NBC’s Today devoted a full story Thursday morning to speculation that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush might run for President in 2016. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell vouched for Bush’s “conservative” credentials, then ran a snarky soundbite from Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent political strategist Mark McKinnon: “He said he wants to run joyfully, and in today’s Republican primaries, that’s pretty tough to do.”
Mitchell correctly noted how Bush is “at odds with his party’s base” because of he has “endorsed the Obama Administration’s Common Core education curriculum and he’s passionate about the human side of immigration reform.” But rather than citing a mainstream conservative who has criticized Bush, Mitchell instead employed a soundbite from gadfly businessman Donald Trump.
President Obama is currently on a week-long tour of Asia and all three networks took the opportunity to promote the tenure of Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. On Thursday April 24, all three morning shows sat down with Kennedy and heaped praise on the long-time Democrat.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl and NBC’s Chuck Todd both used their interviews to plead for Kennedy to support Hillary Clinton’s prospective 2016 run for president, with Todd beaming that “Ambassador Kennedy said she was looking forward to Hillary Clinton running and thought she’d make a great candidate. [See video below.]
Chelsea Clinton announced she’s going to be a mother this year. That should elicit the same reaction reserved for the daughter of any former president: a polite ... how nice. But this is a Clinton; everything with the Clintons gets filtered through politics. It is fitting (and equally crass) that this news is met with this reaction: "Hillary in 2016, does it help or hurt?”
Indeed that is precisely how pro-Hillary pundits reacted, leaping to profess this will succeed in adding warmth and humanity to Hillary’s image in the years to come. But put the celebration on hold. This was surely the same concept the Democratic pundits had in Little Rock when Chelsea was born in 1980, and the warm image never really stuck.
One minute the liberal media will tell you that Hillary Clinton is a tough-as-nails politician and stateswoman who is eminently qualified for the White House and in the next the same folks are in high dudgeon about how the former secretary of state is the target of mean ol' "sexist" and "ageist" Republicans.
Witness msnbc.com's Aliyah Frumin riding valiantly to the rescue of the poor sexagenarian damsel in distress/grandmother-to-be. "When it comes to conservative criticism of the Clintons, not even Chelsea’s unborn child is immune," Frumin laments, citing a New York Post columnist as her evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy to rain on Grandma Hillary's 2016 parade:
Since word broke on Thursday night that Chelsea Clinton will be having a baby, ABC has fixated over the news, devoting 12 minutes and 47 seconds of coverage to the arrival of America's new "royal" child. Yet, the same network totally ignored the latest delay of the Kyestone XL pipeline by the Obama administration (and the political ramifications that go with it).
On Friday morning, ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga hyped, "Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to." On Sunday, This Week avoided Keystone, yet the ABC program opened with an announcer hyping, "Chelsea Clinton's surprise announcement. Has a Clinton dynasty begun?" Host Martha Raddatz brought the baby up to her panel and fawned, "Very important question, what do you think Hillary Clinton should be called as a grandma?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Chelsea Clinton announced this week that she and her husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child, and the big three networks dutifully heaped enormous praise on the entire Clinton family. After the initial fawning coverage on April 17 and 18, ABC’s Good Morning America took the Clinton baby obsession to a new level on Sunday April 20.
ABC’s Susan Saulny began the 2 minute 3 second report by declaring “Prince George is doing wonders for the royal family's popularity. Look at those cheeks. This morning, speculation abounds. Could Chelsea Clinton's own baby announcement have a similar impact on an American dynasty? [See video below.]
It's time once again for NewsBusted. Click the play button in the embed below the page break to watch NewsBusted's Jodi Miller skewer Hillary Clinton, ObamaCare, and CBS News. To get be sure NewsBusted in your inbox by going here. To subscribe at YouTube, click here.
Who would deny that Hillary could use a little softening of her icy image? But when Andrew Ross Sorkin had the audacity to suggest that Clinton's impending grandma-hood would work to her advantage in that regard, the collective wrath of the Morning Joe panel descended on him.
John Heilemann, as is his habit, sneered. "Republican" Nicolle Wallace actually led the Sorkin scolding, suggesting it was "stupid" to think as he did. View the video after the jump.
For a moment, imagine yourself back in 2006, at the height of liberal aggression about the “imperial hubris” of George W. Bush in the War on Terror. The left's contempt for this man was rampant. Liberals savaged him for turning the world against this country. Keith Olbermann announced “the beginning of the end of America.”
Now imagine, in that milieu, if during the Bush administration we'd witnessed a mass shooting by an Islamist at Fort Hood. Or a terrorist bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Or a deadly terrorist attack on a consulate in Libya. Would liberals have granted President Bush a pass for any of these? Or would he and his policies have been blamed?
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.
On Friday night’s The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel, host Megyn Kelly took up the shoe-throwing incident with Hillary Clinton. “That was former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, dodging a shoe that was hurled at her during a keynote speech on Thursday. But this is not, of course, the first time that a political figure sadly has been targeted with flying footwear.”
She then showed the two shoes thrown at President Bush in Iraq, and brought on MRC president Brent Bozell to explain the disparity in media coverage. “And our next guest says the media's reaction to these two incidents could not be more different.” (Video below)
While HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius was getting a polite shove out the door, PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields offered a note of disclosure: “Well, first of all, let me just admit up front, Kathleen Sebelius has been a personal friend. For 46 years, I have known her.” He even oddly said she “stepped up manfully, to use a bad adverb” in taking the blame for Obamacare.
But Shields and his usual echo-chamber David Brooks disagreed. Brooks said she wasn’t a “dynamo” at HHS, which caused Shields to start touting her. Anchor Judy Woodruff had gently asked, like a good feminist, “What’s her legacy?”
On Friday, all three network morning shows fretted over a woman throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a speaking event in Las Vegas. NBC Today co-host Tamron Hall was particularly melodramatic: "I mean, but how scary is that?...Had it hit her, that would have been awful. It would have been awful." Weatherman Al Roker added: "Jeez, that's frightening." Hall declared: "It's hard for me to watch, actually." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The shoe was on the other foot in 2008, when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at then-President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. At that time, ABC and CBS referred to the shoe-thrower as a "celebrity" and "folk hero" who "thrilled the Arab world." In 2009, then-MSNBC host David Shuster actually cheered the release of the footwear assailant from prison. Tamron Hall happened to be on the show at the time and observed that people would have been "more outraged" if someone threw a shoe at President Obama.
Chris Matthews did his best on Wednesday to get Jimmy Carter to fulsomely endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, but just couldn't quite get a satisfying answer. In an interview on Hardball, Matthews began by noting how the former president has been "championing the cause" of "equal rights for women." He pressed, "Has a woman president -- has that time arrived? Obviously talking about Secretary Clinton here."
Carter proceeded to avoid the question and instead talk about women's rights in the world. So, Matthews, tried again: "Well, what do you think would be good about having Hillary Clinton president?" Again, Carter dodged. This prompted Matthews to later chide: "I expect that Hillaryland will notice the sin of omission." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Amidst all of the talk at MSNBC about whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, an interesting thing happened on Morning Joe on Thursday, April 10. Appearing as a guest, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine asked “What achievement, one sentence, what has Hillary Clinton done? What's her achievement in politics that qualifies her to be President of the United States?“
Hilariously, the entire panel, including liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski, was unable to list one achievement made by Clinton, with John Heilemann of New York Magazine proclaiming “when her book comes out in June that that's one of the questions that book is going to try to answer.” [See video below.]
In a major new development in the IRS scandal, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS chief Lois Lerner. FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story to the vote by the committee chaired by Congressman Dave Camp, but none of the three broadcast network evening newscasts covered the vote.
The letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stated that "findings" from the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Republican Camp, "suggest that Lerner may have violated multiple criminal statutes." The letter went on to add that "the Committee asks that you pursue this evidence." The three networks ignored this letter, however, although CBS and ABC talked about Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.
As I noted yesterday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when asked to identify a specific accomplishment during her tenure there, failed to answer the question, instead falling back on the Obama administration's tired "we inherited a terrible economy" meme.
Never let it be said that yours truly doesn't try to be helpful. Here's an "accomplishment" I can attribute to Mrs. Clinton, though I suspect she won't want to put it at the top of her resume as she promotes her anticipated presidential candidacy: presiding over an out of control agency. During each of the past four years, outside auditors have found that State had several "significant deficiencies" in its internal controls over financial reporting (of course, the last eight months of the most recent year belong to current Secretary of State John Kerry). Additionally, State's Inspector General recently identified "contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all." Though the IG's report was released on Thursday, it conveniently escaped coverage by the Associated Press until Saturday afternoon. The unbylined AP report itself was cursory and inadequate:
Several weeks ago, MRC-TV's Dan Joseph visited the Democratic Party's winter meeting to see if attendees could name a single tangible of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. They couldn't. It turns out that Hillary Clinton herself can't even do that.
Remember how Texas Governor Rick Perry was mercilessly ridiculed in the press for his 2011 debate brain cramp when he couldn't identify the third of three federal government agencies he would eliminate? At the Women of the World Summit in New York City on Thursday — an event held at, of all places, the David H. Koch Theater (you can't make this stuff up) — Mrs. Clinton rambled on and on in a response to a question about what she was most proud of in looking at her time as Secretary of State, but never identified even one specific accomplishment (HT Capitol City Project):
On Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell touted Hillary Clinton attending the Women in the World summit alongside International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde: "One of the highlights, their reaction when moderator Thomas Friedman of the New York Times suggested that Lagarde would one day lead the European Union and Clinton could become President of the United States." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing the clip of Friedman fawning over them amid a cheering audience, O'Donnell declared: "It was interesting to see that reaction about women ruling the world, the two of them together." Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: "Yeah. But it was a great moment between – to see two powerhouse women, I think, is always very exciting."
On Friday morning, CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted “On Hillary Clinton's assertion of media double standard, strongest complaints by her campaign in 2008 were against pro-Obama male journos”.
MRC's Dan Gainor alerted me that the responses from other national journalists about Hillary Clinton’s treatment of the press in the ‘08 cycle were surprising. Perhaps this should be a segment on Tapper's show where we can all learn more before 2016:
Our English-speaking media were very clear after the 2012 election that the Republican Party was demographically doomed, since all the voters "of color" were shifting toward Obama and the Democrats. They echoed the mantra of GOP moderates, stating the only way to political viability was through "comprehensive immigration reform."
What these analysts did not do was explore the messaging that Hispanic voters are getting from Spanish-language media. Has the conservative message been rejected by Spanish-language voters - or is something being kept from them?
After 20 years of activist journalism at ABC, it was announced on Thursday that Cynthia McFadden is leaving the network for NBC. The Nightline co-anchor has fawned over many Democratic politicians, but shows a particular affinity for Hillary Clinton.
Over the decades, McFadden has compared Clinton to Thomas Jefferson and praised her as a "rock star." On another occasion, she worried about the toll the 2008 campaign took on the Democrat: "There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say...this just hurts too much?'" With a 2016 candidacy looming, it's time to count down the top five worst examples of McFadden gushing over Clinton. [See below for videos.]
"The Navy has come up with a drone that can predict the weather several months in advance. Which is not to be confused with Al Gore -- a drone who says he can predict the weather a hundred years in advance."
The Washington Post gossips were "Happy" on Wednesday to report that hot pop star Pharrell can see into the future in an interview with GQ: “And by the way: We're about to have a female president. Hillary's gonna win.”
The Post did not include Pharrell’s trippy pop-star reasoning, including the thought that no female, “no matter how staunch a supporter you are of no-abortion,” will vote against Hillary Clinton or for abortion limits. Try and parse this assault on reason:
The journalists at ABC's World News on Sunday enthusiastically touted a fawning question from a Democratic activist to Hillary Clinton. After anchor David Muir insisted that "it didn't take long for a student there to ask a pointed question," college student Vrinda Agrawal wondered, "If you don't represent women in politics in America as a future president, who will?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
This is a tough question? The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and held at Arizona State University. Agrawal followed-up by enthusing, "I will proudly run your campaign." At no time did Muir or reporter Susan Saulny inform viewers that the student was a policy intern for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer or that her Facebook page includes pictures of her and Bill Clinton.
In a report for Monday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd described how "Democrats seem comfortable with the idea of a coronation of Hillary Clinton" in 2016, as "many of them are almost begging her to run." Meanwhile, he asserted that Republicans, "nervous about the influence of the Tea Party," were looking to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a potential candidate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The segment played a clip of one of Clinton's adoring fans pleading for the former secretary of state to run: "If you don't represent women in politics in America as future president, who will?" Moments later, Todd warned that Bush "has family matters to consider" given that "his own mother has said she doesn't want him to run." A sound bite ran of Barbara Bush remarking on the Today show in 2013, "We've had enough Bushes."
"Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has resigned from CBS News. Her major stories -- Benghazi and Fast and Furious -- will now be covered by this CBS reporter," NewsBusted anchor Jodi Miller deadpanned as an image of an empty chair was shown onscreen over her shoulder.
Other targets of Miller's sharp wit in today's edition of NewsBusted include perennial MENSA rejectee Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), the ever-"bossy" Hillary Clinton, and Colorado potheads. Watch the video here or by clicking play on the embed that follows the page break. Click here to visit and subscribe to the NewsBusted channel on YouTube.
During a brief visit to Washington, D.C., Deborah Turness – the president of NBC News – is slated to discuss the fate of the network's Sunday morning program with host David Gregory and executive producer Rob Yarin regarding possible changes to the format of Meet the Press, which recently saw its ratings tumble to their lowest point since the third quarter of 1992.
According to Dylan Byers, a columnist at the Politico website, the gathering is “part of Turness's ongoing effort” to improve the long-running news and interview show, which ended 2013 behind both ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation.
We've heard it all before. Here we go again. More of the same. Can't we just move on? Those are the sort of classic liberal pundit one-liners that Clinton apologists used in the former president's tenure in office to respond to fresh scandalous revelations, seeking to guide public opinion to scandal fatigue.
Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift is singing from that song sheet now as she seeks to shield Hillary Clinton in the run-up to her 2016 presidential bid. Here's Clift in her March 13 piece "Sharks are Circling Hillary Clinton," not-so-subtly comparing conservative Clinton critics to terrorists (emphasis mine):
No, "I'm not off my rocker," Ed Schultz told his radio listeners after making an off-the-wall prediction. Actually, two predictions -- that Hillary Clinton is a virtual shoo-in who will waltz back into the White House, and that Dick Cheney will cave to pressure from movement conservatives and run for president.
As for the first prediction, I vaguely recall many pundits saying much along the same lines ... back in 2007, followed by Clinton's highly-touted inevitability fading by the month after she was blinded-sided by an obscure senator from Illinois who could work a Teleprompter like none before him. (Audio clips after the jump)