On the February 22 edition of "American Morning," CNN's Carol Costello framed the ongoing budget debate in Wisconsin as a struggle between embattled middle class workers and corporatist Republicans with ulterior motives, parroting SEIU President Mary Kay Henry to warn viewers that "corporate America is about to win big time."
"Henry says corporate America save themselves money in wages by lining the pockets of Republicans running for statewide offices," regurgitated Costello. "According to followthemoney.org, in the 2009-2010 election cycle, business interests donated $878 million to candidates running for governor and other statewide offices across the country, that includes hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio."
While those figures are not in dispute, Costello failed to hold Democrats and their Big Labor financiers to a similar standard: "And Democrats say there is another reason Republicans want to gut unions. Organized labor donates hundreds of millions of dollars to candidates like Barack Obama. So if you weaken the unions, you weaken a traditional moneyed supporter of the Democratic Party."
Is context a four-letter word to MSNBC's Chris Matthews?
During the "Sideshow" segment on Friday's "Hardball," Matthews ripped a comment conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) made during a recent speech to the Federalist Society in order to paint DeMint either as a birther or as one playing cynically to those who believe President Obama was not born in the United States.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Here's what he said: "This whole idea that the president is the leader of our country is a mistake." This whole idea that the president is the leader of our country is a mistake. How does that make any sense, unless you're a birther, and that's what he sounds like.
For about seven minutes on Monday's "Morning Joe," Chris Matthews celebrated his President's Day fawning over former President Clinton. Matthews had nothing but praise for the nation's 42nd president in anticipation of the documentary "President of the World" – apparently Clinton's new title – airing at 10 p.m. EST Monday on MSNBC.
"You know, Churchill's huge in this country and he's 70-30 back in England, and Nixon is probably 20-80 here, but in France he's about 60-40. You know, he's 100-0 around the world, Bill Clinton," Matthews remarked. Apparently Clinton is more liked around the globe than Churchill.
"He is, I don't know what IQ, what, 160? I don't know what it is" Matthews rambled, in awe of Clinton's intellect. "He studies economics an hour a day," he added. "He gets up every morning and does, like, a daily office....Somebody asked me the other day what makes him click? I said he won't quit. He doesn't want the lights to go out. It isn't complicated. I don't want to go to sleep, mommy."
"The mainstream media was late to the party when it came to covering" the Wisconsin budget protests, Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney noted as he introduced NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell earlier today on the February 21 edition of "Varney & Co."
But are the media now skewing coverage in favor of the perspective of the public sector labor unions, Varney asked.
Most certainly they are, Media Research Center founder Bozell answered.
[Video of the segment and transcript follow the page break]
Mika Brzezinski learned a life lesson this morning: look before you leap to defend liberals . . . [h/t reader Ray R]
At the top of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough referenced the hateful emails he and Mika had received from the left and the similarly ugly signs held by Wisconsin union protesters. Mika reflexively defended the vileness, saying that people were "hurting and really don't feel like they're being heard."
Aww. But later, the show rolled video of some of the Wisconsin signs, including one with crosshairs on Gov. Walker, another calling him Hitler, one accusing him of rape, and of course that great old standard "death to tyrants."
To her credit, Mika did change her tune. View video after the jump.
NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on Friday's 'Fox & Friends' to discuss the media's lack of interest in uncivil rhetoric from left-leaning labor unions massing in Madison, Wisconsin over the past few days.
Some protesters' signs have depicted Republican Gov. Scott Walker as Hitler, others as recently-deposed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Some even depict crosshairs over Walker's face.
Yet the media have done virtually nothing to expose let alone criticize the inciteful rhetoric.
CNN's Candy Crowley adopted the pro-abortion lobby's talking points on Friday's Situation Room, as she asked Rep. Steve King about the House's vote to defund Planned Parenthood: "There's that term, 'penny wise and pound foolish.' Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people...would have sicker babies, or certain people...wouldn't have HIV testing...and that would just cost us more?"
The journalist, who was substituting for regular anchor Wolf Blitzer, brought on the Iowa Republican and his Democratic colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to comment on the current budget debates at the state and federal levels. Towards the end of her interview, at the 42 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour mark, Crowley raised the 240-185 vote earlier that afternoon to eliminate federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and used an argument similar to that of liberal Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene, who emphasized on the February 3, 2011 edition of The O'Reilly Factor how the organization's employees "provide mammograms [and] provide birth control advice." The anchor also hinted that cutting off Planned Parenthood would end up costing more tax dollars in the long run:
In the midst of outcry that Wisconsin teachers were skipping school to protest the governor's new budget bill and demand collective bargaining rights, NBC's Norah O'Donnell provided the teachers' motives as an argument for their side. She failed to mention why Wisconsin Gov. Walker cut into their benefits in the first place.
