While the media are now calling the ObamaCare rollout a "mess" and the website a "bust," some journalists and pundits were a lot more optimistic right before the exchanges opened.
Despite warnings that the website and exchanges would not be ready to open on time, journalists marveled over how easy the website, Healthcare.gov, would be to navigate. That optimism crumbled as, in one notable case, it took CNN's Elizabeth Cohen two weeks to sign up for ObamaCare. Below are the five most embarrassing endorsements of Healthcare.gov: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, the New York Times' Peter Baker didn't reveal anything shocking about George W. Bush's opinion about the liberal paper. Charlie Rose wondered about one detail concerning Baker's new book on Bush and Dick Cheney: "Why wouldn't President Bush talk to you?" He replied, "President Bush didn't believe that a book written by a New York Times reporter could be fair. He felt that the paper had not been balanced in his time in office." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The journalist also dispelled the common liberal view about former Vice President Cheney's influence inside the Bush White House. Norah O'Donnell brought up how "there was this perception, of course, that Cheney was the one who was really pulling the levers of power." Baker bluntly retorted, "The picture that we have of this presidency and vice presidency is too cartoonish. It's too stick-figure – two-dimensional. It's a much more complicated story."
John Dickerson could not have been more blunt on Monday's CBS This Morning about the political damage HealthCare.gov's well-established technical difficulties is already causing President Obama: "It's been far worse than a glitch. It's been a total fiasco, as Senator McCain said. And the problem here is that the administration could get into, sort of, a credibility death spiral."
The liberal political director, who is usually an Obama apologist, also surprisingly acknowledged that conservatives were right in their longstanding criticisms of ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Some more bashing of Sarah Palin on Sunday night’s episode of CBS’s The Good Wife, but the scene also managed to deliver an illustrative dramatization of liberals in a bubble displaying arrogant condescension toward those who dare stray from liberal orthodoxy – and how they learn to despise the Fox News Channel via Jon Stewart.
A couple who are old college friends of liberal lawyer “Diane Lockhart” visit and meet her fiancé, Gary Cole as Sarah Palin supporter, gun owner and ballistics expert “Kurt McVeigh.” An appalled “Francesca” despairs: “But his views, Diane. All his views. He supports Sarah Palin!”
Friday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on a HealthCare.gov glitch that is jeopardizing the privacy of millions of Americans. Jan Crawford noted how the "glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most", but also pointed out that "the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling...insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up...and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information."
Crawford also underlined that these "duplicate and incomplete enrollment forms" are indications that the "problems are pervasive" with the ObamaCare website. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on his Thursday night show, CNN's Piers Morgan sounded just like a Democratic strategist.
Morgan told the Democrat that "you sound eminently reasonable" and accused Sen. Ted Cruz of being the problem in Washington. "[H]e thinks that getting the shutdown was good business for Ted Cruz, Incorporated. What are you going to do about this young renegade who doesn't really care about being reasonable?" Morgan asked Manchin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After slamming the "Tea Party radicals" who he said initiated the shutdown, CNN's Michael Holmes was admonished by his colleague Jim Acosta on Thursday.
"I mean, first of all, let's be careful about using the term 'radical,' because a lot of those folks feel like they're standing on principle today, even though they didn't come out on top in this," Acosta lectured Holmes. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley said President Obama has a "steel backbone" and hailed him as a "firewall president" in a Thursday afternoon segment on CNN.
"And you saw that in this crisis, the steel backbone of Barack Obama, that's what history's seeing him as, the firewall progressive," Brinkley fawned over the President. He also offered this pathetic excuse for Obama's "forceful" tone with Republicans in his Thursday address: he was "exhausted." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Norah "we shouldn't editorialize" O'Donnell boosted President Obama mere seconds after the liberal politician finished his Thursday presser about the end of the partial government shutdown. The CBS anchor claimed that Obama was trying to "be, sort of, the grown-up in the room, and to look forward and say, here are the three ways we can now work together. "
O'Donnell later asserted that the President had gone back to his semblance of a bipartisanism in his lecture-like address: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford repeatedly underlined that the launch of HealthCare.gov has been a fiasco. After Norah O'Donnell noted the "rough start to ObamaCare", Crawford blunted stated that "'rough start' could be the understatement of the year. It has been a complete disaster." She pointed out that "we can't even find anyone who's enrolled. The Miami Herald is now calling them urban legends."
The correspondent later spotlighted how "the failures [of ObamaCare] are well documented, but the success stories are not." She also asserted that "the backlash, the criticism, the complete failure of this rollout" would be more apparent if the partial government shutdown hadn't happened. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN gave liberal actor Robert Redford a podium to bash Republicans with on Wednesday's New Day. Redford accused some Republicans of wanting to "destroy" President Obama.
"I think that no matter what you would propose they would go against it because their determination was to destroy this person," Redford said of the "minority faction" in Washington versus President Obama. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Does Piers Morgan even try to show integrity anymore? The CNN host goaded the chair of the DNC into bashing Republicans on his Monday night show and plugged her new book without asking her one tough question about her own party.
Morgan's first question to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was this pathetic softball: "What is going on with the GOP right now?" Schultz laid into her political opponents. "They have the opportunity to do the right thing and not shut the government down and hold the economy hostage with the Affordable Care Act as ransom. And instead they went with the Tea Party," she ranted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Piers Morgan still can't basic details about the gun rights debate right, even after his protracted involvement in the controversy, as he revealed on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Morgan incorrectly claimed that the First Amendment – not the Second Amendment – protected the right to keep and bear arms: "I have no problem...with a family exercising their First Amendment (sic) right to defend their families with a handgun at home."
The CNN host also praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his prominent vocal and monetary support of gun control, and took President Obama to task for his apparent lack of action on the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Monday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly ginned up the ideological struggle inside the Republican Party as it covered the ongoing partial government shutdown. Chip Reid spun the face-off inside the House Republican caucus as being between "staunch" Tea Party-aligned representatives inside the House and "mainstream" Republicans.
Reid later played up how House Speaker John Boehner could "face a dilemma" if the Senate came up with a compromise to end the shutdown, and that Boehner "can either allow the House to vote, which will likely split the Republican Party in two and create a major backlash from the Tea Party; or...he can refuse to allow a vote, which could lead to default." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN anchor Don Lemon shouted down a conservative guest after pushing him to admit he should be "embarrassed" over certain protesters at Sunday's Million Vet March.
CNN played a video of controversial protesters at Sunday's Million Vet March telling President Obama to "leave town" and "put the Koran down." Lemon tried to link this to the GOP as a whole. [Video below the break.]
Pro-life sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics is "bullying" and should not not accorded First Amendment's "free speech" guarantees agreed the panelists on Thursday's edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
The panel in question was addressing the Supreme Court's decision to hear oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case which challenges a Massachusetts law which bars anyone but abortion clinic staffers from "enter[ing] or remain[ing] on a public way or sidewalk” that is within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of an abortion clinic. [Listen to the MP3 audio here; Watch the video and read the relevant transcript below the page break]
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed the "false narrative" of the media that Republicans are to blame for the shutdown. Her broadside came on Thursday's New Day.
She insisted, "remember that the mainstream media really has given a false narrative. Over and over and over again, the mainstream media has blamed the Republicans for this, and yet the only party that has put offer after offer after offer on the table has been the Republicans." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Charlie Rose's 18-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Obama administration's decision to review the cases of dozens of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for the possible release. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored this latest development in the ongoing controversy over the Islamist detainees at the U.S. military base.
Rose cited a report from the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg during the brief, and noted that the Defense Department also recently appointed a new special envoy for the closure of the detention camp: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Shortly before the conclusion of the October 9 edition of his MSNBC Live program, anchor Thomas Roberts treated Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to a softball interview regarding the pro-amnesty Camino Americano rally held Tuesday on the National Mall, which she attended. Roberts failed to pose any tough policy-oriented questions to Schakowsky on the matter of immigration reform, nor did he bring on another guest who disagreed with the Democrat-favored approach to the policy.
But what takes the cake is how, at the end of his brief chat with the liberal congresswoman, Roberts cheered Schakowsky for getting arrested Tuesday subsequent to the rally, gushing that "it's good that your rap sheet is getting longer for a great cause." Schakowsky was arrested for blocking a public street near the Capitol, not for expressing her views on immigration reform legislation [MP3 audio available here; watch the video below the page break].
[UPDATED BELOW] Highlighting "major problems" with the website of ObamaCare's federal exchange, CNN's Wolf Blitzer said the administration should have accepted the Republican proposal and delayed implementation of the health care law for a year.
"Yeah. If they had three years to get this ready, if they weren't fully ready, they should accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving them, delay it another year, get it ready, and make sure it works," Blitzer said on Tuesday. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's legal analyst Jeff Toobin thinks Justice Antonin Scalia is stuck in the 1950s on social issues but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up to date with today's citizens.
The entire Court is a "deeply political institution," Toobin admitted, yet his descriptions for the conservative Scalia and the liberal Ginsburg differed significantly. Scalia is "a 1950s social conservative," he insisted on Tuesday's AC360 Later, while Ginsburg "is a woman who is very much in tune with the modern world." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Dan Rather poured cold water on Wendy Davis' chances of winning the Texas gubernatorial race, but maintained a glimmer of hope: "I'm not predicting she'll win. If you have to bet the trailer money, you bet she loses. But overnight's a long time in politics – a week is forever – and we're talking about an election that doesn't happen [until] a year from now. So, let her rip."
Rather and Rachel Maddow also hyped the supposed extent of Davis' likely Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. After the MSNBC host labeled Abbott a "hardcore conservative," the former CBS anchor replied that the Texas Republican is "so far to the right...that he makes Rick Perry look like a liberal and Ted Cruz look like a moderate." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
“After the President vetoed several spending bills, not one story blamed him for the shutdown, but nearly two dozen declared the GOP culpable. Furloughed workers and other ‘victims’ were featured in half the stories.” Sound familiar? That’s from a 1996 Media Research Center study on the battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Yes, the current shutdown showdown is deja vu all over again in who gets blamed.
To help illustrate the very familiar media tone and approach, I’ve put three clips together out of the MRC archive, starting with Bob Schieffer anchoring the Saturday, December 16, 1995 CBS Evening News: “Well, they’ve done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the budget.”
CBS rekindled its love for pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis on Thursday's CBS Evening News, after the Democrat announced her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial race. Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "Davis was a little-known Democratic state senator in Texas. But her marathon defense of abortion rights drew national attention."
Manuel Bojorquez heralded how state legislator "stepped into the national spotlight with pink sneakers, during a 13-hour filibuster of new abortion restrictions here." However, Bojorquez was among the Big Three journalists who put that spotlight on Davis mere hours after she stalled the passage of pro-life legislation in the Lone Star State. At the time, he asserted that the filibuster turned the Democrat "a national political star". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday afternoon, CNN's Don Lemon blamed the government shutdown over ObamaCare for "not really helping" the mentally ill woman killed by police on Capitol Hill on Thursday who needed "health care."
"[T]his woman is in obvious need of mental health, and that means health care. And so what they're doing in Washington is not really helping her, is it?" he asked psychotherapist Wendy Walsh who then plugged ObamaCare. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS This Morning has a long established history of conducting softball interviews of liberal/Democratic guests, while unleashing on conservative/liberal ones. But on Friday, the morning newscast surprisingly hounded Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the ongoing government shutdown. Obama supporter Gayle King repeatedly pressed Pelosi about "people [who] are just saying...work it out....both sides have to be willing to leave something on the table."
Anthony Mason underlined how "Senator [Harry] Reid called some Republicans anarchists. You've called them arsonists....How do you get a meeting of the minds when people are talking like that?" Norah O'Donnell also wondered about "a scenario...where Democrats would be willing to give on a larger budget deal – the grand bargain coming back, and giving on entitlements, so that we can move forward." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN boosted President Obama's message on Thursday by taking his challenge to Republicans and pressuring them to get on board with a bill that would fund ObamaCare.
After the President called on House Speaker John Boehner to hold an up-or-down vote on the funding bill, CNN took that talking point and pressured Republicans to accept it. Anchor Suzanne Malveaux hailed it as a "very good point." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While the media are busy painting Republicans -- particularly Tea Party-friendly conservatives in the House -- as the legislators who are ultimately responsible for the government shutdown, they are failing to note that "[t]he Democrats and the president have offered nothing" as a counteroffer on the continuing resolution to fund the government, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the October 3 edition of Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder argued that it's the same biased narrative with the liberal media as the last government shutdown in 1995, when Bill Clinton vetoed funding bills that had passed both houses of Congress. In this instance, it's a Democratic Senate refusing to sit down with a Republican House to hammer out a deal. "In the media coverage, 21 stories blaming Republicans, not one story blaming Democrats. And you know what's more interesting? You go back to 1995 and you will find the same networks, 23 times they blamed the Republicans. Not once did they blame the Democrats," Bozell noted. [listen to the MP3 audio here; watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
Not 90 minutes after CNN first reported that Capitol Hill was on lockdown on Thursday, anchor Wolf Blitzer brought politics into the breaking news coverage.
"An incident like this which clearly scares everyone up on Capitol Hill, staffers, workers, members of Congress. You think it's going to propel you guys up there, Democrats and Republicans, to say you know what, enough is enough, let's get back to work and end this government shutdown?" Blitzer asked Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Republicans seem to "prefer [reopening] war memorials to" resuming cancer treatments for "living children." That's the grotesque, hyperpartisan spin that MSNBC's Martin Bashir weaved on his October 2 program, reacting to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's offer to have the RNC pay for five security guards to man the World War II Memorial which the National Park Service, in concert with the Obama White House, has ordered closed during the shutdown.
Bashir made that remark shortly into his Wednesday program before introducing his all-liberal panel of guests. Bashir, of course, failed to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's callous rejection of the notion of passing a funding bill that would re-open the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with it clinical trials to treat cancer-stricken children. The relevant transcript follows the page break. [MP3 audio available here; Video follows page break]: