The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform convened for a hearing on Wednesday at 12 p.m. EDT to delve into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Detailed accounts were heard, revelatory statements were made, but MSNBC's noon time program Now with Alex Wagner was too busy criticizing everything Mitt Romney has said over the last few years to even acknowledge what was transpiring, much less dip in to cover the hearing itself.
It is one thing to trash Jim Lehrer’s moderating behind his back. It’s even worse when you then bring him on your show to praise his performance after you trash him. No one does this better than Morning Joe’s Scarborough who did a complete 180 on his analysis of Lehrer’s moderating skills.
On the morning after the first presidential debate, Scarborough claimed that “Jim Lehrer got rolled over” as moderator on October 3rd. Fast forward to Monday’s Morning Joe when Lehrer appeared in person and Scarborough had suddenly wiped his hands clean of any such criticism. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Following in the shoes of fellow NBC News employee Brian Williams, John Heilemann has entered the world of crude humor. Appearing on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner on Monday, Heilemann was brought on to discuss the political dynamics of Wednesday’s first presidential debate.
The segment itself was fairly tame for MSNBC standards until Heilemann compared the current election to the 1996 election between President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole. In Heilemann’s strange mind the only way Dole could have won that year was: [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Discussing the violent anti-American demonstrations erupting across the Middle East outside U.S. embassies in Arab capitals, MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson put a share of the blame on, well, "horrible" Americans.
It was the "demonization of a predictable minority," in this case Muslims, that was the spark that light the conflagration, Dyson argued on the September 14 edition of the noon Eastern program Now with Alex Wagner. "It's not as if, oh in America, we've resolved this with equanimity and grace," he added, seeking to conflate isolated incidents of hate speech against Muslims inside the United States with the violent response of the Arab street to an obscure low-budget YouTube video. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Appearing on a Now with Alex Wagner segment on voter ID laws today, The Nation magazine's Ari Berman insisted that the push for voter ID laws has been an incredibly recent phenomenon that is most certainly an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat push.
The problem, of course, is that it's simply not true, especially since a baker's dozen of states passed new ID laws prior to the rise of the Tea Party Republicans in state legislatures in the 2010 elections
Rep. Paul Ryan's 100 percent rating by the pro-life National Right to Life Committee and his support of the "Protect Life Act" are evidence of the Wisconsin Republican's extremism on abortion and as such, should hurt the appeal of the Romney/Ryan ticket with women voters, MSNBC's Alex Wagner argued on the August 14 edition of her noon Eastern Now with Alex Wagner program.
Of course the 100 percent pro-choice record that Barack Obama has with NARAL Pro-Choice America might strike centrist voters as equally "extreme," but Wagner failed to note Obama has never deviated from the NARAL line. What's more, as a state senator, Barack Obama voted AGAINST an Illinois state version of the "Born-Alive Act" which was designed to punish abortionists who kill babies who were born before the abortion procedure was finished in utero. Nothing says pro-abortion extremist like voting against a bill to penalize infanticide, especially considering that a federal version of the bill passed the U.S. Congress in 2002 without any votes in the negative. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
MSNBC colleague and liberal pundit Chris Hayes was the first to jump on the anti-gun bandwagon, and bizarrely focused on suicide instead of the Aurora tragedy. Hayes argued that, "the availability of a gun makes suicide fatality far more likely" even though, it "doesn't make the impulse to do it more likely," ignoring the fact that suicide has nothing to do with the events of last evening.
Once again MSNBC's Martin Bashir has shown he is nothing more than a liberal hack disguising himself as a journalist. One would think that a panel discussion about the vicious bullying of an elderly bus monitor would unite all the members in a moment of apolitical discussion and condemnation of same, but sadly, that was not MSNBC viewers got when they tuned in during the 12 p.m. Eastern hour of programming today.
During a segment on Now with Alex Wagner, Bashir saw the bullying of the upstate New York woman, Karen Klein, as the perfect opportunity to trash GOP politicians. Bashir -- quite the political bully himself as we've documented -- disgustingly argued that “what's been interesting is you watched the condemnation of these children's behavior has been, some of the people who have been most vociferous in their condemnation of this conduct are actually the most vicious and inappropriate when it comes to what they say about the president and his background and life, his origins, his religious faith, his family, his wife.” [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC host Alex Wagner has made no secret of her disdain for the Second Amendment, telling Bill Maher last November that if it were up to her, she'd repeal the amendment which enshrines the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, saying the right to own firearms is not "in the grand scheme" of things as important as the rights to speech and assembly. Back in February, Wagner seized on a tragic school shooting to complain about the lack of new gun control legislation.
So it's no surprise that, when turning again to the topic of gun control and gun rights today, Wagner would stack the deck in favor of the former and dismiss concerns about the latter. Regarding legislation in New York State that would require "microstamping" of firearms, Wagner brought on Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross, who insisted the legislation in question was "a simple case of right versus wrong" that should face no legitimate criticism from gun rights advocates.
Politico's media reporter Dylan Byers may not be paid under the table by MSNBC. But his new profile of noontime host Jane Wagner suggests she's far more trendy and influential than her ratings suggest (she's far behind Fox, and even behind CNN). But to Byers, she's subtle, respectful, effective, and yet carefree and easygoing -- and he is a publicist's dream.
There is one tough paragraph of quote in between the cotton-candy mountains: "Ninety-five percent of Alex's show is Democratic pablum fed directly from Obama For America HQ in Chicago." a Republican strategist said. "While it occasionally has insightful guests, the thrust of the show is snide Democratic elites speaking condescendingly to viewers." Byers, on the other hand, is drinking the liberal Kool-Aid, and shamelessly uses Wagner's grateful guests to praise her (so they can keep getting invitations):
The Obama administration has done its best to oppose states from instituting new, stricter voter ID laws, complaining that many minority voters lack photo identification. But those same folks it wants voting in November are apparently not welcome anywhere near the First Lady's book signings. Something tells me that the same media outlets comparing voter ID laws to the Jim Crow Laws, however, won't see any hint of hypocrisy here, if they even report the story at all.
Liberal historian and biographer Douglas Brinkley is out with a new book about the late Walter Cronkite and in its pages lie plenty of revelations that damage the late anchor's objective journalist "halo," according to media critic Howard Kurtz, who reviewed the book for the Daily Beast. Among other things, Brinkley wrote about how the allegedly Cronkite bugged a committee room at the 1952 Republican convention, how he literally begged liberal Sen. Robert Kennedy to jump into the 1968 presidential race, and how the avuncular family man figure had a penchant for partying at topless bars.
Yet on the May 31 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, neither Brinkley nor Wagner nor anyone else on the panel brought up any of those interesting revelations, focusing instead on such trivialities as how Cronkite, who got his start in the wire service UPI, perfected his on-air news-reading skills. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break] [Related: Read the MRC's Cronkite "Profile in Bias" here]
On the April 30 edition of NOW with Alex Wagner, panelist Robert Traynham had the courage to confront the liberal panel on the Left's hypocrisy on a gender "pay gap" and the so-called War on Women. The panel took off in typical liberal fashion with Wagner criticizing Mitt Romney and all Republicans for showing a lack of empathy about how women's median pay in America is about 77 percent of the median pay for men.
In response, Traynham called out Wagner for her liberal attacks by pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left on the subject. Traynham skillfully reminded Wagner and his fellow panelists that former Obama staffers Anita Dunn and Christine Romer were quoted on the record in a book published last year criticizing the unequal pay women within the Obama White House receive. Romer also was quoted by liberal journalist Ron Suskind as having said she felt treated like a "piece of meat" by Obama staffers. [Video follows page break MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday’s edition of her Now program, MSNBC host Alex Wagner and her colleague Lawrence O’Donnell along with The Nation’s Ari Melber took to the air to smear the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on the subject of voter ID laws. ALEC, a liberal blogger bogeyman, has become MSNBC’s new punching bag and the liberal guests took the opportunity to attack the organization from all sides.
In a discussion regarding the merits of showing an ID to vote, Wagner, an alumna of the liberal Center for American Progress, conspiratorially claimed that, “voter ID is cooked up by Republicans to disenfranchise minority voters.” In other words, it's the work of evil, racist Republicans! [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, ObamaCare apologist and Rahm Emanuel sibling Zeke Emanuel insisted that the lack of a "severability clause" in the health care overhaul legislation was simply an "oversight, not an intention." Neither host Alex Wagner nor any panelist interjected to correct the record.
In fact, severability was not inserted into the ObamaCare legislation as part of a legislative strategy by the Democrats who shepherded it through Congress. Boston Globe's Noah Bierman explained as much in the March 29 paper (emphases mine):
After another bad day at the Supreme Court for the Obama administration's health care law, journalists on MSNBC and CNN marveled at how the President's signature legislation seemed to be unraveling. Appearing on MSNBC, HD Net reporter Brooks Silva-Braga compared the Solicitor General (who defended the law in front of the court) to an embarrassed child.
Silva-Braga mocked, "If you've ever been to a fifth grade play and looked into the eyes of a kid who is not sure if he's going to remember his lines, that's what Donald Verrilli looked like yesterday." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin, who on Tuesday reversed a previous prediction of an easy win for Obama, sneered that Obamacare had become a "plane wreck."
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
On Friday’s edition of MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner, former DNC Communications Director Karen Finney (and occasional MSNBC host) used the tragic death of Trayvon Martin to viciously attack Republicans across the country. The segment started out examining the role of gun laws in our society and quickly turned into an assault on Republicans, following comments made by liberal-host Wagner.
Wagner made the claim that, “We had a map of the 25, 26 states with stand your ground laws. You can actually overlay a map of the red states in this country.” Such divisive rhetoric fed into the liberal talking point for Karen as she went on a tirade. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Today Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Republicans unveiled a budget and tax reform plan. But for Center for American Progress alumna Alex Wagner, it was Christmas morning, with the Ryan budget as a handy cudgel with which Democrats and MSNBC could bludgeon politically hapless Republicans.
"[S]ome Democrats are calling it Christmas in March," MSNBC anchor Wagner quipped on her March 20 Now program as she presented a quick overview of the "nuts and bolts" of the plan such as "repealing the Affordable Care Act," simplifying the federal individual income tax down to two brackets, 10 and 25 percent, and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
With conservative friends like these, who needs liberals?
Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, but token conservative S.E. Cupp on today's Now with Alex Wagner blurted out on air, unprompted, the sort of ignorant, bigoted view of conservative evangelicals that you'd expect from a liberal panelist.
After airing a clip of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad featuring female Democratic candidates for key U.S. Senate races this November, MSNBC's Alex Wagner effusively praised the campaign ad as an excellent response to the "Republican assault on women's health." The ad "really isolates the guys in Congress who are voting for this" and the women that stand as bulwarks against this," Wagner gushed. Panelist Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times agreed, adding, "The smartest line was said by Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, when he said that if there were 83 women in the Senate, not 83 men, they wouldn't even have a debate on birth control and contraception."
Yet at no point in the segment on the March 2 Now with Alex Wagner did the host or anyone else bring up the fact that of the 17 women members of the U.S. Senate, four of them, all Republicans, voted for the Blunt Amendment, which would allow private employers to opt out of insurance coverage for procedures or drugs that violate their religious or moral convictions, such as contraception.
Well, self-confessed Second Amendment foe Alex Wagner seems determined to not let Monday's deadly school shooting go to waste. For a third day in a row, Wagner complained about the nation's political climate when it comes to gun control legislation, even as Wagner seems to concede that new legislation would do little if anything to prevent school shootings from actually happening.
In the past few days, Brown University-educated journalist Alex Wagner has shown a penchant for deliberately distorting a remark that former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) made on the campaign trail, wherein he slammed as a "snob" President Obama for, as Santorum believes it, Obama's having said every American should go to college.
Wagner repeated the distortion again on the Leap Day edition of Now with Alex Wagner. Fortunately for her viewers, a campaign staffer was on hand to address the distortion.
On the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, panelist John Heilemann, who writes for New York Magazine, thought it appropriate to equate the gay marriage debate in California to racial bigotry experienced by African-Americans in the 1960s.
During an interview with openly gay former Lieutenant Dan Choi, Heilemann asked former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele the following bigoted and offensive question: “Michael I’m curious about whether you think it would be okay in modern America, for there to be some states where black men could not marry white women? If local standards where that were unacceptable.” [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
On Monday’s Now with Alex Wagner, former presidential candidate Herman Cain joined the growing chorus of individuals who are denouncing the vicious attacks against Newt Gingrich.
Once again, MSNBC host Wagner implied that Gingrich’s recent comments about Obama were racially-charged, but Cain shot down such absurd attacks. Cain, who has endorsed the former House Speaker, reiterated the obvious: "there is no racial overtone in Gingrich’s statements." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The "moral argument" of the Occupy movement have been unfairly tarnished by violence and as well as frittered away by the group's lack of Tea Party-like political mobilization. That's the consensus of the liberal panelists on today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner.
The Nation magazine contributor Ari Melber kicked things off by blaming the recent violence and vandalism of the Occupy Oakland demonstrators on the "system" as it were, blaming police for excessive force against the well-meaning masses. [MP3 audio here; video coming shortly]
Alex Wagner made an eye-popping remark on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, as she hinted that she agreed with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton's assertion that Ronald Reagan would feel out of place in today's GOP. When Burton claimed that "Reagan wouldn't have a chance in this Republican primary right now," Wagner stunningly replied, "I think he'd be a Democrat probably" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The anchor, a former employee of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, also touted a quote from Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of AEI, who claim in an upcoming book that the Republican Party has become "an insurgent outlier- ideologically extreme...scornful of compromise...and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."
Yesterday MSNBC's Alex Wagner treated viewers of her noon Eastern Now program to a panel that featured Obama Super PAC staffer Bill Burton. Today the promotion of pro-Obama spin continued with Wagner herself attempting to help DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz spin the Obama/Clinton State Department's decision to scrap the Keystone XL pipeline project.
"Is there a concern, though, that this, as he pushes a jobs message that this looks sort of counterintuitive for him to say, 'I know this may create some jobs but I'm not going to, I'm not going to pass it, I'm not going to give the permits'?" the former Center for American Progress staffer asked. [MP3 audio here; video update follows page break]
Update (17:05 EST): Williams tweets in protest: "Not once did I say GOP voters are racists" and has asked that I correct this post accordingly. I stand by my assertion given the context wherein Williams was describing why he believes Palmetto State Republicans, despite their reticence about Romney's Mormonism, could vote for Romney, whom they consider most likely to beat Obama in the November presidential election. At any rate, you can judge for yourself by watching the video below the page break.
What better way is there, really, for MSNBC to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day than by leveling charges that Republican voters in general and Republican candidates in particular are racist? That's what Now with Alex Wagner panelists Jimmy Williams and Joy-Ann Reid charged respectively on today's program. [MP3 audio available here]
PBS host and leftist activist Tavis Smiley called out Republican candidates for their hostility to the poor in America, on Thursday morning on MSNBC. Appearing during the 7 a.m. hour of Morning Joe, he singled out four candidates by name and warned that "we're in a world of trouble" due to their campaign trail rhetoric.
As a PBS host, Smiley benefits from public funding. That has not stopped him in the past for making outrageous liberal remarks, and it didn't stop him on Thursday when he railed against a Congressional "bipartisan consensus that the poor just don't matter." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]