NewsBusters readers know that one of my guilty pleasures is pointing out the stupidity of America's television personalities.
The award for the most intellectually challenged comment I saw on TV Tuesday goes to MSNBC's Martin Bashir who on the show remarkably bearing his own name said that first lady Michelle Obama based her anti-obesity campaign on warnings from - wait for it! - "obstetricians" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Barbara Walters either deeply adores Michelle Obama or she was just acting like an extreme guest-coddler on The View Tuesday. She suggested that if President Obama lost the election – and she then lifted her hands to her mouth in horror – Mrs. Obama could have a career of her own since she would be “a very popular candidate.”
Walters began: “There have been rumors – if the president is not reelected [dramatic ‘God forbid!’ face], or that in the future, that you might consider running for political office.” Mrs. Obama was dismissing that talk, at least for now: (Video and transcript below)
Over the course of two programs, ABC on Tuesday devoted 38 fawning minutes of time to Michelle Obama and her new book, American Grown. Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, who admitted getting a "chill" during her last interview with Barack Obama, happily announced that "everybody [on GMA] is on their best behavior" during the First Lady's visit.
Roberts's interview with the First Lady stretched for 13 minutes and included penetrating questions about Obama's "great admiration for Beyonce." Mrs. Obama appeared on The View for 25 minutes. Supposedly serious journalist Barbara Walters repeatedly wondered whether "racism will be a part of this campaign."
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member and liberal Washington Post columnist Colby King charged that Republicans and Fox News have "painted Barack Obama as the devil incarnate," and warned that, during this campaign year, "The nastiness is going to come out. The Limbaughs are just going to let it all hang out."
Does Alex Trebek owe Republicans equal time on his Jeopardy! game show? Answer: Yes, the show has become overrun by Democratic politicians and is only going to get even more politically imbalanced in the days to come.
Last week and this week, the popular game show, in which contestants are given clues and must provide the answer in the form of a question, has been presenting its annual "Teen Tournament" shows with young Americans as contestants -- and First Lady Michelle Obama presenting some of the clues. The show is being broadcast from Washington DC during the Teen Tournament.
The news Monday of a thwarted al-Qaeda plot to place another explosive device modeled on the "underwear bomb" that failed on Christmas Day 2009 might make a news consumer wonder: What ever happened to that terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab? On February 16, he was sentenced to life in prison for his attempt at mass murder. Did you miss it? The networks weren't very interested. Only ABC's World News filed a full evening-news report by legal reporter Pierre Thomas, but even that left out Team Obama -- especially Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claiming "the system worked" when it obviously didn't. Citizens foiled the attack over Detroit, not the government.
NBC never covered the life sentence in the evening. One 67-word brief by Amy Robach on "Today" was all they did. CBS Evening News mentioned it briefly, but here's one full Obama report they did instead, correspondent Norah O'Donnell explaining how White House tourists were "overcome with emotion" when Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance:
As NewsBusters reported, Ann Romney got mercilessly attacked last week for having the unmitigated audacity to wear a $990 shirt on television.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, Thomson Reuters' Chrystia Freeland said this was "fair" and "fine" because "Michelle Obama gets bashed if she wears expensive clothes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday, CBSNews.com's Lucy Madison bizarrely included Vice President Biden as one of the Obama campaign's "most popular surrogates" as she highlighted First Lady Michelle Obama's 69 percent approval rating, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. However, Madison didn't point out that Biden's approval ratings in two polls earlier in 2012 lag far behind Mrs. Obama.
The online political reporter first noted in her article, "In push for battleground states, Michelle Obama heads west," that the First Lady was "swinging by Colorado and Arizona as part of a four-state tour that will include fundraisers and campaign appearances in Las Vegas and Albuquerque." She continued that these "early campaign appearances by Mrs. Obama - whose approval ratings eclipse her husband's...are another indication that President Obama's re-election campaign will make a hard push this November to win Western states with growing Latino populations."
Ballasy, an alumnus of the MRC's CNSNews.com, caught up with King after the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The CBS This Morning anchor listed several areas where the chief executive apparently kept his promises: "He talked about health care. He talked about Osama bin Laden. He talked about 'don't ask, don't tell.' He's done everything that he said he was doing to do." Of course, the President also promised to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terror suspects during the 2008 campaign, but broke that pledge in 2011.
It's tough to believe this actually happened in the year 2012.
During an interview with South Carolina's Republican Governor Nikki Haley, Time magazine's editor-at-large Belinda Luscombe disgracefully said, "In New York City, which you're visiting for a couple of days, a lot of our taxi drivers are Sikhs. If you get one, are you going to give him a slightly bigger tip?"
The new issue of TV Guide magazine has this headline on the top of the cover: "Exclusive: The Biggest Loser Works Out With The First Lady!" Inside, TV Guide spotlighted the latest Michelle Obama pop-up in TV Land -- in two episodes, on April 3 and 10.
"I've been a fan of The Biggest Loser for years," proclaimed the First Lady in a photo caption of her working out with the show's trainers. "Whenever I watch, it always makes me want to get active!" In the article is this: "Confirms Obama, 'I don't think it's in Bob's or Dolvett's natures to 'take it easy'...It was such an incredible experience to work out with the trainers...they really put me to the test, and I'm happy they did!" But the goo scooped up for Michelle on the NBC show is more favorable than this spread:
In the 7 a.m. et hour of Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales fawned over Michelle Obama's appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman: "She...talked about her late-night chats with the President, and joked that he's always upbeat, especially about the notoriously deadlocked Congress. I guess you got to keep your sense of humor about you."
Later, in the 8 a.m. et hour, Morales was equally thrilled by a YouTube video mocking Republican front-runner Mitt Romney: "And will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? This video parody of Eminem's famous rap hit is going viral and being shared across Facebook."
Can you imagine the outrage if in 2008 someone asked the crowd at a McCain-Palin campaign event, "Do you really think our country is ready for a black first lady?"
According to Politico, on Monday, with Michelle Obama present at a New York fundraiser for her husband, actor Robert De Niro asked attendees, "Do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?"
It didn't take long for Republicans to get bashed during David Letterman's interview with Michelle Obama Monday night.
In the middle of an election year, the CBS Late Show host actually asked the First Lady, "Has your husband ever come home and said to you, 'Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot?'” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
On Saturday, ABC's Devin Dwyer reported how President Obama gave "a rousing speech to 600 donors in Chicago and closed it with an intimate appeal before 40 'friends' that included...Oprah Winfrey....Oprah was flanked at her table by...longtime friend and companion Gayle King [and] Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett." However, Dwyer failed to mention that King is co-anchor of CBS This Morning.
Though it isn't currently known whether the CBS on-air personality donated to the Obama reelection campaign at this event, she donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund during the third quarter of 2011 - before she started working at CBS - and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee during the same time period.
ABC's Dan Harris trumpeted the "bromance between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron" on Thursday's GMA. Harris noted the presence of Vogue magazine head Anna Wintour at Wednesday's state dinner, but omitted that she is a major donor to Obama's campaign. Instead, he gushed over how "Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron [were] both looking very regal in blue, floor-length gowns."
The same morning, NBC's Today show chose to play up the "little star power from George Clooney...and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein" at the dinner, but failed to mention Weinstein's $500,000 contribution to the President's campaign. CBS This Morning did report that "many of the guests included some of the President's top fundraisers," but anchor Charlie Rose, who attended the function, and correspondent Bill Plante, spent more time talking about the wines that the White House served [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
The supposedly hard-news Times has long fawned over Michelle Obama the fashion plate, who “has become a powerful trendsetter in fashion,” and her high-end, high-cost dresses, while forgoing the usual liberal sniffing about such conspicuous consumption during a recession. Fashion writer Eric Wilson on April 15, 2010 called her “the First Lady of Fashion,” and Guy Trebay called her “U.S. Fashion's One-Woman Bailout" in a January 8, 2009 story.
While Democrats mock Mitt Romney for his alleged lack of interest in the “very poor” and focus their political pitch on income inequality, one can’t help noticing the Obamas running around to $35,000-a-head fundraisers with the very rich and very famous in New York City and Hollywood.
Michelle Obama kicked off February with an exclusive fundraiser in Beverly Hills at the home of Netflix executive Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, who raised Hollywood millions for the Obamas in 2008, and then became their ambassador to the Bahamas. Now Nicole Avant’s back managing Obama’s Hollywood money march. Many of Tinseltown’s titans ponied up: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing, among others. (Katzenberg’s also given $2 million to the Obama-affiliated super PAC called Priorities USA Action.)
As NewsBusters reported Friday, CNN's Soledad O'Brien had a completely unprofessional interview with "The Obamas" author Jodi Kantor wherein she mercilessly grilled the writer for having the nerve to criticize the first lady in her book.
Kantor struck back on Monday's Daily Show saying, "By her logic we wouldn't write obituaries because we can't talk to the dead people" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Amid the 60th Anniversary celebrations on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared: "Remember the ad campaign over the years that called us, 'America's First Family'? Well, we are honored this morning to have a message of congratulations from America's real First Family." A clip played of Barack and Michelle Obama praising the morning show as "part of American culture." [Audio available here]
Given the broadcast's consistent left-wing slant over the years, and love for the Obamas more recently, it's no wonder why the President and First Lady would join the party. Back in 2006, then-co-host Meredith Vieira pleaded with then-Senator Obama to consider a presidential run: "You know you are the equivalent of a rock star in politics....If your party says to you, ‘We need you,’ and, and there’s already a drumbeat out there, will you respond?" [View video after the jump]
Gayle King made it clear that she is in the tank for the Obama campaign on Thursday's CBS This Morning, specifically vouching that Michelle Obama apparently is "passionate," and that the First Lady is "looking forward to returning for another four years. They're going to work very hard to make that happen."
King continued tossing softballs at her admitted friend, at one point gushing, "Do you ever just sort of marvel at your life?" She completely omitted asking her guest about controversial aspects of her time in the White House, such as Mrs. Obama's travel expenses, or how the First Lady wore $540 designer sneakers as she fed the poor in Washington, DC in 2009.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed to viewers: "A new book you may have heard about written by a reporter for the New York Times about life in the Obama White House paints what is at times a not-so-flattering picture of First Lady Michelle Obama and today she chose to fight back."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell gushed over the First Lady: "Michelle Obama in Virginia today promoting one of her top priorities, medical care for military families....A popular cause, like her fight against childhood obesity. That and her signature style have defined her role as First Lady." Mitchell then remarked: "Not the meddling spouse portrayed in the controversial new book, 'The Obamas.'"
On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor hosted a live Facebook discussion on her new book on the Obamas and especially First Lady Michelle Obama. If this Facebook session is any indication, the book matches Kantor’s previous promotional coverage of the First Couple. On Facebook Kantor describes the First Lady as someone “with important ideas of her own about opportunity, access, equality, etc,” who “has redefined the role of first lady for successors...she's really raised the bar for ambitious initiatives.”
Revealingly, when asked about her latest scoops being allegedly used by Fox News and the Drudge Report as a “racial attack against the Obamas,” Kantor emphasized to her predominantly liberal audience how she broke the news about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry (in a bland story), and wrote a follow up “which I labored and labored over to make fair.” And it was “fair,” at least from the perspective of an Obama supporter.
New anchor Gayle King tossed softballs at admitted friend Michelle Obama on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. King sympathized with the First Lady over how many supposedly see her. When her guest dropped a racially-tinged charge, that "that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since...the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she replied, "How do you deal withthat image?"
During the twelve-plus minute interview, which aired in two segments, the close associate of Oprah Winfrey also especially sympathized with Mrs. Obama over charges against her in a recent book: "I think it's frustrating for her to see so many untruths. You know, I read the book, too....and I'm thinking- well, I was there. That didn't happen, that didn't happen, that didn't happen. And she never told Carla Bruni Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell- quite the opposite is how she feels."
During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family.
Barbara Walters, who famously asked Katherine Hepburn what type of tree she was, may have outdone herself in a slobbering interview with Michelle and Barack Obama. In previews of Friday's "20/20" segment, Walters asked the President, "If you were a superhero and you could have one super power, what would it be?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To the First Lady, the journalist posed a question about reincarnation: "If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would you want it to be?" This appeared to be too much for Mrs. Obama, she interrupted, "Oh, God, Barbara." The fawning piece was teased on Friday's "Good Morning America" and Monday's "The View." It included queries on the romantic life of the couple.
This one definitely does not go into the "how to persuade people that your cause is right" file.
Obama For America's latest attempt to beg people to contribute $3 to enter a drawing for a dinner with POTUS and FLOTUS has a pathetic, insufferable, punkish and privacy-invading twist, wherein you get the opportunity to tell a Republican acquaintance that you just gave money to the Obama campaign.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann demanded an apology from NBC Wednesday for the disgraceful song that was played while she was walking on stage to be a guest on that network's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Monday.
"This wouldn't be tolerated if this was Michelle Obama," Bachmann told Fox News's Bill Klemmer. "It shouldn't be tolerated if it's a conservative woman, either" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Depending on which news outlet you rely on for current events, you may not have heard that convicted Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko was sentenced to 10½ years in prison Tuesday.
On top of this, unless you read the following report from Reuters, you mightn't have known just how connected he was to a junior senator from Illinois who just so happens to be the President of the United States: