Fineman wrote that Republicans have an affinity for "disgraded or discarded" leaders, and Gingrich and his "ruthless" caricaturing of liberals represent the "old-school insult" in stark contrast to the new, somehow nonpartisan cool of Obama:
At the dawn of the Obama era, Gingrich has remade himself as the anti-Obama. He is arguably the GOP's most influential strategist and cheerleader, and a provocative scold of the administration. Where Obama exudes the new Washington equanimity, Gingrich exalts in the old-school insult. He is ruthless in caricaturing anyone who gets in his way as a "pagan" or "statist" or "socialist" or "racist" – all words Newt has hurled in recent days.
This is pretty rich territory for a man who’s a regular guest of Keith Olbermann’s. It continued:
To hearty laughter from what sounded like anchor Wolf Blitzer (who would have a live mike, but listen and judge for yourself), CNN's Jack Cafferty on Tuesday afternoon asked on The Situation Room whether viewers would “rather just stick needles” in their eyes than listen to Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich? During the 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT hour “Cafferty File” segment, Cafferty inquired: “Would you rather listen to a speech by Sarah Palin or a speech by Newt Gingrich?” Then he quickly added another option which is what prompted the laughter: “Or would you rather just stick needles in your eyes?”
Finished guffawing, Blitzer soon wondered: “What do you think, Jack? You want to listen to Palin or Gingrich deliver a speech?” Cafferty replied he dislikes them both: “I'm not interested in listening to either one of them.”
Amongst the replies Cafferty read at the end of the hour, this one from Dann: “That’s like asking 'Who do you think is the best hockey player in Ecuador?' It’s not much of a choice. If given a third option, I would rather trim my nose hair with a carrot scraper.”
While discussing the future of the GOP on Sunday, CBS’s Harry Smith wondered: "Is there room for moderates in the Republican Party?...there’s a brand-new Gallup poll that mostly white, older, very religious, just almost demographically the future of the party can’t just be based in those folks."
Smith, filling in for Bob Schieffer as host of Face the Nation, spoke with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich about the state of the Republican Party and began by asking: "Who’s the most real Republican, you, Dick Cheney , Sarah Palin , Colin Powell, Rush Limbaugh?" Gingrich responded diplomatically: "Oh, all of us are. So is Mitt Romney. So is Bobby Jindal. So is Governor Lindle – Lingle of Hawaii."
In response to Smith wondering if there was "room for moderates" in the party, Gingrich explained: "I am a Reagan Republican. Reagan believed in a very broad base. He always talked about ‘my fellow Republicans’ and those independents and Democrats who want a better future...Here’s my simple test for Republicans. In California, a state which voted 61% for Obama, two weeks ago, 64% of the state voted against higher taxes and more spending in Sacramento."
Back in the 2006 nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court , Barack Obama criticized the philosphy on confirming Supreme Court Justices stating the Senate should "only examine whether or not the Justice is intellectually capable and is nice to his wife." He further objected that, "once you get beyond intellect and personal character there shouldn't be further question to whether the justice should be confirmed. Meaningful advice and consent includes an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology, and record."
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," couldn't contain his excitement over Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor as he brought on David Axelrod to praise, to the White House advisor's face, the rollout of the Supreme Court nominee as he cheered, "It was a brilliant piece of work....it couldn’t have been done any better," and then later gushed that Barack Obama, "Wowed us!" with the pick. Matthews also claimed the only opposition to Sotomayor was made up of the "crazies," and "whack jobs," like Rush Limbaugh as Matthews told Axelrod "The only critics of this nomination with any kind of violence are that R.N.C crowd: Rush, Newt and...Cheney."
The following exchanges were aired on the May 26 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS TO AXELROD: You know since you fellows came to the White House I've been looking at the patterns, the, the team of rivals aspect of bringing Senator Clinton aboard as Secretary of State. The, sort of, the Reagan model of getting things done as quickly as you can because you only have so much mandate. And then I've looked at the Chicago model, which is to act as if there's only one governing party and then basically do warfare with the crazies out there,
Time magazine’s senior editor Amy Sullivan, who, like most of her peers in the mainstream media, is an amateur when it comes to religion, twice implied in May that the pro-life Catholics in the U.S. who are upset about President Obama’s recent commencement address at Notre Dame are more Catholic than Pope Benedict XVI. In a May 16, 2009 article on Time.com, Sullivan, the former aide to Democrat Tom Daschle, and the author of an entire book on how Democrats could appeal to Christians, snarked that the Pope “may find his next trip to the U.S. dogged by airplanes overhead trailing banners with images of aborted fetuses,” due to his purported silence on the matter.
Less than a week later on May 21, after outlining on Time’s “Swampland” blog that the semi-official Vatican news has been “calm” and “fairly positive” towards the Democratic president, “in stark contrast to the furious reaction of many conservative Catholics here,” the editor quipped, “Uh, oh. It sounds like the Vatican newspaper ‘doesn’t understand what it means to be Catholic.’” Sullivan, like the rest of the media, was also selective in the articles she chose to emphasize from the newspaper.
After burying the story on page A18 Friday, the New York Times finally put the Nancy Pelosi-C.I.A. controversy on the front page Saturday. Yet congressional reporter Carl Hulse made excuses for House Speaker Pelosi, who accused the CIA of deliberately misleading her in 2002 about waterboarding.
Hulse glossed over the multiple contradictory accounts Pelosi has delivered of what she knew about waterboarding and when she knew it. He also insisted Pelosi was in no political danger and focused solely on the politics of the battle and the effectiveness of Republican attacks, not on the veracity of Pelosi's accounts of what the C.I.A. told her about waterboarding.
After many failed efforts, Republicans have finally found a weak spot in Nancy Pelosi's political armor as a fight over detainee interrogations engulfs Ms. Pelosi, Republicans and intelligence officials.
The furor was heightened on Friday when the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, pushed back against an assertion by Ms. Pelosi, a Democrat who is the House speaker, that she had been misled by agency representatives seven years ago about harsh treatment of terrorism suspects, a claim that struck a raw nerve at the spy headquarters.
Mr. Panetta, a former Democratic congressman from California and a longtime associate of Ms. Pelosi, issued a statement that said the agency's "contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that C.I.A. officers briefed truthfully," a rebuttal of Ms. Pelosi's claim on Thursday that intelligence officials had lied to her.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday accused current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) of lying about what she was told concerning the enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorist detainees after 9/11.
In an interview with ABC News radio, Gingrich said, "I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I've seen in my lifetime."
Given the sharpness of the criticisms contained in this extraordinary six minute exchange with Marcus Wilson, it will be very interesting to see how much attention Pelosi-loving media give it in the next 24 hours (YouTube audio embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, h/t Hot Air):
As he appeared as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC to discuss Joe the Plumber’s recent criticism of the Republican party, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe started off by suggesting that Republicans had "lost their heart" in the 1980s and had "lost their mind" in the 1990s. Wolffe: "You know, if they lost their heart in the 1980s, and they lost their mind in the 1990s, what we've seen in the 2000s is Republicans losing their image, and they lost it on national security."
Wolffe later demeaned the intelligence of participants in the recent Tax Day Tea Parties, whom he referred to as "tea baggers," and charged that they want to "have their cake and eat it." Wolffe:
Chris Matthews asked his panel of reporters, on this weekend's syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show," to offer their prescriptions on how the GOP, in the wake of the Arlen Specter departure, can regain its popularity to which most of the liberal reporters like Joe Klein and Howard Fineman suggested they needed to abandon their "cut taxes, shrink government," message and some of their "trollish"spokesmen like Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich because they're turning off families, women and "people who think that caring matters."[audio available here]
First up Time magazine's Joe Klein suggested the GOP should moderate on health care because it would finally make them, "look sane!" and "bring them into...the mainstream of American politics." Then Newsweek's Fineman charged it was the conservative message of "cut taxes, shrink," government that was the problem: "But it doesn't sell with, with people outside of their base demographic which are white males. There's something about that message that turns off families, that turns off women, that turns off people who think that caring matters about other-, I know that this sounds silly, but caring about other people." And finally Matthews went further saying it's not just the GOP's message but it's messengers who are the problem: "Can you, can you, can they get past the cacophony of Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich? These are sort of trollish figures. These aren't the caring people, are they?"
The following exchange occurred on the May 3 edition of "The Chris Matthews Show":
In the wake of back to back disappointments the past two elections, as well as Arlen Specter's recent defection to the Democrat Party, liberal media members -- and even some not-so liberal media members -- have been blaming the GOP's supposed demise on Republicans being too conservative.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took issue with this popular yet obviously debatable theme:
[W]hen I hear Democrats like Arlen Specter and read editorialists like E.J. Dionne saying how liberal--or, or how conservative the Republican Party's become, they've got it backwards.We have not been conservative as a party, we've been radical.
That was just one of many eye-opening statements by Scarborough during this segment that have been edited together in the video embedded right. Below the fold is a partial transcript of this enlightening discussion that included former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie:
Reacting to the questions posed during Wednesday's presidential news conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich expressed disappointment with the White House press corps, telling FNC's Greta Van Susteren the journalists have “taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it's embarrassing to watch.”
Gingrich cited a series of subjects on which reporters failed to press Obama, such as “So why are you releasing these terrorists in the United States?” and “Why are you so confused about whether or not you want to in fact go after and prosecute people who've never historically been prosecuted before?” Plus, “Doesn't it worry you to have $9 trillion in debt being projected under your administration?”
In the interview conducted at Mount Vernon, Gingrich quipped: “If you didn't know better, you'd think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conference.”
The New York Times finally noticed -- kind of -- the nationwide "tea party" protests against the bailouts, the stimulus plan, and President Obama's budget. Reporter Liz Robbins' story, "Tax Day Is Met With Tea Parties" is the first Times news report to deal with any of the conservative anti-spending protests, and does so in a predictably snide manner and in a relatively short article on Page 16 of Thursday's edition.
This paragraph from Robbins' initial version of the story, posted at nytimes.com Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 (no longer online), got a few facts about conservatives wrong:
Fox News was covering the events and streaming live video as its own commentators Neil Cavuto and Michelle Malkin were headlining the protests in Sacramento, Sean Hannity appeared in Atlanta, and Newt Gingrich showed up at City Hall Park in New York.
Oops. Neil Cavuto is a host at Fox News, not a commentator, and given that her story was filed Wednesday afternoon, Robbins couldn't have actually reported on Newt Gingrich's speech at City Hall Park, which didn't start until sometime past 7:30 p.m.
An attack from that first filing that didn't make it into the print version accused the protestors of "group therapy" and of "expressing their anger, but offering no solutions."
Of course, when the small band of colonists dressed as Indians and dumped tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 to protest King George's import tax and imperial government, that movement led to independence.
All of these tax day parties seemed less about revolution and more about group therapy. At least with the more widely known protest against government spending, people attending the rallies were dressed patriotically and held signs expressing their anger, but offering no solutions.
On Monday night's "Hardball," the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore challenged Chris Matthews to come out to one of the many tea parties protesting taxes and the government bailouts, as the former Club For Growth President egged on the "Hardball," host to prove he is "a man of the people," but Matthews ducked the invitation and yelled back: "Steve stay in your box!"
As Matthews was wrapping up a segment with Moore and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, Moore got in the following parting shot:
STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chris! Chris! Chris! My question is you're a man of the people, why aren't you out there at these April 15th rallies? I mean c'mon! You know you, you say, you speak for the middle-class guys?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What is this? Intramurals? Michael Smerconish, thank you and Steve stay in your box!
Hours from the premiere of his MSNBC cable show Monday night, radio host Ed Schultz told listeners what they can expect on his television show (click here for audio) --
If it's successful then I think you win because I know what I'm going to be talking about, I know what kind of stories I'm going to be looking for. And I want to make sure that the Democrats don't get weak knees on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Yet it was Schultz whose knees grew wobbly after the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Rush Limbaugh on the so-called Fairness Doctrine in February.
Not only did Limbaugh leave Schultz the most unhinged he'd been since McCain picked Palin, Schultz vowed to respond in print, telling his listeners he'd been in touch with a Wall Street Journal editor about writing an op-ed in the Journal.
Former daytime TV talk show host Montel Williams debuted on Air America Radio on Monday, a network so desperate they’re hiring a man who boasts of how he was a long-time Republican, and now says he can’t stomach either party. But Air America’s trying to draw attention to Montel as he begins his (perhaps short-lived) talk-radio run with a demand that former Speaker Newt Gingrich "Shut up" before he starts a nuclear war. Montel played audio of Newt Gingrich on Greta Van Susteren’s show on April 1, saying he would do whatever it takes to take out North Korean missiles, and offered his own fractured rebuttal:
When you come out that ignorantly and try to threaten to put America in a position that we are now riling people towards nuclear war, I gotta tell you, shut up!...
[Gingrich] said, 'I'd bribe someone' [to prevent a missile launch]. This is the leader of the Republican party...Here is your leader telling you that he wants to do business the way he knows how to do it, and that's bribe, break the law by entering another country's airspace, start another war on his own....
If you're a Republican and you are proud of Newt Gingrich and what he just said, you need to go check yourself in, right now, to a hospital...and figure out whether or not you can get put on something...Newt, shut up!
Fresh off the cancellation of his own MSNBC show an unleashed David Shuster, sub-hosting for Chris Matthews on Monday's "Hardball," ranted and railed against "crazy," "conservative" "wingnuts" like Chuck Norris, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for fomenting, "dangerous," "red hot rhetoric," that "inspire some of the crazies out there", like accused cop killer Richard Poplowski, "to do something violent."
Shuster – who apparently wasn't liberal enough for MSNBC's tastes, that he was replaced by liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz – seemed out to show his bosses, that oh no, indeed he was liberal enough for the network's standards, and set out to prove that, right off the bat, in his "Hardball" opening monologue:
DAVID SHUSTER: Who is the real nutcase? North Korea's Kim Jong-Il or any conservative who wants to bomb him? Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm David Shuster, in tonight for Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight, nuclear war games! So what are we to make of North Korea's attempt to send a satellite into space? Even though the launch failed the North Korean rocket did travel some 2000 miles twice as far as an earlier North Korean rocket. President Obama called it "a provocative act," and wants new UN sanctions. Former House Speaker Gingrich says we should have bombed North Korea before the launch. Is Gingrich crazy to talk like that or is it dangerous to hope sanctions will do the trick?....And back for crazy talk for a moment. How in the world do you explain people like Chuck Norris calling for a second American Revolution to defeat President Obama's policies? And what about conservative Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appearing to tell her constituents to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition.
With the G20 meeting in London, there have been raucous protests - clashes with police in riot gear, destruction of property at nearby banks and even the death of one man from a heart attack. And the media have gone out of their way to cover every sordid detail.
"Look, I got a note from a friend of mine in Orlando who pointed out there were more people at a taxpayer tea party in Orlando a week ago than there are in London," Gingrich said on Fox News Channel's April 1 "On the Record with Greta van Sustren." "They just didn't get any coverage out of the media. There were more people recently in Cincinnati at a taxpayer tea party than there have been demonstrating in London. But the London demonstrators are breaking windows, they're being violent, and you know, the media is always happy to cover the anarchic and violent left."
Both MSNBC’s David Shuster and CNN’s Rick Sanchez pulled their scoop straight from Media Matters’ blog, and focused on Newt Gingrich’s Twitter comments criticizing President Obama’s upcoming commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, instead of the controversy over the speech itself. Shuster targeted the former Speaker of the House during the “Hypocrisy Watch” segment on Tuesday’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue program, saying that Gingrich was “already telling Notre Dame what to do,” even though he wasn’t Catholic yet and had gone through two divorces.
Almost a day later on Wednesday’s Newsroom program on CNN, Sanchez devoted a whole segment to Gingrich’s Tweet, and also brought up the divorce issue: “Newt Gingrich couldn’t resist taking a shot at President Obama. He seems to infer that the president shouldn’t talk to a Catholic university because of quote, ‘values.’ Should Newt Gingrich, thrice married, go there? Really?”
Wall Street’s major stock indexes followed Monday’s strong sell-off with a day of fluctuation, ending with more losses.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average gyrated between modest gains and losses throughout the trading day, ending the down 37 points, or 0.55 percent, to close at 6,726. Monday’s fall below 7,000 sent the Dow to its lowest level since April 1997.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended Tuesday trading down 4.49 to 696, it first close below the 700 level since October 1996. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended Tuesday’s session down 1.84 to 1321.
But after considering inflation, the markets are, in real terms, stuck at 1995 values, as shown in the following chart:
The New York Times seems to think there was no such thing as partisanship in Washington, D.C. until conservative Republicans came around in the 1990s to invent it. White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg's front-page Sunday Week in Review story, "Cutting the President Slack Is So Old School," is another example of that ideological blindness, impying that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich personally invented partisanship.
That requires ignoring Bill Clinton's "war room," his administration's persecution of the White House Travel Office, and before that, the personal attacks made by liberal interest groups on conservative Republican Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Which is just what Stolberg does:
....the concept of the "loyal opposition" came to mean that a president, especially a new one elected by comfortable majority, could expect cooperation from the other side, in deference to the will of the voters. But in the partisan politics of recent decades, another view developed, advanced by Congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, that the minority party has the right, even obligation, to stick to its ideological principles.
With a liberal Democrat coming to power, the New York Times has evidently gotten over the false fear of "big cuts" in Medicare it displayed when Republicans tried to trim the program back in 1995.
Thursday's lead story by Jeff Zeleny and John Harwood, "Obama Promises Bid To Overhaul Retiree Spending," characterized the president-elect's stated willingness to tackle huge entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare in mostly positive terms. The reporters described Obama's vague proposal as an "overhauling," an "approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare," and an "effort to cut back the rates of growth of the two programs."
President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be "a central part" of his administration's efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since we were at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been a strongly outspoken critic of how the mainstream media have covered Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin since she was first announced as John McCain's runningmate.
On Wednesday, appearing on Fox News's "On the Record," Gingrich called recent press reports involving the Republican vice presidential candidate "factually wrong, intellectually dishonest, totally biased, worthy of the Polish state news media attacking Lech Walesa back in the 1980s."
Moments later, he put an exclamation point on his criticism: "This is like watching Pravda. This is a one-sided, vicious, unending and dishonest campaign."
What follows is a partial transcript of this delicious exchange (video embedded right):
CNN contributor Roland Martin’s Wednesday column on CNN.com bluntly accused Republicans of exhibiting "fear and desperation" in their criticism of Barack Obama: "McCain's campaign is no longer about issues. He and his supporters want to bring up anything and everything to derail Obama, and nothing is sticking, so they just keep returning to their old bag of tricks." This "bag" apparently includes bringing up issues like Obama’s 20-year relationship with left-wing firebrand Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the socialist labeling of the Democratic presidential candidate, and his associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and ACORN.
Martin first labeled McCain an "old fighter," but not as a compliment: "Watching Sen. John McCain and top Republicans swing wildly in their attempts to slam Sen. Barack Obama, with less than two weeks ago to go before Election Day, is like watching an old fighter -- clearly out of gas, his legs turned to rubber, and all he can do is grab, hold, punch behind the back, just anything to try to win." He then used his "old bag of tricks" line.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday strongly challenged "Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer about the media's lack of fairness towards the McCain/Palin presidential ticket. The exchange came after the ABC journalist followed up on negative Gingrich remarks about the Obama tax plan by asserting, "for fairness," Obama talking points on middle class tax cuts.
An irritated Gingrich refused to allow Sawyer to move on to another topic and retorted, "No, wait a second. I don't notice very often, reporters, for fairness, pointing out what Governor Palin said or pointing out what Senator McCain said." The GMA anchor, slightly taken aback, defended, "And let me just say, I do point out what Senator McCain says, Mr. Speaker. You know I do." [audio excerpt available here]
And yet, just a few minutes earlier, during a different segment, Sawyer seemed to prove Gingrich's point that the media often recite the left's talking points and attacks. She launched into an update on Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher, which was really a series of gratuitous attacks on the Ohio man who famously challenged Obama over his tax plan. She derided, "It turns out, even though he was arguing about taxes for plumbers who end up making $250,000 a year, it turns out that he doesn't have a plumbing license, though the company he works for does."
"I want to take my limited time today and focus in on - I couldn't imagine a better moment for you to be here than after last night's stunningly distorted interview with Gov. Palin on ABC," Gingrich said. "Stunningly distorted because of one particular set of question, which I want to spend my time explaining and putting in context. I don't know how many of you have seen the original interview or excerpts, but there's a point where Charlie Gibson asks Gov. Palin about whether or not she believed that our soldiers were on a task from God and he quoted one-fourth of something she had said in her church."
Last week at the Republican National Convention, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NewsBusters that if Sarah Palin becomes vice president, she will have "delegitimized the entire left's ability to define what a successful, competent, professional woman is."
On Wednesday, feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia published an article at Salon wherein she not only seemed to agree with Gingrich, but also said, "Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism" that has the potential to break down the barriers erected by "shameless Democratic partisanship over the past four decades."
That was just the beginning, for Paglia proceeded to tear about the whole concept of liberal, feminist dogma, including as it pertains to abortion (emphasis added throughout, photo h/t NBer Viper):
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Moments before Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave her history making speech at the Xcel Energy Center Wednesday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NewsBusters that the left-wing media are trying to destroy her because she represents a threat to their ability to define what a successful, professional woman is in America today.
Offering some of the strongest media criticisms we've encountered at the Republican National Convention, Gingrich painted a picture of exactly what's at stake for the liberal press if Palin is successful in her bid to become the first female vice president in American history, and that people should not underestimate what they are willing to do to prevent that from happening (video embedded right):
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did what conservatives have been waiting for someone to do since Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate: take on someone in the media claiming that she lacks the qualifications to be vice president.
Such marvelously occurred Tuesday evening on the convention floor in St. Paul when MSNBC's Ron Allen said to the former Speaker, "But to be fair, her resume is not something we're familiar seeing with presidential candidates."
This didn't sit well with Gingrich who strongly replied (video embedded right, h/t NB readers Matt Noll and Patrick):