MSNBC Gives Platform to Dem to Spew About Cheney ‘How Dare He... Raise His Ugly Head’

On the June 19 edition of NewsNation With Tamron Hall, the MSNBCer and Today news desk anchor interviewed Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) on American intervention in Iraq. When Hall asked the congressman what he believed would be the consequences if Maliki refused to meet American demands for reform, Meeks’s answer morphed into a rant against former Vice President Dick Cheney. Meeks snarled, “how dare he come and even raise his ugly head at this time.”

Violent rhetoric is not new for the Democrat facing multiple allegations of fraud and corruption. Just this past March, Meeks displayed a similar lack of tact towards the former veep, stating “Dick Cheney should just keep his mouth shut and stay at home.” These sentiments were mirrored later in Hall’s interview when he snapped “the guy should just go stay retired, take care of his health and just keep his mouth shut.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Tamron barely batted an eyelash at Meeks’ offensive language, and instead of commenting, played a clip of Jay Carney dismissing Cheney’s op-ed during a press conference. Later in the segment, Tamron asked the Empire State Democrat if he thought Cheney was “acting irresponsibly and attempting to erase history.”

Conservatives can only imagine the backlash they would face if a Republican representative made the same rude and dismissive comments of a retired Democratic statesman on say Fox News and the anchor in question failed to rebuke him for his harsh invective. It is unclear what is less surprising: that one of Congress’s most corrupt Democratic representatives is spewing hatred or that MSNBC went along with it.

See transcript below:

MSNBC
NewsNation
June 19, 2014
11:09 a.m. Eastern
4 minutes

TAMRON HALL: Well, to your point and Peter Alexander our correspondent in Washington D.C discussed the fact that within Washington there's great concern about Maliki's future and whether or not there will be a push for his resignation. Our own Richard Engel reported at the beginning of the week it appeared that Maliki priority was military and not reconciliation or a government of inclusion, that his focus was, perhaps, military support from the United States and not doing some of the very things that you outlined. So what would be the consequences? How do we push this partner, if he is that, to these things that are necessary to quell this violence?

GREGORY MEEKS (D-N.Y.): When you do that, then you got to look at what's in America's national interest? Clearly it's not in our national interest to be involved in a sectarian war. That's not, you know, if there's no danger to America and to Americans in that regard, there’s no-- and I don't see an immediate danger despite what an individual who used to be the vice president of the United States has said, led this down a road with his irresponsible decisions when he was in office and try to take us right back there when clearly we lost 4,500 lives as a result of those bad decisions, how dare he come and even raise his ugly head at this time. I'm sorry, I'm upset about that. But the president, I think, is doing something in a calm way. He's checking all of the intelligence and trying to make that determination. And I will be carefully listening to what the president has to say in regards to what his plans are and be judged accordingly. I will attend, for example, as many classified hearings as I possibly can and meetings so I can obtain knowledge. I'm not ready to shrink away from making a decision as a member of Congress. I do believe the president probably has the power to go ahead to do what he wants to under the Iran Authorization Act. But, you know, I was back in 2002 and 2003 I was in Congress on the Foreign Affairs Committee and I listened and I gave President Bush and then Vice President Cheney every opportunity to convince me there was a connection to 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. They did not show it because it wasn't there. I voted no and I'm ready to do what I think is the right thing right now.

HALL: Obviously I see your frustration and quite honestly, your anger, regarding former vice-president's words, this op-ed in which he says that rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. I want to play when this question was posed at the daily briefing with Jay Carney and his response, let’s play that.

MEEKS: He said rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many, talking about the situation in Iraq and the Middle East, generally.

JAY CARNEY: Which president was he talking about?

HALL: That drew laughs but obviously caught a lot of attention. Which president is he talking about. Do you believe that the former vice president is acting irresponsibly and attempting to erase history and decisions that he pushed and at one point were decisions that we know George Bush did not support?

MEEKS: Well, you know what? As I’m sitting here and listening to that and listening to the laughter, you know, at least he's being consistent. He was dead wrong then and dead wrong now and he's never been right. And so, but I just wish that we stop covering him. Because clear, all the evidence is in. Everything that he said back in 2002 and 2003 has proven wrong.

HALL: What do you believe is motivating Vice President Cheney? What's the motivation here?

MEEKS: I have no clue. I mean, I have no clue. I mean the guy should just go stay retired, take care of his health and just keep his mouth shut. If anybody, Senator McCain said something about firing people. Well if anybody should fire anybody, Cheney should fire all of his people and McCain should fire all of his because they haven't been right on anything.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.