Professional jealousy, or something of a more personal sort? Chris Matthews sniped at Joe Scarborough today as his MSNBC colleague, exercising his privilege as a former congressman, strolled the House floor during the session culminating in the installation of John Boehner as Speaker.
Kvetched Chris: "What do you think of the rule that allows former members like Joe Scarborough to walk around the floor with such impunity, John Harris? We're looking at him on camera here . . . I've never seen such casualness."
Harris, of Politico, seeming to sense the ambient animosity, stayed out of the fray. This isn't the first time that bad blood has broken out between Matthews and Scarborough, as here, here and here.
During the 12PM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Contessa Brewer condemned Republican plans to reign in government spending: "Republicans poised to take over the U.S. House tomorrow and they arrive with a big, fat budget ax. They're planning make good on a promise to curb spending and cut the federal deficit and their plan could mean real pain for many Americans."
Brewer claimed the effort "is so politically risky, even Republicans in the Senate haven't pledged their support." She then touted White House talking points attacking the GOP: "...the White House warns Republicans the cuts could create catastrophic consequences for the economy. Budget Director Jacob Lew says it could put the recovery in a deep freeze and kill thousands of jobs." Brewer cheered: "The President is urging GOP leaders to focus on the economy and steer clear of politics."
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer thinks the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a national "priority" that needs to be passed during the lame duck session.
While the Senate considers stand-alone repeal of the ban against openly gay service members today, the MSNBC daytime anchor pressed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): "What do you make of the people who say there might not be enough time to do this during the lame duck session? Why not? Shouldn't this be a priority?"
Lieberman, who supports repeal, insisted that repealing the controversial measure now "must be a priority," despite a recent poll showing that only 32 percent of Americans think that taking up the issue is "very important." In fact, 56 percent of the public believes that "passing legislation that would keep the estate tax from increasing significantly" is "very important," and 50 percent believe that extending at least "some form" of the Bush tax cuts is "very important."
Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) ranked second only to the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for minors, as the least important issue to address during the closing days of the 111th Congress.
Jami "Sarah Palin is an extraordinary ass" Floyd made her best pitch for an Obama White House gig this morning, charting a course for the president's rehabilitation before the 2012 election and chastising the Republicans's "Bah! Humbug!" tax compromise.
Chris Jansing, anchor of MSNBC's "Jansing & Co.," asked Floyd to assess the argument some Democrats are making that the president should have used his congressional majorities to muscle through a tax package that would have placated liberals. In her response, Floyd took off her analyst hat and strategized as a partisan Democrat.
"We should have unified around our president," insisted Floyd, a former ABC News correspondent. "Woulda, shoulda, coulda. But now we stand where we stand and the question is what do we do going forward? Do we make this deal? Do we strike this deal now? Or do we let it fall apart and then have less to worth with when we come back?"
After not-so-subtly admitting that she has a vested interest in Obama's political rehabilitation, Floyd, a former Clinton adviser, demonstrated that she could just as effortlessly shill for the current administration.
During Wednesday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer attacked those who want to maintain the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy: "...the Marine Corps and Catholic chaplains, who say they support the policy on moral grounds. It doesn't make a lot of sense...if it's homosexuality that they have a problem with – they're basically saying, 'Yeah, just keep lying about it.'"
Later in the hour, Brewer interviewed Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman about his support for repealing the policy. She labeled Arizona Senator John McCain as the villain preventing repeal: "So John McCain has been one of the most formidable foes when it comes to repealing this policy....Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen support repealing this policy. Have you talked with Senator McCain? Is he willing to give?"
In the segment before she interviewed him, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing labeled Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa "one of the most radical right-wingers in Congress." Nothing was said of the comment in the interview, and her questions proceeded as normal.
Following a debate on the extension of unemployment benefits, Jansing remarked that "up next we're going to talk to one of the most radical right-wingers in Congress and talk about what he plans to do when the GOP takes control of the House." In the next segment, she interviewed Rep. King.
Jansing asked King about the DREAM Act, tax cuts, and compromising with Democrats. She pressed King on immigration and the DREAM Act, using an clip of an illegal immigrant student who said she wants "to give back to the country that saw us grow."
Displaying a clear conflict of interest during Friday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer did a story promoting electric car charging stations but did not disclose to viewers that the channel's parent company, General Electric, was selling the very same product. GE commercials for the charging stations have frequently aired on MSNBC in recent weeks.
Brewer began the segment, a part of NBC-Universal's "Green is Progress" week, by declaring: "Houston, the city known for gas pumps and oil gushers, is getting the nation's largest network of electric car charging stations." The company providing the charging stations was not General Electric, but rather NRG Energy. Brewer interviewed the company's president and CEO, David Crane.
While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.
Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."
After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."
Gay rights activist and MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer continued to insert her politics into news reports on Wednesday. The News Live host discussed changes in how the Mormons view homosexuality and lectured, "And we hope to see more progress from the Church of Latter-Day Saints in the future."
The Mormon Church has announced it will no longer require those who have homosexual attractions to seek counseling, but still opposes acting on such feelings. That, apparently, wasn't enough for Brewer who complained to Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign, "So, there's some progress there, but, yet, the church still calls homosexuality a violation of God's commandment."
During Monday's12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer helped promote the network's "Green is Progress" week by demanding greater government intervention to force people to follow an environmentalist agenda: "Until government says these are the standards that everyone has to aspire to, we're not really making progress."
Brewer made the comments while interviewing Practically Green CEO Susan Hunt Stevens and introduced the segment by touting the latest poll numbers on environmental awareness: "87% of Americans say they personally care about protecting the environment. 75% of Americans believe projects that protect the environment could also give us an economic boost....38% say the government should be most responsible for protecting the environment." However, she fretted people weren't making enough sacrifices: "...everybody says in a survey, 'oh, do you want to live greener? Do you personally care about the environment?' Yes. 'Are you willing to spend 25 cents extra in a federal gas tax that would definitely help improve the use of fuel?' Not so much."
MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." zoomed in on rifts developing within the Republican House majority Friday morning – but ignored a growing spat between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats who don't want her to continue as the party's leader in the House.
With the headline "GOP Civil War?" anchor Chris Jansing explored the conflict between upstart Tea Party Republicans and the establishment. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a two-term congresswoman and Tea Party leader, seeks the party's fourth-most senior position in the House. Standing in her way is establishment-backed candidate Rep. Jeb Hensarling.
Jansing used the case to underline the differences between the Tea Party and the establishment GOP, and wondered how the relationship between the two sides will evolve. "There are already splits within the Republican Party, and they include things like health care. ...There are a whole series of issues on which they disagree, Michele Bachmann being just part of it."
Former GOP congresswoman Susan Molinari dismissed the differences as "much ado about nothing." "This is the way politics works," Molinari stated. "In any political party, there's going to be some disagreements around the edges of major pieces of legislation."
MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." ran the headline "Sore Losers?" during the 11 a.m. EDT hour, featuring concession speeches of three GOP candidates in the election. The anchor, Chris Jansing, asked "Where's the civility?" but made no specific mention of Democrat "sore losers."
"Whatever happened to the gracious concession speech, and whatever happened to that phone call to your opponent?" Jansing complained. "Is civility dead?"
In its lambasting of Republicans, perhaps MSNBC forgot about Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who arrogantly ripped Republicans for dirty tactics and proclaimed the Boston Herald "irrelevant" – after his victory. Or maybe they overlooked President Obama as he recently labeled conservatives and Republicans "the enemy" on Hispanic radio.
"This is not just the Republicans in the clips that you just showed, but it's Democrats as well, including President Obama himself, who have shown a lack of civility at times in the debate," retorted GOP strategist Alex Conant.
During live MSNBC coverage leading up to President Obama's Wednesday 1PM ET press conference, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather urged the President to aggressively take on Republicans in the wake of the midterm elections: "[Obama] has to realize that Mitch McConnell has virtually said so that politically he wants to cut out his heart and throw his liver to the dogs." [Audio available here]
Rather declared that the President should "take the Harry Truman, who lost big in1946 and said 'I'm going to fight them. I'm going to fight them.'...He has to be a fighter." He lamented how Obama's "reputation as president so far is he's a little soft. He plays soft." Rather concluded: "He's got to demonstrate, and I think in this news conference, 'yes, I will work with them, but I'm prepared to fight them on things that really matter to me.'"
Michele Bachman took every thing Chris Matthews had tonight and punched back, during her live election night MSNBC interview with the Hardball host. After a frustrated Matthews actually asked the Congresswoman if she was "hypnotized" and in a "trance" for not answering his questions the way he liked, Bachmann fired back: "The American people are the ones...coming out of our trance...I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe quite not so tingly on your leg any more."
Bachman's point was hilariously underlined by a sign behind her that referenced Matthews' now famous Barack Obama induced thrills, which caused MSNBC's Rachel Maddowto whine: "Can we talk for a second about what they're trying to do there? With that sign they're trying to say MSNBC is in the tank and NBC is in the tank for Obama. That's what they're trying to say."
The following is the full exchange as it was aired on MSNBC's live election night coverage on November 2nd:
Chris Matthews, during MSNBC's live election night coverage, was distressed at what he saw was the "death of the moderate wing of the Republican Party." After his colleague Keith Olbermann ran down the latest results of Republicans leading or winning in specific races Matthews bemoaned how such moderates like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter were run out of their own party and even bellowed: "Mike Castle getting knocked out by the woman who said she's not a witch...is a joke, it's a joke for the Republican Party to lose people like Mike Castle."
The following November 2, outburst by Matthews was aired during MSNBC's live election night coverage:
Chris Jansing's cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.
On today's "Jansing and Co.," the MSNBC anchor initially rejected the practice of gotcha journalism in political campaign coverage, but proceeded to play gotcha with a comment made yesterday by Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell.
"I'm not a big fan of trying to do a gotcha," prefaced Jansing, directing the remark at retired Army General Wesley Clark. "I've said that before on this program. But does it bother you at all when someone can't name a current member of the Senate on the Democratic side?"
Clark, who ran for president in 2004 as a Democrat, refuted Jansing's gotcha question: "Well, first of all I think that's a little bit of a stretch in this case. She wasn't asked to name a current member, she was asked to name someone she'd like to work with. So I think that's a little bit of a stretch."
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts on Wednesday hyped an attack on the "racist" Tea Party by the left-wing Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Roberts never once mentioned the liberal slant of the group, instead passing it off as a "human rights group."
The News Live host interviewed Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP, who wrote the forward to the report. Roberts parroted, "The Tea Party, the Racism Within. That is the provocative headline of a new report out today by a human rights organization. And some of its findings are pretty troubling."
What, exactly, does the IREHR believe? According to the group's website, it's focus is on promoting abortion rights, gay rights and fighting bigotry and racism from religious Americans.
According to MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell, Michelle Obama "never said that she had not been proud of her country." The cable host on Friday spun for the First Lady while reporting on a speech Sarah Palin gave in California.
In fact, on February 18, 2008, Mrs. Obama addressed a crowd in Wisconsin and announced, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change." [See video. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, Palin wondered, "You know, when I hear people say or had said during the campaign, that they had never been proud of America until, until that time, I think haven't they met anybody in uniform yet?" This prompted O'Donnell, during a supposedly straight news report, to chide, "Of course, Mrs. Obama never said that. She never said that she had not been proud of her country."
Reporting that an elderly woman fainted at a West Virginia campaign appearance by former President Clinton, MSNBC ran the provocative headline "He's Still Got It," on its 10 a.m. EDT news hour. We'll leave it to the reader to guess what exactly MSNBC was getting at.
President Clinton was giving a stump speech Monday for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
"One audience member was just a little overwhelmed," MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing remarked, as a video clip then showed Clinton pausing his speech to recognize an elderly woman in the front who had fainted. "Maybe if you're a Democrat, you'll think this is awesome," Jansing commented.
The woman had received medical attention and was being escorted away by a doctor and two security guards. "And I'm going to save her reputation. It was the sun and not me that made her faint," Clinton joked as she was escorted from the premises.
It was only a matter of time before liberal gay rights activists would politicize the tragic suicide of a homosexual college student as an indictment of social conservatives opposed to their agenda.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on October 1 used carefully selected viewer emails to blame "religious kooks" for the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate set-up a hidden camera in their dorm room and streamed live footage of the college freshman kissing a man.
At the top of the noon hour, Brewer posed the following question to viewers: "Are we likely to see more instances of gay-bashing because the issue of gay rights is now front and center?" The anchor-activist's loaded question produced predictable responses.
MSNBC daytime anchor Contessa Brewer has recently drawn much attention for her shameless bias towards gay-rights activists, especially since she anchors an MSNBC news hour and not a talk show. But today, interviewing ultra-liberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Brewer actually grilled him for his shamelessly-edited ad attacking his Republican opponent Daniel Webster.
Grayson, a freshman Democrat, has made a name for himself in the past year for his outlandish soundbites and theatrics on Capitol Hill. His latest venture into psycho talk is an attack ad accusing Webster of degrading women, calling him the "Taliban."
"So Congressman, your opponent is a fellow American, a longtime public servant of the people of Florida, and you called him the 'Taliban'," Brewer began. "How do you defend that?"
Brewer also asked Grayson to explain his editing of Webster's reference to Scripture. The commercial showed Webster quoting the Bible, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands." However, the ad conveniently left out what Webster said before the quote, distorting the whole context of the remark.
While discussing sex allegations against Bishop Eddie Long on Friday, MSNBC host and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer asked Bishop James Dean Adams: "Long has taken a very strong anti-homosexual stand....Is there always a danger, if you're taking that sort of stand, that you're living in a glass house and people are going to be encouraged to throw stones?"
Brewer described how "the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Bishop Eddie Long 'one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay moment. Long reportedly told his congregation about homosexuals, he said, God says you deserve death.'" The left-wing organization spliced together that comment and other clips of Long's Sermons on its website.
Brewer used Long's comments to go after Bishop Adams: "I mean, you can't support that, do you? The saying that homosexuals deserve death?" Adams replied: "No. I don't say that homosexuals or anybody, for that matter, deserves death." Brewer continued: "Do you think, in any way, Bishop, this will change the way black churches deal with the issue of homosexuality?" Adams explained: "I disagree with the viewpoint that the church is somehow been purposefully anti-gay. It's not about anti-gay. It's just simply anti-sin."
MSNBC anchor and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer on Tuesday warned of "consequences" for senators who oppose repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military. In the 12pm hour, she speculated, "...My big question here, will there be consequences, especially for moderates who refuse to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" [MP3 audio here.]
Later in the News Live show, Brewer interviewed Daniel Choi, an ex-Army lieutenant who was discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Brewer repeated her prediction, citing the planned vote of Senator Susan Collins: "Will there be consequences for her this afternoon if she votes to block the procedure moving forward?"
Despite reporting on gay rights issues, the journalist has also lobbied for political change. On July 24, 2010, she appeared at a fundraiser in Kentucky. A press release touted, "As the evening’s featured guest, MSNBC’s Brewer, who has several family ties to Kentucky, will speak on the need for a statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law in the Commonwealth from a national news perspective."
MSNBC News Live host Thomas Roberts on Monday pleaded with his Twitter followers to help get Lady Gaga on his program, at one point hyping the pro-gay rights singer as the "Joan Baez of her time." [MP3 audio here.]
In the 11am hour, Roberts, who is openly gay and hosted The Advocate On-Air, explained that he had Tweeted Lady Gaga to come on the air and talk about her appearance in Maine to rally support for overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell. He lobbied, "And I want Gaga to join me. So, I want you to help me. I've sent her a message at Twitter.com/LadyGaga and you should too."
He later begged, "So, keep it up out there, Gaga little monsters. Write to @LadyGaga. Try and convince her to come on the show at two o'clock. We'll even do a phoner with her." (Little monsters is the nickname for Gaga fans.)
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer mocked attendees of the Values Voter Summit today, directing her ire at former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, and the entire conservative movement.
"So, they're calling themselves values voters, but isn't this election really about the economy and not so much what we think of as values?" sniveled Brewer, who put air quotes around the term "values." Brewer's dismissive attitude toward values voters must not extend to homosexual rights activists like herself who frequently turn their anchor chairs into liberal soapboxes.
The champion of same-sex marriage revealed her disdain for Palin by noting that although the former Alaska governor was not present at the event, "her doppleganger, Christine O'Donnell is there and she is stealing the show."
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."
Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime.
At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.
Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics." The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
Amidst a war of words with the White House, character attacks from the Left, and a New York Times hit piece on his connections with lobbyists, House Minority Leader John Boehner has received positive media coverage – from MSNBC of all places. The network ran a portrait of Boehner's childhood on its 11 a.m. news hour, and again on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" at 1 p.m.
"The public hears a lot of the arguments against [Boehner] from the Left," remarked NBC correspondent Luke Russert on the 11 a.m. MSNBC news hour Monday. "They hear that he's a country club Republican, if you will, with extensive ties to lobbyists. But it's quite interesting. He's a man who comes from very humble beginnings, starting out in a big Catholic family in Reading, Ohio."
Russert narrated a piece on Boehner's upbringing in Ohio, as one of 12 children. He interviewed one each of Boehner's brothers and his sisters, as well as his high school football coach.
In a brief interview with the openly-gay former Army Lt. Dan Choi MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer gave her vocal support to his cause, hoping that the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends soon.
Brewer has covered the issue quite one-sidedly in the past on behalf of the gay rights side. She has hosted many gay-rights advocates on her news hour and has barely covered the other side of the DADT issue. Examples: here, here, and here.
Brewer was covering the ruling of a federal judge in California that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is unconstitutional. The judge has not yet issued a final ruling, but plans to do so in two weeks. Brewer's lone guest in the segment was Choi, an outspoken advocate and poster boy for the military gay-rights movement, who was arrested this past spring for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of DADT.
During the 3 p.m. MSNBC news hour Monday, anchor Chris Jansing asked the question and hosted an expert who supplied the seemingly desired answer. The question: Could President Obama make a mid-term comeback similar to President Reagan in 1982? The answer: Absolutely.
The two discussed the similarities of the situations faced by the presidents, and seemed to conclude that if the economy turns around, President Obama would almost certainly be re-elected.
It is a big if, but the short segment seemed quite focused on what would happen after the economy turns around. The two didn't bother to discuss what would happen if the economy continues to be stagnant, or takes a turn for the worse.
During the 10 a.m. ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Chris Jansing spoke with Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf Hanson about the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, who proclaimed: "I think there's a lot of fear....there has been a concerted effort by a certain segment. It's a very small minority, but their powerful and vocal, to demonize the Muslim community."
Yusuf was on to discuss his founding of Zaytuna College in California, the nation's first Islamic higher education school. However, Jansing introduced the segment by placing the college in this context: "...the [mosque] controversy prompted Time magazine to ask, Is America – if America is Islamophobic. A Time poll found that 46% of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against nonbelievers. And a small college in Berkeley, California, may become the new battleground in America's uneasy relationship with Islam."
After briefly discussing the college, Jansing turned to the mosque: "Do you understand the unease among many Americans, and we are seeing a lot of it come out with this mosque controversy?" After denouncing opponents of the project, Hanson defended the imam involved: "Feisal Abdul Rauf, who's the imam there, is an extremely gentle person and to frame him as an extremist means that the whole community is mad...these are people that have spent their life in interfaith dialogue..." Rauf claimed the United States was an "accessory" to the September 11th attacks during a September 2001 60 Minutes interview on CBS.