Editor's Note: The following commentary by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell was posted late this afternoon on CNN.com.
It's time to weigh in on the Christine O'Donnell v. Piers Morgan dust-up Wednesday.
In short, O'Donnell's behavior was beyond indefensible. It was downright bizarre.
Former Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell abruptly walked off the set of CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Wednesday.
O'Donnell wanted to discuss more meaty issues in her new book, such as her criticisms of President Obama, while her host focused on masturbation and same-sex marriage (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday cherry-picked an "O'Reilly Factor" segment to drum up a feud between Fox News's top prime time host and the former Alaska governor.
Five sentences about Sarah Palin pulled from a six and a half minute segment ridiculing President Obama for not scheduling Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates as guests on last weekend's "Fox News Sunday" led "The Last Word" host to conclude that O'Reilly is now assuming a role in Republican politics "bullying the nuts off the stage to make room for viable candidates" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported in February, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin was cast to do a guest stint on the hit series "Glee" portraying a Palinesque Tea Partier.
The advanced billing turned out better than the reality, for on Tuesday's show, Griffin mocked Palin and Christine O'Donnell while depicting Tea Party members as homophobic birthers (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Predictably joining the media attacks on Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), NBC's "Saturday Night Live" began its most recent installment mocking her response to the President's State of the Union address last Tuesday.
Actress Kristen Wiig playing the Congresswoman explained that as a result of technical difficulties in her first attempt, CNN gave her a second try at it. What followed was gaffe after gaffe in another segment by SNL designed to totally trash a conservative woman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of the biggest political mistakes of the year, Washington Post columnist Colby King asserted that the Delaware Republican Party’s choice of Christine O’Donnell for U.S. Senate was an even worse choice than the South Carolina Democratic Party’s selection of Alvin Greene in that state’s Senate election to face Republican Senator Jim DeMint. Greene was facing charges at the time for showing pornography to a college student as he tried to seduce her in a computer lab at the University of South Carolina. After initially declaring it a "tie" between the two, he ended labeling O'Donnell the " absolute worst candidate known to mankind."
Below is a transcript of King's comments from the Friday, December 31, Inside Washington on PBS:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, as correspondent Jan Crawford filed a report on the allegations that former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell misused campaign money, the CBS correspondent seemed dismissive of O’Donnell’s reaction to the accusations as Crawford harkened back to the 2010 campaign and described some of O’Donnell’s recent words as the Delaware Republican's response "whenever she faced embarrassing revelations." Crawford: "O'Donnell says the charges are dirty tricks by the political establishment. Now, if that sounds familiar, it should. That was often her response during the campaign whenever she faced embarrassing revelations."
After a clip of O’Donnell from the campaign accusing her opponents of "making up stories," then came a soundbite of David Catanese of Politico.com: "It's something she used during her entire campaign, she used in the primary and the general election. And here she is on morning TV again pitting herself against the world, basically."
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Thursday each interviewed former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell regarding allegations that she misused campaign money, in the setup piece on each network, the correspondent failed to inform viewers of credibility weaknesses on the part of O’Donnell’s accusers and omitted O’Donnell’s contention that she did not use campaign money to pay for rent on her home. Additionally, only CBS’s Jan Crawford informed viewers that the group pushing for an investigation - the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - is a "left-leaning" group, as NBC’s Norah O’Donnell vaguely referred to a "watchdog group," and ABC’s Rob Nelson did not mention the organization.
Although both accusers who used to work for the O’Donnell campaign were fired - one after less than two weeks on the job - all three networks failed to inform viewers of these details that would suggest they may be disgruntled, and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell on the Today show even suggested that the accusers have greater credibility because they, like Christine O’Donnell, are Republicans, while the NBC correspodnent failed to inform viewers that the group CREW is liberal. NBC’s Norah O’Donnell reported: "O'Donnell calls them phony, but it was members of her own party who first raised the issue. During this year's bitter primary battle, Delaware's Republican Party paid for robo calls where O'Donnell's past campaign manager accused her of breaking the law in her failed 2008 Senate bid."
Chris Matthews on Thursday not only congratulated Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) for beating Republican Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell in November, but also said his victory was important for life on this planet.
It wasn't a tingle up the leg moment on MSNBC's "Hardball," but it sure was close (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A fascinated George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday analyzed a Tweet by Christine O'Donnell as a sign of support for Hillary Clinton. The Good Morning America host played up the approving comment by the Republican regarding the Secretary of State's handling of the Wikileaks scandal.
"Hillary Clinton for president?...You're going to vote for Hillary Clinton," he murmured after O'Donnell urged a 2012 run. Stephanopoulos' hopes were dashed, however, after the former Delaware Senate candidate explained her reasoning: "...Anybody is better than Obama." (O'Donnell also called for Clinton to "take out" Obama in the primary.)
The Morning Mix panel retained its decidedly liberal outlook, despite O'Donnell's appearance. Comedian D.L. Hughley compared Sarah Palin to a "greeter at Wal-Mart," adding, "But I still wouldn't want him running the country." Host Stephanopoulos approvingly recounted Palin criticism from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
NewsBusters readers should be quite familiar with John Ziegler, the independent filmmaker that produced the spectacular documentary about the 2008 presidential campaign "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin was Targeted."
In the past few weeks the film has been re-released using a different marketing format, and Ziegler was kind enough to answer some questions about this and other media bias issues via e-mail:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Last Word on MSNBC, Mark McKinnon - former media advisor to the Bush and McCain presidential campaigns who writes a column for the Daily Beast- blamed Sarah Palin for the Republican Party’s failure to recapture control of the Senate, charging that "she put up some candidates that really weren’t qualified." He continued: "They lost. We lost. The Republicans could have taken the Senate if not for Sarah Palin. And so her stock is falling and pretty rapidly now, I think."
He soon reiterated: "It wasn't strategic. It was impulsive and it cost the Republicans the leadership of the Senate."
After quipping that Palin is "getting closer to her sell-by date," McKinnon also mocked Palin as being unworthy of comparison to Republican hero Ronald Reagan. McKinnon: "You know, she's comparing herself to Ronald Reagan. And, you know, I didn't know Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was not a friend of mine, but I can guarantee you this, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. And she talked about his movie. She didn't even get the name of his movie right."