MSNBC Gaffe About Obama Coverage





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The scenario is rich in irony. Glenn Greenwald, the left-wing journalist who became the conduit for NSA contractor Edward Snowden to leak American classified secrets to the world about NSA surveillance, both at home and abroad, was on MSNBC on Thursday talking about the latest from Snowden. How the members of the media, and the Democrats in Congress, wish this wasn’t occurring under their beloved Barack Obama. If only this had happened on George Bush’s watch, they could have been calling our government fascist, expressing hyper-outrage, and demanding impeachment. Instead, most of them find themselves reflexively defending the federal government tracking all of our phone calls and emails.

But, in fact, this is what federal judge Richard Leon said last week about the NSA program:

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”

Leon went on to call the program “almost-Orwellian technology.”

But as documented [with video] by The Daily Caller website, “Greenwald—the reporter who published Edward Snowden’s initial documents on NSA surveillance and retains many more for future publication—blasted MSNBC’s hypocrisy for suggesting his defense of Snowden violates journalistic ethics. ‘That’s ludicrous,’ he said, noting that ‘the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, [and] glorified’ every day on the cable network.”

MSNBC’s substitute anchor, Kristen Welker, who is normally NBC’s White House correspondent, was interviewing Greenwald the day after Christmas. She asked him to “respond to critics who claim he’s become ‘more of a spokesman for Edward Snowden.’

Greenwald’s response? Pot, meet kettle:”

I think that’s ludicrous, is what I say to that. Every journalist has an agenda. We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified. The agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean the people on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are. I think every journalist has a viewpoint.

My viewpoint is clear. I don’t hide it. I think what Edward Snowden did was very admirable and heroic, but at the same time the ultimate test of a journalist is, is what you publish accurate and reliable? And I think with regard to every story we published over the last six months, there hasn’t been a single correction made to any of them, very few called into question. And I think that’s the ultimate question when it comes to journalism.

Welker, as The Daily Caller pointed out, appeared flustered. She said, “the point is not so much about MSNBC,” but that Greenwald’s defense of Snowden’s actions may “cross a line.”

“Sure, I do defend him,” Greenwald snarked back, “just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day.”

“Not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day,” Welker sulked (emphasis added). “No, not everybody,” Greenwald laughed. “But a lot—a LOT—of people on MSNBC do.”

That’s her defense? “Not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day.” Would she dare name names? Who are the faithless on the network who don’t do that 24 hours a day? And how many hours a day do they do that?

She had committed the unpardonable, a Washington gaffe, defined for modern pop and political culture by journalist Michael Kinsley as “when a politician tells the truth—some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

Okay, Welker is not a politician, per se. She just plays one on TV, like nearly all of the NBC/MSNBC hosts, news readers, and actual journalists.

Greenwald sounded like Accuracy in Media when he pointed out that the journalists of MSNBC “defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day.” And Welker inadvertently acknowledged that he is mostly correct. Okay, it’s not “24 hours a day,” and it’s “not everyone on MSNBC.” But you get the picture.

Image Credit: Standard Compliant





IRS Scandal Reaches The White House

Obama calls Mubarak Oval Office Jan 2011 300x213 IRS Scandal Reaches the White House

The Washington Post narrative surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups is that it began as a scandal involving low-level employees at a Cincinnati office, the “Determinations Unit,” a natural outgrowth of an increase in political activity by these groups. This belies other reporting by the Post’s Fact-Checker, which indicates that there was little growth in the number of groups applying for tax-exempt status at the time the targeting occurred.

As more details come to light, responsibility for the IRS actions keeps moving up the ladder and has landed, at least in part, at the White House. Top-level White House staffers knew about the scandal before a manufactured apology was made to the public on May 10.

“The White House on Monday once again added to the list of people who knew about the IRS investigation into its targeting of conservative groups—saying White House chief of staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago,” reported Reid J. Epstein for Politico on May 20. White House Chief Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said she learned about the IRS scandal the week of April 22, but didn’t tell the President.

A public relations storm was brewing, but the public is supposed to believe that the President himself was kept in the dark. “Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department,” wrote Epstein. “Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press.” Epstein called this the White House’s “shifting” account.

When Politico and the Post’s Fact-Checker, Glenn Kessler, note that the President’s story doesn’t quite add up, you know there’s trouble.

Read Full Commentary Here

It’s Time To Hold Obama Administration Accountable

barack obama52817 It’s Time to Hold Obama Administration Accountable

While the mainstream media are still overwhelmingly intent on seeing Barack Obama reelected as President, a number of journalists and news organizations are apparently having second thoughts. Or at least they are willing to examine the claims and representations that the Obama administration continues to put forth. This has been the surprising case regarding Obama’s State of the Union address in late January and the budget that he proposed in mid-February. Hopefully this may mark a turning point in how the media allow themselves to be used by the Obama administration, but don’t count on it. More likely it is isolated incidents of self-respect, and an acknowledgement that they can differentiate between normal political spin and outright lies.

The double standard still could not be more clear. During the many Republican debates there has been a constant effort to get the candidates to provide sound bites for Democratic ads during the general election, calling each other liars and flip-floppers, moderates, liberals, influence peddlers, and plutocrats. The ABC New Hampshire debate in which George Stephanopoulos spent a substantial amount of time on the burning issue of whether or not states have the right to ban contraception seemed like a Saturday Night Live skit in how it attempted to make the candidates appear radical. But now it looks more like coordination with the White House in preparation for their battle to make contraception a “free” entitlement for all under ObamaCare.

President Obama rarely faces such questions. He has been able to largely stay above the fray, managing the news flow, picking softball interviewers like NBC’s Matt Lauer before the Super Bowl, and ABC’s Diane Sawyer a few days before that. But what is new, and has the ability to change the dynamics, is that some of the loyal left in the media have begun to actually directly challenge Obama’s claims and narrative. Not enough of them, but it is starting to happen.

There are still hard-to-believe spectacles such as the Super Bowl on February 4 that played like an infomercial for the reelection of President Obama, in front of an audience estimated at 110 million people. But what is new is that within a day of the President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, the Associated Press (AP) and The Washington Post were both out with detailed refutations of some of Obama’s signature claims—claims to do with the auto industry, the green energy industry, job creation, the size and scope of government under his term in office, Afghanistan, tax fairness, energy production, and relations with Israel.

During halftime of the Super Bowl was the much talked about two-minute Chrysler ad, with Clint Eastwood, calling it “halftime in America” and seeming to endorse a second Obama term, while suggesting the President was in the middle of a great accomplishment, namely saving America’s auto industry and with it the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Read More at Gulag Bound.

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