At a Tuesday night fundraiser for Barack Obama held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, donors heard Barbra Streisand sing, but as ABC's Jake Tapper noted in his “Political Punch” blog, “the press was not permitted (inflicted?) with permission to hear her.” So, there's no video of it, which reminded me of how back in 2002 the Fox News Channel played a brief clip from her appearance at a September 29, 2002 fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, video we played in “The I’m Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award” category at the MRC's 2003 DisHonors Awards where we added Streisand's lyrics at the bottom of the screen along with a bouncing ball to help the audience follow along.
The customized stanzas from her 'Miseries' adaption of the 'Way We Were' as played on the October 2, 2002 Special Report with Brit Hume:
Scattered pictures Of the House we left behind. Lovely Democratic mem'ries Of the way we were.
Unprecedented growth in the economy. The Dow was up, the deficit was down. As long as Democrats were the majority, I could sleep nights, Not weep nights.
(This item contains a vulgarity. It also overlaps with an earlier posting by Noel Sheppard, but I wrote this up last night and even had the video ready to go, then fell asleep, so here's a different angle with video.)
The suggestion that talking about Sarah Palin is not important, sent HBO Real Time guest panelist Andrew Sullivan, a media veteran who now writes the “The Daily Dish” blog for The Atlantic, into an angry rant about Palin (reflecting PDS: Palin Derangement Syndrome) that was so much of an over-reaction, though it earned loud applause from the audience, that host Bill Maher, who agreed with Sullivan's perspective, called it a “shit fit” as he tried to calm him down and finally had to mimic an ape as he held up his fists by his head and yelled “grrrrrr!” to silence Sullivan.
Leading into Sullivan on the Friday night show, left-wing journalist Naomi Klein called Palin “Bush in drag” and “when you add the hunting you got Cheney,” prompting musician William Adams, who goes by “will.i.am,” to complain: “You know what scares me about Palin, is that we're talking about Palin and we're not talking about how to get out of the hole.” That set off Sullivan, the British born and raised frequent contributor to Time magazine and the New York Times, his voice getting louder and his hands gesticulating more as he proceeded:
We have to talk about Palin. Bill, let me just say, I don't want to go this far in talking about her. She is a farce. This nomination, the nomination of this person to be potentially President of the United States next January – that's the possibility, technically speaking she could be President next January – is a joke. It is absurd! It is something that should be dismissed out of hand as the most irresponsible act any candidate has ever made, ever!
Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to suggest Mike Barnicle's nearly as deep in the tank for Obama as Chris Matthews, for whom he subbed for on tonight's Hardball. Mike's actually refreshingly down-the-middle compared to the regular host.
Still, when at the very end of this evening's show Mike asked a question of Jill Zuckman, the Chicago Tribune reporter on the Palin beat, wondering [hoping?] whether the wild enthusiasm for Sarah has run its course, he got an answer that I don't quite think he was expecting.
In a September 19 "Good Morning America" preview of a report scheduled to appear on the same day's edition of ABC's "20/20," chief investigative reporter Brian Ross took a few jabs at the rich who had fallen.
Ross called it "the end of a shameful chapter of American history," and although top executives on Wall Street had been hit hard in a way "they never thought was possible ... it's hardly the soup kitchen."
There was also much indignation in the report over the assets of Richard S. Fuld Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of now fallen Lehman Brothers Inc., and Alan Schwartz, the CEO of now "busted" Bear Stearns.
"Throughout the long primary campaign, NBC was just embarrassing," MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham told Bill O'Reilly in a segment aired on the September 18 "O'Reilly Factor" about the network's pro-Obama bias in the presidential campaign.
The Fox News host opened the segment featuring thewhy the peacock channel had drawn "the ire of the McCain campaign"
"Brian Williams did two interviews with Barack Obama where his idea of a tough question" for the freshman senator from Illinois "was to show the latest adoring Time or Newsweek cover and ask Obama what his late mother would have thought," the NewsBusters Senior Editor added.
For video of the interview, click on the embedded video at right. An audio version is available here.
One or more people hack Sarah Palin's email account and publish her private correspondence on the web. So MSNBC and Politico naturally want to know if. . . Palin did anything wrong and whether there might be anything embarrassing to her in the purloined e-letters. Discussion of possible negative implications for Barack Obama? Zilch.
Talk about blaming the victim. Norah O'Donnell, subbing for Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC's 1PM EDT hour, interviewed Politico's Jim VandeHei.
"Shovel your ratings" appears to be Morning Joe's subliminal message to Keith Olbermann today. With the latest ratings showing Rachel Maddow's new MSNBC show beating Olbermann's Countdown, the MJ panel went out of its way to congratulate Maddow on her success, repeatedly mentioning what a "good person" she is and how nice it is to see such people do well.
The crew was riffing off the Drudge headline "Move Over, Olbermann, Rachel Maddow Tops MSNBC Ratings." As seen in the Drudge screencap [after the jump], on Tuesday Maddow beat Olbermann--the perennial MSNBC ratings leader--by a count of 1.8 million to 1.63 million. She also bested CNN's Larry King, among others. Scarborough & Co. never mentioned Olbermann by name. But the invidious-comparison-by-omission in their pointed praise of Maddow's good-personhood left little doubt that the wounds opened by Olbermann's open-mic slap at Scarborough, in which, during the Dem convention, he told Joe to "get a shovel" for remarks too GOP-friendly for Keith's liking, have yet to heal.
View the video, and be sure to stay tuned to the end. Mika tries to move the show along, but Scarborough pointedly persists, basking in the times when "good people do well." Got, it, Keith?
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews began his teaser for a segment about Sarah Palin's pending press interview and plans to field questions at a town hall by exclaiming "look who's talking" as an image of Palin [see screencap] appeared bearing the same graphic.
"Look who's talking" is of course the title of a 1989 hit movie in which the person doing the talking was . . . an infant.
Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, Ariz., has acknowledged his technological shortcomings, but some in the media continue to portray him as a techno-phobe with no meaningful contributions to that sector of the economy.
The September 16 "NBC Nightly News" examined McCain's rhetoric on the campaign trail in the wake of a serious banking crisis. Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell reported one campaign advisor cited McCain's legislative effort opening the door to technological advancements as evidence of his ability to steer Americans through the turbulent time.
"And Brian, when an adviser today was stressing John McCain's economic credentials, he told reporters that McCain quote ‘helped make this little miracle happen' - the Blackberry or cell phone - citing his work on the Commerce Committee," O'Donnell said.
Of course we all know that it's absolutely wrong and mean-spirited to suggest that anyone on the left could conceivably be unpatriotic [though an exception might be made for unrepentant terrorist friends of Barack Obama who accept from Vietnamese communists rings made from downed US planes.] So while we won't be using the u-word here, two recent MSNBC shows offer a remarkable contrast. Let's compare Chris Matthews' giddy reaction to news of difficulties in the markets with Mika Brzezinski's gloom in begrudgingly discussing the Iraq surge's success.
The first portion of the video is from the opening of Hardball of September 15th, the day when news was breaking of Lehman and Merrill Lynch's travails, and the DJIA had sunk over 500 points. Matthews could hardly contain his glee, comparing McCain to Hoover, and declaring that because of the "terrible news" about the economy, "as of today, this is no longer an election about lipstick on pigs, misleading ads or how many houses a candidate owns. This is serious. The economy is a real issue. With real consequences." Then there was today's discussion on Morning Joe of the surge's success. Mika's pout—on view in the screencap—epitomizes her reaction. I commend the entire video clip to your attention, but would focus on these exchanges.
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."