Hardball host Chris Matthews is quite the cinemaphile, frequently working movie references into his banter on the MSNBC program. So it was rather surprising when the MSNBC anchor made a whopper of a gaffe on his July 24 program regarding an iconic moment in the climactic lightsaber duel in the middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. It seems Matthews remembers Luke Skywalker losing the duel when Darth Vader cut of his arm, not merely his right hand.
The botched movie reference was made by Matthews as he relayed how the fictional villain has a higher favorability rating (58 percent) than any real-life 2016 presidential prospect, including Hillary Clinton (55 percent). Here's the relevant transcript (video follows page break):
During a segment attacking conservative Republicans who have been critical of the Obama administration's handling of the border crisis, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an amusing Al Sharpton-like teleprompter moment, repeatedly trying, and failing, to pronounce "dengue fever." It's curious that Matthews, who once served in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, seems unfamiliar with the term, given how prevalent the disease is in many sub-Saharan African countries -- although not Swaziland itself.
After all three broadcast networks initially ignored offensive comments from former Democratic Montana Governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Brian Schweitzer claiming outgoing Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar," on Friday, NBC's Today took notice of gaffe, with correspondent Peter Alexander declaring: "...a tough-talking Montana Democrat known for being unscripted is apologizing after he managed to offend Democrats, Republicans, gays, and southerners all at once." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander described how Cantor "became the target of an attack that was both ugly and unfounded," with Schweitzer "slinging the mud." Alexander proceeded to quote the "shoot-from-the-lip" former governor's rambling comments about Cantor: "I'm fine with gay people, that's all right – but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think..."
Do MSNBC producers think all conservative Republican legislators look alike?
In a segment featuring the Washington Post's Robert Costa handicapping the forthcoming campaign by various House Republicans to fill outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor's leadership post, producers aired B-roll of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) in lieu of Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
On Thursday's NBC Today, Al Roker's self-described "bromance" with Vice President Joe Biden continued as the morning show weatherman pleaded: "Mr. Vice President, once again, we beseech you, please come to the third hour, Today's Take, and co-host our show....right here, Vice President Biden, we want you here." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The invitation was prompted by Biden's latest gaffe, which Roker giddily explained to viewers: "Our favorite....My man. In an effort to congratulate the new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Vice President Joe Biden placed a phone call to Marty Walsh....Except he called the wrong Marty Walsh. He said, reportedly, 'Oh, you son of a gun, Marty, you did it!'"
The Washington Post tiptoed gently on Friday around Joe Biden’s hopes of being elected president in 2016. “For Biden, dreams vs. realities” is the story’s headline, but at the very top of Page One, it says “At the top of his political game, the vice president shines as Obama’s personable No. 2. But events may conspire against a 2016 promotion.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker rather comically took 30 paragraphs to establish one series of “events” that threaten Biden are gaffes. The front page says Biden is a “long shot at best,” but insists he’s seen as “genuine, down-to-earth, rock solid on the issues" and “clearly has the experience and gravitas to ascend to the presidency.”
What's the correlation between Fox News and Playboy TV?
Well, on a relatively new online game show called Let's Ask America, web cam contestants were playfully asked which one would offend liberal parents more if they stumbled upon their teenage son watching one or the other. (video clip below; h/t email tipster John Heckman)
Open mouth, insert foot. Just when it seemed that Piers Morgan was finally putting his ineffective crusade for stricter gun control behind him, the CNN anchor made an obviously stereotypical remark while covering an inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening.
At the end of an interview with Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro and his identical twin brother, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, the liberal host asked: “By the way, I've never met any Latinos who can't dance, so are you guys going to be -- ?”
Out: hateful tweets to black actresses supporting Romney for president. In: hateful tweets to celebrities tweeting their support for Israel in its struggle against the Palestinian terrorist network Hamas.
The conservative website The Blaze, noted that comedian Jon Lovitz -- who famously lashed out earlier this year about President Obama's determination to hike taxes -- and reality show star Kim Kardashian were harassed this past weekend with profanity-laced tirades and death wishes.
Appearing on the Conan O'Brien show on Wednesday night, talk show host Chelsea Handler started laughing at the most inopportune time. Judging by the somber look on O'Brien's face, the comedienne hadn't just cracked a joke. No, the unfortunate reason for her giggling was in remembrance of a child who was deprived the chance to live.
Asked to recollect her adolescence, Handler couldn't resist oversharing. Her rebellious lifestyle resulted in an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, but apparently there was nothing to think twice about. That's when the laughing started. She tried to stop herself, admitting the subject wasn't funny. Yet she continued, trying to justify the humor of her abortion by saying her baby would've been biracial. [ video segment below the page break ]
A few days ago the liberal media was all abuzz over how Paul Ryan supposedly muscled his way into back of a soup kitchen in Ohio and started washing already-cleaned pots and pans as a photo op.
It turned out later, however, that soup kitchen staffers had left some dirty pots and pans for Ryan to wash. Yes, it was part of a campaign photo-op, but the pots and pans were actually dirty and Ryan actually cleaned them. NBCNews.com's "First Read" blog noted the crucial update to the tempest-in-a-teapot on Tuesday. But judging from today's Hardball, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews doesn't read his sister network's website.
On the eve of the vice presidential debate, President Obama sat down for an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's World News.
When she asked what his message would be to Joe Biden as he prepares himself to go up against Paul Ryan in Kentucky, Obama humorously answered the pointless question without hesitation -- smiling as he did. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
It doesn't seem to matter what the president or vice president say on their re-election campaign trail. Even their most outrageous statements like Biden's "put y'all back in chains" remark are given the benefit of the doubt by the supposedly non-partisan media. More often than not, we're told by liberal media "fact checkers" that Republicans end up using them out of proper "context."
Take for example, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler who furiously spun in Obama's favor in a fact-check column on Thursday that dealt with a comment from 1998 by then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Eager to slam Romney even though his campaign has not made an ad on the matter -- nor did Kessler quote anything Romney or a Romney surrogate said about it per se -- Kessler gave the Romney campaign a failing grade of four Pinocchios for using it as evidence against the incumbent. Claiming to be fair and balanced in the past, the Post staffer went on the defensive for what seems to be his preferred presidential candidate.
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed the substantial attention the media devoted to Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's claim that forcible rape victims rarely become pregnant as opposed to Vice President Joe Biden's "chains" gaffe, two recent studies by the Media Research Center -- parent organization to NewsBusters -- were cited. Host Jon Scott cited MRC analyst Scott Whitlock's study from Tuesday:
If Ronald Reagan was the "Teflon President," then Joe Biden is the "Teflon Blowhard." He’s spent his entire career with his foot firmly lodged in his mouth, uttering an endless stream of impossibly stupid, vulgar, and insensitive things. And yet the media fall all over themselves to make excuses for blustery "Old Uncle Joe."
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, after host David Gregory played a clip of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani criticizing Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffes, and the media's double standard in giving so little attention such moments, correspondent Chuck Todd dismissed Giuliani's criticisms as part of a "personal vendetta" because Biden had lambasted Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign.
After the clip of the former New York City mayor, host Gregory posed:
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, as the group discussed the media's tepid attention to Vice President Joe Biden's "chains" gaffe, panel member and left-leaning FNC analyst Kirsten Powers asserted that "There is a glaring media standard, no question about it."
After noting that there was a similar double standard in Biden and Sarah Palin's treatment during the 2008 campaign, Powers complained:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member and liberal Washington Post columnist Colby King admitted that it "bothers" him that Vice President Joe Biden felt the need to "resort to colloquialisms to talk to African-Americans," referring to the Vice President's "chains" gaffe in Danville, Virginia.
After host Gordon Peterson asked, "How did the White House handle this one?" King responded:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.
A 30-minute conference call on Tuesday featuring four small business owners was intended to be a response to President Obama's comment that "If you got a business, you didn’t build that -- somebody else made that happen."
However, the press took advantage of the situation to demand an apology from former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who said he wished the President “would learn how to be an American,” and call for more financial records from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
On today's edition of MSNBC Live, anchor Thomas Roberts talked with Michael Barbaro of the New York Times discussing the so-called Young Guns who are on the short list to be Mitt Romney's running mate: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.), and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).
But when the MSNBC graphics team showed photos of the Young Guns, they accidentally used a photo of Rep. Ron Paul, the septuagenarian former Republican presidential candidate with strong libertarian convictions, in lieu of Paul Ryan. See our video below:
Straining to find a way to excuse President Obama's Friday remark that "the private sector is doing fine," on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry did her best to spin for the White House: "He is right in saying that the private sector is doing better than the public sector, is he not? And so that was his point, that this comment was taken out of context." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry's attempt at Obama campaign damage control was prompted by left-wing guest and MSNBC host Chris Hayes arguing: "I would also say that the point he's making specifically about the difference between where the private sector's at and where the public sector's at is a really important one. We've lost 600,000 jobs in the public sector....Those layoffs did not have to happen if we had extended revenue sharing from the federal government."
As the campaign season moves forward, the American people will see more "desperation" by the liberal media and President Obama as the case for his reelection grows harder to justify. "They're not seeing gravitas and they're not seeing presidential statesmanship," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity during last night's "Media Mash" segment.
Bozell was reacting to MSNBC's Ed Schultz, who took to his May 29 radio program The Ed Schultz Show to despondently whine that should Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) survive the union-backed recall effort and should Mitt Romney get elected, there would never be a Democratic president elected in his lifetime again. [watch video below page break]
Earlier this week saw Mediaite's Tommy Christopher hilariously see "racism" in a Romney campaign banner and witnessed Christopher referring to himself in the third person throughout an article about ... himself. But perhaps the highlight is an unintentionally guffaw-inducing line in this story. In it, Christopher makes a big deal out of past Mitt Romney gaffes where he momentarily confused "Obama" with "Osama (bin Laden)" (but in which Romney had immediately corrected himself). The problem is, in the very same column, Christopher does just this himself. To make things worse, Christopher (or his editors at Mediaite), after a few hours, edited Christopher's "Romney-like" gaffe without noting the correction. But no matter -- we have a screen capture. Here's the original paragraph as it appeared:
The Telegraph (UK) notes that President Obama made an "uncharacteristic" gaffe the other day by calling the Falklands Islands -- known as the Malvinas in Argentina -- the "Maldives." And it did so by pointing out ... that George W. Bush was more prone to such blunders, "Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W. Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives."
While President George W. Bush certainly made his fair share of gaffes, one can certainly wonder if the former chief exec was indeed more apt to make such errors, or whether it was the media -- in this case the foreign press -- that highlighted them more often than it does those of our current president.
Eager to seize on an unfortunate Etch-A-Sketch analogy made by a Romney campaign advisor, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry used all her cleverness to come up with this one-liner: "...a very mixed day for GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney. He picked up a key endorsement on Wednesday, but it's a campaign gaffe from a top aid that Romney's having a hard time shaking."
In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander declared: "Mitt Romney's critics have hounded him as a flip-flopper....[He's] on the defensive once again..." Alexander also joined in the mocking: "Who knew that classic toy could cause a presidential candidate so much trouble....If only those words could magically disappear."
Closing out an interview with Sen. John Hoeven (R) of North Dakota on today's Andrea Mitchell Reports, substitute host Chris Matthews thanked the former governor and said he "loved visiting your state this summer" and that he loves Mt. Rushmore, having "sat there for two hours and just looked up at it" during his trip to South Dakota over the summer.
Hoeven corrected Matthews, saying he was from North Dakota. Matthews retorted that he "liked South Dakota better anyway." [video follows page break]
While NBC correspondent Peter Alexander noted on Tuesday's Today how "Republicans are jumping on the president's choice of words" in telling a woman her husband's long-term unemployment was "interesting" to him, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS's This Morning bothered to highlight Obama's aloof flub.
The NBC report played the sound bite of the president's remark: "It is interesting to me – and I meant what I said, if you send me your husband's resume I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there – because the word we're getting is, is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away."
On Thursday's Hardball, Chris Matthews preposterously insisted that Barack Obama added "only 13 people" to the federal workforce in 2009 and that the total number of individuals working for the U.S. government (as of 2010) was 4,443.
[UPDATE, 8:55 PM EST: Two hours later, in the otherwise identical 7 PM EST re-play, MSNBC inserted a new graphic and a new audio overlay in which Matthews corrected his incompetence without noting any change from his first broadcast: Video below features both versions. In the 5 PM EST hour, Matthews claimed “the federal workforce totaled forty-four hundred and thirty people in 2009 when Obama took office. In 2010, a year later, the number increased to forty-four forty-three people – a difference of only thirteen people.” In the re-do, Matthews realized “the federal workforce totaled four million, four hundred and thirty thousand in 2009...”]
So enthused about promoting the far-left protests, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer on Monday night's World News championed “the Occupy Wall Street movement” by ludicrously claiming that “as of tonight, it has spread to more than 250 American cities, more than a thousand countries -- every continent but Antarctica.”
Protests against the wealthy in “thousands of countries,” including Cuba, China and every country in Africa? Per the U.S. State Department, however, there are only 195 nation states in the world, so Sawyer imagined five times as many protests as could possibly have occurred. (Video below)