Once again, MSNBC shows it has no sense of decency when it comes to its political contributors making extreme statements on its network. The latest example comes from contributor Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of TheGrio.com, who asserted that attendees of the annual CPAC conference sympathized with pro-segregationist comments made by one extreme individual attending the three-day conference.
At issue is video that has emerged from a CPAC panel discussion called “Trump the Race Card” hosted by K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans. After Smith commented that, “[Frederick] Douglass escaped from slavery. He writes a letter to his former slave master and says, I forgive you for all things you did for me,” an attendee of the panel named Scott Terry then interjected, “For giving him shelter and food?” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
As Sarah Palin told a crowd of cheering conservatives this weekend, CPAC is the time of year when journalists present their annual “conservatives in crisis” stories. That was certainly the case on Saturday’s CBS This Morning, which featured Politico’s Maggie Haberman as the sole CPAC analyst.
Asked by anchor Anthony Mason if the tone at CPAC was different this year following the Republican loss in the 2012 presidential election, Haberman replied, “The tone is sort of defeatist, frankly.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There was nothing but festering distress and especially "division" on the right at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held last week, at least according to the New York Times. As noted previously on NewsBusters, CPAC generated headlines like this one from Saturday: "G.O.P. Divisions Fester at Conservative Retreat."
As Noel Sheppard pointed out, George Will picked up on that headline on ABC's This Week: "...I guarantee, if there were a liberal conclave comparable to this, and there were vigorous debates going on there, the New York Times headline would be, 'Healthy Diversity Flourishes at Liberal Conclave.'" Actually, Will wasn't far off. A contrast of headlines from this year's CPAC and previous years of Netroots Nation -- a roughly equivalent annual meeting of liberals and leftists --shows an obvious disparity in tone.
It’s hard to know what goes through Joe Scarborough’s head these days. One day he’s trashing CPAC as a conference full of hate, the next he’s defending the conservative confab, saying its attendees are his friends.
The latest example of Scarborough’s schizophrenia came March 18 on Morning Joe when he shot down National Journal’s Ron Fournier for calling CPAC attendees "wacko birds" -- a term borrowed from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who derisively deployed it in an interview with the Huffington Post against Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). McCain later apologized for his comments directed at Senators Paul and Cruz.
On Monday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales hyped how "Republican infighting broke out this weekend at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference." In the report that followed, political director Chuck Todd bolstered the meme: "...the party is trying to rehabilitate its image, solve an identity crisis, and it means that feuds are breaking out all over..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd particularly focused on one such "feud" between Sarah Palin and Karl Rove, with the headline on screen throughout the segment reading: "Family Feud; Sarah Palin & Karl Rove Trade Barbs at CPAC." Todd derisively remarked that while Palin "stole the show" at CPAC, she was "playing more the role of entertainer and stand-up comedian than of serious politician."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted "breaking news" that Ohio Senator Rob Portman, "a leading figure in the Republican Party," was now in favor of gay marriage after learning that his son was gay. Leading off the report that followed, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed that Portman "...is now joining a growing list of Republicans to come out in support of gay marriage..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to coverage of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Alexander asserted: "The Republican Party now faces an identity crisis, with no clear leader and no clear path to widening its appeal." Wrapping up the report, Alexander continued to push the meme of a GOP in disarray: "But if you need any more evidence of the divide that now exists in the Republican Party, consider this. One of the most popular figures in the party, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the guy who praised President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy last fall, was not invited."
MSNBC’s gay marriage advocacy continued unabated on Friday. Speaking with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.) on March 15, host Richard Lui asked the congressman if his support for traditional marriage would change if “one of your children were to be gay.”
Lui’s question came following the Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announcement that his son is gay and that he now supports same-sex marriage. Lui pushed the MSNBC gay marriage agenda by peppering Chaffetz with questions such as:
Nothing is more amusing than having a liberal “columnist” comment on the state of the conservative movement. It seems as though Politico’s Roger Simon is one such liberal who feels it is his duty to trash conservatism on a regular basis.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin on March 14, Simon commented that CPAC is “the militant wing of the Republican Party.” Simon, who criticizes conservatives on a regular basis believes that the majority of speakers at CPAC are “on the extremes of American politics.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Behold the birth of a liberal meme. Ten years hence, we'll still be telling them it isn't true, and they'll keep repeating it regardless.
Speaking with Jay Leno on Monday to plug the paperback release of her book "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow described the one and only time she attended the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC. (video, audio clips after page break)
With the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) starting Thursday, March 14, Rachel Maddow, appearing on the Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno on March 11, recalled her pleasant encounter at the Media Research Center booth at CPAC in 2010.
A few years ago, the MRC produced ‘Stomp Out The Liberal Media’ mats featuring numerous MSNBC personalities, including Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman. Maddow recalled her experience with the MRC as such:
Updated | Ever since becoming a full-time employee of MSNBC, conservative columnist and pundit S.E. Cupp has seemed to take it upon herself to rebuke the conservative movement from time to time on air, for which, of course, she is rewarded with applause by her liberal colleagues.
Earlier this week on her program The Cycle, Cupp said that she will no longer speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to their policy refusing gay groups GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans from sponsoring the conservative gathering. Cupp had earlier accepted a speaking invitation (see screencapture below page break) for the 2013 event, and Cupp had no such objection last year, when she both spoke at and held a book signing at the conference. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Reacting to Chris Christie not being invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer melodramatically announced: "...another battle for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today. But this time, he's at odds with the right wing of his own party." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Cold Shoulder for Christie; NJ Governor Snubbed By Conservative Conference." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that follow, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly touted Christie's willingness to buck the GOP: "The latest sign that Chris Christie won't kowtow to Republican hardliners, his annual budget speech Tuesday, signing on to ObamaCare..." After describing the "very public snub" from CPAC, Mitchell declared: "...some Republicans see a bigger problem, the party's refusal to broaden its base." A sound bite followed of former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson hyperventilating: "If the Republican future does not include a place for people like Chris Christie, the Republican Party doesn't have a future."
In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event. On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”
The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday, the Daily Caller reported that Occupy movement protesters at CPAC were being paid $60 a day to be there. (Here I thought the left was really motivated these days. Guess not.)
At the self-described Essential Global News Network known as the Associated Press, this fact and other inconvenient items about the movement's pathetic efforts at and around CPAC are being ignored. Before demonstrating that, I'll identify what the additional embarrassments are.
With an on-screen headline describing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference as a "Battle for the Base," correspondent Kelly O'Donnell remarked: "...the Republican Party stars are, in essence, competing to outdo each other taking apart President Obama. From Florida, Senator Marco Rubio....to those former candidates who gave the primary season a fleeting spark."
Earlier in the report, O'Donnell proclaimed that Rick Santorum had "...pounded away again at the White House for its battle over contraception coverage with the Church" in a campaign speech on the campaign trail.
New York Times reporters Michael Shear (pictured) and Erik Eckholm filed an 1,189-word dispatch Friday from the Conservative Political Action Conference, the conservapalooza held annually in Washington, D.C. Perhaps caught up in the excitement, the reporters committed some amusing label overload: “Romney Takes Conservative Leaders’ Questions in Bid to ‘Reconnect’” contains 22 examples of the word “conservative,” the headline making 23.
Fifteen of those 22 incidents are descriptions of groups and individuals by the reporters themselves. By way of comparison, the common conjunction “and” appears 24 times. Here’s a representative slice:
New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm (pictured), whose previous reporting betrays no conservative sympathies, listened to former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday afternoon and winced at her attacks on President Obama. Thursday’s post for the paper’s “Caucus” blog, “Bachmann Assails Obama Before Conservatives.”
The Times is particularly sensitive to people accusing Obama of “apologizing for America” overseas. Public Editor Arthur Brisbane got huffy and pedantic in defense of the president back in January:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough thinks the GOP's house is already on fire in his latest Politico column, where he thrashes the party's leadership for a poor showing at CPAC. He ridiculed the gathering as "a conference cursed with dull speechmaking and intraparty battles."
"Like most Egyptians, the conservative movement still has no idea who will lead it through the next election," Scarborough writes. What is the biggest reason candidates have not entered the field, he thinks? They are scared to run against Obama.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday expressed concern that someone like conservative author Ann Coulter has the "freedom" to make a joke about jailing journalists.
This was amazing expressed moments before "The Last Word" host applauded the free flow of information that enticed and united protesters to rebel in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During a report on Friday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes emphasized division in the new Republican Congress: "The prospect of a mutiny had sent Republican leaders scrambling to craft an even leaner budget, and make good on their promises to the Tea Party....Just this week, small groups of conservatives defeated two of their own party's measures on the House floor."
Cordes went on to highlight tensions at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were booed by one faction of attendees. While Donald Trump, who's toying with a presidential run in 2012, took a swipe at his fellow Republican, Congressman Ron Paul." The headline on screen throughout Cordes's report read: "GOP Power Struggle; Agree to Budget Deal After Early In-Fighting." Later in a 7:32AM ET news brief, news reader Jeff Glor similarly declared: "Republicans are closing out a week of infighting."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday decided to wade into the Rick Santorum-Sarah Palin-CPAC dust-up by cherry-picking what the former Pennsylvania Senator told S.E. Cupp on Glenn Beck's online program the day before.
Not surprisingly, by presenting only his biased and abbreviated side of the story, the "Hardball" host attacked both Palin and Santorum (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN contributor John Avlon took yet another shot at mainstream conservatives in a Wednesday column on CNN.com. Avlon blasted the "far right" Family Research Council and other conservative groups for their opposition to GOProud's sponsorship of CPAC, and accused conservatives of being on "the wrong side of history" with homosexuals, just as they supposedly were with the "last great civil right movement."
The Daily Beast columnist, a known Tea Party critic, took delight that the "gay rights movement...has finally reached the Republican Party" in his column, titled "Gay group in conservatives' gathering splits GOP." He continued by noting how "former first daughter Barbara Bush made news by announcing her support of gay marriage, joining the former GOP presidential nominee's daughter Meghan McCain. Last year, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman came out."
A few paragraphs later, Avlon began ripping the conservative groups that decided to boycott CPAC over the GOProud issue:
CNN's Abbie Boudreau omitted the left-wing ideology of discredited organization ACORN in her hour-long documentary on young conservative activists, "Right on the Edge," which aired Saturday evening. Boudreau also labeled Ryan Sorba, one of the subjects of her documentary, "anti-gay," and gave an overgeneralized account of an incident which Sorba took part in.
The correspondent profiled Christian Hartsock, who "directs films with a conservative message;" author Jason Mattera; "anti-abortion activist" Lila Rose; Sorba; and Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, who "dressed up as a prostitute and a pimp to expose ACORN." Seven minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, as Boudreau introduced Giles, she noted that "there's a reason Hannah Giles became an overnight sweetheart of the conservative Movement. In September 2009, she and James O'Keefe used hidden cameras to expose ACORN." The CNN correspondent then gave a very sparse and favorable description of the group: "ACORN helps low-income people register to vote, find housing, and file taxes."
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
We've seen the likes of Time Magazine, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and Newsweek link the Joe Stack airplane attack to the conservative movement. But in an interesting twist, a political blogger for The Nation has inexplicably linked Stack to several players at the recent CPAC convention - including Tim Pawlenty, Scott Brown, and most notably Glenn Beck.
Leslie Savan wastes little time delving into despicable comparisons from the onset with the title to her rant:
Glenn Beck Dodges Incoming Plane at CPAC
From there, the associations to Stack stretch ever further. Savan somehow manages to draw parallels between Pawlenty's comment about taking a 9-iron to big government, and the attack (emphasis mine throughout):
"Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty strained to hit a Southern-sheriff note of populist threat by suggesting, rather oddly, that conservatives were cuckolded wives who, like Tiger Woods's spouse, should "take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country!"--thereby managing to invoke both the wall of shattered glass windows at the Echelon Building and the marital troubles that may have contributed to Stack's anger."
It would seem the term ‘metaphor' is beyond the writer's grasp.
Next up is an out of context quote from Scott Brown:
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez painted Ann Coulter and CPAC as "hardline." Sanchez also implied that the CPAC attendees were hypocritically cheering Dick Cheney: "I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC...and asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there...would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor revisited his Friday interview of Coulter 13 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour (Noel Sheppard exposed Sanchez's slanted interview of Coulter): "Do you remember last week when former Vice President Dick Cheney got the loudest ovation at CPAC? So I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC, I believe, and I asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there at CPAC would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit to $1.2 trillion, even though they were handed a surplus. I thought it was a fair question."