MSNBC

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 18, 2013 | 4:45 PM EDT

Lawrence O’Donnell apparently has absolutely no shame. Speaking on his MSNBC program The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday night, O’Donnell asserted that the National Rifle Association's (NRA) successful lobbying efforts in Congress were hindering the federal criminal investigation in the Boston Marathon bombing.

In his opening monologue, O’Donnell absurdly thundered that the “NRA's effort to guarantee that American mass murderers are the best-equipped mass murders in the world is not limited to murderers who use assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”  O’Donnell’s vitriol did not stop there. Instead, he doubled down claiming that the NRA is, “in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes.”   [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

By Mark Finkelstein | April 18, 2013 | 9:13 AM EDT

Oh irony, oh hypocrisy!  Joe Scarborough opened today's Morning Joe by singing the praises of NBC's Pete Williams for not jumping onto the story that other news outlets were reporting yesterday that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing.  Scarborough condemned journalists "far more interested in getting it first than getting it right."

But mere minutes later, Scarborough rushed to accuse former Republican congressman Chris Cox of "lying" in his role as NRA spokesman, and said he was ashamed of him. If Scarborough had taken a moment to research the matter and get it right, he would have realized he had the wrong Chris Cox.  The NRA spokesman is not the former congressman. Scarborough grudgingly admitted his mistake about an hour later in the show.  View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 18, 2013 | 7:42 AM EDT

In the health-care insurance debate, one of the mantras of the left is to condemn those evil, greedy insurance companies that would charge higher rates to people with "pre-existing conditions."

But in a commercial aired on last night's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, there was "Progressive Insurance," whose chairman Peter Lewis is a huge donor to liberal causes including Moveon.org, condemning as "rate suckers" people with bad driving records who drive up good drivers' rates!  View the video after the jump.

By Paul Bremmer | April 17, 2013 | 1:02 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Alex Witt told a whopper on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt while chatting with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The senator was on to discuss the gun control bill that he and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa) have authored. Manchin used the on-air opportunity to beg viewers and fellow senators to support his bill, and he found at least one willing supporter in the host who was interviewing him. At the end of the interview, Witt told him, “I don't often weigh in with my personal opinion, but I'm behind you 100 percent. Good luck.

There’s really not much to say here. I think most of us recognize that it’s wrong for a news anchor to voice her support for a senator’s initiative on-air, especially on a topic as controversial as gun control. But Witt tried to excuse her bias in this instance by pretending she doesn’t usually give her own opinion. Perhaps she thought viewers would be more likely to forgive her if they believed her bias was rare. Bias is bias, no matter how often it happens. And Witt, like many MSNBC anchors, certainly has a history of weighing in with her own opinion.

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 17, 2013 | 9:43 AM EDT

The media’s irresponsible speculation regarding the perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Boston seems to continue on MSNBC.  Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on April 16, fill-in host Thomas Roberts brought on Harvard’s Jessica Stern to make predictions about who might have initiated the terrorist attack on April 15.

Stern began her segment by saying that the kind of bomb used in this attack was published in an al-Qaeda magazine before launching into her speculation that the far-right may be responsible:

By Scott Whitlock | April 16, 2013 | 5:02 PM EDT

MSNBC featured author Adam Lankford on Tuesday to wonder about the "message" of the Boston bomber. Was it to "complain about abortion, about taxes?" The guest, labeled a "MSNBC analyst," guessed, "This did happen on tax day in Boston, the place of the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

He continued the reckless speculation: "Or are they trying to protest, you know, foreign wars or something?" Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, has written a book on what makes suicide bombers and rampage shooters do what do. He theorized, "The interesting thing is, this is someone on a stage trying to make a statement and that statement has been lost."

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 16, 2013 | 3:11 PM EDT

It seems as though The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel should take her own advice in saying that tragic events like the terrorist attack in Boston on April 15 should not be politicized.  Appearing on MSNBC’s Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 16, Ms. vanden Heuvel managed to contradict herself within mere seconds.

Speaking with liberal host Alex Wagner and TheGrio.com’s Joy-Ann Reid, the left-wing commentator appeared to at first make a reasoned call for patience in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, insisting that:

By Paul Bremmer | April 16, 2013 | 2:26 PM EDT


Former congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) went on MSNBC this morning to react to yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. In a shameless moment of advocacy, Frank used the tragedy to make a political statement about revenue and the size of government. Considering that this happened on MSNBC, you might expect the host to condone the congressman’s liberal activism, but anchor Thomas Roberts actually called Frank out for his despicable attempt to politicize this tragedy.

Early in the interview, Frank stressed that none of us know much about who and what were behind this event as of yet. So the former congressman turned to what he does know how to do – attacking his ideological opponents:

By Matt Hadro | April 16, 2013 | 12:59 PM EDT

Former Democratic congressman Barney Frank shamelessly used the Boston Marathon atrocity to promote his liberal political agenda on CNN and MSNBC on Tuesday morning, yet only MSNBC called him out for "making political hay" of the bombing.

"I would say this is a terrible day for our society, but a day when I hope people understand the centrality of having a government in place with the resources," Frank argued on CNN's Starting Point. "No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive." Yet co-host John Berman didn't admonish him for railing against tax and budget cutters less than 24 hours after the bombing, but instead offered some diplomatic praise of his words.

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2013 | 11:22 PM EDT

With all the buzz surrounding Jeff Zucker taking over the reins at CNN, it appears to be sister station HLN making a ratings move.

In the week ended April 12, HLN - formerly known as CNN Headline News - bested both CNN and MSNBC in total viewers and in the all important demographic aged 25 to 54.

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2013 | 6:46 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported earlier, MSNBC's Chris Matthews seems hell-bent on trying to blame the Boston Marathon bombing on a domestic terrorist, preferrably a conservative one.

After saying shortly into his Hardball program, "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right," Matthews later asked his guests if Tax Day had something to do with the event since it doesn't mean a "whole lot to the Arab world or Islamic world or the, certainly not to al Qaeda" (video follows with transcript):

By Scott Whitlock | April 15, 2013 | 5:55 PM EDT

Just hours after explosions rocked the Boston Marathon on Monday, Chris Matthews speculated, "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right." He then reconsidered and suggested, "...That’s not a good category, just extremists, let’s call them that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

During live coverage, the Hardball host highlighted a possible explosion at John F. Kennedy's presidential library and thought this could be a personal attack on the Democratic Party: "...But going after the Kennedy Library, not something at Bunker Hill, not something from the Freedom Trail or anything that kind of historic, but a modern political figure of the Democratic Party. Does that tell you something?" (Police are now considering the incident at the JFK library to be fire-related.) One can only guess what it tells Chris.