Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.
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On Thursday, Charlie Rose spent the entire commercial-free hour of his PBS show interviewing Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, yet never asked her a single question about the 2012 Benghazi attacks or her role in disseminating faulty talking points afterward. In fact, the B-word never escaped Rose’s nor Rice’s lips during the entire show.
There were, however, a few moments when a question about Benghazi would have seemed appropriate. Early in the interview, Rose asked where in the world America’s core interests were under attack at the moment. Rice pointed to the ongoing terrorist threat:
On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran a news brief on page A3 about disgraced former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, but the paper conveniently forgot to mention that Nagin is a Democrat. The blurb began, “A federal judge says that former New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin will have to pay the government more than $501,000 as a result of his conviction on bribery and other charges.”
The brief went on to mention Nagin’s 20-count conviction in February that included bribery, fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. However, the former mayor’s party ID was nowhere to be found.
Elliot Rodger's spree shooting this weekend has given MSNBC an opening to flog two of its favorite pet causes – restricting gun rights and waging combat against the so-called war on women. Weekend anchors Alex Witt and Melissa Harris-Perry, to their credit, downplayed those two issues while discussing the tragedy on their respective Sunday shows.
But it was former DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney who did not hold back on Sunday’s edition of her show Disrupt. She and her guests immediately tied the incident to the politics of gun control before later playing up the anti-woman angle.
On Thursday evening, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared on the PBS NewsHour to discuss his new memoir. Not only did the taxpayer-subsidized anchor Gwen Ifill gently press Geithner from the left on policy matters, she failed to ask him about one of his most startling admissions – that Obama administration officials wanted him to lie during appearances on the Sunday morning TV talk shows.
It's not for a lack of air time either. Ifill gave a two-minute introduction, followed by a 10-minute interview, yet she never got around to this revelation from Geithner’s book Stress Test:
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton got nasty on Wednesday’s episode of his program PoliticsNation, comparing Republican-backed legislation to common household pests. The reverend’s remark came at the end of a conversation with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) on the House GOP’s proposed agriculture budget.
Sharpton and Fattah took particular issue with the budget’s proposal that only rural areas are to receive federal funding for a program to help low-income children get meals during the summer. After thanking the congressman for his time, Sharpton added this metaphor to illustrate what he thinks he’s doing on his show:
The Daily Beast may be a liberal outlet, but sometimes they report important news that doesn’t favor the Obama administration.
A case in point: a Wednesday article by Eli Lake which reported that many U.S. intelligence officials oppose President Obama’s push to scale back the war on terror.
MSNBC’s Krystal Ball served up a piping hot slice of hypocrisy on Monday evening. Appearing as a guest on PoliticsNation, Ball joined host Al Sharpton in complaining that Republicans have no agenda other than hating Hillary Clinton and President Obama. The co-host of The Cycle declared, "I mean, essentially what the Republican Party has been running on and has been fueled by is emotion. Right? Anger, fear, hatred."
Anger, fear, and hatred, you say? That sounds eerily similar to the way MSNBC operates. The Lean Forward network regularly tries to stoke anger, fear, and hatred toward conservatives and Republicans. In fact, Ball’s comment came just two hours before Chris Hayes engaged in fear-mongering on his program, All In.
Left-wing extremism has a home at PBS – and that home, to be specific, is the set of Moyers & Company. Host Bill Moyers kicked off Sunday’s episode with a flashback to the previous week’s broadcast, in which scientist and environmental activist David Suzuki had announced that he believes society should literally punish politicians who don’t believe in global warming.
This is what Suzuki told Moyers:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently portrayed Republican U.S. House candidate Lee Zeldin as a "coward" on its website for refusing to oppose Paul Ryan’s budget. To illustrate this they posted a picture of Zeldin’s face on the body of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz.
But it just so happens that Zeldin is an Iraq War veteran, hardly the profile of a coward. So on Friday morning, he appeared on Fox and Friends and hit back hard at his Democratic opponents. When asked his reaction to being called a coward, Zeldin responded:
There seems to be a concentrated effort on MSNBC lately to dismiss certain legitimate concerns raised by Republican political figures as loony or unworthy of serious consideration. On Wednesday’s edition of PoliticsNation, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune killed two birds with one stone by simultaneously linking concerns over Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s health to the “birther” conspiracy theories.
Host Al Sharpton played a clip in which Comedy Central host Jon Stewart mocked Karl Rove’s question about the health of Hillary Clinton’s brain. Stewart dubbed the concern “Brainghazi,” and Page loved the term:
One day after Chris Hayes suggested that global warming skepticism should disqualify a person from holding public office, another MSNBC primetime host attempted to ridicule those who doubt the science. This time, it was Ari Melber, who has been guest-hosting The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell for several weeks now. On Wednesday's show, after playing a clip of President Obama mocking skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth society,” Melber sneered, “It seems like if you want to be a serious contender for the 2016 Republican nomination, you have to be unserious about a lot of things, and potentially a member of that Flat Earth society.”
Melber was referring specifically to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and rolled out a clip of Rubio telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he doubts the science of global warming because “our climate is always changing.”
On Tuesday’s All In, host Chris Hayes and his guests tackled a chilling and politically loaded subject: which beliefs should disqualify someone from holding public office. Among other things, the group decided that global warming “denialism,” opposition to same-sex marriage, and opposition to a “robust” Voting Rights Act should put a politician outside the mainstream and ruin their chances of holding public office.
Hayes seemed excited that politicians might be branded with a figurative scarlet letter for holding beliefs that run counter to his own far-left vision. In fact, he claimed the act of disqualification based on certain beliefs is a “tool of progress,” not something that “constrains consensus.” The host gloated:
Liberals often say they’re big on tolerance, but apparently tolerance must flow only one way – toward liberals and their favored identity groups. So says MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart.
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Capehart rebuffed the idea that supporters of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, should have to tolerate the views of those who don’t agree with Sam’s lifestyle. Capehart argued:
It looks like the MSNBC-Republican syndrome is starting to affect Joe Watkins, Alex Witt’s go-to GOP strategist now that Susan Del Percio has left the network. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Watkins joined his more liberal colleagues in defending the Clintons from Monica Lewinsky’s re-emergence in Vanity Fair.
When asked his opinion of the whole matter, the strategist made it clear he was tired of the story. He erupted:
On Thursday’s NewsHour, PBS ran a full-length segment on the new special committee created by House Republicans to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. However, anchor Judy Woodruff and her guest, Robert Costa from The Washington Post -- formerly of the National Review -- pushed the idea that Republicans are exploiting the tragedy by fundraising off of it. The thing is, the network didn’t seem to care back in 2012 when President Obama gave a brief Rose Garden statement after the attacks and then dashed off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser.
Woodruff brought up the issue of fundraising near the end of the interview:
On Wednesday’s PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton trotted out a pair of red-framed glasses, a podium, and the image of a chapel’s interior on the green screen behind him. The reverend was pretending to preside over a funeral for what he called “another bogus GOP talking point on the Affordable Care Act.” As somber organ music played in the background, Sharpton announced, somewhat inarticulately, “We're here tonight to celebrate the life of the people are paying not their premium's talking point.”
He was referring to House Republicans’ contention last week that only 67 percent of ObamaCare enrollees had actually paid their premiums as of April 15. After a few minutes of funeral minister theatricality, the MSNBC host finally explained why he was pronouncing this particular talking point dead: “A new report shows most who signed up under health law have paid. 80 to 90 percent of enrollees paid their bills on time.” Conveniently, however, Sharpton left out another nugget from that very same report that undercut one of his own favorite ObamaCare talking points.
Radio host Laura Ingraham dropped a dose of reality on the Democrats’ “war on women” narrative on Fox News Tuesday night. Filling in as host of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham began the show with a segment about Monica Lewinsky, who resurfaced this week to write about her affair with Bill Clinton in Vanity Fair.
Ingraham reminded viewers that Hillary Clinton dismissed Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon” in a private letter to her close friend. The Fox News substitute host charged:
The Daily Beast on Tuesday drew attention to an important story that has been under-reported by the major broadcast networks. According to an article written by Eli Lake, Libya has become a hub for al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists since the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. This information came from various “current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials.”
Lake summarized the situation in his second and third paragraphs:
Forget about the newly released White House emails – MSNBC personalities will never admit that the Benghazi scandal is anything more than a Republican talking point. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Richard Lui at least brought up the new revelations in the scandal, but he and his guests continued to treat it like a big, fat nothing burger.
Noting that the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about Benghazi, Lui skeptically asked Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, “[I]s this about 2014? Because we're just really months away from the election.” Sweet, being the liberal Obama acolyte she is, answered in the affirmative:
Considering how much time they spend talking about Republican Party strategy, it’s refreshing to see the mainstream media pull back the curtain on the Left every once in a while. That’s what The Washington Post did, if just a tiny bit, in a Monday, May 5 front-pager entitled “Liberal Donors Eye New Strategy.”
Reporter Matea Gold revealed that the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy liberal donors, is working on a new strategy that will focus more on helping state-level Democratic candidates and increasing voter turnout among party loyalists. The idea is to give Democrats more power over the process of gerrymandering state legislature and U.S. House districts by winning back state legislatures.