• Accepting Buckley award, Fox's Hume thanked Media Research Center "for the tremendous amount of material" they "provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Hume added of MRC: "I don't know what we would have done without them"

    From the Media Research Center's 2009 Gala, "[f]eaturing the DisHonors Awards and the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence":

    HUME: I want to say a word, however, of thanks, to [Media Research Center president] Brent [Bozell] and to the team at the Media Research Center and all the contributors who make that work there possible. Not just for this wonderfully - this wonderfully fine award in the name of someone as I say I admire so much, but also for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don't know what we would have done without them. It was a daily, sort of a buffet of material to work from, and we - we -- we certainly made tremendous use of it.

  • The Red Scare Index: 35

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Here is today's daily Red Scare Index -- our search of CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC and CNBC for uses of the following terms: Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic, Communism, Communist, Communistic, Marxism and Marxist.

    Here are the numbers for yesterday, Thursday, March 19, 2009:

    TOTAL: 35
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 14
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 19
    Marxism/Marxist: 2

    By Network:

    CNN: 3
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 3
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    CNN Headline News: 0
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    Fox News Channel: 5
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 2
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 2
    Marxism/Marxist: 1

    Fox Business Network: 3
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 1
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 2
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    MSNBC: 24
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 11
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 12
    Marxism/Marxist: 1

    CNBC: 0
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    The above numbers are the result of a power search for these terms on these networks.

  • Now the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm is mocking the unemployed

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    You'll remember it was Malcolm, Laura Bush's former flack, who belittled a homeless man who took a picture of Michelle Obama as she volunteered at a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter. (How could a poor person possibly afford to a cell phone, Malcolm demanded.)

    Now, Malcolm, a non-stop embarrassment for the Times, ridicules an unemployed man who addressed Obama at a town hall meeting in California yesterday. His name is Daniel Webber and he told Obama how he was laid off by Toyota and couldn't find work.

    Just as he looked down his nose at the D.C. homeless man, Malcolm harrumphs:

    Get your facts straight before you stand up...It turns out the burly, 45-year-old Norwalk resident wasn't exactly laid off. He and Toyota agreed today that he took a voluntary buyout. His choice. He's still looking, if you're hiring. But how he got where he is turns out to be a little different than he first described on national TV.

    Hmm, Webber took a buyout, so he wasn't really laid off. At least according to Malcolm. This is just priceless, especially coming from somebody who works at a newspaper, since newspapers across the country have let go thousands of employees in recent years via buyouts.

    Meaning, management says it has to get rid of X number of employees, but if people volunteer to leave the company they'll be better compensated. But either way, the company is going to cut the payroll, so it's better to leave on your own accord.

    Bottom line, of course, is once people leave, they're out of a job. Webber took a buyout, for whatever reason, and now he can't find work. Just like an awful lot of former journalists who took buyouts and who cannot find work.

    Honestly, isn't there some way Laura Bush can hire Malcolm back?

  • What Honeymoon?

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Have you noticed how the press has been trumpeting the end of President Obama's "honeymoon" nearly every day since he took office? Talk about a prolonged annulment. I'm not even sure they ever made it to the chapel as this great new video illustrates. If the last two months are the media's idea of a honeymoon, all I have to say is good riddance.

    Be sure to check it out, give it a rating, add it to your favorites and share it with your friends.

  • Jake Tapper pretends Obama didn't take responsibility for AIG bonuses

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Tapper's blog post headline:

    President Takes Responsibility for AIG (Not Really)

    Here's what Obama said yesterday [emphasis added]:

    "Washington is all in a tizzy. It's their fault, it's the Democrats' fault, it's the Republicans' fault. -- Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the president..."or for everyone in D.C. scrambling how to blame someone else, just go ahead and talk to me because it's my job to make sure we fix these messes, even if I don't make 'em.

    So why did Tapper insert the "(Not Really)" in the headline? Because Obama also mentioned this:

    We didn't grant these contracts, we've got a lot on our plate. But it is appropriate when you're in charge to make sure stuff doesn't happen like this.

    Obama made two points. His administration did not grant the AIG contracts, but since he's the one now in charge he'll take responsibility. Tapper interprets that as Obama failing to take responsibility.

    Note the WSJ news team had no problem reporting the story accurately:

    Obama Accepts Blame for AIG Bonuses

    Or AFP:

    Obama Takes Responsibility for AIG Bonus fiasco

    Or the DC Examiner:

    Obama Takes Responsibility for AIG Misstep

    Or Marketwatch:

    Obama Takes Responsibility for AIG mess

    Or the San Diego Union Tribune:

    Obama, in Costa Mesa, Takes Blame in AIG Flap

    Or Fox Business News:

    Obama Takes Responsibility for AIG Mess

  • Then again, it "may" not

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Matt Drudge's favorite new source, Bloomberg News, recently reported that because Republicans are attacking Obama over the AIG bonus story it "may" damage the White House.

    Then again, it may not. But that doesn't get you linked to Drudge.

    Written by Hans Nichols, the Bloomberg piece claimed [emphasis added]:

    President Barack Obama's attempt to harness public anger over bonuses paid by American International Group Inc. may backfire on him as Republicans try to redirect that anger toward his administration.

    First, how is Obama trying to "harness public anger" over the bonus story? I'm not even sure what that means. I realize Obama has expressed his own outrage, as has virtually every politicians inside the Beltway in the last 48 hours. But how is Obama trying to "harness" the anger? Bloomberg never explains.

    Second, how would the public anger "backfire" on Obama? This picks up on that dreadful WashPost article we highlighted on Monday which announced that Obama's entire agenda was in danger of collapsing because "the public" was so angry about the AIG bonus story and was blaming the White House. Except that the Post didn't provide any evidence that the public was blaming the White House. Republican politicians? Yes, they were blaming Obama. The public? No proof.

    Same with Bloomberg News. The entire article is built around the idea that public anger "may" target the White House, but all the story included was predictable partisan GOP anger targeting the White House.

    The article also includes a couple of unfortunate quotes, like this one:

    Obama, 47, must now "play defense on economic populism," said pollster John Zogby. That can be a "deadly" posture in American politics, Zogby said. "We are not a hate-the-rich country," he said. "There's got to be a fine line here between going after the rich versus going after the venal greedy."

    Is Obama engaged in any "hate-the-rich" rhetoric? Is Obama just mindlessly going after "the rich"? Of course not. So why is Zogby being quoted to that effect?

  • Politico: Republicans are brilliant. Again.

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    This Ground Hog coverage has already gotten old and it's only the second month of the Obama administration.

    Remember how the Beltway press, including Politico, rushed to the judgment last month that Republicans had won the message war on the stimulus bill and how Republicans had outmaneuvered the beleaguered White House and how the GOP in Congress had its mojo back? The meme was everywhere.

    Except somebody forgot to tell the public.

    Well, Politico's back using the same script. Republicans are winning the AIG message war. Republicans have outmaneuvered the White House, and the GOP has its mojo back.

    And just in case readers didn't get the point, Politico laid on the hysterical rhetoric thick: Dems were in "disarray." They were struggling "with their new reality." Dems were forming a "circular firing squad." The Capitol resembled a "three-ring circus."

    And that was just the first paragraph.

    Bottom line: The RNC hearts Politico.

  • ABC News makes our head hurt, again

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    With this doozy:

    Will Obama, McCain, Dodd Return Contributions From AIG Employees? AIG Gave More Than $630,000 During the 2008 Political Cycle

    That was the ABC headline online. Try--just try--to follow the article's logic:

    AIG employees kept doling out donations to politicians, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, after getting bailed out with federal funds last year, raising the question of whether those politicians will now return the money.

    For those keeping track, the government first bailed out AIG last September, right at the very end of the campaign season. How much money did AIG employees donate after the bailout? According the Center for Responsive Politics, the post-bailout donations for all the candidates totaled $120,000.

    Only one-sixth of AIG donations from the campaign season came after the bailout. According to ABC's reporting, Obama landed $23,000 from AIG employees post-bailout.

    Or, to put that in perspective, out of the more than $700 million the Obama campaign raised, .003 percent came from AIG, post-bailout, if my calculations are correct.

    But now ABC wants to know if Obama's going to return the money. Why? ABC answers that question with a question:

    Was any bailout money used to make political contributions?

    Unless the government bailout money, doled out in late September, was immediately used by AIG to make payroll in October, in time for employees to donate to candidates, the obvious answer to that question is no, the bailout money was not used to make the rather modest contributions offered up by AIG employees.

    But even if it had been, why would any recipient be under pressure to return it now, months after the campaign ended?

    FYI, the September bailout for AIG totaled $85 billion. ABC wants to know if .0002 percent was donated to candidates.

  • Halperin, too: Media hype partial Coach K quote, ignore praise for Obama

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Now Mark Halperin is pushing Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's statement that President Obama should focus on the economy, not filling out college basketball brackets. But as we noted this morning, Krzyzewski was smiling as he said it, and went on to say "I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great" and "I love the fact that so many people are filling them out."