Piers Morgan said on Thursday that the Todd Akin controversy supports "the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," playing into the Democratic playbook.
"I suppose the problem is what it does is it lends again succor to the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," he stated after bringing up Akin's remarks in an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife Cindy. [Video below the break.]
On Friday evening, ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News both informed viewers that Cindy McCain - wife of Senator John McCain - supports repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. NBC’s Chuck Todd merely mentioned her disagreement with her husband on the issue while noting that Senator McCain "is the guy holding up" any change in the law.
But ABC went further in showing a clip of Cindy McCain from a Web ad asserting that homosexuals in America are treated "like second-class citizens." Anchor Diane Sawyer introduced the clip: "And someone we haven’t heard from in a while, Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, speaking out, disagreeing with her husband who opposes a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. She condemned the government policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military."
Then came a clip of Cindy McCain: "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens."
In part one of his exclusive interview with Karl Rove NBC's Matt Lauer, on Monday's Today, plucked out a page from the former White House adviser's new memoir where Rove went after journalists that called his tactics "'fear-based" that played on a stupid electorate, to which Lauer questioned, isn't that "somewhat true?"
During the interview Lauer also threw out some of the most salacious charges about Rove being behind a racist smear campaign against John and Cindy McCain during the 2000 South Carolina primary something he denied but Lauer pushed: "While Rove denies any involvement in any smears, some prominent Republicans point the finger directly at him. Here's what Roy Fletcher, McCain's deputy campaign manager said of the South Carolina smear. Quote, 'This whole thing, it was orchestrated by Rove.' Cindy McCain, of that same incident...the smear involved possibly that this was an illegitimate black child." [audio available here]
After Rove blamed a Bob Jones University professor for the allegation, Lauer brought up two more Rove critics who painted Rove as the villain including Cindy McCain who said she would "Stab" Rove "in the front" and a former George W. Bush speechwriter who claimed "He was what all the liberals said he was, the villain...a clumsy one at that....less a Voldermort than a Boris Badenov chasing Rocky and Bullwinkle."
The following is the relevant exchange as it was aired on the March 8 Today:
Michelle may bring home the bacon, but she sure doesn't fry it up in a pan.
During last year's presidential campaign, the media worked overtime to portray John and Cindy McCain as wealthy private jet junkies with more homes than they can remember, while showcasing Barack and Michelle Obama as just another middle class family with two working parents, one car and freshly paid off student loans. In 2008, a media frenzy whirled around Mrs. McCain's income and the $170,000 she paid household staff in 2006.
On the other hand, Mrs. Obama was defined as an average mom who juggled work and home with extraordinary skill. According to the media, she arranged sleepovers, scoured Target for the perfect wardrobe and served healthy organic dinners. Just like us common folk, right? Well, almost. Those healthy organic dinners were cooked by the Obamas' personal chef, Sam Kass.
Funny how the media didn't mention that on the campaign trail, particularly in all of those syrupy, hagiographic interviews where Michelle discussed her family life, such as this October 17, 2008 CBS "Early Show" segment where she danced around answering reporter Maggie Rodriguez when she asked, “Who cooks at home?” (emphasis mine):
New York Times reporter Patrick Healy profiled Michelle Obama in Akron, Ohio, speaking and making calls to undecided voters, in Tuesday's "New to Campaigning, but No Longer a Novice." The sycophantic Healy is quick to put Michelle Obama's "proud of America" gaffe in context and suggest it's a discredited charge.
And the photo caption over a picture of three adoring fans in Akron listening to her speak reads like a "dinner theatre" review from a local free paper:
In a raucous rally at a school gym in Akron, the would-be first lady had the audience laughing and cheering throughout.
CNN contributor Roland Martin’s Wednesday column on CNN.com bluntly accused Republicans of exhibiting "fear and desperation" in their criticism of Barack Obama: "McCain's campaign is no longer about issues. He and his supporters want to bring up anything and everything to derail Obama, and nothing is sticking, so they just keep returning to their old bag of tricks." This "bag" apparently includes bringing up issues like Obama’s 20-year relationship with left-wing firebrand Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the socialist labeling of the Democratic presidential candidate, and his associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and ACORN.
Martin first labeled McCain an "old fighter," but not as a compliment: "Watching Sen. John McCain and top Republicans swing wildly in their attempts to slam Sen. Barack Obama, with less than two weeks ago to go before Election Day, is like watching an old fighter -- clearly out of gas, his legs turned to rubber, and all he can do is grab, hold, punch behind the back, just anything to try to win." He then used his "old bag of tricks" line.
It is no surprise that Barack Obama receives much better treatment in the media than John McCain, but the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs actually conducted a study that concluded just that. The Center’s evaluation found that since both candidates were formally nominated "Senator Obama on the network evening news shows have been 65% positive, compared to only 36% positive about John McCain."
While the networks ignored the study, the October 20 edition of "Fox and Friends" interviewed CMPA’s founder Robert Lichter. Lichter noted that Obama fits the media’s template of a "fresh face," "some sort of special dimensions," and "charismatic quality." He did note that the media eventually sours on such candidates, but curiously have not done so for Senator Obama.
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's Fox News Live yesterday to discuss another New York Times hit job on the McCains, this one on wife Cindy.
Motley decries the Times sleazy, sub-tabloid tactics, points out their total fealty to Michelle Obama in a June profile and delineates the proper bounds to be observed in what is and is not fair game for the media regarding the spouses and families of candidates.
Before the New York Times published Saturday's 2500-word, front-page hit piece about Cindy McCain, an attorney representing the wife of the Arizona senator sent a letter to executive editor Bill Keller appealing to his "sense of fairness, balance and decency" to not run "another story about her."
In the correspondence, which has been posted in full by Time magazine's Mark Halperin (h/t NBer Bob Mc), attorney John Dowd chastised Keller for: not employing his "investigative assets looking into Michelle Obama;" not trying to "find Barack Obama's drug dealer that he wrote about in his book, Dreams of My Father," and; not interviewing Obama's "poor relatives in Kenya and determin[ing] why Barack Obama has not rescued them. Thus, there is a terrific lack of balance here."
FoxNews.com is reporting further anger over this Times article being expressed by the McCain campaign (emphasis added, picture courtesy AP):
Apparently the Washington Post thinks it has an ethics violation to hold against Cindy McCain, wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The Post is trying to claim that Cindy McCain somehow illicitly got a portable cell tower delivered to her remote Arizona ranch so that their phones would work there. The truth is, however, the Secret Service ordered up the portable cell tower, not Cindy McCain.
Even the words the Post uses to report the story prove somewhat weasely because, as the Post can't find any actual wrong doing, the story relies on vague ways of implying wrongdoing without actually saying it. In the end, there doesn't seem to be much there, there, but I suppose the Post had to justify the money it spent by publishing this non-story anyway.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "The McCain campaign sharpens its attacks on Barack Obama using one of its biggest guns." The "big gun" Smith was referring to was Cindy McCain, who criticized Obama on Wednesday for voting against Iraq troop funding. Smith followed by claiming: "But Obama strikes back with his own secret weapon," referencing Michelle Obama on CNN’s Larry King Live on Wednesday commenting that: "The folks out there right now are scared...They don't care about the sort of back and forth between the candidates."
Smith introduced the later segment by proclaiming: "With less than a month to go before election day, the campaign, especially McCain campaign, has turning -- has been turning up its attack on Barack Obama's character." In the report that followed, correspondent Jeff Glor described how: "John McCain's wife Cindy is usually camera shy but with polls showing the McCain campaign in rough waters it's all hands on deck. For the first time on the stump, Cindy McCain targeted Barack Obama...It's another escalation in the attacks of recent days as the McCain campaign questions Obama's commitment to country and his contacts." On Tuesday, Glor downplayed one of Obama’s "contacts," referring to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as merely a: "once radical anti-war advocate."
Not long ago, many in the mainstream media were bemoaning the deterioration of public discourse in this year's presidential campaign. Stories of lipsticks and pigs and other nongermane matters were irrelevant and time-wasters, they tut-tutted. Let's get back to the real issues.
So the September 29, 2008 Newsweek strikes a blow for substantive journalism and giving voters information they really need to know. "All the Candidates’ Cars" begins:
When you have seven homes, that's a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates' cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here's the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one.
On Friday's CBS "Early Show," Laura Schwartz, a former Clinton administration official and adviser to Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, appeared for a segment on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's fashion style and the clothes she wore during her speech at the Republican National Convention. While Scwartz and co-host Harry Smith talked about the popularity of "Palin paraphernalia," they also attached a high price tag to Palin's outfit as well as the outfit and jewelry Cindy McCain wore during her appearance at the Republican convention.
Schwartz also appeared on the Early Show on August 26, the day after Michelle Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention, to talk about the way the potential First Lady dressed for her speech, but did not put a price tag on it. Instead, Schwartz stated, "I thought she was very simple, very understated last night, which might be a good idea, Harry, because in this era of attack ads, the McCain people are really saying, `Hey, the Obamas are elitist. They're caught up in celebrity.' If she came out in a real fancy dress, that would just be more fodder for them."
"Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer on Wednesday grilled Cindy and John McCain about differences in the couple's position on abortion and the subject of overturning Roe V. Wade. And yet, when co-anchor Robin Roberts talked to Barack and Michelle Obama in May, she didn't raise the issue, instead wondering if the Illinois senator would be prepared for all the negativity he would surely face as Democratic nominee.
In fact, on at least seven appearances in 2008, no GMA host asked Barack or Michelle Obama about abortion and that includes skipping issues such as the senator's controversial opposition to a bill that would have offered protection to babies who survive botched abortions.
On Wednesday, Sawyer cited a CBS interview in which Mrs. McCain stated her opposition to overturning Roe V. Wade. The journalist then interrogated, "And yet, Senator McCain you have indicated in previous interviews that you would like the repeal of Roe versus Wade so that the states can make their decisions. What's the difference in the two of your view of the issue?"Sawyer followed up, But, Mrs. McCain, do you oppose the repeal of Roe versus Wade? Was that report correct?"
While FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor this week has been featuring portions of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Barack Obama which stands out as being more challenging to the Democratic candidate than those interviews conducted by the more liberal mainstream media, it is noteworthy that on Tuesday’s show, during the "Pinheads and Patriots" segment, O’Reilly awarded Michelle Obama the "Patriot" distinction because she danced with Ellen Degeneres during a Monday appearance on her show Ellen. But, by contrast, he then suggested that conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of ABC’s The View, may deserve the "Pinhead" dishonor because Hasselbeck recently criticized Michelle Obama for having a list of demands when she appeared on The View, as Hasselbeck spoke at an event praising Cindy McCain. O’Reilly: "I say [Obama and Degeneres are] both patriots because we need all the dancing we can get in America. It lightens the mood. On the pinhead front, I'm not sure about this, so you can decide if View host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was out of bounds at a fundraiser honoring Cindy McCain." Notably, last February, O'Reilly seemed to suggest that conservatives were acting like a "lynching party" for their attacks on Michelle Obama's declaration that "for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."
According to U.S. News and World Report's Web site, Robert Schlesinger is the magazine's deputy editor and oversees all opinion editorial content. Schlesinger blogs from the Republican National Convention on "Cindy McCain's $300,000 Outfit:"
ST. PAUL—Remember Pat Nixon's "respectable Republican cloth coat?" It's come a long way, baby.
To wit: According to Vanity Fair, Laura Bush's outfit cost between $3,400 and $4,300. But of course that's chump-change compared to the roughly $300,000 that Cindy McCain's cost (the biggest line-item being $280,000 for three-karat diamond earrings).
For those of you keeping track at home, Cindy McCain's outfit could pay for a four bedroom, three bath, 3,400 square feet house in Wasilla.
Schlesinger cites Vanity Fair, but he doesn't provide complete information. The Vanity Fair piece concludes:
(All prices except Laura’s shoes and Cindy’s watch are estimates, and the jewelry prices are based on the assumption that the pieces are real.)
Reflecting the media's continued disdain for the pro-life position, interviewing Cindy McCain for Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Katie Couric painted Sarah Palin as an extremist, zeroing in how “even Republicans” supposedly, “seemed surprised that Senator McCain picked a running mate who opposes abortion even in the cases of rape and incest.” Couric then turned the session into an interrogation about Mrs. McCain's personal views on abortion:
Where do you stand on abortion?
So, do you oppose it even in the cases of rape and incest?
Do you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned?
Why not? Your husband does.
So you do believe it should be overturned or shouldn't be?
Associated Press writer Douglass K. Daniel today reports "A housing issue: McCain not sure how many they own." The article points out that John and Cindy McCain are affluent. It then links McCain's age with his difficulty in responding to the question of "how many houses he and his wealthy wife actually own:"
With most Americans feeling the pinch of a worsening economy, the remark allows McCain's opponents to suggest that he personally is far beyond its grip and cannot feel their pain. It also displays the vast wealth of the McCains — his wife Cindy's fortune has been estimated at $100 million. It's also another example of how McCain, nearly 72, can be fuzzy and forgetful on some facts.
Estranged family members come out of the strangest places when the lottery is won or someone has presidential aspirations. These quiet individuals find a sense of power never felt before in their lives when a blood relative hits it big or is about to hit it bigger.
In Barack Obama’s case, Vanity Fair reported on a half-brother who was recently discovered living in a small shack in Kenya. Obama’s relative lives on less than $1 a month.
The Chicago Sun-Times today includes Mary Mitchell's column, "We can deny it, but race slithers into campaign." The subheadline reads "Obama, his campaign trying to transcend it -- but can't." The article makes a startling assertion about Senator Barack Obama:
Obama tries to avoid talking about race, as do his surrogates, staffers and supporters.
In the wake of Barack Obama’s complaints featured in Glamour magazine about Republican attacks on his wife, “MNSBC News Live” host Tamron Hall interviewed the Chicago Tribune’s Mike Dorning on the subject.
After asking Dorning if Democrats have ever attacked Republican spouses, Hall claimed that Cindy McCain has not been a target for the Democrats in this election:
We have not seen the Democrats, uh, during this election cycle attack Cindy McCain. Do you at all believe that that will happen if these attacks from the Republicans continue? Will it be a tit-for-tat that could inevitably make voters feel very uncomfortable?
Dorning went along with the assertion and even brought up criticism of Cindy McCain in the process:
On Cindy McCain, I don’t think people are gonna attack her unless they think it will help the political cause. And the only place I could see something coming up there that would actually be politically effective would be over the whole foreign buyout of Budweiser. Her family owns a lot of stock in Anheuser-Busch and obviously she would benefit from that. But in general it doesn’t quite fit the tone that the Barack Obama campaign wants to establish that they’re supposedly getting beyond attack politics. So I don’t see how that would profit them.
Of course, Cindy McCain has already been the subject of Democratic attacks. As Jake Tapper noted in his Political Punch blog in May, the Democratic National Committee attacked Mrs. McCain for not publicly releasing her tax returns:
A woman, calling into C-Span’s morning show Washington Journal used the c-word as part of her reasoning as to why John McCain shouldn’t be president. Apparently C-Span does not use the 7-second delay for its live programming, though the host of the show did immediately end the call after the obscene word was uttered.
The call came just before 9:00 a.m. on the July 7th broadcast during the show’s call in segment. The call in segment allows viewers to voice their opinions on any topic.
Female Caller: I have two points. McCain is really too old for this job. We need somebody that can keep up. And number two. He does not have respect for women. He even called his wife a c---.
Peter Slen: (ends call) Let’s move on.
For video of this click here, pertinent clip is at 2:54:36.
Since Eisenhower first ran for president in 1952, it has been a common strategy for Democrats and media members -- as if there's much of a difference these days! -- to depict Republican presidential candidates as too stupid to hold the office.
On Thursday, CNN's Jeanne Moos made the case that because John McCain is not computer savvy, he's not qualified to be president. She even disgracefully quipped -- as a video of a stripper appeared on the screen! -- "At least John McCainknows the difference between a laptop and a lap dance."
Not surprisingly, she also took the time to demonstrate just how much of a techie Barack Obama is while adding a dash of Bush-bash. Pretty good for a two and a half minute segment, dontcha think?
In a statement reminiscent of Howard Dean’s controversial statement from 2005 about the RNC and "people of color," Time magazine columnist Joe Klein blasted Karl Rove’s recent slam of Barack Obama on Monday’s "Election Center" program on CNN. "I just think that the image is kind of hilarious when you think about it: Barack Obama at a country club sipping a martini. It's kind of a parody of the Republican view of the world. Everybody belongs to -- since when [did] we start letting people like Barack Obama into Republican country clubs?"
"People like Barack Obama"? That sounds like Dean’s "You think the RNC could get this many people of color into a single room?... Maybe if they got the hotel staff in there."
"Election Center" substitute host Wolf Blitzer read Rove’s quote earlier in the segment, which began 22 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program: "Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall, and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."
Want to know just how in the tank MSNBC's Dan Abrams is for Barack Obama?
On Thursday's "Verdict," the network's former general manager actually tried to deflect criticism from Michelle Obama by bringing up statements John McCain made concerning his experience as a Vietnam POW making him realize how much he loves America.
This is how Abrams began the program: "Tonight: We have uncovered comments from John McCain on camera that could undermine the steady right-wing attacks against Michelle Obama."
Is that Abrams' role as a journalist: to undermine attacks against the wife of a presidential candidate?
Readers are warned that the following transcript is likely to offend them in a fashion that might not be desired on a Saturday (video embedded upper right, use scrollbars to center, h/t Hot Air via NBer Thomas Stewart):
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on Michelle Obama appearing on ABC’s "The View": "Also this morning, like Cindy McCain did this past spring, Michelle Obama co-hosted 'The View' yesterday. We're going to see how comfortable she was with the women of 'The View' and what she had to say on everything from sexism in politics to who does the housework in the Obama home."
Later, correspondent Tracy Smith reported: "Perhaps hoping she'd give her husband a bump in the polls, Michelle Obama played co-host on 'The View' yesterday. Tackling topics from panty hose...to political attacks." A clip was then played of "View" co-host Joy Behar asking Obama: "Do you feel there was any sexism in the media?," with Obama replying: "I -- there is -- yes, there's always a level of -- people aren't used to strong women."
Smith later explained appearances by both Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama on "The View" by touting a CBS News poll from April: "58% of voters were undecided on how they felt about Michelle Obama. 75% were undecided about Cindy McCain." Smith then credited Bill Clinton with beginning the trend of presidential candidates, and their wives, making guest appearances on popular shows: "In 1992, then candidate Bill Clinton got attention by playing the sax on Arsenio...Since then, guest spots on entertainment shows have become a political rite of passage." Smith remarked how: "McCain traded barbs with Letterman. And Obama got his groove on with Elllen."
In what was, more or less, a puff piece about Michelle Obama on Thursday's "Today" show, Lee Cowan took Obamagasms to new heights when he described Michelle's fashion sense:
"In victory and in defeat Michelle Obama had always been there, dressed as brightly as her husband's smile, determined though, not to steal the spotlight but to put her signature touch on what's become their campaign."
The above Cowan observation came during a set-up piece for an interview segment with Doris Kearns Goodwin, in which "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira strategized with the presidential historian about how Michelle can improve her image. While the segment did mention Michelle's "For the first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of my country," gaffe at times it sounded like an E! red carpet fashion breakdown (audio available here):
"Good Morning America" reporter Kate Snow resorted to typical liberal terminology while asking Cindy McCain on Thursday about abortion and "women's rights groups." After observing that her husband, Senator John McCain, has been courting females, Snow simplistically asserted, "...But women's rights groups say once [women voters] discover he's anti-abortion, they may change their minds." So, pro-abortion organizations equal "women's rights groups?"
The interview, which took place in Vietnam where Mrs. McCain has been working with a charity organization, did feature friendly subjects, such as the children of the politician's wife and other topics. But Snow also offered questions that appeared designed to trap McCain. Speaking of Barack Obama, Snow queried, "Would you feel safe with Barack Obama as your president?" After mentioning the lack of interviews Cindy McCain has participated in, the ABC correspondent blurted, "And if [people] say, oh, she's just sort of up there and posing, what would you say to people who think that?" In contrast, "Good Morning America" has delivered numerous softball pieces on the spouses of Democratic presidential candidates.
Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, released a summary of her 2006 income tax return Friday prompting media members to quickly make negative comparisons between what she revealed and what Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) wife disclosed to the public in October 2004.
Most notable was the New York Times which in characterizing Teresa Heinz Kerry's 2003 income as being less than Cindy's in 2006 completely ignored its own October 16, 2004, article revealing as much as $50 million Teresa made in "trusts of which she is the beneficiary" not included in her personal tax filing.
Isn't that convenient?
Let's begin our examination with Saturday's Times piece (emphasis added, h/t Redstate, picture courtesy AP):