The women of The View are sick and tired of people picking on Hillary Clinton. On Thursday’s episode the entire cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and guest host Roseanne Barr all took turns defending the former First Lady from Monica Lewinsky, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin.
Whoopi Goldberg, setting up the segment, noted Clinton was asked about Lewinsky in her People magazine interview and then complained that Clinton can’t get away from the Lewinsky questions: (video after the jump)
During a fawning segment on Thursday's NBC Today promoting Hillary Clinton's People magazine interview, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted the former Secretary of State's spin on the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya: "On Benghazi, Clinton said the chance to testify was the most important thing to her, despite a fall and concussion that's brought some Republican hard knocks on her health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie touted Clinton's thinly-veiled attempt to question the health of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan: "Clinton told People that 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told her he had suffered three concussions, one serious." Guthrie then noted: "Team Clinton has set up a rapid response team to address criticism about Benghazi during her book tour."
Ann Curry trumpeted that Hillary Clinton supposedly gave a "uncharacteristically revealing interview" to People magazine on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. Kelly O'Donnell filed a gushing report about how Mrs. Clinton apparently "has plenty to say," and spotlighted the former secretary of state's new book.
O'Donnell later zeroed-in on the upcoming arrival of Clinton's grandchild and asserted that this would give a "new dimension to her already well-known, often-scrutinized political identity." She also turned to a Washington Post editor, who played up that the former Democratic senator might gain a political advantage from the baby: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Alana Goodman at the Washington Free Beacon reports that the Hillary Clinton camp held a secret meeting with editors and reporters at The New York Times to complain about their coverage. The message: Back off.
Goodman writes “sources familiar with the meeting describe it as an attempt to brush back and even intimidate the staff of the Times.” This could be especially intimidating after the newspaper's publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. tossed out female executive editor Jill Abramson.
Those of you who are already claiming that Hillary Clinton's new book, "Hard Choices," is a joke might be closer to the truth than you think. It turns out that the real author of the book was a former writer for the Harvard Lampoon according to Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411.
One wonders if the same ghost writer came up with the laughable idea of giving the book the same title, "Hard Choices," as another book by another former Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance. Here is Friedman wondering if Hillary Clinton will give credit to her ghost writer:
Hillary Clinton is managing to do what conservatives cannot: get Benghazi into the news – but only to showcase her heroic efforts to take on those awful Republicans. ABC anchor David Muir on Friday night heralded how she “is ready to fight back on Benghazi,” trumpeting how a selective release from a chapter of her upcoming book shows “she’s taking on her critics.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz touted how “she comes out swinging. Her anger aimed at congressional Republicans who she accuses of politicizing the tragedy.”
On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully promoted quotes from Hillary Clinton's new memoir leaked to Politico of the former Secretary of State blasting critics of her mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "If there was any doubt Hillary Clinton's clearly ready to go on offense on this." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There's no doubt at all. In fact, there's a concerted campaign effort." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "...the former Secretary of State strikes a defiant tone about the attack and all the investigations into it..." Moments later, Cordes observed: "Democrats are going to see this as a kind of template for how to talk about the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the Clinton team is reportedly meeting with Democratic groups to explain her tone in the book so that everyone is on the same page."
Opening his Tuesday evening episode of Hardball, host Chris Matthews kicked off by essentially whining about new comments from Karl Rove about potential 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton. In the process he decried those ol' meanies in the GOP, seemingly forgetful that he himself has spewed all kinds of bile against conservative and Republicans from his perch at MSNBC.
You can take the boy genius out of the Hillary Clinton State Department, but you can’t take the Hillary Clinton acolyte out of the boy.
On the May 27 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the former special advisor to ex-Secretary of State treated viewers to a segment devoted to his former employer which lasted over five minutes long, a fairly long stretch of time for an hour-long news program. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
All three morning shows on Tuesday deemed it news worthy to listen to audio excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book. On the same day that Good Morning America ignored the leaking by the White House of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, news reader Amy Robach parroted Democratic talking points: "In the book's audio version, Mrs. Clinton describes making choices with her head and her heart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robach made sure to advertise a one hour interview Diane Sawyer will conduct with Clinton on June 9th. The primetime special will be followed by yet more promotional time with the Democrat on the June 10th GMA. On CBS This Morning, Tuesday, Anthony Mason assured viewers that the "upcoming memoir has nothing to do with politics." He added that in an author's note, "the potential presidential candidate says the book will not engage in political finger pointing."
In a surprising display of real journalism, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing questioned Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on the May 22 edition of “Jansing and Co.” as to why House Democrats recently backed down from their former position of boycotting the new select committee on Benghazi. She asked Schiff why he agreed to join the committee after having personally decried the process as a “red herring [and] a colossal waste of time” that should be boycotted by all Democrats.
After Schiff explained that his party leadership made the call that it would be best to have Democrats on the committee to ensure the “subpoena process” isn’t abused and to “guide this committee to do something constructive,” Jansing cut to the chase. “Is the main role for you and other Democratic committee members to protect Hillary Clinton?” she demanded, having cited a recent “Politico” article that noted how Hillary Clinton’s aides specifically asked Democrats to join the committee. [See video below. Click here for audio]
World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who once summarized Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign by connecting the Democrat to Jesus Christ, has landed the exclusive first interview as the potential 2016 candidate promotes her book, Hard Choices. Sawyer will talk to Clinton for a one-hour special airing on June 9. According to Politico, the former Secretary of State will also appear on the same day's World News and live on the June 10 Good Morning America.
A look back at Sawyer's reporting on Clinton reason reveals the reason she was chosen. On June 4, 2008, as the politician's presidential bid ended, the then-Good Morning America host quoted from a 17th century poem about Christ: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.'' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
George Stephanopoulos may no longer be a paid partisan activist, but he most certainly helps Democratic candidates and causes from his perch as an ostensibly objective journalist. Witness the interview the Good Morning America co-host had with Jimmy Kimmel on Monday’s edition of Kimmel’s eponymous late-night ABC program, which served to butter up former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, a likely 2016 presidential prospect.
Kimmel spent much of the interview peppering the This Week anchor with questions about his time working for President Clinton, including a question about the nation’s 42nd president “had ever brought” Stephanopoulos “to tears.” [See video below. For MP3 audio, click here]
If there was ever drop-dead obvious proof that it's more than fair to call the Associated Press the Administration's Press, it's in the opening phrase of the first sentence of the wire service's Monday morning report on the House's select committee on Benghazi: "Republicans hoping to ride their Benghazi investigation to a November election sweep ..." As far as reporters Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper are concerned, there can't possibly be any other motivation for holding the hearings.
Cassata and Klapper's agenda-driven drivel makes several trips into the land of "Republicans say," when the correct words should be: "The facts are." More crucially, Klapper completely ignored two reports he filed on October 10, 2012 which showed that the State Department "never believed" that the murder of Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Benghazi attack was inspired by an anti-Muslim video (bolds numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
MSNBC guest host Ari Melber devoted significant attention on Monday night's The Last Word to shielding potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from scrutiny, both on questions about her health and on her record as President's Obama's first-term secretary of state.
As part of that effort, Melber and two panelists tackled recent comments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) regarding Mrs. Clinton's handling of the Benghazi fiasco. Melber lamented that Graham was heretofore a member of the “serious wing” of the Republican Party who is flushing that down the drain in the interest in going down "what Jon Stewart called the Brainghazi rabbit hole to pull at her health in this theory."
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews did his best to cheerlead for Hillary Clinton to run for president during his Hardball program offering up numerous talking points to sell her potential candidacy to his audience.
On Monday, May 19, Matthews declared: “Let me finish tonight with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming not just the next president but a truly great president. Let me be the first to say that the elements are there: her political positioning, her talents and personality.” [See video below.]
Opening Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "Republican attempts to take down Hillary Clinton are in full swing after a headline-grabbing attack from Karl Rove. So will Republicans stop at nothing to keep her from running in 2016?" Introducing a report moments later, he wondered: "Is this just the start of a Republican strategy to persuade her not to run?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory turned to correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who declared: "...there is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton..." Mitchell snidely remarked: "It all started when Karl Rove, once called 'Bush's Brain,' said Hillary Clinton suffered traumatic brain injury after a 2012 fall and concussion."
Fox News analyst Juan Williams re-appeared on the radio network that fired him (NPR) on Friday. Halfway through the domestic-politics hour on the Diane Rehm show, they discussed the hullaballoo Karl Rove started by questioning Hillary Clinton’s transparency on her health.
While former Fox reporter Major Garrett said Democrats railed against Rove for "a completely illegitimate and, you know, indefensible approach to politicking," Williams insisted that the first-woman-president appeal of the Hillary 2016 campaign is a “steamroller” that is too strong for Republican criticism:
Via The Right Scoop, we noticed that young New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore – a veteran of the liberal opinion journal The Washington Monthly – thinks Hillary Clinton has a resume problem on her way to the White House, and it’s not Benghazi, exactly.
On MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. Friday, he said “I actually think that the real thing they have to overcome, the question everyone’s asking is ‘What was her biggest accomplishment as Secretary of State?’And you know, I just see flailing on this question, from her own supporters, I don’t see any good answer, or at least a solid, strong answer. It’s sort of surprising to me.” (Video below)
When last seen in these parts, the American Prospect's Paul Waldman was forecasting that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, "[s]ome Tea Party congressman is going to indulge his fantasies about torturing and killing her."
Waldman posted a somewhat more temperate item on Friday (titled Who Do You Hate?) in which he offered a few thoughts about why political activists loathe certain figures from the other side but merely dislike others. His bottom line: a politician's image and persona tend to evoke more intense hatred from opponents than specific things he says or does, though words and deeds are hugely important as well.
You can always tell when a network legend is retiring. His/her network blocks out most of a Friday night so they can remember all of the legend’s glory days. At 84, ABC’s Barbara Walters is taking a bow, and she’s certainly as synonymous with television as Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite.
Walters was a pioneer for female journalists on TV. She’s also an archetype for our liberal feminist media. In recent years, she’s competitively elbowed out other contenders in providing leading Democrats with the most comfortable of softball interviews.
Barbara Walters gushed over Hillary Clinton, who made a surprise appearance on the ABC personality's last episode of The View on Friday. Walters wasted little time before exclaiming to Clinton, "Why don't you just take my place on the show?" The host later exalted the former first lady as "someone we admire – and, for me, it's more than admiration – it's very deep affection."
Co-host Sherri Shepherd pointed out that Clinton has been on Walters' "most fascinating" list more than any other person. The retiring View host repeatedly used this label through out the segment, which lasted just over six and half minutes: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Continuing with the trend this week, Chuck Todd and his guests looked to protect Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove's remarks regarding her age and health. Former Democratic political consultant Mike Feldman -- husband of NBC journalist Savannah Guthrie -- took protecting Clinton to the next level by simply asserting that, “Nobody has been lied about more by her political opponents in a political career than Hillary Clinton.”
That's quite the claim to make, but Todd didn't bother to press him on that statement for being, at best, a touch too melodramatic.
The comedian tapped to take over CBS’s Late Show is showing no signs of diversifying his political comedy to tackle both sides of the aisle, preferring to heavily mock conservatives and Republicans while holding prospective 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton virtually above reproach..
Take the May 15 edition of the Colbert Report, where host Stephen Colbert devoted a five-minute segment to lambasting Karl Rove for his statement about Mrs. Clinton’s health.. After Colbert praised her “mastery of the facts” and her “unshakeable confidence” at the Benghazi hearings, he lashed out at Rove’s exaggeration of the length of her stay in the hospital, asking “Has Karl Rove lost track of time because he has a serious brain injury?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There seems to be a concentrated effort on MSNBC lately to dismiss certain legitimate concerns raised by Republican political figures as loony or unworthy of serious consideration. On Wednesday’s edition of PoliticsNation, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune killed two birds with one stone by simultaneously linking concerns over Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s health to the “birther” conspiracy theories. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Host Al Sharpton played a clip in which Comedy Central host Jon Stewart mocked Karl Rove’s question about the health of Hillary Clinton’s brain. Stewart dubbed the concern “Brainghazi,” and Page loved the term:
With over two years to go until the 2016 presidential election, the media are already trying to ban unflattering topics about Hillary Clinton. From Tuesday morning through Thursday morning, NBC, ABC, and CBS aired 9 full stories – totaling 20 minutes 12 seconds – defending Clinton from health questions raised by Republican strategist Karl Rove.
NBC was first to go after Rove and devoted the most coverage to issue, with 4 stories adding up to 7 minutes 42 seconds of air time. On Tuesday, Today hosts declared that Rove had "stepped a little bit into it" with his "explosive new claims" and Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed it to be a "nasty" Republican "smear campaign."
NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared on The Kelly File on Wednesday night to discuss the media's intense defense of Hillary Clinton after Karl Rove raised some questions about her fall and concussion at the end of 2013.
Fox News producers lined up a series of network stars calling Rove "reprehensible" and running a "smear machine." Graham accused the media of attacking anyone who tries to raise questions they don't care to get answered about the Clintons. (Video, some transcript below)
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Republicans, the American Prospect's Paul Waldman suggested Tuesday, are a bit like Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel inasmuch as they "can't seem to keep themselves from...turning the accusations up to eleven" on matters involving Hillary Clinton.
Waldman discussed Karl Rove's recent "traumatic brain injury" comments about Hillary and then transitioned to the broader issues of GOPers' "infinite loathing" for HRC and its implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, during which Waldman predicts Hillary will be the target of Republican "outbursts...more shocking" than Rove's.