Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson trashes conservative leaders in his latest column – for not taking a clear stand on the Egyptian crisis and for not supporting the populist protests. "Why don't conservatives love freedom?" he provocatively asked, concluding that if conservatives think 1.2 billion Muslims cannot be trusted to rule themselves, "that's not what I call loving freedom." His logic is deafening.
Robinson accused conservative leaders of opposing Obama's Egypt policy simply because they are thinking "heaven forbid the that the president get any credit." He used their "ambivalence" at CPAC – which he characterized as either silence or a vague shot at the Obama administration – to condemn what he thinks is their opposition to freedom in the Middle East.
"Mitt Romney went to CPAC and didn't mention Egypt at all, which was, you'd think he'd be paying attention," Robinson noted. He questioned other conservative leaders for being "so kind of silent, and/or grumpy throughout the CPAC gala, and even beyond, in the case of some conservatives. What we're talking about is freedom, which everybody wants and loves."
For about ten minutes on MSNBC Monday, Harvard History professor Niall Ferguson offered a articulate, detailed, and biting indictment of President Obama's handling of the crisis Egypt – and those disagreeing on the usually Obamaphilic "Morning Joe" panel could offer little of substance in response.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski began the segment reading Ferguson's latest column – which is the latest Newsweek magazine cover story – and asked him to expound on Egypt, saying that "it actually seems like it went pretty damn well." Perhaps she is referring to the many joyful reports from Tahrir Square amidst jubilant masses, or maybe CBS' Harry Smith doling out kisses to the crowd – but Ferguson offered a more dire assessment of the situation.
"You cannot make the foreign policy of a superpower up as you go along," Ferguson stated. He bludgeoned the Obama administration's slipshod policy, calling it "flip followed by flop followed by flip." He added that "they admitted that they had not planned for this scenario. I find that absolutely astonishing."
Tuesday's "Morning Joe" featured guest Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Rauf who tried to establish a mosque two blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. The panel praised Khan and her husband as peace-making moderates, and arrogantly questioned why more Americans couldn't accept the mosque at Ground Zero.
"America is the beacon of the world," co-host Mika Brzezinski said echoing Khan's earlier words affirming American freedom. "And yet, we had such a controversy about the community center that you and your husband were trying to start blocks away from Ground Zero," she added, questioning the American "understanding" of the center.
"One of the most depressing things to me was the fact that in 2010, Americans seemed to be less accepting of Muslim Americans than they were even in the months after 9/11," co-host Joe Scarborough lamented from his soapbox. "Why do you think we Americans had such a reaction – again, in New York, a place that's supposed to be the most open-minded and pluralistic?" he asked guest Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine.
What would be worse: if Norah actually believes it--or if she doesn't?
Norah O'Donnell has claimed that the Washington Post and the New York Times provide straight-up information, without bias, of the sort that would be appealing to members of the putatively non-partisan "No Labels" group.
Norah's mind-boggling assertion came on today's Morning Joe during a discussion of AOL's acquisition of HuffPo for $315 million. Reacting to indications that Arianna Huffington may be guiding her creation toward the center and away from its leftist roots, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart argued the move made sense on the theory that people such as those at No Labels are hungry for straight-up reporting. That's when Norah broke in to claim that such unbiased reporting is already being provided by, yup, WaPo and the Times.
On Monday's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski launched into a passionate defense of President Obama's handling of tough press coverage in 2008. Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin retorted that Obama received soft coverage on the campaign trail, and has only recently learned how to face tough interviews. Brzezinski apparently thinks that is "revisionist thinking."
"He was raked over the coal– he had to do a freakin' speech about his race! Are you kidding me!?" Mika exclaimed when she was trying to rebut claims of Obama receiving soft media coverage.
When co-host Scarborough and Time magazine's Halperin agreed that President Obama did not receive tough press coverage as a senator or as a presidential candidate, Brzezinski spat back "No. That is revisionist thinking."
During a Monday morning recap of the Super Bowl, "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough asked, tongue-in-cheek, if "right-wing, talk radio conservatives" would blame President Obama for the ghastly national anthem performance by four-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera.
Amidst the light-hearted banter, Scarborough turned serious and asked "when we talked about what's driving the week – will conservatives, will conservatives – right-wing, talk radio conservatives – blame Barack Obama for Christina Aguilera defacing the national anthem?"
