An article in Monday’s U.S. News & World Report by Ken Walsh, a veteran journalist who covered five presidencies, notes a growing “unhealthy antagonism … between the West Wing and the mainstream media.” If the assessment is accurate, it could mean that the press, after four years of mindless obeisance to this administration, is finally ready to provide frank coverage, warts and all.
The sea change, if one is in the cards, started with the now-infamous brouhaha involving another old hand, Bob Woodward, and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling. Since Woodward publicly asserted that he was threatened by the administration, a number of White House correspondents have come forward to affirm that the press has long been expected to show deference and go with the administration-provided narrative or keep quiet.
David Axelrod has written Gene Sperling off as a political lightweight lacking the tonnage to have intimidated Bob Woodward in their dust-up over the sequester.
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Axelrod sarcastically asked "what is Gene Sperling going to do to Bob Woodward? Bob Woodward, who faced down H.R. Haldeman as a young man, feels intimidated by Gene Sperling?" You really have to hear the sneer in Axelrod's voice as he pronounces the name "Gene Sperling" to appreciate just how far under the bus Axelrod was willing to throw a fellow member of Team Obama. View the video after the jump.
There's a reason why Rush Limbaugh talks about "state-run media." On National Public Radio, Friday night's story on the embarrassing zero-jobs story included three experts for soundbites: current Obama economic spinner Gene Sperling, former Obama economic spinner Jared Bernstein, and the current Democrat Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, who blamed "senseless" congressional (read Republican) spending restraint.
It's not like NPR couldn't find a Republican anywhere to interview. Their view only came up when reporter Scott Horsley was discussing how reasonable Obama was being: "The administration's move to scrap smog regulations today could also be seen as an olive branch to Republicans and the business community." He didn't even say "proposed new smog regulations that would shut coal plants and cost more jobs." He just implied Republicans are pro-smog.
Give Gene Sperling credit--he managed to keep a straight face. Sent out onto the White House lawn to explain away the horrendous jobs report showing that the economy created no new jobs in August, the director of the White House National Economic Council actually resorted to blaming the economy inherited from George W. Bush, then making the mind-boggling boast that the failed Obama stimulus program somehow made an 11-million job difference.
Sperling was speaking with Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, guest hosting for Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Daily Rundown. View video after the jump.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on the December 7 "Daily Rundown" was uncharacteristically heated in his opposition to the compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax rates.
Interviewing a Treasury Department official, Todd used flawed statistics to malign the proposed two-year extension of tax breaks for all families as unacceptably expensive.
"The cost of this is astronomical though," proclaimed the NBC Political Director. "The payroll tax cut means essentially borrowing from the Social Security trust fund to do this temporary payroll tax. I mean, it's 120 billion, that's a lot of money!"
♪♫ ♪ Say, say, one, nine, three, zero, party over, oops, out of time! So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1929! ♪♫ ♪
It's the kind of rhetoric legislators in Congress were probably hearing following the economic downturn that occurred in 1929, which instigated the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 that sent U.S. tariff rates sky high. That is, the February 11 issue of BusinessWeek, showing all the disadvantages of free trade for the United States and ignoring the advantages.
An article, "Economists Rethink Free Trade," by BusinessWeek Washington Bureau Chief Jane Sasseen ignored the benefits of free trade and the consequences of enacting anti-free trade policies.