First Lady Michelle Obama is wrapping up her tour of China today and even though the American press was shut out from her trip, the First Lady has received glowing coverage of her taxpayer-funded visit.
Despite the already over-the-top praise, NBC’s “Today” had a unique take on the trip. Appearing on Sunday, March 23, CNBC’s Eunice Yoon commented that both Mrs. Obama and the wife of the communist president of China were a “hip fashion icon from a small town who happens to be married to a very powerful man who’s running a country.”
In a report for Monday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was eager to paint a picture of Republicans in disarray prior to the GOP convention: "The specter of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, which proved so politically damaging to George W. Bush, looms large here in Tampa. It's the latest in a series of distractions that has jolted the Romney campaign off its core economic message..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Sunday's Today, co-host Jenna Wolfe proclaimed: "It's been a tough week for Republicans." As the headline on screen announced "GOP's Hurdles Heading Into Convention," Wolfe proceeded to rattle off supposed evidence of her assertion:
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory recited Obama campaign talking points perfectly as he predicted: "...Well, he's going to raise plenty of money.... even if people are disappointed with the President, they're going to focus on the alternative. They're going to say, 'Do you really want to hand it over to Republicans?' I think Democrats will be plenty energized..."
That response was prompted by co-host Jenna Wolfe helpfully touting Obama's fundraising numbers, emphasizing small-dollar donors: "...they raised over $29 million in January for their re-election. Ninety-eight percent of those donations were $250 or less. What does that say about Obama supporters?" The headline on screen added: "Obama's Fundraising Driven By Small Donors."
On Sunday, both morning and evening newscasts on ABC and NBC touted the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney as a boost for his campaign for President, in spite of the paper's left-wing tilt in a state where the Republican Party is predominantly conservative. While they did at least note the paper's liberal slant, both networks still played up the liberal endorsement.
Talking to "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory on Sunday's NBC Today, co-host Jenna Wolfe asked about President Obama's proposed "Buffet Rule," designed to increases taxes on the rich, which she assumed "will sit well with the American people overall."
David Gregory agreed but lamented: "...the President's got to think about what he can do to actually get some agreement with Republicans. And I don't see this getting anywhere." Gregory complained: "If Democrats are supposed to cut entitlements, aren't Republicans going to have to give at all on the idea of tax increases?... But we saw in the debt fight in the summer, Republicans would not give on taxes. So if that's the case, then Washington is just going to be mired, going nowhere yet again."
Jenna Wolfe's introduction of her guest on health-care on this morning's Today would surely have led viewers to believe he was an objective, apolitical voice. What Wolfe didn't tell viewers is that Andrew Rubin is a HuffPo blogger and such an avid ObamaCare advocate that he urged his readers to call Congress to lobby for it. Here was Wolfe's intro:
"The politics surrounding the health-care bill has dominated the headlines. But with the House vote just hours away, what's really in this bill and how will it affect you? Andrew Rubin is the host of HealthCare Connect on Sirius XM Radio. Andrew, good morning. There's so much involved here; let's try to break this down as to how it affects everyone."
I began to doubt Rubin's objectivity when he explained the bill's effect on various demographic groups by in in every case claiming that ObamaCare would be good in the short run and even better in the long run. I kept waiting for some balance: a discussion for example, of the massive taxes ObamaCare imposes, or the loss of freedom that the individual mandate represents. But never a discouraging word was heard. ObamaCare: all gain, no pain!
On Sunday’s Today show on NBC – during which correspondent Savannah Guthrie filed a report which seemed to credit President Obama for "managing to avoid a depression," while also acknowledging that "the President's once sky-high approval rating slumped as unemployment stubbornly stayed in double digits" – after Guthrie’s report, anchor Jenna Wolfe wondered if Republicans were partly to blame for Obama’s plunging poll numbers.
Hosting former Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card and former Clinton White House Spokesperson Joe Lockhart, Wolfe at one point asked Card: "Andy, you mentioned earlier about the President's popularity. Yes, it's down. Recent polls show his approval rating at 47 percent. Yes, the economy accounts for much of that drop. How much of it can be linked to unified opposition from Republicans for initiatives like health care?"
Below is a transcript of Savannah Guthrie’s report, followed by the interview with Andy Card and Joe Lockhart from the Sunday, January 17, Today show on NBC:
In this edition of NewsBusters Notable Quotables comedy web show, NBC bids “good riddance” to Sarah Palin, MSNBC’s David Shuster is a defender of the faith, and ABC promotes their boy genius George Stephanopoulos. Enjoy!
To view current and past episodes in a larger screen format visit the NQ Show channel on the Media Research Center’s video sharing website Eyeblast.tv.
On Tuesday’s Today show, NBC’s Jenna Wolfe singled out Sarah Palin and grouped her with “flabby thighs, cheap men, [and] rude people” as subjects some people chose to ritually “purge” from their minds in an annual event in New York City called “Good Riddance Day.” Participants wrote down their worst memories of 2009 on sheets of paper and fed them into a giant shredding machine to mark the upcoming new year [an audio clip from the report is available here].
The NBC correspondent began her report, which aired 50 minutes into the 7 am hour, by briefly describing the concept of the “Good Riddance Day” event in midtown Manhattan: “It’s the crossroads of the world. People flock here for the shows, the shopping and the shredding? Right smack in the heart of Times Square, they are purging like mad. This is ‘Good Riddance Day,’ where before you ring in the new, you say adios to the old.” She then listed her examples of what people fed into the shredder, highlighting one piece of paper that had the name of the former Alaska governor written on it: “Whatever you hated in ‘09- flabby thighs, cheap men, rude people or Sarah Palin, just write it down and rip it up. The ex’s are the most popular purges.”
NBC's resident Queen of Green, Ann Curry, welcomed actor Ed Norton and Carter Roberts of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to come on Friday's "Today" show to champion their cause to combat "global climate change" by getting everyone to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbolic move that actor Norton compared to the march on Selma, Alabama. Co-anchor Curry called Norton's cause, "really cool," and prompted the Incredible Hulk star to offer up the following historical comparison:
ED NORTON: I think it's, it's a call to action. It's, it's, it's-, turning off the lights won't solve the problem, obviously. But in the same way that the, the march on Selma, Alabama was a symbolic gesture for the civil rights movement I think those who care about climal [sic] change, climate change and carbon mitigation - which is a global movement - are, are trying to find ways to symbolically demonstrate the, the unity of purpose around the planet and, and really get our leadership to take action.
On this Super Sunday, it's fitting I suppose that Mike Huckabee would be out there blocking and tackling for Team McCain. Appearing on this morning's Today show, the former Arkansas governor made a pro forma claim that he's still running for president and not the veep slot. But Huckabee certainly seemed to be acting as what Mark Steyn described in a recent Hugh Hewitt interview as McCain's "wing man."
Consider Huckabee's reply to a question from Sunday co-host Jenna Wolfe [a resident, coincidentally, of Chappaqua, NY, home to Bill and Hillary.]