According to Hardball host Chris Matthews, President Obama's skin tone may well account for his paltry 10 percent job-approval rating among Republicans.
CBS journalist Major Garrett on Wednesday grilled Barack Obama, demanding answers to why a deal with Iran didn't include the freeing of four U.S. prisoners in the country. While Garrett and ABC's Jon Karl pressed the President on his negotiations with Iran, there were still plenty of softballs. Garrett solemnly lectured, "...There are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped up charges, according to your administration." The reporter demanded, "Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of in this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?"
On Monday's Hardball program, Chris Matthews and gang worked furiously to shield Hillary Clinton from legitimate scrutiny over foreign donations to the Clinton Global Initiative, with Matthews grousing that the former secretary of state was facing a GOP "firing squad" who were hoping to bring about the "crib death" of the Clinton presidential campaign.
Not even a lifeline could have helped her . . . There was a telling moment on today's Morning Joe when Joe Scarborough challenged April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks to cite some of President Obama's foreign-policy successes.
Ryan was reduced to replying "that's kind of tough. Hmm, that's a tough one . . . I have to really ponder that."
Six out of seven reporters, called on by Barack Obama at today's press conference, asked a question of the President that came from the left and/or blamed Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans for standing in the way of a deal on the debt ceiling.
Ben Feller of the AP, began the trend of questioning when he asked how Obama was going to deal with Republicans who were "adamantly" opposed to tax increases. CBS News' Chip Reid followed with "isn't the problem the people who aren't in the room, and in particular Republican presidential candidates and Republican Tea Partiers on the Hill?"
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux complimented a media colleague on Tuesday's Newsroom who hit President Obama from the left that morning. April Ryan cited the liberal Congressional Black Caucus's criticism of Obama's proposed budget, that "rebuilding our economy on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans is something that is...not acceptable." Malveaux stated that Ryan "brought up a very good point."
Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, twice raised Mr. Obama's past as a community organizer in her two questions to the President during his 11 am press conference. The reference to the Congressional Black Caucus came in her first question:
With the unveiling of Obama's 2012 budget today, some newspapers around the country framed the $3.7 trillion proposal as a serious attempt to slash the federal deficit.
The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, the Daily Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the DC Express, couched the administration's massive budget as a fiscally responsible plan that makes "deep" and "big" cuts to "rein in deficits."
Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, admonished one of his panelists, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, for using the term "homeland," because "it sounds like Russia," and worried that use of that term could lead to calling the United States "motherland," and "fatherland," and "that's when we are getting imperial."
The discussion with Ryan and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, began with Matthews rationalizing President Obama's decision to send more troops into Afghanistan because "his administration is so stacked with people who are more hawkish than he is."
The following exchange was aired on the December 3, Hardball:
Update/Closing thoughts (14:34): Hearst columnist Helen Thomas continues to make a cartoon of herself in her using her perch to parrot ultra-left-wing talking points. Her question today was on why President Obama wants to send troops into Afghanistan to "kill more people."Without doubt it was the loopiest left-wing question posed today. Oddly enough, given her history of bias, one of the best queries today came from April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, who questioned the wisdom of pegging hopes of economic recovery on so-called "green jobs."
Update (13:40 EDT): You can see in bold some of the questions I thought particularly biased. I've clipped Mark Smith's first question about turning the thermostat down and driving less and posted that video on EyeBlast.tv. You can find it embedded at right. [Official White House transcript available here.]
10:17 EDT: President Bush will hold a press conference in a few minutes, I'll be watching and live-blogging questions from the press corps. I'll update the blog post after the fact (assuming President Bush takes questions) with a link to the official White House transcript. If warranted, we may also post video of the most biased questions.
11:09 | President thanks reporters for their time, closes conference.
11:06 | Olivier (sp?): "Is President Karzai correct and do you think the new government in Pakistan is willing to combat terrorism?"
11:02 | Ryan: Do you think it [the economy] changes before you leave office?
10:59 | April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks: "When in your guestimation will this country see a turnaround on the soft economy?" Also asks about what's happening in Sudan.
10:57 | Compton presses again on oil company question.
10:55 | Ann Compton, ABC Radio: "You never mention oil companies. Are you confident that American oil producers are tapping all the sources they have out there, including offshore?" Compton also asks about Iraq and what Bush will leave his successor.
10:53 | Smith of AP Radio asks if President Bush sees the "value" of a campaign to push for conservation.
10:52 | Mark Smith, AP Radio: "Mr. President, understanding what you say about energy supplies being tight and the debate over energy, which has gone on for years and will continue long through the campaign and into the next administration -- one thing nobody debates is that if Americans use less energy the current supply/demand equation would improve. Why have you not sort of called on Americans to drive less and to turn down the thermostat?"
10:50 | Roger Runningen, Bloomberg News on a second stimulus: "Is it too late to consider a second one?"
At the April 29 Rose Garden press conference, Ryan asked President Bush the following question about the economy:
I talked to [Rep.] James Clyburn [D-S.C.] before this press conference. He said, "As a man thinketh, so are we." And Americans believe we are in a recession. What will it take for you to say those words, that we are in a recession?
Of course the following day, data from the federal government show the U.S. economy in slow economic growth, but far from the six months of negative growth needed for a recession. No matter to Ryan, who today went from applying the "as a man thinketh" logic to a 5-year old liberal media meme about the war in Iraq. Appearing shortly after 11:30 a.m. EDT on MSNBC to discuss the 2008 presidential race, Ryan parroted liberal talking points on the Iraq war:
President Bush is holding a press conference on the U.S. economy. I'll be blogging the questions to the president below.
My bottom line analysis (11:25): The two R's of bias from this Rose Garden presser: Martha Raddatz on Syria and numerous reporters on the dreaded R-word, recession. Of course a recession is two consecutive quarters of NEGATIVE economic growth, and we've yet to see one quarter of negative growth, much less two. But all the same, NY Times's Stolberg made it sound like Q1 numbers on GDP tomorrow will show a recession.
The questions below will be posted in reverse chronological order: