Last week, the House Oversight Committee asked the Justice Department to seek criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner. Despite the newest revelations in the IRS scandal, the Associated Press’ Julie Pace attempted to excuse the lack of media coverage.
Appearing as a panelist on Fox News Sunday on April 13, Pace argued, “If you are going to keep the story going and you want to keep the investigation going, eventually there has to be some material there to work with. And we're in this period of time where we don't have a lot to work with.”
Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told."
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Hillary Clinton-loving media are doing almost back-breaking contortions to make the recent Bridgegate scandal completely destroy Governor Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) presidential ambitions.
Obviously doing his part Monday was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who selectively edited comments George Will made on Fox News Sunday to make it appear that the syndicated columnist was actually comparing Bridgegate to Watergate (multipart video follows with transcripts and commentary):
In a story appearing this morning at the Politico about the Department of Justice's broad and unannounced subpoenas of the April and May 2012 personal and business phone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press involving 20 phone lines and involving over 100 reporters and editors, James Hohmann found several "veteran prosecutors" who aren't necessarily outraged by what most members of the press and several watchdog groups have declared a blatant overreach. Instead, Hohmann summarizes their "far more measured response" as: "It’s complicated."
Hohmann utterly ignored a May 15 Washington Post story which chronicled claimed discussions between AP and government officials. Ultimately, it appears that the Obama administration's Department of Justice under Eric Holder may have only gone after AP out of spite because the wire service refused to accommodate administration requests to allow it time to crow about foiling a terrorist plot before the story gained meaningful visibility, and not because the release of the story, especially after what appears to have been an appropriate and negotiated delay, represented a genuine security risk. One obvious unanswered question is why DOJ waited, according to the AP's Mark Sherman in his original story, until "earlier this year" to obtain the phone records if it was so darned important to find out who the alleged leaker was.
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the infamous 1972 break-in at the Watergate, Andrea Mitchell on Monday hosted John Dean, President Nixon’s former legal counsel. The MSNBC anchor and the conservative critic actually connected the scandal to the 2010 Citizen United Supreme Court case.
During the interview, Dean complained that the “financial reform that came with Watergate is gone because of Supreme Court decisions.” Mitchell promptly agreed, calling it the“the nail in the coffin” for these supposed post-Watergate reforms. Mitchell continued her off-topic rant about the Citizens United ruling, complaining that if it "ends up being the law of the land for all future campaigns” it will be detrimental to the political system since, “there's no transparency as to where the money is coming from."
USA Today released the results of its Freedom of Information Act requests for FBI documents related to Ted Kennedy. John Fritze's story leans heavily on the sympathetic "barrage of threats" angle to begin his story, and downplayed the lack of documents on the death at Chappaquiddick. Fritze began:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, who buried two brothers killed by assassins, endured a barrage of threats on his life that continued for much of his political career, thousands of FBI documents released Monday show.
More than 2,200 pages of previously secret documents reveal Kennedy, the brother of President John F. Kennedy, received a constant stream of anonymous threats and warnings from members of the Ku Klux Klan and the militant anti-communist "Minutemen."
Fritze arrived at Chappaquiddick late in the article, and hinted without outrage that the Kennedy family may have removed a pile of documents that might have tainted the Ted Kennedy image:
On MSNBC on Monday, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue anchor David Shuster decried a lack of "standards" on Fox News: "The inflammatory rhetoric from the wing nuts, is it merely entertaining or seriously dangerous?....Shouldn't there be some standards at some of these other networks? I mean, that's a problem, isn't it? There's no standards."
Director Ron Howard appeared for a C-SPAN Washington Journal interview Monday morning on Capitol Hill with British screenwriter Peter Morgan to discuss their new film Frost/Nixon, based on Morgan’s play on the 1977 interviews between British TV star David Frost and the Republican president who resigned. The jarring moment came near the end, when C-SPAN host Steve Scully asked "For a generation who doesn’t remember Nixon or these interviews, what do you want them to come away with?"
CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN all jumped Tuesday to publicize the claims in a new book by a left-wing journalist, Ron Suskind, that President Bush knew before the war Iraq had no WMD and that to justify the war the administration forged a letter to prove a connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. The journalists were unfazed by denials from former CIA Director George Tenet, which they dutifully cited, nor the fact the letter couldn't have impacted the public before the war since it didn't become public until nine months into the war.
In the morning, NBC's Today showcased an “exclusive” interview with Suskind as Meredith Vieira trumpeted the “new bombshell book that claims the White House deliberately misled the American public about the case for war in Iraq. The author, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist.” (Geoff Dickens' NB post on that interview.) CBS's Early Show ran a full story and Wolf Blitzer made it his lead on CNN's The Situation Room.
In the evening, the NBC Nightly News aired a full report while MSNBC's Countdown, not surprisingly, led with Keith Olbermann's “cable exclusive” with Suskind on what MSNBC described on screen as “WAR CRIME” -- followed by John Dean on the imagined prosecutorial implications. NBC anchor Brian Williams saw “gasoline” being “thrown on a fire that's never really gone out,” as if the media aren't pouring it:
Tonight, gasoline has been thrown on a fire that's never really gone out. The accusation that the Bush administration badly misled the American public about the case for war with Iraq. In a new book, journalist Ron Suskind claims he has new evidence to show the case was more than a failure of intelligence -- it was, he writes, an out and out deception.
Just as I finish a piece laughing at DailyKos for claiming that it is conservatives that feel they have to "create their own alternate reality" because of their "rigid ideology," I find a story out of The Austin American-Statesman where the DailyKos forced that paper to pull a story that had a mildly satirical take on last weekend's Netroots Nation conference in Texas. Apparently, the DailyKos folks didn't like The Austin American-Statesman's "reality" so the Kossacks flooded the paper with their insistence on creating a new one.
The original article by the Statesman's Patrick Beach knocked the nutrooters for the so-called "surprise" Gore visit, said it turned into a "faint-in," and that their general feeling was "terribly self-confirming," among other snippy comments... fun, but snippy. The general tone of the piece was that of amusement at how seriously the nutrooters took themselves. And, even more galling to said nutrooters, this story was the front page editorial of Sunday's edition. (Original, Google cached version of Beach's piece.)
This did not sit well with the nutrooters in question.
Just two weeks after getting into a brouhaha with Huffington Post editor Rachel Sklar, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has found himself in a tussle with one of the chairmen of the Netroots, Salon's Glenn Greenwald.
At the heart of this dogfight between two shameless liberal pols was Barack Obama's recent flip-flop on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and how Olbermann altered his own views on this subject in order to shelter the Democrat presidential nominee from criticism.
Interviewing Scott McClellan tonight, Keith Olbermann sanctimoniously suggested that a "truce" on rough political tactics "would be nice." But speaking with John Dean just minutes later, the Countdown host—he who has repeatedly called President Bush a liar and a fascist—reverted to form and regretted that it might be too late to impeach him.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN: [The 1988] election was very much a turning-point election. I think that George Bush, George Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a decent individual, and a man who really believes in civility, but he, his advisors around him, knew the only way they could win was to bring down his opponent and go fully negative, and paint Michael Dukakis completely to the left. A guy who had painted himself—who had a record of trying to work to the center in a lot of ways [Ed: ?].
And, um, that legacy continues to this day, and Senator McCain says that he's going to speak out against that and not let that happen. I think that would be good for the country if that is the case. But there are certainly plenty of groups on the Republican side that are going to go forward with that kind of strategy. [Unlike groups on the Dem side. You know, like the kind-and-gentle one that ran the dragging-murder ad against W in 2000.]
KEITH OLBERMANN: Yeah. Truce would be nice.View video here.