Alexander the Great. Stonewall Jackson. George S. Patton. To this list of some of history's greatest military strategists, a new name must be added: that of Barack Obama. That is, if you agree with Joe Scarborough's take on President Obama's statement at yesterday's press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet" regarding possible attacks on ISIS in Syria.
According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning Joe, President Obama's "no strategy" statement was "straight out of The Art of War where when you were weak, you make your enemies think you were strong. When you were strong, you make your enemies think you were weak." It's what Scarborough would have done, he told viewers, if he were president. When Sam Stein said that he couldn't tell if Joe was joking, Scarborough assured him: "I'm serious. Dead serious . . . I am dead serious. I am not joking." View the video after the jump.
Like what? Seriously, Mika Brzezinski, when you claim as you did on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama has done "great things" on race, precisely what do you have in mind? H/t NB reader Ray R.
Was it choosing to make the racist Reverend Wright his personal pastor? Appointing Eric Holder as Attorney General? Accusing the Cambridge police of acting "stupidly" in the arrest of a black man? Complaining about Americans who dislike him because they don't like the idea of a black president? Inviting Al Sharpton to the White House? Really, Mika, we want to know. View the video after the jump.
On Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, MSNBC contributor and managing editor of Bloomberg Politics Mark Halperin slammed the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) by an Austin, Texas-area grand jury for threatening to veto funding for a Democratic District Attorney’s public integrity unit after she was convicted of a DUI as “the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career.”
Expanding further on his opinion, Halperin added that: “I hope some judge throws it out right away. It's not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty. He’s got a First Amendment right just cause he’s governor of Texas and I think it’s – like you said, it's easy to joke about this, but this is a serious thing. It is ridiculous that he was indicted for this. Ridiculous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Token quasi-conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was in full-blown contrarian mode this morning as he offered his perspective on two reporters in Ferguson, Missouri, who were briefly arrested and then shortly thereafter released. The former Florida congressman ripped the reporters in question for failing to listen to the cop’s repeated orders to exit a McDonald’s as they attempted to cordon it off.
After playing video of one of the journalists – the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery – being told by the police that he needed to leave, the Morning Joe host offered: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Inevitability, my eye. If Republicans can't defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016 [assuming she gets there], they should be brought up on charges of political malfeasance.
So lacking is Hillary in the most basic of personal political prerequisites that even Morning Joe called her "canned" and cringeworthy. The panel was commenting on an excruciating clip of Clinton prior to her hug-it-out dinner with President Obama last night. Watch it if you dare, but the panel's point was a larger one--that there is something about Clinton's public persona as to be seriously off-putting. View the video after the jump.
President Obama is more "forceful" and "stubborn" about playing golf than he is about pushing through his policy agenda. That was Dana Milbank's take on today's Morning Joe.
As Joe Scarborough described it, earlier this week the normally left-leaning Milbank enjoyed a "12-minute honeymoon" with conservatives after his Washington Postcolumn called Obama's decision to go golfing while the world burned an example of "tone deafness" if not outright "stupid stuff." Milbank doubled down on the notion today with his suggestion that the president cares more about making it to the first tee than enacting his policy positions. Milbank seemed frustrated with Obama's fecklessness. But if the president's love of the links keeps him from pushing his policies, conservatives should be saying "play on, Mr. President!" View the video after the jump.
On the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning show aired a clip from Obama’s interview with Thomas Friedman that was transcribed in print in the August 9 edition of The New York Times. In the video, Friedman asked the president to comment on “the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans.” According to Obama, the Democratic “consensus” is “a pretty common sense mainstream consensus” while the Republican consensus is based in “wacky ideological nonsense.”
That’s a heck of a way to reach across the aisle and work for bipartisan agreement on the nation’s pressing issues. Of course, the president’s partisan rhetoric has not been picked up by the Big Three broadcast networks. For its part, MSNBC only devoted 2 minutes and 18 seconds to the clip, 38 seconds of which was just a tease before a commercial break. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Amidst the discussion of ISIS’s offensive and Obama’s failed foreign policy with various political experts on the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough took the time to berate his fellow Republicans for refusing to “salute the President for being involved.” The host whined that he is “so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things” and then going “on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan” when Obama actually “does things.”
Scarborough even went so far as to lecture former chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq Dan Senor: “Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the President for being involved?” According to the MSNBC host, Republicans should support the President for “doing what we all know, what realists, what neo-con alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS.” [ See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Friday’s Morning Joe panel made sure to express how it was “disappointed” that a Minnesota restaurant had the audacity to put a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts after the state hiked the wage requirement. While Joe Scarborough acknowledged that “it's hard” for “small business owners running restaurants” he had no sympathy for the restaurant, which had received shocking blowback from its customers for simply specifying why it increased the bill by 35 cents.
The former congressman and MSNBC host, who reportedly earns $99,038 a week for his morning show, stated that he “understand(s) the difficulty of any extra burden” an increase in minimum wage exerts on small businesses. However, he concluded that “with the minimum wage as low as it historically is, you may not want to advertise your contempt for raising it a little bit on the bill.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Joe Scarborough today continued his new Morning Joe routine of making anti-Israel remarks and then shouting down anyone who disagrees. Unlike the previous editions of the MSNBC morning show in which the former congressman focused on insulting his critics in the media, on the July 5th edition, Scarborough opted to attack a recurring guest at the program’s roundtable discussions, Donny Deutsch, no conservative stalwart he.
The liberal advertising executive had the tenacity to disagree with the MSNBC host about his characterizations of Israel. After Scarborough invited Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd onto the show to emphasize the “deep dismay from the White House and the State Department toward what Israel has done” and how “you get the sense that Israel really listened” to their critiques, Deutsch commented “let’s just not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy.” The former Florida Republican immediately became defensive, demanding “Who disagrees with that?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On Thursday, as Connor Williams at NewsBusters reported, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC "ripped Israel for their 'indiscriminate' attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future." Specifically, Scarborough said that "this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine," and "we will rue the day that this is happening every day and women and children are being seen."
On Friday, as Laura Flint at NewsBusters noted, Scarborough attempted to walk back some of what he said, insulting his objectors by saying he would use "simple talk that simple minded people can understand." He was apparently so proud of what he said that he had it printed virtually verbatim at the Politico late Friday afternoon, complete with an emphatic, condescending title. Let's revisit the screed to make a few important points (produced in full because it has already been broadcast; bolds and numbered tags, used so Joe can better follow "simple-minded" points, are mine):
In response to the media backlash following Joe Scarborough’s harsh remarks about Israel on yesterday’s Morning Joe broadcast, the former Republican congressman spent almost four minutes of air-time on the August 1 edition insulting “the usual suspects” that lacked “the intellectual capacity to actually grasp” his earlier “statement.” He stated that he would use “simple talk that simple minded people can understand” to refine his stance.
For Scarborough, “simple talk” meant backing away from many of the statements he made yesterday. As my NewsBusters colleague Connor Williams noted, on the July 31 edition of the MSNBC morning show, after speaking with MSNBC’s notoriously biased journalist Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, Scarborough went on a rant, blasting the “asinine” and “indiscriminate” attacks by Israel on Palestinian civilians. In contrast, today he asserted that “America must stand with Israel” as “they are America’s strongest ally in the region.”
Do Gaza civilians support Hamas' military operations that use them as human shields and store weapons in their schools and mosques? Ayman Mohyeldin would have you think so. On today's Morning Joe, the NBC reporter claimed that among Gazans, Hamas' military wing is "very highly revered."
To which Israeli spokesman Mark Regev had a stunning comeback: "I mean, if you walk down the street in Gaza with an NBC camera and you ask people, well, was Hamas shooting from this building that the Israelis targeted? No, everyone will say, of course, not. Because you have a regime that is ultimately authoritarian and violent to its own people and they have that ability to control the message. It's like walking down the street in Cuba with a camera and saying do you like Fidel Castro? What can people say?" View the video after the jump.
NewsBusters readers presumably would laugh at the proposition that the media are biased against Hillary Clinton, but plenty of liberals, including Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, believe it.
In a Tuesday post, Drum, regarding the media’s fascination with Hillary’s “dead broke” remark, wrote, “Hillary could have responded to questions about her wealth a little better. She's not the natural politician Bill is. But really, there's not much else here. So why does it continue to be news a full month later?” Drum then touched on Mark Halperin’s recent comment on Morning Joe that “the press loves to cover [Hillary] hard.” Halperin also said on another recent Morning Joe broadcast that Hillary is “destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president.” Drum went on (emphasis added):
As the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on, it appears that the Israelis have lost Joe Scarborough as a trusted ally. On the July 31 edition of Morning Joe, the former Florida Congressman ripped Israel for their “indiscriminate” attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future.
Following Ayman Mohyeldin’s pro-Hamas reporting on the issue, Scarborough reacted to the news that an Israeli rocket reportedly hit a UN school in Gaza: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Earlier today, the Hollywood Reporter told readers that MSNBC had a horrible July rating period. For the four weeks ended July 27, the self-described "lean forward" network saw "its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54" drop by "33 percent from July 2013," causing it come in "below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status":
While Chris Matthews avoided the National Review coverage of Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s leaked campaign strategy, the panel of Morning Joe gave the story a brief three minutes during the three-hour morning news show. MSNBC contributor Willie Geist appealed to Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd to brush the controversy aside, stating “these plans exist on every campaign” and “it’s just that we have got one in the spotlight this morning.”
The plan in question confronted Nunn’s need to appeal to minorities in the Atlanta area, especially African Americans and Hispanics. Strategists also recommended that the Maryland native tap into the financially viable minorities, such as the “very tight” Asian community, the Jewish population that holds “tremendous financial opportunity”, and the gay community. While Todd did have enough time to compare Nunn’s strategy to “that scene in the Simpsons where Montgomery Burns starts running for governor,” the panel only chose to mention her appeal to the Jewish population.
Everyone knows how safe the streets of Washington, DC are [where as of 2010 violent crime was three times the national average], and how DC criminals scrupulously respect the District's very restrictive gun-control laws. So of course the last thing you would want is to permit law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. Why, that would only lead to the Gunfight at the DC Corral. No, better to keep all the guns in the hands of criminals.
Such seems to be Eugene Robinson's logic. On today's Morning Joe, the Washington Post columnist bemoaned a federal judge's ruling that DC's total ban on public carry is unconstitutional. According to Robinson, "Congress and the courts are essentially saying no, go ahead, shoot it out." View the video after the jump.
Following Andrew Cuomo’s decision to disband a corruption commission he created, Morning Joe hit the New York governor hard for his questionable tactics. The scandal comes after The New York Times reported that Cuomo shut down the commission when it began to go after some of the Governor’s own political allies.
Cuomo was defiant in response to the allegations, asserting that “it's not a legal question. The Moreland Commission was my commission, it's my commission, my subpoena power, my Moreland Commission. I can appoint it, I can disband it. I can appoint you, I can un-appoint you tomorrow.” Joe Scarborough wasn’t buying the excuses, ripping the Governor: [MP3 audio here; video below]
From numerous softball interviews to free publicity for her memoir Hard Choices, it is plain to see that the liberal media adores Hillary Clinton and pines for her to run as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. Except, of course, for the panelists on Morning Joe. On the July 25 edition of the MSNBC morning show, Mika Brzezinksi and her guests Mark Halerpin, David Gregory, and Donny Deutsch lamented the “horrible coverage” Clinton is “destined” to receive “if she runs for president.”
Brzezinksi began the segment by recounting former New York Time’s executive editor Jill Abramson’s statement that “the former first lady expected the press, especially female journalists, to be loyal to her” and Clinton’s response that “I'll have to work on my expectations.” While it is true that Clinton expects the liberal media to fawn over her, the Morning Joe panel forgot that usually, they do.
Churchill: Never give in. Never, never, never. FDR: The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Obama: Fore left! Sometimes public service demands too much of a man. Take poor Tony Blinken. Appearing on Morning Joe today, President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser actually claimed that the president was exhibiting "extraordinary leadership" in putting pressure on Russia over Ukraine.
Yes, so "extraordinary" that even as Blinken was being introduced, news was breaking that the Putin-backed Ukrainian rebels had resumed their terrorist ways, shooting down two Ukrainian military planes. View the video after the jump.
The July 22 edition of Morning Joe boasted an exclusive interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But before Pelosi came on set, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts featured his own slobbering interview with the politician in their shared hometown of Baltimore. Much to co-host Mika Brzezinski’s delight, Roberts delved into “Pelosi’s political roots” which “run deep.”
The segment featured Pelosi quipping with aging Baltimore residents because, Roberts explained, “Pelosi still recognizes the power and charm of retail politics.” According to the Way Too Early host, being “the only daughter of one of Baltimore's longest serving mayors, Thomas D’Alesandro,” it was “Pelosi's childhood, answering the door at her family home, trying to help the people who came to see her dad that proved to be her political training ground.” [See video below. Click here for MP3]
The man who suggested that the US shoot down Israeli airplanes is at it again. Surveying the Israeli/Hamas conflict, Zbigniew Brzezinski couldn't summon up one word of condemnation for Hamas' intentional targeting of Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and mortars.
Instead, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser had harsh words for only one person: Benjamin Netanyahu. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski said he didn't include Netanyahu in the category of leaders man enough to negotiate, accusing the Israeli PM of having "scuttled" peace efforts--again without a word of criticism for Hamas. Zbigniew ended his anti-Israel tirade by decrying that "the ideologues, hard-liners, the ones that promulgate confrontation are in charge, and that's what's so hard and so disgustingly destructive." Any disgustingly destructive hard-liners in Gaza, Zbig? View the video after the jump.
While NBC’s coverage of the latest Israel-Palestine conflict has been distinctly anti-Israel, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin is perhaps the worst offender. Despite the reality that Hamas has repeatedly rejected Israeli attempts at a cease fire, Mohyeldin touted Palestinian talking points with surprising consistency.
This time, in a report during the July 21 edition of Morning Joe, Mohyeldin cited “Palestinian medical sources” who described the recent Israeli surgical strikes “as nothing short of a massacre.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
It was strange. Joe Scarborough had just completed a comprehensive indictment of failed American foreign policy around the globe. But at the very moment when he should have laid those disasters at the feet of the sitting President of the United States, Scarborough came down with a bad case of . . . cold feet.
Scarborough laid out to David Gregory a tour d'horizon of failed American foreign policy from the Middle East, to Iran, to Russia/Ukraine, describing it as "one disaster after another.One strikeout after another." But perhaps fearful of where the ineluctable logic of his comments was taking him, Scarborough suddenly made nice, saying "of course that is not directed to President Obama." Really? Who's been in the White House for the last six years? View the video after the jump.
MSNBC keeps seeking new ways to trump up the so-called “war on women” that is allegedly ubiquitous in American society. The latest front in that war: casual Fridays. Yes, according to the panel on Morning Joe, that staple of American working life is just another example of the sexism women supposedly experience on the job.
On the July 11 edition of the program, following a worthy discussion on the importance of communication and how individuals can project themselves more effectively in the workplace, the panel devolved into nonsense. Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, complimented Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the author of Executive Presence, for her attack on casual Fridays as being blatantly sexist: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Has Barack Obama lost Mika Brzezinski? Wednesday morning on Morning Joe, the MSNBC co-host wondered why the President is still refusing to visit the border while in Texas. Brzezinski argued that if Obama really does have a vision, why not go down to Texas and show the Republicans lack of effort on the issue?
Of course, Brzezinski threw in the “make Republicans look bad” caveat, but she also pointed out that, because of how out of hand the crisis at the border has become, “it’s been so difficult to figure out which side has the better point on immigration.”
Bartender—send a double Wyborowa with a Zoloft chaser to the nice lady at the end of the table. But seriously, relax, Mika. Four months before an election in which they are poised to triumph, congressional Republicans are not about to muddy the waters by trying to impeach President Obama.
But on today's Morning Joe, that reality did not prevent Mika Brzezinski from getting verklempt and asking for time to compose herself before introducing a segment on impeachment talk from Sarah Palin and Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. View the amusing video after the jump.
It's only July of 2014, but two panelists on the Morning Joe program expressed concern during Thursday's edition that people within the media are already suffering from “Clinton Exhaustion” even though the former secretary of state has yet to announce whether she will be a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
If that's the case, then one of the worst offenders is the staff of that MSNBC morning show, which usually finds a way to spend up to 15 minutes a day discussing the latest “news” about Hillary Clinton, ranging from her “Hard Choices” book -- which is suffering from poor sales -- to question if she's a victim of “sexism” and “ageism.”
Hobby Lobby's objection on religious grounds to paying for abortion-causing contraceptives for its employees reminds Eugene Robinson of segregationists who cited the Bible in support of their views. In his great magnimity, Robinson allowed that the Hobby Lobby case "is perhaps a bit different." But if the WaPo columnist didn't think the segregation analogy were relevant, he presumably wouldn't have cited it in the first place on today's Morning Joe.
There was also a point of light on the show. Donny Deutsch, after announcing that he was "far from a conservative," nevertheless went on to make the explicitly free-market argument that "nobody is forcing anybody to work at Hobby Lobby." View the video after the jump.