On Friday morning, the major broadcast networks were out in full force to defend President Obama after his remarks at a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to militarily address the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Syria.
Leading the way was NBC’s Today, where co-host Matt Lauer told NBC News political director and moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd that “[c]ritics pounced” when Obama made that remark and wondered if they took “his words too literally.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Alexander the Great. Stonewall Jackson. George S. Patton. To this list of some of history's greatest military strategists, a new name must be added: that of Barack Obama. That is, if you agree with Joe Scarborough's take on President Obama's statement at yesterday's press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet" regarding possible attacks on ISIS in Syria.
According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning Joe, President Obama's "no strategy" statement was "straight out of The Art of War where when you were weak, you make your enemies think you were strong. When you were strong, you make your enemies think you were weak." It's what Scarborough would have done, he told viewers, if he were president. When Sam Stein said that he couldn't tell if Joe was joking, Scarborough assured him: "I'm serious. Dead serious . . . I am dead serious. I am not joking." View the video after the jump.
While competing newscasts on ABC and CBS led tonight with the president's stunning admission at a press briefing that he hasn't formulated a strategy to deal with ISIS yet, NBC placed the story in the third slot in the lineup, after a lead-off report regarding the NFL's "tough new policy" on domestic violence and a story by New York-based correspondent Katy Tur about comedian Joan Rivers's hospitalization.
On top of that, Nightly News substitute anchor Lester Holt completely left out both ISIS and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia from his opening-credit tease. By contrast, both ABC's Amy Robach and CBS's Maurice DuBois led off their opening-credit teases by citing the most quotable nugget from today's presidential presser [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video montage below page break]:
As reported on Tuesday night, two of the three major broadcast networks covered a new report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs on the scandal-ridden agency and its Phoenix VA hospital that led to a nationwide investigation of delayed wait times and secret waiting lists.
While the coverage was mixed with ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer completely omitting the story, the coverage in print and online sources such as Politico, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post completely missed the boat.
Reporting on the latest in Ferguson, Missouri for Tuesday night’s CBS Evening News, CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers interviewed a St. Louis detective on what Missouri state law says regarding the ability of law enforcement to use deadly force. After reading from the law directly, Duthiers opined to the detective that it “[s]ounds to me as if the cops are protected no matter what they do.”
To Duthiers’s comment, Detective and St. Louis County Police Association President Gabe Crocker responded that police officers are not “protected by a blanket policy where they can just shoot people and get away with it,” but emphasized that “I do think the law allows for police officers to use deadly force.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Last week I noted how MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who usually has tingles down his leg for the president, was taken aback by Barack Obama's statement regarding the ISIS beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley.
Tonight a frustrated Matthews expressed his frustration with Mr. Obama once again, asking his guests Bobby Ghosh and Howard Fineman why the president didn't couch the U.S. response to the bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists as a defense of American honor. Why, Matthews wondered, did Obama stick to business as usual "playing golf last week when he had the American people's attention?" Why doesn't Obama "fight like a street fighter when it comes to defending the lives of Americans"? The relevant transcript appears below the page break (emphais mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
On Tuesday evening, NBC Nightly News offered a soft news brief on the scandal-ridden Veterans Affairs (VA) Administration by promoting President Barack Obama’s calls that the VA’s many issues will be fixed on his watch. In addition, substitute anchor Lestor Holt made quick mention of an inspector general’s report that the actions of the agency in delays in veterans waiting for care did not result in any veteran’s death.
What NBC Nightly News failed to mention in their one-sided report was that skepticism surrounding the VA remains as both widows of veterans who died awaiting care and one of the whistle-blowers who brought the problems at the VA to light are publically raising doubts about the report’s findings. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
One does not need to be Sun Tzu or George Patton to know that a nation must recognize an enemy before it can develop a strategy to defeat it. But one apparently does have to be someone other than President Barack Obama.
Since he took office, Obama has spent considerable energy trying to convince us how peaceful and magnificent the religion of Islam is and how exceptional acts of terrorism springing from it are.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton appeared on the Fox News Channel (FNC) Monday afternoon and informed viewers that a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney admitted to his organization on Friday that the e-mails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost likely still exist. He declared to FNC’s Shannon Bream that the story of Lerner’s hard drive being damaged and destroyed and thus her e-mails were permanently lost has “all been a pack of malarkey” and “a big lie.”
When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this huge story on their Monday evening newscasts, there was no coverage to be found as ABC, CBS, and NBC all carried out the latest censoring of news surrounding the IRS. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
"Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson put it, but a lack of it may be the last refuge of corporate executives who have run out of ideas on how to improve their business," groused Daily Beast global finance editor Daniel Gross in the open of his 9-paragraph screed "Burger King Plots Canadian Invasion to Save His Faltering Kingdom." "It’s one thing for a fairly anonymous company that sells pumps or valves or industrial products to other businesses to renounce its citizenship for the sake of saving a few bucks on taxes. It’s quite another when you’re an iconic American consumer-facing company that relies on fickle consumers for a large share of its business," Gross fumed.
Friday’s CBS This Morning dove into the subject of President Obama vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard while events domestically and internationally rage, including the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. While they were the only network to mention this story, the report from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett and discussion among the hosts afterward did little more than cover for the president.
At the segment's conclusion, co-host Norah O’Donnell compared Obama’s golfing minutes after making a statement about Foley’s murder to former President George W. Bush going golfing after speaking about a suicide bombing in Iraq. O’Donnell observed that:[MP3 audio here; See the video after the jump]
Thomas Sowell has done it again. The economist and syndicated columnist regularly produces thought-provoking work, but his column today on the media's role in stoking a mob mentality in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Ferguson, Missouri, man Michael Brown is really worth reading.
"Race is the wild card in all this. The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South," Sowell reminds his reader, adding, "I thought we had finally rejected that kind of legalized lynch law. Apparently, it has only been put under new management." Below the excerpt is an excerpt from "The media and the mob of Ferguson," which you can read in full at WashingtonTimes.com (emphasis mine):
Here's more evidence that the Big Three broadcast newscasts are failing to act as Obama administration watchdogs. Today the federal Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan arm of the legislative branch, released a report finding that the Obama/Hagel Department of Defense broke federal law with the manner in which it negotiated the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap earlier this year. Such a revelation should be worthy of coverage on a broadcast network evening newscasts, but all three of those networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ignored the report on their August 21 editions.
But there was plenty of time for fluffy pet stories on the same broadcasts. ABC's World News wrapped up tonight with a story about a musician who composes easy-listening music for dogs. Meanwhile, CBS Evening News substitute anchor Bob Schieffer informed viewers of some pet-friendly college campuses, and Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News both ran a video clip of dogs splashing about in a swimming pool and aired a photo of a cloud photographed over New York City which looks a lot like a dog [See screenshot below page break].
One week after MSNBC.com staff writer Zachary Roth hinted that Ferguson, Missouri's April municipal elections are racially discriminatory, MSNBC host Joy Reid took that argument out for a spin on the Thursday, August 21 edition of her eponymous Reid Report program with guests MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor and Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D). Oddly enough, Ms. Reid laid some blame on the "city's strange politics" resulting from the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as that generally left-leaning movement created the sort of non-partisan, off-year municipal elections that the St. Louis suburb uses. [LISTEN to MP3 audio clip here; video update forthcoming]
For her part, guest Goldie Taylor churned out the usual MSNBC talking points about voter ID laws and "voter suppression", etc., even though moments earlier Reid pointed out that African-American voter turnout in 2012 in Ferguson had been 54 percent, which suggests that lack of interest in municipal politics -- as compared to presidential politics -- was chiefly to blame for the paltry 6 percent African-American voter turnout in the 2013 city elections in Ferguson. What's more, contrary to Taylor's suggestion, the Show-Me State does NOT require voters to show a photo ID. It's categorized by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures as a "ID requested; photo not required" state. Here's what is required as far as identification goes, according to the Missouric Secretary of State's website:
On Wednesday evening, Bill O’Reilly returned from vacation to anchor his Fox News Channel (FNC) program live to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Missouri since the death of Michael Brown on August 9. In just over an eight-minute-long “Talking Points” segment, O’Reilly addressed multiple aspects of the story, but specifically slammed MSNBC commentator and activist Al Sharpton as “this charlatan” who “has the nerve to insult the American police community” while only caring “about his own self-aggrandizement.”
After airing a clip of Sharpton speaking at a rally in Ferguson on Sunday in which he indirectly called out law enforcement for “smear[ing]” Brown instead of “the principles of justice and dignity,” O’Reilly grew extremely agitated: “Al Sharpton has the nerve to insult the American police community, men and women risking their lives to protect us. This charlatan has the gall to do that and NBC News is paying him. My god! Why is that acceptable?” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
"I don't know why he used the word 'justice.' It's not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it," an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama's statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley.
"This is our country versus this group that's declared war on us. What's justice mean in this con-- I don't know why the word's used, like we're going to go to the World Court with this?!" Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted "no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it's in our soul!" [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video below the page break]
It's important to remember that, in police shooting cases like the one in Ferguson, Missouri, the initial facts are often wrong. You don't want to end up looking like Rich Lowry, National Review editor, whose March 23, 2012, column on the Trayvon Martin shooting was titled, "Al Sharpton Is Right."
Early accounts are especially unreliable when reporters think they have a white racism story. Stirring up racial hatred is how journalists make up for sending their own kids to lily-white private schools.
Like what? Seriously, Mika Brzezinski, when you claim as you did on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama has done "great things" on race, precisely what do you have in mind? H/t NB reader Ray R.
Was it choosing to make the racist Reverend Wright his personal pastor? Appointing Eric Holder as Attorney General? Accusing the Cambridge police of acting "stupidly" in the arrest of a black man? Complaining about Americans who dislike him because they don't like the idea of a black president? Inviting Al Sharpton to the White House? Really, Mika, we want to know. View the video after the jump.
Appearing on Fox Business Network's Cavuto program last night to discuss the liberal media's penchant for hyping Republican scandals while downplaying or outright ignoring Democratic ones, Media Research Center president and founder Brent Bozell offered free advice for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), against whom the Big Three networks devoted 37 minutes of hype regarding an indictment which dropped on Friday. [By contrast, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ethics scandal has been mostly unreported with a scant 3 minutes, 36 seconds of coverage in 8 months time]
"If I were advising Gov. Perry, I would tell him simply run the video of the woman who you're trying to get fired, the DA who was drunk off her rear end with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit," Bozell noted, telling guest host Cheryl Casone, "I do believe if Rick Perry goes hard-charging, goes against the media that have been doing this and just simply tells the truth and tells the story, he's going to have a big wave of public sympathy." To watch the full segment, click the play button on the embed below the page break.
On Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, MSNBC contributor and managing editor of Bloomberg Politics Mark Halperin slammed the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) by an Austin, Texas-area grand jury for threatening to veto funding for a Democratic District Attorney’s public integrity unit after she was convicted of a DUI as “the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career.”
Expanding further on his opinion, Halperin added that: “I hope some judge throws it out right away. It's not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty. He’s got a First Amendment right just cause he’s governor of Texas and I think it’s – like you said, it's easy to joke about this, but this is a serious thing. It is ridiculous that he was indicted for this. Ridiculous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Was it a simple mistake, or more deeply revealing of how Luke Russert regards events in Ferguson, MO? With Chuck Todd on his way to Meet The Press, Russert hosted MSNBC's Daily Rundown today.
Speaking with NBC reporter Ron Allen, on the scene in Ferguson, Russert said: "the big news this morning is we expect to hear for the first time the name of the officer who was involved in the murder of Michael Brown -- or the killing of Michael Brown." H/t reader Charles B. View the video after the jump.
It has been over three weeks since The New York Timespublished a front-page investigation unmasking the actions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) shuttering an anti-corruption commission. In reaction, the U.S. Attorney has now begun investigating Cuomo’s administration for possible “witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” according to The New York Post.
Despite these serious allegations, CNN has all but ignored the story. The cable news outlet completely ignored the Cuomo scandal until it aired a single tease and report on August 7 during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
President Obama is more "forceful" and "stubborn" about playing golf than he is about pushing through his policy agenda. That was Dana Milbank's take on today's Morning Joe.
As Joe Scarborough described it, earlier this week the normally left-leaning Milbank enjoyed a "12-minute honeymoon" with conservatives after his Washington Postcolumn called Obama's decision to go golfing while the world burned an example of "tone deafness" if not outright "stupid stuff." Milbank doubled down on the notion today with his suggestion that the president cares more about making it to the first tee than enacting his policy positions. Milbank seemed frustrated with Obama's fecklessness. But if the president's love of the links keeps him from pushing his policies, conservatives should be saying "play on, Mr. President!" View the video after the jump.
"Apparently there's a DOJ employee whose entire job is to reject FOIA requests pic.twitter.com/zWEi1CyLd7 via @MorganSmith," Markay tweeted at 6:11 p.m. Eastern, later retweeting a clarification by Smith, "@lachlan that response came from Dept of Ed, not DoJ (I realize now the cropped pic is confusing)." You can see the embedded tweets from Smith below the page break. Consider this your evening open thread:
In 2008, Americans appointed a president they expected to unify the country, lift the oppressed and restore America's economy and relations in the world. But almost halfway through his second term in office, Americans are more polarized, and the oppressed are more hamstrung. And our country is more unstable than ever among the global community; Iraq is only symptomatic of the greater problem.
But a single professional review of Obama's personality profile could have shown us exactly what was in store for us with his leadership style.
Any intraparty criticism of President Obama’s recent foreign policy moves regarding Iraq was nowhere to be found on NBC’s morning or evening news programs as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leveled some criticism at Obama on the subject in an interview with The Atlantic that was published over the weekend.
Both Sunday and Monday mornings’ installments of Today and Sunday night’s NBC Nightly News ignored this angle of disagreement among arguably the two most well-known and influential figures in Democratic politics as Obama authorized U.S. air strikes against ISIS militants in northern Iraq late last Thursday and throughout over the weekend. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
It looks like Shannon Bream of Fox News lost a friendly bet with Brent Bozell, the president and founder of the Media Research Center, NewsBusters's parent company.
On last night's Kelly File, the fill-in anchor argued that the liberal broadcast networks would have to devote time to covering John Walsh if he bowed out of his Senate race due to his plagiarism scandal. Bozell insisted otherwise and placed a dinner wager on the table [Watch that video in the embed below, fast forward to 2:48 into the video]. Well, this afternoon Montana Democratic U.S. Senator John Walsh did indeed announce he was dropping out of the race, and, alas, neither ABC's World News nor CBS's Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News even made a passing reference to the development.
He just won't let it go. MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned once again to his hare-brained idea that the president should sue Congress, joined tonight by another dynamic duo of hard-core lefties in cheering on the idea: the perpetually sanctimoniously smug comedian John Fugelsang and MSNBC daytime anchor Joy Reid. The Hardball host is ostensibly unafraid of conflict, but thus far he has failed to bring on a conservative sparring partner in his "sue Congress" segments.
But not only is Matthews stubbornly surrounding himself with those who share his absurd opinion, he's throwing out statements that are either patently false or grossly misleading. For example, in opening Matthews charged:
Tell me: Has any other United States president ever goaded the opposition party to bring impeachment proceedings against himself? Has any other so sneeringly mocked and taunted the other party?
President Obama is not only not the uniter he promised to be; he is the agitator in chief. Just consider the contrast with President George W. Bush, who didn't even defend himself often, much less deride, needle and dare Democrats to oppose him.