Spinning ObamaCare: Two Million Jobs Lost = “Freedom”
“We got a report today about ObamaCare that was both surprising and widely misunderstood. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said about two million Americans are likely to pass up full-time jobs because of the President’s health insurance program. Those aren’t necessarily jobs being lost. They’re also workers choosing to work less.”
— Anchor Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News, February 4.
“Is this — I’m sure you’re happy to have Democrats on the defensive here. But why shouldn’t this be seen as freedom for folks who didn’t have it before?”
— Moderator David Gregory to Ohio Senator Rob Portman on Meet the Press, February 9.
CBO Report Just Another Concocted Reason to “Hate” Obama
“Don’t you get the sense that the Obama hatred is a hatred in search of a reason? Whatever comes along, like the CBO report yesterday, becomes another way to find a way to explain hating the guy. Is it the way the guy lives his life? Is it his family? Is that he’s a Democrat, really? Is that the reason to hate him? Or is it just because, just because, just because he is who he is?”
— Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s Hardball, February 6.
Leaping to Shield Hillary from a “Brutal” Review of Her Past
Anchor Brian Williams: “Private lives: What one of Hillary Clinton’s closest friends wrote about some of her darkest hours, now public as the 2016 attacks get personal....”
Correspondent Andrea Mitchell: “For years, Diane [Blair] catalogued Hillary Clinton’s reactions to the rough relations with the press, and scandals, including Monica Lewinsky and impeachment, all available at the University of Arkansas for four years, getting little notice until inflammatory excerpts were posted last night on an anti-Clinton Web site.”
University of Arkansas’ Angie Maxwell: “I think that it’s very cherrypicked. It’s very selected.”...
Mitchell: “Blair did not survive to provide context for her diary. Now Republicans say her notes are fair game....Hillary Clinton had no comment on a campaign already brutal two years before it’s begun.”
— February 10 NBC Nightly News story about excerpts from Blair’s diary published by the Washington Free Beacon.
“So what is new here? These are the archival documents that her husband put in at the University of Arkansas and put in to be released, I guess, four years ago. And now they’re being made public by a conservative Web site....And Chris Cillizza, this shows you that opposition research is already out there, poised and ready to go. And that this is going to be an issue or not an issue? Will people say, ‘Wait a second, that’s the ’90s. The statute of limitations on those scandals are long since passed?’”
— Mitchell on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, February 10.
Don’t Worry — We’ll Just Say It’s a “Positive Portrayal”
“All told, the papers offer a positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton from one of her closest friends, none of this appears to be politically damaging.”
— ABC’s Jon Karl on Good Morning America, February 11.
So She’s the Most Gullible Person Who Ever Lived?
“You know, Hillary Clinton believed her husband up until two days before the special prosecutor interviewed him many months later. She believed that Bill Clinton had not had sex with ‘that woman,’ and he continued to tell her that.”
— Author and journalist and newly-named CNN contributor Carl Bernstein on AC360, February 10.
Mocking “Lame” Complaint That Obama Can’t Be Trusted
“The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can’t be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can’t trust the President, then why pass any laws?”
— NBC correspondent Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, February 7, talking about Speaker John Boehner’s apprehension of how President Obama might implement a new immigration law.
“Can we acknowledge that this excuse that the Speaker used — ‘It’s the President and Republicans can’t trust him’ — can we acknowledge that was a pretty lame excuse? This was really about opposition within the Republican Conference.”
— Fill-in host Jonathan Karl to Republican Congressman Tom Cole on ABC’s This Week, February 9.
“Well, what is it that they don’t trust on the immigration front? Are they afraid he’s going to pull the border patrol back or something or what?”
— Host Bob Schieffer ridiculing Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte on CBS’s Face the Nation, February 9.
Challenging Obama’s Overreach = “Second-Term Birtherism”
“Why is the right wing freaking out over the President issuing a series of relatively modest executive actions, something he is far from the first President to do? Well, sadly, it fits a pattern from the right in dealing with this President, of course, and calling into question, as they often do, his legitimacy....[to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank] I think it’s a second-term birtherism. He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately. This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. He wants — they want to put an asterisk next to this guy. He really wasn’t a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately-elected President.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, January 31.
Lincoln’s Republicans Now the “Party of Jefferson Davis”
“Someone should ask Reince Priebus, him being the leader of the Republican Party in this country, why his party is so compelled to deny people the right to vote. Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln, who would run the risk of being called a Republican-In-Name-Only today, who won the Civil War so people, especially African-Americans, could be regular voting citizens?...Doesn’t it [the Republican National Committee] have a responsibility, a moral responsibility, to tell the parties across the country that the party of Lincoln shouldn’t become the party of Jefferson Davis? Or is that where we’re headed? You tell us, Mr. Priebus.”
— Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s Hardball, February 13.
It’s “Good News” When GOP Does “Exactly What Obama Asked Them to Do”
Co-host George Stephanopoulos: “Some good news coming out of Washington yesterday as well, Jon. That debt limit finally passed without real controversy.”
Correspondent Jon Karl: “Yeah, this was a really big deal. Republicans completely backed down on this. No strings attached, did exactly what President Obama asked them to do, at least when it came to the debt ceiling.”
Stephanopoulos: “First time in three years.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 12.
Where’s Obama’s Credit for “Rebounding” Economy
“The issue of the economy is a big one. Do you ever wonder why the President doesn’t get more credit for an economy that is rebounding? Is there — what’s the disconnect there?”
— Moderator David Gregory to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Meet the Press, February 2.
Hates That MSNBC Apologized for Smearing “Rightwing” as Racist
“I just think the whole thing is outrageous. I hate this apology, I think it was unnecessary and just, just played right into their hands....You know, first of all, good for Cheerios for bringing that spot back and not bowing into the pressure, and, as far as this tweet goes, again, ‘maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everybody else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,’ that’s the truth. That is the truth! The right winger, the racist right winger will hate it. Everybody else will like it. It’s a beautiful spot.”
— Onetime MSNBC and CNN host Bill Press on his radio show, January 31.
Chris Matthews Comes Out Against “Nasty” Rhetoric
Host Chris Matthews: “Anything that’s nasty, and — ‘The President’s screwing the economy, he’s costing jobs’ — anything that’s nasty about this guy has now become the amen chorus of the Republican Party....Is that like, something you don’t do anymore in Republican Party, say ‘Wait a minute, hold your horse, we disagree on policy, but he is not the freaking devil?’ Your thoughts?”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “Yes, exactly. I mean, even shaking the President’s hand or not being rude to him on the tarmac can be the kiss of death for Republican politician.”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, February 5.
Fox News: Defeated Has-Been, or 12-Time Ratings Champ
“In truth, Fox News has been defeated on the media battlefield — and on the political battlefield as well....The only people who seem not to know or accept Fox’s decline, besides its own audience, are liberals, including Barack Obama, whose White House mounted a short-lived, pointless freeze-out of Fox News in 2009, and who convinced himself that the network has shaved five points off his approval rating.”
— Longtime New York Times columnist Frank Rich writing in the February 3 issue of New York magazine under the headline, “Stop Beating a Dead Fox.”
“Fox News remained on top in 2013, capping off its 12th consecutive year as the most-watched cable news network among both total viewers and A25-54 viewers. The channel, which finishes the year fourth among all cable networks, beat MSNBC and CNN combined in total viewers.”
— TVNewser’s Merrill Knox in a January 2 post summarizing the Nielsen ratings for 2013.
Larry Never Saw Any Media Bias, Except at Fox News
“I worked at CNN for almost 26 years. I worked in Mutual Radio for 20 years. I’ve been in the business 57 years. I have never seen a bias off the air or on. I’ve never seen anyone say, let’s go get this person today, let’s really ram it into him. I’ve never seen it. If a Democrat or Republican commits some horrendous story, we will — the story will run, the networks will cover it....[But] Fox News is a slanted network.”
— Longtime CNN host Larry King on Newsmax TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show, February 12.
NBC Glorifies Soviet Era as “One of History’s Pivotal Experiments”
“Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends....The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; [over footage of communist symbols] the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures as a more reliable route to their collective heart.”
— Actor Peter Dinklage narrating a piece on Russia which introduced NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, February 7. During the Soviet era, estimates  are that between 8.5 million and 50 million people died of starvation, politically-motivated murder and in forced labor camps.
SNL Chief Rationalizes Show’s Targeting of Republicans
Q: “Are there any basic rules for what works and what doesn’t politically?”
Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels: “Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny. But we’re not sitting here every week going, ‘We’ve really got to do the First Family.’”
— From New York magazine writer Lane Brown’s interview with Michaels, February 10 issue.
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