Monday’s column by former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, “Is the Tea Party Over?”, indulged in the usual doomsaying for the G.O.P.’s 2012 presidential prospects (too negative, too far to the right, etc.). Keller also found the “doofus” Gov. Perry guilty of giving “a wink to the evangelicals, a nod to the executioner, and an ardent defense of personal liberties for those who are heterosexual and don’t need an abortion.”
Keller, who as editor of the paper virtually ignored the Tea Party during its first year of existence, has now turned around and said the movement is about to blow its big political opportunity:
While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.
FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll:
Good Morning America and the Today show on Monday fretted about the "ugly turn" the 2012 presidential race has taken in the wake of a pastor at a conservative conference decrying Mitt Romney's Mormonism as a "cult." Yet, these same programs promoted the "edgy" Book of Mormon play back in the spring.
On Monday, GMA's correspondent Jon Karl asserted, "The race for the Republican nomination has take an ugly turn with some now openly questioning whether Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should disqualify him from being president." Karl added that when Romney spoke at the Value Voters Summit, he "tried to take the high ground."
What a change The Washington Post wrought by bringing in Patrick Pexton as the ombudsman. The last ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, was a stickler about the Post’s overuse of anonymous sources. But in a Sunday column on Rick Perry and the Post's “N-head” painted-rock “investigative” hullaballoo, Pexton just circled his wagon and made excuses for the newspaper.
“If the seven sources The Post relied on for this article are truthful, then Perry is lying or is badly misinformed about when the rock was painted,” insisted Pexton. But what if the seven anonymous sources are lying or badly misinformed? What if some are Obama voters or financial backers? The Post is throwing the biggest rock they can at a Republican – racism, as in casual acquiescence to the N-word – without telling the public who’s behind it. "Trust us," says the newspaper of the 2006 Excessive 'Macaca' Pile-on.
On Thursday, Zogby released a shocking poll finding Herman Cain twenty points ahead of Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential nominee race.
Despite this, Chris Matthews on the syndicated television show bearing his name this weekend did a ten minute segment about this race without mentioning Cain's name once (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If it's Friday, Bill Maher must be saying something offensive about conservatives.
True to form, during his opening monologue on HBO's "Real Time," the host quipped about ESPN terminated its relationship with Hank Williams Jr. this week, "If we're going to fire every southern hillbilly who thinks Obama is like Hitler, who will be our Republican Congressmen?
During the "New Rule" segment ending Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, host Maher asserted that the painted over "N****head Ranch" rock on Texas Governor Rick Perry's hunting territory is a "metaphor" for the Republican Party, because it is "overtly racist bulls*** thinly painted over." Maher also displayed the words "The Bigotest Loser" while an image of Perry was shown on screen.
From time to time, MSNBC hosts like to do their part to further the meme that Republicans are out to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies such as blacks and the elderly by using voter ID laws as a back-door way to discourage voting by those groups.
Today Hardball fill-in host Michael Smerconish picked up the baton, interviewing Michael Waldman of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice about his group's claim that its new "comprehensive study" finds five million Americans will be effectively disenfranchised in 2012 thanks to new voter ID laws in numerous states.
For his part, Smerconish did play a bit of devil's advocate:
The Washington Post's stoning of Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry is journalistic malpractice. Instead of calling the newspaper to task, other national media outlets have joined in. And now, the Post is doubling down on slander.
The Post dispatched reporters to the remote hunting grounds of a Perry-linked ranch — "associated" with Perry through "his father, partners or his signature on a lease" — because it once had a rock on it somewhere that had the word "Niggerhead" painted on it. The term is an embarrassing vestige of past racism not just in Texas but on geographical landmarks across the country.
Is there a clumsier group of newspaper character assassins than the hit squads at The Washington Post? On October 2, the Post was back on the racist-Republican attack with a 3,000-word investigative treatise over a rock. Specifically, Gov. Rick Perry had leased a property where the N-word was painted on a rock, and then he had it painted over with white paint.
But investigative genius Stephanie McCrummen could see a virtual Klan hood on Perry’s head. “As recently as this summer, the slablike rock — lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint — remained by the gated entrance to the camp.”
Although the Perry connection is extremely tenuous (the camp’s name predated the Perry family's involvement, and the family had the rock painted over years ago) both the headline (“snag”) and a photo caption wishfully insisted the new controversy had already knocked Perry off stride: “His presidential campaign has been on the defensive in recent days.”
The Washington Post's effort to "macaca" Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) continues today, with a front-page story by Amy Gardner entitled "Governor's record on race is complicated." Yet Gardner found no damning evidence of racism, relying heavily on Democratic legislators' complaints of dog-whistle politics and Perry's ties to Tea Party conservatism.
Appearing on Monday's "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams responded to Letterman's assertion that Texas Governor Rick Perry was a "right-wing conservative psych job" by declaring: "In a Republican primary race in this early stage, you run far to the right....You can't say something shocking enough in some of these crowds." [Audio available here]
Williams observed: "You're trying to keep tacking to the right of your opponent." He then warned: "This will all settle down, though comments last forever. They will all be held accountable for what they're saying now. It's tough to run in the general after this."
As the Washington Post expected when it published it's pathetic, racially charged, 3000-word, front page hit piece on Texas governor Rick Perry Sunday, America's media outlets have largely taken the bait by expressing outrage over this non-story.
Curiously bucking the trend was Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" Monday which used black contributor Wyatt Cenac to humorously demonstrate how many places across the country have names like N-ggerhead (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Listening to some establishment Republicans grousing about the field of GOP presidential candidates should serve as a warning. Republicans, if they are not careful, are in danger of catching the same virus that infected Democrats in 2008.
That would be a messiah complex, the belief that one man (or woman) can deliver us from our collective economic, social and foreign policy "sins" and bring redemption to a nation from the consequences of too many wrong-headed choices.
CBS's Early Show was the only morning show of the Big Three networks on Monday to cover the controversy over a ranch leased by the family of Texas Governor Rick Perry that formerly used the racist "N" word in its name. Political analyst John Dickerson hinted that the Republican's presidential campaign may not "weather" the controversy, adding that "it's a real problem."
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor led the 7 am Eastern hour of the CBS program with a teaser on the news story: "Texas Governor Rick Perry faces tough questions over a family hunting camp named with a racial slur. Fellow presidential candidate Herman Cain calls Perry 'very insensitive,' as Perry insists the word were removed decades ago." Nine minutes later, Glor labeled the issue a "race-related firestorm," as he introduced correspondent Jan Crawford's campaign 2012 round-up, which began with the story.
CNN on Sunday doubled down on the Washington Post-made controversy "Niggerhead" involving Rick Perry by doing a second "CNN Newsroom" segment on the subject this time using the issue to attack Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as well.
Putting a fine point on the absurdity on display, host Don Lemon concluded the piece with a discussion about how "it's difficult to criticize a black president" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The folks at the Washington Post got exactly what they wanted with Sunday’s racially charged, 3000-word, front page hit piece about Texas governor Rick Perry.
CNN did two segments on N-ggerhead Sunday evening, one with host Don Lemon asking his guests, “Can a candidate recover once they've been associated with a controversy over the word n-gger?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, a left-leaning nonprofit news organization based in Austin that has a content partnership with the Times, played the same sour notes on Perry and Texas health-care statistics as the paper’s regular reporters.
For at least the third time this year, HBO's Bill Maher took a racist swipe at Herman Cain.
On Friday's "Real Time," the host said during his New Rule segment that Texas governor Rick Perry "sounded so dumb that now [Republicans are] even considering voting for a black guy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A Mexican President praises Governor Rick Perry for offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in Texas. Mitt Romney uses footage of it in a campaign ad. Something wrong with that? Apparently yes--in the eyes of Chuck Todd.
The host of MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" critically quizzed Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer over the ad today. Video after the jump.
According to ABC analyst Matthew Dowd, the fact that Rick Perry's wife, Anita, has been publicly touting her husband means the candidate is floundering. Making a blanket statement on Thursday's Good Morning America, Dowd declared, "...Any time you have a wife go out on the trail, you know that you- basically, the campaign's in trouble."
He added, "If you start putting your wife out there in a front and center way, you got your campaign in trouble." GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos didn't jump in to contest this assertion. Yet, this same program didn't spin Michelle Obama campaigning for her husband as desperate.
On Monday's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, host Jon Stewart called both Rick Santorum and Rick Perry idiots as he responded to some of their statements from the most recent GOP presidential debate.
After a clip of Santorum arguing that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should be reinstated, suggesting that members of the armed forces should keep their sexual orientation to themselves as they serve, Stewart responded with censored profanity and ended up calling the former Republican Senator an "idiot":
Good Morning America's John Hendren on Sunday dismissed the victory of Herman Cain in the Florida straw poll, condescendingly asserting that the "big winner is nobody." The ABC reporter made sure to repeatedly mention the business of the Republican presidential candidate: "That's right. The man who brought you Godfather's Pizza at 37 percent."
Hendren arrogantly explained, "What's notable about the Florida straw poll is less who won than who lost...The week's big winner in the Republican primary is nobody." It's odd for ABC to dismiss the straw poll's actual winner as a "nobody." But if the candidate hasn't broken through, perhaps the hosts at GMA should actually consider having him on as a guest. (This has yet to happen in 2011.)
The folks at MSNBC as well as parent NBC should sit up and take notice of something Joe Scarborough said on Monday's "Morning Joe."
"There are not enough people that are either Republican in the mainstream media or talk to people on the telephone at least one a month...who actually understand what the Republican Party is" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the second week in a row since returning from his summer hiatus, it didn't take HBO's Bill Maher long to begin attacking conservatives.
Roughly one minute into his opening monolog on Friday's "Real Time," the host mocked Texas governor Rick Perry's performance at Thursday's presidential debate and disgustingly quipped, "Sarah Palin was watching and she said, 'If only he was black, I'd f--k him'" (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity alert):
It's going to be a long campaign . . . Republicans haven't come close to choosing their presidential candidate yet, but already a proud member of the MSM is calling a leading GOP contender a "killer."
On his MSNBC show this evening, Crazy Larry O'Donnell accused Rick Perry of being--for his record of enforcing the Texas law on capital punishment--the Republicans' "favorite killer, favorite state-sanctioned killer." Video after the jump.