Mark Finkelstein has a B.S. from Cornell University, an Ed.M. and a J.D., magna cum laude, from SUNY Buffalo, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law. In 2011, Mark moved to Pecan Plantation, Texas from his long-time home in Ithaca, NY where he hosted "Right Angle," an award-winning local political talk show. Mark is an aviation buff and holds an instrument rating.  Mark spent ten days in Iraq in November, 2006, mainly in Anbar Province. Email: mark.finkelstein@gmail.com
 

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
December 25, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

Couldn't the New York Times give it a rest on Christmas Day and feature a column by a believing Christian? No, it couidn't.

Instead, believers who blunder onto the online op-ed page today are hit with a lead column entitled "Religion Without God." And just in case you didn't get the message, there's a second column called "An Atheist’s Christmas Dream."

December 18, 2014, 8:52 AM EST

It's good that we live in a country where citizens feel free to criticize elected officials to their face.  Just wondering, though: when was the last time that freedom was exercised on MSNBC to tell a Dem official that something he said was "inane?"

On today's Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch angrily asked Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami "why do you say an inane thing like that?" Deutsch's diss came in the context of a heated exchange in which Diaz-Balart told Donny that his notion that the Cuba deal was "liberating" for the Cuban people was "naive" and that Deutsch was living "in la-la land."  Deutsch later retaliated, calling Diaz-Balart naive.

December 17, 2014, 8:53 PM EST

Mark Halperin claims that the MSM has an "anti-Clinton bias." That might send the blood pressure of a Newsbusters reader rocketing.  But before downing a diuretic, consider what he and John Heilemann had to say on their Bloomberg TV show today.

Halperin and Heilemann were riffing off the New York Times report that Hillary's State Department permitted a rich Ecuadorian woman to enter the US after her family donated big bucks to Dem campaigns. According to the Bloomberg duo, there are 20-30 such stories out there, and the media will be eager to research them, with Hillary's scalp being a prime prize for an enterprising investigative reporter.

December 17, 2014, 9:18 AM EST

Joe Scarborough has a warning for conservatives: going after Jeb Bush will make him more likely to run for president.

According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning JoeJeb is "his mother's son," "kind of "cranky" and "rough around the edges." If conservatives think they will drive Jeb out of the race by attacking him, "they've got him played exactly backwards." To the contrary, conservative attacks will make Jeb more likely to run "to prove them wrong."

December 15, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

With 2015 only a couple of weeks away, Ed Schultz just managed to sneak under the wire in the race for Most Inane Question of the Year by an MSNBC Host.  Speaking to Valerie Plame's husband Joe Wilson on the The Ed Show this evening, Schultz suggested: "Your wife was outed by the Vice-President and now he's saying he has no problem with torture. How do you feel about that? I mean isn't it torture what your family went through?"

Wilson wasn't wacky enough to bite on Ed's bait, but in other comments made clear that he would like to see Cheney prosecuted in international and/or domestic courts.

December 13, 2014, 8:55 AM EST

So who's crazy now?  In 2011, the MSM mercilessly mocked Michele Bachmann for saying that if she became president, gas prices would fall to under $2/gallon.  Typical was Time magazine, which called her prediction "fantasy." Time mocked Bachmann's drill, baby, drill policy, sniffing that if implemented, "prices at the pump might drop a whole 3 cents a gallon."

But on CBS This Morning, there was top oil analyst Tom Kloza, saying that by Christmas, gas prices would be in the range of . . . $1.99-2.29 [I saw $2.18 here in Texas yesterday].  So who's crazy now, and where does Bachmann go to get her apology from the MSM that so mercilessly mocked her?

December 11, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

Guess when you're as brilliant as Mike Barnicle, it's OK to ridicule others for their supposed lack of smarts.

Today's Morning Joe was teasing an upcoming segment about a tough question that reporter Kasie Hunt [who has earned a rep for not being afraid in interviews to "go there'] had posed to Rick Perry.  Mockingly trying to imagine the question, Barnicle offered "she asked him what day it was."

December 10, 2014, 6:52 PM EST

Two guests on this evening's Ed Show on MSNBC revealed what lies just below the surface for many in the current protest movement: opposition to capitalism.

First up was Rosa Clemente, a "hip hop activist" and 2008 Green Party VP candidate: "Capitalism, I think that is the institution all over this country. It is really the oppressive force." Next, Georgetown Prof. Marcia Chatelain, who said that the current moment has revealed "an incredible critique of capitalism that it isn't just police brutality but the way people are forced to live." Your $40,000/year tuition at work!

December 10, 2014, 8:23 AM EST

Who were those guys on Morning Joe today—two Feinstein staffers? Nope, they were Mark Halperin and Jeremy Peters, making like Dem aides in defending the report on the CIA that Dem Senator Diane Feinstein released yesterday.

Halperin, head of Bloomberg Politics, had the chutzpah to claim that the report was not "political."  Peters of the New York Times then chimed in to say that in releasing the report, the Senate conducted itself in a "very sober" way.

December 9, 2014, 8:37 AM EST

Hypocrisy, thy name is Howard.  The former Dem prez candidate is predictably all good with NBA players wearing "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts.

But what, posited Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe, if other players wore "Abortion is Murder" shirts?  Dean claimed that's "not exactly the same" and is "a different kind of debate." Why? Because, according to Dean, "the survival of our country depends" on resolving the police/black men issue. You really want to talk about "survival," Dr. Dean, when tens of millions have not survived since Roe v. Wade?

December 8, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

Has John Heilemann ever gotten this riled up over the commies ruling Cuba? If so, I missed it. But on his Bloomberg TV show tonight, Heilemann got on his populist high horse to blast the British monarchy on the occasion of the visit to the US of Prince William and Princess Kate, mocking them as "undereducated" and calling for the British monarchy to be "done away with tomorrow."

In Heilemann's view, the real "royalty" on view at the Brooklyn Nets game tonight will be Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Lebron James.

December 8, 2014, 9:15 AM EST

Michael Tomasky is not content to argue, in the wake of Mary Landrieu's defeat, that Democrats should write off the South as politically unfriendly territory.  In his Daily Beast item of today, Tomasky goes to great lengths to trash the region in the ugliest of terms.

"Reactionary, prejudice-infested, fetid, reject[ing] nearly everything that’s good about this country, just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment," is how Tomasky slurs most of the South, saying "almost the entire region" is as he describes it. 

December 6, 2014, 10:39 PM EST

Facts?  We don't need no steenkin' facts. Liberals aren't going to let mere facts get in the way of a good story.

In a Politico magazine article on the UVA rape accusation debacle, in which the accuser's allegations have unraveled, Julia Horowitz, an assistant managing editor at the college paper The Daily Cavalier, claimed "to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake."

December 6, 2014, 12:41 PM EST

Next time you're assembling a criminal defense team, remember to forget Melissa Harris-Perry. On her MSNBC show today, MH-P commented on the news that authorities are considering charges against Michael Brown's stepfather Louis Head, who on the night the grand jury declined to indict, jumped on a car and implored the crowd "burn this mother------ down! Burn this b--ch down!" Numerous buildings were thereafter torched.

Argued Harris-Perry: "arson and looting . . . are not necessarily violence." She added that those crimes should bear a "legal difference" from violence against "bodies."   Even if you accept Harris-Perry's premise [I would argue that arson, which brings the real risk of endangering lives, is violent], so what?  Assault isn't as bad as murder, either.  That doesn't mean you don't prosecute the former, only that the punishment must fit the crime.

December 6, 2014, 9:32 AM EST

The University of Virginia rape story may be unraveling, but that's not stopping ABC News, or campus forces with a vested interest in the issue, from forging ahead.

On today's Good Morning America, host Dan Harris said that the "one big fear . . . is that this will scare other victims" from coming forward. But just who are the "victims" here: "Jackie" the pseudononymous accuser, or the UVA fraternity and the seven men she accused?  Harris spoke at the end of a segment in which UVA President Teresa Sullivan said that despite doubts about the story, the university is "first and foremost" concerned with sexual assault survivors, and a campus advocate claimed "Jackie still has a truth in many ways."

December 5, 2014, 2:42 PM EST

You say you want a revolution?  Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous just analogized the fear for their lives that black youth feel about police to the fear the colonists felt toward the "Redcoats"—British soldiers during the time of the American Revolution.

Jealous, now with the leftist Center for American Progressmade his inflammatory remark to Ronan Farrow on the latter's MSNBC show today. Rather than challenging Jealous, Farrow thanked him for his "impassioned take."  Has it come to this?  A significant civil rights leader analogizes race relations in the United States to the revolution that led to the creation of our country, and all an MSNBC host can do is thank him for it?

December 5, 2014, 8:51 AM EST

There is some good debate and conversation happening in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.  But there is also plenty of arrant nonsense. Consider this gem from the New York Times editorial of this morning about police arrests: "there can never be a justification for any lethal assault on an unarmed man."  How absurd.  

In Ferguson, there is evidence that Michael Brown was attempting to wrest the officer's gun away.  Should Darren Wilson have waited until Brown was successful before defending himself?  Whatever the facts from Staten Island, if a single officer finds himself in a struggle with a suspect the size of Eric Garner, is he not entitled to fight for his own life? 

December 4, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations: Alex Wagner has made the case that Barack Obama is no kind of emperor or dictator . . . compared to Kim Jong Un, the brutal ruler of perhaps the world's worst regime, North Korea.

Wagner was riffing off the news that Kim has banned North Korean parents from naming their children Jong Un and ordered those already bearing the name to change it.  After describing other elements of Kim's cult of personality, Wagner concluded: "to all the detractors who compare our American president to an emperor and a dictator, this is what a dictatorship actually looks like. And to the 169 babies born between 2007 and 2011 named Barack: you can keep your name."  

December 4, 2014, 7:07 AM EST

Amidst all the Morning Joe talk about the Eric Garner case today, there was Al Sharpton looking out for #1. When Mika Brzezinski began to praise NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for the absence of violence last night, Sharpton jumped in to shut her down and claim credit for himself. There's "the mayor and others," sniffed Sharpton, silencing her, but the real kudos for the lack of violence go to "movements" and "organized bodies."  Which movements and organized bodies, might you ask? Well, Sharpton—sporting a big button from his National Action Network—went on to praise the way a non-violent march on Staten Island had been organized by . . . Al Sharpton.

December 2, 2014, 7:56 AM EST

Day Deux of Joe Scarborough's campaign against public figures making the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture to falsely suggest that Michael Brown was doing the same during his confrontation with Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

As reported here, yesterday the Morning Joe host took to task the St. Louis Rams players who made the gesture, and the liberal media that has abetted their implicit allegation.  Today, while continuing his righteous rant against the Rams, Scarborough also castigated the three congressmen who took to the floor of the House yesterday to make the gesture.  No fewer than five times, Scarborough called the notion that Brown had his hands up a "lie."