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."
Now that disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has resigned, the media are not only trying to help resuscitate his career but also coming up with reasons why he wasn't that well liked anyway.
Jumping on the bandwagon was the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman who told MSNBC's Chris Matthews Friday, "I also don't think a lot of people loved the fact that he was on Fox a lot" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
From listening to CNN's pre- and post-Weiner press conference commentary, one could be forgiven for thinking they were already attempting to jumpstart the congressman's political career. Already one former politician caught in a sex scandal is using his prime-time position at CNN to rehabilitate his image.
"Sad" and "tragic" were words used by CNN's political team to describe Weiner's resignation given that he was a "rising star" in the Democrat Party. CNN's Wolf Blitzer told colleague John King, "It's almost tragic, John, because as you've been pointing out, [Weiner] was really the front-runner to become the next mayor of New York City after Michael Bloomberg."
Chris Matthews on Thursday said Fox News ought to hire disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to play the "typical liberal with all the lifestyle qualities of a typical liberal" to talk about "the latest scandal every night."
Politico's Ben Smith responded to the "Hardball" host, "I asked them about it today. They didn’t buy it. They referred me to CNN" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews came up with a bizarre analogy on Thursday, suggesting that Anthony Weiner's resignation press conference was "sort of like the hanging of Saddam Hussein." While offering criticism of Weiner, the Hardball anchor also praised the event: "At his best, he had dignity today. He had a measure of class, which has been missing in all of this."
Matthews made the weird comparison to the execution of a dictator while talking to Ben Smith of Politico. The host complained of hecklers at the press conference, opining, "Ben, it reminded me of the Saddam Hussein hanging today. Even they couldn't do that right. The grossness of affair led to the grossness of the finale."
If anyone needs one more item for the already massive Missing the Point file, the ladies of The View were happy to provide their insights into the Anthony Weiner resignation. "In a way it's a tragedy." said Barbara Walters. "He's never had another job. What does he do after this?"
That's right Barbara: the real tragedy is not that Weiner has damaged his reputation and humiliated his family, but that the poor little congressman might have trouble finding a new job. "He's got a whole life ahead and he has to worry also because we don't know what Huma, who is three months pregnant, is going to do." added Walters.
Update: 14:30: Weiner made it official moments ago with these words:
"I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible."
Was disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who carried on several inappropriate online chats with young women, a victim of a newly “puritanical” climate in Washington? That’s the inference from Kate Zernike’s front-page story for the New York Times's Week in Review, “Naked Hubris...While digital flux makes it easier for politicians to stray,” a companion piece to Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “When it comes to scandal, boys will be boys.”
The night after CNN’s debate in New Hampshire with seven Republican presidential candidates, Anderson Cooper brought aboard left-wing “comedian” Bill Maher to ridicule them. Asked if he “had to vote” for one of them, he named Ron Paul since “he's a cut from a different cloth than the rest of those people who are of course selling their souls to the corporate interests who back them and who have just horrible, society-killing ideas about America.”
Later discussing Anthony Weiner, Maher used it as an opportunity to deride one of the left’s favorite targets they never tire of vilifying: “Dick Cheney used to go out and shoot birds by the hundreds that were like in a cage. To me, that's a lot more psychotic than anything Anthony Weiner ever did.” Maher insisted: “He shot and killed an incredible number of birds for absolutely no reason than a blood lust.” (Audio: MP3 clip)Video below:
The same congressional panel that launched a preliminary inquiry into Weiner-gate this week has been diddling around with several other Democratic ethics scandals for years. These aren't foxes guarding the henhouse. They're sloths guarding the foxhole.
The House Ethics Committee is now reportedly probing into Twitter-holic Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's possible abuse of government resources while sending pervy messages and photos to young women across the country. The latest batch of Weiner's leaked social-media self-portraits — more cheesecake than beefcake — showed him in various states of undress at the congressional gym. From what other public buildings has Ick-arus tweeted his junk? And how much time on the public's dime did his government staff spend coaching Weiner girls to assist with damage control?
At the end of February, when CNN unceremoniously dumped moderate sorta-Republican co-host Kathleen Parker from Parker Spitzer after just 20 weeks, CNN implied they weren't dumping a conservative-leaning angle from the new solo-Spitzer show. On March 1, they touted the "newbies" Will Cain of National Review and ex-Fox News anchor E.D. Hill -- as contributors, not really as co-anchors. But it now appears that within two months, Cain is the newest right-leaner to be quietly exiled.
A Nexis search shows Cain hasn't been on Spitzer's new show In The Arena since May 6, more than a month ago. He was a regular until April 7, and then only appeared on April 14 and 22. E.D. Hill, by contrast, is still appearing almost nightly.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews took a well-deserved shot at rival network CNN Monday for actually giving former New York governor Eliot Spitzer his own program.
The "Hardball" host also took a swipe at Spitzer saying it was "ludicrous" for him to actually be talking about Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) sex scandal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham appeared on the June 10 edition of FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor to document the broadcast networks’ double-standard on congressional sleaze stories. When the story first broke, ABC, CBS and NBC refused to cover the Weiner “sexting” scandal, and their overall weekday evening news coverage had amounted to less than a dozen stories as of last Friday.
But back in 2006, Graham noted, the networks pounced right away on the similarly sleazy actions of a congressional Republican, Mark Foley, which were a focus of five times as many evening news stories (55) in the first 12 days, even though Foley had quit Congress almost immediately.
The June 13 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables has now been posted over at www.MRC.org, showcasing the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media over the past two weeks. This edition features: CNN’s Piers Morgan snootily slamming the Tea Party as “not the brightest” and perhaps similar to the mobs Hitler and Mussolini employed in the 1930s; MSNBC’s Martin Bashir seriously arguing that Sarah Palin is a criminal because of the American flag painted on the side of her tour bus; and news reporters fretting over Weinergate, worried that President Obama might lose a “very important" left-wing critic now that a “rising star” of the Left has become tainted by scandal.
The entire package (including four videos) is posted at www.MRC.org (click here for the nicely-formatted three-page PDF); here are some of the highlights: