The day after MSNBC's Chris Matthews tore into Barack Obama for having "the worst kind of a notion of the presidency," New York magazine's Frank Rich blasted the Hardball host for publishing a "man-crush of a biography" about the late John F. Kennedy (emphasis added):
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, author Stephen King touted his new novel about the Kennedy assassination, "11/22/63," and saw parallels between Kennedy and Barack Obama: "...both men who hadn't had a lot of political experience who vaulted to national prominence, beautiful wives, beautiful children, and also that whole component of people who feel almost hateful toward those people." [Audio available here] [View video after the jump]
"F*** you!" is how MSNBC's Chris Matthews reportedly objected to the notion that he used the services of a ghostwriter for his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."
In a November 2 blog post, Forbes.com's Jeff Bercovici detailed the Hardball host's testy reaction to the suggestion that just as Matthews's boyhood hero heavily relied on Ted Sorensen, Matthews had a professional scribe assist him on his latest project (emphasis mine):
While hyping his new book on John F. Kennedy on Friday, Chris Matthews seemed to connect "vicious" "right-wing" "hate" to the assassination of the nation's 35th president. At no time in his Hardball editorial did Matthews admit that the President's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a pro-Communist leftist, who, at one point in his life, defected to the Soviet Union.
Speaking of Kennedy's trip to Dallas in November of 1963, Matthews connected, "[Kennedy] was living the life of an American politician, trying to figure things out politically, trying to figure out what was in the water down there in Dallas that made some people so viciously right-wing. An hour later, he was gone." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Maybe Princeton professor Cornel West should redirect his get off the crack pipe suggestion to MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
On Monday's Hardball, the host actually said with a straight face that John F. Kennedy is "the American president we Americans most want to see joining Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt up there on Mount Rushmore (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It was said of Al Smith, a Roman Catholic, that if he won the 1928 presidential election he would take orders from the Vatican and not uphold the Constitution.
John F. Kennedy famously confronted that anti-Catholic prejudice in a 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Kennedy said in part, "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote..."
UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."
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Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."
How do we know that grade-school students in Dallas spontaneously cheered the news that President John F. Kennedy was murdered in their city?
Because it's been repeated ad infinitum for almost half a century. Therefore it must be true, right?
It's a belief that's taken on the aura of holy writ to liberals, thanks to propapandists like radio host and lawyer Mike Papantonio in preserving its mythology for each new generation of true believers.
You'd think someone who practices law would know better. Then again, you might not.
On ABC’s World News Saturday, correspondent John Hendren filed a report marking this year as the first time since 1947 that no members of the Kennedy family will hold public office in Washington, D.C. The piece began:
JOHN HENDREN: The sun has set on the Kennedy era. When Congress reconvenes next week, it will be the first time in 64 years that there has not been a Kennedy in office.
KATHLEEN KENNEDY TOWNSEND, DAUGHTER OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY: I think it's sad. I think that we need a Kennedy.
Hendren went on to recount the death of former Senator Ted Kennedy, "the Lion of the Senate," and the decision of Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy to retire, as well as the shuffling of office space with the arrival of newly-elected Republicans. The ABC correspondent also noted that Tea Party-backed Rep. Ron Paul and Senator-elect Rand Paul are the only family members serving who will be serving concurrently in Congress.
Hendren concluded by offering a ray of hope for those would like to see the Kennedy family in government again:
How about that, there's someone on the airwaves more unhinged than liberal radio talker and MSNBC heat miser Ed Schultz. And go figure, that someone happens to be a frequent Schultz guest.
But between his appearance on Schultz's radio show Nov. 22 and Schultz's MSNBC program several hours later, the caffeine apparently wore off for Mike Papantonio, a lawyer and co-host of the radio show "Ring of Fire," seeing how Papantonio dialed down his remarks from what he initially told Schultz.
Here's what Papantonio said during the first hour of Schultz's radio show Monday between noon and 1 p.m. while complaining about President Obama's upcoming appearance before the US Chamber of Commerce (audio andvideo below page break) --
For the Today show, Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy's departure from Congress was something to mourn because it represented, as NBC's Matt Lauer lamented, "The end of an era. There's been a Kennedy in Congress since John F. Kennedy entered the House back in 1947." The nephew of the late President was invited on Monday's Today show to commemorate the occasion with he and co-host Meredith Vieira fondly looking over newly-released photos of JFK from Life.com and reminiscing about his father, the "great" Ted Kennedy.
For the record the Today show got their facts wrong, as the MRC's Rich Noyes pointed out, there was no Kennedy in Congress from January 1961 to November of 1962 as Representative Ben Smith held that seat long enough until Ted Kennedy was old enough to take over.
The following teaser and exchange were aired on the November 8 Today show:
Achtung, Sgt. Schultz -- you're making it up again.
The liberal radio host and MSNBC flamethrower got carried away in his indignation Monday over controversy about whether Obama's speech on education should be shown in classrooms.
My how things have changed, Schultz pontificated (audio here) --
I don't know, when I was a kid, and I was a little dude when John Glenn was flying around the, in outer space, and the president was going to speak to the nation! And all the kids in the elementary school, I remember, we were all so fired up! That we were going to hear from the president! And the president was going to say something about being in outer space and is John Glenn going to get home OK?! The president was going to talk to us, we were kids! We were excited! And then when John Glenn splashed down, we heard from the president and it was so cool! It's just not cool anymore, I guess. It's a different country.
Is Ed Schultz determined to make his mark as the dumbest man in media? Hardly a day passes without the lib radio host and MSNBC action hero providing more fodder for the premise.
On his radio show Monday, Schultz rushed to the defense of first lady Michelle Obama for criticism of her winging off to an opulent Spanish resort hotel during -- as Schultz and other liberals oft remind us -- the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Here's Schultz defending Mrs. Obama after first talking about a campaign ad that mocks House Minority Leader John Boehner as an out-of-touch elitist golfer (click here for audio) --
Rick Sanchez stumbled again on-air on his CNN program on Monday, getting the year of the famous Kennedy-Nixon television debate wrong by a margin of two years. Sanchez, who was trying to describe South Carolina Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene's first public speech as the "converse" of the debate, initially guessed 1962 as the year of the debate, but then broadened his answer to "early '60s" [audio available here].
The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
Racism, according to the liberal. Isn't it obvious?
Same reason that Republicans and conservatives oppose Obama, the liberal quickly adds.
Here's the latest example of this threadbare line of criticism, from Brent Budowsky, a columnist for The Hill's Pundits Blog and former congressional staffer.
Appearing on Ed Schultz's radio show Tuesday, Budowsky offered an over-the-top analogy (click here for audio) --
BUDOWSKY: These Republicans today, Ed, are more right wing and obstructionist than the segregationist, racist senators during the days of the civil rights. Even those racist senators that filibustered civil rights, they also supported jobs and Medicare and some other things. You know, we're up against a party on the Republicans that is so far off the right end, they're acting like South Africa during the days of apartheid.
Good Morning America on Monday touted an adulterous affair John F. Kennedy had in the early 1950s as a "love story" and a "torrid and fleeting romance." Co-host George Stephanopoulos lauded the Kennedys as "American royalty" and the show offered no hint of criticism over the infidelity. [Audio available here.]
"Love letters" revealing the relationship between an engaged and then just-married Kennedy and a Swedish woman are being put on auction this week. The correspondence between the two show that JFK was cheating on his wife from the very start. Yet, Stephanopoulos delicately spun, "They've been called a window into the complicated and conflicted existence that was Kennedy's life."
Reporter Chris Bury narrated one of the letters from Kennedy to his Swedish mistress, Gunilla Von Post, asserting that the then-Senator "senses that their destinies are drifting apart." He quoted, "I just got word that my wife and sister are coming here. It will be all be complicated, the way I feel now, my Swedish flicka. All I have done is sit in the sun and look at the ocean and think of Gunilla. All love, Jack."
In its obituary on the passing of Nobel economics laureate Paul Samuelson, who died on December 13, Michael Weinstein at the New York Times lavished well-deserved praise on the winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Economics for building "one of the world’s great centers of graduate education in economics" at MIT, but erred seriously in recounting his most visible public policy role.
Also worth noting is how the Times headline at Samuelson's obit compares to those the paper accorded Milton Friedman and John Kenneth Galbraith upon their deaths. Friedman and Galbraith were also pioneering economists in their own right who passed away after living into their 90s during the final half of this decade:
Friedman (November 16, 2006) -- "Milton Friedman, Free Markets Theorist, Dies at 94."
Galbraith (April 30, 2006) -- "John Kenneth Galbraith, 97, Dies; Economist Held a Mirror to Society."
Of the three, only the free market capitalism-championing Friedman, who like Samuelson but unlike Galbraith was a Nobel-winningeconomist, was deemed undeserving of being identified as a member of his chosen profession in his Times obit's headline.
More seriously, Weinstein rewrites history to give Samuelson significant credit for the prosperity of the 1960s where very little is due.
The announcement of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death came at 2 a.m. Eastern on Aug. 26 and a little over 15 hours later, two prominent liberal voices were scheming as to how the president and other Democratic leaders could use his passing to advance a political agenda.
Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC host Ed Schultz's Aug. 26 program and was asked by Schultz if it somehow could be used to push "real reform" for health care.
"The passing of Ted Kennedy - could this be a rallying cry for progressives to carry this fight through and to see real reform and health care in this country?" Schultz said. "Because, of course, I think everybody on the left knows that this was his passion, this was his cause."
CNN correspondent Jim Acosta hyped the forthcoming inaugural address of President-elect Barack Obama during a report on Tuesday’s American Morning: “...Barack Obama’s inaugural address may be more than the speech of his lifetime. Historians and speechwriters say it could be one for the ages, if he can rise to the occasion.” He reenforced this sentiment with clips from a former Clinton-Gore speechwriter who predicted that it’s “a pretty good certainty that you’ll have schoolchildren reading this speech hundreds of years from now” and a professor who claimed that “it’s almost impossible for Obama to fail.”
Co-host John Roberts introduced Acosta’s report, which started 25 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, by focusing on the “great anticipation about the inaugural address” and how many “expect it to stand with some of the greatest ever presidential inaugural speeches.” Acosta began with his “speech of his lifetime...one for the ages” line,” and played a clip from Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic convention. He echoed Roberts’s earlier lines by stating how “the stage is being set for an address that’s destined for the history books.”
The Obama-lovin' was in full bloom on Wednesday's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" when interim "Meet the Press" host Tom Brokaw actually said, "I don't remember this level of excitement for a new president since 1960 when Jack Kennedy was elected President of the United States."
Now, in fairness, as I was born in 1960, I don't know what kind of excitement existed for JFK after that November's election was concluded.
However, as Ronald Wilson Reagan beat Jimmy Carter by a far greater margin -- popular and electoral votes -- in 1980 than Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon twenty years prior, this comment by Brokaw seems to be the typical liberal media member's revisionist view of history (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 24:11, h/t TVNewser):
Expatica is an overseas publication for US expatriates in Europe with six country-customized editions. It betrays many of the biases that permeate mainstream US journalism. What follows is a prime example of that.
The publication's Germany version today has an article celebrating the 19th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that makes it appear as if it, well, y'know, sorta just serendipitously happened because a bunch of people protested for a while.
How disappointed was Chris Matthews with Barack Obama's debate performance tonight? How angry was Matthews at Obama for agreeing so much with John McCain? Enough that Matthews unleashed the ultimate Dem insult, saying Obama reminded him of . . . Richard Nixon.
Matthews first vented his frustration at Obama adviser Linda Douglass.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Linda, my friend, why did your candidate agree so much, openly and relentlessly, with his opponent tonight?
Douglas's answer was to the effect that this is how a bi-partisan Obama would operate as president. After criticizing Obama for mishandling the economic issues in the debate, Matthews turned to Andrea Mitchell, and levelled that supreme Dem slap.
See Bonus Video at foot: Mika Victimized by Retching Rover!
In polite liberal circles, Ralph Nader's suggestion that Barack Obama "wants to talk white" and avoid appearing like another Jesse Jackson is infra dig. Take, for example, Joan Walsh's reaction on yesterday's Hardball. Said the editor of Salon.com:
I don't think that racism is too strong a word for what he said.
Added NY Times columnist Bob Herbert:
It's a lousy, reprehensible comment.
But as uncomfortable as Nader's statement might make some people, could there be a kernel of truth to it? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. And even Prof. Michael Dyson—Obama fan and commentator on matters racial—seemed to acknowledge that "ghetto-speak" would hurt Barack, going so far as to imitate the kind of street accent that could damage the candidate's campaign.
Chris Matthews looked at Barack and Michelle last night, and saw Jack and Jacqueline. Opening this evening's Hardball, the host was almost overcome by emotion in describing the scene of Obama's victory speech last night in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Here was Chris, discussing the matter with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Roger Simon of Politico, and Ed Gordon of BET.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's dwell for one moment at least on the man who won last night. I swear. I had no idea this would ever happen in America. I don't know if it will ever happen again. This is a trend, I don't know, this is an odd occurrence. But it was . . . spectacular.
. . .
Last night's magic moment for a lot of Americans. In fact, me included. I, that picture is right out of Camelot, as far as I'm concerned.
There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with. Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better…
On Thursday's The Situation Room on CNN, Time magazine's managing editor, Richard Stengel, suggested that the 1961 Bay of Pigs attempt to overthrow Cuban dictator Fidel Castro should not have been planned, as he assigned some of the blame for the fiasco to President Eisenhower for planning it in the first place. During a discussion of the importance of experience for a new President, Stengel contended: "John Kennedy, when he was first elected, very inexperienced President, got us into the Bay of Pigs. Terrible mistake. But who planned the Bay of Pigs? Dwight Eisenhower." (Transcript follows)