On Tuesday’s Today show, NBC’s Jenna Wolfe singled out Sarah Palin and grouped her with “flabby thighs, cheap men, [and] rude people” as subjects some people chose to ritually “purge” from their minds in an annual event in New York City called “Good Riddance Day.” Participants wrote down their worst memories of 2009 on sheets of paper and fed them into a giant shredding machine to mark the upcoming new year [an audio clip from the report is available here].
The NBC correspondent began her report, which aired 50 minutes into the 7 am hour, by briefly describing the concept of the “Good Riddance Day” event in midtown Manhattan: “It’s the crossroads of the world. People flock here for the shows, the shopping and the shredding? Right smack in the heart of Times Square, they are purging like mad. This is ‘Good Riddance Day,’ where before you ring in the new, you say adios to the old.” She then listed her examples of what people fed into the shredder, highlighting one piece of paper that had the name of the former Alaska governor written on it: “Whatever you hated in ‘09- flabby thighs, cheap men, rude people or Sarah Palin, just write it down and rip it up. The ex’s are the most popular purges.”
Panelist Rich Lowry of National Review, picking up on Ellis Henican's description of both quotes as “icky,” soon observed they were hardly an aberration: “If you go to the Media Research Center Web site and look at every single video clip from the inauguration” you'll see “every single one of them is icky from every single major media outlet. They were in love with this guy and they still are -- most of them.”
In an interview in which he hit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee repeatedly from the left, George Stephanopoulos pleaded with Sen. John McCain to "name an issue next year where you are going to be joined at the hip with President Obama." [audio available here]
The live interview via satellite occurred six hours after McCain joined the other 39 Senate Republicans in voting against cloture on the Senate version of Democratic health care legislation.
All but two of Stephanopoulos's questions dealt with health care,the other two with Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Transcribed below are Stephanopoulos's agenda of questions, which you'll notice buffet McCain from the left, and/or paint Republicans are the party responsible for keeping the Senate from wrapping up its business until Christmas Eve, even though it is Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who controls the legislative calendar:
What politicians say to get elected can come back to haunt them and vilifying the lobbyist profession to score campaign points is going to do that to President Barack Obama, according to MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-anchor Joe Scarborough.
"Listen, the Obama administration is in trouble right now," Scarborough said. "We got a lot of friends in the Obama administration right now and they're in trouble because Barack Obama made promises during the 2008 campaign that he would not allow lobbyists to work in his White House. Well sometimes you want lobbyists working in your White House. You want lobbyists working in Congress. You want lobbyists working for the city of Houston, Texas, because you don't get that job as lobbyist because you got a good smile. You get the job as lobbyist because you understand an issue better than everybody else."
In his swan song interview with President Barack Obama, which consumed more than ten minutes of World News, ABC's Charles Gibson couldn't have provided a friendlier or more empathetic platform to Obama on the “weight” of sending troops to war and how “devilishly difficult” it's become to pass a health care plan because of a few rogue Senators. Gibson, set to retire Friday, teased his last Wednesday newscast:
Welcome to World News. Tonight, we broadcast from the White House. And in the headlines, one on one. Our conversation with the President in which he says he lost sleep over his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, and makes a dire warning about health care.
That “dire warning,” which Gibson did not challenge in the interview: “If we don't pass it, here's the guarantee: the federal government will go bankrupt.”
Gibson began with Afghanistan, recalling how commanders don't “commit kids to war,” they just follow the President's orders, “and I thought, 'Holy God, what a weight that is on your shoulders.'” After Obama ruminated at length on the “gravity” of the “tough” analysis process he went through, Gibson wondered about the inner Obama: “How did you change from the beginning of that analysis and process that you went through to the end, inside you?”
CNN’s Larry King equated efforts against further regulation of the banking industry to letting the mentally ill run their psych wards on his program on Monday. King pressed conservative columnist S. E. Cupp: “Banks are lobbying against a bill to tighten regulatory controls. Are you going to let the inmates run the asylum? You don’t think we should regulate banks?” [audio clips from the segment available here]
The CNN host moderated a panel discussion on the economy during the first segments of the program. The panel surprisingly leaned to the right on economic issues. Besides Cupp, King had Penn Gilette and Larry Elder, both libertarians, and liberal former Clinton administration official Robert Reich. After the host used the “inmates run the asylum” idiom in his question, the columnist first answered that “we do need regulation, but it’s putting them in a really tough spot.” King interrupted with a blunt one-word question: “So?”
CNN’s Jack Cafferty all but endorsed a global version of China’s oppressive one-child policy on Friday’s Situation Room. He repeated the argument of Canadian journalist Diane Francis, that population control is the only way to fight global warming, and mentioned the opposition of “fundamentalist leaders” and others only in passing. All but one of the viewer e-mails that Cafferty read endorsed the idea.
The CNN commentator raised the population control issue eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour during one of his “Cafferty File” segments. Though he didn’t give much of a hint as to his stance on the proposal at first, Cafferty made it much more clear after he read his “Question of the Hour:”
“Barack Obama as a person is a fantastic individual, but Barack Obama as an idea marks an evolutionary flash point for humanity,” gushed actor Will Smith (IMDb page), who will co-host Friday's Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo. His idealization of Obama came during a recorded interview, from Norway, with CNN's Dan Lothian run shortly before 5 PM EST on Thursday's The Situation Room.
Asked if Obama had really earned the peace prize, Smith's wife, actress Jada Pickett Smith who will co-host the concert with her husband, insisted: “All I can say is that our President has opened his arms to the world and he has been a huge symbol of change himself. So, I have to say that I was quite honored when he was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize.” Will Smith chimed in with how “they've been giving out that award for a hundred and some years, so they get kind of good at picking” the honoree.
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour lashed out at the widespread criticism of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama on Thursday’s American Morning: “Can I just say, I think it’s overdone, this pushing back against his award. He’s obviously done something very significant, and that is...the United States has now had a new relationship with the rest of the world” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Amanpour and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen appeared just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour, about an hour before the President formally received his Nobel in Oslo. Anchor Kiran Chetry asked the chief international correspondent, “[W]e received some of the embargoed remarks, and he [President Obama] does acknowledge quite soon in this delivery the controversy surrounding it, that perhaps he’s at the beginning and not the end of his labors on the world stage. How do you think that’s being received?”
The Iranian-born journalist immediately launched into her critique: “You know what? Can I just say, I think it’s overdone, this pushing back against his award. He’s obviously done something very significant, and that is, after eight years in which the United States was really held in contempt around the world, the United States has now had a new relationship with the rest of the world. This is what the Nobel Committee has rewarded and has accepted. This is what the polls around the world are showing.”
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez fairly moderated a debate between glacier photographer James Balog and Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com on Thursday’s Newsroom about the issue of climate change. Sanchez did not side with either one of the debaters in his questions during the segment, and asked both reasonable questions [audio clip from the segment available here].
The CNN anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a preview of the debate segment, as he played a video clip from Balog of a glacier in Alaska, and made his first hint that the ClimateGate scandal was going to be mentioned later: “The man who shot this video used to think global warming wasn’t real. He’s changed his mind. But leaked e-mails from prominent climate scientists tell a different story. You’re going to hear both sides.”
Before introducing both of his guests in the last segment of the hour, Sanchez played more glacier video from the photographer, as he further detailed the climate change controversy, and made another indirect reference to the ClimateGate e-mail scandal:
Some vindication for Sarah Palin in the midst of non-stop media hostility. On Monday night's Late Show with David Letterman, guest Seth Myers, the head writer for Saturday Night Live who also anchors the comedy show's 'Weekend Update' fake newscast, noted how in her new book she asserts that during her guest appearance on the NBC show, just before the election, “that we had taken her mantra, 'drill baby drill,' and tried to make a rude double-entendre about it.”
Myers offered his verdict on the allegation, quipping: “I just want to come here tonight on the record and say that's one hundred percent true.” He recited the original proposed line for a rap: “When we're in Wassila it's chill baby chilla; In the bedroom with Todd it's drill baby drilla.”
NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show, actually asked Lou Dobbs, formerly of CNN, if he and the network parted ways because he was "too conservative" and if CNN was okay with Dobbs' push for immigration reform when he was attacking George W. Bush but wasn't happy when Dobbs started slamming the Obama administration on the issue, as he queried the former CNN host, "You got much less kickback from CNN than when you started to speak out about the policies of Barack Obama. So, was this an issue that CNN wants to appear neutral but maintain a more liberal stance?" [MP3 audio available here]
For his part Dobbs claimed the home of the very liberal Rick Sanchez "made it very clear, they wanted the network to go middle of the road and to be very neutral."
The following is the full transcript of the entire segment as it was aired on the November 17, Today show:
After airing what she described as a "hard-hitting" ad by the Center for Reproductive Rights which ominously warned, "Don't let Congress ban abortion coverage millions of women already have," MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman today lamented to Politico's Jeanne Cummings that with Sen. Ted Kennedy gone, Democrats lack a unifying figure who could defuse an abortion battle that could mar Democratic unity on health care reform.
Snyderman praised the late pro-choice politician as a "man of his church and of his faith" (MP3 audio here):
Well, now the Catholic Church is lobbying hard to get House language into the Senate bill and then hopefully get it passed. Politico's assistant managing editor Jeanne Cummings wrote about this. And she joins me now.
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
Dobbs, on his Nov. 10 radio program, didn't reserve judgment and criticized President Barack Obama for telling people to do so in a speech following the tragic event. Dobbs played a clip from the speech Obama gave last week in which he warned, "We don't know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts."
"Isn't that remarkable, telling the American people not to jump to any conclusions?" Dobbs said. "Not to speculate, not to be curious about what is happening to our men and women, who should be the center of all of our attention and concern and care. Let's compare that statement by our president to what he said at the end of a press conference about health care shortly after the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, his good friend."
"The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill," MSNBC's Chris Matthews flatly declared on the November 10 "Hardball." Matthews fumed with disgust as Politico's Jonathan Allen told him that Catholic bishops lobbied Democrats to pass the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care reform bill last week.
"I understand the [pro-life] argument" that the bishops brought to the table, Matthews added, but huffed that they should not "show up" on the Hill.
After the commercial break, Matthews took to the air again to clarify that it was not in fact bishops but staffers with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who lobbied the Democrats. Such a distinction, he insisted, was important.
On the syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, over the weekend, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin was mocked by Chris Matthews for playing to the "wingnuts" at a Capitol Hill rally. Before running a clip of Levin, MSNBC host broke down the new GOP coalition as "regular Republicans," "energized conservatives," and "the wingnuts!" and added: "Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them!"
The following exchange was aired on the November 8 edition of the The Chris Matthews Show [MP3 audio clip here]:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tuesday's election results gave Republicans a big boost. A year from now they hope their loose coalition will unite to beat a lot of Democrats. What's that coalition? Well it's regular Republicans, people that have been Republicans all their lives. It’s also energized conservatives. People philosophically opposed to what they see as a creeping big government. Third - it's people just upset about the economy and the loss of jobs. And fourth - it's the wingnuts! Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them at that rally at the Capitol this week.
Two-and-a-half years before Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim medical doctor, murdered 13 at Fort Hood in Texas in what more-and-more looks like a jihadist terrorist attack given his anti-American rants and ties to Islamic extremists, ABC's since-canceled Boston Legal drama ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.
A scene in the episode first aired on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining obviously innocent men -- concluded with a released terror suspect being asked in courtroom about a colleague who had committed suicide to avoid the mistreatment: “Was your friend a terrorist?” The man replied with these words, dripping with disgust, which dramatically ended the scene: “No, he was a doctor.”
Insisting that her opinion was not influenced by her views on abortion, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman went on a tear shortly after 12:30 p.m. EST on her November 9 "Dr. Nancy" program, denouncing the "infuriating" Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care bill passed on Saturday.
As a consequence, women seeking to have insurance pay for abortion procedures under the would need to pay out-of-pocket for additional coverage for abortion procedures.
Snyderman hinted that she was annoyed that pro-life Democrats even thought it necessary to press for the Stupak Amendment in the first place. After all, Snyderman complained to MSNBC correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, she and her colleagues at MSNBC had done their level best for months to calm fears of pro-lifers about ObamaCare:
Newsweek's Evan Thomas regretted the Fort Hood mass murderer, Major Nidal Hasan, is a Muslim because of how that reality will be abused by conservatives. On this weekend's Inside Washington, Thomas, now Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, rued:
I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just -- I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.
NPR's Nina Totenberg soon chimed in with agreement: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”
That makes no difference to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough, who see a new "litmus test" for the GOP developing out of the New York 23rd Congressional District special election.
Scarborough, appearing with Mitchell on MSNBC shortly after 1:15 p.m. EST, slammed potential 2012 presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) for arguing earlier today on his "Morning Joe" program that there's no room in the GOP for what may be called "Dede Scozzafava Republicans" who are far [left] afield from the Republican mainstream.
Recently a lot of hubbub had been made about the possibility that the peaceful tea party protests and some conservative voices would stir up emotions that could lead to violence. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was even one of those sounding that alarm.
But what has gone unsaid by those same voices has been the possibility of violence against those who might take a position antithetical to that of the left.
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Tuesday helped promote an upcoming HBO documentary on Barack Obama and allowed producer Ed Norton to gush over the "zen" presidential campaign of the Democratic candidate. [MP3 audio excerpt here] Sawyer breathlessly teased the program as "the Obamas behind closed doors. The grandmother who raised him and the man you’ve never seen."
Sawyer played several clips of the By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, a film that followed Obama and his family during the 2008 campaign. The segment, which ran six and a half minutes, will be supplemented by more promotion on Tuesday’s Nightline. When asked what surprised her about the Obamas, director Amy Rice enthused about "just how normal they were."
Norton was impressed with the "calm," "no-drama Obama." The actor continued, "And in a weird way, when you look behind the curtain with that team, they are really zen. It's amazing how zen they are."
CNN’s Rick Sanchez shocked his colleague Kyra Phillips on Monday’s Newsroom, after agreeing with a New Mexico hotel owner who had asked his Latino employee to use an unaccented version of his name: “My real name is Ricardo Leon Sanchez de Reinaldo. I don’t use it because I want to be respectful of this wonderful country that allowed us as Hispanics to come here, and I think it’s easier if someone’s able to understand me by Anglicizing my name.” Earlier, Phillips and HLN anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell berated the owner for his supposedly bigoted treatment of the employee [audio clips available here].
Phillips and Velez-Mitchell interviewed Larry Whitten, the owner of Whitten Inn of Taos, New Mexico just after the bottom of the 2 pm Eastern hour. Whitten recently fired some Hispanic employees who wouldn’t conform to his guidelines, which included not speaking Spanish in his presence and asking those who operated the hotel switchboard to use Anglicized versions of their names. He is now being accused of racism by these former employees and by Hispanic organizations who have taken up their cause.
CNN featured pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia of Tucson, Arizona on two programs on Wednesday night, and inadvertently caught her giving inconsistent answers regarding a 2008 protest where she participated in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona [audio clips from programs available here].
Correspondent Soledad O’Brien featured Garcia in the first segment of her ‘Latino in America’ miniseries at 9 pm Eastern, where she was labeled as an “unapologetic champion of people many Americans love to hate- illegal immigrants.” After detailing her involvement with a high-profile deportation case, O’Brien stated that Garcia had “nothing to do with creating the pinata and only picked it up to defuse” the anti-Arpaio protest. The CNN correspondent cast a sympathetic light on the activist by noting how she has apparently received death threats for her work.
ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday night all aired stories on President Barack Obama hobnobbing with the wealthy during a recession, at Manhattan fundraisers to be attended by the very Wall Street players he's condemned. But only NBC's Chuck Todd served as a mouthpiece for self-serving rationale which painted Obama as a victim of an image of perfection susceptible to “any speck of mud,” as Todd relayed from outside a Manhattan hotel:
One Democratic strategist said that part of the President's problem is simply his own expectations. Some of the rhetoric he said on the campaign trail made it seem as if he was coming into office in a clean white suit. So now any speck of mud -- like raising money from Wall Street donors -- shows up a lot clearer than if he came in just as another politician wearing just another gray suit. [Audio: MP3 clip, video below jump]
Minutes after Todd, NBC Nightly News viewers learned Obama is also quite an expert on women since he's supposedly “perhaps the man who knows the most about what it's like to live in a women's nation, work in a women's nation, and get elected by a women's nation,” liberal activist Maria Shriver touted in plugging an interview with Obama for her “A Woman's Nation” series:
CNN’s Carol Costello began a new series on political talk radio on Monday’s American Morning, suggesting it was unfairly dominated by conservatives, and brought on a liberal psychiatrist who theorized that Rush Limbaugh has an audience because he’s “operating like the bully, and if you’re on the playground...you want to be...under the bully’s wing and go along with him and get...some power by proxy.”
The correspondent’s report, which aired just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, was the first installment in a “special series on talk radio,” according to anchor John Roberts. Costello zeroed in on the listeners and why the format “can capture people for such long periods of time.” A graphic on the screen during her report heralded “anger on the air: what listeners don’t know about talk radio.” [MP3 audio available here]
Towards the end of her report, the CNN correspondent played a sound bite from radical left-wing host Randi Rhodes, who speculated that “the reason they don’t passionately listen to liberal talk radio is access” (Costello outrageously downplayed Rhodes’s political leanings by describing her as someone whom “many consider a liberal talker”). The “liberal talker” noted that apparently, “ninety-one percent of talk radio is conservative.” Costello continued that “according to Talkers magazine, liberal talkers fill just nine percent of the nation’s news talk radio on the commercial dial. Change that, Rhodes says, and liberal listeners would listen just as much.”
Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell took to the MRC studio Saturday morning for an interview with "Fox & Friends" about how the media latched onto phony quotes attributed to Rush Limbaugh, helping to scuttle his St. Louis Rams ownership bid.
Bozell also commented on how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted his quarrel with the radio talk show host was his "polarizing comments" about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb back in 2003.
"Nine out of ten people have no idea what Roger Goodell is talking about" and those who do know what Goodell was referencing know that "again, Rush Limbaugh was right," that some sports journalists hyped an overrated McNabb because of politically correct considerations [MP3 audio available here]:
Just minutes after her colleague David Shuster offered a tepid non-apology for the network running a fake Rush Limbaugh quote, MSNBC's Tamron Hall took Meghan McCain to task for posting a saucy picture of herself on Twitter and also for issuing to followers a non-apology apology for those offended by her doing so.
MSNBC attributed that quote to a football player who was opposed to Limbaugh’s NFL bid. However, we have been unable to verify that quote independently. So, just to clarify.
Oblivious perhaps to the hypocrisy she was about to engage in, a mere fifteen minutes later colleague Tamron Hall, in her "Crossing the Line" segment, lectured Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain for posting, and then issuing a non-apology apology for posting, a sultry picture of herself via Twitter (emphasis mine; MP3 audio available here):
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," backpedaled from the James Bond movie-like death sequence he depicted for Rush Limbaugh that he made on the MSNBC airwaves on Tuesday morning. As Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first noted, Matthews imagined a cinematic death for the radio talk show host:
"Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we'll be there to watch. I think he's Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?"
Fast forward to Wednesday night and Matthews offered the following clarification during the "Sideshow" segment on the October 14 "Hardball" [MP3 audio available here]: