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
August 16, 2013, 8:07 AM EDT

Talk about a hypocritical, mealy-mouthed non-apology apology . . . On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough condemned Republicans who "support[ed] George Zimmerman before they even knew the facts of the case."  Scarborough then added: "you know, I got out early, said some things about George Zimmerman myself, I shouldn't have said, perhaps. I got overly emotional. But I'm not in office. And if I were in office I would have apologized."

Scarborough didn't reveal to viewers the "some things" he had said about Zimmerman. In fact, early on in the case, long before the facts were on the table, Scarborough branded Zimmerman a "murderer."  But Scarborough doesn't feel the need to apologize because he's not a politician.  Is that Scarborough's standard?  The host of a major national show can go on the air and cavalierly and unjustly accuse someone of murder.  But because he's not in public office, he has no need to apologize?  View the video after the jump.

August 15, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

In the closing minute of today's Way Too Early on MSNBC, guest host Thomas Roberts invited viewers to use the hashtag #WayTooRowdy to submit descriptions of the best party they'd ever attended.

The show proceeded to display a tweet from viewer N-Boyyy saying that "one time I had been to a party and there was this goat in the living room drinking beer from a bucket."  Just one problem: MSNBC also displayed N-Boyyy's Twitter mini-bio, in which he described himself as "Just a kid living life and giving no f----s along the way."  The f-bomb was unexpurgated on screen. View the video after the jump.  Warning: not suitable for children.

August 14, 2013, 8:24 AM EDT

What a piker, that Barack Obama.  All he was going to do was stop the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet.  Hillary can do a heck of a lot more.  She can actually . . .  "save the world."

Just ask Kathleen Parker.  The Washington Post columnist that—laughably—some still call a conservative, recommends in in her latest column that Hillary run on the narrative that she is the person who, yes, "can save the world."  Parker appeared on Morning Joe today to advance her argument, asserting that "there's no one better suited to sort of lead that movement symbolically and as leader of the free world than Hillary Clinton. It's not an endorsement but let's look at it objectively."  View the video after the jump.

August 8, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT

First Chuck Todd, now Andrea Mitchell and even former Obama spox-turned-NBC-analyst Robert Gibbs agree: NBC's decision to produce a miniseries about Hillary Clinton is a "bad idea."

Gibbs and Mitchell lamented the series on Andrea's early-afternoon MSNBC show today.  View the video after the jump.

August 8, 2013, 9:11 AM EDT

Mika to the barricades! Move over, Reverend Al.  You're not the only MSNBC host who moonlights as a liberal activist. On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski announced that she will be not merely be covering a pay protest by fast-food workers in Detroit on August 29th--she'll be an active participant in it.

Joe Scarborough tried—in vain—to school Mika on Econ 101.  But she did the equivalent of covering her ears and nattering "nah, nah, nah: can't hear you!"  Scarborough said he'd also be at the protest--on the sidelines, with a bullhorn. View the video after the jump.

August 7, 2013, 8:59 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough has yet again scaled his soap box to mock those of us in the conservative blogosphere.  He described us today as a bunch of "very stupid people" living in their mama's basement who write "really stupid things" about him.

The thin-skinned Scarborough has often derided his show's critics as Cheetos-chewing cellar-dwellers.  He was at it again this morning, depicting them as people who if not in mama's basement would otherwise be wandering the streets in their pajamas.  View the video after the jump.

August 6, 2013, 8:07 AM EDT

Wow: Joe Scarborough just outed something naughty that Mika Brzezinski had to say about the Hillary biopic that her parent network NBC is planning.

After Mika admitted on today's Morning Joe that she doesn't disagree with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's warning that the RNC might not cooperate with NBC or CNN on Republican debates should the networks proceed with their biopic plans, Joe took things a big step further, saying: "You said off the air, Mika, it was as if they were trying to climb up something of the entire Clinton organization."  "Something"?  You fill in the blanks.  View the video after the jump.

August 5, 2013, 9:07 AM EDT

Bashing Ted Cruz on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough pre-emptively defended himself against charges that he is an "MSNBC liberal" by claming for himself a "95% ACU [American Conservative Union] rating."  

That might have been true 18 years ago when Scarborough was representing the conservative panhandle of Florida in Congress.  But what would Scarborough's conservative rating be today, given his liberal shift on gun control, immigration amnesty and other issues?  View the video after the jump.

August 1, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

If a Republican were ensnared in a sex scandal, do you think MSNBC would have failed to mention his party and instead featured a photo of him with a smiling Nancy Pelosi?  But the "Lean Forward" network might well have hoodwinked unwary viewers this morning into thinking that Democrat Bob Filner is a Republican.

Not merely did today's Morning Joe failed to identify Filner—the San Diego mayor with the octopus hands—as a Democrat. Instead, the show featured a photo of Filner with a smiling . . . . John Boehner. Guess the MJ staff couldn't find one of former congressman Filner with fellow Californian Pelosi. H/t NB reader Ray R.  View the photo and video after the jump.

August 1, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT

In one fell swoop, Howard Dean has managed to expose his ignorance of libertarianism while making a stale and insulting joke about New Jerseyites.

Discussing on today's Morning Joe the dust-up between Rand Paul and Chris Christie and the broader issue of the philosophical rifts within the GOP, Dean declared that "Rand Paul is not a libertarian" because he is pro-life.  Dean is apparently unaware of the lively debate over abortion within libertarian circles, with a reported 30% of libertarians being pro-life.  Dean also warned Paul: "do not take on a guy from Jersey. Obviously this guy does not watch HBO." That was presumably an allusion to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, two HBO shows featuring Garden State criminals.  View the video after the jump.


July 31, 2013, 7:38 AM EDT

Commenting on the current clash between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over pork-barrel spending, Joe Scarborough has managed to insult both combatants.

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough called Rand Paul a "daddy's boy."  And in warning Paul not to pick a fight with Christie, Scarborough cited a saying to the effect that you should never fight with a "pig," because "you both get dirty and the pig likes it."  Scarborough was careful to suggest that in comparing Christie to a "pig" he wasn't alluding to the Jersey governor's girth. OK. View the video after the jump.

July 30, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

Was this a case of Donny Deutsch expressing sincere sentiments—or wanting Weiner out of the way to help Hillary?

Whatever the explanation, the ad man unleashed on Huma Abedin on today's Morning Joe, saying he was "disgusted" by the spectacle of her press conference, accusing Abedin of being an "opportunist" who wants to be First Lady of New York.  A much more understanding Mika Brzezinski said that Abedin's performance was "amazing,"  "extraordinary" and "really brave." Video after the jump.

July 24, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT

When on today's Morning Joe, Obama spokesman Jay Carney had the chutzpah to call the IRS mess a "phony scandal,"Joe Scarborough ripped into him, calling Carney out for using "talking points," instructing him to "answer my question" and informing Carney that "I'm not somebody you talk down to from your podium." Ouch! H/t NB reader cobokat.

Scarborough reminded Carney that he hadn't told the truth when he initially claimed that the scandal was limited to low-level employees in the IRS Cincinnati office, that it now appears that it may go at least as high as the IRS Chief Counsel, appointed by President Obama, is involved.  Carney continued to slough off the scandal, claiming it was a diversion and that the President wants to focus on the economy, blah, blah, blah.  Things got heated, as you'll see from the video, after the jump.

July 20, 2013, 8:20 AM EDT

Imagine that FDR, in his first inaugural, instead of rallying Americans with the notion that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," had stoked the nation's unease by harping on how bad the Depression was.  If Mike Allen had been around in 1933, perhaps he would have defended FDR by writing "there was plenty of unease before the speech, so it's hard to blame the President."

For that is the same approach that the Politico's Allen took in his Playbook this morning in defending President Obama's divisive remarks of yesterday on Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman trial.  Wrote Allen [emphasis added]: "Many conservatives are complaining that the remarks will stoke division and dissension. But there was plenty of that before, so it's hard to blame POTUS."  Some might accuse Allen of the soft bigotry of low expectations. More after the jump.

July 19, 2013, 7:29 AM EDT

Trying to decide which is the bigger story here: 1. Mika Brzezinski speculating that Liz Cheney asked Ed Rollins, as a favor, to call her a "bored housewife"; or 2. Joe Scarborough saying that whenever he imitates Zbigniew Brzezinski's accent, Brzezinski beefs that he's making him "sound like a rabbi."

You be the judge.  Both happened on today's Morning Joe.  Liz Cheney has taken some heat for suggesting that sitting Republican Senator Enzi is old and confused.  Mika seemed to be suggesting that having Rollins take a sexist shot at her would transform Cheney from aggressor into victim. There was a  jocular jot in Mika's conjecture, but she did insist to Joe "you know that I'm right."  View the video after the jump.

July 15, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough might want to reflect on people in glass houses, casting the first stone, beam in your eye—all the adages counseling against hypocrisy, against condemning others for sins without considering one's own wrongs.

In a Politico piece brimming with self-righteousness, Scarborough bemoans the "vulgar state" of American politics and condemns "hyperbolic political pronouncements" about the case.  Hyperbolic?  We got your hyperbole right here.  Does Joe not remember that in 2012, long before all the facts of the case were available, he eagerly condemned George Zimmerman as a "murderer"? More after the jump.

July 14, 2013, 8:13 AM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Jesse Jackson condemned the Zimmerman verdict as a "tremendous miscarriage of justice."  It is a mark of Jackson's misconception of just what constitutes justice that chief among his complaints was that Trayvon Martin was denied a jury of his peers because there were no African-Americans or men on it.

But—as Jackson is apparently unaware—the Constitution provides that it is the accused, not the possible victim, who is entitled to an impartial jury [in fact the Constitution nowhere speaks of a jury of peers]. View the video after the jump.

July 12, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

On today's Morning Joe, after proclaiming "I love Hillary," Joe Scarborough fretted that the media might not give her a fair shake in 2016.  

Scarborough claimed that although the media has been biased against Republicans, "I've never seen the media more biased against any single candidate than they were Hillary Clinton in 2007 and 2008." Howard Dean chimed in to predict that the media will indeed give Hillary a "rough ride" in 2016. Right.  View the video after the jump.

July 11, 2013, 9:43 AM EDT

Want to be "heroic" on immigration in Andrea Mitchell's eyes? Easy: team up with Chuck Schumer and President Obama to push amnesty through Congress.  Want to earn Andrea's ire?  Focus on border security.  She'll scold you and say you should be "ashamed."

Yes, there was Andrea on today's Morning Joe, praising amnesty-pushing McCain as "heroic," while scolding conservatives who want to focus on border security. They "ought to be be ashamed," said Mitchell. View the video after the jump.

July 9, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT

As defenses go to the charge of having lied to the people of New York about illegal activities, Eliot Spitzer's was feeble at best. Hey, politicans lie all the time about all sorts of stuff, was the essence of Client #9-turned-Comptroller-candidate's response.

Spitzer's lame defense [he literally said: "I think we all know that politicians dissemble all the time about negotiations, on substantive issues and probably on personal issues as well"] came in response to some serious grilling by Mark Halperin on today's Morning Joe.  The Spitzer segment was set up to feature Mika Brzezinski as chief inquisitor, but it was actually Halperin who subjected Spritzer to the closest scrutiny.  View the video after the jump.