Soon-to-be White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest took to the podium of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his last outing as deputy press secretary. He will move into the White House Press Secretary role next week as Jay Carney officially vacates the job.
If we learned anything from his “test run” today, it’s that Earnest has learned the art of White House spin from his boss. When questioned about the IRS e-mail scandal, Earnest repeatedly touted “Republican conspiracy theories” as the ruling force behind any and all questions involving the scandal.
The fact that “no criminal charges” have been filed against Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin on illegal fundraising did not stop MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and guest Amy Walter, former political director of ABC News and national editor of The Cook Political Report, from writing his political obituary on the June 20 edition of The Daily Rundown With Chuck Todd.
“Regardless of where this ends up,” Walter commented, now “Governor Walker equals scandal.” As NewsBuster executive editor Tim Graham noted, this political “scandal” involves Democratic district attorneys purposefully targeting Walker on his campaign fundraising despite repeated court rulings that there was not enough evidence to validate the investigation. But according to Walter, no matter his innocence or guilt, his name is forever tainted with political scandal, a take the Democrat-friendly network is most happy to accept as they Lean Forward into the early stages of the 2016 campaign season. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
After all three broadcast networks initially ignored offensive comments from former Democratic Montana Governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Brian Schweitzer claiming outgoing Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar," on Friday, NBC's Today took notice of gaffe, with correspondent Peter Alexander declaring: "...a tough-talking Montana Democrat known for being unscripted is apologizing after he managed to offend Democrats, Republicans, gays, and southerners all at once." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander described how Cantor "became the target of an attack that was both ugly and unfounded," with Schweitzer "slinging the mud." Alexander proceeded to quote the "shoot-from-the-lip" former governor's rambling comments about Cantor: "I'm fine with gay people, that's all right – but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think..."
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart is not known for political fairness in its humor. The Comedy Central show proved no different on the June 19 edition, when Stewart chose to compare the child pornography lobby in Japan to the gun rights lobby in America. He deemed that both industries are “harmful” and “destructive” and “take precedence over the protection of children.”
The ridiculous comparison came after Stewart bashed the Washington Redskins for their politically incorrect name. He claimed that it was “hard to think of any other change that is this long overdue” before settling on a new bill in Japan that outlaws the possession of child pornography. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Thursday evening on the Fox Business Network, host Lou Dobbs of Lou Dobbs Tonight was joined by Emmy award winning reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who recently signed on with the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal website as a senior independent contributor. The two discussed the recent news surrounding the ongoing IRS scandal and the liberal media’s apparent uninterest in the story.
Dobbs asked Attkisson why the liberal media refuses to report the story and rather insists on "behaving much more like lap dogs" instead of doing their job and serving as a “watch dog.” Attkisson argued that the media is being run by a “propaganda interest” that insists any coverage of any scandals involving the Obama administration are “phony” and perpetrated by “right-wing nuts.”
Following a tough grilling of Secretary of State John Kerry in the first part of her interview aired on Thursday, on Friday, NBC Today co-host Savannah Guthrie revealed that the rest of her time spent with Kerry was mostly devoted to fluff and softballs: "From breakfast with senators and the ceremonial duties of office to back-to-back trips to the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry has taken his new job and run with it....the once-staid senator now one of the President's most outspoken road warriors." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie observed: "It seems to me that you are looser than you've ever been." Kerry replied: "You know, after years and years in public life, I know who I am. I know what I want to achieve."
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on Fox News Thursday night, expressing amazement at the suppression of new details in the IRS scandal. “We have been reporting on the lack of reporting. And the lack of reporting is in full throttle,” he said.
Megyn Kelly suggested “the first big piece of news was in this report on Friday. The IRS tried to bury it in this 27-page report. But they revealed that they were missing two years of Lois Lerner's e-mails and other documents. What kind of coverage did that get?” (Video below)
Thursday afternoon’s The Cycle plugged the recently released “abortion rom-com” Obvious Child by interviewing the film's screenwriter and director Gillian Robespierre and lead actress Jenny Slate.
After the hosts spent a couple minutes praising the way in which the film portrayed a "positive, safe, shame-free abortion," co-host Krystal Ball took the liberty of asking the director if there was ever a point where she felt nervous for her “physical safety” citing the sometimes “violent” nature of anti-abortion activists.
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoking the trademark of the Washington Redskins as part of the liberal crusade to force the team to change it's name: "Taking a hit. The feds go after the Redskins where it hurts the most, money from team merchandise, as the controversy over the team's name takes a surprise turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, Williams proclaimed: "The pressure just increased on the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Starting with the fact that they may no longer have the exclusive use of their own name in the lucrative business of NFL merchandise." Correspondent Kristen Welker touted the government abuse of power as "A victory for Native Americans who say the name should go, calling it just as racist as the 'N' word."
All three networks on Wednesday morning skipped a gaffe by a possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. In an interview with National Journal, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer asserted that Republican Congressman Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar" and that southern men are "effeminate." The silence contrasts greatly to how the networks pounced on a gaffe by Todd Akin in 2012.
Only CBS This Morning offered the story any attention. Co-host Norah O'Donnell noted that Schweitzer may have "put his foot in his mouth." She explained, "The former Montana governor lashes out at California Senator Dianne Feinstein for criticizing the CIA. Schweitzer accuses her of being, quote, 'a nun' when it comes to spying." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The slams against southerners and the GOP majority leader went unmentioned. CBS's entire story lasted 15 seconds.
On the June 19 edition of NewsNation With Tamron Hall, the MSNBCer and Today news desk anchor interviewed Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) on American intervention in Iraq. When Hall asked the congressman what he believed would be the consequences if Maliki refused to meet American demands for reform, Meeks’s answer morphed into a rant against former Vice President Dick Cheney. Meeks snarled, “how dare he come and even raise his ugly head at this time.”
Violent rhetoric is not new for the Democrat facing multiple allegations of fraud and corruption. Just this past March, Meeks displayed a similar lack of tact towards the former veep, stating “Dick Cheney should just keep his mouth shut and stay at home.” These sentiments were mirrored later in Hall’s interview when he snapped “the guy should just go stay retired, take care of his health and just keep his mouth shut.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In a startling display of bipartisan humor, Jon Stewart made fun of both CNN and Fox's over-hyped "exclusive" interviews with Hillary Clinton on the June 18 edition of The Daily Show. Stewart noted how CNN ridiculously took the time to set the stage and “introduce the chairs” before the interview.
In a later bit, the Comedy Central host played a montage of all the times Hillary promoted the title of her book Hard Choices by cleverly weaving it into her answers to her interviewers. [See video below]
After playing a soundbite of Harry Reid on the Senate floor exclaiming his disgust for the Washington Redskins team name, MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough wondered if the Majority Leader had ever been to a game.
If Reid had attended a game, Scarborough asked if the Nevada Democrat "set himself on fire and ran across the 50-yard line and said, 'This is wrong!'"
As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.
What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]
In a remarkably tough interview with Secretary of State John Kerry aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interrogated the nation's top diplomat on the Obama administration's failure to prevent terrorists from invading Iraq: "It seems like the U.S. was totally caught off guard by this....did you act too slowly? I mean, [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki was asking for help with air strikes in the last few weeks as this was coming, as ISIS was coming toward this part of Iraq. Why didn't we act then?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the exchange, Guthrie pressed: "What's happening now in Iraq is directly related to the situation in Syria. Did the U.S. – did the President miss the moment, make a huge mistake by not trying to turn the tide in Syria then and what's happening in Iraq now is just the chickens coming home to roost?"
On Thursday's Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough had a little bit of fun with the IRS claiming to have thrown away Lois Lerner’s computer containing the e-mails at the center of the scandal surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.“Who are these idiots," Scarborough exclaimed at one point.
He mocked, “This is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth." The segment came at the top of the 6 a.m. hour of the broadcast. Mika Brzezinski was attempting to read through the headlines for the show when Scarborough, unable to contain himself, went off on the latest excuses from the IRS and Lois Lerner.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews put his pro-Hillary puffery on the back-burner this evening to lead off Hardball with a screed against his favorite archnemesis Dick "it's pronounced CHEE-knee, by the way" Cheney.
Chris failed to disappoint with his loopy, nonsensical rant against the former vice president, at one point comparing him to a pitch man for the website Diedinhouse.com. Matthews even inspired a little nuttiness in the Huffington Post Media Group editorial director Howard Fineman, who insisted Cheney's hat-wearing was devised by the former vice president as a subtle sartorial dig at Obama's manliness or lack thereof. You cannot make this stuff up (LISTEN to the MP3 audio here; WATCH the video clip below the page break):
On June 17, John Stewart invited Daniel Schulman, senior editor of left-wing Mother Jones magazine, onto The Daily Show to discuss his newest book, Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The liberal Comedy Central host couldn’t end the interview without making his own political opinion of the famous libertarian donors clear, stating, “it is almost at its core, its such an elitist view but portrayed as a freedom agenda.”
Schulman, who is pitching his book as nonideological on the book tour circuit agreed that since the brothers “have not experienced a single solitary moment of financial insecurity in their lives” they are “the worst poster boys” for debates on say the minimum wage or welfare reform. (See video below. Click here for MP3 audio)
MSNBC’s resident “boy genius” Ronan Farrow made a backhanded slap at our men and women in uniform by referring to the military commissions set up to try unlawful enemy combatants as “kangaroo courts.”
On Tuesday afternoon’s edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the host was joined by Maryland Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen to discuss Ahmed Abu Khattala capture and where the alleged mastermind behind the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi could possibly be tried. Van Hollen argued for having him tried in a civilian federal criminal court over a military tribunal. Farrow agreed with him because of the “perception” that our military courts have given the world.
MSNBC is the network where ex-host Martin Bashir suggested that someone defecate and urinate on Sarah Palin. Yet, the suddenly sensitive Joy Reid on Wednesday warned viewers that she was about to feature someone saying the word "Redskins," what she deemed to be a "racial slur." [See video below. MP3 audio here.']
Hours after the U.S. Patent and Trademark office had cancelled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, Reid played a clip of Senator Harry Reid attacking the team. The host fretted, "And I just warn people, he does use the name of the team. So, I'm just going to warn you guys about that in advance."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney co-authored a blistering op-ed, deriding Barack Obama's handling of Iraq. But you wouldn't know it from the network coverage. ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Cheney speaking out. Yet, the program devoted three minutes to the deeply irrelevant story of jump suits and fanny packs making a comeback.
On NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie managed a scant 13 seconds as she introduced a separate story. The co-host chided, "Well, as President Obama weighs his decision here, Dick and Liz Cheney are out with a new op-ed this morning blasting the Obama administration's positions during wartime." She noted that Cheney and daughter Liz slammed, "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." CBS This Morning offered the most coverage fo the op-ed, 48 seconds. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network news show that covered the latest discovery in the IRS scandal on the morning of June 18. Meanwhile, all three networks devoted at least two minutes to report on Dr. Oz’s appearance before the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee to discuss the unconsented use of his image to endorse diet products online.
While CBS devoted only 30 seconds to the revelation that the emails of six more IRS employees have been reported lost, the network spent 2 minutes and 32 seconds describing how the celebrity doctor was berated by Democratic Senators for peddling diet products on his show that may not actually work. (See video below. Click here for MP3 audio)
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd reported on the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing President Obama's poll numbers taking a nose dive and made this stunning declaration: "This is as if the public is saying, 'Hey, buddy, your presidency is over. You may not believe it is, but your ability to lead and convince us that you have the right policies anymore, we're not listening.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was prompted by co-host Savannah Guthrie highlighting: "Let's show the poll number you call the dagger. 'Can the President lead and get the job done?' 54% say no."
Hillary Clinton hit a "home run" with her performance in a live CNN "townhall"-style interview hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Chris Matthews enthused at the opening of his June 17 Hardball program.
But none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even mentioned the development tonight, even as they had time for stories on the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson freeway chase (NBC), a rare postage stamp up for auction (CBS), and how dogs have and enforce a sort of social etiquette when they play with each other (ABC). [MP3 audio here; video montage follows page break]
MSNBC The Cycle co-host Krystal Ball enjoyed an extra hour with which to bash Republicans and puff the Obama administration today as she filled in on the 1 p.m. Eastern Ronan Farrow Daily program. Ball questioned whether breaking news of the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a terrorist wanted for organizing the Benghazi attacks, would “take away a sort of key talking point for Republicans.”
The failed congressional candidate invited Howard Fineman, of the Huffington Post, and Robert Costa of The Washington Post on to Farrow’s program to discuss Republican reaction to the news of the capture. Ball then proceeded to ask if why Republicans “have a huge problem with using our own justice system to go forward and prosecute terrorists,” and are “expressing a lack of confidence in our normal [civilian] justice system.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Just a few days ago NewsBusters noted that Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has started making subtle jabs at President Obama.
In last night's monologue he joked with the crowd about the president's recent annual physical checkup, taking a swipe at ObamaCare. The president, Fallon deadpanned, had complained about some pain in his right foot, but, "when asked why he doesn't get it treated, Obama said it's not covered by ObamaCare."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday continued its role as the biggest cheerleader of legalized marijuana. Reporter Barry Petersen hailed the role of women in Colorado's expanding pot industry. A network graphic touted, "Breaking the Grass Ceiling." Except for one throw-away line, the entire segment avoided the health dangers of marijuana. Instead, Petersen hyped women and pot: "And as in other businesses, women are changing attitudes with sheer competence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The reporter talked to one woman who had received criticism for selling pot brownies. Petersen empathized, Somebody said to you, you're a bad person because you're around marijuana and you're around kids." He added, "It is still early times in the legal marijuana industry. And that's why women say it's the perfect time to let everyone know that in this business, a woman's place is at the top."
Ed Schultz, never one to be left behind in radical left wing rhetoric, followed suit with the rest of MSNBC in condemning an intervention in Iraq on the June 16 edition of The Ed Show. Within the first 10 minutes, he had already blamed Republicans for using “dirty scare tactics,” claimed that they were calling for “troops on the ground,” and asked viewers to text in their answers to the utterly ridiculous poll, “are you prepared to send your kid to Iraq?”
Speaking of fear mongering. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]