Moments after President Obama announced his pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and Katie Couric enthused over what Couric called Sotomayor’s “very, very compelling life story,” with Schieffer cheering that she was “the political advisor’s dream candidate.”
“This woman has a life story that you couldn’t make up!” Schieffer exulted: “She’s born in the public projects, in the shadow of Yankee stadium, a single parent household, she goes to a Catholic school, she gets scholarships to the best schools in the country, Princeton and Yale, she overcomes all that while dealing with diabetes all her life, and she is Hispanic. This will be a historic pick.”
Couric immediately followed-up with her own salute: “Add to that, Bob, the fact that her father was a factory worker who died when she was nine years old, raised by a single mother who raised her brother to be a doctor and, obviously, her daughter to be an extremely accomplished lawyer and now judge. So it is a very, as you say, very, very compelling life story.”
Thursday's NBC Nightly News featured Andrea Mitchell chastising and correcting former Vice President Dick Cheney for his speech on fighting terrorism, but the network saw no need to correct anything asserted by President Obama in his address on the same topic while anchor Brian Williams asked if Republicans are “happy” to have Cheney as “their messenger?”
CBS delivered contrasting conclusions in their two stories: With Obama, stressing his rebuke of his critics; with Cheney, emphasizing his unpopularity. Chip Reid ended his report on Obama by relaying Obama's charge that “opponents of closing Guantanamo Bay are using the politics of fear,” but, moments later, Bill Plante concluded his look at former VP Cheney's address on fighting terrorism by highlighting “Republicans who fear that the high-profile criticism coming from someone as unpopular as Cheney isn't helping their party.” The two conclusions on the May 21 CBS Evening News:
Chip Reid: “The President said opponents of closing Guantanamo Bay are using the politics of fear and he promised it will be closed.”
Bill Plante: “The former Vice President has made it clear that he intends to continue speaking out, ignoring Republicans who fear that the high-profile criticism coming from someone as unpopular as Cheney isn't helping their party.”
ABC, CBS and NBC all led Wednesday night with the Senate's overwhelming 90 to 6 bi-partisan vote to withhold funding for the closing of Guantanamo and block any detainees from being moved to the U.S., but ABC anchor Charles Gibson was uniquely flummoxed: “What's the problem here?...We have terrorists in U.S. prisons, so why not the guys from Guantanamo?”
Gibson alluded, in setting up his question to George Stephanopoulos, to Jake Tapper's reference to how “several convicted terrorists are currently in U.S. 'super-max' facilities, including shoe bomber Richard Reid,” and how Dianne Feinstein (one of the six Senators on Obama's side) argued “there is ample evidence that the United States can, and in fact does, hold dangerous convicts securely and without incident.”
But in being confused about the reasoning of the vast majority, Gibson overlooked how Tapper had already answered his question: “FBI Director Robert Mueller today said putting these detainees in U.S. prisons could be dangerous.” Viewers then heard from Mueller: “There is a potential for radicalization in a number of ways, whether it be for gang activity, for terrorist groups, for other extremists.”
A former U.S. Democratic Party fundraiser whose 2007 arrest prompted Hillary Clinton to return $850,000 in campaign contributions was found guilty on Tuesday of breaking federal campaign laws.
Businessman Norman Hsu, 58, was convicted by a jury in federal court in New York of violating election laws by making donations to political campaigns in other people's names. Hsu also pleaded guilty on May 7 to charges of mail fraud and wire fraud in running a Ponzi scheme of up to $60 million.
Jurors convicted Hsu of violating four counts of federal election law between 2004 and 2007. During the trial, prosecutors said Hsu pressured some of the investors involved in his Ponzi scheme to make thousands of dollars in contributions to political candidates on his behalf.
The story runs nine paragraphs, but only one reference to Barack Obama is made:
Clinton lost her bid for her party's presidential nomination last year to Barack Obama. She now serves as a prominent member of her former rival's Cabinet.
The Upside Down Ratings World of NABOB On April 9 we wrote of an asinine assertion made about the new Arbitron radio ratings system by soon to be transferred Democratic Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Well now President Barack Obama has put the imprimatur of his FCC and Administration on Adelstein's addled notion.
Since the inception of tracking those who listen to Guglielmo Marconi's marvelous invention, Arbitron had relied on a personal pen-and-paper diary system and the journal-keepers' honor and memory as to what they had listened and for how long they had done so. The potential for misremembering and book-cooking was simply staggering.
So Arbitron came up with a pager-esque device called the Portable People Meter (PPM). This gadget automatically tracks to where the radio dial is tuned, thereby virtually eliminating human error and the ability to cheat.
Obviously, this is far more accurate way to establish who is listening to whom, right? If you do find this to be a self-evident truth, you are not a master of the obvious, you are - according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) - a racist bigot.
How so? Because the ratings under the new regime revealed that the numbers for hip-hop, urban and other racial minority stations had long been incorrectly inflated (and conversely the listenership of talk radio had long been underreported).
And this, you see, is not the better results of technological advancement, this is racism.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show White House correspondent Chip Reid reported on President Obama’s controversial commencement address at Notre Dame University over the weekend, but dismissed pro-life protesters as interlopers from outside groups: "The President did come under fire, but mostly from university outsiders, anti-abortion activists. But inside that graduation ceremony, his reception was much warmer than some had expected...But the vast majority here welcomed the President with open arms."
Reid briefly described some of the protest efforts: "There were hundreds of protesters waiting for the President when he arrived at Notre Dame. Hecklers who interrupted his commencement speech several times." Reid then declared: "And some who saw an opportunity to re-ignite the national debate on abortion." A clip was then played of Obama’s former Senate race opponent, Republican Alan Keyes: "Barack Obama's deeply committed to what [Pope] John Paul [II] called the culture of death and the murder of innocent children."
Reid’s report did not feature any members of the Notre Dame faculty or student body opposed to Obama speaking or mention a separate commencement ceremony that several pro-life students attended on campus. In addition, Reid failed to acknowledge a recent Gallup poll that showed a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.
Just under an hour before President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon, CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield applauded Obama's anticipated comments, addressing the controversy of the Catholic institution awarding an honorary degree to a politician who does not uphold pro-life policies, as “very courageous.” She then fretted over if Obama had “a lot of angst” before the speech given the controversy, specifically “whether there was angst on his part about whether he wanted to make his commencement speech one that would use the words abortion, that would use the words embryonic stem cell research?”
Whitfield's assessment and worry came after Suzanne Malveaux, from Sound Bend, previewed Obama's embargoed speech by reporting the prepared text revealed “he will address this controversy, that he is not going to shy away from it. That he will talk about the need for people to be open minded, to be fair minded in the way that they approach the debate over abortion and stem cell research.” To which, an impressed Whitfield, at the anchor desk in Atlanta, enthused:
Naming a man who wants to levy sin taxes on soda pop to be the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might not be the politically wisest thing for President Obama to do, especially on the heels of massive TEA Party protests. But then again, with media outlets like the Washington Post leaving that controversy unmentioned, perhaps the White House calculated correctly that the risk of staffing the federal government's public health branches with nanny state activists was minimal.
On May 15, President Obama announced in a press statement that New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden will take the helm of the CDC in June. Reporting the story in the May 16 paper were Post staffers Debbi Wilgoren and Michael D. Shear (along with some help from staffer Ceci Connolly).
Wilgoren and Shear allowed "an industry-funded group" spokesman to slam Frieden as "barely recogniz[ing]" the line between "government's responsibility in regulating health and what is the individual's responsibility," yet they curiously omitted perhaps the clearest example of the same, Frieden's support of a penny-per-ounce soda tax. This even though the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the idea earlier in the week.
Slate's William Saletan noted Frieden's push for a penny-per-ounce soda tax in early April:
A night after the CBS Evening News ignored CIA Director Leon Panetta's rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Saturday's newscast continued the blackout as anchor Jeff Glor only mentioned Pelosi in setting up a question by explaining she “put herself in a very awkward position” when “she said the CIA lied to her or misled her about water-boarding,” before he asked Time magazine veteran John Dickerson: “Is this something that's over for the Speaker now or does this continue?”
Though the whole topic is apparently already over for CBS News, Dickerson maintained “it's not over for the Speaker” as he proceeded to empathize with her plight by suggesting she's “got to hope another issue...blows her off the front pages” and that “when Congress goes home for their recesses that somehow she gets out of the news cycle because she's still in a fix.” But not one that interests CBS News.
Nor NBC, which like ABC on Saturday night, didn't utter Pelosi's name – possibly because all three evening newscasts were so exited about what they made their lead stories: President Obama naming Utah's Republican Governor, Jon Huntsman, ambassador to China. “A political masterstroke” declared ABC's George Stephanopoulos on World News in repeating the same phrase applied moments earlier by reporter Jonathan Karl. Stephanopoulos even managed to get in a dig at conservatives as he hailed the pick as “one more sign that this is a party [Republican] where the reformers -- the moderates -- are looking for an exit.”
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith took a critical tone against the Obama administration’s decision to reinstate military tribunals for terror suspects: "President Obama will resume the controversial military tribunals for some terror suspects." Smith later discussed the decision with John Dickerson from Slate.com and wondered what the hard left would think: "Let's talk about this decision by the Obama administration to go ahead and have tribunals for some of these terror suspects. The whole part of the -- a huge part of Obama's campaign was repudiation of this Bush policy in Guantanamo. What are Obama's supporters going to think of this decision this morning?"
Dickerson responded by attempting to explain that the decision was not a reversal by Obama: "Well, they have a lot of reason to be upset with him for a variety of decisions he's made recently. But Obama always said that he would take a look at these tribunals...He never said he would do away with them completely...So they will probably be upset. They would like the President to do away with the tribunals altogether. But in terms of matching what he's done now with his previous statements, he's still in line with what he said before."
While both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today on Thursday covered President Obama’s decision to block the public release of photos depicting prisoner abuse under U.S. custody, CBS’s Early Show failed to make any mention of the dramatic reversal by the White House.
On Wednesday, CBS senior White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the President’s decision and he later reported the story on the CBS Evening News, explaining: "The ACLU, which sued for release of the pictures, said the President's decision flies in the face of his promise of transparent government." A clip of Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU was played: "So if you accept the administration's logic, you'd really have to give the government wholesale censorship power and that's not something that we can accept and it's not something that the courts have accepted." Plante concluded: "Candidate Obama pushed for full disclosure. President Obama has decided that there are times when transparency is a tough call." However, when Plante was on the Early Show on Thursday, to discuss speculation of the President’s Supreme Court pick, the topic never came up.
Update #2 (16:15 EDT):Greg Hengler of Townhall.com has video of the interview mentioned in my first update. He notes that while Brewer is hot under the collar, the student she talked to didn't seem to care that Obama was not receiving an honorary degree tonight.
Update (14:45 EDT): A few minutes ago Brewer pressed an ASU student for his thoughts on Obama not receiving an honorary doctorate. As usual, she was quite irate at the perceived snub.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer is bound and determined to maintain a grudge on behalf of President Obama against a university at which he's honored to give the Class of 2009 commencement speech this evening.
In a letter dated today and a press teleconference held at 9:30 EDT this morning, Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell joined other conservatives in calling on President Obama to withdraw Harry Knox from the presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.:
Harry Knox is the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective. Knox is a virulent anti-Catholic bigot, and has made numerous vile and dishonest attacks against the Church and the Holy Father. He has no business on any Council having to do with faith or religion.
Co-signers to the letter include lay Catholic and conservative leaders such as Judie Brown of the American Life League, Kate O'Beirne of the National Review Institute, American Spectator publisher Al Regnery, Chuck Donovan of the Family Research Council, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.
A list of some instances of Harry Knox's anti-Catholic bigotry is available at MRC.org here. Knox's virulent hatred of Catholics extends from the top down, from Pope Benedict XVI to the rank-and-file member of the Knights of Columbus:
On Monday morning’s Today, NBC seemed to respond to Wanda Sykes making jokes about hoping Rush Limbaugh being the 20t terrorist and hoping his kidneys would fail...by making the issue Limbaugh’s potential to be a liability for the Republicans. There was no question whether Wanda Sykes was a liability for the Democrats, or the White House correspondents who invited her to wish Limbaugh dead on a national stage. In a report by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie (complete with the on-screen question "Is Limbaugh a Liability To The GOP?"), Rush was controversial, while Sykes was apparently just funny:
GUTHRIE: Meantime over the weekend, radio host Rush Limbaugh continued to dominate the political conversation in Washington.
OBAMA: The Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset. I'm sorry.
GUTHRIE: On Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney, was asked if he had to choose between having Limbaugh or former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who endorsed Obama, in the Republican Party, the former VP did not hesitate.
DICK CHENEY: Well if I had to choose, in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh I think. I think, my take on it was that Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican.
... Mrs. Obama's "Mom-in-Chief" image was created more by Obama image-makers David Axelrod et. al. to soften her into a first lady Americans could love. I think it is a sad state of affairs that Americans are more comfortable with a non-threatening first lady than with a career woman, but it is also a stereotype that screams to be abolished. Michelle Obama is just the person who could have done it, but she decided against it. Instead, she caved into advisors' demands.
The truth is, until that stereotype becomes history, all women will suffer less power and clout in the workplace.
During his first 100 days as President, Barack Obama has pushed an audaciously liberal agenda which, if enacted, would have radical consequences for America for decades. With Democrats enjoying monopoly control of the House and Senate, the news media have a professional duty to scrutinize those policies, and give audiences both sides of the story — not just the perspective of a powerful Chief Executive.
Unfortunately, a Media Research Center analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of President Obama’s first 100 days in office shows network reporters have failed as watchdogs. The networks have raised few doubts about Obama’s left-wing agenda and showered each of Obama’s major policy initiatives with positive press.
MRC analysts looked at all 982 broadcast evening news stories about Obama and his administration from Inauguration Day (January 20) through April 29. Key findings:
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith and weatherman Dave Price described attending Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner and Smith commented on the controversial joke about Rush Limbaugh made by comedian Wanda Sykes: "She told a joke about Rush Limbaugh as being one of the -- one of the hijackers and the reason he didn't make the flight was because he was, you know, on drugs or whatever...And the whole place -- yeah -- so the whole place groaned, and I ran into Keith Olbermann afterwards...And he said 'I'm not sure, I think that was probably -- probably in bad taste.' I said 'what do you think her job is?’"
In one of many jokes attacking conservatives, Sykes remarked: "I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on oxycontin he missed his flight." Apparently, while even left-wing bomber thrower Keith Olbermann thought that was over the line, Smith defended Sykes: "Well, you know what, any comedian, anybody who does that job, their job is to push the envelope...You can't go home -- you can't go home to the community of comedians unless you've gone too far."
Co-host Julie Chen later wondered: "But how did the room react, you guys, who was there?" Smith replied: "They groaned, serious groan...And Michelle Obama, in particular, was very uncomfortable with some of Wanda Sykes." Dave Price explained: "It was pretty much the only groan. I mean, there were a couple of other small ones. But she was -- she was pretty much en fuego [on fire]."
Is this the Democratic Party’s preferred Day of Prayer homage?
Barack Obama may not have attended a ceremony for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. But the Democratic National Committee’s official blog "Kicking Ass" did celebrate reverence and worship on that day: it reposted a photo of Obama reverently looking up at a portrait of John F. Kennedy.
Surprise, surprise: the networks ignored the National Day of Prayer, too.
The proudest moment in his career, Late Show writer Bill Scheft boasted at a Friday comedy writer panel held at Washington, DC's Newseum, was when he got David Letterman to try to undermine guest John McCain's Bill Ayers talking point by raising McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy -- as if a political dirty trickster were the equivalent of a terrorist involved with bombings which killed people, could have killed hundreds more if his attempts worked and remains unrepentant. At the event, organized by the Writers Guild of America, East, and shown Saturday night on C-SPAN, Scheft declared of his effort to discredit an anti-Obama point: “I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written.” That earned applause from the audience.
Later, to a chorus of “yeah” from other writers on the stage representing The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night, as well as another Late Show writer (Tom Ruprecht, who is in front of Scheft in the screen shot, the best I could get), Scheft insisted the only reason the comedy shows don't make fun of President Barack Obama is because he's “a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that.”
Earlier in the day, some of the participants delivered stand-up acts and DCRTV.com's “page 2" recounted this “joke” from Scheft: “Former Vice President Dick Cheney -- I actually don’t have a joke here, I just like to say former Vice President Dick Cheney.”
How many times can you use the discrediting term “extremely,” suggesting extremist positions, in a single sentence describing the state of the Republican Party? Three, if you're writing Time magazine's cover story. Michael Grunwald contended “the party's ideas -- about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else -- are not popular ideas.”
He then asserted in the article for the May 18 edition of the magazine:
They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base.
Grunwald proceeded to characterize the GOP's agenda as a “hard right” one which pleases Rush Limbaugh but not a majority of people, arguing: “A hard-right agenda of slashing taxes for the investor class, protecting marriage from gays, blocking universal health insurance and extolling the glories of waterboarding produces terrific ratings for Rush Limbaugh, but it's not a majority agenda.”
Chris Matthews just can't get it up. The Democratic Party label that is.
On the May 8 "Hardball", the MSNBC anchor noted in his Political Sideshow segment that Reps. Jim Moran (Va.) and Bob Brady (Pa.), are up in arms about erectile dysfunction drug ads running on television and are sponsoring legislation before the House to ban television stations from running ads for drugs like Viagra and Cialis from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Democratic congressmen argue the ads are indecent for children. [get audio for download here]
While the legislation's premise seems prudish at worst and laughably silly at best, Matthews insisted that the congressmen, who are "regular guys" and "both friends of mine" were simply "looking out for the kids." All the same, he failed to give the Democratic Party credit for threatening the cold shower of government regulation on the drug commercials.
This morning's remarks by Barack Obama on the latest unemployment figures included the usual self congratulations we've come to expect from The One. CBS News quotes him as saying:
Such hard-working Americans are why I ran for President. They're the reason we've been working swiftly and aggressively across all fronts to turn this economy around; to jumpstart spending and hiring and create jobs where we can with steps like the Recovery Act. Because of this plan, cops are still on the beat and teachers are still in the classroom; shovels are breaking ground and cranes dot the sky; and new life has been breathed into private companies like Sharon Arnold's.
The woman to whom Obama referred appeared with him this morning and POLITICO describes her as "Sharon Arnold, a small biz owner from Illinois."
In a brief presentation viewable at C-SPAN's Web site, Arnold explained she owns a small landscaping business that has benefited from government contracts. Last year, however, she "had to lay everyone off, including myself." All of her employees went on unemployment. But now, things are just so much better. Under Obama, stimulus money is flowing back to Illinois and she's been able to hire back 90 percent of her employees.
In his Wednesday night “Media Mash” segment, FNC's Sean Hannity picked up on a Tuesday night NewsBusters post, “Third CNN Staffer Joins Obama's Team, As Does ABC Vet; Revolving Door Up to Ten,” about the latest journalists to spin through the revolving door to work in the Obama administration. Hannity informed his viewers of how the press corps are “losing three more of their own to the Obama administration. Now, at the outset of the President's term, several of the so-called objective journalists left their jobs to join the administration. Now NewsBusters.org points out that a few more are following suit.” Hannity named some names:
Senior CNN politics producer Sasha Johnson -- by the way, that makes her the third CNN staffer to join the President's team. Chicago Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman and veteran ABC News reporter Beverley Lumpkin. Now that brings the total number of so-called mainstream media journalists who have rushed to join the Obama administration to ten.
Concluding a Thursday NBC Nightly News story on summer movies, correspondent George Lewis previewed the new Star Trek film, set to open on Friday, and found it relevant to highlight how “some Trekkies have compared the Spock character, the product of a mixed marriage between a human and a Vulcan, to President Obama.” Those “some Trekkies” would be Newsweek's Steve Daly, author of last week's cover story, “We’re All Trekkies Now,” who proposed in a soundbite: “In a certain sense, Spock the character has dealt with some of the same prejudices and problems that our new President does.”
In the piece for the May 4 edition of the magazine, Daly asserted: “Spock's cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we've put a sort of Vulcan in the White House.” And “like Obama, Spock is the product of a mixed marriage (actually, an interstellar mixed marriage), and he suffers blunt manifestations of prejudice as a result.” Daly also hailed how “with the willfully hegemonic Bush administration now gone, the tenets of [original Star Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry's fictional universe feel very much in step with current events,” since:
The Obama foreign policy, at least for now, emphasizes cross-cultural exchange and eschews imperialistic swagger. That sounds very much in sync with the Federation's Prime Directive, which stipulates that humanity should observe but never interfere with alien cultures (no Iraq-style invasions, in other words).
The leaders of nations who quarreled when George Bush was President now hug each other, thanks to President Barack Obama deigning to take time from his busy schedule to hold a meeting which displayed the “quintessential Obama” and the “Obama doctrine at work” in bringing “two sides together.” Or at least that's how Wednesday's NBC Nightly News gushed over Obama meeting with Afganistan's Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari, an exuberantly pro-Obama spin not adopted by ABC or CBS.
Anchor Brian Williams admired how even “with they have going on, the Obama White House has chosen to devote this kind of time to this,” prompting Chuck Todd to propose “that we will look back on this and say this is quintessential Obama.” The White House correspondent touted how “this is the Obama Doctrine at work. Bring two sides together, get them talking and do this a lot.” From the State Department, Andrea Mitchell then trumpeted how in contrast to the last time leaders of the two nations met when Bush was still President and “they wouldn't even shake hands,” with Obama in the room, Karzai, and the new President of Pakistan, had “a warm embrace.” Mitchell maintained:
They're trying to build trust between the two of them, and they've pointed out that as in contrast to the last time, the Afghan leader and a previous Pakistani leader met at the White House, another President, George W. Bush, they wouldn't even shake hands. This time there was a warm embrace.
President Obama's nominee to be the State Department's top legal adviser, Harold Koh, "is a radical transnationalist who, based on his writings and statements, aims to use international and foreign law to deprive Americans of our rights as American citizens."
So argue a group of respected conservative leaders including former Attorney General Ed Meese, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell in a May 5 press statement.
You can find the statement in full below the page break:
Following the path of CNN Middle East correspondent Aneesh Raman and producer Kate Albright-Hanna, who both jumped aboard the Obama campaign last year, senior political producer Sasha Johnson this week announced she's leaving the network's Washington bureau to take the Press Secretary slot at the Department of Transportation. She won't be the only media vet in that shop. As The Politico's Michael Calderone noted Monday night in reporting Johnson's move, former Chicago Tribune Washington correspondent Jill Zuckman “already headed to Transportation in February, becoming Director of Public Affairs and assistant to Secretary Ray LaHood.”
Plus, in the past month or so, two other DC journalists accepted administration positions. ABC's long-time Justice Department correspondent, Beverley Lumpkin, who mostly handled radio news, in April joined the very department she covered for so many years, prompting a Washington Post blogger to quip on Tuesday that she's “turning sources into colleagues.” Speaking of the Washington Post, its former science reporter, Rick Weiss, is now advancing Obama policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology.
So far, by my count, at least ten mainstream media journalists have revolved into positions toiling for the Obama campaign, transition or administration. And that doesn't count CNN's Sanjay Gupta, whom the administration courted for Surgeon General; nor long-time NBC News anchor and reporter Jane Pauley who campaigned for Obama last fall in her native Indiana.
NBC anchor Brian Williams' Web surfing centers on liberal sites, as at least evidenced by the reading list he recommended in his Monday afternoon entry on The Daily Nightly blog consisting of four articles, all from left-leaning sites: Slate, The New Republic and The Daily Beast. “Because of my Souter departure obsession,” he explained, “today I want to share with you some interesting writing I found over the weekend.”
The suggested reading started “with a former Souter clerk (a familiar name from American history).” That would be “Justice Cincinnatus: David Souter -- a dying breed, the Yankee Republican,” by Kermit Roosevelt on Slate who maintained: “I think Souter is indeed in many ways a Republican; it's just that his sort of Republican no longer really exists.” Translation: liberal. Roosevelt hailed Souter's resistance to overturning Roe v Wade: “The charge fell short in the end, turned back by just a few people, Souter crucially among them, who found themselves in the right place at the right time.”
Second, Williams highlighted “a great essay by a journalist who covers the court.” That's “Justice Heartbreaker: David Souter leaves the court that left him behind,” also on Slate, by Dahlia Lithwick. She quoted President Obama's wish for a justice who has “that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.” Lithwick then concluded: “He could have been describing Justice Souter, a man who may have looked on the surface like he preferred books to people, but in reality, and perhaps unbeknownst even to himself, always put people first.”
At the end of Monday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Whitaker gave a fawning report on a book being complied of children’s letters to President Obama: "Eight-year-old Lucy O'Brien loves to draw, ask her dad, a fine antiques dealer...She also knows times are hard at dad's business...So when her mother told her about a 'Dear Mr. President' contest, lucky winners' art and letters presented to President Obama, she poured her heart into it." The young girl explained to Whitaker: "I had added like, confetti, and stuff like that, and then I added 'hope' on the top to show for the future that there's hope for maybe the economy or something."
Whitaker spoke with the book’s creator and CEO of the website kidthing.com, Larry Hitchcock, who described some of the other letters: "We had to extend the deadline because so many were coming in...A 6-year-old who just wants the President to ‘make it rain candy’...’Poor people should have food.’" A clip was played of one girl asking the President: "Please take care of the environment." Later, Hitchcock declared: "There's a theme through all of it of hope and kind of belief that tomorrow's going to be a better day."
Melissa Harris Lacewell penned "Why blacks are more optimistic about race" for Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer. As might be expected, the associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University and author of the breathlessly anticipated "Sister Citizen: A Text for Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Isn't Enough," is very, very happy with Barack Obama. But readers may be at least mildly surprised at what she considers the highlight of his inauguration:
But the best part of Jan. 20 was that Barack and Michelle got out of the bulletproof black Cadillac and walked the streets -- and no one shot at them. I know we are not allowed to say it, but one reason black people believe race relations have improved in America is because Obama lived through the primaries, the election, the inauguration, and now through 100 days.
She claims "we are not allowed to say it," yet then does exactly that. She goes on to cite various Obama acts that she deems accomplishments. Closing Guantanamo, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, capping executive pay, and performing a "deft move of racial defiance by proxy" through attorney general Eric Holder's terming the U.S. a nation of cowards are some of the highlights. Others came when he "dapped up" Hugo Chavez, "hung out" in Canada, "fired the head of General Motors, something most people didn't even know an American president could do," and "established serious street cred."