As the conservatives in the Tea Party movement gained strength, the liberal media often predicted they would cause harm to the Republican Party and drive out all the moderates. Wouldn't the conservatives look too extreme to win over voters? (See Rich Noyes for more.)
Now that the MoveOn.org leftists are poised to remove an incumbent Senator or two, they might spread the idea that there is also a strong ideological base in the Democratic party -- on the left. But the media rarely mourn that they're driving all out the moderate Democrats in their quest for ideological perfection, and they rarely even whisper that the leftist base will make the Democrats look too extreme to the electorate. Notice the tone of Chuck Todd's piece for Monday's Today, and let's throw in that the graphic on screen only said the trend was "anti-Washington anger." The words "liberal" or "on the left" are not spoken:
NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd seemed astonished by how a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirmed solid agreement with Arizona's immigration enforcement law – “a whopping 64 percent support the law,” Todd marveled, “and we read them the law verbatim exactly as it's been written” and still, he repeated, “64 percent approve of it.” NBC also treated as surprising the majority backing for racial profiling to prevent terrorism, while Todd didn't mention what NBC's polling partner, the Wall Street Journal, found most newsworthy. Lead of the WSJ.com post:
Republicans have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November's elections, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
In his limited air time, Todd used the video wall at 30 Rock to highlight the public's belief the government and BP haven't done enough to address the Gulf oil spill, but he didn't note another finding which counters the media's preferences and narrative, that despite the accident, 60 percent support “more drilling for oil off the coast of the United States.”
Friday follies. Before the weekend ends, two quotes from journalists worth noting made on Friday night shows:
♦ On MSNBC’s Hardball, NBC’s Chuck Todd forwarded the notion that if Florida Governor Charlie Crist drops out of the Republican primary -- where polls put him way behind conservative Marco Rubio -- and wins the Senate seat as an independent, “he becomes the most powerful Senator in the United States Senate” and “he becomes, probably, the viable third party candidate in the middle in the country” for President in 2012.
♦ A few hours later on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, David Remnick, author of the new book, ‘The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,' outed the real liberal agenda behind ObamaCare as he predicted that instead of being an “albatross” that will hurt Democrats at the ballot box in November, all those new beneficiaries will be grateful and vote Democratic:
When you add 30 million people to the rolls of getting health care, access to health care, seems to me a huge gain and the potential widening of the base for the Democratic Party among a lot of people who might not necessarily vote before. So, I don't think you're going to see a repeat of 1994 come this fall.
Of course, few of those 30 million will have any better access to health care by this November than they had before the bill passed.
It's been more than nine months since President Obama has held a prime time press conference, and you would think those that cover him would be outraged by it.
Well, think again, for that's certainly not what came out of a panel discussion about this issue during this weekend's syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show."
Quite the contrary, rather than criticize the Commander-in-Chief for refusing to face them in an unscripted environment that he couldn't control, NBC's Chuck Todd, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell, the New York Times's Helene Cooper, and the Washington Post's David Ignatius actually made excuses for him (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights and commentary):
CRITICAL UPDATES AT END OF POST including Matthews saying "Bush regime" in 2002.
Chris Matthews on Friday referred to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh as a walrus underwater.
Chatting with guests Chuck Todd and Andrew Ross Sorkin about Limbaugh's recent comments concerning President Obama, Matthews quipped, "And this guy, this walrus underwater, makes fun of this administration, calling it a 'regime.'"
Was this a vulgar reference to a walrus video that went somewhat viral on YouTube last year?
Before we explore the possibility, here's Matthews' defamatory comments towards Limbaugh on Friday's "Hardball" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NB reader Mike, file photo):
NBC's Meredith Vieira opened Monday's Today show declaring, "Good morning. It passed. Congress approves historic legislation to reform health care" and then a few seconds later noted, "Democrats are using words like 'historic' to describe the sweeping overhaul that was approved." Interesting to see the Today co-anchor acknowledge the Democratic theme and still use it, something that was done throughout the ensuing health care segments.
NBC's White House correspondent Chuck Todd repeated the theme of the day, as he observed: "Soon after the vote, President Obama, who admitted that he was putting his own presidency on the line with health care, basked in the glow of victory...Following the historic vote, the Speaker of the House had an air of satisfaction.
Todd did note the Republican side of the issue but seemed to depict them as merely sore losers who will try to "gum up" the works of the legislation:
Last night it was the Republican Party that was caught in the crosshairs of Chris Matthews, which he accused of being too "narrow." Well on Tuesday's Hardball, the MSNBC host turned his sights on Fox News and charged that on their airwaves "there's absolutely no debate." During a segment in which Matthews invited on NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd to break down the latest poll numbers on Obamacare Matthews offered up the following explanation as to why it remains so unpopular: [audio available here]
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, you know on this network, on this network if you listen to this network, there's a lot of debate on MSNBC about this health care bill. Left versus center-left, whatever.
The end of Congress’s long debate over ObamaCare could be near, as the President pushes for a final vote this week before his Asia trip, and House Democrats want a resolution before next week’s Easter break.
Yet whether or not liberals’ dreams are ultimately realized, they have had a huge advantage throughout the process. Over the past twelve months, journalists have continually stacked the deck in favor of a big government takeover of health care.
Old Media's fatal conceit is the belief that it's not news unless it's reported by a major newspaper, magazine, or television station. Reports from new and alternative media, in Old Media's eyes, are tainted, and not to be believed...unlike, of course, the reliable, factual, and always objective mainstream media.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, at right in a file photo, has been a leading critic of what he now has dubbed "Drudge-driven journalism," perhaps better described as journalism emanating from somewhere outside of Old Media's newsrooms and television studios. "I just don't think that that's the proper way for us to decide what's news," he told Mediaite's Tommy Christopher of the Drudge Report's influence and agenda-setting ability.
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," he added. Apparently he still feels that NBC and its Old Media counterparts are qualified and capable of deciding what is and is not a story.
Chris Matthews, during a special post-health care summit two hour edition of Hardball on Thursday night, dissected the GOP strategy as one of keeping their "crazies" like Michele Bachman and Joe Wilson, "in the closet" and mocked that their "rehearsed" phrases made them sound like a "North Korean assembly" and exclaimed it was "an example of Pyongyang democracy, which is "What the Dear Leader told us to recite." [audio available here]
The following Matthews outbursts were aired during the February 25 edition of Hardball:
Since the announcement of his resignation from the Senate the common label (from CNN to MSNBC) of Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh seems to be that of a "centrist." On Monday's Hardball both Chris Matthews and his guest panelist NBC News' Chuck Todd called Bayh a "centrist," which is an inaccurate label for someone who, as NB's Matthew Balan pointed out, has a lifetime ACU rating of 20 and ADA of 70.
During the 5pm Olympics-shortened edition of Hardball, Matthews and Todd spinned that Bayh is leaving the Senate because "there's no room for centrists." [audio available here]
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let's talk turkey here. Let's go to Chuck Todd on the big picture here. Just a year or so ago, Arlen Specter of my state quit the Republican Party saying, there's no room in it for centrist politicians like himself. Is this a sign that there's no room in the Democratic Party for centrist politicians like Evan Bayh? He seemed to be saying that today.
Fox News has a business strategy of seeking to "undermine" the MSM by alleging that it has a liberal bias. That was Chuck Todd's assertion on Morning Joe today.
Todd, NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent, was reacting to Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon's statement on "Fox News Sunday" that "the mainstream media hates the tea party movement almost as much as it hates Sarah Palin."
Cautioning the Obama administration's “deficit projections...are just that, projections,” NBC's Chuck Todd on Monday evening bought into the White House's claim that Democratic health care reform bills that would add millions to the system are actually spending reduction measures, as he warned: “If health care doesn't pass, because this budget assumes health care will pass, that's yet another $150 billion that would be tacked on to the deficit.”
ABC's Jake Tapper also passed along the ludicrous contention, but at least stressed Obama's team is assuming passage of “reform” that's very unlikely to be enacted: “The President outlines a number of measures to reduce the deficit, over $1 trillion worth. But Diane, perhaps the most surprising, the budget assumes a savings of $150 billion over the next ten years from health care reform, legislation that is at the very best -- at the most optimistic -- on life support on Capitol Hill right now.”
NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday said the Tea Party movement has made it impossible for President Obama to buy the Republican votes he needs to pass his agenda.
Appearing on "Meet the Press," Todd told his fellow panelists, "I think the most striking thing about the minority party today...is that a Republican can't go home, and it's mostly because of this tea party crowd, cannot go home and sell a piece of pork that they got from Washington."
In Todd's view, this makes it tough for Obama because "it's not as if he can trade, you know, go and have these trades with a Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or let's say Lamar [Alexander]...or something like this, because they're not getting a benefit at home of bringing something back" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
There has been something of a debate over whether the Senate can properly delay seating Republican Scott Brown if he wins today’s special election, giving the Democrats time to ram through their unpopular health care bill. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes has neatly summarized the arguments of GOP lawyers that the temporary Senator Paul Kirk’s term expires today with the election of a successor (either Coakley or Brown).
But Democrats are even now preparing the media to accept the idea that Kirk can remain at his post for up to two more weeks while the formal certification process proceeds at the pace chosen by officials in Democratically-controlled Massachusetts. Yet just two months ago, the lack of certification for two Democratic winners of congressional special elections was no barrier to their quick swearing in for a health care vote in the House — and it drew no complaints from the news media (and was enthusiastically received by MSNBC’s left-wing hosts).
Barack Obama appears to no longer be giving Chris Matthews a tingle up his leg, for the MSNBC host thinks Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts might end up being a reflection of how people are very averse to the new President's program.
With a visible frown on his face, Matthews told "Daily Rundown" co-host Chuck Todd Monday that recent polling data "has to do with reality of a terrible economy, of this new burden that people feel being put on their shoulders of bigger debt, perhaps taxes coming down the road."
Matthews continued, "And the fear that the burden of healthcare is going to be much heavier than the benefit."
The "Hardball" host cautioned, "I think it's going to show up in Massachusetts tomorrow with the results there" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Things are looking so bad for Democrats in Tuesday's special election for the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy that MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned there aren't any left-leaning votes for his Party to buy.
"You know in the old days...if the Democrats faced this kind of a disaster in the works, you`d go back to your ones, the people you were sure are going to vote Democrat, and you`d make sure they got to the polling place," Matthews told NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday's "Hardball."
"You`d get them lunch, you`d get them a car. You`d make sure they got there, and in some cases you`d be buying people to get them," he continued. "But I hear talking to somebody today there aren`t people up there in Massachusetts like that anymore" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NBer shannon76):
Perhaps providing a window into the mind of journalists, MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Friday appeared shocked that a Democrat might lose in next week’s Massachusetts Senate election. "This is bad," fretted the Daily Rundown co-host. [Audio available here.]
She prefaced that comment by ominously observing, "With just four days to go in the race for Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat, a new poll is terrible news for Democrats." Discussing the numbers with co-host Chuck Todd and NBC political director Mark Murray, Guthrie marveled, "Chuck, I'm interested now. NBCs deputy political director, Mark Murray, joins us now.This is bad." [UPDATE: Guthrie responds. See below.]
How panicked are top Dems at the prospect that Republican Scott Brown will do the unthinkable and win the special election for the open Senate seat in Massachusetts? Enough that Harry Reid, despite his desperate fight to save his own skin in Nevada, has returned to DC to do what he can to help the hapless Dem candidate, the charisma-deprived Martha Coakley, hang on.
Enough that NBC political director Chuck Todd describes top Dems as having a "huge concern" over the Mass. race.
Todd gave his dismal-for-Dems assessment on this evening's Ed Show . . .
NewsBusters on Monday assured readers that liberals would be enraged by the announcement that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was becoming a contributor to the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC's Chris Matthews didn't disappoint.
While speaking to guests Chuck Todd of NBC and Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Matthews, during a segment specifically designed to belittle the intellectual capacity of the former vice presidential candidate, asked, "How can she be a pundit? She doesn`t know anything."
Comically, this was moments after the "Hardball" host practically dislocated his shoulder patting himself on the back saying, "This is what I like about politics, catching politicians not knowing what they`re talking about" (video embedded below the fold, h/t Politico via Hot Air):
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd surprised Laura Ingraham on her radio show December 14 when she asked him which Cabinet official would leave next. He said it could be Tim Geithner, or it could be Janet Napolitano — so she can take the next vacancy on the Supreme Court!
That idea might have fizzled in the last few days, although Todd insisted Obama's "a big fan of hers." Here's how the conversation unfolded:
TODD: The other one I would bet on is Janet Napolitano –
INGRAHAM (with sarcasm): She’s been effective.
TODD: And not a negative. On a – at the next Supreme Court opening, I betcha she gets the call.
INGRAHAM: (Pause, then a low voice) Oh wait a sec. I just lost my breath. What did you say?
TODD: Sorry. I know. Sorry. I’m just sayin’ --
INGRAHAM: Janet Napolitano?
TODD: You asked me to bet. You asked me to bet. I would say this. She’ll get the next opening.
In keeping with the tradition of the holidays - the minds at MSNBC, the place for politics if you're of the lefty persuasion, decided rate the top 10 political stories of the decade.
And leading this gang of masters of the political journalism universe was "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who on the broadcast of his Dec. 24 program, announced that conservative activism, mainly the tea party movement was the eighth biggest story of the decade - but labeled "angry white voters" (emphasis added).
"Welcome back to ‘Hardball' - our number eight political story of the decade, angry whites at town hall meetings across the country," Matthews said. "Lawmakers heard the wrath of angry voters."
In what had to be a tough admission for him to make, Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, claimed the 2 to 1 positive rating for the tea party movement, in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, was a sign of "The power of Fox."
However, the MSNBC host went on to write off the tea partiers, even trashing his company's own poll in the process, as he suggested the 41 percent positive to 21 percent negative rating was due to a "leading" question that portrayed the protestors as "just a group of conservatives," and not as the "screaming, crazy people" that Matthews views them to be. [audio available here]
The following exchange was aired on the December 16 edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, cast Barack Obama in the role of savior of the neo-cons as he pondered if the President's Nobel Peace Prize speech could, "Lead those neo-cons...out of the valley of evil?" Matthews wondered if Obama could rescue Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Michael Gerson and other neo-cons from their "belief in torture and Gitmo." Cynthia Tucker, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, joined Matthews in declaring "This speech won’t make Dick Cheney happy."
The following exchange was aired on the December 10, edition of Hardball:
NBC's Anne Thompson, on Monday's Today, covered the Climategate story only to essentially dismiss it in a nothing-to-see here, move along fashion. CBS's The Early Show had a brief mention of it, and ABC's Good Morning America did nothing. Thompson, reporting live from Copenhagen, opened her piece declaring that delegates determined "this could be their last best chance to deal with the consequences of climate change," but then added "overshadowing all of this is a scandal involving some stolen e-mails that has skeptics, once again, questioning the whole idea of global warming."
Thompson went on to air criticism from Professor Ian Plimer, of the University of Adelaide who charged, "There's data being massaged," but then devoted the rest of her piece to confirming the existence of climate change, even allowing a Penn State scientist, who appeared in the e-mail exchange, to defend the use of the term "trick," by a colleague as he claimed: "What the person meant was it was a clever approach to the problem."
NBC's Chuck Todd and CBS's Chip Reid both concluded their interviews with President Obama conducted in Beijing by worrying about the “stress” of his job. “He laughed off the speculation about his reported weight loss,” Todd relayed on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, “but admitted the burden of the office does weigh on him.” The MSNBC.com online video of the entire interview disclosed Todd's obsequious inquiry:
I've had a couple people ask me this at NBC, are you losing weight, do you feel the stress? Where is this coming from? Or at the one-year point, do you feel like, “Oh my God, I look in the mirror, boy, they're right, this job does age you?”
Echoing the same concern, on the CBS Evening News Chip Reid related: “Asked about the stress of the job, the President denied reports that he's skipping meals and losing weight, but he admitted it's taking a toll.” As viewers heard Obama's reply -- “You have a convergence of factors that have made this a difficult year not so much for me but for the American people. Absolutely that weighs on me” -- CBS displayed a photo of a solemn Obama, head bowed, gazing out of an Oval Office window.
Only in the mind of a liberal media journalist would Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Sen. Bernie Sanders be considered ideological "polar opposites," but that’s what NBC's Chuck Todd, during a piece aired on the health care debate on Tuesday's Today show, declared.
CHUCK TODD: Meanwhile, the Senate's two Democratic independents, polar opposites ideologically, are split over the bill's government-run public option and both are threatening to scuttle the process if they don't get their way.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: If the public option plan is in there as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: It would be outrageous to me that when you have an overwhelming majority of Americans wanting a strong public option that we do not deliver that.
While the two may be split on a government-run option, that’s just one of the very rare times the two disagree as Lieberman's lifetime ACU rating is 15.96 and Sanders comes in at 6.44, hardly "polar opposites."
The following is the complete Todd piece, that featured mostly Democratic soundbites (only a brief excerpt of a GOP ad represented the Republican view) as it was aired on the November 10, Today show:
Slam dunk, or nothing-but-net three-pointer? Either way, with a line he got off today, Chuck Todd has surely scored some points in the battle over Pres. Obama's all-male White House basketball games.
The NBC News political director/chief WH correspondent took his shot while discussing the issue with Andrea Mitchell—whose sympathies were clearly with the distaff side—during the 1PM hour slot on MSNBC today.