Tabloid Taps and Slaps Newsweek
The front cover of the New York Post is devoted to a screaming scandal lifted from the pages of Newsweek.
And on one of the back pages? A dismissive review suggesting Newsweek is kinda out of it.
Geez. These people really ought to talk to each other.
The trumpeting of Newsweek’s cover story on Mary Kennedy is hardly surprising. The Rupert Murdoch tabloid loves to package other people’s reporting in World War III headlines.
Former California Gov. Gray Davis, ousted in a 2003 recall, says the Wisconsin election underscores that voters have the last word—and urges Scott Walker to see his victory as a second chance to unite the state behind more comprehensive and balanced reforms.
There is nothing pleasant about a recall election. They are expensive, distracting, and hyperpartisan. Now that the election is over, it is time for Gov. Scott Walker, the legislature and the people of Wisconsin to go back to work and find more balanced solutions to their problems. Governor Walker’s challenge to public pensions and collective bargaining can be seen as a part of the larger national conversation about sensible entitlement reforms.
Phil McCarten / AP Photos
This conversation will be painful, but it must begin because the country is on a path that is not sustainable. However, the solutions to our challenges must require shared sacrifice. America is not about picking winners and losers, we are about upward mobility, hard work, and playing by the rules. This conversation should be all about math, not politics. The country is on a fiscal path that simply does not add up. If we don’t alter course, we will go the way of Greece.
Taxes must be raised on the rich and those of us doing well. Similarly, we need to take a more realistic approach to public-employee pensions, entitlements, and corporate loopholes. As much as we might wish, we cannot provide benefits that exceed our revenue.
Spokesman defends president, zings Donald Trump and Fox News
While Scott Walker was beating back a drive to recall him as Wisconsin’s governor, President Obama was basically missing in action.
He did send a tweet on behalf of Walker’s Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, but never set foot in the state.
Newsweek & The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz interviews White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer.
In a video interview with The Daily Beast, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the Obama team had worked hard to defeat Walker before Tuesday’s voting.
She regrets trying to help daughter of Assad's ambassador
Barbara Walters has taken a tumble on the world stage.
No stranger to landing big international interviews, she offered job assistance to the 22-year-old daughter of the Syrian ambassador—this at a time when the Assad regime is conducting a brutal campaign of violence against its opponents.
There is much to admire in Walters, the trailblazing woman who became the first female co-anchor of a network evening newscast and, decades later, launched a highly successful chat show in The View. The fact that she’s still going strong on ABC, at 82, is a measure of her pluck and determination.
The Republican governor survives a recall backed by unions. Howard Kurtz on what the outcome tells us about the Obama-Romney contest.
Scott Walker narrowly held on to his job as Wisconsin’s governor on Tuesday, surviving a labor-backed recall drive loudly trumpeted as a national showdown over public-employee unions.
Tom Lynn / Getty Images
But for all the attention lavished on the Republican governor’s contest with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the only flaw in the storyline was that unions were never the campaign’s focus.
NBC projected Walker the winner just 50 minutes after the polls closed, followed closely by Fox News and CNN.
Presidential grenade on Romney's record fails to detonate
The Obama campaign assault on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts record feels surprisingly muted.
It’s not that the president’s team isn’t picking the record apart. It’s that the effort doesn’t seem particularly coordinated: a David Axelrod appearance at the State House in Boston, some guests on the Sunday talk shows, a new TV ad.
When the Obama camp began training its ammunition on Bain Capital, that was a full-fledged rollout.
Elise Amendola / AP Photo
It wasn't so much a trial as a national cleansing
Twitter was on fire when word arrived Thursday that the John Edwards jury had reached a partial verdict.
All manner of abuse and mockery were heaped on the former presidential candidate, which made me wonder: Why are people so passionate about this washed-up pol?
Sure, had he won a few thousand more votes in Iowa last time, he might have captured the Democratic nomination, and taken the party down with him. And had John Kerry won another state, Edwards would have been vice president of the United States. But that was a long time ago.
Four-minute attack ad is called unauthorized
It’s easy to make a mistake on the air, blurt something out, let a biased comment slip.
But a four-minute, elaborately produced taped package?
That’s a statement. A carefully constructed message. And, in the case of what aired on Fox News on Wednesday morning, a premeditated attack.
They're raising money together, but The Donald brings a little baggage.
Mitt Romney seems to be giving Donald Trump a political bear hug just at the time when the TV impresario is getting back into the birther business.
Someone please explain to me how this makes sense.
It was just over a year ago that President Obama was mocking The Donald at the White House Correspondents Dinner after releasing his long-form Hawaii birth certificate. Not long after that, Trump dropped his brief flirtation with seeking the GOP nomination and re-upped with Celebrity Apprentice.
Ann Romney looks on as Donald Trump and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shake hands during a news conference held by Trump to endorse Mitt for president (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
Fox News chairman backs off harsh language in a college speech
Roger Ailes, who loves to bash the liberal media, used some extraordinarily harsh language the other day--and now realizes it.
In a speech Monday night at Ohio University, his alma mater, the Fox News chairman described New York Times reporters as "a bunch of lying scum."
That's a pretty sweeping indictment of a top newspaper, even by Ailes's blunt standards.
A senior Fox News executive says Ailes realizes he went too far and regrets using that language.
From Bain Capital to Jeremiah Wright, the candidate is forced to play defense
Mitt Romney is a two-time loser this week, hobbled by Democratic attacks and friendly fire from his own side.
This might not amount to much, except we’re at a crucial phase in the calendar where Romney’s opponents are going all-out to define him before he can define himself.
Justine Schiavo / Boston Globe via Getty Images
And comments like this don’t help: “I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
Obama’s combustible former chief of staff is getting things done in the Windy City. But he also says Republicans are to blame for the Beltway dysfunction that’s hurting his city.
It doesn’t sound like Rahm Emanuel misses working in the White House all that much.
“In Washington there’s a partisanship you don’t have here in the city,” the Chicago mayor tells me. “The country is very angry about the lack of progress in Washington. Individuals in Washington think they’re removed from that anger.”
His analysis as a loyal Democrat: “Look, a lot of Republicans don’t believe in government as an affirmative force. They don’t believe it can do stuff.”
Emanuel has just passed the one-year mark running America’s third-largest city, and the experience could not be more different than his tenure as a congressman and top aide to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He and his team aren’t “shrinking violets,” he noted, not that anyone would libel Rahm by accusing him of such a thing.
The Romney campaign barely acknowledges the moment
A few weeks back, I wrote in Newsweek that Republicans were treating George W. Bush’s tenure “like a bender from which the party is still hung over.”
Yes, he was president of the United States for eight years, but Mitt Romney and the other GOP candidates had practically airbrushed him out of the picture. They barely mentioned 43, and when they did it was usually to criticize him over spending and bailouts—because, former spokesman Ari Fleischer told me, “they don’t want to deal with Democratic attacks in the fall for having said something praiseworthy about President Bush.”
That may explain why Bush’s endorsement Tuesday—if you can call it that—consisted of all of four words, and the Romney campaign barely cleared its throat in accepting his backing.
Here’s the sum total:
“I’m for Mitt Romney,” Bush told ABC News this morning as the doors of an elevator closed on him, after he gave a speech on human rights a block from his old home — the White House.
Elevator doors closing. Like in a B-movie comedy.
So that’s it? Not even a measly photo op?
A Romney spokeswoman told the New York Observer: “We’re proud to have the president’s support, but he made clear when he left office that he was not going to engage in political campaigns and we have no reason to believe that is going to change.”
What about the convention? Will Bush be ushered in through a back door?
Look, it’s not hard to decipher what’s going on here. Bush left office on Jan. 20, 2009 as an extremely unpopular figure. Polls show that more people blame him than Obama for the decrepit state of the economy. Romney wants to run against Obama’s record, not defend W’s.
At the same time, the Obama campaign keeps driving home how Romney wants to take the country “backwards,” meaning to the bad old Bush years. So keeping the former president out of the spotlight won’t be as easy as stepping inside a closing elevator.
Web whiz Larry Kramer returns to newspapering
Larry Kramer left the newspaper world long ago and plunged into digital journalism.
“It’s like I got sent to graduate school for 30 years,” he says.
Kramer, who built Marketwatch.com into a viable business, has just been tapped as president and publisher of USA Today—and plans to push the newsroom further into the 21st century. As for newspapers, he says, “we don’t want to be viewed as the railroad industry.”
New poll shows majority believe gay marriage decision influenced by politics (duh)
Two-thirds of Americans now believe President Obama was mostly motivated by politics in deciding to back same-sex marriage.
Wow—what a shocker!
Imagine, a president running for reelection who considers the impact of his decisions on whether he can keep his job.
Of course Obama was motivated by politics, at least in part. The majority who said so in the New York Times/CBS poll out Tuesday are right. But why was that deemed dramatic enough to become the NYT's lead?
Crushed in the 2012 ground and data game, the GOP has learned its lesson—and is knee deep in Clinton oppo-research. From health care to the Hillary films, it’s already working.