Whatever the question, politicians have a way of working their issue of the day into the answer. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) took that tendency to new heights today.
Asked on Morning Joe to explain the disproportionate amount of terrorism against the United States that emanates from the Islamic world, Ellison, the first Muslim Member of Congress, asserted that it is the struggle for democracy, not the Islamic faith, that motivates the terrorism. In a giant leap, Ellison then compared people in Islamic countries "who don't want to yield power to the vast majority" . . . to the struggle in the United States over "income inequality." View the video after the jump.
Being a leftist of the Obama ilk, you have to assume that Congressman Keith Ellison thought he was doing President Obama a favor in offering his interpretation of the president's "if you like your plan, you can keep it" line, as well as his subsequent non-apology apology.
But on today's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Ellison wound up putting words in the president's mouth that quite literally added insult to injury. Ellison first falsely claimed that Pres. Obama had said "if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it." Obama of course never said any such thing. Moreover, according to Ellison, by his apology Obama meant "if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I'm sorry." So the fault lies not with Obama for having blatantly misled the American people. No, it's those ignorant Americans—too dense to dig the real meaning of the great man's words—who are to blame. View the video after the jump.
Ed Schultz blasted Republicans on the June 15 edition of his eponymous Ed Show program for “sticking it” to “American families who desperately need” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. In an interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) later in the program, Schultz griped that there’s “no fat in food stamps, as I see it.”
Well, apparently good ol’ Ed can’t stay on message for more than one week, as the bombastic MSNBC host berated Republicans again for cuts to SNAP on Saturday – but this time because dining with food you can buy from SNAP assistance contains “everything that makes America fat.” Schultz’s tirade, which I debunk later, came in response to a Republican congressional staffer’s success with the SNAP Challenge, a movement by the Food and Research Action Center that challenges Americans to live on a $4.50 per day food budget for one week.
NBC’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd had some tough words for President Obama on Monday’s Morning Joe. Todd, anchor of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown and a frequent critic of Republicans on network’s programming, scolded the president for running a “leaderless Washington,” and for failing to “rally the world” to a “solution in Syria.”
Todd’s critique was in reference to a Saturday op-ed in the New York Times, in which conservative columnist Ross Douthat berated the Obama administration for promoting policies of little importance to most Americans – in lieu of an aggressive jobs agenda.
As NewsBusters reported, Fox News host Sean Hannity was rudely treated by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) Tuesday.
Rather shockingly, the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn, in a video posting at the website Daily Download, said Wednesday that Hannity was "in the right" and that it was indeed Ellison that behaved poorly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) had an amazingly heated discussion with Fox News's Sean Hannity Tuesday evening.
At the beginning of the six-minute slugfest, Ellison called his host "the worst excuse for a journalist I've ever seen" leading to a truly ugly encounter that culminated in Hannity ending the interview by saying to his guest, "You are a total waste of time" (video follows with rough transcript and commentary):
NPR's afternoon talk show Tell Me More promoted the left-wing Take Back the American Dream conference on Tuesday by granting an almost ten-minute interview to ultraliberal Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Conference, who blurted out "Koch brothers" every two minutes.
"This week, progressive activists are meeting in Washington, D.C. with the goal of answering what they see as the corrupting influence of money with the power of numbers," Martin announced. "Organizers of the Take Back the American Dream conference are hoping to energize the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party ahead of the 2012 election." Martin asked Eliison why they are faced with the mystery that this is a close election, as if Obama should be far ahead at this point despite the very sluggish economy:
On Thursday, December 1, several left-wing radio talkers viciously attacked Newt Gingrich, the GOP front-runner. There is a special toxicity level they reach when talking of the former House speaker.
Take Randi Rhodes, who mocked his appearance: "He always looks like a corpse that was pulled out of a lake! Every time I watch CSI and they pull somebody out of the lake, I think, hey, is that Newt? No, it's this week's murder victim. He's bloated and a massive mutiliated middle aged flesh curtain hanging!" Then take Mike Malloy, who compared Newt to an ax murderer and railed against his bad breath:
"Grab a blanket, kids. Congress wants to cut your home-heating benefits," MSNBC's Martin Bashir teased viewers of his October 4 program as he went out to a commercial break with Dean Martin's "Baby It's Cold Outside" playing in the background.
Upon his return from break, Bashir tag-teamed with Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to bash Republicans are heartless bastards who want children to shiver through the coming winter (video follows page break; emphasis mine):
Over the course of the last few months, Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has been cherry-picking the Pledge of Allegiance in an attempt to portray prominent Republicans as bigoted islamophobes.
Earlier this year, Ellison responded to the Peter King hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims by saying that conservatives believe in liberty, but are against the “and justice for all.” In an appearance on MSNBC two weeks ago, he advised Herman Cain to “review that Pledge of Allegiance”, particularly the part proclaiming “liberty and justice for all.” And more recently, Ellison gave an interview to C-SPAN, in which he ran off a list of supposed differences between himself and Michele Bachmann. That list included a declaration that he, and apparently only he, “believe(s) in liberty and justice for all.”
One line however, does not an entire pledge make.
We know why Ellison is invoking this specific phrase from the pledge – liberty and justice for all. It is an attempt to push the progressive agenda of placating radical Muslims. But it is also important to counter such slander, by examining the motivations behind those that Ellison hopes to marginalize as islamophobic.
With Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) holding a hearing on the radicalization of Muslim inmates in U.S. prisons, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning set out to discredit the premise of the proceedings by interviewing Minnesota Democrat and practicing Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, Roberts reminded viewers of MSNBC's 11 a.m. Eastern hour of live news coverage, provided tearful testimony at a hearing in March on Islamic radicalization.
Roberts began his interview by practically holding Ellison forth as an expert when it comes to the data regarding prisoner radicalization (emphasis mine):
After Bill Maher called the Koran "a hate-filled book" on HBO's "Real Time" Friday, NewsBusters asked if he would be attacked by the media for doing so.
With no outrage having ensued, the folks at Fox News on Monday questioned why Maher's comments went ignored by the Muslim defenders in the press, with Juan Williams telling Bill O'Reilly that if he had said anything like that, "They would have tied you to the pillar and be whipping you and stoning you" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting for over a week, America's media have been widely attacking House Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) for conducting hearings about the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorists.
On Friday's "Real Time," host Bill Maher, in an interview with Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), called the Koran a "hate-filled book" while claiming "the threat potentially from radicalized Muslims is a unique and greater threat" than from "right-wing militias and Timothy McVeigh types" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday in its 7 a.m. Eastern hour, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" headlined Thursday's congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims – but only played clips of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim-American who represents only one side of the issue. The show then interviewed him for nine minutes, a lengthy interview for one person on the morning show.
While Ellison received some tough questions, no clips were played of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is chairing the hearings, nor of Melvin Bledsoe or of Abdirizak Bihi, witnesses who testified about loved ones who were radicalized by Islamic extremists. Bihi's nephew joined a Somali Islamic militia while Bledsoe's son allegedly shot up an armed forces recruiting center in Arkansas.
Later on in the 8 a.m. Eastern hour of the show, "Morning Joe" hosted liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to discuss the hearings. Robinson dismissed King's hearings in his March 11 column entitled "A Modern-Day Witch Hunt."
Two men testified yesterday before a U.S. House of Representatives panel about how their loved ones were radicalized by Islamist extremists and how local mosque leaders did nothing to help alert U.S. authorities of the potential danger.
Yet accounts of their testimony were buried in the Washington Post's front page March 11 story about the Homeland Security Committee's March 10 hearings formally entitled an inquiry into "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."
On Thursday’s Last Word show on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell trashed conservatives for raising concerns about the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt as the MSNBC host claimed that, "The Muslim Brotherhood is the latest excuse for the right wing to whip up anti-Islamic hysteria, including the old standby that President Obama is secretly a Muslim." Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who appeared as a guest for the segment, even referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a "scarecrow," and dismissed concerns about whether a new government might adhere to the peace treaty with Israel as the Democratic Congressman asserted that, "You haven’t seen one Israeli flag. You haven’t seen one."
But, while the overwhelming majority of Egyptian demonstrators may be motivated by a desire for better economic conditions and more freedom, it would be incorrect to claim that there is a complete absence of anti-Israel sentiment. On Sunday, January 30, the NBC Nightly News showed an image of one sign held by a protester that tied then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Israel by placing the Jewish Star of David over his face. And, on Saturday, January 29, ABC's World News Saturday showed a second sign with a similar image of Mubarak with a smaller Star of David on his forehead, as if to attack the Egyptian leader as being too friendly to Israel and Jews.
On the Friday, January 28, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel even recounted concerns by some Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood would "hijack" the anti-government movement to take power:
In an interview with Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison on Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith implied a link between Ground Zero mosque opposition and a pastor's plan to burn the Koran: "...a line that can be drawn from the...anti-Muslim sentiment that seems to be growing in this country and seems to be festering in the Islamic cultural center....Do you see a line that connects here?"
Ellison, the only Muslim member of Congress, defended the planned mosque: "...in my view, the cultural center in lower Manhattan, the purpose of it wasn't to offend or insult anyone. The purpose was to try to build bridges of understanding...there's no doubt that the people who pull this project together were not intending to insult anyone." The Congressman then agreed with Smith's characterization of the opposition: "...there does seem to be a certain wave of anti-Islamic sentiment."
Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Monday highlighted the worry that the proposed Ground Zero mosque could bring a "rising tide of Islamophobia in the country, with increasingly venomous fights over proposed new mosques in places like California, Wisconsin and Tennessee." [MP3 audio here.]
He repeated the argument of the mosque's proponents, saying, "Defenders point out that also close to Ground Zero are two strip clubs, an adult/lingerie store and an off-track betting parlor."
"It is time for the United States to stop treating every American Muslim as somehow suspect, leaders of the faith said at their largest annual convention, which ended here on Monday….The image problems were among the topics most discussed by many of the 30,000 attendees. A fresh example cited was an open letter from two Republican House members, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to the convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of 'radical jihadists.'"
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN host Wolf Blitzer, while interviewing Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison about his recent trip to Iraq, asked the Congressman about his recent controversial remarks comparing President Bush to Hitler, words that could be interpreted as a suggestion that Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks, and comments that have received little media coverage. Blitzer gave Ellison the chance to "explain exactly what you did mean," and asked if the Congressman agreed that the "comparison of Bush and Hitler" was "inappropriate." (Transcript follows)