skulls, beatings that were so bad that the body looked like it had been dipped in indigo dye. Techniques that were used where things such as beatings to the point where most of the beatings stopped only when the POW reached unconsciousness, use of electric shock, cattle prods, drug injections.
On April 5, 2002, the Washington Post article, "Hussein Sued by Ex-POWs; U.S. Gulf War Veterans Say They Were Beaten, Tortured," by Peter Slevin, reported:
In his Wednesday night “Media Mash” segment, FNC's Sean Hannity picked up on a Tuesday night NewsBusters post, “Third CNN Staffer Joins Obama's Team, As Does ABC Vet; Revolving Door Up to Ten,” about the latest journalists to spin through the revolving door to work in the Obama administration. Hannity informed his viewers of how the press corps are “losing three more of their own to the Obama administration. Now, at the outset of the President's term, several of the so-called objective journalists left their jobs to join the administration. Now NewsBusters.org points out that a few more are following suit.” Hannity named some names:
Senior CNN politics producer Sasha Johnson -- by the way, that makes her the third CNN staffer to join the President's team. Chicago Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman and veteran ABC News reporter Beverley Lumpkin. Now that brings the total number of so-called mainstream media journalists who have rushed to join the Obama administration to ten.
On Friday’s Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity challenged former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw to speak out in response to Janeane Garofalo’s recent tirade on MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on Thursday, a screed which seemed to have Olbermann’s approval as he appeared to agree with her accusations of racism against Tax Day Tea Party participants.
During a discussion with FNC’s Kimberly Guilfoyle and conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, Hannity addressed Brokaw as he introduced the clip: "I want to address this specifically to Tom Brokaw. Tom Brokaw, are you proud of this?"
Then played a portion of Garofalo’s comments:
JANEANE GAROFALO CLIP #1: You know, there is for more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right to them, and then it doesn't make sense, which – let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about.
KEITH OLBERMANN: That's right.
GAROFALO: They don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging red necks.
On Friday’s Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity played an audio clip of liberal CNN contributor Paul Begala as he was interviewed on the April 15 Imus in the Morning, in which Begala engaged in name-calling against Tax Day Tea Party participants: "Why are they out there whining with this Tea Party thing? Just a bunch of wimpy, whiny, weasels who don't love their country and don't want to support – there are guys at Walter Reed who gave their legs for my country, and they're whining because they have to write a check?" He went on to single out FNC’s Hannity and Neil Cavuto before Imus stepped in to defend them. Begala: "Mr. Cavuto, Mr. Hannity, all the rest of those guys, they have representation, they just lost an election – that's not tyranny, that's democracy." After Imus defended Cavuto and Hannity, and called Hannity a patriot, Begala shot back: "Then tell him to pay his taxes and support our country and stop whining about it."
After playing the clip, Hannity held a discussion with FNC’s Kimberly Guilfoyle and conservative columnist S.E. Cupp. Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, April 17, Hannity show on FNC:
[See update below] Appearing on a panel for Wednesday's edition of "Hannity," "Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo once again fretted about a lack of support for Barack Obama's massive new spending bill. After mentioning an earlier interview he conducted with House Minority Leader John Boener, Cuomo complained, "He [Boehner] said that he was impressed by President Obama, that they thought there would be compromise, that they would get away from the politics as usual."
Following a discussion of the fact that not one House Republican voted for the "stimulus" bill, Cuomo lamented, "They said they were thinking about us. They said that was the analysis, because they don't know how to deal with this situation. So there's no reason to cling to the normal partisan lines. They did just that." In an earlier interview with Boehner on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," Cuomo asserted that the pressure was on politicians to "get past the age-old battle over tax cuts versus spending." And although Cuomo did at least admit that there has been wasteful spending in last year's bailout bill, he also introduced the GMA piece on a lack of congressional action with horror stories about the awful economy.
Sean Hannity debuted his “Media Mash” segment Friday night on his FNC show with NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham as the guest expert to comment on a series of clips, most familiar to NB readers, of the most sycophantic inaugural coverage. Under the “Morning Bias” heading, Hannity ran a bunch of sappy pro-Obama clips from Tuesday coverage, all of which NewsBusters has showcased:
Conservative author Ann Coulter believes that media during last year's presidential campaign behaved as if they wanted to have sex with Barack Obama.
Such was revealed during Monday's "Hannity & Colmes" as were her views about NBC's sudden cancellation of her appearance on Tuesday's "Today Show."
In the end, she believes "the whole thing was a charade and a setup" so that she wouldn't be able to go on any other morning shows (video embedded below the fold courtesy MsUnderestimated with a partial transcript):
As most Fox News fans are aware, Alan Colmes is going to be leaving the hit show "Hannity & Colmes."
Readers have voiced their opinions about this here and here.
At the end of Monday's program, Alan briefly explained his decision, and had a very charming exchange with his longtime co-host Sean Hannity (video embedded below the fold courtesy our dear friend Johnny Dollar):
The wife of former GOP presidential aspirant Fred Thompson took on Alan Colmes on the October 23 broadcast. Jeri Thompson, who heads up Team Sarah, a campaign effort to get out the vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, went toe-to-toe with the liberal co-host of "Hannity & Colmes" on the matter of the media's hyping the non-scandal of the RNC's wardrobe expenses for the Alaska governor.
Mrs. Thompson has personal experience with the viciousness of the liberal media against conservative Republican women, as NewsBusters coverage about the media dismissing her as a "trophy wife" can attest.
The Pew Research Center conducted a survey to see what the audiences of the various political shows knew about politics, and what they found goes against the conventional wisdom about whose audience is better informed about current events. With a simple three-question survey about politicians in high office, it turned out that the audiences of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity answered more questions correctly than fans of the "Colbert Report," "The Daily Show," and CNN.
The quiz asked the names of two of the world's leaders and one party in power to determine what audience is most well informed. Survey participants were asked the names of the Secretary of State, the British Prime Minister, and the name of the party currently controlling the House of Representatives.
After apparently taking erroneous information from the far-left-leaning website ThinkProgress on Tuesday to falsely accuse Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin of slashing her state's Special Olympics budget, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday called the governor a liar in a rant with potential ties to a Daily Kos posting hours earlier.
During his truly tasteless "Bushed" segment, Olbermann claimed Palin gave Sean Hannity a different answer than she offered Charlie Gibson regarding her initial reaction to being asked to be John McCain's running mate.
This was Olbermann's pathetic accusation (text and video follow, h/t Johnny Dollar):
As Culture and Media Institute Director Robert Knight has noted, the media are still presenting Obama campaign spin on the McCain sex ed ad as hard facts.
Last week the McCain campaign released an ad charging Senator Obama with supporting sex education for kindergarten children when he was an Illinois state senator.
According to the Obama campaign and the media the legislation in question "was written to protect young children from sexual predators."
That's a line that Obama himself used during last year's CNN/YouTube debate:
I've got a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old daughter. And I want them to know if somebody is doing something wrong to them, encroaching on their privacy, that they should come talk to me or my wife. And we've had that conversation, but not every parent is going to have that conversation with their child, and I think it's important that every child does, to make sure that they're not subject to the sexual predators (emphasis mine).
The only problem is that the goal of the bill wasn't to stop sexual predators, but to revamp the Illinois sex ed curriculum.
Movie star Jon Voight described to "The View’s" Elisabeth Hasselbeck his thoughts on fellow Hollywood conservatives. On the September 8 "View," Hasselbeck offered a behind the scenes look at the Republican Convention. Whe show’s sole Republican asked one of the few outspoken Hollywood conservatives why many actors who "lean toward the right" remain in the closet, Voight replied that Hollywood conservatives are "thoughtful" because "they have to make a decision to be conservative in Hollywood" and "they have some guts."
The previous Friday, Elisabeth Hasselbeck also made pre-recorded appearance on "Hannity and Colmes." Sean Hannity inquired as to "where the other girls stand." After acknowledging Joy Behar is "on the hard left" (talk about stating the obvious) "The View" co-host opined that Whoopi, Sherri and Joy just might come around because "there’s potential for them to now see something on this side of the ticket that maybe they were not seeing before."
This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.
Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.
On Friday's Countdown, during the show's "Worst Person in the World" segment, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tried to characterize the ratings of his show as more admirable than than those of FNC's highly watched O'Reilly Factor by narrowly citing viewing figures among younger demographics. Olbermann, who has a history of quoting the viewing figures for those 25-54 years old -- citing their value to advertisers -- to make himself appear more competitive with O'Reilly, on this occasion dismissively referred to older viewers as "65 to dead." Olbermann: "But don't worry, Bill, you're still dominating that important demographic, 65 to dead." Notably, in June 2006, Olbermann gloated that O'Reilly's viewers are "dying off."
And, although Olbermann vaguely claimed that Bill O'Reilly "crows about the ratings and then gets them wrong again," the MSNBC host in no way contradicted O'Reilly's numbers as Olbermann merely cited the statistics for the specific younger demographics, which did not disprove anything the FNC host stated.
TVNewser reported on the July figures: ""The top rated program was again The O'Reilly Factor at 8pmET(2,252,000 viewer average). For MSNBC, the top program was Countdown with Keith Olbermann at 8pmET in 9th place (959,000) and for CNN it was Larry King Live tied for 10th (940,000)." The TVNewser report can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
Q. How can Scott McClellan tell he's pushed his turncoat trip a tad too far?
A. When even leading media liberals suggest his reputation's in tatters.
Say what you will, but I like Joan Walsh, editor of Salon.com. Liberal? No doubt. But also a grownup. On this evening's Hardball, Walsh had the integrity to acknowledge that by accusing Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly of regurgitating Bush White House talking points, McClellan was looking "worse for wear."
Sitting in for Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle [who I must say does a more "fair 'n balanced" job than the regular guy] rolled video from the this past Friday's show in which McClellan leveled his accusation.
FNC's Hannity & Colmes on Friday night featured Times of London Assistant Editor/U.S. Editor Gerard Baker reading aloud his hilarious Friday column, “He ventured forth to bring light to the world,” in which he recounted Obama's life story and trip to the Middle East and Europe as if told through a gospel in the Bible. The lead to Baker's satire: “And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.”
Baker's narrative mocked the media's infatuation:
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth -- for the first time -- to bring the light unto all the world. He traveled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media....
From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered "Hosanna" and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.
Video: The entire reading took Baker more than six minutes, enhanced with matching video and pictures added by a Fox News producer. The Flash video above provides about half (3:35) of it, cutting out the beginning and end. MP3 audio (1.3 MB)
On Wednesday, presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama blamed his wife's high negative ratings on "the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review" as well as "rants by Sean Hannity."
He also said, "And you know, the problem is that rarely do these folks have the guts to say it to your face."
On Thursday, Hannity struck back (video embedded right):
Senator Obama, here is my invitation. Anything I've ever said about you, you can sit right here, and I will say it to your face. Do you have the guts to come on this program and take some tough questions?
As you might imagine, Sean said a lot more on Thursday's "Hannity & Colmes," but before we get there, here's the quote from Glamour's Glamocracy blog which set this whole thing off (emphasis added):
One of the more astounding post-9/11 liberal media affectations has been the extraordinary concern press members have for how terrorists looking to kill innocent Americans are treated at detention centers.
A fine example of this occurred on Thursday's "Hannity & Colmes" when the left-leaning part of Fox News's successful duo debated former White House adviser Karl Rove about the recent Supreme Court decision granting habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Readers are advised to get a big bag of popcorn for this barnburner (video embedded right):
MRC President Brent Bozell appeared on the June 24 "Hannity & Colmes" to comment on a trend in Iraq reporting that conservatives have known for a while and the New York Times is only now catching on to: the media love to report negative developments from Iraq, while downplaying or ignoring positive developments such as the succeess of the surge or the exonerations of the Haditha "massacre" Marines.
Here's an excerpt of Bozell from the segment:
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: There's a terrible adage in journalism: good news is no news, bad news is great news. And that's the coverage that we've seen in Iraq. Countless studies have been done, we've done studies on this, showing that as things got worse and worse, you had more and more coverage. But suddenly the surge came around and as the surge took off and was successful, the coverage went down. You see just the other day where the military announced that violence is down 89 percent, and yet NBC and CBS didn't think that was news. Now, they didn't need to send a reporter to Iraq to report that one, they could have done that from their bureaus.
Appearing on June 18's "Hannity and Colmes," "View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck opened up about her rocky relationship with former co-host Rosie O’Donnell. Hasselbeck discussed Michelle Obama’s guest co-host on "The View" before the conversation moved on to Rosie.
Elisabeth exclaimed how much fun "The View" panel is today and then noted that "it was [fun] then it wasn’t, then it is now." The daytime personality added regarding Rosie O'Donnell "we certainly aren’t friends. I’d be lying if I said that. And do I wake up in the morning feeling less stressed when I go to work? Yes, I do."
Hasselbeck claimed the worst moment in her relationship with Rosie involved the now famous on air fight.