Don't get me wrong. I love Christmastime. But in many other respects it can be the most dreaded time of the year for us media watchers. It is, after all, the time when liberal journalists decide to assign their year-ending accolades on everything from movies and music to politicians.
It's doubly dreadful when we're talking about Time magazine's Joe "Anonymous" Klein.
In a December 17 piece doling out his "Teddy awards" -- as in the first President Roosevelt, not the lingerie -- Klein began by cooing sweet nothings over Obama's political courage before giving muted praised for McCain. When all was said and done, Klein even praised Condi Rice, but even that was in service of his left-wing affinity for negotiating with dictators. [for our archive of Klein bias, click here]
While Klein largely disdained the McCain campaign's post-Palin message, he cheered the Arizona Republican for keeping Rev. Jeremiah Wright off-limits:
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Miller Time" segment, comedian Dennis Miller used humor to make a serious point about Barack Obama’s connections to corrupt and questionable characters in Illinois, and whether the President-elect was aware of the darker sides of his colleagues. Miller: "It’s just nice to know that my President-elect went through that entire system – all of these guys – Ayers, Blagojevich, Rezko, the Reverend Wright – and he didn’t notice any of them. At his worst, he is oblivious. At his absolute worst, he is disingenuous. He had to know something about some of these guys. ... We’re told that he’s the smartest guy on the planet on one hand. In the other hand, he never noticed any of this stuff. Come on, get the antenna up there, Barack. You got to wake up."
"I don't know why he's attacking Time magazine," a puzzled Seton Motley told "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy this morning, referring to the president-elect's former longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. On Sunday the retired minister -- who married the Obamas and baptized their children -- issued a fiery screed against the media -- calling the mainstream media the "gates of hell" -- from the pulpit of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.
"They [Time magazine] were certainly much nicer to him than a lot of journalistic outlets were, and by nicer I mean hiding him and preventing him from being a bigger player in the presidential race," the MRC director of communications added. "Look, the media's not going to cover this guy in the way that they should because of his 20-year relationship with Barack Obama." [audio available here]
Doocy and Motley also discussed the media's reticence on reporting on Obama's Bill Ayers connection during the campaign. To see the full appearance, click the play button on the embedded video to your right.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright returned to the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ on Sunday, reports Manya Brachear of the Chicago Tribune. Will the networks notice that Wright suggested ABC and CNN were "the gates of Hell"? They might enjoy Wright suggesting Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were Satan, but he also listed the Chicago newspapers and Time magazine. He also mocked Elizabeth Hasselbeck as factually challenged – even as he insisted that December 7 was the day the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima instead of Pearl Harbor Day.
"Jesus said upon this rock I will build--listen to the promise--my church," he said. "And the gates of Hell--listen to the promise--the gates of Hell--neither ABC nor CNN--the gates of Hell--neither Hannity nor O'Reilly--the gates of Hell--neither Time, Time magazine, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune ... the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Nothing will be impossible with God."
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer on Friday uncritically highlighted an address given by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on Thursday and parroted his talking points about being a scapegoat. In a tease for the segment, she recited, "Reverend Jeremiah Wright is now speaking out again. He says he was turned into a weapon of mass destruction."
Regarding his speech, given in a church in Milford, Connecticut, Sawyer blandly added that Senator Barack Obama "distanced himself from Reverend Wright during the campaign and labeled some of his sermons divisive." She then proceeded to play a 47 second long clip of Wright complaining that the media intended to use his sermons to destroy Obama. An ABC graphic almost apologetically read, "First Comments From Rev Wright: Media's 'Weapon on Mass Destruction'"
Whoopi Goldberg, in defending Reverend Wright, admitted to, at times "cuss[ing] out America." On the November 4 (Election Day) edition of "The View," a conversation about Sarah Palin’s clearance in the "Troopergate" probe quickly morphed into a fight (three on one) over Reverend Wright. In justifying Wright’s "God damn America" remark, Whoopi confessed "I have been guilty of cussing this country out because we have not always shown our best and put our best foot forward."
Aiding Whoopi’s tirade against Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd defended Obama’s decision to forego public financing "because they’re swift boating Barack Obama with this Jeremiah Wright stuff." Sherri and Whoopi also scolded Elisabeth for allegedly not understanding black issues and Reverend Wright’s bitterness towards his country.
Adding to the pile on, Joy Behar, for her part, claimed she did not want to sit in judgment as a white woman stating "I don’t really think that I have any business to discuss what goes on in a black church because I am not black." When Elisabeth called out Joy for defending Wright when "Obama hasn’t," Behar comically denied defending Wright. When Elisabeth questioned Obama for sitting in Wright’s church for 20 years, Behar made a bizarre comparison claiming "A lot of people sat- a lot of people sat for eight years while Bush committed his little atrocities. So let’s not cast stones."
The mainstream media are willfully ignoring many questionable ties and friendships of Barack Obama. The list does not end with the radical racist preacher Jeremiah Wright and unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. They have totally ignored Obama campaigning for the socialist revolutionary Raila Odinga in Kenya. They have also ignored his ties with radical Islamic extremist Khalid Al Masour.
LA Times takes things to the next level. They are going beyond the level of ignoring to the level of willfully witholding informative evidence from the public. The associate of Barack Obama in question this time is Rashid Khalidi, a former PLO operative and best friend of William Ayers. The LA times has a video of Barack Obama toasting this friend of his while attending a Jew bashing dinner, and they are refusing to release the video to the public.
Listen to this audio from a 1995 interview where Obama says a blatant race baiting statement implying that whites don't want to pay taxes to inner city children for them to go to school. The interview is full of defense on Obama's socialistic views on taxation, and other controversial remarks.
It took the "new media" and blogs to dig this information up. This would have never seen the light of day if it were left up to the mainstream media. Now that it has been brought into the light, will the media pick up their fumbled ball and run with it? I doubt it, but perhaps if enough blogs report on it they can be shamed into doing so. They won't report on this unless they have to.
Who you choose to surround yourself with makes you what you are and we already know Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko and William Ayers.
On Friday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota appeared on Hardball and pounded away at Barack Obama’s associations with his long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright and bomber Bill Ayers, suggesting that the media should be investigating these associations with very anti-American voices, and that if John McCain had these associations, the media would be all over it. Chris Matthews couldn’t stand it. But he was nothing compared to others on the left – like the ones who started a Censure Bachmann website. Or raving left-wing talk show host Mike Malloy (the former CNN news writer!), who wildly associated the conservative Republican with Nazis, and death in general:
She represents a district in Minnesota, she's a Republican of course, and she’s a hatemonger. She’s the type of person that would have gladly rounded up the Jews in Germany and shipped them off to death camps. She’s the type of person who would have had no problem sending typhoid smeared blankets to Native American families awaiting deportation to reservations. She’s the type of person that I’m sure believes that the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam was good and the use of depleted uranium in Iraq served a purpose. This is an evil bitch from hell. I mean, just an absolute evil woman.
You're an MSM anchor. For the last couple days, Obama spokesmen have been out there denying their candidate knew of William Ayers's terrorist past when Obama launched his political career in the Ayers living room. You now have the opportunity to interview Obama's VP running-mate. So naturally, you ask him to confirm or deny the campaign's assertion of Obama's ignorance, right?
Trick question. I did say "you're an MSM anchor." No, when Ann Curry had Joe Biden on Today this morning, she couldn't even bring herself to mention Ayers by name. Far from challenging Biden as to the truth of the campaign's denial, she teed up the notion that Sarah Palin is using "ugly" tactics by daring to raise the Obama-Ayers and Obama-Wright connections.
Update | Hail Halperin: See incredible video at foot. Pressed by Mark Halperin, Robert Gibbs admits Obama continued to associate with Ayers after learning his past.
H/t Melody N. An Obama spokesman adamantly insists that in 1995 Barack Obama was the most clueless man in Chicago. Andrea Mitchell thinks talk of Barack Obama's ties to an unrepentant terrorist is a "distraction." Rudy Giuliani doesn't. Mitchell is happy to take the New York Times's word for the fact that Obama and William Ayers weren't close. Rudy, not so much.
After the former NYC mayor made the case on today's Morning Joe as to why Ayers matters, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs came on, called Giuliani a liar, and flatly denied that—when beginning his political career in his living room—Obama knew Ayers was a terrorist.
In a rapid fire display of flip-flopping that would make even the staunchest of liberals proud, Newsweek's Howard Fineman manages to change his opinion on the justification of an Obama-Lincoln connection three times in just under 900 words.
The random logic is hard to see through all the gooeyness behind the concept of such a ridiculous comparison in the first place, but once you wipe the screen, you'll be able to spot it clear as day.
Fineman starts by asking himself a few questions:
Is there any reason, other than the lean frame and knack for giving good speeches, to compare the two men? Is there any reason to see in Obama a Lincoln-like ability to unite a "house divided" in our perilous times? Is that even a fair question to ask or comparison to make?
While most of us would scoff at the notion, Fineman concludes otherwise:
"Does Palin have explaining to do," Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear asked in her post-vice presidential debate blog post. Here's how Brachear opened her October 3 entry at her "The Seeker" blog:
Pentecostals have called on the mainstream media to stop mocking their sister Sarah Palin. But when will the Republican vice-presidential candidate answer the questions that swirl every time a new church video surfaces on YouTube? Was Thursday's prime time debate yet another missed opportunity?
By contrast, a review of Brachear's blog entries dealing with Sen. Obama's controversial former pastor,Rev. Jeremiah Wright, show Brachear did not have similar concerns with Obama's relationship with Wright. Indeed, back in June, Brachear asked, "Can a candidate worship in peace?" The Trib staffer was referring to the fact that Obama was leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, blaming media scrutiny for ruining the worship experience for himself and his fellow parishioners:
The Associated Press has long been a bastion of liberal bias. But has it now sunk to the level of a left-wing blog in the throes of Palin Derangement Syndrome? Yes, suggests the Morning Joe folks. In a rare bit of unanimity, the panel condemned and ridiculed AP for its "analysis" item, "Palin's words carry racial tinge." According to Douglass K. Daniel, the item's author, Palin's criticism of Barack Obama for his association with Ayers somehow carries "a racially tinged subtext." See Warner Todd Huston's earlier discussion here.
Mika Brzezinski questioned the strategic wisdom of the McCain campaign's playing of the Ayers card, but even she joined in the excoriation of the AP.
Salon writer Sarah Posner offers a scathing commentary on Sarah Palin's former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. In fact, the sub-title itself spells out her opinion in plain language.
The church where Sarah Palin grew up and was baptized preaches some of the most extreme religious views in the nation.
Yet it was only a few months ago that Posner ran an interview she conducted with Jonathan L. Walton, an ordained minister, in which the two derive comparisons between the Theology of Jeremiah Wright and that of Martin Luther King Jr.
The contrasting pieces leave you wondering if Ms. Posner completely grasps the definition of the word ‘extreme.'
Monday night featured MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finding fault with Sarah Palin's religious beliefs and some of the teachings of her former church in Wasilla, Alaska, as the two harped on a speech the Alaska governor delivered at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June.
On the first episode of her new television program, the "Rachel Maddow Show," the eponymous host misinterpreted Palin's request that church members pray for American troops, as the Alaska governor expressed her hope that the Iraq war is part of "God's plan," with the MSNBC host claiming that Palin was "asserting" that the war factually is "God's plan."
Maddow claimed that Palin "said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D." On Countdown, Olbermann and Maddow took exception with Palin's account of a minister who prayed that she would be successful in her political life as they mocked the concept of praying in the hopes that prayers might be answered. Olbermann referred to Palin as "Elmer Gantry" and "Amy Semple McHockey Mom."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos clearly had John McCain's houses on his mind Sunday, for during the latest installment of "This Week," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's real estate holdings were discussed with every guest.
What Stephanopoulos may not have expected was Time's Mark Halperin claiming that "this is going to end up being one of the worst moments in the entire campaign for one of the candidates, but it's Barack Obama."
Adding delicious insult to injury, much to Democrat strategist Donna Brazile's dismay, Halperin saw the Obama campaign's attack on McCain not knowing how many houses he owns as opening the door for the Arizona senator to bring up the Illinois senator's connections to Tony Rezko, Reverend Wright, and William Ayers (video embedded right, partial transcript follows):
When Rick Warren quizzes the presidential contenders on Saturday night on CNN, will he bring up Jeremiah Wright? Some reporters still seem allergic to mentioning him. In Time's story on the Warren forum, Amy Sullivan could only write in code: "During the primary season both candidates had to distance themselves from, and ultimately condemn, religious supporters who delivered embarrassing and intolerant sermons."
But Wright wasn't merely a "religious supporter," but Obama's spiritual mentor and pastor for two decades. MRC has a new study addressing how the media has tried to minimize (and even censor) the roughest edges of the Wright rants. It's called Editing Reverend Wright's Wrongs. Here's the top findings in brief:
– The broadcast networks took an entire year to locate Reverend Wright. Despite a feisty interview on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes back on March 1, 2007 about Obama’s church’s controversial commitment to a "black value system," the name of Jeremiah Wright didn’t surface on the Big Three networks until CBS first broached it on February 28, 2008. The first story with Wright sermon soundbites aired two weeks later, on ABC on March 13. By then, 42 states and the District of Columbia had already voted.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked Sean Hannity for his recent declaration on FNC's Hannity's America that Obama "can’t point to a single instance in which President Bush or McCain or Karl Rove or Sean Hannity or talk radio or any other major Republican has made an issue of Obama’s race." Missing Hannity’s point that conservatives are not attacking Obama for being black or suggesting voters should be afraid to vote for him because he is black, Olbermann cited quotes from Hannity and Rush Limbaugh which, in the MSNBC host’s mind, proved Hannity wrong, and that "short-term memory is often the first thing to go right after ethics." Olbermann mocked Hannity and Limbaugh by concluding that, "What Hannity means when he says nobody has made an issue of Obama’s race is: He and Limbaugh haven’t called him the ‘N’ word." After a brief pause, Olbermann added: "Yet." Olbermann, who has a history of distorting the words of conservatives, read quotes from Hannity from the past about Obama and the race issue without conveying the context that Hannity was referring to Obama’s links to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan, who are known for espousing racist views. (Transcripts follow)
The Washington Post published a front page story on Sunday headlined "Obama Addresses His Faith: Senator Describes Spiritual Journey." But it completely ignored Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ. Obama was allowed to declare to audiences how he "let Jesus Christ into his life" on the south side of Chicago, but the Post utterly left out the fact that it was Rev. Wright who was his spiritual mentor.
Post editors might insist that Jonathan Weisman's story was not a biographical or historical piece so much as a campaign trail piece about how Obama hopes to appeal to evangelical voters who aren't thrilled with John McCain. But doesn't Obama's church factor in when those voters try to decide what kind of Christian he is?
"In my own life, " he said, "it's been a journey that began decades ago on the South Side of Chicago, when, working as a community organizer, helping to build struggling neighborhoods, I let Jesus Christ into my life. I learned that my sins could be redeemed and that if I placed my trust in Christ, that he could set me on the path to eternal life when I submitted myself to his will and I dedicated myself to discovering his truth and carrying out his works."
He ain't triangulating, he's my post-partisan. That's Eugene Robinson's innovative new MSM means of covering for Barack Obama. As Obama sprints toward the center and away from many of the positions that won him the nomination from the liberal Dem base, WaPo columnist Robinson has suggested that the nominee isn't engaging in the kind of cynical "triangulating" that made Bill Clinton famous. No, Obama's just being the post-partisan he really was all along.
Robinson trotted out his theory on last evening's "Race for the White House" on MSNBC in reaction to Obama's announcement, mirabile dictu, that far from junking Pres. Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives—long a target of the secular left—a President Obama would actually expand the program! Sounds like a cynical ploy to some. But not to Robinson . . .
It's rare to hear an MSM figure flatly suggest that a presidential campaign lied, but Joe Scarborough broke out the the l-word today in wondering whether chief Obama strategist David Axelrod did just that when he emphatically denied, on yesterday's show, that there is a concerted "makeover" of Michelle Obama in the works.
Now her husband’s presidential campaign is giving her image a subtle makeover, with a new speech in the works to emphasize her humble roots and a tough new chief of staff. On Wednesday, Mrs. Obama will do a guest turn on “The View,” the daytime talk show on ABC, with an eye toward softening her reputation.
When Axelrod appeared on Morning Joe yesterday at 7:40 AM EDT, Scarborough quizzed him about the matter [dialogue as per closed-caption transcript]. The senior Obama aide's denial of a makeover plan couldn't have been more categorical:
The front page of Sunday’s Washington Post featured an article headlined "At Obama’s Former Church, Hurt Lingers: Black Congregations Feel Marginalized by Uproar." The story that followed by Post reporters Eli Saslow and Hamil Harris took a sympathetic tack toward the poor, poor Jeremiah Wright and his followers without making any attempt to address the bizarre statements that caused such controversy. America deserved 9/11 for its own terrorism? The federal government created AIDS for black genocide? At their most specific, it was defined simply as "a landslide of negative video" and "right-wing political attacks" that left Obama’s fellow believers "marginalized and vilified."
Are the Post’s editors and reporters trying to suggest that bizarre lies like the government created AIDS to kill black people should not be marginalized? They shouldn’t be criticized? What sort of role does The Washington Post take as a newspaper, to suggest that vicious falsehoods should apparently not be condemned when they emanate from "marginalized" communities?
Here’s the meat of the Saslow and Harris story, lamenting the tragedy at Trinity United Church of Christ:
Has NBC White House Correspondent David Gregory turned over a new leaf?
Gregory, who has earned a lot of critics for having an anti-Bush/liberal bias, made it seem that way during a discussion about ethics in politics and journalism Thursday. He claimed to struggle with Jewish teachings about saying bad things about others - at least when it comes to Democrats.
In The Washington Post’s religion section on Saturday, reporter Michelle Boorstein wrote an article on "Altar Egos," on how clergymen have become liabilities for the presidential contenders. It’s a convenient attempt to once again blur Barack Obama’s problem with Jeremiah Wright, his own minister of 20 years, with John McCain’s problem with two evangelical preachers who he sought out for an endorsement, but have never been his pastor. The top of the Religion page has a vertical column with pictures of McCain on top, then Rev. John Hagee, then Obama, and then the Wrong Reverend Wright. But Boorstein’s other task seemed to be promoting the secularist God-bashers who spew on the Washington Post’s website, complaining that both parties shouldn’t be courting ministers or quoting the Bible at all:
Reporter Jake Tapper provided some refreshing balance to ABC's "Nightline" on Wednesday with a snarky, sarcastic look at the people least likely to be chosen as vice president by Barack Obama. He presented a top ten list that included many controversial figures that Democrats would rather ignore. (One such person was Tony Rezko, whose corruption conviction was only mentioned in passing on the show.) Tongue firmly planted in cheek, he speculated, "Number ten would logically be Reverend Wright who would bring energy to the ticket and would be great in a traditional vice presidential role as attack dog. But just who would he attack?" Tapper then cut to a clip of the reverend damning America.
After mentioning Chicago professor William Ayers and how he could be a comfortable VP choice, someone that Obama knows well, Tapper sarcastically noted, "On the minus side, Ayers used to be a fugitive as a member of the domestic terrorist group, the Weather Underground, so he might not pass the vetting process." Highlighting Congressman William Jefferson and Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as "Obama's indicted super delegates," the ABC journalist mused, " By waiting until the last minute to announce their support for Obama, they showed their loyalty, which is a pro. On the con side, they could soon be cons."
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the June 2 "Fox & Friends" to discuss Sen. Barack Obama's decision to leave the controversial Trinity United Church of Christ and the fact that Obama has appeared on the cover of 11 news magazines since the beginning of the year.
Partial transcript below by MRC intern Peter Sasso [audio available here]:
STEVE DOOCY, "Fox & Friends" co-host: Brent, so things heated up when the Catholic priest a week ago said some crazy stuff there at the pulpit at Trinity United. But we should go back a little bit. Barack Obama initially joined that particular church because it had a huge power base and if he wanted to get established in Chicago politics, he had to join it.
BRENT BOZELL, Media Research Center President: That's right. I mean and it's now become the home for whack jobs. But, you know, you look at his resignation yesterday and you just ask yourself why does this man do things half way? Why can't he go all the way? Did he resign because there is something wrong with that church? No. In fact, in resigning, he said I'm not saying this. He said this. Very emphatically, that he absolutely refuses to denounce that church. If you absolutely refuse to denounce that church, why did you leave it?
Who says there's no humor in politics? Obama communications director Robert Gibbs went on ABC's This Week today, and in one of the better deadpan bits since Buster Keaton actually said that Barack Obama's decision to quit the Trinity United Church of Christ was "not political."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: In Philadelphia, just in April, Senator Obama said of Reverend Wright "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community." Now he's cut all ties to Reverend Wright, and left his church. What is it a mistake to wait this long?
ROBERT GIBBS: No, George. I think obviously what Barack Obama made in the past few days is a deeply personal, not a political decision. And as you heard the reasoning, he made that decision for two reasons. One, even guest speakers that were at Trinity, their views were ascribed to him even though he didn't hold those views, and secondly, the members of Trinity couldn't do what members of a church do, and that is, sit in quiet reflection and worship God.
Mika Brzezinski realizes that the latest looniness emanating from Barack Obama's church poses political problems for the presidential candidate. But as a person of pallor, the ever-so-PC Morning Joe-er doesn't want to judge a black church—even when the most recent rantings come from the mouth of . . . a white preacher.
Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Father Michael Pfleger guest-preaching this past Sunday at Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ. Pfleger, a fixture on the radical Chicago scene whose endorsement of Obama [h/t Michelle Malkin] until recently appeared on the official Obama campaign website, mocked Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire tears as a sign of her frustrated sense of white entitlement. The screencap shows Pfleger making like Hillary wiping away those tears.
(Watch video above, context included, fast-forward to 3:40 for Brzezinski's humorous comment.)
But while acknowledging the headache Pfleger poses for Obama, Mika was oh-so-loath to comment on the substance or tone of the remarks themselves. Excerpts from her discussion with Tucker Carlson, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist: