On Thursday, August 7, CBS This Morning’s coverage of President Obama’s Africa Summit consisted of a glowing puff piece on how being First Lady was like being in a sorority.
Rather than acknowledge the existence of President Obama’s news conference from Wednesday night, Major Garrett, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, played up how “Michelle Obama and Laura Bush shared the summit stage with moderator Cokie Roberts and talked candidly about the hard knocks of political criticism.” [See video below.]
Former President George W. Bush had a marvelous line during his interview aired on ABC's This Week Sunday.
Asked by Jonathan Karl what he and President Obama discussed in Africa last week when the cameras weren't rolling, Bush replied, "What a big pain the press is" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday asked former first lady Laura Bush a truly disgusting question.
In a segment about the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship Program and its involvement with a group of Egyptian women, Burnett asked Mrs. Bush if the United States needs to "accept" anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism "when we want to make change" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You've surely heard by now that Michelle Obama presented the Academy Award for Best Picture last evening.
On Monday, MSNBC host Alex Wagner, appearing on Hardball, said, "Could Laura Bush have done it? No. If she'd appeared at the Oscars, I don't think she would have been greeted with the same amount of warmth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It didn't take long for Republicans to get bashed during David Letterman's interview with Michelle Obama Monday night.
In the middle of an election year, the CBS Late Show host actually asked the First Lady, "Has your husband ever come home and said to you, 'Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot?'” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
On Saturday, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura honored the heroes of September 11th at the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Shortly after, the Bush Center released a video in which the former President invited people to help commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks by contributing to a historical record for future generations (video follows with commentary):
During an interview with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Jim Axelrod wondered: "In terms of how you understand how you are perceived is there a liberal bias in the media?" Mrs. Bush quickly replied: "Yes. He doesn't have to answer, but I will."
Axelrod seemed surprised by her response: "Why do you jump in so quickly?" Mrs. Bush laughed and backed off slightly: "No, I'm only kidding. I really don't know." However, she observed: "I will say that I really do see for most Americans a great feeling of affection for George that you don't read about. Yes, I think there's sort a conventional wisdom that's put out by the press." Axelrod was still skeptical: "And that conventional wisdom tilts left?" Mrs. Bush replied: "Yes."
George W. Bush may be almost two years removed from his White House tenure, but the haters are still at work.
Gay Marxist playwright Tony Kushner is the toast of London theatre right now for his series of five small plays called "Tiny Kushner." Included in the set is a reprise of his piece titled "Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy," featuring Laura Bush reading Dostoyevsky to the ghosts of dead Iraqi children. (Byron York offered enough of a summary here.) In an interview with the leftist U.K. Guardian newspaper, Kushner demonstrated his hatred is undiminished:
"I wrote it after I was arrested at the big anti-invasion rally outside the United Nations in 2003," he says. "I left feeling immensely depressed because I knew we had left it too late to make a difference. And then a couple of days later, Bush said that he was grateful to us, because we had offered him a 'focus group'. I hate that motherf---er, but for once the man incapable of using the English language had hit on something apt: that's what the progressive left in America was reduced to, a focus group."
By contrast, Kushner expressed patience with Barack Obama, even as he proclaimed that the insights of Karl Marx are proven in America daily:
Today co-anchor Matt Lauer traveled to New Orleans, on Friday, to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and interviewed the likes of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, former FEMA Director Mike Brown, current Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, but saved any sort of direct shots at George W. Bush for his interview with Laura Bush.
At the very end of his August 27 interview about her charitable work in the region, Lauer laid the following guilt trip on the former First Lady: [audio available here]
On Thursday’s The View on ABC, during a discussion of Laura Bush’s recent revelation that she disagrees with her husband on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage, normally right-leaning co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck voiced agreement with the former First Lady, but also used a surprising choice of words as she recommended that conservatives talk to gay couples about the issue rather than "hating on it." Hasselbeck:
I think there are a lot of, maybe, conservatives out there who are talking about gay marriage and not necessarily with someone who wants to have gay marriage or has been in a gay marriage. You know, I had Melissa Etheridge over, we had dinner, we talked for hours about gay marriage, and I would really challenge people: Get out there. Instead of just talking about it and hating on it, actually talk to someone who’s loved someone else and have the conversation about what can be done...
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, May 13, The View on ABC:
First Lady Laura Bush is "settling scores" in her new memoir, reported Washington Post writer Ann Gerhart on Thursday, and several reporters from the New York Times and The Washington Post are called out:
The New York Times' Jason DeParle interviewed her "in a tone that was adversarial and more than a touch offensive." [DeParle is the Times reporter whose wife currently works for Obama.]
Jim VandeHei, then at The Washington Post, appalled her in Egypt when, during a presentation by the director of the Giza pyramid excavation project, he "elbowed his way to the front of the press pool, climbed onto the pyramid plateau and began shouting out questions" about Egyptian politics.
Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham got into a bit of a tiff on Thursday night's "O'Reilly Factor" that resulted in him calling her a "blind ideologue" as well as a "Kool-aid drinker" after she asked him if he had eaten an "ACORN cookie" at the White House Christmas party earlier in the week.
The spat began when O'Reilly jokingly asked Ingraham if she's going on a dinner date with Howard Dean now that he's bashing the Senate's version of ObamaCare.
It's like you and Michelle Obama. We're like this...I'm gushing over your gushing last night about the Christmas party. I'm still trying to get over that.
From there, the floodgates opened (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Tweep Cubachi):
People Magazine practically slipped over their drool-laden piece yesterday involving First Lady Michelle Obama's decision to recycle ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. The opening statement of this piece is so very complimentary of this novel decision, you'd think it was a decision that qualifies Mrs. Obama as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize next year. (Cause that's a little ridiculous, no?)
"It used to be that Christmas at the White House dazzled visitors with the glitter of thousands of fairy lights. But not this year. Not in this economy and not with this practical-minded first lady."
Apparently, first ladies of years past had celebrated Christmas in the White House with a total disregard for the economy and the environment.
Not so, however...
Shortly after the opening paragraph's praising of the current White House Christmas tree, the People article takes a swipe at the Clintons and Bushes for not being more like the Obamas:
According to The Huffington Post, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other right-of-center stars that regularly dominate the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List are - or should be - in a league of their own.
No, that isn't Arianna Huffington's blog heaping praise on conservative authors. It's a literal suggestion. With right-leaning books and authors holding so many spots on the list, and more to come - former Sarah Palin, former Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush all have books due out -Huffington Post suggests conservatives should have their own category to differentiate from other works of non-fiction.
In a Nov. 9 entry on The Huffington Post that laments Fox News host Glenn Beck pulling a feat not done before - holding the number one spot on The New York Times' four lists: hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback non-fiction and children's - they suggest a separate category altogether, not for political non-fiction, but conservative non-fiction.
A CNN.com article on Monday emphasized how Laura Bush “praised the performance” of President Obama during a recent interview and “criticized Washington’s sharp political divide.” Mrs. Bush also complimented Dick Cheney for defending the Bush administration during the interview with correspondent Zain Verjee, but the article didn’t mention this until 15 paragraphs later.
The article, titled “Laura Bush praises Obama, bemoans excessive partisanship,” summarized Verjee’s interview with the former first lady. The lead paragraph highlighted Mrs. Bush’s positive words for Mr. Obama: “Former first lady Laura Bush praised the performance of her husband’s successor Monday, breaking with many Republicans in telling CNN that she thinks President Obama is doing a good job under tough circumstances.”
After mentioning Cheney in passing in listing the topics of discussion during the interview, the CNN.com article returned to emphasizing how the former resident of the White House parted ways with her husband’s political allies: “The typically reserved former first lady defended Obama’s decision to deliver a back-to-school speech to students, putting her at odds with many conservatives afraid that the president will use the opportunity to advance his political agenda.”
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts conducted a two part, almost 11 minute interview with Michelle Obama on Friday that avoided tough questions and consisted almost entirely of softballs. This included reading e-mails from the audience, such as "What does she [the first lady] do for relaxation in the evening, away from the public?" and also "...How can she stay so positive about the economy?"
This is quite a contrast to some of the queries Laura Bush had to deal with when she was first lady. On October 22, 2007, the very same Roberts quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Mrs. Bush. She challenged, "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs." She also informed Mrs. Bush of the assertion by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that America "should export hope instead of fear."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow used the occasion of President George W. Bush's final address to suggest that he was to blame for the destruction of New Orleans as well as the felling of the World Trade Center.
In her Thursday program after the President's farewell to the nation, with a photograph of Bush in the right of the screen that included the disgusting caption "Goodbye, Good Riddance," Maddow continued with the attacks that have made MSNBC a journalistic disgrace for years.
At one point, she even scolded the President for not doing an exit interview with either her or Keith Olbermann (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
CNN has a segment that they call "CNN Student News" that is supposed to highlight the news of the day for the kiddie set. Pursuant to that, in a December 15 segment, CNN floats a question asking if Michelle Obama (or any First Lady) should get a government salary just for being First Lady?
But, what we really ended up with is a slight to those same students to whom CNN was ostensibly relating the news. No where in the report was there any talk of the Constitution in particular nor the law in general as the CNN anchor cajoled the kids into viewing with awe the "work" of the First Lady and in fostering in them a feeling that First Ladies should be paid for this "work."
In fact, one interview during the segment even made happy talk of the fact that, during the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton's travel and causes forced a "moving public works project" wherever she went. There was no hint of the burden this posed on the places she visited and no sense that these expenditures were unfunded nor that such expenditures were never voted on by the people of the states she visited. The kids are left uninformed that this "moving public works" burden was forced upon taxpayers unawares.
In the interview for Wednesday’s Barbara Walters Special on ABC with Barack and Michelle Obama, excerpts of which were also shown on Wednesday’s World News with Charles Gibson, Walters asked few questions that put the Obamas on the defensive, in contrast with her January 2001 interview, aired on 20/20, with then-President-elect Bush in which she challenged him on a number of fronts. Most notably, she seemed to chide Bush for choosing John Ashcroft as Attorney General because he "openly opposes abortion," and claimed that Ashcroft was "not considered a friend to civil rights." She asked Bush about reports that, as governor of Texas, he "spent relatively little time studying specific issues," and "only does a few hours of work" a day. The ABC host also challenged Bush from the left on the trade embargo against Cuba, and even asked Laura Bush if her more "traditional" plans for her time as First Lady would be a "setback for women." It is also noteworthy that Walters asked Bush about his plans for dealing with Saddam Hussein and cited "people in the know" who contended that the Iraqi dictator was "stronger than ever."
In the Words-Mean-Things category, yesterday we got both the Associated Press and CNN distorting the words Laura Bush used to describe Sarah Palin on foreign policy. Worse, the video interview of the First Lady was right on CNN yet on its own Political Ticker blog, CNN still distorted what Laura Bush said about Palin. It makes you wonder if the folks at CNN even watch CNN?
Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times yesterday misrepresented First Lady Laura Bush's words to make it seem like she was backing away from GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin's criticism of Senator Barack Obama's community organizing days.
Recall, as I noted in the NewsBusters post "Media Freak Out Over Palin and Giuliani's ‘Community Organizer' Jabs" earlier today, that community organizing, in the sense that Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer uses the term, is Saul Alinsky-style political organizing. It's not about church bake sales, picking up litter, little leagues, or parent-teacher associations. It's about agitation aimed at securing big chunks of government money and radical social change. It is not noble. It is radical left-wing activism. It is not community service. It's more like community destruction. Think Jesse Jackson. Think Al Sharpton. Think ACORN. Think Mother Jones.
For almost a week, practically foaming at the mouth media members scared the heck out of the American people presaging doom and gloom in New Orleans as well as rising oil and gas prices all at the hands of a hurricane that hadn't even entered the Gulf of Mexico yet.
Of course, let's not forget the reports about Hurricane Gustav destroying the Republican National Convention thereby damaging John McCain's chances of winning the White House.
Now, as Gustav has been down-graded to a tropical storm, having caused less damage in New Orleans than anyone anticipated, America is quickly getting back to normal likely much to the disappointment of those on the left and in the media that hoped for a replay of Hurricane Katrina weeks before Election Day.
And, as Bloomberg reported Tuesday, energy prices are plummeting (photo courtesy CNN Money):
Imagine a conservative commentator suggesting Hillary would rather spend time up-close-and-personal in the company of bare-chested warriors than with Bill. Cries of sexism and intrusion on privacy could be expected to echo through the media.
But don't expect the MSM to blink over Mika Brzezinski having suggested the same regarding Laura and George W.
With Joe Scarborough off today, Mika again was in the Morning Joe host chair. One of Willie Geist's light-hearted "News You Can't Use" items focused on Laura Bush's surprise trip to Afghanistan, and the display of the traditional Maori haka dance that New Zealand troops there performed for her.
Over the years I've noticed ABCNews.com likes to have fun with Photoshop. They seem to have very lenient rules when it comes to the photos that accompany their stories. Today I spotted a picture of Laura Bush's head placed on the body of Godzilla on their front page. Here's the blog posting the picture links to over at ABCNews.com. On my blog I've previously discussed my frustration with ABCNews.com.
Update: The picture is no longer featured on the ABCNews.com Web site as of 2:25 p.m. CST.
After a May 7 speech at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, ABC's Cokie Roberts expressed concern that an electoral loss by Hillary Clinton would "set women back further" during her response to an audience member's question about what Clinton's legacy would be. Roberts: "I do wonder, and people ask me that a lot, is whether, if she is defeated, that is going to set women back further, or whether the fact that she's made it this far is going to be helpful to women. And I fear that it will be the former because that tends to happen, you know." (Video of the speech can be found here.) (Partial transcript follows)
Roberts also recommended that the eventual Democratic presidential nominee "needs to pick a white guy from a swing state, preferably a guy who owns a gun," a variation on her words from the Sunday May 11 This Week that the Democratic ticket should include a "Bible-thumping, gun-owning, white guy from a swing state."
Yes, that was the headline and subhead for Mark Moford's column in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Not only does the very title of this screed of ignominious proportions rip into the first lady for no worthy reason, Moford also says that being a Catholic woman is "unfortunate." Shamefully, he also calls the Bush daughters their "twin Styrofoam peanut daughters," so it isn't just Laura Bush he unduly attacks. It's been a long time since a major newspaper has published a so-called editorial with this much vitriol contained within.
Moford tries to explain why conservative women find themselves raising an eyebrow at loudmouthed women like Teresa Heinz Kerry and Hillary Clinton (when she was first lady) but he completely mischaracterizes why people react to them the way they do as mere distaste of their gauche personalities as opposed to opposition to their ideologies and a feeling that such women overstep their boundaries.
These people never learn. Other than some diehard BDS sufferers, who in their right mind is going to pay to see an Oliver Stone depiction of George W. Bush? Fair or not, the president suffers from low poll numbers and we've heard for some time that America suffers from Bush fatigue, so it's curious why any studio would greenlight such a project and begin filming while he's still in office.
Hollywood apparently has learned nothing with the seemingly endless string of antiwar flicks bombing, so now we'll get the moonbat look at Bush. One can only imagine how Dick Cheney, Donaly Rumsfeld and the nefarious cabal of neocons will be portrayed.
Bush has been the most scrutinized president in modern times thanks to the explosion of the blogosphere, so it's not as if Stone would be able to shed any new light on his life or presidency. You can be sure, however, he will be taking creative license.
During a live interview with the President and the First Lady from Africa on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Ann Curry pestered Bush about the Iraq war and its economic effect on Americans as she told the President: "I mean they say they're suffering because of this war."
ANN CURRY: But you're saying you're gonna have to carry that burden, you're saying you're gonna have to carry that burden. Some Americans believe, that they feel they're carrying the burden because of this economy.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah well-
CURRY: I mean they say they're suffering because of this war.