If the media outlets are going to report on tea party events, they're not likely to get any benefit of the doubt much of the time.
Case in point - at the Tea Party Express event on March 27 in Searchlight, Nev., which former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield wasn't quite prepared to give the rally credit it was due as far as participation. She estimated that hundreds, but if not, "at least dozens of people" were in attendance. (h/t fstaff with assist from Mark Finkelstein)
"Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin there in Searchlight, Nev., was the backyard of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but today it's the backdrop of this Tea Party Express - making a stop here," Whitfield said. "Hundreds of people, at least dozens of people - we haven't gotten a count of how many people turned out there. We heard Sarah Palin talk about everything about the campaign, to unseat Sen. Reid to what she calls ObamaCare, on the heels of that health care vote and even talking about her definition of her love of America."
In the midst of liberals condemning the tone of anti-Obama conservatives, Bill Maher on Friday pointed to a vulgar and sexually-explicit text message Tiger Woods reportedly sent, which promised aggressive sexual behavior, as representing the attitude Democrats should adopt from the “lying bullies of the right.”
Maher quoted from Woods: “I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore....I'm going to tell you to shut the f**k up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise.” Maher declared that “perfectly represents the attitude the Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party.” He prefaced his “New Rules” tirade:
Here's a word President Obama should take out of his Teleprompter: Bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that happened this year is when Obama finally realized that and said: “Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone George W. Bush style.”
Maher descriptively contended “Democrats need to push the rest of their agenda while their boot is on the neck of the greedy, poisonous old reptile,” arguing: “We need to regulate the banks, we need to overhaul immigration, we need to end corporate welfare including at the Pentagon, we need to bring troops home from everywhere, we need to end the drug war...”
All three broadcast networks reported allegations of abuse by Catholic priests during their nightly news programs on March 25. But none of them provided an objective report.
ABC, CBS and NBC ran a combined total of 13 sound bites from victims and victim advocates, who claimed the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict XVI in particular, covered up sexual abuse by Father Lawrence Murphy.
They alleged that Murphy abused 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee, WI, throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Only NBC's report included a defender of the church: George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
However, as MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski suggested, discretion should be exercised with the amount of attention given to these radical components of the opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform endeavors.
"Yeah, call it out but also I think we have to be careful along the way," Brzezinski said on the March 26 broadcast. "I think this happened during the campaign. I think this happened during the final hours of the health care debate where certain fringe, really minute members of it were highlighted."
The folks at Fox News's late night hit "Red Eye" used Robot Theater on Thursday to rip director James Cameron for his recent attacks on Glenn Beck and global warming skeptics.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, Cameron during the previous day's press conference called the Fox News host "a f**king a**hole" while also stating, "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I'm not sure they could hear me."
With this in mind, the Red Eye robots envisioned a conversation between Cameron and "Avatar" producer Jon Landau concerning these issues (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Don't blame Mika—she was just obeying White House orders . . .
When Joe Scarborough tried this morning to comment on Pres. Obama's latest ObamaCare oration, Mika Brzezinski unleashed a series of seemingly serious kicks at his ankles. Having successfully silenced her sidekick, Mika proceeded to read off her Blackberry a statement extolling the glories of what PBO has vouchsafed onto a grateful people.
At one point, Mika said "I have some talking points from the White House." Being the naive and trusting person I am, I assumed Mika was kidding. Except that, upon a bit of Googling, it appears that she wasn't . . . [H/t reader Pam M.]
Conventional wisdom on the right and left has been that President Obama and the Democrats will pay a heavy price in the November mid-term elections for passing the deeply unpopular health care reform bill. But Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino isn't so sure.
Gasparino appeared on the network's "Imus in the Morning" on March 25. "They can all get even in November then," Imus said of conservatives and Republicans. But Gasparino pointed out the indispensable weapon liberals have their side: the "cheerleading" news media.
"You know, listen - there's not a lot of good reporting on this stuff, and that's the scary thing," Gasparino said. "Someone should Google or do a LexisNexis on how many times the media positively portrays the savings of this - $138 billion over ten years. To me? This sounds like Enron to me - you really have to believe in a lot of assumptions, and the chicanery of the White House."
Furthermore, Gasparino said even if the numbers were true? In no way, shape, or form did $13 billion in annual savings justify "blowing up" the entire economy:
The network evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC have also mentioned those "tax breaks" for small businesses in at least four stories in the past month.
ABC's Diane Sawyer told viewers March 19 that "the day he signs this bill, small businesses will get tax credits to spur more coverage of more employees." She didn't mention any of the tax increases on individuals or businesses.
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.'”