NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first official trip to Asia on Monday's Today, and she couldn't help recalling Mrs. Clinton's trip to the United Nations summit in Beijing in 1995: "Starting today in Tokyo she will cover 21,000 miles in seven days....In Beijing her reception will be a lot friendlier than 15 years ago when as First Lady, Clinton provoked the Chinese by campaigning for women's rights."
As you can see from a photo that appears in Mitchell's memoir Talking Back, Andrea and Hillary didn't find the whole trip too unfriendly. Hillary wrote: "To Andrea who helped make our trip a lot more fun!"
Mitchell added this caption in her book: "Sharing a joke with First Lady Hillary Clinton en route to Mongolia after the Beijing women's conference in September 1995."
Monday morning show coverage of allegations that Illinois Senator Roland Burris may have perjured himself with respect to connections to impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich minimized calls for investigation or Burris’s resignation. On the CBS Early Show, correspondent Thailia Assuras explained: "State Republican lawmakers are calling for Senator Roland Burris to resign and be investigated for perjury...The U.S. Senate could move to expel Burris, but analysts say that's unlikely to happen. It's not the kind of distraction Senate Democrats need as they try to move forward the president's agenda."
On NBC’s Today, correspondent Lee Cowan had a similar take: "...some Republican lawmakers here are now calling for Senator Burris to resign. At the very least, some want to see a criminal investigation launched to see whether or not he perjured himself. As for his colleagues in the U.S. Senate, so far they're reserving judgment." ABC’s Good Morning America barely mentioned the controversy, only offering one 15-second news brief on the story. In addition to downplaying the issue, none of the three morning shows mentioned that Burris was a Democrat. Only the Early Show featured an on-screen graphic with ‘Illinois (D)’ next to Burris’s name while playing a clip of the Senator.
NBC's "Today" show invited, on Monday, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller to promote a new book featuring photos from the campaign called, Obama: The Historic Journey, and in his interview with Keller, substitute anchor David Gregory actually asked if the book adds to the, "criticism of the news media that we're somehow cheerleaders for Barack Obama," to which Keller admitted it was "a fair question," but claimed, "as a rule, reporters don't fall in love with candidates. They fall in love with stories."
However earlier in the segment Keller called Obama "a rock star," and exposed the fact this his own children, "Had their front door of their bedroom plastered with Hillary paraphernalia...and by the end, you know I think every kid in America was asking their parents when they could go have a play date with Sasha and Malia."
The following exchange was aired during the 8:30am half hour of the February 16, edition of Monday's "Today" show:
NBC's Ann Curry traveled down to Texas to speak with former President Bill Clinton, on Monday's "Today" show to talk to him about his Global Initiative but never asked Clinton about all the troubles his Initiative, and his foreign ties, caused and could potentially still cause his wife in her role as Secretary of State. Instead Curry asked Clinton mostly softball questions about how Barack Obama and Hillary are doing in their first few weeks: "Your wife is front and center as Secretary of State at a time when this world, this country is in a world of hurt. What's your faith in her?" When Clinton gave Obama, not surprisingly, a positive review Curry called it, "A major vote of confidence."
ANN CURRY: How is President Obama doing on this greatest near-term crisis facing the United States, the economy?
BILL CLINTON: I think he's off to a good start. I think he's got a good team. Given the fact that they had to do it in a hurry and he had to deal with Congress and the inevitable compromises I think he got quite a good bill out of this. This package that he's gonna sign is our bridge over troubled waters.
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:
CBS's "Early Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday almost entirely ignored the embarrassing departure of yet another of Barack Obama's cabinet nominees, with only NBC's "Today" providing any real information on the event. GMA devoted a scant 15 seconds to the withdrawal of Republican Senator Judd Gregg as the President's second nominee for Commerce Secretary. (Previous choice Bill Richards dropped out for tax reasons.) Instead, the networks included segments on aphrodisiacs for Valentine's Day and how to make a flourless chocolate cake.
"Early Show" doubled ABC, managing a still insignificant 30 second anchor brief. NBC's "Today" actually featured a full report and had the most coverage, three minutes and 21 seconds. Out of a combined eight hours of programming, the total for all three came to only four minutes and six seconds. None of the coverage made any mention of Senator Gregg's opposition to the Obama administration's goal of moving the 2010 census count from the Commerce Department to the White House. (The census issue was mostly ignored on Thursday's evening news programs as well.)
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric introduced a report on the Democrats’ so-called "stimulus" plan about to pass Congress: "And we'll tell you what's in it for you, including tax breaks...It's designed, in part, to get you spending again by giving you the money to do it." However, in July of 2001, when President Bush was trying to get tax cut legislation passed, then Evening News anchor Dan Rather warned: "...new worries that his big tax cuts, along with a shrinking budget surplus, are re-shaping the political and fiscal landscape of the country."
Following Couric, Correspondent Nancy Cordes touted the benefits of the tax cuts: "For restaurant owner Tom Glascow, and for most Americans, the new stimulus package serves up a variety of tax cuts...The biggest bit is a $400 credit for almost all workers. That comes out to about $13 a week, which may not sound like much, but consider this-" Glascow explained: "The bottom line is, is every little bit will help...Basically, what does my business good is people with disposable income that can spend a little extra on lunch on a daily basis."
Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News presented a more whitewashed view of prospects for better relations with Iran compared to ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson as NBC’s Brian Williams portrayed Iranians as receptive to Barack Obama’s recent call for talks between the two nations as long as there was "mutual respect." Williams: "President Obama called on Iran to send a signal that it was ready to talk, and it turns out the Iranians were apparently listening. Today President Ahmadinejad, at a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, said he would welcome talks with the U.S. as long as they were based on what he called ‘mutual respect.’"
By contrast, on the same night’s World News, correspondent Jim Sciutto relayed the presence of anti-America sentiment in Iran – recounting chants of "Down, down with America," that were shouted during the day’s Islamic Revolution commemoration – and the Iranian public’s support for the country’s nuclear program. And while the ABC correspondent did allude to Ahmadinejad being a less likely prospect for successful negotiation than the more moderate former President Khatami who is running for office again, even Sciutto did not remind viewers of Ahmadinejad’s past anti-Israel rhetoric and the country’s support for terrorism not only against Israel but against American troops in Iraq.
The Obama administration’s decision to have the White House supervise the 2010 Census -- a response to left-wing complaints that the Census was too important to leave under the authority of Republican Judd Gregg, the nominee for Commerce Secretary -- has thus far (as of Tuesday morning) drawn absolutely no attention from the three broadcast networks, with not a single mention on the ABC, CBS or NBC morning or evening newscasts.
This would undoubtedly be a huge story if the White House were still in Republican hands and it was the GOP that was attempting to take over the Census. As the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund reported today: “‘There's only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement,’ a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. ‘And it's called politics, not science.’”
Blogging at U.S. News & World Report on Monday, Michael Barone -- who knows more about the nuts and bolts of U.S. politics than practically anybody -- suggested the move could even be ruled unconstitutional:
Some quick takes on the very brief presidential press conference wrap-ups on ABC, CBS and NBC before each returned to entertainment shows a bit after 9 PM EST:
- ABC anchor Charles Gibson lauded how President Obama treated “each question almost as a teaching moment with long and expansive answers.”
- CBS anchor Katie Couric cited how Obama talked “about 'ideological blockage'” against the “stimulus” bill and wondered: “Do you think some of his Republican opponents on the Hill got the message with this news conference tonight?”
- On NBC, Brian Williams fretted Obama wasn't as tough sooner, postulating: “It may be said that if the President had used this voice -- some of the forcefulness we saw there at the top -- the result might, might have been different so far leading into this stimulus package vote.”
A little more on the barely minute-long, or less, post-news conference coverage:
With Barack Obama’s first press conference as president scheduled on Monday night, one obvious question that comes up is what kind of questions he will receive from the White House press corps. His predecessor, George W. Bush, faced some pressing questions during his first press conference on February 22, 2001.
Liberal firebrand Helen Thomas offered the most politically-charged question: “Mr. President, why do you refuse to respect the wall between the church and state? And you know that the mixing of religion and government, for centuries, has led to slaughter. The very fact that our country has stood in good stead by having this separation -- why do you break it down?” When President Bush answered that he did “respect the separation of church and state,” Thomas blasted back: “Well, you wouldn't have a religious office in the White House if you did.” Since President Obama has decided to retain Bush’s faith-based initiative (although with a new name and slightly new mission), one wonders if Thomas will press the Democrat on the issue.
Matt Lauer invited on two Senate supporters and no opponents of Barack Obama's stimulus bill, on Monday's "Today" show and asked pro-stimulus bill questions to his guests, even chiding those who opposed it, when he asked Republican Senator Susan Collins about two of her GOP colleagues who are against it: "So what do you get that those two are not getting?" Lauer, also depicted a gloomy picture for the states because of "draconian cuts," made in the bill as he ominously asked: "Senator [Ben] Nelson, to get the support from even these moderate Republicans, cuts had to be made...You lose $40 billion in aid to the states, that means states are gonna have to make draconian cuts in jobs, teachers, cops, firemen. You lose the $16 billion in school construction money. So is it still a real stimulus package? Will it have clout?"
The only voices of opposition came in a Chuck Todd set-up piece, where a soundbite from John McCain saying the negotiations were not "bipartisan," was aired. A soundbite of stimulus opponent Sen. John Ensign was also aired but it only highlighted him admitting the bill will pass.
Lauer, in the interview segment, did cite concerns from Senators Richard Shelby and McCain, as he noted: "Richard Shelby the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking committee said Sunday, 'This bill could put our country on the road to financial disaster.' And John McCain said, 'It was generational theft,'" but then added the, "So what do you get that those two are not getting?" line he asked Collins.
The following is a complete transcript of Lauer's interview segment with Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Ben Nelson as it occurred on the February 9, "Today" show:
On a day when Barack Obama was struggling to push through a stimulus bill in Congress, journalists on Friday's "Today" show decided to fawn over the branding of the new President, even referring to the Commander in Chief as the "messiah of Madison Avenue." NBC correspondent Jamie Gangel highlighted a batch of new Obama merchandise and enthused, "And the whole world is apparently going Obama."
Speaking of the various products and worldwide commercials featuring the first family, Gangel raved, "Everyone wants to be like Barack. He's being called the messiah of Madison Avenue." As video of the Obama children appeared onscreen, the reporter continued, "They're the 'It girls.' Together, welcome brand Obama." After discussing the new brand of Obama-flavored ice cream ("Yes Pecan") and Michelle Obama-inspired fashion, Gangel extolled, "America has embraced the Obama family and a new sense of chic."
Her husband may finally be facing scrutiny, but the media still faint for Michelle.
“Pep rally.” “Rock show.” “Church service.” These were the words a Washington Post staff writer used to describe a brief appearance by the first lady at a government agency on Wednesday. It’s part of the ongoing drumbeat of press adulation for all things Obama.
On Feb. 5, Richard Leiby penned a glowing narrative of Michelle Obama’s political stop at the Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters in Washington, D.C. to promote her husband’s economic plan. The Obamas may be all about “change,” but the entrenched bureaucracy sure seems to love them.
The crowd of government workers, which Leiby said had waited in line for hours, “raised their cameras aloft to capture her…the most famous woman in the world.” Leiby didn’t say whether he was troubled that the waiting, the “wild adulation” and the shouts of “We love you!” occurred during taxpayer-funded work hours.
“Dressed in a satiny purple blouse, gray jacket and skirt, Mrs. Obama only talked for about eight minutes but spent as much time wading into the crowd as the outro music blared: ‘Ain't No Stopping Us Now.’”
On Thursday's "Today" show NBC reporters offered little skepticism of Barack Obama's dictations to corporate America, instead buttressing Obama soundbites with sloganeering as, Meredith Vieira declared, "President Obama lashing outat Wall Street and clamping down on corporate fat cats," and Savannah Guthrie underlined, "The President bashed Wall Street," and "took a shot across the bow." The "Today" show then brought on CNBC'ers Melissa Francis and Dylan Ratigan to discuss Obama's capping of executive pay at $500,000, to which they both agreed, "it didn't go far enough." "Today" anchor, millionaire and world traveler, Matt Lauer himself lectured: "Can the culture of Wall Street be changed? Let, let's just be clear here. Private jets, perks, lavish trips gone. Is it ever, are they ever gonna come back?" But when Ratigan tried to use the ratings performance of the "Today" show to make a point, Lauer jokingly, but quickly, cut him off as seen in the following exchange:
MATT LAUER: Just going back to the beginning. We talk about $500,000 for these corporate CEOs. Let's just be clear-
DYLAN RATIGAN: It's a ton of money.
LAUER: That's a lot of money. It's a lot of money-
MELISSA FRANCIS: Yeah.
LAUER: -for the average person waiting on tables and...
RATIGAN: Not to mention if you, if you ran your, if, if this show had, has, ratings went to zero-
On last Friday's "Today" show, Ann Curry interviewed two magazine editors on the subject of Michelle and Barack Obama and rhapsodized over the effect the power couple could have on America. Speaking to the creative director of Ebony magazine, she fawned, "The question I think, really, ultimately, is who are we going to be because of them? Who are we going to be as a nation?"
In a set-up piece to the segment, NBC reporter Norah O'Donnell described how the first lady, during ceremonies in the days after the inauguration, personally greeted Americans at the White House. She extolled, "In fact, Michelle Obama is slowly reinventing the traditional role of the President's wife, bringing her own version of change to the White House." O'Donnell also seemed impressed with the reports that Barack Obama no longer requires a tie and coat in the Oval Office. She touted, "And things just seemed more casual around the White House. The President without a jacket in the Oval Office. The first lady sporting J. Crew."
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."
NBC's Matt Lauer invited on Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth, on Monday's "Today" show, to promote her magazine's cover story on Barack Obama and the special correspondent celebrated the new President's incoming Cabinet as she cheered: "They have big plans to green the economy. The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Interior say, 'This is our moon shot.'" The easily impressed Orth then went on to say government is back in vogue as she crowed: "If you noticed the last eight years...the conservative philosophy is that governs best which governs least. And now people feel it's more of a time for government to intervene and so they can start trying things."
The following exchange was aired during the 8am half hour of this morning's "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: You got to talk to several members of this group. Before we talk about them as individuals, as a group, what struck you?
MAUREEN ORTH: Well that they're not intimidated by the tasks ahead and they're very idealistic. They feel that they've been elected, the President was elected for change. And they have big plans to green the economy. The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of the Interior say, "This is our moon shot." Larry Summers, who is the president of the council, President's council of economic advisors says, "This is a once in a generation chance for economic policy-makers."
Many big ads in the big game were salacious or juvenile – or both.
Super Bowl XLIII was difficult to watch with children. Instead of being an opportunity to teach about discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, the subject all-to-often was sex. At least nine of the big game’s bigger commercials used sex to help sell products. Barely covered breasts were heaving, racecar driver Danika Patrick was showering while by being leered at by young men and women either took their clothes off or had them blasted off.
Family viewing this wasn’t.
The Super Bowl advertising spectacle is arguably almost as important a tradition as the game itself. The idea, of course, is that because the firms are paying a fortune for air time, advertisers will pull out the stops to produce memorable (and hopefully funny) commercials. This year, the first half of the formula worked well. NBC reportedly sold out, at a record $3 million per 30 seconds. Some advertisers did manage to field clever, funny, innovative and otherwise effective spots. But many fumbled their opportunity. Whether it was far too suggestive sexual content or just juvenile slapstick, the finest minds in advertising went right for the lowest common denominator.
Banned from the Broadcast
Before we get to the ads that America saw on Super Bowl Sunday, a word about two it didn’t. NBC refused to accept two commercials for the broadcast. In the first instance, it deserves kudos for the refusal.
Had it run, “Veggie Love” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would unquestionably have been the least appropriate Super Bowl ad of the year – perhaps ever. The hyper-sexual spot from PETA features women in negligees who apparently find vegetables quite a turn-on. NBC said the ad didn’t meet its standards.
In a portion of Matt Lauer's interview with Barack Obama, not aired before the Super Bowl, but aired on Monday's Today show, Lauer asked the president about the release of a Guantanamo prisoner coming back to haunt him. However, Lauer couched the question in not public safety, but political terms as he asked the president, "If one of those people that's released goes back and takes part in the planning of, or carrying out of, an attack against U.S. interests, you're gonna have a Willie Horton times 100 situation." In other words Lauer bypassed asking how upset the president would be if a released Guantanamo prisoner killed U.S. citizens, nor asked how worried Obama would be if Republicans made a Willie Horton like ad, featuring the terrorist, to hurt him politically.
The following exchange was aired in the 7am half hour of the February 2, "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: Let me go on quickly, if I can, to some other subjects. You signed an executive order in your first week, that says you'll close the military detention center at Guantanamo within a year. So the clock is ticking. And already you've heard the criticism that you don't know what you're gonna do with the 245 prisoners being held there?
BARACK OBAMA: It's the right thing to do, ultimately it will make us safer. You've already seen in the reaction around the world, a different sense of America by us taking this action.
**IMPORTANT UPDATE Below/Clarification on transcript**
Apparently, President Barack Obama thought that Jessica Simpson's weight was something he needed to make fun of during his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on NBC Sunday. Seriously. Obama called Jessica Simpson a fatty on national TV.
Lauer displayed for the audience the cover of a recent issue of the tabloid entertainment magazine US Weekly that featured the President's wife and daughters and also had an insert photo pushing a story about singer Simpson.
As he viewed the cover, Obama decided to smack the singer down for "in a weight battle."
Within the first few days of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, the Israeli military struck the Islamic University of Gaza, charging that the school served as a weapons research facility for Hamas. But while CNN, FNC and MSNBC all at some point reported on the school’s links to Hamas, CBS and NBC ignored the terrorist group’s connection in all its reports, while ABC vaguely noted that it was popular with Hamas students while still calling it a "non-military target." CBS, which had initially ignored the strike when it happened in late December, ran a report on the Friday, January 30, CBS Evening News in which correspondent Alan Pizzey, instead of informing viewers of the school’s reported role in terrorism, seemed more concerned that the damage would delay students from graduating, and relayed that "even the Islamic University" was bombed, suggesting it was an unreasonable target. After beginning the story focusing on a college-aged Palestinian man who was collecting explosive material to build bombs for revenge against Israel, Pizzey continued: "It will go in Qassam rockets – payback, the bomb maker says, for the destruction that has been part of his life since birth. Even the Islamic University was pounded by airstrikes, putting students' chances of graduating in jeopardy."
Then came an anti-Israel soundbite from one female student, named Nasser Barakat: "It's clear for us they want to attack everything, single thing in our life and every place in Gaza in order to destroy the whole community – not only the fighters, but the whole community."
By contrast, on December 29, during the 9:00 hour of MSNBC News Live, correspondent Tom Aspell reported: "Starting in the early hours of this morning, [the Israelis] attacked a building belonging to the Islamic University inside the Gaza Strip. The Israelis saying that the Hamas activists had been using it as a laboratory to develop weapons."
Matt Lauer started his live interview with President Barack Obama, from the White House during NBC's Super Bowl pre-game show, on a light note, “So let me ask you the question that's on everyone's mind right now: How's it going living with your mother-in-law?” And he wondered if Obama now gets to read a story to his daughters “at night, tuck them in bed?”
But the member of a press corps which usually showed more concern for the Bush administration's tactics than the terrorist threat they were meant to avert, empathized with the burden of the “pretty sobering stuff” the new President now learns about: “There are millions, tens of millions of people watching this broadcast right now Mr. President, and if they were to have access to the same information you have now on a daily basis, how much less sleep would we all be getting?” Lauer next pressed Obama as to whether “a substantial number” of service men and women in Iraq “will be home in time for next Super Bowl Sunday?”
Lauer asserted that the House passage of the stimulus bill without one Republican vote “disappointed a lot of people” and he painted a dire picture of the economy, treating the President as an expert economist and giving him an excuse for lack of a recovery. Lauer contended that after watching the Super Bowl, for many people “tomorrow morning...the worry's going to start again and they're going to worry about losing their jobs and their homes and putting their kids through school and making ends meet. How much worse is the economy going to get, Mr. President, before it gets better?”
Several years ago, the Media Research Center joined with then-Cato economist Stephen Moore (now with the Wall Street Journal) on a book “Dollars and Nonsense” debunking the news media’s top ten economic myths. First on the list was the canard that government spending and deficits stimulate the economy, a premise demolished in an essay written by the Nobel-prize winning economist Milton Friedman.
But as President Obama and the Democrats push a big government spending package that promises to “stimulate” the economy, journalists are once again accepting the idea that such spending can really cause the economy to grow. “How soon will jobs show up? And what kind of jobs?” ABC’s Diane Sawyer eagerly asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday’s Good Morning America.
NBC reporter John Yang also presupposed that the spending plan would boost economic growth. “The recession Mr. Obama inherited is deepening,”Yang intoned on the January 24 Nightly News. “And as the urgency for the stimulus package grows, the president promised the money would be spent carefully.”
As Milton Friedman pointed out, the government can only get the dollars it spends in one of three ways: taxing, borrowing, or creating new money. Taxing and borrowing take from the economy, essentially canceling out the effects of the spending or worse. Creating new money amounts to monetary stimulus, which could boost economic activity whether the new money is spent by government or by the private sector.
Despite what media members and government officials claim to be the worst economy since the Great Depression, NBC completely sold out -- at a record high price no less!!! -- its full complement of ads for Sunday's Super Bowl.
If the economy was really as bad as we're constantly hearing, given this somewhat low marquee matchup -- this isn't the Giants vs. the Patriots or the Cowboys vs. the Steelers -- wouldn't NBC have needed to reduce its fees to entice supposedly cash-strapped sponsors?
On the January 1 CBS Evening News, correspondent Mark Phillips took out of context an Israeli statement that "there is no humanitarian crisis" in Gaza and paired it with images of suffering Palestinian children, as if to blatantly embarrass the Israelis and make it appear that they were in denial of or indifferent to civilians who had been injured. After showing a clip of Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni talking about keeping "pressure on the extremists like Hamas," made during her trip to France, Phillips continued: "But the pressure is not just being felt by Hamas extremists. However well they are aimed, the bombs kill and injure the innocents as well." Pairing a voiceover of himself with heartwrenching clips of Palestinian children who are either injured or who have terrified facial expressions, Phillips concluded: "Israel says there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Mark Phillips, CBS News, Ashdod."
The liberal media were flagrant supporters of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, as documented in literally thousands of postings here at NewsBusters and detailed researchreports over at our parent site, www.MRC.org.
The grim reaper is knocking on the mainstream media’s door, and they remain gloriously oblivious. They have reached a tipping point but refuse to believe it. The corrosion that is eating away at their credibility had been happening slowly. It’s like acid rain; one day you look around and all the trees are dead. Nobody pays attention until it’s too late.
Continuing the trend of embracing Barack Obama's bashing of Wall Street bonuses from last night's evening news, NBC's "Today" show, on Friday, described Obama as "outraged!" "agitated," and claimed he "took the tone of a scolding parent." Opening the "Today" show Matt Lauer exclaimed: "Good morning, outraged! President Obama lashes out at Wall Street for doling out nearly $20 billion in bonuses despite the financial crisis." Then a little later Lauer threw it to Savannah Guthrie, who opened her story this way:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The President did not hold back. He gave a dressing down to Wall Street that went on uninterrupted for two-and-a-half minutes. This after he read in the newspaper about some big bonuses.
[On screen headline: "Outraged Obama Blasts Banks For Bailout Bonuses"]
BARACK OBAMA: That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.
GUTHRIE: The President took the tone of a scolding parent, reacting to news Wall Street was still paying itself big bonuses. $18 billion last year, even as many banks' balance sheets crumbled, billions of taxpayer dollars spent to bail them out.
NBC's Meredith Vieira, appearing with weatherman Al Roker in a "Today" show live-shot from a rain-soaked set in Tampa, cracked herself and her camera crew up by saying "we're moist."
The unintended double entendre was uttered by the morning show host during the 7 a.m. weather segment. Vieira and Roker were in the Super Bowl XLIII host city to promote NBC's televised coverage of the February 1 game to "Today" viewers.
Click on the play button in the video embed at right to watch.