On Sunday's Reliable Sources, the CNN panel scoffed at the media for getting "manipulated" by the White House last week into hyping Obama's meetings with the GOP as a "charm offensive." CNN's own reporting shows that it played right into those talking points.
"I love how easily the press corps is manipulated," remarked The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "So, the President takes a few senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel and has lunch with Paul Ryan, and suddenly, he's reaching out and there's all these efforts to have kumbaya. He's had two meals." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, host Howard Kurtz granted the media mantra that Mitt Romney was quick to politicize the Mideast embassy attacks, and added, “But for the next, what, 36, 48, 72 hours, the press made him the issue. Was that fair?” Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page said, “Well, yes...what happened here was quite legitimate.”
Kurtz also talked about whether it looked "a little unsavory" for reporters to be plotting on an open mic how they would all make sure Romney was asked if he "regretted" attacking Obama. New Yorker political writer Ryan Lizza tried to claim it wasn't "conspiring," it was being "a little bit strategic with your colleagues" and should be done more often: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
It's irresistible to play the game of imagining the MSM response had a prominent Republican been caught saying of Barack Obama that "a few years ago this guy would have been carrying our bags." In the case of a Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, calls for them to quit the campaign would be echoing from the halls of MSNBC to the shores of the New York Times.
But let a Democrat say it, in the person of The World's Greatest and Most Beloved Politician, AKA Bill Clinton, and well, no problem. The MSM reacts with a yawn. Take Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker correspondent who actually broke the story. Appearing on CNN this morning, Lizza assured host Soledad O'Brien that "I don't think it's racial. I don't think Bill Clinton has a racist bone in his body." View the video after the jump.
In light of Tropical Storm Isaac threatening the Gulf coast during the Republican National Convention, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza evoked shades of Hurricane Katrina and the Bush malaise on Monday's Starting Point.
"Does the Republican Party worry about that right now, that when you think of hurricane and Republicans, that it's not necessarily two things that have gone together in the past?" asked Lizza, who ignored the fact that a Democrat, not a Republican, is in the White House, and will be in charge if Isaac makes landfall and wreaks havoc. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Drudge Report singled out political writer Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker as having the unintentionally hilarious first spin on the reported pick of Paul Ryan to be Romney's running mate. Lizza immediately started to "tally the risks."
"For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience," he wrote. He wrote this with zero ackowledgment of Obama's private-sector experience scooping mint-chip at Baskin-Robbins. If the rest of the media follows this line, this is going to be shamelessly biased:
Alex Wagner made an eye-popping remark on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, as she hinted that she agreed with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton's assertion that Ronald Reagan would feel out of place in today's GOP. When Burton claimed that "Reagan wouldn't have a chance in this Republican primary right now," Wagner stunningly replied, "I think he'd be a Democrat probably" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The anchor, a former employee of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, also touted a quote from Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of AEI, who claim in an upcoming book that the Republican Party has become "an insurgent outlier- ideologically extreme...scornful of compromise...and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."
Chris Matthews spent the entire first segment of Tuesday night's "Hardball," questioning Sarah Palin's "intellectual ability" to lead but Republican Congressman Dan Lungren wasn't having any of it, as he countered: "You want to talk about my friend Joe Biden who made at least 10 misstatements in the last debate," and even made fun of Matthews' Obama fondness, as the California Congressman fired back: "Chris she does not send a tingle up my leg like Barack Obama does to you."
After playing a clip of Palin on Rush Limbaugh's radio show today, Matthews seemed dumbfounded that anyone believed Palin was capable of serving in the White House as he pressed Lungren:
Are you confident in Governor Palin's ability to help lead this country in complicated times? The person you just heard from, in one of the rare moments we've had where she spoke without notes, without a script?
After Lungren expressed his confidence in Palin's experience, Matthews made fun of Alaska's population as he told Lungren: "You have more constituents than the Governor of Alaska." When Lungren retorted with the "tingle" slam the "Hardball" host scoffed:
Yesterday on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker magazine, was a guest. The topic turned to Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:
LIZZA: Right, there are people who have views on abortion but they don’t vote on the abortion issue, right. Can I just say one thing on what you just asked Perry about? To me, this is the elephant in the room about Sarah Palin. I think there is a little reluctance from folks in the press to just say what is on everyone’s mind. That is do people feel comfortable with this woman serving as president at a time when we’re at war in two countries, when she’s been mayor of Alaska, one of the smallest state in America by population?
MATTHEWS: Has made one trip overseas in her life.
LIZZA: I think a lot of the press corps is a little bit reluctant to go there and to be honest about that, because, frankly, the McCain campaign has been very good at pushing back and working the refs on this issue.
As everyone knows, conservatives are a distinctly disagreeable bunch. Mean-spirited knuckle-draggers, pretty much. It's therefore a shock to come across one who's actually likeable. At least if you're Chris Matthews.
Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, a guest on this evening's Hardball, observed that the Obama campaign hasn't quite decided how to go after Sarah Palin. The first line of attack was on the experience issue, but "now they're saying, OK, let's define her as a right-winger. You know, we'll talk about her views on creationism and some of these other extreme views." That elicited this from the Hardball host.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: She's got a lot of--they are pretty far over. For a person that seems very likeable and mellow, she doesn't look like a political zealot.
In her July 15 column, "'Tasteless cover,' fascinating story," Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet lamented that the fuss over the New Yorker's satirical Obama cover art sucks all the oxygen out of the political newsroom. As such, it leaves almost incombustible the otherwise potentially explosive reporting by reporter Ryan Lizza, who penned the New Yorker cover feature (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON -- The shame of the controversy over the cover of the latest edition of the New Yorker -- portraying Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Office, her wielding an AK-47, him in a turban and robe outfit suggesting he is a Muslim -- is that it draws attention away from a very good story inside by Ryan Lizza about Obama's Chicago political roots.
The cover hides an in-depth story about Obama's political roots, taking us to Hyde Park, the Gold Coast and Springfield. Lizza brings us inside Obama's Chicago political world and the political culture that spawned the presumptive Democratic nominee.
On Monday's "Hardball" Chris Matthews was so upset about the New Yorker's cover, depicting Barack Obama in a turban and Michelle Obama toting an AK-47, because he feared "the right will be using that as t-shirt material within the next couple of weeks."
Matthews, along with The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza and the Atlantic Media's Ronald Brownstein also insulted all the non-New Yorker subscribers who didn't get the joke as unsophisticated, or as Lizza put it, "a little slow."
The following exchanges occurred on the July 14 edition of "Hardball:"
For the second week in a row, CNN's Howard Kurtz, while hosting Sunday's "Reliable Sources," seemed absolutely befuddled by the media's lack of interest in reporting presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign flip-flops.
Last week, it was the junior senator's change of heart concerning public campaign finances. This Sunday, it was Obama's curious reversal on handguns.
After two weeks, Kurtz finally got his answer: the press think flip-flopping makes Obama a great politician. I kid you not:
Hillary's horrible Halloween week from hell got worse Sunday when Chris Matthews and his liberal-stocked panel piled on the Junior Senator from New York fortifying the recent media meme that the Clinton in 2008 inevitability has suddenly become a tad less inevitable.
Adding insult to injury, when you're a Democrat candidate, and press members like Norah O'Donnell of MSNBC, Richard Stengel of Time, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, and Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution think you've stumbled, you've stumbled.
In a truly surprising opening segment, Matthews set the almost impossible to believe discussion up: