In Monday’s Washington Post, media reporter Howard Kurtz is noting how Rudy Giuliani uses the "liberal media" as a foil in his campaign, and also offers the latest in a trend of adding prominence to his old WashPost colleagues at The Politico website for their scoop on Giuliani’s use of public money (for his security detail) for his messy private life (visits to his mistress in the Hamptons). Giuliani called the story "totally false," five years old, and a "debate-day dirty trick."
Kurtz did not ask about that "liberal media" and their double standard: that the public moneys wasted on enabling adultery was always a distasteful right-wing trash-for-cash story when the Clintons were in the spotlight (Troopergate, anyone?), and that a five-year-old Clinton adultery story was always something the liberal media would regard as news no one needed to read. Kurtz went to his long-time Post colleague John F. Harris for a rebuttal:
We had a little campaign drama yesterday as a disturbed man (who claimed he had a bomb) took hostages in the Rochester, New Hampshire, headquarters of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Over a period of several hours, all of the hostages were released. And eventually the hostage-taker, Lee Eisenberg, surrendered without incident (but not before calling CNN ... maybe he had a debate question?).
When the incident began, Hillary Clinton was in the Washington area. She cancelled her campaign schedule for the day and immediately travelled to New Hampshire, where she met with law enforcment and the families of the hostages. Clinton made at least two public statements during the day, and she held a news conference (video) after the ordeal ended. Clinton's actions were certainly appropriate for the incident, and her statements were sober and direct. But in the end, her actions were no different than what any other politician or candidate would have done.
CNN is defending its job in vetting questions for last night's debate, reports Politico's Kenneth Vogel:
The retired general who quizzed Republican presidential candidates about gays and lesbians in the military was not the only person linked to a Democratic presidential candidate who got to ask a question at Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube debate.
Was it just a slip of the tongue, or did Josephine "Josie" Hearn of Politico just let her liberal slip show? On this evening's "Tucker," she sure seemed to wax enthusiastic over a positive poll result for Hillary.
Norah O'Donnell subbed for Tucker Carlson on his MSNBC show this evening, and talk turned to the latest LA Times|Bloomberg poll, which put Hillary at 48%, with Obama at 17% and Edwards trailing with 13%. Norah invited Hearn to comment.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Josie, it just shows she's continuing her wide margin on just about every demographic, right?
It might not be as sexy as an item about an MSM anchor exposing his liberal bias. But if there's one thing I'd encourage conservatives to read, consider and act on in the blogosphere today, it is the Patrick Ruffni column "Information Gaps on the Right" at Hugh Hewitt's blog.
Ruffini's fundamental point is the need for professionalized, conservative "feeder blogs," sites that "tee up" information for other blogs. Ruffini points to Think Progress as a model from the left of what this should be:
There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.
According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.
Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.
A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.
So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) recently told an Illinois woman that while his grown sons have never served in the military, they are displaying their patriotism by campaigning heavily for their father's nomination for the presidency.
The Politico and USA Today have picked up on the item. USA Today's "On Politics" blog noted in an entry posted at 11:45 Eastern that:
The questioner, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., told Susan later that she is not a Republican and is in fact a member of a "Progressive Action for the Common Good."
Asked if she was satisfied by Romney's answer, Griffiths said:
If you have trouble imagining the establishment media speaking at CPAC -- although I do remember a slick Tim Russert and a prickly Ted Koppel attending one at the invitation of Accuracy in Media ten years ago -- it's not as hard to imagine "objective" reporters at the second annual lefty-blogger Yearly Kos convention, this year in Chicago. Mike Allen of the Politico (formerly of Time), Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine (formerly of Newsweek) and Time deputy Washington bureau chief Jay Carney will all be speaking at the Chicago event. At the Huffington Post, blogger Ari Melber explains he will be moderating a let's-kiss-and-make-up panel on Friday between the media and bloggers featuring Allen and Carney:
I'm moderating a panel that will pair bloggers Glenn Greenwald and Jill Filipovic with The Politico's Mike Allen and Time magazine's Jay Carney, to discuss whether media-blog relations can evolve towards more constructive interactions. We're calling it "Blogs and the MSM: From Clash to Civilization."
There's nothing biased here, just some industry news. Politico and Media Bistro's fishbowlDC are reporting that it looks like NBC/MSNBC will be giving up their Capitol Hill cubby hole digs and moving most if not all of their DC bureau operation out to Nebraska. Avenue that is.
For those unfamiliar with Washington, the NBC offices on Nebraska are considerably farther from Capitol Hill than the stone's throw from the Senate that NBC now enjoys.
The bottom line: this could make it harder to get congressmen and senators who need to stay close to the Hill for legislative votes to appear on camera on MSNBC.
Clay Waters of Times Watch alerted me to a new item in the Shameless Hillary Department: Ben Smith at Politico.com reports Mother Teresa's missionaries have protested Hillary's use of a photograph of her waving next to Mother Teresa in a Hillary campaign video, in which the announcer said: "Hillary in effect, was the face of America, in Africa, in India..." The picture was used as the words "in India" were narrated. Will the rest of the media follow up on this story?
The head of a politically conservative Catholic group, Fidelis, said he brought the video to the attention of Sister Nirmala, Teresa's successor at the Superior General of the India-based Missionaries of Charity. Fidelis president Joseph Cella called it "wholly inappropriate, disrespectful and disturbing that Hillary Clinton shamelessly exploited Mother’s image as a political tool."
Well before the Media Research Center was conceived in 1987, the Gipper was watching the media's liberal biases and recording his "frustration with the press," Allen noted:
One of the dominant themes is his frustration with the press.
April 22, 1982: “Last night CBS did a special 1 hour documentary (Bill Moyers) on 4 cases of poverty and illness they laid to our ec. program. It was a thoroughly dishonest, demagogic, cheap shot.”
March 11, 1983: “Lou Cannon’s story in the Washington Post. It was a vicious series of falsehoods and I was mad as h—l.” (The lead of the front-page story, written with David Hoffman, was: “The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne M. Burford was carefully orchestrated by White House and other administration officials who had to persuade a ‘stubborn and defiant’ President Reagan, as well as Burford, that her departure was politically essential, administration sources said yesterday.”)
Oct. 30, 1983: “Watched the Sunday talk shows – subject Lebanon & Grenada. The press is trying to give this the Vietnam treatment but I don’t think the people will buy it. They’re still whining because we didn’t take them on a guided tour the 1st day we were on Grenada. No mention of the fact that we’ve flown 180 of them onto the Island today.”
We’ve now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: it’s business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes. The Democrats are spoiled like rotten kids, and the Republicans are invited to sleep on a bed of nails, and do so willingly.
But the dynamic now has been made even worse by the petulant petitions and protests of the censorious left, the ones who claim to be "democrats" but want to remove Fox News Channel from the news media. Leftists believe in a media strategy with all the sophistication of holding your breath and turning blue. Fox hatred is required. On the Huffington Post, author Carol Hoenig argued the Democrats should debate on Fox. Even so, her article was headlined "Fox News: A Cancer On Society."
While being interviewed on Friday's “Today” show by Meredith Vieira, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews attempted to explain the rationale behind a bizarre question he posed to Republicans the night before at the debate he moderated. Matthews had asked the presidential candidates: "Seriously, would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?"
Republicans laughed in unison, with Mitt Romney retorting: "You have got to be kidding."
On the May 4 "Today," from the site of the debate, the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, Matthews defended his question:
Weighing in on Time's "Swampland" blog, journalist Joe Klein opined that the best question of last night's GOP primary debate was the infamous "What do you dislike most about America" question. Klein slammed the candidates' performances, but particularly picked on Romney, whom he mocked as overly optimistic:
I could imagine him doing the Reagan nice-guy, slightly-boggled head
twitch, especially when he was asked the question of the night: What do
you dislike most about America?
Romney's answer: I love America. Great. Good. Great Great. Creative. People. The American People. Love. Great....
This is a basic DNA difference between the parties. Republicans
see the American people as perfect; the American government as an alien
import from France. You put America and Flawed in the same sentence,
and any Republican will go all (faux) De Toqueville--great good great
Update at bottom of post: other bloggers reactions.
In a column this afternoon, Politico's Roger Simon took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for giving a public prayer for the victims of the Virginia Tech gunman "in Christ's name.":
Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?
He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”
Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.
I've not seen this in searches on Google News or on their respective Web sites yet, but I got this today in my Facebook inbox (click here to look at the NewsBusters Facebook group):
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2007 - The Politico and www.politico.com
today announced a new content-sharing partnership with
www.USATODAY.com, the web site of the nation’s largest national
Under the new partnership, Politico’s coverage of the
presidential campaign, Congress and special interests will be featured
prominently on USATODAY.com's redesigned political page. Some Politico
coverage will also appear in the print edition of the USA TODAY.
has always been our goal to grow The Politico audience by introducing
our coverage and website to readers around the world,” said Robert
Allbritton, CEO of Politico’s parent company, Allbritton
Communications. “This is the perfect marriage: our comprehensive
coverage of politics with USATODAY.com’s cutting edge, widely read web
The partnership will also feature USATODAY.com political coverage on POLITICO.com.
Let's play a quick game of word association. I say "John McCain" and "reform." You say . . . I'm guessing . . . "campaign finance" or perhaps "McCain-Feingold." Am I right? And what's one of the biggest beefs that Republicans in general, and Republican primary-voting types in particular have with McCain? Correctamundo: his championing of campaign finance reform, which Republicans tend to oppose on philosophical grounds [unconconstitutional restriction of free speech] and pragmatic political ones [increases the power of the Dem-friendly MSM].
If further evidence were needed that it's hard for MSMers to understand Republicans, I refer you to Roger Simon's piece from yesterday at Politico.com, The Reinvention of John McCain. For what is Simon's advice to McCain for the reinvigoration of his campaign? You guessed it: that he return to his reformist roots.
One week apart, "The Early Show" provided very different segments about 2008 presidential contenders. The April 2 edition provided a very glowing, positive review of the candidates. The April 9 edition was far more critical of the contenders. Why the difference? The former reviewed the Democrats. The latter reviewed the Republicans.
On April 2 Hannah Storm discussed Hillary Clinton’s "amazing [fund raising] numbers." John Harris of Politico.com agreed noting "they are incredibly impressive numbers." Though Democratic rival John Edwards raised a much smaller $14 million, Storm wanted to know if the former vice presidential nominee saw a "spike in donations" after his wife announced her breast cancer is not curable.
That's pretty much the spin from the Politico this afternoon as the online political journal spun Barack Obama's campaign fundraising performance into bad news for Republican presidential aspiratios in 2008.
Here's the text of the "breaking news" e-mail from Politico.com. That's right, it's so important it deserved a breaking news alert to Politico readers' inboxes:
The Politico.com Breaking News: --------------------------------------------------------- GOP Gets Swamped in Money Hunt
The $25 million raised by Barack Obama this year is the latest bad news for Republicans.
I didn't think anyone could really be offended by Karl Rove's "dancing" to a comedic rap routine at this week's Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner. Well, aside from maybe Julia Louis-Dreyfus (whose "Seinfeld" character Elaine Benes has been dethroned as World's Worst Dancer).
A popular listserv for the younger members of the National
Association of Black Journalists (which this reporter is a member of)
was abuzz early Thursday morning: Was it funny, offensive or just
Some compared the sketch to a modern-day minstrel show, others tried
and failed to muster indignation against it and still others wondered
whether the critics were simply over-thinking.
Today's Edwards announcement is an object lesson in how easy it is for us in the blogosphere to run with something juicy without double-checking the facts and/or being very, very careful to precisely word our posts so that we don't tell readers to take something to the bank that hasn't been confirmed.
It's also a lesson in how to promptly and gracefully face the music and admit error.
Earlier today, Politico's Ben Smith ran with a single anonymous source today at shortly past 11:00 a.m. saying that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would suspend his presidential campaign so he could tend to his wife, Elizabeth, as she battles breast cancer.
That source turned out to be wrong. Edwards will continue his campaign and Smith promptly admitted and apologized for his error (his blog post was submited at 12:34 EDT, just after the Edwards announcement). [continued...]
The bold and brilliant Hugh Hewitt doesn't hesitate to ask journalists appearing as guests on his radio show to describe their personal political leanings. Most decline to do so in a self-righteous huff, the typical response being along the lines "that is irrelevant to my reporting, which I play down the middle." There are rare-but-welcome bursts of candor, as when former WaPo political reporter Tom Edsall famously acknowledged to Hugh that he, along with the overwhelmingly majority of his erstwhile WaPo confreres, were indeed Dems and liberals.
I mention this because a few weeks ago, Hugh had as a guest John Harris, one of the founding members of the Politico, the new web-based venture that draws many of its reporters from the ranks of some of the leading MSM institutions. Harris, for example, is the WaPo's former political editor. Hugh posed the who-did-you-vote-for question, and Harris demurred along the lines cited above. After the interview, Hewitt said he suspected that Harris and the rest of the Politco crew were indeed libs. Nevertheless, Hewitt seems to appreciate the Politico's lively and topical reporting. With that as an endorsement, I decided to sign up for the Politco's Daily Digest email, and have been reading and largely enjoying it ever since.
I was at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for only part of the first day, but I think Politico.com writer Jonathan Martin's characterization of CPAC attendees as gloomy about the crop of 2008 hopefuls to be a little over-dramatic.
Caroline Daniel of the Financial Times, on the other hand, had a less dramatic view in her March 3 article, "Conservatives search for presidential candidate."*
Daniel reported that many attendees feel no one candidate captures all that they are looking, but noted in closing "some conservatives are willing to overlook" socially liberal stances from candidates like Giuliani if they are solid on the War on Terror.