Despite the fact that the print media have mostly backed off the "phoney soldiers" smear against Rush Limbaugh, on Wednesday's "Hardball," host Chris Matthews refused to correct the record, instead choosing to toss a softball to anti-war Congressman Jack Murtha as he asked him on Wednesday's "Hardball":
"What do you think of Rush Limbaugh's comment the other day that somebody was a phony soldier because they opposed the war? He also said they were a phony Republican, by the way, because he said Republicans couldn't possibly, a Republican couldn't possibly be against the war? What do you make of that?"
Rep. Jack Murtha: "I don't watch Rush Limbaugh."
Matthews: "Ha! You don't have to watch him, you gotta hear about him. I don't either, I hear about him."
On the Wednesday "Today" show, Ted Koppel joined NBC's Matt Lauer in refusing to expose the lie behind the Media Matters and Democratic attack on Rush Limbaugh over "phony soldiers", choosing instead to write the controversy off as just another "foolish" thing the talk show host had said. However when asked about Dan Rather's lawsuit of CBS, the former longtime host of ABC's "Nightline" expressed sympathy: "I feel great pain for Dan."
Koppel's compassion wasn't just reserved for Rather but he extended it to criminals too, as he was invited on "Today" to promote his latest Discovery Channel documentary on overcrowded prisons. During the segment, Koppel criticized "three strikes" laws and griped about the state of prisons in this country:
Giving a live concert on the Friday, "Today" show Bruce Springsteen didn't just sing but railed against the past six years of George W. Bush's administration. Although he didn't mention Bush by name, the outspoken liberal rocker, didn't need to connect the dots as he hit just about every complaint leftists have charged against the current administration. During his talk-up before his performance of "Living In The Future," Springsteen yelled about "rendition," "illegal wiretapping," "voter suppression," "an attack on the Constitution," "the neglect" of New Orleans and "the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war."
If you've got an extra-billion dollars laying around and you happen to be a fan of "Today" co-host Ann Curry, just donate that extra cash at a Bill Clinton-fronted foundation conference and you may just get a kiss from her. On the Thursday, "Today" show Curry got so excited by a paper company exec's donation of $1 billion at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting that she actually planted a kiss on him.
After the chairman of Pratt Industries, Anthony Pratt, told NBC's Al Roker he was donating the money to help recycling efforts, the notoriously green Curry went into a tither as she exclaimed:
Curry: "$1 billion?! $1 billion?! You get a kiss!"
It's not enough that the media is waving the white flag of defeat in Iraq but now they're declaring yet another war lost. NBC's "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira seemed so convinced that the U.S. had lost the war in Afghanistan she was perplexed when Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai didn't share her assessment of failure. On the Monday "Today" show, in a taped interview, a bewildered Vieira responded to Karzai's statement of victory with: "What have you won?"
The following exchange occurred in the 7am half-hour of the September 24, NBC "Today" show:
Sticking and moving like a prize fighter, talk show host and author Laura Ingraham, outnumbered in a three against one fight, took out not only "Hardball" host Chris Matthews but his colleague David Shuster and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, as well.
View video here. (courtesy NB contributor Mark Finkelstein)
On Thursday night's "Hardball" Ingraham took Matthews to task for his outrageous claims about the Iraq war being about oil as she threw his past bias in his face: "What? What? Chris are, were you the one, the other night, correct me if I'm wrong, who said that we should hang Exxon and Mobil signs at, at Arlington National Cemetery?" Then Ingraham slapped down Matthews about his pessimistic view on the war: "Chris, I'm different from [where] you are on this. I actually have hope that goodness will prevail."
Environmental activist and An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David received a very warm welcome, from the green-friendly anchors on the Wednesday "Today" show, when she came on to promote her children's book, A Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming. During David's interview NBC's Natalie Morales noted that the book's publisher, Scholastic, was trying to place the book into schools everywhere and proclaimed: "We hope to see it there." Morales even bragged that her own son was already being indoctrinated: "They're already talking and learning about this in school. I mean, my own son already knows, 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.' You know the three 'R's."
No slouch herself, when it comes to preaching about global warming, Morales' colleague Ann Curry also proudly showed off her own son's concern about climate change in the following tease for the segment:
Upset that a University of Florida student was tasered by campus police at a John Kerry event, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's, "Hardball" feared it was a result of the "fascistic notion" of American troops "forcing" democracy on Iraqis at "gunpoint", filtering back home.
Chris Matthews: "You know when we walk into those, every night on television you watch pictures of American soldiers risking their lives to break into homes in Baghdad, at gunpoint, telling people to go along with the government that we've set up over there. Democracy at gunpoint. I wonder if it's filtered back here at home. I wonder if it's drift back home? The idea that democracy is something you do at gunpoint. ‘Either you behave and do it this way and show up by putting your fingers in the ink and doing it this way or you're an insurgent, therefore, we can round you up and if you resist we can kill you.'That notion it's a bit fascist and it's certainly a fascistic notion of democracy we're forcing, forcing on people over there. They didn't invited us into Iraq and I wonder now whether we are picking up some of the bad habits of the war front?"
On to promote his new book, "Letters From Nuremberg," about his father's experiences at the Nuremberg trials Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd, prompted by NBC "Today" co-host Ann Curry, accused the Bush administration of supporting torture at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday's "Today" show.
After Curry spoke to the senator about the book and the trial of Nazis after World War II, she pushed Dodd to contrast the fairness of the Nuremberg trials compared to the Bush administration's support of "tortures" at Guantanamo Bay. The following exchange occurred on the September 18 "Today" show:
Delivering his best Michael Moore in "Sicko," impersonation NBC's Matt Lauer hit Hillary Clinton from the left on health care reform on Tuesday's "Today" show. Appearing in the first-half hour of "Today, Clinton was tagged repeatedly by Lauer as he worried that Hillary "watered down" her new health-care reform plan and feared Hillary had sold out to the insurance industry as he wondered: "Are you losing some leverage in asking these insurance companies to get on board and make tough choices?"
The following are all of Lauer's questions, on health care, to the Senator from New York and her responses as they occurred on the September 18 "Today" show:
Matt Lauer: "Senator Hillary Clinton is in Washington this morning. Senator, good morning to you."
Chris Matthews might as well have chanted "No Blood For Oil" throughout the Monday edition of MSNBC's "Hardball" as he sounded like an anti-war protestor as he charged that U.S. servicemen and women were spilling blood for Big Oil, as he questioned: "Are we fighting for the American oil companies for Mobil and Exxon? And they are making these enormous profits because of access to oil over there...Should we put Exxon signs up over Arlington Cemetery and Mobil signs up there, like they have at baseball stadiums?"
Pivoting off a David Shuster report that claimed Alan Greenspan "provided evidence" that the Iraq war has been "fought for oil," Matthews devoted much of the September 17 edition of "Hardball" to that conspiracy theory. The following is Shuster's report followed by Matthews's various "No Blood for Oil," rants:
NBC's Meredith Vieira actually seemed disappointed that a Republican senator wasn't running for re-election, of course that Republican senator, Chuck Hagel, is a noted war-critic. On the Thursday "Today" show, a crestfallen Vieira asked the RINO: "Senator, very quickly now, this, this week you announced you that you are not running for any office in 2008. Why quit now, given how impassioned you are about this war?...But why did you decide not to run for president? That surprised a lot of people."
Just before the Hagel interview Vieira plugged NBC News's primetime coverage of the President's speech tonight but didn't exactly give it a hard sell as she wondered if anybody would even care: "Meanwhile we're gonna turn now to President Bush addressing the nation tonight about the future of U.S. troops in Iraq but his words may fall on deaf ears."
NBC "Today" show co-host and weatherman Al Roker invited on Susan Sarandon to promote her latest movie, Mr. Woodcock, but couldn’t get through the full interview without praising her liberal activism, as he called her a "good role model," and celebrated her "great job" of combining acting and protesting. For her part, Sarandon actually took a dig at NBC News on its own airwaves, on the Monday edition of "Today", as she wistfully recalled the good old days when "news programs" showed "what was going on, not like now."
The following is the relevant out-take from the Sarandon interview as it took place on the September 10, "Today" show:
NBC's "Today" show devoted its entire 7:30am half-hour of its Wednesday morning program to Bill and Hillary Clinton as it invited on the former president to tout his wife's candidacy and his new book. During almost 13 minutes of one-on-one interview time with Clinton, Matt Lauer brought up the issue of too much money in politics but never asked about Bill's or Hillary's fundraising scandals, asked about Republican Larry Craig's sex scandal, but didn't mention Bill's own personal indiscretions and even let Clinton rant about the GOP's "Swift boat tactics" against Hillary.
On Tuesday's "Today" show Matt Lauer discovered the solution to all the environmental crises Al Gore and his ilk have warned about, there's just one hitch, it involves the extinction of all mankind. Promoting a book that examined how long it would take for the Earth to clean up "the mess we've made" Lauer and his co-host Meredith Vieira pondered how pristine the planet would be without us:
Matt Lauer: "Then we're gonna talk to the author of a book and this is, really asks an interesting question. The book is called The World Without Us and it asks the question what would happen to planet Earth if human beings were to suddenly disappear. What would happen to our cities? What would happen to our landmarks? How quickly would our streets turn to rivers? How quickly would our farmland turn to forest? What would happen to natural wonders and man made wonders, like the Panama Canal or the Statue of Liberty. We're gonna talk to the author about that. And really it's all about trying to figure out how long it would take nature to reclaim what we've created."
Meredith Vieira: "The mess."
Lauer: "How long it would take nature to fix the mess we've made?"
On the Wednesday night edition of MSNBC's "Hardball" Chris Matthews and David Shuster continued to use the Larry Craig scandal to bury the GOP and while Matthews declared "the downfall of" Bush's party was "driven by every movement of the body politic" it was his colleague Shuster who outdid him when, after running down a litany of GOP troubles ranging from Craig to the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, charged: "It all adds moral insult to the injuries being suffered today by the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
For NBC's "Today" show crew it wasn't enough to label Larry Craig's scandal as a crisis for him personally or even to call it a crisis for the Republican Party, no "Today" went even further as it declared it a "crisis" for conservatives everywhere. NBC's Matt Lauer opened the Tuesday "Today" show asking his viewers: "Can the right wing withstand yet another scandal involving one of its own?"
Lauer's colleague Ann Curry, then piled on, as she wondered if the Craig incident spelled doom for the GOP's chances in ‘08: "How does this specter of hypocrisy affect the party, especially as we're now moving into a very critical time for the Republican Party facing this presidential election year?"
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" both substitute host Mike Barnicle and MSNBC's David Shuster took pot shots at the President over his stated concern about Iraq becoming a Cambodian-like massacre if the U.S. leaves too early. Substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, Barnicle blurted: "Do you think the President has ever read a book about Vietnam?" while Shuster sneered: "The mere mention of Vietnam and arguing for more sacrifice in Iraq is fraught with potential political peril. After all, President Bush didn't serve in Vietnam and Vice President Cheney received multiple deferments, telling reporters, a few years ago, that in the 1960s he had other priorities than military service.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell scolded Matt Drudge and other "Internet writers" for making much ado about nothing over Michelle Obama's "If you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House," slam of Hillary Clinton. On the Wednesday "Today" show, Mitchell ran the aforementioned quote from Sen. Barack Obama's wife and then proceeded to wag her finger at Drudge and other "Internet writers" everywhere:
Almost a year ago, the "Today" show went out of its way to promote the "legendary" Jane Fonda's new liberal radio network but since the Women's Radio Network's final broadcast on Friday, "Today" has yet to mention the latest liberal talk radio failure.
The following excerpt is from an announcement by GreenStone Media's CEO, Susan Ness. Ness blamed the network's demise on, what she believed, was the ignorant perception that they were "too feminist."
On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Bob Dotson profiled Will Steger, a polar explorer who is indoctrinating America's youth about "collapsing" ice shelves and global warming. Dotson never doubted the explorer's theories, instead he chose to portray Steger's work as nothing short of much needed charity work:
"Pitching back in between and forth between the Poles, Will began to notice our warming world, wrote one of the first books about it. Now the old explorer has set himself a new challenge. Here in his home of the great northern Minnesota woods he's teaching the next generation how to rally support and solve the problem."
Yet another Democratic candidate played nurse for a day, as part of a stunt to garner labor union support, and once again "Today" show's cameras were there to cover the photo-op. On this morning's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell followed Hillary Clinton as she made the rounds with a nurse to, both soften her image, and suck up to the Service Employees International Union.
Interestingly, "Today" didn't give Hillary quite the same glowing profile it gave Barack Obama last week, as Meredith Vieira expressed some skepticism as she asked: "Do you think the public buys any of this?" However, viewers were still treated to shots of Hillary talking to patients and sitting down with the nurse's family to say grace at the kitchen table as Mitchell dutifully declared: "She got her hands wet."
Chris Matthews' "Hardball" producers let the host down, as neither Sen. Pat Leahy or Rep. Henry Waxman accepted Matthews' invitation to grill Karl Rove on tonight's 5pm edition of Hardball. However that didn't stop Matthews from taking a few shots of his own at the President's adviser, as he called Rove a "bum," and sarcastically commented on Rove's genius as he greeted viewers of the August 13th edition of "Hardball" this way:
Matthews: "Can President Bush think without the man they call his brain? What about all those great ideas like dividing the country over Iraq and leaving New Orleans to drop into the sea? A country without Karl Rove calling the shots? Let's fear for the Republic. Let's play Hardball."
Promoting a new study that claims the longevity of Americans has fallen way behind other countries like France and Australia, "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira offered an explanation that would've made Hillary Clinton and Michael Moore smile - lack of health insurance. After subsitute-host David Gregory noted that the tiny country of Andorra fared better in the survey, with their citizens living an average of 83.5 years compared to America's 77.9 years, Vieira piped up: "They say part of the reason is because so many Americans don't have health insurance."
The following exchange occurred in the 8:30am half-hour of the August 13th, "Today" show:
Talking like a Democratic congressman eager to get Karl Rove's scalp, Chris Matthews seemed to be urging Democrats to grill the President's adviser on the "witness chair." On this morning's Today show, analyzing Rove's announcement that he'll be resigning at the end of the month, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball," declared: "Well you have to wonder about his exposure now because he's used executive privilege to protect himself from Pat Leahy on the Judiciary committee and Congressman Henry Waxman, both hot to trot to get him in a witness chair."
On this morning's "Today" show it was a tale of two candidates who have fallen behind in the polls. One was eulogized and left for dead, the other one was glowingly profiled. Can you guess which one was a Democrat and which one was the Republican?
First, Sen. John McCain sat down on the "Today" set and had to endure NBC's David Gregory burying his campaign in a set-up piece that was so tough "Today" co-host Matt Lauer awkwardly apologized: "It's always strange for me to be sitting here with a guy and we're running a tape that's a little bit like a political obituary there."
Whenever NBC News needs someone to put the current presidential campaign into historic context they usually go to liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and in recent days, on two different NBC News outlets, Goodwin has delivered with her unique historic and liberal perspective on Hillary Clinton.
On this morning's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell went to Goodwin for a critical take on Hillary, but even when asked to find a negative about the Senator from New York, Goodwin couldn't help but fill her critique with superlatives as she determined Hillary may need to soften her "articulate" and overly "prepared," image by intentionally making a mistake. The following analysis was aired on the August 7, "Today" show:
On tonight's Hardball, Mike Barnicle, substitute-hosting for Chris Matthews, used the tragedy of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis to call for bigger government and wondered, "Does this help the Democrats?" All throughout tonight's show, Barnicle repeatedly pressed his guests to call for an increase in the size of government and at one point even demanded: "Government's gotta get bigger!"
First up Barnicle asked the liberal Barney Frank where he would find the money to pay for bridge repair. After Frank responded that he would "end the war in Iraq" and raise taxes to improve America's infrastructure, Barnicle took the Congressman's cue to advance the tax hike/big government theme for the entirety of the show.
The following are just some of the exchanges as they occured on the August 2, edition of MSNBC's Hardball:
On this morning's Today show, NBC's Meredith Vieira and Dr. Nancy Snyderman became born-again libertarians in their opposition to New York City's ban on bottle feeding babies. Vieira called the measure "drastic" and Snyderman urged, "not so fast." The ban even inspired "Today" to coin a new series segment called "Nanny State." However, back in 2006, when New York City infringed on another right - the right to eat fatty foods, Snyderman struck a different tone, as she gravely warned about the dangers of trans fats.
First up Vieira opened the bottle feeding ban segment on the August 2, "Today" this way:
Video (0:55):Real (1.51 MB) or Windows (1.74 MB), plus MP3 audio (305 kB)
As part of a new segment on the "Today" show called "Candidate Cribs," NBC's Jonathan Alter went on a cab ride, with Democratic candidate Mike Gravel behind the wheel. However, Alter received more than a calm cruise through the city from the former Alaskan senator. In a gimmicky stunt, meant to showcase the candidate's past life as a New York City cabbie, Alter slid into the back seat for a ride but just after Gravel started griping about Iraq he crashed the taxi.
Alter: "Gravel is best remembered for helping end the Vietnam era draft with a filibuster and for reading the Pentagon Papers in the Senate. Now, after a quarter-century out of politics, he's an angry Rip Van Winkle."
Gravel: "I know how to get out of Iraq. I know how to affect the solution, it's a diplomatic solution."