Old and new media clashed on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday.
After CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed Andrew Breitbart for her network's slow response to the ongoing Weinergate scandal, Gawker staff writer Maureen O'Connor said, "I think even if that's the case, it was very quickly that you could have looked into this story and verified it for yourself" (video follows with trancript and commentary):
While many liberal media members spent the week defending Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), PBS's Mark Shields may have made the best comment about this sordid affair on Friday's "Inside Washington."
Shortly after NPR's Nina Totenberg said we really shouldn't care about this scandal because "it's a great lark of a diversion," Shields asked the definitive question, "What the hell is a member of Congress, who wants to be mayor of New York, having portrait galleries of his crotch available for distribution?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One of the really enjoyable aspects of this week's scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has been watching the perilously liberal and devoted media shills tell America how unimportant the whole thing is.
A fine example was Nina Totenberg who said on Friday's "Inside Washington" that we really shouldn't care about this because " it's a great lark of a diversion" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How long before Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner conducts his next meltdown press conference flanked by two adult-movie "goddesses" a la Charlie Sheen? Like the delusional bad-boy actor, Weiner actually thinks his self-destructive act is winning, too.
The tweetaholic congressman spent the week dodging and deflecting questions about what he called a "randy" image that appeared in his official, verified Twitter account last Friday. The Fruit of the Loom torso shot in his social-networking stream was addressed to a 21-year-old Seattle college student. She's an ardent fan of the cable TV-hopping lawmaker and a member of the fawning generation that unabashedly asks its political idols "boxers or briefs"?
Curiously, one of Weiner's non-deleted tweets made reference to the Seattle time zone the same night the junk photo turned up. Weiner wrinkled his nose at a question on Wednesday about that inconvenient allusion, dismissing it as "pure, pure coincidence." He refused to explain why he gave Seattle of all places a Twitter shout-out. Weiner, if I may helpfully point out, represents New York's 9th District, not Washington State's.
"Frankly" — (red flag!) — he protested, he had "no idea." He then segued into relentless self-promotion of his "feisty" Twitter messages and started braying about the debt limit and health care reform.
It worked on cowed CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. But did it work on his wife? Would it work on yours?
Sending creepy photos to another adult on Twitter is not a crime, of course. But it is abjectly embarrassing for Democrats to be caught with their double-standard pants down — especially given how liberals hyperventilated over former GOP New York Rep. Christopher Lee's shirtless Craigslist photo. As always, it's the cover-up that's worse than the original transgression.
Due to perpetually low ratings, we won’t see how former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric would dismiss Weinergate. But on her Twitter page on Thursday, Couric tweeted: “I'm curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians...thoughts?”
So much for Couric's Twitter motto: "True journalism separates fact from fiction. Passionate about discovering what makes the world tick." Like many liberals (and feminists), Couric somehow can’t believe this could be true, that a 46-year-old married Member of Congress would be stupid and creepy enough to send a crotch picture to a college student young enough to be his daughter. What if Weiner had bulge-tweeted her 19-year-old daughter?
Both CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday's AC360 and CBS's Nancy Cordes on Thursday's Early Show highlighted conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early part in spreading news of the lewd photo Tweeted from Rep. Andrew Weiner's Twitter account. Cooper played up Breitbart's supposedly "questionable credibility," while Cordes reported how "supporters of Weiner note that it was [the] right-wing blogger...who broke the story."
The CNN anchor raised Breitbart's involvement 15 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour as he introduced the second part of an interview of the New York Democrat conducted by his colleague Wolf Blitzer:
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spun furiously for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) Thursday, dismissing the Twitter controversy as a sideshow undeserving of the media's attention.
"He's being pretty transparent," opined the daytime anchor, turning to Republican strategist Joe Watkins. "Joe, wouldn't you agree?"
After Watkins agreed but suggested Weiner's refusal to clarify whether he is the man in the photo does not help his case, Roberts followed up by parroting the Democratic congressman's dodge: "Well why waste taxpayer dollars on something kind of so stupid?"
For a compilation video showing Weiner's lack of transparency and inability to cooperate with the media, see below the fold:
Comedian Jon Stewart took "the most trusted name in news" to task for the network's reluctance to investigate the Twitter controversy that has embroiled Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Although the Comedy Central host is a personal friend of Weiner, he lambasted CNN on the May 31 "Daily Show" for glossing over the issue while political blogs relentlessly pounded the pavement over the weekend to uncover the truth.
According to Joy Behar of 'The View,' someone is "out to get" Anthony Weiner because "they don't like his politics." Behar and her co-host Whoopi Goldberg advanced a conspiracy theory on Thursday and included the possibility that the Congressman could have been at a beach and had an innocent photo digitally manipulated. Meanwhile, Barbara Walters pronounced dead the political goal of the politician to one day be New York's mayor.
