Alex Fitzsimmons


Latest from Alex Fitzsimmons

Reporters have repeatedly portrayed Barack Obama as a deficit hawk committed to "slashing" spending, as MRC Research Director Rich Noyes documented in April ahead of the president's much-anticipated budget speech.

While the media touted Obama's budget blueprint, which contained puny cuts, as "deeply painful," CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told Congress the president's framework lacked sufficient detail to be scored as a credible plan.

Since then, Obama still hasn't revealed a serious plan to cut spending, yet correspondents continue to paint the president as a budget cutter.



The NBC News Investigative Unit has devoted considerable resources to uncovering "scandals" ranging from Marcus Bachmann's health clinic to Newt Gingrich's credit line at Tiffany to the Sarah Palin document dump, but continues to ignore a botched Justice Department operation that contributed to the death of a U.S. border agent.

Examining the trove of reports filed by NBC News national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff over the last few months reveals a fixation on investigations involving Republican politicians and an aversion to probes concerning the Obama administration, even as other media outlets expose the controversial ATF practice of letting guns purchased in America slip across the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes the trail would lead federal agents to drug kingpins.



It has been widely reported that President Barack Obama walked out of Wednesday night's debt limit meeting, but MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Thursday was in complete denial that the Democratic president, who's merely "exasperated by Republicans playing this dangerous game," would conduct himself in such a way.

During his daily "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir offered mounds of incredulity but not a shred of evidence to contradict numerous reports of Obama abruptly and prematurely terminating the meeting:

Hmm, I'm not so sure about that...The president losing his temper, abruptly, and rudely cutting short the conversation? Running from a room inside the White House? Does that sound the like president that we've gotten to know during the last two and a half years? Or is that the kind of behavior we've now come to expect from Eric Cantor over the last few weeks?

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CNN's Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger took turns casting President Barack Obama as the centrist 'adult' in a room teeming with unruly Republican children who would rather invite economic calamity than compromise on a debt-reduction plan.

Discussing a topic that would have made a perfect "Keeping Them Honest" segment, Cooper insisted, incorrectly, on Monday's "AC 360" that the Democratic president has never raised taxes since taking office in 2009: "Now, in fact the stimulus was about one-third tax cuts. So in fairness, he did not raise taxes. He and Congress later passing a payroll tax holiday that is in effect right now. A year later he and Congress did approve tax breaks to help employers hire more people."

According to Politifact, Cooper is way off base in claiming the president "did not raise taxes."



On the July 1 edition of "Martin Bashir," the MSNBC anchor after which the show is named made a statement that reveals a great deal about his worldview.



Unfortunately for Dylan Ratigan, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The MSNBC anchor nearly stumbled onto a valid point on Thursday's "Dylan Ratigan Show" – reporting that California's new Internet sales tax could cost thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue – until he proposed solving this dilemma with a national Internet sales tax.



MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who once argued Sarah Palin's bus tour was in "breach of federal law," attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, wondering if the 69-year-old Republican is "suffering some kind of mild dementia or long-term memory loss?"

Excoriating McConnell for rejecting tax increases as part of a potential budget deal, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor regurgitated a litany of liberal talking points about the Bush years on his eponymous program:



ABC and CBS have both recently wielded PolitiFact as a club to bash Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), yet in the 29 months since President Barack Obama took office – despite 49 "false" ratings in Obama's PolitiFact file – the three broadcast networks have cited the fact-checking website only once to challenge the Democratic commander-in-chief.

ABC host George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" used PolitiFact as an excuse to badger Bachmann about her past statements, while CBS host Bob Schieffer on Sunday's "Face the Nation" pressed the Republican presidential candidate to answer to a spate of PolitiFact judgments against her.



When ABC and NBC interview First Ladies, both the tone and substance of the discussion tend to hinge on whether the husband is an Obama or a Bush.

On Wednesday's ABC "World News" and NBC "Nightly News," network correspondents sat down with Michelle Obama in South Africa for exclusive interviews in which they lobbed softball questions and avoided her husband's policies. But in interviews with Laura Bush in 2007 and 2010, ABC questioned the then-First Lady's Mideast trip and NBC re-litigated President Bush's response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.



Former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones likened Fox News to "stalkers" on Wednesday's MSNBC Live with left-wing pugilist Cenk Uygur.

Despite challenging Glenn Beck to a debate while speaking at the liberal Netroots Nation convention and in a MoveOn.org spot, and reportedly threatening legal action against Fox News, it was Jones who claimed the popular cable network has an unhealthy obsession.

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Just days after demagoguing the war on terror as a "war of fear," NBC's Richard Engel told Jay Leno "it's probably time to end the global war on terrorism."

The NBC News chief foreign correspondent, discussing Mideast policy on the June 22 "Tonight Show," also pushed for withdrawal from Afghanistan and an end to "this chapter in our history."

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ABC and NBC have delivered fawning coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama's visit this week to South Africa and Botswana, oozing over the "celebrity" and "excitement" of the "patented Michelle power" on display. To its credit, CBS has largely taken a pass on the idolatry.

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The Supreme Court on Monday unequivocally rejected the notion that courts should force power companies to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, but none of the major broadcast networks covered the unanimous decision on their evening newscasts or morning shows.

The New York Times teased the ruling on the front page of Tuesday's paper, directing readers to a thorough analysis of the 8-0 decision, but ABC's "Good Morning America" and "World News," CBS's "Early Show" and "Evening News," and NBC's "Today" and "Nightly News" all skipped a decision that prevents environmentalists from using the courts to impose greenhouse gas regulations on electric utilities.



With Jon Huntsman's presidential announcement on June 21, the former Utah governor joins a crowded field vying for the Republican nomination. But while MSNBC has put most GOP hopefuls through the ringer, Huntsman has been heralded by the network as Mr. Civility in an otherwise nutty Republican field.



Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) conducted hearings on Wednesday to investigate a highly controversial ATF operation that led to the death of a U.S. border agent, but neither NBC nor ABC covered the story on their nightly newscasts.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman lambasted a Justice Department official who claimed to be cooperating with the investigation but offered not much more than severely redacted documents. "You should be ashamed of yourself," scolded Issa. "How dare you offer an opening statement of cooperation."



On the June 14 edition of NBC's "Today," President Barack Obama ascribed part of the blame for the high unemployment rate to ATMs, yet most media outlets continue to ignore the gaffe.

"There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers," lectured Obama in an interview with NBC's Ann Curry. "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."



MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell scolded Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty today over the former Minnesota governor's proposed plan to reduce taxes and cut spending, decrying the conservative measures as "counterintuitive."

"What makes you think that a plan to actually increase the deficit by cutting taxes is the right way to go right now?" groused NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent on "Andrea Mitchell Reports."



As NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, the Weinergate scandal showcased a variety of liberal media conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories focused on besmirching conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story wide open Monday with a series of posts on BigGovernment.com featuring lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner.

"Look, Breitbart is a proven liar, okay?" bellowed MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur on June 1. "He doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes. He's done this over and over again. Why would anybody take this fool seriously?"



Appearing on MSNBC today, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano attributed the findings of his magazine's study showing Americans don't understand basic facts about U.S. history to the country's lack of a top-down federal government-imposed curriculum.

When daytime anchor Thomas Roberts asked Romano to explain the significance of the survey, the Daily Beast scribe indicted federalism: "Another reason why we don’t do well is because we don’t have a kind of centralized curriculum in our schools. Everyone in different states kind of learns different things. And that definitely contributes to it as well."



Chrystia Freeland made a series of bizarre statements on MSNBC today that were overshadowed only by Anthony Weiner's contrite presser during which the Democratic congressman admitted to tweeting the infamous crotch photo and lying to cover it up.

Before the press conference, the Reuters editor-at-large quipped that the Twitter controversy showed that Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as New York governor in 2008 after being caught sleeping with prostitutes, "is a really classy guy."