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
November 16, 2007, 10:58 AM EST

Rush Limbaugh has often indicated that he has no beef with Wolf Blizter. And I must say that I've generally found Blitzer to be a straight shooter who has rarely-if-ever provided grist for my NewsBusting mill.

All of which makes that much more perplexing Blitzer's bail-out at arguably the key moment last night's debate. The CNN anchor's failure to follow up on Hillary's monosyllabic answer on driver's licenses for illegals, letting her slide with her terse "no," was in my opinion the greatest single act of journalistic malpractice thus far in this campaign season.

November 16, 2007, 8:35 AM EST
Which prominent pundit has called Barack Obama a "sucker" and a "fool"?

A. Rush Limbaugh
B. Ann Coulter
C. Michelle Malkin
D. Mark Levin
E. Laura Ingraham

Jeopardy theme-music playing . . .

November 15, 2007, 5:06 PM EST
In recent times, Al Gore has been in the winner's circle. From the Oscar to the Nobel to NBC's adoring Green Week, Al has known nothing but triumph.

Imagine his chagrin, then, to learn that in one important category he has lost out to none other than . . . O.J. Simpson.
November 15, 2007, 9:50 AM EST

L. Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center, NB's parent, made an appearance on today's "Morning Joe." Brent is the author, with MRC/NB's Tim Graham, of the recently-released "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell you About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will."

Look for comprehensive coverage of Brent's appearance from my colleagues at MRC and NB during the day. But for present purposes, let's focus on one point Brent made that speaks volumes about the depth of the MSM's partisanship -- that for broadcast networks, promoting liberal ideology trumps even the bottom line.

Video (8:12): Real (6.04 MB) or Windows (5.02 MB), plus MP3 audio (3.75 MB).

November 15, 2007, 6:51 AM EST
"Good evening, this is Katie Couric. I'll be anchoring our Decision 2008 coverage tonight, as the world elects the next President of the United States. The polls closed just minutes ago in Pakistan but we're already able to declare Barack Obama the runaway winner in the Islamabad Capital Territory, and he seems poised to pull off a clean sweep of all Pakistan's provinces."

OK, not even the New York Times is proposing -- yet -- giving the vote to everyone in the world. But for whatever reason, the Times's Roger Cohen apparently thinks the best thing he can say about Barack Obama is that -- given the chance -- he's the candidate that most people around the world, including Pakistanis, would put in the White House.

November 14, 2007, 6:06 PM EST
Captain Renault would be shocked: Hillary Clinton's campaign put pressure on Eliot Spitzer to drop his disastrous licenses-for-illegals plan.

The word came from crack NY Post Albany reporter Fred Dicker [pictured here], appearing on this afternoon's Hardball.

View video here.
November 14, 2007, 9:54 AM EST

When thinking of Hillary Clinton, do the adjectives "moderate" and "spontaneous" spring to mind? They do for Joe Klein, assigned by Time magazine to write its cover-story profile of her last week.

Joe Scarborough let Klein's characterization slide this morning. But when Klein played the "spontaneous" card on last night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews devastated him with a clip of Hillary at her wooden worst [second video link, at foot].

Klein offered his assessment during the 8:30 AM ET half-hour of today's "Morning Joe.

View video here.

November 14, 2007, 7:05 AM EST
Q. Who could possibly be "surprised" that in choosing women to date, college-aged men tend to prefer beauty over brains?

A. An Ivy League professor.

What is truly surprising is that Maureen Dowd thinks this commonplace about men's preferences has implications for Hillary's campaign strategy. Dowd propounds her odd theory in her column of this morning, "Should Hillary Pretend to Be a Flight Attendant?"

November 13, 2007, 5:55 PM EST
In the most florid criticism I can recall a network "correspondent" leveling at a major party presidential candidate, MSNBC's David Shuster has branded Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) a border-control "fanatic."

The editorializing came in the course of Shuster's report during today's 5 PM ET "Hardball," which included an update on the GOP primary.
DAVID SHUSTER: No television commercial in Iowa is generating as much heat as the one just unveiled by Republican Tom Tancredo, a border-control fanatic.

View video here.

November 13, 2007, 1:15 PM EST
Barbara Walters wanted "The View" audience to understand that she normally disagrees with Bill O'Reilly. But when it came to his views on child-rearing, Walters had to admit that she largely agreed with the Factor host. And that depressed her.

O'Reilly, the father of two young children, appeared on today's View to promote his new book on child-rearing and related issues, Kids Are Americans Too.

View video here.
November 13, 2007, 7:32 AM EST

America will have no one to blame but itself if it doesn't seize the opportunity to elect Barack Obama. That was the essence of a comment Michelle Obama made to Mika Brzezinski in the course of an interview the MSNBCer conducted with the candidate's wife in Iowa over the weekend.

The comments aired on today's "Morning Joe" during the 6:30 AM ET half-hour.

View video here.

November 12, 2007, 6:59 PM EST

UPDATE: 11-13 9:35 AM: Did Hillary answer a second planted question at the event? See foot.

What did Hillary Clinton know about the planted question in Iowa and when did she know it?

The Clinton campaign and apparently Clinton herself are denying she had any idea she was calling on a plant. But according to information in the New York Times, Clinton campaign aides had in fact prompted her to call on the plant.

At 10:51 AM ET this morning, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall interviewed Hillary campaign co-chair Tom Vilsack, the former Dem governor of Iowa.

TAMRON HALL: Senator Clinton herself said she knew nothing about this and promised it would not happen again . . .

TOM VILSACK: Obviously Hillary Clinton does not condone the planting of questions; she did not know that this young person had been given that question.

View video here.

Vilsack elaborated on his answer later in the interview.

November 12, 2007, 9:05 AM EST

UPDATE, see below: Shuster says "watch the wink."

Sometimes, the smallest gestures are the most significant . . .

Have a look at the freeze-frame. It shows the moment at which the young woman in Iowa this weekend is retaking her seat after posing that planted question to Hillary about climate change. As you'll see, she's flashing someone a conspiratorial wink and smile. "Morning Joe" rolled the video of the moment at 6:43 and 7:01 AM ET today and MSNBC has been replaying throughout the day.

But for a driver's license and a wink, was a nomination was lost?

Video: Real (648 KB) or Windows (716 KB), plus MP3 (112 KB)

November 12, 2007, 6:52 AM EST

Guess I won't be calling Mika Brzezinski a "newsreader" again anytime soon. The "Morning Joe" panelist went to Iowa over the weekend and scored an in-depth interview with Michelle Obama that elicited a highly-controversial suggestion from the candidate's wife. According to Mrs. Obama, her husband isn't polling better among African-Americans because in the back of their minds, many blacks think "others" are better.

View video here.

November 11, 2007, 1:13 PM EST

Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.

And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?

View video here.

November 11, 2007, 9:57 AM EST

How overmatched were the two lukewarm-at-best Republicans that "Today" tossed in against two partisan Dems this morning? If NBC scheduled this unfair a fight for Sunday Night Football, Al Michaels would be calling the play-by-play between the New England Patriots and the proverbial Little Sisters of Mercy.

The Today show's farce of a "voter panel" was invited to discuss politics and the state of the country this morning. With tens of millions of voters to choose from, NBC can of course contrive any cross-section it wants. So the views expressed by the participants say relatively little about the mood of the country -- but a lot about the network's own political bias.

View video here.

November 10, 2007, 2:07 PM EST

Just two days ago, Gail Collins christened her column about the Pat Robertson endorsement "Pat Loves Rudy."

As I observed then, "a conservative columnist writing the equivalent might well be condemned for making an unsubtle appeal to homophobia. But Collins will surely get a pass in PC quarters, since it's a well-established fact that liberals are incapable of prejudice."

Then comes today's column -- and I'll be darned if Collins hasn't done it again.

November 9, 2007, 8:02 PM EST

Liberals wouldn't lift a finger to stop the torturing to death of an unborn child. But put a terrorist [or a baby seal, for that matter] in the block and watch them spring into sensitive-soul mode.

Rosa Brooks epitomizes the mindset in her current LA Times column, "Torture: the new abortion." Her notion is that among Republicans, the new litmus test for presidential candidates is not opposition to abortion but support for U.S. officials who order the "torture of prisoners."

November 9, 2007, 8:21 AM EST

"Green Week" at "Today" came in with an Al Gore roar but went out with a travelogue whimper. What happened?

View video [from MSNBC site] here.

On Monday, "Today" kicked off Green Week with an Al Gore interview in which he proclaimed there was no room for dissenting voices on global warming. Over at MSNBC the same day, an NBC environmental "correspondent" urged viewers to vote for candidates with an environmentalist agenda.

But this morning, "Green Week" at "Today" went out on a mysteriously innocuous note. Gone, at least during the crucial first-half hour, was the environmentalist crusading, replaced by little more than a travelogue. Instead of global warming, the focus was Ann Curry's personal accomplishment in Antarctica [note the screen graphic].

November 9, 2007, 6:59 AM EST
Being against the war after she was for it, could it be soon be time for Hillary to be for it again?

The question arises in light of the findings by Charles Franklin [pictured here] at Pollster.com. According to his November 6th Pollster.com analysis, there has been a "remarkable" shift, in a positive direction, in public opinion on the war in Iraq.

Excerpts from Franklin's Ten Months of Opinion Change on War and More [emphasis added]: