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.
Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, Political Director, and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, was at it again spinning for Democrats, this time Hillary Clinton, following remarks made by GOP consultant Karl Rove where he suggested that Hillary Clinton’s health may play a factor if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, May 14, Todd remarked that if the GOP questions Hillary’s health and or age “Then you may have to be throwing your own guy, Ronald Reagan under the bus a little bit.” [See video below.]
On her Tuesday 12 p.m. MSNBC show, host and NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was more concerned with protecting Hillary Clinton than holding the potential 2016 Democratic candidate accountable for refusing to label Nigerian kidnappers Boko Haram as terrorists: "...the alleged delay in designating Boko Haram as a terror group. This is being used to try to go after Hillary Clinton's record as secretary of state." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC national security analyst Michael Leiter tried to downplay the failure: "Designating the actual organization is really not the key part to countering the threat and attacking them at the source....do I think the delay had a serious consequence in this event or the path of Boko Haram? I really don't."
Amid the U.S. major media focus on hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan first reported a week ago that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure, despite being urged to do so by both the FBI and CIA.
Since that news broke on May 7, NBC, ABC, and CBS have aired a total of 51 stories on the kidnappings but only briefly mentioned Clinton's failure in 3 of those stories – once on each network – totaling barely two minutes.
Moving to discredit, as illegitimate, Republican operative Karl Rove’s inquiry about Hillary Clinton’s health, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams denounced the “smear campaign” oozing from “some very nasty politics.”
Williams teased at the top of his newscast: “Smear campaign. Are we witnessing a new GOP line of attack against Hillary Clinton and did Karl Rove take things too far?”
First, let’s get this straight: By very definition, Hillary Clinton actually did suffer a "traumatic brain injury" in 2012. She fell; she hit her head; she suffered a concussion; and she developed a blood clot which hospitalized her. A concussion is precisely a “traumatic brain injury,” according to official medical definition.
Thus, when Karl Rove indelicately -- and perhaps not wisely for political purposes -- raised a point the other day about Hillary Clinton’s health, based on the "traumatic brain injury" she suffered in 2012, he was technically on solid ground. What wasn’t so solid was the over-reaction by media outlets to Rove’s rather unchivalrous suggestion. To see the difference between the “pile on Rove” mentality and actual, balanced coverage, consider how CNN rushed to paint Rove as evil, compared to how Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza put the issue in broader perspective.
On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."
In an effort to promote Hillary Clinton's upcoming memoir, Hard Choices, on Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King proclaimed: "Former Secretary of State, that would be Hillary Clinton, says no one had a bigger influence in her life than her mom. In a excerpt from her new memoir...she remembers Dorothy Rodham and the lessons that she learned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
An extended clip followed of Clinton reciting her a portion of her memoir for the book on tape version: "Having her [Dorothy Rodham] so close became a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign. I'd come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out."
With his book entitled No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State set for release on Tuesday, the GQ website posted an extensive interview with radical-left reporter Glenn Greenwald in which he covers a wide range of topics, ranging from his continuing friendship with Snowden to his strong distaste for the presumptive Democratic candidate in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton is “banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion,” he told interviewer Michael Paterniti in a move that is bound to diminish his stature among liberal Democrats. However, Greenwald admitted, the "f**king hawk" is going to be the ﬁrst female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy.”
It looks like the MSNBC-Republican syndrome is starting to affect Joe Watkins, Alex Witt’s go-to GOP strategist now that Susan Del Percio has left the network. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Watkins joined his more liberal colleagues in defending the Clintons from Monica Lewinsky’s re-emergence in Vanity Fair. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
When asked his opinion of the whole matter, the strategist made it clear he was tired of the story. He erupted:
CNN's New Day provided Hillary Clinton with some free publicity on Monday, touting her "highly-anticipated" memoir while swatting back criticism of her as "a little amateurish."
CNN's Brianna Keilar reported on memoir excerpt where Hillary talked of her late mother, which Politico's Maggie Haberman called "a very human, relatable story" which was "supposed to let people relate to her, understand who she is, connect." However, when CNN brought up Sen. Marco Rubio grading Clinton's term as secretary of state with a "F," co-host Chris Cuomo dismissed that take. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) had some harsh words for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she plans to run for president in 2016.
Appearing for a pre-taped interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl which aired on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, May 11, Senator Rubio gave Secretary Clinton a grade of “F” for her time at the State Department and stated “I don’t think she has a passing grade.” [See video below.]
Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."
Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."
Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN’s S.E. Cupp had some harsh words for members of the liberal media on the Wednesday May 7, Crossfire about their treatment of Hillary Clinton.
Appearing alongside co-host Van Jones and guests Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, and The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, Cupp condemned the media for how they cover Hillary: “It seems as if there is a bubble around Hillary. Liberals are very cagy. There's a whole list of things you cannot bring up when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Her past is one of them.” [See video below.]