Taking on “the Gun Lobby” Like “Defeating the Nazis”
“Surely, finding Osama bin Laden; surely passing civil rights legislation, as Lyndon Johnson was able to do; and before that, surely, defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby. This is a turning point in this country....Unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we’re not the country that we once were.”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer during live coverage of Obama’s gun control speech, Jan. 16. [MP3 audio  (1:20)]
...Or Is It Like Battling 1960s Segregationists?
“It reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of the fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become the face of it. And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out.”
— Ex-NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 17.
“It used to be that the only way to get elected in the old Dixiecrat South was to be the farthest out there in backing segregation. Anyone who showed moderation was seen as soft....Well, to win in today’s Republican Party, which began displacing the Dixiecrats a half century ago, you have to be the farthest out there backing guns. Show moderation, you get your NRA badge ripped off you. Agree to any rule on gun safety, and you’re marked as a traitor for life....So what happened? Why is the GOP the party of guns over people?”
— Host Chris Matthews starting off MSNBC’s Hardball, January 17. [MP3 audio  (0:48)]
MSNBC Smears: NRA Is the Real Hitler in Gun Debate
“As the gun lobby has armed its barricades since that horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, one of the arguments that they continue to use against any kind of regulation is to unashamedly invoke the name of Adolf Hitler. Supporters of the NRA say that history proves tyrannical leaders begin by robbing law-abiding citizens of their firearms....Of course, for a nation hell bent on genocide, Hitler did not allow the Jews to possess firearms, but virtually everyone else was free to do so. Which I guess turns this story on its head. Because if anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it’s not the President, it’s the NRA.”
— MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, January 14. [MP3 audio  (1:01)]
British Host Belittles Constitution: Your “Little Book”
Host Piers Morgan: “The way that the NRA through the ’80s and ’90s and this last decade have deliberately tried to frame this as a left-wing attack on the American Constitution and the Second Amendment — it’s exactly what you’ve tried to do. You come in, you brandish your little book [holds up book] as if I don’t know what’s in that-”
Author Ben Shapiro: “My little book? That’s the Constitution of the United States.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, January 10. [MP3 audio  (1:01)]
Not About Individual Liberty, Just Corporate Greed
“Can we just break through the B.S. here? This is not, for the NRA, about Second Amendment rights....This is about gun manufacturers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. This is about retailers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. Do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown? Do you know how much richer these rich gun manufacturers have gotten over the past month, and how the NRA uses that tragedy to gin up fears, and Web sites use that tragedy to gin up fears, that they’re coming to take your guns away?”
— Co-host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 11. [MP3 audio  (1:14)]
Daring to Push for Lower Spending Makes You a Terrorist
“Just consider the vileness of that G.O.P. threat. If we were to hit the debt ceiling, the U.S. government would end up defaulting on many of its obligations. This would have disastrous effects on financial markets, the economy, and our standing in the world. Yet Republicans are threatening to trigger this disaster unless they get spending cuts that they weren’t able to enact through normal, Constitutional means. Republicans go wild at this analogy, but it’s unavoidable. This is exactly like someone walking into a crowded room, announcing that he has a bomb strapped to his chest, and threatening to set that bomb off unless his demands are met.”
— Paul Krugman in his January 11 New York Times column.
“We should not allow this to become thought of as a legitimate or normal budget strategy. This is hostage-taking. This is walking into a room saying ‘I’ve got a bomb, give me what I want or I’ll blow up this room.’ This is not something — this has never happened before and should not be allowed to happen.”
— Krugman on ABC’s This Week, January 13.
Fearing “Horrendous” — and Imaginary — Spending Cuts
“Do you think that the big fight is going to be over whether to raise the debt ceiling, or will it be over the so-called sequester, and that is to stave off these horrendous, these gargantuan cuts in defense and social programs?”
— Host Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation, January 13. Even if the scheduled sequester kicks in, government spending  for defense, Medicare and discretionary programs would rise between 12% and 18% over the next ten years, vs. the 14-20% increases that would otherwise occur.
Scolding Tea Party: “They Want To Go Over the Edge”
The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman: “The Tea Party people are not here to legislate. They’re here to demonstrate. They didn’t get to do it on the tax fiscal cliff in the end. They want to do it to something. They want to go over the edge. And this [the debt ceiling vote] will take them over the edge, and they will lose politically, and the President is going to have to scramble to shut things down and credit ratings will be affected.”
