As reported by Politico Monday evening, John Harris interviewed the presidential candidate, producing the following delicious exchange (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Thomas Stewart and Inside Cable News):
I wouldn't want to create problems for Contessa Brewer [file photo]. But again today the spirited MSNBC anchor said something that made me wonder whether she might be a closeted conservative in the belly of the liberal beast.
Janet Huckabee, responding to Brewer's question on the possibility that her husband would withdraw from the presidential race, drew a contrast between the Romney and Huckabee campaigns.
David Shuster’s suspension was a topic of discussion on the February 11 edition of "The View," as at least Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg disagreed with the Clinton campaign for demanding an even harsher punishment for Shuster. Walters first expressed mixed feelings that many people rely on "The View" for news adding "sometimes we’re very wonderful and very accurate and sometimes we’re not."
An offended Joy Behar chimed "I don’t think we’re less accurate than a lot of the shows that I watch, because I watch all of them," adding "we do our research here." Barbara Walters apologetically replied "I shouldn’t have said that."
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on "Hannity & Colmes" on Friday night to discuss the David Shuster suspension over his suggestion that Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by Hillary. Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes insisted both that Shuster was (a) dreadfully wrong and yet (b) over-punished for a verbal miscue. (FNC's transcript is here.)
Both hosts suggested that Tim was defending Shuster, which he denied. "Chelsea Clinton now is 27 years old. She is not the 13-year-old that moved into the White House. And the problem that — we have a much greater problem in the United States today — that she's been treated....with such an adoring tone. They really treat her like Saint Chelsea." Tim also said MSNBC had a double standard between Shuster and far wilder comments from Keith Olbermann: "Keith Olbermann could come on and say that Bush is responsible for killing 3,500 Americans. Or remember when he called Chris Wallace a monkey posing as a newscaster?"
As NewsBusters has been reporting, MSNBC's reaction to David Shuster's "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton comment is an extraordinary example of the double standard that exists at this admittedly left-leaning cable network.
In fact, the goings-on since Shuster first made this remark last Thursday make it crystal clear that potentially insensitive comments directed at the Clinton family are thoroughly verboten by MSNBC, whereas derogatory statements concerning President George W. Bush are highly encouraged.
As another example of this hypocrisy, consider the following disgraceful report concerning Bush's twin daughters aired on MSNBC's "Countdown" November 28, 2006 (h/t NBer Grammy):
The "pimped out" controversy surrounding MSNBC's David Shuster - destined to be called "Pimp Gate" - took a turn for the bizarre when Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Steve Capus, President of NBC News.
Published for all to see at the Washington Post's "The Trail" blog Saturday, the letter demonstrated a disturbing number of hypocrisies and double standards inherent in today's liberally biased media.
See if you can find them all (emphasis added to assist your search):
Here's more buzz about how much trouble Newsbusters eagle eye Mark Finkelstein has caused for MSNBC's David Shuster. (He was first on this, people.) Through the Inside Cable News blog, we see the blog Big Head DC reports buzz that bosses at MSNBC threatened to fire David Shuster "on the spot" when he didn't immediately pound his chest and ask for forgiveness for suggesting Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by her mother:
Big Head DC has learned from sources inside the MSNBC camp that Phil Griffin, senior vice president at the network, “screamed” at reporter David Shuster for not agreeing to immediately apologize to Chelsea Clinton for saying on-air she had been “pimped out” by her mom’s campaign. Griffin threatened to fire Shuster “on the spot,” and it was only with intervention from Tim Russert that Shuster didn’t lose his position.
Want to know how Barack Obama would intend to run against John McCain? Consider this line from Obama's speech to the Jefferson-Jackson dinner this evening in Virginia:
This week, this week, we found out that the presumptive nominee of the Republican party will be Senator John McCain [scattered boos in the audience.] Now, I believe John McCain is a good man and a genuine American hero. And we honor his half-century of service to this nation.
As NewsBusters readers are fully aware, MSNBC's David Shuster has apologized and been suspended for asking a guest on Thursday's "Tucker," "[D]oesn't it seem like Chelsea [Clinton's] sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"
As if that wasn't enough, on Friday evening's "Countdown," host Keith Olbermann also apologized (video available here):
David has been suspended and remains only for me to apologize without limit to President Clinton and to Ms. Clinton on behalf of MSNBC. We are literally, dreadfully sorry.
If MSNBC is so sorry for Shuster's use of this phrase, shouldn't they be suspending Olbermann for a similar comment he made about President Bush and Gen. David Petraeus on September 20 (video available here courtesy of our friend Johnny Dollar, relevant section begins 55 seconds in, although readers are strongly encouraged to watch the entire delicious piece):
MSNBC says it has temporarily suspended anchor David Shuster from all NBC news broadcasts — except to offer his on-air apology for what he said about Chelsea Clinton.
Shuster outraged the Clinton campaign by saying on the air that the campaign had "pimped out" the Clintons' daughter, when they had her place phone calls to party superdelegates on her mother's behalf.
In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on Friday excoriated MSNBC's Shuster and called the comment "beneath contempt" and disgusting. And he said it could threaten Clinton's participation in a debate later this month on MSNBC and in future debates on the network.
Although MSNBC representatives make disgracefully offensive comments about President George W. Bush on a daily basis, it appears there is something the network won't tolerate: over-the-top remarks about Chelsea Clinton.
Such appears to be the case as MSNBC correspondent David Shuster has apparently been suspended for comments he made about the former first daughter on Thursday's "Tucker."
*****Update at end of post: Hillary's front-group, Media Matters, is absolutely thrilled by this announcement.
Chris Matthews went off on one of his patented tirades on today's Morning Joe, imagining how conservatives would relish going after a President Hillary Clinton with a vengeance. Might Matthews, understandably, be short on sleep? He also bit Mika Brzezinski's head off for a harmless statement.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well you know a lot of Republican talk show people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, I think authors, successful authors, I must say, like Ann Coulter, they wouldn't be so unhappy to have Hillary Clinton to beat up for four or eight years, especially four years. And Mr. DeLay would probably love to have Hillary to beat up for two years and then win back the house in '10. I mean I could see the strategy -- sometimes in bad weather you let the other team have the ball. You elect to kick rather than receive. Let them have the ball in the Ice Bowl. Let them try to move it past the second or third yard while you come down hard on them. The people like Bill Kristol out there, the neo-conservatives. Imagine Hillary Clinton as president for a couple of months with about a one-point advantage coming into office? They will crash around her, hitting her with everything they've got.
David Shuster: not just an MSNBC "correspondent" anymore -- now a Dem campaign consultant too! In the opening segment of today's Morning Joe, Shuster offered a kernel of consulting wisdom to the Obama campaign, and the message was clear: Barack needs to get rougher with those mean-spirited Republicans.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We did get some comments from Barack Obama yesterday about Mitt Romney dropping out.
WILLIE GEIST: I thought that was very interesting. Obama was responding to the comments we just heard earlier where Mitt Romney said Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will "surrender to terror." Here was Obama's response.
Cut to clip of Obama speaking to reporters on a campaign plane.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson's show a few days ago, Hillary fan Lanny Davis observed that Tucker's is "about the only show on MSNBC that consistently allows a Clinton perspective to be expressed." But maybe not so much when, as this evening, David Shuster is the guest host. Employing one of the more graphic metaphors to be heard about a Clinton from the MSM, Shuster tonight claimed that Chelsea Clinton is being "pimped out" by her mother's campaign.
The jumping off point was a clip in which three members of The View mentioned having been called by Chelsea on behalf of her mother. Shuster's guests were Dem pundit Bill Press and columnist Bob Franken.
With Joe Scarborough away, the mice did play during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe . . .
WILLIE GEIST [facetiously]: David, I know how you like to speak for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of that group.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He's going to the [CPAC] convention.
GEIST: You're the voice of that community, but can you make sense out of this? Are they willing, the conservatives, the Limbaughs, the Hannitys of the world, to concede the election, to not have John McCain be president, to take Hillary Clinton over them, just to take a principled stand?
"He will make Cheney look like Gandhi," Buchanan said.
Buchanan participated in a panel with former Bill Clinton political adviser Paul Begala and liberal Air America radio talk show host Rachel Maddow on NBC's February 6 "Today." Buchanan told "Today" host Matt Lauer that McCain will have to shift focus from the economy to other issues.
If you had any doubt that low-rated MSNBC host Chris Matthews is completely in the tank for Democrat Barack Obama, take a look at this week's New York Observer.
Before giving you the gag-inducing quotes, I must pause to wonder: Why does anyone allow this man to take part in presidential debates? The Hillary Clinton folks who previously said that Fox News Channel was so hopelessly pro-Republican that it wasn't worth debating on their network have clearly dropped the ball with Matthews. He has no interest in keeping things fair for Clinton.
That's true in spades when it comes to the Republicans, though. As much as he loves John McCain's pandering to liberal journalist sensibilities, there's no chance Chris Matthews will abandon someone he believes is the "New Testament" of politics:
Joe Scarborough has given away the MSM's dirty big secret: it hates Mitt Romney and is letting that animus distort its coverage of the Republican race. Joe went on an impassioned riff at the opening of today's Morning Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I want the media mavens in Manhattan and Washington, DC to listen what I'm about to tell you, because it goes against your narrative, but it is the truth. Look at the map; let's put the map back up there. Last night was a good night for John McCain, he won the big states . . . but starting at about 9 PM last night, before a lot of the Western states were closed, we heard over and over again that Mike Huckabee had now raced into second place, and once again friends that Mitt Romney should drop from the race . . . McCain had nine states won, Romney had seven states won, Huckabee had five states won. And yet, what did we hear time and time again, at this network and every other network: Mike Huckabee has now raced into second place.
First, to be fair to Keith Olbermann, I personally doubt the MSNBC anchor harbors prejudicial sentiments towards Mexican-Americans, but really, can you imagine the ire, or very least wide-open speculation if say Don Imus had said this?:
New York Senator Clinton, an adopted Giants fan watched the game in Minnesota and told the Associated Press, quote, "Super Bowl, Super Tuesday, we've got one down, let's get the other." This as her husband watched the game in New Mexico with the former governor, or with the governor and former presidential Bill Richardson, possibly asking Richardson for an endorsement and then, "would you please pass the guacamole?"
Video from Feb. 4 "Countdown" (22 secs):Windows (1.25 MB), plus MP3 audio (149 kB).
Don't take NewsBusters's word for it. According to Lanny Davis, with one exception MSNBC has donned flippers and goggles to go entirely in the tank for Barack Obama.
Davis, who made his bones tirelessly defending Bill Clinton during the dark Lewinsky days, appeared on Tucker Carlson's show this evening. Tucker opened the conversation by asking whether Davis sensed Obama's momentum. But Lanny was more interested in getting his point on the record about MSNBC's pro-Obama bias.
Serious question: why does Mika Brzezinski bother? Why does she sustain the charade of non-partisanship? Not a day goes by that host Joe Scarborough doesn't proclaim his conservative Republicanism. But despite a mountain of evidence as documented here over the months, Brzezinski continues to deny the undeniable: that she is a partisan Democrat.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika first put her GOP consultant cap on, counseling Republicans to stop supporting Romney, then floated the notion that she might actually vote Republican in the fall. The duo were mulling the latest poll numbers, which showed Mitt Romney having jumped up over the last month.
Tim Russert isn't practicing his Christmas tree-ornament hanging technique. The Meet the Press host is demonstrating how John McCain is dangling the VP slot to Mike Huckabee. And Huck seems as transfixed as a hound before a bone, judging by the way he's staying in the race against all odds and spending his time taking shots at Mitt Romney.
Russert was a guest during the 7 AM half-hour of Morning Joe.
On Thursday's Countdown show shortly before 9:00 p.m., just an hour before hosting a special Countdown to discuss CNN's Democratic debate from that night, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment," this time attacking President Bush for threatening to veto a new FISA law if Congress refuses to include liability protection for telecom companies that have assisted in surveillance in the war on terrorism, arguing that Bush would be endangering Americans by delaying the bill's passage. The MSNBC host, who once scolded public figures who use Nazi references, made his own latest invocation of Nazi Germany, as he compared the telecoms to the Krupp family who were convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg.
Don't tell Joe Scarborough that John McCain's the stronger Republican candidate because he can attract voters in the middle. The Morning Joe host has depicted McCain as unelectable because of the opposition to him of two key conservative leaders, Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson.
Scarborough's comments during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe were prompted by an article in today's New York Times that included this line [emphasis added]:
Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot of conservatives that I've heard grousing that have said "I would rather a Democrat win then John McCain."
How is John McCain not a conservative? Let Joe Scarborough count the ways. The Morning Joe host thundered out a bill of particulars today that was nothing less than an indictment of McCain's lack of conservative credentials.
It was Mika Brzezinski's reference to Bob Novak's column of today, questioning McCain's conservatism, that sparked Scarborough's outburst.
Michael Medved has hurled the ultimate insult at Rush Limbaugh -- that he's acting like a liberal. According to Medved, Rush is thinking with his emotions, not his mind, when it comes to his criticism of of John McCain.
McCain supporter Medved appeared on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show this evening.