When CBS’s longtime Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer sits down in Boca Raton, Florida, tonight to moderate the final 2012 presidential debate, he’ll be following three journalists who became targets for criticism over how they handled their moderating duties.
Upset liberals scorned PBS’s Jim Lehrer for taking a hands-off approach in the first debate on October 3, with MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman slamming him as “practically useless” for not jumping into the debate on behalf of President Obama.
The Obama-loving media were out in force Sunday downplaying the significance of the White House's ever-changing position on the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi last month.
After New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper called the death of four Americans "peripheral to what's going on right now" on Meet the Press, Time magazine's Joe Klein told Face the Nation viewers this matter "has been like the October mirage - it really isn't an issue" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Either they are misleading the American people or incredibly incompetent."
So said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday about the administration's reporting of what happened when four Americans were killed at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month.
For the second week in a row, on Sunday morning CBS’s Bob Schiefer identified Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s problem as not that’s he’s been too timid in laying out an alternative to President Obama but, in the tired media mantra of many election cycles, that he’s too conservative. He pressed guest Newt Gingrich: “Do you think that Mitt Romney’s got to move a little bit more toward the center here as we come toward the election?”
Last Sunday, in discussing Romney’s challenge in connecting with voters, Schieffer wondered: “Does any of this go back to the fact that what if, in the beginning” he “had said, ‘Look, I’m a moderate. You know, I know we have conservatives in this party and I know we have the Tea Party, but the fact is I’m a moderate...’”
After the anti-American hostilities in the Middle East this week, one would think it's pretty obvious why it's in our interest to prevent Muslim extremists from getting nuclear weapons.
Apparently not, for CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer actually asked Sunday, "What is the difference in Iran having a nuclear weapon and Russia having a nuclear weapon or China or Pakistan?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, substitute host Norah O'Donnell not only asked Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan about how he could have gotten his marathon time wrong from 22 years ago, she actually equated the error to Al Gore saying he invented the internet (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks preview Vice President Joe Biden’s 2012 Democratic National Convention speech, will they fill their programs with a montage of the mental mistakes that have plagued him over the years? If recent coverage is any indication, they will choose to bypass Biden’s bumbling.
While the Big Three networks were quick to make fun of GOP vice presidential selections in the past from Dan Quayle to Sarah Palin for their campaign trail stumbles, they’ve either downplayed or completely ignored Biden’s most embarrassing and offensive moments. From insensitively telling a wheelchair-bound state senator to “Stand up!” to not recognizing how many letters there are in the word “jobs,” the media have let Biden get away with gaffes that would have gotten GOP VP picks pilloried. (Video compilation after the jump)
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opened his Sunday show: “Good morning and welcome to This Week. Storms brewing. The GOP convention threatened by Tropical Storm Isaac and that political hurricane from Todd Akin...”
Over on CBS, guest Haley Barbour scolded Bob Schieffer who had wondered how Republicans get the focus “back” onto the economy? Barbour called Schieffer out for his obsession on Akin: “If your first four questions are about it [Akin], it’s kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin.” Oblivious to his role in deciding what is newsworthy, Schieffer lamely pleaded: “I want to talk about the news.”
As she substitute-hosted CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Nancy Cordes managed to avoid bringing up the controversial Obama super PAC ad that blames Mitt Romney for the death of a man's wife, even though Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter was a guest in the first segment.
By contrast, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week and and David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press both raised the issue as Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared as a guest on both shows. Cordes stayed non-specific:
For months now the Obama-loving media have been tearing Mitt Romney to pieces over his involvement with the private equity firm he founded and once led.
Despite this, during an interview with the presumptive Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer actually had the gall to ask Paul Ryan, "Do you think [Romney's] been too defensive about Bain capital?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's becoming fairly clear that even some of the Obama-loving media think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) went too far last week with unsubstantiated and unattributed allegations concerning presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's taxes.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer asked, "Isn't this kind of like Joe McCarthy back in the era when he said, 'I have here in my hand the names of 400 people in the state department who are communist?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A left-wing writer for a liberal magazine wrote an article trying to undermine the Republican presidential candidate, a cover story which featured an insulting characterization. But instead of treating the attack as irrelevant, CBS’s Face the Nation decided to showcase it. “I just got a copy of the Newsweek cover that’s going to be hitting the newsstands tomorrow that calls you a ‘wimp,’” reporter Jan Crawford told Mitt Romney in Israel. “Have you seen this?”
In the next segment, host Bob Schieffer put the cover on screen as he cued up DNC chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz:
I’m going to ask you about this new edition of Newsweek. They have on the cover Mitt Romney and it says “The Wimp Factor.” Now this is reminiscent of a sort of an infamous Newsweek cover back when the first George Bush was running for, running and it said -- they put out a cover that said “Fighting the ‘Wimp Factor.’” Is Mitt Romney a wimp?
Correcting a common media refrain repeated moments earlier on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen offered “to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control,” pointing out that what Easterners (ie: journalists) see as an unusually large ammunition purchase of six thousand rounds is really not all that noteworthy:
In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.
The folks at CBS News sure are worried about government spending all of a sudden.
After Evening News anchor Scott Pelley grieved Wednesday for how much it's cost to have all these House votes concerning ObamaCare, Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer pointed a similarly dismayed finger at House Republicans Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Face the Nation, fill-in host Norah O'Donnell simply let Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) air his Democratic talking points on ObamaCare while she challenged Republican Senator Tom Coburn (Okla.) over criticisms he made of the law.
O'Donnell asked simple questions of Schumer like "What's your reaction?" to Republican criticisms of ObamaCare, and "Mitt Romney says he is going to repeal this on day one of his presidency. Can he actually do that?"
Norah O'Donnell kept safeguarding provisions of ObamaCare on Sunday's Face the Nation, daring Speaker John Boehner to oppose "protections for individuals" in the bill. She also asked if Mitt Romney has a "credibility problem" for opposing the law's individual mandate.
"But he [Romney] was for it before," O'Donnell insisted to Boehner. "Doesn't he have a credibility problem?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS News broke a huge story on Sunday's Face the Nation concerning the Supreme Court's Thursday ruling on ObamaCare.
According to Jan Crawford, CBS legal and political correspondent, Chief Justice John Roberts was initially going to strike down the individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance, but changed his mind over the objections of the conservatives on the Court (video follows with transcript):
On Sunday's Face The Nation, Norah O'Donnell desperately tried to find a silver lining for President Obama if the Supreme Court ends up striking down his health care law. While her fellow panelists agreed that such a decision would be a blow to Obama, O'Donnell claimed that "politically, it might be better for the President, because then he can put the onus back on the Republicans." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
The CBS White House correspondent also hyped that "if there's a repealing of the mandate, and if the pre-existing conditions are taken out, you're probably going to see a spike in health care premiums," even though premiums have already been on the rise since ObamaCare passed in 2010.
Accurate, but not true. It took 23 years, but on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer contended “everything” in his 1989 book, which provided a derogatory look from the left at the Reagan presidency, was “accurate” – yet “not entirely true.”
The leading title of the book published in January of 1989, when Schieffer held the role of “Chief Washington correspondent” for CBS News, The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound.
CBS's Bob Schieffer certainly wasn't in an Obama-loving mood Sunday.
Having asked the President's senior campaign adviser "Whatever happened to hope and change" early in the program, the Face the Nation host in a subsequent segment laughed out loud after playing a clip of Obama bragging about his accomplishments on 60 Minutes last year (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs certainly didn't expect this question when he agreed to go on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.
Right out of the gate host Bob Schieffer pressed his guest about all the negative ads the President's campaign is running until he finally asked, "Whatever happened to hope and change?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Face The Nation" host Bob Schieffer spotlighted the left's talking points on two issues in the presidential race on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Schieffer tried to play it down the middle when he stated, "I think most people understand that Mitt Romney is not the robber baron that the Democrats would have you believe." But he immediately added, "Nor is Barack Obama the European socialist that the Republicans would have you believe."
The CBS journalist also contrasted the Obama campaign's line of attack on Romney regarding his leadership with Bain Capital, which was ripped by Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker; with how many Republicans condemned "a plan that some Republicans had to launch this race-baiting campaign, trying to tie the President, once again, to Jeremiah Wright."
The Sunday interview show hosts all reacted with disbelief toward House Speaker John Boehner’s pledge to demand spending cuts equal to the debt ceiling increase, with CBS’s Bob Schieffer the most derisive as he declared “it was a week when you couldn’t believe your ears” because, when Boehner said the same thing last year, “Congress tied itself in such a knot that America’s credit rating was downgraded, not to mention Congress’ approval rating which hit a new low. And now he wants to fight the same battle? Was he kidding?”
Schieffer rued: “Does this mean we’re headed towards another of those nasty ‘stop everything’ political standoffs in an election year?”
CBS chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan had a bit of a tussle about women in the workplace on Sunday's Face the Nation.
When Buchanan said opportunities for women are currently unlimited, O'Donnell strongly disagreed claiming, "There is a glass ceiling in politics" which led the conservative to correctly point out this is largely due to women's personal choices rather than anything nefarious (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Good Morning America treated last night’s loss of long-time serving Republican Senator Richard Lugar, to the more conservative Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock, as a sad sign of the end of bi-partisanship. In the 7am half-hour of Wednesday’s show, ABC’s Josh Elliott declared Lugar’s loss was an “earthquake of great degree” and eulogized Lugar as a senator who was “well-known for his willingness to reach across party lines.” Later on in the 8am half-hour Elliott called Lugar’s loss “a massive political headline” as he reported: “A long time voice of bipartisanship...has been defeated.”
CNN’s Erin Burnett, on last night’s edition of Outfront, also cast the Mourdock victory as a bad omen for Washington, as she worried, “So are the only people willing to find the middle ground disappearing from Washington...This is pretty tragic that we have gotten to this point where working together is a negative thing.” (Video after the jump)
David Corn, the perilously liberal Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, got a much-needed civics lesson from the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.
After Corn carped and whined about House Republicans blocking Barack Obama's fiscal agenda, Noonan replied, "When a President wants to make something happen, he can make it happen, and he can't sit back and say, 'Oh, they wouldn't talk. They wouldn't do this. I'm so sorry.' You make it happen if you are President" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Bob Schieffer, who in February asked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whether the Republican presidential candidates “are pushing your party too far to the right to make the nomination worth anything when you get to November?”, on Sunday repeated his mantra, demanding of Peggy Noonan: “Do you think that the Republican Party has moved too far right for its own good?”
As if he cares about the success of Republicans or conservatives.
Schieffer fretted “the situation that’s happened out in Indiana, where Richard Lugar, who’s probably passed more significant legislation than any single member of the Senate right now, I would say -- that I can think of -- he might actually get beat in the primary because they think he’s not conservative enough.”