Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):
Rosie O'Donnell, possibly one of the most uninformed people to ever be given a television program, actually ridiculed the intellectual capacity of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Thursday.
Appearing with fellow brainiac Joy Behar on the HLN program thankfully in its final shows, O'Donnell called the former Speaker of the House a "joke" saying, "Perhaps he should read a history book" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's supposedly impartial media have been gushing and fawning over President Obama's press conference retort to Republican accusations of his appeasement, "Ask Osama bin Laden."
Doing his part Thursday was CNN's John King who proudly declared on the program bearing his name, "Point, set, match Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"There were 1,365 evening news stories" during the 2008 Democratic primary cycle and not one mentioned then-Senator Obama's connections to Bill Ayers. By contrast, the media have been doggedly determined to aggressively vet GOP primary candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich this cycle, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity during a "Media Mash" segment last night.
Of course in Gingrich's case, the media have been particularly sloppy and unfair, Bozell observed, citing NBC's Lisa Myers who insisted Gingrich "shut down the government" when in fact it was a Clinton veto of spending bills that did that. What's more, the media have often raised a long-settled IRS investigation of Gingrich, without mentioning that the investigation cleared him of wrongdoing (video follows page break):
CNN's Anderson Cooper ran a critical segment on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's old ethics charges of violating tax law and lying to the House Ethics Committee. Only at the very end did Cooper acknowledge that Gingrich was vindicated by the IRS on charges of tax violation.
Cooper opened his show with the story. "We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Newt Gingrich who's skyrocketing the polls and downplaying his past which includes the distinction of being the first House speaker in history to be reprimanded for ethics violations," the CNN anchor reported.
Cooper didn't note that while Gingrich was the first House Speaker to be reprimanded, Democrat congressman Jim Wright – just a few years before – was the first House Speaker to resign over a scandal. Wright tendered his resignation from Congress in 1989 while under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Thursday’s New York Times front-page campaign story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg prominently featured Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod frankly discussing how the party plans to influence the GOP primary by pitting Newt Gingrich (himself a "juicy target") against Mitt Romney: “Democrats See 2-Horse Race, Adding Whip.” It’s the kind of early White House attacks the Times once disapproved of, at least when done by Republican President George W. Bush.
The GOP presidential candidates, at the upcoming ABC News debate in Iowa, should brace themselves to be splattered with tough questions from the left from moderator George Stephanopoulos. The good news for them is that most should be well-prepared for the left-leaning sliders, as many have already been subjected to Stephanopoulos’s liberal questioning on Good Morning America. In 20 interview segments this year with the GOP candidates, totaling nearly two hours (110 minutes), an MRC review has documented Stephanopoulos has consistently pressed his guests from the left. Of questions with an ideological bent 75 percent (36) were from the left with just 25 percent (12) of them coming from the right.
When current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich showed up on the January 18 edition of Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos prodded the former Speaker of the House if he was prepared to put 129 million Americans at “risk” with his opposition to Obamacare. (video after the jump)
Just how much does MSNBC's Joe Scarborough despise Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich?
On Thursday's Morning Joe, the supposedly conservative host equated Barack Obama's lack of government-running experience in 2008 to that of the former Speaker of the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberals worried that Newt Gingrich threatens the Obama presidency are overwrought in their criticism of Gingrich.
Examples of this occurred yesterday during a discussion on Ed Schultz's radio show between Schultz and Democrat congressman Jim McDermott, one of Saddam Hussein's most steadfast defenders in Congress. (audio clips after page break)
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Wednesday trashed Newt Gingrich as a mad bomber, smearing, "...Newt's main appeal and his main skill is as a guy who knows exactly where to put the explosive device to blow up the bridge."
Fineman was appearing on Chris Matthews' Hardball. Matthews has previously decried so-called incendiary rhetoric on the right, but the host just chuckled at Fineman's comments.
Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago.
It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law. It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck. Why not today? Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once. The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday evening promised a look “back at some of the hits, runs and errors” of Newt Gingrich’s years as Speaker of the House, but other than a sentence from Lisa Myers about how “working with President Clinton, Gingrich piled up real achievements: a balanced budget, an historic welfare reform,” she focused her entire piece on how “his speakership also was marked by chaos, polarization, and incendiary remarks.”
Her first witness: NBC’s own Joe Scarborough, who feigned concern that Gingrich “hurt the Republican Party and more importantly, to a lot of us, the conservative movement moving forward.”
Apparently unconcerned about being hypocritical or lacking intellectual honesty, in the same program today MSNBC's Martin Bashir celebrated the over-the-top partisan smarminess of former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and blasted GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney for his decidedly tame quip about President Obama's economic (mis)management.
The mid-afternoon host proudly featured the ex-congressman in a segment entitled "Sunshine State of Mind," proudly reminding viewers that it was Grayson whose hallmark achievement in Congress was charging during debate on the House floor that Republicans want sick Americans to "die quickly" because they opposed ObamaCare. [video follows page break]
After a stint as a White House reporter for the Times after George W. Bush took office in 2001, Frank Bruni wrote a fairly respectful biography of the president, Ambling Into History. But as a recently minted Times columnist, Bruni has betrayed no similar feeling for the current Republican candidates, who “are to varying degrees yahoos," according to his mocking Sunday Review column "And Now ... Professor Gingrich."
In his Politico column and on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough made the case for Newt Gingrich from the Republican primary voter's perspective, pointing to Gingrich's record of winning back the congressional majority, achieving balanced budgets and passing welfare reform.
Scarborough then proceeded to trash Gingrich, saying that: 1. he'd never vote for him; 2. Gingrich would be a "danger to the country"; 3. Gingrich is a "bad person" in political if not personal ways; and 4. Gingrich would lose to Obama in a rout, winning 100 electoral votes at best. Video after the jump.
As NBC's Meet the Press panel ripped into Newt Gingrich on Sunday for his comments on poor children in inner cities lacking working role models, Manchester Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid was the lone voice of dissent: "I think he gets a bum rap on the child labor thing."
That prompted host David Gregory to declare: "Are you really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models of how to work hard?...How do you get to that practical solution and not see it as a kind of grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?"
We live in a bipolar culture. We allow ourselves to be drenched in sexual images in movies, on television and on the Internet and then defend First Amendment protection to even the most graphic of them. Then, when a politician acts out what culture promotes, we criticize him, especially if he's conservative, branding him with the equivalent of a "scarlet letter."
In our not too distant past, a feeling of shame made people go into hiding after an adulterous relationship was exposed. Now they go on television to talk about the sleazy details. They either deny it (Herman Cain), admit it and say they've asked God for forgiveness (Newt Gingrich), or pay no political price at all (space limitations prevent me from listing the legion of politicians that fall into this last category.)
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's John Dickerson and Time's Joe Klein harped on Newt Gingrich's overwhelming "liabilities." Klein hinted that the former House Speaker's ego would get the better of him: "This is a guy who cannot stand prosperity....[He] cannot control his ego when he is riding high." Dickerson played up how Gingrich's "negatives were very, very high when he left Washington in the mid-'90s."
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked the CBS political director, "What are the chances Newt Gingrich is the nominee?" Dickerson punted on making a prediction, but borrowed a line from colleague Jan Crawford, stating that "he has a great deal of baggage." When co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis followed up by asking about how the Obama reelection campaign saw the former Speaker, he raised the "likeability" issues with Newt:
I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Merceryesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."
Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’sunequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a] fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?
How much do the gang at MSNBC's Morning Joe despise Newt Gingrich and want to derail his run for president?
Near the end of a Monday segment in which she read - with a smile on her face, mind you - numerous columns quite hostile to the former Speaker of the House, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, "How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For conservatives, hell may have frozen over on Sunday.
Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, said on PBS's McLaughlin Group referring to the perilously liberal Newsweek columnist named Clift, "Eleanor has hit it on the head" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin last Sunday accused the right-leaning media of being "embarrassingly bad this election cycle," it seemed a metaphysical certitude CNN's Howard Kurtz would soon have her on to advance her view.
True to form, exactly one week later there was Rubin on Reliable Sources with the host saying, "This indictment suggests, my reading of it, that the conservative media, parts of the conservative media are essentially corrupt" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The liberals on PBS's Inside Washington Friday were all giddy at the thought of Newt Gingrich as the Republican presidential nominee.
So sure this would be good news for the president he adores, syndicated columnist and PBS fixture Mark Shields said this would result in the "landslide reelection victory of Barack Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday, December 1, several left-wing radio talkers viciously attacked Newt Gingrich, the GOP front-runner. There is a special toxicity level they reach when talking of the former House speaker.
Take Randi Rhodes, who mocked his appearance: "He always looks like a corpse that was pulled out of a lake! Every time I watch CSI and they pull somebody out of the lake, I think, hey, is that Newt? No, it's this week's murder victim. He's bloated and a massive mutiliated middle aged flesh curtain hanging!" Then take Mike Malloy, who compared Newt to an ax murderer and railed against his bad breath:
Apparently, Newt Gingrich wanting to employ students from poor neighborhoods and teach them job skills means that he believes they possess "no work habits." CNN obliged to put words in the candidate's mouth during Friday's 1 p.m. news hour as its headlines slammed Gingrich's "controversial" statements.
Anchor T.J. Holmes admitted that the candidate "tends to say some pretty edgy things every now and again," and CNN headlines blared that Gingrich's "controversial" talk "could become a campaign liability," and that his statement "targets children in 'poor neighborhoods'." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted over comments made by Newt Gingrich about providing school jobs for inner-city students: "The Newt Gingrich that a lot of folks will remember from his speakership days back in the '90s was back on display making statements about controversial issues that left some of his critics slack-jawed."
In an interview with the former Speaker aired on Thursday's ABC World News, chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper similarly cautioned: "And then the other concern has to do with your propensity to make outrageous, interesting, however – whatever adjective you'd like to assign – remarks, the most recent one about child labor laws, for example, being stupid."
CBS's Jan Crawford played up Newt Gingrich's "baggage" on Friday's Early Show, underlining how the Republican presidential candidate is "going to be hit hard for his ties to corporate interests, the ethics allegations...even his personal relationships- his adulterous affairs." Crawford also spotlighted the claim that only Herman Cain's "die-hard supporters...think that he can stay in this race."
The correspondent first reported on the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with Ginger White and how the candidate recently admitted to helping White financially. Crawford shifted to Gingrich by stating that "in a crowded field, that could help candidates like Newt Gingrich, who continues to surge ahead." She then used her "baggage" term, and highlighted a "scathing new ad" from GOP competitor Ron Paul, which targeted Newt.
During Thursday's Erin Burnett OutFront, CNN contributor John Avlon flagged candidate Newt Gingrich for an "excessive celebration" penalty. Gingrich, he claimed, was letting his recent success in the polls get to his head.
Gingrich's bragging from his "Newt-centric universe," Avlon lectured, could turn off potential voters as "the more Newt starts to shoot from the lip, the more he runs the risk of reminding people why they fell out of love with him in the first place." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]