Apr
24
2012

Who Thinks Paul Ryan Is Mr. Serious?

Sometimes it's the little moments that tell you something–like this from a Meet the Press panel discussion (4/22/12) about potential running mates for Mitt Romney: DAVID GREGORY: E.J., the point though also about Paul Ryan is that if you want to send a message you're serious about the budget you could do that with Paul Ryan. DIONNE: Well, I don't think his budget is serious, so I disagree with the premise of the question. It's worth remembering that in the Beltway media, "Paul Ryan is Mr. Serious Budget" is the neutral, middle-of-the-road position, and someone who thinks otherwise–based on, you […]

Apr
24
2012

Prostitution Scandal Is the Big Government Story You Were Waiting For

The Beltway press is remarkably fixated on two stories: A "scandal" over an $800,000 General Services Administration (GSA) conference in Las Vegas, and the unfolding saga involving prostitutes and some Secret Service and military officers in Colombia. The White House thinks both are bad, of course, but not worth the amount of coverage they're getting. Beltway journalists think otherwise, and seem to want to believe that by paying so much attention to these stories they are a) standing up to the government by exposing wrongdoing; and b) not really talking about prostitutes at all, but telling a larger quasi-morality tale […]

Feb
06
2012

Meet the Press Turns to Billionaire Mayor as 'Independent Voice'

On the one hand, NBC's Meet the Press gives us Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (2/5/12): DAVID GREGORY: Governor Daniels, one of the things you hear from the campaign trail, Mitt Romney said it just the other day, is that the recovery should have been so much stronger. You know, it's very difficult to prove something like that, just like it's difficult for the president to prove the economy would've been weaker if not for his particular policies. How could it have been stronger had a Republican been in president, in your judgment? Been in the White House, I should […]

Dec
12
2011

Great Moments in Campaign Journalism…

Three moments, actually: –NBC's Chuck Todd yesterday on Meet the Press (12/10/11), commenting on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich: Well, first of all, those are a couple of nimble debaters. They are pretty good. I think we have seen it. This is the final two. I'm old enough to remember when Todd had the campaign narrowed down to a Top Three, way back in August: "We have a top tier. It is Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann." –ABC host Diane Sawyer, asked to describe (This Week, 12/11/11) the most revealing lesson she learned about the candidates after she […]

Nov
14
2011

Michele Bachmann and Made-Up Media Bias

The Michele Bachmann presidential campaign–formerly treated as atop-tier juggernaut by Beltway media–has been floundering for weeks. Which makes right now as good a time as any for them to grab some headlines by shouting about liberal media bias. The Bachmann campaign was furious about email correspondence concerning a possible Bachmann appearance on a CBS Web show after the Saturday night debate. The network's political director, John Dickerson, was lukewarm on the idea, mentioning that Bachmann's poll numbers are quite low and that she wasn't likely to be much of a factor in the debate. Even though Dickerson is correct, these […]

Nov
07
2011

Another Sunday Morning, Liberal Media Style

ABC This Week host Christiane Amanpour (11/6/11) kicked the show off with a pretty funny joke: Clash of the titans in Texas last night, as Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich met for the first of a series of one-on-one Lincoln/Douglas-style debates. Less funny was the show's very imbalanced roundtable discussion: So let's bring in our roundtable: George Will, the Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd, and historian and Newsweek columnist Niall Ferguson, author of the new book Civilization: The West and the Rest. Three conservatives and the left-liberal Huffington. But if anything, ABC's panel was […]

Oct
25
2011

Meet the Press Panel: From GE to Morgan Stanley

There's an old joke about how the pundit spectrum in corporate media debates goes from GE all the way to GM. On Sunday's Meet the Press, viewers got a chance to see that joke come to life. On the panel was conservative former GE CEO Jack Welch, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks and NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. The left end of the spectrum must have been former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr., best known for his time leading the center-right Democratic Leadership Council. Nowadays Ford is a TV pundit (the "liberal" who advises Democrats to move further right) […]

Oct
18
2011

When Meet the Press Met Martin Luther King

On his MSNBC show (10/15/11), Chris Hayes went through the NBC archives to look at Martin Luther King's appearances on Meet the Press. He was struck by the tone of the questions King was asked–and the show put together this clip reel (apologies for the ad you're likely to be forced to watch before the clips play; it's mercifully brief):

Oct
17
2011

Hundreds of Worldwide Occupy Protests Occupy One Inch of Front Page

Squint or you'll miss it–the Sunday front page of the Washington Post: In case you're having trouble finding it, it's in the lower right-hand corner: a blurb approximately one column inch long, directing people to page A20 to find news about protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in "more than 900 cities in Europe, Africa and Asia." It wasn't just the Post that was having trouble finding the news in hundreds of protests around the world. NBC's Meet the Press featured Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. New […]

Oct
11
2011

David Gregory: Demonizing Banks Is Dangerous

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?

Sep
26
2011

Obama Plan=Class Warfare? NBC Asks a Billionaire

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: […]

Jun
20
2011

Meet the Press–But Skip the Libya Debate

There is growing Congressional opposition to the Libya war. Two House votes this month sought to challenge the White House policy– one of which passed by a wide margin. On Saturday (6/18/11) Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that the Office of Legal Counsel's advice to Obama was that he needed to comply with the War Powers Act. Obama rejected their advice, which as Savage reported is "extraordinarily rare." Congress will be taking up more Libya debates this week, with a potential vote scheduled to stop the funding of the war. And the recent Republican presidential debate showed […]

Jun
10
2011

Sunday Morning Shocker!

Guess who's booked to appear on the CBS Sunday morning chat show Face the Nation this weekend? None other than Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan. It has, after all, been an eternity since Sunday TV viewers had a chance to listen to Ryan talk about his Medicare-slashing budget plan. May 22 on Meet the Press, to be exact. FAIR's new petition to the television networks asks why Ryan's far-right plan has been getting so much more coverage than the People's Budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Add your voice today!