Campaign Watch

By Matt Vespa | September 19, 2012 | 11:48 AM EDT

The media's ongoing contribution to the Obama reelection effort is fairly obvious: omit or downplay news stories and polling data that cast the Obama administration in a negative light while hyping trivial Romney gaffes or media-manufactured tempests-in-teapots in order to focus the election narrative on the Republican candidate's deficiencies - real or or imagined -- rather than the incumbent Democrat's record.

By Kyle Drennen | September 19, 2012 | 11:19 AM EDT

In an interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up the liberal congresswoman to rip into Mitt Romney over a hidden camera video of him at a fundraiser: "Republicans and Democrats have criticized him for it. I'm sure Democrats view it as a gift from above, but do you think with the big issues facing our country, this is something that should be a substantive part of our campaign?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Predictably, Pelosi was eager for the topic to be an issue in the presidential race: "Absolutely. This is fundamental." She slammed Romney for having "demonstrated the demeaning attitude that...[he] has toward a large segment of the American people." In an odd slip of the tongue, she referred to "Governor Obama," but Guthrie never corrected her.

By Matt Hadro | September 18, 2012 | 6:32 PM EDT

After CNN pounded away at the latest media-manufactured Mitt Romney gaffe, CNN's Brooke Baldwin remarked on Tuesday that the campaign faces a "tsunami" of "myriad issues."

"Can they right this?" she questioned the Romney campaign's ability to weather the media storm, adding that they face "a tsunami, if you add up the myriad issues within the campaign."

By Kyle Drennen | September 18, 2012 | 3:26 PM EDT

Wrapping up a report for Tuesday's NBC Today about the hidden camera video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser, national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff laughably proclaimed: "The source who made the secret video insisted to NBC News that the original motivation was not political but simple curiosity, to see what Romney would say in this unscripted setting." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After promoting that assertion, Isikoff added: "But after watching the tape, the source decided the public should hear what Romney said and was encouraged to release it after talks with an Atlanta political researcher names James Carter IV, the grandson of Jimmy Carter..." Isikoff didn't question the fact that Romney made the comments in May but that the video was just released 50 days before the election.

By Matt Vespa | September 18, 2012 | 12:36 PM EDT

Liberal Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward appeared on the September 17 C-SPAN program Washington Journal to hawk his new book The Price of Politics.

In the process, Woodward promoted the same stale narrative that compromise is dead in Washington mostly because of those rascally, conservative Republicans, but sought to import a fair measure of melodrama to the stalemate in Washington using the words of a Biden aide to describe the summer's debt ceiling crisis as “an economic Cuban Missile Crisis."

By Kyle Drennen | September 18, 2012 | 12:29 PM EDT

Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made one hyperbolic doomsday declaration after another about Mitt Romney's campaign: "This is one of the worst weeks for any presidential candidate in a general election that any of us can remember....Unemployment is still 8% plus, the economy is still in tatters, and Mitt Romney is blowing this race." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Scarborough frantically asserted: "[Republicans] are so depressed this morning, they just can't believe that Mitt Romney is blowing a race against a president who they believe has mismanaged the economy terribly over the past four years.....It is too much for many Republicans to handle." As the segment concluded, the former GOP Congressman went so far as to tell co-host Savannah Guthrie: "I'm going to go put a bag over my head now, so I will talk to you soon."

By Ryan Robertson | September 18, 2012 | 11:38 AM EDT

The liveliest speaker at the Democratic National Convention has been hosting her own show on Current TV for almost 8 months now. A relatively new cable network co-founded by Al Gore that goes out of its way to hire all of the unabashedly liberal pundits it can get. Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has fit right in.

On Friday night’s episode of The War Room, the Canadian-born talk show host began her hour-long show with a factually-challenged diatribe that bordered on the same intensity level of her now infamous speech in Charlotte. Coincidentally, the topic of discussion was kind of about the same thing – jobs, the defense of Obama’s seemingly successful stimulus bill of 2009, and more Romney criticism of course.

By Kyle Drennen | September 17, 2012 | 3:31 PM EDT

In a stunning display of group-think on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, a panel of journalists all concluded that no American president could have possibly prevented the ongoing crisis in Middle East or responded to it any better than Barack Obama. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The hand-wringing began with The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg absolving the President of any responsibility for chaos in the region: "There are some very, very deep and troubling things going on in – in the Middle East that have very little to do with what a president does or doesn't do.... so to blame the President for – for an attack on – on these embassies, I think, is a bit much."

By Kyle Drennen | September 17, 2012 | 10:59 AM EDT

Pushing the narrative of Mitt Romney losing the presidential election on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on an article in Politico that "details squabbling among Romney advisers, a lot of blind quotes, anonymous quotes." She turned to political director Chuck Todd and wondered: "Is this a fairly ominous sign for the campaign, that they're already blaming each other anonymously in print?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd proclaimed: "Well, this certainly doesn't happen in winning campaigns, right, Savannah? This is the type of thing you read about losing campaigns. It reads like a pre-bituary, if you will, as if people are looking to see who's going to get the blame for blowing the Republican Party's best chance at knocking off an incumbent president in nearly 30 years."

By Kyle Drennen | September 14, 2012 | 5:07 PM EDT

Barely able to contain his glee over the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthused to political director Chuck Todd: "...some of these numbers are ahead of the wildest dreams of the Democratic campaigners." Todd agreed: "They are." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd touted leads for President Obama in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, and eagerly noted: "...the right track, wrong track numbers, for the first time since we've been testing in these state polls, the right track is over 40%." Todd then cited partisan talking points to explain the modest improvement: "Some Democrats have been telling me, that's the Clinton bump, referring to Bill Clinton's speech [at the Democratic National Convention]."

By Kyle Drennen | September 14, 2012 | 1:01 PM EDT

In a report for Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how Mitt Romney "was briefly interrupted by a heckler" at campaign stop in Virginia and played a clip of the angry malcontent ranting: "Why are you politicizing Libya?!" Alexander then played a clip of President Obama being greeted by cheers and applause in Colorado, proclaiming: "Obama took a firm stand, reminding voters of his power as commander in chief."

Alexander began the report by declaring: "Less than eight weeks til' election day, Romney, who by the way authored a book titled No Apology, is making no apologies for his sharp criticism of the President's foreign policy." At the same time, Alexander suggested Romney was backing down: "Mitt Romney toned down his foreign policy attack on President Obama Thursday, seeking to project strength in more subtle terms, arguing the President's a weak leader."

By Matt Vespa | September 14, 2012 | 11:13 AM EDT

In the wake of the embassy attacks in Cairo and Benghazi that left four people dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, you would think the White House would be on crisis alert.  After all, when members of the American Foreign Service come under threat, with one being assassinated– it is comforting to have a commander-in-chief executing his leadership to make sure the situation is under control.  Apparently, that isn’t the case in the Obama White House and, for the most part, the national news media don't seem to mind.