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):
David Gregory on Sunday finally got an answer to his question about extending the Bush tax cuts, but it certainly wasn't what he was expecting.
For those that have been watching "Meet the Press" this month, the host has been grilling his conservative guests about this issue ever since former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told him on August 1 that tax cuts don't pay for themselves.
Having badgered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about this earlier in the program with no success, Gregory broached the subject with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey in a subsequent segment.
With a hanging curveball coming into his wheelhouse, Armey whacked a long drive that still hasn't landed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As media make their case to the American people that the Bush tax cuts should expire, one of the strategies being employed is to claim that Republicans are refusing to "pay for" their extension.
A perfect example of this tactic was seen on Sunday's "Meet the Press" when host David Gregory badgered House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.) on this subject for over three minutes.
After playing a clip from the previous week's program when former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that he's against tax cuts "with borrowed money," Gregory proceeded to hammer his guest on this issue (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Like a dog chasing its tail, the left has spent a great amount of time trying to determine who the leader of the Tea Party movement is. And often, there are accusations of prevalent racism among its members. But according to CNBC's Rick Santelli, the Tea Party is more of a philosophy than a group, which has nothing to do with racism.
"First of all, we should have zero tolerance for racial discrimination, period," Santelli said. "Beyond that, if the indirect question is, ‘Is the Tea Party racist?' I think the real question is, ‘Are there racists in the Tea Party?' And I would contend that statistically there's going to be racists in any group."
Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.
At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Channeling her inner Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow on Sunday actually said extending unemployment benefits is "the most stimulative thing you can do" to help the ailing economy.
Appearing on the panel discussion of NBC's "Meet the Press," Maddow boldly presented a liberal view of economics that only the current House Speaker would be proud of.
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works."
Indeed, for moments before she falsely stated that Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.
But Maddow's best remark Sunday had to be, "If you really want a stimulus, do what we -- what's proven to work in stimulus, which is things like extending unemployment benefits...It's the most stimulative thing you can do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While the television networks were doing an Obama Superiority Dance, proclaiming the president's firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacing him with Gen. David Petraeus was "brilliant," something was missing in the coverage. That was a sense that if Petraeus is universally honored as the savior of Iraq, why do the networks all forget it was Obama and Biden who suggested Petraeus and his surge was a bad idea a few years ago?
On NBC, Chuck Todd was promoting it as a "commander-in-chief moment." Mr. Todd, please read a piece of this Meet the Press interview from September 7, 2008, with appreciation for fill-in host Tom Brokaw actually pushing new V.P. nominee Joe Biden about whether the surge and its architect deserved any credit for improvements in Iraq. Biden didn't want to cry uncle:
BROKAW: Here you were, just one year ago, on Meet the Press. This was your take on the surge at that time, so let's listen to that, Senator. "I mean, the truth of the matter is this administration's policy and the surge are a failure," you said, "and that the surge, which was supposed to stop sectarian violence and - long enough to give political reconciliation, there has been no political reconciliation."
NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory peppered conservative Rep. J.D. Hayworth with tougher questions than liberal Rep. Luis Gutierrez on immigration Sunday. In the roughest one, Gregory strangely alluded to Franklin Roosevelt's internment of Japanese-Americans as somehow a metaphor as to where current immigration policy could be headed:
Congressman Hayworth, are you not concerned that just as this country has done, unfortunately, in the name of a national crisis in the past, during World War II, that there will not be excesses? That there will not be a denial of simple civil rights? The law can say everything it wants. You know that what happens in practice is what actually matters here, and this is a pretty hotly contested issue. And, and people are getting hot under the collar all over the state of Arizona and the country.
Hayworth responded without taking offense at the analogy:
A rather startling thing happened on Sunday's "Meet the Press": David Gregory asked White House Energy Adviser Carol Browner if in response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, America should start drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
After a lengthy discussion about what went wrong in the Gulf to cause the current crisis, Gregory asked his guest, "Is the problem that we're drilling in water that's just too deep?"
He continued, "Should you even rethink your own approach to the environment to say, 'Maybe in the Arctic Wildlife Reserve [Refuge], we ought to be drilling there. We ought to be going into shallower waters so that this can be done more safely?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal reporters always think that the liberal politicians they’re covering are the smartest people in the room. In fact, when they’re opposing something, they’re so smart that they don’t have to read the policy they’re discussing. They have a clairvoyant sense of how wrong it is.
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas exposed this liberal arrogance on May 13 at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. He was questioning Attorney General Eric Holder on the “controversial” (to the media, that is) Arizona immigration law. He asked an elementary question, although to liberals, it was shocking in its insolence: “Have you read the Arizona law?”
Holder’s response: “I have not had a chance. I grant that I have not read it.”
An incredulous Poe shot back that it wasn’t exactly a night’s worth of reading: “It's 10 pages. It's a lot shorter than the health care bill, which was 2,000 pages long. I'll give you my copy of it, if you would like to have a copy.”
“This is a damn outrage,” a disgusted David Brooks, the faux conservative columnist for the New York Times, declared on Sunday’s Meet the Press reacting to Republican Senator Bob Bennett’s loss Saturday at Utah’s Republican convention which chose two others to compete in a June primary for the seat. Brooks fretted he was punished for being “a good conservative who was trying to get things done” by “bravely” working with Democrats on health care and supporting TARP. “Now,” he repeated, “he's losing his career over that. And it's just a damn outrage.”
Sitting beside Brooks on NBC’s roundtable, liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr,. a former New York Times correspondent, saw “almost a non-violent coup because they denied the sitting Senator even a chance of getting on the primary ballot.”
Over on Fox News Sunday, NPR’s Juan Williams expressed exasperation: “This is evidence of how the American political center is losing, on the right wing of the party a guy like Bob Bennett, who is a right-wing conservative, is being driven out because he’s not sufficiently conservative?”
ABC’s Jake Tapper brought Rudy Giuliani aboard This Week to address the handling of the Times Square botched bomber, but wouldn’t let him go before bringing up Bennett’s defeat as proof of an intolerant GOP: “Are you worried at all that the Republican Party is not only growing more hostile to more liberal to moderate Republicans such as yourself, but also conservative Republicans who are shown to, at least shown an ability to work with Democrats?”
Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel, who will be part of the roundtable on today’s Meet the Press, wrote in a new book released on Tuesday: “It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many.”
In the introduction to ‘Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage,’ Stengel, who in 1999 took a brief detour from liberal advocacy inside of journalism to more directly advancing a liberal cause as senior adviser and chief speechwriter for failed Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, asserted:
While it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American President seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a twenty-first century version of Mandela’s values and persona.
“Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President,” Stengel forwarded, “Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”
Back in September, Tom Friedman, speaking of China, proclaimed that "there is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today." That prompted Jonah Goldberg to call Friedman a "liberal fascist," drawing an example from his seminal book, Liberal Fascism, to demonstrate how Friedman's fawning over the Chi-Coms "is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s."
But far from being abashed, Friedman is apparently so enamored of his formulation that he has repeated it virtually verbatim. The Times columnist suffered another bad bout of Chi-Com envy on today's Meet The Press, guest-hosted by Tom Brokaw.
Back in January, Harold Ford, Jr. proclaimed to Chris Matthews no fewer than four times: "I am a New Yorker" [see amusing video after the jump].
But that profession of Big Apple-hood apparently didn't cut it with NBC. Even as Ford was discussing today his reasons for not entering the New York Dem senatorial primary against Kirsten Gillibrand, Meet The Press displayed the graphic seen here, labelling Ford "(D-TN)."
How do liberals really think journalism can be improved? By shrinking the amount of time and space Republicans have in the media. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas lamented on Friday that John McCain would continue his streak as a go-to spokesman on Sunday morning news shows. Citing fellow liberal blogger Steve Benen, he complains McCain’s appearance on Sunday’s Meet the Press marks the 20th appearance on a Sunday morning talk show since Obama's inauguration: he's appeared on ABC three times, CBS 5, NBC 4, CNN 4, and Fox 4:
Quite the schedule for a backbencher with no power base within the party, a loser whose re-election to the Senate -- heck, survival in his own primary! -- is in serious jeopardy.
When I was on Meet the Press in December, David Gregory asked me what he could do to make the show better. I said, "stop having John McCain on". He and his producers nodded, seemingly acknowledging the ridiculousness of McCain's incessant appearances.
UPDATE: Fantastic video analyzing two weeks in the life of Keith Olbermann and his (nearly all white) guests below the fold. From February 4 through February 18, Keith had 48 guests - and TWO were black. One, actually - the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson appeared twice. 4% - now THAT'S diverse. Bravo and kudos to Broliath for said stellar production.
The Place for Race-Baiting
MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and the egregiously stentorian and officious Keith Olbermann have made their warped interpretation of the conservative and TEA Party movements as racist a staple of their oft-ridiculed and rarely watched television programs.
These three (and other MSNBC hosts) have engaged in this slander with regularity and fervor.
Reporting on an August 18, 2009 Arizona TEA Party, white host Contessa Brewer fretted "there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....(with) white people showing up with guns" (Arizona is an open-carry state). The only problem was, one of the men they showed packing was black, and they edited out of the video any show of his melanin so as to carry further their fraudulent narrative.
The Dallas (Texas) TEA Party created a video mocking Olbermann (and Company) for these serial assaults, showing people of color attending TEA Parties and contrasting it with the prevailing whiteness of MSNBC's line-up. To which Olbermann responded with a list of black participants in the alleged news making of his network (and that of parent NBC).
Well Olbermann's explanation, and all of the race-baiting "reporting" done by his vile network, apparently wasn't nearly good enough for Congresswomen Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-California), two members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
When this arrived at my e-mail inbox Sunday, I thought a usually reliable tipster was playing a joke on me.
But after reviewing the video and transcript of this morning's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, it's become apparent that Howard Kurtz really did ask two of his guests if the press is currently going soft on the Republican Party.
"Every day, every week the media -- and that includes this program -- focus on President Obama," Kurtz said.
"But what about the Republicans? Do they largely get a pass because they're in the minority?" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
Words never spoken before by a CBS News journalist: “Do you think also that George Bush would also need a little thanks for that? I mean, does he share in the credit or not?” That very unusual quest to credit former President Bush came from Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, since even for him Vice President Joe Biden’s claim -- “Iraq, I think, is going to be one of the great achievements of this administration” -- was too much. Cuing up a retort from former VP Dick Cheney on ABC’s This Week aired just over an hour earlier, Schieffer challenged Biden:
You said the other night to Larry King in an interview that you thought Iraq could be one of the “great achievements” of this administration. And I must say a lot of people, when you said that, said their response was “what?” This administration didn’t have very much to do with Iraq and your friend, Dick Cheney, had a thought about that, as well. So let’s listen to this.”
Cheney suggested “for them to try to take credit for what’s happened in Iraq strikes me as little strange” and recommended “it ought to go with a healthy dose of ‘thank you, George Bush,’ upfront.”
New York Times columnist David Brooks says that what Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's David Gregory Sunday concerning the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City doesn't pass the laugh test.
"What Joe Biden said on ['Meet the Press'] today will be laughed at around the Arab world."
Maybe even more shocking, speaking during the panel discussion segment that followed Biden's interview, Brooks agreed with some things former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about concerning this matter on ABC's "This Week."
"The KSM trial has become a total mess. What Joe Biden said today on the program doesn't pass the laugh test," Brooks said. "[T]he second thing I think Cheney's actually right about is Mirandizing."
Brooks amazingly continued: "[S]ay we'd captured the 9/11 guys on September 10th, or one of them, should we have read that guy his rights and given him a lawyer? No. We should have tried to get some intelligence out of the guy" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
A rather shocking thing happened on Sunday's "Meet the Press": host David Gregory asked Alan Greenspan and Henry Paulson if it would be a mistake to let the Bush tax cuts expire.
Chatting with the former Federal Reserve Chairman and former Treasury Secretary, Gregory referenced Tuesday's Wall Street Journal article about what the impact of allowing these tax cuts to expire would be on the budget and the economy.
Gregory first asked Paulson and then Greenspan, "Is that a bad idea?" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 6:48):