Government & Press

By Ken Shepherd | May 23, 2012 | 5:30 PM EDT

Once again last night, President Obama faced an embarrassing showing in Democratic Party primaries, winning only 58.3 percent of the votes of Arkansas Democrats and 57.9 percent of Kentucky ones. Once again, in covering the story, the Washington Post buried the news placing the development on page A6. The last time the president faced such an embarrassingly low showing, the Post put its coverage of federal inmate Keith Judd's stunning 40 percent showing in West Virginia's Democratic primary on page A4.

This time around, Post editors gave readers a misleading subheadline that invoked an all-too-predictable liberal bogeyman: "His struggles in Appalachia, parts of South could be attributed to racism, some say." Yet in the article itself, two Southern Democrats told the Post that while a small minority of white Democrats may be motivated by antipathy to Obama's racial heritage, the vast bulk of the anti-Obama vote is predicated on their distaste for his liberal policies.

By Ken Shepherd | May 22, 2012 | 5:45 PM EDT

In her May 22 "Singles File" -- described as "A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind" -- Washington Post music critic Allison Stewart suggested readers might want to download the new single "Reagan" by rap artist Killer Mike.

"The Obama years haven't been fruitful ones for sociopolitically minded rappers, at least until now," Stewart gushed, noting that the Atlanta musician "dusts off some late '80s ghosts on this unblinking and brutal track from his newest [album] 'R.A.P. Music.'" But when you check out the lyrics of the track, and read his May 21 interview with HipHopDX.com, what really becomes clear is Killer Mike's "unblinking" apology for the late terror-sponsoring Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

By Scott Rasmussen | May 21, 2012 | 4:40 PM EDT

Mitt Romney has pulled a point or two ahead of President Obama in polls of likely voters. In polls of registered voters, Obama has the advantage. The president's job approval ratings are hovering in the upper 40 percent range, which suggests a close race.

Looking at this information, partisan activists come to wildly different conclusions about what to expect on Election Day. Democrats tend to believe Obama will be re-elected, while Republicans are more likely to think he will be a one-term president.

By Ken Shepherd | May 21, 2012 | 11:30 AM EDT

On today's edition of The Daily Rundown, MSNBC's Chuck Todd sat down to chat with Rev. Jesse Jackson to discuss a variety of issues, from Afghanistan to whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is fair game for Republicans to attack President Obama. In the middle of the interview, Todd asked the former Democratic presidential candidate about the NAACP Board of Directors's "historic" decision over the weekend to give the organization's stamp of approval to same-sex marriage.

"There has been this conventional wisdom that particularly among older African-Americans that the president's position on gay marriage is going to hurt him," Todd noted, adding, "Does the NAACP sort of backing up the president on this help convince the older African-American [voters], might be a little more religious, might be struggling with this issue, to ignore that part?"

By Ken Shepherd | May 18, 2012 | 11:58 AM EDT

"It does appear this year that the ghosts of presidents past have been haunting the current race for the future leader of the country," MSNBC's Chris Jansing noted as she opened up a segment featuring Center for American Progress's Daniella Gibbs Leger and Republican Strategist Joe Watkins about how both President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney, but chiefly Romney, have invoked other presidents in their campaign rhetoric.

Jansing seemed perplexed at Romney campaigning by invoking the liberal Clinton -- saying Obama discarded the Clintonian pronouncement that the "era of big government is over" -- but she wasn't equally incredulous at Obama citing the late conservative President Ronald Reagan to boost his call for tax hikes for the rich. What's more, not once did Jansing highlight recent revelations that Obama has altered WhiteHouse.gov presidents biographies to gratuitously insert himself into them, even though that news item was covered earlier this week by the Bible-for-liberal journalists, the New York Times:

By Ken Shepherd | May 17, 2012 | 5:45 PM EDT

Perhaps liberals are wising up and realizing that comparing voter ID laws to Jim Crow statutes is, well, a bit much. It seems now the preferred term of choice, at least on MSNBC, is simply "voter suppression laws."

During the 11 a.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC programming, host Thomas Roberts matter-of-factly labeled voter ID laws as "voter suppression laws" that "could keep minorities and young people away from the polls" as he introduced his guests Heather Smith of Rock the Vote and the NAACP's Marvin Randolph.

By Tim Graham | May 17, 2012 | 12:02 PM EDT

Jim Romenesko.com reports that at least one joke ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel planned for the White House Correspondents Dinner was deemed unacceptable for the political elite. In an interview on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show, Kimmel said he ran jokes by ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper and other reporters.

Tapper & Co. flagged a joke about Newt Gingrich’s campaign being so dead Rick Santorum wanted to show it to his kids – a play on the Santorum family’s decision to show their stillborn son Gabriel to his brothers and sisters:

By Ann Coulter | May 17, 2012 | 10:42 AM EDT

The real class warfare in this country isn't rich vs. poor, it's government employees vs. we, the taxpayers, who pay their salaries.

Working for the government is supposed to be a trade-off: You can't be fired and don't have to exert yourself, but you will receive smaller remuneration than in the private sector, where layoffs are common (especially in the Obama economy!). Instead, government jobs are safe, secure, pressure-free -- and now, amazingly lucrative!

Whether it's in Wisconsin, Illinois, California or the nation's capital, today's public sector workers expect to do little or no work (I'm not counting partying in Las Vegas as "work"), and then be lavishly compensated. Often, the only heavy lifting they do all week is picking up their paychecks.

By Ken Shepherd | May 14, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is featured in a new "Lean Forward" promo spot [embedded below page break; MP3 audio here] quoting his "hero" Winston Churchill as having asked "Then what are we fighting for?" when his finance minister suggested that the government's budget for the arts would have to cut to aid Britain's war effort.  Matthews used that story as a warning to conservatives that the nation's dire financial straits are no excuse for cutting federal spending on the arts.

But alas, it seems the story is poppycock, as Churchill historian Richard Langworth noted in a March 2009 blog post.

By Tim Graham | May 13, 2012 | 10:25 PM EDT

Reuters correspondent Margot Roosevelt touted over the weekend that “Weary Warriors Favor Obama.” According to the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll, “If the election were held today, Obama would win the veteran vote by as much as seven points over Romney, higher than his margin in the general population.”

Under the heading “Fading Cool Factor,” Roosevelt summarized that many veterans sound like Obama did in the last election cycle, pessimistic about the wars Bush started:

By Ken Shepherd | May 10, 2012 | 4:55 PM EDT

Ah, Kwame Kilpatrick, where've you been? The corrupt, perjurious ex-Democratic mayor of Detroit -- infamous for sending steamy text messages on a government-issued device to his chief of staff -- is in legal trouble once again, this time with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the Washington Post's David Hilzenrath, the SEC has "filed civil charges accusing Kilpatrick and others of committing fraud against the [city's] pension funds by failing to disclose a conflict of interest." But, what do you know, Hilzenrath couldn't find any space in his 15-paragraph page A15 story to disclose Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation.

By Jeffrey Meyer | May 9, 2012 | 5:52 PM EDT

On Wednesday’s edition of Studio B w/ Shepard Smith, anchor Smith let slip his personal political views on same-sex marriage with some condescending remarks about how being pro-traditional marriage is an outdated notion.  Following the "official" announcement that Barack Obama now supports same-sex marriage, Smith opined that the President of the United States is "now in the 21st century," suggesting of course that the near half of Americans who support traditional marriage are somehow retrograde.

Smith’s true colors became more apparent in the hour during the first of two interviews he conducted with the host of Special Report, Bret Baier: