As the weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show concluded, the entire panel chose political figures echoing sentiments either from the left or at least in criticism of conservatives to answer host Matthews's "Big Question" of who has "made a big, gutsy decision so far this year."
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, comedienne Margaret Cho wondered why some women are Republicans as she asserted that the GOP is "a party that's so against our rights, our reproductive rights, so many rights in so many ways."
Cho also complained that Sarah Palin tries to "beat feminism down," claiming that "Sarah Palin wouldn't exist without feminism."
After host Melissa Harris-Perry recounted a GOP drive to appeal to women, Cho wondered:
Since Senator Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) surprising announcement that she won't be seeking reelection in November, the media have been doing a victory lap blaming her decision on the lack of moderate Republicans in Congress.
Yet an op-ed she published in Friday's Washington Post suggests her dissatisfaction with government stemmed from the behavior of Democrats that have controlled the Senate since 2007 (emphasis added throughout):
"The American Conservative Union just came out" with their latest congressional scorecard and what do you know, retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has "the lowest lifetime conservative record [48.59, just left of center] of any Republican. In Diane Sawyer's book, that makes her the principled voice of reason," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity on last night's "Media Mash" segment on Hannity.
The liberal media, of course, have been using the left-leaning senator's departure from the Senate as a club to rebuke the Republican Party as in danger of losing its appeal to moderates and becoming a far-right political party with limited appeal. Also discussed on the popular media bias segment was how the media are skewing their coverage of Rick Santorum to present him as obsessed with social issues and bordering on foisting a "Christian" brand of "Sharia law." [video follows page break]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose spotlighted the apparent "the disappearance of political moderates" in Congress in the context of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's retirement. Correspondent Nancy Cordes gushingly asked Snowe, "Was it just getting too lonely to be a moderate Republican in the Senate?" CBS also listed several "moderate" senators who are actually liberals.
After Cordes gave her report on the Maine senator's retirement, Rose turned to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and introduced her as "one of the few moderates left on Capitol Hill." In reality, McCaskill is a solid liberal, given her low rating by the American Conservative Union and her high rating from the left-leaning Americans For Democratic Action.
On Thursday, New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman fretted over the lack of GOP centrists (a common and long-lasting theme in Timesland) after news broke of the surprise retirement of "fed up" moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine: “After Many Tough Choices, the Choice to Quit.”
As Weisman tells it, it was the rise of those distracting “social issues” that sent Snowe over the edge:
MSNBC on Wednesday brought on Ed Schultz, a man who once decried Republicans as killers who profit off of "corpses," to lament the decreasing number of moderate, temperate voices in the U.S. Senate.
Host Chris Jansing mournfully discussed Senator Olympia Snowe's retirement and how there is "so much noise on the extremes." Schultz, who once trashed Laura Ingraham as a "right-wing slut," agreed. He said Americans need to focus on these questions: "What kind of candidate or challenger are the Republicans going put up against the [Democratic] opposition? Is it going to be somebody radical?" [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was looking for any excuse to be an Obama spokesman as made this declaration about the announced retirement of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe: "...she's serving as a personal testimonial to the President, who says there's no more centrist coalition inside the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer praised the liberal GOP legislator as, "The principled voice of reason in some of the most contentious debates in Washington..." and noted how fellow Maine Senator and Republican moderate Susan Collins was "absolutely devastated by this decision."
According to the Washington Post, examining every detail of the relationship between moderate Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins is worth devoting an exhausting 6228 words to. Writer Martha Sherrill offered a fawning analysis of the two senators who often frustrate conservatives.
The near book-length profile investigated the apparent dislike the senators have for each other, but also highlighted the "nuanced" way in which the two side with liberal policies. "But voting with the Democrats has never fazed Snowe, especially after weeks of rumination," readers learn.
Regarding Snowe's decision to vote for acquitting Bill Clinton during impeachment, Sherrill narrated, "This nuanced decision making and openness to Democratic initiatives has fueled a tea party Web site called 'Mainers for Snowe Removal,' which displays a photograph of the smiling senator with her head being scooped up by a giant snow shovel."
When Maine Republican Olympia Snowe backed aspects of health care reform early last fall, CBS’s Nancy Cordes cheered the "rebel Republican." Now that Snowe is sounding a tougher, more skeptical tone on the legislation, how will journalists treat the moderate Senator?
Appearing on Thursday’s edition of On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren asked Snowe if health care was dead. She bluntly replied, "I think that this particular legislation. I think its going to be very difficult to reach an agreement even within, I think, the Democratic caucus in both the House and Senate to accept this legislation one way or the other."
The advocacy on display Monday by "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric was almost unimaginable.
In her "Notebook" video posted at CBSNews.com, Couric read a poem fashioned after Clement Clarke Moore's classic "The Night Before Christmas."
Without any regard for hiding her position on healthcare reform legislation currently before Congress, Couric used the coming holidays as an excuse to wax poetic about her wish that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would "save Harry Reid's Christmas with a deal she brought forth" (video embedded below the fold with poem transcript, h/t Story Balloon, file photo):
George Will on Sunday accused the media of manufacturing the return of government mandated healthcare to the current reform debate.
Discussing the subject on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week," Will said it was highly unlikely Democrats actually have the votes for what they call a "public option," but the media are assisting them in "cleverly and skillfully manufacturing a sense of inevitability that they hope will be self-fulfilling."
In effect, although it is quite doubtful the votes are currently there for any form of government run healthcare, the press are doing their darnedest to change that (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Last fall, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel remarked, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
That quote has become part of a rallying cry for conservatives, that those currently in power are trying to create the perception of a crisis to force things through the legislative process that couldn't be done otherwise. That has been dismissed by those on the left as fear-mongering and the party in power is acting in good faith based on what their constituents want.
But on MSNBC's Oct. 14 "Countdown," Newsweek senior Washington correspondent Howard Fineman found fault with President Barack Obama's administration for not living up to Emanuel's expectations. On Oct. 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee toyed with the idea of stripping health insurance providers of their antitrust exemption and "Countdown" Keith Olbermann suggested members of Congress hold that exemption over insurance companies' heads to force them to go along with the Senate's idea of health insurance reform.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is a media darling now that she was the only Republican to break ranks and vote a health care reform bill out of the Senate Finance Committee Oct. 13. "Good Morning America" interviewed Snowe about health care reform on Oct. 14 and didn't challenge a misleading statistic about the number of medical-caused bankruptcies.
Snowe, who backed the $829-billion bill, claimed that "62 percent of all bankruptcies are a result of medical debt. I can't imagine that kind of anxiety. It's one thing to deal with an illness, quite another to deal with the fact you don't have the insurance to cover for it."
The senator did not mention the source of her claim or point out that respondents to the study she cited didn't even agree with that result. CNN.com reported on June 5 that the 62 percent figure came from a Harvard Medical School study that would be published in The American Journal of Medicine.
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes celebrated one GOP Senator’s support for health care reform: “Democrats can claim a smidge of bipartisan support and that’s because of one yes vote from one rebel Republican....When Olympia Snowe cast the lone Republican vote for the Senate Finance bill, she reaffirmed her place as a power player on Capitol Hill.”
Cordes went on to tout Snowe’s history of going against the Republican Party: “This is not the first time Snowe has bucked her party. In 2006, she helped kill an amendment that would’ve federally banned gay marriage. And she voted in favor of allowing federal funding for stem cell research. This January, she joined Democrats to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and was one of only two Republican senators to support President Obama’s stimulus package.”
After Cordes’s report, co-host Harry Smith spoke with Senator Snowe and wondered why other Republicans on the Finance Committee did not support the legislation: “You’ve described this crisis as like the Titanic heading toward an iceberg and this being an opportunity to turn away from it. If there is no bill, and if there is no Republican support, will they be abrogating their responsibility to avert this crisis?”
Six key moderate senators on Friday called for a slowdown in the White House's push for a healthcare reform bill.
Their decision was apparently precipitated by the Congressional Budget Office announcement Thursday that the legislation currently being discussed not only won't reduce healthcare costs, but also will have negative longterm ramifications to the economy given the increase in federal debt.
With this in mind, Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) sent Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) the following:
The defection of Arlen Specter is still drawing stories bashing the Republican Party as too conservative. On Thursday night's NewsHour on PBS, correspondent Kwame Holman announced "Specter's departure from the GOP has reignited the debate over whether the Republican Party has lost ground with the public because it has become too ideologically conservative and unwilling to listen to moderates in its ranks."
The soundbite count was very slanted, with nine snippets of moderates decrying the party's tilt (counting one from the departing Specter, since it's his rationale for party-switching) to just two clips from conservative Sen. Jim DeMint.
Holman suggested the ranks of Senate moderates had shrunk to just the two females from Maine, even as they used "centrist conservative" Lindsey Graham to bolster the Specter narrative. There were four soundbites from Sen. Susan Collins, two from Sen. Graham, and two from Sen. Olympia Snowe, as Holman touted her New York Times op-ed piece:
It was just a question of time. While it was hard to know where it would come from (although MSNBC is always a safe bet), someone was going to make the entire swine flu pandemic a partisan political issue.
"Well, here we go again - Republicans are playing politics with our health," Schultz said. "This kind of stuff just makes my temperature go up. I'm boiling over this - as many as 150 have been killed by this flu in Mexico. Cases are popping up allover the United States."
If you haven't figured it out yet, the fact that lawmakers in Washington who voted for the mislabeled "stimulus" bill championed by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid did so without reading it, let alone understanding it, means that in the coming weeks (or months?) we'll be learning about all manner of items in the legislation that "nobody" knew about. But that didn't stop House and Senate majorities from passing the legislation. My educated guess is that you won't hear much about these buried provisions from Old Media, because they're largely designed as stealth advances of longtime liberal agenda items.
Remember "net neutrality"? It's back, after probably a year or so of neglect.
Declan McCullagh at CNet explains that whoever wrote the legislation (will we ever know?) is attempting to force anyone who receives government money for broadband expansion to comply with something that isn't law, or even a regulation (links were in original):
On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Kimberly Dozier filed a report profiling moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, in light of their vote in favor of President Obama's economic plan, and relayed their criticisms that other Republicans should show more willingness to "compromise." Dozier also likened Collins to another former Republican Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, who is known for being "the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism."
Dozier began her report: "President Obama owes his stimulus package to three Senators from the losing side. Three renegade Republicans tipped the balance: Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania and two women Senators from the sparsely populated state of Maine – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins."
Though O.J. Simpson was sentenced for robbery and related crimes yesterday, thirteen years ago he walked on a double-murder charge. That might be an isolated case, but Gail Collins apparently believes there are tens of millions of murderers roaming free in America. We call them by a different name: hunters.
Collins made her inane hunting = murder analogy in her column today in the course of taking one more gratuitous swipe at Sarah Palin. The gist of The Senate, Snowe and Dinkytown is that in a Senate where Democrats will fall one or two seats short of the magic 60, the few moderate Senate Republicans will play a crucial role. Collins focuses in particular on Olympia Snowe of Maine. And while wondering why McCain didn't choose her as his running mate, the columnist gets off her smear on Palin, and hunters in general [emphasis added]: