Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.
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Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Wednesday night, and from the comfort of Rose’s pitch-black studio he tossed aside his journalistic objectivity and aired out his own political opinions – particularly his disdain for Republicans.
Rose had asked his guests -- Politico’s Mike Allen was there, too -- what it would take to fix the country economically and whether Washington was capable of doing it. VandeHei used this as an opening to take a shot at some of the left-wing media’s favorite targets:
MSNBC continues to do its best to protect the Obama administration from any accusations of wrongdoing in the Benghazi fiasco. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host went so far as to ask whether it is even legitimate to call Benghazi a scandal.
Witt was setting up her pre-taped “Office Politics” interview with Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of The Grio and frequent MSNBC contributor, when she announced that she "asked Joy-Ann about the fallout from the Benghazi attacks and if it's legitimate to call that mess a scandal.”
Liberal media members love to demonize any politician who stands in the way of their notion of progress, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has planted himself squarely in the path of the current immigration reform train. It was no surprise, then, that ABC News opted to berate him in an interview posted online to the network’s Power Players blog. [Read the post and watch the video here.]
Even the headline accompanying the blog entry -- “Sen. Jeff Sessions Almost Single-Handedly Trying to Derail ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration Bill” -- was clearly intended to isolate and demonize Sessions. ABC senior national correspondent Jim Avila, who conducted the interview, put Sessions on the defensive right from his opening question (which was not really a question):
On last Friday’s Washington Week, PBS moderator Gwen Ifill brought in a panel of four liberal journalists to dissect the three scandals that have plagued the Obama administration the past couple of weeks. Predictably, most of the panelists attempted to downplay the seriousness of the Benghazi fiasco.
Midway through the Benghazi discussion, Ifill turned to The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and posed the question that has surely been on every left-wing reporter’s mind for months: “But Ed, why is this -- why is this stuck? Why is this a story that never went away?”
Defending the indefensible can make a liberal journalist a little prickly. How else do you explain Washington Post columnist Colbert I. "Colby" King's specious attack on his fellow Post colleague and Inside Washington panelist Charles Krauthammer this weekend?
It all happened when Krauthammer responded to a Post editorial, published in Thursday’s paper, which asserted that UN Ambassador Susan Rice did not mislead anyone about the nature of the September 11 Benghazi attack. Ninety-seven House Republicans had signed a letter charging that Rice did mislead the public, and the Post editorial demanded that those Republicans apologize to Rice.
UPDATED: [May 21; 5:15 p.m. EDT | see portion in brackets below the page break] || The liberal media continue their effort to spin the Obama administration right out of trouble. On Saturday’s Today, NBC brought on John Harwood, CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent, to provide some analysis of the three scandals that rocked the administration last week. Harwood, with help from co-anchor Erica Hill, attempted to make the discussion about the Republicans and their shortcomings rather than the White House’s failings.
Hill brought up the fact that some senior Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich, have cautioned the party about not going after Obama too aggressively over the scandals. Harwood agreed, adding that the party does not have a wide enough base. He then chastised Republicans:
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.
We’ve heard a lot in the past few days about the IRS applying extra scrutiny to groups with “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their name, but it appears the unfair targeting runs deeper than that. As the Thomas More Society, a non-profit public interest law firm, first reported yesterday, the IRS harassed at least two pro-life organizations that applied for tax-exempt status as early as 2009.
When the Coalition for Life of Iowa submitted such an application, the IRS reportedly demanded that they promise, under perjury of law, not to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. The IRS claimed it would only approve the group’s application after such a written pledge was received. Of course, Planned Parenthood is a major supporter of Barack Obama and their concerted effort to attack Republicans as waging a "war on women" was a central base-motivating message Democrats used in the 2012 reelection campaign.
Last night on his PBS talk show, Tavis Smiley sat down for a cozy conversation with Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for left-wing magazine The Nation. Scahill was critical of the Obama administration, as well as the journalists who fail to hold him accountable, throughout much of the interview. However, he did let his mask of objectivity slip at a few points, revealing the liberal face underneath.
Scahill was outraged over the administration’s secrecy surrounding its national security operations, particularly drone strikes. Smiley asked him why the administration has not been more forthcoming about its use of drones, and Scahill partially blamed congressional Republicans:
It seems the liberal media are desperately determined to shield Hillary Clinton from any attacks on her handling of the Benghazi fiasco. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host attempted to blunt the criticism by suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s opponents have taken her memorable "What difference, at this point, does it make?" quote from her testimony in January out of context.
Witt was talking with Steve Thomma of the left-leaning McClatchy Newspapers chain about how far the Benghazi talking points fiasco will go. Thomma predicted that Republicans would use the issue against Democrats in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race. He pointed out that a GOP Super PAC has already put out an attack ad that excerpts Secretary Clinton’s angry eruption. But Witt had a problem with the way the ad used that quote:
Jeffrey Kluger showed up on Saturday’s CBS This Morning to do what he does best: clang the alarm bells over global warming. The TIME magazine senior editor even went so far as to warn that Manhattan may soon be underwater.
