Joe Scarborough continued his open defense of the Obama administration’s response to the BP oil spill, on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe.” Facing off against Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Scarborough called comparisons of the president’s handling of the current crisis with Bush’s handling of Katrina “obscene.”
“Behind the scenes, President Obama from day one was actually very engaged,” Scarborough argued. “[Obama] told his White House staff ‘This is job one,’ ordered all of the agencies to throw the full force of the federal government behind this. I mean...we’ve got the minutes of the meeting from April 22 where he said that.”
Rep. King countered that the administration lacked style in its handling of the crisis, and took eight days to declare it a “matter of national significance.”
Though Scarborough said that President Obama has done everything of “substance” to respond to the spill, King also asked Scarborough what more President Bush could have done to handle the Katrina crisis.
“What could George Bush have done?” Scarborough asked. “A hell of a lot.”
“This is one of the most obscene comparisons, between Katrina and BP,” Scarborough spat out. “I was on the ground from day one. I can tell you the federal government was not there. The state government was not there. The local government was not there.”
“No, you’re wrong, You’re wrong. That is not FEMA’s job,” Rep. King shot back. “That is the job of the mayor and the governor for the first two or three days.”
At this point, it may be safe to say that “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough is no more Republican than Arlen Specter. After all, the show’s “conservative” host takes almost every opportunity to defend the current administration and dismiss Obama's critics.
On June 9, the panelists were reviewing the Obama administration’s response to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Scarborough asserted, “A poll yesterday shows that more people think that the government is mishandling this than Katrina, which is just, I think, ridiculous.”
Fellow MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell agreed, and noted that the president and his team have been down in the Gulf working hard. And then Mitchell asserted that Obama could have diminished criticism if a week earlier, he had "gone down there and stayed and had a meal with the people, eaten some shrimp.” [MP3 audio avaiable here]
MSNBC continued its defense of President Obama against “racist” critics Tuesday morning. The network’s show “Morning Joe” featured a panel of journalists discussing just how some opponents of President Obama’s agenda refuse to support him–because the President is either a Democrat or African-American.
After host Joe Scarborough and Time's Mark Halperin ripped the Drudge Report for its headline painting President Obama as “going street,” Dee Dee Myers and Norah O’Donnell jumped in to offer their two cents about racially-motivated oppositions to President Obama’s agenda.
First, Halperin mentioned poll numbers showing voters as distrustful of Obama’s ability to improve the economy from President Bush’s term.
“A lot of that is white working class voters who don’t have confidence in [Obama] because he’s a Democrat, but for some of them clearly also because he’s African-American,” Halperin said.
Scarborough then asked Myers, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, if race was an indeed an issue in the backlash against Obama in the BP Oil Crisis. “Yes,” Myers affirmed.
For over seven minutes this morning, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” panel expounded on the racial overtones of Matt Drudge’s Tuesday morning headline and other criticisms of the Obama administration.
It started when Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin brought up the Drudge Report headline, “Obama Goes Street: Seeking ‘Ass to Kick’,” and alleged that it spun Obama’s comments to NBC’s Matt Lauer and portrayed Obama unfairly as a gangster.
“One of the problems Barack Obama faces in public life... is he cannot get angry and be an effective communicator as an African-American,” Halperin commented on the interview.
“So Matt Drudge takes the Matt Lauer quote, and he casts it as ‘Obama Goes Street.’ And it includes this photo of an angry-looking Barack Obama,” Halperin complained. “ I think it’s all pretty clear. It’s pretty clear to all of us what’s going on there.”
The roundtable panel for today's Morning Joe took a stab at President Obama's frustration with the media for being critical of his BP oil spill response. The segment began with a clip of President Obama's testy, self-defensive comment to NBC's Matt Lauer, wherein the commander-in-chief blustered that he was determined to learn "whose ass to kick" for the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin found the President's anger at the media "ironic" because, "no one in the modern era has ever gotten into the Oval office with the press as glowing as Barack Obama did. For him, this is a new experience." [WMV video available here; MP3 audio available here]
Host Joe Scarborough seemed to share Halperin's sentiments and argued that the President needed to "grow a layer of skin" because: "If you're a Republican politician and a member of the press doesn't come up and like slap you in the face when you come to Washington, you're grateful. You're like a beaten dog. You'll take whatever crumbs they throw you. This guy gets adulation for years, years, and he hates the press. I just don't get it."
What's really staggering is that while some in the mainstream media are starting to realize how much the press have gone easy on Obama, they're announcing these revelations with a sense of detachment from the problem, as though it’s merely an observation, not an indictment.
The following exchange was aired during the June 8 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
When it comes to heart-wrenching images, forget about those oil-plunged pelicans. What appears to really move Norah O'Donnell is the plight of . . . Pres. Obama's White House staffers.
Check out the very end of the video clip from today's Morning Joe and see if it doesn't seem that O'Donnell gets a bit emotional as she describes Obama aides waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares of gushing oil.
In the May/June issue of “Cato Policy Report,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough lamented conservative foreign policy as overly dogmatic and ideological and questioned whether winning the war in Afghanistan is in America’s national security interest.
“Dogma and rigid ideologies are the enemies of conservative foreign policy,” lectured Scarborough. “Those who are still arguing in 2010 that we can somehow export democracy across the globe and rebuild other countries on the other side of the world in our image–these are the people that we have to call out today, tomorrow, and everyday, as the dangerous radicals that they are.”
With a broad stroke, Scarborough--who was the keynote speaker at the libertarian Cato Institute’s “Escalate or Withdraw? Conservatives and the War in Afghanistan” event in March--labeled all conservatives who support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as radical. But in the same address, the MSNBC anchor made the radical pronouncement that the war in Afghanistan is not a vital national security interest.
“And I would like Barack Obama, I would like Harry Reid, I would like Nancy Pelosi, I’d like John Boehner, I’d like Mitch McConnell,” rambled Scarborough. “I’d like Republicans and Democrats alike to tell me at this point in 2010 what is ‘vital to US national interests’ in Afghanistan?”
Hours before it was announced that she would retire on Monday, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough defended Helen Thomas, saying that the 89-year-old journalist shouldn't be held responsible for her comments that Jews should "go home" and "get the hell out of Palestine." The Morning Joe host pleaded, "I think you cut her slack at 89."
With a rather condescending view of the elderly, Scarborough suggested, "Somebody goes and talks to her and says, 'Helen, you know what? Smile in the front row and ask a question every once in a while.'"
Co-host Mika Brzezinski didn't buy it, asserting that people of that age know "exactly who they are because they don't care as much about" politeness.
Like tar balls on a Pensacola beach, doubts about Pres. Obama's leadership are beginning to accumulate even among his most avid supporters appearing in the MSM. Today's Morning Joe provided two prime examples of the phenomenon in the persons of Jeffrey Sachs and Donny Deutsch.
Both men are self-described Obama supporters. Yet each expressed disappointment at the lack of leadership the president has demonstrated on the oil spill and other issues.
Columbia U. professor Sachs went first, sounding like a serious candidate for a Zoloft transfusion. Sachs was reacting to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that PBO seize the moment by addressing a joint session of Congress and issuing a post-Sputnik like summons for America to rise to the current challenge by leading the world in clean-energy solutions.
On his Friday program, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lashed out at critics who have chastised his show, “Morning Joe,” for covering the political angle of the BP oil spill. Referring specifically to Twitter users, the MSNBC anchor called them “stupid” and “dumb,” and instructed them to “shut up.”
“The people on Twitter who are whining about us covering a very important part of this story are whiners and beyond that they’re just stupid,” fumed Scarborough.
The rant continued:
They need to shut up, okay. If you’re too stupid to follow this, just turn to SpongeBob, okay, and watch it with your kids, and drool out the left side of your mouth because you’re too dumb. You don’t understand politics and you’re going to hurt yourself watching this show.
MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday touted Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill and enthused, "I think they're doing better now, right? I think the past couple days have been great." It was left to Time magazine's Mark Halperin to offer the non-White House spin. He deadpanned, "Except the hole's not plugged." [Audio available here.]
Reversing the usual positions of a conservative and a member of the mainstream media, Halperin derided, "As long as the President's doing important things like going to rock concerts, I think everybody will understand." A defensive Scarborough shot back, "Nah, that's a cheap shot."
The Morning Joe host, supposedly the voice of conservatism on MSNBC, proclaimed, "...Nobody, when they go to the polls this fall, voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate, are [sic] going to blame Barack Obama and Democrats for not plugging a hole, I don't think."
It's just my speculation: Time isn't about to share its inner workings with me, but FWIW . . .
He is, after all, the man who informed the world that his ascendancy would be seen as the moment that "the planet began to heal." So I suppose it's fitting that his logo appear on the World Cup soccer ball, the event that will be watched by more people than any other event in human history.
Could that be what Time magazine was thinking?
Check out the image of the ball on the cover of this week's Time, and compare it to the Obama logo, seen after the jump. Compare the Time ball, too, with an image of the actual ball, to which it bears absolutely no relation.
Time editor Rick Stengel revealed the cover during his regular Morning Joe appearance today.
It was bound to happen and no one can really blame them for doing so, but someone eventually had to determine who the political winners and losers are for the tragic circumstances surrounding the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Looking forward to the upcoming election cycle, MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough determined the time was right to take a stab at it, although reluctantly on his June 2 broadcast.
"[W]e will stay with BP for one second but talk about presidential politics and I know this will be offensive to some people but it's just a reality that there is somebody in the White House, somebody in the Democratic Party, somebody in the Republican Party that's trying to figure out the political impact of this environmental tragedy. And we were talking with Chuck Todd last hour about how it ramps up when the oil starts washing on Florida shores, Chris. That makes this a much bigger political event in terms of presidential politics, like it or not."
Not letting a good crisis go to waste, MSNBC’s left-wing rabble-rouser Ed Schultz insisted on "Morning Joe" today that the BP oil spill reinforces the need for new legislation to restrict corporations from engaging in political speech.
“I really believe that this what is happening in the Gulf is a classic [example] of how we do need campaign finance reform,” implored Schultz. “It’s all interconnected.”
To provoke this remark, "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist tossed Schultz a softball while plugging the liberal activist’s new book.
“One of the things you talk about a lot on your show and write about in the book is the relationship between money and politics,” declared Geist. “So what you have essentially, you could say, is a form of legalized bribery. I contribute to you, Senator Schultz, and you carry out my interests in Washington. What do we do to change that? We all know that’s the problem. We all know people are acting on behalf of corporations and not people.”
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."