Offering cover for Weiner, Goldberg theorized, "Well, you know, if you have been on a beach in a bathing suit with friends- and I've had this happen, so I know that this can get done- where they take, you know, a little piece of you and they put you in a diaper or whatever."
Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was probably expecting softball questions from Rachel Maddow last night. That's not quite how it played out.
On Friday, the same evening he previously appeared on Maddow's MSNBC show, a risque photo of Weiner was sent from his Twitter account. An uproar in the blogosphere and broader media quickly followed, with Weiner denying he sent the photo but not addressing whether the photo was of him.
Weiner made another attempt at damage control when he went on Maddow's show again Wednesday. Before he appeared, however, Maddow signaled that the interview would not be business as usual when she said this (video below page break) --
At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira worried about the impact of the Twitter photo scandal on Congressman Anthony Weiner's career: "Will the scandal and his response to it derail his political ambitions?"
Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd later, Vieira pointed out how "the people who write the headlines in New York City are obviously having a heyday with this" but then soberly added, "beyond the laughs here, this guy is a rising star in this state, especially in the city of New York, considered a front-runner for the next mayoral campaign....What about the political toll?"
Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said today it would be a crime for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D.-N.Y.) to file a complaint with the police claiming his Twitter account had been hacked if he knew it had not been hacked.
Last Friday, a Tweet that included a lewd photograph was sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a 21-year-old woman in Seattle, whom the 46-year-old congressman followed on Twitter. Weiner issued a statement saying that his Twitter account had been hacked and that someone had sent the lewd photograph to the woman as a prank. Thus far, Weiner has not indicated that he has filed a complaint about the alleged hacking incident with any law enforcement agency.
“If he in fact filed a complaint claiming he had been hacked, when in fact he had not been, that would be making a false statement to either local police authorities or federal officials. That would be a crime,” diGenova told CNSNews.com, pointing to 18 U.S.C. 1001 as the relevant statute.
Former Clinton adviser turned CNN political analyst Paul Begala Wednesday evening gave Anderson Cooper the predictable Party line about Weinergate being no big deal.
Without skipping a beat, the host of "Anderson Cooper 360" replied, "But, Paul, if this was a conservative Republican, would you be saying the same thing?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Every time a Republican gets caught in a sex scandal, the "social issues" hypocrisy is the inevitable media attack line. Because Weiner is a liberal on social issues, though, CNN chose to downplay the storyline in favor of him.
According to Jessica Yellin, the same anchor who tried to blame Sarah Palin for Jared Lee Loughner's attacks in January, Weiner should not be to blame because "he's never been a crusader on social issues," and therefore cannot be labeled as a "morality hypocrite." And somehow this merits less media attention for the scandal.
So now we know: Donny Deutsch would advise Dems caught in a sex scandal . . . to fabricate a false story.
On today's Morning Joe, ad man Deutsch stated that, when caught with his pants down, Anthony Weiner should have been "very honest" and claimed that he had sent the picture to his wife. And by "very honest," Deutsch of course means "very dishonest" since no one, starting with Weiner himself, suggests that the congressman meant to send the shot to his wife but that somehow it went out to a 21-year old college student in Seattle. Hat tip reader Texndoc.
While much of the media have actually been doing a fairly good job reporting Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) sex scandal, most of MSNBC's commentators have been doing what MSNBC commentators do best - defend anyone with a "D" next to his or her name.
Such was the case Wednesday evening when "Last Word" host Lawrence O'Donnell told his viewers, "Voters need to realize that sex doesn't matter when it comes to casting their votes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s World News and the CBS Evening News on Wednesday night both allocated full stories to Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner and his evolving non-denial denials over the lewd photo sent from his Twitter account, but not the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
Williams instead made the news judgment to skip Weiner and highlight the “PR problem” Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces for taking a state police helicopter to his son’s high school baseball game – and later found 25 more seconds to note the retirement of NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.
ABC's GMA and NBC's Today on Wednesday both did due diligence on the Rep. Anthony Weiner brouhaha surrounding a lewd photo posted on his Twitter site. ABC's Jonathan Karl noted how Weiner didn't give "the most convincing press conference" in response to the controversy. NBC's Meredith Vieira highlighted how "people are wondering why he is being so defensive." But CBS's Early Show didn't even cover the story.
GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos led the 7 am Eastern hour with a teaser on the burgeoning scandal: "Underwear uproar: a powerful congressman at the center of controversy over a photo flap online. Did someone break into his Twitter account and send a lewd picture, or did he do it? Congressman Weiner's response this morning."
CNN's Capitol Hill producer noted Wednesday that the testy behavior and evasive answers by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in a Tuesday interview raised flags about his professed innocence in his recent Twitter account fiasco. CNN is not normally considered a network hostile to liberal Democrats, but Rep. Weiner was quite defensive Tuesday afternoon when CNN pressed him about the lewd picture sent to a female college student from his Twitter account.
When asked why he was not asking Capitol Police to investigate if someone hacked his Twitter account, Weiner launched into his talking points – that the matter was a distraction and he would not spend time talking about it. When CNN continued to ask him if the lewd picture was his and if he sent it, a flustered Weiner dodged questions and called the producer on the set a "jackass."
MSNBC's Luke Russert on Wednesday pressed Congressman Anthony Weiner with a very simple question: Is the picture of man in underwear that was sent out on the Representative's Twitter account his? Weiner responded, "You know, I can't say with certitude."
Russert began by wondering, "That's not a picture of you?" After a lengthy non-answer, he reasonably pointed out, "But, Congressman, you would remember if you were to take a photograph of yourself like that."
As athletically as Rep. Anthony Weiner is bumbling on his Twitter scandal, so the leftists at the Daily Kos are pushing the unsubstantiated spin that Weiner is being smeared by...Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his Tea Party activist wife. (Or their backers.) Weiner’s insisted Thomas disclose his wife’s financials in an attempt to insist he should recuse himself on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. On Wednesday morning the Kosmonaut known as “Stranded Wind” was upset anyone would cover this:
CNN has disingenuously ‘covered’ the story, which is to say they smeared right wing bull---t all over Congressman Weiner, probably motivated by a combination of the beating the GOP took in New York 26 and Weiner's unflinching handling of the crimes of Clarence Thomas.
For several days, NewsBusters readers have been asking why we haven't commented on the growing controversy surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and an indecent picture sent from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington.
As there seem to have been far more questions concerning this sensitive matter than answers, we have been observing the press reaction trying to assess how a media that is typically protective of Democrats handled the scandal.
CNN media analyst Howard Kurtz on Monday offered Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Eliot Spitzer as examples of how the press don't give Democrats the benefit of the doubt when it comes to sex scandals.
Responding to questions about why the media have either ignored or taken sides on this weekend's brouhaha surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), Kurtz sent the following absurd message via Twitter:
New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law's staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.
If it's good for the city Weiner wants to be mayor of, why not for each and every individual American and American business that wants to be free of Obamacare's shackles?
The Wall Street Journal's John Fund on Friday night had a number of interesting battles with Bill Maher as well as Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
During the panel segment of HBO's "Real Time," Fund found himself needing to defend Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Clarence Thomas's wife from the at times totally illogical attacks by the perilously liberal host and Congressman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Harry Smith grilled Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann on Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare: "One of the things the Tea Party has talked about is dismantling health care. And we're wondering if, in the end of the day, that ends up being a fool's errand...it will face a certain veto. Is it worth the effort to try to do?"
Bachmann defended the move and pointed out popular support for repeal: "ObamaCare will bankrupt the country. And so you've seen that the more the people learn about ObamaCare the less they like it. It's very costly, it's unwieldy. So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of ObamaCare. And you'll continue to see us make that fight because that's what the American people want us to do."
On Friday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on the passage of legislation to extend current tax rates and described it as: "an early holiday gift for every American taxpayer." She pointed out how "The cost of all that led 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans to vote no."
Moments later, she falsely claimed: "The bill also cuts the estate tax rate from 45% in 2009 to 35%, a White House concession to Republicans." While tax did exist in 2009, the 2010 estate tax rate was zero, therefore, having any tax on inheritance in 2011 would be a tax increase. Also, the fact that the estate tax is being reimplemented at all is a concession by Republicans, who would prefer it to remain at zero.
CNN, whose new ad claims that they "keep them all honest, without playing favorites," actually played favorites on Monday's Parker-Spitzer. Hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer failed to give ideological labels to their liberal guests, while clearly identifying Tim Phillips as being president of "Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group" and labeling Bjorn Lomborg a "controversial author."
Parker and Spitzer's first guest was liberal Congressman Anthony Weiner, who appeared two minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. The former liberal governor introduced Weiner as merely a "Democratic representative from New York." The American Conservative Union gave the congressman a zero rating in 2008 and 2009, with a lifetime rating of 5.14. The left-of-center Americans for Democratic Action named Weiner one of their "ADA Heroes" in the House in 2009. Clearly, the New York politician is a liberal, but neither host identified him as such.
An organization once headed by former Obama administration official Van Jones tried it. Other so-called grassroots organizations have given it a shot. Now Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., with the power of Congress in tow, has taken his best shot to shut Glenn Beck down. But so far it isn’t really working.
With congressional hearings, you'd expect the media to be all over this, right? Not exactly, at least thus far. The most attention Weiner’s charade could muster was a segment at the end of MSNBC’s bomb-thrower show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Olbermann asked Weiner on his Sept. 23 broadcast if Goldline was in cahoots with “willing partners like Glenn Beck,” since anyone who suggests gold be a part of someone’s portfolio is up to no good.