In an attempt to boost flagging approval ratings, President Barack Obama announced a series of initiatives aimed at helping out the middle class on Jan. 25, two days ahead of his State of the Union address.
The networks, which have protected him from public outrage for months, praised the initiative. NBC heralded the move, giving Obama credit for "getting the message" Jan. 25. CBS's Katie Couric said the same thing that night.
"Good evening, everyone. He got the message: it's the economy middle-class voters are most worried about. And with critical congressional elections coming up this year, President Obama today rolled out a series of proposals designed to show he's on the case," Couric said as she teased White House correspondent Chip Reid's story.
If it isn't obvious already, Joy Behar doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. On Jan. 26's "The View," a clueless Behar accidentally tipped the agenda of much of the gay and same-sex marriage movement.
"They," she said, referring to gays, "don't take monogamy and infidelity the same way that the straight community does."
Such things as fidelity, she added, don't have the "same weight" with gays as with straights, and - you might want to sit down for this - Behar was actually right for once.
With the latest battle over same-sex marriage brewing in a California federal court, gays are claiming that they simply want the right to participate in traditional marriage. But that couldn't be further from the truth. As a previous CMI article noted, many gays don't want to just participate in traditional marriage. They want to radically change it.
Since Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, would probably be the first to admit his political view are widely divergent from his father's it seems strange that he would put words in the Gipper's mouth about current events.
Yesterday, Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell sat down in the MRC studio for a Skype interview with Breitbart.tv's "B-cast." [see video embed below the page break]
The topic: the latest MRC special report, "Omitting for Obama," which is a study of four stories --- Van Jones, Anita Dunn, ACORN, and ClimateGate -- "highlighted by the New Media in 2009 that were damaging to the Obama 'brand'" but were avoided like the plague by the old guard mainstream media.
Bad content? Bad business model? No, those reasons aren't why Air America is no longer with us. Air America, a radio network advertised as the next talk radio juggernaut in 2004, was supposed to revolutionize the format and provide a "counterweight" for those left-of-center politically.
But there's another reason according to HLN host and "The View" panelist Joy Behar. In the usual fashion of citing no statistics and making sweeping generalizations, Behar blamed the collapse of liberal talk radio outlet Air America on a gender gap in listeners on her Jan. 25 HLN broadcast.
"Ok, but can I say that men listen to talk radio more than women and men are more conservative, generally speaking," Behar said, proposing a reason for Air America's bankruptcy.
CNN on Tuesday highlighted the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use of a unsubstantiated claim about the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 to put pressure on politicians across the globe. Meteorologist Rob Marciano thought the “snafu” on the part of the IPCC was “inexcusable,” while anchor Rick Sanchez put the panel and its head on his “List You Don’t Want to Be On.”
Marciano brought up the week-old story during a segment 49 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. He played a sound bite from climatologist Jim White, who was attending the annual Steamboat Springs Weather Summit in Colorado (Marciano was on-location in Steamboat Springs). The CNN meteorologist voiced his agreement with White, who blasted the IPCC’s exaggeration:
"For 15 Democratic and six Republican congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,400 tax dollars each. That`s $2,200 a day, more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment."
So said CBS's Sharyl Attkisson Monday in a remarkable follow-up to her January 11 "Evening News" piece concerning the out of control spending by members of Congress at December's United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.
Anchor Katie Couric teased viewers as the program opened, "CBS News exposed it: a congressional junket to the climate summit in Copenhagen. Now we can tell you how much it cost taxpayers as we followed the money."
Minutes later, Attkisson sliced and diced well-known members of Congress for their irresponsible spending of other people's money (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NB John D. Seymour):
David Shuster has left no doubt on what side he comes down in the debate over the planned airing of a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl. Sponsored by Focus on the Family, the ad tells the story of how Pam Tebow ignored medical advice to have an abortion, and instead gave birth to Tim, who of course went on to become a legendary college football player and inspiration to millions for his faith and character.
On MSNBC this afternoon, Shuster hosted a segment on the issue bringing together Charmaine Yoest, head of Americans United for Life and Erin Matson of NOW. Dr. Yoest was no more than a few seconds into her defense of the ad when Shuster began shouting at her.
It was NOW/Shuster united against Yoest, but she handled it as deftly as, well, a Gator receiver beating a double-team to catch a TD pass from . . . Tim Tebow.
Discounting the pro-life argument of a planned Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow's mother, Joy Behar told the audience of the January 26 "View" that the Florida quarterback just as easily could have been a "rapist pedophile." [audio available here]
Three days ago, NewsBusters contributor Candance Moore wrote about pro-Obama letter-to-the-editor spammer "Ellie Light" who had duped some 40+ papers (the number stands at 68 now), into publishing nearly identical letters that praised the president. In each case, the writer claimed to hail from cities or towns served by the local newspaper's print circulation.
Today, Fox News Channel's "America's Newsroom" had Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell on for comment.
Write-the-editor campaigns are a classic tactic of political campaigning, Bozell noted, saying he couldn't blame pro-Obama organizers for attempting it. The real problem is with sloppy newspapers that failed to verify the authenticity of the letter writer's identity and residence (audio available here). Said Bozell:
It was initially thought the election of President Barack Obama was just going to hit your pocketbook in the form of higher taxes. But if the past several days are any indication, the president has found another way to hit it - by attacking your stock portfolio.
On CNBC's Jan. 25 "Mad Money," host Jim Cramer advised his viewers to be aware of this and to strategically position their stock portfolio with an eye on Obama and Washington's expanded role in the private economy.
"In the last week the world of investing has been turned upside down by Washington," Cramer said. "We can no longer afford to look at stocks the same way we did before the GOP upset in Massachusetts. With the Obama administration now on an anti-shareholder rampage, we now have to factor in political risk when we evaluate different sectors. And the risk may be higher than anytime since Jimmy Carter, who truly hated profits, especially if they were big. In the midst of earnings season, suddenly politics has become just as important as revenue growth or market share gains or earnings' beats. So we need a new prism for valuing stocks."
It's curious to see people in the mainstream media try to make sense of the Tea Party movement. The New York Times, which once called the Tea Parties a psychological phenomenon rather than a political movement, has now changed its tune.
In the wake of the stunning upset by Scott Brown in the Jan. 19 Massachusetts special election to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy's death, the Times is attempting a more analytical look at the so-called "tea party tiger." Specifically, the Times looked at some key figures in the movement, Sen. Jim DeMint, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News host Glenn Beck and CNBC CME group reporter Rick Santelli.
CNBC ‘Squawk Box' co-host Joe Kernen told Santelli about the Times story on Jan. 25.
"The key to realizing a dream," Oprah said in the Sept. 2002 issue of her O magazine, "is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."
Maybe Oprah should revisit that statement and add, "Unless we're talking about sexual abstinence. In that case, just throw in the towel."
In a Jan. 22 interview, Oprah criticized Bristol Palin, the teen daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, for recently telling In Touch Weekly that she was pledging abstinence until marriage.
Is the luster finally wearing off the love affair between the White House press corps and President Barack Obama? It is, if CBS White House correspondent Chip Reid's analysis of President Barack Obama's latest Wall Street proposals is anything to go by.
"Well, you know, it's really the same as it's all been," Reid said. "That there's some unease about both of them, but the President has been satisfied with the jobs they've done. Behind the scenes, they both still have a lot of control. They lost this battle to Volcker, but now they're on board on this new plan for Wall Street, although it really sounds more like politics than a real plan because it's hard to believe it would get through."
UPDATES AT END OF POST: White House says teleprompter only in room for press event, not address to students.
Last Tuesday, President Obama spoke to a group of sixth graders and apparently brought his trusty teleprompter along to make sure he didn't make any mistakes.
As the Washington Post reported Wednesday, "'We're going to raise the bar for all our students and take bigger steps towards closing the achievement gap that denies so many students, especially black and Latino students, a fair shot at their dreams,' Obama told a group of sixth-graders at Graham Road Elementary."
Nowhere did the Post mention that the President's teleprompter also appeared before the students.
In fact, according to LexisNexis and Google news, not one media outlet thought it was at all newsworthy that Obama, speaking about education reform, would bring his teleprompter to give a a five-minute speech to grammar school students seated in a classroom (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
NBC's David Gregory on Sunday used his interview with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bash Republicans.
After his largely friendly discussion with senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, the "Meet the Press" host abruptly changed his tone and manner with the very first question to McConnell, "Is there one Republican who will support any Democratic healthcare initiative?"
Gregory continued to press his guest: "So let me just be clear. There is not one Republican that would vote for any Democratic healthcare reform initiative that's out there now?"
When he didn't get the answer he wanted, Gregory concluded, "So it sounds like the party of no charge is well deserved" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Chris Matthews on Friday accused Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) of pandering to the far-left members of the liberal blogosphere known as the netroots.
As they heatedly debated the future of healthcare reform on MSNBC's "Hardball," Matthews continually pressed the Congressman over his assertion that Democrats would pass a bill via reconciliation.
"You ever call up a Democratic senator and say, why don`t you do this by reconciliation?" chided Matthews.
When Grayson's answer didn't make sense, Matthews scolded him: "You`re pandering to the netroots right now...Every night, we deal with two worlds, the real world of Congress that has to do things and get things passed, and this outside world represented by the netroots and other people out there, like yourself, who play this game" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
I guess it takes a liberal comedian to bring a liberal buffoon to his senses, for a day after Comedy Central's Jon Stewart scolded Keith Olbermann for his disgraceful rants against Senator-elect Scott Brown, the "Countdown" host apologized.
After showing the full clip of Stewart's fabulous smackdown on the previous night's "Daily Show," the MSNBCer said Friday:
"You're right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry."
Unfortunately, the apology was to Stewart, not to the object of Olbermann's repeated attacks (video below the fold with partial transcript):
The guy has an hour-long television show that isn't the highest-rated program on cable television, but does fairly well considering the circumstances. Yet, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who has expressed his own "unhinged" anger about the Supreme Court ruling that corporations have a free speech right to participate in elections, says there is a deficiency of anger about the ruling.
Olbermann, on the Jan. 22 "Countdown," launched into another one of his abbreviated tirades, or what he calls is a "Quick Comment" and blasted his colleagues in the media for not being as "enlightened" as he thinks they should be.
"I worked full-time in sports for about 20 years and I've worked full- time in news for about 10 years," Olbermann said. "And after yesterday, I must finally say aloud what I have long thought but have been reluctant to voice. The average person in the American news industry appears to be about one-fifth as plugged into the world he or she covers, as does the average person in the American sports industry.
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
During George W.'s administration, liberals loved to wail over the supposed--but never demonstrated--suppression of free speech.
But now we have the spectacle of a member of the Dem majority warning a leading representative of Fox News to stop celebrating his network's success--under threat of reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." On last evening's Factor, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, invoking the possibility of the return of the 'Fairness Doctrine,' warned O'Reilly to stop "crowing" about Fox's success.
O'Reilly had been questioning Kucinich about the collapse of the liberal media as reflected in the demise of Air America and Fox's crushing of CNN and MSNBC during this past Tuesday's election night coverage by margins of five and six-to-one.
Near the end of the 3PM ET hour of CNN’s Rick’s List on Friday, host Rick Sanchez couldn’t seem to figure out who was protesting at the March for Life in Washington D.C.: “It’s the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade case....both sides being represented today, but it does appear to me, as I look at these signs that – which side is represented the most....Do we know?”
Sanchez directed that question to his executive producer Angie Massie as he went to a commercial break. Of course, the March for Life, as it’s name implies, is an annual gathering of pro-life activists in the nation’s capital to voice their opposition to abortion on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. As Rick puzzled over which side was more represented, live footage appeared on screen showing a seemingly equal number of pro-abortion and pro-life protestors.
Returning from the commercial break, Sanchez clarified that most of the protestors “seem to be” pro-life, but still seemed completely unfamiliar with the annual event: “As far as we can tell, following this protest on this day, the bulk of the protesters that we have seen here – that doesn’t mean there aren’t others, because we haven’t gone out and counted them individually – seem to be anti-abortion activists. We’ve seen more pro-life signs than we have the others.”
The news media have often taken President Barack Obama's side against banks, portraying bankers as the villains. But that was not the case on "American Morning" Jan. 22.
Business correspondent Christine Romans surprisingly blamed the previous day's stock market slide on "tough new rules" proposed by Obama the same day. According to CNN, Obama wants to limit the size of banks, separate commercial and investment banks, implement trading restrictions and "curb risk-taking."
"That's why the Dow is down 213 points," Romans concluded before supplying the perspective from Wall Street:
"But there's a feeling among many who work on Wall Street, many people who analyze and study Wall Street that this might be going a little bit too far," Romans said. "And remember, it might not do anything to help the banks start lending more, which is the whole problem."
CNBC "Squawk Box" co-hosts Joe Kernen and Becky Quick get it. Unfortunately, their CNBC colleague that covers Washington, D.C. for the network doesn't.
On the Jan. 22 broadcast, Harwood appeared on the program to give a status report on the current version of health care reform being negotiated in Congress and what it means in the aftermath of Scott Brown's filibuster-proof busting election victory in Massachusetts on Jan. 20. Kernen suggested that the health care bill might have been forced through if not Brown's election and the public fervor it revealed.
"I think it's unbelievable that it would have gone through and they would have definitely jammed it through if this weird, serendipitous seat hadn't opened up and if there hadn't been a special election, 17 percent of the economy - based on what they wanted to do, based on what these elected officials wanted to do, against what the public wants - they would have just rammed it through, either way," Kernen said.
But according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, efforts to spin this in a positive way are futile. Wallace appeared on the Fox Business Network's Jan. 21 "Imus in the Morning" program to explain their efforts to alter the news coverage to a favorable tone in the wake of this news is not the proper course of action.
"I think it means a big deal and I have to laugh, you know, somebody was saying yesterday, there's some events that are just un-spinable," Wallace said. "They're just too big, too dramatic, too obvious - you can't spin them and yet the White House clearly is trying to spin this."
Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and author of "Courting Disaster," blasted Christiane Amanpour for comparing American interrogation techniques to what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia after the Vietnam War.
Appearing on CNN International Wednesday, Thiessen took issue with Amanpour's April 2008 piece "Scream Bloody Murder" in which she made the case that waterboarding was similar to what the Khmer Rouge did in the '70s.
"[T]here have been so many misstatements told about the enhanced interrogation techniques, comparing them to the Spanish Inquisition, to the Khmer Rouge," said Thiessen. "And I have to tell you, Christiane, you're one of the people who have spread these mistruths."
This led to quite an exchange between the two (video of the entire 24-minute segment embedded below the fold with full transcript, fireworks start at 6:00):
"These bank bonuses, I would say, are a sin of Biblical proportions," Wallis said. "But to pick on the banks alone misses the point. It's a symptom, I think of a real erosion of societal values because new maxims have taken us over - ‘greed is good,' ‘it's all about me and I want it now.'"
Americans are generous people, and they prove it every time a disaster strikes like last week's earthquake in Haiti. They have donated more than $275 million to relief efforts in the Caribbean nation in the week since the quake.
Nearly one-third of that money came from U.S. companies, a point rarely mentioned on the broadcast news. According to the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), 203 companies donated a total of $83 million to Haitian relief so far.
Such positive actions should warrant media coverage, but the networks are inclined to practically ignore corporate charity in favor of attacking the current business target, whether it is banks, Big Oil or bottled water companies.
Despite constant coverage of the Haitian disaster, the three networks spent only 2 minutes 46 seconds talking about businesses donating cash, goods or services to aid the poor nation.
ABC's "Nightline" mentioned corporate generosity on Jan. 14, but her 3-second statement of $20 million in donations (the total raised at that time) was buried in the final minute of the hour-long broadcast.
The super-sized, take-out-a-second-mortgage-to-pay-for-it bushel basket of movie popcorn just might not be big enough. War is breaking out among liberals, and the entertainment value might make Avatar look like a test signal.
Just make yourself comfortable, sit back, and watch Chris Matthews and Howard Dean go after each other on this evening's Hardball. Dean was floating the absurd argument that by choosing Scott Brown over Martha Coakley, voters were sending a secret coded message that they really wanted a health care bill . . . more liberal than the current Obamacare version.
Matthews calls Dean out on his lack of logic, and the pair wind up trading accusations of craziness.
CNN’s Carol Costello reminisced enthusiastically about President Obama’s inauguration a year ago on Tuesday’s American Morning, highlighting how, at the time, “the hearts of millions of Americans were ready to burst- with a Woodstock kind of love.” Costello also took a shot at Republicans, stating that they “used the President’s strategy [on health care] to create fear and confusion among voters.” [audio available here]
Anchor Kiran Chetry set the gushing tone for the correspondent’s report, which aired at the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour: “It was a year ago that love was in the air. America seemed to come together behind the nation’s first African-American president.” Costello lead the segment with footage of the enthusiastic crowd at the inauguration and her reporting inside the crowd, accented with a graphic of President Obama’s head inside a beating Valentine’s heart and Cupid’s arrow: “Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2009....The hearts of millions of Americans were ready to burst- (unidentified women singing) with a Woodstock kind of love.”
The day after the Inauguration, during a January 21, 2009 report on CNN, Costello dubbed the festivity “a gigantic love fest,” and gave an enthusiastic account about her time with the masses on the National Mall: “Suddenly, someone would just come up and hug you. It was just amazing. It was -- it was like you were standing in the middle of these strangers, and all of a sudden, you had a million friends around you. That’s what it felt like yesterday.”