On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein joined the ranks of left-leaning media figures like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann in blaming the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the Bush administration. As the panel discussed President Obama’s handling of the disaster, Klein opined that "this is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first," and, after agreement from host Matthews, Klein continued: "Yes, because it was the Bush regulations, it was Dick Cheney’s deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management [Service]-"

Later in the show, as the group discussed whether President Obama would recover from his current sagging approval numbers, Klein asserted that Obama is lucky because Republicans "look worse" on the oil spill than do Democrats: "He is incredibly lucky in his opposition. I mean, you know, the oil spill is a great example. The Republicans look worse on that than the Democrats do. I think that, because there are no really coherent Republican leaders now, he’ll come back."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, May 30, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

Since February 2006, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has used the signoff of his Countdown show almost nightly to mock President Bush by recounting the number of days have passed since the former President stood on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq. The speech, which President Bush delivered while a sign with the words "Mission Accomplished" could be seen in the background, has been referred to by Olbermann and other war critics as Bush’s "declaration of ‘Mission Accomplished.’" The signoff mocking Bush had continued even after the former President left office.

But as of this week, the MSNBC host has finally dropped his former signoff and instead recounts the number of days since the beginning of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The last time Olbermann signed off attacking President Bush was on Thursday, May 20: "That’s Countdown, for this, the 2,576 th day since the previous President declared "Mission Accomplished" I Iraq. I’m Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."

On Friday, Olbermann did not use the sign off because each Friday he ends the show by reading a short story from James Thurber, and deviates from his regular signoff, but on Monday, he had a new signoff referring to the oil spill, which he kept up through Thursday of this week:

Barack Obama finally gave a press conference on Thursday, and many on the right immediately noted some tough questions that were sorely absent.

Anticipating this eventuality, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh penned ten questions of his own that he would have asked the Commander-in-Chief if he had been invited to yesterday's festivities.

As you listen and/or read his queries, try to imagine any Obama-loving media member having the nerve to ask such things as well as the look on the President's face if they were actually posed (video follows with transcript and commentary):  

Good Morning America's Elizabeth Vargas on Friday played defense for the White House, suggesting that a Gulf Coast official might be ignorant for attacking Obama's response to the oil spill as slow. Vargas huffed, "President Obama said in his news conference yesterday, that, quote, 'Those who think we were slow in our response or our response lacked urgency don't know the facts.'" [Audio available here.]

She complained to Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, "Do you think he was talking about you?" It didn't seem to occur to Vargas how insulting that might sound, given that Nungesser is on the ground in Louisiana.

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared again on last night's "Hannity" for the weekly look at the MSM's liberal pathology in a segment entitled "Media Mash."

The first topic: the liberal media are slowly waking up to the president's incompetent handling of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Mr. Bozell compared that to how it took a mere 72 hours after Katrina's landfall in New Orleans for the media to slam then-President Bush.

The NewsBusters publisher also addressed how Sam Donaldson compared Mexican President Felipe Calderon's scolding Arizonans for their anti-illegal immigration law to how President George H.W. Bush rebuked the Communist Chinese after the Tiananman Square Massacre.

For the full segment, click the play button on the embed above at right.

The White House press corps just loved President Obama's press conference anecdote meant to prove the pressure he's under and responsibility he's taking (“When I woke up this morning, and I'm shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says: 'Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?'”). The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all showcased the clip, with fill-in ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos incorporating it into his lead:
Good evening. The buck stops with him. President Obama acknowledged today that the worst oil spill in American history is his crisis by quoting his daughter.

Earlier in the day, wrapping up ABC's live coverage of the afternoon session, Stephanopoulos was “struck” by the soundbite: “Pretty clear what the President was trying to convey today, Jake [Tapper]. He is in charge. I was struck in that final answer he even brought Malia back into this.”

Back to Thursday night, CBS's Chip Reid began his report by playing the bite, setting it up: “Well, Harry [Smith], if there's one thing the President made clear today it's that pressure to plug that hole is coming from everywhere.” Over on NBC, Chuck Todd introduced the video: “As if realizing he had not yet driven home the message that he came to the East Room to make, the President at the very end made it personal.”

Both Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd were taken aback by Barack Obama delivering a "personal connection moment" in today's press conference when he told reporters that his daughter Malia asked him: "Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?" Of the anecdote Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, exclaimed "Talk about a sound bite guys!" and declared he delivered "personally there, in a way he rarely does." Matthews went on to say it was remarkable that he'd reveal that private story in front of the press because he "hates" them. For his part, NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd claimed the sharing of his "gut moment" may "calm down" some of the President's critics. [audio available here]

The following exchange was aired on the May 27 Hardball:

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Thursday attempted to critique Barack Obama's handling of the oil spill, but felt it necessary to point out how "intellectual" and "focused" the administration usually is.

She prefaced her gentle disapproval by exclaiming, "...There was a lot of criticism- and we're not analogizing this to Katrina- but there has been a lot of criticism in the past of decisions made on war and peace and on Katrina by the George W. Bush administration."

Mitchell gingerly added, "And many people praised Barack Obama's White House because it was so intellectual and so focused on problem solving and fact getting. But is there a lack of passion?"

On the one hand, you might say it was the least surprising coming-out since Ricky Martin announced he was gay. On the other, it was refreshing to hear Mika Brzezinski say words we knew to be true but at least in my case had never heard her unequivocally pronounce before: "I'm a Democrat."

Mika made her declaration in the context of arguing that just because she's a Democrat doesn't mean she shouldn't ask tough questions about the Sestak job-offer allegations or Pres. Obama's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mika also took a surprising shot at her fellow MSMers for failing to ask the tough questions . . . 


For more than a month, the American Gulf Coast has been threatened by a gigantic oil spill, caused by the April 21 explosion of a British Petroleum deepwater rig. Yet unlike five years ago — when the media were quick to put the onus on the Bush administration for its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — for four weeks, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to scrutinize the administration’s ineffectual response to this disaster, now blasted even by such Democratic stalwarts as ex-Clinton operative James Carville.

On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, Carville accused the President of “political stupidity” for not making the oil spill a top priority. “It just looks like he’s not involved in this! Man, you have got to get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this and get this thing moving! We’re about to die down here!” Carville specifically faulted Obama for not deploying sufficient federal resources to protect the valuable marshes in southern Louisiana.                                 

Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell will be Lou Dobbs's guest at about 4:20 p.m. EDT.

The topic: The media's coverage of Obama. Are the mainstream media finally starting to criticize him and his administration for their response to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst; Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor; & David Brinkley, Rice University | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Anderson Cooper first defended the Obama administration's initial response to the Gulf oil leak and then criticized him from the left on Tuesday's AC360: "A month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims...that this was Obama's Katrina." He later continued that "it doesn't seem like there's much pressure being applied to [BP], if it's there at all."

Cooper brought on CNN senior political analyst David Gergen and liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley for a panel discussion on the environmental disaster 25 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. The anchor included his apologetic of the early response by the administration in his first question to Gergen: "David, I mean, a month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims by conservatives that this was Obama's Katrina, and now, it seems that may have been premature."