Liz Cheney claimed on Fox News today that President Obama "refuses to give a meeting to" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Netanyahu himself stated hours earlier on NBC's Meet The Press that Obama has "met with me more than any other leader in the world and I appreciate that."
While appearing on America's News HQ, Cheney was asked for examples of America not being a reliable ally. Cheney responded by claiming that Obama "has reportedly offered to host a meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt" but "refuses to give a meeting to Prime Minister Netanyahu."
Mitt Romney's embrace of rejected right-wing Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork received another pass in the media on Sunday when David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press, failed to ask Romney about Bork and his outside the mainstream view of the Constitution in the course of a lengthy interview.
Bork serves as one of three co-chairs of Romney's "Justice Advisory Committee," which, according to his campaign, advises the candidate on "the Constitution, judicial matters, law enforcement, homeland security, and regulatory issues." Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected by a bipartisan Senate majority in 1987 because his positions on the Constitution were so far outside the mainstream.
GREGORY: I want to ask you one question on the social issue and that is abortion. You were on this program in 2007 and you said that you would fight to overturn Roe v. Wade. I know you said this is an issue for the courts. I ask you now would a President Romney fight to overturn Roe v. Wade? And what would you do in that fight to achieve that goal?
MR. ROMNEY: Well, there are a number of things I think that need to be said about preserving and protecting the life of the unborn child. And I recognize there are two lives involved: the mom and the unborn child. And I believe that people of good conscience have chosen different paths in this regard. But I am pro-life and will intend, if I'm president of the United States, to encourage pro-life policies. I don't--
GREGORY: Just encourage or fight for it to be overturned?
MR. ROMNEY: Well, I don't actually make the decision the Supreme Court makes and so they'll have to make their own decision. But, I will, for instance, I'll reverse the president's decision on using U.S. funds to pay for abortion outside this country. I don't think also the taxpayers here should have to pay for abortion in this country. Those things I think are consistent with my pro-life position. And I hope to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.
Gregory asked Romney one question which touched on the courts and the Constitution: "would a President Romney fight to overturn Roe v. Wade?" But that question falls short in addressing many other vitally important legal issues - from environmental regulation to racial justice, from women's equality to corporate power - that would come before judges nominated by Romney. Bork presumably advises Romney on these "judicial matters."
Romney's embrace of Bork is especially relevant and worthy of media scrutiny because the next president will almost certainly be in a position to appoint three or more Supreme Court justices. Four of the current justices are over 70 years of age, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will turn 80 next year. If Romney is elected and is able to confirm justices with views similar to Bork, he will shift the Roberts Court -- already one of the most conservative in history -- even farther to the right.
Despite the tremendous importance of the next President's ability to reshape the Supreme Court, major media outlets have for the most part ignored Romney's embrace of Bork and its implications for the future of the Court. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and the three major broadcast networks have all failed to address the issue. Only The New York Times has provided substantial coverage of Bork's role in Romney's campaign.
This morning's Meet the Press featured a panel discussion on moderator David Gregory's interview with Mitt Romney, and the discussion turned to whether Romney will be able to separate himself from the policies of George W. Bush, given their persistent unpopularity. The panelists were near unanimous in their agreement that Romney was being hampered by the Bush legacy; the only dissenter was Reagan education secretary Bill Bennett, who argued that "Bush did a lot of fine things," but Romney already has separated himself from Bush "by having Paul Ryan there. Paul Ryan was a critic of Bush spending and he's a critic of Obama spending."
I'm not sure how many times I'll have to write this, but I'll keep writing it for as long as I have to: Paul Ryan voted for every high-cost, deficit-exploding, debt-ballooning policy the Bush White House put in place. He voted for Bush's tax cuts on income and capital gains. He voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit. He voted for TARP. That's a whole lot of spending (plus a whole lot of revenue reduction), and those policies tell almost the entire story of the current deficits and public debt.
Paul Ryan is as much an ambassador of Bush-era policies as anyone, and to claim otherwise is nothing short of nonsense.
Today on NBC's Meet The Press, Newt Gingrich became the latest conservative to revive the oft-debunked falsehood that President Barack Obama voted as a state legislator to allow doctors to "kill babies." Neither Meet The Press host David Gregory nor the other members of the panel pushed back on this offensive smear.
Gingrich criticized Republican leaders for calling for Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race for comments he made about "legitimate rape" and abortion. In defending Akin, Gingrich claimed that Obama holds the truly extreme position because he voted to allow doctors to "kill babies":
NEWT GINGRICH: The President of the United States voted three times to protect the right of doctors to kill babies who came out of an abortion still alive.
Gregory did not push back on this claim even though it has been widely debunked. The Associated Press noted in a fact check of a previous attempt by Gingrich to push this claim that Illinois law already required that doctors to provide medical attention if a live birth resulted from a botched abortion on a viable fetus:
As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted against legislation promoted by anti-abortion activists that would have conferred protection to fetuses showing any signs of life after an abortion, even if doctors did not believe the fetus was viable. Obama pointed to an existing Illinois law requiring doctors to protect fetuses they believed were likely to survive after an abortion, and said he was concerned the proposed new law was so broad it could interfere with routine abortions.
The major Sunday network news talk shows gave less than two minutes of coverage to Mitt Romney's invocation of the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the United States. The New York Times reported that Romney's comment was part of a shift by the Romney campaign to a "more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters."
NBC's David Gregory muddied the waters on the Medicare debate, saying that President Obama "claims that he would extend the solvency of Medicare eight years until 2024." However, this is not just a claim put forth by the Obama campaign; the Medicare Board of Trustees has estimated that Medicare will remain solvent until 2024 thanks to the health care law.
CNN and NBC Sunday shows allowed Mitt Romney campaign surrogates to claim that the American people aren't interested in seeing more of Romney's tax returns, even as polling shows most Americans think Romney should release more of his returns.
In the wake of last week's tragic mass shooting in Aurora, CO, some in the media are distorting public opinion and election results to predict that the events will not have an impact on the debate over gun violence prevention. In fact, polls indicate public support for a broad range of stronger gun restrictions, including the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, which may have prevented the legal purchase of one of the alleged shooter's guns.
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza kicked off the debate with a piece published the morning after the shooting headlined "Why the Aurora shootings won't likely change the gun control debate":
If history is any guide, however, the Aurora shootings will do little to change public sentiment regarding gun control, which has been moving away from putting more laws on the books for some time.
In 1990, almost eight in ten Americans said that the "laws covering the sales of firearms" should be made "more strict" while just 10 percent said they should be made "less strict" or "kept as they are now". By 2010, those numbers had drastically shifted with 54 percent preferring less strict or no change in guns laws and 44 percent believing gun laws should be made more strict.
By Sunday the claim that Americans don't support tougher gun laws was a regular feature on the morning political talk shows. But if Congress is not moved by this tragedy to pass new gun violence prevention laws, it won't be because the American people oppose such measures.
In fact, other polls indicate that contrary to the result of the Gallup poll Cillizza cited, Americans support the passage of an array of new, stronger firearm sale laws.
Note that this appetite among the public for stronger gun laws includes the support of more than three in five for reinstating the nationwide ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. One of the weapons used by the alleged shooter was an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, which reportedly may have been banned under that law. Members of the House and Senate have called for bringing back the ban in response to the shooting. They enjoy the support of 62 percent of Americans, including 61 percent of Independents and 49 percent of Republicans, according to a June 2011 Time magazine poll.
During Mitt Romney's term as Massachusetts governor, that state ranked as one of the worst in the nation in terms of job creation -- squeezing out a net jobs gain of 1 percent compared with the national average of 5.3 percent at the time. But ABC and NBC Sunday shows allowed Romney campaign surrogates to obscure that record using a new talking point that Romney ended his term with Massachusetts ranked in "the middle of the pack."
From the May 20 edition of NBC's Meet The Press:
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Thomas E. Mann, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, are well-respected centrist congressional experts who are often cited by the media. But their recent conclusion that Republicans are responsible for political dysfunction -- laid out in an April 29 Washington Post op-ed and their recently released book -- has been largely ignored, with the top five national newspapers writing a total of zero news articles on their thesis.
This morning's Meet the Press roundtable was devoted exclusively to the potential social and political ramifications of President Obama's statement this week supporting marriage equality. On the panel was Al Cardenas, president of the American Conservative Union, who made this unusual statement about how social conservatives view marriage:
CARDENAS: Social conservatives believe that marriage is a traditional event between a man and a woman. Some do it for moral issues, some do it because of deeply held religious beliefs, and some purely because they think a family should constitute -- should be constituted by a man and a woman raising their children. But we never viewed it through a political lens before. It was more viewed as a deeply held religious belief. This puts it in a political context.
Seriously? Social conservatives up to this point have never considered marriage a political issue? And now the president has politicized it by voicing support for marriage equality?
That's... revisionist. Neither Gregory nor the other panelists challenged Cardenas, though their facial expressions during his remarks may have betrayed some incredulity. A thorough refutation of this isn't really necessary, so I'll just pick one moment from our very recent history to show how grotesquely incorrect this is.
Back in February, Mitt Romney gave his speech to the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference -- which is hosted every year by Cardenas' ACU -- and one of the headline-grabbing moments from that speech was when Romney boasted of his efforts to combat same-sex marriage in Massachusetts:
ROMNEY: Now, you may recall as well that during my term in office our conservative values also came under attack. Less than a year after I took office, the state's supreme court inexplicably found a right to same-sex marriage in the constitution written by John Adams. I presume he'd be surprised. I fought to have a stay on that decision, then pushed for a marriage amendment to our constitution. We lost by only one vote in the legislature. And I successfully prohibited out-of-state couples from coming to our state to get married and then going home.
On my watch we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage. When I am president I will defend the Defense of Marriage Act, and and I will fight for an amendment to our Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.
The crowd, of course, loved it. Perhaps the political activists in the audience just didn't realize that the politician speaking to them was politicizing marriage.
Interviewing Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday, Meet the Press host David Gregory adopted last week's right-wing spin when he asked if Obama's trip to Afghanistan to sign a security agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzia and to address U.S. troops on the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden represented a failure for the president.
Gregory even incorporated the New York Post's page-one attack on Obama:
GREGORY: The president went to Afghanistan on the anniversary of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden with a message to America that this war is coming to an end. Headlines around the world, including this in The New York Post, which sort of was a little bit more colorful. "Ka-Bull! Now Obama spikes bin Laden football in Afghanistan," an allusion to the fact that he would not do that, that there would not be the politicization of killing bin Laden. Was all of this together in effect his "Mission Accomplished" moment?
So David Gregory asked if Obama traveling to Afghanistan to sign a long-term pact on the anniversary of a signature foreign policy and national security success, the killing of bin Laden, was equivalent to Bush's famously premature celebration of what many consider to be his biggest foreign policy and national security failure, the war in Iraq?
Bush's "Mission Accomplished" fiasco became universal shorthand (as well as a punch line) for his administration's botched handling of the war. How is that even remotely similar to the widely heralded raid to kill bin Laden?
And note to Gregory: The fact that the hyper-partisan and bitter New York Post whined (and whined and whined) about Obama marking bin Laden's death and traveling to Afghanistan wasn't surprising. But it's also not news. (The Post hates everything Obama does.) Why Gregory chose to try to legitimize the tabloid'sabsurd, knee-jerk Obama critique, and then try to compare a clear Obama success to an equally clear Bush failure, remains puzzling.
As Democrats push for the Paycheck Fairness Act to address wage inequality between men and women, conservative media figures have claimed that there is no real wage inequality because men work more hours than women and thus earn more. But studies have shown that an earnings discrepancy between men and women persists, even when accounting for a variety of factors, including hours worked.
A Media Matters analysis finds that news coverage of climate change on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX has dropped significantly since 2009. In 2011, these networks spent more than twice as much time discussing Donald Trump as climate change.