Wednesday's New York Times front page featured Susan Rice's failed attempt to assuage concerns of three Senate Republicans on her false statements about the Benghazi massacre in "Rice Concedes Error on Libya: G.O.P. Digs In." Inside was an unflattering photo of a peeved-looking Sen. John McCain. Posing Republican senator and Rice critic McCain as the bad guy, an on-line text box accompanying the article highlighted a reader comment from "Them or Us": "If you think these three Senators walked in with open minds and no agenda, I'd like to sell you a bridge that crosses the East River into Brooklyn. McCain's little kangaroo court is about as transparent as his anger." Meanwhile, on the back pages, two liberal Times columnists disagreed on Benghazi's significance.
In the front-page story, reporters Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters minimized the import of the policy scandal by focusing on the personal, portraying Rice, who may be nominated by President Obama to the post of UN ambassador, as offering an olive branch that "hostile Senate Republicans" rejected.
Good Morning America's reporters on Wednesday continued to fret about the fate of Susan Rice, lamenting the GOP "buzz saw" the UN Ambassador ran into on Tuesday. ABC's Martha Raddatz hyped all the pressing issues in the world as a possible reason to just confirm the potential Secretary of State nominee quickly.
Martha Raddatz worried, "You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile." She then reminded that this is "such a critical time in Afghanistan." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos referenced the fall of David Petraeus and hyped that all of these vacancies are "happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up."
Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren has reached her boiling point after seeing yet another person at MSNBC hurl a gratuitous, objectively false charge of "racism" at Arizona Senator John McCain for having the gall to believe that Susan Rice would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State.
She let it rip in a blog post Monday afternoon:
It’s one thing for a leftist pundit to appear on MSNBC and smear Republicans as racist and bigoted. It’s another when the editor of MSNBC.com, a supposedly professional journalist, joins the ranks of liberal pundits slamming the GOP for its criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments following the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi.
Appearing on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Wolffe started off the show by having the audacity to claim, “there has been a witch hunt against every prominent person of color that has served alongside this president.” [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
Jay Leno continued his comedic assault on the White House Tuesday.
During the opening monologue of NBC's Tonight Show, the host said David Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell had more information about Benghazi than United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Soledad O'Brien teed up Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to pick out the "code words" in GOP opposition to Susan Rice's nomination to Secretary of State, on Tuesday morning's Starting Point.
"Would you agree with what she's saying that there's a racial or a sexist component to a lot of these comments?" O'Brien asked, quoting the incoming chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). "Or would you say as the letter seems to say, they use the word 'incompetent,' and they use the word undermining the desire to improve U.S. relations?"
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
Former top Newsweek journalist and current MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe on Monday smeared Senator John McCain as a racist. According to Wolffe, there's no legitimate reason for the Republican to oppose Susan Rice's confirmation for Secretary of State. Appearing on Hardball, the journalist sneered that it was "outrageous" the way McCain was acting, raging against "this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice." [See video below.]
Such a charge seemed to shock even Chris Matthews. He sputtered, "McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?" Wolffe confirmed, "There is no other way to look at this..." Of course, McCain opposes Rice's nomination because of her dissembling on the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
On Sunday's front page, New York Times reporter Mark Landler took the heat off United Nations ambassador Susan ("stand-in...bystander") Rice for her media tour spreading false statements about what happened in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were murdered by terrorists. Rice went on the Sunday shows after the terrorist attack and falsely suggested that the outburst was spontaneous, blaming an anti-Islamic YouTube video for inciting a spontaneous riot on the anniversary of 9-11.
Both the headline ("A Diplomat's Detour Into the Benghazi Spotlight") and subhead ("Fill-in Role Becomes Obstacle for Rice as State Dept. Choice") favorably emphasized Rice's evasion of responsibility from what she actually told the nation after the attack.
As she moved into an interview with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton on Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow claimed it was somehow insane to resist the idea of Susan Rice being the next Secretary of State after Rice lied on five Sunday shows about Benghazi. Maddow claimed somehow John McCain was the one inventing Benghazi stories: "But if it's made-up -- like the John McCain crusade against Susan Rice -- that made-up stuff will no longer be entertained at the level of national policy."
Maddow vowed "the idea that Susan Rice is going to be your scapegoat here when she has done nothing wrong, that's the part that is nonsense and I`m not going to go along with that. And you're not using something made up about her to destroy a career that is still on its way up." Picking a Krugman or Spitzer, now maybe that could be a fight: