The "Today" show devoted much of last week's coverage of Obama's European trip to obsessing over such frivolous matters as what Michelle Obama was wearing and what kind of gift the Obamas gave the Queen, so when Laura Ingraham was invited on Wednesday's "Today" show, the conservative radio talk show host couldn't resist knocking the silly coverage, as seen in the following exchange with NBC's Matt Lauer (audio available here):
MATT LAUER: So let's be fair and say that he didn't come away accomplishing what he went there to accomplish, but is it possible to say, look at it slightly differently, Laura, and say some of these things take a while to bear fruit and that perhaps some of these leaders, other leaders were reluctant to come forward with some of these things under the glare of the summit spotlight and they may be more forthcoming in the coming weeks and months?
LAURA INGRAHAM: Well I don't know, I guess that's possible. But look we, we know that Europe loves President Obama. He had adoring crowds. The press loves Obama.The question is how will this date end? Okay? The question is, to what end? Why do they love President Obama? They love his personal story, they love his wife. North Korea, China and Russia don't really care about Michelle's arms and, you know, whether they gave an iPod to the Queen, okay? They care about whether America is still going to lead, exhibit strength and doesn't just talk about these vague concepts, Matt, of global cooperation.
Acts of protest tend to be synonymous with the left and are usually considered unsurprising on the right. However, when conservatives demonstrate - liberals take notice in a big way.
On Fox News Channel's April 7 "Your World," host Neil Cavuto reported that the Tax Day tea party protests on April 15 will be "infiltrated" by their political opponents and led by left-wing activist organizations. He specifically named Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
"Only eight days before a nationwide tea party, some over-caffeinated crashers aiming to lay waste to it," Cavuto said. "Reports of very well-organized infiltrators trying to mix in and rain on this parade. Talk about taxing."
Between the very cold winter in many places and everyone including Vanity Fair focused on the economic downturn, many in the news media took a vacation from global warming alarmism. But on April 6, NBC brought the hype back with yet another story about the threat of melting ice caps.
Anchor Brian Williams introduced an "Our Planet" segment by reminding viewers that the Obama administration was remaining active on the issue of climate change.
"The Obama administration is calling for greater protection of the earth's polar regions, including limits on tourism," Williams said. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the proposals at a global summit in Washington. Coincidentally, it comes two days after a crucial ice bridge collapsed at the South Pole, effectively changing the map of that part of the world."
She's been popping up in a lot of places lately to chime in on the economy.
This time Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington appeared on ABC's April 5 "This Week," where she voiced her disapproval of the March 30 decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) relaxing mark-to-market accounting rules.
"This week, we saw so many concessions to the banks," Huffington said. "We saw the suspension of mark-to-market, which is absolutely tragic. Japan, by not having mark-to-market, made it much harder for them to recover."
But as Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Portfolios recently wrote for Forbes magazine, mark-to-market accounting reinstitution was reinstated only in recent years. The last time it was in effect - during the Great Depression - it caused many bank failures.
Everywhere it's been tried - liberal, or progressive as it's sometimes described as, talk radio hasn't taken off with the success conservative talk radio has.
Case and point - the top six of March 2009 Talkers magazine "Heavy Hundred" talk show hosts are conservative. The top liberal host, Thom Hartmann, come in at number 10. However, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller appeared on CNN's April 5 "Reliable Sources" and insisted there is more at play than just pure market forces holding the liberal format back.
"Well, you know - I just did a panel on the Fairness Doctrine," Miller said. "I have to tell you, I brought ratings information. And people like me and Ed Schultz are consistently beating conservative shows in many, many markets. And yet - there is 10 percent liberal radio in this country. Ninety percent of the stations are conservative. You just cannot argue anymore it's because liberal radio can't compete."
Although CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has backed off his hyperbolic attacks on President Barack Obama ever since his "Daily Show" appearance, he's shown that he's not afraid to take on the Democratic-controlled Congress.
So, to give credit where credit is due, the "Mad Money" host dedicated an entire segment to the Employee Free Choice Act, aka card check and how its passage by Congress could be detrimental to Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) stock price on his April 3 program. And during the segment, Cramer used three references to Soviet/Russian communism to describe the Democrat effort pushing card check.
"Right now, in Congress - they're getting ready for what is essentially a referendum on Wal-Mart," Cramer said. "And the referendum's name is the Employee Free Choice Act, also known by slang as card check - a bill that will make it much easier for workers to form unions and much harder for employers to get in their way."
For the second time in a week, CNBC's Rick Santelli faced down one of the standard-bearers of liberalism.
First, he explained to Huffington Post editor and founder Arianna Huffington on the March 31 "Squawk Box" that markets are more efficient in correcting economic hardship, in the banking and housing sectors. On CNBC's April 3 "The Call," Santelli took on University of California at Berkeley economics professor and former Secretary of Labor for President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich.
According to Reich, the agreement brokered between President Barack Obama and other G20 leaders - to give the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $1.1 trillion - was positive and should be celebrated.
Friday’s CBS Early Show continued its fawning coverage of Barack and Michelle Obama in Europe as co-host Harry Smith gushed over the First Lady: "I mean, there's a kind of just raw realness about her. That session with the schoolgirls yesterday...People were in tears." Smith made the comment while talking to executive editor of thedailybeast.com, Tina Brown, who had her own words of praise: "Michelle is so authentic, and so real, and so today, and so, you know, J. Crew, and the whole price point thing and not designer clothes..With Michelle, you can almost feel those warm arms. You know, there's a kind of real red-blooded feel to her. But there's also -- I mean she's almost like overtaking Oprah, I think, as the kind of inspirational 'it' girl at this point." [audio available here]
Later, Smith dismissed criticism that Michelle Obama had broken protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth: "This whole touching of the Queen and everything else, in the end, the Queen says, 'let's please stay in touch.' Whatever affront, or perceived affront, was completely trumped by the fact that those two people charmed the Queen's socks off." Brown agreed: "They completely charmed them. And the Queen wouldn't have taken any offense at that...she's also, I think, getting a kind of almost Princess Di-like empathy going at this point. You know, when she went to that school yesterday and you saw this tall figure bending down to embrace these kids wearing those pearls, it was like, ‘oh, my God, it’s Di time all over again.’"
It came and went - and some might not have even noticed it - despite the seriousness of its use. On April 2, CNBC's Jim Cramer proclaimed the Depression over.
Throughout that day, the "Mad Money" host told viewers of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," CNBC's "Street Signs" and finally on his own program that the Depression was over and that we were on the verge of a bull run for the financial markets.
"We have reached the land of a thousand bull dances - phoney maroney, why? Because the market swallowed its Prozac," Cramer said on CNBC's "Mad Money" April 2. "And right now, right here on this show - I am announcing the Depression over!"
Since former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean stepped down as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he has ventured into other opportunities.
One of those opportunities was to be a business pundit for the financial news channel CNBC, even though Dean's background prior to politics was in medicine. But just over a week later, in an e-mail dated April 2 to MoveOn.org mailing list subscribers, Dean wrote he was leaving Washington to hit the campaign trail "to help President Obama win health care for all."
With the G20 meeting in London, there have been raucous protests - clashes with police in riot gear, destruction of property at nearby banks and even the death of one man from a heart attack. And the media have gone out of their way to cover every sordid detail.
"Look, I got a note from a friend of mine in Orlando who pointed out there were more people at a taxpayer tea party in Orlando a week ago than there are in London," Gingrich said on Fox News Channel's April 1 "On the Record with Greta van Sustren." "They just didn't get any coverage out of the media. There were more people recently in Cincinnati at a taxpayer tea party than there have been demonstrating in London. But the London demonstrators are breaking windows, they're being violent, and you know, the media is always happy to cover the anarchic and violent left."
It's no secret the Bush administration used fear tactics to push the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) through Congress last fall. Both members of the House and the Senate have come out after the fact and disclosed the details.
However, the method the Treasury Department employed to get banks to go along with the TARP bailout breached legal boundaries to the point of "extortion," according to Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former Superior Court Judge for the state of New Jersey.
Napolitano told viewers on FNC's April 1 "Studio B" that he had a conversation with a head of $250-billion bank that explained the federal government, under the threat of an audit, forced him to accept TARP funds.
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," admitted Barack Obama, along with his wife Michelle this time, gave him yet another "thrill." The MSNBC host gleefully described his feelings at seeing the Obamas arrive in England for the G20 summit this way [audio available here]:
Well there is something cool when they were both - there's a nice ‘60s term. When they were both walking to the helicopter the other day, Marine One, there was something like, when he looked at her, you could just tell he said, "Isn't this something?" You know you could tell like they were experiencing the-, the, I'm getting old here. The grooviness, the excitement of being this First American Couple heading towards Marine One, which is cool in itself, heading from there to Air Force One, to a quick flight across the Atlantic, on your own plane. And to meet with the world leaders as like the centerpiece of the world. What? I get-, I'm saying it again, I'm getting a thrill.
Matthews, who invited the Washington Post's Lois Romano and the Independent Women's Forum Michelle Bernard to join in on the Obama-watching fun, also giddily admitted: "We girls agree. I don't mind saying that. I'm excited. I'm thrilled. Any way I like it all! I like the picture, I like the substance. "
The following is the full exchange Matthews had with his panelists on the April 1, edition of "Hardball":
Socialist International President George Papandreou has a lot in common with President Barack Obama.
Both the world leaders have called for nations to come together to solve the global recession and both claim it is necessary to focus on a green economy. Papandreou, who is likely to become Greece's next Prime Minister, was encouraged by Obama's "very new signal" about global goals for economic recovery.
"The United States under Barack Obama is giving out a very new signal which is, ‘We need to collaborate.' And I think that is very important for our planet today. We need to collaborate," Papandreou told Nicole Petallides of the Fox Business Network April 1. "The issues are global and if we do collaborate we can actually say that we can change the economy. We can change some of the structures that created this crisis and we can make sure that we uh, that we create the jobs for people - and jobs for workers in the United States."
Remember all those TV segments and magazine articles that had a list of 10 things you can do to save the planet from the perils of global warming? More likely than not, one of things you were urged to do was to switch all you incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).
And, if you didn't heed their advice, the government's forcing you to through the legislative process. Congress banned the incandescent light bulbs in the energy bill signed into law by former President George W. Bush on Dec. 19, 2007. The bill increases efficiency standards and effectively bans traditional bulbs by 2014.
However, a segment by Washington, D.C. CBS affiliated WUSA on March 30 reported these CFLs were responsible for a fire at the home of Rick Jenkins, a resident of Cumberland, Md.
Arianna Huffington, who appeared as a guest host on CNBC's March 31 "Squawk Box" has following of left-wing readers and bloggers, as the editor of the very popular Huffington Post blog. The two faced off on "Squawk Box" about how the housing crisis should be handled. Huffington asked Santelli what his thoughts were on more government assistance for underwater homeowners to prevent another round of foreclosures.
"Well, the whole country is underwater I guess," Santelli replied. "It's just a matter of where you want to point the bailout gun. I would certainly like to see some of those mortgage contracts gone through to find out where the erroneous and inaccurate and illegal contracts and separate those from the rest because I think that a lot of the information on the original mortgage contracts is not accurate and I don't think it would be very fair to put those in the same camp as other foreclosures."
As the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," played over slow-motion video of Michelle Obama, NBC's Dawna Friesen, on Tuesday's "Today" show, eagerly awaited the arrival of the Obamas in London, for the G20 summit, as she gushed: "Yes, her husband is, of course, the big star of the show, but this is Michelle Obama's first foray on to the global stage as First Lady. And you can bet that her every move, her every fashion decision will be dissected and analyzed, especially when the couple go to meet the Queen. But she's got a lot of good will on her side." (audio available here)
Friesen then played soundbites from random British fans cheering Michelle:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh I think she's really cool. She's got a lot of really good styles. It makes a change from politicians' wives to look good.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She looks supportive and that's what a man needs in life.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN#2: I have been totally stunned at the awesome nature of Michelle Obama.
"Forget about bringing the troops home Iraq - we need to get the troops home from World War II," Maher said. "Can anybody tell me why in 2009, we still have more than 50,000 troops in Germany and 30,000 in Japan? At some point these people are going to have to learn to rape themselves."
One of the subplots in the soap opera known as CNBC took another turn on Monday as some of the pieces fell in place of who's doing what and why.
Last Friday, CNBC and former "Fast Money" host Dylan Ratigan parted ways officially. However, on CNBC's March 30 "Fast Money," show panelist Guy Adami, the managing director of Drakon Capital, announced Melissa Lee, a fill-in host over the past year for the popular network show, as the new caretaker of the show's "center seat," that plays the moderator role for the show.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, and nothing," Adami said. "Listen, clearly you've noticed some changes on the set, but as a show and as a network, we'd just like to wish Melissa Lee, the Emissary, all the best as she now takes the center seat on ‘Fast Money.'"
If you watch MSNBC's "Hardball," you really have to scratch your head and wonder what host Chris Matthews is thinking when he opens his mouth sometimes.
On the March 30 broadcast of "Hardball," Matthews, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and Newsweek's Howard Fineman were discussing what they perceived to be a rift between former GOP vice-presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her running mate, former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. based on McCain's unwillingness to commit to supporting Palin as a presidential candidate in 2012. (h/t Breitbart.tv)
Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck has already shown he's a rating success and is leaving a mark in cable news. However, he may have pulled one of his most successful performances yet.
Beck interviewed Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on his March 30 broadcast. But, the radio and TV host took the opportunity to tell Blumenthal what he thought of his investigation into the bonuses received by American International Group (AIG) executives - whose company received federal bailout money.
"Look, you know what you have done, know what you have done?" Beck said. "You have - you are an insult to George Washington, sir. George Washington made it very clear that we are a respecter of laws, not of men. For your own political gain, you have decided to go after these people at AIG because it is a popular thing."
After General Motors (NYSE:GM) Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner was forced out by President Barack Obama, Wall Street is betting bank CEO firings will be the next shoe to drop.
CNBC's New York Stock Exchange floor reporter Bob Pisani told viewers of CNBC's March 30 "Street Signs" the market's actions, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropping as much as 300 points, are reflect, in part,that the government is going to force bank CEOs out as they did with Wagoner.
"Look, the main concern here today is Geithner's comments that some banks are going to need a lot more capital," Pisani said. "And for everybody who says why haven't they fired anymore bank CEOs yet - why hasn't the government done it, wait - they're going to."
Update (March 31, 18:42 EDT): This blog post was mentioned on the "Grapevine" segment on FNC's "Special Report with Bret Baier." Video added at 13:00 EDT on April 1, 2009.[audio available here]
A contributing editor of a major weekly news magazine pens a newspaper op-ed defending a controversial decision by a prominent Catholic university. Said editor's son is a marketing executive for said Catholic institution, but neither the editor nor the newspaper disclose the fact to readers.
If the popular FAIL blog dealt with journalistic missteps, this would surely make the cut.
"Metro faces a more than $50 million budget gap, two dozen bus routes are being eliminated, others shortened or put on less frequent schedules," host John King said. "Light rail is also being cut back, leaving riders in the working class community surrounding St. Louis like Darren Berryl, asking, why me?"
During a segment on Friday’s Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull program, CNN tried to perpetuate left-wing stereotypes about gun owners, and sent mixed messages about whether or not President Obama and his administration is pushing for gun control. Correspondent Sean Callebs interviewed two Texas professionals who owned guns and concluded, “A nurse, an attorney -- not the usual portrait of Second Amendment diehards.” After asking a gun store owner if he was “profiting on this fear” of new gun control measures, Callebs expounded on the concerns of gun owners: “In fact, it may not be rational at all. It might even be paranoid. But one thing is certain. Many gun owners believe this president is somehow out to curb their rights and they’re stocking up just in case.” [audio available here]
Both Callebs and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tried to assure their viewers that gun control was “way off the agenda right now” of the Obama administration, despite the fact that a graphic on the news crawl stated plainly that President Obama “wants to make expired Assault Weapons Ban permanent.”
Just hours after MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews calls Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the "Mata Hari of Minnesota" and Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi says "a guy huffing glue out of a paper bag" was making more sense the Bachmann, MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann comes in for clean-up duties.
On the March 27 broadcast "Countdown," Olbermann confirms that Michele Bachmann Derangement Syndrome is alive and well at MSNBC. Dedicating the top of his show to Bachmann, Olbermann accuses the Minnesota congresswoman of breaking "several serious laws," for suggesting the American people should rise up against some of the liberal nonsense going on in Washington, D.C.
"The identity of the speaker is unmistakable, but this is not your standard red meat from Michele Bachmann, she may have broken several serious laws," Olbermann said.
This week I took on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for capitalizing on the A.I.G. crisis he helped foment by trying to seize even more regulatory authority. Stephen Moore described the plan as handing Geithner "judge, jury and execution" authority.
One Fox News Channel anchor said Vladimir Putin is probably "smiling," at the thought of Geithner's new plan. But since the networks have had Geithner's back for some time they are unlike to challenge him the way one Congressman did this week.