"The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis," the Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Smith reported on the front page of Thursday's paper. A set of "coordinated attacks in each of the nations' three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse," Smith noted, citing "people familiar with the [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] research."
A development like this is quite newsworthy and a topic that makes for good TV news, yet the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- completely ignored the item both on the March 13 evening newscasts and the March 14 morning news programs. By contrast, they found air time for rather frivolous stories such as:
During a brief visit to Washington, D.C., Deborah Turness – the president of NBC News – is slated to discuss the fate of the network's Sunday morning program with host David Gregory and executive producer Rob Yarin regarding possible changes to the format of Meet the Press, which recently saw its ratings tumble to their lowest point since the third quarter of 1992.
According to Dylan Byers, a columnist at the Politico website, the gathering is “part of Turness's ongoing effort” to improve the long-running news and interview show, which ended 2013 behind both ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation.
To the liberal media, there is nothing sweeter than a Republican who attacks other Republicans. And ever since he left the George W. Bush administration, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has been willing to do just that, loudly and publicly.
Powell appeared on Friday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC to discuss education, but Mitchell eventually steered the conversation in a juicier direction. She asked about Powell’s past criticism of his own party: “You've been quoted -- you said that there's a dark vein of intolerance in your Republican Party.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.] Powell took that as an opportunity to rip the GOP as racist and xenophobic:
At the top of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory interviewed Democratic Congressman John Lewis about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech and seized the opportunity to bash President Obama's political opponents: "...in your view, a lot of people can't get comfortable with the idea of an African American president...Do you see some of the same trappings of resentment and fear in our modern-day politics?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory further teed up Lewis to bash conservatives: "And you even said during your speech yesterday [at the MLK speech anniversary], 'There are forces, there are people who want to take us back.' What specifically are you talking about?" Lewis ranted: "Well, I hear people over and over again saying, 'We want to take our country back.' Take it back where? Where are we going?...when I was growing up, I saw those signs that said, "White Men," "Colored Men"...Those signs are gone."
Nothing warms the hearts of the liberal media more than a Republican who criticizes other Republicans. Perhaps it was no surprise, then, when MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe called retired General Colin Powell a “national treasure” on Friday’s Morning Joe.
The entire Morning Joe panel was praising the former secretary of state for speaking out against North Carolina’s strict new voter ID law in Raleigh recently – and in front of Governor Pat McCrory (R), no less. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson lamented Powell as a sort of voice crying out in the GOP wilderness: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wow, the unintended hilarity just keeps coming from "The Rachel Maddow Show."
Last night a genuine rarity occurred when one of Maddow's guests, Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell during George W. Bush's first term, ridiculed an earlier guest, former CIA and FBI official Philip Mudd. (Video clip after page break)
In an interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory hyped: "The political problem the party faces, Republicans face, among minority communities, is so large if you look at the results from the 2012 election." Gregory then introduced a clip of Colin Powell ranting over a supposed "dark vein of intolerance" in the GOP during a January appearance on the program. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the sound bite from Powell, Gregory pressed Rubio: "Do you agree with that? And do you think that these [Republican] efforts on immigration [reform] are enough to overcome it?" Rubio rejected Powell's attack: "Well first of all, I don't agree that the Republican Party is characterized by intolerance or looking down on anybody."
In an exchange with former Secretary of State and prominent Obama supporter Colin Powell during NBC's live inauguration coverage on Monday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams urged Powell to go after Republicans: "General, there's just flat-out hatred out there, too. There's nastiness out there in the land. There's nastiness between these two parties....Let's especially go to the Republican Party....What do they do to widen, if it is in their interest, widen their doorway to membership, to entry?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Shortly after former Secretary of State Colin Powell attacked the Republican Party for having a supposed "dark vein of intolerance," on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory seized on the smear as he encouraged the show's panel to comment. The discussion that followed was devoid of any criticism of Powell's remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory began by grilling former Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour: "I thought that was striking, some of General Powell's comments, particularly about the Republican Party....He talks about a deep vein of intolerance within the Party. How did that sit with you?" Barbour called Powell a "friend" but added that "we don't see everything the same way." He then noted the demographic disadvantage for the GOP in the 2012 election.
Oh those racist Republicans. Did you know that they're hostile to Colin Powell because he's black? Yup, just ask former Obama car czar Steve Rattner. The Morning Joe regular today claimed that poor Powell "feels this hostility toward him from the rest of the party in part because he's a minority."
Really? Colin Powell feels hostility from "the rest of the party" because he's a minority? The Colin Powell appointed to a series of increasingly prestigious positions by a series of Republican presidents? The Colin Powell for whom so many in the GOP were clamoring to run for president in 1995-96? That Colin Powell? Please. View the video after the jump.
With that backdrop, it's incredibly convenient that Colin Powell "just so happened" to appear today on NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory, the Washington elitist disguised as a journalist who on Friday escaped prosecution for violating District of Columbia gun and ammunition law three weeks ago, to accuse the Republican Party -- the party whose members ended slavery, provided the margins by which landmark civil-rights legislation passed in the 1950s and 1960s, and whose ranks rarely if ever included members of the Ku Klux Klan while southern Democrats were infested with such members for nearly a century -- of having "a dark vein of intolerance."
A night after NBC’s Brian Williams used a series of interview sessions with President Barack Obama to express bewilderment Obama is not running away with the presidential race, the anchor touted Colin Powell’s endorsement, pressed Obama from the left to go further in denouncing Republicans on abortion and cued up the President to decry the high level of campaign spending.
It was Williams’ “third interview with him in the past 24 hours” leading up to multiple segment on tonight’s (Thursday) Rock Center at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT.
CBS This Morning brought on liberal Colin Powell on Thursday so he could break his endorsement of President Obama and boost the Democratic candidate that he supported in 2008. Norah O'Donnell spotlighted Powell's service with "several Republican presidents" and wondered if he was "still Republican." When the former secretary of state claimed that he's a "Republican of a more moderate mold," Rose pressed him if he "may have to leave the Republican Party, if it continues in the direction that it's going."
Despite noting Powell's past service as secretary of state and national security advisor, and asking for his "concerns...about Governor [Mitt] Romney's foreign policy," neither Rose nor O'Donnell once mentioned the ongoing issue of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They decided instead to joke with their guest about his love of the viral musical track, "Call Me Maybe."
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media spent many days in recent weeks trashing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for alleged gaffes he made during his overseas trip to Europe and Israel.
Rather surprisingly, in an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Obama-supporter and former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Romney good grades for his trip saying, "He demonstrated that he can participate in foreign relations in a way that is constructive...I think he did himself good by going to these countries" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pleaded with former Secretary of State Colin Powell to again endorse Barack Obama for president: "...it sounds like you're on his [Obama's] team still, four years later....why hesitate at this stage of the game here? I mean, it's basically Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney. Why not just come out right now and throw your weight behind somebody?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of the show, fellow co-host Ann Curry excitedly teased the upcoming interview: "Four years ago, one of the country's most prominent Republicans threw his support behind Democrat Barack Obama. Will he endorse him again?"
Colin Powell on Sunday blamed the media as well as the Tea Party for the divisive political tone in Washington.
Not surprisingly, neither the class warfare stoked by President Obama and his Party nor the resulting Occupy Wall Street movement was mentioned during this seven minute interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As he interviewed former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN host Piers Morgan seemed to suggest that the war against Muammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya was perhaps better run than the war in Iraq, and went on to ask Powell if he felt "used" when he presented to the United Nations the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq.
After asking Powell did he "admire" President Obama's "audacity" in ordering the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, he followed up with his suggestion that the war in Libya was better run than the Iraq War:
In a "Joy Behar Show" segment scheduled to be aired on HLN Friday, singer Harry Belafonte attacked Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in potentially the most disgraceful manner of any media member to date.
While his host and others on the set laughed, Belafonte called Cain "a bad apple" that was "so denied intelligence...I don’t think prayers were created for him" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The liberal media are predictably gushing over Colin Powell's supposed rebuke of Dick Cheney on Sunday's "Face the Nation."
Bucking the trend was Joe Scarborough Monday who on the MSNBC program bearing his name said Powell going on "Face the Nation" to defend himself proved Cheney right about heads exploding over his new book (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ed Schultz on Tuesday ratcheted up his anger over Rush Limbaugh's "Driving Miss Nancy" comments basically calling for the conservative talk radio host to be fired.
For the second time in the last three "Ed Shows," Republican strategist Ron Christie was there to add some sanity to the discussion pointing out the "double standard about applying racial outrage when it deals with black Democrats as it deals with black Republicans."
"I don't remember any outrage on the air waves, on your show or on Joe's show, when Harry Belafonte referred to Colin Powell and Dr. Condoleezza Rice as house slaves" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez painted Ann Coulter and CPAC as "hardline." Sanchez also implied that the CPAC attendees were hypocritically cheering Dick Cheney: "I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC...and asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there...would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor revisited his Friday interview of Coulter 13 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour (Noel Sheppard exposed Sanchez's slanted interview of Coulter): "Do you remember last week when former Vice President Dick Cheney got the loudest ovation at CPAC? So I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC, I believe, and I asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there at CPAC would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit to $1.2 trillion, even though they were handed a surplus. I thought it was a fair question."
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell apparently can't do a television interview anymore without going after conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Unfortunately, Sunday wasn't any different.
Appearing with John King on CNN's "State of the Union," Powell couldn't resist referring to Limbaugh in a question about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
AP writer Douglass Daniel was enjoying the moderate Republican (and Obama Republican) response to conservatives on the Sunday talk shows. His story began:
Moderate Republicans to conservative Republicans: Turn down the volume — especially on Rush Limbaugh — and open your minds. The party's future might be at stake.
Such warnings about the GOP's right wing, along with finger wagging about a "shrill" and "judgmental" tone, marked the moderate response in the latest back-and-forth within the Republican Party.
Those words turned out to be former governor Tom Ridge’s on CNN’s State of the Union. (That's funny -- they were also Barack Obama's words to congressional Republicans.) Daniel also quoted Obamacan Colin Powell, Newt Gingrich, and Karl Rove, but led his story with the Ridge attack on Rush Limbaugh:
ABC and CBS, which two weeks ago gave short-shrift to Dick Cheney choosing Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell as the better representative of the Republican Party (brief anchor-read items), both led Sunday night with Powell push back against Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. “Colin Powell hitting back at Dick Cheney and other Republican critics, saying he's still a member of the party, a party he says has to change,” ABC anchor Dan Harris teased Sunday's World News. On CBS, Russ Mitchell announced: “Tonight, Colin Powell versus Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. The former Secretary of State defends his Republican credentials.”
In the lead CBS Evening News story, Kimberly Dozier made Powell's case, reporting how on Sunday's Face the Nation “he said the criticism he faces points to what's wrong with his party” and “he pointed out the party's recent poor track record, losing the presidency by ten million votes and losing a majority in Congress.” Dozier had noted that Powell endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain last year, but failed to suggest any hypocrisy in then fretting about the Republican candidate, the most liberal since Gerald Ford, losing or then complaining the party is too conservative. Instead, Dozier proceeded to highlight how “moderate Republicans worry that the party is perceived as embracing only a few narrow issues -- anti-abortion, anti-tax and pro-gun rights.”
It seems a metaphysical certitude that in the wake of Colin Powell's appearance on "Face the Nation" Sunday, most media outlets will pay great attention to the former Secretary of State's response to what Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh have said about his questionable Party allegiance.
Unfortunately, in their fascination with conflict, the press could miss the most interesting part of this interview when Powell defended what George W. Bush did after the 9/11 attacks (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 12:20):
It’s uncommon for newspapers to hype Sunday morning TV interviews in advance, especially if presidents aren’t involved. But Saturday’s Washington Post carries this page 3 story: "In TV Appearance, Powell Plans to Answer Right-Wing Critics." Reporters Michael D. Shear and Perry Bacon Jr. play up a GOP feud: "Under intense fire from the right, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell is preparing to answer his Republican critics this weekend in a television appearance that is likely to add fuel to his long-standing feud with top conservatives in his party."
Message to liberal Post readers: the conservatives are going to get thrashed tomorrow on CBS's Face the Nation, so don’t miss it.
Shear and Bacon didn't tell readers that this "feud" was fueled by the liberal media, by CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, who asked former vice president Dick Cheney whether Powell or Rush Limbaugh was a better voice for Republicans. They only explained "Rush Limbaugh and former vice president Richard B. Cheney have attacked Powell in recent days as a traitor to his party."
Three CNN personalities and one regular commentator on Monday’s No Bias, No Bull program all tried to get Republicans Bay Buchanan and Kevin Madden to disown former Vice President Dick Cheney, and agree with some unnamed Republicans who call for him to “just shut up.” Host Roland Martin characterized Cheney’s multiple media appearances recently as “turning into a big problem for the family of Republicans” and that “some Republicans wish the former V.P. would just shut up.”
Correspondent Jessica Yellin and Drew Griffin saw no good in the politician’s media tour, with Yellin labeling Cheney “one of the least popular figures in the Republican Party, aside from Rush Limbaugh.” She asked Buchanan, “Why is it good for him to speak out as such an unpopular guy?” TruTV’s Lisa Bloom agreed with the unnamed Republicans: “I think a lot of Republicans probably wish Cheney was secured in an undisclosed location right about now.”
To Bob Schieffer's astonishment, when he wrapped up his Sunday interview by asking former Vice President Dick Cheney where he comes down between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell who both say the Republican Party would be “better off” without the other, Cheney declared: “I'd go with Rush Limbaugh.”
Cheney related on CBS's Face the Nation how “my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican.” Schieffer was surprised: “So you think that he's not a Republican?” Cheney explained: “I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for President this time, Barack Obama. I assume that that's some indication of his loyalty and his interests.” To which an astounded Schieffer pressed Cheney to reaffirm his choice: “And you said you take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?” Cheney confirmed his preference.