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?"
On December 13 Christiane Amanpour announced she would no longer be host of ABC's This Week. Her run as host of that show was filled with shots at conservatives and their issues as she called Tea Party candidates "bizarre," and scolded that tax cuts would "hurt" the poor.
On the November 6 edition of This Week she lectured House Speaker John Boehner: "Some 75 percent of Americans agree with an increase in tax on millionaires as a way to pay for these jobs provisions. Do you not feel that by opposing it you’re basically out of step with the American people on this issue?...Are you concerned that these budget cuts are going to hurt the people who can least afford it?"(video after jump)
Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.
So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.
Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday somehow couldn't find time for any Republicans to comment on the most recent GOP presidential debate, and instead, brought on David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Obama's reelection campaign, to bash the GOP. Anchors Erica Hill and Jeff Glor gave Axelrod the kid glove treatment, instead of pressing him about the issues that may negatively affect the President.
Glor began with the simplest question possible to the presidential advisor: "What did you think of the debate last night? Let's start with that." As one might expect, Axelrod bashed the Republican field in general and Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney specifically. When the Democrat then singled out the former Massachusetts governor for further criticism, the anchor followed up by asking, "You've had some of your strongest words for Romney. Is he still your primary focus right now?"
Darlene Superville's Associated Press report earlier this evening on President Obama's visit to North Carolina ("Obama touts jobs bill benefits for small business") had an interesting final paragraph.
Concerning Obama's openness to compromise on his "jobs plan" (otherwise known as "spend now, pay for with taxes later"), she wrote: "President Obama has made clear he'd sign a portion of the legislation if that's all Congress could agree on, although he's said he would continue to fight to pass the whole thing."
After last Wednesday's Republican debate, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos turned to a top Democrat for reaction. After last Thursday's jobs speech by Barack Obama, Stephanopoulos turned to a top Democrat for reaction. On Tuesday, after the GOP presidential contenders debated in Florida, the ABC host turned to yet another top Democrat for reaction.
Stephanopoulos offered softball questions to David Axelrod, the President's former senior adviser, treating the Democrat as though he were some disinterested political observer. After asserting that Rick Perry had "changed his tune" on Social Security, the GMA anchor wondered, "Did he fix the Social Security problem he has?"
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Norah O'Donnell promoted the left-of-center talking point that Standard & Poor's recent lowering of the U.S.'s credit rating is a "Tea Party downgrade." O'Donnell played three sound bites of notable liberals using this line of attack, versus only one opposing from a center-right politician. She also spun Treasury Geithner's decision to stay as "good news for the President."
The correspondent began her report by trumpeting how apparently, "this was supposed to be a week when President Obama was going to turn his attention toward jobs with a positive message. But instead, he's dealing with this talk of a double-dip recession, that the terrible week in the markets last week, and that credit downgrade."
It only took three days, but someone at CBS News finally realized that at least one House Democrat on Thursday vulgarly referred to the President of the United States.
Unlike most of his colleagues in the media, Bob Schieffer was so disturbed by this revelation that he asked two different Democrat guests about it on the most recent installment of "Face the Nation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Apparently unhappy at the idea of a compromise with Republicans over taxes, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday attacked the deal from the left, wondering if the "White House [is] open to renegotiating" portions that have made liberals in Congress unhappy.
Stephanopoulos, a former aide to Democrat Dick Gephardt, highlighted Nancy Pelosi's opposition to a high exemption for the returning estate tax. The host negotiated with White House advisor David Axelrod, prodding, "So, is this deal set in stone? No wiggle room at all? No more adjustments as it works its way through the House and the Senate?"
He lamented, "You have got a lot of unhappy Democrats in the House right now. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not committed to trying to pass this deal." Stephanopoulos went on to repeat a threat from the angriest leftists: "A lot of liberal commentators and activists are now starting to call for a primary challenge in the Democratic primaries to President Obama. Is that something that concerns you?"
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Wednesday's Today show, hit David Axelrod repeatedly from the left as she lectured the White House senior adviser that the left is "furious" at Barack Obama for making a deal with the GOP on tax cuts as she pressed: "Why shouldn't Americans look at this as a disaster in the making?"
During a segment headlined: "Tax Cut Compromise: Did President Go Too Far In Agreeing With GOP?" the Today co-host regurgitated talking points from the left to Axelrod as she scolded: "One senator went so far as to call" the tax cut compromise "borderline immoral" and demanded "how does he win back these fellow Democrats that he's referred to as sanctimonious?" After Axelrod responded that it would be "immoral" to have "millions of Americans" lose their unemployment insurance at the holidays, in addition to having their taxes raised, Vieira admonished the administration from the left:
Oh, this is side-splitting: After exporting U.S. jobs, importing foreign debt and kowtowing to global thugs shamelessly over the past two years, the Obama administration is now playing the America First card. Democrats deserve a Guinness World Record award for their election-season cognitive dissonance.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, White House senior adviser David Axelrod and their mynah bird operatives across the country accused Republicans last week of benefiting from "money from foreign corporations" — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into domestic political ads.
Democratic clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the chamber. A Democratic National Committee ad lambasted the GOP for "Stealing Democracy," complete with piles of Asian currency. Endangered Democratic candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line of attack, which originated with the Center for American Progress, funded by far-left billionaire George Soros.
It's beyond comical to watch the party that cries "RAAAACISM" whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. And it's beyond galling to hear Democrats fret about foreign intrigue while the foreign agent-in-chief has inextricably tied America's fate to the Chinese holders of our T-bills. Guess we're all "nativists" now, eh, Obama?
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday took on CBS's Bob Schieffer for challenging unsubstantiated allegations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign dollars into Republican campaigns.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the "Face the Nation" host mocked White House senior adviser David Axelrod Sunday for advancing this unfounded premise that even the New York Times has discredited.
Yet that didn't concern the "Hardball" host who rather than presenting the facts as Schieffer and the Times did exclusively offered the Democrat view as he scolded his colleague from another television network (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday mocked President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod for echoing last week’s unsubstantiated charge by a liberal website that the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money to support Republican candidates.
“The New York Times looked into the Chamber specifically and said the Chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign,” said the Face the Nation host.
“This part about foreign money, that appears to be peanuts,” chided Schieffer.
When Axelrod continued to press the issue, Schieffer said almost laughing, “If the only charge, three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there’s somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jon Stewart on Monday asked David Axelrod a truly extraordinary question: has this government proven itself competent enough to regulate industry?
Speaking to President Obama's senior advisor on "The Daily Show," the Comedy Central star was in the middle of a rather interesting discussion when he surprisingly said, "It's clear that this administration believes that government can have a stronger hand in regulating Wall Street, in regulating energy, in doing these things."
"But, has government during this time proved itself competent? And are our only two choices sort of an incompetent bureaucracy that doesn't quite regulate properly or free market anarchy?" he asked.
When Axelrod predictably tried to blame all the problems in the country on the previous administration's supposed lack of regulation and oversight, Stewart wasn't having any of it (video follows with transcript and commentary, relevant section at 1:50):
MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews felt a "thrill" up his leg when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Keith Olbermann's leftist bias was great enough to merit a Saturday Night Live parody of his show "Countdown With Keith Olbermann."
And yet both trashed President Obama's Oval Office speech on Tuesday. "Maybe I missed something. I thought it was a great speech if you've been on another planet for the last 57 days," Olbermann remarked. Matthews said that he didn't "sense executive command."
But Joe Scarborough, who has repeatedly thrown his support behind President Obama's handling of the crisis, thought the speech "struck all the right notes," and was in disbelief on his morning show over the media's general distaste for the speech. Scarborough then hosted David Axelrod for an interview that can only be described as a barrage of softballs.
"I just wonder if this is a season, that, no matter what the President's doing, he is going to get hit by both sides right now?" Scarborough asked Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama.
On his CNN program on Monday, John King pressed both Obama senior advisor David Axelrod and Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak on the latter's allegation that he was offered a job by the White House in exchange for getting out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary against Arlen Specter. Even though King pushed for an answer, Axelrod denied any wrongdoing on the White House's part and Sestak refused to explain further [audio available here; video below the jump].
The CNN anchor raised the controversy with Sestak 16 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Though King was late in pressing Sestak on the issue, given the politician made the allegation against the Obama White House in February, he tried hard to get the Pennsylvania Democrat to divulge further information. The congressman went beyond filibustering, rephrasing his vague answer and even trying to change the subject:
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Friday repeatedly pressed White House advisor David Axelrod on just how the President plans on fighting Arizona's new immigration law. Yet, he failed to ask any questions on what Barack Obama will do to end the flow of illegals into America.
Hitting Axelrod from the left, Stephanopoulos noted that the President called the bill "misguided" and then complained, "But, what more does he think that government should do to block the effects of this misguided law? Does he believe the federal government should join in the lawsuit against it?"
The former Democratic operative turned journalist wouldn't abandon the subject and highlighted another liberal goal: "There have been some calls for boycotts of Arizona, including not having the All Star game there next year. Does the President agree with that?" It total, Stephanopoulos asked four questions on how Obama would oppose the new law. He asked zero on the issue of actually securing the border.
In an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez touted the signing of ObamaCare into law: "the Senate bill...becomes law today. You're going to be stuck with a bill you don't like." She then wondered: "What if the catastrophic scenario that you've been warning about doesn't play out?"
Rodriguez referred to an interview that her fellow co-host Harry Smith had just concluded with White House advisor David Axelrod and asked: "What if, as David Axelrod suggests, now that it's a reality and people start to see the benefits, they actually like it?" Steele replied: "David Axelrod didn't talk about the $506 billion that's being taken out of Medicare....He didn't talk about the $500 billion in new taxes that are going to be imposed on those small businesses....there's a lot in this bill that have yet to be revealed to the American people. And when it's further revealed, it'll be less – less liked."
