On Friday, Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico (HT Hot Air), the place where it seems that inconvenient stories go so the Associated Press, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment press can claim they have an excuse not to cover them (respective proofs as of about 3:30 p.m. in the current instance are here and here), covering -- or I should say attempting to cover -- the latest of the White House's ritual Friday document dumps, reported that a White House communications official rejected an apparent proposal to seat Solyndra executives at the President's January 2011 State of the Union address, and that others within the White House already knew that Solyndra was in deep trouble before then.
And he almost got to the real meat of the story, but not quite. In this instance, not quite isn't anywhere near good enough (bolds are mine throughout this post), nor is the "nothing new here, you really don't need to read this" headline:
From David Axelrod's Magic Land of the Double Standard: "Cleanup attempt at CNN. Bring the hazmat suits."
Tonight on CNN, as reported by several outlets (Mediaite, Politico, LA Times, but not the Associated Press, which as of 11:45 p.m. on Thursday hadn't done a national story about Maher in 10 days), David Axelrod told Erin Burnett, in the process of dodging a question about whether an Obama Super-PAC would give back Bill Maher's $1 million contribution, said that Maher's outrageous, misogynist comments against mostly conservative women really aren't as important as Rush Limbaugh's one-time, apologized-for hits at Sandra Fluke:
Politico editor John Harris--known to some for his tendentious questioning during a presidential debate which provoked Newt Gingrich's first of many attacks on liberally biased debate moderators--stepped forward yesterday to proudly proclaim that that it was his idea to create a story questioning the intelligence of the American electorate.
As noted by Tim Graham here at NB, the piece was a perfect recapitulation of the rant made by former ABC anchor Peter Jennings following the 1994 election which saw the first installation of a Republican congress in decades. Instead of accusing his fellow Americans of having a "temper tantrum," Harris simply repeatedly called them "stupid," heavily emphasizing the word on four separate occasions.
On February 28, as reported at the Politico, Obama administration Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel the following in response to a question he interrupted about his interest in having an "overall goal" of lowering gas prices: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.” Yesterday, also as carried at the Politico, Chu effectively retracted that statement, as well as his more infamous September 2008 assertion that he would like to see gas prices in the U.S. resemble those seen in Europe.
A search on Chu's full name (not in quotes) at the Associated Press's main national site and through Google at its hosted2.ap.org site returns nothing relevant to either story. It would not be unreasonable to assert that the Politico, with little or nothing in the way of direct subscriber or member outreach, it the place where many negative stories about the Obama administration get posted -- and go no further.
Alex Burns of Politico has developed a bad case of Peter Jennings Syndrome, right down to accusing the voters of a "tantrum-like response" directed at Obama on gas prices. So far, he writes, the campaign "has been more like a game of Marco Polo, as a hapless gang of Republican candidates and a damaged, frantic incumbent try to connect with a historically fickle and frustrated electorate."
The voters are a gaggle of Gumps: "And 'fickle' is a nice way of describing the voters of 2012, who appear to be wandering, confused and Forrest Gump-like through the experience of a presidential campaign. It isn’t just unclear which party’s vision they’d rather embrace; it’s entirely questionable whether the great mass of voters has even the most basic grasp of the details – or for that matter, the most elementary factual components – of the national political debate."
According to Joe Williams, the senior White House reporter for Politico, Rush Limbaugh is like the "serial murderer" who was caught with "three bodies in the trunk." The veteran journalist made the outrageous comparison on Tuesday's Martin Bashir show, a program that included other liberal smears against the conservative radio host.
Before making his offensive connection, Williams highlighted his background covering the police. Regarding Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke, the journalist linked: "... [Law enforcement] always would catch the serial murderer because he was driving around with a busted taillight, not because he had, like, three bodies in the trunk." He added, "I mean they would always have some incident to really capture him on and this was Rush Limbaugh's." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Celebrity lawyer and unabashed liberal Gloria Allred wants conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh prosecuted in Florida for calling Georgetown University law student and women's rights activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute."
"Fox News again buries the [monthly] jobs numbers," Politico media critic Dylan Byers groused this morning in a 10:23 a.m.-stamped post. Those numbers "appear in the lead or left-hand column atop the websites of the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and MSNBC, as of 10 a.m.," Byers noted.
In a recent article on Politico.com, Jonathan Allen laughably labeled two out of three soon-to-be retired Democratic senators -- Joseph Lieberman(I-Conn.)* and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) -- alongside Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine). Allen did correctly label the retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as a moderate, a tag that makes more sense given his voting record. [h/t e-mail tipster James Harper]
Reporting in the wake of Tuesday's announcement that Snowe is retiring, Allen created the illusion that along with Lieberman, Conrad and Nelson, centrism in the Senate is being dealt a blow.
Imagine if a Republican campaign organization attempted to raise money by going after billionaire Barack Obama fan Warren Buffett by claiming that Buffett is making a lot of money at the pump because of higher gas prices. The press would immediately pounce and say that it's not true, because even though Buffett could be benefiting from the President's cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, the Odious Oracle of Omaha doesn't own enterprises which sell gas at retail.
Well, Team Obama at the Obama For America campaign organization just did the same thing to the Koch Brothers a couple of days ago, and as expected, we haven't heard a peep from the establishment press about the related blatantly false email. A search on "Koch" at the Associated Press's main national web site returns nothing relevant, which is also the case with the same search at the New York Times. What follows is the text of the email I received on Friday morning (also seen here), plus the Koch Brothers' full response (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Head of the George Soros-funded Pacific Institute admitted to releasing documents from the Heartland Institute that he falsely obtained. The group’s sleazy attack was then promoted by liberal bloggers and quickly gained steam. The story was picked up by the New York Times, Politico and other media outlets.
Pacific Institute, the group that lied in order to obtain the documents, received $275,000 from Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 2006. This vicious attack by the left resulted in the release of information on the Heartland Institute’s fundraising strategy, budget, and plans to combat global warming alarmism.
Politico reporter Jonathan Martin on Tuesday mocked the "cracker counties" of Florida's conservative Panhandle. Talking to Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd, he derided, "Chuck, a lot of the counties in the Panhandle, in north Florida, the cracker counties, if you will...more resemble Georgia and Alabama than they do Florida." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd appeared indifferent to this attack, agreeing, "right." That area of Florida, of course, is where fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough represented when he was a member of Congress. No word yet on how Scarborough has reacted. [See update below.]
Charlie Rose boosted a jaw-dropping line from Politico's Roger Simon on Friday's CBS This Morning, which concluded that the Republican presidential debates were hurting the party's chances at defeating President Obama: "It is said that in Chicago, where they are running the Obama campaign, that they're so giddy that they want to run naked in Millennium Park" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Although the media would love to present Barack Obama as seven times brainier than George W. Bush, Byron Tau of Politico reports "President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test — the third lowest score of any State of the Union address since 1934."
Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics initiative conducted an analysis on the last 70 State of the Union addresses and found that President Obama's three addresses have the lowest grade average of any modern president. (Obama came in 13th out of 13; George W. Bush was at number eight.)
We hope the CBS cameraman and Politico's photo editor aren't hitting the unemployment line because of this, but we're glad the message is getting out to consumers of liberally-biased outlets. You can see the screen shot below the page break.
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas - formerly of Newsweek - made claims about the existence of "angry, white, middle class" men in the Republican Party who are "seething."
And fellow panel member and Washington Post columnist Colby King accused GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum of "pandering" to a racist view "that black people are just shiftless, lazy and hands out" because of a recent comment in which Santorum appeared to bring up "black people" who receive welfare benefits, although the former Pennsylvania Senator denies that he used the word "black." (Video below)
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas - formerly of Newsweek - took a jab at Senate Republican Leader Mitch Mcconnell, suggesting that he is normally not a "good guy," during a discussion of the Kentucky Republican's role in reaching a deal with Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut by two months. (Video below)
On Wednesday, the Politico ran a story about the International Association of Machinists Union at Boeing agreeing to approve a contract extension, the result of which ultimately led to the National Labor Relations Board dropping its controversial decision to prevent the company from beginning to operate a mostly-constructed plant in South Carolina.
Though it deserves separate commentary, that decision is not the subject of this post. What is germane at the moment is the howler of a photo accompanying the Politico's report which appears after the jump.
The Obama-loving media have been paying a lot of attention of late to flipflops made by Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney throughout their respective political careers.
Yet as Politico loosely addressed earlier this month, the current White House resident signed a bill in November that reversed his campaign pledge to prevent the slaughter of horses (picture courtesy NowTheEndBegins.com) :
In running down the degree of religious seriousness of a few more recent presidents in an article portraying GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's heavy involvement with Mormonism, Semuels wrote (bold is mine):
MSNBC's faux conservative Joe Scarborough dismissed the conservative credentials of Republican front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney while promoting Jon Huntsman – the GOP darling of liberals like Jimmy Carter.
Scarborough's Politico op-ed ripped Gingrich and Romney for flip-flopping on issues like abortion and global warming. He strangely ignored the time where Huntsman, MSNBC's favorite Republican, called his fellow party members "anti-science" for disbelieving global warming – or when he supported civil unions for same sex couples.
Oops, he supposedly did it again. Herman Cain, the GOP presidential candidate who has experience as a rocket scientist on his resume, made another allegedly "stupid" remark. Why, if you buy the press's accounts of his statements, it's hard to believe the guy can dress himself in the morning without hanging his pants over his head and putting his socks on his hands.
Here's what Cain said that has the ninnies at ThinkProgress aka ThinkRegress (whom I won't link) and the Politico all lathered up -- When Cain recounted how he wouldn't answer a reporter's non-specific question about Libya, he responded that he needed to know which aspect of President Obama's current "policy" (there is one?) he should address: "Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Qadhafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government? … Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to — which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific." Well, it turns out, in an update at Politico which ThinkRegress isn't posting, lest it disturb its meme of constant condescension, that a Cain spokesman identified an important Libyan official with Taliban connections lickety-split:
On Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.
Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.
"Memories, light the corners of my mind. Misty watercolor memories of the way we were." -- Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
Sober political analysis, or merely an MSMer pining for the good old days of Speaker Pelosi? On Morning Joe today, touting a Politico Pelosi puff piece about her "golden touch,"Mike Allen claimed it was "very possible" that Democrats would retake the House majority in 2012. Video after the jump.
There have been a lot of ridiculous comments made in the past week since Politico published its hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, but one of the most absurd yet came from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift this weekend.
Appearing on PBS's McLaughlin Group, Clift actually said, "This is the press doing what the press should be doing, and they should have done due diligence on this candidate earlier on...He got a free ride for a good long while." (video follows with transcript and commentary):