When asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 what the Founders had wrought, Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
That question might also be put to the five Supreme Court justices who voted last week to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates health insurance for most Americans, based on twisted logic that it is a tax and thus within the power of the Congress to impose on an already overtaxed people.
Once again MSNBC has shown it is more a Democratic operative rather than an actual news organization. On Thursday morning, Obama campaign national press secretary Ben LaBolt appeared on both CNN’s Starting Point and MSNBC Live, and the interviews could not have been more different.
LaBolt got the kid glove treatment from MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who first teed him up to slam the Romney campaign's "sloppy messaging." Contrast that with CNN"s Soledad O'Brien grilling LaBolt on whether ObamaCare's individual mandate was a tax or a penalty. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
In the wake of revelations that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, former CBS journalist and Fox News contributor Marvin Kalb appeared on Tuesday's Fox & Friends and flat-out rejected the notion that the media influenced the Roberts opinion or that media influence, especially from left-wing networks, has any adverse impact on national politics.
Nevertheless, he squeezed in a comment stating that the Obamacare decision was “truly important” in his interview with Gretchen Carlson, and also said it pained him as a old CBS hand to slam CBS reporter Jan Crawford, but that's what he "reluctantly" did.
During an interview with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Brooke Baldwin skipped her own network’s poll showing more independents disagree than agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on ObamaCare. Such cherry-picking is not uncommon for CNN hosts as Baldwin's colleague Soledad O’Brien has engaged in the practice to prop up ObamaCare as well.
When Priebus challenged Baldwin over her polling claims, she doubled down and continued to selectively highlight data that fit her narrative. Brooke cited a Gallup poll showing 46 percent of all voters agree with the Supreme Court’s decision and 45 percent of independents agree as well. Baldwin left out the key piece of data from CNN's poll which found that while 47 percent of independents agree with the ruling, a majority, 52 percent disagree. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn't, or when the Supreme Court says it is?
Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn't want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.
Readers are advised to remove all food, fluids, and flammables from proximity to their computers before proceeding. You've been warned.
NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams on this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show actually said that when it comes to nominating judges, "A Democratic president is more likely to appoint somebody near the middle who is less ideological" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell brought on radical filmmaker Michael Moore to offer his “Last Word” of liberalism on Thursday night. Moore said “maybe Mr. Roberts is a man of conscience. And part of that conscience says that it would be immoral to upend this bill.” Moore still felt insurance companies should be surgically removed and single-payer statismshould be installed: “we’re 65 years behind the rest of the Western industrialized world.”
But online, in their “Very Last Word,” MSNBC wanted Moore to repeat his charge that the country is being led backward by religious idiots who believe in the Biblical account of Creation:
New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak used his Friday lead (five other reporters contributed research) on Obama-care being upheld at the Supreme Court to take another crack at the argument by conservatives and libertarians, the so-called broccoli argument "as misguided, if not frivolous."
Conservatives took comfort from two parts of the decision: the new limits it placed on federal regulation of commerce and on the conditions the federal government may impose on money it gives the states.
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Chief Justice John Roberts joining the Supreme Court majority in upholding ObamaCare as an "almost Nixon-to-China alignment with liberals on the Court." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw applauded the move: "I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the Court. And that's a good thing for the country, however you feel about the decisions that they're making." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The top of the Yahoo home page on Friday asked "Did Chief Justice Roberts save the Supreme Court?” That’s channeling the incessant spin of ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran, who announced on Yahoo's web show Top Line: “Roberts rode to the rescue of the Obama health care plan, and maybe rode to the rescue of the Supreme Court, a little bit, as well.”
"We live in an era of punditry and hyper-partisanship where everybody’s on one side or the other and screaming,” complained Moran. “And here’s the Court, and John Roberts in particular, saying ‘We do this job. You guys do the rest.’”
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell played up President Obama's experience as a lecturer in constitutional law just hours before the Supreme Court upheld his health care law. O'Donnell trumpeted how the President apparently "paid so close attention to this - not only reading the opinions, but going back and actually listening to them on tape."
The correspondent also forwarded the White House's talking points on ObamaCare before and after the Court's decision came down: "This is something the President fought hard for, to equip some 30 million more people - have them get health insurance, and provide those who already have private health insurance additional coverage."
During NBC's noon et hour special coverage of the ObamaCare Supreme Court ruling, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Court in upholding the unpopular law in order"to be on the side of history." Legal analyst Savannah Guthrie praised Roberts for having the wisdom of King Solomon: "I guess you'd call it a Solomonic decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During special coverage on ABC, correspondent Terry Moran touted the ruling as "a clever piece of lawyering by the Chief Justice," explaining: "...the government can tax you if you don't buy insurance, it can't order you to buy insurance." World News anchor Diane Sawyer chimed in: "So you pay the fine if you, in essence, don't pay that tax." Moran laughably replied: "You still have a choice."
Liberal hosts on MSNBC can’t get their talking points in order when it comes to how liberals should react to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday’s The Cycle, co-host Steve Kornacki insisted that “if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, that does not mean it's unconstitutional.” To the Salon.com writer, just because the Court would have spoken thus doesn't make it final.
Such open and partisan comments are a stark contrast to those made by MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry today. On MSNBC Live following the Supreme Court upholding ObamaCare, Harris-Perry rebuked Kentucky Republican Rand Paul for his attack on the Supreme Court, saying he should respect the Court's word as final. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
On the eve of the Supreme Court's monumental decision on Obama-care Thursday morning, New York Times reporter Ethan Bronner chided Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for politicizing the bench in "A Dissent By Scalia Is Criticized As Political." But when liberal Justices get political, they are "'passionate and pointed" and finding their own voice.
Meet the Press host David Gregory displayed a stunning double standard throughout NBC's Thursday morning coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare. Prior to the decision, he warned of a "nightmare scenario" if the law was struck down. Hours later, following the Court upholding the law, Gregory cheered Chief Justice John Roberts for taking "a big step here" to keep the Court from being "too polarized." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Early the 7 a.m. et hour of Today, Gregory melodramatically fretted over the possibility of ObamaCare being ruled unconstitutional: "What happens if it is struck down in part or in whole by a 5 to 4 decision? Would that not underscore how dysfunctional our government is, the major institutions of our government are? That is a real nightmare scenario, I think, for the political class in this country."
Though the Supreme Court overturned much of the Arizona law, but not the part the liberals and their media friends loathed the most, it wasn't hard to predict the networks would once again line up with the amnesty lobby. ABC's Diane Sawyer mourned "the most inflammatory part of the law" was upheld.
Once again, those impartial network producers are making themselves the sob sisters of illegal aliens. ABC found a man who carries a document in his glove compartment insisting that if he's deported, his children shouldn't go into foster care. NBC put on a woman watching cartoons with her cute little kids, wearing a T-shirt saying "Arrest [Sheriff Joe] Arpaio, Not the People." Reporter Savannah Guthrie predicted more lawsuits to repeal the one section the court upheld – because liberals never accept defeat. It's so predictable.
Fretting over the Supreme Court upholding a portion of Arizona's immigration law, on Monday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "[Leticia Ramirez] and her husband have been in this country illegally for over a decade and when she later watched the Supreme Court ruling unfold, she said the verdict, though it only upheld the so-called 'show your papers' part of the law, was still threatening." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Ramirez decried the decision: "It's going to affect the whole community because they're not going to be able to go out, have a normal life. They're going to be afraid that if we go out they might – we might get stopped just for your color." As she spoke, Ramirez wore a t-shirt that read: "Arrest [Arizona Sheriff Joe] Arpaio, Not the People; End Police and ICE Collaboration."
I will give this to Ezra Klein: unlike other liberals in the media -- Michael Tomasky and James Fallows come to mind -- the Washington Post economic and domestic policy columnist is decidedly less histrionic about the Court likely striking down as unconstitutional the ObamaCare "individual mandate" on Thursday. But all the same, Klein is seeking to dismiss the intellectual and legal credibility of the Court's ruling should a majority rule on Thursday that the individual mandate violates the Constitution's limits on federal power.
In a June 26 column, Klein sought to explain how "a radical and discredited reading of the commerce clause" came to be popular with American voters and palatable to a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court, all thanks to conservatives erecting a "permission structure" that overrode previous conservative backing for the idea of a health-care mandate.
Michael Shear, the New York Times's "Caucus" reporter, previewed in Monday's paper the expected political reaction to several big Supreme Court's decisions coming down the pike this week, including the biggest of all, Obama-Care, expected Thursday morning. One reaction that was all too predictable: Labeling disparity and a focus on "angry" conservatives (there were no references to liberals).
Aides to Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, are prepared to use the court’s rulings to their advantage, no matter how they turn out.
If the court strikes down the health care law, they will argue that Mr. Obama lost his biggest legacy. If the court upholds it, they will argue that Mr. Romney is the last hope for conservatives seeking to undo the law.
Chris Matthews, clearly worried that the Supreme Court will overturn part or all of Obamacare, frothed about this "most conservative" court, Monday, insisting that the current right-leaning judges would have upheld "separate but equal" and struck down the 1964 Civil Right Act.
Matthews sneered, "I wonder whether this court would have backed desegregation in the Brown case? I doubt this pack of conservatives, which includes Chief Justice John Roberts, Sam Alito, and Anthony Kennedy, would have voted to knock down separate by equal back in the 1950s." The Hardball anchor foamed, "Would this court, voting as it does today, have upheld the 1964 Civil Rights bill?"
Coming quickly on the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling today in Arizona v. United States that struck down much of the Grand Canyon State's anti-illegal immigration law -- but upheld a crucial provision to check the immigration status of persons held in custody -- the Obama administration announced today that it is ending a program that deputizes local and state police officers to help enforce federal immigration law.
On Sunday's Face The Nation, Norah O'Donnell desperately tried to find a silver lining for President Obama if the Supreme Court ends up striking down his health care law. While her fellow panelists agreed that such a decision would be a blow to Obama, O'Donnell claimed that "politically, it might be better for the President, because then he can put the onus back on the Republicans." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
The CBS White House correspondent also hyped that "if there's a repealing of the mandate, and if the pre-existing conditions are taken out, you're probably going to see a spike in health care premiums," even though premiums have already been on the rise since ObamaCare passed in 2010.
In their June 24 edition, the Washington Post published on its Outlook section front page a call by George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley to, well, pack the Supreme Court. Instead of nine justices, he envisions a high court with as many as 19 robed arbiters of the law.
The George Washington University public interest law professor claimed the current number of justices is just too small to have the final say on federal cases of landmark importance, such as Thursday's expected ruling on ObamaCare. It is part of the long temper tantrum the political left has been throwing over the assumed notion that the bill will be ruled unconstitutional.
James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, usually presents an image of himself as a "reasonable" liberal. However yesterday he revealed his inner moonbat with an article title worthy of a thread name in the sanity challenged Democratic Underground: "5 Signs the United States is Undergoing a Coup." After a few hours of reflection, Fallows realized he allowed too much of his moonbat side to be displayed to the public so he altered the title with this explanation:
Following President Obama’s decision to use executive privilege to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from turning over documents to Congress, the mainstream media can no longer continue its media blackout of the Fast and Furious scandal.
Asserting executive privilege "has several immediate effects" upon the public's awareness of a scandal the media have heretofore largely ignored, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer observed on the Wednesday edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report.
Driven close to a hydrophobic frenzy fearing that the Supreme Court will soon strike down ObamaCare as a transgression of the Constitution's limits on federal power, Newsweek's Michael Tomasky took to his keyboard to vent his spleen, all but denouncing the conservatives on the Supreme Court as "radical" racists and misogynists backed by shadowy right-wing money men.
Tomasky's piece is laughably predictable in its foaming-at-the-mouth rhetoric -- Scalia, he tells us, belongs on a "marginal rubber-chicken circuit" rather than "on the highest court in the land imposing his 16th-century will on the rest of us" -- but it's also built upon some distortions of what the Roberts Court has actually done in some "hot-button" 5-4 cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule any day now on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far. How the media cover such a decision remains to be seen, but between 2004 and 2008 the Court issued multiple rulings tossing out key elements of George W. Bush’s war on terrorism, the policy centerpiece of that administration.
The MRC studied how the broadcast networks covered those decisions overruling Bush’s policy on detaining terror suspects, looking at the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage from the day each ruling was handed down — June 28, 2004, June 29, 2006 and June 12, 2008. On those nights, the networks aired a total of 15 stories about the Supreme Court rulings, totaling nearly 35 minutes of airtime. The results provide a template for how the networks might cover a decision voiding some or all of President Obama’s health care law — assuming network journalists approach their job without regard to partisanship, that is.
Another Tuesday, another out-of-nowhere attack by New York Times reporter Adam Liptak on the Supreme Court, as it waits to hear a case important to liberals. With a vital decision looming on Obama-care, Liptak last week wrote a front-page story on the results of an unusual poll question from the Times asking people what they thought of the Supreme Court. Liptak linked the public's alleged disdain of SCOTUS to two conservative decisions, including Citizens United, a free speech victory loathed by the left and in the Times that allowed corporations and unions to donate unlimited amounts to campaigns.
Is the New York Times trying to soften up the Supreme Court before its Obama-care ruling, which may come later in June and could see the law declared unconstitutional? An unusual poll conducted by the Times and poll partner CBS News and plastered on Friday's front page is food for thought.