Covering Religious Freedom Case Using a Feminist Prism
“Here’s the question before the nine justices: If a woman relies on insurance to buy contraception, should her employer get to decide which contraception she uses?”
— Anchor Diane Sawyer on ABC’s World News, March 25, talking about Hobby Lobby’s court challenge to ObamaCare’s mandates on contraceptive coverage.
“You know, Cecile, it’s like every time we have a discussion it feels like the clock has turned back even more, you know. And it feels like the ACA was progress and it’s real, and yet the force is pulling us back — not just on the question of national health care, but on the question of access to contraception. I mean, we are back in, like, Margaret Sanger days here.”
— MSNBC host Alex Wagner interviewing Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, March 21.
“Why should women face those kinds of decisions made by an employer, rather than made by their doctor and by themselves?...These folks started a family business, but what right do they have, again, to interfere with medical decisions by women?...And why should women be discriminated against in ways that other medical beneficiaries are not?”
— NBC correspondent and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on Andrea Mitchell Reports, March 25, questioning lawyer Mark Rienzi of The Becket Fund, which represented Hobby Lobby in the Supreme Court.
MSNBC Host: Beware of the “Six Catholic Justices”
“Can the Hobby Lobby craft store chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties of Pennsylvania claim that covering contraception in their employees’ health plans violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?...The Court that will decide includes six Catholic justices — some of whom have not been shy about asserting their religion.... The question is, do you trust this Court to make those decisions?”
— MSNBC host Joy Reid talking on The Reid Report, March 25.
NBC Sees “Hypocrisy” in U.S. Criticism of Russia
“When we deal with Vladimir Putin, this issue of hypocrisy comes up. And the United Nations spoke of this, this week. The United Nations pointedly criticized the U.S.’s human rights record over drone strikes, NSA surveillance, the death penalty. Does it make it hard to deal with the likes of Putin and [Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov when you’ve got the U.N. criticizing the U.S. that way?”
— NBC’s David Gregory to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Meet the Press March 16.
They’d Rather Bash Bush than Pound Putin
“Okay, let’s just be honest: who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade? Last I checked, we invaded Iraq....Now, all of a sudden, we are castigating Putin for going into Ukraine....So, I would say to the critics, please, for the sake of everybody else, shut the hell up, because frankly, overthrowing countries is what America has been really, really, really good at.”
— Ex-CNN contributor Roland Martin on his TV One news program One News Now, March 19.
“Putin’s popularity has climbed back up considerably since Ukraine coup. Strong feelings about Crimea and eastern Ukraine being Russian. Given the history, I can’t blame them.... Please note...what the United States did to Gorbachev’s Soviet Union when we really could’ve made a huge difference. The entire world would be a far more peaceful place now if Bush father had any vision or generosity like Roosevelt or Kennedy, but instead he turned out to be another Truman in his time. Even though he would become a mere footnote to his son’s Caligula-like depredations on ‘the Empire.’”
— Director Oliver Stone writing on his Facebook page, March 17.
How Could List of Greatest Leaders Exclude Obama?
Co-host Savannah Guthrie: “We are back now at 8:14 with ‘What’s Trending Today.’ And this morning, Fortune magazine is releasing its first list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders....There may be some talk about one leader who did not make the list, the leader of the free world, President Obama. Fortune tells us he was not overlooked, he just did not make the cut.”
NBC’s Natalie Morales: “In the top 50.”
Co-host Matt Lauer: “Yeah, that’s surprising.”
— NBC’s Today, March 20.
“I noticed that Barack Obama did not make the list. Also — nor did Vladimir Putin. How did you come up with this list?”
— Host Bob Schieffer to Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher on CBS’s Face the Nation, March 23.
Chris’s Blueprint for Low-Road Campaign
“The best defense is a good offense. Are you listening, Democratic candidates?...Give the angry voter out there something really scary to vote against, a direction to really direct his or her anger. You can warn people what the Republicans will do if they really clench power, how they’re hell bent on cutting entitlements. That’s their term for it. Yours might be Social Security and Medicare because those benefits of yours under Social Security and Medicare make up $7 in $10 of entitlements....Want something else to fear if the Republicans get the upper hand this fall? Women’s health care, Roe v. Wade, which that Florida Republican who just won plans to repeal. Voter suppression? Just wait until the Republicans get finished with their plans to slam the doors on voting access for the minorities of this country and some other folks. They’ll know the price of a lost election.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 13.
Saluting Jimmy Carter’s Foreign Policy “Expertise”
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “I want to ask you about foreign policy, given all of your expertise. It was actually on Meet the Press in 1980 that you said we would not go to the Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan....And now we have this situation with Ukraine. What advice would you give in dealing with Vladimir Putin?...Does the President ask you for advice?”
Former President Jimmy Carter: “Unfortunately, the answer is no....”
Mitchell: “I just wanted to ask finally. With all your energy, what keeps you going? What is the secret, the magic of Jimmy Carter?”
— Interview shown on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 23.
Mocking GOP Foreign Policy: “It’s All About Testosterone”
“They have this push-button mentality when it comes to foreign policy, that if you carry a big stick there’s no ramifications, we’ll just get into this thing, we’ll kick Putin’s ass and don’t worry about anything....It just infuriates me. After all we’ve been through, after everything we have done with Iraq, Afghanistan, the longest war in American history in our lifetime, $17 trillion of debt — hell, that don’t matter! We gotta show everybody we got a hard on! It’s all about testosterone! It’s about the great U. S. of A. can kick anybody’s ass! It just amazes me. The bottom line is, Republican Party hasn’t learned anything.”
— MSNBC host Ed Schultz on his radio show, March 24.
Chris Can’t Tolerate Criticism from Unworthy Republicans
“These Republicans — Romney, Rumsfeld — remind me of kids who flunked out of high school, but come back to tap on the classroom windows. They’re only there to get attention and otherwise disrupt those who are still trying to learn. Got it? Dropouts. Flunkers. Romney, I didn’t know the guy even took the course on foreign policy. He never said a word about it....Don Rumsfeld, put your bedroom slippers back on and go back to bed. Leave foreign policy to those who still know what it means to try as best we can to find the road, even in a turbulent world, to some kind of peace. Peace, let’s face it, Mr. Rumsfeld, Cheney, and all the neo-cons who gave you license, was never your mission.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, March 26.
Charter Schools “Breed and Feed Segregation”
“It’s not about whether parents should have the freedom to send their kids to charter schools. This is about taking resources away from the public schools. That’s what this is about....This breeds and feeds the next generation of segregation in America. That’s what this does.”
— MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on The Ed Show, March 26.
Al Sharpton Slams “Cynical Use of Race”
“Why is Senator Rand Paul saying this about our first black President? Here’s the Kentucky Republican in a New York Times interview, quote, ‘The first African American President ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying: Martin Luther King was spied upon; civil rights leaders were spied upon; Muhammad Ali was spied upon; anti-war protestors were spied upon.’ Is Rand Paul really bringing race into a conversation about the NSA?...Who is Rand Paul to make this point? This is a cynical use of race from some on the right.”
— Host Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, March 20.
CNN’s Beyond-Embarrassing Coverage of Missing Jet
“Whether it was hijacking or terrorism or mechanical failure or pilot error, but what if it was something fully that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking about that, about black holes and on and on and on and all of these conspiracy theories. Let’s look at this....I know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous?”
— Anchor Don Lemon wrapping up a 10pm ET CNN special report on the jet disappearance on March 19, as the on-screen headline blared: “The Theory of Black Holes.”
Fawning Over the “Bracketologist-in-Chief”
“President Obama, an avid college basketball fan, unveiled his choices for this year’s Final Four. Some call his pick Barackatology.”
— Fill-in co-host Anthony Mason on CBS This Morning, March 19.
“And finally, the Bracketologist-in-Chief is at it again — President Obama, as he does every March, making his predictions as to the madness with ESPN’s Andy Katz....”
— ABC’s Josh Elliott on Good Morning America, March 19.
Babs Meets Her Thomas-Trashing “Heroine”
“I would just like to say that I’m honored to be meeting you. I watched those hearings as did so many other people. And to so many of us, you were our heroine.”
— Longtime ABC News reporter and anchor Barbara Walters to law professor Anita Hill, who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment before his 1991 confirmation, on ABC’s The View, March 19.
Deluded DeGeneres: “Everyone’s Very Grateful” for ObamaCare
“It’s doing very, very well....You’ve got five million people signed up so far. [Applause] An enormous number of people have signed up, so it’s successful....I think everyone’s very grateful that you did this. And I think it is important for people to sign up. It’s just better to be covered. You just never know.”
— Syndicated daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres talking to President Obama about the health care law on her March 20 show.
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PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
DEPUTY RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Dickens
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Matt Hadro and Jeffrey Meyer
INTERN: Paul Bremmer