Odd bit of role reversal on today's Morning Joe . . .
There was Mika Brzezinski, ripping Charlie Crist as unprincipled for his mid-campaign ditching of the Republican party. Joe Scarborough, the quondam GOP congressman from the Sunshine State, was in a much more forgiving mood, going so far as to predict that, following in Crist's footsteps, many others would successfully go the independent route.
Mika and Joe's exchange was triggered by the news that Crist's own Lieutenant Governor, Jeff Kottkamp, has endorsed Marco Rubio for Senate.
Of all networks to go on to accuse Fox News hosts of faux anger, Anthony Weiner chose MSNBC. You know, MSNBC--home to Ed Schultz, who into his mid-40s was a Republican, and who described himself as a "fresh conservative voice" in seeking a GOP congressional nomination. MSNBC. Keith Olbermann's hang-out, the man whose stagey histrionics have made him a laughingstock even at his sister network's Saturday Night Live.
Weiner made his allegation in the course of responding to Mika Brzezinski, who asked whether he regretted "losing it" on the House floor last week in a vein-popping diatribe that became an instant YouTube classic. Said Mika savvily: "Come on. You've been on television. You understand how it all works. You knew it would be all over the place. Do you regret losing it?"
An unrepentant Weiner, rather than apologizing for his televised tirade, chose to point the finger at Fox.
The Arizona immigration law on Thursday was the repeated subject of snide and belittling remarks by MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" panel. So, naturally, while discussing Wednesday's federal court ruling, New York Time's columnist Gail Collins continued the narrative.
Collins championed the federal government and sneered "You do not want state legislatures ruling these things," because basically, "They're horrible. They're all gerrymandered. They never get thrown out of office. They are all nuts!"
Appearing on The View, the president explained to Barbara Walters that he chose to come on the program because it's a show Michelle actually watches. According to PBO, the First Lady is "like eh" about news shows, grabbing the clicker [see screencap after jump] and turning away from them.
Was it really necessary for the President to dis his wife's interest in current events to explain his presence on the show? Somehow I sense that a Republican president saying something similar would come in for a heap of feminist criticism. Transcript after the jump.
Willie Geist introduced the segment on today's Morning Joe.
Striking a blow for her sex, Mika Brzezinski today claimed that the Wall Street meltdown "simply would not have happened" if more women had been in charge.
The Morning Joe co-host was reacting to news that the Dems managed to slip into the recently enacted financial regulation bill a provision--authored by Rep. Maxine Waters--that would create "at least 20 new Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion" with the power to kill government contracts with financial firms not meeting new "diversity standards."
Tina Brown seconded her sister's sentiment, blaming the financial industry's woes on "all this phallic obsession."
What's good for Wall Street is presumably good for Washington, too. Mika Brzezinski--founder of Feminists For Palin, perhaps?
On Thursday July 29th, President Barack Obama will appear on "The View." This appearance will mark the first time in history that a sitting president will be on a daytime talk show.
However this is great for the President, according to "Morning Joe" co-host Mike Barnicle who pronounced, "You know, I would be willing to bet you, I would be willing to bet you that he might get tougher questions asked of him on The View than he would at a White House press conference."
Barnicle and fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski enthused that "The View" will probe President Obama with "pertinent" and "real" questions that "resonate more with the way people live in this country."
So there was Robert Gibbs on the White House lawn, defending to Mika Brzezinski the letter from the Obama administration saying it favored a compassionate release of the Lockerbie bomber over a prisoner transfer. Oh, wait. That wasn't the White House press secretary—it was Chuck Todd. Sorry about that. But when you view the video I think you might forgive my error. Todd certainly came across like a paid administration flack . . .
In the course of his conversation with Mika on today's Morning Joe, Todd labelled "outlandish" the depiction by the Sunday Times of London of the US position as "double-talk." As Mika continued to press the case, suggesting the US could simply have expressed its implacable opposition to any form of release, Todd complained that it was "easy to back-seat drive" the Obama admin's handling of the matter. Perhaps most laughably, Todd defended the Obama admin's "delicate" diplomacy by claiming "any administration" would have done the same and raising the what-if of another country trying to tell our government what to do. You mean, like Pres. Obama's moves to close Gitmo and take other measures weakening US national security because other countries have complained about them?
Senators Wanted: Non-believers in big government need not apply.
That would apparently be the classified ad Mark Whitaker would run. Criticizing Sharron Angle this morning, MSNBC's DC bureau chief sniffed that people like her "are running to be part of a government they don't believe in."
Whitaker made his remark in the course of commenting on a Politico story about Angle walking away from an event without speaking with reporters. But the bigger story is the MSM mindset that Whitaker exposed: the only people who are worthy of office are those who look at the government in DC and believe in what they see. Candidates with strong objections to the size and scope of our government, who want to cut it down to size, are unworthy, indeed, illegitimate.
Jonathan Capehart is the early frontrunner to win my Obama Parrot of the Week, the dubious award I hand out on my local TV show to the media member most wantonly toeing the White House line.
On today's Morning Joe, the Washington Post editorialist, trying to suggest the White House was not involved in the firing of Shirley Sherrod, offered a strained theory of how Sherrod misunderstood what she was being told by a USDA official about the White House wanting her gone.
But when Willie Geist asked the obvious question, Capehart's house of cards largely crumbled, forcing Jonathan to beat a hasty tactical retreat. It's actually quite amusing: do check out the video.
In the "secret" underworld of Republican fundraising, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie use "cloaked" donor lists to "dig up dirt" on Democrats and funnel campaign contributions to Republican candidates. At least that's the impression left by Politico's Jim VandeHei.
On the July 21 "Morning Joe," Time magazine's Mark Halperin challenged VandeHei's characterization of American Crossroads GPS, a Republican political organization that finances issue ads designed to promote conservative positions on policy issues.
"With all due respect to Jim and the folks at Politico, you know, they make this these shadowy donors, this shadowy group, I mean, these are citizens who, under the law, are able to give anonymously to a group like this and to fund political activity to help them win races," complained Halperin.
It's pretty hard—even for media liberals—to defend a guy in paramilitary duds swinging a billy club outside a polling site, or a government official bragging about having declined to do everything in her power to help someone because of the white color of his skin. So on today's Morning Joe, Margaret Carlson, Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle were obliged to engage in a modicum of hand-wringing over the incidents. But once having discharged that duty, the trio set about doing what libs do best: finding ways to minimize the matters and excuse the MSM's failure to cover them.
To be sure, Carlson did call the statement by the USDA official "hateful" and said one should be "ashamed." And Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle agreed with Joe Scarborough that the MSM can fairly be criticized for undercovering these stories.
While MSNBC has spent a week or so playing the allegation of Tea Party racism in heavy rotation, on Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, anchor Mika Brzezinski devoted a segment to the controversy over the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation. New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow denounced the group and agreed that the Justice Department needs to answer questions, but he predictably tried to argue conservatives are outrageous in suggesting the "strange logic" that Team Obama’s actions say something about Team Obama and racial justice:
The political part of it is, I think, the most inflammatory part of this. It's strange logic. The idea that the Obama administration – which is what's happening here – people are trying to tie the Obama administration to black radicalism. And that has been happening since the campaign and it continues to happen. Not everybody, but it's an electoral goal if you can tie him somehow to black radicalism. It's strange logic to think that this tiny group, he somehow benefits politically from protecting them. They have a summit the year before this voter intimidation thing came up. There were a hundred people there. There's nobody there. There's nothing to gain. In fact, there's everything to gain in prosecuting.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski began Monday's show by gushing over Joe Biden, enthusing that the Vice President is "our guy." She also rhapsodized, "I love him" [MP3 audio available here]. The MSNBC anchor's comments came in the wake of an appearance Biden made on Sunday where he declared Democrats would retain the House and the Senate.
Brzezinski, who makes no effort to hide her affiliation with the current administration, just cannot seem to get enough of Joe. At one point, she touted, "I got to tell you, I have got a great deal of respect for him and his ability to get the point across."
Can you hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth emanating from 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue? It's Pres. Obama & Co. reacting to Zbigniew Brzezinki pinning on Barack Obama the word that doomed Jimmy Carter: "malaise."
On Morning Joe, Carter's former national security adviser said there "is a sense of pervasive malaise" in America. What's worse, suggested Zbig, Pres. Obama hasn't been able to figure out how to deal with the malaise. Ruh-roh!
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan appeared on Morning Joe, Wednesday, to dismiss Barack Obama as a "little boy" in the eyes of Wall Street and to assert the President "just bends over," rather than stand up to the financial industry. [Audio available here.]
The charged language surprised host Joe Scarborough who sputtered, "You know, I was so uncomfortable with a couple of the things you said and then the exclamation point at the end."
Speaking of financial reform, Ratigan attacked, "...When the Wall Street guys got across the table from him and said 'Oh you going to change our tax code little boy?'" After dismissing Obama's ability to oppose Wall Street, Ratigan vulgarly claimed, "But with this guy, he just bends over every time."
NBC Political Director Chuck Todd cherrypicked a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll to dismiss the possibility that Republicans will regain control of Congress in the November election. He did this despite evidence within the same poll that the political landscape in 2010 resembles 1994, when Republicans picked up 54 seats to take control of the House.
On the July 13 "Morning Joe," Todd emphasized the finding that 72 percent of the country has either "just some" or no confidence at all in the ability of congressional Republicans to "make the right decisions for the country's future."
"This wild card about this election cycle which makes it different from '06, which makes it different from '94, is this issue of the public's view of the Republican Party," insisted Todd.
Mika Brzezinski wants to "cut the crap" when it comes to building speculation as to whether Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. According to Mika, Palin's candidacy is a done deal, and the press is letting itself be sucked into a phony build-up.
Mika is so sure that Sarah is running that on today's Morning Joe she was willing to wager a dubious Jonathan Capehart $1,000. Brzezinski's comments came in response to Politico's report, highlighted by Mike Allen, that Palin has raised significant money and built a nascent campaign staff.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Are we going to go through like months and months of "will she or won't she, oh my gosh, might she?" Come on, can we please cut to the chase? Cut the crap . . . The bottom line is, let's just cut to the chase here: she is . . It's just silly. Are we really going to do this fake build-up like LeBron? . . . You guys have all been in TV too long and you're so used to the fake build-up you don't even know when you've been sucked into it.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," publisher Mort Zuckerman called the Obama administration out for being "without a doubt the most hostile administration to business and to the role of business that we've had in decades."
Panel members Mika Brzezinski and John Heilmann seemed shocked at the severity of the criticism, however.
"Where is the hostility?" John Heilmann, columnist for New York Magazine, asked with incredulity. When Zuckerman responded that the administration deals with businessmen as shady characters trying to rip off the middle class, Heilmann simply called it rhetoric.
"I don't know if that's a good use of words," show host Mika Brzezinski remarked about Zuckerman's claim of hostility.
Donny Deutsch was a lonely man on Thursday's "Morning Joe." The only panelist to decry Sarah Palin's inspiring new video designed to galvanize conservative women for the midterm elections, the MSNBC contributor puzzled even his liberal colleagues.
"I actually think it's insulting to a lot of women," thundered Deutsch. "I'm going to tell you why. It's the same reason why every time they do '100 most successful women in business' cover stories."
New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and Time magazine's Mark Halperin interjected to refute Deutsch, but the determined advertising guru just talked over them: "Listen to me! The American public wants more than 'I protect my cubs.'"
UPDATE: It turns out that the future is NOW. This Matthews video is running as a Marco Rubio campaign commercial as of yesterday.
Are you happy with the job that the Obama administration and the Democrats are doing? If so, then vote for Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate because Chris Matthews happily proclaimed that Crist is going to be the new star in the Democrat caucus. However, if you are dissatisfied with the direction this nation is going and want to change it, then Marco Rubio will be your choice which is why your humble correspondent won't be a bit surprised to see this video of Matthews making his proclamation about Crist on Morning Joe end up as a Rubio campaign commercial. Here is a transcript of Matthews delivering his kiss of death product endorsement of Charlie Crist:
Charlie Crist is going to be the new star of the Democratic caucus in the Senate. He's going to be a major player in the Democratic Party down the road. He'll be a moderate Democrat somewhere in the middle. I think he's very shrewd and nimble.
Markos Moulitsas, founder of the far-left blog Daily Kos, announced today that he has been "blacklisted" by MSNBC for taunting "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough. "I just don't know how one could reasonably expect to be welcomed onto our network while publicly antagonizing one of our hosts at the same time," MSNBC president Phil Griffin told Moulitsas.
Griffin's ostracism marks the second instance in recent days that a prominent MSNBC personality has spurned Kos or his blog. A couple weeks ago, Keith Olbermann announced he would no longer be writing for the site. He returned a few days later.
Still, there seem to be some reservations even at liberal MSNBC about the often crude, pugilistic style employed by so many of the Kossacks. What set off the most recent tiff? A tweet exchange, recounted below the fold.
On Tuesday's edition of "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough and his panel discussed the 2010 midterm elections and trashed Republican candidate Sharron Angle as a "mental patient" and a "jackass."
The conversation, which included Chris Matthews and Mike Barnicle, began with MSNBC contributor Mike Halperin claiming Angle is "vulnerable" in the race because "she has extreme positions that are out of step with the mainstream."
"And in San Francisco, a ban on sugary drinks in city vending machines is starting to take effect," Brzezinski said. "That's so great. It was issued by Mayor Gavin Newsom, my new hero, Mike Barnicle -- in an effort to combat obesity and improve citizen's health, and it will. In fact, if people would just not drink soda pop, they would be healthier and less fat."
CNN's "American Morning" reacted with an appropriately downbeat report, but the onscreen chyron led with the better news -- showing the lower unemployment rate rather than the job losses. Christine Romans also pointed out that it was the "best unemployment rate since July 2009," though later in the segment she admitted the rate is still "horrible."
NBC's Ann Curry offered a very brief report on the jobs data on "Today," also highlighting the lowest unemployment rate "since last July."
The report also contradicted Vice President Joe Biden's predictions of 100,000 to 200,000 jobs gained each month for the rest of 2010. This month, Biden is off by about 275,000 jobs
On day 72 of the continued Gulf of Mexico oil spill, "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough decided to open the show by continuing to bash Minority Leader John Boehner's work ethic. This assault comes just ten days after his assertion that he wants Barack Obama to have a "happy place to go to" and there is no problem with, "the president golfing every Sunday."
The former Republican congressman, who quit his job, ridiculed Boehner, saying "everybody on Capitol Hill knows about John Boehner, he's not exactly the hardest worker in the world. He's a guy that likes golf, and he's a guy that likes, you know, socializing."
Scarborough made sure to address that even though he doesn't know John Boehner personally, he was just "reporting" what he heard on the Hill. To Scarborough this analysis was imperative because, "If you're going to bend history, if you're going to pick up 40, 45 seats, it's a 24/7 job."
Which is the bigger story: a few power companies out West have started a pilot program to promote solar panels, or . . . police announce they will investigate allegations of sexual assault against a Nobel prize winner and former Vice-President of the United States? I'd guess most people would go with 'B.' But when it came time to highlight a story from the front page of today's Oregonian, Morning Joe went with the solar panels and ignored Gore.
I was all set to play this as a plain-vanilla case of the MSM burying unwelcome news for a Dem, when another theory occurred to me: could the Morning Joe folks actually have found a cleverly subversive way of getting the Gore story out there, perhaps against the wishes of their network overlords?
Have a look at the video of the Oregonian front page as Morning Joe displayed it during the "Morning Papers" segment [screencap after the jump].
Can anyone think of an angrier group of writers in political punditry than the ones currently published at Salon.com?
Throughout the Elena Kagan hearings, both Joan Walsh and Joe Conason have written anti-Republican screeds accusing GOP lawmakers of all sorts of unsavory things to score political points despite what's likely be a certain confirmation.
However, this disposition goes beyond just the SCOTUS hearings.
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."