For well over two weeks, the Obama administration has been urging military action against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
At the Associated Press, in a "Fact Check" item at its "Big Story" site, Calvin Woodward told readers that "President Barack Obama voiced his conviction Tuesday night that Syrian President Bashar Assad was to blame for deadly chemical attacks against civilians, but again he offered no proof." Again? The AP reporter also questioned the number of civilian deaths involved. Excerpts follow the jump:
Seven words I never thought I'd say -- keep up the good work, Michael Moore.
What prompted this was a tweet from the leftist filmmaker after Secretary of State John Kerry's appearance last night on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" during which Kerry described why military action against the Assad regime in Syria is justified. (Video after the jump)
NewsBusters wasn't the only site collecting strange media treatment of Obama's strange denial that he'd ever set a "red line" against Syria's use of chemical weapons. James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal wrote on Thursday that "The fierce watchdogs of the press, confronted with this brazen falsehood, show themselves once again to be Obama's pet hamsters."
Take the "fact checkers." Instead of giving its attention-grabbing "Pants On Fire" rating to Obama, PolitiFact.com's Jon Greenberg claimed Obama was "reframing comments rather than denying them." Taranto was amazed: "Greenberg can't even say the statement is half true, so he withholds a rating altogether." There were more examples:
Well, there was a Blue Moon just last month, so maybe the time was right for some rare criticism of President Obama by Andrea Mitchell.
Mitchell didn't hold back on today's Morning Joe, accusing the President of "bungling," being "ambivalent," and of undercutting his Secretary of State and Vice-President. For good measure, Mitchell suggested that in his heart of hearts, fellow panelist and former Obama spox Robert Gibbs agreed with her acidulous assessment. View the video after the jump.
A day after Secretary of State John Kerry compared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein, Britain's Daily Mail published a picture of Kerry dining with Assad in February 2009.
It's going to be fascinating to see how the Obama-loving press report this (photo courtesy AFP):
Tuesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning newscast to cover the latest development in the controversy surrounding the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Gayle King gave a 26-second news brief to Secretary of State John Kerry clearing four mid-level diplomats to return to duty, after they were placed on leave by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton [audio available here; video below the jump].
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor NBC's Today devoted any air time to Kerry's move. Instead, the two programs set aside full reports to Sunny, the new dog adopted by the Obama family.
You've got to hand it to the folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. No news organization on earth is as consistently effective at burying the substance of a story while appearing to cover it.
Take this evening's unbylined coverage of the Obama administration's noncommittal, substance-free positioning on the situation in Egypt. It takes a special talent to get through a few hundred words in a story such as this without ever mentioning the name of the ousted Mohammed Morsi or his Muslim Brotherhood party, and whoever wrote the AP story was up to the challenge (bolds are mine):
It seems that the media cannot resist spitting on the Romneys when they are down. On last Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt decided to cover Ann Romney’s recent interview with CBS This Morning as part of her end-of-show The Big 3 segment. Witt played a clip from that interview in which Romney bemoaned Americans’ lack of trust in their government due to the current scandals.
After the clip, Witt tag-teamed with liberal journalist Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen Jane Politics, to bash the Romneys for re-entering the national political conversation. “Patricia, too early for the Romneys to resurface?" Witt inquired. "You think the public really wants to hear from them after the last election?" she asked, a not-so-subtle way of passive-aggressively wishing the Romneys would crawl into a hole. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
How enthusiastic can NPR be in avoiding the emerging Obama scandals? Try this: So-called “All Things Considered” aired no features on Benghazi or the IRS on Saturday or Sunday. (This excludes on-the-hour news updates.) But they found time for six minutes on the trade in rhino horns.
It was more ridiculous on “Weekend Edition” Saturday and Sunday – they also skipped both. NPR correspondent Michele Kelemen reported on Secretary of State John Kerry for 4 minutes and 22 seconds without a single word about Libya. Somehow the State Department’s Benghazi fiasco wasn’t listed as a “thorny issue” in the Middle East:
Pardon the age of this item, but it's on an issue of campaign history. On March 13, NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross interviewed new CNN host Jake Tapper about politics and journalism, and whether there was blowback from presidents and candidates over tough questions. But Gross felt compelled to bring up the "lies" told about John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign -- without expressing anything specific.
Tapper said he was assigned as a Swift Boat Veteran fact checker by ABC. Gross said, "So you were fact-checking some of the Swift Boat attacks against presidential candidate John Kerry. There were so many lies in those attacks. What was the fact-checking like, and how effective do you think it was in trying to counteract the lies?"
Yet another example of why I've long referred to Mike Malloy as the Voice of the Guard in the Gulag.
Bad enough that this most creepy and vampiric of men can barely let consecutive sentences pass without reference to carnage and bloodshed. On his radio show Tuesday, Malloy slandered Sen. John McCain as a war criminal who murdered civilians during the Vietnam War and was justifiably tortured for doing so. (audio clip after page break)
Gee, maybe one day we'll look back and realize that the advent of Barack Obama was the day "when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Politico, at least, apparently thinks so.
In an item today, Politico claimed that "Obama’s choice of John Kerry as the nation’s top diplomat is the strongest signal to the international community — and the smart set in Washington’s political class — that the president is truly committed to striking deals designed to save the world." More after the jump.
The arrogance of Lawrence O'Donnell knows no bounds.
On Tuesday evening, the host of The Last Word actually offered his name to be interim senator of Massachusetts if John Kerry becomes the new Secretary of State while proposing that newly-retired Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) temporarily fill in for him on MSNBC (video follows with LexisNexis transcript and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell helped Bob Schieffer hype his upcoming segment with actor/director Ben Affleck on Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell played a clip of the soon-to-be aired interview and remarked, "He sure does sound like a politician. He won't give you a straight answer!"
Schieffer ballyhooed Affleck's supposed credentials to be a possible replacement for Senator John Kerry, who could be named the next Secretary of State [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Mitt Romney recently told CBS’s Scott Pelley that a leader would “say which of those things that you should take out of the budget that are no longer essential,” and when pressed to be specific, Romney nominated "the subsidy for PBS,” and subsidies for Amtrak, the NEA, and the NEH. This raises one obvious question. In moderating tonight's first general election debate of 2012, can longtime PBS star Jim Lehrer be fair to a candidate who wants to zero out the subsidy for PBS?
In his 1992 memoir A Bus of My Own, Lehrer confesses he could sound like a “PBS superpatriot” in lauding his own newscast. For his own career at PBS, Lehrer professed he loved how Watergate “crumbled” Nixon’s plans to “crumble us” in liberal taxpayer-funded broadcasting:
Talk about missing the elephant (or is it donkey?) in the room – on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes reported that Senator John Kerry is "playing Mitt Romney in mock debates" with President Obama before Wednesday's debate. But she didn't once mention that Kerry's debate skills didn't help him in 2004, when he lost a presidential race to President George W. Bush.
Cordes did note that "Romney and...Kerry know each other well. They're both longtime politicians from Massachusetts." She also twice emphasized that Obama's campaign was "working hard...to try to lower expectations about his performance" during the upcoming presidential debates.
Leading into tomorrow’s presidential debate, journalists are busy setting expectations for the candidates. On Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos argued that Mitt Romney is under “huge, huge” pressure: “He is behind right now. He is behind nationally, he’s behind in all of the battleground states. This is the last big audience that Mitt Romney is going to have with about four and a half weeks left to go.”
But more undecided voters will be swayed by the media’s post-debate spin about who won and who lost than by any pre-debate expectations. Reviewing the last several campaigns, MRC analysts have found a clear trend of network reporters fawning over the performance of liberal candidates, while harping on any perceived weaknesses or gaffes from conservatives.
One of the most reliable pro-Democratic pundits is none other than George Stephanpoulos — not especially surprising, given his track record as a loyal operative for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, but hardly the objective, unbiased voice touted by ABC News. MRC has documented how, in eight out of the last nine general election presidential debates (every one since he joined ABC News in 1997), Stephanopoulos has gone on his network’s airwaves to claim victory for the Democratic candidate, all in the guise of offering impartial analysis. [Video review below the jump.]
Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.
But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
As the GOP convention wrapped up, the Obama-Biden reelection team sent out a fundraising e-mail Thursday with an appeal from 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry, claiming that conservatives and Republicans may spend more than 40 times as much money on "smear ads" in 2012 as they did on the "swift boat" ads that challenged Kerry's incessant military heroism narrative and Vietnam soldier-smearing in 2004:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer resorted to using old footage of Democratic Senator John Kerry (Mass.) as a soldier to make his point about how the U.S. needs to speed up its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"And I immediately recalled what Senator John Kerry told Congress when he returned from the Vietnam War four decades ago," Blitzer said Friday of when he got news of the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan. He aired footage of Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress given as a soldier returning from Vietnam, where he called the war a "mistake" and challenged Americans to realize that. [Video below the break.]
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood warned that, unless the Romney campaign succeeds in changing the campaign subject away from Bain Capital, he could be "left out in the political wilderness pretty quickly" if both the Obama campaign and the media press Romney on the subject persistently.
After host Lester Holt asked "why is the question of when" Romney "was actually running things" at Bain Capital "so key," Harwood responded:
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, two studies from the Media Research Center - parent organization to NewsBusters - were cited during the program. The first mention came during a discussion of Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker's criticism of the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital.
After panel member and FNC contributor Judy Miller wondered why either Romney's time at Bain Capital or the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's association with President Obama should not be considered "fair game," fellow panel member Jim Pinkerton of the The American Conservative magazine brought up the media's double standard of focusing much more on Republican Romney's wealth in 2012 as compared to Democrat John Kerry's wealth in 2004. Pinkerton:
Appearing on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, former FNC anchor - and former ABC correspondent - Brit Hume recounted the liberal bias many journalists exhibit in how they treat wealthy Republicans versus wealthy Democrats.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor to promote his book, Exit Interview, former ABC News president David Westin denied seeing a liberal bias among his colleagues when he was head of ABC News, and, when confronted by a recent study by the MRC's Business and Media Institute, rationalized the greater attention the media have paid to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's wealth this year as opposed to Democratic nominee John Kerry's wealth in 2004.
A very common media contention is that liberals have a far greater sense of humor than conservatives.
Tonight Show host Jay Leno dispelled this myth this week in a Press Pass interview with NBC's David Gregory wherein he told the Meet the Press moderator, "Democrats and Republicans are interesting because Republicans really laugh at themselves more" (video follows with transcript and commentary):