Government & Press

By Curtis Houck | August 26, 2014 | 9:35 PM EDT

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]

By David Limbaugh | August 25, 2014 | 9:52 PM EDT

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.

By Curtis Houck | August 25, 2014 | 9:15 PM EDT

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]

By Ken Shepherd | August 25, 2014 | 4:53 PM EDT

"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. 

By contrast, folks reading coverage of the planned merger at Time.com's money section were treated to an article which actually dealt with the facts rather than diving into overheated political rhetoric. As Time.com's Paul J. Lim explained, "Burger King Wants to Cut its Exposure to Hamburgers, Not Just Taxes" (emphasis mine):

By Curtis Houck | August 22, 2014 | 1:02 PM EDT

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]

By Ken Shepherd | August 22, 2014 | 12:42 PM EDT

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):

By Ken Shepherd | August 21, 2014 | 8:50 PM EDT

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].

By Ken Shepherd | August 21, 2014 | 6:07 PM EDT

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:

By Curtis Houck | August 20, 2014 | 10:50 PM EDT

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]

By Ken Shepherd | August 20, 2014 | 10:20 PM EDT

"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]

By Ann Coulter | August 20, 2014 | 8:52 PM EDT

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.

By Mark Finkelstein | August 19, 2014 | 9:10 AM EDT

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.