Slashing at Rick Perry: "The Human Tornado," "Bull Connor With a Smile"

Vol. 24, No. 17


Media Slash at Rick Perry, the "Human Tornado"


"On the broadcast tonight, fighting words. Rick Perry comes out swinging and talking, and the White House tells him to watch what he says....The rest of the country is learning what Texans already know about their Governor, what he says, what he does, how he does business....Today's debate had to do with money, name-calling, and whether or not the President of the United States loves his country."
— NBC's Brian Williams opening the August 16 Nightly News.

Anchor Diane Sawyer: "The human tornado from Texas, Governor Rick Perry, who electrified the Republican race, raised the decibel level today against the President, challenging to a kind of political duel on ways to jump-start jobs, fast...."
Correspondent Jake Tapper: "Democrats say that until Perry came along, they never thought they'd meet a candidate who made the other Republican candidates look responsible."
— ABC World News, August 16.

"Unmistakably Texan, unabashedly conservative, Governor Rick Perry does not care about the overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is largely produced by humans burning fossil fuels."
— ABC's Jim Avila on Good Morning America, August 18. [Audio/video (0:32): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Perry's "Texas Miracle" Really a "Texas Tragedy"


Correspondent Wyatt Andrews: "It's his most important accomplishment, and one Texas-sized claim."
Clip of Rick Perry: "Texas continues to lead the nation in job creation."
Andrews: "Some call this the Texas miracle....But Perry also got lucky when high oil prices boosted energy-related jobs....Perry's bedrock pledge to never raise taxes also had a reckoning this year when his budget faced a $27 billion shortfall. With taxes not an option, the state cut deeply into health care, and so deeply into education, some 49,000 teachers are being laid off. [to teacher Rachel Zertuche] Do you see a Texas miracle?"
Rachel Zertuche: "No. I see a Texas tragedy."
— August 12 CBS Evening News.

"That headline in Texas, more than a third of the jobs created in the entire country....but what about beneath it? Some people look at the record and say, it's due to population growth. These are mostly low-wage jobs. This is not a model for America."
— George Stephanopoulos to Donald Trump on Good Morning America, August 17.


Is Rick Perry Just "Bull Connor With a Smile?"


"I know you're an objective reporter, but I smell birtherism about this guy. His attack on Obama isn't just policy. It's about the nature of the person who's President....This could be Bull Connor with a smile."
— Host Chris Matthews to Dallas Morning News senior political writer Wayne Slater, MSNBC's Hardball, August 16.

"Do you think Rick Perry would be for that? Do you think he'd be cheering for Ike today if he brought the troops in to desegregate the schools in Little Rock? I don't think so!...He talks about secession. He talks about states' rights. He's got all the idiom of the guys who hate civil rights....I compared him to Bull Connor with a smile yesterday. Maybe that was too far, but I'm still learning about this guy."
— Matthews on the August 17 Hardball.


Smearing "Radical" Tea Party and "Queen of Rage" Bachmann


"In Iowa, where she was raised, [Representative Michele] Bachmann has become the living embodiment of the Tea Party. She and her allies have been called a maniacal gang of knife-wielding ideologues. That's hyperbole, of course. But the principled rigidity of her position has created some challenges for her campaign....Far more damaging than the charge of double standards may be the growing realization among Americans of just how radical the Tea Party movement really is....For now, Bachmann revels in the Iowa crowds, which don't fuss about the missing fine print behind her ideas, the perceived contradictions among them, or their radicalism."
Newsweek's Lois Romano in the magazine's August 15 cover story on Bachmann headlined "The Queen of Rage."


So What If the Newsweek Cover Is Unfair to Bachmann?


Co-host Savannah Guthrie: "So you agree it's biased?"
Ex-CNBC host Donny Deutsch: "Well, but who says the media's not biased? I can show you an old cover of Newt Gingrich with hair coming out of his nose....Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture and they didn't air touch her. It's not a flattering article. By the way, why can't you write an unflattering, biased article? It has nothing to do with her sex."
— Debating Newsweek's Bachmann cover on NBC's Today, August 11.

"That photo just made her kind of look kind of crazy. But, I mean, it would be inappropriate if Michele Bachmann actually didn't occasionally make that crazy eyes look.... I think, in a way, it captures the persona that Michele Bachmann has kind of embodied, sort of the wild Tea Party lady."
— Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of the NBC-owned Web site and an ex-Obama campaign operative, on MSNBC's Martin Bashir, August 9.


ABC Already Spending New Taxes from "Mega Rich"

Anchor Diane Sawyer: "Is it time for the mega-rich to pay at least the same tax rate as their secretaries? And if they did pay their fair share, would it fix America's schools or roads?..."
Correspondent Bianna Golodryga: "An additional one percent tax on the richest Americans is estimated to raise $100 billion in extra revenue during the next decade....And while experts agree that $100 billion over the next decade wouldn't be enough to even make a dent in the deficit, it would go far in other ways. For example, it's enough to build almost 7,000 new elementary schools or more than 2,000 new high schools, Diane."
— ABC's World News, August 15.

"Warren Buffett made another splash, saying it's not right [that] he, a billionaire, pays 17 percent in taxes when his secretaries and receptionists pay more. Isn't he right about that?"
— Co-host George Stephanopoulos to Donald Trump on ABC's Good Morning America, August 17.


CNN Anchors' Tag Team Advocacy on Tax Hikes

Co-host Ali Velshi: "Senator, we haven't seen a tax increase in a long time. In fact, we got an extension of the Bush-era tax cut."
Co-host Christine Romans: "We've been cutting taxes for 10 years."
Velshi: "And we haven't seen the job creation. So, where is the evidence that not cutting taxes creates jobs? We haven't seen it."
— Grilling Republican Senator Pat Toomey on CNN's American Morning, August 11. [Audio/video (0:42): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Undoubtedly the Question 14 Million Unemployed People Want Answered


"The last time you were elected, you got Sasha and Malia a cute little puppy, Bo. What are you going to get them the next time, if you're re-elected?"
— CNN's Wolf Blitzer to President Obama in an interview shown on The Situation Room, August 16.

Brainstorming on Obama's Behalf


"What advice — if you were writing speeches right now for President Obama, what advice would you give him now to ramp up the rhetoric in an effective way?...We need the President to reconnect with his voters really, don't we?... Well, we need some audacity and some hope, I think."
— CNN's Piers Morgan to The Atlantic's James Fallows, August 10. [Audio/video (0:26): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Only "Far Right" Blames Obama for Nation's Woes


Host Al Hunt: "What kind of shape is Barack Obama in for the 2012 campaign in Iowa?"
Former NBC News President Michael Gartner: "I think he's in pretty good shape. First of all, people out here have an attachment to him because he was out here. I think people have a fondness for him and I don't think people blame him for anything that's wrong in this country, unless — I think the far-right of the Republican Party does, but I don't think the moderates do, and certainly the Democrats don't."
— An exchange on Bloomberg's Political Capital, August 12.



Brian Hopes Big-Spending Obama Forces "Breakout of Sanity" on Debt


"I'm not a historian, but I think this is a leadership moment, potentially, for the President of the United States. He's getting pressure to force Congress into a sudden breakout of sanity. If that happens, how long until we could get our top credit rating back?"
— Anchor Brian Williams talking about the debt downgrade with CNBC's David Faber, August 8 NBC Nightly News.


At Least He Didn't Sing, a la Marilyn Monroe


"Happy birthday, Mr. President. Once upon a time, when you were a young man, all you had to do was show up, and teeming throngs of people would gather to cheer you on. They even wrote songs about you. As a young person yourself, you were convinced anything was possible....Don't despair, Mr. President — 50 is a state of mind. It's a moment to assess the doable, to know you are only as old as Congress makes you feel."
— Longtime CBS anchor Harry Smith making his NBC Nightly News debut, August 4.



Outgoing CNN Executive Sees Too Much Balance at MSNBC?


Host Howard Kurtz: "Isn't there already a liberal commentary network, at least at night, MSNBC, where Olbermann worked? And do you see Current as taking viewers from MSNBC and perhaps from CNN, as well?"
Ex-CNN Washington Bureau Chief David Bohrman, incoming President of Current TV: "Well, I see us taking viewers from them both. I think MSNBC trots it out a little bit at night. I think most of the day, 20 hours a day, it's the NBC News network. And the one trap even at night that I think we see at MSNBC, and I think we see here even at CNN, as well, there's almost this false equivalency where everything is a minute on this opinion and then a minute a counter-opinion.... There's too much yelling and shouting for the appearance of balance."
— CNN's Reliable Sources, August 14.


Hollywood Mogul Rails About Tea Party "Extremism"


"In an e-mail, [DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey] Katzenberg said outside Republican spending in 2010 led to the election of 'Republican extremists' who he said took the nation to the edge of default in the recent debt-ceiling showdown. 'The stakes are too high for us to simply allow the extremism of a small but well-funded right-wing minority to go unchallenged,' he said."
— As quoted in an August 4 USA Today story by Fredreka Schouten and Christopher Schnaars.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matthew Hadro
INTERNS: Alex Fitzsimmons, Eric Ames