A new Pew poll that shows just 22 percent of respondents trust the government was actually covered by NBC Nightly News on Monday night but for some reason NBC's Today show didn't find that news interesting as they failed to report on the results. However, on Tuesday's Today, they did find a Pew poll they did like, their results on teen texting, as Today co-anchor Ann Curry relayed: "The study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project says that texting is now the main way that teens communicate."
On last evening's Nightly news Savannah Guthrie, at the tail end of another report, noted that "just 22 percent say they trust Washington" and "feel that the government regulates free enterprise too much." However Guthie also pointed out "they would like to see more regulation of Wall Street." At least Nightly News covered the poll, something Today couldn't be bothered about.
The following excerpts are from the April 19 NBC Nightly News and then April 20 Today show:
MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie on Thursday conducted a sycophantic interview with Michelle Obama, urging the First Lady to complain about the "uglier side" of the health care debate. The Daily Rundown co-host sympathetically asked, "There was a lot of vitriol, some pretty hateful things said. And I wondered what your feeling was about that?" [Audio available here.]
Guthrie continued, "Was it hard to stand by and listen to some of that?" Offering the First Lady another softball, she reiterated, "Hearing some of the uglier side of it, did that make you angry?"
The questions didn't get any tougher. Discussing Barack Obama's coming Supreme Court nomination, Guthrie prompted, "You're a Harvard-educated lawyer. Do you think there should be more gender balance, gender equity on the court?" Many of the queries were so vague as to barely qualify as questions: "Do you feel like you have to avoid controversy? Do you feel like you have to edit yourself?"
An evening after all three broadcast network newscasts led by advancing the Democratic narrative of violent ObamaCare critics, a storyline intended to discredit conservatives as all gratuitously named Sarah Palin as a culprit, on Thursday night the same programs weren't so interested and only stumbled into the suddenly “bipartisan” victims – despite fresh revelations of threats and violence aimed at Republicans who voted no.
“It's getting ugly as anger over health care reform erupts into some over-the-top rhetoric,” Brian Williams announced at the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, arguing “the debate over health care reform has gone too far. It's now veered into threats of violence,” citing “ten Democrats who have been threatened.” Incredibly, on Thursday night, Williams still portrayed opponents as the only ones with miscreants amongst their ranks:
While the White House continues to celebrate its largest-ever legislative victory, opponents of health care reform have reacted to the final vote with anger, a few of them with threats of violence.
Two stories later, only after reporter Kelly O'Donnell had noted that “just before the Senators cast their votes, they paused to honor the late Ted Kennedy,” did Williams arrive at the threats “reported by Democrats and Republicans.” Williams:
Sounding more like MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann than impartial newscasts, ABC, CBS and NBC all led Wednesday night by legitimizing Democratic talking points meant to discredit critics of the just-passed health care bill. “Opposition to health care turns menacing,” ABC’s Diane Sawyer warned. CBS teased with audio clips -- “Baby-murdering scumbag,”“You are a dirtbag” and “I hope you die” -- as fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriguez cited “threats of violence against Democrats who voted for health care reform, even as public support for the plan is growing.”
On NBC, Brian Williams teased: “It's getting ugly as anger over health care reform erupts into some over-the-top rhetoric, including threats now against members of Congress.” He opened by declaring: “It can now be said that the debate over health care reform has gone too far. It's now veered into threats of violence.” Reporter Kelly O’Donnell relayed how “Democrats accuse Republicans of stirring a hostile mood” before Savannah Guthrie rued “Washington's epic 14-month battle over health care has exposed an angry side of America.” She recounted:
Wrapped around the brick that smashed the door of Democratic party headquarters in Rochester, New York, a note with the Barry Goldwater quote: ‘Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.’ On Twitter, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told followers, ‘Don't retreat, reload.’ While an Alabama man advocated armed uprising....At a conservative Tea Party protest at the Capitol this weekend, some demonstrators hurled racially and sexually-charged insults at members of the Congress.
CBS’s Nancy Cordes dutifully reported “Democrats accuse their GOP colleagues of inciting such acts with inflammatory rhetoric” as “Democrats complain Sarah Palin is also using violent words and imagery. On Twitter, she urges conservatives: ‘Don't retreat. Instead, reload.’ And the Web site of her political action committee posts bull's-eyes on districts of vulnerable Democrats.”
NBC's Savannah Guthrie gave little time to the GOP view on health care, on Monday's Today, as the reporter offered only one soundbite to a Republican compared to four Democrats in favor of the health care bill. In a report headlined: "One More Last Chance, Will Democrats Pass Health Care Reform This Week?" Guthrie began the piece: "Well we've said it before, but this is it. The White House press secretary boldly predicted that by this time next week, health care will be the law of the land, but privately aides acknowledge this one is coming down to the wire. Beginning a week Democrats hope will end with the health care bill finally passed, the President's senior adviser on Meet the Press was optimistic."
“During the presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama often used the phrase ‘fired up’ to do just that to the crowd. Democrats have been openly wondering when he was going to bring that campaign energy and fire to an issue like health care reform,” Brian Williams announced at the top of Monday’s NBC Nightly News,” and “today the President chose an event at a quiet Philadelphia suburb to get loud. He made his case and he rallied the troops and now readies to head into battle yet again on this topic.”
ABC’s Diane Sawyer noted “the President made a direct attack on the health insurance industry, accusing companies of putting profits before patient care” -- which means he was just catching up with Sawyer’s agenda. A couple of weeks ago, Sawyer demanded to know who will “keep insurance companies from jacking up premiums while making huge profits?” and touted “the growing outrage at insurance companies, the ones that raise premiums on ordinary Americans while racking up big profits.”
Jon Karl asserted Obama “hopes to tie into some of that Tea Party anger by focusing on a group that the White House believes is even more unpopular than Congress” as Karl championed a far-left group’s upcoming protest with “wanted” posters “that will highlight the CEOs of the health care companies making the argument that they are the ones to blame.”
If you're reading this or spending time at politically oriented, new media websites, you are adding to the caustic tone in Washington, D.C.
Such was discussed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday during a roundtable segment wherein no one disagreed with this premise.
Joining Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were conservative contributor Pat Buchanan, Time's Peter Beinart, and NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
The topic of discussion was the evolution of partisan politics, and although Beinart pointed out how the parties have been much more greatly divided in the past than they currently are, the conversation continually referred back to the Internet being to blame for today's divisions (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
President Obama’s health plan announced Monday is little more than the Senate bill with a new tax and federal price control regime, but ABC’s Diane Sawyer touted how “Obama today officially put forward his plan” and CBS’s Katie Couric hailed “a plan of his own,” though she pointed out “it includes no public option.” (In contrast, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie observed: “This new plan of the President's looks a lot like the old plan, just repackaged.”)
All three evening newscasts employed terminology congenial to Obama’s wish to interfere in the marketplace by trumpeting how Obama would “block insurance companies from unreasonable rate increases” while CBS and NBC both advanced Obama’s effort to disparage insurance companies by showcasing sympathetic victims of a health insurance rate hike – pregnant women.
Sawyer delivered a very innocuous summary: “It would give the government new power to control big hikes in insurance premiums, it would give a maximum of nearly $8,500 to a family of four to help them buy insurance and it would prevent insurers from denying coverage to anyone who's already sick or at risk of illness.”
On CBS, Couric segued to “a lot of anger about soaring insurance premiums” and reporter Ben Tracy found a woman “seven months pregnant” upset by a 35 percent hike. She scolded: “You have a right to make money but not at the expense of abusing other people.” NBC’s Guthrie noted “the White House has seized on a California company's decision to jack up rates 39 percent. This Redondo Beach mother was stunned.” Viewers then heard from the woman, near tears: “Do I go without insurance? Does my daughter go without insurance? What are we supposed to do?”
Chris Matthews is beginning to realize that Barack Obama can't change things with just the power of his personality.
Such was amazingly discussed during the syndicated talk show bearing his name this weekend as two White House correspondents made some astonishing claims about the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"He feels that he has some ability to bring people together," noted NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
Helene Cooper of the New York Times agreed, "[T]here's this fundamental belief that he can change, that the power of his personality and the power of his oratory can change people... But you can't just do it with the power of your personality."
A seemingly stunned Matthews replied, "Well, we're learning that" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Historically, there are two kinds of White House reporters: those that confront officials with the strongest critique and demand a response (think ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who dogged Bill Clinton in the late 1990s just as he had Ronald Reagan in the 1980s); and those who see their job as simply repeating the White House spin of the day.
Reporting this morning on the Obama administration’s push for another $100 billion in spending, supposedly for “job growth,” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie fell into the second category. Rather than amplify the growing chorus of critics who argue that we can’t afford more massive spending when the previous “stimulus” was so expensive and ineffective, Guthrie on NBC’s Today saluted the President for making a “judgment call” that “all economists” could support:
This is a budget where the President makes a judgment call. He's asking for $100 billion to spur job growth, things like tax cuts for small business, tax breaks to increase wages. And he's doing this knowing that it will drive up the deficit, certainly even more in the short term, but all economists agree the real way to get a chunk out of the deficit is to increase hiring.
On the first evening newscasts after President Obama’s State of the Union address, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie won hands down if there were an award for stenography to White House power. Guthrie loaded up with five Obama soundbites and one from Nancy Pelosi, leaving Republicans at the end with with one soundbite from House Minority Leader John Boehner.
On ABC, Jake Tapper offered two Obama bites and four of Republicans: two applauding Obama’s bipartisan tilt (Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham) and two expressing skepticism (John Boehner, Jon Kyl).
CBS had two reports with a total four Democrat soundbites (three Obama, one Richard Durbin) and five Republican soundbites (two from Mike Pence, two from Cantor, one from Boehner).
Guthrie's 6-to-1 tilt stood out. It was made slightly worse when John Yang’s subsequent report offered a seventh presidential soundbite, followed by two from a very encouraged small businessman.
Perhaps providing a window into the mind of journalists, MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Friday appeared shocked that a Democrat might lose in next week’s Massachusetts Senate election. "This is bad," fretted the Daily Rundown co-host. [Audio available here.]
She prefaced that comment by ominously observing, "With just four days to go in the race for Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat, a new poll is terrible news for Democrats." Discussing the numbers with co-host Chuck Todd and NBC political director Mark Murray, Guthrie marveled, "Chuck, I'm interested now. NBCs deputy political director, Mark Murray, joins us now.This is bad." [UPDATE: Guthrie responds. See below.]
Slam dunk, or nothing-but-net three-pointer? Either way, with a line he got off today, Chuck Todd has surely scored some points in the battle over Pres. Obama's all-male White House basketball games.
The NBC News political director/chief WH correspondent took his shot while discussing the issue with Andrea Mitchell—whose sympathies were clearly with the distaff side—during the 1PM hour slot on MSNBC today.
Rush Limbaugh has responded to Barack Obama's claim that Fox News is like talk radio by stating that if the President is right, MSNBC and CNN are pornography.
As NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein reported Thursday, Obama replied to a question about Fox News from NBC's Savannah Guthrie on this morning's "Today" show: "[I]f media is operating basically as a talk-radio format, then that's one thing, and if it's operating as a news outlet, then that's another."
This amused Limbaugh who early in his own program Thursday said (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer bigtimer):
Pres. Obama has described Fox News as "operating basically as a talk-radio format" rather than as a "news outlet."
When NBC's Savannah Guthrie raised [in a segment of her extended interview of the president aired on Today this morning] the issue of White House attacks on Fox News, PBO first tried to play the statesman, resorting to the old dodge about "the American people" being more interested in jobs and the situation in Afghanistan.
But when politely pressed, PBO didn't hesitate to fustigate Fox.
Tied to NBC's promotion of Maria Shriver's “A Woman's Nation” report, completed in conjunction with the left-wing Center for American Progress, Wednesday's NBC Nightly News showcased Savannah Guthrie's interview with President Barack Obama in which she trumpeted how he “has put women in high places in his administration and the Supreme Court. The first bill he signed, a pay discrimination law.” Plus, she assured viewers “the President says he gives a lot of thought to whether the women who work here in the White House feel they're being heard, whether there are those persistent subtle biases still around.”
NBC gave air time for Obama to pander: “When I think about policy, I'm constantly thinking about how can we strengthen families, how can we provide more resources, greater flexibility so that women can thrive, because I think if women are thriving everybody's going to be thriving.” How profound.
But no more banal than Guthrie explaining Obama sat down with her “to talk about the Shriver Report and its finding that a workforce that's half women 'changes everything.'” As if that workforce composition is somehow new this week. Indeed, the title is just that silly, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.”
Guthrie also touted: “For the President, that woman's nation starts at home.” And: “The President says he can relate to what the report calls the negotiation between the sexes.”
Last night ABC News, as the MRC’s Brent Baker noted, showcased the "Why People Hate You Obama?" kid and on Friday’s "Today" show it was NBC's turn to be charmed by the Obama-adoring child. NBC's Savannah Guthrie, reporting from College Station, Texas about Obama's latest health care pitch and his upcoming joint appearance with George H.W. Bush to promote volunteerism, squeezed in a clip of Tyren Scott asking Obama why people hated him, when they're supposed to love him? After which Natalie Morales cooed: "Alright cute kid there."
The following is the full report as it was aired on the October 16 "Today" show:
In the category of "intentional misunderstandings" about the political fiasco over the 2016 Summer Olympics, liberals win the gold medal. Cheers and laughs broke out in conservative offices and radio studios on the morning of October 2 when Chicago’s bid came in dead last. This was not an exercise in behavior so flagrantly unpatriotic that it’s almost like a flag-burning indoors. It was rejoicing over a come-uppance for the massive, media-enabled egomania of the Obamas and their team of so-called political geniuses inside the White House.
As the Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh put it: "The Ego Has Landed."
Let’s not kid ourselves: The embarrassment over Chicago finishing dead last in Copenhagen was also felt by the multitude of Obama promoters in the media that almost unanimously jumped to the supine conclusion that victory for Chicago was assured once the president announced his plan to bless the International Olympic Committee with his presence.
President Barack Obama's last-minute decision to fly Thursday to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago's bid for the 2016 summer Olympic games excited broadcast network journalists Monday night. “The Olympic motto is 'swifter, higher, stronger,'” fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith reminded viewers before trumpeting: “Apparently, President Obama is taking that to heart. In a change of plans today, the President decided he will go to Denmark to try to win the 2016 summer games for his hometown.” On NBC, Savannah Guthrie championed Obama's credentials:
From his candidate days to earlier this month on the White House lawn, where he picked up some pointers on fencing, the President has established himself as a kind of Olympics super-fan. Now with Chicago locked in a tight battle with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, and their heads of state making the trip to Copenhagen, the hometown pressure for Obama to go was intense.
ABC, which pointed out how “no President has ever made such an appeal,” even led with the development. “Olympic bid,” Charles Gibson teased, “the President decides to travel thousands of miles for a last-minute personal pitch, hoping to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago.”
Savannah Guthrie is apparently very smart. Guthrie was a member of the prestigious Order of the Coif (which has nothing to do with promoting good scalp health, nor with seventeenth-century headwear) while earning a J.D. from Georgetown Law, highlight her ability to learn dull and boring things very quickly.
Lost among the dusty tomes of Georgetown, however, was the fact that Ronald Reagan was a very nice guy.
On the Friday edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the Brew Crew was discussing the apparent Zen-like calm of the Obama White House. Guthrie, drawing on her spectacular knowledge of the Reagan era, noted the difference in temperament between the Reagan and Obama administrations:
Previewing Barack Obama's trip to Italy for the G8 summit, on Wednesday's "Today" show, NBC's Matt Lauer asked Savannah Guthrie what kind of reaction the President will receive as Lauer noted the President got a "chilly reception" in Russia. Guthrie responded that "It was a real contrast," because she is used to seeing, "really swooning Europeans who are very excited about Mr. Obama." [audio excerpt here]
MATT LAUER: And, and what kind of reception will the President receive from the Italian people? We all know that it was a rather chilly reception when he went to Russia the other day.
Network reporters swooned over President Barack Obama hugging a woman, who has cancer and lacks insurance, at his Wednesday “town hall” on health care, as both CNN -- where Suzanne Malveaux heralded the hug as “a bold display of presidential concern” -- and NBC failed to point out how all the questions (just seven in total) were pre-selected or from members of pro-Obama groups. Instead, NBC's Savannah Guthrie showed a kid in a video (“My mommy and daddy have small businesses, and we need health care”) before she touted how Obama “solicited questions on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and in person, with a hug for a woman who says she cannot pay her medical bills,” while CNN's Ed Henry related “he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.”
CBS's Katie Couric showcased “an emotional moment” when “a 53-year-old cancer patient described her battle to get treatment she can afford.” Couric relayed how Obama “called her exhibit A in a system that's too expensive and too complicated,” but at least, unlike NBC and CNN, Couric noted the woman “is a volunteer for Mr. Obama's political operation Organizing for America” and “the White House invited her to attend.”
Filling-in as anchor on CNN's The Situation Room, Suzanne Malveaux painted Obama as a combination of General Patton and Oprah as she set up Henry in the 6 PM EDT hour:
President Obama has a message for some critics. He will get his way. Today he made a bold promise regarding health care reform. And, in a bold display of presidential concern, the President comforted a sick and emotional woman.
When NBC's "Today" show, on Wednesday, devoted an entire segment asking the question "How Should the GOP Battle Back?" who did they turn to, to offer strategic advice? Leftist Nation editor/publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel and self-described "moderate" radio talk show host Michael Smerconish. What? Was Meghan McCain not available? Not surprisingly neither guest suggested the Republican Party should be consistent in expressing and acting on conservative principles as Vanden Heuvel railed:
Since its announcement in March, the University of Notre Dame's decision to invite President Barack Obama to give this year's commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate in law has been a big story for American Catholics. Pro-life Catholics were outraged and more than 366,000 people signed a petition urging Notre Dame to rescind the invitation. Somehow, though, the controversy didn't merit notice by the broadcast networks. They refused to cover it.
Yet after the fact, Obama's commencement address led ABC and NBC's evening news programs on May 17. (CBS' "Evening News" was preempted by golf, but anchor Russ Mitchell did offer a newsbreak that included a brief mention of Obama's address.) The broadcast networks' morning news programs, including CBS, also discussed Obama's speech. In each case they praised his words and ignored what had stirred so much controversy: the president's history of supporting even the most extreme abortion rights measures. And they turned to mostly liberal Catholics to provide context and perspective on the debate.
On Monday morning’s Today, NBC seemed to respond to Wanda Sykes making jokes about hoping Rush Limbaugh being the 20t terrorist and hoping his kidneys would fail...by making the issue Limbaugh’s potential to be a liability for the Republicans. There was no question whether Wanda Sykes was a liability for the Democrats, or the White House correspondents who invited her to wish Limbaugh dead on a national stage. In a report by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie (complete with the on-screen question "Is Limbaugh a Liability To The GOP?"), Rush was controversial, while Sykes was apparently just funny:
GUTHRIE: Meantime over the weekend, radio host Rush Limbaugh continued to dominate the political conversation in Washington.
OBAMA: The Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset. I'm sorry.
GUTHRIE: On Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney, was asked if he had to choose between having Limbaugh or former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who endorsed Obama, in the Republican Party, the former VP did not hesitate.
DICK CHENEY: Well if I had to choose, in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh I think. I think, my take on it was that Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican.
During the 3PM EST hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor Norah O’Donnell turned to White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie for reaction to President Obama’s surprise appearance at the daily press briefing to discuss the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter: "Savannah, let me just start with you, the shock factor. I mean, you've got that seat right there by where the President walked out. Were you surprised?" Guthrie replied: "Shocked is more like it, Norah. I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence minus the pink unicorn. I have to say, we attend those briefings every day, they are rarely so exciting." [audio for download here]
Guthrie went on to explain: "I had kind of been giving Gibbs a little bit of a hard time, saying, 'look, why does everyone in Washington know this and you're telling us there's been no communication between Justice Souter, the Supreme Court, and the White House?' And sure enough, the President walks in and said ‘I just got off the phone with Justice Souter.’" O’Donnell asked: "Are you suggesting, Savannah, it was your questions that were the reason the President walked out? Because that sounds like where you're going with this." Guthrie humbly replied: "Well, I'm not quite that self-centered. But all I'm saying is I'm very happy to have my question answered, and certainly, personally by the President."
The insular world of NBC News and MSNBC. In her Tuesday NBC Nightly News story on President Barrack Obama's status of the economy speech, reporter Savannah Guthrie emphasized how “the White House billed today's speech as a 'major' one” and so it was “carried live on cable” where “analysts said it was short on rhetoric and long on policy.”
Guthrie's expert “analysts” turned out to be one analyst, her boss. In a clip lifted from MSNBC earlier in the day, NBC Nightly News viewers heard NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker effuse: “Well, there was a moment of church in that speech, but the rest of it was pure law school.”
In the second hour of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, correspondent Savannah Guthrie gave a live report on the upcoming G-20 summit from London. This was a fairly straightforward report, hitting on issues that the major parties were interested in hammering out – the French want more financial regulation, for example. And then, at the very end of the report, Mika Brzezinski threw a hanging curveball. Guthrie did not disappoint:
Brian Williams certainly has an affinity for FDR. Four months after suggesting the nation could “use a little FDR right about now,” though Rooselvelt's policies failed to end the Depression, on Thursday night he connected the obscure 76th anniversary of Roosevelt's first “fireside chat” in 1933 to President Barack Obama's efforts to fix the economy:
76 years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt summoned radio news microphones to a desk next to a fireplace in the Oval Room of the White House, and the fireside chat was born. He wanted to talk to the nation about the economy and the banks. And here we are 76 years later, in the midst of another deep and wide economic crisis. For President Obama, it remains job one in this different era.
Reporter Savannah Guthrie at the White House touted how before a Business Roundtable gathering Obama “really sought to engage them” as he assured the attendees: “I'm a serious free enterpriser and we'll return the markets to free enterprise once this is over.” Guthrie highlighted what she saw as a “a really interesting moment today where the Chairman of CitiGroup... asked the President, 'hey, you're confidence builder in chief, can you give us some confidence?' Well the President did that...”