On Wednesday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews thought he saw racism in two ads targeted against Barack Obama, but when his media panel full of liberal journalists disagreed he back-pedaled a bit.
First up Matthews ran a clip of what he called a "nasty," ad by the North Carolina Republican Party. The Politico's Roger Simon agreed with Matthews that it was "nasty" but said, he wasn’t sure it was "unfair."
Then Matthews ran an ad hitting Obama for opposing the death penalty in Chicago for gang members and claimed:
"It's a giant permission slip to somebody who doesn't want to vote for him to begin with. And it’s also a permission slip for the Republican Party to use him as a target throughout the general election."
However Simon disagreed with Matthews’ implication that it had a racial tinge as he pointed out:
See that green thing over there? It's MSNBC's fig leaf. The network has decided to take it all off and admit what everyone knew was obvious: that it's trying to become the far-left's cable channel of choice.
That's really about all you can say after learning the news that the MSNBC show "Race for the White House" will now be simulcast live at 6pm ET on Air America, the low-rated radio network for liberals.
"Race" is a nightly show about the 2008 campaign hosted by liberal NBC reporter David Gregory and prominently features Air America host Rachel Maddow as a panelist. The simulcast move is just one of the latest in a long series of leftward moves made by MSNBC since it determined that pandering to the nutroots left could rescue it from the ratings cellar.
Could it be a continuation of Hillary's winning shot-and-a-beer strategy? Appearing on Morning Joe the day after her PA primary win, Clinton popped the top on an even six-pack of cackles. Perhaps her good humor was inspired not only by her victory, but by Joe Scarborough's unabashed [if possibly facetious] pandering, describing himself and sidekick Willie Geist as Hillary's "only shameless flacks in the media."
For your listening pleasure, I've edited a clip of Hillary's cavalcade of laughs. Watch and listen here.
Hillary made the rounds of all the morning news show, and as is her wont was relentlessly on message:
sloughs off NY Times editorial criticizing her negativity
she leads in actual votes [including Michigan and Florida and while I'm not quite clear about this, possibly excluding caucuses and counting only primaries]
OK for superdelegates to discount elected delegate count.
During MSNBC's live coverage of Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary, co-anchor Chris Matthews brought up the possibility that the North Carolina Republican Party would run an "overtly racist" campaign against Barack Obama, as the MSNBC host harkened back to the days of Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt. Matthews: "North Carolina will be interesting, and I think that if the Republican Party goes back to the old trick it did with the days of Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt and running a campaign which is overtly racist, I think that will be a mistake if they do that. I'll wait and see if they do that." (Transcript follows)
After referring to Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, co-anchor Keith Olbermann brought up the possibility that John McCain could also be attacked for connections with controversial people: "There is a lot that could be thrown at the Republicans by the Democrats and the past associations of Senator McCain, or even some of the current ones."
Update 7:50 PM: Chris Proclaims Polls Closed 1/2 Hour Early! See foot.
The problem with Chris Matthews playing footsie with the idea of running for US Senator from Pennsylvania: when he says something nowadays, how can you tell whether he means it, or is just trying to position himself for a possible run?
Take this evening's Hardball, during which Matthews castigated Joe Lieberman as having been a "terrible" running-mate for Al Gore in 2000. Kiki McLean, a senior Clinton advisor, was Chris's guest. McLean mentioned that she had been an aide to Lieberman in 2000, and to Gore when he was the Veep candidate [1992?]. That set Matthews off.
Granted, there's lots of time to go, but it's not going to be easy to catch Mika Brzezinski, the early clubhouse leader for the Year's Most Inapt Metaphor.
Barackophile Brzezinski made her bid for the prize during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe, accusing the Clinton campaign of having pounced on Obama like . . . lemmings.
Let's set the stage: the topic was a TV commercial Hillary's running in PA that, in touting her readiness to confront any crisis, briefly flashed an image of Osama Bin Laden. A headline [see screencap after break] in Today's NY Post claims the commercial employs "scare tactics" and the "fear factor." Joe Scarborough suggested that as tough tactics go, the ad was in fact small potatoes compared to truly brass-knuckled methods employed in the past. After playing a clip of Obama responding by touting his own leadership credentials, Scarborough complimented the candidate for not complaining.
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seemed worried by Hillary Clinton's pledge during Wednesday's debate that "if Iran attacks Israel, apparently Senator Clinton is going to order massive retaliation." Olbermann suggested Clinton had "set herself up as an imperial President waiting to happen." After the MSNBC host contended that Clinton's pledge "may be further to the right than the Bush administration," liberal talk radio host/MSNBC analyst Rachel Maddow further charged that an "immediate threat by Iran" was merely "invented by neo-cons." Maddow: "Hillary Clinton, of course, put an exclamation point on it by talking about poleaxing our entire approach to foreign policy in order to counteract this immediate threat by Iran, which has been invented by the neo-cons." (Transcript follows)
Referring to the debate, Olbermann teased the April 17 Countdown show: "The only real news, if Iran attacks Israel, apparently Senator Clinton is going to order massive retaliation. Did she set herself up as an imperial President waiting to happen?"
On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that former White House advisor Karl Rove recently sent a letter to MSNBC's Dan Abrams asking him to identify exactly what investigative research was done to verify allegations by the network that Rove was involved in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
On Thursday's "Verdict," Abrams told his audience, "Karl Rove has sent me an angry five-page letter," but chose not to share ANY of its contents, or address ANY of the 58 questions posed to him by Rove in the correspondence.
Instead, Abrams continued to point fingers at his target of disaffection (video embedded upper-right):
In today's episode of "As The Left Eat Their Own," a tape of Hillary Clinton complaining after Super Tuesday that activists from MoveOn.org "flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support [her]" was published at The Huffington Post Friday.
This has set off a predictably hostile reaction from the liberal blogosphere, and was considered such a bombshell that Barack Obama-loving MSNBC actually began Friday's installment of "Verdict" with this revelation.
But, before we get there, here's the text of Hillary's remarks (audio embedded upper-right):
Although many press outlets have reported a so-called nefarious connection between former White House advisor Karl Rove and the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, none has focused as much attention on this conspiracy theory as MSNBC.
In the last four months, MSNBC has addressed this issue thirteen times, with nine involving former General Manager Dan Abrams.
Seemingly fed up with the continued unsubstantiated and poorly researched reporting by Abrams, Rove sent him a rather strongly-worded letter on April 13 (emphasis added throughout, h/t NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez via NBer Jonah Johansen):
Hillary–gone in a week? Yes, if you believe Michael Smerconish.
The Philly-based radio talk show host was the only Pennsylvanian on the panel on this evening's Race for the White House on MSNBC. He saved his bombshell for last. Nothing in the kibitzing preceding the show-closing Predictions segment foreshadowed Smerconish's surprising suggestion. But when it came time to break out the crystal ball, Smerconish unloaded.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Mine's a two-parter. Part one: Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Barack Obama 51, Hillary Clinton 49%. Part two: Thursday, 4 PM Eastern: Hillary Clinton suspends her campaign.
For those that are luckily unfamiliar, Rachel Maddow is one of the darlings of the extreme-left in this country. A regular on MSNBC's "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann, the Air America Radio host is also a panel member on that network's "Race for the White House" with David Gregory.
Another panel member is Joe Scarborough, and those that have watched this program since its inception know that he holds Maddow in as low esteem as any self-respecting conservative would -- or any sane American, for that matter.
With that as pretext, on Thursday's show, Scarborough apparently had enough of this liberal antagonist; during the following exchange, he unhooked his microphone, walked off the set, and didn't return (video embedded upper right):
In our nation's history, there are few images more heroic, more sacred in a civil sense, than that of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Time has now twisted, and enlisted, that image for its "war on global warming."
Time editor Rick Stengel, making his regular Thursday appearance on Morning Joe to tout the week's cover story, naturally thought it was a wonderful idea. He also explained why Time decided to editorialize in favor of a "massive" effort to combat global warming.
The cable network MSNBC has refused to air an advertisement from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group created by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg,on the grounds that the ad is too "controversial."
The ad, below, features each of the three leading presidential candidates pledging to make it harder to buy guns at gun shows, and images of three mayors urging viewers to call Congress and ask that a bill closing the "gun-show loophole" be passed.
The ad is airing on CNN and Fox, and on affiliates around the country, a Bloomberg aide said.
Los Angeles Times reporter and blogger Andrew Malcolm drew an interview on MSNBC Tuesday for his report at Top of the Ticket that Oprah Winfrey is suffering in popularity due to her endorsement and campaigning for Barack Obama. (MSNBC also blamed a popular YouTube video called The Church of Oprah Exposed). Malcolm and Don Frederick reported that while Oprah certainly boosted Obama’s star power, it came with a price:
But little attention has been paid to the effect of Obama on Oprah. Now along comes Costas Panagopoulos, an assistant professor of political science at New York's Fordham University, to ask and answer just that question.
Writing at Politico.com, he suggested Winfrey has paid a price for getting into the dirty business of politics. By August 2007, a CBS poll found her favorable rating had dropped, from 74% to 61%. Recently, her rating dipped a bit more, to 55%.
If Barack Obama is looking for proof there are indeed bitter Americans out there, he need look no further than across the kitchen table.
Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Michelle Obama on the stump that I can only call stunning. By her tone, and her language both verbal and physical, this is one angry lady. The transcript below doesn't begin to convey Mrs. Obama's apparent rage.
That Bill Clinton was elected twice is proof that an angry wife is no bar to office. But Michelle Obama's level of ire can certainly be no asset on the campaign trail. Morning Joe did air it, but just how much MSM coverage will we see of what I would sincerely call an astounding piece of video?
During Morning Joe's opening segment today, Joe Scarborough, in an apparent allusion to the ambitions Chris Matthews has expressed, facetiously wondered whether the panel should start calling the Hardball host "Senator."
But just a bit later, Scarborough seized on a question Matthews posed to John McCain yesterday to illustrate a classic bit of MSM bias: the way the liberal media only speak of a "litmus test" when it comes to Republicans choosing pro-life nominees, never in regard to Dems picking pro-choicers.
Stephen Colbert called it "an announcement." Chris Matthews went on the Comedy Central show last night and, responding to the host's importuning to declare his candidacy for US Senator from Pennsylvania, ultimately stated: "I want to be a senator."
Over on MSNBC, Morning Joe played a clip of their colleague's appearance, then chewed it over.
STEPHEN COLBERT: There's a lot of talk that you might be running for Arlen Specter's seat.
Kudos to NBC's David Gregory for making a relatively rare declaration of just how fanatically anti-Israel the terrorist group Hamas actually is. On Friday's Race for the White House on MSNBC, Gregory hosted a panel discussion of whether Jimmy Carter's plans to meet with a Hamas leader are a danger to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during which Gregory described Hamas as "the terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel." After liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz suggested that negotiation with Hamas may some day be necessary, Gregory further clarified his description of Hamas's nature: "But, well, but this is a different matter. I mean, Hamas has made it very clear, Tony Blankley, that it wants Israel destroyed in no uncertain terms." (Transcript follows)
On the Thursday April 10 The Situation Room, CNN's Brian Todd similarly noted that Hamas has "called for Israel's destruction." Todd: "Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It's called for Israel's destruction."
Not that it comes as a surprise, but should Chris Matthews reveal his pro-Obama rooting interest as blatantly as he did today?
On this evening's Hardball, the man who gets a thrill from Barack expressed "concern" that Hillary might have a stronger-than-expected finish in the Pennsylvania Dem primary. Matthews was reading the tea leaves with two Keystone State pros: Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer and veteran journalist Larry Kane. After Kane reported that the Obama people are more optimistic than they're letting on, and believe it's going to be a "close finish," Matthews let his Obama slip show in this exchange with Polman.
Must be something about midnight. Sometime between 11 PM and 3 AM, Hillary Clinton is transformed from a sleepy sexagenarian who can't keep her facts straight into a bold Commander-in-Chief dealing decisively with the crisis of the moment.
We all know about Hillary's 3 AM mastery. As for 11 PM, Bill Clinton went on the campaign trail in Indiana yesterday and chalked up his wife's problems with the truth of Tuzla to the senior moments that afflict people of her age at that time of night.
A week ago I was mystified when Chris Matthews went out of his way to butter up Ed Rendell when the Dem Pennsylvania governor appeared on Hardball, and described the schmoozing here. Now, call it mystery likely solved. According to one account, Matthews has approached Rendell for help in a possible 2010 U.S. Senate run. That seems an ever-more-likely scenario, given Matthews's decidely non-Shermanesque response to a suggestion that he's well-positioned to make a run against Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in 2010.
The "Hardball" host's intriguing comments came in response to Philly-based radio talk show host Michael Smerconish who speculated on Wednesday's show about the possibility of a Matthews Senate campaign.
Unexpectedly, the former Tip O'Neill aide declined to tamp down the rumor:
On Wednesday's "Hardball" Chris Matthews repeated his charge that neo-cons believe in enforcing human rights only at the "point of gun." During a discussion on protests following the Olympic torch's path to China, "The Financial Times'," Chrystia Freeland pointed out that "neo-cons" as well as liberals, believed in spreading human rights to which Matthews interjected: "Yeah but at the point of a gun!"
The following exchange occurred on the April 9 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, is this a bit of an elitist issue Chrystia? In other words, college students, people who are perhaps more interested in international events than it is a trade issue?
When it comes to media bias, if liberals are not only able to recognize your press organization's lack of impartiality, but also assert such when cameras are rolling, you know you're not fooling anybody.
Such appears to certainly be the case with cable network MSNBC, and, in particular, its "Countdown" host, which both were the targets of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) a few weeks ago when he actually stated three times on PBS's "Charlie Rose," "Keith Olbermann should be on the Obama payroll."
With Olbermann's sycophantic behavior during this campaign, what makes Rendell think he's not?
With that in mind, the following extraordinarily candid discussion on March 26 that somehow slipped under the radar until now is sure to delight all those disgusted with the behavior of MSNBC employees (h/t Olbermann Watch via Hot Air, video embedded upper right):
In yet another in a disgraceful series of indecent journalistic collaborations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Hillary Clinton's Think Progress actually quoted al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to discredit Republican presidential candidate John McCain (video embedded right, use scrollbars to properly center).
For those interested in a political giggle this fine Saturday, I recommend a cute sketch done by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart Thursday evening (embedded right).
First, Stewart lampooned Chris Wallace for placing a "24"-style ticker on the screen to illustrate how long it's been since the host of "Fox News Sunday" challenged Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama to come on his program.
Next, Stewart went after "Hardball's" Chris Matthews for his shameless cheerleading for Obama.
Yet, in the end, Obama had the last laugh, deliciously at Matthews' expense (viewers are cautioned about mild vulgarity in the clip):
Like characters in a Currier & Ives scene, a gentle snow has covered the Clintons. Make that a gentle Snow . . .
On yesterday's Hardball, Chris Matthews, smelling a rat, was livid when he learned that the Clintons had failed to file or release their 2007 tax return. But on today's Good Morning America, Kate Snow managed to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear of the Clinton's delay. Far from depicting it as a means to evade the promulgation of inconvenient facts, Snow painted the procrastination as proof of the Clintons' humanity. Compare and contrast . . .
HARDBALL APRIL 4TH
DAVID SHUSTER: As far as the details we do not have the details from last year. We don't have those specific consulting fees for last year.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I was predicting [that] . . . now Joan [Walsh of Salon.com], it seems to me everybody wanted to know where the Clintons got their income. Is there any sticky income? We're not getting that information. The one thing we were promised to get.
Appearing on Morning Joe a couple weeks ago, Time editor Rick Stengel was quick to blame the controversy over Rev. Wright's past remarks on "the incredible ignorance of white Americans" about what goes on in black churches.
But the Time editor wasn't quite so forgiving when it came to the past of the current pontiff. Appearing on today's Morning Joe to discuss Time's cover story on Pope Benedict XVI's impending visit to America, Stengel blithely referred to the Pope as having been the Vatican's "hatchet man" during his years as a cardinal.