Ever since liberal comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch announced her candidacy for to fill the vacant First Congressional District in South Carolina, the media has been on overdrive pushing her candidacy against former Governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).
On Tuesday May 7, Sanford recaptured his old House seat, defeating Colbert Busch by a comfortable nine percentage points, and none could be more distraught than her own brother, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Current TV’s Bill Press is visibly distraught over the loss of Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to former Governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) in the South Carolina First Congressional District special election. The liberal commentator was clearly a sore loser on May 8, and took to the radio to openly mock Sanford and the voters of South Carolina.
Press’ main attack against Sanford was his continued reference to God for his political comeback. "Mark Sanford suddenly he found religion… You know what, alright, so he won but stop the God talk," a bitter Press, himself a former Catholic seminarian, groused.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Huffington Post contributor Abby Huntsman proclaimed that following Mark Sanford's win in Tuesday's special congressional election in South Carolina, disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner "probably slept well last night knowing that he can potentially come back, too."
Co-host Willie Geist agreed: "Absolutely, absolutely." News reader Natalie Morales chimed in: "I was thinking the same thing this morning."
The Washington Post reported Mark Sanford’s “easy victory” in a special-election vote for Congress to replace now-Sen. Tim Scott. This had to be disappointing for columnist Dana Milbank, who predicted just last Thursday that “South Carolinians, asked to cross the line with Sanford on Tuesday, are likely to tell him to take a hike.”
The Post tried to paint Sanford as a goner. The only time his race made the front page in the last month was a Karen Tumulty story on April 18 headlined “Trespassing case, GOP's pullout rattle Sanford's bid.” You could smell the morning toast:
In the race to the bottom event known as South Carolina's First Congressional District special election, Mark Sanford has defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
Not that the establishment press didn't try to help Ms. Busch, to whose background they gave little or no scrutiny. And when two forms of scrutiny did arrive from independent quarters, first of her actual beliefs expressed in tweets before she or someone associated with her deleted them, and then this weekend of her past jailing on contempt charges during a messy divorce, they chose to ignore it.
We here at NewsBusters are often extremely critical of MSNBC’s Morning Joe as it often sets the agenda for the daily bias on the cable network. There are a few times, such as the Gosnell infanticide trial, when Morning Joe will actually prompt the rest of the liberal network to begin covering a story that it had previously ignored. Unfortunately that's not the case with Dick Harpootlian's racist attack on Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) at a fundraising dinner with Vice President Joe Biden in attendance.
You may recall that we noted that on May 6, Morning Joe ran a brief segment on the outgoing chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Dick Harpootlian grousing that the Palmetto State's governor, who, like fellow conservative Southern governor Bobby Jindal is of Indian ethnic heritage, should be sent, “back wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.”
It’s not often that people on MSNBC have anything bad to say about a Democrat, especially a member of the Obama administration.
That’s why it was odd to see Hardball’s Chris Matthews Monday wonder if Vice President Joe Biden predicting Elizabeth Colbert Busch will win Tuesday’s special Congressional election in South Carolina is a jinx.
A Democrat Super PAC is displaying epic hypocrisy by running a new ad in South Carolina's special election for Congress that slams Mark Sanford for adultery in office. This -- from the party that lined up almost unanimously behind Bill Clinton's adultery in office with an intern? This -- from the party that never wanted to know what John Edwards was doing visiting his mistress in a hotel, cheating on a wife who was dying of cancer?
But national media organizations reporting on this ad can't seem to find the words "Clinton" of "Edwards" anywhere in their articles, or note how Democrats don't find adultery much of a negative. The star of the anti-Sanford ad is a female attorney who says she's a Republican:
How do you know when a Democratic politician's or candidate's quote will either hurt that person or hurt President Obama (in this case, it's the latter)? When the Politico reports it, and the Associated Press avoids it.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for the congressional seat opened up when Tim Scott was appointed to replace Jim DeMint, apparently felt the need to appeal to those who oppose ObamaCare during a debate on Monday evening. Here's what she said, according to Politico's David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn:
HBO's Bill Maher on Friday – like so many liberal media members before him – made the case for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to be forgiven for his sins and allowed to re-enter politics.
At the conclusion of his Real Time program, Maher said, "In the not too distant future, we will elect a president whose penis we have all seen" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell spotlighted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's "troubles with his ex-wife" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that the disgraced Republican "seemed a little bit out of touch" after running a political ad "saying it's been a tough week for him after...what the people in Boston have gone through."
By contrast, O'Donnell's co-anchor, Charlie Rose, played up how "former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner may be eying a return" and touted "why the unlikely scenario is becoming a real possibility" for the Democrat on the April 11, 2013 edition of the morning program, a mere 12 days earlier.
I find that the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza usually plays things pretty much down the middle, and subscribe to his Fix email blast.
So it came as an unpleasant surprise to find in my inbox a little while ago a Cillizza email, linking to his current Fix column, tthat referred to Mark Sanford as "the turd in the political punch bowl." Cillizza repeated the line in the column itself. View the screengrab after the jump.
Amid all of the news breaking in Washington, from the upcoming sequester cuts to President Obama's second term agenda, NBC's Today decided to focus its Tuesday political coverage on a scandal that plagued former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford four years ago. The news hook was Sanford running in a GOP primary for the congressional seat left open by newly appointed Senator Tim Scott.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie touted an exclusive interview with the Republican: "Second chance? Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford running again for Congress years after an affair that ended his marriage and made him a political punch line. Will voters forgive and forget? This morning we'll talk to him live."
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday mocked the hiring of sex scandal plagued former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) by Fox News.
Hypocritically, the "Reliable Sources" host neglected to mention his own network's prior relationship with the prostitute loving former governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) "loves to prosecute businesses for potentially misleading advertising" but when he's exposed as a serial liar about his Vietnam War service, the media refuse to hammer him for the scandal, NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of the Saturday, May 22 "Fox & Friends."
While credit is due the New York Times for breaking the story, the network evening newscasts "ran it one night, and then they walked away from it," the Media Research Center president noted, adding by way of contrast that when South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) got entangled in his web of lies, "they were on him relentlessly,as they should have been."
But Bozell added of Blumenthal, "this guy's a liberal Democrat, and [so] they walk away."
For the full segment's video, click the play button in the embed at right. You can find the MP3 audio available here.
"Saturday Night Live" opened yesterday's show by mocking media for supposedly under-reporting the extra-marital affairs of three politicians, but the sketch completely ignored how the press boycotted the philandering of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards for nine months.
The program's producers also opted not to include disgraced former Democrat Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer in the group.
Instead, on stage were Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), played by Jason Sudeikis, Sen John Ensign (R-Nev.), played by Bill Hader, and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), played by Will Forte.
Despite the absurdity of suggesting that Ensign and Sanford's respective affairs were under-reported by the press, "SNL" writers completely avoided the fact that the news media, with the exception of the National Enquirer, boycotted Edwards' affair until after Barack Obama had been declared the Democratic presidential nominee (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Just in case you somehow haven't heard about it in the past couple of months, the Associated Press wanted to remind everyone this morning that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (who, to be clear, I believe should resign), who had AN AFFAIR(!!), went back to work today -- and that this really, really deserved to be a national story, as shown in the mini-pic of the AP's raw feed:
The unbylined AP item also reminded readers that Sanford "had been a GOP darling" earlier this year. Of course, there's no bias in that dubious statement.
Here's a picture of most of the short AP report, produced for the purposes of fair use, discussion, and ridicule:
My dear late father used to say that whenever a person's reaction is disproportionate to the stimulus, something else is at work. Keith Olbermann's "Worsting" of Ann Coulter on last night's Countdown [video] is a good illustration of the principle. Olbermann ostensibly awarded Ann his "Worst Person" for what was, after all, a rather mild swipe at Rachel Maddow, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her "raw sex appeal."
So what had really gotten under Olby's skin? What caused him to call Ann "putrid and evil"? Reference to the Coulter column in question reveals this paragraph, which Olbermann pointedly omitted from his Worst Person spiel:
Soon we'll only hear about Keith when his creepy e-mails using his mother's death to hit on chicks start making the rounds again. (Tip to Keith: When a girl refuses to give you her phone number, her assistant's phone number or her personal e-mail address, and only gives you her assistant's e-mail address, you're not halfway in the sack.)
On Saturday’s broadcast network evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News uniquely gave attention to the tea parties that were inspired by the Tax Day Tea Parties from April. Anchor Jeff Glor set up the report: "In scores of communities tonight, people spent their Fourth of July not celebrating but protesting. Taking a cue from the 1773 Boston Tea Party, they rallied against federal tax and spending policies. "
Correspondent Terrell Brown ran clips of several protesters who attended one of the rallies complaining about excessive taxation and spending by government. But, while the previous tea parties from April 15 were known to attract not only Republicans upset about federal taxes and spending but also Democrats, Brown did not speak of there being any Democrats at the rally he attended. But he did relay the complaints of a disaffected Republican toward the Republican party. Brown also managed to tie in Fox News as he showed a brief clip of FNC hosts Glenn Beck and Neil Cavuto talking on air:
In the week since South Carolina’s Republican Governor announced he had flown to Argentina to carry on an extra-marital affair, the broadcast morning and evening news shows have gone full bore on the scandal, cranking out 49 stories even in the midst of other major stories like Michael Jackson’s death and the continuing repression in Iran.
The morning after Sanford announced his affair, on the June 25 Good Morning America, longtime correspondent Sam Donaldson used the scandal to broadly charge Republicans with being “sanctimonious. They thump the Bible. They condemn everyone else, and when they [act] human, they don’t have much credit in the bank for forgiveness.” Unlike when New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught consorting with a prostitute in March 2008, all three broadcast networks immediately identified Sanford’s party ID.
A number of top Democrats are enmeshed in embarrassment or facing allegations of wrongdoing, but the networks have far less interest in publicizing those cases. A rundown of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening coverage so far this year:
While many on the left are reveling in the downfall of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford after he disclosed his affair with a woman in Argentina, there's a sympathetic figure being overlooked that might have the necessary background to fill the void left by the governor should he resign.
On CNBC's June 30 "The Kudlow Report," Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Steve Moore explained his close relationship with the Sanfords and raised a new political possibility.
"This is such a tough thing for me Larry, because as you know Mark Sanford has been a long-time friend of mine," Moore said. "This story truly breaks my heart." Moore suggested that South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford run for her husband's seat - as he called her "the brains of the operation."
In an interview with Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Sunday, CBS’s Bob Schieffer wondered: "Do you think that Republicans now should sort of shift the emphasis, though, from stressing social and family values and shift to more – to economic issues and be a party of economic conservatives rather than putting so much emphasis on these social issues?"
Schieffer began the Face the Nation interview by asking Barbour about the sex scandal involving South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford: "How much damage has it done to a Republican Party that is already on the ropes?...Your chances in 2012? This is the party that’s called itself the party of family values and so on and so forth. You’re going through a series of scandals now. This is not the first. Just like in the past, Democrats – we have seen Democrats involved in things like this. What does this do to the image of the party and how you try to project yourself and present yourself as a party, Governor?"
MSNBC's Carlos Watson on Monday provided a friendly forum for New York Times opinion writer Charles Blow to link red states and social conservatism with the hypocrisy of sex scandal-ridden politicians like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. In his June 26 column, Blow attacked right-leaning voters, "And this kind of hypocrisy isn’t confined to the politicians. It permeates the electorate."
Talking with Blow on MSNBC Live, Watson cited a questionable study finding the highest rates of online pornography correlate with Republican states. The cable host highlighted this connection and Census data finding that eight of the ten states with the highest divorce voted GOP in 2008. He asked the columnist to explain how one could be pro-family values in light of "seeing these other statistics." Blow attacked, "Well, I mean, I think you have to put Republicans to the side for a minute. It is social conservatism. And that is highly correlated to religiosity. The more religious people are, the more socially conservative they are, particularly on these sexual issues."
Chris Matthews, on his syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show," over the weekend, wondered if the Mark Sanford scandal will make the GOP a more tolerant party as he asked his panel: "Have Republicans finally embarrassed themselves out of calling themselves the family values party?"
His guest panel, for the most part, agreed with the premise as Dan Rather opined: "The Republican Party was already in the process of trying to make a bigger tent with more tolerance. This will, in some ways, help that movement." The New York Times' Helen Cooper admonished: "I think the one thing the Republican Party probably learned this week is that, you know, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
In a passionate Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning ("Silence Has Consequences for Iran"), former Spanish Prime Minister José Aznar who, in case anyone cares, serves on the board of WSJ parent News Corp., says that "It would be a shame .... if our passivity gave carte blanche to a tyrannical regime to finish off the dissidents and persist with its revolutionary plans."
Shaking off passivity requires visibility. America's media establishment almost across the board is providing very little. The Associated Press and the New York Times reports exist, but their distribution is dwarfed by the death of a pop star and a governor's infidelity.
Here are useful comparisons (all searches were done at Google News at about 8:45 a.m. for June 23-27, limited to USA sources):
The three network morning shows on Thursday devoted a staggering 18 segments to the revelation that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was having an affair with a woman from Argentina, adding up to over 54 minutes of coverage. NBC's Today show spent the most time on the subject, highlighting the infidelity with six segments and 25 minutes of air time.
Co-host Matt Lauer even talked to disgraced former Governor Jim McGreevey to get his thoughts on the matter. (However, while NBC made sure to label Sanford a Republican, the Today anchors failed to do so for the Democratic ex-New Jersey governor who resigned under a cloud of scandal.)
ABC's Good Morning America touted the sex scandal for 17 minutes and 26 seconds, featuring seven stories on Sanford. (It should also be pointed out that GMA came within seven minutes of Today's total, despite the fact that the NBC program is four hours, double the time of ABC's show.) During one such segment, Sam Donaldson insisted that it's hard to forgive Republicans who get involved in sex scandals: "They thump the Bible. They condemn everyone else, and when they- human- they don’t have much credit in the bank for forgiveness."
CNN’s Ali Velshi, during a segment on Thursday’s Newsroom program, ignored all the past sex scandals involving Democrats in recent years as he focused on “another sex scandal involving a leading Republican.” When his guest, Tony Blankley, tried to counter with how these scandals are being used to try to get the GOP to abandon social issues, Velshi tried hard to brush this aside.
The segment with Blankley, which aired at the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, began with Velshi recapping the details about the most recent Republican sex scandal involving South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and how legislators in the state were proceeding with possible impeachment of the executive. He then introduced his main point for the segment: “Okay, I’m going to say it- another sex scandal involving a leading Republican- this is the second in two weeks. It’s hardly helping the party to resurrect its image.”
After introducing his guest, Velshi referred to his point and asked, “I wasn’t the first guy to say that. You’ve heard this a lot in the last few days. You heard it before Mark Sanford. What’s going on with the Republicans and scandals?” Blankley first rebuked Sanford and any Republican who had been caught in marital infidelity. He continued by making his point about the push to give up on family values: “As far as the party is concerned, although there’s hypocrisy when one of its members or two or seven of its members breach the standards it advocates, you can’t give up your values. The party believes in supporting families. You have programs that do that.”