Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters
Brad Wilmouth is a former Media Research Center news analyst and an alumnus of the University of Virginia.
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On Friday's Morning Joe program, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about the absence of media attention to the fact that IRS commissioner John Koskinen, in charge of an organization currently embroiled in an investigation into whether it has unfairly targeted conservative groups during the Obama administration, is himself a "big Democratic donor" who has donated to President Barack Obama twice and, over the years, almost $100,000 to various Democrats.
Regular panel members Mark Halperin of Time magazine and John Heilemann of New York magazine joined in as Scarborough called out the New York Times in particular and imagined how the Times would have reacted if the roles had been reversed during the George W. Bush administration. Scarborough asked:
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, during a segment about foreign policy challenges involving Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe oddly suggested that President Obama finds it to be a "satisfying challenge" because it is "intellectually rigorous" to deal with such substantial foreign policy problems.
He also not surprisingly took a jab at former President Bush, blaming him for the chaos in the Middle East, and asserted that "there's a lot of cleanup there."
Host O'Donnell wondered about what things are like inside the White House as he posed:
During the regular "Inside Politics" segment of Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Ron Fournier of the National Journal declared that he was "naive" last year in giving the Obama administration the "benefit of the doubt" over the IRS scandal, and called for an independent prosecutor to investigate as he reacted to the recent congressional testimony of IRS commissioner John Koskinen.
A bit later, he asserted that the administration was either "incredibly incompetent" or "crooked" regarding both the IRS and V.A. scandals. Fournier:
After all three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday highlighted IRS commissioner John Koskinen's testimony before Congress regarding the numerous missing emails of former official Lois Lerner, Saturday morning's Good Morning America on ABC ignored the story completely while CBS This Morning ran a full report and NBC's Today gave viewers a 42-second news brief.
GMA, however, did find time to devote a two-minute full report to the hype surrounding the attractive mugshot of convict Jeremy Meeks.
NBC's Jenna Wolfe informed viewers that the IRS commissioner would make another congressional appearance on Monday as she introduced the brief:
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe mocked former Vice President Dick Cheney for his recent criticism of President Obama, and inaccurately claimed that "there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq" before Cheney "led the decision to invade Iraq."
After dismissing Cheney as being in his "last throes," Wolffe recalled: "Let's just revisit a little bit of history. Before Dick Cheney led the decision to invade Iraq, and led the disastrous occupation of Iraq, there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He allowed Al-Qaeda to get a foothold in Iraq."
On Tuesday's New Day show, during an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, CNN's Chris Cuomo was confrontational toward the former Bush administration Deputy Defense Secretary as the New Day co-host complained about Republicans blaming President Obama's troop withdrawal for the chaos in Iraq, arguing that such talk undermines the President from dealing with the situation because there is not a "united front."
At one point, after Wolfowitz rhetorically asked if he and Cuomo should "sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up," Cuomo shot back, "Yes," and soon complained, "It's hard for" President Obama "to be strong when he's getting attacked by his own."
And, while complaining that Republicans are undermining President Obama's handling of the crisis by blaming him, Cuomo himself tried to push blame onto President Bush, suggesting Bush administration members should express "contrition." Cuomo:
During New Day's regular "Inside Politics" segment on Monday, CNN's John King declared that it "makes me suspicious" as he informed viewers of revelations that some of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails not only went missing, but that it took over a year for the White House to inform Congress.
After beginning the segment by rhetorically asking, "Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner's emails just suddenly went poof?" King recalled the details, including a quote from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp complaining about it taking so long for the White House to inform him of the emails. King then commented:
Chuck Todd's political correctness button appeared to be in the on position as the NBC political director and chief White House correspondent made four appearances on MSNBC Tuesday night highlighting immigration as the main issue behind House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Republican primary loss. Not only did Todd conspicuously evade using the word "illegal" while talking about illegal immigration, he even made a crack at one point mocking GOP nominee and Tea Partier Dave Brat for using the words "amnesty" or "illegals" so many times in an interview aired on Todd's Daily Rundown MSNBC show as if there were something wrong with doing so.
Todd, who only once used the word "illegally" amongst all four of his appearances, even though he referred generically to "immigration" 21 times, was dismissive toward Brat's word choice: "I think he used the word 'amnesty' and 'illegals' every fourth word when I was interviewing him this morning." By contrast, Todd was more accepting of loaded terminology preferred by liberals like "Dream Act."
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, co-anchor Chris Cuomo mocked President Obama at the end of the show's regular "Inside Politics" segment after a clip of NBC comedian Seth Meyers making a joke about Obama trading Taliban prisoners for coffee at Starbucks.
