Wanted: Editor at MSNBC familiar with journalism ethics -- and willingness to ensure that "news" division adheres to them.
In the unlikely event such a hiring occurs, MSNBC political analyst Rachel Maddow would soon catch the attention of any ombudsman acting in good faith.
I have watched Maddow's television show on a regular basis since it started last September, and listened to her Air America Radio program for nine months before it ended last winter. What Maddow did this past Thursday was, bar none, the shabbiest spectacle I've seen by her and among the worst I can recall from anyone pretending to play a journalist on TV.
Last Wednesday, Keith Olbermann falsely compared statements Samuel Alito made during his 2006 Supreme Court confirmation hearings to the now controversial and seemingly racist remark Sonia Sotomayor uttered during a 2001 speech.
In her lecture to the Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
By contrast, Alito in 2006 talked about his background indeed impacting his decisions, but never said that would make him "more often than not reach a better conclusion than" women of a different race.
Olbermann, as he so often does with his agenda-driven drivel, missed this obvious distinction (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Former ad man turned pundit Donny Deutsch has proclaimed that "positivity" is the new in thing for the media—"the new black" as he puts it.
Deutsch appeared with Tom Brokaw on today's Morning Joe. The former NBC anchor was touting his new USA Network series, "American Character Along Highway 50," featuring encounters with "real Americans" he meets on the road.
Michael Calderone over at Politico has the scoop on CNN's fall from grace these days with cable news viewers. Reporting that "since Obama took office, CNN's prime-time audience had dropped sharply," Calderone gives us the grim details of CNN's struggle to keep it's audience.
The upshot of the story seems to be that CNN is being out liberaled by MSNBC. The hard-left programing of MSNBC seems to be drawing viewers away from CNN with CNN finding itself lately in the unfamiliar role of being considered the "centrist" network. This only shows how far left MSNBC truly is.
CNN is also alarmed that its top anchors, Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown, are floundering in the ratings.
After playing a clip of Rush Limbaugh charging Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with bigotry and racism, Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," implied Limbaugh was the racist as he asked a guest panelist Jeanne Cummings of the Politico, "Is this the pot calling the kettle black?" To which Cummings responded that the radio talk show host was going to "chase," all the Hispanics away from the GOP:
Well all I know is it's the worst nightmare for the Republicans, I mean they're trying to calculate whether they should vote against her, how aggressively they should try to sort through her record and challenge her during hearings. And with things like that, and all that calculation to try to keep Hispanic support, even as small as it's gotten for Republicans. Rush Limbaugh can chase ‘em all away in an afternoon with that kind of talk." [audio available here]
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the May 27 edition of "Hardball":
Until yesterday, liberal law professor Jonathan Turley was generally hailed by the leftwing blogosphere for speaking "truth to power." However, now that same group is attacking Turley for speaking truth to MSNBC. Chris Matthews probably thought Turley would support Sonia Sotomayor's nomination right after it was announced. If so, he was in for a big surprise as you can see in this video clip. The same video also shows Turley making the same critique with David Shuster...and taking a swipe at justice Thurgood Marshall as well. First Turley blindsides Matthews with his completely unexpected criticism of Sotomayor:
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," couldn't contain his excitement over Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor as he brought on David Axelrod to praise, to the White House advisor's face, the rollout of the Supreme Court nominee as he cheered, "It was a brilliant piece of work....it couldn’t have been done any better," and then later gushed that Barack Obama, "Wowed us!" with the pick. Matthews also claimed the only opposition to Sotomayor was made up of the "crazies," and "whack jobs," like Rush Limbaugh as Matthews told Axelrod "The only critics of this nomination with any kind of violence are that R.N.C crowd: Rush, Newt and...Cheney."
The following exchanges were aired on the May 26 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS TO AXELROD: You know since you fellows came to the White House I've been looking at the patterns, the, the team of rivals aspect of bringing Senator Clinton aboard as Secretary of State. The, sort of, the Reagan model of getting things done as quickly as you can because you only have so much mandate. And then I've looked at the Chicago model, which is to act as if there's only one governing party and then basically do warfare with the crazies out there,
Norah O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow can't seem to make up their minds. In the same segment, Maddow argues - and O'Donnell fails to question - that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was not picked as an affirmative-action nominee, and follows with the mystifying non-sequitur that opposing "the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice" would be politically damaging for the Republican party.
O’Donnell was interviewing Rachel Maddow (normally exiled to the prime-time wing-nut section of MSNBC programming, Maddow instead made an appearance just after three PM on Tuesday), and immediately served up a steaming dish of Rush Limbaugh controversy. In keeping with the liberal myth of Republican racism, Maddow immediately pounced:
Language always gives us away, George Carlin once observed. And it's blowing the cover from liberals unhinged by former vice president Dick Cheney getting the better of an off-balance President Obama.
Two recent examples -- the first, Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show on May 20 with Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff as one of her guests. Isikoff described an "off the record" meeting that day between Obama and his senior officials and representatives of civil liberties and human rights groups --
Just when you thought left-wing criticism of Dick Cheney had climbed over the top, it keeps reaching new heights.
Case in point -- New Yorker magazine writer Jane Mayer appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show May 15 --
MADDOW: We're trying to figure out the role of vice president Cheney's office here in part on the torture issue, the leadup to the invasion of Iraq. From your reporting, what can you tell us about what sort of interest Cheney took personally in the intelligence that was gleaned from these interrogations?
Are the Fox News Channel and MSNBC bad for America?
Such was implied on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday when host Howard Kurtz invited the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik, "USA Today Live's" Lauren Ashburn, and the BBC's Matt Frei on his program to discuss the "increasingly partisan nature of cable news."
By the end of the conversation, Ashburn said "[T]he bottom line is this is not good for society," and Zurawik agreed: "That's absolutely right...The effect on society and on this democracy of this angry, polarizing, bitter kind of putdown conversation is dangerous."
Not surprisingly, Kurtz and his guests didn't include CNN amongst the partisans, with the host making sure to regularly inform his audience that "CNN, by and large, tries to play things down the middle, with liberal and conservative guests taking each other on."
Despite the obvious bashing of competitors while falsely holding his employer up as the model of impartial journalism on cable, the discussion was actually quite interesting (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section begins at 11:44 with commentary to follow):
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has said a lot of disgraceful things in his tenure as "Countdown" host, but on Thursday evening, he attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney in a fashion that should make all of America's enemies both here and abroad proud.
To give you an idea of the level of hatred and invective on display, this was the opening sentence of Olbermann's "Special Comment" concerning Cheney's speech to the American Enterprise Institute Thursday:
Neurotic, paranoid, false to fact and false to reason, forever self-rationalizing his inner rage at his own impotence, and failure dripping from every word, and as irrational, as separated from the real world, as dishonest, as insane as any terrorist; the former vice president has today humiliated himself beyond redemption.
But that was just the beginning, for moments later, Olbermann said Cheney was "culpable, morally, ethically" for 9/11: "At best, you are guilty of malfeasance and eternally lasting stupidity. At worst, sir, in the deaths of 9/11, you are negligent."
What follows is a video of this abomination along with a full transcript, some lowlights, and videos of Cheney's actual speech:
Clarity can come from unexpected places -- even that unlikeliest of sources, MSNBC.
Such has been the case with a pair of recent guests on "The Rachel Maddow Show" who made a series of surprising statements -- albeit only in the context of MSNBC.
Example one -- Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, appearing on Maddow's show May 12 and criticizing Dick Cheney's assertion that harsh interrogation of captured al Qaeda prevented terrorist attacks after 9/11 --
WILKERSON: You'll notice that Cheney always says, seven and a half years or almost eight years, no terrorist attack and so forth. That's because he has the honor of being, or the dishonor of being the man on whose watch 3,000 Americans died. More Americans died from a terrorist attack under Dick Cheney's leadership, if you will, than any other president in our history.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) is the parent company of the major media conglomerate NBC Universal, which owns media outlets NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. At times that has led to the lines between corporate advocacy and journalism being blurred.
That was certainly the case when GE's CEO Jeff Immelt appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" May 20 to discuss the White House meeting of President Barack Obama's 16-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board headed by former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker.
Immelt used his platform at CNBC to make the case for a cap-and-trade program to curb emissions - something Obama has called for and one Congressional committee is debating this week.
MSNBC host Contessa Brewer derided Republicans for using the word socialist in reference to Barack Obama's economic policies on Wednesday, complaining, "Well, maybe they think Americans are a bunch of idiots." Speaking of an upcoming vote by the Republican National Committee over whether or not to label the current Democratic leadership as socialist-leaning, the "MSNBC News Live Host" worried, "Have we reverted to a bunch of junior high schoolers, 12-year-olds with the name calling?"
Of course, Brewer is on the same network that repeatedly, and gleefully, used the juvenile "tea bag" humor to describe Republican protests over taxes. So, this argument is somewhat hollow. Washington Post political reporter Perry Bacon talked to the host and tried to explain the GOP's anger towards the massive spending that has been going on in Washington. After Brewer played a clip of RNC Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday slamming Democrats, such as "Barney Frank, who nobody understands," the journalist could barely contain herself. She fretted, "Class and dignity. Was that it?"
Who did MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell feature to respond to Michael Steele's Tuesday speech about the future of the Republican Party? Chris Shays, the liberal, former Republican congressman with a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 44, appeared on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" to critique the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
After Shays insisted that Dick Cheney shouldn't be deciding who is and isn't a solid member of the GOP, Mitchell complimented, "Chris Shays, a good Republican." Responding to the Steele speech, Mitchell pontificated, "No mention of Dick Cheney. No mention of Rush Limbaugh. Is he [Steele] trying to move the party to a broader party, one that would include you? You were the last standing moderate from the northeast."
Chris Matthews, on the syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show" over the weekend, likened Dick Cheney's recent media appearances, to defend the Bush administration and to criticize Obama on national security policy, to Glenn Close's stalker character from the 1987 film "Fatal Attraction." Before playing a clip of the movie Matthews made the cinematic comparison: "Well some say Cheney's refusal to move on reminds them of Groundhog Day but you could also say it's like that more frighteningly relentless Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction.' Like Cheney she was not gonna be ignored." After playing the clip in which the Close character utters the famous quote, "I'm not gonna be ignored, Dan." Matthews then threw it to Newsweek's Howard Fineman:
MATTHEWS: Howard what do you think? Cheney? "Fatal Attraction?" What do make? Will not be ignored, this guy.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Ha, ha. Yeah, yeah I don't think he's going to boil the rabbit. Let's put it that way.
MATTHEWS: Or come out of that bathtub like that other scene in that movie! Everybody is gonna go see Fatal Attraction again.
The following is the full exchange as it was aired on the May 17 edition of "The Chris Matthews Show":
Instead of performing as an anchor, MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell became a liberal sparring partner to the Cardinal Newman Society’s Patrick Reilly on the network’s Thursday afternoon programming over President Obama’s upcoming commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. Invoking her Catholic upbringing, she used the common left-wing tactic to equate the Church’s unequivocal teaching against abortion with its skepticism of the death penalty, and asked if former presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan shouldn’t have addressed prior commencements for their support of capital punishment. O’Donnell also inquired as to why Reilly was “advocating a Catholic Church that advocates division” [audio clips from the segment available here].
Before introducing Reilly, the MSNBC anchor began the segment, which started 20 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, by reading recent poll numbers from Quinnipiac University which found that 60% of Catholic voters answered negatively when asked if Notre Dame should disinvite President Obama. She then turned to her guest and asked, “What’s your point? Why are you organizing this protest?” Reilly answered, “The protest has nothing to do with the president in particular. This is a concern that Catholics have had for decades now, that many of our Catholic institutions have lost a sense of Catholic identity, and Catholics are drawing a line in the sand, saying that the Catholic University of Notre Dame ought to be choosing those who it honors based on its Catholic principles and values.”
On the face of it, the idea of the government being able to regulate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere seems absurd. After all, it's a gas emitted by, among other things, human breathing.
That's the point Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was making when he criticized the new policy that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 - much to the chagrin of MSNBC "The ED Show" anchor Ed Schultz.
"The Republican from Texas, Barton has already made it clear he's one of Congress' biggest deniers on man-made climate change," Schultz said during his "Psycho Talk" segment on his May 13 broadcast. "Now he's got a new one. The Congressman spoke with Newsmax - there's a news source - on Monday. Now, based on his interview, if you were a runner, I'd be a little bit of nervous about your favorite sport."
Anchor Andrew Mitchell presented radical homosexual activist Dan Savage, most famous for licking doorknobs in the campaign office of Republican Gary Bauer in an attempt to infect him with the flu, as an expert on the Catholic Church and Catholic issues during her MSNBC program on Wednesday afternoon. She introduced Savage, who writes a graphic sex-advice column called “Savage Love,” as the “editorial director for Seattle’s weekly newspaper, The Stranger...political commentator and social critic.” Mitchell lead into her question about President Obama’s commencement address at the University of Notre Dame by stating that the editor was also “sensitive and very well aware of the cultural fault lines within the Catholic community.” She did not mention the Bauer incident during the segment, nor the fact that Savage is an atheist who thinks the Catholic Church is a “criminal organization.”
Mitchell had Savage on as a guest just before the bottom half of the 1 pm Eastern hour of her Andrea Mitchell Live program. She brought up President Obama’s upcoming commencement addresses at Arizona State University and Notre Dame as a topic, and how in the case of his speech at the Catholic school, “critics are taking issue with the president’s positions on gay rights, abortion rights, and stem cell research.” After giving her introduction of the “editorial director...political commentator and social critic,” Mitchell asked, “Why is Notre Dame, which has long, you know, had this tradition from Theodore Hesburgh on -- especially, you know, during the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, of being a broad tent -- why is the Notre Dame commencement so controversial this time?”
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer stated yesterday after pageant owner Donald Trump proclaimed Carrie Prejean would continue her reign as Miss California, that the controversy over her defense of marriage as one man and one woman "is a good jumping off point for a conversation about same-sex marriage, about hypocrisy."
Based on Brewer's softball interview with "celebrity gossip columnist" Perez Hilton, it's clear she does not want a conversation. She wants Prejean to apologize for her beliefs and to Hilton.
Update #2 (16:15 EDT):Greg Hengler of Townhall.com has video of the interview mentioned in my first update. He notes that while Brewer is hot under the collar, the student she talked to didn't seem to care that Obama was not receiving an honorary degree tonight.
Update (14:45 EDT): A few minutes ago Brewer pressed an ASU student for his thoughts on Obama not receiving an honorary doctorate. As usual, she was quite irate at the perceived snub.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer is bound and determined to maintain a grudge on behalf of President Obama against a university at which he's honored to give the Class of 2009 commencement speech this evening.
David Shuster, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on Tuesday's "Hardball," absurdly asserted that Dick Cheney "didn't know" about al-Qaeda before 9/11. After playing a clip of the former Vice President on "Face the Nation" stating that "On the morning of 9/12...there was a great deal we didn't know about al-Qaeda," Shuster ignored the "great deal," qualifier and insisted to his guests that somehow Cheney was clueless about the threat of the terrorist organization prior to 9/11. Shuster's guest, former Cheney aide Ron Christie, corrected Shuster, pointing out "that's one snippet taken out of context...Of course we knew about al-Qaeda," but that didn't stop Shuster from pressing his case as he claimed Cheney approved "torture," because he didn't know about al-Qaeda.
The following exchange was aired on the May 12 edition of "Hardball":
Former New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" to rail against the "crazy jihad" and "one-man...hate-fest" of Dick Cheney. Brown, who is now the editor of the Daily Beast website, trashed the former Vice President for constantly appearing on cable news programs to attack the current administration and for claiming that Barack Obama is making America less safe. [Audio available here]
After asserting that Cheney is about as popular as Pakistan's President, Brown sneered, "In some ways, I kind of admire this kind of crazy jihad, this one man, kind of, hate-fest that he runs on cable shows. I mean, I guess he feels he has to defend what he did." Remarking on the Vice President's claim during Sunday's "Face the Nation" that he prefers Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell, the liberal journalist mocked, "'Cause when he said on that show that Rush Limbaugh, rather than Colin Powell, was the face of the party, it was like once again, that huge, fat crazy frame fills the screen and becomes the face of the party."
MSNBC anchor David Shuster continued his outspoken disdain for anyone that supports traditional marriage. Directly after Donald Trump announced Miss California Carrie Prejean could keep her title on May 12, Shuster asked "Can I vomit?"
In a typical rant, Shuster repeated his criticism of Prejean:
"Can I vomit right now? I mean, literally. Can I vomit?" Shuster said. "Doesn't this represent everything that is wrong with the superficial nature of these pageants? I mean, she talked about how women can make a difference in the world. She lied. She avoided taking personal responsibility. She blamed others whether it's Perez Hilton or the photographer."
During Trump's press conference Shuster commented on his Twitter page, "Prejean, who got cosmetic surgery before the pageant, just spoke of ‘how women can make a difference in the world.' Absolutely revolting."
Once upon a time, the press was virtually obsessed with the “with us or against us” foreign policy stance of the Bush presidency. Pundits swung from rhetorical chandeliers, screaming that such a dichotomous approach would alienate the rest of the world - that our “arrogance,” as they called it, would thin our list of allies dramatically.
But that doesn’t seem to apply to the media when the matter is domestic policy and the viewpoint is socially conservative.
MSNBC host Contessa Brewer posted on her Twitter feed this morning:
The L.A. Times is reporting that CNN's star talker Anderson Cooper has seen his ratings in a steady decline all year. It's so bad that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is starting to gain on Cooper's numbers for the first time ever.
MSNBC is still at the bottom of the Cable barrel, but with Cooper's plummeting ratings, MSNBC is suddenly looking competitive.