Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and condemned the media for its continued blackout of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, was recalled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions related to her involvement in the targeting of conservative organizations.
We know that the person that was put in charge of this investigation turns out to be an Obama donor, a clear conflict of interest. And now Lois Lerner, who is at the center of all this, says she will testify if she’s given immunity from federal prosecution, and these liberals are saying there isn’t a scandal?” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
National Security Advisor Susan Rice gave her first televised Sunday interview since her infamous Benghazi interview in 2012 on February 23, and rather than answer tough questions on the terrorist attack, she chose instead to give a softball interview to David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press.
For his part, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace called out Ms. Rice for her refusal to appear on his show and accused the Obama official of not wanting to “answer the tough questions we would have asked” on Benghazi and a wide variety of foreign policy issues. [See video below.]
NPR media reporter David Folkenflik was given the chance to promote his book “Murdoch’s World” in an interview for the latest edition of The Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists. He tried the usual line that Rupert Murdoch deserved a whole book on his scandals because he’s so “unique.” (Read: somewhat conservative tycoon in a liberal media.)
Folkenflik said he was on a Fox News “blacklist,” and not for the first time. Then he made sure he said he had “a lot of respect” for the Wall Street Journal, unlike Fox:
In a lengthy item "as told to Joe Hagan" at NYMag.com's The Vulture, actor, commercial pitchman, and brief MSNBC host Alec Baldwin makes it very clear that he is fed up with a lot of things.
There is plenty of material for discussion in his writeup. I want to focus on what he sees as his mistreatment at the hands of MSNBC and the self-described "progressive" community. Unfortunately, after said mistreatment, it's clear that he still doesn't get the difference between legitimate if strident criticism and expressions of over-the-top hatred, as the excerpts which follow will show (bolds are mine):
In an interview with Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics, Daily Beast columnist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers said of working at the network: "It's been good for me because I – before that I lived in a real liberal bubble, you know? And all my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family and, you know, had a lot of ideas about conservatives, and you know, then I got to Fox and I just was like, 'Oh, they're not all evil and stupid.'" [VIew video after the jump]
Powers touted the friendly work environment at FNC: "People are really nice at Fox....wonderful people, really different view of the world than I have, but a very well thought out view. Yeah, no, they've been really great to me. Really nice."
Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.
In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A heated discussion between Fox News's Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera on Friday exemplifies two important points.
The first and most obvious is that the kind of discussion seen in the video segment which follows would rarely happen on Fox's cable competitors — yet it's Fox which the establishment press usually describes as biased to the right, while giving CNN and occassionally even MSNBC a pass. Second, Geraldo's position on O'Reilly's aggressive interview — which was, in essence, "How dare you!" — is a commonly held view on the left, whose representatives and reporters would never have had a problem with anyone using the same style with George W. Bush or any other Republican or conservative president. The video and key quotes from the segment follow the jump.
The people at Fox News are apparentlyserious about being “fair and balanced” as proved on Thursday, when the network hired veteran Democratic activist James Carville to serve as a contributor of political commentary on the channel.
The “Ragin' Cajun,” who led Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign in 1992 and spent most of the past decade as a political commentator for the Cable News Network, joins such outspoken liberals as Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers and Bob Beckel on the channel's roster.
Via JimRomenesko.com, two journalism students in Boston have created a game called "Journalist Guest Speaker Cliche Bingo" full of repetitive phrases they're tired of hearing. Kyle Clauss Kyle Clauss wrote: “My roommate [Alex Reimer] and I are students at Boston University’s College of Communication. We’ve listened to our fair share of self-righteous, out-of-touch journalist guest speakers, so we created this bingo board. Thought you and your readers might appreciate it.”
These include some liberal classics: "Lame jab at Fox News," "Bemoans corporatization of media," and "How many of you read The New York Times? GOOD."
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer denounced the "incredible lack of curiosity of the mainstream media" regarding the Obama administration's IRS scandal and observed: "...had this been a Republican abusing the IRS, you can be sure the mainstream media would have been all over it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Krauthammer added that President Obama "knows, as in Benghazi, as in all the other scandals, that he can hide, he can play rope-a-dope, he can string it out and over time it becomes old news. And that's what he's counting on....what the President hopes for, and he's now succeeded with other of these scandals, is you wait, you wait it out, you stonewall. And he got past – you know, on some of them, on Benghazi – he got past the election in 2012. He thinks he'll get past the elections in 2014."
On Tuesday night’s The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly played self-defense against Hillary Clinton’s lame Super Bowl tweet about Democrats being “blitzed and sacked” by Fox News. Kelly recalled how Hillary lauded Fox for fairness when she was losing to Obama in the 2008 primaries. Guest James Carville reflexively said “I thought she was being funny...I thought it was just fine...It was a little-bitty thing.”
Kelly responded with the obvious, that President George W. Bush never engaged in trashing cable-news channels like Team Obama does:
During an extended portion of Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama aired on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, the Fox News host wondered: "Do you think I've been unfair to you?" Obama replied: "Absolutely, of course you are, Bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When O'Reilly demanded evidence, the President cited the preceding interview: "Bill, we just went through an interview in which you asked about health care not working, IRS, 'Were we wholly corrupt?', Benghazi. Right? So the list of issues that you talk about." O'Reilly pushed back: "But these are unanswered questions." Obama complained: "But they're defined by you guys in a certain way."
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
Not accustomed to being asked difficult questions about his failures in office, President Obama attacked Fox News host Bill O'Reilly during a pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday for daring to demand answers about the Benghazi terrorist attack and the IRS targeting conservative groups. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly pressed: "Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out. That's what they believe." Obama ranted in reply: "And they believe it because folks like you are telling them that." O'Reilly responded: "No, I'm not telling them that, I'm asking you whether you were told it was a terror attack."
TV Newser reported that Hillary Clinton got into the act of mocking Fox News in a Super Bowl tweet at 8:44 pm on Sunday night. Poor Hillary can't stand there's a news channel that holds Democrats accountable for their scandals and their botched attempts at "health care for all."
The tweet said, "It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked!" This is a little too football-hip for a woman that's more a fan of NOW than the NFL.
President Obama sat down with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for his annual pre-Super Bowl interview and The O’Reilly Factor host called out the president’s own contradictions during their interview.
During the segment, which aired on Sunday afternoon, O’Reilly read a letter submitted to him that asked President Obama, “why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity?” [See video below.]
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a long attack piece on Fox News for New York magazine theorizing that the Left pays too much attention to “waning” Fox News and gives them too much cachet by opposing them fiercely. It's called "Stop Beating a Dead Fox."
Fox never succeeds on its own. Liberals have the power to make it succeed:
As the latest MSNBC scandal and firing unfolded over a tweet insisting the "rightwing" would hate an "adorable" Cheerios ad with a biracial family, MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on "The Kelly File" on Fox News Channel to discuss NBC's "Lean Forward" offshoot.
MSNBC said this conservatives-hate-racial-mixing tweet is "not who we are." Bozell said, oh yes, that's exactly who you are. It's a network that seems to uncork scurrilous character assassination every week. (video and transcript below):
A big irony occurred on Tuesday's PoliticsNation when MSNBC's race-obsessed host, Al Sharpton, devoted a segment to fretting over right-leaning talk radio hosts and FNC hosts who have complained about a recent comment by President Barack Obama about there being "some" who harbor racist sentiments toward him.
But it was MSNBC political analyst and MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe who made comments most directly applicable to Sharpton himself as he complained that some "enjoy the politics of race" and find that it "really helps their ratings," adding that they try to "shout 'racist' louder than anyone else."
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared near the top of “The Kelly File” on Fox News Channel Monday night to discuss the liberal media’s sudden ardor for Dawn Zimmer, the Democratic mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, who claimed Gov. Christie was handing out federal superstorm-Sandy subsidies in a corrupt and politicized way. Kelly noted she would not answer questions from Fox News.
Kelly pointed out the MRC “has been doing the TV analysis,” and the picture is not pretty: 30 minutes of Big 3 network coverage over the weekend. The discussion began this way (video, transcript below):
For well over a year, NewsBusters has been reporting how the Obama-loving media have done everything in their power to not only avoid covering the details surrounding the September 11, 2012, attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but also assist the Administration in promoting its version of events.
On Thursday, Greta Van Susteren wrote at her blog, "After Benghazi on 9/11/2012, the Obama administration tried very hard to discourage Fox News Channel from reporting on it. The effort was obstruction – pure and simple."
Jill Lepore at The New Yorker magazine took on the new book on Roger Ailes by comparing Ailes to William Randolph Hearst. This is odd, since Hearst’s actual tycoon character at Fox would be Rupert Murdoch, not Ailes.
In one classic paragraph, Lepore explained that urbane liberals shouldn’t be so lazy as to despise Ailes (as they did Hearst) when they should really loathe “the vulgarity and the prejudices” of the lower-class Fox News audience that Ailes attracts:
Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly on Friday marveled over the "amazing" disparity between how the networks deluged America with coverage on Chris Christie's traffic scandal versus how ABC, CBS and ABC covered Barack Obama's IRS controversy over the last six months. Commentator Bernard Goldberg also found the disparity "incredible." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Relying on an analysis by the Media Research Center, Goldberg explained, "In the last 24 hours, actually in less than 24 hours, ABC, NBC, and CBS News devoted 17 times more coverage, air time, 17 times more than they devoted are in the past six months to the IRS scandal." In fact, as of Friday morning, the number was up to 44-to-one.
In 2009, Jacob Weisberg argued “The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American.” This makes him a natural choice for The New York Times in picking a reviewer for Gabriel Sherman’s new anti-Roger Ailes biography “Loudest Voice in the Room.”
In Weisberg’s opinion, instead of helping the GOP defeat Obama, “Ailes effectively sabotaged them by giving unlimited airtime to fringe figures like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain during primary season. Having weathered this freak show through the primaries, Mitt Romney couldn’t shake the Fox News taint.” Times media columnist David Carr wrote almost exactly the same thing about the “fringy” conservatives:
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto to slam the "obnoxious" double standard in how journalists have covered Chris Christie's traffic scandal in two days, versus the scant number of stories on the Obama IRS controversy over six months.
According to Bozell, "It really goes to show you how out of control this left wing so-called news press is." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Cavuto explained, "The big three networks alone devoted 17 times more coverage to this story in one day, one day, than they devoted to the IRS scandal in six months." An updated analysis my the MRC finds the disparity is now up to 44-to-one.