President Obama's weekly radio address on Saturday devoted the entire hour to a hyper-partisan, long-winded, meandering speech about his Republican critics being too -- wait for it! -- partisan.
Fortunately for him, a compliant national media would simply forward the attack on their own pages and never pause long enough to smell the irony.
In the middle of alleged job offers, controversial nominations, and unpopular bills shoved through Congress along party lines, President Obama complained about "dreary and familiar politics" from the opposition, and the media immediately took his side.
Up first was the Washington Post's Scott Wilson who used the 44 blog on Saturday to cover the speech:
Handy rule of thumb when watching MSNBC's Rachel Maddow -- the more earnest her claim, the less likely it's true. Hardly ever fails.
Most recent example -- Maddow on Wednesday talking about congressional hearings on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill coinciding with senators Kerry and Lieberman introducing so-called "climate change" legislation (formerly known as cap and trade, formally called the American Power Act, more accurately described as American Disempowerment) --
MADDOW: In the shadow of the BP oil disaster, jaw-dropping hearings, senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman introduced climate change legislation in the Senate today, the American Power Act. Among other things it includes subsidies for offshore oil drilling. Subsidies, taxpayer subsidies. These oil companies already don't pay federal royalties on anything that they drill out there. But how about expanded taxpayer subsidies for them to do it too, to do it more? This is, not to put too fine a point on it, our oil. And yet we're paying them to drill it and then we're not collecting a percentage from it, even though it's ours and even though we bear the environmental disaster risk whenever anything goes wrong.
In an interview with Senator John Kerry on Wednesday's CBS Early Show on the Gulf Coast oil spill, co-host Maggie Rodriguez hit from the left on new energy legislation proposed by the Massachusetts Democrat: "correct me if I'm wrong, your legislation calls for expanding offshore drilling at a time when polls show most Americans no longer support it. Why do you believe it's necessary to do that?"
A CBS News poll flashed on screen showing that only 46% Americans now support offshore oil drilling in the wake of the spill, as opposed to 62% supporting it in 2008. Kerry responded by pointing out that his bill would "actually restrict the current plan of the President" to expand offshore drilling. Rodriguez pressed further: "Are you saying it does not call for expanded offshore drilling?" Kerry reiterated: "I'm saying that it restricts the current law and it restricts the President's current plan."
Kerry began the interview by touting his desire to restrict oil production: "we have to really take the steps that we've been talking about for 30 years, for too long now, to move away from our energy dependence on fossil fuels, and particularly on imported fuel....The importance is now to move to the new economy." Apparently anything short of an all out ban on offshore drilling was not enough for Rodriguez.
Later in the segment, spurred by Rodriguez, Kerry proclaimed: "we're not going to stop drilling all of a sudden....it isn't going to disappear until we put our bill in place."
ClimateGate, when a hacker broke into computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit and released a myriad of confidential files, continues to cause controversy. The documents showed scientists had attempted to suppress and manipulate data that would hurt the case proving anthropogenic global warming. They also cast doubts about what sort of policy measures should be implemented to attack this alleged global problem.
"What we have to do is go on the offensive," Kerry said. The science "has been maligned and misinterpreted, and we need to fight back . . . people [need to] stop being moved by these talk show [hosts] and start looking for the facts'' themselves."
In his book "The Courage to Be Catholic," author George Weigel surprised readers by insisting that the very secular and liberal Boston Globe and the New York Times had done the Lord’s work in rooting out the story of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.
Weigel is correct, and never mind that the newsies at the Globe and the Times were relishing making the Church cringe. But these secular liberal media outlets will not tell the story when the American bishops allow the donations of Catholics to be diverted to fund abortion-rights activism, even if most Catholics view abortion as the most horrific form of child abuse. The media almost unanimously celebrate abortion as the summit of women’s "liberation," and so the treatment is just the opposite. The press is refusing to cover this scandal.
The American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry have been demanding reform of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They charge that no less than 50 organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are in some capacity engaged in pro-abortion or pro-gay causes.
On the same day Comcast announced it was buying a 51 percent stake in General Electric's NBC Universal, its CEO sent a letter to President Obama supporting the Senate's healthcare bill.
At virtually the same time, high-ranking Democrats in the House and Senate said Thursday they will closely scrutinize the proposed alliance to determine its impact on the media marketplace.
Here's the letter from Comcast's Brian Roberts to Obama (h/t Politico):
Dear Mr. President: [...]
Because of our announcement today that we have formed a joint venture with General Electric consisting of NBCU's businesses and Comcast's cable networks, I am unable to attend the Summit. I very much appreciate the outreach to the business community, and want to express one of the thoughts I intended to make at the Summit -- that enactment of comprehensive health care reform legislation is, in my judgment, critical to putting this country on a path of sustained growth and prosperity.
As the nation's largest cable and broadband company with over 100,000 employees in 36 states and the District of Columbia, we are proud to offer health insurance to all Comcast employees. But sadly, there are millions of Americans who simply cannot afford to get sick, as health coverage gets increasingly difficult to secure and the resultant demands placed on federal and state budgets are enormous. This cycle is not sustainable.
While there has been much controversy and debate over hundreds of provisions and alternatives, it is my view that the current legislation pending in the Senate provides a workable framework for this country to take an important step toward enhancing health care accessibility, promoting operational efficiencies and technological innovation, and reducing the cost of health care and the federal deficit. My support of meaningful health care reform is buttressed by the estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that, while the Senate legislation would cost $848 billion, it would also reduce budget deficits by $130 billion over the next decade. A strong dose of fiscal responsibility will be essential to achieve meaningful health care reform and lasting economic recovery. [...]
I want to commend you for your dedication to health care reform and for the remarkable progress that has been achieved in this area under your leadership. We cannot allow perfection to stand in the way of critically needed and very good legislation, which is why I support your efforts. Comcast stands ready to assist you and this nation in the effort to enact sensible health care reform. We also look forward to working with your Administration to make health care information technology the best in the world.
Moments after the deal was announced, The Hill reported:
The proposed Comcast-NBC Universalmerger (see earlier post) will be getting some tough scrutiny by the federal government.
Key lawmakers and regulators say they will review the deal in detail to ensure it does not harm the industry or consumers.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said the agreement "has the potential to reshape the media marketplace."
"This proposal raises questions regarding diversity, competition, and the future of the production and distribution of video content across broadcasting, cable, online, and mobile platforms," he said in a statement. "It is imperative that the FCC, the Justice Department, and the FTC rigorously assess whether this transaction is in the public interest." [...]
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said the Comcast-NBC deal "is extremely significant in scope and raises some complex questions."
"My subcommittee will monitor that process closely to ensure that any legitimate anticompetitive and public interest concerns are fully addressed.”
As this alliance has been rumored for several months, it seems quite logical Roberts was expecting Congressional scrutiny.
Is this why he sent his healthcare endorsement to Obama on the very day the deal was announced?
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.
As part of an ongoing retrospective of the the first decade of the 21st century, Newsweek has ginned up a boatload of top 10 lists and assigned some Hollywood celebrities and Washington politicians to pen brief blurbs to accompany some of the entries. One such list, the top 10 "History-Altering Decisions" of 2000-2009 has at least two such entries that are worthy of addressing here: Actor/comedian Dennis Leary's "Florida Uses Butterfly Ballots" [ranked #6] and Sen. John Kerry's self-congratulatory "Kerry Picks Obama to Give Keynote 2004 DNC Address" [ranked #1].
Befitting Newsweek's biases, Leary and Kerry's entries point to Obama as an almost messianic figure, as though he were the literal object of history, or at least the last 10 years of American history.
First, Leary opined about how one dramatic moment can set in motion a chain of events can profoundly affect history, in effect comparing the assassin's bullet that ended John Kennedy's life with the butterfly ballots used in 2000 in some Democrat-friendly Florida counties:
On the very day Ted Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his two brothers, a Boston Globe editorial argued to undo part of his legacy.
The pertinent portion of Mr. Kennedy's legacy has to do with his strident opposition, despite a career of enthusiastically imposing environmental initiatives and costs on others, to the building of a wind farm on Cape Cod (the graphic at top right is from a 2006 post at a Greenpeace web site).
The ever-opportunistic Globe wrote a 450-word editorial virtually demanding that President Barack Obama get work started on Nantucket Sound right now, this very instant (HT to an e-mailer):
Some in Hollywood, it seems, just can't let go of past political hopes – or at least want to use their films to continue pushing their political preferences. In Funny People, the new movie from writer/director Judd Apatow (IMDb page) which opened July 31, a character played by Seth Rogen (IMDb page) wears a 2004-era “Vote Kerry” T-shirt with an artwork outline image of 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
I caught the scene with Rogen sporting the T-shirt in the promotional clip played during this past Monday's re-run of the July 20 Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on which the star of the film, Adam Sandler, was a guest. IMDb has the same video clip, “George asks Ira to kill him.” (For the image here, I've enlarged the blue on black graphic.)
You probably already knew Jeanane Garofalo was no fan of conservatives, Republicans or just about anything that could be described as right of center. But the former Air America host and MSNBC regular really has a low regard for conservative activists.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin once again earned her nickname "Sarahcuda" when she struck back at Sen. John Kerry for his pathetic comment about it being too bad that it wasn't she who went missing instead of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
For those that missed it, Kerry was speaking to a group of business and civic leaders in Boston Tuesday, and according to the Boston Herald, said of the Sanford affair: “Too bad, if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.’’
On Friday, speaking in front of military members in Kosovo, Palin hit back (video embedded below the fold, h/t Hot Air):
In today's "Will Bush Derangement Syndrome Ever End" segment, CBSNews.com published an article from The New Republic comparing Iran's crazed leader who believes the holocaust never happened and Israel should be wiped off the face of the planet to -- wait for it! -- America's 43rd president.
Isn't that special?
In a piece hysterically titled "Meet Iran's George W. Bush," author Laura Secor said Iran's upcoming elections (this is from last Monday) were similar to ours in 2004 for reasons that every American save the REAL Bush haters -- and you know who YOU are!!! -- should find thoroughly offensive (h/t Gateway Pundit via NBer Blazer):
On Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Molly Henneberg highlighted the controversial decision by Notre Dame to invite the pro-choice President Obama to speak and be awarded an honorary degree. Henneberg filled in viewers on recent remarks by Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Vatican Supreme Court as the Catholic Church official voiced disapproval of Obama’s planned appearance. Henneberg: "He does not think Notre Dame, a Catholic university, should have invited President Obama to give the commencement address on May 17. And he does not think the university should present the pro-choice President with an honorary degree."
From the Revolving Door file: more liberal newspaper reporters are leaving their D.C. bureaus behind for jobs in Democratic politics. Scott Shepard of Cox Newspapers is joining the office of Sen. John Kerry as a speechwriter, while Chicago Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman is joining the Obama administration as a public-affairs officer for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Shepard is the second newspaper reporter to accept a job with the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee in recent months. Former Los Angeles Times and New York Times reporter Douglas Frantz is now chief investigator on Kerry’s staff at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Michael Calderone, media reporter for the Politico newspaper, reported that both Shepard and Zuckman blamed financial troubles at their media companies as a factor in their decision to become federal employees.
A look at the MRC "Notable Quotables" archives show some clues that these reporters may have comfortably signed up for the Democrats. Shepard drew attention in 1994 for going beyond the facts to defend Clinton’s Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders:
On Wednesday’s Today show, NBC News principals Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, and Tom Brokaw all gushed over Hillary Clinton’s testimony in front of a Senate panel for her confirmation as Secretary of State. During an interview of Senator John Kerry, Lauer asked, “Did you see any area, Senator, where she didn’t show, I guess, a complete mastery of the issues?” In the following segment, Vieira and Brokaw lauded how “smart and well-prepared” the former First Lady appeared to be. “She’s the kind of woman I would like to sit next to in class,” Brokaw indicated. “She’s so smart,” Vieira added.
The NBC morning program’s coverage of Clinton’s hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began with correspondent Andrea Mitchell briefly mentioning during a report that the “only controversy [was] over possible conflicts of interest with foreign donors to her husband’s charities.” This was followed by a clip where Republican Senator Richard Lugar raised the issue and the outgoing New York Senator responded to his point. Mitchell concluded her report by stating that “no one questioned Bill Clinton’s good works -- only the possibility of undo foreign influence on his wife. Clinton says that she and her husband are already doing more than the ethics rules or the law require, and support for her confirmation is so overwhelming that her senate colleagues are holding a farewell party for her today.”
During the 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry tried to overcome the dubious distinction of being, per the National Journal, the most liberal senator. His attempts to deny the obvious led to a memorable exchange with NYT's Elisabeth Bumiller [transcript after jump] in which he famously fended off the liberal label as a "laughable characterization."
But four years later, having lost the presidency and just this week failed in his bid to become Secretary of State, perhaps Kerry calculates he has nothing left to lose. Writing at the Huffington Post, he's letting his liberal flag, or progressive pennant, to be precise, fly.
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:
Tom Brokaw had his Pauline Kael moment on MSNBC this morning. Though the story might be apocryphal, the late New Yorker film critic is famously credited with saying she was shocked by Nixon's 1972 victory, since everybody she knew had voted for McGovern.
Here's Brokaw on today's "Morning Joe," discussing the importance of the upcoming debates.
TOM BROKAW: Debates should be judged on two big counts: tonal and substance. You know, are you comfortable with this person? Look, everybody believes that on debating points, John Kerry probably beat George Bush, the 43rd, the last time around. But people liked Bush.
An angry Senator John Kerry is also an entertaining John Kerry. And on ABC's This Week yesterday, Kerry provided us with a lot of comedy entertainment including his assertion that John McCain was forced to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate by Rush Limbaugh and "the rightwing." There are a lot of other comedy nuggets in this interview conducted by This Week host George Stephanopoulos who fails to challenge Kerry on most of his absurdities including the notion that that merely traveling though countries overseas on a brief campaign stint counts as foreign policy experience. The transcript is below but to fully enjoy the flavor, you need to see the video featuring a clearly perturbed John Kerry who seems not to have gotten over his 2004 election loss. The interview begins following an appearance by Senator Lindsey Graham and Kerry sounds a bit confused (emphasis mine):
Hailing 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry's Wednesday night address to the Democratic convention “the toughest speech” by “perhaps the most forceful speaker so far,” one in which Kerry denounced the “Swiftboating” of Barack Obama, NBC anchor Brian Williams channeled the liberal view, which he described merely as that of “people watching tonight,” that Kerry lost in 2004 because he didn't take on the presumed unfair “Swiftboating” attacks against him four years ago. The first question from Williams to Kerry during NBC's 10 PM EDT prime time hour of coverage:
I don’t need to tell you, people watching tonight were, you can answer this before I do, saying, “Sure, now, he took on 'Swiftboating’ in his speech tonight, but not when he ran for President.”
Kerry vociferously rejected the premise, then agreed with it, before he rejected it again as he credited newspapers with writing “the truth” about how he was smeared:
But we did actually. That’s not true. We took it on. The problem we made was a miscalculation about the truth being out there. We thought enough had been done. And the mistake we made was not spending enough money to answer the lies. We should have done that. I accept responsibility for that. But believe me, we answered it. Countless newspapers wrote the truth.
When Sen. John Kerry arrived in Boston for the last Democratic convention, the TV news stars thought they’d died and gone to political heaven. Dan Rather said Kerry’s speech drove the crowd in Boston into “a three-thousand-gallon attack about every three minutes,” and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham was comparing Kerry to Abraham Lincoln on MSNBC. If media liberals can get that excited over Kerry, viewers may have to worry about the anchors lapsing into diabetic comas over Barack Obama’s ascension convention in Denver.
It’s easy to forget just how “tick tight,” as Rather once put it, the primary race was between Obama and Hillary Clinton. It ended up with a vote gap of just one tenth of a percentage point. The real difference-maker in the 2008 race was the Obama favoritism of the national media, led by the television networks. It was his margin of victory.
Four years ago when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry made his “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” remark, the CBS Evening News instead ran a soundbite of Kerry promising “we're going to build an army of truth-tellers” as it took the newscast six months (!) to finally air the vote for/voted against clip and the NBC Nightly News didn't play it for nine days. Yet on Thursday night, both newscasts led with what NBC's Lee Cowan declared is “John McCain's personal housing crisis.”
ABC, which in 2004 aired Kerry's comment a day later when Dick Cheney raised it, didn't lead Thursday with McCain's failure Wednesday to say how many homes he and his wife own, but devoted a full story-plus to it with Jake Tapper deciding “it could be a seminal moment” in the campaign before George Stephanopoulos relayed how the Obama camp thinks “this is one of those metaphorical moments.” He recalled 1992, “when it seemed like President Bush didn't know what a supermarket scanner was.”
Fill-in CBS anchor Maggie Rodriguez led: “John McCain couldn't answer a question most Americans would find simple, how many homes do you own?” NBC's Brian Williams, back in Manhattan from Beijing, opened with how though “reporters are busy chasing down all available clues” on Obama's VP pick:
This was not the biggest political story of the day. That came from John McCain in response to a question about how many houses he owns. He didn't answer. The actual answer is a sizable number.
Deborah Solomon, reporter for the New York Times Magazine, conducted her weekly Q&A this Sunday with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, ostensibly discussing his plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil by harnessing wind power.
But Solomon, who admitted voting for Al Gore in the 2000 election, also posed hostile questions about Pickens's involvement in the 2004 campaign against Democrat John Kerry:
Solomon: You helped re-elect Bush in '04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry's Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement?
Although the term isn't used, it's clear that the Obama campaign sees itself and their candidate as victims of a vast conspiracy of right-wingers.
Going all the way back to the 1988 presidential election, Obama's "Fight the Smears" chart (featuring the campaign's new sort-of "presidential seal," replacing the one that was "dropped," at the top left) purports to tell us "Who's Behind These Lies."
If the page's historical starting points are any indication, to paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis, there may not be "a whole lotta smearin' goin' on" among the current "smearing" parties it identifies:
During the roundtable discussion on Sunday's This Week on ABC, when host George Stephanopoulos asked why Barack Obama had not talked about the economy more in his campaign ads, ABC political analyst Mark Halperin argued that taxing the wealthy should be a strong issue for Democrats this year, although he conceded it failed when tried by Al Gore and John Kerry. Without making any mention of the case that lower taxes on all Americans is beneficial to the overall economy, Halperin merely talked about President Bush's tax cuts that "disproportionately benefitted the wealthy," and seemed to suggest that eliminating those tax cuts may help the economy. Halperin: "That's one issue, again, Gore and Kerry went up against George Bush whose tax cuts disproportionately benefitted the wealthy, one of the best issues the Democrats could have. Neither of them made it stick. I think Obama, again, compared to the last two Democrats to run, has a real chance to make that case on taxes and fairness and how to grow the economy in a way that, I think, could be one of the decisive issues in this race."
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange between Stephanopoulos and Halperin from the Sunday, July 6, This Week on ABC:
For months, the mainstream media has obsessed with the evils of the "right wing attack machine." Recently, CBS bizarrely labeled attacks on Obama’s campaign financing flip flop "swift boating." ABC’s George Stephanopoulos even defended the Obama campaign’s discrimination against Muslims to "combat the issue" of false rumors that Obama is a Muslim.
While much of the mainstream media frets about the alleged GOP slime machine, they ignore the much larger, more heavily financed true smear machine from the left. The Politico reports that far left blogger John Aravosis, who also humiliates those who do not fit his brand of liberalism, is now attacking McCain’s Vietnam War record (ironically is exactly the outrage directed at the "swift boat" veterans)
The New York Times published an article Monday about the anger some Vietnam veterans feel over the vessel they used to serve on, Swift Boat, now being synonymous with "the nastiest of campaign smears."
In dredging up this issue, Times' writer Kate Zernike not only misrepresented many of the facts surrounding the claims made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but also completely ignored the mainstream media's role in turning the name of this patrol craft into a political pejorative.
In fact, something the Times conveniently chose not to share with its readers was how one of its own columnists, Frank Rich, wrote one of the earliest and most prominent pieces recharacterizing this nautical term as a smear tactic in his August 21, 2005, article "The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan."
But before we get there, here's what the Times had to say Monday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Bingo):