MRC President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared during two segments on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" Friday morning to discuss the "O effect," or Oprah Winfrey's impact on the election of Barack Obama, and how the media has helped spread rumors about Sarah Palin from anonymous McCain campaign consultants. Bozell repeatedly called these nameless sources for the rumors "nameless, faceless cowards" [audio of both segments available here].
During the first segment, the MRC president had the following answer on whether Oprah's support actually helped Obama: "It did help him out, you know -- incoming memo, she's a liberal who supports Barack Obama. Everbody knew it." He pointed out how daytime host wouldn't have Sarah Palin on as a guest. He also highlighted how Hollywood supported Obama financially, but Obama was disciplined enough to minimize their public support.
CNN anchor Campbell Brown introduced a segment on Thursday’s Election Center program by contrasting the "[p]eople all over the world dancing in the streets" over the election of Barack Obama to the "really, really angry" reaction of conservatives, which she then labeled "right-wing rage." A graphic with the same label flashed on-screen, accompanied by a picture of Obama smiling.
During the segment, which aired just after the bottom-half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, CNN correspondent Joe Johns played an audio clip of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as an example of such "rage." Limbaugh, who reacting to the appointment of liberal Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, called Emanuel a "good old-fashioned Chicago thug, just like Obama is a good old-fashioned Chicago thug," and gave an anecdote about how Emanuel used a steak knife to demonstrate his own anger towards Bill Clinton’s enemies after the 1992 election. Johns’ reply after the clip: "So if you were thinking the country is now unified, think again. There are still deep divisions."
"Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman continued a time honored media bias tradition on Friday when she mislabeled Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's newly selected chief of staff, as "centrist." Emanuel, who was elected to Congress in 2002, has a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 13.
In 2006, his rank was only four. In contrast, the House member's average from the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action is a very high 96. And yet, Shipman erroneously asserted, "More than anything, the 48-year-old Illinois representative is a pragmatic, centrist politician who likes to get things done. Clearly, Obama wants the same thing." So, can Americans expect Obama to be the same type of "centrist" that Emanuel has been?
Shipman is not the first journalist to try and spin the aggressive Illinois congressman as a moderate. On Wednesday's "American Morning," CNN special correspondent Frank Sesno described Emanuel as someone who is seen to be "on the center to center-right."
The New York Times's President-elect Barack Obama suck-up for today comes courtesy of White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg and the opening to her Thursday story, "Used to Early Nights, Washington Is Ready To Stay Up Late."
Bill Clinton brought jazz, Rhodes scholars, a slice of Arkansas and all-night pizza policy sessions. When George W. Bush arrived, Texans took over the town. Blue jeans were out; coats and ties and cowboy boots were in.
Sounding like a voice-over on a movie trailer for an upcoming action blockbuster starring Barack Obama, Chris Matthews greeted viewers, on Thursday's "Hardball," with this exclamation: "The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments." Matthews then continued his giddiness, a little later in the show, when he raised up an electoral map, published in the New York Times, that featured a "sea of blue" for Obama and hailed: "This is maybe the best map ever seen!"
The following exchanges occurred on the November 6, "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS OPENING SHOW: The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments. Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews, welcome to "Hardball." Leading off tonight, reconstruction. President-Elect Obama -- first time I ever said that -- is moving fast to build his team to rebuild a national consensus for action.
MATTHEWS HOLDING UP MAP: Let me show you a map that's one of the, I know we've shown a lot of maps. And Chuck [Todd] and his colleagues have shown a lot of great maps.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: That's a good one.
"Nightline" reporter Terry Moran extolled Barack Obama's victory celebration on Wednesday's program and insisted that "so many people greeted this election as a human rights milestone and a repudiation of the deeply unpopular President George W. Bush." Reporting from Chicago, the site of Obama's victory celebration, Moran reflected on "the echoes of this moment when America astonished itself and the world again."
Musing about the night, the journalist cooed, "No one who was in Grant Park in Chicago last night will ever forget it. The jubilation. The emotion. The pride." Moran, who has been fawning over Obama for two years, described the election as "a political earthquake, and a moment in American history that millions of people around the world celebrated." He later glowingly elaborated, "People across the world joined the party, seeing in the triumph of Barack Obama, the American capacity to achieve the unthinkable."
Now that he's President-elect Barack Obama's new chief of staff, according to various Nov. 6 media reports, will Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., face the same scrutiny Karl Rove did when he was named Bush's deputy chief of staff? More importantly, will the media take note the tie Emanuel had to the now taxpayer-owned, failed government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac?
Emanuel, who was a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s, was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac upon his departure from the Clinton administration.
"Clinton's going-away gift to Emanuel was a seat on the quasi-governmental Freddie Mac board, which paid him $231,655 in director's fees in 2001 and $31,060 in 2000," Lynn Sweet wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 3, 2002.
Well, it's going to be all of those. But I think, if you had to pick one, it would be excellence. Barack Obama is a guy who appreciates excellence and focus. He's a guy who appreciates results.Fineman, the magazine's senior Washington correspondent and columnist, as well as senior editor and deputy Washington Bureau Chief, soon hailed Obama's expected team: “It will be naturally diverse and naturally bipartisan.”
Appearing on MSNBC shortly after 1 p.m. EST with anchor Andrea Mitchell, The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein rebuked House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for drawing a legitimate criticism of President-elect Obama's choice of what he described as the "sharp-elbowed" Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) as his White House chief-of-staff (see video embedded at right, transcript is below page break).
Mitchell dismissed as "warfare" and Brownstein hit as "reflexive partisanship" Boehner's rather mild statement:
This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.
But it's not just Republican partisans who are noting Emanuel's hard-nosed, partisan politics. As the Reuters news wire noted in a November 5 article, "Emanuel would bring [a] tough edge to White House job":
Just in time for the new James Bond movie, Chris Matthews has earned himself a new moniker: Odd Job. Matthews says he sees his job as a journalist as doing everything he can to make the Obama presidency a success.
Appearing on "Morning Joe" today, Matthews was reluctant to criticize Rahm Emanuel's kabuki dance over accepting Obama's offer to be chief of staff.
The "Hardball" host (and presumptive candidate for U.S. Senate from PA) was equally unwilling to see the Emanuel episode as evidence of a lack of planning and discipline in the nascent Obama administration. Matthews eventually explained why.[H/t multiple NB readers.]
Beware the tendency for media liberals to paint the new Team Obama as a surplus of centrists. Just after 8:30 on CNN's American Morning, Frank Sesno declared that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, projected as Obama's chief of staff, is seen as "on the center to center-right." But that's not what his congressional voting records suggest.