Kluger was brought on to discuss a recent reading -- atop an observation station on a dormant volcano -- finding that atmospheric carbon dioxide is at its highest level in 2 million years. Back then, he informed us, sea levels were 66 feet higher than they are now. He then struck an ominous tone: “What this means is we are on the west side of Manhattan at this moment. If this keeps up to what it was back then, we would be swimming at this address.”
On his Thursday night PBS program, Charlie Rose attempted to fulfill his duties as a liberal media member by defending the State Department’s dishonest talking points following the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Rose was grilling Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was involved in the Benghazi hearings, about his views on the matter.
When Rose asked Chaffetz if he believed there was a coverup, the congressman was ready. He brought up the fact that for days after the attack, the administration claimed the incident had been sparked by a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam YouTube video. But Chaffetz and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that to be a blatant lie:
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC gave no live coverage to yesterday’s congressional hearings on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Instead, the network aired a mere six minutes and 20 seconds of a highlight from the hearings. Those snippets were spread across four hours, and some of them were redundant.
Contrast that with the way MSNBC treated Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi back on January 23. On that occasion, the liberal cable network broadcast a whopping five hours and 28 minutes of live testimony.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) recently proposed an amendment to the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration bill that would allow homosexuals in the U.S. to sponsor their foreign-born partners for green cards. Naturally, MSNBC was elated at this potential fusion of gay rights and immigration reform, so to celebrate, Sunday's Weekends with Alex Witt brought on Jose Antonio Vargas, a former Washington Post reporter and liberal activist who happens to be both gay AND an undocumented immigrant.
Vargas eagerly played up his double-minority status, complaining:
The air was thick with disingenuousness on Saturday’s Today show as NBC conducted a long-distance interview with the daughter of the slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal. Co-anchor Erica Hill brought up the charge that Erica Lafferty has been used as a prop by the gun control crowd. Of course, in the process, NBC was using Lafferty as a prop during that very interview.
Lafferty was in Houston, ostensibly hoping to meet with leaders and members of the NRA at their convention. Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting, Lafferty has been active in the push for stricter gun laws, and Hill mentioned this. But then the anchor added, “You have also been accused of being used as a prop. Is there anything that you think you could have done differently to change the outcome in Washington?” Lafferty scoffed at the notion:
Politico reported today that net income at The Washington Post Co. dropped an astonishing 85 percent from the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. The newspaper division posted an operating loss of $34.5 million over that period.
It looks as if the Post, like many other newspapers around the country, may have entered an age of decline. Newspapers just aren’t as profitable as they once were. The proliferation of online news outlets has given consumers a plethora of free news sources to choose from. But another factor may be the Post's persistent liberal bias, which is a turnoff to potential conservative subscribers.
For the second time in a regular news story, PBS mentioned the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell on Tuesday’s NewsHour. And yet Gosnell was not the subject of the story in question. The mention came at the tail end of a piece on the battle over abortion restrictions in state legislatures.
Anchor Jeffrey Brown presented the trial as the concern of “anti-abortion activists”:
What better place is there, really, to corner news executives about media bias than the White House Correspondents Association Dinner? That's what Fox News producer Jesse Watters of The O'Reilly Factor had in mind when he headed out with camera and microphone to the "nerd prom" this past Saturday.
Even though there's copious amounts of adult beverages at the WHCA dinner, it seems in vino veritas doesn't hold when it comes to media executives copping to their biases. Some simply denied the obvious while others were visibly agitated at the very premise of the question.
The craziness keeps gushing from Chris Matthews’ mouth like a waterfall. On Tuesday morning, Matthews was anchoring MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s third news conference of the year. (Why they didn’t get a real journalist to anchor the coverage, I don’t know.) While waiting for the news conference to begin, Matthews and an array of panelists were discussing the gun control battle that they recently lost. The exasperated analysts seemed to agree that the background check bill failed in the Senate because gun rights advocates were more intense and single-minded than gun control advocates.
Matthews, picking up on this idea, attempted to glorify the gun control crowd: “Let's keep reminding ourselves that a lot of people who are for gun safety also are for world peace, also for jobs, also for the environment. People who are for guns are for guns.”
The recent dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas has brought a fresh opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the 43rd president. Of course, for the liberal media, to contemplate Bush’s legacy is to focus almost entirely on what went wrong in his presidency.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl displayed the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude during an interview with Karl Rove posted on ABC News’s Power Players blog on Friday. Karl hit Bush’s former senior advisor with an onslaught of negative questioning, but Rove, to his credit, fought back admirably.