Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page defended Rev. Jeremiah Wright, on "The Chris Matthews Show" over the weekend, as he claimed tapes existed that put Barack Obama's former pastor in a better light than those clips of him damning America, to which Matthews requested of Page: "Would you get those tapes out?...Let's get the good tapes out."
The following exchange occurred on the March 23 edition of "The Chris Matthews Show:"
CHRIS MATTHEWS: We put it to The Matthews Meter, 12 of our regulars. If Obama is the nominee, will he be defined by race in the fall election? Well, it looks like Obama can still be the transformative candidate on that front. Ten to two, the meter says no, Obama would not be defined by race in the fall. Norah and Clarence, you're both with the 10. You're upbeat on this. We're gonna see beyond color here.
On Tuesday night's "Hardball", Chris Matthews praised the current Democratic frontrunner's speech on race as "Worthy of Abraham Lincoln," and also claimed it bypassed Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" address as the "best speech ever given on race in this country." Of Barack Obama's speech in Philadelphia today, Matthews went on to declare: "I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract."
The following comments from Matthews on Obama's speech occurred on the March 18 edition of MSNBC's "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS OPENING THE SHOW: A divide as American as the Grand Canyon, a speech worthy of Abraham Lincoln. Let's play Hardball!
On Thursday night’s "Hardball," Chris Matthews compared Barack Obama's writing abilities to those of the great American writer Mark Twain. Prompted by Philadelphia radio talk show host Michael Smerconish’s praise of Obama's first book "Dreams From My Father," the "Hardball" host effused: "It's almost like Mark Twain. It's so American, it's so textured."
The following exchange occurred on the March 13 edition of MSNBC’s "Hardball:"
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think that this argument that he's an empty suit is gonna get tested and proven false. I just finished and have spent all week long, reading to my radio audience excerpts of "Dreams From My Father," Barack Obama's first book. And I'm telling your audience on "Hardball," if you want to know what makes this guy tick forget the grandiose, highfalutin speeches this is the real deal.
On Thursday's "Today" show when co-host Meredith Vieira asked NBC's Washington bureau chief Tim Russert if there would be any "fallout for the Democrats" from the Spitzer scandal, Russert asserted: "Probably not....that story pretty much leaves the front pages."
However, last year, when Senate Republicans David Vitter and Larry Craig were in the news for sex scandals the "Today" show wasn't so quick to let those stories rest and predicted they would have a lingering impact on the party and even conservatism as a whole. As the MRC's Tim Graham reminded NewsBusters readers earlier this week, the "Today" show, ran headlines trumpeting: "Conservative Crisis," and "Craig's Crisis: The Last Straw for the GOP?" Co-host Ann Curry used the scandals to bury Republicans on the August 29, 2007 edition of "Today":
For the second consecutive day NBC's "Today" show refused to identify Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat. In a total of seven Spitzer-related segments on Wednesday’s "Today" show and one interview with Barack Obama, where the scandal was mentioned, not one anchor, reporter, guest, talking head or on-screen graphic mentioned Spitzer's party affiliation. However, following the trend on NBC's Nightly News, the "Today" show graphics department did take time to place an "R" next to Rep. Peter King and New York state Rep. Joe Tedisco.
National correspondent Natalie Morales did note that, "the governor was under lots of pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle" to step down but never bothered to note on which side of the aisle Spitzer stood.
The following opening story from the March 12, "Today" show was typical of the rest of NBC News' Spitzer reports, in its refusal to note his party affiliation.
With four hours of air time to fill NBC's "Today" show devoted a whopping 11 segments to the Eliot Spitzer scandal but not once did any of the show's anchors, reporters, guests, talking heads or even on-screen graphics mention the fact that Spitzer was a Democrat.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira set the tone when she ignored Spitzer's party affiliation as she opened the March 11, "Today" show: "Good morning, client number nine. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a hard-charging moral crusader caught in a federal sting involving a high-price call girl ring." NBC's Matt Lauer, also bypassing the "D" next to Spitzer's name, piped in: "Just when you thought you couldn't be shocked any more we go from Eliot Ness to Eliot Mess. Another high profile politician making a stunning admission."
The following is a breakdown of all the Spitzer-related segments:
Over the weekend, on Fox News' "Geraldo At Large," actor/comedian Richard Belzer declared his hope for Barack Obama to redefine America from the "warmongering," "far right," "intolerant," atmosphere-"raping", poor-"demonizing" nation that it's become under the Bush administration. Prompted by host Rivera to reveal his choice in the 2008 campaign the "Law and Order" star took off on the following anti-Bush/pro-Obama tirade:
We've been redefined for seven years now as a war-mongering, far right, intolerant nation who's raping our own atmosphere and demonizing the poor and letting the banks rob us blind. I think if, any incremental move away from that would be a Godsend. And I think Obama will, at the very least, put the brakes on this madness and in some ways heal it. Another thing, if I may Geraldo, being a man of color, I think the rest of the world, if they see that America elects a man of color I think they'll breathe a big sigh of relief and not think that we're this warmongering, rich white guy country.
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the March 2, edition of Fox News’ Geraldo At Large:
Barack Obama was clearly off his game on Wednesday's "Today" show as he not only confused David Gregory with Matt Lauer but even worse proclaimed that he "won Michigan." Gregory, substitute hosting for Matt Lauer, did remind Obama that it was he and not Lauer that was conducting the interview, but failed to correct the more egregious error of Obama claiming a victory in a state where he wasn't even on the ballot.
The following is the complete interview as it occurred on the March 4, "Today" show:
DAVID GREGORY: How is Senator Barack Obama feeling about his campaign this morning? He joins us now from San Antonio, Texas. Senator good morning to you.
BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, Matt.
GREGORY: It's, it's David today Senator. The reality--
Torn by her liberal guilt of being forced to choose between a woman or an African-American man to have a shot at making history, Eleanor Clift lost it on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" as she called the choice a "tragedy." The "Newsweek" editor claimed liberals, particularly women, were confused as to whether to dump Hillary for Obama as she blurted: "Women have waited decades to see the first woman president and it's actually something of a tragedy that a talented African-American guy comes along at the same [time.]"
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the March 1, edition of "The McLaughlin Group":
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: Women have waited decades to see the first woman president and it's actually something of a tragedy that a talented African-American guy comes along at the same--this isn't liberal guilt.
PAT BUCHANAN: Why's it a tragedy?
CLIFT: Because you have to choose between two people who you–
Like an offensive-line blocking for their quarterback Chris Matthews and the rest of Wednesday night's "Hardball" panel game-planned to protect Barack Obama from what they saw as the coming "vicious" and "nasty" attacks from Republican sack artists in the fall.
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" Matthews, along with NBC's Norah O'Donnell and Newsweek's Howard Fineman continued to gripe about conservative talk show host Bill Cunningham's emphasis of Barack Obama's middle name of Hussein as Matthews worried: "Is this gonna be a vicious, almost ethnic fight, going after the guy because of his heritage, his name and saying, He's gonna sell us out.’ Is that what's coming?"
On Tuesday night's "Hardball", Chris Matthews took offense to radio talk show host Bill Cunningham's criticism of Barack Obama, during a John McCain rally, as he called the comments "rotten business" and wondered "Is this now gonna creep into the debate, the discussion? This ethnic stuff and whatever?"
The following exchange occurred on the February 26 edition of "Hardball:"
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well let's take a look at, we had some really rotten business today. Here's radio talk show host Bill Cunningham at a John McCain rally today.
If you're the New York Times' Jim Rutenberg or Bill Keller the last person you probably want in your corner is Dan "National Guard Forgery Story" Rather. Yet on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," Rather jumped to their defense, on last week's McCain hit piece, by declaring them "outstanding journalists."
Now Rather did hedge a bit saying if the story wasn't true they could be "in a heap of trouble," but he concluded, that in the end, their reporting should be trusted because they were: "Very responsible journalists."
When Chris Matthews asked the former "CBS Evening News" anchor for his opinion on the Times story, Rather offered the following take on the February 24, edition of "The Chris Matthews Show:"
During a live interview with the President and the First Lady from Africa on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Ann Curry pestered Bush about the Iraq war and its economic effect on Americans as she told the President: "I mean they say they're suffering because of this war."
ANN CURRY: But you're saying you're gonna have to carry that burden, you're saying you're gonna have to carry that burden. Some Americans believe, that they feel they're carrying the burden because of this economy.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah well-
CURRY: I mean they say they're suffering because of this war.
On the Monday "Today" show co-host Ann Curry was breaking down the delegate counts for each Super Tuesday state with NBC's political director Chuck Todd but when it came to finding Barack Obama's home state of Illinois on the map, Curry pointed to Minnesota instead.
The following exchange occurred on the February 4 "Today" show:
ANN CURRY: Okay let's talk about the home states because we've got Illinois--
Whenever a Republican gets caught in a sex scandal the GOP party affiliation is permanently affixed to that person's name in the media - think most recently of Larry Craig and Rudy Giuliani. However when it comes to labeling Democratic politicians caught in affairs, reporters often suffer from brief bouts of amnesia. Such was the case on the Thursday "Today" show where co-host Ann Curry forgot to note the party affiliation of the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in her report on his recent ordeals:
See if you can spot the (D) label in the following January 31 "Today" show story:
The reviews are in and Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama was a bit hit with the crew over at "Hardball." Chris Matthews compared Kennedy to King Arthur and said of the liberal Senator's speech: "Today we got a glimpse of the early 1960s when politics was alive." The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson admitted it gave him "goose-bumps," and MSNBC's Mike Barnicle called it "electric."
On Monday night's "Hardball" the endorsement of Obama by the brother of John F. Kennedy threw the gang at "Hardball" into a wave of '60s nostalgia as they recalled glory days gone by of liberal legends like JFK and RFK.
The following are just some of the exhortations as they occurred on the January 28 edition of "Hardball":
What is it about liberal reporters that they can deliver slanted pieces about conservatives time and time again but when it comes to a mass-murdering terrorist they feel compelled to give the other side? On Tuesday's "Today" show, NBC's Ned Colt decided he needed to balance out the views of Osama Bin Laden, as he rhetorically asked about the al Qaeda leader: "Murderous fanatic or hero of radical Islam?" Colt even went on to relay a soundbite from the editor of Al-Quds who painted Bin Laden as the "little David" with the U.S. playing the role of "the mighty Goliath."
The following is Colt's set-up piece and the full interview as they occurred on the January 22, "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: He is the most wanted man in the world, Osama Bin Laden. The al Qaeda leader has been on the run for years now but his son Omar is speaking out. The 26-year-old says he wants to bring peace to the world. We'll talk to him in a moment but first NBC's Ned Colt on public enemy #1.
Appearing on Monday night's edition of "Hardball," ESPN host and Philadelphia Inquirer sports reporter Stephen A. Smith declared himself not to be a fan of Rudy Giuliani. When asked by Chris Matthews about what he thought of the former New York mayor's chances to become President, Smith blurted: "It'd be a disaster!....Giuliani is a dictator as far as I'm concerned."
Bowing to pressure from liberal blogs, feminist groups and upper management, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spent the first five minutes of Thursday night’s "Hardball" personally apologizing to Hillary Clinton for insinuating that she owed her political success to sympathy derived from having endured Bill Clinton’s unfaithfulness. At the top of the show Matthews begged for forgiveness:
Some people I respect, politically concerned people like you who watch this show so faithfully every night, people who care about this country think I've been disrespectful for Hillary Clinton, not as a candidate, but as a woman....Was it fair to imply that Hillary's whole career depending on being a victim of an unfaithful husband? No. And that's what it sounded like I was saying. And it hurt people I'd like to think normally like what I say, in fact, normally like me.
The following is Matthews’s full mea culpa to the liberal former First Lady as it occurred on the January 17, "Hardball" (video at right):
After playing a clip of Hillary Clinton slamming George W. Bush as "pathetic", during the Democratic debate in Nevada, Chris Matthews compared Clinton to former British Prime Minister and Cold War hero Margaret Thatcher as he exclaimed of the former First Lady's attack on the President: "It just struck me as very Thatcher-ite!"
The following exchange occurred between Matthews and fellow MSNBC host Tucker Carlson on the January 16, "Hardball":
Is the "Today" show obsessed with the Democratic race? Judging from Monday's show it appears so. On the day before an important primary for Republicans in Michigan, NBC's "Today" devoted almost seven minutes to the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton compared to just 33 seconds to the GOP race. In fact "Today" devoted almost eight more minutes to the Detroit Auto Show in Michigan, than they did to the Republican primary in that same state.
So much for feminism. On the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" this weekend, CNN's senior political analyst, Gloria Borger admitted she felt like Hillary Clinton was being ganged up on by "the guys." During a discussion about how female voters in New Hampshire reacted to Hillary Clinton being criticized by her political opponents, Borger seemed to undercut the whole concept of women wanting to be treated as equals, in effect saying, sometimes you just can't pick on the girl.
The following exchange occurred on the January 13, edition of "The Chris Matthews Show":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I want the two women to talk about this. This is a time of exposed nerves. I know so many women who read the papers, keep up with events as much as all of us do who have very complicated feelings about her, and not necessarily positive, yet in the maelstrom of this past weekend in New Hampshire, they began to say, "You guys are killing this woman, stop it."
On the day of the New Hampshire primary, the "Today" show booked former Clinton administration Secretary of State and Hillary Clinton supporter Madeleine Albright to praise Hillary's credentials to be "a great commander-in-chief," and slam Bush foreign policy as she declared: "Internationally I don't think I've ever seen such a mess."
On to promote her new book, Memo To The President Elect, Albright did receive one skeptical question about whether the Clinton administration had done enough to stop al Qaeda. However that didn't stop "Today" co-host Ann Curry from asking for Albright's foreign policy advice:
ANN CURRY: Bottom line, people feel very hopeless about our being able to improve relations with other nations, of finally being able to restore peace. Through your, through this effort in creating this book is there, is there hope? What would be the most hopeful thing you can say to the American people?
Anchoring MSNBC's live coverage of the Iowa caucus, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews couldn't contain his excitement for Barack Obama. Even before the results came in Matthews predicted an Obama victory would be: "The shot heard 'round the world. This is Lexington and Concord with the target being not King George but President George this time."
Matthews also claimed Iowa Democrats delivering a win for Obama could only be seen as a "rebuke" of Bush: "There's no doubt about it. And there's no way to read it except as a rebuke to President Bush."
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses Chris Matthews seemed to be issuing marching orders to Democratic voters as he declared that only a Barack Obama victory would send the message to the world that a "despised" America was truly ready to "change." In the event of an Obama win Matthews offered the following preview of his election night spin on the January 2 edition of MSNBC's "Hardball":
When asked, by NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Thursday's "Today" show how the Hillary Clinton campaign can stop their current slide, Chris Matthews urged Clinton to remind voters that she really does care about the little guy as he declared that the Clintons: "Care about the regular person in this country, the regular middle-working class family with all their problems of health care and raising their kids. Hillary Clinton, especially, cares about those things. It's obvious she does. It's not a fraud."
The following is all of Matthews' strategic advice to the Clinton campaign, as he offered it on the December 13 edition of the "Today" show:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: On Hillary's side you have her husband Bill Clinton, who is very frustrated with the way the campaign is going. What can he do, right now, to help her turn things around? Is there anything he can do?
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" Chris Matthews speculated that the writer's strike is benefitting Hillary Clinton, since she is often the target of late night comics like Jay Leno and David Letterman. However he reasoned that the New York senator is the butt of so many jokes because "she's so pure and good."
On the December 12 edition of "Hardball," during a discussion with the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz and the Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart about the political impact of comics like Leno, Letterman and Jon Stewart being on strike, Matthews wondered why there were so many jokes at Hillary's expense as he asked: "Is she a natural target because she's so pure and good?"
There's no question Strom Thurmond had a racist past, some of which he later disavowed but when Chris Matthews claimed the late South Carolina governor and senator "hanged a few people," on the 7pm edition of Monday's, "Hardball" just what was the MSNBC host implying? Matthews seemed to be claiming that the former Democrat turned Republican senator was personally involved in lynchings.
As far as Geraldo Rivera is concerned the GOP presidential candidates are guilty until proven innocent on whether or not they "hate" Hispanics. On Sunday's "Geraldo At Large," the Fox News host teased a segment on the GOP Univision debate this way:
GERALDO RIVERA: In the current anti-immigration climate did these Republican debates convince Hispanics that they don't hate them?
Later, on the December 9 show, Rivera continued the slurs against the GOP candidates when he introduced the Carl Cameron report on the debate:
When the widow of the slain police officer killed by Mumia Abu-Jamal appeared on the Thursday "Today" show to promote her new book, NBC's Matt Lauer seemed to take up the cause of the convicted cop killer as he asked Maureen Faulkner mostly skeptical questions like: "Do you ever allow yourself to consider the fact that perhaps he didn't do this?"
Appearing on the December 6, "Today" show, Faulkner, along with her co-author, conservative radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, were subjected to questions about the legitimacy of Abu-Jamal's guilt by the "Today" show host. Lauer repeatedly aired claims from the Abu-Jamal defense team as he displayed new photos meant to prove Abu-Jamal's innocence, repeated charges that Smerconish was helping Faulkner for "personal gain" and even took time out to show pro-Mumia supporters in the "Today" show crowd: