NBC Helps Hillary with Softball Townhall; Blaming 'Far Right' for Boehner's Exit

Vol. 28, No. 20

NBC Helps Hillary with Hour of Sycophantic Softballs

  “I’m very distressed about the recent mass shooting last week in Oregon, and frankly a bit ashamed about the uncontrollable gun violence in our country....I would like to know, as President, what specifically you would do for gun control?”
  “Secretary Clinton, you’ve had a lot of tough questions this morning. This may be the toughest one you get all day. But many years ago we saw another Clinton at his inauguration play an instrument and have a song. What song or instrument would you play at yours?”
  “In order to make government work there needs to be cooperation, there needs to be compromise, there needs to be consensus. Honestly, is there anyone left in the Republican Party — I’m talking about the Senate and the House — who you can work with? I mean, you’re not going to be able to do most of what you want to do by yourself. Who’s there? Anyone?”
  “Well, first, I want to thank you for your candidacy. You’re such a role model for women my age, and so thank you for putting yourself out there. So in your e-mails, you told [Democratic] Senator [Barbara] Mikulski you guys should go out and celebrate with something unhealthy to drink, so I’m wondering what your favorite celebratory unhealthy drink is.”
— A few of the audience questions during NBC’s “town hall meeting” with Hillary Clinton, October 5 Today.

Blaming “Far Right” for Boehner’s Exit

“Speaker of the House John Boehner, 13 terms in Congress, announcing that he is stepping down at the end of the month, accelerating his plan to step down at the end of the year under pressure from the far right of his party....”
NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt during live coverage of Boehner’s resignation, September 25.

“Mr. Speaker, you made no secret of your frustration with some members of your far right flank and some outside groups. You’ve used words like ‘knucklehead,’ and some other words we probably can’t use on television. Had you just had enough, and how will anything be different for the next Speaker?”
— CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes to Boehner at his live press conference, September 25.

Long-Suffering Boehner Had to “Put Up” with Tea Party

“Mark Murray, who covers politics for MSNBC and NBC News, also with us. Mark, talk about what John Boehner has had to put up with that is unique to his Speakership. I guess I’m mostly thinking of the Tea Party revolution.”
— Former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during MSNBC’s live coverage, September 25.

GOP’s Real Grievance: “America Is Now Less White”

“I actually think this is more reflective than what the conservatives think about the Speaker and the leadership, and what they think of Obama, and the fact that they’re upset that America has changed. That’s what they’re really upset about: America is now less white, less married, less churched, less conservative, and that is a difficult prospect for them to face in the course of this.”
— ABC political analyst and former Bush-Cheney campaign strategist Matthew Dowd, This Week, September 27.

Matthews Cheers: Obama’s Going to Be a “Post-Presidential Mandela”

“What I saw there [in Obama’s UN speech] was the post-presidential Obama, the man he wants to become....He is going to be a post-presidential Nelson Mandela. He is going to be a man of the world, selling democracy, claiming credit for climate change initiatives, with opening to Cuba, with trade deals. He is laying down all the values he is going to be spending the rest of his life, I believe, promoting....He will be a presidential figure who’s become a global leader.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on NewsNation, September 28.

Scolding Congress for Failure to Pass Anti-Gun Agenda

Clip of Senator Harry Reid: “We extend our sympathy, our best wishes.”
Correspondent Nancy Cordes: “Sympathy and best wishes are about all that the victims’ families can expect from Congress, which has not seriously debated strengthening gun laws since 2013, after 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. But even then, the Senate easily defeated legislation that would have increased punishment for gun trafficking and expanded background checks, something 88 percent of Americans say they support....”
CBS Evening News story on the Oregon college shooting, October 1.

Latest Shooting = Another Excuse to Rage Against Gun Rights

“One of our political parties is completely insane and it’s the party that, when we have mine disasters, blocks mine regulations. It’s the party that says, when we want to fix our roads, you can’t have an infrastructure bill, you can’t raise the gas tax....And we have the same party, which has somewhere between 300 and 600 people running for president, none of whom will do anything about the problem of mass shootings in America. So, I mean, I’m politicizing the hell out of this, and I don’t care.”
Esquire’s Charles Pierce on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, October 1.

“The mass murder at Umpqua again reveals we are a gun sick nation. All the 2d Amendment bullshit aside, the gun lobby controls the country, and allows armed maniacal lunatics to roam free and kill.”
— Fox News host Geraldo Rivera in an October 1 Facebook post.

“The National Rifle Association is responsible for America’s appalling culture of violence. It is the most invidious, vile, greedy, callous, selfish, brutal, uncompromising and nasty lobby group on the planet. The NRA doesn’t care how many people die, how many men, women and kids get blown to pieces.”
— Ex-CNN host Piers Morgan in an October 2 column in London’s Daily Mail.

Calling Out Williams for His “Not Particularly Relevant” Agenda Question

Anchor Brian Williams: “And can I ask you about your gun laws — concealed carry, that kind of thing?”
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum: “I’m only in a position to tell you that it’s my understanding that it would not have been legal for a concealed carry to have occurred on a community college campus. There’s case law, and there’s statutory law, and there’s college laws. So, it’s a complicated area. But that’s my understanding — not that it’s particularly relevant right at the moment.”    
— Exchange during MSNBC’s live coverage of the shooting, October 1.

PC Reporters Turn Their Wrath from Trump to Carson

Co-host Willie Geist: “A lot of people taking great offense to someone stepping back from the comfort of a presidential campaign and saying, ‘Here’s what I would have done,’ as nine people were shot, many of them reportedly asked what their religion was, when they said ‘Christian,’ they were gunned down.”
Co-host Natalie Morales: “Yeah. I mean, it’s beyond insensitive. It’s hard to hear that.”
— Exchange on NBC’s Today, October 7, talking about GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statement that he would have challenged the gunman.

“You know, the only thing more alarming than Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field is the fact that Ben Carson is the guy right behind him....The Good Doctor made it clear this week that he is not only willing to replicate Trump’s signature brand of hot-garbage-spewing, but he’ll say even DUMBER shit....You are now bearing witness to an arms race of stupid, because stupid is in such high demand from the GOP base at the present moment.”
GQ columnist Drew Magary in an October 8 post headlined, “Fuck Ben Carson.”

CNN Star Claims a GOP “War on Muslims”

“The top Republican candidates have decided to make a war on Muslims, you know, 1.5 billion members of another faith. And it must be a little bit weird to have that sort of discordance, you know, when this Pope is here talking about what makes America great — tolerance — and all the other issues that have made this country great.”
— Chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour during CNN’s live coverage, September 24.

George Can’t Accept a Tax Plan that Saves Trump Money

“The top rate goes from 40 percent to about 25 percent. Capital gains comes down from 23 to 20. That’s a huge — that’s tens of millions of savings....You’re not going to be paying more taxes....But you’re going to get a tax cut?....But where your family would make potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, eliminating the estate tax?....So your family would benefit, but you’re saying it’s just wrong?....Bottom line, you do accept that you’re going to make out well under your tax plan?”
— Host George Stephanopoulos to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, ABC’s This Week, October 4.

Hopes Pope’s Speech Ends “Silly Political Fight” Over Planned Parenthood

“You know, I can’t help — and I apologize for bringing in crass politics into this, but we are six days from the government possibly shutting down, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear the Pope give these words here. And maybe it changes the tone, even for a week, which could save us a sort of silly political fight in a week. These members of Congress needed to hear something like this.”
— NBC’s Chuck Todd on September 24, during live coverage of Pope Francis’s speech to Congress, referencing congressional Republicans attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Captain Dan, the Denial Man

“We reported a true story....There wasn’t any doubt then, and there is no doubt in any reasonable person’s mind now, the story was true.”
— Disgraced ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, talking about his 2004 story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service, as quoted in an October 7 story by The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie.

It’s Terrible How “Partisan” Critics Destroyed Trust in Mainstream Media

“I believe really strongly that the decline in trust in the media is primarily attributable to partisans — whether in politics or in the media — who have a vested interest in casting the press as hopelessly biased....The rise of outside partisan groups — on the left and the right — has coincided with a bumper crop of partisan-first media outlets designed to foment rage and exasperation with the mainstream media’s alleged missteps. It’s good business for them — and just plain terrible for the American public.”
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza in a September 28 “The Fix” blog.

Liberal Talk Show Host Lectures Conservative Cruz on Reagan

“Does today’s modern Republican Party reflect some of the things that Reagan did? Reagan raised taxes, okay. Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Reagan to be nominated today. So to what level can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?”
— Host Stephen Colbert to GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz on CBS’s Late Show, September 21.

SNL’s “Hillary” Admits She “Loves” Clinton

“Whenever I do an impression of someone, I have to love them. So, everyone I’ve ever done, I personally love. And for her, what I love is how badly she wants to fix the country, and I genuinely know that.”
Saturday Night Live’s Clinton impersonator Kate McKinnon on ABC’s Live! With Kelly and Michael, October 1.

Bill Maher’s Cheap Shot at Pope Francis

“The Pope said the one regret he had is that he didn’t go to the Statue of Liberty. Because it would be nice to be able to say that at least once in his life, he spent some time inside of a woman.”
— Host Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time, September 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: Michael McKinney