The news that the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious investigation, was met with silence from the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) network news shows. There was no mention of the Holder hearings on Monday’s evening news shows or Tuesday’s morning shows.
The blackout of the Holder hearings continues a stunning trend. Since December 2010, when the Fast and Furious scandal first broke, there have been zero stories about the gunwalking scandal on NBC Nightly News and Today show. On ABC there was only one brief aired on Good Morning America. Only CBS has truly covered the story, mainly due to the work of one reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. Since Attkisson broke the gunwalking story, there have been a total of 30 full stories and 1 brief aired on CBS’s Evening News and This Morning programs.
Curiously, Attkisson’s stories on the gunwalking scandal have screeched to a halt.
Since last Thursday, when Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in denouncing the leaking of classified information which is suspected to have been divulged by members of the Obama administration, CBS has been dragging its feet compared to ABC and NBC in filling in viewers on the developments.
If an extraterrestrial had tuned into Good Morning America today and watched ABC News's report on national security leaks, he would have come away thinking the Obama administration was valiantly, aggressively pursuing the leakers. ET wouldn't have learned that there is good reason to suspect that the source of the leaks . . . is the Obama administration itself.
An attentive viewer might have noticed that the screen graphic referred to the White House and Congress being investigated. But the report by ABC's Pierre Thomas never hinted that the Obama administration was itself being accused of being the source of the leaks. To the contrary, Thomas framed the issue this way: "freedom of the press and the public's right to know is now on collision course with the government's desire to protect national security secrets." Translation: the Obama admin is, even at the risk of impinging on other values, leading the fight to protect national security. Gag us with a background briefing! View the video after the jump.
The Obama administration has done its best to oppose states from instituting new, stricter voter ID laws, complaining that many minority voters lack photo identification. But those same folks it wants voting in November are apparently not welcome anywhere near the First Lady's book signings. Something tells me that the same media outlets comparing voter ID laws to the Jim Crow Laws, however, won't see any hint of hypocrisy here, if they even report the story at all.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department have a new obsession to obstruct any state's passing of voter identification laws, even recently attacking South Carolina and my own state of Texas. Holder calls voter ID laws "unnecessary" and says voter fraud "doesn't exist," but new video proof in his own voting precinct proves otherwise.
Obama's administration says it's against voter ID laws because it is trying valiantly to keep minorities and the poor from being unfairly discriminated against. But the truth is that it is trying to keep President Obama in office. It knows that voter IDs are bad business for this White House's campaign and re-election.
Tuesday's CBS This Morning rolled over and gave movie star John Cusack a platform to spout his leftist political views. Cusack slammed the Obama administration: "The excesses of the Bush administration...[Obama] had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling....They've...continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration."
Cusack also played up "some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling," an apparent reference to the use of Hellfire missiles against American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Instead of bringing up al-Awlaki's connections to the Fort Hood shooter and plotting attacks against U.S. airliners, anchor Charlie Rose simply replied, "Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Can anyone think of an innocuous reason that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder oppose state voter ID laws?
Obama and Holder appear to view almost everything through the prism of race or, at the very least, use race as an excuse to justify otherwise very dubious policies, from immigration enforcement to voter intimidation actions to strong-arming banks to make loans via allegations of racism.
The Department of (I don't know what kind of) Justice has decided to drop its case again prolife sidewalk counselor Mary Susan Pine and pay her $120,000 in legal fees. DOJ had no case in the first place.
Deaths, guns, whistle-blowers and the highest law officer in the land stonewalling a congressional investigation are the juicy ingredients of a story network news reporters would love to cover – if a Republican were in office. However, when Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Thursday (February 2) before a House oversight committee investigating Operation Fast and Furious, the news was completely ignored by NBC and ABC (there was one full story on Friday’s CBS This Morning). The virtual blackout of Holder’s testimony continues an overall trend of ABC and NBC burying one of the Obama administration’s biggest scandals, despite continual coverage by their competitors at CBS, CNN and Fox News.
MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three network evening and morning news shows and found that while CBS aired 29 stories and 1 brief on Fast and Furious, ABC aired only one brief on the June 15, 2011 edition of Good Morning America. That was still better than what NBC did on their morning and evening news programs, as the gunwalking story has never been mentioned on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, in a report primarily about a Mexican mother accusing border patrol agents of killing her 17-year old son as he tried to scale a wall, did note that “In December, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with bandits.” However, Almaguer never tied the Terry killing back to the gunwalking scandal.
Well, let's see. During the early days of the Clinton administration, we had the sad spectacle of Treasury aide Josh Steiner telling Senators investigating the Whitewater real estate deals and the Resolution Trust Corporation that that he written untrue things in his diary, i.e., that "essentially .... he had lied to his diary." During the Paula Jones trial, the jury was entertained (members are said to have laughed) when Bill Clinton tried to answer a question by saying that "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
Soon, another insufferable howler may eventually enter the lexicon, courtesy of Monty Wilkinson, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder, namely, "I lied in an email when I wrote that 'I've alerted the AG.'"
Pete Yost's Friday evening story at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press, on the latest development in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal (that's my word, certainly not Yost's) has a "this is a boring story, don't read it" headline ("Prosecutor intends to take 5th if called in probe"), followed by an opening sentence which acts as if it has nothing to do with at least 300 Mexican citizens, a slain Border patrol agent, and thousands of disappearing guns.
Yost's opening sentence: "A federal prosecutor in Arizona intends to remain silent if called for questioning in a congressional probe of a problem-plagued gun smuggling investigation." Yep, Yost wants readers who don't get past the first paragraph to believe that it's only the "investigation" that's messed up beyond all recognition, not what happened in the Fast and Furious operation. Here's more from Pete's pathetic piece (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Is there, or should there ever be, a point when a state is no longer penalized for its discriminatory past?
Not according to the Department of Justice, which last Friday rejected a South Carolina law that would have required voters show a valid photo ID before casting their ballots.
Justice says the law discriminates against minorities. The Obama administration said, "South Carolina's law didn't meet the burden under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices preventing blacks from voting." Why South Carolina? Because, the Justice Department contends, it's tasked with approving voting changes in states that have failed in the past to protect the rights of blacks.
New York Times legal reporter Charlie Savage played softball with Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday’s front page: “A Lightning Rod Undeterred by G.O.P. Thunder.” The online headline even more strongly suggested that Holder was standing brave and firm against a torrent of politically motivated Republican criticism: “Under Partisan Fire, Holder Soldiers On.”
Savage has previously downplayed the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” scandal, when the Justice Department signed off on a plan that allowed guns to flow untracked into the U.S. and Mexico, putting thousands of illegally purchased firearms on the street, one of which led to the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Savage’s November 8 coverage of Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee omitted Holder’s admission that his initial statements to Congress about his knowledge of the gun-walking were "inaccurate,” while the Washington Post recognized its importance with Page 2 placement and a headline mention.
On Wednesday, the Politico ran a story about the International Association of Machinists Union at Boeing agreeing to approve a contract extension, the result of which ultimately led to the National Labor Relations Board dropping its controversial decision to prevent the company from beginning to operate a mostly-constructed plant in South Carolina.
Though it deserves separate commentary, that decision is not the subject of this post. What is germane at the moment is the howler of a photo accompanying the Politico's report which appears after the jump.
She is the Fox News Channel body language expert who frequently appears on The O'Reilly Factor. Reiman would have a field day analyzing the bizarre body, facial, and hand twitchings of Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich who sat behind Attorney General Eric Holder as he was being grilled by Representative Sandy Adams about personal emails that Holder might have sent or received on the topic of Operation Fast & Furious. Incredibly, even though this was easily the most dramatic moment in both form and substance of the hearing, and possibly all these Fast & Furious hearings, it was completely overlooked by the media as you can check for yourself in Google News.
The fireworks begin at the 4:50 mark in this video and the bizarre Weich body language follows the 5:00 mark. Also note the frequent audible "throat clearings" by Weich who twice rises out of his seat:
Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled by Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the Justice Department’s botched sting Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to flow untracked into the U.S. and Mexico, putting thousands of illegally purchased firearms on the street, one of which led to the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert.
Republican questioners even forced Holder to admit his initial statements to Congress about his knowledge of the gun-walking were "inaccurate.” But the New York Times's print edition completely skipped it.
The tally now comes to 30 members of Congress calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign following Operation Fast and Furious.
The latest congressman to call for Holder's resignation was Rep. Connie Mac (R-FL). Mack, who just last week announced he will be running for Senate, indicates that calling for Holder's resignation is a widely shared and politically popular view.
Do you think Holder will step down soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The Fox News host pressed the journalist on her revelation from Tuesday's Laura Ingraham Show, that associate White House communications director Eric Schultz "screamed and cussed" at her for her reporting on the controversy. Attkisson would only state that "the conversation, as you reported it, was accurate," and later added that "the point is really not the content of that. The point is, story-wise, it seems significant and important how people handle questions, and how they react when you ask questions" [video clips available below the jump]
That is the current talking point desperately being promoted by the Associated Press, and now picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, to try to explain away the selling of guns to members of the Mexican drug cartel by the Obama administration. The only problem is that the Associated Press left out a key detail as pointed out by Katie Pavlich of Townhall. First the misleading claim by AP:
CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed on Tuesday's "Laura Ingraham Show" the extent of the rage directed at her from the Obama administration for her reporting on the "Fast and Furious" controversy: "The DOJ woman was just yelling at me. A guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me." Attkisson also stated that "they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it."
The journalist appeared on the conservative talk show host's program at the bottom of the 9 am Eastern hour to talk about her latest reporting on the growing Justice Department scandal. She highlighted on Monday's "CBS Evening News" that "new documents...show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress."]
"CBS Evening News" distinguished itself among the Big Three networks on Monday by devoting an entire segment to the ongoing controversy over the "Fast and Furious" program, where the federal government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. NBC hasn't mentioned the story on its news programs since April 17, while the last time ABC covered it was a news brief on June 15.
Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported that "new documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress." After playing a sound bite from Holder's testimony, Attkisson continued that "at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing 'Fast and Furious.' They came from...Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer."
In early May of this year, Attorney General Eric Holder told Rep. Darrell Issa's House committee that he was "not sure of the exact date" he learned of Fast and Furious, but that he "probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.
Now, CBS News has obtained documents showing that Holder was sent briefings on the controversial operation as early as July 2010, nearly a year before he claimed to Congress to have known about the gunwalking program. While the Justice Department claims that "Holder misunderstood that question from the committee – he did know about Fast and Furious – just not the details," the video of the May 4 committee meeting suggests otherwise.
Do you think the media coverage of Holder's lie to Congress will be as minimal as their coverage of the Solyndra scandal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
American Spectator senior editor Quin Hillyer appeared on the Fox News Channel’s America’s News Headquarters program on Sunday to highlight the media’s continued silence about the Obama administration’s use of liberal ideology as a criterion in hiring lawyers for career Justice Department positions, even though the media leaped on similar accusations during the Bush years.
While Bush’s DOJ was subjected to media condemnation and an official investigation over it’s hiring practices, Hillyer recounted, “cut forward to the Obama administration and they are doing not just the same thing, but to the Nth degree. They are doing it far worse than the Bush administration ever did, without any, any attention until now, certainly from the big newspapers.”
Reuters appears to have taken the side of the Obama Administration in the Operation Fast & Furious scandal in which guns were permitted by the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms Tobacco and Explosives to be "walked" across the Mexican border via the sale to straw buyers. The Department of Justice has portrayed this as a mere "botched" operation in which "mistakes" were made rather than the result of malignant intent. And if you read this Reuters article about Attorney General Eric Holder's attempt to distance himself from what has been dubbed "Operation Gunwalker" they go out of their way to emphasize the "botched" nature of the operation which has been the administration line on this matter:
(Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday sought to distance himself and other senior Justice Department officials from a botched operation to track guns smuggled to Mexican drug cartels, saying they were not involved.
There are now enough Operation Fast and Furious officials playing hide-and-seek in the Obama administration to fill a "rubber room."
That's the nickname for taxpayer-subsidized holding pens, such as the ones in the New York City public schools, where crooked employees are separated from the system and paid to do nothing. Perhaps the White House can stimulate a few construction jobs by adding an entire rubber room annex for "reassigned" scandal bureaucrats at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's getting mighty crowded.
But now, under Eric Holder, the media have zero curiosity about ideological hiring. Quin Hillyer is amazed by a new investigation by Pajamas Media into the radical affiliations of political appointees in Eric Holder's Justice Department (like the "Queer Resistance Front"), and he's amazed the so-called "mainstream" media no longer cares about the Justice Department being too ideological to be professional:
In a late Monday morning report, the Associated Press's Erica Werner wondered why "the White House has yet to take any new steps on gun violence" he supposedly promised in the wake of the January shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Either Werner or the headline writers at AP are getting extraordinarily impatient, as seen in the headline which follows the jump:
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston touted Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to give detainees at Guantanamo Bay military trials during a segment on Monday's All Things Considered. Temple-Raston and host Michele Norris only featured sound bites from the Justice Department head, omitting clips from supporters of the military tribunals.
Norris began by noting the Obama administration's "major reversal" in their decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects in military court. After playing a clip from Attorney General Holder's recent press conference, where he announced the move, the host turned to the correspondent and recounted how " in late 2009...Holder announced that these five conspirators will be tried in New York City in a civilian trial. So today's decision officially reverses that."
Temple-Raston, who conducted a sting operation against U.S. border agents earlier in 2011 by wearing a headscarf and posing as Muslim woman, mainly acted as stenographer for the attorney general, though she did acknowledge the mismanagement of the rollout for the civilian trials plan: