Reacting to the contentious exchange between the Obama White House and the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory saw the conflict as part of a "larger issue": "...the President does not particularly like the Washington press corps. And I think that feeling is mutual in a lot of respects....there's not a great relationship between that Washington establishment and the President." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory began by explaining: "All administrations push back hard, especially when they're dealing with a high-octane reporter and a top-notch reporter like Bob Woodward....and that's not a tension that's bad, okay? People should want that out of a press corps..." He then sympathized with White House: "...a lot of the President's advisers are frustrated that they feel they don't get the credit they deserve for the willingness to compromise they see on the President's end, that they do not see reciprocated on the part of Republicans."
President Obama held a White House press conference Friday afternoon to discuss the sequester, which takes effect officially this evening. But when reporter Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune got her chance to ask a question, she didn’t ask about the sequester at all. Instead, the Obama-friendly journalist lobbed the president a softball regarding California’s Proposition 8, which enshrines traditional marriage into the Golden State's constitution: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"Mr. President, your administration weighed in yesterday on the Proposition 8 case. A few months ago it looked like you might be averse to doing that. And I just wondered if you could talk a little bit about your deliberations and how your thinking evolved on that. Were there conversations that were important to you? Were there things that you read that influenced your thinking?"
Updated | Ever since becoming a full-time employee of MSNBC, conservative columnist and pundit S.E. Cupp has seemed to take it upon herself to rebuke the conservative movement from time to time on air, for which, of course, she is rewarded with applause by her liberal colleagues.
Earlier this week on her program The Cycle, Cupp said that she will no longer speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to their policy refusing gay groups GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans from sponsoring the conservative gathering. Cupp had earlier accepted a speaking invitation (see screencapture below page break) for the 2013 event, and Cupp had no such objection last year, when she both spoke at and held a book signing at the conference. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's White House correspondent asked President Obama on Friday why he couldn't just force Congress to stick around until a deal is reached to prevent the sequester cuts. Obama responded that he wasn't a "dictator."
"To your question 'what could you do?' First of all, couldn't you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?" CNN's Jessica Yellin teed up the President. Apparently for Yellin, "leadership" means taking dictatorial measures to have an elected Congress pass a bill. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It’s certainly clear to Jay Leno that the Obama administration is fearmongering the budget sequester.
On NBC’s Tonight Show Thursday, Leno played a mock White House ad claiming among other things that if sequestration occurs, “Girl Scouts will be forced to sell meth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer belittled the veteran journalist for daring to reveal a contentious exchange with White House adviser Gene Sperling: "I'm a little surprised you've gone public with this. I mean, these kinds of high-energy, high-octane, high-emotion conversations and debates happen all the time between government officials and the people who cover them. You've felt the heat before. Why did you go public with this one?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
"We have two kinds of people in Washington in the press, we have the reporters and the repeaters," NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham told Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Thursday's edition of his Your World program. "We've had the repeaters all week of panic, you know, big scoops of sequester panic ripple" from the media who were busy parroting fallacious Obama administration talking points. [watch the segment below the page break]
"Part of the problem with this whole thing is" that the liberal media have been "instructed to go out and build panic, and they're very willing to go and do that" for the Obama administration, the Media Research Center director of media analysis added. "Our news media is so statist that they always think that the withdrawal of government from anything is a disaster" while they:
David Axelrod has written Gene Sperling off as a political lightweight lacking the tonnage to have intimidated Bob Woodward in their dust-up over the sequester.
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Axelrod sarcastically asked "what is Gene Sperling going to do to Bob Woodward? Bob Woodward, who faced down H.R. Haldeman as a young man, feels intimidated by Gene Sperling?" You really have to hear the sneer in Axelrod's voice as he pronounces the name "Gene Sperling" to appreciate just how far under the bus Axelrod was willing to throw a fellow member of Team Obama. View the video after the jump.
CNN's Piers Morgan bullied gun rights advocate John Lott on his Wednesday night show, repeatedly interrupting him and lecturing him. At one point Morgan told his guest, "I'm going to keep talking, so I suggest you keep quiet."
This is typical Morgan behavior towards gun rights advocates, as he sets up a "debate" but proceeds to badger his guest as much as possible. An exasperated Lott asked "Why am I on?" at one point, and again shot back at Morgan, "You want to go and talk 90 percent of the time." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The liberal media’s effort to demonize Sen. Ted Cruz continues. On last Friday’s episode of PBS’s Inside Washington, the mostly left-leaning panel of journalists piled on the criticism of the junior senator from Texas. The attacks were focused on Cruz’s questioning of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during Hagel’s confirmation battle. Moderator Gordon Peterson presented the topic like this: “The Tea Party activists love this guy for being so aggressive. I’m wondering how this aggression so early in his career plays on in the Senate.”
But according to panelist Evan Thomas, a Politico contributor, Cruz is not merely aggressive; he is dangerous: “You need to watch this guy, because there are a lot of demagogues out there, but not that many who are that smart. He is really, really smart, and that makes him potentially dangerous.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Today show on Thursday allowed a scant 16 seconds, out of a possible four hours, to the claim by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that the Obama White House is trying to intimidate him and attack his coverage of the sequester cuts. The NBC program also avoided using the word "threat."
ABC's Good Morning America gave the most coverage to the battle, offering a full report and a news brief. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] CBS This Morning covered the story as part of a bigger report on the looming cuts. On Today, reporter Kristen Welker blandly explained, "As a backdrop to all of this, veteran reporter Bob Woodward is telling reporters that the White House is lashing out at him for writing an article which claimed that the sequester was all President Obama's idea." She then helpfully presented the President's case: "The White House has made the point that Republicans overwhelmingly supported the plan as well." This was the extent of Today's coverage.
How do you go from being a gutsy hero of the MSM to a wuss in one minute? Take on a Democrat president instead of a Republican. Using her most sarcastic scared-little-child voice, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski mocked Bob Woodward for saying the White House threatened him over his reporting on the sequester.
Mocked Mika: "is he really afraid of a little aide who said that to him? Really?" View the video after the jump.
Jay Leno took a marvelous swipe at the Obama-loving media Wednesday.
During the opening monologue of NBC's Tonight Show, the host commented on the President's claim about realizing his mistakes after being in office for four years saying, "So apparently he does watch Fox News" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester, In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."
But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters. Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively. Andrea named names. Scarborough did not. H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.
Piers Morgan slimed yet another gun rights advocate, on his Tuesday night show. He lectured and insulted a Virginia restaurant owner who offered discounts to gun-toting customers, calling the promotion "cynical" and "idiotic."
"Mr. Laze, good luck with your promotion. I hope it fails spectacularly," Morgan snarled at the pizza shop owner Jay Laze. Like other Morgan "interviews," he spent his time belitting his guest rather than hosting a real debate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters reported, Fox News host Sean Hannity was rudely treated by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) Tuesday.
Rather shockingly, the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn, in a video posting at the website Daily Download, said Wednesday that Hannity was "in the right" and that it was indeed Ellison that behaved poorly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Keeping up NBC's barrage of attacks against the Catholic Church in the days leading up to Pope Benedict XVI's abdication, on Wednesday's Today, correspondent Anne Thompson made this nasty declaration: "...as one observer said, the stiletto knives came out as the battle for control of this institution begins, that some say is a holy mess....reports of infighting, back stabbing, and political jockeying that could make corporate America or Capitol Hill blush." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Thompson never bothered to identify the "observer" she mentioned nor the origin of the "reports" she cited. Wrapping up the piece, Thompson asked Italian novelist Alessandra Borghese: "Could you make up the drama that's going on inside the Vatican?...You couldn't make this stuff up?"
Tavis Smiley, PBS’s resident liberal activist, unleashed his anger against the Democratic Party on his talk show last night. In a conversation with California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Smiley bemoaned the lack of increase in the federal minimum wage in recent years, attacking Democrats from the left: “Why has your party, the Democrats in Washington, the Democrat as president in the White House, why in the first term are they not more aggressive about that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The taxpayer-subsidized left-wing host was furious that President Obama has lowered his minimum wage demand from $9.50 to $9.00 an hour: “I love the guy, but I keep saying he’s negotiating against himself. He started at $9.50, now he’s down to $9.00, and the debate hasn’t started.” He finished his rant by slamming the entire party once again:
On CNN Wednesday, BuzzFeed sports editor Jack Moore called for a gay pro athlete to come out of the closet and be "a Jackie Robinson of this cause."
"It just shows that more than ever we need some major pro athlete to come out of the closet at the height – like while they're in the league," he ranted. "But we need a Jackie Robinson of this cause because we just need an example to show that, yeah, I can still play at the same high level," he added. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The reporters of Good Morning America, who on Monday briefly questioned Barack Obama's hyperbolic talk about the sequester cuts, have returned to promoting dire warnings of meat shortages and children losing vaccines. Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas on Wednesday hyped "the grim countdown to the massive spending cuts that will kick in on Friday."
To underline the point, an ABC graphic proclaimed, "Countdown to Massive Cuts: Will Illegal Immigrants Be Released From Jail?" Correspondent Jon Karl parroted Obama: "Each day, the White House's list of terrible things caused by the cuts grows longer, including flight delays, kids losing vaccines, and meat shortages." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Two days ago, in a moment of clarity, Karl acknowledged, "But those cuts, five to seven percent for most government departments, will be phased in over the next seven months."
Reacting to Chris Christie not being invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer melodramatically announced: "...another battle for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today. But this time, he's at odds with the right wing of his own party." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Cold Shoulder for Christie; NJ Governor Snubbed By Conservative Conference." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that follow, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly touted Christie's willingness to buck the GOP: "The latest sign that Chris Christie won't kowtow to Republican hardliners, his annual budget speech Tuesday, signing on to ObamaCare..." After describing the "very public snub" from CPAC, Mitchell declared: "...some Republicans see a bigger problem, the party's refusal to broaden its base." A sound bite followed of former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson hyperventilating: "If the Republican future does not include a place for people like Chris Christie, the Republican Party doesn't have a future."
After CNN's initial report on Pope Benedict's final papal audience, the first guest to appear on CNN Newsroom on Wednesday was a radical leftist nun who believes the upcoming papal election is "invalid" because no women are involved.
Sister Donna Quinn lashed out: "We women are calling this papal election invalid. It has to be declared fraudulent because it has no women included in the process. By that I mean there are no women on the ballot in the conclave, there are no women voters, there are no women in the whole process, so we're very distressed." No church representative appeared to challenge Quinn's views; only CNN's Vatican analyst John Allen was on the air with Quinn. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward continues to break ranks with his Obama-loving colleagues by holding the President's feet to the fire concerning the looming budget sequester.
Just days after he wrote a piece in the Post exposing the inconvenient truth that it was indeed the White House that initially proposed sequestration during the 2011 debt ceiling debate, Woodward appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday saying that Obama's decision to not send the USS Truman to the Persian Gulf as a result of these deliberations was "a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) had an amazingly heated discussion with Fox News's Sean Hannity Tuesday evening.
At the beginning of the six-minute slugfest, Ellison called his host "the worst excuse for a journalist I've ever seen" leading to a truly ugly encounter that culminated in Hannity ending the interview by saying to his guest, "You are a total waste of time" (video follows with rough transcript and commentary):
Terry Jeffrey, the editor-in-chief of our sister site CNSNews.com appeared on Monday's edition of the Daily Rundown program on MSNBC. It's safe to say Terry was the only conservative on the set, with anchor Chuck Todd, USA Today's Susan Page, and MSNBC contributor -- and NARAL Pro-Choice America board member -- Karen Finney founding out the panel.
Issues discussing included the March 1 sequestration deadline and possible contenders for the 2016 presidential race. On the sequester, Jeffrey noted that this all began in August 2011 and that the president's thinking was "I'll gladly increase the debt now for some spending cuts tomorrow" but that "as of this day, Wimpy hasn't cut spending!" You can watch the panel segment below the page break: