President Obama's media acolytes must really be disappointed – they're comparing his administration's unilateral behavior in the war on terror to that of George W. Bush. The new interest was kicked off by a Justice Department document leaked on Monday that offered a legal analysis of when the president can order the targeted killing of an American citizen suspected of terrorism, without due process. Wednesday's lead New York Times article from Yemen was a rundown of the fatal drone strikes authorized by President Obama and his "kill list" coordinator John Brennan, now Obama's nominee to head the C.I.A.
The Times relegated the actual news about the leaked document to page 11, in the International section, in a "news analysis" by reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage that dug into the politics of the controversy under an odd, vague headline: "Report on Targeted Killing Whets Appetite for Less Secrecy."
Barack The First? Wow: who would have thought that perhaps the strongest statement yet in condemnation of President Obama's self-arrogated right to kill Americans abroad would have come from Jon Meacham? Yet on today's Morning Joe, historian Meacham—who knows something about the use and abuse of presidential power—criticized Obama for ignoring the "rule of law" and actually described Obama as acting like "an American king."
Joe Scarborough seconded Meacham's surprising statement, adding that had this come to light under George W. Bush, impeachment would be in the air. View the video after the jump.
Imagine the apoplectic Precious Perfect Special Comment rage Keith Olbermann [remember him?] would have worked himself into had this memo come to light under W . . .
Unusual candor from Mika Brzezinski and Harold Ford, Jr. on the double standard that exists for Republicans and Democrats. Discussing on today's Morning Joe the Obama administration memo that has been uncovered authorizing the use of drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens abroad, Mika admitted that there would have been a "huge controversy" if such a memo had surfaced during the Bush administration. Ford said that "Democrats have to think now about how they conducted themselves and the questions they raised about Bush administration tactics." Joe Scarborough flatly declared that had the policy come to light under Bush, it would have been "stopped" by the ensuing outcry. View the video after the jump.
Last week, President Obama blamed Republicans for the poor state of the economy.
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, former Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao scoffed at this saying, "I don't know how he can say that when he had control of both the houses in the legislative branch. He had control over the White House."
Remember the media’s love affair with George W. Bush during his first term? Me neither. But PBS’s Tavis Smiley and Rolling Stone journalist and author Michael Hastings recall such a scenario. According to Hastings, the media loved President Bush from 2001 to 2005, just as they love President Obama now: “...if you look back at the first four years of the Bush administration, the media – same sort of dynamic. There was a lot of love for George W. Bush. Remember they hated Al Gore, and Bush was their favorite. And things didn’t really go south for Bush with the media until Katrina happened, and, you know, an unpopular war.”
Hastings concluded that media bias always favors the sitting president: “So the bias - the media bias is always towards power; it’s always towards whoever’s in the White House.” Smiley seconded that notion, saying, “I’m glad you said it, and I would have said it if you didn’t, which is that there is a bias toward power.” [See video after the jump. MP3 audio here]
"Chris Matthews has it exactly wrong!" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity on the January 22 "Media Mash" segment, reacting to the Hardball host's effusive praise on Monday for what he insisted was a Lincolnesque inaugural address by the president. "The Gettysburg Address was an attempt at healing the nation's wounds" from the Civil War while "Obama's speech... was a left-wing declaration of war against the conservative movement, so it was the opposite of the Gettysburg Address."
Another telling exchange from MSNBC on Monday was when presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett thanked the crew of MSNBC's Morning Joe for "a good four years with you all," Fox News host Sean Hannity noted. [watch the full segment below the page break]
When GOP President George W. Bush celebrated his second inauguration in January of 2005, reporters in the political press hammered away at the cost of the event -- about $140 million -- by stating that the money could have been put to better use in the Iraq war and as aid for those caught in the earthquake and tsunami that struck southern Asia a month earlier.
Eight years later, the people in the media could barely contain their glee while covering “Party Time,” Democratic president Barack Obama's second inauguration, with little interest in the cost of the events (about $180 million) even though the nation's unemployment rate is hovering near eight percent and another battle over federal government spending looms on the horizon.
Native and long-time Washingtonians see presidential inaugurations every four years, and, for them, they're pretty run-of-the-mill, regardless of one's party affiliation. This is especially true when they're the second go-around for a given president. Washington proper is heavily liberal Democrat, and the outlying suburbs are so too, to a lesser degree, but still, enthusiasm for a presidential inauguration in the nation's capital region is bound to be less intense for natives and long-time residents than visiting out-of-towners.
So in 2005, the Washington Post devoted 1,345 words to this phenomenon in a January 21 page A29 story headlined, "Away From Capitol, It's Just Another Day; Many Locals Choose Routine Over Ritual." Staff writers Paul Schwartzman and Karin Brulliard dutifully worked their way around the capital region talking to area residents who were not too thrilled about all the fuss and bother, some of whom hinting Bush was to blame for their unemployment. No similar article appeared in the paper's pages eight years later with Obama's second inaugural (emphases in article mine):
Detecting media bias is often an exercise in contrasting two analogous events to see how the media worked to write the narrative in the public's imagination. We at NewsBusters have already looked at how the media love the party atmosphere of the Obama inaugurals but groused at the expense of Bush's second inaugural, for example.
So it's instructive to see how Washington Post veteran journalist Dan Balz greeted President Obama's entry into his second term with how he looked at the dawn of President George W. Bush's second term. "[T]his Inauguration Day comes at a time when there is far greater realism about whether the president, or perhaps any leader, can transcend political divisions and unite the country," Balz noted in his front-page January 21 analysis piece, "This time, the idea of a new beginning seems optimistic."
A tale of three presidential inaugurations during wartime and strife. The New York Times found it bad form for Republicans to spend $40 million on President Bush's second inauguration in January 2005, during a time of war. A January 11, 2005 editorial on Bush's second inauguration, "Victor's Spoils," sniffed:
At the rate President Bush's supporters are giving money, his second inauguration threatens to stand out in the history books like the common folks' muddy boot prints on the White House furniture at Andrew Jackson's gala. The $40 million record for inaugural partying set four years ago for Mr. Bush is expected to be shattered this month....Ordinary citizens might have hoped that the overriding issue in Washington- the perilous Iraq war, with its drain on the nation's blood and treasure- would dictate restraint. But plans for the four-day extravaganza roll forward with nine celebratory balls being underwritten by the usual corporate and fat-cat supplicants in the political power mill. There's nothing new in Washington's triumphalist celebrations, festooned with price tags for access, but war usually mutes the singing and dancing. Not this year.
In a 14-paragraph Style section front-pager today headlined "Ceremony is a civic ritual for all of us," the Washington Post's Sally Quinn waxed philosophical about how we as Americans need the pomp and circumstance of the quadrennial presidential inaugural ceremonies to unite us as Americans and swell our hearts with civic pride, regardless of who is president. "[T]his is America's chance to show the world what democracy looks like," Quinn insisted, dismissing the complaint of a "young colleague" of hers who asked her, "[W]hy bother to have a second inauguration" instead of "just get[ting] sworn in quietly" in a private ceremony.
Of course, on January 20, 2005, Quinn sounded a very different and quite sour note when it came to how President George W. Bush was to kick off his second term (emphasis mine):
Today's Washington Post editorial clings to the liberal anti-gun rights view that only the government should have access to "military weapons," by which of course they mean semiautomatic "assault rifles" like the AR-15. Of course, government corruption and incompetence has long been an avenue by which criminals have obtained weapons, the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal being an instructive case in point.
But alas, the drug-running scandal was curious missing from the January 11 editorial in which the Post argued that in addition to an assault weapons ban, the U.S. government needs to crack down on international gun-smuggling, particularly on the Mexican border:
Appearing on the January 10 Martin Bashir program to discuss concerns being expressed by many in Washington -- predominantly on the Left -- that President Obama's second-term Cabinet will be less diverse in terms of race and gender than his first term, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor took the opportunity to attack minority and women appointees of the George W. Bush Cabinet as self-hating minorities.
"I am much less concerned about the look of the Cabinet than I am the shape of this president's policies. I think that it's important to add that presidents like George Walker Bush, you know, had people like [Labor Secretary Elaine] Chao and [Commerce Secretary Carlos] Gutierrez and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and [HUD Secretary Alphonso] Jackson and [Education Secretary Rod] Paige in his Cabinet, all cultural minorities and women alike, but all very, very dangerous to diverse communities," Taylor insisted. This isn't the first time Taylor has taken to MSNBC to excoriate a conservative who happens to be a member of a racial minority as self-loathing. From October 14, 2011:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tells us the tax issue is behind us and that we can now move on to spending. Really? What makes him think the GOP will succeed this time when it couldn't last time?
The just-concluded fiscal cliff deal included no material spending cuts, which the GOP justified by saying it had achieved locked-in rates for most of Bush's tax cuts, which would force Obama to seriously discuss spending cuts and entitlement reform as part of the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted the passage of Senate Democrats' temporary fiscal cliff fix by the House as a "big bipartisan victory", immediately after pointing out that "the votes were about two-to-one Democratic in favor of the bill." Cordes also hyped how the bill is "a milestone, finally settling a decade-long debate over the Bush-era tax cuts," despite the fact the bill raises tax rates on top earners.
The correspondent also likened Congress to a teenaged student: "Well, if this was high school, you'd say they turned in the assignment a little bit late. It was kind of a rush job, but at least they got it done."
Here’s something I bet you thought you’d never see at the perilously liberal Huffington Post.
In a Dean Baker article published Tuesday with the astonishing title “There Is No Santa Claus and Bill Clinton Was Not an Economic Savior,” the second sentence read, “Just as little kids have to come to grips with the fact that there is no Santa Claus, it is necessary for millions of liberals, including many who think of themselves as highly knowledgeable about economic matters, to realize that President Clinton's policies sent the economy seriously off course.”
Sometimes the obvious stops being elusive even to a liberal.
For most of the young millennium, use of the term "Bush tax cuts" by anyone left of center has more often than not been accompanied by the words "for the rich." The pair have been joined at the hip so often that a Google search for them yields more than 5 million hits. (audio clips after page break)
CBS ran a puff piece Friday morning on President Obama's visit to hurricane-ravaged Staten Island, which stood in stark contrast to its hostile treatment of President Bush's visit to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
CBS played into the Obama PR strategy, simply noting that he "pledged the government's support" to Staten Island residents and "met with families who've lost everything." In addition, they aired his plea for the insurance companies to support the victims, afterward quoting residents who were upset with the insurance companies.
White jokes continue to be all the rage with the liberal media.
On CBS’s Late Show Wednesday, Alec Baldwin mocked Americans wanting to secede from the nation due to the results of last week’s election by saying they might name their new country “the United States of Caucasia” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Well, there's one little bit of good news in Martin Crutsinger's final report on yesterday's release of the federal government's October Monthly Treasury Statement (I did a review of his initial take yesterday [at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog]). The good news is that Crutsinger, unlike in most months during the past several years I have reviewed such reports, actually identified the single-month amount of money the federal government spent in October, namely $304 billion. We'll see if he continues the practice of reporting single-month spending amounts in future months.
The rest of Crutsinger's coverage is typically pathetic and predictable. He failed to correctly define what the deficit really is for his readers, understated the impact on fiscal 2013 of any tax or spending decisions the President and Congress might agree on, ignored the likelihood that receipts in teh coming year are likely coming back to levels last seen in fiscal 2007 (meaning that virtually the entire problem facing the country has to do with spending, not collections), and engaged in the seemingly required exercise of blaming George W. Bush for running deficits (not disclosed as far smaller) and conducting wars Congress agreed to fight before Obama came into office. As I said, typically pathetic and predictable.
A war broke out on the set of HBO’s Real Time Friday when MSNBC’s sole conservative commentator S.E. Cupp had the nerve to say that Barack Obama’s foreign policy was no different than former President George W. Bush’s.
In the midst of the shouting, actor Samuel L. Jackson said to Cupp, “You don’t want to f—k with Dick Cheney" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Dan Rather, the former CBS Evening News anchor who presented a forged document on the air about President George W. Bush weeks before the 2004 elections, said on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday, "Something in my gut tells me that it’s going to be a good day for Romney" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS Late Show host David Letterman took a swipe at George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and the highest court in the land Monday.
In the middle of his opening monologue, Letterman joked that the recount would begin on Wednesday followed by the Supreme Court giving the election to Romney on December 18 (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on the Monday, November 5, Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, film maker Harvey Weinstein mocked Republicans John McCain and Rudy Giuliani as "brilliant actors" because they had appeared on Morgan's show recently and criticized President Obama, with the liberal film maker cracking that Giuliani could "play the crazy villain in any movie."
He went on to assert that the military "love" Obama and that the President has "killed more terrorists in his short watch than George Bush did in eight years. He's the true hawk."
Fox proved once again that it has anything but a conservative bias.
As NewsBusters warned in September, the hit series The Simpsons on Sunday totally trashed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his supporters two days before Election Day (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Some serious fur flew on the Morning Joe set today, as Joe Scarborough clashed with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. Setting Scarborough off was the magazine's endorsement of Barack Obama that lauded the president for relieving the "national shame inflicted by the Bush administration."
Scarborough saracastically asked Remnick "who got paid the bonus for being able to squeeze in, quote, 'the shame of the Bush years?'" Scarborough went on to scald Remnick for the left's hypocrisy in giving President Obama a pass for pursuing many of the same policies that it had accused Bush-Cheney of undermining the Constitution for establishing. Remnick feigned ignorance of what Scarborough meant by "the left," and accused Joe of having "within two seconds, leapt down my throat" about the endorsement. View the video after the jump.