Monday's "Let Me Finish" tirade was no once-off exercise in spitballing for Chris Matthews. The host of MSNBC's Hardball picked up Tuesday night where he left off, his calling on President Obama to sue Congress for "failure to provide services." And, once again, Matthews made a few factual errors, such as suggesting that the Senate had not confirmed Obama's pick for ambassador to the Russian Federation.
This time around he was joined by liberal scribes Joan Walsh of Salon and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post who promptly checked their intellectual honesty at the door and seized on the opportunity as an excuse to bash congressional Republicans for obstructionism. Below the page break you'll find the relevant transcript (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
As of Tuesday morning, ABC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Associated Press report that revealed the Obama administration's covert program in Cuba that attempted "recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism" on the communist-dominated island. The AP outlined that "over at least two years, the U.S. Agency for International Development...sent nearly a dozen neophytes from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to gin up opposition in Cuba."
By contrast, both CBS This Morning and NBC's Today set aside air time to the scoop. NBC's Natalie Morales gave a 32-second news brief on the clandestine program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Joe Scarborough today continued his new Morning Joe routine of making anti-Israel remarks and then shouting down anyone who disagrees. Unlike the previous editions of the MSNBC morning show in which the former congressman focused on insulting his critics in the media, on the July 5th edition, Scarborough opted to attack a recurring guest at the program’s roundtable discussions, Donny Deutsch, no conservative stalwart he.
The liberal advertising executive had the tenacity to disagree with the MSNBC host about his characterizations of Israel. After Scarborough invited Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd onto the show to emphasize the “deep dismay from the White House and the State Department toward what Israel has done” and how “you get the sense that Israel really listened” to their critiques, Deutsch commented “let’s just not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy.” The former Florida Republican immediately became defensive, demanding “Who disagrees with that?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
View co-host Whoopi Goldberg on Tuesday fought back against liberal outrage in the wake of her comments on bad teachers and tenure. On Monday, the co-host insisted that bad teachers should lose their job, declaring, "You teachers in your unions, you need to say, 'these bad teachers are making us look bad. We don't want it!"...And it has nothing to do with being a liberal or a Democrat. It has to do with being an American."
On Tuesday, the comedienne responded to attacks on Twitter and doubled down: "We were not talking about good teachers who do a great job. We were talking about getting rid of teachers who don't do a good job." She lectured, "My mother was a teacher. So, this is not about bashing teachers and I don't appreciate you misquoting what we said." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday night, only the CBS Evening News covered what anchor Scott Pelley described as an "emerging genocide" in Iraq. In a 48-second news brief, Pelley reported: "The Islamic army known as ISIS has seized vast territory in Syria and Iraq....Now, have a look at what they're doing to the minority Shiite Muslims....In this video, Shiite men are herded together and executed in mass graves. Here, Shiite men are shot in the head one by one and dumped into a river." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Edited footage of men being executed ran on screen, in addition to clips of ISIS blowing up Shiite mosques. Pelley wrapped up the brief segment by noting: "The slaughter is spreading. The Iraqi government is battling ISIS with limited success." No mention was made of the Obama administration's handling of the growing crisis.
Considering that Ed Schultz has been forced to apologize for calling Laura Ingraham a "slut" and for deceptively editing Rick Perry, one might think he would accept the regret of others. On Monday, however, the Ed Show anchor mocked a contrite Glenn Beck, deriding the conservative's reflection over past remarks as not going "far enough." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Beck has apologized for "stupid" statements he's made. With no sense of irony, Schultz berated Beck: "Running his mouth eventually caught up to him...Stupid doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what Beck said." The liberal host then played an extended montage of Beck calling Obama a "racist," among other comments. An unforgiving Schultz lectured, "Glenn Beck's submission didn't go far enough as I see it. His commentary wasn't just stupid, it was vile."
On Tuesday's Today, Savannah Guthrie had an exclusive interview with Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, but rather than grill the controversial administration official on a variety of international crises, the NBC host merely tossed softballs. Meanwhile, about thirty minutes later, Guthrie interrogated former Ohio State University marching band director Jonathan Waters on being fired over the group's hazing practices.
