Later this month, running up to the Iowa caucus, Newsmax is hosting a debate in the Hawkeye State to be moderated by businessman, former potential candidate, and reality TV star Donald Trump. However, two candidates have already turned down the debate -- Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Jon Huntsman. According to the Paul campaign, "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity," and "will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues."
What do you think of the selection of Trump as moderator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
In an interview with Donald Trump on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hit Newt Gingrich for pointing out that poor inner city children lack role models: "He made some controversial comments recently about the poor and jobs....Maureen Dowd in the Times on Sunday said, 'Has he not heard of the working poor?'"
Lauer turned to Trump and fretted: "Did Newt Gingrich unfairly characterize what's happening in poor communities across this country?" Trump replied: "No, it wasn't maybe politically correct but it happens to be the truth....[Gingrich] is looking at the inner city, where Obama has done nothing..." Lauer pressed: "But do children in those inner city areas really have no role models who work?"
Updated [12:28 ET]: More analysis and full transcript added. Lauer goes after Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan.
In an interview with Donald Trump on Wednesday's NBC Today show, co-host Matt Lauer cautioned Republicans against rejecting the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement: "There are people in the streets here in New York. In other cities around the country and around the world. Does the Republican Party, if they ignore the Occupy Wall Street group, do they do so at their own peril?" [Audio available here]
Trump turned the question around and saw the protests as a bad sign for Democrats: "I think so. But I also think it's very bad for Obama and he's feeling it. I really believe ultimately it's more dangerous for President Obama." [View video after the jump]
CNN's new prime-time host Erin Burnett pressed Donald Trump about the Republican Party being a "smaller tent party" because of its conservatism on social issues. "Do you have any frustrations that the Republican Party still ends up defining itself by abortion stance or gay marriage?" she asked Trump.
Burnett even quoted rising star Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, who said the GOP must return to a "big tent" party status, or one more inclusive of social moderates and liberals. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Donald Trump on Wednesday upped the ante to his April call for America to stay in Iraq and take the oil as compensation for our efforts.
Speaking with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News's "On the Record," the real estate tycoon said, "We’ve lost tremendous numbers of great, young, beautiful soldiers. Those families should be given a couple of million dollars apiece from the Iraqi oil" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, companies that go overseas as a result of high taxes in America are "unpatriotic." The ABC host, who has repeatedly lobbied for higher taxes throughout his journalistic career, endorsed Warren Buffett's call for the rich to pay a higher percentage in taxes.
Talking to Donald Trump, Stephanopoulos cajoled, "Warren Buffett made another splash, saying it's not right, he a billionaire, pays 17 percent in taxes when his secretaries and receptionists pay more. Isn't he right about that?"
As NewsBusters reported, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) got quite a grilling from David Gregory on Sunday's "Meet the Press."
This caught the eye of real estate tycoon Donald Trump who told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Monday, "Michele was so unfairly treated...I don't think I've seen anything like it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Gallup released a new poll this morning asking who GOP primary voters support sans Huckabee, Trump, and Daniels. And it turns out...the race for the GOP nomination is still very undecided, with almost everyone gaining a little more support. Check out some of the poll's findings below the break and give us your thoughts in the comments.
Thank goodness for the royal wedding! It took U.S. media attention off Donald Trump for a few minutes. In case you missed it, President Barack Obama actually made a statement about Trump's search for Obama's official birth certificate, now made public by the White House.
One assumes the president took Trump seriously not to help generate free publicity for the "Celebrity Apprentice" finale later this month, but to keep the flamboyant real-estate mogul front and center as the face of GOP 2012. Trump is currently polling well. He's doing so because he appears to have a fearless streak when it comes to Obama. The Donald shows some passion, while most potential GOP contenders are comparatively on the sidelines.
President George W. Bush's nickname for David Gregory was "Stretch." True to his moniker, the elongated Meet The Press host gave a long, tall, three-part smooch to President Obama during his appearance on this morning's Today Show.
Speaking with weekend Today co-host Jenna Wolfe: Gregory reported favorably on: 1. the Tripoli bombing that might have killed members of Khaddafy's family; 2. the president's handling of the devastating tornadoes that hit the South; and 3. how the president and Seth Meyers supposedly got the better of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner.
Even at MSNBC, which gets crushed of course by Fox News in every prime-time slot, Cenk Uygur manages to come in dead last in ratings among his liberal peers.
So when Cenk claims that he doesn't want to cover Donald Trump but is forced to do so by The Donald's popularity, the baloney-meter starts screaming. Uygur opened his show last evening with a long segment on Trump, all the while apologizing to his audience for doing so.
There are different layers of liberal outrage over the demand to see Barack Obama's birth certificate, and leftist radio host Randi Rhodes took it to ridiculous lengths on Thursday. Somehow, these demands "wounded" black Americans in a way the Ku Klux Klan "never aspired to," even if this metaphorical wounding is a much lighter sentence than the death sentences the Klan handed out:
Now that we're done with the birther thing, and we have insulted an entire population of the American people - we have just absolutely wounded, you know, African Americans...we have wounded black Americans...we have wounded the President, we have wounded his family...we've wounded an entire population of the United States of America in a way that I don't think the Ku Klux Klan ever even aspired to, okay.
People are so devastated by what Donald Trump did, and the things that he said, and the racism of the Tea Party, and they've been frustrated for a very long time with whites who refused to accept or acknowledge that the Tea Party had been acting in a racist manner, that they were using covert and overt racism, they were using, uh, you know, things that were right in your face and the basketball reference...and all the other, you know."
Charles Krauthammer on Friday perfectly elucidated the media's hypocrisy concerning their avid defense of Barack Obama against attacks from Donald Trump and the birthers.
As the discussion on PBS's "Inside Washington" turned to the President finally revealing his birth certificate, and liberals on the panel including the Washington Post's Colby King expressed disgust about how the White House resident was being treated, Krauthammer marvelously replied, "I think it’s somewhat amusing to hear people on the left talking about how awful it is to delegitimize a president when they spent half a decade saying that George Bush stole the election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik erroneously claimed that NBC's Meredith Vieira "notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. Vieira...acknowledged those remarks passively." In reality, the Today show challenged the billionaire about the birth certificate issue, twice asking, "Do you believe he's [Obama's] lying?" [audio clips available here]
The media correspondent began his report by noting how "there comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief." After playing two clips from President Obama's press conference earlier in the day regarding the release of his birth certificate, he continued, "Mr. Obama said that for too long, the nation has been distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. Notice, however, the President's words didn't criticize the carnival barker. He criticized those who get distracted, like the press corps sitting in front of him."
[View video clips from Vieira's April 7, 2011 interview of Trump below]
President Obama chided the news media Wednesday for continuing to focus national attention on the non-issue of his American citizenship. "Fascinating how many of Obama's birther remarks…were aimed at the media for stoking this," tweeted Howard Kurtz shortly after the speech.
The birth certificate issue was a distraction, Obama stated, and the White House decision to release his long-form birth certificate was an attempt to re-focus national attention on the important issues, specifically his budget proposal. But which media outlets were most guilty of sustaining attention on the issue? On cable news, at least, the answer runs contrary to the usual media narrative.
As it turns out, one was 35 times more likely to hear about the birther issue on CNN or MSNBC than on Fox News during the week of April 11 through 17, when Obama was touting his budget. The cable network most often railed against as the birther-enabler was least likely - by far - to even mention the issue.
Tavis Smiley on Tuesday said the upcoming presidential race is "going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this republic."
When MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked his guest on "The Last Word" why he thought so, the PBS host predictably blamed it all on the Tea Party and Donald Trump (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For weeks MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been complaining about the lack of declared GOP presidential candidates.
On Tuesday's "Hardball," former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele exposed Matthews' hypocrisy concerning this matter marvelously demonstrating that once any of the possible candidates formally enters the race, the avowed liberal commentator is just going to trash him or her (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”
Media members better get their facts straight when reporting about Donald Trump or they just might end up biting off more than they can chew.
On Friday, while CNN's Eliot Spitzer was doing a report contradicting Trump's claims about his net worth, the real estate mogul called into the studio to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Don't be fooled by The Donald. Take it from one who knows: I'm a South Jersey gal who was raised on the outskirts of Atlantic City in the looming shadow of Trump's towers. All through my childhood, casino developers and government bureaucrats joined hands, raised taxes and made dazzling promises of urban renewal. Then we wised up to the eminent-domain thievery championed by our hometown faux free-marketeers.
America, it's time you wised up to Donald Trump's property redistribution racket, too.
Trump has been wooing conservative activists for months and flirting with a GOP presidential run — first at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and most recently at a tea party event in South Florida. He touts his business experience, "high aptitude" and "bragadocious" deal-making abilities. But he's no more a standard-bearer of conservative values, limited government and constitutional principles than the cast of "Jersey Shore."
In bridge, a trump card is held in reserve for winning a trick. In politics, Donald Trump is anything but reserved and appears to think he might trick enough voters to win the next presidential election.
There's plenty to draw on when critiquing a possible Trump candidacy. His multiple marriages (three) and affairs provide fodder for the media and contrast poorly with President Obama's "family values" image as husband of one wife and father of young daughters, whom he clearly loves.
Why is it that Donald Trump is a creditable candidate with a significant segment of Republican voters? In some polls, he runs ahead of all Republicans save Mitt Romney, and all I have heard him say is that he wants to see our president's birth certificate. Imagine if he would ask to see budget cuts from the president or revenue enhancements.
Frankly, I would like to see President Barack Obama's birth certificate, too. But on the other hand, I have in hand a copy of a notice of our president's birth printed Aug. 13, 1961, from The Honolulu Advertiser. That has to count for something, no? According to the notice, he was born Aug. 4, 1961, but there are a lot of other things about him I would like to know. For instance, I would like to see those aforementioned budget cuts and the revenue enhancements.
CNN contributor John Avlon, labeled an "independent," was all but sounding the death knell for 2012 Republican presidential hopes on CNN Thursday. Avlon took Republican criticism of notable figures such as Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann and spun it to tout that the GOP is in trouble.
"This is the sound of Republicans getting nervous," Avlon ominously sounded. "It really hurts the Republican Party in the long-term."
Anchor Carol Costello opened the segment with a clip of Bush's former senior advisor Karl Rove dismissing Donald Trump as an "inconsequential candidate" over his "embrace of the 'birther' issue." Costello added that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sarah Palin are under fire from other Republicans and conservatives for some of their own views.
Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose controversial stance on President Obama's birth certificate has made waves in the mainstream media during the past weeks, for one reason or another, has avoided interviews on CBS's morning and evening news programs so far in 2011. In fact, Trump hasn't done an interview on either The Early Show or CBS Evening News in over two years.
There are times when I watch MSNBC and wonder if there are actually producers paying any attention to what's going on.
Consider the following brief segment from Tuesday's "Hardball" wherein host Chris Matthews first derided a Dallas, Texas, reporter for being tough during an interview with President Obama and then immediately chastised Donald Trump for being displeased by the constant interruptions during his interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie (video follows with transcript and commentary):