On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann defended his recent attacks on Massachusetts Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown by insisting that some of the incorrect claims he made are true when, in fact, two are factually without merit while the third represents one of Olbermann’s typical episodes of distorting the words of a target. Among other complaints, Olbermann on Wednesday claimed that Scott "swore at" high school students at an assembly in 2007, that he has refused to renounce a vulgar threat made against Attorney General Martha Coakley by an audience member at a Sunday rally, and that he demonstrated racism in once suggesting that he wasn’t sure if Barack Obama’s parents were married at the time of his birth.
The Countdown host repeated a myth promoted by the liberal blog bluemassgroup.com that, in February 2007, then-State Senator Scott "swore at a hall full of high school students" as he appeared before a group at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In reality, Scott was not alleged to have "sworn at" the students, but rather, he angrily responded to and complained about vulgar comments that some students had written about him and one of his daughters – comments which had been posted on the Facebook page of a pro-gay rights teacher at the school – as Scott read the uncensored comments from the site, naming some of the students, in front of the assembly. His actions sparked criticism because he read aloud the profane words as they appeared on the Facebook page, but he was not alleged to have "sworn at" the students.
The super-sized, take-out-a-second-mortgage-to-pay-for-it bushel basket of movie popcorn just might not be big enough. War is breaking out among liberals, and the entertainment value might make Avatar look like a test signal.
Just make yourself comfortable, sit back, and watch Chris Matthews and Howard Dean go after each other on this evening's Hardball. Dean was floating the absurd argument that by choosing Scott Brown over Martha Coakley, voters were sending a secret coded message that they really wanted a health care bill . . . more liberal than the current Obamacare version.
Matthews calls Dean out on his lack of logic, and the pair wind up trading accusations of craziness.
A small group of liberal talking heads may be realizing that opposition to Obama is not, in fact, wholly irrational. Though it would be a bit too hasty to proclaim it a trend among the mainstream media, it has been a refreshing break from the smears usually hurled at the right by the nation's pundits.
First was Chris Matthews, who stunningly turned right and voiced his concern about an excessively large federal government, as Noel Sheppard reported this morning. NBC's David Gregory also came to his senses today, and admitted--his prior statements notwithstanding--that the Tea Party movement has been advocating the same principles that led to Scott Brown's victory yesterday (h/t Mary Katherine Ham).
Speaking on this morning's Morning Joe, Gregory characterized yesterday's special election as a sincere populist backlash against unpopular policies. The election was "about incumbency and whether government's working for you," he said. "That's what really cuts through all this is whether government is working for the people. That's what's fueling the Tea Party movement."
There are times when speaking in a stream of consciousness is a good and wholesome thing. None occur in front of a camera, as evidenced by the public escapades of MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch.
The former ad-man took to today’s “Morning Joe” set yesterday morning to offer the following wisdom in reference to the impending Massachusetts electorate:
He is a traditional-looking middle-aged white male. We’re going back to basics, we’ve obviously had our first African American president we’ve had the female candidates and what-not – you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate, and is there a visceral comfort in that for people? I’m just curious from real kind of sociological point of view.
MSNBC’s David Shuster on Wednesday used the victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts as another opportunity to trash the tea party movement. Teasing an interview with one of the organizers, he smeared, "The first anniversary of President Obama's inauguration. The Hitler mustaches and the Joker and everything else." [Audio available here.]
Talking with the grassroots director of FreedomWorks, Brendan Steinhauser, Shuster rejected the notion that the tea partiers are part of the political center. The host derided, "Right, but is it the dead center when you see signs like the signs that we just showed that are easy to find at a tea party protest of Obama as a Marxist? Obama as a socialist? Obama with a Hitler mustache?" A feisty Steinhauser repeatedly knocked down Shuster’s talking points: "Well, no. Those signs with Barack Obama as Hitler, that comes from Lyndon LaRouche PAC. It’s clearly on the sign and that’s a left-wing guy."
Regarding the Senate election in the Bay State, Shuster lamented, "Brown's win could be good news for the tea party movement, which didn't seem as frightening to independent voters in Massachusetts as Democrats had hoped."
"I look at the numbers and I`m worried. I`m worried about this government committing itself to so many entitlement programs and committing itself to such a level of taxation that support those entitlement programs."
So surprising said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to colleague Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night just moments after Martha Coakley's concession speech to newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
As they sat in a bar in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Matthews sounded more like a conservative than the devout liberal he's admitted being.
"The country wants something better than what it has," said the "Hardball" host.
"That dissatisfaction has been overwhelmed by bad politics and smart politics on the right by a complaint about fiscal overkill," he continued. "And that is the problem the Democrats face right now -- a sense not that their values are wrong...The debt is too big. The government`s taking on too many responsibilities" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):
While it is well known that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is the most viciously liberal voice to host a news program within the mainstream media, even he normally tones down his anti-conservative, anti-Republican vitriol when anchoring special events like election results. But during MSNBC’s coverage of the Massachusetts special Senate election, Olbermann’s presentation was more rabidly partisan than if the Democratic National Committee itself were producing the show.
As he anchored a special 10:00 p.m. edition of Countdown, Olbermann not only used one of his "Quick Comment" segments to repeat his infamous attack from the day before on Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown, but he also impatiently interrupted Brown’s victory speech, and, while Brown was still speaking, went on to give a second "Quick Comment" blaming Tea Party protesters and Fox News for the vulgar "tea bagger" term being attached to the Tea Party movement.
At 10:19 p.m., Olbermann delivered a "Quick Comment" in which he sarcastically pretended that he would apologize for his attack on Senator-elect Scott Brown from the previous day in which he had called Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
Amidst the innumerable excuses we're bound to hear for Martha Coakley's defeat, credit Keith Olbermann with likely the most loathsome. The Countdown host would explain away the Scott Brown victory by accusing his supporters of . . . racism. [H/t reader Will H.]
Olbermann floated his despicable theory to Howard Fineman: "the Republicans and the Tea Partiers will tell you what happens with Scott Brown tonight whether he wins or comes close is a repudiation of Obama policies. And surely one of Obama's policies from the viewpoint of his opponents is it's OK to have this sea-change in American history—to have an African-American president. Is this vote to any degree just another euphemism the way 'states rights' was in the '60s?"
I was hoping Howard would have the honesty and guts to immediately tell Olbermann where to go. To the contrary, Fineman initially played along: "wow, that is a good question." But by the end of the segment Fineman screwed his courage to the sticking point and proclaimed that he didn't see racism as a big factor.
Chris Matthews left no doubt for Massachusetts voters what was at stake with their vote in today's Senate election as the MSNBC host, on Tuesday's Hardball, underlined, in graphic terms, that a vote for Republican Scott Brown was a vote to kill health care. Matthews, on the 5pm edition of his show, blared: "If they go for Republican Scott Brown it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!"
The following depictions of health care's imminent demise at the hands of Brown were aired on the January 19 edition of Hardball:
TVNewser has a transcriptpar excellence, for your reading pleasure. In sum, Mika Brzezinski has gone off the Big Media reservation again, in a good way. Let’s just say she unwittingly (?) offers praise for a cable news network with much better ratings.
In an interview for her new book, Brzezinski spoke with Julie Menin about the partisan nature of today’s American media:
BRZEZINSKI: "I've worked in the mainstream media for all the networks and I will say what people aren't saying. It's got a liberal world view. There are great people working at the networks, and they're mostly Democrats, ok? They try really hard to be objective, really hard and they do a great job at it, but the balance is not there within the objective mainstream media. It's not, it is not and I'm not sure how we fix that. I hate the polarizing extremes that we're seeing on cable where there's these sort of ‘Think my way or you’re evil’ kind of subliminal message or cartoonish type characters on the right and the left.
Interesting enough – but even more piquing is Brzezinski’s solution to the problem of a partisan media:
There has been something of a debate over whether the Senate can properly delay seating Republican Scott Brown if he wins today’s special election, giving the Democrats time to ram through their unpopular health care bill. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes has neatly summarized the arguments of GOP lawyers that the temporary Senator Paul Kirk’s term expires today with the election of a successor (either Coakley or Brown).
But Democrats are even now preparing the media to accept the idea that Kirk can remain at his post for up to two more weeks while the formal certification process proceeds at the pace chosen by officials in Democratically-controlled Massachusetts. Yet just two months ago, the lack of certification for two Democratic winners of congressional special elections was no barrier to their quick swearing in for a health care vote in the House — and it drew no complaints from the news media (and was enthusiastically received by MSNBC’s left-wing hosts).
Not that they were BFFs before, but Joe Scarborough has now definitively de-friended Keith Olbermann . . .
As NewsBuster Noel Sheppard reported, Olbermann last night unleashed an absurdly over-the-top Special Comment at Scott Brown, calling him "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
Joe Scarborough thereafter tweeted that Olbermann's Special Comment was "reckless and sad." On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough fired similar remarks at his MSNBC colleague on live national TV . . .
On his MSNBC show this evening, Ed Schultz did his best to stampede Massachusetts voters into supporting the clueless Martha Coakley by repeatedly trying to tie Scott Brown to Dick Cheney. How many times did Schultz invoke the former Vice-President in trying to scare Bay Staters? I counted six, with a seventh assist from the Mass. Lt. Governor.
In a bizarre twist of logic, on Monday’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin argued that if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the race for the Massachusetts Senate, it would improve chances of health care reform passing: “I actually think they may get health care more easily than if they win.”
While Halperin acknowledged that losing the Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy would be a “disaster” for Democrats, he explained the supposed upside: “...if she wins, if they hold the seat, they’re still going to have to come up with a deal and then they’re going to have to have two votes, the House and Senate. They’re going to have to go through, you know, the torture of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson deciding if they can deal with the compromised bill.” Halperin seemed convinced a Coakley loss could avoid all of that torturous democracy.
Later in the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Monday, anchor Monica Novotny referred back to Halperin’s Morning Joe comments and asked guests Richard Wolffe and Larry Sabato about such an analysis of the situation: “In a discussion about this race earlier this morning on our air, the point was made that perhaps it’s better for the Democrats if they lose this seat....What do you think?”
Barack Obama appears to no longer be giving Chris Matthews a tingle up his leg, for the MSNBC host thinks Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts might end up being a reflection of how people are very averse to the new President's program.
With a visible frown on his face, Matthews told "Daily Rundown" co-host Chuck Todd Monday that recent polling data "has to do with reality of a terrible economy, of this new burden that people feel being put on their shoulders of bigger debt, perhaps taxes coming down the road."
Matthews continued, "And the fear that the burden of healthcare is going to be much heavier than the benefit."
The "Hardball" host cautioned, "I think it's going to show up in Massachusetts tomorrow with the results there" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Teasing coverage on tomorrow's Massachusetts special election to fill its vacant Senate seat, MSNBC's David Shuster avoided any pretense of objectivity as he opened the 10 a.m. EST hour of the network's news coverage with the question: "Has Democratic-leaning Massachusetts lost its mind?!"
Although he ratcheted down the bias a few notches later in the hour when he actually reported on the polling trends showing Republican candidate Scott Brown having a decent shot at upsetting Democratic candidate Martha Coakley tomorrow, Shuster's opening teaser speaks volumes about MSNBC's penchant for rooting for the Democrats.
[H/t NewsBuster P.J. Gladnick.] How panicked is the MSM at the prospect of a Scott Brown victory tomorrow? So much so that Chris Matthews has stooped to seeking to use Scott Brown's Protestant religion against him in heavily Catholic Massachusetts . . .
The Hardball host made his despicable pitch during a Morning Joe appearance today.
Joe Scarborough has expressed serious doubts as to his Republican affiliation, and made clear that House GOP whip Eric Cantor "is not my friend." But caution to those who assume Joe has gone left: he has clarified to this NewsBuster that his critique of the GOP comes from the Ron Paul-esque right . . .
Scarborough's stunning comments came on today's Morning Joe in response to Dem Bob Shrum's taunting of Joe over his ostensible GOP membership, in the context of Pres. Obama's attempt to rescue Martha Coakley from the rubble of her campaign.
MSNBC's Ed Schultz believes a victory by Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in Tuesday's special senatorial election in Massachusetts would signal "the end of change as we know it."
"I think it`s just an unbelievable scenario that`s playing out and don`t kid yourselves, folks, this could derail the rest of the Obama agenda for 2010 and beyond," Schultz told his "Ed Show" audience.
"The way the political winds are turning right now is absolutely amazing," he continued.
"If the tea party-endorsed candidate nabs Ted Kennedy`s seat in Massachusetts it`s the end of change as we know it" (video embedded below the fold, h/t Mary Katharine Ham via Hot Air):
The panic on the left concerning Tuesday's special senatorial election is getting palpable, for on Friday, MSNBC's Ed Schultz said on his radio program that he would try to vote ten times if he lived in Massachusetts.
"Yeah, that's right, I'd cheat to keep these bastards out," he told his audience.
'''Cause that's exactly what they are" (YouTube audio embedded below the fold courtesy our dear friend Brian Maloney, h/t Story Balloon):
Things are looking so bad for Democrats in Tuesday's special election for the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy that MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned there aren't any left-leaning votes for his Party to buy.
"You know in the old days...if the Democrats faced this kind of a disaster in the works, you`d go back to your ones, the people you were sure are going to vote Democrat, and you`d make sure they got to the polling place," Matthews told NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday's "Hardball."
"You`d get them lunch, you`d get them a car. You`d make sure they got there, and in some cases you`d be buying people to get them," he continued. "But I hear talking to somebody today there aren`t people up there in Massachusetts like that anymore" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NBer shannon76):
Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday mocked MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for using the tragedy in earthquake-rattled Haiti to bash former President George W. Bush.
Not appreciating the ribbing, Maddow foolishly responded on her own program Friday proving once and for all that liberal media members love Jon Stewart -- as long as his target is conservatives, that is.
Precipitating the spat was the MSNBCer on Wednesday politicizing the growing Haitian crisis by saying, "All of that central to what the Obama administration says it wants to do differently than what Bush and Cheney did."
The "Daily Show" host marvelously noted, "Not the right time." Stewart concluded by mocking Maddow's audience, "Congratulations MSNBC viewers -- you're on the right side of this terrible, terrible tragedy" (videos of Stewart's segment and Maddow's response embedded below the fold):
An ad for a new Chris Matthews special featured the MSNBC host complaining about tea party protesters who are "threatened" by an African American President. As pictures of protests appeared onscreen, Matthews derided, "For the first time, we have an African American head of state. But, there’s always going to be people who challenge it, who are threatened by it."
The special, Obama’s America: 2010 and Beyond, will air live at 10pm on Monday. (The ad has been running all week on MSNBC.) It will include a town hall discussion and liberal radio host Tom Joyner. The announcer in the ad, perhaps previewing the program’s tone, wondered, "One year after the historic election, how have we changed?"
Perhaps providing a window into the mind of journalists, MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Friday appeared shocked that a Democrat might lose in next week’s Massachusetts Senate election. "This is bad," fretted the Daily Rundown co-host. [Audio available here.]
She prefaced that comment by ominously observing, "With just four days to go in the race for Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat, a new poll is terrible news for Democrats." Discussing the numbers with co-host Chuck Todd and NBC political director Mark Murray, Guthrie marveled, "Chuck, I'm interested now. NBCs deputy political director, Mark Murray, joins us now.This is bad." [UPDATE: Guthrie responds. See below.]
While mainstream media members continue to belittle her at every opportunity, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attracted huge audiences in her first two official appearances as a Fox News Channel contributor.
Debuting on Tuesday's "O'Reilly Factor," the former vice presidential candidate drew almost 4 million viewers more than doubling the combined total of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and CNN's Campbell Brown.
The following evening on "Glenn Beck," Palin attracted over 3 million -- at 5PM!
Regardless of what her detractors say, Palin was a smash hit (complete numbers below the fold courtesy TVBytheNumbers.com, Tuesday first):
Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, trashed Sarah Palin, for all things, not quickly responding to a Glenn Beck question about who her favorite Founding Father was. After playing a clip of Palin telling Beck, initially, that she liked, "all of them," before settling on George Washington as her favorite Founding Father, the MSNBC host portrayed Palin as the dumb student:
MATTHEWS: You know in school when you didn’t read the book and you had to answer the essay question of the book and you hadn’t read it. "I thought the book was interesting at times, sometimes it was boring but a lot of it was very interesting." The book you didn’t read. That’s her story. America is the book she didn’t read and yet she’s running around the country as this patriotic icon of American what? She doesn’t know us.
But Ted Turner, founder of the first truly 24-hour cable news channel, doesn't see anything wrong with the channel's heading. CNBC's Joe Kernen asked Turner if he had any problems with CNN's direction during a "Squawk Box" appearance Jan. 14.
"I know you love CNN," Kernen said. "It's your baby. I know you're not involved in running it anymore, but when you look at the way Fox News in 10 years has sort of risen above CNN in terms of ratings and profitability and other metrics, would you advise - should CNN stay the course with their idea it's just straight news, or do they need to change with the times and become more opinion-based."
Coming back from commercial this morning at the MSNBC Clown Kingdom, the bump-in video clip was one of Sarah Palin’s interview with Glenn Beck. Palin stated that it took all of the Founders to come up with the Constitution, but that George Washington (as the leader) would necessarily rise to the top.