You'd think Chris Matthews would learn his lesson. First he insulted Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell as "showcase appointments," only to apologize for it later. Then, on Tuesday's "Hardball" he essentially called Sarah Palin an empty "vessel" with no "independent thinking" of her own, just "like a Clarence Thomas." [audio excerpt available here]
Matthews made the following gaffe during a discussion about Sarah Palin's readiness, on the September 16, "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Paul [Begala], because I know your politics. But is this a, like a Clarence Thomas where they wanted to pick an African-American for the Supreme Court so they picked the kind they wanted, which was in this case, a guy who was very conservative who hued to the, sort of the, the line of the conservative court. They have a person [Sarah Palin] here, who's apparently, to some extent, in terms of foreign policy, tabula rasa. Someone they can fill up with all this neo-conservative thinking, including vocabulary, apparently based upon her performance with Charlie, Charlie Gibson. Is that what they wanted, just sort of a vessel to sell and carry their product, rather than someone with independent thinking on foreign policy?
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei and his partner Brad Altman about their wedding following California legalizing gay marriage and asked: "George, how was the wedding? Was it everything you dreamed of?" At the end of the segment, Takei declared: "And may sweet equality live long and prosper," making the Star Trek Vulcan hand sign. Rodriguez showed her solidarity, making the hand sign back and replying: "Let me do it. Same to you." [audio excerpt here]
During the segment, Rodriguez asked about the California ballot initiative designed to overturn the state supreme court’s decision to legalize gay marriage: "But there's this proposition on the November ballot, which you're very familiar with, Proposition 8, that may allow California voters to essentially nullify your marriage if they vote for it. George, talk about what that would mean for your marriage and for you emotionally." Takei replied by denouncing the ballot initiative, yet praising democracy:
Well, first of all, we're not going to let it get there, we're going to fight it tooth and nail. Because it's against the basic fundamental ideals of democracy. You know, we're a pluralistic society and there are many, many faiths and beliefs here. Now we respect everybody's faiths, their right to their beliefs. But there's no right for any one faith group to write those -- their own particular beliefs into civil law that applies to everyone. That's not democracy. That's not the way it works in the American way. And we are going to make sure that democracy prevails here.
When Andrea Mitchell says "all of us" thought a certain way, whom does she have in mind?
On her MSBNC show this afternoon, Mitchell stated that "all of us" originally thought John McCain had made a political mistake when he changed positions and came out of in favor of expanded oil drilling.
Mitchell was chatting with former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers and Republican strategist Doug MacKinnon. The subject was the just-announced Dem energy plan, that claims to make some limited provision for expanded offshore drilling. Mitchell made no bones of the fact that the politics now favor the advocates of expanded drilling, and that Dems were caught off guard.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared live in the New York studio on the September 16 "Fox & Friends" to discuss negative campaigning this presidential season, as well as the media's bias.
Bozell noted that the bias in the media often manifests as a bias by omission and/or a double standard:
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Because everybody in the mainstream media seems to be beating up Sarah Palin, what stories are nobody covering on the Left?
Reacting to photographs of Sen. John McCain taken by a freelance photographer for Atlantic Monthly, MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell took aim at the photographer while noting the magazine has reacted appropriately by denouncing her work. [audio of segment here]
"In this case, I don't know that I blame Atlantic Monthly for this reason. [Jill Greenberg] is a rogue photographer," Bozell told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes on their September 15 program.
Bozell added that Atlantic's editor denounced Greenberg as "appalling." "This wasn't the [fault of the] Atlantic Monthly, this was the photographer" who is among a segment of the political left that "is just out of control." That doesn't negate that fact that the media have not been biased in this election cycle, Bozell added.:
It might not do John McCain any good politically. But once in a while, it's refreshing to hear an MSMer called out on political bias.
It happened this morning when John McCain told Mika Brzezinski "I know you're a supporter of Senator Obama." Mika resorted to her favorite defense to the bias charge, mentioning that she has a brother who works on the McCain campaign and asking the Arizona senator to "say hello" to him for her. Just for good measure, McCain called Mika's tactic "a cheap shot."
It was Mika's question about campaign ads that touched things off . . .
The woman introducing Joe Biden to a Michigan crowd yesterday called Sarah Palin a "bucket of fluff." Biden then told the crowd that Barack Obama is too smart and too well-educated to live in a Republican neighborhood. Now that the Dems have put Obama's smarts and education on the table, will the MSM demand Obama finally release his Columbia transcript?
But, OK, fine. Biden's put it out there. We know about Biden's academic record. And John McCain's far-from-stellar academics at the Naval Academy are well documented. Sarah Palin apparently moved around quite a bit in college. But there's one person about whom there is a very large lacuna when it comes to his academic record: one Barack Obama. His campaign has refused to release his Columbia University undergraduate transcript, the one upon which he was admitted to Harvard Law. Now that Biden has put smarts on the table, will the MSM demand that Obama come clean on Columbia?
On a day when markets are in turmoil, you might think that the role of an American president, current or aspiring, would be to assure his fellow citizens—and the world—that our economy is fundamentally strong.
That's what John McCain did. In contrast, Barack Obama suggested that the American economy is fundamentally weak. WaPo's Jonathan Capehart has declared Obama the winner of the exchange, for doing a better job in channeling the country's anxiety.
Click on image for video of McCain and Obama addressing the state of the economy on the stump today, and Capehart's commentary.
Where Charles Gibson's 2007 interview with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) "was one part This is Your Life, one part Oprah Winfrey," McCain running mate Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) faced a "harsh interrogation" with the ABC anchor in "total attack mode," MRC Communications Director Seton Motley told Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly on the September 15 edition of "America's Newsroom." [audio available here]
An excerpt from the interview:
KELLY: Let me ask you about the editing process. What exactly was arguably unfair about the way ABC edited the interview with the governor?
Decimate: 1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: the population was decimated by a plague. 2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
Is that the definition of the post-partisan politics Barack Obama claims to be preaching? You know, the kind where there's no blue-state America or red-state America: just the United States of America? Maybe Chevy Chase didn't get the email. Appearing on Morning Joe today, Chase expressed his disappointment that Tina Fey didn't go after Sarah Palin harder in her SNL impersonation. Chase wanted to see Fey "decimate" the Republican VP candidate.
Chase was appearing to tout a charity auction he and wife Jayni are conducting to fund environmental education in the schools. See Bonus Coverage for a disturbing factoid Jayni let slip. Chase's call for blood came in response to Willie Geist's very first question.
"I want to take my limited time today and focus in on - I couldn't imagine a better moment for you to be here than after last night's stunningly distorted interview with Gov. Palin on ABC," Gingrich said. "Stunningly distorted because of one particular set of question, which I want to spend my time explaining and putting in context. I don't know how many of you have seen the original interview or excerpts, but there's a point where Charlie Gibson asks Gov. Palin about whether or not she believed that our soldiers were on a task from God and he quoted one-fourth of something she had said in her church."
CNN Headline News' Showbiz Tonight host A.J. Hammer invited HGTV host Lauren Lake and Extra's Carlos Diaz on to the program yesterday to discuss Oprah Winfrey's refusal to book Governor Sarah Palin on her show.
Both Hammer and Lake teamed up on Diaz and bombarded him with why it was not a political decision for Oprah to refuse Palin on her show while endorsing Obama.
HAMMER: Carlos, it’s the Oprah Winfrey Show. She said what she was going to do. She sets the plate, and she’s sticking with it, so I don’t really get what the problem is.
DIAZ: No I agree. I agree, but my point is it’s tough to back one candidate and then completely ignore the Republican Party. I know she’s sticking to her guns, but still.
HAMMER: So because she’s Oprah Winfrey, it’s almost like a different set of rules apply?
Call this the meeting of the minds - should it ever happen, but the host of CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" has a message for MSNBC's "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann.
Lou Dobbs, a self-described ‘independent populist' that espouses his anti-free trade and protectionist viewpoints on CNN nightly, appeared at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit. It was there that Dobbs revealed his disdain for Olbermann.
"Did somebody mention Keith Olbermann?" Dobbs asked rhetorically. "By the way - I was delighted to hear that - well, let me say, let me put it this way just very clearly - I'm a petty and venal person. I and Tony [Perkins, president of the Family Research Council], I'm confessing in front of everyone here, but the man is hanging by a highly medicated string. And I am so, well, I have to admit it - I am a little angry with him."
On CNBC's "Squawk Box," reporter Charlie Gasparino told co-host Joe Kernen, "I will say this about the Bear Stearns thing when you compare that [Lehman] with this. I think our reporting was incredibly responsible. It was so responsible ... and you know we went out of our way with Bear Stearns ... We just report on how feckless management is and I can't help that Bear Stearns was feckless. [Lehman] was feckless too and that is the scary part."
"They're going to parse every ‘is' that a journalist said," said Kernen. "We don't hammer the stock. We watch the stock get hammered and then we talk about it."
The legalization of slavery is a big campaign issue. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg. Republican nominee John McCain appeared on the Septemeber 12 edition of "The View." Answering a question about his opposition to Roe v. Wade, McCain insisted that he would support judges who strictly interpret the Constitution. This must have set alarms for Whoopi Goldberg who asked "do I have to worry about becoming a slave again?" [audio available here]
If Goldberg -- who in the past has shown clear ignorance about the Constitution -- would actually read the Constitution, she would know a strict constructionist would not return America to slavery. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution states that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Initially Senator McCain ignored Goldberg's question, but Whoopi expressed her enslavement anxiety again adding "there are certain things in the Constitution that you had to change." The "View" co-host should know that, unlike the legalization of abortion, slavery was abolished through a constitutional amendment, not a Supreme Court decision.
It now makes more sense why CNN's John Roberts didn't want to talk about liberal media bias with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention last week, for while discussing the state of the presidential campaign with former Clinton administration advisor Paul Begala Friday morning, Roberts referred to Democrats as "we." [audio here]
I kid you not.
At 6:57 AM, after showing a video of Barack Obama saying, "I don't care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift Boat politics. Enough is enough," Roberts said to his guest (video embedded right, downloadable video available here, file photo):
Hip Hop R&B artist Ne-Yo joined MTV VJ Lyndsey Rodrigues on TRL to co-host today. Prior to performing, Ne-Yo was interviewed about a song on his new album titled "When You're Mad." Rodrigues asked the singer/song-writer the last time he was mad himself.
RODRIGUES: When's the last time you got fired up?
NE-YO: Last time I got fired up?...you know what got me mad? When I watched McCain's speech. That got me mad.
RODRIGUES: I'm not going to get into it.
Rodrigues quickly steered away from politics and moved the show back to the music. Perhaps after Russell Brand made his views known to the MTV audience, another onslaught of complaints was the last thing MTV wanted.
However, Brand gained more notoriety than ever since the Video Music Awards and has apparently been asked to return next year. Up and coming entertainers are not necessarily looking for friends but the bottom line. It should be no surprise entertainers are looking to throw political bombs now.
Ne-Yo may be looking to season his new album release with some political controversy, but after Brand's reprehensible behavior at the VMA's, Ne-Yo was not going to top that. At least MTV was not going to let him.
Immediately following the interview, CNBC Media and Technology Editor Dennis Kneale observed the demeanor of Nelson and warned the scandal would be exploited by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., for political purposes.
ABC's "Good Morning America" exposed many problems with Medicare's hotline number 1-800-MEDICARE September 11, including telephone operators "who couldn't answer the [questions],""gave out the wrong information" or were completely unreachable.
The onscreen caption for the ABC report read "Investigation Exposes Health Care Mess." The morning broadcast didn't disappoint, pointing to a Senate committee investigation that had staffers call the Medicare hotline more than 500 times.
Co-host Chris Cuomo teased to introduce Yunji de Nies' report:
Many seniors looking for answers to their questions often turn to help lines that can be anything but helpful.
Even though "Good Morning America" seems to have taken a recent interest in the glaring problems at the government-backed program, experts have been making the point for years.
It's an oldie, but a goodie for the broadcast media - attacking bottled water, a legitimate product that produces billions of dollars in sales annually.
The September 10 "CBS Evening News" went after the bottled water industry, suggesting that a lack of regulations for purification and testing meant bottled water is unsafe.
"The marketing campaigns say it all - bottled water is a pure healthy choice for consumers and millions of Americans are swallowing that message," CBS correspondent Thalia Assuras said. "Despite research showing that almost 40 percent actually comes out of taps, including Pepsi's Aquafina, Coke's Dasani and Nestle's Pure-Life, consumers spent $11 billion last year buying it off the shelves, convinced it's healthier. Food safety experts say there is no evidence of that."
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the September 11 "Fox & Friends" to talk about media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's lipstick-on-a-pig remark and on the continued fallout from MSNBC's biased convention coverage.
Bozell noted that the liberal media just "don't get it" about widespread anger over the lipstick remark, but cautioned the Fox News anchors from labeling Obama's remark as sexist:
BRENT BOZELL: There are women all over America who are outraged. Whether or not he meant to say it, he did say it. Period.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: And so, do you believe, though, that it was a sexist comment?
Make it a trio of mindreaders at NBC/MSNBC. As noted here, yesterday Howard Fineman and David Shuster went Carnac on us, emphatically declaring that Barack Obama didn't have Sarah Palin in mind with his lipstick line. On this morning's Today, Andrea Mitchell joined her network stablemates [no pun intended!] in delving into Barack's brain and assuring us he meant no harm.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Barack Obama has been a punching-bag [aww] for a barrage of criticism from the McCain campaign. Charges that he slurred Sarah Palin when he said this about McCain and his change argument [cut to clip of Obama's lipstick line]. He was clearly talking about McCain, not Palin.
Well, guess that wraps it up. But wait. Over at Morning Joe, the group wasn't so forgiving, opining that Obama either did know, or should have known, the implications of what he was saying. Mika Brzezinski herself took the first shot.
Two segments on Tuesday’s Election Center program, which were promoted by host Campbell Brown as having ‘no bias, no bull,’ actually tried to paint Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin as having a "very extreme" and "outside-the-mainstream" viewpoint on environmental issues, since on the issue of global warming, she’s "not one... who would attribute it to being man-made." Brown herself suggested during the second segment that the debate over the cause of global warming was already over [see video at right].
Correspondent Randi Kaye interviewed University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner during the first segment, a report on Palin’s environmental record. She asked, " In a word, if you can sum up Sarah Palin's record on the environment here, what would it be?" Steiner answered, "Abysmal." Anderson Cooper’s blog on CNN.com republished the professor’s September 7 editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in which he railed against Governor Palin: "In addition to her frightening lack of qualification to be vice president (much less president) of the United States, Palin is an evangelical, anti-choice, pro-gun, right-wing conservative who wants creationism taught in schools." When a shorter version of her report aired on Wednesday’s The Situation Room, Kaye added that Steiner "says he’s not a Republican or a Democrat." Despite this clarification, it is clear from his editorial that Steiner is a liberal.
CNN’s “best political team on television” is proving itself to be the best at closing its eyes, plugging its ears and repeating “la, la, la, we can’t hear you” when it comes to Republicans addressing economic concerns.
In its coverage of the Republican National Convention September 3 and 4, the cable network accused the GOP of ignoring the economy at least 27 times. The criticism originated from Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, and CNN picked it up and ran, according to analysis from the Business & Media Institute.
Nevermind that five of the Republican convention’s headline speakers –President George W. Bush, former Sen. Fred Thompson, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin and presidential nominee Sen. John McCain – all addressed some aspect of the economy. That’s not including other speeches that were not broadcast.
You could see this one coming. After Harry Smith called Sarah Palin "Geritol" for McCain, some MSM wag was sure to take things the next step. I'd say it just happened. NBC News DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker was chatting with Andrea Mitchell at 1:27 PM EDT today.
MARK WHITAKER: [People] want to see passion. They want to see that Obama, and the same thing is true of McCain, and we've seen him [show] a lot more passion since he picked Sarah Palin, it's definitely --
ANDREA MITCHELL: Someone described it as Geritol.
WHITAKER: Well, or something else. Put a little pep in his step!
Joy Behar, a comedian, made an unintentionally humorous line on the September 10 edition of "The View." Behar believes that "the press is in love" with Sarah Palin. Maybe the "View" panelist holds a warped view of reality because the mainstream media has been anything but in love with the Republican vice presidential nominee. [audio excerpt here]
The latest celebrity to join in the group slamming of Sarah Palin is none other than Matt Damon as you can see in this Associated Press video which reeks of condescension. Damon, who has yet to attain public office condescendingly mocks Palin's credentials (emphasis mine):
I think there is a really good chance that Sarah Palin could president. And I think that's a really scary thing because I don't know anything about her. I don't think in eight weeks I'm going to know anything about her. I know that she was a mayor of a really, really small town. And she's governor of Alaska for less than two years. I just don't understand... I think the pick was made for political purposes but in terms of governance it's a disaster.
Apparently Damon must suffer from a severe reading disability because information about Palin is all over the Web. But does Damon really care about Palin's background? No, because his liberal mind is already made up. Damon then goes on to raise the "specter" of a Palin presidency:
We now know the official Obama talking point on Lipstick-gate.
In the course of her Morning Joe appearance today, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass used the word "ridiculous" no fewer than six times to dismiss the controversy that has arisen since Obama said yesterday that you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
Click on the image at the right to view the edited video clip.
Douglass was an ostensibly objective reporter at the National Journal before jumping ship for Obama in the midst of this campaign season.
An Obama campaign spokeswoman opened today's Morning Joe with an aggressive defense of his lipstick line, arguing that Obama was being criticized "for saying something that John McCain has said before, that Barack Obama frequently says about 'you can dress something up.' He was talking about the Republican change argument."
A bit later, bolstering her argument, the spokeswoman described the conference call the McCain campaign arranged to respond to Obama's line. She pointed out that all the reporters asking questions on the call were women, and that all of them asked McCain representative Jane Swift "are you serious?" in alleging that Obama was alluding to Palin.
Concluding, the Obama spokeswoman argued that if read in context, "he's not talking about Sarah Palin." Oh, wait. That wasn't an Obama spokeswoman. It was Andrea Mitchell, sitting in for Mika Brzezinski.
Joy Behar, one of the hosts of ABC's daytime show "The View," took to CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday night and delivered a new line of attack on Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska: Palin's “very mean” in how she treats wildlife because she hunts them and is opposed to putting polar bears on the endangered list.
(Didn't John Kerry go hunting during the 2004 campaign?) Behar, apparently quite serious since she insisted her concern was “an important point,” began the live interview:
“You know, the one thing that I don't think anybody's said yet is that she's very mean to animals, this woman. Why does she have it in for these poor polar bear and the caribou and she aerial kills wolves? That's a very mean thing to do. I think that that's an important point we should all be looking at.”