MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews felt a "thrill" up his leg when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Keith Olbermann's leftist bias was great enough to merit a Saturday Night Live parody of his show "Countdown With Keith Olbermann."
And yet both trashed President Obama's Oval Office speech on Tuesday. "Maybe I missed something. I thought it was a great speech if you've been on another planet for the last 57 days," Olbermann remarked. Matthews said that he didn't "sense executive command."
But Joe Scarborough, who has repeatedly thrown his support behind President Obama's handling of the crisis, thought the speech "struck all the right notes," and was in disbelief on his morning show over the media's general distaste for the speech. Scarborough then hosted David Axelrod for an interview that can only be described as a barrage of softballs.
"I just wonder if this is a season, that, no matter what the President's doing, he is going to get hit by both sides right now?" Scarborough asked Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama.
There has been a lot of criticism hurled at President Obama over his handling of the BP oil spill. Some on the left are upset the president hasn't been more forceful with the oil giant. Those on the right generally argue Obama's leadership has been inadequate.
Rarely has the president been criticized for specific actions on this issue. But on "Closing Bell" June 16, CNBC's Matt Nesto was asked whether BP acted appropriately by agreeing to the White House's terms by cutting its dividend payments and agreeing to a $20 billion escrow account.
Nesto argued that the administration was circumventing the legal system with such acts.
Despite widespread criticism of President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on the Gulf oil spill–including flak from MSNBC's left-wing posse of Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Howard Fineman–ABC's Terry Moran and George Stephanopoulos on the June 15 "Nightline" fawned over the president's speech and ignored its obvious shortcomings.
In recapping the address, Moran could not contain his adulation for Obama's ability to assert his presidential authority and inspire the nation:
"For the first time in the Oval Office, President Obama addressed the nation. A nation anxious and doubtful about his leadership on the environmental catastrophe that's unfolded in the Gulf for 57 days. So, the main goal tonight, show the country he's truly in charge."
"President Obama, who finished a two-day trip to the Gulf Coast this afternoon, clearly wanted to project power in his handling with the oil spill, and the most direct way to do that is to use the language of war of the commander-in-chief."
"As the cleanup efforts continue to grapple with the giant spill, residents all along the coast have grown more and more worried, more and more angry and the president spoke to that directly tonight, and he made a promise."
"At the end, like so many in the Oval Office before him, President Obama asked for prayers."
ABC has pulled its ads from gossip blogger Perez Hilton's Web site, PerezHilton.com, after he caught legal flack for posting upskirt photos of 17-year-old Disney star Miley Cyrus. However, several big-name companies still have ads running on the snarky blogger's site.
Amid speculation that Hilton may be slapped with kiddie-porn charges over the lurid photos, ABC has removed its ads for "The View" from the popular gossip site. But other advertisers appear to be sticking by Hilton. TV Land still had a full-page background promotion and two smaller ads on PerezHilton.com, and Apple iTunes and Microsoft's search engine Bing still had advertisements up as of Wednesday afternoon.
The drama started Monday, when Hilton posted a link to a photo of Cyrus getting out of a car in a tight white dress - and apparently, no underwear. Outrage erupted over the photo, with some calling the image "child pornography" since Cyrus is legally a minor. Hilton quickly removed the picture, but has brushed off the incident as a "fake" controversy.
It's odd that Microsoft, which owns Bing, would opt to keep advertising. It has recently been touting its own crusade against kiddie-porn.
Guess Mike could always get a gig with the Vienna Boys Choir . . .
If MSNBC libs like Olbermann and Matthews were surprisingly critical of Pres. Obama's speech last night, PBO can apparently count on one defender at the network: Mika Brzezinski.
So fiercely did Brzezinski go after Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe today for his criticism of the speech, that the panel agreed poor Mike had been "emasculated." Joe Scarborough took it a graphic step further, saying Mika had "castrated" the former Boston Globe columnist.
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann isn't exactly known for her reticence on the news of the day. And when it comes to the White House's handling of the BP oil spill disaster, Bachmann had some harsh words for President Barack Obama.
"The thing that we're all focusing on today will be the president's remarks that he'll be giving tonight and it looks like an absolute opportunism moment for the president to try and advance the next stage of his legislative agenda," Bachmann said. "And I think the curious feature in all of this has been: this is a major disaster and yet it seems like every response that has been coming out of the White House has been about the president rather than about the disaster. That is odd to me. That seems extremely odd."
When asked what President Obama needs to do to prove to Americans that his administration is on top of the Gulf cleanup, Ed Schultz pressed that the President needs to call the shots and go "dictator" in his dealings with BP.
"I think the President has to make it very clear to the American people tonight, Chris, that we're not going to be stuck with the bill on this," Schultz said about the BP oil spill.
"When does the President become a dictator on this?" Schultz asked in an outburst. "When does the President start really calling the shots and saying 'This is the number. This is what you're going to pay. We're not going to let you off the hook.'?"
He sternly warned that BP will do its level best to escape having to pay the full cost of the oil spill cleanup, and implored the President to be frank with BP in demanding that they pay full restitution.
Mika Brzezinski, the self-proclaimed Democrat and co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," thinks the two men who tried an "ambush interview" of Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) acted wrongly, along with the congressman.
In a video that surfaced online Monday, the Congressman was caught on camera grabbing a man by the wrist, swatting at his video camera, and demanding to know who he was. The man videotaped the congressman walking down a Washington, DC street, approaching him asking "Do you support the Obama agenda?"
"As a matter of respect to any human being, don't stick a camera two inches away from their face," Mika lectured to the show's audience, assuming her best soapbox demeanor. "That's rude. And a little bit threatening."
'There were two wrongs there," she summarized the situation.
On Monday's Campbell Brown program, CNN's Soledad O'Brien presented a one-sided report about a lesbian teenager in Mississippi whose senior portrait was left out of her school's yearbook because she chose to have it taken in a tux, defying the school's rules. O'Brien commiserated with the teen, asking her at one point, "I want people to understand because other people will say- oh, for God's sake, it's just a picture. So explain to us, what does it feel like to not be where you're supposed to be?"
Anchor John Roberts introduced the special correspondent's near the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour by trying to make a tenuous connection between the report and the continuing major news of the Gulf oil leak: "All eyes are on Gulfport, Mississippi this morning as the President arrived for the first leg of his three-state tour, but about 150 miles north of the Gulf, in a small town called Wesson, the big news this season was all about the high school yearbook. It was here that a teenager's senior picture triggered an unexpected backlash, and sparked outrage throughout the state."
O'Brien sympathized with Ceara Sturgis, the teen from Wesson, Mississippi, from the start of her report: "For 18-year-old senior Ceara Sturgis, her high school yearbook is more than a collection of memories. It's about her struggle to be who she is in tiny Wesson, Mississippi, population about 2,000." After asking the lesbian to describe herself ("18 years old and I'm gay. I don't like people to push me around, especially when I have the right, and I don't give up."), the correspondent continued that "what she didn't give up on was her fight to get this picture in her yearbook, a picture she took wearing a tuxedo instead of the traditional dress, called a drape."
A speaker leads students in a creepy chant of "I am an Obama Scholar!" at Lincoln Bassett Middle School in New Haven, Connecticut. The chant is part of an educational program called the "Obama Initiative."
With the federal government - both on Capitol Hill and in the White House - beginning to take investigative and punitive action against BP (NYSE:BP), the future of the company, at least in the United States, is in peril.
On CNBC's June 14 "The Kudlow Report," John Kilduff, a CNBC contributor and the vice president of MF Global was asked by host Larry Kudlow about a potential debarment from eligibility to be awarded government contracts, which have been very lucrative for the embattled oil giant.
"John, this would effectively be debarment," Kudlow said. "This is something we talked about a week ago, and the prevailing attitude was there would not be debarment because that hardly ever happens in American commercial history. Is President Obama having this as a Sword of Damocles over BP?"
"Rep. Ron Paul is captivated by gold," O'Hara and Keating wrote. "Over the past two decades, he has written books about the virtues of gold-backed currency. He has made uncounted speeches about the precious metal. He even took a leadership post on the House subcommittee that oversees the nation's monetary policy, mints and gold medals."
Sometimes even the seemingly most unreasonable characters as far public policy goes can be reasoned with if the circumstances are right. Just sometimes it takes someone like Steve Forbes to pull it off.
"Well, when you engage in binge spending and the idea that going to revive an economy, you just get in a spiral on that," Forbes explained. "In terms of countries like Greece what should be done, in addition to the necessary austerity, is they haven't put in place policies, Joe that we did in the early '80s that enabled this country to get back on its feet.
Parents who assume the Nickelodeon website is kid-friendly should think again - its homepage links to a sister website called AddictingGames.com that features racy, sex-focused video games like "Naughty Babysitter," "Booty Rider," and "You da Sperm!"
AddictingGames.com is owned by Nickelodeon's parent company, Viacom, but can be accessed directly from the Nick.com homepage. On AddictingGames.com, the "Nickelodeon" logo is featured prominently on the upper right corner of the screen - suggesting that the site is appropriate for a young demographic.
Nick.com describes itself as "THE place for kids to play games online!" There will even be an entire show devoted to promoting an AddictingGames.com contest airing on Nickelodeon's TV station on June 19.
But with videogames starring busty, panty-clad cartoon characters, AddictingGames.com seems more suitable for the MTV crowd than Nickelodeon's gradeschool-aged fans.
Earlier this week, NewsBusters senior editor and MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham appeared on CBN to talk about Helen Thomas's comments that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany and Poland.
Click here for complete NewsBusters coverage of the Thomas and the supportive comments she has received from other journalists in the wake of her anti-Israeli remarks.
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, left-wing comedian Robert Klein suggested that it was bad that Rush Limbaugh turned out to be in good health after his hospital visit in Hawaii, inspiring laughter from Letterman. Klein: "You lose some, you win some." After Letterman brought up the birther conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America, Klein, who is known for attacking conservatives in his comedy act over sex scandals while being softer on liberals, changed the subject to Limbaugh’s fourth marriage to suggest that Limbaugh is hypocritical for opposing same-sex marriage, and then joked about the possibility of the conservative talker having health problems. Klein:
What's his name, Rush Limbaugh, who believes so much in the sanctity of marriage he's done it four times now, you know, but, you know, not if he, doesn't approve of marriage if both the husband and wife are circumcised, you know, that's out of the questions. I think a lot of that came from him, and, you know, he was in the hospital couple of months ago in Hawaii. Turned out to be nothing. See? You lose some, you win some. But anyway.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, June 11, Late Show with David Letterman:
"The idea that there is a pro-Israeli bias in the broad media - whatever ‘the media' means at this point, I strongly disagree with," Meacham said. "I think if anything you run into a very strong feeling on the Palestinian side."
That led another panelist on Maher's show, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to protest by asking who is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel in politics or media.
Not this again. There is obviously not enough going on in the world for Newsweek magazine this week because once again Sarah Palin is on the cover.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee was also on the cover of Newsweek back in November 2009, in running shorts. This time she is featured as "Saint Sarah: What's Palin's appeal to conservative Christian women says about feminism and the future of the religious right" in Newsweek's June 21 issue. Palin is depicted with halo on the cover for the story written by Lisa Miller, which attempts to rationalize Palin's convictions about the issue of abortion and her Christian faith.
However, Palin didn't think too highly of Newsweek's gesture. She responded on Fox News' June 11 broadcast of "On the Record with Greta van Sustren."
"Haven't seen it, but if the title and what I hear about the content is any indication of where Newsweek is going, it is no wonder Newsweek is doing so poorly," Palin said. "People are not reading that stuff. It is not relevant. It's not interesting stuff that they are making up and writing and that's why they are going down."
A New Jersey man who lives out of his van appeared at a town hall in Roxbury, New Jersey, to voice his support for Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and his policies. He says they will provide people like him the best opportunities to improve their situations.
Reports are surfacing that BP is finally considering a suspension of its shareholder's dividend, but what could have been done differently to avert the public relations nightmare BP is facing? Two CNBC hosts had some ideas about that, and about what could have happened if BP chose not to play ball.
Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett shared their thoughts on the "Stop Trading" segment of "Street Signs" June 11. According to the "Mad Money" host, Obama could have set a foul precedent for multi-national businesses if BP (NYSE:BP) didn't agree to make some concessions on how it is handling its day-to-day operations in the wake of this ecological crisis.
"I think that this is a, a stock that represents great value but you're dealing with the government," Cramer said. "I saw that Nancy Pelosi, she's the second most powerful person in our country, saying that they shouldn't be paying a dividend. I mean, this is one of those situations where I know, the president's approval ratings are down and what you got to do is you got to go after BP if you're the president. I'm not saying I would do it but I'm saying if I were the president of the United States, BP is public enemy number one and you're not even going to listen to what the British say. You just gotta say, ‘Guys, here's the deal, we're not, we're not going to have any dividends here. And just you know, take it or leave it, partner, because this is a company that needs U.S. ball play."
If you ask the media, George W. Bush is to blame for everything from the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Al and Tipper Gore's broken marriage. What's more, the media are insisting, it's Democrat Hillary Clinton who deserves praise for paving the way for Republican women having success on Tuesday's primaries, not Sarah Palin.
That's just skimming the surface of the loopy stuff the liberal media have churned out recently and which NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell was brought on last night's "Hannity" to address.
Also discussed on the June 10 "Media Mash" segment, the media's sensitive treatment of disgraced columnist Helen Thomas, who abruptly "retired" following a controversy regarding her suggestion that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
BRENT BOZELL: If I were Helen Thomas, I wonder, what is she more offended by, conservatives who call her a socialist and a radical, or her liberal friends who've all gone on national television to say she's senile? And if it is true that she is that senile, what was she doing in the White House all these years? Here's a woman who has spent decades with this anti-Semitic vicious vitriol that she spews out. And here they are all marching behind her.
Toys, food, packaging. Chemicals are in them all. The media make a living by sensationalizing the potential dangers of just about everything in our modern world. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in many plastic items, was no exception.
The news media have been scaremongering about BPA for years, even going so far as to compare it to tobacco at one point, but a cautious tone from the government and left-wing junk science prompted recent hyperbole from reporters.
Reuters warned of a "potential carcinogen in my soup," June 9. News website Newser.com took the fear-mongering a step further calling BPA "a known carcinogen" in a May 19 story about the "dangerously high" levels of BPA in canned food and drink.
We all know the BP oil spill is a huge mess. It's going to be costly to clean up - but just how much? And while some outspoken critics are calling for BP to eliminate its dividend, they probably aren't realizing the residual effects.
"Couple of things - I mean, it is water under the bridge, it is over and you will have to live with it," Gheit said. "BP will have to live with it. We have to remember one thing -- BP bought 10 years ago, Amoco, Arco, a very large American corporation with a lot of people working for BP today. And the retirees are pensioners from the Amoco and Arco days. So by cutting the dividend we're penalizing completely innocent people that worked very hard for many years. And now, the dividend is the way they support themselves. So, I don't understand."
As Fox News is purportedly competing with Bloomberg for that front-row seat once occupied by the former dean of the White House press corps and Hearst Newspaper columnist Helen Thomas, Chris Wallace, the host of "Fox News Sunday," suggested there would be some sort of righteousness in his network taking that seat.
"They absolutely should get it," Wallace said on the June 10 broadcast of the Fox Business Network's "Imus in the Morning." "This is kind of interesting because -- and I think it would be the final sort of back payment for Helen Thomas, if this were to happen because obviously she was very far to the left-wing and if her seat were to be taken by Fox News, that would just be kind of poetic justice."
It's been more than 50 days since a BP oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, beginning a massive leak of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Miles of beaches have been soiled and birds, turtles and other sea creatures have died. But the most disturbing pictures of the disaster weren't available to the public for more than 40 days.
That was when many people finally witnessed Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican, literally covered in thick brown oil. Why so long? Because federal agencies including the Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were preventing the press from reaching many areas affected by the disaster.
CBS, Associated Press, Mother Jones and The Times-Picayune have all complained about local and federal authorities and and British Petroleum contractors inhibiting their reporting.
But while many in the news media blame BP, the real culprit may well be the Obama administration. When asked, Obama and other administration spokespeople say the U.S. government is in charge of the oil spill cleanup.
Has Pres. Obama's ass-kickin' line given license to MSM members to offer cruder commentary? Could be, judging from Mika Brzezinski's Morning Joe performance today, in which she suggested that House Republican leader John Boehner should "just bend over."
Mika normally plays the role of Morning Joe hall monitor, keeping the rambunctious trio of Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist in line. But with Joe away today, it was Mika who indulged in some off-color imagery. Prompting Mika's remark was a clip of Boehner wondering why Pres. Obama isn't looking for someone's "ass to kick" on the subject of unrestrained federal spending.
While appearing before Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked by newly-elected Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) whether or not the federal government has a plan to tackle the continuing financial crisis. Check out his answer:
When a protectionist law is enacted and nearly a century later it is inhibiting a recovery from major ecological catastrophe, it's probably time to scrap it or at least temporarily waive it.
But instead a nearly century old provision known as the Jones Act of 1920 is wielding the wrath of unintended consequences. According to the Heritage Foundation, this protectionist measure was put in place to defend the American maritime industry, but is endangering far more jobs than it is protecting.
"The Jones Act, which is supposedly about protecting jobs, is actually killing jobs," Heritage co-authors James Dean and Claude Berube wrote in a June 8 The Foundry post. "The jobs of fishermen, people working in tourism and others who live along the Gulf Coast and earn a living there are being severely impacted. There are also additional private sector jobs which are NOT being created in the United States since the Jones Act effectively prices U.S. based companies out of the ability to be competitive on the competitive global market. As we strive to develop new technologies for a cleaner environment at sea, the Jones Act continues to hobble our own capabilities, sometimes with devastating results."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews's ratings lag far behind those of his competition, Fox News' Glenn Beck, on a regular basis. So is he perhaps trying to become the anti-Glenn Beck to bolster his stature in the cable news world?
"You know that Gadsden flag, the ‘Don't Tread on Me Flag' with a rattlesnake is so important," Matthews said. "They believe, a lot of people in the right - that the federal government has replaced the British as the occupying force in North America and they have to be ready to fight it. It's serious business."