After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.
Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?" [video clip below the jump] The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.
Barack Obama's political tone has become progressively more partisan since his "no red states, no blue states just the United States" warm 'n fuzziness at the 2004 Dem convention. But President Obama's rhetoric is still not harsh enough to suit Mike Barnicle.
On Morning Joe today, the former Boston Globe columnist demanded to know of Obama press sec Jay Carney just when the president was going to stop "swinging at air" and start calling out Republicans by name. Video after the jump.
At the Associated Press this afternoon, White House Correspondent Ben Feller relayed the essence of a statement by Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney about how the President believes that, in Feller's words, "it's up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations." Feller failed to mention both the President's previous endorsement of the goals of the Occupy protesters, and his inexcusable silence as the encampments have devolved into disease-infested swamps of criminal and antisocial behavior. How convenient.
While ABC didn't find time for the James Hoffa outburst this morning, ABC reporter Jake Tapper repeatedly engaged White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday on the question of whether Obama felt Hoffa was in the spirit of Obama's January speech in Tucson about the need for civility.
Carney repeatedly backed away from the opportunity to distance the president from Obama (other than lamely claiming he hadn't arrived yet). Carney claimed there's a "ritual in Washington" to press for disavowal, but Obama wasn't present. There's also a "ritual in Washington" where a president doesn't want to upset his liberal/leftist base, which is clearly being observed. Here's a look at the Tapper-Carney exchanges as transcribed by MRC's Scott Whitlock:
CBS's Bill Plante hyped the supposedly "testy confrontation" between President Obama and Speaker Boehner on Thursday's Early Show over scheduling a presidential address to Congress: "This may prove that there is no argument too petty in today's Washington." By contrast, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Norah O'Donnell placed more blame on Obama for giving Boehner only a "15-minute heads-up."
Plante began with his "petty" line during his report just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour, and added that "it was the timing of the President's speech that became the subject of a testy confrontation between the President and the Speaker, and the Speaker won." An on-screen graphic trumpeted the "speech spat: Obama & Boehner spar over jobs address."
President Barack Obama attacked the Republican presidential candidates Monday as part of a taxpayer-funded bus tour that the White House insists is not campaign-related.
The president’s three-day bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois is supposed to focus on jobs. But during a town hall meeting in Cannon Falls, Minn., Obama mentioned last Thursday’s Republican debate in Ames, Iowa, and he criticized the candidates for saying they would not accept any deficit-reduction deal that includes tax increases.
In 2001, the then-Time magazine reporter wrote a snarky piece criticizing President George W. Bush's month-long vacation that was billed as a "Home to the Heartland" tour. But almost exactly 10 years later Carney, now the Obama White House's press secretary, is defending President Barack Obama's Midwest job-creation tour and vacation at Martha's Vineyard.
"I don't think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the President would spend some time with his family," claimed Carney at a recent press briefing.
After only his third day on the job, Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry was accused by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney of intentionally "creating" a dispute to please his new employer.
"I know you're creating a thing here for Fox," charged Carney toward the end of a testy exchange with the former CNN correspondent during Wednesday's press briefing.
As members of the White House press corps giggled off camera, Henry retorted: "That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that."
Wu-hoo! Welcome to another freaky ethics fiasco brought to you by the D.C. den of dysfunctional Democrats. This one comes clothed in a Tigger costume, wrapped in blinders and bathed in the fetid Beltway odor of eau de Pass le Buck.
Liberal David Wu is a seven-term Democratic congressman from Oregon who announced Tuesday that he'll resign amid a festering sex scandal involving the teenage daughter of a longtime campaign donor. He won't, however, be vacating public office until "the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis." Translation: Call off the U-Haul trucks. Wu's staying awhile.
Despite the fact that the White House press corps is comprised mostly of members who are ardent liberal Democrats who want to see President Obama triumph over Republicans, it has grown increasingly clear that the feeling of respect is not mutual.
The White House made that apparent today by laying down a new rule for reporters covering Obama's news conferences there: No more shouting questions at the president.
Jay Carney admits calling MSNBC yesterday to complain about Mark Halperin's crack [that we were first to report] that the President, at his Wednesday press conference, acted like a "d--k." Did the White House press secretary take the opportunity of his call to pressure the show to bring on more pro-Obama flacks?
The question arises because on today's show, Mika Brzezinski revealed that "we're getting hit a lot lately for not bringing on people who speak on behalf of the White House and really stick up for the President."
Barack Obama's confusing one living American war hero with a fallen one he honored in 2009, has been completely ignored by the Big Three Networks shows, including the same NBC Nightly News that threw a fit over Sarah Palin's recent recounting of an event over 200 years ago, Paul Revere's ride.
Thursday’s New York Times featured a puffball profile by Jeremy Peters of Jay Carney, the recently installed White House press secretary and former reporter for Time magazine undergoing a trial by fire in the wake of international crises. Carney left Time after the election to become communications director for Vice President Biden before getting his White House promotion.
His former colleagues at Time never knew which politicians he voted for. He complained privately that he felt the magazine’s coverage of the 2008 election -- the one that put his current boss in the White House -- was too lopsided toward Barack Obama.
Jay Carney just assumed his new post as White House press secretary yesterday, but he already finds himself embroiled in controversy.
Despite leaving Time magazine shortly after the 2008 election to work for the Obama administration, Carney continued collecting payments from his former employer in 2009, Politico reported today.
According to newly released financial disclosure forms, Carney was paid $270,000 by Time while serving as Vice President Joe Biden's communications director, consisting of a $58,000 bonus for work during the 2008 presidential campaign and a $212,000 severance payment.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and Jake Tapper on Friday addressed the fact that Barack Obama's New press secretary, Jay Carney, is the husband of ABC reporter Claire Shipman. Stephanopoulos, discussing the couple, declared, "He and Claire actually appeared many times on This Week when I was the anchor. And, of course, Claire will now not be covering the White House."
Stephanopoulos, it should be noted, underwent the reverse career course of Carney. The GMA co-anchor began as a Democratic operative and then became a journalist. (Carney wrote for Time magazine before going to work for Vice President Joe Biden.)
Although Stephanopoulos tried to minimize the conflict of interest, insisting Shipman will no longer be covering "the White House," he didn't explain if that included the 2012 presidential race, the opponent's of her husband's boss and other issues relating to the administration.
The White House on Thursday named Jay Carney, the husband of ABC News reporter Claire Shipman, to be the new White House Press secretary. Carney is also an ex-journalist, formally of Time magazine.
Will this appointment prove to be a conflict of interest for Shipman? Will she continue to report on the Obama administration? Shipman whose title is senior national correspondent, often covers political stories and has a reputation as an activist liberal. In 2008, she hailed Barack Obama, the now-boss of her husband, as "brave" for a speech disassociating himself with radical preacher Jeremiah Wright. In 2007, she fawned over Obama's "fluid poetry."
In 2000, she lauded Al Gore as a "pretty conservative Democrat." In 2004, discussing former Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, she ltouted him as "generally regarded" for being "the man who broke down the ‘Iron Curtain.'"
The Associated Press is reporting that former TIME magazine reporter and current Biden director of communications Jay Carney has been tapped to replace Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary. Carney is being credited for softening (and even destroying) the image of Vice President Biden as a gaffe machine -- as if the media haven't tried to help.
For our NewsBusters archive on Carney, whose Time byline was James Carney, click here.
Following the path of CNN Middle East correspondent Aneesh Raman and producer Kate Albright-Hanna, who both jumped aboard the Obama campaign last year, senior political producer Sasha Johnson this week announced she's leaving the network's Washington bureau to take the Press Secretary slot at the Department of Transportation. She won't be the only media vet in that shop. As The Politico's Michael Calderone noted Monday night in reporting Johnson's move, former Chicago Tribune Washington correspondent Jill Zuckman “already headed to Transportation in February, becoming Director of Public Affairs and assistant to Secretary Ray LaHood.”
Plus, in the past month or so, two other DC journalists accepted administration positions. ABC's long-time Justice Department correspondent, Beverley Lumpkin, who mostly handled radio news, in April joined the very department she covered for so many years, prompting a Washington Post blogger to quip on Tuesday that she's “turning sources into colleagues.” Speaking of the Washington Post, its former science reporter, Rick Weiss, is now advancing Obama policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology.
So far, by my count, at least ten mainstream media journalists have revolved into positions toiling for the Obama campaign, transition or administration. And that doesn't count CNN's Sanjay Gupta, whom the administration courted for Surgeon General; nor long-time NBC News anchor and reporter Jane Pauley who campaigned for Obama last fall in her native Indiana.
In case you were worried, former Time magazine staffer Jay Carney has "had very little trouble adapting" to his job as Vice President Biden's director of communications. From a recent interview with Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers published in the March 12 paper:
[Akers]: You left journalism after 20 years with Time. How is life on the other side?
Carney: It's great. I have had very little trouble adapting to this new role, which is completely different from what I was doing before.
Carney also insisted that while he was just sort of swept into the Obama administration during the post-election transition period, he never was a leg-thrilling puddle of drool like others in the media:
In one of the most comical Politico stories I have ever encountered, several prominent journalists insisted that the revolving door between the media and liberal Democrats, especially Team Obama, is not a symptom of bias. Instead, they blamed the trend on the economy:
In three months since Election Day, at least a half-dozen prominent journalists have taken jobs working for the federal government.
Journalists, including some of those who’ve jumped ship, say it’s better to have a solid job in government than a shaky job — or none at all — in an industry that’s fading fast.
Time magazine's Jay Carney moved on to do communications work for Vice President Biden. CNN's Sanjay Gupta has been placed on Obama's short list for U.S. Surgeon General. Former ABC reporter Linda Douglass was an advisor on the Obama campaign and was slated to do PR work for Tom Daschle at HHS. [audio excerpt here]
Those are just three examples of the "media wing of the Democratic Party," MRC Director of Communications Seton Motley told viewers of the February 4 "Fox & Friends."
What's more, the revolving door between journalism and the staffs of liberal politicians is nothing new, Motley added that, "[i]n the first two years of the Clinton administration, 33 journalists joined the Clinton administration, so yes, there's a history of this."
Time magazine's Jay Carney, who said over the summer that Joseph R. Biden Jr. is "incredibly prone to say the wrong thing," will soon be in charge of ensuring that doesn't happen again.
In July, before Barack Obama picked the senator from Delaware as his running mate, Carney said on MSNBC that "Biden may be the answer" because of his foreign policy credentials. The "downside," Carney said, is that Biden has said the wrong thing "throughout his career. . . . He's smart, but he speaks -- shoots from the hip and sometimes says just wrong thing at the wrong time."
Time's Washington bureau chief Jay Carney is quitting his magazine post to take the fearsome task of managing the communications problems of incoming vice president Joe Biden.
This hardly comes as a surprise. During his tenure at Time, Carney accrued a reputation for bashing Republicans. In March, he urged President Bush to give a speech on the economy and say that he is "a Republican who actually cares about people that are suffering."
In a November 2007 blog post, Carney slammed the Bush administration for "los[ing] touch with reality" for insisting that the situation in Iraq was improving, despite many indicators that the surge strategy was working.
What does it say about Sarah Palin that some of my favorite targets, um, subjects raved about her this morning? Andrea Mitchell and Mika Brzezinski could hardly have been more complimentary, Tom Brokaw and Jay Carney chipping in with positive comments.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Here was a novice on the national scene, with the lowest of expectations. People said sure, she'll be able to perform. But it was an amazing, amazing speech in terms of the way it connected to people. I talked to people afterwards on the floor, a lot of women. One woman from California who said it didn't matter that she, this woman delegate, is pro-choice. She said "I'm a mom. I've got three kids at home. And I see myself up there." And she's connecting to her. She said "I did not think this was a good choice until I heard that speech." Now this is admittedly a select audience of very passionate and very conservative Republican delegates. But I think there is a broader audience for this out there. I think it was an extraordinary debut.
When NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd passed along comments from Dem strategists suggesting the speech might have been "a little too hot" for swing voters, Andrea and Mika actually rode to Palin's defense.
Charlie Crist, Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney better hope John McCain isn't banking on Tony Blankley for guidance on his Veep pick. Newt's former press secretary is blah—at best—on all three.
Blankley, also the former editorial page editor of the Washington Times and who continues to write a column there, made his remarks on MSNBC's "Race for the White House" this evening as part of a panel reacting to the news that McCain has invited the three governors—past and present—to meet with him over the Memorial Day weekend.
DAVID GREGORY: What would Governor Crist bring to McCain's ticket?
TONY BLANKLEY: I don't think he brings much. I think if McCain can't carry Florida on his own, he's not going to carry it. He needs to carry something else. I doubt, I don't think he brings much to the ticket.
Elizabeth Edwards, I'm sure, is a smart, capable woman. A well-educated lawyer, seasoned politician's wife, and mother of three, her battle against cancer is laudable no matter what your politics are. But in all honestly, is she really that much of a scholarly health care policy or health care finance expert?
Not sure if this was expected or known in advance, but the announcement today that Elizabeth Edwards is joining the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow is striking in two ways. First, it's great for CAP. Think tanks don't often get the benefit of having famous and well-liked authors or thinkers on their staffs. Hers will be a prominent voice on the health care debate going forward, and CAP will bask in her reflected fame...
As media continue to report current economic conditions as being almost Depression-like, they conveniently forget which political party has controlled both chambers of Congress since January 2007 as well as who was in the White House when key financial services deregulation was enacted.
Such a well-timed amnesia hit ABC's Claire Shipman Sunday when during the panel discussion segment of "This Week," she blamed the current financial crisis on Republicans.
Color me unsurprised.
After host George Stephanopoulos asked Shipman's husband, Time magazine's Jay Carney, "How does John McCain fix his problem on the economy," the following ensued: