On Tuesday's Early Show, correspondent Ben Tracy acknowledged that the facts in the Tuscon shooting do not support media spin that the tragedy was incited by right-wing political rhetoric: "Authorities tell CBS News that Loughner's attack on Congresswoman Giffords' was not partisan, but more likely because he was anti-government in general and she was a symbol of it."
Minutes later, co-host Erica Hill reported on a new CBS News poll on the shooting: "The Sheriff [Clarence Dupnik] investigating the shootings in Arizona has publicly blamed the extreme political rhetoric across this country for the tragedy....A majority of Americans, however, don't necessarily agree that's the case....57% of respondents don't believe the harsh tone had anything to do with the shootings. Just 32% say it did." At the top of the 8:00AM ET hour, news reader Jeff Glor again touted the new poll: "...there's more debate over whether a heated political atmosphere played a role....most Americans reject that idea."
“The shooter’s motivation is still unknown,” Katie Couric announced as she anchored Saturday’s CBS Evening News, but that didn’t deter CBS, nor CNN, NBC and ABC on Saturday night and into Sunday morning from forwarding attempts to blame Sarah Palin and, by implication, the Tea Party, for the Tucson shooting.
“Giffords was one of 20 Democrats whose districts were lit up in cross hairs on a Sarah Palin campaign Web site last spring,” CBS’s Nancy Cordes declared in referring to a political map, adding that “Giffords and many others complained that someone unstable might act on that imagery.” Hours later on CNN, Jessica Yellin noted “we don't know the motive” before she proceeded to raise how “on Twitter and Facebook, there is a lot of talk, in particular, about Sarah Palin.” On Sunday’s Today, leading into a clip about Palin, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asserted: “Giffords, a conservative Democrat, was concerned about heated campaign rhetoric from the Tea Party.”
ABC connected Palin to the Wild West, as David Wright reported on This Week:
Congresswoman Gabby Giffords liked to joke that her district includes Tombstone and the OK Corral. Until yesterday morning, most people here would have said that rogue gunslingers were part of the distant past. On election night in November, 18 of the politicians in the crosshairs of Sarah Palin's political action committee lost, but not Gabby Giffords.
Audio:MP3 clip, matches 2:45 video below compilation of six soundbites.
24 hours after the senseless killings in Tucson, Arizona, liberal media members are still convinced Jared Lee Loughner was somehow motivated by inflammatory comments he recently heard or read.
Despite there still being absolutely no evidence that this is the case, CBS's Bob Schieffer concluded Sunday's "Face the Nation" making the same silly point (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Talking to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Wednesday's Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge saw efforts to repeal ObamaCare as a political liability: "How risky a proposition is this for Republicans incoming now?" Schieffer dismissed it as, "a lot of shouting, hollering, and symbolic votes," adding, "we've got a couple of months before anything really serious is going to happen."
Wragge went on to cite liberal New York Times writer Matt Bai, who claimed Republicans had no real political mandate despite extensive victories in November: "Once you win, the human tendency is to credit the gravitational force of your own ideas, to assume that you made a more compelling and more substantive case than you actually did." Wragge asked Schieffer: "Is that what we may see in the early days from the Republican leadership here, do you think?"
Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Harry Smith grilled Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann on Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare: "One of the things the Tea Party has talked about is dismantling health care. And we're wondering if, in the end of the day, that ends up being a fool's errand...it will face a certain veto. Is it worth the effort to try to do?"
Bachmann defended the move and pointed out popular support for repeal: "ObamaCare will bankrupt the country. And so you've seen that the more the people learn about ObamaCare the less they like it. It's very costly, it's unwieldy. So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of ObamaCare. And you'll continue to see us make that fight because that's what the American people want us to do."
Ending Sunday's "Face the Nation" in poetic fashion, CBS's Bob Schieffer gave a year-end commentary where he portrayed John Boehner as the flustered "orange-faced" leader of a divided House GOP. Schieffer also snidely criticized the Arizona immigration law.
