Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Sean Hannity mocked journalists for cynically embracing the idea that Barack Obama is leading a "charm offensive" to win over congressional Republicans. Appearing on the March 14 Hannity, Bozell incredulously pointed out, "So he invites Republicans over for lunch a couple of times or dinner, and somebody uses the magic word, charm offensive, and suddenly everybody is doing stories about charm offensive." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Hannity played a clip of CNN's Jim Acosta lauding the so-called outreach over the budget as a "flashback to a bygone era." George Stephanopoulos raved, "Will Obama's charm offensive revive the grand bargain?" This led Hannity to complain, "They're so brain dead. They are such suckers...They take it hook, line and sinker."
Also discussed was the ongoing attempt by journalists to rewrite Ronald Reagan into an unelectable liberal within the GOP. Bozell derided, "They're trying to make Ronald Reagan into something he wasn't. Remember, Ronald Reagan said the biggest mistake of his presidency was raising taxes."
A transcript of the March 14 Hannity segment follows:
SEAN HANNITY: time for "Media Mash." Our weekly roundup of all the ways the main stream, suck up to Obama media trying to put their liberal spin on the news. And back to go through all of this week's material, none other the president of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell, exposing the lap dog media. How are you, sir?
BRENT BOZELL: Good, Sean. How are you doing?
HANNITY: All right, let's start. So the president goes on his big charm offensive. Fascinating thing, if the media took any time to go back, a week before basically the president was saying, Republicans are going to kill everybody, kill children and grandma, the apocalyptic tour, and the media is right with it and champion the charm offensive.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Will Obama's charm offensive revive the grand bargain and finally break the budget stalemate?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama is pouring on the charm at least what passes for charm on Capitol Hill.
JIM ACOSTA: : Washington in black and white this week, a flashback to a bygone era when Democrats and Republicans used to sit down and talk to each other and try to solve the nation's problems. And the president was trying to do that with this charm offensive.
CANDY CROWLEY: I think what is to me brilliant about the charm offensive at this particular moment is if the president can get a long-term deal out of this, he is on his way to that kind of transformational presidency that he wanted.
HANNITY: They're so brain dead. They are such suckers. All they have to do is go back one week and compare what he said a week prior to the so-called charm. They take it hook, line, and sinker.
BOZELL: Sean, this is what happened he tried using the sky is falling politics, and it was so over the top, and it was so out of line, that it backfired big-time on him in the polls and he started crashing. So he invites Republicans over for lunch a couple of times or dinner, and somebody uses the magic word, charm offensive, and suddenly everybody is doing stories about charm offensive. It's kind of interesting, on CNN's "Reliable Sources," you had two liberals who were laughing about this because it's so preposterous, and yet CNN itself did 15 stories on the charm offensive. This is the other story that came out. This is what was said. This is what a White House person told him, this is a joke. We're wasting the president's time and ours. He said, I hope you, in the media, are happy, because we're doing it for you.
HANNITY: That pretty much sums it up, pretty much says it all and just a bunch of parrots. Democracy can't thrive, Mr. Bozell, without a strong critical media. We don't have that. All right, let me give you an example, ABC, "Good Morning America" with George Stephanopoulos no holds barred interview with Obama, no holds barred, really? Let's take a look.
STEPHANOPOULOS: An ABC News exclusive, our no-holds barred interview with President Obama at the White House, not backing down on the budget fight, tough words for North Korea and China, and are those White House tours coming back? You have been taking a lot of heat for the cancellation of the White House tour. The Secret Service says it talks $74,000 a week. Was canceling them really necessary?
BARACK OBAMA: Well, what I'm asking them is are there ways, for example, to accommodate school groups who traveled here with bake sales, can we make sure that kids can still come on the tour?
HANNITY: How about a couple of tough questions. How about the contradiction between Carney and Obama? Carney said they made the decision. Obama passed the buck. He didn't blame Bush, but he blamed the Secret Service.
BOZELL: You know, Sean, by Obama media standards this was a no-holds barred interview. It was serious if you compare it to the standard interview that asks how the dog is doing, how Michelle is doing, how the kids are and, and does Barack Obama every day wake up and think he is the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the kind of report they normally do so this is hardball by comparison, but it wasn't tough journalism. We just did a column showing about 16 different questions off the top of our head that we came up with. If you want to do a serious interview, you ask him, do you agree with your vice-president that transgender discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time? Do you believe that if a tourist shows up with $500,000, he will get a tour of the White House like your guest do? I mean, there are so many questions that could have been asked.
HANNITY: This is just touching the surface with a few tough questions. I'm surprised that they weren't upset, at least not on the air -- I'm sure many of them expected Obama, the anointed one, would be elected pope, Barack Obama-us I.
BOZELL: Well, you know, I know the sequester is going to be over when --
HANNITY: No one is laughing at that. Let's move on. Here's David Gregory asking Jeb Bush. Would today's GOP reject the liberal Ronald Reagan. Beam me up, Scotty. Watch this.
DAVID GREGORY: You're sitting in the Reagan Library as we talk today and yet the president you speak of, and so many conservatives do, raised taxes, was for immigration reform that a lot of modern day conservatives would find quite distasteful, could he exist? Could he get elected in today's Republican Party? Would he be seen as a liberal?
HANNITY: Would he be seen as a liberal? Do you ever want to answer that?
BOZELL: Sean, this is revisionist history. They're trying to make Ronald Reagan into something he wasn't. Remember, Ronald Reagan said the biggest mistake of his presidency was raising taxes.
HANNITY: Yep, and remember the media then -- didn't they refer to him as an amiable dunce?
BOZELL: Oh, yeah. they asked if he could do an interview and not drool.
HANNITY: Yes, that's true. All right, Brent Bozell, Barackus Obamas I, could have happened. My sources inside the conclave say that Barackus Obamas name was brought up. He is close, close second.
BOZELL: Was he ex-communicated?
HANNITY: I'm not sure he was Catholic. I'm not sure Jeremiah Wright's church is connected. Good to see you.