On Monday's New Day, CNN's John King refreshingly spotlighted one of President Obama's key campaign promises from 2008 about foreign policy during a discussion about how to respond to Russia's aggression in Crimea. King wondered if "a President who came to office saying he could unite the world and would have better international diplomacy than George W. Bush – at least on this one, doesn't have any good options."
The anchor was responding to a comment from Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News, who noted how "the White House doesn't really want to give a whole lot of military assistance here, and they don't think that...most of Europe is going to go along with significant sanctions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on NBC's Late Night on Tuesday – aired early Wednesday morning – New Yorker editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick defended Barack Obama's poor handling of the Ukrainian crisis by bashing George W. Bush: "I think President Obama was elected not to get into more wars....his predecessor, President Bush, foolishly, at the very best, got into a war in Iraq that was a disaster." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Remnick continued: "And by the way, it gives [Russian President Vladimir] Putin some justification [to invade Ukraine]. He says, 'Don't lecture me. Don't lecture me about invasion,' and so on. No matter how justified or not that may be, that's a point he goes out and makes in front of his own people."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:
On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.
Longtime CBS reporter Bill Plante gave an interview to Steve Johnson at his hometown Chicago Tribune and discussed how we face a “state-run media” in recent years. It began under Bush, he suggested.
“He was neither as stupid or as disconnected as people thought, not at all. If he saw somebody leaking he didn't like it,” Plante said. “And this president doesn't like it any more than that.” He said it’s “just a lot harder” to get information now from squabbling camps inside the White House staff. So Plante made waves last year when he said Obama was undercutting the First Amendment and defining what the news was:
Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."
By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got rather self-righteous on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, chiding Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who have criticized President Obama’s weak-kneed response to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough asserted his belief that “politics should really end at the water's edge” during international crises like this, proclaiming, “I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander-in-chief during dangerous international crises, whether it’s with the likes of Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, well, that provides comfort to nation-states who choose to be our enemies.”
More than a week after conducting an interview with president Barack Obama, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed on Monday night he finds it “troubling” that the questions he asked had not been brought up before because“many in the media are protecting” the Democratic occupant of the White House.
“What the heck is the national press doing?” he asked in the opening segment of that night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor. He then charged the current media with being “the most docile we've ever had,” with the possible exception of those who covered John F. Kennedy during the days of “Camelot” in the early 1960s.
On Tuesday night’s The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly played self-defense against Hillary Clinton’s lame Super Bowl tweet about Democrats being “blitzed and sacked” by Fox News. Kelly recalled how Hillary lauded Fox for fairness when she was losing to Obama in the 2008 primaries. Guest James Carville reflexively said “I thought she was being funny...I thought it was just fine...It was a little-bitty thing.”
Kelly responded with the obvious, that President George W. Bush never engaged in trashing cable-news channels like Team Obama does:
When President Bush gave his fifth State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, he sat at 43 percent approval in the Gallup tracking poll, in no small part because of public perception regarding his administration's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union last night, his Gallup approval number was lower a mere 41 percent, doubtless impacted in no small part by the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare and the public's disapproval of the health care overhaul. What's more, some 53 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll slammed the administration as incompetent and 47 percent expressed the belief that President Obama doesn't pay attention to what's transpiring on his watch. As to more objective metrics, the job situation is worse at this point in Barack Obama's presidency than it was the same point in George W. Bush's with higher unemployment (6.7 percent to Bush's 4.9 percent) and a woefully low labor force participation rate (62.8 percent to Bush's 66 percent).
Yet when you compare the Washington Post's front-page treatments of Mr. Obama's January 28 speech and Mr. Bush's January 31, 2006 one, it becomes all too apparent that the Post is eager to help the former spin his way to resetting the narrative for the midterm election year while the paper was all too happy to pound out a drumbeat about how President Bush was an abject failure, a lame duck roasting in the waters of public disapproval. Here's how Post staffers David Nakamura and David Fahrenthold opened up their January 29 front-pager "Obama: I won't stand still" (emphasis mine):
The most defining moment of how MSNBC sees President Obama came when Chris Matthews sounded giddy the night before his interview with the president. “I got the Christmas eve excitement brewing right here at Hardball because tomorrow night at precisely this time...the President of the United States is going to join us."
This means that to Matthews, Obama is either the Christmas gift he’s always wanted, or he’s still the messiah figure to die-hards at MSNBC. Either way, this should not be seen as an interview that counts in anyone’s book as a press interview holding the president accountable.
Former CBS Evening News Anchor Dan Rather, despite being fired as a result of the bogus story, continues to maintain that he got it right in September 2004 when he aired forged documents concerning George W. Bush’s record with the Air National Guard.
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Monday, Rather said, “No question the story was true” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You know why Barack Obama is having problems executing his agenda?
Rapper Kanye West told 105.1 FM radio in New York City earlier this week that it’s because “Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe described Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan as having put together a budget that was "harsh" and "showing absolutely no compassion" as he appeared as a guest on the MSNBC show. Wolffe:
"Look, folks, we love the filibuster when Democrats use it against Republicans, but really hate it when Republicans use it against Democrats."
If the New York Times editorial board were completely honest, that's exactly what they'd admit in print to their readers. Instead the Gray Lady keeps shifting her point of view on the parliamentary maneuver depending on whose ox is gored. On January 1, 1995, the Times gave the incoming Republican majority a new year's resolution: substantially trim back the filibuster to fall in line with the proposal of liberal Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin (emphases mine):
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe credited Hillary Clinton with a "monumental effort" in "recovering from" the Bush administration's alleged mistakes as he responded to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer's assertion that the former Secretary of State had no significant accomplishments she could point to in a presidential run. Wolffe:
Former President George W. Bush was Jay Leno’s guest on NBC’s Tonight Show Tuesday.
When Leno mentioned that President Obama is getting all the late night jokes now, Bush marvelously responded, “Better him than me” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
As NewsBusters reported, former Florida governor Jeb Bush pounded public school activist Matt Damon in August for putting his kids in private school.
Damon gave CNN's Jake Tapper a rather lame excuse for this in an online segment of their interview Friday while claiming, "I'd eat my shoe if he could name a Bush that ever even walked into a public school" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During Tuesday's edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC, co-host Joe Scarborough criticized the GOP for having “the lowest approval rating ever” but stated that the failures of ObamaCare could elect more Republicans and members of the Tea Party if they “just get out of the way” while Democrats continue making serious blunders.
Ted Cruz, a GOP senator from Texas who tried to filibuster the Affordable Care Act, “has gotten out of the way,” Scarborough stated. “The Republicans have gotten out of the way. They've learned their lesson. And now, the spotlight is on ObamaCare. It would have been on ObamaCare two months ago if they had gotten out of the way.”
AP media reporter David Bauder seems shocked that CBS would exclude Dan Rather from their gaudy 50th anniversary coverage of JFK’s assassination, “further proof of the lingering bitterness following Rather's messy exit and subsequent lawsuit against the network.”
The same man who thinks he’s never been wrong about the phony documents he launched against George W. Bush announced "I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something (for CBS)...I can't say I had any reason for that hope.” Rather’s delusional enough to think CBS can’t put a dent in his golden reputation with the American people:
Liberals really ought to thank the heavens above for George W. Bush, he comes in so handy for them. Whenever anything goes wrong in their hermetically-sealed reality, as everything connected to them eventually does, their Pavlovian response is to misdirect attention toward Bush.
Latest example -- rollout of the misnomer of a track wreck known as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which became law three years ago without a single Republican vote on the basis of one of the most audacious lies repeated ad nauseum by an American politician -- if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. What President Obama could not bear to say was what he actually meant -- if I like your health plan, you can keep it. Seeing how you're too stupid to know what's best for you. (Audio after the jump)
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation, as MSNBC's Karen Finney joined host Al Sharpton in slamming Republicans who liken President Obama to a "dictator," Finney charged that President Bush "lied us into a war" that has resulted in U.S. troops still being in Afghanistan "12 years later," apparently without noticing that President Obama is the commander-in-chief who currently is in charge of whether troops remain in Afghanistan. Finney:
In a Hollywood Reporter roundtable of Oscar-contending actors, Josh Brolin said at first he rejected the idea of playing George W. Bush for Oliver Stone: “Why the f— would I want to do that?” Now, “I’m so happy I did that movie.” But did you ever meet Bush? Brolin shot back: "No, no. No interest.”
It began when actor Michael B. Jordan (now in “Fruitvale Station”) asked the other actors, “Do you guys ever feel like you have to stay out of your own way in your own career? Like, if you just stepped out of the equation and let the universe bring it to you?” Brolin replied:
Piers Morgan, the liberal host of an eponymous hour-long weeknight program on the Cable News Network, said during an interview posted on Newsmax.com on Tuesday that the American news media have been “probably quite soft and could have gone harder” when covering President Barack Obama.
But while promoting his new book -- “Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God and George Clooney” -- the former British tabloid editor still claimed that “the financial crisis was inherited by the president” from his Republican predecessor, former White House occupant George W. Bush.
In 2003, Halliburton Company received a great deal of scrutiny from the establishment press over certain no-bid contracts obtained in connection with the Iraq War. Examples, two of which are from the Associated Press, are here, here, and here. A Google News Archive Search on "Halliburton no-bid" not in quotes allegedly returns 1,760 items (Google's counter is suspect, but the list extends to at least 19 pages, or well over 190 items, including multiple items in some listings).
In 2010, the Washington Times was virtually alone among media outlets in reporting that the Obama administration, despite presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign promise never to entertain such deals, had entered into a no-bid contract with KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, "worth as much as $568 million." It turns out that CGI, the Canadian company which is the lead firm in the design and rollout of HealtCare.gov, also has a no-bid contract with the federal government. But an AP search on "CGI no-bid" (not in quotes) comes up empty. A Google News search on the same string (not in quotes) returns only four times, none of which are establishment press outlets (as would be expected, the Washington Times is one of the four).
On Monday's CBS This Morning, the New York Times' Peter Baker didn't reveal anything shocking about George W. Bush's opinion about the liberal paper. Charlie Rose wondered about one detail concerning Baker's new book on Bush and Dick Cheney: "Why wouldn't President Bush talk to you?" He replied, "President Bush didn't believe that a book written by a New York Times reporter could be fair. He felt that the paper had not been balanced in his time in office." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The journalist also dispelled the common liberal view about former Vice President Cheney's influence inside the Bush White House. Norah O'Donnell brought up how "there was this perception, of course, that Cheney was the one who was really pulling the levers of power." Baker bluntly retorted, "The picture that we have of this presidency and vice presidency is too cartoonish. It's too stick-figure – two-dimensional. It's a much more complicated story."
The big talk in conservative radio on Thursday is Barack Obama’s 37 percent approval rating in the latest AP poll. Hosts are also making fun of how AP announced this number: buried in paragraph eight of a story headlined “Poll: No Heroes In Shutdown, GOP Gets Most Blame.”
Guess what? Brent Baker reported when an AP poll found President Bush's approval rating hit a new low of 37 percent on March 10, 2006, NBC's Brian Williams led the newscast with it. When an NBC News poll found the same number on March 15, Williams led the program with it again, turning to Tim Russert to say, "let's start with that all-important benchmark for presidents, the approval rating." Now, the networks are trying to avoid this Obama number.
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, as host Chris Hayes was joined by fellow MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow to gush over President Obama being the first American president since 1979 to speak with an Iranian president, Hayes at one point drew an analogy between former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's more radical faction and former President George W. Bush's "kind of neocon cowboy who liked to go around the world inflaming the world with rhetoric."
After making the obnoxious link, Hayes then clarified that he did not intend to suggest that Bush was "morally equivalent" to Ahmadinejad. Hayes:
It's not enough that MSNBC regularly touts the liberal line on every issue from climate change to raising the debt limit -- and has the poor ratings to prove it.
But now, a press release sent out on Friday declares that NBC -- the parent company of the cable channel -- will begin on Monday a week-long series entitled “Ready or Not, the New Health Care” and described as “a multi-screen experience” to “help Americans get the most out of the Affordable Care Act,” otherwise known as the wildly liberal program ObamaCare.