Time magazine's Mark Halperin, and co-host Willie Geist played along. "Glenn Beck's got the chalkboard going right now," Scarborough continued. "With the dotted line," Halperin added. "He's ready," chimed in Geist.
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews appeared on Morning Joe, Friday, to slam President Obama's handling of the escalating crisis in Egypt, saying it made him "ashamed as an American." Matthews, who famously declared Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, excoriated what he perceived to be the President's disloyalty to Egypt's leader, Hosni Mubarak.
The Hardball host berated, "And Barack Obama, as much I support him in many ways, there is a transitional quality to the guy that is chilling." He added, "I believe in relationships...You treat your friends a certain way. You're loyal to them."
Matthews has previously lauded the authoritarian Mubarak. Pointing out Mubarak's stand against Hezbollah and other extremist elements in the region, the anchor on January 31 wondered, "How can you say he'll easily be replaced? This guy's the George Washington of peace over there."
Is the cat fight a strictly feminine affair, or can a man and woman engage in one? Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski certainly seemed to offer up a fair facsimile of the genre today. The two traded feline fisticuffs on Morning Joe.
Scarborough went first, swiping at Katie Couric for having cavorted on a Miami beach with her beau before departing for Egypt. Mika later retaliated, archly musing about the number of Limbaugh's marriages during a segment featuring Elton John's comments on El Rushbo.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski broke from the panel discussion Tuesday and implored Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to close the state's so-called gun show loophole. The MSNBC panel was discussing lax gun show laws allowing persons to purchase semi-automatic guns with little or no background check performed on them.
Brzezinski, seemingly abandoning journalism in favor of advocacy, tersely asked Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on camera to close the state's gun show loophole. "Just close the loophole. Governor Bob McDonnell," Brzezinski pleaded, staring into the camera as she singled out the state's chief executive.
Virginia law presently allows private transactions at gun shows to be completed without paperwork. Federal law mandates licenced gun sellers to perform background checks on buyers; private sellers are not obliged by the state to do so.
On Monday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough hinted that President Obama may have been a major catalyst of the current protests against the authoritarian Mubarak regime in Egypt. Scarborough referred to the president's 2009 Cairo speech and wondered if it inspired the present protests.
"Barack Obama, he goes to Cairo, he gives a speech, and he inspires – perhaps he's the one who inspires a lot of these Egyptians to get out into the streets eventually," Scarborough proposed.
The "Morning Joe" panel was discussing the transition of power in Egypt and how it might affect American politics. Scarborough characterized President Obama as on the one hand a possible galvanizing figure in the current push for freedom in Egypt, and yet on the other hand a world leader accused of inaction during oppression of Iranians by their government in 2009.
Just when Joe-mentum was building for Lieberman-Huffington '12!
Say this for Arianna Huffington: she didn't stab Joe Lieberman in the back. On Morning Joe today, the HuffPo founder went for the full frontal assault, telling the outgoing senator to his face "I sincerely hope for the sake of the country that you do not become Secretary of Defense."
Lieberman was not defenseless, at one point condescendingly spelling out for Arianna's sake the name of the author of a report he relied on to conclude Saddam was developing WMD. When Arianna huffed that the report proved nothing, Lieberman sniped "I don't think you've read it, sweetheart."
Carrying his sermonizing from his MSNBC morning show to Politico, Joe Scarborough railed against inflammatory political rhetoric in his latest Politico column – but hit conservative talk while ignoring leftist vitriol.
Calling them out by name, as he did recently on his show "Morning Joe," Scarborough pleaded with conservatives that if they can't be civil out of righteousness, they could at least practice civility for the sake of the Republican Party. "It's time to grow up," he lectured the Right, specifically pundits Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
Of course, Scarborough made no criticism whatsoever of inflammatory rhetoric from the Left – such as his MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz, who in 2009 joked about ripping Dick Cheney's heart out and playing political football with it, nor from vicious left-wing dilettante Randi Rhodes, nor from Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida who called his 2010 Republican opponent "Taliban Dan."
On Morning Joe today, Carl Bernstein insisted Sarah Palin was "ignorant," but couldn't remember why. When pressed, he claimed she didn't know where Russia was. Oops.
Bernstein began by denouncing Palin as a "demagogue." When Joe Scarborough asked him why he had written a column branding Palin as "ignorant" the day after McCain announced her as his running mate, Bernstein simply couldn't remember. At a loss for words, Carl claimed "she didn't know where the hell" Russia was on a map.
Watch the video after the jump and note Mike Barnicle's mortified reaction to Bernstein's bumble.
As most of the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day while attempting to move passed the tragic events in Tucson, CNBC's Donny Deutsch decided to ask Reverend Al Sharpton if Arizona should secede from the union.
Such happened on Monday's "Morning Joe" as the crew discussed gun laws in the wake of the shootings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time magazine's Mark Halperin scolded "media voices on the Right" on MSNBC Wednesday, for hoping President Obama fails in his Wednesday night speech in Tucson, Arizona. He railed against conservative media pundits for wishing such a thing during a national tragedy.
"It should be about the victims, and...it shouldn't be about the media," said Halperin on "Morning Joe" Wednesday. "There are media voices on the Right who are cheering for the President to fail in his speech tonight. They're hoping he does a bad job. And that is the problem."
There's just one problem – who exactly has been saying that? Liberal media watchdog Media Matters has not yet documented an instance of such rhetoric. Internet searches reveal no stories of conservative media wishing for the President to fail in his speech.
NewsBusters has exhaustively documented the ways in which the liberal media and Dem politicians have sought to exploit the Arizona shootings, seeking to pin blame on a range of Republicans and conservative media figures.
It was thus nothing short of surreal to listen to MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin this morning. Surveying the situation, Halperin praised the media and politicians for their reaction to the shooting . . . while condemning Fox News and conservative pundits for treating the tragedy like "war and fodder for content."
When Joe Scarborough rightly suggested that Halperin had it backwards, the Time man wouldn't back down. View video after the jump.
Appearing on Monday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw praised Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County, Ariz. for condemning political vitriol, and wished more officials would follow suit. Dupnik, a Democrat, blamed violent political rhetoric in part for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and singled out conservatives Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle for instances of unacceptable hate speech.
Brokaw thought officials have been "timid" in their criticism of violent political speech, in the wake of Saturday's shooting. "The Pima County Sheriff is not," he continued. "He is speaking out, and too few others have because they're worried about retribution."
Brokaw added that officials are hesitant to condemn hate speech because they fear sharp backlash from the public via the internet. The press is partially responsible for that fear mongering, he opined. "They're worried about the internet being lit up against them. And that's something that those of us on this side of the camera also have to be thinking about and not just be feeding that," he preached.
ABC, NBC and MSNBC on Monday all eagerly hyped the complaints by an Arizona sheriff that the "anger and bigotry" of everyday Americans contributed to Saturday's shooting. None of the journalists interviewing Clarence Dupnik identified as an elected Democratic official. (ABC's Jake Tapper did in a separate piece.)
Former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe and lauded Dupnik: "I think in part a lot of public officials are timid. The Pima County Sheriff is not. He is speaking out, and too few others have because they're worried about retribution."
Brokaw, directly making a connection, added, "And that's something that those of us on this side of the camera also have to be thinking about and not just be feeding that. Look, Sarah Palin with "Don't Retreat; Reload," and the crosshairs on the map."
As some blogs have already reported, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly implored President Obama in his Monday column to take direct action against college football's BCS system. Arguing that the BCS is run by a conglomerate of elites representing the power conferences and the bowl games, Reilly pleaded with Obama to work to install a playoff system in college football.
"What a lie this BCS era is," Reilly ranted, demonizing its supporters as "Bowlsheviks" and arguing that undefeated teams from lesser conferences get no shot to play for a national championship. "That's OK," he continued. "There's one guy who can change all this with the stroke of a pen."
This messianic figure is none other than President Obama. "He's a guy who has broken a mountain of promises in the past two years," Reilly said, sounding like a dismayed progressive. But, the president "can make it all right by making good on a promise he did make, the one to look hard into a playoff." The title of Reilly's piece: "Change We Can Believe In."
Appearing on Wednesday's "Morning Joe," Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward dismissed the significance of the accession of Rep. John Boehner to the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, saying that Presodent Obama's inauguration dwarfed Boehner's.
Politico's Mike Allen had reported that Capitol Hill had "the air of a Presidential Inauguration" Wednesday with a new Speaker of the House and 87 new Republican congressmen coming in. A few minutes later, Woodward tempered Allen's enthusiasm.
"I think Mike Allen's one of the best in the business, but to compare the Boehner coming to the Speakership with the Presidential Inaugural – four busloads, Mike? I mean, for Obama, for any president – c'mon, they had hundreds of busloads."
Tuesday's "Morning Joe" panel on MSNBC played the class warfare card, highlighting tension between the American middle class and the richest Americans who profit from the global economy. Impassioned co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski gave credence to middle class frustration at the widening gap between them and the ultra-rich.
The Atlantic magazine's editor-in-chief James Bennett referenced a poll touting that 60 percent of Americans advocate higher taxes for the wealthy as the best solution to the budget crisis. "I think part of that is a response to the sense that they're being left behind by these people," Bennet explained.
Bennet pointed out top hedge fund managers making over a billion dollars a year, and suggested Americans would like to see more of that money back. "You'd think," huffed Mika Brzezinski. "Good luck getting it from them," Joe Scarborough warned. Scarborough was a critic of the recent tax deal between Obama and the GOP, arguing that millionaires did not need the tax cuts as much as the country needed their tax revenue to pay down the deficit.
Monday's "Morning Joe" panel on MSNBC mocked the House Republicans' plan to vote to repeal President Obama's health care legislation in full. "Waste of time" and "meaningless legislative exercise" were some of the phrases used to describe the first announced GOP priority.
"It's going to take them fifteen minutes, they're going to vote to repeal it, and the Senate's not going to do it," explained co-host Joe Scarborough. "It is a meaningless legislative exercise, but you know what? The base will like it."
"Republicans in Washington are planning to waste some time. Is anyone surprised by that?" co-host Mika Brzezinski tersely introduced the segment in the 7 a.m. EDT news hour.
Both Scarborough and Brzezinski sarcastically mocked the plan. "Good for them. Thank you," Brzezinski spat. "You are big men," she derided the House Republicans. "You so tough," Scarborough chimed in, followed by Brzezinski making strange growling noises.
During Monday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough blamed lack of leadership during natural disasters on partisan voters. Quoting a veteran of his congressional staff, the former Republican congressman remarked that failures of leadership happen "when we elect leaders by checking boxes."
"Are they pro-choice? Are they pro-life? Where are they on gay rights?" Scarborough summarized the minds of partisan voters. "We have forgotten to elect people based on...governing."
"And services," Mike Barnicle chimed in. The "Morning Joe" panel was discussing the recent blizzard in the northeast United States, and the uproar that ensued from poor public services in New York City and the governor of New Jersey being on vacation during the blizzard.
John Lindsay might have been the worst mayor in NYC history. Epitome of the limousine liberal, Lindsay nearly bankrupted the Big Apple. But that hasn't stopped Jon Meacham from lauding Lindsay as "one of the greatest mayors in New York history." The former Newsweek editor bestowed the honorific title while appearing on today's Morning Joe.
Meacham's comment came in the context of grouping Lindsay with Mike Bloomberg as another NYC mayor who didn't deal well with a big snowstorm. But after noting that lapse, Meacham made amends with his GMINYH moniker.
After the jump, view the video and a description of Lindsay's absolutely disastrous record.
Jeffrey Sachs has attacked distinguished military historian Victor Davis Hanson as an "extremist" who "has done more harm to the American people" than any other commentator.
Sachs, a Columbia prof and income redistributionist supreme, launched his surprising verbal assault in commenting on Hanson's National Review Online column, "The Obamites' About-Face." Hanson there makes the case that out of political pragmatism, Obama has flip-flopped on everything from "the environment, radical Islam, taxes, stimulus, the economy, national security" to foreign policy.
The panel on Wednesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC gushed over President Obama's recent legislative success, and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw likened Obama's resurgence to Lazarus rising from the dead.
"It looked like the day after the election that [Obama] was on his way back to Chicago. Now suddenly he has arisen, Lazarus-like, again," Brokaw attested.
The disastrous mid-term elections? They are simply a distant nightmare, the panel asserted. Co-host Joe Scarborough, as well as guest columnists Mike Barnicle and Charles Blow, stated that the election results are not news anymore. "No one's talking about that anymore," remarked Blow, a New York Times columnist, over the election.