Certain events in the 2012 campaign make you ask how would the media respond if a particular story was about Mitt Romney rather than President Obama. Take this past Friday, when President Obama was introduced at an Ohio rally by a man accused to stealing trade secrets from his former employer.
According to a local CBS affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio, Daniel Potkanowicz has been ordered to pay $500,000 to his former employer after a judge ruled that Potkanowicz had stolen trade secrets.
With unemployment, gas prices, and the budget deficit stubbornly high, President Obama's fans in the media are having a hard time explaining to people why the current White House resident's job performance is worthy of the reelection they're all working for.
Take former Obama car czar turned Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner who said on MSNBC Tuesday, "I think in a quiet room I could convince you his record is good, but out in the sound bite world of the campaign, it's very hard to explain that record in a positive, clear, persuasive way" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How much do the gang at MSNBC's Morning Joe despise Newt Gingrich and want to derail his run for president?
Near the end of a Monday segment in which she read - with a smile on her face, mind you - numerous columns quite hostile to the former Speaker of the House, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, "How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"It's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that -- that heals, not in a way that wounds." -- President Obama, speech at Tuscon memorial service, January 12, 2011.
"The [Suskind] book amounts to a drive-by shooting of a president and his key economic advisers who deserve encomiums, not unfounded second guessing and inaccurate revisionist history." -- Former Obama car czar Steve Rattner, writing at the Politico, October 2, 2011 [emphasis added].
Where have you gone, President Hope-and-Change? Less than nine months after President Obama pronounced pious words about talking "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds," the Obama White House sends out a designated hitter to accuse a respected author of a "drive-by shooting" of the president and his advisers. Nice. [Via Mike Allen's Politico Playbook.]
A trend is emerging on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," whereby guests make inflammatory statements likening conservatives to terrorists, and none of the co-hosts insist on a more elevated level of dialogue.
Following in the footsteps of Newsweek's Tina Brown and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), two MSNBC analysts called conservatives in Congress "economic terrorists" and "crazy" on Friday, yet none of the program's co-hosts questioned the offensive choice of words or called for a more civilized tone.
Disgraced former Obama car czar Steve Rattner went first, framing Tea Partiers as suicide bombers:
Imagine, if you will, that in 2003 Fox News brought on a disgraced Bush administration official who had been barred from Wall Street trading to talk up the president's economic policies. Imagine also that the anchor doing the interview failed to disclose that fact to viewers.
Well, that's pretty much what happened in the 2 p.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC coverage today, when anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed former Obama car czar Steven Rattner.
The former Obama's "car czar," was accused last year of bribing "a political consultant to win business from New York's pension fund for his former investment firm." The liberal Democratic financier subsequently worked out settlements with the SEC and the state of New York in November and December of last year respectively. In the SEC settlement, Rattner agreed to "a two-year ban from associating with investment advisors or broker dealers" although Rattner "admit[ted] no wrong doing." The agreement with the state of New York came with a similar "a five-year ban from working with any New York public pension fund."
Steven Rattner, the first Obama car czar who allegedly "bribed a political consultant to win business from New York's pension fund for his former investment firm," was extremely close this week to cutting a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), only to see that agreement held up this week to the intervention of New York Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, the Washington Post reported today.
If a conservative or Republican uttered the nonsense to be revealed shortly, we'd justifiably never hear the end of it on the late-night comedy shows and elsewhere. As it is, former car czar Steve Rattner's "creative" term for fibbing has and probably will continue to get little coverage outside of Detroit.
Rattner's risible rendition of reality spewed forth before he spoke at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit District conference. Here are excerpts from the coverage by the Detroit News's Robert Snell (HT Laura Ingraham), with help from David "I think Toyota bragged about avoiding safety recalls, so they did" Shepardson (bolds are mine):
General Motors Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre may have stretched the truth in a commercial saying the automaker had repaid its federal obligations, former autos czar Steve Rattner said today.
GM "may have slightly elasticized the reality of things," Rattner told reporters ahead of a speech today.
Steven Rattner, a former New York Times reporter whose short tenure as Obama's so-called car czar "came under a cloud in April when details of alleged influence-peddling surfaced," announced his resignation yesterday, the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey and Tomoeh Murakami Tse reported today.
Yet despite President Obama's penchant for naming numerous policy czars, news of the resignation was shuffled off to page A11 rather than trumpeted on the front page. Curiously, the Post did find space below the fold on page A1 for a story that basically boils down to how the stress of being U.S. Attorney General is wearing on Eric Holder.
What's more, the Rattner story itself is front-loaded with praise for Rattner from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Obama-approved GM chief Fritz Henderson, while less savory details about the influence-peddling investigation were buried towards the end of the 18-paragraph article.
You can't make this stuff up. The titled quote comes from a Bloomberg story today about new GM Chairman Ed Whitacre. You also can't make up most of the media's calm acceptance of yet another person heavily involved with running General Motors, aka Government Motors, who knows next to nothing about cars except as a consumer who drives them.
At least it's refreshing that this guy has experience running a business, which is more than you can say about the other two architects of the company as it currently subsists.
On May 31, the New York Times put out a fawning portrayal of the a Mr. Brian Deese, the guy who was the only full-timer on President-elect and then President Obama's car team from Election Night until mid-February.
Fasten your seat belts, this guy's lack of any kind of pedigree will have you death-gripping the steering wheel, as will the smug dismissiveness of a business system that has been the most successful in human history: