For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift found herself in a hostile crowd on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
During a lengthy segment about the crisis in Eqypt, after Clift claimed the protesters were secular, the entire panel almost pounced on her with Mort Zuckerman saying several times, "That's nonsense" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As CNN’s Fareed Zakaria concluded his Fareed Zakaria GPS show on Sunday, he recommended to his audience that they read former President George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, but, even while recommending the book, he still took a dig at the former President as he described the book as "surprisingly well written." He also acknowledged that "you might not think he’s super-smart" before praising the former President as "agreeable" and "frank."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, February 13, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN:
On Thursday’s Last Word show on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell trashed conservatives for raising concerns about the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt as the MSNBC host claimed that, "The Muslim Brotherhood is the latest excuse for the right wing to whip up anti-Islamic hysteria, including the old standby that President Obama is secretly a Muslim." Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who appeared as a guest for the segment, even referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a "scarecrow," and dismissed concerns about whether a new government might adhere to the peace treaty with Israel as the Democratic Congressman asserted that, "You haven’t seen one Israeli flag. You haven’t seen one."
But, while the overwhelming majority of Egyptian demonstrators may be motivated by a desire for better economic conditions and more freedom, it would be incorrect to claim that there is a complete absence of anti-Israel sentiment. On Sunday, January 30, the NBC Nightly News showed an image of one sign held by a protester that tied then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Israel by placing the Jewish Star of David over his face. And, on Saturday, January 29, ABC's World News Saturday showed a second sign with a similar image of Mubarak with a smaller Star of David on his forehead, as if to attack the Egyptian leader as being too friendly to Israel and Jews.
On the Friday, January 28, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel even recounted concerns by some Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood would "hijack" the anti-government movement to take power:
Most of the media were predictably jubilant and giddy on Friday when it was announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down.
Acting as the voice of reason was syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer who on PBS's "Inside Washington" spoke some inconvenient truths about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's similarities to pre-Islamic Revolution Iran that America's press have been dishonestly downplaying for weeks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Friday said that Hosni Mubarak's exit from Egypt and the jubilation now happening in Tahrir Square took Barack Obama to have happen.
As soon as he said it on the 5 p.m. installment of MSNBC's "Hardball," the host quipped, "His critics will probably say, 'Yeah, we knew this was coming'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Thursday used the ongoing developments in Egypt as a way to bash conservatives, deriding the "tea-bag" types who don't fully grasp the situation.
Matthews appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports and described how he perceived the conservative response to Egypt: "And conservatives are very fearful of this. They look at crowds like this, they don't like the looks of them. They don't like protests. They don't like people in the streets."
Trying to create an ideological divide in how Americans are responding, the Hardball host attacked, "...More often than not, the thoughtful progressive sounds very much like the thoughtful conservative. And the thoughtful conservative, like a George Will, not a tea-bag person, sort of person like that, a tea-bag, a tea party person, but a thoughtful conservative knows that you have to make changes to accommodate the people or you'll lose all legitimacy."
Last Sunday, the media were reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood was sitting down with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, in a completely unrelated story, the BBC reported that British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that "State multiculturalism has failed": "David Cameron has criticized 'state multiculturalism' in his first speech as prime minister on radicalization and the causes of terrorism.
"At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism. He also signaled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.
"... As Mr. Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism. "
On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, after anchor Brian Williams asked correspondent Richard Engel to respond to concerns about the radical nature of the Muslim Brotherhood that have been expressed by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Engel asserted that the movement is "not al-Qaeda, it’s not the Taliban," but, as he went on to compare the group instead to Hamas, partly because they "wear business suits," he neglected to point out that Hamas is itself a terrorist organization.
He related that the organization is "anti-American, it’s anti-Israel, but it wouldn’t kick all the Christians out of this country."
When Williams brought up the Muslim Brotherhood, he posed the question: "And the Speaker (Gingrich) said that they were enemies of civilization. He said it’s in their own creed. I know for many years you lived and worked alongside members of the Muslim Brotherhood there in Cairo. Tell us your knowledge of this group."
It appears Chris Matthews' arrogance knows no bounds.
On Monday's "Hardball," the MSNBCer actually said, "I think [Sarah Palin's] talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts, whether the Lehrer Hour or anything like it or even this program" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Next time Rachel Maddow cites a movie to bolster her argument, she might want to watch it first.
On her MSNBC show Thursday night, Maddow disparaged Fox News hosts Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney for warning of a Middle Eastern caliphate possibly emerging in the wake of upheaval in Egypt and of Muslim Brotherhood subversion in the US.
Maddow's response? Little more than making faces and uttering mock horror. That was it -- no talking-head experts to refute the claims, no demonstrable proof of anything said being false. Doing either would have required an effort and Maddow clearly wasn't in the mood when she could resort to snark.
Then came what she intended as the coup de grace, an excerpt from original version of the film "The Manchurian Candidate," a Cold War era classic released in 1962.
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: