Campaign Watch

By Matt Vespa | September 10, 2012 | 3:46 PM EDT

One the eve of the nation's third-largest school district seeing a massive teacher's strike ABC's World News was strangely silent. Of course, even as other media outlets have covered the story, they've often done a poor job at presenting the public relevant information. For example, as my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock reported today, CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network morning show on Monday to note that Chicago teachers make on average $71,000 a year.

By Kyle Drennen | September 10, 2012 | 12:08 PM EDT

At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer eagerly touted an Obama campaign photo-op: "One pizza shop owner in Florida got a little excited when he met President Obama, gave him a bear hug and then lifted him up....By the way, he's a Republican." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd announced that Obama had "clearly found a bounce in his campaign step, on display as he visited a Florida sports bar, even making a birther joke....Later the President got a whole new lesson in retail politics, when he got a very enthusiastic welcome from a Florida pizza shop owner."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 11:09 PM EDT

Appearing as regular panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, as he recounted former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, liberal Washington Post columnist Colby King claimed that "the amount of hate that the Republicans have for Barack Obama is just astounding," calling it "raw, visceral hate."

A bit later, after right-leaning panel member Charles Krauthammer offered criticism of Michelle Obama's speech, King lambasted him for not giving the First Lady a pass from substantive analysis and ended up gratuitously suggesting that dying was the only thing President Obama and wife Michelle could do to make the conservative Krauthammer happy. King:

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 4:59 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, less than two hours before another poor jobs report, co-host Matt Lauer touted a bold economic prediction: "Some of the analysts I've been reading have said that no matter who is president over the next four years, the economy will add about 12 million jobs just because of the cycle it's in." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer agreed with the rosy scenario: "...a lot of pent-up demand in autos and pent-up demand in exports. It's not such a bad moment."

Earlier in the discussion, Cramer predicted that the upcoming jobs numbers would be "a little better than expected" from the projection of 135,000 jobs created in August, with "Maybe 10,000 jobs more than that." At the top of the 9 a.m. hour, fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall delivered the much more disappointing reality: "[The unemployment rate] now stands at 8.1% for the month of August, down .2% from July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The economy added 96,000 jobs last month."

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 12:38 PM EDT

Comparing the RNC and DNC conventions on Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough declared a knockout for Democrats: "...if we're going pound for pound, round for round, this wasn't Ali versus Frasier, this was Muhammed Ali versus Chuck Wepner...It was ugly..." The liberal crowd assembled around Scarborough at a bar in Charlotte all cheered and applauded the statement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Scarborough's boxing reference was to a 1975 fight when Wepner went 15 rounds with the heavyweight champion Ali before losing. On the conventions, he argued that Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden "all hit home runs...all hit it out of the park," while in Tampa, "you had a Republican convention that was trying to figure out how to love Mitt Romney."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 8:02 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, host Chris Matthews managed to squeeze in another charge of racism against a black President by "right wingers" as he brought up the birther movement and asserted:

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 7:32 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman -- formerly of Newsweek -- declared that it was "brilliant" for President Obama to suggest that Republicans are being "unpatriotic" in trying to make an issue of the economy's poor performance during his time in office.

Shortly past midnight, Fineman asserted:

By Kyle Drennen | September 6, 2012 | 12:42 PM EDT

On Thursday, the hosts of NBC's Today could barely contain their glee over former President Bill Clinton addressing the Democratic National Convention, with Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Life of the party. Former President Bill Clinton delivers a powerful and partisan speech....blasting Republicans, and in the throes of a bad economy, making the case for four more years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Moments later, Matt Lauer gushed that President Obama had "a really tough act to follow after what was an enthusiastic and powerful endorsement" from Clinton. In a later report, Meet the Press host David Gregory joined in the Clinton lovefest with his own rave review: "Bill Clinton simply owned the room here, stayed longer than he was supposed to, but nobody seemed to mind....it was an appearance that was the height of political stagecraft."

Gregory excitedly added: "Here was one of the party's biggest heros leveraging his enormous popularity to vouch for President Obama..." And observed that Clinton "was happier than ever in the spotlight."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 6, 2012 | 8:22 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC coverage of the Democratic National Convention, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman went after what they viewed as "hate" on the Republican side, with Matthews raising the topic by reciting Bill Clinton's contention that he never felt "hate" for his opponents. A bit earlier, Matthews also managed to bring in a reference to Nazi Germany as he admired Clinton because he "belittled" Republicans. Matthews:

By Brad Wilmouth | September 6, 2012 | 5:34 AM EDT

As Washington Post columnist and MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein appeared during the midnight hour of Wednesday night's Democratic National Convention coverage on MSNBC, he described former President Bill Clinton as a "missile" for the Obama administration, and argued that high tax rates have not harmed the economy in the past.

But, as he pointed to periods of high growth while marginal tax rates were higher than modern times, he neglected to mention that the existence of more tax shelters often kept effective tax rates from being as high as they might have appeared, whereas many of those tax shelters were removed in the 1980s. He also did not note that the capital gains tax was cut in the mid-1990s during the Clinton presidency after Republicans took control of Congress.

Referring to Clinton's speech, Klein began:

By Kyle Drennen | September 5, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

During the Today's Professionals panel segment on Wednesday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall promoted an online petition to get 90-year-old actress Betty White to appear at the Democratic National Convention, noting that the creator of the petition, "is concerned that Clint Eastwood gave elderly people a bad name with what he did" at the Republican convention.

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch declared that "Republicans still have egg on their face from the Clint Eastwood thing" and urged the Democrats not to do it. NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman added: "I would not counter something that didn't go well." Attorney Star Jones rounded out the discussion by calling on Democrats to "Let the stench stay over there," meaning on the Republican side.

By Kyle Drennen | September 5, 2012 | 3:45 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention while running down the GOP: "[She] had a hold on the delegates in this hall in a way that no speaker was able to do in Tampa. A stark contrast to the Republicans in the way they structured their convention and with the enthusiasm."

During NBC's live convention coverage Tuesday night, Todd could barely contain his excitement. At one point, he proclaimed that the First Lady "owned this convention...in a way that no speaker owned the floor of the convention in Tampa." Prior to Mrs. Obama's address, Todd applauded "the passion that you see throughout the evening" at the Democratic gathering, and claimed that Republicans "waited for the television cameras to come on" to show similar enthusiasm at their convention.