Offering the most hyperbolic take of the night on the crowds who attended President Obama's inauguration, on World News ABC's Bill Weir delighted in wondering “can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer?” He decided it can indeed since “never have so many people shivered so long with such joy” while “from above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.” Weir was certainly awed.
Meanwhile, over on the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams must have been as awed as those seagulls since he contended he could “feel” the masses watching from around the nation: “While it was unfolding today here in Washington, you could feel the millions around the country who were watching it all.”
"The thing I noticed... the smell change. You can smell the fuel. There's a very large carbon footprint out here. Were we taxing this, it would be expensive," Fox New Channel anchor Shepard Smith quipped to colleague Neil Cavuto, in live coverage from Washington shortly before 4 p.m. on Inauguration Day.
Smith and Cavuto were watching the slow-moving presidential limousine make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the presidential parade reviewing stand.
Reflecting on the mood of the crowd at Barack Obama's Inauguration, NBC's Tom Brokaw likened it to when he was present for the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. During NBC's live coverage of Obama's swearing-in on Tuesday, Brokaw declared, "It reminds me of the Velvet Revolution," and while Brokaw noted "a communist regime," was not being overthrown he pointed out, "an unpopular president is leaving and people have been waiting for this moment." [audio available here]
The following Brokaw blurb was aired at around 10:02am EST on NBC's January 20 pre-Inaugural speech coverage:
"Good Morning America" kicked off its inauguration coverage on Tuesday with an anonymous announcer enthusiastically repeating the talking points of Barack Obama. During a 7am tease, this voice trumpeted, "Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. A new face from a new generation. Driven by an audacity to hope." (audio clip here)
The male announcer continued his introduction of the ABC show: "The nation's capital, filled to capacity. A journey of millions, fueled by hope and the shared dreams of a renewed America...And a call to overcome challenges not seen in generations." While discussing the throng of visitors descending on Washington D.C. a few minutes later, GMA host Diane Sawyer announced, "We saw a silent pilgrimage proceeding through this city."
Updated: 2009-01-20 18:30:39
As a comparison, how did "Good Morning America" begin its coverage of President Bush's second inaugural on January 20, 2005? For that show, an announcer narrated: "This is a special edition of 'Good Morning America.' The second inauguration of George W. Bush. Live from the Library of Congress, in Washington D.C., Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and Peter Jennings." There was no flowery introduction, no repeating of campaign talking points, just a simple opening accompanied by pictures and videos of past inaugurations.
"Up to this point, there's very much a mirage going on. Barack Obama is what people want him to be. It is not the real thing, yet. He hasn't been tested yet. Once he's tested, then we are going to see the real Barack Obama. I hope he does well," Brent Bozell told the crew of "Fox & Friends" this morning. (audio available here)
The MRC president and NewsBusters publisher braved the cold and heavy inaugural security to appear with FNC's Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade on the roof of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he gave some advice to the incoming president, assessed the outgoing chief executive's engagement with the media, and slammed the media for failing to cover President Bush's farewell address.
On the latter:
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: Let me give you a fascinating statistic. And this is truly, I think, offensive. On Thursday night, George Bush gave his farewell address to the American people. It's the only real public thing he's done.
STEVE DOOCY, "Fox & Friends" co-host: We covered it the next day a lot.
BOZELL: Friday morning, ABC, NBC, CBS, a grand total of 7 hours combined coverage. Guess how much time they gave to George Bush's farewell address, combined? Fifty-eight seconds.
Look no further than New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's recent appearance on "The Rachel Maddow Show" for why its namesake should invite guests who don't share her worldview more often than the current once-monthly clip, the better to sharpen the discourse.
Herbert appeared on Maddow's MSNBC program Jan. 13 to describe why he opposes President-elect Barack Obama's plans to double US troop strength in Afghanistan from the current 30,000 soldiers.
What follows is a transcript of the conversation between Maddow and Herbert, with my criticism afterwards. Words that are italicized indicate emphasis by the speaker, words in bold represent my emphasis --
Never mind how Barack Obama will magically bring “diversity,” “excellence” and “unity” to America, “Santa Claus” loves the incoming administration. Seconds before 5 PM EST Monday afternoon on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall asked a woman in the crowd around MSNBC's platform on Washington's Mall: “What do you think this next administration brings to the country?” The woman, wearing a Santa Claus hat more than three weeks after Christmas, excitedly replied:
I think they bring diversity. I think they bring a spirit of excellence. I think they bring unity and they bring love. Santa Claus loves them.
You'd think Santa Claus would be jealous of Obama for intruding on his specialty of giving away stuff. But maybe the woman was mixed up and meant to say that Obama is just as great as Santa Claus because she expects to get hand outs from him too.
And the media, 'one of Barack Obama's major constituencies,' don't complain.
