Hey gang, didya hear the news? It's official, according to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC -- we're in a recession!
Maddow could barely contain her mirth on her cable show Monday in conveying word of the National Bureau of Economic Research reporting that the economy officially dropped into recession last December.
Here's how Maddow described it --
It may not seem like news to learn as we did officially today that the United States economy is in recession. For months now things have seemed really quite recession-like, even to the non-economists among us. But the rules of economic progrostication dictate that only a select group of economics gurus can officially declare that a recession is underway. Today that very special group, the National Bureau of Economic Research, made it official -- America, you are in recession. And according to the experts, it started last December. Now for most of us, this is not shocking information. Some folks, however, were a little bit behind the curve on this one.
Admission: Lawrence O'Donnell is emerging as one of my favorite media liberals. On the one hand, almost exactly one year ago, his anti-Mormon rant spurred me to action. But lately, watching him as a frequent MSNBC guest, I've been impressed by his acumen and willingness to call them as he sees them.
Take O'Donnell's intervention on tonight's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," where he made the salient point that the scandal of the Marc Rich pardon is, ironically, being held against AG nominee Eric Holder . . . while Hillary Clinton skates.
Note to Chris Matthews: when mocking someone for using a ghostwriter, it's best to avoid doing so on a day when Hillary Clinton is prominently in the news . . .
On this evening's Hardball, Matthews went out of his way to mock Joe The Plumber for his use of a ghostwriter on his just-released book. This on the day Hillary Clinton was in the headlines, having been named Barack Obama's Secretary of State. You know, Hillary Clinton. The woman famous, in writing "It Takes A Village," for failing to credit her . . . ghostwriter.
The folks at "Fox & Friends" had some fun at Chris Matthews' expense Sunday morning, and managed to mock some other high-profile, liberal media members while they were at it:
As they reported rumors that "the alleged journalist on MSNBC" is looking to unseat Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn) in 2010, the gang contemplated what Congress would look like if Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, and Sean Penn also ran (video embedded below the fold, h/t AmericasNewsToday.com):
Why does Sarah Palin continue to receive so much media coverage? Peggy Noonan has a theory. The Wall Street Journal columnist believes the MSM is up to what she considers "mischief": attempting to make Sarah Palin the face of the Republican party.
Noonan propounded her premise during an appearance today on Morning Joe.
President and Mrs. Bush couldn't be handling the transition more graciously. But rather than celebrating the peaceful transfer of power that is the hallmark of our democracy, Hardball has announced a new feature, "Final Daze," intended to mock W as we count down his last weeks in office.
Mike Barnicle, sitting in for Chris Matthews, announced the new segment on this evening's show.
MIKE BARNICLE: And that brings us to a new, regular item we're starting tonight called "Final Daze." President Bush has 57 days left in office, and many are asking "where's Dubya?" With the economy tanking and the country looking for guidance from the guy who's still president, here's what we got today.
Transcript from press conference of Pres. Barack Obama, Feb. 12th, 2011:
CNSNEWS.COM: Mr. President, when you first took office you promised to create 2.5 million jobs by January, 2011. But the Labor Department report issued yesterday indicates that in fact 1.7 million jobs were lost during that period. Why did your plan fail?
PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Ah, but it didn't fail. To the contrary, we succeeded beyond all expectations. You misquoted our promise. We said we would create or "save" 2.5 million jobs. And a report prepared by my White House team being distributed to you demonstrates that had we not taken the bold steps we did back in 2009, we would by now have lost 5.8 million jobs. We therefore in fact saved 4.1 million jobs, more than 50% greater than the number of jobs we promised to save. So our program has been a huge success. Let's see, Keith, you had a question?
KEITH OLBERMANN: Yes, Mr. President. You are so wonderful, sir. Please comment, if you would, sir.
The "or save" makes Obama's plan virtually fail-proof. No matter how many jobs are lost, Obama will always be able to claim that things would have been much worse were it not for his plan. To his credit, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd pointed out the verbal sleight of hand on today's Morning Joe.
Whoever had the brilliant idea of making Capricia Marshall a guest on MSNBC's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" last night was probably hiding from host David Gregory when the show ended. Marshall turned out to be the least forthcoming guest I have ever seen on a political talk show. The aide to Hillary Clinton put up a smiling stonewall that would make G. Gordon Liddy—who chose a stiff prison sentence over Watergate stool-pigeonhood—proud.
Marshall is the director of Hillary Clinton's political action committee, Hillpac, and former social secretary in the Clinton White House. Gregory had her on in the clear expectation that she would dish on Hillary's prospective appointment as Secretary of State. But Capricia was tighter than the proverbial clam. Try as Gregory might, Marshall wouldn't give up the smallest shadow of a hint of a scrap of a tidbit about anything of interest. Her big revelation? She's excited about the inauguration. Gag Gregory with an NBC "Yes We Can!" commemorative Obama-campaign DVD.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter couldn’t imagine why anyone would see conflict-of-interest troubles if Hillary Clinton becomes Secretary of State while her husband the ex-president has a sprawling international foundation with its mitts in a long list of countries. Alter insisted all of Clinton’s work is "very, very positive. It’s been for great causes around the world." Alison Stewart guest-hosted for Maddow, and pushed the button that started Alter’s Bill-burnishing remarks:
STEWART: Is Bill Clinton a stumbling block for Hillary Clinton getting the Secretary of State gig?
ALTER: You know, I don’t think he really is, unless, for some reason, they just refuse to disclose as much as the Obama people want them to. There’s nothing that's all that terrible here. Most of the money that Clinton has raised, in fact, it's very, very positive. It's been for great causes around the world. Fighting poverty. Fighting AIDS.
Amidst all the sanctimonious do-gooderism and global-warming alarmism that is NBC/Universal's "Green Week," it's good to see that at least one network minion has managed to maintain his sense of humor.
Morning Joe's Willie Geist became something of a sensation with his spoof electioneering for John McCain on the sidewalks of Manhattan's ultra-blue Upper West Side. In that same spirit, Willie ventured onto the streets of midtown yesterday, asking folks how they were celebrating Green Week, and posing provocative questions. Sample: "Do you think global warming is kinda hogwash? I mean, look how cold it is today." He got some amusing answers and met some colorful characters, including one dazed and confused fellow who turned out to be none other than Mike Barnicle.
That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."
David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.
At 78, Larry Eagleburger hasn't lost his fastball. Since leaving government, he might actually have added some MPH. Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, the former Secretary of State in George H.W.'s administration warmed up with some rough words for Barack Obama and Christopher Hitchens . . . then absolutely rubbished Bill Richardson.
Andrea Mitchell had invited Eagleburger on to assess the list of potential Secretary of State nominees. While he wasn't wildly enthusiatic about Hillary, she was his pick among those under serious consideration. When Mitchell suggested that Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience might prove useful, Eagleburger unloaded on Obama's lack of experience..
Repent, all ye owners of Suburbans, thou drivers of Explorers. Mend thy ways, ye Escalade-loving louts! Take heed of the warning the prophet Mika has vouchsafed unto you: greedy thou art; verily, destroyers of the environment be thee!
Oy. Mika Brzezinski was on quite a roll this morning. On the one hand, free-marketers would find much to agree with in Mika's arguments. As noted here yesterday, whereas Joe Scarborough has been vigorously advocating a federal rescue of Detroit, Brzezinski favors bankruptcy over bailout. But Mika couldn't help muddling her message, delivering a jeremiad against Detroit for producing larger vehicles and Americans for buying them, actually condemning the latter as "greedy."
Before a few weeks ago, I don't recall seeing Kathleen Parker much on TV. But tuning into Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, there she was. And when I got back from the gym and fired up my DVR of David Gregory's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?" Yup, Parker redux.
Let's see. What might possibly explain Kathleen Parker's sudden popularity on MSNBC? You don't suppose it could conceivably have anything to do with her September column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket, do you?
Joe Scarborough didn't cotton to being called a "socialist," but that's just the label Krystia Freeland laid on him during today's Morning Joe. The Financial Times editor used the s-word to describe what she mockingly described as Joe's "touching faith" in the wisdom of government bureaucrats when it comes to reorganizing Detroit automakers.
The Morning Joe host didn't take the insult lying down.
Panelist Pat Buchanan and Scarborough had been making the case over the course of the opening segments that Detroit was too important to be allowed to go under. Then Freeland came on, preaching bankruptcy over bailout, and the ruckus erupted . . .
Well, I guess that settles it. We don't need any political discussion or economist's studies. The auto industry officially needs a bailout. It's just a fact. After all, MSNBC and BusinessWeek have just said it. The auto industry "needs" one or it cannot survive. Oh, yeah, and MSNBC is also informing the world that Republicans have told auto workers to "drop dead." I think this is what the Old Media calls "news."
This story by David Kiley of BusinessWeek is amazing for its assumptions, pronouncements and slanted anti-capatilist rhetoric and it boggles the mind that it could be called journalism. It certainly isn't "news" because of all the personal opinions that Kiley pads this thing with, anyway.
By definition, projection is revealing of what lurks in a person's heart and mind. Arianna Huffington projected tonight, and what she revealed wasn't pretty. So much so, that even her liberal host hastened to diassociate herself from the HuffPo editor. Huffington, grossly misquoting Grover Norquist's famous line about doing away with government, added an infanticidal twist.
Huffington was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show. The two shed crocodile tears about the diminished state of the Republican party. It was in suggesting that, of all things, she and Maddow should head up a Marshall Plan to save the GOP that Huffington engaged in that ugly bit of projection.
Remember back during the campaign, when the Obama folks and their MSM cohorts adamantly denied that their man was a liberal? That National Journal study that ranked him the most liberal senator? Nonsense! Very misleading. After all, this is the man who doesn't believe in a red America and a blue America, but in the United States of America. Someone with a history of reaching across partisan lines [even if no good examples were handy at the moment].
So . . . remember all that? Well, forget it. Now that Obama is safely ensconced in his Office of the President-Elect, the MSM can let the [ill-concealed to many of us] cat out of the bag: yes, he's a liberal. Big time! In fact, Obama is nothing less than the second coming of the biggest American liberal icon of all time: FDR! Rick Stengel announced the news on today's Morning Joe.
Perhaps Luke Russert should drop his NBC gig as youth-vote specialist and become a full-time Republican consultant. The son of the late Meet The Press host didn't hesitate this evening to share his advice to the GOP, which can be summarized in two words: go left.
The 23-year old Russert dropped his pearls of electoral wisdom while chatting with the hard-working Mika Brzezinski, guest-hosting for David Gregory on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after co-anchoring Morning Joe at the crack of dawn.
It's not like Barack Obama is a socialist or anything. It's just that Thomas Friedman wants him to put a "government master" in charge of the country's biggest manufacturing sector. Friedman made his modest proposal in his New York Times column of today, and expanded on it during a Morning Joe appearance. [H/t reader Tom.]
If Morning Joe seems every-so-slightly less up-to-date, there's a reason for it. The show is now seven seconds behind the times. A tape delay has been instituted in the wake of Joe Scarborough's unintentional dropping of an f-bomb two days ago.
B&C reported the change yesterday, and NewsBuster Ken Shepherd discussed it here. The Morning Joe crew had fun with the move on today's show. Coming back from its first break, the show aired tape [via Jimmy Kimmel Live] of CNN's Rick Sanchez coming back from a break of his own. With a screen over his shoulder reading "Transition to Power," Sanchez said: "We welcome you black. Uh, welcome you back." Point made: Joe's not the only cable TV guy capable of an embarrassing slip 'o the tongue.
The crew proceeded to a light-hearted discussion of the move to tape delay, with executive producer Chris Licht proudly displaying his finger poised on the red button.
The next presidential election might be four years off, but it's never too early to sow dissension in Republican ranks. So would appear to be David Shuster's creed. Interviewing Bobby Jindal this evening, Shuster was clearly more interested in luring the brilliant Louisiana governor into a fight with Sarah Palin than in exploring the substance.
Jindal was way too savvy and diplomatic to fall for Shuster's transparent ploy, but that didn't stop Shuster—sitting in for David Gregory as host of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—from repeatedly trying.
After airing an interview clip of Sarah Palin telling Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that she was looking for guidance from God about running for national office again, an appalled Chris Matthews called it "troubling," when he let loose this rant on Tuesday's "Hardball":
Is, is this commentary about theocracy and going to God for approval? We've been through that with President Bush who said he, "didn't take advice from his father, he got it from another father." And we've been through this sort of Joan of Arc period. Are we gonna get another piece of this where God's leading candidates to run for president? I mean that sort of keeps us out of the conversation doesn't it? I mean, seriously, I mean God is telling her to run? And she's saying it openly on a secular television show? This isn't the religious hour....Talking about God, in a political setting is troubling to a lot of people. If you're talking about a big tent, this looks more like the church tent, not the big tent.
Then a little later in the program, Matthews returned to Palin's expressions of faith and noted that kind of talk can be,"dangerous." And when his guest, former Dick Cheney aide Ron Christie, said he was tired of the media picking on Palin when, in fact, Joe Biden made a lot of blunders, Matthews let this howler fly: "Joe Biden took more hits from the media than anybody for the last 30 years!"
The following exchanges occurred on the November 11 edition of "Hardball":
On Monday night’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, radical MSNBC/Air America talk show host Rachel Maddow rehashed the antiquated argument that since conservatives do not believe in the existence of government, they should not be allowed to run the government: "I like vegans, but it’s like letting a vegan be your butcher. If you have somebody that is really against the idea of providing you the service that you have hired them for, they are going to be bad at providing that service." (Vegans are the most ardent vegetarians, the ones that don't even consume animal products like milk or eggs.)
Typically letting his conservative disguise slip, Colbert joked that Hurricane Katrina was a Bush success, since they wanted to show "the government was able to do nothing."
Wearing the kind of thick nerdy glasses that advertise her self-described reputation as a "policy dork," Maddow was half-joking that she believes in government, that "we only have one and we should try to make it a good government," sparking this exchange:
Insiders tell us that beginning today, Morning Joe will air on a slight delay. Yesterday, host Joe Scarborough sort of forgot he was on live TV and said, "They don't go around flipping people off or screaming 'Fuck You' at the top of their lungs," when describing how members of Pres.-elect Obama's inner circle work. The delay will allow producers to "drop" the audio so expletives aren't heard over the airwaves.
This is not new for MSNBC morning TV. When I worked there, Imus in the Morning always aired on a seven-second delay.
What's gotten into the NBC/MSNBC water? Chris Matthews's verbal miscue on this evening's Hardball makes a triple-header of gaffes on the family of networks today. As we've noted, Joe Scarborough kicked off the slip parade, unintentionally dropping an f-bomb on Morning Joe. About an hour later on Today, Meredith Vieira stumbled into asking Matt Lauer a question that invoked the uncomfortable subject of his rocky marital history. And now, discussing Sarah Palin's political future, Matthews committed the same stumble that an unscrupulous staffer claims the vice-presidential candidate made: calling Africa a country. [H/t anonymous reader.]
Matthews made his mistake in the course of posing a question to Larry Persily, a former member of Palin's gubernatorial staff.
Whoops. It's turning into quite the morning for gaffes on the NBC/MSNBC family of networks. As noted here, during the Today opening, Meredith Vieira stumbled onto the sensitive subject of Matt Lauer's marital history. Then, during Morning Joe's 8 AM hour, Joe Scarborough accidentally dropped an f-bomb, provoking a protracted apolog-a-thon. [H/t reader P.C.]
[Warning: video contains unexpurgated F-bomb 20 seconds in].
During a break, Time's Jay Carney had apparently told a story of some politico who had used the f-word. Back on the air, Scarborough had actually been praising the discipline of the Obama team members. It was in describing them as people who, in contrast with the person Carney had mentioned, were careful with their words and deeds, that Joe's internal edit button went on the fritz.