MSNBC's Brzezinski: Bush Speech a 'Stinging Criticism' of Obama

Over a graphic which read “Pres. Bush Invokes Nazis While Criticizing Obama’s Foreign Policy,” MSNBC sought to hype Democratic reaction to President Bush’s speech in Israel.

During the 9a.m. hour of Thursday’s “MSNBC News Live,” host Mika Brzezinski reported: “President Bush issued a stinging criticism of Barack Obama today suggesting that his plans to hold talks with Iran is the same as trying to appease the Nazis on the eve of World War II.”

Brzezinski began the broadcast with “breaking news” of President Bush’s comments and repeatedly came back to it, making for a total of six references to the “controversy” in the hour-long broadcast. The host also quoted the reaction from the Obama campaign three times and continually referred to the President’s remarks as a “swipe at Obama.”

Early in the hour, NBC’s John Yang, traveling with President Bush in Jerusalem, reported, “You know, all along Mr. Bush, President Bush has been saying he’s not gonna get drawn into the 2008 campaign, he didn’t want to be the pundit-in-chief, but I think you can agree that he’s jumped in with both feet today.”

Later, reporter Lee Cowan, who covers the Obama campaign and has said that covering Obama makes his knees “quake,” phoned in and briefly mentioned that the White House has said that Bush’s statements were not a direct swipe at Obama. This was the only time the White House’s response was mentioned in the hour broadcast.

During her conversation with Cowan, Brzezinski injected her own opinion: “My personal reaction was I am surprised that he [President Bush] made these statements where he made them let alone the fact that he made them.”

At the end of the hour, guest Mark Simone, a conservative WABC radio host, said, “This is not a shot at Obama, he [Bush] said the same thing a year ago, five years ago, eight years ago, he’s always said this. It’s just don’t negotiate with a terrorist or somebody who got themselves a weapon as a way to get to the bargaining table.” Brzezinski didn’t buy it: “I’m more just concerned about the location and the timing of this swipe. I question it.”