Apparently everyone needs to take the President at his word when he says he is a committed Christian, according to MSNBC. The network's "Morning Joe" crew thinks that those who still question the sincerity of President Obama's faith are "haters" and "knuckleheads."
During a townhall meeting at a New Mexico residence, President Obama proclaimed that he was a "Christian by choice." He said that he came to the faith recently, believing that the Christian precepts of "being my brother's and sister's keeper" and "treating others as they would treat me" defined the kind of life he wanted to live.
In lieu of the quote, Scarborough referenced his own Southern Baptist roots and asserted that Obama is without a doubt a Christian. "When he says things like 'Jesus died for my sins. I'm saved by God's salvation,' that's about as definitive as you can get," he claimed. "At this point, if jackasses out there question his faith, they're just haters."
Scarborough even went so far as to say that to be Christian is to accept Obama at his word.
There I was this morning, innocently watching Morning Joe, when suddenly an NBC promo popped up, starring—you guessed it—the prez. It would have been bad enough if this had been a government PSA. But this was a promo for an NBC Universal initiative called "The More You Know," dedicated, its website informs us, to providing "critical" health messages. [You can be sure one thing it won't be "critical" of is . . . ObamaCare.]
Gee, I wonder which "cable news show" Joe had in mind . . .
In a seeming shot at Keith Olbermann, Joe Scarborough has predicted that "certain cable news shows" will stir up a "fake controversy" tonight over whether Sarah Palin was booed on Dancing With The Stars [she wasn't].
Here's the background: Bristol Palin performed on DWTS last night, and Sarah was there in the front row to support her. Jennifer Grey [of Dirty Dancing fame] also competed last night. Her backers in the audience began to boo when her scores, which they judged to be too low, were announced. That happened just before the show cut to an interview with Sarah Palin. Some have tried to suggest that the audience was booing Palin. But the crowd in fact cheered when Sarah appeared, and as Willie Geist said "my staff and I have studied the tape. They were not booing [Palin]."
Prior to tonight's debut of Lawrence O'Donnell's new show, The Last Word, MSNBC has been running promos where O'Donnell proclaims how much "political pressure there is on everyone involved" in governing decisions and that it leaves him "respecting every one who steps into that room to do that," adding he's "gonna disagree with some of those people" but will always "respect the strength it takes to go on in there." Well "respect" was the last thing O'Donnell displayed to a couple of guests that appeared with him on various MSNBC programs.
Back on the February 12 edition of Morning Joe, he was such was in such a rage against former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, going as far as to blame that administration for the 9/11 attacks, host Joe Scarborough actually had to call the proverbial whistle on him and stop the program, to let him cool down. However, when they got back from a commercial break O'Donnell launched into yet another tirade as he called Thiessen a "torture-monger." (video below the fold)
Perhaps O'Donnell's worst performance came on the October 22, 2004 edition of Scarborough Country when he want lashed out against Vietnam veteran John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth for daring to challenge then presidential candidate John Kerry's veracity, as he repeatedly called him a "liar" and charged he did nothing to stop the war.
The following are transcripts of those unhinged attacks by O'Donnell:
Patricia Sellers of Fortune magazine posted a little piece on how NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed the morning stars of NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC on their wake-up rituals for media writers. On the Today team, Meredith Vieira sets the alarm for 2:30 am, Al Roker at 3, Matt Lauer at 4:10, and Ann Curry at 4:30. But guess just how much prep time Joe Scarborough puts in? Almost zero. But surprise, he's been told to play to a typical liberal each day:
Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, boasted, typically, that he's the real Master of the Morning Universe. He hops out of bed at 5:30 a.m. (sometimes later, if he's feeling really cocky), throws on his clothes, and arrives at the studio by 6 a.m., when Morning Joe goes on the air. No sweat, says Joe, if you live close by.
By the way, I wake up each day to Scarborough and his Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brezezinski. And I'm a big fan of the show. Scarborough said yesterday that when he came up with the idea for the program and pushed to get it on the air, MSNBC President Phil Griffin gave him a piece of advice: "Pretend you have an audience of one. And pretend it's Tim Russert."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough – who when a Republican congressman voted to impeach President Clinton – seems to believe that a former President should be able to legally run for office again after taking "a term or two off." His comments followed a gushing slew of praise for former President Bill Clinton, and he noted that many viewers "are just sitting there thinking 'Why can't [Clinton] run for President in a couple of years?'"
"It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms," Scarborough complained of the 22nd Amendment, ratified during Truman's second term but passed out of Congress four years earlier in March 1947. Republicans did control both houses of Congress then, but the amendment would have excluded then-President Harry Truman and was supported by some Democrats.
Co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski conducted a glowing interview of the former president at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Does he want to lose his job at MSNBC the way Donny Deutsch did? Joe Scarborough seems to have a devil-may-care attitude towards criticizing his outspoken colleagues, liberal blowhards Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann. Simply refer to past episodes here, here, here and here.
While not mentioning them by name on today's "Morning Joe," Scarborough featured outlandish barbs from his colleagues Schultz and Olbermann as examples of what not to do in trying to "keep calm and carry on," as the show was trying to preach to its viewers.
For the second straight day, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" ran a segment titled "Keep Calm and Carry On" – Scarborough's favored slogan of late, he even features in his profile picture on his Twitter account – dedicated to throwing water on the political fire created by the fringe Left and Right and promoting more calm, moderate, bipartisan candidates and positions. Tuesday's segment featured a game show format where Joe and co-host Mika Brzezinski asked questions with obvious answers – for instance, does such-and-such rabid quotation by such-and-such talk show blowhard merit the label "Keep Calm and Carry On?"
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" has recently delivered some strange messages of bipartisanship and moderation to its viewers. These included lecturing would-be Koran-burner Florida pastor Terry Jones on loving one's neighbor before cutting him off without opportunity to answer, and showcasing a "Bipartisan Health Challenge" – a group of politicians and journalists walking three kilometers around the National Mall to promote fitness and bipartisanship.
The MSNBC morning show featured a slightly odd segment Monday – which Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first reported on – echoing New York City Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to support moderate political candidates and combat angry political messages from fringe candidates. The "Morning Joe" crew seemed to fully endorse Mayor Bloomberg's message,attacking "political extremists who are dominating the airwaves."
Of course, the extremists the brew crew has in mind are conservatives such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who compared putting a mosque near Ground Zero with a Nazi sign displayed near a Holocaust memorial.
In a strange departure from Morning Joe's typical spontaneity, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski issued what was clearly a scripted, teleprompted, manifesto this morning. The statement purported to be non-partisan condemnation of "angry voices" and a call, citing a WWII poster, to "keep calm and carry on." But even a cursory analysis reveals that the manifesto's message suits Dem themes to a 'T', and carries clear echoes of a recent partisan speech by Pres. Obama at a political event.
The manifesto amounted to a condemnation of the "angry voices" and the "political extremists" who, claimed Scarborough, "are dominating the airwaves and dominating the national debate." But at this juncture in American political history, the anger is understandably more present on the right. The Dems, after all, control both houses of Congress and the White House, and have used their power to promote a big-government agenda on everything from health care to trillion dollar spending schemes to higher taxes. You're darn right we're angry! In instructing us to calm down, Joe and Mika are really seeking to sap the vitality from the political movement that threatens to sweep Dems from office.
Lauding Jon Stewart's biting humor and criticism of today's politicized media, NY Magazine columnist Chris Smith called him "Cronkite, the most trusted man in America" in his piece featured on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday. The show's panel largely agreed with him and emphasized that Stewart is bi-partisan in his comedy.
"The right provides better raw material, but Stewart's complaints are bi-partisan," Smith writes in his column "America is a Joke." On MSNBC, Smith described Stewart as a "comedy opportunist, you know, where people do mockable things – left, right, in-between."
The show's co-host Joe Scarborough joined Smith in diffusing the myth that Stewart is a raging liberal. "Over the past year, he's been every bit as tough on the Obama administration as Republicans on Capitol Hill," he asserted.
Mika Brzezinski is no poker face, regularly letting her feelings show as she reacts to the stories of the day. But when it comes to emoting, the Morning Joe co-host outdid herself today, reacting to the criticism the panel leveled at Jimmy Carter for his ungracious bashing of the late Ted Kennedy.
In a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, a clip from which Morning Joe aired, an embittered Carter flatly says the failure to get national health care during his administration was Ted Kennedy's "fault." Carter accused Kennedy of "deliberately blocking" Carter's proposed legislation, in order to deny him a major legislative achievement.
Mika, daughter of Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, has a history of defending Carter on the show. Check the video as Mika grimaces in discomfort, and interjects various rebuttals, as her fellow panelists unload on the 39th president.
Dubbed as "ultra right wing extremist" and "crazy," Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell and her Tea Party supporters have been smeared by every major broadcast and cable network since she won the Delaware primary against GOP establishment candidate on Tuesday night.
This is mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination. These networks have never treated a viable Democratic candidate with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again.
The MRC demands the media Tell The Truth! about the Tea Party, its momentum and the revolution of people whose votes are proving America is fed up with Washington.
Here are just some of the latest smears by the liberal media:
The trashing of Christine O'Donnell continues. Two days after Karl Rove took to the air to scald his party's newly-nominated candidate, Mike Barnicle has declared that O'Donnell won't win because she's not merely "different," but "crazy."
On today's Morning Joe, the former Boston Globe columnist fumbled and fumfered when asked to back up his allegation with facts. And speaking of facts, Barnicle had his badly wrong when it came to the number of votes O'Donnell won in the primary. But that didn't stop him from slurring the Delaware Republican.
Appearing on MSNBC to present his magazine's feature piece critical of the "Baby Boomer" generation, James Bennet of The Atlantic named George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton as the three worst "baby boomers" who did the most harm to the country's political culture and its economy.
"It'd be hard not to point to George W. Bush as having done a lot of damage," Bennet asserted. Bush, he added, "created a lot of programs that costed us a huge amount of money, without a lot of regard for what the effects are going to be on the folks that are going to have to pay for those for many years."
Bennet also blamed President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for failed policies. However, Bennet was quick to reference the "surpluses as far as the eye could see" at the end of the Clinton administration, as a counterweight to Clinton's damage while in office. He bafflingly lauded President George H.W. Bush's tax hike as "politically brave" and which helped create the prosperity of the Clinton years.
Last Friday Mika Brzezinski and Morning Joe engaged in some strange and possibly unprecedented TV "journalism." They invited Terry Jones—the potentially Koran-burning pastor—on the show via live feed, gave former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham the chance to lecture him about Christianity and implore him not to proceed with his plan . . . then summarily cut the feed without giving Jones the chance to say word one in response.
"We don't really need to hear anything else" declared Mika, as she shut down the pastor's microphone.
A number of bloggers, including NB's own Matt Hadro and me, noted and criticized Mika's bizarre move. But there was Joe Scarborough on the show today, mockingly writing off Mika's critics as "crazy people."
In what had to be the ultimate in condescension and elitism, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" brought Pastor Terry Jones on the show merely to lecture him on Christianity, cutting him off before he could even respond. Co-host Mika Brzezinski explained to him "we don't really need to hear anything else, so thanks." Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first briefly reported on this segment this morning.
Panel member Jon Meacham, the departing editor of Newsweek, briefly preached to Pastor Jones on Jesus' New Testament message of love and forgiveness and then appealed to him "as a fellow Christian" to not follow through with his threats to burn the Koran. Then, before Pastor Jones responded, his live feed was cut and co-host Mika Brzezinski continued with the show, saying that they did not need to listen to Pastor Jones.
"The central message of the New Testament is forgiveness, and to put oneself in the place of another," Meacham lectured Pastor Jones on planning to burn copies of the Koran. "And so I would simply appeal to you, as a fellow Christian, that the course you suggested is going to be incredibly dangerous, and would ask you to desist in the name of New Testament theology."
Both Pat Buchanan and Donny Deutsch have advocated the arrest of Pastor Terry Jones to prevent his possible burning of Korans and the danger to US troops such act would threaten. The paleo-conservative and the New York liberal made common cause on today's Morning Joe. They were outnumbered by Mika Brzezinski, Dan Senor and John Heilemann, all of whom opposed the arrest-the-pastor proposal on First Amendment grounds. Buchanan and Deutsch expressed disregard for the First Amendment implications.
Buchanan asserted that if Pres. Obama were to follow his advice, conservatives would support him and his popularity would zoom 10% overnight.
Perhaps it was just a publicity stunt for his impending MSNBC show, but Lawrence O'Donnell went Crazy Larry on Morning Joe today. The lefty host of The Last Word unleashed on an unlikely target: AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka.
What ignited Larry's tirade was Trumka's professed concern for the contract-negotiations plight of professional football players. O'Donnell was outraged that the union honcho was spending his time on the millionaires of the NFL rather than workers such as miners who merit more concern. Sample lines: "Exactly how many minutes of your day do you spend worrying about $15-million football players? Is this the biggest waste of your attention that could possibly come your way? Is it embarrassing for you to have to talk about these guys?"
"Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio rang alarm bells about child obesity on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday, saying it is now a "national health crisis." Colicchio warned that the recent Senate school lunch legislation did not go "far enough" and that access to healthy school meals needs to be increased for kids to save future health care costs.
"It's a pretty good bill, but I don't think it goes far enough," the chef complained of the school lunch bill. "They need to increase access for kids."
"After-school programs, after-school periods, breakfast programs, weekend programs, summer programs – those aren't included in the Senate bill; they're included in the House bill," Colicchio mused. "Obesity has become a national health crisis." He said the problem poses "billions" of dollars in future health care costs if it will not be addressed properly.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski, a nutrition-warrior herself, agreed and argued that obese children need to be viewed as victims – as children "whose future is cut short before it even starts."
MSNBC’s Morning Joe seemed to be trying very hard to avoid the Discovery Channel hostage incident on Thursday morning -- even though NBC had the exclusive of speaking with hostage-taker James Jay Lee before he was shot. With Willie Geist and Chris Jansing guest-hosting the show, they talked a lot about Middle East peace negotiations, and Hurricane Earl, and sinking Democratic midterm prospects, and even anonymously sourced hit jobs against alleged serial liar Sarah Palin in Vanity Fair. In the whole three hours, they never blabbed with guests about James Lee’s inspirational figures or his ultra-left website weirdness.
The subject only came up about six minutes into the 6 am hour, before a Tom Costello news report. Jansing relayed: “Disturbing details are emerging about that gunman who was shot and killed yesterday after holding three people hostage at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters in Maryland. Court records show the 43-year-old, identified as James Jay Lee, was a radical environmentalist who said he experienced quote, 'an awakening' when he watched former Vice President Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. In a manifesto Lee wrote, he also railed against shows like Kate Plus Eight for encouraging the birth rate [of] quote, “parasitic human infants.”
At 7:30, after another airing of the Costello report, Geist and Jansing talked to NBC News producer Rob Rivas, but even as Rivas vaguely mentioned the Lee manifesto, the hosts stepped right around any loose talk about Lee’s eco-inspirations:
The author of a 10,600-word Vanity Fair hit piece on Sarah Palin is defending his work, claiming he set out to defend the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, but that the resulting article "was forced on me by the facts."
Michael Gross appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Sept. 2 to discuss his article in the October issue of Vanity Fair. The piece depicts Palin as a volatile, vengeful, mean-spirited figure, although Gross only managed to find one person willing to speak critically of Palin on the record.
"The worst stuff isn't even in there," Gross said on "Morning Joe" when asked about the extreme picture he paints of Palin. "You know, I couldn't believe these stories either when I first heard them and I started the story with the prejudice in her favor. I have a lot in common with this woman. I'm a small town person, I'm a Christian. I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them and I figured she'd gotten a bum ride but everybody close to her tells the same story."
Yet for someone so supposedly enamored with Palin, Gross sure turned quickly. He said Palin is "a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about," citing a speech in Wichita in which Palin contradicted other statements she'd made about finding out her son, Trig, would have special needs.
NBC's Richard Engel has done some good reporting from Iraq. But scratch the reporter's surface, and you find a political partisan eager to echo the anti-Bush party line. Witness his exchange with Ari Fleischer on Morning Joe today. Engel twisted the former Bush press secretary's words, accusing him of alleging an Osama Bin Laden connection with Iraq. Fleischer had palpably said no such thing.
The springboard was Fleischer's citation of a 1998 OBL interview in which the terrorist boss said America was weak because it is unable to see through long wars. Fleischer went on to argue that America's resolve will be tested should things go badly wrong in Iraq or Afghanistan, thus putting under pressure the arbitrary dates that have been set for US withdrawal from those countries.
Engel jumped in to accuse Fleischer of claiming an OBL tie with Iraq. Even after Fleischer made explicitly clear he was alleging no such connection, Engel obdurately pressed his point.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs made the rounds of the six broadcast and cable morning news shows on Tuesday morning to help set the table for the President’s speech marking the end of major combat operations in Iraq. Of the six network anchors Gibbs spoke with, only CBS’s Harry Smith failed to ask whether President Obama would extend credit to President Bush for the successful surge strategy (a strategy then-Senator Obama denigrated as futile).
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos recited House GOP Leader John Boehner’s dig at politicians who “fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy,” and then rejected Gibbs claim that Boehner’s was “made up history.” NBC’s Matt Lauer recited Obama’s own words to Gibbs: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are gonna solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."
Howard Dean pulled off the rare twin-trashing this morning, dumping on both Glenn Beck and the people who respond to his message. He began by calling Beck crazy, saying he has "a few things the matter with him up here, up in the head there." Later, he compounded the calumny, calling Beck a "racist" and a "hate-monger." So who were the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the rally and the millions more who watch and listen to Beck? Why, according to Dean, they're "lost souls."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow had set the vitriolic tone during the show's first hour, accusing Beck of "hiding behind a cross" and participating in a "rhetorical assassination" of Pres. Obama.
When Joe Scarborough wondered out loud "how many times can you set your hair on fire?" before viewers stop being shocked, you might have thought he was talking about Keith Olbermann, the man whose scenery-chewing soliloquies inspired an instant-classic Saturday Night Live skit.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe took turns ripping Beck's promotion of the rally at the Lincoln Memorial he's staging Saturday on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Riffing off a Colbert Show segment showing clips of Beck, Mika claimed he sounded like a drama student "on crack." Scarborough, suggesting Mika might have gone too far, surmised Beck might merely have taken "stupid pills."
Once again, the co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough hinted that "certain networks," (ahem, MSNBC) hold quite the double standard between Democrats and Republicans. When the subject matter was President Obama's snub of an Iraq War question during his vacation at Martha's Vineyard – he remarked "We're buying shrimp, guys" – Scarborough pointed out that network coverage of Bush would have been far more negative.
As NewsBusters reported last week, Scarborough also believes "certain networks" will "maul" Haley Barbour if he runs for President in 2012.
The show's co-host Willie Geist first opined that news coverage might have been different with President Bush. "I hate to make this point too often," he said, "but imagine for a moment George W. Bush were on his sixth vacation, and he was asked about Iraq, and he said 'I'm buying shrimp.' You think that wouldn't be a headline everywhere?"
"You're implying there's a double-standard, Willie," conservative guest Pat Buchanan snickered.
Picking up where she left off last week, MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski on Tuesday and Wednesday cast opponents of the Ground Zero mosque as a "destructive" force, "demonizing" Muslims and "promoting ignorance."
Yet Brzezinski advocated Wednesday for a compromise between the two sides to be spearheaded by President Obama. When Joe Scarborough opined that President Obama, along with former presidents, needs to get involved in a compromise, Mika blurted out that "if [Obama] can have a summit in Boston between a professor and a cop, I think he can do this."
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panels largely supported the proposed Ground Zero mosque on both Tuesday and Wednesday, although they did show sympathy toward families of 9/11 victims. But the talking heads still would not give full credence to opponents of the mosque.
Perhaps the climax of the struggle came toward the end of Tuesday's 7 a.m. hour, where Mika faced off against the vice president of America's 911 Foundation, Nick Leischen. The organization supports active first responders nationwide in memory of the 9/11 attacks.
After Leischen, speaking for families of 9/11 victims, said that the mosque within sight of Ground Zero would be an affront to grieving persons returning to the site, Mika unleashed her tirade.
We've heard the knocks on NBC and the institutional bias that exists in its network - from the subtle spin in its flagship network's news coverage at NBC to the over-the-top bias at its cable news channel MSNBC. So maybe the man behind the curtains at NBC Universal would like to be more overt with his opinions - as a politician?
On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "Morning Joe," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, addressed both his possible political aspirations and bringing back one of the network's former star personalities. Host Joe Scarborough asked Zucker where his political interests were at this stage.
"You know Joe - look, politics is something I've always had an interest in," Zucker said. "It is something I've always thought about. It is not something that is on my current radar. It's not something I'm thinking about in the next few years, but it is something that I would always consider. I think - I love politics. I would love to give back. I would love to serve. I would love to do something, but it is not imminent. It's nothing now."
Time magazine's Mark Halperin engaged in the ultimate condescension Monday morning, arguing that families of 9/11 victims need to be guided by others into the Ground Zero mosque debate.
"For the families of the victims of 9/11, whatever emotions they want to have, I respect and I honor. But somebody needs to lead them through a discussion," Time's senior political analyst lectured on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He mentioned a meeting that reportedly took place between the mosque's planners and the 9/11 families, which he insisted "needs to happen."
Halperin said the meeting "did not go well," but added it was and is necessary. "As I said before, whether it moves or stays, that discussion must happen. This must be done with reconciliation. And it's got to be led by leaders, not by people like Rick Lazio...and facts," Halperin noted.
The show picked up fresh from where it left off last week, bashing the supposedly inflammatory rhetoric from the right opposing the mosque and sympathizing – while disagreeing – with the families of 9/11 victims over the planned mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero.
Scarborough predicted on Thursday that if the Mississippi governor is the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, the media would smear him as a racist white man from the South running against the first black president. He particularly stated that "certain networks" would "maul" Barbour if he runs, resulting in an awkward moment on the set.
Could Scarborough possibly have meant MSNBC in that cast?