After his May 8 prediction that White House aide Karle Rove "will, in fact, be indicted" blew up in his face as investigators into the Valerie Plame non-scandal told Rove he would not be charged, you'd think MSNBC correspondent David Shuster would have stayed away from making prognostications based on his own reporting.
If you predicted that, however, you would've been wrong.
Last Wednesday, Shuster confidently asserted that his sources told him that GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert would be ousted from power by a week. Well, it's Thursday now and Hastert is still very much in the Speaker's Chair. Will Shuster trouble himself to issue a retraction? Perhaps the perpetually inaccurate Keith Olbermann might bestir himself to force one since he now seems slightly more interested in accuracy, especially since Shuster's remark was made on his show.
In any case, Shuster should definitely consider developing some better sources since they've steered him wrong rather profoundly on two instances in less than six months' time.
Full text of Shuster's comment is below the fold. Tip of the hat to Olbermann Watch for reminding me of when Shuster made his false prediction.
While many Americans were watching football games on Sunday, the best battle was actually on MSNBC where conservative radio talk show host Steve Malzberg took on liberal radio talk show host Mike Malloy.
There was clearly bad blood between these two from a previous fight earlier in the day, and referee Contessa Brewer warned the combatants to behave themselves this time. Thankfully, the contestants ignored her requests, and by the end, the encounter turned into full scale war, with Brewer concluding, "At this point, I feel like I could use a nap." Malzberg wasn't going to let the ref get the last word, parrying, "You wonder why you're in last place" referring to MSNBC's pathetic ratings. Brewer responded, "Oh that's kind of a low blow for a Sunday afternoon. Low!"
For those that like a good fight as much as a Gershwin tune, this is must-see TV right here.
The show bills itself as 'Hardball.' But in surrounding himself with regulars who are either certified liberals or renegade Republicans, doesn't Chris Matthews prove himself to be a softy, unwilling or unable to take the high heat from true-blue Republican flamethrowers?
Let me say something that might surprise some NewsBusters readers and dismay others. I like Matthews. Not that conservatives are the arbiters of patriotism, but I do consider Chris someone who loves his country and, as misguided as he may be on various policy issues - has its best interests at heart. He's no Keith Olbermann.
That said, although he professes not to be a partisan and will speak to Democrats about "your" - not "our" - party, there can be little doubt that his rooting interest hasn't changed much since the days he was a top aide to Tip.
On FNC's two-hour Sunday special (8-10pm EDT) to mark the channel's tenth anniversary, former CBS News and MSNBC executive Erik Sorenson articulated what the AP's David Bauder last week paraphrased him as acknowledging: How New York-based news media executives were so out of touch that they did not recognize the depth of belief in liberal media bias into which FNC tapped. “There was a full-on commitment” to the “fair and balanced” premise, Sorenson proposed during FNC's special, Fox News at 10: Thank You America, in explaining FNC's success: “There were far more people in America who seemed to hold that opinion of the liberal media bias than anyone in New York City -- the media capital of the world -- had estimated."
As detailed in an October 2 NewsBusters posting, Bauder had reported: “Before Fox, many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President. 'Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized,' he said.”
“Before Fox,” the AP's David Bauder relayed in a weekend article about the tenth anniversary of the Fox News Channel, “many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President.” Sorenson, the President of the Secaucus, New Jersey-based MSNBC from 1999 through early 2004, where he re-hired Keith Olbermann in 2003 to replace Phil Donahue's show which he had created, told Bauder: "Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized." Many realized it earlier, just not very many inside MSNBC -- or CBS News, where he served as Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News from 1991 to 1995. So he should know how Rush Limbaugh was banned from the newscast back then. Indeed, Bauder related how "the very idea that Rush Limbaugh would appear on a CBS Evening News segment called 'Free Speech,' heavily promoted on Katie Couric's first night as anchor, would have been unfathomable a decade ago, Sorenson said."
Late on Friday night's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," former Bush administration aide Ron Christie, author of "Black in the White House," pressed host Chris Matthews on the suggestion that if Republican Sen. George Allen's alleged racial slurs in the 1970s are a character flaw, what about the Democrats re-electing Senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansman, this fall? Matthews protested in a lecturing tone that "everyone knows about it....It's been raised a thousand times on his record." After claiming he was not defending Byrd, he told Christie: "The guy's 90 years old. Give him a break."
I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that a TV host whose idea of a show-closer is tossing wadded-up balls of paper at the camera would indulge in middle-school-worthy taunts about someone's weight. And yet . . . I actually was surprised when on tonight's show, Keith Olbermann unleashed a string of jibes aimed at Roger Ailes' physique. So surprised that when Olbermann first began his barrage, with a comment about Ailes doing something "between pies," I truly wondered whether I had misheard him or perhaps misunderstood his intent. Fat jokes? Could my fellow Cornellian really be stooping that low?
He could. Olbermann's mean-spirited motive soon became manifest. Displaying what was presumably the least flattering photo of the Fox chief he could find [shown here], Olbermann followed that comment with this string of insults:
A. telling a story in which the n-word is liberally used, or
B. driving through a black neighborhood, flaunting rifles and yelling racial epithets?
I'm going with 'B.' So why did Chris Matthews devote the first half of this afternoon's "Hardball" to the n-word story, and not one second to the driving-through-the-black-neighborhood story?
You don't suppose, do you, that it could have anything to do with the fact that 'A' concerns Republican George Allen, and 'B' his Dem challenger, James Webb?
Matthews opened Hardball with an extended segment featuring Patricia Waring, who in 1978 was apparently the wife of the coach of the University of Virginia rugby club team. She claims that, attending one game, she overheard George Allen telling a story in which he repeatedly used the n-word. She says she confronted him about it, asking him not to use the word.
As I mentioned on September 25, CBS News terror analyst Michael Scheuer pounced on President Clinton and asserted the Clinton administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden, as Clinton had claimed on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. That sentiment was echoed by MSNBC analyst and Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Colonel Jack Jacobs on Wednesday’s "Imus in the Morning." Jacobs maintained Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace was "pure fiction;" he accused the Clinton administration of not even trying to kill bin Laden, and described President Clinton as "...basically a junk yard dog with a little bit of polish and a lot of hair."
Colonel Jacobs first discussed the erosion of the nation’s intelligence capabilities and described it as having been broken for "a very long time. Decades as a matter of fact," and was critical of the way intelligence funds are spent now because it’s not "in an organized fashion, before airing his criticisms of President Clinton. Jacobs declared:
Who would have thought that Howard Dean would come off looking like the relatively statesmanlike DNC Chair? Dean has acknowledged that Chris Wallace was "tough but fair" in his questioning of Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Dean's DNC predecessor Terry McAuliffe, with all the class and dignity for which he's known, has attacked Wallace as a Republican "tool," suggesting along the way that Tucker Carlson must be on drugs.
McAuliffe was a guest on Carlson's MSNBC show this afternoon. Tucker touched things off with this observation:
"It's interesting to see the attack machine cranked up again. I notice you're trying to paint Chris Wallace as some sort of right-wing lunatic. I don't think Chris Wallace is a right-winger for one thing. He had Donald Rumsfeld on his show, I'm not here to defend Fox I'm just telling the truth, and he gave Rumsfeld a hard time on 9-11 too. Why is that every time someone calls the Clinton people to account, they all of a sudden start screaming 'you're a right-winger, you're part of the conspiracy against us'? Why can't they evaluate criticism on its own terms?"
Let's play one of our favorite games: WIACHSI, which of course stands for "What If a Conservative Had Said It?"
Ready? OK, let's play. What if a conservative attacked a female liberal icon by calling her promiscuous? How many Dem pols, NOW leaders, assorted Naomi Wolfs of the world . . . and Air America hosts would be popping up all over the MSM to proclaim their outrage?
And yet, on today's edition of Tucker Carlson, Air America host and class-action trial lawyer [nice two-fer!] Mike Papantonio leveled the loose-woman charge at none other than Ann Coulter.
The subject was a new book, "I Hate Ann Coulter", written by four authors who have chosen to remain anonymous out of their supposed fear of "gun-toting abortion-clinic bombing, self-proclaimed wing nuts who follow Coulter."
The incoming top editor of "Newsweek" magazine, Jon Meacham, cast aspersions on the legitimacy of President Bush on the same "Imus in the Morning" broadcast I referenced earlier. Meacham conjured up memories of the 2000 election, asserting that "Al Gore was elected by the American people, but not allowed to serve." Additionally, Meacham gave credence to the left wing blogosphere and claimed that it has been since 1988 since a candidate for president has won a clear majority of the popular vote without "any questions about the count in a presidential election."
President Bush won almost 51% of the vote in 2004, a clear majority. However, this is dismissed by Meacham, most probably because of "questions" of the vote count in Ohio. President Bush won the state of Ohio by 118,601 votes. First of all, it is highly unlikely that any "questions" about the vote would be enough to overturn that type of margin. Secondly, where did these "questions" come from? From the left wing blogosphere, people who would not have accepted a Bush victory by any margin and would have tried to delegitimize the vote regardless.
On Monday, a senior "Newsweek" editor, Jon Meacham, defended Bill Clinton’s performance on "Fox News Sunday," calling the interview, fantastic. Meacham also asserted that Clinton was articulate; there was a lot of merit to what he said, and that he was making a good case.
On Monday’s "Imus in the Morning," Meacham gushed over Clinton’s performance noting:
"For anyone who believes that character doesn’t matter in politics, that (the Fox interview) should be exhibit A."
He continued, defending Clinton’s performance:
"At the same time, he was, you know, making a good case that he had, you know, made, moved in the right direction on bin Laden, but flip it round, as we all remember, and you all are talking about, he was handcuffed by his own faults and flaws."
Last night viewers of MSNBC's Hardball were greeted with this jarring intro from Chris Matthews: "The country thought Bush was a pleasant, down to earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse, or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless.He started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt, and repeatedly defied the Constitution,' the words today of David Broder, the country's premier political reporter. Let's play Hardball." Matthews celebrated Broder's Washington Post column as Hardball highlighted it not once but three times.
Well sports fans, that big bounce in ratings that Keith Olbermann received as a result of his vitriol-filled rant about President Bush on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is now officially over. It appears that those who tuned in last Tuesday and Wednesday to see what all the fuss was about – including those that were lobbied by liberal bloggers to do so – learned what many with a better-than-room-temperature intelligence quotient already knew.
In fact, the gap between Olbermann’s paltry ratings and what Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace are getting in the same time slot has widened. According to TVNewser:
Chris Matthews sees W's favorables going up and the Dem generic congressional edge going down. He's ticked, and on tonight's Hardball he made clear his explanation for this revoltin' development: the MSM isn't churning out enough bad news from Iraq.
Matthews first floated the idea during a segment with GOP strategist Ben Ginsburg and Dem counterpart Steve McMahon. I'll mention as an aside that McMahon strikes me as one of the more reasonable, straightforward Dem partisans.
Quoth Chris: "Does it bother you gentlemen both that when you watch television now that the war seems to have left the TV screen to a large extent and that's helping your [GOP] party? Does that bother you that this war is largely off television now? We're not being shown it that much."
In the course of the last few weeks Keith Olbermann's "Special Comments" have become a Countdown staple in which the host plays to his Daily Kos demographic with vitriolic condemnations of all things Bush. I thought Olbermann had reached the nec plus ultra of nastiness with his suggestion a couple weeks ago that the Bush administration represented "a new type of fascism." I might have been wrong. MRC's Brad Wilmouth has comprehensively documented Keith Olbermann's 'Special Comment' of last night. In the course of those comments, Olbermann chose to invoke, of all things, the people's right to overthrow a tyrannical government.
Monday, on "Imus in the Morning" guest Jonathan Alter of Newsweek magazine claimed Vice President Cheney has a "toxic combination of arrogance and incompetence," leading Mr. Imus to compare the Vice President to...the BTK killer.
Alter continued his ongoing diatribe against the administration, implying that the administration is un-American for wanting defined rules of interrogation for terror suspects, rather than a broad statement banning anything that "offends the decency of mankind" that is open to broad interpretation and could lead to interrogators later being accused of war crimes. Alter framed the debate as a debate between "heroic" figures like Senators John McCain, John Warner, and Lindsey Graham who want to limit interrogation tactics to our "American values," and the "chicken hawks" in the administration who allegedly favor torture.
There’s been a lot of press lately surrounding the sudden resurgence of the Republican Party, and how a Democrat capture of Congress this November is no longer the certainty the media were presenting just months ago. Further proof of a decline in press conviction regarding this matter was evident on Sunday’s “Chris Matthews Show” (video and transcript to follow).
With his panel stacked with liberal sympathizers like Norah O’Donnell, Dan Rather, and Cynthia Tucker, one wouldn’t have expected an honest assessment of the condition of today’s Democrat Party. Yet, as Matthews asked Rather if President Bush heading into the midterm elections can “change the issue” and “beat the wrap that he took us into Iraq,” Rather miraculously responded, “Yes and yes.” He then stated something that many impartial political observers have been saying for months, nay years: “A lot depends on what the Democrats respond with. And so far they haven't been able to get control of the agenda.”
Rosie O’Donnell, the newly installed co-host at "The View," observed the 9/11 anniversary by stating that America "squandered" world support and the next day she asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam."
O’Donnell wasn’t the only media member to use September 11 as a pretext to bash America. CBS veteran Andy Rooney suggested in his "60 Minutes" commentary that America start acting in a way that "wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us." MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann went further, accusing President Bush of "impeachable" offenses and "lies."
Appearing on another network, but continuing in the same vein, Sean Penn talked to CNN’s Larry King and mused about the President bringing fascism to the United States...
As hard as it might be to believe, the liberal defense of Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-theistic comments on Tuesday’s “The View” has become almost as absurd and offensive as the remarks themselves. First a media analyst on Wednesday night claimed that "Radical Christianity" is just as bad as radical Islam because abortion clinics in the past have been attacked as reported here. Then, on Thursday’s “Scarborough Country” (hat tip to Hot Air), Huffington Post media analyst Rachel Sklar suggested that Christians opposed to abortion and condom use are just as dangerous to America as Islamic extremists (video link and full transcript to follow).
So, in the course of 24 hours, the definition of "Radical Christianity" has miraculously expanded to include anyone that is pro-Life and/or is against the use of condoms. Here’s the amazing exchange:
As most of you are sadly aware, new “View” commentator Rosie O’Donnell made some truly absurd statements Tuesday concerning what she perceived as “Radical Christianity” being just as bad as radical Islam as reported by NewsBusters. On Wednesday, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC addressed this issue with a pair of media analysts, with one actually defending Rosie’s preposterous position (video link and full transcript to follow).
As the discussion ensued, Jennifer Pozner of “Women in Media and News” used the tremendously infrequent and unfortunate attacks on abortion clinics as an example of “Radical Christianity” as well as a justification for Rosie’s comments:
Call him a shooting star. Like a meteor lighting a brilliant-but-too-brief trail across the night sky, Tucker Carlson is gone in a blaze of glory from Dancing With The Stars.
The end came shockingly fast, as viewers across the country voted by phone and decided Tucker was the celebrity they could most easily bear not to see again. And thus it was that on Wednesday, Carlson was the first to be voted off the dancing island. All of which is a shame, nay, a national tragedy when you consider that . . . we won't be seeing Tucker's lovely partner Elena Grinenko again any time soon.
There appears to be no joy in libville tonight, sports fans. The huge bounce in viewers that the Great Left Hope – aka Keith Olbermann of MSNBC – enjoyed after his much maligned tirade against President Bush on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 has dissipated as quickly as a campaign promise by one of the politicians he so reveres.
As reported by TVNewser, Olby’s newly born faithful must have found something better to do Wednesday night – as if they had limited options – for his total number of viewers declined by almost 200,000, or a whopping 28 percent from Tuesday. And, as is typically the case, Olby trailed the pack of cable news programs in the 8PM EST time slot, once again getting trounced by Paula Zahn, Nancy Grace, and, especially Bill O’Reilly who garnered more than four times the viewers as the K-man. Nice job, Keith!
When Ben Cardin, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland, appeared on this afternoon's Hardball, host Chris Matthews played a Cardin TV ad most of which was taken up by Cardin informing voters that:
"I always try to do what's right, what's in the best interest of Maryland families: taking on the drug companies, the oil companies, the insurance companies."
Let's first note Cardin's daring admission that he tries to do 'what's right.' Bold stuff! Actually, come to think of the track record of Maryland politicians when it comes to obeying the law, maybe it is a rather maverick position after all.
But moving to the meat of his message, is this the platform that Dems in general and Cardin in particular want to offer voters? Vote for us: we'll attack our country's biggest employers and taxpayers! You might call the platform: Cardin vs. Capitalism.
By now, many of you likely heard about the embarrassing and utterly disgraceful comments made by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as reported here and here. Judging from ratings figures the following evening, Olbermann’s vitriol was a hit with his viewers.
As reported Wednesday by TVNewser, Olbermann’s ratings skyrocketed on Tuesday. His showing was good enough to put him ahead of CNN’s Paula Zahn and CNN Headline News’s Nancy Grace in the 8PM EST time slot, a feat that KO rarely achieves. His estimated 695,000 viewers was 34 percent more than the 518,000 that actually watched this atrocity Monday evening – which was also, as typical, fewer viewers than watched Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace. This was also 75 percent more than the 397,000 viewers KO had on Friday, September 8.
Chris Matthews is as frustrated as an able-bodied seaman after six months without shore leave. While Matthews clearly senses this is the year for the Dems to snatch back the Speaker's gavel, hisfrustration is born of the fear that the Dems will squander the opportunity out of timidity - an unwillingness to attack President Bush on the war in Iraq.
Things boiled over during the 5 PM EDT edition of this evening's Hardball. With guests Howard Fineman of Newsweek and Chuck Todd of the Hotline as witnesses to the meltdown, Matthews first played a hard-hitting Moveon.org ad accusing Republicans of misleading the nation into Iraq and trying to "exploit 9/11" to win elections. Matthews complained that while the Republicans are willing to use the same kind of tactics against the Democrats, Dems "are afraid to run an ad like that."
As the Dancing With the Stars host said, Tucker Carlson - host of the MSNBC show of the same name - "has braved some of the most perilous situations in the world, but now [for] his most intimidating assignment - dancing the cha-cha-cha on national television."
It was Tucker's turn to shine on tonight's episode of Dancing With the Stars. Carlson's professional dance partner Elena Grinenko did her best to lower expectations. Said the sultry Russian "when it comes to Tucker's ability for dancing . . . " She let a grimace express her dubious assessment. But - thanks to MRC's Brent Baker - we have the video: so you be the judge!
What would you call someone who, as per Project Vote Smart, within the last six years has received a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and a 0% from the National Right-to-Life Committee? A 100% rating from the ACLU. A 0% rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. A 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and a 0% rating from the conservative Family Research Council?
Oh, and someone who voted against George W. Bush for president in 2004, against the confirmation of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, and who demands the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?
I'd call that person a liberal. Not MSNBC. Not Hardball. Not Chris Matthews's field correspondent David Shuster. The person in question is Republican-barely-in-name-only Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. How did Shuster describe him in a set-up piece for Hardball's discussion of the Rhode Island GOP senatorial primary this evening? A "moderate Republican."
Latest dispatch from the MSM moral-relativism front.
MSNBC's Tony Maciulis appeared on the network's 'The Most' show this afternoon to report on a story dealing with Craigslist, the online classifed ad website. A man called Jason Fortuny had posted a fake personal on the Craigslist's Seattle page, posing as an attractive 27-year old woman seeking sex with men. The ad elicited numerous replies, many including explicit photos of the suitors.
Fortuny in turn posted the men's replies, including the photos, on another website, no doubt causing embarrassment if not more for many of them.
'Most' host Alison Stewart asked Maciulis whether the men who submitted the replies "were doing anything wrong?"