NBC's David Gregory on Sunday used his interview with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bash Republicans.
After his largely friendly discussion with senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, the "Meet the Press" host abruptly changed his tone and manner with the very first question to McConnell, "Is there one Republican who will support any Democratic healthcare initiative?"
Gregory continued to press his guest: "So let me just be clear. There is not one Republican that would vote for any Democratic healthcare reform initiative that's out there now?"
When he didn't get the answer he wanted, Gregory concluded, "So it sounds like the party of no charge is well deserved" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday said the Tea Party movement has made it impossible for President Obama to buy the Republican votes he needs to pass his agenda.
Appearing on "Meet the Press," Todd told his fellow panelists, "I think the most striking thing about the minority party today...is that a Republican can't go home, and it's mostly because of this tea party crowd, cannot go home and sell a piece of pork that they got from Washington."
In Todd's view, this makes it tough for Obama because "it's not as if he can trade, you know, go and have these trades with a Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or let's say Lamar [Alexander]...or something like this, because they're not getting a benefit at home of bringing something back" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
A small group of liberal talking heads may be realizing that opposition to Obama is not, in fact, wholly irrational. Though it would be a bit too hasty to proclaim it a trend among the mainstream media, it has been a refreshing break from the smears usually hurled at the right by the nation's pundits.
First was Chris Matthews, who stunningly turned right and voiced his concern about an excessively large federal government, as Noel Sheppard reported this morning. NBC's David Gregory also came to his senses today, and admitted--his prior statements notwithstanding--that the Tea Party movement has been advocating the same principles that led to Scott Brown's victory yesterday (h/t Mary Katherine Ham).
Speaking on this morning's Morning Joe, Gregory characterized yesterday's special election as a sincere populist backlash against unpopular policies. The election was "about incumbency and whether government's working for you," he said. "That's what really cuts through all this is whether government is working for the people. That's what's fueling the Tea Party movement."
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Mark Halperin of Time and formerly with ABC News, hailed President Barack Obama: “He's done, I think, an extraordinary job running the government...under difficult circumstances. He managed the economic crisis and kept the world from going into a depression...” The co-author of the new book, ‘Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime,’ however, didn’t see everything as rosy: “The problem has been is he's not inspired the country to feel a sense of optimism and renewal and to be unified in a bipartisan way.”
During the same roundtable, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward rejected the notion Obama is any kind of a “European socialist,” taking on Charles Krauthammer’s characterization:
There was a column The Washington Post Friday in which Charles Krauthammer tried to essentially say he is a European-style socialist because of health care and he's trying to do these other things. Now, I'm trying to do a book on President Obama, and calling him a European socialist is just not even in the ballpark...
Actually, Krauthammer never used the term “socialist” as he contended Obama wishes “to introduce a powerful social democratic stream into America's deeply and historically individualist polity” and the 2008 election “was not an endorsement of European-style social democracy. “
On Sunday’s Meet the Press roundtable, Mark Halperin of Time denounced Republicans for not repudiating Rush Limbaugh’s "outrageous" remarks on how President Obama would use Haiti to his political advantage. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post attacked "slasher" and "chainsaw" partisanship, and insisted the idea that Obama’s first year doesn’t bode well for his political future is...."crap." Halperin also insisted that Team Obama’s Haiti response was extraordinary, both in reality and in public relations:
HALPERIN: I think they're dealing with it extraordinarily well from a mechanical point of view, from a public relations point of view. But it's going to involve two things going forward, I think. One is continued execution for what Bob suggested, which is getting more stuff there. And I think it's also an opportunity for the president to try to keep the country together.
The two former presidents, Clinton and Bush, come together, but we see Rush Limbaugh say something outrageous and not a lot of repudiation from Republicans in Congress or others to say, "This is unacceptable. It's a time when the American people are showing our best to help, not a time for that kind of--to try to take partisan...(unintelligible)."
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday accused Senate Democrats of illegally buying a vote to get healthcare reform passed.
Talking with NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press," Schwarzenegger blasted the California Congressional delegation for "representing Nebraska and not us" during December's healthcare deliberations.
Taking the matter further, the Governor said, "[T]he Senate just voted for a healthcare bill that is saying basically that California should pay for Nebraska so that Nebraska never has to pay any extra money."
He added, "[T]hat's the biggest rip-off. I mean, that is against the law to buy a vote...if you do that in Sacramento, you know, you will be sued" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
As the lone journalist on Sunday's Meet the Press roundtable (with Newt Gingrich, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick), NBC's Andrea Mitchell insisted the “Obama Doctrine” has “borne fruit,” but “it is not perceived yet” -- though the President has already “united the world behind the United States.”
Citing all those who “camped out” for the Sarah Palin book signings, Mitchell denigrated her appeal as evidence of how “they are so hungry for a symbol for anyone who can give them answers” it shows “there's an anger out there” she hasn't seen since George Wallace in 1968. And that, she maintained, “is the angry populism which is not fact-based, it's just furious at everybody; angry at Democrats, at Republicans.” (Apparently, favoring conservative policies and rejecting liberal big government spending is “not fact-based.”)
Ruing “the tea party has higher numbers in our last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll than either of the other traditional parties,” Mitchell, NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of MSNBC's weekday 1 PM EST hour, declared that “does frighten me.” While she acknowledged “this spirit of America is so large and embracing,” she feared “there is an angry subtext because of economic dislocation that is very, very worrisome.”
Remember Barack Obama's pipe dream put forward during the 2008 presidential election cycle - that he was going to usher in an era of "post-partisanship" and change from "the politics of usual" in Washington? How's that working out? Not so well according to NBC "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory.
Gregory appeared on NBC's Dec 21 "The Tonight Show" and was asked by host Conan O'Brien about the prospects of health care reform becoming a reality - which Gregory praised as some sort of monumental achievement.
A rather shocking thing happened on Sunday's "Meet the Press": host David Gregory complained to Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod that the healthcare reform bill ready to pass the Senate is not what Barack Obama campaigned on last year.
Maybe just as surprising, Gregory showed recent polls to Axelrod reflecting the public's disinterest in this bill.
"I've got a few of the bullet points of campaign promises made," said Gregory. "[T]here would be universal coverage when it came to getting healthcare. He opposed an individual mandate, which, of course, is part of this bill. And he indicated this would be paid for by rolling back Bush tax cuts, tax cuts."
The host then amazingly pointed out the contradictions: "There's not universal coverage here. The individual mandate is in there and, in fact, there are a slew of taxes that are part of this legislation, including on the Cadillac plans that a lot of union members hold" (video in two parts embedded below the fold with transcript):
Will ObamaCare cover memory loss? Howard Dean better hope so. On today's Meet the Press he seemed to suffer a serious memory lapse, claiming he had said he would "vigorously" support Pres. Obama's re-election [H/t reader Melody]. Problem: we have the video of Dean on Morning Joe of December 17th saying just the opposite: that he would "not vigorously" support PBO's 2012 re-election bid.
So noteworthy was Dean's "not vigorously" declaration at the time that it caused a gleeful Joe Scarborough to burst into laughter and repeat it. Not a decibel out of Dean to dispute what Joe had heard. As I reported at the time, here was Dean on December 17th:
In his 1981 inaugural address, former President Ronald Reagan said, "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." Nearly 29 years later, that still holds true according to CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
Both Cramer and Greenspan were guests on NBC's Dec. 13 "Meet the Press" and although neither was making a vain effort to be nostalgic, but instead explained that Congress' deliberations over an "agenda" was creating uncertainty for business.
"I think the priority ought to be get rid of the agenda," Cramer said. "I hear the agenda over and over again from business people. In other words, Congress is stalled on health care. I favor universal health care, everyone does in this country. But Washington is killing job growth, not - and then trying to stimulate it small scale? How much does it cost to bring a new employee in? We don't know. We don't know what the health care will be. We don't know what the tax scheme will be."
Before the Democratic primary vote on Tuesday in Massachusetts to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy, a chance to catch up with how just before Thanksgiving, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin -- a Bay State resident and a favorite of NBC News where she regularly pops up to deliver conventional liberal wisdom in the guise of historic insights -- crossed into partisan politics to campaign for one of the four liberal candidates.
If Hillary Clinton had been any less supportive of the Obama admin's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan, she might have had to quit her Secretary of State job . . .
Clinton damned the decision with faint praise during her Meet The Press appearance today.
Asked by moderator David Gregory where she stood on the matter, her response was the ultra-tepid: "I'm not going to second-guess any decision the Attorney General made." Translation: I'd love to second-guess it. I pretty much just did. But I'm not about to end my Obama admin career by saying so outright.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, MSNBC hostess Rachel Maddow broke out the ten-foot-pole of disgust for losing Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. But back in September, she suggested Bob McDonnell’s thesis from "Pat Robertson’s Liberty University" would sink him: "Here’s where Republican electoral chances stop being separate from the wild-excesses of the conservative movement."
Oops. Actually, double oops, Miss Maddow: Robertson’s college is Regent University. Isn’t it amazing that her liberal fans always tout how she "does her homework"?
Here’s Maddow on Sunday:
I think that if, if Republicans could choose to have anything to extrapolate from the, from the Bob McDonnell race, it would be to have as an opponent Creigh Deeds. If they could pick anything that they wanted. I mean, Creigh Deeds was a, was a marketably ineffective Democratic candidate, essentially running away from the president, running from everything popular in the Democratic agenda and doing it in a stylistically poor way. So I'm sure he's a very nice guy; he was a very bad candidate.
With the unemployment rate soaring in 10.2 percent in Friday's report on October, two old hands in the Washington press corps appeared on Sunday morning shows where they asserted that means we need another stimulus bill and/or the problem is the current “stimulus” bill wasn't big enough. On This Week, ABC News vet Sam Donaldson maintained “we're going to have to have more stimulus, more spending.”
Over on NBC's Meet the Press, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, a former Washington correspondent for the New York Times before covering politics for the Post, complained: “The problem is the stimulus was too small, and they compromised it down and so you had less effect. I mean, the fact is these numbers would be a lot worse without the stimulus.”
It seems that the moratorium on appearances by White House officers on the Fox News Channel has ended. But high-ranking Democratic officials continue to peddle false information about the cable network, leveling unsupported charges of bias and political favoritism against it.
Noel Sheppard reported last week that Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reportedly reached a truce during a meeting at Gibbs's office Wednesday.
David Plouffe all but confirmed the truce when he told The Swamp today that he is planning on promoting his new book "The Audacity to Win" on Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Thursday night. Plouffe had cut Fox out of his regular network news appearances.
Here's something you don't see every day: former Republican Congressman turned MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough and perilously liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley agreeing on something.
Maybe even more shocking, this odd couple was also in lock-step with former Bush administration member and current Fox News contributor Dan Senor as well the New Yorker's Jane Mayer.
Appearing together on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, the unlikely quartet not only felt the Obama administration is making a mistake going after the Fox News Channel, but also that it is tremendously benefiting the cable network.
Scarborough went so far to say that as a result of this strategy, "America's waking up in the morning, click, they turn on Fox News" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 4:30):
A perfect example of liberal media bias occurred on Sunday's "Meet the Press" when host David Gregory absolutely hammered Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) over what the Bush administration did in Afghanistan.
This occurred only a few moments after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made absurd comments about the current budget deficit without receiving any challenge whatsoever from Gregory.
Here's what Schumer said that elicited no follow-up questions (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 4:20):
Imagining in 1998 a “vast right wing conspiracy” to impugn and discredit conveyors of accurate information about her husband's activities with an intern was ludicrous enough when Hillary Clinton made up the foil, but eleven-plus years later NBC's David Gregory treated it as a reality, cuing up Bill Clinton in a Meet the Press interview pre-recorded in New York City: “Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?” Former President Clinton, naturally, agreed: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is.”
Gregory also pressed Clinton to assess President Obama from a set of liberal presumptions: “Do you think the President has leveled with the American people on this fact, that Americans are going to have to pay higher taxes if they want health care reform?” And, recalling how “in 1996 you declared the era of big government over,” but now “the era of big government being over appears to be over in and of itself, whether it's the stimulus, whether it's bailouts, financial regulation or this issue of health care,” Gregory wondered: “Do you think the President's done a good enough job selling government as the solution?”
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
About a year ago, then-Senator and Democratic nominee Barack Obama managed to seize control of the issue of taxes from the Republican Party by promising lower taxes for "95 percent of Americans."
But today it's a drastically different situation. Obama's $787-billion stimulus has been passed into law and the administration is taking on higher deficits, which will only increase if a Democrat health care reform bill passes. It looks as though the president's hand will be forced and he will have to raise taxes. That's begs question - where were the media on this a year ago?
CNBC's Erin Burnett asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a CNBC made-for-television town hall on Sept. 10 if taxes would be raised. Geithner dodged the question, but Burnett interpreted the dodge to mean yes, as she explained on NBC's Sept. 13 "Meet the Press."
While the Obama-loving media jumped all over Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for shouting "You lie" during the President's healthcare address Wednesday, few so-called journalists bothered to report what made the Congressman and others present so angry.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did.
After host David Gregory asked Gingrich whether Obama was acting like a president or a partisan Wednesday evening, the Speaker marvelously responded (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 1:00):
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," a bit of a squabble happened when panelists Dick Armey and Rachel Maddow bickered over whether or not MoveOn.org once ran an ad equating former President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Regardless of who was right, someone should instruct Maddow as to the difference between being a guest and a host, for her continual interruptions when Armey was speaking, though quite commonplace for an MSNBC anchor, were downright rude.
Just watch what happened when host David Gregory asked the very first question directed at Armey (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:25):
On today's Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow demanded to know whether Dick Armey was a member of a coalition with the Tea Party Patriots, a group she alleges to promote "violence." Moderator David Gregory joined in the cross-examination of Armey, head of Freedom Works.
The media have repeatedly stated how "angry," "hostile" and "ugly" town hall meetings across America are becoming. They are of course largely ascribing the nastiness to conservatives voicing their opposition to (among other things) President Barack Obama and Congress' proposed government takeover of the health care system.
The press has been particularly offended by the "extreme" use of references to Adolf Hitler specifically and Nazis generally. One image they have repeatedly used as an example of this alleged right-wing extremism is a poster of President Obama - on whose face a Hitler mustache has been Photo Shopped - bearing the caption "I've Changed."
We have compiled a video montage (at right) of just some of the recent news programs that have ascribed this Obama-with-Mustache poster to conservative town hall attendees. (The Obama-with-Mustache image itself appears just below the fold.)
Reporting on the Obama administration’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ car buying program running out of money, CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes offered a mixed message: "‘Cash for Clunkers’ has been such a runaway success....The program is so popular...word spread it would be suspended...because of fears that sales would soon swallow up the $1 billion for rebates the government had set aside."
At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "It’s a week old and incredibly popular. But is the government’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program coming to a screeching halt? We’ll see why it may run out of gas and why so many are angry." She later introduced Cordes’ report by explaining: "It appears that ‘Cash for Clunkers’ could be kaput. There’s been a lot of criticism that the week-old federal program is just too confusing. But the White House says it’s so popular that it’s already running out of money, so they’re reevaluating."
Democrat strategist Bob Shrum on Sunday not only praised Reaganomics, but used it as an example as why Americans should be patient in allowing President Obama's stimulus plan to take effect.
During the panel discussion on Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory asked his guests, "Why shouldn't the Republicans, who certainly spent a long time spending a lot of government money and under whose watch the economy took the turn that it did, why shouldn't there be more patience from the Republican aisle?"
Shrum amazingly offered the following answer (readers are advised to prepare for an alternate reality):
We're in the middle of the worst recession in decades.
Congress is currently debating sweeping changes to healthcare and energy policy that could cost trillions of dollars in new taxes in the foreseeable future.
We've got soldiers risking their lives on two fronts in the Middle East, and despots in North Korea and Iran developing nuclear weapons.
Yet, when one of the most powerful men in Washington visited "Meet the Press" Sunday, host David Gregory spent almost 30 percent of the time allotted grilling him about -- wait for it! -- Sarah Palin.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, of the 19 1/2 minutes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spent Sunday morning chatting with Gregory, he was questioned for 5 3/4 minutes about Palin's resignation and her future in politics (video embedded below the fold with transcript):