Hillary

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is widely rumored to be running for president in 2016, may want to work on her media relation strategy after it was announced that the press will be banned from her speech this weekend at the National Association of Realtors convention in San Francisco.

This isn’t the first time the press has been unwelcome at a Clinton speech- last month she banned the media from her speech before the National Association of Convenience Stores in Atlanta, but it is a troubling trend for such a public figure and potential presidential nominee that she finds it necessary to  declare a media blackout when addressing trade associations.

The press ban does lead to speculation that she isn’t comfortable in certain large venues where she might be questioned about her tenure as Secretary of State and what she really knew about the Benghazi attack.

But is this really the best way to handle the situation?  After all the press is likely to be on her side even if the audiences she is addressing isn’t 100% Democrats, but  if she is planning a run for president she needs to get this issue and others out of the way early, rather than let it run into her campaign- if there is to be one and I think there will be.

The media is also unwelcome for a Clinton Foundation fundraiser in San Francisco, so at least she’s being consistent.

A media blackout only ensures that the mainstream media won’t be privy to her speech first hand, but it doesn’t prevent the 22,000 or so attendees from using their cellphone cameras or tweeting about it in real time.   So it’s really not that effective and only alienates the media which is fine with me.

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In her haste to find a conservative scholar that was critical of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg attributed a quote critical of the Defense of Marriage Act to that of the VRA.

I have always believed in correcting mistakes, especially bad ones. In my wrap-up piece at the end of the Supreme Court term, I quoted Northwestern University law professor John McGinnis as one of several conservative scholars highly critical of the court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act. In my telling, he called the decision “as singular a failure as I’ve seen in the history of the Supreme Court.” But I inadvertently misused the quote, which came from his appearance on a panel at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

McGinnis used those words to describe the court’s decision in the Defense Of Marriage Act case, not the Voting Rights Act decision about which he was also critical but not nearly as sweeping in his condemnation. I listened to the whole panel but apparently got confused in my notations about what McGinnis was talking about at about an hour and 10 minutes into the panel.

All the other quotes in my piece were from interviews that I personally conducted. This one was not, and my error illustrates why I should have been doubly careful.

I deeply regret the error and apologize to McGinnis and to listeners.

While I applaud Totenberg’s apology, her excuse for mixing up the quotes is a little suspect.  As a legal affairs correspondent she should be able to follow the arguments and distinguish which case is being spoken about.

I don’t think she was as confused as she professed, but had to apologize for getting caught spinning a story to make it look like conservatives were equally appalled as liberals with the VRA decision.

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addressed the NRA convention in Houston yesterday and sent the liberal media into a tizzy for the video introduction that preceded his speech which showed him shooting down “human shaped targets” according to the New York Daily News using a semi-automatic weapon.

I guess the reporter, Kristen Lee has never seen a target before.

Maybe Lee and the rest of the liberal media didn’t appreciate the fact that Perry is not only a gun owner, but know how to use one, but the audience loved it and it gave Perry a real bad-ass image before he addressed the crowd, which won’t hurt after his failed presidential bid last year.

Veteran actor James Earl Jones, best know for being the voice of CNN and Darth Vader, opined on the Smiley and West radio show about his love of MSNBC and his understanding of the Tea Party.

The show which is hosted by left-wing professor Cornell West veteran radio and television personality Tavis Smiley was asked whether or not he was a “political person.”

Jones responded by saying that he listens as much as he can an that he “can’t get enough of MSNBC.” and admitted to turning to right-wing news on occasion as well.

Then Jones opened up about the Tea Party and racism.

I think I figured out the Tea Party. I think I… I do understand racism, because I was taught to be one, by my grandmother. My grandmother was part Cherokee, Choctaw Indian, part black. She hated everybody. She taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist, to hate white people, and to distrust black people.

Jones doesn’t cite any evidence of racism in the Tea Party, because there aren’t any beyond what has been manufactured by the liberal media, but since he was on a liberal radio program he could get away with playing his own version of the race card.

President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign continues to hammer Mitt Romney by claiming that his firm Bain Capital was a “outsourcing pioneer.”

The campaign has based this claim on a June 21 Washington Post story on Romney and Bain, and has been running an ad to that effect, despite the ad being rated false by FactCheck.org

Not only that, but the Post’s own fact checker, Glenn Kessler who had previously rated a similar Obama ad as false and gave it four Pinocchios, said that the Obama camp had misinterpreted the Post article and said that there was “little in the article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”

Ouch!

Senior Obama adviser Robert Gibbs, stuck by the ad Sunday when he appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, telling host Candy Crowley that everyone should read the Post article when asked about the false ratings the ad had received.  The same article that the Post fact checker said they misinterpreted.

But that hasn’t stopped the campaign from pushing this issue.

On the Washington Post website the Obama campaign is running an ad promoting their view of Romney as an outsourcer next to the June 21 article.

The ad reads in part.

“Romney’s companies were pioneers in shipping jobs overseas”

The problem with this is that the Post is reporting that Obama has his own outsourcing headaches as jobs have continued to move overseas since he took office in 2009.

In addition, Obama’s former economic policy adviser, Diana Farrell, was the primary author of a report in 2003 for the McKinsey Global Research Institute entitled “Offshoring: Is It a Win-win Game?” that concluded the benefits of offshoring to the U.S. exceeded the costs.

Then there is the study by the Energy Department that found that 60% of the 40 largest wind farms financed by the stimulus relied on foreign manufacturers for their key components, including turbines.

All I can say is Pot,Kettle,Black.

Mitt Romney spoke yesterday at the NRA convention in St. Louis and received a warm welcome from the attendees, but the media did its best to downplay Romney’s appearance.

James Hohmann of Politico was one of the biggest offenders when he wrote about the venue and what he thought was the NRA’s plan to make Romney’s speech sound bigger and better than it actually was.

Here is what Hohmann wrote;

Romney spoke in the cavernous stadium where the St. Louis Rams football team normally plays. The dimly-lit venue was divided for the conference to make it feel smaller and less empty. High ceilings meant Romney’s voice echoed around the arena.

Hohmann made it sound like this was some kind of tactic that the NRA had set up juts for Romney’s speech, when in fact this type of venue has been used for years, starting in 2008 at the US Airways arena in Phoenix.  As for dimly lit, Hohmann didn’t realize that the stage lighting was set for daylight for the television cameras and to accentuate all the speakers rather than have them being washed out in a sea of stadium lighting.  Hohmann would know this if he had actually attended previous NRA meetings which he obviously hadn’t.

Maybe Hohmann was feeling a bit put out though by the time Romney stepped up to the stage.  The two previous speakers, Chris Cox the executive director of the NRA-ILA and Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA made withering attacks on the mainstream media for their coverage of the gun issue and challenged the audience to let  the media know who they really were.

The GOP presidential primary debates which had been building a pretty good head of steam in the ratings last year, started to show signs of viewer fatigue this year until Monday’s NBC debate reversed the decline.

Conservatives and other observers had criticized the debate for the slow plodding pace and the questions that were asked in the second hour that covered subjects that had little or no national importnace at a time when the economy and jobs are foremost on voters minds.

Yet despite the complaints and my own prediction that the debate would continue the downtrend in the ratings, it turns out NBC attracted one of the largest audiences to date and shattered the previous high in the key A25-54 demo by a wide margin.

Initial ratings show that 7.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Brian Williams grill the remaining GOP candidates ranking 2nd only behind the ABC debate on December 10 of last year in the current cycle.  Even better for NBC were the nearly 2.6 million viewers in the key A25-54 demo that advertisers crave, easily beating the previous high of 2.1 million set by ABC.

While the format was a little different- Williams had in essence silenced the audience, NBC benefited greatly from Newt Gingrich’s stunning South Carolina primary victory last week which turned the GOP race into a fierce fight.

It also didn’t hurt that Gingrich had a very successful debate last Thursday, when he blasted CNN’s John King for starting the debate off with a question about his second wife’s charges that Newt wanted an “open marriage” which raised the roof and may have raised the hopes of those watching on Monday that Gingrich would take a similar stab at Brian Williams.

But it didn’t happen and instead viewers were treated to one of the worst debates of the election cycle.

Yet with those ratings NBC isn’t about to complain.