The Obama Inauguration Committee sold coverage of inaugural events, effectively limiting the number of Americans who can view them and undercutting Obama’s claims of accessibility, according to Business & Media Institute VP Dan Gainor.
“Barack Obama, in his last radio address before he becomes president says this is going to be the most accessible administration in history,” Gainor said in an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Weekend Live” on Jan. 18. “Well, they’re already proving the lie to that.”
HBO paid $5 million to broadcast Sunday’s concert from the Lincoln Memorial. That meant that only HBO subscribers and the 37 percent of cable customers that have digital cable could watch. The Inauguration committee made a similar arrangement for coverage of a children’s concert scheduled for Monday night. Even C-Span was denied access to the events.
The crowd on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show is a loud, very left-wing chorus, as if they were borrowed from Bill Maher’s HBO set. On Wednesday’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart (now endorsed as a spokes-comedian for Jewish Voice for Peace) discussed Israeli-Palestinian relations as "two abused children" in a dysfunctional relationship. His guest was Newsweek International editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who demonstrated the easiest thing to do for applause and whoops and cheer is blame President Bush for everything:
STEWART: Israel and the Palestinian situation, is that – does Obama change the game here? Can the game be changed? Or are we just watching two abused children consummate this dysfunctional relationship until both are mortally wounded? I mean what are we -- what are we dealing with?
When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Eric Holder, the media ignored his personal ideological activism. NewBusters Tim Graham recently wrote about how differently the media treated John Ashcroft’s confirmation as opposed to Holder's.
Silence and the media are going hand in hand with the Holder confirmation. The mainstream media is not going after Holder in regards to his involvement with the Marc Rich and FALN pardons, for example.
The mainstream media also claimed that Ashcroft would put ideology over his duties at the Department of Justice. Here are some clips from columnists at a PBS Online Newshour segment during Ashcroft’s 2001 confirmation hearing(emphasis mine throughout:)
"Sometimes, Brian, I think we live in a parallel universe, where the media see the world one way when it's a Democrat in power and another way when a Republican is in power," NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News Channel's Brian Kilmeade. [audio of segment available here]
The Media Research Center president appeared on the January 16 "Fox & Friends" to discuss an astounding contrast that illustrates the media's liberal biases: the Associated Press scorned the roughly $40 million spent on the 2005 Bush inauguration but is assuring readers that it's okay to glam it up for the 2009 Obama inauguration.:
BRENT BOZELL: Look at these headlines. We found this, this is from AP. Four years ago on the eve of George Bush's second inauguration. This is the lede: "President Bush's second inauguration will cost tens of millions of dollars. Forty million alone in private donations for parties, balls, etc. Then it goes on to say, what else could that money buy..... Now, four years later, same AP news outlet. A story on Barack Obama. According to the Guardian newspaper, he could spend as much as $150 million. That would be three times more than George Bush spent. This is their [AP's] lede: "So you're attending an inaugural ball saluting the historic election of Barack Obama in the worst economic climate in three generations. Can you get away with glitzing it up and still be appropriate not to mention comfortable and finacially viable? To quote the man of the hour, 'Yes, you can.' Veteran ballgoers say you should, and fashionistas say you must."
Democrats and Republicans have the class to allow a President to deliver his farewell address without having it immediately countered by a crass and petty rant from a political opponent trying to settle old scores while issuing cheap insults. Not MSNBC.
Seconds after President George W. Bush completed his speech Thursday evening, MSNBC's Countdown featured a diatribe from Chris Matthews ridiculing Bush for picking up, “almost in the way a hermit crab does,” some “scary” notions from the nefarious “neo-conservatives.”
The condescending Matthews raged:
He was a rich kid driving his father's car. He got to be President because of his father, let's face it, the same way he got into school and everything else, the same way he got his car probably. But the scary thing about Bush is somewhere he came to meet people like Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz and Feith and the rest of them...
The scary thing about Bush is he picked up on -- almost in the way that a hermit crab does -- another identity in becoming President....He became this new scholar of freedom, and he's going to spend the rest of his life selling this stuff. This stuff cost the lives of 100,000 Iraqis, it cost the lives of 4,000 U.S. service people....
The idea that we have some brand new neo-conservative ideology of freedom that's going to bring peace over in that part of the world is not true, and he's still selling it, and that's the tragedy of the last eight years.
Presumably after having read NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes's January 14 blog on the matter, the hosts of "Fox & Friends" today discussed the Associated Press's double standard on presidential inauguration spending.
STEVE DOOCY: When you look back at how the mainstream media described his [George W. Bush's second] inaugural, back when he spent about $40 million on it... critics, for instance, writers at the Associated Press said, "look, we are in a time of war and we are facing all sorts of challenges." That money, four years ago, they said, should be used to armor up humvees and to protect our men and women overseas....You fast forward four years, suddenly we've forgetten all about those AP stories, where people are going, "George Bush's inauguration extravagant," now you're tripling the money. Where's the outcry?!
He's reviled by the left for carrying the water in the U.S. Senate for those who are skeptical of manmade global warming - and that may have been enough to put him over the top for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" award.
"But our winner, climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, desperate to capsize the incoming energy and climate adviser, Carol Browner, branding her a secret socialist," Olbermann said. "Sounds like a Christmas thing - secret socialist."
"This is Larry Kudlow - one of the folks invited to a conservative fest with the president-elect last night," Dobbs said. "I'd like to just share, everybody - what a Larry Kudlow-conservative person does after meeting with the president-elect."
Dobbs cited a few lines from Kudlow's appearance on CNBC's Jan. 14 "The Call" - "He is charming, he is terribly smart, bright, well informed. He has a great sense of humor." Then Dobbs skipped moments in Kudlow's exchange with "The Call" co-host Melissa Francis and added - "He's so well informed and he loves to deal with both sides of an issue."
My therapist told me to take two shots at Chris Matthews and call him in the morning . . .
Mike Barnicle is back to looking down his nose at bloggers. After Mika Brzezinski claimed on today's Morning Joe that "blogging isn't journalism," the former Boston Globe columnist declared that "95%, 99% of blogging isn't journalism. It's therapy for the blogger."
The predicate was a provocative one. Willie Geist read from an Esquire interview of Sarah Palin in which she said that—long after the issue had been put to rest—the Anchorage Daily News called her—based on allegations in blogs—to ask whether she was indeed the mother of Trig, her youngest child. Palin took that as evidence of continuing problems in the world of "journalism," prompting Mika and Mike to go off on us members of the pajamahadeen.
On Tuesday’s Countdown on MSNBC, after a segment with the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson at the end of the program in which he and host Keith Olbermann lambasted Sarah Palin over her recent interview with Esquire magazine, the Countdown host made a crude joke at Palin’s expense as he introduced the Rachel Maddow Show. Olbermann: "But, apropos of Palin, I can’t remember who said this, but it came to mind: What’s the difference between a governor of Alaska and a pitbull? You can train a pitbull to occasionally keep its mouth closed. Do you know who said that? Because I can’t remember."
After laughing hysterically, Maddow responded: "No, I can’t. No, that’s new to me. Is that the safe thing to say here?"
Below is a complete transcript of the exchange from the Tuesday, January 13, Countdown on MSNBC:
On Tuesday's edition of "The View," co-host Barbara Walters dismissed a series of interviews Sarah Palin gave to a conservative filmmaker as "disturbing." The veteran journalist stiffly claimed that "one is not sure why she keeps doing these interviews." The comment occurred while the women of the ABC program were debating an assertion by Palin that the media may treat possible New York Senator Caroline Kennedy in a more favorable light.
Responding to a clip of the former Republican vice presidential candidate arguing that there might be a class issue in how reporters will treat Kennedy, Walters complained, "...Why she still makes it a class issue is something that, especially right now, and when we all want to work together, I found disturbing."
Starting this week, MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter is evolving from a printed hard-copy product to an all-electronic Web and e-mail publication, complete with audio and video clips of the worst quotes from each issue.
Every two weeks, Notable Quotables offers a concise summary of the liberal media’s most outrageous and/or humorous eruptions, and the very best quotes are harvested once a year so the journalists can receive “awards” at our annual DisHonors dinner in Washington, D.C.
To give you a flavor of what’s in each issue, here are the most obnoxious quotes from this week’s (January 12) edition. If you've been a subscriber to the print edition, or if you’d like to sign up for our new HTML or plain-text e-mail, please go to www.MRC.org/subscriptions.
Now that Barack Obama is assuming the presidency, partisan criticism is suddenly so passé. Just ask Chris Matthews. In the course of cheerleading anchoring the MSNBC coverage of Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing today, Matthews suggested that the media shouldn't cover the Republican National Committee's criticism of Clinton.
The comments came during the Hardball host's chat with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter. A few minutes earlier, Matthews had assured us that those who had the privilege of knowing Hillary personally were aware of what a "wonderful" person she is. Then it was time to attack Republicans for refusing to join the Hillary love-fest.
Far be it from me to sow discord in MSNBC ranks, to stir up old animosities between colleagues there. But if Joe Scarborough is going to do a mocking imitation of Keith Olbermann in full Special Comment rant, well then, blogging ethics compel me to report it.
The jumping-off point on Morning Joe today was Eugene Robinson's current WaPo column. After claiming that he didn't want to kick the president on his way out the door, Robinson proceeded to do just that. The columnist described a variety of measures adopted by the president in prosecution of the war against terror as "departures from American values and traditions." Robinson recommended an investigation if not a criminal prosecution. That led Pat Buchanan and Scarborough to cite, chapter and verse, the ways in which Bush's supposed abrogation of "American values and traditions" were small potatoes compared to the actions of predecessors including Lincoln, Wilson and FDR.
Without mentioning the Countdown host by name, Scarborough closed with an unmistakable impression of Keith Olbermann in pompous Special Comment peroration of the sort that can be seen here.
Last week, Fox News Channel's uber-host Bill O'Reilly (of his eminently popular Factor) declared a preemptive unilateral journalistic disarmament with the incoming Obama Administration on it's humongous spending proposal intended in the Administration's words to "stimulate" the economy.
Speaking with CNSNews.com's Nicholas Ballasy, O'Reilly, who regularly describes himself as a "protector of the regular folks," announced he is going to vacate his duties as said guardian with regard to President-elect Barack Obama's projected $1+ trillion outlay.
That's a great deal of money that will be taken from the "regular folks" for redistribution by Obama, yet O'Reilly says he will not scrutinize the titanic Socialistic effort. In fact, what he's seen so far - he's "fine with." Worse still, he says ANY negative analysis of the plan is "just cheap shotting" Obama.
This is the treatment the vapid vastness that is the Lamestream Media gives Obama; we have come to expect a little more from Fox News. O'Reilly, the station's flagship face, seems to be less than interested in providing the governmental oversight we need from the Channel on which we are counting as the sole source of objective Obama Administration coverage.
His statement in it's entirety is transcribed below the fold.
Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor appeared on "Fox & Friends," Jan. 12 to discuss why, with trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, and the future of our economic system on the line, the mainstream media won't ask Obama tough questions on his stimulus plan.
Given the media favoritism for Barack Obama during the campaign, Gainor said, "So, it's no surprise that they're not asking him tough questions [about the stimulus package]."
"Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy specifically asked Gainor about Obama's expanding promise to create 4 million new jobs.
As a possible theme, I'd love to see what everyone thinks is the funniest episode or scene from a sit-com.
To get the ball rolling, embedded right is the "Chuckles the Clown's Funeral" episode from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," considered by many to be the funniest installment of any American television program. The phone lines are open.
Well, I was intending to do British comedy another evening, but NB reader Vincent Williams offers the following from Fawlty Towers:
Weighing the pros and cons of a plan, particularly one that could cost $1 trillion taxpayer dollars, should mean all perspectives were considered. But that wasn't what it meant to CNN in one Jan. 9 segment in the 8 a.m. hour.
Viewers were right to expect balance as "Pros and Cons of Obama's Stimulus" flashed on the screen and John Roberts said, "President-elect Barack Obama is warning of a dire economic situation and how much worse it could get if there is not bipartisan support for, and quickly for his stimulus plan. But will his proposals work?"
Instead, "American Morning" viewers didn't even hear an economist's perspective. They were fed a left-wing nationally syndicated columnist's perspective. That columnist was David Sirota, who was once called a "new-generation populist" by columnist Molly Ivins. Sirota has worked for Democrats on Capitol Hill and for the Center for American Progress, a "progressive" think tank.
Sirota's criticism of Obama's plan came entirely from the left arguing that "the bad" thing about his stimulus proposal are the tax cuts.
Chris Matthews won't be working alone. Back in November, the Hardball host said it was his job to make Barack Obama's presidency a success. Today, another TV journalist expressed a similar sentiment. Tavis Smiley has declared that "we're all working for Barack Obama" and that "we have to help make Obama a great president." [H/t reader dronetek.]
The host of Tavis Smiley on PBS was a guest on Morning Joe. Reacting to Harry Reid's claim last week that he doesn't work for Barack Obama, Smiley said Reid should "put down the crack pipe." Smiley added "we're all working for Barack Obama." It soon became clear that was no passing quip, but a literal description of how he sees his role.
We all know that for months, Harry Smith has been demanding that the international community force Hamas to stop shooting thousands of rockets into civilian areas of Israel. So Smith speaks with unique moral authority now in calling for Israel to be stopped.
Oh, wait. As far as I know, Smith never uttered a peep of protest over the Hamas bombardment of Israel. But that didn't prevent the Early Show host from demanding this morning that someone in the US stand up to stop Israel from doing what no one else could or would. Smith served up some heaping hyperbole to make his case, claiming there is "no" food, water or electricity in Gaza.
I like Pat Buchanan. I do. He's wise, funny and charming. But every so often . . .
Like tonight. If Buchanan wants to criticize Israel's conduct of the current war, and its treatment of the Palestinians, so be it. But in doing so, is it really necessary to employ terms associated with the Nazis? Appearing on "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Buchanan accused Israel of carrying out a "blitzkrieg" against Gaza and turning it into a "concentration camp."