Coming down the stretch of the presidential campaign, it looks like NBC political director Chuck Todd has put getting it right over any personal or network partisan leanings. On Morning Joe today, Todd declared that seven out of ten challengers in Mitt Romney's position in the polls win the election.
In an assessment sure to send shivers down Obama-camp spines, Todd added that "Romney appears to have the advantages going into the next couple of weeks." View the video after the jump.
Drifting around the dial this morning, I happened on MSNBC's Weekends With Alex Witt. Within minutes, I was stunned by two Witt whiffs, to wit:
1. Criticizing the Tea Party's lack of "diverse thinking," she asked Joe Scarborough "how much has the Tea Party damaged the Republican party?" Joe gently explained that far from damaging the GOP, the Tea Party propelled it to historic landslide victories in 2010. 2. Witt later cast the Salt Lake Tribune's recent endorsement of Barack Obama as a "surprise," ignoring the fact that in 2008, the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed . . . Barack Obama. View the video after the jump.
So THAT'S why President Obama and his spox have seemed so shifty on the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans including the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. There really is a perfectly good explanation for everything. It's just that--darn it!--state secrecy prevents the prez from telling us. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Such was the sorry excuse that Mika Brzezinski suggested on today's Morning Jones. When Josh Green of Bloomberg recommended that President Obama get his story in order before Monday's debate, Mika mysteriously said: "there may be some parts of this which they can't talk about, which makes it a very difficult situation." View the video after the jump.
Has the latest Gallup poll, showing Mitt Romney with a six-point national lead, panicked the Obama campaign and its MSM cohorts like Mika Brzezinski? Morning Joe's producer apparently wanted to lead today's show with a discussion of the latest bummer-for-Obama polls. But Brzezinski admitted to "fighting" with the Morning Joe executive producer Alex Korson, insisting instead on opening with a discussion of the "binder-gate" issue that President Obama was pushing out on the campaign trail yesterday.
Joe Scarborough laughed off Mika's binder obsession as "ridiculous," saying continued Dem focus on it would lead to a Romney landslide. Even Mark Halperin, whom no one would accuse of being in the Romney reservoir, dismissed the matter as trivial compared to the real issues in this campaign of the economy and jobs. View the video after the jump.
Something's happening here . . . Last week, Chuck Todd came in for criticism at NewsBusters for sniffing off a Rasmussen poll favorable to Mitt Romney as "slop." But has yesterday's slop become today's sirloin for the NBC political director? Sure looks like it.
In a remarkable shift, on today's Morning Joe Todd stated that in recent days he has seen a "structural shift" in the polling data in Romney's favor. With a strong performance at tomorrow's townhall-style debate in which he connects with average Americans, Todd declared that Romney could "win this election" and "close out" President Obama, putting him in a hole too deep to recover from in the final debate. View the video after the jump.
Remember Carole Simpson, the ABC "reporter" who got all verklempt when she had the chance to interview then President Bill Clinton in 1999? Simpson so embarrassed herself that she made MRC's "Worst Media Bias" list for that year.
Fast forward 13 years to this morning, when Melissa Harris-Perry had a Carole Simpson moment of her own. On her MSNBC show, revealing that she recently had the chance to interview President Obama for the current issue of Ebony magazine, Harris-Perry could not restrain her enthusiasm, actually letting go with a "woo-hoo-hoo!" among other expressions of excitement. View the video after the jump.
This could be the lamest defense yet for the lapses that led to the murder of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. According to a former diplomat appointed by Bill Clinton, providing tighter security for Ambassador Stevens might have prevented him from carrying out his diplomatic duties.
Daniel Serwer, the Clinton diplomat in question, offered his excuse for the Benghazi debacle on MSNBC's Up With Chris Hayes this morning. View the video after the jump.
I say "Joe Biden," you say . . . . Joke? Gaffe machine? Not Chuck Todd. In his pre-game commentary for tonight's debate, the NBC political director claimed that, as with Cheney versus Edwards and Bentsen versus Quayle, Biden—matched up against Paul Ryan—has "gravitas" going for him.
View the video after the jump, along with a list of some of Grandpa Gravitas's most famous gaffes.
Don't go there, Donny . . . Donny Deutsch has opened a can of worms—or shall we say, a carton of Clairol.
On Morning Joe today, Deutsch suggested that it looks like Mitt Romney colors his hair, and argued that Americans would lose trust in a candidate who does. But could Deutsch possibly be unaware of the evidence that his guy Barack Obama has also grabbed the Grecian Formula on occasion? Video and photo evidence after the jump.
Rick Santelli, the man who helped launch the Tea Party with his impassioned comments from the trading floor in 2009, sees the hand of politics at work in today's announcement that the unemployment rate has dipped below 8%.
Speaking on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning just minutes after the number was announced, Santelli said: "I told you they'd get it under 8%--they did!" View the video after the jump.
Did Frank Rich, back in his drama-critic days, ever pan an actor's performance this profoundly?
Making it much worse is that Mika Brzezinski knows and avidly supports the actor in question: Barack Obama. On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski exclaimed that Obama's disastrous debate performance "makes me sick to my stomach." View the video after the jump. Hat tip reader cobokat.
John Sununu, did you just call Barack Obama lazy? Quick: someone call the PC police! But before we slap the race-card cuffs on you, Andrea Mitchell, being the nice MSM lady she is, will offer you the chance to take back your horrifying comment!
That's essentially what went down on Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon. Critiquing President Obama's listless debate performance, Romney adviser Sununu said that it revealed how "how lazy and detached" he is. Replied an appalled Mitchell: "Governor, I want to give you a chance to maybe take it back. Did you really mean to call Barack Obama, the President of the United States, lazy?" Sununu did not back down, providing an example of a recent statement by President Obama revealing how he was reluctant to prepare for the debate. View the amazing video after the jump.
Watching Mitt Romney last night as he revived his campaign while demolishing President Obama was surely a bitter pill for Jon Meacham to swallow.
On Morning Joe today, the former Newsweek editor sought to console himself. Meacham—twice—pointed out that although Mark Twain famously wrote that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated, Twain did eventually die. Nice analogy, Jon! View the video after the jump.
How resounding was Mitt Romney's rout of Barack Obama tonight? In the post-debate spin room, a hopelessly muddled Martin O'Malley, Dem guv from Maryland and supposedly an Obama surrogate, wound up referring to "President Romney"! Freudian slip, anyone?
For good measure, pressed by MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell—clearly dismayed by Obama's dismal performance—to suggest what he'd recommend the prez do differently next time, a demoralized O'Malley could only mutter "uh, I don't know." View the video after the jump.
Andrew Sullivan is spitting mad at Tucker Carlson. Writing at The Daily Beast today, Sullivan vilifies the editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller as a "degenerate, disgusting, racist demagogue."
Sullivan is infuriated by Carlson's Daily Caller having recently called attention to a 2007 speech, largely ignored by the MSM, by then presidential candidate Barack Obama. Addressing an audience of black ministers, Obama lavishly praised Rev. Jeremiah Wright, blamed the LA riots and the response to Hurricane Katrina on racism and made, in the words of the Daily Caller, "repeated and all-but-explicit appeals to racial solidarity, referring to 'our' people and 'our neighborhoods.'” More after the jump.
Sounding less like a supposed foreign policy expert and more like someone who's been listening to way too much late, late night left-wing radio, Zbigniew Brzezinski claimed to see the outlines of a "conspiracy" in the making of the anti-Mohammed movie trailer.
Saying "it's not an issue of freedom of speech entirely," Jimmy Carter's former National Security Adviser suggested on Morning Joe today that the makers of the movie could be held "liable" for the deaths of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. He recommended that the United States should "investigate and crack down" on "evil forces" such as those people behind the movie. View the video after the jump.
Mika Brzezinski played Dem re-education camp counselor on Morning Joe today. When former Obama "car czar" Steve Rattner wandered off the reservation, expressing support for Scott Brown over Elizabeth Warren in the Massachussetts senate race, Brzezinski tried to herd him back into line, asking him to agree that Warren is a "fantastic" candidate.
But Rattner would not obey. While conceding that she was "fantastic," Rattner made clear that he disagrees with her "on about 75% of her views on how the economy and the financial sector should be managed." View the amusing video after the jump.
Calling them "Cheetos-eaters living in their mothers' basements," Joe Scarborough, angered by criticism by conservative bloggers of a segment on last week's Morning Joe, has told them to boycott the show.
Last week, Morning Joe ran a clip of the crowd chanting at a Romney campaign event. Morning Joe superimposed a screen graphic indicating that the crowd had been chanting "Ryan!" Romney was then seen instructing the crowd to instead chant "Romney-Ryan!" Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski proceeded to rip Romney for what was depicted as an egocentric display. In fact, there is considerable controversy as to what the crowd was chanting, with various people reporting from the scene that the crowd had in fact been chanting "Romney," so that Romney's action was gentlemanly, not egocentric. Listen and judge for yourself. On today's show, Scarborough ran a clip of the campaign event, but without the Morning Joe screen graphic that was at the heart of the controversy. View the video after the jump.
From the Department of Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don't . . .
The MSM delighted in raking Mitt Romney over its coals [solar cells?] for his 47% remarks. So how do they react when Romney issues an ad saying that whereas both he and President Obama care about the poor, his plans will actually help them? With scorn, of course.
Check out the headline from today's Morning Score at Politico: "Mitt Oozes Empathy In New Ad." View the ad after the jump.
When you watch Howard Dean, do you sense he's often on the verge of losing it? He seemed to be on The Ed Show tonight, bizarrely claiming that the Koch brothers aren't "real Americans."
After fulminating about the brothers' "booty," Dean somehow made the surreal suggestion that--in contrast with American teachers--the Koch brothers aren't "real Americans." View the video after the jump.
If whoever invokes Hitler first in an argument loses, then place an 'L' next to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson's name tonight . . .
On this evening's Ed Show, slamming Mitt Romney's comments about the 47%, Robinson suggested that Romney sees himself as one of the "ubermenschen." That of course was, by way of Nietzche, one of Hitler's favorite phrases. Video after the jump.
Gee, and you thought Barack Obama had an inflated opinion of himself. After watching Andrea Mitchell in action, he might actually need self-esteem therapy . . .
On her MSNBC show today, Mitchell rolled a clip in which Rick Santorum told the Value Voters Summit audience that "we will never have the elite, smart people on our side." After asking a former Santorum aide what he he meant by the "elite smart people," Mitchell declared "I think I should plead guilty." View the video after the jump.
Is Jon Huntsman headed the way of Charlie Crist? When the 2016 Dem convention rolls around, will we see the also-ran GOP presidential nomination-seeker on the podium, seconding Hillary's nomination? You've got to wonder after Huntsman's toadying performance today as he made the MSNBC rounds.
After appearing on Morning Joe earlier, Huntsman turned up on Andrea Mitchell's show. Mitchell posed a laughably-loaded question, bashing Mitt Romney's response to the Obama administration's handling of the embassy attacks. The haughty Huntsman was only too happy to play the useful idiot, concurring that there was "a lot to the criticism" and ripping Romney as an "impetuous candidate" in a time of foreign policy crisis. View the video after the jump.
Joe Scarborough has blamed Mitt Romney for the MSM's failure to cover the Obama administration's failure to heed intelligence warnings of a planned attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of four Americans, including US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
Speaking on Morning Joe today, Scarborough said Romney "didn't allow us" in the media to report on the Obama administration's failures because he gave a "horrific, irresponsible press conference" criticizing Obama administration policy. View the video after the jump.
Mike Barnicle has suggested that the Department of Justice consider prosecuting Florida pastor Terry Jones in the death of the American ambassador to Libya and deaths occurring during riots last year in Afghanistan. Hat tip readers Melody, Jonathan R., Ray R.
Barnicle made his suggestion on today's Morning Joe, during a discussion of the attacks on the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt and the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the American ambassador died after an attack by a Libyan mob. Fellow panelist Donny Deutsch responded by saying he was "thinking the same thing" as Barnicle. View the video after the jump.
For the New York Times, what better way to observe the 11th anniversary of 9-11 than by exploiting it for political purposes and seeking to blame George W. Bush?
The Times chose to publish on its op-ed page today a column by Kurt Eichenwald, a former Times reporter now with Vanity Fair, entitled "The Deafness Before the Storm." Its gruel is thin when it comes to actually assembling a case of any real Bush-administration negligence. And that is the best evidence that Eichenwald and the Times were not motivated by any sincere desire to review the historical record with the goal of preventing future lapses. Rather, this is cheap political exploitation and finger-pointing at its basest. More after the jump.
Joe Scarborough has suggested that Clint Eastwood was drunk when he gave his RNC speech.
Today's Morning Joe opened with a clip of Mitt Romney telling David Gregory that it was a thrill to have Eastwood speak on his behalf at the RNC, and that he felt Eastwood spoke "from the heart." Scarborough came on and said that rather than speaking from the heart, Eastwood spoke more "from the bottom of a bottle." View the video after the jump.
Guess John Harwood was feeling lucky today. CNBC's chief Washington correspondent went on the Today show and boldly proclaimed that not only did Clint Eastwood not accomplish his mission with his RNC speech, but that the speech is almost universally viewed by political professionals as "a big blunder, a big set-back for Mitt Romney."
Harwood did not adduce a scintilla of evidence in support of his contention that the speech hurt Romney. And his universe of pundits apparently does not include people like Jonah Goldberg or Mark Steyn. View the video after the jump.
How deep are MSNBC and its parent company Comcast in the tank for the Democrats? So deep that even the New York Times [!] has headlined an article "Welcome to the MSNBC, Er, Democratic Convention." [H/t Mediaite]
The article details how MSNBC personalities were treated like rock stars by adoring Dems. Even more telling is this: "Four years ago, there was open anxiety inside MSNBC over having the unabashedly partisan Keith Olbermann anchor convention coverage. But the era of liberal hand-wringing appears to have passed." Translation: in the tank and proud. Comcast's servicing of the Dems doesn't end with adoring coverage. It also translates into cold, hard cash from Comcast execs. More after the jump.
Enter Sandman . . . Sleep can be in short supply at conventions. So we can hardly fault DNC-goers who catch a few winks whenever and wherever they can.
Even so, perhaps an eagle-eyed director might have avoided camera shots revealing--for a moment during John Kerry's speech last night-- and for an extended period during today's Morning Joe, audience members deep in the arms of Morpheus. View the video after the jump.