There are times when I watch MSNBC and wonder if there are actually producers paying any attention to what's going on.
Consider the following brief segment from Tuesday's "Hardball" wherein host Chris Matthews first derided a Dallas, Texas, reporter for being tough during an interview with President Obama and then immediately chastised Donald Trump for being displeased by the constant interruptions during his interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday lectured potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, indignantly telling him that he was only after "the facts." Four years ago, however, Good Morning America had few tough questions for the 2008 Democratic contenders.
At one point during the nine minute interview, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump 16 straight times on the so-called birther issue. The host demanded, "You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, 'They cannot believe what they're finding.' What have they found?" The ABC journalist repeated this particular question four times.
Stephanopoulos did hit Trump from the right a number of times, pushing, "Today, the head of the Club for Growth, a major group inside the Republican Party, has said you're just another liberal..." However, by March 26,2007, GMA had already devoted a 26 minute infomercial to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Host Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to speak for 18 of those 26 minutes.
Appearing on Sunday’s Today show on NBC, Meet the Press host David Gregory seemed to lump people who think President Obama is "the worst President" or who "don’t like the President" in with "extremists" as he explained real estate developer Donald Trump’s appeal among some Republican voters as a potential presidential candidate.
After co-anchor Natalie Morales cited poll numbers showing Trump topping other potential Republican candidates, Gregory gave his explanation for the support:
Part of that, he’s got name recognition, he’s got money, and he's out there talking in a way that is attention-seeking and attention-grabbing, whether he's talking about the President's birth certificate which is a settled issue or talking about him being the worst President in the United States. So he's going to reach some of those extremists who don't like the President and will be able to grab some of that attention.
Below is a transcript of a greater portion of Gregory’s words from the Sunday, April 17, Today show on NBC:
As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's media have been on a full-court press to raise taxes ever since Barack Obama proposed this in his deficit reduction speech last Wednesday.
So supportive of soaking the rich is MSNBC's Ed Schultz that on Monday's program bearing his name, seconds after claiming "Republicans are forced I guess you could say to make stuff up," he lied about what happened after taxes were cut by President George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Credit ratings agency Standand & Poor's Monday placed a negative outlook on the future of America's AAA debt rating as a result of looming budget deficits as far as the eye can see.
Later in the day, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer of Fox News's "Special Report" said this move by S&P was actually a negative review of President Obama's deficit reduction speech last Wednesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A winking John Berman on Monday used only a little subtlety as he mocked Donald Trump for his "enormous" "size." The Good Morning America reporter turned financial comments by the businessman into something more suggestive: "We know he has a big ego, but he swears he has big ideas and also an enormous, well, see for yourself."
He then played a clip of Trump boasting about himself: "Much bigger and much more powerful, much stronger than anyone really knows." Berman jokingly questioned, "Really? Compared to, say, Mitt Romney..."
Days before his 2012 budget was released, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) predicted that he and it would be demagogued by the Left.
Doing its part is the New York Times which began its editorial Monday, "Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause — much of which has already begun":
For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and National Review's Rich Lowry had quite a battle on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
This time the fireworks started when Lowry called President Obama classless for the way he treated Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) at Wednesday's speech on deficit reduction which led Clift to ask, "What else would you expect from a socialist born in Kenya who’s hiding his birth certificate?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Associated Press's Ben Feller interviewed President Obama on Friday. In the transcript, Feller interrupts Obama's long-winded response to his previous softball question ("Are the Republican leaders lacking compassion and they're pessimistic?") by beginning another question, which is shown as having been stopped before completion:
Q. You said they might lead us to third world -
It's impressive that Feller even knew that Obama, as reported by AFP, indeed accused Republicans of creating a fiscal plan that would, in Obama's words, turn the U.S. into: "... a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought -- that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure."
That's because, as seen in a search on "Obama third world" (entered without quotes), there is no current story at the AP's home site:
CNN's Howard Kurtz is either astonishingly naive or so strongly in the tank for Barack Obama that he's willing to ignore the totally obvious to assist the President's reelection efforts.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz actually discussed with far-left guests Joan Walsh of Salon and John Aravosis of Americablog.com - without ever disclosing the painfully inconvenient truth! - why the "so-called liberal media" don't report divisions within the Democrat Party especially left-wing disappointment with the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and lots of commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's "This Week" invited on a number of Tea Party Congressman Sunday to discuss the budget debate going on in Washington.
Just before that segment, ABC's John Donvan did a brief report that concluded with him insinuating that this conservative movement is drinking tax cut Kool-Aid and President Obama is having none of it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Talking to political strategist Stu Rothenberg on her 1PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Friday, anchor Andrea Mitchell saw the Medicare reform proposal in Congressman Paul Ryan's 2012 budget as a major negative for the GOP: "Obviously the White House feels very good right now....it's sort of like a tar baby situation where they're loving the fact that the Republicans are now voting on Medicare cuts."
In response, Rothenberg argued: "For the last year, the political debate has been about the President and about the President's performance. And now Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief and say, 'Ah, now we have something to shoot at, it's about Republicans.'" He later added: "I think the Democrats are much more comfortable with the comparison between the Democrats' performance and the Republican proposals."
According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama "loves" talking about the birther issue, thinking it will help his reelection bid. Journalists on the ABC program seem to share this fondness, having repeatedly highlighted the issue.
Stephanopoulos introduced an interview on Friday by marveling to co-host Robin Roberts: "I thought he'd take a pass, but [Obama] seemed to love talking about [birthers]."
During the segment, the host offered Obama an easy opportunity to complain about those who don't believe he was born in America: "I mean all of us have been struck by Donald Trump rising to the top of the Republican field by feeding fantasies about your background. What do you make of that?"
It certainly isn't a surprise that Nobel laureate Paul Krugman was far more pleased with the deficit reduction plan proposed by Barack Obama this week than the one unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) last week.
In Friday's New York Times column "Who's Serious Now?" the unabashed liberal declared the President's proposal "really serious" and the Congressman's "a sick joke":
Now that President Obama has put tax increases on the table in order to balance the budget, his media are going to put even more pressure on Republicans to comply.
A fine example of this happened on CNN's "John King USA" Thursday when the host actually asked Sen. Rob Portman (R-Oh.), "Should Republicans now have the open mind and the courage to maybe lose their jobs like President Bush did for the good of the country and at least say entering the conversation, 'We won't flatly, ideologically, reflexively rule out any tax increases?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last November, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell proudly declared himself a socialist on national television.
On Wednesday, "The Last Word" host took this a huge step further saying the whole idea that Americans are rugged individualists is an illusion because they're all really socialists (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer was less than pleased with Barack Obama's speech Wednesday concerning his plan to bring down the nation's staggering budget deficit.
As the panel segment of Fox's "Special Report" began, Krauthammer said, "I thought it was a disgrace. I thought I’ve rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan, and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced in his October 1984 debate with former President Reagan that he would raise taxes if elected, his campaign was over, and he ended up losing one of the biggest election routs in American history.
As Barack Obama prepares to offer the nation his deficit reduction plan Wednesday, it is widely believed he is going to recommend tax hikes on at least the upper wage earners in this nation.
If this is true, is he repeating Mondale's mistake less than nineteen months before Election Day? Are Americans hungrier for tax increases now than they were 27 years ago?
Today's Morning Joe offered an interesting contrast of MSM takes on Donald Trump. Politico honcho John Harris proffered the conventional Beltway wisdom, writing off Trump as a "silly season" candidate who adds only entertainment and amusement value to the race.
Meanwhile, Mark Halperin was surprisingly respectful of The Donald. Halperin opined that beyond the birther issue, Trump was doing a lot of smart things that other candidates should study. Among them, Trump is the only candidate, according to Halperin, willing to "get in Barack Obama's face."
In an interview with President Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng on Tuesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker wondered: "When you look back on the President's campaign of hope do you see that – is it still that same message or has it had to change, do you think?" Soetoro-Ng replied: "I think that the message is absolutely the same. The President is still hopeful."
Soetoro-Ng was on the show to promote her children's book, 'Ladder to the Moon,' a story about the influence her and Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had on their lives. When Roker asked about that influence, Soetoro-Ng declared: "She [Dunham] emphasized the themes that are present in the book – namely that we are interconnected, that we therefore need to take care of one another, empathize with one another, find ways to serve and help one another. And I think that those themes are very much evidenced in this presidency and in all of my brother's efforts as well."
This week, the picture is finally complete. First, the Obama White House decided to leap headfirst into the gun control debate. Then came the response from Congress, which is far more interested in investigating the "Fast and Furious" scandal, in which federal agents allowed thousands of guns to be "walked" into Mexico and furnished to drug cartels. And now the final piece: President Barack Obama has filed his papers to run for re-election.
That in a nutshell is all gun owners need to know about the 2012 presidential election. After two years of avoiding the gun control debate (and violating his own campaign promises to push for additional restrictions), Obama finally is showing his true colors on this important issue. Let's not forget that this is the same candidate who once espoused a total ban on handguns and more recently supported a nationwide ban on right-to-carry laws. And if he couldn't get that done, he said he would support increasing the taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent. Now he is trying to be measured about his gun control objectives, using vague and gauzy rhetoric that his handlers hope will be difficult to hang around his neck.
During the panel discussion on Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, host David Gregory gushed over President Obama's Friday night address to the nation on the budget deal: "The message was clear. Here he was to save the day, that it was President Obama – and he went to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday – that he was able to rise above the fray. That's the image they want Americans to see."
The rest of the political panel agreed with Gregory's assessment. Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver argued: "I think the President appears to be a mediator, and I think he, he rightfully gets some credit for averting the show – shutdown." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer declared: "I think the President came out very much above this week, above the fray." New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper proclaimed: "[Obama] was trying very much to appear above the – above the fray....definitely did the political calculus that he has to appear above it all, presidential."
MSNBC's Ed Schultz began his show Monday talking about all the jobs President Obama has created since he took office.
Unfortunately, as he made the case about how terrible the Bush years were by comparison, the "Ed Show" host wrongly informed his viewers that Democrats took over in January 2009 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday spent much of show scaring viewers about Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) recently released budget proposal.
So apoplectic was the "Hardball" host that he told liberal guests Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe that Ryan's Medicare reform plan "is going to kill half the people who watch this show" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A cocky Chris Matthews on Monday dismissed the possible 2012 Republican presidential nominees as a "dog pound" and a "pig pen." The Hardball host briefly mentioned candidates such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, but focused mostly on Donald Trump and lesser known individuals like Herman Cain.
Talking to Republican strategist John Feehery and former Hillary Clinton aide Mark Penn, Matthews mocked, "This looks more, sounds more like a dog pound than it does like a group of people running for President."
The cable anchor then ran down a list of Trump, Cain, Newt Ginrich and Michele Bachmann, asking his guests if these people could be elected President. Matthews left off Pawlenty, Romney, Mitch Daniels and other possibly strong nominees.
Coming from a writer for a magazine that pitches itself as liberalism for grownups, Chait’s argument is surprisingly unsophisticated and conspiratorial. Yet it was apparently pleasing enough to lead off this Sunday's edition of the newly revamped Times magazine.
The Republican Party’s presidential-nominating process has always been run by elites. Oh, the voters have their brief moments of triumph, hoisting up an unelectable right-winger (i.e., Pat Buchanan) or an uncontrollable moderate (John McCain, the circa-2000 version). But the establishment always wins. Meeting in their K Street offices and communicating through organs like George Will’s column and National Review, the main financers and organizers settle upon a useful frontman, a reliable vessel for the party’s agenda who -- and this is the crucial part -- is blessed with the requisite political talent. Democrats have been known to mess that last part up and nominate a dweeb, but Republicans have generally understood that an agenda tilted toward the desires of the powerful requires a skilled frontman who can pitch Middle America. Favorite character types include jocks, movie stars, folksy Texans and war heroes.
On the same day a new poll found only 37 percent of liberals strongly approve of Barack Obama's performance as president, the New York Times's Paul Krugman bashed America's chief executive for being missing in action.
"What have they done with President Obama?" asked the Nobel Laureate. "Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular":