Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, not so cryptically compared the actions of Republican volunteers to that of Nazi-style tactics from the 1930s as he claimed the restraining of a MoveOn.org activist by a Rand Paul supporter reminded him of what "we saw from hoodlums in the thirties in another country I will not mention" and added: "I mean it isn't far from what we saw in the thirties, where all of a sudden, political parties started showing up in uniform." Matthews, who was joined by Salon's Joan Walsh and the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, even went on to claim physical attacks against political opponents was something that existed exclusively on one ideological side as he asserted that it was "right wing by its very nature."
This was the second night in a row Matthews advanced this theory and he didn't bother to mention the other side of the story, that a Jack Conway volunteer perhaps had acted violently at the Paul rally as well. The Post's Cillizza, to his credit, actually tried to talk Matthews down as he told the MSNBC host: "I don't think it is right wing by its nature. I would say at the end of campaigns, passions get very inflamed...I do not think it is a right wing thing, I do not think it is a left wing thing." However Cillizza failed in his effort to bring reason to the Hardball host as Matthews challenged Cillizza to "Name the last liberal progressive candidate who hired a private army, the last one that was stomping his political, her political opponents in the street?" before getting on his liberal high horse: "Well we see different kinds of passion here, don't we? We see one passion being reporters trying to get stories in Alaska so they could undercover skull-duggery. We have the passion of a woman who shows up to demonstrate with a wig on and a placard and then we see the passion of the other side, which is to hire armies of paramilitaries and stomp people."
Chris Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, invited on his old boss, former President Jimmy Carter, to commiserate about the rise of the Tea Party, as the two condescendingly praised the movement at first, with Matthews admitting "they're not all crazies, they're regular people" but then went on to ridicule them as dupes of the rich.
After Matthews asked if the Tea Partiers realized that "they're being backed by big corporations and all this conservative money at the top," Carter responded that they had no idea that they were "suborned" by those "who don't give a darn about low-class working people" like them, as seen in this exchange:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well what you think of these Tea Party people? Mr. President I look at a lot of them as, they're not all crazies, they're regular people. A lot of them middle, middle-class people and they're very religious. They're church-going people like yourself. And I wonder do they know that they're being backed by big corporations and all this conservative money at the top?
Left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, on Monday's Today show, disgustingly tried to link pro-life candidates running in this year's midterm elections to the murder of abortion Dr. George Tiller, as she told Today co-host Matt Lauer "the thing that has surprised me the most is how much" Tea Party candidates were "going back to hard line...positions on abortion" and, as she plugged her upcoming documentary on Tiller, warned viewers: " I think it's important that it's airing right now because there are, there are five Senate candidates running right now who have a position on abortion that has never really been seen in mainstream politics before."
Right before Lauer alerted viewers of the hour long documentary that is airing -- not coincidentally only eight days before Election Day -- at 9 pm Eastern time on MSNBC tonight, he asked Maddow if the Tiller murder was "isolated" or "part of a larger campaign" to which the MSNBC host ominously responded: "If the far edge of the pro-life movement is getting mainstreamed" by candidates adopting their position "what do we need to know about the far edge of the anti-abortion movement?"
NBC's Andrea Mitchell, in a piece aired on Thursday's Today about Virginia Thomas' call to Anita Hill, made a point of tying the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to "conservative causes" but offered no ideological label for Hill. Mitchell also offered two sound bites from Hill supporters, but only featured a brief clip of an old audio-book excerpt from Clarence Thomas expressing sympathy for his wife.
After the NBC correspondent noted that Hill and her "allies" claimed Thomas' request for an apology was "inappropriate" Mitchell aired Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree calling Thomas' behavior "bizarre." Mitchell also featured Jill Abramson, the New York Times reporter and author of the Clarence Thomas bashing book, Strange Justice, questioning the timing of the Supreme Court justice spouse.
Mitchell did play a clip of Clarence Thomas reading from his book My Grandfather's Son, in which the Justice relayed how the two "shared the pain" during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearings, but then went on to bemoan that this new controversy "interrupted the secluded life Hill now leads at Brandeis University."
With less than two weeks to go before the midterm elections, NBC's Ann Curry on Wednesday's Today show, invited on DNC Chairman Tim Kaine to make his case and seemingly pleaded "What are you going to do, over the next 13 days...to convince voters to keep Democrats in charge?" Curry even questioned Kaine why Barack Obama hadn't energized his base earlier, specifically the youth vote, as she pressed: "If these young voters are so important...was it a mistake not to woo them sooner?" Curry then went on to quote former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, who pointed out the Tea Party was still maturing as a movement, as she asked the former governor of Virginia "If the Tea party is not sophisticated, then why is it so difficult for your party, to convince voters otherwise?"
The following is the full interview with Tim Kaine as it was aired on the October 20 Today show:
Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway's recent ad questioning the faith of his opponent Republican Rand Paul was so beyond the pale that even NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show, repeatedly hit Conway with questions about its appropriateness as he pressed, "Did it cross a line? Is it fair, even in the increasingly dirty world of politics?" The ad, which brought up allegations of Paul's behavior in his college days, was so over-the-top Lauer could not let Conway's charges go unchallenged as he questioned Conway's veracity, as seen in the following exchange:
MATT LAUER: This latest ad of yours ignited a firestorm. It clearly ignited the passions of Mr. Paul. Did it cross a line? Is it fair, even in the increasingly dirty world of politics? Do you stand by it?
JACK CONWAY: I stand by it. I'm not questioning his faith, I'm questioning his actions, Matt. The president of Baylor University banned a group that Rand Paul joined. And he banned this group, a few years before Rand Paul went to Baylor. He banned them because they were quote, "Making fun of Christianity and Christ." And, and our question is, why did he join a group that was known for mocking people of faith?
NBC's Matt Lauer, at the top of Monday's Today show, touted the arrival of Michelle Obama on the campaign trail, as he trumpeted: "Tag team, the President and First Lady campaign together for the first time since 2008" and added that the President "pulled out his not so secret weapon at a rally in Ohio...the First Lady." Lauer, seemingly looking for any signs of hope for the Democrats, asked his colleague David Gregory if the President and First Lady's attempt to "generate some of that energy and mojo" from 2008 was working, to which Gregory responded "there's some evidence" Democrats are "getting a little bit more interested." Lauer did note that "for the last several months" the President "has become a liability for some Democratic candidates" but then asked the Meet the Press host, "Is he less of a liability with the First Lady at his side?"
As for the Republicans, Lauer continued his obsession with GOP candidates' stances on homosexuality, as he prompted Gregory to discuss Colorado Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck's response to a Gregory question on that topic on Meet the Press: "And finally let's go to this, this other interview you had yesterday, where you were talking to the Senate candidate, the Republican from Colorado, Ken Buck, and, and you asked him if homosexuality was a choice and, and he said yes. Clearly that's going to ruffle some feathers but in this year, where everybody out there says the election about three things: jobs, jobs and more jobs - is it going to have an impact?"
Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd tag-teamed against Alaskan Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, on Thursday's Hardball, as Todd claimed Miller was "running a terrible campaign" and warned that "it may be popular among conservatives to bash the media" but Miller is "turning off" voters when he does it. For his part Matthews called Miller "unlikable" going as far to compare him to the negative depiction of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the movie "The Social Network" as Matthews pined: "He seems about as likable as that guy...Joe Miller seems like that guy." Of the Tea Party conservative Matthews also added: "He seems like a misanthrope," and predicted: "I don't think people are gonna like this guy." (video included)
The following exchange was aired on the October 14 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Go to Alaska, you brought that up a minute ago.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Yeah.
MATTHEWS: Could a Democrat be elected Senator from Alaska against two Republicans?
NBC's Meredith Vieira previewed Thursday's Today show coverage of the Delaware Senate debate by teasing viewers about "the one question that left [Christine] O'Donnell struggling for an answer" but Vieira, nor Kelly O'Donnell in her full report, bothered to note her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, completely fumbling a basic question about property taxes. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell excerpted a moment from the debate unfavorable to Christine O'Donnell as she relayed: "On the Supreme Court O'Donnell stumbled much like Sarah Palin, when asked to name a recent decision she opposes." However Kelly O'Donnell failed to excerpt an embarrassing moment for Coons when he stumbled on a question about raising property taxes three times in one year, as he awkwardly responded: "Research into what would reveal that, it's difficult, it's complicated."
NBC's O'Donnell also, not surprisingly, highlighted Christine O'Donnell's "controversial witch comments" as she accompanied a sound bite from the debate on the topic with a clip from Bill Maher's old Politically Incorrect show, but when it came to mentioning Coon's past the NBC correspondent matter of factly noted: "Coons comes from a wealthy family and has two graduate degrees from Yale."
The following teaser and full segment were aired on the October 14 Today show:
Leave it to Chris Matthews to shoe-horn in a crass political point against the Tea Party, even in the midst of a heartwarming story like the rescue of the Chilean miners. On Wednesday's Hardball, the MSNBC host, along with his guest Richard Trumka, president of the AFL/CIO, claimed those miners would never have survived if they had followed the "every man for himself" philosophy of the Tea Party crowd.
After Trumka initially recounted his joy at watching the miners being rescued, he quickly veered into his standard rhetoric of the need for more regulation. Matthews then picked up on Trumka's cue to launch into an attack on the Tea Party, as he distorted their limited government view as one of total anarchy that would mean "no more government, no more everything," as seen in the following exchange:
NBC's Meredith Vieira tried her best to get Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann off her game, on Tuesday's Today show, by repeatedly pressing her to admit that the Tea Party has "lost its focus" and was "losing its way" over social issues, adding that since some of their candidates are "so far out of the mainstream" they can't win. However Bachmann never took Vieira's bait, as she pointed out the Tea Party candidates like Ken Buck and Marco Rubio "have caught fire" and are "energizing the Republican Party."
Vieira, following the lead of her Today co-anchor Matt Lauer from yesterday's show, repeatedly tried to hit Bachmann over the head with comments made by Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino about homosexuality, but Bachmann kept the focus on the core issues of spending, taxes and the need for Congress to "act within the bounds of the Constitution," as seen in the following exchange:
NBC's Willie Geist, substitute hosting for Matt Lauer on Friday's Today show, invited on CNBC's Maria Bartiromo to talk about the new jobs report and the two had a startling message for those in its audience who may be unemployed right now - just get "used to it." Geist, citing the liberal economist Joseph Stiglitz, asked the CNBC anchor if "higher unemployment may just be the new normal in this country. Do you agree with that? We just have to get used to this?" Bartiromo, eschewing any sort of American "can do" optimism, actually agreed as she responded: "Well I definitely think we are in a new normal. I think you have to have expectations of much lower growth levels in the United States, relative to the rest of the world." Bartiromo added that business aren't likely to hire in 2011 because they are expecting higher health care expenses, expecting higher taxes" but didn't blame Obama administration policies for those fears.
NBC's Chuck Todd, on Friday's Today, played defense for the Democrats as he relayed their spin on political commercials, noting that "outside independent groups, mostly Republican, are benefitting from the landmark Supreme Court ruling that allows big corporate donors to spend unlimited money, in some cases anonymously, on political advertising." Todd even played several clips of the President going after those ads, but never offered a countering soundbite from a Republican.
Todd also found time to highlight a Democratic complaint about an ad that dared to use actors instead of real people, as he pointed out a commercial against Democratic Senate candidate and current governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin drew the ire of Dems because it featured actors "hired by a Philadelphia talent agency looking for a quote, 'hicky blue collar look'."
First up Todd set the table for the President to slam independent groups as "a threat to democracy" but failed to mention that he himself -- as reported in a Washington Post story headlined Obama Accepted Untraceable Donations -- benefitted from anonymous contributions back in 2008.
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown was caught on tape in a conversation with an aide, in which that aide called his Republican opponent Meg Whitman a "whore" and CBS's Early Show, on Friday, didn't find that gaffe worthy to report, even though Brown was forced to apologize. ABC's Good Morning America, didn't do much better, as while they did report on the sexist phrased being hurled at Whitman they didn't get around to it, until the second hour of their show. ABC's Juju Chang, in a news brief, noted "Some salty language in the race for California governor. It's difficult to hear, but it's a voice mail recording that captures Democrat Jerry Brown" and an aide, "who used a not-so flattering word to describe" Whitman. Chang went on to play a clip of the aide saying of Whitman "She's a whore."
NBC's Today show, for some reason, bleeped out the offending word, but did offer the most extensive report of the controversy and unlike their morning competitors highlighted the story in the first hour of their program with Vieira teasing at the top of the show: "And caught on tape. A private conversation between California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and an aide recorded on a voice mail and derogatory word is used to describe rival Meg Whitman. The Brown camp is apologizing but Whitman's camp is calling it unforgivable, today." Vieira's colleague, Natalie Morales, then offered a full story, six minutes into the show.
Just a day after NBC's Matt Lauer engaged in a rough interview with Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, Lauer engaged in a much more friendly chat, with DNC chairman Tim Kaine as he helpfully asked the former Virginia Governor, on Wednesday's Today show, what Democrats could do to best "chip away"at the GOP's lead in the polls and "counter" their messages. Lauer also jumped at the chance to ask Kaine about a rumor that Hillary Clinton may join Barack Obama on the 2012 ticket as he prodded Kaine: "Any reason why that would kind of get your juices flowing?"
The following is the full interview with Kaine as it was aired on the October 6 Today show:
With Election Day just a month away NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show, attacked New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino repeatedly with such pejoratives as "angry""nasty" and "dark" and accused him of practicing "gutter politics." Lauer even told the Tea Party backed candidate that if elected he wouldn't be able to get anything done because political leaders "need not to crack heads, they need to build bridges" and added when "I look at you, I'm not sure you're a bridge builder." This is a far cry from when Lauer interviewed President Barack Obama back on the September 27 Today show and hit him with criticism from the left that he had not been "rigorous enough in pushing back against" GOP attacks.
Lauer's colleague, Meredith Vieira, teased the Paladino interview by alerting viewers "He is at the heart of one of the nastiest races in New York's history and he promises it's gonna get nastier" and Lauer didn't waste any time trying to prove that point, as he opened up with the following first question: "You have seemed to embrace the mantle of the angry candidate. Is that what you think voters want right now?" Paladino punched back, something he had to do throughout all of Lauer's interview as he countered: "I don't think it's anger...it's people that are very frustrated and I'm just a reflection of that frustration." [audio available here]
Former Vice President Walter Mondale appeared on Monday's Today show to plug his new book, The Good Fight, and NBC's Amy Robach asked the failed 1984 presidential candidate if he had any advice for Barack Obama, as the midterms approach, as she asked: "A lot has been compared to President Jimmy Carter's presidency to President Obama's" and recalling Mondale's run against Ronald Reagan: "Do you think that President Obama and Democrats are facing a similar situation come November?" For his part Mondale advised that Obama should get rid of his teleprompters or "idiot boards" as he called them because as "smart as he can be, he needs to talk right into that camera and talk to people because people are hurting."
The following is the full interview as it was aired on the October 4 Today show:
Chris Matthews began Wednesday's Hardball in usual fashion attacking the Tea Party as the "Cro-Magnon political party," but he ended this evening's show in an unexpected way as the MSNBCer advised that the more Obama "sells" his ideas to "the political middle the better his chances" and added "Those who argue otherwise don't know this country, its history or its basically conservative gut."
Matthews began his "Let Me Finish" segment by suggesting the reason former President Bill Clinton currently has a high approval rating was because he's "a reminder of a better economic time for an important other. But the real reason is that Bill Clinton...knew the key to political, as well as policy success, lies in keeping faith with the middle." [audio available here]
The following Matthews observations were aired on the September 29 edition of Hardball:
NBC's Savannah Guthrie, on Wednesday's Today show, proclaimed: "The President proved last night, in Wisconsin, he can still pack tens of thousands of young people into an arena" but lost on Guthrie was the fact that if Barack Obama has to campaign in one of the most reliably liberal cities -- in this case Madison, WI for incumbent Senator Russ Feingold -- it's not a good sign for the Democratic Party. While Guthrie did question if Obama could get those young voters to the polls, she went on to leave the impression that Obama's "old campaign magic" may be closing the gap as she noted: "The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows the race for Congress tightening. Republicans now hold a three point lead over Democrats among likely voters, down from a nine point lead last month."
What Guthrie failed to report was that same poll showed some very bad numbers for the Dems. As the MRC's Brent Baker noted, even Guthrie's NBC colleague Brian Williams couldn't ignore the poll results that showed: "'The change that voters want' includes 54 percent who 'hope that this Tea Party enthusiasm in the Republican Party makes them a fiscally conservative party' and '54 percent want to see the repeal of health care.'"
A frustrated Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's Hardball, chided the left for being disappointed in Barack Obama as he essentially told them, he's the best they've got and are going to get. During a segment in which the Salon's Joan Walsh and Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall wondered why Obama and Joe Biden were admonishing their base to stop whining, Matthews took up for Team Obama as he tried to calm down the lefties: "This president has done what we were all taught in graduate school to do, what progressives have believed in from years and years, decades ago...You compensate for the loss of consumer spending and business investment with government spending...No one has had a better idea since the 1930s. Number two, The Wall Street crowd needed governing. They didn't have any, now they've got some. Number three, he's pushed for progressive taxation, he's going after the rich. He's not giving them their tax cut." [audio available here]
At the end of his program, a desperate sounding Matthews listed a bunch of races Democrats still had a chance in, and then pleaded to the left to unify behind those candidates because "the bad guys are gaining." (video & audio of "Let Me Finish" segment below the fold)
The following exchange was aired on the September 28 edition of Hardball:
Prior to tonight's debut of Lawrence O'Donnell's new show, The Last Word, MSNBC has been running promos where O'Donnell proclaims how much "political pressure there is on everyone involved" in governing decisions and that it leaves him "respecting every one who steps into that room to do that," adding he's "gonna disagree with some of those people" but will always "respect the strength it takes to go on in there." Well "respect" was the last thing O'Donnell displayed to a couple of guests that appeared with him on various MSNBC programs.
Back on the February 12 edition of Morning Joe, he was such was in such a rage against former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, going as far as to blame that administration for the 9/11 attacks, host Joe Scarborough actually had to call the proverbial whistle on him and stop the program, to let him cool down. However, when they got back from a commercial break O'Donnell launched into yet another tirade as he called Thiessen a "torture-monger." (video below the fold)
Perhaps O'Donnell's worst performance came on the October 22, 2004 edition of Scarborough Country when he want lashed out against Vietnam veteran John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth for daring to challenge then presidential candidate John Kerry's veracity, as he repeatedly called him a "liar" and charged he did nothing to stop the war.
The following are transcripts of those unhinged attacks by O'Donnell:
With just five weeks to go before the midterms NBC-Universal devoted a full half hour of commercial free air time, across its many properties including MSNBC, USA, Bravo and even Syfy, so that President Obama could offer his views on the state of public education and yes even lash out against Republicans, something Matt Lauer, on Monday's Today show, pushed him to do. Initially invited on to discuss education, the President was, essentially urged by Lauer to take a swipe at the GOP as he asked "Do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?" [audio available here]
MATT LAUER: We are five weeks before the midterm elections and it's getting pretty heated, there's no question. You said at a speech recently, you said, you know, "The Republicans they're treating me like a dog." There's a lot of rhetoric out there, coming from the Republicans toward you, coming from the Tea Party toward you.
BARACK OBAMA: Right.
LAUER: Former President Clinton said he doesn't think the Democrats, and you included, have been rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks. Over these next five weeks, Mr. President, do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?
As part of a sweeping NBC-Universal channel wide broadcast that included NBC outlets like MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Syfy and the Oxygen network, Barack Obama was interviewed by Matt Lauer, on Monday's Today, about the state of public education but in a commercial-free half-hour of interview time, Lauer never once asked the President about his opposition to school vouchers, including a very popular program in Washington D.C.
In fact Lauer missed couple of opportunities to press Obama on the issue, when he made reference to the documentary Waiting For Superman, and when an audience member actually pressed Obama if he thought his daughters would "get the same high quality rigorous education in a D.C. public school as compared to their very elite private academy that they're attending now?"
For his part Obama audaciously responded to Kelly Burnett of Florida: "There are some terrific individual schools, in the D.C. system. And that's true, by the way, in every city across the country" but "A lot of times you've gotta test in or there, it's a lottery pick for you to be able to get into those schools. And so those options are not available enough children....I'll be very honest with you. Given my position, if I wanted to find a great public school for Malia and Sasha to be in, we could probably maneuver to do it. But the broader problem is for a mom or a dad who are working hard but don't have a bunch of connections, don't have a lot of choice in terms of where they live."
Lawrence O'Donnell starts his new show The Last Word on Monday night, and over the past few years, O'Donnell put together quite the audition tape to land him a hosting gig for the ever more left-leaning network.
On November 13th, 2009, substitute hosting for Keith Olbermann on his MSNBC show Countdown, O'Donnell engaged in a favorite pastime of that show's regular host, bashing Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin as he managed to paint both of them as idiots in one single rant.
Monday night marks the debut of Lawrence O'Donnell's very own show, called The Last Word, on MSNBC and if his guest spots on various programs on that network and the syndicated McLaughlin Group over the last few years are any indication, he's bound to give Keith Olbermann a run for his money for over-the-top loony tirades.
O'Donnell reared his bigoted side on the December 8, 2007 edition of the McLaughlin Group. He not only went after former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but also his faith, seen in the following rants he made after the former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate delivered a speech defending his "demented, Scientology-like" Mormon faith:
Chris Matthews thinks the Republican Party's Pledge to America is all part of a ploy to hide the more "radical" ideas of their party as he, on Thursday's Hardball, announced that the GOP "manifesto" could be "the biggest cover up since Watergate." Matthews went on to speculate that with the Pledge, the Republican members of Congress were doing their best to "disguise the much more serious, more radical proposals" of the Tea Party. The suspicious Matthews then went on to tally the allegedly secret agenda of the GOP that was "hidden under the table." [audio available here]
The following Matthews rants were aired on the September 23 edition of Hardball:
Back in 1994, as the MRC's Brent Baker recalled earlier today with video, Tom Brokaw derided the Contract with America as "long on promises, but short on sound premises." So on the very day that Republican House members were set to announce their Pledge to America, who did NBC's Today show bring on to discuss it? House Minority Leader John Boehner? Rising Republican star Paul Ryan? No, on Thursday's Today, Meredith Vieira invited on Brokaw to, once again, rain on the GOP's parade as he claimed the Pledge doesn't "address, in many ways, some of the toughest issues that are still before us, Medicare, Social Security." [audio available here]
NBC's Tamron Hall blared, "It's being called 'corruption on steroids'" while George Lewis added, "It's been an angry summer in Bell, California, once people learned that city officials awarded themselves huge six figure salaries at taxpayer's expense." However neither of them mentioned, in two different stories on Wednesday's Today show, that those corrupt officials belonged to the Democratic Party. Lewis, strangely, couldn't even bother to identify the party of Jerry Brown -- who has a soundbite in the piece going after the officials -- as he just called him "The California attorney general running for governor."
Incidentally, the Today show wasn't the only news outlet to conveniently drop the "D" label next to those officials accused of bilking California taxpayers. As Newsbusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out on Tuesday, "ABC, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle all reported on the arrests today without mentioning party affiliations."
Bill Maher was invited on Chris Matthews' Hardball show, on Tuesday night, to discuss his old guest panelist Christine O'Donnell's controversial statements about practicing witchcraft in high school, but it was the HBO host's take on Jimmy Carter's recent round of interviews that was particularly jarring as he told Matthews that he wished Barack Obama was a little more like that failed president. Prompted by the one-time Carter speechwriter to comment on his former boss, Maher professed: "I love Jimmy Carter! Jimmy Carter is so honest and out there. You know sometimes, I hear people say, 'Oh, Obama, his term could become like Jimmy Carter's.' Yeah, I wish. You know Jimmy Carter did some real bold things, like returning the Panama Canal. Can you see a president trying to do that today? Or, or getting on national television and telling the American people that they're lazy and they're using too much energy?...I think this country needs a lot more of that sort of forthright honesty." [audio available here]
As for O'Donnell, Maher initially claimed she was "a liar" but, in a blatant booking plea, quickly amended, "But I like her." And after Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell commenting on scientific experiments Maher, along with Matthews, took the opportunity to take a shot at all those science-hating Republicans:
It seems like every few years there's a new mascot for Team Global Warming. First it was the polar bear, then the Arctic fox and now it's the walrus's turn. On Monday's Today show, Lee Cowan traveled to Point Lay, Alaska to report on how shrinking ice sheets are leaving walruses stranded, in between their feedings, adding: "Much like the polar bear, they can't swim forever." In fact it didn't take long for Cowan to bring up the dreaded specter of global warming as he aired a soundbite of a local tribal president worrying: "I always thought the Arctic would be cold, but scientists tell us that there's global warming going on." Cowan even used another local resident to suggest that if something wasn't done soon, that in 10 years "we won't have any" animals.
The following is a full transcript of the segment as it was aired on the September 20 Today show: