Although the Obama/Biden campaign has plenty of gaffes and erroneous statements to answer for from the past five-and-a-half months -- the last presidential press conference was March 6 -- Associated Press White House correspondent Jeff Kuhnhenn opted to toss a softball to President Obama today as he was selected by the president to ask the first question at the chief executive's impromptu session with reporters in the White House press briefing room.
"You are no doubt aware of the comments that Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin made on rape and abortion. I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican party in general. They have been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans. Are they an outlier or representative?" Kuhnhenn asked, having obviously answered his own question. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd used reports of a Republican congressman skinny dipping during a 2011 trip to Israel to slam the GOP: "...a bunch of freshman House Republicans who came to Washington trying to stop things...create this confrontation with the President over the debt ceiling...created all sorts of economic havoc....they partied, got drunk and one of them went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up Todd by wondering if the actions of Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder on that trip were "a momentary personal embarrassment or does it have worse tidings for the party as a whole?" Todd responded: "This took place two weeks after the paralysis over the debt ceiling. Two weeks after the United States credit rating was downgraded.....It's not exactly what an institution with an approval rating hovering in the teens, on a good day, wants to be showing."
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, after host David Gregory played a clip of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani criticizing Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffes, and the media's double standard in giving so little attention such moments, correspondent Chuck Todd dismissed Giuliani's criticisms as part of a "personal vendetta" because Biden had lambasted Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign.
After the clip of the former New York City mayor, host Gregory posed:
Chuck Todd has chutzpah. Jake Tapper has some integrity. For decades, journalists have aided liberals by mischaracterizing proposed slight reductions in the rate of spending hikes on a program as a “cut” or “slash” to it, so many trusting people, naively presuming the words have meaning, thus assumed there’d be an actual reduction.
NBC’s Peter Alexander repeated this fallacy on Monday’s Today when he described Paul Ryan as “the architect of a politically polarizing budget plan to slash trillions in federal funding, including cuts to Medicare...” NBC’s chief political correspondent, Chuck Todd, however, had the gall to correct Mitt Romney over a “cut” claim while ignoring Alexander’s falsity.
Previewing the choice of Paul Ryan as the GOP vice presidential candidate, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows all used Democratic framing to describe the House GOP budget plan that Ryan championed as a plan to, as CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it, “cut more than $5 trillion over the next ten years.” ABC’s Bianna Golodryga passed along the demagogic rhetoric of liberals: “Democrats, meantime, contest that it will destroy Medicare and Social Security.”
But Ryan’s plan would actually increase federal spending over the next ten years, from about $3.6 trillion this year to just under $4.9 trillion in 2022. The $5 trillion in “cuts” are merely reductions from the much-higher spending anticipated by President Obama’s budget. (See tables starting on page 88.)
MSNBC will be producing campaign documentaries on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Romney's special will be hosted by Republican skeptic Chuck Todd. Obama's doc will be in the hands of liberal anchor Chris Matthews. Even the titles are biased. According to TV Newser, Romney's program is titled, "Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate." Obama's? "Barack Obama: Making History."
Can anyone spot the difference? A press release promises that the documentaries will take "audiences undercover to investigate in-depth some of the most important stories of our time. " While Todd has been tough on Romney, Matthews famously told the world that Obama caused a "thrill going up my leg."
It took NBC News nearly a week to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's sleazy and unfounded charge that Mitt Romney failed to pay taxes, with chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring on Nightly News Tuesday: "Reid has just as doggedly refused to divulge his source or back up his claim with documentation. And the White House has stood aside, letting the poisoned atmosphere fester."
By waiting five days to get around to the Democratic mud-slinging, NBC was able to diffuse the low-ball tactics as just another part of a contentious campaign season, with anchor Brian Williams announcing: "Also, getting personal in the race for president. Tonight what the candidates are now calling each other....the dialogue has become a bit less than presidential in the past few days."
While discussing gun control on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, correspondent Mike Viqueira lamented: "...the anti-gun control, pro-gun rights crowd has won the argument at this point....they've succeeded in framing the issue as one of essential American national values." In response, host and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd ranted: "...nobody has sort of a rational policy debate about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd began the segment by whining over the lack of gun regulation:
Debuting the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd concluded that campaign "hits seem to be taking a greater toll on Romney" and proclaimed: "Call it a likeability gap. 46% of voters told us they didn't like Romney personally. That compares to just 31% who said the same about the President." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, on Wednesday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, Todd admitted the poll was skewed: "...our sample was a little Democratic heavy."Hot Air examined the partisan breakdown of poll respondents and discovered just how "Democratic heavy" the survey was, with Democrats having a 12-point advantage over Republicans.
In an article for NBCNews.com's First Readon Monday, Domenico Montanaro eagerly proclaimed to readers: "Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for his 'you didn't build that' line, when it came to businesses....But in 2002, during his speech at the Opening Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics....Romney made a similar argument about Olympians."
Romney simply told the Olympic athletes – many in their teens and twenties – that they achieved their individual success with help of parents, coaches, and their local communities. However, by Monday night, The Washington Post's Ezra Klein, filling in for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, wildly misconstrued the comment to slam Romney: "Got that, Olympians? You didn't build it....It's like David Axelrod went back in time and put the precise words he needed into Mitt Romney's mouth."
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In the minutes following the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to uphold ObamaCare, MSNBC's Chuck Todd dismissed opposition to the law as purely partisan politics. Todd, who is the Chief White House correspondent for NBC News has decided to suddenly become a liberal pundit now that ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
Todd claims that those opposing ObamaCare represented a:
Some creative spin in favor of President Barack Obama from Chuck Todd on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News. Recounting the results of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which puts Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 47 to 44 percent, Todd declared Obama’s “strongest positive was a surprise, ‘health care,’” though it actually was the third-most common positive reply to the question: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Barack Obama as President?”
Citing Obama’s negatives, Todd relayed how they “include the ‘economy’ and ‘unemployment’” – skipping over the second most-common reply – “lack of experience/incompetent” – and how more listed ObamaCare as a negative than a positive. [UPDATED below with Todd's later more accurate recitation.]
Remember all those demands for civility in politics after the tragic shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January, 2011?
On Tuesday's Hardball, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said, "I’m with' [the Obama campaign] putting the knife in" Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the supposed outsourcing that happened at companies Bain Capital invested in (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Monday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent spun the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law as exactly what the Democrats wanted: "Well, in crass political terms, today was a day where the Obama campaign was pretty happy with what happened and the Romney campaign was not very happy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd touted liberal cynicism on the issue: "You talk to some Democratic strategists and they say the part of the law that was upheld will only help them motivate Hispanics even more and help them essentially alienate them from the Republican Party."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory led the show's panelists in dismissing the House Government Oversight Committee holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal as a mere political "distraction" created by Republicans. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The committee's chairman, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, was also on the panel and interrogated by Gregory: "If you got everything you wanted, what do you think it would prove?....What would you be able to prove? I mean what the White House is saying is this is a fishing expedition, it's to score political points, it's all theater. What can you prove if you get everything you want?"
At the top of his Tuesday MSNBC morning show The Daily Rundown, NBC chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd cited the Romney campaign's refusal to release a list of top fundraising bundlers as evidence that "if he wins in November, Romney could very well be the least transparent president in a generation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd continued to rant: "Less transparent than the two previous Republican presidential nominees, George W. Bush and John McCain, who did release their bundlers. But the Romney camp – campaign believes there is no penalty with voters and they don't care if the media criticizes them, because the conservative media outlets won't criticize them for this."
Following his resounding victory in Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker appeared on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, where host Chuck Todd wondered if Walker's signature achievement was also his biggest regret: "Looking back, do you have any regret of going at the issue of collective bargaining itself?...any regrets on that front?"
Despite Walker's push for fiscal restraint in the state having been vindicated, Todd fretted over the Governor's success: "Because there are still Republicans who say, you know what? You poked a tiger that maybe looked like you were going for a political kill rather than focusing on the policy."
As NewsBusters’s own Brent Baker pointed out, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News Wednesday night called Mitt Romney’s pledge to reduce unemployment to 6 percent "unrealistic." But apparently Brian didn't get the MSNBC spin memo, as three of his colleagues agreed that 6% unemployment is actually inevitable, and scolded Romney for making such a wimpy prediction.
During his 6:00 show PoliticsNation on Wednesday May 23, Al Sharpton said that, “according to the Congressional Budget Office, we’re on our way to a 6.3% unemployment economy anyway whether Romney gets us there or not.” [Video embedded below page break; MP3 audio here.]
On today's edition of The Daily Rundown, MSNBC's Chuck Todd sat down to chat with Rev. Jesse Jackson to discuss a variety of issues, from Afghanistan to whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is fair game for Republicans to attack President Obama. In the middle of the interview, Todd asked the former Democratic presidential candidate about the NAACP Board of Directors's "historic" decision over the weekend to give the organization's stamp of approval to same-sex marriage.
"There has been this conventional wisdom that particularly among older African-Americans that the president's position on gay marriage is going to hurt him," Todd noted, adding, "Does the NAACP sort of backing up the president on this help convince the older African-American [voters], might be a little more religious, might be struggling with this issue, to ignore that part?"
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams attempted to conflate the JPMorgan $2 billion loss with Mitt Romney's business record as he declared: "The Obama campaign may have had this JPMorgan story in mind when it picked today to launch a new ad attacking Mitt Romney's former firm, the private equity giant, Bain Capital, as a middle class job killer."
Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd followed by proclaiming that the Obama team was "...attacking Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital for what, in some people believe, are rough ways that they went about buying up some companies, leveraging them...what the campaign believes...says about Mitt Romney's leadership on the economy, that he'll be ruthless in this."
After grilling Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on a variety of topics on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry wrapped up the interview by portraying Mitt Romney's support of traditional marriage as behind the times: "...there's a Gallup poll now that shows an increasing support by Americans for relationships between same-sexes. I'm wondering, do you believe that on this issue Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of history?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry prefaced her left-wing question by noting how President Obama "is painting gay marriages as an expansion of human rights." In a prior report, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd touted how during a New York campaign fudraising swing, the President experienced "an embrace of enthusiastic donors happy with his new gay marriage stance....firing up his liberal base as he basked in the glow of a friendly audience..."
At the end of a full report on Friday's NBC Today, based on a Washington Post hit piece that accused Mitt Romney of bullying of a gay high school classmate, correspondent Peter Alexander admitted the story may be false: "NBC News isn't naming the student who was allegedly bullied....Late last night, his sister told NBC News that his portrayal in the Washington Post story is 'factually incorrect'..."
Despite that important detail, the network morning show still decided to promote the accusations. At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry teased: "Prep school bully? Mitt Romney responds to a report that as a teenager he led a bullying incident of a classmate who later came out as gay....Could an incident that happened nearly 50 years ago impact the presidential race?"
NBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday, moments before President Obama addressed the nation from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, compared the assassination of Osama bin Laden one year ago to VE and VJ Days marking the end of World War II.
The following was actually said by NBC's Chief White House correspondent on MSNBC's Hardball (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Classic MSM jujitsu. Chuck Todd has attempted to turn the issue of President Obama's unseemly spiking of the football on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, into an attack on Republicans for reacting to Obama's politicization of the event.
On his MSNBC show The Daily Rundown, Todd began his discussion of the matter this morning by asking the Washington Post's Dan Balz whether he was surprised by how "aggressive" the Romney campaign has been on the matter. A bit later Todd suggested to Clarence Page that Republicans were "overreacting" to Obama's boasts. Right. Romney should run a passive campaign, like, say John McCain did! Good-loser Republicans: yeah, that's the MSM ticket! Video after the jump.
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd warned Mitt Romney against picking Marco Rubio as a vice presidential running mate with a negative comparison to Sarah Palin: "The drawbacks – inexperience. Do you want to pick somebody who basically has the same amount of time in statewide office that a person who was on the ticket last time by the name of Sarah Palin had?"
Todd oddly asserted: "...he's never really been vetted. When you say vetted, his campaign for the Senate, he breezed through. He never had the rough and tumble." In what way did he "breeze through"? Rubio had a long and contentious primary battle with former Florida governor Charlie Crist, who then proceeded to run in the general election as an independent. Rubio had to defeat both Crist and the Democrat to win the seat.
It seems a metaphysical certitude a meaningful percentage of Americans in 2008 supported Barack Obama out of an historical sense to have elected the nation's first black president.
On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews made a somewhat similar case for this upcoming election asking guests Chuck Todd of NBC News and Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post, "Is there going to be a reluctance on the part of the voters and the political community that talks politics as we get into November about dumping the first African-American president?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Rally round the Rosen! On his MSNBC show this morning Chuck Todd used variations on the phrase "manufactured controversy" no fewer than eight times in dismissing the controversy around Rosen's "Ann Romney never worked a day in her life" remarks.
By the end of a subsequent segment, Todd had former Obama and Clinton adviser [and Dee Dee sister] Betsy Myers taking up the "manufactured" meme. View the video after the jump.