On March 6, in response to New York Times reporters' questions, President Barack Obama told the paper that he is not a socialist. He or his advisers were apparently so bothered by the questions that Obama later called the Times reporters involved in an attempt to .... well, I'm not sure, because he had already supposedly denied the charge.
The best guess is that Obama and his peeps felt he needed to get in some gratuitous digs at former president George W. Bush.
Part of Obama's phone call back to the Times including the following relative to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) under then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:
I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks.
..... I just think it’s clear by the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system.
If former President George W. Bush said 500 million Americans are losing their jobs each month, do you think media would report it?
Probably every hour on the hour until all 300 million Americans had heard about it, right?
Well, during a press conference on an undetermined date, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) -- you know, the second in line for presidential succession right behind the vice president!!! -- said, "Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs."
Amazingly, she's made this same comment at least twice in the past month -- in front of cameras, mind you!!! -- without creating a media firestorm: (video embedded below the fold):
"Fox News Sunday" featured a fabulous interview with Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush today demonstrating that regardless of their political leaning, these are two fine gentlemen who deeply love their country and have the utmost respect for the office they held.
What was particularly fascinating was how they both had nothing but positive things to say about president-elect Barack Obama, as well as his cabinet picks, and that they refused to say anything negative about him.
In fact, if you forward to minute 3:00 of the video embedded below the fold, you'll witness an absolutely marvelous discussion about why they believe former presidents should keep their opposing views of the current executive to themselves, as well as what they think of administration leakers and those that write tell-all books for financial gain (partial transcript follows as well):
In a Fox News Sunday panel segment on the media's pro-Obama and anti-McCain bias, Juan Williams revealed journalists were in such a swoon for Barack Obama that during the primaries “what you saw was that the executive editors and the top people at the networks were all rushing to Obama events, bringing their children, celebrating it, saying they were, there's this part of history.” Though Williams, a former Washington Post reporter who is now a NPR news analyst and regular analyst for Fox News, maintained “there's no question in my mind the media has been more supportive of Senator Obama,” he contended it does not explain why McCain is losing.
Williams on the Sunday, October 26 Fox News Sunday:
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
Speaking of “dishonesty” in McCain's TV ads, on Fox News Sunday Brit Hume pointed out Barack “Obama goes around claiming he's going to cut the taxes of 95 percent of the public, which is literally impossible” since “40 percent of American taxpayers don't pay any income tax,” but that hasn't stopped ABC (directly) and CBS (implicitly) in recent days from advancing that Obama claim as fact. Charles Gibson, in his third interview session with Sarah Palin excerpted on Friday's 20/20 and Nightline (see earlier NB item), stated that Obama will extend the “Bush tax cuts on everything but people who own or earn more than $250,000 a year -- cuts taxes on over 91 percent of the country.”
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason looked at how the Obama and McCain tax plans would impact three Ohio families, including Charles and Joi Beacham who earn $32,000. Mason asked them: “In terms of taxes, what do you want from the next President?” Joi, a school teacher with an astounding level of chutzpah, replied: “Relief.” Chutzpah because, as Mason only noted later (and deserves credit for doing so unlike many of his colleagues over the years), the Beachams “paid no taxes in 2007.” Nonetheless, Mason proceeded to report how the Beachams would benefit more from Obama than McCain since they “would see no change in their taxes under McCain, but the Obama plan would help them” because they would get refundable credits and thus “receive a check from the government for more than $2,200.”
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Chris Wallace uncharacteristically gave Barack Obama's Chief Strategist, David Axelrod, carte blanche during his interview today on FOX News Sunday.
Failing to challenge Axelrod's avoidance in answering questions directly over and over again, and allowing him to go on and on with the standard Obama talking points, was strikingly different than the treatment Wallace gave to John McCain's Campaign Manager, Rick Davis, who he continually interrupted to challenge, sometimes even argued with, such as regarding when the McCain campaign was going to 'allow' Sarah Palin to be interviewed by the media.
And on Saturday's Beltway Boys, Mort Kondracke referred to Palin, McCain's VP running mate, as "that Wacko Right-winger". So much for 'fair and balanced' from the liberals at FOX News.
In the years since he began working at FNC as host of its "Fox News Sunday" program, Chris Wallace has come to realize he was wrong for earlier thinking that the elite media are politically neutral.
"When I was in the mainstream media, when I was working at NBC and ABC [...] I thought we were fair and balanced. But since coming to Fox four and a half years ago, I have come to see things a little differently. And I, in fact, do believe there is a bias in the mainstream media and that is something I was only able to understand when I was outside of it," Wallace said in an interview with a Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts newspaper.
Even if you don't believe Fox is objective, you should be glad it's out there, Wallace added, if only for pluralism reasons:
Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about the Bush administration, he's being lauded with so much praise from the usual liberal media suspects that it must be making MSNBC's Keith Olbermann a tad jealous.
This makes Chris Wallace's interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg even more timely, for the "Fox News Sunday" host showed his colleagues what the term "journalism" really means by going after both of these press darlings.
First, Wallace discussed a key question he'd like to ask McClellan that's been completely absent as media applaud the former press secretary's claims (17 minute audio available here, relevant section at minute 6:00):
The day after it was revealed that former ABC News Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Douglass was going to be joining Barack Obama's presidential campaign, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace said this was a perfect example of how liberal and biased the mainstream media are.
As my colleague Brad Wilmouth reported Wednesday, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote at his blog that Douglass was going to be leaving her position at National Journal to "join Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior strategist and as a senior campaign spokesperson on the roadshow."
The following day, Wallace was interview by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, and was asked, "Do you have a problem with media people, you know, switching to go to work for political campaigns like that?
Have you considered the delicious hypocrisy of Democrat presidential candidates that months ago refused to participate in debates sponsored by Fox News now practically lining up to appear on the cable news channel?
Chris Wallace certainly has, and on the most recent installment of "Fox News Sunday," asked Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean about this sudden change of heart by folks who just months ago were depicting the station as too biased to bother with.
What follows is a partial transcript of this segment (video embedded right):
Hillary Clinton's recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" was a play for superdelegate support at the Democratic Convention, MRC President Brent Bozell argued on the May 2 "Fox & Friends" in a segment joined by liberal talk show host Mike Papantonio. [audio available here]
Asked about the media and if it will follow up any more on the Rev. Wright controversy, the NewsBusters publisher quipped that, "[u]nless Jeremiah Wright sends a cruise missile back in their direction, no, the networks aren't going to touch this, and the New York Times is going to leave this alone. That's the end of the story, that's the way it goes."
Below is a transcript of some remarks from Bozell's appearance on the May 2 "Fox & Friends":
For a moment, let's step away from the commentary, per se, and focus on the commentators. Liberals love to chide Fox News for its alleged conservative bias. So why don't we see, when it comes to being fair and balanced, how this morning's Fox News Sunday panel stacked up against that of its main competitor, Meet the Press?
Well, sports fans, the highly-anticipated, years in the making interview of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday" is over, and it's certain that folks on both sides of the aisle -- as well as all three remaining campaigns -- will find positives and negatives to glom on to.
In fact, some well-known liberal bloggers have already expressed their displeasure with Obama, wondering why he didn't attack Fox News as had been advertised.
MSNBC's Dan Abrams and the folks in the liberal blogosphere are going to be very disappointed tomorrow when they witness what Chris Wallace says was "a very friendly exchange" between the "Fox News Sunday" host and Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In fact, despite what Talking Points Memo reported Friday concerning Obama doing the program to "take on Fox," as well as Jonathan Kim's ("Fox Attacks") recommendation on MSNBC's "Verdict" that the junior senator from Illinois should "[go] on and just [attack] them," it appears Chris and Barack had an exceedingly civil and informative discussion about the campaign and the issues facing the nation.
As he was driving home from his meeting with Obama, Wallace called in to give a preview of the interview to FNC's "Weekend Live" (h/t Johnny Dollar):
Honestly, the hypocrisy of liberal media members knows no bounds.
On Friday, Dan Abrams of MSNBC voiced extreme displeasure with the announcement that Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama is finally going to be interviewed by Chris Wallace on this weekend's "Fox News Sunday."
This from a man whose very network has hosted numerous presidential debates despite moderators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann being clearly in the tank for Obama.
Amazingly, this contradiction continues to elude the good folks at MSNBC as demonstrated by the following partial transcript of Friday's "Verdict" (readers are cautioned to have a trash receptacle handy in case of involuntary retroperistalsis):
The "Obama Watch" on "Fox News Sunday" will officially come to an end this weekend when the Democrat presidential candidate finally allows himself to be interviewed by Chris Wallace.
Sadly, the junior senator from Illinois appears to be doing this kicking and screaming while planning to enter the ring with much the same agenda as former President Bill Clinton did in September 2006.
As reported by the liberal website Talking Points Memo on Friday (emphasis added):
I count Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace among the fairest and most incisive interviewers in the business, and hope his tenure at Fox News is a long one. Anyone who can relentlessly cross-exam Mitt Romney on his changed position on abortion the way Wallace did a while back, then turn around and have Bill Clinton near the point of taking a poke at him, is doing his job and playing no favorites. But should Wallace ever wish a change of venue, never fear: MSNBC apparently can find a place for him.
Wallace made some news when, appearing on this past Friday's Fox & Friends, he criticized the hosts for dwelling longer than Chris thought appropriate on Obama's comment that his grandmother was a "typical white person."
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews devoted a segment to the exchange. Eugene Robinson, the affable WaPo columnist and MSNBC political analyst, suggested that refuge awaited Wallace should he need it.
Brit Hume has some blunt advice for conservatives: lay off McCain if you don't want a Dem president.
At the very end of today's Fox News Sunday panel segment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was first to make an argument along similar lines.
BILL KRISTOL: I'm more conservative than John McCain but I think it would be a mistake for him to just make himself into an orthodox conservative in this election. The reason he is a stronger candidate than a lot of other Republicans would be is that he is a little bit heterodox. He's got his own views, he shouldn't back off on that, I think, actually.
Hume then framed the issue in dramatic terms:
BRIT HUME: And if the conservatives don't want a President Obama or a President Clinton, they ought to get off McCain's back and let him campaign as whatever he wants to, and campaign from the center.
A recent study, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War," by Rich Noyes, the Research Director of Media Research Center, NB's parent organization, revealed that coverage of Iraq by the big three evening newscasts has declined as the news from Iraq has improved. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace highlighted the MRC study during his interview of General David Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq .
CHRIS WALLACE: It seemed to us that you hadn't been in the news much recently, which probably is a good thing from your point of view, since you came back from Washington in September. But we decided to check it out, and the Media Research Center says that the three network evening newscasts did 178 stories on Iraq in September, when you were here, that in October as the surge took hold there were 108 stories, and that in November that dropped to just 68. General, any thoughts about why success in Iraq isn't news here at home?
Truth be told, I was hoping "Fox News Sunday" would totally ignore Friday's announcement that the Global Warmingist-in-Chief won the Nobel Peace Prize.
After all, mainstream news outlets regularly boycott events they deem un-newsworthy, like people receiving the Medal of Honor, for example.
As such, in the grand scheme of things, what really was the significance of a charlatan winning an award -- one that had previously been given to that marvelous humanitarian Yasser Arafat, no less! -- exactly one day after a real American hero was posthumously bestowed one of the finest honors in our land to a deafening media silence?
Despite my skepticism, as the panel discussion began Sunday, and Bill Kristol enunciated likely the exact sentiments shared by people still capable of thinking for themselves, I realized just how fortuitous it was for this to be the first topic on the docket (video available here):
Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton appeared on all five Sunday morning interview shows, but not all raised two controversies of interest to conservatives and, even when they did, not all took a tough approach to her lack of condemnation of MoveOn.org's “General Betray Us” ad and the donations gathered for her by now-captured fugitive Norman Hsu. ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert brought up both matters -- though Stephanopoulos did so in the gentlest way -- CBS's Bob Schieffer asked about Hsu and not “Betray Us,” while Fox's Chris Wallace and CNN's Wolf Blitzer skipped Hsu but raised “Betray Us.”
No one pressed Clinton on how at the hearing with General Petraeus she said his report required “the willing suspension of disbelief.” Only Wallace, on Fox News Sunday, pointed out how Clinton had voted against a Senate resolution condemning the MoveOn ad: “Senator, you have refused to criticize the MoveOn.org ad about General Petraeus. And in fact, this week you voted against a Senate resolution denouncing it.” In contrast, on ABC's This Week, Stephanopoulos presumed Clinton was disturbed by the ad as he asked: “Why not speak out earlier?” On the Hsu case, Stephanopoulos approached the issue from the concerns of other Democrats: “A lot of people look at this and say they're afraid they're going to go back to the days of 1996 when there were some campaign finance violations that many Democrats feel cost President Clinton a couple of points in the final days of the election. How do you assure them that's not going to happen again?” Only NBC's Russert, on Meet the Press, used Hsu to remind viewers of Johnny Chung's illegal 1996 donations to the Bill Clinton campaign.
As NewsBusters reported last Saturday, PBS's Bill Moyers went on an absolutely disgraceful rant about Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and religion during the August 17 installment of "Bill Moyers Journal."
Two days later, Rove was Chris Wallace's guest on "Fox News Sunday," and took issue with Moyers's comments: "Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."
Moyers followed this up with a letter to Wallace posted at his blog Wednesday suggesting that Wallace didn't do his homework concerning Rove, and that Wallace shouldn't "take his every word as gospel."
As NewsBusters reported Monday, two analysts for the liberal think tank the Brookings Institution published a rather shocking op-ed at the New York Times expressing extraordinary optimism about how the surge is working in Iraq.
The pair, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, were Chris Wallace's guests on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, and continued to share positive sentiments about what's currently happening in the embattled nation.
Sometimes when you see NPR's Juan Williams on Fox News, you are left scratching your head wondering what planet he lives on, and what the color of the sky is there.
Such questions must certainly have been raised in the minds of right-thinking "Fox News Sunday" viewers this morning when Williams suggested that the liberal blog Daily Kos "is now center."
I kid you not.
What precipitated this extraordinary lapse of reason on Williams' part was a rather accurate observation made by the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol concerning Democrat presidential candidates attending the upcoming YearlyKos convention (video available here):
Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher did a good job of exposing Mark Green's double-talk on the Fairness Doctrine on today's Fox News Sunday.
Green, who with his brother Stephen have brought Air America out of bankruptcy, was in to debate the issue against conservative talk-show host Gallagher. But when Wallace put it to Green that liberals have plenty of outlets for their views "without having the government mandate that they appear on radio," Green's answer was astounding.
AIR AMERICA'S MARK GREEN: I don't want the government to mandate that.
Really? Expanding on his answer, Green said he doesn't favor the Fairness Doctrine, but wants broadcasters to "have diverse views for diverse communities" and "have local hearings for license renewals."
When Gallagher observed that "it's preposterous to propose that the government mandate speech," Green retorted snidely.
GREEN: Mike, I don't blame you for pretending that you didn't listen to me. I don't want the government to mandate speech.
When Green repeated his claim that he didn't support the Fairness Doctrine, Wallace interjected.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY HOST CHRIS WALLACE: Wait a second, Mr. Green, let me ask you about that. First of all, I believe you told our people that you did support the Fairness Doctrine. But if you weren't going to do the Fairness Doctrine, what's the point of all this? If some station has completely conservative talk and doesn't want to put on a liberal, what's going to happen? Are they going to lose their license?"
NewsBusters readers, meet our second fabulous fifteen-year-old, Miss Lizzie Palmer.
For those that missed it, Chris Wallace aired an absolutely astounding military tribute video (available here) at the end of today’s “Fox News Sunday” that should be required viewing for all Americans.
At its conclusion, Wallace stated the following:
Lizzie Palmer said she put the video on YouTube as her way of honoring the troops. And after graduating from high school, she plans to join the army herself.