Cable television doesn't get any shabbier than this.
In the wake of her train wreck of an interview with GOP congressional candidate Art Robinson, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow resorted to the most threadbare tactic in the left-wing playbook, accusing Robinson of racism on the basis of evidence so barren that even other liberals must have winced in embarrassment.
Next up on The Rachel Maddow Show, human traffickers decry the suffering they witness in human trafficking ...
At the rate she's going, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is on track to earn an Emmy for best cable comedy * (* -- unintentional category).
On Sept. 30, the ever-excitable Maddow spoke with Congressman Pete DeFazio, 12-term paleo-Democrat from Oregon, about an organization called Concerned Taxpayers of America spending $160,000 in television ads criticizing DeFazio.
The segment featured footage of DeFazio appearing at the organization's address on Capitol Hill, Washington Post videographer along for the ride, in DeFazio's attempt to learn more about the group.
Take MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow live on location from Newark, Del., the site of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race. Mix that with the local beat reporter of the state’s largest newspaper that openly admitted her role model is Helen Thomas. The result: Unfavorable coverage for the conservative Republican in said race.
On the Oct. 5 broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,’ host Rachel Maddow wanted to give her viewers a taste of the local Delaware media, since U.S. Senate Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell had announced she would go with a more local media strategy in her upcoming contest with the state’s Democratic nominee, Chris Coons. Appearing on her show were Ron Williams, a political columnist and reporter Ginger Gibson, both of the Wilmington News-Journal.
Williams has made his view clear on O’Donnell over the past few months with his columns. Even in his most recent column he cast aspersions on O’Donnell, but that’s what columnists do. But his colleague at the News-Journal, Gibson lamented her inability to have access to the O’Donnell campaign.
While liberals complain that Fox News is too helpful in offering its air time for Republican candidates and campaigns, MSNBC continued the recent string of NBC-Universal properties bowing to President Obama with gobs of unchallenged free air time. On Thursday night's Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC offered two large chunks of a speech Obama gave to the DNC's "Gen 44" initiative for young people. Seconds before the first speech clip, MSNBC aired a 15-second NBC public service announcement starring Obama. (See Mark Finkelstein on that.)
The event was a fundraiser expected to raise $750,000. Two honorary co-chairs of the DNC effort are the actors America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") and Dule Hill ("The West Wing" and "Psych").
This wasn't a standard presidential press conference or interview. This was a campaign event, aired by Maddow in a four-minute clip and then a five-and-a-half-minute clip, both followed with analysis by liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. In both clips, Obama attacked conservatives for ruining the economy and civil discourse, including claims like this:
CNN's Rick Sanchez positioned himself above the fray between "right wing" Fox News and "liberal" MSNBC on Thursday's Rick's List. Sanchez named Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and their network to his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," after the Obama administration supposedly exposed his competitor's left wing bias, and claimed that he "wasn't necessarily liked" by the current or previous administrations.
Before putting his colleagues at MSNBC on his "list," the CNN anchor invoked his longtime vendetta against his other competitor and took a swipe at the last vice president: "Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network."
Sanchez then moved on to his main subject: "Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.'" He continued with the claim that "if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House [Press] Secretary Bill Burton."
CNN's John King on Wednesday mocked Barack Obama for calling Fox News a "destructive" force in our society while at practically the same time a White House spokesman was saying MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow provide "an invaluable service" to the country.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, the President bashed FNC in a just-published interview with Rolling Stone magazine shortly before his Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton was praising MSNBC during a gaggle held on Air Force One.
With this in mind, on Wednesday's "John King USA," the host surprisingly derided the White House's inconsistency (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
When lefties turn on each other ... never a pretty sight.
Former president Bill Clinton, he of the elephantine memory, still nurses a grudge against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for a crack she made about him way back in March.
In an appearance with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Philadelphia on Monday, Clinton said that "one of the leading television commentators on one of our liberal cable channels said I was the best Republican president the country ever produced, which would come [as] quite a surprise to the Republicans, half of whom still think I'm a closet communist," according to Politico.
A new study by the Pew Research Center found that Barack Obama gets his highest approval ratings from people that watch MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, as well as from readers of the New York Times.
The numbers are rather staggering, as 84 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC's "Countdown" give the President high marks for his job performance.
This compares to 80 percent for regular viewers of "The Rachel Maddow Show" and 79 percent for regular readers of the Times.
But that's just one of the interesting findings in the Pew survey released Sunday:
Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell unveiled this curious possible strategy for Democrats heading into the midterms when she appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Sept. 8 --
MADDOW: One last last question on the specifics here. The president himself is planning to be very visible from all accounts, multiple campaign events, the first planned press conference in a long while. Is he still the Democrats' best campaign asset or do Democrats need somebody else out there who can throw sharper barbs than a sitting president is really allowed to?
Followed by Harris-Lacewell responding, as if hearing the question from Maddow for the first time --
Looking for someone to investigate theft and questionable spending in government programs? Think twice about hiring Rachel Maddow. The earnest MSNBC polemicist has deemed such a thing impossible, at least when it comes to Social Security.
Reacting with the reptilian defensiveness of liberals whenever conservatives suggest Social Security is unsustainable, Maddow made this whopper of a claim on her show Sept. 1 in response to former senator Alan Simpson's pithy criticism of the FDR-created sacred cow --
MADDOW: Here's the broader context, what he said, it was in an email, what he wrote in that email, in which that quote, from which that quote was taken. This is what he said -- 'yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million [tits]', thing that starts with T that rhymes with bits.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter repeatedly characterized the conservative wing of the Republican party as "radical" and "extreme" as he and host Maddow discussed the possibility that conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham would broadcast his radio show from House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office on Election Day. Alter asserted that the Republican party became radical in 1994, and soon advised "progressives" that they "need to learn a little bit about what the stakes are" because Republicans currently have a "radical agenda." Alter:
You know, it began in 1994. That was where we got radical Republican leadership for the first time. The reason that they succeeded was that the moderate Republican leadership of the old days had failed to regain control of the House of Representatives. So the lesson after ‘94 was: Be radical and maybe you can come back into power. ... so the message is not really for other Republicans. The message is for Democrats and how much do Democrats care about turning over a branch of our government to extremists, to radicals.
In the midst of bashing Pres. Bush over Iraq this evening, Rachel Maddow's mic went suddenly dead, forcing her MSNBC show to go to commercial.
When she returned [and after paraphrasing a line from Macbeth], Maddow let it be known she was "such a conspiracy theorist" but didn't dare tell the audience what she was thinking because "it would discredit me forever."
Those crack researchers at MSNBC have done it again!
Last week, hosts Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow both did stories about a blogger whose travel instructions for folks going to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally got posted at the Maine Tea Party Patriots website.
Included were warnings about what stops to avoid on the DC Metro.
Predictably, the liberal blogosphere had a field day with this citing it as another "example" of racism within the Tea Party.
There's only one problem: the culprit, a Washington, D.C.-based realtor, is a major contributor to the Democrat Party as well as gay rights groups.
But before we get there, here's what Rachel Maddow reported Monday with the help of the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson (videos follow with transcripts and commentary, h/t Seton Motley):
Here is how the Wall Street Journal began its lead editorial, "Victory in Iraq," on Aug. 20 --
When the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as part of President Bush's surge, American soldiers were being killed or wounded at a rate of about 750 a month, the country was falling into sectarian mayhem, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had declared that the war was 'lost.'
On Wednesday, the 'Raiders' became the last combat brigade to leave Iraq, having helped to defeat an insurgency, secure a democracy and uphold the honor of American arms.
For viewers of NBC and MSNBC earlier that week, the title of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division would likely have struck a chord -- on Aug. 18, both networks interrupted their scheduled broadcasts with exclusive live coverage of the brigade crossing the border into Kuwait, the last US combat brigade to leave Iraq.
Never mind the personal feelings of people, which they're entitled to have, over the notion of a mosque being built in close proximity to Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Those sensitivities have nothing to do with what's really going on. It's really all about President Barack Obama and his political opponents according to New York Times columnist Frank Rich.
On MSNBC's Aug. 26 broadcast of "The Rachel Maddow Show," host Rachel Maddow admitted she was befuddle that anti-Islam sentiment has seemingly peaked in the past few weeks and wondered why it has suddenly been brought to boil, with the mosque in question at the forefront.
"For all the bad decisions made post-9/11, we really didn't see a national, like, open partisan two-minutes hate toward Muslims the way we are seeing now about this mosque debate," Maddow said. "Why is it happening now?"
Rachel Maddow on Wednesday mocked the math skills of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie only seconds before she made the exact same arithmetic mistake she bashed him for.
In a short segment about the state of New Jersey losing some education funding as a result of errors made during the application process, the MSNBC host placed all the blame on the new Republican governor.
To put a fine point on what Maddow claimed was Christie's incompetence, she played a video of the Governor on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier in the day misstating the number of points Ohio edged out New Jersey for this award.
Hysterically, when the clip ended, Maddow made the very same subtraction error (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Alas, it wasn't supposed to end this way, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow lamented to NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel in Baghdad last week after the departure of the last American combat brigade from Iraq.
Engel recounted his experiences covering the war, getting into Iraq on false pretenses just before the US-led invasion in 2003 and spending considerable time in the country thereafter (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: So you were here throughout for the first five, six years of the war?
ENGEL: Yes. I took little breaks but, straight, I was here 10, 11 months a year.
MADDOW: So when you, thinking now in August 2010, this is ending. I mean, Operation Iraqi Freedom ends now and did you have any idea this is the way that it would end?
ENGEL: It's ending with a little bit of a whisper.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is actually about to win an award for her "civility" and "tolerance."
"The Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award, established by Interfaith Alliance in 1998, recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation," reads a statement released by the organization Monday.
"The award recognizes individuals whose actions have embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy on traditionally controversial and divisive issues."
And here's why Maddow qualified according to Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, the organization's President (h/t New York Post):
That's odd, those describing themselves as pro-choice usually aren't this candid when it comes to abortion.
On her MSNBC show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow spoke with Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell about Republican Senate candidates Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Ken Buck opposing abortion, including for pregnancies conceived through rape or incest.
Harris-Lacewell said this in response to a question from Maddow --
Bret Baier on Thursday rebutted Rachel Maddow's claim to David Letterman that Fox News intentionally tries to show images of "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the MSNBC host was a guest of the CBS "Late Show" Tuesday, and made some pretty disgusting comments about a competing cable news network.
Speaking with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, the host of FNC's "Special Report" countered that because Fox addresses stories that other outlets don't, that "doesn't mean that there's political motivation behind covering actual news."
This, of course, is a huge factor in liberal media bias, and is what folks that analyze news reports refer to as bias by omission (transcript follows with commentary, audio available here with relevant section at 10:00):
Rachel Maddow on Friday highly-edited a video from the previous evening's "O'Reilly Factor" in order to make the Fox News host look racist.
For some background, Bill O'Reilly wrote a syndicated column Friday in which he chastized Maddow and David Letterman for "without a shred of evidence" claiming on CBS's "Late Show" Tuesday that FNC intentionally runs stories about "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
Maddow responded by calling this "bullpucky," and presented video "evidence" from "Factor" programs to prove that this indeed is what Fox does.
Unfortunately, in the most damning clip, Maddow's minions conveniently edited out that O'Reilly was referring to a recent Gallup poll about how blacks and whites have differing views of President Obama.
Ironically, this came moments after Maddow scolded O'Reilly for airing the edited version of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod on his July 19 program (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Only a matter of time before MSNBC's answer to Eve Harrington (shown here being introduced to theater critic Addison DeWitt/Keith Olbermann) took a shot across the bow of unsuspecting coworkers.
On her show Wednesday night, Maddow recounted the "single strangest on-air moment for me" on election night in 2008 (video below the fold) --
MADDOW: This happened after midnight East Coast time, Barack Obama had already won the presidency and we were here in this studio (Maddow, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, former congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy) covering the reaction to the election results around the country. And in the midst of that, with everybody else I work with here at MSNBC, this happened --
GREGORY (describing aerial footage of large crowd in downtown San Francisco): I believe we've got some pictures out of San Francisco as well, some of the celebration pouring out in the Castro District of the city as it's known. A place near and dear to your heart, Chris Matthews.
Rachel Maddow on Tuesday told David Letterman that scaring white people is good politics for conservatives.
After the host of CBS's "Late Show" asked his perilously biased guest about the Andrew Breitbart-Shirley Sherrod affair, the MSNBCer predictably pointed her accusatory finger at Fox News and everybody on the right.
"The idea is you sort of rile up the white base to be afraid of an other, to be afraid of the scary immigrants or scary black people," Maddow said.
"Somebody coming to take what is white people's rightful property," she continued. "And you get them riled up so they feel like they need to vote in self-defense, and they vote for conservative candidates because of that fear" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t TVNewser):
It seems that not even the truth can possibly overturn the narrative that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have brought transparency to Washington.
Last Wednesday I wrote about how the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill Obama signed into law last month contains a provision exempting the Securities and Exchange Commission from Freedom of Information Act requests. Such an exemption would surely have been grounds for a media outcry during the Bush administration, yet apart from The Wall Street Journal and CNN, only blogs have been following the developments. The latter opted simply to parrot the administration's claims without challenge.
Other media ouetlets, such as National Public Radio and MSNBC, completely ignored the controversy, in stark contrast to their extensive coverage of the Bush administration's attempts to curtail the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. NPR's Don Gonyea said "When conflicts arise over what should or should not be open, the administration does not hesitate to invoke the memory of 9/11. And while it's true that 9/11 changed the security landscape, it's also true that the administration was tightening the control of information much earlier . . ."
Fox Business is reporting that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that President Obama signed recently includes a provision that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission from responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Fox wrote:
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Several years ago, the media was confronted by several similar issues involving attempts by the Bush Administration to narrow the provisions of FOIA and exempt certain agencies from having to respond to requests filed under that act. The question that remains in these next few days as the media reports on this story is weather their response will be as condemnatory as it was when George W. Bush was in office.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
I'm fairly confident but not certain this didn't initially come from The Onion -- a fawning profile of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow written by MarketWatch's Jon Friedman.
"This is the rare 21st-century TV news star," Friedman writes, "an un-self-absorbed celebrity."
"Maddow, 37, is the voice of reason at MSNBC," Friedman elaborates. "Notable for their verbal brawn, the hosts of cable news shows often behave on air as if they're competing for a gold medal in preening. Maddow gets her point across in a restrained but emphatic way. She doesn't feel a need to outshout her guests."
Channeling her inner Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow on Sunday actually said extending unemployment benefits is "the most stimulative thing you can do" to help the ailing economy.
Appearing on the panel discussion of NBC's "Meet the Press," Maddow boldly presented a liberal view of economics that only the current House Speaker would be proud of.
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works."
Indeed, for moments before she falsely stated that Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.
But Maddow's best remark Sunday had to be, "If you really want a stimulus, do what we -- what's proven to work in stimulus, which is things like extending unemployment benefits...It's the most stimulative thing you can do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):