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):
It must be nice to know you can go on a nationally televised political talk show and not be challenged when you make an historically inaccurate claim, especially when it's about yourself.
Such happened Sunday when former President Bill Clinton was interviewed by David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The host began the discussion by asking his guest about "pretty significant developments...inside the Republican Party after this turbulent primary season."
Clinton responded by saying members of the Tea Party have "good impulses" concerning the size of government adding, "They believe those in the Republican Party believe that they've talked a good game about balancing the budget, but the debt was quadrupled in the 12 years before I became president and then we paid down the debt for four years, paid down $600 billion on the national debt."
Actually, the national debt never declined when Clinton was President. Not one year. But before we get there, here's his entire comment on this subject (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Whenever President Barack Obama defends what his presidency to date, specifically on economic issues, he'll speak of inheriting a bad economy from the previous administration, and then assures listeners of his intention to make the economy his top priority.
So why hasn't he done it? Why have there been other distractions like cap-and-trade, ObamaCare, bailouts, etc. and not a push for a real so-called infrastructure stimulus, like the president proposed publicly earlier this week. On CNBC's Sept. 10 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked NBC "Meet the Press" moderator why the support from the president's own party isn't enthusiastic about Obama's new stimulus proposal.
"I am trying to figure out, where is the Democratic leadership?" Kernen said. "Were you not surprised that after the speech and after the proposals, I don't know of a single person in a leadership position that said, ‘Yes Mr. President, that's a great idea.' All I saw was [Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael] Bennet using the s-word, which he isn't supposed to use and isn't that surreal? I mean it's like - the president almost seems like he's lonely at this point with some of this stuff?"
Erin Burnett, one of CNBC's famed "money honeys," exaggerated the relative strength of the economy Sunday in order to boost the success of President Obama's stimulus plan.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Burnett several times characterized this economic recovery as not only far stronger than any of the indicators suggest, but also "faster" than those in the recent past.
"Our recovery started more quickly than after any other recession in the past 25 years," the CNBCer told David Gregory and his panel.
Burnett later elaborated on this preposterous claim as fellow panelist Rich Lowry of the National Review shook his head on screen (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Review's Rich Lowry on Sunday had a classic debate with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne about whether or not the tax cuts implemented by former President George W. Bush should be allowed to expire.
Dionne agrees with President Obama that they should only be extended for folks making less than $250,000 a year; Lowry thinks that raising anyone's taxes right now could send the country back into recession.
With this in mind, NBC's David Gregory opened the panel segment of "Meet the Press" with a discussion about the current state of the economy and how this issue might impact the upcoming midterm elections.
As he tossed the baton to Lowry and Dionne, one got the feeling Gregory was intentionally lighting a fuse he knew would result in some entertaining fireworks (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
On Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC host David Gregory wrapped up his interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham by setting up a debate with anti-war NBC reporter Richard Engel, who wasn't shy this week in asserting on NBC's Today that the Iraq war was unnecessary, that Saddam Hussein was growing more moderate and respectable by the day, and was gaining acceptance in Europe.
After Gregory played a clip of that -- complete with Engel calling Iraq a "giant distraction of resources" from Afghanistan, just like a congressional Democrat -- Senator Graham insisted that the NBC reporter was "completely rewriting history" and that Saddam "was not becoming a good citizen, he was becoming a more dangerous dictator. The world is better with him dead."
Even as this stage of the Iraq war, as the surge seems to quite clearly brought peace and calm, never-say-it's-a-win die-hards in the liberal media are the first line of attack on the Republican position:
As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina slamming New Orleans nears, the folks at NBC offered viewers a "Meet the Press" special edition with a sadly predictable conclusion: the disaster was all George W. Bush and the federal government's fault.
The New Orleans mayor at the time was almost entirely ignored in this hour-long examination. The only mention of the state's former governor was actually one of praise.
Rather than offering one new compelling insight into the natural disaster that changed America, the invited guests all fed fill-in host Brian Williams the same old tired lines about racism and classism; despite numerous opportunities to delve into the decades of political corruption in the region that left the levees surrounding New Orleans in a dreadful state of disrepair, the subject was never broached.
Instead, what ensued - given all the time and resources available to really do a groundbreaking exposé on this issue - was something all those involved should be tremendously embarrassed for.
Frankly, that was clear right from the get go (partial video follows with partial transcript and commentary, full video and transcript here and here respectively):