On last Friday's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," the liberal host of the self-titled show complained about a fake Twitter page and told his listeners that "I'm not on Twitter." He also hinted that this faux social networking account may have been some sort of Fox News plot. However, Media Bistro is reporting that the Twitter page Olbermann may have been referring to was run by MSNBC and had been for "several months." (In fact, there was a second Twitter site operated by the cable network.) On the March 20 show, Olbermann explained that he didn't use the website and mentioned the junk e-mail he received about the page.
He then elaborated on a possible dark conspiracy: "The subject line [of the e-mail] read 'Dan Cooper Media, local Tweet request.' And the e-mail began, 'Hi, Dan Cooper Media.' Who is Dan Cooper and why would he be getting spam e-mail about my fake Twitter account?" Olbermann proceeded to reveal the diabolical connection: "He [Dan Cooper] is one of the five architects of Fox News." Media Bistro discussed how, in actuality, MSNBC ran the Twitter page:
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Thursday intensified his obsession with former top Bush aide Karl Rove and made, for the fourth time, the political operative the subject of his "Hypocrisy Watch" segment. He also continued his habit of pointing out that Rove is now a paid contributor of Fox News. After noting that the ex-White House aide attacked Barack Obama in an op-ed for the "extremely conservative" Wall Street Journal, the MSNBC host attacked, "Karl, I appreciate that it may be difficult for you to wake up each day, given what you and your Bush administration colleagues did to this country." (Rove earned Shuster's ire for suggesting in the WSJ piece that Obama has been disingenuous in how he's argued for his economic policies. The MSNBC host mostly ignored the context of Rove's article.)
Shuster once was a serious, supposedly straight journalist who, from 2002 through 2008, reported for the "NBC Nightly News" and "Today," among other programs. However, since taking over hosting duties for "1600" in December, his tone has morphed into that of almost every other extremely liberal host on MSNBC. On March 6, he lashed out at Rove for criticizing the Obama administration over the Rush Limbaugh controversy. Placing Rove in the "Hypocrisy Watch," a segment supposedly designed to go after any hypocritical politician or public figure, Shuster derided, "Karl, you've spent your entire career putting politics ahead of everything else. When you now complain about the Obama White House playing politics with the GOP, your whining is hypocrisy and it's wrong."
CNN's Jack Cafferty gave an interview to the Media Bistro's "Media Morning Menu" podcast on Thursday and rhapsodized about the "bright" and "terrific" Barack Obama. Talking to hosts Steve Krakauer and Glynnis MacNicol, the "Situation Room" contributor cheered on the new President. He enthused, "...I'm pulling for the guy. I like him. I think he's terrific."
After being asked by Krakauer if it's too early for journalists to start complaining about Obama's ability to change the country quickly, the host of CNN's "Cafferty File" segment agreed and then acknowledged, "Well, you know, I haven't been critical of the Obama administration." In contrast, Cafferty (see file photo above) was very critical of George W. Bush and his administration. Indeed, he attacked the ex-President during the podcast, claiming America "was badly damaged following the eight years of George W. Bush and that collection of morons that he had around him running this country into a ditch."
Cafferty seemed more interested in praising Obama, however. Asked whether he thought the President could turn things around, the CNN host described himself as "hopeful" and gushed, "I like him a lot. I think he's a bright guy. I like the fact that he's visible and that, you know, he's attempting to bring some transparency and some legitimacy and honesty to the office, which has been missing for a while."
"Countdown With Keith Olbermann" guest host David Shuster slipped an incredible claim into Monday's program when he highlighted "independent reports" showing that presidential candidate Barack Obama received harsher media scrutiny than did John McCain during the 2008 election.
As a way of introducing a discussion on why the President didn't attend the 2009 Gridiron dinner (a longstanding occasion for journalists and politicians) on Saturday, the MSNBC anchor oddly suggested, "Even though independent reports have shown the media was more critical of Barack Obama than John McCain during the presidential contest, there is still a fantasy that the press is gaga over now-President Obama." What independent reports? He didn't say. It's possible that Shuster was referring to a Center for Media and Public Affairs report from August of 2008. They claimed that, through the first six weeks of the general election, McCain received more favorable coverage. [Updated 2009-03-25 15:32:49 to reflect CMPA study.]
ABC's George Stephanopoulos appeared on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" to laud Barack Obama's "confident" Tuesday night press conference as reminiscent of a "law seminar." The "This Week" host then cooed, "The President used to be a law professor." He enthused, "I would say overall, though, a good performance, about an A-." (As noted by the MRC's Brent Baker, Stephanopoulos also appeared on Tuesday's "Nightline" and offered the A- grade to both the President and the press coverage of the event.)
On Wednesday's GMA, he spoke to co-host Robin Roberts and praised, "Well, I thought the President was confident as he always is, Robin, and very straight. You didn't see a lot of laughter that we saw on Jay Leno."
The former Democratic aide-turned journalist has developed a pattern of giving Obama top marks. Appearing on the February 9 "Nightline" to offer a "report card" for the President's first prime time press conference, he awarded Obama "an A for overall performance at the event and a B for Obama's bipartisan efforts." During the presidential campaign, Stephanopoulos declared the then-candidate the winner over John McCain in every debate between the two.
MSNBC host David Shuster, who usually touts the liberal line on "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," filled in on Monday's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" and came to Barack Obama's defense against comments made by Dick Cheney. Shuster played a "60 Minutes" clip of the President responding to allegations by the former Vice President that he is making the country less safe. The cable host asked guest and Huffington Post blogger Lawrence O'Donnell, "Basically, Obama is saying Cheney claims the founding fathers and American principles that were forged during wartime are failures. Is the President flirting here with calling Cheney un-American?"
Earlier in the segment, the liberal anchor editorialized about Bush: "If the absurdity of the administration that let down its guard on 9/11 lecturing anyone about safety was not enough for you, in our number three story tonight, Mr. Obama hits back." After O'Donnell summarized Obama's argument, that institutions such as Guantanamo Bay have made America less safe, Shuster followed up with a "quick hypothetical." If Cheney keeps up his attack, the host mused, "At what point does President Obama say, 'Okay, you want to debate your tactics? I'll send my attorney general over with a subpoena'?"
On Saturday's "Good Morning America," co-anchor Bill Weir and reporter Gigi Stone actually took a look at whether or not it's a good idea to tax CEO bonuses and what effect it could have on Wall Street. While much of the mainstream media have been playing off populist anger over bonuses, Weir teased the segment by wondering, "With tempers flaring over executive payouts, Congress considers cutting off bonuses at all institutions receiving taxpayer money. But without incentives, why would any smart banker work to fix Wall Street's mess?"
He followed up by querying, "But, could the corporate crackdown, all this righteous anger, actually backfire and make it even harder to rescue our system?" (Of course, "righteous anger" is certainly editorializing on Weir's part.) Reporter Stone talked with several financial experts who posed the same question. Scott Talbott, senior vice president for the Financial Services Roundtable, insisted, "By taking away bonuses, you remove incentive for employees to work harder." Stone added, "So, if taxpayers want their money back, they want the best and brightest working."
On Friday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer actually provided some skepticism about the actions of the Obama administration over the last week and wondered if the White House has "been knocked off its stride this week." This piece was GMA's third segment of the day on the controversy the President created on Thursday when he told "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno that his bowling skills were on the level of "Special Olympics or something." (Obama has since apologized.)
An ABC onscreen graphic challenged, "Obama on the Defense: Should President be on Late Night?" Sawyer talked to liberal political operative James Carville and former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. She pressed Carville, "Even Democrats are saying the combination of the TV time spent on the NCAA brackets, also Jay Leno and the apology this morning about the Special Olympics means the White House off its stride. Mixing messages. What do you say?"
NBC's "Today" show on Friday minimized and neglected a gaffe by Barack Obama that his bowling skills are on the level of the "Special Olympics or something." In contrast, ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "Early Show" heavily covered the remark. GMA devoted the first two segments to the ill advised joke the President made on Thursday's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." And although "Today" opened the program with Obama's appearance, they didn't get to the Special Olympics crack to the very end of the piece. Co-host Meredith Vieira awkwardly explained that the President "said something that forced the White House to issue an explanation afterward."
Fellow co-host David Gregory vaguely added, "When you're on comedy shows, there's always a chance that a punch line doesn't work." What was the punch line? He didn't say. Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd then reported on the story and only got to the gaffe at the segment's end. In contrast, "Good Morning America" senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper asserted that Obama "proceeded to put his foot in his mouth" with his remark. GMA featured the offending line right at the beginning of the piece and also included a graphic that announced, "Late Night Gaffe: Obama's Special Olympics Joke." Co-host Robin Roberts even observed that "some have an issue with the venue" of the talk show.
In an exclusive on Thursday, the Washington Times reported that only five days before assuming the presidency, Barack Obama received a $500,000 advance to write a children's book. Times writers Jim McElhatton and Christina Bellantoni put it this way: "As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows."
The Times piece quotes campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran as asserting, "I don't recall any sitting president entering into a book deal." The former general counsel to the Republican National Committee added, "They all have historically done that after they leave office." McElhatton and Bellantoni pointed out that Obama doesn't appear to have broken any rules by signing the deal. But, considering how the President has railed against excess greed on Wall Street and bonuses for Wall Street CEOs, it will be interesting to see if networks such as CBS, ABC and NBC cover the issues raised in the Times report.
Liberal "View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on Thursday's edition of "Good Morning America" to promote her new children's book "SheetzuCacaPoopoo," an allegory for Barack Obama's rise to power. According to Behar, the illustrated tale the book is really about the new President. She explained to GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, "The dog- Max is in trouble. They send him to obedience school, okay? When he's in obedience school is when he becomes Barack. He becomes a community organizer."
As a somewhat incredulous Roberts watched, Behar continued, "And he organizes the big dogs around the little dogs. 'Cause at first, the big dogs, also known as the Republicans, don't like him. See?" With no spoiler alerts, Behar concluded, "And so, he finds ways, pragmatically, to help the big dogs...And so, he becomes popular. And everybody loves each other. " [audio available here]
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster continued to obsess over and taunt Karl Rove on Tuesday's program, even taking the fight to Twitter. Shuster, who has named Rove a hypocrite three times so far in his daily "Hypocrisy Watch" segment, appeared gleeful that "Bush's Brain finally did respond via Twitter." The political operative told Shuster, through the social networking site, simply to "wait until the book. You're in there."
Shuster retorted on his Twitter page by sarcastically instructing Rove, "Next time, try defending yourself 'like a man,' - mano y mano as I've repeatedly invited you to do." It's odd that Shuster would expect Rove to come on the MSNBC program, considering that he has heaped nothing but invective on the former Bush aide.
Reporters and hosts on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" seemed to take glee in recounting the "GOP cat fight" between conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham and John McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain. Co-host Diane Sawyer teased the segment as discussing a "battle of Republican blondes" and a "Republican girl fight."
Correspondent Yunji de Nies asserted, "The GOP cat fight all started when McCain criticized conservative pundit Ann Coulter." In a Daily Beast column, Ms. McCain trashed Coulter as "radical" and "insulting." Then, on her radio show, Ingraham derided the senator's daughter and described her as "plus-sized."
This, apparently, was making "the political very personal." (Of course, was McCain not being personal by calling Coulter "radical?") De Nies certainly seemed to come down on McCain's side. She described the blogger's column on weight as "really, really inspiring."
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Monday worried that "conservative fear mongering" about President Barack Obama could be "seriously dangerous." A graphic for the segment hyperbolically read, "Stoking Hatred?" Shuster brought on Republican strategist Brad Blakeman and Democratic counterpart Chris Kofinis to discuss the topic. [audio available here]
In a tease for the piece, Shuster played clips of former Vice President Dick Cheney asserting that Obama has made America less safe and of Fox News host Glenn Beck. The MSNBC anchor asked, "The inflammatory rhetoric from the wing nuts, is it merely entertaining or seriously dangerous?" With a complete lack of irony, Shuster spoke of FNC's Beck and wondered, "Shouldn't there be some standards at some of these other networks? I mean, that's a problem, isn't it? There's no standards." Keep in mind, on May 14, 2008, Shuster's colleague Keith Olbermann accused then-President Bush of "murderous deceit" and told him to "shut the hell up!" Would that be an example of the "standards" that Mr. Shuster would like to see?
All three morning shows on Monday skipped a rather serious charge made by former Vice President Dick Cheney that Barack Obama, through his actions as president, has made America less safe and more susceptible to terrorist attack. Speaking to CNN host John King on Sunday's "State of the Union," Cheney criticized some of Obama's actions, including giving the order to close Guantanamo Bay.
The ex-vice president asserted, "And now he [Obama] is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack." And yet, ABC's "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" and CBS's "Early Show," all completely ignored Cheney's attack on President Obama. Considering that over the last eight years, members of the media often referred to Cheney as Darth Vader and insinuated that he was actually pulling the strings in the Bush White House, shouldn't such a serious charges, leveled by such an influential person, at least have warranted a mention?
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts conducted a two part, almost 11 minute interview with Michelle Obama on Friday that avoided tough questions and consisted almost entirely of softballs. This included reading e-mails from the audience, such as "What does she [the first lady] do for relaxation in the evening, away from the public?" and also "...How can she stay so positive about the economy?"
This is quite a contrast to some of the queries Laura Bush had to deal with when she was first lady. On October 22, 2007, the very same Roberts quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Mrs. Bush. She challenged, "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs." She also informed Mrs. Bush of the assertion by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that America "should export hope instead of fear."
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo on Thursday conducted a leading interview with children at a school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While he discussed a large number of topics, he also seemed interested in eliciting praise from the students about Barack Obama's middle name. Cuomo speculated, "Does it matter to you that the President's name is Barack Hussein Obama? Does that make him more familiar to you?"
After one little girl deemed the name Hussein to be "good," Cuomo followed up by cooing, "Does that make you trust him more?" Cuomo, who had traveled to the region earlier in the week (the segment was taped) for GMA's sweeps series on "big" locations, also asserted that the children "see promise in Barack Obama." He then prompted, "Is Barack Obama a good president? Do we like him?" Of course, it should be pointed out that members of the media were quite upset during the 2008 campaign when anyone would dare use Obama's middle name. Now, apparently, it creates trust.
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo gave an interview to the TV Newser podcast "Morning Media Menu" on Wednesday in which he touted the seriousness of the ABC program and later vaguely broached the subject of the issues journalists leave out of stories. But first, he bragged, "I think a fair criticism of 'Good Morning America' would be that we're not a great entertainment show. You know what I mean?" Cuomo (see file photo above) added that the show's hosts and talent really "think as reporters first" and that "there's so much pressure in the morning to be entertaining, given the time, give what is going on with people's lives."
"But, that's just not where our hearts and our heads are," he concluded. Of course, it should be pointed out that "Good Morning America" is the program that devoted almost its entire second hour last Friday to a U2 rock concert and also features a weekly segment on the latest events to occur on "Dancing With the Stars." To be fair, the subject that prompted Cuomo's comments was GMA's ongoing "Big" sweeps series. Each day this week, one of the program's anchors has traveled to different countries, many of which have featured informative segments about the lives of the people there, (such as Robin Roberts in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.) However, GMA certainly has its share of frivolous, mindless story segments.
While talking with podcast hosts Steve Krakauer and Glynnis Macnicol, Cuomo also expressed his new found interest in Twitter. He asserted that he really does read the comments people leave on his page and offered this interesting tidbit: "Because, I think I may develop something...I'm thinking of developing a dialogue about what was not said in our stories." After referencing a GMA segment on AIG and its operations in London, he added, "You know, there is a lot of implication that we don't discuss in our stories, that I would be happy to discuss on Twitter. So, I'm going to use it."
On Tuesday's "Nightline," ABC gushed over Michelle Obama with the enthusiasm and objectivity usually reserved for "Access Hollywood" reporters. Correspondent Yunji de Nies lauded the "rock star" first lady for her fashion sense and for speaking openly about balancing work and family. "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden asserted that "with her muscular arms and outfits, she's become, well, a model first lady."
De Nies talked with liberal Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, who has written for years about D.C. style. Asked about a recent Michelle Obama spread in Vogue magazine, Quinn enthused, "Well, for one thing, I think she's a sexual person. The pictures are attractive. They're womanly. They're sexy, but not in an overt way." She then went on to assert that Washington has often tried to force women to downplay their sexuality. This prompted de Nies to breathlessly wonder, "Is Washington and the world ready for such a modern first lady?"
Perhaps signaling media impatience with the Obama administration's economic policy, Tuesday's "Good Morning America" featured a challenging look at the performance of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who the show had previously described as "wonky." Reporter Jake Tapper observed that "to some, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's stock has dropped."
Citing the various economic problems that have seemed only to grow in the last few months, Tapper highlighted how Geithner has been criticized for his "thin speech on how to fix the banking crisis and for not winning the confidence of the sinking markets."
In contrast, on November 25, the day after he was announced, GMA correspondent Claire Shipman filed a fawning report on both the new nominee and the man who picked him. She enthused that "insiders say the President-elect and his pick for the top economic spot could have been separated at birth." Citing the Economist, Shipman gushed that both Geithner and Obama "have a hipster, wonky cool about them."
O Magazine editor Gayle King appeared on Monday's "Good Morning America" to rave about the "un-jaded," "not-complicated" and "so-darned normal" Obama family. The close associate of Oprah Winfrey talked with Diane Sawyer and repeatedly enthused about a Winfrey interview (see picture at right) with Mrs. Obama, at one point cooing that the first lady "only wants to be Michelle Obama, really. And nobody can do it better than she."
It seemed as though there was no question that Ms. King could not turn into effusive, unadulterated praise of politician's wife. After being asked by Sawyer about whether the first lady is bothered by questions about fashion, King said no and remarked, "It's like, there's a song by Maino, a rapper," she began. To demonstrate, the O editor started singing, "Hi, hater. You see me." She broke off and then rhapsodized, "People are just jealous, but Michelle- there is no point she is trying to prove. She's comfortable in her own skin and she looks good."
MSNBC host David Shuster continued his dogged pursuit of Rush Limbaugh on Monday, hosting a segment with an onscreen graphic that screamed, "Is Rush Toxic for GOP?" After discussing a birthday celebration in honor of Senator Ted Kennedy, Shuster asserted, "About the only thing that might have put a damper on Kennedy's celebration were some jarring comments from conservative heavyweight Rush Limbaugh."
The supposed "jarring comments" by the radio host were made last Friday during a discussion of how the White House has been using Kennedy's ill health as a kind of an inspirational reason to pass national health care. On his show, Limbaugh noted that before "it's all over it [the bill] will be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill." On Monday's "MSNBC News Live," the host brought on Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon and Roll Call editor Erin Billings who both agreed that Limbaugh's comment went over the line. Billings asserted, "I would say that Rush Limbaugh is certainly playing into the divisive figure that the Democrats are accusing him of being." Bacon claimed that "people" were deriding the remarks as "not the right tone."
Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on the Thursday edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and stopped the program cold when he challenged the hosts as to whether they were "going after Democrat members of Congress for why they aren't distancing themselves from Keith Olbermann?" Co-anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who had been discussing the battle between the White House and Rush Limbaugh, were silent for a moment before Brzezinski admitted, "That was a good one. We're all thinking."
Fleischer pressed, "That's my point. It's a one-sided debate because, largely, the press loves it because the press doesn't like Rush." The quip occurred after Brzezinski attempted to trap Fleischer into saying that he would be following the tactics of attacking the radio host, were he in the same situation as the Obama White House. After Fleischer's jibe, Scarborough started sipping from his coffee and attempted to toss the potential network hot potato over to the show's other guest, Mike Barnicle. Scarborough joked, "I'm going to have a – I can't talk right now because I'm drinking. Mike?"A few seconds later, however, the token MSNBC conservative did admit, "No, that was good."
[Special thanks to MRC intern Mike Sargent for transcribing the segment.]
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Wednesday stepped up his attacks on Rush Limbaugh and suggested that if congressional Republicans "align themselves with Rush's statements about wanting the President to fail, they appear unpatriotic." For the second day in a row, Shuster berated a conservative guest about the radio talk show host. He repeatedly encouraged former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer to disagree with Limbaugh and complained, "And, Ari, first of all, when Rush says that all Republicans want the President to fail, Limbaugh's wrong, right?" [Audio available here.]
At one point, Shuster wondered why Republicans couldn't just denounce the "childish" comments by the radio host. He then seriously suggested that GOP members should say, "And we need to isolate Rush Limbaugh because we do have important issues to talk about." Later in the segment, the MSNBC anchor reiterated his assertion that Republicans might be unpatriotic. He challenged, "Ari, is it unpatriotic for somebody to say they hope the President fails?" After interrupting a responding Fleischer, he continued, "...Is it unpatriotic- since patriotism was such a crucial theme in the run-up to the Iraq war in the way the Bush White House defended it- is it unpatriotic to say that you hope the President fails?"
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly pestered Texas Congressman Ron Paul to publicly attack Rush Limbaugh and seemed frustrated when "even" the outspoken representative wouldn't give him what he wanted. After wondering "why it's so difficult" for Republicans to disagree with the talk show host's assertion that he wants Barack Obama's policies to fail, Shuster repeated the same question over and over. He complained, "How can we have that argument [about other issues], when even you, Ron Paul, are not willing to take this opportunity to say when Rush Limbaugh says that every Republican wants President Obama to fail, Rush Limbaugh is wrong?"
He continued, "How can we have the next conversation if you're not willing to have that first one?" Paul, refusing to allow Shuster to guide the debate, snapped back, "Because you want to control the semantics and the definitions." He added, "And, you know, in the media you like to personalize and then have a fight going on and that's the way politics works." The conversation didn't seem to be going the way Shuster had intended. Later, he derided, "It just seems, congressman, like so many Republicans are terrified of Rush Limbaugh. We're just trying to explore that."
Despite evidence to the contrary, Tuesday's "Good Morning America" continued to hype the idea that there could soon be no Arctic sea ice at the North Pole. Co-host Robin Roberts began a segment on the subject by fretting, "But, can you imagine going to the beach and finding it's not there? Sounds like science fiction."
Referencing a group of scientists who are traveling 600 miles across the Arctic to test ice thickness she added, "Well, a new expedition is under way to find out if this could happen in the not-so-distant future." However, "Good Morning America" has been wrong on this issue in the past. On the June 28, 2008 GMA, weekend anchor Kate Snow introduced a story on polar bears by worrying, "You know, the polar bear has become the iconic face of climate change and this summer scientists are saying the North Pole could be without ice, another symptom of a warming planet." Yet, by the fall of last year, the arctic ice caps had grown by 150,000 square miles (which, while still low, is not the same as disappearing.)
MSNBC host Tamron Hall on Monday talked to a contributor from the liberal Nation magazine who bashed Rush Limbaugh and also highlighted a historical error in the radio host’s address to the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend. Introducing Ari Melber, the "MSNBC News Live" host began, “Well, a lot of people are talking about Mr. Limbaugh’s comments and, perhaps, an- even- a mistake he made.”
After playing a clip in which Limbaugh incorrectly attributed a quote from to the Constitution (it was from the Declaration of Independence), Hall touted the error to Melber, who is also a Democratic strategist. She quizzed, “So, Ari, Rush thought he was quoting the Constitution. It was the Declaration of Independence. How embarrassing is that for him, especially the way he slammed the President?” Of course, Melber helpfully piled on. He derided, “Well, this is the problem for Rush Limbaugh. He really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
NBC White House political director Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Monday to dismiss Rush Limbaugh as "looking backward" and deride the radio industry as a "dying medium." Todd (see file photo above), who was talking with co-host Mika Brzezinski about Limbaugh’s role as a leader in the Republican Party, also suggested a linkage between the radio host and far left bomb thrower Michael Moore. He insisted, "They [Democrats] want to do to the Republican Party what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore and all that stuff."
Speaking of radio, Todd sniffed, "But, it’s that idea that Limbaugh- even the whole- even the venue that he’s on, radio, not the internet. You know, it’s very ‘90s. It’s very backwards- is looking backwards." He added, "And, you know, radio is a dying medium, potentially- as it is just in general."
He concluded, "It is a backward-looking technology." Of course, it’s the newspaper industry that many would call a "dying medium." (The San Francisco Chronicle is just one of many papers to face bankruptcy recently.)
Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Friday's "Morning Joe" to lament that a new liberal ad featuring Rush Limbaugh would only elevate the status of the "blow-hard bullfrog" conservative host. The liberal group Americans United for Change has a spot running that slams Republicans as a party of no and features a clip of Limbaugh's now famous comment that he wants Obama's liberal policies to fail.
After "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist played the ad, Brown asserted of the commercial, "I adore the 'party of no.' I think it is wonderful." She then complained, "The only thing I do regret though is that this giant, you know, blow-hard bullfrog, you know, Rush Limbaugh is being turned into this big icon."
Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi penned a nasty little critique of Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher in Thursday's paper, deriding the conservative critic of Barack Obama as "a leftover artifact from a forgotten time." Grouping Wurzelbacher in with other "campaign distractions," Farhi panned, "He's Clara Peller, Willie Horton or Gennifer Flowers -- names that are the questions in a 'Jeopardy!' category called 'Presidential Campaign Distractions.'" (Of course, Wurzelbacher's "distraction" was to challenge the economic policy of Obama.)
The Washington Post writer gleefully recounted how only 11 people showed up to a Joe the Plumber book signing event in Washington D.C. Farhi added odd asides, such as noting Wurzelbacher's "shiny bullet head." Even the headline, which read "Joe the Author, Plumbing New Lows in Interest," adopted a condescending tone.