What? MSNBC’s Howard Fineman : ‘Obama-Era’ Oscars Are ‘as Powerful’ as ‘Putin’

MSNBC journalist and former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Sunday night offered perhaps the most bewildering Oscar tweet of the night. As 12 Years a Slave won best picture and Alfonso Cuaron became the first Mexican-born director to win an Academy Award, Fineman tweeted, “#AcademyAwards show diversity, tolerance, cultural creativity of US in Obama Era. Hard power matters, per Putin, but Oscars r as powerful.”

The Oscars are “as powerful” as Vladimir Putin? Will member of the Academy be invading a European country? Also, is it really necessary to bring Barack Obama into every discussion, even the seemingly unrelated Oscars?  Fineman received considerable blowback from his tweet and scrambled to clarify.

Less than half an hour later, Fineman followed up, admitting:  “Before I tweeted that earlier thing out, my wife said it was the most vapid observation ever. I guess she was right!”

In another attempt to explain, the journalist retreated, “Not saying military power, diplomatic guts are unimportant. They're key, never more so than now. Just saying cultural appeal matters, too.”

Perhaps sensing the hole he dug, Fineman switched to discussing a safer topic, celebrity glamour: “#AcademyAward for worst plastic surgery: tie between Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn.”

The journalist has a long history of fawning over the President. In December, he sympathized, “Now, he's gone from Superman to Sisyphus. He's talking about rolling a boulder up the hill."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org