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April 20, 2009

(Vol. 22; No. 9)

Reporter Derides Anti-Tax Tea Parties: “Not Family Viewing”

CNN’s Susan Roesgen: “You know, Kyra, this is a party for Obama bashers. I have to say that this is not entirely representative of everybody in America....[to protester] You’re here with your two-year-old and you’re already in debt. Why are you here today, sir?”
Man holding child on his shoulder: “Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln’s primary thing was he believed that people had the right to liberty and they had the right-”
Roesgen, interrupting: “Sir, what does this have to do with taxes?...Do you realize that you’re eligible for a $400 credit?...Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets $50 billion out of these stimulus? That’s $50 billion for this state, sir....We’ll move on over here. I think you get the general tenor of this. It’s anti-government, anti-CNN, since this is highly promoted by the right wing conservative network, Fox. And since I can’t really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing, I’ll toss it back to you.”
— Live coverage of anti-tax protests during the 2pm ET hour of CNN Newsroom, April 15. [Audio/video (1:36): Windows Media (5.84 MB) and MP3 audio (565 kB)]

Tea Parties = “Group Therapy” for Crazy Conservatives
“All of these tax day parties seemed less about revolution and more about group therapy. At least with the more widely known protest against government spending, people attending the rallies were dressed patriotically and held signs expressing their anger, but offering no solutions.”
New York Times reporter Liz Robbins in an April 15 online article about that day’s anti-tax “tea parties.” The paragraph was taken out of the version that appeared in the Times’ April 16 print edition.

Just a Front for Corporate Interests
“Cheered on by Fox News and talk radio, the hundreds of tea parties today were designed to protest the bailouts, the stimulus plan, and President Obama’s budget....But critics on the left say this is not a real grassroots phenomenon at all, that it’s actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests....While the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was about taxation without representation, critics point out that today’s protesters did get to vote — they just lost. What’s more, polls show most Americans don’t feel overtaxed.”
— ABC’s Dan Harris on World News, April 15.

CBS’s Dean Reynolds: “They came to vent their outrage in big gatherings and small groups over what they see as runaway government spending, and the tax hikes they suspect are right around the corner....While he [national organizer Eric Odom] insisted these events were non-partisan, a fistful of rightward leaning Web sites and commentators-”
Clip of FNC Host Glenn Beck at rally: “Everything is big in Texas.”
“-embraced the cause.”
— CBS Evening News, April 15.

Announcing His Disdain in Advance
“There’s been some grassroots conservatives who have organized so-called ‘tea parties’ around the company, country, hoping the historical reference will help galvanize Americans against the President’s economic ideas. But I tell you, the idea hasn’t really caught on. The RNC has jumped in. A few other talk radio hosts have jumped in, but it hasn’t galvanized the party the way they would hope.”
— NBC’s Chuck Todd on Today, April 15, hours before the anti-tax rallies began.

Juvenile Journalist Turns Tax Protests Into Dirty Joke
CNN analyst David Gergen: “Republicans are pretty much in disarray.... They have not yet come up with a compelling alternative, one that has gained popular recognition. So-”
Anchor Anderson Cooper: “Teabagging. They’ve got teabagging.”
Gergen: “Well, they’ve got the teabagging....[But] Republicans have got a way — they still haven’t found their voice, Anderson. They’re still — this happens to a minority party after it’s lost a couple of bad elections, but they’re searching for their voice.”
Cooper: “It’s hard to talk when you’re teabagging.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, April 14. “Teabagging” is a vulgar slang term for a certain variety of oral sex. [Audio/video (1:01): Windows Media (3.66 MB) and MP3 audio (324 kB)]

Lauer “Worried” Obama Won’t Be Able to Dictate to Business
“I’m worried if you think if that’s a good thing [for Goldman Sachs to pay back its bailout money early]. Are they doing this because of financial stability, or might they be talking about that simply to get out from under the thumb of the federal government and be allowed to go back to running the business the way they want to run it, as opposed to the way the government wants them to run it?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to Obama economic adviser Christina Romer, April 14 Today.

Obama’s Week Through ABC’s Prism: “Cool Kid in the Class”
“George, as we wrap up the week we wanted to take note of these images we’ve been looking at, particularly this one where other heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama.”
— ABC anchor David Muir, over a photo of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arm-in-arm with President Barack Obama during the G-20 group photo session, April 4 World News.

“The last President we had that went to Europe, I mean no one wanted to see him. There was great hostility. This President’s changed the tone. Just changing the tone was a great plus for the United States.”
— Retired ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson on HBO’s Real Time, April 3.

Washingtonians Flocking to YouTube to Watch Obama
“He spoke of the modern realities and the modern difficulties that we’ve had in our relations with other countries. How many times have you heard people say ‘I’m going to go on YouTube and watch the President’s speech because I heard it was so good’? And I heard that all over Washington this week. And that is just an amazing thing.”
— NPR’s Nina Totenberg on Obama’s speeches in Europe, April 11 Inside Washington.
Impossible to Mock Near-Perfect Prez
“Obama, so far, seems to occupy a place in the popular culture beyond humor. Ridicule doesn’t touch him. His personality defies easy categorization. Of the few running gags to emerge from the Obama administration — aides not paying their taxes, Treasury officials rewarding fat-cats — the only one that pertains to the President himself is the straight-faced devotion he inspires. Obama may not actually be perfect, but so many poor souls out there think he is.”
Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief Peter Canellos, in his April 7 “National Perspectives” column, “In a Stroke of Brilliance, Obama Defies Easy Caricature.”

Drooling Over Michelle — “She’s Almost Overtaking Oprah!”
“Michelle is so authentic, and so real, and so today, and so, you know, J. Crew, and the whole price point thing and not designer clothes....With Michelle, you can almost feel those warm arms. You know, there’s a kind of real red-blooded feel to her. But there’s also — I mean she’s almost, like, overtaking Oprah, I think, as the kind of inspirational ‘it’ girl at this point.”
— Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown on CBS’s Early Show, April 3.
Katie Pushes Holder from the Left on Guns
“What about reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole? Do you think that would stop the flow of weapons into Mexico from the U.S.?...Did someone tell you to back off?...It’s been reported that Democrats on Capitol Hill are getting increasingly chummy with the NRA and receiving more campaign contributions from that organization than in previous years, and nobody wants to get the NRA riled up.”
— Anchor Katie Couric to Attorney General Eric Holder, April 8 CBS Evening News.
CNN Cheap Shot: Blaming Fox News for Cop Deaths
“That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced — after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio — that quote, ‘Our rights were being infringed upon.’”
— Anchor Rick Sanchez during the 3pm ET hour of CNN Newsroom, April 8.
Anchor Derides “Nut Case” Conservatives, Then Slams MRC’s “Partisan Agenda”
“Who is the real nutcase? North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il or any conservative who wants to bomb him?...Former House Speaker Gingrich says we should have bombed North Korea before the launch. Is Gingrich crazy to talk like that, or is it dangerous to hope sanctions will do the trick?....And back to crazy talk for a moment. How in the world do you explain people like Chuck Norris calling for a second American Revolution to defeat President Obama’s policies? And what about conservative Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appearing to tell her constituents to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition....Now Bachmann claims she was talking about information. In any case, folks we just had and election and guess what? Obama won! And yet the rhetoric from the wing-nuts is getting crazier by the week.”
— Substitute host David Shuster on MSNBC’s Hardball, April 6.

“[In David Shuster’s] ‘Hypocrisy Watch’ segments this year, the conservative Media Research Center points out, 34 of the targets have been Republicans or conservatives — including Rush Limbaugh twice and Karl Rove five times — and only four have been Democrats or liberals. Shuster says the group is ‘funded and run by die-hard conservatives with a clear partisan agenda’ and that his work on the now-defunct program 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue ‘was hard hitting on both parties.’”
Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, April 13.

Prime Time Drama Pushes Wacky 9/11 Conspiracy
“9/11? Inside job, plain and simple....I am talking about a massive neo-conservative government effort. It’s been in the works for over twenty years....One problem: How you going to put it into action? I mean, the American people are never going to go for s**t like that, right? You’re damn straight. No, what you need is an event, an event that gets everyone’s heads turned around the right way. What you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed. You’re looking at a guy who went to 58 funerals in 26 days, I can tell you that is sure as s**t what they got.”
— New York City firefighter “Franco Rivera,” played by Daniel Sunjata, on FX’s Rescue Me, April 14. [Audio/video (2:14): Windows Media (8.27 MB) and MP3 audio (747 kB)]
Even NBC Now Mocking Matthews’ Obama Infatuation
“A new comic is being published this summer called ‘Barack the Barbarian’ which features the President in a loin cloth. Also featuring the President in a loin cloth: Chris Matthews’ daydreams.”
— “Weekend Update” news anchor Seth Myers, April 11 Saturday Night Live. [Audio/video (0:19): Windows Media (1.06 MB) and MP3 audio (77 kB)]

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen

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