NBC's Chuck Todd in an online Q&A today:
[Comment From Sabrina] Chuck, why is this administration treated with such kindness by the media and the previous administration was not? Isn't the media suppose to report the news and not give their opinions of the news?
Chuck Todd: Sabrina -- This criticism comes across to me as incredibly empty... apparently folks forget how the first three years of the Bush administration were covered... I think too many folks mistake opinion-driven commentators for journalists and it skews things. But the level of scrutiny given to Obama in this first year is the same as for Bush 43, same as Clinton 42, same as Bush 41... I've witnessed and been involved with all of it back to Clinton... We tend to have MUCH shorter memories on the issue of so-called media bias especially if it doesn't fit the sterotype point we are trying to make... It's frustrating to watch and, with all do respect, I don't accept the criticism as legitimate. [Ellipses in original]
It would have been great for Todd to explicitly point out that claims of "liberal media bias" ring hollow in light of the media's handling of Iraq, the 2000 election, and their relentless hyping of Clinton-era non-scandals.
But, at this point -- with journalists tripping all over themselves to agree with every media criticism from the Right, no matter how inane -- we'll take it. Good for Todd for clearly rejecting the attack.
From a September 29 article on the conservative website Newsmax.com:
Media phenomenon Glenn Beck recently sat down with Newsmax for an exclusive interview offering his take on everything from President Obama, to the threat to talk radio and even a worry that our Constitutional government may disappear after a "Reichstag" event takes place.
Beck, who is also thriving on the radio, in bookstores and on the comedy circuit, sat down with Newsmax magazine's Editor in Chief Christopher Ruddy and voiced his concerns about a coming attack on talk radio.
But his real worry is that many Washington elitists really don't like our form of government and want to see it abolished.
"I fear a Reichstag moment," he said, referring to the 1933 burning of Germany's parliament building in Berlin that the Nazis blamed on communists and Hitler used as an excuse to suspend constitutional liberties and consolidate power.
"God forbid, another 9/11. Something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced."
Ah, more inspired work by Big Hollywood's Christian Toto. Last time we saw him he was completely mangling the facts regarding The Onion. Toto claimed the mag never made fun of Obama. We showed that the mag hasn't stopped making fun of Obama for the last year. (i.e. It's a humor publication.)
Now, Toto's attacking the Huffington Post because so many of its bloggers are (supposedly) defending Roman Polanski; the site had gone "all in" on behalf of the director.
The popular liberal site has posted numerous essays since news that Polanski was arrested in Switzerland broke over the weekend, each arguing vehemently against the Oscar winner's persecution.
He points to three blog posts to defend his claim of pro-Polanski fever sweeping at HuffPo. Yet once again, just as with Toto's embarrassing Onion blunder, the Big Hollywood blogger seems unfamiliar with the concept of a search engine. Because when you type in "Polanski" into the HuffPo's engine, it spits out plenty of recent blog posts that attack Polanski and urge his prosecution.
Yesterday, we highlighted a Newsmax column by John L. Perry essentially advocating a military coup to resolve the "Obama problem" (while, of course, claiming he was advocating no such thing). It's just the latest example of extreme right-wing rhetoric directed at President Obama.
Now, it appears that Newsmax has removed the column from its website; the link to it defaults to Perry's main column page. Fortunately, we made a copy.
As of this writing, Newsmax has posted no explanation or apology on its website -- arguably par for the course for Newsmax when it gets caught screwing up. But Media Matters has received the following statement from a Newsmax spokesperson:
In a blog posting to Newsmax John Perry wrote about a coup scenario involving the U.S. military. He clearly stated that he was not advocating such a scenario but simply describing one.
After several reader complaints, Newsmax wanted to insure that this article was not misinterpreted. It was removed after a short period after being posted.
Newsmax strongly believes in the principles of Constitutional government and would never advocate or insinuate any suggestion of an activity that would undermine our democracy or democratic institutions.
Mr. Perry served as a political appointee in the Carter administration in HUD and FEMA. He has no official relationship with Newsmax other than as an unpaid blogger.
Interesting that Newsmax makes a point of highlighting that Perry worked in the Carter administration, as if it somehow proves he's not really a right-wing nut. And its dismissal of Perry as nothing more than an "unpaid blogger" is a tad disingenous since Perry has been writing for Newsmax since 1999 and Perry's Newsmax bio touts how he "contributes a regular column to NewsMax.com."
Fox Nation has a thought-provoking question for their readers:
That is a good question. I've got a quick follow-up question of my own: Does Fox Nation not understand the difference between someone who writes a program and someone who uses it, or are they just making things up again?
Fox Nation is clearly implying that an Obama supporter authored this poll. But, as they are wont to do, they helpfully link to an article that completely undercuts that suggestion:
Jesse Farmer, of Bumbalabs in Palo Alto, Calif., has given permission for Facebook to reveal that he was the developer, but, significantly, not the author behind the poll that nauseated many Monday.
Whoops. The article goes on to point out that Farmer is an Obama supporter. However, as Farmer further explained in a diary posted on Daily Kos yesterday, he had nothing to do with authoring the poll itself and removed it as soon as it was brought to his attention:
Polls are created by other Facebook users, not me, anyone affiliated with me, or Facebook.
Thousands of polls are created daily, sometimes as many as 10,000. Each poll has as many as 2MM votes and 200k comments. Of those thousands of polls, most are gibberish and a few are offensive, libelous, or otherwise beyond the pale.
The poll was created Sunday evening and I deleted it first thing Monday morning.
Just to run through this again quickly: Jesse Farmer develops an application that allows Facebook users to create their own polls. The application becomes very popular, leading to thousands of polls created daily. Someone uses the application to create an incendiary, outrageous poll about President Obama. Fox Nation blames Jesse Farmer for posting the poll.
If Fox Nation is suggesting Farmer is at fault because he should have checked each of the several thousand polls first, I would just like to point out that Fox Nation would have had to read only the one article they link to in order to realize it disproves their headline.
I guess "Why Would An Obama Supporter Develop A Program That Someone Could Eventually Use To Post A Crazy Poll About Obama?" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
From The Hill:
A cycle after the Democrats went all out to stretch the map to new lengths, Republicans are doing their best imitation. The GOP is attempting to go after a number of seats it hasn't pursued in decades, along with others that have gone by the wayside in recent cycles.
The hyper-aggressive strategy stems from "an environment shift" politically. The Hill stresses that, "the magnitude of the change in the environment" means the GOP is now landing better candidate. The "environment" is never defined, but readers can assume it's referring to a downturn for Democrats.
But as John Amato at Crooks & Liars recently noted, while the press seems completely tuned into polling data that might reflect poorly on Obama and Democrats, the same press seems utterly disinterested in GOP polling results that are worse.
Wrote Amato [emphasis added]:
Mitch McConnell is polling at an 18% approval rating. That's eighteen percent. John Boehner is polling at 12% approval rating. Just think about that one. And it doesn't take much to make him cry. Mitch and Boehner are viewed less favorably than Dick Cheney was during the dark days of the Bush administration. Why don't we hear about that on teevee? The overall approval ratings of Congressional Republicans is 17% as a party!
I have no doubt the RNC is expanding its list of targeted Democrats. But in reporting the strategy, news outlets such as The Hill ought to acknowledge that the GOP itself faces a very difficult "environment."
Last time I checked in with the fringe pub's Matthew Vadum I was having trouble detecting anything even remotely coherent from his supposed blockbuster ("Special Report") about how Obama was going to desecrate the memory of 9/11, or something. It was lots of ranting about how Obama this year was going "to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche." (How'd that scoop pan out, Matthew?)
Vadum is back for another tumble through the looking glass. And after trying my best, and re-reading his efforts many times, I'm still not entirely sure what he's talking about. And a a journalist, I'm not sure that's the take-away you want to constantly leave readers. Just sayin.'
But, as best I can tell, Vadum on Tuesday claimed the White House's Patrick Gaspard used to work for ACORN. Why this matters, Vadum never really spells out. (i.e. He never claims any wrongdoing on Gaspard's part.) Readers are simply supposed to react in shock and anger, I guess, because ACORN's a massive criminal enterprise? Right on cue, the right-wing blogosphere reacted in horror. The ACORN scoop was huge news. Of course, it turns it wasn't true. (Pretty much by definition these days, a right-wing blog scoop has be false. That's just the way the game is played.)
So, with his scoop in shambles, what does Vadum do? Same thing he did in September when his Obama-9/11 story was in shambles. He doubles down with more impossible-to-follow fantasy, borderline sci-fi writing. This time, the gist is that ACORN to the Average Joe is such a mysterious and complex and un-knowing entity, that only Vadum, with his year's worth of dedicated ACORN 'reporting,' can really determine the facts. (Mere mortals like Smith aren't up to the task.) Only Vadum, using some sort of special right-wing, X-ray vision glasses, is able to tell the truth about ACORN. Only Vadum can properly connect the dots. And oh yeah, he has secret evidence that's he's not willing to disclose.
Question: Does Vadum still have secret evidence to prove how Obama was going to "erase the meaning" of Sept. 11? Just curious.
More than 60 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his September 29 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From John L. Perry's September 29 Newsmax column:
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.
Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.
Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.
Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."
In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.