Other MSNBC

By Mark Finkelstein | April 21, 2013 | 9:39 AM EDT

You think Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev's roots in Chechnya—which has produced radical Islamist terrorists responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks of modern times—might have something to do with the brothers having carried out the Boston Marathon bombing?  Don't be foolish.

Nope. Where the Tsarnaevs came from had "nothing to do" with the bombings.  These were just two guys who were either depraved, crazy or both.  At least, so said Baher Azmy on today's Up With Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. Azmy is head of the "Center for Constitutional Rights", founded by radical lawyer William Kunstler. View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 20, 2013 | 2:07 PM EDT

MSNBC circling the wagons? This NewsBuster is in no position to say that the FBI made a mistake by deciding not to monitor Tamerlan Tsarnaev after having interviewed him in 2011, acting on inquiries from Russian intelligence regarding his possible radical Islamic ties.

But by the same token, MSNBC host Alex Witt is in no position to say the FBI didn't make a mistake.  Yet Witt has pre-emptively proferred an excuse for the FBI's decision.  Speaking with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff on her show this afternon, Witt, alluding to the FBI's decision not to monitor Tsarnaev, declared: "hindsight is 20-20."  View the video after the jump.

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 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 Mark Finkelstein | April 13, 2013 | 9:44 AM EDT

Do you oppose President Obama's gun control proposals?  Well then, you must not be against gun violence.  So suggested a guest this morning on the new MSNBC show, Up With Steve Kornacki.

Leah Gunn Barrett [insert wisecrack on middle name here], of "New Yorkers Against Gun Violence," was trying to explain away why Second Amendment advocates do so well politically.  According to her, gun "enthusiasts" are single-issue voters with good grassroots organization. In contrast, "people who are against gun violence" aren't as well organized.  View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 10, 2013 | 9:08 AM EDT

Maybe MSNBC was trying to deflect some of the controversy surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry's previous "Lean Forward" promo by pushing out a new one. MH-P had provoked outrage in that earlier promo by proclaiming that "kids belong to their communities," not to their parents.

But if anything, the new promo aired during today's Morning Joe just adds fuel to MH-P's socialist fire. While claiming to defend meritocracy, Harris-Perry could only grudgingly admit that the most successful should earn "a little more." She then proceeded to proclaim as a right "health care, education, decent housing and quality food at all times."  From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, anyone?  View the video after the jump.

By Ken Shepherd | April 9, 2013 | 4:35 PM EDT

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry this afternoon took to her blog on the network's website to "double down" on her recent "Lean Forward" spot in which she lamented that we as Americans don't have a view of our "collective" responsibility to the nation's children.

From start to finish, the Tulane professor played the victim of right-wing persecution, even closing with a link to Matthew 5:44, where Jesus commands his followers to "love [their] enemies and pray for those who persecute [them]." Here's how Harris-Perry opened her April 9 blog (emphasis mine):

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 5, 2013 | 12:32 PM EDT

MSNBC’s newest liberal darling Chris Hayes has just been given a promotion, going from weekend anchor to host of his own primetime show, All In w/ Chris Hayes.  So how does he celebrate? By arguing that Guantanamo detainees should be paid restitution and allowed to live in the United States, with a path, ultimately to citizenship, of course.

In an article posted on MSNBC.com, Hayes criticized Guantanamo Bay’s continued existence in a piece entitled, “Time for radical action on Guantanamo.”  Hayes, who railed against Obama’s failure to keep his promise to close the prison in Cuba, argues that:

The dozens of men who have been cleared by the United States government for release should be released immediately, should be paid restitution, and offered legal residence in the United States.

By Ken Shepherd | April 4, 2013 | 6:33 PM EDT

On March 23, my colleague Mark Finkelstein noted how MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry considers the unborn child a "thing" which takes a "lot of money" to "turn into a human," costing thousands of dollars to care for each year of his/her life. Now it appears that Harris-Perry thinks that, after they're born, children fundamentally belong to the state.

Narrating a new MSNBC "Lean Forward" spot, the Tulane professor laments that we in America  "haven't had a very collective notion that these are our children." "[W]e have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities," Harris-Perry argued.

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 3, 2013 | 1:15 PM EDT

Aside from his daily MSNBC hosting duties, Al Sharpton founded and serves as president of the tax-delinquest liberal National Action Network (NAN), which is at present heavily involved in a push for new federal gun control legislation.

This morning, MSNBC dutifully dispatched reporter Richard Lui to cover the NAN conference in New York City, from which Lui reported during the 10 a.m. Eastern Jansing & Co. program. Yet neither Lui nor host Chris Jansing felt it necessary to mention to viewers their colleague's connection to the group. 

By Mark Finkelstein | April 2, 2013 | 9:31 PM EDT

Married congressman texts pics of his private parts to other women but brazenly denies it. How would you characterize the fact that he was eventually forced to resign?  

If "bum rap" springs to mind, you are on the same wavelength as Michelle Goldberg of Newsweek—and probably should seek immediate professional help. Goldberg's assertion, made on day deux of Chris Hayes's new MSNBC show, was even too much for David Axelrod.  View the video after the jump.

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 1, 2013 | 4:26 PM EDT

There never seems to be a shortage of extreme and vitriolic language spewing out of the folks at MSNBC.  The latest example of the extreme rhetoric appearing on MSNBC programming comes from a guest on the weekend show Melissa Harris-Perry.

Appearing as one of Ms. Perry’s guests was Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, who, when discussing record numbers of Americans now on food stamps, compared Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, to a “sharecropper.”  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]