Media sycophancy for the Clintons is so 1990s, but every now and then the MSM muster up a bit of nostalgia and pour lavish praise on the former first couple. Take CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Jill Dougherty at the close of the 5 p.m. EDT hour of today's "The Situation Room."
"Often times, a kiss is just a kiss, but when you're a former president planting one on your wife, the secretary of state, it can garner a lot of attention," CNN's Wolf Blitzer gushed as he introduced a story by colleague Jill Dougherty in which the latter enthused that after a "brief public display of affection" before an audience at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Democratic power couple were "off, separately, to change the world."
Adultery did not fare well during a September 24 "Nightline" broadcast about the issue, but that didn't keep ABC's Cynthia McFadden from asking an evangelical pastor if he felt "a little intolerant" for his conservative views on the subject.
McFadden moderated a debate that tried to answer the question, "Are we born to cheat?" but appeared to mock Pastor Ed Young's responses whenever she could.
The proponents of adultery who appeared on the panel included Jenny Block, an author and participant in an open marriage, and Noel Biderman, the president and CEO of Ashley Madison, a Web site designed to help people begin extra-marital affairs. To be fair, Block and Biderman did face some tough questioning about their views, but they did not receive the same derision McFadden levied at Young.
On September 25, "The View's" Sherri Shepherd asked Michael Moore, "How do you feel about Obama's health care plan?"
Moore responded, "Aw, geez. I feel so bad for this guy. I mean - I - ya know, he's out there all alone; nobody's got his back. The other side they're out there angry, organized."
Nobody's got his back? Really? Let's take a look at the numbers.
In August, the Business & Media Institute examined 224 stories about health care on the three broadcast networks' morning and evening shows that aired between Jan. 20, the date of Obama's inauguration, and June 24, the night of ABC's prime time town hall special on health care.
The networks favored proponents to critics by a margin of more than 2-to-1 (243 to 104).
It was quite a "two-for" on CBS' "The Early Show" September 25. They got a chance to feature a young woman who'd recovered from a very rare disease, and they also got to advocate for ObamaCare.
"The Early Show's" Maggie Rodriguez talked with Krista Lesinski, who had been diagnosed with Wilson's Disease, a rare and potentially lethal condition that attacks the liver. With Lesinski was Dr. Lisa Sanders, a former producer of CBS News, covering health and medicine. Sanders is currently at the Yale University School of Medicine and a physician at the Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. Her monthly New York Times' column "Diagnosis" was an inspiration for the hit Fox TV series "House."
Rodriguez asked Lesinski, "You were ... highlighter yellow ... why did you wait to go to the hospital?"
Taking the “Green Car Challenge” on Thursday night's Jay Leno Show, a svelte Rush Limbaugh -- declining to don a helmet -- hopped into the electric Ford Focus on Leno's track behind his NBC studio in Burbank, but instead of driving around the hanging cut outs of Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr., Limbaugh ran right into them.
Then, to Leno's cries of “Oh, c'mon!”, a delighted Limbaugh accepted the penalty against his time score and stopped, backed up and smashed into them again. Limbaugh's maneuvering ensured a lower score (greater time) than the three previous contestants since Leno's show debuted last week: Drew Barrymore, Al Michaels and Bob Costas.
But that didn't bother Limbaugh who afterward pumped his fists as he boasted: “It was worth it! It was worth it!”
If you haven't been under a rock the last few weeks, or relying on the mainstream media as your sole source of news, you are likely aware of some of the questionable circumstances surrounding the organization Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
A pair of intrepid investigative reporters, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, with the help of Andrew Breitbart, made it possible for the public to be aware of these practices by ACORN. However, the embattled organization, in a retaliatory maneuver, has filed a suit against O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart. Breitbart appeared on Fox News Channel's Sept. 24 "The O'Reilly Factor" and responded to the suit.
"So, all I can see is that this lawsuit is an attempt to stifle free speech and the First Amendment and an attempt to make sure that the American people don't see the rest of the tapes and there are more tapes," Breitbart said.
For all that critics have hailed ABC's "Modern Family" for its non-stereotypical portrayal of a gay couple, the show itself is stereotypical Hollywood propaganda.
"Modern Family," filmed in a mock-documentary style, examines the lives of three couples from one family. Patriarch Jay (Ed O'Neill) is married to a much-younger, feisty Colombian woman. His daughter Claire is married to Phil who treats parenting like playtime. Jay's son Mitchell, is gay, and when the show began, has just adopted a baby with his partner Cameron.
Producers treated the 12.7 million viewers who tuned in Wednesday night for the premiere to a pro-gay adoption speech within the first two minutes of the program.
“In Denmark – my favorite country – they are the happiest people in the world,” declared Joy Behar on “The View” September 23. They’ve come a long way since Hamlet.
