At first I thought the IRS scandal was leaked to distract from the Benghazi scandal. But that didn't make sense because the IRS scandal is a more obvious abuse of power than the White House lying about the murder of four Americans in Libya.
Before I had resolved which scandal was distracting from which, we found out the Department of Justice was spying on The Associated Press -- not to protect national security, but to prevent the AP from scooping the White House. Then, this week, it broke that the Department of Justice was also spying on Fox News for reasons that remain unexplained.
On Tuesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, substitute host Alex Wagner and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid rejoiced over the prospect of Republicans "alienating" minorities as Wagner devoted a segment to the disagreement between former Senator Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation and Senator Marco Rubio over the economic impact of immigration reform.
As Wagner welcomed Reid as a guest, the two mocked Republicans:
Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio seems well meaning enough. As second-generation conservative Americans, I know we both share a common passion for this great land of opportunity. But when it comes to comprehending the real agenda of the open-borders zealots he's allied himself with, Rubio doesn't have a clue.
And his abject ignorance threatens all of us who cherish American sovereignty and exceptionalism.
When Republicans start lying like Democrats, you can guess they are pushing an idea that's bad for America. During his William Ginsburg-like tour of the Sunday talk shows last weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio was the Mount Vesuvius of lies about his immigration bill.
Here is how Rubio explained the powerful border-enforcing mechanism in his bill on "Fox News Sunday," which he denied was merely a meaningless goal:
In an interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory hyped: "The political problem the party faces, Republicans face, among minority communities, is so large if you look at the results from the 2012 election." Gregory then introduced a clip of Colin Powell ranting over a supposed "dark vein of intolerance" in the GOP during a January appearance on the program. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the sound bite from Powell, Gregory pressed Rubio: "Do you agree with that? And do you think that these [Republican] efforts on immigration [reform] are enough to overcome it?" Rubio rejected Powell's attack: "Well first of all, I don't agree that the Republican Party is characterized by intolerance or looking down on anybody."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) had some harsh words Sunday for Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent trip to Cuba.
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Rubio said, "I think it’s hypocritical of the people who took that trip because they didn't go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At what point will the public tire of liberal journalists lamenting that the Republican Party is overwhelmingly white and thrilled about it? They've been drawing that cartoon so long surely they'll eventually run out of ink. They love their 2012 narrative that every non-white group is rushing to Obama and the Left, and they want to keep it that way.
So what do you do when the GOP elects or nominates a black, or Hispanic (as they've done constantly)? You rip them personally, mercilessly. Ask Justice Thomas.
CNN media critic Howard Kurtz ripped the press infatuation with Sen. Marco Rubio's water sip as "profoundly depressing," but on Sunday's Reliable Sources he wouldn't call out his own network's attempt to use the incident to drive headlines.
Last Wednesday, CNN's The Situation Room took the trivial and blew it up. CNN showed a still-shot of Rubio sipping water with headline flashing "Career-Ender?" Host Wolf Blitzer asked his panel if the incident was a "big deal." The headline stoked outrage on Twitter and CNN jumped to explain it as a "joke," but Kurtz didn't mention any of this hullabaloo.
Anyone who thinks that setting a parody site of PolitiFact would be a good idea should reconsider. The site already parodies what a true fact-checking effort would look like on a nearly daily basis.
On Tuesday, the site's Molly Moorhead evaluated Marco Rubio's claim during his State of the Union response speech that spending cuts involved in sequestration were originally the idea of President Barack Obama and the White House. Of course they were. But after admitting that the "(The Price of Politics author Bob) Woodward’s reporting shows clearly that defense sequestration was an idea that came out of Obama’s White House," she still evaluated Rubio's claim as only "half-true" (bolds are mine):
It seems the liberal media are more concerned about Sen. Marco Rubio's midspeech sip of water than about President Obama's State of the Union commitment to double down on his disastrous policies.
What will it take for once-reasonable people to become alarmed at the state of this nation's fiscal condition, its stagnant economy and its egregious unemployment? Is there no number of irresponsible liberal policies from an extremist liberal president that will exceed their willingness to tolerate? Do liberal media — and rank-and-file Democrats, for that matter — believe that this recklessness can go on forever?
The liberal hosts on MSNBC just couldn't get enough of watching U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio reach for a glass of water and take a sip during his rebuttal of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, airing the snippet a staggering 155 times during the Wednesday broadcast schedule, according to a tally by the Daily Caller.
Other cable news networks showed the footage far less often. CNN aired it 34 times, and Fox News Channel played it just 12 times -- all of which took place on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” while the hosts discussed the media's obsession with the Florida Republican's “watergate” incident.
Liberal journalists like NBC's Matt Lauer and CBS's Scott Pelley have been acting like "whiney crybabies" recently as they lamented Republicans daring to challenge the president for his lack of leadership in tackling the nation's tremendous national debt. "Toughen up fellas," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chided the liberal media on the February 14 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity.
The Media Research Center president and the Fox News host also discussed how the analysts on MSNBC quickly set out to smear Marco Rubio following his response to the State of the Union. "It's a sign of the times that if you're a Republican giving the response" to the president that you "have to prepare for the media onslaught" critical of the speech." The media, Bozell noted, have failed to seriously consider the substance of Rubio's speech, "they've just hammered him for being who he is," while "you'll never see a Democrat hammered" like Rubio was. [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
President Obama's approach to so-called "climate change" appears to include recycling old ideas.
In his State of the Union address, the president recycled the idea of spending more on education, though we are still getting unsatisfactory results. A fact he inadvertently acknowledged by saying we're not keeping up with other countries in science and math. He maintained there are tens of thousands of jobs available but companies can't fill them because public schools aren't teaching students what they need to know. We spend huge sums on education already, so money and achievement must not be related.
All three major networks were awash in water bottle coverage, devoting time in both morning and evening shows to discuss Sen. Marco Rubio drinking out of a water bottle during his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on February 12.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” and World News,” CBS’s “This Morning” and “Evening News,” and NBC’s “Today” and “Nightly News” all talked about the water bottle, and the attention that it was receiving. Six stories covered the non-issue in the day following Obama’s speech. All three evening news shows ran the instant replay.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Florida Senator Marco Rubio taking a sip of water during his response to the State of the Union was "the televised moment from last night that just might live on forever." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams expounded: "Well, it's one of the cruelest aspects of politics in the television age. No matter how well-crafted the content, no matter how thoughtful a person you are, it's the television moments, the superficial, purely visual moments that are often remembered forever instead. And that will certainly be the case with Florida Senator Marco Rubio's GOP response last night."
<<UPDATE BELOW>> On Wednesday's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer absurdly wondered if Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pausing his State of the Union response for a drink of water would "break" his career. The CNN chyron flashed "Career-ender?"
"So can a drink of water make or break a political career?" Blitzer asked. "A U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Stevenson was dismissive of "the conservative mantra that nearly all problems can be traced back to excess government" and criticized Obama's "more extreme conservative critics" for misrepresenting the moderate Obama.
Now that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has stepped onto the national stage by delivering the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the media’s effort to undermine him is underway. On CNN’s Tuesday night post-address coverage, senior political analyst Gloria Borger sought to misrepresent Rubio’s view on the role of government.
Here is Borger’s take on the Florida senator: [Video after the jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose lived up to their reputation for hammering Republican/conservative guests, as they interviewed Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Rose mouthed a line from President Obama's Tuesday State of the Union address, where the chief executive invoked the families of gun violence victims to push for stricter gun control: "Do you agree with the President that those people deserve a vote?"
Later in the segment, O'Donnell strongly hinted that the Florida politician, and Republicans in general, were extremists [audio available here; video below the jump]:
George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday's Good Morning America delighted over Barack Obama's "dramatic," "emotional" and "ambitious" speech. During live coverage of last night's Republican response, however, the former top Clinton aide lectured viewers that Marco Rubio's speech was "hard-edged."
On Wednesday, Stephanopoulos introduced a segment on the State of the Union by praising, "The speech was ambitious and aggressive on the economy, dramatic and emotional on the need to end gun violence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Not once in the Jon Karl story that followed did anyone label the President's address liberal." Instead, Karl hyped that Obama "made it clear, he will resist efforts to cut Medicare and insist on more tax increases on the wealthy."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos was in full Obama talking points mode, Wednesday, grilling Marco Rubio on why he won't support the President's agenda. Every question the host offered echoed the White House's State of the Union agenda. Stephanopoulos lectured, "The President last night asked the members of Congress to promise not to shut down the government, not to do anything that would undermine the full faith and credit of the United States. Can you take that pledge?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Rubio wouldn't be cornered, however. On the issue of sequestration, he shot back: "And as far as these automatic cuts are concerned, George, those are [Barack Obama's] ideas. He insisted on that. He's the one that asked for that in the deal that passed last year." Stephanopoulos spun, "Those were signed on by Democrats, Republicans and the President alike." (The former Democratic operative turned journalist offered this exact talking point to George Will on Tuesday night.) Rubio scoffed, "Yeah, well, I didn't vote for it."
Once again, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews showed his over-eager liberal partisanship and Obama puffery following Marco Rubio’s response to the State of the Union on February 13. Speaking on Tuesday night with the rest of the liberal MSNBC panel, Matthews slammed Rubio’s speech as “primitive” and “tinker toys.”
Following Rachel Maddow’s liberal critique of Senator Rubio’s speech, which she said was, “a claws out kind of aggressive speech”, Matthews offered no such restraints in slamming Rubio, snarking that Rubio’s speech was, “something you would hear on a high school debating team.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
NewsBusters readers know that one of my guilty pleasures is exposing Bill Maher's lack of knowledge on subjects he pompously pounds the table about.
On Tuesday evening, Maher gave me a doozy when he wrote on Facebook, "Wow, what a shameless liar this Marco Rubio guy is - Obama created more debt than Bush? Well, if you don't believe in science, why not math too?"