CNN president Jeff Zucker praised MSNBC guest host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday as he announced that the the cable news network would be giving the radio talk show host a weekly program: "We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN...At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN."
Smerconish's record, especially at MSNBC, actually does not point to independence, but liberalism. Here are the worst examples of the talker's slant to the left from the Media Research Center's archives: [video included below the jump for select quotes]
It may be that we can finally identify the type of criminal conviction which might cause the New England conference of the National Associations for the Advancement of Colored People to call for the removal of a state legislator.
Based on a conversation Boston Herald columnist and radio talk host Michael Graham had with the group's president, it appears that some form of felony conviction might do the trick. By contrast, a misdemeanor — apparently regardless of the nature of that misdemeanor — would not. The "if a Republican said something similar, all hell would break loose" observation will become obvious once readers see what former Massachusetts State Rep. Carlos Henriquez stands convicted of doing (HT to James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
At 4:57 on Monday afternoon, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner hyped “Breaking news from the Treasury Department. The White House has announced a second delay to part of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. Details on that are next.” But the next “details” did not come for 12 and a half hours at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning during MSNBC’s Way Too Early broadcast.
In between, MSNBC ran 9 full stories on Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) and the “Bridgegate” scandal surrounding his administration. Rachel Maddow, devoted nearly half of her broadcast, 29 minutes to the Christie scandal. The rest of her primetime colleagues similarly couldn’t be bothered to inform their viewers of the latest ObamaCare delay, despite Wagner’s promise: “details on that are next.”
"How much do state dinners cost? They ain't cheap" teased a headline on CBSNews.com this morning. But wait, as they say in the infomercials, there's more.
In his February 11 story, longtime CBS Radio White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported not only the pretty penny the U.S. taxpayer foots for state dinners in the Obama era, but how the Obama State Department -- first under Clinton and continuing under John Kerry -- has been less than forthcoming about the cost. Knoller had to resort to a Freedom of Information Act request and House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has been given the cold shoulder altogether (story excerpted in full, emphases mine):
On her Monday afternoon MSNBC program, Andrea Mitchell brought on RNC chairman Reince Priebus and beat him over the head on his party’s supposed need to sign on to a generous immigration reform which sets millions of illegal immigrants on the proverbial path to citizenship. Feigning concern for the GOP, Mitchell set up the interview by asking her audience a rhetorical question: “[D]oesn’t the Republican Party need to do something about immigration just for its own future?”
With an introduction like that, it was no surprise what came next. When Priebus appeared onscreen, Mitchell immediately pressed him on the matter, asking:
Nothing to see here, according to ABC's Jon Karl. The Good Morning America correspondent on Tuesday told viewers that the so-called "Hillary papers," a treasure trove of quotes and documents, are a "positive portrayal" and "none of this appears to be politically damaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In contrast, Monday's NBC Nightly News worried that the papers are "brutal" and include "inflammatory excerpts."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday also offered a different take than ABC. In fact, co-host Norah O'Donnell hyped the 40 pages of notes and journals by a deceased Clinton confidant this way: "...A powerful Republican calls it a roadmap to beating Hillary Clinton in 2016." Yet Karl soothingly told viewers, "All told, the papers offer a positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton from one of her closest friends, none of this appears to be politically damaging."
Apparently MSNBC wasn’t liberal enough for Comcast. Its division Comcast Ventures is funding liberal blogger Ezra Klein’s new startup. Klein, the boy wonder of left-wing journalism, is famous for creating a list of liberal media who planned how to spin the news called JournoList.
Klein has hired fellow liberal Matthew Yglesias from Slate as executive editor, and two fellow Washington Post staffers. Both of these Post staffers, Dylan Matthews and Melissa Bell, worked for a Wonk Blog joint project called Know More. This project idea, with an initial estimated cost of more than $10 million, was turned down by the Washington Post in January.
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
As I noted Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, displayed rare candor when he opened his 8:28 p.m. report on the latest unilateral changes to Obamacare by describing their motivation as "Angling to avoid political peril." I wrote last night that "I’ll be surprised if it (the "political" characterization) survives revisions later this evening." Well, it didn't.
At the AP's national site, the 8:28 p.m. link now goes to Alonso-Zaldivar's 3:27 a.m. rendition (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes). Just in time for review by morning news show producers and editors, the new story scrubs away any hint of political thinking on the part of the administration itself, instead depositing it with Democrats trying to hold the Senate in this November's elections. A national site search on "angling" confirms the old story's non-presence. There is a politics-related quote in the revised piece — but of course, only from a Republican.
As we have seen, the television networks have avoided the controversy of President Obama unilaterally delaying another Obamacare provision in the law yet again. Even more absurd is when a newspaper writer whose main task is to cover healthcare also neglects to mention that same elephant in the room. Such was the case with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post who breezily reported on the details of the latest delay in the employer mandate but does not address the obvious presidential overreach of ignoring the provisions of the statute.
It was left to the readers of the Kliff article to go where Sarah dare not tread. It was another case in which the comments section was way more informative than the article itself. Here is Kliff defining "rewriting" as "relaxing":
It remains to be seen what damage if any the papers of Hillary's close friend Diane Blair will do to Clinton's presumed presidential candidacy. But Andrea Mitchell made one thing clear this morning: if there is anything there [or anywhere else for that matter] that is potentially harmful to Hillary, Mitchell and her MSM cohorts are ready to ride to Clinton's defense.
On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell trotted out the hoary "taken out of context" chestnut in response to revelations in the Blair papers, such as that Bill Clinton's campaign advisors viewed Hillary as "ruthless." Mitchell also promoted Hillary's excuse that the Lewinsky affair was due to the "stress" that Bill was under. Right. View the video after the jump.
CNN hired Michelle Kosinski – primarily seen on NBC’s Today – as their new White House correspondent, alongside Jim Acosta. “Kosinski’s vast experience covering both domestic and international affairs will be particularly valuable as she covers the administration,” said their press release.
But Kosinski’s beat was usually light and airy like a morning show demands. Working out of London recently, she was on beats like the "Royal Baby Watch."
On Monday evening’s news casts, none of the networks recognized the controversy of President Obama possibly acting outside the Constitution to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate.
The President granted a one-year delay for businesses with 50 to 99 employees to provide them with health insurance. It was the second time he had delayed the mandate and thus changed a law passed by Congress, but the networks had only highlighted the controversy the first time.
How deep in the tank for Obama is The Washington Post? On the front of Monday’s Style section was article headlined “The ring of truth: Aiming to inspire, Obama candidly share his story with at-risk young men from inner-city Chicago. Can he make a difference?”
Bizarrely, the Post put “The ring of truth” over an article where Obama relates to students by referring to his memoir “Dreams From My Father,” so much of which has a ring of falsehood. We know this directly from Washington Post assistant managing editor David Maraniss, whose historical research into Obama's life story informed his view that the memoir was “literature,” not history.
The opening of Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar's 8:28 p.m. report on President Obama's latest round of extra-legal, extra-constitutional manuevers relating to the Affordable Care Act — scratch that, it really isn't the Affordable Care Act as written any more; it really is "Obamacare," defined as "whatever Obama and his administration have done to the ACA as originally written" — is a keeper. That's why the report is also here for future reference.
Alonso-Zaldivar's first sentence tells you everything you need to know about the administration's management of Obamacare's implementation. As such, I'll be surprised if it survives revisions later this evening. It isn't about making sure Americans get quality health insurance. It isn't about first-rate care, or efficiency, or any other objective relating to a benefit the American people might see, touch, or feel. See the AP story's headline and first sentence after the jump: