MSNBC

By Scott Whitlock | February 1, 2013 | 5:33 PM EST

Liberal anchor Chris Matthews on Friday stooped to new low, smearing John McCain as an "angry" Vietnam veteran who is having a "flashback." Resorting to the cheapest of stereotypes, the Hardball host attempted to explain why McCain so aggressively opposed Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense.

Matthews opened the show by sneering, "Why is John McCain so angry? Forty years after the Vietnam POWs came home, the most famous of them is angrier than ever." Regarding Thursday's congressional hearings, the journalist asserted that Vietnam "flashbacks must haunt still the mind and heart of John Sidney McCain." Dredging up the cliches of the unstable Vietnam veteran, Matthews declared, "...But I'm absolutely convinced we're watching a flashback." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 1, 2013 | 4:43 PM EST

When it comes to discussing religious objections to President Obama’s contraception mandate, MSNBC decided this afternoon that prominent feminist and liberal darling Sandra Fluke is the best person to comment.  Speaking with Tamron Hall on the February 1 NewsNation, Fluke appeared on MSNBC to hype, “the [Obama] administration's process of clarifying how women will have access to this important health care service."

Fluke, a Georgetown Law student who "testified" before a Democratic policy committee -- not a congressional panel contrary to popular belief -- became a recurring guest on MSNBC, and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year.  According to Politico, under the new policy announced by the Obama Administration [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here]:

By Matthew Balan | February 1, 2013 | 2:34 PM EST

On February 1, 2003, seven astronauts on board Space Shuttle Columbia died during re-entry as they returned to Earth from the STS-107 mission. Friday was the 10th anniversary of the disaster, but none of the Big Three networks morning newscasts marked this somber occasion.

ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and NBC's Today understandably devoted considerable broadcast time to the upcoming Super Bowl on Sunday. However, this coverage contained segments to frivolous, celebrity-driven stories that could have been whittled down to air even a mere brief on the anniversary of the tragedy. Here are examples from each morning show:

By NB Staff | February 1, 2013 | 11:03 AM EST

While liberal media outlets are slamming Al Gore for hypocrisy over selling his cable network to a Middle East oil magnate, one would "have every reason to not just criticize but condemn Al Gore for selling Current TV to Al Jazeera," because of a far greater reason. It is "a radical pro-Islamic enterprise that is regularly promoting anti-Americanism," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity on the January 31 Hannity program.

"Al Jazeera is owned by the emirate of Qatar" which is "openly endorsing and supporting [terrorist networks] Hamas and Hezbollah." In fact, the father of the late Daniel Pearl -- who was murdered by Islamists -- "is calling for a congressional investigation," Bozell noted. In spite of this, "national security has nothing to do" with the liberal media's outrage, "it's the stupid global warming argument!" [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]

By Mark Finkelstein | February 1, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

Sure, Chuck Hagel might have been a bumbling, stumbling mess at his confirmation hearing yesterday.  But the real story was how awful were the Republicans who questioned him.  That was the collective judgment of today's Morning Joe panel.

For example, so contemptuous was Joe Scarborough of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, that the Morning Joe host announced that he would not even mention him by name.  "Clown show" was the panel's operative phrase for the Republican performance.  Andrea Mitchell, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle et al. joined in the Republican roasting.  View the video after the jump.

By Scott Whitlock | January 31, 2013 | 6:17 PM EST

[UPDATED: Video added] MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday assailed John McCain, slamming the "boiling hatred" aimed at Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama's Defense Secretary nominee. Matthews sneered, "Hatred, pure and simple, seeped from the mouths of John McCain and Lindsay Graham as they slashed away at war hero Hagel." (McCain is also a war hero. Graham is a veteran. Are those with military experience only allowed to speak out if they agree with Matthews?)

Most ridiculously, Matthews whined, "Why can't politics be a matter of belief and honest disagreement, not hatred?" This coming from the man who has, more than once, compared his opponents to Nazis? This from a man whose show airs on a network that compared Rick Santorum to Stalin? The cable anchor ranted, "Badgering the witness is too nice a description of what went on today. The hawks swirled like buzzards sweeping down, pecking and pulling at the skin of a former colleague." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Mark Finkelstein | January 31, 2013 | 7:11 AM EST

On today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough said that a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women's Forum testifying in favor of assault rifles looked "like a jackass."

Gayle Trotter, who holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia and is the co-founder of a D.C. law firm, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.  She argued that having an assault rifle could help a woman defend herself and her children against intruders. Immediately after playing a clip of her testimony, Scarborough said: "if you go out and try to defend assault weapons, then you end up looking like a jackass." Mika Brezezinski agreed: "I'm sorry, but that's true."  View the video after the jump.

By Ken Shepherd | January 30, 2013 | 6:33 PM EST

It's a perilous proposition to insist that a long-dead historical figure would share your politics. It's doubly so when your documentary evidence is thin and you are twisting the proper meaning of the words in that supposed evidence. Take the case of MSNBC.com's Nick Ramsey, who insists that Abraham Lincoln would strongly disagreed with Justice Antonin Scalia that the U.S. Constitution is a dead document rather than a living constitution that can evolve outside the constitutionally-provided mechanism for such evolution: the amendment processes described in Article VII.

"This is an issue that constitutional experts have debated for years and years, but at least one president is firmly on the record on the issue. And this President is one often cited by conservatives, but he is not in agreement with Justice Scalia," Ramsey insisted, going on to quote Abraham Lincoln out of context and seemingly with a misunderstanding of a key word in the passage he cited. Here's how Ramsey dealt with that (emphases his):

By Matt Vespa | January 30, 2013 | 6:10 PM EST

Hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee held Newtown-inspired gun control hearings, MSNBC's Morning Joe program brought on former Playboy chairwoman and CEO Christie Hefner to warn that warmer weather in Chicago has been a contributing factor in the number of gun deaths in the Windy City.  "[W]e are having this climate change effect that is driving" young men in Chicago to commit 500 homicides in 2012 she insisted.

For his part, quasi-conservative host Joe Scarborough made no attempt to press Hefner on this outrageous claim, although he did mildly mock it. In doing so, however, he dismissed conservative bloggers with a lame stereotype:

By Jeffrey Meyer | January 30, 2013 | 5:07 PM EST

For the third time in the past year, NBC News has been caught selectively editing video for political gain, with the most recent instance coming on the Monday, January 28 Martin Bashir program.  Bashir ran heavily edited video showing Neil Helsin, whose 6-year-old son was killed in the Newtown shooting, appearing to be heckled by audience members during a legislative hearing on gun control. The chorus of criticism from media critics on the right and left forced MSNBC to backtrack, but not apologize.

On the Wednesday, January 30 Bashir program, liberal fill-in host Ari Melber of The Nation magazine offered this ridiculous explanation:

Martin and many others who saw Mr. Heslin's testimony have called that interruption heckling. Some disagree. He wanted you to hear it in full so you can draw your own conclusion.  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

By NB Staff | January 30, 2013 | 12:57 PM EST

On Monday’s edition of “Martin Bashir,” MSNBC ran footage of the testimony of Neil Heslin, the father of a Sandy Hook victim, in which it appears he is heckled by gun rights activists. MSNBC’s accompanying graphics box read “Mocked and Loaded. Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Heckled by Gun Rights Advocates.” In reality, Heslin was not heckled. He posed a challenge to the audience, and the audience responded. The MSNBC version deliberately cut out Heslin’s challenge to make it appear as though he was interrupted by heckling gun advocates.

"This is not how a legitimate, professional news organization operates," NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell complained in a statement released today. "MSNBC’s relentless anti-gun advocacy is bad enough, but this is downright dishonest. Time and time again NBC News has demonstrated why the American people can’t trust a single thing they say."

By Ken Shepherd | January 30, 2013 | 11:20 AM EST

Over the past two days, MSNBC has been busy bashing pro-gun rights advocates as craven ghouls in light of a video they insist shows the father of a child slain in the Newtown massacre as being "heckled" during official testimony. But a review of the full videotape testimony shows that, in fact, Neil Heslin was not heckled, but that a few spectators in the hearing room answered a question Heslin posed. Both conservative sites like Twitchy and liberal outlets like Slate have come to the conclusion that there was in fact no heckling.

So what is MSNBC doing now in response? Well, the liberal network is "reviewing" the video, Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple noted in a January 30 item posted this morning: