Republicans have responded with widespread opprobrium to President Obama's speech on the Middle East. Mitt Romney epitomized GOP reaction in saying PBO had "thrown Israel under the bus."
Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised, but at MSNBC, Obama was actually criticized last night . . . for not being hard enough on Israel. Cenk Uygur said "the president's speech was too much leaning towards Israel."
Uygur also disagreed with Obama's disapproval of any attempt by the Palestinians to stage an end-run on a negotiated peace by going to the UN to have their state established. And for good measure, Cenk accused Israel of the "oppression" of the Palestinians.
Ending her final night as anchor of the CBS Evening News with a “five years in five minutes” video retrospective, Katie Couric went out in sync with how she conducted herself since 2006 – challenging and discrediting conservatives while providing a platform to liberals to disparage conservatives.
Her Thursday night highlight package began with Couric pressing President George W. Bush in 2006: “Is there anything that you wish you had done differently?” From there, CBS jumped to actor Michael Fox: “I could give a damn about Rush Limbaugh's opinion.” After clips on wild fires, steroids and the Virginia Tech shooting, viewers heard this blast from Valerie Plame: “I never once considered that, in fact, this administration would betray my identity as payback.”
Getting to the 2008 campaign, CBS played a friendly clip of Couric empathizing with Joe Biden: “Are you worried you're going to have to pull your punches a bit?” Then, instead of re-running her “what newspapers do you read?” question, Couric chose instead to highlight, just weeks after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, how Sarah Palin had said that nation was not protecting al-Qaeda. (Video excerpt after jump) MP3 audio
Anyone whose eyes have been glued to certain news outlets for the last 24 hours has probably heard almost nothing about one of the most offensive political advertisements in recent memory. That's because most major networks have largely failed to cover a video portraying Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan as literally throwing grandma off a cliff.
While ABC, MSNBC, and CNN continue to ignore the left-wing attack ad, these same outlets wasted no time excoriating Sharron Angle's controversial immigration ad during the 2010 cycle.
CNN's Anderson Cooper heavily scrutinized the new study of the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal Wednesday, but featured no one from the church's side to defend the report. Cooper gave his own critical commentary of the study, voiced the concerns of many clergy abuse victims, and brought on for a soft interview a disillusioned Catholic priest who is resigning from the clergy.
However, Cooper did not bring on a guest from the church or one of the study's researchers to defend the report's findings. Furthermore, CNN had fairly reported on the issue earlier in the day during the 2 p.m. EDT hour of Newsroom. The network briefly hosted a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami and asked her two tough questions about the report.
CNN continued its rehabilitation of Eliot Spitzer's political career in leaving his name out of a lengthy list of recent political sex scandals Tuesday. As MediaBistro and my colleague Tom Blumer reported yesterday, the network shied away from disclosing the checkered past of one of its prime-time anchors.
In the wake of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revelations that he fathered a child with a mistress, CNN ran a segment during the 2 p.m. EDT hour covering recent political sex scandals. Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux mentioned six by name and CNN ran old news clips of even more – but failed to disclose that the current host of a CNN prime-time show was once embroiled in an infamous scandal.
Newt Gingrich came in for some serious criticism on today's Morning Joe.
Reacting to footage of Newt on Meet the Press alluding to Paul Ryan's health care proposal as "radical," Joe Scarborough accused Gingrich of being in "the mushy middle." Pat Buchanan came with the unkindest cut of all, saying Gingrich is "out on the left wing of the Republican party."
With “Cal’s High Honor” as the on-screen tag, the Fox News Channel on Saturday highlighted video of Fox News Watch panelist Cal Thomas receiving the Media Research Center’s “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” at the MRC’s May 7 annual Gala featuring the “DisHonors Awards.”
After the jump: Video of what Fox News Watch showed of MRC President Brent Bozell introducing Thomas and some remarks from Thomas.
What better way for ABC to kick off its weekend news coverage than by mocking the physical appearance of a Republican presidential candidate? That's apparently what someone at Good Morning America was thinking today.
As co-host Dan Harris opened the show by teasing an upcoming story about a study suggesting that allowing one's spouse to gawk at others they find attractive is good for the relationship, footage of . . . Newt Gingrich suddenly appeared on screen.
Harris made as if it were a mistake: "and no, not Newt Gingrich."
Update below the break: When it came to Roger Ailes and George Will, the media ethicists were out in full force. Why not for Zakaria? | Update May 15: Zakaria denies he "advises" Obama
CNN's Fareed Zakaria, host of the weekend show Fareed Zakaria GPS and editor-at-large for Time magazine, admitted on CNN Thursday that he has been advising President Obama on foreign policy matters.
Eliot Spitzer, host of CNN's In the Arena, brought up the fact at the very end of a conversation with Zakaria about Pakistan and foreign policy. Zakaria affirmed it and clarified that "mostly it's been face-to-face meetings...organized by Tom Donilon, the national security advisor."
Ron Paul may be considered a "fringe" conservative for his beliefs, but as a U.S. congressman running for a major party presidential ticket he received some bizarre coverage on CNN Friday. Anchor Carol Costello chuckled as the network played a clip of comedian Conan O'Brien mocking Paul's presidential bid, before asking her panel about the 2012 presidential field.
"We couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment," Costello admitted with a grin during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour Friday.
The clip featured TBS's O'Brien laughing at Paul's lax positions on the legalization of heroin and prostitution. "Yeah, his campaign slogan is 'Let's just see what would happen,'" O'Brien joked.
PBS's Tavis Smiley offered his own half-baked assumptions Friday on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders. The far-left anchor dismissed the GOP field as a bunch of nobodies on the 9 a.m. EDT hour of CNN Newsroom.
"You can't beat somebody with nobody," he quipped when asked what GOP contender poses the biggest threat to President Obama's re-election. "I don't see somebody yet that the president should be all that concerned about, at least to the point of losing sleep."
Smiley also hit Obama for not doing more to help unemployed African-Americans. He assumed the reason Obama is hesitant to do so is his fear of accusations of being "tribal."
"It is edgy to have people on the mainstream of Hollywood who celebrate cop killers," but it's quite another thing when the president of the United States invites such a person like rapper Common to the White House for a poetry event, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity last night.
Although Common wrote a rap song defending a convicted cop killer and has been known to be critical of interracial dating, the media largely ignored the controversial figure to protect President Obama from another Rev. Wright-like row, Bozell noted.
[See video after the page break or click here for MP3 audio]
Rachel Maddow has engaged in a strange--sinister?--irony. On her MSNBC show last night, one moment Maddow was condemning the late Senator Joe McCarthy for encouraging people to "turn in their friends" in the entertainment industry. The next moment, Maddow was urging her viewers to . . . turn in someone in the entertainment industry--the animator of Mike Huckabee's history series for kids.
Maddow devoted a sarcastic segment to mocking Huckabee's series of DVDs on American history. Along the way she accused Huckabee of engaging in revisionist history. Her example was the way a Huckabee DVD described Ronald Reagan's testimony as a friendly witness at a McCarthy hearing, in his role as president of the Screen Actors Guild, as Reagan having "worked against Communism in Hollywood."
Maddow then said this: "We asked [Huckabee's production company] today who had done the animation on these DVDs. They would not tell us. If you know who brought this amazing animated sauce to life, please get in touch with us. We would like to know."
On Thursday morning, CNN largely dismissed the controversy over the White House invite of rapper Common, using talking points from the White House and Comedy Central's Daily Show to marginalize conservative critics.
Anchor Carol Costello deflected attention away from the rapper's violent lyrics by quoting a rap of his that has a pro-life message. She quoted none of his violent lyrics, however. Common has composed work in the past praising cop-killer Assata Shakur in "A Song for Assata," and has also ranted "burn a Bush" in rapping about the former president.
Conservatives were outraged over the artist's invite to the White House for an evening of poetry and song. The White House did condemn his violent lyrics "that has been written about" press secretary Jay Carney clarified, but did not renege on Common's invitation.
Mike Barnicle has greeted Newt Gingrich's announcement of his presidential candidacy with a sneer, calling the former Speaker of the House "a delusional loser." The former Kennedy-clan retainer and Boston Globe columnist seasoned his sneer with snobbery, launching an ignorant attack on Gingrich's educational background.
Discussing how President Obama should craft his 2012 reelection campaign theme, MSNBC contributors Howard Fineman offered that President Obama made a "mistake" in his freshman year in office in saying voters should judge his term by his performance in office.
Because the economy is recovering under Obama's stewardship, Fineman posited on the May 11 edition of "Hardball," Obama must run on a theme of "values" not as a referendum on his track record.
Watch the relevant video in the embed below the page break:
Left-wing Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, a frequent Morning Joe guest, has accused US special operations forces of committing "high-tech murder on a large scale" for their targeted campaign of killing or capturing Al Qaeda Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Sachs made his contemptible accusation on today's Morning Joe in the course of a discussion of the PBS Frontline documentary "Kill/Capture" on the JSOC operations. Stephen Grey, a producer of the documentary, was a guest.
According to a USA Today analysis, Americans are paying a lower percentage of income tax rates now than in the 1970s-1990s – and CNN's Jack Cafferty used this fact Monday to ask if raising taxes should be the first priority in Congress's deficit reduction plan. He hinted that the Treasury could use the extra revenue from higher taxes.
Then on Tuesday, CNN Anchor Carol Costello continued the talking points on the 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. EDT news hours, asking if it is time "for the GOP to blink" on the tax hike standoff. "[Obama] toppled Osama bin Laden. But can he slay the budget dragon? Not without striking a deal with this guy, House Speaker John Boehner," Costello ominously declared.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz used the killing of Osama bin Laden to revisit how the media were too deferential to the Bush administration. Kurtz questioned the validity of the terror alerts in the years following 9/11 and wondered if they were used for political gain. Kurtz, comparing the press coverage of the bin Laden assassination and the War on Terror, pondered if there was a "climate of fear" post-9/11 and asked "did the media contribute to that?"
"Is it possible that the Bush administration, for political reasons, chose to play up the War on Terror in a way that the Obama administration has chosen not to?" Kurtz asked guest Brian Ross of ABC News. Ross didn't see the same conspiracy theory on the Bush administration, simply saying that they had a "different mindset" in the matter than Obama.
You'd think the MSNBC "Hardball" host would be a shoo-in for the Media Research Center's annual "Obamagasm Award," but the 2011 prize went to Evan Thomas of Newsweek for declaring the president "stand[s] above the country, above — above the world. He’s sort of God."
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, columnist and author Ann Coulter, radio host Neal Boortz, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Red State blogger Erick Erickson were among the conservative heavyweights participating in the festivities.
[For a lengthy excerpt of the Gala that includes Neal Boortz announcing the Obamagasm Award nominees, click play on the first embedded video below the page break]
"If you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of thousands of people in Washington, D.C., peeling egg off their faces," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped on the May 6 "Fox & Friends," referring to the naysayers who condemned enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding during the Bush administration.
Indeed, President Bush "is not getting the credit he deserves" for the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden.
Scott Pelley, the incoming anchor for the CBS Evening News, dropped by Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate on Wednesday where he mimicked left-wing MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” slogan as he promised: “We’re going to be leaning forward.”
On DCRTV.com I saw a link to online video of a WUSA-TV story about Pelley’s May 4 visit to the Gannett-owned station where he pledged: “We're going to cover hard news. We're going to be aggressive about that. We're going to be leaning forward.”
Very unlike MSNBC, however, he pledged fairness: “Were going to be all about original reporting, unique insight and being fair to everybody involved in a story. It is just that simple.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
This morning on WMAL's "Morning Majority" program, former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis slammed liberals who were taking partisan pot-shots at former President George W. Bush in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing on Sunday.
While Davis didn't name names, he made veiled references to MSNBC and its "Last Word" host Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell, you may recall, bashed former President Bush on his Monday evening "Last Word" program, insisting that President Bush had dismissed bin Laden's capture or killing as unimportant to the war on terror as early as 2002.
But Bush's rhetoric downplaying bin Laden was strategic, not to be taken completely at face value Davis argued.
On Wednesday's The View, ABC's Barbara Walters slobbered over the "courage, and the guts, and the coolness" of President Obama in ordering the assassination of terrorist Osama bin Laden. "It was enormously, enormously courageous," she said of the president's decision to commence the mission to kill or capture the al Qaeda leader.
"President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness," Walters said of the mission before being drowned out in applause from the audience.
Just when the media adulation of Barack Obama might have been showing signs of waning, along comes the killing of Osama Bin Laden to drive it to new sycophantic heights. In the genre, it will be hard to outdo the schoolgirl-crushiness of Margaret Carlson.
On today's Morning Joe, Carlson characterized the operation against Osama Bin Laden as the moment when "Professor Obama turned into General Obama and ran this incredible raid."
America should consider gathering important national security information by giving terrorists book deals, or paying them off, says the liberal Joy Behar. The HLN host offered her bizarre expertise on foreign intelligence Tuesday morning on ABC's The View.
"If we use these enhanced techniques, then they [the terrorists] can use them on us," Behar said of "enhanced interrogation techniques," which include the practice of "waterboarding" and are used by the U.S. military to extract information from prisoners. The panel was discussing whether America should be using the interrogation program to gather intelligence, if indeed it does produce valuable information.