Pundits and politicians are normally so slick that they can weasel their way out of even the most glaring of contradictions. "Depends on what the meaning of is, is," anyone? So it's particularly delicious, to use Noel Sheppard's trademark phrase, to see a talking head left absolutely cornered, babbling without response, when caught in the hypocrisy of a double-standard.
On today's Morning Joe, former Obama car czar Steve Rattner passed along the Obama admin line that negotiating with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling "is like negotiating with terrorists." With catlike quickness, Joe Scarborough pounced: "so you're saying Barack Obama was a terrorist in 2006 when he said he refused to raise the debt ceiling?" The cornered Rattner had no comeback, actually asking Mika Brzezinski of all people to "help me out here," then resorting to the lame "it's complicated" line. View the amusing video after the jump.
Drag a $100 bill through MSNBC and there's no telling what you'll find. On today's Morning Joe, the ever-classy James Carville likened GOP primary voters to low-quality prison inmates.
Carville made his asinine analogy in responding to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that Republicans can still prevail in coming election cycles if they do the "smart thing." Carville said the situation reminded him of what Lester Maddox said the problem was in the Georgia prison system: the quality of the inmates. According to Carville, the GOP's problem is the quality of Republican primary voters. View the video after the jump.
A Morning Joe kind of Republican? With Joe Scarborough absent today, was Nicolle Wallace assuming the role of the Republican who gets more satisfaction from ripping fellow members of her party than in criticizing Democrats?
Wallace mocked congressional Republicans who are trying to defund ObamaCare, analogizing them to two-year olds on scooters racing into traffic against a red light. She suggested that the "adults" in the party need to restrain them. View the video after the jump.
A member of the MSM moving to the Obama administration? A "natural extension" indeed! Nancy Gibbs, the new Time editor, has really let the cat out of the bag. Appearing on Morning Joe today, she described the move of her predecessor, Rick Stengel, from Time to a State Department job in the Obama administration, as a "natural extension" for him.
Now it's true that Gibbs couched her remarks in terms of Stengel's role in both jobs being that of telling "America's story around the world." More accurately, Gibbs might have said that Stengel has always seen his job as telling Barack Obama's story in the most favorable light. View the video after the jump.
Imagine that George W. Bush had decided to proceed with a harsh, partisan speech attacking Democrats for "hurting people," despite a scene of mass murder unfolding just 3.5 miles away. On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough imagined just such a scenario, and came to the inescapable conclusion: his own MSNBC network and the MSM at large would be "killing" W for his insensitivity and poor judgment.
Panelist John Heilemann of New York magazine grudgingly agreed that Scarborough's assessement was "kinda fair." But Mika Brzezinski empathized with our poor president: he was in a "horrible position." View the video after the jump.
"You tell her. No, YOU tell her!" . . . Richard Wolffe says that in 2012 an all-male group of senior Obama campaign people got together at a White Sox game and decided to fire deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter—but didn't have the "balls" to tell her.
Maybe so. Then again, Wolffe—appearing on Morning Joe today to tout his new book on the Obama re-election campaign—also claimed that Cutter was "one of the single most effective" people in the Obama campaign? Cutter? The nasty gaffe machine? View the video after the jump.
How do you know when an MSM member is pushing pro-Obama spin to the absurd? When even the most partisan of Dems, in the person of James Carville, can't stomach it.
On today's Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell, claiming that the world was "coalescing" around Obama's position on Syria, said that there was "a lot of optimism" surrounding the Obama team's negotiations with the Russians. Mitchell said she had seen this kind of thing before back in the 80s, when the US negotiated arms control with the Soviet Union. "It starts slowly but things happen," comforted Mitchell. All this was too much for Carville, who forsaw a future in which the negotiations went on and on and led nowhere. Said Serpent Head: "I love Andrea and she's optimistic. God love her, I hope she's right. Count me a little more pessimistic." View the video after the jump.
One thing is certain: Axelrod didn't do the rest of us any favors . . .
On today's Morning Joe, after Joe Scarborough empathized at length, in the context of the Syrian situation, about what a lonely job President Obama has, David Axelrod actually had the chutzpah to say "there have been many days where I wonder, gee, I wonder if all of us who helped him get elected did him a favor." View the video after the jump.
When did Howard Dean peel the "Question Authority" bumper sticker off his Volvo? On Syria, we've already seen the likes of Nancy Pelosi making like George Patton. Now of all people comes mega-dove Dean, credulously claiming that we should support President Obama's decision to attack Syria . . . because he knows more about the situation than we do.
Dean's astounding assertion came during a clash with Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe. Scarborough hit Howard where it hurts, telling him he sounded like Paul Wolfowitz defending President Bush's decision to go to war against Iraq. View the video after the jump.
Well, there was a Blue Moon just last month, so maybe the time was right for some rare criticism of President Obama by Andrea Mitchell.
Mitchell didn't hold back on today's Morning Joe, accusing the President of "bungling," being "ambivalent," and of undercutting his Secretary of State and Vice-President. For good measure, Mitchell suggested that in his heart of hearts, fellow panelist and former Obama spox Robert Gibbs agreed with her acidulous assessment. View the video after the jump.
It's something we've been saying at NewsBusters for some time: living in his MSM/political bubble has turned Joe Scarborough—once a conservative congressman representing the Florida panhandle—soft.
So it was refreshing to hear someone who travels in the same circles as Scarborough make the same observation. On today's Morning Joe, man-about-Manhattan-and-the-Hamptons Donny Deutsch told Scarborough that "your liberal friends are making you soft." The particular issue at hand was Deutsch's support and Scarborough's opposition to the New York City Police Department's program of spying on potential terrorist organizations, including mosques. But the point is of general application. View the video after the jump.
Although he didn't dare mention him by name, there's little doubt that Joe Scarborough had Mark Levin—who has taken strong shots at Scarborough's criticize-conservatives-first approach—in mind as a radio talk show host who is "jealous" of him and for whom Scarborough feels "sorry."
On today's Morning Joe, James Carville told Scarborough that the hard core of the Republican party does not consider him one of them. Scarborough defended himself, claiming that whereas some basement-dwelling, underwear-clad bloggers and a couple of "jealous" radio hosts might not like him, Republicans regularly come up and hug him, proclaiming "thank God!", when he's out in public. Let's review the record: Mark Levin is the author of The Liberty Amendments, a current #1 New York Times bestseller. He hosts the the fourth most popular radio show in America that is #1 in its slot in several major markets. Perhaps most importantly, Levin can put his head on the pillow every night knowing he hasn't sacrificed his principles. Raise your hand if you think the Great One is jealous of Scarborough. Bueller? Bueller? View the video after the jump.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham did his best on Morning Joe this morning to lower the bar for President Obama's speech today commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. "The country has put an enormous amount of expectation on him . . . since he first came on the stage in 2004 . . . we sometimes have-often have--unrealistic expectations of the office," empathized Meacham.
Nice try. But wasn't it Barack Obama himself who raised expectations to absurd heights? Does this phrase ring a bell, Mr. Meacham?: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when . . the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." View the video after the jump.
Joe Scarborough is frequently panned in these parts for his propensity to pummel his presumably fellow Republicans. So it's noteworthy when the Morning Joe host goes after the left for a change.
It happened on today's show, when Scarborough defended voter ID laws, saying most Americans don't think it's racist to require a photo ID when you show up to vote. and scalding the left for trying fit to politicians in North Carolina and Texas with symbolic KKK hoods. Scarborough even forced a clearly reluctant Mike Allen of Politico to ultimately acknowledge his point. View the video after the jump.
Somebody should tell President Obama to forget the folksy metaphors. The prez sounds phony mouthing them, and since they are unfamiliar to him, he's apt to get them wrong. As was the case at today's townhall at Binghamton University, when Obama claimed that reducing spending on government programs would be "like eating your corn seed."
You might have thought the man from Illinois would have known that the phrase is "eating your seed corn." Then again, they don't raise much maize in Hyde Park. For good measure, Obama assured the audience that "we don't have an urgent deficit crisis." Let the good times roll! View the video after the jump.
So what if he disclosed information that potentially threatened American lives and security interests? Manning's a "frail guy who doesn't look threatening to anyone." So you have to question the length of his sentence.
Such was the bizarre logic that Chris Matthews—guest hosting for Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today—employed as he bemoaned Bradley Mannings' sentence--which could in practice see him freed in less than 10 years. Matthews was also moved by the fact that in military prison, Manning will be surrounded by people "who won't like him." View the video after the jump.
Talk about a hypocritical, mealy-mouthed non-apology apology . . . On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough condemned Republicans who "support[ed] George Zimmerman before they even knew the facts of the case." Scarborough then added: "you know, I got out early, said some things about George Zimmerman myself, I shouldn't have said, perhaps. I got overly emotional. But I'm not in office. And if I were in office I would have apologized."
Scarborough didn't reveal to viewers the "some things" he had said about Zimmerman. In fact, early on in the case, long before the facts were on the table,Scarborough branded Zimmerman a "murderer." But Scarborough doesn't feel the need to apologize because he's not a politician. Is that Scarborough's standard? The host of a major national show can go on the air and cavalierly and unjustly accuse someone of murder. But because he's not in public office, he has no need to apologize? View the video after the jump.
In the closing minute of today's Way Too Early on MSNBC, guest host Thomas Roberts invited viewers to use the hashtag #WayTooRowdy to submit descriptions of the best party they'd ever attended.
The show proceeded to display a tweet from viewer N-Boyyy saying that "one time I had been to a party and there was this goat in the living room drinking beer from a bucket." Just one problem: MSNBC also displayed N-Boyyy's Twitter mini-bio, in which he described himself as "Just a kid living life and giving no f----s along the way." The f-bomb was unexpurgated on screen. View the video after the jump. Warning: not suitable for children.
What a piker, that Barack Obama. All he was going to do was stop the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. Hillary can do a heck of a lot more. She can actually . . . "save the world."
Just ask Kathleen Parker. The Washington Post columnist that—laughably—some still call a conservative, recommends in in her latest column that Hillary run on the narrative that she is the person who, yes, "can save the world." Parker appeared on Morning Joe today to advance her argument, asserting that "there's no one better suited to sort of lead that movement symbolically and as leader of the free world than Hillary Clinton. It's not an endorsement but let's look at it objectively." View the video after the jump.
Mika to the barricades! Move over, Reverend Al. You're not the only MSNBC host who moonlights as a liberal activist. On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski announced that she will be not merely be covering a pay protest by fast-food workers in Detroit on August 29th--she'll be an active participant in it.
Joe Scarborough tried—in vain—to school Mika on Econ 101. But she did the equivalent of covering her ears and nattering "nah, nah, nah: can't hear you!" Scarborough said he'd also be at the protest--on the sidelines, with a bullhorn. View the video after the jump.
Joe Scarborough has yet again scaled his soap box to mock those of us in the conservative blogosphere. He described us today as a bunch of "very stupid people" living in their mama's basement who write "really stupid things" about him.
The thin-skinned Scarborough has often derided his show's critics as Cheetos-chewing cellar-dwellers. He was at it again this morning, depicting them as people who if not in mama's basement would otherwise be wandering the streets in their pajamas. View the video after the jump.
Wow: Joe Scarborough just outed something naughty that Mika Brzezinski had to say about the Hillary biopic that her parent network NBC is planning.
After Mika admitted on today's Morning Joe that she doesn't disagree with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's warning that the RNC might not cooperate with NBC or CNN on Republican debates should the networks proceed with their biopic plans, Joe took things a big step further, saying: "You said off the air, Mika, it was as if they were trying to climb up something of the entire Clinton organization." "Something"? You fill in the blanks. View the video after the jump.
Bashing Ted Cruz on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough pre-emptively defended himself against charges that he is an "MSNBC liberal" by claming for himself a "95% ACU [American Conservative Union] rating."
That might have been true 18 years ago when Scarborough was representing the conservative panhandle of Florida in Congress. But what would Scarborough's conservative rating be today, given his liberal shift on gun control, immigration amnesty and other issues? View the video after the jump.
If a Republican were ensnared in a sex scandal, do you think MSNBC would have failed to mention his party and instead featured a photo of him with a smiling Nancy Pelosi? But the "Lean Forward" network might well have hoodwinked unwary viewers this morning into thinking that Democrat Bob Filner is a Republican.
Not merely did today's Morning Joe failed to identify Filner—the San Diego mayor with the octopus hands—as a Democrat. Instead, the show featured a photo of Filner with a smiling . . . . John Boehner. Guess the MJ staff couldn't find one of former congressman Filner with fellow Californian Pelosi. H/t NB reader Ray R. View the photo and video after the jump.
In one fell swoop, Howard Dean has managed to expose his ignorance of libertarianism while making a stale and insulting joke about New Jerseyites.
Discussing on today's Morning Joe the dust-up between Rand Paul and Chris Christie and the broader issue of the philosophical rifts within the GOP, Dean declared that "Rand Paul is not a libertarian" because he is pro-life. Dean is apparently unaware of the lively debate over abortion within libertarian circles, with a reported 30% of libertarians being pro-life. Dean also warned Paul: "do not take on a guy from Jersey. Obviously this guy does not watch HBO." That was presumably an allusion to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, two HBO shows featuring Garden State criminals. View the video after the jump.
Commenting on the current clash between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over pork-barrel spending, Joe Scarborough has managed to insult both combatants.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough called Rand Paul a "daddy's boy." And in warning Paul not to pick a fight with Christie, Scarborough cited a saying to the effect that you should never fight with a "pig," because "you both get dirty and the pig likes it." Scarborough was careful to suggest that in comparing Christie to a "pig" he wasn't alluding to the Jersey governor's girth. OK. View the video after the jump.
Was this a case of Donny Deutsch expressing sincere sentiments—or wanting Weiner out of the way to help Hillary?
Whatever the explanation, the ad man unleashed on Huma Abedin on today's Morning Joe, saying he was "disgusted" by the spectacle of her press conference, accusing Abedin of being an "opportunist" who wants to be First Lady of New York. A much more understanding Mika Brzezinski said that Abedin's performance was "amazing," "extraordinary" and "really brave." Video after the jump.
When on today's Morning Joe, Obama spokesman Jay Carney had the chutzpah to call the IRS mess a "phony scandal,"Joe Scarborough ripped into him, calling Carney out for using "talking points," instructing him to "answer my question" and informing Carney that "I'm not somebody you talk down to from your podium." Ouch! H/t NB reader cobokat.
Scarborough reminded Carney that he hadn't told the truth when he initially claimed that the scandal was limited to low-level employees in the IRS Cincinnati office, that it now appears that it may go at least as high as the IRS Chief Counsel, appointed by President Obama, is involved. Carney continued to slough off the scandal, claiming it was a diversion and that the President wants to focus on the economy, blah, blah, blah. Things got heated, as you'll see from the video, after the jump.