During an extended portion of Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama aired on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, the Fox News host wondered: "Do you think I've been unfair to you?" Obama replied: "Absolutely, of course you are, Bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When O'Reilly demanded evidence, the President cited the preceding interview: "Bill, we just went through an interview in which you asked about health care not working, IRS, 'Were we wholly corrupt?', Benghazi. Right? So the list of issues that you talk about." O'Reilly pushed back: "But these are unanswered questions." Obama complained: "But they're defined by you guys in a certain way."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory fretted over the "shrinking presidency" of Barack Obama: "A thousand days left for President Obama. And here was a headline we looked up back in 2009 at the inauguration. [From Washington Post] 'Historians say he,' meaning Obama, 'could redefine the presidency.' And with no disrespect to this policy, here's Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, talking about, you know, broadband connection, getting more kids connected [to the internet]." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to liberal historian and perpetual NBC pundit Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gregory worried: "Is that what you envisioned?" Goodwin tried to defend Obama's weak legacy: "He accentuated gay rights in an inaugural speech. We're getting energy independence. He said we shouldn't be on a war footing forever. He ended two wars. These things may take a while to get into history. But if he set things in motion that show a forward movement in social justice and defining inequality as the issue of our generation, then he will be remembered."
George Will zinged the media’s duplicity in how they have approached the IRS scandal versus past major scandals when a Republican was President, a lack of interest President Obama recognizes and, “hence, his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”
Will, on Bret Baier’s FNC panel Monday night, recalled “three big” scandals “regarding the distortion and abuse of institutions: Watergate, Iran-Contra and the IRS,” noting “the first two were ravenously covered by the media; they were Republican Presidents’ problems.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ranted on Monday that Susan Rice was right about Benghazi – even though according to the bipartisan report that he cited, Rice’s key assertion five days after the attacks was false.
“[T]he information is out there that Susan Rice told the truth. It was spontaneous attack on our facility in Benghazi,” Matthews insisted. “She got it right, Susan Rice. Why is the President not just blasting it back at the guy and saying O'Reilly, catch up?” he said of Bill O’Reilly, who pressed Obama on Benghazi in a Sunday evening Fox News interview. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
How do MSNBC hosts feel about the war in Afghanistan? Well, it may depend on who’s in the White House at the moment.
On Saturday morning’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt talked to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about President Obama’s tribute to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg at last Tuesday’s State of the Union address. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.] Maddow, who is certainly no fan of our wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, nonetheless reflected on the moment in a mostly positive way. Referring to the extended applause for Sgt. Remsburg, Maddow said:
The journalists at ABC News offered yet another high profile experiment to terrify the parents of America into not owning guns. In an hour-long special on Friday night, Diane Sawyer and David Muir hid pink guns at the playground of an elementary school in an effort to see if young girls would play with them. Unsurprisingly, the young children did. The Young Guns program also included the obvious revelation that firearms shouldn't be concealed in backpacks and with candy.
Diane Sawyer narrated, "For more than a decade, there has been a powder pink gun on the market." Referencing the location of where Sawyer and co-host David Muir hid guns in backpacks, she explained, "We decided to head back to that school in Saint Petersburg, Florida, specifically to see how girls would react to colorful rifles." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] As children arrive to find the guns planted by ABC, Sawyer teased, "Watch as the girls come out to play and grab, rattle, giggle and pull the trigger."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Chris Matthews is at it again. The liberal MSNBC anchor on Friday found a new way to deride conservative concern over Barack Obama's use of executive orders to get around Congress. Matthews dismissed it as unthinking and tribal, sneering, "I think it's a second term birtherism. 'He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Using his typical broad generalizations, Matthews railed, "This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. 'He really wasn't a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately elected president.'" According to the host, the concern over Obama's plan to sidestep Congress isn't even rational: "And this seems to be based upon ideology rather than events or even behaviors of the President."
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
Not accustomed to being asked difficult questions about his failures in office, President Obama attacked Fox News host Bill O'Reilly during a pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday for daring to demand answers about the Benghazi terrorist attack and the IRS targeting conservative groups. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly pressed: "Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out. That's what they believe." Obama ranted in reply: "And they believe it because folks like you are telling them that." O'Reilly responded: "No, I'm not telling them that, I'm asking you whether you were told it was a terror attack."
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that "the [Republican] governor of Georgia [Nathan Deal] chose to fall on his snow shovel" over how Tuesday's rare southern snowstorm "was handled, or better yet, mishandled" in the state. However, the coverage that followed failed to mention Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed by name even once. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In his report, correspondent Tom Costello declared: "A lot of anger directed toward city and state officials for failing to heed the weather forecasts. And today we learned that both the Governor and the director of the emergency services for the state were sleeping as those forecasts grew even more dire." Those "city officials" were not specified.
In an interview that aired on Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked President Obama if he was "naive" back in 2008 when he bragged that his presidency would be remembered as when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
"Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?" Tapper pressed Obama. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, substitute host Ari Melber tried to hype former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Sue Wagner, who left office almost 20 years ago, as a "conservative" who recently left the Republican Party because of the Tea Party.
But, as she appeared as a guest, Wagner quickly identified herself as having been "somewhat liberal my entire life," and put the icing on the cake at the end of the interview as she sdmitted to which news network she "always" watches.
On her Thursday 1 p.m. ET MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver's political activism as "the force behind the influential Shriver Report about women and poverty in America": "Maria, my God, what you have started, what you have launched here....Equal pay for women...you went and you talked to the President about before his State of the Union, when he was still writing it. And he delivered in terms of addressing that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after jump]
Mitchell eagerly touted Obama continuing to push the issue on the road: "...just within the last hour, he's done it again. This is the President in Wisconsin today. Let's watch." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "Today women make up half of our workforce, they're making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That's wrong.... It's an embarrassment." Following the sound bite, Shriver declared: "Amen." Mitchell excitedly proclaimed: "Maria Shriver, take a bow, let's talk about what you've started here."
The journalists at ABC are again going after gun ownership in the most absurd manner possible. Diane Sawyer and David Muir want American parents to know that they shouldn't leave unattended guns around toys, candy and in the backpacks of children. On the Monday and Thursday World News, as well as Friday's Good Morning America, Sawyer and Muir previewed their hour-long Young Guns special and portrayed an epidemic of accidental shootings involving kids.
The ABC program, designed to show how Americans dangerously keep their guns, featured weapons stuffed in ridiculous, staged locations. On Monday, David Muir explained, "Those parents agreeing to take part at an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida." As video showed guns being jammed in backpacks and in a box of plastic spiders, Muir narrated, "The teacher running the experiment, telling the children they're there for a memory test and she has to go for a second. But there's candy on the table." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As the latest MSNBC scandal and firing unfolded over a tweet insisting the "rightwing" would hate an "adorable" Cheerios ad with a biracial family, MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on "The Kelly File" on Fox News Channel to discuss NBC's "Lean Forward" offshoot.
MSNBC said this conservatives-hate-racial-mixing tweet is "not who we are." Bozell said, oh yes, that's exactly who you are. It's a network that seems to uncork scurrilous character assassination every week. (video and transcript below):
The journalists at ABC News have refrained from questioning Barack Obama's unilateral tone at the State of the Union address. Reporter Jim Avila on Tuesday's Nightline went so far as to compare the President to an iconic movie character. Regarding Obama's threats to use executive actions to accomplish his goals, Avila enthused, "This was President Obama, the go-it-alone Terminator, mindful he has only three years left." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The ABC journalist heralded, "This was a stare down, chest pumping President, angry and resentful about a Congress determined to log jam his ideas." Avila did describe the second term Commander in Chief as "on the downward slide" and as losing his "power to persuade" with Congress. But the reporter failed to offer skepticism about the executive orders.
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC's Krystal Ball cracked that Republicans "must feel like they should just take a vow of silence" until the election as she alluded to New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm's meltdown with a reporter and Mike Huckabee's recent comments about the so-called "war on women."
Referring to Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Ball observed:
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
Thursday's New Day on CNN spotlighted President Obama's latest push for gun control, and lamented how "gun issues got just a mention in this year's State of the Union," compared to last year's post-Sandy Hook address. Anchor Kate Bolduan underlined how supposedly "gun control is expected to dog him [Obama] while he's on the road."
Correspondent Brianna Keilar later asserted that "in 2013, it was one of President Obama's – probably, one of his biggest disappointments – a failure to advance a gun bill. And that issue is front and center today, even as he's pushing his populist economic agenda." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS This Morning on Thursday ignored the larger issue behind the blacklisting of a small Christian film that had its Oscar nomination revoked. Talking to Bruce Broughton, the man who wrote the title song for Alone Yet Not Alone, reporter Ben Tracy failed to wonder if there was a religious motive behind the controversial actions. On Wednesday, the film's nomination was stripped because Broughton, a former Academy official, had previously sent out a mild e-mail promoting the film.
Tracy noted that "Academy rules do not prohibit sending e-mails or even the more aggressive 'for your consideration' ads all over Hollywood this time of year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But during the segment, the journalist never considered other possibilities. The Washington Times's Vince Morton explained, "The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity."
MSNBC airs a bizarre video montage at the beginning of every episode of The Ed Show, but the program was especially outlandish on Monday and Wednesday, depicting President Obama as a series of larger-than-life figures. The liberal network first portrayed the chief executive as Superman standing on top of the White House, and later placed the Democrat's head on George Washington's body in the famed painting of the crossing of the Delaware River.
Two days later, The Ed Show lead segment repeatedly showed a graphic depicting the President as Uncle Sam, holding a pen in his boxing glove-covered hand: [video below the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, 9 a.m. ET hour co-host Natalie Morales touted one of the "great moments" from President Obama's Tuesday night State of the Union: "I think one of the moments that a lot of people were talking about was when he made reference to the gender inequality issue. He said, 'You know, we are no longer in a Mad Men era'....33,000 tweets, I believe, so something that I think a lot of women are saying, 'It's about time.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then parroted a deceptive talking point used by the President: "You know, we earn 77 cents to the dollar, I believe, that a man makes. So let's make it happen."The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler fact-checked that claim: "There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women – such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children – make it difficult to make simple comparisons."
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank utilized the kind of violent imagery that would make liberals howl if uttered by anyone on the right as he suggested that President Barack Obama needs a "cattle prod" and a "baseball bat" in dealing with Republicans.
During NBC's live State of the Union coverage Tuesday night, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd sneered at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson being a Republican guest at the event: "...after the shooting with Gabby Giffords and for a couple of State of the Unions in a row....There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests that you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now, when you're inviting Duck Dynasty stars. Everybody's trying to make a partisan political point." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd concluded: "You get the feeling that whatever Kumbaya that there had been, at least in the last couple of years, that's – that's gone with this State of the Union."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday discussed Barack Obama's State of the Union address for seven minutes and 19 seconds, but only allowed a scant 16 seconds for the GOP response (a 27-to-1 disparity). Unlike the reporters at CBS This Morning who interviewed Rand Paul, GMA's hostsinstead featured Joe Biden and could only be bothered with a brief clip of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a snippet of John Boehner. NBC's Today, despite a four-hour running time, managed a mere six seconds of McMorris Rodgers.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, opened the program by parroting, "Call to action. The President vows to use his executive powers to attack the country's biggest problems." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jon Karl offered little in the way of skepticism about the President's plan to use executive orders. Instead, he hyped, "But the President promised to work around Republican opposition, saying he would raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts." He added that Obama "tried to shame Republicans into raising it for everybody as well."
Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."