Covering the story on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," O'Donnell remarked that "I know there are some that think this is a travesty for the schoolchildren of that state." She added, however, "But these teachers are talking about their pensions, and they're worried about having to pay more for their health care costs, right?"
The explosive debate has featured voices from the left and right crying about the compensation Wisconsin public employees receive and what they pay in, compared with that of private sector workers. The conservative Heritage Foundation explains that Wisconsin's budget was already in the red, and that state employees enjoy generous benefits that many other citizens don't.
Given the reactions of the left to both the Acorn and Planned Parenthood stings you might be surprised to learn that Eyeblast.tv has uncovered a nearly identical sting, at least in terms of tactics, against crisis pregnancy centers that ABC News did back in 1991. Apparently back then the Left had zero problems with undercover video investigations aimed at proving a political point. They were also perfectly fine with showing just how much contempt they had for the “bad guys” they recorded. [Video follows page break]
In fact, Chris Wallace’s entire ABC report is drenched in condemnation and outrage. What exactly did these crisis pregnancy centers do that was so worthy of ABC’s attacks? Well, as far as I can tell, the overarching criticism is that they don’t want women to have abortions for various different reasons that ABC doesn’t agree with.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough thinks the GOP's house is already on fire in his latest Politico column, where he thrashes the party's leadership for a poor showing at CPAC. He ridiculed the gathering as "a conference cursed with dull speechmaking and intraparty battles."
"Like most Egyptians, the conservative movement still has no idea who will lead it through the next election," Scarborough writes. What is the biggest reason candidates have not entered the field, he thinks? They are scared to run against Obama.
Interviewing Donald Trump this morning, MSNBC's Chris Jansing put on her Democratic strategist hat to press the Republican real estate mogul with liberal talking points.
After Trump, responding to Jansing's question about what he would do to fix the economy, suggested cutting taxes to spur economic growth, the host of Jansing & Co. groused: "A lot of people sitting out there, with all due respect, saying spoken like a true businessman but not about the little guy. Tax breaks for the rich, not for the middle class."
Not missing a beat, Trump retorted: "But Chris we're the highest-taxed nation in the world, as it stands right now. And that's a pretty bad statement when you think of it."
"Crazy Larry" O'Donnell is at it again. On "Morning Joe" Wednesday, the MSNBC host questioned the entire debate over which government spending programs to slash, asking why the president and Congress are even considering cutting spending in the first place. "I think we've lost a first principle here," he remarked of the situation.
What is this "first principle" O'Donnell speaks of? "Why are we cutting spending in a recession?" he asked. "The recession has not included a jobs recovery yet. I don't think it makes any sense for the government to be downsizing while we don't yet have the jobs recovery." So apparently O'Donnell thinks that in the midst of a recession (which technically ended in June of 2009, although the recovery has been jobless) we cannot afford to cut spending programs, even those outside of Social Security and Medicare.
And at least O'Donnell admitted of no job recovery. As the MRC's Iris Somberg reported today, the major networks largely failed in the last two years to report President Obama's failed promise that the Stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Unemployment reached as high as 10.2 percent in the two years and still exceeds 8 percent.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson trashes conservative leaders in his latest column – for not taking a clear stand on the Egyptian crisis and for not supporting the populist protests. "Why don't conservatives love freedom?" he provocatively asked, concluding that if conservatives think 1.2 billion Muslims cannot be trusted to rule themselves, "that's not what I call loving freedom." His logic is deafening.
Robinson accused conservative leaders of opposing Obama's Egypt policy simply because they are thinking "heaven forbid the that the president get any credit." He used their "ambivalence" at CPAC – which he characterized as either silence or a vague shot at the Obama administration – to condemn what he thinks is their opposition to freedom in the Middle East.
"Mitt Romney went to CPAC and didn't mention Egypt at all, which was, you'd think he'd be paying attention," Robinson noted. He questioned other conservative leaders for being "so kind of silent, and/or grumpy throughout the CPAC gala, and even beyond, in the case of some conservatives. What we're talking about is freedom, which everybody wants and loves."
For about ten minutes on MSNBC Monday, Harvard History professor Niall Ferguson offered a articulate, detailed, and biting indictment of President Obama's handling of the crisis Egypt – and those disagreeing on the usually Obamaphilic "Morning Joe" panel could offer little of substance in response.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski began the segment reading Ferguson's latest column – which is the latest Newsweek magazine cover story – and asked him to expound on Egypt, saying that "it actually seems like it went pretty damn well." Perhaps she is referring to the many joyful reports from Tahrir Square amidst jubilant masses, or maybe CBS' Harry Smith doling out kisses to the crowd – but Ferguson offered a more dire assessment of the situation.
"You cannot make the foreign policy of a superpower up as you go along," Ferguson stated. He bludgeoned the Obama administration's slipshod policy, calling it "flip followed by flop followed by flip." He added that "they admitted that they had not planned for this scenario. I find that absolutely astonishing."
President Barack Obama is “a pragmatic centrist,” Norah O’Donnell, NBC News reporter/MSNBC chief Washington correspondent, insisted Friday night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, though not even Maher bought the claim Obama is a centrist. O’Donnell noted “they're trying to make inroads” into the business community with outreach to it as evidenced by hiring Bill Daley and speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, but she contended “other than that tonal switch, he's still the same centrist he’s always been.”
Maher countered: “But he's not really. If you woke him up in the middle of the night, of if you gave him sodium pentothal, I think he’s a centrist the way he’s a Christian – not really.” O’Donnell pleaded: “Don't you think it's a pragmatist?” To which, Maher recognized: “Yes, that’s different, he’s pretending to be a centrist.”
On Friday's "Fox & Friends," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Steve Doocy discussed the recent sale of the liberal Huffington Post blog to AOL.
"I'm going to buy popcorn, I'm going to watch this meltdown," a gleeful Bozell told Doocy.
Huffington, who will be editor-in-chief for the new AOL venture, is "not going to get along with anybody," perpetually clashing with AOL executives, Bozell predicted. "It's going to be a complete meltdown, just you watch."
For the full segment, click on the video embed below. For MP3 audio, click here.
"AOL giving control to Arianna Huffington. How the mighty have fallen!" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped on the February 10 edition of FNC's "Hannity."
"Ten years ago, AOL had 30 million members, they were joining forces with the Time-Warner colossus," the Media Research Center founder noted. Now "they're down to 4 million members and they're at Motel 6 getting into bed with Arianna."
"It's a mess of an organization and they're going to make an even greater mess of it with Arianna. I promise you that," Bozell told Hannity during the program's "Media Mash" segment.
The coal industry not only gets attacked by the media for being a "dirty" fossil fuel, it rarely gets positive coverage because the networks focus on disasters.Since January 1, 2010, nearly 80 percent of the broadcast network stories about coal were related to tragic mining accidents. Only 14 percent of stories mentioned coal in any context other than a mine disaster or natural disaster that affected mining.
On January 13, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency took the unprecedented step of revoking a water permit from Arch Coal's Spruce Mine No. 1. That was in line with President Obama's threats to "bankrupt" the coal industry and a "virtual moratorium" on coal permitting, yet the networks didn't mention it in a single story.
With the recent unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Mideast, there is reason to be concerned about energy security and rising prices right now. If turmoil were to spread in the oil-rich region, energy prices could spike further.
During the first week of February, oil prices rose to the highest level since October 2008 because of Egypt concerns, according to Platts.com. In the U.S., the national average for unleaded gasoline has been above $3-a-gallon since late December (Dec. 23). Egypt produces 660,000 barrels of oil per day according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), and 4.5 percent of the world's oil travels through its Suez Canal.
Tuesday's "Morning Joe" featured guest Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Rauf who tried to establish a mosque two blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. The panel praised Khan and her husband as peace-making moderates, and arrogantly questioned why more Americans couldn't accept the mosque at Ground Zero.
"America is the beacon of the world," co-host Mika Brzezinski said echoing Khan's earlier words affirming American freedom. "And yet, we had such a controversy about the community center that you and your husband were trying to start blocks away from Ground Zero," she added, questioning the American "understanding" of the center.
"One of the most depressing things to me was the fact that in 2010, Americans seemed to be less accepting of Muslim Americans than they were even in the months after 9/11," co-host Joe Scarborough lamented from his soapbox. "Why do you think we Americans had such a reaction – again, in New York, a place that's supposed to be the most open-minded and pluralistic?" he asked guest Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine.
Civility was in short supply yesterday on "The Dylan Ratigan Show," as the MSNBC anchor after which the show is named used words and phrases such as "moronic" and "dog's ass" to demagogue the GOP's proposal to trim the federal budget.
"How can you be serious about cutting spending when your spending proposals are truly a flea on a dog's ass?" howled Ratigan, who went on to demonize Republicans as "nasty" frauds who want to "get rid of all the food for poor people."
Ratigan's spurious logic that cutting federal subsidies for food stamps is akin to letting poor people starve to death on the streets is reminiscent of Alan Grayon's mischaracterization of the GOP health care plan, which the former Florida congressman said was to "die quickly."
On the February 8 edition of MSNBC's "Last Word," left-wing comedian Bill Maher disparaged Bill O'Reilly as "unpatriotic" for the way in which the veteran Fox News anchor conducted his interview with President Barack Obama on Super Bowl Sunday.
"And Bill O'Reilly, who claims he's such a patriot, how unpatriotic in my view to treat a president that way," railed Maher. "How does that look to other countries when you're interrupting and belittling? I just find it astounding."
What would be worse: if Norah actually believes it--or if she doesn't?
Norah O'Donnell has claimed that the Washington Post and the New York Times provide straight-up information, without bias, of the sort that would be appealing to members of the putatively non-partisan "No Labels" group.
Norah's mind-boggling assertion came on today's Morning Joe during a discussion of AOL's acquisition of HuffPo for $315 million. Reacting to indications that Arianna Huffington may be guiding her creation toward the center and away from its leftist roots, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart argued the move made sense on the theory that people such as those at No Labels are hungry for straight-up reporting. That's when Norah broke in to claim that such unbiased reporting is already being provided by, yup, WaPo and the Times.
Reporting on President Obama's speech to the Chamber of Commerce Monday, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer sloppily labeled the Chamber as "conservative" in narrating the conflict between the business federation and the President. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though it may have enjoyed the "conservative" label in the past, has supported major liberal legislation over the past few years in the name of being "pro-business."
"Two years, big business and President Obama were at odds," Brewer introduced the segment. "The boiling point – when Obama accused the conservative Chamber of Commerce of refusing to disclose the millions it spent on campaign ads to defeat Democrats."
The Chamber sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in February of 2009 imploring it to pass the Stimulus bill, H.R. 1. "The legislation is not perfect," the Chamber confessed, adding that "parts of the bill should be modified or eliminated. However, the Chamber urges the Senate to approve H.R. 1, and encourages Congress and the Administration to work on a conference report that provides timely, targeted, and temporary economic stimulus."
CNBC's Erin Burnett made a gaffe on Tuesday's Street Signs as she covered a new app for Apple devices which is aimed to assist Catholics to go to confession. Burnett wondered if the app, which costs $1.99 would bring the Church "back to the age of 'condolences' (sic), those things that Martin Luther so abhorred" [audio available here].
The anchor reported on the app, "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," just before the top of the 3 pm Eastern hour, noting that the new program had received the approval of Church authorities. Burnett gave a brief explanation of the app before making her historical error:
CNN devoted three and a half minutes of coverage on Monday's Newsroom to a protest by "two dozen, maybe three dozen" people who were against two proposed laws targeting illegal immigration in Arizona. The network showed live and taped footage of this liberal protest. By contrast, CNN spent a mere 11 seconds to the March for Life in January and showed no footage from the pro-life demonstration.
Anchor Brooke Baldwin led the 3 pm Eastern hour with the pro-illegal immigration rally:
BALDWIN: There is a new front opening up in the immigration battle. Where else would this be happening? Arizona. At this hour, children and their parents- I'm talking also itty-bitty babies there being carried- they're marching on the Capitol complex building in Phoenix, just as the state Senate considers another proposed crackdown. So, here's what you need to know: there's this new bill that would essentially deny American citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil if their parents came here illegally.
On Monday's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski launched into a passionate defense of President Obama's handling of tough press coverage in 2008. Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin retorted that Obama received soft coverage on the campaign trail, and has only recently learned how to face tough interviews. Brzezinski apparently thinks that is "revisionist thinking."
"He was raked over the coal– he had to do a freakin' speech about his race! Are you kidding me!?" Mika exclaimed when she was trying to rebut claims of Obama receiving soft media coverage.
When co-host Scarborough and Time magazine's Halperin agreed that President Obama did not receive tough press coverage as a senator or as a presidential candidate, Brzezinski spat back "No. That is revisionist thinking."
During a Monday morning recap of the Super Bowl, "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough asked, tongue-in-cheek, if "right-wing, talk radio conservatives" would blame President Obama for the ghastly national anthem performance by four-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera.
Amidst the light-hearted banter, Scarborough turned serious and asked "when we talked about what's driving the week – will conservatives, will conservatives – right-wing, talk radio conservatives – blame Barack Obama for Christina Aguilera defacing the national anthem?"
Time magazine's Mark Halperin, and co-host Willie Geist played along. "Glenn Beck's got the chalkboard going right now," Scarborough continued. "With the dotted line," Halperin added. "He's ready," chimed in Geist.
"He's shameless, isn't he?" asked FNC's Steve Doocy, co-host of "Fox & Friends, about MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, who recently compared the Muslim Brotherhood to the Tea Party.
"Chris Matthews is not a journalist," replied MRC President Brent Bozell. "He's a parody of himself."
On the February 4 "Fox & Friends," the NewsBusters publisher acknowledged that while most of the coverage surrounding the crisis in Egypt has been relatively "fair and honest," there have been a few notable "blips."