Despite most media outlets gushing and fawning over the Occupy Wall Street protests, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman see risks to President Obama and the Democrats supporting the movement.
The host of The Chris Matthews Show is even concerned this could be a return to 1968 when riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago played a huge role in Richard Nixon's victory that November (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How sad indeed when liberals turn on one another, their nastiness quickly achieving critical mass.
Radio host and columnist David Sirota wasn't expecting a call from fellow liberal and MSNBC loose-cannon Ed Schultz on his radio show yesterday, broadcast out of AM 760 in Denver.
When word filtered back to Schultz that Sirota was badmouthing him for Schultz's criticism of "intellectual liberal hand-wringing" over the manner of bin Laden's death, Schultz decided to give Sirota a call.
The result, lasting barely more than two minutes, was decidedly unpretty (audio clip below page break) --
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker acted as an apologist for Rep. Steve Cohen's uncivil comparison between Republicans and Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels: "He was talking about the saying that if you repeat a lie over and over and over again, it becomes the truth. I don't think he was necessarily saying Republicans are Nazis- come on!" (audio available here)
Parker and co-host Eliot Spitzer devoted the first full segment of their 8 pm Eastern hour program to "zeroing in on a couple of examples of where it's [political rhetoric] gone wrong," and brought on Tea Party critic and CNN contributor John Avlon for an extended version of his "wingnuts" segments from American Morning. Before even getting to Cohen's remark, the three spent most of the 10-minute segment critiquing Rush Limbaugh's recent stereotyping of the Chinese language and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's inaugural address where he stated that non-Christians weren't his "brothers and sisters," as if those two examples were somehow on the same plane as the Tennessee Democrat's invective.
Unsurprisingly, Avlon blamed Limbaugh and other talk show hosts for the heated political rhetoric, and the two CNN hosts concurred:
It's clear that the Times hates the idea that corporations may have a say, however indirectly, in democracy. But one would at least think that a journalist comparing the perfectly legal corporation donation tactics of today to illegal fundraising by past political campaigns would look for the most recent examples. Perhaps the Clinton administration’s corrupt 1996 fundraising from China, or the indelible image of Al Gore raising money in a Buddhist temple.
Instead, Abramson traveled all the way back to 1972 to link the anonymous corporate donations of 2010 to that quintessential example of Republican corruption, Richard Nixon.
Even as Abramson briefly admits today’s allegedly Nixon-style fundraising is legal, she strained to set up a parallel between this pro-Republican election cycle and the illegal donations of 1972, specifically the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP), and handily exploited a single loose link from the past to the present, one Fred Malek. Abramson began with Nixon:
To old political hands, wise to the ways of candidates and money, 1972 was a watershed year. Richard M. Nixon’s re-election campaign was awash in cash, secretly donated by corporations and individuals.
CNN's Rick Sanchez thinks that Ronald Reagan wouldn't even be conservative enough for certain members of the Tea Party.
Sanchez discussed Tuesday's Republican Senate Primary in Delaware on his Monday news hour. He criticized the Tea Party's opposition to GOP establishment candidate Congressman Mike Castle as over-the-top, and claimed Castle is "respectable" and "conservative enough" for the region. Castle has a lifetime ACU rating of 52.
Tea Party members in Delaware have largely supported the more conservative Christine O'Donnell. Sanchez believes O'Donnell gives the GOP less of a chance to win in the general election.
"But you know what's interesting about this," Sanchez continued, "I mean if you put this in perspective, Ronald Reagan would be taken out of the mix by some of these more far-Right Tea Party folks. Richard Nixon would never have become the President of the United States."
Charles Krauthammer on Friday made a truly wonderful observation about how differently the media handle leaks of classified information depending on whether there's a Democrat or a Republican in the White House.
As the discussion on PBS's "Inside Washington" moved to the Wikileaks affair, the Washington Post's Colby King said, "I don't see it as such a difficult issue at all for the Pentagon. It's, you know, it's our material, it's not [Wikileaks']."
This led Krauthammer to ask, "How come in the Bush years and the Nixon years, when you leaked stuff that's our material, classified material, you end up with a Pulitzer Prize, and now if you have a Democratic administration, you end up being condemned from left and right?"
He continued, "I'm not sure I understand" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Rick Sanchez stumbled again on-air on his CNN program on Monday, getting the year of the famous Kennedy-Nixon television debate wrong by a margin of two years. Sanchez, who was trying to describe South Carolina Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene's first public speech as the "converse" of the debate, initially guessed 1962 as the year of the debate, but then broadened his answer to "early '60s" [audio available here].
The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
The Library of Congress' new exhibit on Herbert Block (often known as "Herblock") completely avoids labeling the famous cartoonist as a liberal, instead portraying him as an "independent spirit." The retrospective features 81 poster-sized drawings by the late Washington Post artist and never once identifies Block's politics.
The exhibit, which opened on October 13, 2009, and can be found in Washington, D.C., pretends that the cartoonist was a bold truth-teller. Taking in the display on Saturday, I was struck by how often this myth was touted. One section gushed over Block, who worked for the Post from 1946 to his death in 2001, for practicing his art "with fearless independence." Yet, he was really just a liberal journalist, something the exhibits celebrate, even if the L-word isn’t used.
Visitors are told that "Reagan appalled Block in a way that only Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon had done before." One cartoon showed Ronald Reagan driving by the homeless, ignoring their plight. (In the comic, the President quipped, "Strange how some choose to live like that, instead of choosing to be rich like us.")
A top Republican Senator who used to work for President Richard Nixon has warned the Obama administration to not create an "enemies list" like that of his former employer.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) in his speech on the Senate floor Wednesday listed a number of recent events that uncomfortably remind him of how the Nixon White House treated everyone in America that didn't agree with it:
If the President and his top aides treat people with different views as enemies instead of listening to what they have to say, they're likely to end up with a narrow view and a feeling that the whole world is out to get them. And as those of us who served in the Nixon administration know, that can get you into a lot of trouble.
Amongst other things, Alexander mentioned the Administration's attacks on Fox News (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights):
Is Barack Obama turning into Spiro Agnew? The White House's attacks on the Fox News smack of the distaste for media opposition espoused by Nixon's vice president almost 40 years ago but are being met with a decidedly different reaction today by the elite media.
Pundits have wondered aloud since last week why the White House would pursue a strategy that seems to be boosting the ratings of a purported 'opposition' news network. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough posited today that the White House's attacks on Fox News are designed to prevent the mainstream media from picking up on stories damaging to the administration (video embedded below the fold, h/t to NB reader Kirk W.).
Every time Fox breaks a story on the radical connections of a White House advisor or appointee, the news is potentially damaging to the administration. But damage is only really done if the rest of the media picks up on the story, reports it, and turns it into a national news sensation, a la Van Jones.
During Tuesday morning’s inaugural coverage on MSNBC, Chris Matthews twice compared the Bush family to the Romanovs as he contended that the Bushes are now likely to go into hiding because of President Bush’s unpopularity: "It’s going to be like the Romanovs, too, and I mean that. There’s a sense here that they are fallen from grace, that they’re not popular, that the whole family will now go into retreat." Even liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson had to call him out on the exaggeration as it sounds like he says in the background that "it didn’t happen exactly like the Romanovs," referring to the overthrow and execution of the Russian royal family after the Bolshevik communists seized power in 1917.
A few minutes earlier, claiming "this isn’t a partisan statement," Matthews raised the possibility that Obama could give such a good speech that he would join the "oratorical Mount Rushmore" of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy in making memorable inauguration speeches. Matthews: "And it seems like there’s a third opening there for Barack Obama. It’s almost the oratorical Mount Rushmore, that there’s so much open space among those Presidents. And only two stand out. And this isn’t a partisan statement. This is a fact. There’s FDR. There’s JFK. And there may be Barack Obama."
Fidel will someday disappear, but MSM nostalgia for the Cuban revolution is forever. Good Morning America devoted a segment today to celebrations in Havana marking the 50th anniversary of Castro's dictatorship. The thrust of Jim Avila's report was that, yeah, there are those who "complain" about that oppression stuff, but the key is that Cuba is free from los Yanquis!
JIM AVILA: It is Raul Castro who now runs the country, with Fidel incapacitated. He brought the celebration back to where in 1959, he, Fidel and Che Guevara came out of the Sierra Maestra mountains to overthrow the American-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
Cut to clip of Batista and Pres. Nixon exchanging smiles and a handshake. Funny: Avila referred to Batista as a "dictator", but never used that term for the Castro boys.
AVILA: That was ten American presidents ago. And while many Cubans complain about economic conditions and oppression, most still take pride in their independence.
Although most media members used the occasion of Mark Felt's death on December 18 to praise the former FBI official better known as "Deep Throat," George Friedman of the geopolitical intelligence organization Stratfor warned readers about journalists becoming "tools of various factions in political disputes" as well as "the relationship between security and intelligence organizations and governments in a Democratic society."
As Friedman indicated, Felt is a pop hero to media members across the fruited plain.
The Associated Press called him an "inspiration to a generation of investigative journalists" the day after his death. The Washington Post wrote days later, "Without a single byline he inspired thousands and thousands of campus misfits to get journalism degrees."
Unlike an adoring press that's always interested in the next gotcha story regardless of the consequences, Friedman, ever the concerned citizen looking out for America's national security interests, didn't write about Felt's role in the Watergate scandal with such glowing praise (emphasis added throughout, h/t many NBers):
During a phone interview with FNC anchor Megyn Kelly, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who already voiced disapproval of Barack Obama's attempt to suggest that Kissinger would agree with his intention to meet personally with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, on Saturday elaborated on his disagreement with Obama, and clarified his views on how America should negotiate with Iran. The segment began with a soundbite of Obama from the debate trying to lecture McCain about Kissinger’s views. Obama: "Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisors, who, along with five recent Secretaries of State, just said that we should meet with Iran, guess what, ‘without precondition.’ This is one of your own advisors."
Asked by Kelly if he supported having a President "meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions," Kissinger responded: "No, I don’t. I have argued that, at some point, negotiations with Iran are important. But it is my view that they should be on the working level, and that the President should not be involved until we know that we are close to an agreement, or that we know what the nature of the agreement is." Kelly soon sought clarification: "So, in other words, you favor negotiations at the lower level, perhaps all the way up to the Secretary of State, but you do not believe an American President should sit down without preconditions, as Barack Obama says he would like to do." Kissinger: "That is correct."
How disappointed was Chris Matthews with Barack Obama's debate performance tonight? How angry was Matthews at Obama for agreeing so much with John McCain? Enough that Matthews unleashed the ultimate Dem insult, saying Obama reminded him of . . . Richard Nixon.
Matthews first vented his frustration at Obama adviser Linda Douglass.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Linda, my friend, why did your candidate agree so much, openly and relentlessly, with his opponent tonight?
Douglas's answer was to the effect that this is how a bi-partisan Obama would operate as president. After criticizing Obama for mishandling the economic issues in the debate, Matthews turned to Andrea Mitchell, and levelled that supreme Dem slap.
Correction/Author's Clarification: Since I wrote this, Time has added two vice presidents to its list, one of them Henry Wallace. There were originally 13 VPs named; now there are 15. The cache page of the first VP listed, Aaron Burr, shows him as "1 of 13." I don't know for how long that will be shown. Is someone at Time reading NewsBusters?
Any such list by its very nature is nothing more than subjective opinion. And in Time's opinion, every vice president in this century who warrants such scorn is a Republican. Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney are on the list.
Wha-h-h-h? This has to go down as one of the stranger non sequiturs from a pundit of national standing. Responding to a study that concludes that burgeoning multiculturalism threatens national unity, David Broder takes solace in the fact that 34 years ago, the American body politic booted Richard Nixon from office.
Economist and columnist Paul Krugman continues to rile his natural liberal allies by filing anti-Barack Obama screeds. On Monday he delivered the ultimate sanction, comparing Obama supporters to Clinton haters and even (gasp!) Richard Nixon in "Hate Springs Eternal."
In fact, these days even the Democratic Party seems to be turning into Nixonland.
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
Since 2000, the mainstream media has conducted a war against the Bush Adminstration the likes of which have not been seen since their equally vitriolic campaign against Richard Nixon. They have refused to publish anything positive about Bush or his Administration, they have manufactured scandals out of nothing (Valerie Plame) while doing their best to expose secret operations that are protecting Americans and they have consistently refused to accurately report the good economic news.
Today comes even more evidence of just how badly the press has failed in their duty to report to the American public. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft corporation, spoke to a forum to discuss fighting malaria. As reported by Power Line, Gates said,
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter Jake Tapper used the story that Rudy Giuliani’s daughter had joined a pro-Barack Obama Facebook group as a segue to recount the travails of other presidential children. Somehow, his list of wayward youths included only the offspring of famous Republican politicians, while ignoring Democratic embarrassments, such as the recent drug arrest of Al Gore III.
Additionally, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer closed the segment by discussing parent/child relationships with guest host George Stephanopoulos. Sawyer mentioned how she fought with her father, a Republican judge, over politics:
Diane Sawyer: "...I remember what a hard time I gave my father about politics."