In the days of the late Mike Wallace, "60 Minutes" was known for hard-hitting, aggressive journalism that asked the questions viewers wanted answered and held the powerful accountable.
The Jan. 27 program on which Steve Kroft interviewed President Obama (at his request, no less) and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell far short of that high standard. It was the kind of softball toss you might have expected if Oprah Winfrey or Barbara Walters had conducted the interview.
Contrary to CBS's Steve Kroft, CNN's foreign affairs reporters actually asked the tough questions of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in their Tuesday interview on The Situation Room.
While Kroft spun his foreign policy questions into softballs for Clinton and Obama on Sunday's 60 Minutes, CNN's Jill Dougherty confronted Clinton on Egypt and Libya. She started off asking if the Egyptian state would survive amidst bloody unrest, and then zeroed in on Libya:
As if comparing Hillary Clinton to Thomas Jefferson wasn't hyperbolic enough, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday practically begged the Secretary of State to run for president. The Nightline co-anchor lobbied Clinton, lecturing her about the "obligation" she has to "break through that glass ceiling." Yet, the reporter could only manage the most gentle probing into the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
McFadden pressed the Democrat to run in 2016, asking the question no less than four times. If it appeared, the journalist wondered, "that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Any answer other than yes seemed not good enough.
Over three programs and two days, ABC devoted 15 minutes to a fawning profile of Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday's Nightline, Cynthia McFadden even compared the outgoing Secretary of State to Thomas Jefferson, hinting that Clinton could follow his footsteps to the White House.
McFadden lauded, "There was a time not so very long ago when Hillary Clinton was seen as one of the most divisive figures in American politics." Noting Clinton's high approval rating, she announced this view was "changing." In an interview that, just coincidentally occurred in front of a statue of Jefferson, the reporter embarrassingly hyped, "As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out, was Secretary of State who went on to become president." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The headline NBC chose promote from chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell's Tuesday interview with outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was that Clinton really couldn't accomplish much given the situation she "inherited" from the Bush administration, with Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaiming: "...[Clinton] said, among other things, it's tougher these days to pull off the sweeping diplomatic achievements of the old days." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's Today, Mitchell parroted Clinton's talking points: "Clinton told me that it is hard for her to imagine waking up next week with no place to go, after four years and almost a million miles circling the globe. Hillary Clinton said the traditional way of doing diplomacy was not good enough for the crisis the Obama team inherited."
The liberal media's lovefest for Hillary Clinton continues apace. Andrea Mitchell’s interview with the outgoing secretary of state will air today, but don’t expect to see many tough questions. We already know what Mitchell thinks about Clinton, based on a comment she made on Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. Talking with MSNBC political analyst Ed Rendell, Mitchell declared of Clinton, “She has done such a job by everyone’s account as secretary of state.”
Except, of course, for that little Benghazi thing, which Mitchell acknowledged is Hillary’s major regret. And it’s a pretty big blight for someone who has done “such a job.” Such a job covering up the facts, maybe? Such a job misleading the American public about the nature of the attack? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Did you see that hard-hitting report on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, the one that charged that one of our nation's most famous leaders and role models is a shameless liar, a ruthless intimidator and even “incinerator” of enemies, a man who operates like the Mafia?
No, that wasn’t the interview with Barack Obama, alongside Hillary Clinton. It was an interview later in the same show about the drug-enhanced bicyclist Lance Armstrong. That’s CBS News for you – a guy who pedals a bike through France is hammered as if he is the most powerful man in the world, while the most powerful man is treated like a lovable celebrity -- because that is precisely how they feel.
On Tuesday's Starting Point, CNN's David Gergen smiled on Hillary Clinton's "wonderful farewell" at the State Department and touted her "very powerful position" for a 2016 presidential run. As CNN noted, Gergen once worked as an adviser to President Clinton.
When asked if anything from Clinton's term as Secretary of State would come back to haunt her as a presidential candidate, Gergen replied "I don't think so. The Benghazi affair, I think, will long be forgotten unless there's some smoking gun we have no idea about." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS's Steve Kroft made a statement Monday that totally epitomizes liberal media bias in the modern era.
Speaking to CNN's Piers Morgan about his interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the previous evening's 60 Minutes, Kroft said the President likes doing his show because "he knows that we're not going to play gotcha with him" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You see, according to Kroft (my paraphrase), "This whole interview thing was a surprise, and we were only allowed 30 minutes, and besides, there are so many other opportunities to ask tough questions in other venues. So why should I waste precious fawning time asking tough questions mere journalists ask when I can let the lovely pair go all gooey?" Exceprts from Bauder's butt-covering effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Brit Hume on Monday made some strong comments about Barack Obama's recent attacks on Fox News as well as the gooey interview CBS's 60 Minutes did with the President and Hillary Clinton the previous evening.
Of the latter, he said the theme was “Just How Great Is the Relationship Between You Two?” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting all day, CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday gave a gushing and fawning interview to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that should be an embarrassment to the network.
On Fox News's America's Newsroom Monday, left-leaning contributor Kirsten Powers said of this fiasco, "It really was something you would expect from like the state-run media...60 Minutes was transparently being used as a campaign advertisement" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN joined the networks in giving outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a cushy send-off after Clinton's syrupy 60 Minutes interview alongside President Obama. The network gushed over the "chummy" affection between the "political superstars" on Monday morning.
"Well, it's the exit interview everybody is talking about," hyped anchor Soledad O'Brien. "Hillary Clinton, the President, sitting down together, laughing, chummy, chummy," she added. "They really seem to really like each other," said correspondent Brianna Keilar. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft "ought to hand in his journalism card" if there actually were such a thing, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham concluded in an interview with substitute host Eric Bolling on the January 28 edition of Your World w/Neil Cavuto. Graham was referring to the January 27 puff piece that the newsmagazine aired in which Kroft failed to ask any tough questions of the president and his departing secretary of state.
"Look, this is Steve Kroft's history," Graham told Bolling. "This is the reason why we wrote a report called 'Syrupy Minutes.' With the Democrats, this is what they do." And yet, "This is the same show that broke Abu Ghraib on Bush's head. This is the same show that tried to destroy Bush with fake National Guard records." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell gushed over Steve Kroft's interview of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, twice emphasizing the supposed "warmness" between the two Democrats. O'Donnell asserted that the interview was "a long way from where they were in 2008 in that bitter primary battle....This time, they were leaning into each other. There was clearly a warmness between them."
John Dickerson later hyped how the Kroft segment on Sunday's 60 Minutes came at an opportune time for Mrs. Clinton, after her contentious appearances before a Senate committee about the Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya:
After gushing coverage on Monday's NBC Today over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "finishing one another's sentences" in a joint interview, a four-minute panel discussion at the top of the morning show's 9 a.m. et hour was devoted to the topic as well, with co-host Tamron Hall declaring: "I was looking at the body language a lot, other than the words, and they leaned in together...both leaning in like, 'I got your back and I'll be voting for you.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday could barely restrain the hype as they gushed over the "lovefest" joint interview between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. An ABC graphic even used an exclamation point, as in "lovefest!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Recounting the 60 Minutes segment, a credulous Martha Raddatz lauded, "From the moment they sat down to talk with CBS' News 60 Minutes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton seemed like they've been the best of friends for decades." Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas insisted that the "revealing and rare joint interview has everyone reading the tea leaves." The terrorist attack in Libya never came up in the ABC piece.
Following the friendly chat President Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had with CBS's Steve Kroft on Sunday's 60 Minutes, NBC's reporters could barely contain their glee over the duo getting along so well, with correspondent Peter Alexander proclaiming on Monday's Today: "There they were, side-by-side, at times chuckling together, it seemed even finishing one another's sentences." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander fawned over Obama and Clinton repeatedly patting each other on the back during the self-promotional interview: "The President said he simply wanted to thank Hillary Clinton for being what he called one of the finest secretaries of state we have ever had. But the mutual gushing did not end there....the bitter rivals turned partners showed just how far their relationship's evolved. The President lavishing Clinton with praise for her discipline, stamina, and thoughtfulness."
It's a reasonable question to ask because the Extra host's interviews of celebs like Angelina and Brad couldn't have been any more of a puff piece than Kroft's starry-eyed interview of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday's 60 Minutes. A half hour of softballs were gently served up by Kroft who acted as if he were overjoyed to just bask in the glow of his interviewees who ate up almost all the time praising each other. Oh, there was the obligatory question that Kroft was almost required to ask about Benghazi but it was delivered in such a manner as to be easily deflected by Hillary before the interview returned to full empty calorie cotton candy mode.
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker made a couple of predictions on Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
First, in a discussion about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, Parker said she wouldn't as "ultimate revenge" on husband Bill who "wants her to run more than anyone else" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported last week, America's media were in total swoon mode over Hillary Clinton following her testimony before Congress.
On Saturday, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas said of their behavior on Fox News Watch, "They're going to part the waters like Moses did the Red Sea to give her a clear path to be the first woman president...They treated [Barack Obama] as a Messiah, they’re going to treat her as the Virgin Mary" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Surely without intending to do so, liberal radio host Bill Press has providing a compelling argument against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
On his radio show this morning, the easily piqued Press sniffed in disdain at the sheer effrontery of Republican senators asking pointed questions of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. (audio clip after page break)
On Thursday morning, CNN's John Berman hammered a Democratic congressman who said the cause of the Benghazi attacks doesn't make a difference at this point. In contrast, anchor Soledad O'Brien didn't ask about the controversy over that remark shouted first by Secretary Clinton.
"But, Congressman – don't the facts always make a difference and doesn't knowing the facts and knowing them quickly always help in evaluating the situation so it can be prevented in the future?" Berman pressed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
At the top of the 9 a.m. et hour on Thursday's NBC Today, the morning show cast devoted a four-minute panel discussion to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton getting emotional during her congressional testimony on Wednesday. News reader Natalie Morales gushed: "She was speaking passionately about, you know, that heat of the moment. And also, you know, I think she just loved those people [who died in Benghazi]. So that was true emotion." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie observed: "I don't know if there's as much a stigma anymore from public figures crying from time-to-time. I mean, this is not somebody who is crying all the time. We've seen her well up in the past. I think this is probably the most emotional we've ever seen her." Morales proclaimed: "Right, she's a strong leader."
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared in Senate and House hearings Wednesday on intelligence failures in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were murdered last year, on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Yet the New York Times buried the story on page A11, in the International section, content with running a photo of Clinton on the front page.
Could Piers Morgan be any more of an Obama hack? After Republicans grilled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi attacks on Wednesday, Morgan unloaded on their criticism as "political grandstanding" showing "a whisper of misogyny."
"I've been listening to the Republicans getting on their high horse about this for a long time.Now I've thought a lot of today's criticism was political grandstanding in many ways," said the CNN host who has done plenty of grandstanding of his own from his high horse on gun control. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
ABC's Martha Raddatz on Thursday swooned over Hillary Clinton's Senate testimony on Benghazi, lauding the outgoing Secretary of State as "combative, charming, disarming and clearly ready for a fight." The Good Morning America correspondent seemed to enjoy the day as theater, hyping, "It was truly a riveting day on Capitol Hill...with Secretary Clinton as some have never seen her before."
Raddatz allowed that Clinton didn't convince "some Republicans," but returned to a style discussion. She continued, "But this was certainly a memorable way to close out her tenure." Focusing on the emotion of the Senate appearance, the journalist empathized that "when Clinton spoke of her four fallen colleagues, the pain, the memories were still raw." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]