NewsBusters previously documented a claim made by NBC News correspondent Richard Engel on the June 22 Countdown show on MSNBC that the apparent murder of 27-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan during a crackdown by Iranian government forces, and the possibility that she will become the visual symbol for her country’s pro-democracy movement, was reminiscent of the Mohammed al-Dura video of September 2000 which, at the time, was claimed to show a Palestinian boy being shot and killed by Israeli troops. But, while evidence has mounted over the years that the al-Dura video was likely a hoax, Engel and host Keith Olbermann both spoke of the al-Dura "shooting" as if the event were not in dispute, and Engel recounted to viewers that Palestinians see the event as a "symbol of injustice" perpetrated by Israelis against Palestinians. Engel: "I was thinking more, remember Mohammed al-Dura, the boy who was shot in Gaza in his father’s arms and who became a symbol of injustice? I think this is a similar moment."
The pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) recounts on its Web site that after the group's executive director, Andrea Levin, on June 25 sent a letter of complaint to Engel -- which was also copied to NBC News President Steve Capus -- requesting that NBC revisit and "clarify" Engel's assertions, Capus sent a letter of response accusing CAMERA of "taking a cheap shot" at Engel, even suggesting that the pro-Israel group was not "truly dedicated to advancing journalism," as the NBC News head did not revise Engel's claims about the al-Dura case. Capus, as quoted by CAMERA on its Web site: "If you were truly dedicated to advancing journalism, you would be going out of your way to praise Richard for his work – rather than taking a cheap shot." The NBC News head went on to praise Engel as "a non-biased, dedicated journalist. NBC News considers itself lucky to have him."
After Sgt. James Crowley did a good job at his post-beer press conference, a condescending Chris Matthews—apparently surprised that a policeman could handle himself well in such a situation—said "I think we've got our Susan Boyle here."
Here's how Matthews ended the post-Crowley press conference kibitzing on the 7 PM edition of Hardball:
Are liberals less racist and/or more knowledgeable about racism than others? Donny Deutsch evidently thinks so. On MSNBC this afternoon, Deutsch asked a black academic to give him an example of racism he'd encountered because "as liberal as I am, I can't understand because I've never walked in your shoes."
Prof. James Peterson of Bucknell was a guest in MSNBC's 4 PM EDT hour, during which Deutsch served as sidekick/kibitzer to host Tamron Hall. Peterson was in to comment on this evening's impending beer fest among Pres. Obama, Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates.
Overcompensation: (psychiatry) an attempt to overcome a real or imagined defect or unwanted trait by overly exaggerating its opposite.
Today brings a prime example of the phenomenon in the person of Brian Williams, overcompensating for his image as a pampered straight arrow by joking about having a vast staff of servants, looking forward to the prospect of watching some nude male swimming, and, yes, doing meth to get going in the morning.
Long before Obama and the Sotomayor confirmation process elevated "empathy" to supreme importance, it held an honored place in the pantheon of liberal values.
That being the case, why is it liberals appear incapable of empathizing with those who don't share their politics?
Recent example: Princeton political science professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show July 23 to talk about Obama saying at a press conference the night before that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. --
It worked for President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, when he took tax cuts - a conservative issue - and made it his own. Now, liberals are employing a similar tactic in promoting their health care agenda.
But Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., isn't having it. He called out Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the left wing The Nation magazine and MSNBC guest co-host, for attempting it in questioning him in a MSNBC segment on July 29. vanden Heuvel asked Ryan why he was against a so-called public health insurance option. His opposition, she reasoned, would deny consumers the choice of a public option in the marketplace.
"Rep. Ryan, that sounds like an anti-competitive vote," vanden Heuvel said. "Competition is at the heart of America and to deny Americans competition by denying them an option of a public plan seems to me un-American."
Lawrence O’Donnell failed spectacularly on today’s "Morning Joe" this morning. The Democratic pundit wasn’t alone in that effort, as co-host Mika Brzezinski, and journalists Martin Savidge and Mike Barnicle all failed to correct his gaffe.
Apparently, the MSNBC political analyst is under the impression that Sarah Palin’s selection as Vice President drove down female support for the John McCain ticket – and claims that polling numbers back him up.
Unless you've been asleep for the past couple of weeks, you're quite aware that CNN's Lou Dobbs has been taking a lot of heat for his reports concerning Barack Obama's birth certificate.
Never reluctant to stand up for himself, Dobbs on his radio program Tuesday took aim at those in the media who are "trying to silence their opponents and their competitors in the public marketplace of ideas," in particular MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who he referred to as a "teabagging queen."
What follows is a YouTube audio of some of his comments, along with a partial transcript:
Somewhere, Lyndon Johnson is smiling. Howard Dean has provided perfect proof of LBJ's adage that when it comes to potential adversaries, "it's better to have them inside the tent p---ing out than outside the tent" doing the reverse.
Barack Obama chucked Dean out of his DNC chairmanship. Adding insult to injury, PBO denied the good doctor any role in his health care initiative. Now, it's payback time. Subbing for Keith Olbermann on this evening's Countdown, Dean depicted Obama as a loser in the health care fight. For good measure, he flung a famous Obama campaign slogan back in the prez's face.
Did someone make this "Declare Your Devotion To a Dem Day" at MSNBC? You have to wonder. During the network's noon hour, Dr. Nancy Snyderman declared herself a "big fan" of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Not to be outdone, during the following hour Andrea Mitchell ended her interview with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) by thanking him profusely—and I mean at length—for having pushed through passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act 19 years ago today.
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."