On her 1 p.m. et MSNBC program on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell interrogated former United Nations Ambassador and Romney advisor Richard Williamson on the Republican presidential candidate's criticism of President Obama's response to attacks in Egypt and Libya: "Does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williamson dismissed Mitchell's question: "Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time....You're engaging in a process question. The importance is the substance of what's going on in the Middle East, where the U.S. is being compromised and in retreat."
The media's full-throttle attack on Mitt Romney's condemnation of Barack Obama's weak handling of the Libyan crisis isn't surprising given they invested so much time praising the President's Libyan policy in 2011. During the Arab Spring of 2011, Time's Mark Halperin called the administration’s policy toward Libya "deft" and CBS’s Norah O'Donnell declared Obama's "victories" in the Middle East would "burnish his credentials as a world leader." NBC's David Gregory hailed that since Obama "has been tested" in the foreign policy "arena" he would use the experience as "a club against Republicans."
The following quotes are the worst examples of journalists' adulation of Obama's Libyan policy back in 2011:
Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."
Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."
Loyalty is one thing, delusion another.
Former Kennedy speechwriter and campaign operative Bob Shrum outdid himself on Ed Schultz's radio show Wednesday, gushing about Ted Kennedy and the maudlin video tribute to him at the Democratic convention. (audio) --
MSNBC's on-air personalities were plainly in awe of Bill Clinton on Wednesday night. Moments after the former President finished his speech at the Democratic National Convention, they kept up the praise for almost 20 minutes. Chris Matthews gushed over the "strong offensive" Clinton gave for President Obama. Al Sharpton exclaimed, "Elvis and Bubba showed up tonight."
Ed Schultz was the most enthusiastic for the former Arkansas governor: "Affable, effective - as a Democrat, it doesn't get any better. I'm sitting here - I'm giddy...I just think President Clinton just did Barack Obama the biggest favor he could have ever done." Rachel Maddow and former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt agreed that Clinton's address was "powerful," with Schmidt exclaiming that "I wish to God, as a Republican, we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. We don't. It would be great if we did. Just an amazing performance." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Andrea Mitchell gushed over Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, labeling her a "political superstar" and "her husband's best campaigner, hardly needing to practice with the Teleprompters or get a feel for the stage." Mitchell went out of her way to point out how Mrs. Obama apparently is "all about hugs, connecting to people with a physical embrace." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The correspondent also emphasized the First Lady's supposed celebrity status by noting how she has "become a regular on late night," and playing clips from interviews she gave to Ryan Seacrest, David Letterman, and to E! News.
New York Times "TV Watch" columnist Alessandra Stanley focused Friday on MSNBC's embarrassingly partisan coverage of the Republican National Convention and tried to contrast it with the struggle of NBC's more objective reporters to remain above the fray: "MSNBC, Arch Counterprogramming to Fox." The online head was more interesting: "How MSNBC Became Fox’s Liberal Evil Twin." Stanley even accused MSNBC host Chris Matthews of "thuggish" behavior in an interview with a female Republican governor.
But do NBC reporters Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd (or anchor Brian Williams) really "keep their opinions to themselves" as Stanley claims? Hardly. In fact, they fit in quite well with the liberal partisans at MSNBC.
NBC news, during its live Thursday night coverage of the RNC, skipped the first two-minutes and 50 seconds of Marco Rubio’s speech, as they joined the Florida Senator’s speech in progress after a commercial break. Viewers of NBC missed Rubio’s call for “prayers that soon freedom and liberty” will arrive in Cuba and recalling his grandfather’s inspiring message that: “There was no limit in how far I could go because I was an American.”
This wasn't the first time NBC snubbed a conservative minority during this year's RNC. On Wednesday, its cable channel broadcast the speeches of only one minority Republican speaker, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. While he was speaking, former House member Artur Davis was derided by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as "a lower profile speaker" despite the fact that he had switched parties and was President Obama's first major endorser not from Illinois.
Following Condoleezza Rice’s inspirational convention speech, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews decided to hurl a ridiculous question about birtherism to the former Secretary of State.
Continuing with the racist narrative on MSNBC, Mr. Matthews decided to ignore the crux of Ms. Rice’s speech and instead drag up an issue that numerous Republicans have disavowed since the beginning.
Eager to keep the Todd Akin controversy alive on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared the Missouri Republican's comments were "inflicting unforeseen and great damage on the national party." Correspondent Andrea Mitchell began her report by proclaiming: "...only days before their convention, Republicans remain trapped in a national debate about abortion and rape." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell quickly attempted to link vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to Akin: "Ryan co-sponsored one bill with Akin that critics say could outlaw all abortions, even for rape victims." She then tried to connect Mitt Romney: "Romney once supported abortion rights, but reversed course before his first run for the White House. In 2007, he embraced anti-abortion activist Dr. John Wilkie, the man who came up with the discredited rape theory that Akin was citing."
At the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Firestorm. A Congressman's words about rape rocket across the country...women's issues are front and center again." Introducing the lead story moments later, Williams announced how "suddenly" Republican Todd Akin's comments "exploded well beyond the borders of Missouri."
Correspondent Andrea Mitchell began her report by nationalizing the gaffe made by Akin during a local news interview: "Republicans fear their hopes for the White House and control of the Senate could turn on what happened at a St. Louis TV station..." Mitchell later touted: "In a race where the President had a 15-point advantage with women voters in the last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Republicans were reeling."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on controversies involving Republican members of Congress and proclaimed: "Hot water....Two distractions for the GOP with the convention now just one week away." Introducing coverage of the incidents, fill-in cost Lester Holt similarly declared: "...some high-profile distractions for the Republican Party. Two congressmen under fire this morning, one for what he did, the other for what he said."