Can two grown men really be this dumb, or is their hatred for conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh so blinding they wouldn't know sarcasm if it punched them in the face?
As tough as it might be to believe, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton actually took seriously Limbaugh's joke that media outlets criticizing President Obama's tax compromise plan did so because they are racist (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on the December 7 "Daily Rundown" was uncharacteristically heated in his opposition to the compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax rates.
Interviewing a Treasury Department official, Todd used flawed statistics to malign the proposed two-year extension of tax breaks for all families as unacceptably expensive.
"The cost of this is astronomical though," proclaimed the NBC Political Director. "The payroll tax cut means essentially borrowing from the Social Security trust fund to do this temporary payroll tax. I mean, it's 120 billion, that's a lot of money!"
Brian Williams adopted a liberal framework as he opened Monday's NBC Nightly News by declaring “it’s a fair question to ask and for a while now Americans have been wondering how lawmakers in Washington could possibly extend tax breaks for wealthy Americans while allowing benefits for jobless Americans to be cut off.”
Then, after Chuck Todd outlined the Obama-GOP compromise to maintain income taxes at their current rates for two years while extending unemployment benefits and implementing a temporary reduction in the payroll tax, Williams fretted the deal contradicts how “the fight has been over anything in government that isn't paid for,” yet, as Todd despaired in filling in Williams’ regret, “none of this is paid for. In terms of lost revenue for the government next year, it's $450 billion.”
Covering President Barack Obama’s White House meeting with congressional leaders, ABC and CBS portrayed incoming House Republicans as the ones obstinate about tax rates, refusing to compromise – meaning agreeing to Obama’s wish to raise income tax rates on many – or match Obama’s conciliatory tone, though NBC’s Chuck Todd pointed out how Obama “seemed unwilling” to even agree with a Democratic proposal to raise “the middle-class tax threshold from $250,000 to those Americans making more than $1 million.”
ABC’s Jake Tapper reported “Obama pushed Republicans today to allow Congress to vote separately on Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and on those for everyone else,” but, he noted, “Republicans rejected that idea.” He concluded with how “Obama told the Republicans” that “he should have reached out more to them over the previous two years. Republicans,” however, “who oppose the President's domestic agenda lock-step, offered no such mea culpa.”
On CBS, Chip Reid, who relayed how Obama “did offer an olive branch, taking some responsibility for partisan tensions” while “Republicans did not return the peace offering,” contended: “Republicans, with their hands strengthened by the election victory, appeared even less inclined to bend than the President.”
First came the Searchlight Brawler, Harry Reid. Now Orrin Hatch joins the ranks of the Senate tough guys . . .
Asked whether—like fellow Utah Senator Robert Bennett—he might be defeated in his bid to obtain the Republican nomination, Hatch bragged "I'm a lot tougher" than Bennett, and considerably more conservative to boot.
Hatch's macho moment came this morning during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Daily Rundown. When Todd asked whether he intended to seek re-election in 2012, Hatch, to his credit, didn't mince words, saying he was definitely running, subject only to continuing to feel physically strong. But when Todd asked if Hatch might meet the same fate as Bennett at the Utah GOP nominating convention, Orrin flexed his muscles.
On Friday evening, ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News both informed viewers that Cindy McCain - wife of Senator John McCain - supports repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. NBC’s Chuck Todd merely mentioned her disagreement with her husband on the issue while noting that Senator McCain "is the guy holding up" any change in the law.
But ABC went further in showing a clip of Cindy McCain from a Web ad asserting that homosexuals in America are treated "like second-class citizens." Anchor Diane Sawyer introduced the clip: "And someone we haven’t heard from in a while, Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, speaking out, disagreeing with her husband who opposes a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. She condemned the government policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military."
Then came a clip of Cindy McCain: "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens."
"This is the type of direct democracy people say they want. Sometimes you wonder," MSNBC's Chuck Todd editorialized after a segment about conservative ballot initiatives that passed into law on Tuesday.
Towards the bottom of the 9 a.m. EDT hour of "The Daily Rundown," reporter Mara Schiavocampo looked at a handful of state ballot initiatives that voters had considered at the polls on Tuesday. [Video after page break]
On Tuesday's Today show, a couple of correspondents laid down the potential story line of a big defeat for Sarah Palin if the Republican Tea Party candidate she endorsed, Joe Miller, doesn't win his bid for the Senate seat in Alaska as NBC's Chuck Todd proclaimed: "Sarah Palin's political future is a little bit on the line" and added "this would be a big embarrassment," while NBC's Kristen Welker declared: "the race is also a referendum on Sarah Palin." Welker also featured a sound bite from a political analyst noting a Miller defeat would mean a "black eye" for the former Alaska Governor. Of course the question has to be asked, if Miller defeats write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski, will Todd and Welker go the other way and admit it was a huge win for Palin and the Tea Party?
During a preview of the key races on Election Day, Today co-anchor Matt Lauer asked political director Chuck Todd for his take on the Alaska Senate race, as seen in the following exchange:
Call it Chuck Todd's Profile In Pusillanimity . . .
Given a chance to express his personal opinion of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Todd--NBC's chief WH correspondent--mumbled, stuttered, stumbled and ultimately punted, saying it was "an awkward thing."
Chuck's duck-and-cover came during a Morning Joe segment today devoted to analyzing Gibbs in light of a GQ article about him by Robert Draper, who appeared on the show. After Draper, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough gave their brief takes on Gibbs, Scarborough offered the floor to Todd . . . who proceeded to give his best deer-in-the-headlights impersonation. View video here.
Trying to write off calls—in reaction to the Juan Williams firing fiasco—for the federal defunding of NPR as mere right-wing electoral politics and "cable catnip," Norah O'Donnell has grossly understated the proportion of its budget that NPR obtains from the feds.
Aided and abetted by Chuck Todd, Norah offered her misleading math on today's Daily Rundown on MSNBC. O'Donnell claimed that only 1-3% of NPR's budget is derived from federal funding. But as you'll see, the real number is at least double that.
NBC's Chuck Todd conceded “the Tea Party has been helpful to the GOP in both re-branding the party away from Bush and giving it a real grassroots component,” but he insisted, “this Tea Party influence in Republican primaries has put a number of Senate seats in play for Democrats that at this point should be out of reach.”
“The bottom line,” Todd declared on Friday's NBC Nightly News in a likely preview of the latest iteration of the news media's bi-annual “Republicans candidates were too far to the right” line:
Because of weaker Tea Party nominees, Democrats have a fighting chance in Delaware, Kentucky, Colorado, yes, Nevada, and even Alaska. Without the Tea Party, all five of those races would be in the bank right now and the Senate majority would definitely be in the Republican sights.
Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd tag-teamed against Alaskan Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, on Thursday's Hardball, as Todd claimed Miller was "running a terrible campaign" and warned that "it may be popular among conservatives to bash the media" but Miller is "turning off" voters when he does it. For his part Matthews called Miller "unlikable" going as far to compare him to the negative depiction of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the movie "The Social Network" as Matthews pined: "He seems about as likable as that guy...Joe Miller seems like that guy." Of the Tea Party conservative Matthews also added: "He seems like a misanthrope," and predicted: "I don't think people are gonna like this guy." (video included)
The following exchange was aired on the October 14 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Go to Alaska, you brought that up a minute ago.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Yeah.
MATTHEWS: Could a Democrat be elected Senator from Alaska against two Republicans?
Well, they did stop short of presenting him with a ceremonial seppuku sword . . .
But other than that, MSNBC's Daily Rundown duo of Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie did their best to convince Florida Dem Kendreck Meek to get out of the senatorial race to give Charlie Crist a shot against Marco Rubio.
Todd tried the cold-hard-numbers route, while Guthrie made an emotional appeal, literally asking Meek if he "can live" with himself if his continued candidacy resulted in the election of Rubio. View video here.
NBC's Chuck Todd, on Friday's Today, played defense for the Democrats as he relayed their spin on political commercials, noting that "outside independent groups, mostly Republican, are benefitting from the landmark Supreme Court ruling that allows big corporate donors to spend unlimited money, in some cases anonymously, on political advertising." Todd even played several clips of the President going after those ads, but never offered a countering soundbite from a Republican.
Todd also found time to highlight a Democratic complaint about an ad that dared to use actors instead of real people, as he pointed out a commercial against Democratic Senate candidate and current governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin drew the ire of Dems because it featured actors "hired by a Philadelphia talent agency looking for a quote, 'hicky blue collar look'."
First up Todd set the table for the President to slam independent groups as "a threat to democracy" but failed to mention that he himself -- as reported in a Washington Post story headlined Obama Accepted Untraceable Donations -- benefitted from anonymous contributions back in 2008.
It’s a topsy-turvy, upside-down political world out there for people who thought Barack Obama would be cruising at a 70 percent approval rating while crushing the Republicans like bugs. In fact, the opposite has happened. The Senate Majority Leader is in grave danger of involuntary retirement. Everyone in Washington concedes Nancy Pelosi is unlikely to bang the gavel in January.
So why in the world does the tone of news coverage suggest all kinds of political problems...for conservatives, as if they were the collapsing majority in this campaign?
The media elites sound like they’re resigned to the idea that a lot of Democrats are going to be unemployed in November. Their coverage seems designed now to stanch the bleeding, to devote their coverage to close races where they can bash conservative challengers in the hope of turning the tide there.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll didn’t come up with numbers pleasing to the NBC News staff, though Brian Williams, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, did his best to spin the findings as showing “there is really bad news if you're an incumbent officeholder of either party” and Chuck Todd insisted the public wants more from the elections than “just change [in] the color of the jerseys.”
Todd, however, couldn’t avoid reporting that “the change that voters want” includes 54 percent who “hope that this Tea Party enthusiasm in the Republican Party makes them a fiscally conservative party” and “54 percent want to see the repeal of health care.” Plus, “42 percent tell us” the Tea Party movement has “been a good thing” – more than twice as many as see it as a “bad thing.”
Unmentioned by Todd or Williams: Those pro-Tea Party/anti-ObamaCare numbers came from a polling sample dominated by MSM television news consumers. Question 36, in the PDF rundown of the survey, asked from which “television news sources do you get MOST of your information about politics and current events?” From the list offered, 35 percent said “broadcast network news, such as NBC, ABC, or CBS,” 16 percent named “the cable channel CNN” and 8 percent affirmed they rely on “the cable channel MSNBC.” That adds up to 59 percent, compared to 24 percent who cited “the cable channel Fox News.”
Isn’t it odd after the passage of TARP, the stimulus and ObamaCare that left-wing politicians and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media are suddenly worried about budget deficits?
As opposed to reining in deficit spending, the new public policy stance for the Democratic Party going into the 2010 midterm election is to call for a tax hike on the top-income earners by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those folks. In an interview on MSNBC’s Sept. 17 “The Daily Rundown” with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Texas senator on the need to raise taxes in order to lower budget deficits.
Guthrie asked: “Sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the Republican Party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and I ask you given the concern among Republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that Republicans can get behind allowing the Bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest Americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. How do you square that up?”
"This is one of those ever more obnoxious teaching moments that we're getting from the left-wing press," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained on last night's "Hannity" after watching a clip of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell lament that Americans need to be more sensitive to minorities, not for the "burden" to be on Imam Feisal Rauf to assauge concerns about the planned Ground Zero mosque.
Noting that polls show 70 percent of the American people oppose the Park 51 project planned just two blocks from Ground Zero, Bozell argued Mitchell's complaint is just more evidence of the liberal media's "worldview that is completely contrary" and out-of-touch with the American public.
Besides Ground Zero mosque bias, The Media Research Center founder also reacted to NBC's Chuck Todd passing along an unnamed "observer" who told him the 2010 midterms would be the "fear" election in contrast to the 2008 "hope" election:
NBC's Chuck Todd couched it in terms of how “both parties” are peddling “fear” in this year's election season -- but his formulation Tuesday night of how 2008 was “the hope election” while this one will be “the fear election” – offered a likely preview of how the MSM will try to discredit voter repudiation of liberal Democratic Obama allies when they hardly cast in a negative light the 2008 voter rejection of a third Republican term.
Todd concluded a short NBC Nightly News story:
I had one observer tell me, if 2008 was the “hope election,” 2010 may be known as the “fear election,” as both Republicans and Democrats are playing on the fears of voters about the future of the economy to try to win votes in November.
