[***UPDATED*** October 11, 11:15 ET, More analysis and full transcript added]
In an interview with Senator John McCain for The Daily Beast's annual Hero Summit on Thursday, the blog's editor-in-chief Tina Brown launched into an unhinged rant blaming conservatives for the government shutdown: "The story of this political crisis is really, you know, the culpability not just of the Republican crazies, but of the Republican non-crazies. I mean, how do we get to the point where Mitch McConnell is Rand Paul's bitch?...Why aren't the moderate Republicans, you know, fighting back? We're always saying why don't, you know, the moderate Muslims fight jihad, but, you know, this is jihad." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
[***UPDATED*** 17:30 ET: More analysis and full transcript added]
Appearing on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC 1 p.m. ET hour show on Tuesday, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy slammed the press for not doing its job in pointing out the hypocrisy of ObamaCare being delayed for certain groups but not for all Americans: "...the media won't even ask the question about, 'Why are you [the Obama administration] treating families different than big businesses?'...That's how pathetic, I think, news reporting has become, when we won't ask tough questions to the administration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That response was prompted by Mitchell ranting that Republican calls for a one-year delay of the ObamaCare individual mandate was a "non-negotiable demand." Moments later, after Duffy explained that the GOP has "been incredibly reasonable, making a small ask," Mitchell was aghast: "Do you consider it a small ask that he [Obama] get rid of the central part of his health care plan that was upheld by a – by the vote of a presidential election, and the United States Supreme Court." Duffy replied: "Andrea, hold on. That's your spin." Mitchell laughably asserted: "That's not spin."
Quick: how much were Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps cut by the sequester? Zero, you say? Those programs were exempted from sequester cuts, and Medicare was reduced by only 2%? Correctomundo!
So what was Andrea Mitchell thinking when she claimed on her MSNBC show that the sequester "gutted" social programs? You tell me. View the video after the jump.
Members of the liberal media continue to pile disrespect on the debt limit as the drumbeat for Congress to raise it grows louder. On Thursday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell called the debt limit “a really dumb idea” and said there was no reason for it. That's right, she wants to get rid of it altogether.
Mitchell was talking to Rachel Maddow about the coming debt ceiling showdown in Congress when she made her comments. Maddow had just expressed hope that the country would reach an “adult moment” when Congress came together and raised the debt ceiling just in the nick of time. Mitchell seized on the “adult moment” line: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll stumbled across a very interesting finding: 44 percent of respondents said they did not think Congress should raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. reaches it in October, while only half as many (22 percent) said Congress should raise it. On Friday, Andrea Mitchell reported that finding on her eponymous MSNBC program Andrea Mitchell Reports, but she dismissed it as reflecting a public that was ignorant of the debt ceiling debate.
As the poll results flashed on the screen, Mitchell declared, "Our polls show that people are not really that engaged. By two to one they think that Congress really should raise the debt ceiling-- or rather shouldn't, no 44 percent, yes 22 percent. But that seems to be sort of a very marginal number. They are not engaged because the debate is not yet engaged." In other words, Mitchell discounts the result because she believes the American public is blissfully ignorant, a rather condescending take. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
President Obama has been facing an unusual amount of criticism lately for his handling of the Syrian crisis, so it was only a matter of time before someone in the mainstream liberal media tried to cut him some slack for his weak leadership. On Wednesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, the host-turned-apologist asked if Obama could really be blamed for not calling on Congress to authorize a military strike in Syria.
Mitchell was talking to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee and a supporter of military action against Syria, about the president’s Tuesday night speech. Rogers expressed disappointment that Obama was not more forceful in making the case for intervention in Syria. Mitchell then defended Obama’s indecisiveness: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
At the end of Monday's Andrea Mitchell Reports, fill-in host Kristen Welker teed up a taped congratulatory message of Mitchell marking the fifth anniversary of Rachel Maddow's left-wing MSNBC show: "It is a very special day here at MSNBC. Five years ago, The Rachel Maddow Show made its debut. Rachel, congratulations from all of us. And Andrea, even though she's on the road, wanted to be sure to send along her good wishes to her dear friend." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell gushed to Maddow: "Rachel, my friend, happy fifth anniversary. This is a big deal, so we put together a small tribute here. Some of our favorite Rachel Maddow moments. Enjoy and congratulations to you and your team for the next five, and five more after that." As the clips began to run, the song "Simply the Best" provided a soundtrack.
In an interview with former Bush national security advisor Stephen Hadley on her Thursday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell pinned all of President Obama's problems selling military action in Syria to the Iraq War: "There is such a credibility gap between the White House and Congress, the leftover, the hangover from the Iraq War. So can you be at least a little sympathetic to what the administration is encountering now with Congress, in explaining the intelligence and getting people to believe it?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell led up to that slanted question by declaring: "I don't want to re-litigate Iraq, but the blunt fact is that some of the questions that were asked – Congressman [Juan] Vargas [D-CA] asked both [Secretary of State John] Kerry and [Defense Secretary Chuck] Hagel yesterday, 'Are you lying? Because we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction.'"
On her Friday MSNBC program, host Andrea Mitchell tried to ease the concerns of Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other members of Congress calling for a congressional vote on military action in Syria: "Barack Obama, as you know better than I do, was one of the leading Democratic politicians against the Iraq War. So if he says that this is different, that the evidence is there....does that persuade you since he has always come at this from a very cautious anti-war perspective?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Accepting the odd juxtaposition of the President launching missile strikes from an "anti-war perspective," Lee responded: "And I'm very pleased that the President has come at this in a very cautious manner....But also that has nothing to do with our constitutional responsibility as members of Congress, Andrea."
In an interview with California attorney general Kamala Harris during live MSNBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, host Andrea Mitchell fretted: "I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harris seized the opportunity to proclaim: "The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls."
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell touted Attorney General Eric Holder "speaking about the national battle for voting rights" in the wake of new state voter I.D. laws and lead off a panel discussion on the topic by wondering: "How will the President take on those voter suppression laws?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell eagerly seized on former Secretary of State Colin Powell "speaking on the political effects of these voter suppression attempts by the Republican Party." Following the Face the Nation sound bite in which Powell slammed the GOP for passing measures to curb voter fraud, Mitchell posed this question: "Does the White House think that the Republicans are actually doing the Democratic Party a favor by taking on, you know, these issues and passing the laws that they've now passed in Texas and in North Carolina?"
On Wednesday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, fill-in co-host Kathleen Matthews, wife of Hardball host Chris Matthews, lamented Republicans distracting President Obama from pushing his liberal agenda: "...the President's got the gnats of August swarming around him, with Ted Cruz out there fighting against ObamaCare. So, hard to kind of keep that message and that kind of – that solid message moving forward while he's having to swat what he probably perceives as some of the gnats..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza laid blame for Obama's failures on just about everything except the President himself: "I actually think that problem is even more exacerbated now because of the rapidity of the news cycle, because of Twitter, because of sort of YouTube, because of all of the ways in which you can get distracted and off message and being forced to respond to things."
So what if he disclosed information that potentially threatened American lives and security interests? Manning's a "frail guy who doesn't look threatening to anyone." So you have to question the length of his sentence.
Such was the bizarre logic that Chris Matthews—guest hosting for Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today—employed as he bemoaned Bradley Mannings' sentence--which could in practice see him freed in less than 10 years. Matthews was also moved by the fact that in military prison, Manning will be surrounded by people "who won't like him." View the video after the jump.
Filling in for Andrea Mitchell on her 1 p.m. et MSNBC show on Monday, Hardball host Chris Matthews wrapped up an interview with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz by adorning her with praise: "Congresswoman, I want to congratulate you on one thing that nobody ever gives you credit for, which is uniting the Democratic Party as it's never been united." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews, co-hosting with his wife Kathleen, continued to gush: "And I'm telling you, it's not – I grew up with a Democratic Party that was never united, and you are united. And that's something the Republicans are going to envy you for." A beaming Wasserman Schultz replied: "Thank you. We're very proud of that."
On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."
While MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell admitted that the planned NBC biopic of Hillary Clinton was a "bad idea," on her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show she and her guests scolded Republicans for refusing to allow the biased network to moderate GOP primary debates: "That's where you get debates where the audience is cheering because they were all hand picked by local or state parties, that's where you get candidates like Mitt Romney talking about self-deportation to try to play to the crowd." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell made that observation while discussing the topic with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, not exactly someone with the best interests of the GOP at heart. Gibbs ranted: "If you're only going to do debates in front of diehard Republicans that 100% agree with you, you're going to end up pushing yourself farther and farther and farther to the right....you're not going to win any national elections."
On July 31, 2013, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell celebrated her 35th anniversary at the network and was predictably praised by her media colleagues. Calling in to Mitchell's 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show that day, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw listed numerous historic events that occurred the year Mitchell was hired in 1978, concluding: "The biggest story of all, Andrea Mitchell joins NBC News and no one in public life is ever safe again." While that fawning sentiment may have been true for conservatives and Republicans in public life, it was certainly never the case for political figures with the last name Clinton, Kennedy or Obama.
In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."
Leave it to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir to politicize even the most non-political of events. Take for example yesterday's royal birth, which British subject Martin Bashir decided was an appropriate opportunity to slam Republicans on two different occasions. On July 22 and July 23, Mr. Bashir went on the air to blame the GOP-controlled House of Representatives for the economy's sluggishness as well as to push ObamaCare, which if not implemented, demonstrates how the “difference between the two systems [British vs. American] can be a little bit depressing."
Bashir’s first example of political exploitation occurred on July 22 as a guest on MSNBC’s The Cycle, in which he turned a question about the economic problems in England into an attack on the GOP. Bashir agued that:
Part of the fascination with the royal baby has been because people have been so depressed by the economic circumstances in the United Kingdom that they have been looking for some kind of like relief. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell sat down for an interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. But instead of asking the Democratic leader tough questions about issues facing the House of Representatives this summer, Mitchell instead chose to lob softballs at the former speaker of the House – giving Pelosi an opportunity to hype Hillary Clinton’s potential run for president and blast Republicans for assaults on “reproductive freedom.”
Mitchell teased the interview at the beginning of her program by weighing Pelosi’s “new initiative on women being launched” that Thursday against the “new restrictions on [women’s] rights to reproductive freedom” that have women “feeling besieged.” Of course, Mitchell ignored the fact that many of these abortion restrictions are popular with Americans, perhaps because Mitchell is an outspoken – and fierce – pro-choice advocate.
In a softball exchange with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell recited one liberal talking point after another to denigrate pro-life legislation in states across the country: "On Friday, Texas became the 16th state to tighten regulations on abortion clinics in the past three years, effectively putting most of them out of business. This is part of a growing movement by states to restrict access to family planning and other women's health facilities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Richards, Mitchell implored: "What can you or Planned Parenthood and other groups do to try to keep some of these clinics open?" Richards used the opportunity to proclaim: "Look, this is a very extreme set of bills that are going to close down dozens of health centers in Texas.... I think it's a growing theme, unfortunately, in many states where politicians are putting their own political agenda ahead of women's health care."
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell has been leading the charge in support of Texas state senator Wendy Davis’ efforts to block a popular abortion regulation bill in the Texas legislature. Despite the fact that the legislation will soon be signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry, MSNBC has been championing her as the new face of the Democratic Party, with Andrea Mitchell being one of her main cheerleaders.
During an interview with Senator Davis on July 10th, Mitchell provided softball question after softball question to promote Davis’ abortion agenda. The MSNBC host began the segment by framing the issue in pro-abortion terms, “Texas statehouse Republicans rolled over the opposition today approving new abortion restrictions.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Leading a panel discussion on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against Republican efforts to enact pro-life legislation at the state level: "Texas isn't the only state where Roe v. Wade is being challenged....We've seen in Ohio, John Kasich and company sneaked it in to a budget bill....Wisconsin, there's an injunction against enforcement of what the legislature there did under Scott Walker." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Mitchell encouraged her fellow abortion advocates to use the issue to attack the GOP in 2014: "...if the pro-choice community frames this in a certain way, the blow-back could be against Republicans...in the mid-term elections, if women feel that their rights to control their own bodies are being controlled by men, by male legislatures who are without votes, without debate, sneaking this into budget bills, as happened in Ohio."
The June 28 broadcast of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports wouldn’t be complete without some mentioning of abortion and the 11-hour filibuster by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis on Tuesday. Davis, who worked herself through Harvard Law despite having had the hardship of being a teenage single mother, temporarily killed the bill which would have made it illegal to conduct an abortion after 20 weeks in a pregnancy. Yet, as with other broadcast networks, they excised that critical detail.
Mitchell asked the former Republican governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, about this development. Pawlenty admitted he didn’t know the details of the bill. For her part, Mitchell simply insisted that the bill violated Roe v. Wade and would close down virtually all "abortion services" in the Lone Star State. Of course, Mitchell failed to go into specific provisions of the bill, which, among other things, requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event that something horrible goes wrong and the patient needs to be admitted.
On Tuesday, successive MSNBC hosts used the failing health of former South African president Nelson Mandela to promote President Obama's upcoming trip to Africa. Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd lead the way when he announced: "We have some developing news that we just have to share. Nelson Mandela's daughter, Zindzi Mandela, tells NBC that she was with Nelson Mandela, that she told him of President Obama's upcoming visit to South Africa. And in Zindzi's words, she told him, quote, 'Obama is coming, and he opened his eyes and gave me a smile.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Andrea Mitchell often straddles line between being a straight journalist and engaging in activist journalism to push liberal causes on NBC and MSNBC. Following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Mitchell used her daily MSNBC show to push for Congress to pass new legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.
In service of that objective, Mitchell brought on civil rights movement icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to discuss his reaction to the ruling and to press him to engage members of Congress to pass legislation to update the Voting Rights Act to fit court scrutiny. Mitchell began the interview by asking Lewis for his immediate reaction to the nation's highest court “basically gutting the central enforcement mechanisms of the Voting Rights Act.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd came up with a long list of excuses for President Obama's poor speech performance in Berlin: "I want to give you a little context here....there was an attempt to shrink the crowd size....Maybe they would have gotten 25, 30, 40,000 people....President Obama feeds off a crowd very well." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd then grasped at other reasons for the lackluster event: "...you had that very distracting glass and you could just see that the President himself wasn't feeding off of the crowd. And I think look, part of it, it was hot. Those folks were out there for two and a half hours...it can sap your energy a little bit. And I just wonder if that added a little bit to this."
On her eponymous 1 p.m. ET show on MSNBC on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against House Republicans daring to introduce pro-life legislation to limit abortions: "The House is expected to vote by tonight on controversial new restrictions that would go against Roe v. Wade. And if they were to pass the Senate, the President would of course veto it...So what's the point?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Mitchell derisively wondered: "Here we have another abortion fight that seems to be just House Republicans, or those who are against abortion rights, picking a fight even though they know they won't win. What is going on politically?" Coles replied: "If you look at what happened to the Republicans at the last election, when they chose to make social issues – they put it at the front of the agenda, it didn't do them any good."