Host Chris Matthews: “When’s the public going to make a verdict on whether they like that kind of behavior?”
Fineman: “Well, they sort of did in the last election.”
— The Chris Matthews Show, January 13.
CNN Double Standard: It’s “Perfect” if Wall Street “Hates” Lew
CNN’s Ali Velshi: “It’s funny because the general response on Wall Street isn’t that he [Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew] was one of us. It’s that he hasn’t had much Wall Street experience. They don’t actually like him all that much....Wall Street’s really not all that close behind Jack Lew....”
Anchor Michael Holmes: “Yeah, funnily enough, if Wall Street hates him, he might be perfect for the job.”
Velshi: “That’s what a lot of people think, Michael, actually.”
— CNN Newsroom, January 10.
...But Touted How Wall Street “Liked” Geithner
“All of these plans underway and this visibility of the incoming administration and all the things that they’re talking about in terms of stimulus, in terms of the new economic team — Wall Street liked it all. Wall Street really liked Tim Geithner, the New York Fed president, somebody who they see as somebody who’s been very key to a lot that’s been happening this year already. He’s already worked with Secretary Paulson. He knows intimately what’s happening in terms of the financial system. They feel like it’s not like you’re waiting until January 20th for Tim Geithner to take over. He’s in there right now helping, and they like it.”
— CNN correspondent Christine Romans on American Morning, November 25, 2008, talking about Obama’s selection of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary.
Supreme Court Conservatives vs. “So-Called Liberals”
“Do you think that it’s bad for the credibility of the Court as an institution if people have the perception that it is splitting along partisan or ideological lines?...But it is true that often the so-called liberals on the Court side with one another and there’s a conservative ideological bloc and the Court sometimes fractures down those lines.”
— NBC’s Savannah Guthrie to Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, January 14 Today.
Republican Governor = Nasty Communist Dictator
“[Florida] Governor [Rick] Scott has repeatedly turned down the offer of federal funds that would allow parents to care for their disabled children at home....I was reminded of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, whose treatment of disabled children there, which started in the 1970s, where they were hidden and housed in the most appalling conditions. Now, of course that’s an extreme example. But is this his preference for disabled children in America in 2013? That you simply house these disabled children in facilities away from their families?”
— MSNBC host Martin Bashir interviewing Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, January 9. [MP3 audio  (0:50)]
“Magnanimous, Warm” Hugo Chavez, Like Obama in 2008
“I found him [Venezuela’s left-wing strongman Hugo Chavez] to be a magnanimous, warm, warm man, big man....He’s popular. The people love him — well, the majority of the people, because the living standards have gone up, and that’s what’s ignored in so much of the reporting on Venezuela....So I think he’s going to be mourned as a national figure who changed Venezuela forever....He represents hope and change, the things that Obama stood for in our country in 2008.”
— Director Oliver Stone on CNN Newsroom, January 4.
Lefty Stone Spins Tired Cliches of Reagan Years
“What is Reagan’s real legacy?...He deregulated industries, eroded environmental standards, defiantly ripping down the solar panels that Jimmy Carter had put on the White House roof, weakened the middle class, busted unions, heightened the racial divides, widened the gap between rich and poor....As far as Reagan’s much-vaunted role in winning the Cold War, the lion’s share of credit goes to Mikhail Gorbachev — a true visionary and, it turns out, the real democrat.”
— Oliver Stone narrating the December 31 installment of Showtime’s ten-part Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. [MP3 audi o (3:42)]
Supporting Reagan and the Pope Makes You a Bigoted Killer
“Those who would deify Reagan and Pope John Paul II are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people... because of their bigotry.”
— Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore talking about the 1980s AIDS epidemic, as reported Jan. 9 in the New York Post.
Dave Apologized So He Could Keep “Making Fun” of Palin
Oprah Winfrey: “I saw the apology that you made to Sarah Palin’s [then-14-year-old] daughter [Willow]. It seemed that you were genuinely apologetic there....Why did you apologize?”
Late Show host David Letterman: “I’ll tell you why I apologized. I felt like Sarah Palin was somebody I wanted to continue to be able to make fun of and I felt like if I don’t apologize, if I don’t sincerely express my regret, I will not be able to go forward making fun of her.”
— Talking about Letterman’s 2009 joke about Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” during a Yankee’s game, on Oprah’s Next Chapter, January 6. [MP3 audio  (1:02)]
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
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TIMESWATCH: Clay Waters
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INTERNS: Jeffrey Meyer and Matt Vespa