When NBC's "Today" show, on Wednesday, devoted an entire segment asking the question "How Should the GOP Battle Back?" who did they turn to, to offer strategic advice? Leftist Nation editor/publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel and self-described "moderate" radio talk show host Michael Smerconish. What? Was Meghan McCain not available? Not surprisingly neither guest suggested the Republican Party should be consistent in expressing and acting on conservative principles as Vanden Heuvel railed:
NBC's Matt Lauer and Al Roker, on Tuesday's "Today" show, revealed they enjoyed a "nice" evening at the theater last night, in the presence of Michelle Obama, as she "dazzled New York City for a second time," when she visited the Metropolitan Opera House. After an Amy Robach piece that celebrated Mrs. Obama's return to the Big Apple, Roker and Lauer bragged that they too were in attendance at the American Ballet Theater Spring Gala, along with the First Lady, as Roker gushed: "It was fantastic!"
For her part Robach joined in the Obama family myth-making as she cheered, "Everyone takes notice when the First Lady is out on the town here in the Big Apple and Monday was no exception." Robach, in her piece, even included several soundbites from a delighted New York Times' Jodi Kantor who enthused: "You look at the kind of parties that the Met hosts and if you look at the top ballet galas in New York they always have big celebrities there, but Mrs. Obama is a different order of magnitude."
Chris Matthews, on the syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show" over the weekend, likened Dick Cheney's recent media appearances, to defend the Bush administration and to criticize Obama on national security policy, to Glenn Close's stalker character from the 1987 film "Fatal Attraction." Before playing a clip of the movie Matthews made the cinematic comparison: "Well some say Cheney's refusal to move on reminds them of Groundhog Day but you could also say it's like that more frighteningly relentless Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction.' Like Cheney she was not gonna be ignored." After playing the clip in which the Close character utters the famous quote, "I'm not gonna be ignored, Dan." Matthews then threw it to Newsweek's Howard Fineman:
MATTHEWS: Howard what do you think? Cheney? "Fatal Attraction?" What do make? Will not be ignored, this guy.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Ha, ha. Yeah, yeah I don't think he's going to boil the rabbit. Let's put it that way.
MATTHEWS: Or come out of that bathtub like that other scene in that movie! Everybody is gonna go see Fatal Attraction again.
The following is the full exchange as it was aired on the May 17 edition of "The Chris Matthews Show":
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," mocked a plan by the RNC to cast Democrats as the Democrat Socialist Party, as "schoolyard," and sarcastically sneered "Boy they're going places with that one." However it was Matthews who spent the entirety of his show engaging in "schoolyard," insults himself as he compared Dick Cheney to a "troll," claimed Pat Buchanan once represented the "Neanderthal" wing of the GOP and thought the idea of Sarah Palin penning a book was laughable.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Plus Sarah Palin – now don't laugh – is writing a book. Not just reading a book, writing a book. Actually in the word of the publisher she's "collaborating" on a book. I love the way that sounds. Does that mean she answers questions of the writer and then the writer writes the book? I guess the reason to have someone to write a book for you and claim it's your book is to get to do a nationwide book tour and act the part of a, of an author yourself. Well she's not the first person to pull that number. Sarah Palin - author! In tonight's Politics Fix...What is Sarah Palin up to?....She's got this book deal, she obviously is not gonna write it. They've already announced somebody is, she's gonna collaborate on it. What an embarrassment! It's one of these "I told you," books that jocks do. You know she's already declared, I mean, why they do it like this? "She can't write, we got a collaborator for her."
David Shuster, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on Tuesday's "Hardball," absurdly asserted that Dick Cheney "didn't know" about al-Qaeda before 9/11. After playing a clip of the former Vice President on "Face the Nation" stating that "On the morning of 9/12...there was a great deal we didn't know about al-Qaeda," Shuster ignored the "great deal," qualifier and insisted to his guests that somehow Cheney was clueless about the threat of the terrorist organization prior to 9/11. Shuster's guest, former Cheney aide Ron Christie, corrected Shuster, pointing out "that's one snippet taken out of context...Of course we knew about al-Qaeda," but that didn't stop Shuster from pressing his case as he claimed Cheney approved "torture," because he didn't know about al-Qaeda.
The following exchange was aired on the May 12 edition of "Hardball":
Chris Matthews asked his panel of reporters, on this weekend's syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show," to offer their prescriptions on how the GOP, in the wake of the Arlen Specter departure, can regain its popularity to which most of the liberal reporters like Joe Klein and Howard Fineman suggested they needed to abandon their "cut taxes, shrink government," message and some of their "trollish"spokesmen like Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich because they're turning off families, women and "people who think that caring matters."[audio available here]
First up Time magazine's Joe Klein suggested the GOP should moderate on health care because it would finally make them, "look sane!" and "bring them into...the mainstream of American politics." Then Newsweek's Fineman charged it was the conservative message of "cut taxes, shrink," government that was the problem: "But it doesn't sell with, with people outside of their base demographic which are white males. There's something about that message that turns off families, that turns off women, that turns off people who think that caring matters about other-, I know that this sounds silly, but caring about other people." And finally Matthews went further saying it's not just the GOP's message but it's messengers who are the problem: "Can you, can you, can they get past the cacophony of Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich? These are sort of trollish figures. These aren't the caring people, are they?"
The following exchange occurred on the May 3 edition of "The Chris Matthews Show":
In a piece that could've been crafted by Hillary Clinton's PR shop, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Monday's "Today" show, gushed on and on about the Secretary of State's new "role of a lifetime," as a "a foreign policy superstar," and cheered Clinton has the "highest approval ratings of any time in her career."
Mitchell's theme throughout her story was that the "anger of the primaries," between Clinton and Barack Obama was long gone and that in her role of Secretary of State she has proven to be a "key asset to Team Obama," as "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer observed in the intro. There wasn't a hint of skepticism or negative note in the story as Mitchell threw in soundbites from John Podesta, Joe Klein and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who chimed: "She seems to be really enjoying herself, as does he."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the May 4, "Today" show:
On Wednesday's "Today" show, NBC's Chuck Todd called the decision of Arlen Specter – a Republican senator who has such a liberal voting record and has been such a constant-thorn-in-the-side of his party that he faced probable defeat in his own primary – to leave the GOP, "devastating." In a piece about Barack Obama's first 100 days that trumpeted his own network's new poll showing high ratings for Obama, Todd buried the GOP: "But for the Republican Party it's devastating, not just to their hopes of slowing President Obama's agenda in Congress but for what it says about the future of the GOP."
Todd then aired a sound bite from a Philadelphia area radio talk show host Michael Smerconish who advised the best way for the GOP to win seats was to "clone" Specter.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, AUTHOR, MORNING DRIVE: The Republican Party in the aftermath of the presidential race should have come to him and tried to clone him. They need more Arlen Specters. And instead they deride him as a R.I.N.O - Republican In Name Only.
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the April 29, "Today" show:
Introducing a segment, on Thursday's "Today" show, featuring Time magazine's photos of the President from his first 100 days, NBC's Matt Lauer, over a shot of Obama in Oval Office, marveled that the stills were "captivating." In an ensuing segment Lauer's colleague, Meredith Vieira asked the easily impressed Time photographer Callie Shell how Obama was "handling" the job, to which Shell cooed: "I think he does very well," and "He reads each night, at least 10 letters from 10 different people...and he answers them, usually the next day."
The following is Matt Lauer's tease and then the full segment as it was aired on the April 23, "Today" show:
An overly eager Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's "Hardball," actually raised the prospect of prosecuting George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over the CIA interrogation memos as he pressed Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "But how do we do it? Under what law do we go after them?" To which even the liberal Schultz initially balked, as she tried to rein in Matthews: "Well I think we need not to get ahead of ourselves Chris." However Schultz, after Matthews continued to push, relented and gave the MSNBC host a response more to his liking as she warned: "There is no one that is above the law in the United States of America."
Of course if Matthews really wanted to pursue all of those who approved of waterboarding that list would also have to include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to a December 9, 2007 Washington Post story Pelosi along with other Democrats, in September 2002, were given "a virtual tour" of the "CIA's overseas detention sites," shown interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, "But on that day, no objections were raised."
The following exchange was aired on the April 22 edition of "Hardball":
The Dick Cheney-obsessed Chris Matthews opened Tuesday's "Hardball," by taking umbrage with the former Vice President's criticism of Obama declassifying CIA interrogation memos, as the MSNBC host compared Cheney to "The Empire," in Star Wars and called him "The Bush administration's tail gunner, manning his burp gun with that same nasty look we recall from the war comics." Matthews went on to wonder if Cheney's outspokenness was a good thing for the GOP as he questioned, "If the Republican Party really wants to be branded right now as the party of tax cuts and torture?"
Matthews didn't waste any time getting to the Cheney bashing as seen in the following intro to the April 21 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: The Empire Strikes Back! Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight. Clash of civilizations. Two different views of the universe out there right now. That's what's at war in Washington today. The dark view of Dick Cheney that sees no shame in brutal interrogations. Indeed refuses to blame America for anything. That against the new view of Barack Obama that America does best in the world when it upholds a moral standard and admits past failings.
NBC's Matt Lauer and Andrea Mitchell, on Thursday's "Today" show, pressed their guests (Lauer with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Mitchell with Mexican President Felipe Calderon) about reinstituting the assault weapons ban. First up, Mitchell – who pushed Hillary Clinton last month to bring back the ban -- offered Calderon an open to blame Mexican drug cartel violence on guns imported from the U.S.:
ANDREA MITCHELL: President Obama will not deliver long-promised Blackhawk helicopters, nor a ban on assault weapons smuggled south. He campaigned as a candidate against the assault weapons. Now that he's in office, he's had to back off.
FELIPE CALDERON: But most of the weapons, almost 16,000 are assault weapons and 90 percent of those were sold in United States.
Then Lauer, in his segment with Napolitano, repeated Calderon's inaccurate line that 90 percent of drug cartel weapons came from the U.S.:
MATT LAUER: You know President Calderon wants a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban that was, that expired during the Bush administration. When you look at the numbers, that 90 percent of the 12,000 weapons Mexican officials recovered from these drug cartels in the last year or so were made and sold in the United States, and many of those, as we just heard from President Calderon, are assault weapons, how can President Obama, who ran on an issue against assault weapons, how can he not deliver on that?
The announcement that Goldman-Sachs may be able to pay back its bailout loan, sooner rather than later, was met with a grim assessment by NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's "Today" show as the co-anchor fretted to the Obama administration's Christina Romer: "I'm worried if you think if that's a good thing.Are they doing this because of financial stability or might they be talking about that, simply to get out from under the thumb of the federal government and be allowed to go back to running the business the way they want to run it as opposed to the way the government wants them to run it?"
Lauer invited on Romer, the chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers to preview the President's speech on the economy and pressed her about companies going back to "business as usual" but Romer assured Lauer that, "We are going to be working on financial regulatory reform."
The following is a complete transcript of the interview as it was aired on the April 14, "Today" show:
On Monday night's "Hardball," the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore challenged Chris Matthews to come out to one of the many tea parties protesting taxes and the government bailouts, as the former Club For Growth President egged on the "Hardball," host to prove he is "a man of the people," but Matthews ducked the invitation and yelled back: "Steve stay in your box!"
As Matthews was wrapping up a segment with Moore and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, Moore got in the following parting shot:
STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chris! Chris! Chris! My question is you're a man of the people, why aren't you out there at these April 15th rallies? I mean c'mon! You know you, you say, you speak for the middle-class guys?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What is this? Intramurals? Michael Smerconish, thank you and Steve stay in your box!
Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," showcased "Saturday Night Live" skewering Joe Biden but he conspicuously ignored the "Weekend Update" clip, from the same show, making fun of his fondness for Obama in which he was depicted as daydreaming about Obama in a "loin cloth." The MRC's Brent Baker caught the clip from this past Saturday's show making fun of Matthews. However Matthews -- who in the past has enjoyed SNL's Darrell Hammond's impersonations of him so much that he invited the impressionist on his MSNBC show -- ignored the most recent quip made at his expense.
The following moment was aired during the "Sideshow" segment on the April 13 edition of "Hardball":
Just this past Monday, NBC’s "Today" show studiously avoided mentioning disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer’s Democratic affiliation during his interview with Matt Lauer, but fast forward to Wednesday’s "Today" and a story about another governor embroiled in a sex scandal -- in this case Nevada Republican Governor Jim Gibbons -- and NBC’s Michael Okwu was careful to note he is a Republican at the very top of the story:
MICHAEL OKWU: If voters in Nevada were betting on a nasty gubernatorial divorce, this week they hit the jackpot. That's Republican Governor Jim Gibbons. There's his future ex-wife, Dawn. After 23 years of a polished political marriage to Dawn Gibbons, a former state assemblywoman, the governor has filed for divorce citing incompatibility in what's become a very public war of the roses.
The "Today" show devoted much of last week's coverage of Obama's European trip to obsessing over such frivolous matters as what Michelle Obama was wearing and what kind of gift the Obamas gave the Queen, so when Laura Ingraham was invited on Wednesday's "Today" show, the conservative radio talk show host couldn't resist knocking the silly coverage, as seen in the following exchange with NBC's Matt Lauer (audio available here):
MATT LAUER: So let's be fair and say that he didn't come away accomplishing what he went there to accomplish, but is it possible to say, look at it slightly differently, Laura, and say some of these things take a while to bear fruit and that perhaps some of these leaders, other leaders were reluctant to come forward with some of these things under the glare of the summit spotlight and they may be more forthcoming in the coming weeks and months?
LAURA INGRAHAM: Well I don't know, I guess that's possible. But look we, we know that Europe loves President Obama. He had adoring crowds. The press loves Obama.The question is how will this date end? Okay? The question is, to what end? Why do they love President Obama? They love his personal story, they love his wife. North Korea, China and Russia don't really care about Michelle's arms and, you know, whether they gave an iPod to the Queen, okay? They care about whether America is still going to lead, exhibit strength and doesn't just talk about these vague concepts, Matt, of global cooperation.
On Tuesday's "Today" show NBC's Michael Okwu declared hugging is all the rage now that President Obama, AKA "The Hugger-in-Chief," has replaced handshakes with hugs. Al Roker introduced the Okwu story as he pondered: "With the uncertain economy and shrinking 401(k)s we could all use a little hug, even President Obama, "The Hugger-in-Chief." Early in the piece Okwu threw it to NBC News presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who analyzed: "I would rank him, way at the top, in the pantheon of presidential huggers."
The following are teasers and then the relevant portion of the Okwu story as it was aired on the April 7, "Today" show:
Fresh off the cancellation of his own MSNBC show an unleashed David Shuster, sub-hosting for Chris Matthews on Monday's "Hardball," ranted and railed against "crazy," "conservative" "wingnuts" like Chuck Norris, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for fomenting, "dangerous," "red hot rhetoric," that "inspire some of the crazies out there", like accused cop killer Richard Poplowski, "to do something violent."
Shuster – who apparently wasn't liberal enough for MSNBC's tastes, that he was replaced by liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz – seemed out to show his bosses, that oh no, indeed he was liberal enough for the network's standards, and set out to prove that, right off the bat, in his "Hardball" opening monologue:
DAVID SHUSTER: Who is the real nutcase? North Korea's Kim Jong-Il or any conservative who wants to bomb him? Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm David Shuster, in tonight for Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight, nuclear war games! So what are we to make of North Korea's attempt to send a satellite into space? Even though the launch failed the North Korean rocket did travel some 2000 miles twice as far as an earlier North Korean rocket. President Obama called it "a provocative act," and wants new UN sanctions. Former House Speaker Gingrich says we should have bombed North Korea before the launch. Is Gingrich crazy to talk like that or is it dangerous to hope sanctions will do the trick?....And back for crazy talk for a moment. How in the world do you explain people like Chuck Norris calling for a second American Revolution to defeat President Obama's policies? And what about conservative Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appearing to tell her constituents to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition.
NBC's Matt Lauer invited on former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, on Monday's "Today" show, to help restore his reputation after he lost his governorship due to solicitation of prostitute and while the former governor expressed regret for hurting his family, it was Lauer who suggested the greatest loss was that Spitzer missed a chance to regulate Wall Street. Lauer also failed to mention the disgraced governor's Democratic party affiliation, something that has become a bit of a tradition over at "Today."
The following are just some of the pro-regulatory questions Lauer tossed to Spitzer:
LAUER: You said something to the effect, and I'm paraphrasing here. You said that the regulations were there but the will to regulate was not there...So, so now that we've had, that the economy is story number one, two and three in this country, right now, and there's been so much public outrage, is the will to regulate there now?....And, and finally do you ever ask yourself, "What if?" I mean you were a person with the knowledge and the position to perhaps do something about this? First as attorney general, and then governor of New York, until you were brought down by this scandal? Do you ever shake your head and say, "I missed a golden opportunity?"
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the April 6 "Today" show:
NBC's Dawna Friesen, reporting from London on Thursday' "Today" show relayed how "Michelle's Magic," has "dazzled everyone," in the United Kingdom and co-anchor Matt Lauer joined in, as he loved the tacky gift of an iPod to the Queen: "I like this idea. I think it's a, it's a very creative idea to bring her the iPod." Friesen also played down Michelle Obama's gaffe of contact with the Queen, "There was no curtsy, but plenty of easy charm, and it seems Mrs. Obama made another new friend, never mind that royal protocol forbids touching the Queen." This despite the fact that just yesterday, her colleague Keith Miller made a big deal out of past presidential gaffes with the Queen like when George W. Bush winked at Her Royal Highness.
The following is a complete transcript of the full segment as it was aired on the April 2, "Today" show:
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," admitted Barack Obama, along with his wife Michelle this time, gave him yet another "thrill." The MSNBC host gleefully described his feelings at seeing the Obamas arrive in England for the G20 summit this way [audio available here]:
Well there is something cool when they were both - there's a nice ‘60s term. When they were both walking to the helicopter the other day, Marine One, there was something like, when he looked at her, you could just tell he said, "Isn't this something?" You know you could tell like they were experiencing the-, the, I'm getting old here. The grooviness, the excitement of being this First American Couple heading towards Marine One, which is cool in itself, heading from there to Air Force One, to a quick flight across the Atlantic, on your own plane. And to meet with the world leaders as like the centerpiece of the world. What? I get-, I'm saying it again, I'm getting a thrill.
Matthews, who invited the Washington Post's Lois Romano and the Independent Women's Forum Michelle Bernard to join in on the Obama-watching fun, also giddily admitted: "We girls agree. I don't mind saying that. I'm excited. I'm thrilled. Any way I like it all! I like the picture, I like the substance. "
The following is the full exchange Matthews had with his panelists on the April 1, edition of "Hardball":
NBC's Keith Miller, on Wednesday's "Today" show, was caught up in a moment of simultaneous Obama-mania and Kennedy nostalgia as he reported about the Obamas' arrival in Britain for the G20 summit as he declared: "What the Obamas bring to Buckingham Palace is a charisma not seen since the Kennedys, when the First Lady, Jacqueline, dazzled the royal court." Miller, of course, wasn't alone in his cheeriness as he included two soundbites from other members of the press, including Victoria Mather of Vanity Fair, who wondered if the Queen herself will be able to contain herself: "This is gonna be the most exciting encounter of her long and successful reign. I think she'll be absolutely fascinated." And the New York Times' John Burns was so starry-eyed he was reduced to making astronomical comparisons: "There is a lot of stardust there, and my guess is that the Obamas will attract the sort of adulation in Europe that the Kennedys did."
The following is the full Miller piece as it was aired on the April 1, "Today" show:
An enraptured Chris Matthews began his Tuesday edition of "Hardball," by singing Obama's praises, as he arrived in England, cheering: "He is the new us! That's right, President Obama is in London tonight as the new emblem of the American people. He is us, just as to the consternation of our allies and the often cringey-ness of his country men George W. Bush was us for eight years." The charmed Matthews continued his lovefest throughout the program, as he gasped: "We've got Barack Obama as our president and Michelle Obama as our First Lady. We're all immensely proud," and concluded the show admitting he dreamed about the arrival of the Obamas in Europe: "I thought about that scene for months, the first time they get to come as our American couple. To represent us, really in a new way. A kind of a sophisticated new leadership."
The following are the elaborated transcripts of Matthews' Obama-gasms from the March 31 edition of "Hardball":
As the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," played over slow-motion video of Michelle Obama, NBC's Dawna Friesen, on Tuesday's "Today" show, eagerly awaited the arrival of the Obamas in London, for the G20 summit, as she gushed: "Yes, her husband is, of course, the big star of the show, but this is Michelle Obama's first foray on to the global stage as First Lady. And you can bet that her every move, her every fashion decision will be dissected and analyzed, especially when the couple go to meet the Queen. But she's got a lot of good will on her side." (audio available here)
Friesen then played soundbites from random British fans cheering Michelle:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh I think she's really cool. She's got a lot of really good styles. It makes a change from politicians' wives to look good.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She looks supportive and that's what a man needs in life.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN#2: I have been totally stunned at the awesome nature of Michelle Obama.
NBC's resident Queen of Green, Ann Curry, welcomed actor Ed Norton and Carter Roberts of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to come on Friday's "Today" show to champion their cause to combat "global climate change" by getting everyone to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbolic move that actor Norton compared to the march on Selma, Alabama. Co-anchor Curry called Norton's cause, "really cool," and prompted the Incredible Hulk star to offer up the following historical comparison:
ED NORTON: I think it's, it's a call to action. It's, it's, it's-, turning off the lights won't solve the problem, obviously. But in the same way that the, the march on Selma, Alabama was a symbolic gesture for the civil rights movement I think those who care about climal [sic] change, climate change and carbon mitigation - which is a global movement - are, are trying to find ways to symbolically demonstrate the, the unity of purpose around the planet and, and really get our leadership to take action.
An offended Chris Matthews, on Thursday night's "Hardball," was so shocked by Sarah Palin's claim that there wasn't anybody to pray with on the McCain campaign, that he hurled multiple insults Palin's way, calling her, "a little scary," and asked if Palin thought McCain was, "the Anti-Christ?" Matthews was appalled by Palin's recent revelation that she had trouble finding someone to pray with before her vice presidential debate and the MSNBC host worried such talk about "The Deity in a political environment," wasn't "normal."
Matthews' guest panelists also joined in the fray as the Washington Post's Lois Romano declared, "I think it's bizarre and I think it's judgmental," and Mother Jones magazine's David Corn cackled it was "mean and catty." RNC chair Michael Steele was also knocked for a recent profession of faith, as Matthews blurted: "Why does everything sound like the '700 Club,' with this party now? I mean everything seems to be a religious discussion."
Matthews and his panel didn't just stop at insulting Palin's religious beliefs, they also belittled Palin for her hand gestures and attractiveness. Over video of Palin waving at a campaign rally Matthews ridiculed: "You know, doing that windshield wiper wave though is not serious. That's not a serious wave. I'm sorry that's not what you do when you want to lead the free world. That's, that's more like, 'I'm a celebrity and people like me.'
And just before that snide comment from Matthews, Romano and Corn dismissed Palin for her looks:
NBC's Andrea Mitchell, in a taped interview from Mexico with Hillary Clinton on Thursday's "Today" show, partially blamed the Bush administration for Mexico's current drug cartel violence as she charged that "90 percent of the guns used by gangs," were available because the Bush White House and Congress let the assault weapons ban lapse. Mitchell even went as far to push the Secretary of State to "challenge the gun lobby," and "reinstitute," the ban.
ANDREA MITCHELL: And 90 percent of the guns used by the gangs come from the U.S., including the powerful assault weapons that were banned until Congress and the Bush White House let the ban expire.
MITCHELL TO HILLARY CLINTON: Why not take that on? It would be tough but why doesn't the administration challenge the gun lobby and take on the assault weapons ban and reinstitute it?
CLINTON: I'm, I'm not gonna, you know sugar coat it. It's a very heavy lift. I think that's a mistake. I think these assault weapons, these military style weapons don't belong on any one's street.
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 26, "Today" show:
NBC's Meredith Vieira was so excited about White House social secretary Desiree Rogers' decision to honor St. Patrick's Day by having the White House fountain spray green water, that she exclaimed: "You're doing a fantastic job." But if the new social secretary, indeed, was doing such a "fantastic" job where was she when the decision was made to give the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown the tacky gift of 25 DVDs?
Vieira, on Tuesday's "Today" show, interviewed Rogers as she stood in front of the green fountain and cooed that the Obamas: "Want this White House to be more accessible to the folks around the country. They call it the people's house." and asked, "How much input do they have in all of these decisions, Desiree, that are made?" Rogers responded that "we talk weekly about these decisions." However Vieira never questioned if it was the Obamas or Rogers that decided a box set of DVDs was a proper gift for Brown, considering the British Prime Minister delivered, as Newsbusters' Warner Todd Huston pointed out, the more thoughtful gifts of a: "Pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of that which gave the wood to create the famous ‘Resolute Desk,' the desk that has been in America's charge since 1880. He also gave Obama the framed commission for that famous ship, the HMS Resolute. His third gift was a seven-volume biography of one of England's greatest leaders, Winston Churchill."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 17, edition of the "Today" show:
Picking up from Al Roker's puffery about Barack Obama's Irish heritage from yesterday, NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Tuesday's "Today" show asked Ireland's President Mary McAleese to gauge the U.S. president's popularity on the Emerald Isle as she queried, "Barack Obama, our new president...I understand much loved here...What is it about Barack Obama that instills in, in the people of Ireland?" To which McAleese responded that Obama' is a "big favorite," and that "He arrived at a time when the world was in a very ugly mood of great despair. He had really captured the imagination, particularly of young people."
McAleese, after being prodded by Vieira, also revealed her own son campaigned for Obama in '08, and bragged that he predicted he would be President when he first met him at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
The following is a transcript of the relevant portion of the interview as it was aired on the March 17, "Today" show: