Over the past week, the media have been obsessively attributing the GOP’s election loss to the party’s embrace of conservatism. It began with a predictable assault on the standard bearer of conservative thought over the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh. On election night, NBC’s Brian Williams opined that Rush was a liability for the GOP. And it didn’t stop with Williams.
David Frum blames the media for Mitt Romney's loss. Not the liberal media, of course--we are talking David Frum, after all. No, Frum blames the conservative media, or as he calls it, "the conservative entertainment complex."
Frum touted his upside-down take on the media during a Morning Joe appearance today while promoting his instant e-book, "Why Romney Lost." Joe Scarborough liked the line so much he asked Frum to repeat it. Frum refused to name names, saying he does so in his book, but do we doubt whom he was targeting? View the video after the jump.
Ignoring other conservative condemnations of liberal media bias, CNN's Brooke Baldwin pulled tape of former President George H. W. Bush all the way from 1992 ranting about the press – and then snidely pointed out how it "did not help" him.
"[C]omplaining about the media did not help Bush One. He lost his bid for re-election," noted Baldwin on Monday afternoon's Newsroom, who compared Paul Ryan's claim of media bias on Sunday to Bush's 1992 rant. So Ryan hitting out at the media won't help Team Romney? [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Washington Post really knows how to bury the lede. In a Tuesday story on how suspended CNN-Time journalist Fareed Zakaria is now under fire for stealing quotes without attribution in his book The Post-American World, media reporter Paul Farhi waited until the 13th and final paragraph to acknowledge that that the Post has joined CNN and Time in punishing Zakaria for his plagiarism.
“Zakaria also writes a separate column for The Washington Post. The newspaper said on Monday that his column will not appear this month,” he concluded. Zakaria lamented: "People are piling on with every grudge or vendetta" now that NewsBusters exposed him.
During Tuesday night's edition of CNN's Outfront, substitute host Tom Foreman departed from the network's usual liberal spin to accuse President Obama of failing to keep his promise of presiding over the most transparent presidential administration ever.
After running a clip of the president stating that “We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history.” Foreman asked if Obama's claims “add up” regarding the “transparency tornado.”
Perhaps only Tina Brown's Newsweek would be shameless enough to offer a cover story (in a double issue, no less) on "100 Most Powerful Digital Disruptors" and then plug their own writers. In the "Opinionists" category, Newsweek gave a "Lifetime" honor to Andrew Sullivan, who's written several glowing Obama cover stories this year, most recently the rainbow-halo tribute.
"His insightful, feisty, and voluminous blog on the Daily Beast is a beacon for readers sick of the same old Washington dogmas," they advertised. As in old dogmas like Sarah Palin gave birth to her own son?
It’s amazing that CNN put out a press release last October touting “Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and conservative columnist David Frum have joined the network for the 2012 election season.” (Italics mine.) David Frum is not a conservative. Look no further than his latest CNN opinion piece, “Bloomberg’s Visionary Plan Against Obesity.”
“Some object that the mayor's proposal to restrict serving sizes will restrict liberty. But the liberty restricted is not the liberty of the soda-drinker. If they wish, soda drinkers can buy a 2-liter bottle of soda at the grocery for about $1.70 and pour as much of it down their throats as they wish,” he snobbishly wrote.”The liberty that is being restricted is the liberty of the soda seller to manipulate known human weaknesses to the seller's advantage and the buyer's detriment.” (Italics his.)
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Frum was on vulgarian Bill Maher's show less than two months ago.
The folks at CNN sure are interested in Rush Limbaugh's sex life.
Two days after the host of Piers Morgan Tonight chatted with magician Penn Jillette about watching the talk radio host have sex, David Frum - billed as one of the network's "conservative" analysts - said on Sunday's Reliable Sources, "I think it would be a nice gesture if [Limbaugh] were to send Sandra Fluke one of his sex tapes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz claimed that Mitt Romney suffered a "setback" in New Hampshire, CNN Soledad O'Brien challenged her outlandish assumption – but then used the talking point to grill Romney in a later interview with the candidate.
According to Schultz, Romney failed in New Hampshire by not garnering 40 percent of the vote. O'Brien, who questioned that point by hailing Romney as "the clear front-runner," gave the spin credibility when she pressed Romney "I get it that her [Schultz's] job, governor, is to spin, spin, spin, spin, spin. But doesn't she have a point about – this is a place where you have lived, and that number, while very good, is not 60 percent, or 70 percent?"
On Tuesday morning's Starting Point, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein ripped candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign strategy as "murder-suicide." The harsh rhetoric was reflective of the network's attitude towards the candidate on Tuesday morning.
New Hampshire voters have not yet chosen their GOP candidate, but CNN's hand-picked political team apparently wanted to speed up the process of elimination of the field. For the second day in a row, CNN contributor and phony-conservative David Frum bashed the candidate, predicting he was "about to launch the most amazing self-immolation in American political history." [Video coming soon. Click here for audio.]
On the day before the New Hampshire primary, CNN had some choice words for one candidate in particular – Newt Gingrich. The candidate had attacked front runner Mitt Romney for his past in the private sector and his connections to well-funded super PACs that are producing negative attack ads on opponents.
CNN contributor and faux-conservative David Frum slammed Gingrich's attacks on Romney as a "suicide destructive mission of revenge." A CNN viewer might have thought he was referring to a suicide bomber in the Middle East. [Video below. Click here for audio.]
Faux-conservative David Frum told CNN Thursday morning that only "one person" in the current GOP field was qualified to be president, before adding that fellow phoney-conservative Jon Huntsman might also be able to do the job but his message is not resonating with Republican voters.
Frum, a CNN contributor who regularly appears to give the conservative analysis opposite a liberal panel member, had no qualms about bashing almost the entire Republican field, aside from Romney and Huntsman. "They are not presidents," he insisted during the 8 a.m. hour of American Morning. [Video below the break.]
Faux-Republican David Frum took a shot at Fox News viewers on Sunday when he told CNN's Howard Kurtz that "people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events." Frum's interview aired during the bottom half of the 11 a.m. hour of Reliable Sources.
Even Kurtz, who has worked for the liberal media for three decades, challenged Frum's hard-line criticism of the right-wing media. "You're tarring with an awfully broad brush there" he told Frum, who in a recent New York Magazine column accused the conservative media of running an "alternative knowledge system" of "pseudo-facts and pretend information." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
David Frum is bashing conservative Republicans again – this time for playing hardball with President Obama and using the debt ceiling deadline as blackmail to get what they want. Frum writes in a CNN.com op-ed that the GOP demand for "total surrender" by the president on the debt ceiling debate gives him "horrible flashbacks" to the party's staunch opposition to the health care bill – which failed – in what he deemed the conservatives' "Waterloo."
What details are jumping out at Frum to make him believe that the president is so utterly reasonable and Republicans are reckless in this debate?
First, he seems to bend over backwards to extol Obama's munificence, listing the president's "startling moves" in making concessions on Medicare and Social Security, and large spending cuts to boot.
In his newest CNN.com op-ed titled "Don't Doom GOP's Chance to Win in 2012," David Frum clearly outlines the Republican Party's best chance for victory – if they don't come off as "Medicare-annihilating racist maniacs." He then goes about making the case that Republicans are doing just that.
"It is Tea Party conservatism itself that is Obama's last, best hope for a second term," Frum boldly concludes in a stinging indictment of the Tea Party.
He claims that the Republicans' refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to the Ryan budget plan is akin to the "militant wing" of the party mounting a coup and dragging the GOP to defeat in 2012.
A gift suggestion for liberal radio host and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz's next birthday -- a copy of John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage," preferrably illustrated. Maybe some of its narrative will rub off.
Schultz was unintentionally hilarious on his radio show Friday in describing conservative radio host and author Mark Levin's vow to sue "anybody who accuses me of inciting mass murder in Tucson." First, here's more context on what Levin said, as described by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard on Jan. 14, with audio --
Variety Magazine TV critic Brian Lowry - formerly a reporter for NPR and the Los Angeles Times - surely was not a member of JournoList. But he sure writes like he was. Lowry took a page directly out of the Spencer Ackerman Guide to Dubious Racism Accusations in his most recent column, claiming the Fox News Channel caters to racial fear and resentment to sell its brand.
Lowry provided no examples to back up his claims. He did not give voice to any opposing views. The only evidence he offered to back up his accusations were quotes from "thoughtful conservative" (read: not-so-conservative conservative) David Frum and liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent.
In true JournoLista fashion, Lowry cited Fox's coverage of the New Black Panther scandal at the Justice Department as evidence of the channel's attempts to "delegitimize Obama" by stoking racial fears. Just as Ackerman advocated with the Jeremiah Wright scandal, Lowry cried racism in order to avoid any actual discussion of this administration's strange affinity for racialist radicals - or any of Fox's actual coverage of the scandal.
There's one big problem with the presentation of “The Party, In Exile," Pamela Paul's snobby but interesting front-page Sunday New York Times Styles section piece on a D.C. garden party featuring so-called conservatism in exile. As KarolNYC noted on her Twitter feed -- it doesn't feature many actual conservatives.
The caption under John Cuneo's illustration made the disparity clear: “Insiders On The Outside: Members of the conservative intellectual elite at a party include, clockwise from left, David Frum, Michael Oren, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Hitchens, Laura Ingraham and Kathleen Parker.”
Of those six names, only one (Laura Ingraham) would be unanimously waved in to a garden party strictly for “conservatives.” The prolific, peripatetic, atheist writer Christopher Hitchens, is a long-time socialist who allied with conservatives on the Iraq War and some other issues (Paul noted he is a member “of the disenchanted left”).
It's called "Left, Right and Center," which claims to be a "civilized yet provocative antidote to the screaming talking heads that dominate political debate." But there's not a whole lot of truth in advertising for KCRW Santa Monica's radio program, which is also podcasted on the Internet.
The show normally features Robert Scheer, editor of the left-wing investigative Web site Truthdig.com and a former Los Angeles Times columnist, representing the left. Matt Miller, a former Clintonista and senior fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress represents the so-called center. And former Washington Times editorial page editor and visiting senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation usually represents the right. And for whatever reason, HuffPo editor Arianna Huffington is included to represent what they call the "independent progressive blogosphere," as if that is somehow different from the "left."
For the June 11 edition of this show, both Blankley and Miller were away and replaced with David Frum, a recently terminated fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, representing the "right" and Lawrence O'Donnell, of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" fill-in fame, representing the "center." And it was on the broadcast Frum used the platform to take a shot at the Club for Growth.
David Frum has responded on his own site Frum Forum to the NewsBusters post on his nasty Limbaugh book review in The Washington Post. For starters, he claimed that he focused on Limbaugh's ornate digs because this is "really the only news" in the Zev Chafets book.
To claim there’s no news in here is to admit you skimmed it. I wish Frum had plopped in the Post this snippet from pages 139 and 140 and pondered what it says about the Left:
Some, like Professor Todd Gitlin of the Columbia School of Journalism, think the government should take Rush off the air. "Limbaugh is a liar and a demagogue, a brander of enemies, a mobilizer, and a rabble rouser," Gitlin told me. He conceded this would constitute a government limitation of free speech. "The corner that right-wing radio has on the medium is a warping factor in our politics," he says. "Limbaugh is truck-driver radio. His voice is the voice of resentment, or in Nietzche’s sense, ressentiment – it sounds better, more venomous, in French...
Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander responded online to yesterday’s NewsBusters post on Frum’s Tuesday Style section review of the new book Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. Alexander wondered "Was Frum too biased to review book on Rush Limbaugh?"
He suggested the problem wasn’t Frum’s anti-Limbaugh bias, but that the Post should have disclosed something to readers about Frum’s record of lamenting Limbaugh -- such as suggesting he's "kryptonite" for Republicans. The book review editor claimed she was somehow unaware of their corporate cousin Newsweek’s "Why Rush Is Wrong" cover story last year:
Post Book World Editor Rachel Shea said she was unaware that Frum had written last year's critical Newsweek piece, which was headlined: "Why Rush is Wrong." But she said she was aware of debate Frum had stirred over how the GOP could best position itself with voters. And she said The Post chose Frum precisely because "it's no surprise where he was coming from."
This is a little like assigning a Bill Clinton book review to Jim Clyburn, so he can call him a racist again for 1,000 words. There's more hate than light. Frum gnashes his teeth hardest late in the review, jealous that he, the wise and humble Frum, is not acknowledged by all as the country's leading conservative intellectual:
Chafets acknowledges that Limbaugh has no conception of fairness or objectivity, that he is not an original thinker, and that he is prone to "hyperbole, sarcasm, and ridicule, none of which is meant to be taken literally."
Howard Kurtz on Sunday actually asked if right-wing pundits are hoping for another successful terrorist attack against our nation in order to harm President Obama politically?
Potentially even worse, this disgraceful question was posed to a far-left leaning blogger who certainly was going to say "Yes."
Discussing the media's coverage of the Times Square car bomb attempt with his guests on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz asked if conservative commentators risk "looking a little churlish if they complain about a bomb that didn't go off?"
What ensued will likely make a lot of those commentators as well as NewsBusters readers quite upset (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You have the makings of a New York Times hit piece on conservatism. In the April 27 issue of the Times, a story in its Style section of all places by Patricia Cohen, singled out and accused a number of conservatives of "closed-mindedness" or as the article claimed "epistemic closure."
"It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as ‘epistemic closure' could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement's intellectual health," Cohen wrote. "The phrase is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism's proud intellectual history."
Is it possible to be so wrapped up in a media culture that one could minimize a sacred religious holiday in a shoddy attempt to write a clever headline? Mediaite's Tommy Christopher and his editors seemed to have pulled this feat off.
Christopher, who has had a much-publicized run-in with Andrew Breitbart, has a new hero, former American Enterprise Institute scholar David Frum. Christopher elevated Frum to messianic status in a Good Friday April 2 post headlined "Did David Frum ‘Die' For GOP's Sins?" specifically praising the former AEI scholar for his appearance on Comedy Central's April 1 "The Colbert Report."
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
In Tuesday's front-page "political memo" in the New York Times, "For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too," chief political reporter Adam Nagourney, like much of the mainstream media, used Republican critic David Frum to represent the responsible "conservative" wing of the party to bash lack of Republican support for Obama-style health care reform. Frum has blamed talk radio and Fox News for Republican defeat on ABC News and other outlets, as noted by MRC's Brent Baker.
Nagourney's front-page editorializing began in the very first paragraph, accusing the G.O.P. of misleading the public about the health plan (as if anyone currently truly knows what the bill will do):
Passage of the health care legislation challenges the heart of the Republicans' strategy this year: To present a unified opposition to big Democratic ideas, in this case expressed in a stream of bristling anger and occasional mischaracterizations of what the bill would do.
After admitting that Republicans feel optimistic about their electoral chances in November, Nagourney quoted at length the media's newest favorite Republican, David Frum, a Republican writer who has devoted much of his time lately to railing against Fox News and talk radio conservatives.
And in a week when Democrats are celebrating the passage of a historic piece of legislation,Republicans find themselves again being portrayed as the party of no, associated with being on the losing side of an often acrid debate and failing to offer a persuasive alternative agenda.
Looking at the state of both parties after President Obama’s health bill win in the House, ABC’s Terry Moran elevated the view of “prominent conservative” David Frum, author a year ago of Newsweek’s “Why Rush is Wrong” cover story, who blamed Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for what he’s dubbed the GOP’s “Waterloo.” On Nightline, Moran contended “anger, stoking it, expressing it, riding it...was the Republican strategy to defeat health care. And over the weekend all that anger got ugly, as some Democratic Members of Congress were called vile, racial and anti-gay slurs.”
But, he warned, “in the wake of the Democrats’ victory, some Republicans are not sure all that anger makes good politics,” as if Limbaugh and other conservative leaders advocated yelling the “slurs.” Moran relayed how “Frum says the real leadership of the Republican Party during the course of the health care battle was not to be found in the halls of Congress, but on the air waves” since “it was talk radio and Fox News, Frum argues, that drove the GOP strategy.” Moran paraphrased Frum’s take:
It sounds like you're saying that the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, hijacked the Republican Party and drove it to a defeat?
It wasn't enough (as Brent Baker noted) for Time magazine to run down Sarah Palin's "anti-intellectual drivel" and twitterpate for the umpteenth time over Obama's "gloriously American mongrel ethnicity." They had to run down the tea-party movement by highlighting the media's favorite Republican strategist -- David Frum. Placed at the top of their "Must Reads" section at Time.com, Frum rounded out their trashing of the Tea Party convention by getting in the first Time digs at CPAC:
Ann Coulter made news at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by calling John Edwards a vulgar term for a homosexual. At CPAC 2009, Rush Limbaugh urged conservatives to "stamp out" those in their movement who thought the era of Ronald Reagan had ended.
Bottom scraped? Not quite. Next week, Glenn Beck will headline the 2010 CPAC.
Would it surprise Time editors that Frum is misquoting Limbaugh? He didn't say "stamp out" the moderates. He said "stamp out" the tendency to throw the Reagan voters overboard: