NBC’s Brian Williams and Politico’s John Harris peppered the NBC News/Politico debate inside the Air Force One pavilion at the Reagan Library with questions from the left, repeatedly pressing the Republican presidential candidates with liberal talking points and Democratic agenda items.
That’s time which could have been better spent advancing issues and concerns of Republican primary voters interested in differences amongst the candidates, not in forcing the candidates to defend conservative positions despised by MSNBC viewers and hosts. (Compilation video after jump)
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Video of Matthews repeating this on the air.
After months of inactivity in his Twitter account, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday tweeted what some might consider a rather risqué comment about the upcoming Republican presidential debate (mild vulgarity follows with commentary):
British-born MSNBC Martin Bashir took the time in his September 7 program to lament the absence of gun control as a major issue in the 2012 presidential contest and to take aim in particular at Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), painting him as cavalier at best and heartless at worst when it comes to the victims of crimes committed with guns.
Tom Brokaw, on Wednesday's Today show, welcomed Rick Perry into the GOP race for president by trying to scare that show's liberal viewers with the Texas governor's views on Social Security and the Supreme Court. The former NBC Nightly News anchor predicted that Republicans at the NBC News/Politico GOP presidential debate will "take a whack" at the new frontrunner, adding that they will be "looking at a book he wrote...called Fed Up."
Brokaw then listed, what he viewed, were controversial points in the book: "He describes Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. He said that the Supreme Court is an oligarchy with a two-thirds vote. He talked about succession [sic]."
New York Times online political reporter Michael Shear made Saturday’s front page with his close reading of the oeuvre of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and was predictably disturbed by what he found. “Perry’s Blunt Views in Books Get New Scrutiny as He Joins Race” amounts to a handy bit of opposition research before Perry’s debate debut on Wednesday (contingent on the wildfires in his home state of Texas).
Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, believes that climate change is a “contrived, phony mess.” The federal income tax was the “great milestone on the road to serfdom.” And the Boy Scouts of America are under attack by “a radical homosexual movement.”
Despite all the bad news for Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday eagerly wondered just how the Republican Party can "blow" the 2012 election. The former Democratic operative turned journalist probed front-runner Rick Perry for limitations, wondering if the candidate will have to "disavow" parts of his 2010 book.
Talking to GOP strategist Karl Rove, Stephanopoulos quizzed, "You've also said President Obama is likely to lose next year and I guess my question is, how could the Republican Party blow it?"
Tonight Brian Williams will moderate, along with Politico's John F. Harris, the GOP presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If recent performances by the NBC Nightly News anchor are an indication, candidates (particularly those favored by the Tea Party) should recognize his hostility to their agenda and be prepared for a number of topics and questions from the left.
Ever since its emergence, Williams has undercut the Tea Party, its champions within the GOP, and its cause of fiscal conservatism. At the same time, Williams has heralded its chief opponent Barack Obama.
Looks like Joe Scarborough aims to single-handedly winnow the Republican presidential field. A few weeks ago, the Morning Joe host dismissed Michele Bachmann as "a joke." Today—not for the first time, as NB's Scott Whitlock documented—Scarborough proclaimed that there is "no way" Rick Perry could beat Barack Obama.
Scarborough, imagining an anti-Perry ad, surmised that Perry's statements on Social Security, the selection of US Senators and secession would come back to haunt him. View video after the jump.
Check out Labor Secretary Hilda Solis [she of the solicitude for the rights of illegal immigrants at the expense of American workers] on the CBS Early Show this morning. She ticks off a list of industries in which the government will make "investments" because "we know" they will be growing in future years. Kinda like the Obama admin "knew" solar energy was the wave of the future when it "invested" about a half-billion in taxpayer dollars in Solyndra, a company that backed by a major Obama fundraiser.
Participating in pure partisan politics, Solis claimed the unemployment rate in Rick Perry's Texas would be "much higher" were it not for the spending of stimulus money there. Right. That vaunted stimulus that for only $800 billion managed to keep the national unemployment to only 8%. Oh, wait, three years later it's 9.1%. Never mind. View video after the jump.
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.
Liberals, he complained, think that merely exposing and criticizing “statements and actions of the crazy, loony right...is somehow enough to convince others about the wrongness of these things.” That’s totally wrong, writes Pensador, because America is a deeply sadistic pile of Puritans that live about five minutes away from our deepest historical atrocities:
On Thursday's Today show NBC's Savannah Guthrie prodded Jon Huntsman to slam his fellow GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann as too conservative, as she pressed the former Governor of Utah: "Are they too far right to win and beat President Obama?"
For his part, Huntsman played into Guthrie's portrayal of his competitors by responding that the American people "don't want politics at the extreme ends," as seen in the following exchange:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough shifted into psychic mode on Wednesday, flat-out declaring, "Of course, [Rick Perry] can't get elected in the general election. He can't." The Morning Joe host derided the GOP presidential candidate, even predicting what states Perry would lose and by how much.
Scarborough totally dismissed the Texas governor's chances, ripping, "He can get elected in the Republican primary, but he can't get elected in the general election. The ex-Congressman turned cable host was very specific: "...He can't carry Ohio. He can't carry Pennsylvania."
To Time magazine, apparently, it's "weird science" to believe that abstinence is a sure-fire way to avoid pregnancy.
Writing about "Gov. Rick Perry's Weird Science," reporter Meredith Melnick promised readers a look at the Texas governor's penchant for "weird science" including his enthusiasm for experimental adult stem cell treatments -- never mind the mainstream media have for about a decade hyped the similarly uncertain promise of embryonic stem cell therapies.
Under the heading, "Teen Pregnancy Aside, 'Abstinence Works,'" Melnick groused how "Texas has the highest teen birth rate and the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute," going on to note that:
You have to hand it to Politico, they know how to gin up publicity.
"Is Rick Perry dumb?" asks the top headline on the website today. Yet on balance, the corresponding article by Jonathan Martin isn't all that bad, noting that Perry has often been underestimated politically, much to the peril of numerous Republican and Democratic opponents who are now footnotes at best in Texas political history.
That being said, there's little doubt that the media, including Martin, are hard at work cementing certain prejudices and lowering expectations about the three-term Texas governor:
When I first saw a brief Associated Press report asserting that Rick Perry, at an event in Des Moines, Iowa today claimed, in AP's words, that "he's created 1 million jobs while governor of Texas," I thought to myself, "Wow, that's a pretty egotistical thing to say -- as if he did it all by himself."
Then I remembered that I was reading an AP report. Of course Perry didn't say that, and, oddly enough (no, not really), a longer AP report proves it.
CBS referenced Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffe about "fully understanding" China's one-child policy on Friday's Early Show as "off-the-cuff remarks" and "interesting comments," but failed to get to it during the segment. Anchor Chris Wragge merely explained that viewers would find "more on that on our website." Oddly, Wragge and his colleagues did broach the subject in an online video segment.
The anchor, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, brought on political correspondent Jan Crawford to discuss "the busy week in politics" 46 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Besides mentioning the Vice President's "off-the-cuff remarks," Wragge also previewed another subject of the segment, which was Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday save of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who stumbled while walking with the Florida politician. But even before getting to that, the three first discussed Texas Governor Rick Perry becoming the presumptive front-runner in the race for Republican presidential nomination. After briefly noting Perry's lead in the polls, Crawford decided to zero in on the possible drawbacks to his candidacy and highlighted one of the caricatures of the governor:
It often amazes that liberals in this country revere New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as being an expert economist.
Take for example Friday's intellectually challenged piece entitled "Bernanke's Perry Problem" in which the Nobel laureate accused prominent Republicans such as the Texas governor and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan of preventing the Federal Reserve chairman from enacting monetary policy that would save the economy:
Attacks on Republicans like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin that compare them to the Three Stooges are just a sign that the liberal media is getting worried that their champion Barack Obama stands a good shot of losing next year's election. What's more, any Republican who gets attacked as an intellectual lightweight should "wear it as a badge of honor."
That's what NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued during the "Media Mash" segment on the August 25 "Hannity," after watching a clip of CNN's Jack Cafferty dismissing not just Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin but also their supporters, whom he said were "allergic to brains."
Watch the full "Media Mash" segment embedded below or listen to the MP3 audio here.
Bill Keller’s upcoming column for the New York Times’s Sunday magazine, “Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith,” raised familiar liberal paranoia about the conservative religious views of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry. The official headline for the upcoming print edition: “Not Just Between Them and Their God.” Keller had no time for respectful criticism: "Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a 'cult' and that many others think is just weird."
Keller, the outgoing executive editor for the Times, got off on the wrong foot by mockingly comparing the candidates’ Christian beliefs to belief in space aliens. Then he made the latest in his impressive string of column factual errors, identifying the Catholic politician Rick Santorum as an evangelical Christian.
CNN's Jack Cafferty slammed the "intellectual lightweights" leading the Republican presidential field on Wednesday, wondering why their supporters "seem to be allergic to brains."
The CNN contributor labeled the candidates "Curly, Moe, and Larry" and sarcastically dubbed Palin a "MENSA candidate," a term reserved for smart people. Recently he also bemoaned a possible Palin run and gave credence to the conspiratorial theory that Bachmann and Perry are serious members of a theocratic fringe sect of Christianity.
Substitute hosting on HLN's The Joy Behar Show, on Tuesday, CNN's Don Lemon prodded Jay Bakker, the son of televangelist Jim Bakker, to accuse Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann of exploiting fears of Christians as he claimed that the GOP presidential hopefuls were: "playing to a group of people who deal a lot with fear and using fear to control folks."
The dismissive Bakker then asserted: "I feel like they've kind of hijacked Christianity," and added that he thinks the Perrys and Bachmanns were advancing "fairy tales" that global warming doesn't exist and claimed they wanted to "ignore" science.
"Issue likely to be debated in 2012 race," a subheadline to the story notes although nowhere in his 37-paragraph article does reporter Robert Barnes cite polling data that suggest capital punishment is an issue of primary or even secondary concern to likely 2012 presidential voters.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks, America's Obama-loving media are pushing for Utah's perilously moderate former governor Jon Huntsman to be the Republican presidential nominee.
On CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Monday, the host was floored by Huntsman's claim in Chinese “I’m going to become the next President of the United States” telling his guest, "This clip could become viral. We could be huge here" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Contrary to the media myth that none of the Republican presidential candidates can beat President Obama next fall, a new Gallup poll suggests that the top four GOP candidates would actually all have close races with Obama if the election were held today.
Mitt Romney polled 2% above Obama, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry was tied with Obama, at 47%, Ron Paul lagged polled 2% below Obama, 45% to 47%, and Michele Bachmann polled 4% below Obama, 44% to 48%. What do you think of the latest poll results? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.