Charles Krauthammer on Thursday attacked the media's recent bogus call for civility in politics.
"The worst in uncivil discourse that we have had in the last decade occurred in the Bush years when the President was vilified, attacked, he was demonized, compared to Nazis," he told Chris Wallace on Fox News's "Special Report." "I do not remember the Times or the mainstream media all of a sudden wagging a finger and pulling a chin about the rise of uncivil discourse at the time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's Christmas Eve, so let's treat ourselves to something conservative political junkies enjoy: handicapping the 2012 Republican field.
On the Fox News Special Report this evening, panelists Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer both singled out Mitch Daniels as a man to watch. Hayes identifed the Indiana gov as perhaps the true Tea Party candidate—someone willing to speak the hard truths about the need for entitlement reform. Krauthammer counter-intuitively found Daniels' lack of charisma appealing—as an antidote to our overdose of hope-and-change.
Charles Krauthammer on Monday said that when Barack Obama spoke to the nation hours ago to announce a tax extension compromise just reached with Republicans, "It was actually a speech addressed at Daily Kos, the New York Times, and MoveOn."
In Krauthammer's view expressed on Fox's "Special Report," "This was a speech aimed at appeasing the Left which is extremely angry over this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The U.S. government “ought to speak about the enablers in the American journalistic community” who have cooperated with WikiLeaks, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer urged on Monday’s night’s Special Report on FNC, recommending that if you “collaborate” with WikiLeaks, then “we are going to look into possible prosecution.”
Kicking off the panel discussion segment of last night's "Special Report," Fox News anchor Bret Baier aired a clip of Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.) warning about the need to reform entitlement spending in order to preserve America's long-term financial solvency.
Baier then contrasted the frankness of the admission from the "two moderate Democrats" with the scary campaign rhetoric weeks earlier from liberal Democrats about Republicans and their ideas -- real or imagined -- to rein in entitlement spending.
It’s quite remarkable to think about and unfortunately it is true.
Throughout the 2009 stimulus debate early in his term, President Barack Obama and other Democrats argue it was time to put America to work with the aid of the government and so-called “shovel-ready jobs.” But in a startling admission in an interview with The New York Times’ White House correspondent Peter Baker, Obama said “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”
So after the American taxpayers were sold a stimulus bill that was supposed to repair the country’s ailing infrastructure and stem the rise in unemployment, the president’s economic policies haven’t lived up as advertised. On the Oct. 13 broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer offered a spot-on explanation.
The White House’s current effort to disparage the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an act of desperation in light of the low poll numbers of the Democratic Party going into the November midterm, as some have pointed out. But perhaps President Barack Obama should address some questions about his own fundraising before attacking other organizations.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And so goes the White House with these attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce drummed up by the “professional left’s” blogosphere that it is using foreign donations to finance political advertising.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer however, had another take on what these attacks are. He said they’re not insane, but desperation of one of the highest degrees. During the Oct. 11 broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Krauthammer attacked the Obama administration, calling this campaign against the Chamber “reptilian desperation.”
Better strap in because we could be on a wild ride if what some economic prognosticators are saying is true - not just on a financial market basis, but politically as well.
Noted economist Nouriel Roubini has upped his forecast the economy could head into a double-dip recession. And CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer is predicting mass panic in the markets after tomorrow's gross domestic product report tomorrow. So based on a lot of this, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested that economic fears have returned to the public. He was asked by Fox News Channel's "Special Report" host Bret Baier what all the negative data meant.
"Historically high and number of unemployed for more than six months also historically very, very high," Krauthammer said on the Aug. 26 broadcast of "Special Report." "I think there is something new happening in terms of the economy, at least the perception of it and that is a return of fear."
Picking up on a nugget (my tweet) surprisingly included in a Wednesday Boston Globe article, on Thursday night FNC’s Bret Baier reported in his “Grapevine” segment: “President Bush is apparently more popular than President Obama on Martha's Vineyard – at least when it comes to clothing.” Baier relayed the day the First Family arrived on the Massachusetts island:
When the First Family vacationed there last year, Obama-themed trinkets were flying off the shelves. Now, the owner of a store called the Locker Room says this summer's best-selling shirt features Mr. Bush. And even Democrats are buying it. It reads: “Miss Me Yet? How's that Hopey-Changey Thing Working Out for Ya?”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams cited a “stunning number” from “a reputable pollster” (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press) – which discovered “just under 20 percent of the American people believe the President is a Muslim” when “he is not” – to justify a full explanation from Chuck Todd on the mischaracterization of Barack Obama. “Look, let's be clear,” NBC's chief White House correspondent declared, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States and he is a Christian.”
Without pointing out how confusion and ignorance about Obama's religious affiliation extends beyond just Republicans and conservatives (41 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of liberals “don't know” Obama's religion), Todd fretted: “Ever since Mr. Obama became a national political figure, some of his political enemies have fanned the flames of religious prejudice by trying to make people believe the President is a Muslim.” Todd despaired that Obama's focus on his job had left him vulnerable to abuse:
During the campaign, Team Obama repeatedly refuted these charges with a special Web site they created called FightTheSmears. Well, when he took office, the anti-Obama campaign continued, but the White House tackled a slew of other issues, and efforts to refute those other attacks took a backseat.
In FNC’s “Grapevine” segment Thursday night, Shannon Bream highlighted a finding in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which NBC’s Chuck Todd failed to point out in emphasizing the public’s disgust with Democrats, Republicans and the Tea Party. Bream observed:
A new poll suggests Americans have more positive feelings for the Tea Party movement than for either of the Democratic leaders in Congress. The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds 30 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, compared to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 21 percent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's 11 percent.
The evening before, on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, Todd declared: “It’s an unhappy America” where “the Democrats hit a record high in their negative rating – 44 percent” while “the Republicans are doing even worse – 46 percent of the country has a negative view of the Republican Party” and “even the Tea Party – which has actually enjoyed a little bit of a renaissance over the last six months – 34 percent now have a negative view. Just 30 percent have a positive view.”
Bret Baier on Thursday rebutted Rachel Maddow's claim to David Letterman that Fox News intentionally tries to show images of "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the MSNBC host was a guest of the CBS "Late Show" Tuesday, and made some pretty disgusting comments about a competing cable news network.
Speaking with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, the host of FNC's "Special Report" countered that because Fox addresses stories that other outlets don't, that "doesn't mean that there's political motivation behind covering actual news."
This, of course, is a huge factor in liberal media bias, and is what folks that analyze news reports refer to as bias by omission (transcript follows with commentary, audio available here with relevant section at 10:00):
Bret Baier took on former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean for accusing Chris Wallace of lying about Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod affair.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Dean pointed his pathetically biased and accusatory finger at FNC while a guest on "Fox News Sunday" only to have it marvelously slapped down by Wallace.
The following day in the friendly confines of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," the former Vermont governor said, "I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about 'We didn`t say one word about this before the secretary of Agriculture fired her.' The fact of the matter is they were pushing this story very, very hard all day."
On Wednesday's "Special Report," Baier struck back and struck back hard using a time lapse video to prove Dean completely wrong (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t our friend Johnny Dollar):
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
President Obama’s recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick – a controversial advocate of socialized medicine and of government rationing of health care, particularly for the elderly – as head of the Medicare and Medicaid programs has so far received no attention on ABC’s World News or on the CBS Evening News, while the NBC Nightly News on Thursday devoted just 38 seconds to the President’s controversial move that circumvents a possibly bruising Senate confirmation hearing, barely touching on the nature of Berwick’s beliefs and their possible implications for the elderly. Broadcast network morning newscasts have similarly shown little to no interest in the subject. CNN’s The Situation Room devoted a full story to the appointment on Wednesday, but did little better than NBC in informing viewers of the significance of Berwick’s beliefs.
By contrast, FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on Wednesday relayed to viewers that Berwick has not only advocated the type of socialized medicine that currently limits access to health care in Britain – favoring a non-free market system based on wealth redistribution – but he has also spoken in favor of government limiting access to some health care procedures for the elderly in favor of younger patients.
FNC correspondent Jim Angle filled in viewers on how the elderly would be treated under a system Berwick might advocate:
If you haven't heard the report of the remarks recently made by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden over what the role of his agency, it's a little troubling. And it hasn't gone unnoticed, at least not by syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer
Recently, Bolden, in an interview with Al Jazeera English, said that the "foremost" mission of NASA is to improve relations with the Muslim world. This drew the ire of Krauthammer on the July 5 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier." (h/t Gateway Pundit)
"This is a new height in fatuousness," Krauthammer said. "NASA was established to get America into space and to keep is there. This idea to feel good about their past and to make achievements is the worst combination of group therapy, psychobabble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy."
“For the first time, Americans got to see the woman President Obama called a ‘trailblazer’ in action,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer trumpeted Tuesday night before Jonathan Karl framed his story on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s hearing around how “a confirmation hearing isn't usually a laughing matter, but if we learned one thing about Elena Kagan today, it's that she has a sense of humor.” Like NBC, Karl featured Kagan joking about how she was probably at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day.
The three broadcast network evening newscasts, as well as CNN and FNC, highlighted Senator Jeff Sessions pressing Kagan on her treatment of military recruiters. Karl used the exchange to praise Kagan: “We also learned that Elena Kagan can take a punch. As when Republican Jeff Sessions slammed her decision as Harvard Law dean to ban military recruiters from the school's career office....She made no apologies for taking a strong stand against the military's ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy.”
CBS’s Jan Crawford declared Kagan “held her own, she was confident, showed flashes of wit, but she didn't break a lot of new ground,” while NBC’s Pete Williams touted how “she displayed flashes of humor.” (CNN expressed concern Kagan wasn’t liberal enough: “Some of her answers on hot-button issues may not please all of her fellow Democrats.” More below.)
The inside-the-beltway media world was turned on its head with leaked e-mails that revealed Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel had some disparaging things to say about prominent conservative figures, including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Byron York.
This ultimately resulted in Weigel's resignation. However, some of Weigel's antics have been previously raised by his critics, including Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor, who offered remarks to Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander.
When President Obama picked Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the broadcast networks referred to the upcoming Senate confirmation process as “contentious” a “meat grinder” and a “battle,” warning Kagan was “in for a fight.”
But a Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in the six weeks since Kagan was nominated shows the broadcast networks have failed to cover the “fight,” and have ignored most of the controversies that could lead to suspenseful hearings next week.
MRC analysts found that the broadcast network evening newscasts aired just eleven stories about Kagan since her May 10 nomination (six on CBS, three on ABC and two on NBC), plus another three brief items read by the anchor. All but one of those stories appeared during the first week after Kagan’s selection; only the CBS Evening News, in a June 3 report, has bothered to cover any of the thousands of pages of Kagan documents released in recent weeks.
The obfuscation displayed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday, in refusing to address factual contradictions in the Joe Sestak job offer storyline, is so obvious that even MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday night showcased a “kerfuffle” between Gibbs and CNSNews.com's Fred Lucas who dared to point out a Congressman cannot serve in the un-paid board position reportedly offered to Sestak if he refrained from running against Senator Arlen Specter.
Matthews declared of Gibbs, who wouldn't go beyond repeated “I'd refer to the memo” deflections: “That is a big case of bluffing and BS.”
An hour later on FNC, columnist Charles Krauthammer marveled: “The indifference of the press to what the White House issued last Friday [is] really quite remarkable. This statement is Swiss cheese. It's got holes in it all over the place and it doesn't add up.”
While the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC have all failed to remind viewers that Israel allows regular aid shipments into Gaza over land from its side of the border, on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News correspondent Richard Roth highlighted complaints about the effect of the blockade on Gaza residents, used a soundbite of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to argue that "even [Israel’s] friends question the effect," and even noted that Egypt was opening its border with Gaza for humanitarian aid – all while still not informing viewers that the Israelis regularly screen aid shipments and allow them into Gaza.
RICHARD ROTH: The U.N. says 70 percent of its million and a half people live on less than a dollar a day. Smuggling through tunnels to Egypt provides much of what Gazans need but at prices not many can afford. Israel says the aim of the blockade is to control terrorism, but even its friends question the effect.
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable.
ROTH: Wary of sharing blame, Egypt's now opened its own border with Gaza – for humanitarian reasons, said Cairo – but probably not for long.
On the same day’s The Early Show, CBS anchor Betty Nguyen also noted Egypt’s actions: "This morning, Egypt has temporarily opened its border with Gaza to let in aid shipments after Israel's raid that killed nine people on a humanitarian flotilla."
Similarly, during the war in Gaza from late December 2008 to January 2009, CBS was the network most likely to air complaints about the blockade’s effect on the people of Gaza, and the least likely to report that humanitarian aid was being transported into the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Dana Lewis filed a report in which he noted some of those on board the Gaza-bound ships that were boarded by Israel were from a Yemeni group that has "murky links to al-Qaeda," and others from an extreme group in Turkey believed by Israelis to have terrorist links: "But among the hundreds, these three parliamentarians from Yemen's Islah Party, a group known to have murky links to al-Qaeda, and others from Turkey's IHH organization. The Israeli government says they're extremists with documented connections to terrorist organizations." The report also recounted that anti-Semitic attacks were chanted by those who attacked Israeli commandos: "In an interview with Fox News, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. said those on the ship were chanting, ‘Death to Jews.’"
On the same day’s Fox and Friends, FNC’s Peter Johnson, Jr., recounted that the Israelis allow much humanitarian aid into Gaza on a regular basis, and that they had also offered to screen and deliver aid from the flotilla of ships before the confrontation: "We know that 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid goes to Gaza every week that's sanctioned by Israel. They do check it for explosive materials, they check it for concrete that's being used to build tunnels. But if the real purpose of the mission was to bring humanitarian aid to the folks in Gaza, Israel said, ‘Listen, bring these six ships to this port in Israel, we will inspect it, unload it, and we will bring the permitted materials to the people of Gaza.’ If the real goal was humanitarian aid, then why was it necessary to state before these horrible deaths that we intended to run this gauntlet no matter what the costs?"
The broadcast networks ABC and NBC have only given brief attention to the flotilla’s links to terrorist groups, while CBS has ignored such connections.
On Monday’s Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, during the show’s regular "Fox All Stars" segment, columnist and FNC contributor Charles Krauthammer argued that the group of ships that were raided by Israeli troops were intentionally trying to provoke an incident and weaken Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as he related that Israel not only already allows plenty of aid shipments into Gaza, but had even offered to deliver the aid on the ships so long as the military was allowed to screen the contents to make sure no weapons were being smuggled.
After complaining about the word "humanitarian" being applied to the ships, Krauthammer argued that there is no "humanitarian crisis" that was being addressed by the flotilla: "There's no one starving in Gaza. The Gazans have been supplied with food and social services, education, by the U.N., by UNRWA, for 60 years, in part with American tax money. Second, when there are humanitarian needs, the Israelis allow every day food and medicine overland into Gaza. The reason that it did not want to allow this flotilla is because, as the spokesman for the flotilla said herself, this was not about humanitarian relief, it was about breaking the blockade." He went on to recount that the blockade exists to prevent weapon shipments to the terrorist group Hamas which controls the government in Gaza.
Weekly Standard editor and FNC contributor Bill Kristol argued that the Israelis would have been willing to deliver legitimate aid from the ships: "As Charles said, they can get humanitarian aid into Gaza. If they want more humanitarian aid to Gaza, airlift in five million tons of nice goods, and the Israelis will just take a look and make sure they're not arms and let them go through the checkpoint. This checkpoint is open. Stuff goes through every day."
ABC, CBS and NBC all showcased a second grader's question to First Lady Michelle Obama, about her apparently illegal mother. The girl pleaded: “Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers,” but “my mom doesn't have papers.”
ABC suggested it demonstrates the need for immigration “reform” as anchor Diane Sawyer proposed “a child's fear brings a new focus to the debate” since “the First Lady had to respond to a child's poignant question” which, reporter Jake Tapper relayed, “immigration reform advocates called...the most meaningful exchange of the day.” [Audio available here]
With “THE QUESTION” on screen (jpg), NBC anchor Brian Williams teased: “The question that a little girl asked Michelle Obama that put her smack in the middle of a big debate.” On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric cued up the video showing “a second-grader had a tough question for Mrs. Obama on immigration.”
In quite a contrast to the immediate tagging of the Bush and Obama Supreme Court nominees as “conservative” (and that includes Sonya Sotomayor), on Monday night ABC and NBC refrained from applying any ideological description to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan while CBS snuck in one. CBS's Jan Crawford declared “her career has put her solidly on the left,” but contended “she will have significant conservative support among academics and lawyers” and warned “that support alarms some liberals.”
Amongst the non-ideological superlatives: ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the “historic nomination” of the “five foot three inch powerhouse,” CBS's Crawford insisted “her interests reflect her openness. She loves softball and poker” (poker reflects “openness”?) and NBC's Pete Williams hailed her as an “accomplished poker player, opera lover.”
ABC, CBS and NBC all highlighted Kagan's high school yearbook picture of her in a robe and holding a gavel (ABC's Moran: “Even in high school, check out her yearbook photo here, she had her sights set on the high court”), but none pointed out the explicitly very liberal polemical points she made just a year or two later, nor did CNN's The Situation Room.
NPR's Mara Liasson on Thursday made a truly astonishing and frightening comment: the crisis in Greece, with the government slashing spending and raising taxes in such a fashion that people are rioting in the streets, could happen in America.
"Greece, whose debt is now I think 115 percent of GDP, ours is about 84 now, and they had to impose some tough austerity measures which means tax hikes and spending cuts, and the people of Greece as you can see didn't like it one bit and rioted," Liasson said on Thursday's "Special Report" on Fox News.
"This in a much more horrific way, much bigger way, is our problem," she continued.
"We have unsustainable deficits that are going to have to be cured with something similar" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Words, just words. But which ones excite journalists and which ones don't? A test case Wednesday night as ABC and NBC, matching the focus of CNN and MSNBC throughout the day, aired segments on controversy over Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell leaving condemnation of slavery out of a proclamation issued last week calling April “Confederate History Month,” but neither had any time for an AP report about how the Obama administration plans to eliminate from the National Security Strategy terms such as “militant Islamic radicalism.”
FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier managed to cover outrage generated against both actions. Shannon Bream reported the administration may be:
[C]hanging language in the National Security Strategy, a document which was last modified under President George W. Bush in March 2006 and reads, quote: “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.” The Obama White House will not comment on reports that a new version of the NSS could drop language like “Islamic radicalism.” But critics of the possible modification call the idea political correctness run amok...
Diane Sawyer teased at the top of the April 7 World News: “Virginia's Governor wants to celebrate Confederate history and not mention slavery?”