Newsweek's Eleanor Clift must have felt like a fish out of water during the taping of this weekend's syndicated "McLaughlin Group."
In a lengthy and tremendously informative segment about the crisis in Egypt, the host and his other three guests - Pat Buchanan, Monica Crowley, and Mort Zuckerman - gave the perilously liberal columnist quite a lesson regarding the Obama administration's diplomatic mishandling of Hosni Mubarak as well insights about the Muslim Brotherhood that most in the media are ignoring (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"He's shameless, isn't he?" asked FNC's Steve Doocy, co-host of "Fox & Friends, about MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, who recently compared the Muslim Brotherhood to the Tea Party.
"Chris Matthews is not a journalist," replied MRC President Brent Bozell. "He's a parody of himself."
On the February 4 "Fox & Friends," the NewsBusters publisher acknowledged that while most of the coverage surrounding the crisis in Egypt has been relatively "fair and honest," there have been a few notable "blips."
As pro-Mubarak forces continue to clash with democratic protesters in the streets of Cairo and the situation in Egypt remains volatile and uncertain, NBC's David Gregory confidently declared that the Muslim Brotherhood has no interest in turning Egypt into an Islamist state.
On the February 4 edition of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," the moderator of "Meet the Press" blithely dismissed concerns that the Brotherhood might exploit the power vacuum created by outgoing President Hosni Mubarak to codify Islamic law in Egypt.
"It was pointed out by one of the experts on the panel that [the Muslim Brotherhood] will also be aware of their position internationally," announced Gregory, referring to a recent panel he moderated at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank. "They don't want to overstep that. They don't want to turn it into an Islamist state. They have matured politically in that sense and are rather sophisticated."
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews appeared on Morning Joe, Friday, to slam President Obama's handling of the escalating crisis in Egypt, saying it made him "ashamed as an American." Matthews, who famously declared Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, excoriated what he perceived to be the President's disloyalty to Egypt's leader, Hosni Mubarak.
The Hardball host berated, "And Barack Obama, as much I support him in many ways, there is a transitional quality to the guy that is chilling." He added, "I believe in relationships...You treat your friends a certain way. You're loyal to them."
Matthews has previously lauded the authoritarian Mubarak. Pointing out Mubarak's stand against Hezbollah and other extremist elements in the region, the anchor on January 31 wondered, "How can you say he'll easily be replaced? This guy's the George Washington of peace over there."
"These reporters are going to eat their words in a big way," NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell predicted on last night's "Hannity" regarding the mainstream media personalities who have credited President Obama with the popular uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt:
What happens when the government crumbles? What happens when this country is reduced to utter anarchy? What happens when the killings begin and the death begins? Are they still going to credit Barack Obama's soaring oratory for that, or are they going to separate them? What happens if an Islamic caliphate takes over? Are they going to credit his soaring oratory at that point? No they won't.
Indeed, Fox News host Sean Hannity noted during the February 3 "Media Mash" segment, the media have glossed over the radicalism of the Islamic Brotherhood, portraying the Islamist movement as a benign force for democratic reform, not as an extremist group that would impose sharia law in Egypt.
Something unusual happened on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show the other night -- a guest expressed an opinion that didn't dovetail with Maddow's. This doesn't occur often, presumably not by accident.
Here is an exchange on Monday between Maddow and former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, now the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, over political upheaval in Egypt and the extent to which Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is an American puppet --
Having mercilessly attacked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for six days in a row, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday set his sights on conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.
After an opening teaser in which the "Hardball" host referred to "the right-wing freak-out over Egypt," Matthews ended up doing two segments about the Fox News star in which he and his perilously liberal guests called the object of their disaffection a "fear mongering," "completely crazy," "full mooner," "Captain Queeg" (videos follow with partial transcripts and lengthy commentary):
Whatever may happen in the hours after I write this column, two things are certain: The next chapter in the magnificent and ancient civilization of the Nile will be yet to be known. And the role that America plays in Egypt's great, unfolding story remains also in doubt.
I well understand the Obama administration's uncertain message in the first week of the Egyptian tumult. We have always been conflicted in such moments. America's founding idea has pointed to our ultimate objective — domestic and foreign:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Is the cat fight a strictly feminine affair, or can a man and woman engage in one? Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski certainly seemed to offer up a fair facsimile of the genre today. The two traded feline fisticuffs on Morning Joe.
Scarborough went first, swiping at Katie Couric for having cavorted on a Miami beach with her beau before departing for Egypt. Mika later retaliated, archly musing about the number of Limbaugh's marriages during a segment featuring Elton John's comments on El Rushbo.
It was 16 degrees warmer in my upstate New York town this morning than it was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If any further portent of the apocalypse is necessary, consider that on his MSNBC show this evening, Cenk Uygur compared Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan . . . and clearly came down on the side of Ronaldus Maximus.
The subject was Egypt. Uygur played the clip of Reagan's immortal "tear down this wall," and contrasted it with Obama's wan words on the need for "orderly transition" in Egypt.
On Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, disgraced former CBS anchor Dan Rather attributed the current protests in Egypt to President Obama's June 2009 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo: "He [Obama] fueled this uprising in Egypt. When he came to Cairo, let us remember, and he spoke of- listen, we stand for freedom and democracy and listening to people. The Egyptians believed his rhetoric" [audio available here].
Host Piers Morgan's segment with Rather aired 36 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour. He devoted the entire interview to the Egyptian issue. Near the end of the segment, the CNN personality asked, "If you were President Obama right now, what would you now say?" The former CBS Evening News anchor began by voicing his sympathy for the President: "I'm glad I'm not because it's a real dilemma." He then placed himself in the Democrat's shoes: "I would quietly send word to Mubarak that his days are finished, that we will do our best by him. We appreciate what he's done, but events have moved past him. I would do that quietly. I wouldn't say that publicly."
On Monday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough hinted that President Obama may have been a major catalyst of the current protests against the authoritarian Mubarak regime in Egypt. Scarborough referred to the president's 2009 Cairo speech and wondered if it inspired the present protests.
"Barack Obama, he goes to Cairo, he gives a speech, and he inspires – perhaps he's the one who inspires a lot of these Egyptians to get out into the streets eventually," Scarborough proposed.
The "Morning Joe" panel was discussing the transition of power in Egypt and how it might affect American politics. Scarborough characterized President Obama as on the one hand a possible galvanizing figure in the current push for freedom in Egypt, and yet on the other hand a world leader accused of inaction during oppression of Iranians by their government in 2009.
The Daily Beast contributor who once insisted that there's "no such thing as sharia law" is at it again, dismissing the threat of radical Islam presented by the political instability in Egypt.
In a January 30 post at Washington Post/Newsweek's "On Faith" feature yesterday, Reza Aslan dismissed fears that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical group that could take Egypt in a theocratic direction should strongman Hosni Mubarak be forcibly ousted from power, even though members of the Brotherhood have expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden.
Chris Matthews on Friday asked the panelists on the syndicated program bearing his name two questions about the crisis in Egypt that must have made his liberal viewers gasp.
Moments after surprisingly asking NBC's Andrea Mitchell if "neo-conservatives who believe in really trying to push democracy" were right all along, Matthews asked David Sanger of the New York Times if George W. Bush was "better equipped than this President to deal with this crisis" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC News prominently featured the anti-American television network Al Jazeera on "This Week" Sunday.
Not only was the network's Washington bureau chief afforded a good amount of time during the Roundtable segment to sing Al Jazeera's praises, but as the show neared its conclusion, Sam Donaldson actually thanked the organization (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a metaphysical certitude that whenever anything happens in the Middle East, the media will quickly blame former President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
Not missing the opportunity to do so, Chris Matthews began the 5PM installment of "Hardball" Friday connecting the riots in Egypt to a man that has been out of office for two years (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For general discussion and debate about all things relating to politics, the economy, and sports.
Possible talking point: Egypt.
How serious is the situation in Egypt? Will this result in a full-scale revolution that topples Mubarak? If so, will this become religious leading to some kind of new Islamic government such as in Iran? Or will Mubarak get control of the situation?
On Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, host Keith Olbermann announced that the episode would be his last, and spent a few minutes near the end of the show saying goodbye. He mentioned a number of infamous and pivotal points in his show’s history when he went after the Bush administration:
The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of "Mission Accomplished," to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the "Nexus of Politics and Terror," to the first "Special Comment."
As he listed a number of prominent supporters of his show, he ended up notably giving credit to the late Tim Russert of NBC for being "my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader."
Below the fold is the video and a complete transcript of Olbermann's announcement from the Friday, January 21, Countdown show on MSNBC, from about 8:53 p.m.:
CNN International's Zain Verjee on Monday's Newsroom highlighted The Guardian's left-wing talking point that the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords "points to the rise of political extremism in the United States." Verjee also bizarrely played up a post from al-Jazeera's website which speculated whether the U.S. would blame Islam for the shootings in Arizona [audio available here].
Anchor Kyra Phillips brought on the CNN International anchor 53 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour to report on international reactions to the violence, and asked, "So, what are the headlines there, starting in Great Britain, Zain?"
Verjee launched right into The Guardian's headline as she held up a copy of the newspaper:
Reporter Devin Dwyer has a post at ABCNews.com today noting that a "confidential cable published by WikiLeaks" reveals that "American television shows broadcast across the Middle East are proving to be effective 'agents of influence' in the ongoing battle over hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims pondering jihad":
Appearing as a guest on CNN’s Parker-Spitzer, rocker Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS and the TV show Family Jewels related to viewers that he is "very conservative" on fiscal and foreign policy issues, voiced his support for President Bush and the war on terrorism - including "nation building" in Iraq - and declared that he wishes he could take back his vote for President Obama from the 2008 election.
As he later explained that he normally does not talk about politics because he believes entertainers are not qualified to speak about such matters, he also took a jab at Hollywood liberal Sean Penn and suggested that politically outspoken celebrities are "morons."
Simmons, who has a history of declaring his love for America because of the rescue of his mother from Nazi concentration camps, also discussed his visit to the house of Holocaust victim Anne Frank and its inclusion in his TV show Family Jewels.
When asked by co-host Kathleen Parker about his support for President Bush and the invasion of Iraq, Simmons revealed some of his voting history:
While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.
Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."
After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."
Since Republicans won control of the House of Representatives last week, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has recited at the end of his Countdown show a new sign-off each night he has hosted noting the number of days since the GOP victory and mocking Speaker-designate John Boehner by sarcastically asking, "Where are the jobs?" At the end of Wednesday’s Countdown, he ended the show: "That's November 10th, seven days since the Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs? I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."
Back in February 2006, Olbermann began mocking President Bush by ending his show with the number of days since Bush’s speech on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq - referred to by Olbermann as declaring "mission accomplished." Last May, after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had lasted more than a month, the MSNBC host temporarily stopped referring to "mission accomplished" in Iraq as he turned his attention to the number of days since the oil spill occurred, but he soon brought back the reference to Iraq and added Afghanistan into the mix. Wednesday, October 20, was the last day Olbermann used this version of the sign off:
That’s October 20th. It’s the 2,729th day since President Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, the 2,318th day since he declared victory in Afghanistan, and the 184th day of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf. I’m Keith Olbermann, leave a message after the beep. Good night and good luck.
As if people need further evidence that the left-leaning “pro-Israel” lobbying group J Street is a complete mess, the blog “Mere Rhetoric” has posted a video showing J Street co-founder Daniel Levy calling the creation of Israel in 1948 “an act that was wrong.”
Levy made the comments at a forum for Arabic news organization Al Jazeera last May. He said that he personally believed that the Holocaust “excused” the wrongful establishment of the Jewish state, but added that “there’s no reason” why Palestinians should think that the creation of Israel was justified.
“I believe the way Jewish history was in 1948 excused – for me, it was good enough for me – an act that was wrong. I don’t expect Palestinians to think that. I have no reason – there’s no reason a Palestinian should think there was justice in the creation of Israel,” said Levy during the panel discussion.
Catching up on an item from the August 22, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, host Zakaria -- formerly of Newsweek -- ended his show with commentary in which he ridiculously suggested that Americans who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero could learn a lesson about tolerance from the terrorist group Hezbollah, and cited the group as being accepting of diverse religions – including Judaism – in Lebanon in light of the restoration of a synagogue in Beirut. Without informing viewers of the history of viciously anti-Semitic speech from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and other leading figures within the anti-Israel group, the CNN anchor quoted Hezbollah’s claim that, rather than being anti-Semitic, they are simply opposed to "Israel’s occupation of Arab lands." Zakaria:
The project is said to have found support in many parts of the community, not just from the few remaining Jews there, but also Christians and Muslims and Hezbollah. Yes, Hezbollah, the one that the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization. Hezbollah’s view on the renovation goes like this: Quote, "We respect divine religions, including the Jewish religion. The problem is with Israel’s occupation of Arab lands, not with the Jews." Food for thought.
But, as recounted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Hezbollah members not only desire to take over all of Israel which they consider to be occupied, but the group’s leader Nasrallah has been very direct in his anti-Semitic speech, once even declaring that if the Jewish people "all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
Here's a fact you're not likely to see on tonight's evening news broadcasts: According to a recent poll, Arabs living abroad are more likely to be opposed to the "Ground Zero Mosque" than the American media are.
According to a recent survey by the Arabic online news service Elaph (Arabic version here), 58 percent of Arabs think the construction should be moved elsewhere. And according to a Media Research Center study released last week, 55 percent of network news coverage of the debate has come down on the pro-Mosque side.
The MRC study also found that on the question of whether opposition to the mosque demonstrated a widely held "Islamophobia" among Americans, 93 percent of network news soundbites answered ion the affirmative. In contrast, when asked whether the United States is a "tolerant" or "bigoted" society, 63 percent of Elaph respondents chose the former.
Disgraced former White House correspondent Helen Thomas will be receiving a lifetime achievement award next month from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Coming roughly three months after Thomas was forced to resign from Hearst Newspapers for disgustingly telling Israeli Jews to move back to Germany and Poland and "get the hell out of Palestine," this is clearly going to raise a lot of eyebrows especially with all the media's recent hyperventilation over so-called Islamophobia.
Consider how the following report from The Hill is going to play in an environment where the press are accusing Americans of being anti-Muslim (h/t Hot Air headlines):
This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour appeared on Thursday's Good Morning America and offered a softball question to Hillary Clinton about her daughter's wedding. After discussing Middle East peace, Amanpour gushed, "And of all of the things you have undertaken over the last several months, was your daughter's wedding- where does that fit in there? And hard? Difficult?"
The ABC host was previewing a longer interview scheduled for Sunday's edition of This Week.
GMA co-host Robin Roberts cheered, "From the politicians hoping to make history in November, to one politician trying to make history right now."
Amanpour speculated as to whether Tea Party nominees would derail the administration's efforts in the Middle East: "Is it possible to have the President's foreign policy agenda, you know, furthered, even if a lot of Tea Party candidates do end up being the candidate [sic]?"