Defending the indefensible can make a liberal journalist a little prickly. How else do you explain Washington Post columnist Colbert I. "Colby" King's specious attack on his fellow Post colleague and Inside Washington panelist Charles Krauthammer this weekend?
It all happened when Krauthammer responded to a Post editorial, published in Thursday’s paper, which asserted that UN Ambassador Susan Rice did not mislead anyone about the nature of the September 11 Benghazi attack. Ninety-seven House Republicans had signed a letter charging that Rice did mislead the public, and the Post editorial demanded that those Republicans apologize to Rice. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite all the information that has come out about the September 11, 2012, attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Bill Maher still agrees with United Nations ambassador Susan Rice.
As hard as it might be to believe, the host of HBO's Real Time on Friday called the tragic event that left four Americans dead a "riot" possibly sparked by an anti-Muslim movie (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On his Thursday night PBS program, Charlie Rose attempted to fulfill his duties as a liberal media member by defending the State Department’s dishonest talking points following the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Rose was grilling Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was involved in the Benghazi hearings, about his views on the matter.
When Rose asked Chaffetz if he believed there was a coverup, the congressman was ready. He brought up the fact that for days after the attack, the administration claimed the incident had been sparked by a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam YouTube video. But Chaffetz and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that to be a blatant lie: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS used its Sunday evening and Monday morning newscasts to keep the spotlight on the question of a "possible cover-up" surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Jeff Glor led CBS Evening News with the scoop from earlier in the day on Face the Nation – that a "career U.S. diplomat is raising new questions" about the Obama administration's claim that the attack spontaneously erupted in response to an early protest in Egypt.
Monday's CBS This Morning also aired a report on this latest development on the September 11, 2012 attack. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC have yet to pick up on the veteran diplomat's allegations, despite the fact that he is set to testify publicly to Congress on the issue on Wednesday.
During a retrospective on 2012 on the December 30, 2012 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning, Charles Osgood ludicrously oversimplified the continuing scandal over the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Osgood conspicuously omitted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's Sunday show appearances five days after the assault, which conflicted with intelligence agencies' early conclusion that the attack was pre-planned.
The journalist's 14-second look at the story merely consisted of two sentences noting who died in the American installation and one of the most recent developments [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Following Susan Rice’s abrupt withdrawal from being considered for Secretary of State, NBC's Andrea Mitchell felt it important to sneer that Republican opposition to Ms. Rice was racially motivated.
Speaking on MSNBC’s The Cycle Thursday afternoon, Mitchell’s immediate analysis of Rice’s withdrawal was that, “this is not going to help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated.” Andrea Mitchell must have forgotten that four years ago, Republicans in the Senate confirmed an African-American woman named Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State. But that wouldn't fit the liberal narrative NBC and MSNBC continue to peddle that Republicans have racist motivations behind their objections to Rice’s nomination to Secretary of State. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
In an exclusive interview on Thursday's NBC Rock Center with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice following her withdrawal of her name to be secretary of state, host Brian Williams worked to portray her as a victim of unwarranted political attacks: "She's been under withering attack for weeks....Were you set up? Were you a victim of circumstance? Bad data? Bad information?...Are you blameless in all this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to her Sunday show statements on the Benghazi attack, Rice responded: "I'm not a victim. I wasn't set up....I don't think anybody is ever wholly blameless, but I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't mislead. I didn't misrepresent. I did the best with the information the United States government had at the time."
New York magazine's political writer and frequent MSNBC guest John Heilemann confidently predicted in the December 3 issue that United Nations ambassador Susan Rice would be the next Secretary of State. That issue's table of contents put it starkly: "John Heilemann on why, John McCain be damned, Susan Rice will be the next secretary of State."
Or perhaps not. On Thursday afternoon, NBC reported that Rice had withdrawn her name from consideration for the position, citing "a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive."
Heilemann fumed at the GOP before he ventured forth with his spirited prediction.
Moments after news broke of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration to be secretary of state, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC's Martin Bashir to denounce those he deemed responsible: "It was all driven, in many cases, by some conservative outlets who were making her the center of the Benghazi story....[which] never made a lot of sense. She sort of became a victim of this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Left-wing host Bashir teed up Todd by reciting Rice's resume and declaring her to be "amply qualified" for the cabinet post, but that "so much of the criticism of her seemed to suggest that she was not, and that was dressed up under the guise of these attacks following what happened in Benghazi" Todd lamented that Rice not having a "full PR team" meant she "was more susceptible to this type of where one story where she could become the victim of these attacks very quickly, it could take hold."
It's hardly a surprise, coming from the man who counseled the United States to shoot down Israeli planes should they seek to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. But just for the record, Zbigniew Brzezinski has opined that the US and, yes, Israel itself, should have voted in favor of last week's UN resolution granting “non-member observer statehood” to Palestinians living in the West Bank of Israel.
Brzezinski stated his view on today's Morning Joe. He did say something that was probably true, when expressing skepticism that, despite their public utterances, President Obama and Susan Rice truly opposed the resolution. Brzezinski suggested their opposition was more a matter of going along with "a line," done for domestic political purposes. View the video after the jump.
Attempts by liberal MSNBC pundits like Touré and Richard Wolffe to dismiss conservative criticisms of Amb. Susan Rice as racially-motivated are evidence of the "militant, radical Left flexing its muscles" post-Obama reelection, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity on the "Media Mash" segment of the Fox News host's November 29 program.
"Where were" liberal journalists when "Clarence Thomas was smeared in his confirmation hearings" or "with Allen West in Florida?" Bozell asked. "When a conservative black man is attacked," the media are mute, failing to consider if perhaps there is racism at play in the criticisms leveled by liberals. What's more, if Rice were white, the media would simply complain Republican critics are "anti-woman," the Media Research Center founder observed [watch the full segment below the page break].
In an attempt to dismiss Republican criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's misleading September 14 Sunday show statements about Benghazi, on Thursday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus asserted: "I don't think this is really about some comments that were basically right, that she made on Sunday talk shows." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Marcus was prompted to make the declaration after Mitchell tried to paint GOP critics as a combination of sexist and racist: "There have been issues raised as to whether she was being attacked, criticized because she's a woman, because she's African-American....is there a double standard here? Have we had others who've gone on Sunday television talk shows, made mistakes, and not been punished as severely as Susan Rice?"
A front-page "news analysis" Thursday by New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane, "Talking Points Overshadow Bigger Libya Issues," downplayed the seriousness of the controversy and attempted to reduce GOP criticism of UN ambassador Susan Rice, a possible Secretary of State candidate, into just more food for the partisan "meat grinder."
Shane questioned why "four pallid sentences that intelligence analysts cautiously delivered are the unlikely center of a quintessential Washington drama, in which a genuine tragedy has been fed into the meat grinder of election-year politics." The paper wasn't so forgiving about President George W. Bush's famous "16 words" in 2003 about Saddam Hussein looking for nuclear material in Africa.
Striking a sympathetic tone toward the U.N. ambassador on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams lamented: "It was another one of those days for Susan Rice....who again found herself today in the middle of a power struggle between some Republicans on the Hill on one side, and the President..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly described a moment in a recent Obama cabinet meeting: "With Hillary Clinton nodding her approval, the President sent a strong message to Senate Republicans, 'Don't mess with my U.N. Ambassador.'" Mitchell observed: "For Rice, a welcome signal that her nomination is still alive, despite another brutal day on Capitol Hill."
In what would appear to be a sure sign that the Obama administration's leftist allies, perhaps with the President's go-ahead, are preparing to throw current U.N. ambassador Susan Rice under the bus, Alex Guillen at the Politico reported at 6:14 p.m. on information that has from all appearances been public for at least three months, but which the National Resources Defense Council's On Earth blog noted about an hour earlier.
Rice's offenses? She "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline." That's indeed troubling, but it was just as troubling when leftists up to and including the editorialists at the Washington Post were accusing anyone objecting to Rice's potential nomination of being presumptively racist. Excerpts from Guillen's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In an exchange with MSNBC Harball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie pondered the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied about Benghazi: "...should she have been more direct that the information she was providing to the American people was at that point, not just preliminary, but incomplete? I guess the bottom line is, did she mislead?"
Matthews replied by wondering: "...was she a flack...just out there mouthing the words that somebody told you, or is she a thoughtful cabinet minister – to be a potential cabinet minister?" He then laid the blame entirely on the intelligence: "But from what I'm told, she got the facts directly unchanged, unspun by the White House, nobody changed anything. If anybody's at fault here, it's the intelligence community, for giving her incomplete information for their own purposes."
Wednesday's New York Times front page featured Susan Rice's failed attempt to assuage concerns of three Senate Republicans on her false statements about the Benghazi massacre in "Rice Concedes Error on Libya: G.O.P. Digs In." Inside was an unflattering photo of a peeved-looking Sen. John McCain. Posing Republican senator and Rice critic McCain as the bad guy, an on-line text box accompanying the article highlighted a reader comment from "Them or Us": "If you think these three Senators walked in with open minds and no agenda, I'd like to sell you a bridge that crosses the East River into Brooklyn. McCain's little kangaroo court is about as transparent as his anger." Meanwhile, on the back pages, two liberal Times columnists disagreed on Benghazi's significance.
In the front-page story, reporters Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters minimized the import of the policy scandal by focusing on the personal, portraying Rice, who may be nominated by President Obama to the post of UN ambassador, as offering an olive branch that "hostile Senate Republicans" rejected.
Good Morning America's reporters on Wednesday continued to fret about the fate of Susan Rice, lamenting the GOP "buzz saw" the UN Ambassador ran into on Tuesday. ABC's Martha Raddatz hyped all the pressing issues in the world as a possible reason to just confirm the potential Secretary of State nominee quickly.
Martha Raddatz worried, "You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile." She then reminded that this is "such a critical time in Afghanistan." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos referenced the fall of David Petraeus and hyped that all of these vacancies are "happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up."
Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren has reached her boiling point after seeing yet another person at MSNBC hurl a gratuitous, objectively false charge of "racism" at Arizona Senator John McCain for having the gall to believe that Susan Rice would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State.
It’s one thing for a leftist pundit to appear on MSNBC and smear Republicans as racist and bigoted. It’s another when the editor of MSNBC.com, a supposedly professional journalist, joins the ranks of liberal pundits slamming the GOP for its criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments following the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi.
Appearing on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Wolffe started off the show by having the audacity to claim, “there has been a witch hunt against every prominent person of color that has served alongside this president.” [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
Jay Leno continued his comedic assault on the White House Tuesday.
During the opening monologue of NBC's Tonight Show, the host said David Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell had more information about Benghazi than United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Soledad O'Brien teed up Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to pick out the "code words" in GOP opposition to Susan Rice's nomination to Secretary of State, on Tuesday morning's Starting Point.
"Would you agree with what she's saying that there's a racial or a sexist component to a lot of these comments?" O'Brien asked, quoting the incoming chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). "Or would you say as the letter seems to say, they use the word 'incompetent,' and they use the word undermining the desire to improve U.S. relations?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
Former top Newsweek journalist and current MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe on Monday smeared Senator John McCain as a racist. According to Wolffe, there's no legitimate reason for the Republican to oppose Susan Rice's confirmation for Secretary of State. Appearing on Hardball, the journalist sneered that it was "outrageous" the way McCain was acting, raging against "this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice." [See video below.]
Such a charge seemed to shock even Chris Matthews. He sputtered, "McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?" Wolffe confirmed, "There is no other way to look at this..." Of course, McCain opposes Rice's nomination because of her dissembling on the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
On Sunday's front page, New York Times reporter Mark Landler took the heat off United Nations ambassador Susan ("stand-in...bystander") Rice for her media tour spreading false statements about what happened in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were murdered by terrorists. Rice went on the Sunday shows after the terrorist attack and falsely suggested that the outburst was spontaneous, blaming an anti-Islamic YouTube video for inciting a spontaneous riot on the anniversary of 9-11.
Both the headline ("A Diplomat's Detour Into the Benghazi Spotlight") and subhead ("Fill-in Role Becomes Obstacle for Rice as State Dept. Choice") favorably emphasized Rice's evasion of responsibility from what she actually told the nation after the attack.
As she moved into an interview with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton on Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow claimed it was somehow insane to resist the idea of Susan Rice being the next Secretary of State after Rice lied on five Sunday shows about Benghazi. Maddow claimed somehow John McCain was the one inventing Benghazi stories: "But if it's made-up -- like the John McCain crusade against Susan Rice -- that made-up stuff will no longer be entertained at the level of national policy."
Maddow vowed "the idea that Susan Rice is going to be your scapegoat here when she has done nothing wrong, that's the part that is nonsense and I`m not going to go along with that. And you're not using something made up about her to destroy a career that is still on its way up." Picking a Krugman or Spitzer, now maybe that could be a fight:
The liberal media cheerleading for United Nations ambassador Susan Rice to become Secretary of State despite her repeated claims that September's attack on our consulate in Libya were a reaction to an anti-Muslim video are becoming nauseating.
On PBS's Inside Washington Friday, Politico's Roger Simon actually said, "John McCain named Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency but he won’t vote for Susan Rice ’cause he can’t trust her. That’s absurd" (video follows with transcript and commentary):