Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller visited Rep. Paul Ryan's alma mater, Miami University in Ohio, to examine Republicans in their natural element for his Monday column "The Republican ID," and seemed very concerned about the mindset of a college that actually favored the Republican candidate.
This patch of southern Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton is not the up-for-grabs Ohio you’ve read so much about. This is decided country, where House Speaker John Boehner is running for re-election unopposed, where “Defeat Obama” and “Romney/Ryan” lawn signs glisten in the chilly drizzle.
On Saturday, NewsBusters asked if it would be fascinating if Barack Obama's interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe ended up being an easier one than he recently got with the ladies of ABC's The View.
We got our answer Monday, and in the end, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asked absolutely nothing of the President that could be perceived as a hardball (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).
"Paul Ryan Can't Lose," a 5,000-word cover story by Mark Leibovich, the New York Times magazine's chief national correspondent, conformed to the writer's history of cynical, unsympathetic profiles of Republican candidates.
According to Leibovich, Newt Gingrich is "among the more divisive political figures of recent decade," always threatening to become "Nasty Newt," yet former vice president Al Gore is a "compelling" "pop culture icon." Offered the fat target of Vice President Joe Biden, Leibovich instead buttered him up. Yet former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney didn't escape: "Critics deride him as a Prince of Darkness whose occasional odd episodes - swearing at a United States senator, shooting a friend in a hunting accident and then barely acknowledging it publicly - suggest a striking indifference to how he is perceived."
Leibovich even used his Ryan profile to take an arbitrary and snotty swipe at the "let’s say, knowledge-averse bent" of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
At the end of an interview with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials: "John Kerry said, 'this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades,' talking about you and Governor Romney. What specific national security experience qualifies Governor Romney to be commander in chief?"
At the top of an interview with Joe Biden only seconds later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer teed up the Vice President to slam Romney on the same issue: "[I] started by asking him if he thought Governor Romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy." Not surprisingly, Biden declared: "No, he's not."
Jay Leno took a shot at the President's handling of the economy Monday.
During his Tonight Show monologue, after saying Obama Halloween masks are out-selling Romney masks by 30 percent, Leno quipped, "Well, that makes sense. I mean, what's scarier than four more years of this economy?"
A few days ago the liberal media was all abuzz over how Paul Ryan supposedly muscled his way into back of a soup kitchen in Ohio and started washing already-cleaned pots and pans as a photo op.
It turned out later, however, that soup kitchen staffers had left some dirty pots and pans for Ryan to wash. Yes, it was part of a campaign photo-op, but the pots and pans were actually dirty and Ryan actually cleaned them. NBCNews.com's "First Read" blog noted the crucial update to the tempest-in-a-teapot on Tuesday. But judging from today's Hardball, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews doesn't read his sister network's website.
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played the part of Obama campaign stooge when he promoted the President deflecting Libya criticism by slamming Mitt Romney: "...[He] firmly and pointedly chastised Governor Romney for politicizing a tragedy like this, a national tragedy. The father of Ambassador Stevens said, quote, 'It would be really abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer then turned to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and sanctimoniously demanded: "So I want your response, not to the President, but to the father of Ambassador Stevens." Ryan responded: "What we owe Chris Stevens, what we owe these Americans who gave their lives, are to make sure that we get to the bottom of this so we can prevent something like this from happening again."
While CBS This Morning hosts served Vice President Joe Biden softball questions on mostly horserace issues and debate optics, they challenged Paul Ryan to defend his voting record.
"Does Governor Romney believe the President was right to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law? You voted against that act, didn't you?" pressed co-host Anthony Mason. In contrast, when Biden was asked about the Libya fiasco at the very end of his interview, Norah O'Donnell molded it into a more friendly question.
Displaying a stunning double standard on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gave Vice President Joe Biden plenty of room to applaud President Obama's debate performance, while fellow co-host Matt Lauer hammered Congressman Paul Ryan on issue after issue.
In her first question to Biden, Guthrie wondered if the President had "repaired the damage from his lackluster performance in the first debate," then followed up with: "Is the President's strategy here to beat Romney by disqualifying him in the minds of voters?" Meanwhile, Lauer began his interview with Ryan by asking essentially the same question: "A lot of the reporting this morning says that the President was the aggressor and may have won back some of the momentum lost after the first debate. Would you agree with that?"
Had Vice President Joe Biden behaved toward Sarah Palin in their 2008 debate the way he behaved toward Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in their debate last Thursday, he might have been denounced as a patronizing misogynist.
In his debate with Ryan, the vice president was merely a jerk.
Martin Bashir is clearly trying to become MSNBC's new Keith Olbermann.
During a discussion with Tamron Hall on News Nation Tuesday, Bashir actually said that if Paul Ryan's budget ever passed, "many Americans would end up in soup kitchens" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a pathetic attempt to smear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan ahead of Tuesday's second presidential debate, NBC's Today seized on a story in Monday's Washington Post accusing Ryan and his family of washing already clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen in Ohio for a photo-op. Co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Would a campaign do that? We're gonna talk about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following a report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking responsibility for security failures in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd actually treated the supposed dishwashing incident as if it were a scandal: "Paul Ryan is dealing with some fallout from that weekend photo-op....something that – that the campaign is a little nervous about because they're trying to get through this idea of whether they're in touch or out of touch."
The vice presidential debate isn't the only place you've seen that bizarre mix of jocular bellicosity displayed by Joe Biden. It's on MSNBC every weeknight in the form of "The Ed Show."
Not surprisingly, its host Ed Schultz is taking credit for Biden conducting himself in a manner all the more unsettling when one considers that Biden is a heartbeat from the nuclear launch codes. (audio clips after page break)
In 2008, the YouTube video "Crush on Obama" introducing "Obama Girl" swept the nation with astonishing speed and media attention.
On Saturday, a new video hit YouTube called "Let's Get Fiscal" featuring Maredith Walker as "Ryan Girl" singing and aerobicizing to a reworked version of Olivia Newton John's 1980s hit "Let's Get Physical" (video follows with lyrics and commentary):
NBC’s Saturday Night Live began its program last night with a vulgarity that although bleeped was as obvious as the nose on Jimmy Durante’s face.
In the opening segment spoofing Thursday’s vice presidential debate, Kate McKinnon playing ABC’s Martha Raddatz channeled Samuel L. Jackson in the movie "Pulp Fiction" telling the contestants, “Don’t try to f—k me like I’m Jim Lehrer” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Jay Leno spent nearly three minutes of his opening monologue Friday trashing Vice President Joe Biden for his performance during Thursday's debate.
Although the Tonight Show host did poke some fun at Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin, the bulk of his jokes targeted Biden including him saying it was "really smart" of moderator Martha Raddatz "to cut Joe off after that third scotch and soda" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
No one was more over the top in praising ABC's Martha Raddatz as debate moderator than her colleagues at ABC. Former ABC News president David Westin -- the man so deeply biased to the left that he declared a journalist can't judge if the Pentagon is a legitimate target for a terrorist attack -- honored Raddatz on The Huffington Post with an article titled "Why and How Martha Won the Debate -- Over Media Bias."
He said the public reaction was "overwhelmingly favorable," and then guess who he quoted? "I vote for Martha Raddatz to moderate all the debates," from Roger Ebert. "Everyone seems to agree that @martharaddatz is the star of this debate," from Charlie Rose. Liberal opinion equals public opinion?
On this morning’s edition of CNN’s Starting Point, host Soledad O’ Brien praised vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz for her “commanding” performance last night. A performance that demonstrated that she too is in the running for the Vice Presidency of the United States. It took O’Brien less than five minutes to compliment Raddatz’s “ perfect pitch,” despite Vice President Biden’s pervasive interrupting, which muddied the debate and prevented a clear and cogent dissemination of the Ryan’s views. Furthermore, CNN correspondent Dana Bash trivialized the vice president petulance by saying that is “who he is.”
While Allen refused to be as gaga over Joe Biden as liberal co-host Krystal Ball was, he failed to do any fact-checking of the vice president and suggested that Biden won on the substance of the debate:
The Biden-Ryan vice-presidential debate Thursday night brought out the media's "fact check" squads, including the New York Times, which had a squad of reporters evaluating the statements of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan online during the debate. Still, with perhaps 15 reporters on the job Thursday night, the paper still had to out-source a crucial Biden misstatement on Libya to the one-man fact-check machine at the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, the next morning.
The Times boiled down a few of its findings for Friday's print edition under "Check Point" on topics including Medicare, the stimulus, and the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
James Taranto has written at Opinion Journal that this new-style media "fact checking" is "overwhelmingly biased toward the left" and "gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts." The Times's debate product doesn't refute Taranto's argument. Reporter Michael Cooper had the top "Check Point" item and per usual found the Republican at fault:
In her analysis of the vice presidential debate on the October 12 edition of Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski showed disdain for Paul Ryan and utter adulation for Joe Biden's performance. She was alone in her wildly pro-Joe assessment.
As far as she was concerned, Biden utterly thrashed Ryan, and the liberal MSNBC co-host loved every minute of it: [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
Martha Raddatz’s friends in the media are swooning over her performance in last night’s Vice Presidential debate. And certainly she deserves a good deal of credit for taking Joe Biden to task for the Obama administration’s failures in Benghazi. She asked the hard, pointed questions that the administration has managed to dodge for weeks. Her conduct during the opening segment was refreshing and professional.
Reviewing the questions posed at Thursday night's vice presidential debate, ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz clearly favored Team Obama. Out of 48 discrete questions and follow-ups, a plurality (19, or 40%) incorporated a pro-Obama/Biden or anti-Romney/Ryan agenda, vs. 25% (12 questions) that skewed in the other direction and 35% (17 questions) that were neutral or purely information-seeking.
Raddatz showed almost no bias in her foreign policy questions, which split down the middle: eight pro-Romney vs. seven pro-Obama (not counting the neutrals). But on domestic issues, especially on the budget and taxes, she practically joined Joe Biden in pounding on Paul Ryan, with a dozen questions that incorporated liberal campaign themes, compared to just four based on a conservative premises, a stark three-to-one liberal tilt.
While admitting at the top of Friday's NBC Today that there was "no clear winner" in Thursday's vice presidential debate, minutes later, co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie brought on left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to declare Joe Biden the victor: "Democrats are psyched that Joe Biden had such a great night....most Democrats watching last night probably think that Joe Biden clearly won." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer teed up Maddow perfectly: "Going into this debate, just about everybody said the main goal of Joe Biden was to steady the ship and calm the nerves on the Democratic side. Let's start there, did he accomplish it?" Not surprisingly, Maddow replied: "Absolutely." The headline on the screen throughout the segment posed the question: "Did Biden Blunt the Romney Momentum?"
Washington Post writer Dan Zak penned a "TV Review" of the debates in the A section which bragged "only Vice President Biden acted as though he could sit at the desk in the Oval Office and have his feet touch the ground." In the paper, he began " A pro debated a novice," but on Twitter, Zak previewed he would write "A man debated a boy Thursday night." He also insulted Ryan on Twitter as a pervert/criminal on Law & Order SVU. (See below.)
Zak admired the "firm control" and needling "vigor" of ABC's Martha Raddatz as moderator, but admitted "Fairly or not, she reserved most of her skepticism for Ryan." Even liberals found it obvious:
Former Clinton administration flack and current ABC personality George Stephanopoulos slanted towards Joe Biden after Thursday night's vice presidential debate between the incumbent and challenger Paul Ryan. However, unlike his definitive pro-Democratic track record with debates, he initially wouldn't give a clear answer as to who won the match-up.
Stephanopoulos trumpeted how "Joe Biden came in and gave the game that a lot of Democrats wanted from Barack Obama last week, but did not get", and later claimed, "over the course of the debate, more of issues fell in Biden's corner. He was able to take control of more of the debate." When Diane Sawyer asked whether there was a "clear winner", he replied, "I'm saying exactly what I said, Diane," and acknowledged that "Ryan held his own – did not make any big mistakes; humanized himself, when he had to humanize himself."