MSNBC, for the second time on Thursday, smeared the National Rifle Association as racist, trashing the gun group's president as appealing to bigotry. Now host Alex Wagner read from an op-ed by Wayne LaPierre in which he argues that owning a gun is the only real protection from crime, looting and riots. Specifically, LaPierre mentioned the aftermath to Hurricane Sandy and looting in Brooklyn.
Wagner quoted LaPierre: "Hurricanes, tornadoes, riots, terrorists, gangs, lone criminals, these are the perils we are sure to face. Not just maybe. It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival." She then sneered, "There's also a lot of racial– racism imbedded in that full statement." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Novelist and guest Kurt Andersen mocked, "There were, not only not looters in south Brooklyn. Everybody was out helping everybody else...It was the opposite of that description." Except that there was looting in Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy.
ABC's Nightline on Tuesday night uniquely highlighted the "betrayal" of Fort Hood victims by Barack Obama, exposing how the President "used" survivors as props for the 2010 State of the Union address. After 13 people were murdered by Nidal Hasan, the government labeled the shooting an example of "workplace violence" (instead of terrorism) and the Army decided not to award Purple Hearts to the victims. This has led to skyrocketing recovery costs for those who lived through the violence.
Talking to one of the heroes, Kimberly Munley, Ross explained, "A hero betrayed? Her courage saved lives during a massacre on a Texas Army base. So why is she now claiming President Obama and other victims?" He informed viewers that Munley believes "the President broke the promise made to her that all the victims and her families would be well-taken care of." ABC alone covered this angle of the survivors' suffering. NBC and CBS have, thus far, skipped it. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
What world does Chris Matthews live in? The MSNBC anchor on Wednesday saw nothing liberal in Barack Obama's State of the Union. Talking to Chuck Todd, the Hardball anchor puzzled, "There's nothing lefty in here. What's the left-wing part? Objectively, was there a left wing piece to this speech last night? I mean, truly left? I didn't see it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
This was the same speech in which Obama lobbied for gun control, higher taxes, increasing the minimum wage and left-wing immigration reform. According to Matthews, "these weren't Hail Mary passes." The anchor described this as "I mean, basically, he was moving the ball maybe one foot to the left of the midfield."
George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday's Good Morning America delighted over Barack Obama's "dramatic," "emotional" and "ambitious" speech. During live coverage of last night's Republican response, however, the former top Clinton aide lectured viewers that Marco Rubio's speech was "hard-edged."
On Wednesday, Stephanopoulos introduced a segment on the State of the Union by praising, "The speech was ambitious and aggressive on the economy, dramatic and emotional on the need to end gun violence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Not once in the Jon Karl story that followed did anyone label the President's address liberal." Instead, Karl hyped that Obama "made it clear, he will resist efforts to cut Medicare and insist on more tax increases on the wealthy."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos was in full Obama talking points mode, Wednesday, grilling Marco Rubio on why he won't support the President's agenda. Every question the host offered echoed the White House's State of the Union agenda. Stephanopoulos lectured, "The President last night asked the members of Congress to promise not to shut down the government, not to do anything that would undermine the full faith and credit of the United States. Can you take that pledge?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Rubio wouldn't be cornered, however. On the issue of sequestration, he shot back: "And as far as these automatic cuts are concerned, George, those are [Barack Obama's] ideas. He insisted on that. He's the one that asked for that in the deal that passed last year." Stephanopoulos spun, "Those were signed on by Democrats, Republicans and the President alike." (The former Democratic operative turned journalist offered this exact talking point to George Will on Tuesday night.) Rubio scoffed, "Yeah, well, I didn't vote for it."
Liberal host Chris Matthews on Tuesday anchored live coverage of a cop killer on the run, making bizarre and offensive comments about the situation. Talking to Los Angeles Times journalist Andrew Blankstein, Matthews agonized about being fair to Chris Dorner, the man who has allegedly murdered three people and wounded several others: "How do you write a story like this that's objective for the big metropolitan paper, the Los Angeles Times?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued, "Are there people in your newsroom, editors who are saying, 'We have to be careful here. It's not simple. This man may have a complaint.'" He may have a complaint? Matthews did not allow Tea Partiers, who, it should be pointed out, haven't slaughtered people, the same considerations. No, the MSNBC host would foam about racism and compare them to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Washington Post'sGreg Sargent on Tuesday seemed shocked that Joe Scarborough, who he paints as the voice of moderation, agrees more with Democrats on deficit issues than Republicans. On the subject of fiscal problems and the debt, the MSNBC host told Sargent, "I don’t expect to be cheering House Republicans anytime soon."
The left-leaning Post writer asked if, on deficit issues, Scarborough's "views are indeed more in line with Dems than with Republicans." The cable host replied, "yes." He then went on to attack Barack Obama from the left: "I don’t see the Democrats focusing seriously on Entitlements or cuts. The president is even scared to cut defense."
George Stephanopoulos allowed Barck Obama to have it both ways on Tuesday. The Good Morning America co-host explained what the State of the Union address would really be about. First, he parroted that the White House "promises a focus on the economy." He then added, "The audience will be packed with victims of gun violence and advocates of gun rights...This has set up an interesting dynamic. Most of the words will be about jobs. But most of the emotion will be around guns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Jon Karl agreed this was a "good way to look at" the speech. He explained that "there will be victims of gun violence throughout the visitors' gallery, including in the First Lady's box. You will have somebody tied to the Newtown massacre." Karl went on to highlight that "many" members of Congress will be giving their one visitor ticket to "the victims of gun violence." Like Stephanopoulos, he assured, "But the message here is all about the economy. The White House says that that is the message here." Left unmentioned was any discussion of the fact that unemployment was 7.8 percent in January 2009 and 7.9 percent in January 2013.
For the second day in a row, the CBS Evening News on Wednesday avoided any coverage of a new memo revealing that the Obama administration asserts the power to legally strike terrorists, even if they're American citizens. Of the combined three nightly newscasts on Wednesday and three morning shows on Thursday, four of them found time to cover the story.
In contrast to the Evening News, Diane Sawyer opened World News by highlighting the "secret war." Sawyer fretted, "Those escalating drone attacks in the air and the consequences on the ground. And the question-- is it making the United States safer?" ReporterMarthaRaddatz explained that Obama's drone policy "has grown 700 percent under the Obama administration." Considering how hyperbolically journalists obsessed over George W. Bush's acts of "torture," one would think the Evening News would be interested in covering Obama's drone policy.
The CBS Evening News on Tuesday completely ignored the revelation, uncovered in a leaked government memo, that the Obama administration claims the power to legally kill al Qaeda terrorists, even if they're American citizens. ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday allowed a mere 42 seconds to this rather important topic. ABC's World News, NBC's Nightly News and the Today show all covered the story. Of the six evening and morning shows, however, only three featured the liberal American Civil Liberties Union decrying this move by a Democratic president.
World News reporter Jon Karl at least pointed out the obvious contradiction of liberals who railed against supposed torture by George W. Bush, reminding, "As soon as he became President, Barack Obama stopped CIA tactics like wateboarding that he considered torture. But this justifies outright killing a suspected terrorist." The journalist added, "How does dropping a bomb on an American citizen without any judicial review, any trial, not raise any human rights questions, or more human rights questions than something like waterboarding?" (Or, one might also wonder, putting a catepillar in a box with a terrorist. Under George W. Bush, ABC labeled this "torture.")
The journalists of Good Morning America offered, perhaps, a preview of 2016, highlighting Chris Christie's weight and what "could be a major campaign issue." After playing clips of the New Jersey governor talking to David Letterman, guest co-host Amy Robach scolded, "He's going to have to lay off the doughnuts."
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos lectured, "[Christie] knows it. If he wants to run, he is going to have to lose some real weight." Reporter Dan Harris found a medical expert. The correspondent related, "Former White House physician Connie Mariano, who helped President Clinton lose 30 pounds in office, said she cringed when she saw Christie eating that doughnut and that she's worried about him dying on the job." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC on Tuesday ignored the ongoing prostitution scandal of Robert Menendez. The network's morning and evening newscasts have skipped the news that federal agents raided the office of a Florida doctor connected to the Democratic senator and his flights to the Dominican Republic. (There, Menendez allegedly engaged prostitutes.) The Senate Ethics Committee is also investigating. ABC avoided the story last fall when it was broke by the Daily Caller.
The New Jersey senator took several flights with Salomon Melgen, using the doctor's plane to leave the country. Last week, both CBS and NBC covered the latest details. ABC, alone, ignored it. Menendez actually appeared on the January 27 edition of ABC's This Week. But guest host Martha Raddatz failed to ask about the controversy. George Stephanopoulos mentioned Menendez on the February 3 program. Finally, the scandal came up, but only vaguely and for one minute in the hour-long program.
CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose on Tuesday lobbied Eric Cantor to adopt "fundamental changes" in the Republican Party and not just accept "tweaks." Rose and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell also pushed the House Majority Leader to sign onto immigration reform.
Charlie Rose, lectured, "There's this issue that seems to be going in Republican Party circles that the party has to rebrand and reform. Governor Jindal called it the stupid party." Regarding Marco Rubio's immigration plan, the journalist demanded, "Is this a recognition that the Republican Party has not spoken to the American people about issues that concern them and how government can work for them?"
An exasperated Chris Matthews on Sunday highlighted Governor Andrew Cuomo's plummeting poll numbers in the wake of New York's new gun control legislation. Singling out the National Rifle Association as the villain, he fretted "...Is anybody safe from the NRA?"
The host of the Chris Matthews Show lamented the inability of many states to pass gun control laws. Matthews told his guests that, initially, he thought "there's a few place in the country we are safe from the NRA, maybe California, maybe the Northeast." Citing a new poll showing Cuomo's polls have dropped 15 points, the journalist added, "I read the other day Cuomo's numbers have crumbled pretty much on that one issue in New York State." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal anchor Chris Matthews on Friday stooped to new low, smearing John McCain as an "angry" Vietnam veteran who is having a "flashback." Resorting to the cheapest of stereotypes, the Hardball host attempted to explain why McCain so aggressively opposed Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense.
Matthews opened the show by sneering, "Why is John McCain so angry? Forty years after the Vietnam POWs came home, the most famous of them is angrier than ever." Regarding Thursday's congressional hearings, the journalist asserted that Vietnam "flashbacks must haunt still the mind and heart of John Sidney McCain." Dredging up the cliches of the unstable Vietnam veteran, Matthews declared, "...But I'm absolutely convinced we're watching a flashback." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC on Thursday and Friday either downplayed or outright ignored the "bruising day" Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured in Washington. Friday's Good Morning America skipped the topic entirely, thus avoiding the tough questions by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Nightline, which now airs after midnight, didn't get to the story until 1:05am.
Thursday's World News did cover the contentious hearings, but Diane Sawyer minimized Hagel's poor performance, which even liberal writer Peter Beinart mocked as "making Biden look rhetorically sure-footed." Sawyer solemnly opened the show: "...One man entered the arena. Chuck Hagel, the purple heart recipient from the Vietnam War, the former senator nominated to be Secretary of Defense. His former colleagues met him with a fuselage of critical questions..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
[UPDATED: Video added] MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday assailed John McCain, slamming the "boiling hatred" aimed at Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama's Defense Secretary nominee. Matthews sneered, "Hatred, pure and simple, seeped from the mouths of John McCain and Lindsay Graham as they slashed away at war hero Hagel." (McCain is also a war hero. Graham is a veteran. Are those with military experience only allowed to speak out if they agree with Matthews?)
Most ridiculously, Matthews whined, "Whycan't politics be a matter of belief and honest disagreement, not hatred?" This coming from the man who has, more than once, compared his opponents to Nazis? This from a man whose show airs on a network that compared Rick Santorum to Stalin? The cable anchor ranted, "Badgering the witness is too nice a description of what went on today. The hawks swirled like buzzards sweeping down, pecking and pulling at the skin of a former colleague." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Diane Sawyer on Wednesday pushed the pro-gun control angle as she highlighted the debate in Congress over a "nation awash in guns." After World News reporter Jon Karl recapped the testimony by the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre and Gabby Giffords, Sawyer lectured, "...There are two facts driving those hearings today. Thirty Americans die from gun violence in this country every single day. And nearly 23,000 have died in the past two years alone."
The anchor then mentioned "Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student and majorette" who was recently gunned down in Chicago by a gang member. This was Sawyer's only example of "gun violence." Of course, she didn't mention the case of a Texas mother who fended off three armed intruders, shooting one. Erin (her last name was withheld) explained, "Protecting ourselves goes into, you know, our Second Amendment right to bear arms and thousands of people died to give me the very right that saved my life."[See local news video of her story below.]
ABC on Wednesday and Thursday continued to ignore the developing prostitution scandal surrounding Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. NBC highlighted the story on the Today show. CBS covered the story, but reporter Jan Crawford suggested the allegations have "all the earmarks of an orchestrated smear campaign."
ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday skipped the news that federal agents are removing evidence from the office of Solomon Melgen, a Florida doctor who flew Menendez on trips to the Dominican Republic. There, the New Jersey senator allegedly engaged prostitutes. On CBS This Morning, Crawford charitably explained, "Now, on the one hand, they've got all the earmarks of an orchestrated smear campaign. But the question is, are they true?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As if comparing Hillary Clinton to Thomas Jefferson wasn't hyperbolic enough, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday practically begged the Secretary of State to run for president. The Nightline co-anchor lobbied Clinton, lecturing her about the "obligation" she has to "break through that glass ceiling." Yet, the reporter could only manage the most gentle probing into the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
McFadden pressed the Democrat to run in 2016, asking the question no less than four times. If it appeared, the journalist wondered, "that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Any answer other than yes seemed not good enough.
Over three programs and two days, ABC devoted 15 minutes to a fawning profile of Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday's Nightline, Cynthia McFadden even compared the outgoing Secretary of State to Thomas Jefferson, hinting that Clinton could follow his footsteps to the White House.
McFadden lauded, "There was a time not so very long ago when Hillary Clinton was seen as one of the most divisive figures in American politics." Noting Clinton's high approval rating, she announced this view was "changing." In an interview that, just coincidentally occurred in front of a statue of Jefferson, the reporter embarrassingly hyped, "As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out, was Secretary of State who went on to become president." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Barack Obama's State Department on Monday announced that it will close the office dedicated to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. According to the New York Times, this means that the President "does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that [the administration] still intends to do so." Yet, all three network newscasts on Monday night and the morning shows on Tuesday skipped the revelation.
Such silence stands in contrast to the adulation Obama received in January of 2009 after the new president announced his intention to close the facility. On January 22, 2009, then-World News anchor Charles Gibson enthused, "The new President says America is taking the moral high ground in making the country safer." On the January 23, 2009 CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer parroted, "He will close Guantanamo prison and outlaw torture. He has told the world that we will practice what we preach."
The three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning hailed a "historic" potential change by the Boy Scouts that would lift the ban on gays in their organization. ABC compared the move to a famous Norman Rockwell painting. NBC featured voices complaining that the decision doesn't go far enough.
On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer trumpted that change is "afoot in an iconic American institution." She lamented, " For generations, becoming a Boy Scout was an American tradition. But not for all." Regarding the move to allow gays in, Sawyer prompted her colleague, reporter David Muir, "But we were talking earlier about the Norman Rockwell painting, the classic painting of the Cub Scout dreaming one day of becoming a real Boy Scout. And you were saying, the caption to that painting is?" "Can't wait," he solemnly responded. "Can't wait," Sawyer marveled. [See video below MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday could barely restrain the hype as they gushed over the "lovefest" joint interview between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. An ABC graphic even used an exclamation point, as in "lovefest!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Recounting the 60 Minutes segment, a credulous Martha Raddatz lauded, "From the moment they sat down to talk with CBS' News 60 Minutes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton seemed like they've been the best of friends for decades." Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas insisted that the "revealing and rare joint interview has everyone reading the tea leaves." The terrorist attack in Libya never came up in the ABC piece.
Newt Gingrich on Thursday night interrogated the gun-grabbing Piers Morgan, pushing the CNN host as to what his real motives are. An aggressive Gingrich insisted, "So, why don't you share your real view?...Isn't your real view that you would ban pistols if you could?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The Republican also told the British anchor why the Founding Fathers were able to defeat "your army."
Morgan swore that his concern was "the high-powered guns of any variety which can fire 30 or 40 or more rounds in less than a minute." He added, "...That would be my primary concern right now." The former Speaker pounced, "Right now? Okay, right now." Gingrich lectured, "The reason you find so many of us very reluctant to go down this road is we believe each step down this road leads to the next step and the next step and the next step."
ABC's Martha Raddatz on Thursday swooned over Hillary Clinton's Senate testimony on Benghazi, lauding the outgoing Secretary of State as "combative, charming, disarming and clearly ready for a fight." The Good Morning America correspondent seemed to enjoy the day as theater, hyping, "It was truly a riveting day on Capitol Hill...with Secretary Clinton as some have never seen her before."
Raddatz allowed that Clinton didn't convince "some Republicans," but returned to a style discussion. She continued, "But this was certainly a memorable way to close out her tenure." Focusing on the emotion of the Senate appearance, the journalist empathized that "when Clinton spoke of her four fallen colleagues, the pain, the memories were still raw." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran lashed out at Rand Paul on Twitter, deriding the senator for daring to bluntly question Hillary Clinton over her role in the Benghazi scandal. Moran mocked, "Curious: What is Rand Paul's foreign policy background? Did he serve in the military? Did he study, live, do business or charity overseas?"
Of course, what qualifies Paul to question Clinton is that he's a United States senator and Moran isn't. Over the years, Moran, a journalist, has offered his liberal slant on numerous topics, including business and economics. In 2009, the reporter fawned over Michael Moore's left-wing film Capitalism: A Love Story, gushing, "[Moore is] an American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower." What qualifies Moran, who has never run a business, to seriously discuss a film about capitalism?
Previewing Hillary Clinton's testimony on the terrorist incident in Benghazi, George Stephanopoulos scoffed at the idea that members of Congress would dare grill the outgoing Secretary of State. Talking to Martha Raddatz on Tuesday, the Good Morning America co-host predicted, "But she's very well practiced at [testifying] and I can't imagine they're really going to beat her up on her last few days as Secretary of State."
In fact, Senator Rand Paul did aggressively question Senator Clinton, telling her, "Had I been President at the time and I found out you had not read the cables… I would have relieved you of your post." Additionally, since when has someone leaving been an excuse not to press them on important issues?
Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos appeared on Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor to openly lobby for more gun control and reflect on his previous career as a Democratic operative for Bill Clinton. O'Reilly played a clip of Tom Brokaw comparing not speaking out about guns to allowing racism to flourish in the south.
Responding to this, Stephanopoulos hedged, "It's not the analogy I would use, but I think what he was talking about there is the kind of passion that people feel right now." Later, the reporter opened up about his own liberal take on guns: "Look, I have been a long-time supporter of gun control measures that, you know, I think are in accord with the Second Amendment." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday could barely contain his excitement on Inauguration Day, extolling the "President with a purpose" and his "history-making call to action." Moran, who has a long history of fawning over Barack Obama, gushed, "He was weaving the new tapestry of America as he sees it."
Moran hyped the "new American progressivism unleashed." The journalist continued, "He is a president renewed in office by the votes of 65 million Americans. He is a president with a purpose." Regarding the aggressively liberal speech, Moran enthused, "More than half a million Americans stream into Washington to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office once more and deliver a history-making call to action."