MSNBC’s new slogan may be “Lean Forward,” but the brazenly left-wing cable network does a lot of looking back – to the 1860s.
April 12, 2011, will mark the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in South Carolina – the beginning of the American Civil War. As Americans observe this milestone, they’ll hear a lot of words they only vaguely remember from U.S. History class – terms like “secession,” “states rights,” “nullification,” “contraband,” or “Dred Scott.”
Not MSNBC viewers. To them the language of the Civil War is remarkably familiar, since the network’s liberal hosts and guests never miss an opportunity to associate today’s conservative movement with the Confederacy, secession, slavery and racism.
Reading almost directly from Democrat talking points, the so-called "news" network MSNBC spent most of its prime time programming Friday claiming that if the federal government was shut down as a result of a budget impasse, it was because Republicans wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lawrence O'Donnell dutifully did his part in advancing this hysterical nonsense Friday, so much so that after reading a lengthy e-mail message from a poor friend of his that uses this organization's services, "The Last Word" host actually broke down in tears (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Kicking off the March 30 edition of "Last Word," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell unleashed a torrent of insults aimed at Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is the most stunningly ignorant member in the history of the Congress," bellowed O'Donnell. "That's right. Eric Cantor revealed today in a press conference that he does not know how a bill becomes a law. Seriously. He doesn't."
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday cherry-picked an "O'Reilly Factor" segment to drum up a feud between Fox News's top prime time host and the former Alaska governor.
Five sentences about Sarah Palin pulled from a six and a half minute segment ridiculing President Obama for not scheduling Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates as guests on last weekend's "Fox News Sunday" led "The Last Word" host to conclude that O'Reilly is now assuming a role in Republican politics "bullying the nuts off the stage to make room for viable candidates" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
In discussing the present "kinetic military action" in Libya, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Contessa Brewer both tried to shift scrutiny away from President Obama and toward Republicans Monday afternoon, hours before the President's address to the nation on Libya.
O'Donnell tried to pinpoint the hypocrisy of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for criticizing Obama's failure to obtain authorization from Congress for military action in Libya. The liberal MSNBC host referred back to a nonbinding Senate resolution passed unanimously on March 1, calling for the U.N. Security Council to implement a no-fly zone over Libya.
Since the resolution passed unanimously, O'Donnell believed McConnell to be a hypocrite for voting for a no-fly zone and then calling out President Obama for failing to seek authorization from Congress. The nonbinding resolution, though, was effectively an opinion from the Senate on the matter. The U.S. Congress never authorized President Obama to declare war or preside over military action in Libya.
Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday accused people that voted for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last November of being "shockingly ignorant," and said one of the reasons was because her district is 92 percent white.
This happened as "The Last Word" host went on an almost seven-minute rant about Bachmann's gaffe this weekend concerning Lexington and Concord being in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's certainly not surprising that the New York Times would publish a hit piece on Glenn Beck, but coming hours after CNN's Howard Kurtz spent almost ten minutes bashing the Fox News commentator makes me smell a rat.
Add to this the increased pressure Beck has come up against from MSNBC personalities since Keith Olbermann surprisingly left America's most liberal television news network in January, and one has to wonder what Times author David Carr had in mind with his Monday piece "The Fading Power of Beck’s Alarms":
Four of MSNBC's extended prime time hosts on Tuesday cherry-picked something Mike Huckabee said on Steve Malzberg's radio show in order to depict the possible Republican presidential candidate as a birther.
Before getting to their highly unprofessional snippets, implications, and conclusions, here's what the former Arkansas governor actually said Monday (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
On Friday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell seemed to channel his predecessor, Keith Olbermann, as he ridiculously suggested racism in an RNC ad which accused President Obama of being beholden to organized labor, a charge often made against Democrats for many years in the past.
But, as he began an interview with guest Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor of Michigan, O’Donnell wondered, "does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?"
Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday made a prediction that most who hadn't heard of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker until a week ago might find astonishing.
On MSNBC's "The Last Word," the host told his perilously liberal guest Ezra Klein that if Walker's budget repair plan goes through, "He would instantaneously become the greatest hero in the Republican Party nationwide, I think would go to the top of Republicans' lists for possible presidential nominees in the upcoming election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative author Ann Coulter returned to MSNBC Thursday to spar with admittedly socialist commentator Lawrence O'Donnell.
At the end of a highly-entertaining segment dealing with Coulter's previously expressed support for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ann marvelously told her host after he besmirched Fox News's Sean Hannity, "He knows more than you - you’re a Democrat" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
"The Civil War still divides Americans, especially at a time when some in the Tea Party movement talk of states' rights and secession; when many states are rebelling against federal initiatives such as the health care overhaul; and when America's changing demographics make some nostalgic for a society in which white Christians were more dominant."
That's how USA Today's Rick Hampson went out of his way to smear conservatives in his February 17 story -- "Across the South, the Civil War is an enduring conflict" -- devoted to examining how commemoration and/or celebration of the Confederacy during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in the South is a divisive political issue.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell was disgusted by "many intemperate" comments made about the news that CBS's Lara Logan had been brutally and apparently sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian celebration that followed President Hosni Mubarak's resignation last Friday.
Not at all surprising, the only one he bothered to read on Wednesday's "The Last Word" was written by a conservative (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Crazy Larry" O'Donnell is at it again. On "Morning Joe" Wednesday, the MSNBC host questioned the entire debate over which government spending programs to slash, asking why the president and Congress are even considering cutting spending in the first place. "I think we've lost a first principle here," he remarked of the situation.
What is this "first principle" O'Donnell speaks of? "Why are we cutting spending in a recession?" he asked. "The recession has not included a jobs recovery yet. I don't think it makes any sense for the government to be downsizing while we don't yet have the jobs recovery." So apparently O'Donnell thinks that in the midst of a recession (which technically ended in June of 2009, although the recovery has been jobless) we cannot afford to cut spending programs, even those outside of Social Security and Medicare.
And at least O'Donnell admitted of no job recovery. As the MRC's Iris Somberg reported today, the major networks largely failed in the last two years to report President Obama's failed promise that the Stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Unemployment reached as high as 10.2 percent in the two years and still exceeds 8 percent.
With his total number of viewers having declined by 45 percent since his premiere in the 8PM time slot, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell appears to be taking a page from his predecessor Keith Olbermann's handbook.
On Monday's "The Last Word," the host did two segments about Fox News, the first included insults about Irish guys and Bill O'Reilly's "gullible" audience that ended with a school yard challenge to cable news's most-watched personality (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday expressed concern that someone like conservative author Ann Coulter has the "freedom" to make a joke about jailing journalists.
This was amazing expressed moments before "The Last Word" host applauded the free flow of information that enticed and united protesters to rebel in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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:
On the February 8 edition of MSNBC's "Last Word," left-wing comedian Bill Maher disparaged Bill O'Reilly as "unpatriotic" for the way in which the veteran Fox News anchor conducted his interview with President Barack Obama on Super Bowl Sunday.
"And Bill O'Reilly, who claims he's such a patriot, how unpatriotic in my view to treat a president that way," railed Maher. "How does that look to other countries when you're interrupting and belittling? I just find it astounding."
The geniuses at MSNBC actually misspelled Bill O'Reilly's last name during a lengthy opening segment Monday bashing the Fox News star's interview with President Obama the previous day.
For the first minute and a half of the ten and a half minute "Last Word" piece, the graphic on a television screen behind and to the right of host Lawrence O'Donnell read "Interruptus O'Reilyus" (video follows with commentary):
In the wake of Monday's ruling by a Florida judge to toss out ObamaCare as a result of the individual mandate, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked liberal constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley Tuesday if the Democrats made a mistake not writing a severability clause into the law.
Turley surprisingly answered, "It was a colossal mistake" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Howard Kurtz on Sunday pointed out a delicious irony involving MSNBC and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
After complaining about CNN's decision to air the Congresswoman's response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, MSNBC spent the next several days giving far more attention to her than to the official GOP respondent (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Today show never covered Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen comparing Republicans to Nazis, but on Friday co-anchor Meredith Vieira determined Sarah Palin's mocking of Barack Obama's Winning the Future slogan as the precise moment when the new era of "civility" in Washington, came to an end. After Vieira opened this morning's show announcing: "End of civility? Sarah Palin takes a shot at President Obama's call for winning the future...is the new tone of togetherness in Washington already over?" she brought on MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to chastise Palin and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
"[Palin] really struggles with that sounding presidential thing. It's a real challenge for her. And you know, look it's, it's as weird as it gets. But really if you are looking for a lack of civility or the argumentative stuff...this week you really have to go to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. No one else is doing it."
In a segment entitled "Remember Civility? Why Are Palin & GOP Stepping Up Criticism?" O'Donnell and Vieira took turns bashing the former Alaska Governor and Minnesota Congresswoman as seen in the follow January 28 exchange:
Prior to calls for civility and what turned out to be a disastrous "date night" for the Democrats, Barack Obama was nicely set up to catapult himself into a fabulous 2011 approaching next year's reelection campaign with an enviable head of steam.
Having been all but considered dead - am I allowed to say that post-Tucson? - after his shellacking at the polls in November, the President eked out win after win in the lame duck session, and did a very admirable job with his memorial speech.
Even conservatives like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer were singing his praises.
The nation was also getting a proverbial thrill back up its collective leg according to polls making the coincidence of all these stars aligning so perfectly right before the State of the Union address almost Capraesque.
The folks at MSNBC - and new owners Comcast for that matter - must have been jumping for joy when they saw the Neilsen ratings for their first official night without Keith Olbermann.
As the New York Times reported Tuesday, "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" premiere in "Countdown's" regular 8PM time slot attracted almost 50 percent more viewers than Olbermann has averaged recently:
It was to be expected that MSNBC commentators would publicly wish Keith Olbermann well after his surprise exit last Friday.
But the nonsense that spewed out of Lawrence O'Donnell's mouth Monday evening - "He invented op-ed TV...For eight years...No one in television history has ever done anything like it" - was so sycophantic and factually bereft it was almost sick-making (video follows with transcript and commentary):