As 2012 winds down, we're reliving some of the worst media bias of the year with our Best Notable Quotables of 2012. Yesterday, I recounted some of the nastiest barbs journalists threw at the GOP ticket; today, a look at some of the most egregious favors committed on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign.
While conservatives like Rick Santorum were often cast as radical or weird, journalists lovingly fawned over President Obama as if he was still the rock star of Campaign 2008. Sherri Shepherd, co-host of ABC's The View, won our "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award," for obsequious Obama interviews, after a September 25 encounter in which Shepherd seemed intent on casting the President as the Romancer-in-Chief.
I'm in New England this week, and this afternoon caught Ann Coulter on the Howie Carr show. She spoke of the amazing ignorance of liberals when it comes to firearms. Just a couple of hours later, Chris Matthews provided a perfect case in point.
On this evening's Hardball, speaking with Illinois Dem Senator Dick Durbin, Matthews proposed that Congress "outlaw" semi-automatic weapons. Does he not realize that doing so would render illegal virtually every hunting rifle in production? View the video after the jump.
There has been no shortage of deceptive ads, factually-distorted statements, and outright fabrications from the political left over the campaign year to choose from, but leave it to the Tampa Bay Times's PolitiFact to give its "Lie of the Year" award to the Romney campaign. The now infamous "falsehood" in question was Romney's claim that Jeep was planning on moving production of some of its vehicles to China. This was in fact technically true, but PolitiFact trademarked it as its "Lie of the Year."
In a fit of glee, multiple left-leaning news outlets have promoted the proclamation, including of course, MSNBC. [video below, MP3 audio here ]:
Chris Matthews has found the problem with how the media covered the 2012 election: Unbiased journalists were simply too focused on being "even-handed" and treating Republicans fairly. Yes, really. The Hardball anchor on Wednesday began his program by declaring, "Did you get the impression during the presidential campaign that the press was trying too hard to be even-handed?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews continued, "Did you think the people delivering the news were pushing what we call balance at the expense of the obvious facts, that the day-to-day stories never got across the obvious big fact, that the Democrats in this election were like Democrats going back to Jack Kennedy?" Matthews, who previously compared the GOP to Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, declared himself the arbiter of media fairness: "So tonight we're going to nail it. We go to the truth, and why was the truth that dared not be reported in the mainstream media?"
An unhinged Chris Matthews on Tuesday berated a representative of Americans for Prosperity with the same question 13 times. Talking to Scott Hagerstrom, the Hardball anchor didn't seem to hear the answer, despite Hagerstrom repeating it over and over. Matthews fumed, "Well, who's paying your salary?" [See a montage video below. MP3 audio here.]
A calm Hagerstrom appeared on the show to discuss the just-passed right-to-work law in Mighican. He explained, "I work for Americans for Prosperity...This is about freedom for everybody." Matthews repeated over and over: "Who's paying your salary?...No, but who's paying your salary to do it?Who's paying your salary to do what you're doing right now?...Who's paying your– to do this today?"
Chris Matthews' affinity for Bill Clinton is well known. But on Wednesday's Hardball, Mathews argued that the Democrat would be the best lobbyist to get one into heaven. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Talking to journalist Joe Klein and GOP strategist David Winston, Matthews lauded the former president's campaigning for Barack Obama.
The liberal host enthused, "...I have to tell you, who would you rather have make your case to Saint Peter than this guy?" Clinton, of course, was accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, of sexual assault by Kathleen Willey and by Paula Jones of exposing himself.
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman apologized on Monday for his "inadvertent smear" against Grover Norquist. First reported on NewsBusters, Fineman appeared on the December 3 Hardball and slammed the President of Americans for Tax Reform. The journalist railed, "A long time before the Tea Party existed or had a name, Grover Norquist, the famous anti-tax lobbyist in Washington, was running around beginning to enforce, ayatollah-style, his edict about taxes."
Four hours after the comment, Fineman tweeted an apology, allowing, "Apologies to Grover Norquist and his Muslim wife for inadvertent slur on #MSNBC #Hardball, calling him 'Ayatollah' of GOP anti-tax movement."
Despite Chris Matthews having worked for former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, his grasp of how the United States government works is tenuous at best.
On Monday's Hardball, the host repeatedly said current Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) "lost" on Election Day despite the Congressman winning 99.9 percent of the votes in his district while his Party retained control of the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
[UPDATE: Fineman apologized. For more, go here.] MSNBC contributor and Huffington Post editor Howard Fineman on Monday smeared Grover Norquist as "ayatollah"-like for his opposition to higher taxes. Talking to Hardball's Chris Matthews, Fineman fumed, "...A long time before the Tea Party existed or had a name, Grover Norquist, the famous anti-tax lobbyist in Washington, was running around beginning to enforce, ayatollah-style, his edict about taxes." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Fineman, this Middle Eastern-style pledge "has really become the core identity of the modern conservative Republican party." Anchor Matthews ludicrously described GOP fidelity to Norquist as "human bondage."
One was a self-educated rail-splitter and circuit lawyer in humble frontier towns. The other is an Ivy League-educated radical who only ventured out from his comfortable Hyde Park digs for some day work stirring up trouble as a “community organizer.” But to watch MSNBC is to learn that Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama have so much in common.
In the run-up to Obama’s re-election and in the weeks since, as the movie “Lincoln,” opened, the media have hyped similarities between the two presidents. It’s helpful to them that the film is a product of high-profile liberal Steven Spielberg and associated with Participant Media, the same lefty company that produced Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”
"There were moments where you were slightly objective."
So marvelously said former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to MSNBC's Chris Matthews concerning his reporting of the just concluded presidential campaign (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In an exchange with MSNBC Harball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie pondered the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied about Benghazi: "...should she have been more direct that the information she was providing to the American people was at that point, not just preliminary, but incomplete? I guess the bottom line is, did she mislead?"
Matthews replied by wondering: "...was she a flack...just out there mouthing the words that somebody told you, or is she a thoughtful cabinet minister – to be a potential cabinet minister?" He then laid the blame entirely on the intelligence: "But from what I'm told, she got the facts directly unchanged, unspun by the White House, nobody changed anything. If anybody's at fault here, it's the intelligence community, for giving her incomplete information for their own purposes."
[UPDATE: See bottom of post] Chris Matthews on Monday disgustingly connected conservatives unhappy with the 2012 election to Hitler and the 1936 Olympics. After Huffington Post journalist Howard Fineman mocked the GOP for supposedly considering the African American and Hispanic vote to be "extraterrestrial," Matthews spewed, "The last guy to refer to the black auxiliary was Hitler." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews, known for his verbal gaffes, prefaced the Nazi comparison by rambling, "...And these references are always dangerous, but I'll take it anyway." Trying to explain his smear, the Hardball anchor expanded, "During the '36 Olympics, we had Jesse Owens and a couple other guys winning the Olympics and they [the Nazis] were saying, "Well, they had their auxiliary out there." As if this made his comments all go away, Matthews added that his comments have "no bearing on the Republican Party."
Former top Newsweek journalist and current MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe on Monday smeared Senator John McCain as a racist. According to Wolffe, there's no legitimate reason for the Republican to oppose Susan Rice's confirmation for Secretary of State. Appearing on Hardball, the journalist sneered that it was "outrageous" the way McCain was acting, raging against "this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice." [See video below.]
Such a charge seemed to shock even Chris Matthews. He sputtered, "McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?" Wolffe confirmed, "There is no other way to look at this..." Of course, McCain opposes Rice's nomination because of her dissembling on the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
It should come as no surprise to most people that MSNBC is a liberal network, but it appears as though they are now actively campaigning for the Democratic Party. For several years, MSNBC has produced their own ads featuring numerous on-air personalities promoting different liberal causes.
MSNBC’s latest ad, however, goes well beyond promotion of liberalism and has shifted into outright DNC promotion. Narrated by ultra-liberal primetime host Rachel Maddow, the commercial is a litany of Democratic “achievements” essentially a mirror-image of the DNC platform. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
The list of words MSNBC's Chris Matthews believes are racist if uttered by a conservative got longer on Wednesday.
You can now add "urban" which offended Matthews when Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said it during an interview Monday, but didn't bother the Hardball host in the slightest when Salon's Joan Walsh said it on his own program two days later (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide."
As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. The greenhouse gas to which Matthews was presumably referring—and which trees are famous for absorbing—is carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but when it comes to a guy who likes to jump down any available Republican throat, turnabout is fair play. View the video after the jump.
On the same night he apologized for making a horribly inappropriate comment about Hurricane Sandy, Chris Matthews on Wednesday had Bill Maher on Hardball to compare Karl Rove and Republicans to Nazis. After Matthews wondered about Rove's erroneous predictions, the liberal comic mocked, "It was a little Hitler's bunker, wasn't it? I wanted to rush in with a cyanide capsule there. I thought he was going to say, 'I don't want to live in a world without national socialism.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews himself got into the act, comparing Rove to Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, a former propaganda henchman for Saddam Hussein: "Is [Rove] the Baghdad Bob of the 2012 election, the last guy to admit something's new and something bad is happening?" Again, this is the same program in which the MSNBC anchor apologized for his "terrible" election night comment: "I'm so glad we had that storm last week."
Chris Matthews in a special Sunday night Hardball slammed the south as racist and insisted that quoting Barack Obama is bigoted. An incredulous Matthews explained, "And topping it off, we heard Romney himself out here in Ohio today tying all this trash talk together, the President is bent on, get this, revenge." Of course, while talking to voters last week, the President actually said, "Voting is the best revenge."
In another appearance, on Sunday's Last Word, Matthews appeared totally unaware of the context "Well, where did this revenge come from? Where did that line come from?" [See video below.] On Hardball, Matthews insisted to Howard Fineman that most of the country would vote for Obama: "Well, what do you make of the geography, Howard?...The fact that the north, the west, the Midwest will all support Obama, but the south intensely dislikes him?"
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday lashed out at Rush Limbaugh and his criticism of Chris Christie, deriding the conservative radio host as "the guy from Deliverance." Matthews played a clip of Limbaugh joking, "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided to play the role of a Greek column today for President Obama."
Matthews fumed, "He reminds me more of the guy from Deliverance– 'Squeal like a pig,'" a reference to the sodomy scene in the 1972 film. Matthews followed up, "...It just seems like he's squealing like a pig essentially here."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday called the Koch brothers "pigs."
In a Hardball segment about the connection between global warming and Hurricane Sandy, Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for some reason took the conversation in a decidely disgusting direction (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Like ambulance-chasing lawyers, the heavy-handed liberal activists who populate much of the media raced to exploit Hurricane Sandy even as the storm was lashing the East Coast last night, citing it as proof of “climate change” and a reason to oppose Mitt Romney.
Yesterday afternoon, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir started a panel discussion by claiming that “people are wondering today if the current hurricane has anything to do with global change, climate change, global warming,” and then mentioned the “right-wing nut jobs” supporting Romney.
For at least 24 hours, the mainstream media have been trying to figure out a way to make Hurricane Sandy an aid to Barack Obama's re-election.
On Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had a related concern asking guest John Nichols of the Nation magazine, "How long do you think it’ll take for Donald Trump to take a crack at the President for engineering this?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Media Research Center is out with the latest edition of our Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal meda. This week's lowlights: Liberal pundits insist that the unfolding details of Obama's incompetent handling of the September 11 attack in Benghazi is an "utterly contrived" story, an "October Mirage."
The ever-wacky Chris Matthews is even sticking with Team Obama's now discredited first response: "Everybody knows it's about the video. It's all about the video."
This week's best quotes are after the jump; you can read the entire issue at www.MRC.org: