Make it a trio of mindreaders at NBC/MSNBC. As noted here, yesterday Howard Fineman and David Shuster went Carnac on us, emphatically declaring that Barack Obama didn't have Sarah Palin in mind with his lipstick line. On this morning's Today, Andrea Mitchell joined her network stablemates [no pun intended!] in delving into Barack's brain and assuring us he meant no harm.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Barack Obama has been a punching-bag [aww] for a barrage of criticism from the McCain campaign. Charges that he slurred Sarah Palin when he said this about McCain and his change argument [cut to clip of Obama's lipstick line]. He was clearly talking about McCain, not Palin.
Well, guess that wraps it up. But wait. Over at Morning Joe, the group wasn't so forgiving, opining that Obama either did know, or should have known, the implications of what he was saying. Mika Brzezinski herself took the first shot.
Remember all those months of the MSM building up the myth of Barack Obama, the Lightworker of unique spiritual powers whose image was frequently photoshopped to present his blessed head surrounded by a halo? Well, now Time magazine columnist, Joe Klein, is upset that Americans are supporting Sarah Palin because of another "myth" of a small town frontier America. Those who create the myths really shouldn't be complaining about what they perceive as myths but that is exactly what Klein does in his column (emphasis mine):
It seems like the rumors, innuendo and smears thrown by the left against Governor Sarah Palin and her family will never stop. Apparently, the newest lie being casually thrown about by the DemocraticUnderground and the National Enquirer is that Palin's soldier son Track was involved as an unidentified vandal of Wasilla school buses in 2005. Worse, the rumormongers are denigrating Track's patriotism for joining the military and claiming that he was somehow "forced" to join to avoid prosecution. Naturally, they haven't a shred of proof. Fortunately, the New York Daily News has quickly debunked this lie.
In a DU posting from September 2, it was claimed that a "non-disclosed judicial source" said that Track Palin was an "unidentified minor" involved in tire slashings of a fleet of school buses in Wasilla in December of 2005. A 2005 report says that several teens had been found "deflating tires in 44 First Student buses, breaking mirrors and unplugging 110 buses from their engine-block heaters, which caused the buses not to start in subzero weather on Nov. 29."
Salon writer Sarah Posner offers a scathing commentary on Sarah Palin's former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. In fact, the sub-title itself spells out her opinion in plain language.
The church where Sarah Palin grew up and was baptized preaches some of the most extreme religious views in the nation.
Yet it was only a few months ago that Posner ran an interview she conducted with Jonathan L. Walton, an ordained minister, in which the two derive comparisons between the Theology of Jeremiah Wright and that of Martin Luther King Jr.
The contrasting pieces leave you wondering if Ms. Posner completely grasps the definition of the word ‘extreme.'
CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin criticized Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Election Center program for having a "very extreme" position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research: "By excluding that entire scientific method, it seems like you're an extremist, and frankly, her position is very extreme in the American spectrum. And I think that is the real problem here." Toobin later used the same phrase to label Palin’s stance on global warming near the end of the program.
Toobin’s comment came as host Campbell Brown began the program with the controversy over remarks made by Palin’s Democratic opponent, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who made an indirect reference to the Alaska governor’s developmentally-disabled son during a campaign stop in Columbia, Missouri earlier that day: "I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both...the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem-cell research?"
Chris Matthews spent the entirety of Wednesday night's "Hardball," debunking the idea that Barack Obama was referring to Sarah Palin, when he made his "lipstick on a pig," remark as the MSNBC host questioned if it "insults...everyone's intelligence?" But didn't Matthews insult his viewers' intelligence, on Monday, when he accused Palin and Rudy Giuliani of using coded racist language when they joked about Obama's experience as a "community organizer?"
At the top of Wednesday's show, Matthews invited on Republican strategist John Feehry and Democratic strategist Jenny Backus to discuss the topic, and hit Feehry hard, as he admitted to Backus: "I’m doing your job," and dismissed the "lipstick" controversy: "This is like Seinfeld, this is about nothing."
But on Monday's show Matthews, similarly, tried to make a big deal out of "nothing," when he saw racism in Palin and Giuliani using the words, "community organizer":
MATTHEWS: Rudy Giuliani got the biggest giggle out of that. And then, of course, Sarah, Sarah Palin did. They're giggling over the community organizer role as if it's, has, it carries more freight than just a job you once had. Is this the new "welfare queen?" Is this a new symbol, that we're talking about here?...Do you it has an ethnic piece, an urban piece even?
The following exchanges occurred on the September 10, "Hardball":
Whether it's the suddenly surging McCain-Palin ticket, or Joe Biden doing what he does best -- shooting from the hip when he should be tight-lipped! -- the Democrat vice presidential nominee made a statement on the stump today that will make conservatives giggle, liberals cringe, and media members pray nobody sees it (transcript after the jump):
Two segments on Tuesday’s Election Center program, which were promoted by host Campbell Brown as having ‘no bias, no bull,’ actually tried to paint Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin as having a "very extreme" and "outside-the-mainstream" viewpoint on environmental issues, since on the issue of global warming, she’s "not one... who would attribute it to being man-made." Brown herself suggested during the second segment that the debate over the cause of global warming was already over [see video at right].
Correspondent Randi Kaye interviewed University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner during the first segment, a report on Palin’s environmental record. She asked, " In a word, if you can sum up Sarah Palin's record on the environment here, what would it be?" Steiner answered, "Abysmal." Anderson Cooper’s blog on CNN.com republished the professor’s September 7 editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in which he railed against Governor Palin: "In addition to her frightening lack of qualification to be vice president (much less president) of the United States, Palin is an evangelical, anti-choice, pro-gun, right-wing conservative who wants creationism taught in schools." When a shorter version of her report aired on Wednesday’s The Situation Room, Kaye added that Steiner "says he’s not a Republican or a Democrat." Despite this clarification, it is clear from his editorial that Steiner is a liberal.
Wednesday's "Good Morning America," featured a one-sided segment on whether Sarah Palin, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, tried to have some books banned from the town's library. Despite the fact that no one featured in the segment could cite a specific book, co-host Robin Roberts labeled the event "a battle that brought her toe-to-toe with a local librarian over which books were appropriate and which were not, something her critics say crossed the line into censorship." Investigative reporter Brian Ross also intoned that there are "members of the Alaska Library Association who to this day remain very wary of Sarah Palin."
The Ross report featured several critics, but no clips or on camera explanations by the McCain/Palin campaign. Instead, the piece focused on the 1996 uproar over certain controversial books in the Wasilla library. Then-Mayor Palin asked librarian Mary Ellen Edmonds what the process would be for removing books. The librarian was ultimately fired. However, Ross explained toward the end of the piece, "In a conversation with me yesterday, the librarian said she could not recall Palin asking for specific book titles to be removed from the shelves."
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.
You could see this one coming. After Harry Smith called Sarah Palin "Geritol" for McCain, some MSM wag was sure to take things the next step. I'd say it just happened. NBC News DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker was chatting with Andrea Mitchell at 1:27 PM EDT today.
MARK WHITAKER: [People] want to see passion. They want to see that Obama, and the same thing is true of McCain, and we've seen him [show] a lot more passion since he picked Sarah Palin, it's definitely --
ANDREA MITCHELL: Someone described it as Geritol.
WHITAKER: Well, or something else. Put a little pep in his step!
As Michael M. Bates earlier detailed, CNN’s Jessica Yellin filed a report from Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday’s American Morning which cites a "non-partisan" organization whose official policy stance includes a pro-abortion position, and whose president used to work for NARAL. She also included a sound bite from a Palin critic who donated hundreds of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Yellin’s report examined how the Alaska governor balances her government work with her family life. She included sound bites from Meg Stapleton, a former aide to Palin who was labeled on-screen as a "Palin campaign advisor" and Kristan Cole, a childhood friend of the governor. After a positive and short depiction of Palin’s life, Yellin cited how "Palin supporters insist her experience as a working mother means she'll represent American women."
The CNN correspondent then went to the critics of the governor’s record: "But some women's groups are critical. The non-partisan National Partnership for Women and Families gives Alaska a D-minus when it comes to its parental leave policy. For example, there's no guarantee of paid leave for new parents." Yellin followed this with a sound bite from Dr. Vicki Lovell of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who thought there's a contradiction there between Governor Palin's professed values about supporting families and then what we actually see in the state of Alaska, where there aren't adequate supports for families who are welcoming new infants."
Joy Behar, a comedian, made an unintentionally humorous line on the September 10 edition of "The View." Behar believes that "the press is in love" with Sarah Palin. Maybe the "View" panelist holds a warped view of reality because the mainstream media has been anything but in love with the Republican vice presidential nominee. [audio excerpt here]
If you needed any more evidence that the Democrats and their media minions are in a serious state of panic concerning the bounce that John McCain has gotten from Sarah Palin and a highly-successful convention, you need look no further than a blog posting by Time's Mark Halperin.
On Wednesday, Halperin, the magazine's editor-at-large and senior political analyst, wrote a piece delicously titled "(Near) Panic!!!" which linked to multiple media sources depicting serious consternation within the Obama campaign as well as Democrat circles concerning the groundswell of support for the Republican presidential ticket.
One source Halperin highlighted was a Los Angeles Times article entitled "Palin Bounce Has Democrats Off Balance" (emphasis added, picture courtesy Time.com):
A favorite tactic of the mainstream media is to cite supposedly nonpartisan organizations to advance the point they're trying to make. An example of that was shown on CNN's American Morning today. Anchor John Roberts set up the segment:
ROBERTS: Coming up now at 18 minutes after the hour. Sarah Palin returns to Alaska today. But her homecoming bittersweet as her eldest son, Track, deploys for Iraq tomorrow. And since Palin was nominated for vice president, her career and her personal life have been under the microscope.
CNN's Jessica Yellin joins us live this morning from Anchorage, Alaska.
Yellin, the network's Capitol Hill correspondent, spoke of how Palin juggles family responsibilities with her career. She wrapped up the piece:
While, like the rest of the media establishment, CBS’s Early Show seemed to conclude that Barack Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” crack from the day before was nothing but a harmless comment, reporter Bill Plante put the swipe in the context of Democrats’ desperation to find some way to undermine the Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Unlike his competitors at ABC and NBC, Plante on Wednesday highlighted how Newsweek’s Howard Fineman quoted an unnamed “top Democratic strategist” as arguing about Palin: “We’ve got to go after her, and fast.” And Plante quoted from the blog WomenCount.org, which vowed to “work to stamp out sexism where we see it on the campaign trail.”
While all of the morning shows led with the “lipstick on a pig” complaint and steered the discussion to the view that the McCain campaign is thin-skinned and/or cynically calculating for raising such a spurious issue, none bothered to mention the far more absurd complaints from top Democrats that Republican references to Barack Obama as a “community organizer” were some sort of racist plot -- instead of quite obvious shots at Obama’s lack of experience.
As NewsBusters reported, Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards presentation was filled with some disgraceful pro-Obama, anti-Republican moments courtesy of host British comedian Russell Brand.
Amazingly, things could have been much worse, for censors forced Brand to cut some even more disgusting comments, including one about Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin putting her pregnant daughter Bristol in an electric chair "for being a slut."
I kid you not.
As reported by the London Daily Telegraph Wednesday (h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):
Monday night featured MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finding fault with Sarah Palin's religious beliefs and some of the teachings of her former church in Wasilla, Alaska, as the two harped on a speech the Alaska governor delivered at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June.
On the first episode of her new television program, the "Rachel Maddow Show," the eponymous host misinterpreted Palin's request that church members pray for American troops, as the Alaska governor expressed her hope that the Iraq war is part of "God's plan," with the MSNBC host claiming that Palin was "asserting" that the war factually is "God's plan."
Maddow claimed that Palin "said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D." On Countdown, Olbermann and Maddow took exception with Palin's account of a minister who prayed that she would be successful in her political life as they mocked the concept of praying in the hopes that prayers might be answered. Olbermann referred to Palin as "Elmer Gantry" and "Amy Semple McHockey Mom."
We now know the official Obama talking point on Lipstick-gate.
In the course of her Morning Joe appearance today, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass used the word "ridiculous" no fewer than six times to dismiss the controversy that has arisen since Obama said yesterday that you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
Click on the image at the right to view the edited video clip.
Douglass was an ostensibly objective reporter at the National Journal before jumping ship for Obama in the midst of this campaign season.
All politicians have a basic stump speech that they stick to when campaigning on the road. However, when Sarah Palin gives her stump speech the Associated Press claims, in a story written by Sara Kugler, she is sticking to a "basic script" like some programmed robot (emphasis mine):
John McCain took a risk in picking little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, but now the campaign's playing it safer. She's sticking to a greatest hits version of her convention speech on the campaign trail and steering clear of questions until she's comfortable enough for a hand-picked interviewer later this week.
An Obama campaign spokeswoman opened today's Morning Joe with an aggressive defense of his lipstick line, arguing that Obama was being criticized "for saying something that John McCain has said before, that Barack Obama frequently says about 'you can dress something up.' He was talking about the Republican change argument."
A bit later, bolstering her argument, the spokeswoman described the conference call the McCain campaign arranged to respond to Obama's line. She pointed out that all the reporters asking questions on the call were women, and that all of them asked McCain representative Jane Swift "are you serious?" in alleging that Obama was alluding to Palin.
Concluding, the Obama spokeswoman argued that if read in context, "he's not talking about Sarah Palin." Oh, wait. That wasn't an Obama spokeswoman. It was Andrea Mitchell, sitting in for Mika Brzezinski.
Mario Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer wants you to know that Governor Sarah Palin's selling of her state's plane is no big deal. Why? Well, because Democrat Governor Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell sold his state's plane, too, and he got a better deal. So, Palin's plane purveying pales next to Rendell's according to Cattabiani. Only, there are quite a few facts that Cattabiani seems to have skipped in his story. So, apparently, the only way for the Philly Inquirer to pooh pooh Palin's efforts is to mislead us about Rendell's. Unfortunately for Cattabiani, his piece ends up being just another way to lie about Palin's record.
Starting out suitably flippant, Cattabiani takes a sarcastic jab at Palin telling her that she should "take a lesson from the Rendell administration on how to sell a state airplane," and then goes on to relate how Rendell sold his state plane at a profit. And Cattabiani then quotes a Rendell crony to the effect that Palin is "inexperienced" because of it all. Naturally, there is no investigation into what sorts of planes the two Governors sold, nor what they were worth because it turns out the Pennsylvanian plane was worth more than the Alaskan plane in the first place -- nor does Cattabiani give the Palin camp any space to reply to the political jab.
Last week at the Republican National Convention, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NewsBusters that if Sarah Palin becomes vice president, she will have "delegitimized the entire left's ability to define what a successful, competent, professional woman is."
On Wednesday, feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia published an article at Salon wherein she not only seemed to agree with Gingrich, but also said, "Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism" that has the potential to break down the barriers erected by "shameless Democratic partisanship over the past four decades."
That was just the beginning, for Paglia proceeded to tear about the whole concept of liberal, feminist dogma, including as it pertains to abortion (emphasis added throughout, photo h/t NBer Viper):
Joy Behar, one of the hosts of ABC's daytime show "The View," took to CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday night and delivered a new line of attack on Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska: Palin's “very mean” in how she treats wildlife because she hunts them and is opposed to putting polar bears on the endangered list.
(Didn't John Kerry go hunting during the 2004 campaign?) Behar, apparently quite serious since she insisted her concern was “an important point,” began the live interview:
“You know, the one thing that I don't think anybody's said yet is that she's very mean to animals, this woman. Why does she have it in for these poor polar bear and the caribou and she aerial kills wolves? That's a very mean thing to do. I think that that's an important point we should all be looking at.”
Here's an irony to start your Iftar meal tonight: Saudi Arabia, where a woman must have permission from a male relative or her husband before traveling, will nevertheless run a Gloria Steinem column in its main English-language daily about the sufferings of American women (and their impending doom if Sarah Palin makes it to the White House).
To be fair to Steinem, the column first ran in the LA Times, but all the same, the irony may be the tastiest thing the veteran feminist has ever half-baked.
With fresh media polls showing Sarah Palin causing a sizable percent of women to shift to support John McCain from Barack Obama, CBS and NBC on Tuesday night devoted full stories to fact check examinations to discredit her, specifically on the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere,” even though all the newscasts have already run stories on how she was for the bridge earmark during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Introducing a “Reality Check,” CBS anchor Katie Couric asserted:
There's also controversy over the way Governor Palin is trying to attract voters by portraying herself as a reformer opposed to government earmarks. And the example she continues to cite is her opposition to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But she doesn't quite tell the entire story...
Wyatt Andrews concluded: “By repeating the claim she said no thanks to the bridge, the implication is that Governor Palin confronted a Congress recklessly wasting money. The record shows, she wanted that bridge until the end and kept the money.” Over on NBC, anchor Brian Williams recalled how Palin's convention speech had “several memorable applause lines. It's how a lot of people came to know her.” But, he asked, “how do they all match up against the truth? Our senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers takes a closer look.”
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.
As NewsBusters reported on September 5, the celebrity gossip magazine "Us Weekly" got inundated by angry subscribers demanding their subscriptions be cancelled after the slick published an issue bashing McCain VP pick Governor Sarah Palin, her family and litle baby Trig.
Well, now it looks like "Us Weekly" is desperate to stem the tide of angry cancellations by offering free issues to anyone upset over the Palin-Bashing issue. Michelle Malkin is reporting that the magazine is sending subscribers an email begging them not to cancel and offering a groveling apology.
ABC reporter Lisa Fletcher interviewed friends of Sarah Palin for a segment on Monday's "Nightline" and grilled them on whether a "small town mom" will be able to "sit down with Putin and deal with foreign issues?" Fletcher, who herself was a small town reporter before joining ABC in December of 2007, mostly avoided friendly queries and instead grilled the Alaskan friends of the Republican vice presidential candidate.
At one point she asked pal Sandy Hoest, "She's spent less than two years as the governor of Alaska. Why should Americans have any confidence whatsoever that this woman can fulfill the duties of vice president of the United States?" Later on, the journalist challenged, "Is it possible to be pro-choice and vote for Sarah Palin?" When a few of Palin's friends identified themselves as pro-choice, Fletcher pounced, "Does that put a strain on your friendship with Sarah?"