MSNBC did its best to hype the “really tight race” facing Republican incumbent and possible 2016 candidate Governor Scott Walker on the August 13 edition of The Daily Rundown. Guest host Chris Cillizza teased a segment on the Wisconsin Republican’s re-election twice in the first half hour of his 9 a.m. show, boasting “a look at Scott Walker's biggest fight yet” and the “tough road to re-election ahead of him.” MSNBC even featured the clip on their website, with the title “Scott Walker starts to scramble for November.”
The overblown segment was barely over one minute long, in which Cillizza began the discussion by asking NBC news political reporter Carrie Dann, “How much trouble is Scott Walker in?” Based on the tone of The Washington Post reporter, the fact that the Wisconsin governor celebrated his nomination with “a big rally last night,” even though “no one thought he wasn't going to be the Republican nominee” was a bad sign. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
It never fails. When the regime of center-right political leader with executive authority begins to implode, the focus is on how and why that person is failing — as it should be. When it becomes clear that a leftist mayor, governor, or president is entering the failure zone, it's because the job is impossible, or the city, state, or nation has become "ungovernable."
We're entering the excuses phase with President Obama (with an important qualifier to be explained later). At the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog yesterday, Chris Cillizza, in a post titled "It’s virtually impossible to be a successful modern president," had a trio of cop-outs at the ready:
Reacting to news that Texas conservatives Pete Sessions (R) and Jeb Hensarling (R) would not challenge Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for House Majority Leader, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd felt compelled to rip the Tea Party for their supposed lack of leadership. According to TheDaily Rundown host, Tea Party conservatives “will blind quote ‘leadership’ to death. They love to complain, moan, gripe, you know what, but when the chips are down, they don’t have the guts to run.”
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell was unwilling to raise much of an objection to this blatantly partisan analysis. [MP3 audio here; video below]
First, let’s get this straight: By very definition, Hillary Clinton actually did suffer a "traumatic brain injury" in 2012. She fell; she hit her head; she suffered a concussion; and she developed a blood clot which hospitalized her. A concussion is precisely a “traumatic brain injury,” according to official medical definition.
Thus, when Karl Rove indelicately -- and perhaps not wisely for political purposes -- raised a point the other day about Hillary Clinton’s health, based on the "traumatic brain injury" she suffered in 2012, he was technically on solid ground. What wasn’t so solid was the over-reaction by media outlets to Rove’s rather unchivalrous suggestion. To see the difference between the “pile on Rove” mentality and actual, balanced coverage, consider how CNN rushed to paint Rove as evil, compared to how Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza put the issue in broader perspective.
Former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates generally speaks warmly of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his forthcoming memoir. But there is one passage in which he expresses his dismay at Clinton admitting that the reason she opposed President Bush's troop surge in Iraq was strictly political rather than based on a genuine disagreement with the policy.
But fear not, Hillary boosters, for the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has your back, spinning away the admission in his 12-paragraph page A5 story in Wednesday's paper (h/t WMAL's Chris Plante, who addressed this on his January 8 radio program;emphasis mine):
On Wednesday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, fill-in co-host Kathleen Matthews, wife of Hardball host Chris Matthews, lamented Republicans distracting President Obama from pushing his liberal agenda: "...the President's got the gnats of August swarming around him, with Ted Cruz out there fighting against ObamaCare. So, hard to kind of keep that message and that kind of – that solid message moving forward while he's having to swat what he probably perceives as some of the gnats..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza laid blame for Obama's failures on just about everything except the President himself: "I actually think that problem is even more exacerbated now because of the rapidity of the news cycle, because of Twitter, because of sort of YouTube, because of all of the ways in which you can get distracted and off message and being forced to respond to things."
On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."
On Monday, Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) announced he would not seek a fourth term as chief executive of the Lone Star State, saying the time had come “to pass on the mantle of leadership.”
It took the liberal media roughly 30 minutes to begin what will no doubt be an onslaught against the former presidential candidate, with the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza offering all the reasons why Perry “shouldn’t run for president again.”
It's just so unfortunate that such nice guys are going through such trying circumstances.
That's the impression one gets from graphic teases seen at about 9:30 this morning at the Washington Post, where the captions underneath the three left thumbnails read as follows: "President Obama’s disastrous political week"; "Jay Carney’s tough day"; and "Jay Carney’s day — in 7 faces." If you don't recall such an obvious outward show of sympathy during the final year of George W. Bush's presidency, you're not alone. A quick look at the underlying items follows the jump.
The admission by the IRS that its workers targeted conservative Tea Party groups was so scandalous even some of the liberals at MSNBC felt compelled to condemn the tax agency. On Friday's edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports substitute host Chris Cillizza exclaimed he was "stunned" by the "dumbness" of the IRS.
Cillizza's Washington Post colleague, Ruth Marcus called the revelations "outrageous." Marcus added: "The absolute worst thing that the IRS can do is make itself look political/ideological and to make it look like it's picking on some political groups and not others. That is terrible." (video after the jump)
The Washington Post reported Mark Sanford’s “easy victory” in a special-election vote for Congress to replace now-Sen. Tim Scott. This had to be disappointing for columnist Dana Milbank, who predicted just last Thursday that “South Carolinians, asked to cross the line with Sanford on Tuesday, are likely to tell him to take a hike.”
The Post tried to paint Sanford as a goner. The only time his race made the front page in the last month was a Karen Tumulty story on April 18 headlined “Trespassing case, GOP's pullout rattle Sanford's bid.” You could smell the morning toast:
Politico reported today that net income at The Washington Post Co. dropped an astonishing 85 percent from the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. The newspaper division posted an operating loss of $34.5 million over that period.
It looks as if the Post, like many other newspapers around the country, may have entered an age of decline. Newspapers just aren’t as profitable as they once were. The proliferation of online news outlets has given consumers a plethora of free news sources to choose from. But another factor may be the Post's persistent liberal bias, which is a turnoff to potential conservative subscribers.
Yesterday, Juliet Eilperin wrote for the Washington Post that “the public interest in climate change is waning.” Posted to Chris Cillizza’s Fix blog, it’s odd that Eilperin didn’t use any hard numbers in this piece. Citing Pew, she did say that support has dropped six points since last October, but what, pray tell, was the support at that time? Ten percent? Twenty-five?
Maybe she omitted the hard numbers for the simple reason that Americans have NEVER viewed this as a high priority issue. Let’s go back to January when President Obama – and the media – were pushing hardest for gun control policies. Aa Washington Post/ABC Poll found that 18 percent of all adults viewed addressing global warming as a high priority. Concerning the partisan breakdown, only 26% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans thought that stopping the polar ice caps was of the highest national urgency.
I find that the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza usually plays things pretty much down the middle, and subscribe to his Fix email blast.
So it came as an unpleasant surprise to find in my inbox a little while ago a Cillizza email, linking to his current Fix column, tthat referred to Mark Sanford as "the turd in the political punch bowl." Cillizza repeated the line in the column itself. View the screengrab after the jump.
The Supreme Court will hear two sides of a debate on gay marriage this week. But if the liberal media had their way, the debate would be over, and the social conservatives would have to sit down and shut up. Take this headline from The Washington Post today: "Political debate on same-sex marriage is over."
Chris Cillizza, who is usually careful to avoid taking a side on issues, made a passionate argument claiming the smart Republicans are already waving a rainbow flag of surrender:
Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza gushed over the popularity of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Hillary Clinton is just day's removed from public office, but a new poll finds her public image soaring. Time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire....Look, I can't get enough of Hillary Clinton, I'll just admit it. I'm just fascinated by the story." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Comparing Clinton to a list of other potential 2016 presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, Cillizza proclaimed: "She's more popular than anyone else on this list....These numbers are not terribly surprising, I mean, she just spent four years as our top diplomat."
During a panel discussion on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory touted President Obama's swagger leading up to Tuesday's State of the Union address: "He's coming at this with a very ambitious agenda at a time when he's feeling pretty confident...You come into the start of your second term, you say, 'Okay, I'm going to walk with a bit more strength in my gate here.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host Andrea Mitchell imagined Obama declaring: "I'm the big sheriff in town."The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza gushed: "Well, I mean, look, this is – if there's ever a time where you can say, 'I have been validated'....It's sort of like, 'I won, deal with this reality, and let's move forward.'"
Conservatives might take heart from a recent poll showing a decline in Americans' trust in government. But Chris Cillizza sees it as a "depressing reality." So wrote Cillizza in his "Fix" column in today's Washington Post. Indeed, Cillizza's headline, "Are we in the end times of trust in government?", suggests that he finds the development nothing short of potentially apocalyptic.
Let's consider what Thomas Jefferson's had to say about the need for a healthy distrust of government—and speculate as to why the polling news has Chris bummed out. More after the jump.
Former senator Chuck Hagel's shoddy performance at his confirmation hearing yesterday has not merely been panned by conservative outlets but also liberal ones. For example, in "What Happened to Hagel?", Daily Beast's Ali Gharib concluded that "a proud statesman" appeared "confused and unsure as he took body shots" from skeptical senators, all the while being unable to explain "some version—any version—of the sober views he's put forward over his years as a foreign policy thinker."John Judis of The New Republic complained that "[f]ormer Sen. Chuck Hagel didn’t acquit himself well.... He was equivocal, often unconvincing, and seemed taken aback by questions that had been swirling around the rightwing blogosphere for weeks."
But leave it to the Washington Post to dutifully carry the Obama administration's water. In his page A3 February 1 story, "Hagel sharply attacked at Senate hearing," Ernesto Londono took aim at the GOP for their "withering criticism" of Hagel. Londono conceded that "at times [Hagel] struggled" but insisted that he "nonetheless offered a full-throated endorsement of the United States' alliance with Israel, insisted he has never advocated for unilateral nuclear disarmament and called Iran an existential threat."
As news outlets, notably MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, all tout gun control, it’s hard not to accuse these news outlets of exploiting tragedy to promote a left-wing political agenda when a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll shows that gun control isn’t a top political priority with the American people.
Examining the results of a new Washington Post poll, the Post's Chris Cilizza in his The Fix blog noted today that Americans believe the national debt and the federal government's chronic deficit spending are greater issues than gun regulation. In fact, only 28 percent of Americans, including a paltry 41 percent of Democrats, feel the gun control issue requires urgent attention:
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer:
In Tuesday afternoon’s broadcast of Andrea Mitchell Reports, Mitchell accused Romney of surreptitious campaigning, and asked what are the true intentions of Governor Romney collecting storm supplies after a hurricane. Along with Chris Cillizza, who writes The Washington Post’s The Fix blog, Andrea Mitchell nonsensically noted how donations are the most effective forms of assistance in situations like this because there is no packaging involved.
Mitchell revealed herself, yet again, as a liberal hack, and someone who is absent minded when it comes to common sense. There are 7.5 million people without power, and how dare Mitt Romney try to help those in need.
Washington Post writer Dan Zak penned a "TV Review" of the debates in the A section which bragged "only Vice President Biden acted as though he could sit at the desk in the Oval Office and have his feet touch the ground." In the paper, he began " A pro debated a novice," but on Twitter, Zak previewed he would write "A man debated a boy Thursday night." He also insulted Ryan on Twitter as a pervert/criminal on Law & Order SVU. (See below.)
Zak admired the "firm control" and needling "vigor" of ABC's Martha Raddatz as moderator, but admitted "Fairly or not, she reserved most of her skepticism for Ryan." Even liberals found it obvious:
Readers are advised to have smelling salts handy and to take all necessary medical precautions before proceeding further as this headline recently featured at the Washington Post could result in unexpected health complications.
On August 5, Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post announced he was playing with a “somewhat controversial idea” that Mitt Romney should be the favorite to win the presidential election. Debatable, maybe. But controversial? Well, yes. It violates the pro-Obama mandate of our national press corps.
The usual political measures look terrible for Obama, he noted. “The unemployment rate has been over 8 percent for 42 straight months, a streak unparalleled in American history.” Obama must win despite the crippled economy – the most important issue for the voters.
Sunday on ABC, as Rush Limbaugh noted on his show yesterday, Obama campaign senior adviser and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "schoolyard bully."
Just a couple of hours later (the time stamp is noon on Sunday), what little is left of Newsweek published "Mitt Romney's Wimp Factor." Zheesh -- So which is it?
"Someone should have told Mitt Romney that they still speak English in England," snarked Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza as he awarded Romney the "Worst Week In Washington" on Sunday for calmly laying out security concerns to NBC before the London Olympics -- concerns the networks themselves reported beforehand.
That matches the attitude that political reporter Philip Rucker brought to his Romney story's lede on Saturday: "Mitt Romney’s Friday was better than his Thursday. He did very little." Cillizza said Romney "seemed to be talking in a foreign language, politically speaking," and once again, the Post cited the "Mitt the Twit" headline:
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza warned Mitt Romney that he would suffer "a death by a thousand political cuts" if he does not release more tax returns. Cillizza further proclaimed: "...every day we talk about tax returns. Why hasn't he released them? What's in them?...the current position he has is untenable politically."
Continuing to push for Romney to release more, Cillizza predicted: "...what we don't know is how much tax he did pay. And until he releases more...the Obama team, at least, is not going to let this go away." He then concluded: "...all this stuff gets them [Republicans] away from talking about what they want to talk about, which is why I think he [Romney] needs to lance the boil, politically, sooner rather than later."
If you’re the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, the answer to this ridiculous question is yes. In a June 17 article, Cillizza groaned, "Is it possible for a president — any president — to succeed in the modern world of politics?"
Rather than admit to the possibility that President Obama has been a lackluster president, Cillizza maintained, “...Pessimism about our nation’s future, partisanship and a splintered media makes it clear that any president elected or (reelected) has slim hopes-or at the most a very narrow window-for political success.”
Sure President Obama has been on a huge fundraising kick lately. And yes, he's clocked 160 fundraisers thus far in the reelection season, "more than double the 79 events that President George W. Bush had held by this time in the 2004 presidential race," the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza confessed today in his 11-paragraph page A6 article. [The print article was a condensed and updated version of a June 12 The Fix blog post that you can find here.]
To make a big deal out of this would just be silly, Cillizza insisted, taking it upon himself to spin for the Obama White House against Republican charges that the president is more interested in beefing up his campaign war chest than he is in governing.