Poor Carl Bernstein: he's suffering a bad bout of MSM nostalgia. He longs for the good old media days when the news was dominated by the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the then three broadcast networks. They could slam Republicans with impunity, without any conservative media counterweight.
In covering the shutdown, today's media culture, kvetches Carl, is just too darn fair and balanced in its treatment of those lying, McCarthyite Republicans. That's why President Obama and the congressional Dems' poll numbers are surprisingly bad. Such was Carl's complaint on today's Morning Joe. View the video after the jump.
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
You have to give credit where credit is due. In Saturday's Washington Post, columnist Melinda Henneberger did readers a favor by relaying the nastiness and misogyny that some liberal male voters in Virginia have exhibited towards female campaign volunteers for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
"[A]s Greater McLean Republican Women's Club President Anne Gruner was setting up her table Friday, laying out her 'Women for Ken' stickers and fact sheets, a man walking by suddenly swooped close to her face and started screaming, cursing and calling her a 'terrorist,'" Henneberger noted in the fourth paragraph of her Metro section front-pager. Later in the same story, Henneberger noted that:
Republicans are godless anti-government zealots responsible for a federal government shutdown that will literally kill people, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged in the closing "Clear the Air" commentary on his Friday, October 4 program.
But in a not-so-clever twist, the ever-sanctimonious Bashir -- who has a penchant for selective Bible-thumping to push liberal agenda points -- sought to enlist the nonpartisan Senate chaplain, Dr. Barry C. Black, to condemn Republicans for him. The relevant transcript is below the page break, as is the video of the segment:
If Republicans were smart (I know, but stay with me) their focus during the Obamacare debate should have been less on blocking its implementation and more on a page they might have taken from the Democrat's playbook, which is to rally the country to its side by use of sentimentality and the threat of impending doom. The good news for Republicans is that there's still time.
It's a sure bet Democrats are right now writing sob stories of tearful children barred from the Lincoln Memorial because of the government "shutdown." The National Zoo in Washington inexplicably turned off its unmanned Panda Cam, which showed video of the newborn panda cub on the Internet. Boohoo.
The political stalemate leading to the so-called shutdown of the federal government has shown with devastating clarity how official Washington is consumed with symbolism over substance.
The symbolism begins with the word shutdown itself. Despite the noise and fury in Washington, the vast majority of Americans haven't noticed any change in their daily lives because most of the federal government has not shut down. It is functioning as normal. Social Security checks go out, and the military is still on duty.
Are you happy now, Republicans? You went and forced the president to cancel his trip to Asia and with it an important foreign policy overture.
That's the message Time magazine is sending readers with Michael Crowley's October 4 post, "Shutdown Dents Vital Obama Foreign Policy Goal," which was plugged on the Time.com front page with a photo of a frowning President Obama given the teaser headline, "Grounded by the Shutdown." "President Obama cancels a long-planned Asia excursion as the standoff continues at home, yet again putting off U.S. goals to recharge relations with the continent," complained the front-page caption [see screen capture below the page break]. Here's a taste of Crowley's story (emphasis mine):
Imagine that Jeff Bezos asked his vice-president for sales IT how many people had purchased products from Amazon the day before, and the veep said he'd get back to him "in a few weeks." How many nanoseconds do you think that hapless employee would last in his job?
But on today's Morning Joe, there was the Obama admin's David Simas, sporting the lofty title of Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy, smiling insouciantly while saying that it would be a "few weeks" before the Obama admin would say how many people had signed up for Obamacare. Conclusion: either: 1. the Obama admin's information technology planning and implementation is grossly incompetent; and/or 2. President Obama doesn't want Americans to know just how few people have signed up for Obamacare--particularly in the young-and-healthy demographic, upon whose willingness to make the uneconomic choice of signing up the entire house of cards hinges. View the video after the jump.
"Wendy Davis, Misogyny Magnet," blared a teaser headline on the Time.com front page this afternoon. The headline was accompanied by a photo of the Democratic Texas state senator who is most famous for her lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful filibuster of a bill to regulate the Lone Star State's abortion clinics.
The article in question -- written by Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and former New York Times Opinionator columnist Judith Warner -- was posted in the magazine's Ideas blog, an opinion feature which does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Time's editorial board. That said, the premise of Warner's piece was essentially that the pro-choice lobby's favorite new bogeyman, Republicans engaged in a war on women* will propel Davis into the governor's chair next fall (emphases mine):
When you have to toss out in the midst of your race-baiting article that you are in no way insisting that conservatives are racists, well, that's pretty good evidence that you're doing just that.
"No, this is not a convoluted way of calling Republicans racists,"Jamelle Bouie insisted -- and which editors placed into a pull quote -- in his October 3 story "How the South Blocked Health Care for Those Who Need It Most." "Thanks to Republican legislators in old Confederate states, universal health-care won’t be so universal" laments a front-page caption accompanying a stock image of a black girl being attended to by two black medical personnel in surgical scrubs. [see image below the page break] Here's how Bouie opened his story on the lack of Southern states participating in a Medicaid expansion available to them under ObamaCare:
Republicans seem to "prefer [reopening] war memorials to" resuming cancer treatments for "living children." That's the grotesque, hyperpartisan spin that MSNBC's Martin Bashir weaved on his October 2 program, reacting to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's offer to have the RNC pay for five security guards to man the World War II Memorial which the National Park Service, in concert with the Obama White House, has ordered closed during the shutdown.
Bashir made that remark shortly into his Wednesday program before introducing his all-liberal panel of guests. Bashir, of course, failed to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's callous rejection of the notion of passing a funding bill that would re-open the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with it clinical trials to treat cancer-stricken children. The relevant transcript follows the page break. [MP3 audio available here; Video follows page break]:
Move over, Lord Voldemort. Ted Cruz has taken your place as the man so evil he must not be named . . .
Today's Morning Joe featured a strange trope in which Cruz was being unmistakably referred to by various members of the panel, but, at least in the first hour, never mentioned by name. Instead, Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist variously alluded to Cruz as "one Republican senator specifically" or as one of "a couple of Republican senators" or "certain members of the Senate." Why the aversion to calling Ted Cruz by name? Were the Morning Joers trying to deprive Cruz of publicity? View the video after the jump.
Corrected from earlier | "After three years of last-minute deals, delayed decisions, and acrimonious finger pointing, the process for one of Congress's most basic functions—spending money—finally buckled and broke down Monday night," the Wall Street Journal's Damian Paletta sighed in the opening paragraph of his October 1 story, "Breakdown Is New Norm in Spending Fights."
"Since passage of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the House and Senate have been directed to pass annual budget resolutions setting targets for government spending levels and then work out the differences," but "Congress in recent years has abandoned its traditional budget and appropriations process," Paletta noted. Yet nowhere in his 21-paragraph story did the Journal scribe lay any blame at the feet of Senate Democrats and their leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), even though the upper chamber failed to pass a budget in nearly four years, only doing so in March.*
Only at the very end of their article did Rogers and Miller mention that the Democratic National Committee is having a fundraising field day off the work stoppage. There was, however, no mention that the DNC desperately needs the cash because they're drowning in red ink. Reported Fortune magazine's Tory Newmyer yesterday morning:
Michelle Cottle is no fan of Republicans and certainly not of Tea Party conservatives. But in a sign that some liberal journalists are worried that Democrats may overreach with their alarmist rhetoric, the Daily Beast staffer called on Democrats to cool it a bit with the hyper-partisan invective during the government shutdown. To Cottle, it's okay to call conservatives hijackers and terrorists and kamikaze pilots, so long as you keep the slurs "generic" and not, for example, compare Republicans to actual real-life villains like Bashar al-Assad and the Ayatollah.
