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
November 5, 2007, 8:50 AM EST

Did Al Gore win his Nobel for "peace," or did it perhaps come in a new category: comedy? I ask in the wake of his rib-tickling routine on this morning's "Today." Al, that inveterate card, actually claimed that the MSM's coverage of global warming is . . . too balanced.

View video here.

November 5, 2007, 6:37 AM EST
There's nowhere to hide from NBC's omnipresent "Green Week," of which NB readers are sure to be hearing plenty in coming days. NBC's eco-activism even made its way into what you'd normally hope would be a refuge from MSM politics: football.

"Green Week" reared its head during NBC's broadcast of last night's NFL game between Dallas and Philadelphia, played in the City of Brotherly Love.
November 4, 2007, 5:41 AM EST

The United States is not the only country turning out spoiled children, ungrateful for the blessings of life in their land. Cuba is suffering from the same affliction, to judge by "My father's 'crime'" by Yan Valdes Morejon, which appears in today's Boston Globe.

Morejon's column turns out to be just one long complaint. Rather than giving proper thanks for all the wonders of the workers' paradise, like members of our MSM regularly do, it's filled with this kind of kvetching:

November 3, 2007, 8:44 AM EDT
"Character is destiny." -- Heraclitus, pre-Socratic philosopher

Which tells you more about what kind of president a candidate would make:
a. Her positions on the nursing shortage, Social Security and internet decency; or
b. The way she responds under pressure?
I'm guessing that, like me, the great majority of people would opt for "b."

Ah, but the sensitive souls of the Boston Globe editoral board aren't the great majority of people. Their editorial of this morning, "A debate, not a prize fight," is one long vote for 'a.'
November 2, 2007, 9:50 AM EDT

Talk about talking down the economy! No fewer than three times today, Matt Lauer invited Barack Obama to declare that the U.S. economy is headed into recession. At the end of a "Today" interview that focused largely on Hillary-related issues and Iran, Lauer turned to the economy and pressed Obama to predict the worst.

View video here.

November 2, 2007, 7:24 AM EDT

<p><img src="/static/2007/10/2007-11-02MSNBCMJFund.jpg" align="right" />The fact has been out there for <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/09... time</a>, but never garnered much media attention. Now, in the context of the current debate over the granting of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, will there be renewed focus on this chilling reality? Could this be the factoid that changes a presidential election? As John Fund wrote in his Wall Street Journal <a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110010814">column </a>today and discussed during his &quot;Morning Joe&quot; appearance:</p><blockquote><b>After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.</b><br /></blockquote><p>View video of Fund's &quot;Morning Joe&quot; appearance <a href="/static/2007/10/2007-11-02MSNBCMJFund.wmv">here</a>.<br /> </p><p>And what made it so simple for them to register? As Fund explains:

November 1, 2007, 7:49 AM EDT
I'm part of the enlightened MSM elite, happy to embrace Barack Obama. But, sigh, there are many benighted folks across our land not as sophisticated as I. You know: "Reagan Democrats," who just won't vote for an African-American. And the Republicans would plan to appeal to their racism to attack Obama.

That, in sum, was Joe Scarborough's condescending analysis of Barack Obama's presidential prospects, offered up on today's "Morning Joe." Fortunately, guest Pat Buchanan was there to gently correct him.

Panelist Mika Brzezinski kicked off the discussion of which Dem the Republicans could more easily "demonize."

View video here.
October 31, 2007, 5:58 PM EDT
"Bill Clinton: caution, slippery when wet." -- George H.W. Bush, 1992 RNC convention.
"The Clintons have a reputation of being slippery and hard to pin down. Last night Clinton underscored that on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should have drivers licenses." -- David Shuster, "Hardball," 10-31-07

Was that really David Shuster? Or could Shuster, like opera singer Enrico Pallazzo in "Naked Gun," have been tied up in a dressing room as a Halloween impostor echoed George H.W.'s 1992 characterization of the Clintons? Be that as it may, on this afternoon's "Hardball" someone looking like the normally Dem-friendly Shuster did indeed accuse Hillary of underscoring her slippery reputation with her drivers-license debate dodge.

View video here.

October 31, 2007, 7:06 AM EDT
Obama, goner? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. Here's what the MSNBC host had to say on today's "Morning Joe":
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yesterday, way too late in the afternoon, I did an hour on "Super Tuesday" [MSNBC's weekly Election 2008 special] and was interviewing A.B. Stoddard, journalist of "The Hill," and I asked her about Barack Obama, was he going to step forward? And she gave a great answer, and she said what a lot of people are not saying right now, she said, "you know what, Joe? He just doesn't have it in him."
View video here.
October 30, 2007, 5:12 PM EDT
What's a good-looking young girl like you doing with a weird old guy like him? And what's up with the tongue-ring?

Norah O'Donnell all but asked the first question of Elizabeth Kucinich this afternoon, and did ask the second one.

View video here.
October 30, 2007, 9:58 AM EDT
A billionaire and a receptionist walk into an IRS bar. They each order a beer. The IRS bartender charges the receptionist $2.50 and the billionaire $2,260. Who got undercharged? If you're Warren Buffett or Tom Brokaw, the answer is . . . the billionaire.

As NB Editor Brent Baker has noted, the NBC Nightly News "decided Monday night to base a story on a four-year-old contention by a professor that the middle class is worse off now than in the 1970s, followed by a piece promoting Warren Buffett's claim the rich don't pay enough in taxes."

NBC was back at it again this morning, with a "Today" segment featuring Brokaw's interview with Buffett and his gripe that the rich are undertaxed. Brokaw seconded Buffett's notion, introducing the segment this way:
When you're the world's third-richest man, you can break some rules. Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," is going after a fundamental injustice he says touches all Americans [cut to clip of Buffett]: the taxation system has tilted toward the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic and I don't think it's appreciated."
October 30, 2007, 7:52 AM EDT
Sure, Rosie O'Donnell's a 9-11 conspiracy nut. But she's also a big-time liberal and ardent Republican critic. That makes her our 9-11 conspiracy nut. So let's literally [see screencap] turn the page on her lunacy.

That seemed to be Mika Brzezinski's operative logic on today's "Morning Joe." During the opening 6 AM schmoozefest, talk turned to the confrontation between Rosie and an "O'Reilly Factor" staffer [identified by NewsBuster Ian Schwartz as likely being producer Jesse Watters] that recently occured at an O'Donnell book-signing. Rosie had apparently declined to return phone calls from the "Factor" inviting her on, so Bill dispatched a producer to offer the invitation in person. "Morning Joe" rolled a clip of the incident in which the "Factor" producer invited Rosie to recant her 9-11 conspiracy theory.

View video here.
October 29, 2007, 8:36 AM EDT

With a little help from Joe Scarborough, Valerie Plame Wilson tried this morning to paint herself as someone who, far from seeking "Vanity Fair" fame, had celebrity thrust upon her in a moment of distraction. Right.

And try this quick quiz:

Q. Is it possible to get through an extended interview of Valerie Plame Wilson without mentioning Richard Armitage?

A. Yes, if Joe Scarborough is the interviewer.

October 28, 2007, 10:29 AM EDT
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it -- George Satayana.


Well and good. But becoming a prisoner of the past presents dangers, too. Stay tuned for an example of how reliance on a corollary of Satayana's rule went horribly wrong for the U.S.

Maureen Dowd's column of this morning "W.M.D. in Iran? Q.E.D." is the latest example of what passes for MSM wisdom on Iran. The argument, in a nutshell: we attacked Iraq over ill-founded concerns about WMD and got bogged down. So perish the thought of using force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

October 27, 2007, 3:09 PM EDT
Leave it to the New York Times to portray illegal immigrants as the biggest victims of the wildfires. Try out this line from Glare of Fires Pulls Migrants From Shadows [emphasis added]:
There were Mercedeses and Jaguars pulling out, people evacuating, and the migrants were still working,” said Enrique Morones, who takes food and blankets to the immigrants’ camps. “It’s outrageous.”
Bonus points for "Mercedeses and Jaguars." Just wouldn't have been the same if people were fleeing in Fords.
October 26, 2007, 2:46 PM EDT

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/01/25/reference/tpbiden.jpg" align="right" height="240" width="190" />It's time for a TGIF edition of one of our favorite games: WIARHSI. For you beginners, that's &quot;What If A Republican Had Said It?&quot;<br /><br />What if a Republican had said, in explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington:<br /><blockquote><b>There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. </b>There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, <b>it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with.</b>

October 26, 2007, 7:24 AM EDT
For a moment, let's put aside minor matters like Iraq, Iran and $1 trillion Dem tax proposals and focus on something important . . .

Appearing on today's "Morning Joe," CNBC's John Harwood made a strong defense of Rudy Giuliani's announcement that the avid Yankee fan is rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series. And by the end, he even got University of Alabama alum Joe Scarborough to admit that under certain circumstances he would root for Auburn -- the Tide's arch in-state rival. Then again, Harwood failed to persuade at least one Bronx native . . .

The issue arose in the context of Hillary's campaigning.
JOHN HARWOOD: You notice she got in a little dig about Giuliani and the whole Red Sox thing.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, I like that. Tell our viewers about that.
View video here.
October 25, 2007, 4:32 PM EDT
Notice Norah O'Donnell glancing down? Although the screen graphic refers to the Lewinsky scandal, the MSNBC anchor was at that moment discussing the Democrats's $1 trillion tax proposal with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY). As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rangel is the key mover behind the tax plan.

O'Donnell, obviously reading from a document, described the proposal as a plan "to eliminate the alternative minimum tax and ease the tax burdens of most Americans by asking the rich and some corporations to pay more."
October 25, 2007, 10:02 AM EDT

I'd be curious to see how Tina Brown describes someone she doesn't like. Because after painting what seemed for all the world an unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton, Brown proclaimed that she think's Hillary's great.

Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk appeared on today's "Morning Joe" largely to discuss British royal doings as dished in her "Diana Chronicles"and otherwise.

View video here.

October 25, 2007, 7:30 AM EDT

I don't normally follow Ted Rall's work. But when J.M., a member of our military serving in Iraq, wrote NB about Rall's recent column and cartoon, I had a look. I'd say our soldier was being restrained in describing Rall's work as "particularly offensive."

I'm displaying one panel from his cartoon of October 22nd. You can view the whole of it here. As you'll note, the point is to celebrate the death of our soldiers, since they are "idiots" whose removal from the gene pool causes the average IQ back home to soar.