The Media vs. the "Radical," "Right-Wing," "Scary," "Dangerous," and "Slimy" Ted Cruz

Vol. 28, No. 7

Slamming “Hardline” “Right-Wing” Ted Cruz

“Mr. Cruz’s tenure in Washington has been marked by accusations of demagogy. He sometimes deploys the soaring diction of a preacher while staking out uncompromising and rigid conservative positions, often playing the role of political flamethrower.”
New York Times correspondents Nick Corasaniti and Patrick Healy, March 24.

“How are you, with that hardline conservative message, going to appeal to moderates and independents? Nobody gets elected without appealing to them.”
— ABC’s Jon Karl to Cruz in an interview clip shown on Good Morning America, March 24.

“You have detractors, not only across the aisle, but within your own party. How can you win the nomination unless you build a much broader coalition than the one you already have?...Is there room in Ted Cruz’s Republican Party for those who are socially liberal, for those who are pro-choice, for those who support gay marriage?”
— Co-host Matt Lauer to Cruz on NBC’s Today, March 24.

“This guy is bad news. His voting record is the most right-wing we’ve ever had. What’s he going to do to the Republican Party?...What a day for the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan — a Republican Party so positioned to the right, it can’t find its way back.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 23.

MSNBC Smears: “Scary, Dangerous, Slimy”

“Everybody keeps saying he’s a smart guy. This is a guy who basically is saying that climate change is not a fact...So wait, that’s not smart. That’s dumb. But that’s ignorance. That word is ignorant and that’s not smart...I think he’s the worst. I think he’s scary, I think he’s dangerous, I think he’s slimy and I think he brings no fresh ideas.”
— Regular panelist Donny Deutsch on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, March 23.

A “Radical Extremist” Who Acts Like Joe McCarthy

“Is this 1964, when the Republican Party decided it would go with its most extreme candidate? Remember, Barry Goldwater said that year ‘extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.’ So, that’s the Ted Cruz message, ‘extremism is good. Red meat is good.’ He pushes all the buttons he can: Abolish the IRS — not reform the IRS — abolish it. This is radical political material, and we will see how it plays. I wouldn’t assume that it doesn’t.”
— Longtime Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter during MSNBC’s live coverage following Cruz’s announcement speech, March 23.

“Isn’t this what the Republicans were afraid of? Isn’t this why they wanted to limit the number of debates and keep them from being ideological street theater. No more talk about evolution and legitimate rape and that stuff that scares people? Well, what will happen by having that sword-swallowing Ted Cruz in the mix next time? Does anyone think he’ll be there debating the nuance of trade policy or corporate tax rates? This is a hard-right roller derby, with Cruz working the rail position. This is going to make Hillary look like a one-person Department of Homeland Security.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 25.

“The most right-wing national candidate in modern American politics is running for president as of today. Ted Cruz has accused President Obama of being under communist influence. He’s accused a double Purple Heart winner of being on the take to North Korea. Cruz is either blindly ignorant of what this country went through in the early 1950s under the Red-baiting of Joseph McCarthy and others, or out he’s there deliberately channeling McCarthy again today.”
— Matthews on the March 23 Hardball.

New York Times Chief Proud to Be Called a “Leftist Rag”

“Badge of honor RT @politico: Ted Cruz: The New York Times is a ‘leftist rag.’”
— April 2 tweet from @comradewong, who is New York Times Beijing bureau chief Edward Wong.

Republicans Who Grew Up Poor = “Traitors to Their Class”

“In the case of the three Republican leaders [John Boehner, Scott Walker and Joni Ernst] cited above, and most of those who aspire to be the G.O.P. presidential nominee next year, these Horatio Algerians for the new Gilded Age are working to keep the downtrodden down. They are traitors to their class, with all the strutting moral superiority that comes with the conversion....It’s a variant of Mitt Romney’s view that 47 percent of Americans are moochers. Stripped to its essence, it’s a load of loathing for their former class, delivered on a plate of platitudes.”
— Former New York Times reporter Timothy Egan, now a Times columnist, in an opinion piece which appeared in the March 20 edition under the headline, “Traitors to Their Class.”

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law: Have We Mentioned the “Growing Outrage”?

“Backlash: Outrage growing this morning over a controversial new law in Indiana....”
— Co-host Erica Hill teasing upcoming segment on NBC’s Today, March 29.

“There is growing outrage this morning about Indiana’s new religious freedom bill....”
— Co-host Paula Faris on ABC’s Good Morning America, March 29.

Co-host George Stephanopoulos: “We’re going to turn now to the growing firestorm over Indiana’s new religious freedom law....”
Correspondent Gio Benitez: “Outrage over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is growing....”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, March 30.

Protecting Religious Freedom Just Like Segregation

“You do get a sense of the bunker mentality that’s going on right now among social conservatives....So what you get is that incredibly awkward stonewalling by [Indiana Governor] Mike Pence yesterday, where he cannot answer a simple question whether or not the state of Indiana should be able to discriminate against gays and lesbians. This puts him in the same position as George Wallace was a generation ago, by saying that — you know what? I’m not in favor of segregation. I never have been. This is about states’ rights and the Constitution. So you elevate the ugly to try to bring political purity, and it never, ever works.”
— CNN political analyst and Daily Beast editor John Avlon on CNN’s New Day, March 30.

Agreeing with Pence = “Premature Intolerance Ejaculation”

“Well, what I find astonishing about it is the way the presidential candidates jumped onto the Pence side immediately: Jindal, Carson, Cruz, and Bush, the front-runner. It was like a premature intolerance ejaculation and, you know, there are pills for that at Walmart....”
Newsweek national political correspondent Nina Burleigh, formerly a Time magazine reporter, on MSNBC’s The Last Word, April 1.

The “Shameful and Embarrassing” Benjamin Netanyahu

“He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews....Benjamin Netanyahu has made dreadful Jewish history: he is the man who made anti-Arab bigotry an overt factor in Israeli political life. This is beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.”
Time’s Joe Klein, March 30 issue.

Iran’s “Conservatives” Just Like Those in the U.S.?

“What the Iranian negotiators say they really need to say ‘yes’ to a deal, is the ability to sell it back home. As in the U.S., Iran has conservatives who don’t trust the other side and they are ready to pounce if they believe negotiators give up too much.”
— Ann Curry on the March 30 NBC Nightly News.

The Media’s “Embarrassing” Pursuit of Elizabeth Warren

 “You care so much about these issues, your supporters say, ‘Well, then you’re the person — you’re the perfect person to go in and fight for them and take them on.’ They’re afraid that Hillary Clinton won’t give voice to these issues that you care about.”
 “This is something you obviously feel passionate about it. You came out of the private sector, came to Washington for this purpose. Because you care about those issues, I have to ask you whether you think Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, presumably, in 2016, is she the right messenger for that? Do you think she will give a credible voice to these issues of whether the middle class is getting a fair shake?”
 “Possibly I’m beating a dead horse here, but did you ever even consider, entertain the possibility of running for President?”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie to ultra-liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on NBC’s Today, March 31.

“I think many journalists are drawn to Warren’s brand of liberal populism, her crusade against Wall Street, her attacks on special interests, and right now they are practically trying to draft her. It’s getting embarrassing.”
— FNC MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz on Special Report with Bret Baier, April 2.

Marveling at the Mastery of Harry Reid

“His [Senator Harry Reid’s] legacy will be defined just as much by his deft parliamentary maneuvers to push forward sweeping laws that might not have passed under different leadership....His soft-spoken utterances never matched the soaring oratory of contemporaries such as Kennedy, but his mastery of the Senate’s rules and an understanding of every senator’s personal and political needs made him a force.”
The Washington Post’s Paul Kane in a March 28 front-page story: “Reid laying down gloves after 28 years in Senate: From hardscrabble childhood, he rose to pinnacle of power.”

MSNBC Presents: March Madness for Marxists

“More people interact with the NCAA tournament than even the Super Bowl. More money is bet on the NCAA tournament than the Super Bowl. And who are we really tuning in to watch? Who is wearing the corporate logos as they run up and down the court? It’s the players: that’s who we’re watching, and yet they do not get paid for it....When you dispense with the niceties of it all, when we stop trying to speak in politically correct language, what we’re looking at is the organized theft of black wealth.”
The Nation sports writer David Zirin on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, March 21.

America Founded on “White Supremacy”

Host Melissa Harris-Perry: “Well what if instead of saying gave something substantive?”
The “Whiteness Project’s” Whitney Dow: “Oh, absolutely, I’d rather have it say, y’know, ‘white supremacy has been the organizing principle of America since it was founded.’”
Harris-Perry: “Ah, there you go! Put that on the cup!”
— Talking about Starbuck’s ill-fated #RaceTogether campaign, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, March 22.

Nothing Says “Let’s Kill Muslims” Like Country Music

Clip of Ted Cruz from CBS: “On 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded. And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.”...
Fill-in host Ari Melber: “Jamilah, what’s he talking about?” editor Jamilah Lemieux: “Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music, fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia....I mean — really? That’s absurd.”
— MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner, March 25.

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