Within hours of the mass shooting in Arizona, former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Saturday was offering Barack Obama tips on how to manipulate the outburst of violence for his political advantage.
Making comparisons to Bill Clinton's response to the Oklahoma City bombing, he lobbied, "...Obama may be able to remind voters of what they like best about him: his sensible demeanor. Amid the din and ferocity of our political culture, he respectfully keeps his voice down, his emotions in check and his mind open."
The piece, which appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post, featured this coldly calculating follow-up: "That is the pitch, at least. The trick is to make it without seeming to be trying to make it. He will, after all, be speaking at a funeral."
On Wednesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, when host Behar asked, referring to House Republicans, "Are they going to ruin health care?" guest Roy Sekoff - founding editor of the Huffington Post - referred to a repeal of Obamacare as "destroy[ing] health care." Moments later, he also claimed that Obamacare "will actually lower the debt," and accused Republicans of being hypocritical for wanting to repeal it:
JOY BEHAR: Let’s talk about what they’re going to try and do. Are they going to try and destroy everything Obama has done so far? The approval rating is up over 50 percent on Obama again. What are they going to try to do? Are they going to ruin health care?
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, yeah, you know, first thing out of the gate, they’re going to try to, you know, destroy health care and try to repeal it ... And, of course, they’re always talking about how concerned they are about debt. And we know that that bill will actually lower the debt. So, a little bit of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
As the two discussed White House advisor David Axelrod and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’s upcoming departure from the White House, Sekoff joked about the possibility of Behar following the lead of Tony Snow and moving from cable news to White House press secretary, leading the HLN host to assert that "I would do it any day," before making making her latest admission that "I love President Obama":
The New York Times ran a rather serious report on Tuesday, regarding former Vice-President Dick Cheney and the new mechanical heart pump he received in July. The addition of the new pump means that Cheney’s heart will never again beat at full strength, and leaves him with a daunting decision whether or not to have a full heart transplant.
Naturally, juveniles in the liberal media have had a blast with the news.
Political Wire, a supposedly non-partisan political blog led off a post about the heart transplant with this gem:
The New York Times confirms what many of his political opponents always assumed: Dick Cheney has no pulse.
In the Bush years, liberals worried out loud about how our war on terrorism was destroying our reputation among our noble socialist allies in Europe. But in the Obama years, they are showing their old colors. The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel delighted in Barney Frank's idea that our NATO alliance with Europe is strategically worthless and our spending on it should be slashed:
"These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war -- and you always have to talk about both -- is a great mistake," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post last week. "And the liberal community's got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose."
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC’s Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party’s challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, panel member and MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman - also of the Huffington Post - made the over the top assertion that "10 to 20 percent" of Americans will "continue to hate and fear" President and Mrs. Obama, but that the rest have "accepted" President Obama "as a member of the family." And when host Matthews asked who was the biggest winner of the year, Fineman gushed over former President Bill Clinton’s recent return to the podium in the White House press room, with Matthews referring to Clinton’s visit as the "second coming":
HOWARD FINEMAN: Unfortunately, I wasn't there when he came in.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: For the moment, the second coming.
FINEMAN: He, Bill Clinton walks in, and easy as pie for the next half hour explains what real life in Washington, in politics is all about.
After agreeing with Time’s Joe Klein that health care reform was the "worst move of [President Obama’s] first two years," and that the unpopular reforms keep dragging down his popularity, Fineman contended that Obama had, by contrast, been successful in getting Americans to like him personally, describing the President as being like "a member of the family," and surprisingly characterized Obama’s "background" as "strange." Fineman:
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
It seems that every year, American pop culture continues to push the envelope of what is acceptable in society, and 2010 was no different. From Cee-Lo Green’s hit “F**k You” to Enrique Iglesias’ new song set to release next year titled, “I’m F**king You” the “F” word is going mainstream. One has to wonder if the media will ask the question: Is there anything attention-seekers won’t include in a song?
Iglesias is an internationally recognized artist famous for his fairly tame, catchy romantic pop tunes, such as the smashing single “Hero” which topped the UK charts in 2001. But just ten years later, Iglesias has decided to seek more fame with a raunchy new song, set to debut in 2011 called “Tonight (I’m F**king You).” The boundary-pushing lyrics include:
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman - also a political analyst with MSNBC - spoke favorably of the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, asserting that "this historic vote will be remembered as a very important one in the social history of the United States," and, as he admitted that independent Senator Joseph Lieberman "takes a lot of guff on this network," gave the former Democrat-turned independent Senator "credit where credit is due" for supporting the measure.
Fineman went on to predict that, because the Republican House next year will seek to undermine various pieces of legislation passed by Democrats - which he referred to as "historic" - that President Obama will be running against a "‘tear down’ Congress." Fineman:
The dynamic of the next two years is going to be to re-litigate and reargue all the legislation that Obama and the Democrats for the most part passed in the first two years. That means efforts to defund, to delegitimize, to get rid of, you know, all the historic legislation that was passed these first two years, and spending is going to be the way to do it. ... So it's not that Obama's going to be running against the "do nothing Congress." The President is going to be running against the sort of "tear down Congress"because that's going to be the mode of the next two years.
Fineman also notably used the term "progressive" - the preferred term of liberals - instead of the word "liberal" as he referred to the left wing of the Democratic party, and contended that Republicans "went pedal to the metal on the fear strategy on immigration" as he explained why the Dream Act failed to pass the Senate.
Chris Matthews on the syndicated program bearing his name devoted an entire segment this weekend to attacking Sarah Palin.
To assist him in the attacks, the host of "The Chris Matthews Show" brought on Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post, the BBC's Katty Kay, Joe Klein of Time magazine, and NBC's Norah O'Donnell (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The media's adoration of the first family knows no bounds.
Take the Huffington Post for example, which on Monday felt it was newsworthy to inform readers that when the Obamas attended a college basketball game this weekend, they actually wore the same colors as one of the competing teams:
Those Tea Partiers – is there anything in this nation they can’t spoil? They’ve already gummed up the president’s agenda with their rallies and signs and voting. Now, they’re trying to ruin “Dancing with the Stars!”
So says the left and many in the media agree. Now that newly resurgent conservatives have handed them a crushing mid-term defeat, liberals are seeing nefarious Tea Party plots everywhere – including in silly entertainment shows. And they’re taking plenty of shots at Bristol and, predictably, her mother.
Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, 20, has done remarkably well in this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. As she’s advanced from week to week, buoyed by viewer voting, entertainment reporters and liberals have become increasingly frustrated.
The media is practically falling over themselves with a report, propagated in part by the flimsy Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press, that Pope Benedict XVI has "justified" the use of condoms. (See this enormous (and misleading) headline at HuffPo, for example.) But is it true? In a word, no. Nowhere in his remarks does the Pope talk about "justifying" anything.
Rev. Joseph Fessio is the editor-in-chief of Ignatius Press, which is publishing the interview book Light of the World, from which the Pope's notable remarks are gleaned. Fr. Fessio is quoted in the New York Times, "It would be wrong to say, 'Pope Approves Condoms.' He's saying it's immoral, but in an individual case the use of a condom could be an awakening to someone that he's got to be more conscious of his actions."
Dr. Janet E. Smith at Catholic World Report has an excellent explanation of the Pope's remarks. She also provides the actual interview exchange from the upcoming book.
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, after guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post predicted that Republican Congressmen would be reluctant to extend unemployment benefits, host Keith Olbermann asserted that, referring to congressional Republicans, "They don't live in this world. They don't live in this country. And I think we'd be better off if they didn't live in this country."
Later, during the show’s "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann attacked FNC’s Roger Ailes for the second consecutive night - this time for his recent attack on NPR and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. Olbermann addressed Stewart directly, suggesting that the Daily Show host was wrong to lump MSNBC in with his criticism of FNC, and also suggesting that the side representing FNC and conservatives is "close to playing with its poop." Olbermann: "Thanks to Mr. Ailes for proving my point about false equivalence. And an aside to Mr. Stewart: Jon, I told you so. I mean, I might disagree with you, but I'd never think you were crazy or hateful. But Maher is right. One side sticks to the facts, and the other side is close to playing with its own poop."
Liberal internet publisher Arianna Huffington is being sued by two Democrat consultants for allegedly stealing their website idea.
Politico reported Monday evening the suit filed in New York State Supreme Court claims James Boyce and Peter Daou originally presented the idea for the Huffington Post to Huffington and her partner Ken Lerer, and the four made a handshake agreement to develop the website together (h/t NBer acaiguana):
It's a weighty charge, plagiarism. But your credibility in making it tends to dissipate when you do so on a site founded and run by an alleged serial plagiarist.
Arianna Huffington has been accused of lifting portions of a number of her books from other authors, and in one case had to dole out a 5-figure settlement to put plagiarism charges to rest. Her site has also taken heat from celebrities whose names appear on bylines on the site, but who didn't actually write those posts' contents.
Writing about Keith Olbermann's "indefinite suspension"/extended weekend away from MSNBC, Huffington Post blogger Chez Pazienza provided a rare moment of illumination at the left-wing site when he wrote this in a post titled "Playing for Keith" --
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, as he plugged a segment on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s appeal to President Obama to cooperate with the GOP, host Keith Olbermann suggested that Obama should "kick" the "ass" of McConnell rather than surrender to the Republican Senator’s demands. Referring to McConnell during a plug, Olbermann complained: "Once again, he honestly explains what compromise means: agreeing with him. And instead of kicking him in the ass, the President agrees to sit down and chat."
After a few more plugs in which the Countdown host mocked McConnell for asking Obama to move in the Republican direction on issues, Olbermann got to the segment and played a clip of the Senate Republican Leader speaking to the conservative Heritage Foundation. After bringing aboard the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, the MSNBC host held his hands over his head and began the discussion: "Forgive me. I have to deal with this headache immediately, so I'm doing this right at the moment."
He soon asked Fineman if President Obama would ever realize that trying to compromise with Republicans "hasn’t gotten me a lick of spit" and give up:
There is a fine line between tasteful political comedy and crossing-the-line crudeness, and the Huffington Post’s new song “My Girl's A Republican” just leaped over that line. With lyrics such as “Dick Nixon sucking lips” and “she made her oil money last, and now I’m tapping it,” even the most liberal among us could agree that the attack on Republican women is downright revolting.
Hailed as an “ode to right-wing ladies,” the three and a half minute song and video by Rap duo “It’s The Real” (and proudly displayed on the Huffington Post Web site) does nothing but smear conservative women like Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, and of course, Sarah Palin. The HuffPo write up on the “tribute to conservative women” song claims “it does a pretty solid job of both mocking and admiring right-wing conservatives.”
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz pressed guest Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post on her hypocrisy for calling for more civility in political discourse even while she is a regular guest on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC. After Kurtz asked if MSNBC was as much of a problem as FNC, she charged that "misinformation" disseminated by FNC is "monumental" compared to MSNBC:
Definitely not as much of the problem. Have they exaggerated? Yes, they would admit it themselves. But the constant barrage of misinformation being put out by Glenn Beck, by O'Reilly, by Hannity is just monumental. I mean, this is a factual record that has been compiled of what they're saying.
She also rationalized her appearances with Olbermann by giving him credit for a lame apology the MSNBC host once addressed to Jon Stewart after Stewart called him out for viciously attacking Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Huffington: "Well, Keith Olbermann actually apologized for that statement, for that particular statement. Have you ever seen anybody apologize except maybe Glenn Beck when he called the President a racist?"
Americans are voting with their "lizard brains" and leaning Republican simply out of fear, according to Arianna Huffington. Although challenged by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Friday that the 2008 election of Obama was out of fear, Huffington responded that it was driven by "hope" and that Bush won in 2004 because of fear.
Now Americans are now driven by fear to vote the Republicans into the House and Senate. "This is not a rational election," Huffington complained to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Friday's "Morning Joe."
"People are operating out of fear and anxiety at the moment. And when they operate out of fear and anxiety, they operate out of what they call their 'lizard brains.' And 'lizard brains' are not susceptible to rationality," Huffington explained.
Apparently, our "lizard brains" are our primordial fearful reactions to a dangerous situation. Huffington described it in a 2006 Huffington Post column as when the amygdala – "deep in the brain...an almond-sized region that generates fear" – activates, the "lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode."
It’s no secret that the nation is preparing for a GOP tidal wave with significant conservative victories in the Senate and House next Tuesday. The election has essentially focused on domestic economic policy. Conservative candidates have been gaining ground with a popular job growth/lower taxes/revive the economy mantra.
But desperate liberal Democrats have suddenly shifted the focus from the economy to divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, and the mainstream media have been more than willing to give them a platform. Media personalities like Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Eleanor Clift are loudly voicing concerns over the future of gay marriage and the legal status of abortion.