"If Time-magaziner-turned-White House-press-sec Jay Carney ever tires of defending President Obama," wrote NB's Mark Finkelstein earlier this year, "Norah O'Donnell clearly seems ready to step in."
News broke Thursday that O'Donnell will, in fact, be moving to the White House briefing room, but she'll staying on the same side of the podium as CBS's Chief White House Correspondent. But that doesn't mean her incessant cheerleaeding for the Obama administration and its party will relent.
O'Donnell is one of television news's more blatantly liberal non-prime time personalities. In light of the move, let's review just a few of her "greatest hits."
O'Donnell is of course quick to see racism in criticism of President Obama. When Newt Gingrich jibed Obama for wasting time playing basketball, she saw racism. The comment "suggests that the President is an athlete and some people may suggest, you know, because all black people are good athletes." Fellow guests on Morning Joe laughed at the claim.
Though not as frequent as the racism charge, Islamophobia is a popular one among liberal media types. O'Donnell is no exception. In the midst of the debate over the "Ground Zero mosque," for instance, O'Donnell claimed that the project's opponents were "act[ing] like the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people."
Other conservative protests have also earned O'Donnell's scorn. She was of course part of the MSNBC chorus that attempted to link the Tea Party movement to so-called "birther" movement.
So as one might expect, the Tea Party's primary target earned O'Donnell's effusive praise - often in spite of the facts. Reporting on the so-called health care "summit" last year, O'Donnell embarked on a misguided attempt at "truth-squadding." She heaped praise on President Obama for laying out the facts behind his reform proposal, such as the fact, by her telling, that insurance premiums would decline by 10 to 13 percent under Obamacare. In fact, the CBO score at the time showed premiums for individuals would rise by 10 to 13 percent. Giving O'Donnell the benefit of the doubt, she played defense for the president without bothering to check the facts.
As for Republican efforts to block Obamacare's passage, well, let's just say O'Donnell was not a fan. "Are you the Grinch that stole Christmas?" she asked GOP Sen. Judd Gregg in December 2009.
For all of O'Donnell's fondness for Obama, she really does not like Sarah Palin. Norah appeared at a Palin book signing - crib notes in hand - last year to grill a teen Palin fan, but threw softballs to a pro-Obamacare child weeks later. O'Donnell's lame defense of Obama's decision to wear a tacky faux-military leather jacket to an address to troops in Afghanistan was a childish "Sarah Palin wears a leather jacket too!" Norah also harped on the Palin "hand note" non-story perhaps longer than any other television personality.
Filmmaker John Ziegler even called on NBC to fire O'Donnell for her vehement hatred of everything Palin.
The firing never came, but now O'Donnell has left for another network where, no doubt, the Palin hatred and the rest of the liberal quips will continue.
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