Is MSNBC concerned about charges of a lack of racial diversity among its on-air staff? Perhaps the cable network is realizing that its glass house is increasingly at risk of shattering from all the stones it keeps hurling at the allegedly-racist Tea Party movement.
The folks at Inside Cable News noticed a slight change in the header at the MSNBC TV homepage. See if you can spot it in the picture at right. It shouldn't be that hard; the folks at the cable network put Tamron Hall front and center in a bright pink shirt (click here for a larger image of the new header).
Did MSNBC add Hall in an effort to satiate critics who have pointed out the lack of racial diversity on the cable network? Though ICN notes the comical video produced by the Dallas Tea Party, the Congressional Black Caucus has also chided MSNBC for its lily-white staff.
On her Bravo show last Tuesday night, Kathy Griffin trashed Sen. Scott Brown's two daughters as "prostitutes." CNN reporter Dana Bash, who was present with her husband John King, erupted into laughter.
Yesterday on ABC's "The View," co-host Joy Behar tried to throw a wet blanket on the ensuing outrage over the "joke," which included condemnations of Griffin's comments by Scott Brown himself and by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
"It's just a joke," Behar repeatedly affirmed during a heated exchange with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who vehemently disagreed.
"No, no, no, no, no!" Hasselbeck exclaimed. "We've always said politicians' kids are off limits! If someone went around calling Barack Obama's two girls prostitutes, people would be up in arms. Laybacks! Kathy Griffin's got to back up on that one right now!"
It's pretty hard—even for media liberals—to defend a guy in paramilitary duds swinging a billy club outside a polling site, or a government official bragging about having declined to do everything in her power to help someone because of the white color of his skin. So on today's Morning Joe, Margaret Carlson, Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle were obliged to engage in a modicum of hand-wringing over the incidents. But once having discharged that duty, the trio set about doing what libs do best: finding ways to minimize the matters and excuse the MSM's failure to cover them.
To be sure, Carlson did call the statement by the USDA official "hateful" and said one should be "ashamed." And Norah O'Donnell and Mike Barnicle agreed with Joe Scarborough that the MSM can fairly be criticized for undercovering these stories.
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
"Is America in danger of the current debt crisis becoming a sovereign debt crisis as Mort [Zuckerman] mentioned, like the one that is now hitting Greece, yes or no?" McLaughlin asked.
MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan warned it was more "imminent" than many people have forecast. He cited British historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, who has declared the country to be on the brink of a Greek-like collapse.
Now here's a peculiar prediction, especially considering that it comes two Washington media figures that are consistently on the opposite ends of the political spectrum.
On the July 17 broadcast of "The McLaughlin Group" during the predictions segment, both Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift and MSNBC political contributor Pat Buchanan made astounding predictions about what the situation would be in a post-2010 election cycle.
"After the Democratic in November, there will be a push to put Hillary Rodham Clinton on the ticket in 2012," Buchanan declared.
One could be skeptical and say Buchanan was just throwing an outrageous prediction out there since he's conservative and opposed to a lot of President Barack Obama's policies. However, his panelist, a very pro-Obama Eleanor Clift agreed.
"And she may trade places with Joe Biden and Joe Biden may be the next Secretary of State," Clift added.
“An earthquake hits Washington,” fill-in ABC anchor David Muir announced Friday night as he gushed that “it comes as the President wraps up a seismic week.” He soon noted how the First Family began a brief vacation in Maine which, he proposed, “comes after the President marked quite a week in Washington. The oil, for now, is finally stopped, and on the political front, his financial reform package finally passed.” He pleaded: “So why such low poll numbers?” [MP3 audio here; WMV for download here]
Over “Getting His Due?” on screen, Jake Tapper related how “some Democrats have been grumbling that the public is not giving the President enough credit for all he's accomplished in such a short time.”
The day before, NBC's Chuck Todd empathized with the frustration Obama must be experiencing given legislative victories “comparable to any President in history.” Friday's Hardball on MSNBC carried the full question to Obama that Todd had posed 24 hours earlier in Michigan, but was cut short on Thursday's NBC Nightly News and not run on Friday's Today:
That must be frustrating. You've had an enormous amount of legislative victories – it's comparable to any President in history. It has not translated into political capital with the public. Honestly, are you frustrated by that?
Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Reuters, believes the new financial regulations are still pretty loose.
"It is still a very feudal, very Byzantine regulatory system," Freeland complained on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, referring to the Senate's approval of a financial regulations bill yesterday.
A radical policy, Freeland maintained, could have done away with the current "fractured" group of regulators and established a much stronger, more unified single regulator.
However, Freeland said the bill succeeds in tempering the rapid movement of capital. She did acknowledge that Main Street folks will have more trouble getting mortgages than they did in the past. "That's the price of having a safer financial system," she said.
Freeland's championing of the new regulations does not diminish some other aspects of the bill, which include no additional regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tougher times ahead for small businesses trying to procure loans from banks, and tough times for small banks themselves, who lack the resources of Wall Street to deal with the new regulations.
CBS News contributor Nancy Giles rudely told St. Louis Tea Party founder Dana Loesch to shut her mouth during a panel discussion on Wednesday's "Larry King Live."
In the midst of a heated debate about allegations of racism within the movement, Giles asked, "Where is the Tea Party's outrage when members of their own party spit on members of the United States [Congress]?"
Loesch accurately replied, "That was proved false. Let's not engage in defamation and libel."
"Excuse me," barked Giles. "I'm talking so shut your mouth."
When Loesch told Giles, "Be honest when you speak and I wouldn't have to interrupt you," Giles again barked, "You know, Larry, can you just turn off her mike?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, in an interview with the President that was aired on Friday's Today show, actually questioned Barack Obama about his controversial recess appointment of the pro-health care rationing Dr. Donald Berwick to head Medicare, something, as Newsbusters has documented the networks have vastly ignored. However, Todd never explained to viewers why the President's opponents were upset by the appointment, and instead gave him an excuse to say the move was just his way of getting around a failed political system as he asked the following:
Do you think Washington is broken? And the reason I ask you this, because when you appointed - you did the recess appointment of Donald Berwick. You seemed to send the message of one of two things. Either you didn't want to debate about health care again on Capitol Hill, which got a little raucous a year ago or you know what? "The Senate process is broken and we gotta go around it?" [audio available here]
When the President responded that he couldn't afford to "Play political games with the Senate," something he himself did by using the recess appointment, Todd didn't call him on it, choosing instead to ask, once again, if Washington was "broken?" Todd also could've highlighted the President's personal hypocrisy on this issue -- a point even the liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus caught -- as in 2005, when George W. Bush recess appointed John Bolton to UN ambassador, a then Senator Obama claimed: "To some degree, he's damaged goods."
The following is the full interview as it was aired on the July 16 Today show:
Can you hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth emanating from 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue? It's Pres. Obama & Co. reacting to Zbigniew Brzezinki pinning on Barack Obama the word that doomed Jimmy Carter: "malaise."
On Morning Joe, Carter's former national security adviser said there "is a sense of pervasive malaise" in America. What's worse, suggested Zbig, Pres. Obama hasn't been able to figure out how to deal with the malaise. Ruh-roh!
Efforts to make environmentalism its own sort of religion have been underway for some time now. But the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has sparked a new push to take what has been traditionally a political phenomenon, the American environmentalist movement, and make it part of the religious spectrum.
Leave it to Dylan Ratigan, one of the star personalities at MSNBC who seems to be constantly looking for a reason to be angry.
On his July 12 show, Ratigan posed his view on how trade between China and the United States operates. According to Ratigan, importing products where labor costs are significantly lower is akin to slavery. He specifically named Foxconn, a company that manufactures iPhones and iPads for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). (h/t @KenShepherd)
"Do you want to get raw?" Ratigan said. "Let's say that the American people happily, logically apathetic are perfectly happy basically with a slave culture of illegals and outsourced slaves in China making iPhones at Foxconn and that for as much as we talk about the liberation of the slaves and we like to pat ourselves on the back for the Civil War - got a big statue of Abe Lincoln. All we've really done is alter the color of some our slaves and moved them to other countries. Is that too extreme on my part, Matt?"
Still, the egg story included a survey of egg prices in a random city - Athens, Georgia - and predictably, the survey discovered factory eggs were only $1.69 a dozen whereas organic eggs ranged from $3.99 to $5.38 a dozen.
Still that method has detractors. However, CNBC "The Call" co-anchor Trish Regan, with a panel decidedly against her, made the case for tax cuts. On NBC's July 11 broadcast of "The Chris Matthews Show," Regan explained how tax cuts encourage businesses to help reverse the trend of high unemployment and that businessmen are worried about the end of the Bush tax cuts.
"They absolutely are," Regan said. "They're concerned about it and this is one of the issues when it comes to hiring. They're hesitant right now when it comes to bringing more employees on board because one, you're not seeing final demand because consumers aren't spending that much, and number two, they're dealing with the tax consequences of having more people in their companies. So that's definitely an issue."
Mika Brzezinski wants to "cut the crap" when it comes to building speculation as to whether Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. According to Mika, Palin's candidacy is a done deal, and the press is letting itself be sucked into a phony build-up.
Mika is so sure that Sarah is running that on today's Morning Joe she was willing to wager a dubious Jonathan Capehart $1,000. Brzezinski's comments came in response to Politico's report, highlighted by Mike Allen, that Palin has raised significant money and built a nascent campaign staff.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Are we going to go through like months and months of "will she or won't she, oh my gosh, might she?" Come on, can we please cut to the chase? Cut the crap . . . The bottom line is, let's just cut to the chase here: she is . . It's just silly. Are we really going to do this fake build-up like LeBron? . . . You guys have all been in TV too long and you're so used to the fake build-up you don't even know when you've been sucked into it.
On Fox News Channel's July 11 broadcast of "Geraldo at Large," an aggressive host Geraldo Rivera took on chairman of the New Black Panthers, Malik Zulu Shabazz over his political gestures.
"It is absolutely pathetic, it is so old-fashioned," Rivera said. "What are you trying to do? Are you trying to be the big, bad nightmare?"
Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) rattled off one of his causes, Oscar Grant, but he leveraged him to make a case for reparations.
"I'm trying to help Oscar Grant, who was shot down in cold blood by a white cop and I am trying to redeem, I am trying to redeem - put that camera back right over here, I am trying to redeem -- and black people who have been lynched, raped or mobbed and have not been given reparations."
There's something very tortuous about watching some of the talking heads assembled on NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," especially when they try to dissect former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin like she is some alien life form.
On the July 11 broadcast of his weekend show, Matthews and his panel analyzed Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" ad spot and attempted to determine what Palin's end goal was with the ad. And Time magazine's Joe Klein attributed credit to Palin's charismatic ability.
"The most important thing about Sarah Palin is that she's a great stand-up politician," Klein said. "I mean, when you hear her talk - this is not a woman who has sat in a room with a political consultant telling her how to pronounce words. It's just her voice."
"There's something in the inflection which is provocative," Matthews replied.
CNN fired an editor for expressing "a lot [of] respect" for a Hezbollah leader the US had designated a terrorist. So how has ABC dealt with someone with similar views? By hiring her and awarding her the prestigious plum of host of This Week.
So what's the difference between Octavia Nasr and Christiane Amanpour? Not much, says Cal Thomas, when it comes to their views. It's just that Amanpour is too smart and sophisticated to stick her views on a Tweet.
Thomas shared his insight on this weekend's editon of Fox News Watch.
If former California Gov. Jerry Brown, now once again a candidate for governor of California really wants to be sort of a unifier as he says, he might want to watch how he refers to some of his constituents.
On MSNBC's July 9 "Hardball," Brown was interviewed by host Chris Matthews and was asked how he could make all the unions in California work together in a political way. (h/t @HayleyMcConnell)
"How do you deal with the kick-butt unions out there?" Matthews said. "They're really tough. You have the correction officers, you got the police, you got the teachers, the nurses. These are tough, strong well-funded units that are politically cohesive. They took down Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger when he tried to take them down. How do you make them work? How do you get them to serve the public and make reasonable compensation?"
When it comes to picking a moderator for a game of ¿Quien Es Mas Macho?, somehow John Harwood doesn't spring to mind. But there was CNBC's chief Washington correspondent on The Ed Show this evening, twice accusing Pres. Obama's businessmen critics of "whining," and instructing them to "man up."
Schultz set the stage, playing a clip of Mort Zuckerman describing Obama's White House as "the most anti-business administration." Trying to tar Mort with the R-word, Schultz spoke of Zuckerman as having considered a run for Senate from New York "as a Republican." In fact, the Zuck man is a lifelong Dem known for supporting liberal causes. He briefly flirted with an independent or Republican run for Senate as a means of avoiding a Dem primary, but is as much of a Republican as Mike Bloomberg.
Then came Harwood, who wrote off Obama business critics as a bunch of selfish, whining wusses . . .
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," publisher Mort Zuckerman called the Obama administration out for being "without a doubt the most hostile administration to business and to the role of business that we've had in decades."
Panel members Mika Brzezinski and John Heilmann seemed shocked at the severity of the criticism, however.
"Where is the hostility?" John Heilmann, columnist for New York Magazine, asked with incredulity. When Zuckerman responded that the administration deals with businessmen as shady characters trying to rip off the middle class, Heilmann simply called it rhetoric.
"I don't know if that's a good use of words," show host Mika Brzezinski remarked about Zuckerman's claim of hostility.
While some on the left side of the aisle in Congress are getting all starry-eyed about prospects of more federal stimulus spending, the first round of stimulus under President Barack Obama may have done even less to help the ailing economy than supporters claim.
On MSNBC's July 9 broadcast of "The Daily Rundown," co-hosts Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie interviewed CNBC "Closing Bell" anchor Maria Bartiromo from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo. And Bartiromo offered her views why the economy didn't spiral out of control any more than it did. She said according to some on Wall Street, it wasn't Obama's $787-billion "stimulus" that included a huge bulk of state government bailout spending, but instead action by the Federal Reserve to put more liquidity in the economy.
"Look, there's no doubt about it - we were close to going off a cliff the weekend at Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, Merrill [Lynch] was sold and AIG acquired by government," Bartiromo said. "You know, I mean I think we were very close and the economy needed stimulus in a big way. It's arguable whether that stimulus that helped the economy was really because of the stimulus plan or really because of the Federal Reserve. I think most people on Wall Street will believe and will tell you that it was really the Fed action in terms of giving greater access to the banks to overnight lending that really, really got us out."
"Mommy, why is that lady dancing on stage in her bra?" might have been a common question in American households that were tuned in to NBC's "Today" show July 9.
The broadcast featured performances by and an interview with Lady Gaga, a pop star whose fashion sense is aimed at making eyes pop and jaws drop. For "Today," Gaga donned a white bustier with "strategically placed" rhinestone crucifixes and skin tight white pants for her first two performances. The ensemble, which did not leave much for the imagination, was further impacted when rain started pouring at Rockefeller Plaza.
Lady Gaga's dancers were also dressed provocatively; female dancers wore tight white leotards.
Gaga's "Today" show performance would have been best suited for an evening concert in which the kiddos were left with grandparents or sitters. Many young children were present at the July 9 outdoor morning performance.
The Obama/Holder Department of Justice closed down an investigation into voter intimidation on Election Day 2008 by the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia. Yet the broadcast news media have been virtually silent on the matter, making it the first item in last night's "Media Mash" segment on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."
Noted NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell:
Here you had a whistleblower from the Department of Justice saying how Eric Holder, the Attorney General, and his office stepped in and stopped the prosecution of these Black Panther people. He claimed it was the easiest prosecution in his career. He said everything was on video, everything was on tape.... It was a slam dunk.... Look, the media are refusing to cover just how radical this attorney general is...
"You have people in paramilitary uniforms, you know, spewing racial epithets at voters as they go into the polling place... obviously a case of voter intimidation. Still no coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, several major newspapers in this country," host Sean Hannity observed.
"You would think that if you are NASA, your mandate is return us to the moon, take us to Mars.... No, according to the President of the United States, the mandate of NASA is to make Muslim people feel better about themselves," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped this morning on "Fox & Friends."
The Media Research Center founder was referring to the under-reported story of how NASA administrator Charles Bolden told Arab news network al-Jazeera in an interview that President Obama had tasked him with outreach to the Muslim world to "find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."
"We have to hitch a ride with the Russians if we want to go to outer space, but the mandate of NASA is to make Muslims feel better about themselves. You figure that one out," Bozell complained, adding, "You'd think that might be a news story."
The time-temp clock down at the bus station here read 104 degrees this afternoon. We can't offer readers cooler weather, but perhaps they'll settle for some comic relief . . .
On his MSNBC show this evening, Ed Schultz warned that unless the US pays out more in welfare, we risk becoming a "Third-World country." Schultz said it twice, so apparently it wasn't a bizarre one-time brain camp.
Ed's on a crusade to have unemployment insurance payments extended. N.B.: unemployment "insurance." So once payments are extended beyond what's provided for, it's no longer insurance: it's welfare. But that didn't stop Schultz from suggesting that paying more welfare is all that stands between America becoming the next Zimbabwe . . .
per·ni·cious \pər-'ni-shəs\ adj.: highly injurious or destructive : deadly
Sounds like a pretty harsh word to describe something, right? So whatever the word pernicious is describing must be pretty bad.
But leave it to The New York Times editorial board to throw this lingo around like it's no big deal. In a July 8 over-the-top editorial, the Times ripped the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law over its constitutionality.
"The Obama administration has not always been completely clear about its immigration agenda, but it was forthright Tuesday when it challenged the pernicious Arizona law that allows the police to question the immigration status of people they detain for local violations," the editorial said. "Only the federal government can set or enforce immigration policy, the government said in its lawsuit against the state, and ‘Arizona has crossed this constitutional line.'"
Donny Deutsch was a lonely man on Thursday's "Morning Joe." The only panelist to decry Sarah Palin's inspiring new video designed to galvanize conservative women for the midterm elections, the MSNBC contributor puzzled even his liberal colleagues.
"I actually think it's insulting to a lot of women," thundered Deutsch. "I'm going to tell you why. It's the same reason why every time they do '100 most successful women in business' cover stories."
New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and Time magazine's Mark Halperin interjected to refute Deutsch, but the determined advertising guru just talked over them: "Listen to me! The American public wants more than 'I protect my cubs.'"
The Obama administration's top science advisor, John Holdren, was caught on tape advocating for global wealth redistribution back in 2008. In this clip, unearthed by Eyeblast.tv, Holdren says that we should use tax revenue from a cap and trade type bill to pay other countries in the global south.