Reporting that an elderly woman fainted at a West Virginia campaign appearance by former President Clinton, MSNBC ran the provocative headline "He's Still Got It," on its 10 a.m. EDT news hour. We'll leave it to the reader to guess what exactly MSNBC was getting at.
President Clinton was giving a stump speech Monday for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
"One audience member was just a little overwhelmed," MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing remarked, as a video clip then showed Clinton pausing his speech to recognize an elderly woman in the front who had fainted. "Maybe if you're a Democrat, you'll think this is awesome," Jansing commented.
The woman had received medical attention and was being escorted away by a doctor and two security guards. "And I'm going to save her reputation. It was the sun and not me that made her faint," Clinton joked as she was escorted from the premises.
It was only a matter of time before liberal gay rights activists would politicize the tragic suicide of a homosexual college student as an indictment of social conservatives opposed to their agenda.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on October 1 used carefully selected viewer emails to blame "religious kooks" for the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate set-up a hidden camera in their dorm room and streamed live footage of the college freshman kissing a man.
At the top of the noon hour, Brewer posed the following question to viewers: "Are we likely to see more instances of gay-bashing because the issue of gay rights is now front and center?" The anchor-activist's loaded question produced predictable responses.
MSNBC daytime anchor Contessa Brewer has recently drawn much attention for her shameless bias towards gay-rights activists, especially since she anchors an MSNBC news hour and not a talk show. But today, interviewing ultra-liberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Brewer actually grilled him for his shamelessly-edited ad attacking his Republican opponent Daniel Webster.
Grayson, a freshman Democrat, has made a name for himself in the past year for his outlandish soundbites and theatrics on Capitol Hill. His latest venture into psycho talk is an attack ad accusing Webster of degrading women, calling him the "Taliban."
"So Congressman, your opponent is a fellow American, a longtime public servant of the people of Florida, and you called him the 'Taliban'," Brewer began. "How do you defend that?"
Brewer also asked Grayson to explain his editing of Webster's reference to Scripture. The commercial showed Webster quoting the Bible, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands." However, the ad conveniently left out what Webster said before the quote, distorting the whole context of the remark.
While discussing sex allegations against Bishop Eddie Long on Friday, MSNBC host and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer asked Bishop James Dean Adams: "Long has taken a very strong anti-homosexual stand....Is there always a danger, if you're taking that sort of stand, that you're living in a glass house and people are going to be encouraged to throw stones?"
Brewer described how "the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Bishop Eddie Long 'one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay moment. Long reportedly told his congregation about homosexuals, he said, God says you deserve death.'" The left-wing organization spliced together that comment and other clips of Long's Sermons on its website.
Brewer used Long's comments to go after Bishop Adams: "I mean, you can't support that, do you? The saying that homosexuals deserve death?" Adams replied: "No. I don't say that homosexuals or anybody, for that matter, deserves death." Brewer continued: "Do you think, in any way, Bishop, this will change the way black churches deal with the issue of homosexuality?" Adams explained: "I disagree with the viewpoint that the church is somehow been purposefully anti-gay. It's not about anti-gay. It's just simply anti-sin."
MSNBC anchor and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer on Tuesday warned of "consequences" for senators who oppose repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military. In the 12pm hour, she speculated, "...My big question here, will there be consequences, especially for moderates who refuse to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" [MP3 audio here.]
Later in the News Live show, Brewer interviewed Daniel Choi, an ex-Army lieutenant who was discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Brewer repeated her prediction, citing the planned vote of Senator Susan Collins: "Will there be consequences for her this afternoon if she votes to block the procedure moving forward?"
Despite reporting on gay rights issues, the journalist has also lobbied for political change. On July 24, 2010, she appeared at a fundraiser in Kentucky. A press release touted, "As the evening’s featured guest, MSNBC’s Brewer, who has several family ties to Kentucky, will speak on the need for a statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law in the Commonwealth from a national news perspective."
MSNBC News Live host Thomas Roberts on Monday pleaded with his Twitter followers to help get Lady Gaga on his program, at one point hyping the pro-gay rights singer as the "Joan Baez of her time." [MP3 audio here.]
In the 11am hour, Roberts, who is openly gay and hosted The Advocate On-Air, explained that he had Tweeted Lady Gaga to come on the air and talk about her appearance in Maine to rally support for overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell. He lobbied, "And I want Gaga to join me. So, I want you to help me. I've sent her a message at Twitter.com/LadyGaga and you should too."
He later begged, "So, keep it up out there, Gaga little monsters. Write to @LadyGaga. Try and convince her to come on the show at two o'clock. We'll even do a phoner with her." (Little monsters is the nickname for Gaga fans.)
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer mocked attendees of the Values Voter Summit today, directing her ire at former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, and the entire conservative movement.
"So, they're calling themselves values voters, but isn't this election really about the economy and not so much what we think of as values?" sniveled Brewer, who put air quotes around the term "values." Brewer's dismissive attitude toward values voters must not extend to homosexual rights activists like herself who frequently turn their anchor chairs into liberal soapboxes.
The champion of same-sex marriage revealed her disdain for Palin by noting that although the former Alaska governor was not present at the event, "her doppleganger, Christine O'Donnell is there and she is stealing the show."
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."
Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime.
At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.
Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics." The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
Amidst a war of words with the White House, character attacks from the Left, and a New York Times hit piece on his connections with lobbyists, House Minority Leader John Boehner has received positive media coverage – from MSNBC of all places. The network ran a portrait of Boehner's childhood on its 11 a.m. news hour, and again on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" at 1 p.m.
"The public hears a lot of the arguments against [Boehner] from the Left," remarked NBC correspondent Luke Russert on the 11 a.m. MSNBC news hour Monday. "They hear that he's a country club Republican, if you will, with extensive ties to lobbyists. But it's quite interesting. He's a man who comes from very humble beginnings, starting out in a big Catholic family in Reading, Ohio."
Russert narrated a piece on Boehner's upbringing in Ohio, as one of 12 children. He interviewed one each of Boehner's brothers and his sisters, as well as his high school football coach.
In a brief interview with the openly-gay former Army Lt. Dan Choi MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer gave her vocal support to his cause, hoping that the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends soon.
Brewer has covered the issue quite one-sidedly in the past on behalf of the gay rights side. She has hosted many gay-rights advocates on her news hour and has barely covered the other side of the DADT issue. Examples: here, here, and here.
Brewer was covering the ruling of a federal judge in California that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is unconstitutional. The judge has not yet issued a final ruling, but plans to do so in two weeks. Brewer's lone guest in the segment was Choi, an outspoken advocate and poster boy for the military gay-rights movement, who was arrested this past spring for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of DADT.
During the 3 p.m. MSNBC news hour Monday, anchor Chris Jansing asked the question and hosted an expert who supplied the seemingly desired answer. The question: Could President Obama make a mid-term comeback similar to President Reagan in 1982? The answer: Absolutely.
The two discussed the similarities of the situations faced by the presidents, and seemed to conclude that if the economy turns around, President Obama would almost certainly be re-elected.
It is a big if, but the short segment seemed quite focused on what would happen after the economy turns around. The two didn't bother to discuss what would happen if the economy continues to be stagnant, or takes a turn for the worse.
During the 10 a.m. ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Chris Jansing spoke with Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf Hanson about the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, who proclaimed: "I think there's a lot of fear....there has been a concerted effort by a certain segment. It's a very small minority, but their powerful and vocal, to demonize the Muslim community."
Yusuf was on to discuss his founding of Zaytuna College in California, the nation's first Islamic higher education school. However, Jansing introduced the segment by placing the college in this context: "...the [mosque] controversy prompted Time magazine to ask, Is America – if America is Islamophobic. A Time poll found that 46% of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against nonbelievers. And a small college in Berkeley, California, may become the new battleground in America's uneasy relationship with Islam."
After briefly discussing the college, Jansing turned to the mosque: "Do you understand the unease among many Americans, and we are seeing a lot of it come out with this mosque controversy?" After denouncing opponents of the project, Hanson defended the imam involved: "Feisal Abdul Rauf, who's the imam there, is an extremely gentle person and to frame him as an extremist means that the whole community is mad...these are people that have spent their life in interfaith dialogue..." Rauf claimed the United States was an "accessory" to the September 11th attacks during a September 2001 60 Minutes interview on CBS.
Appearing in the 2:00PM ET hour on MSNBC, New York Daily News reporter Samuel Goldsmith cited a poll featured on the paper's website, about opposition to the Ground Zero mosque: "[it] shows that 70% of New Yorkers say that they think the opposition is out of hatred and religious intolerance."
Unfortunately, Goldsmith forgot to mention that it was a completely unscientific poll that only appeared within articles on the topic and allowed people to potentially vote numerous times. The slanted poll question read: "Is opposition to the building of a mosque near Ground Zero intolerant?" The three responses offered were: "Yes, it's pure religious bigotry against Muslims; No, you can be against because it dishonors victims of Sept. 11; Maybe, but the sensitive thing to do is to move it further from the WTC site."
Goldsmith touted the Daily News poll after anchor Jeff Rossen cited a scientific poll on the issue: "A new Siena College poll suggests – and we actually have the results right here – that 63% of New Yorkers oppose this Islamic center. Only 23% support it." After promoting the unreliable online poll, Goldsmith argued: "...there's a lot of voices coming out....It's hard to really get a grasp of what the public opinion is, I think."
Not only did MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell hail President Obama's support of the Ground Zero mosque as "politically courageous," but she seemed disappointed when, on the next day, he walked back his comments a bit. On both her Monday and Tuesday MSNBC news hours, Mitchell seemed to emphasize that Obama once again kowtowed to the conservative media on an issue he was originally on the right side of.
Mitchell told Chuck Todd that Obama's remarks at the iftar dinner in support of the mosque were "politically courageous, in terms of domestic politics." She then asked why Obama then changed his tone the next day. She used the "politically courageous" phrase again, later on the show.
Chuck Todd, meanwhile, labeled the story as one "that was basically a creation of the conservative blogosphere in many ways."
As the anchor of MSNBC's noon news hour, Contessa Brewer could not openly advocate for supporters of gay marriage – but she definitely seemed to give generous credence to their views on Thursday and Friday. Furthermore, she made snide comments about opponents of same-sex marriage, providing an opposition to their arguments but not seriously questioning proponents of same-sex marriage.
Brewer obviously has strong views on this particular issue, and as a news anchor seems to have trouble keeping her personal opinions out of her news desk duties. In the little time allotted during each show to the same-sex marriage debate, Brewer hosted three pro same-sex marriage guests and none from the opposition.
MSNBC's Cenk Uygur railed against the Tea Party on Friday, attacking their members as the "cancerof the Republican Party." The liberal radio host was completing his final day as guest anchor of the 3pm hour of News Live.
During each show's program he would offer three short commentaries railing against conservatism or President Obama for not being liberal enough.
Uygur, the host of the liberal Young Turks radio show, asserted that the Tea Party will "kill" Republicans after 2010, allowing that the midterms might result in a "slight bump up for the GOP." In contrast, the Cook Report currently predicts a 32 to 42 seat pickup for the Republicans in the House.
MSNBC News Live guest host Cenk Uygur on Wednesday railed against opposition to gay marriage, asserting that conservatives "fought against women's rights and they lost. They fought against civil rights for blacks and they lost." He also touted the supposed moral superiority of liberals, lecturing, "This country is fundamentally progressive." [MP3 audio here.]
To bolster this case, Uygur quoted Marting Luther King: "'Cause as a very smart man once said in the middle of another civil rights battle, 'The arc of history bends towards justice.'" Yet, liberals hardly have a spotless record when it comes to human rights.
In 1972, Jane Fonda famously parroted communist propaganda while sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. Many progressives have also fawned over the communist murderer Che Guevara.
Today I am thinking about all the reasons William K. Black detests me. Last Tuesday, I reported how MSNBC promoted the findings of June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, co-authors of Red Families v. Blue Families, without acknowledging their affiliation with the Roosevelt Institute, a left-wing think tank. On Friday, Black, associate professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, devoted almost 1,500 words, in an article cross-posted to the Huffington Post, to assaulting my character, dismissing me as a "divider," positing that I "have unresolved difficulties with gays," and claiming I have "sex fantasies" about the book.
Black, pictured from an April 30 appearance on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal, is also Carbone's husband.
During live news coverage this afternoon, MSNBC's Chris Jansing demonstrated her apparent ignorance of the statistical maxim "correlation does not imply causation." Interviewing the authors of Red Families v. Blue Families, the daytime anchor gleefully reported the finding that states that voted Republican in the 2008 presidential election have higher rates of divorce, teen pregnancy, and unwed parenthood than states that voted for Barack Obama.
"You've heard the term a lot – 'family values' – but are they actually breaking up families?" the daytime anchor inquired enthusiastically. "According to one book, the so-called liberal blue states actually have more stable family units than culturally conservative red states."
Presenting the findings as a nonpartisan analysis of statistical data, Jansing omitted the fact that the authors, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, are contributors to New Deal 2.0, a blog of the left-wing Roosevelt Institute designed to "discuss how the Great Recession has exposed the fault lines of traditional family values."
Writing for New Deal 2.0 on March 1, Carbone and Cahn lectured:
Newsbusters reported earlier on the double standard of MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on reporters appearing at fundraisers. During the same news hour, Brewer simply couldn't understand the Republican position on extending the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, and jokingly wondered if the Republicans are even human.
"What I don't get is a lot of the people who are shouting about letting these tax cuts expire...are the same people who are shouting about the deficit, and how troubling it is that the national debt is skyrocketing," Brewer pouted. "And you can't have it both ways."
Russert then pretty much confirmed where the news anchor stands on the issue, noting that it's "an argument that a lot of Democrats are saying."
On Monday's News Live, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer expressed incredulity at the revelation that journalist Andrew Breitbart will be appearing at a Republican fundraiser. "I mean, really? Is he going to be a good fund-raiser for the Republicans?"
Reporter Richard Wolffe lectured, "Because if he is that much of a political activist that he is raising money for the RNC, then he is not quite the journalist he describes himself as."
Yet, those exact words could be put to Brewer. On July 24, she was the featured guest at a fundraiser in Kentucky for gay rights. This despite the fact that the anchor has also reported on gay rights for MSNBC. On the July 12 News Live, she wondered why American politicians weren't "taking a stand" on ending Don't Ask, Don't tell.
For two days in a row on her noontime news hour, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer worried aloud about the White House bowing to the wishes of the conservative media on the Shirley Sherrod case, describing it as "towing to right-wingers."
"In some ways, it makes it look like the White House is kowtowing to right-wingers here, Mike," Brewer told MSNBC correspondent Mike Viqueira Wednesday as she was addressing the Shirley Sherrod case and what the White House's role was in her firing. The next day, after discussing the apologies by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilisack, Brewer asked the same question.
"So what does it say then about how conservative cable controversies influence the White House?" Brewer asked liberal Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart.
Apparently not grasping the public's growing unease with Barack Obama's big government/big debt approach to the economy, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on Thursday touted as admirable how the President and Democrats in Congress have "passed job extension benefits again and again. They passed a big health care reform bill that's gonna lower health care costs."
Highlighting the passage of the Democratic agenda, she continued, "They’ve had stimulus spending. They have sent more money to small community banks." Fretting about polls showing declining support for Obama, she demanded to know: "What else do people want the President and Congress to do?"
Operator, oh could you help me place this call? You see the number on the matchbook is old and faded. Jim Croce, 'Operator,' 1972
The Obama administration, the folks that want to run our health care and who knows how much else of our economy and our lives, can't get a simple phone call through to one of its former officials.
In this afternoon's press conference, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs repeatedly said that the Obama administration, through the person of its Agriculture Secretary, has tried but failed to have a phone conversation with Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official it forced out yesterday.
Reporting Thursday from Capitol Hill, MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert touted a likely win for Senate Democrats on the Financial Reform Bill, saying it would be a "huge victory."
"Obviously, [President Obama] ran on the slogan 'Change you can believe in,' with health care reform and financial regulatory reform," Russert commented, thus tying the passage of the financial reform bill with success of Obama's message of "change."
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer, who on Monday argued that overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a "civil rights issue," will appear at a July 24 fundraiser in Kentucky to support gay rights in the state.
According to a press release: "As the evening’s featured guest, MSNBC’s Brewer, who has several family ties to Kentucky, will speak on the need for a statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law in the Commonwealth from a national news perspective."
On Monday's News Live, Brewer implored, "My big question today: Why aren't more American leaders itching for a fight on gay rights?" She also said of ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "Is it time for our American leaders to stand up for what's right and no matter what public opinion polls say to have the leadership and the courage to take a stand on it?"
Recovery summer just keeps getting better and better. News outlets such as MSNBC.com announce "New jobless claims drop sharply." Although the unadjusted data reflect an actual increase, the media are reporting a seasonally adjusted drop of 21,000 in jobless claims.
When it comes to Barack Obama, MSNBC is the network of thrills and chills . . .
Chris Matthews famously felt a thrill going up his leg listening to an Obama speech. Now, MSNBC anchor Alex Witt has been similarly moved by Obamian oratory, declaring this morning "I got a few chills" listening to PBO's "very powerful" speech on immigration.
Witt described her sensations to MSNBC DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker.
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."
In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.
"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.
Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.
"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
Chris Matthews keeps painting the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing as a "culture war" between the Obama nominee and the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Newsbusters reported yesterday, Chris Matthews seemed to spin Monday's standoff between Sessions and Kagan as a battle between the senator's rural, unsophisticated Alabama roots and Kagan's Northeastern liberal academic background.
Well, Matthews showed up in even finer form today. Describing Kagan as a liberal Obama prototype from the "high academia" of the Ivy League, Matthews proceeded to frame her opponent, Sen. Jeff Sessions, as the voice of the Confederacy.
Remarking that the hearing has become like a "red state-blue state" battle, Matthews claimed that "listening to Jeff Sessions is to listen to the, really, the Confederacy; to listen to, really the conservative view of the Deep South."
Matthews also oddly added that Republicans want to make Kagan into a "voodoo doll" (repeating himself from the night before), an image associated more readily with New Orleans, Louisiana, than Sessions' boyhood town of Hybart, Alabama.