If there's one liberal pundit in absolutely no position to criticize others about stoking a climate of violence, it's Chris Matthews. Just a few months ago, the Hardball host indulged this hyper-violent fantasy: "at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into [Rush Limbaugh's] head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp." [H/t reader Matt W.]
But, predictably, that didn't stop Matthews, as NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens has documented, from making the condemnation of Republicans in connection with recent untoward incidents the focus of his show this evening.
You really have to wonder what was running through Vice President Joe Biden's head when he leaned toward President Barack Obama and said "this is a big f**cking deal." Did Biden think that after nearly a year of campaigning for health care reform he was alerting Obama to something new?
But Biden isn't the first vice president to allow an expletive slip in a public forum in this day and age of a geared up media apparatus. Back in 2004, then-Vice President Dick Cheney let the F-bomb slip in remarks he made to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., over political disagreement between the two.
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Ed Henry raved about one congressman's collection of pens that were used to sign Medicare and ObamaCare into law. Henry responded gushingly to how Rep. John Dingell received one of the pens used by President Obama on Tuesday, and how he also has one of President Johnson's pens from the 1965 signing: "So now John Dingell has two of the most amazing pens" [audio clip available here].
Henry brought up how the current President used 22 different pens to sign health care "reform" into law during a segment with anchor Ali Velshi: "These are great souvenirs, obviously, when you have a historic piece of legislation." After listing how Vice President Biden and other top Democratic leaders received some of the pens, the correspondent noted that Dingell, the seasoned liberal from Michigan, also received one of the pens.
Chris Matthews could have a future in comedy if only his funniest moments weren't unintentional.
Here's today's knee-slapper: The Washington Post is not ideologically liberal in its editorials [MP3 audio available here].
Matthews made that pronouncement today during live coverage shortly after the conclusion of the ObamaCare signing ceremony. The "Hardball" host's comment followed MSNBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie's observation that ObamaCare is a "Rorschach test" that Democrats and Republicans will respond to along ideological lines in the run-up to the midterm elections in November:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Jonathan Capehart on that, because he has to write editorials for the Washington Post, which is kind of hard to read ideologically these days.
On the day after the historic healthcare reform vote in the House of Representatives, CNN's Rick Sanchez decided to use his interview with Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) to bash former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
After spending a few minutes getting the outspoken Floridian's views of what happened in the House Sunday, Sanchez moved on to what he and his producers must have felt was a more important topic: "Let me ask you about something that just went on between you and Sarah Palin. You got into a little bit of a scuffle recently."
Moments later, Sanchez said, "Well, you came back and you called her a 'Alaskan dingbat.' Did you really say that?" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
The VAT is a consumption tax that is placed on a product whenever value is added at a stage of production and at final sale. For example, as Investopedia.com explains, "When a television is built by a company in Europe the manufacturer is charged a VAT on all of the supplies they purchase for producing the television. Once the television reaches the shelf, the consumer who purchases it must pay the VAT that applies to him or her."
Now that health care reform has actually been passed by Congress, the options of stopping it are growing more and more limited. According to syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, this expensive unfunded liability won't likely be undone in the Supreme Court.
Nancy Pelosi: you lie! Chris Hayes didn't take to the floor of the House to call the Speaker out. But the Washington editor of The Nation did "totally agree" when Joe Scarborough described as "a lie" Pelosi's claims that insurance companies hate ObamaCare. Added Hayes: "I think that's a completely disingenuous statement by Nancy Pelosi."
The pair were reacting to a clip of Pelosi's interview yesterday with Diane Sawyer in which the Speaker said of House Minority Leader John Boehner that "some people will do anything for the insurance companies." Pelosi cast the bill as tough regulation of the insurance industry.
Scarborough's point, in which Hayes concurred, was that far from punishing insurance companies, the bill that Pelosi piloted through Congress gave them the biggest prize of all: a law forcing all Americans to buy their product.
Seth MacFarlane marked the five-year-anniversary of Terri Schiavo's court-ordered death by staging a preschool musical about it in his crass FOX cartoon, "Family Guy."
MacFarlane denied Schiavo human dignity in the March 21 episode by referring to her in lyrics sung by cartoon preschoolers as "the most expensive plant you'll ever see" and a "vegetable," and noted "her mashed potato brains."
The child who played the role of Schiavo's husband, Michael, ultimately concluded, "There's only one solution, it's in the Constitution, we've got to pull the plug."
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck - but just be prepared to have your spelling skills challenged when you reach that conclusion.
And so goes CNN's Roland Martin. On the network's March 21 special coverage of the House of Representatives passage of health care legislation, host Wolf Blitzer asked Martin, a CNN political analyst, about his views of those who call these so-called reform measures Soviet-style communism or socialism.
"That's just stuck on stupid," Martin said. "I mean to sit there on the House floor and all of a sudden you're talking about, oh, this is communism and you're sitting here and reaching - that's just dumb, OK? You know what? If Republicans truly cared about health care, why in the world didn't they do anything for eight years? So don't stand here now when the Democrats have been pushing the issue and now say, oh, no, ‘Republicans - we really care about health care,' when you had the opportunity to make changes to our system."
Update 9:35 AM: Larry O'Donnell "stunned" Stahl doesn't realize ObamaCare raises taxes. See O'Donnell video after the jump.
What kind of correspondents do they have at 60 Minutes? The kind who can't tell that the biggest tax increase in history is a tax increase at all. The kind who complain that even if it is a tax increase, Americans should be willing to pay it because ObamaCare is "really important."
Exhibit A: Lesley Stahl. On Morning Joe today, Stahl--her 40 years or so as a reporter notwithstanding--said she "can't tell" if ObamaCare raises taxes and that her "head is hurting" from trying to figure it out. But so what if it does? Stahl had a sudden bout of nostalgia for the good old days when people didn't mind paying "a little more" for "something really important in return."
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein has some doubts about those who oppose abortion on moral, religious or ethical grounds. Apparently to him, it's just an anti-class issue in which the poor are locked out of abortion.
"I want to make a point they're wrong on two important counts," Klein said. "Number one, often times when you create more insurance coverage you reduce abortion. There is a study in The New England Journal of Medicine this month that after Massachusetts brought in their reforms that look a lot like our reforms abortion dropped 2 percent because people have more access to birth control."
Jenna Wolfe's introduction of her guest on health-care on this morning's Today would surely have led viewers to believe he was an objective, apolitical voice. What Wolfe didn't tell viewers is that Andrew Rubin is a HuffPo blogger and such an avid ObamaCare advocate that he urged his readers to call Congress to lobby for it. Here was Wolfe's intro:
"The politics surrounding the health-care bill has dominated the headlines. But with the House vote just hours away, what's really in this bill and how will it affect you? Andrew Rubin is the host of HealthCare Connect on Sirius XM Radio. Andrew, good morning. There's so much involved here; let's try to break this down as to how it affects everyone."
I began to doubt Rubin's objectivity when he explained the bill's effect on various demographic groups by in in every case claiming that ObamaCare would be good in the short run and even better in the long run. I kept waiting for some balance: a discussion for example, of the massive taxes ObamaCare imposes, or the loss of freedom that the individual mandate represents. But never a discouraging word was heard. ObamaCare: all gain, no pain!
The mainstream media are carping about Bret Baier's "contentious" interview when in fact "he did nothing unlike what Tim Russert did in all the years that Tim Russert interviewed Republican presidents," argued Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell on today's "Fox & Friends." [MP3 audio available here; WMV format video available here]
Just as the late "Meet the Press" host would push interview subjects to reconcile contradictory positions, Baier asked the same of President Obama, who "showed up [to the Baier interview] prepared to give a speech with his talking points, which is what he always does and always gets away with" when interviewed by other journalists, Bozell noted.
Later in the interview, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino noted that Obama currently has a 46 percent approval rating and asked Bozell what the poll numbers would look like if the media were actually tougher on Obama.
"If the press were, not tough on Obama [but] fair, fair with this president... I think among other things, health care would be dead. This whole charade would be dead," Bozell concluded.
While a vote on health care reform legislation appears to be imminent, should it pass it could have broader economic implications, even if the bill itself won't take effect for some time.
As CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer predicted - if it passes, get ready to see a sell-off on Wall Street. Cramer appeared on CNBC's March 18 "The Kudlow Report," with his former broadcast partner Larry Kudlow. Kudlow asked Cramer to elaborate on his theory ObamaCare could send the financial markets reeling or "topple the stock market," as Kudlow described it.
"First, it is the single biggest impediment to the stock market going higher," Cramer said. "And a lot of this has to do with what's not being talked about enough with how it's going to be paid and also about what it will do to small business formation. This bill is a disaster for both."
As the Media Research Center's latest Media Reality Check details, over the past year, the media have served as cheerleaders for ObamaCare, praising the proposed legislation, while continually slamming its critics.
As Congress moves closer to a final vote on the bill in the coming days, it's a good time to take a look back at the friendly spin that has dominated the airwaves in support of it, as well as the harsh attacks that have been launched against its opponents.
Here is a video compilation with just a sampling of some of the slanted coverage from the past 12 months.
When did Larry O'Donnell rip the "Question Authority" bumper sticker off his old Volkswagen van?
Liberals normally love to celebrate those who "speak truth to power." But Larry O'Donnell is bent out of shape that Fox News' Bret Baier had the chutzpah to challenge and, yes, interrupt, Pres. Obama when interviewing him today about ObamaCare. Larry displayed his sudden deference to high-office on this evening's Countdown, subbing for Keith Olbermann.
Amusingly, one of my liberal faves declined to subscribe to Larry's script . . .
The problem with the liberal mindset is that it sees government solutions, even when there isn't really a problem. Case in point: broadband internet.
Roughly 200 million Americans have broadband internet at home. Millions of others have access to it at work, school, the public library or on smart phones. Only about 5 percent of Americans lack broadband internet access according to The Wall Street Journal.
That night not one of the network evening shows mentioned the enormous government proposal - instead all three reported Tiger Woods' return to golf at the Masters Tournament, ABC and CBS covered Michael Jackson's posthumous record contract and NBC warned against kids going to Mexico for spring break.
In case you missed this one, former Vice President Al Gore is looking for anything - any weather event at all to correlate to so-called anthropogenic global warming.
During a conference call for activist hosted by his group Repower America on March 15, Gore attached blame to the recent windy and rainy weather in the Northeastern United States could be tied to global warming.
"Just look at what has been happening for the last three days," Gore said. "The so-called skeptics haven't noted it because it's not snow. But the downpours and heavy winds are consistent with what the scientists have long warned about."
This caught the attention of Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. On his March 16 broadcast, Hannity pointed Gore's wisdom out for his viewers.
Based on some mild and indiscernible shouts by people in a hallway outside the office of a House member, CBS's Chip Reid on Tuesday night tried to discredit anti-ObamaCare protesters, claiming “at times, it got ugly.”
Reid recounted: “Outside the Capitol, a few hundred members of the conservative Tea Party movement called on Congress to kill the Democratic health care reform bill as Republicans urged them to keep fighting.” Following a clip of Republican Congressman Mike Pence, Reid announced over the hallway video: “Moving inside, they tried to lobby undecided Democrats. At times, it got ugly.” Then, leading into pro and con TV ads, Reid asserted: “The angry war of words over health care reform in Washington is echoing across the nation.” Watch the video to see what CBS considers “ugly” behavior. (MP3 audio clip.)
After citing “a growing controversy over a parliamentary maneuver the Speaker may use to get reform passed,” Katie Couric had introduced Reid by maintaining that “as a vote nears, the tension, confusion, and anger are all building.” Reid agreed: “The closer we get to a vote, the nastier the debate becomes. Some on Capitol Hill say it gives new meaning to the expression 'March Madness.'”
CNN dished out a heavy dose of liberal bias last night with its two-hour long documentary "Her Name Was Steven." The documentary sympathetically followed the "gender reassignment" of former Largo, Fla., city manager Steven Stanton.
CNN, which advertised the documentary as being about "one person's struggle to live an authentic life," gave a grand total of 47 seconds to those opposed to sex change. The rest of the two hours was focused on presenting sex change as if it weren't a choice. Stanton called his operation a "medical necessity ... done to preserve life." It was necessary, he said, in order to become "who God meant me to be," to "make my body and my spirit 100 percent compatible."
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Monday that Nobel Laureate Al Gore, "the world's first potential climate billionaire," is running for cover as a result of various scandals surrounding his favorite money-making theory known as manmade global warming.
"He is under siege these days," said Inhofe in a lengthy speech on the Senate floor. "The credibility of the IPCC is eroding, EPA's endangerment finding is collapsing, and belief that anthropogenic global warming is leading to catastrophe is evaporating."
"Gore seems to be drowning in a sea of his own global warming illusions," he continued. Nevertheless, he is desperately trying to keep global warming alarmism alive."
Unlike most on the Left and their media minions, Inhofe also spoke specifically about some of Gore's investments, and how the Nobel Laureate has positioned himself to amass huge profts from his climate alarmism (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary):
On CNBC's March 15 "Squawk Box," co-host Joe Kernen raised this point - the Journal with its more pro-Wall Street point of view and the Times with a liberal pro-Democratic Party one.
"You - I like the way you highlighted the Journal's take, ‘Ohh, this thing is ahh, much worse,' but The New York Times - ‘consensus-building,'" Kernen said. "But The New York Times is talking about consensus-building within the Democratic Party, I think, right? I mean, normally that's who they're speaking to, isn't it?"
The White House may have to waterboard its congressional allies to compel enough Democrats to support the health care bill and Congress will definitely have to raise taxes if the bill passes, insisted Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS, this morning on The Early Show. [Audio available here.]
As liberals focus on extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, Schieffer departed from the liberal talking points by pointing out that the current bill would definitely force Congress to raise taxes.
“These Democrats don’t know yet how much this bill is going to cost, they don’t know exactly who’s going to pay the taxes—there is no question some taxes are going up on this,” he said.
New conservative spectator sport: watching MSM liberals lock horns over ObamaCare . . .
Today's Morning Joe offered a hugely-entertaining example. Larry O'Donnell, speaking from the Olympian heights of his omniscience of the legislative process, mercilessly condescended to Donny Deutsch. Ad-man Deutsch had earlier twice "guaranteed" that ObamaCare would pass. When O'Donnell appeared, he in so many words said Deutsch was so blissfully ignorant of the process that he didn't understand just what trouble the bill is in.
When O'Donnell later ostensibly "apologized" to Deutsch, he wound up pouring salt in the wound. Larry patronizingly portrayed himself as having "so much information" about the situation that he just doesn't see it "the same way that people with less information" do.
Three weeks after the mother on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters (“Nora Walker” played by Sally Field) fretted over the GOP “denying global warming,” the ABC drama on Sunday night featured an episode centered around her daughter, “Kitty Walker-McCallister,” a Republican candidate for Senate in California played by Calista Flockhart, coming under attack from conservative rubes who think she used her influence to get the visa renewed for her older sister’s French boyfriend, “Luc.”
At a campaign event with mini-video camera-toting bloggers visible, protesters boo and repeatedly chant: “America for Americans!” as they hold up signs, such as “FRENCHIE GO HOME!!!” and, with a mustache added to Kitty’s face, “Hi Kitler!” Just like the real media’s slander of Tea Party protesters.
Kitty’s husband whom she is running to succeed, incumbent “Senator Robert McCallister,” played by Rob Lowe, charges: “It’s just the conservative purity police trying to purge the party of lily-livered Republican moderates.” Kitty complains to her sister, “Sarah Walker,” played by Rachel Griffiths: “I am fighting for my political life with a bunch of ultra-conservative yahoos who want my head because you decided to fall in love with a guy who has immigration issues.”
Audio: 90-second MP3 clip that matches the video highlights from the March 14 episode.
Back in September, Tom Friedman, speaking of China, proclaimed that "there is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today." That prompted Jonah Goldberg to call Friedman a "liberal fascist," drawing an example from his seminal book, Liberal Fascism, to demonstrate how Friedman's fawning over the Chi-Coms "is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s."
But far from being abashed, Friedman is apparently so enamored of his formulation that he has repeated it virtually verbatim. The Times columnist suffered another bad bout of Chi-Com envy on today's Meet The Press, guest-hosted by Tom Brokaw.
Rachel Maddow has to get it right eventually, what with the law of averages and all. We'll just have to remain patient.
Latest targest of her self-righteous wrath? Congressman Bart Stupak, apostate Democrat of Michigan, for his opposition to taxpayer-funded abortion.
Here's Maddow from her MSNBC show on Wednesday, alleging deceit by Stupak while engaging in it herself twice over --
MADDOW: One of the things that folks have not paid much attention to as they've been putting Bart Stupak on TV and giving him more attention than he's ever had in his life is that Bart Stupak never seems to name this bloc of people who he supposedly represents, this bloc of Stupac-following members of Congress who he supposedly speaks for. Well, last month Congressman Stupak said it was 15 to 20 unnamed members of the House who he said had major concerns about the bill.
In 2008, just four years after leaving NBC News, Jane Pauley gave the maximum allowed donation to Barack Obama ($2,300) and campaigned for him in her native Indiana where she proclaimed “I want to see the cool, steady hand of Barack Obama on that Bible on Inauguration Day” and predicted Obama will be “an exceptional” President, enthusing: “I so look forward to it!”
On Tuesday morning (March 9) Pauley reappeared on the Today show, which she co-hosted from 1976 to 1989 before spending more than a decade with Dateline NBC, as the narrator of a new monthly segment produced by the liberal AARP, “Your Life Calling Today,” about those 50-plus reinventing themselves. “We are welcoming back a very, underline ‘very’ good friend and familiar face around here, Jane Pauley,” Matt Lauer announced, explaining “she’s been working with AARP which has produced and sponsored a new series of reports for us.” Her first report looked at a woman who “left a lucrative career so she would have more time to knit socks.”
Not exactly hard-hitting political reporting, but it gives me a hook to share some 2008 video of Pauley praising Obama as she made appearances on his behalf. “Pauley called the last eight years a mistake and says America must make the right choice come election day,” WISH-TV channel 8 reporter Phil Sanchez related on the Indianapolis CBS affiliate’s Sunday, September 21, 2008 newscast. Just over a month later, following an event in Bloomington, sporting an Obama button she told Indiana University’s public TV station, WTIU:
The folks at Fox News's late night hit "Red Eye" on Saturday lampooned the strange relationship that exists between Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez and actor Sean Penn.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, Penn has made some bizarre comments recently which include wishing his critics would die screaming of rectal cancer and saying journalists should be jailed for calling Chavez a dictator.
This nuttiness was followed by Chavez thanking Penn for his support and Penn throwing the Washington Examiner's Tara Palmeri out of a Q&A session for asking him about his rectal cancer remark.
All this proved perfect comedic fodder for Gutfeld and Company who first invited Palmeri on to discuss Penn's bizarre behavior and then used Robot Theater to marvelously mock the love affair between these two strange bedfellows in a segment called "Hugo Loves Seany" (video embedded below the fold):