Is this more offensive to Democrats or Republicans? At least five separate reporters described incoming freshman Democrat Congressmen as conservative. On Wednesday’s "Early Show" Bob Schieffer noted "these Democrats that were elected last night are conservative Democrats." Later in the same program, CBS News Captiol Hill correspondent Sharyl Attkisson highlighted, "...a lot of these new Democrats who’ve been elected are social conservatives." Seconds later, CBS Political Correspondent Gloria Borger observed that with the Democrats taking the House, "the committee chairmen are going to be liberal and the people coming in are going to be these moderate conservatives." The trend continued on "Imus in the Morning" as NBC’s David Gregory remarked, "She’s [Nancy Pelosi] going to have a lot of center-right Democrats who won..."
I just heard the opening shot of the 2008 Dem presidential primary!
To paraphrase Hirohito's famous words to his people at the end of WWII, the electoral situation has developed not necessarily to the GOP's advantage. We'll certainly be picking through the rubble in coming weeks. But for the time being, let's look at the bright side: the 2008 presidential race is on! One sure sign of it: Barack Obama has become fair game for criticism - from fellow Democrats.
Hillary Rosen, a Dem consultant and former interim Director of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, was a guest on a Chris Matthews election post-mortem panel early Wednesday morning. Rosen took some real shots at someone who heretofore had only been dutifully referred to by Dems as "a rising star."
In their coverage of the election returns, MSNBC posted a story this morning at the bottom of which was a brief run down of who won and who lost in Congressional races across the country.
Most of these listings were presented without comment of any kind. Like the race in Arizona:
Arizona: Incumbent Republican John Kyl over Democrat Jim Pederson.
That was pretty straightforward. No bias, no nonsense. Just a who-won/who-lost listing. Of the 23 races they list, only a few have any thing by way of extra commentary. Additionally, out of that few they offered further comment on, all were either benign or complimentary.
Just after 11pm EST Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews celebrated how Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, a likelihood following the Democratic takeover of that body, will be “a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women” and an “amazing moment” when at the next State of the Union address she'll be “the incredibly interesting person” next to Dick Cheney with his “fire hydrant build” and “very distinguished snarl.” Matthews told Keith Olbermann, his co-anchor:
"I think it's a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women. I think one of the most stunning, most iconic pictures we'll see on television in the next year is the State of the Union address, where you have Dick Cheney, who has got that sort of, you know, fire hydrant build sitting there with that very distinguished snarl of his, and then this incredibly interesting person next, a woman, first time ever sitting behind the President sharing power with the American government. It's going to be an amazing moment.”
Winding up the 8pm EST hour of election coverage on MSNBC, “Scarborough Country” host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, indignantly lectured Chris Matthews about how he has “spent the past two years trying my best to be very critical of my party. In fact, if you look at my transcripts you will see that I have been bashing my party more than the Democratic party because I want to make sure that I am fair and down the middle.”
So “far and down the middle” means hitting Republicans harder than Democrats? Too bad Matthews, a former staffer to Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, doesn’t routinely attack Democrats to prove how “fair and down the middle” he is.
As Chris Matthews sees it and decrees it, if voters in Maryland decide to go for Republican Michael Steele today it will be because they prefer African American candidates who are “unthreatening” or “almost...castrated,” and that the “funny” “lighthearted” Steele strikes voters as “a guy I would like to have living next door” — although he quickly added that “that may be pushing it in some cases.”
As Joe Scarborough, one of the rotating anchors of MSNBC’s continuing election coverage tried to interrupt, Matthews justified his comments by insisting that, “I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it’s coming to the fore, this race problem we have.”
The polls have only been open for a few hours, and MSNBC is already reporting allegations of voter intimidation in Virginia. Of course, “Hardball’s” David Shuster only discussed Democrat complaints towards Republicans even though the FBI refused to comment (video here). The article on this subject at MSNBC.com stated (hat tip to TVNewser):
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the possibility of voter intimidation in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. George Allen, a Republican, and Democratic challenger James Webb, officials told NBC News.
Here’s a shocking thought for your Election Day: A Keith Olbermann-style anchorman on every television news program on every channel spewing vitriol and animus as only he can. Some Halloween trick, huh? Well, if Aaron Barnhart, television critic of the Kansas City Star is right, this could be the case in the near future (hat tip to TVNewser).
Barnhart’s column on Monday entitled “Numbers look good for Keith Olbermann; Is MSNBC newscaster's 'Countdown' journalism's saving grace?” absolutely gushed praise on America’s premiere Bush-hater (emphasis mine throughout):
Keith Olbermann is, to date, the most perfect expression of [the fake newsman] idea. As he continues to pick up steam -- that he will pass CNN’s Paula Zahn for second place at 7 p.m. seems inevitable -- it’s worth asking if his brand of journalism will be, and should be, the future of TV journalism.
Chris Matthews just couldn't wipe that grin off his face. Interviewing him on this morning's 'Today,' Meredith Vieira began by suggesting that despite the tough electoral environment for Republicans, polls over the weekend were showing movement in their direction. She started to pose a question, but so distracting was Matthews' mugging that she couldn't continue, asking instead "why are you smiling?"
"Because I think it's going to be a wipe-out. I think the Democrats are going to carry the House by 20-some, high-20s and I think the Senate seats are perhaps not six, but five, and I can see a big victory for the Democrats."
According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, if Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford loses Tuesday, you can blame it on white conservatives. On Sunday morning, as he appeared in a segment hosted by Alex Witt, Matthews chided whites for an unwillingness to vote for black politicians, contending that "blacks vote for whites," but "whites don't vote for blacks." Matthews added that in states with large black populations, fear leads whites to become conservative Republicans. Matthews: "The larger the black population, where the whites are afraid historically, and in Deep South states, they tend to become very conservative Republican out of fear, whatever, of an overwhelming, or a large number of African-Americans because of the kind of culture." Ignored by Matthews was the willingness of white conservatives to support black statewide candidates like Maryland's Michael Steele, Ohio's Kenneth Blackwell, and Pennsylvania's Lynn Swann, in this year's elections, while white liberals will be supporting white Democratic candidates instead, demonstrating that party affiliation is the deciding factor in whether white conservatives vote for a black candidate. Notably, in Maryland's Senate primary, Democratic voters rejected black Democratic candidate Kweisi Mfume, a former Congressman, in favor of white candidate and Congressman Benjamin Cardin during their party's primary, while the Republican nominee, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, is black. (Transcript follows)
Here's an antidote from an unlikely corner for all the Dem outrage at the 'November surprise' of the Saddam verdict. On this morning's 'Today,' none other than Chris Matthews just pronounced his considered opinion that the verdict actually helps . . . the Democrats.
According to Matthews, given the unpopularity of the war, anything that draws attention to Iraq hurts Republicans. Apparently that even extends to a good-news story such as the Saddam verdict. Opined Matthews to host Lester Holt:
"One general rule would be anything that brings attention to Iraq is bad for the Republicans. I think Iraq's become a four-letter word for the voter. And this trial and condemnation of Saddam Hussein is probably going to remind us of Iraq again. It's probably going to help the Democrats to some extent."
Unless you’ve been asleep all day, you are well aware of a New York Times article published Friday concerning a website the federal government set up last March to “make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war.” Conservative talk radio and blogs have been enthralled by this piece, in particular, the following paragraph (emphasis mine):
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
In a report about this issue early Friday morning on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell was highly critical of conservative bloggers, and said that these revelations would be harmful to the Bush administration just before Tuesday’s elections (video here):
With less then a week before Election Day, members of the mainstream media are doing everything they can to elect Democrats. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has stepped up his fevered attacks, referring to President Bush as both "stupid" and a liar. Later on in the week, he included Media Research Center President Brent Bozell in the November 2 "Worst Person in the World" segment.
Speaking of cable networks, an analysis of the CNN "Broken Government" special shows that Lynne Cheney was right in denouncing it as nothing more then left-wing Daily Kos-style propaganda.
Over on CBS, "The Evening News" featured a laudatory segment on "trend setting" California. Not so coincidentally, all the trends were liberal. On the subject of morning bias, "Today’s" David Gregory turned over a segment to Michael J. Fox and his promotion of Democratic candidates.
Completing the network trilogy, ABC’s "Good Morning America" talked to a group of "real-life actual voters"in a Ohio diner. Oddly enough, none of these hungry citizens seemed to like Republicans very much. Perhaps this was a Democratic diner.
The MSM troops have begun to rally around their man.
Interviewing Ted Kennedy on MSNBC, Chris Matthews referred to the controversy over Kerry's comments as a 'brouhaha' and a 'rhubarb'. Kennedy was of course only too happy to agree, calling the controversy a "diversion" and even casting Kerry as the victim, claiming he is the "target of Republicans" reacting to his criticism of the war.
A bit later in the hour, Matthews flatly claimed that Kerry only meant to say that Bush hadn't studied enough before he became president and thus got us into a mess in Iraq, and later still:
With just a little over a week to go NBC's Today show is cranking up the anti-Bush sentiment and this morning Meredith Vieira and Chris Matthews hammered how Republicans are running away from the President. After NBC's Kelly O'Donnell aired a full report on how Bush is showing up in ads everywhere for Democrats but not for Republicans, Vieira asked MSNBC's Hardball host Matthews to break down the midterms which just allowed Matthews to go on his typical anti-Iraq war tear:
Meredith Vieira: "I know you heard Kelly O'Donnell's report, the President now being featured in more than 160 ads for Democratic candidates. Do you think the strategy is gonna work?"
When it comes to using Mafia references for political purposes, Chris Matthews has a one-way sense of outrage. OK for slurring Republicans. Bad, bad, bad when used against Dems.
Matthews is the king of MSM conniption fits over Republican ads. He pounded for days on the RNC ad about Harold Ford, Jr., accusing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman of "cesspool" tactics and claiming the ad played to white fears of "losing white women to black guys."
Matthews had a similar over-the-top reaction to an ad [see it here] running in NJ that uses a mobbed-up character to mock ethically-challenged Bob Menendez. Here's how Stephen Spruiell at National Review's Media Blog noted Matthews reaction:
"Well maybe because I've spent so much of my life in New Jersey... but you know, I have to tell you Charlie, it's an ethnic ad. Whatever else it is, it's an ethnic ad. It's about Italians in New Jersey, it's about the mob. Tying Menendez into Torricelli. They're closing the loop, they're making their point, and that has been politics in that state for years, between the WASPy people like Christie Todd Whitman and the Keans, father and son, running against the ethnic people, they tied it all together: If you're ethnic, you're a crook, right?"
All that was missing was the theme music from Deliverance. Not content to condemn George Allen for raising the issue of Jim Webb's racy writing, Chris Matthews decided on this evening's Hardball to slur the entire Commonwealth of Virginia south of the DC suburbs.
Interviewing senior Webb campaign advisor Steve Jarding [Chris did indicate that he had unsuccessfully tried to get an Allen representative on the show], Matthews had this to say:
"Not to take sides but they've had this material since the day Jim Webb announced, and they've chosen to use it now with the risk that it implies, because everybody in Northern Virginia, in this area of the country, reads books, they think."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews invited the Dixie Chicks on last night's Hardball to promote the new documentary Shut Up and Sing and asked them if they felt their anti-Iraq position has been vindicated, to which the Chicks responded in martyred terms of being put on Free Republic's and "Christian fundamentalist" country fans' "hate list."
The following exchange occurred on the October 26th edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews: "Martie, I get the feeling at the time that you folks, when you made that statement and you all stood behind it and took the heat for it, that the country world out there and country music was definitely for the war. I mean, I think of Toby Keith singing that song, 'Remember How You Felt' which is basically a pitch that if you didn't like 9/11 you had to like Iraq, that they were basically lining up and saying this was a smart thing for the U.S. to do. It turns out most Americans all over the country think it's not a smart thing that we did."
Just in time for election season, Time magazine’s Joe Klein went on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country Tuesday to give Americans a heapin’ helpin’ of some fine hypocrisy. Sorry, Jed. In the space of a couple of minutes, Klein bashed Rush Limbaugh with some (isn’t this stuff getting old?) typical drug references, castigated Vice President Dick Cheney for “[legitimizing] a guy like Rush Limbaugh,” praised Michael J. Fox’s ad for Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and slammed the ad made in Missouri by famous athletes and actors to counter Fox’s (video link to follow). Of course, Klein also had time to praise what some Democrat candidates are doing to woo voters, while chastising Republicans for doing virtually the same thing.
The festivities started with host Joe Scarborough showing Michael J. Fox’s recent campaign ad for Claire McCaskill, then an audio clip of Rush Limbaugh’s response, and finally asking Klein for his opinion – as if the viewers couldn’t predict what Klein would say:
On last night's Hardball, Chris Matthews hinted at what he had in mind regarding the ad the RNC ran in Tennessee about Dem senatorial candidate Harold Ford, Jr. Claimed Chris:
"It has ethnic overtones, sexual overtones."
Tonight, Matthews took an ugly, explicit leap down into the atavistic mud. Interviewing Sen. Dick Durbin [D-IL] - who was relatively reserved in his comments - Matthews began by asserting that the RNC's goal in running the ad was to "get their point across to perhaps angry white voters, or people who had a problem with a black senator already."
Later, Matthews embraced the absolutely worst stereotype of a racist South, claiming the RNC was:
"playing on white sensitivities about losing white women to black guys. It was so obvious what they were doing there."
Referring to an RNC ad as the "Mehlman cesspool," Chris Matthews was being non-partisan. Really - he told us so!
On this afternoon's Hardball, Matthews interviewed Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., Dem candidate for senator from Tennessee. The first topic up was an ad the RNC is currently running using actors to tweak Ford on his positions on a variety of issues, from taxes to gun control to North Korea. The ad also alludes to the fact that Ford attended a Playboy party at the Super Bowl in Jacksonville in 2005.
At the ad's end, an alluring woman saying she met Harold at a Playboy party whispers "Harold, call me!"
Democrats have been quick to cry that the use of a white woman is an insidious appeal to racism. Matthews wasted no time sounding the Dems' battle cry:
I DVD'ed Olbermann overnight to check just how fawning a performance he would put in with his guest Barack Obama - whom FCC regulations require me to describe as "the rising star of the Democratic party." When it came to Olbermann's sycophancy, I wasn't disappointed. After accusing Republicans of "terrorizing" Americans, the MSNBC host continued:
"proposing an alternative course for American politics, one that replaces fear with - of all things - hope, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and his new book, The Audacity of Hope."
On last night’s Hardball, Bill Clinton was depicted as a unifying "Moses"-like figure while Karl Rove was portrayed as a divisive "evil genius." In describing Bill Clinton on a campaign stop at Georgetown University, NBC’s Kevin Corke used biblical terms: "It was as if Moses himself had returned. Former President Bill Clinton, the man some believe could figure prominently in helping to lead Democrats back to the political promised land, was back at his alma mater, Georgetown, for a major speech this week."
And then later in the program the Washington Post's John Harris, painted Clinton's politics as a "unifying" but Bush’s, specifically, Karl Rove’s politics as "divisive" as he and Hardball host, Chris Matthews wondered what the "evil genius," had "up his sleeve."
NBC's efforts to reestablish itself have gone poorly, and its cable network MSNBC is still stuck in last place. Execs are considering putting MSNBC's two biggest stars, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, on business channel CNBC, and using the rest of MSNBC for taped programming about "murder mysteries" and similar tabloid material. From Broadcasting and Cable:
NBC Universal employees are bracing for the worst as Chairman-CEO Bob Wright and NBC U TV Group CEO Jeff Zucker are convening town hall meetings in Los Angeles and New York for what is expected to be news of restructuring and job cuts.
Sources say Wright will appear on the Universal Studios lot near Burbank on Thursday while Zucker holds a similar meeting with East Coast employee in New York. NBC press reps were not available at press time.
On his show yesterday, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson congratulated Diane Sawyer of ABC for leaving the comforts of home to report from North Korea. Judging by her report this morning, you'd have to say the rigors have been worth it. Sawyer has been on a week-long stay in Dear-Leader Land, and this morning she scored an important story. A top N. Korean general flatly told her that his country has the means to deliver a nuclear weapon.
Sawyer: "We asked him what the words of North Korea meant when they said there would be a 'merciless blow' in response to any sanctions? He said he couldn't say specifically but pointed out they have short- and long-range missiles. He said 'President Bush wants us to kneel down. We cannot agree on that. If it continues, I think it will be natural to have war.'"
Perpetually last placed news channel MSNBC is rumored to face massive layoffs and see its headquarters moved from New Jersey to New York, where the rest of NBC operates. Says Gawker:
It's that time again where we float a rumor currently making the rounds and ask you to do our work for us: We're hearing that NBC is about to get a lot lighter, employee-wise. Some of what we've been told involves massive layoffs at MSNBC, with the remaining crew moving from Secaucus to 30 Rock (which means, at least, that MSNBC head Dan Ambrams will be able to have lunch with his pal Dave Zinczenko a bit more often). Fishbowl DC reports that Jeff Zucker (who will surely keep his job, what with the excellent work he's been doing lately) will announce the firings tomorrow; let's see if we can't get a little more information before then. Confidential memos or scurrilous gossip here.
There's nothing the MSM loves more than a renegade Republican. The GOP maverick-of-the-MSM-week is David Kuo. He is the former #2 man in the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and has written a book, Tempting Faith, claiming that the operation was a cynical attempt to woo faith-based voters whom top aides including Karl Rove looked at contemptuously.
Chris Matthews predictably had Kuo on this afternoon's Hardball. At one point, Matthews asked whether President Bush has "used faith to get votes" and then "how about the issues like stem cell - do you think he's using them politically?"
"I think you're conflagrating a couple of different things here."
On October 15, NewsBusters reported the huge double standard at the Associated Press concerning former Florida Congressman Mark Foley and now deceased former Congressman Gerry Studds. On October 16, MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson logged a report on this very issue (grateful hat tip to Stephen Spruiell of NRO’s Media Blog) with some extraordinarily similar content.
Here’s what Carlson had to say that should be compared to NB's report (video here):
On this afternoon's 'Hardball,' interviewing James Baker about his new book on a life in politics, Matthews alluded to the risk of a political party fracturing in the course of a presidential primary campaign:
"How do you hold your party together when you have people, secular candidates like John McCain who's often in that [guest] chair, and Rudy Giuliani running against Brownback, and people like that, Frist and George Allen perhaps, who are real cultural conservatives?"
Riposted Baker: "We hold it together the same way that you hold your party together."
Interjected Matthews: "Well, it's not my party anymore."
Monday's morning shows displayed the Democratic diplomacy that may take over the House and Senate next year. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter was openly dismayed that President Bush refers to North Korea's murderous communist tyrant, Kim Jong Il, as "'The Pygmy'...Not every helpful, actually." On NBC's Today, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lamented that it's too late for Bush to salvage peace: "North Korea has concluded that this administration wants their, their head on a wall, basically, and therefore there's probably nothing the United States can do now, to really reassure the North to give up their nukes, which is really their life insurance policy." This came just a minute or so after Friedman described Kim as the "Tony Soprano of Pyongyang."