Liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Tuesday denounced what he imagined to be the "conservative separatist movement" in America. The newly installed 5pm anchor connected Republicans such as Rand Paul to real life examples of racism. Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington, Schultz fumed, "There's an undercurrent of anger out there, that there is this conservative separatist movement that is taking grip in America to separate."
Describing an incident of an African American man unfairly being asked to leave a restaurant, Schultz sneered that the example showcases "Rand Paul's America." He blithely added, "Some Republicans think it's their God given right to discriminate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Monday, liberal MSNBC panelist Karen Finney angrily hung up on the host after he dismantled her claim that conservatives are modern day McCarthyites for opposing health care. Hewitt stopped Finney and demanded she explain her historical analogy.
As described by Politico, Hewitt pressed, "Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?" Finney squirmed, "I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced." The former head of the Democratic National Committee even declined to answer this basic question: "Was Alger Hiss a communist?"
On Tuesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd invited liberal historian Taylor Branch to blast modern-day conservatism as nothing more than racism in disguise: "You talked about how George Wallace decided to change his language right after – when the word segregation no longer had a – so he changed his language and it all became about big government." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Branch ranted: "He attacked big government, he called 'pointy-headed bureaucrats' and 'tyrannical judges' and 'tax and spend legislators.' He basically invented a lot of the modern vocabulary of politics, taking racial animosity and unease and making – and transmuting it into a distrust of government. And that's – you know, that's what we're doing now."
It looks as if MSNBC has kowtowed to Bradley Manning’s request to be referred to as a woman. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Mara Schiavocampo tried to honor Manning’s bizarre request, but kept slipping up and referring to Manning as “he.”
In a teaser before the segment, Schiavocampo declared, “Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning. But is Leavenworth prison legally obligated to grant the soldier gender re-assignment therapy? And is she in any danger in a men's prison?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
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?"
Does Al Sharpton run MSNBC now? On Saturday, the cable network broadcast hours of live coverage of the Sharpton-organized 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. When Sharpton prepared for his keynote speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, his friend Rev. Franklyn Richardson singled him out as “the one who has become the voice of this era.” They broadcast Sharpton’s entire 20-minute speech live.
When he was finished on stage, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Michael Eric Dyson formed a hallelujah chorus, all praising Sharpton in the same glowing light as the "peerless" and "pre-eminent" civil rights leader of our time, like he was paying everyone’s salary:
In his hilariously over-the-top, self-aggrandizing return to MSNBC's 5pm hour, Ed Schultz slammed the Republicans for spending the summer "lying." As I Want It All by Queen blared, Schultz could be seen giving high fives to adoring crowds. In full promotion mode for the President, the liberal host declared of Obamacare: "This is the most positive thing that this country has done since the civil rights legislation that was passed back in the '60s." (Apparently winning the Cold War didn't make the cut.)
During the rock montage, Schultz appeared to take credit for Obamacare, announcing, "One of the missions that I had when I came to MSNBC was that-- President Obama had just been elected-- I wanted to do health care." The host offered a loaded question to his audience, instructing, "Get your cell phones out. I want you know what you think: Will Republicans ever have the character to admit Obamacare saves lives? Text A for yes, B for no to 67622." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberals usually get upset when politicians suggest someone is on a mission from God when they have a political program to push – at least when it’s a conservative program. During Saturday’s live MSNBC coverage of the March on Washington anniversary (organized by Al Shaprton), Ed Schultz proclaimed that 9-year-old Asean Johnson, speaking out (well, reading a sheet of paper) on behalf of a teacher’s union, was “a gift from God” in fighting against “under-resourced” public schools.
God favors teacher unions? On The Ed Show hours later, Schultz fawned over the youngest speaker at the rally and his mother during an interview alongside his sponsor, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers. Schultz repeated the “gift from God” reference. Schultz barely mentioned that Johnson’s nemesis was Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
Joe Scarborough is frequently panned in these parts for his propensity to pummel his presumably fellow Republicans. So it's noteworthy when the Morning Joe host goes after the left for a change.
It happened on today's show, when Scarborough defended voter ID laws, saying most Americans don't think it's racist to require a photo ID when you show up to vote. and scalding the left for trying fit to politicians in North Carolina and Texas with symbolic KKK hoods. Scarborough even forced a clearly reluctant Mike Allen of Politico to ultimately acknowledge his point. View the video after the jump.
You can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting some prominent African-American claiming race relations have worsened since Barack Obama became president.
Count MSNBC political and legal analyst Michelle Bernard among them, for on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, she said, “The country has become more race conscious in terms of color and in terms of ethnicity since he was elected” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Nothing warms the hearts of the liberal media more than a Republican who criticizes other Republicans. Perhaps it was no surprise, then, when MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe called retired General Colin Powell a “national treasure” on Friday’s Morning Joe.
The entire Morning Joe panel was praising the former secretary of state for speaking out against North Carolina’s strict new voter ID law in Raleigh recently – and in front of Governor Pat McCrory (R), no less. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson lamented Powell as a sort of voice crying out in the GOP wilderness: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Tea Party organization FreedomWorks is ramping up pressure on the NBC/MSNBC-owning cable provider Comcast.
On Thursday, the group launched a campaign to get the 22 million households that subscribe to Comcast to dump the provider saying in an email and a video, "You're paying for Al Sharpton's salary" (video follows with commentary):
The all-liberal all-the-time cable “news” channel continues to lose its audience as MSNBC's ratings were down by nearly one-fourth during the past three months from the same period in 2012, according to preliminary data from the Nielsen Company that was compiled from the start of summer through last Sunday.
Making things even worse for the “Lean Forward” channel is the resurgence of the Cable News Network, which had a 21 percent rise in ratings that almost caught up with or surpassed the numbers for MSNBC in several key categories.
Former DNC press secretary Karen Finney continues to use her MSNBC show to brazenly fly her partisan flag. On Sunday’s Disrupt with Karen Finney, the half-black host slammed North Carolina as a state that showcases the Republican “agenda on steroids.” One of her guests went further, dubbing North Carolina “the laboratory where the GOP has perfected its Frankenstein monster.”
Finney began the segment by telegraphing her feelings about Republican policies in general: “While the national Republican Party is in disarray and discord, at the state level Republican leaders have been frighteningly well-organized enacting so-called reforms.” Apparently Finney is frightened by effective Republican governance. MSNBC pundits often gripe that the national GOP says no to everything and refuses to govern. But when Republicans govern by enacting their policies, they frighten Karen Finney. She also dismissed GOP reforms as “so-called reforms” because, as we all know, only liberal Democrats make real reforms. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Three players from the 1972 Miami Dolphins turned down President Obama’s recent invitation to the White House, citing disagreements with the chief executive's political agenda, and Alex Wagner was not going to let them get away without being ridiculed. On Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, the host and her panelists pilloried the three players who chose to stay behind for ideological reasons while the rest of their teammates were honored by the president for their perfect 17-0 season 41 years ago. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wagner hyped the implications of the players’ decision: “But even the most feel-good White House ceremony seems to be threatened by ideology.” Threatened? It’s difficult to see how those three players’ lack of attendance threatened the ceremony. In fact, it didn’t, because the event went on as planned on Tuesday and received a love letter in at least one outlet, the Washington Post. [See my colleague's piece on that here.]
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."
MSNBC, which is the home of 9/11 Truther Toure, on Wednesday smeared Republicans skeptical of climate change as "truthers." During a segment on the latest United Nations report on global warming, Now host Alex Wagner touted White House talking points, playing a clip of an Organizing for America commercial labeling House Speaker John Boehner a "climate denier."
Later in the segment, an MSNBC graphic appeared with an image of the globe and the GOP elephant. The graphic read, "truthers?" It's a sleazy move for MSNBC to lump conservative skeptics of global warming in with those who believe that the United States government was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But it's also hypocritical as Toure, who hosts the Cycle at 3pm on the network, has publicly supporter trutherism.
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.
MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and her band of left-wing panelists sneered at the legislative recall effort currently underway in Colorado on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. Serial MSNBC contributor Joy Reid even went so far as to refer to the NRA, one of the groups behind the recall, as “Neo-Confederate.”
Wagner was slamming the NRA, which seemingly everyone at MSNBC loves to do, when Reid joined the conversation and introduced the racial element into the mix: “Yeah, it’s interesting. There is a sort of Neo-Confederate thread that runs through these sort of pro-gun movements and the NRA movement.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Extreme liberal Chris Matthews may be losing his 5pm time slot, but he isn't going quietly. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews sneered that House Republicans who are attempting to defund Obamacare have "ideological zealotry" that "trumps" "even the most minimal loyalty to the common national interests." Yet, later in the show, the anchor bemoaned Republicans who, regarding Barack Obama, won't "speak the language we normally speak in civilized political debates."
Matthews highlighted the possibility of connecting the defunding of Obamacare to the debt ceiling. According the host, "Some on the American right are plotting the global explosion of a default on the U.S. national debt this fall." He added, "Do they really dare to sabotage the American economy and much of the world economy in order to defund a program, the Affordable Care Act that is the law of the land?" Questioning the patriotism of such conservatives, Matthews lashed out: "Is this the extreme case where ideological zealotry trumps even the most minimal loyalty to the common national interests? Where anything goes? Where the ends justify whatever means there are to be had, no matter how menacing to the country or the world?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes accused Republicans of "pandering" to an "increasingly self-lathering conservative base" in trying to defund ObamaCare, as he predicted that doing so would spell an "unmitigated disaster politically" for Republicans.
Hayes mocked Republicans as uncaring as he referred to millions of people who might be affected by ObamaCare by rhetorically asking, "Though really who cares about them?"
Leave it to the Lean Forward network to weave a war-on-women theme into just about anything. Today the network's Tamron Hall and Janet Shamlian hinted sexism was in play with a new NFL ban on large bans in stadiums. The move, they complained, disproportionately affected female football fans who might set out for the big game with a large bag or purse.
Here's how NewsNation host Tamron Hall introduced her show-ending "Gut Check" segment:
On Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton again raised a distortion against FNC host Bill O'Reilly as he accused O'Reilly of applying the word "parasites" to "people in need," even though the FNC host was referring to people abusing the welfare system.
After Sharpton asserted that O'Reilly "slammed food stamp recipients as parasites," he played a clip of the FNC host. O'Reilly:
On MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt on Sunday, Ms. Witt brought on New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan, the businessman and former small town mayor who is running against Democrat Cory Booker for the open U.S. Senate seat in the Garden State. The liberal media consensus around the country is that Booker is practically a shoo-in to win the election, and Witt was more than happy to beat Lonegan over the head with that narrative.
The host began with what seemed like a sympathetic question: “How tired are you of everybody saying this is a race that is Cory Booker's to lose?” Lonegan responded confidently that Booker was going to lose the race. To which Witt shot back, “Okay, based on what?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
For a brief, shining moment Tuesday, MSNBC’s Chris “Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews took off his Democratic shill hat and expressed a well-reasoned critique of President Obama.
Appearing on Morning Joe, Matthews said, “He had the speaking skill way ahead of schedule, the inspiration ability, the charisma…What he has never developed is a love - and that’s the right word for it - of politics, and love of other politicians, to love to sit around and play cards with them, to try to get to know them” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton reacted to FNC's Bill O'Reilly criticizing him the night before, as the FNC host had called out Sharpton for taking out of context his contention that some who receive food stamps are "parasites" who take advantage of the system, and divulged that he had made a donation to one of Sharpton's charities in the past.
After having tagged O'Reilly with "hypocrisy" in a plug before the segment, Sharpton brought up the donation from O'Reilly and declared: