Time's Mark Halperin just wrote about bitter right-wing extremism costing the Republicans in the fall. But then he went on MSNBC's Hardball and explored his "inner Dennis Kucinich." He declared that Obama cannot trust BP because it's a for-profit business.
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
It's clear that abortionists think of themselves as saviors of women, but would anyone really dare to suggest that infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller was like.... a crucified Jesus Christ?
Yes. There it was on Daily Kos on Tuesday (albeit republished from the blog RH Reality Check), plainly headlined "Dr. Tiller's Crucifixion and Resurrection," a brazen rant on how Tiller was assassinated by the State because he was too "destabilizing to the oppressive status quo." The author simply uses the pseudonym "Trusting Women." Even as you read it, you can't believe it:
I am drinking my morning coffee. Shortly, I will head to morning service at the Unitarian Church. I wonder what Dr. Tiller's Sunday morning was like, that Sunday one year ago when he was gunned down in his church.
A couple months ago, I had honor of addressing a group of abortion providers. The topic was "Resurrecting Our Moral Center." I do not think it was coincidental that less than a year after Tiller's murder, we were talking about resurrection. God, how much we miss him.
From the Wishful Thinking Disguised as Journalism Department comes Time's Mark Halperin and his new article "How Obama's Bitter Enemies May Give Him a Boost" (complete with the USSR-symbolism photo to the left). How low would Halperin go in evaluating the Obama-loathing of conservatives? The right wouldn't even unite the country if Martians invaded?!
The times of crisis in which Obama has governed only exacerbate the situation. It doesn't take a degree in psychology to recognize the explanatory formula "economic/environmental/international crises+search for a scapegoat=widespread Obama hatred." And it is evidence of how much matters have deteriorated that it is impossible to imagine conservatives rallying around Obama in the face of a new disaster, like the left did (albeit briefly) after September 11, 2001 for Bush. Even if the President repelled a Martian invasion, the right's reaction would likely be the same as it was after the Christmas Day bombing attempt, or the Times Square failed attack, or the current oil spill: denigration of Obama's competence, suspicion of his motives, and implicit or explicit hope for his failure.
One of the most popular stories at Yahoo! News on Monday featured Daisy Cuevas, the Peruvian girl who told Michelle Obama her mother was an illegal immigrant. In a story with no space for border-enforcers, AP reporter Carla Salazar relayed that the girl is famous in Peru, and Peru's president sounds just like Mexico's president in lecturing Arizona:
Daisy, meanwhile, has become a celebrity in Peru. "I'm really proud that a young girl of Peruvian origin is highlighting the enormous problem with Latin American immigration in the United States," President Alan Garcia told reporters last week.
He said it would be scandalous if her parents were deported. "Do you know how much President Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama would stand to lose?" he said. Garcia called the Arizona law a "completely irrational response" to the illegal-immigration question, and said he would express his thoughts on the matter to President Obama during his visit to Washington.
NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory peppered conservative Rep. J.D. Hayworth with tougher questions than liberal Rep. Luis Gutierrez on immigration Sunday. In the roughest one, Gregory strangely alluded to Franklin Roosevelt's internment of Japanese-Americans as somehow a metaphor as to where current immigration policy could be headed:
Congressman Hayworth, are you not concerned that just as this country has done, unfortunately, in the name of a national crisis in the past, during World War II, that there will not be excesses? That there will not be a denial of simple civil rights? The law can say everything it wants. You know that what happens in practice is what actually matters here, and this is a pretty hotly contested issue. And, and people are getting hot under the collar all over the state of Arizona and the country.
Hayworth responded without taking offense at the analogy:
Conservatives were rolling their eyes during the pundit segment of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, watching "conservative" representative David Brooks of The New York Times argue with James Carville's assertion that Obama was failing to be active enough on the oil spill in the gulf, and mourning this turn in the "really heroic presidency" of Obama:
You know, if you think government is the center of national life, government can do everything, then you're disappointed. But for those of us who don't expect that of government, who know there are limits to government power, then we're--you know, we--people say, "Oh, he should do something. He should do something." James Carville says that. But what exactly should he do? He doesn't have a degree in underwater engineering. I don't expect government to do everything, and I don't expect they will be able to do everything. And so we're going to have to live with this, live with the awareness that there are limits to what government can do.
I do think this is a big moment, though, the failure of the top kill. I do think it's a big moment because we could be facing really weeks or months of that image. And that image of the oil spewing out will become the central image of the year. And for President Obama, who's had a really heroic presidency for the first year, now he's entering a period of a limited presidency--limits to his power, limits to money. It's a different type of presidency, and that image will be the core image of the year.
Did David Brooks have this same spin with Hurricane Katrina, that we cannot expect George W. Bush to be responsible, or expect competence from the federal government? No.
In his Washington Post Magazine humor column on Sunday, Gene Weingarten worked in his anti-Sarah Palin bias. The subject was his concept of the "Googlenope," phrases that return no hits when Googled between quotation marks.
Clay Waters of MRC's Times Watch project noticed this week that the The New York Times was just as guilty as The Washington Post of jumping on the unsubstantiated adultery charges against female GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley in South Carolina:
[Reporter Shaila] Dewan used the sex scandal of former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford as an excuse to suggest, without substance like emails or phone messages, that the claims by blogger Will Folks fit a pattern of sexual bad behavior in the Palmetto State: “Scandal Rattles Politics In South Carolina, Again.” The text box to Wednesday's print story worked in the party identification: “A blogger says he had an affair with a G.O.P. candidate for governor.”
The treatment of a fairly obscure Republican politician stands in sharp contrast to the paper's blackout of the amply documented affair of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. The Times totally ignored the Edwards affair until the candidate himself confessed on ABC News, then, when its own public editor criticized the paper's lack of coverage, editors made hypocritical excuses.
Dewan certainly didn't do much hedging around the claims of blogger Will Folks, relaying the accusation with a tone of near-giddiness:
On her CNN Headline News show Thursday night, Joy Behar thought the "Obama's Katrina" language from Republicans was odd, since the "Bush/Cheney administration" is responsible for both disasters. Steve Kornacki of Salon.com insisted "all of the insults, all of the criticisms that were hurled at the Bush right after Katrina, they are just dying to throw back at the Democrats."
Behar replied: "But isn't this sort of like the same problem, the Bush/Cheney administration started it and now this poor guy has to mop it up. I mean, they deregulated the oil industry, right? And is it ever a good idea to deregulate such a huge corporation like that? That's a bad idea."
Behar proclaimed that it bothered her that this could hurt Obama politically when he had nothing at all to do with it and deregulation was all Bush's fault:
Ken Cuccinelli, the conservative Attorney General of Virginia, came under attack on Friday night's All Things Considered on National Public Radio. This is one angle of Climategate the national media have noticed. But they pitch the battle as Cuccinelli vs. Science or Cuccinelli vs. Academic Freedom.
What's most infuriating is the notion that it's Cuccinelli who's "politicizing" science, and not Michael Mann's openly politicized e-mails explaining his data manipulations and plotting to censor his political opponents. Somehow, the Union of Concerned Scientists is painted as non-political.
Host Michele Norris began: "The University of Virginia says it will fight a demand from the state's attorney general. He wants the school to turn over private e-mails and documents related to a former professor's climate research. The case has sparked a national debate over academic freedom."
As if it wasn't shameless enough to rent the house next door to the Palins in Wasilla while he works on a Palin-exposing book, liberal author Joe McGinniss starred in a Saturday Washington Post report by David Weigel about how he's a good neighbor, but he's learned that Palin's "ability to incite hatred." He might not want to ask for that cup of sugar:
McGinniss added that he had been a responsible neighbor, shooing off a pair of Minnesota tourists who stepped onto his property to take photos of the Palins' home.
"Look, this is a pain in the ass for them," he said. "I understand that. If I were her, I'd be upset. I'd be annoyed. But I'd be an adult about it, and I would figure out, okay, how can we resolve this in a way that's not going to make this into something that everybody gets obsessive about? By being here, I have learned things, and I've gotten an insight into her character, into her ability to incite hatred, that before I only knew about in the abstract."
Weigel and the Post placed this line at the end of the story, but the Politics section of their website is plugging it hard with a link to Weigel's blog version of the story on Saturday: Palin's new neighbor: She's being 'hysterical':
As the Joe Sestak job-offer scandal took a weird turn on Friday -- Bill Clinton offered me an unpaid, obscure presidential advisory panel placement to dissuade me from a Senate run? -- The Washington Post found in the new story a chance to hail Bill Clinton. At the very end of a Saturday report headlined "Bill Clinton has evolved into Obama's Mr. Fix It," reporters Philip Rucker and Paul Kane slipped into fanboy mode:
Sestak said Clinton briefly brought up Emanuel's suggestion that if Sestak dropped out he might end up on a presidential advisory board for the Pentagon or the intelligence community. Sestak flatly turned him down.
"I knew you'd say that," Clinton replied. Even the master can't fix everything.
Left unsaid: if Clinton is "the master," why is Obama president instead of his wife? (Or do you just repeat "Even the master...") On the front page, the Post seemed to be buying this square-peg-for-round-hole tale about this weird, very unpersuasive offer no one would accept. Reporter Michael Shear tried playing cute and light in his opening, that Obama "resisted acknowledging what the top West Wing lawyer finally admitted on Friday: This administration plays politics. And not always effectively."
NPR’s All Things Considered aired a long report on Thursday night on nasty Internet commenters – but reporter Laura Sydell’s examples centered on anti-Obama and anti-Muslim commenters (including one who wanted Obama shot), and no one from the left (like the Huffington Post people regretting Cheney wasn't shot in Afghanistan). She began with a sympathetic sick family that favored ObamaCare:
LAURA SYDELL: If you want to know what it's like to get attacked online, just ask Miki Hsu Leavey. She wrote a thankful letter to the editor of the local paper when the health care bill passed. She has lupus. Her 24-year-old son can't get health care because of a preexisting heart condition and her husband was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Ms. MIKI HSU LEAVEY: So my thank you note was really about the relief I had mentally.
SYDELL: When Leavey looked at the site the morning it was posted, she got comments like this one.
Ms. LEAVEY: Oh, my poor baby is sick. Only the great Obama can save him. Makes me sick just reading it.
SYDELL: Leavey was shocked by the vitriol.
Washington Post writer Hank Stuever has strong opinions about the new HBO movie on Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in Friday's paper: "Dennis Quaid is truly awful in the role of President Bill Clinton, the other half of The Special Relationship's special relationship. It's so bad that I insist everyone inside the Beltway watch it at least twice."
It must be hard to play Bill Clinton when everyone is so familiar with him, and so many media liberals still consider him a hero, despite the well, itty-bitty flaws. But Stuever really, really hates Quaid's work:
There are museum animatronics doing better presidential imitations than Quaid. If I had been in director Richard Loncraine's shoes, a couple of days into filming, I would have gone on eBay and purchased one of those cardboard, life-size Bill Clinton cutouts and had Quaid carry that around in front of him while the cameras continued to roll and I frantically waited for "Saturday Night Live's" Darrell Hammond to return my phone calls.
Stuever's review suggests HBO did not cut the scene of Bill telling Hillary he had carnal knowledge of an intern (or maybe the reviewer's copy still had it, but regular viewers won't see it):
NBC Meet the Press anchor David Gregory appeared on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on Tuesday night, and Smiley was outraged at Rand Paul for canceling on Gregory: "I was waiting for you to walk on the set, assuming that there would be steam coming out your ears, but I assume you calmed down now about Rand Paul canceling on you. How often does that happen, when people cancel on "Meet the Press?"
Gregory said a review found there's only been three cancellations, the others by Louis Farrakhan and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. Gregory said he thought the cancellation wasn't personal, but was about Paul feeling overexposed. Smiley followed up: "But is there a lesson to learn, though, from that strategy of ducking the national press? Sounds Sarah-Palinesque, ducking the national media."
Smiley said this at a time when President Obama hadn't held a full-blown press conference in more than 300 days. How is it only "Palinesque" to avoid the press? And doesn't it make more sense for Palin to avoid the liberal media than the often-hallowed Barack Obama? Gregory added:
Religion has been a mysteriously hot topic with several liberal radio hosts this week.On Tuesday's Stephanie Miller show, she talked to liberal Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine, and Miller said Wallis was doing something important “about reclaiming God from people who are just filled with hate! How do we do that?” Wallis replied: “We have to replace the gospel of Glenn, Rush, Sean, and Bill with the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." Having suggested conservative talkers were the antithesis of the Bible, he then said civility requires that you can't challenge people's faith because they disagree with you politically.
On her Wednesday program, Randi Rhodes insisted that incompetence was required by the Bush administration, so they hired stupid "little Regent University girls." As she whacked away at FEMA head Michael Brown and CIA director Porter Goss, who “didn’t know what he was doing, and that was Bush and Cheney’s preferred type of candidate”, she added:
Then when we went to look at the Justice Department. There were too many people with qualifications at the Justice Department for Bush and Cheney, who were going to pull the biggest bank heist in the history of the universe. And lie to the American people and do all kinds of wiretapping and all sorts of things that wouldn't pass constitutional muster in any decade of our history. This was all brand new. So what did they do?
Michelle Obama drew the usual adoring-fan coverage in the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. In a side feature called Places and Prices, the magazine reported "With cues from the first lady, Sarah Kerr details the best of what to see and do in this showcase of power, history, government, and now so much more." Included on this list: "Big, mural-bedecked Eatonville is named for a town in the fiction of Zora Neale Hurston and serves an indulgent catfish and grits (332-9672; entrées, $9-$24). In 2005, its owner started Busboys and Poets, a coffeehouse and gathering place for activists and hipsters, across the street (387-7638)."
This caused the radical-left restaurant Busboys and Poets to announce on Twitter on Wednesday night that "Busboys and Poets is one of Mrs. Obama's fav DC restaurants."
Is that really the kind of signal Mrs. Obama wants to send? After all, Busboys and Poets enthusiastically hosted the post-election Washington welcome for Obama supporter and Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers and his "inspiring resources."
David Frum has responded on his own site Frum Forum to the NewsBusters post on his nasty Limbaugh book review in The Washington Post. For starters, he claimed that he focused on Limbaugh's ornate digs because this is "really the only news" in the Zev Chafets book.
To claim there’s no news in here is to admit you skimmed it. I wish Frum had plopped in the Post this snippet from pages 139 and 140 and pondered what it says about the Left:
Some, like Professor Todd Gitlin of the Columbia School of Journalism, think the government should take Rush off the air. "Limbaugh is a liar and a demagogue, a brander of enemies, a mobilizer, and a rabble rouser," Gitlin told me. He conceded this would constitute a government limitation of free speech. "The corner that right-wing radio has on the medium is a warping factor in our politics," he says. "Limbaugh is truck-driver radio. His voice is the voice of resentment, or in Nietzche’s sense, ressentiment – it sounds better, more venomous, in French...
Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander responded online to yesterday’s NewsBusters post on Frum’s Tuesday Style section review of the new book Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. Alexander wondered "Was Frum too biased to review book on Rush Limbaugh?"
He suggested the problem wasn’t Frum’s anti-Limbaugh bias, but that the Post should have disclosed something to readers about Frum’s record of lamenting Limbaugh -- such as suggesting he's "kryptonite" for Republicans. The book review editor claimed she was somehow unaware of their corporate cousin Newsweek’s "Why Rush Is Wrong" cover story last year:
Post Book World Editor Rachel Shea said she was unaware that Frum had written last year's critical Newsweek piece, which was headlined: "Why Rush is Wrong." But she said she was aware of debate Frum had stirred over how the GOP could best position itself with voters. And she said The Post chose Frum precisely because "it's no surprise where he was coming from."
The Washington Post's Reliable Source gossip column noticed Sarah Palin reported a new neighbor in Wasilla on her Facebook page: liberal author Joe McGinniss. The once-highly esteemed author of The Selling of the President 1968 took a major tumble in 1993 with his Ted Kennedy book The Last Brother, which was blasted for plagiarism and patches of invented dialogue, tactics used against Ted Kennedy, not some loathsome Red State conservative. The Post relayed:
She blasted his work as biased but mostly poured on the sweet sarcasm: "We're sure to have a doozey to look forward to ... Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole? ... Come borrow a cup of sugar if ever you need some sweetener." We couldn't reach McGinniss; his publishing house, Broadway Books, told AP he "will be highly respectful of his subject's privacy as he investigates her public activities."
The Post's edit was interesting, and misleading. Right before the "Doozey" sentence were these words: