Yesterday the Supreme Court heard a case, McCullen v. Coakley, which calls into question a Massachusetts law which establishes a speech-free-zone extending 35 feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic. That law provides, however, an exemption for the speech of employees or agents of said abortion clinics, effectively serving as restriction on speech which is NOT content-neutral.
To the extent that liberals in the media have bothered to cover this, there is no shortage of sympathy for the abortion-rights absolutists who vociferously defend this law. That's why a kudos is in order for the Daily Beast not only publishing but promoting on its landing page pro-life liberal Kirsten Powers's warning to her fellow lefties headlined, "Anti-Free Speech Zones Used to Silence Pro-Lifers Could Come Back to Haunt Liberals." Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine):
"In 1984, Ronald Reagan won every Northeastern state. Since then, the leadership of the G.O.P. has systematically shed its idealists in favor of ideologues, reducing itself to the current Cheney-Limbaugh illusionati whose strategy is to exploit faith and ignorance by fanning fear and hatred. But, Northeasterners are not so easily duped. Voters there tend to be wealthier, better educated, less religious and more progressive than those in other regions." -- New York Times columnist Charles Blow, writing on May 23, 2009.
"Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust." -- Charles Blow in his January 23, 2010 column, after Republican Scott Brown's victory in a special Senate election in Massachusetts.
(Hat Tip: James Taranto at Opinion Journal's Best of the Web)
Building on Brad Wilmouth's critique at NewsBusters of Keith Olbermann's disgraceful treatment of Scott Brown's U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, Johnny Dollar (HT Taxman Blog) measured the coverage of the victory/concession speeches of Brown and his opponent Martha (or is it Marcia?) Coakley.
Imagine my non-surprise when I saw the results (graph follows the jump):
During Tuesday night's coverage of the Massachusetts special election, CNN and MSNBC aired only a fraction of the Republican candidate's speech. Fox News Channel aired both candidates' speeches in their entirety.
.... CNN only ran 26% of Brown's speech, while MSNBC aired 37%. Fox News Channel carried 100% of both speeches:
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
Watching a dour Norah O'Donnell reporting from Senator-elect Scott Brown's exuberant victory bash in Boston, I half-expected O'Donnell to tell MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ... the mood here tonight is grim ...
O'Donnell didn't quite say that, at least not publicly, though she did cough up this gem --
O'DONNELL: Another interesting thing. You pointed out some of the odd things, talking about the availability of his two attractive daughters and also being willing to take his truck down to show it to the president and play basketball against him, but there was one part of the speech that I don't know if you heard. He said, our tax dollars should not be spent on weapons to stop them and not lawy-, let me start that over. Talking about terrorists, he said, our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to stop them, not on lawyers to defend them.
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann defended his recent attacks on Massachusetts Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown by insisting that some of the incorrect claims he made are true when, in fact, two are factually without merit while the third represents one of Olbermann’s typical episodes of distorting the words of a target. Among other complaints, Olbermann on Wednesday claimed that Scott "swore at" high school students at an assembly in 2007, that he has refused to renounce a vulgar threat made against Attorney General Martha Coakley by an audience member at a Sunday rally, and that he demonstrated racism in once suggesting that he wasn’t sure if Barack Obama’s parents were married at the time of his birth.
The Countdown host repeated a myth promoted by the liberal blog bluemassgroup.com that, in February 2007, then-State Senator Scott "swore at a hall full of high school students" as he appeared before a group at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In reality, Scott was not alleged to have "sworn at" the students, but rather, he angrily responded to and complained about vulgar comments that some students had written about him and one of his daughters – comments which had been posted on the Facebook page of a pro-gay rights teacher at the school – as Scott read the uncensored comments from the site, naming some of the students, in front of the assembly. His actions sparked criticism because he read aloud the profane words as they appeared on the Facebook page, but he was not alleged to have "sworn at" the students.
The super-sized, take-out-a-second-mortgage-to-pay-for-it bushel basket of movie popcorn just might not be big enough. War is breaking out among liberals, and the entertainment value might make Avatar look like a test signal.
Just make yourself comfortable, sit back, and watch Chris Matthews and Howard Dean go after each other on this evening's Hardball. Dean was floating the absurd argument that by choosing Scott Brown over Martha Coakley, voters were sending a secret coded message that they really wanted a health care bill . . . more liberal than the current Obamacare version.
Matthews calls Dean out on his lack of logic, and the pair wind up trading accusations of craziness.
There are times when speaking in a stream of consciousness is a good and wholesome thing. None occur in front of a camera, as evidenced by the public escapades of MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch.
The former ad-man took to today’s “Morning Joe” set yesterday morning to offer the following wisdom in reference to the impending Massachusetts electorate:
He is a traditional-looking middle-aged white male. We’re going back to basics, we’ve obviously had our first African American president we’ve had the female candidates and what-not – you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate, and is there a visceral comfort in that for people? I’m just curious from real kind of sociological point of view.
"I look at the numbers and I`m worried. I`m worried about this government committing itself to so many entitlement programs and committing itself to such a level of taxation that support those entitlement programs."
So surprising said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to colleague Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night just moments after Martha Coakley's concession speech to newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
As they sat in a bar in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Matthews sounded more like a conservative than the devout liberal he's admitted being.
"The country wants something better than what it has," said the "Hardball" host.
"That dissatisfaction has been overwhelmed by bad politics and smart politics on the right by a complaint about fiscal overkill," he continued. "And that is the problem the Democrats face right now -- a sense not that their values are wrong...The debt is too big. The government`s taking on too many responsibilities" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Wednesday's Today show, rained on Scott Brown's parade as she wondered if the Senator-Elect's post-victory call to Ted Kennedy's widow Vicki was an awkward moment since, as the Today co-anchor pressed, "You plan to do whatever you can to derail...the cause of his lifetime?"[Audio available here]
MEREDITH VIEIRA: You know on a personal note, you said last night the first call you made after your victory was to Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki.
SCOTT BROWN: That's right.
VIEIRA: How comfortable was that for both of you, knowing that you plan to do whatever you can to derail what Ted Kennedy called, called "the cause of his lifetime," which is health care reform?
It sure didn't take long for someone to blame Martha Coakley's defeat in Tuesday's Massachusetts special election on sexism.
If you thought it was because of the economy, or a backlash against Obama's agenda and/or healthcare reform, think again, for Jeannie Cummings and Erika Lovley of Politico claim Scott Brown won because he's a man and his opponent was a woman.
As their piece was published only a few hours after Coakley's concession speech, you've got to figure Cummings and Lovley were well-prepared to point this predictable finger if the woman who even Democrats admit ran an absolutely lousy campaign -- can you say "Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan?" -- lost (h/t Jennifer Rubin):
While it is well known that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is the most viciously liberal voice to host a news program within the mainstream media, even he normally tones down his anti-conservative, anti-Republican vitriol when anchoring special events like election results. But during MSNBC’s coverage of the Massachusetts special Senate election, Olbermann’s presentation was more rabidly partisan than if the Democratic National Committee itself were producing the show.
As he anchored a special 10:00 p.m. edition of Countdown, Olbermann not only used one of his "Quick Comment" segments to repeat his infamous attack from the day before on Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown, but he also impatiently interrupted Brown’s victory speech, and, while Brown was still speaking, went on to give a second "Quick Comment" blaming Tea Party protesters and Fox News for the vulgar "tea bagger" term being attached to the Tea Party movement.
At 10:19 p.m., Olbermann delivered a "Quick Comment" in which he sarcastically pretended that he would apologize for his attack on Senator-elect Scott Brown from the previous day in which he had called Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
When Democrats lose, liberal reporters tend to see anger and fear, and never positive motivations. CNN reporter Jessica Yellin found the "anger and fear" on Monday night in Massachusetts. She found it again during live coverage just after 10 pm Tuesday night from the Coakley campaign after the Democrat's concession speech, painting Coakley as a "very subdued woman" swamped by "a tidal wave of voter rage."
"The president told her you can't win 'em all, that's what she told us, and you could see the Martha Coakley there that voters saw, a woman who spent 20 years in public service, but a very subdued, restrained woman who could not have prepared for what she confronted, and certainly Democrats in this state say she was not prepared for -- a tidal wave of voter rage that the Democrats just did not foresee here."
We don’t yet know the outcome of the Jan. 19 Massachusetts Senate special election. But the very fact that the Democrats could lose the seat formerly held by Sen. Ted Kennedy to a conservative who’s made blocking healthcare reform a centerpiece of his campaign, has liberals sputtering implausible explanations.
On Jan. 19, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and liberal radio host Nancy Skinner appeared on CNBC with Larry Kudlow to discuss the ramifications of the election for healthcare. Both suggested that Democrat Martha Coakley was in danger of losing to Scott Brown is because Democrats hadn’t been liberal enough on health care.
Although he predicted Coakley would hold Brown off, Dean said, “Let me agree with something Larry said (far be it from me to ever do such a thing). But I do think this is clarity – about clarity of message and I think the Democrats haven’t had a clear message.”
The problem, from Dean’s perspective, was that compromise had watered down and complicated the health care bill. “Look at what we’ve done. We’ve passed this health care bill, which has, you know, just been a very messy, ugly process – or we’re about to pass a health care bill,” he said, predicting it would pass with or without a Coakley victory. “The best way to [have a bill that works and can refute GOP arguments] was to pass an extension of Medicare to people below 65. Everybody knows what Medicare is, it’s easy to understand, you don’t have to make deals with the health insurance industry. So this is about clarity of message, and Scott Brown has a clear message and the Democrats don’t.”
Democrats generally do not have to worry about an unfriendly press. Most journalists are more than happy to toe the liberal line. But when things turn south for the Democrat, the harder questions start flowing, and occasionally it can get ugly.
We've seen our fair share of backlash against reporters from the Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley. Videos keep popping up of people directly affiliated with the campaign harassing--verbally and physically--members of the press.
First it was veteran Democratic political operative Michael Meehan, who was caught on video shoving the Weekly Standard's John McCormack to the ground outside a restaurant on Capitol Hill. McCormack was trying to ask about the "no terrorists in Afghanistan" blunder Coakley uttered a couple weeks ago.
A video appeared today on RealClearPolitics showing two staffers at a Coakley campaign office screaming at a member of the press to leave the office, shouting obscenities at the woman, and calling her a Nazi (video here - h/t Ed Driscoll).
Chris Matthews left no doubt for Massachusetts voters what was at stake with their vote in today's Senate election as the MSNBC host, on Tuesday's Hardball, underlined, in graphic terms, that a vote for Republican Scott Brown was a vote to kill health care. Matthews, on the 5pm edition of his show, blared: "If they go for Republican Scott Brown it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!"
The following depictions of health care's imminent demise at the hands of Brown were aired on the January 19 edition of Hardball:
As a probable Coakley loss became apparent over the past few days, the liberal excuse machine has been gearing up to spin away as much as it can to dismiss a Scott Brown victory as inconsequential to the national political climate, despite the crucial nature of the seat to a Democratic super-majority.
New York Times reporter Liz Robbins provided an excellent case study of liberal bias Tuesday, profiling both candidates on the eve of the special U.S. Senate election in the deep-blue state of Massachusetts. Robbins's stories appeared side-by-side on page A22 of Tuesday morning's newspaper, and Democrat candidate Martha Coakley clearly got the better of the deal.
The text to the Coakley story was highly flattering:
Even during a fierce campaign for Senate, Martha Coakley speaks with quiet fervor, a serious woman who has been arguing issues since she was a standout on her Western Massachusetts high school debate team.
Ms. Coakley, the state's attorney general, gained international recognition as a methodical county prosecutor during the 1997 trial of Louise Woodward, a British au pair convicted of killing a baby boy in her care. Her composed television appearances helped her become the first woman elected district attorney in Middlesex County, the state's most populous, a year later. In 2006, just as easily, she swept the race for attorney general. Since then, she has won settlements from Boston's Big Dig contractors and from Wall Street firms that engaged in deceptive practices.
On Monday’s AC360, CNN’s Jessica Yellin spun the rise of Republican candidate Scott Brown as coming from “folks here in Massachusetts [who] are feeling angry and scared. They’re angry and scared about the economy, about jobs...and especially in this state, about health-care reform....[Brown] has tapped into that fear and sold himself essentially as a man of the people who will fight big government” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Anchor Anderson Cooper, reporting on location from Haiti, brought on Yellin 41 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program to discuss the potential effect of the Massachusetts special election on the Democrats’ push for ObamaCare. He addressed the liberal conventional wisdom on the senate race in his first question to the CNN national political correspondent: “Jessica, you have a well-known, well-funded Democrat in Massachusetts, running to fill the seat held for nearly half a century by Ted Kennedy. At first glance, you’d assume she’d win that with a walk. What’s happened?”
Yellin pinpointed the apparent cause of Martha Coakley’s (the “well-known, well-funded Democrat”) difficulty as coming from voter discontent:
The special election in Massachusetts is sure to be a close one. Should Republican Scott Brown prevail, however, the liberal media will have a host of ways to explain away the election as an anomaly and by no means a referendum on either the president or his legislative accomplishments (or lack thereof).
Perhaps one of the most absurd instances of this thinking came on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" where Washington Post veteran writer Sally Quinn actually attributed Brown's meteoric rise to, wait for it, a semi-nude photo shoot he did for Cosmopolitan magazine--a full 28 years ago (video and partial transcript below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft).
Quinn postulated that the shoot gave the "hunk" Brown a boost in name recognition before the election. O'Reilly, for his part, called Quinn out on how outlandish she sounded.
ABC on Monday night again empathized with the Obama White House’s disbelief that they could lose “Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat” -- and thus ObamaCare -- if Republican Scott Brown beats Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts. George Stephanopoulos saw a “Shakespearean” tragedy just over a week after PBS’s Judy Woodruff, on ABC’s This Week, described such a scenario as “a tragedy of Greek proportions.”
Stephanopoulos conveyed on Monday’s World News how “Democrats in the White House and Capitol Hill are braced for a shattering loss. And it's really hard for them to wrap their head around it, the idea that...health care reform may be in peril because Democrats can't hold the seat that Teddy Kennedy held for nearly half a century. You know, one White House official summed it up in a single word: ‘Shakespearean.’”
During the roundtable on the January 10 This Week, CNN and NBC veteran Woodruff despaired: “I was just going to say, quoting somebody in the White House, a tragedy of Greek proportions if Ted Kennedy's successor is the one, is the one who was responsible for the death of health care.”
UPDATES AT END OF POST: Joe Scarborough calls Olbermann out for these disgusting remarks -- now including video!
"In Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
Such was actually said Monday evening -- on national television!!! -- by a person currently employed by one of America's largest corporations, General Electric.
If the following "special comment" by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is considered acceptable discourse on a cable news network today, there really is something very wrong in our nation (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
This is the end Beautiful friend This is the end My only friend, the end Of our elaborate plans, the end Of everything that stands, the end No safety or surprise, the end I'll never look into your eyes...again.
Break out the hankies! Andrew Sullivan has gone into deep melodrama mode over at The Atlantic and is now mourning the "looming landslide for Brown." For the gloomy Sullivan tomorrow could signal not only the loss of an election but also the loss of health care and, ultimately, the loss of socialist America itself. Enjoy the act from the Sullivan Theater as Andrew presents his version of The End:
Boston Globe writer Lisa Wangsness can't be blamed too much for assuming that appointed senator Paul Kirk's term ends when the winner of tomorrow's election in Massachusetts, Scott Brown (photo) or Martha Coakley, is seated. Wrong. Mass. law is very specific on that term limit as Fred Barnes has noted in the Weekly Standard. The reason why Wangsness can be forgiven for her error is that it is the same assumption made by most of the rest of the mainstream media. Here is the relevant section of her article about the effect of tomorrow's election on the health care bill:
Another possibility would be for Democrats to hurry and pass a compromise bill before Brown were seated.
It is not clear how much time Democrats would have in that case. Before the new Massachusetts senator takes office, Secretary of State William F. Galvin must certify the vote, and town clerks have to wait 10 days after the election to allow time for the ballots of military members serving overseas to arrive, then they have another five days to deliver the final results to Galvin, according to state election law. After that, the new senator can be sworn in.
In a bizarre twist of logic, on Monday’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin argued that if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the race for the Massachusetts Senate, it would improve chances of health care reform passing: “I actually think they may get health care more easily than if they win.”
While Halperin acknowledged that losing the Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy would be a “disaster” for Democrats, he explained the supposed upside: “...if she wins, if they hold the seat, they’re still going to have to come up with a deal and then they’re going to have to have two votes, the House and Senate. They’re going to have to go through, you know, the torture of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson deciding if they can deal with the compromised bill.” Halperin seemed convinced a Coakley loss could avoid all of that torturous democracy.
Later in the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Monday, anchor Monica Novotny referred back to Halperin’s Morning Joe comments and asked guests Richard Wolffe and Larry Sabato about such an analysis of the situation: “In a discussion about this race earlier this morning on our air, the point was made that perhaps it’s better for the Democrats if they lose this seat....What do you think?”