Turns out today is the 159th anniversary of the founding of the Republican party. So who did Al Sharpton have on his MSNBC this evening to discuss it supposedly from the GOP point of view? "Republican" Abby Huntsman, daughter of Jon.
After somehow divining that if Abe Lincoln were around today he would want a "conversation" on immigration and gay marriage, Abby described today's Republican party as populated by people who want "absolutely no government." View the video after the jump.
How do you go from being a gutsy hero of the MSM to a wuss in one minute? Take on a Democrat president instead of a Republican. Using her most sarcastic scared-little-child voice, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski mocked Bob Woodward for saying the White House threatened him over his reporting on the sequester.
Mocked Mika: "is he really afraid of a little aide who said that to him? Really?" View the video after the jump.
The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester, In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."
But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters. Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively. Andrea named names. Scarborough did not. H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.
On her MSNBC show today, Andrea Mitchell accused Republicans of "red-baiting" Chuck Hagel, a reference to tactics most notably associated with the McCarthy period during which people were accused [often accurately, it should be noted] of Communist or affiliated sympathies.
Such cries of McCarthyism have of course become standard liberal fare when it comes to Hagel's confirmation process. View the video after the jump.
Chris Matthews featured her as a "Rising Star," someone who with more seasoning might someday entertain a presidential run. But newly-elected Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane came across as more of a not-ready-for-prime-time-deer-in-the-headlights.
Appearing on today's Hardball, Kane came out with this mind-boggler: "I think the people of Pennsylvania would accept a limit on the amount of clips. You know, I believe and I think a lot of people feel the same way that you don't have a right to go into a classroom and take down a class of children in under a minute." Really going out on a limb there, Rising Star! View the video after the jump.
Al Sharpton joined the sequester scare-mongering squad on his MSNBC show this evening. Just one problem: the Reverend Al got one of his "facts" embarrassingly wrong. Sharpton claimed that the effect of the sequester would be to close Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown airport in Janesville, Wisconsin. Nuh-uh.
Yes, Southern Wisconsin Regional in Janesville is on a list of 200 airports, 100 of which would have their towers closed under the sequester. So for starters, contrary to what Sharpton suggests, the odds are only 1-in-2 that even if the sequester hits, there will be any effect whatsoever on the Janesville airport. But in any case, closing a tower by no means closes an airport. Is Al unaware that of the roughly 20,000 airports in the USA, only about 500—less than 3%—have towers? Even if the tower closes, flights will continue to flow in and out of Janesville. There are well-established FAA procedures that pilots follow to communicate with each other at non-towered fields. Shame on Sharpton for his false scare-mongering. View the video after the jump.
Call her MoveOn.Mika . . . Bob Woodward has demonstrated that President Obama was not telling the truth during the third presidential debate when he flatly stated that "the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.” In fact, it was two Obama aides who devised the plan, and Obama himself who approved it.
But when Joe Scarborough wanted to get those facts on the record this morning, Mika Brzezinski repeatedly declared that discussing Obama's failure to tell the truth was "silly." Things got heated between the co-hosts at one point as Mika cut Joe off, saying "I need to talk." And trying to end the uncomfortable discussion, Mika actually announced "I'm moving on." View the video after the jump.
As press secretary to President Obama, Robert Gibbs was often in the obfuscation business. Now that he's been freed from that role and become a news analyst—albeit at MSNBC—Gibbs has become considerably more candid. Readers will recall, for example, that he described Chuck Hagel as "unimpressive and unprepared" at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Today, Gibbs took that frankness a significant step further. On Up With Chris Hayes, Gibbs stated that as press secretary, he had been ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program. View the video after the jump.
Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl. There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles. Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.
But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today. Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth. View the video after the jump.
Mika Brzezinski immediately asked her producer if the seven-second delay had worked. It hadn't. On today's Morning Joe, praising the "authenticity" of the New Jersey governor, an unbleeped Mort Zuckerman said there's "no bull****" about Chris Christie.
Joe Scarborough sought to slough off the incident, saying no seven-second delay was necessary: "you got a lot of farmers saying that in western Pennsylvania. That's no big deal." Mika begrudgingly mouthed agreement but her tone and body language left no doubt that she was uncomfortable with Mort's excursion into the scatalogical. View the video after the jump. H/t NB reader Cobokat.
Chuck Todd can't imagine what could ever have given conservative politicians the idea that the MSM is unfriendly to them. C'mon Chuck: we know you're a NewsBusters reader. Every day here, we document the liberal media's hostility to conservatives.
On today's Morning Joe, NBC political director Todd repeatedly spoke of a supposed "mythology" among conservative politicians and their staffs that the "big, bad non-conservative media" is "out to get conservatives." That in turn explains why, according to Todd, conservative officials are reluctant to appear on non-Fox shows. View the video after the jump.
Wait a sec: aren't liberals supposed to be the edgy dudes who like to buck the established order? The ones who glorify guys with the guts to "speak truth to power"? So what could possibly have turned these hipsters into a bunch of suddenly stodgy sourpusses reaching for their Miss Manners? Looks like in-your-face is no longer in style when the upstart in question is—horrors!—a conservative!
Continuing his campaign for proper etiquette--and against Ted Cruz--Frank Bruni appeared on Morning Joe today. The New York Times columnist recently wrote a cranky column calling Cruz an "an ornery, swaggering piece of work." Bruni took things one stodgy step further, calling Cruz a "whippersnapper." Frank fulminated over Ted's temerity in actually voting against the august John Kerry. View the video after the jump.
The trashing of Ted Cruz continues apace in the bien-pensant MSM. From the New York Times, to the Washington Post, to Politico and elsewhere, the liberal media has the new Republican Senator from Texas in its sights.
Joe Scarborough is clearly camped out on the Cruz-bashing bandwagon. Earlier this month, so offended by Cruz was the sensitive Scarborough that he wouldn't deign to mention him by name. Today, not to be outdone by Frank Bruni, who called Cruz "an ornery, swaggering piece of work," Scarborough declared that Cruz acts like "a carnival barker at a local Republican event." View the video after the jump.
ABC News reporter David Wright chose an odd metaphor to describe criticism of the possible timing of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI's successor.
Wright, speaking live from the Vatican on today's Good Morning America, reported that yesterday the Vatican spokesman had floated a trial balloon suggesting that the conclave to choose a new Pope could be moved up from its originally established date of March 15th. Continued Wright: "but in other quarters of the Church, that trial balloon is being shot down faster than an old-school nun might rap you on the knuckles." View the video after the jump.
If Good Morning America's giddiness over the prospect that Hillary Clinton might run for president is any indication of how the MSM will treat the story, it's gonna be a long-g-g-g four years.
The excited GMA crew was looking for any harbinger--from falling meteorites to the number of baskets scored by an ABC reporter in a charity game--that Hillary might throw her pantsuit into the ring. A correspondent even joked--at least we hope she was joking--that GMA might have to run a segment every week with the latest is-Hillary-running news. View the video after the jump.
Ed Schultz was in seventh heaven, lionizing Elizabeth Warren [new first name 'Sheriff'] for the way she grilled financial regulators for failing to take big banks to trial.
Just one teenie-weenie factoid Ed failed to mention: those two regulators he showed Warren scalding during his MSNBC show tonight were appointed by, yup, President Barack Obama. View the video after the jump.
Andrea Mitchell/Barack Obama: same struggle! In an stunningly blatant display of solidarity with the Obama line, Andrea Mitchell declared on today's Morning Joe that she shared the same "concern" with the White House: that poor Chuck Hagel wouldn't get a final vote on his nomination.
Mitchell prefaced her "concern" by roundly condemning Republicans in general--and Senator Ted Cruz in particular--for supposedly attacking Hagel with allegations "completely unsupported by fact." Could somebody please tell me why Mitchell, supposedly a reporter, should so shamelessly be toting the White House's water this way? View the video after the jump.
Sure, conservatives know that liberals want ever-bigger government. But the left is normally shy about its ambitions. Witness President Obama's laughable claim in this week's State of the Union: "It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth."
So there's something bracing about a liberal boldly, baldly, embracing bigger government. In his New York Timescolumn of today entitled "The Real Obama", Charles Blow clearly sees through the president's misleading rhetoric. Blow knows what Obama is really after—and celebrates it: "Is this the real Barack Obama? I hope so. I like this one. The president used Tuesday’s State of the Union address to detail a vision of America’s future, and his second term, in which the country is not in perpetual war, government plays an expansive role, Congressional obstruction is named and shamed and he is bold and unapologetically progressive" [emphasis added]. More after the jump.
"I'm going to get in trouble for saying this," said a prescient Joe Scarborough. Less than an hour after delivering a devastating take-down of the Obama economic record that surely pleased many conservatives, Scarborough made remarks about Marco Rubio that are bound to outrage many of the same folks.
Commenting on Marco Rubio's response to the State of the Union, Scarborough declared that Rubio "is not ready to be President of the United States" and that "Republicans pushing him out there are making a big mistake." View the video after the jump.
In just 58 seconds, Joe Scarborough has managed to render an imagined response to last night's SOTU that demolishes President Obama's failed economic record.
Delivered on today's Morning Joe, Scarborough scalded PBO's pitiful performance on the economy. Highlights from the Hall of Shame: four million more Americans out of work today than when Barack Obama became President; average income down 5% since the end of the recession. View the video after the jump.
Ronald Reagan: RINO? Cokie Roberts and Joe Scarborough have suggested the Gipper might be viewed that way by the modern-day Republican party, making him unelectable within GOP ranks.
After Joe Scarborough said that it was Reagan who rounded up Republican support for the assault weapon ban in 1984, Roberts exclaimed "I'm not sure Reagan could get elected within the Republican party today." Scarborough concurred: "I don't know that he could." View the video after the jump.
Suppose our enemies declared war on us—and we didn't show up? In a variation on the pacifist line from the 60s, that's essentially what Chris Hayes has proposed as American policy.
On his MSNBC show this morning, the hopelessly naive Hayes suggested that rather than debating "big war"—boots on ground—versus "small war"—targeted strikes—we go for a third option "no war." In Hayes's fantasy-land, America declares the war on terror over and "declares itself at peace." View the video after the jump.
Martin Bashir once again demonstrates that he represents the bottom of the admittedly deep MSNBC barrel . . .
On his MSNBC show this afternoon, Bashir suggested to a female guest that by his questioning at the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Senator Marco Rubio sought to demonstrate that he had "very strong testicles." Bashir elicited nervous laughter and a duck of the head from guest Karen Finney. View the video after the jump.
Sure, you might be cool with Barack Obama calling up a drone strike on an American citizen. But don't forget: a Republican [shudder!] could become President!
That was the Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart's warning to Donny Deutsch when the ad-man-turned-pundit proclaimed he had no problem with the president, under desperate circumstances, ordering a drone strike against an American. View the video after the jump.
Nowadays, our nation's capital is in such ill-repute that if George Washington were around, he might sue to have his name taken off it. But never fear: restoring Washington's good name is just a few trillion dollars away!
So Chris Matthews assures us in an MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo that is currently airing. After ticking off a number of big-government programs initated under past presidents, Matthews continues: "we got to get back to that, and then Washington will have a good name again." View the promo after the jump.
What's with Barney Frank and his odd obsession with a Henny Youngman line that—had virtually any other politician used it—would result in him being accused of the worst kind of misogyny?
Back in 2011, I noted that, appearing on Morning Joe, Frank had quoted the hoary Henny line: "How's your wife? Compared to what?" Yet there was Barney again this evening, this time on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show, breaking out the identical line. Really: what gives? And imagine the feminist outrage if, say, Mitt Romney had dared use the line during his presidential campaign. View the video after the jump.
Conservatives might take heart from a recent poll showing a decline in Americans' trust in government. But Chris Cillizza sees it as a "depressing reality." So wrote Cillizza in his "Fix" column in today's Washington Post. Indeed, Cillizza's headline, "Are we in the end times of trust in government?", suggests that he finds the development nothing short of potentially apocalyptic.
Let's consider what Thomas Jefferson's had to say about the need for a healthy distrust of government—and speculate as to why the polling news has Chris bummed out. More after the jump.
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Time for Joe Scarborough to brush up on the Sermon on the Mount?
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough gloated at length over survey results indicating that the public's trust in Fox News has declined and that PBS is the only network that more people trust than distrust. But he conveniently failed to mention that Fox News remains the network that more people trust than any other . . . and that his own MSNBC trails way—way!—behind Fox News in public trust. View the video after the jump.
Have a look at the image of President Obama that Al Sharpton repeatedly displayed during a segment of his MSNBC show this evening on the theme that the Obama agenda on immigration and gun control is gaining traction.
It shows a stern-faced President Obama superimposed against the backdrop of a massive crowd. At one point, Sharpton displayed a graphic reading "Taking Control." More after the jump.
Barack The First? Wow: who would have thought that perhaps the strongest statement yet in condemnation of President Obama's self-arrogated right to kill Americans abroad would have come from Jon Meacham? Yet on today's Morning Joe, historian Meacham—who knows something about the use and abuse of presidential power—criticized Obama for ignoring the "rule of law" and actually described Obama as acting like "an American king."
Joe Scarborough seconded Meacham's surprising statement, adding that had this come to light under George W. Bush, impeachment would be in the air. View the video after the jump.