On Wednesday's "Today" show, Matt Lauer played a portion of his interview with Sarah Palin in Alaska where he asked Palin if his former "Today" co-anchor, Katie Couric, was "unfair," during her pre-election interview, to which Palin responded she found some of the questions, "a little bit annoying."
The following exchange was aired on the November 12, edition of the "Today" show (audio available here):
MATT LAUER: More now of our interview with Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin. Virtually unknown before John McCain picked her as his running mate, Palin founder herself under an intense media spotlight. I asked Governor Palin about one of her first interviews during the campaign with Katie Couric, where she stumbled over a number of questions. And I asked her if seeing the clips from that interview, hurt her confidence.
Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where an alleged friend of the show's title character bad-mouthed him as "phony," then lamely spun it as a compliment when confronted by Seinfeld?
Self-professed "progressive talker" Ed Schultz tried much the same yesterday while talking with a caller about whether the federal government should engage in yet another bailout, this time for the ailing auto industry.
Schultz said he has little doubt that Congress will quickly enact some type of rescue package for Detroit, seeing how unions were an integral part of the coalition that elected Obama.
Those blue meanies over in conservative talk radio, "progressive talker" Ed Schultz opined yesterday. There they go again, Schultz sighed, making a fuss for hardly any reason over possible reimposition of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
Here's what Schultz had to say (click here for audio) --
It's been interesting and I have listened to it more in the last couple of days than I have in a long, long time and that is the right-wing talkers of America and how they're ginning up this story about the Fairness Doctrine. So I'm going to be a little bit selfish here today about our industry because now there seems to be an attack on the reason why Barack Obama was elected is because the liberal media and the bias in the media has taken him to the doorstep of the White House and now they're attacking conservative talk radio. My Lord, these people are just, they are relentless when it comes to fear-mongering. You know what, I should be the one sitting here just pounding the drums for the Fairness Doctrine, the way that we have been able to be successful in recent years and stay afloat when we weren't given 90 days. I mean, if they were to put in the Fairness Doctrine, who do you think would benefit? I would make more money. Let me just be right up front about that. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. I've never paid much attention to it.
At the end of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, an emotional Harry Smith declared: "I don't know how else to say this -- I grew up in a household that was not racially neutral. I grew up in a household where racial epithets were used commonly and with vigor. To see the difference in this country, in a country that I grew up in, so many people have said this is not something they thought they would ever see in their lifetime, and I wept tears of joy last night." Co-host Julie Chen observed: "You have tears in your eyes right now, Harry." [audio available here]
Prior to that admission, Smith interviewed poet Maya Angelou and asked: "Who were you thinking about last night as you watched the coverage?" Angelou replied: "All of us. All of those who went before, who paid dearly. And all of us today, all of us. I'm so proud, I'm filled -- I can hardly talk without weeping -- I'm so filled with pride for my country. What do you say? We are growing up." Angelou later added: "And he is inclusive, as opposed to exclusive. I know that he knows he is the president of every black person, every white person, he's the president of the bigots and he must remember that." Smith added: "He said in his acceptance speech, ‘for those of you who voted against me, I hear you too.’" Angelou replied: "Yes, exactly. That's what I mean...We will be together. This is what he dreams, he envisions it."
NBC political analyst Chuck Todd offered the Quote of the Day in the first few minutes of Today on Thursday, comparing incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to the legendary American generals Patton and MacArthur [audio excerpt here]:
President Clinton chose a childhood friend to be his chief-of-staff, Mack McLarty. What did that mean? That chief-of-staff never knew how to tell the President no. Never was a sort of behind-the-scenes guy. In Rahm Emanuel Obama knows he's gettingDouglas MacArthur, or General Patton. A guy who's a field general, who will keep all of the, keep everything running on time, the trains running on time and will go after Congress.
Heading into the campaign's final stretch, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said to lefty radio host Ed Schultz that John McCain and Sarah Palin spent so much time in the Keystone State, "I'm thinking of charging them state income tax they've been here so often."
The quip drew hearty laughter from a union audience for Schultz's show on Oct. 29 from United Steelworkers' headquarters in Pittsburgh.
But then Rendell said this about what would result from imposing Pennsylvania income taxes on the GOP candidates -- "it would be good for our economy." And while Rendell was clearly kidding about levying taxes on McCain and Palin, Rendell wasn't kidding about what he believes would result if he did.
Three of "The View" co-hosts are comedians by profession, but they unintentionally provided some comedy to the November 5 edition of "The View." After two segments of basking over Barack Obama’s victory, and the historic nature of the first African-American president, Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg hammered away the need for more affirmative action. [audio excerpt here]
The panel’s two rich black women, whose children do not need a head start over poor white children, expressed disappointment that Nebraska voters approved a ballot initiative banning affirmative action. Sherri Shepherd felt that "there are some people who just need a leg up." Whoopi Goldberg, who just moments before celebrated Obama’s historic victory, opined that "if we lived in the country that we always pray that we’re going to wake up in where everything works and everybody is equal, you wouldn’t need affirmative action."
Earlier in the segment, Joy Behar, giddy over Obama’s victory, proclaimed it as "a triumph over negative campaigning." Did Joy forget the Obama ad mocking McCain’s age and war wounds?
Today's Unintentional Honesty Award goes to Jonathan Capehart. The Washington Post editorialist, discussing Barack Obama's acceptance speech last night, spoke of the president-elect thanking "his reporters," before catching himself and substituting "supporters."
Joe Scarborough, with an assist from executive producer Chris Licht, called Capehart out on his Freudian slip. The WaPo man proceeded to pat himself on the back as one of those rare MSM members who had not been in the tank for Obama. Right.
During a special post-election edition of American Morning on early Wednesday morning, CNN correspondent Carol Costello seemed to be confused as to what California’s proposed Proposition 8 would do and hinted that she was opposed to the effort. The initiative would amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex "marriage." Costello first stumbled as she tried to explain the proposition: "These are the results that we have -- voting yes means you -- you would overturn -- voting yes means there would be a ban on same-sex marriage -- that's 52%. The no votes have 48%." She then continued as to when the results would be certain, and gave a hint as to where she stood on the issue: "We probably won't be able to call that until much later this afternoon, although we do remain hopeful." [audio excerpt here]
Co-anchor John Roberts introduced Costello’s segment, which began 23 minutes into the 4 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, and stated how, besides the presidential race, "from same-sex marriage to abortion, there were some hot-button issues on state ballots across the country, and our Carol Costello has been tracking the results of those." Costello actually focused on the same-sex "marriage" ballot questions during her report and didn’t mention anything of the other issues.
Jaws dropped among NBC viewers just after President Bush's gracious White House speech today in the 10am hour of Today welcoming President-Elect Obama. NBC political analyst Chuck Todd accused Bush of looking like he "wanted to bask in the reflected glory of the history that was made...just like John McCain did last night." Todd also said it was striking since Bush was "the man who's probably more responsible for not just Obama's election but John McCain's defeat than anybody else." Todd also insisted Bush was "responsible" for all the GOP congressional losses. [audio available here]
Is this how NBC wants to greet two Republicans energetically offering gracious concessions? Trashing them for "basking" in Obama's glory? Here's a fuller transcript:
LAUER: Very gracious comments from the president during extremely difficult times for him this morning.
Lefty radio talker Ed Schultz ended his "Voices of America" tour in Asheville, N.C., last week by distorting a universally known quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. far greater that Sarah Palin's skewing of a remark by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Here's what Schultz said at the end of his "town hall meeting" in Asheville, which was broadcast on his show Thursday (audio available here):
I think we as Americans, in this part of the country, we have to step forward and we have to take a page out of history and remember what Martin Luther King said -- you must judge a man by the character of his heart and the content of his heart and not the color of his skin.
Agreed, Schultz is paraphrasing Dr. King's words and not quoting him verbatim. But even as paraphrase, Schultz's retelling is wide of the mark, at least to this observer's ears, and more closely echoes the views of a current political figure.
P.J. Gladnick's post regarding the audio of Barack Obama telling the San Francisco Chronicle he will bankrupt the coal industry has already elicited the response of : "unbelievable" from a West Virginia coal official. Governor Palin included the issue in a speech at a rally in Ohio today as well.
H/T to Radio Equalizer’s Brian Maloney who picked up this on-air obscenity laced diatribe from San Francisco KGO radio host Karel, who called for the “death” of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, AKA “Joe the Plumber.”
“F__G__D__Joe the G__D__M__F__plumber! I want M__F Joe the plumber dead.”
Maloney notes some interesting background information on the San Francisco radio host:
Karel, also known as Charles Karel Bouley, is an evening and weekend host at KGO radio in San Francisco.
Well the media has officially gotten cocky when they start predicting that the reddest of red states could be in play for Barack Obama, and that's precisely what NBC's Ron Mott did on Tuesday's "Today" show, when he cheered that Texas, "May be surprisingly competitive." [audio excerpt available here]
In a report on early voting, Mott noted the long lines for those willing to participate in early voting and celebrated:
So far Democratic voters appear to be the ones most willing to wait, and that could spell good news for Senator Barack Obama who's encouraged supporters, including his legion of newly registered young voters, to take advantage of early voting in 32 states and they've answered the call.
Then a little later, before throwing it back to "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira, Mott concluded the story with this overly confident observation:
Polls here in Texas give Senator McCain a relatively comfortable advantage but Democrats are nonetheless optimistic. They point to record turnout that we've seen so far, and a record number of registered voters, 13.5 million, as two signs perhaps that Texas may be surprisingly competitive this time next week. Meredith?
The following is the full story as it was aired on the October 28, "Today" show:
An unintentionally hilarious assertion was made by Alaska State Senator Hollis French on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show Friday night.
Maddow and French were discussing the so-called Troopergate scandal and Gov. Sarah Palin's alleged grudge in firing former Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan for not reopening an investigation of a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce with Palin's sister.
Hollis, a Democrat who led the state legislature's investigation into Palin's actions in firing Monegan last July, cited "severe logical fallacies" in claims made by Palin and her husband Todd, including the Palins' request for reduced security despite their assertions that Wooten was a rogue cop.
Then came the coup de grace from French:
Stop and think about, what good does it do to fire a trooper if you really think he's dangerous?
In a stunning on-air admission of his desire to re-regulate radio and infringe on free speech, Obama supporter and New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) argued recently that the so-called Fairness Doctrine -- which would mandate equal time for opposing viewpoints on radio programming -- would elevate talk radio to a "higher calling." Bingaman lamented that radio without the "Fairness Doctrine" has become less "intelligent."
Describing John McCain's alleged rationale for not mentioning '60s radical William Ayers in the second presidential debate, rising liberal media darling Rachel Maddow recently attributed a dubious quote to McCain -- "I didn't have the guts."
Wow -- McCain said that? Well, not exactly.
Maddow, making the assertion during a broadcast of her Air America Radio show, cited politicalwire.com as her source. Here's how it was reported at politicalwire.com on Oct. 14 in a brief post titled, "McCain Pledges to Bring Up Ayers in Debate" --
It appears Sen. John McCain will take Sen. Barack Obama up on his challenge.
In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama's comments that "I didn't have the guts" to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have "probably ensured" that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday's debate.
In other words, McCain stated the words, "I didn't have the guts," at least according to politicalwire.com -- but McCain was quoting Obama saying this about him, McCain.
Rush Limbaugh is a terrorist. That according to Joy Behar, who said so on the October 22 edtion of "The View." Barbara Walters, who previously only held such a standard for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, called out both Behar and Hasselbeck for allegedly never diverting from a partisan or ideological line. Hasselbeck defended herself noting past criticisms of Rush Limbaugh. Joy Behar, who also called Sean Hannity a "Dangerous Force in America," immediately jumped in and shouted that Rush Limbaugh is "not a Republican" but a "terrorist." [audio excerpt here]
As Joy Behar has previously described friendly exchanges with the king of talk radio in the past, one has to wonder if such a line was to attract attention. After branding the conservative icon a "terrorist" Behar proclaimed "you heard it hear ladies and gentlemen." Hasselbeck replied "make your news headline."
Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet told a Chicago radio duo this morning that Sen. Joe Biden was not referring specifically to Barack Obama in his now-famous comment at a fundraiser that the Illinois senator would be "tested" by a crisis in the first six months of his administration. (h/t e-mail tipster Rose Wagner)
LYNN SWEET, Chicago Sun-Times: It turns out that the Republican National Committee spent more than 150,000 [dollars on Gov. Palin's wardrobe].
DON WADE, co-host: Wait a minute. It's hard to focus on a story like that when Joe Biden is warning that we're going to have an international crisis if Barack Obama is elected and nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody's asked Joe Biden what do you mean by that?
ABC reporter Jake Tapper contended on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" that John McCain can still win the presidential election and observed to co-host Diane Sawyer, "...If there's one thing the American people like doing, it's having the media say that this is all over, that one guy's going to win, especially a Democrat." [audio excerpt here]
He added, "And then they say, well, not so fast. Not so fast, media. We have a say on this on Election Day." Tapper also argued, "I would never count John McCain out. It is a very, very big hole he's in. But he can get out." Earlier this week, Tapper was one of the few journalists to highlight a false claim by the Barack Obama campaign that John McCain would "cut" $882 billion in Medicare benefits.
On Friday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota appeared on Hardball and pounded away at Barack Obama’s associations with his long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright and bomber Bill Ayers, suggesting that the media should be investigating these associations with very anti-American voices, and that if John McCain had these associations, the media would be all over it. Chris Matthews couldn’t stand it. But he was nothing compared to others on the left – like the ones who started a Censure Bachmann website. Or raving left-wing talk show host Mike Malloy (the former CNN news writer!), who wildly associated the conservative Republican with Nazis, and death in general:
She represents a district in Minnesota, she's a Republican of course, and she’s a hatemonger. She’s the type of person that would have gladly rounded up the Jews in Germany and shipped them off to death camps. She’s the type of person who would have had no problem sending typhoid smeared blankets to Native American families awaiting deportation to reservations. She’s the type of person that I’m sure believes that the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam was good and the use of depleted uranium in Iraq served a purpose. This is an evil bitch from hell. I mean, just an absolute evil woman.
Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar agree: Whoopi Goldberg’s "do I have to worry about becoming a slave" question to John McCain was "good." Whoopi, for her part, does not think the question was "tough." On the October 20 edition of "The View," in calling for Sarah Palin and Barack Obama to appear, the discussion evolved into a recap of McCain’s recent appearance.
Whoopi Goldberg denied that they were tough on Senator McCain, but the rest of the panel disagreed. Sherri Shepherd praised Whoopi’s question of a return to slavery after McCain called for a stricter interpretation of the Constitution on behalf of his judicial appointments. Sherri Shepherd, who has demonstrated ignorance on history and geography, seemed to forget that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution forbids slavery, not a product of an activist court. Joy Behar agreed "it was good." [audio clip available here]
Earlier in the segment, upon discussing Sarah Palin’s recent"Saturday Night Live" appearance, Joy Behar blasted the Alaska governor for not appearing on "Meet the Press" or "The View." Behar suggested that Sarah Palin just reads the teleprompter and not appearing on "The View" where she would "actually have to put a sentence together." Joy Behar missed that Palin has been off script in interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. One may counter "that’s just a softball interview." Perhaps, but no softer than a Matt Lauer interview with Barack Obama.
Reciting all the messianic nicknames given to Barack Obama, such as "The One,""The Savior," and "The Messiah," NBC's Matt Lauer, on Monday's "Today" show asked the Democratic presidential nominee, how he will "manage" such great, "expectations." During an interview, aired in two parts in the first hour of "Today," Lauer rarely hit Obama with a tough question, instead choosing to focus on recent campaign highlights such as all the recent endorsements for Obama from Colin Powell to the Washington Post. [audio excerpt here]
In the later portion of the interview Lauer recounted the biblical descriptions of Obama:
People have called you "The Savior," "The Messiah," "The Messenger of Change." The expectations have been raised to such a level. Some people say you're partly responsible because of your confident attitude. If you are, as you just say, lucky enough to be elected the next president are you going to have to consciously manage expectations, during the first several months of your administration?
"Good Morning America" journalists celebrated the endorsement of Senator Barack Obama by former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday's program. An ABC graphic for reporter John Berman's segment did not hold back. It asked, "Obama's Best Weekend Ever? Powell and Donors Boost Obama." Co-host Diane Sawyer teased the story by announcing, "This morning, Senator Obama's banner weekend: Record breaking crowds, cash and the endorsement heard around the world." [audio excerpt here]
Introducing Berman, Sawyer called Powell's endorsement, which occurred on Sunday's "Meet the Press," a "booster rocket." Berman also highlighted the fact that Obama's campaign has a "bank account that swelled by a record-shattering $150 million." Of course there was no mention of the influence of money in politics or the Democratic presidential candidate's now broken pledge to take public financing.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez discussed former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama with Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer: "To hear Colin Powell say that he's not sure John McCain can handle the economy, he's not sure if Sarah Palin is qualified, he doesn't like the nasty tone of this campaign, how significant was that, Bob?" Schieffer replied: "...this just adds to the good news that Barack Obama's been getting lately. Things seem to be breaking his way. This just adds to the momentum."
Rodriguez then followed up by wondering: "What do you think privately the McCain campaign is making of this endorsement?" At that point, Schieffer proclaimed: "Well, I'm sure they don't like it but, you know, this is -- what Colin Powell said yesterday and why it was so riveting to hear him, he was saying aloud what a lot of Republicans are saying privately, I think, or at least what I've heard some Republicans tell me. They think the pick of Sarah Palin reflects on John McCain's judgment, they think the campaign has turned too nasty and is not inclusive. I think Colin Powell said aloud yesterday what some Republicans, at least, are saying privately." [audio excerpt here]
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday strongly challenged "Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer about the media's lack of fairness towards the McCain/Palin presidential ticket. The exchange came after the ABC journalist followed up on negative Gingrich remarks about the Obama tax plan by asserting, "for fairness," Obama talking points on middle class tax cuts.
An irritated Gingrich refused to allow Sawyer to move on to another topic and retorted, "No, wait a second. I don't notice very often, reporters, for fairness, pointing out what Governor Palin said or pointing out what Senator McCain said." The GMA anchor, slightly taken aback, defended, "And let me just say, I do point out what Senator McCain says, Mr. Speaker. You know I do." [audio excerpt available here]
And yet, just a few minutes earlier, during a different segment, Sawyer seemed to prove Gingrich's point that the media often recite the left's talking points and attacks. She launched into an update on Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher, which was really a series of gratuitous attacks on the Ohio man who famously challenged Obama over his tax plan. She derided, "It turns out, even though he was arguing about taxes for plumbers who end up making $250,000 a year, it turns out that he doesn't have a plumbing license, though the company he works for does."
ABC's "View" co-host Joy Behar dismissively called Joe Wurzelbacher's [Joe the Plumber] dream of owning a plumbing company a "fantasy" on the October 16 program. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called her out on it (audio available here):
JOY BEHAR, co-host: Joe the Plumber doesn't have a business yet, he's fantasizing about a business he's going to have.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, co-host: Fantasizing?! This is a man who's trying to realize his hard work.
BEHAR: Excuse me! Fantasizing is a very legitimate term to describe somebody who's predicting the future for themselves. Creative visualization, okay.
HASSELBECK: Fantasizing is a dangerous thing to say because it assumes that it is not attainable.
"Last night I thought it was very poor, quite frankly. I thought he had opportunity after opportunity to go after Barack Obama. I don't know why he held back," noted MRC President Brent Bozell in his October 16 appearance on FNC's "Fox & Friends." [audio version available here]
Reacting to co-host Steve Doocy suggesting that McCain may have "made the case" to sway some undecided voters, Bozell strongly disagreed:
No. I think he had great opportunities to score bigger points. Take the abortion issue, and by the way, I'm glad finally that issue was raised by a moderator. On abortion, Barack Obama's record is perfectly clear. He is in favor of every form of abortion imaginable. He's in favor of taking off all restrictions on abortion. He's in favor of federally-funded abortion, meaning you and I will pay for all the abortions in America. And John McCain never made that point.