After Steele's response, Rodriguez felt the need to incredulously repeat: "If it turns out to be the catastrophe that you are predicting." She then criticized the RNC for being too "extreme" in its opposition: "I looked on the RNC website this morning. I have to say, I was surprised by what I saw. The home page shows a big photograph of Nancy Pelosi and in huge block letters it says 'Fire Pelosi' and she is against a backdrop of flames....Isn't this a little bit extreme?...What can you accomplish with this?" A still shot of the RNC website appeared on screen (see picture below). Rodriguez failed to point that in the latest CBS News poll, Nancy Pelosi only has an 11% approval rating.
Steele dismissed Rodriguez's characterization: "Actually, I tamed it down. You know, the reality of it is I don't know why you're surprised. Nancy Pelosi is the architect of the demise, in my view, of one-sixth of our economy. She should be fired for her failure to serve the interests of the American people."
Buried in a recent New York Times profile of senior White House advisor David Axelrod was this nugget of information: he used to be a reporter with the Chicago Tribune.
The fact is hardly a secret -- the White House notes Axelrod's brief stint at the Tribune on its website. But that bit of information was an interesting element of a predictably laudatory profile. One of President Obama's chief message-men was a political reporter for a major newspaper. Who knows better how to address journalists than a former journalist?
For its part, the Times skipped over any discussion of the significance of Axelrod's experience in journalism. The paper simply noted his former position in passing.
Two Democrats on Sunday blamed the soaring budget deficit on George W. Bush, and ABC's Terry Moran didn't challenge either one of them.
First up on "This Week" was senior White House adviser David Axelrod who told substitute host Moran, "President Clinton left a $237 billion surplus, President Obama received a $1.3 trillion deficit."
Moran didn't challenge this, nor did he press Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) when he uttered virtually the exact same Democrat talking point moments later, "When George Bush came to office, he had a $236 billion surplus; Barack Obama was handed a $1.3 trillion deficit."
Here's how a REAL journalist might have responded the second time somebody made the same stupid comment in the course of about 15 minutes:
But according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, efforts to spin this in a positive way are futile. Wallace appeared on the Fox Business Network's Jan. 21 "Imus in the Morning" program to explain their efforts to alter the news coverage to a favorable tone in the wake of this news is not the proper course of action.
"I think it means a big deal and I have to laugh, you know, somebody was saying yesterday, there's some events that are just un-spinable," Wallace said. "They're just too big, too dramatic, too obvious - you can't spin them and yet the White House clearly is trying to spin this."
Never let it be said that radio libtalker and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz isn't capable of occasional candor.
Here's Schultz on his radio show Dec. 15 talking about Vice President Joe Biden appearing on "Morning Joe" earlier that day in anticipation of disclosure that the public option and Medicare buy-in were stripped from the Senate health bill (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: And I find it offensive, and I'm all for MSNBC winning and getting the big interviews, but look what Joe Biden did today. The day that they capitulate on everything, Biden goes on 'Morning Joe' this morning. It's kind of a Cheney tactic. When things get tough, you go to Fox. Things get a little bit tough, well, we better go over to MSNBC where we can say our piece.
So the vice president's mansion is just maybe a few blocks away from the NBC bureau in Washington, so let's stop by and see Morning Joe, Joe and Mika, great interview, 17 minutes but very calculated. The White House knew it was going down and they know today is the day that they're going to have to break the news to the American people that it's over.
A rather shocking thing happened on Sunday's "Meet the Press": host David Gregory complained to Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod that the healthcare reform bill ready to pass the Senate is not what Barack Obama campaigned on last year.
Maybe just as surprising, Gregory showed recent polls to Axelrod reflecting the public's disinterest in this bill.
"I've got a few of the bullet points of campaign promises made," said Gregory. "[T]here would be universal coverage when it came to getting healthcare. He opposed an individual mandate, which, of course, is part of this bill. And he indicated this would be paid for by rolling back Bush tax cuts, tax cuts."
The host then amazingly pointed out the contradictions: "There's not universal coverage here. The individual mandate is in there and, in fact, there are a slew of taxes that are part of this legislation, including on the Cadillac plans that a lot of union members hold" (video in two parts embedded below the fold with transcript):
In case you still had any questions about the political leaning of Chris Matthews, he proudly admitted on the air Thursday, "I'm a liberal."
In fact, right from the start of Thursday's "Hardball," the MSNBC host defended liberals claiming, "Most of the elected, the vast majority of the elected liberals, want to go for the gold, grab what victory`s attainable and build on it in the future.You know where I stand."
By the end of the program, it was indeed indisputably obvious where Matthews stands when he actually said with cameras rolling:
You know how you know you are going to win if you pass anything [regarding healthcare reform]? The Republicans will know they have lost...Let them keep score and it`s easy. It`s complicated when liberals get to keep score. We`re always arguing. Well, I`m a liberal, too.
Imagine that (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts, h/t Tweep insidepitch):