NBC's Andrea Mitchell reporting live from Tehran on Tuesday's Today show, on the American hikers held hostage in Iran, relayed Iranian government spin, that the Ground Zero mosque protest and controversial Koran "desecrations" have "added to the tension here, the anti-American spirit." Spurred by a question from substitute anchor Carl Quintanilla about the protests in New York city, Mitchell actually held up one of the state-owned newspapers and relayed that "if the government needed any excuse to drum up more anti-American fever," they have it, as she noted "all the headlines" in Iran are about the "desecration" and "burning" threats of the Koran.
The following segment was aired on the September 14 Today show:
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Tuesday's Today show, demonstrated just how out of touch she is on the Tea Party and the economy as she questioned GOP House members, "Are you worried about the influence of the Tea Party?" and even doubted the positive effect tax cuts can have on creating jobs as she questioned: "What's so good about them?" [audio available here]
On to promote their new book Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, Republican Congressmen Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy were on hand to school the Today anchor, with Cantor having to explain to Vieira that "the last thing you want to do in an economy like this with 9.6 percent unemployment is have a big tax increase on small businesses," as seen in the following exchange:
VIEIRA: One of the key issues also heading into the midterm elections, is this expiration of the tax cuts, Bush's tax cuts. Over the weekend, your leader I guess, your boss, Minority Leader John Boehner said that he would support tax cuts for just middle income earners, if that was his only option. Yesterday he took that back, he did an about-face. Why?
Well you have to give Chris Matthews credit for admitting the obvious. On Monday's Hardball, as he overlooked the bad environment for Democrats this midterm season, Matthews appeared grateful he didn't make his much rumored run for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, as he asked one of his guests: "Do you think it could be the year where guys...like me were smart not to make the run?" [audio available here]
The admission came during a segment in which Matthews, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and local radio talk show host, Dan Gaffney of WGMD, were breaking down the prospects for Christine O'Donnell to upset Republican Mike Castle and go on to win the general election for the Deleware Senate seat with Gaffney explaining that it was a distinct possibility since there is "a lot of anti-establishment, anti-incumbent sentiment" in that state, calling that race "a crap-shoot." This caused Matthews to wonder, if in fact, that attitude extended to Pennsylvania as he asked Gaffney the following question:
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Thursday's Today show, invited on New York Republican Congressman Peter King and CAIR's Zead Ramadan to discuss the potential burning of Korans by Pastor Terry Jones and the furor over the Ground Zero mosque, but it was only King that was pressed by the Today anchor, as Vieira let Ramadan go unchallenged even when he equated opposition to the mosque to internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II and even slavery.
First up, Vieira, after playing a clip of Feisal Abdul-Rauf, recited the Imam's concerns to King that if he moved the location of the mosque now it "would just be fueling the radicals" to which the New York Congressman shot back that "he seems to be equating the 71 percent of Americans who oppose this as being radicals." Then Vieira let CAIR's Ramadan go on, uninterrupted, as he proceeded to compare the protest surrounding the Ground Zero mosque to some of America's worst moments of intolerance as he went on to say: "The issue with the public sentiment is that when an issue is related to bigotry, unfortunately our history has shown that sometimes we're on the wrong side. For example we interred Japanese during World War II, we segregated our military, our schools, and it took on Executive Order to undo that. And we also enslaved our fellow Americans. So I mean when it comes to bigotry we've got to be careful about the public sentiment." [audio available here]
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the September 9 Today show:
Chris Matthews is still getting a thrill up his leg, and even further, when he hears Barack Obama speak, as the MSNBCer, on Monday's Hardball, announced to the world "I get the same thrill up my leg, all over me," whenever he listens to Obama's 2004 Democratic convention speech. Matthews also revealed he is really sensitive about how his "thrill" moments are described, as he took offense when a guest inaccurately labeled it a "tingle" as Matthews shot back: "It wasn't a tingle, up my leg, that's what right wing fascists say. I got a thrill up my leg. Okay? You're reading the right wing blogs. Start tuning your station." [audio available here]
Matthews, however, is quite aware that the rest of the country doesn't share the same all over body thrill he does as he asked his guests, Roger Simon of the Politico and Jim Kessler of Third Way, "Can President Obama stir us again and help his party keep power this November?"
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the September 7 Hardball:
It's no secret that Chris Matthews once flirted with the idea of running for Senate in Pennsylvania, but since he didn't throw his hat into that race, the Hardball host, on Thursday night, did everything he could to help Joe Sestak beat Republican Pat Toomey, as he urged: "I hope your party gets organized up there, because the Democratic Party of Ed Rendell and you and all those other guys ought to get together with Brady andwin this thing!" And even before Matthews invited viewers to "Meet Joe Sestak" in an interview segment, the MSNBCer began cheerleading for him in a preview as he teased: "Up next, Joe Sestak from my home state of Pennsylvania, he's fighting hard, the good fight against Pat Toomey, the Club for Growther of the far right." [audio available here]
The following exchanges were aired on the September 2 edition of Hardball:
NBC's Matt Lauer wanted one question to stick in the minds of his Today show viewers, as from the top of Wednesday's show, to his interview with Vice President Joe Biden, the Today co-anchor repeatedly asked was the Iraq war "worth it?" As part of the analysis of the President's Oval Office speech last night, in which Barack Obama announced an end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Lauer invited on Biden, in the 7am half hour, to press him about the costs of the war as he asked: "There is a question being asked in homes all across the country this morning, after seven years and 4,400 lives and tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen and women wounded, some of them horrifically, and of course billions and billions of dollars spent, was Iraq worth it?" [audio available here]
For his part Biden responded that since he had a son who served in Iraq for a year, "I could never say to any of those parents it's not worth it" but that didn't dissuade Lauer from pursuing his line of questioning, from the left, as he cited a New York Times editorial to the Vice President:
On the day that the U.S. is ending combat operations in Iraq, the Today show, on Tuesday, brought on their chief foreign correspondent to essentially say the Iraq war wasn't worth it. The noted anti-war reporter, when asked by Today co-anchor Ann Curry did, "Anything positive come from this war?" proceeded to dump on the entire mission as he relayed that Iraqis are upset that the United States "has failed to deliver on its promises," claimed that Saddam Hussein, before the war, was "getting more moderate" and concluded that the mission was "a giant distraction of resources" and if not for the invasion of Iraq, the war in Afghanistan "would probably be over." [audio available here]
As the MRC's Tim Graham pointed out in 2006, Engel isn't exactly the most objective analyst the Today show could've brought on to analyze the war, as he admitted to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz that he thinks "war should be illegal" and he told him "I'm basically a pacifist."
The following is the full exchange between Curry and Engel as it was aired on the August 31 Today show:
The news that it could be a good year for women electorally did not cheer up the likes of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson and the Politico's Jeanne Cummings, because it turns out it's only going to be a good year for women on the Republican side like Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman, and Carly Fiorina or as Carlson put it: "It's not a compassionate women year." [audio available here]
Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, invited on Carlson and Cummings to take a look at "gender politics" and found that it could be a good year for women, just not the kind of women they like, in other words the more conservative momma grizzly types that Sarah Palin supports. Cummings even bemoaned that a loss of the House could result in "one giant blow to women" in that it "could take down the Speaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi" who was "a real shining star for the achievements and the rise of women in government."
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the August 30 edition of Hardball:
NBC's Matt Lauer, on Monday's Today show, invited on the not-so balanced panel of the Reverend Al Sharpton and the NAACP's Ben Jealous to analyze Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally that took place on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" with Jealous proclaiming that "if Dr. King stood up there" the conservatives in attendance would not have "responded well" to him. Jealous went on to say Dr. King's "last campaign" was the "poor people's campaign. To make sure that all people...can find a good job, all kids can go to a great school. And Mr. Beck, that's not what he talks about. And that's not, that doesn't seem to be what he actually wants." This led Lauer, ignoring the fact that rally attendees also want those things, that they just differ on the methods to get there, to observe: "It seems like you guys are saying, without saying, that you're looking at what happened and you're looking at Glenn Beck as somewhat of a wolf in sheep's clothing."
The following Kelly O'Donnell set-up piece and Lauer interview with Sharpton and Jealous was aired on the August 30 Today show:
Today co-anchor Matt Lauer traveled to New Orleans, on Friday, to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and interviewed the likes of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, former FEMA Director Mike Brown, current Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, but saved any sort of direct shots at George W. Bush for his interview with Laura Bush.
At the very end of his August 27 interview about her charitable work in the region, Lauer laid the following guilt trip on the former First Lady: [audio available here]
NBC's Tom Costello, on Friday's Today show, in previewing Glenn Beck's rally at the Lincoln Memorial this weekend, focused on the racial insensitivity of the Tea Partiers as he reminded NBC's viewers that at last year's rally in Washington "there were a lot of signs that had rather racist overtones. The concern is that might be repeated this time. By the way, many Beck followers, who are coming, are being urged to avoid African-American areas and avoid conflict."
Costello began his story noting that while "Glenn Beck says that Dr. King is a hero of his" he is still "defiant in his right to be here" and then went on to cite political analyst Stu Rothenberg in insisting "this weekend's event could carry risk for Republicans."
The following is the full Costello story as it was aired on the August 27 Today show:
If Democrats weren't nervous about November's midterm elections yet, they could soon be, especially when you consider that even their allies in the liberal media are starting to forecast doom for them, as NBC's Chuck Todd did on Tuesday's Today show, going as far to predict "Democrats are in deep, deep trouble." Todd, appearing in the 7am half hour of this morning's Today show explained to viewers that "The Tea Party has provided an enthusiasm boost to the Republican Party," however he reminded Democrats that they still had "six weeks to turn this around" but then added that "if they don't, they are headed for an historical defeat in November." [audio available here]
Interestingly though Todd and his NBC colleague Kelly O'Donnell, in her set up piece, didn't exactly paint a big Republican win as a defeat for liberals, as they couldn't even bring themselves to attach that label to any Democrats running in 2010. While Todd and O'Donnell used the "conservative" label a total of four times between them, neither of them used the "liberal" label even when they discussed Florida Representative Kendrick Meek who has a lifetime ACU rating of 7 and a lifetime ADA rating of 92 percent.
The following O'Donnell set-up piece and Todd segment were aired on the August 24 Today show:
Chris Matthews bizarrely accused Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of using code language to appeal to the Birther crowd for saying, on Sunday's Meet the Press, that "The President says he's a Christian. I take him at his word." The phrasing of "take him at his word" sent the MSNBC host, on Monday's Hardball, into a rage as he charged McConnell's statement was a "Pitch perfect, dog whistle to the haters."
In fact, Matthews devoted much of his show to "The right wing's attempt to de-Americanize the President" as he invited on Newsweek's Howard Fineman and the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, in the first segment, to dissect what they thought was some sort of nefarious strategy on the parts of McConnell, Reverend Franklin Graham, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to ride a "message of fear" to victory in November.
Matthews began his opening segment by attacking McConnell for failing to denounce any sort of conspiracy theories as he claimed: "The Republican leader of the Senate played Birther politics with abandon." He even brought on Fineman -- who proudly claimed that since he used to work in McConnell's home state of Kentucky and therefore "understands it" -- to explain to viewers that the GOP senator was trying to get Rand Paul elected by playing to a "nativist appeal" that "really works big time" in that state.
However McConnell wasn't the only target of Matthews' ire as the conversation soon turned towards Rush Limbaugh:
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer opened the show suggesting that Julian Assange was was being smeared by the Pentagon as the Today co-anchor teased: "And payback? The founder of WikiLeaks, the Web site that leaked classified war documents, briefly named in a rape case in Sweden. He says he's innocent. Those charges have been dropped and now he suggests it's all part of a Pentagon smear campaign today, Monday, August 23rd, 2010." However the Today show, never offered any evidence, other than Assange's claim, that the Pentagon was behind any of the charges.
NBC's Ann Curry, in introducing a Martin Fletcher story on Assange, posited: "Is the Pentagon targeting the founder of WikiLeaks for posting thousands of war documents online?" And while the the story did did air a clip of retired UK Colonel Richard Kemp blasting Assange for releasing the classified documents, Fletcher never presented any proof that the Pentagon was behind some sort of smear campaign.
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, Mitchell brought on the Boston Globe's Peter Canellos to pine for the widow of Ted Kennedy, Vicki, to challenge Republican Scott Brown for the Massachusetts Senate seat, as well as imagine how effective the liberal "lion" would be in championing health care and unemployment extension legislation if he were still around today.
A wistful Mitchell remarked of the the late Senator: "It seems as though his legacy only grows in contrast to how low, what low regard the Senate is now held because of the gridlock and the, the sort of petty differences." Mitchell then set up the Globe's editorial page editor as she questioned if Kennedy "were trying to pull things together politically today, if we were blessed by his presence...do you think it would still be the passion for health care, or would he be looking to the larger economic issues?" To which Canellos remembered fondly: "When it comes to unemployment, I mean you can easily hear him...thundering against those who would deny unemployment to people who have been suffering." [audio available here]
The following is the full exchange as it was aired on the August 20 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, in a story aired on Friday's Today show, traveled to Arizona to profile Republican Ben Quayle's run for Congress and in the process gave Dan Quayle's son the same sort of treatment the former Vice President received from the media, as the NBC correspondent treated him like a joke. While O'Donnell briefly mentioned that Ben Quayle is a small business owner, the thrust of her piece was making light of foibles of the son and even father.
In her story O'Donnell aired a joke from her NBC colleague Jay Leno to make fun of a Quayle campaign mailer, pressed Quayle to deny he "wrote under the name Brock Landers, a porn star character from the movie Boogie Nights" for a blog and of course dredged up old footage of his dad misspelling the word potato and being ridiculed by Lloyd Bentsen in a 1988 vice presidential debate. [audio available here]
The following is the full O'Donnell story as it was aired on the August 20 Today show:
NBC's Matt Lauer invited on Rudy Giuliani to discuss the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque with the former New York City mayor diplomatically addressing most of the religious freedom concerns while still recommending that the site be moved, but Lauer furthered the notion that the imam fronting the project was not at fault for the "vitriol" in the debate, as he questioned the former mayor: "Some would say he didn't create the vicious, angry battle. That it's the people who decided to weigh in on it who add, added the vitriol to the battle." To which Giuliani responded that "they're wrong...if you are a healer, you do not go forward with this project."
The following is the full interview with Giuliani as it was aired on the August 19 Today show:
NBC's Matt Lauer, invited on former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Freedom Works' Matt Kibbe to discuss the Ground Zero mosque controversy and claimed that since the group behind the mosque existed in Manhattan before the World Trade Center attack, questioned: "So because of 9/11, do they have to move further away? Do they have to go elsewhere?" Armey, who was on with Kibbe to promote their new book Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, responded to the Today show co-anchor "that because you have the right to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do" and pointed out to Lauer that those behind the mosque should be more "responsive to the concerns that are being raised."
The following is the full interview with Armey and Kibbe as it was aired on the August 17 Today show:
On Thursday's Today show, NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd started building the narrative for the liberal media to spout in case the Republicans win majorities in the House and Senate in the upcoming midterms - that the voters are just cranky about everyone and everything. Todd even went on to absurdly state that if the GOP has a big win it will still be seen as a "A bad election night for all of Washington." All of Washington? Even for the party that is victorious?
Todd, on with Today co-anchor Ann Curry, came up with that conclusion after reciting results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that showed "Everybody is angry at all things Washington" as Todd noted "Democrats hit an all-new high in their negative rating. Republicans have even a higher negative rating. The Tea Party, which had enjoyed a positive rating for awhile, now they have a negative rating." Todd, then, went on to prematurely throw cold water on any sort of GOP win as he claimed: "If the Republicans get the majorities, it's because people have decided to go into the ballot box and hold their nose, they're not happy with anybody."
The following is the full transcript of the segment as it was aired on the August 12 Today show:
NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, managed to question the political viability of two Republican candidates in one sentence as he asked his guest panelist, Jonathan Martin of the Politico, "Is Ken Buck, you know, Sharron Angle in drag?" [audio available here]
Going over the results of yesterday's primary races with Martin and Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Todd claimed "Democrats were doing a touchdown dance" after Buck won the Republican primary contest for the Senate seat in Colorado and also relayed some rather colorful descriptions of Buck, as seen in the following exchange, aired on the August 11 edition of Hardball:
Democratic Senator Michael Bennet got his own live spot on Wednesday's Today show to make his pitch to Colorado voters, but his Republican opponent only got a brief soundbite, that came after a clip of him that put him in a negative, even sexist light. While Today co-anchor Ann Curry chatted live with Bennet in the first half hour, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell only gave Republican candidate Ken Buck a few seconds in her report on yesterday's primary races:
KELLY O'DONNELL: Winning on the Republican side - career prosecutor Ken Buck who had said this on the trail.
KEN BUCK: Why should you vote for me? Because I do not wear high heels.
O'DONNELL: Former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton was the establishment choice, but the Tea Party picked Buck. Do you think of yourself as a Tea Party candidate?
BUCK: I think of myself as a grassroots candidate and the Tea Parties are certainly part of that grassroots effort.
O'Donnell never gave Buck the chance to explain to the country that his comment/joke came in response to Norton criticism of his candidacy, as he told CBS News' Bob Orr: "My opponent has said a number of times on the campaign trail that people should vote for her because she wears high heels, because she wears a skirt, because she's a woman...She ran a commercial that said Ken Buck should be man enough to do X, Y, and Z...I made a statement, it was a lighthearted statement that I'm man enough, I don't wear high heels and I have cowboy boots on."
NBC's Chuck Todd, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on Monday's Hardball, invited on Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum and the Politico's Jonathan Martin to navel gaze about what ailed the political structure as Todd questioned "Is Washington broke and beyond repair?" Pivoting off a Purdum article, that in part, blamed lobbyists, Martin offered his own explanation as he brought up the typical mainstream media boogeymen of the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
After Todd noted that it's not just the "lobbying community" causing distress in D.C., that the "media is playing a role here" and "it's not clear which came first, the polarized Washington or the polarized way that people get information," Martin buttressed Todd's point by offering his personal account of a Florida townhall meeting where he claimed voters there were only "listening to Rush Limbaugh," "reading Drudge" and "watching Fox News."
NBC's Today show invited on the reporter, whose Rolling Stone article essentially got General Stanley McChrystal fired, on Thursday's show to complain that the Pentagon denied him an embed because the war in Afghanistan isn't going well. After Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira questioned Michael Hastings for his explanation as to why the Pentagon denied him an embed, Hastings concluded "This is a symptom of essentially the war, and how the war is going...The war has hit its all-time low." This caused Vieira, herself, to cry censorship, as she asked: "Do you think the military is trying to say to reporters,'We will stifle you, if you don't tell the story the way we want it told?'"
MEREDITH VIEIRA: So why do you think, ultimately, you lost this, this right to an embed? I mean, what do you think is going on? Is it the McChrystal article or is there something much bigger than that?
MICHAEL HASTINGS: I think it's, I think it's much bigger. This is not just about a Rolling Stone reporter being banned from an embed. This is a symptom of essentially the war, and how the war is going. June and July were the deadliest months that we've ever seen in the war in Afghanistan. The war has hit its all-time low in approval ratings, so clearly there's great concern in Washington about how the war is going, and the response to this embed. The response to me on this embed sort of indicates that. I think it's important to, to just let you know, with this helicopter story, these are stories that I'm very passionate about telling. And it is a great privilege to tell the story of the troops.
On the Wednesday edition of her self-titled MSNBC show, Andrea Mitchell actually hit a Democratic Senator from the left on tax cuts. Democratic Indiana Senator Evan Bayh appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports to offer his support to extending the Bush tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy but a skeptical Mitchell pressed: "Senator, given the deficit and the wealth of the upper class, and the fact that they sit on their money and put it into savings, why give them this tax break?" Bayh went on to tell the NBC correspondent that raising taxes "will lower consumer demand at a time we want people putting more money into the economy" and pointed out "the people you're referring to, in those upper brackets, are the ones that make decision about hiring and making investments."
The undeterred Mitchell responded with the Obama administration line that "you should extend the tax cuts for the middle class but not for people making more than $250,000 a year." Bayh, delivering a basic economics lesson, reminded Mitchell that while "middle class taxpayers are using the extra money to pay down debt, credit card bills, mortgages, things like that...It's the people in the upper brackets who continue to spend at a higher rate, propping up consumer demand" and insisted "If we want people to hire more individuals, if we want them to make business investments, raising burdens on them probably doesn't improve their optimism, confidence and discourages rather than encourages them to do those kinds of things." However, Bayh did relent when he offered to Mitchell that eventually the tax rates "are probably going to have to go up but it ought to be as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction package."
The following exchange was aired on the August 4 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:
NBC's Today show invited on Washington Post columnists Jonathan Capehart and Michael Gerson to debate whether the current Democratic midterm strategy of blaming George W. Bush would work this November. Capehart, citing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, claimed it was an "effective" strategy because "Sixty-two percent of the American people polled said that they would be uncomfortable with a candidate who's identified with President Bush."
However that strategy, according to Democrats' own polling numbers, may not be working. According to the Hotline's Reid Wilson: "Dems have tried repeatedly to tie the GOP to Bush's economic policies, which remain highly unpopular. But so far, that hasn't worked, according to officials at the Dem-leaning Third Way think tank." Wilson went on to quote from the Third Way's results: "Just eighteen months after President Bush left office with the nation's economy in historic freefall, two-thirds of Americans now see congressional Republicans and their economic ideas as new and completely separate from those of the former president."
Capehart, also dismissed any notion that the Democrats or more specifically, Barack Obama would be seen as "whining" about the former president as he noted that Obama: "can point to the TARP program, the stimulus program, the health care bill, as things he's doing to try to move the country forward and get it out of the ditch. It would be whining if he didn't have those things to point to."
Chris Matthews, during his syndicated The Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, warned viewers that a big win for Republicans in the upcoming midterms could lead to a bunch of "oddballs" coming to Washington. Matthews, citing a New York magazine article by Jennifer Senior, alerted his audience that if the Tea Party is successful in November it could be reminiscent of the Republican class of 1994 when a bunch of "nutty standouts" arrived. Matthews then went on to list two groups of Republicans who were elected in 1994 and placed them in two groups: "the black helicopter crowd of paranoids" and "hypocrites who stood on the party's family values platform and then managed to slip off." [audio available here]
The following Matthews monologue was aired on the August 1 edition of The Chris Matthews Show:
Chuck Todd works for the same network that employs the likes of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, liberal propagandists all, yet it's doubtful Todd would ever call them that, however he did attach that "p" word to one Andrew Breitbart. During a segment, on Friday's Today show, headlined: "White House Distractions, Sherrod Story Lingers with Lawsuit Plans" Todd relayed that the former USDA official is "preparing to file a lawsuit against the conservative propagandist who started this whole mess." After Today co-anchor Ann Curry teased his report, Todd began his story by claiming the Sherrod "mess," was getting in the way of the President promoting his agenda:
CHUCK TODD: Well look the White House would love nothing more than the Shirley Sherrod story to fade into the background. But as the President prepares to head to Michigan today, to highlight the relative health of the American auto industry the Sherrod story still doesn't have an ending. She's yet to give the administration an answer about that new job offer that was made to her and more importantly she's preparing to file a lawsuit against the conservative propagandist who started this whole mess.
The following is Todd's full report as it was aired on the July 30 Today show:
NBC's Ann Curry, in an exclusive interview with Vice President Joe Biden aired on Thursday's Today show, pushed Biden from the left on war funding for Afghanistan as she exclaimed "boy there was some reluctance" in the House and pressed: "How long can we keep paying for this war?" The bill actually passed by a vote of 308 to 114 but Curry claimed the "reluctance" was significant as she recited Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern's frustration that "we need to do more nation building here at home," as seen in the following exchange:
ANN CURRY: Meantime the House, on Tuesday night, agreed to fund a surge in Afghanistan - $33 billion for 30,000 additional troops. But boy was there some reluctance. We've got Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern saying, quote, "We're told we can't extend unemployment or pay to keep cops on the beat or teachers in the classroom but we're asked to borrow another $33 billion for nation building in Afghanistan. I think we need to do more nation building here at home." How long can we keep paying for this war?
Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on Wednesday's Today show and deftly handled all of Matt Lauer's pointed questions from whether or not he was worried about "taking on" the "sacred cows" of unions and teachers, if he will support Barack Obama's small business legislation, and even if the governor's criticism of Snooki and The Situation was good for Jersey Shore tourism. On taking on the "sacred cows" Christie told the Today co-anchor "We're treating the people of New Jersey like adults." And when pressed by Lauer if he'll support the President's legislation that, as Lauer put it, "would help small business" Christie clarified: "What I'm in favor of is trying to lower taxes and lower regulation on small businesses so they can spend more of their own money creating jobs." [audio available here]
And finally, Christie and Lauer shared a laugh when the subject of MTV's reality show the Jersey Shore came up as Christie pointed out the cast was originally from New York and exclaimed: "Hey listen they're yours to begin with Matt. I have enough problems here. I mean an $11 billion deficit I gotta take Snooki and The Situation also? C'mon! So much a man can take, Matt!"
The following is the complete interview as it was aired on the July 28 Today show: