On Tuesday’s All In, host Chris Hayes and his guests tackled a chilling and politically loaded subject: which beliefs should disqualify someone from holding public office. Among other things, the group decided that global warming “denialism,” opposition to same-sex marriage, and opposition to a “robust” Voting Rights Act should put a politician outside the mainstream and ruin their chances of holding public office. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Hayes seemed excited that politicians might be branded with a figurative scarlet letter for holding beliefs that run counter to his own far-left vision. In fact, he claimed the act of disqualification based on certain beliefs is a “tool of progress,” not something that “constrains consensus.” The host gloated:
Appearing as a guest on the Saturday edition of Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC, former NBC News man and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert asserted that Republicans are "hostile to the interests of African-Americans" and suggested that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul would not have a problem with a hotel or restaurant barring black customers from entering.
Herbert's comments came during a discussion of Senator Paul's recent criticism of GOP efforts to change voting laws. [See video below.]
For the 25th consecutive year, the Media Research Center has recognized the absolute wackiest media quotes in our annual “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our panel of 42 expert judges.
The first time this prize was offered, in 1989, then-CNN pundit Linda Ellerbee won for comments delivered on the June 2, 1989 edition of PrimeNews: “‘These boat people,’ says the government of Hong Kong, ‘they all want to go to America.’ Well, I swear I don’t know why, do you?...Why would any Vietnamese come to America after what America did for Vietnam?”
This year’s winners and video highlights of the “Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year” after the jump.
President Barack Obama touted benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a speech at the White House Thursday, claiming his signature health care bill is “doing what it’s designed to do.” The president also acknowledged the “glitches” that have impacted the implementation of the law, including his announced one-year delay of a so-called “employer mandate” requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance.
Alex Wagner, and most of her Thursday Now panel, came to the defense of the president over ObamaCare and its implementation, while blasting Republicans for being “reluctant to embrace” the unpopular bill. Wagner invited on White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri to tout the legislation’s purported benefits, but included no conservatives on her panel to challenge Palmieri’s claims.
It’s becoming rather commonplace for a liberal so-called “journalist” to point out the double standard by which media members are in general quite accepting of domestic surveillance under the current administration.
Count former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert amongst those willing to acknowledge this, for on MSNBC’s Now Tuesday, Herbert said, "There would be just tons of outrage on the left if Bush, Cheney or any Republican were pursuing the same policies that Obama is pursuing in the war against terror" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When it comes to NBC and its sister network MSNBC, Chuck Todd is one of the few journalists that actually attempt to be fair. However, there are times when Todd will make a statement that makes you pause and question how much he's co-opted by the network's determination to be Obama boosters.
On his May 10 Daily Rundown program, the veteran White House correspondent claimed that when it comes to Benghazi, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “is going to benefit it seems a little bit in this one respect if [it appears] that her opponents try too hard."
Bob Herbert: columnist from the Planet Benzar? Seriously, what the former New York Times op-ed writer had to say this morning is enough to make you wonder whether he occupies the same orb as the rest of us. Appearing on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Herbert literally laughed out loud at the notion that American media leans liberal. According to Herbert, the bias in the American media is "overwhelmingly" to the right.
Herbert's snicker came in response to a statement by New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, also an MH-P guest. Chozick recently wrote an article reporting on the Koch brothers' possible interest in buying the Tribune Company, which among other media outlets owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. According to Chozick, the brothers' interest was in part sparked by their outrage in seeing the liberal bias when they pick up American newspapers. View the video after the jump.
On Monday’s Rachel Maddow Show, the MSNBC host mocked Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the white vote, reporting Romney told USA Today that President Obama moved toward welfare waivers “as a calculation that was designed to shore up the Obama base before the election.” Maddow thought it was ridiculous: “As if people on welfare are Barack Obama’s base. [Maddow winks] Especially the lazy ones. [Winks again]” Government dependents never vote to keep their government money coming?
Then Maddow turned to former New York Times columnist and NBC reporter Bob Herbert, who said Romney has a “campaign that doesn’t have a theme,” so Romney’s just saying “white people, please vote for me,” because he’s white. “You can’t win an election if that’s all you’ve got going for you.” Maddow said the GOP’s almost all-white:
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's "Hardball," fell into the same trap many other journalists have in misunderstanding the term "Dittoheads," to describe fans of Rush Limbaugh as having no minds of their own that, as Matthews claimed, "repeat every word he speaks as gospel." Of course, as Limbaugh himself points out, fans of the radio talk show host are a varied group, that listen to him because he expresses the opinions they already share and/or just because he's entertaining and the term "Dittohead" is merely shorthand for saying you are a fan, not some "mind-numbed robot." However that fact was lost on Matthews who went on to patronize the audience saying Limbaugh acts as "a support group for guys, mainly men," who, "feel underappreciated by their families, by their bosses."
Matthews' slights against Limbaugh and his audience came in several segments devoted to Republican Congressman Phil Gingery coming on the talk show host's program to apologize to him for a criticism he made of him earlier in the week. In one of the segments Matthews threw the following question to Salon's Joan Walsh:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay here's a great philosophical-, Joan you have opened a can of worms here. Why do libertarians and I respect a lot of libertarian philosophy. It's, at least, in ideal terms the Ayn Rand stuff. It's-, I love the idea it's romantic. If everybody could live on themselves, and take care of themselves, if that could work, it doesn't, fine. But why do people who say they're individualists, cowboys, out there all alone, refer to themselves as "Dittoheads?"