At the beginning of a live interview with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered about the motivation behind Bush's presidential library: "So many difficult moments, so many controversial decisions you made. Some of them cost you dearly in terms of popularity. Is one of the ideas here...to force your critics to take a second look?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As the three of them toured the museum, Lauer highlighted an exhibit on the war on terror and noted how "it includes what was perhaps the most controversial decision of your presidency, invading Iraq." Lauer wondered: "Do you want people to look at some of the information you had, and do you think you'll convince the people who thought that was an unjust war, the wrong war at the wrong time, that perhaps you were right?"
Consider it a grim, hidden, unreported milestone, and yet another media failure.
The grim milestone relates to the increase in food stamp enrollment during the Obama administration. As Dave Gibson at Examiner.com noted on Saturday, the administration and campaign (as if there was any difference) did not release program participation data for August until three days after the election, roughly ten days after such monthly reports have typically been issued. What the data demonstrated is that food stamp enrollment during the first 43 months of the Obama administration has increased by more than it did during the entire eight years of George W. Bush's presidency, officially earning Obama the title of "Food Stamp President."
On Friday, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported on Twitter that Mitt Romney's campaign was "slamming [the] Obama Admin citing reports of sale of Solyndra headquarters for fire sale price of $90-million," and how "US taxpayers lost $500-million underwriting Solyndra loans." Even with this and other developments in the past month, CBS hasn't covered Solyndra since June 1, 2012 on its morning and evening newscasts.
Knoller noted in subsequent Tweets that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had defended the federal loan guarantee for Solyndra as a "merit-based decision" during an August 2, 2012 press gaggle, after a reporter asked about an impending congressional report on the scandal. Carney also stated during the presser that President Obama "firmly believes that it is the right decision to invest in clean energy technologies."
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule any day now on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far. How the media cover such a decision remains to be seen, but between 2004 and 2008 the Court issued multiple rulings tossing out key elements of George W. Bush’s war on terrorism, the policy centerpiece of that administration.
The MRC studied how the broadcast networks covered those decisions overruling Bush’s policy on detaining terror suspects, looking at the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage from the day each ruling was handed down — June 28, 2004, June 29, 2006 and June 12, 2008. On those nights, the networks aired a total of 15 stories about the Supreme Court rulings, totaling nearly 35 minutes of airtime. The results provide a template for how the networks might cover a decision voiding some or all of President Obama’s health care law — assuming network journalists approach their job without regard to partisanship, that is.
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory advised the Obama campaign on how defeat Mitt Romney: "What the President's got to do is say, 'Hey, don't forget about George W. Bush. Things got really, really bad under him.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer was skeptical: "I hear him saying that all the time....do you think that strategy works, the blame Bush strategy, or do people want you to take ownership of this economy at this stage?" Gregory was undeterred: "...they've got to prevail in providing context. Saying, 'Look, it's not about blaming the previous president, it's that the hill was so high to climb. And we're making some progress but the hole is still so deep.'"
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]
While co-host Ann Curry on Tuesday's NBC "Today" wondered if Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men" was "fact or fiction," on August 5, 2008, then-co-host Meredith Vieira touted Suskind's claim in "Way of the World" that the Bush administration's case for the Iraq war was "worse than Watergate."
Speaking of Suskind's latest work on Tuesday, Curry described how Obama administration "top officials are lining up to say they were either misquoted or taken out of context by the author." She then wondered: "Did he get the story right?"
CBS's Bill Plante inserted the oft-repeated media spin about the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina into his report on Monday's Early Show. Plante ignored the poor handling of Katrina at the state and local levels, spotlighting instead how "the stranded and homeless wandered the streets of New Orleans" as Bush flew overhead. But three days earlier, CBS brought on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as an "expert" on hurricane preparation without mentioning his failures.
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor stated in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Irene was not as bad as some thought it might be, but politicians were not taking any chances. They know what happens when government is ill-prepared for disaster." Plante began by spotlighting the Obama administration's response to Hurricane Irene:
In an unbylined update of the latest developments in the budget-tax-spending-debt ceiling discussions in Washington this morning, the Associated Press committed several blunders in attempting to explain what's going on and how we got to where we are. First and foremost was its list identifying "contributors" to the $8.5 trillion growth in the national debt since 2001.
He said it, he meant it, and there's no denying it.
On Monday, in a statement carried at the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the New York Times (Page A8 of Tuesday's print edition), and elsewhere, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that."
That sound you hear is a Democratic Party meme shattering into teeny tiny pieces. The attempts to put Humpty Dumpty together again, both by Panetta himself and the establishment press contingent following him, have been pathetic and ineffectual, which is what happens when one is up against succinctly stated truths.
