On Monday's Countdown show, substitute hosted by liberal MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell, during a segment with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter about former Governor Sarah Palin's resignation speech from the weekend, Alter referred to what he called Palin's "fibs" and "absurdities" as he reminded viewers that she is very popular in the Republican party despite the flaws Alter and his ilk see in her. Alter: "She is now an icon within the Republican party, and we can, you know, laugh at her and point out all of her fibs and all of her absurdities, but she has a hard core constituency within that party that suggests that her career is not entirely over."
Alter later recounted some of the elements of her weekend speech, including "attacking the national media," and contended that her words would play well with Republicans, "even if it rubs us the wrong way." Alter:
It's the kind of astute analysis you'd expect from MSNBC - the place for the politics. CNBC regular and MSNBC fill-in anchor Donny Deutsch solved the mystery behind the media's fascination with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
According to the former advertising executive, it has nothing to do with her stance on several hot-button issues - an advocate of gun rights, a pro-life stance on abortion, pro-exploration and drilling for oil and concerned about the fiscal policies of President Barack Obama. Instead, he contended, it is her sexual appeal that held the media's attention - and not just from a male perspective, but a female perspective as well.
"I'm going to throw something out since I'm talking to three women here and I've said this theory before and I'd love you guys to react to it," Deutsch said on MSNBC on July 27. "That - the reason we have a fascination with Sarah Palin - men and women: This is the first woman in power that has sexual appeal and people don't know what to do with it. That's why people are fascinated with her. Everything else is secondary. OK, beat me up."
Conservatives are used to hearing liberals gloat about how the island paradise that is Cuba provides free health care to its fortunate denizens. Apparently there's now yet another country that we have to look up to: Rwanda.
On her MSNBC show this afternoon, Dr. Nancy Snyderman proclaimed herself "jealous" of Rwanda, which reportedly provides health insurance coverage to 90% of its citizens.
Snyderman's guest was Mary Robinson. The former President of Ireland is now in charge of "the Ethical Globalization Initiative" at the hoity-toity Aspen Institute. Snyderman seemed intent on drawing her guest into making invidious comparisons between the US and the rest of the world.
Generations past and present of the Washington Post heaped abuse on Sarah Palin today. Appearing on Morning Joe, Carl Bernstein called Palin "ignorant," a "demagogue" and a "flake." Current WaPo editorialist Jonathan Capehart chimed in to second Bernstein's emotion "100%."
Pat Buchanan stepped in to explain Palin's appeal.
On Thursday night’s edition of The Ed Show on MSNBC, host Ed Schultz covered the Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy not by just insulting cops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but police all across America: "I think we live in an age where we have a lot of overzealous law enforcement, I really do. Now if the law enforcement officials know the community, they should have known that this guy lived there."
Leftist professor Michael Eric Dyson was a Schultz guest. (He also appeared Thursday morning on Today "balanced" with radio host Michael Smerconish, who insisted on reminding the audience that he voted for Obama.) On MSNBC, Dyson called Gates "the Rosa Parks of racial profiling." Even if you believe racial profiling is a huge problem, isn’t Gates a little late in our history to be the Rosa Parks? Wouldn’t he nominate Rodney King or someone from a few decades back? Here’s what Dyson said:
In the grand scheme of things, Donny Deutsch's radical prescription for health care might not count for much. Just a former-ad-man-turned-pundit spouting off. But let's consider. Deutsch is well-off and presumably harbors no electoral ambitions. He is free to say whatever's on his mind. And he is immersed in the liberal media-political culture. Is Deutsch giving voice to the radicalism that Obama/Pelosi/Waxman harbor but dare not fully express?
Appearing on Morning Joe today, Deutsch offered a two-part plan for health care:
Make the rich pay for it: "I'm an extremist. I'm for redistribution of wealth."
Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," invited on Dan Rather to remember Walter Cronkite and the former CBS News anchor – famously fired for letting his bias spiral out of control during the George W. Bush National Guard story – called Cronkite "a straight news reporter," and claimed Cronkite advised him and others at CBS News to "Tell it straight without fear or favoritism. Pull no punches. Say it like it is, insofar as is humanly possible. Keep your own prejudices and biases and feelings and emotions out of it."
After playing an old 1996 clip from an interview with Cronkite from his CNBC show, in which Cronkite admits to being a liberal, Matthews asked Rather to comment, to which Rather hailed that Cronkite: "Stood for, the beacon he sent out was, 'Straight news reporting. Whatever your political persuasions are, however anyone wants to label you, get to the story, tell the story as straight as you can and the American public will understand.'" [audio available here]
The following exchange was aired on the July 20 edition of "Hardball":
It is well known that Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC's The Ed Show, has become quite unhinged lately due in large part to the low ratings of both his TV and radio shows. The result has been quite a bit of Psycho Talk volcanic anger from Big Ed. However, last Wednesday he outdid even himself in the "Psycho Talk" department on his low rated radio show on the subject of Rush Limbaugh to the extent that he was even mocking Rush's deafness. Here is the transcript and audio of that show provided by The Radio Equalizer. Before reading or listening further I must warn the folks out there that you are about to enter a very disturbing level of dementia rarely heard from someone in the public eye so proceed at your own risk:
Apparently the drug-ridden loser Rush Limbaugh, he thinks because he's got a lot of money and a lot of stations that he's a success in life, the guy that can't hear because he did so many drugs and had no self-discipline and character has now taken his first shot at me on "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. I love it!
One of the sad byproducts of journalism's decline is that you rarely see a great debate on television anymore between a liberal and a conservative without it devolving into a lot of yelling, name calling, and folks talking over each other.
On Thursday night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow invited Pat Buchanan on to talk about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
What ensued was a surprisingly civil and respectful ten minute discussion that should give viewers faith that it is still possible for folks on opposite sides of the political spectrum to converse like adults about controversial subjects (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):
Is making a racist remark about President Obama's daughter worse than wishing a conservative talk show host would die?
Such should be asked of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who on Monday was quite angered by some truly tasteless comments about Malia Obama posted last week at Free Republic.
Yet, back in April when Olbermann published a diary at the liberal website Daily Kos concerning his waterboarding challenge to Sean Hannity, the "Countdown" host wasn't at all outraged by the venomous attacks made on the Fox News star which included some Kossacks wishing he would die.
For those that can stand it, here's a sampling of such commentary:
MSNBC host David Shuster on Thursday relied on the liberal group Media Matters to help him as he tried to "sift through the spin and get at the truth" of a Republican-created chart purporting to show government-run health care as a confusing maze of bureaucracy. Shuster began by complaining, "Is the conservative media deliberately trying to avoid any fact-checking when it comes to Republican talking points?"
The cable anchor appeared incensed that the graph, released by congressional Republicans, has been featured on Fox News and the Drudge Report. Introducing Karl Frisch, Senior Media Fellow at Media Matters, Shuster attacked its reliability and fumed, "Is this another example of, at least with some of the conservative media, it’s to their strategic benefit not to bother checking things out?"
Leave it to Chris Matthews, a former speechwriter to Jimmy Carter, to actually commemorate the 30th anniversary of the former president's infamous "malaise" speech. On Wednesday's "Hardball," Matthews invited on his former bosses from the Carter White House, former speechwriter and now New Yorker senior editor Hendrick Hertzberg and former aide Gerald Rafshoon to mark the event and claim that Carter was vindicated by history as Matthews proudly asserted Carter was "Dead on," about "putting on a sweater, lowering the thermostat," to solve the energy crisis. And Hertzberg did Matthews one better by proclaiming Carter a "prophet."
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Rick it seems to me Carter was dead on, on the need for energy sufficiency and dealing with the energy conservation. Putting on a sweater, lowering the thermostat. All of those things made sense. He was right about the problem of nuclear proliferation. Of arms getting to countries like Iran. He's way ahead of his time on that. And also his concern for human rights. Right? So he was right, but?
Keith Olbermann, one of MSNBC’s resident leftists posing as anchors, named Jim Robinson, the founder of FreeRepublic.com, as his runner-up on his “Worst Person in the World” feature on his Countdown program on Monday evening but twice called him “Jim Thompson.”
After first implying that “Thompson” and his site’s moderators were a bunch of juveniles, Olbermann explained that the reason why the Free Republic founder was so bad was because a few posters on one of the regular picture caption threads made “racist” comments, and that it took them supposedly “as long as three days before removing a comment thread devoted to the racist rage of a disturbingly large number of his posters, possibly some of the same people who had previously conducted polls on the site on how best to topple the freely-elected government of the United States” [audio clips from the segment are available here].
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," invited on HBO's Bill Maher to mock GOP criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as Maher accused them of being "racist," and Matthews marveled at how Republicans can admire Sarah Palin but not someone who worked as hard as Sotomayor to achieve her position, as he pondered: "Why do they like somebody who's shown no sweat equity against somebody who's shown nothing but sweat equity?"
Before discussing Republican treatment of Sotomayor Matthews asked Maher to rate the audiences that come to see him in the South. Maher, not surprisingly, belittled most of the region, saying the ones that do come to his shows are the minority as they are "marbled in and surrounded by a bunch of hillbillies and rednecks." To which Matthews rejoined: "Isn't it refreshing to meet Southern liberals? Because the great thing about Southern liberals is they don't, they're not competing for the latest nuance of sexual freedom like in Greenwich Village. They are liberals, meaning they're, they're for black equality for example. Things like that, that are pretty nice and wholesome." [audio available here]
Not long after that slam against non-liberal Southerners, Maher threw out the charge of Republican racism:
MSNBC hosts Tamron Hall and David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly grumbled at the tough questions Senator Lindsey Graham posed to Sonia Sotomayor over the judge's ability to keep her feelings in check. At one point during live coverage, Shuster derided the lawmaker's remarks as "patronizing" and fretted that "the blogs are already going crazy over this." Hall saw the statements as insinuating the nominee is too "hot blooded."
The comments that drew the ire of the anchors were Graham's quizzing of Sotomayor as to reports that lawyers have found her difficult to deal with in the courtroom. Graham probed, "I never liked appearing before a judge who was a bully. Do you think you have a temperament problem?"
Co-host Hall vociferously objected to Graham's queries. Responding to news articles about the subject, she complained, "These are anonymous sources....One might read into this that he's [Graham] talking about her being a hot-blooded person or a woman who can't control her emotions."
Sooner or later, liberals will learn to not provoke Liz Cheney on issues of national security.
Those who watch the news for information other than the tragic death (and subsequent funeral circus) of Michael Jackson have most likely heard of the most recent round of accusations made by congressional liberals against the Central Intelligence Agency. On the July 14 “Morning Joe,” the former vice president's daughter issued a thrashing of Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, who (one would guess) did not adequately prepare to argue about the laws concerning when the CIA is required to brief Congress.
Robinson first submits the following:
EUGENE ROBINSON, Washington Post columnist: Hi, Liz, how are you? I have a question. I actually have a question for Liz in a minute, but you know, look, it's inconvenient that there is a law, there is a 1947 law that requires that Congress be briefed on significant intelligence operations or activities or anticipated significant intelligent activity, so it seems to be clear that they should have been briefed. And if the Vice President told the CIA not to brief Congress then that was wrong.
That certainly sounds correct, at least on the surface – if that’s the law, that’s the law.
On Friday night’s Hardball, guest host Lawrence O’Donnell enthusiastically promoted HBO’s new, glowing Ted Kennedy documentary.
He began by declaring "There‘s so much ground to cover. We don‘t have enough time for this. And I want to show the people out there, people under 60, who don‘t know the early Ted Kennedy, don‘t remember the early Ted Kennedy, I want to show what you have got in this movie." But O’Donnell’s interview completely left out the biggest scandal of "the early Ted Kennedy" – the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick.
This seemed especially odd as O’Donnell recounted with filmmaker Caroline Waterlow how Richard Nixon was obsessed with Ted Kennedy:
O'DONNELL: Imagine that. Here you are, a senator. You have a president of the United States obsessing all day, is there something we can hang on him. Is there something we can accuse him of?
WATERLOW: With all—to think of Teddy, with all the things he was dealing with politically and within his family and all of the losses he has suffered, he was also—
MSNBC's David Shuster, who was suspended in 2008 for proclaiming that Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by her then-candidate mother, on Monday challenged a representative of Free Republic as to what he would do to try and "discourage people" from using "hateful, vile language" on the website. Video available here.
Guest Kristinn Taylor, a spokesman for the Washington D.C. chapter of Free Republic, appeared on the show to battle with the MSNBC Live host over offensive comments that were posted on the site about 11-year old Malia Obama. Taylor combatively contradicted an assertion by Shuster that some racist remarks featured under a picture of the Obama daughter were reposted on the web page after initially being removed: "Well, David, unfortunately, it seems you've gotten your story from the Daily Kos, which is not a reliable source of information."
During live coverage of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews gushed about the judge's opening statement, saying "Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again." Matthews, who famously proclaimed that Barack Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, also offered a fawning aside about what a "genius" the President is.
Responding to a comment the Supreme Court nominee made about working hard to advance herself in school, the "Hardball" host followed-up his "thrill" remark by rhapsodizing, "When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it." [audio available here]
On a rainy September night in 1972, a man on a ferry bound for Martha's Vineyard tried to throw another passenger overboard. The target of the assailant's attack -- former defense secretary Robert McNamara, then president of the World Bank.
The assault received considerable attention at the time though was largely forgotten in the decades that followed. After McNamara's death earlier this month at age 93, the incident was recounted by University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Hendrickson when he was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show on July 7.
As she was about to introduce Hendrickson, an incredulous Maddow described the attack and told her audience, "This is not a metaphor" -- which turned out to be exactly how Hendrickson would describe it to Maddow. To which I respond -- it wasn't the only metaphor at work.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Is Vancouver Sun writer a Daily Kos contributor?
MSNBC's David Shuster on Saturday told his fans at Twitter that he intends to report on some ugly comments made about President Obama's daughter Malia at the conservative website Free Republic last week.
For those unaware, a British Daily Mail article about a peace sign t-shirt Malia was wearing in Rome before the start of the G-8 summit was posted at Free Republic Wednesday evening.
According to the Vancouver Sun, this generated some tasteless remarks (readers are advised to see update at end of post dealing with this writer's possible connection to Daily Kos):
This was inevitable. When the Obama administration effectively took over General Motors, Obama-friendly media hacks were going to tout the company's products . . .
And so it was that on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed Schultz offered up an unpaid infomercial for GM's new Camaro. Most grotesque was Schultz's boast that the Camaro was outselling the Ford Mustang. Take that, private-sector company that declined to take Obama's dime!
MSNBC’s David Shuster and Tamron Hall labeled the circulation of a photo of President Obama allegedly glancing at a teenager’s posterior a “right wing smear,” and singled out Fox News and Drudge as culprits. They brought on a Media Matters spokesman, who accused these sites of being motivated by a “racist stereotype of an oversexed black man being a predator.” They let this accusation go unanswered (audio clip from the promos and the segment available here).
Shuster and Hall promoted the segment on the Obama picture from the start of the 4 pm Eastern hour of MSNBC’s live coverage. A graphic on-screen at the top of the hour pondered, “Right Wing Smear?,” as Shuster read the first teaser: “Plus, smearing President Obama- some on the Right went crazy over this photo they claimed shows President Obama with a wandering eye. But check the tape- the actual video shows a far different story- why the Right was so wrong with this one.”
The MSNBC anchor echoed his “why the Right was so wrong” phrase during the second promo at 19 minutes into the hour: “Up next, what the Right did wrong with that President Obama photo that was splashed all across some conservative websites. Why didn’t they bother to check the tape before making false accusations?” Right before the commercial break which preceded the segment, Hall broke back in with the final promo: “And when pictures do not say a thousand words- heck, when pictures right out deceive- why this misleading photograph was very popular on conservative blogs and conservative papers.”
My dear late father used to say that whenever a person's reaction is disproportionate to the stimulus, something else is at work. Keith Olbermann's "Worsting" of Ann Coulter on last night's Countdown [video] is a good illustration of the principle. Olbermann ostensibly awarded Ann his "Worst Person" for what was, after all, a rather mild swipe at Rachel Maddow, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her "raw sex appeal."
So what had really gotten under Olby's skin? What caused him to call Ann "putrid and evil"? Reference to the Coulter column in question reveals this paragraph, which Olbermann pointedly omitted from his Worst Person spiel:
Soon we'll only hear about Keith when his creepy e-mails using his mother's death to hit on chicks start making the rounds again. (Tip to Keith: When a girl refuses to give you her phone number, her assistant's phone number or her personal e-mail address, and only gives you her assistant's e-mail address, you're not halfway in the sack.)
