Call it a case of interview envy--in the context of an ongoing feud between two MSNBC hosts.
There has been bad blood between Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews for years, as here, here and here. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took the occasion of Chris Matthews' impending interview of President Obama to mock the way Matthews' on-air schedule has shrunk. In a particularly low blow, Scarborough even compared the Hardball host to Regis Philbin. View the video after the jump.
How does one do a report on an important commerce-related web site without mentioning serious known security problems which are so bad that respected IT experts warn that it shouldn't be used? Ask Kate Pickert at Time's Swampland blog and Kelli Kennedy at the Associated Press, because that's exactly what they did.
Pickert and Kennedy reviewed the new and not much improved HealthCare.gov on December 2 and 3, respectively. No variation of the word "security" is in either writeup. Both reports ignore the fact that IT experts are absolutely appalled at the site's lack of security.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, President Obama has chosen to sit down with one of his biggest fans in the news media Thursday.
At the beginning of Tuesday’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews promoted the event hysterically saying, “We're going to be hitting my biggest questions with the President” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Well now the landing page for the Lean Forward network is hailing HealthCare.gov as the "website [which] might just save your life." The teaser headline links to msnbc.com staffer AliyahFrumin's gauzy treatment of President Obama's latest speech plugging his troubled health care overhaul (emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break):
MSNBC weekend anchor Alex Witt once again showed that she is a big fan of ObamaCare on Sunday’s edition of her eponymous program. Witt’s guest, Dafna Linzer of msnbc.com, had just criticized one of Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-Mich.) comments on that morning’s Meet the Press, in which Rogers was critical of ObamaCare.
Witt recalled another problem with the rollout that Rogers talked about in that interview: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The folks at MSNBC are doing whatever they can to promote ObamaCare.
On Tuesday’s Martin Bashir show, MSNBC contributor and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson actually said, “There will be millions of men who will rise to the occasion” and be grateful when they can now get Viagra (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Leading off a report on Monday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander skeptically observed: "The Obama administration says it met it's own goal of significantly improving the HealthCare.gov website, but that's the easy part. That's like kind of giving yourself a passing grade." At the end of segment, he noted insurance companies warning of the "logistical nightmare" caused by inaccurate information being entered into the ObamaCare database. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Despite such critical analysis of the health care law in the nearly 2-minute report, by Nightly News that evening, anchor Brian Williams reduced the news to a mere 28 seconds, emphasizing only the positive: "We have an update now on the HealthCare.gov website. It is now working better and faster, as the White House promised it would by now. But they say they know it is still far from perfect. By 5:30 this evening Eastern Time, the website had logged 750,000 visitors so far today. That's getting closer to that 800,000 daily user goal the rebooted site is supposed to be able to handle."
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
How hopeful is CNN's Chris Cuomo about ObamaCare? He would still rather defend the law's problems, if he were a Democrat, than pivot to the debt ceiling as a distraction.
"The Democrats going on a three-week campaign tour for Obamacare instead of just dealing with the hard legislative work they need to do down there right now? I'll take that trade," Cuomo asserted on Tuesday's New Day. "[I]f I'm a Democrat down there in Washington, I take the problems with Obamacare over negotiating with you as a Republican about the debt ceiling." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a segment on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press that host David Gregory laughably billed as an ObamaCare "reality check," he invited two of the law's biggest supporters to deliver White House spin, former administration health policy advisor and brother of the President's former chief of staff Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and liberal Washington Post blog editor Ezra Klein. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to the supposed fix to HealthCare.gov, Gregory teed up Emanuel: "Is it good enough progress?" Emanuel predictably replied: "I think it's good enough progress. Clearly, just like Google and Facebook and all the internet sites are constantly tweaking their sites, constantly improving them, this one still has a ways to go. But it is certainly working reasonably well....So I think actually we are going in the right direction."
It appears that NBC is trying to prepare us for the future of health care scarcity that ObamaCare is likely to bring. On Saturday’s Today, chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman presented a story on a new phenomenon that has popped up in some hospitals and clinics around the country: shared medical appointments. The idea is to put as many as 15 people with similar health problems in the same room with their doctor so they can all discuss their medical issues together.
Although liberals are supposed guardians of the right to privacy, Snyderman’s story had nothing negative to say about this phenomenon whatsoever. Right from the opening lines of the package, Snyderman painted a happy picture. As footage of a group of women talking and laughing appeared on screen, Snyderman reported: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On CNN Sunday evening, liberal ESPN columnist LZ Granderson justified the President's repeated lie about ObamaCare, claiming that Americans knew he did it for their own good.
"And, time and time again, Americans have said we can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us because we believe in his heart, he has the best interest for the American people," Granderson claimed. He also accused Peggy Noonan of whitewashing the "atrocities" of the Reagan administration. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's Meet the Press, as Republican Congressman Mike Rogers denounced ObamaCare's "unprecedented confiscation of people's health care," moderator David Gregory interrupted to parrot White House talking points defending the disastrous policy: "...you talk about confiscation, the reality is there's also a lot of people who are going to have the potential to get insurance who never had insurance. And you have a small piece of the market where people may lose plans. Many of those will get better plans in the individual market." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rogers attempted to push back against Gregory's assertions: "But David, that's not true. David – a hundred million people [may lose their insurance]." Gregory just kept talking over the Congressman, citing a poll that 54% of Americans think the ObamaCare problems will be solved and concluding: "That's a level of credibility and belief in the system that presumably is very important."
Potemkin Village, anyone? Joe Scarborough has offered a scathing simile for the new-'n-improved Obamacare website. On today's Morning Joe, he likened the site to the set of a Hollywood Western--pushing back the facade reveals that there's nothing behind it.
Even former Obama spox Robert Gibbs—proudly sporting an Auburn jersey—acknowledged that big chunks of the system, including the payment mechanism for subsidies, haven't even been built. So people can go to the site, receive the illusion that they have obtained coverage, only to find that there is no follow-through. View the video after the jump.
A report from the White House concerning the just-completed upgrade of Healthcare.gov declared, "The team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness."
On Meet the Press Sunday, NBC's chief White House correspondent surprisingly said, "[T]hat is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Saturday’s Washington Post served up the Kool-Aid with this Obamacare headline on the front page: “Health Web site to meet deadline: Officials set to announce fixes.” The entire story by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein is unanimously just Obama and his tech-helpers. There are no launch critics anywhere to be found.
“As of Friday night, federal officials and contractors had achieved two goals, according to government officials who spoke on the conditition of anonymity in order to discuss ongoing operations,” the reporters said. But by noon Saturday, they were updating to back away from the giddy optimism:
Being a leftist of the Obama ilk, you have to assume that Congressman Keith Ellison thought he was doing President Obama a favor in offering his interpretation of the president's "if you like your plan, you can keep it" line, as well as his subsequent non-apology apology.
But on today's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Ellison wound up putting words in the president's mouth that quite literally added insult to injury. Ellison first falsely claimed that Pres. Obama had said "if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it." Obama of course never said any such thing. Moreover, according to Ellison, by his apology Obama meant "if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I'm sorry." So the fault lies not with Obama for having blatantly misled the American people. No, it's those ignorant Americans—too dense to dig the real meaning of the great man's words—who are to blame. View the video after the jump.
As has so often been the case since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the editorialists at a major national business newspaper are reporting facts that the wire services and broadcast networks should have relayed to the American people weeks or months ago.
In this case, it's the Wall Street Journal. A Friday evening editorial published in Saturday's print edition directly refutes the Obama administration's key Obamacare memes involving affordability, choice, and the nature of the once-free health insurance market (bolds are mine):
Media outlets are eager to dig Team Obama out and help the Democrat initiative to turn this nightmare around. The Christian Science Monitor online had a story headlined "Is Obamacare on the rebound? Media turn to positive stories. Linda Feldmann uncorked this lede:
“Bit by bit, the media narrative around the travails of Obamacare and its main enrollment vehicle, HealthCare.gov, is starting to look up. Or to put it more precisely, it is no longer so crushingly negative.” Cheer up, Obamabots, “a competing story line is starting to emerge.”
ABC’s Barbara Walters did another in a series of sycophantic gushing and fawning interviews with the Obamas Friday.
In the wake of the President’s fallacious claim that people could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them, the most preposterous part of the interview was when Michelle Obama said her husband “keeps his promises” without any pushback from Walters (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Even though the failure of Obamacare's launch is now legendary, media outlets are still eager to find the silver lining outside the dark cloud. On the front of Sunday's Washington Post, reporter Stephanie McCrummen traveled to a poor county in eastern Kentucky to find people saying "Woo-hoo! I can go to the doctor now!?"
In Breathitt County, McCrummen (the scourge of the Rick Perry for President campaign) sat and watched poor people get signed up for Medicaid and become pleased with the Democrats.
Don't be too surprised if you hear a liberal relative shout that out at the Thanksgiving table today if the topic of talk turns to Obamacare. Although Barack Obama himself has been urging members of Organizing For America to bring up Obamacare talking points at the dinner parties today, another liberal school of thought is that the President's signature program has fumbled so badly that it is now too embarrassing to defend. So when a gloating relative points out that conservatives have been right about the train wreck of Obamacare all along, one must change the subject entirely. Huffington Post writers Nick wing and Shadee Ashtari provide some helpful tips on what subjects a liberal can bring up to change the subject away from the embarrassment of Obamacare:
The Conservative Campaign Committee says on its "About" page that it is "a traditional Political Action Committee that works with grassroots conservatives across the country to make our movement more effective, hold Barack Obama and the liberals in Washington accountable and support important campaigns and outstanding conservative candidates for federal office." CCC clearly states that its ads and other efforts are "not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee."
Yet MSNBC's Ed Schultz has taken to Twitter to shriek (HT Twitchy) that "Ted Cruz is targeting Thanksgiving" because CCC is running TV ads during Thanksgiving thanking the Texas senator for "doing everything he could to stop Obamacare before it hurt the American people." Meanwhile, Organizing for Action, whose only mission is to promote the President's agenda and whose charter member list came over from Obama's 2012 campaign, is directly targeting Americans' Thanksgiving gatherings by coaching its members on how to talk up the wonders of Obamacare. Obama himself spoke directly to members to encourage them "to talk about the ACA at holiday parties."
CNN's Chris Cuomo called the legal challenge to ObamaCare's birth control mandate a "growing distraction from dealing with the problems of ObamaCare" on Wednesday's New Day.
"It also raises the question at what point do you stop challenging the law? At what point do you accept that this was passed, it was tested by the Supreme Court?" he asked. "To me, it's a growing distraction from dealing with the problems of Obamacare." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Hobby Lobby's complaint about infringement of religious freedom is deserving of scorn in the eyes of CNN, judging by the way the network's website treated news of the Supreme Court agreeing to take up a case in March which would decide if ObamaCare's ironclad contraception mandate is an unconstitutional intrusion on a business owner's religious liberty.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for almost two months, the disastrous rollout of Barack Obama's signature piece of legislation has made him the butt of late night jokes.
On ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday, the host repeatedly mocked the President's fundraising trip to California saying, "He basically turned the westside of Los Angeles into the traffic equivalent of the ObamaCare website" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How shambolic of a smoking ruin is the Obama presidency? When Tina Brown surveys the wreckage, the best—the best!—thing she sees, the thing she believes will be Barack Obama's shining legacy, is his handling of Iran and Syria, which she declares to be "smart," and of course, "nuanced."
The Obamacare catastrophe? Not to worry. On today's Morning Joe, Brown assured us that those problems are "transient." No, look over here, at President Obama's masterful handling of foreign policy! Yes, years from now, when the minor hiccups of the Obamacare rollout will be long forgotten, people will still be marvelling at how well Barack Obama dealt with Iran and Syria. View the video here.