Instead of turning to one of the GOP candidates or a campaign spokesman, Thursday's CBS This Morning thought it fit to bring on Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs to discuss the last scheduled Republican presidential debate. Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer didn't play hardball with Gibbs, like they did with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, but went easy on the former presidential press secretary.
On Sunday, Schieffer interrogated Santorum over his attacks on the chief executive, particularly over the former senator's "theology" attack on Obama's environmental policies. The anchor did his best impression of a former MSNBC personality: "I've got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about sir?" Two days later, Rose pursued Gingrich for supposedly "saying that the President is not patriotic." By contrast, on Thursday, the CBS morning show host directed a vague question about the controversial abortifacient mandate to Gibbs:
On Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Bob Schieffer interrogated Rick Santorum over his offensive against President Obama, particularly over the Republican candidate's "theology" attack on the President's environmental policies. Schieffer seemed to channel a certain former MSNBC anchor when he asked, "I've got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about, sir?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
The anchor led his program with an outline of his criticism of Santorum, focusing on three recent comments from the GOP presidential candidate: "Did you hear what Rick Santorum said?...In one twenty-four-hour-period, he questioned the President's religious beliefs....said prenatal testing is really just the President's way to reduce costs in taking care of the disabled....and questioned the value of public schools....We'll ask him about all of it this morning..."
By now you’ve likely read or seen Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum talking about Barack Obama’s “phony theology.”
Unfortunately, in their attempt to accuse the former Pennsylvania Senator of impugning the President’s religious beliefs, America's media collectively cherry-picked from a 41 minute speech to completely misrepresent what Santorum actually said (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, Obama-loving media members love to blame gridlock in Washington on Republicans.
Doing his part Sunday was Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer who asked guest Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), "Has the Tea Party made compromise a dirty word, and is that why Congress can't seem to get anything done?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
By many measures, Barack Obama has left the State of the Union in tatters, but the liberal media, led by the highly rated Big Three network (ABC, CBS, NBC) news shows, have attempted to cover up those holes in the Union by mostly ignoring the Obama administration’s greatest failings. From record numbers of people on food stamps, to the administration’s support of failed energy companies while rejecting an oil pipeline that would result in thousands of jobs, the Big Three networks haven’t told their viewers the full story of Obama’s pathetic track record.
The following are just a few of the glaring examples of Obama’s failed administration and the coverage, or lack thereof, the Big Three networks on their evening news shows (ABC’s World News, CBS’s Evening News, NBC’s Nightly News), morning shows (ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, recently re-titled This Morning, NBC’s Today) and Sunday political roundtable shows (ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press) have given them.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer decided his viewers needed a special warning about how far out of the mainstream an upcoming guest dwells, plugging at the top of Sunday’s Face the Nation how he’d have as guests Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and then: “for context on how it’s going, we’ll bring in South Carolina’s very conservative Senator, Jim DeMint.”
During a roundtable discussion on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, after asserting that in past years divided government had "produced some really remarkable pieces of legislation," correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed the presence of Tea Party Republicans for less congressional success in enacting legislation this year. (Video below)
Anchor Bob Schieffer raised the difficulty Congress has had in 2011 in making accomplishments, prompting Cordes to observe:
Tuesday's Early Show on CBS brought on PolitiFact's Bill Adair to reveal what he labeled as the "biggest lie of the year" inside politics, which was "the claim by many Democrats that the Republicans voted to end Medicare." But CBS let Democratic operatives spout that falsehood several times without scrutiny earlier in 2011.
The network did stand out in bringing on the PolitiFact editor, something ABC and NBC didn't do on Tuesday. Adair stated that Democrats "say that the House voted to end Medicare. That's not what they did. What the House did was vote to protect Medicare on people who are 55 and older, but to privatize it and restructure it...for people who are younger...it's wrong to say 'end Medicare,' and it's a...classic scare tactic that we've seen targeting the elderly for many years."
CBS's Bob Schieffer displayed his liberal leanings on Sunday's Face the Nation when he raised the issue of illegal immigration. Schieffer claimed during an interview of Newt Gingrich that "Mitt Romney has taken such a hard line, it seems to me, on immigration that some within the Republican Party are saying he is simply running off Hispanic voters."
The journalist asked Gingrich for his take on this claim about halfway through the half-hour long interview. Gingrich replied, "I'm not going on comment on Governor Romney," and simply recited his policy recommendations on illegal immigration. When the candidate stated near the end of his answer that "I do not believe the American people are going to send police out to round up folks who have been here 25 years," Schieffer followed up and asked, "There are 11 million of these people. I mean, what are you going to do with them? I mean, you can't build that many prisons to put them in jail....and you can't get that many buses to haul them back."
Highlighting Grover Norquist’s upcoming appearance on 60 Minutes, CBS’s Bob Schieffer, on Face the Nation, pointed to the anti-tax hike pledge Norquist asks politicians to sign as “one of the problems” undermining the failed “super-committee.”
After ruing the pledge with Republican Senator Pat Toomey, a super-committee member, Schieffer later also hit a Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, from the left on taxes: “Would you be willing to raise taxes if that’s what it takes to get our financial footing?” Manchin: “You don't need to raise taxes.”)
Moments after being introduced by Face the Nation host Bob Schiiffer as a "conservative" columnist, the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker on Sunday referred to Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as a "misanthrope" - aka a mankind hater (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Bob Schieffer unintentionally played the foil to Herman Cain on Sunday’s Face the Nation as Schieffer expressed his politically-correct displeasure with Cain’s “downright bizarre” Web video which briefly shows Cain’s chief of staff smoking, was flummoxed by Cain’s sense of humor (“You also said at one point that you might want to back that fence up with a moat and fill it with alligators. Was that a joke too?”) and was baffled by Cain’s accurate claim Planned Parenthood was spurred by the eugenics movement’s desire to reduce the black population.
On the ad, Schieffer decried how “it sends a signal that it’s cool to smoke” before he scolded Cain: “Well, let me just tell you, it’s not funny to me....I don't think it serves the country well, and this is an editorial opinion here, to be showing someone smoking a cigarette.” (video below)
Add the CLASS Act to the ever growing list of damaging stories (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to the bungling Obama administration that the media are, for the most part, whistling by. The news last Friday that a key part of Obamacare, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS), meant to provide long-term care for the elderly – was deemed not sustainable by the Obama administration itself, drew a total of just 40 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast network news shows.
ABC's Good Morning America, on Saturday, included just a 20 second brief by Ron Claiborne who alerted viewers that the "Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature health care overhaul" because it was not "financially viable." Then, later that evening CBS Evening News -- seen by few since college football meant it did not air in the Eastern and Central time zones -- also aired a 20 second brief with weekend anchor Anthony Mason notifying viewers: "The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took affect." NBC has yet to cover the topic on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. There wasn't even a word of it on the political roundtable Sunday shows (ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press).
Throughout coverage of President Obama's address to Congress Thursday night, anchors and correspondents on both CBS and NBC gave fawning reviews of the new jobs plan, in some cases, even before the speech began. In contrast, ABC took a much more skeptical tone, with a focus on the President's falling poll numbers.
Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened CBS's coverage by proclaiming the President was "hanging out a 'help wanted' sign" for unemployed Americans, with chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell excitedly announcing moments later that Obama would put forward "an extraordinarily bold plan" to create jobs.
The liberal media are predictably gushing over Colin Powell's supposed rebuke of Dick Cheney on Sunday's "Face the Nation."
Bucking the trend was Joe Scarborough Monday who on the MSNBC program bearing his name said Powell going on "Face the Nation" to defend himself proved Cheney right about heads exploding over his new book (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, filling in on Face the Nation, just couldn’t comprehend how a candidate espousing true conservative views could possibly capture the White House. Referring to Rick Perry, she demanded: “Can the Republican Party elect someone President who doesn't believe in global warming?”
She described Perry’s fairly conventional conservative assessment of Social Security as “controversial,” citing how in his book he described the program as “a crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal,” a “bad disease” and that “it was set up like a, quote ‘illegal Ponzi scheme.’” Repeating her earlier formulation, O’Donnell wondered: “Can you elect a Republican to the White House who thinks Social Security is a bad disease?”
On Sunday's Face The Nation, CBS's Norah O'Donnell interrogated Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on a 2006 statement she made about being "submissive" to her husband. O'Donnell not only played a clip of the five-year-old moment, but asked her three questions about the biblical verse: "What do you mean wives should be submissive to their husbands?...Do you think submissive means subservient?" [audio available here]
The fill-in anchor raised the issue, which also came up during the recent Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa, near the end of the interview. Bachmann more or less repeated her answer from that debate in reply to O'Donnell's question:
After Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's win in Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll, the Obama-loving media have been working overtime to make darned certain the public doesn't think this has any significance.
Doing her part was PBS's Gwen Ifill who said on Sunday's "Face the Nation," "The last person to actually get elected president to win a Straw Poll was George W. Bush" - as if that was soooo long ago (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Three noteworthy spins, charges and/or claims made on the Sunday morning interview shows.
> ABC’s This Week, with “ALL CUTS, NO TAXES?” on screen: George Stephanopoulos hit White House senior adviser David Plouffe from the left on how “this enforcement mechanism would not include revenue increases, would be just across the board spending cuts.” He fretted the deal “all but guarantee that the final product is all spending cuts and not the balanced approach the President wants.” Christiane Amanpour despaired President Obama “has moved all of the way to the language and the ideals that the Republicans espouse.”
> CBS’s Face the Nation: Bob Schieffer insisted “some people say that the Republican Party has been held hostage by the Tea Party” and he discerned “some truth” in an allegation he saw on Facebook that allowing House freshmen “‘to control this debate’” is “‘like letting the teenager in the family run the family budget.’”
Adopting the spin of President Barack Obama -- who on Friday insisted “one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is: Can they say yes to anything?” – on Sunday’s Face the Nation CBS’s Bob Schieffer demanded of Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl: “Is there a problem for Republicans that might emerge as just the party of no? The party that can't say yes to anything?”
With trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, a balanced budget amendment is sounding pretty good to an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Apparently CBS's Bob Schieffer isn't amongst them, as he actually asked Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday's "Face the Nation," "Why are you wasting time debating that?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A couple of Sunday interview show hosts again forwarded White House talking points about the necessity to include taxes, I mean “revenues,” in any debt ceiling increase deal with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour focusing on a single poll she highlighted for ammunition the public is on her side while ignoring how, by two-to-one, the public opposes raising the debt ceiling at all.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer touted how President Obama has made “concessions” but, he sputtered, “I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture.” He demanded of Senator Marco Rubio: “Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way?”
CBS's Bob Schieffer took on the role of a left-wing activist on Sunday's Face the Nation, as he pressed all four of his guests from both parties about cuts in state and local spending. Schieffer bewailed how both Republican Governors John Kasich and Scott Walker "cut deeply into education" and asked Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa if he felt good about making "draconian cuts" [audio clips available here]
The anchor brought on the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as the mayor of Los Angeles and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, for his half-hour program to discuss the impasse over the federal budget and the debt ceiling and its impact on their states. After an initial question to Governor Kasich, where Schieffer claimed how, apparently, "things are worse than ever" between the two political parties, Schieffer set up his first question to Governor Walker with his lament of the apparent cuts to education in the states of his two Republican guests:
As no clear frontrunner emerges in the Republican presidential nomination race, the liberal media are in a full-scale panic over the thought that the former governor of Alaska might eventually enter and challenge their beloved president in November 2012.
On Sunday, "Face the Nation's" Bob Schieffer asked Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour with some incredulity, "Could you ever envision yourself supporting a ticket that had Sarah Palin at the top?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“Do you think the Tea Party is losing some of its appeal?” So Harry Smith cued up a hardly independent guest on Sunday’s Face the Nation: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Congresswoman and Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Earlier, the fill-in host was astonished House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would want to find cuts to afford extra spending for tornado recovery efforts: “One of the things you said earlier this week is that emergency funding should be offset by cuts to the budget deficit. Do you stand by that?”
Meanwhile, another round of Sunday panels meant more pleas to raise taxes. On Fox News Sunday, a frustrated Juan Williams fretted: “Republicans -- for all this talk about oh, the deficit, the debt, we have to be serious, entitlement reform – refuse to consider raising taxes.”
For many in the media Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's reaction to Barack Obama insistence that his country return to the 1967 borders was out of bounds. ABC's Christiane Amanpour declared she was "stunned" by his "public lecture" of the President and NBC's Andrea Mitchell hissed, "it was really rude," and charged he treated Obama "like a school boy." Mitchell didn't reserve her criticism to Netanyahu as she even went after Republicans who dared to take his side, accusing them of "piling on the President."