If Joe Scarborough is right, this could be a game-changing blow to Barack Obama . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough left no doubt that he believes the Obama administration acquiesced to the release by the British government of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie murderer and terrorist.
Scarborough was reacting to reports suggesting that, contrary to initial claims, the release was done at the behest of Gordon Brown's British government, and was not an independent move by Scotland.
For the second night in a row, Fox News's Glenn Beck attracted the most cable news viewers in the all important demographic of folks aged 25 to 54.
As for MSNBC's Keith Olberman who arrogantly and errantly bragged Tuesday about having "the highest rated cable news program, period," he came in third in his time slot Thursday actually attracting fewer viewers than CNN's Campbell Brown.
Though airing at different times, Olbermann also got beaten by CNN's Larry King and Anderson Cooper.
I'm sure in his crazy world, and that of those who watch him, he's still number one.
Newsweek columnist and editor Jonathan Alter appeared on Friday’s Hardball and slammed Rush Limbaugh as the "great blowhard of our time." Host Chris Matthews prompted the quote when he discussed how Limbaugh had criticized him on his radio show for calling Barack Obama the "last brother" of the Kennedy clan. Referring to Ted Kennedy's death, Matthews snarled, "What is the matter with these people? Can't they take a week off, Jonathan? Just take a week off. It's a funeral."
Responding to the Hardball anchor’s complaint, Alter attacked, "If Ted Kennedy is one of the great senators of our time, Rush Limbaugh takes the crown as the great blowhard of our time." The Newsweek editor derided, "There's nobody who would have criticized Rush Limbaugh if he had talked about a brother because there's so many other things to criticize him for, other outrageous things that he says almost every day on the radio."
Savannah Guthrie is apparently very smart. Guthrie was a member of the prestigious Order of the Coif (which has nothing to do with promoting good scalp health, nor with seventeenth-century headwear) while earning a J.D. from Georgetown Law, highlight her ability to learn dull and boring things very quickly.
Lost among the dusty tomes of Georgetown, however, was the fact that Ronald Reagan was a very nice guy.
On the Friday edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the Brew Crew was discussing the apparent Zen-like calm of the Obama White House. Guthrie, drawing on her spectacular knowledge of the Reagan era, noted the difference in temperament between the Reagan and Obama administrations:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday used an interview with former Vice President Dan Quayle to gratuitously highlight Lloyd Bentsen’s famous 1988 slam, "You're no Jack Kennedy." Although Quayle appeared on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" to share his reflections on the passing of Ted Kennedy, the cable anchor sniped, "One of your toughest moments was during the debate with Lloyd Benson when you compared yourself to John F. Kennedy..."
As though Quayle was unfamiliar with what happened 21 years ago at the vice presidential debate, Mitchell recounted, "And Lloyd Bentsen memorably said, you know, 'I knew John Kennedy. I served with John Kennedy and you are no John Kennedy.’ What happened after that?"
Finally getting to some sort of Kennedy-related query, she quizzed, "I know it was a big hiccup in the road for you. You ended up being elected in any case, but how did Ted Kennedy reach out to you?" Quayle, not surprisingly, didn’t seem to enjoy the question and talked about how nice the Senator was to him during the ‘88 campaign. The former Vice President asserted that people who knew him, understood that he was up to the job. He then zinged Mitchell: "And people that didn't [know me], would sort of parrot what those of you in the media said at the time."
On Tuesday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said Fox News is "serving propaganda to tin foil hatters, conspiracy theorists, paranoids and racists."
On Wednesday, Fox's Bill O'Reilly struck back.
Speaking during his "Pinheads & Patriots" segment during Wednesday's "O'Reilly Factor," the leading voice on cable news once again went after NBC (video and partial transcript embedded below the fold, h/t TVNewser):
The announcement of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death came at 2 a.m. Eastern on Aug. 26 and a little over 15 hours later, two prominent liberal voices were scheming as to how the president and other Democratic leaders could use his passing to advance a political agenda.
Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC host Ed Schultz's Aug. 26 program and was asked by Schultz if it somehow could be used to push "real reform" for health care.
"The passing of Ted Kennedy - could this be a rallying cry for progressives to carry this fight through and to see real reform and health care in this country?" Schultz said. "Because, of course, I think everybody on the left knows that this was his passion, this was his cause."
They warned back in 2008 what might happen if Barack Obama was elected president, and according to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck, a lot of bad stuff is unfolding right before our eyes.
Limbaugh appeared on Beck's Aug. 26 program to discuss the threat of the federal government attempting to regulate the media. He explained the president's policy maneuvers were evidence that this can happen - with very limited opposition in the media.
"The stimulus plan - Glenn, look at what they're doing to the U.S. economy," Limbaugh said. "Anybody with a sense of economic literacy would know that this is not how you create jobs. You do not rebuild the private sector. This is being done on purpose. All of these disasters are exactly what Obama wants - the more crises, the better, the more opportunity for government to say let us in and fix the problem. And, with his number one opposition is on radio and Fox News. His number one opposition is on radio. They can't go Fairness Doctrine because it's too obvious. So, they're trying to do this backdoor route with diversity and ownership, a 100-percent tax on operating in order to pay public radio because they're supposedly fair."
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit in segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of million of citizens." -- Sen. Edward Kennedy, floor of the U.S. Senate, 1987.
I'm all for remembering a man's good qualities upon his death. But not at the price of ignoring—and denying—history. Yet that's just what David Shuster did during today's 4 PM hour on MSNBC when he claimed that Kennedy "didn't dabble in small personal attacks." This of the man who invented the dark political art form of "borking."
Those pesky wabbit Wepublicans, complained MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, always waising the bar on Democrats.
During her show Aug. 20, Maddow recruited former WNBA player Sue Wicks to shoot baskets in studio to illustrate alleged machinations by the GOP. Here's what Maddow had to say after Wicks nailed one of her shots --
MADDOW: Sinking a shot on a regulation, 10-foot hoop, yeah, it's not a sure thing but with effort and focus you learn how to do it. These are the rules. Or these were the rules, OK?
You know why you never hear about the Senate needing 51 votes to pass anything any more? It's because since the Republicans have been in the minority in the Senate, they've taken a once rarely-used exception to the 51-vote rule and they've turned it into a new rule. It's called the filibuster and it means that the minority won't even allow something to be voted on without 60 senators giving it the nod.
MSNBC News Live hosts David Shuster and Tamron Hall on Tuesday embraced a contrarian notion that the tide is shifting in favor of liberal health care reform. Interviewing a Democratic strategist-turned-left-wing columnist, whose political affiliations went unidentified, Shuster tried to be optimistic: "...If the anti, sort-of, reform crowd on the right owned the early part of August, you almost get the sense that things are starting to pick up on the left, as far as the last couple of weeks in this month."
Shuster talked to David Sirota, whom he identified simply as a "syndicated columnist." The cable anchor left out the fact that Sirota is a former Democratic/far-left operative who previously worked for, among others, socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. One MSNBC graphic hopefully speculated that the country may be seeing a health care "momentum shift." Another touted, "Is Tide Beginning to Turn on Health Care Reform?"
To liberal media outlets, Warren Hern, one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, has been worthy of praise as a doctor who boldly stands up for his beliefs in the face of intimidation - a lonely humanitarian braving violent death for the sake of his patients.
That's the picture painted by TV and other media. What's missing from the portrait is Hern's belief that humans are "malignant ecotumors," his refusal to be called an abortionist, and his strident denunciations of the pro-life movement.
Attention has turned to Hern in the wake of the May 31 murder of Kansas late-term abortionist (and Hern friend) George Tiller. Since then, Hern has appeared on MSNBC, CNN and NPR. Print media, including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune have cited him.
Esquire magazine devoted 9,000 words to Hern in its current issue, which sparked his Aug. 12 appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show and praise from Keith Olbermann.
Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," ridiculed Republican Congressman Wally Herger, for calling a townhaller a "Great American," because the questioner described himself as a "right wing terrorist." Since satire seems to be above Chris Matthews' head he failed to realize the townhaller was probably mocking those in the liberal media, like the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein, who actually called Republicans "terrorists."
An appalled Matthews argued the Congressman's praise of the man could lead to trouble:
MATTHEWS: Next up, here's one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting some guy yelled out, bragging that he was quote, "A proud right wing terrorist." To which the Congressman responded, "Amen. God bless ya! Now there's a great American." A great American. A guy who thinks it's okay, in this day and age, to call himself a right wing terrorist. This is the dangerous edge, in which these people, including some elected officials are now dancing. We've been here before. Words lead to actions, words create the national mood, the mood creates a license. People take that license and use it. I'm not spelling it out any further because I don't want to.
The following outbursts were aired on the August 24 edition of "Hardball":
You probably already knew Jeanane Garofalo was no fan of conservatives, Republicans or just about anything that could be described as right of center. But the former Air America host and MSNBC regular really has a low regard for conservative activists.
If you've been keeping up with the health care debate, opponents of President Barack Obama's health care plan have been accused of spreading misinformation to thwart the administration's efforts. Even Obama himself said recently that those who raised the abortion concern were "bearing false witness." But the same sorts of claims have come up in the media.
"[F]ifty-four percent believe that abortion is going to be funded," Schultz to Douglass on "The Ed Show." "Fifty-four percent believe that there's going to be a government takeover. And 45 percent believe that death panels are going to be there for the elderly. I should point out, none of those are true. So, obviously, the White House is not connecting with the American people."
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell today issued a public statement in which he demanded that MSNBC accept responsibility and apologize for concocting a racially charged "news" story that falsely accused a supposedly white health reform protester of carrying a gun out of hatred for a black President.
NewsBusters.org's Kyle Drennen initially reported on this on Tuesday, and yesterday provided an update: that the Second Amendment Foundation, as the name would suggest a gun-owners rights group, had condemned the liberal network for "using deceptively-edited video from a Phoenix, Arizona anti-tax rally on Monday to invent a racial stereotype in its on-going effort to demonize and marginalize American firearms owners as ‘racists.’"
After Politico.com picked up Kyle's initial NewsBusters.org item, an MSNBC spokesperson attempted to justify the slander: "Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon."
But Brewer did specifically cite an unidentified African-American man who attended a protest outside of a Monday speech by President Obama: "Yesterday, as President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, a man at a pro-health care reform rally just outside, wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip."
Following MSNBC coverage of ObamaCare protesters legally carrying guns, on Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation condemned the liberal network for "using deceptively-edited video from a Phoenix, Arizona anti-tax rally on Monday to invent a racial stereotype in its on-going effort to demonize and marginalize American firearms owners as ‘racists.’"
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, MSNBC correspondent Contessa Brewer, along with Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan and pop culture analyst Toure, depicted all gun-carrying protesters as being "white," "racist," and even a threat to President Obama’s life. Brewer cited one such gun-toting protester, but used highly edited video footage that did not reveal the man was actually African-American.
Reviewing a new NBC poll shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today, MSNBC's David Shuster today dismissed as "false" the fears of 50 percent of respondents that "tax dollars will help pay for abortions."
But Shuster's flat denial belies the fact that there is reasonable debate over what exactly Democratic health care proposals before Congress would mean when it comes to financing abortion via the so-called public option.
The question revolves largely around an amendment to the House healthcare bill that was adopted by the Energy and Commerce Committee last Thursday. The amendment prohibits federal funds from explicitly subsidizing abortion in the private healthcare plans to be offered through the health insurancehere). But it doesn't prevent "the public health insurance exchange (read it here) option from providing for or prohibiting coverage" of abortion.
If Napoleon was right about not interfering with an [in this case political] enemy in the process of destroying itself, this could be a time for Republicans to lay low. According to Ed Schultz, the left could be on the verge of an anti-Obama crack-up.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz said to the face of a senior admin official that the left is seriously considering dumping support for the president.
Schultz's guest was reporter-turned-Obama-spokesman Linda Douglass. The point of Schultz's exercise was to hold Obama's feet to the fire for the way the prez is furiously backpedaling away from his pledge that any health care bill "must" contain a public option.
Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin appeared on MSNBC’s News Live on Tuesday to discuss college football and ended up trashing Sarah Palin. Talking with host David Shuster about a new SEC regulation stopping fans from using social networking sites at games, Zirin frothed that odd sports rules are like "Sarah Palin considering herself a college graduate. Just ‘cause you call yourself that, doesn't mean it means anything."
Is there no subject too unrelated for MSNBC or one of its guests to use to slam the former Alaska governor? Perhaps it’s not surprising that the left-leaning cable network would feature a man who covers sports for the very liberal Nation. But, couldn’t they find someone from Sports Illustrated, ESPN or any non-partisan sports outlet?
You might call it a decided understatement. Still, it was refreshing to hear a member of the White House press corps state an inconvenient truth about Pres. Obama: that he is under-supplied in the sense of humor department.
Julie Mason, White House correspondent of the Washington Examiner, offered the observation this afternoon on MSNBC. She was on to discuss the awkward situation created by the separate meetings with Pres. Obama that Hillary and Bill Clinton are having this afternoon.
When Monica Novotny asked whether PBO might take the occasion to rib her about her sharp response to the student in the Congo who asked about Bill's views, Mason offered her candid comment.
With President Obama and congressional liberals facing loud protests over their big government health care plan, journalists are casting the anti-ObamaCare forces as “ugly,” “unruly,” “nasty” mobs, with reporters presenting the most odious images (like pictures of Obama drawn as Hitler) as somehow representative. But when President George W. Bush faced left-wing protests, the media scrubbed their stories of radical voices and depicted demonstrators as mainstream, and even “prescient.”
In January 2003, all of the broadcast networks touted an anti-war march organized by the radical International ANSWER, an outgrowth of the communist Workers World Party. Signs at the rally read: “USA Is #1 Terrorist,” “Bush Is a Terrorist,” and “The NYPD Are Terrorists Too.” National Review Online quoted several protesters who claimed 9/11 was a Bush plot, “like when Hitler burned down the Reichstag,” and argued Bush would “build a worldwide planetary death machine.”
Reporters bypassed all that hate and showcased the protesters as everyday Americans. On ABC, Bill Blakemore stressed how the protest attracted “Democrats and Republicans, many middle-aged, from all walks of life,” while CBS’s Joie Chen saw “young, old, veterans and veteran activists — all united in the effort to stop the war before it starts.”
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns."Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.
Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "...there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president....we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "...then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."
Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.
Hey, if you can't poke fun at someone whose name dovetails with that of a potentially devastating neurological disorder ...
MSNBC cable show host Rachel Maddow demonstrated what passes for humor on her show Aug. 12 when she said this about Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette of Ohio --
MADDOW: Next up on the bizarre health-care debate circuit, Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette attended a town hall event in his Ohio district yesterday. There, he very responsibly urged his audience to be civil. (cuts to footage of LaTourette)
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," a bit of a squabble happened when panelists Dick Armey and Rachel Maddow bickered over whether or not MoveOn.org once ran an ad equating former President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Regardless of who was right, someone should instruct Maddow as to the difference between being a guest and a host, for her continual interruptions when Armey was speaking, though quite commonplace for an MSNBC anchor, were downright rude.
Just watch what happened when host David Gregory asked the very first question directed at Armey (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:25):
On today's Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow demanded to know whether Dick Armey was a member of a coalition with the Tea Party Patriots, a group she alleges to promote "violence." Moderator David Gregory joined in the cross-examination of Armey, head of Freedom Works.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow “apologized” on Friday for her false report the previous night that conservative public relations executive Craig Shirley was somehow behind a Web site that hosted incendiary anti-Obama video, a site funded by a group called Grassfire.org. “I apologize for saying that they [Shirley & Banister Public Affairs] were still currently involved in representing Grassfire. They are not,” she admitted.
Undeterred, Maddow then ludicrously tried to impugn Shirley & Banister by connecting them to the anti-ObamaCare protests (as if that would be a bad thing) through a convoluted set of associations. She then displayed Friday’s NewsBusters’ article on her wrong reporting as evidence that “right-wing Web sites” were using “threats and intimidation” to pressure Maddow to back off.
“I will not and we will not be intimidated out of covering the news,” Maddow pompously declared.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for the second time in eight days bullied a guest he was interviewing, but this time the person on the receiving end really let him have it.
As NewsBusters previously reported, O'Donnell last Thursday, while subbing for Ed Schultz on that evening's "The Ed Show," continually talked over his guest Peter Schiff and basically never let him answer any questions.
On Friday, O'Donnell, who was sitting in for Chris Matthews on "Hardball," tried the same tactic with Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.), but this time his guest struck back and struck back hard (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer sic721 with a video assist from Jeff Poor):