Another day, another Hillary Clinton for president story by the Washington Post. On Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially joined Twitter. Today, the Post devoted a 26-paragraph puff piece to this development and on the front page no less.
Staff writer Philip Rucker all but begged Hillary to run for president in his story headlined “One-tweet wonder draws followers, and anticipation.” Contrast that with how Post editors allotted a mere 12 paragraphs to an Anne Gearan piece on explosive allegations about drugs and prostitution use by diplomatic security staffers who protected Mrs. Clinton. That story, blandly headlined "State Dept.'s handling of cases reviewed," was placed on page A2.
After fretting that numerous government scandals were becoming a "big problem" for President Obama at the top of Friday's NBC Today, in the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly engaged in reporting that was more enjoyable, the promotion of a new Hollywood biopic of Hillary Clinton ahead of the former secretary of state's potential 2016 presidential run. [Watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began the puff peice by proclaiming: "Hillary Clinton has been America's first lady a senator from New York, and most recently, secretary of state. But a new film called Rodham will focus on Hillary Rodham's days fresh out of law school." Mitchell's supposed news story devolved into entertainment gossip: "So who will play a young Hillary? Reports have linked some of Hollywood's hottest stars to the film, including Scarlet Johansson and Reese Witherspoon. A source close to the film wouldn't confirm that, but did tell NBC News Kerry Mulligan is being strongly considered for the role. The British actress most recently appeared in The Great Gatsby."
The New York Post offered an op-ed on Monday adapted from the new paperback edition of Ed Klein's book The Amateur. Klein says Team Obama and Team Clinton made a deal last summer: Bill Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte endorsing Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor. But after he won his second term, Obama had second thoughts about endorsing Hillary in 2016.
"Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down," Klein asserteed. "He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of '60 Minutes,' and offered an unprecedented 'farewell interview' with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today to promote his new show premiering on the Military Channel, The Brokaw Files, special correspondent Tom Brokaw fondly looked back at a 1993 interview he conducted with Bill and Hillary Clinton: "It's amazing when you stop and think about all that they've been through. That was 1993, it's 20 years ago, and they're still at the top of the attention span in this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the 20-year-old clip that was shown, Brokaw is seen lobbing this softball to then-President Clinton, as Hillary looked on: "How long do you think it'll be, Mr. President, before there's a first husband?" Clinton predicted it would happen "probably in my lifetime." Following the clip, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Well, that's a priceless piece of videotape."
According to Chris Matthews on Tuesday, having Rand Paul or Ted Cruz as opponents would result in an easy win for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Hardball host, who famously had a "thrill" going up his leg for Barack Obama, plotted the former Secretary of State's path to victory. Regarding whether she'll run, Matthews gushed, "It's just a question of what kind of campaign and who's going to help her win it?" (Other than MSNBC, one might wonder?)
The cable anchor predicted Clinton would probably be "lucky enough" to have Cruz or Paul as an opponent. Matthews lectured, "And I tell you, that's not going to be a complicated vote for most people." Before offering more campaign advice, the journalist actually insisted, "I can't put myself in the ring for running her campaign." Yet, a few months ago, Matthews did exactly that.
Politico’s Katie Glueck reported two feminists who’ve written opinion columns for The New York Times are still giddy about Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2016. Benghazi, schmengazi.
Appearing Thursday at the liberal Center for American Progress, former Times columnist Anna Quindlen asserted any gender-related problems Hillary encountered in previous races have been “wiped out,” and her gender would only be an asset if she runs in 2016.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was Jay Leno’s guest on the Tonight Show Friday, and he didn’t have kind things to say about the current White House resident or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At one point in their discussion, Romney said, "I'm not a fan of the president - in case you didn't know that."
It seems the liberal media are desperately determined to shield Hillary Clinton from any attacks on her handling of the Benghazi fiasco. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host attempted to blunt the criticism by suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s opponents have taken her memorable "What difference, at this point, does it make?" quote from her testimony in January out of context.
Witt was talking with Steve Thomma of the left-leaning McClatchy Newspapers chain about how far the Benghazi talking points fiasco will go. Thomma predicted that Republicans would use the issue against Democrats in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race. He pointed out that a GOP Super PAC has already put out an attack ad that excerpts Secretary Clinton’s angry eruption. But Witt had a problem with the way the ad used that quote: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
It's been a busy week full of news stories highly damaging to liberals, from the damning testimony about Benghazi to revelations that the Obama IRS targeted the Tea Party to yesterday's conviction of Philadelphia abortionist and infanticidal maniac Kermit Gosnell.
So we at NewsBusters thought we'd show you how some conservative political cartoonists around the country were dealing with these developments in this week's edition of NB's ToonsDay:
On Monday, NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep expressed -- in the face of all the evidence of Fast and Furious, Solyndra, MF Global, and so on -- that the first term of Obama's presidency was "remarkably scandal-free." When I challenged him on the factual inaccuracy of this, he tweeted in reply , "Hm, did I say it was scandal-free or that it 'has been described' as such?"
However passively Inskeep expressed it, he certainly agreed with it. Inskeep asked Cokie Roberts, "This administration has been described -- I don't even know how many times- - as remarkably scandal-free. But when you get into the second term of an administration, there's often some dirty laundry that comes out. Is that what's happening now?" Roberts agreed:
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes led the show by recounting the news of the "big, bad, scary" scandal of President Obama's IRS targeting conservative groups, but also chided Republicans for continuing to push Benghazi, which he referred to as a "witch hunt" and a "fake, ginned up scandal."
After reading a quote from a Tea Party group which brought up Benghazi in reacting to the IRS scandal, Hayes continued:
On Friday's Politics Nation on MSNBC, which was dominated by coverage of the kidnappings in Cleveland, Ohio, host Al Sharpton took a moment to note the Benghazi scandal as he accused Republicans of a conducting a "cheap stunt" and of pushing a "phony conspiracy theory." Sharpton:
If you were a journalist reporting on Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks, wouldn't you find it interesting that he was a Democrat who voted for Barack Obama twice?
Someone at NBC News didn't according to Hicks's attorney Victoria Toensing who disclosed the spike job to NewsMax host Steve Malzberg on WMAL radio Saturday (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, right-leaning FNC political analyst Charles Krauthammer recounted that the initial State Department reports on the Benghazi attack identified it as an attack by the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia, and theorized that the Obama administration must have covered up the initial reports of it being a terrorist attack for political reasons during the election campaign.
He also underscored the significance of State Department official Gregory Hicks apparently being demoted after criticizing the administration's story about the attack. Host Bill O'Reilly brought up Hicks:
"When Hillary Clinton testified in January, she got five [and a half] hours on MSNBC," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on the May 9 edition of his eponymous program. By contrast, the Obama-boosting "Lean Forward" network failed to show any live testimony from the May 8 Benghazi whistleblowers hearing. "They're a little bit selective," the Media Research Center founder wryly remarked.
At this point, the cable news networks are "not news networks anymore" as "they are censoring news" on Benghazi, even as they have compelling whistleblower testimony. "How can it not be news," Bozell wondered, that Hillary Clinton insisted she took full responsibility for the Benghazi fiasco and yet the review board she commissioned to investigate the State Department's handling of the fiasco failed to interview her? "How was that not a story yesterday?! This is such a coverup taking place," Bozell argued. [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
ABC journalist Jon Karl actually followed up on Wednesday's Benghazi hearings, exposing that CIA talking points on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack were "dramatically edited" a total of 12 times by the administration. In a report airing on Friday's Good Morning America, Karl explained to viewers that, between the first version and the last, "all references to al Qaeda and all references to CIA warnings before the attack about the terror threat in Benghazi" were removed. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An ABC graphic went so far as to wonder, "Benghazi Statements Not True? White House Statements contradicted." Karl quoted from Hillary Clinton's State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland. Playing politics, Nuland said of the information in the warnings, "[It] could be abused by members of Congress to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that?" An online version of Karl's story showcased a full paragraph that was removed.
Appearing on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor, left-leaning FNC political analyst Kirsten Powers criticized the behavior of Democrats in the wake of the Benghazi hearings in Congress, as she cited the testimony of official Gregory Hicks as compelling. After complaining about Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings's reaction to the testimony, she continued:
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC gave no live coverage to yesterday’s congressional hearings on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Instead, the network aired a mere six minutes and 20 seconds of a highlight from the hearings. Those snippets were spread across four hours, and some of them were redundant.
Contrast that with the way MSNBC treated Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi back on January 23. On that occasion, the liberal cable network broadcast a whopping five hours and 28 minutes of live testimony.
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes was gleeful over media coverage of the Benghazi hearings being preempted by both the story of three girls kidnapped and held prisioner for a decade in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Hayes flippantly referred to the crime stories as "the next Lifetime original movie" as he teased the segment at the top of the show:
The network morning shows on Thursday went into tabloid overdrive for the Jodi Arias verdict and an abduction case in Ohio, offering a staggering 56 minutes of coverage. In contrast, NBC, CBS and ABC allowed just under seven minutes combined to hearings on the 2012 terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. This is a disparity of eight-to-one.
Good Morning America proved to be the least interested in the national security issues raised by Benghazi. The morning show devoted 19 minutes to the Arias conviction and the kidnapping of three women in Ohio. Yet, whistleblower testimony in Washington D.C. warranted a mere 53 seconds. The four hour-long Today show on NBC spent 27 minutes on the two cases and a scant two and a half minutes on Libya. The most balanced network turned out to be CBS.
Benghazi hearings open in the House on Wednesday, and the New York Times printed a preview on page 16 of Wednesday's edition that downplayed any possible revelations about the Obama administration's reaction to the terrorist attack, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Testimony is expected by three State Department officials, led by U.S. diplomat Gregory Hicks, deputy mission chief in Tripoli, who said his pleas for military assistance were overruled.
Feeling reader pressure after the Washington Post led its Tuesday's edition by setting up the House hearings, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan addressed the issue on her blog Tuesday afternoon, posing a coverage question to Washington bureau chief (and former neoliberal economics reporter) David Leonhardt, who didn't anticipate hearing much new on Wednesday:
Have you seriously wondered why the media have largely boycotted the Benghazi story?
Dennis Miller has, and on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor Tuesday, he compellingly said, "If you’re the one who brings down Barack Obama, you will be out of the game" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Wrapping up a report on Monday's NBC Nightly News about a fresh round of congressional hearings on the Benghazi terrorist attack, correspondent Andrea Mitchell dismissed the development as political posturing by the House GOP: "There is an obvious political undercurrent. Republicans are taking direct aim at Hillary Clinton, the country's most popular Democrat and a possible presidential contender." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began the report by noting new testimony from Gregory Hicks, the State Department's deputy mission chief in Tripoli, Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack, "who said he called for military help from four more special forces operatives in Tripoli, but was overruled." Mitchell emphasized that Hicks was "a diplomat, not a military officer," just before quoting his statement on the lack of U.S. military air support during the attack.
It really is amazing how excited liberal media members can get when the economy produces 165,000 jobs and a 7.5 percent unemployment rate under a Democratic president.
So enthralled was Chris Matthews that he actually asked guests on the syndicated program bearing his name Sunday if this will give Democrats including Hillary Clinton "bragging rights" in 2016 (video follows with transcript and commentary):