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 8, 2007, 12:53 PM EST

When Rush Limbaugh opened today's show by mentioning that the New York Times had relegated to page A19 the story of the ridding of Al Qaeda-in-Iraq from all of Baghdad, I actually thought he might be joking. Surely not even the Times could be so brazenly biased as to bury such a huge story reflecting the success of the surge.

But, sure enough, Rush was right. Page A19 is precisely the remote location to which the Times banished the story. And to further diminish the number of people who would learn the good news, the paper stuck this bland headline on it:

November 8, 2007, 6:34 AM EST

Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.

But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:

November 7, 2007, 3:36 PM EST

My October 20th item, "Obama: No Hand on Heart for National Anthem," focused on a "Time" photo of Barack Obama in Iowa in September at Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry. In contrast with the other candidates, Obama was shown not placing his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem. A reproduction of the photo is seen here, as displayed on today's "Morning Joe."

Video from November 5 "Morning Joe" (2:02):
Real (1.50 MB) and Windows (1.26 MB), plus MP3 audio (952 kB).

I believe I may have been the first person in the blogosphere to discuss the story. Fox News subsequently made reference to the matter on a couple shows, but to my knowledge no other major news shows picked it up. Yet the story took on a life of its own. The item here continued to attract thousands of new readers every day [over 107,000 hits at last count], dozens of other sites picked it up, and emails began circulating that included the photo. I've received far more email about it than for any other item I've posted. Although some people have written to criticize the item, the great majority of the messages are critical of Sen. Obama. This story has clearly touched a nerve with many Americans.

November 7, 2007, 7:27 AM EST

UPDATE: Mark appeared this morning on the G. Gordon Liddy show to discuss this and other issues. Listen to audio clip here.

OK, class, someone tell us: what's been the attitude of the New York Times and the elite media at large toward democracy-building in Iraq?

What's that, Johnny? That it was naive for George Bush to imagine that democracy was attainable in a Muslim country riven by religious and ethnic factions? Correct.

OK, then, who'd like to predict the Times's reaction to Pres. Bush's measured response to the curtailing of democracy in Pakistan by Pervez Musharraf, perhaps our most important ally in the region in the war against terrorism?

What's that, Janie? Pakistan being another Muslim country riven by religious and ethnic factions, George Bush has adopted the appropriately pragmatic course?

November 6, 2007, 5:58 PM EST

Is it conceivable that Bill Clinton doesn't want Hillary to win? Chris Matthews floated the possibility on this afternoon's "Hardball."

View video here.

At the top of the show, Matthews played a clip from Bill Clinton's remarks last night to the American Postal Worker's Union. Clinton analogized the criticism of Hillary's evasive debate performance last week in Philly to the Swiftboat ads on John Kerry and attacks on Al Gore and former Dem senator Max Cleland.

November 6, 2007, 11:19 AM EST

Is nothing sacred, not even the samba?

Yesterday we were griping about the way NBC's "Green Week" crusade had infiltrated a perfectly good NFL football game. Today brings news that not even the presumably politics-free "Dancing With the Stars" is immune from BDS.

"Morning Joe" today twice rolled tape from last night's "Dancing with the Stars" in which Len Goodman, a Brit who is the head judge, managed to sneak in a shot at President Bush. He was speaking to a dancing pair, apparently after their performance.

View video here.

November 6, 2007, 7:16 AM EST
Will Joe Scarborough be sent to NBC's environmentalist re-education camp and subjected to an endless loop of "An Inconvenient Truth"? The "Morning Joe" host gave a number of hints today that he is less-than-thrilled by the doctrinaire environmentalism the network is imposing on viewers and employees alike during its "Green Week."

Scarborough's show-opening line was a not-overly-subtle dig at the seemingly endless greenery.

View video here.
November 5, 2007, 9:26 PM EST
Chris Matthews can't get enough of John Edwards' brutal-but-funny anti-Hillary ad, playing it twice during this evening's "Hardball." Set to the Blue Danube Waltz and based on clips from last week's debate, the theme is Hillary's double-talk on Iraq, Social Security and immigration [her triple-toe loop on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants].

But in the three-cushion game that is presidential billiards, two of Chris's guests surmised that the ad, in taking down Hillary, would likely redound to Barack Obama's benefit.

View video here [includes the Edwards' ad].
November 5, 2007, 12:04 PM EST

Not that there was any doubt about the ulterior motives behind NBC's "Green Week," but we didn't expect the Peacock Network to be quite this brazen. This morning on MSNBC, an NBC environmental "correspondent," who as you'll see has an impressive resume as a left-wing activist, openly urged viewers [on the eve of Election Day] to vote for politicians with an environmentalist agenda.

Video (2:18): Real (1.70 MB) and Windows Media (1.42), plus MP3 audio (1.04).

Meterologist Jackie Meretsky was in NYC, reporting live 67 stories up at the "Top of the [NBC] Rock," overlooking Central Park. At 10:12 AM ET, she interviewed Simran Sethi [shown on the right], whom she described as the "brand new environmental correspondent for NBC" and "the greenest person in the organization."

November 5, 2007, 8:50 AM EST

Did Al Gore win his Nobel for "peace," or did it perhaps come in a new category: comedy? I ask in the wake of his rib-tickling routine on this morning's "Today." Al, that inveterate card, actually claimed that the MSM's coverage of global warming is . . . too balanced.

View video here.

November 5, 2007, 6:37 AM EST
There's nowhere to hide from NBC's omnipresent "Green Week," of which NB readers are sure to be hearing plenty in coming days. NBC's eco-activism even made its way into what you'd normally hope would be a refuge from MSM politics: football.

"Green Week" reared its head during NBC's broadcast of last night's NFL game between Dallas and Philadelphia, played in the City of Brotherly Love.
November 4, 2007, 5:41 AM EST

The United States is not the only country turning out spoiled children, ungrateful for the blessings of life in their land. Cuba is suffering from the same affliction, to judge by "My father's 'crime'" by Yan Valdes Morejon, which appears in today's Boston Globe.

Morejon's column turns out to be just one long complaint. Rather than giving proper thanks for all the wonders of the workers' paradise, like members of our MSM regularly do, it's filled with this kind of kvetching:

November 3, 2007, 8:44 AM EDT
"Character is destiny." -- Heraclitus, pre-Socratic philosopher

Which tells you more about what kind of president a candidate would make:
a. Her positions on the nursing shortage, Social Security and internet decency; or
b. The way she responds under pressure?
I'm guessing that, like me, the great majority of people would opt for "b."

Ah, but the sensitive souls of the Boston Globe editoral board aren't the great majority of people. Their editorial of this morning, "A debate, not a prize fight," is one long vote for 'a.'
November 2, 2007, 9:50 AM EDT

Talk about talking down the economy! No fewer than three times today, Matt Lauer invited Barack Obama to declare that the U.S. economy is headed into recession. At the end of a "Today" interview that focused largely on Hillary-related issues and Iran, Lauer turned to the economy and pressed Obama to predict the worst.

View video here.

November 2, 2007, 7:24 AM EDT

<p><img src="/static/2007/10/2007-11-02MSNBCMJFund.jpg" align="right" />The fact has been out there for <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/09... time</a>, but never garnered much media attention. Now, in the context of the current debate over the granting of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, will there be renewed focus on this chilling reality? Could this be the factoid that changes a presidential election? As John Fund wrote in his Wall Street Journal <a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110010814">column </a>today and discussed during his &quot;Morning Joe&quot; appearance:</p><blockquote><b>After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.</b><br /></blockquote><p>View video of Fund's &quot;Morning Joe&quot; appearance <a href="/static/2007/10/2007-11-02MSNBCMJFund.wmv">here</a>.<br /> </p><p>And what made it so simple for them to register? As Fund explains:

November 1, 2007, 7:49 AM EDT
I'm part of the enlightened MSM elite, happy to embrace Barack Obama. But, sigh, there are many benighted folks across our land not as sophisticated as I. You know: "Reagan Democrats," who just won't vote for an African-American. And the Republicans would plan to appeal to their racism to attack Obama.

That, in sum, was Joe Scarborough's condescending analysis of Barack Obama's presidential prospects, offered up on today's "Morning Joe." Fortunately, guest Pat Buchanan was there to gently correct him.

Panelist Mika Brzezinski kicked off the discussion of which Dem the Republicans could more easily "demonize."

View video here.
October 31, 2007, 5:58 PM EDT
"Bill Clinton: caution, slippery when wet." -- George H.W. Bush, 1992 RNC convention.
"The Clintons have a reputation of being slippery and hard to pin down. Last night Clinton underscored that on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should have drivers licenses." -- David Shuster, "Hardball," 10-31-07

Was that really David Shuster? Or could Shuster, like opera singer Enrico Pallazzo in "Naked Gun," have been tied up in a dressing room as a Halloween impostor echoed George H.W.'s 1992 characterization of the Clintons? Be that as it may, on this afternoon's "Hardball" someone looking like the normally Dem-friendly Shuster did indeed accuse Hillary of underscoring her slippery reputation with her drivers-license debate dodge.

View video here.

October 31, 2007, 7:06 AM EDT
Obama, goner? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. Here's what the MSNBC host had to say on today's "Morning Joe":
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yesterday, way too late in the afternoon, I did an hour on "Super Tuesday" [MSNBC's weekly Election 2008 special] and was interviewing A.B. Stoddard, journalist of "The Hill," and I asked her about Barack Obama, was he going to step forward? And she gave a great answer, and she said what a lot of people are not saying right now, she said, "you know what, Joe? He just doesn't have it in him."
View video here.
October 30, 2007, 5:12 PM EDT
What's a good-looking young girl like you doing with a weird old guy like him? And what's up with the tongue-ring?

Norah O'Donnell all but asked the first question of Elizabeth Kucinich this afternoon, and did ask the second one.

View video here.
October 30, 2007, 9:58 AM EDT
A billionaire and a receptionist walk into an IRS bar. They each order a beer. The IRS bartender charges the receptionist $2.50 and the billionaire $2,260. Who got undercharged? If you're Warren Buffett or Tom Brokaw, the answer is . . . the billionaire.

As NB Editor Brent Baker has noted, the NBC Nightly News "decided Monday night to base a story on a four-year-old contention by a professor that the middle class is worse off now than in the 1970s, followed by a piece promoting Warren Buffett's claim the rich don't pay enough in taxes."

NBC was back at it again this morning, with a "Today" segment featuring Brokaw's interview with Buffett and his gripe that the rich are undertaxed. Brokaw seconded Buffett's notion, introducing the segment this way:
When you're the world's third-richest man, you can break some rules. Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," is going after a fundamental injustice he says touches all Americans [cut to clip of Buffett]: the taxation system has tilted toward the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic and I don't think it's appreciated."