Has it really come to this? Is MSNBC so in the tank for the Democratic Party that it takes far-left documentary filmmaker Michael Moore to bring up malfeasance by a leading Democrat?
Moore appeared on MSNBC's Sept. 29 "Hardball" to promote his new film "Capitalism: A Love Story." With exception of "The Ed Show" fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell noting the Senate Ethics Committee had cleared Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., of wrongdoing and only reprimanded him verbally, over the last couple of months, MSNBC's prime time shows have ignored a deal Dodd got on a mortgage with Countrywide. That is, until Moore brought it up.
"Chris Dodd may have a problem after being in this movie, I think," Matthews said.
Liberals like to style themselves as being above ageism, lookism, sexism and judgementalism when it comes to sexual predilections. But in one fell show, Ed Schultz managed to indulge in all of the above.
If a regular fan of MSNBC primetime were to chime into a water cooler conversation with the words, "Terror plot? I haven't heard of any terror plot?" such an MSNBC devotee couldn't be blamed for not knowing about one of the big news stories of the past two weeks.
While the arrest of terror suspect Najibullah Zazi -- who admitted to training with al-Qaeda in Pakistan and is believed to have been planning to target New York City -- featured prominently on every broadcast network evening newscast in the past couple of weeks as well as some evening shows on CNN and FNC, there was barely a mention during MSNBC's primetime schedule of the terror plot described by NBC Nightly news anchor Brian Williams as "one of the more serious terror plots since 9/11."
Don't you love it when a liberal lapses into candor?
Here's a recent example of this delightful phenomenon, courtesy of Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC this past Wednesday, with New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman one of Maddow's guests.
Maddow and Krugman talked about a speech given by Sarah Palin to investors in Hong Kong, and of Krugman's new book, "The Return of Depression Economics," when Maddow asked him this (click here for audio)--
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday said Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) -- he of "You lied" fame -- should be required to take a breathalyzer test before he goes into Congressional sessions where the President is speaking.
Such occurred as O'Donnell was filling in for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown," and discussing with the Nation's Chris Hayes how poorly Wilson represents a GOP that "used to be an image of country club Republicans, well-bred, WASPY, dignified people who just didn't like taxation."
According to O'Donnell, that's all changed, and for the worse (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Jon, file photo):
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was hit hard by the videos showing employees giving tax avoidance advice to a "pimp" and "hooker."
But Maddow rose to the defense of ACORN which she called a right-wing "bogeyman," crusading for them on her MSNBC show. She accused corporations of going into "kill mode" against the organization which helps "poor people."
Remember "Baghdad Bob," the Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf? Even with Iraqi forces in a full rout and American Marines just blocks away Baghdad Bob would completely deny the presence of U.S. troops in the Iraqi capitol.
Watching MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," on September 24 was reminiscent of Baghdad's Bob's press conferences. Olbermann asked Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, also an MSNBC political analyst, how "the GOP" would convince the public that the health care system "is not really in crisis" and that it does not need to be a priority compared to Afghanistan. Turning right to page three of the current left-wing talking points, Alter used the opportunity to attack Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., for suggesting that the president is letting Afghanistan slide to curry favor for health care, by invoking George W. Bush.
"It's a pretty lame argument," Alter said. "I don't remember Jim DeMint saying when George W. Bush was proposing to reform Social Security a few years ago that somehow he was putting the troops at risk in Iraq, because he was worried about some domestic issue."
According to many in the liberal media, vehement conservative protestations to Obama and his policies are inciting, or have the potential to incite violence against the President. In their eyes, violent rhetoric and violent actions are one and the same. "Violent rhetoric begets violence," as one liberal talk show host put it.
So why are we not seeing blame heaped upon documentary filmmaker and avowed socialist Michael Moore for yesterday's G-20 riots in Pittsburgh? Moore does, after all, preach hateful and extreme anti-capitalist rhetoric. The cryptic slogan for his most recent movie, "Capitalism, A Love Story", reads, "Capitalism is evil, and you can't regulate evil." This line is eerily reminiscent of many of the socialist-anarchist slogans chanted by the G-20 protesters.
Assume for the sake of argument that violent rhetoric does beget violence. By this logic, shouldn't we blame Michael Moore's vitriolic indictments of investment banks for the brick that was hurled through a PNC Bank window yesterday? And if government aids and abets the evil that is capitalism, aren't Moore's words responsible for the bricks that were hurled at riot police in Pittsburgh?
MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell on Thursday appeared mystified as to why anyone would have a problem with New Jersey school children being led in a song praising Barack Obama. The February 2009 video contained these lyrics: "He said we must be fair today! Equal work means equal pay! Barack Hussein Obama! He said, red yellow, black or white, all are equal in his sight! Barack Hussein Obama!"
She complained to conservative columnist Tim Carney, "I mean, this is children. They're singing a song...If you can make your point again about why this is indoctrination, political indoctrination to praise your President." The MSNBC News Live guest host also dismissed, "I remember certainly in elementary school when Ronald Reagan was President and we sent him jelly beans." Carney quickly quipped "Did you sing a song praising the 1981 Kemp/Roth tax cuts? ‘Cause we sure didn't."
After Carney pointed out that the line about equal pay for equal work is a specific policy endorsement, O’Donnell attacked, "Oh, you don't believe in equal pay for equal work?" The quick-on-his-feet Carney again shot back, "I believe in equal pay. I would love to make equal pay to you ladies, but I don't."
The progressive mindset is a curious one, as evidenced by New York Times columnist and Nobel Economics Prize recipient Paul Krugman.
Krugman appeared on MSNBC's Sept. 23 "The Rachel Maddow Show" and lamented that the Obama Administration missed the opportunity the recent financial crisis offered to fundamentally change how the American economy operates. Host Rachel Maddow asked Krugman what the Great Depression taught economists when it comes to avoiding a repeat.
"It taught us a lot about how to avoid one, which is that you really have to, have to put some constraints. I mean, it sort of roughly, banking is very useful but extremely dangerous and banks have to have all kinds of - you know, fencing put around them as a protection. They have to have some guarantees so that we don't have bank runs, so people know their money is safe. But then, we also have some regulation so that bankers don't take huge risks with other people's money on a ‘heads I win, tails you lose' basis."
Has the Dem infighting for 2012 begun? Is Hillary exploiting Pres. Obama's waffling over Afghanistan to launch an offensive against her ostensible boss?
The question arises after former senior Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers described PBO as looking "indecisive" and "pushed around" in his handling of Afghanistan, and Hillary herself laid down a heavy marker, describing in graphic terms the dangers of an al Qaeda resurgence were the Taliban permitted to succeed.
On today's Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan gathered his loyalist liberal media friends to deride Sarah Palin's recent speech to investors in Hong Kong, wherein she made the observation that government programs often create new problems, which are then tackled by eager politicians with what else but even more government programs.
First, in the interest of fairness, it must be noted that the guest from the Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, Vickie Ward, barely uttered a word in the entirety of the segment.
That's because she was laughing.
Here's what caused Ward's giggle-fit:
RATIGAN: I want to go to Andy Barr at Politico. Palin on health reform. This one made a little bit less sense. But I feel like it's very indicative, Andy, of certain aspects of right-wing talking points which look to demonize the government inherently, as opposed to looking at government as a tool that can either be abused, misused, or screwed up. Right? And so that rhetoric is evident here. [reading] 'It's common sense that government attempts to solve problems like the health care problem will just create new problems.' Now, forget the nonsensical aspect of that.
Yes -- "un-future-y." Rachel Maddow actually says things like that, and there are people out there -- and out there, they are -- who consider it charming.
At the end of her MSNBC show Monday, Maddow chatted with sidekick and pop culture reporter Kent Jones about "Star Trek" actor George Takei ("Mr. Sulu") and his partner becoming the first gay couple to compete on "The Newlywed Game."
As might be expected of likeminded liberals, both Maddow and Jones had trouble envisioning Takei as married, same-sex or otherwise --
MADDOW: I have to say, the idea of Mr. Sulu being married is so un-Sulu to me. I mean, I'm really happy that he's married as George Takei, but I think of him as Mr. Sulu and Mr. Sulu could not be married.
Since the Tea Parties began and the anti-government sentiment boiled over into town hall meeting protests, a consistent media meme has been that some of the signs present as well as the rhetoric have been inciting violence against Barack Obama.
As my colleague Geoffrey Dickens previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews Tuesday actually warned talk radio hosts that they would pay if anything actually happens to the President.
Of course, on MSNBC, this isn't anything new, for the August 7 installment of "The Rachel Maddow Show" featured the host asking her guest, "Do you think that calling the president a Nazi, calling the president Hitler is an implicit call for politically motivated violence?"
With this in mind, Paul Williams created a marvelous video essay using the audio of Maddow's program that day with an overlay of pictures and footage of demonstrations when George W. Bush was president.
The result is an extraordinarily powerful demonstration of how hypocritical the current liberal media position is concerning this matter (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Political Integrity Now):
While Hollywood only rarely (and often by accident) produces something worthy, at least they’re always good for a laugh.
On today’s edition of Morning Joe, the pop culture guest du jour was Carole King, prolific and famous songwriter for Hollywood’s golden music days. Now the NewsBusters readers of greater life experience may initially have a “Don’t Bring Me Down” reaction – until one gets to this quote:
I want them to learn that they’re there, and that they [wilderness in the United States] need to be protected in the future, because we have about 97 percent of our American land is developed. And the number, that three percent keeps dwindling, dwindling. We’ve got to keep our national parks in our minds as we go to protect new wilderness – which, new wilderness is really preserving the status quo. It’s a new designation, same old God-given land.
Kent Jones, a guest on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," branded the MRC's Culture and Media Institute a "usual suspect" in the fight against gay marriage.
Dubbed the "matrimonial recreation correspondent" by Maddow, Jones mocked conservative arguments against gay marriage during a report of George Takei's (Mr. Sulu for the Trekkies out there) scheduled appearance on the "Newlywed Game" alongside his spouse, Brad Altman.
Jones noted that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa "didn't cause the apocalypse" and called Takei and Altman's appearance on the game show a "little marital victory," before launching into the "Star Trek" jokes:
Perez Hilton has proved that demonstrable talent or skill is no longer a prerequisite for fame. These days, all that's needed is a proclivity for peddling the sleaziest material imaginable.
Hilton created a career for himself out of enhancing paparazzi shots of celebrities with crude white drawings of genitalia and bodily fluids and posting them on his blog, PerezHilton.com. He regularly described young actresses in the most misogynistic terms imaginable, relentlessly attempted to bring gay celebrities out of the closet and reserved a special brand of hate for conservative women, such as referring to "The View's" Elisabeth Hasselbeck as "Elisab----" or re-posting lesbian comedian Margaret Cho's graphic oral sex fantasy about Sarah Palin. As a reward, his Web site reportedly receives 24 - 30 million views per month.
The mainstream media aided Hilton's rise to the top of culture corrupters. Since 2006, he has been the focus of 49 television news reports. He has been cited as an "expert" on all things related to Hollywood in 32 news stories. The Los Angeles Times recently labeled the blogger a "tastemaker."
The mainstream media has left Americans with little reason to believe they will serve as watchdogs against foul play on the left. After major media outlets were scooped by two twenty-somethings with a hidden camera, and failed to vet former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, leaving it to bloggers at Gateway Pundit to expose his trutherism, it comes as little surprise that the Washington Times is now turning to the center-right's online grassroots community to expose the White House's most recent instance of malfeasance. And it is a doozy.
On August 10, the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency that is nation's largest source of funding for the arts, held a conference call with some 75 artistic leaders to discuss ways in which those leaders could "help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda – health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal."
Patrick Courrielche of Big Hollywood, who participated in the conference call, reported that there were a number of high-level White House officials present, including Yosi Sergant, the Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Callers were openly encouraged to back the president's message, as they had during the campaign.
On Monday’s Morning Meeting, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan and his journalist guests expressed frustration that the ACORN scandal hasn’t gone away. Politico correspondent Mike Allen lobbied, “...It's time to move on." Ratigan highlighted other groups and offered moral equivalence: “And are all of these organizers ultimately guilty of some sort of shady activity or another?”
Following a reading of the organization’s questionable accounting, the cable host spun, “Does it add up to the fall of ACORN or is it just something fun to talk about?” Allen, who used to write for the Washington Post, bizarrely tried to suggest the media have been covering ACORN too much: “Well, Dylan, this is classic for the press, driving from one side of the road to the other. We were flat-footed. We were slow to cover it. Now, we won't give it up.”
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
While concluding a segment on racism involved in anti-Obama protests, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews promoted the book of one of his guests, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley, and proceeded to rant: "There’s so much right-wing crap on the best seller list these days. It’s great to see a book that you might want to put on your shelf and let your respected friends see you actually reading."
Brinkley’s book, Teddy Roosevelt: The Wilderness Warrior, did make the New York Times best seller list, coming in at twenty one. However, the list’s top ten was dominated by "right-wing crap." Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption, takes the top spot. Bill O’Reilly’s A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity comes in at number six, with Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny at number seven. Dick Morris’s Castrophe earned a number eight ranking.
Matthews made a point of saying to Brinkley: "It’s great to see one book on the best seller list that’s worth reading these days. And yours is." Apparently readers seem to think conservative literature is worth reading a little more.
There is an inside joke for the veteran viewers of MSNBC’s morning show, ‘Morning Joe,’ which refers back to a time when Joe Scarborough was in a heated debate with Zbigneiw Brzezinski (Mika’s father) over the behind-the-scenes content of President Clinton’s Camp David accords. The elder Brzezinski grew rather frustrated with being out-shouted by Scarborough, and delivered the following zinger:
“You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you.”
This crushing critique could also be applied to today’s appearance of the New York Times’ Sam Tanenhaus, author of 'The Death of Conservatism,' on that same show. Tanenhaus delivered the following two opinions with an admirably straight face:
SAM TANENHAUS: Yeah, and it was interesting to go to the Clinton school and tell the audience there that the last conservative president in America was Bill Clinton.
NBC's Brian Mooar got quite an earful from audience members at the first day of the Values Voter Summit that started in Washington, D.C. Friday.
To be fair, it seems press members were staged inside the conference hall at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
As such, as Mooar was giving his report to MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell, he was making it difficult for people in the back of the hall to hear whoever was on stage at the time.
Predictably, O'Donnell didn't understand what audience members were complaining about, and instead assumed the disturbance was because the attendees didn't want the press to know what was going on at the Summit (video embedded below the fold, h/t NBer TheSter and Jeff Poor):
Keith Olbermann is not one to pass up an opportunity to attack anything that even hints at being right of center. The repugnant MSNBC host devoted some three-quarters of his Sept. 16 show to claim criticism of President Barack Obama had to have elements of racism, no matter how you sliced it. And therefore, those critics were all despicable human beings, end of story.
However, he did manage to find time to revert to old tried and true method of appeasing his angry left-wing desires - a little bashing of former Republican vice-presidential nominee and Gov. Sarah Palin, with an assist from Michael Musto, columnist for The Village Voice and author of "La Dolce Musto."
Olbermann exhibited some displeasure that the Washington Speakers Bureau would have a flowery Web page touting Palin's accomplishments. But, noted the language on the page didn't include "maverick." However, Musto was there to make his own suggestions.
The Politico’s Mike Allen appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Joe to both defend the mainstream media’s decision to ignore the ACORN controversy and agree that a double standard is at work. Commenting on a piece he wrote about the subject, the former New York Times reporter spun, "And what we heard was news executives saying that there's so much out there. Two wars, health care, a President who's struggling, that they didn't have time to focus on this."
