When the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks preview Vice President Joe Biden’s 2012 Democratic National Convention speech, will they fill their programs with a montage of the mental mistakes that have plagued him over the years? If recent coverage is any indication, they will choose to bypass Biden’s bumbling.
While the Big Three networks were quick to make fun of GOP vice presidential selections in the past from Dan Quayle to Sarah Palin for their campaign trail stumbles, they’ve either downplayed or completely ignored Biden’s most embarrassing and offensive moments. From insensitively telling a wheelchair-bound state senator to “Stand up!” to not recognizing how many letters there are in the word “jobs,” the media have let Biden get away with gaffes that would have gotten GOP VP picks pilloried. (Video compilation after the jump)
“I’m frankly, fed up, with the one-sided bias,” a frustrated Newt Gingrich asserted on Sunday’s Meet the Press, citing two blatant examples. First: “Where is the outrage over overt, deliberate racism” in Vice President Joe Biden telling a black audience “if the Republicans win you will be ‘in chains’”?
Second, President Obama “voted three times to protect the right of doctors to kill babies who came out of abortion still alive. That plank says tax-paid abortion at any moment, meaning partial birth abortion -- that’s a 20 percent issue,” a position which Democrats “couldn’t defend...for a day if it was made clear and as vivid as all the effort is made to paint Republicans.”
In a Tuesday 10 a.m. et NBC News special report on President Obama declaring a state of emergency for Gulf Coast states in the path of Hurricane Isaac, Today co-host Matt Lauer gushed: "Politics 101, you've got your opponents in Tampa and Mitt Romney's about to tell Americans why he should be elected president, if you're the president, you go out and act like the president." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meet the Press host David Gregory agreed: "Yeah, you do your job." As they both anchored the coverage from the Republican National Convention, Gregory observed that Obama's statement "...happens as there's so much anxiety here among the campaign and the party organizers about how to approach this and the optics of a split-screen, storm coming and a big political party." After the President spoke about the impending storm, Gregory added: "Again, it only underscores how difficult it is for a Republican Party to move forward with this convention, with that potential threat."
In a report for Monday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was eager to paint a picture of Republicans in disarray prior to the GOP convention: "The specter of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, which proved so politically damaging to George W. Bush, looms large here in Tampa. It's the latest in a series of distractions that has jolted the Romney campaign off its core economic message..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Sunday's Today, co-host Jenna Wolfe proclaimed: "It's been a tough week for Republicans." As the headline on screen announced "GOP's Hurdles Heading Into Convention," Wolfe proceeded to rattle off supposed evidence of her assertion:
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart has made it crystal clear he wants Barack Obama to win in November.
On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush said, "I look forward to working on [Mitt Romney's] reelection in 2016 and making Jon Stewart awfully upset" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ted Cruz, Texas's Tea Party candidate for Senate, gave a rather embarrassing education to the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday regarding President Obama's budget proposal.
When Dionne had the audacity to call it "a serious plan," Cruz marvelously replied, "It got zero votes. Not a Democrat in the Senate voted for it. Not a one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, after host David Gregory played a clip of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani criticizing Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffes, and the media's double standard in giving so little attention such moments, correspondent Chuck Todd dismissed Giuliani's criticisms as part of a "personal vendetta" because Biden had lambasted Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign.
After the clip of the former New York City mayor, host Gregory posed:
Following in former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani's footsteps, the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan on Sunday made a strong comment about the media's handling of Vice President Joe Biden's recent miscues.
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Noonan said, "If it had been a Republican vice presidential candidate who had made those gaffes...the subject today of the panel would be how stupid is this person, can this person possibly govern?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said something on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is such a metaphysical certitude it should be an embarrassment for all so-called journalists across the fruited plain.
"If [Joe Biden] were a Republican, if Sarah Palin made that level of mistakes, Dick Cheney, he'd be plastered all over the media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As she substitute-hosted CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Nancy Cordes managed to avoid bringing up the controversial Obama super PAC ad that blames Mitt Romney for the death of a man's wife, even though Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter was a guest in the first segment.
By contrast, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week and and David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press both raised the issue as Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared as a guest on both shows. Cordes stayed non-specific:
Rachel Maddow apparently wasn't pleased to learn that a NewsBusters piece about her being destroyed on Meet the Press by National Review editor Rich Lowry Sunday was picked up by the popular website The Drudge Report.
Commenting on Twitter, the MSNBC commentator wrote, "Ah, a Drudge link. Welcome, 3-day onslaught of ALL CAPS swearing misspelled tweets & emails informing me that I am gay":
She's touted by the liberal media as one of the brightest commentators on television, yet MSNBC's Rachel Maddow got thoroughly demolished by National Review editor Rich Lowry on Sunday's Meet the Press.
When continually asked by Lowry to defend the President's $700 billion Medicare cuts in ObamaCare, Maddow repeatedly refused making herself look tremendously foolish (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the 1960 presidential campaign, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was attacked for his Catholic faith, then viewed by many as subversive and un-American. Anti-Mormon bigots are now targeting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his Mormon beliefs, which are now viewed by many “progressives” as a “transparent and recent fraud.” But in those 50 years, the role of the media has changed significantly.
There has yet to be any evidence circumstantial or otherwise to indicate that James Holmes had a political motivation or enticement to murder innocent people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Friday.
Despite this, in the middle of a panel discussion about this massacre Sunday, NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory brought up former President Bill Clinton's words following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that most at the time felt were directed at conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an interview with Meet the Press moderator David Gregory for the Sunday show's web-based feature Press Pass, Political Animals star Sigourney Weaver explained her support for President Obama: "...the Democrats are always going to be about what the people need. And the Republicans are much more serving big business, and I don't think we can afford to serve big business for another four years with Mr. Romney." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Weaver prefaced her slanted observation by admitting: "I'm not a professional politician, so forgive me if it's very simplistic." Gregory encouraged Weaver to discuss her liberal leanings, as he wondered: "What about President Obama? You've been supportive of him, you say you'd be supportive again. And I know that you told Politico that once a president gets a second term, the gloves come off and that a lot of us have sort of been waiting for that."
Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist had himself quite a day on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday dispelling liberal media myths.
In the course of about five minutes, Norquist gave a much-needed education to CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen and the Washington Post's Bob Woodward on which political party in Washington is obstructionist (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During NBC's noon et hour special coverage of the ObamaCare Supreme Court ruling, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Court in upholding the unpopular law in order"to be on the side of history." Legal analyst Savannah Guthrie praised Roberts for having the wisdom of King Solomon: "I guess you'd call it a Solomonic decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During special coverage on ABC, correspondent Terry Moran touted the ruling as "a clever piece of lawyering by the Chief Justice," explaining: "...the government can tax you if you don't buy insurance, it can't order you to buy insurance." World News anchor Diane Sawyer chimed in: "So you pay the fine if you, in essence, don't pay that tax." Moran laughably replied: "You still have a choice."
Meet the Press host David Gregory displayed a stunning double standard throughout NBC's Thursday morning coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare. Prior to the decision, he warned of a "nightmare scenario" if the law was struck down. Hours later, following the Court upholding the law, Gregory cheered Chief Justice John Roberts for taking "a big step here" to keep the Court from being "too polarized." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Early the 7 a.m. et hour of Today, Gregory melodramatically fretted over the possibility of ObamaCare being ruled unconstitutional: "What happens if it is struck down in part or in whole by a 5 to 4 decision? Would that not underscore how dysfunctional our government is, the major institutions of our government are? That is a real nightmare scenario, I think, for the political class in this country."
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) broke party lines on Tuesday and announced that he will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Matheson is the first Democrat to come out and publicly condemn Holder. Neither ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's This Morning, nor NBC's Today noted the development today.
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory led the show's panelists in dismissing the House Government Oversight Committee holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal as a mere political "distraction" created by Republicans. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The committee's chairman, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, was also on the panel and interrogated by Gregory: "If you got everything you wanted, what do you think it would prove?....What would you be able to prove? I mean what the White House is saying is this is a fishing expedition, it's to score political points, it's all theater. What can you prove if you get everything you want?"
During an interview with Senator Marco Rubio on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory hit the Florida Republican for his support of Mitt Romney, who "had to run hard to the right here on illegal immigration" and is "far behind President Obama among Latino voters."
Gregory then quoted from Rubio's new book, An American Son, and proceeded to portray Republican opposition to illegal immigration as racially motivated: "'I begin to wonder if some of the people who speak so disparagingly about immigrants would be just as worked up if most of them were coming from Canada.' You suggest a level of racism here toward illegal immigrants. How much of a problem does the Republican Party have on this issue?"
Do you think trying to balance the federal budget is incendiary?
NBC's David Gregory apparently does, for on Sunday's Meet the Press, he asked Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) "whether a guy like Paul Ryan is a little too incendiary" to be vice president (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin pleaded with President Obama to tell voters: "'I am doubling down on what I did.' He didn't do enough on the stimulus. He didn't do enough investing in the future. The things he believes in, he has to say we need more of it. And that's our future." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Goodwin implored Obama to "diagnose that what went wrong has gone wrong for 20 years, not just the last four years. The middle class has been squeezed for a long time because of an unfair structure because of lack of investment."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory advised the Obama campaign on how defeat Mitt Romney: "What the President's got to do is say, 'Hey, don't forget about George W. Bush. Things got really, really bad under him.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer was skeptical: "I hear him saying that all the time....do you think that strategy works, the blame Bush strategy, or do people want you to take ownership of this economy at this stage?" Gregory was undeterred: "...they've got to prevail in providing context. Saying, 'Look, it's not about blaming the previous president, it's that the hill was so high to climb. And we're making some progress but the hole is still so deep.'"
As Republican strategist Alex Castellanos described the split in the Democratic Party over Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory defensively attempted to focus on Romney's difficulties: "...here's the problem for Governor Romney. He does have to create distance from a Republican Party that is in trouble."
Gregory failed to give much evidence for that declaration other than pointing to a potential demographic edge for Democrats: "[Romney] has to create new opportunities for the fact that there is a coalition of the young, Hispanics and women who he has a severe disadvantage with." Gregory also insisted Romney must come up with a better economic message: "He has to do that with a kind of vision for the economy that is different than, 'How's it going with the other guy?' Which is basically what his message has been so far."
As NewsBusters’s own Brent Baker pointed out, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News Wednesday night called Mitt Romney’s pledge to reduce unemployment to 6 percent "unrealistic." But apparently Brian didn't get the MSNBC spin memo, as three of his colleagues agreed that 6% unemployment is actually inevitable, and scolded Romney for making such a wimpy prediction.
During his 6:00 show PoliticsNation on Wednesday May 23, Al Sharpton said that, “according to the Congressional Budget Office, we’re on our way to a 6.3% unemployment economy anyway whether Romney gets us there or not.” [Video embedded below page break; MP3 audio here.]
Newark's Democratic Mayor Cory Booker started a firestorm Sunday when he said on NBC's Meet the Press the Obama campaign's attack on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's private equity career is "nauseating."
"To continue his damage control efforts," Booker's only interview Monday was with his "good friend" Rachel Maddow, and despite having a twelve minute exclusive with the mayor, the MSNBC anchor never once asked him what his opinion was of private equity (video follows with commentary, full transcript at end of post).
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer followed Obama campaign talking points perfectly as he decried Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital: "Romney's known as a job destroyer, not a creator....I think Bain sticks. I think the idea that you bring in Bain...they fire a lot of people and that's how they get prosperity for the rich." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the same time, Cramer dismissed a positive forward-looking Romney ad outlining specific policy proposals: "I just don't think that this will stick." He concluded the Bain attacks against Romney were "a more resonant theme" and better "than anything that Romney's come up with."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, American Conservative Union president Al Cardenas squared off against a group of left-wing pundits on the subject of President Obama announcing his support for gay marriage. The liberal bloc of guests included MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and Washington Post columnists Jonathan Capehart and Kathleen Parker. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Parker cheered Obama's use of the word "evolving" to describe his flip-flop on gay marriage: "I think that's the perfect word to describe this conversation because the American people are evolving on this issue. And increasingly they're coming on the side of same-sex marriage being the right side of history..."
Following Vice President Biden praising the NBC sitcom Will & Grace for changing attitudes toward homosexuality on Sunday's Meet the Press, on Monday's Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "...there weren't a lot of gay role models on television....Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace, you know, we've seen Glee on television..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry made the observation while talking to openly gay Bravo network executive and talk show host Andy Cohen detailing his coming-out story in a new memoir. Noting gay characters on television, Curry wondered: "Is it any easier for people?" Cohen declared: "I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes."