On Monday, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer actually held outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's feet to the fire over the administration releasing five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to secure the release Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: "These are guys who are considered at very high risk to launch attacks against the U.S. if they were freed. So has the administration now, though, endangered the lives of all Americans for the safety of one American?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Carney argued: "...we believe that this is not a security threat to the United States and that there's sufficient mitigation to be comfortable with the transfer of those detainees to Qatar." Lauer pushed back: "Is this semantics here, Jay? Are we calling it a prisoner swap when, in fact, it is negotiating with terrorists?"
As of June 2, 2014, it's been 200 days since Nightline, the once-vaunted news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 28 and a half weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has continued its descent into tabloid oblivion, focusing on topics such as celebrities, weight loss and pop culture. As a consequence, the program has skipped the myriad of problems associated with ObamaCare.
When the White House quietly announced on May 20 what amounted to a bailout for insurance companies that might lose money on the new health care law, Nightline didn't notice. When the Associated Press on May 16 reported a new "cost control strategy" called reference pricing that would put a limit on what health plans pay for expensive surgeries, the ABC program avoided the story. On April 24, Vox explained that the administration was trying to "stamp out" certain health plans, "a decision that industry officials say could trigger yet another wave of cancellation notices." Again, Nightline was silent. But what were the show's hosts covering instead? See a video montage below to find out. [MP3 audio here.]
Reaction wasn’t very good to the redesign of the Boston Globe’s Boston.com site. Acknowledging that with some humor, the site created a video with cute kids reading aloud actual complaints they received.
I saw the “Boston.com Beta Release Complaint Department” video highlighted last week on JimRomenesko.com. It’s at least mildly amusing with a few lines sure to prompt a chuckle or two.
"In a recent Salon article, Adam Carolla said the gay mafia is in fact, real. Well Adam, there goes your chance to ever win a Tony Award.... A former CNN employee says he was fired for being gay. And today, an employee of the Bravo network was fired for NOT being gay."
In MSNBC’s view of the world, Twitter hashtag appeals are apparently only acceptable for liberal or politically-correct causes.
On the May 30 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the MSNBC host invited Deadspin columnist and GQ contributor Drew Magary onto the show to discuss how the Washington Redskins are pushing back against the incessant pressure campaign for the NFL team to drop its name for something more politically correct. Magary scoffed at the #Redskinspride effort by the Redskins, sniffing that it was part of a ludicrous “North Korean-style PR campaign.” (See video below. Click here for MP3 audio)
On Thursday, Charlie Rose spent the entire commercial-free hour of his PBS show interviewing Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, yet never asked her a single question about the 2012 Benghazi attacks or her role in disseminating faulty talking points afterward. In fact, the B-word never escaped Rose’s nor Rice’s lips during the entire show. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There were, however, a few moments when a question about Benghazi would have seemed appropriate. Early in the interview, Rose asked where in the world America’s core interests were under attack at the moment. Rice pointed to the ongoing terrorist threat:
When you’ve lost Chris Matthews, have you lost liberal America? The Hardball host stopped by for a visit on the May 30 edition of MSNBC’s NewsNation for an analysis of the resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki and the VA scandal overall.
The former Tip O’Neill staffer didn’t hold back, repeatedly hitting Obama and Shinseki for a lack of alertness regarding the scandal. Matthews was aghast at the utter lack of awareness the president has shown–not just on the VA –but on his signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare. He even insinuated that a lack of cognizance was a part of the president’s habitual behavior, proclaiming [audio here; video below]:
Speaking to graduates at Harvard University on Thursday morning, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- no conservative he -- warned against the consequences of intolerance on college campuses. Not only did he warn those in attendance of falling prey to intolerance, but he warned against the growing disease that plagues college campuses; that is, the repression of conservative ideology.
It was a bombshell speech of sorts, considering this spring's spate of commencement speakers bowing out of their engagements thanks to vocal protests by left-wing student activist groups. But only two network morning shows bothered to mention Bloomberg’s remarks. CBS This Morning aired a sound bite, as did CNN’s New Day, which also devoted several minutes to discussing the speech with a panel of guests.
On her Friday 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell joined fellow media liberals Stephen Colbert and Chris Matthews in labeling the VA scandal the first real scandal of the Obama administration: "...this is the biggest political problem that the President has faced. This is far more serious than a lot of so-called scandals that have popped up from time to time in the last couple of months." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
USA Today's Susan Page affirmed: "I totally agree with you, this is much more perilous for the President politically. Benghazi, they can dismiss that as a partisan battle. The Affordable Care Act, they can argue, 'This is actually going to work pretty well, just give us a little more time.'"
On Thursday, the day before a double resignation at the White House, ABC's Jon Karl grilled Jay Carney over Barack Obama's confidence in Eric Shinseki. Less than 24 hours later, the press secretary and Veterans Administration head had both quit. During the back-and-forth, Karl pressed, "But does the President right now have confidence in Sec. Shinseki, yes or no? It's a very simple yes or no question. You told us last week he did have confidence, does he have confidence now?" [See video below.]
Carney dodged and responded, "Jon, the President addressed this question from the podium." The journalist pointed out, " But he wasn't asked directly if he had confidence in him." The now-ex-press secretary dismissed this as "word play." Karl continued to push, insisting, "It's a basic question. It's not wordplay. Its a central question: Does he have confidence in a member of his cabinet?"
On the May 29 edition of the Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor, anchor Bill O’Reilly and colleague Kelly Megyn of FNC’s Kelly File, argued about how conservatives and Republicans should take on the Left’s spin about “income inequality” in American society today.
While Kelly argued that income inequality has objectively gotten worse and is a valid issue that needs to be confronted by policymakers – albeit from a conservative tack by conservatives – O’Reilly claimed that the idea that income inequality is a new and pressing problem is a “myth” as it naturally “exists in every free marketplace” and has merely been “exacerbated” by the success of technology improving everyone’s standard of living. You can read the relevant transcript and watch the exchange by pressing play on the embed below the page break. Click here for MP3 audio.
Much of the network coverage on the Veterans Affairs scandal has been light on questioning Barack Obama. It took former football player Michael Strahan to come up with a tougher query for the President. During an interview on Live With Kelly and Michael, Strahan lectured, "But a lot of the soldiers haven't been given the treatment, veterans, that they should have got when they come home." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Strahan continued, "And there's been calls for resignations and Shinseki... says he's not going to resign. Do you think that he should and if he doesn't, would you be inclined to remove him?" (Just hours after the interview aired, Eric Shinseki quit as head of the VA.) Obama first shifted topics, insisting, "Well, let me first say that the greatest honor I have is serving as commander in chief."
On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully promoted quotes from Hillary Clinton's new memoir leaked to Politico of the former Secretary of State blasting critics of her mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "If there was any doubt Hillary Clinton's clearly ready to go on offense on this." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There's no doubt at all. In fact, there's a concerted campaign effort." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "...the former Secretary of State strikes a defiant tone about the attack and all the investigations into it..." Moments later, Cordes observed: "Democrats are going to see this as a kind of template for how to talk about the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the Clinton team is reportedly meeting with Democratic groups to explain her tone in the book so that everyone is on the same page."
On Thursday's Hannity, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson appeared to discuss his speech at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The host suggested Robertson is a “preacher at heart.” The A&E star explained that he views everything through a faith lens and finds himself dealing more with “spiritual warfare.”
The man behind the duck call described his life's mission as one based upon the “gospel of Jesus, Jesus died for the sins of the world.” A simple message, Robertson believes. “God loves you, sent Jesus to die for you.”
During his lengthy interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams found time to ask if the wanted fugitive was an Obama supporter: "Did you vote for President Obama?" After Snowden refused to answer, Williams worried: "Did he disappoint you?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snowden replied: "...whether or not I voted for President Obama, I was inspired by him. He gave me courage, he gave me hope. I really believed that he would be a positive force for the country. And I still hope he will be." Williams added: "You, however, looked at it, you were hoping he would reverse some of the Bush policies. You were quoted as saying you were disappointed that he did not." Snowden noted: "Well, he said he would."
During a live webcast on NBCNews.com immediately following Wednesday's 10 p.m. ET airing of his interview with Edward Snowden, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams wondered why the National Security Agency was not more receptive to Snowden's claims of unconstitutional spying: "Knowing that in war powers times...the Bush administration use of war powers with Bush and Cheney, isn't the general counsel at the NSA a little bit on guard for a perversion, as Snowden put it?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That question was prompted by national security analyst Michael Leiter observing: "Imagine you're the general counsel at the National Security Agency and you get an email which says, 'Listen, I think that you're violating the law here, this is unconstitutional.' And the general counsel gets this note and he says, 'Well, gosh, the Congress has authorized this over and over, the FISA court says it's okay.'"
CBS journalists on Thursday morning investigated the latest details of the expanding Veterans Affairs scandal. Yet despite calling the newest revelation "ugly," correspondent Nancy Cordes somehow managed to avoid using Barack Obama's name or to discuss the White House. Instead, she focused on congressional culpability: "But the Inspector General's report points out Congress and the VA have known about similar manipulations and delays for nearly a decade." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Cordes talked to a GOP House member and pressed: "Florida Republican Jeff Miller is the chair of the House VA committee. If you've known about problems like this for years why are you only now calling on the V.A. Secretary to resign?" NBC skimped on discussing how much this issue could hurt the President personally. At the very end of a Nightly News discussion, Kelly O'Donnell briefly noted, "From the White House, NBC's Kristen Welker reports the President considers Secretary Shinseki to be on probation."
An ABC “news” program dedicated to exposing bigotry once again sought to prove how awful the American people are. And once again, it was a huge failure.
The May 23 edition of What Would You Do? featured not one but two segments that could potentially highlight the bigotry that supposedly exists in America. Host John Quinones and crew developed a scenario for the idea of shopping while black. An actor, playing the salesman for the show, directed some rather inflammatory questions and accusations at another actor, the black shopper. Predictably, the unknowing customers were appalled at the salesman’s behavior (MP3 audio here; video below).
While the liberal media was preoccupied spinning Friday’s tragic UCSB shooting to promote their anti-gun agenda, Ed Schultz of MSNBC’s The Ed Show devoted some time on his May 27 program to berating world-renowned neurosurgeon and conservative author Dr. Ben Carson for using the VA scandal to promote his own “anti-Obamacare agenda.”
Schultz blasted Dr. Carson’s efforts to tie in the VA scandal to a larger critique of ObamaCare as cravenly “twisting a tragedy.” As icing on the cake, Schultz grossly took one line of Carson’s out of context to suggest that the doctor was disparaging American veterans and, worse, that he’d love to see more of them injured in future military conflicts. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
John Kerry appeared on all three network news programs, Wednesday, but it was an interview on CNN that provided a surprise. New Day anchor Chris Cuomo actually grilled the Secretary of State on pulling troops out of Afghanistan and whether Barack Obama is showing "weakness" internationally in dealing with countries such as Russia.
On the ending of America's military presence in Afghanistan, the host pressed, "How is it a way forward when, as you well know, as soon as the U.S. leaves there, the chances that the place descends back into chaos are very high? Isn't that backwards, not forwards?" A testy Kerry complained that Cuomo was trying to "find the most negative, gloomy prediction." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC, ABC, and CBS all hailed First Lady Michelle Obama attacking Republicans for trying to make her draconian school lunch mandate more flexible. At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Food fight. Michelle Obama as we've rarely heard her before, returning to her campaign by accusing Republicans in Congress of playing politics with children's health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer cheered the First Lady as "an unlikely gladiator" who "entered an arena" after having "carefully stayed out of the fray." Sawyer gushed at how Obama "came out swinging today about an issue close to her heart."
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday night. The subject was Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday’s bizarre indictment of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen movies as leading to the stabbing-and-shooting murders at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Bozell appeared with left-wing radio host Richard Fowler and mental health expert Donna Fuller. He couldn’t get over how incredibly lame Hornaday sounded, that frat-boys-will-be-boys movies spur mass murder (MP3 audio here. Video below):
You can take the boy genius out of the Hillary Clinton State Department, but you can’t take the Hillary Clinton acolyte out of the boy.
On the May 27 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the former special advisor to ex-Secretary of State treated viewers to a segment devoted to his former employer which lasted over five minutes long, a fairly long stretch of time for an hour-long news program. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Comedian Jodi Miller took on the Obama administration's VA and Benghazi scandals in the May 27 edition of NewsBusted. "America just celebrated Memorial Day. Or, as it's called for veterans at VA hospitals: “Take a Number and Wait” Day," she quipped, adding, "The White House is under fire for long wait times at most VA hospitals. And the administration promised to get help quickly to all our veterans, just as soon as they get around to telling the whole truth on Benghazi."
To watch the full NewsBusted episode, click on the play button in the video embed below. To subscribe to NewsBusters on YouTube, visit NewsBusted's channel here. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, sign up here.
Elliot Rodger's spree shooting this weekend has given MSNBC an opening to flog two of its favorite pet causes – restricting gun rights and waging combat against the so-called war on women. Weekend anchors Alex Witt and Melissa Harris-Perry, to their credit, downplayed those two issues while discussing the tragedy on their respective Sunday shows.
But it was former DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney who did not hold back on Sunday’s edition of her show Disrupt. She and her guests immediately tied the incident to the politics of gun control before later playing up the anti-woman angle. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although the journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday found no time to discuss what NBC called a "potentially dangerous mistake" by the White House, reporter Jon Karl devoted a report to promoting Michelle Obama's latest efforts on healthy lunches. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos touted it as a "a rare political move now from First Lady Michelle Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos hyped the First Lady's "full-scale campaign against the food industry and members of Congress who are trying to roll back the healthy school lunch standard she fought so hard to pass." Karl insisted, "Well, the First Lady believes passionately that school lunches simply have to be healthier and she is prepared to wage a big political fight over this issue." He added, "She is going to be speaking out against this effort for Republicans to roll back standards that were put in place in 2010."
Carol Costello surprisingly raised pro-gun rights points during an interview of Senator Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom. Costello noted the "renewed calls for stricter gun control laws" after Friday's murder spree in California, and pointed out that the Golden State "has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The shooter in this case abided by a background check....How would any gun control law prevent this particular shooter from buying a gun?"
The anchor, who has forwarded gun control in the past, also zeroed on the fact that the deceased murderer began his rampage by stabbing three people to death: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Abortion battleground. The newest state to impose tougher requirements on doctors who perform the procedure. Protecting women or denying them access?" In another tease of the upcoming story minutes later, Holt warned: "...the battle over abortion and a controversial new law about to take effect." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kristen Welker revealed the supposed threat to the abortion agenda: "The legislation requires doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within thirty miles of where the procedure takes place. That change could force three of the state's five abortion clinics to close."
What happens when you get a Hollywood liberal who’s chiefly interested in boosting President Obama and attacking Republicans interviewing a single-issue liberal activist who thinks President Obama is not liberal enough?
Viewers of the May 23 edition of Real Time with Bill Maher got to see that as the HBO comedian interviewed illegal immigrant and former Washington Post staff writer Jose Antonio Vargas about his new documentary, Documented. [See video below. MP3 audio available here]
All three morning shows on Tuesday deemed it news worthy to listen to audio excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book. On the same day that Good Morning America ignored the leaking by the White House of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, news reader Amy Robach parroted Democratic talking points: "In the book's audio version, Mrs. Clinton describes making choices with her head and her heart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robach made sure to advertise a one hour interview Diane Sawyer will conduct with Clinton on June 9th. The primetime special will be followed by yet more promotional time with the Democrat on the June 10th GMA. On CBS This Morning, Tuesday, Anthony Mason assured viewers that the "upcoming memoir has nothing to do with politics." He added that in an author's note, "the potential presidential candidate says the book will not engage in political finger pointing."