Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, tried Sunday to defend the Texas anti-abortion law that shut down 13 clinics this week. But he seemed to have no idea what the law actually does.
"The issue for us is only one thing, and that’s whether you ought to use taxpayer money to fund abortion," Priebus said of the state law on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
The statute in question has nothing to do with taxpayer funding of abortion. It requires all abortions in Texas to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or mini-hospitals, and requires all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The law also bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and limits how doctors can prescribe medication abortions.
Since the first provision of the law went into effect nearly a year ago, all but seven of the 44 abortion clinics in Texas have been forced to shut down or stop offering the procedure.
Chuck Todd, the host of “Meet the Press,” asked Priebus why Republicans “don’t like a lot of regulations on businesses, except if the business is an abortion clinic.” He noted that the new law has effectively closed 80 percent of the abortion clinics in Texas.
Priebus dodged the question.
"The fact of the matter is that we believe that any woman that’s faced with an unplanned pregnancy deserves compassion, respect, counseling, whatever it is that we can offer," he said.
Number of segments that Sunday News shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox gave to the People’s Climate March on the day that it happened: ZERO.
Even if media outlets didn’t find this historical event significant enough to take time for, Americans sure did. An estimated 400,000 people took a stand against man-made climate change in a march that extended over 4 miles long in the streets of New York City.
According to Politico’s most famous (and best-connected) reporter, NBC’s White House correspondent Chuck Todd has been tapped as the likely replacement for the much-maligned David Gregory on “Meet the Press.”SIREN: Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press,” with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, according to top political sources. The move is an effort by NBC News President Deborah Turness to restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death in 2008 of the irreplaceable Tim Russert. Although Todd is not a classic television performer guaranteed to wow focus groups, his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game, which brings with it authenticity, sources, and a loyal following among newsmakers and political junkies.
Allen crammed several other “Meet”-related nuggets in Monday’s edition of “Politico Playbook,” his daily newsletter of name-drops and Washington gossip.
And there was some hedging.
After reporting that Gregory will likely move on from NBC, Allen noted that his sources have cautioned that “nothing is definite or decided.”
Nevertheless, it’s been widely believed that Gregory has been on thin ice as “Meet the Press,” once the Sunday morning standard-bearer, has suffered in the ratings.
The New York Post reported last week that Gregory met with CNN president Jeff Zucker recently.
If Allen’s scoop does come to fruition, it will mean that fellow Politico scribe Dylan Byers gets to take a victory lap. Byers was already basking in the development on Monday, tweeting a link to a piece he authored at the beginning of the year.
In the piece, Byers offered three predictions for 2014: White House press secretary Jay Carney would step down by year’s end; CNN would elevate Jake Tapper to a primetime slot; and Todd would be named as the new host of “Meet the Press.”
Two out of three ain’t bad.
Carney, check Todd, check … http://t.co/raTECobo8q— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) August 11, 2014
H/T: Tom Kludt at TPM
To listen to Mitt Romney, George W. Bush never existed or led the country into two horrible and entirely avoidable wars with his pal Dick Cheney. Next he’ll claim the economic crisis was Obama’s fault too.
On Meet the Press this morning, failed candidate Romney had plenty of blame to spread on President Obama and Hillary Clinton about the situation in Iraq. Evidently his memory has gotten more flawed since he failed to win the Presidency in 2012.
First, the history lesson. The status of forces agreement failed candidate Romney claims is an Obama/Clinton failure was actually a George W. Bush failure. Bush negotiated and signed the status of forces agreement. Obama was hoping to get a framework in place after that agreement to allow a small residual force, but the Iraqis refused. It’s their country. What was Obama supposed to do? Recommit to invading and knocking out the government the United States installed?
When it comes to underestimating the threat, no one did that better than failed candidate Mitt Romney. Here’s a guy who completely missed the fact that he was going to lose his bid for the White House in 2012. It came as a complete shock to him. Why anyone thinks he’s credible on matters of strategic importance is beyond me.
Mitt Romney is a political failure and a joke. The idea that he merits any consideration in a serious discussion of a serious problem is laughable. If this is the best Republicans can put up to display their political and national security acumen to the nation, they’re all failures.
We weren’t going to see Meet the Press host David Gregory correct the record when RNC chair Reince Priebus came on and took former Secretary of State Hillary’s congressional testimony out of context, as they always do, so Sen. Claire McCaskill had to do it instead.
McCaskill let both Priebus and his pal Karl Rove have it when asked what voters should think about the recent attacks on both Clinton’s health and their fake Benghazi outrage that they’ve beaten to death.
DAVID GREGORY: I’ll ask the same question to you. Do you think Karl Rove should apologize? Was this over the line?
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL: You know, I think Karl Rove is struggling to be relevant. I mean this is a guy who took hundreds of millions of other people’s money in the last cycle and had abject failure. So I think he’s trying to be part of the conversation. I think we all know what this is. It’s a cheap political shot. It’s the kind of politics that kind of make people not want to participate. And it’s too bad. […]
From the 05.18.2014 edition of NBC’s Meet The Press:
BREAKING: Tess Boyer and Bria Kelly are both eliminated from The Voice
The Voice voters made a terrible choice IMO.
Sucks that BOTH Bria and Tess (who had Final 4 potential) are gone tonight.
If you’re on Twitter, please use the hashtag #VoiceSaveTess to keep Tess Boyer on! You have only 5 minutes to do so!! #Tesstify
VOTE FOR TESS BOYER!!!!
Instant Save: #VoiceSaveTess.
Everyone get on Twitter and use #VoiceSaveTess to keep her on.
Keep Tess on The Voice with the hashtag #VoiceSaveTess.
VOTE FOR TESS BOYER!!
“Today” personality Kathie Lee Gifford was recently admonished by NBC higher-ups for promoting her line of wines, the punnily named Gifft, on-air. The idea, in part, is that “Today” is to some degree a news program, one that ought to be held to a higher standard than a regular chatfest.
Fortunately Gifford has a podcast, where she has for months been endorsing personal causes, from her wine to right-wing politics. It turns out that Gifford is something of a Trojan horse for conservatism, presenting for an hour a day the banal niceties that get viewers through the morning–then putting out a weekly podcast that’s one long dog whistle with occasional wine plugs.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course — Gifford’s entitled to her opinions. But the success of her TV persona has rested upon the perception of Gifford as a freewheeling truth-teller who will say anything on camera. As it so happens, this whole time she’s been holding back more than a few opinions.
On a recent podcast episode, for instance, Gifford interviewed Cal Thomas, a Fox News commentator who has said that no new mosques should be allowed to be built in the U.S. and has been outspoken against acceptance of homosexuality. Oddly, Gifford consistently represented Thomas as a nonpartisan figure striving only to find solutions to unnamed crises. “There’s no hidden agenda with you, is there? You just love this country and want it to be great.” The pair went on to discuss the necessity of Congressional term limits (because, in Gifford’s telling, the human heart is twisted and dark) and the so-called “Age of Entitlement.” Gifford told a stem-winder about how she once confronted Hillary Clinton and asked her when rich people “became the enemy.” (The social safety net, in Gifford’s telling, “destroys lives” because dreams of growing rich are what make life worth living.)
Gifford and Thomas agree on just about everything — for much of the interview, neither will mention President Obama at all, but they shame the listeners for not voting, or for not paying attention to the consequences of how they voted. (The idea that those who vote for Democrats were somehow tricked into it and not thinking is an old conservative canard that Obama’s popularity at election time has brought roaring back.) When Obama finally came up explicitly, it was in Gifford’s allegation that his administration is not telling the truth over Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers: “I don’t know that there’s a person on the planet who believes those numbers are true.” Thomas said those who did were “drinking the Kool-Aid.”
And so it is with Gifford — without a TV production team holding her back, she’s considerably more loose-lipped than she is on “Today.” Her interviews (all available here) had, for a long time, been focused on either generic show business gab or Gifford’s brand of evangelical Christianity (viz. interviews with the cast of the film “Son of God” or with, say, Glenn Beck). The political turn has been a more recent development, with Candace Cameron Bure using the show as a platform to defend her claims that wives should be “submissive” to their husbands, or with Donald Trump stopping by after CPAC. Gifford joked that Trump “didn’t need a TelePrompTer” — a random reference to year-2008 critiques of Obama — and said that those who believe the Tea Party has any position on social issues are confused. “It’s not the social issues — they keep combining the social issues. The Tea Party, as I understand it, was low taxation, small government, and fiscal responsibility. By that definition, that’s me!”
And why not? Gifford has, through her career, been outspoken not about politics but about religious belief, from her advocacy work for children to her Broadway musical about Charismatic Christian Aimee Semple McPherson. But it’s not shocking that she, a wealthy woman of faith, would hold conservative beliefs. It is a little shocking, though, that she expresses them so freely as someone in the employ of a network news program — would she be as easily able to allege, on “Today,” that the president were lying about Obamacare enrollment? Or to put out nebulous language about the war on the wealthy? We have no idea what Gifford’s “Today” cohort believes politically — if Matt Lauer voted at all, no one’s heard about it. But “Today” is ostensibly, at least in part, a news show, if a softball one. And Gifford’s insistence that people need to wake up and see it her way is the nastiest side of conservatism: the belief that the baseline human should see this worldview as the common-sense solution, and that other outcomes are the result of weird subterfuge. That’s how Cal Thomas becomes a figure who, very simply, just wants America to be great.
Gifford’s podcast is compulsively listenable for the new insight it offers into the brain of a person whose life has been up for public consumption since the early nineties. That said individual is really, really interested in conservative talking points is not troubling in and of itself. At least, if one presumes that a deep-seated belief that a massive swath of the country has been tricked into hating the rich has as little bearing over one’s ability to cover the news objectively as does a new line of novelty wines–and that both can be easily put aside.
KLG being a righty doesn’t surprise me in the least bit.
Let’s go Tess Boyer tonight!!!!
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” implored Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Sunday to stop wasting time by denying that the climate was changing and to start leading the charge to do something about it.
Nye began his debate with Blackburn on NBC’s Meet the Press by applauding President Barack Obama’s call to create a $1 billion fund to prepare for climate change.
"What I’ve always said, we need to do everything all at once," Nye explained. "And this is an opportunity for the United States to innovate, to be the world leader in new technologies."
Blackburn, however, shot back that Nye was just an “actor,” while she was a member of Congress.
"What we have to do is look at the information we get from climate scientists, and as you said, there is not agreement around the fact of exactly what is causing this," Blackburn opined.
Nye pointed out that Blackburn and other climate change deniers were trying to introduce uncertainty.
"This is unscientific, this is not logical," he said. "It is a way, apparently, that the fossil fuel industry had dealt with our politics. This is not good. You don’t need a PhD in climate science to understand what’s going on, that we have overwhelming evidence that the climate is changing. That you cannot tie any one event to that is not the same as doubt about the whole thing."
A group of senators is asking for more broadcast coverage on climate change, following a Media Matters analysis which found that Sunday shows aired only scant coverage on the issue last year.
On Thursday, January 16, a letter spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was sent to the top executives of four major television networks, expressing “deep concern” about the lack of coverage on global warming, deeming it a “serious environmental crisis” which “poses a huge threat to our nation and the global community.” The letter cited findings from a recent Media Matters study, which revealed that Sunday news shows dedicated merely 27 minutes of coverage to the issue of climate change throughout all of 2013. They wrote that “this is an absurdly short amount of time for a subject of such importance.”
The senators concluded with a call to action: “We urge you to take action in the near term to correct this oversight and provide your viewers, the American public, with greater discussion of this important issue that impacts everyone on the planet.”
The other senators that signed the letter were Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Rush Limbaugh raised eyebrows this week when he claimed that the polar vortex that swept the nation with record low temperatures this week was a phrase recently invented by liberals in order to advance a political agenda.
In a segment titled “Left Creates ‘Polar Vortex’ to Make You Think Winter is Caused by Global Warming,” amateur scientist Limbaugh said"Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week…Right on schedule, the media have to come up with a way to make it [the cold] sound like it’s completely unprecedented, because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda."
Today NBC weatherman Al Roker told Limbaugh to “stuff it.”
Roker tweeted a photo of a 1959 American Meteorological Society text with a polar vortex definition in it:
For all the doubters who say the media “created” the Polar Vortex: From the 1959 AMS Glossary of Meteorology pic.twitter.com/x2Nyw0jx3j— Al Roker (@alroker) January 7, 2014
On the Today Show, Roker made clear his derision for Limbaugh and other doubters:"Let me tell you something. We’ve never used the phrase ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in conjunction with this… Okay?! So for all the doubters out there, STUFF IT."
On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) extolled their bipartisan budget deal, which will spare the nation from more government shutdowns over the next two years. But Ryan also suggested that it will help the House GOP’s never-ending attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Asked by host David Gregory about how Obamacare could possibly survive given that one poll showed 50 percent opposition, Murray told a story about a woman she recently met with a 29 year old son with a disability. With her son now able to obtain insurance thanks to the law, the mother explained, she is able to sleep at night for the first time in a long time. As people see the law implemented, Murray explained, they would like it more.
Ryan responded that that America needs to get rid of the law and that the GOP would replace it with something that prevented discrimination based on preexisting conditions — but one that would not require a “government takeover.”
Congressman Paul Ryan, you are delusional if you think that repealing Obamacare countless more times is a good idea.