Media Fury Over Criticism of Obama; Acknowledging a "Huge Double Standard"

Vol. 28, No. 5

Outraged by Giuliani’s Criticism of Obama

“When a leading Republican — who once ran for President, by the way, and was a serious candidate — says something like the President doesn’t love America, is he a divider and not a uniter, as George W. Bush might say?...I mean, it was hateful. It was a hateful remark....This was a personal insult to the President of the United States.”
— Fill-in anchor Gloria Borger to former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge on CNN’s State of the Union, February 22.

Moderator Chuck Todd: “This week’s race to the bottom, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is proving why Americans are learning to hate politics and the media....Giuliani even used an old racial dog whistle of the Civil Rights era, communism.”
Clip of Rudy Giuliani: “His grandfather introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist.”
— NBC’s Meet the Press, February 22.

“You want to know what that fight among Republicans running for President is all about? What’s it all about? It’s about who can hate President Obama the most. And Rudy Giuliani proved it by questioning the President’s love of country. Is there someone in the Republican Party who will blow the whistle on this crap?”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, February 23.


And It’s a Good Excuse to Attack Scott Walker, Too

 “What Rudy Giuliani did this week was stupid. What Scott Walker did ought to disqualify him as a serious presidential contender....Asked the next morning on CNBC about Giuliani’s words, the Republican presidential aspirant was spineless: ‘The mayor can speak for himself....’”
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, February 22.


Acknowledging Media’s “Huge Double Standard”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski: “I question the patriotism of someone who questions the President’s patriotism....He was great during 9/11 but, my God, his comments were off the hook. They were crazy.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough: “Can I say I think they were off the hook, too? But, again, I just have to bring up, again, if Democrats are going to beat their chest in self-righteous indignation, I’m sorry. How many times have Democrats called George W. Bush or Republicans unpatriotic over the past 10, 15 years?”
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin: “It’s a huge double standard in the media.”
— Talking about Rudy Giuliani’s criticism of President Obama on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 23.


Hillary Set Up Secret Server to Shield Wedding E-Mails?

“What’s the revelation, that the Clintons didn’t follow the rules? That the Clintons tried to hide stuff and that the Clintons are now acting like it’s a vast right-wing media conspiracy?...I’m not saying it’s not a story. I’m just saying, we’re going to talk about it, and then they’re all going to get turned over and it’s going to be a bunch of wedding stuff. I mean, who did she e-mail that we think we’re not going to see?”
— Onetime GOP strategist Nicolle Wallace, now a co-host of ABC’s The View, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, March 5.


Excusing Hillary’s E-Mail Scheme: Just Like Taking Pens from Work

“It’s almost like, ‘Don’t take your pens home and use them at home.’ I wonder if it’s one of those rules. David Axelrod, you’ve got experience with this. What did — do you think this is something worth the top of the fold of the New York Times? Hillary Clinton didn’t use their e-mail instead of her government [sic] e-mail. Is this worthy of this kind of hootin’ and hollerin’?”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 3.


Decrying “Strangelovian” Takeover of U.S. Foreign Policy

“There was nothing new....Instead, Wolf, it was a very dark, Strangelovian speech painting a picture of a really dystopian world, raising the specter of a genocidal nation, a genocidal regime, spraying nuclear weapons to annihilate the whole world and the whole region. Now, obviously, many people are very concerned about Iran, and there is a deep lack of trust. But surely, the same was said of the Soviet Union all those years ago.”
— CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour during live coverage soon after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, March 3.

“This was a take-over attempt by Netanyahu with his complying American partners to take American foreign policy out of the hands of the President.”
Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts shortly after Netanyahu’s March 3 speech.


Citing Reagan Shows Walker Lacks Foreign Policy “Fluency”

“He said that the experience in the realm of foreign policy is inconsequential, that it’s leadership that matters, and he said the ‘most consequential foreign policy decision of his lifetime’ was Reagan’s 1981 firing of 11,000 air traffic controllers. He said it sent a message not only across America, it sent a message around the world that it wouldn’t be messed with....Scott Walker, he’s got to be careful here, comparing ISIS to Wisconsin protesters and then talking about firing air traffic controllers and Reagan. It doesn’t come across as fluency in foreign policy.”
— Moderator Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 1.


“Wisest Thing” Is to Skip CPAC, Where Even Reagan Would Be Booed

“I think the person that won at CPAC was John Kasich. He didn’t show up, and I think that’s the wisest thing for anybody to do.”
— ABC’s Cokie Roberts on This Week, March 1.

ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd: “What would happen if a candidate showed up that had liberalized abortion laws, that had the largest tax increase in history, that had given weapons to Iran, that had tripled the national debt, that had given amnesty to three million immigrants?... What would happen if Ronald Reagan, with that record, had shown up at this conference [CPAC]? He would have been booed.”
ABC’s Cokie Roberts: “Absolutely. But this is a different Republican Party.”
Dowd: “It’s very different. That’s the concern.”
— Exchange on the same program a few minutes later.


Giddy Over Socialist Senator’s Quixotic Candidacy

“Out on the stump, he doesn’t mention Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. For now, he’s running against the Koch brothers….Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as unabashedly progressive as Ben & Jerry’s….Sanders rails against the corrupting influence of money in politics. He stands for economic justice….He’s not just for raising the minimum wage, he wants to double it.”
— ABC’s David Wright on This Week, February 22, talking about Sanders’ potential presidential campaign.


Chris Smears GOP as Party of “Jim Crow” Racists

“It [the Republican Party] is no longer the party that voted overwhelmingly for civil rights and voting rights in the mid ’60s. In fact, its most consistent ambition these recent years has been a relentless push to limit voting rights, especially for minorities, by the imposition of new voter ID requirements, and with it, it’s doing what the Jim Crow enforcers did with poll taxes and outlandish literacy tests.”
— MSNBC host Chris Matthews wrapping up Hardball, March 2.


Only Obama’s Politeness Shields GOP’s Extremists

“If we’re going to start calling out religious and political groups for extremism, we could start at home with Republicans. Too many of them spew animus. Too many foment sectarianism. Too many sit by, or make excuses, as others appeal to tribalism. If Obama were to treat them the way they say he should treat Islam — holding the entire faith accountable for its ugliest followers — they’d squeal nonstop about slander and demagogy. They’re lucky that’s not his style.”
Slate’s William Saletan, February 24.


Impressed by Hillary’s Handling of “Challenging” Interview

Anchor Andrea Mitchell: “It was a really, you know, strong performance, you know, just looking at it as political drama. No notes, no Teleprompter, she’s walking around the stage, she does a Q & A with Kara Swisher which is, you know, a challenging, interesting Q & A, edgy at times-”
Former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs: “Right, great reporter.”
Mitchell: “A great reporter.”
—  Exchange on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, February 25.

Reality Check:
  “So, I interviewed President Obama last week and I’m very eager to interview another President....So I want to ask the big question...iPhone or Android?”
  “What about the president thing?...Why wait announcing?...So I guess if I ask you, ‘Queens or Brooklyn for the announcement,’ you’re not gonna tell me, right?”
  “If you could wave a wand and change anything about this country, what would it be?”
— Some of the questions to Clinton posed by Re/Code’s co-executive editor Kara Swisher, once a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, in the February 24 interview.


Depressed by Walker’s “Indecent and Craven” Campaign Tactics

“Let’s stipulate up front that Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, is an odious politician whose ascension to the Presidency would be a disaster....In a more just world, Walker’s indecent and craven antics would disqualify him from playing any further role in the presidential race. But in the current political environment, his tactics, far from hurting him, may well bolster a candidacy that is already thriving.”
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy in a February 24 article, “The Dangerous Candidacy of Scott Walker.


Thirsty Americans Need “Official Policy” on Drinking Water

“It [a government nutrition report] tells you to drink all the coffee you want, up to something like five cups a day, which makes some people ecstatic. But far more important is this statement: ‘Strategies are needed to encourage the U.S. population to drink water when they are thirsty.’ Imagine if that were official policy.”
New York Times food writer Mark Bittman in a February 25 Web article.


Mealtime: Just an Ignorant Racist Plot

“Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”
“Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick.”
— Headline and subheadline over March 4 post by Mother Jones senior editor Kiera Butler.


The Netflix Primary: Thrilled by Hillary, but Kill All the Republicans

“There’s only one name I’m really interested in hearing tonight. It starts with an ‘H’ and ends with a ‘Clinton.’”
— Actress Uzo Aduba, star of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, before the start of the Emily’s List 30th Anniversary gala on March 3, as quoted in the Washington Post’s March 5 Reliable Source column.

Actor Kevin Spacey: “I think that what is truly unfortunate is when an entire party makes a decision that they’re going to block every single thing that a President wants to accomplish. It’s very — it’s very hard to get anything done under those circumstances.”
NBC correspondent Cynthia McFadden: “Even Frank Underwood would have trouble with that?”
Spacey: “Oh, I’d just kill everybody. Just kill them all.”
— Taped interview with the star of Netflix’s House of Cards shown on NBC’s Meet the Press, February 22.


PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Jeffrey Meyer and Curtis Houck
INTERN: Bryan Ballas