CNN boosted President Obama's message on Thursday by taking his challenge to Republicans and pressuring them to get on board with a bill that would fund ObamaCare.
After the President called on House Speaker John Boehner to hold an up-or-down vote on the funding bill, CNN took that talking point and pressured Republicans to accept it. Anchor Suzanne Malveaux hailed it as a "very good point." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While the media are busy painting Republicans -- particularly Tea Party-friendly conservatives in the House -- as the legislators who are ultimately responsible for the government shutdown, they are failing to note that "[t]he Democrats and the president have offered nothing" as a counteroffer on the continuing resolution to fund the government, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the October 3 edition of Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder argued that it's the same biased narrative with the liberal media as the last government shutdown in 1995, when Bill Clinton vetoed funding bills that had passed both houses of Congress. In this instance, it's a Democratic Senate refusing to sit down with a Republican House to hammer out a deal. "In the media coverage, 21 stories blaming Republicans, not one story blaming Democrats. And you know what's more interesting? You go back to 1995 and you will find the same networks, 23 times they blamed the Republicans. Not once did they blame the Democrats," Bozell noted. [listen to the MP3 audio here; watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
Appearing on CBS's Late Show on Thursday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ranted to liberal host David Letterman about Republicans in Congress being to blame for the government shutdown: "It's about a small – they've been called the suicide caucus in the U.S. House, about 80 members.....right now they have a hold on the House of Representatives....because of this caucus, this cabal, nothing moves." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Letterman was eager to join in bashing the GOP: "If we wanted to blame someone....Would it be crazy Ted Cruz? Would it be – can we blame him for this?" Williams replied: "Ted Cruz is the leader of a lot of this."
Mark Levin is a conservative talk radio host with a tradition of writing some of the finest non-fiction books of our time. Following in the footsteps of his best-sellers “Liberty and Tyranny” and “Ameritopia” comes “The Liberty Amendments,” a serious proposal to bring America back to its constitutional roots and away from the statism that progressives have created in the past hundred years.
Mark is a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s, and we welcome him once again to NewsBusters (video follows with transcript):
Toward the end of a heated debate with CNN's Carol Costello about the government shutdown and ObamaCare, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) brought up the media as part of the problem adding, "Carol, you're beautiful but you have to be honest as well" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an effort to insulate President Obama from criticism during the government shutdown and focus all blame on members of Congress, NBC's Today created the Twitter topic #DearCongress to provide "a forum for you to vent." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After urging viewers on Tuesday to use the hastag in their anti-Congress tweets, on Wednesday, the hosts of the network morning touted the success of the effort. Co-host Savannah Guthrie announced "growing public outrage on day two of the government shutdown." In a report that followed, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "Across the country, a growing chorus of frustration....Americans stepping up to the mic under the #DearCongress, that launched...here on Today."
MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Wednesday night mocked his Fox News competition, wondering when someone would write a book entitled Killing O'Reilly. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The Hardball anchor appeared on the Colbert Report to promote his own tome, Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. Stephen Colbert put Matthews on the spot, wondering if Ronald Reagan was a better president than Barack Obama.
Matthews surprisingly answered, "In the end, yeah. In the end. Because he ended the Cold War. That's hard to beat. Hard to beat that, baby." Of course, Matthews does have a book to sell, one that he presumably wants more than just liberals to buy. Talking about the Cold War, the liberal anchor praised, "Reagan hated the idea of nuclear war. He hated mutual assured destruction...He understood the situation. He was a human being."
Not 90 minutes after CNN first reported that Capitol Hill was on lockdown on Thursday, anchor Wolf Blitzer brought politics into the breaking news coverage.
"An incident like this which clearly scares everyone up on Capitol Hill, staffers, workers, members of Congress. You think it's going to propel you guys up there, Democrats and Republicans, to say you know what, enough is enough, let's get back to work and end this government shutdown?" Blitzer asked Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Nancy Cordes stood out on Wednesday's CBS Evening News for pointing out Senator Harry Reid's eyebrow-raising "why would I want to do that" answer to a question about approving funding for cancer research for children. Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, John Yang hyped how "200 patients a week...including about 30 children" had been turned away from "last-resort medical treatment" due to the government shutdown, without mentioning Reid's gaffe.
Jim Avila also ballyhooed the detrimental effects of the shutdown on World News, and used man-on-the-street interviews to hint that Tea Party Republicans were mainly to blame for the issue. But the ABC evening newscast also ignored the Senate majority leader's remark. Hours later, none of the Big Three's morning shows mentioned Senator Reid's misstep during their reporting about the shutdown. [MP3 audio from Cordes' Wednesday report available here; video below the jump]
Jay Leno clearly isn’t pleased with the government shutdown.
On Wednesday’s Tonight Show, the host spent most of his opening monologue railing against the President and Congress concluding with him holding a sign up that read “F U Politicians” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
In an exclusive interview with President Obama on Wednesday, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood lobbed this softball on the political fallout of the government shutdown: "Before the election last year, you said you thought there was a possibility your re-election would break the fever within the Republican Party. Didn't happen. Do you see this moment as a chance, through this political confrontation, to break the fever now?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the President proceeded to blame Republicans in Congress for the shutdown, Harwood actually challenged Obama on his attacks on the GOP: "I wonder about your tone lately. I have heard from you an increasing amount of exasperation, an edge, even mockery sometimes....And it gives the impression that you think that your Republican opponents are either craven or stupid or nuts. Is that what you think? And if you think so, does it help your cause to let people see that out loud?"
Republicans seem to "prefer [reopening] war memorials to" resuming cancer treatments for "living children." That's the grotesque, hyperpartisan spin that MSNBC's Martin Bashir weaved on his October 2 program, reacting to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's offer to have the RNC pay for five security guards to man the World War II Memorial which the National Park Service, in concert with the Obama White House, has ordered closed during the shutdown.
Bashir made that remark shortly into his Wednesday program before introducing his all-liberal panel of guests. Bashir, of course, failed to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's callous rejection of the notion of passing a funding bill that would re-open the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with it clinical trials to treat cancer-stricken children. The relevant transcript follows the page break. [MP3 audio available here; Video follows page break]:
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sneered that the government shutdown was "being driven by a committed core of Republican members of Congress who are all but assured of re-election in their districts, and just can't be conservative enough for many of the folks back home." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd joined Williams in blaming the GOP for the budget showdown: "You know, these Tea Party conservatives helped propel Republicans to take control of the House in 2010. And these conservatives, they are the engine behind this current standoff now."
On Tuesday's AC360 Later, Tina Brown said that Republicans are fighting ObamaCare with "suicide vests" and that President Obama looks "statesmanlike" in talking to Iran but not the GOP.
"Maybe Vladimir Putin can break the logjam here," The Daily Beast co-founder quipped. She added, "it is just incredible to me to watch these Republicans putting on their suicide vests and thinking this is going to have some kind of outcome for America." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Just when you think liberal radio host Mike Malloy can't say anything crazier than he already has, out comes another gem.
On Monday as the President and his Party were refusing to compromise with House Republicans thereby setting the wheels in motion for a government shutdown, Malloy called the GOP "religious psychopaths" who "want women to get cancer," "girls to get sexually transmitted diseases," and "Jews to kill everybody in the Middle East" in order to "bring Jesus back!" (video follows with transcript courtesy Radio EQ):
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Carson Daly turned to a woman on the Today show plaza for her reaction to the government shutdown. "Judy from Chicago" proceeded to bash Republicans and praise President Obama: "I think all of this amounts to is the Republicans are against President Obama. They don't want the President to be successful. I think he is the best president we have had in a very long time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She continued: "I think they need to work together. They knew for a long time this was coming to this. How about they don't receive any paychecks, just like everyone else?" Daly agreed: "Right. That's good thoughts. Thank you, Judy."
ABC reporter Jeff Zeleny on Tuesday afternoon excitedly told viewers that "cracks" are "emerging" in the Republican opposition to the government shutdown. His example of this? A GOP congressman already on record opposing a shutdown. Following live coverage of Barack Obama's speech, the journalist related, "But a couple cracks emerging, including a congressman from Virginia, a military district, Scott Rigell. He says, 'enough is enough. It's time to move on with this.'"
However, on the September 20 World News, Zeleny reported, "We caught up with Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia, the only Republican to go against his party." On that day, the reporter featured a clip of Rigell exclaiming, "And I've not heard from any members who thinks that shutting this government down is a good idea." [Video of both clips below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews dismissed Republican attempts to delay ObamaCare as a futile effort: "The President was elected – reelected again. He won this fight over health care....the President will not give up his baby, and I think they know that. That's why this is a scary fight. They've gone to ask Obama to give them something he can't give them, which is his health care bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews also ranted about Republican members of Congress having strong political support in their districts: "230 congressional districts are Republican. They voted against this President, they voted for a Republican congressmen. Those congress people, men and women, can't be defeated on this issue. They know they can fight to the death on this....[the President] can't stop those people because they're unbeatable in their districts."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo blamed Republicans for "hurting families" with the government shutdown and asked Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) if he would admit to wrongdoing.
"[Y]ou did shut down the government. It is hurting families, many of whom live on the margins and you know that," Cuomo slammed Issa. "And I want to ask you if you think that that was wrong." Issa called him out for asking the classic "have you stopped beating your wife" trap question. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
White House press secretary Jay Carney appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday expressing the typical doom and gloom about what the government shutdown means to Americans and the economy.
After he was done, CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera told the MJ crew about how the markets were shrugging off the shutdown due to its likely limited impact on the economy and punctuated her thoughts by saying, “Jay Carney’s been fear mongering on your network” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CNN Tuesday, Politico's Roger Simon slammed the "extreme right-wing" for using "food as a political weapon," for taking the GOP "hostage," and for denying "health care to 11 million people" in favor of a shutdown.
"The extreme right-wing of the Republican Party has taken that party hostage, at least in the House of Representatives," Simon ranted. He summarized their current position on the shutdown: "[W]e would rather shut down the government than extend health care to 11 million people." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Chris Matthews just can’t make up his mind about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
After telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew last week that the Texas Tea Partier is “a problem for our republic,” Matthews on Tuesday said, “I think Ted Cruz is brilliant. I think the President’s met his match in this guy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Seems the shutdown is already frazzling folks. Though some of it might have been for show, tempers seemed to truly flare on today's Morning Joe. An on-air spat broke out, with Joe Scarborough in one corner, and Mika Brzezinski and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson in the other.
Fed up with what he described as a "paid advertisement for Obamacare" by Brzezinski and Robinson, Scarborough insisted on giving his side of the story. He predicted that Obamacare will fail, as major employers opt to pay fines instead of providing health insurance to their employeees. That in turn will cause millions of people to be dumped into federal programs. The end result, said Scarborough, will be the disappearance of private health insurance within ten years and a complete government takeover of the program. View the video after the jump.
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged the liberal spin that congressional Republicans were punished electorally after the 1995 government shutdown was more a matter of faith than fact: "I mean, for 17 years it's been an article of faith that Republicans paid at the polls after the shutdown in the 90s. But these new House Republicans aren't so sure that's true." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was in response to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring: "...while there are that small band of loud conservatives who are wanting to, you know, not cave, not give in to anything, do whatever it takes to stop the health care law, there is a growing chorus of moderate Republicans who are telling Boehner, 'Don't do this. You remember how bad this was for the Republican Party 20 years ago. What are you doing? You're putting the majority at risk.'"
George Stephanopoulos scored an interview on Sunday with his old boss, Bill Clinton. In return for this exclusive, the former Democratic operative turned journalist avoided any mention of a scandal at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), of Benghazi and how the bungled response to the terrorist attack might impact Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president.
Instead, Stephanopoulos used the ten and a half minute interview to gently query his former supervisor: "I know you can't answer anything about 2016. But when you look back to the last campaign, if you could boil it down to one, what is the one big lesson you learned from it?" As was common in the two part segment, the This Week anchor allowed Clinton to speak for long stretches. He only broke up the ex-President's answer on the 2008 primaries to murmur, "A pretty titanic battle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer urged Republicans to abandon their opposition to ObamaCare in order to avoid a government shutdown: "By the latest count, there have been something like 40 efforts in the House to either get rid of ObamaCare or defund it. And yet, as John McCain said last week...'We lost that fight.' The Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare as constitutional. Do you think the Republicans should move on?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly flatly rejected the idea: "No. It's a bad deal for the folks. That's absurd, why would they move on?" Lauer interjected: "It's law of the land, though." O'Reilly continued: "They can tweak it and make it better. Right now it's hurting the economy. Doctors say they're going to quit. Nobody knows what they're gonna pay."