On the Wednesday night edition of MSNBC's "Hardball" Chris Matthews and David Shuster continued to use the Larry Craig scandal to bury the GOP and while Matthews declared "the downfall of" Bush's party was "driven by every movement of the body politic" it was his colleague Shuster who outdid him when, after running down a litany of GOP troubles ranging from Craig to the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, charged: "It all adds moral insult to the injuries being suffered today by the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Brian Williams has defended armed looting during Katrina as the work of heads of family providing for their own.
The NBC Nightly News anchor is in New Orleans on the second Katrina anniversary. He appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" at 7:30 A.M. EDT. Williams first passed along a predictable race-and-classed based explanation of the mismanaged relief efforts.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: That's when human life started to degrade. That's when people ran out of of bathroom facilities and started having to use the entire [Superdome]: no power, no circulating air, and worse, no information from the outside world. Somebody said "they [the victims] just weren't worth it."
A bit later, Williams offered up this defense of armed looting.
WILLIAMS: The looting we witnessed downtown, you could hear gunfire in the streets of the 25th-largest city in the United States. We keep saying human behavior degraded that week. There was a desperation that you can only get when you're the head of a family. You don't know where a meal is going to come from, you can't find bottled water. You don't know how you're going to get your family to high ground.
Update 15:34 (see bottom of post): Cox explains her rug joke.
I had great expectations when Ana Marie Cox turned up on the "Morning Joe" panel, confident the tart-tongued former Wonkette would produce plenty of grist for our NB mill. But over the course of the week, Cox has been disappointingly subdued, leaving it to the congenial Tamron Hall to produce our headlines. Perhaps Ana Marie's new gig at staid "Time" magazine has caused her to hide her acerbic light under a barrel.
But the strain of being restrained was maybe too much for Ana Marie, for she began this morning's show with a catty swipe at Katie Couric.
Host Joe Scarborough began the opening chit-chat by noting that CBS Evening News anchor Couric has announced her plans to visit Iraq and Syria. That's when Ana Marie pounced.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So Katie's going off to the war zone. Did you read that? Katie Couric.
ANA MARIE COX: Needs some rugs, maybe. I don't know.
Last week, as noted here, Tamron Hall mentioned that "Us Weekly" aside, her main news source is the New York Times. Two days earlier, Hall had defended CNN's "God's Warriors" by suggesting that Christian and Jewish groups could be the next to turn violent. Today comes further evidence of Hall's liberal leanings, as the MSNBCer spoke openly of her participation in events on behalf of the National Organization for Women.
The disclosure came on today's "Morning Joe" at 6:09 A.M. EDT. Host Joe Scarborough, discussing the Michael Vick case, suggested that whereas there has been tremendous media focus on the dogfighting charges, allegations that pro athletes abuse women don't get as much attention.
On Monday's MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC General Manager Abrams attacked CNN's series God's Warriors for "a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism," and as "shameful advocacy masked as journalism," quipping that series host Christiane Amanpour "avoided getting bogged down in objectivity." Abrams further took exception with Amanpour for comparing those who support Israel's defense strateg
What happens a guy with verifiable liberal credentials (contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and Air America) just happens to have written a book highly critical of the coal industry – “Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future”?
But if you’re a viewer, you might not know Jeff Goodell is predisposed for a variety of reasons against the coal industry. Goodell is opposed to coal as an energy source because he believes it contributes to global warming, is not convinced technological advances will make it more environmentally friendly, thinks it is unsafe to mine and has doubts about its sustainability as a resource.
Granted, it came at the very end of the forum on cancer that Lance Armstrong organized today in Iowa. But if in response to your final question a presidential candidate recites an ode to collectivism, a denunciation of individualism, and throws in the mind-boggling claim that people don't want tax cuts, don't you somehow find a moment to follow up?
Joe Scarborough prides himself on being an independent thinker. Apparently that extends to not uttering a peep of protest, and indeed tending to concur, when a left-wing guest flatly accuses the Bush administration of using Nazi tactics to suppress democracy.
At about 7:45 A.M. EDT today, Naomi Wolf was a guest on "Morning Joe," there to promote her new book, the pretentiously-entitled The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. The operating thesis of this alarmist screed is that the Bush administration represents a clear and present danger to democracy.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall [file photo] is a big "Us Weekly" fan. Even more disturbing: she believes that guilty pleasure is expiated by her reliance on the New York Times for her news.
Hall has been taking Mika Brzezinksi's place on this week's "Morning Joe." This morning's show opened with Joe Scarborough decrying the disparately lenient judicial treatment doled out to Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. They have received slaps on the wrist, doing virtually no jail time for their drug-fueled escapades, whereas Paris Hilton spent over 20 days in the hoosegow.
When Joe asserted that Paris has been walking the straight and narrow since exiting the Big House, Tamron corrected the record.
Glancing over blogs that have written on the CNN "God's Warriors" miniseries, I came across a critical entry by liberal activist Sharon Cobb, formerly a contributor to the "NBC Nightly News."
While Cobb professes immense respect for CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, she's not well-pleased with the jet-setting journalist's latest special. Cobb is particularly chagrined with how Amanpour's special seems to treat Judaism. Here are the first few grafs of her August 22 blog post (emphasis mine):
Mika Brzezinski might be taking a break from "Morning Joe," but the MSNBC show hasn't missed a liberal beat with her replacement. Tamron Hall today seemed to suggest that Christians and Jews could be next to emulate Muslim terror tactics.
At 6:35 A.M. EDT today, talk turned to the CNN series "God's Warriors," a classic exercise in moral equivalence. Hosted by Christiane Amanpour, the series focuses on extremists in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Earlier today, Hall had watched the segment on Jewish extremists. Scarborough called CNN on its moral relativism.
JOE SCARBOROUGH [Note: speaking very much tongue-in-cheek]: I'm sure we're going to find that there are Jewish and Christian organizations, international terror networks, that are set on the destruction of entire civilizations as we find in the Muslim world.
File this one under the rubric "Unintentionally Revealing Moments of MSM Bias." ABC publishes an article about media watchdog groups and singles out two for mention: NewsBusters and Media Matters. But the article goes on to cite the work of and publish comments by a representative of only one of those groups. Which one do you think it was?
On Tuesday’s "Morning Joe," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough mocked the very concept of CNN’s upcoming specials on Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremism. Anticipating the possible moral relativism that the Christiane Amanpour-hosted series may take, Scarborough sarcastically observed, "They’re going to study Muslim extremism, then Christian extremism, because we know Christians have, have slaughtered thousands of people across the globe in bombings..."
Comparing the CNN anchor to a liberal talk show host, an incredulous Scarborough added, "Is this Rosie O'Donnell or is this Christine Amanpour?" (In 2006, O’Donnell famously claimed that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam...") Returning to the subject later in the 7am hour, Scarborough derided the cable network again. He complained, "But to say, as CNN appears to be saying, that Muslim extremism and Jewish extremism and Christian extremism, sort of, is equal, that there is moral equivalence...between those three, that’s just ridiculous."
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that actress-comedian and former Air America talk show host Janeane Garofalo will be joining the cast of Fox's "24" next season:
The political left and the political right are going to meet on Fox's "24" this coming season.
Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo, an outspoken liberal, is set to co-star on the conservative-leaning real-time drama, whose co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow jokingly describes himself as a "right-wing nut job."
On the Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV series, Garofalo will play a government agent who is part of the team investigating the crisis befalling Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and company in the upcoming season.
Looking to sample the political opinions of regular Americans? What better cross-section than the denizens of MSM newsrooms! That seems to be Mike Barnicle's attitude, at least. The former Boston Globe columnist-turned-MSNBC contributor is guest-hosting for Chris Matthews on this afternoon's "Hardball."
Chatting with guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Holly Bailey of Newsweek, talk turned to the topic of Americans' desire for political change. At one point Barnicle made this observation:
MIKE BARNICLE: The force for change that's out there, if you talk to regular people, people like me, people like you, the idea that they want a change is a very powerful force.
Is the White House going to pull a Lucy again with the football trick all over again? For months, President Bush has been asking us to wait for a report from General Petraeus. How many times did we hear that phrase, Wait for the report from General Petraeus? Now we learn that the White House is going to write the report - the White House! - and that the general will testify publicly before Congress only after the report has been written by Bush‘s people.
And later as he hosted a panel discussion on the topic:
Day Deux of the "MSNBC Booed Bush" controversy, and Joe Scarborough was looking to make up ground . . .
For those who missed the story, in a burst of candor "Morning Joe" host Scarborough mentioned on yesterday's show that members of the MSNBC newsroom had booed President Bush nearly continuously during the 2003 State of the Union.
Today, Scarborough asserted that most of the boo-birds were gone from the network, and claimed for good measure that rival Fox News Channel is "all Republicans." Joe was peeved that Bill O'Reilly had expounded on the booing incident on last evening's O'Reilly Factor.
View video here[that's MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski making sympathetic sounds in the background.]
As we have documented here more than once, liberal bias has a way of working its way into all nooks and crannies of the MSM, including sports reporting. That made it particularly refreshing to hear renowned sports journalist Peter Gammons take a stand today for small government and private philanthropy.
UPDATE: Joe and Mika discuss this NB item. Video (0:57): Real (1.55 MB) or Windows (1.78 MB), plus MP3 (435 kB).
Joe Scarborough has pulled back the curtain on the liberal bias at MSNBC, describing an incident in which people in its newsroom ceaselessly booed President Bush during a State of the Union address.
The revelation came on "Morning Joe" today at 6:02 A.M. EDT. Joe was discussing a recent episode at the Seattle Times in which reporters and editors cheered the news that Karl Rove had resigned. Scarborough applauded Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman for issuing a memorandum reproving his colleagues. For more, read NB items by Brent Baker and Ken Shepherd.
Joe went on to describe a similar incident at MSNBC.
VIEW VIDEO OF JOE'S ACCOUNT OF THE NEWSROOM INCIDENT HERE.Note: that's newsreader Mika Brzezinksi heard murmuring in assent, though one has to wonder just how thrilled she was by Joe's candor in outing her fellow MSNBC liberals.
On Monday's MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC general manager Abrams opened his show lambasting Karl Rove, tagging him the "Constitutional Crippler" for accusing judges of "bending the law" while Rove, Abrams contended, was doing much the same. Abrams: "If Karl Rove had been a professional wrestler, they might have called him 'the Constitutional Crippler.' Abrams further accused Rove of "hypocrisy" and of "shifting rules to accommodate his political objectives" as the MSNBC general manager declared that he would "not shed a tear" at Rove's departure.
With the announcement of Karl Rove resigning his position from the White House, it is time to revisit that infamous report by MSNBC's David Shuster who on Keith Olbermann's Countdown show on May 8, 2006 flatly stated:
I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted.
When a month later it was announced that Rove would not be indicted, a sheepish Shuster came up with several lame excuses for his monumental misreporting as chronicled by NewsBusters editor Brent Baker in his June 13, 2006 post. Under questioning by Countdown substitute host, Brian Unger, Shuster began by blaming the defense lawyers for his embarrassing error:
Chris Matthews' "Hardball" producers let the host down, as neither Sen. Pat Leahy or Rep. Henry Waxman accepted Matthews' invitation to grill Karl Rove on tonight's 5pm edition of Hardball. However that didn't stop Matthews from taking a few shots of his own at the President's adviser, as he called Rove a "bum," and sarcastically commented on Rove's genius as he greeted viewers of the August 13th edition of "Hardball" this way:
Matthews: "Can President Bush think without the man they call his brain? What about all those great ideas like dividing the country over Iraq and leaving New Orleans to drop into the sea? A country without Karl Rove calling the shots? Let's fear for the Republic. Let's play Hardball."
Apparently Hardball host Chris Matthews has a bit of a problem keeping his lust in check on the air. On Friday evening's Hardball, Matthews was interviewing CNBC's Street Signs anchor, Erin Burnett, about the latest Wall Street news when suddenly he switched gears as you can see in this video. The official transcript isn't up yet on the MSNBC website but here is a transcription of the conversation as best I could understand it:
MATTHEWS: Could you get a little closer to the camera?
BURNETT: What is it? Is it (garbled) in strangely?
Just when you thought the MSM couldn't sink any lower . . .
Could there possibly be an American who doesn't admire the Reverend Billy Graham? Apparently, yes. Have a look at the cover of this week's 'Time.' Of all the ways the editors might have positioned the logo, they managed to do so in a manner in which the 'M' in 'TIME' is transformed into horns protuding from the good reverend's head.
Tucker Carlson and Willie Geist took up the matter on Tucker's MSNBC show this afternoon.
The media have found their new poster boy to rail against the coal industry.
MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," but with Allison Stewart filling in for an absent Olbermann, had anti-coal liberal Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future" on the show.
Unsurprisingly, he criticized the company involved in the Utah mine collapse, as well as its CEO, Chairman of Murray Energy Corp. Bob Murray.
"He is a sort of embodiment of a sort of 19th century kind of coal baron kind of guy," Goodell said and pointed out Murray is "a big donor to the Republican Party" and "sort of notorious with journalists."
Goodell also doubted Murray's claim that the collapse was caused by an earthquake.
You might consider that speculating about a candidate's sexuality would be off limits in the responsible media. Yet that's just what happened on MSNBC this morning.
Chuck Nice is a comedian, after all, so perhaps his comments should be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, the panelist on today's "Morning Joe" twice ventured into territory that would normally be considered verboten.
Brad Luna of the Human Rights Campaign was the phone guest, discussing the presidential candidates forum that his homosexual-rights group conducted yesterday. Without endorsing Hillary, he did single her out for favorable mention.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS BRAD LUNA: Hillary does have a certain comfortableness with the issues and with our community. Obviously this is somebody you can tell has had a lot of contact discussing the issues, has thought about them for a number of years, and I do think that her sincerity and her genuineness came across last night.
MORNING JOE PANELIST CHUCK NICE: Are you saying that Hillary Clinton is bi-curious?
Forget Nurse Ratched. Pat Buchanan and Willie Geist have birthed a new metaphor for Hillary Clinton: the mean schoolmarm.
On "Morning Joe" today at about 6:55 A.M. EDT, the pair were discussing the way in which Clinton has cuffed Barack Obama around for his ill-considered statement that he would invade Pakistan under certain circumstances. Geist has been guest-hosting for Joe Scarborough this week. Buchanan hypothesized a situation in which the U.S. did have intelligence about OBL's location within Pakistan.
Two military veterans almost came to blows on MSNBC's "Hardball" Wednesday evening as they debated the war in Iraq, and what presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-New York) would do if she wins the White House.
On the left was anti-war activist Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org, who became known to most conservatives when he prevented a uniformed soldier from speaking at a YearlyKos breakout session last Friday.
On the right was Move America Forward Vice Chairman, and two-time New York Times bestselling author Buzz Patterson.
As the sparks began to fly early, I'm going to just role the tape (video available here), and allow you to read along with the transcript that follows (h/t Melanie Morgan):
Keith Olbermann a "fair and balanced" journalist for a day? Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by the AFL-CIO. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging questions, a few even posed from the right. Olbermann not only asked "what should we not be funding" to find the money for repairs to infrastructure, without even suggesting a tax increase, but the MSNBC host also asked about the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq. Olbermann: "If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al-Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?" (Transcripts follow)