2. And Obama Shall Bring Tranquility to the Land...
3. Woman on MSNBC Exclaims 'Santa Claus Loves' Obama
4. ABC Touts 'Obama-Stock,' 'American Pilgrimage' of D.C. Visitors
5. CBS's Smith Goes Aboard Obama's Train: 'This Was Something More'
6. On Train a 'Down-Home Folksiness' Between Journalists and Obama
7. ABC Cites Only Democrats as 'Warriors' in Civil Rights Movement
8. CBS's Nancy Giles Describes 'Carnage' of Bush Administration
9. Olbermann Calls for Prosecution of Bush, Invokes Nazis & Slavery
10. Before the Coming of Obama, Springsteen Slams Bush 'Nightmare'
Abandoning any pretense of balance, MSNBC's Inauguration coverage will be quad-anchored by four left-wingers: the network's three night time hosts -- Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow -- plus regular analyst Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. Plugging the team at the end of the 7 PM EST Hardball on Monday night, Matthews trumpeted how "this is one of the great opportunities in journalism to cover history in the face" and declared "it's going to be the honor of our lifetimes."
With a graphic on screen showing pictures of the four and announcing MSNBC's 9:45 AM to 4 PM ET coverage, Matthews trumpeted: "This is one of the great opportunities in journalism to cover history in the face. We're going to see history in the face and when you get up tomorrow morning I recommend you stay tuned all day because I don't think you're going to stop seeing history being made, from the very beginning in the morning. It's going to be our best coverage all day. We're going to end up -- Keith and I and Rachel and Gene Robinson -- it's going to be the honor of our lifetimes to be here on the Washington Mall."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Meanwhile, FNC's coverage will be co-anchored by Bret Baier and Chris Wallace (a veteran of NBC News and ABC News), neither known as ideologues.
Nonetheless, last week MSNBC President Phil Griffin insisted "we're less about ideology than Fox." See: weblogs.variety.com
Is there anything President-elect Barack Obama's very aura cannot make better? Apparently, he has eliminated road rage -- and even honking.
ABC's David Muir, over video of stuck traffic followed by the sound of singing, in a Monday World News story on the crowds coming to Washington, DC: "So many of the streets are closed those that are open are clogged. But there were no car horns, no shouting. Instead, the San Francisco Boys and Girls choruses practicing for their Inaugural moment on the steps of the Capitol."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
You'd think Santa Claus would be jealous of Obama for intruding on his specialty of giving away stuff. But maybe the woman was mixed up and meant to say that Obama is just as great as Santa Claus because she expects to get hand outs from him too.
Audio: MP3 clip that matches the video (14 secs, 75 Kb)
During Monday's Good Morning America, the show's anchors and reporters did not hold back on the hyperbole while discussing Barack Obama's inauguration. While co-host Diane Sawyer discussed those Americans who drove across country to see the inauguration of the 44th president, an ABC graphic trumpeted, "Inauguration of Barack Obama: The American Pilgrimage."
During an earlier segment, referring to a star-studded concert for the President-elect, Sawyer gushed: "They are calling it Obama-Stock because the performances were unbelievable." In a third piece, former Clinton aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos breathlessly narrated how Obama has been handling final preparations for his speech: "...The President-elect is a real writer...He's in the tinkering stage, which means, like, he's even looking at each word and saying, 'Wait, do I need two syllables and not one?'"
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
While discussing the soon-to-be President's plans for the first 100 days, Stephanopoulos repeated the misrepresentation that George W. Bush somehow banned stem cell research. The "This Week" host said he expected action "on issues like stem cell research, repealing the ban on stem cell research." Of course, all Bush did with his 2001 decision was limit the use of federal funds for research on infant stem cells. States, private research and adult stem cell studies were unaffected.
A transcript of the George Stephanopoulos segment, which aired at 7:06am, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: And right now we have the bottom line, George Stephanopoulos here. Here come to you, George.
On Monday's CBS Early Show co-host Smith recounted being a passenger on Barack Obama's inaugural train on Saturday: "On a freezing cold Saturday, people stood for hours just to get a glimpse. They wanted to be able to say in the years to come, 'I was there that day when the train went through.'" In his fawning report, Smith used poetic language to describe the train ride from Philadelphia to Washington: "Barack Obama spoke of perfecting the Union, he spoke of common hopes and common dreams, he spoke of recognizing ourselves in one another...This was no mere victory tour, this was something more." Smith found two particular passengers, Patricia and Ted Stiles, who showed bipartisan support for Obama: "Patricia and her husband, Ted, are lifelong Republicans who supported Obama. What did you see when you looked out the windows today?" Patricia declared: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this nation. I'm excited, Harry, let me tell you." Ted exclaimed: "I saw large groups of people, I saw small groups of people. They were standing on their cars. It's like watching a regeneration of our country."
A Sunday article in The Denver Post quoted Patricia Stiles, a Colorado native, about hugging Obama at the beginning of the trip in Philadelphia: "President-elect Barack Obama, the greatest, most articulate speaker I've known in my lifetime, standing there to my left. I just melted away." See: www.denverpost.com
[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
After describing the trip to Washinton, Smith concluded his report by interviewing people at the inauguration: "The Ervins were carried there by a force they could not resist...The Peterson-Davis family came from Ohio. This is what they felt." Kerri Peterson-Davis excitedly gushed: "Hopeful, hope-filled, just a sense of the best that we're to be and that it's more than just Republicans and Democrats. It's Americans coming together to be who we're supposed to be as people."
At the start of the show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez remarked: "A new day is dawning here in the nation's capitol on the eve of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States...Does it get any better, or more beautiful, or more spectacular, than this? I don't think so." Smith agreed: "What a great seat to be right literally in the front row of where history is going to take place in just a little over 24 hours as Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States."
In a report just prior to Smith's, correspondent Jeff Glor explained that despite the inaugural celebrations: "...the incoming administration is trying to send a message that this is as much about work as it is about celebration. The administration has confirmed to us this morning they'll have shuttle vans ready to take some staffers directly from the inauguration into the White House so they can be sitting at their desks tomorrow afternoon to start working." Rodriguez added: "Wasting no time."
Here is the full transcript of Smith's report:
Catching up with something from Saturday I just came across, Newsweek's Howard Fineman pointed out on MSNBC just before 6 PM EST, as the Obama-Biden train arrived at Washington, DC's Union Station, that he was reading "the pool reports that have been filed by reporters on the train and they refer to Barack Obama as PEBO, which is short for 'President-elect Barack Obama.'" Fineman felt that illustrated how "there's an intimacy and a familiarity on that train," presumably between the journalists and Obama, one shared by Fineman who hailed Obama's "many gifts" and saw "a down-home folksiness that belies the tremendous hopes that not only the country, but the whole world, have for him."
Full quote: "I've been reading the pool reports that have been filed by reporters on the train and they refer to Barack Obama as PEBO, which is short for "President-elect Barack Obama" and there's an intimacy and a familiarity on that train, a down-home folksiness, that belies the tremendous hopes that not only the country, but the whole world, have for him."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday, with an MP3 audio clip, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
More of Fineman, from 5:56 PM EST on January 17, during a special Saturday edition of Hardball broadcast from Washington's Mall:
I got to say as a reporter, that these are the kind of moments that you and I got in the business for -- these few days, starting yesterday, continuing through Tuesday, because whatever history is, this is it and it's the moment for people like [fellow guest Maryland Democratic Congressman ] Elijiah Cummings and for the whole country to revel in. And those pictures you had of Obama arriving here, President-elect Obama arriving at Union Station so rich with history, so many echoes of the past including, as you mentioned Lincoln basically having to sneak into town in 1861. And the distance we've traveled since then is almost unimaginable, but yet very much in the American grain.
I've been reading the pool reports that have been filed by reporters on the train and they refer to Barack Obama as PEBO, which is short for "President-elect Barack Obama" and there's an intimacy and a familiarity on that train, a down-home folksiness, that belies the tremendous hopes that not only the country, but the whole world, have for him.
He has the gift of familiarity, of being able to seem as though he is talking straight to you and straight to people as individuals even when he's making sweeping declarations about the country -- which is, among his many gifts, that's probably one of the most important now because he's calling on people, as individuals, to pitch in in these tough economic times we're facing.
On Monday's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts chose to tout only Democratic politicians in a piece honoring the civil rights movement and those "warriors" who made Barack Obama's election as president possible. Not a single Republican was mentioned or featured in the segment. Roberts began by announcing, "And on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we thought it would be appropriate to look back at all the warriors, black and white, who made this moment where we are today possible."
All the warriors? The piece went on to feature clips from eight Democratic politicians: Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Barbara Jordan and Barack Obama, in addition to a number of non-political civil rights pioneers. Republican Abraham Lincoln went unmentioned, so did New York Governor Thomas Dewey who signed one of the nation's earliest civil rights laws in 1944 and President Ronald Reagan who made Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a federal holiday in 1983.
The piece also ignored the inconvenient fact that a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voted for the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act than did Democrats. Another point left unmentioned was the heroic effort by the conservative GOP minority leader in the Senate, Everett Dirksen, in supporting that legislation:
Sen. Thomas Kuchel of California led the Republican pro-civil rights forces. But it became clear who among the Republicans was going to get the job done; that man was conservative Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen.
He was the master key to victory for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Without him and the Republican vote, the Act would have been dead in the water for years to come. LBJ and Humphrey knew that without Dirksen the Civil Rights Act was going nowhere.
Dirksen became a tireless supporter, suffering bouts of ill health because of his efforts in behalf of crafting and passing the Civil Rights Act. Nonetheless, Sen. Dirksen suffered the same fate as many Republicans and conservatives do today.
For more, see a December 14, 2002 article by Diane Alden on NewsMax.com: archive.newsmax.com
Roberts began the segment by repeating, "And there's a phrase we've been hearing so much I want to share with you. 'Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so our children can fly.'" It would have been nice if GMA found time to highlight some of the many pro-civil rights politicians in the Republican Party.
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 8:15am on January 19, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And there's a phrase we've been hearing so much I want to share with you. 'Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so our children can fly.' And on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we thought it would be appropriate to look back at all the warriors, black and white, who made this moment where we are today possible.
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Sunday Morning liberal commentator Nancy Giles about the incoming Obama administration and Giles could not resist bashing Bush: "Well, Barack Obama's going to have his hands full with a lot of the carnage that was left by the previous administration." Republican strategist Bay Buchanan was seated next to Giles and Giles defended her statement: "I had to put it that way, Bay. It is carnage." Buchanan joked: "I was told it would cease-fire here for two days." Giles replied: "I know, I'm sorry, carnage just slipped out, but I mean, he's going to have his hands full." Co-host Harry Smith then chimed in, saying to Giles: "I spent the entire afternoon yesterday talking to people, and there were actually very few people who were echoing the sentiments you were echoing...There were some people who were angry and still carrying grudges. But moreover, it was a sense of for the moment, no more Republicans, no more Democrats, we're all on the same page, at least for a moment."
[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In contrast to her view of Bush's "carnage," Giles praised Obama: "Barack Obama said something last year that I heard him say about his definition of homeland security and national security. It had to do with making education a real important thing. He felt that educating our young people would make the nation that much more secure. And I love that way of thinking."
At the end of the segment, Buchanan attempted to discuss Obama's accountability as president: "And then Harry...And then next year you can't keep looking back and blaming other people...then it's all Obama's responsibility in two days, fellas." However, she was cut short by Smith declaring: "So for 48 hours, we will beat the swords into plow shares," and Rodriguez singing "Kumbaya."
Here is the full transcript of the segment:
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment," in which he called on President-elect Barack Obama to prosecute President Bush and administration members on a charge of torturing prisoners, and invoked extreme examples such as slavery leading to the Civil War, and the handling of Germany after World War I leading to the rise of Nazism and World War II, to illustrate that "this country has never succeeded in moving forward without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past," and that Obama must try to prosecute Bush for the sake of the country's future. After quoting Bush's recent words about the interrogation techniques he authorized against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and statements by Obama expressing reluctance to pursue prosecutions against the Bush administration, Olbermann began invoking extreme examples from history.
Olbermann: "This country has never succeeded in moving forward without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past....We compromised with slavery in the Declaration of Independence, and, fourscore and nine years later, we had buried 600,000 of our sons and brothers in a civil war. After that war's ending, we compromised with the social restructuring and protection of the rights of minorities in the South. And a century later, we had not only had not resolved anything, but black leaders were still being assassinated in the cities of the South. We compromised with Germany in the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War. Nobody even arrested the German kaiser, let alone conducted war crimes trials then. And 19 years later, there was an indescribably more evil Germany and a more heartrending Second World War."
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The Countdown host soon brought up more of his favorite historical subjects -- McCarthyism and Watergate -- and charged they had influenced Bush administration members like Dick Cheney. Olbermann: "We compromised with the Palmer Raids and got McCarthyism, and we compromised with McCarthyism and got Watergate. And we compromised with Watergate, and the junior members of the Ford administration realized how little was ultimately at risk. And they grew up to be Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney."
Below is a transcript of the last three minutes of Olbermann's nine-and-a-half minute "Special Comment" from the Monday, January 19, Countdown show on MSNBC:
Sadly, as commendable as the intention here might seem, this country has never succeeded in moving forward without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past. In point of fact, every effort to merely draw a line in the sand and declare the past dead, has served to only keep the past alive, and often to strengthen it. We compromised with slavery in the Declaration of Independence, and, fourscore and nine years later, we had buried 600,000 of our sons and brothers in a civil war. After that war's ending, we compromised with the social restructuring and protection of the rights of minorities in the South. And a century later, we had not only had not resolved anything, but black leaders were still being assassinated in the cities of the South. We compromised with Germany in the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War. Nobody even arrested the German kaiser, let alone conducted war crimes trials then. And 19 years later, there was an indescribably more evil Germany and a more heartrending Second World War.
We compromised with the trusts of the early 1900s, and today, we have corporations too big to fail. We compromised with the Palmer Raids and got McCarthyism, and we compromised with McCarthyism and got Watergate. And we compromised with Watergate, and the junior members of the Ford administration realized how little was ultimately at risk. And they grew up to be Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
But, Mr. President-elect, you are entirely correct. As you say, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past. And that means prosecuting all those involved in the Bush administration's torture of prisoners, and starting at the top. You're also right that you should not want your first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt. But your only other option might be to let this sit and fester indefinitely because, Mr. President-elect, some day, there will be another Republican President or even a Democrat just as blind as Mr. Bush to ethics and he will look back to what you did about Mr. Bush or what you did not do, and he will seek precedent or, as Cheney saw, he will see a not to get caught next time. Prosecute, Mr. President-elect, and even if you get not one conviction, you will still have accomplished good for generations unborn because merely by acting, you will deny Mr. Bush what he most wants, right now, without prosecutions, without this nation standing up and saying this was wrong, we will atone, Mr. Bush's version of what happened goes into the historical record of this nation: Torture was legal. It worked. George Bush saved the country. The end.
We have tortured people. You and I, Mr. President-elect. This is a people's democracy. We are the people. These were our elected officials. That they did not come to us and ask to act thusly in our names is unfortunate and indeed criminal, but it is almost irrelevant. They worked for us, they tortured people, and so we have tortured people. Thus, beginning tomorrow, it is up to you, not just to discontinue this, but to prevent it. At the end of his first year in office, Mr. Lincoln tried to contextualize the Civil War. For those who still wanted to compromise with the evils of secession and slavery. "The struggle of today," Lincoln wrote, "is not altogether for today. It is for a vast future also." Mr. President-elect, you have been handed the beginning of that future. Use it to protect our children and our distant descendants from anything like this ever happening again. Good night and good luck.
For years -- especially, it seems, the past eight years -- the "news" media have made a habit of asking liberal celebrities about their political views -- in essence, handing the microphone over to a small, unrepresentative group of left-wing Bush-bashers, blame-America-firsters and enviro-wackos. Thus, actors and singers and comics are elevated in our national discourse above the military, businessmen and scientists.
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Monday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Those same celebrities are now giddily celebrating Barack Obama's arrival as the 44th President, but this weekend singer Bruce Springsteen got in his last licks as he vented to a British newspaper about how the Bush years have been a "nightmare" in which "thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined" because of Bush's policies: "The philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people's lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences."
In September 2007, Springsteen trashed Bush on NBC's Today show, stringing together a left-wing rant about "rendition," "illegal wiretapping," "voter suppression," "an attack on the Constitution," "the neglect" of New Orleans and "the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war." See the October 1, 2007 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
For video, check the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2007: www.mrc.org
Here's an excerpt of Springsteen's comments in an interview with producer Mark Hagen as printed in the January 18 edition of The Observer, a British newspaper:
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: The past is never the past. It is always present. And you better reckon with it in your life and in your daily experience, or it will get you. It will get you really bad. It will come and it will devour you, it will remove you from the present. It will steal your future and this happens every day.
We've lived through a nightmare like that in the past eight years here. We had a historically blind administration who didn't take consideration of the past; thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined and terrible, terrible things occurred because, there was no sense of history, no sense that the past is living and real.
So the song is about this happening to this character. He moves ahead. He tries to make the right moves. He awakes from a vision of his death, and realises: life is finite. Time is with me always. And I'm frightened. And he rides west where he settles down. But the past comes back in the form of this bounty hunter, whose mind is also quickened and burdened by the need to get his man. And these possessed creatures meet along the shores of this river where the bounty hunter of course is killed, and his last words are: 'We can't undo the things we've done.'
In other words, your past is your past. You carry it with you always. These are your sins. You carry them with you always. You better learn how to live with them, learn the story that they're telling you. Because they're whispering your future in your ear, and if you don't listen, it will be contaminated by the toxicity of your past.
MARK HAGEN: So do you think that kind of nightmare is going to change? That to an extent America has now taken account of that?
SPRINGSTEEN: Yes, because, you know... the whole place practically has come crashing down. [laughs] Yes, there is severe accounting being taken of it right now. We're going through something that we haven't gone through in my life. Foreign policy, domestic policy - driven to its breaking point. Everything got broken.
And the philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people's lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences.
END of Excerpt
For the entire interview: www.guardian.co.uk
-- Brent Baker