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Everyone proposes drinking games for the State of the Union speech. But it’s not just the president that can drive you to drink. It’s the opportunistic media elites deciding which branches of government have too much power, depending on which branches the Democrats presently control.

After a lot of stalemate in 2013, the partisan media think it’s high time for the executive branch to go completely around the legislative branch. They think that now that Congress has proven itself unwilling to provide Barack Obama with the historical greatness he deserves, they should and must be driven around like roadkill. They’ll have no talk of an imperial presidency, let alone autocracy.


 

The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday discussed Barack Obama's State of the Union address for seven minutes and 19 seconds, but only allowed a scant 16 seconds for the GOP response (a 27-to-1 disparity). Unlike the reporters at CBS This Morning who interviewed Rand Paul, GMA's hosts instead featured Joe Biden and could only be bothered with a brief clip of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a snippet of John Boehner. NBC's Today, despite a four-hour running time, managed a mere six seconds of McMorris Rodgers.

Co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, opened the program by parroting, "Call to action. The President vows to use his executive powers to attack the country's biggest problems." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jon Karl offered little in the way of skepticism about the President's plan to use executive orders. Instead, he hyped, "But the President promised to work around Republican opposition, saying he would raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts." He added that Obama "tried to shame Republicans into raising it for everybody as well."


Vice President Joe Biden made the rounds on the network morning shows following President Obama’s State of the Union address and CBS This Morning did its best to help the vice president protect Obama from criticism. Appearing with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on January 29, Biden was treated to a friendly interview, and the only tough questions he received were that the Obama Administration wasn’t being liberal enough in pushing its agenda.  

Perhaps the most notable point of the interview was when Rose made the softball pitch that President Obama’s acknowledgment of a wounded veteran was “trying to capture the spirit of America and build a kind of identification with this can-do attitude.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]


Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."


Though this is a local story, I believe it deserves wider attention. That's because it likely reflects an attitude frequently found in local media around the nation.

A January 21 story at the Cincinnati Enquirer worried that fiscally conservative candidates who have begun winning local school board elections "may be philosophically opposed to the way public schools have been traditionally operated and funded" – as if that's automatically a bad thing. Here's some context the Enquirer's Michael D. Clark "somehow" forgot to include: "40% of Ohioans need remedial math or English in college." Gee, maybe "the way public schools have been traditionally operated and funded" isn't working. Clark also let a former local school board president engage in an unhinged rant about "those that have a goal to destroy public education." Excerpts follow the jump (a related video called "Radical School Boards" — how objective — is here; bolds are mine):


 

The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."


Leave it to the Lean Forward network to entrust fair reporting on pro-life legislation in Congress to a woman who won the 2013 New York Abortion Access Fund's Champion for Choice Award.

In her January 28 story, "House passes abortion insurance restriction," MSNBC.com's Irin Carmon quoted from just one Republican who voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and yet found three male Democratic congressmen and one female Democratic congresswoman to slam the measure:


NBC's Brian Williams was dripping with praise and support for President Obama after his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, touting areas where he was "strong" and quoting a sympathetic New Yorker interview of the President.

"A lot of things will perhaps be remembered from this speech," Williams announced, as if the address was almost a classic. He touted that Obama was "strong on education, strong on immigration" and "used humor and feistiness the second half."


I guess when you've run out of anything meaningful to say, you revert to your tired old one-liners, even when they are — or should be — embarrassing.

In early 2009, five days after President Obama's first State of the Union speech, Alex Castellanos, who at the time was apparenty a "Republican strategist," said the following on a CNN Sunday show: "I think, as a friend told me once, that -- listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex. The worse there ever was, was excellent." Tuesday night, as Politico's Lucy McCalmont reports, Castellanos was at it again:


Chris Matthews blasted the GOP's apparent "bad manners [and] lack of dignity" minutes before Tuesday's State of the Union address. Matthews expressed his outrage moments after MSNBC's Chris Hayes spotlighted a Republican congressman's attack on President Obama on Twitter: "The very idea that they would do this, in what is a historic occasion, just tells you that there are no rules."

The Hardball host continued by targeting the "right wing – sort of, revolutionary thinking...We're throwing stones at the window of the American republic. That's fine, because somehow, we're so angry that anything goes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


During a speech on Monday, Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker admitted: “No news organization is perfect, and CNN is not always perfect.”

As if to verify his statement, network reporters that same day covered an appearance by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton with a poorly edited video that made it appear she was laughing about the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. On Tuesday, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield apologized profusely for what she called “a mistake.”


Did Al Sharpton just stumble into some unfortunate phrasing, or did he take an intentionally vulgar shot at Rand Paul?  

On his MSNBC show tonight, discussing the fact that Paul recently raised the most salacious scandal of Bill Clinton's presidency, Sharpton said "Rand Paul is really going to try to do the Monica Lewinsky on the Democrats as a way of countering the war on women that they're doing with legislation and all kinds of things."  I'm inclined to believe the sly Sharpton knew exactly what he was doing.  View the video after the jump.


I paused a bit before putting this post up because the last thing an AP reporter needs is some guy on the right telling him he did a good job. I suspect that it's not a resume enhancer.

That said, there are two reasons not to to ignore Terence Chea's coverage of the Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The first is how it contrasts with Brett Zongker's dismissive and incomplete coverage of the far larger DC March for Life the previous Wednesday. For starters, Chea appropriately described the San Francisco march as "massive"; Zongker's story covering a much larger throng in the hundreds of thousands had no comparable adjective. Put the two stories side by side, and the average reader might believe that the West Coast march was larger. Equally as interesting, Chea's accurate description of relatively minor legislative changes in abortion-related laws since Roe v. Wade make a mockery of the left's "war on women" battle cry. I'll compare the two stories after the jump.


Wade Goodwyn, who hyped Wendy Davis's pro-abortion filibuster as a "ray of light" for Texas Democrats, slanted toward the left in a Tuesday item on NPR.org about the controversy surrounding Marlise Munoz and her unborn baby. Goodwyn asserted that the hospital, which sought to keep Munoz on life support until the baby could be born, was in the wrong: "The hospital's defense of its conduct was a tortured interpretation of the Texas Advance Directives Act."

The journalist, who once worked as a left-wing community organizer, also likened the baby, who was injured when Munoz suffered her life-ending malady, to a mere body part:


For cheesy State of the Union coverage, consult the Washington Post's Express tabloid. This morning, Marissa Payne suggested instead of drinking games during the speech, you can try exercise games.

For example,"Do a lunge every time House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t clap while other people do. Feel free to make it a walking lunge. Maybe to the kitchen to get some water."