Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that people in "responsible positions" in his league are held to a "higher standard," reacting to the notion that Limbaugh could be a part-owner of an NFL franchise.
"I have said many times before that we are all held to a higher standard here," Goodell said. "I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about. I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position within the NFL. No. Absolutely not."
Earlier today, my NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard posted the disparaging words White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had for the Fox News Channel, a sentiment that Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod echoed on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
"Your colleague Anita Dunn told The New York Times this week that Fox News was undertaking a war against the White House, and said the White House would treat Fox the way we would an opponent," Stephanopoulos said.
Once again, the nightly train wreck known as CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show" took another jab at conservatism, particularly Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Only this time, Behar threw in a couple of old standbys for whom lefties are fixated upon assaulting - former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Behar, on her Oct. 17 CNN HLN program, suggested to radio show talk host and former child-star actor Danny Bonaduce there was a trend - that people who have had struggles with chemical addictions are now outspoken, particularly those on the right that Behar disagrees with.
"Do you see a trend? Rush Limbaugh, Oxycontin. Glenn Beck, alcoholic, Danny Bonaduce, alcoholic ... and George Bush, ex-alcoholic," Behar said.
Perhaps the 41st president still has it in him - at least when it comes to the left crying foul about the so-called uncivil political discourse on right, but being equally if not worse on the left - particularly on MSNBC, the "Place for Politics."
In an interview on Oct. 16 with CBS Radio, former President George H.W. Bush took a very critical tact with MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, deeming them "a couple of sick puppies." (via MSNBC's Oct. 16 "The Rachel Maddow Show")
"I don't like it," Bush said. "I think the cables have a lot to do with it. I'll take you back to when I was president - we got tons of criticism, but didn't seem day in and day out quite as personal as some of these talk show people."
Just minutes after her colleague David Shuster offered a tepid non-apology for the network running a fake Rush Limbaugh quote, MSNBC's Tamron Hall took Meghan McCain to task for posting a saucy picture of herself on Twitter and also for issuing to followers a non-apology apology for those offended by her doing so.
MSNBC attributed that quote to a football player who was opposed to Limbaugh’s NFL bid. However, we have been unable to verify that quote independently. So, just to clarify.
Oblivious perhaps to the hypocrisy she was about to engage in, a mere fifteen minutes later colleague Tamron Hall, in her "Crossing the Line" segment, lectured Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain for posting, and then issuing a non-apology apology for posting, a sultry picture of herself via Twitter (emphasis mine; MP3 audio available here):
When a UFO shaped helium balloon took off from Colorado, possibly harboring a 6-year-old boy, the broadcast and cable news organizations were transfixed. But when it turned out to be a possible "publicity stunt" the networks continued to give it enormous amounts of coverage.
That's exactly the opposite of the way the networks covered made-up quotes attributed to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh that had portrayed him as racist.
ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today" devoted 80 minutes and 55 seconds to the story of "balloon boy" Falcon Heene on Oct. 16, when it was clear the boy had not been in the balloon and even after the boy told CNN's Larry King that he was hiding because "we did this for the show."
But since the fictional Limbaugh quotes were exposed, the networks spent only 47 seconds discussing it. Only ABC addressed it at all - on "World News with Charles Gibson" Oct. 12 and re-airing David Muir's brief on "Good Morning America," the next day.
That included a comment from Limbaugh defending himself saying, "They have to go somewhere to find concocted quotes, which are now bordering on slander, libel, whatever it is."
Behar made suggestion Limbaugh represents himself as someone who is not "in the mainstream" because he argued on his Oct. 14 show the backlash was in part generated by liberal activists threatened by the notion Limbaugh could be considered to be in the mainstream. That notion was one which Belzer lashed out at and called Limbaugh and Fox News host Glenn Beck "fascist stooges" (emphasis added):
The debate over Rush Limbaugh's NFL bid is roiling the racial landscape. This evening, after Juan Williams explained that Rush's "Barack the Magic Negro" parody was based on a column by an African-American author, a black radio talk show host told Williams to "go back to the porch." [H/t NB readers Tracy B. and Ken T.]
Warren Ballantine uttered the insult on this evening's O'Reilly Factor:
Lately there's has been an anti-Wall Street sentiment, propagated by the media that has become exacerbated as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) hit 10,000 Oct. 14.
On CNBC's Oct. 15 "Street Signs," Jim Cramer, host of "Mad Money," was asked by fill-in host Melissa Francis what he thought about the outrage over Wall Street hitting its stride, while unemployment continues to rise.
"What did you think about [Morgan Stanley CEO] John Mack's answer to the big question of the day, which is the divergence between Main Street and Wall Street?" Francis asked. "We see Dow 10,000 - bonuses are back at the same time Main Street is in a shambles."
Cramer took a different and unexpected tact by explaining he was a Spartacist, one who believed in a Communism in his youth. But during that time in his life, he said he became very familiar with the teachings of Vladimir Lenin.
Michael Moore makes propaganda movies and many in the news media embraced his latest screed against the free markets: "Capitalism: A Love Story." To NBC, hating capitalism makes Moore a go-to expert for Wall Street bashing.
"Today" interviewed Moore, along with MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan on Oct. 15, in a hit piece on Wall Street bankers and bonuses.
Moore reacted to the bonuses with condemnation of the capitalist system saying, "And I mean, I mean, Matt, these people, they burned down our economy. They completely crashed it. And now they're getting rewarded for it. It'd be like if I burned down your house today and then tomorrow you send me a check for it thanking me. I mean, it's, it's absolutely insane that we allow this to happen. But not surprising, because that's our capitalist system. They can get away with it because it's legal."
With Rush Limbaugh now out of a group vying to purchase the St. Louis Rams, the continued smearing from ABC's "The View" on October 15 constitutes a late hit.
Whoopi Goldberg said that Limbaugh was dropped as a potential buyer because they're not "pleased" with him: "It actually might not be about conservativism. This one might be personal." She also claimed that Limbaugh is "part of the mainstream media."
Joy Behar added that Limbaugh likes to "be the victim" and, making Limbaugh owner of the St. Louis Rams would be like "making Michael Vick own the American Kennel Club."
You might think that the three major networks would look favorably upon the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) breaking through the symbolic 10,000 mark. After all, it they could use it as an opportunity to spin the news as a victory for Barack Obama and his economic policies.
But that wasn't the case. Instead ABC, CBS and NBC used the occasion to point out that the rich on Wall Street are getting bonuses for the performance of the stock market, while others across the country are suffering.
"Now, if an economic recovery is under way, not everyone is sharing in it equally," "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric said. "Pick up today's Wall Street Journal and you'll read banks and securities firms are on track to pay their employees record amounts this year. And, you pick up The New York Times and you'll see some workers are being forced to take huge pay cuts."
You have to wonder about CNN's priorities. The network that has promoted the legalization of "our friend marijuana," and on Oct. 14 praised the British government's decision to offer free shooting galleries to heroin addicts, was the next day demonizing American cigarette companies for "color coding cigarettes to ‘trick' you."
"American Morning's" Kiran Chetry introduced the cigarette segment by fretting that, even though "the misleading, deceptive" tobacco companies have fully complied with the latest law that bans cigarette companies from advertising products as "low tar" and light," they "are still allowed to market their brands with colors." Chetry waved a pack of cigarettes in the air. "And some are saying that these [colors] actually are sending signals to a smoker about what kind of product they're going to get ... Is this a question of genius marketing? Are they duping people?"
When it comes to slurring Rush Limbaugh in his quest to obtain an interest in the NFL's St. Louis Rams, someone's going to have to work hard to top Adrian Wojnarowski. The Yahoo Sports reporter today called Rush a "racist" and a "bigot" and implied he would never hire a black coach.
Wojnarowski spouted his slurs on Jim Rome's "Rome Is Burning" show on ESPN this afternoon.
ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI: People do not want a bigot as an owner. He's a racist. He's a bigot. He's shown it for years. He's made his career off in a large way off marginalizing black culture and African-Americans, and now he wants to buy into an industry where 70% of the players, the talent, the work-force is African-American and make money off of it? He doesn't get to do that.
In response, Rome didn't exactly leap to Rush's defense, but did pose this question.
This ought to get the folks at the left-wing noise machine all wound up.
Fox News host Glenn Beck on his Oct. 14 show, after being a regular recipient of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World" on his "Countdown" program, decided to have a little fun by mocking Olbermann and his MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews.
"Now, the President has an entire network devoted to singing his praises," Beck said. "There is a guy at night I love, he's like Shakespearean, he is waxing poetic about his oratory skills, writing soliloquies - got another one I must say about the greatness of Obama's speaking ability. And then another guy is like, ‘I got a thrill is going up my leg' when they just hear him speak. It is incredible."
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," backpedaled from the James Bond movie-like death sequence he depicted for Rush Limbaugh that he made on the MSNBC airwaves on Tuesday morning. As Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first noted, Matthews imagined a cinematic death for the radio talk show host:
"Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we'll be there to watch. I think he's Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?"
Fast forward to Wednesday night and Matthews offered the following clarification during the "Sideshow" segment on the October 14 "Hardball" [MP3 audio available here]:
Quite a few, if anyone is keeping track. Now the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has broken through the 10,000-point barrier. But that begs the question given the inevitable credit Obama will get from the media and other supporters for this rally, should former President George W. Bush get some of the credit if Obama is so willing to blame him for the collapse?
It's a question Neil Cavuto put to the test on his Oct. 14 Fox News "Your World" program speaking to Macro Portfolio Advisors Vice President Jim Lacamp.
On Oct. 14 CNN's "American Morning" aired a segment about the controversial program that "gives heroin to heroin addicts at the taxpayers' expense." Correspondent Paula Newton declared, "A safe, steady supply of heroin is apparently just what the doctor ordered ... As radical as it is, for some it is really working." She also said that the British government's decision to dole out 97 percent pure heroin - "better than anything sold on the street" - "takes heroin off the streets."
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is a media darling now that she was the only Republican to break ranks and vote a health care reform bill out of the Senate Finance Committee Oct. 13. "Good Morning America" interviewed Snowe about health care reform on Oct. 14 and didn't challenge a misleading statistic about the number of medical-caused bankruptcies.
Snowe, who backed the $829-billion bill, claimed that "62 percent of all bankruptcies are a result of medical debt. I can't imagine that kind of anxiety. It's one thing to deal with an illness, quite another to deal with the fact you don't have the insurance to cover for it."
The senator did not mention the source of her claim or point out that respondents to the study she cited didn't even agree with that result. CNN.com reported on June 5 that the 62 percent figure came from a Harvard Medical School study that would be published in The American Journal of Medicine.
Perhaps having a slot on Glenn Beck's former network wasn't enough for the newly minted host of CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show." Instead, she obviously finds bashing Beck is the way to reach her audience.
One of the most damaging accusations you can level at opponent is call that individual a racist in one form or another. And that's the tactic MSNBC and others left-wing opponents of Rush Limbaugh are taking to thwart his bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams.
During a segment on MSNBC on Oct. 13, former Pulitzer Prize winner Karen Hunter appeared to voice her opposition to the Limbaugh's NFL bid. She made one of the most outrageous - likening Limbaugh's ownership of an NFL team to being a plantation owner, a metaphor that invokes the image of antebellum South during the 19th Century, when slavery was rampant.
"I can just see the visions of plantation grandeur dancing in his head as we speak," Hunter said. "Yeah, it doesn't make you a racist to want to own a team. But, it does kind of with all his history question his power position over these players who make millions of dollars and his ability to be able to move them around, deny them contracts and do whatever he wants willy-nilly. It's the ultimate power position to be an owner of an NFL team."
On Tuesday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez read Rush Limbaugh’s denial that he ever made a quote attributed to him in which he praised antebellum slavery, but added that the denial “that does not take away...that there are other quotes...which many people in...minority communities do find offensive” [audio available here]. Sanchez broadcast the quote yesterday without any source, and made no retraction of it.
Sanchez first indicated during a promo for a segment about the Limbaugh controversy that the talk show host is “now setting us straight on a remark that’s been wildly publicized about what he has said in the past.” The segment came just before the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour, and after giving a brief synopsis of the controversy, read the dubious quote attributed to the conservative: “One of the quotes that has been attributed to Rush Limbaugh is the one about him saying that ‘slavery built the South, and I’m not saying that we should bring it back.. I’m just saying that it had it’s merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”
On Oct. 13 "The View" hosts reacted to the news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ruled out a future run for the presidency. "Hillary Clinton told Anne Curry that she will not be making another run for president of the United States, saying she loves her job as Secretary of State and is looking forward to retirement at some point ... Ya know, that kind of made me sad," Whoopi Goldberg lamented.
Sherri Shepherd called Hillary "victorious" - "an inspiration to women" - and equated the news of her retirement with "being hit in the pit of your stomach" and "deflating a balloon."
"Because - not ever calling Hillary Clinton a quitter, but it's something - even when she pulled out, I felt sad," Shepherd said. "Because as a woman, you just look at Hillary as, ‘You don't quit. You always keep going' ... The fact that she's saying, ‘I think I'm going to stop and retire,' it's just like, no, Hillary!"
ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday devoted two stories to whether the "controversial" Rush Limbaugh would be able to buy an NFL team, but skipped any discussion of the false quotes that have been circulating about the radio host. Co-host Robin Roberts buried that lede and instead fretted, "Opponents say Limbaugh has a history of making racially offensive comments, some directed squarely at NFL players."
As reported previously on NewsBusters, several media outlets have repeated fake Limbaugh quotes about how "slavery had it merits." GMA hosts and reporters didn’t appear to be interested in correcting the slanderous charges. Roberts even compared Limbaugh to a baseball owner who made favorable remarks about Hitler. [audio available here]
Bizarrely, correspondent David Muir played a quip of the conservative defending himself, but didn’t explain the context: "They have to go somewhere to find concocted quotes, which are now bordering on slander, libel, whatever it is, that I never said." What were the concocted quotes? Muir didn’t mention the false slavery quote.
It's an odd natural occurrence when you put MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer together, but when it happens they seem to draw some obvious conclusions - albeit nearly 10 months too late.
However Brit Hume, now a senior political analyst for Fox News and regarded as a veteran figure at the news organization, took the White House head on. In his "Brit Hume Commentary" segment on Fox News Channel's Oct. 12 "Special Report with Bret Baier," Hume, pointed out this "feud" the Obama administration has decided to elevate is a bad idea.
"Every president ends up disgusted with the news media in general and with certain individuals or outlets in particular, but there is an old adage often attributed to Mark Twain that advises against picking fights with people who buy ink by the barrel," Hume said. "He is speaking of the big media of his day, which were newspapers."
Just last week Suze Orman appeared on "Good Morning America" to advise couples not to share a bank account so that "nobody could take anybody else's money." Now on Oct. 12 GMA aired a segment about Sidetaker.com, a Web site that allows arguing couples to "just log on and let a group of complete strangers weigh in."
Last year when Justin Marinos couldn't decide whether to dump his cheating girlfriend, he jumpstarted Sidetakers.com to make the decision for him. Responders voted to ditch the girl, and he did.
So much for the good ol' days of compromising behind closed doors. Sidetakers had 200,000 readers last month with 11,000 registered users anonymously - and often shamelessly, airing their dirty laundry.