It's not often I hear three jaw-dropping claims in the course of a single day.
On "The Rachel Maddow Show," this can happen in a matter of minutes, especially when author Ron Suskind is the guest.
Suskind appeared on Maddow's MSNBC program on April 22 and wasted little time making dubious assertions stemming from the Senate Armed Services report that questioned the legality of al Qaeda interrogations --
NBC Universal and its networks have been criticized for the global warming alarmism it parades on a regular basis. However, now the criticism is coming from its own affiliates.
Prior to its April 26 airing on MSNBC, shows on NBC had been promoting the first part of the climate special "Future Earth" - an MSNBC program that used computer animation to show the possibilities of a polar icecap melting. That prompted Bill Steffen, a meteorologist for NBC's Grand Rapids, Mich. affiliate, to call out MSNBC for that special.
On Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter seemed to take turns reining in each other’s conspiracy theories as the two discussed the latest on former Vice President Cheney’s request for the release of classified information regarding the results of waterboarding al-Qaeda detainees. Alter charged that former Vice President Cheney is attacking President Obama’s national security policies so that his own popularity will be "resurrected" if there is another 9/11-style attack, as the Newsweek editor called Cheney’s behavior "sick":
It`s the former Vice President who is becoming a forlorn and, I think, soon to be even further disgraced figure. But this is his bid for resurrection. Because what he is betting on – and this is the sick thing to me, Keith – is that if there's another attack that he will then be back as a huge and important figure who predicted that this would happen if we stopped torturing. And this is his bid for historical resurrection.
Olbermann assumed Alter was charging that Cheney desires another 9/11 attack for his own benefit, and actually seemed to halfway defend Cheney, prompting Alter to clarify that he did not actually think the former Vice President was hoping for another attack, but he also contended that it was "not a very patriotic thing to do" for Cheney to call President Obama "weak":
At a time when Americans increasingly aren't buying into the theory of anthropogenic global warming according to a recent Rasmussen poll, NBC and its cable news network MSNBC are bringing out the big guns to slow the rise of that mentality down.
On NBC's April 26 "Today," anchor Lester Holt previewed his special "Future Earth: Journey to the End of the World," slated to appear on MSNBC on the night of April 26. According to the preview shown by Holt, the TV special is remarkably similar to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," forecasting several doom-and-gloom scenarios.
"With the Arctic possibly ice free as soon as the summer of 2013, the world will warm even faster as the Arctic's waters absorb the sun's rays rather than being reflected by ice," Holt said. "The result unfortunately might bring on a doomsday scenario befitting a Hollywood disaster film. But this will be no movie - the likelihood of super storms picking up strength from warming ocean waters, oceans on the rise."
All men lead lives of quiet desperation, according to Thoreau. Suffice it to say the observation would not remain among Thoreau's best known unless there was truth attached.
Then there are men like Ed Schultz, exuding blustery angst from every pore and hardly aware of it.
With news last month that he would host a cable television show on MSNBC, Schultz reacted like he was walking on air, and deservedly so. MSNBC's dorm-room politics aside, not everybody gets a platform like this to express his or her views. Anyone given such an opportunity can be justifiably proud and Schultz came across that way.
But as ratings have plunged for Schultz's television show -- described by Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer -- Schultz has become toxic.
Separating personal feelings from straight-up journalism is something MSNBC anchors have had trouble with in the past, and David Shuster is no exception.
During MSNBC's daytime news coverage on April 24, Shuster interviewed Bill Himpler of the American Financial Services Association. The discussion was nominally about the legislation sponsored by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), designed to freeze credit card rates, it became more about Shuster's view that credit card companies are gouging their customers. Throughout the four-minute interview, Shuster threw out anti-business questions and occasional hyperbole.
"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough on Thursday attacked misinformation spread by a guest during a segment on the previous day's "Hardball." Ex-CIA agent Bob Baer appeared on Chris Matthews' program on Wednesday to claim that no information was gained from waterboarding and that using the practice on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed left the terrorist "almost brain dead." Scarborough derided this kind of comment as "vomit[ing] out bad information" and later apologized if people were confused by Baer. [Audio available here]
Scarborough quoted a memo by National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair asserting that "high value information" came from waterboarding. This appeared to be a way of educating Baer and, in what sounded like a warning to his MSNBC colleagues "anybody else that books Bob Baer." Scarborough went further and offered an apology that, one would assume, would have to be on the behalf of not just Baer, but also his own network. Looking right into the camera, the host empathized, "AndI only say this, because this is the information that gets out on TV and in the newspapers and in magazines and I can understand why Americans are confused and I apologize that people are giving you bad information."
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann mocked Ronald Reagan as "dead," and called him a "lousy President." After reading a quote from Warren County, Ohio, commissioner Mike Kilburn proclaiming his intention not to use any of the federal stimulus money, citing Reagan’s famous line that "government is the problem," Olbermann shot back: "Uh, Commissioner Kilburn, Reagan's dead and he was a lousy President."
The MSNBC host also slammed moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson as the day’s "Worst Person in the World" because the Nebraska Democrat dared to lump Olbermann and fellow MSNBC liberal Rachel Maddow in with conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, as Nelson charged that both conservative and liberal hosts spread misinformation to their viewers.
Olbermann, who has a history of repeating incorrect or distorted information on his show, and who also once depicted an image of Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, charged that Limbaugh "supports racism and encourages violence," and that FNC’s Glenn Beck "makes up stuff," as the MSNBC host indignantly answered Nelson: "Thanks for the opportunity to tell you you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I am fed up with this equating of what we do here to circus performers like Limbaugh and the Fox crowd. We don't make up stuff like Beck does, we don't stalk people like O'Reilly does, we don't support racism and encourage violence like Limbaugh does, we don't recite talking points like Hannity does."
An overly eager Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's "Hardball," actually raised the prospect of prosecuting George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over the CIA interrogation memos as he pressed Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "But how do we do it? Under what law do we go after them?" To which even the liberal Schultz initially balked, as she tried to rein in Matthews: "Well I think we need not to get ahead of ourselves Chris." However Schultz, after Matthews continued to push, relented and gave the MSNBC host a response more to his liking as she warned: "There is no one that is above the law in the United States of America."
Of course if Matthews really wanted to pursue all of those who approved of waterboarding that list would also have to include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to a December 9, 2007 Washington Post story Pelosi along with other Democrats, in September 2002, were given "a virtual tour" of the "CIA's overseas detention sites," shown interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, "But on that day, no objections were raised."
The following exchange was aired on the April 22 edition of "Hardball":
Apparently viewers are getting tired of the cutsey, smugness that is Rachel Maddow, and not just a few of them either. Ratings for the already low rated Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC have shown a steep decline recently, falling from a high of 1.9 million viewers to "slightly over 1.1 million."
Naturally, MSNBC President Phil Grifin is putting on the brave face calling Maddow a "rock star" and that Maddow is a "great success." He told the L. A. Times, "We've never had success anywhere near that in our 12-year history at 9 p.m. right out of the gate."
General Electric held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, and attendees apparently were very upset with the increasing leftward tilt of MSNBC.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, during the question and answer phase of the meeting, shareholders repeatedly brought up the company's far-left leaning network, and often had their microphones turned off as a result.
Here are highlights from the THR report (link loading slowly due to appearance at the Drudge Report):
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Lamestream Media The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
"MSNBC News Live" host Norah O'Donnell on Wednesday dismissed the tea party rallies that took place across the country last week as "top down" and not organic, prompting a complaint from a Republican strategist over the network's coverage. The discussion arose during an interview with GOP strategist Karen Hanretty and a Democratic operative over the leadership of the Republican Party.
After Hanretty asserted that the tea parties were an example of grass roots conservative leadership, O'Donnell retorted, "Karen, what was organic about the tea party protest? Those were not from the ground up." She went on to label the nationwide events "top down," which prompted Hanretty to quip, "No. I know MSNBC likes to promote that those were top down, but that's not the case at all." (MSNBC hosts were relentless in their attacks on the the parties. Most famously, "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann on April 16 talked to actress Janeane Garofalo, who deemed the demonstrations racist.)
April 17 marked the 13th annual "Day of Silence," a gay rights protest event sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) that takes place in schools across the nation. Of course, gay groups can afford to be silent for a day, because they have the mainstream news media to speak for them.
"Day of Silence" is, according to the event's Web site, "a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools ...the event is designed to illustrate the silencing effect of this bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT."
Predictably, the media covered this year's event in a positive manner, leaving little room for discussions of it as an indoctrination tool pushed on students by gay activists. And they certainly didn't report that the LGBT community and its allies don't have a problem with "name calling, bullying and harassment" when it's directed against people who disagree with them.
How is it that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow toiled for years as a student before before earning a doctorate in political science at Oxford -- yet managed to avoid studying the American Civil War?
How else to explain Maddow's commentary last Thursday in response to tea party protests nationwide against dubious tax policy and runaway government spending?
Here's what Maddow said in previewing an upcoming segment --
Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, appears to have his sights set on higher office. What is higher office if you're already governor in Texas? Of course, that would be president of Texas. The return of Confederacy in American politics as seceding from the Union comes back into Republican fashion.
Yeah, I laughed too -- "Republican fashion"? Those pundits at MSNBC make the darndest claims, don't they?
On Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Mitchell hosted two liberal guests in a discussion about President Obama’s national service program and the prospects for more gun control laws being passed by Congress in the near future. Speaking to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mitchell repeated a grossly inaccurate statistic that 90 percent of guns used by Mexican drug cartels are manufactured in the U.S. Mitchell: "Mr. Mayor, first to you, why not go after the assault weapon ban, as President Calderone in Mexico is calling for? Ninety percent of the weapons used in the drug cartel crimes south of the border are said to have originated in the United States."
But, as previously documented by Mike Sargent, FNC's William LaJeunesse reported on April 2 that 83 percent of guns recovered from Mexican drug cartels are not from the United States. Most of these weapons are never submitted to the U.S. for tracing because they are clearly not American in origin.
After Bloomberg advocated passage of an assault weapon ban, but later indicated that almost all those killed using guns each day are killed using "illegal handguns," Mitchell did not take the opportunity to challenge the Mayor on just how much impact an assault weapon ban could have if such guns are are so rarely the weapon of choice by criminals. She then moved on to set up New York’s Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy to promote the passage of more gun laws. Mitchell: "And, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned Virginia Tech, Columbine anniversary was yesterday. Only weeks ago, we had the killings of police officers in Pittsburgh and in Oakland. Congresswoman McCarthy, is there any chance that something will be done in Congress? And also the gun show loophole which is sitting out there?"
The Dick Cheney-obsessed Chris Matthews opened Tuesday's "Hardball," by taking umbrage with the former Vice President's criticism of Obama declassifying CIA interrogation memos, as the MSNBC host compared Cheney to "The Empire," in Star Wars and called him "The Bush administration's tail gunner, manning his burp gun with that same nasty look we recall from the war comics." Matthews went on to wonder if Cheney's outspokenness was a good thing for the GOP as he questioned, "If the Republican Party really wants to be branded right now as the party of tax cuts and torture?"
Matthews didn't waste any time getting to the Cheney bashing as seen in the following intro to the April 21 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: The Empire Strikes Back! Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight. Clash of civilizations. Two different views of the universe out there right now. That's what's at war in Washington today. The dark view of Dick Cheney that sees no shame in brutal interrogations. Indeed refuses to blame America for anything. That against the new view of Barack Obama that America does best in the world when it upholds a moral standard and admits past failings.
On Friday’s Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity challenged former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw to speak out in response to Janeane Garofalo’s recent tirade on MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on Thursday, a screed which seemed to have Olbermann’s approval as he appeared to agree with her accusations of racism against Tax Day Tea Party participants.
During a discussion with FNC’s Kimberly Guilfoyle and conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, Hannity addressed Brokaw as he introduced the clip: "I want to address this specifically to Tom Brokaw. Tom Brokaw, are you proud of this?"
Then played a portion of Garofalo’s comments:
JANEANE GAROFALO CLIP #1: You know, there is for more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right to them, and then it doesn't make sense, which – let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about.
KEITH OLBERMANN: That's right.
GAROFALO: They don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging red necks.
Here’s a quick informal poll:Who has heard news of Russia’s recent troop buildup in the South Ossetia region of Georgia?
Most of our readers would immediately think of the Russian invasion of that region last summer, during the presidential contest, but the Russians are arguably saber rattling again with a fresh buildup of boots on-the-ground ahead of planned NATO exercises.
Last August, the media coverage immediately took the angle of breathless anticipation on how each presidential candidate would react to such a situation.John McCain’s position was easily established from his record over many years in the Senate.Then-Senator Obama’s position was much more difficult to ascertain – but the media gave him ample time to figure it out, helping the candidate defer those questions to the September 26 debate.In fact, a good example of such activism was shown in the Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland, who in his August 31 op-ed insisted:
"MSNBC News Live" host Contessa Brewer on Monday speculated as to whether the liberal-leaning Meghan McCain could become "the voice of the Republican Party." Brewer, who was talking to Washington Times reporter Christina Bellantoni about the daughter of the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, ignored the fact that Ms. McCain has admitted she supported Democrats John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000. [audio available here]
Instead, referencing the 24-year-old blogger'sspeech to the Log Cabin Republicans on Saturday, Brewer queried, "...Is it time for the Republican Party to be more inclusive of people from all different orientations?"She then asked Bellantoni, "...We talk about Limbaugh, Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, is it possible Meghan McCain becomes the voice of the Republican Party?" How bizarre is it that Brewer was asking if a woman who supported Gore and Kerry, and spoke to an organization of gay Republicans that refused to endorse George W. Bush in 2004, will one day lead the GOP? (In her latest Daily Beast blog, McCain attacked the "creepy" Karl Rove.)
When American citizens assert conservative principles, as they did last week with the tea party protests, it has a strange effect on liberals. They get angry. Some get in touch with their inner Beavis and Butthead, giggling endlessly over lame sexual innuendo. Some, like Rolling Stone political reporter Matt Taibbi, just get downright misogynistic.
In a blog post on tax day, Taibbi sleazed conservative writer Michelle Malkin, who supported and wrote about the tea parties. “I have to say, I’m really enjoying this whole teabag thing,” Taibbi wrote. “It’s really inspiring some excellent daydreaming. For one thing, it’s brought together the words teabag and Michelle Malkin for me in a very powerful, thrilling sort of way. Not that I haven’t ever put those two concepts together before, but this is the first time it’s happened while in the process of reading her actual columns.”
Taibbi then paused to slime Ann Coulter (“When you read Ann Coulter, you know you’re reading someone who would f*** a hippopotamus if she thought it would boost her Q rating.”) before really turning on the charm.
Despite all the criticisms of the Fox News Channel broadcasted on MSNBC for promoting tea party coverage, one thing hasn't been pointed out - how the NBC networks, including CNBC and MSNBC are given a pass for their shameless promotion of their Green Week and Green is Universal network events.
Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large for National Review and author of "Liberal Fascism," appeared on Fox News Channel's April 18 "Fox News Watch" and commented on FNC's promotion of the tea parties, but the double standard of MSNBC's criticism of Fox News.
"I think that there's a perfectly legitimate criticism against Fox for not so much the coverage, but the commercials, you know - promoting the coverage, which was in effect advertisements for these things," Goldberg explained. "But, this was all transparent, people knew that's Fox was doing. But let's flashback to what GE, to pick up a point that Jim [Pinkerton] made - that GE basically issued a fatwa to NBC for Green Week, where they did hundreds of hours of environmental messaging in all of their dramas, news coverage, "Today" show - throughout the network and it was all hailed as a wonderful progressive thing. That is a much more pernicious promotion than anything Fox did."
Count CNN's Lou Dobbs amongst the likely millions of Americans disgusted by Janeane Garofalo's vitriolic attacks Thursday when she claimed the previous day's Tea Parties "were about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."
On his radio program Friday, Dobbs took issue with the actress, comedian, and activist, referring to her as a "nasty piece of business," " a one woman, you know, hate event," and "an appalling human being."
Dobbs also pointed fingers at the network responsible for this disgraceful broadcast, MSNBC, for thinking "their responsibility as a media is to be a conduit for the Obama administration. They think they are the bastion of the, the 21st century socialistic thought. They're as left-wing as it can get, and they apparently are hell-bound to be the conduit for the Obama administration, the venue for left-wing politics and zaniness in this country."
The audio of Dobbs' marvelous monologue is available here courtesy our friend Johnny Dollar, with a transcript below the fold (h/t Jeff Poor):
During an appearance on Friday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews certainly didn't parrot the liberal line while discussing Fidel Castro and Cuban policy. In the midst of a an interview with host Joe Scarborough about the relaxing of certain rules towards the communist country, Matthews growled, "...I just am not a Castro fan. You know, he bought the wrong ticket. He bet on communism. He bet on the Soviet Union." Just getting warmed up, the "Hardball" host derided, "He made the wrong decision, morally, historically, whatever. He's on the wrong side of history. He ought to pay for it." [Audio available here.]
Making himself very clear, Matthews summed up, "I hope he dies a communist, ends up that way. I don't want to lift a finger to help that guy or his brother." In perhaps a sad commentary on the state of the left, both Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski seemed surprised at their colleague's fervent anti-communism. Responding to the whole riff, Scarborough joked about a conservative analyst for the network: "Have you been talking to [Pat] Buchanan this morning?" Brzezinski retorted, "I know. Is Pat in the Washington bureau?"
Is this the new politics Barack Obama promised to bring to Washington? His hand-picked DNC Chairman just went on national TV and denied that the Obama administration requested Georgetown University to cover up the IHS monogram representing the name of Christ. Confronted with a CNSNews.com article flatly reporting that such a request had indeed been made, Tim Kaine resorted to the hoary dodge of claiming he hadn't seen the story. Adding insult to injury, Kaine even claimed to be ignorant of CNSNews.com itself, NewsBusters' sister organization.
Kaine made his credulity-busting claims during a Morning Joe appearance today.
During last year's election campaign, liberal media members treated Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin with a hatred most Americans had never witnessed from the press.
On Thursday's "Countdown," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and his guest Janeane Garofalo defamed fellow citizens who attended the prior day's Tea Parties with the same vitriolic contempt.
Garofalo actually called Party-goers "a bunch of teabagging rednecks," adding "this is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."
But that's just the beginning, for what Olbermann and Garofalo engaged in Thursday evening is amongst the most vile, hate-filled attacks on average American citizens ever conveyed on national television by so-called journalists. Please brace yourself (video embedded below the fold with transcript corrected from closed-captioning, h/t NBer Jeff Fuller):
Has "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough had enough of MSNBC's mocking, sexually-laced taunts about "teabagging?" Several anchors on the liberal cable network, including David Shuster and Rachel Maddow, have used crude references and language to deride the tax day protests that occurred on Wednesday. On Thursday, Scarborough complained, "You look at these huge rallies, and I'm not going to mention names of people on networks that made sexual jokes, childish sexual jokes, about tens of thousands of Americans who went out and wanted to get involved in their government."
The MSNBC host continued, "I mean, it was really middle school jokes being made. I didn't hear those jokes being made when people on the left protested over the past eight years." Earlier in the 6am hour, he offered criticism that, one might assume, would have to be directed at his own network: "But, if a media outlet wants to expose its bias, they can mock tea parties, if they like."
Continuing the unnamed critique, Scarborough asserted that he would expect such juvenile actions from liberal bloggers, however, "I would expect more...from news outlets. And it happened on several networks yesterday." (The last part is certainly true. CNN has also engaged in such talk.)
[UPDATED: 2009-04-16 15:01:00] "MSNBC News Live" host Contessa Brewer on Wednesday reported four times on the possible threat of right-wing violence against the government. And for several of those segments there was a graphic in the background that featured the elephant logo of the GOP and the words, "New Right-Wing Threat?" Speaking to Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, Brewer asked about a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report warning of "right-wing extremists." In a bewildered tone, she wondered, "...Is it just a leap to think that they're talking about Republicans? They didn't even mention conservatives in the report."
If the DHS report didn't mention conservatives or Republicans, why did MSNBC feature a graphic that included an elephant, clearly a symbol for the GOP? In an earlier segment, NBC correspondent Pete Williams explained, "Now, we're not talking about [the] political right here. We're talking about extremist groups. Neo-Nazi groups, white supremacist groups, anti-government groups, hate groups." Brewer promptly responded, "So to be clear here, not just extreme conservatives." Not just extreme conservatives?
When a senior editor from Newsweek goes on MSNBC to discuss conservatives who protest the massive tax and spend agenda of the Obama Administration, why shouldn't he join in the fun of disparaging them with juvenile sexual innuendo? After all, he's among friends and fellow travelers.
But eventually, someone may call that senior editor to account for his "pornographic" slurs, as St. Louis radio host Jamie Allman did to Newsweek's Daniel Gross on April 14.
Gross had appeared on MSNBC's "Countdown," on April 10 and told guest host David Shuster, "I think when it comes to tea bagging, the president should probably ignore this ... to get bogged down with what seems to be a fringe group of people throwing consumer products into the lakes and rivers of this nation, ah, doesn't seem to be worthy of his attention."