After Martin Bashir lost his MSNBC job for making a vile anatomical suggestion, you might think that others at the "Lean Forward" network would be circumspect about engaging in comparable crudeness.
But that didn't stop John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. Whereas Bashir's remark focused on the beginning of the alimentary canal, Heilemann's went to its other extremity. Asked how he'd deal with Senator Rand Paul's theory that extending unemployment benefits does the unemployed a disservice, Heilmann said "I'd tell Rand Paul to stick that where it belongs." View the video after the jump.
Today's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, with Joy Reid guest-hosting, displayed a "Pope" poster of Pope Francis in the style of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama made famous in 2008.
The show featured a long segment analyzing the Pope's critique of capitalism. What's the message of the poster and of MSNBC's decision to display it? That Pope Francis and Barack Obama share a critique of capitalism? That Barack Obama is himself a Pope-like figure? Something else? View the video after the jump.
In her continuing campaign to promote Elizabeth Warren's presidential prospects, Mika Brzezinski has attempted to recruit an unlikely ally: Steve Rattner.
Rattner--President Obama's former "car czar"--is an investment manager and what passes for a moderate in the modern Dem party. The notion that he would support leftist Elizabeth Warren in a Dem primary is far-fetched to say the least. But Mika told Rattner he would "root" for Warren "because you will do that for me." A compliant Ratter replied that he would "do anything" for Mika. View the video after the jump.
Joe Scarborough made a point of mentioning that until today, his MSNBC show hadn't discussed the Obama selfie at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Morning Joe's way too highbrow for that kind of stuff, don't you know, particularly when it might reflect badly on Barack Obama.
But when the crew finally got around to it today, opinion from Joe to Mika to Ed Rendell to Thomas Roberts was unanimous: there was nothing to criticize. Mika made her point by seeking to snap a selfie with Scarborough, as Joe jokingly showed her the hand. View the video after the jump.
Nicolle Wallace played the quintessential DC insider on today's Morning Joe, proclaiming herself a "groupie" of both conservative Senator Tom Coburn and liberal partisan David Axelrod, while also saying she was "inspired" by Paul Ryan's leadership in forging a budget compromise deal.
But the Sooner senator wasn't letting the inside-the-Beltway bonhomie blunt his criticism, saying the budget deal "sells out" what needs to be done, and gives up "core values." View the video after the jump.
Wow! File this one under: what would have been the MSM reaction to a conservative who had made the same un-PC statement?
On today's Morning Joe, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, discussing the way American children have fallen behind children in other countries in academic achievement, and are coddled, handed trophies for non-achievement and protected from stress, said: "stress will be not understanding the thick Chinese accent of your first boss. That will be stress." View the video after the jump.
Things got testy between Joe Scarborough and Howard Dean on today's Morning Joe over the issue of the Dem party moving left. In a particularly unkind cut, Scarborough accused Dean of spouting "Carl Bernstein nonsense," while Dean tried to shut Scarborough down, bleating "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Adding spice to the mix, Mika Brzezinski made clear her great regard for lefty Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying she'd make a "formidable" presidential candidate.
The fracas was detonated by a discussion of a Wall Street Journalop-ed by a centrist Dem group called "The Third Way," which argued that following proposals from Warren and far-left, newly-elected NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, would be electorally "disastrous" for Dems. That in turn engendered a New York Times article about infighting among Dems, reporting among other things that Warren is using "hardball" tactics to intimidate banks supporting The Third Way. View the video after the jump.
Martin Bashir was fired from MSNBC this week for his ugly scatalogical suggestion about Sarah Palin. But there was Chris Matthews on the same network this morning using a barnyard epithet to attack another Republican. On today's Morning Joe, Matthews called John Boehner's comments on divided government "pissant."
That p-word has apparently become a favorite Matthews meme in attacking Republicans. MRC's Tim Graham recently noted that Matthews used it against Rand Paul. View the video after the jump.
Call it a case of interview envy--in the context of an ongoing feud between two MSNBC hosts.
There has been bad blood between Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews for years, as here, here and here. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took the occasion of Chris Matthews' impending interview of President Obama to mock the way Matthews' on-air schedule has shrunk. In a particularly low blow, Scarborough even compared the Hardball host to Regis Philbin. View the video after the jump.
Potemkin Village, anyone? Joe Scarborough has offered a scathing simile for the new-'n-improved Obamacare website. On today's Morning Joe, he likened the site to the set of a Hollywood Western--pushing back the facade reveals that there's nothing behind it.
Even former Obama spox Robert Gibbs—proudly sporting an Auburn jersey—acknowledged that big chunks of the system, including the payment mechanism for subsidies, haven't even been built. So people can go to the site, receive the illusion that they have obtained coverage, only to find that there is no follow-through. View the video after the jump.
Being a leftist of the Obama ilk, you have to assume that Congressman Keith Ellison thought he was doing President Obama a favor in offering his interpretation of the president's "if you like your plan, you can keep it" line, as well as his subsequent non-apology apology.
But on today's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Ellison wound up putting words in the president's mouth that quite literally added insult to injury. Ellison first falsely claimed that Pres. Obama had said "if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it." Obama of course never said any such thing. Moreover, according to Ellison, by his apology Obama meant "if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I'm sorry." So the fault lies not with Obama for having blatantly misled the American people. No, it's those ignorant Americans—too dense to dig the real meaning of the great man's words—who are to blame. View the video after the jump.
How shambolic of a smoking ruin is the Obama presidency? When Tina Brown surveys the wreckage, the best—the best!—thing she sees, the thing she believes will be Barack Obama's shining legacy, is his handling of Iran and Syria, which she declares to be "smart," and of course, "nuanced."
The Obamacare catastrophe? Not to worry. On today's Morning Joe, Brown assured us that those problems are "transient." No, look over here, at President Obama's masterful handling of foreign policy! Yes, years from now, when the minor hiccups of the Obamacare rollout will be long forgotten, people will still be marvelling at how well Barack Obama dealt with Iran and Syria. View the video here.
Joe Scarborough has suggested that President Obama's poor poll numbers made him "desperate," driving him to agree to a deal with Iran on its nuclear program that Scarborough criticized as "bad" and even "horrible."
Scarborough described recently speaking with someone who said that no president with approval ratings under 40% should be allowed to do a deal. Reminds me of doctors' warnings not to sign legal documents while under the effects of some medications. Said Scarborough of unpopular presidents: "they get desperate, they really do." View the video after the jump.
Sure, he was careful to couch it. But the bottom line is that Zbigniew Brzezinski believes that Iran is willing to abandon its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.
Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser offered that opinion in response to questioning by former RNC Chairman Michael Steele on today's Morning Joe. Brzezinski also claimed that the recent round of negotiations have been "serious, substantive" and that the Iranians have been "accommodating." View the video after the jump.
If only "Republican" Nicolle Wallace would be as critical of Democrats as she is of members of her own putative party . . . On today's Morning Joe, Wallace—adviser to Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign—decided that in order to praise Republican governors, she had to pound Republicans in Congress.
Wallace took her shot at congressional Republicans in the course of discussing Chris Christie ascension as head of the Republican Governors Association. Wallace praised Republican governors as "our stars . . . the people that can speak English." In contrast, according to Nicolle, "you go to Washington and somehow Republicans are speaking another language." View the video after the jump.
Ed Schultz knows nothing about misdemeanor sentencing guidelines . . . Playing the race card over the arrest and conviction of Republican congressman Trey Radel for cocaine possession, Ed Schultz has claimed there is "no doubt" that an African-American who committed the same crime "would be facing jail time."
Really? Radel's crime was a misdemeanor, and he was a first-time offender. It would be highly unusual for anyone pleading guilty under such circumstances to be sentenced to jail time. DC jails could not possibly hold all the low-level misdemeanor drug offenders. View the video after the jump.
Was someone holding Mika Brzezinski's shoe collection hostage? Because something obviously forced the Morning Joe host, against her will, to devote two lengthy segments today, totalling more than 2.5 minutes, to the story of scandal-ridden Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
With Joe Scarborough away, Mika was in charge. After airing the second long segment she complained "I can't believe he's still in the news. It doesn't make sense." Hmm. Kind of reminds me of another liberal complaining about what was done on his own watch. View the video after the jump.
When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.
So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.
After my animated description of President Obama's strangely listless conference call of yesterday, my wonderful wife encouraged me to be kind.
So let me say something sympathetic about Donny Deutsch. Sure, he's a member of the Manhattan/Hamptons liberal axis. But I sense he's more of a old-fashioned Dem, someone, for example, who embraces American exceptionalism. So when on today's Morning Joethe adman admitted that the Obamacare failure might set back progressive government for an entire generation, it's noteworthy. Adding to liberal heartburn, Howard Fineman later said "I sort of agree with Donny" and that Obamacare could be a "huge disaster for Democrats." View the video after the jump.
Tonight's Organizing For Action conference call with President Obama was billed as "exclusive," and indeed it was . . . in the sense that anyone in the world who signed up for it could listen in.
I was one of the lucky few hundred thousand, and was dumbstruck by how depressed President Obama sounded. Looks like SNL was onto something. Listen to the brief, edited audio clip from the conference call, and compare and contrast the super-subdued tone with the soaring rhetoric from the good old hope 'n change days of the 2008 campaign. More after the jump.
You're a self-respecting journalist. A guest on your show who is a leading member of one of the world's few absolute monarchies criticizes the lack of democracy in another country. Wouldn't you challenge him on his hypocrisy?
Sorry, trick question: we're talking about Morning Joe. On today's show, Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal mockingly referred to the Muslim Brotherhood's approach to democracy in Egypt under Morsi as "one man, one vote, one time," meaning that after the Brotherhood gained power, it didn't intend to permit future fair elections. Of course one free election would still be one more than the Saudi monarchy has ever permitted for the country's leader. But Morning Joe never made a peep. View the video after the jump.
Q. If the Obama administration fails to keep its promise that the Obamacare website would be fixed by November 30th, how would you describe the press that reported that fact?
A. "Lazy media." If you're NBC political director Chuck Todd, that is. On today's Morning Joe, Todd said the White House was smart to lower the bar about the website by saying only 80% of people would be able to use it by November 30th. Had they not done so, said Todd, the "lazy media" would have jumped on the failed promise, waving "the hourglass." View the video after the jump.
Somebody cue the Debbie Downer horn. How bad are things for President Obama? In recent days, the Washington Post has brought us a double-barreled downer blast from two pundits who normally support the president.
All you need to know about Dana Milbank's and Ruth Marcus' columns you can glean from their respective final sentences, which read: "Maybe the president does understand that the game is over." And "Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident." Wah-wah, indeed! More after the jump.
Amidst all the liberal doom and gloom stemming from the Obamacare debacle, at least someone's trying to keep hope alive for beleaguered Democrats . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Katty Kay did her best to paint a scenario in which Dems go into 2014 with Obamacare working, and the election results would not be the "disaster" that Republicans are assuming. View the video after the jump.
Let the record show that at 7:17 AM ET on November 15, 2013, a leading member of the MSM flatly declared that a leading Republican was "right" in rejecting an Obama proposal, and what's more, that "the White House knows it."
That MSM equivalent of Haley's Comet streaked by on today's Morning Joe. A clip had been played of John Boehner rejecting the proposal President Obama offered during his press conference yesterday that would permit healthcare insurers not to cancel non-complying policies. Boehner said he was "highly skeptical" that President Obama "can do this administratively." Commenting on it, Chuck Todd said of the Obama proposal "nothing's fixed," then declared "John Boehner's right. And the White House knows it." View the remarkable video after the jump.
You really have to watch the video to perceive Chris Hayes' pathos. The poor guy really needs a hug. He needs to be reassured that—yes—it will all work out in the end for Obamacare.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Hayes asked—begged—guest Dr. Kavita Patel, a former Obama healthcare policy advisor, to assure him that in six months or a year, Obamacare would be working. Patel reached across the airwaves to pat poor Chris' hand—but with a proviso that surely sent a shiver up Chris' spine. View the video afer the jump.
A President can deal with being disliked, even despised, by his opponents. But when he becomes a laughingstock among his own supposed supporters . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Dem Sen. Joe Manchin openly mocked President Obama's failure to communicate with Congress. Asked by Joe Scarborough whether the President is disconnected from the Senate and House, Manchin sardonically said "everybody has a different style." Queried as how often he talks to the prez by phone, Manchin sarcastically replied "I'm sure he's very busy." The panel had a good laugh at Pres. Obama's expense, until a mortified Mika Brzezinski couldn't take it anymore and demanded "Stop it. Enough!" View the video after the jump.
At NewsBusters, we often document Politico's liberal tilt. For example, a couple of years ago I wrote an item highlighting the fact that all six stories in that day's Politico's "Daily Digest" were Dem-friendly.
So it is a mark of just how deep the Obamacare disaster is for Dems that four of the five items in today's "Daily Digest" focus on Obamacare's catastrophic debut and its political implications. See the stories after the jump.
If President Obama has lost Donny Deutsch, has he lost the Hamptons? But seriously, the adman has generally been an an enthusiastic supporter of the President. So when he gives a very pessimistic prediction as to the ability of Obamacare to rebound from its . . . debacular debut, it's worth noting.
On today's Morning Joe, Deutsch described Obamacare as so "tarnished" and "damaged" that he doubted that it could ever fully recover, even if President Obama took Joe Scarborough's advice and attempted a total reboot. View the video after the jump.