One of the highlights of the evening last night at the 2009 Media Research Center Gala and DisHonors Awards for yours truly was radio host Mark Levin, who served as an awards presenter.
With stinging humor, Mr. Levin zinged journalists and liberal pundits left and right -- or should I say lefter? -- so I took the liberty of taking some of the best lines and editing it down to a nearly 4-minute long video.
Click the embedded video at right to enjoy. An audio version is available here.
Andrew Breitbart, the founding editor of the conservative Big Hollywood blog, described MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews as a reality TV star trying to keep his short-lived 1990s celebrity status alive.
BREITBART: Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are basically Gary Busey and Jeff Conway.
BREITBART: My friend's a Beverly Hills psychiatrist who deals with the neuroses of the stars every single day. And he called me up after the thrill up the leg thing, and he said, "Andrew, that's a common side effect of a double dose of lithium."
As if out to prove our point about media bias, the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers seized on a one-liner by Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher made last night at the MRC Gala and DisHonors Awards. Wurzelbacher, accepting the "Obamagasm Award" on behalf of ABC's Bill Weir, made a crack playing off the orgasmic delight that Chris Matthews and others in the media expressed after watching then-candidate Obama deliver rousing campaign speeches.
"God, all this love and everything in the room - I'm horny," Akers quoted Wurzelbacher, before going on to insist that no one in the whole room, especially at her table, understood why he said that.
The Media Research Center (MRC) today proudly announces that HBO's Bill Maher is the "Winner" of Quote of the Year for tastelessly suggesting that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol was the actual birth mother of her infant son, Trig. Maher was selected by the more than 800 attendees of the MRC's annual DisHonors Awards Gala, held last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Maher-- winner of the Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin -- beat out MSNBC's Chris Matthews (the Media Messiah Award), CNN founder Ted Turner (the Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis) and ABC's Bill Weir (the Obamagasm Award).
This morning, MSNBC’s Alex Witt was in full damage control mode, working whatever apologist explanations she could find into her reluctant coverage of last night's teleprompter-free “Tonight Show” appearance by the president. [audio available here]
Obama was doing quite well at staying on message, when he made the following comment in reaction to Jay Leno's question about his infamous lack of bowling ability:
JAY LENO: I imagine the bowling alley has been burned and closed down.
President BARACK OBAMA: No, I've been practicing.
OBAMA: I bowled a 129. I had –
LENO: Oh, no, that's very good. Yeah. That's very good, Mr. President.
OBAMA: This is sort of like Special Olympics or something.
We hope Chris Matthews isn't too jealous of Bill Weir. Conquering fierce competition, the ABC reporter pulled out a victory last night in the "Obamagasm Award" at the MRC's DisHonors Awards. [audio available here]
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chatted about the ceremony this morning on "Fox & Friends."
JULIET HUDDY, co-host: There's something called the Obamagasm Award. Who won that and explain the significance of that award?
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: Well, the Obamagasm Award is given to that reporter who has swooned the most, and I mean there are all manner of descriptors --
BRIAN KILMEADE, co-host: Tough category here!
BOZELL: for the media's coverage.
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Exactly right. Brent, we've got the clip, let's look at Bill Weir of ABC.
In the wake of the American International Group (AIG) bonus controversy, some have called the plans of congressional leaders to tax those bonuses at a rate of 90-100 percent "legislating with a vengeance."
"When you violate the public trust, different rules apply - the same thing we have in charitable organizations, 501(c)3 when they have excessive payment in certain areas that we're able to penalize them for," Rangel said.
Liberal "View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on Thursday's edition of "Good Morning America" to promote her new children's book "SheetzuCacaPoopoo," an allegory for Barack Obama's rise to power. According to Behar, the illustrated tale the book is really about the new President. She explained to GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, "The dog- Max is in trouble. They send him to obedience school, okay? When he's in obedience school is when he becomes Barack. He becomes a community organizer."
As a somewhat incredulous Roberts watched, Behar continued, "And he organizes the big dogs around the little dogs. 'Cause at first, the big dogs, also known as the Republicans, don't like him. See?" With no spoiler alerts, Behar concluded, "And so, he finds ways, pragmatically, to help the big dogs...And so, he becomes popular. And everybody loves each other. " [audio available here]
While there has been a lot of outrage over taxpayer money being used to fund $165 million in bonuses paid out to American International Group (AIG) executives propagated by the media, Fox Business "Happy Hour" co-host Cody Willard suggested the bailout money is going to something far worse - terrorism, specifically al-Qaida.
On March 18, The Wall Street Journal reported that some of the money the U.S. government paid out to AIG might be benefiting hedge funds that bet on a failing housing market. According to the report, investment banks like Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) sold financial instruments to hedge funds betting defaults would increase.
"AIG bailout funds terrorism," Willard said. "This is what it's all about guys, it's the most politically well-connected. AIG aid is not going just to AIG shareholders, but more of the point is that it's going to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and these other banks, whose customers are yes - these giant hedge funds."
Is President Barack Obama's administration showing hints it is losing confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner? CNBC's Larry Kudlow said the signs are suggesting as much.
The host of "The Kudlow Report" said in an appearance with CNBC On-Air Editor Charlie Gasparino on his March 17 broadcast that a statement put out earlier today by the administration, and placed at the top of the Drudge Report, hinted this was the beginning of the end for Geithner.
"You know, statements out of the blue - statements like this are what I call a real bad leading indicator that Geithner's time, days may be numbered," Kudlow said. "It may not happen in the next week, but it may happen."
The statement was made in relation to the Treasury Department's handling of the brouhaha surrounding the $165 million in bonuses paid out to American International Group (AIG) executives, even though they were recipients of bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
The anger and outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid out to American International Group (AIG) executives has many upset and outraged, but it also has some scratching their head wondering where that same emotion is over the entire government spending/bailout culture that has encapsulated Washington, D.C.
Earlier on March 17, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli suggested on CNBC's "Squawk Box" some of this outrage could be purely political. However, liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz said on MSNBC's March 17 "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," host by David Shuster, this "outrage" is welcomed by President Barack Obama.
"David, I think the Obama administration wants this public outrage," Schultz said. "It's an issue of timing right now. They couldn't have stopped the money to AIG."
Since his now-famous Chicago Tea Party outburst from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February, CNBC's Rick Santelli had seemingly disappeared from the spotlight.
However, on CNBC's March 17 "Squawk Box," Santelli, using similar theatrics, noted that the Obama administration as been very concerned about $165 million in bonuses paid out to American International Group (AIG) executives, even though they were recipients of bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
"Well, I mean it seems as though the administration really hit this one head on. They're not happy about it, right?" Santelli said.
In a speech on March 16, President Barack Obama called it an "outrage" and said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pursuing "legal avenues" to block the bonuses. In Santelli's view, Obama seemed to be worrying about millions, instead of the billions and trillions.
Former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's daughter Meghan has four words of advice for conservative radio host Laura Ingraham: "Kiss my fat ass!" [h/t Jeff Poor]
Appearing on the March 16 edition of "The View," The Daily Beast columnist told the gals of "The View" that she was annoyed with Ingraham for recently making a joke about her weight.
McCain: Why are we so obsessed with weight? Why? And I know specifically for me, this is so, you know I'm a pop culture junkie, but when Tyra Banks went on her show in her bathing suit and said, "Kiss my fat ass," that's what I feel like right now. I'm like, "kiss my fat ass!"
All the current outrage and attention to bonuses paid out to employees of institutions that received federal bailout money is misplaced, according to an analyst that appeared on CNBC Asia on March 16.
The media is making much of the news that American International Group (AIG) executives are receiving compensation in the form of bonuses. But Kirby Daley, senior strategist at the Newedge Group explained how the focus was in the wrong place. Although some say allowing Lehman Brothers to fail in September 2008 was a mistake, it prevented the problem of taxpayer money being used for executive compensation.
"I'm not so sure that was a mistake," Daley said. "And what I mean by that is, look I had dozens of friends there. It's very painful and to see an institution like that go down, one that I have followed for years - it hurts."
The lesson according to Daley - either allow the institutions to have the same fate as Lehman Brothers, or just outright nationalize them.
Alexandra Pelosi's HBO documentary, Right America: Feeling Wronged -- Some Voices from the Campaign Trail, certainly caricatured McCain-Palin voters as a bunch of redneck racists, but it also showed how conservatives see the media as the enemy, and featured a short clip of a fun Hank Williams Jr. song take-off against the “left wing liberal media.”
In the 45-minute production, which will re-run several times over the next week or so (HBO's schedule for it), Pelosi showed a snippet of Hank Williams Jr. singing these lyrics at a McCain-Palin rally in Ft. Wayne, Indiana:
The left wing liberal media have always been a real close-knit family.
But most of the American people don't believe them anyway, you see.
What's a little salt on the wound after a seemingly humiliating performance by CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Comedy Central's March 12 "The Daily Show?" At least that's the way White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs acted when he took the opportunity to comment on last night's "Daily Show" during his March 13 press briefing.
It was supposed to be a moment of high drama - when Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart faced off with CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. But it wasn't a fight, it was more of a beating. The "comedian," as Cramer recently called him, repeatedly bashed the financial network and its star host in a segment called "Brawl Street."
The week-long feud began when CNBC reporter Rick Santelli canceled his scheduled appearance on the March 5 "The Daily Show," which led to a scathing attack on the entire CNBC network, and Cramer taking a few jabs in return. Finally, the "Mad Money" host sat down for an interview with Stewart on his March 12 broadcast. Initially, Cramer was apologetic for his the way the entire financial crisis had gone down from a media point-of-view.
"I think that everyone could have come in under criticism because we all should have seen it more," Cramer said. "I mean, admittedly, this is a terrible one and everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong, because I think it was a one in a million shot."
Jim Cramer just keeps paying the price for his heresy. Ever since his March 3 remarks calling Obama's policies "greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a president," the CNBC "Mad Money" host has been under attack. First it was the back-and-forth with the White House, then he was skewered by comedian Jon Stewart. Now CNN and a former high-ranking public official have targeted him.
"You know, a lot of times when I was short and I was positioned short, meaning I needed it down, I would create a level of activity beforehand that could drive the futures," Cramer said in the three year-old video. "Similarly, or if I were long, and I would want to make things a little bit rosy, I would go in and take a bunch of stocks and make sure that they're higher and maybe commit five million in capital to it and I could affect it."
Too bad this particular report didn't include an expert that was railing against the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout before it was passed last October. They could have said, "I told you so."
Global banks lending money to other countries including "the playground of the Middle East" may have angered Congressmen, but Lisa Myers investigation didn't point out that those critics of how the banks lent money voted for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in the first place.
In a segment on March 11 "NBC Nightly News," Myers, NBC's senior investigative correspondent, probed into why three particular banks - Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) - made loans to overseas institutions, but supposedly neglected domestic institutions.
The Treasury Department oversees the Internal Revenue Service. But if the Secretary of the Treasury - or any other political appointee being considered for the Treasury Department - didn't pay his income payroll taxes, it doesn't matter. That's the message from House Banking Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and he blamed the fourth estate for acting like it does matter.
"I think it's a problem, although I will say this - for the media to blame that entirely on the Senate seems to me a little bit self serving," Frank said. "I mean, the media is the problem here, in part. It is the over-focus on part of people in the media to relatively minor infractions that causes this. I guarantee you my colleagues would not on their own be doing this. So I do think we are in a culture now where a lack of perfection exacts too strong a toll, but that's the politicians reacting to the media."
Over the weekend, Chris Matthews compared Rush Limbaugh to a James Bond villain and claimed the radio talk show host was a "human vat of vitriol. He relishes the attention and he sells anger as a weapon." Before playing a clip from "You Only Live Twice," in which a Bond nemesis drops a victim into a piranha tank, Matthews, on his syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show," offered up the following description of the talk show host:
MATTHEWS: Before we break if you didn't know better this past week, you'd think Rush Limbaugh was more important than the guys in Washington and women in Washington actually elected to do things. How many U.S. senators would invite the President of the United States to come to their home turf and debate them? Well two facts are clear about this human vat of vitriol. He relishes the attention and he sells anger as a weapon.
RUSH LIMBAUGH AT CPAC: What is so strange about being honest in saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed? We, we are in for a real battle.
MATTHEWS: Limbaugh's high-handed, melodramatic, off with their heads, oratory reminds me of those over-the-top movie villains. You know, the ones who issue ludicrous commands to snuff out the good guys, like James Bond's arch nemesis who wanted the supremely confident Bond - gone.
As part of a continuation of his "COMЯADE UPDATE" segment he started near the beginning of his show, which became a YouTube sensation, Fox News host Glenn Beck is picking up right where he left off.
Beck, on his March 4 program took on a couple new targets, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and union labor.
"Comrades! Comrades, there is good news from the Western front," Beck said. "Our glorious revolution is starting to take hold on a global scale. Just listen as Comrade Brown pounded our propaganda into the minds of the clueless capitalist pigs today. Listen up."
Beck played a clip from Brown's address of a joint session of Congress, where the prime minister lobbied for the "world" to work together.
The Oklahoma senator gave a lengthy floor speech and mentioned that Sen. Jim DeMint's effort to force an up-or-down vote on the Fairness Doctrine issue, which passed 87-11 in the Senate, was a good beginning.
"Last week's vote was the first nail in the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine, but it was not the end of the attempt on the part of some people to regulate the airwaves," Inhofe said. "Now, I have long been outspoken on this issue, and it gives me great satisfaction that so many of my colleagues voted in favor of free speech over government regulation last week, but the debate has changed."
He warned that an amendment offered by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., which passed 57-41, was equally as threatening.
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly pestered Texas Congressman Ron Paul to publicly attack Rush Limbaugh and seemed frustrated when "even" the outspoken representative wouldn't give him what he wanted. After wondering "why it's so difficult" for Republicans to disagree with the talk show host's assertion that he wants Barack Obama's policies to fail, Shuster repeated the same question over and over. He complained, "How can we have that argument [about other issues], when even you, Ron Paul, are not willing to take this opportunity to say when Rush Limbaugh says that every Republican wants President Obama to fail, Rush Limbaugh is wrong?"
He continued, "How can we have the next conversation if you're not willing to have that first one?" Paul, refusing to allow Shuster to guide the debate, snapped back, "Because you want to control the semantics and the definitions." He added, "And, you know, in the media you like to personalize and then have a fight going on and that's the way politics works." The conversation didn't seem to be going the way Shuster had intended. Later, he derided, "It just seems, congressman, like so many Republicans are terrified of Rush Limbaugh. We're just trying to explore that."
Here we go again - another Obama administration/media personality feud in the works.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has no problem addressing media critics of President Barack Obama - even on an individual basis. Since Obama was sworn in as president, Gibbs has addressed criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, CNBC mercantile exchange floor reporter Rick Santelli and now CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.
During the March 3 White House press briefing, Tom Costello of NBC News asked Gibbs to respond to remarks from Cramer, who was described as "not a conservative," made on NBC's March 3 "Today" show that he "thought the president's policies, his agenda had contributed to the greatest wealth destruction he's ever seen by a president."
It was news media conventional wisdom during the 2008 presidential campaign: the worse the economy, the better it was for Democrat candidate prospects. But now that they have the legislative and executive branches and the burden of actually governing, that advantage is slowly being chipped away.
CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, who first starting connecting that perhaps a Democrat-controlled federal government might not be the best thing for the United States earlier this year, gave something of a downbeat rant on Feb. 2 about Obama's handling of the economy so far.
"Until the Obama administration starts listening, until they start paying attention to what you're watching - to the stock market, until they realize that their agenda is destroying the life savings of millions of Americans - then all I can give you is caution," Cramer said on his March 2 broadcast.
At the taping late Monday afternoon of CBS's Late Show, host David Letterman asked guest Katie Couric about “this bonehead Rush Limbaugh,” prompting Couric to plead: “Dave, don't do this to me, please! Don't do this to me.” But Letterman was just getting rolling with insults as he asserted Limbaugh's attire on Saturday at CPAC made him look “like an Eastern European gangster.” Focusing on Limbaugh's physical appearance, Letterman recited how Limbaugh's “got the black jacket on, the black silk shirt and it's unbuttoned, like, 'oh yeah, when you think Rush Limbaugh, you think ooh let's see a little flesh.'”
CBS posted the exchange as the “Big Show Highlight” preview for Monday's show. It's now the lead video in rotation on the Late Show's home page where it is displayed under the “Rush in the Flesh” heading. You can also view the Flash video clip from this interior page. [Update: video added to this post]
On Monday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews feared Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, in her nomination fight to head HHS, would be a target of "the terrorism of the, of the anti-abortion people." Then perhaps realizing he called all pro-lifers terrorists, Matthews feebly attempted to amend the statement, as he tried to clarify, "I mean verbal terrorism."[audio excerpt available here]
The following exchange was aired during the March 2, edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's talk about, let’s get to something really tough.
JONATHAN MARTIN, POLITICO: Sure.
MATTHEWS: Kathleen Sebelius, very likeable, very impressive. I think of the woman who becomes the governor in Mr. Holland’s Opus, remember the one who comes back?
LOIS ROMANO, WASHINGTON POST: Right.
MATTHEWS: Who becomes the governor, the woman governor. She looks like her, in fact. Is she gonna get through the, the terrorism of the, of the anti-abortion people?
CNN host D.L. Hughley turned to the standard left-wing tactic of playing the Nazi card against Republicans on his program on Saturday evening: “The tenets of the Republican Party are amazing and they seem warm and welcome. But when I watch it be applied -- like you didn’t have to go much further than the Republican National Convention....It literally look[s] like Nazi Germany.” He went on to say that blacks weren’t welcome in the party: “It just does not seem -- like not only are we not welcome -- not only are we not welcome, but they don’t even care what we think.” He later described the GOP as “reactionary.” [audio available here]
The stand-up comedian-turned-TV host made the remark during a segment with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Chuck D, a former member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Unfortunately, Steele did not verbally react to Hughley’s Nazi characterization. Chuck D, on the other hand, expressed his agreement with the host about blacks supposedly not being welcome in the Republican Party: “I covered the Republican convention in ‘96 for MTV...and -- seriously, their agenda was totally somewhere else, which totally -- you know, didn’t have black people or people of color in mind.” He then expressed his belief that there should be more major parties in the U.S.