Just how desperately does the MSM want to bury the Sestak job-bribe story? Yesterday we reported Time editor Rick Stengel's risibly feigned ignorance of the matter.
On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough broke off a colorful metaphor to describe the liberal media's see-no-evil approach to the subject, saying the MSM wouldn't cover the story "if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo."
Mika Brzezinski broached the subject by mentioning that she had gotten "hammered" by her husband and friends for her criticism of the MSM's failure to ask the tough questions on the matter.
On the one hand, you might say it was the least surprising coming-out since Ricky Martin announced he was gay. On the other, it was refreshing to hear Mika Brzezinski say words we knew to be true but at least in my case had never heard her unequivocally pronounce before: "I'm a Democrat."
Mika made her declaration in the context of arguing that just because she's a Democrat doesn't mean she shouldn't ask tough questions about the Sestak job-offer allegations or Pres. Obama's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mika also took a surprising shot at her fellow MSMers for failing to ask the tough questions . . .
On the broadcast of his May 24 "Morning Joe" program, Scarborough, in a segment with Politico's Mike Allen, wanted to know why an alleged deal that occurred between then-prospective Pennsylvania Democratic senatorial nominee, Rep. Joe Sestak and President Barack Obama, had not gotten more attention.
"We've had several reporters on today that seem to be going, bending over backwards giving the White House the benefit of the doubt, when if Dick Cheney had offered this had deal, indictments would already be down," Scarborough said. "This is so clear-cut."
Joe Scarborough was on fire this morning, his ire trained on twin targets: Dick Blumenthal, and the New York Times' John Harwood, who casually dismissed the candidate's lies about having served in Vietnam as just a case of getting "a little carried away." At one point, Scarborough claimed he wasn't calling Blumenthal a "scumbag"—but it sure sounded like it.
Harwood began his Blumenthal defense with a barroom analogy: "the occasions where he was loose is more akin to a guy who had a few too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girls drink." He later added this lame defense: that even if Blumenthal lied to the veterans groups about his record, they weren't deceived by it. "Were all those veterans groups fooled by it?", asked Harwood, implying they weren't. "You're a reporter, you go ask them," snapped Scarborough.
Scarborough later pointed out that Blumenthal lied and trafficked on the valor of others on precisely those occasions when, appearing before veterans groups, it would benefit him politically. Harwood miscast Joe's criticism of Blumenthal as a demand that all candidates explain why they didn't serve. A peeved Scarborough called Harwood out: "John, I don't know show, what feed you're listening to."
Democratic National Committee boss Tim Kaine appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday. When Kaine campaigned successfully for the Virginia governor's job in 2005, The Washington Post and other liberal media outlets pushed him as both pro-choice and a "devout Catholic" and a former missionary. If he was the kind of politician who brought "devout" to the office -- say, with anti-abortion or anti-euthanasia leanings -- the Post would have found it offensive, not attractive.
So check out what MSNBC thought was the most relevant piece of Kaine's biography on Friday (and he was talking campaigns, about Rand Paul and Dick Blumenthal): he served as principal of a Catholic school in Honduras, and he "plays the harmonica and sings in his church choir." Who said the Democrats were secular?
It's reported that Kaine is a member of St. Elizabeth's parish in Richmond, which is 96 percent black. He's not pictured in the choir in that linked story. Is he in the choir now? In a previous piece boosting Kaine's faith by NBC's Mark Murray in the liberal magazine The Washington Monthly, Murray explained he had to drop out of the choir when he was elected mayor of Richmond in 1998.
On this weekend's Fox News Watch, panelist Jim Pinkerton cited this NewsBusters item in which Joe Scarborough passed along the comment from an unnamed conservative insider questioning "what the hell was [Rand Paul] doing on MSNBC?", a reference to Paul's appearance on the Rachel Maddow show in which he made comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act that have caused controversy. The irony of course is that Scarborough is himself an MSNBC host. H/t NB reader Gat New York.
Pinkerton and his fellow News Watch panelists got a chuckle out of this NewsBuster's fond wish which concluded the item: "Oh to be an olive when Joe and Rachel sip martinis together at the MSNBC TGIF."
On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl sounded positively giddy at the possibility of Democrats exploiting the Rand Paul round of TV interviews. She pushed David Gregory to agree with her that the Democrats can gain a "huge potential advantage" for suggesting the Republicans are extreme on everything.
STAHL: David, don’t you think, though, that the Republicans [she must mean Democrats] can use this? You say they, that the Republicans would like it to go back to the economy and debt. But can’t they use this sort of extreme image and say that the views on the economy and what the prescription is, for the debt, is even more extreme? Because they want to tamper with Social Security and Medicare, and doesn’t this open up a huge potential advantage for the Democrats?
GREGORY: Oh, for the Democrats, certainly, yeah. I mean–
STAHL: But on the economy, specifically. That they can move it over to that and say "Everything they do is extreme."
GREGORY: Yeah. No, I think that’s right. I think it can undermine Republicans as a credible alternative.
Joe Scarborough might not have won any brownie points with his employer, but he gets credit for candor . . .
Commenting on the Rand Paul matter, Scarborough passed along the comments of an unidentified conservative insider who asked "what the hell was he [Paul] doing on MSNBC?" That of course was a reference to Paul's appearance on the Rachel Maddow show in which he made comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act that have caused controversy.
On today’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Mike Brzezinski defended Richard Blumenthal, Democratic candidate for Senate in Connecticut, who reportedly misrepresented his military record habitually over the course of his political career.
Even though The New York Times exposed Blumenthal yesterday in an article on its front page, presenting evidence that the Connecticut Attorney General made no effort to correct numerous news stories over several years that described him as a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Brzezinski told co-host Joe Scarborough to “leave him alone.”
Brzezinski grimaced, squirmed, and shook her head in disapproval while Scarborough and MSNBC’s Willie Geist ridiculed Blumenthal for attempting to characterize the discrepancies as “a few misplaced words” at a press conference yesterday.
“It was a few misplaced words,” insisted Brzezinski, parroting Blumenthal’s defense.
The Peabody folks claim they give their awards for "outstanding" journalism and "excellence." So just how clueless do you have to be to qualify? Take Katty Kay, the BBC's chief US correspondent, in New York today to pick up her prize. On Morning Joe, Kay got off a double-barreled dose of classic MSM-think:
1. She defended Elena Kagan's opposition to military recruiting on campus on the theory that the nominee is in the mainstream . . . of college deans.
2. Chatting with the man who made Third World micro-loans famous and who preaches business without profits, Kay fretted that the crash "has not been long enough" to turn people off capitalism.
As a Sunday afternoon treat, here’s a sneak peek at the May 17 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter, our bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. The entire edition will be posted, with five video clips, at www.MRC.org on Monday morning.
Shortsighted Voters Fail to Grasp Obama’s Historic Greatness
“Big problems. Big achievements. Big costs. Historians say President Obama’s legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. But polls show voters aren’t totally on board with his achievements, at least not yet, and the White House acknowledges that his victories have carried huge financial and political costs. ‘There are always costs in doing big things,’ Obama told USA Today.” — Opening of May 12 USA Today cover story by Susan Page and Mimi Hall, “Will doing ‘big things’ wind up costing Obama?” The accompanying picture showed a portrait of Abraham Lincoln peering down at President Obama.
Enraged voters, too dumb to appreciate the purveyors of pork . . .
That was Mike Allen's take on Morning Joe today. Politico's chief political correspondent labelled "absurd" the decision of Utah and Nevada voters not to re-elect Bob Bennett [done deal] and Harry Reid [likely goner]. And why is it such a bad mistake? Because Bennett and Reid are proven pork providers for their states.
Allen offered his analysis in response to Mike Barnicle's suggestion that in the current political climate, bringing home the bacon might actually backfire on politicians.
60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl on Monday appeared on Morning Joe and touted Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick as a "mediator" who was chosen "in his image." The CBS correspondent enthused that a conciliator is "what [Obama] was." [Audio available here.]
Continuing the media spin that Elena Kagan might not be a liberal, Stahl proclaimed the judge's moderation: "And that he went for that instead of a brilliant ideological liberal to sort of balance Scalia."
In a seemingly contradictory moment, Stahl extolled, "I love that she's a woman and it's not a big deal." But, she then lobbied for a quota system for females on the court: "And we need to have six. We're halfway there."
The hosts and guests of a special Sunday edition of Morning Joe fawned over Barack Obama's May 1 performance at the White House Correspondence Dinner. Time managing editor Richard Stengel appeared and knocked host Jay Leno by comparison: "I think that's one of the things that undermined Jay's routine is that it's like coming after the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show."
Stengel highlighted an off-putting moment from the 2009 dinner when the President joked to the assembled journalists: "Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me." He described this as a "sour note" and admitted, "And there was kind of an awkward laughter because no one wants to reckon with that. I mean, we're in an adversarial relationship, but a respectful relationship."
Scarborough also hyped Obama's performance, praising, "The President so easily outperformed Jay Leno, it wasn't even close. It was like Secretariat against my 17-year-old dog..."
For many far-left MSNBC fans, one conservative on the cable network is one too many. Combine a tired tirade against Joe Scarborough of "Morning Joe" with the inanity of a Hollywood leftist's lame attempt at media commentary, and you have one entertaining Huffington Post column.
"Are the programmers at MSNBC nuts?" asked legendary actor Donald Sutherland (pictured right) on Sunday. "They give us refreshing afternoons with Chris and Ed, put us to bed with the clarifying sensibilities of Rachel and Keith and then, idiotically, wake us up with Mr. Small Mouth."
Yes, Sutherland did just use the terms "refreshing" and "clarifying sensibilities" in reference to Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann, respectively. And no, apparently he was not being sarcastic. Then comes the Scarborough-bashing:
MSNBC's Morning Joe scored an interview with Charlie Crist on Friday, but only co-host Mika Brzezinski seemed interested in asking the newly independent governor tough questions. Joe Scarborough spun Crist's defection from the Republican Party as one of conviction. [Audio available here.]
Brzezinski grilled the senatorial candidate with this hardball: "Tell me why this isn't just politically expedient? Why this isn't just sort of a desperate attempt to win because you were losing?" Technical difficulties forced Brzezinski to ask her question again.
Attempting to get an answer to something that apparently didn't occur to Scarborough, she reiterated, "On February 22nd you were actually on this show and you said, 'I am in this race as a Republican.' We asked, "Might you become an independent?' So, how is this not politically expedient?" Scarborough joking referred to his co-host's query as "hateful."
How should MSNBC supplement its income? Have the DNC underwrite part of Norah O'Donnell's salary. She's certainly earning it . . .
Yesterday, as noted here, a giddy Norah enthused that Charlie Crist's vote-splitting independent run gives the Dems "a real shot" to win the Florida Senate seat.
O'Donnell was back on the Dem ramparts this morning on Morning Joe, defending Janet Napolitano's execrable record on border security, leading Joe Scarborough to mock the Homeland Security secretary with some effervescent imagery . . .
On Thursday's Morning Joe, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell appeared and seemed to agree with Britain's Prime Minister that a voter he met was a bigot. Discussing Gordon Brown's April 28 comments, which were caught on a live mic, Mitchell defended, "And what he said is not actually that offensive...I mean, it was an honest opinion." [Audio available here.]
Even the fellow panel members on the mostly liberal MSNBC seemed shocked. Guest Sam Stein of the left-wing Huffington Post recoiled, "Really? To call her bigoted?"
Mitchell repeated her charge: "Well, she was decrying immigration and in a lot of people's views, that is a bigoted stand." Fill-in host Savannah Guthrie didn't seem to agree, asserting that this wasn't something you do "when you're trying to reach out to the working class."
Former New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Tuesday's Morning Joe to condescendingly critique Sarah Palin for running "to be Simon Cowell" and as someone who sees tea partiers simply as her customers. Discussing an article on Palin, Brown insisted that when the Republican attends tea party rallies, she's "not really talking to them as members of true believers in a political movement. She's talking to them as consumers."
Brown appeared along with New Yorker writer Gabriel Sherman to discuss his new story spinning Palin's post gubernatorial financial activities. The sub-headline of his article sums up the tone: "Sarah Palin is already president of right-wing America—and it’s a position with a very big salary."
The liberal magazine editor continued to pontificate about her insights into the ex-vice presidential nominee: "It's not really about politics for her. It's really about celebrity. It's pretending to be politics. That's how I read Sarah Palin."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Tuesday called Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law "unacceptable and un-American."
Discussing the controversial bill signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Friday with "Morning Joe" guests that included Rev. Al Sharpton, Scarborough said:
It does offend me that when one out of every three citizens in the state of Arizona are Hispanics, and you have now put a target on the back of one of three citizens who if they're walking their dog around a neighborhood, if they're walking their child to school, and they're an American citizen or a legal, legal immigrant, can now put a target on their back and make them think every time they walk out of their door, they may have to prove something.
Unfortunately, he didn't stop there (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Cramer told MSNBC's April 26 "Morning Joe" that Goldman really has no defense if, as the government alleges, Goldman misled investors when it established a mortgage-backed security in 2007 for a hedge fund client looking to bet against the housing market. And that's in addition to facing heat from shareholders for not revealing that it received a Wells Notice from the SEC.
Remember that $787-billion stimulus passed last year, the one that was supposed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits by invigorating a new green economy? Well it hasn't exactly worked.
Conventional wisdom would suggest not trying it again. Based on the nearly 10 percent unemployment, it's obvious Keynesian economic policies, where the government is a major force in an economy, don't work. However, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough made the case for an even bigger trip down that route.
"We talked about Sputnik at the event we did last year," Scarborough said on his April 21 program. "I wrote in my book last year that Sputnik was the moment that Eisenhower, a Republican, leaned forward and created a new generation of engineers, a new generation of scientists. That led to the Mercury program, the Apollo program, a man walking on the moon and the Internet. Can we make that type of, again, long-term investment?"
Liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz on Tuesday went absolutely berserk on a Democrat Tea Party member that didn't approve of how President Obama went back on his campaign promise to make healthcare reform hearings open and transparent.
"My reason for being with the Tea Party is is this whole healthcare stuff," said a caller named Jason who claimed to be a Democrat.
"I remember hearing President Obama talking about how it was going to be open and transparent, it was going to be on C-SPAN, we were going to know what's in the bill, and that's just not the way it worked."
This sent Schultz into a hissy fit of epic proportions concluding with him saying, "God, go pick up your gun and march if it makes you feel better because you're too stupid to read" (YouTube audio follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t Radio Equalizer):
Hot sparks flew on the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe today igniting a brief but entertaining firestorm. The cause? Joan Walsh somehow being unable to name any leftwing extremists. This set off an angry reaction from co-host Mika Brzezinski which included a funny impersonation of a conveniently clueless Walsh. It was one of those moments that needs to be viewed in order to be fully appreciated but here is a transcript of the heated exchange:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: ...I think it helps us all to say there are extreme voices on the left, there are extreme voices on the right, and it's our responsibility to call out people, I believe, on our side.
JOAN WALSH: Who would you have me call out? I mean who would you say on the left is comparable to Rush and...
SCARBOROUGH: Don't do it.
MIKA BREZEZINSKI: Mmm-mmm! No thanks, Joan. We're good. We're good.
SCARBOROUGH: Can we talk about the Chinese now?
MIKA: I think it's all very obvious.
WALSH: Is it obvious? Who on the left is comparable to Rush and Glenn on the right?
MIKA: Okay, Joan, if it's not obvious to you I'll talk to you off-set. I mean, my God! Alright so let's read from the Washington Post...
During a discussion of John McCain's drift rightward on Wednesday's Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle smeared the Arizona Senator as more scared of Republican primary challenger J.D. Hayworth than he was of his Vietnamese torturers. Barnicle mocked, "The ultimate sadness is that, here, in the 21st century, running for re-election, he shows more fear of J.D. Hayworth than he showed toward his captors in North Vietnam." [MP3 audio available here]
"That is really sad," added Barnicle. At this point, the show ground to a complete stop. Seemingly stunned by the journalist's comments, co-host Mika Brzezinski sputtered, "That's- Okay. I'm just going to stay away from that. " The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart marveled, "Wow."
Joe Scarborough, who is supposed to be the token conservative on the liberal cable network, provided no defense of McCain. He neutrally remarked, "There's a pregnant pause. Some very tough things being said here." Scarborough continued, "And since I'm a diplomat, and I never say such things, I'm just going to go to my good friend Paul Ryan." He then moved on to a different subject and talked to the Republican Congressman.
Mike Barnicle just wrapped up the Obama Parrot of the Week. That's the award I hand out on my local TV show to the MSMer doing his sycophantic best to parrot the Obama party line. Barnicle gave his award-winning performance on today's Morning Joe, in the course of tossing two super-softballs to David Axelrod.
Barnicle's first lob bemoaned the difficulties of governing in this hyper-partisan, cable-TV age. His second softball chastised Republicans for their announced intention to oppose Pres. Obama's Supreme Court nominee. Which raises the question: do the names Robert Bork—or Clarence Thomas—mean anything to Mike Barnicle?
MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell on Friday went too far for even her colleagues at the liberal cable channel, receiving mockery for her allegation that comments Newt Gingrich made about Barack Obama were racially-charged. At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Thursday, the former House Speaker commented that “shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn’t put anybody to work.”
Speaking of the President’s basketball skills, Gingrich continued: "What we need is a President, not an athlete. We need somebody who actually focuses on getting people back to work.” After the clip was played, O'Donnell, the guest host on the April 9 Morning Joe, lobbed her accusation at Gingrich:
But I’m not sure what he means by this particular soundbite and I think it’s open to some criticism because it suggests that the President is an athlete and some people may suggest, you know, because all black people are good athletes. I mean that’s what it sort of sounds like to me.
Everyone is still looking for a scapegoat for the financial crisis that precipitated the current economic malaise. And one of the popular targets has been former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan recently testified on Capitol Hill and was pressed about how he may have contributed to the financial crisis. According to Suze Orman, host of CNBC's "The Suze Orman Show," some of the blame should go to Greenspan for a 2004 speech he made to the Credit Union National Association.
Greenspan had said some might have "saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade," but he did preface it by saying that wouldn't have been the case if rates adjusted upwards as they did. But Orman, appearing on MSNBC's April 8 "Morning Joe" contended he shouldn't have commented on those mortgages at all.