More than 24 hours after NBC's Matt Lauer prompted him to say it in an interview, the morning programs all showcased it – and even after day-long playback on the cable channels – CBS and NBC on Tuesday night delighted in again highlighting President Barack Obama's boast that he's gathering information on the oil leak “so I know whose ass to kick.”
Katie Couric put the soundbite, from a competitor, at the top of the CBS Evening News: “In a TV interview aired today, the President said if BP's CEO worked for him, he'd be fired. And Mr. Obama defended his handling of the disaster.”
NBC Nightly News provided a re-run. A day after anchor Brian Williams trumpeted as “just into us” the bite illustrating how Obama “showed some anger on the topic of his handling of this spill so far,” reporter Anne Thompson touted: “Criticized for not conveying his anger over the nation's greatest environmental disaster, President Obama fired back during an exclusive interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.”
On her satellite radio show on Monday, Rosie O'Donnell accused BP of "willful homicide, willful mass murder" and demanded BP be nationalized immediately: "I say seize their assets. Right now. Seize their assets today. Take over the [company]. I don't care [how]. Issue an executive order...Call it socialism, call it communism, call it anything you want. Let's watch Rush Limbaugh explode on TV...Seize the assets. Take over BP."
From there, she ripped on piggish Americans in general: "We're all culpable in America. We all fill up our gas-guzzler cars. We all don't have solar power on our window[s]. We have been sold the drugs by the dealer, which is our own government, of oil, and we've been shootin' up and we're addicted to it...It's making all of us sick, just as if we were shootin' heroin...This time, we've screwed with Mother Earth. We broke the freakin' womb of Mother Earth...We split it open, and she's hemorrhaging."
O'Donnell's executive producer Janette Barber offered a solution: "Let's pay $20 a gallon rather than kill thousands of innocent people, 'cause that's what we're talking about."
There are a lot of people angry at BP for causing huge damage to the Gulf of Mexico. As a way to vent some of this emotion, some are volunteering their help to clean up where the oil has washed ashore. Others are petitioning lawmakers to clamp down on oil companies to ensure this doesn't happen again. However, there's one option that has proved to be pointless according to Penn Jillette, half of the famed Vegas duo Penn & Teller.
"Well, you know, I don't know there's many different takes to take on it," Jillette said. "I mean, it's just a horrible disaster and a catastrophe. What amazes me about it is on Facebook, they just, they put this thing up, you know, ‘Boycott BP.'"
MSNBC continued its defense of President Obama against “racist” critics Tuesday morning. The network’s show “Morning Joe” featured a panel of journalists discussing just how some opponents of President Obama’s agenda refuse to support him–because the President is either a Democrat or African-American.
After host Joe Scarborough and Time's Mark Halperin ripped the Drudge Report for its headline painting President Obama as “going street,” Dee Dee Myers and Norah O’Donnell jumped in to offer their two cents about racially-motivated oppositions to President Obama’s agenda.
First, Halperin mentioned poll numbers showing voters as distrustful of Obama’s ability to improve the economy from President Bush’s term.
“A lot of that is white working class voters who don’t have confidence in [Obama] because he’s a Democrat, but for some of them clearly also because he’s African-American,” Halperin said.
Scarborough then asked Myers, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, if race was an indeed an issue in the backlash against Obama in the BP Oil Crisis. “Yes,” Myers affirmed.
For over seven minutes this morning, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” panel expounded on the racial overtones of Matt Drudge’s Tuesday morning headline and other criticisms of the Obama administration.
It started when Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin brought up the Drudge Report headline, “Obama Goes Street: Seeking ‘Ass to Kick’,” and alleged that it spun Obama’s comments to NBC’s Matt Lauer and portrayed Obama unfairly as a gangster.
“One of the problems Barack Obama faces in public life... is he cannot get angry and be an effective communicator as an African-American,” Halperin commented on the interview.
“So Matt Drudge takes the Matt Lauer quote, and he casts it as ‘Obama Goes Street.’ And it includes this photo of an angry-looking Barack Obama,” Halperin complained. “ I think it’s all pretty clear. It’s pretty clear to all of us what’s going on there.”
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claims that the media's coverage of the Gulf oil spill is doing far more damage to his state's economy than the spill itself.
"The coast is clear," Barbour quipped on Fox News Sunday. "The truth is we've had virtually no oil." Barbour criticized media coverage generally, and Fox in particular. Shep Smith, whose show airs at 4pm and 7pm on weekdays, has been one of the loudest voices reporting on the spill.
Barbour claimed the media are responsible for "the biggest negative impact" on Mississippi. "The average viewer on this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle deep in oil," he added, and "of course it's very, very bad for our tourist season."
Maybe President Barack Obama watched a little too much of the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night. The language seems to have rubbed off.
Paul Bedard at U.S. News and World Report caught an interesting exchange on CNBC this morning about Obama's use of "ass" in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer. Obama asserted to Lauer that he wanted to know "whose ass to kick" over the oil spill in the Gulf.
Squawk Box co-host Becky Quick criticized President Obama for using "the A word" on the Today show, saying he set a bad example for kids.
"If you're the president of the United States and you go on the Today show, which is a morning show, where you're going to have a lot of kids who are sitting around watching this, I think you choose your words a little more carefully," Quick said.
"I think using the a-word on the Today show when you're talking to Matt Lauer, yeah, that disturbs me," Quick said.
Quick said that it's "silly" to use inappropriate language to prove that you're mad.
The roundtable panel for today's Morning Joe took a stab at President Obama's frustration with the media for being critical of his BP oil spill response. The segment began with a clip of President Obama's testy, self-defensive comment to NBC's Matt Lauer, wherein the commander-in-chief blustered that he was determined to learn "whose ass to kick" for the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin found the President's anger at the media "ironic" because, "no one in the modern era has ever gotten into the Oval office with the press as glowing as Barack Obama did. For him, this is a new experience." [WMV video available here; MP3 audio available here]
Host Joe Scarborough seemed to share Halperin's sentiments and argued that the President needed to "grow a layer of skin" because: "If you're a Republican politician and a member of the press doesn't come up and like slap you in the face when you come to Washington, you're grateful. You're like a beaten dog. You'll take whatever crumbs they throw you. This guy gets adulation for years, years, and he hates the press. I just don't get it."
What's really staggering is that while some in the mainstream media are starting to realize how much the press have gone easy on Obama, they're announcing these revelations with a sense of detachment from the problem, as though it’s merely an observation, not an indictment.
The following exchange was aired during the June 8 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
Discussing the Gulf oil spill on Saturday's CBS Evening News, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley fretted over President Obama's left-wing agenda being in jeopardy: "...he was on a roll with the health care legislation. There was a great hope that before the election he was going to get some things done in Washington. This hit, and I think for President Obama, the spill was an inconvenience."
At the top of the segment, anchor Jeff Glor cited the latest CBS News poll showing that only 38% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the spill and wondered if "the oil spill defines the President's legacy?" Brinkley replied: "I have no doubt that he spends every hour micro-studying what's going on in the Gulf, but part of leadership is to get on the back of the flatbed Ford and rally the country with the speech." He explained how Obama "...wanted to farm it out. It was B.P.'s problem." But warned: "You don't want to be Jimmy Carter, holed up in the White House during the Iran hostage crisis."
Brinkley went on to hope that "...future generations will say...the Obama administration marshaled the strength of the American people and did the greatest environmental cleanup the world has ever seen." He proclaimed: "This is a turning point in history. The urban president from Chicago is going to have to become the environmental president of the moment."
When it comes to heart-wrenching images, forget about those oil-plunged pelicans. What appears to really move Norah O'Donnell is the plight of . . . Pres. Obama's White House staffers.
Check out the very end of the video clip from today's Morning Joe and see if it doesn't seem that O'Donnell gets a bit emotional as she describes Obama aides waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares of gushing oil.
Insular liberal-media cycle: Liberal columnists demand that President Obama show “anger” over BP's oil leak, Obama promises NBC's Matt Lauer that he's determining “whose ass to kick” and so Brian Williams – trumpeting “this is just into us” -- leads the NBC Nightly News with how “the President showed some anger on the topic of his handling of this spill so far.”
Williams announced Monday night: “Before we get to our correspondents, some late news tonight. Late today, Matt Lauer sat down with President Obama in Michigan for an interview to air tomorrow morning on Today. This is just into us. In this bit you are about to see the President showed some anger on the topic of his handling of this spill so far.” Viewers were then treated to this clip of Obama:
I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick.
[MSNBC's Countdown made Obama's remark “Breaking News” with “OBAMA TALKS TO EXPERTS SO HE KNOWS 'WHOSE ASS TO KICK'” plastered across the bottom of the screen.]
Promoting his latest HBO special on Monday's CBS Early Show, comedian Robert Klein turned his attention to the Gulf oil spill and who's to blame: "...we're all to blame. We're pigs. It's a parable for us. American pre-eminence is not guaranteed and unless we learn that this stuff has dangers– where are all those 'drill, baby, drills' now?" [Audio available here]
Those comments were prompted by co-host Harry Smith remarking: "BP would be such a spectacular target for your lampooning." Klein went on to add: "...all that oil that's fouling everything, it probably wouldn't run the automobiles in Texas for one day." Smith chimed in: "An hour." Klein proclaimed: "...it's minuscule, that's how much we use of that stuff. So let's get off it. I mean, and it's coming back to us in bullets, everybody knows this. But Americans have a memory of about 12 seconds."
On CBS's Sunday Morning program, a 'Fast Draw' segment by cartoonists Mitch Butler and Josh Landis similarly scolded Americans for wasting energy. Landis warned: "Our hunger for energy is driving oil companies to drill deeper and more dangerous wells..." Butler remarked: "Thankfully, these days everyone's talking about going green and saving energy. We know to ride bicycles to work instead of driving a car, don't use that air conditioner on a hot summer day. Air travel uses way too much energy. So don't take that vacation." However, Landis lamented: "...most Americans don't make enough of these kinds of sacrifices to save a meaningful amount of energy."
Like tar balls on a Pensacola beach, doubts about Pres. Obama's leadership are beginning to accumulate even among his most avid supporters appearing in the MSM. Today's Morning Joe provided two prime examples of the phenomenon in the persons of Jeffrey Sachs and Donny Deutsch.
Both men are self-described Obama supporters. Yet each expressed disappointment at the lack of leadership the president has demonstrated on the oil spill and other issues.
Columbia U. professor Sachs went first, sounding like a serious candidate for a Zoloft transfusion. Sachs was reacting to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that PBO seize the moment by addressing a joint session of Congress and issuing a post-Sputnik like summons for America to rise to the current challenge by leading the world in clean-energy solutions.
ABC News found a picture they couldn’t resist showcasing, no matter how much it exaggerates the dangers from the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. To say nothing of how this is just the kind of fear-mongering media coverage which infuriates businesses along the coast trying to allay tourist fears.
Both Good Morning America and World News on Sunday showed and zoomed in on this photo. World News anchor Dan Harris treated donning a gas mask as a reasonable thing to do:
On the beaches along the gulf, it has come to this this weekend. Check out this picture from Gulf Shores, Alabama. Sonya Daniel, of Birmingham, Alabama, sun-bathing in a gas mask.
“Sooner or later, we’ll blame this on George W. Bush,” George Will presciently predicted on Sunday’s Week during the roundtable’s look as how President Barack Obama is handling the gulf oil leak. Seconds later, the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington didn’t let Will down, declaring “the truth is, that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted. Full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they're supposed to be overseeing the industry.” Then this exchange:
GEORGE WILL: So, it's Bush's fault? Just clear this up.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: It is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney's fault.
Huffington proceeded to hit the Obama administration for not having “really done enough fast enough to change” Bush’s policies so “we are seeing the complete success of the kind of regulatory system that Bush-Cheney wanted.” Prompting Liz Cheney to marvel, “I don't know what planet you live on,” Huffington also charged that “right here we have the poster child of Bush-Cheney crony capitalism, Halliburton, involved in this.”
Daily Kos boss Markos Moulitsas is scheduled to appear on Jake Tapper's Sunday roundtable on This Week tomorrow. It would be great -- although the odds are very slim -- if Tapper would quote some of this Daily Kos bilge and ask Moulitsas to defend it. This Saturday morning post by Karen Hedwig Backman imagined Dick Cheney as a malevolent Angel of Death. It's called "Dick Cheney's Dismal Swamp of Death," and is so overwrought it's unintentionally funny:
A vast sea of dead and dying creatures presided over by the fat, repulsive Angel of Death Cheney. His ratlike minions scuttle around clutching their Blackberries and chittering corporate code.
Gloating, he hovers over the Gulf of Mexico, his oil-grimed black wings sinuously flapping... eldest daughter gleefully yapping at his ankles.
For the moment they are strangely silent, after months of constant presence on accommodating American television, showboating on Fox, one hopes that they might at last be experiencing guilt and shame -- but no.
They are momentarily stunned by the awesomeness of their success, silently savoring the sight of their spoils, dying pelicans dripping crude oil on the beaches, whitening and fouling corpses of fish, sea mammals, all manner of dead creatures brought to life by the seas and felled by the U.S. Supreme Court-strengthened arm of the Almighty Corporation.
Chuck Todd “hated” to say it but just had to get it out anyway–would the BP oil spill, arguably the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history, be a “missed opportunity” for Congress to capitalize on “disaster” to enact energy legislation should it fail to do anything in its wake?
Discussing what the reaction of Congress and the Obama administration should be to the spill during an interview with Tom Daschle on MSNBC's June 4 “Daily Rundown,” Todd asked:
So if energy legislation isn’t taken up and dealt with, this would basically be–I hate to put it this way–a wasted disaster?
On Friday's CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer argued that if the Gulf oil spill could be stopped, the scandal of the Obama administration offering jobs to Democratic senate candidates would suddenly disappear: "...all of this business about offering jobs to candidates if it they won't run, all of that, all of that stuff is going to go away if you can get this thing capped..."
Schieffer didn't elaborate on his theory, but later complained about the sloppiness of the corrupt backroom deals: "I mean the first rule here is if you're going to do this sort of thing, you better figure out a better way to do it than the Obama administration has figured out. It turns out it's kind of, you know, amateur hour here with this kind of stuff." Though he defended the practice itself: "...this sort of thing's been going on for a long, long time. I mean, it's a real question as to whether this is even illegal. But it's the odor that comes from it....That's what's hurting the President."
When asking Schieffer about the controversy, Early Show co-host Harry Smith remarked how it "not so particularly unusual" and simply might "smack up against a promise of no more business as usual" by President Obama. Schieffer concluded his thoughts on the matter by once again lamenting that the administration did not do a "better" job of hiding its corruption: "...if you're going to do it, you better be better at it than they've shown us they are."
On his Friday program, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lashed out at critics who have chastised his show, “Morning Joe,” for covering the political angle of the BP oil spill. Referring specifically to Twitter users, the MSNBC anchor called them “stupid” and “dumb,” and instructed them to “shut up.”
“The people on Twitter who are whining about us covering a very important part of this story are whiners and beyond that they’re just stupid,” fumed Scarborough.
The rant continued:
They need to shut up, okay. If you’re too stupid to follow this, just turn to SpongeBob, okay, and watch it with your kids, and drool out the left side of your mouth because you’re too dumb. You don’t understand politics and you’re going to hurt yourself watching this show.
CNN's Larry King completely left out the major topic of the White House's continuing obfuscation on the Sestak and Romanoff controversies and barely mentioned the economy during his interview of President Obama on Thursday. While King did ask extensively on the Gulf oil leak and touched on the Middle East and immigration, he also tossed softballs on LeBron James and the President singing with Paul McCartney.
The CNN host aired his interview with the chief executive during the first half of the 9 pm Eastern hour. King spent the entire first two segments asking about the oil leak issue. Other than one question, where he asked whether the President had any responsibility for the disaster, the journalist asked softball questions (remember, CNN claimed just under two months ago in April that it was the only "non-partisan" cable network, and how King hounded Carrie Prejean during an interview in November 2009):
After falsely claiming that oil companies pay no federal royalties for offshore drilling, an assertion later undermined by one of her own guests, Rachel Maddow rewrites the history of the oil industry's last 40 years.
"We've had a lot of response to the NBC News archival footage that we played this week showing just how much hasn't changed in the past 30 years of oil drilling disasters," told her MSNBC viewers May 28. "You may recall that we played news coverage this week of the 1979 Ixtoc oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. And that footage made clear that from failed blowout preventers, to junk shots, to top kills, to booms, to dispersants, to undersea plumes of oil, oil disasters and oil disaster response looks the same now as it did 30 years ago."
"The only real technological progress the oil industry has made in the past 30 years is figuring out how to drill in ever deeper water," Maddow claimed. "It was unsafe in 200 feet of water 30 years ago. Now the progress is that today it's unsafe in 5,000 feet of water. ... No one in the oil industry wants to say it and no one in America wants to believe that it is true and I include myself in this. But honestly, we have no idea how to drill safely offshore. We know how to drill offshore, but we do not know how to drill safely offshore. Because the oil companies have never been made to care too much about that before."
Not only that, I would hasten to add, we have "no idea" how to send human beings safely into space. Even after losing three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire of January 1967, seven more perished nearly 20 years later on the shuttle Challenger, followed by another seven fatalities on the Columbia in 2003.
At the top of Wednesday's CBS Evening News, during a report on the Gulf oil spill, correspondent Mark Strassmann found a silver lining: "The good news: since President Obama's visit to Grand Isle [Louisiana] last Friday, local officials report better coordination with BP and federal agencies."
Strassmann went on to add: "Since the President's visit, the local fire chief says there are three times as many response workers on this island. He also says while local response leaders and national response leaders may have disagreements, at least now once a decision is made everybody's marching in the same direction."
Meanwhile, in a story minutes later, correspondent Ben Tracy discussed the public backlash against oil company BP: "On YouTube, anger at BP is just a mouse click away....The Facebook page calling for a boycott of BP now has nearly 300,000 followers." Tracy pointed out: "BP is about to launch a multimillion dollar television PR campaign. But the company has not been getting much help from its CEO who at times seems tone deaf to the loss of life and livelihood in the Gulf." The broadcast featured no mention of any backlash against the Obama administration.
Is it the government’s job to spread happiness? A former president of Harvard University, who was profiled on the June 2 PBS “NewsHour,” seems to think so. Derek Bok, author of The Politics of Happiness, believes the government should be in the business of manufacturing happiness.
“I think a government that tries, systematically, to relieve what causes lasting misery and emphasize what gives lasting happiness will eventually win the support of the people,” declared Bok.
In a telling review, Sara Robinson of the wildly liberal blog Firedoglake expressed adoration for the book:
It reads like a progressive wish list — a ratification of the kind of ‘for the common good’ policies we’ve always stood for. But Bok’s approach is academic and disinterested and acutely non-ideological: he reaches these conclusions only because the preponderance of data proves (once again!) that reality has a distinctly liberal bias.
MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday touted Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill and enthused, "I think they're doing better now, right? I think the past couple days have been great." It was left to Time magazine's Mark Halperin to offer the non-White House spin. He deadpanned, "Except the hole's not plugged." [Audio available here.]
Reversing the usual positions of a conservative and a member of the mainstream media, Halperin derided, "As long as the President's doing important things like going to rock concerts, I think everybody will understand." A defensive Scarborough shot back, "Nah, that's a cheap shot."
The Morning Joe host, supposedly the voice of conservatism on MSNBC, proclaimed, "...Nobody, when they go to the polls this fall, voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate, are [sic] going to blame Barack Obama and Democrats for not plugging a hole, I don't think."
The American lawyers who flock to Guantanamo Bay to represent captured terrorists are simply fulfilling their duty to provide representation, it is often argued by those who seem to enjoy mucking up efforts to curtail future terrorism. But once representing the American beverage giant Coca Cola makes Attorney General Eric Holder a “corporatist” who’s going to “do the Devil’s work” and only “pretend” to go tough on BP after the oil spill, lefty talk radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime CNN news writer) argued Wednesday night. (Audio here.)
I guess you know this by now, the, uh, Justice Department under Eric Holder who defended, uh, was it Coca-Cola, against murder charges in, uh, South America? Good old Eric Holder, another corporatist, who, uh, is going to do the Devil’s work now and pretend that he is conducting a criminal investigation into the events that led to the oil gush?
For their part, the big three network evening newscasts reported Holder’s announcement of a “criminal investigation” against BP during their Tuesday night broadcasts, but only CBS’s Chip Reid struck what could be called a skeptical note about the Obama administration’s motives in publicly touting the investigation after a week of criticism about the federal government’s less-than-effective handling of the matter.
British Petroleum's (BP) reputation has been marred by the April oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill which is still gushing more than 40 days later. But according to The Washington Post, the reputation of some left-wing environmental groups has also been polluted by the incident.
"[T]he Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years," Joe Stephens wrote for the Post May 24.
It's not just Nature Conservancy either, the Post found $2 million in donations to Conservation International and relationships between BP and other lefty activist groups Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Sierra Club and Audubon.
"The crude emanating from BP's well threatens to befoul a number of alliances between energy conglomerates and environmental nonprofits. At least one group, Conservation International, acknowledges that it is reassessing its ties to the oil company, with an eye toward protecting its reputation," the Post said.
This was front page news at The Post on May 24, but received only silence from other mainstream media outlets including the three broadcast networks.
The senior editor of the liberal online publication Mediaite asked an astonishingly absurd question in a headline Tuesday:
"Does The BP Oil Spill Mark The Death Of The Tea Party Movement?"
Glynnis MacNicol's premise in her piece by that name: "The call for less government intervention into the lives of ‘regular' citizens that was so prevalent throughout last summer, and fall, and winter has gone nearly silent in the face of the Gulf disaster."
MacNicol's supporting evidence of the Tea Party's demise:
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Drew Griffin pressed former Clinton administration official Robert Reich on his call for a federal takeover of BP and its efforts against the Gulf oil leak. Griffin first questioned Reich if his proposal was serious, and later stated that the Democrat's idea "sounds not only highly illegal...but seems to me to smack of something that we might see in Venezuela" [audio clips available here].
The CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, brought on the current University of California, Berkeley professor to discuss his proposal, which he first made in a May 31 column (as noted by Jeff Poor at MRC's Business and Media Institute). After summarizing Reich's position, that it was "time for the government to seize control of BP and take over the company's oil spill recovery efforts in the Gulf," Griffin bluntly asked the former labor secretary, "I've got to tell you, I have always considered you a very serious person, but this doesn't sound serious to me at all. Are you serious about this, or was this some kind of a joke to get things going?"
On the Wednesday edition of “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough attacked Republican political strategist Karl Rove for his critique of the Obama administration’s delayed response to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Scarborough was irate at the “hypocrisy” of the statement because during his time in New Orleans in the middle of Katrina, he recalled, “a lot of people keeping their mouths shut because they didn't want to criticize President Bush.” [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]
This outburst was in response to Karl Rove’s statement on Fox News that, “The president and his people are in charge of this under the Oil Spill Liability Act and they don’t have a plan.” Scarborough then hastily asserted, “Just keep your mouth shut. I'm not saying don't criticize the president, but if you were involved in Katrina, keep your mouth shut.”
Of course, during a post-Katrina interview with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, Scarborough felt no compulsion to keep his mouth shut in deference to the president. At the time, Scarborough asked if Williams found it an "ironic choice" to report “from a major American city where young children died of dehydration out on sidewalks, and now you've got the President of the United States delivering a speech to the nation from Jackson Square, an area largely untouched by Katrina's devastation.”
Time's Mark Halperin just wrote about bitter right-wing extremism costing the Republicans in the fall. But then he went on MSNBC's Hardball and explored his "inner Dennis Kucinich." He declared that Obama cannot trust BP because it's a for-profit business. Earth to Halperin: Isn't Time magazine (not to mention MSNBC) a for-profit business...or are profits in liberal media companies some sort of happy accident?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Gentlemen, last question, should the President be exploring as President of the United States alternatives to relying on BP? Should he be shopping with MIT, with the other oil companies around the world? Should he be going to the smartest people in the country in terms of engineering? Not eggheads with, with Nobel prizes, but people who know how to fix engineering challenges, Red Adair types? Should he be going off looking for those people or just relying on BP? You first, Mark.
MARK HALPERIN: My inner Dennis Kucinich says absolutely. He cannot trust BP, which is a for profit company, to do stuff in the public interest.