Tonight MSNBC's cast and crew will gather in Washington D.C. to celebrate their network being on the air for 15 long years. In that time its hosts, reporters and guests have attacked conservatives and Republicans on everything from impeaching Bill Clinton and conducting a war on terrorism, up to the fight over public unions. All the while some of its reporters and hosts have been thrilled by the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev and Barack Obama.
For that entire 15 years MRC analysts have been dutifully watching and noting these often outrageous outbursts of leftism from NBC News' cable outlet.
The following collection of the worst MSNBC quotes, year-by-year, is just a sampling of the Lean Forward network's decade-and-a-half long devotion to advancing the cause of liberalism under the guise of journalism.
Joe Scarborough on Monday continued to spin for Barack Obama, this time defending the President’s war strategy in Afghanistan and placing blame on the American people. Citing a New York Times columnist, the Morning Joe host complained, "And as Frank Rich said, the President's best political ally on Afghanistan is apathy. Americans don't care that their sons and daughters are going off to fight and die for a war that really has no end game."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed. She derided, "Maybe if most Americans actually cared beyond the ones that have to go and serve we would have different outcomes.”
While Scarborough reacted with some criticism, he was empathetic with the President because, “If Barack Obama takes the troops out and does what I'm saying he should do, Republicans will kill him. Every time a poppy is grown in Afghanistan, they will blame Barack Obama. Every time a woman is tortured in Afghanistan, they will blame Barack Obama. Every time anything goes wrong, they will blame Barack Obama."
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
Conservative blogs are abuzz with a controversial remark MSNBC's Joe Scarborough made on his Friday "Morning Joe" program about Jeri Thompson, the wife of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who is mulling over a White House bid.
For those that missed it, Friday night’s debate on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” between “Imus in the Morning” producer Bernard McGuirk and Rev. Al Sharpton was a fireworks-filled extravaganza (video in three parts available here, here, and here; full transcript follows).
Without question, McGuirk came prepared to take on the man conceivably most responsible for his termination by CBS Radio, as well as his boss’s, Don Imus.
In fact, with McGuirk’s first words, it was made infinitely clear that viewers were in for quite a barnburner: “Let's get ready to box on FOX, I guess, huh?”
After the first question was posed to McGuirk, he tried to explain to the audience that Imus was an equal opportunity offender (readers are warned that some of the language is a bit graphic. As such, proceed with caution):
Boycotts are falling everywhere. With the French having elected Sarkozy, American conservatives are feeling good about buying Beaujolais again. And with Imus gone from MSNBC, Hillary Clinton has ended her one-woman boycott of the network's morning-show slot. Hillary had famously shunned the shock-jock's show in the wake of his suggestive shtick at a Radio & TV Correspondents dinner with Pres. Clinton and the First Lady in attendance.
Hillary did a lengthy phone interview at 8:09 EDT today on "Morning Joe," the latest in MSNBC's revolving morning-chat shows in the old Imus slot, hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who hosts a regular evening show in the MSNBC lineup. At one point during the interview, Joe told Hillary "I'm not kissing up to you at all. Those who know me know I certainly don't do that." But if there were any questions that put Hillary on the spot, I must have missed them. There were points of agreement on health care and other issues. Joe blamed himself for being part of the impeachment effort and closed with a bouquet for Hillary's "unifying" presence.
Hard-left radio talk show host Stephanie Miller will be filling the Don Imus morning-radio-simulcast gap on MSNBC next week from April 30 to May 2. On her show Thursday morning, she was joking to her male sidekicks about what can be said on MSNBC: "You can't call me a whore. I can call myself a whore." It is in a sense, like Old Home Week, since she co-hosted the CNBC program "Equal Time" with Bay Buchanan for a while ten years ago.
The buzz from Jossip is "according to someone with a vested interest in seeing her succeed, 'the network is hoping to build Stephanie into a major face of the network.'" As for her politics and more about her radio show, see her Progressive interview: "I love Russ Feingold. I love Barbara Boxer. And Howard Dean and John Conyers."
This is waaaaay too funny, folks, and requires all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects to be properly stowed before proceeding.
In response to the recent brouhaha concerning Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has called on “conservatives to use the available media (radio talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor) to protest and demand that Rosie O’Donnell be kicked off The View.”
They didn’t call him “The Hammer” for nothing, folks.
In a piece posted at his blog Wednesday – obviously before CBS radio decided to fire Imus – and deliciously titled “If the Left takes Imus, We’ll take Rosie,” DeLay described this deplorable event in a way that only he could whilst issuing a reciprocal call to arms:
In the midst of this disgraceful Don Imus affair, one thing has been sickeningly apparent: few members of the media have the guts to stand up to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and call them out for their obvious hypocrisy.
Such can certainly not be said of Jason Whitlock, an African-American sportswriter for the Kansas City Star who not only wrote a remarkable, must-read column on this subject Wednesday, but also went on MSNBC’s “Tucker” Thursday to say things about this issue and race relations in this country that few in the media would ever dare.
In reality, this is so fabulous that you must see the entire video (h/t to NB reader nicksmith112 and Hot Air), but here are some of the amazing highlights:
The April 13 edition of "The Early Show" reported on CBS firing Don Imus from the radio for bigoted remarks. To react to the news, anchor Harry Smith interviewed the Reverend Al Sharpton. After hard hitting interviews with Alberto Gonzales and Tony Snow, the CBS anchor seemed disinterested in throwing hard balls to the left wing activist. Smith asked standard questions like what "made it necessary for him not to be on the air," "did he seem like a person who was sorry for what he did," and even asked if Smith’s boss, Les Moonves "gets it."
Although he asked a very mildly worded question about what Sharpton would do about similar language in hip hop music, Smith did not bother to mention his past anti-Semitic comments and the Tawana Brawley case that even the ladies of "The View" discussed. Harry Smith, who covered the Duke lacrosse case dismissal the previous day, did not even see it fit to ask if Sharpton had any regrets from his rush to judgement in Durham. The entire transcript is below.
On the Thursday edition of what would be MSNBC’s "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, NBC reporter David Gregory spent almost 15 minutes of air time discussing the radio host's firing with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Gregory, who quarreled with Sharpton on the April 10 "Hardball" over his role in the Tawana Brawley false rape charges, did not broach the subject again. He did, however, challenge Jackson over his use of the slur "Hymie Town":
David Gregory: "You referred to New York as ‘Hymie Town’ in the past. You, you apologized for that and you expected and indeed retained your platform in America as a civil rights leader and as an important voice in this country. Why, again, if I may, should Imus be denied that same opportunity for redemption and to retain a platform that potentially could be used for good?"
Who is happier today at Don Imus removed from MSNBC than Hillary Clinton? Who else at MSNBC would be as harshly critical of Hillary as Imus? Without Imus, Hillary's path to the White House will be smoother. This might explain why some of the Hillary-founded left-wing media-watchdogging clones were so fierce in taking Imus down. Over the last two days, The Washington Post has pulled out the harsh anti-Hillary quotes to demonstrate why she's smiling today.
On Thursday's Federal Page, columnist Lois Romano reported Hillary sent an e-letter to supporters denouncing Imus for "nothing more than small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism" on his show:
Clinton said on Tuesday that she has never appeared on Imus's morning show and never wanted to. Who is surprised? Imus once referred to her as "that buck-toothed witch, Satan" and said she was "worse than" Osama bin Laden. He did pull that last one back, adding, "Well, that's a little strong."
Give Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira credit. On this morning's "Today," Lauer suggested to his boss's face that in firing Don Imus he had caved to pressure from advertisers and people like Al Sharpton. And Vieira held Al Sharpton's feet to the fire, now that he had Imus' scalp, about going after rappers and others who use similar language every day.
Here's part of the exchange, which came at 7:05 AM EDT, between Lauer and NBC News President Steve Capus:
CAPUS: This one went so far over the line, Matt, that it was time.
LAUER: But the timing, the timing. You really don't have to try too hard to think that NBC News caved to the pressure from advertisers like Proctor & Gamble and GM and others and perhaps caved to pressure from people like Reverend Sharpton, who we'll talk to in just a second.
On his show tonight, Bill O’Reilly asked Al Sharpton if he was going to go after the rap music “stars” who consistently denigrate women and glamorize violence. The Rev told Bill that after “getting rid of Mr. Imus”, his National Action Network will “start looking” at some of the corporations that backed Imus. Sharpton claimed that some of those corporations also own some of the record companies. Sharpton told O’Reilly that this was “just the beginning of a long war” to deal with this type of language and behavior.
But in March 2005 Sharpton defended the content of rap music while condemning the violence surrounding the industry. He made it quite clear that it was “not about the lyrics” but the violence committed by the rap artists. Sharpton even went so far as to invoke the rap artists’ First Amendment rights to rap and sing about violent acts. Here is what Sharpton had to say in his March 9, 2005 interview on CNN...
On the Imus vs. Rappers front, MTV News reports that rap star Snoop Dogg has issued a new "warning" to the public: Don't dare to compare his lyrics — or any other MC's — to Don Imus and his recent racially inflammatory comments. MTV says "the Dogg" found there is no parallel. The Rutgers women Imus ridiculed were a success story, while the women he knocks in his music are "ho's that's in the hood that ain't doing sh--."
MTV transmitted a long, profane self-defense Snoop offered in a phone interview:
"It's a completely different scenario," said Snoop, barking over the phone from a hotel room in L.A. "[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [the cable network home to Imus] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha-----as say we in the same league as him."
The April 11 edition of "The View" again discussed Don Imus’s recent racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Rosie O’Donnell likewise continued her tirade about Imus’ alleged "free speech." In a statement too bizarre even for Joy Behar, Rosie said the next step is the "thought police" locking everyone up in Guantanamo Bay without a lawyer. Perhaps Rosie is feeling the heat after her own controversial remarks.
JAMIE-LYNN SIGLER: I think people who have a public voice just need to be conscious then of what they’re saying and the effect that it can have and understand that there’s going to be consequences if they say things like that.
Jeff Greenfield has called it "the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice" for long-time guests of the Imus show [file photo] to stay away now. Greenfield, who is leaving CNN to return to CBS as Senior Political Correspondent, appeared on this morning's "Early Show" and was interviewed by co-host Julie Chen.
CHEN: Did you hesitate to go on the show yesterday?
GREENFIELD: No. If you have the benefit of being on his show for 15 years -- and there is a benefit -- there's visibility, if you have a book [you can promote it], and also, to be blunt, it's a great deal of fun -- the banter. To stay away from the show when he gets in serious and deserved trouble, seems to me the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice. But I went on the show and told him, I think quite bluntly, where things stood and where they have to go. All of us, he and some of us as guests, have not really stepped up to the plate in looking at the way race has been used on that show as humor.
On Monday’s "American Morning," CNN spent five minutes on the outrageousness of its daily competition: Don Imus’s remarks on MSNBC describing the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as "nappy-headed hoes." New CNN contributor Roland Martin was brought on to echo Al Sharpton’s demand that Imus be removed from his radio and TV microphones. Martin also went after left-wing women’s groups for not signing on to the anti-Imus cause as quickly as the National Association of Black Journalists.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: I was surprised to see how many women's groups did not sign on early on. You listed some now, but that's like late, right?
On the March 14 edition of "Imus in the Morning" guest and "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney discussed the possibility of a draft with Don Imus. In that exchange Rooney, like Senator Kerry and Congressman Rangel, implied that those who volunteer to serve do so out of desperation rather than patriotism.
DON IMUS: Tell me about your thoughts on re-instituting the draft.
ANDY ROONEY: Well, I think a draft produces a better army than the one we would have with all volunteers. Because I think you get average Americans if you, if you have a draft. And if it’s an all volunteer army, you get people who join up because of some problem in their own lives. They don’t have anything else to do, they don’t have a job, or they can’t find what they want to do, so they join the Army. And it doesn’t produce the best army.
It goes without saying that the majority of NewsBusters articles concerning MSNBC’s Don Imus are not very positive towards the radio host. However, on Friday, Imus completely lit into Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over some obvious hypocrisies regarding the current controversy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (h/t Larwyn and Macsmind).
As reported by NewsMax, Schumer was trying to lay all the blame for conditions at Walter Reed on the Bush administration. Fortunately, Imus wasn’t buying it (video available here).
What follows is a partial transcript posted at NewsMax. Frankly, it’s too much fun to interrupt with commentary. As such, roll the tape:
Jon Meacham, Executive Editor of "Newsweek" joined the Obama bandwagon on Monday’s "Imus in the Morning" program. Mr Meacham declared that Senator Obama’s presidential candidacy was a good thing because it will make people face their prejudices, not only in terms of race, but against Democrats as well. Meacham further declared Senator Hillary Clinton to be old news. Later, in the segment, Meacham praised John Kerry, particularly his "finest moment" when he denounced the Vietnam war and claimed Senator Kerry’s statement asking "how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake," is prescient now, and Mr. Meacham regrets that the Democrats are so rough on the Massachusetts Senator.
The February 5 edition of Newsweek magazine’s "CW" section asserts that Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb "gives Dems testosterone." This sentiment was echoed on Tuesday’s edition of "Imus in the Morning" by Boston Herald columnist, Mike Barnicle. Barnicle described Webb as being "so terrific for this country and for the United States Senate because at any given time, he’s liable to reach across the aisle or reach across the desk in front of him and choke the person that he’s dealing with." Mr. Barnicle further portrayed Senator Webb as the savior of the Democratic Party, telling Don Imus Webb is the antidote to 25 years of liberals in the Democratic Party taking the party too far to the left.
On Thursday, NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein wrote about “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews stating “Cheney, of course, who always wants to kill” on Don Imus’s radio program. On Friday, the Fox News website featured this exchange in a “Bias Alert.”
Fox News is taking Bill O'Reilly's campaign against "NBC's turn to the far left" to FOXNews.com. The number three story on the home page this afternoon says: "Bias Alert: Which NBC Biggie Said, 'Cheney ... Always Wants to Kill'?"
According to the article, this was a multiple choice question:
Appearing on this morning's Imus show, Chris Matthews [file photo] painted a portrait of a bloodthirsty VP Cheney.
Matthews: "I don't think we should get deeper and deeper into the sands of Arabia with more troops. I think these decisions to keep going forward, which is what he’s doing, is getting us into a quicksand situation where the more you struggle, the more you sink. I think that's where we're headed and it‘s because of his ideology, because of the neocons who have grabbed his arm again, this guy Fred Kagan has grabbed hold of him [the president] again and they've using [retired General] Jack Keane to do it, and they’re working through Cheney, of course, who always wants to kill, and they’ve dragged us back into the same mentality that we're looking for any reason to strike, and I think that's the way he is towards Iran right now."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a corrected version of the original item. Imus's guest was Mike Barnicle. The original item, displayed briefly, incorrectly identified Imus's guest as Chris Matthews. My apologies to Chris Matthews and our readers.
H/t to reader PJG.
Does it get any more foul than this? During the 8 AM ET hour of Don Imus's show this morning he and Mike Barnicle fantasized about how various Republicans would react to being hung on the gallows.
Note: this item was prepared from the closed-caption transcript. It will be reviewed and corrected as appropriate in the course of the morning. Video: Real (3MB) or Windows (3.5MB) PlusMP3 (555KB)
Ana Marie Cox of "Time" magazine asserted that the pregnancy of Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, shames the White House and pondered whether it was a "...genetic experiment to extend the lineage," on Tuesday’s "Imus in the Morning." Cox, appearing in the 6:00 hour, alluded to Ms. Cheney’s sexual orientation on several occasions and emphasized that she is the vice president’s "gay daughter."
Cox claimed that the Bush administration is "falling apart" because the news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy is the best they’d received recently:
"This administration’s really falling apart though, I do agree. I think, you know, you know times are bad when the best news the White House has had recently is, you know, Dick Cheney’s gay daughter is pregnant. Like, he’s going to be a granddad, that’s pretty much it."
Jon Meacham, editor of "Newsweek," compared journalists to MTV’s teen morons Beavis and Butt-Head for the demands they make on public officials, and portrayed himself as understanding of negative public sentiments of the media:
"One of the things people don’t like about journalists, reasonably, is that we’re kind of like Beavis and Butt-Head. You know, we demand people change, and then when they change, we kick ‘em in the shins and say ‘well, you didn’t change quick enough.'"
Meacham's comments came in the 6:00 hour of Monday’s "Imus in the Morning." Yet, if one were to read the latest issue of "Newsweek," it is apparent Meacham’s words are not followed by action. An article by Evan Thomas, criticized the White House for not changing course quick enough and being hostile to change. It rekindled the story of President Bush’s alcoholism, and his decision to quit drinking twenty years ago and asserted that this was the last "midcourse correction" of the current president:
On Tuesday’s "Imus in the Morning," Newsweek editor Jon Meacham opined that George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, had been vindicated by history. He suggested that Newsweek runs stories based on partisan preferences, i.e. we helped defeat President Bush in 1992, but in hindsight, George H.W. Bush was right. Meacham also revealed that journalists often make hasty judgements and treat those judgements as "infallible." In the same segment, Meacham admitted that journalists are wrong. Meacham offers as an example the coverage of President Bush 41 during the 1992 campaign and before:
"What's important is journalistically, one of the mistakes we make is we kick people in the shins and we tend to make instant judgments and act as though our judgment is infallible and absolute. It’s not. See ‘wimp factor,’ see the mistakes and the misperceptions of the first Bush at the time when everybody was saying he was out of touch and was no good. Now we see with hindsight that he’d done pretty well."
Is this more offensive to Democrats or Republicans? At least five separate reporters described incoming freshman Democrat Congressmen as conservative. On Wednesday’s "Early Show" Bob Schieffer noted "these Democrats that were elected last night are conservative Democrats." Later in the same program, CBS News Captiol Hill correspondent Sharyl Attkisson highlighted, "...a lot of these new Democrats who’ve been elected are social conservatives." Seconds later, CBS Political Correspondent Gloria Borger observed that with the Democrats taking the House, "the committee chairmen are going to be liberal and the people coming in are going to be these moderate conservatives." The trend continued on "Imus in the Morning" as NBC’s David Gregory remarked, "She’s [Nancy Pelosi] going to have a lot of center-right Democrats who won..."