Why are the Danes so contented? Could it be all that Havarti and herring? The satisfaction of knowing that their ancestors plundered and pillaged the entire North Atlantic?No. According to Behar, the Danes wear the smile of socialism.
“The reason that they’re so happy is because they don’t worry about health care,” she explained. “They don’t worry about sending their kids to college because everything’s paid for.”
It appears Behar was referring to the 2008 World Values Survey that asked 350,000 citizens of 97 different countries two questions:
Perhaps ABC is just over-eager to find some of those "green shoots" of economic recovery we're supposed to be seeing. Despite the nationwide unemployment rate of 9.7 percent - a 26-year high - the network still managed to find some "welcome news" on the jobs front.
On September 23, "World News'" Charles Gibson reported that a whopping 12,000 people are being hired in the "recession-battered city" of Las Vegas. While Gibson did mention that "160,000 people applied" for those jobs, Gibson failed to contrast the 12,000 against the 14,988,000 other Americans still out of work.
"Can skimpy bikinis raise awareness about breast cancer?" asked 'Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.
OnSeptember 22, Roberts and Andrea Canning discussed a new public service announcement campaign called "Save the Boobs" that uses a "less-is-more approach" to call attention to breast cancer.
Roberts tsked at the "provocative footage," quoting critics that say the ads are "distracting from the message." Canning agreed, adding, "One PSA even looks more like a beer commercial than a breast cancer awareness spot."
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared this morning on the only major network President Obama neglected in Sunday's morning show press blitz, the Fox News Channel. During his appearance, Bozell argued that President Obama is "lying with disturbing regularity," that the media are not calling him on it, and that Obama's press strategy is not working in building support for his policies, despite a media biased in his favor.
Asked by "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy if the president's Sunday morning show blitz was fruitful, Bozell answered in the negative, arguing that Obama is turning off the audience he's trying to win over:
What's settling in is Obama fatigue. The man is giving the same speech over and over and over and over again, and now he has to go on five networks to find an audience, cumulative audience, because the audience just isn't there. And the audience that is listening is being turned off.
As to why Obama refused to go on Fox, Bozell argued that it was because unlike the other networks with those networks' generally softball questions, "he's going to get a serious question or two" on Fox.
Bozell also noted a major contrast with "The Great Communicator," President Ronald Reagan:
If any policy maker watches Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story" and is influenced by it - be afraid, be very afraid.
Moore appeared on CNN's Sept. 23 "Larry King Live" to promote his movie, but he shared with host Larry King his thoughts on why the stock market has rallied off its lows, despite a rising unemployment. His reasoning - Wall Street likes joblessness, because it's more for them. Moore outright told King Wall Street wants people unemployed.
"It's crazy, isn't it?" Moore said. "I'll tell you why: Because your employees are your biggest expense. And, as you've noticed in the last few months, as the unemployment rate has gone up, so has the Dow Jones. Now, you'd think, you know - that Wall Street would respond with, ‘Oh my God, unemployment is going up, you know, this is bad for business.' But the reality is, is that Wall Street likes that. They like it when companies fire people because immediately the bottom line is going to show a larger profit."
Has the Dem infighting for 2012 begun? Is Hillary exploiting Pres. Obama's waffling over Afghanistan to launch an offensive against her ostensible boss?
The question arises after former senior Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers described PBO as looking "indecisive" and "pushed around" in his handling of Afghanistan, and Hillary herself laid down a heavy marker, describing in graphic terms the dangers of an al Qaeda resurgence were the Taliban permitted to succeed.
Millionaire Michael Moore says capitalism is evil and that the entire system should be thrown out for one that is "democratic" and "fair."
That's the overarching message of Moore's new documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story," which will be widely released Oct. 2. The film won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival and was lauded by critics there and at the Toronto Film Festival. Now Moore is being warmly greeting in softball interviews by television anchors and reporters - particularly on ABC.
ABC's "Nightline" ran an 8-minute long segment Sept. 22 interviewing Moore and showing clips of his film, an it received an additional five minutes on "Good Morning America" Sept. 23. ABC didn't include a single critic of Moore in those 13 minutes, and neither segment rebuked Moore for past lies in his movies.
The film has generated uncritical buzz among many other news outlets including MSNBC, The New York Times, Associated Press and "The Jay Leno Show." He is also scheduled to be a guest of "Larry King Live," "The Situation Room," and "The View" Sept. 23 and 24. Four networks, a wire service and three out of five major newspapers will have covered the movie in the span of a week.
Kent Jones, a guest on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," branded the MRC's Culture and Media Institute a "usual suspect" in the fight against gay marriage.
Dubbed the "matrimonial recreation correspondent" by Maddow, Jones mocked conservative arguments against gay marriage during a report of George Takei's (Mr. Sulu for the Trekkies out there) scheduled appearance on the "Newlywed Game" alongside his spouse, Brad Altman.
Jones noted that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa "didn't cause the apocalypse" and called Takei and Altman's appearance on the game show a "little marital victory," before launching into the "Star Trek" jokes:
You know him as Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but these days, "Harrison Ford Fights for Planet." Or so says "Good Morning America."
ABC's morning show devoted an entire segment on September 21 to actor Harrison Ford touting "Team Earth", an "action campaign" dealing with "pressing environmental issues." Ford said, "We need to come together, umm, to create solutions to the pressing, uhhh, environmental issues that face us ... "
With the entire on-air cast of GMA surrounding him, Ford stated that "... it's the time to come together and, uhh, make an effort to, uhh, um, make people understand that we require - not just here in the United States but throughout the world - meaningful climate legislation, uhh, from all of our leadership."
Far from questioning the need for climate legislation, Ford's hosts helpfully prodded him along. Diane Sawyer chimed in, "And there are a lot of people who think this ... these are the months it must be done. We have to address what we're going to do if we're going to do something."
Major newspapers and networks have been ignoring the question of abortion coverage in the new health care bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The only newspapers to even mention abortion coverage since the bill was released on September 16 were The Boston Globe, The Oregonian, and The Orlando Sentinel - all of which were editorials.
The Boston Globe only mentioned in passing that the funding of abortion was scratched in order to please the Republicans, who refuse to be pleased anyway. The Oregonian admitted that abortion was funded in the bill but concluded that "being a citizen means paying taxes, and being one of hundreds of millions of citizens means that some tax revenues will fund something you don't like." And The Orlando Sentinel stated that the "truth" behind Republicans "right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric" against abortion is simply "cowardly coded smoke screens intended to mask fear and racism."
"It's the most explosive moment for the soda industry since the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment," CBS's Katie Couric quipped of a proposed federal soda tax in her September 18 Notebook video on CBSNews.com (embedded at right).
While careful not to explicitly endorse a proposed one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, Couric hinted that taxing sodas could help curb obesity, because, after all, "some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues."
Pledging to help soda-drinking Americans lose weight while simultaneously thinning their wallets -- and fattening Uncle Sam's coffers -- certainly appeals to the self-appointed food police and tax-hiking liberals, but it's likely to cause average Americans to gripe about having to pay taxes for the harmless guilty pleasure of cracking open an ice-cold soda pop.
Yet Couric sees only a downside to that dastardly profitable soft drink industry, not average Americans tired of government intrusion into their personal choices:
This could be dismissed as anti-human - but the theory the environment can be saved by encouraging the use of birth control is one that has been popular with media some environmentalists.
CNN's Lou Dobbs certainly hasn't shied away from the idea. On his Sept. 21 broadcast, Dobbs revisited an early report that the true path to environmental salvation wasn't by curbing greenhouse gas, but instead by subscribing to a Malthusian theory that slowing the growth of human population was the best path.
"We have more tonight on a story that we first brought to you last month, Dobbs said. "There is new evidence of the negative impact of overpopulation on our environment. The biggest threat to the environment isn't, it turns out, gas-guzzling cars or power plants but rather having too many children all around the world."
The United States has been called a bailout nation, following the passage of TARP in 2008 and the government takeover of the auto industry earlier this year. However, that may ring true in other, more controversial areas, as well.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J, took President Barack Obama and proponents of his style of health care reform, along with the news media that cover the issue, to task, in a video posted on Sept. 21. He explained to the Washington News Observer the bill would do harm to sick people and called it the worst bill he had seen as a member of the U.S. Congress.
"Well, the Republicans are very clearly standing against bogus health care reform - that which will do grave injury to those who are very sick, those with cancers, unborn children and their mothers," Smith said. "This is I think the worst piece of legislation that I have seen in my 29 years as a member of Congress."
ABC's "World News" is supposed to be above the fray, right? According to "World News" executive Jon Banner, his program didn't jump into covering the recent ACORN scandal because it is "not in the business of noise."
Earlier in the day, on four Sunday morning network news programs, President Barack Obama had urged the media not to engage in Taibbi's specialty. The networks shouldn't air rude, angry political behavior, because that only encourages it, the president said. ABC must have missed that memo.
"There are new concerns tonight about the effects of global warming," "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt said. "A new study warns rapidly melting ice in Greenland could result in a colossal rise in ocean levels."
But for every report "Nightly News" has shown over the years claiming the ice melt as evidence climate change is occurring, there are many contrary anecdotes the network ignores. For example, ice in Antarctica is expanding according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado (The Australian reported the growth of ice in Antarctica in April 2009), which has gone unreported by NBC.
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
"President Obama reeling back the Bush administration's plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, instead opting for a new system he says is better equipped to fend off an Iranian threat," "Fast Money" host Melissa Lee said on her Sept. 17 show.
Keith Olbermann is not one to pass up an opportunity to attack anything that even hints at being right of center. The repugnant MSNBC host devoted some three-quarters of his Sept. 16 show to claim criticism of President Barack Obama had to have elements of racism, no matter how you sliced it. And therefore, those critics were all despicable human beings, end of story.
However, he did manage to find time to revert to old tried and true method of appeasing his angry left-wing desires - a little bashing of former Republican vice-presidential nominee and Gov. Sarah Palin, with an assist from Michael Musto, columnist for The Village Voice and author of "La Dolce Musto."
Olbermann exhibited some displeasure that the Washington Speakers Bureau would have a flowery Web page touting Palin's accomplishments. But, noted the language on the page didn't include "maverick." However, Musto was there to make his own suggestions.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele shot back at CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after the anchor tried to smear conservatives with racism on Wednesday’s Situation Room. The CNN anchor pointed out a racist sign at a Tea Party, and Steele replied, “Don’t hold up one person as an example of behavior by everyone.” The RNC chairman also rebuked Blitzer after the anchor pointed out the GOP’s dearth of minorities in Congress [audio clips from the segment are available here].
Before he introduced Steele, Blitzer played a clip from former President Jimmy Carter, who attributed “overwhelming portion of the intensely-demonstrated animosity towards President Barack Obama” to racism. He then asked the RNC chairman for his take on the Democrat’s remarks. Steele replied that Carter was “just dead wrong....I am, like a lot of Americans, concerned and disagree with the President’s policies and approaches from the stimulus spending to this health care strategy. Am I a racist because I disagree with that? I don’t think so.”
Michael Moore, the man of many hats - documentary filmmaker, political scientist and now, singer.
Moore has been making the rounds to promote his new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story." On NBC's Sept. 15 "Jay Leno Show," Moore appeared and was asked what was wrong with capitalism.
"Capitalism is actually legalized greed," Moore said. "There's nothing wrong with people earning money, starting a business, selling shoes. That's not what I'm talking about. We're at a point now Jay, in this country, where the richest 1 percent, the very top 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined."
ABC and NBC on Tuesday night joined the effort to undermine the anti-Obama tea party participants by smearing them as racists as ABC framed a story around the proposition “some prominent Obama supporters are now saying” the opposition to Obama is “driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President,” while NBC anchor Brian Williams touted how “former President Carter spoke up and spoke out about” the supposed racism. Williams alleged “a certain number of signs and images at last weekend's big tea party march in Washington and at other recent events have featured racial and other violent themes and President Carter today said he is extremely worried by it.” (MP3 audio of Williams, Video below)
With “OUT OF LINE?” on screen beneath what appeared to be pictures from the August town halls, ABC anchor Charles Gibson set up the piece from Dan Harris who recited a litany of liberal presumptions:
They've waved signs likening President Obama to Hitler and the devil, raised questions about whether he was really born in this country, falsely accused him of planning to set up death panels, decried his speech to students as indoctrination and called him everything from a fascist to a socialist to a communist. And all that was before Mr. Obama's speech was interrupted by a Representative who once fought to keep the Confederate flag waving over the South Carolina state house. Add it all up, and some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President. (MP3 audio,Video below)
Over the last several weeks, no one has been the target of the left-wing media and blogosphere more than Fox News host Glenn Beck, even more so than his radio host counterpart Rush Limbaugh.
Although conservatives have decried the daily ad hominem attacks, some voices on the left are starting to realize that's not an effective strategy for championing their cause, especially when it comes to the hot-button issue of the day, health care.
And that is really starting to bother Air America host Lionel - that is the daily repetitive nature of attacking Glenn Beck and/or Rush Limbaugh by giving a litany of complaints about what they said, as he laid out in a nearly three-minute tirade on his September 14 Air America radio show.
So what if his network is drawing a larger audience than its combined competition? So what if one of his newest shows has drawn unprecedented numbers for a start-up that airs at 5 p.m.? According to Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Fox News President Roger Ailes is tarnishing his own personal reputation.
It could just be sour grapes for Fineman, who is affiliated with rival network MSNBC and was appearing on that network's "Countdown" with fill-in host David Shuster, but he attacked Fox host Glenn Beck and the 9/12 protestors he helped inspire.
"Well, he can - he can pretend to cry all he wants on the stage and call himself a televangelist," Fineman said of Beck on MSNBC's Sept. 14 "Countdown." "He is not into uniting the country, from everything I've seen. He is making a boatload of money dividing the country. When you say with no real evidence whatsoever that the president of the United States hates white people, you aren't behaving in the spirit of 9/12, you're behaving in a spirit that we thought we've gotten rid of at the end of the civil war and the end of the second civil rights movement. So, you know, he can cry the crocodile tears all he wants. That doesn't seem to be what he's actually doing."