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
March 6, 2013, 8:58 AM EST

Whoah!  What place was Mika Brzezinski talking about?  On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski said that at a place where she used to work, "any woman who did anything or got to the top immediately had something revealed to the press or online or whatever that would bring them down."  And whatever happened to solidarity among the sisters?  Mika added: I suggest that some might even argue that it's women doing that."

We don't know which employer Mika had in mind, but before coming to MSNBC, by far Brzezinski's longest stints were at CBS. View the video after the jump.

March 4, 2013, 7:53 AM EST

Ping-pong diplomacy worked with China, so why not b-ball diplomacy with North Korea? Mika Brzezinski is clearly not buying that line of logic. On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski confessed to being "angry" with George Stephanopoulos for having the extraterrestrial otherwise known as Dennis Rodman on This Week to discuss his recent trip to North Korea, which included meeting with its new leader, Kim Jong Un.

Mika didn't spare her fellow MJ panelists, calling them "idiots" when they persisted in discussing Rodman's trip and TW appearance.  View the video after the jump.

March 1, 2013, 8:28 AM EST

David Axelrod has written Gene Sperling off as a political lightweight lacking the tonnage to have intimidated Bob Woodward in their dust-up over the sequester. 

Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Axelrod sarcastically asked "what is Gene Sperling going to do to Bob Woodward?  Bob Woodward, who faced down H.R. Haldeman as a young man, feels intimidated by Gene Sperling?"  You really have to hear the sneer in Axelrod's voice as he pronounces the name "Gene Sperling" to appreciate just how far under the bus Axelrod was willing to throw a fellow member of Team Obama.  View the video after the jump.

 

February 28, 2013, 9:14 PM EST

Turns out today is the 159th anniversary of the founding of the Republican party.  So who did Al Sharpton have on his MSNBC this evening to discuss it supposedly from the GOP point of view? "Republican" Abby Huntsman, daughter of Jon.

After somehow divining that if Abe Lincoln were around today he would want a "conversation" on immigration and gay marriage, Abby described today's Republican party as populated by people who want "absolutely no government."  View the video after the jump.

February 28, 2013, 9:08 AM EST

How do you go from being a gutsy hero of the MSM to a wuss in one minute? Take on a Democrat president instead of a Republican.  Using her most sarcastic scared-little-child voice, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski mocked Bob Woodward for saying the White House threatened him over his reporting on the sequester.

Mocked Mika:  "is he really afraid of a little aide who said that to him? Really?"  View the video after the jump.

February 28, 2013, 7:21 AM EST

The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester,   In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."

But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters.  Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively.  Andrea named names.  Scarborough did not.  H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.

February 27, 2013, 3:52 PM EST

On her MSNBC show today, Andrea Mitchell accused Republicans of "red-baiting" Chuck Hagel, a reference to tactics most notably associated with the McCarthy period during which people were accused [often accurately, it should be noted] of Communist or affiliated sympathies. 

Such cries of McCarthyism have of course become standard liberal fare when it comes to Hagel's confirmation process.  View the video after the jump.

February 26, 2013, 7:09 PM EST

Chris Matthews featured her as a "Rising Star," someone who with more seasoning might someday entertain a presidential run.  But newly-elected Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane came across as more of a not-ready-for-prime-time-deer-in-the-headlights.

Appearing on today's Hardball, Kane came out with this mind-boggler: "I think the people of Pennsylvania would accept a limit on the amount of clips. You know, I believe and I think a lot of people feel the same way that you don't have a right to go into a classroom and take down a class of children in under a minute."  Really going out on a limb there, Rising Star! View the video after the jump.

February 25, 2013, 7:08 PM EST

Al Sharpton joined the sequester scare-mongering squad on his MSNBC show this evening.  Just one problem: the Reverend Al got one of his "facts" embarrassingly wrong. Sharpton claimed that the effect of the sequester would be to close Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown airport in Janesville, Wisconsin.  Nuh-uh. 

Yes, Southern Wisconsin Regional in Janesville is on a list of 200 airports, 100 of which would have their towers closed under the sequester.  So for starters, contrary to what Sharpton suggests, the odds are only 1-in-2 that even if the sequester hits, there will be any effect whatsoever on the Janesville airport.  But in any case, closing a tower by no means closes an airport. Is Al unaware that of the roughly 20,000 airports in the USA, only about 500—less than 3%—have towers? Even if the tower closes, flights will continue to flow in and out of Janesville.  There are well-established FAA procedures that pilots follow to communicate with each other at non-towered fields.  Shame on Sharpton for his false scare-mongering.  View the video after the jump.   

February 25, 2013, 8:51 AM EST

Call her MoveOn.Mika . . . Bob Woodward has demonstrated that President Obama was not telling the truth during the third presidential debate when he flatly stated that "the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.” In fact, it was two Obama aides who devised the plan, and Obama himself who approved it.

But when Joe Scarborough wanted to get those facts on the record this morning, Mika Brzezinski repeatedly declared that discussing Obama's failure to tell the truth was "silly." Things got heated between the co-hosts at one point as Mika cut Joe off, saying "I need to talk."  And trying to end the uncomfortable discussion, Mika actually announced "I'm moving on." View the video after the jump.

February 24, 2013, 9:55 AM EST

As press secretary to President Obama, Robert Gibbs was often in the obfuscation business.  Now that he's been freed from that role and become a news analyst—albeit at MSNBC—Gibbs has become considerably more candid. Readers will recall, for example, that he described Chuck Hagel as "unimpressive and unprepared" at his Senate confirmation hearing.

Today, Gibbs took that frankness a significant step further.  On Up With Chris Hayes, Gibbs stated that as press secretary, he had been ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program. View the video after the jump.

February 22, 2013, 10:48 AM EST

Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl.  There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles.  Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.

But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today.  Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth.  View the video after the jump.

February 21, 2013, 8:05 AM EST

Mika Brzezinski immediately asked her producer if the seven-second delay had worked.  It hadn't.  On today's Morning Joe, praising the "authenticity" of the New Jersey governor, an unbleeped Mort Zuckerman said there's "no bull****" about Chris Christie.

Joe Scarborough sought to slough off the incident, saying no seven-second delay was necessary: "you got a lot of farmers saying that in western Pennsylvania. That's no big deal."  Mika begrudgingly mouthed agreement but her tone and body language left no doubt that she was uncomfortable with Mort's excursion into the scatalogical.  View the video after the jump. H/t NB reader Cobokat.

 

February 19, 2013, 10:57 AM EST

Chuck Todd can't imagine what could ever have given conservative politicians the idea that the MSM is unfriendly to them. C'mon Chuck: we know you're a NewsBusters reader.  Every day here, we document the liberal media's hostility to conservatives.

On today's Morning Joe, NBC political director Todd repeatedly spoke of a supposed "mythology" among conservative politicians and their staffs that the "big, bad non-conservative media" is "out to get conservatives."  That in turn explains why, according to Todd, conservative officials are reluctant to appear on non-Fox shows.  View the video after the jump.

February 19, 2013, 8:17 AM EST

Wait a sec: aren't liberals supposed to be the edgy dudes who like to buck the established order?  The ones who glorify guys with the guts to "speak truth to power"? So what could possibly have turned these hipsters into a bunch of suddenly stodgy sourpusses reaching for their Miss Manners?  Looks like in-your-face is no longer in style when the upstart in question is—horrors!—a conservative!

Continuing his campaign for proper etiquette--and against Ted Cruz--Frank Bruni appeared on Morning Joe today.  The New York Times columnist recently wrote a cranky column calling Cruz an "an ornery, swaggering piece of work."  Bruni took things one stodgy step further, calling Cruz a "whippersnapper." Frank fulminated over Ted's temerity in actually voting against the august John Kerry.  View the video after the jump.

February 18, 2013, 10:14 AM EST

The trashing of Ted Cruz continues apace in the bien-pensant MSM. From the New York Times, to the Washington Post, to Politico and elsewhere, the liberal media has the new Republican Senator from Texas in its sights.

Joe Scarborough is clearly camped out on the Cruz-bashing bandwagon.  Earlier this month, so offended by Cruz was the sensitive Scarborough that he wouldn't deign to mention him by name.  Today, not to be outdone by Frank Bruni, who called Cruz "an ornery, swaggering piece of work," Scarborough declared that Cruz acts like "a carnival barker at a local Republican event."  View the video after the jump.

February 17, 2013, 9:25 AM EST

ABC News reporter David Wright chose an odd metaphor to describe criticism of the possible timing of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI's successor.

Wright, speaking live from the Vatican on today's Good Morning America, reported that yesterday the Vatican spokesman had floated a trial balloon suggesting that the conclave to choose a new Pope could be moved up from its originally established date of March 15th.  Continued Wright: "but in other quarters of the Church, that trial balloon is being shot down faster than an old-school nun might rap you on the knuckles."  View the video after the jump. 

 
 

February 16, 2013, 9:25 AM EST

If Good Morning America's giddiness over the prospect that Hillary Clinton might run for president is any indication of how the MSM will treat the story, it's gonna be a long-g-g-g four years.

The excited GMA crew was looking for any harbinger--from falling meteorites to the number of baskets scored by an ABC reporter in a charity game--that Hillary might throw her pantsuit into the ring. A correspondent even joked--at least we hope she was joking--that GMA might have to run a segment every week with the latest is-Hillary-running news. View the video after the jump.

February 15, 2013, 9:10 PM EST

Ed Schultz was in seventh heaven, lionizing Elizabeth Warren [new first name 'Sheriff'] for the way she grilled financial regulators for failing to take big banks to trial.

Just one teenie-weenie factoid Ed failed to mention: those two regulators he showed Warren scalding during his MSNBC show tonight were appointed by, yup, President Barack Obama.  View the video after the jump.

February 15, 2013, 2:22 PM EST

Andrea Mitchell/Barack Obama: same struggle!  In an stunningly blatant display of solidarity with the Obama line, Andrea Mitchell declared on today's Morning Joe that she shared the same "concern" with the White House: that poor Chuck Hagel wouldn't get a final vote on his nomination.

Mitchell prefaced her "concern" by roundly condemning Republicans in general--and Senator Ted Cruz in particular--for supposedly attacking Hagel with allegations "completely unsupported by fact." Could somebody please tell me why Mitchell, supposedly a reporter, should so shamelessly be toting the White House's water this way?  View the video after the jump.