Asserting that, somehow, Americans should appreciate the media’s efforts to spike coverage of ACORN, He cheered, "I think we should be grateful for that filter so that you go to places- NBC News, Politico, others- that you can trust and you’ll know that what is there is accurate and not speculation." Grateful? How can viewers be expected to trust a source when that outlet ignores certain inconvenient stories?
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday’s "Hardball," insinuated racism may have been behind Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst against President Obama, at last week’s health care speech, as he repeatedly asked his guests if they thought Wilson's exclamation was "A race thing," that represented "the old black/white attitude of the South."
In the very first segment of the show Matthews pressed Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, "Do you think this is a race thing...I mean was it a racial thing on the part of Wilson? Was he expressing contempt for Barack Obama because of his heritage?" For her part Edwards insisted, "I don’t think that at all." [audio available here]
However Matthews persisted and, later in the show, got the reply he desired from the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, as seen in the following exchange:
Once again, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow can't let a week pass without denigrating former vice president Dick Cheney, the better to shift attention from Obama's beleagured presidency.
Here's Maddow on her cable show Sept. 8, relaying news of British intelligence officials apparently still chagrined at Cheney for forcing their hand to arrest suspects in the '06 airline bombing plot before they were prepared to do so --
Big liberal protests, such as the Million Mom March (for gun control), the 2006 demonstrations in favor of illegal immigrants’ “rights,” and numerous anti-war marches all garnered heavy play and adoring coverage from the broadcast networks, cable news outlets, and big papers like the New York Times. So how did those news outlets react to Saturday’s huge protest with conservative themes? MRC’s analysts scrutinized the coverage; here’s their report card:
■ ABC, CBS and NBC: The broadcast networks did not offer any pre-rally coverage before Saturday’s protests, but offered decent coverage of the event itself. ABC’s World News on Saturday was pre-empted by college football, but Good Morning America offered full reports on both Saturday and Sunday, as did NBC’s Today. Both the NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News led with the rally on Saturday night, although CBS’s morning news shows gave the protest almost no attention.
The tone of coverage, however, was largely antagonistic.
So what if his network is drawing a larger audience than its combined competition? So what if one of his newest shows has drawn unprecedented numbers for a start-up that airs at 5 p.m.? According to Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Fox News President Roger Ailes is tarnishing his own personal reputation.
It could just be sour grapes for Fineman, who is affiliated with rival network MSNBC and was appearing on that network's "Countdown" with fill-in host David Shuster, but he attacked Fox host Glenn Beck and the 9/12 protestors he helped inspire.
"Well, he can - he can pretend to cry all he wants on the stage and call himself a televangelist," Fineman said of Beck on MSNBC's Sept. 14 "Countdown." "He is not into uniting the country, from everything I've seen. He is making a boatload of money dividing the country. When you say with no real evidence whatsoever that the president of the United States hates white people, you aren't behaving in the spirit of 9/12, you're behaving in a spirit that we thought we've gotten rid of at the end of the civil war and the end of the second civil rights movement. So, you know, he can cry the crocodile tears all he wants. That doesn't seem to be what he's actually doing."
Interviewing Barney Frank this morning on proposals to regulate the financial markets, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan seemed set on appeasing the notoriously rude representative. Ratigan had surely seen the video of Mark Haines' CNBC interview of Frank back in June, and was determined not to suffer the same fate, in which Frank ripped off his earpiece and ended the segment short.
Even before posing his first question to Frank, Ratigan began by laying a sop at the great man's feet: "I know you're working very hard on this legislation. And before we begin, I had a lot of folks come to me and say listen, make sure you thank the representative for his efforts to try to deal with this. You are dealing with an incredibly complicated problem with a variety of issues. So I wanted to pass along the appreciation of your efforts before we begin this conversation."
His tribute to Frank didn't spare Ratigan a reprimand when later on he dared to get in a word edgewise. So Ratigan naturally concluded the interview . . . by apologizing to Frank for having interrupted him.