Listen to Rachel Maddow introduce a guest on her MSNBC show Wednesday night, as seen and heard in the embedded video, and savor a Freudian slip for the ages.
A question that comes to mind -- how does one accurately transcribe this? Is the correct spelling "wretch," defined in my Random House dictionary as "a deplorably unfortunate or unhappy person," or "retch," as in "to make efforts to vomit"?
Fortunately for Maddow, it could have been worse .... Joining us now is New York Times columnist Frank Bich ...
The fast-moving microblogging technology has become a household name. It is the technology that aided the recent Iranian uprising, that gave the global supporters of freedom and justice a way to communicate with the people on the ground in Iran – those poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.
Like much of the Internet, it is also sometimes a hive-mind of absurdity.
Case in point: MSNBC’s David Shuster. At approximately 4 p.m., July 7, Shuster graced the Twitterverse with this nugget:
By the way, for all of you watching on DirectTV and wondering why MSNBC is not in HD, ask mr. Murdoch/newscorps, the owner of DirectTV.
Ah yes, the wonderful figurehead of evil corporate moneymongers – the poster-child for all that is wrong (right?) with capitalism, Rupert Murdoch. Surely the mighty Murdoch has decreed that MSNBC be broadcast only in low-resolution on his company’s satellites.
Noted free-speech champion Keith Olbermann has declared that we have to "legally stop" Glenn Beck. The Fox News host's crime? Not reacting strongly enough for Olbermann's taste when a guest made an over-the-top remark. [H/t reader JKF.]
On the June 30 editon of Beck's show, former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said: "the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to detonate a major weapon in the United States." Apparently Scheuer thinks that's what it would take to shock the country and its leaders back to their senses. Olbermann was infuriated that Beck didn't "scream at him" or otherwise jump down Scheuer's throat, choosing instead to nod gravely while suggesting that would be the last thing OBL would do.
MSNBC anchor and Keith Olbermann wannabe David Shuster is so beside himself with glee over Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation that he's eager to let the whole world -- or at least some 18,000+ followers on Twitter -- know about it 140 characters at a time. In the process Shuster spewed ad hominem attacks on Palin backers on Twitter and endorsed as a knee-slapper a July 3 slam of Palin penned by veteran Democratic hack Paul Begala.
Earlier Sunday evening the regular substitute host for "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" snickered over Palin's choice of legal counsel and his "intellectual vapidity." Those comments came on the heels of Shuster lambasting Palin's defenders, including columnist Bill Kristol, as intellectually immature juveniles (tweets are in reverse chronological order):
Still laughing over palin lawyer thomas von flein. Now I'm beginning to feel sorry for palin.
Speaking of intellectual vapidity, check out the 4 page letter from palin lawyer. Sheesh
@laurapocketdem. Good point. I I owe an apology to all middle schoolers. I'm sorry for comparing you to some palin defenders. :)
In announcing that she was stepping down as Alaska Governor on Friday, Sarah Palin noted the unrelenting hostility of liberal media elites. In the barely ten months since she burst onto the national scene, Palin has been scorned and mocked by journalists -- including many supposedly objective reporters -- like few other politicians. Here are a few of the choicer attacks, as compiled from MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter:
"She is a far-right conservative who supported Pat Buchanan over George W. Bush in 2000. She thinks global warming is a hoax and backs the teaching of creationism in public schools. Women are not likely to be impressed by her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest." — Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter in a "Web exclusive" posted on his magazine’s Web site, August 29, 2008.
"[McCain has] done it [picked Sarah Palin] at great cost, because the whole Republican convention...was going to be the slogan, ‘He’s not ready to lead,’ meaning Barack Obama. Well, Sarah Palin makes Barack Obama look like John Adams. I mean, it’s just, it’s no contest." — Newsweek’s Howard Fineman on MSNBC’s Countdown, August 29.
Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift: "This [McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin] is not a serious choice. It makes it look like a made for TV movie. If the media reaction is anything, it’s been literally laughter in many places across news-" Host John McLaughlin: "Where is that? See that?" Clift: "In very, very many newsrooms." — Exchange on The McLaughlin Group, August 31, 2008.