After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the blame for the avoidable tragedy that occurred in Benghazi last month, one would think the media would be a little more critical of an administration that initially tried to cover it up with misinformation. While this sounds like a logical presumption, it hasn't been the case. Clinton was applauded for "falling on her sword" and taking responsibility for failing to protect those who were killed in the attack on the consulate.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir and his contributors didn't seem to think an apology was necessary however, blaming the Republicans in Congress for imposing cuts on foreign aid and embassy protection instead. In other words, it was all their fault and the Romney campaign has no right bringing it up. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
In a fawning softball interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, special correspondent Ryan Seacrest was eager to know how she helps the President during debates: "What did you say to him when the two of you walked backstage after the first debate?...Have you spoken to him about the prep?...does he make eye contact with you? Does he look at you for encouragement?"
The First Lady explained: "I'm perched. I'm looking at him. I'm smiling. I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it....I assume that he can, so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a panel discussion previewing the second presidential debate, co-host Matt Lauer mandated that Mitt Romney answer charges that he's moderated his positions: "How does Mitt Romney answer that question tonight of, 'Why have you moved to the middle, have become more moderate in these closing weeks?'"
Former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt rejected Lauer's assertion: "I don't think he has to answer that question." Lauer immediately interrupted: "What if he's asked that question?" Former Democratic governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm joined Lauer in ganging up on Schmidt: "Oh, I think he does. He absolutely does."
In a pathetic attempt to smear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan ahead of Tuesday's second presidential debate, NBC's Today seized on a story in Monday's Washington Post accusing Ryan and his family of washing already clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen in Ohio for a photo-op. Co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Would a campaign do that? We're gonna talk about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following a report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking responsibility for security failures in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd actually treated the supposed dishwashing incident as if it were a scandal: "Paul Ryan is dealing with some fallout from that weekend photo-op....something that – that the campaign is a little nervous about because they're trying to get through this idea of whether they're in touch or out of touch."
On Monday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd analyzed the state of the presidential race following a series of new national polls showing a slight Romney lead: "Well, look, the first debate really did sort of shift things....the numbers I've seen, and in talking to both campaigns, something shifted fundamentally."
However, only four days earlier, on Thursday's Today, Todd argued the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped," leading co-host Savannah Guthrie to conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact." That was as the ABC and CBS morning shows highlighted Romney's clear momentum.
Adopting Obama campaign talking points that Mitt Romney has dramatically shifted positions, on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked Donald Trump: "Are you happy with the Romney campaign right now? In the last couple of weeks he has clearly moved toward the center, way closer to the center than he was during the primaries and the early part of the campaign. His comments on abortion out in Ohio." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Trump dismissed any concerns: "I think he's doing amazingly. It started with the debate. We were all a little bit worried for a while. He just knocked it out of the park in the debate, and you look at the polls, he's generally winning." Lauer pressed: "But you think he's the same candidate that you signed on with several months ago?" Trump replied: "I think he's a great candidate and I think he's going to win." Lauer couldn't let it go: "Same candidate?" Trump reiterated: "Yes, I think he's a great candidate."
While admitting at the top of Friday's NBC Today that there was "no clear winner" in Thursday's vice presidential debate, minutes later, co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie brought on left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to declare Joe Biden the victor: "Democrats are psyched that Joe Biden had such a great night....most Democrats watching last night probably think that Joe Biden clearly won." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer teed up Maddow perfectly: "Going into this debate, just about everybody said the main goal of Joe Biden was to steady the ship and calm the nerves on the Democratic side. Let's start there, did he accomplish it?" Not surprisingly, Maddow replied: "Absolutely." The headline on the screen throughout the segment posed the question: "Did Biden Blunt the Romney Momentum?"
After a lengthy spar with CNN's Soledad O'Brien over an alleged Mitt Romney flip-flop, RNC chief Reince Priebus called her out for her double standard on Thursday's Starting Point.
"Soledad, I wish you would be as passionate about taking Barack Obama to task for every one of his promises and for every one of his changes that he didn't follow through on over the last four years, as opposed to this," Priebus lectured her. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
With the Vice Presidential debate hours away, new developments concerning its moderator, Martha Raddatz have been disturbing. As Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart reported today, during the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, Raddatz, who was then known as Martha Bradlee (she was married to Ben Bradlee Jr.), moderated the debate where, like a good race-baiting liberal, she asked Democratic candidate John Silber “why he had not campaigned more frequently in poor minority communities, prompting him to respond: "There is no point in my making a speech on crime control to a group of drug addicts."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams recited Obama campaign talking points as he proclaimed: "What Mitt Romney said about abortion that sure sounds like a change."
Moments later, Williams attempted to frame Romney's innocuous comments on the subject to the Des Moines Register as a misstep: "Mitt Romney is trying to take advantage of a bounce coming off the last debate, but it was something he said on the subject of abortion that is getting a lot of the attention today and tonight. It's where we begin tonight..."
While the ABC and CBS morning shows on Thursday focused on a tightening presidential race following Mitt Romney's winning performance in the first debate, on NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd used the network's new swing state polling to argue that the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped." Prompting co-host Savannah Guthrie conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact."
In contrast, opening CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New polls show the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney is getting tighter." Similarly opening ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "High stakes and high pressure as new polls show Mitt Romney closing the gap in some key states."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer cited left-wing Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan ripping apart President Obama's bad debate performance: "I've never seen a candidate this late in the game so far ahead just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness, a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing argument?"
Lauer employed the quote in an interview with Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs and worried: "So with the second debate just a week away, Robert, does President Obama understand what he did wrong? Does he agree that he took the wrong approach?" Gibbs acknowledged: "...the President understands that he didn't even live up to his own high expectations for that debate."
With a House Oversight committee slated to hold a hearing on the deadly Benghazi consulate terrorist attack at noon today, there was really no excuse for CNN's Starting Point to not cover the story. But alas, anchor Soledad O'Brien checked her journalistic credibility at the dressing room door, going on air with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sounding more like an Obama apologist than a hard-nosed reporter.
After promoting the Obama campaign's Bird Bird ad on Tuesday's NBC Today, not to mention it being played repeatedly on MSNBC, in an interview with campaign advisor Robert Gibbs on Wednesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "...is that the kind of political ad that a campaign releases when it feels that it has ideas and solutions on its side, or is that the kind of political ad a campaign releases when it simply wants to get attention?"
Gibbs defended the juvenile ad: "I think the ad and the President have an important point on this. You know, Mitt Romney took to the debate and said, 'I'm going to get tough by ending Downton Abbey and going to war with Sesame Street.'"
Every election cycle, the American people are inundated with polls. Polls with blacks, white, Hispanics, women, Jews, Catholics, young people, and the Asians are disseminated ad nauseam – despite most of them being flawed or so skewed concerning the sample spread that it’s not worth commenting on in any analysis. When Romney hit a slump towards the end of September, which led to his dip in the polls, the left thought it was over. No one was more convinced of this than Pew Research president Andrew Kohut, a public-broadcasting regular, who had to change his tune on the October 8 broadcast of the PBS Newshour.
This election has seen its fair share of tax rhetoric. From Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accusing Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes for over a decade to MSNBC contributor Joan Walsh insinuating that Ann Romneythrew a “tantrum” over her husband's tax returns, the Romneys have been the target of the political left seeking to use class warfare as a political cudgel. Endless ads and news segments by some in the media obsess over Mitt’s rate of taxation, complaining that he doesn't pay what's fair.
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake told CNN on Tuesday that candidate George W. Bush "just didn't pay a high enough price" in the 2000 election for his DUI arrest that occurred more than 20 years prior.
Blake was talking about famous "October surprises," or unforseen events occurring in the month before the election that could be game-changing. The Bush DUI revelation was a hit job planted by a Democratic source that mushroomed into a big story because of the liberal media. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing on Tuesday's MSNBC Morning Joe, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discounted a new satirical ad from the Obama campaign mocking Mitt Romney for mentioning Big Bird in the debate: "...this is clearly a, as I was told, 'national cable,' which seems like code for, 'We put it out there hoping a lot of people will play it over and over because we think it's a good snarky conversation.'"
However, only moments earlier, the full ad played on the MSNBC morning show, as well as during the 6 a.m. ET hour. In fact, the ad ran in full on every MSNBC show between the 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET hours on Tuesday, for a total of ten times. That included on Todd's own 9 a.m. ET show, The Daily Rundown.
During the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's NBC Today, Ericka Souter, editor of the celebrity gossip blog The Stir, trashed Mitt Romney for announcing plans to cut federal funding of PBS, including Sesame Street, ranting: "Everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As Souter denounced Romney for supposedly attacking Big Bird, the headline on screen read: "Romney Goes 'Bird' Hunting." A picture appeared that showed a protestor dressed in a Big Bird costume holding a sign that read: "Unemployed in a Romney economy."
In a display of just how badly President Obama performed in Wednesday's presidential debate, Friday's NBC Today played a clip of Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripping into Obama: "There is no red America. There is no blue America. There is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate. Romney won with the sound up....Romney won with the sound off." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Stewart mockingly implored the President: "...think of your supporters. Look what your performance did last night to one of them." A sound bite followed of the meltdown of MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed? Where was Obama tonight?!" Stewart declared: "Mr. President, you broke Chris Matthews!" The Today show hosts all laughed as weatherman Al Roker quipped: "And he's still broken."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."
On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"
There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.
Something odd happened to the liberal media after the first presidential debate on Wednesday. They couldn't for the life of them put any postive spin on the president's lackluster performance. There was nothing they could say that could take away from Mitt Romney's clear victory, but then came the excuses. Some blamed Jim Lehrer for his inability to moderate properly, others cited what must've been an incumbent debate curse, there was even some mention of Obama's reluctance to come across as an angry black man.
But the dopiest analysis by far was from former Vice President Al Gore, on his Current TV network -- think an even farther left version of MSNBC with fewer viewers -- who blamed altitude sickness on Obama's poor performance: [ video below after page break ]
President Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" for Wednesday night's debate, claimed CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell after the debate. According to her, "contraceptive rights" and "free mammograms" in ObamaCare are some of the President's "greatest hits."
"There was no mention of Bain," she said on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose. "There was no mention of the auto industry saved. There was no mention of the wars ended, and in the discussion about ObamaCare, he didn't mention that that would turn back many provisions that protect women's health, free mammograms, contraceptive rights." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Picking up where he left off Wednesday night, on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews continued to whine over President Obama's poor debate performance and ranted that Mitt Romney has "been accused of etch-a-sketch, last night was his greatest achievement. Everything he said within days ago, he's ignored." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Prior to Matthews' appearance, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted that he had been "very vocal" during MSNBC's post-debate coverage and played a sound bite of the Hardball host blasting Obama: "I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight about Social Security. Where was Obama tonight?!"
MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman lamented how the president was on the defensive in his first bout with Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Jim Lehrer, who moderated the October 3 debate, has a history of bias that is usually cloaked with his soporific disposition. However, Fineman seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer “useless” and equated his moderating of the debate to “criminal negligence.” Fineman’s ire seems to be indicative of liberals’ reaction towards Obama’s poor debate performance.
A Romney campaign senior adviser blistered CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Wednesday morning, quipping that "I know you have your talking points" before citing an independent study to attack Obama's jobs record. O'Brien later retorted that "Only one person who is spinning at this moment, and that would be you."
Romney advisers and supporters could make a habit of mocking Soledad O'Brien's bias on CNN. Romney surrogate John Sununu has twice gone after O'Brien in such fashion, telling her she should be ashamed to be parroting Obama talking points and that she should put an Obama sticker on her forehead. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Reporting the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll numbers on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd touted a rather obvious finding in the numbers, relentless media attacks on Mitt Romney have negatively affected how voters view the Republican nominee.
Todd proclaimed: "That 47% remark, it has left a mark, if you will. When we asked, 'Is there anything you've heard in the last few weeks that's made you more favorable or less favorable on Mitt Romney?', 51% said what they've heard has made them less favorable."
Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd launched into a rant attacking Rasmussen Reports polling: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Joe Kernen challenged Todd: "[Rasmussen] was right, though, the last couple of elections." Todd shot back: "He got right at the end. It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit – a little bit haywire."