Remember "Baghdad Bob," the Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf? Even with Iraqi forces in a full rout and American Marines just blocks away Baghdad Bob would completely deny the presence of U.S. troops in the Iraqi capitol.
Watching MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," on September 24 was reminiscent of Baghdad's Bob's press conferences. Olbermann asked Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, also an MSNBC political analyst, how "the GOP" would convince the public that the health care system "is not really in crisis" and that it does not need to be a priority compared to Afghanistan. Turning right to page three of the current left-wing talking points, Alter used the opportunity to attack Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., for suggesting that the president is letting Afghanistan slide to curry favor for health care, by invoking George W. Bush.
"It's a pretty lame argument," Alter said. "I don't remember Jim DeMint saying when George W. Bush was proposing to reform Social Security a few years ago that somehow he was putting the troops at risk in Iraq, because he was worried about some domestic issue."
According to many in the liberal media, vehement conservative protestations to Obama and his policies are inciting, or have the potential to incite violence against the President. In their eyes, violent rhetoric and violent actions are one and the same. "Violent rhetoric begets violence," as one liberal talk show host put it.
So why are we not seeing blame heaped upon documentary filmmaker and avowed socialist Michael Moore for yesterday's G-20 riots in Pittsburgh? Moore does, after all, preach hateful and extreme anti-capitalist rhetoric. The cryptic slogan for his most recent movie, "Capitalism, A Love Story", reads, "Capitalism is evil, and you can't regulate evil." This line is eerily reminiscent of many of the socialist-anarchist slogans chanted by the G-20 protesters.
Assume for the sake of argument that violent rhetoric does beget violence. By this logic, shouldn't we blame Michael Moore's vitriolic indictments of investment banks for the brick that was hurled through a PNC Bank window yesterday? And if government aids and abets the evil that is capitalism, aren't Moore's words responsible for the bricks that were hurled at riot police in Pittsburgh?
Keith Olbermann is not one to pass up an opportunity to attack anything that even hints at being right of center. The repugnant MSNBC host devoted some three-quarters of his Sept. 16 show to claim criticism of President Barack Obama had to have elements of racism, no matter how you sliced it. And therefore, those critics were all despicable human beings, end of story.
However, he did manage to find time to revert to old tried and true method of appeasing his angry left-wing desires - a little bashing of former Republican vice-presidential nominee and Gov. Sarah Palin, with an assist from Michael Musto, columnist for The Village Voice and author of "La Dolce Musto."
Olbermann exhibited some displeasure that the Washington Speakers Bureau would have a flowery Web page touting Palin's accomplishments. But, noted the language on the page didn't include "maverick." However, Musto was there to make his own suggestions.
After systematically ignoring the outrageous and offensive signs used by leftist protesters at anti-war demonstrations journalists and bloggers are now devoting an immense amount of attention to a small minority of Tea Party protesters carrying signs far outside of the mainstream.
Liberal bloggers were also incensed with what they claimed were the hateful (and racist) intentions of the protesters. Matt Yglesias at Think Progress noted the miniscule presence of Confederate Flags and pondered why demonstrators were "waving flags of treason and slavery". Other bloggers at TP complained of the "hate at the protest."
So what if his network is drawing a larger audience than its combined competition? So what if one of his newest shows has drawn unprecedented numbers for a start-up that airs at 5 p.m.? According to Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Fox News President Roger Ailes is tarnishing his own personal reputation.
It could just be sour grapes for Fineman, who is affiliated with rival network MSNBC and was appearing on that network's "Countdown" with fill-in host David Shuster, but he attacked Fox host Glenn Beck and the 9/12 protestors he helped inspire.
"Well, he can - he can pretend to cry all he wants on the stage and call himself a televangelist," Fineman said of Beck on MSNBC's Sept. 14 "Countdown." "He is not into uniting the country, from everything I've seen. He is making a boatload of money dividing the country. When you say with no real evidence whatsoever that the president of the United States hates white people, you aren't behaving in the spirit of 9/12, you're behaving in a spirit that we thought we've gotten rid of at the end of the civil war and the end of the second civil rights movement. So, you know, he can cry the crocodile tears all he wants. That doesn't seem to be what he's actually doing."
You would think MSNBC would have learned after getting caught in a deliberately doctored piece of video, which tried to portray town hall protestors as white racists. The video showed a man ‘packing heat' outside an event where the President was speaking, but was edited in such a way as to conceal the fact that the man was actually African-American.
Yet, the opposite has occurred. MSNBC seems more determined and emboldened to portray conservatives and Republicans as racists. How? By continually defining those who oppose the President, an African-American man, as nothing more than angry white men of questionable intelligence.
Since that video aired (and was immediately exposed as altered by NewsBusters Kyle Drennen on August 18th), MSNBC has continuously hammered home the message that town hall and Tea Party attendees, conservatives, Republicans, or generally anyone who opposes the President, is racist. A list of examples follows after the jump (bold mine throughout and each example contains a link):
Jake Tapper has distinguished himself within the White House press corps as someone consistently willing to pose probing questions to the president and his aides. But on today's Good Morning America, ABC's chief White House correspondent used a particularly unflattering metaphor for Rep. Joe Wilson and his decision to go on Fox News to defend himself. As a clip of Rep. Wilson on last night's Sean Hannity show rolled . . .
JAKE TAPPER: Although Wilson apologized to the White House for his lack of civility, he quickly took to the limelight of conservative media like a moth to a flame.
During MSNBC’s live coverage of President Obama’s speech to Congress, anchor Keith Olbermann tried to discredit Congressman Charles Boustany immediately after the Louisiana Republican finished giving the Republican response, as the MSNBC host informed viewers that Boustany – a heart surgeon – had been "sued for malpractice three times," allegedly subscribes to the "Birther" conspiracy theory raising questions about Obama’s citizenship, and was even supposedly taken in by a scam as he tried to purchase the British title of "Lord."
Congressman Boustany, we should note, has been sued for malpractice three times. He is a "Birther" who believes there are questions about the President’s citizenship, and, as Rachel [Maddow] reported last night, he is a man recorded in court papers to have fallen for a scam in which he tried to buy the British royalty title of "Lord."
For six weeks, while virtually every mainstream media outlet ignored "green jobs czar" Van Jones, Fox News's Glenn Beck exposed the radical background of President Obama's environment adviser.
On Saturday, Jones resigned, and most of the same news outlets that ignored the shocking nature of this White House representative are coming to his defense predictably claiming that he was the victim of a right-wing smear campaign.
One so-called journalist is even asking his viewers to dig up dirt on Beck.
Somewhat bucking this disgraceful trend was Politico in its Monday article "Glenn Beck Up, Left Down and Jones Defiant":
Guess who's not pleased about Van Jones middle-of-the-night-on-a-holiday-weekend resignation? Perhaps you never would have seen this one coming, but no other MSNBC "Countdown" host and provocateur Keith Olbermann himself.
Bitter and seeing red? Perhaps. In a post on the Daily Kos dated Sept. 6, Olbermann urged the half-crazed liberal Kos readers to go digging for dirt on Fox News host Glenn Beck, Beck's radio producer Stu Burguiere and Fox News president Roger Ailes. (h/t Morgen of Verum Serum)
"I don't know why I've got this phrasing in my head, but: Find everything you can about Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Roger Ailes," Olbermann wrote. "No, even now, I refuse to go all caps. No, sending me links to the last two Countdowns with my own de-constructions of his biblical vision quality Communist/Fascist/Socialist/Zimbalist art at Rockefeller Center (where, curiously, he works, Comrade) doesn't count. Nor does sending me links to specious inappropriate point-underscoring prove-you're-innocent made-up rumors."
"When you have a party that claims to speak for God or claims that God is on its side, the rhetoric heats up and the anger heats up because it's not just a battle about ideas and positions and what's good for the country or bad for the country," Savage said. "It's a battle about what God wants and what God doesn't want. It's easier to demagogue about your enemies and to despise them and to dehumanize them in this really personal and vicious way."
On Tuesday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said Fox News is "serving propaganda to tin foil hatters, conspiracy theorists, paranoids and racists."
On Wednesday, Fox's Bill O'Reilly struck back.
Speaking during his "Pinheads & Patriots" segment during Wednesday's "O'Reilly Factor," the leading voice on cable news once again went after NBC (video and partial transcript embedded below the fold, h/t TVNewser):
To liberal media outlets, Warren Hern, one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, has been worthy of praise as a doctor who boldly stands up for his beliefs in the face of intimidation - a lonely humanitarian braving violent death for the sake of his patients.
That's the picture painted by TV and other media. What's missing from the portrait is Hern's belief that humans are "malignant ecotumors," his refusal to be called an abortionist, and his strident denunciations of the pro-life movement.
Attention has turned to Hern in the wake of the May 31 murder of Kansas late-term abortionist (and Hern friend) George Tiller. Since then, Hern has appeared on MSNBC, CNN and NPR. Print media, including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune have cited him.
Esquire magazine devoted 9,000 words to Hern in its current issue, which sparked his Aug. 12 appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show and praise from Keith Olbermann.
You probably already knew Jeanane Garofalo was no fan of conservatives, Republicans or just about anything that could be described as right of center. But the former Air America host and MSNBC regular really has a low regard for conservative activists.
Barbara Gannon, vice president of Corporate Communications & Government Relations for Sargento Foods Inc., told the Business & Media Institute why her company decided to stop advertising during the Fox News Channel program.
Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton's 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by the campaign.
But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats. When it comes to liberal pundits attempting to score cheap points against conservatives, especially ones they loathe like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, all bets are off. In an Aug. 12 column, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin, citing a hateful anti-Bachmann blog, decided it appropriate to beat up the two-term congresswoman using her son Harrison's decision to participate in the government program Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of the programs under the AmeriCorps umbrella.
According to Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, nobody could possibly oppose health care/health insurance reform on the merits of the legislation or for ideological or philosophical reasons. There must be something nefarious occurring.
At a town hall meeting on Aug. 12, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voiced his opposition to H.R. 3200 and other forms of legislation that would dramatically change health care, which he felt would be for the worse. This was too much for Huffington, who called Grassley a liar.
The media have repeatedly stated how "angry," "hostile" and "ugly" town hall meetings across America are becoming. They are of course largely ascribing the nastiness to conservatives voicing their opposition to (among other things) President Barack Obama and Congress' proposed government takeover of the health care system.
The press has been particularly offended by the "extreme" use of references to Adolf Hitler specifically and Nazis generally. One image they have repeatedly used as an example of this alleged right-wing extremism is a poster of President Obama - on whose face a Hitler mustache has been Photo Shopped - bearing the caption "I've Changed."
We have compiled a video montage (at right) of just some of the recent news programs that have ascribed this Obama-with-Mustache poster to conservative town hall attendees. (The Obama-with-Mustache image itself appears just below the fold.)
Lou Dobbs - you can love him or hate, but sometimes he makes a point that will get your attention.
The CNN host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" gave his evaluation of MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann on his Aug. 11 radio show. According to Dobbs, Olbermann was a neophyte until MSNBC gave him a primetime show in 2003.
"First, I want to share with you something that just, I mean shocks me," Dobbs said. "Over at MSNBC, Keith Olbermann is their resident moron over there. He knows nothing about politics, nothing about economics. He has never covered politics until they put him in that chair and said, ‘Hey, you know, go try it out.' I mean, it's crazy. He's just - oh my gosh."
With the Obama administration and their friends in the media denouncing the sometimes loud dissent that liberals are facing in town hall meetings on health care, it’s worth recalling how some of those same journalists celebrated the anti-Bush dissenters and denounced what they claimed was the Republican administration’s attempts to stifle dissent.
Back in 2006, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann attacked what he called President Bush’s “portable public chorus” (does President Obama have one of those?) For telling “those who dissent...[that] we are somehow un-American.” PBS’s Bill Moyers in 2003 found it “galling” to see “all those moralistic ideologues in Washington...attacking dissenters as un-American.”
In 2003, Olbermann saluted protests: “It is political dissent that created this country and sustained it and improved it.” But on Friday’s Countdown, Olbermann called the anti-Obama protests “societal sabotage,” determined that the grassroots groups are “fake” and insisted that “the protestors are not interested in hearing any voices other than their own.” (But the anti-Bush protesters were open-minded?)
Are you opposed to ObamaCare? Willing to attend a town hall to express your disapproval? Odds are good you're a racist. Just ask Cynthia Tucker . . .
As Clay Waters has noted, Paul Krugman alleges that racist motives are at the heart of the town hall protests against ObamaCare. On this evening's Hardball, Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was willing to get specific, estimating that "45 to 65%" of the protesters are motivated by racism.
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" lambasting members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats because most of the group's members have pressured more liberal congressional Democrats compromise in their push for public health insurance. After reciting campaign contributions received by some Blue Dog members from the health care industry, he suggested that these Democrats should just be called "dogs." Olbermann: "I could call them all out by name, but I think you get the point. We do not need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs. That one word 'dogs' is perfectly sufficient."
The MSNBC host also shamelessly tried to use Senator Ted Kennedy's illness to suggeset that Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, a centrist Democrat from Arkansas, should feel guilty about her role in forcing more liberal Democrats to compromise. Olbermann: "Senator Lincoln, by the way, considering how you're obstructing health care reform, how do you feel every time you actually see Senator Kennedy?"
Certain MSNBC hosts have been fixated over using the “birthers” to discredit conservatives, highlighting a poll commissioned by the far-left Daily Kos site which found a majority of Republicans (58 percent) either believe Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S. (28 percent) or are not sure he was (30 percent). Chris Matthews led Friday's Hardball with the beliefs of the GOP's “lunatic fringe” and “wack jobs,” but where was MSNBC two years ago ranting about the Democratic Party's “lunatic fringe” and “wack jobs” when a survey discovered a bigger majority of Democrats (61 percent) think or are not sure if President George W. Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks?
Washington Examiner columnist/blogger David Freddoso pointed out a couple of hours earlier, during another MSNBC segment devoted to the Daily Kos poll (his post about his appearance), what Rasmussen Reports found. That poll released on May 4, 2007 determined:
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann disputed a claim by a New York Times article that there exists a truce between FNC and MSNBC as he accused the Times’s Brian Stelter of ignoring Olbermann’s denial that such a truce existed, and contended that the story was a "misinterpretation" of the Countdown host’s own pledge from June 1 to discontinue Bill O’Reilly’s inclusion in the show’s regular "Worst Person in the World" segment because Olbermann blamed O’Reilly for abortion Doctor George Tiller’s assassination.
During Monday’s "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann awarded the third place dishonor to Stelter: "Mr. Stelter asked me at least twice last week if there was such a deal, and I told him on and off the record there was not, and I told him I rather obviously would have to be a party to such a deal, and I told him that not only wasn't I, but I had not even been asked to be by my bosses. And he printed it anyway, and I had even written to him that this was merely a misinterpretation of an announcement I made here on June 1 that because Bill O'Reilly of Fox News had abetted the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, he'd become too serious to joke about..."
After bombing on stage at England's Latitude festival a few weeks ago, Janeane Garofalo apparently decided to go back to what she's best at: vulgarly attacking faceless Americans whose political opinions she disagrees with.
Having called the April 15 Tea Party goers "a bunch of teabagging rednecks" on MSNBC's "Countdown," Garofalo's encore was to tell a British newspaper that "These people are called 'racially sensitive', what they should be called is racist, backward motherf**kers."
As reported by Britain's Guardian Saturday (obvious vulgarity warning):