Oops! Defender Of David Koch On The Daily Beast Once Worked For McCain and Palin

Billionaire David Koch was not happy with Jane Mayer’s recent profile of him in The New Yorker, which accused Koch and his brother Charles of secretly financing the Tea Party movement. He expressed his ire to Daily Beast writer Elaine Lafferty, who penned a lengthy defense of Koch that was posted last Friday.

“It’s hateful. It’s ludicrous. And it’s plain wrong,” Koch told Lafferty, referring to the New Yorker piece. When she asked him “straight up” if he’s funding the radical Right, his response was simple and to the point: “Oh, please.” Lafferty also asserted that “to simply characterize Koch as a Democratic detractor, and a Republican right-winger, would be, well, simplistic.”

All right, fair enough. But as New York Observer writer (and Mediaite alum) Zeke Turner cleverly points out, Lafferty’s defense of Koch didn’t initially tell the whole story. Today After initially publishing the post, Daily Beast editors added an addendum to the piece:

The Daily Beast regrets not contacting Jane Mayer directly before the posting of this article. The writer contacted The New Yorker PR department on Sept. 9 via phone and email, submitting questions for Mayer, but The Daily Beast posted the article before she responded.

The New Yorker made extensive efforts to allow David Koch to respond during the reporting of their article. The Daily Beast also should have noted that the writer who interviewed Koch had been a consultant for the McCain/Palin campaign as well as the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008.

Knowing that Lafferty was once on the Republican Party’s payroll casts her interview with Koch in a new light. Yes, she also worked for the Clintons—but the Observer reports that while Lafferty received at least $50,000 from the McCain-Palin campaign for her consulting services, she received no monetary compensation from Hillary Clinton’s staff.

Notably, this also isn’t the first time Lafferty has written in support of a controversial right-wing feature; in October 2008, she had a column in The Daily Beast about traveling with Palin, saying that the former Vice Presidential candidate possesses “a mind that is thoughtful, curious, with a discernable [sic] pattern of associative thinking and insight.”

Fox News Says It Will Not Cover Burning Of Koran (UPDATE)

While many have condemned the planned Koran burning by Pastor Terry Jones and Hillary Clinton went so far as to ask the media to stop covering it. It seems that Fox News is the only network that has decided to do just that saying it will not cover the burning of the Koran.

Michael Clemente, the network’s senior vice president, explained the decision, saying that there are “more important things” going on.

From Z on TV:

“‘We do not cover every flag burning that happens in this country. We don’t run every hostage tape,’ Michael Clemente, senior vice president at Fox News, said in a phone interview with the Sun Thursday. ‘If we tried to cover everyone who wants us to stick a camera in front of them, we’d run out of cameras pretty fast each day. But this is really about just using some judgment.’

Clemente summarized that judgment by saying: “He’s one guy in the middle of the woods with 50 people in his congregation who’s decided to try, I gather, to bring some attention to himself by saying he’s going to burn a Quran if he gets the permit. Well, you know what, there are many more important things going on in the world than that. I don’t know what they will be this weekend, but I am sure they will be more important than that.”

Clemente said there will be no live coverage, no ‘video’ or ’still pictures.’”

Thus far the Koran burning story has not been completely absent from the cable channel, with references to it made as recently as this afternoon. However, with the help of our friends at TV Eyes, we can see that they have mentioned it far less than MSNBC, HLN, and CNN. The following chart looks at the time periods between 12 AM on September 5th and 11:59 PM last night:

Terms Mentioned
Fox News HLN MSNBC CNN
“Koran+Burning” 8 39 51 54
“Terry Jones” 9 17 26 31
Total 17 56 77 85

It’s interesting to speculate on what exactly was the initial deciding factor in the decision not to spend time on this story over at Fox News. Their avoidance of the subject can be traced back to last week before the outcry in Washington and shortly after a story on The O’Reilly Factor appeared to be defending the network against claims of an anti-Muslim bias by arguing that there is no anti-Muslim bias in this country at all.

In the larger sense, this is a tough issue for all news outlets. On one hand, you have politicians and military officials warning that it will endanger troops. On the other, this is clearly something that has caught ahold of the public’s attention. There’s is no easy answer here.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough, during Pastor Terry Jones announcement earlier, both MSNBC and CNN cut in to show it live while Fox News remained with a Glenn Beck rerun. While this probably helped those networks with remote control flips, they also had the unenviable position of scrambling to figure out the veracity of Jones’ Park 51 claims. This lack of coverage is looking more and more like a brilliant move on Fox’s part who has managed to avoid the circus.

Hillary Clinton: This Is ‘A New American Moment’ (FULL VIDEO)

Both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave big speeches today. One is getting accolades, the other…less so. It’s almost like 2008 all over again!

Obama’s speech was ostensibly supposed to be a big policy address about the economy but actually ended up sounding like a too-lengthy campaign address. Hillary’s was to the Council on Foreign Relations and “sought to showcase the successes of the Obama administration’s foreign policy” end result being that it actually addressed the economy in terms that will likely get a lot of people’s attention. In fact, it’s hard to tell where we will see her conclusion that the weak economy “sends a message of weakness internationally” pop up with more frequency…it sound like the sort of phrase that could be wielded in both GOP or Dem midterm stumping.

At the Daily Beast Tunku Varadarajan says “behold the Hillary Doctrine. And heap abundant gratitude—and rose petals if you have them on hand—on the firm, unfussy, deeply reassuring woman who has just offered it up to the world.” He also suggested she sounded Bush-like: “In a muscular departure from the way in which this administration—for fear of seeming Bush-like—has been shrinking from the unembarrassed propagation of American values, she uttered these plainspoken, unadorned words: “Democracy needs defending.”

If you think that is not rose petaly enough he also thinks “it was, by far, the best speech of this administration.” Those are some heady assertions. And will likely fuel more speculation about Hillary’s future in (and out?) of the administration. If you are curious as to what all the fuss is about you can watch her complete speech below.

Megyn Kelly And Monica Crowley On Potential Hillary 2012 Run: ‘Is She Trying To Extricate Herself?’

Speculation that Hillary Clinton may make a run for President in 2012 is a meme that just won’t die. And while President Obama’s poll numbers and popularity continue their downward spiral one imagine the media will continue to invoke the specter of Candidate Hillary.

Behold today’s addition to the speculation. Following Hillary’s address to the Council on Foreign Relations earlier today during which she said the current US deficit sends “a message of weakness internationally” and that it “poses a national security threat in two ways: it undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable.” Megyn Kelly and Monica Crowley felt that this sounded presidential. Or at least a tad combative. The two being much the same thing these days.

Crowley points out that the economy is one of the few instances in which Hillary distances herself from the administration and that these sorts of remarks might be part of a larger plan to “extricate herself” from it: “Maybe she’s laying the groundwork of saying look I cannot in good conscious continue to serve an administration that is undermining us not just abroad but at home too with this kind of out of control spending.” All without the help of a Facebook page! Watch below.

Gregory To Plouffe: Do You Have Any Proof Hillary Won’t Run For President In 2012?

Speculation about Hillary Clinton making a run for President in 2012, which began back in July, has made it all the way to Meet the Press. This morning David Gregory asked Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe whether he thought Hillary would challenge President Obama in 2012.

Said Gregory: “Can you rule out, based on actual information, that Secretary Clinton would not pursue the presidency again? Would not challenge President Obama?”

Said Plouffe: “Listen you saw this week they’re working so well together, working on Middle East peace, and it’s a wonderful partnership. And I think that was a really inspired choice by the President and the Secretary of State Clinton is just doing a wonderful job. They’re a team and a great team for America.”

Translation: We really hope not?

One suspects that unless Obama’s poll numbers take a radical turn for the better (which essentially requires a equally radical turn of the economy) or Hillary Clinton herself comes out and categorically denies any intention to run, this is the sort of speculation which will persist through 2012 (and/or until Obama appoints Hillary to a new job). Watch below.

And Now This: Hillary Clinton For Vice President?

Following the national hoopla over Chelsea Clinton’s wedding two weeks ago, the chatter about Hillary Clinton’s political future continues. The latest speculation is that President Barack Obama could name Hillary to replace Vice President Joe Biden when he runs for reelection.

This is not a new theory. Last month WSJ’s Pete DuPont speculated that Hillary could feasibly make a run for President and that Obama’s best option to keep from having to face down the Clinton machine again would be to appoint Hillary VP. Whether or not she’s interested is another question. Clinton, herself, has said on a number of occasions that she has no more political ambitions, which taking the Clinton’s political history into consideration is nearly impossible to believe. Over the weekend, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman told new-found Hillary fan Chris Matthews that of course Hillary is interested.

“Listen, I’ve covered Hillary for a long, long time…It’s Hillary. It’s who she is. She’s watched Barack Obama. I think in her mind she’s saying he’s done some good things but there are things I would have done much, much better. … And if it’s possible to work out the deal to get on the ticket, absolutely she would take it in a second.”

New York’s John Heilemann chimed in:

“Right now, with a white approval rating in the mid-thirties, having won forty-three percent of the white vote…Having her on the ticket would be a huge advantage with those voters and would inject a huge amount of energy into the ticket that you would never get with Biden.”

You know where else it would inject a large amount of energy? Heilemann’s yet-to-be-written follow-up to Game Change he and Mark Halperin have already been signed to pen about the 2012 election.

The point I think is this. Whether there is any real world chance Hillary will make another run for office, or that Obama would throw Biden under the Clinton bus, remains to be seen, and is probably tenuous at best. What is not tenuous is the country’s ongoing obsession with the Clintons, and to that end I think we can safely expect that the speculation about Hillary’s future will only escalate between now and 2012 until it reaches a point where she will have to deal with it publicly. Needless to say, the idea the somehow Hillary and Sarah Palin may come face to face in a political debate is pretty irresistible. Watch the segment below.

Conservatives Bemoan Chelsea’s Big Fat Liberal Wedding

Something strange is going on here: Conservatives don’t like money.

That’s the message I’m getting from the extreme distaste some conservative critics have shown for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Forget about Rush Limbaugh’s $54 million Gulfstream jet, Mitt Romney’s $42 million donation to his own presidential campaign, John McCain’s seven or eight houses, the RNC’s vacations in Hawaii — the real source of outrage is Chelsea’s big fat Liberal wedding, and its estimated price tag of $2-3 million.  For shame! Never mind President George W. Bush once joking at a dinner about “the haves and the have-mores….Some people call you the elite. I call you my base” — apparently, it’s now completely uncool to have money and spend it.

Over at Newsbusters, Kyle Drennan was outraged that guests of the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding would be perching on porcelain port-a-potties, and was shocked — shocked! — that a segment on the CBS Early Show “did not raise any questions about the over-the-top extravagance of the affair, which is estimated to cost a few million dollars.” At Wizbang, the Clinton-wedding price tag was tut-tutted disapprovingly, and Chelsea was compared unflatteringly to Jenna Bush, whose private wedding on her parents’ ranch in Crawford was apparently a model of fiscal restraint.

It’s a strange double standard. I wrote about it earlier today at AOL:

Estimates for the Crawford wedding seem to be at $100,000, though I can’t find an official, confirmed source and I have to say that sounds more than a bit low (I do know that the Bushes saved on the cost of renting a property because they own their ranch!). By contrast — and it’s a contrast lots of critics have made (some abhorrently so) — Chelsea’s nuptials are estimated at $2 million, at least. (If that – the wedding details have been kept strictly private, and that may well be an inflated estimate.) Never mind that the median price of an American wedding is apparently $17,500 – way less than Chelsea’s nups, but probably representing a much greater percentage of financial resources for the families involved.

…The Clintons are rich. So are the Bushes. So are a lot of people in the higher echelons of the government. Senators! Congresspeople! Mitt Romney! Meg Whitman! Rich people have more money, and thus seem to spend it in wild disproportion to the rest of society. Romney spent an estimated $42-million of his own money on his 2008 presidential bid; now his name is on the shortlist of potential GOP nominees for 2012. Is spending $2 million to pay local businesses to put on your event so much worse than spending ten times as much on high-priced Beltway consultants? Rich people spend money differently, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats. But it’s amazing how the double-standard is applied depending on who is outraged by what.

Of all of it, it’s the Romney stat that gets me. $42 million! Of his own money! That’s not for a private, family event, either — that’s in a public election campaign, arguably where there are more pressing concerns implicated. I’m not saying that Romney shouldn’t be able to donate to his own campaign – like Hillary Clinton did! – I’m saying that there’s something wildly off here in all of the hand-wringing over Chelsea’s wedding costs. Let’s just find a standard and stick to it, okay? Because otherwise, it all amounts to not much more than what you might find in a porcelain port-a-potty.

p.s. To all those people nonplussed that Chelsea is being treated as special – well, sorry, but she is special. Politico’s Glenn Thrush wondered on Twitter about all the hype, asking if “meritocratically, isn’t she basically a 30y/o hedge funder headed to grad school?” Um, no. Perhaps a writer for POLITICO might grasp that. Gail Collins had it right: “Chelsea has been a national public figure against her will since she was 12, and in all that time she has never embarrassed her family — or us.” But let’s look at the flip side – that people feel entitled to write crap like this: “Chelsea Clinton is an ugly duckling who turned not into a beautiful swan, but a somewhat cute chick. Is this why she is sparing no expense for her wedding?” (Wrist slap for you, Robert Paul Reyes.) Yep. Not just some average 30 year old. Let her have her not-just-average wedding.

Outraged By The Cost of Chelsea’s Wedding? Just Chill [AOL News]
Is Chelsea Clinton Setting a Bad Example? [WSJ]
Breaking News on CBS ‘Early Show’: Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding Will Have Porcelain Port-a-Potties! [Newsbusters]

Photo of Chelsea Clinton via CityFile.