Journalists Ooze Over 'Keen, Analytical' Obama; He's Like George Washington

Vol. 29, No. 2

Obama’s Speech Just Like George Washington’s Farewell

“It [Obama’s State of the Union speech] reminded me — I mean, this is going to sound ridiculous, like I always think about George Washington, but it reminded me of George Washington’s Farewell Address.”
— Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin on PBS’s Charlie Rose, January 12.

PBS Panel Oozes Over “Keen” and “Analytical” Obama

PBS’s Charlie Rose: “I want to raise two big issues about him that are fascinating to me and, Jon, all of you. How smart is he? What’s the sense of — is he one of our brightest presidents?”
Longtime Newsweek editor Jon Meacham: “Absolutely. I think so and I think it has the pluses and minuses.
Rose: “I’m asking from a real standpoint.”
Meacham: “It’s a keen analytical intelligence.”
— Exchange on Charlie Rose, January 12.

Professor Obama “Grew Gray” Teaching Governing to GOP

“I first met the then-Senator Obama in Cleveland all of the way back in 2006. Back then, they were naming babies after him in Iowa....After tonight, no more of these presidential moments are left to him. America has come to know this couple, this historic First Family, and watched as their girls grew up and watched as their dad grew gray.”
— ABC correspondent Terry Moran during Nightline’s post-State of the Union coverage, January 12.

“You have to remember that no president has faced a greater fog of misinformation and outright lies in the public sphere than this president....The lessons that he has had to teach, the elementary lessons of governing that he has struggled to teach this Congress is something that no other president has ever had to go through.”
— Host Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word, January 12.

CNN Anchor Admits: Press Mostly “Agrees” with Obama

“From my perspective, I wanted an intelligent discussion. I wanted him [President Obama] to actually address people who disagree with him, not just people who agree with him as so often happens at, you know, a presidential news conference or presidential announcement.”     
— CNN anchor Anderson Cooper discussing what he wanted out of a January 7 town hall meeting with President Obama on guns.

NBC Brings Load of Liberal Questions to Democratic Debate

“Americans love their SUVs, which spiked in sales last year as gas prices plummeted. How do you convince Americans that the problem of climate change is so urgent that they need to change their behavior?”
— Anchor Lester Holt to Bernie Sanders at NBC’s Democratic debate, January 17.

“Senator Sanders, let me ask you a question. You called Bill Clinton’s past transgressions, quote, ‘totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable.’ Senator, do you regret saying that?”
— NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell to Sanders, same debate.

Couric: “What Did You Think When the President Cried?”

“Let’s talk about President Obama’s executive action on guns. What did you think when the President cried?...Were you affected by it?...I know you vehemently oppose the President’s use of executive actions. But constitutional issues aside, Mr. Speaker, do you still believe closing the gun show loophole is reasonable?”
— Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, January 7.

Donald Trump: “Racial Arsonist”

“Trump is still, to my mind at least, an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist. And so, when we talk about how Trump is rising in the poll, you can’t do that absent the kind of campaign he’s running, the issues he’s raising.”
— PBS host Tavis Smiley on the January 10 edition of ABC’s This Week.

Gleeful at Ted Cruz “Being Hoisted on His Own Petard”

“Politically, what’s happening to him [Ted Cruz] is called being hoisted on his own petard. He was the divider. That was what his role was. ‘I don’t like these other Republicans. I don’t like these people coming across the border. I don’t like what’s going on with Obama’s birth certificate.’ Now, it’s being used on him by Trump who plays by even looser rules than ordinary politicians do.”
— CNN’s New Day co-host Chris Cuomo, January 13.

Delusional Conservatives Need to Believe in “Fake” Reagan

“The opening chapters of the book are about Ronald Reagan and among other things, this fascinating and weird development in our time in which Ronald Reagan is basically deliberately misremembered on the right, how Ronald Reagan’s real record has been submarined and all of his faults and compromises have been ascribed to other people and not to him, so conservatives can have one hero in modern history about whom they don’t feel terrible disappointment and betrayal. They basically reinvented Reagan as perfect....They need something to believe in, even if it’s fake.”
— Rachel Maddow on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, promoting Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne’s new book on the modern conservative movement, January 19.

Today’s GOP Would “Hate” Ronald Reagan

“It’s amazing here. In one debate, 30 times, and I was watching last night, and I kept hearing it, and I kept hearing it. And, you know, yes, Ronald Reagan famous, right, the ‘Shining City on a Hill,’ right, the aspirational, inspirational vision of America that he put forth. Yet, he tripled the national debt. Yet, he grew government. Yet, he raised taxes. These guys would hate that guy.”
— Anchor Erin Burnett discussing the Republican presidential contenders on CNN’s OutFront, January 15.

Enough About ISIS — What About “White Terrorism” and “Reparations”?

“The danger of ISIS is clearly a major threat to American safety, but personally, I know many minorities who are much more concerned with racist attacks at the local level than radical Islamists. So just — question to put it plainly since, often, issues of race are tiptoed, do you believe that white terrorism and extremism is as much a threat to some in this country as something like ISIS?”
— Fusion’s Iowa Black and Brown Forum co-debate moderator Rembert Browne to Hillary Clinton, January 11.

“Do you think 2016 is the year — kind of on the federal level — we should start studying reparations?”
— Browne to Clinton, same forum.

Tossing Softballs to Top Obama Aide

“The President pushing hard on the issue of guns. We just spoke to Senator Marco Rubio. He said if the President could take away our guns, he would. Your response?”
“They’ve also promised to undo what the President has done on climate change, on immigration, guns. How worried are you that the progress that you just cited is ephemeral?”
“Is he [Obama]  focusing on the long-term because he knows he can’t get much out of Congress this year?”
— ABC’s This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, January 10.

CBS News Priorities

“The first stop was Omaha. The President spent forty minutes meeting with high school teacher Lisa Martin, who moved him with a letter in which she had expressed a sinking feeling of dread and sadness about climate change.”
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on the President’s post-State of the Union agenda, January 13.

Chris Matthews Slams “Distasteful” Mark Levin

Host Chris Matthews: “There’s something strange about Cruz. Has Trump got to him with this ‘nasty’ comment that now Rush Limbaugh is now defending him? Imagine having Rush Limbaugh saying, ‘Oh, no. He’s not nasty.’ This is Rush Limbaugh as your character witness.”
NBC correspondent Katy Tur: “I think it’s Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin are defending Ted Cruz.”
Matthews: “Oh my God! Mark Levin is one of the most distasteful human beings out there.”
— Exchange between Matthews and Tur on MSNBC’s Hardball, January 18.

Only Chris Matthews Thinks Journalists Are “Taking Cruz’s Side”

“Why are these straight reporters out there all taking Cruz’s side on his right to run? Is it just they want a bigger number of candidates?”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews discussing Ted Cruz’s citizenship during live coverage after the Fox Business Channel’s GOP debate, January 14.

Mika Gushes to Hillary: “I Would Vote For You”

“There was nobody who was more impressed with you than me and Joe [Scarborough], New Hampshire, back in 2008....It was the most, kind of, incredible thing we’ve ever seen in term of a candidate’s ability to keep going and be acrobatic.... I’ve also said on the air, ‘I would vote for you if you won.’”
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski to Hillary Clinton, January 15.

George’s Hardball for Hillary

Co-host George Stephanopoulos: “Before we go, you buy a Powerball ticket?
Hillary Clinton: “I did. [Laughs.] I did.”  
Stephanopoulos: “And if you win?”
Clinton: “Well, I’ll fund my campaign.”
— Exchange on ABC’s Good Morning America, January 13.

Ellen Endorses “Smart” Hillary, Decries Double Standard

“I’ve said it before that you are held to a completely different standard than everyone else that seems to be, you know, held to. And you know what a supporter I am. I think that you’re as smart as can be, I think you are qualified, I think you stand for everything that I want in a president.”
— Daytime talk show host Ellen Degeneres to Hillary Clinton on her January 11 program.

DiCaprio’s Panic: “Too Late” to Save Earth from Climate Horror?

“The big question is are we too late? That's been the pondering question for everyone. I know we should all remain optimistic and I want to remain optimistic....But we do know that the scientific community has been screaming out loud for decades. And other interests have stifled their voice and manipulated this conversation. And it’s a real shame.”
— Actor Leonardo DiCaprio on PBS’s Charlie Rose, discussing the 2015 climate change treaty in Paris, January 7.

Amazed That Racists Aren’t Just “Dumb” Southerners

“You think you know about racism and then you delve into it and you kind of realize how little you do know...and how embarrassing people in this country are when you talk to them. Because people, I think associate, like, racism with really, like, dumb, you know, people from the south who aren’t educated.”
— Talk show host Chelsea Handler on NBC’s Today, January 19, promoting her new Netflix series.

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