The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker must love his new position as the unofficial spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a 30-paragraph front-page piece in Monday’s Post, Rucker declared Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “Young Senate Candidate, A Campaign With Star Power.”
Rucker goes on to offer a glowing profile of Ms. Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y) this November and insists that “Clinton’s popularity in Ky. Is a boon for Grimes.” The campaign article began describing how during President Clinton’s first inauguration “a 14-year-old girl from Kentucky presented the new president with a bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.” Rucker describes Clinton as an “uncle figure whom Grimes counts as a friend, mentor and advisor.”
Philip Rucker and Scott Clement sure are "Ready for Hillary." The Washington Post scribes dutifully pounded out a January 30 front-pager that furthers the Hillary-is-inevitable meme discernible throughout the liberal media. "Clinton holds big Democratic lead" thunders the print headline, with a subhead noting she enjoys "strong support in all demographics" while the "GOP field shows no clear front-runner."
Nowhere in their 25-paragraph story was the term "Benghazi" used -- indeed, it was also not referenced in the Post/ABC poll, while Bridgegate was -- although clearly it is the former secretary of state's blackest mark on her record. By contrast, potential GOP opponent Chris Christie was depicted as critically if not mortally wounded by the bridge-lane-closure scandal, while opponents to his right were dismissed as unlikely to beat Hillary (emphasis mine):
Could you imagine The Washington Post leaping all over a Jeremiah Wright scandal for Obama in 2005, before he even announced for president? Neither would anyone else imagine such a political crib-strangling. But the Post is aping the rest of the liberal national media on Thursday morning by leaping all over Gov. Chris Christie. “Bridge scandal engulfing Christie,” was the breathless headline. “INCIDENT THREATENS N.J. GOVERNOR’S IMAGE.”
The Post also trashed Christie on the op-ed page (by liberal Jonathan Capehart) and on the front page of the Style section, which began “Chris Christie. [Shakes head.] What a disappointment. He purports to play in big leagues.” The partisan Post is on fire today.
Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker sympathetically noted that a "battered" President Obama "grew introspective" on his West Coast fundraising tour for Democrats. At NBA legend Magic Johnson's house, Obama said he talked with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, who's traveling with the president. Obama said Remnick, who was a sports reporter earlier in his career, asked him, “So, what about Magic? What does this mean to you?”
Obama seemed to completely dismiss Michael Jordan and his "hometown" Chicago Bulls by saying there's "nobody" who is a "bigger icon" than Magic:
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that President Obama “sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure.” But Post reporters Philip Rucker and Sandhya Somashekhar never found a Republican to rebut. Everyone quoted in the story was a member of Team Obama.
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. Obama echoed Rush Limbaugh, who said during the Iraq War in the Bush years that Sen. Harry Reid and other Democrats were “invested in defeat.” Obama could blame a “toxic” political atmosphere, and somehow that didn’t include anything he said or any of his lies about Obamacare:
Fresh from his gooey front-pager on how "everyone seems to be honoring" Hillary Clinton on the way to 2016, Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker is now seeing dark clouds for the re-election of Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee. "In Utah GOP, some seek to shut down tea party hero" is the Page One headline.
"Lee's approval ratings in Utah have cratered," Rucker wrote, citing a less-reliable online poll, and talking up a primary challenge from more "pragmatic" Republicans....in 2016. Lined up to denounce Lee as an "ideological wack-job," the Post-friendly Jon Huntsman:
The Washington Post picked up the Missouri State Fair rodeo brouhaha on the front page Friday under the headline “Rodeo act put racial divisions on display.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker painted by the leftist numbers, finding the same man NBC used to trash the audience as a “Klan rally” and highlighting Obama critics who sound racist. Rucker began with Virgil Henke, 65, “a livestock farmer who explained his distaste for Obama with several falsehoods.”
There’s such a thing as playing dumb, and then there’s just playing like you’re in a political coma. On Monday’s front page of The Washington Post, political reporter Philip Rucker implied that Hillary Clinton is not going to make her 2008 mistake again of downplaying her gender in a presidential run. She’ll make 2016 “a natural continuation of her lifelong focus on advocating for women.”
The headline was "Clinton's theme, pre-2016: Women breaking barriers." Nowhere in this story could Rucker find a place to underline why the feminist angle was tricky in her last presidential campaign and might be tricky now: the horny elephant in the room, Hillary’s husband, and his record of adultery, sexual harassment, and even rape accusations. This is the one time his name surfaces in the story:
It's not just conservatives who think it's a horrible idea for NBC to run a Hillary Clinton miniseries before the 2016 election. Network anchor Chuck Todd worries about the perception of bias, even as he insists that there's a tall wall of separation between his network's news and entertainment divisions.
Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks. On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way. Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.
That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.
As the Obama staff labors to deny they’re waging what’s being called “Obama’s war on journalism,” it might not help to have journalists mocked as fussy “figure skating judges.”
In today’s Washington Post that’s what we read from David Plouffe as he defended the White House from the “minutiae” that the White House counsel urgently wanted to keep Obama clueless about a Treasury Department inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal:
The Washington Post tiptoed gently on Friday around Joe Biden’s hopes of being elected president in 2016. “For Biden, dreams vs. realities” is the story’s headline, but at the very top of Page One, it says “At the top of his political game, the vice president shines as Obama’s personable No. 2. But events may conspire against a 2016 promotion.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker rather comically took 30 paragraphs to establish one series of “events” that threaten Biden are gaffes. The front page says Biden is a “long shot at best,” but insists he’s seen as “genuine, down-to-earth, rock solid on the issues" and “clearly has the experience and gravitas to ascend to the presidency.”
Despite President Obama’s reelection nearly a month ago, MSNBC has continued to attack Mitt Romney and his family every chance it gets, with the latest being a vicious critique of Ann Romney on the December 3 The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell. Mr. O’Donnell brought on Washington Post writers Jonathan Capehart and Philip Rucker to comment on recent articles they penned on the Romneys.
Mr. O’Donnell started the segment by gleefully claiming that, “They [friends of Ann Romney] said she has been crying in private and trying to get back to riding her horses." "[G]iven the way you saw the character of Ann Romney unfold during the course of the campaign, what’s your reaction to that?” O'Donnell asked Capehart, a liberal columnist. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
"Someone should have told Mitt Romney that they still speak English in England," snarked Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza as he awarded Romney the "Worst Week In Washington" on Sunday for calmly laying out security concerns to NBC before the London Olympics -- concerns the networks themselves reported beforehand.
That matches the attitude that political reporter Philip Rucker brought to his Romney story's lede on Saturday: "Mitt Romney’s Friday was better than his Thursday. He did very little." Cillizza said Romney "seemed to be talking in a foreign language, politically speaking," and once again, the Post cited the "Mitt the Twit" headline:
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose yet again ripped a line from a liberal print media outlet that portrayed the GOP as a radical faction. Rose quoted a front-page article about Mitt Romney from that morning's Washington Post to Republican media favorite Peggy Noonan: "The Republican Party will have selected an unlikely standard bearer for 2012...a man of moderate temperament in a party fueled by hot rhetoric...a flip-flopper in a party that demands ideological purity."
Noonan herself endorsed this left-leaning spin: "That's very well put." The columnist also denounced the "freak show atmosphere to the Republican primaries in the past six months or so." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In a May 25 front-page story headlined "Romney's outreach meets hostile reception," Washington Post staff writers Nia-Malika Henderson and Philip Rucker passed off a political activist by the name of Madaline G. Dunn as simply being a 78-year-old "protester" who has lived in West Philadelphia for 50 years and was "personally offended" by the fact that "Romney would visit her neighborhood."
"It's not appreciated here.... It's absolutely denigrating for him to come in here and speak his garbage," Henderson and Rucker quoted Dunn. Yet what the Post staff writers left out is that Dunn is no otherwise-apolitical resident who happened to be on hand to react to Romney's campaign swing. She's a seasoned political activist, having served as the legislative committee chair for the Philadelphia Congress of the National Congress of Black Women (PCNCBW).
Republican presidential candidates are meeting too many businessmen in their travels and too few unemployed folks or working-class wage earners, at least in the eyes of the Washington Post.
Post staffer Philip Rucker lamented in his 23-paragraph August 25 story that in a recent "50-minute session" with voters in New Hampshire that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) -- who "is campaigning to be the jobs president" -- "hadn't heard from anyone who is unemployed, underemployed or simply clocks in for a working wage every day."
Borrowing a line from one of her Harvard colleagues, the Washington Post entitled its June 10 front-page profile of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, "Her work is her life is her work."*
But the 60-paragraph story by staff writers Ann Gerhart and Philip Rucker shed barely any light on the judicial philosophy that Kagan's life work demonstrates. Instead, Gerhart and Rucker presented a gauzy profile that rehashed the usual trivia -- Kagan loves poker and the opera -- while painting Kagan as a workaholic who still has time to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on to friends in distress:
She has arrived at the age of 50 in a blaze of accomplishment. But her achievements can obscure how relatively narrow her world has been.
As the Joe Sestak job-offer scandal took a weird turn on Friday -- Bill Clinton offered me an unpaid, obscure presidential advisory panel placement to dissuade me from a Senate run? -- The Washington Post found in the new story a chance to hail Bill Clinton. At the very end of a Saturday report headlined "Bill Clinton has evolved into Obama's Mr. Fix It," reporters Philip Rucker and Paul Kane slipped into fanboy mode:
Sestak said Clinton briefly brought up Emanuel's suggestion that if Sestak dropped out he might end up on a presidential advisory board for the Pentagon or the intelligence community. Sestak flatly turned him down.
"I knew you'd say that," Clinton replied. Even the master can't fix everything.
Left unsaid: if Clinton is "the master," why is Obama president instead of his wife? (Or do you just repeat "Even the master...") On the front page, the Post seemed to be buying this square-peg-for-round-hole tale about this weird, very unpersuasive offer no one would accept. Reporter Michael Shear tried playing cute and light in his opening, that Obama "resisted acknowledging what the top West Wing lawyer finally admitted on Friday: This administration plays politics. And not always effectively."
CPAC made the front page of Friday’s Washington Post, but reporter Philip Rucker wrongly insisted the convention was "once a venue for the right fringe" of the GOP, but now it hosts presidential aspirants. Below that, there was a promotional blurb in bold type for Dana Milbank’s column inside: "Rubio is the far right’s anti-Crist." Here’s Rucker’s sneering introduction:
Emboldened by a belief that their political fortunes are on the rise, conservative activists descended Thursday on the capital city they love to hate, seeking to stoke what they consider a grass-roots uprising against President Obama and Democrats in Congress.
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was once a venue for the right fringe of the Republican Party, but in recent years it has drawn more mainstream party figures and now provides a stage for presidential aspirants to prove their conservative credentials.
When were the days of "right fringe"? Rucker later suggests it’s been fringy since Nixon, up until very recently.
Friday’s Washington Post offers a highly timely article on its front page: grass-roots liberal anger at southern Democrats who voted against health "reform." But the Post hints at its own anger between the lines. The caption under its photo on page A-22 reads: "Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) voted against health-care reform even though it is badly needed in the largely rural district he represents."
The front-page headline was "Democrat's vote on health bill leaves backers feeling betrayed." It could have been titled "Kissing Off Kissell." Liberals now want him ousted.
Reporter Philip Rucker asserted Kissell upset incumbent Republican Robin Hayes by 11 points as he "ran on a promise to bring a progressive everyman's sensibility to Congress." The caption writer may have echoed Rucker's rhetoric on the "need" for nationalizing the health-care system in North Carolina:
Word choice can be a subtle but effective way in which the media colorfully editorialize on the news, skewing the perceptions of readers in one direction or another. Take Washington Post's Philip Rucker, who did masterful job in skewing his 19-paragaph-long page A4 story "Activists bring 'tea party' to Capitol Hill" in favor of ObamaCare proponents while smearing conservatives in a negative light.
Rucker's labeling bias was a thread woven through the entire piece, starting with the lead paragraph (emphasis mine):
This afternoon, the Washington Post's Web site offers readers two looks at how the Democrats and the GOP will proceed following the 2009 elections, but, surprise, surprise, the paper only forsees internecine squabbles for the GOP.
Even before delving into the content of the articles, it's clear by the labeling that the Post sees the GOP's pending "ideological fissures" as a matter of objective news reporting, while the Democratic postmortem is a matter of informed "analysis," not hard news.
For their part, Rucker and Bacon aimed, like others in the mainstream media -- click here, here, and here -- to gin up an ominous narrative for the GOP party-wide from the New York 23rd congressional district saga:
Noting how the Palmetto State "has a history of rowdy politics" and that Rep. Joe Wilson (R) has made himself "the latest in a legendary line of South Carolina politicians who appeared to revel in renegade behavior," the Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Ann Gerhart turned to South Carolina Democratic operatives Don and Carol Fowler to smear Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) in their September 11 front-pager entitled "The Gentlemen From South Carolina."
Rucker and Gerhart turned to the husband-wife couple -- he was a Clinton era DNC chairman and she is the current South Carolina state Democratic chairwoman -- to practically tag-team in slamming Wilson. Rucker and Gerhart also acknowledged some Palmetto Democrats' brushes with political infamy before cuing up Don Fowler to quip that he thinks "it is something in the water."
Yet nowhere in their story did Rucker and Gerhart note Don Fowler's gaffe from August 2008, when, on a flight from the Democratic Convention, he made an inappropriate joke involving hurricane victims in New Orleans (video embedded above at right):
Filing his January 2 Style section front-pager, "Hawaii's Still Waters Run Deep for the President-elect," staffer Philip Rucker made clear all he needs in life are some cool waves and a tasty Obama buzz:
HONOLULU -- In his two weeks in Hawaii, Barack Obama has oozed island cool: the black shades and khaki shorts, the breezy sandaled saunter that suggested he had not a care in the world. Who said anything about the presidency?
He strolled shirtless near the beach, enjoyed a shave ice and a local seaweed-wrapped delicacy called Spam musubi. One day, the president-elect flashed the friendly "shaka" sign, shaking his pinky and thumb in a local surfing gesture.
On Tuesday morning’s Today show, NBC substitute anchor Lester Holt and correspondent Savannah Guthrie all but expressed regret over President-Elect Barack Obama having to make an “adjustment” -- not being able to “just pick up and go anytime he wants” due to “not just Secret Service, but a traveling corps of journalists now follows his every move, even in Hawaii.” Guthrie reported on the “signs Obama is growing a bit frustrated with all the attention.” The on-screen graphic accompanying her report inflated this apparent frustration on the part of future chief executive: “Man in a Bubble: Obama Chafes at Constant Scrutiny.”
Holt introduced Guthrie’s report with a lament over Obama’s seeming predicament: “He may not be president yet, but Barack Obama is getting an early taste of what life as leader of the free world is really like -- a lack of freedom, and an entourage documenting his every move.” Guthrie then began her report along a similar line: “Obama came here to Hawaii to get away from it all -- get one last vacation in before becoming president. But even here, he can’t just pick up and go anytime he wants, and that’s been quite an adjustment for the president-elect.”
He's a "burly man" with "rhetorical punch" from Catholic, blue collar roots in Baltimore who trekked a "remarkable rise" to become "one of Maryland's most powerful public officials." But today former state senator Thomas Bromwell (D-Md.) finds himself facing a judge and entering a guilty plea in a federal racketeering case that's been years in the marking. Reporting the story, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker calls Bromwell's saga "one of the state's largest public corruption investigations in years." Yet nowhere in Rucker's Metro section front pager "Bromwell Says He Accepts His Fate," is any mention of the politician's party affiliation, Democratic.