Joe the Plumber was certainly on to something when he got then-candidate Barack Obama to admit he wanted to redistribute the wealth, according to former Republican presidential candidate and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee, who now hosts a show aired on the weekends on the Fox News Channel, told "On The Record" host Greta Van Sustren on Nov. 16 that Obama's policies go beyond just the redistribution of wealth, especially on health care. He likened a provision in the House health care bill that would require people to have some sort of health care coverage to a "poll tax."
"[W]hile we really wish [the president's priorities] were recovery, getting jobs back - that's the number one thing we ought to be focused on - but it appears to be redistribution," Huckabee said. "That's what's going on in the health care world, where we're trying to make sure that we've redistributed health care, taking it from people who have it, taking from them, giving it to people who may not even desire to have it, and forcing people into an unconstitutional system where they're going to have to virtually pay into a private marketplace in order to get full rights of citizenship. It's the equivalent of a poll tax."
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs stuck to his guns when questions were raised if he was forced out at CNN in an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
However, Dobbs did make one distinction - how his detractors decided to pile on when he was critical of President Barack Obama instead of former President George W. Bush. He elaborated on this on Fox News Channel's Nov. 16 "The O'Reilly Factor."
"I discerned more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration, whom I was criticizing and now when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken, not so much in the case of CNN management certainly, because there is no - my contract is very explicit. I have absolute editorial control. What I reported is what I chose to report."
On his Nov. 16 program, Beck responded to the "South Park" interpretation of him - that he wasn't making accusations, but phrasing them in the form of a question. The show's character Eric Cartman played a spoof of Beck in which he railed against his school's president, Wendy Testaburger. Beck maintained he wasn't making the "accusations" in the form of a question - but playing the words of the "accused" themselves.
"Have we gotten to a place you can't ask questions?" Beck asked. "What were my crazy accusations or questions? Well, the accusation was that Van Jones was a communist revolutionary," Beck said. "I didn't describe him that way. In his own words he described himself that way. He was a 9/11 Truther. He was forced to step down. Was it that the administration was using NEA as a propaganda arm for the administration? That was a question. We played tapes of the call with Yosi Sargent and Yosi Sargent had to step down."
Sarah Palin, in an interview that is a part of the lead up to the Nov. 17 release of her new book "Going Rogue," appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV show on Nov. 16. Aside from the questions about the campaign, she expressed her irritation with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, or as she referred to her - "the perky one."
"Now, obviously, you've why didn't you just name some books or magazines?" Winfrey asked.
After airing what she described as a "hard-hitting" ad by the Center for Reproductive Rights which ominously warned, "Don't let Congress ban abortion coverage millions of women already have," MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman today lamented to Politico's Jeanne Cummings that with Sen. Ted Kennedy gone, Democrats lack a unifying figure who could defuse an abortion battle that could mar Democratic unity on health care reform.
Snyderman praised the late pro-choice politician as a "man of his church and of his faith" (MP3 audio here):
Well, now the Catholic Church is lobbying hard to get House language into the Senate bill and then hopefully get it passed. Politico's assistant managing editor Jeanne Cummings wrote about this. And she joins me now.
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
If Hillary Clinton had been any less supportive of the Obama admin's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan, she might have had to quit her Secretary of State job . . .
Clinton damned the decision with faint praise during her Meet The Press appearance today.
Asked by moderator David Gregory where she stood on the matter, her response was the ultra-tepid: "I'm not going to second-guess any decision the Attorney General made." Translation: I'd love to second-guess it. I pretty much just did. But I'm not about to end my Obama admin career by saying so outright.
On Friday, this NewsBuster noted how Pres. Obama, questioned at a news conference in Japan, twice refused to say whether he thought the United States' dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was "the right decision."
Yesterday on Fox News Watch, Jim Pinkerton noted the NewsBusters nugget. The Fox News contributor and New America Foundation fellow observed that PBO's failure had huge implications for America's nuclear deterrent.
Video after the jump of PBO's duck-and-cover at the Tokyo press conference.
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart absolutely trashed Sean Hannity on Thursday's "The Daily Show."
What was Hannity's crime this time?
Well, the Fox News personality actually apologized to Stewart for a mistake that was made in a "Hannity" segment aired last week and "reported" by "The Daily Show" host on his program Tuesday.
Rather than graciously accepting Hannity's apology, Stewart attacked him with a segment that included a "young," 22-year old producer -- having aged 50 to 60 years watching "Hannity" the last five months -- asking Stewart to kill him so he wouldn't have to watch any more (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
If you thought that you were going to escape being greenwashed by simply changing the channel for NBC's "Green Week," think again. Now you can't even wile away your time reading a good ol' fashioned thriller. Stephen King's new book, "Under the Dome," depicts a small city on the brink of an environmental disaster (that is, if it can survive the murders, arson, and corruption, of course).
Set in fictional Chester's Mill, Maine, the 1,000+ page tome (King's longest since "It") details the demise of a small town that mysteriously becomes stuck under an invisible, impenetrable dome.
The town faces such King clichés as deception, rape, and drug addiction, but it also discovers that it's on the fast track to environmental doom. The book review by Kevin Kelly of Mercury News describes the town's desperate situation.
"You can't see the dome - until it becomes smudged on the outside by the accumulation of smog and things running into it and leaving stains," he said. "With no steady influx of new air, Chester's Mill begins to smell like a locker room and plants start dying, and as the dome becomes more and more smeared with grime from the outside world, the temperature inside climbs."
How much do lefties dislike Glenn Beck? So much that the vitriol has bled over into low-rent, soon-to-be-obsolete publications like Playboy magazine.
In the December 2009 issue of Playboy, Thomas Frank "takes down" the Fox News Channel host by analyzing the conservative movement and how Beck rose to prominence. Frank, with an obvious need to meet a high-word count in mind, attempts to dismantles Beck by attacking his Christmas book, "The Christmas Sweater" and his other books, his admiration for Thomas Paine, his fear the U.S. Constitution is being trampled upon and his activist efforts to curb this intrusion by combating socialism, communism and other ideologies that could be deemed un-American.
On Friday's edition of Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan featured fake photos of Sarah Palin during a mocking segment on why Americans are fascinated with the former vice presidential candidate. While listing the show’s top ten reasons, Ratigan showed a doctored photo of Palin’s head on the bikini-clad body of a woman holding a weapon.
The host never admitted or addressed the fact that his network was passing off counterfeit pictures to his viewers. Earlier in the segment, Ratigan displayed an image of Palin in a short, black mini-skirt. This photo is also not real. MSNBC should immediately apologize for presenting such false information.
It's important to remember, several hosts on the network, including Chris Matthews, have mocked Fox News host Sean Hannity for taking video images from the 9/12 rally and then portraying the footage as from a more recent tea party event. After it was brought to his attention, Hannity apologized on Wednesday. How long will it take MSNBC?
It's one thing to avoid the "terrorist" label when reporting on Ft. Hood suspect Major Nidal Hasan. It's quite another to say that those who do use it are making a political calculation to "paint the Democrats as soft terror." Yet that's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow insisted on her Nov. 11 broadcast.
Maddow launched into a minute-and-a-half soliloquy on why it is bad for the Democratic Party when commentators label Hasan a "terrorist." She even attempted to make the case on Hasan's behalf against a terrorism label. Who needs a legal team when you have friends like Maddow and Chris Matthews, who fretted over the legality of Hasan's al Qaeda communications?
"Remember this one? Yes, it is the old ‘paint the Democrats as soft on terror' routine," Maddow said. "But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democratic greatest hits, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Now, regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer."
Three years ago, NBC launched a holiday tradition of environmental awareness. In 2007, it kicked off its "Green Week" by turning off the lights during a Sunday sports broadcast (as if turning off studio lights for one minute could mitigate three hours of blazing stadium lights).
The rest of the week consisted of cringingly cheesy, greenwashed TV moments, like the cop on the crime drama Life buying a solar farm in his quest to find the person who framed him for murder.
Sadly, the line-up for this year's "Green Week," which launches Nov. 15, is just as cringe-worthy. Al Gore will appear again on "30 Rock," undoubtedly spewing dire warnings of the Earth's imminent doom. "The Biggest Loser" will coach its participants to buy organic food and bring their own mugs to coffee shops. Dwight Schrute from "The Office" will role play as a character named "Recyclops," and, in the comedy "Community," Greendale Community College will be renamed "Environ-Dale."
Who says Larry King only throws softballs to guests? If you're a conservative, the CNN host has a wicked fastball.
Former Miss California Carrie Prejean appeared on the Nov. 11 "Larry King Live" to promote her new book, "Still Standing." Tension ran deep, with Prejean accusing the host of being "inappropriate" and at one point, taking off her microphone and threatening to walk-off the set.
King also blindsided Prejean, who famously spoke out against same-sex marriage in the Miss USA pageant last April, with a caller who asked her, "I'm a gay man and I love pageants. I'm sure that you, Carrie, have got great gay friends that helped you possibly win. What would you give them as advice if they wanted to get married?"
The media gave President Obama credit during the campaign for promising not to raise taxes on the middle class. He was on the trail in New Hampshire when he made a "firm pledge" not to raise taxes on any family "making less than $250,000 a year."
Obama is doing his best to break that promise, but the network news media haven't bothered to report it. On Nov. 6 when he endorsed the tax increase-laden health care reform bill that the House of Representatives passed on Nov. 7, Obama violated his pledge.
While Obama had offered broad generalities supporting various health care reform bills under consideration in the House and Senate, the Nov. 6 statement was the first time he threw his weight fully behind one piece of legislation.
Are the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks really about nothing more than hammering out a world-wide agreement about carbon emissions to curb warming? Not according to martial arts professional and actor Chuck Norris.
Leave it to that bastion of grace and class that waxes poetically on a nightly basis about the wrongdoings of Republicans or conservatives ad nauseum known as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann to do Lou Dobbs resignation from CNN up just right.
Olbermann on his Nov. 11 "Countdown" broadcast honored Dobbs 30-year CNN career by naming him his "third worst person in the world."
"The bronze to Lou Dobbs, who tonight, as of tonight, has just quit his CNN show," Olbermann said.
Although it isn't quite clear why Olbermann decided to bestow that honor upon Dobbs, if for no other reason than for his decision to resign, Olbermann cherry-picked portions of Dobbs resignation speech from the Nov. 11 broadcast of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and even ad-libbed in his comments (actual transcript of Dobbs here).
Networks Decide Attack Wasn't Terror: 85 percent of the broadcast stories didn't mention the word "terror." ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news referenced terrorism connections to the Fort Hood attack just seven times in 48 reports.
ABC, CBS, NBC Follow White House Line: Before Obama's Nov. 10 speech, 93 percent of the stories had ignored any terror connection. But after Obama hinted at what ABC called "Islamic extremist views," all three networks mentioned terrorism.
Alleged Attacker's Muslim Faith Not Important Either: Slightly more than one-fourth (29 percent) of evening news reports mentioned that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a Muslim. Of those, half (7 out of 14) defended the religion or included experts to do so.
Last week, Fort Hood, Texas was the site of the worst mass shooting in history on a U.S. military base. At 2:34 p.m. local time on Nov. 5, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - one of the military's own - reportedly attacked fellow soldiers, yelling, "Allah Akbar." He then allegedly fired more than 100 rounds into Fort Hood's crowded processing center, killing 13 and wounding 29. This heinous act stunned the nation and captivated the news media.
Women's magazines notoriously promote their ideal woman: thin, stylish, beautiful, sexually adventurous. And after seeing who Glamour named as its annual "Women of the Year," readers can now add "liberal" to the list of ideal qualities.
The women featured in Glamour's 2009 list represent a cross-section of accomplished women from different industries - business, politics, sports, entertainment, fashion and humanitarian efforts to name a few.
Cindi Leive, the magazine's editor-in-chief told NBC's Matt Lauer on Nov. 9, that the "common thread" between the women chosen was that "they're not just achieving for themselves, they're really expanding our understanding of what women can accomplish in this world, and that's a great message for young women."
CMI researchers however, found another "common thread" between a majority of the women - they are liberals in good standing, with a record of support for liberal politicians or causes.
"The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill," MSNBC's Chris Matthews flatly declared on the November 10 "Hardball." Matthews fumed with disgust as Politico's Jonathan Allen told him that Catholic bishops lobbied Democrats to pass the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care reform bill last week.
"I understand the [pro-life] argument" that the bishops brought to the table, Matthews added, but huffed that they should not "show up" on the Hill.
After the commercial break, Matthews took to the air again to clarify that it was not in fact bishops but staffers with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who lobbied the Democrats. Such a distinction, he insisted, was important.
Of all the things that might give you comfort in the wake of Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage, where would you rate the news that the military's commitment to "diversity" endures? Down there, dare I guess? Ah, but you're probably not part of the MSM elite.
Chrystia Freeland is. And on today's Morning Joe, the Financial Times editor did indeed announce that she was "comforted" by that very fact of the military's unflagging devotion to diversity.
Joe Scarborough countered Chrystia with a tough question. And--sacré bleu!--Mike Barnicle, not normally an NB fave, made some very blunt and on-target observations . . .
On his Nov. 9 broadcast of "Hardball," in an interview with Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Matthews compared the incident of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan at Ft. Hood to Sirhan Sirhan's 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
"You know, I have a hard time with this because people like Sirhan Sirhan, who is still serving time for killing Bobby Kennedy, didn't like what Bobby Kennedy had said on television," Matthews said. "Bobby Kennedy had made political statements saying we're going to sell arms, fighter planes directly to Israel, not under the table. We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Those are the things that triggered his killing spree. He killed one person - Bobby Kennedy, horrifically. But did he become a different religious person because he committed the crime? And when did this happen?" [Audio: Part I here (925 KB), Part II here (1.18 MB)]
Disclaimer: we're talking politics here, not personal stuff . . .
If there's a bigger sourpuss in Congress than Barney Frank, I wouldn't want to meet him. On MSNBC this evening, the dyspeptic Member from Massachusetts got into it with, of all people, Ed Schultz. You might think the two libs would make beautiful progressive music together, but what made this spat especially entertaining was that Barney found himself being attacked . . . from the left.
The topic was the billions in bonuses awarded by Wall Street firms that had received TARP money. Schultz's beef was that Congress blew it by awarding TARP dough without obtaining advance agreement limiting bonus payouts.
On the syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, over the weekend, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin was mocked by Chris Matthews for playing to the "wingnuts" at a Capitol Hill rally. Before running a clip of Levin, MSNBC host broke down the new GOP coalition as "regular Republicans," "energized conservatives," and "the wingnuts!" and added: "Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them!"
The following exchange was aired on the November 8 edition of the The Chris Matthews Show [MP3 audio clip here]:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tuesday's election results gave Republicans a big boost. A year from now they hope their loose coalition will unite to beat a lot of Democrats. What's that coalition? Well it's regular Republicans, people that have been Republicans all their lives. It’s also energized conservatives. People philosophically opposed to what they see as a creeping big government. Third - it's people just upset about the economy and the loss of jobs. And fourth - it's the wingnuts! Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them at that rally at the Capitol this week.
Two-and-a-half years before Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim medical doctor, murdered 13 at Fort Hood in Texas in what more-and-more looks like a jihadist terrorist attack given his anti-American rants and ties to Islamic extremists, ABC's since-canceled Boston Legal drama ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.
A scene in the episode first aired on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining obviously innocent men -- concluded with a released terror suspect being asked in courtroom about a colleague who had committed suicide to avoid the mistreatment: “Was your friend a terrorist?” The man replied with these words, dripping with disgust, which dramatically ended the scene: “No, he was a doctor.”
Wonder why the White House attack on the Fox News Channel (you know: "not a news network") failed? Well, besides the fact that not even the other networks thought it was right, it might be because Fox often commits actual journalism.
Witness Bill O'Reilly's Nov. 6 interview with Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, co-authors of the soon-to-be-released "Sarah from Alaska." During the interview, the authors insisted that it was "not a slam book at all." In fact, Conroy said that his "final conclusion" of Palin was that "she's always been underestimated" and to "write her off" would be a "big mistake." Walshe also implicitly blamed the media by saying that Palin's "three-dimensional character" was ignored during last year's presidential campaign and, instead, "she was perceived as either an idiot or she was loathed."
So why did Conroy and Walshe feel the need to defend the fairness of their book? Perhaps because the duo had appeared on CBS earlier that week, and "fair" isn't an adjective that comes to mind in describing that interview.
Insisting that her opinion was not influenced by her views on abortion, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman went on a tear shortly after 12:30 p.m. EST on her November 9 "Dr. Nancy" program, denouncing the "infuriating" Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care bill passed on Saturday.
As a consequence, women seeking to have insurance pay for abortion procedures under the would need to pay out-of-pocket for additional coverage for abortion procedures.
Snyderman hinted that she was annoyed that pro-life Democrats even thought it necessary to press for the Stupak Amendment in the first place. After all, Snyderman complained to MSNBC correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, she and her colleagues at MSNBC had done their level best for months to calm fears of pro-lifers about ObamaCare:
You might not have known it from the lack of coverage on Thursday, but Tea Partiers rallying at Capitol Hill were joined by at least one celebrity ObamaCare critic, actor Jon Voight, who denounced the requirement forcing Americans to buy health insurance under penalty of law as unconstitutional.
Back during the George W. Bush era, the media often hyped the criticism of the Iraq War effort by liberals in Hollywood, playing up the political credibility of actors like Mike Farrell (best known for his role in the long-running TV series "M*A*S*H") who waxed philosophical on the justness or necessity of that war's effort.
Yet even though it's a rarity to find conservatives in Hollywood, much less politically vocal ones like Voight, the ones that are vocal critics of the Obama administration are all but ignored by the mainstream media.