With Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) holding a hearing on the radicalization of Muslim inmates in U.S. prisons, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning set out to discredit the premise of the proceedings by interviewing Minnesota Democrat and practicing Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, Roberts reminded viewers of MSNBC's 11 a.m. Eastern hour of live news coverage, provided tearful testimony at a hearing in March on Islamic radicalization.
Roberts began his interview by practically holding Ellison forth as an expert when it comes to the data regarding prisoner radicalization (emphasis mine):
According to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who last week seemed to enjoy correcting Sarah Palin for her historical "flub," President Lyndon Johnson "was never actually elected Commander in Chief." The cable anchor relayed that piece of false information on Monday in a segment downplaying the chances of another Texan, potential 2012 candidate Rick Perry.
In fact, Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 election in a landslide, capturing all but six states. Discussing Texas, Roberts announced, "President Lyndon Johnson was from Texas and he was never actually elected Commander in Chief."
As NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, the Weinergate scandal showcased a variety of liberal media conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories focused on besmirching conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story wide open Monday with a series of posts on BigGovernment.com featuring lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner.
"Look, Breitbart is a proven liar, okay?" bellowed MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur on June 1. "He doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes. He's done this over and over again. Why would anybody take this fool seriously?"
Appearing on MSNBC today, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano attributed the findings of his magazine's study showing Americans don't understand basic facts about U.S. history to the country's lack of a top-down federal government-imposed curriculum.
When daytime anchor Thomas Roberts asked Romano to explain the significance of the survey, the Daily Beast scribe indicted federalism: "Another reason why we don’t do well is because we don’t have a kind of centralized curriculum in our schools. Everyone in different states kind of learns different things. And that definitely contributes to it as well."
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spun furiously for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) Thursday, dismissing the Twitter controversy as a sideshow undeserving of the media's attention.
"He's being pretty transparent," opined the daytime anchor, turning to Republican strategist Joe Watkins. "Joe, wouldn't you agree?"
After Watkins agreed but suggested Weiner's refusal to clarify whether he is the man in the photo does not help his case, Roberts followed up by parroting the Democratic congressman's dodge: "Well why waste taxpayer dollars on something kind of so stupid?"
For a compilation video showing Weiner's lack of transparency and inability to cooperate with the media, see below the fold:
Borrowing the phraseology of left-wing bloggers, NBC Justice correspondent Pete Williams has (so far) thrice invoked Nazi terminology to describe SB-1070, the Arizona immigration law that continues to be the object of liberal scorn.
The first reference occurred today during the 10 a.m. EDT hour of "Jansing & Co.," when Williams called the state measure the "show us your papers law."
Moments later, Williams led the top of 11 a.m. EDT hour of "MSNBC Live" by repeating the "show us your papers" line.
The NBC correspondent took a break for about an hour before rephrasing the legislation during the 12 p.m. EDT hour as the "round up the usual suspects law."
Less than 24 hours after a devastating tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri – killing at least 116 people – an MSNBC anchor was busy putting a political spin on the tragedy.
Tamron Hall wondered aloud on "News Nation" today whether climate change was to blame for the rash of hurricanes and tornadoes that ravaged several states, including Missouri, over the last few months.
MSNBC on Wednesday promoted a study suggesting that gays are more likely to kill themselves in conservative parts of the country. News Live co-host Thomas Roberts explained, "There's a disturbing new study showing suicide attempts by teen, gay or straight, are more frequent in conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights."
Roberts talked to the study's author, Columbia University researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler, and wondered, "Is it strictly something that needs to be looked through a lens of liberal and conservative? It seems kind of daft to think it's just all politics."
Every once in a while the folks at MSNBC can get a thrill for a Republican. It just has to be one who's denouncing the right people, you see.
Take Contessa Brewer, who today yelled "Preach It!" in enthusiastic agreement after showing her audience a clip of "truth teller" former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) excoriating the "homophobes" in his party:
As the prospect of a government shutdown continued to make headlines today, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer accused Republicans of exploiting servicemen's paychecks for political gain, even though the House approved legislation to fund the Pentagon in the event of a shutdown and President Barack Obama threatened to veto such a measure should it reach his desk.
Interviewing Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the daytime anchor spun the debate over the 2011 budget as a false choice between paying the troops or defunding Planned Parenthood.
In an interview with Congressman Mike Pence on Friday, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer slammed a Republican proposal to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency: "...what it does not respect are women's rights, what it does not respect is the environment. Is it going to undermine potential success here if you force social issues on to the budget table?"
Brewer opened the 12PM ET hour segment with the Indiana Republican by blaming the Tea Party for the budget stalemate on Capitol Hill: "At issue, freshman Republicans, many with Tea Party support, who insist on slashing at least $61 billion. They also want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Social goals. Democrats are not on board."
Would liberal journalist Karen Hunter have whitewashed President Bush's low approval ratings during his time in office? On MSNBC Wednesday, the ever-classy Hunter curtly dismissed President Obama's lowest approval rating to date, growling that "polls are for strippers."
MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing highlighted a new Quinnipiac poll recording Obama's approval rating at 42 percent, an all-time low for the president. She brought on Hunter, who was listed as an MSNBC contributor, along with another more conservative guest to discuss the ratings.
Hunter argued that the populace can be quite fickle in its rating of Obama's accomplishments. "If people do their homework," Hunter noted, they would recognize the magnitude of the president's accomplishments in office, which she believed to have been the most since FDR.
In discussing the present "kinetic military action" in Libya, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Contessa Brewer both tried to shift scrutiny away from President Obama and toward Republicans Monday afternoon, hours before the President's address to the nation on Libya.
O'Donnell tried to pinpoint the hypocrisy of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for criticizing Obama's failure to obtain authorization from Congress for military action in Libya. The liberal MSNBC host referred back to a nonbinding Senate resolution passed unanimously on March 1, calling for the U.N. Security Council to implement a no-fly zone over Libya.
Since the resolution passed unanimously, O'Donnell believed McConnell to be a hypocrite for voting for a no-fly zone and then calling out President Obama for failing to seek authorization from Congress. The nonbinding resolution, though, was effectively an opinion from the Senate on the matter. The U.S. Congress never authorized President Obama to declare war or preside over military action in Libya.
In Wednesday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer touted the one year anniversary of the passage of ObamaCare: "One year ago today, President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law. It wasn't soon enough for Eric De La Cruz, who needed a heart transplant." The headline on screen read: "Why We Need Health Care Reform: A Personal Story."
Brewer spoke with Eric's sister, Veronica De La Cruz, who serves as anchor of MSNBC's First Look at 5AM ET and NBC's Early Today at 4AM ET. Brewer observed: "It's got to be bittersweet, because you fought for health care reform in that process, but on this anniversary, it comes too late to help your brother." De La Cruz had no qualms about describing her enthusiastic lobbying for ObamaCare: "...it is bittersweet, you're right. But I made a promise to my brother....I started speaking out at health care rallies, vigils, anybody who would listen to Eric's story."
The perpetually anti-war Ed Schultz took his seat behind the desk at MSNBC studios Monday with the expressed mission of selling Barack Obama's air assault on Libya to his viewers.
So passionate was the "Ed Show" host in supporting the President he several times showed video footage of downed Pan Am flight 103 while claiming that Moammar Gaddafi was responsible thereby justifying an attack on him over 22 years later (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's "panel" on today's hearings about radicalization of Muslim-Americans featured liberals Carl Bernstein and Cenk Uygur – with MSNBC's Richard Lui moderating. With no substantial conservative counterpoints to be offered, the two guests sounded their condemnations of the hearings as "cultural warfare" and bigotry.
Bernstein slammed the House inquiry as a joke and as a "debating society for cultural warfare." Referencing the institution's past for producing McCarthy-ite investigations, he compared the current hearings with the gladiatorial combat of the Roman coliseum.
"Now we have this question which is part of this coliseum-like atmosphere of cultural warfare," Bernstein spat.
Cenk Uygur turned up the invective knob to 11 when it was his turn to speak. He questioned whether Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is a "real American."
MSNBC's Richard Lui questioned and generally disagreed with a St. Augustine High School alum who supported the school's 60 year tradition of corporal punishment – paddling – in a story MSNBC apparently thinks merits national attention.
Journalist Karen Hunter belittled Pastor Stephen Broden over his provocative pro-life billboard on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." Thursday, calling the ad "racial," "sexist," and "completely offensive." Host Chris Jansing didn't do much moderating over the segment, essentially giving Hunter a pass for her statements and further pressing Broden on the billboard.
Pastor Broden is a board member of pro-life group Life Always that sponsored a billboard in New York City claiming that "The Most Dangerous Place for an African-American Is In the Womb." From the start of the interview, Jansing pressed Broden to admit that the ad may be offensive to minority communities.
"Can you understand why some people say this ad offends communities of color?" Jansing asked. She later turned to Hunter, who is a journalist and has co-authored multiple best-selling books with African-American celebrities. Jansing threw her a softball, simply asking her if she thought it racist, sexist, and/or offensive.
Brewer argued that the President's supposed "slash" in spending, "forces Republicans to take an even stricter stand if they want to appear to be spending hawks." As a result, she warned: "...if the Republicans embrace the role of meanie money enforcer it gives Democrats an opening to show a big heart." Brewer cheered that "while both parties try to avoid getting too specific about spending cuts, the President gets to take a higher road, promising to veto any bill that undermines critical priorities."
Reporting on President Obama's speech to the Chamber of Commerce Monday, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer sloppily labeled the Chamber as "conservative" in narrating the conflict between the business federation and the President. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though it may have enjoyed the "conservative" label in the past, has supported major liberal legislation over the past few years in the name of being "pro-business."
"Two years, big business and President Obama were at odds," Brewer introduced the segment. "The boiling point – when Obama accused the conservative Chamber of Commerce of refusing to disclose the millions it spent on campaign ads to defeat Democrats."
The Chamber sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in February of 2009 imploring it to pass the Stimulus bill, H.R. 1. "The legislation is not perfect," the Chamber confessed, adding that "parts of the bill should be modified or eliminated. However, the Chamber urges the Senate to approve H.R. 1, and encourages Congress and the Administration to work on a conference report that provides timely, targeted, and temporary economic stimulus."
MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on Tuesday argued that, based on Barack Obama's record, it would be fair to label the President a "fairly conservative Democrat." Talking to Ashley Bell, a Georgia politician who left the Democratic Party to become a Republican, the host listed several examples that he suggested could, at the very least, make the President a "centrist."
Bell argued that Obama's moves reflect convenience rather than principle. Explaining his own party switch, the Hall County Commissioner claimed the Democratic Party no longer has room for conservatives. This prompted Roberts to incredulously wonder, "Why did you think you were a Democrat to begin with, then?"
Lobbying for Obama, Roberts argued, "He cut corporate tax rates, kept Guantanamo open, didn't push for the public option. Now promising to cut taxes even more, fewer regulations for businesses. I mean, I could go on and on. Wouldn't this be a definition of a fairly conservative Democrat or at least a definition of a centrist?"
Somewhere in the bowels of the MSNBC newsroom, a decision was made today to devote considerable coverage to getting to the bottom of a disconcerting juvenile epidemic: car surfing.
That's right, the "fearless gamble" that is "all the rage" among American teenagers, according to NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders, is an important enough story for a national cable news network to send one of its intrepid reporters to give live reports throughout the morning and into the mid-afternoon.
While the topic of car surfing received substantial coverage on "Jansing & Co." with Chris Jansing, "News Live" with Contessa Brewer, and "News Nation" with Tamron Hall, the recent sting operation that uncovered employees at a New York City Planned Parenthood office offering advice to a man posing as a pimp who admitted to exploiting minors as sex slaves received but a scant 30-second news brief during the 10 a.m. hour of "Jansing & Co."
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on Wednesday blamed Republicans for obstructionism, complaining about the "attention grabber" Michele Bachmann and her Tea Party response to the State of the Union.
Talking to Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee, she derided, "Mo, is Michelle Bachmann ruining the chances for bipartisanship?" Before playing a clip of Bachmann stating her opposition to excess spending, Brewer snapped, "Here she is, the attention grabber, demanding that lawmakers are towing the line."
(Of course the network that employs Brewer, MSNBC, is not known for bipartisanship when it comes to the anchors they hire.) Later, she derided even discussing issues "we have already talked about ad nauseam before the votes happened." She added, "Health care reform, stimulus. I mean, is there a point where we move on and look at the future?"
Tamron Hall was joined by her MSNBC colleague Dylan Ratigan on Wednesday's edition of "News Nation" in condemning some members of corporate America for the way they have "demonized" the Obama administration. That slight of American businesses came during a dicussion of President Hu Jintao's U.S visit, in which Ratigan remarked that President Obama's greatest challenge will not be dealing with China, but American businesses who have invested heavily in China.
To publicize his new memoir, MSNBC hosted Rev. Albert Cutie on its Friday afternoon news programming. Fr. Cutie is a married priest in the Episcopal Church, having abruptly left the Catholic priesthood in May of 2009 after his secret love affair was made public. Cutie used the segment to criticize the Catholic Church's position on priestly celibacy and homosexuality.
"I can tell you that priests do have a sexual life, and what I talk about in the book is not really an attack toward the Church, it's the reality of what happens within the Church at every level," Cutie insisted, adding that the Church should consider liberalizing its stance on priestly celibacy.
The former priest has also appeared on ABC to tell his story and argue his case for liberalization of Church teaching. CBS was sympathetic to Cutie's plight in their coverage of his scandal. Cutie was fairly well-known as a Catholic priest – before he departed the Church, he hosted a television show for Spanish Catholics that was broadcast on the Catholic cable network EWTN. He was reportedly popular among his parishoners in the Archdiocese of Miami.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on Tuesday spread the blame for Saturday's spree shooting, singling out "vitriolic right-wing talkers and the Tea Party." Several groups seemed to be on Brewer's list, with the notable exception of Jared Loughner. He was only mentioned as a failure of the mental health system.
Closing the 12pm hour of News Live, Brewer summarized, "We've been following the fallout from the Tucson shooting and there is a lot of blame to go around. People are blaming the vitriolic right-wing talkers and the Tea Party." (When Brewer mentioned "people," one could largely substitute the word "journalists.")
During MSNBC's live coverage immediately following Saturday's attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), correspondent Luke Russert theorized that the shooting was probably a violent reaction to the passage of ObamaCare, for which Giffords cast an affirmative vote.
"Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened," Russert warned during coverage of the shooting. "It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today."
Russert's comment came during the 3 p.m. EST hour of MSNBC News Live; the network was in ongoing live coverage of the event, which occurred around 10:15 a.m. local time, 12:15 p.m. EST.
Reporting that House Republicans will soon be voting to repeal President Obama's "job-killing" health care law, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer wondered if the GOP should take a different route to save jobs. During her Thursday 12 p.m. EST news hour, she revealed a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimating that a repeal of the health care law will cost $230 billion over the next ten years.
Disregarding the GOP arguments for repealing ObamaCare, Brewer wondered aloud about the merits of the $230 billion being invested in re-education of unemployed persons.
"What would happen," Brewer asked Prof. Robert Reich of the University of California at Berkeley, "if you took $230 billion and instead put that toward re-education of the nation's unemployed?"