At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming interview with Paul Ryan by slamming the Republican vice presidential candidate: "Paul Ryan joins us to talk about where he thinks the presidential race is headed and criticism that he's played fast and loose with the truth." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Beginning the interview with Ryan minutes later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer parroted Guthrie's attack: "There are some people who are claiming that you played a little fast and loose with the truth on certain key elements. And I'm not just talking about Democratic analysts, I'm talking about some independent fact checkers. Would you concede that while many of the things you said were effective, some were not completely accurate?"
The hosts of the three network morning shows on Tuesday grilled Paul Ryan, questioning the Republican's facts and citing Joe Biden as a policy expert. Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos highlighted a quote from the Vice President touting the last four years.
Good Morning America's Stephanopoulos interrogated, "When [Biden] says Osama bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive, you say?" Using remarkably similar language, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose pressed Ryan on Obama's first term, parroting, "...Vice President Biden has come back and said, as you know, General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead."
On the final day of last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sat down with NewsBusters to discuss amongst other things our favorite topic - liberal media bias.
In the course of our lengthy discussion, McConnell addressed Chris Matthews's claim that Republicans are being racist when they accuse President Obama of engaging in Chicago-style politics (video follows with transcript, Matthews section at minute 8:30):
Sunday brought an overload of New York Times columnists, including former reporters, calling the previous week's Republican National Convention a celebration of lies and extremism on abortion and gay marriage.
Times columnist and former White House correspondent Maureen Dowd was given more room than usual to rant about Paul Ryan and the Republicans in her Sunday column, "Cruel Conservatives Throw a Masquerade Ball." After calling the Republican Convention "a colossal hoax," she said of Paul Ryan's speech, "the altar boy altered reality, conjuring up a world so compassionate, so full of love-thy-neighbor kindness and small-town goodness, that you had to pinch yourself to remember it was a shimmering mirage, a beckoning pool of big, juicy lies...." Dowd concluded that "....Ryan’s lies and Romney’s shape-shifting are so easy to refute that they must have decided a Hail Mary pass of artifice was better than their authentic ruthless worldview."
Since Wednesday, the Obama-loving media have been working overtime trying to disprove a number of statements made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during their respective speeches at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
On ABC's This Week Sunday, George Will called out Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler for claiming Ryan had mislead Americans about a GM plant closing in Janesville, Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
The week of the Republican convention found Kossacks reflecting on what they already believed about the party: that its members are plutocratic racists and its vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a lying sociopath.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
Near the end of his Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan told his audience and the nation that "sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government."
Immediately after Paul Ryan concluded his acceptance speech for the Republican Party's vice presidential nomination on Wednesday, the media sought ways to tear down the Wisconsin Congressman's indictment of the failures of the Obama administration. In particular, networks and newspapers attempted to knock down Ryan's accurate claim that President Obama promised to keep open a GM plant that closed in 2009.
You'd think an image of a man violently covering a frightened woman's mouth, accompanied with the words, "He’s decided to become a father…right-wing Republicans want to make sure he does", would be considered mildly extreme, right?
Not extreme enough for Huffington Post contributor and pro-Obama blogger, Erin Kotecki Vest, who posted the image to her Facebook page.
The latest entry in the media's obsession with picayune and partisan "fact-checking" of the Republican National Convention: New York Times reporter Michael Cooper's Friday "Check Point," "Facts Take a Beating In Acceptance Speeches." The original web headline was ridiculously partisan for a news story: "Ryan's Speech Contained a Litany of Falsehoods."
Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating -- which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.
NBC News demonstrated again Thursday night it has become little more than the more-watched broadcast arm of MSNBC, advancing the same left-wing attacks on conservatives as first trotted out on the cable side. While ABC and CBS managed to refrain from airing entire stories and interviews aimed to discredit Paul Ryan, NBC did not.
In packaging Obama campaign talking points, however, Chuck Todd had to concede the accuracy of what Ryan asserted in his Wednesday night convention address, humorously leading Todd to conclude that “what he said many times was technically factual” but, “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
While the Obama acolytes at MSNBC are insisting that the Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant was "closed" in December 2008 on President Bush's watch, NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray was more nuanced in an appearance with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern today. Even so, Murray's reporting was misleading and is easily negated by a Web search turning up reporting by the Janesville [Wis.] Gazette from February 2009.
Leave it to former New York Times political correspondent (now Los Angeles bureau chief) Adam Nagourney to find bad news for Romney in his running mate's Paul Ryan's rapturously received convention speech. "With Speech, Ryan May Have Helped Himself More Than Romney," Nagourney nagged in a Thursday afternoon "Caucus" post.
By every measure – the cheers in the hall, the praise from commentators across the country, the elation among aides to Mitt Romney – Representative Paul D. Ryan’s speech accepting the vice-presidential nomination was a hit. He aggressively framed the campaign against President Obama, signaled that he, unlike some previous vice-presidential candidates, had no compunctions about leading the attack, and anchored Mr. Romney in a conservative school of thought that has come to define the Republican Party.
Running scared? New York Times editorial board member and former Times reporter David Firestone, who has never hidden his liberalism in either position, accused vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of "dishonesty" and "cowardice" on the Opinion Editor's blog early Thursday afternoon, "Beyond Factual Dishonesty."
In an interview with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer used attack lines from deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to question the honesty of Paul Ryan's vice presidential nomination acceptance speech: "[She] said, 'Forty minutes of vitriol and half a dozen previously debunked attacks.' Was it an honest speech or was it just a campaign convention speech?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes after Paul Ryan finished his RNC speech on Wednesday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews slammed the Republican vice presidential candidate for supposedly ignoring blacks during his "very constricted, very negative, very nasty speech," and suggested that he was directing the address to racists: "It's clear that Paul Ryan was talking to people who think about rights as something...produced by Thomas Jefferson, ignoring the people for whom the rights only came in the 1960s."
Matthews added that "for some reason, they never mentioned those things, because they're talking to people - let's be honest about this - who didn't feel – the benefit, at all, from those civil rights, and I think that's very important to point out." [audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC's analysis of Paul Ryan's RNC address included former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos citing an a-mail from a "top Democrat" slamming the integrity of Paul Ryan's speech.
Stephanopoulos noted "we saw how much this crowd loved it" before immediately adding "I got an e-mail from a top Democrat saying the speech was audacious in its dishonesty." He added in his own words that the speech was "brazen in some of these claims." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
During MSNBC's live coverage of the Republican National Convention, as Paul Ryan was being discussed, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- asserted that Congressman Ryan's budget proposals are "cruel." Alter:
On Monday's Charlie Rose show on PBS, during a discussion of Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan having the positive effect of "energizing" the GOP base, Time magazine's Joe Klein faulted Romney for not taking a "moderate stance" for the general election, asserting that the "Republican base is the problem, not the solution." He began:
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Chuck Todd raised the invoked former President Bush and Hurricane Katrina from seven years ago as potential embarrassments for the Romney campaign as Hurricane Isaac heads toward New Orleans the same week as the Republican National Convention.
During a discussion of the GOP convention being delayed from Monday because of the hurricane, Todd asserted that "the sort of shadow of Bush and Katrina does hang over this convention" and also worked in Todd Akin as he observed:
"These are two of the most moronic statements I have ever heard," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell, himself a practicing Catholic, complained after watching video of MSNBC host Martin Bashir and MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams attacking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as championing an "unbiblical" budget that doesn't comport to Catholic social teaching.
"Consider that one of these morons is saying that Paul Ryan's budget is unbiblical?! I mean, what book of the Bible dealt with Paul Ryan's budget?" the Media Research Center founder asked on the August 23 "Media Mash" segment, going on to note that seeing as that the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration over the religious liberty-infringing contraception mandate, it's laughable to suggest that Joe Biden is a better Catholic. [watch the full segment below the page break]
On NBCNews.com's "First Read" Kelly O'Donnell attempted to further tie in the Romney-Ryan campaign to Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments with this gasp-inducing headline: Ryan backed more than one 'forcible rape' abortion bill.
In the article, O'Donnell made a substantial deal out of the term "forcible," seemingly implying that if there wasn't much violence during the rape, then it would be more "acceptable," and/or if the rape wasn't "forcible," then the woman is out of luck if she wanted an abortion:
Thursday's New York Times front page included a report by Michael Cooper (pictured) and Dalia Sussman on a new CBS News/Quinnipiac University/New York Times poll of likely voters in the crucial states of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin after Romney's choice as running mate Medicare reformer Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin: "In Poll, Obama Is Given Trust Over Medicare."
Showing how the same findings can be interpreted in politically slanted ways, the Times even squeezed in a front-page graphic of Obama's superior standing on Medicare in the swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin, but downplayed the tightening of the actual electoral race in Florida and Wisconsin, which was picked up on by other outlets reading the same poll data.
Is the New York Times trying to change the subject from the bad economy to social issues, for Obama's sake? On Thursday Michael Shear (pictured) and Jonathan Weisman did their best to tie controversial comments by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin to Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan: "Romney Strategists Say They’ll Stay the Course Amid Focus on Abortion."
Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers have concluded that they do not need any major adjustments in strategy to respond to the new focus on abortion and reproductive rights caused by Representative Todd Akin, betting that their candidate’s economic message will still resonate with female voters after the controversy over Mr. Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape.”
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel posted Wednesday on "Chris the Baker" -- Chris McMurray, a cookie store owner who made waves when he turned away VP Joe Biden from a prospective shop visit. Yesterday he joined Rep. Paul Ryan at a campaign rally in Roanoke, Va., site of President Obama's infamous "You didn't build that" remark, widely seen as dismissive of individual initiative and entrepreneurship.
Gabriel predictably accused McMurray and the GOP of "willfully twisting the president's remark" and blamed Ryan for having "continued the misrepresentation" of what Obama actually said. But do Obama's actual words help him at all?
The New York Times extended the controversy over offensive comments made by Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin to indict the entire Republican Party, misleadingly conflating Akin's remark about "legitimate rape" with the party's traditional pro-life stance. Wednesday's two connected lead stories were ushered in under the banner headline "Ignoring Deadline to Quit, G.O.P. Senate Candidate Defies His Party Leaders: Unexpected Twist in the Election Campaigns."
The headline over Jennifer Steinhauer's story nationalized the firestorm in Missouri: "Unexpected Turn in Campaign for President," and the story's headline on the jump page crystalized Democratic wishful thinking: "Missouri Controversy May Endanger Republican Chances in the Fall."
Other Republicans are trying to cover up their true identity to get elected. Even as party leaders attempted to lock the crazy uncle in the attic in Missouri, they were doing their own crazy thing down in Tampa, Fla., by reiterating language in their platform calling for a no-exceptions Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother.
Time magazine's Joe Klein made a truly disgraceful comment on MSNBC's Hardball Tuesday.
"The Republican Party has a major grassroots problem which is that a good part of its grassroots now celebrate ignorance. It’s more, it’s more than abortion and women’s rights" (video follows with transcript and commentary):