MSNBC

By Ken Shepherd | March 25, 2015 | 6:35 PM EDT

Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, himself an ordained Baptist preacher, was critical of black legislators and clergy who surrounded disgraced frat boy Levi Pettit at a March 25 press conference in which he apologized for his now-infamous racist chant about lynched blacks.

By Bryan Ballas | March 25, 2015 | 10:18 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s solitary leaner toward the center-right, was unavailable for Monday’s broadcast of Morning Joe. Without him to restrain her, Mika Brzezinski proceeded to make a pinata out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election comments, repeatedly accusing him of “race-baiting.”

This is funny, when Mika insisted just a few days before that Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin was not race-baiting with his “back of the bus” comments about Loretta Lynch.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 24, 2015 | 10:08 AM EDT

Morning Joe went on the air in 2007. Think of all the outrage-provoking people and events that have popped up in the ensuing eight years.  Yet in the memory of this Newsbuster—who's been blogging the show since its debut—rarely has Mika Brzezinski seemed more upset than she was today on the subject of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

Just what is it that drives Brzezinski so batty about Bibi? Mika gave a little hint when she challenged the integrity of her guests for declining to join in her blasting of Bibi: "I just want to know what you're all afraid of. I do."  Hmm.  Mika apparently thinks there's something about the Israelis, or their friends in the US, that frightens American reporters and pundits from speaking their minds.  What might that be?

By Ken Shepherd | March 23, 2015 | 9:50 PM EDT

Chris Matthews was back at the helm of Hardball today after a week's vacation, and, fortuitously for him, the very same day his bête noire, Ted Cruz, announced for president before a supportive crowd at Liberty University. From start to finish Matthews did not disappoint his audience, spewing out hateful invective about the junior senator from Texas.

By Scott Whitlock | March 23, 2015 | 12:39 PM EDT

MSNBC journalists on Monday reacted predictably to Ted Cruz's announcement that he is running for President. Former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter summed up the Republican's vision by comparing Cruz to Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign. Connecting the two, Alter concluded, "So, that's the Ted Cruz message, 'extremism is good.'"  

By Mark Finkelstein | March 23, 2015 | 11:22 AM EDT

Warning: readers are advised to hide the sharp objects before viewing the clip of Morning Joe's review of the Middle East today.  The picture painted is one of the utter failure of US foreign policy, leaving a devastated, deadly region in its woeful wake.

We open with President Obama's "mission accomplished" moment from last year in which he called US policy in Yemen "successful." Cut to Jim Miklaszewski saying that the White House had to order US special forces out of the country, leaving us with absolutely no leverage. Then to Iraq, where two experts say Iraq as a country is finished and falling under the hand of Iran's radical Quds forces.  On to Israel, where even Richard Engel chides President Obama for the churlish way he has perpetuated his public spat with Bibi. Donny Deutsch sounds a political note, observing that many Dem-leaning Jews—including big donors—side with Bibi, thus presenting Hillary with a big challenge for 2016. 

By Jeffrey Meyer | March 23, 2015 | 10:25 AM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, Donny Deutsch viciously attacked Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) following his announcement that he will be running for president, calling the Tea Party favorite “scary” and “dangerous.” 

By Tom Blumer | March 22, 2015 | 10:45 PM EDT

Paging Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Your "conversation about race" idea has hit a bit of a brick wall among those you seem to believe are on your side — unless your idea of a "conversation" is talking down to anyone who doesn't buy into the idea of "diversity" uber alles, or that this country's founding and history have been predominantly noble.

On Melissa Harris-Perry's show this weekend, the host resoundingly approved when a guy who said that his mission in life is to "get white people to talk about whiteness" suggested that baristas at Starbucks should write “White supremacy has been the organizing principle of America since it was founded” on customers' coffee cups.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 21, 2015 | 11:54 AM EDT

Bracket busted? How about a nice Marxist critique of the NCAA tournament? Call it the theory of surplus value in high-tops . . . 

On Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show today, David Zirin, sports guy at the far-left Nation mag, called the NCAA tournament nothing less than "the organized theft of black wealth."

By Rich Noyes | March 21, 2015 | 9:08 AM EDT

This week, the media’s reaction to the Israeli election seemed indistinguishable from the reaction of the Obama White House. Not only were journalists surprised by Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory on Tuesday (they apparently believed pre-election surveys showing his party trailing by 2 to 4 seats; they ended up winning by 6 seats), but they seemed distressed by the result.

By Kyle Drennen | March 20, 2015 | 5:09 PM EDT

Filling in as host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander brought on radical Palestinian activist and executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Yousef Munayyer to condemn Israel and the Republican Party. Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf
By Ken Shepherd | March 20, 2015 | 4:15 PM EDT

Back in early December 2014, I tackled a rather poorly-argued screed by Andrew Lohse over at Time magazine's Ideas blog about the liberal writers call to abolish fraternities, insisting they were irredeemably linked to antebellum slavery. Now Lohse is back again, this time at MSNBC.com explaining "Why fraternities need to be abolished," wherein he compared Greek organizations to the mafia and biker