Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, really laid it on thick in his tease for his upcoming special on Bill Clinton's post presidency as he exalted :"Other American presidents have done things before, after leaving office, but nothing on this level or planetary scope" and glorified: "We've never had a world leader like this before!" The MSNBC ad for the documentary, entitled Bill Clinton: President of the World, already treats the former president as a superhero and Matthews, in this end of show pitch, continued that motif when he promised viewers: "When you see it all put together, you'll believe what a phenomenon, what a story that's here that hasn't been covered in its real dimension, power and positive force."
Of course speaking about the 42nd president in such reverent tones isn't anything new for Matthews as the MSNBC commentator once compared Clinton to Jesus Christ.
NBC's Matt Lauer seemed shocked that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, during his Super Bowl interview, actually asked Barack Obama about his opponents hating him, as the Today co-anchor, on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with the First Lady questioned: "Do you think people hate your husband, even on the far right?" Michelle Obama initially deflected the question as she simply responded: "I'm sure that there are some people who don't like my husband" because "You're not gonna please everybody all the time." Lauer, however continued to press the issue as he asked: "There is obviously extreme criticism" and went on to wonder if it had changed the President as he questioned is he "the same guy today as he was two years ago?"
In an interview that touched on a wide range of topics from Egypt to the President's smoking habits and to the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign, Lauer did ask a tough question on the economy, even reading from a viewer's e-mail who asked Mrs. Obama for her advice for job seekers, as he pressed: "If there is someone out there...who is unemployed...do you expect that person to support your husband in 2012?"
CNBC's Jim Cramer appeared with Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show to pronounce that big business is warming to President Obama as he cheered: "This is a new president. The market is up 12 percent since he changed his ways. He doesn't say he's changed his ways, but boy business sure feels he has." Cramer even went on to predict the economy would be recovered by the 2012 election as Obama was: "Making people feel more comfortable spending, he's making companies feel more comfortable spending." However, at no point did Cramer or Lauer suggest a GOP controlled House, that will be a block against business-stifling legislation like cap and trade and Obamacare, as a reason businesses may be feeling more "comfortable."
Lauer began the segment saying America initially hailed Obama's anti-business stance as he offered: "A year ago the President was bashing Wall Street, talking about the fat cats and their bonuses. And you know what? People all across this country agreed with him," but then questioned the host of Mad Money, "now we're hearing a very different tone. Is this all about the fact that jobs have not come back as quickly as people want?"
Those who admired Ronald Reagan may want to steer clear of tonight's HBO documentary on the former president if that film's director's comments, on Monday's Hardball, are an indication of how slanted the project will be, as he denied many of Reagan's historic accomplishments. From reinvigorating the economy to defeating the Soviet Union, Eugene Jarecki, who also wrote the film, was egged on by MSNBC host Chris Matthews to disallow the 40th president much of his legacy as he charged Reagan's economic policies "hurt the very people he sought...to most help" and claimed the idea he ended the Cold War was "a myth."
Matthews, wasted no time in getting Jarecki to slam Reagan's policies, as seen in the following exchange:
It's rare when Chris Matthews is outdone in his praise of Barack Obama but Time's Mark Halperin, on Thursday's Hardball, managed to top the MSNBC host as he delivered a rave review of Barack Obama's performance at the National Prayer Breakfast. After playing a clip of the speech, Matthews merely offered a "That's pretty good" but the Game Change co-author did him one better, going as far to warn any GOP candidate considering a presidential run in 2012 to study the address because it had"a level of sophistication and skill that not one Republican on the field right now can duplicate."
Andrea Mitchell, for a second day in a row, pushed for more gun control on her MSNBC show as she encouraged Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, "You and Mike Bloomberg...have all been yelling and screaming," about more restrictive anti-gun measures, "Somebody's got to listen in Washington." Initially invited on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss the Obama administration's push for more green jobs, Nutter wasn't allowed to finish the segment without Mitchell pressing him: "As a big city mayor, what are you saying to the White House about waiting for this gun control speech we keep hearing about?"
On yesterday's show Mitchell expressed disappointment, to the aformentioned New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, that Barack Obama had "absolutely nothing, not one word....not even a sentence" in his State of the Union speech about gun control.
With a script and a dramatic voice over befitting a trailer for the latest superhero movie out of Hollywood, one of the first promos for Chris Matthews' documentary on Bill Clinton has begun airing on MSNBC. The ad begins with an announcer teasing viewers, "His presidency was over, his mission just beginning" and then goes on to tell the story of a post-presidential Clinton achieving universal adulation complete with shots of adoring crowds and accolades from the likes of Tony Blair and of course Matthews, who shrieks like a fan boy: "You're like a one man Peace Corps!"
Even the Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey shows up, narrating a scene he was once witness to: "And they were yelling 'Peacemaker! Peacemaker!'"
In just one segment, on Tuesday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews managed to hypocritically use violent "gun play" language, attack Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin and even likened the Tea Party to the Muslim Brotherhood. Matthews, who made many absurd pronouncements on tonight's show, saved his zaniest comment for the Tea Party as he actually compared their potential primary challenges of Republicans to the Muslim Brotherhood going after Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, as he asked GOP strategist John Feehery: "So the Muslim Brotherhood has a parallel role here with the Tea Party, they're the ones who keep you honest and decide whether you've stayed too long?"
Before that charge, Matthews, who has frequently condemned Sarah Palin for her use of "gun play" language, used his own violent imagery to depict a struggle between the GOP and the Tea Party. In a teaser, Matthews claimed "the Tea Party is out for scalps" and then in the ensuing segment questioned if, by joining with the Tea Party, the GOP was "dancing while they shoot at their feet here?"
Matthews also went after some of his favorite targets, Bachmann and Palin, as he accused the Minnesota Congresswoman of "strange behavior" and applauded his Republican guest for thinking the former Alaska governor wasn't "worth anything."
Andrea Mitchell invited on DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, on Tuesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports, to announce the Democrats have picked Charlotte, North Carolina to host their 2012 convention but the MSNBC host couldn't resist hitting Kaine from the left as she scolded Democrats for selecting a right-to-work state. Mitchell, taking up for Big Labor, even challenged Kaine: "I defy you to find a labor hotel for these delegates, for all the AFL-CIO folks coming to Charlotte."
The following exchange was aired on the February 1 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports:
Time magazine's Bryan Walsh couldn't write up a story on the need for more electricity in developing countries without shoe-horning in a dire warning about climate change.
In a January 31st story entitled "Building a Country by Switching on the Lights," Walsh initially warned readers that in addition to the problems of fighting malaria and improving infrastructure that there was "a blind spot that does more than almost anything to keep the poor poor: they don't have electric power" but he then gravely added: "At the same time, the reality of climate change means that even the developing world needs to look for cleaner sources of energy because Western-style growth driven by fossil fuels could lead to catastrophe."
NBC's Today show never covered Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen comparing Republicans to Nazis, but on Friday co-anchor Meredith Vieira determined Sarah Palin's mocking of Barack Obama's Winning the Future slogan as the precise moment when the new era of "civility" in Washington, came to an end. After Vieira opened this morning's show announcing: "End of civility? Sarah Palin takes a shot at President Obama's call for winning the future...is the new tone of togetherness in Washington already over?" she brought on MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to chastise Palin and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
"[Palin] really struggles with that sounding presidential thing. It's a real challenge for her. And you know, look it's, it's as weird as it gets. But really if you are looking for a lack of civility or the argumentative stuff...this week you really have to go to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. No one else is doing it."
In a segment entitled "Remember Civility? Why Are Palin & GOP Stepping Up Criticism?" O'Donnell and Vieira took turns bashing the former Alaska Governor and Minnesota Congresswoman as seen in the follow January 28 exchange:
In what was perhaps a move to make Barack Obama appear more moderate than he is, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, on Thursday's Today show, played up a "rift" between him and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over government spending. In her piece, O'Donnell hyped that Reid was "calling out the White House" on his State of the Union claim that he would veto any bill with earmarks in it.
The NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent featured an interview she had with Reid in which the Nevada senator claimed Obama was merely going for "an applause line" when he criticized pork barrel spending and charged that the President "should just back off. He's got enough to do without messing in what we do."
NBC's Today show, on Wednesday, used the occasion of two responses to Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, by Republicans Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann, as an opportunity to portray the GOP as a party divided. Despite a historic victory by Republicans in last year's midterm elections NBC anchors, past and present, on this morning's Today show, took pains to portray the Republican Party in dire trouble with co-anchor Matt Lauer questioning if the party was "split" and "heading in different directions" and Meredith Vieira wondering if there was "a divide." Even former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw got into the act as he claimed the GOP was locked in a "two front war" against Democrats and the Tea Party.
NBC's White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie kicked off the GOP "divide" theme when she declared "Republicans had what amounted to dueling responses" in her set-up piece to a Lauer interview with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In that segment Lauer pressed Giuliani "Do you worry...that as we approach the next election in 2012...that the Republican Party is split and heading in different directions," as seen in the following exchange:
It appears NBC's Matt Lauer is not happy about Barack Obama's failure to exploit the Tucson shooting to push for more gun control as on Wednesday's Today show, he seemingly expressed disappointment to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that the President "missed" an "opportunity" to address it in his State of the Union speech.
Lauer's anti-gun question to Giuliani came on the heels of his pushing White House senior advisor, on yesterday's show, to reveal if Obama would join current NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg in making a push for more gun control. On this morning's Today show, Lauer went even further, as he, in addition to throwing Bloomberg's words in Giuliani's face, also read directly from a Brady Center press release, as seen in the following January 26 exchange:
In previewing the President's State of the Union Address, on Tuesday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer pushed White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, mostly from the left, as he pressed her to reveal if Obama would "directly address gun control" and asked if Obama's appointment of business leaders to his team, risked "alienating some more liberal voters...who don't like big business."
Appearing in the 7am half hour of this morning's show, Jarrett was questioned by the Today co-anchor if the President was moved, in the wake of the Tuscon shootings, to join New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's effort to push for "tougher gun laws," as seen in the following exchange:
Chris Matthews has a seemingly endless list of obsessions. Along with Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann the MSNBC host is fascinated by trains, especially fast ones, and on Monday night's Hardball he called on Barack Obama, in his State of the Union Address, to push for high speed rail as a solution to America's economic woes. Matthews complained that in the area of "fast railroads" the French, Italians, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are "so far ahead of us" and then implored: "Is this president really gonna shove that throttle forward tomorrow night and say 'Let's join the world in getting around?'"
This isn't the first time Matthews has looked enviously at other countries and their faster trains as an inspiration for creating jobs in America, as back in 2009 he whined to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter: "The Europeans seem to have fast trains that go 300 miles and hour and we're chugging along with Amtrak and Acela and we're still flying around short distances...Why can't this federal government use the power of the, the workforce we have out there, put 'em all to work and build a train system in this country of fast rail so we can – and this sounds so pathetic – catch up to Europe and Japan! Why don't we do that?! Catch up to the other major countries!"
NBC's Matt Lauer was joined by his colleague Chuck Todd, on Thursday's Today show, as the two trumpeted "good news" for President Obama in the latest results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. After Lauer hailed Obama received "an eight-point leap from last month" in his approval rating, Todd explained the surge was because the respondents "think he's going to be the reasonable guy" and that the Republicans will be "inflexible."
While Lauer did offer that a rise in optimism for the economy, as seen in the poll, could be spun the GOP's way because people "see there will be shared power in Washington" Todd quickly threw cold water on that theory as he countered: "Right now the President is getting all of the benefit. The Republicans aren't getting any of the credit yet."
Neither Lauer or Todd explored the idea that perhaps a reason for a bump in Obama's ratings was his signing of the tax deal in December.
Ever since the Tucson shooting, MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been on a tirade accusing conservatives of creating a climate of hate that led to an attempt on Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' life. Yet on Wednesday's Hardball, Matthews himself insulted GOP Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, as he blared that she was: "a screamer, and in many cases pretty close to a nut case."
What was the great affront from the Minnesota Congresswoman that caused Matthews to spew such vitriol? She dared to openly root for a Republican presidential victory in 2012.
The following consecutive exchanges Matthews had about Bachmann, with Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were aired on the January 19 edition of Hardball:
Say what you will about NBC's Today show but they recognize a ratings winner when they see one and they demonstrated that, when they invited Fox News host Glenn Beck back for a second appearance on Wednesday's show. However with that second guest spot came another opportunity to accuse him of fomenting hate.
In the 7am half hour Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira accused Beck of contributing to "a dialogue of hate" that led to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and in the 9am hour it was her colleague Natalie Morales' turn to make that ugly inference as she pressed Beck: "How do you respond to the accusations...that people make" since the Tucson shooting "that you may be somewhat to blame?"
This time around, Beck took a back seat to his co-author psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow who offered this professional diagnosis for those critics that blame Beck and other conservatives like Sarah Palin for the tragedy in Arizona: "Refer them to me, they're crazy."
Fox News host Glenn Beck showed up on Wednesday's Today show to promote his new book The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life, but it was NBC's Meredith Vieira's misperceptions of him and conservatives as a whole that Beck was forced to try to change. After an initial discussion about Beck overcoming his personal struggles, Vieira brought Beck into the debate over whether conservative talk provoked the Tuscon shooter Jared Loughner, as she charged: "You talk about spewing anger in your personal life but also in your professional life, Glenn. I mean there are people who've criticized you and said...you're part of the problem in terms of anger...you've added to this dialogue of hatred."
Beck deftly responded that anything he may have said was not any worse than what Vieira has heard from the likes of Jon Stewart or on The Simpsons, as seen in this fiery exchange:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day by accusing white Republicans of being afraid of black people. During a Monday night Hardball special called "Obama's America," Matthews insultingly asked former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele if, at GOP conventions, black-Americans at those events were told not to "bunch up" because "you'll scare these people" and added: "Did you fear that if you got together with some other African-Americans these white guys might get scared of you?"
Steele, who was the only Republican on the panel, seemed shocked by the question as he responded to Matthews: "No! What are you talking about?" and then proceeded to cite the successful candidacies of Tim Scott, Allen West and others in the GOP field that would suggest white Republicans weren't exactly afraid of, as Matthews put it, "black folk hanging together."
The following is the full exchange from the panel that featured Steele along with the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson and Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, as it was aired on the January 17 edition of Hardball:
Former Texas Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on Thursday's Today show, was cornered by NBC's Matt Lauer on his anti-gun control stance, as Lauer pressed: "In the wake of...that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona, do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?" DeLay was invited on to discuss being sentenced in his campaign finance case but Lauer felt the need to shoe-horn in a question about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he attempted to guilt DeLay into rethinking his support for overturning the assault weapons ban back in 2004.
First up, Lauer's colleague, Norah O'Donnell, foreshadowed the anti-gun bias turn in the interview, in her set up piece as she reported: " In Congress, DeLay was known for his ruthless ability to make his fellow Republicans tow the line, blocking renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, in the news again today because of Saturday's Arizona shooting."
Lauer then advanced that line to DeLay in the subsequent interview segment as seen in the following January 13 Today show exchange:
Former NBC Nighty News anchor Tom Brokaw visited the Today show set, on Thursday, to play referee, or more specifically daddy, in the debate surrounding the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as he pontificated that it was "time for the parents to say time out" on the heated political rhetoric. However he then went on to question how Sarah Palin could dare to respond to all the personal attacks on her, many by some of Brokaw's colleagues on MSNBC, as he opined: "I was surprised that she waded back into it frankly."
On to discuss Barack Obama's performance at a memorial service for victims of the Tuscon shooting, Brokaw told Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, that even though the service, as Vieira herself noticed, seemed more like a "pep rally" at times, Obama was simply doing his best to "Keep the mood of the crowd ebullient." Brokaw then scolded: "I would think that on the political, what I call the political poles, on both ends, it's probably time for the parents to say time out. You know let's, let's take a break here for a couple of days and reflect on what we've been through and where we need to go."
Later on in the segment Vieira prompted Brokaw to weigh-in on the temerity of Sarah Palin, to dare to defend herself as she asked: "Talking about pointing fingers...your views on Sarah Palin and her accusing the journalists of blood libel for blaming political rhetoric on what happened?" Brokaw responded:"I was surprised that she waded back into it frankly...I was surprised that she got back into it in the way that she did. I think we gotta move beyond that."
Director Spike Lee, along with his wife Tonya, came on Wednesday's Today show to promote their new children's book, but he couldn't leave without blaming the NRA for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and slamming the United States of America for being "the most violent country in the history of civilization."
Chris Matthews, joined by two liberal talk radio hosts on Tuesday's Hardball, essentially blamed the likes of conservative hosts like Mark Levin for creating the climate of hate that led to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as the envious MSNBC host proclaimed: "People like Mark Levin, Michael Savage...every time you listen to them are furious, furious at the left with anger that's just builds and builds in their voice and by the time they go to commercial, they're just in some rage, every night, with ugly talk....They must have an audience. I looked at the numbers today. They have big audiences! And I guess that's the question. Why and is it ever going to stop if it keeps working?"
Before that Matthews rant, Philadelphia area radio host Michael Smerconish coined a word in his attack on conservative chatter as he talked about "the hatriolic comments" he's heard and in referring to a scene he saw at a town hall meeting worried: "These are people who are on the edge and if somebody pushes them over, God help us all."
E. Steven Collins, another Philly area talker, sided with Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik who attacked Rush Limbaugh, as he hailed: "The sheriff in Tucson was absolutely right...It does impact people who may have a mental problem or may not" and added that there was a "direct relationship" with Sarah Palin putting crosshairs on her Web site over Giffords' district and the loss of a life of "that little girl who went down to meet the congressperson."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell just can't let go of the media spin that political rhetoric, specially from conservatives like Sarah Palin, is somehow partly to blame for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as on Tuesday's Today show, she questioned if Palin's use of crosshairs on her Web site to target Democratic districts was "inflammatory?" Mitchell couldn't even report that "There is no direct link" from Palin to the shooting suspect Jared Loughner without adding, "as far as investigators know."
Mitchell actually began her story airing a soundbite from outer space with Giffords' brother-in-law, astronaut Scott Kelly, linking political rhetoric to the attack on Giffords:
ANDREA MITCHELL: From the space station, Gabrielle Gifford's brother-in-law, her husband's twin, fellow astronaut Scott Kelly.
SCOTT KELLY: These days we're constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words.
While Mitchell did eventually allow conservatives to have their say, as she aired soundbites from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and David Frum, she finished her piece with words from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Giffords, that left the impression harsh discourse was to blame for the tragedy.
Chris Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, used the attempt on Gabrielle Giffords' life, to not only portray America as some sort of gun crazed country, but also to blame the likes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann for political violence as he blurted: "Sarah Palin using gun play language. What is she talking about crosshairs and reloading...and Bachmann out there with her kind of talk. I mean it seems like the way people talk now has, has gotten more ballistic...Why are guns talked about so much, especially on the right? Why?"
First up, Matthews depicted the United States as a uniquely gun crazed nation, especially in regards to political violence, as he told asked Arizona Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva "In Mexico I don't see their leaders getting knocked off every couple of years....This country has a particular, historic problem with assassination of public officials." Apparently Matthews missed the news that just this last summer, in Mexico, a candidate for governor, Rodolfo Torre, was killed.
Then later on in the show, Matthews, along with the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman, went after a couple of his favorite targets, Palin and Bachmann, as seen in this exchange:
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Lee Cowan, inspired by Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik's blaming political rhetoric for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, highlighted Sarah Palin's Web site map featuring crosshairs on Giffords' district, as he scolded: "Not since Timothy McVeigh attacked the federal building in Oklahoma City has a crime sparked so much attention on anti-government rhetoric. That map Sarah Palin put up on Facebook last year, targeting Congresswoman Gifford's seat, made Gifford nervous, even then."
To underscore Dupnik's charge about political rhetoric, in addition to citing the Palin crosshairs map, Cowan aired clips from various health care and immigration protests, but paid close attention to those opposed to the Democratic agenda including Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, as seen in the following excerpt:
NBC's Matt Lauer, at the top of Monday's Today show, alerted viewers that Sarah Palin was being drawn into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he teased an upcoming Andrea Mitchell story this way: "Sarah Palin has been coming under some criticism. While there is no evidence her Web site featuring a target on Giffords' district had anything to do with this attack, some are asking if today's political rhetoric is inspiring the lunatic fringe?" For her part, Mitchell made sure to point out "while there is no indication that this suspect was inspired...by political speech" she then proceeded to devote most of her story linking Palin to the attack.
In a story entitled, "Crosshairs Controversy, Palin Criticized For 'Targeting Giffords'" Mitchell noted: "The attack has reopened criticism of the way Palin targeted Gabby Giffords and 19 other Democrats in last year's campaign." Mitchell then went on to report that after Giffords' congressional district, along with 20 others, was targeted with crosshairs on a map on Sarah Palin's Web site, "Giffords' Tuscon office was vandalized" and then aired a clip of Giffords slamming Palin.
Chris Matthews has a new obsession for 2011 and her name is Michele Bachmann. Matthews has gone after Bachmann with the same fervor he used to reserve for Dick Cheney and on Thursday's Hardball he mocked the Minnesota Republican Congresswoman's new appointment to the House Intelligence committee as he snidely observed: "This is great irony here, on the Intelligence committee. I wonder what the rules are for getting on that committee? I guess they're pretty lenient."
Matthews also questioned Bachman's motives for getting involved in public service as he asked The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe about a profile she wrote about Bachmann that touched on her religious beliefs:
MATTHEWS: Well what is the religious piece here because I don't want to push it too hard, but is there a kind of Joan of Arc thing going on here? The way you write that piece makes it sounds like she's on a kind of crusade. I'm serious. Almost a Messianic goal here, which goes beyond what we normally consider politics in America.