Media News

‘Morning Joe’ Confronts Rev. Franklin Graham Over Obama’s Christianity: ‘That Is An Amazing Double Standard’

I have a limited tolerance for Morning Joe  and this is one of those rare instances of tolerance…

The Huffington Post

The “Morning Joe” roundtable had a heated confrontation with Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of televangelist Billy Graham, for questioning whether President Obama is a Christian on Tuesday’s show.

Graham has come under fire for controversial statements about Obama’s faith before. On Monday, he was responding to a recent comment by Rick Santorum that initially appeared to criticize the President’s religious beliefs. Graham refused to definitively say that President Obama is a Christian.

When asked if he believed that he was, Graham said that people would “need to ask President Obama” to get an answer. “He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is,” Graham said.

He defined a Christian as someone who puts “faith and trust in Jesus Christ,” and contrasted that with what he claimed was Obama’s arrival at Christianity. He said that Obama joined a church after the Chicago neighborhood where he was a community organizer asked him to.

When co-host Willie Geist pressed him to say whether he believed Obama was a Christian, Graham maintained that he “cannot answer that question for anybody.”

However, his answer on Rick Santorum’s Christianity was a resounding yes. “His values are so clear on moral issues,” he said. “No question, I believe he is a man of faith.”

Contributor John Heilemann took issue with this. “That is an amazing double standard you just applied,” he alleged.

“You have to look at what a person does with his life,” Graham defended.

He also would not say whether he believed Romney is a Christian. “Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism as part of the Christian faith,” he said. He noted that Gingrich has been married several times, but that he believed that he was a Christian.

Geist questioned this. “So Newt Gingrich is a Christian, but you’re not sure that President Obama is. And you said based on the way they lived their lives.” Someone off-screen could be heard saying, “Wow.”

“All I know is under Obama… the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians murdered in the Muslim world,” Graham responded.

Watch the video here…

Obama Media Coverage More Negative Than Any GOP Candidate: Pew Study

The Huffington Post

Some of the GOP candidates for president are not getting the best press, but a recent Pew studyshows that President Obama is getting worse coverage than anyone else.

The study, which looked at stories from 1,500 news outlets from the past 23 weeks, found that negative assessments of President Obama outweighed positive assessments by almost 4:1. The stories, which largely focused on the economic crisis, brought him the second-highest level of negative press, as well as the lowest amount of positive press. This means that, overall, his net coverage is the most negative of any candidate. That’s a very steep drop from the early days of Obama’s presidency, when Pew found him receiving 42 percent positive coverage.

Among the GOP contenders, Rick Perry has received the most positive coverage over the study period. But the tone of media assessments seems to be fluctuating with public opinion: Perry’s positive coverage is dipping, while Herman Cain’s is now on the surge. Mitt Romney’s coverage remains mixed.

Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin also enjoyed more positive reports, with good assessments of Palin outweighing poor assessments 3:2.

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Bill O’Reilly: ‘I Have More Power Than Anybody Other Than The President’

So, I must ask, what’s Bill O’Reilly smoking these days?  Or is it just that his massive ego has hit critical mass and has manifested itself into this?  I predict a rapid downward spiral after this…

The Huffington Post

Bill O’Reilly made a rather bold declaration during a recent interview with Newsweek.

The Fox News host was promoting his new book (a historical thriller about the Lincoln assassination), and he clearly had the presidency on his mind, because he told interviewer Peter Boyer that he was almost as powerful as the holder of that office.

“I have more power than anybody other than the president, in the sense that I can get things changed, quickly,” he said. “I don’t have to go through the legislative process; I don’t have to do any of that. I can just bring it to the people, and say, look, this has gotta be dealt with.”

O’Reilly has a history of making grand statements about his reach. Who can forget, for instance, his prediction that his Super Bowl interview with President Obama would be the most watched in “the history of mankind” ? Or his attempt to draft himself as the key negotiator in the debt ceiling crisis?

There a bunch of good nuggets in the Newsweek profile. For instance, O’Reilly says he “likes” Obama personally, and that he warned Glenn Beck not to turn into “Elmer Gantry” when the two went on tour together. But that “power” statement stands out. (Interestingly, it’s a bit of a step back from a statement O’Reilly made in 2010, where he said definitively that he had “more power doing what I’m doing” than he would as president.)

It’s certainly true that, as the nation’s leading cable news host by some length, O’Reilly has a very large reach and influence. And the relative power of a television host versus, say, the Speaker of the House could be arguable, in a sort of sociological sense. Nevertheless, we are throwing the question open to you, the reader. Do you agree with O’Reilly’s statement?

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Cooper Tears Into Bachmann

The Huffington Post

Anderson Cooper highlighted what he said were the “dangerous falsehoods” that Michele Bachmann has been pushing on the campaign trail.

Cooper has often used Bachmann as a target for his daily “Keeping Them Honest” segment, debunking her statements about everything from American history to the cost of President Obama’s foreign tripsto her denials that her clinic runs so-called “ex-gay” therapy services.

On Thursday, he turned to her recent crusade against rival presidential candidate Rick Perry, whom she has attacked repeatedly for mandating that young girls be given the HPV vaccine. Cooper playedfootage of Bachmann on the “Today” show, where the Minnesota Republican said that a woman told her the HPV vaccine gave her daughter “mental retardation.” He didn’t mince words when describing what he thought of Bachmann’s decision to relay that story, calling it “incredibly irresponsible.”

As Cooper (and many others) pointed out, the Centers for Disease Control has found that there is absolutely no evidence that the vaccine causes any kind of mental disability.

“Bachmann is spreading all-out falsehood here,” Cooper said. “A dangerous falsehood at that. And it is not the first time she’s done this by any stretch of the imagination.” He then played a series of clips of what he called “just flat-out factually incorrect statements.” After the clips played, he wondered if the misstatements would have any effect on her campaign.

“Do voters care about the truth?” Cooper asked.

See video here…

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Melissa Harris-Perry: U.S. Has Yet To Learn Lessons Of Hurricane Katrina (VIDEO)

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a searing monologue about what she saw as the country’s failure to learn from the disaster on Monday’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”

Harris-Perry was in New Orleans filling in for Maddow, who was on vacation. Hurricane Irene had made it impossible for her to fly to New York, but the Tulane professor called the arrangement “strangely apropos,” seeing as it was the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

She criticized the country’s lack of progress on the vulnerabilities that Katrina exposed, namely the inadequacies in public infrastructure and the racial and economic disparities that made the hurricane so devastating. She recalled, “We watched as Americans were abandoned on the rooftops of their homes, and we realized that our system could not even get water to the people of a major American city for days.”

“Whatever momentum our renewed sense of responsibility brought has been halted by this recession,” Harris-Perry said. She cited cuts to the social safety net, and opposition to environmental regulation and infrastructure as examples of the government actively working against that progress.

Harris-Perry said that while Hurricane Irene showed that people have learned to prepare for short-term disasters, the long-term lessons of Hurricane Katrina have fallen by the wayside. “Six years later, the long-term lessons about public policy, mutual investment is what we as a people are still refusing to learn,” she concluded.

Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene Is A ‘Blessing’

Author, radio, and TV personality Glenn Beck a...

Image via Wikipedia

The Huffington Post

Glenn Beck called Hurricane Irene a “blessing” on his Friday radio show, saying it would teach people to be prepared for disasters.

As the hurricane barreled towards the East Coast, Beck said that it would be a valuable lesson for people who have not heeded his warnings. He said he has long told his followers to stock up in case of “global disruption in food.” He said that, even though people had mocked him for it, disaster preparedness was key to him.

“If you’ve waited [until now], this hurricane is a blessing,” he said. “It is God reminding you, as was the earthquake last week…you’re not in control.”

Listen here…

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Al Sharpton Officially Named MSNBC Host Of ‘PoliticsNation’

Al Sharpton

Image by Ewils Photo via Flickr

This is surely good news for the Rev. Al.   I, personally thought that the previous host in that time slot,  Cenk Uygur was doing a fine job.

We’ll see how long Reverend Al Sharpton lasts in his new MSNBC role.  Here’s wishing him well.

Huffington Post

Al Sharpton has been officially named the host of the 6 PM hour on MSNBC. The network announced Tuesday that Sharpton will host “PoliticsNation” on weeknights starting August 29.

Sharpton has been the de facto host of the hour for many weeks, but no official announcement had been made until Tuesday. He replaced Cenk Uygur as the all-but-official 6 PM host after Uygur’s acrimonious exit from MSNBC in July.

The choice of Sharpton to host the hour has been marked by some controversy. MSNBC was criticized for not hiring a black journalist as a host, and there were charges that Sharpton’s close ties to Comcast and the Obama White House helped him get the role. For his part, Sharpton dimissed these concerns, saying he was becoming the host because of his career in activism.

“I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to ’Lean Forward,’” Sharpton said in a statement. “It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”

See MSNBC’s full statement here…

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Ann Coulter: ‘Can We Get The Ad To Find Obama’s Cocaine Dealer?’ (VIDEO)

This woman is insane…

The Huffington Post

Ann Coulter called for someone to put out an ad to find President Obama’s “cocaine dealer” during an appearance on Sunday’s “Fox and Friends.”

Coulter’s comment came as she was opining that the media have given Republican presidential candidates a harder time than Obama ever got when he ran in the 2008 election. She noted that someone has already taken an ad out asking, “have you had sex with Rick Perry?”

“Can we get the ad to find, you know, Obama’s cocaine dealer now that he’s two years into his presidency?” Coulter asked, causing one of the “Fox and Friends” hosts to snort with laughter.

Obama, of course, famously admitted to using “a little blow” during his youth in his first memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” The relative lack of controversy surrounding that and other drug revelations was taken as a sign that drug use had lost some of its potency as a campaign issue.

Watch @ Media Matters

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Rachel Maddow Dings Media, GOP For Obama Vacation Critique

Rachel Maddow points out yet another case of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome.)

Huffington Post

A frustrated Rachel Maddow called out Republicans for their hypocrisy surrounding President Obama’s vacation–and the media for allowing the hypocrisy to go unchecked.

Obama headed to Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday for his annual summer vacation–with Republican catcalls trailing him every step of the way. Maddow pointed to a statement from the Massachusetts Republican Party which sarcastically “welcomed” Obama to the state, and which said that Aerosmith wanted its tour bus back (a reference to his recent swing through the Midwest.)

This got Maddow riled up. She pointed out that, not only was Obama’s bus bought by the Secret Service, there will also be an identical one for the eventual GOP presidential nominee. She predicted that the jibes about the bus would end once a Republican was on one.

Moreover, Maddow noted that Obama has taken a lot less vacation at this point in his presidency than either President Bush or Reagan had in theirs. Then, she criticized one of her favorite targets–the so-called “Beltway media“–for, in her view falling down on the job.

“Hypocrisy, thy name is Thursday,” she said. “…[But] is it the job of the Beltway press to just write the criticism down and forward it to the American people without comment as if that counts as news? Or could maybe some context about the bare hypocrisy help?”

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David Letterman Death Threat: Jihadist Site Calls For Host’s Killing

Huffington Post

A jihadist website has issued a death threat against David Letterman, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The threat was issued after Letterman referenced Ilyas Kashmiri, an al Qaeda leader killed in a drone strike in Pakistan in June, on his late night show. Letterman apparently joked about Kashmiri’s death, something that enraged a poster on the website.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, the user called for someone to “cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever.”

Letterman, who is not Jewish, is not the first comic to receive death threats. In 2010, the creators of “South Park” were threatened after they depicted Muhammad in a bear suit.

It’s also not the first time Letterman has been a criminal target. He famously confessed to an extramarital affair after a CBS News staffer threatened to blackmail him in 2009.

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