The combatants were Pat Buchanan and Spencer Ackerman of the lefty Washington Independent. The topic was the treatment of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Buchanan wanted the budding terrorist classified as an enemy combatant in order to extract the maximum amount of information from him. Ackerman, in ACLU mode, favored having young Umar tried in federal court and given all rights extended to US criminal defendants.
My antennae went up when at the end of their debate, Buchanan saw Ackerman off by wishing him "Merry Christmas." A bit of Googling reveals that Ackerman, who describes himself as a "very short Jew," has recently written of his "deep-seated contempt for white gentile culture."
The Republican minority in the Senate found an unlikely defender today: MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski.
Yesterday, the Brew Crew played the video for the Democrat talking point attack on Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), but omitted the ghoulish statement by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.):
They [the GOP] are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one."
This morning, however, the bump-in to start the show was that very quote – kudos to the producers of the show for making the connection. Better late than never; and it was even done without the presence of Joe Scarborough, the token MSNBC Republican.
Sadly, some members of the Brew Crew could not contain their bias:
There was something very important that I did not see on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.
The very first bump-in on the show was a montage of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.):
COBURN: What the American people ought to pray, is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray.
DURBIN: I don’t think it’s appropriate to be invoking prayer to wish misfortune on a colleague. And I want him to clarify that. I’ve invited him, I’ve tried to reach out to him. He is my friend, and I have worked with him, but this statement goes too far. The simple reality is this: We are becoming more coarse and more divided here [...].
This, of course, is political gamesmanship. But it goes further than that. In the entirety of Morning Joe, I did not note a single mention of the following statement from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) -- hat tip to Kerry Picket for catching this:
What politicians say to get elected can come back to haunt them and vilifying the lobbyist profession to score campaign points is going to do that to President Barack Obama, according to MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-anchor Joe Scarborough.
"Listen, the Obama administration is in trouble right now," Scarborough said. "We got a lot of friends in the Obama administration right now and they're in trouble because Barack Obama made promises during the 2008 campaign that he would not allow lobbyists to work in his White House. Well sometimes you want lobbyists working in your White House. You want lobbyists working in Congress. You want lobbyists working for the city of Houston, Texas, because you don't get that job as lobbyist because you got a good smile. You get the job as lobbyist because you understand an issue better than everybody else."
Will ObamaCare cover memory loss? Howard Dean better hope so. On today's Meet the Press he seemed to suffer a serious memory lapse, claiming he had said he would "vigorously" support Pres. Obama's re-election [H/t reader Melody]. Problem: we have the video of Dean on Morning Joe of December 17th saying just the opposite: that he would "not vigorously" support PBO's 2012 re-election bid.
So noteworthy was Dean's "not vigorously" declaration at the time that it caused a gleeful Joe Scarborough to burst into laughter and repeat it. Not a decibel out of Dean to dispute what Joe had heard. As I reported at the time, here was Dean on December 17th:
Check out the video. After his brief, listless and cliché-ridden speech in Copenhagen ["time for action, not words," "we should live in the future, not the past"] that aired live on Morning Joe today, Pres. Obama makes the hand-shaking rounds on the podium.
He continues the glad-handing off the podium, until he spots someone and breaks into . . . a bow [screen cap after the jump]. With all the mulling around, it's hard to determine exactly what's going on. It looks like he might have been exchanging bows with a man in the scrum surrounding him. But PBO's bow seemed to go beyond the perfunctory head-nod that in the circumstances surely would have satisfied, say, Japanese etiquette.
Yesterday, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs took shots at Howard Dean and his opposition to ObamaCare, suggesting the good doctor didn't know what he was talking about.
It was payback time this morning, as Dean announced that he would "not vigorously" back Pres. Obama's re-election bid.
The former DNC Chairman expressed his tepid support for Obama, Part Deux on today's Morning Joe in response to new poll data indicating Pres. Obama's popularity, and public support for ObamaCare, have fallen to all-time lows.
Joe Scarborough suggested that Dean would be accused of dragging down his party and helping Republicans.
"Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference," Palin wrote. "The president should boycott Copenhagen."
The op-ed, specifically that paragraph, drew the ire of some prominent lefties, including The Daily Beast's Editor in Chief Tina Brown and Time magazine political columnist Joe Klein. Brown said Palin's call on Obama to boycott was "grandstanding" without basis on MSNBC's Dec. 9 broadcast of "Morning Joe."
Fresh off Donny Deutsch’s defense of Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) slavery analogy, Mike Barnicle asked GOP Chairman Michael Steele about what proposals the GOP favored for health-care reform. Along the way, however, he used an unfortunate choice of words:
MIKE BARNICLE: [...] What are you people for?
MICHAEL STEELE: You people? [starts laughing] Who are 'you people?'
Surely no one would be foolish enough to defend Harry Reid's statement analogizing ObamaCare opponents to those who resisted the abolition of slavery, right? Um, may I introduce you to Donny Deutsch?
On Morning Joe today, the ad man suggested to RNC Chairman Michael Steele that there was nothing wrong with Reid's analogy. When Steele didn't deign to dignify Deutsch's absurdity with a response, a nasty little stand-off ensued . . .
For the dog-bites-man news category: Joe Scarborough had a moment of intellectual schizophrenia today.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Willie Geist and Politico.com executive editor Jim VandeHei were discussing a Politico story about internal political pressures at National Public Radio (NPR). Apparently, NPR's top political correspondent Mara Liasson was asked by NPR executives to reconsider her appearances on Fox News, for concerns over Fox's perceived political bias.
Norah O'Donnell just can't stop condescending to supporters of Sarah Palin. Appearing on Morning Joe today, the MSNBC correspondent rehashed a line she has used before: that fans of Sarah Palin are just too darn busy to know what's happening in the world. According to O'Donnell, Sarah supporters don't have "30 minutes to an hour to read the newspaper."
As I reported here, O'Donnell sounded the same theme a couple weeks ago, when interviewing Palin fans waiting on line at a book-signing in Michigan. By coincidence, Jackie Seal, a high school senior and Palin supporter whom Norah had ambushed with some prepared notes, was a guest last night on Right Angle, the local TV show this NewsBuster hosts. We discussed O'Donnell's condescension, Jackie making the point that most supporters are well-informed about Palin's positions.
View the Right Angle segment after the break.
When O'Donnell began dispensing her slur on Sarah supporters, Mika Brzezinski tried to warn her of the reaction sure to come . . .
Fake but accurate rides again! The same lame defense Dan Rather used in Memogate has been trotted out on ClimateGate by Columbia Univ. Prof. Jeffrey Sachs.
Appearing on Morning Joe today, the author of Common Wealth [note play on words: your money is our money] alleged that the real victims in this scandal are . . . the number-fudging scientists.People are attempting to "Swiftboat" those poor CRU guys, sighed Sachs. For good measure, the good professor asserted that what the fudgesters did "is not a very big deal."
Life was hell under Bush. But hang in there: things'll get better under Obama.
Class dismissed: that's really all you need to know about the latest Time cover story—The Decade From Hell And Why The Next One Will Be Better. But just to drive home the Manichean message, Time editor Rick Stengel and Andy Serwer [of Time stable-mate Fortune], who wrote the cover story, appeared on Morning Joe today.
Of course there's the inconvenient detail about Barack Obama having been elected in this decade. But not to worry. Serwer suggests we "see Barack Obama being elected as the beginning of the next decade."
Tina Brown is the very avatar of elite MSM opinion. So when the Daily Beast creator, late of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, derides Sarah Palin as ignorant, it's safe to assume she's expressing a view harbored in many a liberal media breast.
On today's Morning Joe, while admitting a grudging regard for her appeal, Brown claimed Palin's confidence is based on "total ignorance."
Hosts Joe Scarborough [who last week took his own shot at Sarah's smarts] and Mika Brzezinski, if not precisely leaping to Palin's defense, did respond with some skepticism.
On today's Morning Joe, Larry O'Donnell called the Roman Catholic bishop who barred Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) from taking communion a "political hack."
Interestingly, Mika Brzezinski had a totally different take, arguing the controversy was not about the Church but about Kennedy publicizing the matter in a play to his base. Though Bishop Thomas Tobin sent his letter to Kennedy more than two years ago, its contents didn't come to light until Kennedy recently revealed them to a Rhode Island newspaper.
MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Joe and justified reducing the number of women in their 40s who get mammograms. "No, it is rationing. Let's be clear," she admitted.
Confusing private actions by American citizens and the government, the Dr. Nancy host compared, "But, you ration what food you eat. You ration how much sleep you get. And this is saying we should question about how we spend our health care dollars." Of course, the government doesn’t control how much food and sleep Americans get.
Host Joe Scarborough made the same point, though he didn’t seem so cheery about rationing: "You talk about the death panels. Forget the death panels. This is rationing, saying, 'Okay, we could do this. We could save some lives. It's just not worth the money.'"
Of all the things that might give you comfort in the wake of Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage, where would you rate the news that the military's commitment to "diversity" endures? Down there, dare I guess? Ah, but you're probably not part of the MSM elite.
Chrystia Freeland is. And on today's Morning Joe, the Financial Times editor did indeed announce that she was "comforted" by that very fact of the military's unflagging devotion to diversity.
Joe Scarborough countered Chrystia with a tough question. And--sacré bleu!--Mike Barnicle, not normally an NB fave, made some very blunt and on-target observations . . .
Tom Brokaw made an appearance on this morning's edition of Morning Joe this morning, plugging his interview with the former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Brokaw was, of course, reporting from the historic Brandenburg Gate this morning to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Brew Crew were gathered in their studio with national security expert Dr. Richard Haas, discussing such weighty subjects as the American response to the fall of communism, the geopolitical advantages and disadvantages of that event, and so on. And which of these subjects did Brokaw use to segue into the subject of his interview?
Far be it from NewsBusters to support more government social-program spending. Still, my antennae went up when I heard AARP's Nancy LeaMond dismiss a half-trillion in Medicare cuts as mere "scalpel" wielding. LeaMond, AARP Exec. VP, made her blithe statement while defending her organization's endorsement of ObamaCare to Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe today.
Which made me wonder: just who is Nancy LeaMond? Click, Wikipedia, click: whaddayaknow? Turns out that before coming to AARP, LeaMond was a senior Clinton administration appointee and a top Dem congressional staffer. Surprise, surprise!
That makes no difference to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough, who see a new "litmus test" for the GOP developing out of the New York 23rd Congressional District special election.
Scarborough, appearing with Mitchell on MSNBC shortly after 1:15 p.m. EST, slammed potential 2012 presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) for arguing earlier today on his "Morning Joe" program that there's no room in the GOP for what may be called "Dede Scozzafava Republicans" who are far [left] afield from the Republican mainstream.
The technical term for the following video is “busting his chops.”
Joe Scarborough provided a wonderful satire of Keith Olbermann’s 2008 election-night bias on this morning’s edition of Morning Joe. A partial transcript follows the video, which really must be watched for the full effect.
This sort of thing makes up for your left-of-center moments.
When Mike Allen appeared on Morning Joe today, the very first thing he did was tweak Joe Scarborough over the 3:1 odds, described below, that Joe had offered to those wanting to bet against Doug Hoffman. Joe responded that no one, including Allen, had taken up the bet. While Allen apparently didn't plunk down any dollars, it must be mentioned that at the end of the original segment, the Politico correspondent did say "we're in" on Scarborough's offer.
So let me acknowledge that in calling the race in the 23rd a toss-up, Mike Allen was right--not ridiculous.
Looking back, my two cents say the turning point might well have been the under-reported fact that when Hoffman, who does not live in the district, was interviewed by the Watertown newspaper, he demonstrated surprising unfamiliarity with issues important to the district including a major highway proposal and changes to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Not the kind of thing that gets national headlines, but important to people who live and work in the area. Candidates everywhere, take note.
The results should also be a rebuke to the New York Republican establishment. Remember that Dede Scozzafava was foisted on Republicans as their candidate by party chairmen meeting behind closed doors. If instead there had been a primary, Republicans would almost surely have chosen someone who would have won this race.
When you're an MSMer, you're an MSMer all the way--even when faced with facts that might make you like, well, ridiculous . . .
Mike Allen, appearing on Morning Joe, has declared the NY-23rd race a "real toss-up" despite a new poll from a respected organization showing Doug Hoffman with a 17-point lead.
The claim by Allen, Politico's chief political correspondent, was so absurd that, on the spot, host Joe Scarborough offered 3:1 odds to Allen and anyone else wanting to place a few kopeks on Dem Bill Owens.
Update [Ken Shepherd, managing editor]: Scarborough responds via Twitter, insisting he was joking [see more at bottom of post]. Video embedded to the right.
Joe Biden is the "greatest Vice President of our time."
No, dear reader, I have not lost my marbles. I'm merely citing MSNBC's token quasi-conservative Joe Scarborough, who said on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe":
We understand that Joe Biden's numbers are going down, which I think is just stupid because all he has done is – I mean, he's become, in a couple of short months, the greatest vice president of our time.
Not content to allow his credibility to go down in flames alone, Joe took the rest of the Brew Crew with him:
Mike Allen has dumped on Doug Hoffmann's candidacy. Again. Yesterday, as noted here, Allen said Republicans would be "crazy" and "suicidal" to support the conservative in the special congressional election in New York's 23rd CD. Today, Politico's chief political correspondent has claimed that a Hoffman victory would spell "chaos" in Republican ranks.
And check the video for Mike Barnicle making an elitist crack about the upstate NY district, and Chuck Todd trying to embarrass RNC Chairman Michael Steele . . .
Mike Allen might not be a Republican political strategist, but he tried playing one on TV today, telling the GOP it was "crazy" and "suicidal" to be supporting Doug Hoffman over Dede Scozzafava in a special congressional election in northern New York.
Politico's chief political correspondent offered his unsolicited advice on today's Morning Joe.
I rise today in defense of bacon, as well as consuming hamburgers on Independence Day. And, most importantly, in defense of my mother's awe-inspiring pot roast.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, wants the government to make these classic American foodstuffs, as well as soda, alcohol, and being overweight, cost more. I apologize in advance for the long length of the transcript snippets – while Brzezinski is pontificating by reading the ‘New York Daily News’ editorial, the rest of the Brew Crew is making fun of her.
No, really [emphasis mine]:
BRZEZINSKI: Some people actually cares about their health, so I'm going to read that for those people. [reading] "A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration by Governor Paterson, among others."