Lawrence O’Donnell apparently has absolutely no shame. Speaking on his MSNBC program The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday night, O’Donnell asserted that the National Rifle Association's (NRA) successful lobbying efforts in Congress were hindering the federal criminal investigation in the Boston Marathon bombing.
In his opening monologue, O’Donnell absurdly thundered that the “NRA's effort to guarantee that American mass murderers are the best-equipped mass murders in the world is not limited to murderers who use assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” O’Donnell’s vitriol did not stop there. Instead, he doubled down claiming that the NRA is, “in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Washington Post seems to have joined President Obama in blaming the National Rifle Association for the Senate defeating recent gun control legislation. In an April 18 article, the Post's Ed O'Keefe and Philip Rucker provide cover for President Obama and Senate Democrats, peppering their story with quotes condemning Republicans and Second Amendment advocates.
The article started off fairly tame, describing Obama as suffering a “resounding defeat” and a “stunning collapse for gun-control advocates.” It didn't take long, however, for the Post staffers to bash the gun industry. Providing a plethora of Obama quotes to set the tone of the article, the Post highlighted the president's claiming that, “all in all this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
When asked on left-leaning MSNBC why President Barack Obama refrained from describing the Boston bombings as a "terrorist attack" David Axelrod, Obama's longtime political advisor, readily saw a political opportunity. The blood had not yet been washed away from the streets. We had yet to count up the casualties. Yet Axelrod saw a political opening, an opportunity to advance one or another of his pet political issues. So he said, "I'm sure what was going through the president's mind is — we really don't know who did this — it was tax day." Yes, tax day!
This is not the response of a normal mind. A normal mind would not, given the promiscuity of public bombings in the Middle East and now another bombing here in America, think it was provoked by "tax day." Conceivably the bombs in Boston were the work of small-government libertarians or of Tea Partiers. They could even be the work of vegetarians, but that was not the question. Axelrod was asked why the president was not describing the bombings as a terrorist attack. It certainly looked more like the work of terrorists — either left-wing lunatics or right-wing lunatics — than tax protesters.
In brief remarks to the nation yesterday on the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama said that "we all have a part to play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up." In Washington, D.C., electronic signs urged commuters to be on guard. Law enforcement, big-city mayors and security experts all echoed that famous post-terrorism refrain: "If you see something, say something."
The media’s irresponsible speculation regarding the perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Boston seems to continue on MSNBC. Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on April 16, fill-in host Thomas Roberts brought on Harvard’s Jessica Stern to make predictions about who might have initiated the terrorist attack on April 15.
Stern began her segment by saying that the kind of bomb used in this attack was published in an al-Qaeda magazine before launching into her speculation that the far-right may be responsible:
It seems as though The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel should take her own advice in saying that tragic events like the terrorist attack in Boston on April 15 should not be politicized. Appearing on MSNBC’s Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 16, Ms. vanden Heuvel managed to contradict herself within mere seconds.
Speaking with liberal host Alex Wagner and TheGrio.com’s Joy-Ann Reid, the left-wing commentator appeared to at first make a reasoned call for patience in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, insisting that:
This morning at the Christian Science Monitor, Staff Writer Peter Grier demonstrated a stunning level of ignorance about the Boston Marathon's significance. He then built on that ignorance to posit that yesterday's bombing at the Marathon's finish line "could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States."
Among other things, Grier seems completely ignorant of the fact that Boston is one of six "World Marathon Majors" (the other five are New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Chicago). The related paragraph from Grier's report, followed by other indicators of the Marathon's worldwide significance, follow the jump:
Those who might have given the Associated Press's Jimmy Golen the benefit of the doubt early this morning for writing that the Boston Marathon bombings "raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S." are going to have a tougher time doing so with his 8:15 a.m. report, in which he wrote that "the blasts among the throngs of spectators raised fears of a terrorist attack." In context, readers can insert "that it was" to replace "of." (If he meant to write "that there will be another terorrist attack," he would have. He didn't.)
The first several paragraphs of Golen's report (since revised; the referenced report is saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) follow they jump:
On Monday, Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted the reluctance of the Associated Press to characterize what it would only call an "extremist attack" in Mogadishu, Somalia as "terrorism."
In his early morning dispatch in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the AP's Jimmy Golen at least used the word. But, incredibly, despite law enforcement authorities and others describing the bombings as an act of terrorism, Golen was still strangely tentative:
"We don't know anything yet of course, but it is tax day & my first thought was all these anti-gov groups, but who knows," tweeted Khan, who immediately received a lot of blowback on Twitter for politicizing the tragedy. But rather than back down, Khan defended her speculation in subsequent tweets like these:
Moments ago there were explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It has not been confirmed, but its quite likely these were bombings. Please keep the victims and their families in your prayers.
Two years ago today, I chronicled wire service reports which appeared shortly after John Hinckley's unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 reporting that schoolchildren in many parts of the country cheered when they heard that he had been shot.
At the time, I suggested that school teachers and administrators who were appalled at the reactions might have been protesting a bit too much. Today, I located a 2004 item at National Review by Stanley Kurtz about another group which was happy to hear about the assassination attempt. The left's hypocrisy about "civility" -- and for that matter, basic human decency -- clearly goes way, way back:
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.]
At the Washington Post's Post Politics blog on Monday, Juliet Eilperin revealed that the White House has notified participants invited to the April 1 Easter Egg Roll that the event "is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."
Eilperin only considered the White House's latest obvious example of "no petty and partisan gesture left behind" a partisan matter when a Republican who hasn't held political office for 15 years objected (bolds are mine):
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.
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.]
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:
President Barack Obama used effusive praise and gentle humor in an attempt to smooth over his recently strained relationship with members of the “mainstream media” during the 128th annual Gridiron Club Dinner on Saturday evening in Washington, D.C.
“I am grateful for all the journalists who do one of the toughest jobs there is with integrity and insight and dedication -- and a sense of purpose -- that goes beyond a business model or a news cycle,” the Democratic White House occupant told approximately 650 invitation-only members of the press during the function at which TV coverage was not allowed.
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.]
MSNBC’s propensity to selectively edit video to smear conservatives has reached a new low. Speaking on her self-titled show on February 21, host Rachel Maddow openly admitted to playing edited footage of Senator John McCain to smear the Arizona Republican.
Speaking last week, Maddow aired footage of McCain addressing a constituent whose son was killed last year at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, who spoke to Senator McCain about her belief that “These assault weapons allow a shooter to fire many rounds without having to reload. These weapons do not belong on our streets.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
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.]
At the Associated Press yesterday, Michael Kunzelman managed to write a 500-word story about the arraignment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on bribery charges without once mentioning that Nagin is a Democrat.
That's probably not a "Name That Party" record for "Most Words Used in an AP Story about a Democratic Politician Tainted by Scandal and/or Corruption," but it's especially galling, given the mayor's culpability (along with then-Governor Kathleen Blanco) for failing to ensure that New Orleans was evacuated on a timely basis in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina, and given the national press's non-stop blaming of President George W. Bush for the death, destruction and mayhem which followed. Excerpts from Kunzelman's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Liberal journalists like NBC's Matt Lauer and CBS's Scott Pelley have been acting like "whiney crybabies" recently as they lamented Republicans daring to challenge the president for his lack of leadership in tackling the nation's tremendous national debt. "Toughen up fellas," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chided the liberal media on the February 14 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity.
The Media Research Center president and the Fox News host also discussed how the analysts on MSNBC quickly set out to smear Marco Rubio following his response to the State of the Union. "It's a sign of the times that if you're a Republican giving the response" to the president that you "have to prepare for the media onslaught" critical of the speech." The media, Bozell noted, have failed to seriously consider the substance of Rubio's speech, "they've just hammered him for being who he is," while "you'll never see a Democrat hammered" like Rubio was. [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
President Obama's approach to so-called "climate change" appears to include recycling old ideas.
In his State of the Union address, the president recycled the idea of spending more on education, though we are still getting unsatisfactory results. A fact he inadvertently acknowledged by saying we're not keeping up with other countries in science and math. He maintained there are tens of thousands of jobs available but companies can't fill them because public schools aren't teaching students what they need to know. We spend huge sums on education already, so money and achievement must not be related.
Kirsten Powers is definitely liberal, but not blind.
Here's her take on President Obama's State of the Union speech last night as expressed in her Wednesday USA Today column, with an added bonus of a delicious potshot at the sycophantic press: "It was so hackish, so devoid of any theme or purpose, that it makes one wonder whether part of Obama just wants to see how bad he can be before his cultists in the news media can see it." Obviously, from reaction seen at various NewsBusters posts today (here, here, here, and here), the cultists are still mesmerized. More from Powers's good by hardly error-free column is after the jump (bolds are mine):
George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday's Good Morning America delighted over Barack Obama's "dramatic," "emotional" and "ambitious" speech. During live coverage of last night's Republican response, however, the former top Clinton aide lectured viewers that Marco Rubio's speech was "hard-edged."
On Wednesday, Stephanopoulos introduced a segment on the State of the Union by praising, "The speech was ambitious and aggressive on the economy, dramatic and emotional on the need to end gun violence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Not once in the Jon Karl story that followed did anyone label the President's address liberal." Instead, Karl hyped that Obama "made it clear, he will resist efforts to cut Medicare and insist on more tax increases on the wealthy."
Last night in his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama claimed: "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime." Even considering the inclusion of "should" as a wiggle word, that's a laughable claim.
Politico's Glenn Thrush is one among what will surely turn out to be a legion of pundits and reporters who will ignore Obama's deficit promise while extolling "his new spending proposals" (while describing them as "relatively modest"). It was a speech Thrush said "could have been comfortably delivered by JFK, FDR or LBJ." Sorry, Glenn, but JFK and LBJ, hardened libs that they were, would not have countenanced such a speech in the context of four consecutive annual deficits of over $1 trillion and a national debt that's over 100 percent of the nation's annual economic output. Several paragraphs from Thrush's vain attempt to make Obama's speech some kind of seminal moment follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
In just 58 seconds, Joe Scarborough has managed to render an imagined response to last night's SOTU that demolishes President Obama's failed economic record.
Delivered on today's Morning Joe, Scarborough scalded PBO's pitiful performance on the economy. Highlights from the Hall of Shame: four million more Americans out of work today than when Barack Obama became President; average income down 5% since the end of the recession. View the video after the jump.