When lefties turn on each other ... never a pretty sight.
Former president Bill Clinton, he of the elephantine memory, still nurses a grudge against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for a crack she made about him way back in March.
In an appearance with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Philadelphia on Monday, Clinton said that "one of the leading television commentators on one of our liberal cable channels said I was the best Republican president the country ever produced, which would come [as] quite a surprise to the Republicans, half of whom still think I'm a closet communist," according to Politico.
Not how I'd mark an anniversary, but MSNBC is flexible in its alleged standards.
On Sept. 8, Rachel Maddow told viewers it was two years since her cable show started on MSNBC. And what better way to enter her third year of televised liberal polemics than with Maddow's trademark melding of smarm and deceit.
The following night, Maddow railed at Newt Gingrich and Citizens United for producing and marketing a documentary warning Americans of the threat from radical Islam, after she complained about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck charging admission to a meet-and-greet on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (first of four parts in embedded video) --
Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell unveiled this curious possible strategy for Democrats heading into the midterms when she appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Sept. 8 --
MADDOW: One last last question on the specifics here. The president himself is planning to be very visible from all accounts, multiple campaign events, the first planned press conference in a long while. Is he still the Democrats' best campaign asset or do Democrats need somebody else out there who can throw sharper barbs than a sitting president is really allowed to?
Followed by Harris-Lacewell responding, as if hearing the question from Maddow for the first time --
Just as quickly as Ed Schultz revealed he is capable of cognition, the liberal radio host and aspiring MSNBC arsonist regressed to himself.
Here's Schultz on his radio show yesterday talking about criticism from General David Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama of an obscure pastor's vow to burn copies of the Koran, thereby elevating it to international news (link here for audio) --
Remember the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza pretended to be an architect? Seinfeld thought it was a bad idea, suggesting Constanza would do better as a fake marine biologist, leading Constanza to complain, "You know I've always wanted to pretend that I was an architect."
Ed Schultz, liberal radio host and MSNBC flamethrower, is done pretending to be an architect.
Schultz garnered plenty of attention last week with his huff-and-puff claim he could outdraw the estimated 300,000 people who attended Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally in Washington on Aug. 28.
Looking for someone to investigate theft and questionable spending in government programs? Think twice about hiring Rachel Maddow. The earnest MSNBC polemicist has deemed such a thing impossible, at least when it comes to Social Security.
Reacting with the reptilian defensiveness of liberals whenever conservatives suggest Social Security is unsustainable, Maddow made this whopper of a claim on her show Sept. 1 in response to former senator Alan Simpson's pithy criticism of the FDR-created sacred cow --
MADDOW: Here's the broader context, what he said, it was in an email, what he wrote in that email, in which that quote, from which that quote was taken. This is what he said -- 'yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million [tits]', thing that starts with T that rhymes with bits.
Give the woman credit -- liberals are seldom this candid about their impulse toward totalitarianism. Usually it takes a bit of prodding before you'll hear that voice of the guard in the gulag.
Lizz Winstead, co-founder of The Daily Show and alumna of the late, hardly lamented Air America Radio, revealed her pathological side while appearing on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, as described by Brian Maloney over at The Radio Equalizer --
WINSTEAD: Ed, I've always wished that somebody would invent, maybe you and I could go into business and do this, if somebody would invent, you know those shock collars that you put on the dog? (Schultz laughs) That when they bark they get jarred? If we could make one that actually fact-checked and we just put it around Glenn Beck's neck and when he spoke (pause), or just fake tears, if it could detect when tears were actually crocodile tears, and then you just get electrocuted by the water and jarred, like, that would be awesome! Force him to wear it.
Doing his best in a desperate bid to become relevant, the ever-classy Ed Schultz said this on his radio show yesterday about Republicans and taxes (link here to audio) --
They have nothing on the table for the middle class. They have no development whatsoever for the country other than they orgasm over these tax cuts that they just have to have! That's their whole thing! That's their whole pleasure!
Something tells me more Democrats will share in the joy as the midterms approach.
Here is how the Wall Street Journal began its lead editorial, "Victory in Iraq," on Aug. 20 --
When the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as part of President Bush's surge, American soldiers were being killed or wounded at a rate of about 750 a month, the country was falling into sectarian mayhem, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had declared that the war was 'lost.'
On Wednesday, the 'Raiders' became the last combat brigade to leave Iraq, having helped to defeat an insurgency, secure a democracy and uphold the honor of American arms.
For viewers of NBC and MSNBC earlier that week, the title of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division would likely have struck a chord -- on Aug. 18, both networks interrupted their scheduled broadcasts with exclusive live coverage of the brigade crossing the border into Kuwait, the last US combat brigade to leave Iraq.
Alas, it wasn't supposed to end this way, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow lamented to NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel in Baghdad last week after the departure of the last American combat brigade from Iraq.
Engel recounted his experiences covering the war, getting into Iraq on false pretenses just before the US-led invasion in 2003 and spending considerable time in the country thereafter (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: So you were here throughout for the first five, six years of the war?
ENGEL: Yes. I took little breaks but, straight, I was here 10, 11 months a year.
MADDOW: So when you, thinking now in August 2010, this is ending. I mean, Operation Iraqi Freedom ends now and did you have any idea this is the way that it would end?
ENGEL: It's ending with a little bit of a whisper.
Why does Ed Schultz think Wall Street and "big business" are sitting on $1 trillion in assets?
Depends on what week you ask him.
Here's what Schultz said about that during a contentious discussion on July 26 with publisher Mort Zuckerman on MSNBC's "The Ed Show," as rebroadcast the following day on Schultz's radio show (click here for audio) --
Is Ed Schultz determined to make his mark as the dumbest man in media? Hardly a day passes without the lib radio host and MSNBC action hero providing more fodder for the premise.
On his radio show Monday, Schultz rushed to the defense of first lady Michelle Obama for criticism of her winging off to an opulent Spanish resort hotel during -- as Schultz and other liberals oft remind us -- the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Here's Schultz defending Mrs. Obama after first talking about a campaign ad that mocks House Minority Leader John Boehner as an out-of-touch elitist golfer (click here for audio) --
That's odd, those describing themselves as pro-choice usually aren't this candid when it comes to abortion.
On her MSNBC show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow spoke with Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell about Republican Senate candidates Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Ken Buck opposing abortion, including for pregnancies conceived through rape or incest.
Harris-Lacewell said this in response to a question from Maddow --
Only a matter of time before MSNBC's answer to Eve Harrington (shown here being introduced to theater critic Addison DeWitt/Keith Olbermann) took a shot across the bow of unsuspecting coworkers.
On her show Wednesday night, Maddow recounted the "single strangest on-air moment for me" on election night in 2008 (video below the fold) --
MADDOW: This happened after midnight East Coast time, Barack Obama had already won the presidency and we were here in this studio (Maddow, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, former congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy) covering the reaction to the election results around the country. And in the midst of that, with everybody else I work with here at MSNBC, this happened --
GREGORY (describing aerial footage of large crowd in downtown San Francisco): I believe we've got some pictures out of San Francisco as well, some of the celebration pouring out in the Castro District of the city as it's known. A place near and dear to your heart, Chris Matthews.
If things don't work out for Rachel Maddow at MSNBC, she could always fall back on unintentional comedy.
In last week's back and forth between Fox's Bill O'Reilly and Maddow over the Sherrod controversy, Maddow criticized O'Reilly for mocking MSNBC's meager ratings while also accusing him of playing fast and loose with facts.
Here's the kicker in Maddow's remarks aimed at O'Reilly, stated on her show July 22 (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: You were trying to take the attention off me saying that your network, Fox News, continually crusades on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans, which Fox News most certainly does for a political purpose even if it upends the lives of individuals like Shirley Sherrod, even as it frays the fabric of the nation, and even as it makes the American dream more of a dream and less of a promise. You can insult us all you want about television ratings, Mr. O'Reilly, and you'll be right, that yours are bigger, for now and maybe forever. You are the undisputed champion.
But even if no one watches us at all except for my mom and my girlfriend and people who forgot to turn off the TV after Keith, you are still wrong on what really matters, and that would be the facts, your highness.
... while she and MSNBC, Maddow implies, get it right where it really matters. If only Maddow hadn't gotten it wrong every other day last week, a feat of Rick Sanchezesque proportion.
Unless Congress intervenes in the coming months, many of Bush's much-maligned tax reductions will expire at the end of the year, resulting in a sweeping tax increase at the start of 2011.
But hey, what's the big deal, this won't affect "98 percent" of Americans, at least according to liberal radio host Ed Schultz on Monday (audio here) --
SCHULTZ: You see, I think a lot of Americans think that, well gosh no, we don't want the tax cuts to expire. Ninety-eight percent of you, it doesn't even affect you.
I'd venture to say that most Americans who became parents in the last decade know Schultz's claim is glaringly inaccurate for a specific reason -- the child tax credit, which doubled to $1,000 per-child annually under the Bush tax cut of 2001. And helpfully indeed for those of us who aren't wealthy, the child tax credit extended across all income brackets.
Radio listeners and cable viewers, rest assured -- Ed Schultz is on the side of the angels when it comes to integrity, he strenuously reminds us.
The liberal radio host and MSNBC action hero spent much of his radio show yesterday venting about the Shirley Sherrod uproar and denouncing Andrew Breitbart and Fox News for their alleged role in Sherrod's abrupt firing.
Here's a holier-than-thou Schultz proclaiming his own purity (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: What we have here is a manufactured story, cooked up and promoted by the right wing that work across the street, supplied by a hate merchant, Breitbart, and Hannity, sold as a racial hate story and clearly a White House that overreacted without all of the facts. It is so unlike President Barack Obama to act like this.
I'm fairly confident but not certain this didn't initially come from The Onion -- a fawning profile of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow written by MarketWatch's Jon Friedman.
"This is the rare 21st-century TV news star," Friedman writes, "an un-self-absorbed celebrity."
"Maddow, 37, is the voice of reason at MSNBC," Friedman elaborates. "Notable for their verbal brawn, the hosts of cable news shows often behave on air as if they're competing for a gold medal in preening. Maddow gets her point across in a restrained but emphatic way. She doesn't feel a need to outshout her guests."
... Gee, you'd think they would, seeing how Schultz broadcasts both his radio and cable shows from MSNBC studios in New York City. No such luck.
Here's Schultz on his radio show Thursday complaining about Bill O'Reilly's criticism of MSNBC for the daily frequency of its deceit (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: When I was sitting home for a number of years watching Olbermann tell me how bad Fox was, I, OK, I believe it, but now I know it! And I want you to know it! That we don't go on TV and lie! But this is the game that they play across the street.
Racism, according to the liberal. Isn't it obvious?
Same reason that Republicans and conservatives oppose Obama, the liberal quickly adds.
Here's the latest example of this threadbare line of criticism, from Brent Budowsky, a columnist for The Hill's Pundits Blog and former congressional staffer.
Appearing on Ed Schultz's radio show Tuesday, Budowsky offered an over-the-top analogy (click here for audio) --
BUDOWSKY: These Republicans today, Ed, are more right wing and obstructionist than the segregationist, racist senators during the days of the civil rights. Even those racist senators that filibustered civil rights, they also supported jobs and Medicare and some other things. You know, we're up against a party on the Republicans that is so far off the right end, they're acting like South Africa during the days of apartheid.
You might wonder the same after hearing what Rachel Maddow said in response to GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle's contentious interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist and local cable show host Jon Ralston.
Maddow, as is her wont, criticized Angle for avoiding left-leaning media prior to Ralston interviewing her June 29 -- followed by Maddow criticizing Angle after the interview. Suffice it to say, had Ralston ended up begging for mercy from Angle, Maddow would have accused Angle of torture.
"But when Sharron Angle's political career ended last night on local television in Nevada," Maddow said on her show Wednesday, "it was a perfect case study in what happens if you don't ever talk to people with whom you disagree."
After showing excepts from the interview, Maddow also said this (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: But the bigger story here and the more unexpected story here is how curdled and pitiful and inbredpolicy and even argument itself gets when it is never exposed to opposing views, how weak the political and rhetorical muscles get when they are allowed to atrophy. So, I lament the no-argue bubbles. I lament the reluctance of conservatives and Republican politicians in particular to come on this show, in part because arguing is fun and talking to people with whom you disagree is fun. But also because it makes us all better at what we do. And that's good for us and if you are a politician, that is good for the country.
Libtalker Randi Rhodes can't hold a candle to conservative radio host Mark Levin when it comes to constitutional law.
But Rhodes remains unrivaled in doling out gratuitous insults to divert attention from the issue at hand.
Here's Rhodes on her radio show Friday, describing the reaction of Levin and Washington lawyer Cleta Mitchell to the so-called Disclose Act narrowly passed by the House (click here for audio) --
RHODES: But anyway, they're freaking out because the NRA is exempt and so now, they're attacking the NRA. The conservatives have lost their minds, over disclosure.Losing their minds. In fact, Mark Levin, this, oh he's such an angry little mushroom man. Oh his penis must be just so inadequate. He is on the air literally, I mean, losing his mind, talking to a lawyer from a very large K Street law firm here in DC who's advising, she says she's thinking about advising her clients to disobey the law.
Imagine waking from a years-long coma this past Wednesday evening, with a television in the room tuned to MSNBC. You slowly open your eyes and see ... President Rachel Maddow speaking from the Oval Office.
Whereupon you lapse back into a coma.
Actually, it was "Fake President" Maddow, as she called herself, delivering a mock speech on the BP spill she wished Obama had given the night before.
Among the things Maddow said she'd do, this one jumped out --
MADDOW: I've asked the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to assist me in the diplomatic side of this, in soliciting, green lighting and expediting all international offers of help, from experts in booming and skimming all over the world. We will bring in the best experts and the best equipment from anywhere on earth to dramatically increase our efforts to get the oil out of the water and off the coast.
" ... in soliciting, green lighting and expediting all international offers of help ..." -- as if offers of help from abroad had not already been extended, which they have, followed by the Obama administration inexplicably rejecting them.
There are lies, damned lies and statistics, so the saying goes. Add Rachel Maddow's lies of omission to the list.
Maddow is doing her best to shield MSNBC viewers from awkward facts about political support for offshore drilling. Here's how she began her show on Monday, with an announcement from July 2008 by then-President George W. Bush --
BUSH: For years my administration has been calling on Congress to expand domestic oil production. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. ... One of the most important steps we can take to expand American oil production is to increase access to offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, or what's called the OCS. ... Today I've issued a memorandum to lift the executive prohibition on oil exploration in the OCS.
MADDOW: That was President George W. Bush in July 2008 lifting the presidential ban on offshore oil drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. It was a presidential ban that had been first put in place by President Bush's dad in 1990 after the big Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. Here was why Bush the second said he was lifting the drilling ban of Bush the first --
BUSH: New advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the OCS that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills.
It's not often I see something on The Huffington Post I look forward to reading. Here's an exception.
In a post ungrammatically titled "Why Has the New York Times and Rachel Maddow Misled Us?", novelist and essayist Richard Greener on Thursday wrote a stinging rebuke of a Times' June 8 editorial and Maddow's coverage on her show the following day of the Supreme Court emergency order intervening in Arizona's political matching funds law.
The specifics of Greener's criticism of the Times and Maddow can be found by following this link to his post. (A video clip of the Maddow segment in question can be found here).
Greener laid it on thick when it came to Maddow, initially describing her as "always intelligent, smart and savvy and usually 100 percent credible" before going after her assertions about the court's action.
Do you live near wetlands? Worse still, in a subdivision near wetlands? If so, please hold your head in shame and make Rachel Maddow's day.
Reporting on the BP spill from Louisiana last week, MSNBC's self-proclaimed geek spent considerable time talking about the importance of wetlands. "Land like this is life or death, not only for the wildlife that lives there, and boy howdy do they have some wildlife, but land like this is life or death in a much bigger way," Maddow told her viewers on June 2 (1:01 in this clip). "It means life or death for all the other land that's not like this around here."
Maddow elaborated by describing a hurricane's storm surge, akin to "a high tide from hell." Wetlands buffer the coast from the impact of storm surges, Maddow said. "They say that every 2.7 square miles of wetlands that a storm passes over brings the storm surge for communities behind those wetlands down by one foot," marking the difference between "destruction" and "biblical destruction."
After falsely claiming that oil companies pay no federal royalties for offshore drilling, an assertion later undermined by one of her own guests, Rachel Maddow rewrites the history of the oil industry's last 40 years.
"We've had a lot of response to the NBC News archival footage that we played this week showing just how much hasn't changed in the past 30 years of oil drilling disasters," told her MSNBC viewers May 28. "You may recall that we played news coverage this week of the 1979 Ixtoc oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. And that footage made clear that from failed blowout preventers, to junk shots, to top kills, to booms, to dispersants, to undersea plumes of oil, oil disasters and oil disaster response looks the same now as it did 30 years ago."
"The only real technological progress the oil industry has made in the past 30 years is figuring out how to drill in ever deeper water," Maddow claimed. "It was unsafe in 200 feet of water 30 years ago. Now the progress is that today it's unsafe in 5,000 feet of water. ... No one in the oil industry wants to say it and no one in America wants to believe that it is true and I include myself in this. But honestly, we have no idea how to drill safely offshore. We know how to drill offshore, but we do not know how to drill safely offshore. Because the oil companies have never been made to care too much about that before."
Not only that, I would hasten to add, we have "no idea" how to send human beings safely into space. Even after losing three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire of January 1967, seven more perished nearly 20 years later on the shuttle Challenger, followed by another seven fatalities on the Columbia in 2003.