Politico's Roger Simon claimed Sunday that John McCain and Sarah Palin are responsible for the anger being expressed towards Barack Obama by their supporters.
Unfortunately, he had nothing to say about who's responsible for the hatred being expressed towards Sarah Palin on television, at rock concerts, and even at sporting events.
I wonder why.
Appearing on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Simon gave the following response to host Howard Kurtz's question concerning whether or not it's fair of the press to blame McCain and Palin for some recent ugliness at campaign events (file photo):
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen declared: "Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket." In the segment that followed, co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly proclaimed: "...the question a lot of Americans are asking this morning, including some prominent Republicans, is whether Sarah Palin is ready." Correspondent Jeff Glor then explained: "Sarah Palin has mostly been kept away from reporters but the interviews she has done are raising eyebrows."
Glor went on to cite one conservative columnist calling for Palin to step down: "But even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker who said 'Palin is clearly out of her league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race." Based on that, Alex Burns from politico.com concluded: " I think there are a small number of people who will publically say that they're worried about her abilities as a candidate. I think there's a larger number of people who privately express kind of muted criticism and concern."
Even the crossword puzzles in The New York Times are biased in favor of Obama and Biden finds David Levinson Wilk in Politico. Wilk did a little research to see how many times McCain has been an answer in the NYT puzzle since 2005. He came up with zero entries. When he looked for Obama he found the name "regularly appeared" in the puzzle. Does this prove that the Times is "150 percent in the tank" for Obama as McCain adviser Steve Schmidt recently claimed?
I find it a bit amazing that neither McCain's name, nor Palin's name (unless it is referring to Monty Python alum Michael) appears in the Times puzzle. But, there you have it. Wilk gives us his findings but tries to make light of the whole thing.
In some of the strongest criticism of the media yet during this campaign, John McCain's senior adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday blasted the New York Times for being an advocate for Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In a scathing attack, Schmidt said the Times had "cast aside its journalistic integrity and tradition to advocate for the defeat of one candidate, in this case John McCain, and advocate for the election of the other candidate, Barack Obama."
During a press conference call, after CNN's Dana Bash asked campaign manager Rick Davis about a Times article accusing him of getting paid for doing advocacy work that benefitted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Schmidt jumped in to absolutely lambaste the Gray Lady for its clearly biased reporting during this election cycle (audio available here, picture courtesy New York Times/AP):
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" opened its most recent installment with a John McCain-bashing skit believed to be the idea of Senate Democrat candidate Al Franken.
In the segment, McCain, played by Darrell Hammond, approved numerous campaign ads making absolutely absurd claims about Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
One accused the junior senator from Illinois of wanting to provide health insurance for everyone in the universe including Osama bin Laden, while another said Obama approved tax cuts for pedophiles (video embedded below the fold).
Yet, according to Politico, this was all the brainchild of Franken:
One or more people hack Sarah Palin's email account and publish her private correspondence on the web. So MSNBC and Politico naturally want to know if. . . Palin did anything wrong and whether there might be anything embarrassing to her in the purloined e-letters. Discussion of possible negative implications for Barack Obama? Zilch.
Talk about blaming the victim. Norah O'Donnell, subbing for Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC's 1PM EDT hour, interviewed Politico's Jim VandeHei.
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.
Just how much are liberal bloggers driving the mainstream media attacks on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin?
According to a report in Saturday's Politico, postings by the Netroots Friday concerning a friend and former business partner of the Palins trying to have his divorce records sealed created a media feeding frenzy in Alaska.
This was to be the smoking gun tying this individual to a National Enquirer piece last week that alleged Palin had an extramarital affair some years ago, which according to Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel, sent mainstream press members scurrying like rats to a small courthouse thousands of miles from their nests (emphasis added, photo courtesy AP):
Furthering the Obama campaign's complaints about McCain running mate Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) inexperience, Politico's Fred Barbash and David Mark turned to presidential historians for comment, who panned the wisdom of McCain's pick.
Yet as an e-mail tipster to NewsBusters pointed out, two of the historians critical of Palin's "lack of experience" donated money to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Our tipster was too generous.
Politico reported moments ago that campaign manager Rick Davis has sent a strongly-worded letter to Steve Capus, president of NBC News, sharply criticizing Mitchell's suggestion that the Arizona senator had somehow cheated at Saturday's Saddleback Civil Forum.
In it, Davis expressed concern that: "the level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain;" "Mitchell did what has become a pattern for her of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points," and; NBC News was "following MSNBC's lead in abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race."
In a stunning development, Republicans are currently staging a revolt against House Democrats who adjourned a few hours ago to head on a five week vacation instead of allowing a vote which would permit additional offshore oil drilling.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi's refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.
The protest came moments after the GOP presented Pelosi the following letter:
You might say nothing could be more unsurprising than a panel of political pundits admitting the obvious: that Barack Obama is playing the race card when he accuses John McCain of saying the Dem candidate "doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency."
But what makes the punditry panel's unanimity notable is that no one would accuse them of being McCain backers, and what's more, that they turned up on Hardball. Surely Chris Matthews, were he not on vacation, would have found one diehard to deny reality. But with Mike Barnicle guest-hosting, a consensus of truth-telling broke out.
Barnicle began by playing a clip of McCain, interviewed by CNN's John King, saying that it is legitimate to accuse Obama of having played the race card. The video is worth viewing if only to watch McCain end the interview by shaking a surprised King's hand and walking away. Then the panel commented. Perry Bacon of the Washington Post said he would decline to answer directly, but his answer left no real doubt as to his view.
Update: An NB reader contacted Mike Allen, author of the article, to complain about the photo choice. Allen indicated he was unaware of, and not involved in, the photo selection. The accompaning photo was subsequently changed to one of the condemned solider.
Of all the millions of photos of George W. Bush, that displayed here is the one Politico.com chose to accompany its story, Bush Approves Soldier's Execution, of the president's authorization of the execution of a soldier convicted of four murders and eight rapes in North Carolina.
Was this a photo taken of Pres. Bush as he announced his decision? Apparently not. The story indicates that the president did not announce his decision in person, but did so via a statement from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Does Politico have evidence that the president made his decision in anger? If so, it didn't report that. To the contrary, Dana Perino's statement says the decision was "difficult" for the president.
Andrea Mitchell might be a doyenne of the liberal media, but she has her reporter's pride and principles, which have been trampled by the way the Obama campaign has managed the media during the candidate's current trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. Mitchell let loose on this evening's Hardball, speaking of "fake interviews," and decrying that she was unable to report on pertinent aspects of the trip because the media has been excluded and that the video released is unreliable because it's impossible to know what has been edited out.
Before Mitchell made her displeasure known, Roger Simon of Politico, Chris Matthews's other guest during the segment, depicted the images coming out of the war zone as all Obama could have dreamed of.
ROGER SIMON: The optics are all very good on this trip. I mean, the beginning of this trip is so good, Senator Obama might just want to call off the end and just keep running the videotape.
Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is walking a "minefield" on the abortion issue with recent hints that he's taking baby steps to the right on the issue. By doing so, he's risking the alienation of the absolutist activists in the abortion rights movement, Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico reported today.
But given Obama's much-reported efforts at courting evangelicals and other historic constituents of the GOP coalition, it certainly makes sense that the Illinois senator would seek to soften his image with pro-lifers to win over a few of them, or at the very least dampen the outrage among the pro-life community that might swell their ranks at the polls voting for Sen. John McCain.
Yet instead of considering how a potential problem at the polls for Obama and other Democrats in swing states might be abortion rights extremist activists, Budoff Brown painted Obama as facing danger by straying too far from the strict NOW/NARAL/Planned Parenthood line (emphasis mine):
For the second week in a row, CNN's Howard Kurtz, while hosting Sunday's "Reliable Sources," seemed absolutely befuddled by the media's lack of interest in reporting presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign flip-flops.
Last week, it was the junior senator's change of heart concerning public campaign finances. This Sunday, it was Obama's curious reversal on handguns.
After two weeks, Kurtz finally got his answer: the press think flip-flopping makes Obama a great politician. I kid you not:
Imagine, if you will, that former Arkansas Gov. Mike "majored in miracles" Huckabee had won the Republican nominating contest and in the rapture of exhuberance at the historic moment, a Republican congressman who is also the son of a famous religious right clergyman exulted that "the event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance."
That would certainly get widespread attention in the MSM, being so over-the-top and messianic pronouncement about a Republican presidential figure. Not so much when the hallelujah chorus is coming from the son of famous left-wing preacher Jesse Jackson. (h/t Michele at Reformed Chicks Blabbing)
Aside from some blogs picking up on the item as originally reported by Politico's Josephine Hearn on June 5, I'm aware of no media scrutiny about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s hosannas song of praise over fellow Illinois Democrat Sen. Barack Obama (emphasis mine):
Chris Matthews looked at Barack and Michelle last night, and saw Jack and Jacqueline. Opening this evening's Hardball, the host was almost overcome by emotion in describing the scene of Obama's victory speech last night in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Here was Chris, discussing the matter with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Roger Simon of Politico, and Ed Gordon of BET.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's dwell for one moment at least on the man who won last night. I swear. I had no idea this would ever happen in America. I don't know if it will ever happen again. This is a trend, I don't know, this is an odd occurrence. But it was . . . spectacular.
. . .
Last night's magic moment for a lot of Americans. In fact, me included. I, that picture is right out of Camelot, as far as I'm concerned.
Have the media fallen down on the job in pressing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) about her war on terrorism bona fides? If silence over the 1999 pardon of 16 FALN terrorists is any indication, yes.
A Google News search for "Clinton FALN clemency" yielded but one result, this May 24 item from Politico's Ben Adler (emphasis mine):
[Y]ou have to look back roughly a decade to find the last time Puerto Rico played a starring role in mainland politics - the summer of 1999, when President Bill Clinton drew sharp criticism by offering clemency to 16 imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalists who belonged to an organization responsible for more than 100 bombings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983.
At the time, Clinton was accused of attempting to curry favor with the large Puerto Rican community in New York, where Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to run for an open Senate seat. In response, the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating, "President Clinton should not have offered or granted clemency to the FALN terrorists." The political backlash proved severe enough that Mrs. Clinton, then the first lady, ended up publicly opposing her husband's offer, saying she had nothing to do with it.
Is it when something really important happens, and media share it with the public? Or, is it when press members jump on what appears to be a juicy tidbit and broadcast it over the airwaves and in print for a solid 24 hours until every American has heard about it?
Consider the media firestorm set off Friday when Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while discussing the history of nominations not being decided until June, mentioned the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
According to Politico editor John F. Harris, this was "set aflame by a news media more concerned with being interesting and provocative than with being relevant or serious" (emphasis added throughout, h/t Hot Air Headlines):
Conservative activist, author, and political consultant Craig Shirley, contrary to Politico.com's reporting, was not "ousted" from his job advising the McCain campaign. In fact, he's not been on retainer since March. That according to Townhall.com's Matt Lewis today:
John McCain's campaign asked a prominent Republican consultant, Craig Shirley, to leave his official campaign role Thursday after a Politico inquiry about Shirley's dual role consulting for the campaign and for an independent "527" group opposing the Democratic presidential candidates.
I'm told by a reliable source that Shirley was not asked to leave. Instead, he was given the choice and decided to stay with the 527.
In an update, Lewis noted that he talked to Shirley, and far from being ousted, his services haven't been employed recently:
Update: I just spoke to Shirley and according to him:
Update (14:11): Video is no longer up on YouTube, so we pulled the embed. For more coverage, see Ed Morrissey's post at Hot Air.
Just in time to prove a major migraine for the Clinton campaign for the May 6 Hoosier State primary, a YouTube video alleges Clinton backer Mickey Kantor once derided Indianans as "sh*t" and "white n****rs." Fellow NewsBuster Seton Motley and I reviewed the video. There's no doubt Kantor actually said "It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are sh*t," but there is a dispute over who "those people" are and if the second slur is doctored. [see video embed below fold]
Ben Smith at Politico.com reports that D.A. Pennebaker, director of "The War Room" from which the clip is taken, insists the "white n****rs" comments were doctored. Au contraire, says the editor of the video, who insists he merely "enhanced" the audio to bring out the barely whispered epithet.
What's more, Smith reports, Pennebaker says Kantor was referring to then-President George H.W. Bush's political advisors as "sh*t", not the people of Indiana themselves:
The Politico, in an April 18 headline, stated the obvious "Obama’s secret weapon: The media," though it’s not much of a "secret" weapon. John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei noted the backlash against ABC for daring to ask the tough questions, and many mainstream journalists rallying behind Obama after the debate.
"Last fall, when NBC’s Tim Russert hazed Clinton with a bunch of similar questions — a mix of fair and impertinent — he got lots of gripes from Clinton supporters.
"But there was nothing like the piling on from journalists rushing to validate the Obama criticisms and denouncing ABC’s performance as journalistically unsound."
John Harris, formerly of the Washington Post, called for many journalists to "go through detox, to cure their swooning over Obama’s political skill" and noted even co-writer Jim Vandehei "seemed to have been bitten by the bug after the Iowa caucus." Vandehei admitted he found Obama to be "pretty electric myself."
If you didn't know any better, you might think ABC correspondent Lisa Stark has a personal vendetta against airline mergers.
For the second consecutive night, Stark gave viewers every reason to oppose a merger between Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA) on the April 15 "World News with Charles Gibson." This time it came in the form of opposition on Capitol Hill.
"But there was swift opposition," ABC correspondent Lisa Stark said. "A powerful lawmaker from Minnesota, where Northwest is based, called it one of the worst developments in aviation history."
Update (16:54): Schroeder Mullins added links to our videos on EyeBlast.tv. The old Politico had a dead link to our livecast from last evening. She also corrected the error about last night's function being the 20th anniversary. MRC is in its 21st year.
Politico gossip columnist Anne Schroeder Mullins picked up on the 2008 MRC Annual Gala in her April 11 "Shenanigans" feature. The column is devoted to "[s]hifting the spotlight from the buttoned-up, straight-laced world of politics to the fun, tawdry side of Washington."
We're pleased to make the cut, particularly since she mentioned the portion of the program that honored posthumous Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy.
Typical of too many Northern based media outlets, Politico indulged in a little South-bashing today with a story on a remark about Pennsylvania spoken in 2006 by Clinton Democratic operative James Carville (pictured at right in file photo). In attempting to explain the political climate of the Keystone state, Carville basically said that state looked like Paoli (a suburb of Philadelphia) and Penn Hills (a suburb of Pittsburgh) with Alabama in between. Despite Carville's claims that he didn't mean it as any sort of slam, Politico and many Pennsylvanians are acting as if being compared to the culturally conservative and religious parts of Alabama is an outrageous insult. This incident just shows once again that the political elite and the media are utterly biased against the American Southland in general and religious Americans in particular.
Representative of the hate for the South imbued in our nose-in-the-air political operatives is public affairs consultant, Larry Ceisler who has "ties to the Democratic Party" in Pennsylvania. Ceisler told Politico that being compared to Alabama is a "slander."
Roger Simon, chief political columnist for The Politico and former White House correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and political editor of U.S. News & World Report, acknowledged on Sunday's Face the Nation that Barack Obama won over “his base,” which he identified as “the American media,” in his Tuesday speech in reaction to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anti-American rants:
Obama really won over his base, he won over the American media. They loved that speech.
Indeed, over on This Week's roundtable, ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman trumpeted: “He gave a great speech, I think it was a brave speech.”
Fill-in Face the Nation host Chip Reid followed up Simon's observation by fretting about what Republicans, who managed to “swift boat John Kerry” when “many people believed [he] was a war hero,” might “do with what Reverend Wright said in the fall?”