Ann Curry trumpeted that Hillary Clinton supposedly gave a "uncharacteristically revealing interview" to People magazine on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. Kelly O'Donnell filed a gushing report about how Mrs. Clinton apparently "has plenty to say," and spotlighted the former secretary of state's new book.
O'Donnell later zeroed-in on the upcoming arrival of Clinton's grandchild and asserted that this would give a "new dimension to her already well-known, often-scrutinized political identity." She also turned to a Washington Post editor, who played up that the former Democratic senator might gain a political advantage from the baby: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Washington Post headline on a Friday story on over-the-counter abortifacients ("morning after" pills) for middle-schoolers was "Administration's Plan B move draws strong and mixed reaction." That's a terrible headline, because reporters Anne Kornblut and N.B. Aizenman only sought out liberal reaction, and then provided a Team Obama defense. Conservative reaction was omitted. (Why would conservatives read The Washington Post? Certainly not to read about themselves.) Worse yet, the Post routinely labeled feminist defenders of "morning after" pills for sexually active sixth graders as "women's rights advocates" -- when they're fighting for the sexual opportunities of sixth-graders.
There was real comedy in the story, from ultraliberal Senator Patty Murray, suddenly in the tank for Big Pharmaceuticals: "Pharmaceutical companies here in this country make some very expensive decisions, and they need to know the FDA is going to make a decision based on science."
The "White House is constantly grabbing for more power, seeking to drive the people's branch of government to the sidelines," Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) thundered in June 2007 following a report on President Bush's use of "signing statements."
"The administration is thumbing its nose at the law," Rep. John Conyers agreed, as noted at the time by the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman.
Signing statements made their way into the presidential campaign, with then-candidate Obama telling voters that "We’re not going to use signing statements to do an end run around Congress."
Now three years later, congressional Republicans are concerned President Obama may do just that as regards a law Obama will sign which prohibits transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay stateside for trial.
The Washington Post has the story, but placed it at the bottom of page A8. What's more, writers Peter Finn and Anne Kornblut failed to mention that then-Senator Obama was critical of President George W. Bush for his alleged misuse of signing statements (emphasis mine):
While most media outlets obsessed over the liberal theme that Republicans keep "suicidally" nominating "ultra-conservatives," Washington Post reporter Anne Kornblut, who authored a book earlier this year called Notes from the Cracked Ceiling, noticed a different trend. Her story was headlined "GOP gains the lead in female politicians' steps forward." Tuesday's victories of Palin-endorsed GOP women Christine O'Donnell and Kelly Ayotte underline an emerging Year of the Republican Woman. Too bad the Post buried it on Page A-6 of the paper, and it hasn't been linked on the Post's homepage today, either. Kornblut began:
Democrats used to own the field of women running for higher office. Not anymore.
Nearly two years after an anticipated gender bounce - with predictions that women in both parties would rush into politics inspired by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin -- it turns out that the momentum is on the Republican side. If there is a Palin effect, it is not being matched by any Clinton effect at the other end of the ideological spectrum.
Washington Post staff writer Anne Kornblut used her question at a White House press conference on Friday to worry that, despite Barack Obama making it a "priority," anti-Muslim "suspicion" still existed in America.
She queried the President, "Nine years after the September 11th attacks, why do you think it is that we are now seeing such an increase in suspicion and outright resentment of Islam, especially given that it has been one of your priorities to improve relations with the Muslim world?" [MP3 audio here.]
Obama's response seemed to echo his infamous 2008 comment about Americans being "bitter" and "clinging" to their guns. He proclaimed, "You know, I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then, you know, fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And, so, I think that plays a role in it."
Washington Post reporter Anne Kornblut issued a gushy article on Janet Napolitano on Tuesday, headlined "The crisis management expert: Homeland security secretary reemerges strong after the Christmas Day bombing." Kornblut quotes only Napolitano-praisers in her story, including aides and her colleagues at the White House. Kornblut praises her "encylopedic knowledge of pop culture" and tells of her always thinking of others, stopping to buy "an assistant of 11 years" a blue scarf in Madrid, complete with her security detail. Hyperbolic praise is the point of the piece:
Senior administration officials describe her as one of the most astute members of the national security team, some in hyperbolic terms. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in a recent interview, declared himself as "head over heels for her," which doesn't happen often. White House terrorism adviser John O. Brennan hails her as "passionate" and "formidable."
How Napolitano, 52, won over hard-to-please heavyweights while managing the most unwieldy department in Washington is a testament to her relentless persona. The tough and stocky former prosecutor once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and even delivered her speech at the 2000 Democratic convention three weeks after a mastectomy.
Is the Washington Post losing that loving feeling for President Obama?
Consider the following headline and subsequent article posted by Anne Kornblut at the paper's "44" blog Friday:
Obama's 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman's claim of being 'over-taxed'
This headline changed when her piece was published in Saturday's paper on page A2, but the seemingly sad song remained the same:
On Monday’s Charlie Rose show on PBS, during a discussion of how the Obama administration might change course after the Democratic party’s loss of the Massachusetts Senate race, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham argued that President Obama has so far pursued “centrist” policies, even claiming that the bailouts could be described as “center right.” After the Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut argued that, at the White House, they are not yet sure which ideological direction they will head next, prompting host Charlie Rose to ask whether they would move “to the center,” Meacham seemed to bristle as he insisted that President Obama is already “in the center,” and scoffed at Tea Party activists:
A “president who persists in seeking his own information, beyond what is offered to him,” the Post's reporting duo noted, “has created an impression that Obama is cool and detached.” But, “it is an image his advisers and friends reject” as “they paint” a “portrait of a president who is deeply moved by the struggles of average citizens who stand up at town hall meetings or write thousands of letters to the White House -- 10 of which he reads each day.” And, the “reporters” gushed:
When he turns to solving problems through policy, he reveres facts, calling for data and then more data. He looks for historical analogues and reads voraciously.In fact, his brain-power is on Einstein's level: “'This is someone who in law school worked with [Harvard professor] Larry Tribe on a paper on the legal implications of Einstein's theory of relativity,' said senior adviser David M. Axelrod. 'He does have an incisive mind; that mind is always put to use in pursuit of tangible things that are going to improve people's lives.'” How inspirational.
In a report time-stamped January 2, the Associated Press's Philip Elliott relayed what was supposedly important news:
Obama cites apparent al-Qaida link in bomb plot
An al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen apparently ordered the Christmas Day plot against a U.S. airliner, training and arming the 23-year-old Nigerian man accused in the failed bombing, President Barack Obama said Saturday.
You don't say?
The story was on the front page of Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer, and likely many other papers across the nation.
Obama wants answers after botched terror attack
UPDATE, Jan. 1, 2010: This post at BizzyBlog shows that the there was recognition of likely Al Qaeda involvement in two separate press reports based on sources in a position to know on Christmas evening. Thus, the administration's delay in acknowledging that reality was actually three full days.
In their initial December 26 report ("Passengers’ Quick Action Halted Attack") on the attempted terrorist attack on Flight 253, New York Times reporters Scott Shane and Eric Lipton told readers that the "episode .... riveted the attention of President Obama on vacation in Hawaii."
In an article later that day ("Officials Point to Suspect’s Claim of Qaeda Ties in Yemen"), Lipton and Eric Schmitt reported that:
.... officials said the suspect (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) told them he had obtained explosive chemicals and a syringe that were sewn into his underwear from a bomb expert in Yemen associated with Al Qaeda.
The authorities have not independently corroborated the Yemen connection .... But a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said on Saturday that the suspect’s account was “plausible,” and that he saw “no reason to discount it.”
Any reasonable person would say that this second report establishes "reason to believe that there is some linkage" between the suspect and Al Qaeda, and that a "riveted" president would have known that there was "some linkage" by Saturday night. That's why the following opener to a Washington Post item by Anne E. Kornblut dated yesterday is especially hard to take:
A week after calling Barack Obama "Carteresque," Chris "Tingles Up My Leg" Matthews said the former object of his affection is "Too much Chamberlain and not enough Churchill."
I'm honestly not sure which is worse -- being compared to Jimmy Carter or World War II appeaser Neville Chamberlain.
Regardless, I guess Matthews really has lost that lovin' feeling.
As the discussion about the President's upcoming speech on Afghanistan wound down on this weekend's "The Chris Matthews Show," the host asked his guests if the "long deliberation" concerning strategy will make Obama "look smart and deliberate for having taken all this time, or will the dithering shot still being cast in by people like former Vice President Dick Cheney" hurt him?
What ensued will raise many eyebrows on both sides of the aisle (video embedded below the fold with transcript):