The Obama scandals started piling up on top of each other in the last few days. The civil servants who testified on Benghazi were heart-breaking. Then the IRS admitted a punitive agenda against tax exemptions for groups with “Tea Party” in the name, or groups which “educate about the Constitution.”
Then Eric Holder’s Justice Department was revealed to be wiretapping the Associated Press in April and May of 2012 to nail a leaker. President Obama is not a “victim” of a “second-term curse.” This is the corrupt first term beginning to smell, it is his administration, and even the media cannot deny the odor of malfeasance.
Married congressman texts pics of his private parts to other women but brazenly denies it. How would you characterize the fact that he was eventually forced to resign?
If "bum rap" springs to mind, you are on the same wavelength as Michelle Goldberg of Newsweek—and probably should seek immediate professional help. Goldberg's assertion, made on day deux of Chris Hayes's new MSNBC show, was even too much for David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts still haven't covered the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell as of Monday morning. ABC, CBS, and NBC have maintained their coverage blackout despite the graphic witness testimony and the in-your-face courtroom antics of Dr. Gosnell's defense attorney during the first two weeks of the proceedings. The Philadelphia physician is charged with murdering seven newborn children at his decrepit abortion facility.
This glaring omission by the broadcast networks would have continued, if Peggy Noonan hadn't provided the first mention of the murder trial on Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC. The Wall Street Journal columnist spotlighted the "haunting and disturbing story of this doctor", and pointed out how coverage has been "hard to find."
On Thursday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow mocked Republican party chairman Reince Priebus for listing as a lesson from 2012 "controlling the debate process, getting involved in moderators and networks and all of these other issues so that we don`t have chaos."
Maddow found it odd that the GOP chair would (very sensibly) say "we just can`t have MSNBC, you know, hosting a debate at the Reagan Library only to have their network comment -- you know, make the commentary afterwards for three hours about the debate of the Republican Party. I mean, it’s ridiculous."
David Axelrod has written Gene Sperling off as a political lightweight lacking the tonnage to have intimidated Bob Woodward in their dust-up over the sequester.
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Axelrod sarcastically asked "what is Gene Sperling going to do to Bob Woodward? Bob Woodward, who faced down H.R. Haldeman as a young man, feels intimidated by Gene Sperling?" You really have to hear the sneer in Axelrod's voice as he pronounces the name "Gene Sperling" to appreciate just how far under the bus Axelrod was willing to throw a fellow member of Team Obama. View the video after the jump.
In 2008, a then-MSNBC host mocked George W. Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove, for signing up with the "home team" of Fox News. Yet, on Tuesday it was announced that Barack Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, will be joining NBC and MSNBC as an analyst. A NBC press release hyped that Axelrod "will contribute frequently across all broadcasts and platforms of both networks." (There was no mention as to whether MSNBC is Obama's "home team.)
On February 6, 2008, then-MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams trashed Fox News for signing Rove: "The folks over at Fox News are just thrilled about what I'm calling Karl Rove's homecoming, his debut last as a political commentator and the home team cheered them on again and again." Abrams, who is now at ABC, sneered, "Come on. Give me a break."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson filed a hard-hitting report on the possible ties between former CIA chief David Petraeus's resignation and the continuing controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson spotlighted how Petraeus told several members of Congress that "video of the Benghazi attack supports an element of spontaneity, as the administration first claimed."
Anchor Charlie Rose also hyped Rep. Peter King's theory on General Petraeus's resignation: "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says the timing of the resignation suggests a cover-up. Petraeus was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
As part of the victory lap on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer asked Obama campaign manager David Axelrod how it felt to watch the president brush away a tear in front of the volunteers. "We don't see that much emotion from the President. What was it like to be there?"
He also asked Axelrod what he'll do next, and he said he wants to help "inspire some young people to get into this arena as candidates, as strategists, as journalists." Or to follow today's media model, become a Democratic strategist, and then become a network TV journalist. But Axelrod brushed away tears alongside the president at the idealism of the Obama Youth:
NBC's Today on Wednesday glossed over the State Department e-mails showing that the Obama administration knew that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was carried out by terrorists. Their colleagues at ABC and CBS also minimized their coverage of this latest development, as they boosted the latest slam on Republicans from David Axelrod and the President's reelection campaign.
But all three network morning shows cordoned off significant amounts of air time to completely frivolous and celebrity-driven news stories. Here are some examples from Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CBS This Morning:
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell waited until the fifth interview question to press Obama adviser David Axelrod about the fiasco in Libya. The question wasn't even a tough one, basically asking for the administration's spin.
"David, the consequences of what happened in the death of the Ambassador in Libya has caused some scrutiny in those incidents in the security there, and people are writing in editorials this morning that perhaps there was some pressure on Ambassador Rice to say what she said," Rose brought up the charges against the administration. "What is the response of the President to these questions and charges?" he asked.
Neil Munro of the Daily Caller was attacked by journalists for asking President Obama a question out of turn -- because Obama wasn't offering a turn. He expects to speak without taking questions. On Thursday, Munro once again found himself surrounded by amateur Obama advisers thinly disguised as objective journalists after Obama lost the debate in Denver.
Munro noted several reporters on the 11:15 a.m. phone conference promptly offered questions that bordered on advice. "Axe, I'm not sure you can hear me, David," said NBC's Andrea Mitchell, "I'm wondering whether the president, whether you have rethought the strategy of not bringing up either women's issues, or the 47 percent or some of the other issues that have worked so well for you in your campaign advertising and in your stump speech?" Other transcripts without the reporter names identified seconded that emotion:
The Daily Caller published two troubling stories by Matthew Boyle yesterday. The first, referring to email evidence, contends that senior Obama reelection campaign adviser David Axelrod has attempted "to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president," and that in August, "After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit" alleging that it has been overcharging the federal government on various contracts.
The second notes that DOJ has not yet formally served that lawsuit on Gallup, leading an unnamed "senior Gallup official" to theorize that "that Holder’s DOJ may be aware that serving the complaint before November’s election would appear politically charged." I'll note two other "little" things and excerpt relevant reports after the jump.
White House reporter Jackie Calmes talked to Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod for a strong hit of Republican Convention bashing in her Friday New York Times story "Obama Team Sharpens Attacks on Rivals' Character." Calmes cited liberal media analysis to bolster her contention that even "independent fact-checkers" think the Republicans are lying.
As the Obama campaign heads into its convention next week, Democrats see openings both to fill in unpopular details of Mitt Romney’s agenda left unsaid by Republicans in Tampa this week and to raise new questions about Mr. Romney’s character after widespread criticism of misstatements by him and his running mate, Paul D. Ryan.
As she substitute-hosted CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Nancy Cordes managed to avoid bringing up the controversial Obama super PAC ad that blames Mitt Romney for the death of a man's wife, even though Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter was a guest in the first segment.
By contrast, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week and and David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press both raised the issue as Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared as a guest on both shows. Cordes stayed non-specific:
During an interview of Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Erica Hill bewailed the negative tone of the presidential campaign, hinting that it might turn off voters. However, the anchors let Axelrod rip Mitt Romney's recent foreign policy speech to the VFW without challenge, and failed to ask the adviser about the President's own speech to the organization.
Rose set up Axelrod's tirade against Romney with a beyond softball question - on the GOP candidate's slam of Obama: "'Contemptible conduct'; 'a betrayal' -- where are we?"
CBS's Jeff Glor confronted David Axelrod on Friday's CBS This Morning over his most recent attack on presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "You said that Mitt Romney was the most secretive candidate since Richard Nixon....I think that would strike a lot of people as extreme. Do you stand by those comments?"
Glor also pressed Axelrod on the Obama campaign's "outsourcer-in-chief" attack ads on Romney: "Fact Check, as you know, looked at this, found no evidence that Mitt Romney, while he was still running Bain Capital shipped American jobs overseas. Is it fair to keep those ads on the air?"
On Friday's NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer didn't just lob a softball to Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod about Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress, he placed the ball on a tee and helped Axelrod swing the bat: "Paraphrasing here, Mr. Holder said the American people deserve better. What is the President's reaction to the actions in Congress?"
Axelrod happily spewed White House talking points on the Thursday vote that held Holder in contempt for failing to release documents regarding the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal: "I think it was an embarrassment to the Congress....They're getting their questions answered, they wanted the confrontation, they wanted the political theater. They ought to be getting to work on the problems that are significant to the American people."
Days before President Obama proclaimed a new Justice Department edict concerning the deportation of young illegal immigrants, both the New York Times and Time magazine ran huge stories on Hispanics in America.
According to Fox News Watch panelists Saturday, this was no coincidence (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charlie Rose deferred to Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod on Monday's CBS This Morning regarding the controversy over several recent national security leaks. Axelrod repeatedly denied that the leaks came from the administration. Rose didn't challenge his guest's talking point, even though former Defense Secretary Robert Gates indicated that White House officials went "out in public with operational details" of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden during a May 2012 interview with the anchor.
Despite knowing about Gates's disclosure, Rose claimed that President Obama "seems to be upset about the spy leaks," and asked the Democratic campaign official whether the leaks came from the "national security apparatus at the White House."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose rolled over and deferred to chief Obama flack David Axelrod and his talking points defending the President's Monday rant against the Supreme Court and its deliberation on his health care law, along with its attacks on Mitt Romney. Rose tossed softball questions at Axelrod, such as, "Tell me what he [Obama] is saying when he talks about judicial activism."
The anchor even boosted Hillary Clinton as a possible 2016 presidential candidate for Democrats during his interview with the Obama aide: "[Nancy Pelosi] said her candidate is Hillary Clinton. She hopes Hillary Clinton will run....Do you expect that she'll be a nominee in- will be a candidate for president in 2016?" [audio available here; video clips below the jump]
Another example of how out of touch the Washington press corps is with what is common knowledge amongst conservatives. On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer was flummoxed by Mitt Romney’s contention that Obama officials desire high gas prices:
Mitt Romney said...that the President actually wanted gas prices to go up when he was running for President. He also said the President should fire his three top energy people because they were trying to get the price up. What’s that about?
Guest David Axelrod of the Obama campaign assured Schieffer: “Well, I think it’s about nonsense is what it's about.” Minutes later, when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out “the President’s own energy czar said -- and this is undisputed -- that he wanted gas prices to go to European levels,” a clueless Schieffer talked over Priebus, demanding: “When did he say that?”
From David Axelrod's Magic Land of the Double Standard: "Cleanup attempt at CNN. Bring the hazmat suits."
Tonight on CNN, as reported by several outlets (Mediaite, Politico, LA Times, but not the Associated Press, which as of 11:45 p.m. on Thursday hadn't done a national story about Maher in 10 days), David Axelrod told Erin Burnett, in the process of dodging a question about whether an Obama Super-PAC would give back Bill Maher's $1 million contribution, said that Maher's outrageous, misogynist comments against mostly conservative women really aren't as important as Rush Limbaugh's one-time, apologized-for hits at Sandra Fluke:
You have to wonder whether HBO's Bill Maher is losing his mind, trying to draw attention to boost ratings, or really believes he can say anything he wants about conservatives and liberals will support him.
After ridiculing Alabama and Mississippi voters Tuesday as being "toothless," Maher took to Twitter with an even far more vile comment about Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum (serious vulgarity warning):
Feeling pressure in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy, Bill Maher recently said he could say disgusting things about Sarah Palin and other women because he's on HBO and doesn't have sponsors.
Apparently the White House doesn't completely agree, for according to Politico, David Axelrod, one of Obama's right-hand men, has cancelled an upcoming appearance on Maher's Real Time:
Sarah Palin on Thursday took Barack Obama to task for not telling his Super PAC to return Bill Maher's million dollar donation.
Speaking to Fox News's Sean Hannity, the former Alaska Governor said, "It does not bode well for our President's character to not speak out against that dirty money" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"