Talk about your government shutdown. Conservatives would have enjoyed watching liberal TV reporters sputter if President Bush had completely skipped the first row of reporters and picked only friendly reporters, even writers for conservative blog sites. But the media elites would have thrown a major tantrum about censorship -- including Jay Carney in his tenure at Time magazine.
Put the shoe on the other foot, and the liberal media is pretty quiet. President Obama failed to call on TV reporters at his Wednesday press conference, even though he came to The Huffington Post for a shoe-shine question. Then Tommy Christopher at Mediaite pointed out White House press briefer Jay Carney aggressively ignored Ed Henry of Fox News twice at Friday’s briefing, so he walked out:
When we last checked in on Barack Obama discussing Benghazi on the network news, he was reassuring Brian Williams on the October 25 “Rock Center” that “We’re going to do a full investigation.” It’s a year later and it’s still “we are going to.” Last fall, Williams and Obama posed as curious for answers on how this disaster happened. Neither of them has demonstrated any noticeable curiosity since.
A new Media Research Center study of Benghazi coverage in 2013 on ABC, CBS, and NBC shows there are two routine modes of operation: (a) praising Team Obama’s public relations and (b) silence.
Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry said Friday that when he used to grill George W. Bush press secretaries Dana Perino and the late Tony Snow when he was working for CNN, his colleagues cheered him on in private.
"Then when I was at Fox covering the Obama administration," he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, "it can get a little bit lonely sometimes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
In an AP profile of Fox News White House reporter Ed Henry, longtime ABC News vet Sam Donaldson said he considers Henry "one of the best" on the beat now. "It's not that they are all afraid and cringe, because they don't," Donaldson said. "But it's so much tougher to do it in every way."
As a young reporter, Henry said, he looked up to Donaldson, best known for shouting questions at Ronald Reagan. "Now if you shout a question at Obama, you're somehow seen as a bad guy," Henry said. "I think some people have been cowed." AP’s David Bauder also turned to former CNN bigwig Frank Sesno, who naturally is still pretending Fox News is an opinion channel, unlike the Piers and Soledad Network:
The journalists at ABC News on Wednesday and Thursday hyped the President for "coming out swinging" and showing "presidential anger" by defending his United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice, over Libya. These World News and Good Morning America reporters downplayed the issue of what the Obama White House knew and when.
During the November 14 White House press conference, Fox News' Ed Henry spoke of the families of the four Americans who died during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. He directly pressed, "...[They] have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like for you to address the families, if you can. On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Instead of highlighting this angle, World News anchor Diane Sawyer began her program by exclaiming "...[Barack Obama] came out swinging in defense of one member of his team and ABC's Jonathan Karl was right there in that room asking questions."
As my colleague Tom Blumer noted, early this morning, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein posited seven "hard questions" they anticipated being raised at today's presidential press conference. "[W]hen he holds his first full-scale news conference in eight months Wednesday, Obama will have to explain how he plans to re-create his national security team, what he knows about the burgeoning [Petraeus] scandal and why he didn’t get wind of it sooner, " Budoff Brown and Gerstein noted, adding, "It’ll probably leave him longing to talk more about the fiscal cliff, the less titillating storyline of the week." The Politico writers then listed seven questions that they anticipated would be asked. Some of the predicted questions ended up being asked in some form or another, but I've excerpted below the ones which didn't get pressed in any fashion at all (emphasis mine):
Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.
Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?" [video clip below the jump] The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.
President Obama once again showed a thin skin on Thursday by accusing Fox News's Ed Henry of being Mitt Romney's spokesperson.
CNBC's John Harwood asked White House Chief of Staff William Daley about this the following day, and Daley responded, "There are certain people in the media who do seem at times to carry the water for certain piece of the political spectrum" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After only his third day on the job, Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry was accused by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney of intentionally "creating" a dispute to please his new employer.
"I know you're creating a thing here for Fox," charged Carney toward the end of a testy exchange with the former CNN correspondent during Wednesday's press briefing.
As members of the White House press corps giggled off camera, Henry retorted: "That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that."
Ed Henry's heated exchange Tuesday with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as Fox News' newly-minted senior White House correspondent reminded NewsBusters of times when Henry, as a CNN reporter, supported his old competitor against attacks by left-wing activists and a liberal colleague.
CNN's Ed Henry and Ali Velshi both think taxes should be raised in order to help reduce the deficit. However, neither gave any credence to the notion that raising taxes is detrimental in the current economic conditions on Thursday's "American Morning."
CNN's senior White House correspondent Ed Henry, reporting on the President's deficit-cutting proposals, remarked that in order to trim the deficit, both spending must be cut and taxes increased. This would mean that both Democrats and Republicans would be forced to vote for measures they wouldn't normally support.
Co-host Ali Velshi also agreed that higher taxes are necessary, and that since President Obama has had to "compromise," so to will Republicans and Democrats have to compromise on fiscal issues. "Just as [Obama] has come around despite what happened the last election, despite the end of the year deals, despite his own debt commission and despite the showdown, the President has come around," Velshi said.
Rick Sanchez, who was fired from his Rick's List program on CNN on Friday, certainly racked up a record of liberal bias, specifically bias against conservatives, during his tenure at the network. Sanchez also revealed a propensity for making on-air gaffes which made him a targets of comedians like Jon Stewart. It was the former anchor's animosity toward Stewart which directly led to his firing.
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. He consistently targeted conservative media outlets from that time until his firing.
ED HENRY: "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was because what a lot of people were missing in this whole fight was that"- BROOKE BALDWIN: "And it is a fight"- HENRY: "Yeah"- BALDWIN: "Which is fascinating, for those of us who don't understand the inner workings of the"- HENRY: "Sure, and then we can walk through the whole"- SANCHEZ: "Well, I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?" HENRY: "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?" SANCHEZ: "Yeah. I'm just wondering." -Exchange with CNN correspondents Ed Henry, a member of the board of the White House Correspondents Association, and Brooke Baldwin, August 2, 2010 [see video above]. Almost a year earlier, Sanchez hinted Fox News wasn't a "real news organization."
CNN's Rick Sanchez again hinted that Fox News wasn't a legitimate news organization during his Rick's List program on Monday. When colleague Ed Henry mentioned that several news outlets were petitioning for a front-row seat at White House press briefings, Sanchez replied, "I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?" [audio clips available here]
The anchor discussed the fight over the front-row seat with Henry and correspondent Brooke Baldwin during a segment 42 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin brought on the CNN White House correspondent to comment, as he's on the board of the White House Correspondents Association, which voted on the matter. Henry explained that "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was."
Sanchez responded to the White House correspondent's explanation with his Fox-bashing remark, to which Henry replied, "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?" The anchor retorted, "Yeah. I'm just wondering."
On Wednesday's American Morning, CNN's Ed Henry lauded former President Clinton as "one of the best politicians the Democrats have ever had...in the last quarter century" and touted his apparent credibility over current President Barack Obama. Henry also speculated that if "Al Gore...had used President Clinton more in 2000, he may have been president."
Substitute anchor Drew Griffin brought on the White House correspondent 26 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour to discuss the Obama White House's intention to "aggressively use the former president on the campaign trail over the next few months. One party official familiar with the plan calls it a- quote, 'no-brainer.'" During the second half of the segment, Griffin asked, "How can Bill Clinton do it all? I mean, he was picked by President Obama, basically, to rebuild Haiti. Now, they seem to be yanking him off of that and heading him out to the campaign trail, just to save the Democrats in the House in November."
In a June 30 interview with "Talk to Al Jazeera," NASA administrator Charles Bolden revealed that President Obama had tasked him with "find[ing] a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."
Among the media outlets that blacked out the controversy was the Washington Post, which didn't cover the Bolden controversy until today. Even then, the paper printed on page A13 a brief 8-paragraph item by the Reuters news wire:
"When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time," Henry said. "But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I've got to honor that commitment."
Shortly before 2 PM CDT, CNN”s Ed Henry cited a dismissive remark President Barack Obama made during his visit to Louisiana which could undermine his “I feel your pain” message, “but,” Henry observed live from a beach in Grand Isle:
If George W. Bush had made a comment like that along the beach after Katrina, you can imagine the kind of criticism he might get.
Henry recounted how a little earlier a New York Times reporter – displaying some surprising pushback against environmentalist exaggeration – pointed out to Obama how there are tar balls “'even when there's not an oil spill,'” so: “'How do we know this is from the oil spill and not just tar that's washed up? I've even seen it,' the reporter said, 'it's even popped up in my bathing suit.'”
To which, Henry recited, “the President made a little joke, saying 'I want to hear a little bit more about that tar in your bathing suit, maybe we'll hear about that sometime.' Which is just an offhand moment. Don't want to make too big of a deal out of it. But if George W. Bush had made a comment like that along the beach after Katrina, you can imagine the kind of criticism he might get.”
You really have to wonder what was running through Vice President Joe Biden's head when he leaned toward President Barack Obama and said "this is a big f**cking deal." Did Biden think that after nearly a year of campaigning for health care reform he was alerting Obama to something new?
But Biden isn't the first vice president to allow an expletive slip in a public forum in this day and age of a geared up media apparatus. Back in 2004, then-Vice President Dick Cheney let the F-bomb slip in remarks he made to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., over political disagreement between the two.
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Ed Henry raved about one congressman's collection of pens that were used to sign Medicare and ObamaCare into law. Henry responded gushingly to how Rep. John Dingell received one of the pens used by President Obama on Tuesday, and how he also has one of President Johnson's pens from the 1965 signing: "So now John Dingell has two of the most amazing pens" [audio clip available here].
Henry brought up how the current President used 22 different pens to sign health care "reform" into law during a segment with anchor Ali Velshi: "These are great souvenirs, obviously, when you have a historic piece of legislation." After listing how Vice President Biden and other top Democratic leaders received some of the pens, the correspondent noted that Dingell, the seasoned liberal from Michigan, also received one of the pens.
Jon Stewart said Thursday press reporting of President Obama's healthcare summit was so bad that if he had to score it like an Olympic event, he'd disqualify the contestants for sucking.
The comedian devoted a full ten minutes to the bipartisan meeting on Thursday's "Daily Show," and was largely an equal opportunity offender.
After taking what some would consider to be a cheap shot at "Senator Tom 'Killing Abortion Doctors Might Not Be Such A Terrible Idea' Coburn," Stewart quipped moments later, "That's Senator Chuck 'If I Was Any More Liberal and Jewish I'd Have T*ts and Be Barbra Streisand' Schumer."
But much of his attack was about the media coverage, especially toward the end (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Network reporters swooned over President Barack Obama hugging a woman, who has cancer and lacks insurance, at his Wednesday “town hall” on health care, as both CNN -- where Suzanne Malveaux heralded the hug as “a bold display of presidential concern” -- and NBC failed to point out how all the questions (just seven in total) were pre-selected or from members of pro-Obama groups. Instead, NBC's Savannah Guthrie showed a kid in a video (“My mommy and daddy have small businesses, and we need health care”) before she touted how Obama “solicited questions on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and in person, with a hug for a woman who says she cannot pay her medical bills,” while CNN's Ed Henry related “he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.”
CBS's Katie Couric showcased “an emotional moment” when “a 53-year-old cancer patient described her battle to get treatment she can afford.” Couric relayed how Obama “called her exhibit A in a system that's too expensive and too complicated,” but at least, unlike NBC and CNN, Couric noted the woman “is a volunteer for Mr. Obama's political operation Organizing for America” and “the White House invited her to attend.”
Filling-in as anchor on CNN's The Situation Room, Suzanne Malveaux painted Obama as a combination of General Patton and Oprah as she set up Henry in the 6 PM EDT hour:
President Obama has a message for some critics. He will get his way. Today he made a bold promise regarding health care reform. And, in a bold display of presidential concern, the President comforted a sick and emotional woman.
Dear religious pro-life Catholics, get over yourselves. Signed, Amy Sullivan.
Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but the Time magazine staffer practically expressed those sentiments in two April 30 Swampland blog posts wherein she suggests that even the pope wouldn't mind hanging out with Obama on stage at Notre Dame when he accepts his honorary doctorate later this month.
[Ed Henry's press conference] question is a misstatement of Obama's campaign pledge to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." Of course, before Obama could sign the bill, Congress would have to first pass it. And he's never expressed the hope that Congress drop what it's doing and prioritize FOCA.
Less than an hour later, Sullivan sought to marginalize conservative Catholics who are disturbed by Notre Dame honoring the very pro-choice President Obama:
CNN's White House Correspondent Ed Henry broke the laudatory ranks of the mainstream media and even with those from his own network during Wednesday night's primetime White House press conference when he questioned President Barack Obama about his pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.
As Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as Secretary of Health and Human Services on April 28, the media continued its biased coverage of her controversial appointment. News outlets ignored the reason GOP senators had delayed her confirmation - her pro-abortion extremism - and focused instead on the importance of having the Secretary in place to combat swine flu.
But the media failed to note that since the creation of The Department of Homeland Security epidemic-fighting efforts are no longer headed up by HHS. Homeland Security is supposed to work with the Center for Disease Control. The CDC is led by Acting Secretary Richard E. Besser since the Obama Administration has yet to nominate anyone for the top job, something the media, with exception of CNN's Ed Henry, haven't reported.
An interview with Former Secretary of HHS Donna Shalala on "Fox and Friends" April 29 asks if having no director at the department had an impact on the swine flu crisis. Shalala said, "If you remember we transferred the emergency powers for this kind of outbreak to the Department of Homeland Security when it was created. So that power is no longer in HHS. There is no question though that the CDC plays a lead role here and it's very important to get a CDC director as well as the Secretary sworn in."
There is a somewhat amusing article on CNN.com right now. It's not amusing for its wit but for the fact that CNN and Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry think they need to explain away the "tough exchange" that Henry and Obama engaged in during Tuesday's press conference. Also amusing is the fact that Henry seems to be apologizing to The One for simply doing his job. Finally, it's amusing for the fact that CNN and Henry think they are the news along with the president. It's narcissistic and revealing all at once. On top of all that it is amusing for whom CNN obviously felt the need to explain themselves to because for the last day the left has been outraged over Henry's gall at asking the president a simple question.
If you'll recall, on Tuesday (March 24) Henry asked Obama why he waited days to react to the outrage over the AIG bonuses that Treasury Secretary Geithner wrote into the bailout plan. Avoiding the question, Obama replied with a surly "Because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." This exchange had the extremists at DailyKos and the profane folks at Wonkette as well as the rest of the left-O-sphere worked up into a frothy lather over Henry's low down, hornswoggling ways. How DARE he ask the Obammessiah a pointed question! Why it's sacrilege, surely!
So CNN has dutifully whimpered no mas and tried to smooth the waters with this odd article explaining away why that darned ol' Ed Henry had the temerity to ask The One a question. It's an obvious effort to appease the gods of the left-O-sphere and other zealots of the Obamanation. Henry must want a talisman to warn off the lefty heebie-jeebies awfully bad to go this far.
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales basked in the glow of President Obama in what you cannot call a "critique" of the president's second prime-time press conference. Headlined "The Very Face of Victory," Shales began with a gush:
Most of the facets of President Obama's personality that have made him intensely popular were on display last night during his second prime-time news conference, and so he emerged from it still every inch "President Wonderful," as it were, untouched and intact.
Shales noticed the president looked tired, but suggested that’s what the people want, someone who’s working overtime on fixing this "ruinous recession." He noticed "Once or twice, Obama also seemed somewhat defensive. He was even a bit snippy -- though justifiably so, it appeared," on the AIG bonus controversy:
Why did it take a couple of days, reporter Ed Henry wanted to know. "It took a couple of days because I like to know what I am talking about before I speak." Whack! It was a little like an old-fashioned teacher rapping a naughty student's knuckles with a ruler.