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):
In the wake of back to back disappointments the past two elections, as well as Arlen Specter's recent defection to the Democrat Party, liberal media members -- and even some not-so liberal media members -- have been blaming the GOP's supposed demise on Republicans being too conservative.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took issue with this popular yet obviously debatable theme:
[W]hen I hear Democrats like Arlen Specter and read editorialists like E.J. Dionne saying how liberal--or, or how conservative the Republican Party's become, they've got it backwards.We have not been conservative as a party, we've been radical.
That was just one of many eye-opening statements by Scarborough during this segment that have been edited together in the video embedded right. Below the fold is a partial transcript of this enlightening discussion that included former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie:
As Tea Parties ensued from coast to coast last week, the Obama administration and their media minions depicted attendees as not understanding that the new president has decreed taxes will be going down for 95 percent of Americans.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein let the cat out of the bag: Tea Partiers are right. Taxes are going up.
This revelation occurred after host David Gregory said to the Post's Pulitzer Prize winner, "There may be doubts about President Obama, but he is cutting taxes."
File this one in the "When I Need a Laugh" folder:
David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," told this week's Parade Magazine, "I don't accept the proposition that I have an ideological point of view that comes through. I work very hard to avoid that."
Gregory must have adopted a new attitude toward his work after taking over "Meet the Press" following the death of his colleague, Tim Russert.
As Newsbusters has documented, Gregory indeed has a habit of letting his bias "come through."
Americans expecting a serious discussion about the soon to be enacted stimulus plan certainly didn't find it on Sunday's "Meet the Press" which instead was sixty minutes of some of the most disgraceful Obama sycophancy since Chris Matthews bragged about getting a thrill up his leg when the Democrat presidential candidate spoke.
Virtually every time host David Gregory or any of his guests opened their mouths -- with the possible exception of the Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel -- one could close one's eyes and envision the words emanating from a member of the Adminstration and/or the president himself.
Consider first what the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson said:
Don't like the notion of Wall Street employees receiving bonuses? Shoot the messenger - as Adam Green at The Huffington Post has done.
In a Feb. 2 post on The Huffington Post, Green said it was bad form for CNBC "Street Signs" host Erin Burnett to even think about considering the other side of the anti-Wall Street bonus argument, since some Wall Street banks received TARP funds, courtesy of the taxpayer.
"There are, though - well, how should we say this - the taxpayer money is not being used to pay the bonuses," Burnett explained on NBC's Feb. 1 "Meet the Press." "I think people could understand if you work for a company - right? If the three of us worked for a company, your guests, and I lost $10 billion but Steve [Forbes] over there, he made a billion dollars. So overall the company actually loses money, but Steve went and did his very darndest for that company and he made money. So should he be paid for his work? That's essentially what we're talking about here."
That's one of the selling points used over and over again by pundits, as they are paraded out repeatedly on broadcast and cable network news programs - that so-called "shovel-ready" projects will challenge economic woes by revitalizing something we need to do anyway. But only 3 percent of the Obama stimulus plan is slated for such projects.
"The total size of the plan is about $750 to $800 billion - roughly $300 billion is for tax cuts for businesses and individuals," CBS correspondent Chip Reid said on CBS's Jan. 12 "The Early Show." "The rest will be spent on everything from roads and bridges to renewable energy to create three to 4 million jobs. Republicans are raising red flags about the amount of spending."
Among the anchors and correspondents on the broadcast networks, NBC’s David Gregory has been unique in conveying to viewers the nature of Hamas as, on two occasions during the opening weekend of the airstrikes by Israel in Gaza, Gregory referred to Hamas as a "terrorist organization that is bent on the destruction of Israel." He also recently gave attention to the Hamas doctrine that the purpose of a ceasefire is to regroup and resume fighting later with greater strength.
On last Sunday’s Meet the Press, he read form a blog posting by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, in which Goldberg quoted Nizar Rayyan, the ranking Hamas member recently killed when the Israeli military bombed his home, as Rayyan once proclaimed his views about a ceasefire with Israel. Goldberg: "There was no flexibility with Rayyan. This is what he said when I asked him if he could envision a 50-year hudna (or cease-fire) with Israel: ‘The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don't need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel. There is no chance,’ he said, ‘that true Islam would ever allow a Jewish state to survive in the Muslim Middle East. Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God.’ ‘What are our crimes?’ I asked Rayyan. ‘You are murderers of the prophets and you have closed your ears to the Messenger of Allah,’ he said. ‘Jews tried to kill the Prophet, peace be unto him. All throughout history, you have stood in opposition to the word of God.’"
Declaring President George W. Bush's “economic legacy is selfishness” for daring to propose letting people invest a portion their Social Security payments in the stock market, on Sunday's Meet the Press the Washington Post's Michelle Singletary charged Bush “should be ashamed of what he's left us.” The Post-based nationally-syndicated “Color of Money” personal finance columnist contended that as a “regular mom and churchgoer” she's “just so disheartened by what Bush did to us” economically by “fighting a war that we couldn't win.” She got the last word, an overly dramatic one at that, during the panel's assessment of Bush's legacy:
He did all of this, I think, at the detriment of our country, our economy. And I think the regular American people are sitting here going, “We're in this war, and you said you couldn't afford health care, and yet all these billions of dollars are over there. And I have no job, no health care and probably no house.”
Some quick items from the Sunday interview shows and newspapers:
♦ On Meet the Press, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, who last month hailed Obama's “all-star cabinet,” on Sunday trumpeted the cabinet's “meritocracy,” and how it's supposedly made up of “superstars,” as she gushed over “people with so much brain power and so much education.”
♦ Over on ABC's This Week, during the roundtable's look at Caroline Kennedy as a potential Senator from New York, Sam Donaldson opined that “my preference would be Andrew Cuomo,” the liberal Attorney General for the Empire State, because, in part, “I thought his father would make a very good President.” That would be the far-left Mario Cuomo.
♦ In her final column for the Washington Post, outgoing ombudsman Deborah Howell urged the paper to address its lack of political diversity. Since “too many Post staff members think alike,” she advised: “Make a serious effort to cover political and social conservatives and their issues; the paper tends to shy away from those stories, leaving conservatives feeling excluded and alienated from the paper.”
The media defense of disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and corruption in politics continued Sunday morning as new "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, along with his guests, actually defended Blago's actions as "pay to play" business as usual that's just "part of the system" and "how the world works."
Such seems an astounding about face from the press's disgust and incessant focus on the so-called "Republican culture of corruption" that surrounded the reporting of former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay's travails in 2006, as well as the attention given to Jack Abramoff the same year in order to assist the Democrat takeover of both chambers of Congress that November.
Amazingly, two years later, the corruption in Illinois involving not only a Democrat governor, but also having some links to folks connected to the newly-elected Democrat president-elect, are just "part of the system" and "how the world works" (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 4:20, file photo):
More Than Mere Shouting Distance From ObjectivityTom Brokaw's last performance as fill-in moderator of NBC's premier news show, Meet the Press, included a pretty blatant Leftist query. Interviewing President-elect Barack Obama, southpaw Brokaw uncorked a wild one on energy:
"Let's talk for a moment about consumer responsibility when it comes to the auto industry. As soon as gas prices began to drop, consumers moved back to the larger cars once again, the SUVs and the big gas consumers. Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4.00 a gallon -where people are prepared to pay for that - and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to consumers that these days are gone. We're not going to have gasoline that you can just fill-up for $20 anymore."
Brokaw's last stand as MTP host served as the perfect lead-in to his final official MTP duty -- introducing his permanent successor, longtime NBC and MSNBC White House reporter David Gregory.
