Continuing her network's anti-Limbaugh drumbeat today, MSNBC's Tamron Hall interviewed a little-known feminist activist by the name of Shaunna Thomas of the equally unfamiliar group UltraViolet, which is campaigning to deprive Rush Limbaugh of all of his sponsors. UltraViolet, apparently, is famous for pushing the specious and ultimately discredited claims about a supposed anti-abortion clinic bias by the iPhone 4S's speech recognition software.
To her credit, Hall noted that liberals like Bill Maher have said equally if not more offensive things than Limbaugh and not been called out on it, citing a tweet by none other than former White House aide Austan Goolsbee. "What do you make of this back and forth of, well he did it, but so did he?"
They're back, they have their media water-carriers in place, and the Obama administration is smack dab in the middle of it.
The United Nations is pushing for countries in the developed world to keep their "promise" to, in the worlds of Charles J. Hanley at the Associated Press, "raise up to $100 billion a year in new money for poorer countries to cope with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."
It's as if ClimateGate never happened (link is to NB's 120-plus posts on the topic). It's as if the IPCC and others associated with the scandal and the evidence-impaired claims of global warming -- er, climate change -- uh, make that climate disruption -- still have their reputations totally intact.
After nearly two years in office, the "first rate" economic team that President Obama assembled to turn things around - Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Larry Summers and Timothy Giethner - has itself nearly turned over.
His E-team of "brainy" economists, as ABC's Claire Shipman called one of them, went to work even before Obama took office, ultimately crafting a massive stimulus plan that they said would create millions of jobs. The media regarded them highly, giving them plenty of live interview time and constantly pushing their economic ideas.
ABC's Diane Sawyer called them "economic gladiators" in late 2008, as Obama was assembling his team. The networks also gave Obama's picks, especially Geithner's appointment, credit for a huge stock market rally.
"Stocks staged a monster rally last week after President-elect Obama unveiled his new economic team. But the euphoria evaporated today," CBS's Anthony Mason declared Dec. 1, 2008, on "Evening News."
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's first full day as the only person in the whole wide world with any kind of influence over what happens in the economy didn't go too badly.
That's the impression one might get from consuming two Friday Associated dispatches and a related AP Video.
Bernanke apparently took full charge of anything and everything having to do with the economy on Thursday evening. As noted early Friday morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), two Thursday afternoon dispatches from the wire service in advance of the government's Friday morning GDP report widely predicted to contain news of a significant downward revision to second-quarter economic growth placed surreal importance on the content of a speech he was to give Friday morning shortly after that report's release. The names of President Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, and Larry Summers were totally absent from both reports.
Friday, in the wake of the downward revision of second-quarter GDP from an annualized 2.4% to 1.6%, AP's primary economic report about Bernanke's apparent first day as Emperor-in-Chief again failed to name the five folks just mentioned, as did a one-minute video from Mark Hamrick found here (after a 30-second commercial).
Here is some of what Christopher Rugaber, with assists from Jeannine Aversa and Alan Zibel, wrote about Ben's big day:
President Obama continuously tries to portray himself as a friend to the little-man, middle class and small business. Hence his attacks on "fat cats" who "just don't get it," while labeling the extravagant bonuses as "obscene," and "the height of irresponsibility."
Meanwhile, members of his administration, in defending a sweeping small-business aid program Obama announced in his State of the Union, give reason to wonder if they really understand how to help small business.
Among the administration's proposals for small businesses are a $5,000 tax credit to hire new workers, elimination of capital gains taxes, and new incentives to invest in plants and equipment. At the same time, however, the administration plans to raise taxes on "the wealthiest Americans."
"You had me convinced - yes, he was. But you had me convinced that Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and some of these people are all going to be in the Cabinet. We'd be better off if they were," Imus said.
As President Obama's approval rating dips below 50 percent, his devoted followers in the media also appear to be losing that loving feeling.
Over the weekend it was Chris "Tingles Up My Leg" Matthews calling the former object of his affection "Carteresque."
On Tuesday it was Arianna Huffington -- who has spent the entire year pushing for government-run healthcare as well as cap and trade! -- asking an astoundingly dangerous question for such an unashamed minion:
"Will The Unemployment Disaster Be Obama's Katrina?"
Yep. In her recent HuffPost column, Arianna used the K-word (h/t Hot Air):
Business and Media Institute's Dan Gainor appeared on Fox Business News "Money for Breakfast" March 17 to discuss the Obama economic team's performance in the administration's first 50 days.
Gainor dubbed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "the worst" because "when he came out and talked about the housing plan that he didn't have, the markets tanked."
Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, earned a "B-minus," partly because "he showed his strength on Sunday" during a "60 Minutes" interview. Director of the White House's National Economic Council Larry Summers received a "C grade" for being "not great, not horrible."
Imagine for a moment John McCain was President, and few of the people on the task force he created to repair the crumbling auto industry owned American cars.
Would that be a public relations nightmare?
Well, an article published Monday by the Detroit News revealed that most of Barack Obama's newly announced Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry don't patronize the companies they've been appointed to rescue:
During the presidential campaign, we constantly heard from Team Obama and the media (excuse the redundancy) was how Republican-inspired deregulation had let evil bankers and capitalists run roughshod over the economy and created the current credit mess.
Well, a lot of the deregulation was GOP-inspired, but that isn't what caused the situation that I like to refer to as The Great SUCKUP (The Seemingly Unlimited Cash Kitty Under Paulson).
What John Berlau has found at Reason Online is that the Clinton Administration loved 1990s financial deregulation so much that it cited it as a major accomplishment.
When Larry Summers suggested in early 2005 that, as paraphrased by Slate's William Saletan, "innate differences between the sexes might help explain why relatively few women become professional scientists or engineers," the outcry was immediate, furious, and went to saturation level virtually overnight. The controversy ultimately led to his resignation a year later as Harvard President.
On Wednesday, Mr. Summers, a Democrat who was once Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, made a recommendation in his area of expertise -- that is, that a tax cut would be a good idea to protect against a possible recession. (Yours truly doesn't believe that a recession is anywhere near occurring. But hey, I've said since May, and several times since [here, here, and here, among others] that a tax cut is needed anyway to keep the economy chugging along at a good rate. So if panicked pols want to enact a tax cut for the wrong reason, I'll take it.)
Old Media reaction to Summers has been virtual silence.