MSNBC’s Alex Witt just can’t get enough of President Obama. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host latched onto the president’s comment, made during his interview with Chris Matthews last Thursday, that a president’s job is to “push the boulder up the hill a little bit before somebody else pushes it up a little further.”
After playing a clip of that statement, Witt couldn’t hide her glee. Addressing Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane Politics, Witt exclaimed, “What a great part of that conversation. Have you, Patricia, ever heard such an honest, contemporaneous assessment of the presidency like this before while in the presidency?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sweet set out to convince readers that while the White House veggie garden was the first lady's "signature project," she was powerless to thwart the ravages of Mother Nature as the shutdown furloughed gardeners who tended to the plants. Apparently the First Lady can't work the garden herself with some capable volunteers from local charities like Miriam's Kitchen helping her, even though she used those folks for a harvesting photo-op in October 2009 (emphasis mine):
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt is still steaming over the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On Saturday’s edition of her program Weekends with Alex Witt, the host spent considerable time fuming about the House GOP’s 40th attempt to thwart ObamaCare, even hilariously worrying that the repeal votes were costing taxpayers money.
Addressing Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, Witt inquired, with no hint of irony, “So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly. The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke. Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.
Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:
As soon as Romney pledged not to cut military spending (incorrectly implying that was an Obama proposal — something he has done before) Obama pounced, portraying Romney as woefully uninformed about how a modern military measures its strike force.
After airing a clip of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad featuring female Democratic candidates for key U.S. Senate races this November, MSNBC's Alex Wagner effusively praised the campaign ad as an excellent response to the "Republican assault on women's health." The ad "really isolates the guys in Congress who are voting for this" and the women that stand as bulwarks against this," Wagner gushed. Panelist Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times agreed, adding, "The smartest line was said by Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, when he said that if there were 83 women in the Senate, not 83 men, they wouldn't even have a debate on birth control and contraception."
Yet at no point in the segment on the March 2 Now with Alex Wagner did the host or anyone else bring up the fact that of the 17 women members of the U.S. Senate, four of them, all Republicans, voted for the Blunt Amendment, which would allow private employers to opt out of insurance coverage for procedures or drugs that violate their religious or moral convictions, such as contraception.
Fox News Watch panelists on Saturday named some villains concerning last week's tragedy in Tucson.
Aside from the shooter himself, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos were mentioned for their terrible coverage of this awful event (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill O'Reilly was certainly pleased with the announcement that Fox News has won a coveted seat position in the White House briefing room.
On Monday's "O'Reilly Factor," the host told guests James Rosen of FNC and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "might be able to sneak down in there" and "sit in the front row."
O'Reilly continued with a devilish grin on his face, "Believe me when I tell you that I will be there sometime down the line, and Glenn Beck might be there, Hannity might be there" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday said an inconvenient truth that few in his industry would care to admit: "Helen Thomas has been saying all kinds of questionable things in [the White House] press room for the past decade, but her colleagues, for the most part, had given her a pass until now."
This indeed is the real lesson behind last week's retirement of the nation's longest living member of the White House press corps: she for years was allowed by her colleagues to regularly get away with what most of them knew was unacceptable behavior.
Interesting that media members are learning this lesson only when one of their own falls from grace. The question is whether or not they'll recognize that they should always be scrutinizing each other's performance in order to maintain the integrity and professionalism key to an industry that is charged with policing government and the politicians that serve our very nation.
This seems especially important given how the same people now admitting they let Thomas get away with media malpractice ignored all journalistic standards during the last presidential campaign and have continued to do so since Barack Obama was inaugurated.
Consider that as you watch Kurtz and his panel discuss the Thomas affair on the opening segment of Sunday's "Reliable Sources" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary, full transcript at end of post):
"I wasn't at the press conference last night, and I also don't have all the facts, but I think it's fair to say that Obama handled that question -- oh, what's the word I'm looking for -- stupidly?"
So quite surpisingly said Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on Thursday's "Daily Show" in reference to the President's statement at Wednesday's press conference that the police officers involved in Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates's arrest "acted stupidly."
I kid you not.
In a fabulous display of bipartisan comedy -- Stewart deliciously lambasted Republicans, Democrats, Fox News, CNN, Brian Williams, healthcare reform, and, yes, the President -- Stewart ended the segment criticizing Obama's answer to Lynn Sweet's question about what the Gates incident says about race relations in America (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 6:12, vulgarity warning, h/t NBer balboa):
It's Friday in the East Wing of the Obama White House, the realm of first lady Michelle Obama.
Many of the cream-colored walls are still bare. The Obama administration, after all, is just one month old.
But there is a growing photo collection in the hallways that charts the increasing activity of the first lady in the last two weeks as she settles in to her new role and starts expanding her portfolio of issues.
The newest item on her non-controversial agenda is healthy living. That's in addition to assisting military families, pushing work-family balance, national service, women's concerns and opening up the White House to the community.
Wow! Can you imagine one woman accomplishing so very much so quickly? But the fawning has just begun as Sweet moves on:
Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs is conducting his second-ever press conference right now. Below you'll find my live-blogging of the questions. I can't promise verbatim rendering of the questions, but should the Obama administration post a full transcript later on, I'll link to that as well. [see related post]
I'm watching the video via MSNBC.
13:20 ET: Unid'd female reporter: This morning this event with the bipartisan leaders that the president had... but will there come a point when the president, and democratic leaders in the congress decide to have a vote whether Republicans like it or not?
13:21 ET, same reporter asks follow-up question on bipartisan cooperation
13:22 ET, male reporter asks about economic stimulus plans
13:25: What kind of reassurances can you give on the economic package. And on Pakistan, did the president consult with the Pakistan government on the strike.
Gibbs replies that he won't address the airstrikes or other military operations.
13:25, Major Garrett, Fox News Channel: You will never speak of any military operation taken by the United States?
Gibbs replies he won't discuss those airstrikes at today's briefing
Lynn Sweet wants the Obama team to come clean over its contacts with Blago. David Shuster has a different concern. He's hoping the media won't get "adversarial" once the Obama folks get around to releasing their report about who said what to whom.
Shuster made his pre-emptive plea for good media manners on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the MSNBC show Shuster has recently begun hosting now that David Gregory has moved on to Meet The Press.
Sweet, of the Chicago Sun-Times, began with a reasonable reporter's take on the pending release by Team Obama of its accounting of contacts between the President-elect's representatives and Blago and his minions: take your time but be complete. In contrast, Shuster's focus was his demand for media decorum and desire to exculpate Rahm Emanuel before even learning the facts.
Emanuel, who was a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s, was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac upon his departure from the Clinton administration.
"Clinton's going-away gift to Emanuel was a seat on the quasi-governmental Freddie Mac board, which paid him $231,655 in director's fees in 2001 and $31,060 in 2000," Lynn Sweet wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 3, 2002.
RALEIGH, N.C.--Barack Obama seemed to mix up black television sitcoms "Sanford and Son" and "The Jeffersons" in a speech Wednesday, where he was making the point that if Social Security had ever been privatized--as Republicans tried to do a few years ago, folks invested in the stock market would have been whacked with giant losses because of the economic meltdown.
"Can you imagine if you had your Social Security invested in the stock market these last two weeks, these last two months.
You wouldn't need Social Security. You'd be having a, ya know like Sanford and Sons, 'I'm coming Weezy."
Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Lynn Sweet, seems to have changed hats from journalist to Obama fundraiser promoter. In reporting on new fundraising efforts by the Obama campaign due to their worry over the energized McCain-Palin team, Lynn slips from straight reporting to acting as a flat out PR agent for an upcoming Chicago fundraiser. First Lynn mentions the new concern about the rise of the Republican presidential team in her column:
WASHINGTON--The McCain-Palin ticket is up in the polls--but wait--it's a fund-raising opportunity for the Obama team, a chance to sound the alarm to high end female donors. The Obama campaign is planning a major fund-raising push aimed women next month in Chicago. Men are welcome--if they donate at least $1,000--the price of a general admission ticket. To be a national chair of the event, raise $100,000 or contribute $57,000
"Daley scoffs at worries of political purge," reads a August 20 Chicago Sun-Times headline recording the dismissive reaction of the city's Democratic mayor about how his city worker firing spree could turn into a political purge. Only Daley's Democratic Party affiliation was nowhere mentioned in Fran Spielman's nine paragraph story:
Mayor Daley on Tuesday scoffed at a federal hiring monitor's demand for guarantees to prevent the threatened layoff of well over 1,000 city employees from turning into a political purge.
"A layoff is done because of union rules. I don't know where you get that" concern about firings based on politics, Daley told reporters after a firefighters graduation ceremony at Navy Pier.
Elizabeth Edwards authorized a friend to attack John Edwards over his infamous "she was in remission" interview on Nightline. That's the stunning assertion of Sandra Westfall, the "People" magazine writer who authored the article [excerpt here] containing the friend's crticism. Westfall was a guest on tonight's Verdict with Dan Abrams.
DAN ABRAMS: Sandra, let me start with you.Is it fair to say that the story that you guys have in this week's magazine is effectively Elizabeth Edwards' side of the story?
SANDRA WESTFALL: You know, she authorized her brother and her best friend to speak to me on her behalf.
In her August 4 blog post -- "Energy fueling Monday's agenda. Obama, 47 today, acts, McCain reacts" -- Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet glossed over a ludicrous statement by Sen. Barack Obama wherein the presumptive Democratic nominee suggested that properly inflating tires would eliminate the need to drill for more domestic oil.
Sweet noted that Republicans are :
[P]laying defense, because talking about oil prices is the Obama team agenda--are offering tire gauges to reporters, mocking Obama for suggesting that people keep their tires inflated properly in order to save gas.
But the Illinois senator didn't just echo some public service announcment about how properly inflated tires improve fuel economy. What Obama critics are making light of is this recent comment from last week where he suggested it does much, much more. It would eliminate our need to drill for more oil (emphasis mine):
Check out the promotional ad for Lynn Sweet's reporting from Obama's Mideast tour, as captured from the Chicago Sun-Times Web page today. The caption reads "Lynn Sweet Aboard O-Force One! Get up-to-the-minute updates from Barack Obama's World Tour."
With the media's history of Obamagasms, wouldn't the Mile High Club be a better comparison to draw?
In her July 15 column, "'Tasteless cover,' fascinating story," Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet lamented that the fuss over the New Yorker's satirical Obama cover art sucks all the oxygen out of the political newsroom. As such, it leaves almost incombustible the otherwise potentially explosive reporting by reporter Ryan Lizza, who penned the New Yorker cover feature (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON -- The shame of the controversy over the cover of the latest edition of the New Yorker -- portraying Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Office, her wielding an AK-47, him in a turban and robe outfit suggesting he is a Muslim -- is that it draws attention away from a very good story inside by Ryan Lizza about Obama's Chicago political roots.
The cover hides an in-depth story about Obama's political roots, taking us to Hyde Park, the Gold Coast and Springfield. Lizza brings us inside Obama's Chicago political world and the political culture that spawned the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Barack Obama's penchant for gaffes is hardly anything new, but as the Illinois Democrat has come closer and closer to becoming the official Democratic presidential nominee, it seems the mainstream media have become less and less likely to note his gaffes. A cursory Web search finds a few instances of the mainstream media picking up on Obama gaffes in 2007, when Sen. Clinton was well ahead of Obama in the polls and was widely expected to be marching towards coronation in Denver.
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, 46 days old on Tuesday, has run into some speed bumps, created because of a series of missteps magnified because he is under microscopic scrutiny.
It's too early to say whether the gaffes slow Obama's momentum -- or if they become barricades, extracting a more significant price for the Illinois Democrat's White House bid. They are getting noticed.
Consider the items that have been accumulating since Obama announced on Feb. 10:
Weather Underground leader turned-academic William Ayers is now so docile that it never really "bothered anyone in Chicago," that Sen. Barack Obama had any connection to him, wrote Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet in the April 18 paper. Along those same lines the Washington Post's Peter Slevin argued that the '60s radical was now "considered so mainstream" in Chicago "that [Mayor Richard] Daley issued a statement on Thursday praising him as a 'distinguished professor of education' and a 'valued member of the Chicago community.'"
But while he may have forsaken violence long ago, as his blog attests, Ayers's politics are far from mainstream, and go far beyond the standard Democratic arguments to withdraw from Iraq. For example, Ayers wants to pay reparations in Iraq AND Afghanistan and practically withdraw the U.S. military from the entirety of the Middle East, even in countries that have longstanding security arrangements with the U.S.
Taken from an April 13 blog post titled originally enough, "End the War" (emphasis mine):
I'm not sure what got into Howard Kurtz Sunday morning, but the Washington Post/CNN media analyst, and "Reliable Sources" host, really laid into the press for their horrible coverage of the presidential campaign.
Maybe more surprising, Kurtz voiced his displeasure with both print and television news coverage, as well as what was being written and said about the candidates on both sides of the aisle.
So go get some popcorn, and prepare yourself for a media bashing guaranteed to put a smile on your face: