In his first television interview since withdrawing as Obama's nominee to run the Transporation Security Administration, Erroll Southers make this puzzling observation to Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Thursday --
SOUTHERS (referring to Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt): One of the things that everybody must understand is that this attack was debriefed by the foreign terrorist organizations that sent Mr. Abdulmutallab over here. They learned a great deal. We need to reverse-engineer what happened and think about what we would do to counter the emerging threat instead of yesterday's attack and having policies that are then driven and being reactive instead of really being thought out and being comprehensive in their scope.
MADDOW: In looking into some of your record and what you've worked on in the past today ...
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Americans were treated to a number of populist sermons on the "special interests" who would oppose "reform" at any cost to maintain the "status quo" from which they "profit financially or politically." The drug companies, the energy companies, the Wall Street bankers, and the health insurers were the corporate enemies of a just and harmonious America, or so one might have gathered.
Obama was at the vanguard of this populist charge. But since his election, he has proposed health care legislation that would subsidize Pfizer and PhRMA, a cap and trade plan that would drive profits to General Electric, and Wall Street bailouts that lined the pockets of the same Goldman Sachs bankers he so reviled during the campaign. What happened?
Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney exposes and investigates this monumental disconnect in his new book "Obamanomics: How Barack Obama is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses." Carney explores the "political strategy of partnering with the biggest businesses in order to create new regulations, taxes, and subsidies." Those measures, he argues, actually benefit the biggest businesses by crowding out competition, consolidating market share, or giving billions in subsidies directly to those companies.
Watching a dour Norah O'Donnell reporting from Senator-elect Scott Brown's exuberant victory bash in Boston, I half-expected O'Donnell to tell MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ... the mood here tonight is grim ...
O'Donnell didn't quite say that, at least not publicly, though she did cough up this gem --
O'DONNELL: Another interesting thing. You pointed out some of the odd things, talking about the availability of his two attractive daughters and also being willing to take his truck down to show it to the president and play basketball against him, but there was one part of the speech that I don't know if you heard. He said, our tax dollars should not be spent on weapons to stop them and not lawy-, let me start that over. Talking about terrorists, he said, our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to stop them, not on lawyers to defend them.
"I look at the numbers and I`m worried. I`m worried about this government committing itself to so many entitlement programs and committing itself to such a level of taxation that support those entitlement programs."
So surprising said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to colleague Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night just moments after Martha Coakley's concession speech to newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
As they sat in a bar in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Matthews sounded more like a conservative than the devout liberal he's admitted being.
"The country wants something better than what it has," said the "Hardball" host.
"That dissatisfaction has been overwhelmed by bad politics and smart politics on the right by a complaint about fiscal overkill," he continued. "And that is the problem the Democrats face right now -- a sense not that their values are wrong...The debt is too big. The government`s taking on too many responsibilities" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):
Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday mocked MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for using the tragedy in earthquake-rattled Haiti to bash former President George W. Bush.
Not appreciating the ribbing, Maddow foolishly responded on her own program Friday proving once and for all that liberal media members love Jon Stewart -- as long as his target is conservatives, that is.
Precipitating the spat was the MSNBCer on Wednesday politicizing the growing Haitian crisis by saying, "All of that central to what the Obama administration says it wants to do differently than what Bush and Cheney did."
The "Daily Show" host marvelously noted, "Not the right time." Stewart concluded by mocking Maddow's audience, "Congratulations MSNBC viewers -- you're on the right side of this terrible, terrible tragedy" (videos of Stewart's segment and Maddow's response embedded below the fold):
A brief (and humorous) hypothetical: What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if Sean Hannity took the video of President Obama’s obeisant greeting of the Japanese Prime Minister, and turned it into a video loop to be played in the corner of the screen whenever Obama was the subject du jour?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a very similar thing with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele on Friday’s edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’
You may remember the mildly irritating pop-up starring Steele that inhabited the redesigned GOP.com at its first launch. It would launch in the upper corner, helpfully explaining the features of the site like the infamous Microsoft Word paper-clip assistant. Maddow revived this animation for use as a ‘bug’ in the corner.
MADDOW: Also, I‘m very proud that for the first time ever, we had a little dancing Michael Steele as the bug in the corner of our segment there.
When it comes to protecting Americans from al Qaeda, "the buck stops here," President Obama proclaims.
Obama's apologists in the media are finding that too close for comfort.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, for example, offered this novel analysis on the underlying cause of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly bringing down Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit --
MADDOW: Moments after the president was done speaking, his administration's official review of what went wrong was released. Now much of what's in this report we've known for days. The information was available. We had it but the analysis wasn't done, the dots weren't connected. It was a broad failure of the counter-terrorism system but the system itself is not fundamentally broken.
The liberal intelligentsia are often all too eager to accuse conservatives of being fear-mongers, purveyors of hate speech, etc. But when they engage in what they accuse conservatives of doing, it's a different set of rules.
"The problem, I think, we have now is sort of crystallized by former Vice President Cheney's role in this debate," Alter said. "And I think that he has actually gotten to a place where he is emboldening the terrorists. If you have a former vice president who is saying that our current president is weak - by the way, that's the first time in American history that's ever taken place, that a former president - a former vice president has said the sitting president is not protecting the country. Never happened before, must end."
Next time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano needs a media flack/coat catcher, I know just the right person.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is lashing out at critics who took Napolitano to task for claiming "the system worked" in response to a terrorist with explosives boarding Northwest Flight 253 and nearly bringing down the plane on Christmas.
In the lead segment on her show Dec. 29 (click here for audio), Maddow told viewers of a "dramatic, unexpected appearance" by Obama that day, breaking from his vacation in Hawaii to make an "unscheduled statement to the press."
"In the Karl Rove political playbook, more than one chapter covers the tactic of gay-baiting, which Mr. Rove has used to notorious electoral effect," Maddow said. "To quote a 2004 profile of Mr. Rove in The Atlantic magazine, quote, ‘One constant throughout his career is the prevalence of whisper campaigns against opponents. Often, a Rove campaign questions an opponent's sexual orientation.'"
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
First, a prayer offered by Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at last week's so-called prayercast sponsored by conservative groups opposed to a government takeover of health care.
After the prayer, a spot quiz --
BACHMANN: Lord, as leaders of our country, Lord, I pray as a stand-in for myself, I pray as a stand-in for others, Lord, who may not have looked to you and all your ways, Father, as leaders. Father, we want to represent you in the way that we should and so, Lord, I ask for forgiveness for that and our own country ... Lord, we know that we have failed and we haven't done as we should. And so that's why now, Lord, we ask for your forgiveness and we repent and we turn from that. And we say, oh Lord, we deserve your wrath but would you yet get our nation mercy. We ask for your mercy, we cry out to you, oh God. This is our moment and this is our time. Lord, we are at the end of ourselves and now we need you.
It's one thing to justifiably criticize an author for dubious claims. It's quite another to assert that the same author supported something heinous he adamantly opposes. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did both over the last two weeks.
Maddow's regular viewers have recently learned a great deal about Ugandan politics, as nearly every broadcast of her show since late November has featured a segment on proposed legislation in Uganda calling for harsh penalties against gays, including execution.
How does earnest MSNBC polemicist Rachel Maddow expect anyone to take her seriously when she doubts al Qaeda still threatens American lives?
It took Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations for the most leftward presidency since LBJ, to remind Maddow that al Qaeda's deadly intent is not "hypothetical."
Preceding Rice's appearance on Maddow's show Dec. 2 was this observation from Maddow about the Bush Doctrine, as enunciated by Bush at West Point in June 2002 (first of three segments of embedded video) --
MADDOW: The Bush Doctrine was probably the single most radical thing about the Bush presidency because it dropped the requirement that the United States actually be threatened before we'd start a war with someone, instead saying that if we just thought we might be threatened some time in the future, that would be justification enough for us now to start a war. It is a really radical concept if you think about it, not only about war, but about us, about America. And it may have survived the Bush presidency.
Rachel Maddow on Friday played a video of a man in underwear banging his genitals against another man's forehead in a gay bar.
This was done to explain to her MSNBC audience the derivation of the term "teabagger," the sexually-charged double entendre that sadly became popular this spring and summer as Tea Parties swept the nation.
According to Maddow, "This is where "teabag" comes from. This is a clip from a 1998 film by John Waters that`s called 'Pecker.'"
As the dancer in the fictional gay bar squats to bang his genitals against a customer's forehead, the emcee played by Martha Plimpton says, "Hey, Larry, no teabagging. You know the rules. No balls on foreheads."
At least Maddow warned her viewers to "get the kids out of this room or put them in ear muffs and cover up their eyes" before she rolled the clip (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 2:30, file photo):
You could call it progress in media bias. For years, liberal journalists have blamed Team Bush for the death of hundreds in Hurricane Katrina. The major media found that theme of fatal incompetence simply irresistible. Time’s Michael Grunwald, who has written in-depth articles and a book about the Army Corps of Engineers, is bringing the focus back to long-standing government policies over decades.
But even Grunwald is using harsh language that Time magazine would usually disparage as talk-radio bluster. He said "Hurricane Katrina was a man-made disaster. And some of us have been screaming about that for several years...those of us who have followed this -- you know, we‘re angry about the Army Corps killing 1,000 people."
The occasion to revisit Katrina came from federal District Judge Stanwood Duval, who ruled in favor of plaintiffs who sued the federal government for compensation over hurricane damage. Duval charged the Army Corps with "monumental negligence" in its maintenance of a man-made shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet:
Don't be surprised if McCain '08 campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace passes up future chances to vent for Rachel Maddow.
Wallace did not appear on the Maddow show, agreeing instead to go on the record off-camera with her criticisms of Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life."
Maddow told viewers of her MSNBC show Tuesday that John McCain held a conference call Nov. 13 and asked that if they wanted to respond to Palin's book, to "at least avoid being interviewed about the book on TV," Maddow said --
Remember those free health care clinics MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow played up back in October after Olbermann's hour-long "Special Comment," about Republican opposition to ObamaCare and/or PelosiCare?
Well, now it's time for their brand of AstroTurf to be put into action. On MSNBC's Nov. 13 "Countdown," fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell raised the issue about the potential opposition Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., might have over the current health care legislation being debated in the U.S. Senate. And, Landrieu so happens to represent Louisiana, the site of one of Olbermann's politicized free health care clinics.
"Republicans, in a new ad, are targeting conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana for indicating she might, might, allow health care to come up for up or down vote on the Senate floor," O'Donnell said.
Rachel Maddow left her radio program nearly a year ago when she began hosting her cable show on MSNBC, but on Wednesday she still claimed to be a radio talk show host. While she does still have a devoted timeslot on Air America, what runs is merely an audio version of her MSNBC show.
It's one thing to avoid the "terrorist" label when reporting on Ft. Hood suspect Major Nidal Hasan. It's quite another to say that those who do use it are making a political calculation to "paint the Democrats as soft terror." Yet that's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow insisted on her Nov. 11 broadcast.
Maddow launched into a minute-and-a-half soliloquy on why it is bad for the Democratic Party when commentators label Hasan a "terrorist." She even attempted to make the case on Hasan's behalf against a terrorism label. Who needs a legal team when you have friends like Maddow and Chris Matthews, who fretted over the legality of Hasan's al Qaeda communications?
"Remember this one? Yes, it is the old ‘paint the Democrats as soft on terror' routine," Maddow said. "But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democratic greatest hits, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Now, regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer."
On last night's "Rachel Maddow Show", the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh commended President Obama for taking the reins in Afghanistan. Hersh stated that Presidents must decide their own war strategies. But in the early stages of the war in Iraq, Hersh was a leading critic of similar actions by the Bush administration. Hersh's hypocrisy suggests he is more concerned with the political implications of military policy than strategic ones.
"Lincoln did not let McClellan write a report on how to win a war against the South," Hersh told Maddow, in reference to Gen. George McClellan, initially the top general for the Union during the Civil War. Hersh was offering a historical perspective on why Presidents should not rely on military commanders to form strategy--McClellan was a disastrous general, after all (video embedded below the fold).
Rachel Maddow on Friday apologized for her previous day's Constitution Preamble gaffe by using "Schoolhouse Rock" to educate her viewers.
As NewsBusters reported, Maddow on Thursday ridiculed House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for claiming during that day's "House Call" rally the historic phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident" came from the Preamble to the Constitution.
In so doing, Maddow gaffed herself by claiming there isn't a Preamble to the Constitution.
Maybe after reading our article on the subject the MSNBC host felt the need to make a correction (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Jeff Poor):
Did you know the United States Constitution doesn't have a Preamble?
Well, that's what the oh so arrogant, high and mighty MSNBC host Rachel Maddow told her audience Thursday night.
In a segment attacking the attendees of yesterday's "House Call" protests on Capitol Hill, Maddow chided Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for claiming he was quoting from the Preamble of the Constitution (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 2:05, file photo):
But Maddow, on her Oct. 28 show, was able to merge the two topics in an attack on Fox Business Channel's John Stossel. Stossel recently came from ABC as a host of "20/20" to host a weekly opinion show on the Fox's business channel. But in Maddow's infinite wisdom, Stossel's participation in AFP activities somehow taints him.
"But first, one more thing about health reform and its politics," Maddow said. "Last week, we reported that Fox News contributor and soon-to-be Fox Business Channel [sic] host John Stossel will be headlining protest rallies against health reform staged by Americans for Prosperity, the lobbying group which refuses to disclose donors while rabble-rousing about the dangers of government-forced health care."
Want to be noticed by any one of the hosts that have a primetime show on MSNBC's weeknight lineup? Just figure out a way to make Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. the subject matter, and there's an excellent chance either Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow will take a shot at it, or her, during their shows.
In the Oct. 25 Washington Post, George Will penned a column about Bachmann, outlining her ascendancy into the national spotlight, which told of her start in politics and how she grew to become reviled by the left. And it was just a matter time before one of the charming personalities on MSNBC made some sort of remarks about the column, albeit two days later. That came on Olbermann's Oct. 27 "Countdown" broadcast.
Big shock here - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow agrees with the White House, which is the Fox News Channel is not really a news organization.
Sarcasm aside, on her Oct. 23 MSNBC program, Maddow attempted to justify the Obama administration's tack over recent months with Fox News. She laid out a series of events over the past few days that indicated an escalation of the feud between Fox News and the White House, specifically an effort to exclude Fox News from the White House pool.
"Well yesterday the White House said that Fox would not be among the networks invited to interview Ken Feinberg in one of these round-robin pool interviews and the other networks came to Fox's defense," Maddow reported. "They said they would bow out of interviewing Mr. Feinberg's themselves unless Fox was included, so Fox was included."
Throughout the previous administration, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann would nightly attack President George W. Bush and members of his administration and regularly bash some conservative personalities for being too cozy with Bush.
However, when he and his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow engage in the same brand of coziness, meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this week, it's no longer an indiscretion. Instead, it becomes justified - since Bush did it. Olbermann appeared on the Oct. 23 "The Rachel Maddow Show" and he and Maddow responded to critics. Maddow asked him to respond to particular comments from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, now a Fox News contributor, that there would be an outcry had the Bush administration committed something similar.
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).