Government & Press

By Ken Shepherd | June 26, 2014 | 8:38 PM EDT

The evening newscasts of all three broadcast networks tonight reported on the unanimous decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in making recess appointments when the U.S. Senate was technically in session. Rather than couching the ruling as a stunning rebuke of presidential overreach by Mr. Obama, however, coverage on CBS and NBC made it sound like an intrusion on presidential prerogative. ABC's Terry Moran described the ruling as the Court saying "no, no president has [the] power" to make recess appointments when the Senate declares itself to be in session (no matter how sparsely attended).

By contrast a search of Nexis transcripts reveals that on June 28, 2004, when the Supreme Court reached a 6-3 decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld -- a Fifth Amendment due process case regarding an American citizen captured in Afghanistan as an enemy combatant -- the network evening newscasts hailed the ruling as "a real blow to the Bush administration" (ABC's Charles Gibson), a ruling that "struck at the very core of the way President Bush has been conducting the war on terrorism" (ABC's Manuel Medrano), with "the justices... say[ing] the Bush administration cannot expect the courts to stay on the sidelines in the war on terror" (NBC's Pete Williams).

By Curtis Houck | June 26, 2014 | 3:10 PM EDT

Thursday’s edition of CBS This Morning featured the latest installment in the media’s love affair with President Barack Obama. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante switched course from a constructive work of journalism he did Tuesday to a fluff piece on how Obama uses letters Americans send to the White House “to construct his political agenda.”

The story comes as Obama is going to Minnesota today where he’ll have lunch with a woman who wrote to him about how sending her two children to daycare costs more than her family’s mortgage payment. Plante marveled about how the woman’s letter “fit perfectly into the president's agenda to emphasize the difficulties facing working families.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Cheri Jacobus | June 26, 2014 | 9:48 AM EDT

As noted by Washington Post reporter David Nakamura, newly-minted Obama White House press spokesman Josh Earnest managed to anger the White House press corps right out of the gate.
 
While it may not seem like a big deal that press can be "testy" with a White House, consider the contrast at the beginning of the Obama Presidency in 2009.  Traditionally, the White House press corps does not stand when a president enters the briefing room, a measure of respect for their colleagues operating TV cameras in the rear of the small room.  However, the White House press corps was so enamored with the former community organizer, they broke protocol and many stood as Obama entered the White House press briefing room.

By Ken Shepherd | June 25, 2014 | 10:10 PM EDT

Halfway through the Wednesday edition of her eponymous program this evening, CNN's Erin Burnett turned to her colleague Joe Johns for breaking news regarding a fresh development in the IRS scandal: email evidence suggesting Lois Lerner may have pushed for an audit of Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. 

Immediately afterwards, in a panel discussion, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin endorsed calls coming from Republicans for a special prosecutor to look into the IRS scandal.

By Ken Shepherd | June 25, 2014 | 8:30 PM EDT

Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that police may not search the contents of an arrested individual's cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. While all three broadcast networks reported on the Riley v. California decision in their June 25 evening newscasts, only CBS's Janet Crawford directly referred to the "Obama administration" as having "argued cell phone searches were like a search of a suspect's wallet, briefcase, or coat, which don't require a warrant."

ABC's Terry Moran skirted around a reference to the Obama administration, saying simply that "the government" made the argument that searching a cell phone was akin to searching a wallet. NBC's Pete Williams likewise failed to describe the Obama administration's involvement in the case, to which it was not a party, but in which it took great interest.

By Ken Shepherd | June 24, 2014 | 9:20 PM EDT

Although the 42nd U.S. president made the remarks during a taped interview Tuesday for sister network NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Chris Matthews completely ignored Bill Clinton's defense of his wife's "dead broke" statement as "factually true."

By contrast, the competition over at CNN on Erin Burnett OutFront featured a panel discussion in which the participants made light of Mr. Clinton's defense of his consort and forecast that Bill Clinton might end up being a net negative for his wife on the campaign trail, as he was in the 2008 primaries. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]

By NB Staff | June 24, 2014 | 5:55 PM EDT

"The email scandal, and it is a scandal, it is a crime, broke 11 days ago, and it took six days, it took Paul Ryan erupting at the IRS commissioner six days later for the media to cover this [on] the evening news," Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel (FNC) substitute host Stuart Varney on the June 24 edition of Your World w/Neil Cavuto.

Yes, a handful of reporters, like Mark Halperin, have spoken out, which is commendable, but "[t]he reality is that this story is still by and large being ignored," Bozell argued. "This is serious, serious stuff going on," but the liberal media "are headed for the tall grass" because they "just don't want to know" the extent of the Obama administration's corruption. [Watch the full segment below the page break]

By Curtis Houck | June 24, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s not wealthy and does not own any stocks, bonds, or a savings account isn’t entirely true. Unfortunately, only one network did the work to debunk his statement from a speech at the White House Summit on Working Families yesterday.

CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network show on Monday evening or Tuesday morning that looked into Biden’s claims, which CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante found to be partially false. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Chuck Norris | June 23, 2014 | 9:51 PM EDT

As most kids are screaming "School's out for summer," 18-year-old high-school student Andrew Lampart is still trying to figure out why his school's Internet service blocked him from gathering conservative facts for his side of the argument on his school debate team.

Andrew told Fox News, "I knew it was important to get facts for both sides of the case." But when he tried to do an Internet search of conservative views, he was prevented at every turn.

By Cal Thomas | June 23, 2014 | 6:05 PM EDT

It is a line I have used to open speeches on the lecture circuit for years and it never fails to get a laugh: "I'm happy to be here tonight from Washington, D.C., where the only politicians with convictions are in prison."

That's only partially true. Democrats have convictions. They know what to do with power when they get it and how to isolate, even punish, any member of their party who dares to take a different position on an issue. Republicans seem to constantly react to the policies of Democrats or slam each other instead of making a case for the superiority of their ideas. It doesn't help Republicans that they lack the Democrats' uniformity.

By Curtis Houck | June 23, 2014 | 3:15 PM EDT

Mark Halperin, a frequent panelist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, made an intriguing observation on Monday’s show about the IRS scandal. After saying that the recent news regarding the destroyed hard drive belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner would be “a test for the news media,” Halperin took a stance on the scandal that few on the cable channel would dare take.

“I think with a different administration, one that was a Republican administration, this story would be a national obsession and, instead, it's getting coverage here and a few other places, but it really deserves a lot more questions,” opined Halperin. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Mark Finkelstein | June 23, 2014 | 9:30 AM EDT

Someday, Barack Obama might make a fine professor somewhere.  In the meantime, someone should remind him that he's still President of the United States . . . If President Obama thought he was going to score some easy media points by sitting down for an interview with Mika Brzezinski last Friday, he was badly mistaken.  Morning Joe aired the interview today, to bad reviews by its guests.

Dem Donny Deutsch didn't want to say--but said--that Obama looked "checked out," and seemed like he "wants to go home."  Mark Halperin observed that Republicans resonate when they say that Obama is not "taking control." Commenting on Obama's long disquisition on the complications of the Syrian situation, Halperin observed: "it's up to the President of the United States to take some bold action to try to address [problems] and not just sit and say here's why this is hard, here's why this is hard." It's as if Barack Obama sees himself in the faculty lounge, offering exquisite insights on the problems of the day, rather than in the Oval Office, with the obligation to address them. View the video after the jump.