On CNN Tuesday, Politico's Roger Simon slammed the "extreme right-wing" for using "food as a political weapon," for taking the GOP "hostage," and for denying "health care to 11 million people" in favor of a shutdown.
"The extreme right-wing of the Republican Party has taken that party hostage, at least in the House of Representatives," Simon ranted. He summarized their current position on the shutdown: "[W]e would rather shut down the government than extend health care to 11 million people." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In defiance of reality illustrated in numerous polls, on Sunday’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer scolded Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn when she correctly asserted “there is only partisan support” for ObamaCare. Schieffer cut her off: “Well now Congresswoman, that’s not entirely true. The polls don’t suggest that. Polls say that most people favor it.”
Never mind Rush Limbaugh’s warnings about misguided “low information voters.” CNN stumbled upon some best dubbed “zero information voters” – though one hopes they are never allowed near a ballot box.
Finding confirmation for a Kaiser Family Foundation poll which found 43 percent of those without health insurance “still have no idea about the new exchanges,” one man speculated ObamaCare “has something to do with caring about people” and another demanded to know: “I’m just wondering, as a citizen of America, how come I did not hear of this?”
Thursday's CBS Evening News was practically shocked by a fact that threatens the agenda of radical environmentalists – global temperatures have simply not risen in 15 years. Scott Pelley trumpeted how "on the eve of a major new report on climate change...a surprising discovery." Mark Phillips hyped that "another inconvenient truth has emerged on the way to the apocalypse....the global atmosphere hasn't been warming lately."
The correspondent spotlighted how "since 1998, while the amount of greenhouse gases continued to rise, the air temperature hasn't." He also pointed out that this development "makes the task for the world's majority of climate scientists...more difficult. For the skeptics, it's ammunition." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Piers Morgan fawned over the Clinton family on his Wednesday night show and on Thursday morning's New Day. He lamented that Bill Clinton can't still be president.
In his interview at the Clinton Global Initative, Morgan boosted Bill with this glowing introduction: "There is no better person to explain what's going on in Washington and the world for that matter, but Bill Clinton. The former commander in chief is honest, blunt, and fascinating." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah 'we shouldn't editorialize' O'Donnell hinted that Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour floor speech might jeopardize the Republican Party's chances in the 2014 congressional race. O'Donnell asked Cruz's colleague in the Senate, Bob Corker, if he was "concerned that what your fellow senator is doing could hurt your party's chances of taking back the U.S. Senate?"
Charlie Rose later played up how supposedly, "some people are saying this is about personal ambition and being seen fighting for this, because it serves his [Cruz's] own presidential ambitions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell broke out the kid gloves for Bill Clinton on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose and O'Donnell failed to press the Democrat on the possible conflicts of interest surrounding his Clinton Global Initiative, as well as his wife Hillary's possible 2016 presidential run. The two anchors granted over 12 and a half minutes of air time to the former president.
Rose played up the "human side" of Clinton, and wondered if Hillary would "rather be – today – she can do both – president or grandmother?" O'Donnell pointed out that Mrs. Clinton "said you guys are watching movies together and taking long walks. And so, how is life different now?" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After waiving and yelling like a groupie at President Obama and Vice President Biden back in January, Today weather anchor Al Roker palled around with Biden in a friendly interview that aired on Tuesday's Today show.
"You've got a thing. You and the Vice President. You've got a thing," joked co-host Willie Geist. "It's a bromance," responded Roker. "He's terrific. He's terrific." Roker also asked Biden if a government shutdown could affect disaster relief, and if extreme weather was the "new normal." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's Today show didn't even mention the retirement of Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, but it aired two full segments on President Obama talking about his old smoking habit.
"The President caught on an open mic bragging to a fellow world leader about finally beating the smoking habit," political director Chuck Todd started his report. He pointed out Obama's inconsistency with the facts in saying he hadn't smoked in six years, by noting that the President confessed in 2009 to giving into his habit.
"I’m going to torch this [bleep]ing place." That's what an angry Ed Schultz reportedly threatened at a testy August 2010 exchange with the suits at MSNBC. Schultz was reportedly fired up because, "the network was running election-night promos and he wasn’t in them. He’d been arguing on the phone with marketing, then he slammed down the phone and exploded," a witness to the outburst told the New York Post.
So imagine our glee this afternoon when ol' Ed opened up his September 23 program with a montage featuring, wait for it, "Burning Down the House," by The Talking Heads. [video excerpt follows page break; audio of full Ed Show intro here; video of full Ed Show intro here]
On Monday's Today, NBC's Chuck Todd claimed that Congress could pass gun control legislation but is just too afraid to do it.
Todd reported that "the reality is there's political paralysis when it comes to the gun issue," even though the Senate already tried and failed to pass a background check bill in April. Todd instead blamed "recall elections that took place in Colorado just a few weeks ago" for Congress' lack of "motivation."
PBS put its late-night leftism on display on Meet the Press when PBS host Tavis Smiley used his slot, on the Sunday morning NBC News show’s panel, to regret President Barack Obama’s supposed touting of “American Exceptionalism” and claim the presumed desire of conservatives in the House, to shut down the federal government, means “we are going to lose our democracy. It’s that serious.”
Smiley fretted that “the President recently, much to my chagrin, spoke of, advanced once again, this notion of American Exceptionalism, and clearly he isn’t the only one in town who likes to push that notion that we as Americans are exceptional.”
The Big Three broadcast networks made their slanted priorities clear on their Thursday evening newscasts, as they fawned over Caroline Kennedy's Senate confirmation hearing earlier that day, but failed to cover the emotional congressional testimony of Pat Smith. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya.
ABC's Martha Raddatz was awestruck over JFK's daughter: "For one brief shining moment, senators from both sides of the aisle seemed to harken back to the so-called Camelot days." NBC's Harry Smith gushed that "history and legacy were more important this morning than party or partisanship. The daughter of a president said she wanted to fulfill her father's wish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Chris Cuomo turned a discussion on Pope Francis' recent interview into an ugly personal attack and sharp lecture of his guest, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, on Friday's New Day.
The fracas began when Cuomo lectured Donohue on the Pope's statement that the ultimate focus of the church is "salvation" and not one particular moral issue. He said "it really sounds like you're one of the people [Francis] is sending this message to, to be fair, Mr. Donohue, isn't it?" Cuomo clearly had a bone to pick with his guest. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Brooke Baldwin had some stunningly ignorant analysis on Thursday about the opposition to Obamacare in Congress.
"Congress passes a law, in this case Obamacare, and then some of its members turn around and essentially try to sabotage it. Again, I repeat, it's a law. Certainly not the way the Founding Fathers maybe drew this thing up," she argued. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After framing a doctor's plea to end gun violence as a push for gun control earlier this week, NBC's Today teed up D.C.'s police chief to defend the city's strict gun regulations and slap gun "loopholes."
In a segment on the Navy Yard shooter, correspondent Jeff Rossen transitioned into gun control. "You have fought hard for gun control. Yet here is somebody who is clearly mentally disturbed, but he was still able to legally get a gun. What's wrong here?" he asked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King asked former Obama chief of staff William Daley on Wednesday if the gun industry is putting profits ahead of people's lives.
"They're protecting an industry. They're protecting big profits. And that's what it's about," Daley slammed the gun industry. King then teed him up: "This is more important than human lives?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Chris Cuomo teed up Sen. John McCain to bash fellow Republicans on Monday's New Day, for putting partisanship before the country on Syria and the budget.
"Do you believe if there were President Romney that members of your party would have the same resistance to going in that they are showing right now?" Cuomo pressed McCain on a Syria intervention. Would Cuomo ask if Democrats were supporting President Obama's foreign policy purely out of partisanship? [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Imagine a major news network anchor, in 1985, telling President Reagan that five years into his presidency rising income inequality wasn’t his fault. Ludicrous, given how the media used the term Reaganomics to denigrate his policies, policies far more successful than President Obama’s in turning around an inherited poor economy.
Yet in a sit-down with Barack Obama for ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos compliantly excused Obama’s failure: “Do you look at that four and a half years in and say, maybe a President can’t stop this accelerating inequality?”
As of Thursday morning, CBS's morning and evening newscasts have yet to mention a revelation made by their own investigative correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson, on Tuesday – that Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress "he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning."
Wednesday's CBS Evening News aired a full report on the State Department's slow progress in upgrading security at U.S. diplomatic posts in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack, but failed to mention Kerry's refusal. Margaret Brennan also let the Obama administration and Senator Robert Menendez hint that congressional Republicans were to blame for not appropriating the $2.2 billion needed for the security upgrades. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show to devote a full report to Colorado voters recalling two pro-gun control state legislators. Barry Petersen highlighted how "those who oppose gun control have a lot to celebrate" with the recall, and how "those backing the two senators spent seven times more money – $3.2 million" than the gun rights supporters who spearheaded the campaign [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, NBC's Today on Wednesday didn't devote a second of air time to the Colorado recall election. Instead, they set aside 36 seconds of reporting to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's Good Morning America also minimized their coverage, as they merely broadcasted a 16-second news brief on the story.
Friday in Russia, President Obama let slip that putting Congress on the hook, or in a political bind, was part of his calculus in asking for their approval for an attack on Syria, but twice on Sunday morning ABC’s George Stephanopoulos misquoted Obama’s admission. Obama maintained: “I did not put this before Congress, you know, just as a political ploy or as symbolism.”
Yet on Sunday’s Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos quoted Obama: “Listen to what he said Friday night in Russia: ‘I did not put this’ – this resolution – ‘before Congress as a political ploy or symbolism.’” Later, on This Week, he again left off the very relevant “just” as he mis-characterized Obama back to White House Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough: “He said his call to Congress was not a political ploy or symbolism.”
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Mark Phillips all but hinted that Pope Francis had "taken sides" with Russia's Vladimir Putin and against President Obama in the international debate over military strikes in Syria. Phillips proposed that the Pope's letter to Putin "must have been music to the Russian president's ears."
The journalist also turned to a "Vatican historian" who once publicly attacked Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, as a "dictator", and likened him to Islamists. He also labeled the Pope's upcoming prayer and fasting vigil for peace in Syria a "religious street protest." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News twice underlined President Obama's 2012 "red line" remark before playing a soundbite of the Democrat's "I didn't set a red line" reversal earlier in the day. Scott Pelley noted that "a year ago, he [Obama] warned the Syrian dictator that a red line would be crossed if the dictator used chemical weapons against his rebellious citizens." Major Garrett soon added that Obama "set a red line on the use of chemical weapons 13 months ago." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
None of the Big Three evening newscasts played the actual clip of the President's 2012 warning. On NBC Nightly News, Chuck Todd did his best to explain away the President's denial: "The President redefined what he meant by his red line". Jonathan Karl didn't even mention the original "red line" comment during his report on ABC's World News.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford boosted the latest pro-ObamaCare campaign from the President's supporters in Hollywood. Crawford played back-to-back soundbites from liberal comedian Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website, and highlighted the list of celebrities who have signed up for the campaign.
The correspondent did later acknowledge that the controversial law is still "deeply unpopular", and featured a clip from a recent anti-ObamaCare ad released by the Crossroads GPS super PAC [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
Tuesday's CBS This Morning spotlighted the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Islamist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, but whitewashed the role of President Obama and his administration, including that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King didn't once mention Obama or Clinton's name during an interview segment with author Fred Burton.
In his new book, Burton revealed that "an unidentified security official in the Benghazi compound...messaged the U.S. embassy in Tripoli: 'Benghazi under fire, terrorist attack.'" However, Rose only vaguely referenced the White House's now-discredited talking point about the terrorist attack: "Does this book and your understanding of it suggest that everybody knew it was a planned attack, and not a surprise arising out of a protest?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
In a brief segment on the September 3 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC program's host revel in how Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney has supposedly "contort[ed]" herself into an "ideological pretzel." But if you listen closely to the 2009 soundbite that Wagner thinks illustrates that Cheney has flip-flopped on the issue of same-sex marriage, it actually underscores no change in position on her views.
What's more, as I explain towards the end of this post, it seems MSNBC is once again guilty of selectively editing, with the target this time being former Vice President Dick Cheney. [listen to MP3 of segment here; video embed follows page break]
Friday's CBS This Morning ballyhooed the Justice Department's recent move to relax enforcement of laws against marijuana in the several states that have legalized medical or recreational use of the drug. Gayle King heralded the "historic new regulations", while Bill Whitaker failed to include talking heads who oppose this move by the Obama administration [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, ABC and NBC's morning newscasts minimized their coverage of the story on Friday. ABC's Good Morning America granted a mere 17 seconds of air time to the federal government's decision, while devoting 25 seconds to the plight of two kittens that strayed onto subway tracks in New York City.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
PBS’s Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill provided a tag team of Obama idolatry in their interview with President Barack Obama at the White House following Wednesday’s March on Washington anniversary event, gently pressing him from the left and treating him as a victim of racist opposition as Gwen Ifill forwarded the theory “you are a victim of partisan racial gridlock.”
When, in the session carried on the PBS NewsHour, Obama fretted “we have increasing inequality in this society,” Judy Woodruff buttered up Obama by first hailing how “you’ve been able to do -- help the country in many ways,” yet problems – remarkably – still remain, so “how much does it weigh on you that your policies haven’t made more of a difference in those areas?”