One way the MSNBC cable channel can tell it's in trouble is when liberal comedian Bill Maher -- host of the Friday night HBO program Real Time who almost got his own show on the "Lean Forward" network -- posts a tweet accusing you of “turning into Fox News” and stating that the channel has “stopped leaning forward” since “Bridgegate has become your Benghazi.”
“I'm no good at being noble,” the self-proclaimed “passionate flaming liberal” continued in his rant entitled “MSNBC-YA,” but “it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little lanes of traffic don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
The notion that MSNBC is now the most controversial gaffe-a-minute cable news network has been ratified by the Associated Press. AP media reporter David Bauder wrote a story headlined “Loose lips give ammunition to MSNBC foes.”
“Since MSNBC is in the political ring, its opponents are always on the lookout for things to attack,” Bauder wrote. “Lately, NBC's left-leaning cable news sister has offered plenty of ammunition.”
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry devoted her entire program to football on Super Bowl Sunday, and over the course of two hours she proved that she is a big fan of brash Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. During a roundtable discussion about head injuries in the NFL, Harris-Perry singled out Sherman’s noggin as especially worthy of protection.
“I just want to run up and put my hands around his head and say, ‘Don't let anyone hit it, you’re so brilliant,’” the Tulane professor pronounced. And just why, exactly, does Harris-Perry find Sherman so brilliant? [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, MSNBC President Phil Griffin apologized for a Twitter post suggesting conservatives (“the rightwing”) are racists who would “hate” a cute new Cheerios ad because it featured a biracial family: “The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”
Griffin’s statement was a good first step, but if an apology is owed for this tweet, then MSNBC owes conservatives many, many more. The Media Research Center has compiled a long list of instances in which the network’s anchors have committed character assassination disguised as journalism, unjustly smearing conservatives, Republicans and the Tea Party as racists. Here are just some of the many outrageous examples we have documented:
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC host Harris-Perry made an over the top analogy about the liberal fight against laws restricting abortion as she invoked the art of judo and asked if the political effort was similar to a woman physically fighting off an attacker. (Video follows)
Speaking to Nancy Northrup from the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, Harris-Perry posed:
Call it Melissa Harris-Perry's "corpse-man" moment . . .
In a segment on the role of the US military during her MSNBC show this morning, Harris-Perry, quoting the Marine Corps motto, pronounced it Semper "Fee." Marines of course pronounce it "fye" [scroll over phrase at link to hear pronunciation.] Harris-Perry surely meant no disrespect. But it is a mark of just how detached she and so much of the liberal media is from military culture that she could make such a mistake. Video after the jump.
Phil Griffin, head of the MSNBC cable television channel, told Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter that he accepts responsibility for recent embarrassments that led Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir to leave the network and Melissa Harris-Perry to offer a tearful on-air apology.
"These were judgment calls made by some of our people. We handled them. We were transparent. That is our philosophy: Be factual, and step up when you make a mistake,” Griffin asserted. “We took responsibility for them and took action. They were unfortunate,” but “I don't think it hurt us in any way.”
I kept looking for any sign that Ta-Nehisi Coates, described as "a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues," was kidding in his Monday afternoon column about Melissa Harris-Perry when he called her "The Smartest Nerd in the Room." He wasn't.
When last seen here at NewsBusters, Coates was pretending that the wealth gap between blacks and whites has consistently widened during the past 20 years, when the reality is that almost all of the widening has occurred during the past five years for which data is available. That delusion is nothing compared to his assessment of Harris-Perry, excerpted after the jump (bold is mine):
Sometimes I think people at MSNBC have Sarah Palin on the brain.
In a Morning Joe segment about Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology to the Romney family for mocking their adopted black grandson, and former Governor Mitt Romney’s classy acceptance of said apology, host Joe Scarborough for some reason decided to take a totally unprovoked and unnecessary cheap shot at Sarah Palin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previous reported, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry issued a heartfelt apology to the Romneys at the beginning of her show Saturday for mocking their adopted black grandson last weekend.
On Fox News Sunday, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney – showing the class we’ve all grown accustomed to from him – said, “I think it's a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason, we hold no ill will whatsoever” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported earlier, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry began her Saturday show with a heartfelt apology to Mitt Romney's family that included her tearing up.
This prompted former MSNBC host Alec Baldwin - terminated in November for a homophobic rant towards a paparazzo - to write on Twitter hours ago, "If I cry, will I be forgiven all of my transgressions?":
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of comedians last weekend senselessly mocked a picture of former Governor Mitt Romney’s family because it included his adopted black grandson.
Although she’s already apologized on Twitter, Harris-Perry began her show Saturday with a heartfelt apology much of the time fighting through a lump in her throat and tears (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Following Melissa Harris-Perry's smear on Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson - the third in a series of recent high-profile faux pas by MSNBC hosts - Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz asked a question Friday whose answer appears to definitively be "Yes."
"[H]as the channel developed a culture in which harsh personal attacks are encouraged, or at least tolerated?"
He has a piece at the Daily Beast defending himself against criticism for a “joke” (his term) he made in reaction to the photograph of some two dozen Romneys, all of whom are white except for the black infant on the former GOP presidential hopeful’s right knee.
MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry lined up a panel of alleged comedians to mock the Christmas picture Mitt Romney posted on Twitter. In a segment with the on-screen question "What's So Funny About 2013?" Harris-Perry announced: “This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, an adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”
To which comedian and actress Pia Glenn sang the old Sesame Street ditty “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same … “And that little baby, front and center, would be the one.” Laughter ensued. The black website NewsOne reports Glenn issued sincere apologies on Twitter for her insensitivity to transracial adoptions. (Video below)
For the 25th consecutive year, the Media Research Center has recognized the absolute wackiest media quotes in our annual “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our panel of 42 expert judges.
The first time this prize was offered, in 1989, then-CNN pundit Linda Ellerbee won for comments delivered on the June 2, 1989 edition of PrimeNews: “‘These boat people,’ says the government of Hong Kong, ‘they all want to go to America.’ Well, I swear I don’t know why, do you?...Why would any Vietnamese come to America after what America did for Vietnam?”
This year’s winners and video highlights of the “Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year” after the jump.
Following a hotly contested debate on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, Republican strategist Ron Christie penned an op-ed in The Daily Beast condemning what he calls the “new normal in Democratic thinking: If you disagree with Obama, you must be racist. Christie’s column comes on the heels of Democratic strategist Angela Rye, and frequent MSNBC guest, that the Tea Party is a “racial” political group.
In his piece, Christie, the black conservative notes that he fears:
Democratic strategist and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Angela Rye picked the wrong panel Sunday to accuse the Tea Party of being "racial."
When he heard this during his appearance on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show, Republican strategist Ron Christie strongly objected saying, "Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Leave it to MSNBC to see Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful for ObamaCare, Wendy Davis, same-sex marriage, and John Kerry hammering out an interim nuclear deal with Iran.
"In a year where Congress’ approval rating has reached an all time low, an embattled President Obama faces the healthcare challenge that could define his legacy, and the timetable for US troops in Afghanistan remains murky, it is all too easy to become cynical about the public sphere," MSNBC.com writers Johnny Simon and FarraKober confessed in a piece published this morning. "But when members of the msnbc family paused to reflect, what they recalled was a year full of triumph and spirit," they noted in the lead paragraph of their November 26 "Why I'm thankful" slideshow feature.
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry asserted that Republican opposition to ObamaCare was "creating a faulty levee system in our health care" as she tried to argue that the ObamaCare disaster should not be referred to as President Obama's political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina. Host Al Sharpton posed:
The tragic shooting death of Renisha McBride in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn Heights is causing the usual liberal sociological analysis about how America hates blackness, and nothing has changed in fifty (or maybe eighty) years. On the Al Sharpton radio show, David A. Wilson of NBC-owned The Grio.com equated America in 2013 with the days when blacks in the segregated South carried a Negro Motorist Green Book for safe travel in the 1930s.
Time’s Ideas blog turned to Noliwe Rooks, Cornell associate professor in "Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies," for an article titled: “Renisha McBride and Evolution of Black-Female Stereotype: Why are black women seen as more threatening, more masculine and less in need of help? Because they're not being seen as women at all”. She turned to MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry for expertise:
Of all the lame attempts to explain away President Obama's oft-repeated Obamacare lie that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," Melissa Harris-Perry might have come up with the most hilarious: President Obama figured people wouldn't like it!
Yes, that's what MHP actually asserted on her MSNBC show this morning, claiming the Obama administration figured people wouldn't like their plans, and would clamor for the ones offered under Obamacare. Of course the argument still leaves Obama as having lied. Even if if a majority of people with private plans didn't like them, that would still leave millions being forced out of plans they did like. So Obama would still have lied, albeit on a smaller scale. View the video after the jump.
Appearing as a guest on the Friday, October 18, PoliticsNation show, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry characterized the government shutdown as Republicans "effectively impeaching" President Obama as she fretted that the GOP will create "crisis after crisis" so that Obama "never will have an opportunity to actually enact a second policy agenda."
Host Al Sharpton complained about Republicans talking about thwarting President Obama's agenda:
In April 2013, we noticed a patently absurd Lean Forward promo spot by MSNBC weekend host and Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry, wherein she argued that we need to think of kids not as belonging to their families under the care of their parents but rather belong to their communities, under, well, the care of the community (read: the state). That comment was the hands-down audience favorite among the nominees for the Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis at the Media Research Center's 2013 Gala dinner held Thursday night.
Accepting the award in mockery of Ms. Harris-Perry, Mayor Mia Love (R-Saratoga Spring, Utah) gave a short but very powerful speech about the values that her parents, not her "community" instilled in her, which helped make her a self-sufficient, independent woman who, by the way, is a Democrat's nightmare." To watch the full video for the Dan Rather Memorial Award segment, click on the play button below the page break; Love's remarks begin about 13:55 into the video, but presenter Chris Plante's remarks are also worth watching.
MSNBC obliterated the notion of separating cable-news hosts and their political activism when the network brass gave Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show two years ago. It was just another day at the office when Sharpton held a rabble-rousing rally for Trayvon Martin in the afternoon, and then covered it on his show hours later.
But Saturday's rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington was the most dramatic conflict of interest yet. Sharpton organized the rally (with Martin Luther King III) and MSNBC aired huge chunks of it live, including all 20 minutes of Sharpton's screaming keynote speech. An MSNBC press release said they'd be promoting the rally from 11 am to 9 pm.
Does Al Sharpton run MSNBC now? On Saturday, the cable network broadcast hours of live coverage of the Sharpton-organized 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. When Sharpton prepared for his keynote speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, his friend Rev. Franklyn Richardson singled him out as “the one who has become the voice of this era.” They broadcast Sharpton’s entire 20-minute speech live.
When he was finished on stage, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Michael Eric Dyson formed a hallelujah chorus, all praising Sharpton in the same glowing light as the "peerless" and "pre-eminent" civil rights leader of our time, like he was paying everyone’s salary: