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
December 17, 2007, 9:57 AM EST

Is the MSM turning on Hillary?

Clinton began her Today interview with David Gregory with the radiant smile on display here. But it wasn't long before an irate Hillary was demanding "no, wait a minute" when things didn't go to her liking.

That's what a few minutes of serious Gregory grilling did to Clinton this morning. It was by far the most intense -- dare-I-say aggressive -- examination of Clinton I've seen this campaign season.

Throughout, Hillary clung as if to a life preserver to the endorsement she received from the Des Moines Register, whose editor is that same mirthless Carolyn Washburn who moderated the past week's debates. Strict School Marms of the World, Unite!

But Gregory kicked off his questioning by discounting the endorsement's value and things went downhill from there. Add the rough ride Gregory gave Clinton to the battering she took yesterday as noted here, here and here, and it's hard to escape the conclusion that the MSM has had it with Hillary.

View video here.

December 16, 2007, 8:11 PM EST
It's been a rough day for Hillary. First, as noted here, she was drummed from pillar to post on ABC's "This Week." NewsBuster Noel Sheppard then detailed here how Chris Matthews' crew raked her over the coals. Now, completing Hillary's troika of tribulation, the CBS Evening News has gotten into the act.

The development being reported was ostensibly positive for Hillary: the Des Moines Register today endorsed her. If CBS had stopped there, it would have been a plus for the Clinton campaign. But unfortunately for Hillary . . . the Evening News decided to play clips of Clinton on the stump in Iowa.
December 16, 2007, 1:28 PM EST

Worst job in America this morning: Clinton campaign staffer assigned to inform Hillary of her treatment at the hands of ABC's "This Week" panel.

From moderator George Stephanopoulos to former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile, to the husband-wife tandem of Jay Carney of Time and Claire Shipman of ABC, to conservative sage George Will, it was a decidedly downbeat take on Hillary's fortunes.

View video here.

December 16, 2007, 6:37 AM EST

The devil made Larry do it.

Don't blame Lawrence O'Donnell for his ugly anti-Mormon rant. It was really the fault of O'Donnell's fellow panelists. That's Frank Rich's take on the unseemly episode on the McLaughlin Group a couple Fridays ago.In his NY Times column of today, Rich claims that O'Donnell was:

pushed over the edge by his peers’ polite chatter about Mitt Romney’s sermon on “Faith in America.” [Emphasis added.]

Questions:

December 15, 2007, 12:18 PM EST

Gail Collins might not be as crude as Billy Shaheen. But in her own Grey Lady way, the NY Times columnist has recycled the insinuation that transformed Shaheen into an ex-Hillary co-chair.

Let's first have a look at Shaheen's statement, as reported by the Washington Post:

"The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight ... and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use." Shaheen said Obama's candor on the subject would "open the door" to further questions. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome."

Compare and contrast with this paragraph from the end of Collins's column of today, "Barack’s Blast From the Past" [emphasis added]:

December 15, 2007, 8:39 AM EST

It's official: Time magazine hates Dick Cheney.

Last week, I noted here that two of Time's Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2007, including it's # 1 pick, took shots at the Vice-President. This morning, two Time editors turned up on the Today show to discuss more picks from Time's collection of 50 Top 10 lists. And speaking of taking shots . . . .

View video here.

Today weekend anchor Amy Robach's guest was Time's Arts & Entertainment Editor Belinda Luscombe [pictured below]. After discussing the Top Song of the year ["Rehab" by defiant druggy Amy Winehouse] and Top Gadget [iPhone], talk turned to the Top Magazine Cover.

December 14, 2007, 4:37 PM EST

Those Clinton campaigners sure know how to slip the "subliminable" shiv in. Yesterday, chief Hillary strategist Mark Penn managed to work "cocaine use" into his comments while supposedly disassociating the campaign from charges of Obama drug use made by Hillary's New Hampshire chairman. See video of Penn in action here.

Today, it was the turn of Hillary supporter Evan Bayh to whack Barack while pretending to take the high road. A bit after 3 PM ET this afternoon, the Dem senator from Indiana with the Eagle Scout aura [who might well have his eye on the VP slot] was being interviewed by MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell about the current turmoil in Camp Clinton.

View video here.

December 14, 2007, 9:01 AM EST

Is the MSM deciding that Hillary is irreparably-damaged goods and that it's time to move on to a Dem with a better shot at winning the White House? You might think so after the Today show's dismemberment of the Clinton campaign this morning.

Andrea Mitchell kicked things off with sharp stiletto heel.

View video here.

December 13, 2007, 8:36 PM EST

This is getting wild . ..

The Iowa caucuses might be a few weeks off, but MSNBC pundits have already cast a resounding "no" vote in a referendum on Hillary's credibility. A bi-partisan consensus of blatherers today rejected the Clinton campaign's denial of involvement in NH co-chair Bill Shaheen's raising of Barack Obama's past involvement with drugs.

Meanwhile, things are getting downright nasty among top consultants to the frontrunners' campaigns . . . and Barack made Hillary regret her latest cackle.

View video here.

December 13, 2007, 8:35 AM EST

Claiming that someone is less popular than venereal disease is a quintessential hit below the belt. So if you were counseling a candidate to hit her opponent above the belt, the last person you'd suggest she hire is a guy who just compared someone to an STD . . . unless you're Chris Matthews.

Matthews's advice to Hillary Clinton is to hit Obama above the belt . . . by bringing in Paul Begala, the man who just this week used the VD comparison to slur President Bush.

The Hardball host was a guest on this morning's Today.

View video here.

December 12, 2007, 9:41 PM EST

Yeah, it was a yawner. Even so, in its coverage of today's GOP debate the MSM has overlooked one notable nugget: Mike Huckabee's fervent espousal of a radical egalitarianism that, at least in this NewsBuster's view, reflects a fundamental misreading of the Declaration of Independence and a departure from conservative principles.

View video here.

December 12, 2007, 1:17 PM EST

Mika Brzezinski: back on the crime beat with another loopy liberal take on reality . . .

Yesterday, the resident lefty on the Morning Joe panel -- defying the facts of the volunteer guard who stopped the Colorado church shooter -- labeled as "the most inane thing" she'd ever heard the notion that one armed citizen could make a difference.

Today, in a breathtaking bit of revisionist history, Brzezinski tried to credit notoriously lax former Mayor David Dinkins rather than Rudy Giuliani for making NYC safe. So fierce was the return fire from Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough that, as pictured here, Mika ultimately took refuge under a sheaf of paper.

View video here.

December 11, 2007, 9:59 AM EST

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterDon't confuse Mika Brzezinski with the facts. She's anti-gun and is not about to let some stunning counter-evidence change her mind.

If ever there was an illustration of how an armed citizen can make a difference, it is the case of Jeanne Assam, the brave woman who took out the killer at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. And yet . . .

On today's Morning Joe, Mika -- in newsreader mode -- dutifully reported the incident. But when Joe Scarborough sought to draw the logical inference, Mika put her anti-gun foot down.

View video here.

December 11, 2007, 7:35 AM EST
What do you know? Time magazine ran a list of the Top Ten Editorial Cartoons of 2007, and the only American political figures coming in for lampooning were . . . conservatives.

Four of the cartoons were not explicitly political [sex habits of the elderly, contaminated products from China, VA Tech shootings, Barry Bonds steroids scandal].

But of those that satirized political figures, all were Republicans or conservatives:
December 10, 2007, 6:05 PM EST

Just in case you thought Paul Begala's boorishness knew any bounds . . .

Bill Clinton's former adviser was a guest on the Situation Room this afternoon on CNN. Talk turned to the strategy Republicans should adopt in upcoming special elections.

WOLF BLITZER: How much of a lightning rod -- you're an expert on this subject -- will Hillary Clinton be for Republicans out there, cause they're already, in some of these special elections that are coming up, they're already pointed to her to try to help Republican candidates?

View video here.

December 10, 2007, 7:21 AM EST

As Republican primary campaign slogans go, "Endorsed by Frank Rich!" might not be a candidate's strongest play. But for better or worse Mike Huckabee is essentially stuck with it after Rich's NYT's column of yesterday. The ostensible theme of "The Republicans Find Their Obama" is that Republican voters are leaning toward Huckabee for the same reasons that Dems are trending to Obama: that both men are relatively young, speak across racial lines, are witty and avoid hyper-partisanship.

But dig down a bit deeper, and it appears that Huckabee's real appeal for Rich is that, social issues aside, he is the most liberal of the GOP frontrunners. Making his case for Huckabee, Rich goes so far to dabble in Christian theology [emphasis added]:

December 9, 2007, 7:28 AM EST

Steve Fraser might look mild-mannered, but when it comes to economic doomsaying, he is the Rocky Marciano of recession, the Tiger Woods of turndown, the David Beckham of depression.

Speaking of bending one, Fraser's LA Times column of today, "Symptoms of an Economic Depression," twists U.S. economic data into a harbinger of impending doom. Fraser begins by falsely claiming that "no one wants to utter the word 'depression.'" In fact, Fraser himself, a left-wing labor historian, wants not merely to utter it, but to bellow the word with a 10,000 megawatt bullhorn. Why? Because, as he gleefully predicts in that same column:

This perfect storm [of a bad economy] will be upon us just as the election season heats up, and it will inevitably hasten the already well-advanced implosion of the Republican Party.
December 8, 2007, 10:57 AM EST
Lawrence O'Donnell, already infamous for his in-your-face rant at John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans, is at it again. This time, the object of O'Donnell's obloquy is Mitt Romney, and in particular his Mormon religion. Appearing on last night's McLaughlin group, O'Donnell indulged in an angry, protracted condemnation of Mormonism.

Excerpts:
  • This was the worst political speech of my lifetime. Because this man stood there and said to you "this is the faith of my fathers." And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith. As of 1978 it was an officially racist faith, and for political convenience in 1978 it switched. And it said "OK, black people can be in this church." He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black because in heaven they turned away from God, in this demented, Scientology-like notion of what was going on in heaven before the creation of the earth.
View video here.
December 7, 2007, 8:17 AM EST
NewsBusters.org --- Media Research Center"We'll go to a revival and then go to Guantanamo Bay and torture some people just for fun." -- David Shuster on evangelicals, 12-7-07


So astonishingly malicious were the words of David Shuster today that they leave me at a loss for words of my own. So let's just say it simply: David Shuster is an anti-evangelical bigot.

Video (0:35): Real (991 kB) and Windows (1.11 MB), plus MP3 audio (274 kB).

December 6, 2007, 12:12 PM EST

Pat Buchanan was very moved. Chris Matthews "heard greatness this morning." Joe Scarborough said Romney "hit it out the park." But with his speech on faith this morning, Mitt clearly didn't make a believer out of Sally Quinn, doyenne of the DC establishment and wife of former WaPo editor Ben Bradlee.

SALLY QUINN: I have to say that I'm really stunned because I think it was an obliteration of the idea of the separation of church and state. He eliminated anybody who was a doubter, an atheist, an agnostic, a seeker. It's like, if you believe in God or Christ, if not, you're not.

View video here.