In an odd, non-sequitur of a segment, co-host Diane Sawyer kicked off the 8:30 hour of Friday's "Good Morning America" by reading aloud from an essay that President-elect Barack Obama wrote about Abraham Lincoln for a 2005 issue of Time magazine. Stopping the show cold for a minute and 22 seconds, she solemnly began, "...There was something that made us all stop and think. And you know, it's 60 days now. 60 days until the inauguration of a new president." [audio available here]
Then, Sawyer gravely announced that Obama had, in fact, written an essay: "And we saw that President-elect Obama has a favorite photograph, which he looks at. And here are the words that he wrote in Time magazine. An essay." To music that seemed reminiscent of the Ken Burns "Civil War" documentary, with images of Lincoln appearing on screen, the GMA host recited the words of the President-elect's Time article.
Remember the years of media flak President George W. Bush received for his alleged use for political gain of first the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and then the related Afghanistan and Iraq Wars?
Will the press be as vociferous now? Incoming Obama Administration Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, speaking on Wednesday on and to the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, stated outright his desire to make political hay with the ongoing travails of the U.S. and global economy:
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
Wonder why President-elect Obama resigned from the Senate so early (while Vice President-elect Joe Biden remains an active member) and is hanging back, not wading into the debate over bailouts etc, and naming candidates for nearly every Cabinet post save Treasury (the man or woman who will have $350 billion to dispense when he/she walks through the door)?
Whoever had the brilliant idea of making Capricia Marshall a guest on MSNBC's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" last night was probably hiding from host David Gregory when the show ended. Marshall turned out to be the least forthcoming guest I have ever seen on a political talk show. The aide to Hillary Clinton put up a smiling stonewall that would make G. Gordon Liddy—who chose a stiff prison sentence over Watergate stool-pigeonhood—proud.
Marshall is the director of Hillary Clinton's political action committee, Hillpac, and former social secretary in the Clinton White House. Gregory had her on in the clear expectation that she would dish on Hillary's prospective appointment as Secretary of State. But Capricia was tighter than the proverbial clam. Try as Gregory might, Marshall wouldn't give up the smallest shadow of a hint of a scrap of a tidbit about anything of interest. Her big revelation? She's excited about the inauguration. Gag Gregory with an NBC "Yes We Can!" commemorative Obama-campaign DVD.
MSNBC took denigrating Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to a new low on Thursday night's Countdown. With “BREAKING NEWS” ridiculously on screen, MSNBC ended the show, hosted by David Shuster filling in for Keith Olbermann, with more than three minutes of video of some turkeys being slaughtered by a man behind Palin while rotating chyrons hyperbolically declared:
GOV. PALIN PICKS WORST POSSIBLE BACKDROP FOR TV NEWS INTERVIEW
TURKEYS DIE AS GOVERNOR PALIN TAKES QUESTIONS FROM MEDIA
GOV. SARAH PALIN KEEPS TALKING WHILE TURKEYS GET SLAUGHTERED BEHIND HER
GOV. PALIN APPARENTLY OBLIVIOUS TO TURKEY CARNAGE OVER HER SHOULDER
GOV. PALIN NOT REALIZING INCONGRUITY OF HER WORDS VERSUS HER BACKDROP
After much mocking by Ellen Degeneres about Chris Matthews' dancing abilities on his last appearance on her syndicated show, the "Hardball" host chatted with Degeneres, on Thursday's show, about the election of Barack Obama and actually grabbed a shot glass to toast his win with Ellen (audio excerpt here):
ELLEN DEGENERES: Amazing! And you must be thrilled? I mean what, what a moment.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well I am thrilled!
MATTHEWS, picking up shot glass: To Barack Obama!
DEGENERES, toasting: Yeah. To Barack Obama!
A little later in his interview segment, Matthews also took a different kind of shot, the verbal kind, against the outgoing administration:
Talk about an awkward moment. On CNN’s Larry King Live on Monday, the septuagenarian host asked the “pregnant man” Thomas Beatie and his wife, Nancy, about the mechanics of their relationship. Beatie, who was born a woman and retains female reproductive organs, became a celebrity last year when the media dubbed him the world’s first “pregnant man.”
Thomas and Nancy Beatie appeared on Monday’s Larry King Live to talk about how they are expecting their second child next year. At one point, King decided to ask the pair about their sex life:
LARRY KING: Where did you learn how to do this? From the Internet, you said, right? You can't have the normal kind of intercourse, right?
"Well, we're not yet in anything remotely resembling the crisis, the scale of crisis of the Great Depression." When Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, 13 million Americans were unemployed. "That was 25 percent of the work force," Kennedy told Bloomberg host Tom Keene.
The professor laid out exactly what has changed since the troubled 1930s:
For the second day in a row, ABC's "hot seat" segment on "Good Morning America" turned into a cringe-inducing display of gushing questions, including a query about Chris Cuomo's underwear habits. The network promoted the series, which kicked off on Wednesday, as a time when GMA's hard-charging hosts would be forced to ask tough viewer questions. An ad touted how weatherman Sam Champion "bravely" went first and exclaimed, "Every morning, they ask the tough questions...So, who will go next and what will they reveal?"
Apparently, the answer is they will reveal things that few want to know. Cuomo received this video question from twenty-something Tara of Pennsylvania: "So, Chris, boxers or briefs?" She then proceeded to suggestively wink. An apparently-not-too embarrassed Cuomo began, "Assuming I have anything on-" before being stopped by co-host Diane Sawyer. [Audio available here.]
Drumstick or breast for accused daddy killer? Details at 11!
If that wasn't quite how the Early Show played it, it's not far off. Of all the angles to promote its coverage of the story of the eight-year old accused of killing his father, CBS highlighted the issue of . . . where the boy would celebrate Thanksgiving.
"It's one thing to cover the honeymoon and it's another to be in bed with the honeymooners," NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell quipped of the Obama-fawning mainstream media while on the November 19 "Fox & Friends."
"It is a sheer embarassment," the Media Research Center president continued, noting that a network executive he talked to said "there are seasoned professionals, who may be liberals, who are just shocked at what's happened to their industry." [audio available here]
In another segment on the same program, Bozell talked about the media's double standard in reporting on crimes involving immigrants.
During Tuesday evening’s “No Bias, No Bull” program, Washington Post national political correspondent and CNN contributor Dana Milbank implied, perhaps inadvertently, that the incoming Obama adminstration was like the North Vietnamese advancing on Saigon in 1975. Host Campbell Brown asked Milbank about the “backlog of at least 2,000 pardon applications” to the Bush administration before the president leaves office early next year, and he replied, “Yeah -- it sort of has the feeling of the last helicopter off the embassy roof in Saigon.” [audio available here]
Milibank made the remark during his regular “Political Daily Briefing” feature, which aired at the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Earlier in the segment, the Post correspondent, as well as Brown, commented on Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman keeping his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Brown stated that “despite supporting John McCain, despite saying some pretty nasty things about Barack Obama on the campaign trail, Senator Joe Lieberman is going to keep his coveted chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.” Milbank agreed with this labeling of some of Lieberman’s past statements about Obama in his reply: “It’s amazing -- looks like a full amnesty for Joe Lieberman. He said some awful things about President-Elect Obama, and now he gets -- I don’t think you could even really call it a slap on the wrist there...”
Barney Frank favors bailing out the Detroit automakers over letting them go into bankruptcy. Chief among his concerns is that bankruptcy might "bust" the unions. You know, those organizations whose contract demands have put Detroit on the brink of extinction.
The Massachusetts Dem, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez on today's Early Show. He appeared alongside Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Al.), ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who favors letting the automakers reorganize under Chapter 11.
Amidst all the sanctimonious do-gooderism and global-warming alarmism that is NBC/Universal's "Green Week," it's good to see that at least one network minion has managed to maintain his sense of humor.
Morning Joe's Willie Geist became something of a sensation with his spoof electioneering for John McCain on the sidewalks of Manhattan's ultra-blue Upper West Side. In that same spirit, Willie ventured onto the streets of midtown yesterday, asking folks how they were celebrating Green Week, and posing provocative questions. Sample: "Do you think global warming is kinda hogwash? I mean, look how cold it is today." He got some amusing answers and met some colorful characters, including one dazed and confused fellow who turned out to be none other than Mike Barnicle.
In a showcase piece of just how far the network has sunk journalistically speaking, they have produced a segment that could only be described as childishly one-sided. The title of the piece - Palin Fantasies Revealed in Doodles.
The reality is that the analysis of these doodles reveals more about CNN's fantasies than anything else. It is a piece so laden with PDS overtones, so bereft of integrity, that one has to wonder how it can possibly be offered up by CNN as news.
Reporter Jeanne Moos compares two doodles, one done by President-elect Barack Obama, and one by Governor Sarah Palin, back when she was running for mayor. She manages to find some people on the street to comment on the two doodles, and the results are incredibly biased toward one side. And guess who gets the positive coverage...
That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."
David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.
For a panel that airs their opinion nationally on regular basis, it is reasonable to expect them to understand basic political terms. Unfortunately, current “View” co-hosts do not. On the November 18 edition of “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg cited an “Advocate” cover headline reading “Gay is the New Black.” Reading the teleprompter, Whoopi stated “some people don’t agree with comparing this to black suffrage,” paused and, in a puzzled state, admitted “I don’t even understand what that word is, suffrage.” [audio available here]
For the record, and to offer Whoopi Goldberg some free elementary school education, the term suffrage according to “Merriam-Webster,” is defined as “the right of voting.”
Sherri Shepherd, who lacks basic information in geography and history, revealed her ignorance in civics and vocabulary. Sherri clumsily tried to define it as “I guess it’s when black people had to, you know, they didn’t want to die for being black.” The other two co-hosts in attendance, Joy Behar (who previously taught English) and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, did not speak up to offer a definition.
At 78, Larry Eagleburger hasn't lost his fastball. Since leaving government, he might actually have added some MPH. Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, the former Secretary of State in George H.W.'s administration warmed up with some rough words for Barack Obama and Christopher Hitchens . . . then absolutely rubbished Bill Richardson.
Andrea Mitchell had invited Eagleburger on to assess the list of potential Secretary of State nominees. While he wasn't wildly enthusiatic about Hillary, she was his pick among those under serious consideration. When Mitchell suggested that Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience might prove useful, Eagleburger unloaded on Obama's lack of experience..
Repent, all ye owners of Suburbans, thou drivers of Explorers. Mend thy ways, ye Escalade-loving louts! Take heed of the warning the prophet Mika has vouchsafed unto you: greedy thou art; verily, destroyers of the environment be thee!
Oy. Mika Brzezinski was on quite a roll this morning. On the one hand, free-marketers would find much to agree with in Mika's arguments. As noted here yesterday, whereas Joe Scarborough has been vigorously advocating a federal rescue of Detroit, Brzezinski favors bankruptcy over bailout. But Mika couldn't help muddling her message, delivering a jeremiad against Detroit for producing larger vehicles and Americans for buying them, actually condemning the latter as "greedy."
William Ayers spoke to a Washington, D.C. audience tonight about his views on the American education system. The Ayers speech included slams towards Fox News and Governor Sarah Palin.
The event was full of mostly supporters given the amount of loud applause he received. A true question and answer session never really occurred, as audience members were required to write their questions on note cards for pre-screening. Knowing organizers would only choose softball questions, I confronted Ayers with Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney.
Victoria's Secret, the well-known lingerie retailer, is being sued by a woman who claims the company's bra had formaldehyde in it and made her "utterly sick." ABC's "Good Morning America" ran a segment Nov. 11 focusing on that 37-year-old Ohio woman, Roberta Ritter.
"Victoria's Secret - certainly one of the world's most recognizable brands," anchor Diane Sawyer said. "And this morning, though, there are questions about what some of the bras might have in them. And did they cause a reaction?"
ABC's Andrea Canning warned viewers "some women say they've experienced very uncomfortable symptoms from the bras like rashes and hives, even permanent scarring ... but the bras are still on the shelves."
Forget Al Gore's measly 20-foot sea level rise from "An Inconvenient Truth." That's small potatoes compared to the kind of catastrophe Meredith Vieira was talking about last night. Kicking off NBC's Global Alarmism Green Week during the halftime of Sunday Night Football, Vieira raised the spectre of the seas rising . . . 200 feet! Al imagined much of Manhattan under water, but if Meredith's scenario comes true, we're near to talking Manhattan, Kansas By The Sea![H/t reader Mick L.]
Just one little problem: Meredith's talk of 200 feet exaggerates the increase predicted by scientists by . . . literally hundreds of times.
Is MSNBC being rewarded for having backed Obama? That's what Jim Pinkerton suggests. On this evening's Fox News Watch, the columnist and New America Foundation fellow cited the news that GE Capital, a subsidiary of MSNBC's parent company GE, has received a $139 billion government loan guarantee.
Host Jon Scott opened this evening's show opened with a clip of Chris Matthews [in a story that NB was first to report], saying that he saw as his "job" making the Obama presidency a success. Pinkerton unloaded.
In the name of gender equality, the Today show plumped this morning for government regulation forcing health care insurers to charge men and women the same for individual policies even though women cost insurers more because of greater use of services. Hasn't the financial crisis taught the MSM anything about the danger of government meddling in markets? No.
Insurers wind up paying out more in claims under women's policies than men's. Under the circumstances, charging women the same as men would make as much sense as FedEx charging a flat shipping fee no matter how big the box. But that didn't stop NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman and Today weekend co-host Amy Robach from decrying the unfairness of it all this morning. Their solution? More government, of course. They want legislation to force insurers to charge the sexes the same.
By definition, projection is revealing of what lurks in a person's heart and mind. Arianna Huffington projected tonight, and what she revealed wasn't pretty. So much so, that even her liberal host hastened to diassociate herself from the HuffPo editor. Huffington, grossly misquoting Grover Norquist's famous line about doing away with government, added an infanticidal twist.
Huffington was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show. The two shed crocodile tears about the diminished state of the Republican party. It was in suggesting that, of all things, she and Maddow should head up a Marshall Plan to save the GOP that Huffington engaged in that ugly bit of projection.
So what exactly is the government doing with your money? Fox Business Network's Alexis Glick would like to know.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced Nov. 12 he would be redirecting the $700 billion bailout to focus on propping up financial institutions instead of buying troubled mortgage assets, which was the original intent of the rescue plan.
Glick, the host of FBN's "Money for Breakfast," told the CBS's "The Early Show" Nov 13 that the Treasury Department's move away from the original plan to buy up troubled mortgages "does not make sense" and was "actually pretty outrageous":
[T]he markets responded to that yesterday ... Look, the original intent of this Troubled Asset Relief Program was to purchase troubled assets. And I think the marketplace started to adjust several weeks ago when we started to see the size and magnitude of the capital injections.
Remember back during the campaign, when the Obama folks and their MSM cohorts adamantly denied that their man was a liberal? That National Journal study that ranked him the most liberal senator? Nonsense! Very misleading. After all, this is the man who doesn't believe in a red America and a blue America, but in the United States of America. Someone with a history of reaching across partisan lines [even if no good examples were handy at the moment].
So . . . remember all that? Well, forget it. Now that Obama is safely ensconced in his Office of the President-Elect, the MSM can let the [ill-concealed to many of us] cat out of the bag: yes, he's a liberal. Big time! In fact, Obama is nothing less than the second coming of the biggest American liberal icon of all time: FDR! Rick Stengel announced the news on today's Morning Joe.
Perhaps Luke Russert should drop his NBC gig as youth-vote specialist and become a full-time Republican consultant. The son of the late Meet The Press host didn't hesitate this evening to share his advice to the GOP, which can be summarized in two words: go left.
The 23-year old Russert dropped his pearls of electoral wisdom while chatting with the hard-working Mika Brzezinski, guest-hosting for David Gregory on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after co-anchoring Morning Joe at the crack of dawn.
On Wednesday's "Today" show, Matt Lauer played a portion of his interview with Sarah Palin in Alaska where he asked Palin if his former "Today" co-anchor, Katie Couric, was "unfair," during her pre-election interview, to which Palin responded she found some of the questions, "a little bit annoying."
The following exchange was aired on the November 12, edition of the "Today" show (audio available here):
MATT LAUER: More now of our interview with Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin. Virtually unknown before John McCain picked her as his running mate, Palin founder herself under an intense media spotlight. I asked Governor Palin about one of her first interviews during the campaign with Katie Couric, where she stumbled over a number of questions. And I asked her if seeing the clips from that interview, hurt her confidence.
It's not like Barack Obama is a socialist or anything. It's just that Thomas Friedman wants him to put a "government master" in charge of the country's biggest manufacturing sector. Friedman made his modest proposal in his New York Times column of today, and expanded on it during a Morning Joe appearance. [H/t reader Tom.]