Not to be unkind, but how can one purport to conduct a serious post mortem of Hillary Clinton's failed candidacy without mentioning what would seem an obvious—and very important—factor: her personality that to many American was less-than-appealing, in a contest pitting her against the unusually charming Barack Obama?
Yet David Gregory ignored the personality factor entirely in his "post mortem, Powerpoint edition" on this evening's Race for the White House. Instead, he identified—and invited his panel to comment on—these five factors:
Denying the obvious, Obama communications director Robert Gibbs tells reporters that tricking them into flying to Chicago on June 5th while Obama remained in DC to meet with Hillary "wasn't an attempt to deceive in any way." [Screencap from Morning Joe.]
"An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country."—attributedto Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639), British diplomat.
If Sir Henry were around today, he might offer a corollary: a communications director is a man sent to meet with the media to fib for the good of his candidate. In the current campaign, the tactic's most transparent practitioner would seem to be Robert Gibbs, communications director for Barack Obama.
As I noted here, Gibbs recently had the chutzpah [if that's the right word for the man from Auburn, Alabama] to claim that Barack Obama's resignation from his controversial church was "a deeply personal, not a political decision." Rig-h-h-h-t.
Gibbs, the bland face of brazenness, was at it again last night, this time denying the blatantly obvious: that the campaign had tricked the press into flying to Chicago while Obama remained behind in DC to meet with Hillary.
Freshly posted to Robert Cox's Olbermann Watch blog: news of a FIFTH tax warrant surfaces for MSNBC's bombastic uber-liberal Keith Olbermann.:
Olbermann Watch has confirmed that the New York State Department of Labor filed an Industrial Commission Warrant against Olbermann Broadcasting Empire on April 1, 2008 for $1,039.15 with the New York County Clerk's office.
An Industrial Commission warrant is a remedy available to the Labor Department after all administrative procedures have been exhausted - the employer had been given notice of the claim, had an opportunity to contest it, and the time for all appeals has lapsed. It creates a lien on all property of the corporation within the county and gives the county sheriff the right to execute the warrant by, among other things, attaching and selling the employer's property within the county. There are various procedures that the sheriff has to go through before selling the property.
For well over a year, NewsBusters has been reporting the media's almost romantic obsession with Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama.
This unprofessional infatuation eventually became so obvious that press members themselves have been openly discussing it for the past couple of months.
With this in mind, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin absolutely skewered two of the most obvious Obama lovers during his program Wednesday, describing the "slobbering" that happens when "the news in this country is turned over to politicians, or the staffers of politicians."
Playing audio clips of NBC's Tim Russert and MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Levin accurately demonstrated how the sycophantic adoration exhibited by the press for the junior senator from Illinois during this campaign is a bias and a journalistic disgrace likely worse than anything Americans have ever witnessed concerning a presidential candidate.
Chris Matthews looked at Barack and Michelle last night, and saw Jack and Jacqueline. Opening this evening's Hardball, the host was almost overcome by emotion in describing the scene of Obama's victory speech last night in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Here was Chris, discussing the matter with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Roger Simon of Politico, and Ed Gordon of BET.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's dwell for one moment at least on the man who won last night. I swear. I had no idea this would ever happen in America. I don't know if it will ever happen again. This is a trend, I don't know, this is an odd occurrence. But it was . . . spectacular.
. . .
Last night's magic moment for a lot of Americans. In fact, me included. I, that picture is right out of Camelot, as far as I'm concerned.
Chris Matthews took to the air on MSNBC's "Hardball," just moments after former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko was convicted on fraud and money laundering charges, but Matthews wasn't about to let that bit of breaking news ruin the moment, as he never mentioned the conviction once on the hour long program.
However, he did find time, during the 5 PM EDT edition of Wednesday's Hardball, to gush about Obama's "magic moment" with his wife Michelle:
"Fox and Friends" called out left wing anchor Keith Olbermann on his own lies. The co-hosts on the June 4 edition of "Fox and Friends" discussed the TV Newser story that NBC veteran Tim Russert is reportedly taking orders from Olbermann. Steve Doocy noted Olbermann’s rising in the ranks at NBC and also a blogging for the hard left site, "Daily Kos."
After Gretchen Carlson responded to Olbermann’s intelligence insult, Doocy noted Olbermann’s claim he does not go after public figure’s children, but named Doocy’s own son "Worst Person in the World." Doocy fumed "So next time you see Keith Olbermann on TV, just remember he is somebody who picks on people’s children. And he is a liar."
Olbermann also named Doocy’s son "Worst Person in the World," after issuing an apology for David Shuster’s Chelsea Clinton "pimped out" comment.
Last night, while covering the Democratic Presidential primaries in South Dakota and Montana, MSNBC's Chris Matthews takes a little detour down the road of tasteless smear to help Barack Obama.
Matthews suggests a tour of Minneapolis for Republican National Convention delegates
The opportunity of Republican conventioneers to arrive at the airport out there and immediately go to the Larry Craig memorial bathroom, ... then go to the bridge that fell down in St. Paul. There's a lot to celebrate for the Republican conventioneers.
If Joba Chamberlain's debut as a Yankee starter didn't go that well last night, Joe Scarborough wasted no time this morning in demonstrating that, after a stint on the DL, he still has his stuff. Within minutes of reassuming his host's role, Scarborough unleashed a high hard one in the direction of Chris Matthews's chin.
Scarborough, back from an extended leave spent with his wife who's experiencing a difficult pregnancy, reported that the medical situation seems to have stabilized. Readers will surely join in wishing Joe and his family well.
The opening segment was, naturally, devoted to a discussion of Barack Obama's clinching of the Dem nomination, and to Hillary Clinton's less-than-gracious speech in which she declined to withdraw from the race and pointedly kept her options open. Which in turn led Scarborough to suggest that, at the beginning of Obama's campaign, there were only three true believers.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: It seems to me that the Clintons have very little respect for Barack Obama. This was his night. An historic night. A night that nobody believed—but perhaps Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Chris Matthews—this was a night that very few people believed would ever happen. It happened. And on that night, she's sticking a sharp stick in his eye, saying listen: you either make me Vice-President, or you put me on the Supreme Court if that's what I want, or you play with me, or else . . . this is going to get really ugly.
During MSNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's Democratic primaries, co-anchor Chris Matthews poked fun at Larry Craig's bathroom arrest during an interview with Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar as he referred to Republican plans to hold their presidential convention in St. Paul, and joked that Craig would be starting his book tour at the airport. Moments later during an interview with Clinton campaign advisor Lisa Caputo, he joked about the Minnesota bridge collapse as an embarrassment Republicans would have to face when they come to the state: "We're having a little bit of fun here tonight with the opportunity of Republican conventioneers to arrive at the airport out there and immediately go to the Larry Craig Memorial Bathroom and check in and let everybody know they know some history. Then go to the bridge that fell down in St. Paul. There's a lot to celebrate for the Republican conventioneers as they get together." (Transcript follows)
Below is a transcript of the relevant comments from Matthews, which aired at about 8:09 p.m. during MSNBC's Tuesday coverage of the presidential primaries:
During MSNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw appeared visibly annoyed at a crack made by MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann at Hillary Clinton's expense -- ironic given the timing of reports that Chris Matthews and Tim Russert are not happy with the ultra-left face Olbermann is giving MSNBC. Shortly before 8:00 p.m., after Brokaw finished describing what he called the "very strong credentials" and "remarkable stories" of Barack Obama and John McCain, Olbermann chimed in: "And a third one trying to shoe-horn her way into those, the coverage of the first two."
After flashing for a moment a disapproving frown, Brokaw chided Olbermann for disrepecting Clinton: "Well, I think that's unfair, Keith. I don't think she shoe-horned her way in." Brokaw then went on to recount her electoral accomplishments, contending that she "will have some real bargaining power" on behalf of blue-collar workers and women. (Transcript follows)
A “high level source inside MSNBC” tells the TVNewser blog that network stars like Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are “upset” and “pissed” that the far-left Keith Olbermann is tainting the network’s credibility with his “activism,” such as blogging for the hard-left Daily Kos site.
“What’s it going to be like in the general election now that everyone knows we’re the in-house network of Barack Obama,” TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer quoted the MSNBC insider as fretting. The source suggested Olbermann was allowed to get away with his activism because the network fears the Countdown host would quit:
“They are convinced that he will walk. He behaves like a man who has nothing left to lose. He is not central to MSNBC, he is the center of the MSNBC ratings strategy. We hang the entire schedule on him."
On an evening where Barack Obama was on the verge of clinching the Democratic nomination and there was news that Hillary Clinton wanted in on the ticket, it was all too much for Chris Matthews to handle. The "Hardball" host couldn't contain his glee as he blurted on the 5pm edition of Tuesday night's show: "I'm getting giggles!"
Matthews made the following admission as he concluded a panel segment, with the "Politico's" Roger Simon and NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, that discussed such topics as Obama's locking up the nomination and the possibility of Hillary Clinton landing the VP spot, on the June 3 "Hardball":
Since the first Democrat caucuses and primaries began in January, there has been a consistent media theme that it's acceptable for blacks to vote for Barack Obama because he's black, but racist for whites to vote for Hillary Clinton because she's white.
On Tuesday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's Pat Buchanan exposed how utterly absurd and hypocritical this view is even as the Washington Post's Richard Cohen actually defended it.
What resulted was likely a far more honest discussion about race and racism in this nation than what Obama offered to the American people on March 18 when he tried to explain his connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Without further ado, here were some of the highlights (video embedded right, grateful h/t Countdown to Hardball):
In his tours at ABC (particularly the weekend versions of Good Morning America) and CNN, anchorman Aaron Brown was fond of liberal editorializing. So it's no shock that when New York magazine interviewed him as he takes on anchoring the PBS series Wide Angle, he declared he was a big fan of Keith Olbermann's show:
How about Keith Olbermann? It’s a good television program. No, it’s a very good television program. That’s how I want to put that.
This matches his shout-out earlier in the month to TV Newser: Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly "are both larger-than-life figures," he says, but Olbermann is "smarter, funnier, better read and eminently more talented."
Some suspect Brown would like an hour next to Keith's on MSNBC. They certainly sound alike. On November 10, 2004, for example, Brown lamented poor, losing John Kerry as he looked at pictures in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes:
There's a great moment in the video clip here in which WaPo editorial writer Jonathan Capehart dithers, then palpably decides to bite the bullet and tell the truth: yeah, the media's in the tank for Obama. His admission against interest came in response to a question from Pat Buchanan on today's Morning Joe.
PAT BUCHANAN: That brings up the question of the substance of what Clinton said when he talked about the media coming down on Hillary and they're working for Obama, and all the rest of it. Obviously there's real bitterness on the part of Clinton. But is there not, as there was, and the reporters admitted it after 1960, hasn't there been sort of a melding between a lot of journalists and this enthusiastic Obama campaign?
The first African-American president, he's young and he's fresh. And all the journalists admitted later: yeah, we were for Jack Kennedy. We loved the guy. We didn't like Nixon. Isn't there some truth, in other words, behind his bitterness?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, you know, Pat, I think, um, that, eh, yeah. I think there is some truth to his bitterness. Um, you know, it's hard to, let's remember: reporters are human. And reporters are covering both these campaigns. And it's hard not to get swept up, I would think, into the enthusiasm and the drama and the excitement behind one of those huge Obama rallies.
Not sure that would be a winning campaign slogan for Barack Obama, but on today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski expressed skepticism as to whether Americans really care about winning in Iraq. Mika made her comments in the course of touting Frank Rich's NYT column of yesterday [on which I commented here].
Brzezinski was clearly eager to make her point: after reading an extended excerpt from Rich's column and inviting comment from the panel, she didn't let a bemused John Harwood of CNBC/NYT get more than a few words out before cutting him off to express her own opinion.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Anyone want to comment?
JOHN HARWOOD: Well, I don't think Americans forgot Iraq --
BRZEZINSKI: You know what? I think Americans are tired of being duped, and I think this is coming back, from the McClellan book. I mean, everyone talks about how Americans want to win, want to win. I don't know so much with Iraq.
With its talk of "change" and images of folks from the Dem demographic, was this an MSNBC promo . . . or an Obama ad? Check out this spot, aired today just before the start of Morning Joe.
VOICEOVER [which I believe is that of Joe Scarborough]: A revolution that happens for us every four years is a quiet revolution that begins and ends at the ballot box. It's the American voter that goes in, and makes a very simple choice that can change the country and change the world.
When Karl Rove went on Fox and suggested former White House press secretary Scott McClellan sounded like a left-wing blogger in his book, he was hardly alone. Reporter Mike Allen of the Politico completely endorsed that view on a giddy Wednesday night "special edition"of MSNBC’s "Hardball" exploiting the McClellan book, even though he thought the valiant David Gregory yelling at a series of press secretaries proved them wrong. MRC’s Geoff Dickens sent me the transcript:
MIKE ALLEN, POLITICO: The other great power of this book is that it validates, as David [Gregory] said, these criticisms that have come from the liberal and left wing bloggers.
ALLEN: Most especially his point that the White House press corps was too deferential to this administration. David and I have fought back about those charges over the years. Largely because of the work of people like David Gregory it just wasn’t true. But now the left can say, "Even Scott McClellan says you guys were too easy on the Bushies."
Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Winston Churchill’s “Second World War.” “What Happened” by Scott McClellan. One of these things is not like the other.
Unless you’re Keith Olbermann, who prophesied yesterday on his show that the former Bush press secretary’s tell-all book would end up being a textbook in college history courses some day.
McClellan was busy making the media rounds yesterday. He first appeared on "The Today Show" and then it was on to the nightly news shows, ABC's "World News" and CBS's "Evening News." His last interview of the day was on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." In his last remarks to McClellan, Olbermann continued his flare for hyperbole. Here's what he said:
Mika Brzezinski realizes that the latest looniness emanating from Barack Obama's church poses political problems for the presidential candidate. But as a person of pallor, the ever-so-PC Morning Joe-er doesn't want to judge a black church—even when the most recent rantings come from the mouth of . . . a white preacher.
Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Father Michael Pfleger guest-preaching this past Sunday at Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ. Pfleger, a fixture on the radical Chicago scene whose endorsement of Obama [h/t Michelle Malkin] until recently appeared on the official Obama campaign website, mocked Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire tears as a sign of her frustrated sense of white entitlement. The screencap shows Pfleger making like Hillary wiping away those tears.
(Watch video above, context included, fast-forward to 3:40 for Brzezinski's humorous comment.)
But while acknowledging the headache Pfleger poses for Obama, Mika was oh-so-loath to comment on the substance or tone of the remarks themselves. Excerpts from her discussion with Tucker Carlson, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist:
Of all the people to call for a "truce" on excessive partisanship . . .
Interviewing Scott McClellan tonight, Keith Olbermann sanctimoniously suggested that a "truce" on rough political tactics "would be nice." But speaking with John Dean just minutes later, the Countdown host—he who has repeatedly called President Bush a liar and a fascist—reverted to form and regretted that it might be too late to impeach him.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN: [The 1988] election was very much a turning-point election. I think that George Bush, George Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a decent individual, and a man who really believes in civility, but he, his advisors around him, knew the only way they could win was to bring down his opponent and go fully negative, and paint Michael Dukakis completely to the left. A guy who had painted himself—who had a record of trying to work to the center in a lot of ways [Ed: ?].
And, um, that legacy continues to this day, and Senator McCain says that he's going to speak out against that and not let that happen. I think that would be good for the country if that is the case. But there are certainly plenty of groups on the Republican side that are going to go forward with that kind of strategy. [Unlike groups on the Dem side. You know, like the kind-and-gentle one that ran the dragging-murder ad against W in 2000.]
Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about the Bush administration, he's being lauded with so much praise from the usual liberal media suspects that it must be making MSNBC's Keith Olbermann a tad jealous.
This makes Chris Wallace's interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg even more timely, for the "Fox News Sunday" host showed his colleagues what the term "journalism" really means by going after both of these press darlings.
First, Wallace discussed a key question he'd like to ask McClellan that's been completely absent as media applaud the former press secretary's claims (17 minute audio available here, relevant section at minute 6:00):
Let's take a little time off of more serious matters for some juicy gossip. Over at gawker.com there is a somewhat humorous little tale of an MSNBC photo shoot that saw TV yaker Chris Matthews of "thrill going up my leg" fame storming out after being told he might be required to share the camera frame with blog maven and born again lefty Arianna Huffington. Apparently Chris is still mad at her for supposedly having hired a private investigator to stalk Tim Russert after an unflattering 1994 article written by Russert's wife, Maureen Orth.
Matthews is reported as having said, "I will not be in the same f_ _ _ing picture as Arianna Huffington!! Not a chance of that!"
"I'm not fit to be a Senator. I'm not fit to live. Expel me! Expel me! Not him. Every word that boy said is the truth! Every word about Taylor and me and graft and the rotten political corruption of our state. Every word of it is true. I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for any place of honor or trust. Expel me!"—Claude Rains as the corrupt Sen. Joseph Paine in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
Chris Matthews has broken out a Jimmy Stewart/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington analogy to assess Scott McClellan's book. Here's how the Hardball host put it on this afternoon's show:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: When you read the book, it reads like Claude Rains in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. You know: "everything the guy says is true." I mean, he's admitting that the other guy–the good guy's–right. I mean, if that's your perspective.
Lanny Davis let one of the world's worst-kept secrets out of the bag this morning: Mika Brzezinski's a Barack backer. But the Morning Joe host [in Joe Scarborough's absence] insisted on "taking issue" with the incontestable, and yet again cited her family's political diversity as a would-be shield against Davis's assertion.
Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton and die-hard defender of the Clinton clan, made his observation of the incontrovertible on Morning Joe at about 7:50 AM EDT today. It arose in the course of a discussion of Hillary's strategy for winning the nomination.
I haven't seen Chris Matthews this excited since a Barack Obama speech sent a certain sensation skyward.
The Hardball host is in an absolute frenzy over Scott McClellan's allegations. So much so that guests on this evening's show are having a hard time expressing themselves as Matthews expounds at length. Ari Fleischer finally called Chris on it. And while David Gregory didn't express his ire in words, his facial expression left little doubt as to his annoyance at being cut off in mid-sentence.
The screencap shows Gregory's grimace. But be sure to view the video here to get the full effect. A bit later, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared. He could be seen on many occasions attempting to speak, only to be submerged in a sea of ceaseless Matthews chatter. Talk at one point turned to VP Cheney's involvement in policy-making. Fleischer was again repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to talk, and finally had enough.
You pathetic little people of the blogosphere. You're nothing more than "nitwits at home with [your] computers" who've deluded yourselves into imagining you're "part of the news media." Just ask Mike Barnicle. The former Boston Globe columnist broke the tough truth to us on today's Morning Joe. WaPo editorial writer Jonathan Capehart was "so glad" to agree.
Capehart was in full courtier mode to Mika Brzezinski, anchoring the show during Joe Scarborough's extended absence awaiting the birth of a child home in Florida. When executive producer Chris Licht read a viewer email critical of Mika, Capehart leapt to her defense, and it was then that Barnicle and he sniffed at the pretenders of the pajamahadeen.
If NewsBusters were ever to use in its promotional material a photo this unflattering of Hillary Clinton, we'd be accused of the worst kind of sexism, of unfairly attacking a candidate based on her looks rather than her views. Check out the image of Hillary that MSNBC used in its promo of tonight's Hardball with Chris Matthews that aired at 5:59 AM EDT today just before Morning Joe came on the air.
Hillary, shot from below to highlight her wattles, lit like something in a horror flick about to emerge from a closet wielding an ax. If there's a less-becoming snap of Hillary in MSM circulation, I haven't seen it.
View video of promo, and Carlson's comments, here.