On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tied together Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, the Ground Zero mosque, and illegal immigration, as he charged that "the Republican method" for electoral success is "hate." The MSNBC host opened the show: "The Republican method for winning elections is hate. Hate somebody. Anybody will do. We have seen it this year with immigrants and now, Muslims. And now, in our fifth story tonight: for the first time, we have a former head of the Republican party confirming that, yes, his party does it. They do it to win and did it in 2004 and 2006 against gay Americans. He said this even though he himself is no longer denying that he, too, is gay."
Without evidence, Olbermann also blamed the stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed Sharif on those who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Although he later admitted that the mosque was not mentioned by the suspect, the MSNBC host suggested a link as he teased the show:
There are lies, damned lies and statistics, so the saying goes. Add Rachel Maddow's lies of omission to the list.
Maddow is doing her best to shield MSNBC viewers from awkward facts about political support for offshore drilling. Here's how she began her show on Monday, with an announcement from July 2008 by then-President George W. Bush --
BUSH: For years my administration has been calling on Congress to expand domestic oil production. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. ... One of the most important steps we can take to expand American oil production is to increase access to offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, or what's called the OCS. ... Today I've issued a memorandum to lift the executive prohibition on oil exploration in the OCS.
MADDOW: That was President George W. Bush in July 2008 lifting the presidential ban on offshore oil drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. It was a presidential ban that had been first put in place by President Bush's dad in 1990 after the big Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. Here was why Bush the second said he was lifting the drilling ban of Bush the first --
BUSH: New advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the OCS that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills.
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show's regular "Pinheads and Patriots" segment, host Bill O'Reilly highlighted an example of left-wing hatred from a man who appears to be part of the anti-war left, as O'Reilly showed video of the unidentified "deranged" man who started shouting at former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston restaurant. The heckler used obscenities and called the former President "murderous" and a "Zionist," and blamed him for millions of deaths.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 12, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
The mistakes President Obama has made in recent months that have led to his plummeting poll numbers aren't his fault.
According to Time's Joe Klein, it's all being caused by -- and I quote! -- "the media's tendency to get overwrought about almost anything."
Yep. After withholding from the public material information about Obama last year that almost certainly would have doomed his candidacy, the press today are focusing too much attention on silly things like his: response to the Fort Hood massacre; not spending enough time on unemployment; accomplishing nothing in Asia, and; allowing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be tried in New York City.
As one reads Klein's Wednesday column, you get the feeling he dearly misses the good old days when anything Obama did or said was met with thunderous applause, and anything that could take the bloom off the rose was squelched:
We've come to expect intellectual dishonesty from the media elite, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times, never disappoints.
Krugman, in a Nov. 11 post on his NYTimes.com blog titled "The agony of Fox Business," made it clear he was a subscriber to the left-wing fairy tale that Fox News, and by extension the Fox Business Channel, are not pro-business. Instead - they're "pro-Republican."
"Clearly, the Fox Business crew is having a very hard time," Krugman wrote. "They bill themselves as being truly pro-business - not like those leftists at CNBC. But they aren't really pro-business; they're pro-Republican. They'd like you to believe that it's the same thing; but there's this awkward fact that markets have, you know, gone up under Obama."
What would the current debate about the White House strategy to demonize Fox News be without Joy Behar's opinion on the subject?
Fortunatley, the comedienne and "View" co-host took the opportunity to raise this issue Thursday night with her guest conservative author Ann Coulter, and great fun was had by all including folks in the studio who couldn't hold back their laughter.
The fireworks began when Behar said, "[P]eople are p**sed off...because Fox lies a lot." Behar then marvelously accused Fox personalities Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity of playing loose with the facts just moments before she defended -- wait for it!!! -- Dan Rather.
The insanity on display led Coulter to deliciously quip about the media, "There`s more respect for Roman Polanski than for hosts on Fox News" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Jeff Poor, file photo):
Less than a week after likening conservative blogger Michelle Malkin to a “mashed-up bag of meat” on his Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann on Monday called out former President George H.W. Bush for daring to call him and fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow “sick puppies,” as Olbermann described Bush’s words from a recent interview as a “weird term."
As he characterized Bush as being hypocritical for making the comment while denouncing the incivility in American politics, Olbermann accused Bush of helping to create the climate of incivility himself in 1988 with the Willie Horton ad, although the ad Olbermann was referring to which showed a photograph of Horton – and which Olbermann displayed images of – was produced by an independent group, the National Security Political Action Committee. The Bush campaign never used Horton’s image, but instead ran the “Revolving Door” ad attacking Michael Dukakis’s support for a prison furlough program.
Perhaps the 41st president still has it in him - at least when it comes to the left crying foul about the so-called uncivil political discourse on right, but being equally if not worse on the left - particularly on MSNBC, the "Place for Politics."
In an interview on Oct. 16 with CBS Radio, former President George H.W. Bush took a very critical tact with MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, deeming them "a couple of sick puppies." (via MSNBC's Oct. 16 "The Rachel Maddow Show")
"I don't like it," Bush said. "I think the cables have a lot to do with it. I'll take you back to when I was president - we got tons of criticism, but didn't seem day in and day out quite as personal as some of these talk show people."
Washington Post Food section contributor Bonnie Benwick cooked up just a hint of bias in an otherwise politically unseasoned obituary for Milton Parker, a founding co-owner of the landmark Carnegie Deli in Manhattan.
Noting that Parker sometimes "named sandwiches after the rich and famous," Benwick quoted Parker from 1992 taking a swipe at the elder President Bush after making a sandwich bearing his name and consisting of "tuna, chopped egg and mayonaisse on white bread -- Mr. Parker said: 'No meat. Just like the economy.'"
That aside came four paragraphs into Benwick's 15-paragraph obituary. Of course, Benwick could have added flavor without political comment, particularly since Parker was famous for his dining establishment, not his politics. A look at the deli menu available on the Carnegie Deli Web site shows the featured celebrity-themed sandwich as being "The Woody Allen," consisting of "Lotsa Corned Beef plus Lotsa Pastrami" and setting the diner back $17.95.
Maybe Rachel Maddow watched one too many clips of Bill Clinton during the '92 campaign claiming George H.W. had "driven the economy into a ditch" and that things were as bad as they'd been since the Depression. In the course of trying to lower expectations for Obama to the max on her show tonight, and tracing the history of the economies previous presidents inherited, Maddow claimed that "Clinton took the oath during an economic downturn."
Uh, no. He took office in the midst of an economy that was growing at a fast pace. Don't take my word for it. "Fast pace" was the way economic growth was characterized at the time by the . . . New York Times.
Barack Obama's desultory debate performance has left Maureen Dowd in the dumps. Her weekend column is a laundry list of Sunday-morning quarterbacking. Dowd's biggest beef is Obama's failure to have goaded McCain into a damaging display of ill-temper. Just for fun, let's meander through Maureen's musings.
The president . . . is so insecure that he could only choose a vice president he knew would never hold his title.
The MSM portrayed Bush 41 as lacking in self-confidence by taking, in Dan Quayle, a VP who wouldn't overshadow him. Now Dowd depicts Bush 43 as insecure for taking a strong Veep. Damned if you do, etc.
To these ears, it sounded like a sophomoric line by, well, a sophomore seeking to impress classmates and perhaps his fuzzy-headed teacher. But MSNBC has proclaimed Mario Cuomo's call for a nuclear freeze because "peace is better than war and life is better than death" one of the greatest convention-speech lines ever.
In the run-up to this evening's keynote address by former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Hillary's much-anticipated speech, Hardball did a segment on some of the best Dem convention speeches of the past. Now, love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that the late Ann Richards' "born with a silver foot in his mouth" about George 41 was a pretty good zinger. And even Barack Obama's "there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America" wasn't bad either. No beef with those being included. But try out the excerpt from Maria Cuomo's 1984 speech that MSNBC selected as one of the "best of the best."
The liberal media just can't get over the way Democrat Michael Dukakis lost to George H. W. Bush. The Times proved it in Sunday's Page One "Political Memo," an analysis by Robin Toner, "In '88, a Lesson on Using Symbols as Bludgeons."
Toner portrayed Democrats as victims of Republicans challenging their patriotism (without showing any actual examples of such) from Dukakis in 1988 to Obama now. In '88 the unfair attack aimed at Dukakis's position on the Pledge of Allegiance in schools; in 2008, the target is Obama's flag pin.
Sometimes, as Senator Barack Obama seemed to argue earlier this year, a flag pin is just a flag pin.
But it can never be that simple for anyone with direct experience of the 1988 presidential campaign. That year, the Republicans used the symbols of nationhood (notably, whether schoolchildren should be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance) to bludgeon the Democrats, challenge their patriotism and utterly redefine their nominee, Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts.
The headline "The Economy Sucks" might be something you'd expect to see in Rolling Stone or on Slate.com, but certainly not in a reputable news magazine, right?
Yet, the January 21 issue of Newsweek defied expectations by using that for part of a headline for a one-sided, pro-Bill Clinton view of the economy. The article recalled the 1992 "It's the economy, stupid!" campaign as it tore down the current economy.
So, why does the economy "suck" according to Newsweek? It isn't that there's a depression looming or that we're in recessionary times, we're just "perilously close to sliding into a recession."
"Today, the nation is perilously close to sliding into a recession; in '92, the economy had already started growing, though a jobless recovery doomed George H.W. Bush's re-election bid anyway," Gross wrote. "The lesson? Voters' perceptions matter more than whether the economy is technically expanding or contracting."
You don't suppose NewsBusters has become Matt Lauer's guilty pleasure; one having a salubrious effect on his thinking? The Today co-anchor this morning suggested an MSM double-standard on the Dem and GOP races and acknowledged the success of the surge.
Matt's guest during the first half-hour was Tim Russert, impressively fresh despite red-eyeing to NYC after moderating last night's Nevada debate. Lauer, after playing clips of the candidates' take on Iraq, suggested that the war is no longer the winning issue the Dems once thought it was.
MATT LAUER: How much of a tightrope are they walking with the apparent success of the surge over the last couple months, how difficult is it for these Democratic candidates to score points on Iraq right now?
Did Al Gore win his Nobel for "peace," or did it perhaps come in a new category: comedy? I ask in the wake of his rib-tickling routine on this morning's "Today." Al, that inveterate card, actually claimed that the MSM's coverage of global warming is . . . too balanced.
"Bill Clinton: caution, slippery when wet." -- George H.W. Bush, 1992 RNC convention.
"The Clintons have a reputation of being slippery and hard to pin down. Last night Clinton underscored that on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should have drivers licenses." -- David Shuster, "Hardball," 10-31-07
Was that really David Shuster? Or could Shuster, like opera singer Enrico Pallazzo in "Naked Gun," have been tied up in a dressing room as a Halloween impostor echoed George H.W.'s 1992 characterization of the Clintons? Be that as it may, on this afternoon's "Hardball" someone looking like the normally Dem-friendly Shuster did indeed accuse Hillary of underscoring her slippery reputation with her drivers-license debate dodge.