Discredited Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart rallied his Big Journalism, Big Government and even Big Hollywood troops today to mark the one-year anniversary of Obama's inauguration by publishing not one, but eight separate paeans to former President George W. Bush.
Remember how great things were a year ago this time? Well, Breitbart's crew does.
The head honcho himself proclaims: "After the MSM's relentless assault, the President still stands proud." (Bear in mind, he's not talking about the current president, who is still standing proud after Breitbart's lame campaigns against him.) Breitbart writes:
[T]he simple fact was that media deliberately and malevolently sustained a false caricature of Bush in its pages and on its broadcasts in order to bog down the leader of the free world when he needed all the help he could get, and a time when the country was in great danger.
Again, he's not talking about now, or his own attacks on Obama.
The most absurd screed goes to J.S. Shapiro, who writes that "America betrayed President Bush." You see, America owes George W. Bush.
Here's the Twitter-ized version of the rest of the posts:
Bush was a fearless leader in perilous time who was hamstrung by attacks from Left and media. And Obama is now following the Bush doctrine.
Oh, and somehow "class died" the day Bush left office because he had been hated for eight years because he is "openly Pro-Life." (Gary Graham wins the award for the most incomprehensible ode.)
Scott Brown Win 'Stunning'? Only to Out-of-Touch Media
And here's the argument they make:
[I]f you've been paying attention to the growing tide of anger and resentment against Washington elitists who have lost touch with their constituents, then Brown's win was not stunning, but a logical outcome. Unfortunately, many of those who task themselves with bringing us the news each and every day seem to be as out of touch with their audience as the Washington elites they cover.
OK, so the media are out of touch for labeling Republican Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts special Senate election as "stunning." Sure, I'll bite.
Now, check out the opening paragraph from an item posted yesterday on BigGovernment.com, Big Journalism's sister site and one of Breitbart's three "Big" websites [emphasis added]:
One would think the repudiation of the President Obama's direct personal plea would make him the biggest loser in the wake of Tuesday's stunning victory by Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special Senate election. But one would be wrong.
Oh my. It's bad enough to be "out of touch," but to be called out as such by your own colleagues? How embarrassing ...
Politico's Ben Smith writes:
As the left makes the counterintuitive argument - which it lost in 1994 - that Democrats' real problem is caution, not overreach, John Judis makes the more straightforward case: It's all about the independents.
But, contrary to Smith's suggestion, the two positions -- that the "Democrats' real problem is caution, not overreach" and that "It's all about the independents" are not mutually exclusive. And contrary to his suggestion, "independents" are not some static universe of voters in the "center" who can only be unhappy with Democrats if Democrats "overreach."
Indeed, Judis does not seem to subscribe to the views Smith ascribes to him. Judis writes "Obama's declining approval can be attributed to the rising rate of unemployment and that the only way he could have prevented, or eased, the fall in his popularity would have been to get Congress to adopt a much larger stimulus program last winter."
That sure doesn't sound like a contradiction of the view that the "Democrats' real problem is caution, not overreach."
Smith's construct adopts the tired assumption that in order to appeal to "independents," Democrats must jettison progressive ideals. But it's rarely anything more than that: an assumption. Much of the time, Democrats can better appeal to "independents" through clear articulation of a progressive agenda, and -- this part is important -- successful implementation of the same. Just consider last year's stimulus: Had it been larger, as many economists said it should have been, the economy might now be in much better shape. Surely we can all agree that if that were the case, Democrats might well enjoy more support from independents?
From Tommy De Seno's January 19 column on The Daily Caller:
Last week political correctness tried to kill history. No one from the media tried to stop the murder. Instead, most media outlets became willing accomplices to the crime.
When Pat Robertson said the Haitian slave rebels made a pact with the devil to throw off their French enslavers 200 years ago, media liberals drooled, believing they had caught a religious person saying something awful.
Of course there's one fact media liberals left out of their reports about Pat Robertson's statement: That it was, you know, true.
How can citing a historical fact possibly make someone like Robertson a bad guy? Is he supposed to ignore the history that happened? Cover it up? Pretend to change it?
Robertson didn't say God caused an earthquake. He said Haiti is "cursed," but not who is responsible for the curse.
Yet on NBC's Good Morning America, Claire Shipman and George Stephanopolous tag-teamed Robertson on a piece where they jumped right to the conclusion that Robertson alleged the earthquake was God taking revenge on Haiti for the 200 year old devil pact (that pact, by the way, expired in 1991).
The Haitian pact with the devil is historical fact. Whether there is a curse on Haiti because of the pact is a matter of religious interpretation. Why is the media pretending to be surprised that Robertson, a religious leader, speaking on a religious show, would offer a religious analysis?
Feel free to religiously disagree with Robertson's analysis, but let's not pretend his facts were historically inaccurate because they weren't.
Politico's Jeanne Cummings on MSNBC about half an hour ago, discussing Michelle Obama's popularity:
She's doing much better than what people thought. There was a time during the campaign in 2008 when lots of Republicans thought that Michelle Obama could become some sort of liability.
Hmmmm. I don't remember that sentiment being limited to Republicans; I remember a lot of reporters expressing it as well. Reporters like ... Jeanne Cummings Politico colleagues. Let's fire up The Nexis, shall we?
Jim VandeHei & John Harris, Politico, 3/17/08:
The GOP has proven skilled at questioning the patriotism of Democratic candidates. Just ask John F. Kerry, defeated presidential candidate, and Max Cleland, defeated senator, if such attacks work in the post-Sept. 11 political environment.
They will blend together Wright's fulminations with quotes of Michelle Obama saying her husband's candidacy has made her finally proud of America with pictures of Obama himself sans the American flag on his lapel (the latter a point that has thrived in conservative precincts of the Web and talk radio).
In isolation, any of these might be innocuous. But in the totality of a campaign ad or brochure, the attacks could be brutal, replete with an unmistakable racial subtext.
Glenn Thrush, Politico, 8/25/08:
Plastic bags stuffed with big M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E signs are being loaded into the Pepsi Center for a prime-time speech by would-be first lady Michelle Obama. Her tasks are twofold: to introduce herself to the convention as a strong-willed, nonthreatening surrogate who has always been proud of her country - while portraying her Barack as a messy, absent-minded, regular dad who likes playing with his daughters when he's not out inspiring the millions. How she is received could determine how much she is used on the road this fall.
Mike Allen, Politico, 8/25/08:
Michelle Obama set out to reassure voters Monday that she would leave the governing to her husband and would not be a domineering White House presence.
Nia-Malika Henderson, Politico, 3/28/09:
Traditional? Hardly. In fact, Obama's approach so far is decidedly different from the usual model of the modern first lady - pick a platform of two or three issues and stick to it, by and large, for four years.
Yet in the midst of all those themes, it isn't yet clear whether her self-described core messages - about military families, volunteerism, and helping working women balance work and family life - are truly breaking through. Some wonder if she's spreading herself too thin to emerge in the public mind as a leading voice on those topics.
[F]or some, Obama's multi-tasking approach to the job raises the specter of Rosalynn Carter, who was dogged early on by questions of whether she was taking on too much and trying to be all things to all people. Ironically, some are raising the same "too much, too fast?" question about Michelle that they're raising about her husband, the president.
As for her more official three-issue platform, branding expert Hodgkinson said that for Obama, "the broader mission is to install herself in the psyche of the country and then after that take a look at what does she then wants to advance and can reasonably advance. "
Military family issues might not be the right fit, she said.
"When you think about military families it's not a connection you first make with the first lady," she said. "Without that natural pull, it's going to be a harder campaign especially if people's ears are turned elsewhere."
But now that Mrs. Obama has proven to be quite popular, Politico's Jeanne Cummings wants you to think it was just the Republicans who thought she'd be a liability -- just forget all about what Politico wrote about her.
The Associated Press seemed to be laying on the rhetoric a bit thick here [emphasis added].
In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in a U.S. Senate election Tuesday that left President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marred the end of his first year in office.
Obviously, since virtually every poll in the last seven days showed Brown leading the race, the AP was not suggesting that the Republican's victory shocked people last night. So I'm assuming what the AP meant was that it's just astonishing that a Republican could win a state-wide election in "liberal Massachusetts."
But is that really so astounding? From today's WSJ:
For starters, Massachusetts simply isn't as heavily tilted toward Democrats as widely thought. The state had a Republican governor for 16 straight years, until Democrat Deval Patrick was elected in 2006.
UPDATED: Politico declared the Brown win to be "historic," even though Politico never bothered to explain what made the victory "historic." (I think Politico just liked the ring of it.)
UPDATED: If Scott Brown had defeated Ted Kennedy, now that would have been an "epic upset."
Yet another indication that the media's near-constant efforts to hype the "Palin phenomenon" are misguided:
Palin, and daughter Bristol, reportedly took home $100,000 from In Touch to appear on the cover and in photos.
But the Palin family issue, according to Page Six, only sold roughly 500,000 copies on newsstands, "about half the number it sold a few weeks ago with the late Brittany Murphy on the cover."
Oh, ok. One more:
A new CBS News poll finds that a large majority of Americans say they do not want former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run for president.
Specifically, 71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president, while 21 percent say they do want her to run.
When the results are split out by party, 56 percent of Republicans say they do not want her to seek the office and 30 percent do. Meanwhile, 88 percent of Democrats do not want her to run. Among independents, 65 percent do not want her to run and 25 percent do.
The poll also finds that more people view Palin negatively than positively and that her book tour did not improve overall views of her.
As Eric Boehlert notes, "Now that we have (yet another) clear picture of Palin's low standing with the public, hopefully the political press corps will stop treating her online press releases (i.e. Facebook posting) as news. They're not. And most Americans don't seem to care about her."
But don't tell Andrew Malcolm -- it would break his heart.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank -- Dana Milbank! -- slams White House press secretary Robert Gibbs as a "smart-aleck":
Gibbs acts as though he's playing himself in the movie version of his job. In this imaginary film, he is the smart-alecky press secretary, offering zippy comebacks and cracking jokes to make his questioners look ridiculous. It's no great feat to make reporters look bad, but this act also sends a televised image of a cocksure White House to ordinary Americans watching at home.
And how many "ordinary Americans" are "watching at home" as Gibbs holds his daily press briefings? Basically, none. Milbank must know that, so I can only assume that what he really means is that he doesn't like the way Gibbs behaves. Too bad he isn't honest enough to make that clear rather than pretending he's channeling millions of Americans outraged over the performance of someone they've never heard of in a press briefing they never watch.
Gibbs didn't quite get it, though, as CBS's Chip Reid joked that he would try a question on "a different topic: the election in Massachusetts."
The press secretary drummed a bah-dum-bum on the lectern. Reid ignored the percussion and asked whether the "groundswell of support for a Republican in the blue state of Massachusetts for a candidate who's running against the president's agenda" meant that "the White House has simply lost touch with the American people."
Gibbs gave another dismissive wave and cited a CBS News poll that wasn't about Massachusetts.
Wait: Gibbs was asked whether the White House has "lost touch with the American people" and he responded by referring to a national poll, and Dana Milbank is upset that the poll "wasn't about Massachusetts?" That's inane. And it's a pretty clear indication that Milbank went looking for examples to fit his thesis rather than for a conclusion to fit the examples at hand.
Cramer late last week:
What does a Brown election mean...? Well, first you're going to get a knee-jerk rally in all the so-called penalized stocks -- the HMOs, the drugs, the medical device-makers. I call it "knee-jerk," though, because these stocks have been on fire for months...It's been clear as a bell that the health care reform wasn't going to affect most health care stocks. That's versus what we thought last year.
More important, though, I think that investors who are nervous about the dictatorship of the Pelosi proletariatwill feel at ease, and we could have a gigantic rally off a Coakley loss and a Brown win. It will be a signal that a more pro-business, less pro-labor government could be in front of us...How about a little bit less like the old Soviet Union? Yeah, that would be a bit more like it. Pelosi politburo emasculation!
Hmm, because in the wake of Brown's win last night, the Dow Jones has been down since the opening bell, and often down dramatically, falling nearly 180 points in Wednesday's trading.
UPDATED: The Dow just dropped below 200 points for the day. Still waiting for Cramer to comment.
Before this year it would been absurd to even ask whether one of America's largest TV networks was going to set aside an hour of primetime to broadcast the President of the United States' State of the Union Address. It would be absurd because I don't think a U.S. TV network has ever not covered the POTUS' SOTU. The address is considered to be sort of the bare minimum that broadcasters do in terms of providing some sort of public interesting programming during the calender year, aside from regularly scheduled newscasts.
So naturally Murdoch's Fox TV will cover the SOTU, right? I haven't seen anything definitive since the SOTU date of Jan. 27 was recently announced, but I honestly have my doubts because Murdoch has made it quite clear that Fox TV has decided to virtually ban Obama from its primetime. Fox TV started doing it with Obama's WH press conferences, and then Fox TV took the extraordinary step of denying the president airtime when he addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss historic health care reform. (Obama-less Fox TV got trounced in the ratings that night, BTW.)
So, given that precedent why would Fox TV broadcast the State of the Union? Execs there clearly don't believe they have any public interest obligation, despite the fact that Fox uses the public airwaves for free and banks tens of millions of dollars in ad revenues each year off those public airwaves.
Being realistic, I agree there's a chance that Fox TV will relent and make room for Obama next week. But if Murdoch does make room, all the move will do is confirm the obvious partisan motivation for snubbing Obama's health care address last summer. Because if the SOTU is good enough for Fox TV to telecast (i.e. an Obama address to a joint session of Congress), than why wasn't last summer's health care speech? (i.e. Also an Obama address to a joint session of Congress.)
Doesn't it become glaringly obvious that Fox TV refused to air the president last summer because Fox TV didn't like the topic on the table? Doesn't it become clear that Fox TV is picking and choosing when it will air Obama based on the politics in play?