Obama's Media Minions Assign Shutdown Blame to "Dangerous," "Demagogic," "Planet of the Apes" Conservatives

Vol. 26, No. 20

Obama’s Media Minions Assign All Shutdown Blame to GOP

“Wolf, the suicide caucus is comprised of 80 hard-line Republicans who got the ball rolling toward a government shutdown....”
— Correspondent Brian Todd on CNN’s The Situation Room, October 1.

“It’s about the results of the last election. It’s about a standing law for three years. It’s about a small — they’ve been called ‘the suicide caucus’ in the U.S. House, about 80 members....It’s been called a political hostage taking, it’s been called political extortion. You’ve heard the vitriol and the rhetoric this week. But right now, because of this caucus, this cabal, nothing moves.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, October 3.

“The question: Will the moderate and more establishment Republicans continue to go along with the ultra-conservatives who are determined to delay health care?”
Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on the September 30 CBS Evening News.

“It is just incredible to me to watch these Republicans putting on their suicide vests and thinking this is going to have some kind of outcome for America. It is just absolutely preposterous.”
— The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown on CNN’s AC360 Later, October 1.

“You do need to acknowledge, Representative, for all of the analysis that you’ve just provided, which all can be 100 percent sound, you did shut down the government. It is hurting families, many of whom live on the margins, and you know that. And I want to ask you if you think that that was wrong.”
— Co-anchor Chris Cuomo to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on CNN’s New Day, October 1.


Slamming “Planet of the Apes” Conservatives


“Why do we have so many know-nothings in the Congress who deny not just mankind’s history, or the obvious evidence of climate change, but the fiscal arithmetic that stares us in the face? What makes them characters in some ghastly, real-life remake of the Planet of the Apes, where the bad guys fear nothing more than science and other evidence of human progress?...What do you call this, this dangerous zig-zagging toward the abyss, with a nervous John Boehner being driven first to the cliff, while the zealots of the right wing scream louder and louder that victory lies in catastrophe — Kool-Aid for everyone, and defeatists will be shot!”
— Chris Matthews opening MSNBC’s Hardball, October 7.


Blaming “Dangerous,” “Demagogic,” “Bible-Banger” “Vandals”


“Eric Cantor and his Republican Party are the most dangerous demagogic force in American politics since Joe McCarthy. And that’s what this is about. And it’s about the parts of the Republican Party that are willing to appease this awful force. And I think what we’re seeing is a redefinition and understanding of Barack Obama’s presidency, which is to protect the national security from this dangerous demagogic element that is on the precipice of really having a kind of power that’s ruinous in America and ruinous to democracy.”
— Author and ex-Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein on MSNBC's Morning Joe, October 2.

“We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too....We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade....We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.”
— Ex-Boston Globe Magazine writer Charles Pierce in a posting to Esquire.com’s “The Politics Blog,” October 1.


Obama’s Media Lapdogs Repeat His Own Spin Back to Him


The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: “With Speaker Boehner so far unwilling to hold a vote on a clean CR, what assurances can you give to those affected by a shutdown who are concerned about an even longer impasse? And how worried are you personally that your preferred solution to this — a clear CR at sequestration levels — may do harm to the nation’s economy and your second term agenda?”
President Obama: “Well, I mean, Sam, you’re making an important point....”
— Exchange at the President’s October 8 press conference.

New York Times correspondent Mark Landler: “Does China benefit from the chaos in Washington? And then, more broadly, you’ve said in general that this hurts the reputation of the United States overseas. Are there specific things that you can point to where you already have seen some damage? And one that occurs to me is the trade deal that you’ve tried to do in Asia. The leaders today announced that they still want to wrap it up, but they no longer are able to say they want to wrap it up by the end of this year. Had you been there, do you think you could have gotten that additional push?”
President Obama: “I think that’s a great example....”
— Later at the same event.


Hoping Obama Breaks the Tea Party “Fever” Within the GOP


“Before the election last year, you said you thought there was a possibility your re-election would break the fever within the Republican Party. Didn’t happen. Do you see this moment as a chance, through this political confrontation, to break the fever now?”
— Washington correspondent John Harwood interviewing President Obama on CNBC’s Closing Bell, October 2.


Chris Wishes Obama Was Even Nastier to Republicans


“The President is using, I think, the right words. He talks about extortion, really strong language, about even criminality. And he’s doing it very calmly. Does he have to behave like that? Why doesn’t he show a little outrage at this criminality he’s accusing them of? Because they really are kidnapping the U.S. government. It’s only about 30 people on the wacko right. Why doesn’t he just go at these people?”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page on Hardball, October 8.


Today’s Tea Party: “Jefferson Davis Must Be Proud”


“The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War....But don’t go looking for a group by the name of New Confederacy. They earned that handle from me because of their visceral animosity toward the federal government and their aversion to compassion for those unlike themselves. They respond, however, to the label ‘tea party.’ By thought, word and deed, they must be making Jefferson Davis proud today.”
Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King in an October 5 piece headlined, “The rise of the New Confederacy.”


Do You Blame the “Extreme Right-Wing” for Taking GOP “Hostage”...


“The extreme right-wing of the Republican Party has taken that party hostage, at least in the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is a decent man. He’s not an extremist. But he’s a weak man. The old phrase comes to mind, I could carve a better man out of a banana. He is not going to challenge the extremists in his own party because he wants to hang on to his job.”
Politico columnist Roger Simon on CNN Newsroom, October 1.


...Or Cowardly Moderates Who Would Not Fight “Jihad” of “Republican Crazies”?


“The story of this political crisis is really, you know, the culpability not just of the Republican crazies, but of the Republican non-crazies. I mean, how did we get to the point where Mitch McConnell is Rand Paul’s bitch?... Where’s the heroism in your own party? I mean, why aren’t the moderate Republicans, you know, fighting back? We’re always saying why don’t, you know, the moderate Muslims fight jihad, but, you know, this is jihad.”
— The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown interviewing Senator John McCain on October 10 for her Web site’s annual “Hero Summit,” a clip of which was shown later that day on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.


Scorning RNC: “Prefers War Memorials to Living Children”


Host Martin Bashir: “But RNC chair Reince Priebus did arrive with urgent word that the Republican National Committee will pay to keep the World War II Memorial open for a month.”
Clip of Reince Priebus: “I have come here to announce that the Republican National Committee has put aside enough money to hire five security personnel, full-time, to keep the World War II Memorial open.”
Bashir: “He notably did not announce that he will pay for children with cancer to get access to clinical trials that they’re now being denied. But I guess Mr. Priebus prefers war memorials to living children.”
— MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, October 2, two hours after Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid refused to support a House Republican bill to fund children’s cancer research, scoffing: “Why would I want to do that?”


Anchorman Absurdly Claims GOP Wants Government “Destroyed”


“It seems like the game has changed down there. It used to be that the two sides went at it, but at the end of the day, they all believed in government. It seems now that what’s motivating the Republican Party is a belief that government has to be destroyed. You know, that it’s just bad in and of itself.”
— CNN New Day co-host Chris Cuomo, October 7.


Republicans Committing “Treason” to Thwart “Popular” ObamaCare


“ObamaCare is off to a great start. Fox News hates it. And the people signing up for health care are doing it and love it. And finding out, damn, that is not all that expensive....This is why they [Republicans] are freaking out about ObamaCare. The popularity is killing them. This is why they’re talking about default. They can’t let this happen. They want to privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They want to streamline everything into the private sector. They don’t want any government involvement whatsoever. And they will shut down the government and they will not pay the bills to get their way. The word is treason, the treasonous John Boehner.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, October 7.


Bob’s “Correction” of GOP Congresswoman Refuted By His Own Network’s Poll


Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “Let me also point out there is bipartisan opposition to ObamaCare, not bipartisan support. There is only partisan support. And you know good and well the Senate Democrats-”
Host Bob Schieffer, interrupting: “Congresswoman, that is not entirely true. The polls don’t suggest that. Polls say that most people favor it.”
— Exchange CBS’s Face the Nation, September 29. CBS’s most recent poll, released a few days earlier, found 51% of Americans opposed to ObamaCare, vs. just 39% who supported the health care law.


Carl Thinks Media’s Shutdown Coverage Has Been Too Pro-Republican


“We need to start covering this story — not 50/50, this much on this side, that on the other — we need to cover it factually. Because there are facts here that will show what this event is about, and where, in fact, is this anger, hatred of Obama coming from? What is the root of this?”
— Author and ex-Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein on Morning Joe, October 8.


“It’s Crazy” Americans Don’t Embrace Government Health Care


“Well, I’m proud to be American, but I really can’t figure out why this is going on, in that growing up in a communist country [Czechoslovakia], one good thing about it was that we had government health care. ...We’re actually striking down the government because we don’t want poor people to be healthy? We don’t want people to be taken care of? It’s crazy.”
— Former tennis player Martina Navratilova on CNN Newsroom, October 5.


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