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.  He spent ten days in Iraq in November, 2006, mainly in Anbar Province. Email: mark.finkelstein@gmail.com
 

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
April 21, 2008, 8:55 AM EDT

"What is mysterious, what is mysterious about the phrase 'variable rate'?"—George Will, This Week, March 30, 2008
Mystery is in the eyes of the borrower–and the MSM. The term "variable rate" in a mortgage might seem straightforward enough to George Will and our erudite NB readers, but to a college-educated homeowner–and ABC's Kate Snow–it's apparently a real brain twister.

Snow hosted a segment on this morning's GMA dedicated to determining how the various presidential candidates' proposals would address the problems of sub-prime borrowers. As is the MSM's wont, ABC focused on a single sympathetic case, that of the Cruz-Rivera family in Philly.
April 21, 2008, 6:06 AM EDT

Cindy Brunson's report on Lorena Ochoa's winning streak wasn't a mere double-bogey. Think of it as a shank into the lake, or better yet, that most inept stroke of all: a total whiff. Apparently desperate for a feminist angle on Ochoa's success, the ESPN News anchor decided to drag Title IX and the ERA into her account.

Ochoa's victory at the Ginn Open was her fourth LPGA win in a row. Here's how Brunson reported it during the 5 AM ET edition of ESPN News:

CINDY BRUNSON: It's been 45 years since we've seen someone on the LPGA Tour win four straight tournaments in as many weeks. Back when Mickey Wright pulled off the winning quartet in 1963, both Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment were still ideas, not laws. And to world's #1 Lorena Ochoa, admittedly feeling fatigued after winning in her native Mexico last week, but poised to rewrite the record books in Tigeresque fashion Sunday.

View video here.

April 19, 2008, 8:26 AM EDT

With the Olympics coming on, what's more poignant than the image of the sprinter hopefully awaiting the official time, only to learn he missed the record by 1/100th of a second? I'm in that same heartbroken mood for the Associated Press this morning. The wire service came so close to equalling the world record for revealing the Republican party affiliation of someone finding himself sideways of the law. Check out the first sentence from this AP story of April 17th:

A Republican congressional candidate was charged Thursday with felony burglary and criminal trespass stemming from an encounter last year with an ex-girlfriend.
April 19, 2008, 7:10 AM EDT
The left-wing blogosphere's outrage against ABC ["Boycott Fig Newtons!"] over its allegedly unfair questioning of Obama during Wednesday's debate has seeped over into the MSM in the form of Derrick Z. Jackson's Boston Globe column of this morning. While the headline moots the matter in the interrogative "Tough questions or just plain bias?", there's no doubt as to the answer in Jackson's mind. Just two paragraphs in, the columnist unleashes [emphasis added]:
In some 1,600 words of transcript, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos tried to eviscerate Obama in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
April 18, 2008, 10:36 PM EDT

Hillary–gone in a week? Yes, if you believe Michael Smerconish.

The Philly-based radio talk show host was the only Pennsylvanian on the panel on this evening's Race for the White House on MSNBC. He saved his bombshell for last. Nothing in the kibitzing preceding the show-closing Predictions segment foreshadowed Smerconish's surprising suggestion. But when it came time to break out the crystal ball, Smerconish unloaded.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Mine's a two-parter. Part one: Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Barack Obama 51, Hillary Clinton 49%. Part two: Thursday, 4 PM Eastern: Hillary Clinton suspends her campaign.
April 17, 2008, 1:00 PM EDT

In our nation's history, there are few images more heroic, more sacred in a civil sense, than that of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Time has now twisted, and enlisted, that image for its "war on global warming."

Time editor Rick Stengel, making his regular Thursday appearance on Morning Joe to tout the week's cover story, naturally thought it was a wonderful idea. He also explained why Time decided to editorialize in favor of a "massive" effort to combat global warming.

View video here.

April 17, 2008, 9:03 AM EDT

Just a puny personal pronoun, yet one that perhaps spoke volumes about MSM attitudes toward religion. On the occasion of the Mass that Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating later day at DC's Nationals Park, Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez interviewed Father Thomas Williams, a Roman Catholic priest who also serves as a CBS religion analyst.

For the liberal media, even a subject as seemingly innocuous as a nice spring day can suddenly turn into a PC minefield should it put an MSMer in the position of having to recognize God's work, as this exchange suggests.

View video here.

April 16, 2008, 2:15 PM EDT

If Barack Obama is looking for proof there are indeed bitter Americans out there, he need look no further than across the kitchen table.

Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Michelle Obama on the stump that I can only call stunning. By her tone, and her language both verbal and physical, this is one angry lady. The transcript below doesn't begin to convey Mrs. Obama's apparent rage.

That Bill Clinton was elected twice is proof that an angry wife is no bar to office. But Michelle Obama's level of ire can certainly be no asset on the campaign trail. Morning Joe did air it, but just how much MSM coverage will we see of what I would sincerely call an astounding piece of video?

April 16, 2008, 9:06 AM EDT

During Morning Joe's opening segment today, Joe Scarborough, in an apparent allusion to the ambitions Chris Matthews has expressed, facetiously wondered whether the panel should start calling the Hardball host "Senator."

But just a bit later, Scarborough seized on a question Matthews posed to John McCain yesterday to illustrate a classic bit of MSM bias: the way the liberal media only speak of a "litmus test" when it comes to Republicans choosing pro-life nominees, never in regard to Dems picking pro-choicers.

April 15, 2008, 8:00 AM EDT

Stephen Colbert called it "an announcement." Chris Matthews went on the Comedy Central show last night and, responding to the host's importuning to declare his candidacy for US Senator from Pennsylvania, ultimately stated: "I want to be a senator."

Over on MSNBC, Morning Joe played a clip of their colleague's appearance, then chewed it over.
STEPHEN COLBERT: There's a lot of talk that you might be running for Arlen Specter's seat.
Matthews first played it coy.
April 14, 2008, 9:53 PM EDT

What do you find more shocking? That lefty Air America host Rachel Maddow:
  • Says she's an "awesome shot," good at blowing people away on the target range?
  • Thinks Barack Obama has gotten a bum rap from the MSM?
I'd call it a tossup.

Maddow made her statements on this evening's Race for the White House on MSNBC. First came Maddow's mention of being handy with a gun.
April 14, 2008, 2:28 PM EDT
Hillary logo via HillaryClinton.com Can it be a coincidence that just hours after Bob Novak published his column reporting that it's unclear just who is directing Hillary's campaign--Mark Penn or Geoff Garin--the latter dashed off an email to supporters claiming to be in charge? But if Garin really does have the reins, why is the campaign employing tactics that Novak suggests would be worthy of the "kamikaze" Penn?

Wrote Novak:
April 14, 2008, 9:21 AM EDT

Q: Since when does an MSMer care about "decorum"?

A: Since it can be used to take a shot at the woman who would deprive his guy of the Dem nomination.

ABC's David Wright is a devoted Obama fan, as NewsBusters has noted here, here and here. Discussing on today's GMA Hillary's foray into a working-class Indiana bar over the weekend, Wright not only faulted Hillary for her lack of decorum, but even managed to work some class warfare into the mix.

View video here.

April 14, 2008, 6:49 AM EDT

Do we all get free wooden shoes? Barack Obama didn't say. But he does have an Impossible Dream to cut poverty that would make Don Quixote proud. Put people to work . . . building windmills. His idea came in response to a question at last night's Compassion Forum on CNN from Jim Wallis, a leading member of the religious left whose focus is "social justice." Wallis wanted Obama to commit to a new War on Poverty.

View video here.

JIM WALLIS: As you reminded us a week or two ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed 40 years ago, he wasn't just speaking about civil rights. He was fighting for economic justice. Was about to launch a poor people's campaign. Yet, four decades after the anniversary of his death, the poverty rate in America is virtually unchanged and 1 in 6 of our children are poor in the richest nation in the world. So in the faith community, we are wanting a new commitment around a measurable goal, something like cutting poverty in half in ten years. Would you commit -- would you at this historic compassion forum, commit to such a goal tonight and if elected, tell us how you would mobilize the nation, mobilize us to achieve that goal?
Surely, you'd think, the candidate wouldn't fall into that big-government trap. Think again . . .
April 13, 2008, 2:10 PM EDT

Should Hillary make it to the White House, don't look for Bill to be taking an early twirl on the Inauguration Ball dance floor with Nancy Pelosi. Appearing on today's Face the Nation, Madame Speaker made a nasty joke at the former president's expense.

Host Bob Schieffer [who might have experienced some schadenfreude this week with all the talk of Katie Couric being pushed out of the Evening News anchor chair he kept warm for her], asked Pelosi what might have prompted Bill Clinton to resurrect the issue of Hillary's tussle with the Tuzla truth. He had famously chalked it up to the tribulations of a tired 60-year old late at night. In answer, Pelosi sardonically suggested Bill might have had a senior moment of his own.
April 12, 2008, 8:51 PM EDT

You might think MSM support for the raid by Texas state authorities on the polygamist compound in Eldorado would be a slam dunk. After all, the religion involved is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Not just Mormons: fundamentalists Mormons! Throw in patriarchy and allegations of exploitation of young women, and surely the feminist-inspired liberal media would be cheering on the bust.

But not so fast. Support this intervention, and perhaps a precedent is established for restrictions on unorthodox family arrangements of a more PC tint.

Take the comments of Jonathan Turley on today's Good Morning America. The George Washington law school professor went so far as to strongly suggest that the ban on polygamy is unconstitutional. And co-anchor Bill Weir was anything but unsympathetic to Turley's arguments.
April 12, 2008, 7:56 AM EDT

CORRECTION: This item originally cited Ace of Spades as having uncovered that Obama's mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a man with Communist roots. It was in fact Cliff Kincaid at Accuracy in Media. I regret the error.

Religion is the opiate of the masses. -- Karl Marx, 1843

It's not surprising that they get bitter, they cling to . . . religion . . . as a way to explain their frustrations. -- Barack Obama, 2008
Has anyone else pointed out the striking similarity between Barack Obama's recent statement about tough economic times driving people to religion and that of another person who preached change: Karl Marx?

Obama added guns and xenophobia to his list of proletarian elixirs for bitterness. But the fundamental point remains: Barack apparently doesn't take religion, his own or anyone else's, too seriously. It's not a search for truth or an attempt to live in accordance with God's word. It's just a way to get by, a stupefacient that helps proles endure the pain of living in an economy unfairly dominated by the "haves." Karl would concur.

This morning's Today did take up the controversy that Obama's remark has kicked up. View video here.

April 11, 2008, 9:01 PM EDT

Not that it comes as a surprise, but should Chris Matthews reveal his pro-Obama rooting interest as blatantly as he did today?

On this evening's Hardball, the man who gets a thrill from Barack expressed "concern" that Hillary might have a stronger-than-expected finish in the Pennsylvania Dem primary. Matthews was reading the tea leaves with two Keystone State pros: Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer and veteran journalist Larry Kane. After Kane reported that the Obama people are more optimistic than they're letting on, and believe it's going to be a "close finish," Matthews let his Obama slip show in this exchange with Polman.
April 11, 2008, 8:34 AM EDT

Must be something about midnight. Sometime between 11 PM and 3 AM, Hillary Clinton is transformed from a sleepy sexagenarian who can't keep her facts straight into a bold Commander-in-Chief dealing decisively with the crisis of the moment.

We all know about Hillary's 3 AM mastery. As for 11 PM, Bill Clinton went on the campaign trail in Indiana yesterday and chalked up his wife's problems with the truth of Tuzla to the senior moments that afflict people of her age at that time of night.
April 9, 2008, 8:51 PM EDT

A week ago I was mystified when Chris Matthews went out of his way to butter up Ed Rendell when the Dem Pennsylvania governor appeared on Hardball, and described the schmoozing here. Now, call it mystery likely solved. According to one account, Matthews has approached Rendell for help in a possible 2010 U.S. Senate run. That seems an ever-more-likely scenario, given Matthews's decidely non-Shermanesque response to a suggestion that he's well-positioned to make a run against Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in 2010.

The "Hardball" host's intriguing comments came in response to Philly-based radio talk show host Michael Smerconish who speculated on Wednesday's show about the possibility of a Matthews Senate campaign.

Unexpectedly, the former Tip O'Neill aide declined to tamp down the rumor: