Just three days after the inauguration, a White House official told The Hill's Erik Wasson that the Obama administration would be nine days late in presenting its budget blueprint, going to Congress on February 13 with the multi-volume spending plan instead of the February 4 deadline set by federal law. This marks the third year in a row that the president has missed the budgetary deadline.
Well, yesterday, the deadline came and went, only this time White House press secretary Jay Carney informed reporters that the White House had no firm date on when the budget would be released, refusing to give reporters an approximate release date and turning to predictable talking points in which he bashed congressional Republicans, you know, the guys who actually passed a budget plan last year. From the White House website:
The Washington Post announced today that former national editor and staff writer Kevin Merida is the paper's new managing editor, effective immediately. "Kevin is a journalist of remarkable accomplishment, with a record of strong leadership," Post executive editor Marty Baron was quoted in a community relations notice. "He has cultivated a talented staff on the National desk, and he has won the admiration and affection of his colleagues. I'm delighted to have him leading coverage across the entire newsroom,” Baron added.
Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has repeatedly blown kisses to Hillary Clinton in the past few months with her gauzy coverage of the departing secretary of state's handling of Benghazi. Today she took her show on the road, make that air, as she appeared on MSNBC's Martin Bashir program with Democratic strategist Kiki McLean and guest host former DNC communications director Karen Finney. With MSNBC looking forward giddily to a possible 2016 presidential run, the segment was titled onscreen as "Until We Meet Again."
Sure "[s]he leaves office without huge accomplishments" like groundbreaking peace talks or the like, but she does have "enormous goodwill around the world," Gearan gushed. "Some of her greatest accomplishments really were just showing up," the Post staffer insisted.
Washington Post In the Loop columnist Al Kamen has once again proven he’s one of the Obama administration’s biggest cheerleaders. You may recall that he asked readers to choose the First Family’s vacation spot last summer, and dismissed criticism coming from liberals that Obama's second term Cabinet was getting more monochromatic and male.
Well, ol' Al has a new contest for us: picking the title of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's memoir.
The Washington Post somehow calls one of their blogs “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s take from a conservative perspective.” This is an odd title when Rubin complains that a politician is destroying himself and the Republican Party by advocating conservative principles. Rubin was put on the Post op-ed page on Friday trashing Virginia’s Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor this fall: “It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend.”
Then, in another blog from her pro-Israel perch, Rubin blasted Chuck Hagel, but this take did not make the newspaper: “It’s fascinating, actually, to see a nominee of this importance do so poorly. Chuck Hagel, nominated for defense secretary, has gone from awful to atrocious today... It is unclear whether he was not prepped properly, whether he refused to be coached or whether he simply isn’t bright.”
Former senator Chuck Hagel's shoddy performance at his confirmation hearing yesterday has not merely been panned by conservative outlets but also liberal ones. For example, in "What Happened to Hagel?", Daily Beast's Ali Gharib concluded that "a proud statesman" appeared "confused and unsure as he took body shots" from skeptical senators, all the while being unable to explain "some version—any version—of the sober views he's put forward over his years as a foreign policy thinker."John Judis of The New Republic complained that "[f]ormer Sen. Chuck Hagel didn’t acquit himself well.... He was equivocal, often unconvincing, and seemed taken aback by questions that had been swirling around the rightwing blogosphere for weeks."
But leave it to the Washington Post to dutifully carry the Obama administration's water. In his page A3 February 1 story, "Hagel sharply attacked at Senate hearing," Ernesto Londono took aim at the GOP for their "withering criticism" of Hagel. Londono conceded that "at times [Hagel] struggled" but insisted that he "nonetheless offered a full-throated endorsement of the United States' alliance with Israel, insisted he has never advocated for unilateral nuclear disarmament and called Iran an existential threat."
He probably shouldn't quit his day job, but Jason Horowitz may want to try his hand at an amateur comedy night sometime. After all, the Washington Post staff writer published a laughable 36-paragraph profile of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) today which hailed the senior New York senator as a leftie who has "embraced Obama's old bipartisan religion" of late "in a move to realize the president's second-term agenda."
"Casual viewers" of last week's inauguration ceremonies "could have been forgiven for mistaking Schumer for the president's Borscht Belt footman," Horowitz gushed, but, "Actually, he's become the president's right-hand man on Capitol Hill," which is "a remarkable development" for a Democrat who in Obama's first term "wanted to crush the opposition, not compromise."
No good (or at least spineless) deed goes unpunished. As the news broke that the Boy Scouts of America is considering allowing local charters to decide whether to admit homosexual scouts and leaders, the left just won’t let up. Networks like ABC and NBC have already called for more inclusivity this week and so has Washington Post guest writer Herb Silverman, a self-described “Jewish Atheist” and “founder and President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America”
If the Scouts do adopt that policy, Silverman suggested that the next “step forward” is to admit atheists as well. He wrote, “I look forward to a day when the Boy Scouts become as tolerant as the Girl Scouts, who have refused to discriminate against any girl for any reason because they regard lesbian and atheist girls as equals.”
They're "the hottest brother act since the Kennedys: tougher than the Mannings, smarter than the Baldwins, more profane than the Sheens," gush Washington Post gossip columnists Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger in today's The Reliable Source lead item headlined "Showing the love of tough brothers."
"Get ready -- the Emanuel boys are taking their show on the road," Roberts and Argetsinger enthused, noting the promotional tour that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), his elder brother Zeke -- an Obama health-care policy advisor --, and younger brother Ari --a high-powered Hollywood agent -- are taking to promote Zeke's new memoir "Growing Up Emanuel":
Over the past two days, MSNBC has been busy bashing pro-gun rights advocates as craven ghouls in light of a video they insist shows the father of a child slain in the Newtown massacre as being "heckled" during official testimony. But a review of the full videotape testimony shows that, in fact, Neil Heslin was not heckled, but that a few spectators in the hearing room answered a question Heslin posed. Both conservative sites like Twitchy and liberal outlets like Slate have come to the conclusion that there was in fact no heckling.
Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes wrote that Daily Show host Jon Stewart "shot himself in the foot" when interviewing NBC's Bob Costas on Monday night's show. They discussed all the fuss Costas caused by pompously editorializing during a halftime break on NBC about how handguns never accomplish anything good.
Costas told Stewart he’d been let off the hook when “Newtown happened.” He said Newtown, “as horribly tragic as that was, if it did redirect the debate and people are now at least somewhat more willing to think about this rationally and compassionately…then that is a good thing.” Don't you love how liberalism equals rational and compassionate thinking? The Post writer reported Stewart pulled the gun on his own foot by bringing up pop culture:
"Welcome to this century, Scouts," cheered liberal Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak in her January 29 column headlined "Boy Scouts can, belatedly, set an example of courage." Dvorak hailed the announcement on Monday by the National Council of the scouting organization that it would propose doing away with a national ban on openly gay members and leaders, instead allowing local chapters to set policy on the matter.
Hailing the "righteousness" of the move, Dvorak hailed how the Scouts had earned a "courage badge" for the move. In truth, however, the maneuver comes after intense lobbying by gay rights advocates that dried up previously reliable streams of corporate funding. Dvorak failed to mention this, but gay rights activists have been hard at work of late pushing corporate boardrooms from ending donations to the Boy Scouts of America. Thus far drug manufacturer Merck, computer process manufacturer Intel and parcel shipping giant UPS have ended their donations to the 102-year-old organization in large part due to petition drives by gay activists.
The Washington Post's religion writers have been hard at work of late to boost the religious left's push for more stringent gun control legislation. On Thursday, for example, Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein treated readers of the paper's Metro section with a puffy front-page item celebrating the pulpit-pounding for gun control from the likes of the dean of the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, a self-described "left-wing Democrat." Hall has cravenly lumped gun control in with the message of the Christian gospel, using liberal applause lines like "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker made a couple of predictions on Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
First, in a discussion about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, Parker said she wouldn't as "ultimate revenge" on husband Bill who "wants her to run more than anyone else" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Washington Post writer Suzy Khimm, a former reporter for far-left magazine Mother Jones, did her best to portray the Heritage Foundation's lobbying outfit, Heritage Action, as an extreme cabal in a Thursday item on the front page of the Style section. Khimm used two variations of "hardline" to label the two-plus year old group, as well as the term "hard-right."
In her article, "The right’s latest weapon: think-tank lobbying muscle," the writer ballyhooed Heritage Action's influence in the halls of Congress, particularly in the continuing budget battle. She first likened the organization to the alter-ego of a well-known superhero:
The Washington Post’s Metro columnist John Kelly has climbed aboard the gun control train once again. Usually Kelly's writing is non-controversial non-political fare about local Washington, D.C. history, but this week, his columns turned political. For Inauguration Day, he turned his column into a screed to attack out-of-towners for being dismissive of the District of Columbia's lack of voting representation in Congress.
Two days later, Kelly turned his pen to pushing for more stringent gun regulations, recounting the horrific story of Judith Cox, a housewife who killed her four children, then turned the gun on herself, on Valentine's Day 1964.
One of the requirements to be a liberal media member in the 21st century is to have selective amnesia when your agenda demands it.
Consider presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who during an appearance on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday said, "The political culture in which [Barack Obama's] had to work in these last four years may have been the most difficult political culture that any president’s had in a long period of time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, CBS News political director John Dickerson advised the current White House resident to destroy the Republican Party.
On PBS's Charlie Rose Monday, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward made a much different recommendation to President Obama saying, "Sticking your finger in these people’s eye all the time I don't think will work" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Detecting media bias is often an exercise in contrasting two analogous events to see how the media worked to write the narrative in the public's imagination. We at NewsBusters have already looked at how the media love the party atmosphere of the Obama inaugurals but groused at the expense of Bush's second inaugural, for example.
So it's instructive to see how Washington Post veteran journalist Dan Balz greeted President Obama's entry into his second term with how he looked at the dawn of President George W. Bush's second term. "[T]his Inauguration Day comes at a time when there is far greater realism about whether the president, or perhaps any leader, can transcend political divisions and unite the country," Balz noted in his front-page January 21 analysis piece, "This time, the idea of a new beginning seems optimistic."
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, during a discussion of the 40th anniversary of the Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, panel member Nia-Malika Henderson of the Washington Post asserted that it is a "real problem" that many parts of the country do not have abortion clinics.
She went on to fret that younger people are not interested enough in the issue and recommended that "feminist groups and pro-abortion groups have to find a way to engage them and educate them because they're going to be the ones that are on these grassroot levels and at the state levels..."
When it comes to the Washington press corps, it seems journalists have two modes: garden variety liberal bias and rah-rah, fist-pumping Obama boosterism. The cover of today's Express tabloid exhibits both.
"Obama Draws the Line on Guns," exults the headline on the front of the January 17 Washington Post-published tabloid. The photoshopped image accompanying the headline is an upturned fountain pen from which a wisp of smoke is curling. [view the image below the page break]
As news outlets, notably MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, all tout gun control, it’s hard not to accuse these news outlets of exploiting tragedy to promote a left-wing political agenda when a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll shows that gun control isn’t a top political priority with the American people.
Examining the results of a new Washington Post poll, the Post's Chris Cilizza in his The Fix blog noted today that Americans believe the national debt and the federal government's chronic deficit spending are greater issues than gun regulation. In fact, only 28 percent of Americans, including a paltry 41 percent of Democrats, feel the gun control issue requires urgent attention:
Leave it to a Washington Post book reviewer to find a way to blame George W. Bush for the Irish Potato Famine. Okay, Peter Behrens didn't do exactly that, but he used the occasion of reviewing two books about the mass starvation of millions of Irish in the 1840s as an opportunity to bash the Bush administration over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Oh, I almost forgot, the bogeyman of the "free market" also finds itself in Behren's sights.
In his January 13 Washington Post item, Behrens reviewed two new books on the subject, The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy and The Graves are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People, by Tim Pat Coogan and John Kelly respectively. Behrens favorably accepted Coogan's conclusion that “it was British reluctance to interfere with the supposed workings of the free-market economy that allowed famine to continue in Ireland at a time when the country was producing and exporting tons of food to England.”
While it's not exactly news when former President Bill Clinton fails to tell the truth (after all, the first count on which he was impeached concerned his lying under oath in grand jury testimony), a whopper he hauled out at the Consumer Electronics show last Wednesday concerning gun violence was so over the top that it deserves far more notice than most of the establishment press will give it.
One of the reports on what Clinton said was at Thursday morning's New York Daily News. As an aside, the paper's online article looks more like what one would find at issues advocacy blogs than what you would hope to see at a real newspaper's web site; this particular item pleads with readers within its text to "CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE DAILY NEWS ONLINE PETITION TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS," and the petition itself appears below Kristen Lee's report. Lee relayed what Clinton said at the Consumer Electronics show on January 9:
Today's Washington Post editorial clings to the liberal anti-gun rights view that only the government should have access to "military weapons," by which of course they mean semiautomatic "assault rifles" like the AR-15. Of course, government corruption and incompetence has long been an avenue by which criminals have obtained weapons, the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal being an instructive case in point.
But alas, the drug-running scandal was curious missing from the January 11 editorial in which the Post argued that in addition to an assault weapons ban, the U.S. government needs to crack down on international gun-smuggling, particularly on the Mexican border:
As my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock pointed out on January 9, networks such as ABC and CBS, slammed the president for a lack of diversity in his second term administration, particularly with women. Whitlock wrote the “correspondent Jon Karl chided, ‘Well, some critics are looking at that emerging second-term cabinet and wondering, where are the women?’ He touted a New York Times article fretting about the "all-male look" of the new picks.
Oddly enough, concerns over diversity don't seem to be a problem for liberal Obama cheerleader and Washington Post In the Loop columnist Al Kamen. Now, with some major news outlets slamming for his apparent abandonment of women within his inner circle, Kamen asks for us to view this within the context of ‘musical chairs’ in his January 11 post – with fellow WaPo colleague Emily Heil.