On ABC's World News on Saturday, and the same day's CBS Evening News, correspondents suggested that conservative positions on social issues were responsible for the Republican party's recent electoral misfortunes, as the two programs filed stories about an appearance in Arlington, Virginia by Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney as part of an effort to rebuild the party's appeal. ABC cited a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showing only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, while CBS cited a Pew Research poll finding the number had dropped from 30 percent in 2004 to 23 percent currently. Pew:... continue reading
The New York Times' former Supreme Court reporter, liberal Linda Greenhouse, came out of journalistic retirement (she's now senior fellow at Yale Law School) to write the lead Sunday Week in Review profile of retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, "Justice Unbound - Washington is only where Souter goes for his 'annual intellectual lobotomy.' At home, he reads history." [This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Monday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: ] Souter was nominated by the first President Bush but disappointed conservatives by often voting with the court's liberal bloc, which may be why Greenhouse wished him... continue reading
ABC's Good Morning America, which has yet to interview talk show host Mark Levin about his best selling book on conservatism, featured James Carville on Monday to promote "40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation." Co-host Diane Sawyer recited passages from the Democratic operative's tome, "Let me read what you write here. 'Republicans shouldn't be worried. They should be in agony. They should be throwing up.'" Sawyer continued to read from Carville's book: "Republicans had better get a better policy on prescription drugs and quickly they're going to need a lot more Prozac." An onscreen graphic... continue reading
In a brief item Monday evening about Jack Kemp's passing, the NBC Nightly News delivered an obit on Kemp's life, but while Brian Williams didn't find room in his 37-second update to mention how Kemp was behind the successful, supply-side Regan tax cuts, he decided it was newsworthy to point out how "Kemp was a conservative purist who, in a letter to his grandchildren months before his death, said the election of Barack Obama was proof that we live in a great country." So, was Williams just trying to make Kemp look good - or was he trying to impugn... continue reading
1. NBC's Mitchell Hails Hillary Clinton: 'Foreign Policy Superstar!' In a piece that could've been crafted by Hillary Clinton's PR shop, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Monday's Today show, gushed on and on about the Secretary of State's new "role of a lifetime," as a "a foreign policy superstar," and cheered Clinton has the "highest approval ratings of any time in her career." Mitchell's theme throughout her story was that the "anger of the primaries" between Clinton and Barack Obama was long gone and that in her role of Secretary of State she has proven to be a "key asset to... continue reading
1. Newsweek's Thomas: GOP 'Their Extremists Take Them Straight Down' Commenting on Senator Arlen Specter's switch from the Republican to Democratic Party, Newsweek's Evan Thomas declared Republicans are now "exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down." As if that would upset Thomas and the Washington press corps -- whose very characterization of conservatives as "extremists" is only helping uninformed Americans to see Republicans and conservatives as outside the mainstream. 2. CNN: If McCain Won, SCOTUS 'Would Be Changing in Extreme Ways' Friday afternoon, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez observed that... continue reading
1. Cover for Biden's Gaffe: 'Not Terrible Advice,' 'Informative' CBS's Katie Couric and ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson tried to provide cover Thursday night for Vice President Biden's gaffe about the swine flu threat, which forced two cabinet secretaries and he White House spokesman to correct his advice to avoid planes and subways, as Couric asked an expert to confirm "that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?" and Johnson spun it into a positive, proposing: "In an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative." 2. Joe Biden to... continue reading
In honor of President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office, on Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith decided to take an uncritical look at the President's performance with liberal commentators Tavis Smiley of PBS and Fareed Zakaria of CNN and Newsweek. Smith asked Zakaria: "Using your book as a template, 'The Post-American World,' in which America is seen not necessarily as the center of this universe anymore, how is this President working against the template of your book?" Zakaria explained: "If you look at that template, Obama has actually seemed to really understand it, made overtures to the... continue reading
1. Obama a Victim, Stephanopoulos Echoes Emanuel on Greatest Success White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel made the rounds of the TV anchors Wednesday. Though President Obama has exploited the economic problems to push his big spending plans, ABC's Charles Gibson empathized with how he inherited a bad economy as he ran Emanuel's explanation about "how the President handles the severe problems he's inherited" and then cued up Emanuel to agree it's "fair to say though that he ran for one job and got another given the condition of the economy as he takes office?" Turning to George Stephanopoulos for an... continue reading
1. Specter 'Driven Out' of GOP by 'Right Wing' and 'Fringe of Party' The evening newscasts on Tuesday night attributed Senator Arlen Specter's motivation for changing parties to how he realized he wouldn't win the Republican primary in Pennsylvania, but they also, just as they did with Senator Jim Jeffords in 2001, eagerly relayed -- without any challenge -- Specter's spin that, in the words of the TV journalists, he "had been driven out by the right-wing of the Republican Party," the GOP's "increasingly conservative tilt" and "the fringe of the party." CBS framed its story around that convenient target... continue reading