Trying to make sense out of the political analysis offered by MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews can often be a daunting task. And Matthews, a master of failed analogies - recently calling West Point, home of the United States Military Academy "enemy territory" - doesn't give up easily.
Trying to blame someone—anyone—other than his man Barack Obama for the security meltdown surrounding NWA 253, Ed Schultz ran head-first into history without a helmet tonight. Seeking to shift some of the onus onto England for not having alerted us about having denied young Umar entry into its country, Ed entertainingly claimed that the UK has probably been "our best ally since the country started."
Um, Ed: "since the country started"? You mean, like, when we started the country in 1776? When we declared our independence from, and fought a war against, uh, you know? That same "best ally" that—more than a third of a century later—we fought the War of 1812 against, in the course of which its forces occupied Washington, DC and burned down the White House?
Now it's true that for many years we have enjoyed a special relationship with the UK, one personified by the warm and respectful dealings between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. One that was strained, however, when shortly after his inauguration PBO removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the Brits.
Before his run-in with American history, Schultz also played the blame-Bush card.
While much of the national media was focused on a Christmas Eve Senate vote to pass health care reform legislation, the Obama administration's Treasury Department was tending to other business that will have serious implications for the U.S. economy. But did anyone notice?
As Zachary Goldfarb reported for The Washington Post on Christmas Day, the Obama Treasury said it would lift the limits on what the federal government could provide in "emergency aid" to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - without seeking permission from Congress. That led CNBC CME Group floor reporter Rick Santelli to ask if anyone noticed and/or realized what was really at stake with this move during the Dec. 29 broadcast of "Squawk Box."
On Tuesday’s Today show, NBC’s Jenna Wolfe singled out Sarah Palin and grouped her with “flabby thighs, cheap men, [and] rude people” as subjects some people chose to ritually “purge” from their minds in an annual event in New York City called “Good Riddance Day.” Participants wrote down their worst memories of 2009 on sheets of paper and fed them into a giant shredding machine to mark the upcoming new year [an audio clip from the report is available here].
The NBC correspondent began her report, which aired 50 minutes into the 7 am hour, by briefly describing the concept of the “Good Riddance Day” event in midtown Manhattan: “It’s the crossroads of the world. People flock here for the shows, the shopping and the shredding? Right smack in the heart of Times Square, they are purging like mad. This is ‘Good Riddance Day,’ where before you ring in the new, you say adios to the old.” She then listed her examples of what people fed into the shredder, highlighting one piece of paper that had the name of the former Alaska governor written on it: “Whatever you hated in ‘09- flabby thighs, cheap men, rude people or Sarah Palin, just write it down and rip it up. The ex’s are the most popular purges.”
The combatants were Pat Buchanan and Spencer Ackerman of the lefty Washington Independent. The topic was the treatment of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Buchanan wanted the budding terrorist classified as an enemy combatant in order to extract the maximum amount of information from him. Ackerman, in ACLU mode, favored having young Umar tried in federal court and given all rights extended to US criminal defendants.
My antennae went up when at the end of their debate, Buchanan saw Ackerman off by wishing him "Merry Christmas." A bit of Googling reveals that Ackerman, who describes himself as a "very short Jew," has recently written of his "deep-seated contempt for white gentile culture."
If there was ever a textbook example of kissing up to a host in a television interview, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., gave a demonstration on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."
During the Dec. 28 broadcast, Moran, who represents a district that is just a stone's throw away from the U.S. Capitol, encouraged "The Ed Show" host Ed Schultz to keep pushing for the public option as part of health care reform, even though it is losing support as being essential in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"You've got to keep up the pressure, Ed," Moran said. "You know, they pay much more attention to what's said on MSNBC, particularly shows like yours than Fox or something like that. You know that."
The bitterness toward the tea party movement continues to go on and on.
Case in point - Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, who on the Dec. 27 broadcast of "The McLaughlin Group," deemed it "The Most Defining Political Moment" of 2009, but refused to call it the "tea party." Instead, he granted the movement the preferred name by the left-leaning cable network MSNBC, the "teabaggers" and somehow devised the notion that the movement "asked for" the derogatory name.
"The backlash movement known as the ‘teabaggers,' who kind of asked for that name and now they regret it," Page said.
The Founder and President of the Media Research Center (MRC) and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell appeared this morning on the Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends to discuss some of the very many examples of poor reporting culled from Year 2009.
The MRC's year-end extravaganza - the Best of Notable Quotables, is filled to the brim with the ridiculous and sublime bias of the traditional media from the past annum.
Bozell and his hosts reviewed - and laughed vociferously - at a few select examples culled therefrom.
The video of said discussion can be found at right.
And be forewarned - ABC's Bill Weir is the Seagull Whisperer.
It took a tough question from Matt Lauer, but after having laughably claimed that "the system worked," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has now conceded the obvious: that the security system that permitted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board NWA 253 with explosives "failed miserably."
On Today and in other interviews this morning, Napolitano attempted to use her own ignorance as a shield. Each time she was hit with a hard question, her response was to the effect "yeah, we're wondering about that ourselves." She also continued to point the finger back at George Bush, repeatedly mentioning that the security procedures in place were formulated under the Bush administration. Whatever happened to "change you can believe in"?
But back to Today, where Lauer laudably asked Napolitano the necessary question: how could she possibly have claimed, as she did yesterday, that the "system worked"?
Interview with Chicago Fire Chief Alden Brown two days after the Great Chicago Fire:
ALDEN BROWN: One thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here: the local citizens took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 towns and villages in the Chicago area had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred in Chicago. We instituted new measures on the ground, both in central Chicago and at Mrs. O'Leary's barn, where the fire originated. So the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly . . . We have no suggestion that Mrs. O'Leary's cow was improperly inspected, but we want to go through and see.
REPORTER: But if Mrs. O'Leary's cow was properly inspected and yet she started the fire anyway, it doesn't feel that safe.
BROWN: Well, it should. This was one cow of literally thousands of cows in Chicago. And she was stopped before any more damage could be done.
OK, to be entirely accurate, that was not a statement by the Chicago Fire Chief of 1871. It was a very close paraphrasing of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's interview with Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union this morning [see video].
Pres. Obama should find time in his busy vacation schedule to drop a palm-trees-and-sandy-beaches thank you postcard to NBC. On this morning's Today, successive network staffers defended the administration's [mis]handling of the Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab matter.
First, terrorism expert Roger Cressey [who usually plays it straight], claimed there wasn't enough information to "connect the dots" and move young Umar from the "watch list" to the "no-fly" list. Really? The guy's father, a respected international banker, was so concerned about his son's extremist Islamist views that he took the unusual measure of personally contacting the US embassy with a warning. Dots? How about a huge, flashing, neon exclamation point!?
Next, John Harwood backhands GOP criticism of the Obama admin's national security policy as "partisan."
Panelist Rich Lowry of National Review, picking up on Ellis Henican's description of both quotes as “icky,” soon observed they were hardly an aberration: “If you go to the Media Research Center Web site and look at every single video clip from the inauguration” you'll see “every single one of them is icky from every single major media outlet. They were in love with this guy and they still are -- most of them.”
At face value, it seems harmless enough. According to ABC "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, every Christmas the show features various "spiritual leaders" to talk about the role of faith in their lives. And this year's Christmas Day broadcast was no exception.
"And now, it is a ‘GMA' tradition on Christmas Day, to talk about the role of faith in all of our lives," Roberts said. "We gathered a group of spiritual leaders from different traditions to talk about the importance of belief, in good times and belief in bad times, too."
In keeping with the tradition of the holidays - the minds at MSNBC, the place for politics if you're of the lefty persuasion, decided rate the top 10 political stories of the decade.
And leading this gang of masters of the political journalism universe was "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who on the broadcast of his Dec. 24 program, announced that conservative activism, mainly the tea party movement was the eighth biggest story of the decade - but labeled "angry white voters" (emphasis added).
"Welcome back to ‘Hardball' - our number eight political story of the decade, angry whites at town hall meetings across the country," Matthews said. "Lawmakers heard the wrath of angry voters."
We Give It a Solid B+ Yesterday, Media Research Center (MRC) Director of Communications and NewsBusters Contributing Editor sat down with Breitbart.tv's Liz Stephans and Scott Baker to discuss the media not discussing the major rifts that exist between liberals and Democrats and Democrats and Democrats on the health care legislation wending its way fitfully through Congress.
The Jurassic Press is instead putting forward a false sense of bill passage ineveitably, ignoring the myriad soap opera-esque dramas playing out throughout the Left's ideological and political topography.
There are many stories to be told of the various liberal and Democrat factions fighting it out for health care supremacy, if only the media were willing to tell them.
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
Keith Olbermann: fave of the bad-mother demographic? The question arises in light of a strange TV ad for something called FloTV that aired this morning.
A mother is giving dinner to her kids when she glances at the clock, notices it's shortly before 6 PM, and proceeds to dump the kids plates and toys, pour a bag of flour on the table and . . . throw a glass of milk in her son's face.
Cut to shocked coming-home-from-work hubby at the door. Mom informs him "I just need an hour." Cut to mother, sitting on park bench, watching . . . Keith Olbermann on her cellphone. [Video after jump.]
Angry, frustrated, troubled, disappointed, disgust, disrespect - words not normally associated with holiday season. However, they were words Katie Couric used to describe where she sees the mood of country right now.
Couric, the anchor of the "CBS Evening News," in a live Facebook video chat on Dec. 22, took on illustrating her view of the populace - a not very sunny picture (emphasis added).
"I think more distant - I hate to say that, but I think, I think the economic situation in this country, I think, when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage and I think, I feel like right now in many ways, we're a very angry nation," Couric said. "Very frustrated, troubled and disappointed in many ways in terms of people feeling that the American dream just isn't within their reach. I mean I still think it's a place of incredible opportunity and entrepreneurship. But I just think that, I don't know - maybe it's because what I do for a living, I feel that the country is pretty polarized right now."
Yesterday, joined by substitute co-host Lynn Berry, MSNBC's David Shuster wondered of Sen. Tom Coburn, "what was he thinking," in regards to a comment the Oklahoma Republican made on the Senate floor Sunday which Shuster interpreted in the worst possible light. Coburn, Shuster suggested to his "Big Picture" audience, was hoping a Democratic senator would drop dead before the 1 a.m. cloture vote.
Of course Shuster ignored the unambiguously inflammatory remarks, also made on Sunday on the Senate floor, by freshman Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The Rhode Island Democrat insisted that Republicans were "destined to break this president" and were in league with "ardent supporters" from among the ranks of "the birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militias and Aryan support groups" to whom it was "unbearable... that President Barack Obama should exist."
Yet even after his MSNBC colleague Mika Brzezinski aired Whitehouse's comments on the December 22 "Morning Joe", Shuster failed to give his "Big Picture" viewers the, well, big picture, by showing Whitehouse's rant, even though he aired a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) which hardly makes sense unless you know that Graham is referring back to and rebutting Whitehouse's charge. See for yourself by clicking play on the video embed above.
While Senate Democrats scurry to pass an unpopular health care reform bill by Christmas Eve, CNN did something rare on Dec. 22: they offered two different perspectives on the bill, including a critic's view.
That critic was University of Maryland economist Peter Morici, who expressed skepticism of the assumptions built into the health care reform bill, projected that it would raise costs for many average families and it would add "substantially" the federal deficit.
"There's a lot of assumptions in this bill that are kind of nefarious, uh, and I believe that the typical American family will pay $1,000 to $2,000 more for coverage for a family of four," Morici said.
Yesterday they chatted with NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell. Today, Liz Stephans and Scott Baker of Breitbart.tv's "The B-Cast" interview NewsBusters contributing editor and Media Research Center Director of Communications Seton Motley.
Remember Barack Obama's pipe dream put forward during the 2008 presidential election cycle - that he was going to usher in an era of "post-partisanship" and change from "the politics of usual" in Washington? How's that working out? Not so well according to NBC "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory.
Gregory appeared on NBC's Dec 21 "The Tonight Show" and was asked by host Conan O'Brien about the prospects of health care reform becoming a reality - which Gregory praised as some sort of monumental achievement.
Here is the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notable Quotables comedy show. To celebrate the year’s end, this week’s show provides a sampling of the best of the worst media sound bites of 2009.
A full list of the winners, decided by a panel of 48 opinion makers and media observers, have been announced in the Media Research Center’s annual ‘Best of Notable Quotables.’
The show features a dramatic reading of the quote of the year, won by Discover magazine deputy web editor Melissa Lafsky for channeling Mary Jo Kopecne while remembering the late Ted Kennedy. It also mocks Newsweek editor Evan Thomas for winning the prestigious ‘Audacity of Dopes Award for Wackiest Analysis’ for his godly description of President Obama.
Numerous other outrageous media moments from 2009 provided comedic material to the NQ show cast. Just take a look! Plus, check out the show in a larger format on Eyeblast.
In an interview in which he hit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee repeatedly from the left, George Stephanopoulos pleaded with Sen. John McCain to "name an issue next year where you are going to be joined at the hip with President Obama." [audio available here]
The live interview via satellite occurred six hours after McCain joined the other 39 Senate Republicans in voting against cloture on the Senate version of Democratic health care legislation.
All but two of Stephanopoulos's questions dealt with health care,the other two with Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Transcribed below are Stephanopoulos's agenda of questions, which you'll notice buffet McCain from the left, and/or paint Republicans are the party responsible for keeping the Senate from wrapping up its business until Christmas Eve, even though it is Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who controls the legislative calendar: