You have to hand it to Politico, they know how to gin up publicity.
"Is Rick Perry dumb?" asks the top headline on the website today. Yet on balance, the corresponding article by Jonathan Martin isn't all that bad, noting that Perry has often been underestimated politically, much to the peril of numerous Republican and Democratic opponents who are now footnotes at best in Texas political history.
That being said, there's little doubt that the media, including Martin, are hard at work cementing certain prejudices and lowering expectations about the three-term Texas governor:
It’s hard to keep up with what the media and the left deem acceptable. Seems like just last year Anderson Cooper publicly took offense at a line from a movie. Come to think of it, it was just last year that the CNN anchor found “That’s so gay,” upsetting to his perfectly honed PC sensibilities.
Fast forward a year. Many people are accusing two currently prominent figures of being gay. But don’t hold your breath waiting for indignant coverage from Cooper and the rest of the media, because it’s liberals leveling the charge against conservatives.
Take, for example, Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). The Bachmanns have been married more than 30 years, and have five children. Mr. Bachmann runs a clinic that offers Christian counseling to people struggling with “unwanted” homosexual feelings – derisively termed “praying away the gay” by liberals.
It was by no means surprising when Politico's Roger Simon claimed on Friday's "Inside Washington" that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's comment concerning corporations being people "was one of his rare flubs."
But when the Washington Post's Obama-loving columnist Colby King stuck up for Romney saying, "He's actually right," it's a metaphysical certitude many unsuspecting viewers around the nation spit out whatever was in their mouths (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
At the conclusion of a fractious national debate about the debt ceiling, a truly marvelous moment occurred Monday when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) returned to the House floor after being shot in the head almost seven months ago.
Apparently unable to control himself, the sadly getting more and more disgraceful Chris Matthews chose to mar the emotional homecoming by connecting her shooting to the Tea Party and "the violent level of the right-wing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Throughout his tenure, there have been several facets in which President Obama has been demonstrably weak on leadership, with the debt debate coming to the forefront in recent months. Now however, lost in that news cycle has been another failure of leadership for the President – his own request to tone down violent rhetoric in this country. For it was mere months ago that Obama stood in front of a crowd in Tucson that had anxiously sought leadership amidst the chaos of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting; a teachable moment that had The Guardiangushing about how the President had delivered “calm amid the toxic rhetoric.”
That moment of calm has long since dissipated. Where once the President had denounced discourse that places “the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do”, we hear Republicans blamed for holding the American people hostage to their economic policies. Where once we were urged to talk “with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds”, we now hear Tea Party members being denounced as terrorists.
Make no mistake, this ratcheting up of terrorism and hostage-taking discourse directly coincides with recent events in Norway. The instant that Oslo terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, was labeled as a ‘right-wing Christian’, liberals finally had their moment to seize upon - not just a chance to label conservatives as extreme ideologues but a chance to label them as violent ideologues. This message has been a coordinated and vicious attack amongst the media, the Democrats, and most assuredly, the President.
One more data point demonstrating the leftward tilt of the purportedly non-partisan Politico:
In his Playbook of today, Politico's chief White House correspondent Mike Allen depicts a "grand bargain" on the credit ceiling, which inevitably would include huge tax increases, as an "historic achievement" for which President Obama and House speaker John Boehner would "rightly get credit."
In contrast, Allen suggests that Republican leaders Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy are refusing a grand bargain out of petty political ambition.
The nation's elite journalists are forever denying that they have a liberal bias. Of course, the evidence in their reporting proves that claim false every day. One other thing belies their claims--the revolving door between the self-described "mainstream media" and Democrats. There simply is nothing like it for conservatives and Republicans looking to get into elite journalism.
The latest example of this phenomenon comes from Beltway insider publication Politico where the revolving door spun both directions on the same day with one reporter leaving the paper to work for Democrats in Arizona and another coming into the paper fresh from a gig working with Senate Democrats.
As Clay Waters at the Media Research Center's Times Watch reported earlier today ("One of Obama's Emotional Arguments for Obama-Care Proven Wrong in NYT Staffer's New Book"), the New York Times's Kevin Sack ran a story yesterday which "reflects badly on Barack Obama and how he misled people in his campaign for Obama-care."
People that have been watching Chris Matthews since the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire last month know that the devout liberal has suddenly and quite mysteriously developed a soft spot for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
On Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show," the host actually said to his guests, "I wonder whether cerebral writers like George Will and David Brooks, bright people, are not really in tune with that base out there that she is" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the wake of liberal rock star Tom Petty telling GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to stop playing his music at campaign rallies, CBS reported past spats between liberal musicians and Republican candidates on Tuesday's Early Show.
As Politico's Martin Kady put it during the segment, the dismayed artist sending the Cease and Desist letter to a presidential candidate is almost always liberal, and the candidate is almost always Republican. The Early Show made sure to emphasize that during a segment where no Republican candidate provided his side of the story.
The Supreme Court on Monday unequivocally rejected the notion that courts should force power companies to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, but none of the major broadcast networks covered the unanimous decision on their evening newscasts or morning shows.
The New York Times teased the ruling on the front page of Tuesday's paper, directing readers to a thorough analysis of the 8-0 decision, but ABC's "Good Morning America" and "World News," CBS's "Early Show" and "Evening News," and NBC's "Today" and "Nightly News" all skipped a decision that prevents environmentalists from using the courts to impose greenhouse gas regulations on electric utilities.
"There’s a difference between the press and the Democratic Party and the press and the Republican Party."
So said Chris Matthews on the syndicated program bearing his name this weekend in the midst of a discussion about how the news media treat presidential candidates (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
In a June 16 story for the Politico, Molly Ball surveyed the existing GOP presidential field and essentially buried them all as pathetic losers who couldn't even carry their home states. The article headlined: "The GOP's Unfavorite Son Primary" detailed how current candidates Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and even undeclared ones like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin would have trouble winning statewide races.
Yes, you read that right. According to Ball, Perry could struggle to beat Obama in Texas and Palin could fall to the President in Alaska.
Politico's write-up of Barack Obama's Puerto Rican trip depicted the President as a conquering hero making his long-awaited return to the "adoring island." Carrie Budoff Brown, in her June 14 article headlined: "An Adoring Island Welcomes Obama" painted scenes of jubilation as she wrote Obama was "greeted by thousands of cheering Puerto Ricans," and added: "Much of San Juan appeared to stand still for a few hours, soaking in the brief presidential appearance." Brown also observed: "Peopled held up signs showing Obama's face superimposed on Superman's body."
Many people, including yours truly, believe that one of the primary reasons for the Politico's existence is to carry negative stories about Democrats and leftists which the rest of the establishment press then mostly chooses to ignore ("Why should we cover that? It's at the Politico already").
Whether it's deliberate obfuscation or just plain laziness is up for debate, but the media have a penchant for misleading news consumers with the meme that Blue Dog Democrats are politically "conservative." While the Blue Dog caucus is decidedly more moderate than Democrats as a whole -- you could individual members are "conservative for a Democrat" -- they rarely if ever qualify as conservatives when you look at the entirety of their voting records.
In the Bush years, the hottest, most telegenic politician in Washington was a Republican (or “pro-defense” Democrat) who would oppose President Bush in Iraq. Democratic Rep. John Murtha was red-hot, and so were critical Republicans like Chuck Hagel. But in the Obama years, backing away from Obama’s war policy doesn’t exactly give you the same cachet.
On Friday, on the front page of Politico, reporter David Rogers wrote “Top Dem Becomes War Critic: Obama ally losing faith on Afghanistan.”
New York Magazine apparently believes that opposing foreign aid is literally xenophobic - rooted in irrational fear of foreigners - and is willing to engage in some pretty sketchy journalistic practices to make its case. Those are a pair of lessons Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., learned on Tuesday.
In their coverage of Herman Cain's official announcement that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, Associated Press reporters Shannon McCaffrey and Greg Bluestein limited their description of Cain's tenure as chief executive of Godfather's Pizza to the following:
He worked at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King before taking the helm of the failing Godfather's Pizza franchise, which he rescued by shuttering hundreds of restaurants.
That's all he did, eh? Guys, if that's all you could cobble together about Cain's time at Godfather's, you should have ended the excerpted sentence after "franchise" (for which a better word would have been "chain").
The AP pair also omitted a couple of key elements of Cain's resume, specifically his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association and his involvement as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he ultimately was elected chairman.
Here is a description of Cain's tenure at Godfather's found at a site called PizzaDominoes.com:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is clearly not going to tolerate anyone on his program saying Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich isn't racist.
Politico's Jeanne Cummings had the nerve to do exactly that on Thursday's "Hardball," and for her sins Matthews relentlessly browbeat her until she finally gave up (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is expected to be a Democratic contender in the Texas 2012 Senate race. However, when Politico's Mike Allen brought news of his probable candidacy to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday, he omitted the fact that Sanchez commanded the U.S. ground forces in Iraq while the infamous abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison took place.
Sanchez, when he retired from the Army in November of 2006, told a local paper that the Abu Ghraib scandal was "the sole reason" he was forced to retire. The scandal occurred in the summer and fall of 2003, and involved humiliations, beatings, and sexual abuse of prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. Sanchez was the commander of coalition forces in Iraq during that time.
Today's Morning Joe offered an interesting contrast of MSM takes on Donald Trump. Politico honcho John Harris proffered the conventional Beltway wisdom, writing off Trump as a "silly season" candidate who adds only entertainment and amusement value to the race.
Meanwhile, Mark Halperin was surprisingly respectful of The Donald. Halperin opined that beyond the birther issue, Trump was doing a lot of smart things that other candidates should study. Among them, Trump is the only candidate, according to Halperin, willing to "get in Barack Obama's face."
In a Monday opinion piece at Politico (HT Hot Air) entitled "NFL players need Obama's support," Blackistone criticized the President of the United States for not supporting the players in their dispute with the league's owners, and -- I kid you not -- said it "differs very little" from the recent public-sector collective-bargaining controversy in Wisconsin. Blackistone even brought Martin Luther King into the mix (bolds are mine):
On Monday evening, the AP reported that a suspicious package destined for Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) Washington congressional office was intercepted at an off-site mail facility and "contained a pig's foot and a note laced with several anti-Semitic references, according to a person with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because of the ongoing police investigation."
King, the AP noted, is "[t]he Republican congressman [who] chairs the House Homeland Security panel which held hearings last month on Islamic radicalization."
But a search of Nexis reveals that major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post failed to report the story. The same appears to be true of the three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. ABCNews.com's "The Note" blog, however, did report the story Monday evening.
When conservatives gather behind closed doors, the left plans protests and counter events. When the left plans a closed-door meeting, it gets almost no attention at all.
Politico reported briefly on Feb. 16, that Democratic operatives will gather in early March for a private strategy conference. That has gotten little attention or criticism, yet when conservatives gather at the semiannual Koch conference the left mounts elaborate protests.
“Participants include Obama campaign pollsters Joel Benenson and Paul Harstad, the 2010 executive directors of the DSCC, DCCC, and DGA, Organizing for America deputy director Jeremy Bird, SEIU political director Jon Youngdahl, and current DSCC executive director Guy Cecil,” Politico’s Ben Smith said.
When the latest “semiannual confab of conservative activists” hosted by Charles and David Koch took place, people on the left from environmentalists to unions held a counter-meeting called “Uncloaking the Kochs.” The Los Angeles Times covered the protests and even linked to streaming video of the lefties’ event, but didn’t quote a single conservative in that story.