On Wednesday's Erin Burnett OutFront, lefty radio host Stephanie Miller tried to be funny while downplaying Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal as just an eighth-grade stunt and a "guy thing."
"Which middle school did you go to, Stephanie?" conservative CNN contributor Reihan Salam shot her down. And host Erin Burnett wouldn't have Miller's hackery, either: "I got to say, Stephanie, I beg to differ with you. This is pretty bizarre." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
All three networks on Wednesday played a promotional video of Anthony Weiner, hyping the mayoral run of the "comeback kid." On Good Morning America, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos showed an extended clip of the campaign video. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But Stephanopoulos (who in his previous career defended Bill Clinton's against sexual scandals) didn't get into much detail over the Weiner's failings. Reporter Jon Karl simply explained that the ex-Congressman tweeted out "lewd pictures" of himself.
CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both, briefly, featured blurred pictures of the aforementioned photos. But the Today segment included a network graphic that speculated, "Comeback kid?" Journalist Maria Schiavocampo offered more details than ABC. She described Weiner's fall as a "sexting scandal," but parroted, "but now he says he's ready to put the controversy behind him and get back into politics."
HBO's Bill Maher on Friday – like so many liberal media members before him – made the case for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to be forgiven for his sins and allowed to re-enter politics.
At the conclusion of his Real Time program, Maher said, "In the not too distant future, we will elect a president whose penis we have all seen" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell spotlighted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's "troubles with his ex-wife" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that the disgraced Republican "seemed a little bit out of touch" after running a political ad "saying it's been a tough week for him after...what the people in Boston have gone through."
By contrast, O'Donnell's co-anchor, Charlie Rose, played up how "former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner may be eying a return" and touted "why the unlikely scenario is becoming a real possibility" for the Democrat on the April 11, 2013 edition of the morning program, a mere 12 days earlier.
Give Anthony Weiner another chance! Slate’s William Saletan fawned over the genius political rehab strategy deployed by former disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), as he’s mulling whether to run in New York’s mayoral election this year. Saletan’s April 10 piece, laughably headlined " I'll Be His Weiner Wife, " observed how the recent Weiner expose -- sorry, I mean feature -- in a recent New York Times Magazine “doesn’t look like a strategy. It’s so deeply embedded in the narrative that you can’t see it."
"Weiner has made this a story not about himself, but about his wife and their future together. You have to forgive him because she has forgiven him, and if you hold a grudge against him, she’s the one you’re really punishing," Saletan argued. Cut Weiner out of politics for life and you hurt Huma as well. Heck, you're probably hurting America too! Isn't that patronizing at best and misogynistic at worst?
The media are starting a full-court press to assist disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in becoming mayor of New York City if he decides to run.
Jonathan Karl tried to do exactly that on ABC's This Week Sunday, and was surprisingly snubbed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who three times refused to comment on the issue (video follows with transcript and commentary):
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
On Thursday, the morning shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC all touted a New York Times Magazine profile of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, an article designed to rehabilitate the Democrat's image in preparation for a mayoral run in New York City. On NBC's Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk explained: "Most people wanted to know whether or not he had learned from his mistakes before they could vote for him. His wife says she forgives him."
Gosk detailed Weiner's expression of regret for the 2011 sexting scandal that ended his congressional career: "Both Weiner and his wife revealing in their own words how it happened, why it happened, and the damage it caused....Weiner describes the shame and the guilt." A sound bite was featured of NYT magazine interviewer Jonathan Van Meter sympathetically recalling: "[Weiner's] still wracked with a sort of shame and pain and guilt about it, and – and he cried, I think every time I interviewed him, at some point."
Apparently former congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, granted the New York Times Magazine a long interview with the intent of preparing the public for a new post-tweet exposure scandal campaign for public office, most likely for New York mayor. However, if Weiner thought he could put the scandal, and the jokes, behind him he would be wrong. Although the extended profile of over 8300 words written by Jonathan Van Meter was mostly sympathetic, it just couldn't resist repeating an absolutely hilarious Weiner joke as told by former DNC chairman, Terry McAuliffe.
The Weiner joke is so funny that your humble correspondent is placing it below the fold so you have time to put down your drinks and spare soaking your screens and keyboards. Oh, and if there are any kids around, please tell them to step away since the joke is risqué. Very risqué:
Married congressman texts pics of his private parts to other women but brazenly denies it. How would you characterize the fact that he was eventually forced to resign?
If "bum rap" springs to mind, you are on the same wavelength as Michelle Goldberg of Newsweek—and probably should seek immediate professional help. Goldberg's assertion, made on day deux of Chris Hayes's new MSNBC show, was even too much for David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
On Monday and Tuesday, MSNBC won over Fox News in the ratings in the key demographic of viewers 25 to 54 -- the prized audience for advertisers. Rachel Maddow had bigger ratings in the demo than longtime cable-news ratings king Bill O'Reilly. In their time slots, Maddow defeated Hannity, and Lawrence O'Donnell beat out Greta van Susteren in those numbers.
Almost immediately, the wins went to leftist heads at the Daily Kos.The headline was "Romney's 47% Fiasco Fuels MSNBC Ratings Rout For Rachel Maddow." "News Corpse" insisted, "Viewers are responding to the editorial content of MSNBC and its most dynamic presenters. It's still way too soon to make definitive statements or projections, but the gathering trends are promising. Now all MSNBC has to do is capitalize on the new attention they are receiving and bring in new talent." His recommendation: disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted a political comeback for disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner: "...he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance." The network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman gushed: "He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and publisher who died suddenly yesterday was going to really shake up the self-described mainstream media according to a report that he was in talks with CNN to co-host a television show with Anthony Weiner, the disgraced liberal Democratic congressman who famously sent pictures of his underwear-clad genitals to women on the internet.
The idea certainly would not have been out of the realm of possibility for either CNN or Breitbart; the cable network famously invited another disgraced Democratic politician, former New York governor Elliott Spitzer, to co-host a program with moderate conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. Bringing in a real conservative who could hold his own and coherently state conservative beliefs would certainly have been an improvement. The Parker-Spitzer show was a short-lived affair which died soon after it was launched.
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
Instead, Twitter (and their ABC promoters) insisted it was more notable that a guy joke-tweeted for a Morton's porterhouse at the airport and Morton's decided to show up with a steak for the publicity. Or that bored NBA star Kevin Durant showed up at a flag-football game with old Oklahoma buddies through Twitter. It doesn't pass the laugh test. (By contrast, on December 31, 2010, Sawyer's newscast did mock Sarah Palin using "refudiate" on Twitter in their year in review.)
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Friday called for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to resign if they won't raise taxes on the rich (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The strangest thing happened last night on MSNBC -- its self-proclaimed civics geek Rachel Maddow ignored the results not one but two special elections the day before to fill vacancies in the House.
I know, I know, hard to believe. I mean, every time Maddow does report on elections results -- such as when Democrats win -- she'll segue into her reporting by mock drumming to NBC's bombastic election night music in the background. The woman eats and breathes elections. Can there be much doubt that Maddow camped outside her polling place the night before she first cast a vote to avoid lines in the morning? (video after page break)
During 2009 and 2010, liberal commentators and even politicians made a point of bashing conservative commentators such as Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham for allowing gold companies to advertise on their shows, arguing that conservatives and gold companies cynically colluded to deceive viewers into buying bad investments. The recent spike in gold prices seems to prove that the conservative commentators were right after all.
Gold prices topped $1,900 an ounce on August 22. The price of gold rose over 400 dollars since the beginning of this year, up from $1,421.40 per ounce since January 1st, 2011, and has rapidly risen over the past two months. The price of gold was $854.60 per ounce at the start of the Obama administration. In other words, gold prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the Obama administration.
While former Rep. Anthony Weiner's district is not always a Democratic stronghold, it does tend to vote more liberally. David Weprin, the Democratic New York State assemblyman running in the special election for Weiner's former seat is not the greatest candidate, either. A few weeks ago, he told a newspaper that he thought the national debt was around only $4 trillion. With a weak Democratic candidate, some are wondering if Republican Bob Turner can take the seat, and if he does, hold it in the November election as well.
So far, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already spent nearly $500,000 in TV ad spots in the district, which began airing yesterday and will continue through Monday. The Democratic House Majority PAC has also bought additional advertising time to support Weprin. If Turner still pulls a win, do you think he could also hold the seat in November if a stronger candidate ran against him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The Media Research Center has just released the latest edition of Notable Quotables, our bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. [here's the link to the formatted PDF version]
Highlights from this issue include: journalists suggesting it’s somehow radical to think the Constitution “was intended to limit the federal government” or to expect the government to do nothing outside the “powers granted to them in the Constitution;” ABC News veteran Barbara Walters hoping disgraced Congressman Anthony stays in Congress and winds up like the “beloved” Bill Clinton; and top editors admitting that “not any single reporter” thinks Sarah Palin “should be President,” and how “most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea.”
A sample of the best quotes from the June 27 edition are after the jump; you can read the entire issue online at www.mrc.org.
Since we disposed with the notion that the networks had a feeding frenzy on the Anthony Weiner scandal, what about the news magazines? They began with a whimper, but then that week’s magazines were summer double issues. After the week off, what happened in their June 27 issues? Not much.
Newsweek didn’t offer a down arrow in their “Conventional Wisdom” column, but they gave an up arrow to “GOP Fringe,” arguing “Perry, Bachmann, and Paul show screwballs’ strength.”
As much as liberals might complain the Anthony Weiner scandal was some sort of feeding frenzy, the networks did not attack it, especially the evening news. They seemed to agree with just-departed CBS anchor Katie Couric, who asked on Twitter: “I’m curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians.”
That’s not the way the networks acted in the fall of 2006, when the MRC demonstrated a real feeding frenzy in the case of Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who quickly resigned after ABC’s Brian Ross reported he’d sent lewd AOL instant messages to former congressional pages. In the first 12 days of that story, the networks “flooded the zone” with 152 stories (55 evening stories and 97 morning stories or segments).
By contrast, Democrat Weiner’s weeks of trying to avoid resignation didn’t draw a similar flood. In the first 12 days of the Weiner scandal (from May 29 through June 9), the networks filed only 56 stories (just 11 in the evening, 45 in the morning).
In the aftermath of the exposure and resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) from Congress, his colleagues, some journalists, ethicists and pundits are trying to sort out what it means. Has a new standard been created in Washington? How can Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) remain in office under an ethical cloud about money and Weiner be forced to resign because he had fantasy sex? It wasn't even "real" sex, like Bill Clinton had. Clinton also lied about sex and was impeached for lying (but not for the sex because as actress Janeane Garofalo told Bill Maher recently, "everyone lies about sex"). Some wondered then if standards had fallen for occupants of the Oval Office, or whether the behavior of Clinton and some Republicans mirror a national moral decline?
The sour grapes were incredibly sour on the Thom Hartmann radio show on Thursday when they led off with the news that Anthony Weiner was resigning. Broadcasting live from the Netroots Nation hootenanny in Minneapolis, Hartmann went right from an admitted sex scandal to an unproven old story from last November in the National Enquirer:
Looks like Anthony Weiner’s about to step down. John Boehner’s involved in a major sex scandal. It’s all over the page of the National Enquirer. Two different women, they’re naming the women. So this is this is shades of the John Edwards revisit.
After months of being asked, Jon Stewart finally appeared on "Fox News Sunday" this weekend.
The primary discussion point was bias in the media which the "Daily Show" host continually told Chris Wallace is far more prevalent on FNC than at all the other news organizations (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Andrea Seabrook reminisced about the "defining moments" of former Representative Anthony during a glowing report on Thursday's All Things Considered. In particular, Seabrook highlighted his infamous 2010 speech on the House floor defending a multi-billion dollar proposal to aid sick 9/11 rescue workers, and labeled the New York Democrat a "scrappy and passionate defender of heroes."
The correspondent summed up Weiner's early career at the beginning of her report and noted how "his star began to rise toward the end of the health care debate in Congress, a debate that snarled most of 2009 and the spring of 2010." After playing a clip from a speech that the politician gave to a group of Young Democrats, Seabrook underlined how "he always had pluck, but that debate brought out the anti-Republican bulldog in Weiner."