Every so often, MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan goes on a rhetorical bender that stupefies his guests and defies logic.
On his eponymous program today, Ratigan latched onto conflicting reports concerning the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was arrested under suspicion of illegally downloading classified military documents and funneling them to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, to assert that the American justice system is akin to that of the Communist Chinese.
"Think about that in the context of 243 days in confinement, 23 hour-a-day lockdown, sleep deprivation," bemoaned Ratigan. "And you think China's bad?"
Ratigan also made repeated references to Guantanamo Bay, implying that Manning is being treated like an enemy combatant.
Editor's Note: The initial post included an incorrect video embed. The correct video has now been inserted. We apologize for the error.
While mainstream media outlets repeatedly fail to question flawed health care cost estimates, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell exposed the biased coverage on the January 21 "Fox & Friends."
"This proves why they're not the mainstream media," asserted Bozell, referring to journalists such as ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who claimed that since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is "the only game in town," that makes them the "referees" on all budgetary matters. "If they were the mainstream media they would be reporting the story accurately."
The founder and president of the Media Research Center revealed what Stephanopoulos and other liberal journalists ignored: "All the CBO can do is crunch the numbers they're given. If the numbers they're given are faulty, then the report is going to be faulty. And guess what? When you look at the numbers that were given, they are a joke."
NBC's failure to cover the Democratic congressman who compared Republicans to Nazis on the House floor trickled down to MSNBC yesterday, as anchor Lawrence O'Donnell neglected the story in favor of smearing House Speaker John Boehner and syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh.
After spending more than six minutes railing against House Republicans for repealing Obama's health care overhaul in a segment dubbed "Repeal & Misplaced," O'Donnell, a self-described socialist, omitted Rep. Steve Cohen's (D-Tenn.) remarks likening Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
At the top of his prime time program, O'Donnell took a partisan pot shot at Boehner (R-Ohio) for skipping the lavish state dinner for Chinese President Hu to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal the unpopular health care law.
Guests on Hannity's "Great American Panel" referenced NewsBusters yesterday as a leading watchdog of the liberal media.
Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky likened NewsBusters to liberal blogs that attempt to, as Fox News anchor Sean Hannity put it, monitor conservative shows for phrases that "they can take out of context and target advertisers to try to silence opposition or get them fired directly."
The veteran FNC anchor defended NewsBusters against Roginsky's comparison, forcing her to admit that she has "no idea what they do."
On MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." today, anchor Chris Jansing and liberal columnist Karen Hunter took turns ripping apart Sarah Palin's call for civility in an Internet video posted yesterday morning in the wake of the Tucson shooting.
The morning after President Barack Obama delivered a well-received speech at a memorial service for the victims of a rampage that left six dead and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) critically injured, Jansing recited a quote from Joan Walsh, editor of the left-wing Salon.com, to criticize Palin.
"You know, Mark, times of tragedy are times when we judge our leaders," remarked Jansing. "And Joan Walsh writes on Salon.com, about Sarah Palin, 'Having watched her atrocious, tone-deaf, all-about-me video: Sarah Palin will never be president of the United States.'"
Calling out Jansing's liberal spin, conservative columnist Mark Tapscott deftly quipped, "I would never expect Joan Walsh to have anything positive to say about anything Sarah Palin does or says."
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell continued her crusade against Sarah Palin today, reiterating the fallacious contention that the former Alaska governor is at least partly responsible for the shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona that left six dead and a congresswoman critically injured.
On her eponymous afternoon program, Mitchell criticized Palin's "campaign tactics" in an interview with former Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, who was targeted in the 2010 election by SarahPAC, Palin's political action committee, as a vulnerable incumbent.
"Ann Kirkpatrick was also targeted by Palin's campaign and lost her reelection bid after also experiencing a number of threats while she was in office," reported Mitchell, who attempted conflate political opposition to Kirkpatrick with personal threats made by extremists. "Let's talk, first of all, about what it felt like going through that campaign and what were the specific threats? Was anything ever verified? How did you deal with it?"
The morning after a contentious vote in which over 100 House Democrats revolted against the Democratic president's proposed tax package, NBC congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell chose to frame the debate as a resounding victory for the White House.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, O'Donnell was only willing to admit "some" Democratic opposition to the extension of current tax rates for all Americans, which will prevent an across-the-board tax increase in January.
Instead of reporting that 112 Democrats turned against President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, O'Donnell emphasized that the votes were evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, 138 to 139, respectively. For O'Donnell, 45 percent of the president's party defecting represents only "some" opposition.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer thinks the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a national "priority" that needs to be passed during the lame duck session.
While the Senate considers stand-alone repeal of the ban against openly gay service members today, the MSNBC daytime anchor pressed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): "What do you make of the people who say there might not be enough time to do this during the lame duck session? Why not? Shouldn't this be a priority?"
Lieberman, who supports repeal, insisted that repealing the controversial measure now "must be a priority," despite a recent poll showing that only 32 percent of Americans think that taking up the issue is "very important." In fact, 56 percent of the public believes that "passing legislation that would keep the estate tax from increasing significantly" is "very important," and 50 percent believe that extending at least "some form" of the Bush tax cuts is "very important."
Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) ranked second only to the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for minors, as the least important issue to address during the closing days of the 111th Congress.
For Chrystia Freeland, the thought of only taxing wealthy estates 35 percent is "destructive to the fabric of America." The Reuters global editor-at-large went on a ear-piercing tear this afternoon on MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show," stoking the flames of class warfare.
"[The wealthy] were just born–it's the lucky sperm club, right?" screeched Freeland. "I don't think American wealth should be determined by that."
Politics Daily contributor Matt Lewis, for his part, tried to maintain a civil discourse, but Freeland repeatedly interrupted him to interject her inflammatory rhetoric.
"I thought the philosophy was against a landed gentry," asserted an indignant Freeland. "I thought the philosophy was against an aristocracy. I thought the American way was you build it yourself and everyone was born equal."
MSNBC's Chris Jansing thinks that Republicans outraising Democrats in the 2010 midterms is a problem that government needs to fix.
On the December 13 "Jansing & Co.," the daytime anchor fretted, "Do you think it's getting out of hand?" She sardonically added, "Is the sky the limit here?"
Jim Gilmore, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, fired back in support of participatory democracy: "I've always believed that you ought to be able to participate financially in a political campaign without all these limits. The limits are making it very difficult to level the playing field."
The former Virginia governor added that he supports disclosure requirements, but not limits on spending.
Jansing, determined to lambast the Republican fundraising machine, exploited Gilmore's nuanced position to reiterate her argument: "So the Republican groups like the ones who were founded by Karl Rove, those folks should have disclosed where that money was coming from?"
Jami "Sarah Palin is an extraordinary ass" Floyd made her best pitch for an Obama White House gig this morning, charting a course for the president's rehabilitation before the 2012 election and chastising the Republicans's "Bah! Humbug!" tax compromise.
Chris Jansing, anchor of MSNBC's "Jansing & Co.," asked Floyd to assess the argument some Democrats are making that the president should have used his congressional majorities to muscle through a tax package that would have placated liberals. In her response, Floyd took off her analyst hat and strategized as a partisan Democrat.
"We should have unified around our president," insisted Floyd, a former ABC News correspondent. "Woulda, shoulda, coulda. But now we stand where we stand and the question is what do we do going forward? Do we make this deal? Do we strike this deal now? Or do we let it fall apart and then have less to worth with when we come back?"
After not-so-subtly admitting that she has a vested interest in Obama's political rehabilitation, Floyd, a former Clinton adviser, demonstrated that she could just as effortlessly shill for the current administration.
Previewing yesterday's vote on the DREAM Act, which passed the House 216 to 198, NBC News correspondent George Lewis empathized with supporters of the measure on the December 8 "Nightly News."
Lewis acknowledged the bill's dim prospects for passing the Senate, but stood in awe at the apparent surge in support for the bill: "By the thousands, young people, who as children were brought here illegally by their parents, have been going public in support of the DREAM Act."
The network reporter used interviews with young supporters of the bill to pull on the viewer's heartstrings.
"It would be a waste if they graduated from high school and they're not able to pursue higher education because of their legal status," lamented William Perez, a developmental psychologist at Claremont Graduate University.
"We want to contribute back to a society, a society that has been my own," implored Maria Duque, an illegal immigrant attending Fullerton Community College.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on the December 7 "Daily Rundown" was uncharacteristically heated in his opposition to the compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax rates.
Interviewing a Treasury Department official, Todd used flawed statistics to malign the proposed two-year extension of tax breaks for all families as unacceptably expensive.
"The cost of this is astronomical though," proclaimed the NBC Political Director. "The payroll tax cut means essentially borrowing from the Social Security trust fund to do this temporary payroll tax. I mean, it's 120 billion, that's a lot of money!"
"Early Show" co-host Maggie Rodriguez today glossed over the TSA's use of intrusive pat-downs while drilling down on the potential for "gridlock" if distressed passengers cause "chaos" this weekend over the enhanced security measures.
"There is, as I'm sure you know, this online movement that's gaining more and more momentum calling for people tomorrow to opt-out of those full-body scanners and get pat-downs instead to create chaos at the airport," noted Rodriguez, interviewing aviation expert Peter Goelz. "The head of the TSA told me yesterday that will only serve to further delay and further irritate passengers. How bad do you think it could get?"
Parroting the TSA chief's talking points, the CBS anchor failed to question Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, about the potential for civil liberties abuses. Instead, CBS displayed graphics hyperbolizing "TSA Turbulence" and fretting "Will Passenger Gridlock Hamper Holiday Travel?"
Rodriguez even shifted the burden of responsibility from the government to the passengers: "Is there anything, Peter, that you suggest that people do as they travel in the next couple of days to make things go smoothly?"
While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.
Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."
After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
Appearing on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last night, comedian Dennis Miller blasted the beleaguered Newsweek magazine for ranking the United States the 11th "best country in the world," behind left-of-center nations like Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Performing on Veterans Day for an audience comprised of American military personnel, Miller showed his patriotic stripes: "Hey, Newsweek, go fjord yourself okay. Finland is the s--- little plastic village you set up under the Christmas tree every year."
An impassioned Miller quipped: "The best thing about living in Finland is they don't get Newsweek magazine."
In an attempt to re-litigate the past, MSNBC contributor Cenk Uygur indicted former President George W. Bush for war crimes.
Bellowing today from his regular perch on late afternoon Dylan Ratigan Show, Uygur mischaracterized the 43rd President's position on the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as "go ahead and torture him basically" before demanding that Bush be prosecuted for allegedly violating Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
"Now it seems to me we have a confession here of a war crime and a clear violation of international and United States law," proclaimed Uygur. "President George W. Bush should go to jail for at least 10 years."
The alleged "confession" Uygur referred to is an excerpt from Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, in which the former commander-in-chief reaffirms his decision to condone the use of waterboarding as an enhanced-interrogation technique for suspected terrorists.
Bill Press says what most liberals in the media will only shroud in cryptic code: the voters who swept Democrats out of power in the House are stupid.
During the first hour of his eponymous radio program today, Press wished more liberal politicians would just say what they really think about the constituents they ostensibly serve: "Just once – probably never get reelected if you ever said it – I would like to hear somebody say, 'The voters have spoken, the bastards.'"
The left-wing talk show host suggested a few variations of the insult:
"Or, 'The voters have spoken. What a bunch of idiots.'"
"The voters have spoken. God, they're dumb. Dumb as hell."
Sometimes the liberal media's bias is subtle and nuanced, even, dare I say, clever.
This is not one of those times.
On Sirius host Lynn Samuels's eponymous program yesterday, Richard Bey, a liberal talk show host, peddled the laughable assertion that, compared to former President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama has governed as an inclusive, consensus-building chief executive.
"We embrace debate," declared Bey, referring to Democrats and liberals. "They don't. And if you want an example of that, go back and look at some of George Bush's town halls and then look at President Obama and some of the people who have approached him so closely that they're able to engage him in critical discussion, critical of his presidency, for quite a long period of time." [Audio here.]
After angrily denouncing Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) as a "bitch" who will "go to Hell" for her "Hitler youth commercial" in which she criticizes Democrat Harry Reid's position on illegal immigration, "The View" co-host sarcastically retracted part of her joyless insult.
"I really shouldn't have called her a bitch because to me that's a term of endearment," snickered Behar. "I reserve that word for people that I know and love. That was a mistake and I take it back. I mean, the fact that she approved a racist ad, that is the point that I wanted to get through to the people – not the word bitch."
Just days after MSNBC President Phil Griffin claimed his cable network does not use air-time to support Democratic candidates and liberal causes, evening host Lawrence O'Donnell yielded over two minutes of his eponymous program to feature MoveOn.org's latest anti-Republican advertisement in its entirety.
O'Donnell introduced the partisan attack ad as a get-out-the-vote push: "Sometimes you have to take unusual steps to get out the vote. MoveOn.org, with the help of actors Olivia Wilde from 'House' and Romany Malco from 'Weeds,' has produced a warning from the future to show you what could happen if Republicans win this election because you didn't vote."
After playing the entire ad uninterrupted, which urged voters to "STOP THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER!!" and predicted that if the GOP takes back control of Congress in November because liberals don't go to the polls, Republicans will merge with "the big corporations that fund them to create RepubliCorp," the MSNBC host immediately cut to a commercial break.
Instead of analyzing the attack ad on its merits, O'Donnell gave MoveOn.org free ad time.
Chris Jansing's cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.
On today's "Jansing and Co.," the MSNBC anchor initially rejected the practice of gotcha journalism in political campaign coverage, but proceeded to play gotcha with a comment made yesterday by Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell.
"I'm not a big fan of trying to do a gotcha," prefaced Jansing, directing the remark at retired Army General Wesley Clark. "I've said that before on this program. But does it bother you at all when someone can't name a current member of the Senate on the Democratic side?"
Clark, who ran for president in 2004 as a Democrat, refuted Jansing's gotcha question: "Well, first of all I think that's a little bit of a stretch in this case. She wasn't asked to name a current member, she was asked to name someone she'd like to work with. So I think that's a little bit of a stretch."
If Juan Williams knew at 9:45 p.m. yesterday that he was out of a job, he sure didn't show it.
The same night he was fired by NPR, Williams appeared on Sean Hannity's "Great American panel" segment in an ostensibly cheerful mood, exchanging playful banter with the host and panelists.
"I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops," quipped Williams, referring to New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian's facial hair. "And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean."
In his latest meandering diatribe, MSNBC left-wing bloviator Ed Schultz yesterday hilariously mischaracterized the Republican Party's position on education reform as a scheme to create a cheap labor force of ignorant Americans by abolishing public education.
"They want us to be just like the folks in Indonesia," fumed Schultz. "They love the cheap labor. They love the 40 cents an hour stuff. So the best thing we can do on the right is what they're saying: let's just eliminate, let's abolish public education."
The incensed host of "The Ed Show" pressed on, invoking identity politics:
There is a simple explanation for President Obama's dismal approval ratings, but ABC's George Stephanopoulos fails to comprehend it. Appearing on the October 13 "O'Reilly Factor," the former Clinton adviser peddled multiple theories to explain Obama's unpopularity, but neglected to consider the possibility that the president has simply failed to connect with the general public.
"As far as the problem with Democrats, they're upset about the economy, but he has also got a problem with liberals, who wish he would have done more on issues like gays in the military, on health care, on other issues," asserted Stephanopoulos.
The argument that Obama's approval rating is suffering because his policies have not been liberal enough shows just how disconnected this political flak-turned-journalist is with the public he ostensibly serves. Obama's approval rating is not hovering around 43 percent, as the latest Reuters poll indicates, because liberal activists, who represent a small percentage of the population, have been abandoning the president in droves. Rather, Obama is floundering because his support among independents and swing-voters has evaporated. In that same poll, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, Obama has a 33 percent approval rating among Ohio voters.
Are religious leaders, conservative activists, and Jim DeMint responsible for the deaths of gay teenagers? That's the impression left by Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, and Lance Bass, in an extensive interview on the October 4 "Larry King Live."
Focusing on the slew of gay teens who have committed suicide in the past week as a result of bullying, the panel of gay rights activists spewed offensive bile toward preachers of traditional social values.
"The blood is on their hands," decried Griffin, referring to the bullies who abused the gay teenagers, and religious leaders and political figures who oppose gay marriage and the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Earlier in the show, Griffin implored viewers to see her ludicrous connection between conservative social policy and gay teen suicide:
What do Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, a domestic terrorist who was developing a nuclear weapon, and Tea Party activists concerned about lavish government spending have in common? Nothing, unless you're a newly-minted cable news anchor with a liberal agenda.
Interviewing a Time magazine writer who conducted an in-depth investigation into right-wing militias, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on the September 30 "Last Word" tried to draw a parallel between the reported resurgence of extreme militia groups and the rise of the Tea Party.
"The surge in recruits to what could be the training ground of our next Timothy McVeigh parallels the rise of the Tea Party and includes at least one man who had serious plans to kill the president by going nuclear," warned O'Donnell, before enlisting the help of Barton Gellman, author of "Locked and Loaded: The Secret World of Extreme Militias," to connect the dots.
It was only a matter of time before liberal gay rights activists would politicize the tragic suicide of a homosexual college student as an indictment of social conservatives opposed to their agenda.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on October 1 used carefully selected viewer emails to blame "religious kooks" for the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate set-up a hidden camera in their dorm room and streamed live footage of the college freshman kissing a man.
At the top of the noon hour, Brewer posed the following question to viewers: "Are we likely to see more instances of gay-bashing because the issue of gay rights is now front and center?" The anchor-activist's loaded question produced predictable responses.