The latest New York Times weekly “Caucus” podcast, hosted by reporters Sam Roberts and Michael Shear, opened with Gov. Rick Perry’s blank-out over the third federal agency he would shut down at last week’s Republican presidential debate, an event the Times and other media outlets rewarded with blanket coverage. Shear compared Perry’s flub to a supposedly “famous” one by candidate Barack Obama in 2008, in which Obama appeared to think there were 58 states in the U.S. But was it famous in the Times? Hardly.
The exchange from the podcast, created last Thursday and posted to nytimes.com on Friday.
Four years ago, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows celebrated the “rock star” Democrats running to replace George W. Bush, and no candidate set journalists’ pulses racing faster than Barack Obama. Now, after three years of high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits and an onerous new health care law, how are those newscasts covering Obama’s re-election campaign and the candidates vying to replace him?
To find out, the MRC’s Geoff Dickens and I (with a huge assist from Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen and Matthew Balan) examined all 723 campaign segments, including 101 interviews, which aired on the three broadcast network weekday morning programs from January 1 to October 31, 2011, using the same methodology we employed to study campaign coverage on those same programs for the same time period in 2007. Excerpts following the jump; read the full report here. (or download the printer-friendly PDF version)
John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, co-hosted the GOP debate in Michigan last Wednesday, and had a hand in Perry’s infamous debate “oops” moment, when the Texas governor was unable to list all three of the federal agencies he planned to eliminate as president. On Monday Harwood revealed that a CNBC producer helped prod Perry’s long, awkward moment by shouting a directive into Harwood’s earpiece.
Harwood also writes a weekly “Caucus” column for the New York Times. On Monday he discussed his role in Gov. Rick Perry’s infamous debate "oops," as well as how the audience booed the hosts for bringing up Herman Cain's sexual harassment controversy.
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Rebecca Jarvis wondered if Newt Gingrich would "have to play a little more dirty...to take on the other GOP contenders to win the bid." Bob Schieffer replied cynically that Gingrich would "save his criticism for attacking the media, which is always the safe thing to do." Chris Wragge prompted the former Speaker to criticize Herman Cain and Rick Perry on Friday, but he didn't bite.
Jarvis brought on the Face The Nation host for his take on Republican presidential debate hosted by CBS and National Journal on Saturday. Near the end of the interview, the fill-in anchor raised how Gingrich was "gaining momentum" and that he "held true to this no real confrontation with the other candidates" during the debate. She then directed her "dirty" question to Schieffer.
Treasured friend of the Media Research Center's and NewsBusters favorite Ann Coulter did an absolutely scintillating telephone interview with us on Thursday.
The primary topics of discussion were the media's coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations as well as how they've been reporting Occupy Wall Street protests around the country (video follows with transcript):
On the Sunday, November 13, Good Morning America, ABC co-host Bianna Golodryga declared that "it seems Americans still can't forget" GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's "53-second brain freeze" from last week's debate as she and This Week host Christiane Amanpour discussed Saturday night's GOP debate hosted by CBS News.
Golodryga then played a clip of NBC's Saturday Night Live making fun of Perry's memory lapse using an impersonator, and then followed up by asking if Perry "will ever be able to live down those 53 seconds?"
After bringing aboard Amanpour, Golodryga began the segment:
As NewsBusters previously reported, Bill Maher spent the bulk of his final program Friday disgracefully attacking Republicans.
After saying on HBO's Real Time, "Jon Huntsman can suck my c--k," the host played a satirical movie trailer about Newt Gingrich which concluded with the announcer calling the former Speaker of the House "a fat womanizing blowhard" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Thursday's Tonight Show, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went after the Republican presidential candidates one by one, asserting Herman Cain's "bad, bad behavior" with women, Rick Perry being "not even competent to be in this – on that stage," and a "hypnotized" Michele Bachmann being a "strange person."
Even host Jay Leno got in on the GOP bashing, claiming the Republican Party had become so conservative that "even Reagan could not get elected" in a primary race. Matthews touted Reagan as a liberal: "He was pro-choice in California....He raised taxes. He did a lot of things that these people won't do anymore."
Jon Stewart, on Thursday's Daily Show, repeatedly mocked Rick Perry for his, as he put it, "brain turd" moment at this week's CNBC debate. However, Perry wasn't the only GOP candidate Stewart made fun of. Everyone from Perry to Santorum took a hit. The only candidate Stewart didn't mock was Mitt Romney, whom the Daily Show host declared to be the winner of the whole race. "It's over! Indecision 2012 Mercy Rule Edition. Because in presidential primaries, as in little league, if one team is up 10-0 in the third you call it a day an you head over to Friendly's for some Fribbles and some food poisoning."
Stewart initially teased his audience with thePerry clip by calling it: "Rick Perry's now infamous ABC Wide World of Sports agony-of-defeat-worthy brain turd." Then he went on to savage the other GOP contenders on his November 10 show. (video after the jump)
Yet another media outlet is writing Gov. Rick Perry’s political obituary after his GOP debate flub Wednesday night. This time it's Ross Ramsey, managing editor for the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news organization that provides content to the New York Times: “National Spotlight Might Shine Too Bright for Gaffe-Prone Perry.”
The Times has certainly feasted on Perry’s flub, in which the Texas governor blanked out on naming the three government agencies he planned to eliminate. Thursday’s front page carried the story under the headline “‘Oops’ at Debate When Perry Can’t Get to Three,” and quoted the entire exchange in a text box on the jump page.
Good Morning America's John Berman on Friday made no effort to hide his derision of Rick Perry, noting that former FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh is running his campaign. Berman openly mocked, "...[Allbaugh] ran FEMA. So, he knows how to recover from disasters, Robin."
Earlier in the segment, the reporter made another comparison, joking, "You know, there's no question that Rick Perry is in full-scale political rehab. It's like a 12-step plan." Supposedly objective journalists on Thursday's evening newscasts and Friday's morning shows pounced on Perry's debate flub from Wednesday. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal MSNBC contributors like Toure have "gone beyond the pale" with their recent remarks about Herman Cain, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell complained on the November 10 edition of "Hannity."
Bozell was reacting to a montage that included the liberal author anticipating a racist backlash by white conservatives who, according to Toure, will now fear Cain's "predatory black sexuality" following the allegations of Sharon Bialek, a "blonde, white woman."
"It's the worst kind of racism, Sean," Bozell added. "What they're trying to say is, 'Hey, look at you Republicans, this is a black boy. He's going after your white women. Look at this, aren't you offended, aren't you offended?!'" [see video below page break]
On Thursday's edition of The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer ran with the media herd that he's "probably never seen anthing as dramatic" as the Rick Perry brain freeze. Then he turned to commentator Jack Cafferty, who insisted, "Not since Sarah Palin sat down with Katie Couric as a candidate for one of the nation's highest offices disgraced himself the way Rick Perry did last night."
When Blitzer replied by estimating Palin's made about $20 million since she ran for vice president, Cafferty shot back: "Stupidity sells. I won't argue with you about that."
David Firestone, a former national and Washington correspondent for the New York Times who is now on the paper’s editorial board, was featured on Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal’s blog Thursday, commenting on the GOP debate in Michigan Wednesday night, specifically Rick Perry’s flub when he was unable to name the three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate. However, Firestone informed us, “the real mental lapse” involve Republicans trying to cut government programs in the first place. Meanwhile, Obama's stimulus "unquestionably saved millions of jobs."
After 117 stories over ten days, what would it take for the big three networks to ease up on their unending obsession with the Herman Cain sexual harassment story? The opportunity to go after another Republican, this time Rick Perry. From Wednesday night's evening newscasts through the Thursday morning shows, there were only two Cain stories (bringing the total to 119).
Good Morning America, CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today all pounced on Perry's debate performance and an inability to remember a government agency that he wished to eliminate. The three morning shows only offered brief passing mentions to the Cain scandal. Instead, co-host Ann Curry pressed Perry, "Have you thought about ending your campaign? Are you staying in this race, sir?"
Mark McKinnon, a regular contributor to the liberal Daily Beast website, which owns Newsweek magazine, made a morbid gaffe as he commented on Texas Governor Rick Perry's stumble during the November 9 Republican presidential debate on CNBC. The New York Times on Wednesday quoted McKinnon labeling Perry's brain freeze as the "human equivalent of shuttle Challenger."
Times writers Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker cited the Democrat, who once served as an aide to former President George W. Bush, as an example of how "Republican operatives almost uniformly declared it [Perry's gaffe] as a sign of great trouble for his candidacy."
The same network that treated then-candidate Obama with kid gloves about Reverend Wright demanded Rick Perry to explain how his campaign wasn't finished, in his interview on CNN's American Morning on Thursday.
Co-host Christine Romans scrutinized Perry over his forgetting one of the federal agencies he had promised to get rid of. However, she seemed to believe that his campaign was over because of the gaffe. "So my question to you is how is this not the end? Convince us that this is not the end of your – of your candidacy," she demanded of Perry during the 7 a.m. hour of CNN. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Updated [11:41 ET]: More analysis and transcripts added.
Interviewing Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry asked the Republican presidential candidate about a flub in Wednesday's CNBC debate and wondered: "One of your fundraisers told The Wall Street Journal, simply, 'He just ended his campaign.' Have you thought about ending your campaign? Are you staying in this race, sir?" [Audio available here]
On CNN's American Morning, Christine Romans struck a similar tone with Perry: "How is this not the end? Convince us that this is not the end of your – of your candidacy....across the board you're hearing folks say that this was one of the worst, if not the worst, debate moment, those 54 seconds, you know, in modern primary history." [View video after the jump]
Joe Scarborough has escalated his running war with the conservative blogosphere. Clearly stung by being branded a RINO—among other things—Scarborough lashed out at "conservative bloggers" this morning.
Springboarding off his handicapping of the GOP presidential primary, in which he asserted that only Romney, Gingrich and Huntsman have a shot, Scarborough said: "I'm right all the time. And I know my Republican party better than you know your Republican party and it pisses you off and I understand why it would. Because you're always calling me a RINO and I'm always right about my party and you're always wrong." Video and more after the jump.
While Herman Cain struggles to defend himself against charges of sexual harassment over a decade ago, he might take some solace in knowing the great actor and film director Clint Eastwood likes him best amongst the Republican presidential candidates.
That was only one of the surprises published by the Los Angeles Times in an article about the Oscar-winning director Monday:
While Bob Schieffer spent a goodly amount of time on Sunday's Face the Nation discussing the allegations made against Herman Cain this week as well as Rick Perry's strange speech in New Hampshire, Liz Cheney was the voice of reason asking why he was wasting so much time on these irrelevant issues.
"With all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff...I think that that's what we ought to be talking about" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Call it Niall Ferguson's Pauline Kael moment . . . During the roundtable segment this morning on ABC's This Week, Ferguson, an academic with appointments at Harvard, Stanford and Oxford, said that "all the Texans I know" can't stand Rick Perry.
Ferguson was reacting to host Christiane Amanpour's question about Perry's highly-animated New Hampshire address. Ferguson professed to like the "swaggering Texan" side of Perry he apparently saw in the speech. George Will had a caustic comeback. Video after the jump.
Rachel Maddow's "devotion" to the facts "borders on obsessive" proclaimed an MSNBC promo last winter that could have been produced by The Onion.
A dubious Maddow claim that didn't quite reach that level of obsession has caught the attention of PolitiFact Texas, part of a fact-checking project that originated with the St. Petersburg Times and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. (video after page break)
Sarah Silverman, that goofy exemplar of comedy so dry it is barren, possesses a steep threshold for hypocrisy.
Silverman finds it repugnant that the family of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry in the 1980s began renting a hunting camp in Texas with the word "Niggerhead" written on a rock at an entrance to the property. That the word was painted over years ago, according to Perry, does little to assuage Silverman's indignation. (video after page break)
There are times when I'm sickened by what I see so-called journalists do on television.
Sunday was one of those times when Politico's Roger Simon, appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, said being "a little bit racist perhaps, gives you good bona fides in a Republican primary. It shows them you're on the same side as they are" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While many on the liberal MSNBC network have attacked Rick Perry's performance in presidential debates, it might be interesting to look back at how one of the network's own cable anchors botched such a performance.
On October 18, 2011, Al Sharpton himself trashed Perry's rhetorical skills: "And then there's Rick Perry, still dancing with the stars, but with every debate his Texas two step is drawing low marks across the country." Yet, on January 22, 2004, while running for the Democratic nomination for President, he confused the Federal Reserve with the International Monetary Fund and struggled through the late Peter Jennings' queries. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC analyst Touré, who is a 9/11 truther, appeared on the News Nation show to denounce Rick Perry as a birther. Speaking of the Republican presidential candidate, he slammed, "...I see Trump and the other birthers, Perry, virtually going to the White House and knocking on the door saying can we see your documentation to make sure you are actually an American?"
It's odd that MSNBC would bring on Touré, who believes in a fringe conspiracy theory, to assert that Perry believes in a fringe conspiracy theory. Talking to host Tamron Hall, the analyst wondered why people would believe such weird ideas: "Why are we even wondering, at this point, is Obama really an American?"
In the last election cycle, Rolling Stone was one of the magazines to feature Obama covers repeatedly (one with a God-like aura). This might be the only reason why anyone would suggest to the magazine that Matt Taibbi's unhinged rants (badly disguised as political journalism) that they re-read Obama's speech in Tucson on civility.
The Houston Chronicle offers a handy summary of all of Taibbi's textual tantrums. The article is titled “Rick Perry: The Best Little Whore In Texas” and the subhead is “The Texas governor has one driving passion: selling off government to the highest bidder”. Amanda Russo noted "Taibbi compares the Republican presidential candidate to an undertaker, a prostitute, a male underwear model, a serial killer AND Adolf Hitler. Bet you’ve never seen all those things in one article before."
The New York Times greeted Rick Perry’s “20-20” flat-tax plan with predictable hostility. In Wednesday's “Perry Calls His Flat Tax Proposal ‘Bold Reform,” Richard Oppel Jr. took only two sentences to sniff “the plan would grant a major tax cut for the wealthy”. He also saw it “requiring drastically austere federal budgets,” of the sort we haven’t seen since...well, President Bill Clinton, actually.