Remember Obama’s “Era of Austerity?” Well, It’s Over
“With the 2015 budget request, [President] Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans. Instead, the President will focus on pumping new cash into job training, early-childhood education and other programs....”
— Washington Post business reporter Zachary Goldfarb in a February 21 front-page article, “Obama budget to rebuff austerity.” Since President Obama took office, the federal government’s total public debt has risen from $10.63 trillion to $17.42 trillion.
“This idea of austerity, you know, we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary.”
— Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier, February 21.
Smearing Arizona: Like Uganda, “Been in the Sun Too Long”
“It’s just one state out of our 50, but tonight what’s happening in Arizona is being compared by some to the epic battles this nation has fought over lunch counters, separate drinking fountains, and restrooms.”
— Anchor Brian Williams opening the February 25 NBC Nightly News, talking about legislation saying businesses would not be compelled to serve gays and lesbians if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
“You have an anti-homosexual law in Uganda. Now we have a state, Arizona, where the governor has yet to make a decision whether to permit a ban on businesses serving gays and lesbians. Doesn’t it undercut our moral posture telling Uganda and other countries — Putin for instance — on human rights abuses against people for reasons of their sexuality, when one of our states is about to do this unless it’s vetoed by the governor?”
— NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell to Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview shown on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, February 26. Uganda’s new anti-gay law includes life imprisonment for homosexual acts.
“Arizona has this horrendous reputation as sort of the state that is just the last to accept social change — Martin Luther King Day, immigration, now on gay rights. These people have been in the sun too long. Maybe it’s frying in the head....Just cranky retirees and people on the witness protection program, that’s who’s left in Arizona?”
— NBC News political director Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 26.
Gays in Arizona as Threatened as Jews in Nazi Germany?
“Arizona has become, in recent years, the most recalcitrant backward-looking state in the country when it comes to social change. They were the last to ratify Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. They have this bill which enabled police to stop somebody and say, ‘Because we think you’re an illegal alien.’ And now you have this, with gay people. How are they supposed to be identified? Should they wear a yellow star, because my people went through that at one point.”
— Former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser, co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, February 26.
Expecting a Bloodbath?
“This bill gives business owners the legal room to say ‘get out of my store, because you got a turban on.’ I just don’t think it’s about the gay and lesbian community....And, of course, we know how they love firearms in Arizona. I mean, I think this opens the door for confrontation.”
— MSNBC host Ed Schultz on The Ed Show, February 25.
How Do You Solve a “Problem” Like Ted Cruz?
“Let me ask you a question about Ted Cruz. I’m reminded of that song in The Sound of Music, ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ where the nuns were trying to figure out what to do with this loose cannon. To me that’s kind of, how do they solve a problem like Ted Cruz in the Republican caucus in the Senate?”
— CNN State of the Union host Candy Crowley to her political panel, February 16.
Ted the Hijacker Turns GOP Into a “Cruise Missile” Aimed at U.S. Capitol
“Ted Cruz secedes from the Union. Let’s play Hardball....What if one of the two parties goes ballistic, heading so far off the spectrum that it is no longer competing for the majority of the voters’ loyalty? What if the Republicans get hijacked? If this happens, if the Republican Party becomes a torpedo headed directly for the U.S. Capitol, if it becomes a cruise missile targeted at the government itself — what then? Well, this is the scary ambition of a certain senator from Texas, who not only aims to topple the Republican Party leadership, but smirks publicly at the trouble he has created. To Ted Cruz of Texas, government shutdowns and debt ceiling defaults are all in a day’s work.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at the top of the February 26 Hardball.
Only a “Misogynistic, Sexist Hypocrite” Would Mention the Clinton Scandals
“Any Republican who is dredging this up is a misogynistic sexist hypocrite...This whole thing’s ridiculous and these Republicans, please. Please keep doing it. Rand Paul, please, I beg you, keep going after it. Because I’ll tell you right now, it will backfire so badly. It will backfire so badly, and you guys will be in the same exact place where you are right now.”
— MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, February 17.
Black Senator Deserves an Asterisk for Deviating from Liberal Orthodoxy
“Senator Tim Scott, as you know, running to remain in the Senate after being appointed back in 2012 when Jim DeMint stepped down to run [the] Heritage [Foundation]. South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says, quote, ‘the color of his skin,’ he’s talking about Tim Scott here, ‘the color of his skin certainly is not representative of the way that he votes on the policies that he seems to side with.’...Would Senator Scott’s election, would it come with an asterisk, like Rutherford is suggesting, or seems to be suggesting here?”
— Anchor Craig Melvin to ex-Obama official Anton Gunn on MSNBC Live, February 18.
The Commies Were Right All Along
“What happens when the vast economic inequality in this country gets money transferred into political power? What happens when the top end of the one percent form themselves into super PACs and start knocking off senators, governors and congressmen they don’t like?...All the big boys have to do — and by them I mean the Koch brothers and their copycats — is check the state polls, look to see who’s in trouble, where they are, and throw a huge pile of money into the hands of the challengers, the right-wing challengers. This is not democracy. No, it reminds me of what the communists used to say about us in the old days, that behind the pretense of democracy and free elections was the power of the Rockefellers pulling the strings, working the puppets, getting everything the way they wanted it.”
— MSNBC host Chris Matthews wrapping up Hardball, February 18.
Fearing “Too Few Burdens Placed on Business”
Anchor Carol Costello: “The CBO’s report says if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10 an hour, 900,000 workers would be lifted out of poverty. On the other hand, an estimated 500,000 jobs could — and I emphasize could — be cut....On the other hand, it also says it would increase the earnings for 16.5 million Americans. 900,000 workers would be raised out of poverty. So, many people would say ‘I’m willing to take that bet.’”...
The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore: “Why don’t we try a new approach of, maybe, taking some of these burdens off the back of businesses?”
Costello: “There would be many people who argue that there are too few burdens placed on business.”
— Exchange on CNN Newsroom, February 19.
Praising “Excellent Article” Trashing Clarence Thomas
“It’s now been eight years since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has asked a question during the Supreme Court’s oral arguments. And writing in the new issue of The New Yorker magazine, one of the country’s top Supreme Court experts calls Thomas’s behavior, quote ‘embarrassing’ and ‘disgraceful.’ That expert happens to be our own CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin....It’s an excellent article in the new issue of The New Yorker.”
— CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on the February 24 Situation Room, referring to Toobin’s February 21 New Yorker magazine blog post, “Clarence Thomas’s Disgraceful Silence.”
Fighting Communism Just a Weird “National Obsession”
“In Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and space, the U.S. spared little to defeat communism — at times, it seemed like a national obsession.”
— Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw in a segment aired during NBC’s Olympic coverage, February 15.
Saluting Stalin’s “Palace for the People”
“The subway is one of Moscow’s hidden gems. Moscow is basically built on a bog, this marshy land. So when it came time to build this subway, they had to dig deep, very, very deep. Stalin promised the metro would be a palace for the people, and so it is: open architecture, mosaics, even chandeliers.”
— Correspondent Stephanie Gosk on NBC’s Today, February 17.
To NBC, Wife + Child + Church = “Alternative Lifestyle”
“David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold”
“Not to say the rest of the freestyle skiers of halfpipe are not mature, but [David] Wise is mature far beyond his years. At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada....He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”
— Headline and excerpt from February 18 NBCOlympics.com profile by reporter Skyler Wilder.
Any Dissent on Global Warming Is Too Much
“Some stories don’t have two sides. Some stories are simply true. There’s no necessity to give equal time to the quote-unquote ‘other side.’ One of these is climate change....So why does television news too often feel compelled to stage debate between those who represent the 97 percent and those who represent the fringe?”
— CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, February 23.
Get Ready for the End of All Winter Sports
“The Sochi Olympics suffered some of the most extreme weather of any winter games. Athletes faced fog, rain and temperatures in the 60s. Research predicts that could become the new reality at ski resorts around the world. As Don Dahler reports, the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed.”
— Co-host Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning, February 27.
Babs Plants a Smooch on the “Superb” Joe Biden
“Is one allowed to kiss a Vice President?...I don’t think there’s much doubt that you’re a superb Vice President.”
— Co-host Barbara Walters to Vice President Joe Biden during his appearance on ABC’s The View, February 25.
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PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
DEPUTY RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Dickens
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Matt Hadro and Jeffrey Meyer
INTERN: Paul Bremmer