He just won't let it go. MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned once again to his hare-brained idea that the president should sue Congress, joined tonight by another dynamic duo of hard-core lefties in cheering on the idea: the perpetually sanctimoniously smug comedian John Fugelsang and MSNBC daytime anchor Joy Reid. The Hardball host is ostensibly unafraid of conflict, but thus far he has failed to bring on a conservative sparring partner in his "sue Congress" segments.
But not only is Matthews stubbornly surrounding himself with those who share his absurd opinion, he's throwing out statements that are either patently false or grossly misleading. For example, in opening Matthews charged:
Monday's "Let Me Finish" tirade was no once-off exercise in spitballing for Chris Matthews. The host of MSNBC's Hardball picked up Tuesday night where he left off, his calling on President Obama to sue Congress for "failure to provide services." And, once again, Matthews made a few factual errors, such as suggesting that the Senate had not confirmed Obama's pick for ambassador to the Russian Federation.
This time around he was joined by liberal scribes Joan Walsh of Salon and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post who promptly checked their intellectual honesty at the door and seized on the opportunity as an excuse to bash congressional Republicans for obstructionism. Below the page break you'll find the relevant transcript (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
For Barack Obama's 53rd birthday, Chris Matthews gave the gift of an incredibly stupid idea. In his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for August 4, the MSNBC Hardball host urged the president to "get yourself a bright lawyer" and work up a lawsuit against Congress for "failure to provide services."
Yes, "normally that would strike me or you as absurd, but now that we're in the suing season, it deserves a tad of consideration," Matthews insisted, likening Congress to a DMV clerk who straight up refuses to do his job and grant you your license renewal after you've waited in line forever. You can read the transcript in full below the page break, followed by my analysis (MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
Judging from reports carried by the three mainstream networks' news programs and most of the low-rated cable news channels, it seems that the Fox News Channel and conservative Republicans are totally consumed by the concept of impeaching Democratic President Barack Obama.
However, a Lexis-Nexis search of transcripts from the July programs on FNC and MSNBC indicated that for every mention of the words “impeachment” or “impeach” on the “Fair and Balanced” channel, the “Lean Forward” network used those words five times.
CNN/Opinion Research conducted a poll of "1,012 adult Americans conducted by telephone" from July 18-20. The poll contained over 40 questions. But instead of publishing all of the poll's results in one document, the network is parsing them out.
Several questions relating to support for impeaching President Barack Obama and suing him in court over his unilateral executive actions were released Friday morning at 6 a.m. Related coverage by Paul Steinhauser, which includes a video, was headlined "Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit." But another set of questions, including one showing that Mitt Romney would beat Obama by nine points today in a head-to-head race, did not go public until Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., conveniently a time of much less immediate public attention — and Steinhauser's related article did not include a video.
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart lauded his brand new MSNBC show as being “for you,” “for all of us” and “for all people”on Monday. Of course, by “all of us”José Díaz-Balart meant MSNBC’s usual target audience, liberals.
Díaz-Balart invited MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on to the show to discuss what TheLast Word host described as the outrageous Republican rhetoric that “this presidency is out of control.” Without offering any rebuttal, Díaz-Balart allowed the Lean Forward left winger to dismiss Obama’s overreach in altering legislation as the president merely “changing some dates.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.
Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.
On Friday, only CBS This Morning covered the latest developments on House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama over a 2013 executive order delaying the ObamaCare employer mandate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Boehner's office releasing the House resolution to sue the President.
However, those same morning shows did find time to cover a lawsuit against online retailer Amazon on behalf of customers being charged for accidental purchases. On Thursday evening, NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News similarly skipped the congressional move, while CBS Evening News devoted a mere twenty-two seconds to the story.
Of the Big Three network newscasts for this evening, only CBS's Evening News covered how Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) threatened lawsuit against President Obama came a step closer to fruition today.
Chris Matthews’ disdain for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his decision to sue President Obama over his use of executive orders reached a fever pitch on his Hardball program Monday night.
Speaking to David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones and Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post, Matthews maintained that Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit “is the kind of Mickey Mouse that goes on in third world countries before they have a coup because people were just sick of it.” [See video below.]
NBC’s David Gregory did his best to minimize Speaker of the House John Boehner’s soon-to-be lawsuit against President Obama, dismissing it as a “political stunt.”
During an interview with Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, on Meet the Press on Sunday, June 29, Gregory insisted that the lawsuit had no real merit and wondered “isn’t this just to gin up the base in the midterms?” [See video below.]
In the Friday PBS NewsHour,anchor Judy Woodruff lamented the current impasse in Washington: "I don’t know what else to call it, war between congressional Republicans and the president."
She sounded shocked that Speaker John Boehner filed suit to protest the president's constant end-runs around Congress and legislating from the White House on Obamacare, immigration, and other issues. Shields called the suit "absolutely bogus" and compared it to impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998:
CBS lifted its blackout of House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against the Obama White House with a 15-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning. The network follows in the footsteps of NBC, which first mentioned the story a day earlier on Wednesday's Today, and ABC on Wednesday's World News.
Altogether, the Big Three networks have devoted just one minute and 18 seconds to the legal development. Anchor Norah O'Donnell cited the Washington Post's coverage of the lawsuit during the brief: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today was the only broadcast network morning news show to give coverage to House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama. Today devoted 19 seconds to the story, while both ABC and CBS ignored it completely.
During the 7:00 a.m. news brief, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander reported that Boehner was considering a lawsuit against the President for “exceeding his constitutional authority when it comes to administering the laws that Congress passes.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday's New Day show, during an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, CNN's Chris Cuomo was confrontational toward the former Bush administration Deputy Defense Secretary as the New Day co-host complained about Republicans blaming President Obama's troop withdrawal for the chaos in Iraq, arguing that such talk undermines the President from dealing with the situation because there is not a "united front."
At one point, after Wolfowitz rhetorically asked if he and Cuomo should "sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up," Cuomo shot back, "Yes," and soon complained, "It's hard for" President Obama "to be strong when he's getting attacked by his own."
And, while complaining that Republicans are undermining President Obama's handling of the crisis by blaming him, Cuomo himself tried to push blame onto President Bush, suggesting Bush administration members should express "contrition." Cuomo:
President Obama's newly-announced EPA regulations on coal-fired electric plants are engendering opposition from red-state Democrats hoping to win crucial Senate elections this November. For her part, Senate Energy Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who says she favors "reduc[ing] carbon in the atmosphere," criticized the president's end-run around the legislature. "Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe" for the policy, she insisted in a statement quoted by The Hill newspaper.
But you'd know nothing about this if you only got your news from MSNBC's Hardball, where on his June 2 program, host Chris Matthews used the new EPA regs simply as an excuse to team up with two liberal guests -- Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Center for American Progress's Neera Tanden -- to blast Republicans as know-nothings on climate change who are motivated sheerly out of partisan animus in opposing the president's push for curbing carbon dioxide emissions. Matthews also worked in a swipe at the Left's favorite fraternal bogeymen, assailing the Koch brothers as moral monsters for "hurting the planet's health so they can have more money." [Listen to MP3 audio here; Watch video below page break]
When last seen in these parts, the American Prospect's Paul Waldman was forecasting that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, "[s]ome Tea Party congressman is going to indulge his fantasies about torturing and killing her."
Waldman posted a somewhat more temperate item on Friday (titled Who Do You Hate?) in which he offered a few thoughts about why political activists loathe certain figures from the other side but merely dislike others. His bottom line: a politician's image and persona tend to evoke more intense hatred from opponents than specific things he says or does, though words and deeds are hugely important as well.
Robert Costa's disdain for Tea Party-sympathetic conservatives was quite evident tonight in his coverage of Republican House Speaker John Boehner's primary victory at the Washington Post. Costa, a former writer at National Review, even insulted the noble pursuits of justice and the truth regarding Benghazi and the IRS's targeting of conservative and other groups by calling them "red meat for the tea party faithful."
The WaPo reporter characterized Boehner as having "swatted away" his opposition without revealing that the Speaker got only 69 percent of the vote. Yes, I wrote "only." Costa himself noted that "a sitting speaker still has never been defeated in a primary election," but didn't disclose Boehner's percentage of the vote. That's odd to say the least. I don't recall a sitting speaker ever losing 31 percent of the vote in a party primary, and it's possible that it has never happened outside of circumstances involving scandal or crime. I certainly don't recall a sitting speaker opening his wallet to defend his seat in a primary as Boehner did. Excerpts and analysis follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Friday, CBS Evening News caught up with its Big Three competitors and reported on the latest developments on the controversy surrounding the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. CBS also finally mentioned its own president's family connection to a White House official involved in the Obama administration's handling of the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Nancy Cordes gave a full report on how the "the White House released previously unseen e-mails" about the federal government's response to the terrorist strike, which led to House Speaker John Boehner forming a new select committee to investigate the attack. Scott Pelley also disclosed that "Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor mentioned in Nancy's story, is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer couldn't resist mocking a nice gesture from House Speaker John Boehner to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. News reader Tamron Hall explained: "...the House Speaker knows that his Democratic counterpart Nancy Pelosi just loves chocolate. So, for her 74th birthday on Wednesday he gave her something sweet, pints of chocolate gelato." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, Lauer remarked: "If there's ever a need for a food taster, that would be it right there." After a chorus of "ohs" from his fellow hosts, he added: "I'm kidding."
Now for a dose of MSNBC-style conservatism from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent network contributor and former White House communications director under George W. Bush. On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Wallace trashed Tea Party members and other conservative Republicans as children while praising House Speaker John Boehner and his moderate ilk as the “grown-ups” of the party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
During a discussion about Republicans gearing up for the midterm elections, Wallace praised Boehner for caving in on the debt ceiling earlier this month:
It takes a special brand of chutzpah, even by the fluid non-standards of the left, for a man to begin every hour of his radio show with a promo touting it as the place "where truth and common sense rule" -- when he has no intention of adhering to that lofty standard.
Liberal loose-cannon Ed Schultz does this with alarming regularity, as has been well documented at NewsBusters and elsewhere over the years. He did it again on his radio show Friday with a claim that was patently, demonstrably and absurdly bogus. In other words, just another day in the studio for Schultz. (Audio after the jump)
As the President’s poll numbers continue to decline, it’s becoming quite clear that some of the media – excluding the hopeless shills on MSNBC, of course! – are beginning to feel more comfortable criticizing him.
Take the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward who on Fox News Sunday said the just concluded budget deal happened “because Obama was not part of the negotiations” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is there anything MSNBC hosts won't compare conservatives to?
Consider Chris Matthews who began Friday's Hardball likening conservatives such as Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Mark Levin, and Rand Paul - who have the nerve to oppose the budget compromise just passed in the House - to North Korean despot Kim Jong Un killing his uncle (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose predictably conducted a hostile interview of Senator Marco Rubio on Friday's CBS This Morning, badgering the Republican for his opposition to a budget proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. O'Donnell hinted that he was in the pocket of conservative special interest: "I want to ask you about the criticism that you may be more beholden to these conservative groups than to your own party."
The anchor later wondered if "these groups have too much power". Rose himself carried water for the supporters of the proposal: "Speaker Boehner has said, and others have said, is that it's going – it's the first step in the right direction, and you've got to find common ground and you've got to find compromise – otherwise, you'll have government shutdowns, which everybody loses." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Leading off Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared: "It's war. A private battle blows wide open in public as the most powerful Republican in Washington says he's had enough, coming out swinging against members of his own party." Moments later, he hailed House Speaker John Boehner's "rare outburst of candor mixed with anger and frustration" at conservatives critical of the new budget deal in Congress. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams contemptuously observed: "His problem has been the rise of the Tea Party faction, the newly arrived and highly motivated members who do not go along or get along with the wishes of the leadership....Now they've gone after a budget deal that represents real compromise and keeps the country running. The Speaker today decided he's had enough and he said so."
House Speaker John Boehner made himself a hero in the eyes of the liberal Morning Joe panel. All it took was lashing out publicly against conservative organizations which criticized the Ryan-Murray budget deal.
Appearing on Thursday’s show, panelist Donny Deutsch was the most effusive about Boehner. He proclaimed: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd decided to invent a running commentary from House Speaker John Boehner on how Republicans stink at talking to women. “Some of these punks and losers in the Tea Party who have joined up with us do not have a clue how to smooth talk dolls,” she imagined him saying at an Italian restaurant.
Some could argue it's a little rich for Dowd to mock contempt for women when she's written a book titled "Are Men Necessary?" Dowd, who claims to be Catholic, went on a tear late in this burst of allegedly humorous fiction agaist Republicans having a "square, uptight Mother Superior past" and being "18-karat idiots trying to curb birth control." As if that sounds anything like Boehner:
By virtue of his concerns about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is standing in the way of "equal rights" for gay and lesbian Americans in the workplace, the Daily Beast groused today. "Boehner Blocks Equal Rights," complained a teaser headline on DailyBeast.com.
"The path towards the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or ENDA becoming law took one step forward on Monday morning but two steps backward when Speaker of the House John Boehner came out against the measure," Beast staffer Ben Jacobs complained in his Nov. 4 story, "ENDA Hits Obstacle In House." Jacobs noted that: