To liberal media outlets, Warren Hern, one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, has been worthy of praise as a doctor who boldly stands up for his beliefs in the face of intimidation - a lonely humanitarian braving violent death for the sake of his patients.
That's the picture painted by TV and other media. What's missing from the portrait is Hern's belief that humans are "malignant ecotumors," his refusal to be called an abortionist, and his strident denunciations of the pro-life movement.
Attention has turned to Hern in the wake of the May 31 murder of Kansas late-term abortionist (and Hern friend) George Tiller. Since then, Hern has appeared on MSNBC, CNN and NPR. Print media, including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune have cited him.
Esquire magazine devoted 9,000 words to Hern in its current issue, which sparked his Aug. 12 appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show and praise from Keith Olbermann.
Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," ridiculed Republican Congressman Wally Herger, for calling a townhaller a "Great American," because the questioner described himself as a "right wing terrorist." Since satire seems to be above Chris Matthews' head he failed to realize the townhaller was probably mocking those in the liberal media, like the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein, who actually called Republicans "terrorists."
An appalled Matthews argued the Congressman's praise of the man could lead to trouble:
MATTHEWS: Next up, here's one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting some guy yelled out, bragging that he was quote, "A proud right wing terrorist." To which the Congressman responded, "Amen. God bless ya! Now there's a great American." A great American. A guy who thinks it's okay, in this day and age, to call himself a right wing terrorist. This is the dangerous edge, in which these people, including some elected officials are now dancing. We've been here before. Words lead to actions, words create the national mood, the mood creates a license. People take that license and use it. I'm not spelling it out any further because I don't want to.
The following outbursts were aired on the August 24 edition of "Hardball":
You probably already knew Jeanane Garofalo was no fan of conservatives, Republicans or just about anything that could be described as right of center. But the former Air America host and MSNBC regular really has a low regard for conservative activists.
If you've been keeping up with the health care debate, opponents of President Barack Obama's health care plan have been accused of spreading misinformation to thwart the administration's efforts. Even Obama himself said recently that those who raised the abortion concern were "bearing false witness." But the same sorts of claims have come up in the media.
"[F]ifty-four percent believe that abortion is going to be funded," Schultz to Douglass on "The Ed Show." "Fifty-four percent believe that there's going to be a government takeover. And 45 percent believe that death panels are going to be there for the elderly. I should point out, none of those are true. So, obviously, the White House is not connecting with the American people."
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell today issued a public statement in which he demanded that MSNBC accept responsibility and apologize for concocting a racially charged "news" story that falsely accused a supposedly white health reform protester of carrying a gun out of hatred for a black President.
NewsBusters.org's Kyle Drennen initially reported on this on Tuesday, and yesterday provided an update: that the Second Amendment Foundation, as the name would suggest a gun-owners rights group, had condemned the liberal network for "using deceptively-edited video from a Phoenix, Arizona anti-tax rally on Monday to invent a racial stereotype in its on-going effort to demonize and marginalize American firearms owners as ‘racists.’"
After Politico.com picked up Kyle's initial NewsBusters.org item, an MSNBC spokesperson attempted to justify the slander: "Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon."
But Brewer did specifically cite an unidentified African-American man who attended a protest outside of a Monday speech by President Obama: "Yesterday, as President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, a man at a pro-health care reform rally just outside, wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip."
Following MSNBC coverage of ObamaCare protesters legally carrying guns, on Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation condemned the liberal network for "using deceptively-edited video from a Phoenix, Arizona anti-tax rally on Monday to invent a racial stereotype in its on-going effort to demonize and marginalize American firearms owners as ‘racists.’"
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, MSNBC correspondent Contessa Brewer, along with Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan and pop culture analyst Toure, depicted all gun-carrying protesters as being "white," "racist," and even a threat to President Obama’s life. Brewer cited one such gun-toting protester, but used highly edited video footage that did not reveal the man was actually African-American.
Reviewing a new NBC poll shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today, MSNBC's David Shuster today dismissed as "false" the fears of 50 percent of respondents that "tax dollars will help pay for abortions."
But Shuster's flat denial belies the fact that there is reasonable debate over what exactly Democratic health care proposals before Congress would mean when it comes to financing abortion via the so-called public option.
The question revolves largely around an amendment to the House healthcare bill that was adopted by the Energy and Commerce Committee last Thursday. The amendment prohibits federal funds from explicitly subsidizing abortion in the private healthcare plans to be offered through the health insurancehere). But it doesn't prevent "the public health insurance exchange (read it here) option from providing for or prohibiting coverage" of abortion.
If Napoleon was right about not interfering with an [in this case political] enemy in the process of destroying itself, this could be a time for Republicans to lay low. According to Ed Schultz, the left could be on the verge of an anti-Obama crack-up.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz said to the face of a senior admin official that the left is seriously considering dumping support for the president.
Schultz's guest was reporter-turned-Obama-spokesman Linda Douglass. The point of Schultz's exercise was to hold Obama's feet to the fire for the way the prez is furiously backpedaling away from his pledge that any health care bill "must" contain a public option.
Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin appeared on MSNBC’s News Live on Tuesday to discuss college football and ended up trashing Sarah Palin. Talking with host David Shuster about a new SEC regulation stopping fans from using social networking sites at games, Zirin frothed that odd sports rules are like "Sarah Palin considering herself a college graduate. Just ‘cause you call yourself that, doesn't mean it means anything."
Is there no subject too unrelated for MSNBC or one of its guests to use to slam the former Alaska governor? Perhaps it’s not surprising that the left-leaning cable network would feature a man who covers sports for the very liberal Nation. But, couldn’t they find someone from Sports Illustrated, ESPN or any non-partisan sports outlet?
You might call it a decided understatement. Still, it was refreshing to hear a member of the White House press corps state an inconvenient truth about Pres. Obama: that he is under-supplied in the sense of humor department.
Julie Mason, White House correspondent of the Washington Examiner, offered the observation this afternoon on MSNBC. She was on to discuss the awkward situation created by the separate meetings with Pres. Obama that Hillary and Bill Clinton are having this afternoon.
When Monica Novotny asked whether PBO might take the occasion to rib her about her sharp response to the student in the Congo who asked about Bill's views, Mason offered her candid comment.
With President Obama and congressional liberals facing loud protests over their big government health care plan, journalists are casting the anti-ObamaCare forces as “ugly,” “unruly,” “nasty” mobs, with reporters presenting the most odious images (like pictures of Obama drawn as Hitler) as somehow representative. But when President George W. Bush faced left-wing protests, the media scrubbed their stories of radical voices and depicted demonstrators as mainstream, and even “prescient.”
In January 2003, all of the broadcast networks touted an anti-war march organized by the radical International ANSWER, an outgrowth of the communist Workers World Party. Signs at the rally read: “USA Is #1 Terrorist,” “Bush Is a Terrorist,” and “The NYPD Are Terrorists Too.” National Review Online quoted several protesters who claimed 9/11 was a Bush plot, “like when Hitler burned down the Reichstag,” and argued Bush would “build a worldwide planetary death machine.”
Reporters bypassed all that hate and showcased the protesters as everyday Americans. On ABC, Bill Blakemore stressed how the protest attracted “Democrats and Republicans, many middle-aged, from all walks of life,” while CBS’s Joie Chen saw “young, old, veterans and veteran activists — all united in the effort to stop the war before it starts.”
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns."Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.
Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "...there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president....we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "...then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."
Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.
Hey, if you can't poke fun at someone whose name dovetails with that of a potentially devastating neurological disorder ...
MSNBC cable show host Rachel Maddow demonstrated what passes for humor on her show Aug. 12 when she said this about Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette of Ohio --
MADDOW: Next up on the bizarre health-care debate circuit, Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette attended a town hall event in his Ohio district yesterday. There, he very responsibly urged his audience to be civil. (cuts to footage of LaTourette)
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," a bit of a squabble happened when panelists Dick Armey and Rachel Maddow bickered over whether or not MoveOn.org once ran an ad equating former President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Regardless of who was right, someone should instruct Maddow as to the difference between being a guest and a host, for her continual interruptions when Armey was speaking, though quite commonplace for an MSNBC anchor, were downright rude.
Just watch what happened when host David Gregory asked the very first question directed at Armey (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:25):
On today's Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow demanded to know whether Dick Armey was a member of a coalition with the Tea Party Patriots, a group she alleges to promote "violence." Moderator David Gregory joined in the cross-examination of Armey, head of Freedom Works.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow “apologized” on Friday for her false report the previous night that conservative public relations executive Craig Shirley was somehow behind a Web site that hosted incendiary anti-Obama video, a site funded by a group called Grassfire.org. “I apologize for saying that they [Shirley & Banister Public Affairs] were still currently involved in representing Grassfire. They are not,” she admitted.
Undeterred, Maddow then ludicrously tried to impugn Shirley & Banister by connecting them to the anti-ObamaCare protests (as if that would be a bad thing) through a convoluted set of associations. She then displayed Friday’s NewsBusters’ article on her wrong reporting as evidence that “right-wing Web sites” were using “threats and intimidation” to pressure Maddow to back off.
“I will not and we will not be intimidated out of covering the news,” Maddow pompously declared.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for the second time in eight days bullied a guest he was interviewing, but this time the person on the receiving end really let him have it.
As NewsBusters previously reported, O'Donnell last Thursday, while subbing for Ed Schultz on that evening's "The Ed Show," continually talked over his guest Peter Schiff and basically never let him answer any questions.
On Friday, O'Donnell, who was sitting in for Chris Matthews on "Hardball," tried the same tactic with Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.), but this time his guest struck back and struck back hard (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer sic721 with a video assist from Jeff Poor):
On her MSNBC show last night, the left-wing Air America host Rachel Maddow took a swipe at the conservative Shirley & Banister Public Affairs firm, specifically President and CEO Craig Shirley. Maddow accused Shirley of being behind a grassroots Web site funded by the group Grassfire.org, based on a research provided by the “independent watchdog group Public Citizen,” and she showed still images from an incendiary “Obama=Hitler” video that’s posted on the Grassfire’s ResistNet.com Web site.
But Maddow was wrong. The Public Citizen web page she cited is several years old. Shirley & Banister hasn’t represented Grassfire.org since 2004. And Diana Banister, a partner and Vice President at Shirley & Banister, told NewsBusters that Maddow’s false report has led to hate mail and even death threats to the public relations firm. (Let’s see if the left-wing thuggery gets any attention from the MSM.)
Barbara Gannon, vice president of Corporate Communications & Government Relations for Sargento Foods Inc., told the Business & Media Institute why her company decided to stop advertising during the Fox News Channel program.
Jonathan Capehart let the mask slip on just how much the MSM is one with Pres. Obama and Democrats at large. Here's the WaPo editorialist on Morning Joe today, discussing the daunting task of selling ObamaCare to a doubting public:
"We've got two problems here. We: I should say the administration or Democrats have two problems."
Sorry, Jonathan. Cat out of bag. Toothpaste out of tube. Bell rung.
It's not enough that much of the mainstream media cheered on Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 or browbeat former President George W. Bush on Iraq and Afghanistan to force Republicans from control of Congress. No, it's time for a "progressive television network" and for left-wingers to support radio hosts that are sympathetic to liberal causes according to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
You may have thought there already was a "progressive" cable network in MSNBC and left-wingers sort of had an opportunity to support Air America, but that didn't quite pan out as anticipated - though it's still hanging on. Nonetheless, Sanders, a self-described socialist, appeared on MSNBC's Aug. 13 "Rachel Maddow Show" and blasted Fox News and conservative talk radio. He blamed both for creating obstacles to Democratic Party led efforts to fundamentally alter health care in the United States. But he also said it's time the left attempted to replicate the right and created their own left-wing networks.
Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton's 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by the campaign.
But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats. When it comes to liberal pundits attempting to score cheap points against conservatives, especially ones they loathe like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, all bets are off. In an Aug. 12 column, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin, citing a hateful anti-Bachmann blog, decided it appropriate to beat up the two-term congresswoman using her son Harrison's decision to participate in the government program Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of the programs under the AmeriCorps umbrella.
According to Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, nobody could possibly oppose health care/health insurance reform on the merits of the legislation or for ideological or philosophical reasons. There must be something nefarious occurring.
At a town hall meeting on Aug. 12, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voiced his opposition to H.R. 3200 and other forms of legislation that would dramatically change health care, which he felt would be for the worse. This was too much for Huffington, who called Grassley a liar.
MSNBC host David Shuster has made it clear that he's left-of-center politically with his stands on social issues and his eagerness to ridicule conservatives. But yet he still maintains an anchor post for the network's mid-day regular news coverage.
But the former host of the network's now-canceled "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" interviewed Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. on the issue of the day, health care and kicked it off with a loaded question and followed by repeatedly talking over the congressman and interrupting him. Shuster wanted to know why Pence was misleading his constituents that Medicare was government run.
"Congressman, first of all one of the themes you keep hearing from protesters is that they oppose government-run health care," Shuster said on MSNBC Aug. 12. "I understand that at your town hall at a Republican district, you got a standing ovation when you said to your constituents, ‘I oppose government-run health care.' But did you know that Medicare is government run? And why haven't you told that to your constituents?" he asked with a sarcastic tone in his voice.
Q. How can you tell that Hillary is blowing her African tour? A. When even supporters like Tina Brown says she needs to get back home ASAP . . . and hit the gym.
The Daily Beast head made her candid comments on today's Morning Joe. Mika Brzezinski made a spirited defense of Hillary, claiming her latest gaffe—putting Florida 2000 in the same boat as Nigeria's notoriously rigged elections—was no big deal. But Scarborough, Buchanan and Barnicle all said it was past time for Hillary to return. And Brown put in the unkindest cut of all . . .
Average American citizen Katy Abram's impassioned plea against socialized health care, at Senator Arlen Specter's town hall meeting on Tuesday, got her noticed by the "Hardball" producers as her clip was featured on Tuesday's show and she even received an invitation to appear tonight -- complete with the requisite scolding from the program's liberal host. Subbing for Chris Matthews, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell incorrectly challenged Abram's fear that Barack Obama wanted to move to a single-payer plan.
After Abram recalled that, "I heard him say on a quote, on television, that...we will move to a single-payer" plan, O'Donnell rebuked "He never said that." When Abram again insisted that she "Heard it on TV," O'Donnell adamantly asserted "The President of the United States has never said that." It turns out Abram knew her facts better than the cable news host, as Obama as recently as last year declared: "If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system," And, as Red State noted, in 2003 Obama told a crowd of AFL-CIO members: "I happen to be a proponent of single-payer, universal health care coverage."
The following exchange was aired on the August 12, edition of "Hardball":
Are you wary of the federal government using taxpayer dollars to advise senior citizens on "end-of-life" issues? If so, you're just "cruel," according to former ABC reporter Linda Douglass, now the communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform.
Douglass appeared on MSNBC's Aug. 12 "Dr. Nancy," with host Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman pointed out that some of the discussion about end-of-life care is just craziness and these "rumors" are difficult to combat (even though there is precedent for governments involved heavily in health care to take such measures, as Michelle Malkin pointed out.)
"I think the criticism about this euthanasia and death panels is just craziness," Snyderman said. "That, in fact, we should be talking about death and dying earlier, but these are rumors that aren't going away."
This is just a small entry, a blog-lette, if you will. Because I happened to have seen this bit of broadcast flapdoodle live, which you now have before you at right (with the audio available here).
On this morning's MSNBC News Live, co-host Angela Burt-Murray - the Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine -uncorks this absolutely wild pitch to Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md):
Recently you released a report on women and health care, and taking a look at the very real issue that families are facing we have more than 64 million women who have lost health care due to loss of job or a spouse that has lost a job. How do you see the Administration's plan being more able to effectively address this issue for women and children in this country?
64 million? Just women?
We have repeatedly documented that the oft-cited 46 million people - men and women - without insurance is completely bogus. But as you will find at the link's destination, the media's number on this vacillates wildly.
Although the glory days of Chris Matthews and his MSNBC program "Hardball" are surely a thing of the past, getting beaten in the prime time cable ratings by a D-list comedienne has got to add insult to injury.
Filling in for Larry King on CNN Monday, Kathy Griffin -- with a guest lineup that featured Joan Rivers, the parents from TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras," and Levi Johnston -- actually drew more viewers than Matthews.
Here are the numbers posted by Drudge (h/t Paul Bedard):