It's not often that the hosts of MSNBC trumpet an elected Republican as a "hero." But liberal anchor Ronan Farrow did exactly that on Tuesday as he praised Senator Mark Kirk's insistence that he would not campaign against his Illinois colleague, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
According to Farrow, Kirk's declaration caused him to release "weeping tears of joy" for "those rare magical moments of congressional harmony." Regarding the 2014 senatorial election in his state, Kirk asserted, "I am going to be protecting my relationship with Dick and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership to both pull together for Illinois." An effusive Farrow swooned, "For the increasingly novel approach of putting substance over politics, Senator Mark Kirk is our hero today." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On the day after Christmas, NPR’s All Things Considered offered a little gift to openly gay reporter Ari Shapiro: seven minutes of air time for a story with the online title “How 2013 Became The ‘Gayest Year Ever’.”
As anchor Robert Siegel said NPR was looking at the “winners and losers of 2013...for gay rights groups, the last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures to Congress to the Supreme Court. The surprise ruling in Utah legalizing same-sex marriage is just the latest win. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on why some LGBT advocates are calling 2013 the gayest year ever.”
NPR practiced its typical Inevitable Gay Progress bias on Tuesday’s Morning Edition. By a vote of 61-30, the Senate voted to proceed on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would allow LGBT activists to file lawsuits if they felt they were fired or weren’t hired or promoted on the grounds of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
Congressional correspondent David Welna piled up five soundbites in favor of the “common sense” gay agenda (including two liberal Republicans), and “balanced” that by relaying one perfunctory sentence from Speaker John Boehner. Not one social conservative could be found in all of Washington, and there was no mention of religious freedom being crushed:
The Washington Post on Friday stuck to its practice of keeping oversight hearings off the front page. On A-3, readers would learn Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the Senate, and the new IRS chief was being questioned about lavish spending in the House.
The Post did lead with the data-mining story (perhaps that’s a Bush/Obama scandal, not an Obama scandal), but also carried front-page stories on an openly gay track star at a local high school and a New York Post-like story on “the puzzling case of the pizzeria patio pilferer.”
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show usually skewers Republicans and conservatives, but last night, regardless of where you stand on the underlying issue of same-sex marriage, the program went beyond the pale with a joke about Republican acceptance of same-sex marriage that involved Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-Ill.) stroke
In an article on the sudden stroke suffered by Senator Mark Kirk, the Associated Press on Monday gratuitously piled on the Republican, currently in intensive care, making sure to note that in his last campaign, questions were raised "about his own honesty." The section has since been removed from the version on the Washington Post's website but can be found below in a screen capture. [Update: The Post has added the paragraphs back.]
After detailing the condition of Kirk, the AP's Sophia Tareen and Tammy Webber devoted three paragraphs to dredging up old attacks: "Kirk was elected to the Senate in 2010, winning the seat formerly held by President Barack Obama after a hard-fought election that often focused on questions about his own honesty."
"You know, the president's been calling for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, I'm not sure that he meant for the two of you to get together and go up against his signature program," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell complained at the conclusion of a chat with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on today's Andrea Mitchell Reports.
Mitchell had the senators on to discuss their opposition to extending the 2011 payroll tax holiday.
The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward has had a few shining analytical moments during the first two years of the Obama administration (examples here and here).
The AP reporter's dispatch on "gaffes and gotchas" Friday morning, which attempted to communicate a sense of bemusement tinged with condescension, both aimed mostly at first-time candidates, is not one of them, and contained its own gaffes:
CBS's local affiliate in Chicago today threatened to stop covering the Illinois Senate race if the Republican candidate continues to harp on an issue extremely damaging to his Democratic opponent.
If a candidate for the United States Senate was a senior loan officer for a bank that made over $20 million in loans to convicted bookies and pimps (while he was employed as a loan officer), is that candidate's opponent in the wrong for harping on the issue?
Chicago's CBS affiliate apparently thinks such connections should be off limits. A reporter from Chicago's CBS Channel 2 told Mark Kirk, the Republican opponent of former Broadway Bank loan officer Alexi Giannoulias that his channel is "not going to cover the Senate race, if it’s consistently only in your terms, is about Broadway Bank." (H/t Big Journalism, via Steve Gutowski)