"For the record, our third story is neither ridiculing nor disputing [Sarah Palin's] religious beliefs. It is purely an attempt to discern exactly what those beliefs constitute, so that the voters of 2012 know exactly what they`re getting."
Such was amazingly uttered by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Tuesday night.
Bear in mind that we are almost three years away from Election Day 2012, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle don't believe former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is going to run for President then.
Regardless, the "Countdown" host actually spent over five minutes examining -- and, contrary to his assertion -- ridiculing her religious beliefs.
In fact, the disparagement began right from the get-go with how Olbermann described the object of his disaffection (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Life was hell under Bush. But hang in there: things'll get better under Obama.
Class dismissed: that's really all you need to know about the latest Time cover story—The Decade From Hell And Why The Next One Will Be Better. But just to drive home the Manichean message, Time editor Rick Stengel and Andy Serwer [of Time stable-mate Fortune], who wrote the cover story, appeared on Morning Joe today.
Of course there's the inconvenient detail about Barack Obama having been elected in this decade. But not to worry. Serwer suggests we "see Barack Obama being elected as the beginning of the next decade."
FNC host Glenn Beck on Tuesday cited a NewsBusters article in his attack on all the television news outlets that have boycotted the growing ClimateGate scandal.
As NewsBusters reported earlier in the day, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC have completely ignored last week's bombshell story about controversial e-mail messages between some of the world's leading global warming alarmists.
By contrast, Fox has been all over this issue.
With this in mind, Beck used the NewsBusters piece to demonstrate that much as in their boycott of the ACORN scandal and green jobs czar Van Jones's peculiar associations, the television press are once again hiding important information from the public hoping it will all just go away (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Apparently MSNBC's Chris Matthews doesn't want Catholics involved in the political process at all - especially when it comes to abortion. Earlier this month the "Hardball" host declared "The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill." Last night, he accused Thomas Tobin, bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, of "telling public officials how to set public policy," "stepping beyond moral teaching," and "basically assuming an authority" because the bishop requested that Rhode Island Democrat Rep. Patrick Kennedy not take communion due to his support for abortion.
Matthews' based his accusations on a portion of a speech on religion delivered by then Sen. John F. Kennedy in which he stated:
I believe in an America that is official neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source, where no religious body seeks to impose its will, directly or indirectly, upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.
Bishop Tobin briefly responded that the Church does not want to "dictate what the public policy should be in the United States from a purely Catholic doctrinal point of view," but "what [it] is trying to do, most of all, is instill good human values but also have Catholics who are in political office be faithful to the dictates of the Church and the dictates of their conscience and the teachings of the Church."
The Obama administration has another reason to hate Fox: it appears to be the only national television news outlet in America interested in the growing ClimateGate scandal.
Despite last Friday morning's bombshell that hacked e-mail messages from a British university suggested a conspiracy by some of the world's leading global warming alarmists -- many with direct ties to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- to manipulate temperature data, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC through Monday evening have completely ignored the subject.
LexisNexis searches indicate that NPR appears to also be part of this news boycott.
By contrast, here are some of the stories news organizations apparently favored by the Obama adminstration have covered since ClimateGate broke:
Tina Brown is the very avatar of elite MSM opinion. So when the Daily Beast creator, late of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, derides Sarah Palin as ignorant, it's safe to assume she's expressing a view harbored in many a liberal media breast.
On today's Morning Joe, while admitting a grudging regard for her appeal, Brown claimed Palin's confidence is based on "total ignorance."
Hosts Joe Scarborough [who last week took his own shot at Sarah's smarts] and Mika Brzezinski, if not precisely leaping to Palin's defense, did respond with some skepticism.
On today's Morning Joe, Larry O'Donnell called the Roman Catholic bishop who barred Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) from taking communion a "political hack."
Interestingly, Mika Brzezinski had a totally different take, arguing the controversy was not about the Church but about Kennedy publicizing the matter in a play to his base. Though Bishop Thomas Tobin sent his letter to Kennedy more than two years ago, its contents didn't come to light until Kennedy recently revealed them to a Rhode Island newspaper.
A major charitable event is happening in Little Rock, Arkansas, Saturday, and former Bill Clinton apparently will not be in attendance because MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has politicized it on his "Countdown" program.
As Arkansas News reported hours ago, "Nine hundred people or more will get free medical attention from noon to 7 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center."
Unfortunately, according to the liberal website FireDogLake, Clinton has decided not to attend as a result of some of the things Olbermann has done on his program related to this event (h/t Hot Air):
You could call it progress in media bias. For years, liberal journalists have blamed Team Bush for the death of hundreds in Hurricane Katrina. The major media found that theme of fatal incompetence simply irresistible. Time’s Michael Grunwald, who has written in-depth articles and a book about the Army Corps of Engineers, is bringing the focus back to long-standing government policies over decades.
But even Grunwald is using harsh language that Time magazine would usually disparage as talk-radio bluster. He said "Hurricane Katrina was a man-made disaster. And some of us have been screaming about that for several years...those of us who have followed this -- you know, we‘re angry about the Army Corps killing 1,000 people."
The occasion to revisit Katrina came from federal District Judge Stanwood Duval, who ruled in favor of plaintiffs who sued the federal government for compensation over hurricane damage. Duval charged the Army Corps with "monumental negligence" in its maintenance of a man-made shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet:
At the top of Friday’s Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews discovered the reason for President Obama’s political difficulties in recent months: “President Obama has his chin out on just about every hot issue out there....He’s exposed and vulnerable. His poll numbers are dropping. Is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egg head?”
Later in the show, Matthews talked to Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein and USA Today’s Susan Page about Obama’s great flaw. He began by wondering: “I’m not attacking intellectuals because I do appreciate their contribution – but when politicians begin to get a little too intellectual, they lose connection with the American people....I begin to think this administration’s getting almost like one that you would imagine Adlai Stevenson running. Highly ethereal, highly intellectual, egg head. Not connected to real people and their emotional gut feelings about things.”
Page agreed and pointed out: “...there are many strengths to the Obama administration, but they’ve got an awful lot of people who went to Ivy League schools, which is great, but you also need some people who went to big state colleges.” Luckily, Page found an ‘average Joe’ in the administration: “Vice President Biden’s been the target of some fun, he is maybe the only voice in that inner circle that reflects that kind of big state school mentality.”
Talk show host Dick Cavett, whose TV show went off the air in 1982, appeared on MSNBC, Friday, to trash Sarah Palin as a "know nothing" and someone who has "no first language." Mostly, however, he seemed interested only in talking about himself, prompting News Live host Norah O’Donnell to chide, "Dick, this segment is about Sarah Palin, not about you, Dick." [Audio available here.]
John Harwood, New York Times writer and CNBC contributor, co-hosted and kicked off the segment with this condescending question: "Let me ask you what you make of the Sarah Palin phenomenon and, in particular, the argument that some people make, well, she might not be a good President, but she'd be a good talk show host. You think so?"
Cavett clearly wanted to bash Palin, but he really wanted to tout his own brilliance and a column he wrote for the New York Times over a year ago: "The subject is a dear one to me because I wrote a notorious, apparently, column about Sarah Palin called the Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla for my Times Online blog. And, you know, it is interesting. When you are quoted for something you said on the air, it's one thing. But, when they quoted something you wrote, it is pleasing in a different way."
Citing a Democratic congressman who recently proposed a no whining day, on Friday’s Morning Meeting on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan asked: “...unemployment, health care, a couple of wars, Americans got plenty to be frustrated about these days...But some people say stop the whining....Is ‘shut up and deal’ the new American mantra?”
Ratigan made that question the topic of discussion for the ‘Trend or Talker’ segment near the end of 9:00AM ET hour of the show with correspondent Contessa Brewer and Financial Times U.S. managing editor Chrystia Freeland. Ratigan explained: “...the congressman, by the name of Emmanuel Cleaver, wants to declare the day before Thanksgiving complaint-free Wednesday.” He wondered: “Worthy proposition?”
Brewer replied: “Yeah, absolutely. Here you get a two-fer. No complaints on Wednesday and Thursday gives you something to be grateful for.” Freeland enthusiastically agreed with the idea: “I think the no whining day is a fabulous idea....What they say in preschools, you get what you get and don’t get upset.”
H/t MRC's Jeff Poor. I urge people to read the blog entry that Jackie Seal, the impressive young lady that O'Donnell confronted, has written about her experience. Not only does it provide fascinating background material about just what a set-up O'Donnell devised, it also catches Norah out in a fib.
As you'll note from an earlier update at the foot of this item, after O'Donnell began catching heat for her stunt, she went back on the air to defend herself. Among other things, responding to charges she had confronted a young girl, O'Donnell twice claimed that her interview subject "voted in the last election."
Just one problem: Jackie informs us that she is . . . 17. Maybe Norah got confused with ACORN voting standards, but 16-year old conservatives [the age she would presumably have been at last year's election] don't go to the polls.
Have a close look at the screencap [larger image after the jump]. Notice what MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell is holding in her left hand? Those are notes, with factoids from the 2008 presidential campaign. She's reading from them to challenge a Sarah Palin supporter who was waiting in line at the book signing yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We all remember how back during the '08 campaign, MSM reporters would challenge people attending Obama rallies with uncomfortable truths about their candidate, along the lines "would you still support him if you knew he had the most liberal voting record in the Senate?" Or not. I certainly can't remember any MSMer confronting an Obama supporter in such a way.
But let people line up to express their admiration for Sarah Palin . . .
The attacks on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took an interesting turn Wednesday when MSNBC's Chris Matthews suggested that racism is at the heart of her support.
Much like mainstream media coverage of this year's Tea Parties, Matthews and "Hardball" guests Norah O'Donnell and Salon's Joan Walsh made an issue of how "white" the crowd was at a Palin book signing event in Michigan.
"This is a largely white -- almost no minorities in this crowd," reported MSNBC's O'Donnell live from the scene.
Matthews reiterated, "Well, they look like a white crowd to me," later claiming, "I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing, in other words, white vs. other people."
Walsh added, "I think you`ve got that same kind of paranoid tea party, maybe even birther crowd that talks about the Constitution, without really understanding what they are talking about" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Greg Hengler via NBer Thomas Stewart):
MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Joe and justified reducing the number of women in their 40s who get mammograms. "No, it is rationing. Let's be clear," she admitted.
Confusing private actions by American citizens and the government, the Dr. Nancy host compared, "But, you ration what food you eat. You ration how much sleep you get. And this is saying we should question about how we spend our health care dollars." Of course, the government doesn’t control how much food and sleep Americans get.
Host Joe Scarborough made the same point, though he didn’t seem so cheery about rationing: "You talk about the death panels. Forget the death panels. This is rationing, saying, 'Okay, we could do this. We could save some lives. It's just not worth the money.'"
One of the media members who made the disgusting term "teabagger" popular did a victory lap Tuesday after the New Oxford American Dictionary declared the epithet a finalist for its 2009 Word of the Year.
Like a child giggling as he tries to say "truck" with his fingers in his mouth, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was not only visibly pleased with himself as a result of this announcement, he also used the occasion to juvenilely offer his tiny "Countdown" audience numerous double entendres in perverse celebration.
The following makes one wonder if THIS is what the White House considers REAL NEWS (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Hot Air):
Chris Matthews got together with the Politico's Jeanne Cummings and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page to look down their collective noses at the concept of Sarah Palin as a writer on Tuesday's Hardball, with Matthews even questioning the former vice presidential candidate's mental state as he pondered: "Is this delusion here?" After playing a clip of Barbara Walters' interview with Palin, in which Palin says of a possible talk show hosting gig that she'd "rather write than talk," the MSNBC host called the idea "daffy," and Cummings giggled, "It's all illusion and delusion. Smoke and mirrors everywhere!" while Page insultingly interjected, "Well Chris don't forget...she was a journalism major. That's what she got her degree in. So I suppose in...her head she's...still a writer who just hasn't written in a while." [audio available here]
The following exchange was aired on the November 17, edition of Hardball:
Rachel Maddow wants you to stop referring to Nidal Hasan as a terrorist. Please. You know what short fuses they have.
Responding to Republicans' condemnation of Hasan's actions as terrorism, Maddow furrowed her brow and played devil's advocate, as befitting an honorary member of the al Qaeda Legal Defense Foundation --
MADDOW: Remember this one? Yes, it is the old paint-the-Democrats-as-soft-on-terror routine. But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democrat greatest hit, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking -- was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer. And the charges today didn't include anything related to terrorism.
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, presumably picking up on a posting by the far left ThinkProgress.org -- one of his regular sources of information to attack conservatives -- made the arguably inaccurate claim that FNC political analyst Bill Kristol had on the Thursday, November 12, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, called for Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan to be convicted and executed without trial. After calling the FNC analyst's words "anti-American," and quoting a portion of Kristol's words, Olbermann lectured:
But seriously, the men and women that this man killed – however you define him – those men and women of the U.S. military, Mr. Kristol, were fighting for the right to trial, due process, justice. Thanks for spitting on the dead of Fort Hood, William Kristol, today’s “Worst Person in the World.”
Only four days after airing faked photographs purporting to be of Sarah Palin wearing a bikini and holding a gun, MSNBC hosts on Tuesday decided they were qualified to fact check the ex-governor of Alaska. Contessa Brewer chided Palin’s new memoir: "But can this book really be classified as fact, fiction or a little of both? Okay, so here is a bit of fact-checking."
Brewer, who was part of the Morning Meeting segment on Friday that also featured a doctored photo of Palin’s head on the body of someone wearing a black mini-skirt, delighted in mentioning John McCain aides who disputed the book. "One, in fact, called it pathetic score settling," she announced. The MSNBC graphic hyped, "Palin Book: Fact of Fiction?"
Of course, much of the brief "fact checking" piece amounted to Brewer recounting how Palin said one thing and ex-McCain aides said something else: "In another part of the book, Palin claims she was pushed into risky network interviews including that rocky one-on-one with Katie Couric. McCain's former campaign says that is a fabrication." Brewer breathlessly explained that "McCain aides deny ever forcing Palin or her family to dress up in designer clothes." These are not examples of "fact checking." They are simply accusation swapping.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter looked on Tuesday at MSNBC hosts pushing Team Obama from the left. Stelter stuck to supportive sources who believe they apparently have ideological integrity and independence where Fox News has none. They claim to have little contact with the Obama White House, but the staff there love how they’re supposedly "progressive but not partisan." Stelter explained:
It is certainly reaching the White House. Anita Dunn, the departing White House communications director, calls Mr. Olbermann and Ms. Maddow "progressive but not partisan," and in doing so, distinguishes them from Fox News, which she considers a political opponent.
The MSNBC hosts, she said in an e-mail message last month, "often take issues with the administration’s positions or tactics and are never shy about letting their viewers know when they disagree."
After airing what she described as a "hard-hitting" ad by the Center for Reproductive Rights which ominously warned, "Don't let Congress ban abortion coverage millions of women already have," MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman today lamented to Politico's Jeanne Cummings that with Sen. Ted Kennedy gone, Democrats lack a unifying figure who could defuse an abortion battle that could mar Democratic unity on health care reform.
Snyderman praised the late pro-choice politician as a "man of his church and of his faith" (MP3 audio here):
Well, now the Catholic Church is lobbying hard to get House language into the Senate bill and then hopefully get it passed. Politico's assistant managing editor Jeanne Cummings wrote about this. And she joins me now.
MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan apologized on Monday for using photoshopped images of Sarah Palin firing a gun while wearing a bikini. The pictures, which were first brought to light on NewsBusters, appeared during a November 13 segment on the former governor and also included a doctored photo of the Republican in a black mini-skirt.
The Morning Meeting host explained, "I want to apologize to Governor Palin and all of our viewers. On Friday, in a very misguided attempt to have some fun in advance of Sarah Palin's upcoming book Going Rogue, our staff mistakenly used some clearly photoshopped images of Ms. Palin without any acknowledgment."
Calling the use of such faked images "unacceptable," Ratigan continued: "We should have never used those photos in the first place and you can rest assured we spent the weekend and Friday afternoon taking measures to make sure it will never happen again. I apologize."
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday called Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin idiots.
In his disturbed view, the former Alaska Governor wrote a simpleton's book that would still be difficult reading for the conservative talk radio host.
While subbing for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown," O'Donnell belittled Palin's "Going Rogue" as an "index and footnote free, score settling campaign memoir" possessing "[no] mind numbing charts or graphs, no big words, no scholarly Latin phrases, like caveat emptor."
"And I bet the pictures are, like, amazing," said O'Donnell after claiming Limbaugh would "[struggle] to get through" it (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon, file photo):
Remember those free health care clinics MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow played up back in October after Olbermann's hour-long "Special Comment," about Republican opposition to ObamaCare and/or PelosiCare?
Well, now it's time for their brand of AstroTurf to be put into action. On MSNBC's Nov. 13 "Countdown," fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell raised the issue about the potential opposition Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., might have over the current health care legislation being debated in the U.S. Senate. And, Landrieu so happens to represent Louisiana, the site of one of Olbermann's politicized free health care clinics.
"Republicans, in a new ad, are targeting conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana for indicating she might, might, allow health care to come up for up or down vote on the Senate floor," O'Donnell said.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Video of this interview now available.
Outgoing White House communications director Anita Dunn on Friday praised the "fact-checking investigative journalism" skills of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart while she pushed back against any suggestion MSNBC was at all biased.
For those that have forgotten, this is the same Administration official who a month ago said Fox "is not a news network."
The following is a partial transcript of an interview Dunn did Friday with Bloomberg's Al Hunt (h/t Washington Times):
This sort of thing an actual journalist would have flagged as dubious, but not Rachel Maddow.
On her MSNBC show this past Monday, Maddow and guest Jeff Sharlet, an author and contributing editor at Harper's Magazine, were talking about the so-called Stupak amendment in the House health bill to prevent weakening of the ban on federal funding of abortion.
Here's how the revelant portion of the conversation went --
MADDOW: Let me ask you about some of the other conventional wisdom here because the sort of conventional explanation for this is that this anti-abortion amendment to health reform resulted mostly from the Catholic bishops pressuring Catholic politicians to support it. But I know that you think that it's bigger than that. Can you explain why?
SHARLET: Well, exact-, I think it's unfair to Catholics, I think it's unfair to evangelicals. First of all, most of the press has focused on Catholics despite the fact that a number of the congressmen involved in this are not Catholic, including Congressman (Joseph) Pitts, R-Pa. (co-sponsor of amendment with Bart Stupak, R D-Mich.), including Congressman (Heath) Shuler (D-N.C.) who you mentioned. And frankly the majority of American Catholics are pro-choice. That's not true of the majority of American evangelicals.
On Friday's edition of Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan featured fake photos of Sarah Palin during a mocking segment on why Americans are fascinated with the former vice presidential candidate. While listing the show’s top ten reasons, Ratigan showed a doctored photo of Palin’s head on the bikini-clad body of a woman holding a weapon.
The host never admitted or addressed the fact that his network was passing off counterfeit pictures to his viewers. Earlier in the segment, Ratigan displayed an image of Palin in a short, black mini-skirt. This photo is also not real. MSNBC should immediately apologize for presenting such false information.
It's important to remember, several hosts on the network, including Chris Matthews, have mocked Fox News host Sean Hannity for taking video images from the 9/12 rally and then portraying the footage as from a more recent tea party event. After it was brought to his attention, Hannity apologized on Wednesday. How long will it take MSNBC?