The Big Three broadcast networks made their slanted priorities clear on their Thursday evening newscasts, as they fawned over Caroline Kennedy's Senate confirmation hearing earlier that day, but failed to cover the emotional congressional testimony of Pat Smith. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya.
ABC's Martha Raddatz was awestruck over JFK's daughter: "For one brief shining moment, senators from both sides of the aisle seemed to harken back to the so-called Camelot days." NBC's Harry Smith gushed that "history and legacy were more important this morning than party or partisanship. The daughter of a president said she wanted to fulfill her father's wish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell couldn't contain her glee over Carolina Kennedy being appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan: "Caroline Kennedy was almost born to be an ambassador, a picture perfect daughter in a telegenic first family. She captured our hearts all the way through her intense personal heartbreak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell acknowledged that Kennedy "has no particular experience in Japan," but quickly brushed it aside: "...she has something that the Japanese consider far more important in an ambassador, and that is a celebrated family name and a direct line to her very good friend in the Oval Office." On Wednesday's Nightly News, Mitchell gushed: "The Kennedy name is magic in Japan."
CBS again paid homage to Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as they hyped her possible nomination to be the next ambassador of Japan. During her report, Jan Crawford featured liberal historian Robert Dallek, who gushed over the apparent worldwide reputation of the presidential daughter's family: "The Kennedys, generally, have an extraordinary, continuing hold on the public's imagination, both in this country and abroad."
Dallek later asserted that the U.S. might be "sending somebody as ambassador to Tokyo who is representative of the best in American culture." The correspondent also touted how Kennedy "would have an opportunity to test her political skills, but also, she would be able to put the Kennedy name back on an international stage" if President Obama named her to the key diplomatic post.
Good Morning America's historical coverage is mostly non-existent. Yet, there's one thing the ABC program finds time for every year: Kennedy worship. On Tuesday's GMA, the same program that ignored Harry Reid linking Marine deaths to sequester cuts featured the latest on Kennedy family poetry.
Reporter David Muir gushed, "The indelible images of Caroline Kennedy's childhood: The little girl in the White House hiding under her father's desk, sitting beside her mother in bed. And if you look closely, there is often something else, books." The purpose of the segment was to promote Poems to Learn By Heart, a compilation collected by JFK's daughter. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King gushed over Caroline Kennedy on Friday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell asked Kennedy is she supported a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, which prompted Rose to wonder if the daughter of JFK might run herself for the highest elected office in the U.S.
King hyped the potential nomination of Kennedy to be an ambassador to Japan: "Madame Ambassador – does that have a ring to it for you?" O'Donnell tossed the softest of softballs as a follow-up: "Do you like Japan or Canada better?" (audio available here; video below the jump)
On Monday, CBS This Morning launched a week-long set of interviews for Women's History Month, but the majority of the women they picked for their list of "Eye Opening Women" are dedicated liberals, particularly on social issues. The morning newscast first conducted a fawning interview of former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was part of the Supreme Court plurality that upheld the Roe v. Wade decision in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Five out of the eight remaining women featured for the series of interviews are all notables on the left side of the political spectrum. On Tuesday, anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell will interview The Daily Beast's Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington, founder of far-left website The Huffington Post. Brown has a history of attacking conservatives. During a 2011 appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, she likened tax hike opponents to terrorists:
ABC News found scant time for the just-passed political conventions, coming in dead last according to a Media Research Center study. But the network on Tuesday did manage to, yet again, obsessively focus on John F. Kennedy, a man whose presidency ended 49 years ago.
Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Caroline Kennedy about newly released tapes of her father. He played clips of JFK discussing serious issues and also playing with his daughter. Stephanopoulos marveled, "But here's the president on the one moment talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, – boom – complete switching of gears." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Immediately following Bill Plante's declaration on Thursday that Barack Obama is "one of the greatest orators of his generation," CBS This Morning co-anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell conducted an interview with Caroline Kennedy. Instead of discussing her upcoming speech at the Democratic National Convention, they excessively flattered her family and party affiliation.
While reminiscing about the last presidential campaign season, O'Donnell spoke of the transference of "Kennedy magic" to Obama when he received an official endorsement from the former president's daughter and her more recently deceased uncle in 2008. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
“You don’t want to put delegates in a position where they’re booing God and Jerusalem, especially on videotape,” the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes observed on FNC’s Special Report in citing a “basic rule” for conventions, calling it “a bad moment for Democrats” since “it has to be included in all the coverage of the convention.” Hayes, it turns out, was far too generous in his presumption about media professionalism – at least at ABC News.
World News on Wednesday evening devoted 12 minutes – more than half the newscast – to the Democratic conclave, yet spiked the embarrassing decision by Democrats, which drew boos from the floor (earlier NB item with video of booing), to revise their platform to add a reference to God and identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Yesterday, NewsBuster Kyle Drennen detailed how NBC Today co-host Ann Curry fretted about the latest Kennedy scandal's impact on Caroline Kennedy. "What about Caroline, who is still alive? " she asked John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford.
Last night on Fox Chicago News, anchor Bob Sirott picked up on the same theme in his "One More Thing" opinion segment:
I wonder if she (Alford) feels guilty now about how President Kennedy's only living child Caroline might feel about her story?
Just a guess, but I imagine the daughter, now older than her father was when he died, didn't go into a state of shock. Yet the mainstream media worry about her as though she were a teenager, like Alford was when the 45-year-old Kennedy took her virginity.
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Monday's Today show, gave Caroline Kennedy her annual spot on the air to honor the latest liberal heroes to win the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, this year given to California legislators who demonstrated the "courage" to raise taxes as a solution to that state's budget crisis. Kennedy spoke to Vieira, along with award winners California State Senators Darrell Steinberg and Dave Codgill, but it was the Republican, Codgill, who was singled out by the Today co-anchor for his willingness to cross party lines as Vieira asked: "You're a Republican. You reached across to the Democrats. As a result, the voters rejected the compromise and your own party voted you out of your leadership position. So in retrospect, was it worth it, Dave?"
As for Steinberg, Vieira didn't press the California Democratic leader that perhaps his party needed to cut spending more, instead of raising taxes, and in fact worried about his ability to stay in the fight: "But the budget deficit is at $20 billion. How do you stay motivated?"
At the end of the segment Vieira honored the tax raisers as she hailed: "Well congratulations to both of you on your courage."
The following is a transcript of the full segment as it was aired on the May 24 Today show:
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos gushed over well known Democrat Caroline Kennedy on Monday as she touted the latest recipients of the Profile in Courage Award. The current winners include two California state Republicans who bucked the vast majority of their party to support tax increases in the 2009 budget.
In addition to Kennedy, Stephanopoulos also interviewed Republican Mike Villines and former Democratic Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass. Against the glowing backdrop of Kennedy memorabilia, he lauded, "Caroline, your Uncle Teddy, I think, exemplified the kind of actions you're trying to reward today." [Audio available here.]
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased an upcoming interview with Caroline Kennedy about the annual John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Awards: "Profiles in Courage, it's that time of year again where we chat with Caroline Kennedy about the people who will be honored up in Boston. May ask her a question or two about her own brush with courage and the Senate."
Smith was of course alluding to Kennedy’s bid to be appointed to the New York Senate seat left vacant by Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State earlier this year. However, based on his later question to Kennedy about it, one would have a hard time figuring out what he was referring to: "You had your own brush with public service, and politics, this year. Does it give you an even greater appreciation for some of the risks involved?" An on-screen graphic was a little more to the point: "Failed Senate Campaign: Caroline Kennedy Opens Up."
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand is the new senator from New York, replacing Hillary Clinton, who resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of State in the Obama administration. But the New York Times hasn't exactly rolled out the welcome mat. So far the paper has done little but nag Gillibrand for being insufficiently liberal, pushing her to back away from her stands against amnesty for illegal immigrants and her support of gun rights.
During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.
Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.
But since her appointment by Gov. David A. Paterson last week to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand has found herself besieged by immigrant advocates and Democratic colleagues who have cast her as out of step with a majority of the state, with its big cities and sprawling immigrant enclaves.
Acting like Caroline Kennedy's PR flack NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Monday's "Today" show, first delivered the news that the Kennedy family was "furious," at the way her Senate bid was treated by New York Governor David Paterson, but then she quickly merged her own personal opinion into the story, calling the smearing of the former First Daughter, "inexcusable." Curiously Mitchell never revealed to viewers, what specifically Paterson or those close to Paterson had said of Kennedy, only vaguely mentioning "they went after her on personal issues."
The following exchange occurred on the January 26, edition of the "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: While Caroline Kennedy's Senate bid crashed and burned some Democrats are burning at the way New York's governor handled the whole affair. NBC's Andrea Mitchell is in Washington. Andrea, good morning to you.
Caroline Kennedy’s nebulous withdrawal from her bid to be appointed to the U.S. Senate by the virtue of her genes drew an odd front-page story in Friday’s Washington Post: "Does a Glass Ceiling Persist in Politics? Kennedy’s Withdrawal Illustrates a Double Standard, Some Say." Reporter Anne Kornblut’s "some" were Democratic women like Dee Dee Myers and Donna Brazile, and she complained that other Senate appointments (Bennet, Burris, Kaufman) have all been male. She began:
With her abrupt exit this week from consideration for the Senate, Caroline Kennedy added her name to a growing list: women who have sought the nation's highest offices only to face insurmountable hurdles.
Like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin before her, Kennedy illustrated what some say is an enduring double standard in the handling of ambitious female office-seekers. Even as more women step forward as contenders for premier political jobs, observers say, few seem able to get there.
As Barack Obama's tax-delinquent Treasury pick Tim Geithner appears to be sailing smoothly towards nomination, it seems Caroline Kennedy's once all-but-apparent ascension to the vacant Senate seat for New York seems to be dead in the water and sinking fast.
ALBANY - Problems involving taxes and a household employee surfaced during the vetting of Caroline Kennedy and derailed her candidacy for the Senate, a person close to Gov. David A. Paterson said on Thursday, in an account at odds with Ms. Kennedy’s own description of her reasons for withdrawing.
Does Maureen Dowd moonlight at MSNBC as Andrea Mitchell's writer? Here's how for, purposes of defending Caroline Kennedy in her NYT column today, Dowd mocked former New York Republican Senator Al D'Amato [emphasis added]:
[B]elieve me, she talks a whole lot better than the former junior senator from New York, Al D’Amato, who once wailed that he was “up to my earballs” in some mess, and another time complained to me that those “little Jappies” bring over boats full of cars and then take the boats back empty.
Now check out Mitchell's comments made during her 1 PM time slot on MSNBC today:
No one should feign surprise at a new poll showing women more supportive of Caroline Kennedy's bid to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's junior U.S. senator. But what is interesting about this poll is why men are less likely to support her:
Fifty-seven percent of the women taking part in the new CNN-Opinion Research Corp. Poll said that Kennedy is qualified to be a senator from New York. But only 47 percent of men agreed.
The most important thing to remember when reading this Berkshire Eagle article, "Making the case for Caroline Kennedy," by WAMC Northeast Public Radio CEO, Alan Chartock, is that it was not meant as satire. However, Chartock's reasons for appointing Caroline Kennedy as senator from New York come off as absolutely hilarious even though he is trying to be completely serious. So enjoy the bellylaughs from inadvertent comedian Chartock (emphasis mine):
...Respectfully, I think David Paterson would be dumb not to appoint Kennedy. Here's my reasoning: She is fabulously wealthy. Some guesstimates have her in the $500 million range. She owns a considerable chunk of Martha's Vineyard beach front, and she is one of the most popular New Yorkers.
While appearing on Tuesday's edition of "MSNBC News Live" to comment on Caroline Kennedy's bid to be appointed the United States Senate, Washington Post news editor Vincent Bzdek hyperbolically lauded Caroline's uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, as "one of the greatest legislators in the history of the country."
Anchor Norah O'Donnell also read from a New York Daily News column harshly attacking Caroline Kennedy as unqualified. She then defended, "Is that really fair? Is that a little bit tough?" In a follow-up question to Bzdek, O'Donnell gushed at the legacy of the Kennedy family: "The Kennedys have long been known for their eloquence. Of course, Ted Kennedy, the lion of the U.S. Senate, a great speechmaker, in terms of delivering on policy." Wondering if Caroline could live up to such standards, she queried the Washington Post editor, "Is she being compared unfairly to her uncle?"
One sign the liberal news media live in a plastic Manhattan bubble is their undying ardor for the Kennedy Myth, best known by that public-relations construct "Camelot." Instead of a president and First Lady, they believe, we had the King and Queen of Glamour. Never mind if their marriage was a joke and his list of presidential accomplishments was short. Never mind if the Republican half of the country feels sickened by the obsession. The media preferred the myth – and they still do to this day. It is why they are promoting the anointment of unaccomplished Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in New York.
The very same media which spent months dismissing former mayor and Gov. Sarah Palin as too inexperienced for national office is now championing a woman whose primary qualification – her only qualification -- is her last name. The very same media which still mock Palin’s folksy "you betcha" or her interview with Katie Couric don’t seem to notice when John Fund reports that in one 30-minute interview on the cable news channel New York One, Caroline Kennedy used the slang "you know" a total of 168 times.
How will Caroline Kennedy be expected to cast votes in the Senate when she’s cared so little about voting as a citizen? Faced with reports that she had missed voting in several New York elections, including the 1994 re-election effort of Sen. Daniel Moynihan (the Senate seat she now expects to be handed like royalty), Kennedy told the Associated Press "I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record. I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."
The ostensible subject was Caroline Kennedy. But in the course of, you know, discussing Kennedy's foundering effort to, you know, be anointed senator, Mika Brzezinski said something of more enduring interest. The Morning Joe co-host provided a telling glimpse into the liberal mindset, as Brzezinski cast her vote for Big Mommy government.
Host Joe Scarborough observed that New York Gov. David Paterson was letting Kennedy twist in the wind. Rather than spending his time taxing everything in sight, the guv would be better off appointing Caroline or someone else, so the new senator could hit the ground running once Hillary is confirmed as Secretary of State, opined Scarborough.
That's when Mika made her pitch for taxes as a tool for reforming those not living the lifestyle approved by the latest member of the Lititz landed gentry.
ABC correspondent David Muir offered an admiring “window into Camelot” on Monday’s Good Morning America as he reported on U.S. Senate aspirant Caroline Kennedy’s interviews with New York media over the past weekend: “Caroline Kennedy, opening up, calling herself an unconventional choice, offering personal reflections, knowing the political fight that lies ahead.” However, instead of focusing on any political details relevant to the federal office she seeks, Muir focused on her entertainment preferences: “Kennedy calls herself a Yankees fan, whose last movie was ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.... Kennedy, who grew up in the 70s, says the music of that era still fuels her. Her iPod is filled with Al Green, Grateful Dead, and Bob Marley.”
Muir’s report, which aired 15 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of the ABC morning program, began with anchor Robin Roberts introducing the “Camelot” theme of the report, which the media too often conjures up when covering the Kennedy family: “The daughter of JFK did a series of weekend interviews, giving us a rare glimpse inside of Camelot.” The correspondent then began with a saccharine introduction of the famous First Daughter: “For decades, Caroline Kennedy was seen far more than she was heard....‘Shy Caroline,’ as she was sometimes called, is shy no longer.” He also continued the “Camelot” theme throughout the report by including old family photos and home video of when Kennedy was a child.
On the ball. That's what the experts at The New York Times are, alright. They are the arbiters of all that's fit to print, remember? The ones that know all and see all, dontcha know? They are the ones with all sorts of advice on foreign policy, we must point out. So, it's a bit hard to fathom how The New York Times printed a hoax letter, supposedly from Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, France, taking the State of New York to task for turning to the ditzy Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary's Senate Seat.
That's right, The New York Times got scammed by a fake letter. Worse, they didn't even follow up to confirm the authenticity of the letter that arrived in their inbox via email. Someone at the Times just read the email then published the letter. And now they are apologizing for the negligence.
The people just don't know Caroline like I do. That was the essence of Andrea Mitchell's defense of the would-be senator after Pat Buchanan analogized her to another nominee who famously flopped. Appearing on Morning Joe, Buchanan unleashed a merciless metaphor.
PAT BUCHANAN: It's not only entitlement. It appears–we are getting close to Harriet Miers country, where Bush put her out there, and it became transparent when people started going after her that she wasn't quite up to this --
Next time you find yourself in a room with Andrea Mitchell, be careful what thoughts you permit to cross your mind. The NBC correspondent evidently has the ability to read them. Defending Caroline Kennedy on today's Morning Joe, Mitchell stated as a fact that Kennedy's press-evading performance in upstate New York was due to her desire not to appear presumptuous.
Continuing her advocacy, Mitchell went on to praise the very remarks Kennedy made yesterday that I found dangerously sleep-inducing. She then dismissed Charles Krauthammer's criticism of Kennedy as "an opinion piece" coming from "the right." For good measure, Andrea accused Andrew Cuomo—a rival for the Senate seat—of leaking to the press unflattering information about Kennedy's failure to have voted in many elections.
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen came to the defense of would-be New York Senator Caroline Kennedy, who has faced criticism for her lack of experience: "This is so unfair. I mean, look, the system is set up the way it's set up and Governor Paterson decides and that's it. Leave her alone, everyone." That comment followed a report by correspondent Meg Oliver, in which Kennedy avoided tough questions from the press: "She quickly got a taste of the pressure that comes with seeking a high-profile political office...questions mostly went unanswered."
Chen was not so quick to defend Sarah Palin from critics during the campaign. When Tina Fey began impersonating Palin on Saturday Night Live in September, Chen remarked: "Tina Fey has just so much material to work with, this is like, probably a dream come true for her." Earlier in September, Chen wondered about Palin’s foreign policy experience: "The education of Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor has her first meetings with world leaders as they gather at the U.N. How will she do?"
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show co-host Julie Chen declared: “Caroline Kennedy gets a boost in her quest to become a Senator from the woman she hopes to replace.” Later, co-host Harry Smith introduced a segment about Kennedy’s qualifications: “There are reports this morning that Senator Hillary Clinton has told her supporters to stop questioning if Caroline Kennedy is qualified to replace her. Kennedy is the latest in a long line of high-profile candidates who have sought a Senate seat. So, what actually qualifies someone to be a Senator?”
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Bill Plante acknowledged criticism of Kennedy’s qualifications, even quoting New York Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman, who compared Kennedy to Jennifer Lopez. However, Plante then brushed such concerns aside, instead praising Kennedy’s celebrity status: “Caroline Kennedy is just the latest celebrity to seek a Senate seat. In 1974, astronaut John Glenn won a Senate seat in Ohio. Bill Bradley won election to the Senate from New Jersey in 1979...Governor Patterson of New York, who will appoint the person to fill that Senate seat, has to run in two years. Who wouldn't want to run with a Kennedy on the ticket, who can raise lots of cash?”