Last Wednesday I wrote about how the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill Obama signed into law last month contains a provision exempting the Securities and Exchange Commission from Freedom of Information Act requests. Such an exemption would surely have been grounds for a media outcry during the Bush administration, yet apart from The Wall Street Journal and CNN, only blogs have been following the developments. The latter opted simply to parrot the administration's claims without challenge.
Other media ouetlets, such as National Public Radio and MSNBC, completely ignored the controversy, in stark contrast to their extensive coverage of the Bush administration's attempts to curtail the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. NPR's Don Gonyea said "When conflicts arise over what should or should not be open, the administration does not hesitate to invoke the memory of 9/11. And while it's true that 9/11 changed the security landscape, it's also true that the administration was tightening the control of information much earlier . . ."
As left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin appeared on Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, she injected "I love it" as host Behar recounted that Griffin "got in some trouble ... over something you said on a recent episode of My Life on the D List." Griffin rationalized that the infamous joke she made about Republican Senator Scott Brown’s daughters being "prostitutes" was based on Senator Brown’s acceptance speech. Griffin: "The genesis of the joke, like, does anybody remember that the night he was elected, he made a joke – he was clearly making a joke – saying, ‘By the way, my daughters are available.’ And then, the Washington press beat up on him saying he was pimping out his daughters."
After later discussing the criticism that Democratic Congressman Barney Frank had also aimed at her over the incident, she declared that "whenever a statement is issued against me, I'm in heaven, I feel my next special is half written for me."
After asserting that "people got their panties in a bunch" over the "prostitutes" joke, leading Behar to add that Congressman Frank had also complained about her jab at Senator Brown’s daughters, Griffin poked fun at Frank in spite of her being an avid liberal and supporter of gay rights who had "admired" the openly gay liberal Congressman. Griffin: "Barney Frank got his panties in a bunch, which takes a lot because, apparently, when he and the boyfriend go to P-Town, there's a lot of panties in a bunch."
She went on to suggest that she was surprised that Congressman Frank was not a fan of hers: "And so I met with Barney Frank – who, of course, I admired – an openly gay Congressman, I'm thinking, ‘Oh, this is fantastic and he sat down with me for My Life on the D List,’ and spent half the interview telling me he'd never seen it, he didn't want to do it, his boyfriend likes me, that's why – I'm like, yeah, I've heard this all a million times before."
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Friday sent a letter to vulgarian Kathy Griffin strongly condemning her for calling Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) daughters prostitutes.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, Griffin made this disgusting remark on her Bravo program the previous evening.
Brown himself spoke out against these comments Thursday saying, "People can call me any name they want, but families are off limits...Kathy Griffin and Bravo ought to be ashamed of themselves."
Having also appeared on the program in question, Frank was quick to come to his fellow statesman's defense:
Are the mainstream media playing fast and loose with their coverage of the tea parties and what the tea party activists believe? Andrew Breitbart says they are, and points to accusations of racism.
Breitbart spoke at one of the tea party events held near the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. on April 15. He said his involvement in the movement began when he realized how the media would react to the Tea Party movement and detailed an incident in which Contessa Brewer's MSNBC cropped out the face of a black man in footage of a tea party event to make the movement appear to lack diversity.
"I think that we're going to have a problem if we want to start talking about founding fathers, the founding documents, what the origins of our country because the mainstream media is not going to like what you have to say, and so I volunteered myself," Breitbart said. "And on day one, I had to contend with the fact that you guys were called ‘teabaggers.' And I had to deal with the fact an unfortunately named sister, by the name of Contessa Brewer on MSNBC, before you even spoke, told you what your grievances were to the country and our dissent his patriotic presidency. This person took a photo and cut off the head of a black man, and asked is the tea party nation - are the people who are protesting Barack Obama racist? The person was black."
Jason also confronted John Podesta of the Center for American Progress over his hiring of Van Jones. (video below the fold)
Coincidence or not, the two Timesmen are very much on the same wavelength. Their shared theory: conservative opposition to Obamacare is fueled not so much by the substance of PBO's plans as it is by the racism, homophobia and sexism of people who can't bear to witness America's changing demographics.
Compare the eerie similarities in the two columns [emphasis added].
Good Morning America on Thursday worried about the possible violence Sarah Palin's Twitter page could cause to Democrats who voted for the health care bill. Guest host Bill Weir interviewed Barney Frank and fretted, "Some on the left have also been pointing to Sarah Palin's Twitter message encouraging her followers to 'Do not retreat. Instead, reload.'"
He ominously explained to viewers, "And her Facebook page has a map with cross-hairs on 20 Democrats who voted for the bill." Reporter Pierre Thomas also rehashed Democratic fears that "a toxic political environment is a catalyst for ugliness."
He touted complaints by Democratic Congressman Steve Driehaus that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner said he would be a political "dead man" if he voted for the bill. Thomas intoned, "The fears that all this angry talk could push a deranged person over the edge."
On Monday’s Morning Joe show on MSNBC, during a discussion of President Obama’s recent suggestions that he would be willing to talk with Republicans about health care reform, co-host Mika Brzezinski recounted Obama’s initial refusal to include the GOP, and claimed that Republicans "ARE the ones, you could argue, who wrecked the economy," which set off co-host Joe Scarborough. After Brzezinski claimed that "The last administration put us in the position that we are in," Scarborough denounced Democrats for pushing Republicans to support lending more money to people who could not pay back their mortgages.
He also brought up campaign contributions President Obama received from mortgage companies. Scarborough: "And, by the way, while I was being critical of the Republican party for allowing people to get mortgages they couldn't afford to repay, Democrats were calling Republicans racists. Barney Frank calling them racists for not giving even more mortgages they couldn't afford to pay. ... Barack Obama, the guy that got more money from Fannie and Freddie executives than anybody else on Capitol Hill doesn't exactly have clean hands here."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, February 8, Morning Joe, on MSNBC, from about 8:09 a.m., with critical portions in bold:
At this point, there should be little doubt that there is a concerted attempt underway to use the war in Afghanistan as a justification for punitively taxing high earners.
Last weekend (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the New York Times discovered that wars cost money. It cited Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey's concern that funding the Afghanistan effort at the level requested months ago by General Stanley A. McChrystal would "devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress had."
Thursday, as reported by AFP (noted last night at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), House Democratic heavy-hitters Barney Frank, John Murtha, and (no surprise) Obey announced the "Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010," an income-tax surcharge that overwhelmingly targets high-income earners.
Now Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin has weighed in. Bloomberg dutifully carried his water, as seen in this graphic containing the first four paragraphs of the report:
You've got to hand it to the propagandists at the AFP. When heavy-hitting members of the party they favor announce an idea whose main purpose is, as the New York Times suddenly "discovered" last weekend, to remind people that wars cost money and distract from supposedly more important priorities, the wire service leaps into action.
Even AFP acknowledges that the tax proposal by several top-tier Democrats has no chance of becoming law. But again, that's not the point. Their proposal's purpose is to remind people that spending money on wars supposedly takes money out of the mouths of children and other living things, even those in non-existent congressional districts, and to attempt to make the climate for increasing taxes in the near future more favorable.
Here are key paragraphs of the unbylined report (bolds are mine):
Disclaimer: we're talking politics here, not personal stuff . . .
If there's a bigger sourpuss in Congress than Barney Frank, I wouldn't want to meet him. On MSNBC this evening, the dyspeptic Member from Massachusetts got into it with, of all people, Ed Schultz. You might think the two libs would make beautiful progressive music together, but what made this spat especially entertaining was that Barney found himself being attacked . . . from the left.
The topic was the billions in bonuses awarded by Wall Street firms that had received TARP money. Schultz's beef was that Congress blew it by awarding TARP dough without obtaining advance agreement limiting bonus payouts.
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