MSNBC’s Alex Witt told a whopper on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt while chatting with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The senator was on to discuss the gun control bill that he and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa) have authored. Manchin used the on-air opportunity to beg viewers and fellow senators to support his bill, and he found at least one willing supporter in the host who was interviewing him. At the end of the interview, Witt told him, “I don't often weigh in with my personal opinion, but I'm behind you 100 percent. Good luck.”
There’s really not much to say here. I think most of us recognize that it’s wrong for a news anchor to voice her support for a senator’s initiative on-air, especially on a topic as controversial as gun control. But Witt tried to excuse her bias in this instance by pretending she doesn’t usually give her own opinion. Perhaps she thought viewers would be more likely to forgive her if they believed her bias was rare. Bias is bias, no matter how often it happens. And Witt, like many MSNBC anchors, certainly has a history of weighing in with her own opinion.
The media’s irresponsible speculation regarding the perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Boston seems to continue on MSNBC. Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on April 16, fill-in host Thomas Roberts brought on Harvard’s Jessica Stern to make predictions about who might have initiated the terrorist attack on April 15.
Stern began her segment by saying that the kind of bomb used in this attack was published in an al-Qaeda magazine before launching into her speculation that the far-right may be responsible:
MSNBC featured author Adam Lankford on Tuesday to wonder about the "message" of the Boston bomber. Was it to "complain about abortion, about taxes?" The guest, labeled a "MSNBC analyst," guessed, "This did happen on tax day in Boston, the place of the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued the reckless speculation: "Or are they trying to protest, you know, foreign wars or something?" Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, has written a book on what makes suicide bombers and rampage shooters do what do. He theorized, "The interesting thing is, this is someone on a stage trying to make a statement and that statement has been lost."
It seems as though The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel should take her own advice in saying that tragic events like the terrorist attack in Boston on April 15 should not be politicized. Appearing on MSNBC’s Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 16, Ms. vanden Heuvel managed to contradict herself within mere seconds.
Speaking with liberal host Alex Wagner and TheGrio.com’s Joy-Ann Reid, the left-wing commentator appeared to at first make a reasoned call for patience in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, insisting that:
Former congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) went on MSNBC this morning to react to yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. In a shameless moment of advocacy, Frank used the tragedy to make a political statement about revenue and the size of government. Considering that this happened on MSNBC, you might expect the host to condone the congressman’s liberal activism, but anchor Thomas Roberts actually called Frank out for his despicable attempt to politicize this tragedy.
Early in the interview, Frank stressed that none of us know much about who and what were behind this event as of yet. So the former congressman turned to what he does know how to do – attacking his ideological opponents: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Former Democratic congressman Barney Frank shamelessly used the Boston Marathon atrocity to promote his liberal political agenda on CNN and MSNBC on Tuesday morning, yet only MSNBC called him out for "making political hay" of the bombing.
"I would say this is a terrible day for our society, but a day when I hope people understand the centrality of having a government in place with the resources," Frank argued on CNN's Starting Point. "No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive." Yet co-host John Berman didn't admonish him for railing against tax and budget cutters less than 24 hours after the bombing, but instead offered some diplomatic praise of his words. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters reported earlier, MSNBC's Chris Matthews seems hell-bent on trying to blame the Boston Marathon bombing on a domestic terrorist, preferrably a conservative one.
After saying shortly into his Hardball program, "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right," Matthews later asked his guests if Tax Day had something to do with the event since it doesn't mean a "whole lot to the Arab world or Islamic world or the, certainly not to al Qaeda" (video follows with transcript):
Just hours after explosions rocked the Boston Marathon on Monday, Chris Matthews speculated, "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right." He then reconsidered and suggested, "...That’s not a good category, just extremists, let’s call them that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
During live coverage, the Hardball host highlighted a possible explosion at John F. Kennedy's presidential library and thought this could be a personal attack on the Democratic Party: "...But going after the Kennedy Library, not something at Bunker Hill, not something from the Freedom Trail or anything that kind of historic, but a modern political figure of the Democratic Party. Does that tell you something?" (Police are now considering the incident at the JFK library to be fire-related.) One can only guess what it tells Chris.
Do you oppose President Obama's gun control proposals? Well then, you must not be against gun violence. So suggested a guest this morning on the new MSNBC show, Up With Steve Kornacki.
Leah Gunn Barrett [insert wisecrack on middle name here], of "New Yorkers Against Gun Violence," was trying to explain away why Second Amendment advocates do so well politically. According to her, gun "enthusiasts" are single-issue voters with good grassroots organization. In contrast, "people who are against gun violence" aren't as well organized. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, host O'Donnell ranted against Republicans who have argued that the proposed new gun laws would not have prevented recent high-profile shootings, as the MSNBC host referred to such talk as "the worst, most vicious lie being told by Republicans."
Referring to nine-year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green, who died in the Tucson, Arizona, mass shooting that targeted former Rep. Gabby Giffords, O'Donnell absurdly claimed that she "was safe" when magazine clips of more than 10 rounds used to be illegal, and asserted that "cowardly lawmakers' indifference to her right to life" was the reason she was killed. O'Donnell:
One of the most blatant and disgusting blackouts of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial occurred on MSNBC on April 11. Appearing on Jansing & Co. on Friday morning, former Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) appeared with Republican strategist Chip Saltsman to discuss changing trends in support for abortion, yet host Chris Jansing did not ask the former governor (and former Philadelphia mayor) about the murder trial for the notorious abortionist in his state.
Gosnell is currently on trial, charged with murdering seven babies and a female patient at his abortion clinic in Philadelphia. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Despite the horrific nature of the crimes Gosnell is accused of committing, including forcing women to endure labor and then deliver live babies that were killed by staff with scissors, the liberal media all but ignored the story altogether, although that may be changing with CNN's Anderson Cooper pledging to delve into the trial tonight.
"CNN and MSNBC, as we can see with the gun control debate are openly promoting not just gun control but the president's gun control agenda and calling it news," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the April 11 edition of Hannity, where he appeared for the popular weekly Media Mash segment. Reacting to the fact that MSNBC's Morning Joe program gave Vice President Biden an entire three-hour program yesterday to push for more gun control, Bozell added that the bias is so endemic that it must be addressed at the corporate level of media ownership, as the so-called news networks are pushing a political agenda, not relaying information and giving time for both sides of the debate.
For the benefit of his viewers at home, Fox News host Sean Hannity played clips of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Vice President Joe Biden praising CNN and MSNBC respectively for their biased coverage. "We appreciate your support too, this is very, very important," Manchin told the anchors of Thursday's edition of CNN's Starting Point. Mr. Vice President, thank you so much," faux conservative Joe Scarborough told the vice president as he wrapped up the April 11 Morning Joe, thanking him for a "great discussion." "No, thank you!" Biden shot back. "No, no, no, no, no. You have changed the debate in America.... The two guys that deserve, if anything gets done [on gun control] - an award here are you and Michael Bloomberg." [watch the video below]
Hardball's Chris Matthews on Thursday again smeared pro-Second Amendment Senators, this time comparing them to "Jim Crow" racists. While talking about GOP politicians who threatened to filibuster the current gun control bill, Matthews spewed, "But you remember when they fought in the early '60s about, about Jim Crow and getting rid of all those racial things down south where it says white only at the gas station, men's room and everything?"
Talking to journalist Chuck Todd, Matthews continued, "And that was the old states of the confederacy were against any of those changes. But now is there that large a body of Republicans out there that are truly being represented by the don't-even-vote crowd?" Apparently, Matthews has again forgotten that it was the Democratic Party that represented the segregationist south. [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough got an endorsement Thursday that he might live to regret.
In an exclusive Morning Joe interview with Joe Biden, the Vice President told Scarborough, "The two guys that deserve - if anything gets done [on gun control] - an award here are you and Michael Bloomberg" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is it MSNBC or MSDNC? Andrew Kirell of Mediaite reported today that the left-wing commentary network has hired the Democratic National Committee’s director of video production, Anne Thompson, to produce the network’s newest weekend show Up with Steve Kornacki. Yet, this is just another episode in the annals of MSNBC’s revolving door of hiring Obamaites. MSNBC has already hired David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, two high-level Obama campaign advisors. On top of that, other Obama acolytes Like Ben LaBolt are recurring guests on shows like Now with Alex Wagner.
If MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, was really trying to distance himself from the Democratic Party, this was a poor decision. Griffin has been trying to dispel the fledgling narrative that his network is nothing more than a communications outlet for the DNC.
It appears as though MSNBC’s war on women agenda has found a new target, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The subject of this controversy comes from the liberal Mother Jones magazine, which obtained audio of a McConnell campaign meeting discussing a potential challenge from Ashley Judd for Senate and preparing a dossier on weaknesses she has as a candidate.
The liberal media, particularly MSNBC, have been busy using the leaked audio as an occasion to bludgeon McConnell, but MSNBC Live host Thomas Roberts took things a step further on his April 10 program by posing a question to his audience obviously devised as a call to the liberal actress to get back into the game and run for Senate in 2014 after all:
Was Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign office bugged or do they have a mole on their team? Lots of finger pointing over those secret strategy tapes making fun of actress Ashley Judd if she were to throw her hat in the ring and run against him. And that leads our question of the day for you. Should Ashley Judd reconsider running now that Mitch McConnell’s opposition playbook has been revealed?
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell fretted that people "suffer deprivations" in the United States because the U.S. is the "world's biggest tax haven" with a relatively low tax burden compared to other countries. After showing his viewers a chart recounting that the U.S. ranks 31st in the percentage of the economy the government collects in taxes, O'Donnell added:
Karen Finney’s days as a Democratic National Committee spokeswoman are over, but you would never know that by listening to her speak in her current role as MSNBC contributor. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Finney essentially reprised her role as DNC press secretary during a discussion with former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) about President Obama’s proposed budget.
Host Alex Witt asked Finney how tough it would be for the president to get his own party on board with his budget proposal, given that many Democrats are upset about the proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Finney ignored the question, instead using it as a chance to attack House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP. “I think [Boehner’s] reaction basically showed that Republicans are not at all sincere about wanting to work with the president. They won't accept the balanced approach," she groused. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Maybe MSNBC was trying to deflect some of the controversy surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry's previous "Lean Forward" promo by pushing out a new one. MH-P had provoked outrage in that earlier promo by proclaiming that "kids belong to their communities," not to their parents.
But if anything, the new promo aired during today's Morning Joe just adds fuel to MH-P's socialist fire. While claiming to defend meritocracy, Harris-Perry could only grudgingly admit that the most successful should earn "a little more." She then proceeded to proclaim as a right "health care, education, decent housing and quality food at all times." From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, anyone? View the video after the jump.
With his penchant for ripping Republicans rather than Democrats, Joe Scarborough likely long ago ruined his chances of winning a Republican primary. But the Morning Joe host today jokingly acknowledged how particularly tough it would now be, after Harry Reid yesterday approvingly quoted him on the Senate floor.
Ever since Newtown, Scarborough has been waging a daily campaign for gun control, repeatedly scourging Republicans for their opposition to President Obama's proposals. Quoth Reid: "Scarborough tears into GOP filibuster on gun bill, and I quote, 'is anybody awake in my party?'" View the video after the jump.
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes praised Britain's "beloved" national health care program as possibly "one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy," as he admitted to delivering criticism from a liberal point of view of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration.
In what is a rare occurrence on MSNBC, one of the panelists actually challenged the conventional liberal view on one of its daytime shows. The most recent example occurred on Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 9, when Ron Fournier of National Journal rejected the panel’s arguments that the Plan B pill should be available over-the-counter to all girls, regardless of age.
The segment began with host Alex Wagner seemingly perplexed at the Obama Administration’s initial position that girls under 17 should have to obtain a prescription for Plan B. Wagner commented that:
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry this afternoon took to her blog on the network's website to "double down" on her recent "Lean Forward" spot in which she lamented that we as Americans don't have a view of our "collective" responsibility to the nation's children.
From start to finish, the Tulane professor played the victim of right-wing persecution, even closing with a link to Matthew 5:44, where Jesus commands his followers to "love [their] enemies and pray for those who persecute [them]." Here's how Harris-Perry opened her April 9 blog (emphasis mine):
Al Sharpton on Monday said one of the funniest things uttered on MSNBC this year.
Talking with Chris Matthews immediately after President Obama's speech in Hartford, Connecticut, Sharpton said - with a straight face no less! - "We’re not engaging in Americans hating each other" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Monday admitted he and others at his network are not journalists but instead are advocates and activists.
Speaking with Al Sharpton on Politics Nation immediately following President Obama's speech in Hartford, Connecticut, Matthews said, "I don’t think there’s any problem with taking sides" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to BuzzFeed, the gay son of a Republican congressman claims both CNN and MSNBC canceled interviews with him after he refused to criticize his father, who opposes same-sex marriage, on the air. He said CNN producers were "gung ho" about an interview before they changed their mind.
CNN's Piers Morgan Live and MSNBC's The Last Word were the two shows that reportedly canceled on Matt R. Salmon, son of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.). Sources from both networks responded to BuzzFeed, denying that they dropped him because of his refusal to criticize his father.
Someone at NBC News really has to take a serious look at the things coming out of Martin Bashir's mouth.
On Monday's MSNBC program bearing his name, the host actually asked a Democratic Congressman if a family member of a Republican Senator is going to have to be killed in order to prevent a filibuster on gun control legislation (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Joe Scarborough’s vitriolic language against conservatives appears to have entered a fever pitch on April 8, as the MSNBC host disgustingly asserted that the GOP cares more about a rapist’s rights than parent’s rights. The faux conservative host of Morning Joe made such a charge in his attack on Republicans planning to filibuster a federal gun control bill.
Scarborough, who along with the rest of MSNBC -- save S.E. Cupp -- has been on a gun-control tirade over the past several months, on their show Monday ranted that:
We’ve got an issue that is a 92-7 issue and I can't believe that Republicans, first of all, aren't going to support it but, secondly won't let background checks against rapists, people who have committed manslaughter in the past, people with mental illness, dangerous mental illness. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]