Mark Whitaker, head of the NBC News DC bureau, got off today's unintentional laugh line when he described Barack Obama as having "lifted himself up from the streets of Hawaii."
Oh those mean streets of Hawaii. You know, the sort pictured here at the Punahou school that Obama attended from 5-12th grade. While attending Punahou, Obama lived with his grandparents. Readers will recall that grandma Dunham was . . . a vice-president of the Bank of Hawaii.
Yes, the media are rooting for Barack Obama. Two studies out in the past couple of days show that it’s not just conservatives who see a strong tilt by journalists in favor of the Democrats: A nonpartisan media monitoring group and a liberal-leaning research organization both confirm the pro-Obama, anti-McCain bias of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC.
In reports this week, the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) and the Pew-funded Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) found the most balanced campaign coverage was on the Fox News Channel, although PEJ claimed FNC’s balance was actually a right-leaning bias, since it deviated from the “norm” of other big media:
If Team McCain needed some "bulletin-board material"—the kind of outrageous taunt from the opposition a coach will pin up in the locker-room to inspire his troops—they got if from Charlie Cook tonight. So confident is the pollster of an Obama victory, he's proclaimed that if McCain wins, he'll go to work bagging groceries or behind a fast-food counter.
Cook was a guest on this evening's Race for the White House. It was in looking at the Electoral College map with host David Gregory that he made his super-sized pledge.
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Frank Rich charged that it looks "morally bad" and "idiotic" that Republicans have not elected a black candidate to federal office in six years. The Republican party also seemed to remind Rich of South Africa’s racist Apartheid policy of the past: "The fact is, this isn`t South Africa 25 years ago, this is a major political party that is essentially all white. And the hierarchy of it is definitely white. There hasn`t been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years. And so, what does that tell us about the party? And how does that look to voters? I think it looks like it`s the party of the last century. It looks bad. Not only is it morally bad, but politically. I think it`s idiotic because it`s against the whole demographics of this country and where they’re going."
Breaking down the front door of a suspected al-Qaeda stronghold in Fallujah took great courage. But even that fearless feat pales in comparison to the dangerous mission that Willie Geist undertook. The intrepid member of the Morning Joe crew ventured out onto the sidewalks of Manhattan's Upper West Side wearing . . . a McCain-Palin T-shirt, trying to drum up support for the Republican ticket. (h/t readers BondPlainBond and Steve.)
As Willie explained, it was all a good-natured goof. But the West Siders for the most part lived up to their stereotype of, as Willie described it, "a monolithic block of elitists," scorning Geist for his gall.
Last night Chris Matthews' beloved Phillies won the World Series, and perhaps more importantly to Matthews, Bill Clinton "passed the torch," to Barack Obama. Decked out in his Phillies red, the giddy Matthews found the whole thing, well, overwhelming, as he exclaimed over video of Obama with Clinton:
That is a sight for the ages! That, I am overwhelmed by it. It is something to watch! Look at 'em! They are, look at the two winners there together. Bill Clinton said, "He's the future," Barack Obama last night. He, he passed the torch like Kennedy did to him once, figuratively speaking.
It was all a bit too much for former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari, as she couldn't help but make fun of Matthews' excitement, as she sarcastically quipped, "It's bringing tears to my eyes."
The following exchange occurred on the October 30, edition of "Hardball":
As longtime NewsBusters readers are painfully aware, the supposedly objective news media have showered Barack Obama with fawning press coverage throughout his campaign for the White House. (That, plus a $600 million war chest, will apparently get you pretty far in politics.) The Media Research Center has assembled a special Campaign 2008 edition of our bi-weekly Notable Quotables, chock full of journalists’ most adoring pro-Obama quotes. The full collection can be found here, but here are a few of the choicer quotes and along with a memorable video:
Love at First Sight
“I think the real breakout tonight is [Illinois Senate candidate Barack] Obama. I mean, Teresa [Heinz-Kerry] is a fascinating story, but Obama is a rock star!” — NBC’s Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic convention, July 27, 2004.
H/t reader Melody. Forget "what has he done for me lately?" How about: "what has he ever done?" Columbia professor and Obama fan Jeffrey Sachs was effectively stumped when Joe Scarborough put that question to him on today's Morning Joe. Sachs is author of Common Wealth, a title that should send shivers down the spine in these days of redistributionism in the air.
It was towards the end of Sachs's appearance during the 6 AM EDT hour that Joe hit him with the "extra credit" question.
If Obama wins on Tuesday night, Chris Matthews's mocking this morning of the notion that the polls are tightening will be soon forgotten. But if McCain pulls off the upset, Matthews's smirking triumphalism will take its place in the halls of journalistic hubris near the famous photo of Harry Truman holding up the Dewey Defeats Truman front page.
Just before Matthews came on, Andrea Mitchell ended her set-up segment by mentioning that the McCain campaign had released internal polls showing the race tied in the battleground states. When Meredith Vieira opened the Matthews interview by asking him to comment, the Hardball host went into full mock mode.
Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR—a self-described progressive media watch group—now a professor of independent media at Ithaca College, invited me to address his class of student bloggers this afternoon. Asked to name some of the fairer MSM journalists, I included David Gregory on my short list. That could understandably come as a surprise to those who remember Gregory from his days as NBC's chief White House correspondent, when he earned the ire of the Bush administration for his often-aggressive style. But I've found that Gregory plays it pretty much down the middle in his new role as host of Race for the White House on MSNBC.
By coincidence, on this evening's show Gregory vindicated my confidence with some tough questioning of an Obama surrogate on the issue of taxes and spending. Gregory went so far as to suggest that Obama's indication that he might not press for immediate implementation of tax increases on higher earners makes McCain's case. Gregory's guest was Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. When Van Hollen suggested Obama might postpone his tax-increase plan, Gregory moved in . . .
Editor at large of Time magazine Mark Halperin appeared on Tuesday's edition of "Morning Joe" and admitted "mistakes have been made" in regards to the media's coverage of Barack Obama and that "people will regret it." Analyzing the fawning press that the Democratic presidential candidate has received, he added, "If Obama wins and goes on to become a hugely successful president, I think, still, people will look back and say it just wasn't done the right way."
Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe," prompted the brief discussion when he opened the MSNBC program by declaring, "But I got to say this, the media, the media has been really, really biased this campaign, I think." He then asked Halperin if journalists are "just in love with history?" Halperin candidly responded, "History and the story is just- it's great for us. It's been great for us. He's a great story." He went on to make his "mistakes have been made" quip, prompting Scarborough to burst out laughing.
Bob Shrum has made an addition to the growing list of things you can't say about Obama, because it's racist: don't you dare suggest Obama's never done anything hard.
Dem Shrum issued his diktat while debating Ed Rogers, a veteran of the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses, on today's Hardball. Shrum seized on and distorted Rogers' statement, manifestly made in the political sense, that Obama had "never done one hard thing," to play the race card.
B.C. and A.D? Get with it, old man. History is henceforth divided into the eras of B.B. and A.B.—Before and After Barack. And George W. might have been "misunderestimated" as he engaged in "strategery." But that's so, like, yesterday. Barack Obama is "pre-deortained." By whom? Spike Lee stopped short of saying God's hand is at work. But he was clearly speaking in quasi-religious terms in discussing The One on today's Morning Joe.
An unintentionally hilarious assertion was made by Alaska State Senator Hollis French on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show Friday night.
Maddow and French were discussing the so-called Troopergate scandal and Gov. Sarah Palin's alleged grudge in firing former Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan for not reopening an investigation of a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce with Palin's sister.
Hollis, a Democrat who led the state legislature's investigation into Palin's actions in firing Monegan last July, cited "severe logical fallacies" in claims made by Palin and her husband Todd, including the Palins' request for reduced security despite their assertions that Wooten was a rogue cop.
Then came the coup de grace from French:
Stop and think about, what good does it do to fire a trooper if you really think he's dangerous?
Imagine that a week before a presidential election, a radio interview surfaced in which the Republican candidate had called for, say, the abolition of Social Security. Now imagine the broadcast networks' reaction to that nugget: "We interrupt regularly-scheduled programming for this Breaking News," followed by 24/7 coverage with talking heads pondering the devastating impact on America's seniors, the overall economy, the future of Western civilization, etc. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman would be booked from now till election day, offering his pained pronouncements.
But how do those same networks react when a radio interview [YouTube after the jump] surfaces of Barack Obama in a call for the redistribution of wealth, in which he laments the Supreme Court's insufficient radicalism in pursuing redistribution and refers to the civil rights movement's failure to develop a better strategy to bring about wealth redistribution as a "tragedy?
Renegade Night on Hardball. First up, Bill Weld. The former Republican governor of Massachusetts, who has endorsed Obama, told Chris Matthews he believed the Dem candidate would, as president, reach across the aisle to govern. Weld didn't—couldn't—cite anything to support his assertion out of Obama's hyper-partisan Senate record in which he's toed the Harry Reid line 97% of the time.
But as apostasy goes, that was small potatoes compared to Christopher Hitchens. The God Is Not Great author who, despite his support for the Iraq war, has also recently endorsed Obama, told Matthews he believes McCain is "borderline senile."
Is Chris Matthews so excited to pounce on any perceived Sarah Palin controversy that he can not get his facts straight? As NewsBusters previously reported, Matthews, in mocking Governor Palin’s alleged ignorance on the role of the vice president, stated incorrect facts on the history of the vice presidency. A further investigation finds that Chris Matthews mangled his facts over the HBO miniseries, "John Adams," as well. First his quote to McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer on the October 22 edition of "Hardball."
"Either she’s right about the vice presidency or I’m wrong. I say the role of the vice presidency, under the Constitution, is limited to breaking ties in the U.S. Senate. It has nothing to do with policy making, nothing to do with Senate leadership on either side of the aisle. There is no policy role whatever for the vice president. If you’ve even watch ‘John Adams’ on television a few months ago, you would know that going in to the very beginning of our democracy. The vice president has a formal role only. She believes somehow that the vice president of the United States has some sort of commanding policy development role and can lead the U.S. Senate. Where does she get this from?"
Let's take a break from the tedious MSM spin on the latest polls, and settle back and enjoy the televised spectacle of two people who patently dislike each other going at it on live national TV.
Former UN Ambassador/current Obama backer Richard Holbrooke was a guest on today's Morning Joe. Observing Holbrooke over the years, he's struck me as someone with, shall we say, a deep and abiding appreciation for his own acumen and importance.
Holbrooke and host Joe Scarborough repeatedly clashed over a host of issues from Biden's latest gaffe to Osama Bin Laden. But beyond the substance, it was the unvarnished animosity between the two that makes this must-see TV.
Amanda Carpenter at Townhall brings our attention to something amazing: NBC and MSNBC are working with ACORN and other left-wing interest groups in a "nonpartisan" effort at "Election Protection." Is that a bad joke, working with ACORN on ballot integrity? An NBC press release on Tuesday announced:
With less than 14 days before Election Day, NBC News and Election Protection will be joining forces to help voters ensure that their vote will count. The news leader and the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition will work together to promote the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline and www.866ourvote.org website so that voters can receive live assistance if they encounter problems, and access the information before they head to the polls now through Election Day.
Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
That would be the same "nonpartisan" lobby group that's staunchly opposed conservative Supreme Court nominees from Bork to Alito.
When a McCain campaign representative told David Shuster today that the source of much of Barack Obama's fund-raising is unknown, the MSNBC host scoffed, claiming only "right-wing" blogs could believe that and challenging the spokesman to cite a credible source.
Instead of fulminating about the conservative blogosphere, David might want to pick up a copy of Newsweek, which last time I looked had a news-sharing arrangement with . . . MSNBC. None other than Newsweek's Michael Isikoff reported those very facts about Obama's fund-raising last week.
