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:

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
September 19, 2007, 8:09 AM EDT

Today brings a mixed bag for aficionados of the New York Times. The good news, assuming you enjoy reading the musings of Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks et al., is that the Times' house columnists have been freed from behind the paid-subscription firewall of "Times Select."

September 18, 2007, 8:46 AM EDT

Even as the words were leaving his mouth, Joe Scarborough acknowledged that he was going to get "killed by conservative bloggers." And being the obliging sorts we are here at NewsBusters . . .

September 18, 2007, 6:43 AM EDT
When it comes to health care, could there be anything more antithetical to the American ideal than Big Government being completely in charge? Actually, yes. It would be big government creating a system that requires private-sector entities whose interests inherently oppose to "come together" to form "partnerships" for the greater good.
September 17, 2007, 4:29 PM EDT
Two months after the U.S. military declared him as bogus as a three-dinar bill, ABC News continues to identify one "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi" as head of al Qaeda in Iraq [AQI].
September 17, 2007, 8:24 AM EDT
"War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength" -- Slogan of the ruling party in George Orwell's "1984"

With the health care proposal she is about to introduce, Hillary Clinton adds another spooky non sequitur to the list: Compulsory Coverage is Choice. Will the MSM take notice?
September 17, 2007, 6:53 AM EDT

If there's one thing that the New York Times editorial page has inveighed against for the last six years, it's those horrid tax cuts that the Bush administraton pushed through. But now that the economy might be encountering some turbulence, the Times regrets, of all things, that taxes can't be cut more.

Here's how the Times frames its plaint in this morning's "As the Economy Turns Down" [emphasis added]:

September 16, 2007, 7:37 AM EDT

See Update at foot with list of Petraeus press appearances.

The gravest charge you can level at a military man, as essentially did to Gen. Petraeus with its infamous "General Betray Us" ad, is to call him a traitor.

But close behind in the catalog of calumny is to call a soldier a coward. And that's effectively what Frank Rich did in his [p.p.v.] New York Times column of today.

Writes Rich [emphasis added]:

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker could grab an hour of prime television time only by slinking into the safe foxhole of Fox News, where Brit Hume chaperoned them on a gloomy, bunkerlike set before an audience of merely 1.5 million true believers.

September 15, 2007, 7:47 AM EDT

Somebody arrest the CEO of Bank of America. The knave is forcing poor Amy Robach to use his bank's ATM machines. At least, so it would seem from Amy's statement on this morning's "Today."

The NBC show ran a segment this morning about the fact that BoA has raised its ATM fees for non-customers to $3. When things were kicked back to co-anchor Robach in the studio, she unloaded.

View video here.

September 14, 2007, 7:09 AM EDT

Damn the NewsBusters, full speed ahead!

Look for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to be pinning a DNC medal for heroism on Mika Brzezinski. The MSNBC newsreader opened today's "Morning Joe" with an intrepid assault on President Bush, undaunted by the rhetorical fire she knew it would draw from NewsBusters.

View video here.

September 13, 2007, 8:20 AM EDT
It's a flip-flop that would be the envy of John Kerry in good windsurfing weather off Nantucket. For the last two days, Chris Matthews had been excoriating General David Petraeus for his reluctance to opine on the effect of the Iraq war on America's safety at home. Suddenly this morning, Matthews has decided that -- guess what? -- it's not Petraeus's job to make pronouncements of that sort.

View video here.
September 13, 2007, 7:19 AM EDT
The New York Times is outraged: not enough New Yorkers are on welfare. Government needs to take an "aggressive approach" to pumping up the number of people on the dole. That's the gist of the Times editorial this morning, "Why the Hungry Refuse Help."

The Times' recycles findings from the left-wing "Urban Justice Center" [emphasis added]:
September 12, 2007, 9:55 PM EDT

As far as MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned, David Petraeus, four-star general, commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, someone who has devoted his life to serving our country, is no better than Charlie McCarthy, a ventriloquist's dummy.

View video here.

September 12, 2007, 2:21 PM EDT

Iraqi ethnic cleansing, a "positive thing"? That's what Barack Obama seemed to say on this morning's "Today." The Dem presidential contender spoke with substitute co-anchor David Gregory on the heels of Meredith Vieira's ill-tempered interview of Condoleezza Rice.

View video here.

September 12, 2007, 8:03 AM EDT
Warning to Bush administration officials: when being interviewed by Meredith Vieira, be prepared to make your point in 7-10 seconds, or risk being rudely caught off by the "Today" co-anchor.

Twice in the course of her interview of Condoleezza Rice this morning, Vieira distemperately interrupted just seconds after the Secretary of State began responding to her host's question.

View video here.

September 11, 2007, 5:51 PM EDT

See UPDATE at foot: Gen. Petraeus subsequently testified to the importance of Iraq to national security.

In the wake of the odious ad calling our commander in Iraq "General Betray Us," [read Dean Barnett's excellent take here] you might have thought the last thing a responsible member of the media would do would be to accuse other senior officials of "betrayal."

I did say "responsible." On this afternoon's "Hardball," Chris Matthews accused President Bush of "betrayal" for his handling of Iraq.

The "Hardball" host was fuming over Gen. Petraeus's reluctance to state whether the war in Iraq would make America safer.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: He couldn't say whether what we're doing in Iraq makes America safer or not. He couldn't say whether the lost lives, the misery, the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent are worth the effort in terms of our national security.
View video here
September 11, 2007, 1:16 PM EDT
If you're the Boston Globe, there's no day like 9-11 to suggest negotiating with terrorists. For that's what the Globe appears to propose in its editorial of this morning, "Toughness after Sept. 11."
September 11, 2007, 6:59 AM EDT

Some people are hard to shop for, but when it comes to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski it's going to be a breeze. Next to her name on my Chanukah list, I'm putting her down without hesitation . . . for a Roget's Thesaurus. Because when it comes to describing the performance of people across her political divide, Mika seems stuck on a solitary word: "underwhelming."

As noted here, reading the news of Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance last week, Mika editorialized that "it was sort of underwhelming, but . . . it's done."

At the top of today's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough invited Mika to assess General Petraeus's performance before Congress yesterday, and . . . you guessed it.

View video here.

September 10, 2007, 6:17 PM EDT
As wacky theories go, it might not be quite up there with the stuff the "steel doesn't melt" truthies put out. But the Associated Press's Tom Raum has had a stunning little meltdown of his own.

In an "analysis" piece the AP put out today, "After 4 years of errors, Bush definition of ‘victory’ in Iraq is far more modest," Raum flatly states:
September 10, 2007, 9:43 AM EDT
"This is John Smith, reporting live from the beaches of Normandy, where Allied troops have launched a massive invasion aiming to defeat the Axis."

"John, this is Bob Brown back in the studio. When does General Eisenhower think the first Allied troops can start to come home?"
"What the . . . ?"
OK, the surge isn't D-Day. But surely an important part of what we are looking for in General Petraeus's report today is his assessment of the prospects for success in Iraq, right? Wrong -- if by "we" you include CNN. According to it's 9 A.M. EDT preview of the report, the only thing "everyone" cares about is the timing of withdrawal:
September 10, 2007, 7:08 AM EDT
And here I thought liberals were the ones who love to glorify those "hard-working average Americans." The mythic salt of the earth who sit around the supper table discussing the need for universal health care, or whatever, before getting up in the morning, grabbing their lunch buckets and heading off to work hard and play by the rules.

Isn't it supposed to be those mean-spirited conservatives who denigrate those same folks as irresponsible?

And yet . . .