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.]
Despite Hillary Clinton's current condemnation of Boko Haram for kidnapping hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, when she had a chance as Secretary of State to designate it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization she failed to do so as reported by the Daily Beast. That report stated, "The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years."
It will be difficult for Hillary to plead that it was not brought to her attention as she claimed in her defense of not providing more requested security for Benghazi. The fact is that she was publicly urged to act on Boko Haram, not from some website of the "vast rightwing conspiracy" but on the pages of the very liberal friendly Huffington Post as you can see in this December 6, 2012 article by Joseph Weissman: Hillary Clinton Must Designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about Monic Lewinsky's article in Vanity Fair magazine, correspondent Peter Alexander touted liberal spin that the former Bill Clinton mistress speaking out would actually help Hillary Clinton's political prospects: "Clinton watcher Ruth Marcus argues Lewinsky has done Hillary a big favor." A soundbite followed of the Washington Post columnist proclaiming: "Now if there's a Hillary Clinton campaign for president in 2016, we can move on from the Lewinsky scandal of yore."
In a discussion segment that followed Alexander's report, co-host Matt Lauer wondered to MSNBC host Alex Wagner: "How does this article, this essay, impact Hillary Clinton should she run for office in 2016?" Wagner argued: "Every time Lewinsky is mentioned, it is good for Hillary Clinton. It reminds everybody of her major accomplishments on the world stage. And people tend to be more sympathetic to Hillary Clinton than Monica Lewinsky because she is the woman scorned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC on Thursday morning highlighted more of Robin Roberts’ fawning interview with Hillary Clinton. On the issue of Benghazi and the revelation that the White House had a direct hand in creating false talking points about the 2012 terrorist attack, Roberts could only manage this lame effort: “Benghazi. The new investigation. Are you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what [sic] happened?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
That was it. No follow-up. No interrogation about Clinton’s handling of the incident that left four Americans dead, including a U.S. ambassador. Instead, Roberts moved right on to this 2016 gossip: “And the question I took straight from the audience, were you to run for president in 2016, would you consider Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as a running mate?” Continuing the softball questions, the Good Morning America host wondered, “You're going to be a grandma?”
In an interview that aired on Wednesday's World News, ABC's Robin Roberts flattered Hillary Clinton as she cited Clinton's popularity to ask if she was considering a presidential run.
"When I look at your Twitter page, you – the last thing you list is saying you're a glass ceiling cracker. And no one feels it would be better to crack that glass ceiling than to have a woman as president, and many believe that should be you," Roberts told Clinton. She did mention the House GOP launching a special investigation into the Benghazi attacks that happened while Clinton was secretary of state, but she allowed Clinton to distance herself from any more criticism. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Radio host Laura Ingraham dropped a dose of reality on the Democrats’ “war on women” narrative on Fox News Tuesday night. Filling in as host of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham began the show with a segment about Monica Lewinsky, who resurfaced this week to write about her affair with Bill Clinton in Vanity Fair. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ingraham reminded viewers that Hillary Clinton dismissed Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon” in a private letter to her close friend. The Fox News substitute host charged:
According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Republicans are using Benghazi like a "voodoo doll" against Hillary Clinton by establishing a select committee of Congress to investigate the attacks. Matthews opened up Monday's Hardball with his screed against Republicans.
"The enemies of Hillary Clinton, by that I mean the partisan enemies, have got their voodoo doll. It's called Benghazi. Every time they put the pin in, they hope it hurts Hillary. Every time they say the word, they hope it scares her," Matthews sneered. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Forget about the newly released White House emails – MSNBC personalities will never admit that the Benghazi scandal is anything more than a Republican talking point. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Richard Lui at least brought up the new revelations in the scandal, but he and his guests continued to treat it like a big, fat nothing burger. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Noting that the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about Benghazi, Lui skeptically asked Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, “[I]s this about 2014? Because we're just really months away from the election.” Sweet, being the liberal Obama acolyte she is, answered in the affirmative:
Appearing on Monday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz touted Democratic spin that the ongoing Benghazi scandal could actually help Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign: "I talked to somebody over the weekend, a Democrat, who said, you know, this could actually be good for Clinton because the degree to which the right is really after her helps her with her left....if she's under attack by the right, the Democrats across the spectrum will be more forgiving of her." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host and NBC political director Chuck Todd led off the exchange by wondering if the House GOP was just "playing politics" with the issue by announcing a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack. Balz declared: "I mean, I think the base of the Republican Party is very stirred up and continues to be very stirred up over Benghazi." Todd whined: "And they believe the worst in this conspiracy about the White House. And they believe it to the core."
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
The May-June edition of Politico magazine is out, complete with what it boasts is "the most comprehensive survey yet of [the] unique group of journalists" who comprise the White House press corps. The picture painted by the honest answers therein are not altogether flattering. For instance, we see just how much a self-congratulatory, conventional wisdom-spewing echo-chamber the group is with these two questions (see screen captures below the fold):
In their magazine, Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman offered this latte-spit-take Joke of the Day headline: “What Is Hillary Clinton afraid of? If she doesn’t run, the single biggest factor holding her back will be the media.”
The story’s final quote is from a royal insider to Queen Hillary: “She wants to be president; she doesn’t want to run for president...The worst part of running for president for her, clearly, is dealing with the press.” Thrush and Haberman began with a poor-poor-Hillary flourish:
“Clinton doesn’t talk about her faith much. She never, as [adviser Burns] Strider says, used it “as an overt tool to talk about who she is.”
Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer wrote this. She graduated from Vassar in 2012. So it’s fair to say that she might have few memories of the media's "Methodist moments" during the Clinton presidency. But is Strider’s claim too good to check? Checking wouldn’t take long. Try Hillary selling her memoirs with Barbara Walters in 2003, as we wrote in Whitewash:
This afternoon (late morning Pacific Time), Roger Simon at PJ Media had several reactions to the latest developments in the Benghazi saga, as new evidence surfaced of a White House "effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans." Simon's press-related assertion: "We will now see if there is even a figment of honesty in our mainstream media ..."
Though it's still early (but just barely), it's not looking good, my friend. Matt Hadro at NewsBusters indicated as much earlier tonight in noting that the TV networks have thus far ignored the news. Later, I'll show that other key online establishment press sources are also ignoring this bombshell story.
While a guest on the 92Y American Conversation program on Sunday, TIME magazine political analyst Joe Klein vented to host Jeff Greenfield of the Public Broadcasting System: “I miss being able to turn on a straight newscast” after returning home at 6 o'clock on weekdays.
He added that the only place he can find such a program in that format and at that time is the Fox News series Special Report With Bret Baier before declaring: “It is such an embarrassment to our profession" that the Cable News Network “has gone in the toilet the way it has.”
MSNBC's Ari Melber may want to brush up on his Clinton scandal history in preparation for a Hillary Clinton White House run. As he substitute hosted Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Melber mistook a reference to the infamous cattle futures deal for a criticism of the former First Family making money since leaving office.