Guthrie began her exchange with Rice by not even asking a question, just making a statement that "U.S. officials seem very, very confident" that the West African ebola outbreak could be contained. In her first real question to Rice, Guthrie simply wondered if the Israel-Hamas cease-fire in Gaza "will hold?" Finally, Guthrie worried that the ebola outbreak would overshadow a White House PR event with African leaders. That was the extent of interview.
For Barack Obama's 53rd birthday, Chris Matthews gave the gift of an incredibly stupid idea. In his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for August 4, the MSNBC Hardball host urged the president to "get yourself a bright lawyer" and work up a lawsuit against Congress for "failure to provide services."
Yes, "normally that would strike me or you as absurd, but now that we're in the suing season, it deserves a tad of consideration," Matthews insisted, likening Congress to a DMV clerk who straight up refuses to do his job and grant you your license renewal after you've waited in line forever. You can read the transcript in full below the page break, followed by my analysis (MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
All three network morning shows on Monday eagerly touted the Obama administration denouncing Israel after an attack on Hamas targets in Gaza led to civilian deaths. On NBC's Today, correspondent Richard Engel proclaimed: "After another attack on Palestinians taking shelter at a U.N.-run school on Sunday, Washington issued its strongest condemnation yet of its ally. The U.S. State Department said it was 'appalled by the disgraceful shelling.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel continued: "U.N. officials were shocked Israel chose to attack where it knew so many civilians would be in danger....The U.N. secretary general called the Israeli strike 'a moral outrage and a criminal act.'"
On MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry program on Saturday, Dean Obeidallah injected race into the debate inside the U.S. over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict: "You saw a poll last week, young people 18 to 29: only 25 percent think it's justified what Israel is doing; 50 percent said, no. People of color, same numbers...It's really the Obama coalition versus white conservatives. That's the only group saying – the majority saying what Israel is doing is justified."
During the same panel discussion, American University's Hillary Mann Leverett made a very peculiar assertion about anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East – that from a historical perspective, European anti-Semitism was supposedly much worse than Islamic anti-Semitism: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
According to CBS This Morning host Gayle King on Monday, unless an illegal alien is doing something "illegal," Americans should leave him or her alone. Mike Hogan from Vanity Fair appeared on the program to discuss a new poll about ethical dilemmas and how people respond. Guest host Vinita Nair wondered, "Who's more likely to report an illegal immigrant living next door?"
Hogan discussed the responses of Republicans, Democrats and independents. He then quoted an off-air discussion: "I think Gayle [King] in the green room said, 'As long as they're not doing anything illegal, you know, let them live.'" Standing by her comments, King reiterated, "That's right. That's right." Hogan added, "Leave them alone." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Bill Maher is known for his pathological, frothing attacks on all things conservative. However, on the August 1 edition of Real Time With Bill Maher, the HBO host took a controversial stance for a liberal: he defended Israel. When his Iranian-American guest Reza Aslan argued that “Amnesty International...have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used,” Maher interrupted to state “It's a war. It's a war that Hamas started.”
The left-wing comedian continued, claiming that “somehow when Israel reacts to this, they have to do everything in a way that doesn't kill any civilians. People die in wars.” Maher repeated his sentiment from July 20, that “if the situation was reversed, Hamas would kill every single person in Israel. The reason that's not happening is because they can't. Because they can't doesn't make them good, it makes them weak.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
From 2009 to 2014, every year of Barack Obama's presidency, the networks have observed his birthday, often wishing him a special day. A graphic for CBS This Morning on Monday touted, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "President Obama is waking up a year older. The President turns 53 today, but his birthday weekend began Saturday." He reiterated, "Happy birthday, Mr. President." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Guest co-host Vinita Nair parroted, "Happy birthday." Over on NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie reminded, "By the way, we should mention it's President Obama's 53rd birthday. So, happy birthday to him." Fill-in host Carson Daly offered, "Happy birthday." On America This Morning, the very early ABC show, co-host Devin Dwyer cheered, "Well, happy birthday wishes going out this morning to President Obama."
On Monday's Good Morning America, hosts Dan Harris and Amy Robach seized on Pope Francis advising against proselytization in a Sunday interview with Argentinian magazine Viva. Harris observed: "...he talks a lot about respecting other people's believes and not proselytizing." Robach gushed: "That's fantastic....there's a reason why he's the people's pope." George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "A lot of wisdom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The morning show anchors skipped the Pope's full quote, in which he commented on the best method by which to draw people to the Church but didn't abandon the effort to gain converts: "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes. 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you.' No. The Church grows by attraction, not proselytizing."
Stephen Colbert began the July 29 edition of The Colbert Report by doing his best to perpetuate liberal’s favorite myth that, in Obama’s words, women make “77 cents for every dollar a man earns.” Using his faux conservative persona, the comedian evinced over-the-top sexism to blast President Obama comments on putting historical female figures on U.S. currency, stating that he needs to “think of the economic consequences here. If we put a woman on the $1 bill it will be worth only 77 cents.”
Even left-wing news sites like Slate and The Daily Beast have recognized that this statistic is misleading, and the calculation does not take into account “differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week.” While the Comedy Central host was able to play up his persona in order to blast conservatives for sexism, he was unable to stay in character for an interview with the Partnership of Educational Justice founder Campbell Brown. The former CNN host came onto the show to promote the organization’s efforts to support a lawsuit filed by seven New York parents “challenging teacher tenure in the public school.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
As of 5pm ET on Friday, August 1, CNN has yet to cover the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over his possible obstruction of a commission trying to expose political corruption in the Empire State's government. Instead, New Day, the network's morning show (which is co-anchored by the governor's brother, Chris Cuomo) has covered seemingly more important stories, such as the controversy surrounding the NFL's two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
The New York Times broke the Cuomo investigation on July 23. Since then, the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the story has been CBS This Morning. The morning show aired a full report on Friday about the possible witness tampering. Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron also covered the scandal on Friday's Happening Now: [video below the jump]
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd made a celebratory declaration: "Look, Democrats, for the first time probably in 18 months, you see them walking with confidence. This White House seems confident again....the Republicans in a 48-hour period gave Democrats something to run on. And you see a pep in the Democratic Party step that we haven't seen since the 2012 election." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
So what was the GOP contribution to the supposed comeback? Todd referred to House Republicans suing the President over abuses of power and not yet passing legislation to address the illegal immigration crisis.
Secret Service agents dread finding Joe Biden swimming in the nude, according to a new book featuring quotes from agents. That juicy tidbit made Good Morning America on Friday. What didn't seem newsworthy? The allegation from the same book that Bill Clinton's latest mistress is referred to as "the energizer." Perhaps this could have something to do with the fact that the ABC program is co-hosted by former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos?
GMA news reader Amy Robach revealed, "The Vice President of the United States apparently likes to go skinny dipping...This is all according to a new book which quotes Secret Service agents saying the VP can often be found in his pool, in his birthday suit." She added, "Some agents admitting they'd rather cover their eyes or cover someone else, just hoping that he'll cover himself up." [See Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In response to the media backlash following Joe Scarborough’s harsh remarks about Israel on yesterday’s Morning Joe broadcast, the former Republican congressman spent almost four minutes of air-time on the August 1 edition insulting “the usual suspects” that lacked “the intellectual capacity to actually grasp” his earlier “statement.” He stated that he would use “simple talk that simple minded people can understand” to refine his stance.
For Scarborough, “simple talk” meant backing away from many of the statements he made yesterday. As my NewsBusters colleague Connor Williams noted, on the July 31 edition of the MSNBC morning show, after speaking with MSNBC’s notoriously biased journalist Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, Scarborough went on a rant, blasting the “asinine” and “indiscriminate” attacks by Israel on Palestinian civilians. In contrast, today he asserted that “America must stand with Israel” as “they are America’s strongest ally in the region.”
Talking to Megyn Kelly on Thursday's NBC Late Night, host Seth Meyers touted how the Fox News anchor had recently "sort of grilled" former Vice President Dick Cheney and "called him to task for...the things he was wrong about with Iraq." Meyers worried: "...was that terrifying? Is it terrifying to call out Dick Cheney?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Kelly dismissed the notion: "Not at all, no....You know, that is what I do for a living." She went on to recall: "...[Dick Cheney], Liz Cheney, and Lynne Cheney went on a Politico round table afterwards and Mike Allen said, 'Oh, you know, Megyn Kelly of Fox News, no enemy to you, called you out in this fashion.' And Mrs. Cheney said, 'Of course she did.' She said that is what journalists are expected to do."
Former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos on Friday spun for his ex-boss in the wake of newly released audio about Osama bin Laden. In the recording from September 10, 2001, Bill Clinton justified not ordering the killing of the terrorist mastermind: "I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and killed 300 innocent women and children and then I would have been no better than him." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Talking to Brian Ross, Stephanopoulos touted that the administration "could never be sure bin Laden was there." He highlighted, "And number two, as President Clinton talked about in that tape, the risk of killing innocent civilians." At no time in the segment did Stephanopoulos or Ross offer any criticism of Clinton's decision or question if the Democrat could have stopped 3000 deaths on September 11, 2001.
Although Alex Wagner has donned new glasses for her news show Now, the liberal journalist seems unable to look beyond MSNBC’s favorite response to any Republican: bringing up race. On the July 31 edition, Wagner played a clip of Ari Melber’s July 30 interview with Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker on their new drug law reform initiative the REDEEM Act – the Record Expungement Designed to ENhance Employment Act – and then asked the co-host of The Cycle why Paul and Booker were so “reticent to take up” the issue of “racial disparities inherent in our criminal justice system” and “plumb further depths of it.”
Even though the Senators were pushing a bipartisan bill on the traditionally liberal cause of criminal justice reform, Melber and Wagner were unable to resist weaseling race into the discussion, seemingly unhappy that both politicians were unwilling to play the race game. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Appearing on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted that he had been a completely objective reporter for Time magazine before becoming a spin doctor for the Obama administration: "Right after the election in 2008, I was the Washington bureau chief for Time. And I was an old-fashioned journalist, not an advocate, didn't take sides in my job. But I was extremely excited personally about the Obama-Biden victory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In 1993, the "old-fashioned" Carney described then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as a "polite but passionate American citizen – strangely mesmerizing because of how she matched the poise and politics of her delivery with the power of her position." In contrast, during the 2000 presidential campaign, he slammed George W. Bush as a "pit bull let loose in a slaughterhouse."
Carol Costello badgered Congressman Matt Salmon on Thursday's CNN Newsroom over Congress choosing to go into recess instead of dealing with issues like illegal immigration: "Congress is again the butt of jokes on late-night TV. Rome burns and lawmakers go on vacation....Why don't you guys just stay in Washington and deal with problems like immigration?"
Costello later hounded the Arizona Republican for the House of Representatives' vote to sue President Obama, and wondered, "Why didn't Republicans vote to impeach the President then?" She also rattled off a list of GOP politicians who had raised the specter of impeachment in the past: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted how "anti-Israel protests around the world" "have taken a disturbing turn and become anti-Semitic in nature," but proceeded to blame Israel for the prejudice: "Do you ask yourselves, 'Okay, we may be winning militarily but are we losing the larger battle, the PR war?' And perhaps, as one headline put it yesterday, minting the next generation of terrorists?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline Guthrie cited was from the liberal Daily Beast website, which on Wednesday published an article by Jesse Rosenfeld, who ranted: "It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school."
ABC's World News stood out as the sole Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to not cover the release of Lois Lerner's e-mails, where the former top IRS official slammed conservatives as "a**holes" and "crazies." Instead, the news program devoted full reports to the water main that burst on the campus of UCLA and the controversy over usage charges on cell phone bills.
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Wednesday both set aside about two minutes each of air time to Lerner's "salty language," as NBC's Kelly O'Donnell put it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams left out a key detail from his news brief about his network's upcoming live production of Peter Pan. Williams noted that "Allison Williams will play the role of Peter Pan," but left out that the actress is his first-born child.
During the 37-second news brief, the anchor mentioned that the younger Williams is "currently in the cast of Girls on HBO," and included a detail about his daughter's childhood: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
This afternoon on MSNBC's The Cycle co-host Ari Melber conducted a live interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and libertarian-conservative Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) about their bipartisan Redeem Act proposal -- Redeem standing for Record Expungement Designed to ENhance EMployment.
Unfortunately for viewers, Melber insisted on playing the Lean Forward's favorite hand, flopping out the race card twice: by suggesting Sen. Paul once opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the second by pressing Sen. Booker to accept the left-wing premise that the nation's drug laws were intentionally racist by design [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; video follows page break].