On Friday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks barely touched on President Obama approving the renewal of key provisions in the Patriot Act, avoiding the kind of criticism they launched during the terms of former President George W. Bush. During that time, the networks often expressed "concern...that civil liberties are threatened as never before" by the law, as CBS Evening News put it in 2003.
ABC's Good Morning America devoted one news brief to the development 17 minutes into 7 am Eastern hour. News anchor Josh Elliott noted how "President Obama signed an extension of the U.S. Patriot Act. He used a device called the auto pen because the bill had to be signed before midnight Washington time." NBC's Today show devoted the most attention to the presidential action with three news briefs from Ann Curry at 15 minutes past the 7 am Eastern hour, and at the top of the 8 and 9 am hours.
On The Early Show, CBS's Jeff Glor's brief on the Patriot Act extension, which aired at the same time as Curry's first brief on NBC, gave the most negative hint against the law of the three networks:
When word emerged Sunday night that President Obama would be making remarks from the White House at 10:30 pm, viewers knew it must be important. When it began to leak that America had finally found and killed Osama bin Laden, there was joy from sea to shining sea.
The nagging pain that this radical Islamic assassin had never received American justice was finally relieved. Crowds gathered in front of the White House and at Ground Zero to chant joyously “USA! USA!” But for most, it wasn’t jubilation. It was the silent fist pump, and a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the safety of our extraordinary military. And a thanks to this president for his leadership in bringing justice to that monster.
Unfortunately, while the president spoke for the whole country in remembering the pain of 9/11, his remarks left a gaping hole. He made no generous bow to all the efforts of his predecessor George W. Bush as well as his team. My one regret is that Bush 43 didn't get this scalp. He deserved it more than anyone.
NPR's Wade Goodwyn noticeably minimized the presence of anti-illegal immigration conservatives from Texas on Tuesday's All Things Considered. Goodwyn tilted towards so-called "welcoming" and "tolerant" Republicans in the state by a three to one margin, and gushed over the "thousands of illegal immigrants building neighborhoods" during the "Hispanic-friendly" term of then-Governor George W. Bush.
Host Michelle Norris set the biased tone in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "In Texas, the Republican Party is changing tack on illegal immigration. The relatively welcoming, tolerant attitude embraced by George W. Bush when he was governor is waning. It's been overtaken by a flood of Arizona-style get-tough measures. Nearly 100 immigration bills have been written or filed in the current legislative session."
Goodwyn trumpeted how "Texas is now more than ever in the nation's conservative vanguard, and among its most conservative leaders is House Representative Leo Berman from northeast Texas, around Tyler." He continued by acting as if distance from the border mattered in the illegal immigration debate: "Though Berman's district is about as far from the Mexican border as you can get and still be in Texas, he's leading the charge on immigration."
You've probably noticed that those prices at the pump have risen considerably over the last month or so. But don't worry! It's not that big a deal! Well, according to Yahoo! Finance's Daniel Gross, that is. Why? Well, Americans are consuming less gas per capita than a few years ago, cars are more fuel efficient, and people are just plain getting weary of more and more traffic (and, hence, are driving less):
There's also evidence that Americans' long-running love affair with the road is beginning to wane a bit. Driving is less fun when you're always stuck in traffic. These statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show the number of miles driven by buses, trucks, and cars from 1957 to 2008. From 1990 to 2000, total miles driven rose from 2.17 trillion to 2.75 trillion, up about 26 percent. But between 2000 and 2008, total mileage rose less than seven percent, from 2.75 trillion to 2.94 trillion. Miles driven fell in 2008.
In a softball interview with retired liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Sunday's 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley touted Stevens's opposition to the court ruling on the 2000 presidential election: "He thinks [Bush v. Gore] is one of the Court's greatest blunders....There were many people in this country who felt that the Supreme Court stole that election for President Bush."
Pelley introduced the segment by proclaiming that Stevens "has shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive" and made "decisions that have changed our times." The decisions Pelley focused on were the Justice's most liberal: "It was Stevens who forced a showdown with President Bush over the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and Stevens who tried to stop the court from deciding the presidential election of 2000."
Americans will be in far greater danger of a terrorist attack after midnight Saturday due to House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), deciding to leave town for a break rather than vote on a surveillance bill that cleared the Senate Tuesday.
Sadly, the good folks at the Associated Press don't seem concerned, for instead of painting an accurate picture of this truly abysmal delay tactic by the left, the wire service chose to defend Pelosi and the Democrats while conveniently ignoring some key facts.
As reported moments ago (emphasis added throughout):