Yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus announced that he is retiring in 2014, making the six-term Montana Democrat the sixth senator of his party to step down two years from now instead of running for re-election.
That statistic alarmed Rachel Maddow, the liberal host of a weeknight program on MSNBC, who asked anxiously on Tuesday: “Tell us if something is wrong there. What is the secret about this place that has you fleeing like rats from a sinking ship?”
On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Jeff Glor played up West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller's browbeating of an oil company executive during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. The Senator interrupted Chevron Corporation CEO John Watson with a sarcastic reply: "Lovely statement, but do you understand how out of touch that is?"
Glor first noted during his news brief 12 minutes into that 7 am Eastern hour that "rising energy costs are likely to be a key issue in next year's election. So on Capitol Hill yesterday, leaders of the five largest private oil companies were grilled by Senate Democrats, who want to repeal the tax breaks that oil companies get." He then played a clip of Watson's testimony right as he was cut off by the liberal politician:
Media Research Center Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor appeared on Fox Business Channel’s ‘Varney & Co’ Nov. 19 to discuss Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s stated wish to shut down both Fox News and MSNBC.
The West Virginia Democrat recently said, “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse.”
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, Keith Olbermann featured a "Worst Person" segment for the first time since indefinitely suspending it over two weeks ago as the MSNBC host decided to go after Pamela Geller, whom he called a "buffoon"; Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who committed the sin of lumping MSNBC in with FNC while criticizing cable news; and frequent target FNC’s Roger Ailes.
In awarding the first place dishonor to Geller, he linked her opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. Olbermann: "But our winner, Pam Geller. If anybody committed the original sin of stirring up the blind, stupid anger that is religious hatred in this country, it’s this buffoon."
He soon added: "Well, there is a problem with the two minutes hate:You may lose control of it, and it may come back to attack you. It spread from a proposed Islamic center in New York to an actual mosque bombing in Jacksonville to protests in Tennessee to this moronic anti-Sharia law law in Oklahoma and now Phoenix."
Barack Obama nominates someone to head the CIA whose major qualification is his inexperience. Even Democrats are dismayed. John Travolta's son, sadly, died. So in its crucial first half-hour this morning, the Early Show naturally devotes almost five minutes to the Travolta story while ignoring the controversy surrounding Leon Panetta's appointment. Far from revealing that even senior Dems like Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller have signalled their displeasure over the naming of Panetta, CBS' Chip Reid painted the pick as a sign of how Obama is briskly taking charge. Here was the sum total of the Early Show's discussion of the matter:
CHIP REID: He may not be Commander-in-Chief just yet. But Mr. Obama is wasting no time, on Monday picking former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta to head the CIA, and retired Admiral Dennis Blair to be director of national intelligence.
Our news analysts at the MRC have combed through the April 9 editions of ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," and found zero mentions of the comments that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) made smearing McCain and military pilots past and present.
Yesterday I noted how news agencies were slow to cover the story, and certainly were not blowing up the incident into a major gaffe for Sen. Barack Obama, whom Rockefeller supports for president, to publicly and personally denounce.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia managed to smear both McCain and fighter pilots in general when he told his home state paper, The Charleston Gazette, on Monday that:
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
Phillips led off with Rockefeller's apology, not his offensive comments, then moved quickly on to his endorsement and praise of Obama.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV personally apologized to Senator John McCain of Arizona on Tuesday after remarking in an interview that Mr. McCain's years as a Navy fighter pilot would not have given him an understanding of everyday issues faced by Americans.
E-mail tipster Mike Huggins pointed out to NewsBusters that as of 4:30 p.m. EDT today, he found but one media mention of Obama backer Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.V.) smear of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among the seven major online news sources he checked. Rockefeller's comment, which he now regrets, is also arguably a smear of U.S. military fighter pilots past and present.
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues," Rockefeller said.
Huggins noted that while he searched the Web sites for the Washington Post, L.A. Times, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews.com, and CBSNews.com, he found but one story on the incident and that on ABC's Web site.
In an effort to have a fair and balanced debate on the issue of the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes, "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer invited Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller, and liberal Republican, Senator Chuck Hagel, on to Sunday’s broadcast. Hagel proved to be left of Rockefeller:
We are saying what to the world? That the Army Field Manual applies to our Army people, our armed services people, but the C.I.A. and all these Blackwater-type variations of militias and armies are unaccountable to what? That's not who we are as Americans, Bob. We're better than that. We don't need that. The world wants us to be better than that. We want to be better than that. We need to be smarter. Burning tapes, destroying evidence, I don't know how deep this goes. Could there be obstruction of justice? Yes. How far does this go up in the White House? I don't know.
That does not sound like an opinion from the mainstream of the Republican Party.