If Democrats weren't nervous about November's midterm elections yet, they could soon be, especially when you consider that even their allies in the liberal media are starting to forecast doom for them, as NBC's Chuck Todd did on Tuesday's Today show, going as far to predict "Democrats are in deep, deep trouble." Todd, appearing in the 7am half hour of this morning's Today show explained to viewers that "The Tea Party has provided an enthusiasm boost to the Republican Party," however he reminded Democrats that they still had "six weeks to turn this around" but then added that "if they don't, they are headed for an historical defeat in November." [audio available here]
Interestingly though Todd and his NBC colleague Kelly O'Donnell, in her set up piece, didn't exactly paint a big Republican win as a defeat for liberals, as they couldn't even bring themselves to attach that label to any Democrats running in 2010. While Todd and O'Donnell used the "conservative" label a total of four times between them, neither of them used the "liberal" label even when they discussed Florida Representative Kendrick Meek who has a lifetime ACU rating of 7 and a lifetime ADA rating of 92 percent.
The following O'Donnell set-up piece and Todd segment were aired on the August 24 Today show:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
"And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." -- candidate Barack Obama, remarks at fundraiser, April, 2008
Discussing with Andrea Mitchell today the kerfuffle over Pres. Obama's Christianity, Chuck Todd hearkened back to PBO's infamous bitter-clinger line. Obama offered his pronouncement at a private, hoity-toity fundraiser in San Francisco—and Todd claimed Obama didn't mean to demean by it.
According to Todd [quoting Paul Begala], Obama is his mother's son, and like the anthropologist she was, he was simply offering an anthropological analysis of the plight of those poor rural Pennsylvanians.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams cited a “stunning number” from “a reputable pollster” (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press) – which discovered “just under 20 percent of the American people believe the President is a Muslim” when “he is not” – to justify a full explanation from Chuck Todd on the mischaracterization of Barack Obama. “Look, let's be clear,” NBC's chief White House correspondent declared, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States and he is a Christian.”
Without pointing out how confusion and ignorance about Obama's religious affiliation extends beyond just Republicans and conservatives (41 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of liberals “don't know” Obama's religion), Todd fretted: “Ever since Mr. Obama became a national political figure, some of his political enemies have fanned the flames of religious prejudice by trying to make people believe the President is a Muslim.” Todd despaired that Obama's focus on his job had left him vulnerable to abuse:
During the campaign, Team Obama repeatedly refuted these charges with a special Web site they created called FightTheSmears. Well, when he took office, the anti-Obama campaign continued, but the White House tackled a slew of other issues, and efforts to refute those other attacks took a backseat.
Dan Harris, who last year gave credence, by including their attacks in his stories, to those who wished to discredit the Tea Party as “actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests” and smeared participants as “driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President,” on Monday night read from the same playbook in maligning the motivations of those opposed to building a mosque near Ground Zero.
Harris began his World News story with “how this issue is creeping into campaigns all over the country” and “today conservatives were turning up the volume against the planned Muslim community center.” He soon arrived at:
Muslim activists say angry rhetoric is fueling a dangerous level of Islamophobia with protests over proposed mosques in places like Tennessee and Wisconsin, the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida, in May, and a church in Gainesville, Florida, that's now planning to burn Korans on September 11th.
That led into a soundbite from Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, followed by a bite from Republican Congressman Peter King, a mosque opponent. Harris, however, then concluded with how more enlightened Republicans realize King's misdirection:
In FNC’s “Grapevine” segment Thursday night, Shannon Bream highlighted a finding in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which NBC’s Chuck Todd failed to point out in emphasizing the public’s disgust with Democrats, Republicans and the Tea Party. Bream observed:
A new poll suggests Americans have more positive feelings for the Tea Party movement than for either of the Democratic leaders in Congress. The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds 30 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, compared to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 21 percent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's 11 percent.
The evening before, on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, Todd declared: “It’s an unhappy America” where “the Democrats hit a record high in their negative rating – 44 percent” while “the Republicans are doing even worse – 46 percent of the country has a negative view of the Republican Party” and “even the Tea Party – which has actually enjoyed a little bit of a renaissance over the last six months – 34 percent now have a negative view. Just 30 percent have a positive view.”
During Morning Joe on Thursday, MSNBC's Chuck Todd appeared baffled by a discussion of negative feelings directed towards Barack Obama from Wall Street. The confused journalist wondered, "Look, at the end of the day, he has not done that much when it comes to business stuff."
Mad Money host Jim Cramer relayed to Todd that Wall Street is upset because, "Most of the people on Wall Street are behind the scenes guys" and the President is demagoging the issue and demonizing them. Todd argued that, regardless of what the President does, "He is getting trapped and hit from both sides, but it isn't just that, this is how sour the American public is."
To understand why Wall Street and the American public might be "sour," one needs to look no further than the cap and trade energy proposal, health care, the financial reform bill, the stimulus, or the nationalization of the automobile and student loan sectors.
On Thursday's Today show, NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd started building the narrative for the liberal media to spout in case the Republicans win majorities in the House and Senate in the upcoming midterms - that the voters are just cranky about everyone and everything. Todd even went on to absurdly state that if the GOP has a big win it will still be seen as a "A bad election night for all of Washington." All of Washington? Even for the party that is victorious?
Todd, on with Today co-anchor Ann Curry, came up with that conclusion after reciting results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that showed "Everybody is angry at all things Washington" as Todd noted "Democrats hit an all-new high in their negative rating. Republicans have even a higher negative rating. The Tea Party, which had enjoyed a positive rating for awhile, now they have a negative rating." Todd, then, went on to prematurely throw cold water on any sort of GOP win as he claimed: "If the Republicans get the majorities, it's because people have decided to go into the ballot box and hold their nose, they're not happy with anybody."
The following is the full transcript of the segment as it was aired on the August 12 Today show:
NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, managed to question the political viability of two Republican candidates in one sentence as he asked his guest panelist, Jonathan Martin of the Politico, "Is Ken Buck, you know, Sharron Angle in drag?" [audio available here]
Going over the results of yesterday's primary races with Martin and Newsweek's Howard Fineman, Todd claimed "Democrats were doing a touchdown dance" after Buck won the Republican primary contest for the Senate seat in Colorado and also relayed some rather colorful descriptions of Buck, as seen in the following exchange, aired on the August 11 edition of Hardball:
NBC's Chuck Todd, substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on Monday's Hardball, invited on Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum and the Politico's Jonathan Martin to navel gaze about what ailed the political structure as Todd questioned "Is Washington broke and beyond repair?" Pivoting off a Purdum article, that in part, blamed lobbyists, Martin offered his own explanation as he brought up the typical mainstream media boogeymen of the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
After Todd noted that it's not just the "lobbying community" causing distress in D.C., that the "media is playing a role here" and "it's not clear which came first, the polarized Washington or the polarized way that people get information," Martin buttressed Todd's point by offering his personal account of a Florida townhall meeting where he claimed voters there were only "listening to Rush Limbaugh," "reading Drudge" and "watching Fox News."
The liberal lionization of Emma Lazarus' poem has reached laughable new heights. On this evening's Hardball, guest host Chuck Todd cited the Lazarus lines from the base of the Statue of Liberty . . . as if they had some authority in law!
Todd was debating former GOP congressman Ernest Istook on the proposal some Republicans have floated to recast or clarify the 14th Amendment so as not to grant automatic citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.
"Uncomfortable" was the word of the day at Morning Joe when it came to discussing Michelle Obama's decision to go on a luxurious Spanish vacation in the midst of a recession—and to miss celebrating her husband's birthday with him to boot.
Chuck Todd didn't go into details, but NBC's clearly ill-at-ease political director suggested: that this was a "private decision" by the First Lady; that it wouldn't have made any difference what Pres. Obama's political advisors would have said; and that "you get the sense here that there was something more to this" than pure politics.
Joe Scarborough reinforced Todd's message: "this is part of a bigger narrative, isn't it, about Michelle Obama?"
In contrast, Mark Halperin seemed eager to get off the touchy topic. When Scarborough asked him about it, Halperin parried with a question to Todd about the positive cards the White House has to play.