On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
The reporters at Good Morning America want their audience to know that Clay Aiken's chances for making it to Congress are iffy because of the "conservative district" and "very conservative area" in which he's running. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Mara Schiavocampo on Thursday labeled the former American Idol runner-up a Democrat, as well as pointing out the Republican-leaning nature of North Carolina. But at no time did the journalist call Aiken a liberal.
Schiavocampo began the story by bluntly declaring, "...Simply put, [Aiken] is a long shot."She added, "Aiken, an openly gay single dad, is running in a conservative district in a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-run state legislature." The reporter praised Aiken for being "authentic" and having a "great life story." But to underline the odds he faces, Schiavocampo reminded, "We'll see how it plays out. Very conservative area." Co-host Robin Roberts fretted, "Very much so."
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer denounced the "incredible lack of curiosity of the mainstream media" regarding the Obama administration's IRS scandal and observed: "...had this been a Republican abusing the IRS, you can be sure the mainstream media would have been all over it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Krauthammer added that President Obama "knows, as in Benghazi, as in all the other scandals, that he can hide, he can play rope-a-dope, he can string it out and over time it becomes old news. And that's what he's counting on....what the President hopes for, and he's now succeeded with other of these scandals, is you wait, you wait it out, you stonewall. And he got past – you know, on some of them, on Benghazi – he got past the election in 2012. He thinks he'll get past the elections in 2014."
Back on January 28, Comedy Central's The Daily Show ran a piece on the minimum wage debate where guest Peter Schiff, opposing a minimum wage increase, appeared to be the heartless villain. Now Schiff is calling out the show for running a "hit job" on him.
"After watching 'The Daily Show' segment for the first time since it aired, I realized it was an even bigger hit job than I first realized. Jon Stewart's staff constructed my sentence like Dr. Frankenstein pieced together his monster," Schiff wrote on his blog. In an interview with Mediaite, he expounded on his four-hour interview with the show.
Even the liberal hosts of The View seemed to understand just what a PR nightmare the President is facing after a Congressional Budget Office report declared that ObamaCare will likely cost the U.S. 2.3 million jobs. A graphic for the "hot topics" segment on Wednesday screamed, "The end of ObamaCare?' Whoopi Goldberg hyped, "There's a new bombshell, a new congressional report is landing right on top of ObamaCare." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Unsurprisingly, veteran journalist Barbara Walters attempted to defend Obama, citing presidents such as Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter who previously attempted universal health care. Walters sputtered, "This is -- I don't know what -- the mountain that they can't climb and reach the top. Every president has tried." But it was a non-political guest host who dismissed Walters's liberal defense.
Following White House talking points to the letter on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd bemoaned how "Republicans immediately seized on" the Congressional Budget Office report on ObamaCare costing the economy over 2 million jobs "and spun it the way they want to spin it." He fretted that Democrats would have a tough time defending ObamaCare "in the world of sound bites and 30-second TV ads." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin minutes later, Todd complained: "On health care, a lot of your Republican friends are taking it [the CBO report] and calling it – it is an unfair statement to – they should not be saying this is costing 2 million jobs, is that right?"
Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC ballyhooed the "breaking news" that Pope Francis shook hands with the real-life inspiration for the anti-Catholic movie "Philiomena" at the Vatican. George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "moving journey for the woman portrayed by Judi Dench in the Oscar-nominated film" and her "remarkable story."
Cynthia McFadden slantingly gushed that "a woman, once shamed by the Catholic Church for having a baby out of wedlock, was invited today to meet Pope Francis," and mouthed the caption of Rolling Stone's recent cover featuring the pontiff: "The times – they are a-changin'." McFadden did her best to boost the movie and failed to mention conservative objections to the production. She also went out of her way to spotlight the United Nations' ideologically-tinged attack on the Church: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer pelted Sen. Rand Paul with pro-ObamaCare talking points on Tuesday's The Situation Room, going so far as to list what he thought were the "all the positive features" of the law.
"But you like the fact that people can stay on their parents' health insurance programs until they reach the age of 26. That you don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions any longer. You can change your jobs, still get health insurance. You like all the positive features of the Affordable Care Act?" Blitzer pressed the senator. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday evening, the networks played to the White House spin that ObamaCare won't cut jobs since those expected to move from full-time to part-time work would do so voluntarily.
"We got a report today about ObamaCare that was both surprising and widely misunderstood," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the CBO report that estimates ObamaCare will trim about 2 million full-time jobs by 2017. Pelley cautioned that "Those aren't necessarily jobs being lost. They're also workers choosing to work less." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Alex Wagner made it clear that she was in Senator Harry Reid's Amen corner on the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, promoting the Nevada Democrat's green light to President Obama to use his controversial "year of action" end run around Congress to advance the agenda of leftist LGBT activists. Wagner expressed her hope that "with the White House promising a 'year of action'...we can only hope that creating a more fair and equitable society is on that list." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The host also spotlighted the reporting of ThinkProgress.org, and cited new Obama adviser John Podesta, but failed to disclose that she once worked for the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, which runs the left-wing website.
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry devoted her entire program to football on Super Bowl Sunday, and over the course of two hours she proved that she is a big fan of brash Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. During a roundtable discussion about head injuries in the NFL, Harris-Perry singled out Sherman’s noggin as especially worthy of protection.
“I just want to run up and put my hands around his head and say, ‘Don't let anyone hit it, you’re so brilliant,’” the Tulane professor pronounced. And just why, exactly, does Harris-Perry find Sherman so brilliant? [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
For the second day in a row, ABC's The View on Tuesday featured a conservative female as a guest host. But Barbara Walters and the other co-anchors largely avoided politics as they welcomed Mary Katharine Ham. The Hot Air editor talked about her right-leaning views for a total of one minute. Then, the show shifted to the "hot topics" segments, including a discussion of the TV show The Bachelor, dieting and the drug addiction of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
During her brief window to discuss politics, Ham explained that she grew up in the "very liberal" Durham, North Carolina. She noted, "I went to public schools. Majority, minority districts and I had very up close experience with social programs and how they were working and who they were failing." Ham described her philosophy this way: "Look, when things get bigger, they get ineffective. When they get bigger, you can bully people easier." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell warned that President Obama would endanger his reputation with left-wing environmentalists if he dared to approve the Keystone Pipeline: "It goes very much against the legacy, the climate change legacy of not only Barack Obama, but [Secretary of State] John Kerry has spent his whole life devoted to working on these environmental issues and all of his allies are really against this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began by observing that a new State Department report on the proposed oil pipeline "basically said there is going to be a bad effect on climate change whether they build this pipeline or not" and would give "some political cover to the President and Secretary Kerry if they want to go the route of building the pipeline."
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."