MSNBC Political Director Chuck Todd and his First Read co-writers on Friday whined both about complaints against the "knee-jerk liberal media bias" and conservatives who are uncomfortable with Barack Obama’s address to school children next week. National Review Online’s Mark Hemingway noted Todd’s post in which the MSNBC personality complained, "The ability of the conservative media machine to generate a controversy for this White House is amazing."
The posting, which was co-written by Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg, lamented right-wing opposition to the speech: "In fact, this is an example of a story that percolates where it becomes harder and harder for some to claim there's some knee-jerk liberal media bias."
With “Filling the VOID” as the on-screen heading, Monday's NBC Nightly News, without any consideration for how Massachusetts Democrats blocked the Governor's interim appointment power, fretted over the loss to Democrats of Ted Kennedy's Senate seat as a health care vote approaches. “Less than 48 hours after Ted Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery, the political reality of his vacant Senate seat has set in,” Chuck Todd warned.
Though you could argue Kennedy's plight left the seat empty all year so far, Todd explained: “Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick set January 19th, 2010 for the special election, leaving the potential for the seat to be vacant for five months. To avoid a lengthy vacancy, next week the Massachusetts legislature begins debating a change in the law to give the Governor the power to appoint an interim Senator, a power most Governors in other states already have. It was a wish Senator Kennedy himself and his family made known directly to Massachusetts' lawmakers.” Todd, however, failed to point out that in a crass 2004 political maneuver urged by Kennedy, Bay State Democrats changed the law so then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, could not replace John Kerry if he had won the presidency.
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez accused anti-ObamaCare activists of forwarding “misrepresentations, and flat out lies in some cases” during a segment with “progressive” pastor and Obama apologist Jim Wallis on Wednesday’s Newsroom program. Sanchez placed the blame on the protesters relying “exclusively [on] right-wing media and right-wing television channels.”
The anchor brought on Reverend Wallis, the head of the “progressive Christian group Soujourners,” to discuss the phone-in town hall meeting he was hosting with President Obama. Midway through the interview, Sanchez raised the “wild behavior that we’ve seen in some of these health care forums” and made his first accusation against the anti-ObamaCare protesters: “When you hear, for example, some of the misrepresentations, and flat out lies in some cases, like calling things death panels and saying that people are going to be- old people are going to be killed, including some of them spread by people who profess to be Christians. How do you- how do you reconcile that as- as a Christian yourself?”
Push Poll: technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.
By that definition, it sure seems that NBC is push polling on behalf of ObamaCare. On this morning's Today, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd reported on a new NBC poll that reflected the fact that, according to him, many Americans continue to believe "the myths" about ObamaCare. But Todd reported that the NBC pollsters also gave people "the facts" about ObamaCare. And after hearing those "facts," a majority supported the plan. Sounds like classic push polling.
And what were those "myths" that NBC supposedly busted? That ObamaCare:
NBC on Tuesday night tried to turn public opposition to ObamaCare into a “split” in public opinion discovered in a new NBC News poll as Chuck Todd assessed Obama's health effort is “still in serious condition politically, but it is stable,” and he listed four charges against the Democratic bills which he asserted have “been checked independently and proven to be false,” yet NBC didn't inquire about any claims from Obama and other liberals that those same groups have discredited. (Asked their TV source of health policy news, 64 percent listed ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or MSNBC. Another 23 percent said Fox News, only 7 percent named MSNBC.)
Todd also tried to minimize the impact -- of what he derided as the “town hall madness” -- by attributing the view of them to partisan positions without mentioning how independents consider them beneficial: “And those town halls -- the country is evenly divided -- 43 percent say they've done more harm than good; 42 percent say they've done more good than harm. And by overwhelming majority, Democrats believe they're harmful. Republicans believe they're good.” On MSNBC.com, however, NBC News deputy political director Mark Murray pointed out: “Independents believe, by a 50-34 percent margin, that the protests have done more good.”
On Friday’s broadcast network evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News uniquely noted that Democrats in Montana had "orchestrated" a friendly environment for President Obama at a Montana town hall event as many Democrats arrived early to secure tickets. After CBS correspondent Chip Reid filed a report in which he relayed that "this crowd was on [Obama's] side," and that "the questions were mostly softballs," Reid brought up "orchestration" as one of the reasons for a friendly crowd: "So why wasn't there more anger in here? For one thing, after accusing Republicans of orchestrating their protests, Democrats did some orchestrating of their own, getting in line early in large numbers and snatching up most of the tickets."
On the NBC Nightly News, substitute anchor Ann Curry led with Obama's town hall appearance:
The President was to squarely take on the anger we’ve seen in recent weeks over health care reform, flying to a town hall in a conservative part of Montana. The audience, we were told, was not pre-screened. But the meeting was more like a campaign rally than a debate over health care. The President even getting a standing ovation.
NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's "Today" show, invited on Robert Gibbs to preview Barack Obama's town hall meeting on health care and warned the White House press secretary that it could become a "Super Bowl for shouters." In a segment headlined: "Town Hall Tensions, Obama Battles Health Care Outrage," Lauer, given all the "tension" at the meetings, worried about the President of the United States being shouted down:
MATT LAUER: Let me start with a blunt question. Is this a good idea? I mean, you're gonna send the President out there in a town hall forum and two more later in the week. This will, in some ways, become the Super Bowl for these shouters.
ROBERT GIBBS: Yeah.
LAUER: They're gonna get a chance to shout down the President of the United States. They've got nothing to lose, but the President certainly does. Doesn't he?
A little later in the interview Lauer granted that protestors "may give voice" to "real concerns" about health care reform but noted they may do it "in an inappropriate way." Lauer then went on to comment that once "you take the shouting out of it," Obama faced opposition from within his own party but feared that, that could lead to "health care reform-lite."
The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in near-unison on Friday night disparaged the anti-ObamaCare protests at town meetings held by Members of Congress as “unruly,” “nasty” and “getting ugly,” while CBS and NBC targeted Rush Limbaugh -- NBC's Kelly O'Donnell charged “some anger...gets stoked by the provocative megaphone of Rush Limbaugh, who went so far as accusing Democrats of wanting the socialized medicine of Nazi Germany” -- without bothering to acknowledge Limbaugh was reacting to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who first put Nazi comparisons into play by accusing the opponents of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.”
Following O'Donnell, NBC's Chuck Todd checked in from a parallel universe at the White House where, except for the pesky health care opponents, Obama's staff achieved great things during the week:
They look back at this week, and they see that they've rescued two Americans from North Korea, that they broke a barrier at the Supreme Court with the confirmation of soon-to-be Justice Sonia Sotomayor, that a major terrorist was killed in, of the Taliban, a figure that is believed, that is somebody that might be able to break up the Taliban in such a way, that the cash for clunkers turned out to be a success, those good unemployment news. So they sit here and say, hey, it's pretty good, but then this health care debate and this town halls that Kelly was reporting on....
ABC anchor Charles Gibson saw “a pattern of disruption -- opponents of change shouting at members of Congress so loud that at times police are called in.” He then pointed to the Obama administration as an authority on civility, highlighting how “White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today: 'We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized. It's the same thing I tell my six-year-old.'”
CBS and NBC released new polls Wednesday night which illustrated how the public is moving against President Barack Obama on health care as his overall approval, at least in the NBC survey, fell to its lowest-ever level. But while both networks conveyed the bad news for Obama, NBC's Chuck Todd failed to point out how more now disapprove than approve of Obama's handling of health care, a devastating judgment for Obama, and CBS took time to elaborate on how “the poll also has some good news” for Obama.
“Less than half approve of the way President Obama is handling health care,” Katie Couric announced Wednesday night in reporting on the CBS News/New York Times poll,” but she saw a potential rebound ahead: “So he has some convincing to do. And that took him today to the Tar Heel State.” Chip Reid soon ran through bad news for Obama -- “69 percent of Americans say they're concerned quality of care will diminish...77 percent that their medical costs will rise” -- but then delivered some “good news for the President: 82 percent of Americans agree with him that the health care system is in need of a major overhaul” and “if there's no reform, 75 percent are concerned their costs will go up.” And “66 percent support the public option.”
On NBC, Todd damned with faint praise: “If there is one piece of good news that the White House can take from this is that he's still the most popular politician in the country. But that's part of the problem, he is now viewed as just another politician” as “this campaign for health care...has taken a serious toll.” With a matching graphic on screen, Todd recounted how the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll determined that “for the third straight month, the President's job approval rating has dropped -- from 61 percent in April, to 56 percent in June, to 53 percent now.”
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday reported on Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska's Governor, they gave little attention to the toll taken on the Governor by the onslaught of frivolous lawsuits from her political enemies. But, by contrast, FNC gave much of the credit for Palin's decision to these lawsuits that have tied up the Governor's time and forced her family to spend a fortune in legal expenses.
On Friday's Fox Report, FNC correspondent Carl Cameron informed viewers: "Those ethics complaints have all been dropped or dismissed, and yet they've taken a toll and she acknowledged as much earlier." Then came a soundbite of Palin from her news conference, which was partially played on the CBS Evening News but not on ABC or NBC. Palin:
Todd and I, we’re looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills just in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime. ... My staff and I spend most of our days, we're dealing with this stuff instead of progressing our state now.
Sarah Palin's “bombshell” holiday announcement that she will resign as Governor of Alaska managed to trump Michael Jackson as the lead on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Friday night as NBC's Chuck Todd predicted she will now make fundraising appearances for GOP candidates where she'll draw in “car-wreck watchers.” CBS reporter Nancy Cordes reflected the tone of the stories when she described “a rambling, at times confusing announcement,” while on all three newscasts Palin's decision was called “bizarre.”
NBC News White House reporter Chuck Todd, who suggested she decided to quit so she could “make a lot of money” on the speaking circuit free of ethics complaint hassles, also predicted she will bring in big crowds at fundraisers for GOP candidates which will also entice those not so impressed by her:
She may spend the next year campaigning for Republicans all across the country. She's probably going to be the person that can attract the largest crowds, some of it is car-wreck watchers -- you know, they just are coming, kind of curiosity-seekers. It doesn't matter. She can attract a lot of people.
By this time, the NewsBusters connoisseur will have surely heard about yesterday’s unofficial celebration in the White House press briefing. Like many parties, it was somewhat louder than normal, a bit tense at points, and the press – specifically Chip Reid and Helen Thomas – topped off the early Independence Day festivities by roasting (figuratively, of course) Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
That, incidentally, does not normally happen at parties – even at the White House.
The Robert Roast was, of course, in reference to the recent spate of staged White House press events. The White House press corps, apparently, do not enjoy heavily produced events, such as the “town hall” meeting with DNC volunteers and union members. However, Carl Bernstein, appearing on the July 2 Morning Joe, did not take kindly to the gentle press-corps broiling:
“The honeymoon is coming to an end for President Obama,” NBC's Chuck Todd fretted Wednesday night in summarizing a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. “But,” Todd rebounded, “it's not personal. It's professional as now the public appears to be judging the President on some of his actions.” Citing “growing concern about the budget deficit and some of this government interaction into the economy on things like GM,” Todd empathized with how “Obama is now dealing with a public that is judging him more and more for the actions he's taking, and not just the promises he's made.” Underpinning that theme, NBC put “Down to Business” on screen over video of Obama walking.
Todd declared “a solid majority – 56 percent – approve of the job the President's doing,” though “that's down five points from a month ago.” Nonetheless, Todd assured NBC Nightly News viewers, “the President still is personally well-liked,” but he now must deal with how people “have raised their expectations.” As for “how much the President is taking on, the public clearly approves. 60 percent believe his focus should be on a whole range of issues at once.”
NBC's Matt Lauer, on Wednesday's "Today" show greeted viewers with the following teaser: "Good morning, Supreme showdown. Republicans gear up for a fight over President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the nation's highest court," and then asked the racially loaded question: "But will taking on the first Hispanic nominee cost them down the road?" Lauer and other "Today" correspondents repeatedly questioned if Republican opposition to Sotomayor would cost them Hispanic votes in upcoming elections. However no one on "Today" mentioned it was Democrats, back in 2003, as the MRC's Tim Graham pointed out, who opposed the nomination, by Republican President George W. Bush of Miguel Estrada at the circuit court level.
While NBC's Matt Lauer, Pete Williams and Chuck Todd all appropriately applied the liberal label to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, on Tuesday's "Today" show, Lauer did try to sell the concept, advanced by the Washington Post, that Sotomayor wouldn't be "reflexively liberal."
MATT LAUER: Right, however in the Washington Post, back in May Pete, when writing about her judicial philosophy they said this, quote, "Sotomayor would probably be a reliably liberal vote on the Court, split into conservative and liberal blocks, on many issues, but her friends and colleagues and former clerks say, she would not be reflexively liberal or results oriented but would adhere to the law and the Constitution." We talking about a fine line there?
The following is a full transcript of the segment as it occurred on the May 26 edition of the "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: NBC News has learned that President Obama has tapped federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor as his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. We'll get more on this right now from NBC's chief justice correspondent Pete Williams. Pete, good morning, what can you tell me.
"Today" reporter Chuck Todd on Thursday spun the dueling speeches of President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney as not "a fair fight." Speaking of the two May 21 addresses on the subject of terrorism, the NBC correspondent proclaimed, "Our latest poll indicates it's the most popular member of the Democratic Party facing off against one of the most unpopular members of the Republican Party."
In a follow-up interview with Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, host Matt Lauer asserted that with regards to issues like closing Guantanamo Bay and the use of enhanced interrogation, "this debate has been settled." He added, "It was settled back in November during the last election, when Americans chose to elect Barack Obama and move away from the legacy of the Bush administration." He mused, "So what does Dick Cheney have to gain or lose today?"
The leaders of nations who quarreled when George Bush was President now hug each other, thanks to President Barack Obama deigning to take time from his busy schedule to hold a meeting which displayed the “quintessential Obama” and the “Obama doctrine at work” in bringing “two sides together.” Or at least that's how Wednesday's NBC Nightly News gushed over Obama meeting with Afganistan's Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari, an exuberantly pro-Obama spin not adopted by ABC or CBS.
Anchor Brian Williams admired how even “with they have going on, the Obama White House has chosen to devote this kind of time to this,” prompting Chuck Todd to propose “that we will look back on this and say this is quintessential Obama.” The White House correspondent touted how “this is the Obama Doctrine at work. Bring two sides together, get them talking and do this a lot.” From the State Department, Andrea Mitchell then trumpeted how in contrast to the last time leaders of the two nations met when Bush was still President and “they wouldn't even shake hands,” with Obama in the room, Karzai, and the new President of Pakistan, had “a warm embrace.” Mitchell maintained:
They're trying to build trust between the two of them, and they've pointed out that as in contrast to the last time, the Afghan leader and a previous Pakistani leader met at the White House, another President, George W. Bush, they wouldn't even shake hands. This time there was a warm embrace.
On Wednesday's "Today" show, NBC's Chuck Todd called the decision of Arlen Specter – a Republican senator who has such a liberal voting record and has been such a constant-thorn-in-the-side of his party that he faced probable defeat in his own primary – to leave the GOP, "devastating." In a piece about Barack Obama's first 100 days that trumpeted his own network's new poll showing high ratings for Obama, Todd buried the GOP: "But for the Republican Party it's devastating, not just to their hopes of slowing President Obama's agenda in Congress but for what it says about the future of the GOP."
Todd then aired a sound bite from a Philadelphia area radio talk show host Michael Smerconish who advised the best way for the GOP to win seats was to "clone" Specter.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, AUTHOR, MORNING DRIVE: The Republican Party in the aftermath of the presidential race should have come to him and tried to clone him. They need more Arlen Specters. And instead they deride him as a R.I.N.O - Republican In Name Only.
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the April 29, "Today" show:
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Lamestream Media The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
While reporting on the ongoing drug war in Mexico, CBS, NBC, and ABC have all cited a dubious statistic that claims that 90% of the guns being used in the violence are from the United States. On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Plante reported: "Mexican drug gang violence spilling into the U.S. is the urgent issue of President Obama's visit...A major sore point -- more than 90% of the weapons which could be traced were bought legally in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico by the cartels."
On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "In a joint press conference following their private meeting, President Obama acknowledged that 90 percent of the guns used by the drug cartels in this war with Mexico come from the United States." On Thursday’s Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Diane Sawyer referenced, and even further embellished, the figure while interviewing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "95 percent of the guns used were out of the United States. What is the U.S. going to do to stop the guns from getting there?"
However, on April 2, Fox News reported that 90% figure to be inaccurate: "The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S. What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, ‘is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.’ But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S." The network reports failed to explain those details.
NBC - one of the networks that has virtually ignored the Tax Day Tea Party protests against taxation and government spending - finally mentioned it on "Today" April 15.
The network's chief White House correspondent, Chuck Todd tacked his criticism on to the end of a glowing report about President Obama's economic speech from April 14. He cited "White House aides" who called Obama's speech "a modern-day fireside chat," but Todd said "it also had the feel of an economics class."
After such positive remarks about Obama, Todd dismissed the grassroots movement as "so-called tea parties."
Giving a warm wind-up to President Barrack Obama's overseas trip as it comes to an end in Istanbul, NBC's Chuck Todd declared Monday that the decision to make Turkey the last stop “could prove to be one of the shrewder early moves in this young presidency.”
On CBS, anchor Katie Couric highlighted how a new CBS News/New York Times poll pegged Obama's approval at 66 percent, the highest ever in that survey the CBSNews.com online posting touted: “Obama Approval Hits New High -- 66%.” Couric also pointed out how Obama has made Americans feel better with the “wrong direction” measure for the nation falling from 89, under Bush, to 53 percent: “More than half still say we're heading the wrong way, but that's a dramatic 36-point improvement from the waning days of the Bush administration.”
Reporter Chip Reid showcased more positive poll results for Obama's trip, as “67 percent of Americans believe the President will return to the U.S. with the respect of world leaders.”
“There is so much to cover on this day,” ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced Tuesday night from London as the network anchors and reporters reflected their awe over how, as NBC anchor Brian Williams put it, “In a marathon, the President meets with the leaders of Britain, Russia, China, then the Queen, and the summit hasn't started yet.” NBC's Chuck Todd then admired how “the President was able to do a diplomatic decathlon, packing in a week's worth of international diplomacy into 12 hours,” before he hailed how “America's unofficial royalty, the President and First Lady, reconnected tonight for more ceremonial duties, including a private audience with actual royalty, the Queen herself.”
CBS and NBC devoted full stories to what the CBS Evening News dubbed on screen as “Michelle Mania.” Katie Couric teased: “The British give America's First Lady a welcome fit for a Queen.” On NBC, Williams echoed: “There is no denying the Obamas from America are receiving a rock star reception on this trip. One London paper today called them 'American royalty.'”
From London, Williams opened the NBC Nightly News with a list of President Obama's “marathon day” of activities:
The NBC News team of Brian Williams, Chuck Todd and Keith Olbermann were all enamored with President Barack Obama's explanation that “it took us a couple of days” to express outrage over the AIG bonuses “because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak.” But on CNN, Bill Bennett undermined Obama's spin. Just after Obama's news conference ended at 8:57 PM EDT on Tuesday night, MSNBC anchor Olbermann quoted Obama's “I like to know what I talk about before I speak” line and then exclaimed it reflected “a new policy among politicians of every party and throughout American history!”
On the broadcast NBC network, Brian Williams proposed to Chuck Todd at the White House: “Chuck you'll agree the sharpest moment was when asked more than once why did it take you a while to come out and reveal these AIG bonuses? The President said it took a couple of days 'because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak.'” Todd agreed: “I'd actually say that was a theme throughout this entire press conference” as Obama wanted to show “that he is making incremental progress. He even said it at the end: Persistence.”
Afraid that the AIG executive bonus bailout just may be the demise of the Democratic Party, MSNBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd trivialized the death of Terry Schiavo by suggesting the fight over Schiavo’s life was the demise of the Republican party.
Host Andrea Mitchell, Gene Robinson, and Chuck Todd were discussing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s survival of the AIG scandal on Mitchell’s March 20 show MSNBC Live when Todd inserted this bit of political wisdom:
“An… Andrea? Really fast? You never know, you never know, when you know, this could turn into a Schiavo moment. And remember how the Terry Schiavo thing ended up being the beginning of the end for the Republican Party and their control. You just never know when one of these stories just catches wildfire in the popul…, in sort of the populist front. Sometimes you can’t stop it no matter which party you are.”
NBC's "Today" show on Friday minimized and neglected a gaffe by Barack Obama that his bowling skills are on the level of the "Special Olympics or something." In contrast, ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "Early Show" heavily covered the remark. GMA devoted the first two segments to the ill advised joke the President made on Thursday's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." And although "Today" opened the program with Obama's appearance, they didn't get to the Special Olympics crack to the very end of the piece. Co-host Meredith Vieira awkwardly explained that the President "said something that forced the White House to issue an explanation afterward."
Fellow co-host David Gregory vaguely added, "When you're on comedy shows, there's always a chance that a punch line doesn't work." What was the punch line? He didn't say. Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd then reported on the story and only got to the gaffe at the segment's end. In contrast, "Good Morning America" senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper asserted that Obama "proceeded to put his foot in his mouth" with his remark. GMA featured the offending line right at the beginning of the piece and also included a graphic that announced, "Late Night Gaffe: Obama's Special Olympics Joke." Co-host Robin Roberts even observed that "some have an issue with the venue" of the talk show.
President Obama's health care summit at the White House played into receptive television news hands Thursday night as NBC displayed “Fixing Health Care” on screen before reporter Chuck Todd appropriated the coach who inspired “win one for the Gipper” by touting how “the President's drive to pass health care got a Knute Rockne-like boost with a surprise appearance” by Senator Ted Kennedy, while ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, who on Sunday had decried as a “national shame” America's lack of universal health care, effused: “I was blown away by President Obama's grasp of the subject, how he connected the dots, how he answered the questions without any script.”
CBS's Chip Reid corroborated Obama's point about soaring costs by citing a business where “in 2005, it cost $75,000 to cover about 25 employees. In 2008, it cost $148,000,” as if more government involvement to expand the number of people covered will lower costs. Reid also hailed Obama's fresh approach: “Instead of doing battle with insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals, and doctors, this time all those groups are in the room, most agreeing that now is the time for shared sacrifice.”
According to the Politico Democratic strategists, months ago, planned to paint Rush Limbaugh as a bad guy to hurt the GOP and on Wednesday, the "Today" show followed that blueprint as Matt Lauer pilloried RNC Chairman Michael Steele over his flap with the talk show host:
Doesn't Rush Limbaugh put people like you in a very tough position? If you agree with him publicly it sounds like you're rooting against the economic recovery and yet if you disagree with him and call him an "entertainer" and say he's provocative and sometimes what he says is "ugly," you're put in the position where you gotta run and apologize to him.
Lauer repeatedly misinterpreted Limbaugh's comment that he wants Obama's to fail, never clarifying that Limbaugh is rooting against his policies precisely because they will hurt the economy as Lauer presented the false choice of, you're for Obama or you're against the economic recovery, to Steele:
Mr. Steele, let me try it this way, there are as many Republicans out there as well as Democrats who are unemployed right now. People are hurting across this country. Republicans, as I mention, like Democrats are losing their homes, they're unable to send their kids to school. Do you think those Republicans want the policies of Barack Obama to fail right now?
NBC White House political director Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Monday to dismiss Rush Limbaugh as "looking backward" and deride the radio industry as a "dying medium." Todd (see file photo above), who was talking with co-host Mika Brzezinski about Limbaugh’s role as a leader in the Republican Party, also suggested a linkage between the radio host and far left bomb thrower Michael Moore. He insisted, "They [Democrats] want to do to the Republican Party what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore and all that stuff."
Speaking of radio, Todd sniffed, "But, it’s that idea that Limbaugh- even the whole- even the venue that he’s on, radio, not the internet. You know, it’s very ‘90s. It’s very backwards- is looking backwards." He added, "And, you know, radio is a dying medium, potentially- as it is just in general."
He concluded, "It is a backward-looking technology." Of course, it’s the newspaper industry that many would call a "dying medium." (The San Francisco Chronicle is just one of many papers to face bankruptcy recently.)
ABC, CBS and NBC reporters over the past two days have relayed how the Obama administration proposes to cut the annual federal deficit from $1.3 trillion to $533 billion in four years by cutting spending on the war in Iraq and raising the income tax rate for those earning more than $250,000. Not considered: How since the Bush tax cuts the revenue paid by the richest -- and their share of total income taxes collected -- have been rising year-by-year. So will a tax hike, from 35 to 39.6 percent, really increase the amount the wealthiest pay, or will they find ways to avoid reporting income and thus the government will see little, if any, additional revenue -- to say nothing about the wisdom of alerting investors during an economic downturn that their tax rate will soon jump?
Monday night, CBS's Chip Reid reported: “Most of the savings would come from winding down the war in Iraq, ending the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year and cutting spending.” Jake Tapper, also Monday night, on ABC: “Another source of revenue being proposed -- allowing the Bush tax cuts for a family earning over $250,000 a year to expire in 2011, increasing that tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.”