Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas, who announced a few weeks ago his intention to leave the financially-failing magazine and teach journalism at Princeton, issued a ringing call – in defense of federal spending – for why he hopes Congress and President Obama cannot agree on extending any of the Bush tax cuts, so income tax rates rise next year:
God knows the federal government desperately needs that revenue, so this is one case where I think gridlock is a good thing.
Not exactly in line with the thinking of Tea Party voters. (Audio: MP3 clip)
On this weekend’s Inside Washington, the magazine’s former Washington bureau chief, Assistant Managing Editor and, most-recently, editor-at-large, encapsulated the political/media class’s priority – keeping government spending safe – as he argued:
Imagine six Israelis had been arrested in the US and charged with possibly plotting against a visiting ayatollah. Rhetorical question: would Today have mentioned their nationality and/or religion?
But when reportedly six Algerian Muslims were arrested in the UK and charged with possibly plotting against visiting Pope Benedict XVI, Today breathed not a word of their identity. Reporter Nina Dos Santos spoke only of "the specter of terror" having reared its head in London, and of "yesterday's arrests." But Dos Santos never said what form that specter took . . . or who was arrested.
Lauding Jon Stewart's biting humor and criticism of today's politicized media, NY Magazine columnist Chris Smith called him "Cronkite, the most trusted man in America" in his piece featured on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday. The show's panel largely agreed with him and emphasized that Stewart is bi-partisan in his comedy.
"The right provides better raw material, but Stewart's complaints are bi-partisan," Smith writes in his column "America is a Joke." On MSNBC, Smith described Stewart as a "comedy opportunist, you know, where people do mockable things – left, right, in-between."
The show's co-host Joe Scarborough joined Smith in diffusing the myth that Stewart is a raging liberal. "Over the past year, he's been every bit as tough on the Obama administration as Republicans on Capitol Hill," he asserted.
Isn’t it odd after the passage of TARP, the stimulus and ObamaCare that left-wing politicians and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media are suddenly worried about budget deficits?
As opposed to reining in deficit spending, the new public policy stance for the Democratic Party going into the 2010 midterm election is to call for a tax hike on the top-income earners by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those folks. In an interview on MSNBC’s Sept. 17 “The Daily Rundown” with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Texas senator on the need to raise taxes in order to lower budget deficits.
Guthrie asked: “Sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the Republican Party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and I ask you given the concern among Republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that Republicans can get behind allowing the Bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest Americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. How do you square that up?”
Mika Brzezinski is no poker face, regularly letting her feelings show as she reacts to the stories of the day. But when it comes to emoting, the Morning Joe co-host outdid herself today, reacting to the criticism the panel leveled at Jimmy Carter for his ungracious bashing of the late Ted Kennedy.
In a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, a clip from which Morning Joe aired, an embittered Carter flatly says the failure to get national health care during his administration was Ted Kennedy's "fault." Carter accused Kennedy of "deliberately blocking" Carter's proposed legislation, in order to deny him a major legislative achievement.
Mika, daughter of Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, has a history of defending Carter on the show. Check the video as Mika grimaces in discomfort, and interjects various rebuttals, as her fellow panelists unload on the 39th president.
Closing out the "Media Mash" segment on the September 16 edition of his eponymous "Hannity" program, the Fox News host asked for NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's reaction to NBC's Meredith Vieira telling House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that the Bush tax cuts "didn't succeed" and asking him "what's so good about them?":
Memo to Meredith [Vieira]: You can have a debate about what future tax cuts might or might not result in but a record is a record. Under George Bush, 8 million jobs were created with his tax cuts. With Ronald Reagan's tax cuts there were 20 million jobs created. We've done nothing but lose jobs with Barack Obama with the stimulus package. Truth is truth, facts are facts. Don't go on television saying it didn't work. It did work!
The economy-boosting, jobs-creating benefits of across-the-board tax cuts are not all the media are not telling the truth about. The Media Research Center founder and president also addressed how the media, particularly ABC's Christiane Amanpour are smearing everyday Americans as "Islamophobic" [Listen to MP3 audio here or download WMV video here]:
On September 16th's Larry King Live, guest Bill Maher called "Teabaggers" racists, claimed they hate black people, and added when referring to President Obama as a "Kenyan", it's code for "nigger".
Note the chuckling Larry King who didn't at all seem phased by Maher's casual use of a racial epithet as well as lack of any kind of media coverage. We all know when liberals use racial slurs, it's never out of sensitivity or hate. Bill was just trying to make a point, right?
On Sunday, NewsBusters contributor and Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks attended the 9/12 rally in Washington, D.C., where he interviewed some black attendees to bust the liberal media meme that the Tea Party movement is a practically all-white affair.
"This is what we are to expect, and it's going to get worse between now and November."
That's how NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacted this morning on Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company" to the media's drumbeat of criticism regarding Tea Party-backed Republican nominees for office this November.
Bozell agreed with host Stuart Varney that the media are incessantly bashing Tea Party favorites like Delaware's Christine O'Donnell because they have to change the subject from the demonstrable failures of Obamanomics [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
The Media Research Center isn't the only ones out there telling folks to be wary of the media and its coverage of the Tea Party movement.
On his Sept. 15 broadcast, Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC's "The Kudlow Report," hit that point. Referring to "Tea Party" primary win in Delaware, New York and New Hampshire, Kudlow explained that this shift to the right was a net-positive for the economy.
"Tonight, free-market capitalism on the comeback trail," Kudlow said. "That is one of the messages of the Tea Party power. We saw a lot of that power last night in the primaries. I tell you what folks, that Tea Party power, that free-market capitalist power is so totally bullish for the stock market."
Kudlow advised his viewers to be skeptical of the media, which has covered the Tea Party movement and their candidates very critically, even sometimes disparagingly. He cited the "Contract FROM America," a document put forth by various conservative organizations calling on elected leaders and political candidates to stand on a number of conservative principles.
After portraying Obama as a tax cutter when he took office, journalists have recently been talking about the Bush tax cuts, whose expiration will amount to a huge tax increase on Americans. But most stories have failed to explain that the pending expiration will raise taxes on many people, including investors, small business owners and families, during an economic slowdown.
While cable primetime shows criticized conservatives for wanting to "cut taxes" for the wealthy, a morning appearance by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the few that put the debate in perspective of tax hikes. McConnell appeared on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Sept. 14 and said, "This [Bush tax cuts] has been tax policy for 10 years now. This is not about tax cuts, this is about raising taxes in the middle of a recession."
The trashing of Christine O'Donnell continues. Two days after Karl Rove took to the air to scald his party's newly-nominated candidate, Mike Barnicle has declared that O'Donnell won't win because she's not merely "different," but "crazy."
On today's Morning Joe, the former Boston Globe columnist fumbled and fumfered when asked to back up his allegation with facts. And speaking of facts, Barnicle had his badly wrong when it came to the number of votes O'Donnell won in the primary. But that didn't stop him from slurring the Delaware Republican.
Brent Bozell, the founder and president of the Media Research Center, and publisher of NewsBusters, will be making an important announcement at 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, September 15. This announcement will be made via live web broadcast and you won’t want to miss it! The liberal media are in panic mode. The Obama experiment in socialism is failing. Americans are waking up and rising up for freedom and limited government. America is truly at a crossroads of history. The next few months may very well determine whether socialism or freedom will be the dominant force in American government for decades to come. The Media Research Center will not watch this struggle unfold from the sidelines and we know that you don’t plan to either. So be sure to view the webcast here or by watching the video chat embed below the page break.
At certain schools across the country, parents possessed the authority to pull their children from class Tuesday so as not to witness President Obama's address to students nationwide – and Ed Schultz believes that constitutes an "opt-out for Right-wing whackos." Schultz seemed to be not in favor of academic freedom – in this case.
Decrying opposition to the speech as "perverse conservative hatred" for Obama and "motivated by race," Schultz was apparently doubly-mad about this, as he hit the issue hard for two nights in a row on his MSNBC show. "I think the President's speech should be mandatory for all students," he insisted.
Some public schools notified parents if their children would be watching the speech, while others left the decision to the teachers whether or not to show it. "If you're a superintendent, and it wasn't shown in your school, or in every one of your classrooms, you ought to be ashamed," Schultz raged. "It's amazing you're on the payroll in this country."
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."
Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime.
At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.
Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics." The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
"This is probably one of the few times we're going to disagree here." -- Sean Hannity to Karl Rove regarding Christine O'Donnell.
