Issues ››› Elections
  • The Fox primary: Politico reports on Palin vs. Rove vs. Huckabee vs. Gingrich

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From an October 31 Politico article titled "Next for GOP leaders: Stopping Palin":

    Top Republicans in Washington and in the national GOP establishment say the 2010 campaign highlighted an urgent task that they will begin in earnest as soon as the elections are over: Stop Sarah Palin.

    Interviews with advisers to the main 2012 presidential contenders and with other veteran Republican operatives make clear they see themselves on a common, if uncoordinated, mission of halting the momentum and credibility Palin gained with conservative activists by plunging so aggressively into this year's midterm campaigns.

    There is rising expectation among GOP elites that Palin will probably run for president in 2012 and could win the Republican nomination, a prospect many of them regard as a disaster in waiting.


    Top Republicans, from presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty to highly influential advisers such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are said to be concerned she will run, and could win, according to the officials.


    Rove, one of the few establishment types to raise flags publicly about a Palin bid, this week told Britain's Daily Telegraph that her upcoming reality show on cable TV could diminish her presidential standing. "I am not certain how this fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office,'" Rove said.

    Steele sounded a different note in a POLITICO interview: "I don't think that Sarah's too much worried about what Karl Rove's speculations are."


    "If she runs, she runs right at the establishment," said a top adviser to a rival campaign. As witnessed in recent weeks, she would have powerful backup -- at least at the outset of a campaign -- among conservative media figures, especially Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.


    Palin wouldn't be the only anti-establishment candidate. Mike Huckabee, who had the highest favorability ratings among the possible GOP candidates in a POLITICO/George Washington University poll in October, is a strong possibility and, according to a recent New York Times story by Peter Baker, is the White House favorite to win the nomination, for whatever that is worth. Huckabee and Palin have hit Rove for tweaking the tea party activists, and it's safe to assume voters will hear a lot more tweaking in the months to come. Newt Gingrich, who has raised more money than any other GOP hopeful, will compete for this space, too, and recently told a confidant he needs to show more self-discipline if he really wants to run and win.

  • Fox fearmongers again about nonexistent military disenfranchisement

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    For the past couple of months, Fox News has been peddling the bogus story that members of the military are being disenfranchised by the Obama administration for the midterm elections. It took yet another stab at doing so on the October 30 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday.

    Co-host Clayton Morris began the segment by asserting that "doubts remain about whether or not some military votes will be counted in the midterm elections as the Department of Justice extends the deadline for postmarking absentee ballots, but only by one day. Imagine that." That's an apparent reference to the DOJ extending the postmark deadline for absentee ballots in some states from November 1 to November 2, the day of the election. Morris didn't note that extending the deadline past that date would create the possibility that votes could be cast after the election was over and results announced, thus giving voters an opening to change election results after the fact. Indeed, Republicans in Illinois tried to eliminate the deadline completely. As the DOJ's Civil Rights Section pointed out, "There has never been such a remedy ordered in our nation's history, and that's the remedy they are seeking."

    Morris then hosted Scott Taylor, a failed Republican congressional candidate who, according to Morris, has "just returned from the Middle East." Taylor claimed that troops are unsure whether their votes would be counted. Morris responded, "I think most Americans find this absolutely appalling, and it's shocking that Washington hasn't done more to address this issue."

  • Sargent: Source says "ABC's newsroom upset with decision to tap" Breitbart for election night

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reports on his Plum Line blog:

    It looks like lefty bloggers aren't the only ones irked by ABC News's decision to tap Andrew Breitbart for election-night analysis: People in ABC's newsroom were also caught completely off guard by the news, a newsroom source tells me.

    "This blindsided a good portion of the team here," the source emails. "And not in a good way."

    We've previously noted that ABC's George Stephanopoulos has called out Breitbart for pushing claims about Shirley Sherrod that were "clearly not true." And we've noted Bretibart's career of authoring and promoting falsehood-laden journalism.

  • Fox begins special election coverage by promising to have on Bachmann, Scott, and Levin balanced by ... Blagojevich

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Starting at 10 am ET, Fox News preempted its regular schedule for midterm election special coverage titled "Ballot Battle: We're Broke, Who's Booted?" Since Fox spent the last three days relentless trying to get out the vote for the Republicans, we watched with interest to see how quickly it would take for Fox to skew its coverage in favor of the GOP. It didn't take long.

    The first sign was host Neil Cavuto saying that union rallies around the country "ain't just get out the vote, this is brass-knuckled politics as hard and rough as it gets."

    Then a few seconds later, Cavuto announced that he would have on the following guests to discuss the election: tea party favorite Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott, right-wing radio host Mark Levin, and -- presumably to satisfy Fox's idea of balance -- Rod Blagojevich, the convicted former governor of Illinois.

    And don't think that the cheerleading for the GOP is going to be limited to Bachmann, Scott, and Levin. A few minutes later on the show, Cavuto had a segment on Rep. Barney Frank's chances for re-election. His guest? Noted expert on Massachusetts politics and House races Steve Forbes.

  • Civil rights commissioner blasts conservative panel's "hatchet job" attack on DOJ

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    During its meeting on Friday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was denied a chance to vote on its report attacking the Obama Justice Department over the phony New Black Panthers scandal by a walkout by Democratic Commissioner Michael Yaki, which left the commission without a quorum. In a statement to Media Matters, Yaki ripped the conservative majority that controls the commission, saying that it "has manipulated the process in a manner designed to exclude myself and Commissioners [Arlan] Melendez and [Abigail] Thernstrom, who have opposed this farce from the beginning":

    The majority has manipulated the process in a manner designed to exclude myself and Commissioners Melendez and Thernstrom, who have opposed this farce from the beginning. By cancelling last week's meeting at the 11th hour and scheduling today's meeting without consulting our schedules, both Melendez and Thernstrom were denied the opportunity to have their voices heard. When the majority failed to muster their 5 members for quorum, they effectively doomed their own chance to ram this flawed report through.

    He also said of the majority, "In their zeal to vote this out before the election, they overreached -- and fell one member short. It's not my job to ensure they have quorum to shove this hatchet job out the door when they have 5 votes -- a quorum -- in their pocket":

    We already had our one meeting in October on the 8th. We are part time government officials, with schedules and jobs. They could have voted this out on the 22nd. In their zeal to vote this out before the election, they overreached -- and fell one member short. It's not my job to ensure they have quorum to shove this hatchet job out the door when they have 5 votes -- a quorum -- in their pocket.

    As we have noted, the allegation that the Obama DOJ engaged in racially charged "corruption" while prosecuting the case doesn't stand up to the facts. The decision not to pursue criminal charges in the case was made during the Bush administration, and the Obama Justice Department successfully obtained an injunction against the New Black Panther Party member at the center of the investigation.