Lives in Granbury, Texas.

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Parrots, dogs, small planes, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
November 23, 2008, 10:03 AM EST

In an MSM eager for the advent of the Age of Obama, Kate Snow may have taken the cake.  The weekend GMA co-host almost sounded as if she were calling for some kind of coup d'etat, musing whether Obama should be urgently "forcing" change before he takes office. How over the top was Snow?  She had to be talked down from her fin de regime fantasy but none other than . . . Paul Krugman.

ABC reporter John Hendren set the tone for the notion that time is dangerously a-wasting.

JOHN HENDREN: As with Hoover and FDR, the ideological gap between Bush and Obama could be too broad to bridge, leaving us with two more months of costly economic drift.
A little later, interviewing Krugman, Snow made her startling suggstion.
November 22, 2008, 8:05 AM EST
For years, little would upset liberals more than the suggestion they were less patriotic than other Americans.  The crowd spewing "Bush-Hitler-Genghis-Khan-baby-killers-AmeriKKKa-Ho-Ho-Ho-Chi-Minh"? Great patriots, all.  Bill Ayers trampling a flag?  Dissent is patriotic, dude.

But now that Barack Obama has been elected, comes an admission, unintended as it may be. Yeah, maybe we weren't so much before, but it's cool to be patriotic. Now.  Such can be seen in Derrick Z. Jackson's Boston Globe column of today, 'It's OK to be an American now." From Jackson's opening paragraph [emphasis added]:
Before Obama's victory speech in Chicago, the crowd of 125,000 people said the Pledge of Allegiance. In my 53 years I have never heard such a multicultural throng recite the pledge with such determined enunciation, expelling it from the heart in a treble soaring to the skies and a bass drumming through the soil to vibrate my feet.
November 21, 2008, 7:53 AM EST

Whoever had the brilliant idea of making Capricia Marshall a guest on MSNBC's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" last night was probably hiding from host David Gregory when the show ended.  Marshall turned out to be the least forthcoming guest I have ever seen on a political talk show.  The aide to Hillary Clinton put up a smiling stonewall that would make G. Gordon Liddy—who chose a stiff prison sentence over Watergate stool-pigeonhood—proud.

Marshall is the director of Hillary Clinton's political action committee, Hillpac, and former social secretary in the Clinton White House.  Gregory had her on in the clear expectation that she would dish on Hillary's prospective appointment as Secretary of State.  But Capricia was tighter than the proverbial clam.  Try as Gregory might, Marshall wouldn't give up the smallest shadow of a hint of a scrap of a tidbit about anything of interest.  Her big revelation? She's excited about the inauguration.  Gag Gregory with an NBC "Yes We Can!" commemorative Obama-campaign DVD.

November 20, 2008, 8:09 AM EST
Drumstick or breast for accused daddy killer?  Details at 11!

If that wasn't quite how the Early Show played it, it's not far off. Of all the angles to promote its coverage of the story of the eight-year old accused of killing his father, CBS highlighted the issue of . . . where the boy would celebrate Thanksgiving.

View video here.
November 19, 2008, 9:57 AM EST

Barney Frank favors bailing out the Detroit automakers over letting them go into bankruptcy.  Chief among his concerns is that bankruptcy might "bust" the unions. You know, those organizations whose contract demands have put Detroit on the brink of extinction.

The Massachusetts Dem, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez on today's Early Show. He appeared alongside Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Al.), ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who favors letting the automakers reorganize under Chapter 11.

November 19, 2008, 7:53 AM EST

Amidst all the sanctimonious do-gooderism and global-warming alarmism that is NBC/Universal's "Green Week," it's good to see that at least one network minion has managed to maintain his sense of humor.

Morning Joe's Willie Geist became something of a sensation with his spoof electioneering for John McCain on the sidewalks of Manhattan's ultra-blue Upper West Side.  In that same spirit, Willie ventured onto the streets of midtown yesterday, asking folks how they were celebrating Green Week, and posing provocative questions. Sample: "Do you think global warming is kinda hogwash? I mean, look how cold it is today."  He got some amusing answers and met some colorful characters, including one dazed and confused fellow who turned out to be none other than Mike Barnicle.

November 18, 2008, 9:40 PM EST

Door, meet Hagel.  

That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."

David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.

November 18, 2008, 3:14 PM EST

At 78, Larry Eagleburger hasn't lost his fastball.  Since leaving government, he might actually have added some MPH.  Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, the former Secretary of State in George H.W.'s administration warmed up with some rough words for Barack Obama and Christopher Hitchens . . .  then absolutely rubbished Bill Richardson.

Andrea Mitchell had invited Eagleburger on to assess the list of potential Secretary of State nominees.  While he wasn't wildly enthusiatic about Hillary, she was his pick among those under serious consideration. When Mitchell suggested that Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience might prove useful, Eagleburger unloaded on Obama's lack of experience..

November 18, 2008, 8:02 AM EST

Repent, all ye owners of Suburbans, thou drivers of Explorers.  Mend thy ways, ye Escalade-loving louts!  Take heed of the warning the prophet Mika has vouchsafed unto you: greedy thou art; verily, destroyers of the environment be thee!

Oy.  Mika Brzezinski was on quite a roll this morning.  On the one hand, free-marketers would find much to agree with in Mika's arguments.  As noted here yesterday, whereas Joe Scarborough has been vigorously advocating a federal rescue of Detroit, Brzezinski favors bankruptcy over bailout. But Mika couldn't help muddling her message, delivering a jeremiad against Detroit for producing larger vehicles and Americans for buying them, actually condemning the latter as "greedy."

View video here.

November 17, 2008, 8:31 PM EST
Before a few weeks ago, I don't recall seeing Kathleen Parker much on TV.  But tuning into Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, there she was.  And when I got back from the gym and fired up my DVR of David Gregory's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?"  Yup, Parker redux.

Let's see.  What might possibly explain Kathleen Parker's sudden popularity on MSNBC?  You don't suppose it could conceivably have anything to do with her September column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket, do you?
November 17, 2008, 10:06 AM EST

Joe Scarborough didn't cotton to being called a "socialist," but that's just the label Krystia Freeland laid on him during today's Morning Joe.  The Financial Times editor used the s-word to describe what she mockingly described as Joe's "touching faith" in the wisdom of government bureaucrats when it comes to reorganizing Detroit automakers.

The Morning Joe host didn't take the insult lying down.

Panelist Pat Buchanan and Scarborough had been making the case over the course of the opening segments that Detroit was too important to be allowed to go under.  Then Freeland came on, preaching bankruptcy over bailout, and the ruckus erupted . . .

November 17, 2008, 7:58 AM EST

Forget Al Gore's measly 20-foot sea level rise from "An Inconvenient Truth."  That's small potatoes compared to the kind of catastrophe Meredith Vieira was talking about last night.  Kicking off NBC's Global Alarmism Green Week during the halftime of Sunday Night Football, Vieira raised the spectre of the seas rising . . . 200 feet!  Al imagined much of Manhattan under water, but if Meredith's scenario comes true, we're near to talking Manhattan, Kansas By The Sea! [H/t reader Mick L.]

Just one little problem:  Meredith's talk of 200 feet exaggerates the increase predicted by scientists by . . . literally hundreds of times.

November 16, 2008, 7:44 AM EST
Frank Rich has apparently figured out that after January 20, it's not going to be as much fun for him.  True, the Times columnist will surely disinter W as necessary to explain away Obama's missteps. But the buck for whatever post-inauguration problems the country faces will land ever more resoundingly on the new president's desk.

And so, like a vaudevillian tapping as fast as he can while anticipating the hook, Rich seems determined to spend these last few weeks of the Bush administration dancing on GOP graves and luxuriating in Republicans' perceived pain.  You might say Frank is making hatred while the sun shines.

As we discussed last week in Have Fun For Now, Frank, Rich's immediate post-election column was one long poke in the Republican eye.  The Timester is back at it again this morning, outdoing himself in sheer vitriol as he pour buckets of salt, generously seasoned with schadenfreude, into Republican wounds.

Annotated excerpts from The Moose Stops Here:
November 15, 2008, 7:47 PM EST

Is MSNBC being rewarded for having backed Obama?  That's what Jim Pinkerton suggests.  On this evening's Fox News Watch, the columnist and New America Foundation fellow cited the news that GE Capital, a subsidiary of MSNBC's parent company GE, has received a $139 billion government loan guarantee.

Host Jon Scott opened this evening's show opened with a clip of Chris Matthews [in a story that NB was first to report], saying that he saw as his "job" making the Obama presidency a success.  Pinkerton unloaded.

November 15, 2008, 8:31 AM EST

In the name of gender equality, the Today show plumped this morning for government regulation forcing health care insurers to charge men and women the same for individual policies even though women cost insurers more because of greater use of services.  Hasn't the financial crisis taught the MSM anything about the danger of government meddling in markets? No.

Insurers wind up paying out more in claims under women's policies than men's.  Under the circumstances, charging women the same as men would make as much sense as FedEx charging a flat shipping fee no matter how big the box.  But that didn't stop NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman and Today weekend co-host Amy Robach from decrying the unfairness of it all this morning.  Their solution? More government, of course.  They want legislation to force insurers to charge the sexes the same.

View video here.

November 14, 2008, 10:31 PM EST

By definition, projection is revealing of what lurks in a person's heart and mind.  Arianna Huffington projected tonight, and what she revealed wasn't pretty.  So much so, that even her liberal host hastened to diassociate herself from the HuffPo editor.  Huffington, grossly misquoting Grover Norquist's famous line about doing away with government, added an infanticidal twist.

Huffington was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show. The two shed crocodile tears about the diminished state of the Republican party.  It was in suggesting that, of all things, she and Maddow should head up a Marshall Plan to save the GOP that Huffington engaged in that ugly bit of projection.

November 13, 2008, 10:03 AM EST

Remember back during the campaign, when the Obama folks and their MSM cohorts adamantly denied that their man was a liberal?  That National Journal study that ranked him the most liberal senator?  Nonsense! Very misleading.  After all, this is the man who doesn't believe in a red America and a blue America, but in the United States of America. Someone with a history of reaching across partisan lines [even if no good examples were handy at the moment].

So . . . remember all that? Well, forget it.  Now that Obama is safely
ensconced in his Office of the President-Elect, the MSM can let the
[ill-concealed to many of us] cat out of the bag: yes, he's a liberal. Big time!  In fact, Obama is nothing less than the second coming of the biggest American liberal icon of all time: FDR!  Rick Stengel announced the news on today's Morning Joe.

November 12, 2008, 8:03 PM EST
Perhaps Luke Russert should drop his NBC gig as youth-vote specialist and become a full-time Republican consultant.  The son of the late Meet The Press host didn't hesitate this evening to share his advice to the GOP, which can be summarized in two words: go left.

The 23-year old Russert dropped his pearls of electoral wisdom while chatting with the hard-working Mika Brzezinski, guest-hosting for David Gregory on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after co-anchoring Morning Joe at the crack of dawn.

View video here.
November 12, 2008, 10:15 AM EST

It's not like Barack Obama is a socialist or anything. It's just that Thomas Friedman wants him to put a "government master" in charge of the country's biggest manufacturing sector. Friedman made his modest proposal in his New York Times column of today, and expanded on it during a Morning Joe appearance. [H/t reader Tom.]

Video also available here.

I've got three easy reasons why Friedman's idea won't work.

November 12, 2008, 7:03 AM EST
If Morning Joe seems every-so-slightly less up-to-date, there's a reason for it. The show is now seven seconds behind the times. A tape delay has been instituted in the wake of Joe Scarborough's unintentional dropping of an f-bomb two days ago.

B&C reported the change yesterday, and NewsBuster Ken Shepherd discussed it here.  The Morning Joe crew had fun with the move on today's show. Coming back from its first break, the show aired tape [via Jimmy Kimmel Live] of CNN's Rick Sanchez coming back from a break of his own.  With a screen over his shoulder reading "Transition to Power," Sanchez said: "We welcome you black.  Uh, welcome you back."  Point made: Joe's not the only cable TV guy capable of an embarrassing slip 'o the tongue.

The crew proceeded to a light-hearted discussion of the move to tape delay, with executive producer Chris Licht proudly displaying his finger poised on the red button.

View video here.