Alluding to an upcoming interview with California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff that calls into question whether the released Taliban prisoners really will be watched closely as they reside in Qatar, the CNN co-host took a surprising jab at President Obama. Cuomo:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Politico senior political writer Maggie Haberman laid down the groundwork for the media to show a double standard in not taking issue with Hillary Clinton's wealth as opposed to Republican Mitt Romney who was repeatedly hounded in 2012 as the dominant media grasped at straws to identify "gaffes" to paint him as "out of touch." The Politico writer also bolstered Clinton's attempt to preempt campaign questions about Benghazi by seeming to predict the strategy would have some effectiveness.
Haberman argued that Clinton's claim that she and husband former President Clinton were "broke" after they left the White House as they were purchasing multiple "houses" would not be a "consequential" gaffe because it does not fit "an existing narrative" of the former First Lady, unlike in the case of Romney. Haberman began:
On Monday's New Day on CNN, after a segment on Hillary Clinton's interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as part of the former Secretary of State's book promotion, co-host Chris Cuomo, possibly concerned about his brother New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's presidential ambitions, made a blunt accusation about the good press Clinton has been receiving from the dominant media.
The CNN anchor declared that "she's just got a free ride so far," and that "we couldn't give her any more help than we have," as he and guest co-host Brooke Baldwin fretted that Clinton is hurting the fundraising efforts of other potential Democratic candidates by delaying an official announcement.
Then, Cuomo dialed things up even further as he added: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's New Day on CNN, correspondent Jim Acosta showed a portion of a pre-recorded interview with Obama administration National Security Advisor Susan Rice in which Acosta pressed her to correct her assertion that former hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had served "with honor and distinction," in spite of reports that he deserted.
But the Obama advisor declined to find fault with her previous word choice as she dodged by arguing that Bergdahl should be considered "innocent until proven guilty."
Speaking to Rice, the CNN correspondent posed:
On Thursday's New Day on CNN, during a discussion of President Obama's decision to release five high-risk Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, without even notifying Congress first, liberal CNN commentator Paul Begala took a gratuitous swipe at Republicans as he cracked that, "if Barack Obama cured cancer, the Republicans would attack him for putting oncologists out of work."
At about 8:30 a.m., after conservative commentator Cheri Jacobus gave her view of the Bergdahl prisoner trade, noting that Democrats have also been critical of the President, co-host Chris Cuomo turned to Begala and posed the question:
Add CNN political commentator Paul Begala to the list of liberals finding fault with the way President Obama handled the release of five Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for American hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, the liberal spinmeister took the Obama administration to task for not obeying the legal requirement that Congress should be informed 30 days before the release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. [See video after break.]
On Tuesday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, normally left-leaning co-host Mika Brzezinski repeatedly showed skepticism toward President Obama's decision to release five high-value Taliban prisoners in exchange for the release of hostage Bowe Bergdahl from the Haqqani terrorist group.
In the absence of Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski introduced the show by recounting some of the correspondence involving anti-America and anti-military sentiments between Bergdahl and his parents, suggesting he may have deserted his post before he was captured.
As she turned to guest Al Hunt of Bloomberg View, she posed the question:
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton led his show bellowing about a "war" against First Lady Michelle Obama's school lunch nutrition efforts as he mocked Republicans for wanting to allow financially struggling school districts to delay implementing nutrition standards.
With the words "GOP's War Against Healthy Children" on screen in the background, Sharpton began:
Wednesday's New Day on CNN played up First Lady Michelle Obama "taking on House Republicans" because of a proposal to allow school districts to delay potentially expensive efforts to improve school lunch nutrition.
Two plugs forwarded the Obama anti-Republican spin, with the first suggesting that the GOP plan "could make your kids sick," and the second plug asking if Republicans are "playing politics with the health of school kids."
At 6:12 a.m., CNN co-anchor Chris Cuomo provocatively teased:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham asserted that former Obama administration Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should have resigned when he was asked to lie about the role Social Security plays in the federal government's fiscal problems.
After a quote from Geithner's book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, in which he recalled that Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer asked him to claim publicly that Social Security does not play a role in the budget deficit as a "dog whistle" to the left. [See video below.]
On Monday, May 12, FNC's Fox and Friends exposed Democratic hypocrisy in accusing Republicans of trying to raise money off the deaths of Americans from the Benghazi attack, when Democrats themselves have a history of linking fundraising to deadly events.
Referring to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy explaining this hypocrisy on the previous day's Fox News Sunday, FNC co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck began listing the history of Democrats:
Appearing as a guest on the Saturday edition of Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC, former NBC News man and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert asserted that Republicans are "hostile to the interests of African-Americans" and suggested that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul would not have a problem with a hotel or restaurant barring black customers from entering.
Herbert's comments came during a discussion of Senator Paul's recent criticism of GOP efforts to change voting laws. [See video below.]