Matching the Obama campaign spin, the network reporters and analysts were upset by John McCain, at one moment in the second presidential debate on Tuesday night, referring to Barack Obama as “that one.” CBS's Jeff Greenfield asserted “there is going to be clearly a major headline soundbite” and insisted “those two words are going to be what the water cooler conversation is tomorrow. Was it demeaning? Was it an insult?” Katie Couric turned to a group of “undecided voters” for their reaction to the phrase. One man “thought it was a little bit childish” and another “undecided” man declared: “I'm really tired of the last eight years of for us or against us and to me that showed that side of McCain coming out and the picky and childish and we've had eight years of that.”
On CNN a little past 11 PM EDT, reporter Suzanne Malveaux compared it to Bill Clinton's characterization of Monica Lewinsky: “It's like 'that woman,' you know, that we've heard 'that woman,' I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending.” A few minutes later, Democratic hack Paul Begala slimed Sarah Palin as a racist, citing the Associated Press and how “they said her attack on this whole Bill Ayers thing was 'racially-tinged.' That's not what a Democrat said, that's what the Associated Press said.” There's a difference? MSNBC viewers heard Chris Matthews pleased by Obama's “wonderful smile” before he charged McCain's smile “has a somewhat menacing quality.”
Audio: MP3 audio (1:25, 450 Kb) which matches the video above of CBS's "undecided" voters.
There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
UPDATE: YouTube link to deleted video at end of post.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in its most recent installment did an extraordinary skit which amongst other things accurately blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis.
Early Sunday morning, as is customary for NBC, the video of this sketch was posted at its website. Some time Monday, it was taken down without any explanation.
One possibility is that two of the targets in the skit, the founders of Golden West Financial who were mocked by "SNL" as having made billions selling subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers, aren't happy with how they were portrayed. As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added):
In the latest news from the actions have consequences department, Brian Williams recently told David Letterman that the McCain camp is punishing him by not allowing him to interview Sarah Palin because the McCain camp is mad at MSNBC's extreme leftism as evinced by Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Is Brian crying? There's no crying in broadcasting!
During his visit on The Late Show with David Letterman, Brian Williams admitted that he is the only network anchor that has yet to be granted an interview with Governor Palin but that he "cannot wait" to interview her.
Update's Update: I have been assured by IT that we are FINALLY ready to go with this.
The American people in poll after poll and in greater and growing numbers are railing against the egregious liberal bias of the press. And nowhere are the media more horrendously slanted than in their coverage of the presidential campaign of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. They are (to say the least) very, very sweet on him.
The MRC has put together this college basketball tournament-style bracket event, the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament, so that you, the angered members of the media’s audience can vote for who gives Sen. Obama the most loving and fawning coverage of all.
Now that Sarah Palin has made Barack Obama's history with William Ayers front and center in the campaign the mainstream media is doing their best to ignore some of the more explosive aspects of Ayers' past. On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Andrea Mitchell merely identified Ayers as a "sixties radical" and cited the New York Times as dismissing the Obama connection as, "the two men do not appear to have been close."
As the following excerpt shows, Mitchell conveniently forgot to mention the reason Palin and others regard Ayers as a terrorist, the fact the he, as a part of the Weather Underground, actually bombed police stations and the Pentagon.
Palin was referring to William Ayers, a sixties radical, now a Chicago education professor. In 1995 Ayers hosted a coffee for Obama, then a state senate candidate. The New York Times reported this weekend that, "the two men do not appear to have been close." And the Obama campaign says they have not spoken since Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening amazingly blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis, and accurately informed viewers that the Bush administration warned about the looming calamity many years ago.
In addition, much like a report Matthew Sheffield and I did for the Capital Research Center last month, "SNL" exposed the money behind far-leftwing causes and entities in a stunningly accurate fashion, including chiding hyper-partisan billionaire George Soros as being the owner of the Democratic Party.
Here are some of the highlights (video embedded right):
Update: The techincal error is resolved. Please, enjoy. Thank you very much.
Tuesday's Presidential debate is now looming in our headlights. It will be moderated by the very liberal Tom Brokaw of the very liberal NBC.
The Media Research Center, Newsbusters.org's parent company, wanted to take this opportunity to remind one and all why Brokaw's colleague, the very liberal Chris Matthews, will not be moderating the debate. And why he was removed as co-anchor of the very liberal MSNBC's 2008 campaign coverage.
Why he was ever ensconsed in that lofty journalistic position remains light years beyond us.
So we now humbly present to you an MRC Cinematic Production entitled "Chris Matthews: Building the Thrill."
It was certainly no surprise that NBC's "Saturday Night Live," in its most recent installment, lampooned Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
However, despite doing a nice job of mocking Biden and host Gwen Ifill -- masterfully played by guest Queen Latifah -- the butt of most of the jokes was cleary Palin who was once again portrayed by Tina Fey (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy Huffington Post):
Despite "Today’s" earlier praise of Sarah Palin’s debate performance, Amy Robach managed to assemble seven "undecided voters" (and reported that five voted for Bush) who did not express high opinions of the Alaska governor. On the October 3 edition, Robach found women voters she identified as undecided and from key battleground states. Although the discussion began with two of the women offering positive remarks about Governor Palin, the positive feedback ended there.
Polling these seven women, Robach found "nearly every one" held a less favorable view of Sarah Palin after viewing the debate. One voter claimed Palin "has sealed the deal for me" and she "is in no way ready...to be vice president." Another "made up [her] mind" because "Palin didn’t do it for me." Curiously, one "undecided" voter wanted a candidate that would "end the war" and because of Biden’s promise she was swayed to the Obama/Biden ticket.
All week leading up to Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, NBC’s Today show suggested that the Republican vice presidential nominee could be a disaster on stage, pointing out how “conservatives question her qualifications;” “the McCain campaign is worried;” “Palin stumbled again;” and “not ready for prime time.”
But on Friday morning, after Palin proved the hand-wringers wrong, co-host Matt Lauer suggested that the “melt down” expectations were never the right yardstick for pundits. Lauer asked Tom Brokaw: “Everything you read and hear about the debate this morning is going to say that Governor Palin exceeded expectations, but in your opinion did she exceed expectations simply because she didn't melt down on the stage or did she show the kind of grasp of the issues and the subjects required to hold the second highest job in the land?”
Poor Joe. Ann Curry is concerned that the senator from Delaware was the victim of a double-standard during last night's debate that caused him to hide his light under a barrel. The Today show co-anchor [subbing for Meredith Vieira] expressed her misgivings this morning to Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
ANN CURRY: But he restrained himself to some degree. I mean, she called him "Joe," he called her "Governor." She attacked him, he didn't attack her. Do you think there was a double-standard at play here? Did Joe pull down his full game, and did that hurt him last night--and his ticket?
align="right"Two themes in post-VP debate coverage Thursday night: First, “surprise” that Sarah Palin wasn't a “car wreck” and “did not embarrass herself.” Second, distress that she failed to answer moderator Gwen Ifill's questions.
On NBC, Chuck Todd observed “those that were tuning in looking for some sort of car wreck, probably came away disappointed.” CBS's Katie Couric proposed, without saying in which camp journalists fall, “the headline is Governor Sarah Palin did not embarrass herself or her running mate as some Republicans might have feared and some Democrats might have hoped.” Colleague Bob Schieffer asserted that “I think a lot of people were expecting” Palin “to make some sort of blunder or mistake and she did not do that.” Jeff Greenfield, also on CBS, decided “Palin passed the Tina Fey test. Anyone looking for a deer in the headlights experience didn't get one tonight.” Over on ABC, Diane Sawyer found that Palin, “after a bruising time in the media, showed up not just with confidence, but cheerful confidence that might surprise a lot of people.”
On Palin avoiding questions, CBS's Schieffer “found it a little disconcerting” that “time and again Governor Palin would just choose not to answer the question and launch in to some dissertation, sometimes talking points, and not really address what Gwen Ifill had asked her.” On CNN, reporter/analyst Gloria Borger charged: “I think at the beginning of the debate actually, Sarah Palin's problem was that she wasn't answering questions directly.” NBC anchor Brian Williams scolded: “Looking at some of the e-mail traffic and some of the commentary online tonight, people found it bracing when she said quote, 'I may not answer the questions the way the moderator and you,' Senator Biden, 'want to hear.' Of course, it's the only set of rules in town.”
Video/Audio: Click on frame above for video, compiled by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey, of Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Diane Sawyer and Chuck Todd. Matching MP3 audio (55 seconds)
While the networks scrutinize Republican Sarah Palin’s every comment for evidence that she’s a dimwit unqualified for the vice presidency, there’s been barely any discussion of how alleged foreign policy expert Joe Biden was dreadfully wrong in 2006-2007 in his fierce objection to the troop surge strategy in Iraq, which has led to a massive reduction in U.S. and Iraqi casualties and prevented a complete collapse and civil war.
When Biden was picked in late August, the networks touted Biden’s “wealth of experience” and “long record of accomplishment” on foreign policy (CBS); his “deep foreign policy experience” (NBC); and “foreign policy expertise” (ABC). But only NBC’s Tom Brokaw, interviewing Biden on the September 7 Meet the Press, actually confronted the Democratic vice presidential nominee with his strident opposition to the surge, telling Biden: “All the indications are the surge has worked up to a point.”
It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.
Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations:
How unbalanced was MSNBC's "Race for the White House" panel this evening? The two Obama-friendly panelists—Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Richard Wolffe of Newsweek—were ostensibly offset by Philly radio talker Michael Smerconish and Independent Women's Forum head Michelle Bernard. But channeling Dem congressman James Clyburn on this morning's Today, Smerc called the House Republicans "sophomoric." That was nothing. One-upping Smerconish in the pejorative department, Bernard said that every recent McCain move has been "like an epileptic fit."
Joe Scarborough, putting in a long day's work and subbing for regular host David Gregory, teed up Bernard's snipe with a negative take of his own on McCain's behavior.
The wording may be a tad nuanced, the referenced two-bit dictator from a different country, but the idea behind the following jokes involving Barack Obama and the race card seems too similar for mere happenstance.
Judge for yourself.
On September 19, conservative blogger Jim Treacher wrote the following fictious exchange between "President" Obama and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that seems eerily similar to the one presented on the most recent installment of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (video embedded right, relevant section at 3:30):
For the second day in a row, NBC's Andrea Mitchell depicted Sarah Palin as a bumbling neophyte, as she claimed that even the McCain camp is concerned: "The McCain campaign is so worried about Palin's ability to debate Joe Biden, she's gone home with the McCains, for debate camp in Arizona." However Mitchell didn't point out that Joe Biden himself is taking time off the campaign trail to prep for Thursday's vice presidential debate.
Let's award a point of light to Matt Lauer. On this morning's Today, he called out Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) for calling for an end to the blame game . . . right after the congressman blamed John McCain for failing to rally his Arizona troops to vote for the bailout. But that didn't stop Clyburn from continuing to try to pin the tail on the elephant.
JAMES CLYBURN: We promised 50% of our caucus; they promised 50% of their caucus, or their conference. We produced 60%, and they produced 33%.
MATT LAUER: Yeah, but in fairness, Congressman Clyburn, the Speaker of the House couldn't even deliver half of her own Democratic delegation from her own state.
CLYBURN: Well, that may be true. But zero from Arizona voted for this, and presidential candidate McCain came in, and he said he brought everybody to the table. But if you check, Matt, you will see that not a single person from Arizona voted for this legislation. So here is what we have to do, going forward. I think it's time for us to set aside blaming, set aside all of this extraneous stuff, like a speech that may have been delivered on the floor of the House [alluding to Pelosi's partisan spiel]. It's amazing to me that we can be so sophomoric to believe that a politician would not give a political speech.
Before Monday's House vote on the largest government bailout in American history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), in potentially one of the most poorly-timed displays of partisanship in recent memory, blamed President Bush and Republicans for the turmoil in the financial services industry (video embedded right).
Such ill-advised finger pointing seemed to surprise press members of all shapes and sizes as some prominent print media outlets including the Washington Post and the New York Times quickly published articles quoting Republicans who blamed the bill's failure on Pelosi's hyper-partisan speech.
On the television side, CNN aired Republican reaction to the Speaker's comments moments after the votes were counted (partial transcript and embedded video follow):
On the November 27, 2006 edition of Today, as noted here, Matt Lauer portentously declared:
After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil war.
On that evening's Countdown, Keith Olbermann chimed in, suggesting that NBC's pronouncement was comparable to Walter Cronkite's 1968 declaration that the Vietnam War was lost.
Although NBC, without fanfare, stopped using the "civil war" term sometime beginning in September, 2007, it has never--despite the success of the surge and the marked decrease in sectarian violence--declared the civil war over. Could today be the day? NBC's parent company, General Electric, has signed a deal with Iraq worth billions of dollars to it and Siemens for the provision of electric generation equipment.
On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell loved Tina Fey's parodying of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," so much that she played a clip the "30 Rock" star mocking Palin's inexperience, while simultaneously airing an actual clip of Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric, as Mitchell charged: "the reviews have been withering for her interview with Katie Couric, only her third since nominated."
When the latest installment of Saturday Night Live parodied Friday’s presidential debate, the NBC comedy program gave attention to Barack Obama’s connections to convicted criminal Tony Rezko, corrupt Chicago politics, and Obama’s recent attempts at "playing the race card," which notably are all matters that the mainstream news media have given little attention to. While the show also took a number of shots at John McCain, several times having him propose a bizarre gimmick like challenging Obama to a pie-eating contest for example, the Illinois Senator also received several noteworthy jabs. One line involved McCain’s character, played by Darrell Hammond, referring to Obama, played by Fred Armisen, as making an earmark request titled "Tony Rezko Hush Money." Obama’s character also bragged that his tax cut plan would benefit Chicago politicians and city employees "because my plan would not tax income from bribes, kickbacks, shakedowns, embezzlement of government funds, or extortion."
The Obama character later promised that he would "play the race card" against dictators like North Korean President Kim Jong Il if necessary to guilt-trip them into dismantling their nuclear programs, as he would accuse Kim of refusing to cooperate with him because "I’m not like the other guys on the $5 and $10 bills."
Since Friday’s presidential debate, all three major broadcast networks have highlighted one of Barack Obama’s more commanding moments when he charged that John McCain was wrong in some of his pre-Iraq war predictions, but the media have so far ignored Obama’s incorrect assertion that "there was no Al-Qaeda" presence in Iraq before America’s invasion in 2003. Before the 2003 invasion, various news sources – some American, some from other countries – were already citing the governments of various countries as they reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, not only was already in Iraq plotting attacks to be carried out in Europe, but that he already had an association with Osama bin Laden and had spent time in Afghanistan. But during Friday’s debate, Senator Obama asserted: "Now, keep in mind that we have four times the number of troops in Iraq, where nobody had anything to do with 9/11 before we went in, where, in fact, there was no Al-Qaeda before we went in, but we have four times more troops there than we do in Afghanistan."
By contrast, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all played the following soundbite of Obama from the debate which is more favorable to the Illinois Democrat: "John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003. And, at the time, when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy, you said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong. You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni. And you were wrong."
Notably, back in January 2003 and again in March 2004, the NBC Nightly News relayed claims that the Bush administration had "passed up several opportunities to take [Zarqawi] out well before the Iraq war began." The below was first posted on February 29 of this year, and lists some of the relevant reporting on Zarqawi from various sources and countries:
Watching Saturday’s network morning shows, the talking heads seemed to agree that Friday night’s debate did not produce “a clear winner” or any “knockout punch,” and that it was unlikely that any “needle was moved” among undecided voters. Yet those same networks tried to also argue that Obama had really won the debate, superficially suggesting that McCain’s “disdainful” body language poorly contrasted with the “warm” and “deferential” Obama.
On style, “Barack Obama did a much better job,” ABC contributor Matthew Dowd asserted. NBC’s Chuck Todd insisted that “McCain barely could look at Obama, was disdainful at times, almost annoyed that he was having to share the same stage....Here was Obama being deferential, and here is McCain being disdainful.”
Andrea Mitchell gave it the old Hollywood try for Obama this morning. Summarizing the debate on Today, Mitchell managed to cobble together a video clip that showed McCain's only stumble, while snipping out what many including her colleague Chris Matthews saw as the debate's most salient feature: the multiple times Obama expressed agreement with McCain.
And so it was that Andrea treated us to McCain's difficulties in pronouncing "Ahmadinejad." But the eight times Obama abjectly agreed with McCain? Not a one made it into the Mitchell editor's cut. Then there was Andrea's parting shot:
The only question is whether in some of the reaction shots [McCain] looked too angry and dismissive of an opponent who seemed determined to remain cool.
In the 20 minutes of post-debate analysis before the broadcast networks ended coverage and the cable channels moved on to other shows Friday night, on MSNBC Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell fretted that Barack Obama wasn't tough enough in attacking John McCain on the economy as Mitchell also hailed Obama -- “But, boy, he did show a command of foreign policy in terms of the nuts and bolts of it” -- and regretted Obama didn't do more to tie McCain to George Bush, a theme echoed on NBC by Tom Brokaw who “was surprised he didn't work harder at pinning John McCain to the eight years of the Bush administration.”
CBS featured only one citizen reaction, a man who touted Obama and compared McCain to Nixon, before ending with a quickie poll (neither ABC or NBC had one) that found twice as many “uncommitted voters” thought Obama won (40 percent) than McCain (22 percent).
Interviewing ABC News reporter turned Obama operative Linda Douglass, Matthews pleaded: “Why did your candidate agree so much -- openly and relentlessly -- with his opponent tonight?” He followed up with an impassioned lecture about Obama's missed opportunities to pound McCain:
Why didn't he talk more about the terrible state of the economy, the jobless rate, unemployment, the degree of deficit we're in right now, the degree of national debt, all of those issues out there that effect the average person, the number of foreclosures? He let his opponent talk about taxes and earmarking, his specialties. He seemed to lose control of the economic topic.
Wednesday morning, ABC News and the Washington Post released a new poll showing Barack Obama leading John McCain by 9 points, 52% to 43%. The next day, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll showing a much tighter race — 48% for Obama, 46% for McCain.
Any guesses as to which poll excited the press more? And which poll has come under fire for over-sampling Democrats?
ABC, naturally, reported its own poll on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, with Diane Sawyer touting at the top of the broadcast: “Breaking news this morning: Barack Obama gains ground in a new ABC News poll, a nine-point lead over John McCain.” The on-screen graphic exclaimed: "Obama Surges Ahead"