McCain spokesman Ben Porritt was Shuster's guest during MSNBC's 4 PM EDT hour today.
I suppose that mocking Republican candidates is an essential element of a Washington Post editorial writer's job description. Even so, it was jarring to hear the snide comments of WaPo editorialist Jonathan Capehart [seen right in file photo] about Sarah Palin read on the air today. Not merely did he mock her shopping habits, Capehart came very close to accusing Palin of . . . "child abuse."
Mika Brzezinski, at the Morning Joe helm with Joe Scarborough off on assignment today, led the show with the Politico report that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150 thousand on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and family. Also aired was a clip of Palin describing the duties of the vice-president to a third-grader, the accuracy of which has been questioned.
Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather noted on today's Morning Joe on MSNBC that the traditional media is largely ignoring Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden's alarming comment on Sunday: "... (M)ark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him...."
Rather pointed out "... (C)ertainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above the fold in most newspapers today... (I)f Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets."
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed with Rather's assessment, saying "I'm seeing spotty media coverage."
Guess who said the following this morning about Joe Biden's latest gaffe—his statement that America would be faced with a major international crisis within the first six months of an Obama administration as foreign forces seek to test the young new president: "certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the fold in most newspapers today."
1. Brent Bozell 2. Rush Limbaugh 3. McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer 4. Dan Rather
If you guessed 1, 2 or 3, you'd be a rational NewsBusters reader . . . but wrong. Yes, the answer is 4, Dan Rather. In true man-bites-MSM mode, Rather made the remark on today's Morning Joe.
On Friday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota appeared on Hardball and pounded away at Barack Obama’s associations with his long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright and bomber Bill Ayers, suggesting that the media should be investigating these associations with very anti-American voices, and that if John McCain had these associations, the media would be all over it. Chris Matthews couldn’t stand it. But he was nothing compared to others on the left – like the ones who started a Censure Bachmann website. Or raving left-wing talk show host Mike Malloy (the former CNN news writer!), who wildly associated the conservative Republican with Nazis, and death in general:
She represents a district in Minnesota, she's a Republican of course, and she’s a hatemonger. She’s the type of person that would have gladly rounded up the Jews in Germany and shipped them off to death camps. She’s the type of person who would have had no problem sending typhoid smeared blankets to Native American families awaiting deportation to reservations. She’s the type of person that I’m sure believes that the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam was good and the use of depleted uranium in Iraq served a purpose. This is an evil bitch from hell. I mean, just an absolute evil woman.
Keith Olbermann cowardly responded to the jokes John McCain made about him at Thursday's Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner by attacking Gov. Sarah Palin.
After showing some of the hysterical jibes made at the charity event by McCain and Barack Obama, the "Countdown" host on Friday picked up a microphone, and while doing an astoundingly poor impersonation of a nightclub comic, launched into a tremendously unfunny attack on both members of the Republican presidential ticket (video embedded right):
They [the RNC] are calling voters, cold calls, and saying to them, what about William Ayers and the close working relationship he had [with Obama], which is not true by anybody's count . . . It certainly is a mischaracterization of the relationship. -- Andrea Mitchell to Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), MSNBC 10-17-08.
Andrea Mitchell, meet Stanley Kurtz . . .
It's turning into Andrea Mitchell Day here. Earlier, I noted how Mitchell, measuring the drapes for Obama, predicted that he would run a "bipartisan" administration. Now Mitchell has ridden to Obama's defense, denying that he ever worked closely with Wiliam Ayers.
You might know Barack Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate, a hyper-partisan who toed the Harry Reid line an amazing 97% of the time. But Andrea Mitchell sees in Obama a bipartisan president in the making. Appearing on Morning Joe today, Mitchell came close to speaking of an Obama presidency as a given, just managing to curb her enthusiasm. And wait till you see the people she cited as evidence of Obama's bipartisan proclivity.