During a pre-recorded commentary aired on CBS’s Sunday Morning show, right-leaning actor and economist Ben Stein - also a CBS contributor - blamed "excessive tax cuts" enacted by former President Bush and congressional Republicans for "starting the problem" of the current federal budget deficit, and advocated raising taxes on the wealthy in addition to "major spending cuts" and changes in Medicare and Social Security to get the deficit under control. Stein: "The Republicans who started the problem with excessive tax cuts in the Bush years will have to agree to raise taxes at least upon the truly rich of whom there are plenty."
And, while ignoring the presence of a Republican Congress that helped restrain spending growth during the Clinton administration, and the spike in tax revenue fueled by an unsustainable tech bubble, Stein concluded his commentary praising former President Bill Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin as "grown-ups," awarding them credit for the balanced budget of the late 1990s.
Stein: "The grown-ups like Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin - his Treasury Secretary who actually balanced the budget - left the federal fiscal scene more than 10 years ago. Now it's time to live within our means. No more voodoo economics. We can do it. The first step is back through the looking glass into reality. We've got to do it."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."
In an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl for CBS's Sunday Morning, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin made his latest attack against Sarah Palin, ranting: "I have a big problem with people who glamorize dumbness. And demonize education and intellect. And I'm giving a pretty good description of Sarah Palin right now." [Audio available here]
Stahl made no effort to challenge Sorkin's vicious personal attacks, simply remarking: "He seems to be having a second career these days, going after Sarah Palin. In an essay for The Huffington Post, he called her a 'witless bully.'" Given the media's concern with civility and harsh political rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shooting, one wonders why Stahl did not condemn such language.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, 'Fast Draw' cartoonist Josh Landis commented on people believing in false claims despite evidence to the contrary and warned: "Some false beliefs might make you laugh but others are dangerous, like the belief, debunked again this month, that vaccines cause autism."
But CBS News didn't admit to viewers that while that belief has been repeatedly disproved by scientific studies, CBS has often presented the idea as a possible credible cause of autism in children. A report on the disease on the July 14, 2005 broadcast of the CBS Evening News featured a sound bite from left-wing environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who argued that a chemical once widely used in vaccines was a cause of autism: "The science connecting brain damage with thimerosal is absolutely overwhelming."
On Saturday's Early Show fill-in co-host Russ Mitchell saw passage of the tax deal as a possible "turning point for Mr. Obama's presidency" and speculated that it was "perhaps setting the stage for another victory as the Senate takes up the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law."
In the report that followed, correspondent Whit Johnson declared that with the deal "President Obama could finally declare victory." The headline on screen read: "The President's Big Win; More Success Before The Holiday Break?" Johnson explained "that after months of debate, they [Democrats] finally have the votes to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" In a report on Sunday Morning, Johnson touted the eventual repeal of the policy on Saturday as a "major victory" for Democrats.
At the top of a report on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Whit Johnson proclaimed: "In San Francisco yesterday, they celebrated the end of an era. After nearly two decades, the policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, is all but history." The one-sided segment focused almost exclusively on supporters of repeal.
Of the ten sound bites featured throughout the story, only one, that of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, was critical of the policy being overturned. Johnson described how "Opponents of repeal...pleaded that such a dramatic change during a time of two wars would put troops in harm's way." However, after the clip of McCain was played, Johnson dismissed critics of repeal: "Democrats got a boost from a recent Pentagon study in which two-thirds of U.S. troops said changing the controversial law would have little impact, a feeling shared by most of America."
During an interview with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Jim Axelrod wondered: "In terms of how you understand how you are perceived is there a liberal bias in the media?" Mrs. Bush quickly replied: "Yes. He doesn't have to answer, but I will."
Axelrod seemed surprised by her response: "Why do you jump in so quickly?" Mrs. Bush laughed and backed off slightly: "No, I'm only kidding. I really don't know." However, she observed: "I will say that I really do see for most Americans a great feeling of affection for George that you don't read about. Yes, I think there's sort a conventional wisdom that's put out by the press." Axelrod was still skeptical: "And that conventional wisdom tilts left?" Mrs. Bush replied: "Yes."
On Saturday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Wyatt Andrews previewed the Washington DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear,' organized by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: "Almost all of the folks we found said they hope it's about the moderates of America....Stewart seems to have touched what you might call the anti-anger nerve."
Andrews went on to chide conservative figures for divisiveness: "In a year when the President was called a liar and when Fox's Glenn Beck labeled the President a power-hungry socialist and a Nazi." He described how: "Stewart took Beck on." Andrews then explained that rally participants "told us they wanted less name-calling in the media and more accomplishment in Washington." However, he failed to make any mention of Stewart's own long list of vulgar name-calling incidents.
With less than two weeks before Election Day, the media elite continue to disparage the GOP’s Tea Party candidates while saluting the greatness of the über-unpopular Democratic Congress and its leader, Nancy Pelosi.
On This Week, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour — apparently oblivious to the decades of liberal mockery hurled at Ronald Reagan and William Buckley — cited those leaders as exemplifying “a long and venerable tradition” of “intellectual conservatism.” Her goal was to insult today’s conservatives: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it, but it’s extreme.” Conservative George F. Will educated Amanpour: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley...”
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, liberal commentator Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning declared that she was "tired" of Bristol Palin and asserted that "she makes me ill."
After host Behar brought up Palin during a discussion of the television show Dancing with the Stars, Giles sighed and responded: "Can I just, can my comment be rolling my eyes and heavy exhaling? I just am so tired of her. I’m tired of her getting these breaks. I’m tired of her making money and leaving her baby at home. I’m tired of her maybe getting 30 grand to speak about abstinence. Excuse me? I’m tired of her."
After Behar challenged Giles’s suggestion that Palin was neglecting her baby, the liberal commentator continued: "I know, Joy, I do believe that, but I’m so, she makes me ill, so all bets are off."
Giles eventually admitted to sounding sexist after actress Eve Plumb complained that men are never asked about whether they are neglecting their children, with the liberal commentator conceding: "I know it’s not fair. I sound like I’m sexist."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Rita Braver conducted a fawning interview with Nancy Pelosi, portraying the widely unpopular Speaker of the House as a strong leader taking on her opponents: "Nancy Pelosi is considered one of the most effective speakers in congressional history....Believe it or not, Republicans are out to fire Pelosi and Madam Speaker is firing back."
Braver began the segment by declaring: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi is all business. Whether it's on her morning walk along the Potomac....Or showing off the private balcony outside her Capitol office." She then lobbed this softball to the "all business" Speaker: "Do you ever let yourself relax and just do nothing? Loaf a little?" Pelosi replied: "I think I may take that up, but not until after the election."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Martha Teichner promoted left-wing class warfare talking points from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "[He] in a new book points out another ominous parallel between the Great Depression and the 'Great Recession,' its cause." Reich proclaimed: "More and more of the income that was generated by the economy went to people at the top." [Audio available here]
Teichner worked to bolster Reich's argument: "In the last century, there were only two years, in 1928 just before the great crash, and then again in 2007, during which the richest 1% were taking home nearly a quarter of the entire income of the nation." Reich continued his assault on upper income earners: "Last year, when most Americans were suffering, the top 25 hedge fund managers each earned $1 billion. A billion dollars would pay the salaries of something like 20,000 teachers."
Again, Teichner made sure to back up Reich's assertions: "That wage inequality, Reich argues, is at the heart of our economic woes. And to fix things, we need to pay those teachers and the rest of the middle class more, not less, so they can spend enough to kick-start the economy. And yes, that means higher taxes for the rich."
Sunday’s Today show on NBC and Sunday Morning on CBS presented seemingly contradictory polling results on how much ObamaCare is supported by the American public, although both seemed to be citing the same AP poll. As Meet the Press host David Gregory appeared on Today, anchor Lester Holt suggested that Republicans are going against the majority of Americans in promising to repeal ObamaCare as he vaguely referred to polling data and contended, "But new polling out suggests that most people not only do they not want to, don't want it repealed, they want more added to it," and added, "Do Republicans have to refine this message and take a better look at it?" According to the AP poll as reported at msnbc.com, "four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system."
By contrast, on Sunday Morning, CBS anchor Charles Osgood briefly recounted numbers from the AP poll which suggested that ObamaCare is unpopular. Osgood: "A poll commissioned by the Associated Press finds just 30 percent of Americans in favor of the new health care law, 30 percent are neutral, and 40 percent oppose it. Four out of 10 respondents say the new law doesn’t do enough to change the health care system."
Returning to NBC, Gregory did not comment directly on whether he believed the poll’s accuracy, as he argued that the Republican message may indeed be successful, and went on to raise the theory from the left that ObamaCare will become more popular as people benefit from it:
On CBS’s Sunday Morning show, a week after airing conservative actor and economist Ben Stein’s pre-recorded commentary in which he criticized the drive to increase taxes on the already overtaxed wealthy, a liberal response from Syfy Channel producer Linda McGibney was shown in which she personally attacked Stein and other wealthy people as "greedy," and suggested that he "just doesn’t care about" the poor. McGibney: "I suppose he thinks he’s beyond sharing his good fortune with the rest of Americans who are suffering financially or he just doesn’t care about them. ... I have always understood that the have’s are greedy. This is the first time I've heard one of them express it out loud so openly."
She even mocked Stein’s reference to his family’s many pet cats and dogs as if he were counting that as part of his charitable contributions. McGibney: "Now it's time to help the rest of America. AndI don't care how many dogs and cats you adopt, how many people you give a paycheck to or how many dollars you make. If Ben Stein believes this tax increase is a punishment, then he's out of touch with the average person."
As she did not address the issue of wasteful spending by government, she asserted that it is "patriotic that I am taxed in this way. I want to help my country," and claimed that it would be "grownup" to accept a tax increase. McGibney: "This is about being a grownup and accepting the fact that we made money during the bogus uptick in the economy."
In a puff piece on Attorney General Eric Holder on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Rita Braver praised his professionalism: "...ignoring political pressure is Holder's constant message as he talks to Justice Department lawyers....Though he was a key advisor to the Obama campaign and considers the President a friend, Holder says he now keeps it purely professional." [Audio available here]
Throughout the interview, Braver portrayed Holder as lacking any political agenda: "And when he took office last February, he got a hero's welcome. It was in part, he believes, a reaction to cronyism and questionable policies advocated in the Bush-era Justice Department." As Braver mentioned Bush "cronyism," a photo of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared on screen. Holder proclaimed: "Waterboarding, things like that, from my perspective, inconsistent with the great traditions of this department."
Braver began with some gentle criticism of Holder: "And with controversies over everything – from his pushing to quickly close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo to his very public condemnation of the new Arizona law that cracks down on undocumented immigrants – even some Holder fans are saying, 'he's honest, he's smart but sometimes he can be a little tone deaf about how things play out in public.'" That gave Holder the opportunity to declare: "I don't have the same latitude that other politicians might have to put my finger up to the wind and figure out what's going to be popular....So it's not tone deafness. It's a commitment to justice and a commitment to the law." Braver then touted Holder "ignoring political pressure."
At the top of CBS's Sunday Morning, host Charles Osgood proclaimed: "From sky-high air-conditioning bills to gasoline-fueled vacations in the car, there's nothing like summer to remind us that we Americans are power hungry." In the story that followed later, correspondent Seth Doane declared: "In the wake of the Gulf oil disaster, calls for cleaner, greener energy, are growing louder."
Doane lamented: "America is still powered by the energy of yesterday. 95% of our electricity comes from an aging network of coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric plants. Despite decades of promise, today less than 5% of our electricity comes from all other forms of alternative energy combined." He then turned to "Nobel Prize-winning physicist" and Obama administration energy secretary, Dr. Steven Chu: "Secretary Chu sees the oil spill as a tragedy, of course, but also as something else." Chu argued: "The United States has an opportunity to lead in what I consider to be essentially a new industrial revolution."
After detailing different forms of alternative energy, Doane moved on to liberal advocacy. He warned:"But agreeing on a national energy policy won't be easy....And the coal and petroleum lobbies spend millions to protect the status quo." Doane then cited the head of the left-wing group Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, who whined: "You know, we've passed three energy bills in the last ten years and none of them has done a damn thing to get us a brighter energy future."
In a report on Arizona's immigration law for CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent John Blackstone declared: "In the heat of the Arizona summer, America's long-simmering immigration debate is boiling over." He portrayed it as the latest wave of anti-immigrant sentiment: "The often-angry debate....whether yet another influx of outsiders can be accepted into a nation of immigrants."
At the top of the program, the Early Show's Harry Smith, filling in for host Charles Osgood, teased Blackstone's report this way: "'The New Colossus' is the name of the Emma Lazarus poem about the Statue of Liberty, the poem that speaks of a 'golden door' for immigrants to America. S.B.1070 is the name of the Arizona law that critics say betrays that promise, but which supporters say is necessitated by a tide of illegal immigration."
As Blackstone introduced his report later, a series of newspaper headlines flashed on screen: "Ariz. immigration law creates rift; Obama Blasts Arizona Law; Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration." He then profiled one illegal immigrant: "...the immigration debate...means everything to 23-year-old Hermann. He's an undocumented immigrant we met at a church gathering....The current atmosphere leaves Hermann nervous but eager to tell his story." A clip was played of Hermann fretting: "For eight years, I've been in the shadows, you know. It's been to a point where you're almost paranoid, walking around."
President Barack Obama’s approval level has fallen to well below 50 percent, but instead of attributing that to independents rejecting his liberal policies, CBS’s Harry Smith, in an interview with Obama conducted Friday and aired on the Sunday Morning program, contended events beyond Obama’s control have conspired to undermine him. Referring to Inauguration Day, Smith proposed:
Maybe the promise that was assigned him on that cold, clear January day exceeded the reality ahead. A near depression. And a discouraging war still left to fight.
Smith began with how “President Obama was in the Motor City to toot his own horn, to tell the story that, without his leadership, things would be worse. U.S. auto makers have added 55,000 jobs since last June, the strongest job growth in more than ten years in the auto industry.”
He soon cued up Obama: “Do you feel sometimes like your administration is not given the credit it deserves?” Smith proceeded to tout the “humor” he displayed on ABC’s The View where his explanation that he inherited a worse economy than realized showed him “resuming his role as ‘explainer-in-chief.’”
CBS News contributor Nancy Giles rudely told St. Louis Tea Party founder Dana Loesch to shut her mouth during a panel discussion on Wednesday's "Larry King Live."
In the midst of a heated debate about allegations of racism within the movement, Giles asked, "Where is the Tea Party's outrage when members of their own party spit on members of the United States [Congress]?"
Loesch accurately replied, "That was proved false. Let's not engage in defamation and libel."
"Excuse me," barked Giles. "I'm talking so shut your mouth."
When Loesch told Giles, "Be honest when you speak and I wouldn't have to interrupt you," Giles again barked, "You know, Larry, can you just turn off her mike?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Monday's CBS Early Show, actor Sean Penn described ongoing relief efforts in Haiti following January's earthquake and condemned the media for its lack of coverage of the disaster beyond the initial weeks: "I think that the media has played an enormous part in the failures that are still going on today and the recovery here and the relief operations."
Those comments from Penn were prompted by co-host Harry Smith wondering: "People would be curious why you went in the first place. And then, why you stayed. What's the best answer for that?" Penn replied: "...if they're wondering that, then that would be an indictment of the American and the international press that came here in the immediate aftermath of this devastating earthquake." Penn explained: "The United States sent its military, that did an extraordinary job in immediate relief....And then when they went on with other deployments, when the amputations en masse stopped, the media left."
Smith gave absolutely no reaction to Penn's scathing criticism, but simply went on to tout praise for the left-wing actor's work on the island nation: "I was reading the comments of a lieutenant general from the U.S. Southern Command who you came in contact with. And he said, 'you know, maybe I don't agree with Sean Penn's politics but I can tell you this, he's a doer, not a talker....I applaud the leadership he has shown. He doesn't have to do this.'"
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos has a penchant for quirky, off-beat reporting, but what happens when the eccentric newswoman gives a more accurate picture of important events than the serious journalists?
While media outlets relentlessly denounced BP CEO Tony Hayward for taking Saturday off to participate in a yacht race, they mostly glossed over or completely ignored President Barack Obama's Saturday golf outing with Vice President Joe Biden.
It was left to CNN's resident humorist to connect the dots.
"It's the yachting versus golf smack down, round one," declared Moos. "BP's CEO gets pummeled for taking a day off to watch his yacht race...CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller says already President Obama has played 39 rounds of golf, compared to the 24 George Bush played his entire presidency."
On the June 20th edition of Sunday Morning, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger conducted a glowing interview with pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, lauding him as someone who speaks with "moral authority" and who has "become an expert assessor of the value of life itself."
Feinberg, who will now be in charge of distributing the $20 billion BP has pledged for the oil spill, previously worked with President Obama to control salaries and bonuses of Wall Street CEOs. Schlesinger could barely contain his disgust for the executives.
He scolded, "How do you avoid looking at these guys on the other side of the table and say, You're just a bunch of greedy so-and-sos?"
All three morning shows on Monday railed against BP CEO Tony Hayward for attending a yachting race in England on Saturday, but they found no such anger for Barack Obama's golf outing on the same day, ignoring the story. The pattern was nearly identical on Sunday, with only Good Morning America briefly mentioning the President's recreational activities.
On Monday's Early Show, Katie Couric appeared and derided, "But that image of Tony Hayward participating in that yacht race over the weekend probably hurt his image even more, as if that's possible." Good Morning America's Sharyn Alfonsi indignantly reported, "...Tony Hayward goes sailing, but residents weren't the only ones wondering what was he thinking?"
The morning shows even repeated the White House's assaults on Hayward's yachting trip, hypocritically ignoring Obama's golfing. On the June 20 Sunday Morning (CBS's weekend equivalent of the Early Show), host Charles Osgood parroted, "White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel labeled Hayward's outing another PR gaffe."
The network morning and evening news shows have all but ignored President Obama's Saturday letter to congressional leaders asking for $50 billion in additional spending to prevent the "massive layoffs of teachers, police, and firefighters." Only Sunday's Good Morning America on ABC has covered the President's request so far.
The chief executive's June 12 letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader John Boehner urged "swift action" on the multi-billion dollar proposal to prevent the public sector layoffs and "give our nation's businesses added impetus to hire and grow."
ABC anchor Bill Weir brought up the President's letter with White House correspondent Jake Tapper 13 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of Sunday's Good Morning America:
Promoting his latest HBO special on Monday's CBS Early Show, comedian Robert Klein turned his attention to the Gulf oil spill and who's to blame: "...we're all to blame. We're pigs. It's a parable for us. American pre-eminence is not guaranteed and unless we learn that this stuff has dangers– where are all those 'drill, baby, drills' now?" [Audio available here]
Those comments were prompted by co-host Harry Smith remarking: "BP would be such a spectacular target for your lampooning." Klein went on to add: "...all that oil that's fouling everything, it probably wouldn't run the automobiles in Texas for one day." Smith chimed in: "An hour." Klein proclaimed: "...it's minuscule, that's how much we use of that stuff. So let's get off it. I mean, and it's coming back to us in bullets, everybody knows this. But Americans have a memory of about 12 seconds."
On CBS's Sunday Morning program, a 'Fast Draw' segment by cartoonists Mitch Butler and Josh Landis similarly scolded Americans for wasting energy. Landis warned: "Our hunger for energy is driving oil companies to drill deeper and more dangerous wells..." Butler remarked: "Thankfully, these days everyone's talking about going green and saving energy. We know to ride bicycles to work instead of driving a car, don't use that air conditioner on a hot summer day. Air travel uses way too much energy. So don't take that vacation." However, Landis lamented: "...most Americans don't make enough of these kinds of sacrifices to save a meaningful amount of energy."
On CBS's Sunday Morning show, correspondent Jim Axelrod filed a report touting the movement in America to make it the law of the land that some employers must provide paid vacation to their employees, even giving controversial Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson - known for making vicious attacks against conservatives – a chance to plug his proposal to make paid vacation, which the Florida Democrat called a "right," legally mandated:
Alan Grayson is adamant that vacation is a right. In fact, he wants to make it a law. ... Grayson wants to guarantee at least one week of paid vacation for every worker at a company with 100 or more employees. He says it will lead to greater productivity from well rested and healthier workers.
Touted as the show’s "cover story" by host Charles Osgood, the segment was teased:
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Mark Phillips described the latest adaptation of the Robin Hood legend by director Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe: "And so here is an evil King John, squeezing his subjects for more taxes....And here is Robin. Not as a thief, but as a revolutionary figure trying to limit the King's power. Robin Hood meets Che Guevara." [Audio available here]
Protesting high taxes and wanting to limit government power is the equivalent of a Communist revolution? Sounds more like the Tea Party movement.
After making that bizarre comparison, Phillips further explained the plot of the new film: "This Robin joins the fight to get the English king to sign the Magna Carta in the year 1215, the document establishing the first rights on which modern democracies are based." Guevara, of course, was the ruthless henchman of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, hardly an advocate for democracy.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, host Charles Osgood marked Easter Sunday by proclaiming: "For many Roman Catholics, the joy of this Easter is mixed with sadness over continuing charges of child abuse and of cover-ups within the Church's hierarchy." In a report that followed, correspondent Dean Reynolds declared that the scandal was "like a heavy blow to the soul."
Reynolds went on to cite the latest accusations of abuse by a Milwaukee priest in the 1960s as mounting evidence: "damming stacks of court exhibits, documenting the abuse of predator priests...Documents, the victims say, leave a long and shameful trail." A clip was played of attorney Jeff Anderson, who was representing one of the victims: "That all trails involving the cover-up and the concealment of sexual abuse by Catholic clerics lead to Rome and the Pope."
Remarking on the "corrosive effect" of the accusations, Reynolds pointed to poll numbers on the Pope: "A new CBS News poll finds only 27% of American Catholics view Pope Benedict XVI favorably now; 55% gave him poor marks for the way he's dealt with the priest abuse scandal." The poll appeared on screen, showing that 36% were undecided, a number Reynolds failed to highlight. He also failed to mention – and the on-screen graphic did not show – the 19% who "haven't heard enough" to have an opinion on the Pope.
The latest edition of CBS’s “Sunday Morning” featured a glowing profile of “The View” co-host Joy Behar in which the stand-up comic implied that conservatives are not intelligent and insisted that liberals are more open-minded.
Interviewer Russ Mitchell asked Behar how she developed a liberal worldview, to which Behar responded: “It comes from, uh, being smart.”
Mitchell then pressed Behar on how her conservative co-host on “The View,” Elisabeth Hasselbeck, would respond to that statement.