The annual network list of cancelled prime-time shows cannot be pleasing to the progressives who measure shows based on their cultural and political usefulness. “TV Will Be a Lot Less Gay Next Year,” the commissars complained at Slate.com. They counted 11 cancelled shows that featured regular gay characters.
That bothersome thing called the market: why must it get in the way!
UPDATE: Not one second about the IRS scandal in the entire show. GMA just went off the air and managed to avoid mentioning the dreaded I-word. The second half-hour featured two more Powerball segments, and features on Beyoncé's possible pregnancy, Bieber's monkey, and a kangaroo. IRS scandal? What IRS scandal? ABC couldn't find a second for it.
Bianna Golodryga opened today's Good Morning America by announcing that it was "a very busy Saturday morning." So busy, in fact, that GMA couldn't spare one second in its first half-hour for the IRS scandal. That despite yesterday's stonewalling testimony by the outgoing IRS Commissioner in which he had the colossal chutzpah to deny there had been any political motive in the targeting of conservative organizations.
So what kept GMA so busy? By far the longest segment was devoted to . . . the Powerball lottery. Just in the first half-hour, GMA spent 325 seconds—over five minutes—on the lottery and its big prize. One report from stores where lottery tickets are being sold didn't suffice. There were two. Those were followed by an interview with a lottery official. GMA even managed to squeeze in a report of a bear that had climbed into a tree. But the IRS? Sorry: too busy. More after the jump.
By Friday, as the Obama promoters within the network news divisions started spreading the president's word that three growing scandals are just a blip, they might point to Gallup's daily job-approval ratings for Obama, which remained at 49 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove.
This result might also reflect that Gallup found that a slim majority of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" following news of the IRS and Benghazi scandals, "comparatively low based on historical measures of other news stories over the last two decades." Low-information voters could still obsess about Angelina Jolie's surgeries or whether Beyonce is pregnant again:
Many liberals have objected to the IRS's targeting of conservative groups, but others see nothing wrong with it, including one Kossack who asserted this week that the revenuers in Cincinnati were simply "doing their job."
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
After Friday's IRS testimony before Congress, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield begged CNN host Candy Crowley to "take me off the ledge" and explain that the agency was simply doing its job looking for "sleazeballs that are trying to get special status."
Crowley shot down Banfield's astoundingly ignorant plea. "And the only sleazeballs have 'Tea Party' in their name or 'patriot'? What about 'progressive'?" Crowley asked of the agency's double standard in investigating Tea Party groups while approving liberal groups more quickly. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's PoliticsNation show on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank mocked House Republicans for repeatedly holding unsuccessful votes to repeal ObamaCare as he suggested they should continue to "waste" time so "they'll be less of a harm to the country" because that way "they're not cutting food stamps." Milbank:
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let's look at it.
"We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it." That's taught to University of Hawaii students by Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University and the U.N. Human Rights Council's Palestine monitor, explained the Boston bombings by saying, "The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world." Professor Falk has also stated that President George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the twin towers.
The PBS NewsHour led off its Thursday evening telecast with a story about the three scandals that currently envelop the Obama administration: the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, the Justice Department’s subpoena of AP phone records, and the Benghazi attack. Rather than following the package with analysis from a journalist, as PBS often does with stories like this, the taxpayer-subsidized network brought on White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to provide the White House's spin on these scandals.
Even worse, anchor Judy Woodruff did not rise to the occasion with any tough questioning, allowing Palmieri to spin her way right out of trouble. All of Woodruff’s questions dealt with President Obama’s reaction to the scandals; she never grilled Palmieri on whether the White House was involved in any of this. The assumption seemed to be that the president was an innocent bystander in all of these scandals. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Imagine that in a week in which George W. Bush was dogged by not one or two but three scandals -- one of which was the IRS singling out liberal groups for stricter scrutiny -- a federal appeals court invalidated a recess appointment the Republican president made, finding he improperly ran an end run around the U.S. Senate. The national media would, no doubt, pick up on the story as evidence that the president was abusing power, weaving the development into a larger narrative about the president's untrustworthiness in light of the aforementioned scandals.
Well, yesterday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling invalidating an Obama recess appointments that was made when the Senate was on a short break in between meetings. This is the second such ruling in four months as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling in late January. Predictably, however, both the May 16 broadcast network evening newscasts and the May 17 broadcast network morning shows completely ignored the ruling.
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, after proclaiming President Obama to be "on the offensive" amid growing scandals, anchor Brian Williams hinted at those controversies being only temporary setbacks for Obama: "And some folks are already calling the President's problems the curse of the second term. And yet it's tough to know the staying power of any given scandal in the making, along with the effect any of this might have on his overall planned agenda." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This is the same Brian Williams who in February quipped that Florida Senator Marco Rubio taking a sip of water during a response to the President's State of the Union address was a moment "that just might live on forever."
In the latest instance of liberal journalists thinking alike, Charlie Rose asked practically the same question on Friday's CBS This Morning that ABC's George Stephanopoulos did on Good Morning America. Rose wondered if congressional Republicans "may overplay their hand and somehow squander what they think is opportunity" on the three scandals currently surrounding the Obama White House.
The CBS anchor proposed this question not even four minutes after Stephanopoulos asked ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl, "Are some of [the GOP] leaders worried that some of the Republicans may be overplaying their hand?"
Reeve imputes a level of pessimism to the quote that doesn’t inhere in it. But then she turns around and evinces a degree of optimism that isn’t warranted either, telling readers the Obama presidency “is being declared alive after all on Thursday.”
The “journalists” at MSNBC continued to fawn over ObamaCare on Friday’s Morning Joe, even in the midst of startling criticism for the bill from David Gregory, liberal host of Meet the Press. The discussion over the president’s massive health care overhaul came after reports that the IRS official in charge of the agency’s unfair treatment of conservative groups during its targeting is now leading the IRS’s efforts to implement ObamaCare.
Gregory pointed out that the Medicare surtax that is funding “Obamacare across the board” is “a lot of money.” “You may not know how it helps you,” he noted, “but you know what it's taking away from you.” Of course, dutiful defenders of Obama like MSNBC Politics Nation host the Rev. Al Sharpton and Huffington Post’s Sam Stein were on hand to defend ObamaCare [see video below the page break].
Joe Scarborough is outraged, OUTRAGED, that any senator could have opposed the gun bill which went down to defeat.
Oops! That was a month ago and it now appears that Scarborough is having second thoughts on this since he wondered aloud today if the government could be trusted with performing background checks in the light of the revelations of the IRS scandal in which that agency targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups. First let us look at Scarborough in the video below the fold in full outrage mode in April when his over the top anger at the gun bill opponents was chronicled by NewsBusters' Executive Editor, Matt Sheffield.
The same CNN host who slobbered back in 2011, "A lot of things are just perfect about Barack Obama," is now taking the President to task for lack of transparency.
Two nights in a row, CNN's Piers Morgan whacked the Obama administration for promising transparency before three scandals revealed that promise to be broken at best. "[T]he real problem for Barack Obama, it seems to me, as the President, is that he promised to be different. He promised to be transparent. None of this looks very transparent, does it?" Morgan pressed on his Wednesday night show. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid claimed that Republicans are going after Obama administration scandals because "the only thing that really unites conservatives and Republicans at this point is hatred of Barack Obama. So they're going to play it for all it's worth."
Host Lawrence O'Donnell had begun the discussion by reading from a National Review article cautioning Republicans against depending too much on scandal for electoral victory rather than pushing an agenda. O'Donnell suggested going after corruption in the Obama administration would hurt Republicans politically:
On Wednesday night, the journalists at Nightline allowed a mere 31 seconds to the exploding scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. This was after anchor Terry Moran introduced stories on O.J. Simpson's latest trial, one on determining your "Klout score" and the new reality TV show Ice Cold Cold. On Thursday night, the program focused on pop singer Demi Lovato's problems and clowns.
The disinterest Nightline is showing towards Barack Obama's scandals, including the IRS, the AP controversy and Benghazi, contrasts to how the show's journalists viewed scandal when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. On November 17, 1987, then-correspondent Jeff Greenfield lectured the media for not covering Iran-Contra enough. Speaking of a report on the controversy, Greenfield huffed, "It is, after all, not about a sex or drug scandal or dramatic crime. It is instead about how a great nation defends its vital interests while keeping faith with its highest values." Obsessed only with crime? Sounds like a good critique of ABC and Nightline in 2013.
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer described how President Obama was "trying to move past" the scandals plaguing his administration. In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd began by parroting the President's attempts to downplay the political firestorm: "Aides say the President's keeping things in perspective and believes this is just a blip, he'll bounce back." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing clips of Obama's Thursday news conference, including Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking about comparisons to Nixon, Todd promoted more White House spin: "In the end, aides say Mr. Obama does not feel under siege this week. The New York Times reporting the President has 'talked longingly of going Bulworth,' referencing the movie featuring Warren Beatty as a senator who suddenly decides to speak his mind whatever the political cost."
For a brief period on the morning of May 17, MSNBC was actually acting like a real news network. Starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday, MSNBC carried live coverage of a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Obama IRS scandal, but apparently actual news coverage can only last so long before the network breaks out in hives from objective journalism.
Following an hour of live coverage, MSNBC felt it necessary to cut from the hearing to interview Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) to dismiss the entire proceedings as political partisanship. MSNBC was the only cable news network to cut from the live coverage to conduct a meaningless interview with a Democrat to slam Republicans.
Jay Leno continued his humorous attack on the White House Thursday.
At the beginning of a series of opening monologue jokes about the various scandals plaguing President Obama, the NBC Tonight Show host said, “If Republicans really want to do away with ObamaCare, they should endorse it as a conservative non-profit - let the IRS take it down” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Blame the victim! Twenty-three liberal news operations have taken that strategy about the IRS attack on conservative nonprofits. Fifteen of the 63 members of the left-wing Media Consortium have thrown their support behind the IRS’s investigation. The 15 organizations either wrote or re-posted stories defending the IRS actions.
Another eight liberal outlets, including MSNBC, ran similar stories. Altogether, these outlets have received a combined total of more $14 million dollars from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 2000.
The IRS admitted to giving extra scrutiny to applications for nonprofit status from groups with words like “tea party” or “patriot” in their descriptions. After this revelation, at least 25 media outlets ran stories arguing that “The IRS was doing its job,” “the IRS was justified,” and that the only crime the IRS committed was “the sin of political correctness.”
NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity kicked off the "Media Mash" segment of the May 16 Hannity with a deliciously ironic clip of Hardball host Chris Matthews lamenting on his Tuesday program that President Obama is surrounded by adoring yes-men who can't bear to tell him bad news, and that that culture of groupthink leaves the president prone to embarrassing scandals. "A little irony there?! I couldn't resist! I had to start with that," Hannity said suppressing laughter. "Okay, a sycophant who's in awe and in love with Barack Obama. Chris Matthews, call your office," Bozell quipped, adding, "This is the man who spits to tell us how much Obama's the perfect man."
The reporters at Good Morning America on Friday continued White House damage control efforts on the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos insisted that Barack Obama is "trying to turn the corner after a tough week fending off controversy."
Talking to Jon Karl, he wondered, "Are some of [the GOP] leaders worried that some of the Republicans may be overplaying their hand?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Karl lectured, "There's real concern about this." The journalist added that certain Republicans are talking about "impeachment." Instead of focusing on political rhetoric, Karl could have mentioned that the IRS official in charge during the Tea Party targeting is now running Obama's health care office. He skipped this development.
When ultraliberal Henry Waxman ran the House Government Reform Committee, The Washington Post didn't often suggest he was a fierce partisan or ideologue. Instead, former Washington Post managing editor Robert Kaiser praised him in a book review headlined "Moustache of Justice." (The Waxman lovers even have a mug.)
Kaiser cooed, “Henry Waxman is to Congress what Ted Williams was to baseball -- a natural....Waxman has been one of the most effective members of Congress for 35 years....This is the voice of David, whose career has featured the slaying of one Goliath after another.” This is not how the Post is treating Waxman’s "feverish" successor Darrell Issa.
Call it Luke Russert's version of "bitter clingers" on steroids . . . In Russert's world, there are apparently two kinds of Republican congressmen. The "smart" ones—to be found on the Ways & Means Committee—and the others, whom he calls the "God, guns and guts people," presumably in reference to this book.
Russert made his statement on today's Morning Joe, responding to Joe Scarborough's question as to whether Republicans would overplay their hand over the current scandals. According to Russert, Republicans chose well in holding today's hearing of IRS officials before the Ways & Means Committee because that's where the GOP puts its stars: "it's not the God, guns and guts people on the Ways & Means Committee: it's the smart people." View the video after the jump.
Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter described what happened at the annual Comcast shareholders meeting in Philadelphia when Tea Party conservatives stood up to ask about the dramatic left-wing slant of MSNBC.
On the webcast of the meeting, Tom Borelli asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "Why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary?"
During Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's weeknight program “The Last Word,” host Lawrence O'Donnell responded to a statement made earlier in the day by President Obama about the Internal Revenue Service's discrimination against conservative groups seeking non-profit status: “Across the board, everybody believes” what was revealed in the report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is “an outrage.”
“Everybody but me,” O'Donnell insisted. “I believe that the IRS agents in this case did nothing wrong.”