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?
On Thursday’s Countdown show, as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann hosted fellow host Rachel Maddow to plug a segment on her show about pro-life Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak’s push to block any ObamaCare proposal that involves taxpayer funding of abortion, Maddow charged that Stupak was being "cowardly" in focusing his pro-life attention "targeting" poor women who "won’t fight back or can’t fight back because they don’t have the resources."
Maddow’s contention came as Olbermann – ignoring the political reality that not only does an individual Congressman have little if any influence in a President’s choice of Supreme Court nominees, but that even mustering a two-thirds vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade by constitutional amendment would be nearly impossible in any Congress, let alone an overwhelmingly Democratic one – tried to undermine Stupak’s moral authority on abortion by suggesting the Michigan Democrat was not willing to "fight that fight in the open."
MSNBC's Nancy Snyderman attacked Catholic bishops on Thursday for opposing abortion funding in the health care bill, agreeing with the President of NOW that the IRS should investigate them. The "Dr. Nancy" host also complained, "This is going to be a Pollyannaish statement. The Catholic bishops appearing and having a political voice seems to be a most fundamental violation of church and state."
Terry O’Neill, the President of the National Organization for Women, quickly concurred: "You know, that's the first thing that I said. I don't know where the Internal Revenue Service is, but I hope they're paying attention." Snyderman responded, "Me, too." Watching this segment, a viewer could be confused as to who was the leader of a left-wing feminist group and who was the supposedly neutral cable anchor. (It should be pointed out that NOW is a non-profit group and has a tax exempt component to its organization. Should the IRS go after them?)
Snyderman repeatedly allowed O’Neill’s hyperbolic statements to go unchallenged. She absurdly claimed that the amendment by Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, which prohibits funding for abortion in the health care bill, "essentially overrules Roe V. Wade."The MSNBC host said nothing. When O’Neill frothed, "It's not acceptable to change health care for America while sending women off into the back alleys to die," Snyderman again stayed silent.
On last night's "Rachel Maddow Show", the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh commended President Obama for taking the reins in Afghanistan. Hersh stated that Presidents must decide their own war strategies. But in the early stages of the war in Iraq, Hersh was a leading critic of similar actions by the Bush administration. Hersh's hypocrisy suggests he is more concerned with the political implications of military policy than strategic ones.
"Lincoln did not let McClellan write a report on how to win a war against the South," Hersh told Maddow, in reference to Gen. George McClellan, initially the top general for the Union during the Civil War. Hersh was offering a historical perspective on why Presidents should not rely on military commanders to form strategy--McClellan was a disastrous general, after all (video embedded below the fold).
Here is the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notables Quotables show, featuring the liberal media’s most outrageous sound bites.
In this week’s episode we have Chris Matthews wondering what’s wrong with a quick phone call to terrorists, Matt Lauer worried about America getting a big head, and Actor Scott Wolf revealing the inspiration behind his role as a sell-out journalist in a new TV series.
Enjoy the show and to see current and past episodes in a larger format, visit the ‘Notable Quotables Show’ channel on the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.
Leave it to that bastion of grace and class that waxes poetically on a nightly basis about the wrongdoings of Republicans or conservatives ad nauseum known as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann to do Lou Dobbs resignation from CNN up just right.
Olbermann on his Nov. 11 "Countdown" broadcast honored Dobbs 30-year CNN career by naming him his "third worst person in the world."
"The bronze to Lou Dobbs, who tonight, as of tonight, has just quit his CNN show," Olbermann said.
Although it isn't quite clear why Olbermann decided to bestow that honor upon Dobbs, if for no other reason than for his decision to resign, Olbermann cherry-picked portions of Dobbs resignation speech from the Nov. 11 broadcast of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and even ad-libbed in his comments (actual transcript of Dobbs here).
"The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill," MSNBC's Chris Matthews flatly declared on the November 10 "Hardball." Matthews fumed with disgust as Politico's Jonathan Allen told him that Catholic bishops lobbied Democrats to pass the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care reform bill last week.
"I understand the [pro-life] argument" that the bishops brought to the table, Matthews added, but huffed that they should not "show up" on the Hill.
After the commercial break, Matthews took to the air again to clarify that it was not in fact bishops but staffers with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who lobbied the Democrats. Such a distinction, he insisted, was important.
MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan anchored a segment on Tuesday’s Morning Meeting that worried about the "far right" and wondered whether "super conservatives" are alienating "GOP centrists." The host hyperbolically spun, "But are the super conservatives of our country careening the GOP toward the edge of irrelevance, leaving centrists Republicans fighting for control of their own party?" Later, his colleague Contessa Brewer inadvertently referred to Florida conservative Marco Rubio as the "great white hope." (Mr. Rubio is Hispanic.) [Audio available here.]
Ignoring the fact that the Republican Party actually won impressive victories in last week’s gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Brewer then cited liberal columnist Paul Krugman as an expert on the faltering Republican Party. Not identifying Krugman as a leftist, she touted his comparison of the California GOP as an obstructionist "rump" and quoted, "If this happens to the country as a whole, the country could become effectively ungovernable."
As Brewer discussed the Club for Growth and their endorsement of failed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in a New York congressional race, MSNBC graphics underlined the liberal alarm. One read, "Are Super Conservatives Alienating GOP Centrists?" Another declared, "Far Right Fights Health Bill." (MSNBC doesn’t often worry about the "far left.") Brewer, who on October 21 confused Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, made another verbal miscue on Tuesday.
On Monday's Countdown show, responding to Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour's recent contention on NBC's Meet the Press that President Obama has personal popularity -- based partially on being the first black President -- that is separate from the unpopularity of Obama's policies, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann labeled Barbour's words as "incoherent," and charged that President Obama is in reality a "target of racism from the right." Olbermann:
But it was Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour who had perhaps the most incoherent read, explaining that Obama, the target of racism from the right, remains popular not because of his policies, but in a Donovan McNabb way, because of his color.
During a discussion with MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, Olbermann also suggested that "Barbour knows that members of his party hate the President for being a black Democrat," as he posed a question to Wolffe about Republicans being in denial about their party's unpopularity and the meaning of the 2009 elections. Olbermann:
Of all the things that might give you comfort in the wake of Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage, where would you rate the news that the military's commitment to "diversity" endures? Down there, dare I guess? Ah, but you're probably not part of the MSM elite.
Chrystia Freeland is. And on today's Morning Joe, the Financial Times editor did indeed announce that she was "comforted" by that very fact of the military's unflagging devotion to diversity.
Joe Scarborough countered Chrystia with a tough question. And--sacré bleu!--Mike Barnicle, not normally an NB fave, made some very blunt and on-target observations . . .
On his Nov. 9 broadcast of "Hardball," in an interview with Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Matthews compared the incident of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan at Ft. Hood to Sirhan Sirhan's 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
"You know, I have a hard time with this because people like Sirhan Sirhan, who is still serving time for killing Bobby Kennedy, didn't like what Bobby Kennedy had said on television," Matthews said. "Bobby Kennedy had made political statements saying we're going to sell arms, fighter planes directly to Israel, not under the table. We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Those are the things that triggered his killing spree. He killed one person - Bobby Kennedy, horrifically. But did he become a different religious person because he committed the crime? And when did this happen?" [Audio: Part I here (925 KB), Part II here (1.18 MB)]