The morning after a contentious vote in which over 100 House Democrats revolted against the Democratic president's proposed tax package, NBC congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell chose to frame the debate as a resounding victory for the White House.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, O'Donnell was only willing to admit "some" Democratic opposition to the extension of current tax rates for all Americans, which will prevent an across-the-board tax increase in January.
Instead of reporting that 112 Democrats turned against President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, O'Donnell emphasized that the votes were evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, 138 to 139, respectively. For O'Donnell, 45 percent of the president's party defecting represents only "some" opposition.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on the December 7 "Daily Rundown" was uncharacteristically heated in his opposition to the compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax rates.
Interviewing a Treasury Department official, Todd used flawed statistics to malign the proposed two-year extension of tax breaks for all families as unacceptably expensive.
"The cost of this is astronomical though," proclaimed the NBC Political Director. "The payroll tax cut means essentially borrowing from the Social Security trust fund to do this temporary payroll tax. I mean, it's 120 billion, that's a lot of money!"
First came the Searchlight Brawler, Harry Reid. Now Orrin Hatch joins the ranks of the Senate tough guys . . .
Asked whether—like fellow Utah Senator Robert Bennett—he might be defeated in his bid to obtain the Republican nomination, Hatch bragged "I'm a lot tougher" than Bennett, and considerably more conservative to boot.
Hatch's macho moment came this morning during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Daily Rundown. When Todd asked whether he intended to seek re-election in 2012, Hatch, to his credit, didn't mince words, saying he was definitely running, subject only to continuing to feel physically strong. But when Todd asked if Hatch might meet the same fate as Bennett at the Utah GOP nominating convention, Orrin flexed his muscles.
Using his best attempt at a football analogy, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) tried to explain Wednesday that Speaker Pelosi is the best choice for the Democrat House leadership even though she is unpopular with the American voters -- or in football, the home fans.
"What the Republicans and others in these campaigns are asking us to do is to say 'Well, because the Jets fans are booing Eli Manning, take him off the field'," the congressman explained.
"This is the type of direct democracy people say they want. Sometimes you wonder," MSNBC's Chuck Todd editorialized after a segment about conservative ballot initiatives that passed into law on Tuesday.
Towards the bottom of the 9 a.m. EDT hour of "The Daily Rundown," reporter Mara Schiavocampo looked at a handful of state ballot initiatives that voters had considered at the polls on Tuesday. [Video after page break]
Trying to write off calls—in reaction to the Juan Williams firing fiasco—for the federal defunding of NPR as mere right-wing electoral politics and "cable catnip," Norah O'Donnell has grossly understated the proportion of its budget that NPR obtains from the feds.
Aided and abetted by Chuck Todd, Norah offered her misleading math on today's Daily Rundown on MSNBC. O'Donnell claimed that only 1-3% of NPR's budget is derived from federal funding. But as you'll see, the real number is at least double that.
Well, they did stop short of presenting him with a ceremonial seppuku sword . . .
But other than that, MSNBC's Daily Rundown duo of Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie did their best to convince Florida Dem Kendreck Meek to get out of the senatorial race to give Charlie Crist a shot against Marco Rubio.
Todd tried the cold-hard-numbers route, while Guthrie made an emotional appeal, literally asking Meek if he "can live" with himself if his continued candidacy resulted in the election of Rubio. View video here.
Isn’t it odd after the passage of TARP, the stimulus and ObamaCare that left-wing politicians and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media are suddenly worried about budget deficits?
As opposed to reining in deficit spending, the new public policy stance for the Democratic Party going into the 2010 midterm election is to call for a tax hike on the top-income earners by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those folks. In an interview on MSNBC’s Sept. 17 “The Daily Rundown” with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Texas senator on the need to raise taxes in order to lower budget deficits.
Guthrie asked: “Sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the Republican Party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and I ask you given the concern among Republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that Republicans can get behind allowing the Bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest Americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. How do you square that up?”
A well known political figure appears on MSNBC's Daily Rundown and announces, in the wake of Missouri voters overwhelmingly supporting Proposition C to remove the insurance mandate from ObamaCare, that it is so unpopular that it will probably be removed from that legislation or that the courts will rule it unconstitutional. So was the person who delivered this opinion a conservative Republican? Nope. It was Howard Dean, former Democrat presidential candidate and chairman of the DNC who made that statement to a surprised Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie.
The Daily Rundown conversation begins with Chuck Todd discussing the Proposition C landslide in Missouri:
CHUCK TODD: In Missouri this week there was referendum on the ballot. Non-binding but it was, frankly, the legislature didn't want to deal with the issue of healthcare and this mandate and about whether the state should challenge the mandate on the new healthcare plan. It got 71%. Yes, more Republicans turned out than Democrats. But 71% in Missouri, that has to make Democrats nervous, particularly in that Senate race. Robin Carnahan has got an uphill battle.
NBC Political Director Chuck Todd cherrypicked a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll to dismiss the possibility that Republicans will regain control of Congress in the November election. He did this despite evidence within the same poll that the political landscape in 2010 resembles 1994, when Republicans picked up 54 seats to take control of the House.
On the July 13 "Morning Joe," Todd emphasized the finding that 72 percent of the country has either "just some" or no confidence at all in the ability of congressional Republicans to "make the right decisions for the country's future."
"This wild card about this election cycle which makes it different from '06, which makes it different from '94, is this issue of the public's view of the Republican Party," insisted Todd.
While some on the left side of the aisle in Congress are getting all starry-eyed about prospects of more federal stimulus spending, the first round of stimulus under President Barack Obama may have done even less to help the ailing economy than supporters claim.
On MSNBC's July 9 broadcast of "The Daily Rundown," co-hosts Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie interviewed CNBC "Closing Bell" anchor Maria Bartiromo from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo. And Bartiromo offered her views why the economy didn't spiral out of control any more than it did. She said according to some on Wall Street, it wasn't Obama's $787-billion "stimulus" that included a huge bulk of state government bailout spending, but instead action by the Federal Reserve to put more liquidity in the economy.
"Look, there's no doubt about it - we were close to going off a cliff the weekend at Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, Merrill [Lynch] was sold and AIG acquired by government," Bartiromo said. "You know, I mean I think we were very close and the economy needed stimulus in a big way. It's arguable whether that stimulus that helped the economy was really because of the stimulus plan or really because of the Federal Reserve. I think most people on Wall Street will believe and will tell you that it was really the Fed action in terms of giving greater access to the banks to overnight lending that really, really got us out."
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."
In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.
"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.
Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.
"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday claimed that for what General Stanley McChrystal allegedly said about the White House, he legally, morally, ethically, professionally ought to be canned.
Discussing the issue with colleagues Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie on "The Daily Rundown," Mitchell claimed McChrystal's alleged statement "crosses the line of insubordination, and it crosses the line of the military code of justice."
She later made a comment one can't possibly imagine such a liberal media member making when George W. Bush was in the White House, "There is a reason why the military code of justice says you don't diss the Commander in Chief" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t HotAirPundit):
MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie thinks the Vatican has “minimized” the clergy abuse scandals for months, before Pope Benedict’s Friday apology. And MSNBC seemed to do their level best to “minimize” that, during the 9a.m. EDT news hour.
Guthrie reported that the Vatican publicly apologized for the sex abuse scandals within the Catholic clergy Friday, “after months of minimizing” the scandals.
“I have to ask,” Guthrie said to NBC correspondent Jim Maceda, “what prompted this apology?”
Jonathan Alter of Newsweek once again blamed Bush and the Republicans for creating the mess that Obama is now cleaning up, preventing the President from accomplishing his agendas.
Alter, appearing Wednesday on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” called the BP oil spill crisis “the perfect metaphor” for Obama’s presidency so far. “It’s been cleaning up a lot of the messes left to him by his predecessors,” he stated.
Alter added that Obama is trying to stop an economic depression “that, you know, began to happen on George Bush’s watch.”
“It is a distraction from Obama’s own agenda,” Alter added about the oil spill, “and in that sense, it irritates him.”
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” were in “anguish” over the forced retirement of Helen Thomas, but showed little sympathy for the Israelis that the Hearst columnist so odiously disrespected.
“I think a lot of people feel some anguish about this because the comments were beyond the pale,” lamented Guthrie. “And yet it tarnishes a career that otherwise people would be celebrating because she was indeed a trailblazer.”
Glossing over the longtime reporter’s comments that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany or Poland, Mitchell lauded Thomas’s career as “storied” and proceeded to hearken back to a time when Washington was an “all-male town” and Thomas was blazing the trail for women.
“When I first arrived here, after dinner, at political dinners, women went to one room, men went to another to smoke cigars and have brandy,” recalled Mitchell. “This was a very traditional place–not like New York or other East Coast cities.”
In an attempt to make excuses for Thomas while appearing to condemn her remarks, contradictions ran rampant. First up, Mitchell:
Chuck Todd “hated” to say it but just had to get it out anyway–would the BP oil spill, arguably the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history, be a “missed opportunity” for Congress to capitalize on “disaster” to enact energy legislation should it fail to do anything in its wake?
Discussing what the reaction of Congress and the Obama administration should be to the spill during an interview with Tom Daschle on MSNBC's June 4 “Daily Rundown,” Todd asked:
So if energy legislation isn’t taken up and dealt with, this would basically be–I hate to put it this way–a wasted disaster?
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday attacked new standards being adopted for history textbooks in Texas as "odd" and mocked that the state would now be teaching "education by Wikipedia." Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune appeared as a guest and fretted that the school board includes "a conservative, arch conservative bloc."
Todd recounted the changes being made to the curriculum, including "the idea that our Founding Fathers may not have intended a separation of church and state...how government taxation and regulation can serve as restrictions to private enterprise."
Todd derided the story, saying, "...The more you look into it, the odder it gets." He noted that the rise of the conservatism in the '80s would be highlighted and later marveled, "So, is this, essentially, education by Wikipedia? I mean, because, Wikipedia is...when a majority, it seems, accept what the version of a story that might have happened?" [Audio available here.]
MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie on Thursday conducted a sycophantic interview with Michelle Obama, urging the First Lady to complain about the "uglier side" of the health care debate. The Daily Rundown co-host sympathetically asked, "There was a lot of vitriol, some pretty hateful things said. And I wondered what your feeling was about that?" [Audio available here.]
Guthrie continued, "Was it hard to stand by and listen to some of that?" Offering the First Lady another softball, she reiterated, "Hearing some of the uglier side of it, did that make you angry?"
The questions didn't get any tougher. Discussing Barack Obama's coming Supreme Court nomination, Guthrie prompted, "You're a Harvard-educated lawyer. Do you think there should be more gender balance, gender equity on the court?" Many of the queries were so vague as to barely qualify as questions: "Do you feel like you have to avoid controversy? Do you feel like you have to edit yourself?"
Ratigan promoted CREW's assertions that the Freedom Concerts, which the Fox News host promotes, aren't giving all the money they take in to scholarships for the families of fallen soldiers. He sneered, "Hey, what the heck? You come up with a good cause. Give ten or 15 percent away and keep the rest for yourself. What do I know?" Not much, apparently. The MSNBC anchor made almost no effort to offer Hannity's side of the story or that of the Freedom Alliance.
David Frum's website analyzed this controversy and found the charges to be bogus. But, Ratigan wasn't interested in this. Instead, he mocked, "Who knows what happens to the rest of [the money]? But, not going to the kids, apparently."
Fourth quarter GDP growth "beat expectations," exciting some journalists on Jan. 29. But a number of economists were downbeat.
The 5.7 percent growth for the last quarter of 2009 sparked media reactions on both MSNBC and CNN.
Savannah Guthrie declared on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" that "If they could do a jig at the White House, they would." Joining that discussion, NBC's Chuck Todd asked, "So is the recession over?"
CNN business correspondent Christine Romans said that the fourth quarter growth, coupled with the third quarter growth "suggests it [the economy] is coming out of that horrible, horrible Great Recession."
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):
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.]