Military

By Kyle Drennen | March 22, 2013 | 10:43 AM EDT

In a report for Thursday's NBC Today, investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff reported on plans for a $150 million renovation of the Guantanamo Bay prison still housing 166 terror detainees and sympathetically described how "despite improvements in recent years" of the facility, "the detainees' hopes of getting released were crushed when President Obama stopped talking about closing it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Isikoff noted that some of the detainees were "engaged in a hunger strike...as an attempt to regain attention." A sound bite played of new the commanding general of the prison expressing his frustration with President Obama: "Nothing in the inauguration speech about closing it. Nothing in the State of the Union. You know, he's not re-staffing the office that was, you know, focused on closing or transferring."

By Mark Finkelstein | March 22, 2013 | 8:05 AM EDT

Zurprise, zurprise: Zbig wouldn't go to war to stop Iran getting nukes.  On Morning Joe today, Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser had some advice for President Obama: tell Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that America will not go to war against Iran.

Attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would surely be an act of war. Yet doing so might well be the only way to prevent the ayatollahs from getting the A-bomb. Unfortunately, neither Joe Scarborough nor anyone else on the panel including daughter Mika asked Brzezinski flat out whether he would encourage America to stand by while Iran got nukes.  But it's hard to  intepret his words otherwise.  And of course, Zbig is the man who called for the U.S. to shoot down Israeli warplanes on the way to Iran. View the video after the jump.

By Matt Vespa | March 20, 2013 | 12:03 PM EDT

If you peruse the Washington Post online, you’d notice that the top five stories didn’t even mention Harry Reid’s egregious comments about the seven Marines that were killed in Nevada yesterday.  Likewise, although the fatal training accident itself was reported on page A3, Reid's comments were nowhere in the March 20 print edition.

On the Senate floor yesterday, Reid suggested a link between their deaths and the current budget sequestration. Here's what the Nevada Democrat said which the capital city's newspaper of record apparently finds unremarkable:

By Mark Finkelstein | March 19, 2013 | 1:45 PM EDT

The scare tactics that Democrats from President Obama on down have employed to wring political benefit out of the sequester have apparently hit a despicable new low.  In comments made about the deaths overnight of seven U.S. Marines in a training incident in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dem from Nevada, reportedly suggested that we may see more such incidents because the sequester cuts put Marines at risk.

NBC military correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, appearing on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, reported that the Marines have strongly rejected Reid's claim, and that one Marine official accused Reid of "pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines."  View the video after the jump.

By Howard Portnoy | March 8, 2013 | 11:09 PM EST

If you’re going to hurl insults petulantly at someone with whom you disagree, it helps if (1) you have some evidence to support your insinuations, and (2) the descriptors you use can’t be easily turned back on you.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell failed on both counts on Thursday’s “The Last Word.” The hot-tempered O’Donnell, who famously challenged Mitt Romney’s son to a fist fight on air, went off on a tangent on Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who shook up Washington on Wednesday with his 13-hour filibuster. Seemingly oblivious to the praise Paul’s old-school performance earned from hard-left opponents such as erstwhile Obama green energy czar Van Jones and the protest group Code Pink, O’Donnell tossed out words like “infantile” and “empty-headed” to characterize the senator.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 8, 2013 | 8:53 AM EST

Way to go out on a limb, Harold!. . . Of all the Morning Joe regulars, Harold Ford, Jr. is on my short list of those who bring the least to the table. Ford seems more interested in cultivating friends and avoiding offense than in saying anything interesting or—heaven forfend—controversial.

Ford took his penchant for finding something good to say about everyone to absurd new heights on today's show.  On the one hand, Harold showed respect for Rand Paul's filibuster. On the other, he actually broke out the hoary "my dear friend" in saying he wasn't as worred about the drone policy as is Ron Wyden. And Harold is confident that President Obama will uphold the Constitution.  Ford even claimed that AG Eric Holder did "a phenomenal job" in answering questions on the drone policy. We're running out of hands, here, Harold! Matters reached an absurd crescendo when, after observing that those who hang out with terrorists put themselves in peril, Ford proclaimed "I don't dine, socialize or spend time with people who are on a terrorist list around the globe." Good to know! View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 7, 2013 | 10:42 AM EST

As Joe Scarborough said, "this is liberal on liberal on liberal violence. I love watching it."  He was referring to the intra-squad liberal dogfight, spurred by Rand Paul's filibuster, that broke out on Morning Joe today over the use of drones by the U.S. government. H/t NB reader Ray R.

Though former car czar Steve Rattner played a supporting role, the two main combatants were Sam Stein of the Huffington Post and Richard Wolffe of MSNBC itself.  Stein criticized the lack of guidelines that the Obama administration has established for the use of drones on U.S. citizens, supporting Paul's argument that it should be an easy question for the Obama admin to answer.  In the other corner, Wolffe was the internationalist, suggesting all terrorists should perhaps be entitled to the same due process, be they Saudi, Kuwaiti or American.  Stein and Scarborough had to enlighten Wolffe about the special protections the Constitution extends to U.S. citizens. View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 24, 2013 | 9:55 AM EST

As press secretary to President Obama, Robert Gibbs was often in the obfuscation business.  Now that he's been freed from that role and become a news analyst—albeit at MSNBC—Gibbs has become considerably more candid. Readers will recall, for example, that he described Chuck Hagel as "unimpressive and unprepared" at his Senate confirmation hearing.

Today, Gibbs took that frankness a significant step further.  On Up With Chris Hayes, Gibbs stated that as press secretary, he had been ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program. View the video after the jump.

By Matt Vespa | February 18, 2013 | 3:09 PM EST

During yesterday’s edition of Fox News Sunday, Washington Post editor Bob Woodward, who wrote the book "The Price of Politics" on how Obama handled the debt-ceiling fiasco in 2011, explained again to his media colleagues that it was a White House initiative to use a hatchet with these budgetary matters in the form of sequestration.

When Fox host Chris Wallace suggested the news media would highlight every spending-cut casualty expected from sequestration, liberal analyst Juan Williams agreed: "I think the news media will play into that at every level." Wallace asked Woodward to repeat his reporting:

By Mark Finkelstein | February 18, 2013 | 10:14 AM EST

The trashing of Ted Cruz continues apace in the bien-pensant MSM. From the New York Times, to the Washington Post, to Politico and elsewhere, the liberal media has the new Republican Senator from Texas in its sights.

Joe Scarborough is clearly camped out on the Cruz-bashing bandwagon.  Earlier this month, so offended by Cruz was the sensitive Scarborough that he wouldn't deign to mention him by name.  Today, not to be outdone by Frank Bruni, who called Cruz "an ornery, swaggering piece of work," Scarborough declared that Cruz acts like "a carnival barker at a local Republican event."  View the video after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | February 15, 2013 | 11:16 PM EST

Anyone who thinks that setting a parody site of PolitiFact would be a good idea should reconsider. The site already parodies what a true fact-checking effort would look like on a nearly daily basis.

On Tuesday, the site's Molly Moorhead evaluated Marco Rubio's claim during his State of the Union response speech that spending cuts involved in sequestration were originally the idea of President Barack Obama and the White House. Of course they were. But after admitting that the "(The Price of Politics author Bob) Woodward’s reporting shows clearly that defense sequestration was an idea that came out of Obama’s White House," she still evaluated Rubio's claim as only "half-true" (bolds are mine):

By Ryan Robertson | February 13, 2013 | 12:57 PM EST

In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.

The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)