The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly. The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke. Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.
Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough blasted Barack Obama’s decision to run for president in 2008 on Thursday’s Morning Joe, claiming Obama was “only in [office] for about two minutes before he decided he was bored with the Senate and wanted to be president.” Co-host Mika Brzezinski pushed back throughout the segment, suggesting that then-Sen. Obama was above “that fish bowl of idiots that nobody likes” – presumably veteran senators on Capitol Hill – when he announced his candidacy.
Scarborough was unrelenting in his criticism, though, contending that Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office is like “me running the chemistry lab, you know, at Princeton.” Unsurprisingly, the liberal panelists on Scarborough’s program came to the president’s defense and sought to demean three potential 2016 contenders for the GOP in the process.
The Hollywood trade magazine Variety offered an article asking “MSNBC: Too Much Opinion and Not Enough News? Focus on commentary and advocacy may be dampening viewership”. It has no “news” anchor for breaking events. Variety’s Brian Steinberg asked “Who is the face of MSNBC should terrorism cripple a major American city?"
Steinberg says the strong turn left into all-opinion programming originally helped during Obama’s ascent, but they’re slipping now in Obama's second term. Author Jeffrey McCall suggesting the emerging Obama scandals are demoralizing their audience:
If a Republican were ensnared in a sex scandal, do you think MSNBC would have failed to mention his party and instead featured a photo of him with a smiling Nancy Pelosi? But the "Lean Forward" network might well have hoodwinked unwary viewers this morning into thinking that Democrat Bob Filner is a Republican.
Not merely did today's Morning Joe failed to identify Filner—the San Diego mayor with the octopus hands—as a Democrat. Instead, the show featured a photo of Filner with a smiling . . . . John Boehner. Guess the MJ staff couldn't find one of former congressman Filner with fellow Californian Pelosi. H/t NB reader Ray R. View the photo and video after the jump.
In one fell swoop, Howard Dean has managed to expose his ignorance of libertarianism while making a stale and insulting joke about New Jerseyites.
Discussing on today's Morning Joe the dust-up between Rand Paul and Chris Christie and the broader issue of the philosophical rifts within the GOP, Dean declared that "Rand Paul is not a libertarian" because he is pro-life. Dean is apparently unaware of the lively debate over abortion within libertarian circles, with a reported 30% of libertarians being pro-life. Dean also warned Paul: "do not take on a guy from Jersey. Obviously this guy does not watch HBO." That was presumably an allusion to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, two HBO shows featuring Garden State criminals. View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton complained that a "war on the poor" has been "launched" by the right, prompting Washington Post political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson to complain of a "dangerous tone" from conservatives and "antipathy towards Americans."
Setting up clips from Rush Limbaugh and FBN's Charles Payne, Sharpton fretted:
Angry liberal Chris Matthews on Wednesday foamed at Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, deriding the conservatives at "terrorists." The Hardball anchor repeated the smear over and over, even going too far for former Obama political aide David Axelrod. Previewing the segment, Matthews threatened, "Finally, let me finish with the political terrorists of the right...Their names are Cruz, Paul and Lee." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host fumed that the attempts to defund Obamacare are "more than just obstructionism, this is political terrorism." Matthews then dropped the adjective "political" and simply declared, "I believe it's terrorism." At that point, guest Axelrod admitted, "I also am uncomfortable with the word, only out of respect for the victims of violent terrorists and that's why I wouldn't use it."
Earlier this afternoon, my NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennen highlighted the Today show’s effort to hype the recent feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Unsurprisingly, the folks at MSNBC were even more eager to blow the dispute out of proportion – and to predict a nasty fight between Republicans in 2016.
Now host Alex Wagner kicked off a gleeful Wednesday segment on the feud, claiming the “2016 Republican clown car has already started revving its engines.” Wagner also suggested the “spat” would expose “deep divisions within the GOP,” echoing similar remarks made by NBC’s Peter Alexander on Wednesday’s Today.
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC's Chris Hayes recalled that "my mouth opened" and declared that "I could not believe this was in the paper," as he recounted that liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd raised questions about whether former Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, has been tolerant of her husband's behavior because of her Muslim upbringing.
Hayes recalled his bafflement during a segment devoted largely to attacking FNC's Sean Hannity and his guests for raising similar questions on his weekend special, Saving America. Notably, Rush Limbaugh was attacked on Monday's PoliticsNation by host Al Sharpton for similarly raising the topic.
The Anthony Weiner scandal has gotten so ridiculous that even MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts can’t control himself. Appearing on MSNBC on July 30, Roberts responded to a clip of Weiner’s sexting partner appearing with Howard Stern that “this chick is bats**t.
The woman who’s real name is Sydney Leathers -- yes, that's her real name, stop laughing -- called out Anthony Weiner, who claimed since his original sexting scandal, has changed. Leathers’ response, “bulls***. I’m proof that you have not changed.” [See video below. Audio here.]
MSNBC contributor Joy Reid continued her daily assault on Republicans Tuesday on Martin Bashir, comparing Republicans to chain smokers and blasting the GOP for its resistance to President Obama’s economic agenda. Reid argued that offering Republicans tax cuts is “like offering a chain smoker a cigarette,” pushing the same anti-GOP rhetoric she’s known for on the Lean Forward network. [Video after the jump.]
Host Martin Bashir offered his own analogy to complement Reid’s, likening President Obama’s revenue-neutral corporate tax reform to giving “a drunk a glass of bourbon.” Reid seemed content with Bashir’s insulting and sophomoric joke, sneering:
Commenting on the current clash between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over pork-barrel spending, Joe Scarborough has managed to insult both combatants.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough called Rand Paul a "daddy's boy." And in warning Paul not to pick a fight with Christie, Scarborough cited a saying to the effect that you should never fight with a "pig," because "you both get dirty and the pig likes it." Scarborough was careful to suggest that in comparing Christie to a "pig" he wasn't alluding to the Jersey governor's girth. OK. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday morning, MSNBC guest host Mara Schiavocampo devoted a segment of the show to discussing the story of Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into a wall at the home of her ex-husband. She brought on Joy-Ann Reid, TheGrio.com editor and blogger, to discuss the comparability of this case to the Trayvon Martin case as well as implications that the Alexander case sentencing could attest to “a racial disparity in how the lies are applied.” [Link to the audio here]
Schiavocampo then introduced a shoddy Tampa Bay Times report that she said supported these claims of “racial imbalance” including two sets of statistics from the report about the rate of convictions based on the race of the victim and defendant respectively. The first set reported that when there was a black victim, the accused faced no penalty 73% of the time while the same was true only 59% of the time when the victim was white. The second statistic showed that, in fatal cases, black defendants went free 66% of the time while white defendants went free in 61% of cases.
On the Monday, July 29, All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes had to make a retraction for incorrectly citing statistics on Friday suggesting that a higher percentage of black murder victims are murdered by whites than the percentage of white murder victims killed by blacks.
Hayes had used the incorrect numbers as he mocked FNC's Bill O'Reilly for his recent commentary which dealt in part with black-on-black crime. On Friday's show, the MSNBC host had erroneously declared:
On Monday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton hyped liberal attacks on changes to voting laws as he declared that "Republicans have gone on a rampage," and singled out a recently passed law in North Carolina as the "worst attack on voting rights since the Jim Crow era."
Referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling against part of the Voting Rights Act, Sharpton complained:
MSNBC’s Disrupt only seems capable of “disrupting” conservative voices, even absent host and former DNCer Karen Finney. Guest hosting for Finney, Ari Melber teamed up with NBC Latino contributor Raul Reyes to try and shut down former Republican strategist Robert Traynham on immigration reform, insisting that Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) reprehensible comments on undocumented immigrants represent the GOP’s position on reform.
King is under fire for claiming that young, undocumented immigrants have “calves the size of cantaloupes” because they’re smuggling illegal drugs into the United States. Many Republicans have condemned King for his remarks, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).
As NewsBusters reported, liberal talk radio host Alan Colmes on Monday defended CNN's Don Lemon from attacks by folks such as MSNBC's Goldie Taylor for having the nerve to agree with Bill O'Reilly about problems in the black community.
This led conservative talk radio host Larry Elder to give Taylor a serious dressing down on Twitter Monday evening ending with, "No, @AlanColmes, we won't have true equality until @goldietaylor no longer calls @DonLemonCNN a 'turncoat mofo'":
On Monday's All In show, as MSNBC's Chris Hayes rejoiced somewhat over Pope Francis's recent comments about people who have homosexual "tendencies" becoming priests, the MSNBC host also declared that it was a "heinous teaching" for the Pope to say that it is a "sin" to "violate God's law," referring to acting out on homosexual feelings. Hayes complained:
For years, MSNBC has made it clear where it stands on the issue of abortion in America: on the side of promoting abortion rights advocates against any restriction or regulation on the taking of unborn life. Unsurprisingly, one of MSNBC’s most fervent abortion activists is Thomas Roberts, who apart from using his daily MSNBC show to promote gay marriage, has taken it upon himself to rail against any abortion safety laws as limiting “choice.”
But on his July 30 program, Roberts took things a step further with Orwellian language designed to avoid the A-word. Clinics were instead "choice providers," according to Roberts. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Was this a case of Donny Deutsch expressing sincere sentiments—or wanting Weiner out of the way to help Hillary?
Whatever the explanation, the ad man unleashed on Huma Abedin on today's Morning Joe, saying he was "disgusted" by the spectacle of her press conference, accusing Abedin of being an "opportunist" who wants to be First Lady of New York. A much more understanding Mika Brzezinski said that Abedin's performance was "amazing," "extraordinary" and "really brave." Video after the jump.
Ever since MSNBC moved Ed Schultz to the coveted Saturday afternoon time slot, he has found a new opportunity to trash conservatives. Speaking on Saturday July 27, Schultz took his erratic ranting to a new low when he questioned whether or not Boehner of all things, cheats at golf.
During a segment entitled “Ask Ed Live” Schultz took a question from one of the few listeners that watches MSNBC on Saturday afternoon now that Lockup has stopped airing. The viewer wanted to know, “If you could sit down with Speaker Boehner, what would you ask him?” to which Schultz mockingly answered: [Read more below, followed by video.]
A bitter Chris Matthews on Monday compared Republican efforts with voter ID laws to apartheid in South Africa. Talking to civil rights leader Wade Henderson, Matthews introduced his sneering comparison: "It does look like it's almost like South Africa to this extent: You have a white... feeble minority. It's losing its majority status."
He continued, "And it says, the Republican Party, we can only get so many white votes. So we got to reduce the votes of others. It does look that way." After Mr. Henderson didn't jump in to agree, Matthews justified, "Maybe you're non-partisan, but only Republicans have pushed this in these 31 states. No Democratic legislature. You gotta look at the pattern here." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's PoliticsNation, as host Al Sharpton attacked "right-wingers" like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh for "push[ing] the most negative stereotypes of the African-American community for their own gain," and again repeated a 2007 smear against O'Reilly, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor accused conservative hosts of "pimping" and "pandering" for "personal gain."
After a clip of O'Reilly recounting his visit to a predominantly black restaurant from 2007, Sharpton posed the question:
Can MSNBC’s Martin Bashir really be this ill-informed?
Consider that on Monday’s installment of the program hysterically bearing his own name, Bashir made it seem that he believes if a poll questioned 21 percent Republicans, that means only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republican (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, CNN’s Don Lemon has taken a lot of heat from the left for having the nerve to agree with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly about problems in the black community.
On Fox News’s Happening Now Monday, liberal talk radio host Alan Colmes marvelously stated, “We’ll have true equality in this country when someone like Don Lemon or any other person of color can make a statement that doesn't conform with what the so-called majority believes without being called names, without being called an Uncle Tom” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ed Schultz took a dive off the deep end on Saturday’s The Ed Show, claiming that Social Security is a “cheap” program that “has never contributed one penny to the deficit.” The bombastic MSNBC host also blasted Republicans who support partially privatizing Social Security, arguing those lawmakers just want to “get their hands on the money.”
Schultz echoed similar arguments made by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who suggested that Social Security doesn’t contribute a “penny” or a “dime” to the national deficit. Both Democrats’ claims were challenged by fact-checking organizations, including PolitiFact, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, and FactCheck.org. And while the term "cheap" is relatively subjective, few would argue that Social Security – which takes up one-fifth of the federal budget – is "cheap."
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes did not seem to recognize that putting criminals in jail contributes to reducing crime as he declared that it was "frustrating" to him that there has been more "incarceration" while "crime is going down."
As the MSNBC host brought aboard California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee as a guest to discuss some of FNC host Bill O'Reilly's recent commentary on racial issues, Hayes at one point complained:
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, July 28, Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson declared that, when FNC host Bill O'Reilly dined at Sylvia's restaurant in 2007, he was "surprised that black people don't throw bananas at each other or swing from trees."
His attack on O'Reilly was the latest example of MSNBC personalities reviving a 2007 smear against O'Reilly claiming that the FNC host was surprised that patrons at a predominantly black restaurant in Harlem behaved in a civilized manner when, in reality, O'Reilly was criticizing the media for its negative portrayal of African-Americans, and was using his visit to the restaurant to contrast the media characterization with the reality he had observed.
As singer and liberal activist Harry Belafonte appeared as a guest on Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes brought up Civil Rights Movement-era murder victim Emmett Till and wondered if Trayvon Martin's death would have a similar "catalyzing effect" in a "civil rights struggle."
While both acknowledged that the circumstances were different, Belafonte lumped in Trayvon Martin as having been "murdered" and observed: