MSNBC Live

By Rachel Burnett | July 22, 2010 | 5:54 PM EDT

Apparently not grasping the public's growing unease with Barack Obama's big government/big debt approach to the economy, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on Thursday touted as admirable how the President and Democrats in Congress have "passed job extension benefits again and again. They passed a big health care reform bill that's gonna lower health care costs."

Highlighting the passage of the Democratic agenda, she continued, "They’ve had stimulus spending. They have sent more money to small community banks." Fretting about polls showing declining support for Obama, she demanded to know: "What else do people want the President and Congress to do?"

By Mark Finkelstein | July 21, 2010 | 3:44 PM EDT

Operator, oh could you help me place this call?
You see the number on the matchbook is old and faded.  Jim Croce, 'Operator,' 1972

The Obama administration, the folks that want to run our health care and who knows how much else of our economy and our lives, can't get a simple phone call through to one of its former officials.

In this afternoon's press conference, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs repeatedly said that the Obama administration, through the person of its Agriculture Secretary, has tried but failed to have a phone conversation with Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official it forced out yesterday.

By Matt Hadro | July 15, 2010 | 6:23 PM EDT
Reporting Thursday from Capitol Hill, MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert touted a likely win for Senate Democrats on the Financial Reform Bill, saying it would be a "huge victory."

"Obviously, [President Obama] ran on the slogan 'Change you can believe in,' with health care reform and financial regulatory reform," Russert commented, thus tying the passage of the financial reform bill with success of Obama's message of "change."
By Scott Whitlock | July 13, 2010 | 9:59 AM EDT

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer, who on Monday argued that overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a "civil rights issue," will appear at a July 24 fundraiser in Kentucky to support gay rights in the state.

According to a press release: "As the evening’s featured guest, MSNBC’s Brewer, who has several family ties to Kentucky, will speak on the need for a statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law in the Commonwealth from a national news perspective."

On Monday's News Live, Brewer implored, "My big question today: Why aren't more American leaders itching for a fight on gay rights?" She also said of ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "Is it time for our American leaders to stand up for what's right and no matter what public opinion polls say to have the leadership and the courage to take a stand on it?"

By Mike Bates | July 8, 2010 | 2:54 PM EDT

Recovery summer just keeps getting better and better.  News outlets such as MSNBC.com announce "New jobless claims drop sharply."  Although the unadjusted data reflect an actual increase, the media are reporting a seasonally adjusted drop of 21,000 in jobless claims.  

By Mark Finkelstein | July 1, 2010 | 12:11 PM EDT
When it comes to Barack Obama, MSNBC is the network of thrills and chills . . .

Chris Matthews famously felt a thrill going up his leg listening to an Obama speech. Now, MSNBC anchor Alex Witt has been similarly moved by Obamian oratory, declaring this morning "I got a few chills" listening to PBO's "very powerful" speech on immigration.

Witt described her sensations to MSNBC DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker.
By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 30, 2010 | 6:03 PM EDT
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."

In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.

"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.

Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.

"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
By Matt Hadro | June 29, 2010 | 5:59 PM EDT
Chris Matthews keeps painting the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing as a "culture war" between the Obama nominee and the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Newsbusters reported yesterday, Chris Matthews seemed to spin Monday's standoff between Sessions and Kagan as a battle between the senator's rural, unsophisticated Alabama roots and Kagan's Northeastern liberal academic background.

Well, Matthews showed up in even finer form today. Describing Kagan as a liberal Obama prototype from the "high academia" of the Ivy League, Matthews proceeded to frame her opponent, Sen. Jeff Sessions, as the voice of the Confederacy.

Remarking that the hearing has become like a "red state-blue state" battle, Matthews claimed that "listening to Jeff Sessions is to listen to the, really, the Confederacy; to listen to, really the conservative view of the Deep South."

Matthews also oddly added that Republicans want to make Kagan into a "voodoo doll" (repeating himself from the night before), an image associated more readily with New Orleans, Louisiana, than Sessions' boyhood town of Hybart, Alabama.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 29, 2010 | 2:25 PM EDT

A liberal panel led by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews injected sexism into the Kagan confirmation hearings on Tuesday morning, suggesting that Republican senators should curtail the tenacity of their questioning because the Supreme Court nominee happens to be a woman.

Invoking the Clarence Thomas hearings, which focused on the testimony of Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of making inappropriate sexual comments, Matthews asked, "Am I wrong in hearing flashes here of the Anita Hill testimony way back when in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings?"

Despite the absence of a sexual scandal, Matthews persisted with the bizarre analogy: "Are we past the sensitivity about a male member of the Senate grilling a female?"

The "Hardball" host failed to clarify exactly who in 2010 is sensitive about male senators posing tough but legitimate questions to a woman nominated to the nation's highest court.

By Scott Whitlock | June 23, 2010 | 4:18 PM EDT

Only 70 minutes after Barack Obama explained his decision to fire General Stanley McChrystal, Wednesday, MSNBC turned to leftist host Ed Schultz for analysis. Schultz gushed that the decision proved that the President is "brilliant on the basics." He enthused, "Well, as commander in chief, I think it's probably President Obama's finest hour," because it displayed toughness.

Host Tamron Hall knocked McChrystal, referencing his role in the investigation of Army Ranger Pat Tillman's death. She derided, "So, we know that McChrystal has a lot of, if you will, Xs on his report card."

By Mark Finkelstein | June 22, 2010 | 1:40 PM EDT
Contessa Brewer got a lot more than she was likely looking for when she interviewed Col. Jack Jacobs [ret.] this afternoon about the McChrystal situation.  The MSNBC host wanted to focus on the impropriety of McChrystal publicly airing his criticisms of Pres. Obama and others in the chain of command.  

But while the Medal of Honor recipient readily agreed that McChrystal was out of line, and would probably pay with his job, Jacobs also went out of his way—twice—to add an inconvenient truth: that when it comes to the substance of the criticism, most in the military think McChrystal "was right."
By Matt Hadro | June 17, 2010 | 6:37 PM EDT
If you take MSNBC's Luke Russert's words at face value, you would think the Democrats are going to win big this November–all thanks to Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) comments on the Obama administration's treatment of BP, and their "shakedown" of the company via the escrow fund.

"A lot of Democrats see this as the ammunition they need to directly tie the Republican Party with that of big oil," Russert summarized.

Barton expressed his disapproval at the hearing for the White House's treatment of BP in forcing them to agree to the $20 billion escrow fund, calling it a "shakedown." MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer was visibly irritated during her news hour with the statement, and Russert called it a "really big blunder."

However, as NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's own Ed Schultz was ecstatic yesterday over the very actions of the White House, and spoke positively of the "shakedown."