Mika Brzezinski learned a life lesson this morning: look before you leap to defend liberals . . . [h/t reader Ray R]
At the top of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough referenced the hateful emails he and Mika had received from the left and the similarly ugly signs held by Wisconsin union protesters. Mika reflexively defended the vileness, saying that people were "hurting and really don't feel like they're being heard."
Aww. But later, the show rolled video of some of the Wisconsin signs, including one with crosshairs on Gov. Walker, another calling him Hitler, one accusing him of rape, and of course that great old standard "death to tyrants."
To her credit, Mika did change her tune. View video after the jump.
A prominent Tea Party group has announced that it will stage a counter-protest in Wisconsin on Saturday aimed at supporting a measure in that state to revoke public employee unions' collective bargaining rights and to force them to pay a slightly larger amount into their own health and pension plans.
That measure sparked large protests in Madison Thursday by union groups, and a walkout by Democratic legislators in a successful effort to deny the State Senate a voting quorum.
"The Civil War still divides Americans, especially at a time when some in the Tea Party movement talk of states' rights and secession; when many states are rebelling against federal initiatives such as the health care overhaul; and when America's changing demographics make some nostalgic for a society in which white Christians were more dominant."
That's how USA Today's Rick Hampson went out of his way to smear conservatives in his February 17 story -- "Across the South, the Civil War is an enduring conflict" -- devoted to examining how commemoration and/or celebration of the Confederacy during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in the South is a divisive political issue.
On the February 12 World News Saturday, ABC correspondent David Kerley highlighted claims by Bob Greenstein of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy that the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama would block Tea Party-backed cuts from this year’s federal budget, thus protecting Republicans from their "less than responsible actions."
After Kerley began his piece by recounting that Tea Party Republicans in the House had pressured House Speaker John Boehner to support a plan cutting $100 billion in planned spending from the current fiscal year's budget, calling the cuts "broad and very deep," the ABC correspondent included a clip of Greenstein asserting that "they’re bigger than people think" without informing viewers of the liberal lean of his organization.
After a second clip of Greenstein in which the former Carter administration member contended that Republicans are "protected from the consequences of their own, I think, less than responsible actions here," Kerley continued: "Protected from the consequences, he says, because the Democratic Senate and the President will not go along."
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."
Today marks the opening of the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Regardless of where you may stand on internal debates about some of this year's co-sponsors, there's no denying that for nearly four decades its been an enduring legacy of conservative political activism.
But to liberal journalists like Time's Adam Sorensen, CPAC is casually dismissed as a "three-day carnival of Republican ladder-climbers and red meat throwers."
"Tea Party or no, red meat is always the entree du jour at these kinds of events," Sorensen noted later in his February 10 Swampland blog post. "In a year before a presidential election, speeches from potential candidates promise heaping helpings."
Reporting on the creation of a Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday's CBS Evening News, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes declared that while "Conservative crusader Jim Demint, and the freshmen Senators he worked to elect, planted their Tea Party flag,"the movement's "assertiveness has caused some heartburn for GOP leaders."
As evidence of the supposed indigestion, Cordes cited favorite media targets, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: "Bachmann insisted on delivering a separate Tea Party response to the State of the Union....Tea Party enthusiast Sarah Palin invoked a vulgar acronym to describe the President's speech." Cordes was referring to Palin's comment that "There were a lot of WTF moments throughout that speech."
Prior to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric wondered what the message of the midterm elections was, to which political analyst Jeff Greenfield replied: "You've got 87 new members of the House, many of whom are fired up with a kind of militancy we very rarely see, even among new members."
Greenfield went to proclaim: "One of the things Obama politically is going to try to do – not just tonight but over the next year – is to separate out the middle from what he will try to paint as a much too ideological Republican majority." He then used the "militant" label a second time in describing tensions between new Tea Party members and Republican leadership: "It's also going to be a lot of pressure on new Speaker – the new House Speaker John Boehner. I mean, there's a tension between John Boehner and the more militant Tea Party folks."
Has our financial mess brought us to the brink of getting beyond the culture wars?
It's a question that we might just see play out on Capitol Hill in the coming months, as the new political majority seeks to make the late pro-life congressman Henry Hyde proud, by prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion and de-funding Planned Parenthood.
"Hell no," now-Speaker John Boehner said, when he was in the minority, to the comprehensive, conscience-offending health-care legislation that Congress and the White House insisted upon last year. So now that he's Speaker, the first big vote under his watch was to repeal the president's signature piece of legislation.
Today's Washington Post all but painted Tea Party conservatives in the Tar Heel State as racists opposed to racial integration and diversity in Raleigh-area schools.
In truth the Wake County, North Carolina, school board is simply moving to reverse decades of busing that shuttled some students to schools farther away from their homes in an effort to artificially engineer the socioeconomic and racial diversity of the county's individual schools.
Jared Loughner was in no way a conservative or inspired by alleged conservative talk show "hate," yet the media have been quick to blame conservative talk radio and Sarah Palin for his assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), all in an effort to delegitimize and demonize the conservative movement.
This stands in stark contrast to how the media have been silent on the real political motivations of crazed left-wingers, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell noted on the January 11 "700 Club."
Fred Phelps, crazed leader of the Westboro Baptist Church cult, has become infamous for blaming any bad event on the evils of homosexuality. Earthquake in Haiti? Blame the gays. Combat troop deaths in Iraq? Ditto.
Phelps's logic works thusly: God literally hates people who engage in homosexual conduct and unless societies take the steps to ban and punish such action, God is going to destroy them. Any natural disaster or mass murder is, accordingly, the will of God being carried out on the "sinners" who refuse to listen.
If that type of "logic" sounds familiar, it should be. It's exactly the same as the explanations the far left is resorting to in its efforts to pin the recent Tucson, Arizona shooting onto conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, and the right generally.
Managing Editor's Note: Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement after a thorough, two-day review of how the media have covered the tragic shooting in Arizona.
Implicating a conservative tie to this heinous act of violence or to Jared Lee Loughner, who is no conservative, is nothing short of a naked campaign to criminalize conservative thought.
Sadly, those who point their finger are at the nexus of hypocrisy. Take the unidentified “veteran Democratic strategist” who told Politico that, ‘they need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers … Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.’
Reporting on the political fallout of the Tucson shooting on Monday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "Now some are questioning whether the increasingly angry tone in politics could have contributed to a culture of violence."
Cordes noted how "members of Congress took their soul searching public, Sunday," followed by sound bites of two Democrats lamenting heated political rhetoric. Cordes observed: "Look no further than recent campaign ads....Filled with images and rhetoric that would once have been considered off limits." Two clips were played as examples, the first from West Virginia Democratic Governor and then Senate candidate Joe Manchin, going after his own party, using a rifle to shoot a bullet through proposed Cap and Trade legislation. Cordes failed to identify Manchin as a Democrat. The other ad was from Alabama Tea Party candidate Rick Barber, with a depiction of Thomas Jefferson calling on conservatives: "Gather your armies."
Sunday’s New York Times led with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a three-term Democrat representing Tucson, in an assassination attempt in which six others were killed, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.
The suspect in custody is 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. The suspect’s Myspace and Youtube pages are filled with crazed syllogisms, dominated by thoughts of mind control. Loughner also recommending a video of an American flag being burned, and is evidently an atheist.
Not exactly the profile of a Sarah Palin fan, right? But that didn’t stop the Times from imposing a “violent rhetoric” template on its front-page Sunday story by Congressional reporter Carl Hulse and Tea Party beat reporter Kate Zernike, “Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics.” The unasked for and unprofessional speculation of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (who used the term "vitriol" while going after conservative talk radio and TV) also featured high in the Times's recounting, while Times reporters linked to Palin's now-infamous campaign "target map" from March 2010.
The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a neighborhood meeting in Arizona on Saturday set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics.
With the founder of the Daily Kos deliberately trying to tie Sarah Palin's target list to yesterday's shooting in Tucson, perhaps it's time Markos Moulitsas took this opportunity to look at his own people in regards to using incendiary rhetoric. Markos took the time to send a message to his followers yesterday tweeting, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin”.
But if target lists are considered dangerous and violent rhetoric at the Daily Kos, and not hyperbolic metaphors used for rallying supporters, then Chris Bowers, their Campaign Director, has some 'violent' speech in his past. Most recently, Bowers made a name for himself by starting a failed campaign to manipulate search engine results for the midterm elections.
In a 2006 post titled, Use It or Lose It: Full Frontal Assault, Bowers discusses how 'we fired some warning shots across the bow of ultra-safe House Democrats who are hoarding campaign cash'. He explains that the campaign cash is necessary for huge election gains, because 'our target list (is) deeper than it has been in a generation'.
In the original call to action, Bowers repeatedly discussed how they need to target Republican seats, and how they also need to target House Democrats not willing to part with their campaign funds.
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" must be the motto at Reuters, or at least of the wire service's Richard Cowan, three other contributors, and Editor Jackie Frank.
Cowan's late Sunday afternoon dispatch (HT to an e-mailer) is caricature-driven collection of cliches, half-truth, outright myths, and totally predictable oversights. There's the racial slurs before the heath care vote fabrication. There's an attempt to declare Sarah Palin unfit for the presidency.
And of course, there's the deliberately avoided recall of rhetoric from President Obama (here and here, for warm-ups) that could certainly be interpreted by unstable people as a call to violence, as well as total omission of the left's anger just days ago over Gabrielle Giffords's refusal to back Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader and the leftist inclinations of deeply troubled accused murderer Jared Lee Loughner.
But that stuff's not important when there are disliked right-wingers to pile onto while the piling-on opportunity is there:
Capitalizing on the shooting in Tucson this afternoon, CBS furthered the lunatic left rhetoric that Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for this heinous crime. The theory being that the shooter was inspired by Palin’s midterm election map, which featured Gabrielle Giffords as a potential target.
“…critics of Sarah Palin have already drawn a link between the shooting and the fact that the former Alaska governor put Giffords on a "target list" of lawmakers Palin wanted to see unseated in the midterm elections.”
It’s a little concerning that CBS would fall for such a disgusting attempt to point the finger at Sarah Palin, a theory being perpetrated by liberal bloggers. But more concerning are the critics being cited in the article – commenters on Palin’s Facebook page. Impressive bit of journalism.
The first comment reads:
"What a hypocrite you are. You targeted this woman - literally with a target on her district - one of your freaky Fox followers hunted her down - and now you try to distance yourself from blame."
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Eliot Spitzer lashed out at President Obama from the left, going so far as to accuse him of forfeiting his campaign promises, simultaneously attacking the Tea Party movement in the process: "He...let the Tea Party- one of the most vapid, puerile groups out there, without meaningful ideas- take over those voices for transformation, and now, he is embracing their agenda."
Spitzer led the 8 pm Eastern hour with his critique of Obama naming William Daley to be his next White House chief of staff: "You know, I don't think anybody is going to view Bill Daley as the enemy. I think everybody agrees that Bill Daley is an honorable guy...The problem I have with this is that Bill Daley, ideologically, is simply not what this president ran on....This is no longer change you can believe in....This is somebody who has been a senior executive at Morgan Chase- no longer the concerns of the middle class, no longer carrying the banner that got him elected."
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Matt Taibbi - contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine - ridiculously accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Tea Party activists of racism in the form of using "coded language" to refer to "Mexican immigrants and non-white inner city, Democratic-leaning voters" as he responded to a soundbite of Boehner talking about having a social safety net for those unable to work, but that should perhaps exclude those who refuse to help themselves.
After host Keith Olbermann played a clip of the House Speaker contending, "But do we have a responsibility to help those who won't compete? I would have serious doubts about that," Taibbi found it "amazing" that Boehner "would say it so openly," and went on to suggest that the House Speaker was showing signs of racism, tying in Tea Party activists. Taibbi:
It's amazing that he would say it so openly, but I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they're railing against government welfare. I say, "Well, do you see any contradiction there?" "No, I deserve this. I work hard. It's those other people."
And we know who they mean when they say "other people." It's Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that's, it's coded language when he uses that kind of language.
"The Tea Party Patriots call Phoenix 'the great southwestern city, born from the ruins of a former civilization, now the rebirth place of American culture. It will also be our opportunity to support the citizens of Arizona in their current political battles that carry so many national implications,'" Adler noted, before setting out on his attack of the state, first as ecologically and economically "unsustainable"...:
On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bob Orr filed a report on the incoming Republican congressional freshmen, and, after noting that Rep.-elect Allen West was taking a "hard line" on federal spending, and after showing a clip of the Florida Republican raising doubts about compromising "your principles," the CBS correspondent used the cliche "partisan bickering" as he warned that such views could end the recent "collaborative spirit" in Congress, and plugged President Obama’s call for "cooperation." Orr:
It's a warning of sorts that the collaborative spirit of the recent lame duck Congress may soon dissolve into renewed partisan bickering. President Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, today made a preemptive bid for continued cooperation.
After soundbites from Republican Rep.-elect Ben Quayle and the Politico’s David Mark, Orr concluded his report predicting that Tea Party Republicans could "cause trouble" within the Republican caucus:
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes asserted that the Tea Party was a "bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs." As a debate ensued pitting Colmes against the other three panel members, he later defiantly asked, "How many blacks did they elect?" leading Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation to fire back: "The Tea Partiers elected two - Allen West and Tim Scott, Florida and South Carolina."
Host Jon Scott began the segment by assuming that the liberal Colmes would not have any complaints about the mainstream media’s coverage of the elections. After Colmes voiced his approval of the media, Scott sarcastically posed: "For instance, the Tea Party. Tea Party always got favorable coverage, right? Or fair coverage?"
Colmes then unleashed on the Tea Party: "Oh, they got, look, the Tea Party was a bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs at these at, these events on lawn chairs who had nothing better to do on weekends than sit on lawn chairs with signs suggesting Obama was a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country."
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Thursday each interviewed former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell regarding allegations that she misused campaign money, in the setup piece on each network, the correspondent failed to inform viewers of credibility weaknesses on the part of O’Donnell’s accusers and omitted O’Donnell’s contention that she did not use campaign money to pay for rent on her home. Additionally, only CBS’s Jan Crawford informed viewers that the group pushing for an investigation - the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - is a "left-leaning" group, as NBC’s Norah O’Donnell vaguely referred to a "watchdog group," and ABC’s Rob Nelson did not mention the organization.
Although both accusers who used to work for the O’Donnell campaign were fired - one after less than two weeks on the job - all three networks failed to inform viewers of these details that would suggest they may be disgruntled, and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell on the Today show even suggested that the accusers have greater credibility because they, like Christine O’Donnell, are Republicans, while the NBC correspodnent failed to inform viewers that the group CREW is liberal. NBC’s Norah O’Donnell reported: "O'Donnell calls them phony, but it was members of her own party who first raised the issue. During this year's bitter primary battle, Delaware's Republican Party paid for robo calls where O'Donnell's past campaign manager accused her of breaking the law in her failed 2008 Senate bid."
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein appeared on MSNBC's Daily Rundown, Thursday, to mock the incoming Republicans for their stated fixation on the Constitution, asserting that the document is rather old and "confusing." MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell dismissed the GOP effort as "lip service" and wondered if it was a "gimmick."
After playing clips of Republicans claiming they would reject legislation that couldn't be justified constitutionally, Klein complained, "The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done."
(It was actually written 223 years ago, which is a slightly "more than 100.") Klein didn't expound on which parts "confuse" him the most.
Ending Sunday's "Face the Nation" in poetic fashion, CBS's Bob Schieffer gave a year-end commentary where he portrayed John Boehner as the flustered "orange-faced" leader of a divided House GOP. Schieffer also snidely criticized the Arizona immigration law.
"His face was bright orange, a sun-tan hall-of-famer. / I knew in a flash – it must be John Boehner," spoke Schieffer, painting the soon-to-be Majority Leader as the head of a herd of reindeer, the House Republicans. "He hollered, cajoled, oh how he did plead, / But the deer wouldn't listen, each wanted to lead."
Composing his end-of-show commentary to verse, Schieffer summarized the 2010 political scene and provided some insight of his own as to how the next two years in Washington will unfold. Though Democrats met a bitter fate this November, Schieffer implied a possible downfall for the GOP with a split between Tea Partiers and incumbent Republicans.
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC’s Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party’s challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
Appearing as a guest on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Steve Roberts - who has worked for both the New York Times and U.S. News and World Report - after conceding that the Tea Party movement is important, dismissively asserted that the movement "didn’t win. You only won a couple of seats." Roberts:
I think that they are an important part of the American landscape. Now I don't think they're as important as they think they are. I mean, you had people coming into Washington this week and saying, wait, we won. No, you didn't win. You won a couple of seats, and you got to deal with everybody else.
After host Howard Kurtz wondered "did the media kind of turn on" President Obama and claimed that the media had not spent enough time giving credit to Obama for his recent legislative successes, leading to guest Thomas Frank of Harper’s to bring up complaints against Obama by disaffected liberals, Roberts asserted that there is no liberal media bias:
Time's Joe Klein, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and CBS's Lesley Stahl were just three journalists to see an outrageously biased quote of theirs land in the Best of Notable Quotables 2010.
A panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers chose the winners, and our news analysts introduce them and a few others in this highlight lowlight reel put together by Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks: