Effete: affected, overrefined, and ineffectual; see "Chris Hayes." OK, I appended the name of the MSNBC host to the dictionary definition. But if ever you wanted to see the human embodiment of the adjective in action, have a look at the video from his MSNBC show this morning of the too-refined-by-half Hayes explaining why he is "uncomfortable" in calling America's fallen military members "heroes."
Hayes is worried that doing so is "rhetorically proximate" to justifications for more war. Oh, the rhetorical proximity! View the video after the jump.
If between now and Election Day unemployment numbers improve, particularly if they dip below the 8% barrier, you know President Obama, with an MSM assist, will be out there pounding his chest about the number of jobs "he created."
But when the unemployment numbers remain weak? Well, that's not Obama's fault. Just ask Mike Allen of Politico. On today's Morning Joe, trying to explain Obama's early campaign stumbles, Allen declared that certain factors, including the bleak job numbers, were "beyond the control" of Obama. View the video after the jump.
Why not just call Romney a racist and be done with it? In the most tortured twist of logic this blogger has seen so far during this campaign, Al Sharpton somehow managed to equate Mitt Romney's refusal to roll over and accept Barack Obama's attacks on Bain Capital with, yes, birtherism.
I know what you're thinking: what the . . . heck? Don't ask me to explain how or why Sharpton came to his nonsensical suggestion. Just sit back and watch the Reverend Al at work. It was too much even for liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. View the video after the jump.
Imagine that in one 2004 Republican primary, an opponent running to George Bush's left got 40% of the vote, and in another primary, more than 4-in-10 Republicans voted for "uncommitted" rather than support the incumbent president. Now imagine the doom the MSM would have found that to portend for Bush.
But when a candidate running to the right of Barack Obama garners 40% of the vote in the Arkansas Dem primary, and "uncommitted" amasses an astounding 42% in Kentucky . . . crickets. On Morning Joe today, Politico's Patrick Gavin proclaimed that PBO's embarrassing performance "doesn't matter." View the video after the jump.
Yet another Obamaoid has joined the Ann Romney-bashing brigade. Hilary Rosen, with her "never worked a day in her life" line, was infamously first. As documented at NewsBusters, the president of NOW subsequently derided Ann Romney as lacking in "life experience" and "imagination". Then, feminist author Michelle Goldberg attacked Ann as "insufferable," her writing as "creepy," and even compared her to Hitler and Stalin.
Latest to join the all-women lineup of Ann bashers: Betsey Stevenson. A former top economist in the Obama administration, appearing on Chris Hayes's MSNBC this morning, Stevenson accused Ann, along with Mitt, of "really having no empathy for people." View the video after the jump.
Snark on, Michelle! On the MSNBC show "Up With Chris Hayes" this morning, feminist author Michelle Goldberg attacked Ann Romney as "insufferable" and derided a phrase in Ann's op-ed on the subject of motherhood as "creepy."
Goldberg's "insufferable" shot drew approving laughter from the all-feminist panel. And surely the attacks on the Romneys for their traditional family values will play well with a certain segment of the electorate. The problem for President Obama: that segment is one that is already almost entirely in his camp. But these sort of mean-spirited attacks are likely to alienate the very voters in the middle that PBO needs to persuade. Video after the jump.
If this is how Dan Rather at peace looks like, wonder what he's like when angry and embittered . . .
On Morning Joe today, Rather emphatically alleged that he was "at peace" over the Memogate fiasco that led to the end of his career. But he couldn't help himself from suggesting that his reputation had been destroyed by anonymous partisans employing "lies." View the video after the jump.
A brief but telling episode from As The MSM Mask Slips . . .
On her MSNBC show this afternoon, chatting with chum and fellow Obama fan Tom Daschle about the anniversary of the killing of OBL, Andrea Mitchell said: "What do you think of the Republican criticism that we are politicizing it, that the White House, I should say, is politicizing it"? View the video after the jump.
Classic MSM jujitsu. Chuck Todd has attempted to turn the issue of President Obama's unseemly spiking of the football on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, into an attack on Republicans for reacting to Obama's politicization of the event.
On his MSNBC show The Daily Rundown, Todd began his discussion of the matter this morning by asking the Washington Post's Dan Balz whether he was surprised by how "aggressive" the Romney campaign has been on the matter. A bit later Todd suggested to Clarence Page that Republicans were "overreacting" to Obama's boasts. Right. Romney should run a passive campaign, like, say John McCain did! Good-loser Republicans: yeah, that's the MSM ticket! Video after the jump.
If you haven't seen the hilariously effective ad by Karl Rove's American Crossroads group that portrays Barack Obama as a celebrity president with a failed economic record, check it out in the video clip.
Mika Brzezinksi was clearly peeved at how well the ad was playing even with her liberal-dominated panel. After Obama fan Donny Deutsch, and no-conservative-he John Heilemann praised the ad, a Mika at wit's end sought to recruit HuffPo's Sam Stein to help her out. "Can you debunk some of the things in the ad?", she entreated. Stumbled Stein: "ah-h-h-h-h, sure, I guess." After offering a paltry defense that Joe Scarborough demolished, Stein was reduced to saying that Mika had invited him to try to debunk the ad, and that "I'm trying my best!" View the amusing video after the break.
There could be only one good reason to have Dem Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on Morning Joe: to grill him on his ugly anti-Mormon swipe at Mitt Romney. Schweitzer recently said that Romney would have trouble attracting women voters because "his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico."
So naturally I waited for Mika Brzezinksi, Mark Halperin, Cokie Roberts--anyone!--to raise the question of Schweitzer's slur. And waited. It never came. Instead, Schweitzer was allowed to to chortle his way through several minutes of faux bonhomie and third-rate tourism promotion, as he gave away some trinkets, touted a new flight from Newark to Bozeman, and managed to work in a boast about his budget surpluses. This was sheer journalistic malpractice on Morning Joe's part. View the video after the jump.
Come November, there's no way Mika Brzezinski will be pulling the lever for Mitt Romney. But the MSNBC co-host had some sincere praise for the Republican standard-bearer this morning.
Expressing frustration with Rudy Giuliani--the latest in a string of Republicans to have offered only a tepid endorsement of Romney--Brzezinski said that when she meets with Mitt and Ann, she comes away "excited," because they're "good people" and a "good family." "What's wrong with these people? It's just ridiculous," a palpably peeved Mika said of Giuliani and others who have emitted only muted praise of Mitt. Video after the jump.
Rally round the Rosen! On his MSNBC show this morning Chuck Todd used variations on the phrase "manufactured controversy" no fewer than eight times in dismissing the controversy around Rosen's "Ann Romney never worked a day in her life" remarks.
By the end of a subsequent segment, Todd had former Obama and Clinton adviser [and Dee Dee sister] Betsy Myers taking up the "manufactured" meme. View the video after the jump.
Back up the bus! After bouncing Hilary Rosen beneath the Greyhound, President Obama and friends might have to throw it in reverse again over the person of key Dem coalition member Terry O'Neill. The NOW president suggested to Ed Schultz tonight that Ann Romney, along with Mitt, lacks "life experience" and "imagination" needed to understand most Americans.
For good measure, in the very same segment Dem congresswoman Maxine Waters called the Republican candidate for president Mitt "Rot-ney." Classy bunch! View the video after the jump.
Va-va-va-VandeHei! NewsBusters has frequently documented Politico's Dem-friendly tilt. But there was a pronounced flying pig moment for Politico this morning as its executive editor Jim VandeHei: ripped the Obama campaign as "insanely political;" described the Buffett Rule as "total gimmickry;" and opined that President Obama has given up on promoting any big ideas in favor of targeting various demographic groups.
Vandehei made his suprisingly candid comments on today's Morning Joe in the context of a Dana Milbank column in which the Washington Post, never accused of being a conservative, also denounced the Buffett Rule as gimmickry. View the video after the jump.
So much for civility. With Ed Schultz goading her on, a Dem state senator from Ohio referred to Republican elected officials as "occupiers" and urged women among other things to use their "passion" to "take out" the "right-wing occupiers."
Nina Turner, the state senator in question, used language that would have caused an MSM outrage had a Republican used it to call for people to "take out" Dem "occupiers." View the video after the jump.
The odious Martin Bashir is at it again. On his MSNBC show today, Bashir suggested that conservatives, racists that they are, were happy to have slaves help build the White House, but can't accept a black president living there.
Bashir's slanderous suggestion came at the conclusion of a segment on President Obama's ill-considered attack on the Supreme Court earlier this week. View the video after the jump.
Is it the role of a "correspondent," as opposed to a pundit, to advocate on a controversial subject? Apparently Andrea Mitchell thinks it's just fine.
On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell, NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent, twice spoke in defense of Planned Parenthood. Mitchell went so far as to claim that Planned Parenthood "really is" a noble organization. Mitchell claimed to distinguish PP's role in providing abortions from the screening services it offers women, and criticized the decision of the Texas state government to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal screening funds. But funds being fungible, Mitchell was effectively advocating for all of Planned Parenthood, including its role as the nation's largest abortion provider. View the video after the jump.
Unemployment stubbornly over 8%. His landmark piece of legislation in dire peril of being dumped by the Supreme Court. The "flexibility" moment with Putin's pawn. Does that sound like an invincible incumbent to you?
It does to Joe Scarborough, and according to him, to every other member of the Republican establishment. On Morning Joe today, Scarborough said that while they won't admit it on TV, "no one" in the GOP establishment believes Mitt Romney will beat Barack Obama in the general election. View the video after the jump.
Larry O'Donnell makes a living attacking Mormonism. We noted years ago how he lambasted the LDS church as "demented" and "ridiculous." The MSNBC host was at it again tonight.
On this evening's Last Word, O'Donnell dismissed Mormonism as a religion "invented" by its founder, Joseph Smith, for purposes of excusing his infidelity. O'Donnell sneeringly added that Mitt Romney "says his believes" in his religion. View the video after the jump.
Is it right to make death threats against George Zimmerman and his family? ABC News isn't sure. In a Good Morning America segment today on the Trayvon Martin case, as an ABC reporter spoke from Sanford, Florida, this graphic was displayed across the bottom of the screen:
"ARE DEATH THREATS GOING TOO FAR?" Video and screencap after the jump.
Simpson-Bowles would have: raised taxes by $1.2 trillion--bumping to 21% the tax share of GDP from the typical 18%; relied largely on defense cuts to reduce spending; retained all $2.5 trillion in ObamaCare spending and done nothing to reform Medicare and Medicaid. No wonder Luke Russert loved it.
Appearing on Chuck Todd's Daily Rundown on MSNBC today, NBC congressional correspondent Russert bemoaned Simpson-Bowles's overwhelming defeat in the House yesterday. According to Russert, the measly 38 votes the plan garnered is emblematic of what's wrong with Washington. Todd joined in the hand-wringing. View the video after the jump.
Early frontrunner for the most preposterous political analogy of the year . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Tina Brown said Rick Santorum was "like Judas Iscariot." And just what was Santorum's sin that merited comparing him to the man who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver? That Santorum, 15 years after the fact, now regrets having supported Arlen Specter when his then-fellow Republican senator from Pennsylvania ran for president. View the video after the jump.
It's not easy to make Al Sharpton appear relatively restrained in a racially-charged case such as the one involving the death of Trayvon Martin. But Joe Scarborough has managed to pull off the dubious feat. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough flatly branded the reported shooter, George Zimmerman, a "murderer." It was no slip of the tongue. A couple minutes later, Scarborough declared that Zimmerman had "murdered" Martin.
Sharpton himself never used such language, generally describing Zimmerman as the "shooter," and even imagining, without endorsing, a scenario in which Zimmerman might have been acting in self defense. View the video after the jump.
Let's stipulate up front that it might well have been an innocent mistake. Even so, until explained, it was shocking to say the least. On today's Morning Joe, as Mika Brzezinski read a David Brooks op-ed about the shooting of civilians in Afghanistan in which he wrote of "monstrous acts that shock the soul and sear the brain," suddenly the screen cut--for an extended period--to three different photos of . . . Republican Paul Ryan.
Even Joe Scarborough couldn't resist joking about the incident revealing the show's liberal bias. As it turns out, an op-ed by Ryan was up next, and the control room guys might simply have transitioned a bit too quickly--though some readers might not be willing to give Morning Joe the benefit of the doubt. View the video after the jump.
A rather testy exchange on today's Morning Joe, with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski going at it with Rick Santorum. A full five minutes of Santorum's segment were devoted to questioning him on his views on contraception and religious freedom.
Toward the end, seemingly to Scarborough's surprise, Santorum said that "yeah, sure" he thought Scarborough, like the MSM at large, was attempting to pigeonhole him on the matter. Video after the jump.
Could Howard Dean be the worst political prognosticator ever? Could a former DNC Chairman really be this clueless about the electoral map? Apparently.
On MSNBC's Ed Show this evening, Dean claimed it was possible that in a match-up against Barack Obama, Mitt Romney might win fewer than the six states Barry Goldwater carried in 1964. Seriously, Dr. Dean? You see President Barack Obama carrying all of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Nebraska and Idaho--all states Goldwater lost--plus some others that Goldwater won? Mississippi, maybe? Alabama? Really, we'd love to learn.
Did MSNBC ever vet Al Sharpton? Seriously. Much of the talk about HBO's Game Change docu-drama is focusing on the vetting of Sarah Palin or lack thereof by the McCain campaign. Is there any minimum standard of knowledge required to have one's own show on the Lean Forward network?
Take Sharpton's mind-boggling misstatement on Morning Joe today. The Reverend Al asserted that in Alabama, "it's against the law to organize unions." Did any of the MJ crew, including Joe Scarborough, Gene Robinson and Steve Rattner, call Al out on his misrepresentation? Of course not. View the video after the jump.
Mark Halperin says Mitt Romney's campaign has the worst relationship with the media of any major candidate he's covered. But, according to the man from Time, it has nothing to do with the fact that Romney is the front-runner to take on the MSM's Chosen One. No, Halperin assures us, "it's not a partisan thing." The fault lies entirely with the Romney campaign itself, which reportedly has kept the press at arm's length.
Halperin's comments came in the context of a Morning Joe segment today in which Mike Allen discussed a Politico item on a media "charm offensive" that the Romney campaign is conducting. View the video after the jump.
Tom Brokaw is the man that our Brent Bozell recently described as having "used NBC and [his] anchor chair as a platform to promote Democratic agendas and delight in Republican setbacks for more than 20 years." But every once in awhile, perhaps out of Greatest Generation nostalgia, Brokaw has something kind to say about a Republican.
As was the case on Morning Joe today, when, after reciting a list of the 41st president's accomplishments, Brokaw called George H.W. Bush "the most underrated modern president of our time." Video after the jump.