As we get closer to the midterm elections, and liberals in the media foresee the Democrat destruction about to commence, the scorn being tossed at conservatives and Tea Party members is reaching a fevered pitch.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is a perfect example.
Her "Slouching Toward Washington" piece published Sunday is nothing but a personal attack on those possibly interfering with her dream of a United States Socialist Republic.
Even more despicably, she used HBO's Bill Maher to assist her:
ABC, CBS and NBC all ran full stories Monday night on how an old video clip showed Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell talking about how, as a high-schooler, she had “dabbled into witchcraft.” CBS, however, used O’Donnell to pivot to marveling at how other Tea Party-affiliated Senate candidates remain viable despite what CBS considers exotic views.
“Christine O'Donnell's witchcraft comments may have spooked some Republican leaders,” Nancy Cordes related on the CBS Evening News, “but her fellow Tea Party Senate candidates are living prove that unusual assertions are not necessarily campaign killers.” Cordes elaborated with some contestable summaries of positions expressed:
Take Kentucky's Rand Paul who questioned the historic civil rights act, but is still tied with the Democrat in a recent poll. Nevada's Sharron Angle is neck and neck with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, even after she advocated an armed insurrection against the government. And Utah attorney Mike Lee is crushing his Democratic rival even though Lee favors dismantling Social Security and eliminating unemployment benefits. Priorities he shares with Alaska's Joe Miller.
The news that it could be a good year for women electorally did not cheer up the likes of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson and the Politico's Jeanne Cummings, because it turns out it's only going to be a good year for women on the Republican side like Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman, and Carly Fiorina or as Carlson put it: "It's not a compassionate women year." [audio available here]
Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, invited on Carlson and Cummings to take a look at "gender politics" and found that it could be a good year for women, just not the kind of women they like, in other words the more conservative momma grizzly types that Sarah Palin supports. Cummings even bemoaned that a loss of the House could result in "one giant blow to women" in that it "could take down the Speaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi" who was "a real shining star for the achievements and the rise of women in government."
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the August 30 edition of Hardball:
Following in the footsteps of The Washington Post, Wednesday's New York Times put Sharron Angle on the front page, pushing strongly on Harry Reid's notion that her extremism and ineptitude are working in Reid's favor. Reporter Adam Nagourney played up Republican pessimism:
Since Ms. Angle won, her campaign has been rocked by a series of politically intemperate remarks and awkward efforts to retreat from hard-line positions she has embraced in the past, like phasing out Social Security. There have also been a staff shake-up and run-ins with Nevada journalists, including one in which a television reporter chased her through a parking lot trying to get her to answer a question.
Republicans in this state are concerned that what had once seemed a relatively easy victory is suddenly in doubt, with signs that Ms. Angle’s campaign is scrambling to regroup.
Few places are as aptly named as a divey little bar in southwest Las Vegas called The Hammer.That's where the campaign brain trust of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D) unwinds over beer and nachos after long days spent trying to discredit his Republican opponent, former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle.
All summer long, Reid's small army of young, eager staffers has bombarded Nevada voters with unflattering, sometimes distorted allegations about Angle. They have scoured old newspapers, government transcripts and video archives for anything she has said or done that might be turned against her. In television and radio ads, Reid's aides have tried to create and then exploit perceptions that Angle is a dangerous reactionary.
Discussing Harry Reid's racially-charged comment about Hispanic Republicans, Rick Sanchez miraculously managed to turn the embattled senator's gaffe into an example of his opponent Sharron Angle's incompetence. On the prime time "Rick's List" yesterday, the CNN host actually gave serious consideration to the Nevada Democrat's claim while exploring the extent to which the Angle campaign is "blacking out" Hispanic media outlets.
"Also, do you think a Hispanic-American can be a Republican?" teased Sanchez. "Harry Reid doesn't think so. And I'm going to tell you what Hispanic groups are saying about his opponent as well."
Instead of interviewing a Hispanic Republican who is offended by Reid's insensitive remarks, Sanchez brought on Miguel Barrientos, a liberal talk show host, to "drill down" on why Angle is allegedly ignoring Hispanic journalists.
"These charges against Angle, are they real?" asked a bewildered Sanchez. "Is she really blocking out the Latin media? Or is this just a case of opportunism by her opponent, Harry Reid?"
NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, managed to question the political viability of two Republican candidates in one sentence as he asked his guest panelist, Jonathan Martin of the Politico, "Is Ken Buck, you know, Sharron Angle in drag?" [audio available here]
Going over the results of yesterday's primary races with Martin and Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Todd claimed "Democrats were doing a touchdown dance" after Buck won the Republican primary contest for the Senate seat in Colorado and also relayed some rather colorful descriptions of Buck, as seen in the following exchange, aired on the August 11 edition of Hardball:
Last Wednesday, Chris Matthews wildly attacked Fox for acting like "stooges" for Republican candidates like Sharron Angle to come on and promote their candidacies. It turns out that on the very same day on his national radio show, Ed Schultz was talking up how excited he was for "stooge" work for the Democrats on MSNBC:
I'm excited about the fact that now that I've been at MSNBC for over a year now, year and a half, this is the first election cycle that I get to go through with a TV show. I'll show those son of a guns over at Fox how to promote candidates. I'll do a great job doing that! [Michigan gubernatorial candidate] Virg Bernero will be on the tube tonight, a winner yesterday. Next up will be next Wednesday after the Tuesday primary in Colorado where Andrew Romanoff is going to defeat Mr. Bennet, the appointed senator, who was late to the table on helping Americans on health care reform.
But Schultz attacked Angle in his "Psycho Talk" segment on his MSNBC show for expecting Fox to do what he was boasting he'd do for the Democrats:
That's odd, those describing themselves as pro-choice usually aren't this candid when it comes to abortion.
On her MSNBC show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow spoke with Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell about Republican Senate candidates Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Ken Buck opposing abortion, including for pregnancies conceived through rape or incest.
Harris-Lacewell said this in response to a question from Maddow --
Carl Cameron thinks Sharron Angle is naive. I think Sharron Angle thinks like a Democrat: Expect good media coverage, tell the media what you want to talk about, and by golly! expect friendly coverage!
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday demonstrated how the dissemination of Democrat talking points and marching orders via the JournoList can be far more effectively employed on television.
In a "Hardball" segment about a new Democratic National Committee ad that looks to connect the GOP with the "more extreme elements" of the Tea Party, Matthews chatted with Republican strategist Todd Harris and the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress's Jennifer Palmieri about whether the strategy will work.
What was most interesting was how Matthews, almost like a JournoLister, seemed to be drawing from a discussion he had with his panelists on last weekend's syndicated program bearing his name.
Before we get there, here's the relevant discussion with Harris and Palmieri (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Here's a slimy journalistic tactic with which most conservatives are all too familiar: note that two people or groups agree on one point, and then suggest that consequently they must agree on all other points. Chris Matthews (among many others) used this tactic to smear Tea Parties as tantamount to militia groups - both share a distaste for big government, therefore they must agree on all other points.
The Las Vegas Sun employed the tactic on Sunday in a front page piece on Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle in an attempt to paint her religious views as radical. She believes that "religion has an expansive role to play in government" and that arguments to the contrary misunderstand the First Amendment.
Christian Reconstructionists share this belief (along with millions of Americans), Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon noted. But Damon went on to try to tie Angle to a host of other wacky beliefs that she does not share with the movement.
In his Monday Media Notes column today, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz lays out the latest liberal complaint against Tea party candidates, that they don't submit to more drubbing like Rachel Maddow gave Rand Paul, and somehow they have no respect for journalism:
Some of the most conservative and combative Republicans running for Congress are convinced that the media have it in for them.
But these candidates seem to regard it as an affront when reporters challenge them on their past statements and inconsistencies, which is a basic function of journalism. They are avoiding or limiting interviews with all but the friendliest faces as a way of circumventing the press. And some of them delight in skewering the mainstream media, a tactic that plays well with their base.
In Saturday's Wall Street Journal, senior economics writer Stephen Moore talked to Nevada Republican Senate contender Sharron Angle in the "Weekend Interview." He liked her answers, like why she thinks she could upset the Senate Majority Leader, she replied: "When Harry Reid got to be majority leader, the unemployment rate was 4.4%. Now it is 14%, higher than even in Michigan....What has Harry Reid's power done for our state?"
Angle said Reid's local actions (a subject the national media cares very little about) have upset the electorate:
Regarding jobs, she points to Mr. Reid's role in killing three clean coal-fired plants in rural Ely, where she and her husband have lived since 1971. After years of opposition by Mr. Reid in league with various environmental groups, NV Energy halted development of a $5 billion plant in February 2009.
That meant the loss of 5,000 jobs, Mrs. Angle says. "That's really when we realized Harry Reid doesn't care about jobs or people losing their homes. And it's also when 'Anybody but Harry Reid' signs first began to sprout up all over the state."
In today's "What Fact Did Keith Olbermann Mangle Now" segment, the host of MSNBC's "Countdown" on Tuesday hysterically mocked Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle for claiming Abraham Lincoln lost "quite a few" elections.
"Just for the record, do you know how many elections Abraham Lincoln lost in his lifetime?" Olbermann arrogantly asked.
"Seven of eight he won," answered MSNBC's hottest property.
Just for the record, Olbermann wasn't even close to being right (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t The Corner):
On Tuesday's edition of "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough and his panel discussed the 2010 midterm elections and trashed Republican candidate Sharron Angle as a "mental patient" and a "jackass."
The conversation, which included Chris Matthews and Mike Barnicle, began with MSNBC contributor Mike Halperin claiming Angle is "vulnerable" in the race because "she has extreme positions that are out of step with the mainstream."
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is angry the Senate hasn't once again extended unemployment benefits, and he's blaming "heartless, clueless and confused" Republicans.
"There was a time when everyone took it for granted that unemployment insurance, which normally terminates after 26 weeks, would be extended in times of persistent joblessness. It was, most people agreed, the decent thing to do," the Nobel laureate wrote Monday.
"Yet the Senate went home for the holiday weekend without extending benefits. How was that possible?" asked Krugman.
Unfortunately, his answer will be quite disturbing to most on the right:
You might wonder the same after hearing what Rachel Maddow said in response to GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle's contentious interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist and local cable show host Jon Ralston.
Maddow, as is her wont, criticized Angle for avoiding left-leaning media prior to Ralston interviewing her June 29 -- followed by Maddow criticizing Angle after the interview. Suffice it to say, had Ralston ended up begging for mercy from Angle, Maddow would have accused Angle of torture.
"But when Sharron Angle's political career ended last night on local television in Nevada," Maddow said on her show Wednesday, "it was a perfect case study in what happens if you don't ever talk to people with whom you disagree."
After showing excepts from the interview, Maddow also said this (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: But the bigger story here and the more unexpected story here is how curdled and pitiful and inbredpolicy and even argument itself gets when it is never exposed to opposing views, how weak the political and rhetorical muscles get when they are allowed to atrophy. So, I lament the no-argue bubbles. I lament the reluctance of conservatives and Republican politicians in particular to come on this show, in part because arguing is fun and talking to people with whom you disagree is fun. But also because it makes us all better at what we do. And that's good for us and if you are a politician, that is good for the country.
"Far-Right" Angle on G.O.P. Senate Candidate From Nevada
"But on the other hand some of these women are, like in Nevada, against Harry Reid, Sharron Angle has, she's a Tea Party candidate who's given Democrats renewed hope of saving Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, from what was looking to be near certain defeat, because she is so extreme....The Democrats generally at first blush on Wednesday morning when the results were in were happy that both Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, looks newly secure because the Nevada Republicans had nominated such an extreme, Tea Party-type member." -- Reporter Jackie Calmes in a June 10 "Political Points" podcast.
"Among her detractors and her supporters [Angle] is known as a far-right conservative and a thorn in the side of both parties, routinely voting no on almost everything that came before the Legislature." -- Reporter Jennifer Steinhauer, June 10.
G.O.P. Already Doomed
"Some critics are already asking Republican leaders how they managed to let a promising election season get so mightily out of control." -- June 10 front-page teaser to a story by Matt Bai on Republican election prospects for November.
During the "Last Word" segment on Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital on Friday, Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson – formerly of CNN and Time magazine – tore into Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle – who will be taking on Harry Reid in November – as Carlson charged that Angle is "on the fringe, almost wacky," and asserted that Nevada voters would have to be "completely masochistic" to vote for her. Carlson:
You can’t beat somebody with somebody who’s as on the fringe, almost wacky, as Sharron Angle, unless the voters turn completely masochistic. She’s not just against (MEANT TO SAY "in favor of") abolishing EPA, Energy, Education, phasing out Social Security, and getting rid of the income tax, she wants our nuclear waste to go to Nevada.
Fellow panel member Kate O’Beirne of the National Review responded: "I’d hoped over the years I had built up Margaret’s tolerance for conservative women, but, sadly, that’s apparently not the case."
Meet the "so extreme," "far-right conservative" Sharron Angle, who won the Nevada Senate primary on Tuesday and will face Democrat Harry Reid in the fall. Those quotes aren't from Daily Kos or even a New York Times columnist, but from two of the Times's political reporters, Jennifer Steinhauer and Jackie Calmes.
(This post is based on two items previously posted on Times Watch.)
Further, Ms. Angle -- the Tea Party-blessed candidate who bested her two better-financed competitors in Tuesday's primary -- is an untested statewide candidate whose positions as a lawmaker put her firmly to the right of most mainstream Nevada voters. The hot lights of national exposure can be a liability for new -- and overly loquacious -- candidates, as Rand Paul, the Republican Senate nominee from Kentucky, quickly found.
Among her detractors and her supporters she is known as a far-right conservative and a thorn in the side of both parties, routinely voting no on almost everything that came before the Legislature. She is also a tireless campaigner. When a 2002 redistricting forced her to face off with a wildly popular Republican incumbent, Greg Brower, she went door to door nightly, won and ended his political career.
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer provided analysis of Tuesday's primary elections across the country, describing the South Carolina gubernatorial race "where they continue to draw their political plot lines from, you know, 'Desperate Housewives' or something" and how Nevada Democrats were "very happy" with the victory of tea party candidate Sharron Angle.
Speaking to Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez, Schieffer ran down the most watched races in Arkansas, California, South Carolina, and Nevada. When he got to South Carolina, he described gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as "very conservative." After making the 'Desperate Housewives' comparison, he remarked how the GOP primary in the state was "providing some entertainment, as it were, for the rest of the country. I mean, you had Governor Sanford down there and his adventures. And now these allegations against Nikki Haley." He quickly added that the allegations of adultery against Haley were "without foundation" and that "Nobody has proven anything."
Rodriguez then asked if "Harry Reid is happy or fretting the fact" that tea party-backed Sharron Angle won the GOP senate primary in Nevada. Schieffer declared: "I suspect that Democrats in Nevada are very happy about this....I think the Reid people think that he would have a much better chance beating her than some of the other Republicans in the primaries."