As NewsBusters has been reporting, the media have been on a full-court press in recent days supporting the President's push to raise taxes.
Doing his part was NBC's David Gregory who trotted out the words of former Vice President Walter Mondale on Sunday's "Meet the Press" to really drive home the point, and then got a huge assist from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the panel discussion on Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, host David Gregory gushed over President Obama's Friday night address to the nation on the budget deal: "The message was clear. Here he was to save the day, that it was President Obama – and he went to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday – that he was able to rise above the fray. That's the image they want Americans to see."
The rest of the political panel agreed with Gregory's assessment. Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver argued: "I think the President appears to be a mediator, and I think he, he rightfully gets some credit for averting the show – shutdown." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer declared: "I think the President came out very much above this week, above the fray." New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper proclaimed: "[Obama] was trying very much to appear above the – above the fray....definitely did the political calculus that he has to appear above it all, presidential."
A round-up from over the weekend of journalists denouncing Republican Congressman Paul Ryan for not including a big tax hike in his deficit-reduction plan and discrediting the Tea Party’s pressure on House Speaker John Boehner as a “far right” impediment to good government.
“He doesn't deal with the revenue side at all,” despaired Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, arguing: “We cannot survive on 18, his goal is to do 18 percent of GDP as revenue. That's not enough. We're going to have to raise some taxes...”
On HBO’sReal Time with Bill Maher on Friday night, Katty Kay, anchor of BBC’s World News America, echoed, “He does nothing on the revenue side,” fretting: “There is this allergy, amongst Republicans, about saying ‘you know what, we actually do have to deal with taxes too.’”
Juan Williams charged “the rich get off like scoundrels,” complaining onFox News Sunday that Ryan is “not doing anything in terms of raising taxes.” Williams also worried: “John Boehner now has the Tea Party wrapped around his neck like an albatross.”
Now that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has submitted a budget that actually produces over $6 trillion less debt in the next ten years than what the President has proposed, the job of the Obama-loving media is to discredit him whenever possible.
NBC's David Gregory, ever the dutiful left-wing soldier, tried doing just that during his "Meet the Press" interview with Ryan Sunday even saying to his guest, "The problem that you've always had is that Republicans love to talk about you as a smart guy with really good ideas, but they don't actually support you" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite it being only three months since Democrats and their media minions sharply criticized "violent rhetoric" and imagery in the wake of the tragic shootings in Tucson, left-leaning elected officials have been regularly using such language in regards to the budget battle without the slightest outrage from America's so-called journalists.
On Friday, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin took to the airwaves to challenge "Meet the Press" host David Gregory to report on Sunday's program what these Democrats have been saying (YouTube audio follows with commentary):
In an interview with Democratic Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer on NBC's Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory, filling in for Matt Lauer, asked: "I wonder, as a Democratic leader, whether part of the strategy here is to cast Republicans as extremists and ultimately get a lot more of a winning political hand for the Democrats through this process."
With that setup, Hoyer proclaimed: "David, I think the Republicans are doing that to themselves very frankly. I don't think we have to cast them in that light. They're casting themselves in that light with the Tea Party coming to town and demanding that they either get 100% or shut down the government."
When Democrats opposed war in Iraq, they were often presented by the networks as principled statesmen. But on Meet the Press Sunday, NBC host David Gregory asked Ted Koppel to suggest Republican opponents of Obama's Libya actions are just a feckless mess:
GREGORY: Ted Koppel, what about the Republican opposition? I mean, is there, is it principled here? Or is it much more feckless and inconsistent? Because the--many of them wanted a no-fly zone, then said it was too little, too late. Then said, as Newt Gingrich said, "Well, no, you shouldn't have intervened at all." They either sound inconsistent or a lot more like President Bush, who became quite unpopular within Republican circles and the country at large on the war.
Was Hillary Clinton defending the Secretary of Defense . . . or jerking him back into line?
It was a stunning power play. On Meet The Press this morning, after Defense Secretary Bob Gates conceded that Libya is not a "vital interest" of the United States--but before he could complete his comments--Hillary cut him off. She launched into a minute-and-forty-second monologue seeking to justify US military involvement in Libya.
Gates had to sit and take it . . . and never got to say another word.
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who after a 2008 presidential debate hailed Barack Obama’s foreign policy knowledge (“boy, he did show a command of foreign policy in terms of the nuts and bolts of it”), on Sunday’s Meet the Press trumpeted now-President Obama’s Libya action: “This was pretty remarkable – bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League” to back military action.
Mitchell also proclaimed Ambassador Susan Rice “did a remarkable job at the UN” where she delivered “some very adept diplomacy.”
Mitchell’s praise for Obama came in the context of acknowledging “the problem that the President has in projecting American values is that he first of all believes in a multi-lateralist policy,” but instead of seeing that as a negative, she declared “on that score he has really accomplished that. This was pretty remarkable – bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League.”
Chuck Todd on Sunday bashed Republican governor Mitch Daniels for his state having a 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
The substitute host of NBC's "Meet the Press" must not be aware that this is lower than most of Indiana's neighbors and is basically the same as the national rate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The way David Gregory was carrying on during today's Meet The Press, you would have thought that he was irked by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's revelation of only 105 thousand dollars in secret ObamaCare funding instead of the actual astounding 105 BILLION dollars. A clearly irritated David Gregory kept insisting that he only wanted to stick with "narrow budget questions" and acted increasingly frustrated as Bachmann kept returning to the 105 BILLION dollars of hidden ObamaCare funding that he did not want to even briefly talk about.
Here is a portion of the interview of a clearly upset David Gregory as you can see in this video who obviously did not want to deal in the slightest with Bachmann's revelation which would have been major news to the viewing public as well as a more detailed transcript below the fold:
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN: ...There was a Congressional Research Service report that just was issued in February, and we discovered that secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress, over $105 billion was hidden in the Obamacare legislation to fund the implementation of Obamacare. This is something that wasn't known. This money was broken up, hidden in various parts of the bills. And we have worked very hard to discover $61 billion in cuts that we could put forward, get to the president. So, in effect, David, we've taken one step forward and two steps back because we've found now that $105 billion had already been implemented.
MR. GREGORY: All right. But that--but, Congresswoman, you heard the president this week offer...
Picking up on an argument made by economist Mark Zandi -- whom the Washington Postdescribed as “an architect of the 2009 stimulus package” and who last year pushed for a second stimulus bill -- ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday morning, presuming there is an ongoing “recovery,” plugged a This Week roundtable topic:
Up next, Washington's answer to the job crisis. Will the deep budget cuts on the table stick a fork in the recovery?
In the subsequent segment, Amanpour forwarded: “$61 billion in budget cuts. Mark Zandi says 700,000 jobs will be lost.” Panelist Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Thomson-Reuters, agreed: “I think he's right.”
Echoing Amanpour’s theme, over on Meet the Press NBC’s David Gregory cited a poll to show “people want that focus on immediate job creation,” not budget cuts, “and that gets the President's point, which is you've got to get the balance right. You can't grow if you keep cutting so much.”
Loud protests by Wisconsin public employee unions against a budget reform proposal from new Governor Scott Walker have drawn considerable national network news attention since Thursday, the day Democratic state senators fled the state in a last-ditch gambit to prevent the bill from becoming law. A story-by-story analysis by the Media Research Center shows the Wisconsin protests are a perfect case study in the media’s longstanding double standard favoring left-wing causes while demonstrating much more hostility to the Tea Party and conservative protest.
Last March, as thousands protested on Capitol Hill in the days before the passage of ObamaCare, CBS’s Nancy Cordes slammed it as “a weekend filled with incivility,” while World News anchor Diane Sawyer painted the Tea Party as a violent gang, with “protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets.” In August 2009, ABC anchor Charles Gibson complained how “protesters brought pictures of President Obama with a Hitler-style mustache to a town hall meeting,” failing to mention that the signs were produced by Lyndon LaRouche’s wacky fringe movement, not the Tea Party or conservatives.
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday took David Gregory's side of the controversial birther issue over that of Bill O'Reilly.
After Gregory pestered House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) on last week's "Meet the Press" to rail against those that believe Barack Obama wasn't born in America, O'Reilly chastized him on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor" for wasting precious air time on this matter leading Kurtz to weigh in on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ronald Reagan endured harsh, vitriolic rhetoric from journalists throughout his career, but that hasn't stopped some in the media from lecturing present-day conservatives on who best represents the legacy of the 40th President. This occurred even as the country celebrated Reagan's 100th birthday.
On Saturday's World News, John Berman filed a sarcastic report where he knocked 2012 hopefuls for trying to align themselves with the former President: "There is Reagan Airport, the Reagan Building, the Reagan Library. Then there is the church of Reagan, where candidates worship."
He critiqued, "In fact, you might say there is a Republican primary and a Reagan primary. Who can be the most Reagan-y?" Andrea Mitchell appeared on Meet the Press and fretted, "People are trying- Republicans in particular, obviously- trying to appropriate Ronald Reagan for their own political purposes now."
Former Reagan Chief of Staff James Baker on Sunday took issue with having the 40th President blamed for financial deregulation.
When "Meet the Press" host David Gregory brought this up at the end of his program, Baker replied, "[The deregulation of the financial industry didn't occur on Ronald Reagan's watch, it occurred for the most part, I think, on Bill Clinton's watch" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As pro-Mubarak forces continue to clash with democratic protesters in the streets of Cairo and the situation in Egypt remains volatile and uncertain, NBC's David Gregory confidently declared that the Muslim Brotherhood has no interest in turning Egypt into an Islamist state.
On the February 4 edition of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," the moderator of "Meet the Press" blithely dismissed concerns that the Brotherhood might exploit the power vacuum created by outgoing President Hosni Mubarak to codify Islamic law in Egypt.
"It was pointed out by one of the experts on the panel that [the Muslim Brotherhood] will also be aware of their position internationally," announced Gregory, referring to a recent panel he moderated at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank. "They don't want to overstep that. They don't want to turn it into an Islamist state. They have matured politically in that sense and are rather sophisticated."
Talking to New York Senator Chuck Schumer on Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer said of a video statement released by President Obama on Saturday: "If I didn't know better and had my eyes closed I might have thought that was President Reagan talking." Schieffer specifically referred to Obama's call for spending cuts, noting: "It sounded very much like a speech that a Republican would make."
After Schumer promised his party was serious about deficit reduction, Schieffer proceeded to characterize Republican calls for spending cuts in much less flattering light: "Eric Cantor said this morning, under hard questioning I should add, that yes indeed cancer research would also be on the table when you talk about cutting spending. Can you envision cuts in cancer research?"
On Tuesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh accused the No Labels crowd of being a bunch of "washed-up losers."
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took on Limbaugh's criticism saying he has "the luxury of never actually governing, never being a president, never being a senator, never being in Congress" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.”
The award for Best Line of the Weekend goes to Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot who on Sunday's "Meet the Press" offered a delicious irony concerning Friday's surprise press conference hosted by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
"I love the symbolism of two Democratic presidents--not one, but two--endorsing Bush tax cuts, saying, 'We need them crucially to help the economy' (video follows with transcript and commentary):
David Gregory is clearly concerned that if Republicans don't vote in favor of the START treaty with Russia, President Obama's international image, as well as American prestige abroad, will be damaged.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Gregory asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Is this going to potentially be a problem with the president not being able to get what he wants on the world stage because of Republicans?" (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.”
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne said Sunday that NPR is one of the best news organizations in the world and challenged anyone to find evidence the radio network is the slightest bit liberally biased.
To prove his claim, Dionne hysterically pointed out to his fellow "Meet the Press" panelists that whenever he's on NPR, he's often countered by "conservatives" - like New York Times columnist David Brooks (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:
September 2010 might go down in history as the month America's comedians took over the Democrat Party.
From upcoming political rallies by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the latter testifying before Congress and the media waiting breathlessly for Bill Maher to release another video of Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, our world has surely taken a giant step towards the bizarre.
Jumping aboard the crazy train was David Gregory who on Sunday's "Meet the Press" actually played a clip from Comedy Central's the "Daily Show" to mock the Republican "Pledge to America" and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):