"His face was bright orange, a sun-tan hall-of-famer. / I knew in a flash – it must be John Boehner," spoke Schieffer, painting the soon-to-be Majority Leader as the head of a herd of reindeer, the House Republicans. "He hollered, cajoled, oh how he did plead, / But the deer wouldn't listen, each wanted to lead."
Composing his end-of-show commentary to verse, Schieffer summarized the 2010 political scene and provided some insight of his own as to how the next two years in Washington will unfold. Though Democrats met a bitter fate this November, Schieffer implied a possible downfall for the GOP with a split between Tea Partiers and incumbent Republicans.
Nearly 80 percent of the $858 billion “cost” of the compromise tax bill signed Friday by President Barack Obama is, per a Congressional Research Service estimate, from the $675 billion over the next ten years the government would have received if income tax rates were raised, a perspective widely adopted by network reporters and hosts who assumed just keeping rates at their current levels should be counted as a “cost” to the national debt and annual deficits.
“The $858 billion price tag for this bill will be added to the already $14 trillion national debt,” ABC’s Jake Tapper concluded Friday night, “meaning we, our children and our children's children will likely be on the hook for the law that was passed today.”
The Sunday interview shows echoed Tapper’s spin. On CBS’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer lamented how the tax bill “is going to just add to the deficit.” David Gregory, interviewing Vice President Biden on Meet the Press, bemoaned how the tax compromise will “add a trillion dollars to the deficit.” Later in the program, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough also exaggerated the $858 billion to $1 trillion as he declared: “It straps us with another trillion dollars worth of debt.”
It only took three days, but someone at CBS News finally realized that at least one House Democrat on Thursday vulgarly referred to the President of the United States.
Unlike most of his colleagues in the media, Bob Schieffer was so disturbed by this revelation that he asked two different Democrat guests about it on the most recent installment of "Face the Nation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Republican Senate whip Jon Kyl kept correcting host Bob Schieffer about how extending tax “rates,” not “cuts,” is what is being debated, leading Schieffer to conceded “I gotcha” and even prompted Schieffer to let Kyl fill in for him the correct term. Schieffer: “Are the votes there now in the Senate, in your opinion, to extend these tax ah-“ Kyl: “Rates.”
Schieffer had asked: “Is the Senate going to get down to business and resolve this whole business of the tax cuts?” Kyl chastised: “Nobody is talking about tax cuts. We're talking about extending the rates that have been in existence for the last decade.” Nonetheless, Schieffer stuck with his terminology: “Why is it so important to Republicans to extend the tax cuts for the upper-income people?”
Democratic Senate whip Dick Durbin matched Schieffer’s framing: “I'm not voting for any permanent tax cut for the people of the highest income categories” and Kyl felt compelled to again correct Schieffer and Durbin: “First of all we're not talking about tax cuts.” Schieffer interjected “I gotcha” as Kyl continued: “We're talking about extending, for another period of time, the rates that have been in existence for the last decade.”
Bob Woodward on Sunday tried to excuse Barack Obama's ineffectiveness by claiming his "day is crazy" with "so many meetings, so many outings, so many handshakes, and so many trips to Ohio and here."
Having previously scolded "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer for asking a "bulls--t question," Ronald Reagan biographer Edmund Morris countered, "Yeah, but presidents have plenty of spare time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer on Sunday responded to a query from "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer by saying, "As the immortal Marisa Tomei said in 'My Cousin Vinny,' that's a bulls--t question."
Edmund Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for "The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt," apparently felt Schieffer was being too "presentist" with his questions that were trying to "pluck people out of the past and expect them to comment on what's happening today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bob Schieffer concluded Sunday's "Face the Nation" with a weather metaphor-filled comment about today's politics.
With his final observation, the viewer was left with the impression the long-time host feels everything that's happened to President Obama is just bad luck (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Christine Amanpour spent much of Sunday’s This Week arguing with her guests about how taxes must be raised -- a theme also echoed on Face the Nation and Meet the Press -- as she brought aboard the media’s newest hero, tax-hike advocate David Stockman, and also touted Warren Buffett’s quest to hike taxes and how even conservatives in Britain have agreed to do so: “They’re saying there for every $3 in spending cuts, $1 up in taxes.”
Advancing the media-Democratic line against the agenda of victorious conservatives, Amanpour asserted to Senator-elect Rand Paul: “There are many economists who simply say the math does not add up, if you’re not going to agree to raising taxes. Do you agree that taxes will have to be raised, as well?” Rand retorted: “I think it's not a revenue problem. It's a spending problem.” To which, Amanpour countered: “But it is a revenue problem according to so many economists.”
Amanpour soon repeated: “Without making strong entitlement and other cuts, and even if one does, most of the economists say the math does not add up to keep tax cuts on and on and on. Will you agree to some?”
At the top of her show, with “Tax Cut Mantra” derisively on screen, Amanpour touted Stockman: “Their hero may be Ronald Reagan, but his tax man says that [extending the current tax rates] will finish the economy off.”
Bob Schieffer attempted a nice little gotcha on Sunday when he asked former Bush adviser Karl Rove, "Have you come on 'Face the Nation' this morning and said for the record that Rush Limbaugh takes things out of context?"
The man commonly referred to as The Architect didn't take the bait (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Bob Schieffer invited Liz Cheney and Howard Dean on "Face the Nation" to discuss a number of issues related to the upcoming midterm elections, he must have had a feeling sparks were going to fly.
But he certainly couldn't have known bringing up the Administration's claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns would lead to Cheney exposing the former Vermont governor in a lie about who helped bankroll his 2004 run for the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday took on CBS's Bob Schieffer for challenging unsubstantiated allegations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign dollars into Republican campaigns.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the "Face the Nation" host mocked White House senior adviser David Axelrod Sunday for advancing this unfounded premise that even the New York Times has discredited.
Yet that didn't concern the "Hardball" host who rather than presenting the facts as Schieffer and the Times did exclusively offered the Democrat view as he scolded his colleague from another television network (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Grilling Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez questioned President Obama attacking Republicans over unproven claims of accepting foreign campaign donations: "Why did he spend so much time talking about the Republicans trying to steal the election? Offering no evidence of that. Isn't it a bit undignified for the President to resort to that?"
The Democratic governor attempted to defend the President: "Well, the President's got dual roles, he's the commander-in-chief...but he's also the campaigner-in-chief....[talking] about what's to be afraid of....the unreported money that's coming into this campaign through groups that we'll never know who contributed to, that's something our citizens should be worried about." Rodriguez pressed him: "If you gave them evidence to support that claim, it would be one thing. But, to make claims like this without backing them up, seems not right."
CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday mocked President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod for echoing last week’s unsubstantiated charge by a liberal website that the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money to support Republican candidates.
“The New York Times looked into the Chamber specifically and said the Chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign,” said the Face the Nation host.
“This part about foreign money, that appears to be peanuts,” chided Schieffer.
When Axelrod continued to press the issue, Schieffer said almost laughing, “If the only charge, three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there’s somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Christiane Amanpour as "This Week" host experiment so far is a huge failure for ABC as ratings have plummeted since she took over the Sunday political talk show.
Last Sunday's program attracted 29 percent less viewers than the same day a year ago.
Making matters worse for ABC executives is the fact that Amanpour's numbers are far worse than interim host Jake Tapper's who did most of the anchoring after George Stephanopoulos left for "Good Morning America."
As Steve Krakauer reported Monday, the decision to bring Amanpour over from CNN is so far not looking like a good one:
CBS's Bob Schieffer on Sunday bashed the White House for how it responded to House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Oh.) tax cut comment uttered on "Face the Nation" a week ago.
As readers are likely aware, Boehner made news - if not friends amongst conservatives! - by telling Schieffer that if the only thing that came out of the House was an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all but folks that make $250,000 or more per year, he would grudgingly support it.
After reading the White House's official response to Boehner during this Sunday's final segment - "Time will tell if his actions will be anything but continued support for the failed policies that got us into this mess" - Schieffer scolded, "I can remember when the first move by a president like Lyndon Johnson or maybe a smart aide in the Eisenhower White House would not have been a snarky press release."
"I`m guessing LBJ would have been on the phone to Boehner in five minutes after seeing him on TV saying something like, if you`re serious, why don`t you come over here quietly and we`ll try to work out something good for both of us and the folks out there," continued Schieffer.
"As we saw, no chance it could happen today. And we`re right back to the partisan war" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative radio host Mark Levin thinks Delaware Republican senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell is "smart to bypass" the Sunday talk shows she was scheduled to appear on this week.
As the Associated Press reported Saturday, O'Donnell canceled her appearances on CBS's "Face the Nation" and FNC's "Fox News Sunday":
Campaign spokeswoman Diana Banister cited scheduling conflicts and said O'Donnell needed to return to Delaware for commitments to church events and afternoon picnic with Republicans in a key county where she has solid backing.
Sunday morning, Levin told his Facebook followers this was a good decision:
Appearing on Friday's CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer continued to compare the rise of the tea party and possible candidacy of Sarah Palin in 2012 to the 1964 campaign of Barry Goldwater. In response, co-host Harry Smith remarked that Palin could take Republicans "to the edge of the abyss, as it were."
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Schieffer argued: "...it is very much like 1964....they threw out all the establishment candidates...they nominated Barry Goldwater who – fine man – but he was far to the right of most of the people in his party, and they lost in a landslide. And that's why you have establishment Republicans worried about what's going to happen now in November." He repeated the same line on the Early Show and described the tea party as being full of "very, very conservative" voters who would not be as influential in the general election.
Prior to the discussion between Smith and Schieffer, correspondent Dean Reynolds reported on Palin taking a fundraising trip to Iowa and supporting "tea party insurgents...to the chagrin of GOP regulars, who worry they are too extreme, unelectable, or both." He went on highlight how "Democratic strategists say the more Sarah, the better for them" and touted: "Indeed, our latest polling shows the number of Americans viewing her unfavorably has been rising along with her visibility."
CBS's Bob Schieffer made it crystal clear Sunday that he is going to do his part to prevent House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.) from replacing Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as Speaker this January.
In a hard-hitting interview about a variety of subjects on "Face the Nation," Schieffer actually hammered his guest for smoking cigarettes and taking campaign contributions from the tobacco industry.
"How do you square that with the fact that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country; 435,000 people -- their deaths are linked to cancer. That`s one in five," scolded Schieffer.
"How do you justify that in your own mind?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith touted President Obama's economic proposals and portrayed Republicans as obstructionist: "Obama's new plan. The President proposes to spend $50 billion on roads, airports, and railways and offers businesses a $200 billion tax cut. But the GOP says not so fast."
Later, Smith introduced a report by senior White House correspondent Bill Plante: "With unemployment at 9.6% and the midterm elections just two months away, President Obama is out and about this week promoting new ideas to get the economy moving again." Plante proclaimed: "Pumped up in full campaign mode before a crowd of union members in Milwaukee, Mr. Obama celebrated his administration's accomplishments and announced a new project to repair the nation's infrastructure." A headline on screen read: "Obama's New Deal; Announces $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan."
Following Plante's report, Smith spoke with CBS economics and business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and political analyst John Dickerson about the President's plans. As Jarvis promoted the idea that more spending would create jobs, Smith asked Dickerson about Republican opposition: "...almost anything that the White House talks about, say over the last couple months or so, has met – had been met with a raspberry, I suppose we should assume this will be met with the same kind of reaction?" The on-screen headline changed to "GOP Rips New $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan."
It’s happened again! Collecting quotes for the Labor Day edition of MRC’s bi-weekly Notable Quotables, I found more outrageous liberal eruptions than could fit into the normal newsletter. So, just for NewsBusters readers, here are 12 worthy quotes that just couldn’t squeeze into the regular issue (although hopefully a couple of these gems will find their way into our upcoming September 20 edition):
Obama Opponents Pine for “Ethnic Purity”
“First of all, we have a mixed race President who has a middle name ‘Hussein.’ And a good part of the anxiety that’s going on in small-town white America isn’t just the plain old black and white stuff of the past. It’s the fact that South Asians are moving in and running the local motel or, you know, I don’t want to deal in those sorts of cliches, but there are a lot of Latinos about who are moving into these areas that their grandchildren are coming out as gay or intermarrying. The purity of, the ‘ethnic purity,’ to coin a phrase, that they grew up with no longer exists....” — Time’s Joe Klein on the Chris Matthews Show, August 29.
Filling in for Bob Schieffer as host of Face the Nation, Early Show co-host Harry Smith brought his liberal sensibilities to the Sunday show, pressing his economic panel to agree the Bush tax cuts should not be extended, the stimulus was too small and so another would be wise – even suggesting a return to an FDR-era government make-work jobs program: “What about, say, something like a new WPA?”
Presuming the pre-2003 levels are the real rates, Smith questioned Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times: “Is now the time to continue cutting taxes if there is this overwhelming deficit out there?” He soon cued up White House economic adviser Laura Tyson to agree with his premise: “Should the Bush tax cuts stay in place for the middle class but be rescinded for the top wage earners?”
Turning back to Morgenson, Smith showed exasperation with public opposition to government spending programs as he wondered if the stimulus wasn’t big enough:
I want to go back to the stimulus because as so many of these Congress folks are going back out of their districts and people complain about the size of government, they're complaining about the deficit, they're complaining about TARP and who knows what all else. As we're standing here looking at it right now, just if you can step away, was the stimulus big enough?
Republicans are “exotic” and “extreme,” and against science too, CBS’s Bob Schieffer contended on Sunday’s Face the Nation. “You have also taken some fairly controversial, some would say very extreme, positions,” Schieffer lectured Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, citing “you want to phase out Medicare, you want to privatize Social Security.” Miller countered: “I would suggest to you that if one thinks that the Constitution is extreme then you’d also think that the founders are extreme.”
Next, picking up on Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s claim Democrats are “are centrist” while Republicans “are really off on the right wing fringe,” Schieffer pressed Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour “about that,” highlighting Miller’s “controversial stands” before asserting:
Isn't that going to make it harder for some of these Republican candidates to get elected because down in Kentucky you have Rand Paul, who’s got the nomination for the Senate there, talking about, well, maybe we ought to rethink the Civil Rights Acts of '64 and '65. You've got Joe Buck, who won the nomination up in Colorado, who’s talking about bicycle paths being a, might lead to UN control or something other. It seems to me that you do have kind of an exotic crew out there this time.
Barbour shot back: “Well Bob, the administration and the Democratic Congress have taken the biggest lurch to the left in policy in American history.”
Bob Schieffer on Sunday blamed the internet for the growing number of Americans that think Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Namelessly referring to last week's Pew Research Center poll finding that eighteen percent now believe this, the "Face the Nation" host concluded Sunday's program saying that "in the internet age, ignorance travels as rapidly as great ideas."
He continued, "Now, not only great minds can find one another and compare notes, so too can the nuts and the perverts and those who are simply looking to validate their prejudices."
And continued, "So despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, a new poll tells us a growing number of Americans, most of them on the right, believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. No doubt, due in part to the fact that stories to that effect have gone viral on the internet" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a discussion of the midterm elections on Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer asked members of his political panel a total of seven questions, six of which highlighted Republican difficulties, only one of which actually raised the problems for the Democrats in November.
Instead of acknowledging the greater political challenges facing Democrats, Schieffer began by acting as if both parties were equally in trouble: "You have Democrats on the one hand saddled with a very bad economy, high unemployment....Republicans, on the other hand, have – find themselves suddenly with some very, well, how would I say it, unusual candidates, people who have taken very extreme views on things." Schieffer then proceeded to focus almost exclusively on Republican obstacles.
In his first electoral question to former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, Schieffer asked about one of those "unusual" GOP candidates: "...you have Linda McMahon, who is formally – or maybe she still is part of the World Wrestling Federation." After playing a clip of McMahon appearing at a WWE event, Schieffer pressed: "I expect Republicans are going to be seeing that video a lot this year, and they're going to have to defend it. Is this somebody who's going to be good for the Republican Party? Is this a good image for Republicans to have?"