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
October 13, 2007, 9:03 AM EDT
The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law -- U.S. Supreme Court, Coffin v. United States [1895].
Was [there] enough evidence to find that they were not guilty? -- ABC News, Matter of Martin Lee Anderson [2007].
Forget that musty old 19th-century Supreme Court stuff. According to ABC, there's a new legal standard in criminal cases; at least those in which the MSM is rooting for a conviction. Henceforth, the presumption of innocence is abolished. There shall be a presumption of guilt, and the burden will be on the accused to produce enough evidence to acquit himself.

View video here.
October 13, 2007, 7:29 AM EDT
Sure, Michael Vick has admitted involvement in dogfighting. But did you see how sharp he looked in that suit on the way to the courthouse? And yes, Mark McGwire bombed at those congressional hearings with his "I don't want to talk about the past" skate on steroids, but he's the epitome of what a XXXL Abercrombie & Fitch guy can be.

Inane as those comments are, they at least have the merit of being made by me in jest. But what is Robin Givhan's excuse for her similarly silly glorification of the fashion sense of another disgraced athlete, Marion Jones? For that's exactly what the Washington Post's style maven does in her column of this morning, "Marion Jones, a Success On the Glamour Track, Too".
October 12, 2007, 2:25 PM EDT
Reacting to the not-guilty verdicts in the Florida boot camp case involving the death of a 14-year old African-American boy, CNN anchor Don Lemon found the result "surprising." And both he and CNN reporter Susan Candiotti made clear that they bought into the prosecution's portrayal of the videotape of the incident.

Just before the verdicts came down, there was this exchange [emphasis added].
DON LEMON: How much of a role did this tape play into [sic] this trial?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI: Oh huge. This is the main evidence, isn't it? And as one of the prosecutors said, "there might not be sound on this tape, but it is screaming at you, 'why didn't someone do something?'"

View video here.

October 12, 2007, 8:29 AM EDT

Sure, we know when we're being used. The folks at "Morning Joe" are well aware that if baring some liberal leg is likely to cause us to cover them, mentioning NewsBusters by name virtually guarantees that an item will follow here in short order. But if the MSNBC show wants to play the homely-if-roundheeled high school girl striving for attention, NB is happy, as the popular QB of liberal-media busting, to oblige.

And so it was that on this morning's episode, newsreader Mika Brzezinski, much like the girl at the beach who "accidentally" lets the bikini strap slip, made a transparently intentional "mistake," confusing Dick Cheney with Darth Vader. That in turn prompted host Joe Scarborough, in mock horror at Mika's exposure of too much liberal skin, to call for NewsBusters. The incident occurred during Mika's 6:11 A.M. EDT newsreading of an otherwise innocuous item.

View video here.

October 11, 2007, 9:20 AM EDT

Surprise! Mika Brzezinski, far from criticizing Jimmy Carter's excoriation of the Bush adminstration, applauds it . . .

View video here.

In a free-swinging democracy such as ours, rare are the restraints on political speech by our elected representatives. One exception are rules of decorum, such as those governing the House of Representatives that prohibit members from speaking in negative personal terms about their colleagues and other officials.

There is a similar, unwritten rule by which former presidents do not criticize their successors. And while the occasional lapse has occurred over the history of the republic, no president has so thoroughly trashed the tradition as Jimmy Carter, who has made stinging criticism of the Bush administration a virtual art form. Earlier this year, for example, Carter publicly labelled the Bush administration "the worst in history."

The Kvetcher-in-Chief is back at it again.

October 10, 2007, 10:46 AM EDT
With politicians and newspapers like they have in California, it's no wonder the state has become a magnet for millions of illegal immigrants. The latest lunacy? The legislature has enacted a bill giving illegals scholarships to state universities. And the Los Angeles Times predictably wants Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign it into law.
October 9, 2007, 7:12 AM EDT
Jonathan Chait is one of the Founding Fathers of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Way back in '03, the New Republic senior editor authored one of BDS's early, seminal works: "The Case for Bush Hatred," whose very sentence was the subtle: "I hate President George W. Bush."

Ah, but Jonathan Chait isn't a mere one-hatred man. As of this morning, we can conclusively state that in addition to his animus toward our nation's chief executive, Jonathan Chait also hates lower taxes.
October 8, 2007, 10:54 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough: MSNBC's kind of Republican. The sort who not only tells a Democrat he's "very badly" needed in Washington. Who not merely expresses the desire to write him a campaign check. But who even volunteers [tongue-in-cheek, one would hope] to do illegal check-bundling for him a la Norman Hsu.

After recently putting in an embarrassingly sycophantish performance when interviewing Hillary Clinton, Scarborough was back ingratiating himself with another Dem today. Interviewing former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey on "Morning Joe," talk inevitably turned to the possibility of Kerrey seeking a Senate seat again. Scarborough waxed wildly enthusiastic.

View video here.

October 8, 2007, 8:20 AM EDT
"This is Anne Jones, reporting live from the headquarters of the ACLU, where the organization has issued a 'DEFCON 1 Threat-to-the-Constitution Alert' in the wake of a Republican presidential candidate's call for the creation of God's 'kingdom on earth.' We're speaking with ACLU representative Amanda Rogers. Ms. Rogers, now that a Republican candidate has brought the wall that separates church and state crashing to the ground, can our constitutional system be saved?"

"Anne, I'm afraid the answer is a resounding 'no,' at least, not if someone who thinks like this, and who sadly reflects the thinking of his entire party, is elected president. Fortunately, there are candidates from another party who respect the constitutionally decreed separaration of church and state."

"Thank you, Amanda; very frightening stuff. Now back to our studio, where we'll be breaking into our regularly-scheduled programming throughout the day to bring you updates on this unfolding crisis. I'll be back a little later with an interview with the pro-Constitution group 'People for the American Way,' which has called the Republican candidate's statement 'the gravest threat to America since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.'"
OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a tad with this apocryphal dialogue, but you get the point. The MSM would surely be in full threat-to-the-Constitution cry if ever a Republican presidential candidate had said exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday:
October 6, 2007, 7:03 PM EDT
Blogger "Conservative Belle" has a penchant for getting to the bottom of stories. You'll remember that a couple weeks ago, she discovered that the fallen soldier whose name David Shuster blamed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for not knowing had his official residence in another district.
October 6, 2007, 3:13 PM EDT
There's no media nook safe from liberal bias, not even sports reporting

Ever heard of New York Daily News sports writer Filip Bondy? Neither have I. But browsing through Google News this afternoon I saw a link to a story by Bondy that caught my attention: " Marion Jones drags others into selfish, steroid mess".

The gist is that it was selfish of Jones to elbow her way onto the 2004 4x100-meter Olympic relay team. Since she knew she had been taking steroids, she must also have realized that any medal the team won was in danger of being forfeited. Good point.

But then, from out of left field, this gratuitous shot [emphasis added]:
October 5, 2007, 4:55 PM EDT

Jack Cafferty opened his CNN "Situation Room" shtick today at 4:07 p.m. EDT by asking about Larry Craig:

Which was worse? Making sexual advances toward a police officer or lying to the whole world by saying you're going to resign your Senate seat and then announcing you're not going to resign?

Answer: saying you don't want Craig to resign because you "can't wait" for televised hearings describing all the lurid details of what happened in that stall.

Which is exactly what Cafferty went on to do.

October 4, 2007, 6:49 PM EDT

The fellow synonymous with "Hardball" showed his soft side today. Interviewed by his wife to help mark the show's 10th anniversary and promote his new book, "Life's a Campaign,"Chris Matthews was frequently emotional as he talked about everything from his heroes [including JFK, Churchill and Hemingway], his drinking days and his admiration for John McCain's patriotism.

In contrast, Kathleen Matthews, a former TV news anchor, exuded a composed professionalism. A nice, cool balance to Chris's fire, it seemed.

Later, John Kerry reminded us of what we didn't, shall we say, necessarily love about the guy.

View video here.

October 3, 2007, 8:47 PM EDT

Cat fight on the left? On today's "Tucker," a "Media Matters" representative denied Hillary's claim that she "helped start" the organization.

Welcome back, Tucker. Really.

While Carlson was away, guest host David Shuster sullied Tucker's name-sake show with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprang on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), then compounded matters by leading a liberal love-in.

Tucker's been back in the saddle for a couple days, and this evening took on Wesley Clark and later a representative of Media Matters.

Speaking with Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects of "Media Matters," Carlson displayed the graphic shown here, in which Hillary Clinton stated that she had "helped start" Media Matters. Under close questioning by Carlson, Waldman wound up contradicting Hillary's claim.

View video here.

October 3, 2007, 8:27 AM EDT
Ah, those diversity-loving liberals. You know, the kind who would stifle free speech with their Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine," who threaten legal action against mom-and-pop T-shirt makers who criticize MoveOn.org. Wesley Clark would now take things one step further, whacking Rush Limbaugh off the Armed Forces Network radio airwaves.

"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira interviewed the retired general and former Dem presidential candidate on this morning's show.
October 2, 2007, 7:45 PM EDT

<p><img src="/static/2007/10/2007-10-02-MSNBCScarborough.jpg" align="right" height="180" width="240" />Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.<br /><br />As I noted <a href="/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2007/10/02/scarborough-media-matters-went-after-rush-phony-story-about-phony-">here</a>, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's &quot;Morning Joe&quot; for using a &quot;phony story&quot; to go after Rush for his &quot;phony soldiers&quot; comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.<br /><br />Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin. </p><p><b><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif'">Video (0:52):</span></b><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif'"> <a href="/static/2007/10/2007-10-02-MSNBC-Scarborough.rm">Real</a> (1.41 MB) and <a href="/static/2007/10/2007-10-02-MSNBC-Scarborough.wmv">Windows</a> (1.60 MB), plus <a href="/static/2007/10/2007-10-02-MSNBC-Scarborough.mp3">MP3 audio</a> (404 kB).</span>

October 2, 2007, 6:55 AM EDT

As Brent Baker of MRC/NB has documented, MSNBC has been among the worst MSM offenders in propagating the falsehood that Rush Limbaugh had accused all anti-war military members of being "phony soldiers."

A point of light at that same network this morning, however, as Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist combined to debunk the Media Matters allegation, accusing the organization of using a "phony story about a phony soldier" to go after Rush.

It began at 6:04 A.M. EDT today, during the "Morning Joe" opening coffee klatsch.

View video here.

October 1, 2007, 8:25 PM EDT
Don't look for Shuster to be guest hosting "Tucker" again any time soon. -- from my column of September 26th.
Oy, was I wrong!
October 1, 2007, 7:56 AM EDT
If Dems and Republicans are at odds over everything from Iraq to healthcare, there's one thing that has brought many of them together: shared criticism of the leading GOP presidential contenders for their decision to skip the recent debate moderated by Tavis Smiley, billed as oriented to the concerns of black Americans.

But beginning on yesterday's "Meet the Press" and continuing on today's "Morning Joe," Pat Buchanan has not hesitated to make a pragmatic political case in defense of the Republican candidates' decision. And alone, at least among pundits I've heard, he drew an interesting parallel to the venues the leading Dem candidate is skipping.

View video here.
September 30, 2007, 9:23 AM EDT
ABC may have set a loathsome new MSM low in insulting traditional Christians. On today's "Good Morning America," the network lumped the "Christan right" with the 9-11 Islamic terrorists as driving people to atheism.

Keying off an atheists convention being held this weekend, GMA ran a segment on the "Rise in Atheism." Seeking to explain the phenomenon, as images rolled first of the WTC in flames and then of a man placidly holding a sign that simply read "One Nation Under God" and of a display at a demonstration of the Ten Commandments, ABC's Liz Marlantes stated: