In some ways, Army Colonel Jack Jacobs [ret.] is the perfect military analyst for an MSM outlet like MSNBC. His Medal of Honor, awarded to him for exceptional heroism in Vietnam [read account here], puts him above reproach. Yet his take on Iraq and other military affairs is anything but a parroting of the Bush administration line.
But while MSNBC might see him as one of their own, there come moments, as today, when Jacob leaves no doubt that he remains altogether a military man, upholding the highest traditions of valor and sacrifice. At about 10:30 AM EDT this morning, he was brought in to comment after the just-concluded press conference by a number of the British sailors and marines who had been held captive by the Iranians. A clearly outraged Jacobs made no effort to hide his contempt for them.
MSNBC is picking up on the many inflammatory Rosie O’Donnell comments documented by Newsbusters. Upon informing the viewer that Rosie believes the September 11 attacks was perpetrated by the U.S. government, host Chris Jansing asked: "Has Rosie gone too far?"
On the March 23 edition of "MSNBC Live" guest Joe Scarborough, who covered the controversy on his show the previous night, felt O’Donnell’s conspiracy theories are too irresponsible for any respected show to allow on the air. Scarborough was more concerned that Barbara Walters, whom he implied is a journalism legend, ruined her reputation by allow Rosie to spew such extreme views. The transcript of the exchange is below.
While members of "mainstream media" have eagerly covered Ann Coulter’s use of an vulgar term at a conservative conference, HBO host Bill Maher’s obnoxious comment about the Vice President, that "more people would live" if Dick Cheney had been assassinated, drew only sparse attention from the press.
Commenting on the diversity of the 2008 Democratic contenders, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer remarked of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "It’s sort of like we’re rooting for everybody all at once."
During live coverage of the Lewis Libby verdict on MSNBC, Newsweek's Howard Fineman greenlit this potential line of attack for the Democrats: "If you're the Democrats you go up immediately with ads. You talk about lying. You use the word, 'lying' with reference to this administration and you can do it because there is a conviction in a court of law." Fineman also tied the mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital to the Libby verdict as he claimed: "The war in Iraq has now been bracketed on both sides politically. The Walter Reed story is about the human consequences of the war, the Scooter Libby trial was about how we got into the war and whether somebody was lying..."
On Monday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer discussed the recent meeting of 2008 Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Selma, Alabama. Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky reeled off all the racial and cultural firsts that the upcoming primaries will have, including Hispanic candidate Bill Richardson. MSNBC News Live host Brewer responded with perhaps a revealing comment:
Julie Roginsky: "Well, I think Hillary Clinton started out with a set of name recognition that nobody else in the Democratic field has. And I think as Barack Obama becomes more known, obviously it makes sense that he would- his name recognition and his numbers would go up. But I think what's important to note here is that this is a set of firsts, not just for the African-American community, but for women, for Hispanics and Bill Richardson. There are so many firsts in this Democratic primary that I think it's really a good time to be a Democrat."
Contessa Brewer: "It's sort of like we're all rooting for everybody all at once."
It goes without saying that we wouldn't want to provoke such a person -- it could harm his self-esteem. Unfortunately, President Bush doesn't seem to have gotten the message. But thank goodness for David Gregory. As luck would have it he turned up at today's White House press conference to convey the message to the president: stop provoking poor Mahmoud!
Gregory began by observing: "A lot of critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq . . . and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?"
As we noted here, within minutes of Mitt Romney having announced his candidacy this morning, MSNBC, in the person of Chip Reid, branded him "far right."
David Gregory has now made it a one-two punch. A bit later on MSNBC, Gregory played clips from 1994 of Romney expressing pro-choice and pro-gay rights views. Noting Romney's subsequent change to a pro-life position, Gregory expressed this opinion, in the guise of a question, to his two MSM guests:
"With all respect to Governor Romney, is anybody really going to buy that, buy the timing of that, that that was some genuine change of heart?"
Words don't do justice to the contemptuousness of Gregory's tone. View the video here.
Everyone remembers how on the day Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy, the MSM was awash with stories of how he is on the "far left" of social issues. Or not.
Not only does Obama support partial birth abortion, as an Illinois state senator he twice voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Read the disturbing details here. Though Obama's record clearly puts him to the extreme port side of the political spectrum on social issues, I challenge readers to cite any MSM description of Obama as "far left."
But it's a whole different MSM ball-game when it comes to labelling Republicans. Literally within minutes of his official announcement this morning, MNSBC applied the "far right" tag to Mitt Romney. MSNBC host Chip Reid's had as his guest to kibitz on the announcement former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, who according to her Wikipedia entry was once an editor of an online Marxist magazine.
Regular readers know I'm not in the habit of choosing unflattering screencaps, but sometimes devotion to accurately portraying the tenor of an event demands it. Which it does in spades in conveying the vituperation unleashed on MSNBC today in an exchange over the Edwards blogger brouhaha between Dem strategist Julie Roginsky and GOP strategist Brad Blakeman.
Words don't come close to doing justice to the Roginksy vitriol. I urge you to view the video here.
Roginsky began the conversation by asserting that Edwards did the right thing in retaining the two bloggers with a history of making outrageous anti-Catholic statements, as detailed here. She called it a "pragmatic political decision."
How can Nancy Pelosi tell she's lost the Plane-Gate argument? When even MSNBC brands it "Air Pelosi." Check the screencap.
But Pelosi has apparently decided to go down fighting. She's now playing the gender card, and for good measure has thrown in a soupçon of Rumsfeld-phobia. MSNBC just aired a clip of Speaker Pelosi making the following remarks on the issue of her request to the Pentagon for a large plane to transport her home:
"I don't even know the numbers of the planes. So this is something that is really very strange. That the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, which I have been a constant critic of the war in Iraq, and where I understand Mr. Rumsfeld still has a desk, even though he's no longer the Secretary, has decided that they would go public about a conversation on an issue that applied to the previous Speaker. Now, as a woman, as a woman Speaker of the House, I don't want any less opportunity than male speakers have had when they have served here."
"They strike on Capitol Hill. And no domestic program is safe. They're . . . the Evil Republican Spending Slashers!"
Just like "It's a Wonderful Life" at Christmas time, the MSM trots out the reruns of the "Evil Spending Slashers" every time a Republican president proposes to increase entitlement spending by less than some liberals would like.
With the spunky Contessa Brewer hosting in the studio, and reporter Patty Culhane braving the global-warming induced cold wave on the White House lawn, MSNBC ran a classic of the genre this afternoon. At one point the graphic below was displayed, warning of domestic spending "cuts" in a number of programs.
Now that times are difficult in Iraq, it’s easy for the media to claim they are simply reporting the bad news that is obvious to everyone. But how did networks such as CNN and MSNBC report more positive events? According to a new study by the MRC, overall, Fox News generated the most balanced coverage of news on the ground, while the other two cable networks consistently emphasized negative stories. FNC also displayed the highest enthusiasm on days such as June 8, when U.S. air strikes killed al-Qaeda in Iraq mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Over on MSNBC, while the anchors generally reported the event as good news, the network also chose that day to broadcast four stories on military deserters. On this seemingly happy occasion, CNN aired two reports on the already heavily hyped Haditha case.
Interviewing Rick Davis, chairman of John McCain's presidential exploratory committee, on MSNBC at about 11:45 AM today, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell [NB file photo] demanded to know why McCain had hired Terry Nelson as his campaign manager. She described Nelson as "the man who was behind that dreadful commercial against Harold Ford. This is John McCain, the victim of these kinds of attacks in the South Carolina primary and other primaries back in 2000."
"Dreadful"? How about "funny and on the mark"? Who declared the ad "dreadful" other than the DNC and the MSM?
Good-natured advice to reporters making headlines by exposing the ignorance of government officials on national security matters: keep your facts straight yourselves.
There's been a rash of stories in recent days about the shocking ignorance of various government officials when it comes to bread 'n butter facts about the war on terror. First there was a report by Lisa Myers of NBC revealing how little some top FBI officials knew about various terrorist groups and leaders.
Just in the last couple days, Jeff Stein the National Security Editor at Congressional Quarterly, has been getting a lot of play with his story of similar ignorance on the part of incoming House Intelligence Commitee Chairman Silvestre Reyes [D-TX]. Reyes didn't know that Al Qaeda was a strictly Sunni group, nor did he have command of the basics about Hezbollah.
"Didn't the MSM get the memo? Keep Foley on the front page!" That seemed to be Chris Matthews' attitude when he was interviewed on this afternoon's MSNBC Live regarding Pres. Bush's press conference of this morning.
Appearing during the 2-2:30 PM ET slot, the transparently ticked-off Hardball host was asked: "The Mark Foley scandal has been dominating the news for over a week now. It was barely touched upon in the news conference today. Was the president, do you think, successful in refocusing attention on to the economy and national security today?"
A palpably PO'd Matthews:
"Well, he was successful to a large extent because the press, for whatever reason, decided not to ask him about the Foley scandal, which has dominated this network and so much else of the media for the last couple weeks and has been a big part of the American conversation. I don't know why though the correspondents - and they're the best in the business - chose to stick right to the issue of Iraq and North Korea, but they did, giving the president a chance to grab the headline tomorrow morning and tonight, with a big story about North Korea and his position on that topic. He has won the day on controlling the topic."
Shortly after 9:00 this morning, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer introduced a report on the potential political ramifications of plot that was foiled by the British yesterday. Her introduction was questionable, but not necessarily offensive:
Here we are, a day after this plot's uncovered, and already the focus has turned to politics, and who gets the credit for this terror bust, and was it the US War on Terror?
MSNBC reporter Kevin Corke then reported from Texas. He had some political analysis, all of which was fairly straightforward and non-controversial. He reported on the President's comments from yesterday, and the fact that he's been in pretty constant contact with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At no point during the report did he report on the President doing, or quote the President, or any member of his administration saying, anything that could be construed as a partisan political statement. Nothing. It was a straight news report, and everything that was reportedly said or done was related strictly to the arrests and the ongoing war.
So now even the Left’s most bizarre fantasies are regarded as "news" by the producers at MSNBC?
No, I don’t mean Keith Olbermann luxuriating in John Dean’s attempt to portray conservatives as leading America to fascism. This morning (Wednesday), MSNBC chose to give a couple of minutes of news time over to a lighthearted recounting of the far Left’s wacky theories about the fate of former Enron Chairman Ken Lay, including the idea that President Bush had Lay murdered.
MSNBC suggested that it was fair to entertain the kooky suggestions, since liberal bloggers “point out right wingers were quick to accuse President Clinton of having White House aide, Vince Foster, murdered back in 1993.”
Something wild happens on Hardball whenever Chris Matthews ventures outdoors. It was during an outdoor panel when Zell Miller challenged Chris to a duel and last night outside the MSNBC studios Matthews called the current White House communications team: "Vicious, almost canine," and so sweaty that, "They wouldn't pass lie detector tests, they've got such a sweat problem."
Matthews posed the following question to Pat Buchanan at around 5:43pm on last night's Hardball:
Matthews: "Are they gonna bring in some nice people to work at the White House or more mad dogs? The next press secretary, will it be a good, nice fellow to deal with like Tony Snow or Tony Blankley or will it be one of these vicious, almost canine people they have working for them right now, who will do anything to advance their cause?"
At about 4:40pm EDT this afternoon on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell marveled at how Venezuela, “perhaps with a bit of a sense of irony,” has offered assistance despite the call by Pat Robertson, whom she identified as a “colleague” of the Bush administration, for the assassination of Venezuela's President. Chris Matthews soon piped up about how “we often argue about states' rights and the need to reduce the size of the federal government, yet in a crisis, it's the federal government which has the resources, the money, the manpower, the personpower I should say, to do the job.”
Mitchell contended FEMA was ineffective until Bill Clinton became President and was going well until a second Bush took over the White House. She contended that “since the Clinton days,” FEMA has shown “that it can move very effectively,” but “we've seen also, post-9/11, that federal disaster assistance and coordination was sorely lacking.” She also wanted to know “how much the National Guard deployments from around the region to Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of the world has depleted the resources that were available?”