I'll say. Even after Fox News called the Delaware GOP senatorial primary for Christine O'Donnell tonight, Karl Rove continued to rip the winner, questioning everything from O'Donnell's "rectitude" to her "character." Concluded the pessimistic Rove: "this is not a race we're going to be able to win."
Sean defended O'Donnell staunchly, but was met with a litany of Roveian criticism of Christine, including these comments:
Appearing on MSNBC to present his magazine's feature piece critical of the "Baby Boomer" generation, James Bennet of The Atlantic named George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton as the three worst "baby boomers" who did the most harm to the country's political culture and its economy.
"It'd be hard not to point to George W. Bush as having done a lot of damage," Bennet asserted. Bush, he added, "created a lot of programs that costed us a huge amount of money, without a lot of regard for what the effects are going to be on the folks that are going to have to pay for those for many years."
Bennet also blamed President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for failed policies. However, Bennet was quick to reference the "surpluses as far as the eye could see" at the end of the Clinton administration, as a counterweight to Clinton's damage while in office. He bafflingly lauded President George H.W. Bush's tax hike as "politically brave" and which helped create the prosperity of the Clinton years.
Interviewing White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett yesterday, The View's liberal co-hosts repelled Elisabeth Hasslebeck's tough questions on President Obama's failed economic agenda by changing the subject and ignoring their conservative colleague's criticism.
Refuting the claim that the economy is "certainly moving in the right direction" despite dismal unemployment numbers, Hasselbeck asked Jarrett if Obama's $50 billion infrastructure bill represents an "admittance of failure on the $800 billion stimulus bill that didn't seem to work."
To sidestep Hasselbeck's question, Jarrett invoked incredulity, flawed statistics, and historical revisionism:
CNN's Rick Sanchez thinks that Ronald Reagan wouldn't even be conservative enough for certain members of the Tea Party.
Sanchez discussed Tuesday's Republican Senate Primary in Delaware on his Monday news hour. He criticized the Tea Party's opposition to GOP establishment candidate Congressman Mike Castle as over-the-top, and claimed Castle is "respectable" and "conservative enough" for the region. Castle has a lifetime ACU rating of 52.
Tea Party members in Delaware have largely supported the more conservative Christine O'Donnell. Sanchez believes O'Donnell gives the GOP less of a chance to win in the general election.
"But you know what's interesting about this," Sanchez continued, "I mean if you put this in perspective, Ronald Reagan would be taken out of the mix by some of these more far-Right Tea Party folks. Richard Nixon would never have become the President of the United States."
Amidst a war of words with the White House, character attacks from the Left, and a New York Times hit piece on his connections with lobbyists, House Minority Leader John Boehner has received positive media coverage – from MSNBC of all places. The network ran a portrait of Boehner's childhood on its 11 a.m. news hour, and again on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" at 1 p.m.
"The public hears a lot of the arguments against [Boehner] from the Left," remarked NBC correspondent Luke Russert on the 11 a.m. MSNBC news hour Monday. "They hear that he's a country club Republican, if you will, with extensive ties to lobbyists. But it's quite interesting. He's a man who comes from very humble beginnings, starting out in a big Catholic family in Reading, Ohio."
Russert narrated a piece on Boehner's upbringing in Ohio, as one of 12 children. He interviewed one each of Boehner's brothers and his sisters, as well as his high school football coach.
Last Friday Mika Brzezinski and Morning Joe engaged in some strange and possibly unprecedented TV "journalism." They invited Terry Jones—the potentially Koran-burning pastor—on the show via live feed, gave former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham the chance to lecture him about Christianity and implore him not to proceed with his plan . . . then summarily cut the feed without giving Jones the chance to say word one in response.
"We don't really need to hear anything else" declared Mika, as she shut down the pastor's microphone.
A number of bloggers, including NB's own Matt Hadro and me, noted and criticized Mika's bizarre move. But there was Joe Scarborough on the show today, mockingly writing off Mika's critics as "crazy people."
Fire doesn't melt steel--and a Florida pastor apparently isn't capable of burning a Koran without a plot by Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich behind him . . .
On The Ed Show this evening, guest Karen Hunter, responding to a leading question from host Schultz, went deep conspiracy theory, saying she "wouldn't be surprised at all" if the "fingerprints" of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich were "all over" Pastor Terry Jones' plan to fire up some Korans.
In a brief interview with the openly-gay former Army Lt. Dan Choi MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer gave her vocal support to his cause, hoping that the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends soon.
Brewer has covered the issue quite one-sidedly in the past on behalf of the gay rights side. She has hosted many gay-rights advocates on her news hour and has barely covered the other side of the DADT issue. Examples: here, here, and here.
Brewer was covering the ruling of a federal judge in California that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is unconstitutional. The judge has not yet issued a final ruling, but plans to do so in two weeks. Brewer's lone guest in the segment was Choi, an outspoken advocate and poster boy for the military gay-rights movement, who was arrested this past spring for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of DADT.
Whenever President Barack Obama defends what his presidency to date, specifically on economic issues, he'll speak of inheriting a bad economy from the previous administration, and then assures listeners of his intention to make the economy his top priority.
So why hasn't he done it? Why have there been other distractions like cap-and-trade, ObamaCare, bailouts, etc. and not a push for a real so-called infrastructure stimulus, like the president proposed publicly earlier this week. On CNBC's Sept. 10 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked NBC "Meet the Press" moderator why the support from the president's own party isn't enthusiastic about Obama's new stimulus proposal.
"I am trying to figure out, where is the Democratic leadership?" Kernen said. "Were you not surprised that after the speech and after the proposals, I don't know of a single person in a leadership position that said, ‘Yes Mr. President, that's a great idea.' All I saw was [Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael] Bennet using the s-word, which he isn't supposed to use and isn't that surreal? I mean it's like - the president almost seems like he's lonely at this point with some of this stuff?"
In what had to be the ultimate in condescension and elitism, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" brought Pastor Terry Jones on the show merely to lecture him on Christianity, cutting him off before he could even respond. Co-host Mika Brzezinski explained to him "we don't really need to hear anything else, so thanks." Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first briefly reported on this segment this morning.
Panel member Jon Meacham, the departing editor of Newsweek, briefly preached to Pastor Jones on Jesus' New Testament message of love and forgiveness and then appealed to him "as a fellow Christian" to not follow through with his threats to burn the Koran. Then, before Pastor Jones responded, his live feed was cut and co-host Mika Brzezinski continued with the show, saying that they did not need to listen to Pastor Jones.
"The central message of the New Testament is forgiveness, and to put oneself in the place of another," Meacham lectured Pastor Jones on planning to burn copies of the Koran. "And so I would simply appeal to you, as a fellow Christian, that the course you suggested is going to be incredibly dangerous, and would ask you to desist in the name of New Testament theology."
Both Pat Buchanan and Donny Deutsch have advocated the arrest of Pastor Terry Jones to prevent his possible burning of Korans and the danger to US troops such act would threaten. The paleo-conservative and the New York liberal made common cause on today's Morning Joe. They were outnumbered by Mika Brzezinski, Dan Senor and John Heilemann, all of whom opposed the arrest-the-pastor proposal on First Amendment grounds. Buchanan and Deutsch expressed disregard for the First Amendment implications.
Buchanan asserted that if Pres. Obama were to follow his advice, conservatives would support him and his popularity would zoom 10% overnight.
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez tried to connect the overwhelming opposition to the planned Ground Zero mosque to a Florida pastor's "Burn a Koran Day" event. Sanchez asked former New York Governor George Pataki, "Do you feel in any way that some of this backlash...led by some fine gentlemen like yourself...has kind of paved the way for that controversy, and if so, do you feel guilty at all?" [audio clip available here]
Sanchez interviewed Pataki during the prime time edition of his program. Just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour, the anchor raised Pastor Terry Jones's planned inflammatory protest: "Let me ask you one final question, if I possibly can. There's this new hullabaloo going on in Gainesville, Florida, with this pastor who wants to literally burn Korans. And now, we're getting protests in Afghanistan- our generals are saying this guy's going to get our troops killed."
Snatching the proverbial low-hanging fruit off the branch, Arianna Huffington compared the vast majority of Americans who oppose the construction of a mosque close to Ground Zero to the thirty members of a Florida church who plan to burn copies of the Koran on 9/11. Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" today, the liberal publisher criticized the president for not echoing her logical fallacy.
"I think the point [President Barack Obama] could have made is to connect [Koran burning] with the opposition of the mosque," asserted Huffington, publisher of The Huffington Post. "You can't really completely separate these things."
Huffington then attempted to pass off circular logic as a "teachable moment:"