A new study by the Pew Research Center found that Barack Obama gets his highest approval ratings from people that watch MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, as well as from readers of the New York Times.
The numbers are rather staggering, as 84 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC's "Countdown" give the President high marks for his job performance.
This compares to 80 percent for regular viewers of "The Rachel Maddow Show" and 79 percent for regular readers of the Times.
But that's just one of the interesting findings in the Pew survey released Sunday:
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe – formerly of Newsweek – referred to the debunked story that was retracted by Newsweek in May 2005 which had incorrectly claimed that American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had flushed a Koran down a toilet to intimidate Muslim prisoners. But Wolffe did not inform viewers that the story was untrue as he accused conservatives of a double standard for criticizing Newsweek’s inaccurate Koran desecration story from 2005 while not being aggressive enough in condemning Pastor Terry Jones’s declaration that he would burn the Koran on September 11. Wolffe:
I'm struck all the time with this story about the experience of those of us who worked in Newsweek – not the least of whom is Mike Isikoff now at NBC News who wrote a story about the abuse of the Koran in Guantanamo Bay, and there were riots and people died and the overwhelming torrent of abuse from conservative, the echo chamber, more than elected officials I think, certainly from conservative media, was that Newsweek had lied and people died. That's what they said.
Newsweek’s erroneous story inspired riots and a significant number of deaths in 2005 before it was retracted by the magazine, although, as previously documented by the MRC, Newsweek buried its retraction.
Howard Dean on Tuesday accused Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Laura Ingraham of being part of a "significant hate wing of the Republican Party."
Chatting with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown" about the Florida pastor that wants to burn Korans on the upcoming ninth anniversary of 9/11, Dean said, "I think the Republican Party has become the party, this really started back with Richard Nixon's Southern strategy, that appeals to hatred."
He continued, "I don't think the majority of Republicans are haters, but there is a significant hate wing of the Republican Party, including the talk show hosts like Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh and people like that and they don't dare cross them" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, responding to conservatives who wanted President Obama to give more credit to President Bush for apparent successes in Iraq, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann sarcastically thanked the former President and charged that the war in Iraq was Bush’s "false war." He went on to claim that, "The neocons lied about Iraq to get us in there."
Guest Jeremy Scahill of the left-wing "The Nation" magazine joined in slamming President Bush and "neocons" for the Iraq war, claimed the troop surge did not play a significant role in stabilizing the country, and ended up asserting that Bush administration members who supported the invasion "shouldn't be able to leave their houses without being confronted with the death and destruction that their lies caused."
And, even though various news outlets reported on the presence of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in the country years before the 2003 invasion, Scahill claimed that "it was the Bush administration's policy in Iraq that created an al-Qaeda presence in that country."
But, as previously documented by NewsBusters, back in January 2003 and again in March 2004, the NBC Nightly News relayed claims that the Bush administration had "passed up several opportunities to take [Zarqawi] out well before the Iraq war began."
Keith Olbermann on Wednesday cherry-picked an Associated Press article in order to accuse former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson (R) of attacking Vietnam veterans.
For some background, AP's Mike Baker wrote Tuesday about concerns Simpson, as the co-chair of President Obama's deficit reduction commission, had involving changes the Veterans Administration made to the number of maladies Vietnam vets could be covered for as a result of exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange.
Much as he often does as one of the nation's least professional journalists, Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown" took a grand total of two sentences from Baker's article to convict Simpson of attacking Americans that proudly served their country (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Glenn Beck on Wednesday blasted MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for dismissing the size of the crowd at Saturday's "Restoring Honor" rally as "just the flow through traffic of tourists."
On Monday while he was filling in for the seemingly always vacationing Keith Olbermann, O'Donnell told "Countdown" guest Bill Press, "On a typical summer Saturday on the [National] mall, 80,000 is not a big deal."
Earlier in the program, O'Donnell had referenced CBS's estimate of 87,000 while conveniently ignoring his sister-network's (NBC) assessment of 300,000.
"Getting a crowd there is pretty easy," said O'Donnell. "I`ve been on a lot of film shoots on the mall, and you`ll get 20,000 people watching a film shoot that they didn`t even know was going to happen that day."
On Wednesday, Beck and his radio crew had some fun with this stupidity (video and transcript of "Countdown" segment follows with link to Beck's response and commentary):
President Barack Obama's decision to include, in his Tuesday night address from the Oval Office on the end to the “combat mission” in Iraq, a sentence respectful toward former President George W. Bush, appalled MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
Anchor Keith Olbermann recited Obama's graciousness toward Bush (“It's well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset, yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security”) and then, obviously speaking for himself and the entire MSNBC team, proposed: “There are people who would support President Obama who would howl at hearing that said aloud more than once.” Maddow indeed howled, launching into an indignant rant:
To have in this speech, as combat operations are ending, to have...the President not only not addressing the circumstances in which we went to war, but these kind words for President Bush, describing his “commitment to our security” despite the recklessness with which President Bush discarded that national security in favor of this war of choice, which only diminished our security, and is responsible, probably, for the Afghanistan war still going on today, for the deaths of people who have died in Afghanistan after the time after which that war would have ended had we not gone to Iraq -- not to mention all of the people who died in Iraq.
While MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was recently dismissive of conservatives for highlighting radical Islam’s persecution of homosexuals in some countries, the Countdown host also has a history of showing more interest in mocking conservatives who complain about the persecution of women by radical Muslims than of actually reporting on such mistreatment.
Last July, Olbermann ignored a story about an Iranian woman accused of adultery who was sentenced to death by stoning – a story carried by the NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News – but on September, 28, 2007, when conservative activist David Horowitz mistakenly cited an image from a movie as if it were taken from an actual stoning, the MSNBC host pounced to slam Horowitz, calling him a "right-wing fringer," naming him "Worst Person in the World," as he sarcastically mocked the conservative activist’s attempt to draw attention to such persecution. Olbermann:
The image is actually from a 1994 film made in Holland... [The actress] has made at least three appearances on Dutch TV since. Evidently she’s okay. But keep plugging away, Mr. Horowitz. Let’s keep spending billions of dollars to stoke up religious hatred and send our kids to their deaths on the battlefield so we can prevent Dutch actresses from having to do scenes in which their characters are buried alive in a movie. Right-wing water carrier David, "I saw it in the movies, it must be real," Horowitz, today’s "Worst Person in the World!"
By contrast, on July 8, 2010, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams set up a report about a woman who was awaiting the sentence of stoning to death in Iran, and treated the issue with the seriousness that it deserves:
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, during a discussion of conservative talker Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson dismissed Dr. Alveda King – niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former Georgia state representative – as a "figurehead or puppet" of Beck because of her scheduled participation in the rally.
And, even though she and her father took part in the Civil Rights Movement and even endured having her home bombed in the 1960s, Robinson went on to suggest that she really is not one of the "keepers of [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s] legacy" because she is supposedly "estranged from the rest of the King family."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, August 27, Countdown show on MSNBC:
On Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann either showed his ignorance of conservative ideology, or he made his latest deliberate distortion to attack conservatives as he suggested that a Republican candidate for Oklahoma governor expressed a negative attitude toward the poor, referred to by Olbermann as "screw the poor," when, in reality, she was making the case that the wealthy are important to the economy because they are the wage payers for many people.
As she spoke out against raising taxes, Rep. Mary Fallin alluded to the conservative argument that a tax increase on the wealthy would be bad for employees who have wealthy employers. Olbermann quoted her version of the common conservative saying that conveys this point. Fallin: "I don't know about you, but I've never been offered a job by a poor person."
The MSNBC host, apparently not getting the point, concluded that her words were meant as an attack on the poor as being useless to her, and tagged her with the top dishonor of "Worst Person in the World." Olbermann:
At a recent tub thumping for the conservative cause, she insisted government spending needs to be cut and tax breaks be given to the wealthy. And then she added this: "I don't know about you, but I've never been offered a job by a poor person." She did not add, "So screw’em." That was merely implied.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, August 27, Countdown show on MSNBC:
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tied together Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, the Ground Zero mosque, and illegal immigration, as he charged that "the Republican method" for electoral success is "hate." The MSNBC host opened the show: "The Republican method for winning elections is hate. Hate somebody. Anybody will do. We have seen it this year with immigrants and now, Muslims. And now, in our fifth story tonight: for the first time, we have a former head of the Republican party confirming that, yes, his party does it. They do it to win and did it in 2004 and 2006 against gay Americans. He said this even though he himself is no longer denying that he, too, is gay."
Without evidence, Olbermann also blamed the stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed Sharif on those who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Although he later admitted that the mosque was not mentioned by the suspect, the MSNBC host suggested a link as he teased the show:
It is vile bitterness put on display for America every night of the week - even though not as many people tune in as they do to his competitor. But, still Keith Olbermann seems to obsess over the Fox News Channel.
On the Aug. 24 broadcast of his show "Countdown," Olbermann demonstrated just how sensible the so-called "professional left" can be when criticizing things they perceive to be antithetical to their world view. At the top of his "Worst Persons in the World" segment, viewers were treated to a bonus attack on Fox News, who Olbermann mockingly tried to portray as a sponsor of the show's segment.
"Get out your pitchforks and torches -- time for tonight's worst persons in the world brought to you by Fox News Channel: Official propaganda arm of Glenn Beck's ‘I Have a Scheme' speech, book tour rollout and 100 percent guaranteed in advance miracle. Fabricating and promoting events and then covering them as if they were news since 1996," Olbermann said. "I wish there was a joke here. There isn't. Fox News Channel: Making [expletive] up since 1996."
Let it never again be said that no line of attack is too low for Keith Olbermann.
On Tuesday, the MSNBC libtalker distanced himself from comments made the week prior about Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann attributed O'Reilly's condemnation of comments about motherhood by actress Jennifer Aniston to the abuse O'Reilly supposedly took as a child.
OIbermann didn't actually say what he was backing away from, but until Tuesday it seemed that almost no line of attack would be too cheap or personal for "Countdown." Some comment must have been really bad for him to actually back away from it, and label it "over the top" on air. The parental abuse line is the only one that seems to fit the mold.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used a clip of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Tim Osborn, stationed in Iraq, commenting on how he had previously felt that the war in Iraq "wasn’t ever going to stop," to fit into the Countdown host’s suggestion that American troops had remained in Iraq too long. But what Olbermann did not show his viewers is that Staff Sergeant Osborn had also expressed strong support for the war effort in a clip which was shown earlier that evening on the NBC Nightly News during a piece which correspondent Richard Engel filed from Iraq:
RICHARD ENGEL: He tells me his greatest accomplishment: giving Iraqis a chance.
STAFF SERGEANT TIM OSBORN, U.S. ARMY: If what was going on here was going on in America, I wouldn't want my kids to grow up in that world. I would want somebody else to come in and help. And if it took them doing what we did here, then I would welcome that.
But Olbermann was apparently only interested in using a clip of Staff Sergeant Osborn that would fit into the MSNBC host’s characteristic anti-war shtick:
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" in which he invoked Nazi Germany and suggested that blocking construction of a mosque near Ground Zero could be the first of a "thousand steps" toward another holocaust. He also hinted at a moral equivalence between the Islamic Empire’s conquests and America’s expansion into the lands of Native Americans as he attempted to discredit former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s concerns about the choice of "Cordoba House" as the original name planned for the mosque as being intentionally symbolic of a Muslim victory at Ground Zero.
After starting his "Special Comment" by quoting Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous words about the Holocaust of World War II, he at first tried to make his rant sound more moderate as he contended that, "I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust." He added: "Such a comparison is ludicrous – at least, it is now."
But the Countdown host was still alarmist enough to fear the mosque controversy could lead in that horrific direction. Olbermann: "Niemoller was not warning of the Holocaust. He was warning of the thousand steps before a holocaust became inevitable. If we are at merely the first of those steps again today, it is one step too close."
Keith Olbermann on Thursday cherry-picked an article by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to make a pathetic case that Republicans are targeting and blaming unemployed Americans for the country's economic woes.
In his opening "Countdown" segment on MSNBC, the host began, "When it came time to invade, Republicans used cherry-picked intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq. Now, they`re using cherry-picked intelligence to wage war on the middle class."
Particularly in Olbermann's crosshairs was Gingrich who the "Countdown" host claimed "targeted one individual American who`s struggling to make ends meet and held him up as part of the problem."
Ironically, it was Olbermann that was guilty of cherry-picking as he quoted a very tiny portion of a Human Events article the former Speaker wrote Wednesday (video follows with commentary and full transcript at conclusion):
Whenever Fox News host Glenn Beck raises the history of progressives and eugenics, or the possibility that eugenics is part of the motivation of a legitimate policy debate, the left-wing has a hissy fit. But when the left introduces it, we're supposed to accept it as high-minded and scholarly, especially in the case Princeton University's Melissa Harris-Lacewell.
On MSNBC's Aug. 12 "Countdown," liberal blowhard Keith Olbermann asked Harris-Lacewell, an MSNBC contributor, what the motivation was behind the proposition the 14th Amendment of the Constitution should be altered to close a loophole for illegal immigrants to achieve legal status in the United States. As expected, Harris-Lacewell suggested it was motivated by racism, but took it even further to say there was some sort of desire for genetic purity pushing it.
"It certainly is xenophobia, but it's got a little eugenics mixed in with it," Harris-Lacewell said. "Part of what I see going on here is, first, a deep misunderstanding about the 14th Amendment, and for whom the 14th Amendment provided citizenship. And although certainly part of it was about newly freed persons after the Civil War, it was also about all Americans."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named MRC president Brent Bozell Wednesday's "Worst Person in the World" for my NewsBusters post on Jon Stewart's sneering attack on conservatives as supposedly being opponents of religious freedom over the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. (Audio here.)
Predictably, in choosing this dishonor, Olbermann was playing rip-and-read from certain Hillary Clinton-founded Fox-and-Rush watchdogs, as he routinely acts as the TV Xerox of the Bush-Hating Left-Wing Blogosphere. Olbermann also re-tweeted them yesterday. None of these analysts on the left evaluated their own tendency to see grave threats to freedom of religion and church-state separation from Christian evangelists, but nothing at all threatening to their swaggering secular coolness from Islamic advocates of "dialogue." (See, for example, one take on the Ground Zero Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf's views on America's "Shariah compliance." Hello, Barry Lynn?)
This is a historic year for the largest government program: Social Security, which turns 75 in just a few days. The program is also running a deficit for the first time since 1983, and ahead of estimates.
Initially, Social Security was created to provide supplemental income to elderly and disabled people who could not work, and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Aug. 14, 1935.
Social Security is in the red six years earlier than forecasted, and for the first time since 1983 (the last time the program was "fixed"). Downplaying the significance of the problem, The New York Times reported March 24, that the program is facing a "small" $29 billion shortfall this year because the high 9.5 percent unemployment rate is cutting into payroll tax collections that fund the program's benefits. Oh, and because there isn't actually a trust fund with all the money previously collected by people paying into the system.
Problems are mounting for the Social Security program which essentially is a government-created "Ponzi scheme." It was a boon for the earliest entrants to the program like Ida May Fuller. She was the recipient of the first monthly retirement check, in 1940, and continued to collect until her death in 1975. Fuller worked only three years under the system: paying in $24.75 in taxes. By the time of her death she had collected a total of $22,888.92 according to the Social Security Administration.
On MSNBC's August 9 broadcast of "Countdown," Yglesias did his best to psychoanalyze people that are upset a mosque is being built in the shadow of Ground Zero, where over 2,600 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. According to Yglesias, whose blog, ThinkProgress.org, is a function the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, opposition to the plan had nothing to do with sensitivities but instead economics. The anti-mosque sentiment, he believed, couldn't exist without masterminds like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich whipping conservatives against the mosque into a frenzy.
"Well, it seems to me that there is or at least there - it's much more visible than it used to be because we're seeing it stoked by sort of the leads in the conservative movement, by Sarah Palin, by Newt Gingrich, by others, in a way that we never had before 9/11," Yglesias said. "And I think what's happening is that when the economy goes down, people become anxious, you see, historically, a lot of increase in xenophobia, in fear and in sort of intolerance. And we've got the conservative movement leaders, very opportunistically trying to take advantage of that, try to play on people's anxieties, and build this kind of anti-Muslim hysteria in a way that President Bush never did in 2001 and 2002."
Keith Olbermann on Monday revised history to praise former President Bill Clinton and bash former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In the opening segment of MSNBC's "Countdown," the host railed against a proposal by Republicans to once again reintroduce the balanced budget amendment.
Olbermann pointed out to his tiny audience that this was "also pushed by then Speaker Newt Gingrich as part of the 1994 Contract With America."
With total disregard for historical facts, the "Countdown" host continued, "Gingrich failed to pass it, President Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, created 22 million jobs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal publisher Arianna Huffington on Monday displayed an absolutely staggering ignorance of business, taxes, and economics.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Countdown" to discuss Republican plans to stimulate the economy and curb the exploding budget deficits, Huffington was sarcastically asked by Keith Olbermann, "Does Huffington Post hire more people when your personal tax rate changes?"
Realizing the host was mocking the GOP's desire to extend the Bush tax cuts to all wage earners including those making over $250,000 a year, Huffington replied, "Huffington Post operates like most American businesses which is that our hiring practices have nothing to do with the income or the tax rate of the people who are running the business."
Ironically, the liberal publisher contradicted herself in the very next breath (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite unemployment sitting at 9.5 percent and over 3 million jobs lost since this President was inaugurated, Newsweek's Howard Fineman says the economic policies enacted by Barack Obama "were good ones and smart ones and saved the day."
Chatting with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Friday's "Countdown," Fineman was nicely set up by the shill asking the questions.
"Does anyone -- can anyone actually believe that the Democrats had then done nothing and had maintained that status quo that the current economic situation would be better instead of worse?"
With the ball positioned nicely on the tee, Fineman chunked a drive into the water on the left (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How many Americans refused to watch Sunday Night Football in recent years as a result of Keith Olbermann's involvement?
That's certainly a question the folks at NBC likely have asked themselves since inviting the highly partisan and divisive "Countdown" host to be a part of the festivities associated with NFL football on Sunday evenings.
With this in mind, a highly respected sports website announced Thursday that Olbermann will no longer be involved in NBC's "Football Night in America."
Lefty blogs have been having a field day with a tweet that showed up on Glenn Beck's "favorites" list - a list of tweets bookmarked, in a sense, by the user - directing followers to a white supremacist message board. Keith Olbermann picked up on the line of attack last night, crediting a website called "Stop Beck," which he says noticed the tweet. Stop Beck came as close to stating that Beck was endorsing white supremacy as it possibly could, without actually saying it ("Why is Glenn Beck associating himself with white nationalists and white supremacists?"). Since Olbermann is endorsing the notion that a Twitter "favorite" denotes a positive association, we at NewsBusters must thank him for extending that courtesy to our publisher, MRC President Brent Bozell. This tweet, from @themick1962, showed up at the top of @KeithOlbermann's favorites (click the preview at top right for a larger image): "Brent Bozell's Open Letter to WaPo Ed. Re: JournoList http://bit.ly/cnWvL0 Mandatory reading for ALL media types @KeithOlbermann #p2 #tcot" (h/t Tommy Christopher).
On Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, during the show’s regular "Tea Time" segment, host Keith Olbermann attacked a recent Tea Party event in Philadelphia that made a point of inviting minority participation and included many minority speakers.
As he cited reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer of low minority attendance at the rally which also allegedly had fewer attendees overall than expected, Olbermann suggested that merely having an event on such a theme of inviting minorities was an admission that the Tea Party movement is racist. Olbermann: "As you know, if you point out that the Tea Party is virtually all white, you're the racist. Of course, that does raise the interesting question of why the Tea Party would feel compelled to have what one of its leaders called a minority-based Tea Party event."
Gold has been a highly valued commodity going at least as far back as the ancient Egyptian culture in 2600 BC. But now, with economic instability and uncertainty over the health of major global currencies, the demand for gold has risen as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Over the past 12 months, the price of gold has gone up dramatically - up 25 percent from July 2009 (from $929 per ounce to $1,163 per ounce, after reaching a high of $1,250 per ounce). That has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on a percentage basis.
Chris Matthews on Monday got a much-needed lesson from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on how tax hikes impact the budget as well as the economy.
"Congressman Ryan, is there any tax role for reducing our $1.4 trillion to $1.7 trillion debt this year -- deficit this year?" Matthews asked during the 5PM installment of MSNBC's "Hardball." "Is there any role in tax increasing to help do that job?"
When Ryan gave an answer Matthews didn't like, the host arrogantly responded, "So, you won`t cut -- you won`t raise taxes and you won`t cut spending...All this bitching about the deficit doesn`t mean squat, because you won`t do either, raise taxes or reduce spending."
With the ball nicely teed up, Ryan unleashed a drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Twitter's @LFRGary):