"Is she Cinderella or Joan of Arc?" Time.com contributor Hilary Hylton mused of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D) in the lead sentence of her Friday, September 27 story, "Wendy Davis Laces Up Her Running (for Governor) Shoes." ] "Now that she’s on the verge of announcing a run for Texas governor, everyone is wondering whether the glass slipper will fit, or will she be a martyr for her cause?" Hylton reasoned.[h/t Joshua Trevino of the Texas Public Policy Foundation]
If by "everyone," Hylton means the subset of humanity that constitutes America's liberal political journalists, than yes, she may have a point. Most Americans and I would imagine most Texans, however, don't even know who Wendy Davis is. Hylton seems to get that and adds that, "In reality, the story unfolding in Texas will likely neither be fanciful nor tragic, but a very long, very expensive and very nasty political tale." Translation: win or lose (likely the latter), Wendy Davis will get banged up something fierce in her race for governor.
Why do Dems need Debbie Wasserman-Schultz when they've got Andrea Mitchell? There was no mistaking Mitchell's anger on her MSNBC show today as she scolded Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz . "Get real," reprimanded Mitchell, twice telling Chaffetz the Republican bill delaying the implementation of ObamaCare was "dead on arrival."
For good measure, Mitchell put the onus on Republicans to cave in order to avoid "hurting people." View the video after the jump.
In its 40-year history, the liberal media never really cared for the Heritage Foundation. But now that the think tank has been more assertive in its engagement of Capitol Hill, the liberal media are rewriting history to depict the move as something that is threatening the organization's respectability inside the Beltway. In July, I noted the Wall Street Journal's stab at the concern-trolling about Heritage's diminishing gravitas. In January, my colleague Matthew Balan noted the Washington Post's bias about Heritage's lobbying arm, Heritage Action.
Today it's Time magazine's turn, as writer Zeke Miller looked at how "political action arm of the once-esteemed Heritage Foundation has perfected the art of disrupting DC, whatever the cost":
The list of things on which Barack Obama has been wrong goes on to the crack of doom. But there's one thing on which the President is surely right. In devising his strategy for dealing with the shutdown, the prez can count on the MSM to blame Republicans.
Mark Halperin bared the president's calculus on today's Morning Joe, saying the Obama admin has little incentive to negotiate because it believes a "sympathetic" press will blame Republicans like they did in the 1990s, accusing them of being "obstructionist." View the video after the jump.
It's a classic example of the MSM's use of sympathetic individual anecdotes to manipulate public opinion in favor of more and bigger government. Today's Good Morning America segment on the looming government shutdown, narrated by former New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, offered the stories of just two people, both African-Americans, both of whom might be hurt by a government shutdown. And check out the screen graphic: not to dramatize things or nuthin', but ABC plaintively wonders how federal workers would "survive."
ABC could have balanced its report with stories of younger people who will see their health insurance premiums double or more if ObamaCare is implemented. But why would Good Morning America want to go there? View the video after the jump.
"In the Republican Party, there has been nothing but dead wood for about 15 years," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto on Friday evening. But now that dynamic conservatives like "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul," are on the rise, the GOP's "old guard," which "will not fight for anything" is outraged and joining liberal journalists and comedians as they pile on abuse against the junior senator from Texas for his nearly 22-hour filibuster of ObamaCare, Bozell noted.
Ultimately, while the liberal media love to mock Cruz and other conservatives, "out in the real world, in America, you've got nothing but bad news" coming out day after day about how ObamaCare is hurting everyday Americans. "It's no laughing matter," anchor Neil Cavuto agreed. Indeed, Bozell agreed, and what's more, "it's not going to connect [with the American people] when they attack Ted Cruz," because "they like what Ted Cruz is saying." [watch the full segment from the September 27 'Cavuto' below the page break]
Pundits and politicians are normally so slick that they can weasel their way out of even the most glaring of contradictions. "Depends on what the meaning of is, is," anyone? So it's particularly delicious, to use Noel Sheppard's trademark phrase, to see a talking head left absolutely cornered, babbling without response, when caught in the hypocrisy of a double-standard.
On today's Morning Joe, former Obama car czar Steve Rattner passed along the Obama admin line that negotiating with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling "is like negotiating with terrorists." With catlike quickness, Joe Scarborough pounced: "so you're saying Barack Obama was a terrorist in 2006 when he said he refused to raise the debt ceiling?" The cornered Rattner had no comeback, actually asking Mika Brzezinski of all people to "help me out here," then resorting to the lame "it's complicated" line. View the amusing video after the jump.
Forget becoming President of the United States. It's too small an office for Hillary Clinton. What the former first lady really needs is a "strong global governing body" to captain, liberal writer Sally Kohn insists in a ludicrous post at Daily Beast, headlined "President of the Universe."
As icing on the cake, editors gave the post prime real estate, placing it in the fourth slot in the lightbox and giving it a propaganda poster-style image of Clinton (see below the page break):
President Obama pledged to end partisanship, but instead has exacerbated it. He recently accused House Republicans of being extortionists for opposing a raise in the debt ceiling and wanting to defund Obamacare.
Dictionary.com defines extortion as "the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority."
By now a clear pattern is developing in how the liberal media cover Pope Francis. Step one: the pontiff makes frank, off-the-cuff comments in a speech or an interview which contains statements easy for the liberal media to misconstrue. Step two: the media do what they do best, misconstrue and spin the pope in order to hail him as a liberal who will reform the church in a leftward direction on the unholy trinity of concerns for the secular left: abortion, sexual ethics (particularly on homosexuality), and women in the priesthood. Step three, liberal activists within the church are given platforms in secular media outlets to caution that, no, Francis is not the liberal you hope he is, at least, not yet, but that with some gentle prodding maybe he can be won over.
The bishop of Rome's interview with La Civilta Cattolica -- accessible in English here at the Jesuit magazine America -- is the latest instance where we see this pattern playing out. Witness how Time magazine today gave a platform to liberal nun Sister Simone Campbell, who explained to readers "What Pope Francis Thinks About Women in the Church." Campbell began:
"I’m going to torch this [bleep]ing place." That's what an angry Ed Schultz reportedly threatened at a testy August 2010 exchange with the suits at MSNBC. Schultz was reportedly fired up because, "the network was running election-night promos and he wasn’t in them. He’d been arguing on the phone with marketing, then he slammed down the phone and exploded," a witness to the outburst told the New York Post.
So imagine our glee this afternoon when ol' Ed opened up his September 23 program with a montage featuring, wait for it, "Burning Down the House," by The Talking Heads. [video excerpt follows page break; audio of full Ed Show intro here; video of full Ed Show intro here]
An incredulous Stuart Varney brought NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on his Varney & Co. program this morning to discuss how "[t]he mainstream media [have been] completely ignoring one the the biggest news stories of the year," by devoting zero news stories to the IRS scandal since July.
"Is that accurate, they haven't even mentioned it since those dates we put up on the screen?!" Varney asked Bozell at the segment. "It's fascinating and so troubling" because we have "one of the greatest abuses in my lifetime, the greatest abuse of federal power ever, where you're using the most-feared arm of government against the people and you're seeing one revelation after another" which the networks simply refuse to cover. The Media Research Center founder and president rattled off just a few [LISTEN to mp3 audio here; WATCH the video below the page break]:
We already know that, in Michelle Goldberg's overactive imagination, evangelical Christians are theocrats-in-waiting, hoping to impose an actual honest-to-goodness theocracy on America. So it should come as no surprise that she seems to think homeschooling is a convenient excuse for child-abusing whackjobs to harm their kids. The way she writes about it, you'd think every other homeschooling parent was some Ariel Castro-like sicko.
In her September 20 post, "The Sinister Side of Homeschooling," Goldberg opened with a harrowing story of a homeschooled immigrant girl, Hana Williams, who died "naked, face down in the mud" outside her parents' home in Washington State, all because, "she was homeschooled" and so "her parents... had complete privacy to punish her as they saw fit." Goldberg insist that young Hana was just one out of unknown scores if not hundreds who are the victims of sadistic, violent homeschooling parents. Of course Goldberg turned to biased sources who have rather incomplete data, although she spun that deficiency in data as evidence that the problem is far more systemic than we know about: