After a pattern of attacking Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, on a nightly basis, one of the strategies is becoming apparent - MSNBC is in need of a boogeyman to give a face to the opposition of these radical steps being undertaken to fundamentally change health care in the United States.
So rather than attack where the opposition is wrong on a policy level, MSNBC "Countdown" fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell is going to apply one of the tactics from Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" to promote a dramatic shift in the U.S. health care system - "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
"In our number five story on the countdown tonight, the Congressional Budget Office finds that it would leave 18 million people uninsured and the government-run health insurance plan will probably charge consumers premiums that are quote, ‘Somewhat higher, higher than average premiums for the private plans,' end quote," O'Donnell said on the Oct. 30 broadcast of "Countdown." "This is a devastating conclusion for a plan being sold not just as a low-cost option for consumers, especially poor consumers, but as somehow driving private insurance premiums lower."
Yet another example of the folly of assigning liberals to guard duty.
Joining Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Thursday to vent about that pesky wabbit Joe Lieberman was Fire Dog Lake firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher.
Democrats wield considerable leverage over Lieberman, Hamsher opined, to keep him from joining a GOP filibuster of ObamaCare or punish him if he does --
MADDOW: ... I think you're right to point out that other senators sort of gently expressing their disapproval of his proverbial toplessness at this point is a bigger deal than it would be in the real world, that their words do actually sort of calibrate differently. But what leverage can they really bring to bear on him in order to get him to get in line?
Noted Dick Cheney-basher Chris Matthews, on Thursday's "Hardball," finally found an area of common ground with the former Vice President – his endorsement of moderate Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison over Rick Perry in the Texas governor's race. However, even a bit of praise from the MSNBC host came with a vicious shot, as Matthews sneered, "You might think an endorsement from Dick Cheney would be like a dinner invite from Uday and Qusay Hussein, but not in Texas."
After making the comparison to the brothers who infamously tortured Iraqi athletes for losing on the field, Matthews went on to ponder: "Can the torture man boost her backing from conservatives in beating secessionist governor Rick Perry?" [audio available here]
The following Matthews outbursts were aired on the October 29, "Hardball":
But Maddow, on her Oct. 28 show, was able to merge the two topics in an attack on Fox Business Channel's John Stossel. Stossel recently came from ABC as a host of "20/20" to host a weekly opinion show on the Fox's business channel. But in Maddow's infinite wisdom, Stossel's participation in AFP activities somehow taints him.
"But first, one more thing about health reform and its politics," Maddow said. "Last week, we reported that Fox News contributor and soon-to-be Fox Business Channel [sic] host John Stossel will be headlining protest rallies against health reform staged by Americans for Prosperity, the lobbying group which refuses to disclose donors while rabble-rousing about the dangers of government-forced health care."
Mika justified her nanny-state proposal of a tax on fatty foods by saying eating habits are not a matter of personal choice because others must bear the health care cost. Finkelstein's response: kill two birds with one stone by getting government out of the health care business.
Regarding the White House war on Fox News, Finkelstein observed that the White House should know its strategy has backfired when the likes of Helen Thomas and Dan Rather have defended Fox.
Mark complimented Mika on exposing the 99 44/100ths liberal environment she experienced at CBS, but chided her for denying that the network has an agenda. A discussion of the MSM media bubble ensues.
Update [Ken Shepherd, managing editor]: Scarborough responds via Twitter, insisting he was joking [see more at bottom of post]. Video embedded to the right.
Joe Biden is the "greatest Vice President of our time."
No, dear reader, I have not lost my marbles. I'm merely citing MSNBC's token quasi-conservative Joe Scarborough, who said on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe":
We understand that Joe Biden's numbers are going down, which I think is just stupid because all he has done is – I mean, he's become, in a couple of short months, the greatest vice president of our time.
Not content to allow his credibility to go down in flames alone, Joe took the rest of the Brew Crew with him:
Ever since long-time radio talker Don Imus inked a deal with the Fox Business Network to simulcast his morning radio program, he said he has been getting pushback from several acquaintances.
And as he explained and showed on his Oct. 28 program, he's not particularly pleased with the reaction about his deal with Fox News.
"I get this email and the e-mail says, ‘Sorry to see you've sold out to Fox Business, or whatever. But I am not surprised you sold out to Fox Business, disappointed.' Could you explain to me exactly what does that mean? When you walk in the door here, Roger Ailes or Neil Cavuto or what's the other fat guy's name? Kevin McGee? Not the other fat guy, that was unfortunate."
Mike Allen has dumped on Doug Hoffmann's candidacy. Again. Yesterday, as noted here, Allen said Republicans would be "crazy" and "suicidal" to support the conservative in the special congressional election in New York's 23rd CD. Today, Politico's chief political correspondent has claimed that a Hoffman victory would spell "chaos" in Republican ranks.
And check the video for Mike Barnicle making an elitist crack about the upstate NY district, and Chuck Todd trying to embarrass RNC Chairman Michael Steele . . .
Kudlow, referring to the Oct. 26 broadcast of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," which featured Rep. Barney Frank, perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader and the host Ed Schultz, noted all the participants were left-of-center. And in the appearance, Frank made a pitch for the expanded role of government and argued the only reason people opposed it was because they were disillusioned by the government for its failures during the Bush administration, specifically dealing with Hurricane Katrina.
Want to be noticed by any one of the hosts that have a primetime show on MSNBC's weeknight lineup? Just figure out a way to make Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. the subject matter, and there's an excellent chance either Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow will take a shot at it, or her, during their shows.
In the Oct. 25 Washington Post, George Will penned a column about Bachmann, outlining her ascendancy into the national spotlight, which told of her start in politics and how she grew to become reviled by the left. And it was just a matter time before one of the charming personalities on MSNBC made some sort of remarks about the column, albeit two days later. That came on Olbermann's Oct. 27 "Countdown" broadcast.
How enraged is Keith Olbermann with Joe Lieberman for announcing that he would filibuster a health care bill that contains a government-control provision? Enough that, without presenting any evidence whatsoever, the Countdown host has slyly implied that Lieberman might be on the take from insurance companies in his home state of Connecticut.
You had to listen carefully, but Olbermann slipped the scurrilous suggestion into his diatribe against Liebermann on tonight's Countdown.
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," invited on former Cheers star Woody Harrelson to promote his new movie, The Messenger, and also talk Afghanistan war policy. The Zombieland actor announced that he was opposed not only to the war in Iraq, but also to the fight in Afghanistan as he compared it to Vietnam and advised that Barack Obama should "pull those troops out," to which Matthews chimed: "It doesn't look like he's pulling out. He's not gonna follow the recommendation of Mr. Woody Harrelson it looks like...although he might be better off doing that." [audio available here]
The following is the relevant exchange between Matthews and Harrelson as it was aired on the October 27 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this, the war. I mean we’ve got two wars going now, one that hopefully is settling down, we’re coming home next year from Af-, from Iraq. But the other one looks like we might be beefing up. Your feelings about it?
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," mocked former President George W. Bush making his debut as a motivational speaker as he laughed it off as a "Halloween prank, you know like toilet-papering somebody’s house." After taking that jab Matthews proceeded to castigate Bush as "the man who got this country into two wars that feel like Chinese handcuffs right now," and determined Bush's legacy will be as the "reason" people voted for Barack Obama.
The following outburst was aired during the "Sideshow" portion of the October 27 edition of "Hardball":
Here's something you don't see every day: a far-left media outlet calling out one of the far-left's heroes to defend one of the far-left's most hated conservatives.
Yet that's what happened a few weeks ago when Air America's editor of news and politics took on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann for sexist and misogynistic comments he made about conservative author Michelle Malkin.
As NewsBusters' Brad Wilmouth reported on October 13, Olbermann on "Countdown" that evening called Malkin "a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
Air America's Megan Carpentier was quite displeased at this sexist display (h/t NB reader Joseph McMahon):
Mike Allen might not be a Republican political strategist, but he tried playing one on TV today, telling the GOP it was "crazy" and "suicidal" to be supporting Doug Hoffman over Dede Scozzafava in a special congressional election in northern New York.
Politico's chief political correspondent offered his unsolicited advice on today's Morning Joe.
Give Ed Schultz credit for something: on his MSNBC show this evening, he hosted an amusing smackdown between Barney Frank and Ralph Nader, perhaps the two most morose public men in America. For once, Barney was attacked from the left. The gist of Ralph's rebuke was that Frank hasn't gone far enough in regulating the financial industry.
Frank was finally so provoked that he claimed/admitted that when it comes to regulation, Democrats are "trying on every front to increase the role of government."
Slam dunk, or nothing-but-net three-pointer? Either way, with a line he got off today, Chuck Todd has surely scored some points in the battle over Pres. Obama's all-male White House basketball games.
The NBC News political director/chief WH correspondent took his shot while discussing the issue with Andrea Mitchell—whose sympathies were clearly with the distaff side—during the 1PM hour slot on MSNBC today.
I rise today in defense of bacon, as well as consuming hamburgers on Independence Day. And, most importantly, in defense of my mother's awe-inspiring pot roast.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, wants the government to make these classic American foodstuffs, as well as soda, alcohol, and being overweight, cost more. I apologize in advance for the long length of the transcript snippets – while Brzezinski is pontificating by reading the ‘New York Daily News’ editorial, the rest of the Brew Crew is making fun of her.
No, really [emphasis mine]:
BRZEZINSKI: Some people actually cares about their health, so I'm going to read that for those people. [reading] "A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration by Governor Paterson, among others."
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Sunday ridiculed ABC's Charles Gibson for his ignorance concerning last month's ACORN controversy.
As NewsBuster Tom Blumer reported September 15, when Gibson was asked that morning by a Chicago radio host about the Senate's decision to cut ACORN's funding over the organization's growing scandal, the ABC "World News" anchor didn't have a clue.
With this in mind, as the Roundtable discussion on Sunday's "This Week" turned to recent White House attacks on FNC, Ingraham used the Gibson incident as an example of how "of all the networks, Fox was going to hold the administration the most accountable...That's why they don't like Fox News" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Can you believe it, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow joked with Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater -- George W. Bush, along with George H.W. and Laura Bush, have been lined up as speakers at Get Motivated! seminars.
The conversation on Maddow's show Tuesday night dripped with condescension, as if to say -- what losers!
Not surprisingly, both Maddow and Slater neglected to mention something that many viewers, even Maddow fans, might consider newsworthy -- the younger Bush is the sixth former president snagged by Get Motivated! to speak at their popular seminars.
Fortunately, this oversight was duly corrected by Maddow's first guest the following night -- Get Motivated! co-founder Tamara Lowe. Here's how the conversation went --
Big shock here - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow agrees with the White House, which is the Fox News Channel is not really a news organization.
Sarcasm aside, on her Oct. 23 MSNBC program, Maddow attempted to justify the Obama administration's tack over recent months with Fox News. She laid out a series of events over the past few days that indicated an escalation of the feud between Fox News and the White House, specifically an effort to exclude Fox News from the White House pool.
"Well yesterday the White House said that Fox would not be among the networks invited to interview Ken Feinberg in one of these round-robin pool interviews and the other networks came to Fox's defense," Maddow reported. "They said they would bow out of interviewing Mr. Feinberg's themselves unless Fox was included, so Fox was included."
Is Chris Matthews feeling pressure to keep up with the Olbermanns when it comes to flinging invective at conservatives? On this evening's Hardball, discussing Dick Cheney's statement—-made at a dinner at which he received an award—that Pres. Obama is dithering on Afghanistan, an apparently incensed Matthews spluttered [unexpurgated in the original]:
"What G--D--- award . . . are they giving these guys?"
Throughout the previous administration, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann would nightly attack President George W. Bush and members of his administration and regularly bash some conservative personalities for being too cozy with Bush.
However, when he and his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow engage in the same brand of coziness, meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this week, it's no longer an indiscretion. Instead, it becomes justified - since Bush did it. Olbermann appeared on the Oct. 23 "The Rachel Maddow Show" and he and Maddow responded to critics. Maddow asked him to respond to particular comments from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, now a Fox News contributor, that there would be an outcry had the Bush administration committed something similar.
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
Is there no depth MSNBC's Chris Matthews won't sink to?
Judging from a truly disgraceful comment he made on Thursday's "Hardball," the answer has got to be a resounding "NO!"
Chatting with guests Frank Gaffney and Ron Reagan Jr. about conditions in Afghanistan, Matthews ended a really heated discussion between his guests -- which included the former scolding, "Your father would be ashamed of you," and the latter responding, "You better watch your mouth about that" -- by disgustingly saying (video embedded below the fold, h/t NB reader Kirk Wikoff):
Rush Limbaugh has responded to Barack Obama's claim that Fox News is like talk radio by stating that if the President is right, MSNBC and CNN are pornography.
As NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein reported Thursday, Obama replied to a question about Fox News from NBC's Savannah Guthrie on this morning's "Today" show: "[I]f media is operating basically as a talk-radio format, then that's one thing, and if it's operating as a news outlet, then that's another."
This amused Limbaugh who early in his own program Thursday said (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer bigtimer):
Keith Olbermann's recent cheerleading for the Obama adminstration's attacks on Fox News is in stark contrast to how the "Countdown" host felt about the Bush White House criticizing NBC last year for questionable editing done in a "Today" show report.
As NewsBusters' Geoffrey Dickens reported on May 19, 2008, NBC aired a piece that morning which "seemed to blame all of the Middle East's problems on the President's policies."
Later that day, White House counsel Ed Gillespie sent a letter to NBC President Steve Capus accusing the network of deceptively editing answers Bush had given during his interview with Richard Engel "to give viewers the impression that he agreed with Engel's characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it."
Two days later, Olbermann made Gillespie one of his "Worst Persons in the World" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
MSNBC anchors David Shuster and Tamron Hall on Thursday lashed out at a speech Dick Cheney gave that was critical of Barack Obama, speculating on whether the Vice President is of a "rational, healthy mind." Attempting to attack the Bush administration’s handling of Afghanistan for eight years, News Live co-host Tamron Hall dismissed, "Is it selective amnesia?"
Shuster and Hall seemed particularly upset over Cheney’s speech on October 21 where the Vice President accused Obama of "dithering" on an Afghanistan strategy and also being "afraid" of making a decision. Talking to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, Hall bristled, "As a woman, of course, I read in all kinds of machismo with this language, you are afraid to come out with a decision, almost taunting there."
The liberal Shuster could barely contain himself. Commenting on Cheney’s frail physical condition, he taunted, "What do you think he is after here, assuming that he is of some sort of rational, healthy mind?"