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
June 20, 2013, 8:29 AM EDT

To say that Mika Brzezinski was "moved" by Joe Manchin's ad, responding to one by the NRA criticizing the Dem senator from West Virginia for supporting new gun-control measures, is a decided understatement.

Have a look at the ad, which Manchin debuted on Morning Joe today, then have a go at describing Mika's emotional reaction.  View the video after the jump.

June 19, 2013, 7:39 AM EDT

Who was Morning Joe protecting: the sensitive ears of its viewers, or Hillary Clinton?

During a discussion of the death of the feisty and fearless reporter Michael Hastings, Morning Joe bleeped out Joe Scarborough's reading from an email from Hastings to Philippe Reines, Hillary's personal spokesman during her Secretary of State tenure.  Hastings had accused Reines of "b---s---" answers on the State Department's handling of Benghazi.  The extended bleeping wasn't simply of the offending word, but of Hastings' entire sentence, so listeners never learned the thrust of his accusation.  View the video after the jump.

June 10, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

Things got feisty on Morning Joe today, as Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian clashed with Mika Brzezinski over the leak of the NSA phone surveillance program by Greenwald's informant, Edward Snowden. H/t NB reader Jeff M.

When Brzezinski alleged that wiretapping or the review by the NSA of emails required an additional judicial review and warrant, Greenwald accused Mika of using "White House talking points" that were "completely misleading and false."  Mika denied it. Greenwald upped the animosity by telling Mika she would have known better if she had paid even "remote attention" to the issues over the last ten years. View the video after the jump.

June 6, 2013, 8:34 AM EDT

MSNBC and Anthony Weiner: made for each other like a frank and a bun?

Today's New York Daily News reports that when NYC mayoral candidate Weiner got into an argument on the campaign trail yesterday, he boasted that despite his mistakes, "I am still gonna be out there leaning forward."  "Lean Forward" is of course MSNBC's lefty slogan, featured in many promos that NB has analyzed, as here and here.  More after the jump.

June 5, 2013, 8:09 AM EDT

Looks like Mike Barnicle's not going to let anyone get to his PC-left when it comes to women.

On today's Morning Joe, Barnicle claimed that "a lot of men . . . fear the fact—and I think it's a fact—that women are better balanced than men.  They have better judgment about things than a lot of men."  Barnicle's comment during a discussion about the statement made yesterday by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant that the decline in educational outcomes for children today is due to the entry of women into the workforce.  View the video after the jump.

June 3, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT

A classic case of MSM jujitsu.  Yesterday, Darrell Issa called Jay Carney a "paid liar."  So did Morning Joe today dig down to see if Issa was right?  Of course not.  Instead, its focus was on Issa--how he is "overreaching," "overplaying," etc. H/t NB reader Wayne T.

The quintessential statement came from Mika Brzezinski, who actually said that Issa's accusation "makes us all want to walk away and ignore" the White House scandals.  It's not as if Mika & Co. needed much convincing!  View the video after the jump, along with a medley of statements from Mika, Brian Shactman, Joe Scarborough, Jon Meacham, Chuck Todd and Robert Gibbs along similar lines.

May 30, 2013, 8:49 AM EDT

When it comes to identifying nutcases, some might say that Howard Dean gleans valuable experience daily, while shaving.

The failed presidential candidate put his expertise to dubious use on Morning Joe today, calling National Review editor Rich Lowry a "right-wing nutcase."  Lowry's sin?  Having written a column mocking Eric Holder, and President Obama's decision to put Holder in charge of investigating himself in the James Rosen affair. View the video after the jump.

May 28, 2013, 8:39 AM EDT

Do people still mail resumes? If so John Heilemann can save himself the stamp required to send his to Vanity Fair, should he ever consider a shift from his current spot at New York.

On today's Morning Joe, Heilemann bizarrely trashed—excuse the pun—the staff at Vanity Fair.  Said the Game Change co-author: "it's well known Vanity Fair has a congenital, pervasive alcohol dependency problem . . they're all drunk over there." View the video after the jump.

May 22, 2013, 9:19 AM EDT

How worried should President Obama be when he loses the likes of Al Hunt?

On today's Morning Joe, discussing the James Rosen outrage, Hunt called President Obama "no better than Richard Nixon" when it comes to the press. He then strongly suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder should go. View the video after the jump.

May 20, 2013, 8:34 AM EDT

Let me preface by saying that I'm not criticizing Bill Karins for his choice of words.  Thank, uh, goodness, we live in a country where we're free to believe in any God or no God at all.

But I do see Karins' construction as a sign of the cultural times. The Morning Joe meteorologist today aired dramatic footage of the weatherman at the NBC affiliate in Wichita, Kansas ordering his colleagues to take shelter because a tornado was headed right at the station. Said Karins: "By the grace of whatever, God or whatever else, it lifted the second it got right to the TV station."  You'll hear Karins hesitate and change course when he realizes he's put himself on a path to say "by the grace of God."  View the video after the jump.

May 18, 2013, 8:15 AM EDT

UPDATE: Not one second about the IRS scandal in the entire show.   GMA just went off the air and managed to avoid mentioning the dreaded I-word.  The second half-hour featured two more Powerball segments, and features on Beyoncé's possible pregnancy, Bieber's monkey, and a kangaroo.  IRS scandal?  What IRS scandal?  ABC couldn't find a second for it.

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Bianna Golodryga opened today's Good Morning America by announcing that it was "a very busy Saturday morning."  So busy, in fact, that GMA couldn't spare one second in its first half-hour for the IRS scandal. That despite yesterday's stonewalling testimony by the outgoing IRS Commissioner in which he had the colossal chutzpah to deny there had been any political motive in the targeting of conservative organizations.

So what kept GMA so busy? By far the longest segment was devoted to . . . the Powerball lottery.  Just in the first half-hour, GMA spent 325 seconds—over five minutes—on the lottery and its big prize.  One report from stores where lottery tickets are being sold didn't suffice. There were two.  Those were followed by an interview with a lottery official.  GMA even managed to squeeze in a report of a bear that had climbed into a tree.  But the IRS?  Sorry: too busy.  More after the jump.

May 17, 2013, 7:53 AM EDT



Call it Luke Russert's version of "bitter clingers" on steroids . . . In Russert's world, there are apparently two kinds of Republican congressmen.  The "smart" ones—to be found on the Ways & Means Committee—and the others, whom he calls the "God, guns and guts people," presumably in reference to this book.

Russert made his statement on today's Morning Joe, responding to Joe Scarborough's question as to whether Republicans would overplay their hand over the current scandals.  According to Russert, Republicans chose well in holding today's hearing of IRS officials before the Ways & Means Committee because that's where the GOP puts its stars: "it's not the God, guns and guts people on the Ways & Means Committee: it's the smart people." View the video after the jump.

May 15, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT

What will be the political fallout of the various scandals in which President Obama is ensnared?  Chris Matthews thinks it will be huge.

Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Matthews mused that the IRS scandal alone would be worth 5-10 points to Republican candidates. He specifically mentioned Mitch McConnell, Tom Corbett and Ken Cuccinelli as Republicans whom the scandal would aid in their 2014 races. View the video after the jump.

May 15, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT

The press and the left. But Lisa Myers repeats herself.  Seriously, though, Myers did make a stunning admission along such lines on today's Morning Joe? H/t NB reader Pam.

Describing the harm done to President Obama by the AP spying scandal, NBC senior investigate correspondent Myers said the effect of the scandal has been to turn "one [sic] of the President's most important constituencies, the press and the left, against him." Did Myers make a double Freudian slip in describing the press and the left as "one" and the press as one of Obama's "most important constituencies"? View the video after the jump.

May 14, 2013, 3:56 PM EDT

Et tu, Roberto?  It was bad enough for President Obama to have Andrea Mitchell jump ship this morning. But now someone who is—arguably—even closer to home has taken a resounding shot at the President's mishandling of the IRS scandal.

Appearing on Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs condemned the president's "exceedingly passive" language in discussing the scandal.  Obama had said there'd be consequences "if" wrongdoing were found, and spoken of "losing patience." Gibbs was scathing: that's what "I do with my nine-year old."  Ouch! View the video after the jump.

May 14, 2013, 9:20 AM EDT

President Obama knows he's in trouble when Andrea Mitchell—Andrea Mitchell!—proclaims the IRS and AP scandals to be among "the most outrageous excesses I've seen" in all her years in journalism [which pre-date Watergate].  The strength of Mitchell's statement drew gasps from Scarborough and Brzezinski. Then Ron Fournier, former AP editor now with the National Journal, darkly described the White House being "consumed" if it turns out someone there or in the Obama campaign had been aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It happened on Morning Joe today.

But hey, President Obama still has his hangers-on.  Take good old Carl Bernstein.  As we reported, on yesterday's Morning Joe Bernstein blathered that he "can't imagine" that President Obama coudl be involved in the IRS mess.  And there was Bernstein again today.  When Fournier spoke of consequences of White House or Obama campaign knowledge of the IRS targeting, Bernstein quickly burped out that "we have no evidence of that whatsoever."  Joe Scarborough had to remind the former Watergate reporter: "that's why you have investigations.  You know that." View the video after the jump.

May 13, 2013, 3:46 PM EDT

Sure, it was just one of those tongue-tied moments we've all experienced.   But if it had been George W. Bush mispronouncing the name of a world leader who is very much in the news, imagine the field day the MSM would have had with it.

At his press appearance with British PM David Cameron today, aired on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, President Obama was seen pronouncing the name of the Syrian dictator Bashir Assad as "Bassar Ashad." PBO pauses before pronouncing, seeming to sense he's about to get it wrong, but decides to plunge ahead.  There's another priceless moment: when the show cuts back to the studio, guest-hosting Chuck Todd is seen with a hilariously baffled look on his face.  View the video after the jump.

May 13, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT

When it comes to investigative reporters, how do you change a bulldog into a lapdog? Easy: change the occupant of the Oval Office from a Republican into a Democrat.

Witness Carl Bernstein's pitiful performance on today's Morning Joe.  The man who teamed with Bob Woodward to bring down Richard Nixon now credulously claims that he "can't imagine" that President Obama is possibly involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups.  Bernstein instead blames the "hyper-partisanship" in Washington.  Yeah, cause politics were so kumbaya in 1972, Carl.  View the video after the jump.

May 12, 2013, 2:08 PM EDT

Chris Hayes is what passes for a progressive intellectual at MSNBC.

Which makes his simple-minded and manifestly mistaken proposal that much more maddening. Making a peek-a-boo video-clip appearance on today's Melissa Harris-Perry's show, which focused on finding solutions to poverty in America, Hayes was seen holding up a hand-written sign with his solution, reading "Giving people money: It's actually that easy."  View the video after the jump.

May 12, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT

New day and time, same old liberal slop.  Ed Schultz returned to MSNBC yesterday in his new, relegated-to-the-ratings-desert slot of weekend afternoons.  

One of the topics was the targeting by the IRS of conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status.  Predictably, Schultz & Co. did all they could to sweep the scandal under the carpet.  Schultz suggested the IRS had nothing to apologize for, while the ever-prolix Michael Eric Dyson actually claimed it was "much ado about nothing,"  and was even willing to diss President Obama's power, saying he lacked the "juice" to have ordered the IRS targeting. View the video after the jump.