The general line in corporate media coverage of the so-called "Supercommittee" tasked with coming up with a long-term budget plan is that both sides aren't willing to budge: Republicans won't agree to raise taxes, and Democrats want to protect "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare. While some might find the idea of Democrats standing up for Social Security and Medicare, it's not really true–Democrats have offered to make such cuts if there are some tax increases to go along with them. This insistence that a compromise involve a compromise has been depicted, oddly enough, as a refusal to compromise. But […]
On the Meet the Press roundtable on Sunday (10/30/11), talk turned to Steve Jobs. And, as one might expect from the avalanche of hero worship that accompanied news of his death, the chatter concerned how we might all one day live up to Jobs' legacy. Here's host David Gregory, speaking to Tom Brokaw: Tom, it's interesting, author and journalist Jeff Greenfield tweeted recently about Steve Jobs the following: "Imagine a Steve Jobs in the auto industry, in healthcare, in energy, even in government. We'd have a different country." We know from Walter Isaacson's biography that Jobs had some pretty strong […]
NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory, interviewing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday (10/10/11): GREGORY: What's going on in the streets of Occupy Wall Street? EMANUEL: Yeah. GREGORY: Complaining about the unfairness, railing against Wall Street. The president has sympathized with those protesters in the street. Is demonizing Wall Street the way to create an environment… EMANUEL: Well… GREGORY: …to get the banks to hire? EMANUEL: The–it's not… GREGORY: Is this not a reverse tea party tactic?
At the top of Meet the Press yesterday (9/25/11), NBC anchor David Gregory announced one of the topics to come: Is the president's plan basic fairness or class warfare? As with too many other media debates, an absurd proposition–that returning tax rates for certain wealthy people to levels seen in the 1980s and 1990s is a declaration of war–is treated as one of the two possible answers to a question. Gregory manages to make things worse by getting the only answer on the show from billionaire New York mayor (and media tycoon) Michael Bloomberg: GREGORY: Does that trouble you? BLOOMBERG: […]
August 6, 2011, when 38 soldiers, including 30 U.S. troops, were killed when their helicopter was shot down, was the "deadliest day" of the Afghan War, several media outlets told us: David Muir (ABC World News Saturday, 8/6/11): "It was the deadliest day of the war in Afghanistan, 30 Americans, 22 Navy SEALs lost." David Gregory (NBC Meet the Press, 8/7/11): "This was the single deadliest day of the war." Chicago Tribune headline (8/7/11): "Taliban Says It Downed Copter in Deadliest Day of War in Afghanistan" ABC This Week graphic (8/7/11): "DEADLIEST DAY IN AFGHANISTAN" Terrell Brown, CBS Morning News […]
Labor journalist Mike Elk (In These Times, 5/16/11) made an excellent point after watching NBC host David Gregory interview Newt Gingrich on Sunday's Meet the Press (5/15/11). Elk wrote: Speaking yesterday on Meet the Press, Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said that "the Obama system of the National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] is basically breaking the law to try to punish Boeing and to threaten every right-to-work state." While Meet the Press host David Gregory vigorously challenged Newt Gingrich on details of his personal life, he failed to challenge Gingrich on his false […]
NBC anchor David Gregory on NBC Nightly News (4/9/11) explaining how sees Obama's 2012 strategy: And I thought what was striking about what the president said, if you listen to his comments made Friday night, he sounded very much like a Republican talking about the need to cut spending. That's the re-election play here. He wants the American people to know, particularly those independent voters, that he is in line with what a lot of Americans want, which is less government, trimming down the size and the scope of government. He wants to be able to say, "Look, I brought […]
From Meet the Press (3/27/11): GREGORY: I'll start with you, Ted Koppel. You spent time, in your early days as a correspondent, with Henry Kissinger. KOPPEL: I did. GREGORY: Who knew something about the big ideas for the world. Is this administration getting the big ideas right in the–in the tumult of the Middle East? Who knows what those "big ideas" might be. But if you want to make Ted Koppel feel comfortable, it's good to praise Henry Kissinger– as we noted recently: Koppel once boasted of Kissinger: "Henry Kissinger is, plain and simply, the best secretary of state we […]
As we noted here, there weren't many labor voices booked on the Sunday morning chat shows. One, actually–Richard Trumka from the AFL-CIO. ABC's This Week featured four governors (two Democrats, two Republicans) talking about their fiscal problems. CBS's Face the Nation had a soft interview with New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Host Bob Schieffer asked him one question that began, "You have a reputation as a straight talker, I think…." Schieffer went on to play a clip of Christie bravely calling for Social Security cuts. Instead of questioning Christie's totally inaccurate premise–that you "have to raise the retirement age"–Schieffer […]
Joe Biden on Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak (PBS NewsHour, 1/27/11): I would not refer to him as a dictator. On WikiLeaks' Julian Assange (NBC's Meet the Press, 12/19/10) DAVID GREGORY: Mitch McConnell says he's a high-tech terrorist, others say this is akin to the Pentagon Papers. Where do you come down? JOE BIDEN: I would argue that it's closer to being a high-tech terrorist than the Pentagon Papers. For the record, neither journalist pushed Biden to explain his opinions.
Today in the New York Times Paul Krugman (1/10/11) suggests that we not pretend that "both sides" are responsible for toxic political rhetoric: Where's that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let's not make a false pretense of balance: It's coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It's hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be "armed and dangerous" without being ostracized; but Rep. Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the GOP. …Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you'll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won't […]