In the midst of more self-congratulatory excess over David Gregory becoming moderator of Meet the Press, he and anchor Brian Williams cued up Gregory to discuss Obama's “expectations management.” Gregory echoed that Obama must “lower expectations,” though, Gregory soon trumpeted: “He doesn't want to hit the ground running. He wants to hit the ground signing, signing a stimulus bill in the very early days of his administration because the economy cannot wait.” Williams first told Gregory, who appeared from the Meet the Press set: “Congratulations on your great new job so well deserved and what you know is a great honor.” Gregory agreed: “I do know it's a great honor” to host “a treasured platform in the country.”
Williams posed this tortuous question:
David, you also come to this job from your last position as chief White House correspondent. As such, it changes the way you, I'm sure, have looked a this race and the President-elect including as recently as yesterday's interview with Tom Brokaw. Talk about that, especially in the area so important these days of expectations management.
If you needed any more proof that liberal media members don't give a darn about the state of the economy or the American people, and instead just want to raise taxes, you got it Sunday when Tom Brokaw advocated gas prices, which have plummeted recently, be kept at $4 a gallon with government keeping the added cost.
Coming just two days after it was announced that America lost over 500,000 jobs in November, Brokaw, in what could be his last performance as "Meet the Press" host, actually asked Barack Obama why taxes shouldn't be dramatically raised on gasoline with revenues to be spent on alternative energy, and to send a signal that folks won't be able to "just fill up [their] tank for 20 bucks anymore."
This came in response to president-elect uttering another disturbingly socialist statement that should make clearer his spread the wealth motives (video embedded below the fold with relevant section at 6:00, readers are encouraged to review Mark Finkelstein's earlier piece on this subject, file photo):
“The KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work” with “worthwhile” achievements, CNN founder Ted Turner contended in an interview aired on Sunday's Meet the Press in which he blamed the U.S. for starting the battles with Vladimir Putin “by putting the Star Wars system in Czechoslovakia and Poland” and, when host Tom Brokaw recalled that Leonid Brezhnev reacted to Jimmy Carter's outreach by invading Afghanistan, Turner retorted with moral equivalence: “Well, we invaded Afghanistan, too, and it's a lot further -- at least it's on the border of the Soviet Union.” Brokaw called it “naked aggression on the part of the Russians at the time,” prompting Turner to charge: “Well, going into Iraq was naked aggression on the part of the United States.”
Turner, who did the sit-down as part of the media tour for his new book, Call Me Ted, defended Putin's KGB background by comparing it to someone who worked for the FBI:
We have an FBI and, and, and, and, and we're not prejudiced against somebody who's worked at the FBI. It's an honorable place to work. And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. And it, it gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile.
Yeah, like oppressing people in captured nations and running gulags to suppress political dissent.
Though given a perfect opportunity to do so, Tom Brokaw on Sunday chose not to discuss the similarities between Franklin D. Roosevelt's refusal to work with President Herbert Hoover on solving the Depression before he was inaugurated in March 1933 and president-elect Barack Obama doing the same thing today with George W. Bush.
For those not familiar with the historical reference, the financial crisis at the time of the 1932 elections was so bad that banks were failing on almost a daily basis. As a result, Hoover felt the country couldn't wait until March when inaugurations used to take place to hear what Roosevelt's plan was to solve these problems, and wanted FDR and his economic team to come to the White House in order to work some things out together.
Sadly, Roosevelt refused, and although he claimed it was so that his hands wouldn't be tied once he officially became president, some historians feel FDR's delay was designed to allow the crisis to deepen so that it would become easier for him to get his policy proposals passed.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," the fact that President Bush wants to work with Obama and his team concerning the financial crisis surfaced in discussion with former Reagan treasury secretary James Baker and former Clinton commerce secretary Bill Daley. Unfortunately, Brokaw chose not to address this seemingly-important historical comparison and precedent (video embedded below the fold, relevant section begins at 6:15, file photo):