The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, liberal comedian D.L. Hughley claimed that Republicans acted as bullies when they impeached former President Bill Clinton in 1998, as well as Rep. Joe Wilson when he shouted "you lie" at President Obama in 2009. Hughley also indicated that Clinton would have handled Wilson's outburst better, as "he had, to a greater or lesser degree, been bullied and seen what kind of capacity he had." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The former CNN host must not have caught the irony of his remarks, as he has a record of assailing Republicans. In 2009, Hughley claimed the Republican National Convention "literally look[s] like Nazi Germany." Later that year, he smeared former President Ronald Reagan as "the Moses of...greedy white men."
Representative Andre Carson's inflammatory attack on the Tea Party has yet to have receive any attention from the Big Three networks. As reported by Politico on Wednesday, Rep. Carson accused Tea Party-friendly members of Congress of wanting to bring back Jim Crow and went so far to accuse his colleagues of wanting to bring back lynching: "Some of them...would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree."
Jake Sherman's report for Politico noted that the "explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the Internet Tuesday, and Carson's office stood by the remarks." The Blaze, a website run by Glenn Beck, uploaded a video compilation onto YouTube on Tuesday morning which included the Indiana Democrat's smear of the Tea Party. Carson attacked the Tea Party immediately after complimenting Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver at a CBC town hall in Miami on August 22:
[Video compilation embedded below the jump]
The editorial board of the Washington Post on Saturday ripped to shreds the factual authenticity of the new film about the Valerie Plame affair.
According to the Post, "'Fair Game,' based on books by [Joe] Wilson and his wife, is full of distortions - not to mention outright inventions" (h/t NBer Beresford):
The director of the new film "Fair Game" - released Friday - is either blatantly dishonest, or astoundingly lazy. The movie, starring Sean Penn as former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson and Naomi Watts as his embattled wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, makes a number of claims on controversial issues that are demonstrably false.
The Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein did the legwork in demonstrating just how far from the truth some of the film's central claims are. Chief among them, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and other White House officials exerted political pressure on intelligence officials to cherrypick intelligence favorable to claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Near the end of Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed actress Naomi Watts about her latest role as former CIA agent Valerie Plame in the movie 'Fair Game': "...a ripped from the headlines true story of espionage and betrayal. Naomi Watts plays former CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose life was torn apart when her cover was blown by the U.S. government."
After playing a clip from the new film, Smith briefly summarized the controversy this way: "Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to Niger to determine whether or not yellow-cake uranium was being exported to Iraq....when [he] said no, the Bush administration said somebody's got to pay and that was Valerie Plame." Smith went on to proclaim: "...it is not only this very public story but it is also sort of the private anguish of this family....That is almost torn asunder by this."
Before the CNN anchor raised Bayh's retirement with his colleague 18 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, he brought up Congressman Joe Wilson's response on Twitter to his Democratic colleague's decision. Wilson wrote, "Great news of Senator Bayh's retirement, good prospects of change in Indiana has now become much brighter! I am happy for Hoosiers." Sanchez all but condemned the Republican's Tweet: "It's not like he's dancing on his grave because the guy's not dead. He's...just retiring. But wouldn't you think, just from the standpoint of being collegial, that, most of the time, somebody would say something like- 'boy, I hate to see Jessica Yellin leaving CNN. She really was good'- as opposed to- 'boy, am I glad Jessica Yellin's leaving. Now, we can get a competent reporter in there.'"
CRITICAL UPDATE AT END OF POST: Obama praised the 2009 budget when the Senate passed it!
After President Obama told the nation during Wednesday's State of the Union address that he inherited the huge budget deficits befronting the country, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and said, "Blame it on Bush."
In reality, this was one of many Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) moments last night as the President once again played fast and loose with the facts in a nationally televised address.
Sadly, media are deeply at fault here, for if they wouldn't allow the White House to repeatedly blame the nation's current fiscal problems on the previous Administration, Obama would be forced to be more truthful. As NewsBusters has regularly shown, America's so-called journalists have been aiding and abetting these falsehoods for quite some time.
But before we get there, here's what Obama said last night (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript includes McCain saying "Blame it on Bush," file photo):
While Matthews felt Grayson's Nazi comparison was over-the-top, Matthews cheered Grayson's display of "cojones," even chuckling at video of Grayson calling Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
Matthews made clear to guests James Warren of the Huffington Post and Politico's Roger Simon that he thought Grayson was just the shot in the arm liberals needed for their health care push (audio available here, video embedded at right):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday said Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) -- he of "You lied" fame -- should be required to take a breathalyzer test before he goes into Congressional sessions where the President is speaking.
Such occurred as O'Donnell was filling in for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown," and discussing with the Nation's Chris Hayes how poorly Wilson represents a GOP that "used to be an image of country club Republicans, well-bred, WASPY, dignified people who just didn't like taxation."
According to O'Donnell, that's all changed, and for the worse (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Jon, file photo):
At the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Serena Williams drew nearly universal condemnation for screaming profanities at a line judge who (wrongly) ruled her foot was over the line on a serve. It wasn’t just obscenities, it was threats of physical violence, with Williams suggesting she would shove a tennis ball down "your f—ing throat" to the referee. Her performance was so vile that even historic tennis bad boy John McEnroe called it beyond the pale.
Had Wilson yelled that he was going to shove something down President Obama’s blankety-blank throat, then we’d have a similarity. But why did Williams feel free to uncork a massive fit? Maybe because there are no consequences. She was assessed a $10,000 fine, less than a slap on the wrist. She won more than half a million dollars at that tournament alone.
NBC spotlighted radical black Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson to rail against President Bush as a "clueless patrician" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and then Brian Williams threw those words in Bush's face. On Wednesday, they spotlighted Dyson’s vicious attack on Rep. Joe Wilson and other conservatives as comparable to terrorists, like the suicide attackers of 9/11. Matt Lauer didn’t find this an occasion to interrupt and interject. Instead, he then read Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column calling Wilson a racist. Here’s how Lauer brought Dyson in:
LAUER: Michael, I don't know which is worse. Is it worse if, in fact, some of this opposition to President Obama is fueled by outright racism? Or is it worse if some liberals, in an attempt to defend President Obama and his plans, invoke the charge of racism to discredit the critics?
DYSON: Well clearly the first would be the problem, Matt. The existence of an abuse is far worse than those who trump it up. But let me say this. You don't ask the person who's been, you know, the abuser what the status of the, the progress is. You ask the people or the person who's been abused. Or if we look at terror, there's only been one terrorist strike, 9/11, but since then we've had terror alerts, we've been proactive, we've been preemptive. So race is the same way. Race is not only a former of terror, it is terror.