What good is the liberal media's "truth squadding" or "fact-checking" when it doesn't reveal any facts and is completely divorced from the truth?
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell gave a stark answer to that question this morning, when she appeared on "Morning Joe" to discuss yesterday's health care summit. O'Donnell heaped praise on the President for being "in command of some of the facts", like the "fact" that premiums would decline 10-13 percent under his plan. If she had actually looked at the CBO report she was citing, however, she would know that the plan is expected to raise, not lower, premiums for individuals by 10-13 percent.
So for all her "truth-squadding" and "fact-checking", O'Donnell is still confused about the difference between up and down. Either that, or she didn't truth-squad or fact-check anything, but simply said what she wanted to believe. Maybe she should spend less time devising her awkward hyphenated verbs , and more actually examining the facts.
"Are we on seven-second delay?"--Mark Halperin on Morning Joe, prefacing his criticism of Pres. Obama's performance at the health-care summit.
Halperin was surely being facetious, but the point about MSNBC's pro-Obama predilection was made.
The Time editor went on to rather comprehensively pan PBO's petulant performance. His comments were preceded by a clip of Pres. Obama rudely reminding Sen. John McCain of just who had won the presidential election.
If you're reading this or spending time at politically oriented, new media websites, you are adding to the caustic tone in Washington, D.C.
Such was discussed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday during a roundtable segment wherein no one disagreed with this premise.
Joining Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were conservative contributor Pat Buchanan, Time's Peter Beinart, and NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
The topic of discussion was the evolution of partisan politics, and although Beinart pointed out how the parties have been much more greatly divided in the past than they currently are, the conversation continually referred back to the Internet being to blame for today's divisions (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
It's been almost three weeks since Sarah Palin addressed the Tea Party convention. More than two weeks since Andrea Mitchell did her taunting little imitation of Palin's hand notes. But there was Norah O'Donnell today, still milking the moment to mock Palin.
O'Donnell worked her hand-note reference into a discussion on today's Morning Joe of Scott Brown's vote for the "jobs bill."
Later, on a different subject, after criticizing socialism, Norah wryly observed "I sound like I'm on another network." See Bonus Coverage, below.
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
New York Times columnist Gail Collins appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Thursday, to worry about "scary," fringe conservatives who will be appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. Picking out certain panels at the three day event, she fretted, "But, suddenly, we're back to nullification. All this sort of succession stuff. That part of it is very scary." [Audio available here.]
Collins portrayed those in the conservative establishment as simply trying to keep pace. The columnist dismissed, "The rest of it, you almost sort of a feeling [sic] that the movement has passed these people by, that these are sort of the '90s conservatives, who you know, are not quite- trying to race to catch up."
Scarborough derided the selection of conservative host Glenn Beck to be the keynote speaker for the 2010 CPAC. He allowed that there could be some "good people there," but added, "...They have Glenn Beck, a guy that called the President a racist who hated all white people, as their keynote speaker. And you sit there going, 'Really, is that who you want to project as the most important person of the conservative movement?'"
Poor Barack Obama. Hasn't put a foot wrong. Policies just fine. It's just that he's been dealt the cruel fate of . . . being President of the United States.
That was the essence of what Jonathan Capehart, WaPo editorialist, whistled past the liberal graveyard on Morning Joe today. Confronted with the prez's crumbling poll numbers [by 52-44 margin people don't think PBO deserves to be re-elected], Capehart blamed anti-incumbent fever. It's not that Americans are opposed to the Dems' policies, suggested Capehart: they're just frustrated by how little has been accomplished.
Why don't we play a little game of political prognostication? Imagine that, far from being ineffective, Obama/Pelosi/Reid had managed to push through their entire agenda in the last year. Let's focus on three matters:
I don’t know when or where or even if Joe Scarborough’s radio show airs in my area, nor do I care. The other night a friend caught this clip from his radio show and sent it to me. It’s about a blog which is published by the organization I head.
"NewsBusters, which just loves writing negative articles about me, I don’t know why, a lot of really false ones and I don’t know what’s actually gotten into Brent Bozell, but he actually goes out of his way to write false articles about me now…They just distort the news for their own purposes."
Now I know why MSNBC hired Joe Scarborough. He’s about as accurate and honest as everyone else there.
False articles? Here’s something Joe knows, because he and I have had this conversation privately already: I’ve never written a bloody article about him. Ever.
As for conservative bloggers at NewsBusters writing false articles about him, that is equally untrue. Have they sometimes been negative? Guilty as charged – and for good reason. Increasingly he’s making statements that are stupid, or reckless, or provocative, or insulting, or a combination of all the above.
On Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo appeared as a guest and recounted some of President Obama's anti-business, anti-wealthy stands as she informed host Joe Scarborough and the panel why some see Obama as anti-business despite his support of bailouts on Wall Street. Responding to Scarborough's declaration that "there has been a redistribution of wealth since Barack Obama has ... been President, it’s the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of mankind, but it’s gone from main street to Wall Street. If I were a Wall Street banker, I’d love this guy," Bartiromo responded:
No, I mean, I don’t see it that way. ... I think that at the end of the day, there has been a feeling out there that he’s anti-business, that there are higher taxes on business and they’re coming, even higher taxes are coming on business and on the wealthiest individuals and the highest earners, so that hasn’t changed.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell went into an unhinged attack on a former Bush administration official Friday, and was eventually shut out of the discussion by Joe Scarborough.
Appearing on "Morning Joe" with former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen who was brought on to discuss terrorist interrogation procedures, O'Donnell began by first calling him a liar, and then accused the Bush White House of inviting 9/11 "by having no idea what was going on with al Qaeda."
As O'Donnell continued with his attack, others on the set were heard asking him to calm down and stop.
When Thiessen tried to respond, O'Donnell violently interrupted him forcing Scarborough to cut in, go to a commercial, and say that he would be interviewing Thiessen alone (video embedded below the fold with commentary, h/t Hot Air):
Fox News's Chris Wallace Thursday blasted Joe Scarborough for suggesting that he rolled his eyes at the camera after Sunday's interview with Sarah Palin, and said he was "offended" people even watched the former Congressman on MSNBC.
The "Fox News Sunday" host was referring to what transpired on Monday's "Morning Joe."
"Look at the end of Chris Wallace's interview where he rolls his eyes, uh, embarrassed. There's no doubt he is," said Scarborough. "Now he will deny that, but Chris was sending a message to all his friends, 'yes I know she is not a serious thinker.'"
As Scarborough predicted, Wallace did deny the charge. Asked by Fox's Megyn Kelly if the eyes had rolled, Wallace said, "no, is the quick answer to that," adding that he wasn't offended the MSNBCer had suggested such, but only that people watched "Morning Joe" in the first place (video below the fold, full transcript to be added soon, h/t Johnny Dollar):
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, on the same show in which host Joe Scarborough had earlier complained about FNC’s Bill Sammon claiming that the media "hate" Sarah Palin, guest David Remnick of the New Yorker magazine -- formerly of the Washington Post-- declared that "Sarah Palin’s entire career would be eliminated" if Americans were influenced by seeing "preposterousness" on public display. Remnick’s comment came during a discussion of the Senate’s adherence to the filibuster rule that makes it easier for the minority party to block the passage of legislation. At about 8:09 a.m., Scarborough contended that he would prefer that filibuster participants be required to actually stand up and speak in televised debate so that Americans might see the "preposterousness" of the practice.
Remnick then took his shot at Palin to dismiss Scarborough’s theory that "preposterousness" could wake up the American public. Remnick: "We see a lot of preposterous things in American politics. That doesn’t seem to convince us otherwise. Sarah Palin’s entire career would be eliminated, would pass out of history if preposterousness were somehow disqualifying, but it’s not."
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Tuesday, February 9, Morning Joe on MSNBC:
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough took exception with FNC analyst Bill Sammon for using the word "hate" to describe mainstream media sentiment toward Sarah Palin, contending that "you can't just say that people ‘hate’ Sarah Palin." But, while he spent more than two minutes complaining about Sammon’s use of the word "hate," Scarborough seemed to contradict himself at one point as he ended up using the word "hated" to describe media reaction to the former Alaska governor after she was first chosen as John McCain’s running mate.
The MSNBC host went on to suggest that the media got over their initial feeling of "hate" and "tried" to "start reporting on her down the middle." Scarborough: "And, by the way, we called out the media when they attacked her without even knowing who she was. And we said they hated her in the press early on without knowing her because she was a pro-life woman. Now, did they get past that and start reporting on her down the middle? They tried. But again, they don't hate her. I don't think they under-, a lot of people don't understand somebody from Wasilla who hunts, who is pro-life. There is a cultural gap. But to just say that they hate..."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, February 9, Morning Joe on MSNBC, with critical portions in bold:
Fox News has a business strategy of seeking to "undermine" the MSM by alleging that it has a liberal bias. That was Chuck Todd's assertion on Morning Joe today.
Todd, NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent, was reacting to Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon's statement on "Fox News Sunday" that "the mainstream media hates the tea party movement almost as much as it hates Sarah Palin."
Even though, the day after it aired on the Super Bowl broadcast, the consensus on the Focus on the Family advertisement featuring former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was that it wasn't as bad as the left had feared, at least one person that isn't going to let it go.
On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough made the point that the TV spot played during the Feb. 7 game was inoffensive and painted the opponents of it as being upset about nothing.
"One other thing too, talking about the soft touch - Focus on the Family's ad with Tim Tebow was soft, it was subtle and it made all the people who criticized it over the past week look like shrill idiots," Scarborough said. "It was a mom talking about a son she loved - her take with soft music."
On Monday’s Morning Joe show on MSNBC, during a discussion of President Obama’s recent suggestions that he would be willing to talk with Republicans about health care reform, co-host Mika Brzezinski recounted Obama’s initial refusal to include the GOP, and claimed that Republicans "ARE the ones, you could argue, who wrecked the economy," which set off co-host Joe Scarborough. After Brzezinski claimed that "The last administration put us in the position that we are in," Scarborough denounced Democrats for pushing Republicans to support lending more money to people who could not pay back their mortgages.
He also brought up campaign contributions President Obama received from mortgage companies. Scarborough: "And, by the way, while I was being critical of the Republican party for allowing people to get mortgages they couldn't afford to repay, Democrats were calling Republicans racists. Barney Frank calling them racists for not giving even more mortgages they couldn't afford to pay. ... Barack Obama, the guy that got more money from Fannie and Freddie executives than anybody else on Capitol Hill doesn't exactly have clean hands here."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, February 8, Morning Joe, on MSNBC, from about 8:09 a.m., with critical portions in bold:
Joe Scarborough was surely right about one thing: he's going to take some flak . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough said that Sarah Palin has been "lowering the bar" with her public pronouncements, asserting that she hasn't done the necessary homework to permit her to speak seriously on the issues.
Joe also claimed that while "top conservatives" are afraid to take Palin on publicly, "behind the scenes" they are angry at her for her alleged lack of preparation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly jobs report on Feb. 5, showing an "unexpected" decline in the overall unemployment rate. But the reactions from two cable news channels were markedly different.
CNN's Allan Chernoff called it "a little bit of good news," even though 20,000 more people lost their jobs in January. He said economists were actually expecting a gain of 15,000 jobs. So that estimate was off by 35,000.
Chernoff also downplayed a massive revision to the total number of jobs lost during the recession, which indicated that things during 2008 and 2009 were much worse than realized.
Only a liberal could imagine that addressing the federal deficit and creating jobs might be mutually exclusive. On MSNBC's Feb. 3 "Morning Joe," Chrystia Freeland of The Financial Times asked Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., whether she agreed with President Obama's stated intention of addressing the deficit next year.
"Senator, we've also heard from the president that next year - in his budget for next year - he is going to be focusing on deficit reduction, and he thinks its gonna be time be worried about that," Freeland said. "Is that too soon? Are you worried that the president should really be focusing right now still on stimulating the economy?"
Stabenow took the cue to launch into anti-Bush boilerplate. "Well we have to be focused on both and it's tough," she said. "I mean this president not only inherited the biggest deficit we've ever had, but the biggest deficit in jobs that we've ever had. We've got over 15 million people without jobs right now - bread winners no longer able to bring in a pay check."
Want proof low taxes work? Just take a look at the state of New Hampshire, as MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough astutely pointed out.
On the Feb. 2 broadcast of his MSNBC program, Scarborough interviewed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Shaheen's home state was hosting a jobs town hall put on by President Barack Obama and Scarborough used the occasion for a teachable moment.
"Now, usually none of us would celebrate unemployment rates of 7 percent," Scarborough said. "But that is not only well below the national average, but your neighbor, Rhode Island, to the south of you now sitting with a 13 percent unemployment rate. What's New Hampshire doing right?"
Historically, there are two kinds of White House reporters: those that confront officials with the strongest critique and demand a response (think ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who dogged Bill Clinton in the late 1990s just as he had Ronald Reagan in the 1980s); and those who see their job as simply repeating the White House spin of the day.
Reporting this morning on the Obama administration’s push for another $100 billion in spending, supposedly for “job growth,” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie fell into the second category. Rather than amplify the growing chorus of critics who argue that we can’t afford more massive spending when the previous “stimulus” was so expensive and ineffective, Guthrie on NBC’s Today saluted the President for making a “judgment call” that “all economists” could support:
This is a budget where the President makes a judgment call. He's asking for $100 billion to spur job growth, things like tax cuts for small business, tax breaks to increase wages. And he's doing this knowing that it will drive up the deficit, certainly even more in the short term, but all economists agree the real way to get a chunk out of the deficit is to increase hiring.
Poor Barack Obama. In becoming president he inherited the "hollow prize" of the United States of America. That was the astounding theory suggested this morning by Melissa Harris-Lacewell.
The Princeton professor of politics and African-American studies bemoaned the president's predicament on Morning Joe today. Apparently this "hollow prize" theory is in vogue in certain circles, used to decry the plight of African-Americans who only rise to powerful political positions in "hollow prize" places like Detroit.
The president of NBC has officially responded to Joe Scarborough criticizing Keith Olbermann for his attacks on Scott Brown.
In a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, Phil Griffin told his on air staff: "We do not publicly criticize our colleagues. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and will not be tolerated."
Griffin was addressing comments made by MSNBC's Scarborough about Olbermann. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the "Morning Joe" host first tweeted his disapproval of the "Countdown" host's comments about Brown -- "How reckless and how sad" -- reiterating on his program Tuesday morning, "Sad and pathetic.
As a result, Griffin sent out the following memo Friday (h/t TVNewser):
"These bank bonuses, I would say, are a sin of Biblical proportions," Wallis said. "But to pick on the banks alone misses the point. It's a symptom, I think of a real erosion of societal values because new maxims have taken us over - ‘greed is good,' ‘it's all about me and I want it now.'"
A small group of liberal talking heads may be realizing that opposition to Obama is not, in fact, wholly irrational. Though it would be a bit too hasty to proclaim it a trend among the mainstream media, it has been a refreshing break from the smears usually hurled at the right by the nation's pundits.
First was Chris Matthews, who stunningly turned right and voiced his concern about an excessively large federal government, as Noel Sheppard reported this morning. NBC's David Gregory also came to his senses today, and admitted--his prior statements notwithstanding--that the Tea Party movement has been advocating the same principles that led to Scott Brown's victory yesterday (h/t Mary Katherine Ham).
Speaking on this morning's Morning Joe, Gregory characterized yesterday's special election as a sincere populist backlash against unpopular policies. The election was "about incumbency and whether government's working for you," he said. "That's what really cuts through all this is whether government is working for the people. That's what's fueling the Tea Party movement."
There are times when speaking in a stream of consciousness is a good and wholesome thing. None occur in front of a camera, as evidenced by the public escapades of MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch.
The former ad-man took to today’s “Morning Joe” set yesterday morning to offer the following wisdom in reference to the impending Massachusetts electorate:
He is a traditional-looking middle-aged white male. We’re going back to basics, we’ve obviously had our first African American president we’ve had the female candidates and what-not – you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate, and is there a visceral comfort in that for people? I’m just curious from real kind of sociological point of view.
TVNewser has a transcriptpar excellence, for your reading pleasure. In sum, Mika Brzezinski has gone off the Big Media reservation again, in a good way. Let’s just say she unwittingly (?) offers praise for a cable news network with much better ratings.
In an interview for her new book, Brzezinski spoke with Julie Menin about the partisan nature of today’s American media:
BRZEZINSKI: "I've worked in the mainstream media for all the networks and I will say what people aren't saying. It's got a liberal world view. There are great people working at the networks, and they're mostly Democrats, ok? They try really hard to be objective, really hard and they do a great job at it, but the balance is not there within the objective mainstream media. It's not, it is not and I'm not sure how we fix that. I hate the polarizing extremes that we're seeing on cable where there's these sort of ‘Think my way or you’re evil’ kind of subliminal message or cartoonish type characters on the right and the left.
Interesting enough – but even more piquing is Brzezinski’s solution to the problem of a partisan media:
Not that they were BFFs before, but Joe Scarborough has now definitively de-friended Keith Olbermann . . .
As NewsBuster Noel Sheppard reported, Olbermann last night unleashed an absurdly over-the-top Special Comment at Scott Brown, calling him "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
Joe Scarborough thereafter tweeted that Olbermann's Special Comment was "reckless and sad." On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough fired similar remarks at his MSNBC colleague on live national TV . . .
In a bizarre twist of logic, on Monday’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin argued that if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the race for the Massachusetts Senate, it would improve chances of health care reform passing: “I actually think they may get health care more easily than if they win.”
While Halperin acknowledged that losing the Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy would be a “disaster” for Democrats, he explained the supposed upside: “...if she wins, if they hold the seat, they’re still going to have to come up with a deal and then they’re going to have to have two votes, the House and Senate. They’re going to have to go through, you know, the torture of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson deciding if they can deal with the compromised bill.” Halperin seemed convinced a Coakley loss could avoid all of that torturous democracy.
Later in the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Monday, anchor Monica Novotny referred back to Halperin’s Morning Joe comments and asked guests Richard Wolffe and Larry Sabato about such an analysis of the situation: “In a discussion about this race earlier this morning on our air, the point was made that perhaps it’s better for the Democrats if they lose this seat....What do you think?”