Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, Luke Russert suggested liberal calls for a hike in the minimum wage had created a "tough issue for Republicans" and that by opposing the idea, the GOP would "risk looking like Grinches over the holiday season." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson pushed back: "In a way, but remember, who was president last time a minimum wage increase was signed into law? It was President Bush. And the way they got their was by saying, 'You need to have some tax cuts for small businesses embedded in this law in order to get it through because there are going to be some businesses that if these cuts aren't included are gonna switch to not hiring these folks.'"
When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.
So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll produced a finding that must have delighted the entire NBC staff. The poll found that 53 percent of Americans blame congressional Republicans for the current government shutdown, while 31 percent blame President Obama. For the record, 13 percent said both were equally to blame. The pollsters did not allow respondents to blame Democrats in Congress.
This may have been one finding from a survey of only 800 adults in a nation of more than 300 million people, but MSNBC weekend anchor Alex Witt and her correspondents were so thrilled with the result that they repeated it nine times over three hours of Weekends with Alex Witt on Saturday. [See video below the break.]
MSNBC reporter Luke Russert on Thursday found the need to gratuitously connect the anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination with a possible GOP extension of the debt limit. Appearing on Now With Alex Wagner, Russert said of the John Boehner-supported move: "So the idea is the debt limit would be extended until November 22, which is, by the way, the 50th anniversary of the death of the President Kennedy, which is a whole other thing that would probably look bad optically. " [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the 50 years since JFK's murder, many things have happened on November 22, including congressional legislation. What point, exactly, was Russert trying to make by linking the murder of a president to the debate with a current commander in chief over the debt ceiling?
In back-to-back interviews with members on Congress on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, fill-in host Luke Russert desperately tried to sell Democrats and Republicans on the importance of supporting President Obama taking military action against Syria. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to Democratic Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly, Russert worried: "How much of this do you think, within your caucus, falls on this idea of, 'Okay, we're not necessarily comfortable with the idea of launching any missiles into Syria, but God help us, if we cut the President off here at the knees he becomes a lame duck quite early in his term and looks entirely weak. So we're going to kind of go along with him here in order to preserve his ability to govern on other major issues.' Is there an element of that here?"
The only thing more annoying than NBC's Luke Russert acting as a blatant advocacy reporter is when he pretends to be a political pundit and little Luke did both at a press conference this week when he broadcast his opinion in the form of a question to House Speaker John Boehner at a press conference this week. It wasn't only what he said but also how he posed his question which was done in a tone of studied condescension as you can see in this video and below the fold.
Although you might wish to spare yourself the annoyance of watching insufferable Luke and his partisan brand of journalism, I promise that if you stay with this story until the end you will receive a very enjoyable comedy treat inadvertently provided by the young Russert.
Call it Luke Russert's version of "bitter clingers" on steroids . . . In Russert's world, there are apparently two kinds of Republican congressmen. The "smart" ones—to be found on the Ways & Means Committee—and the others, whom he calls the "God, guns and guts people," presumably in reference to this book.
Russert made his statement on today's Morning Joe, responding to Joe Scarborough's question as to whether Republicans would overplay their hand over the current scandals. According to Russert, Republicans chose well in holding today's hearing of IRS officials before the Ways & Means Committee because that's where the GOP puts its stars: "it's not the God, guns and guts people on the Ways & Means Committee: it's the smart people." View the video after the jump.
Compared to other MSNBC personalities, Luke Russert is usually rather restrained when it comes to his biases. But on Wednesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, the son of the late Tim Russert could not hold back the condescension in his interview with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Perkins gave an eloquent defense of traditional marriage, but Russert wasn’t having any of it. In his mind, as in many liberal minds, opposition to same-sex marriage must surely stem from fear. So Russert prodded Perkins:
The scare tactics that Democrats from President Obama on down have employed to wring political benefit out of the sequester have apparently hit a despicable new low. In comments made about the deaths overnight of seven U.S. Marines in a training incident in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dem from Nevada, reportedly suggested that we may see more such incidents because the sequester cuts put Marines at risk.
NBC military correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, appearing on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, reported that the Marines have strongly rejected Reid's claim, and that one Marine official accused Reid of "pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines." View the video after the jump.
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert marveled at Code Pink's disruption of the National Rifle Association's press conference in a Friday post on Twitter: "That was probably the most effective code pink protestor I've ever seen."
ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday, "NBC News is an annex of the Democrat National Committee, and it is posing as a news network."
Perfectly illustrating the point Thursday was MSNBC's Luke Russert who while substitute-hosting the Daily Rundown told Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Oh.) after she sang the praises of President Obama and asked him to campaign for her in her state, "They watch this at the White House, God willing, so they’ll get the message loud and clear" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Update [12:52 ET]: Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele followed Bernard's lead in MSNBC's noon hour by claiming the Fast & Furious investigation was "not good" for the House GOP. Video below and audio here.
In an attempt to twist the Obama administration's Fast & Furious gun running scandal into bad news for Republicans, on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC supposed Republican pundit Michelle Bernard proclaimed: "...when you think about just the damage that has been done over the last year to the GOP's brand, this is just another – adds more fuel to the fire." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bernard was referring to the possibility of Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress for not providing documents about the failed policy to lawmakers. Instead of questioning the White House, Bernard continued to rant: "...this is just another thing that I think gives the Obama administration and the Obama campaign a little bit more fuel to go to the American public and say, 'Why won't they just do their job? We don't elect members of the Congress to come in and beat up on the Attorney General and be obstructionists. Ask them to do their job and back off of Eric Holder.' It makes no sense."
Continuing to beat the drum of Mitt Romney's campaign not being transparent on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, fill-in host Luke Russert melodramatically asked: "Is this one of the most secretive presidential campaigns in history?" On Tuesday, regular host Chuck Todd predicted that Romney could be "the least transparent president in a generation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response to Russert, NBC News political editor Mark Murray lamented the inability of the media to throw Romney off message: "I would actually say that they've demonstrated incredible message discipline. They have talked about the things that they want to talk about. When you bring up other matters, whether it's Donald Trump, whether it's Syria, whether it's this transparency in campaign...[the campaign says] those issues aren't – don't matter. What voters really care about is the economy."
Simpson-Bowles would have: raised taxes by $1.2 trillion--bumping to 21% the tax share of GDP from the typical 18%; relied largely on defense cuts to reduce spending; retained all $2.5 trillion in ObamaCare spending and done nothing to reform Medicare and Medicaid. No wonder Luke Russert loved it.
Appearing on Chuck Todd's Daily Rundown on MSNBC today, NBC congressional correspondent Russert bemoaned Simpson-Bowles's overwhelming defeat in the House yesterday. According to Russert, the measly 38 votes the plan garnered is emblematic of what's wrong with Washington. Todd joined in the hand-wringing. View the video after the jump.
Filling in on the 11 a.m. hour of MSNBC Live coverage this morning, Luke Russert talked to Washington Post reporter Anita Kumar and Virginia Del. Charniele Herring (D) about Gov. Bob McDonnell's "abrupt switch" to oppose requiring "invasive" transvaginal ultrasounds prior to an abortion. McDonnell is backing a bill that would make transvaginal ultrasounds optional but abdominal ultrasounds mandatory.
At not point in the interview did either Russert or Kumar note that Planned Parenthood abortionists already perform ultrasounds before abortions. What's more, Russert prompted Herring to agree with him that requiring abdominal ultrasounds could in some way be a "sex crime" [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert today refused to parrot MSNBC host Martin Bashir's left-wing talking points about House Republicans and their proposal to boost the economy and spur job creation.
"This week, Eric Cantor will introduce a jobs bill of his own, so what exactly should we expect?" Bashir rhetorically asked viewers as he introduced his "Divided We Fall" segment, featuring MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert live via satellite from the U.S. Capitol.
"Luke, aside from trickle-down economics, is there anything in Mr. Cantor's proposal -- and you're not allowed to say 'cut taxes and remove regulations' -- now answer the question," Bashir demanded of Russert.
Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry, guest hosting on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, could hardly contain her mirth at the specter of an elected official actually praying for guidance while Congress struggles over the debt ceiling.
Here's Harris-Perry describing tea party Republicans facing the wrath of House Speaker John Boehner for not supporting his debt plan (video after page break) --
As news broke Thursday morning of Congressman Anthony Weiner's upcoming resignation, congressional correspondent Luke Russert appeared on NBC's Today and sympathetically declared: "...this is really a sad ending, a lot would say, to what was once a bright, promising political career."
Moments later, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Weiner's role in Democratic politics: "...he was serving as sort of the bombastic angry progressive, you know, trying to almost be the anti-Tea Party liberal in Congress taking on these folks. He'd become sort of a hero to the more progressive left, who were always upset that Democrats don't stand up for themselves. So here was the guy that had all this potential to become a huge political figure..."
ABC's GMA and NBC's Today on Wednesday both did due diligence on the Rep. Anthony Weiner brouhaha surrounding a lewd photo posted on his Twitter site. ABC's Jonathan Karl noted how Weiner didn't give "the most convincing press conference" in response to the controversy. NBC's Meredith Vieira highlighted how "people are wondering why he is being so defensive." But CBS's Early Show didn't even cover the story.
GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos led the 7 am Eastern hour with a teaser on the burgeoning scandal: "Underwear uproar: a powerful congressman at the center of controversy over a photo flap online. Did someone break into his Twitter account and send a lewd picture, or did he do it? Congressman Weiner's response this morning."
MSNBC's Luke Russert on Wednesday pressed Congressman Anthony Weiner with a very simple question: Is the picture of man in underwear that was sent out on the Representative's Twitter account his? Weiner responded, "You know, I can't say with certitude."
Russert began by wondering, "That's not a picture of you?" After a lengthy non-answer, he reasonably pointed out, "But, Congressman, you would remember if you were to take a photograph of yourself like that."
Conservatives thought CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft was typically soft and deferential toward Barack Obama on Sunday night, but his fellow liberal journalists are high-fiving him. On Twitter, NBC’s Luke Russert oozed: “Steve Kroft was a friend to the nation tonight. Clear concise questions that got us important answers.” That’s an interesting tweet from the son of Mr. Two-Minute Question. But it sounds to many that you're somehow patriotic and nonpartisan or a "friend to the nation" when you rally around Obama.
Over at the Poynter Institute’s website, Al Tompkins interviewed Kroft and praised his “laser-focused” questioning. He even praised him for avoiding political questions (like enhanced interrogation). Questions that sounded to Obama critics like pathetic whiffle-ball questions were hailed for their professionalism:
During MSNBC's live coverage immediately following Saturday's attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), correspondent Luke Russert theorized that the shooting was probably a violent reaction to the passage of ObamaCare, for which Giffords cast an affirmative vote.
"Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened," Russert warned during coverage of the shooting. "It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today."
Russert's comment came during the 3 p.m. EST hour of MSNBC News Live; the network was in ongoing live coverage of the event, which occurred around 10:15 a.m. local time, 12:15 p.m. EST.
MSNBC reporter Luke Russert on Tuesday lauded Democratic Senator Russ Feingold as a "fiscal conservative." During the same segment, he knocked Republican Sharron Angle for making "outlandish, absurd comments."
Russert asserted that Feingold is known for "independence during his Senate career, having a lot of moral victories" and for "being fiscally conservative." [MP3 audio here.]
The National Taxpayers Union disagrees, awarding the Wisconsin politician three Ds and two Fs over the last five years. The American Conservative Union gave Feingold a lifetime score of 12.
Amidst a war of words with the White House, character attacks from the Left, and a New York Times hit piece on his connections with lobbyists, House Minority Leader John Boehner has received positive media coverage – from MSNBC of all places. The network ran a portrait of Boehner's childhood on its 11 a.m. news hour, and again on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" at 1 p.m.
"The public hears a lot of the arguments against [Boehner] from the Left," remarked NBC correspondent Luke Russert on the 11 a.m. MSNBC news hour Monday. "They hear that he's a country club Republican, if you will, with extensive ties to lobbyists. But it's quite interesting. He's a man who comes from very humble beginnings, starting out in a big Catholic family in Reading, Ohio."
Russert narrated a piece on Boehner's upbringing in Ohio, as one of 12 children. He interviewed one each of Boehner's brothers and his sisters, as well as his high school football coach.
Imagine that it's 2006, and an elderly, long-serving conservative U.S. congressman from a deep-red congressional district is facing congressional hearings regarding charges of corruption and tax evasion. Also imagine that this congressman was caught on camera being exceedingly condescending and dismissive when asked about these charges by a young reporter.
The media drumbeat of indignation would be predictably nonstop and longtime liberal veterans of the print press corps would inveigh against the Republican legislator, calling for his resignation and warning that Republicans were headed for electoral defeat if they failed to clean house. This congressman would certainly not be depicted as a heroic but flawed figure who possesses redeeming qualities and tragically deviated from his high ideals.
Newsbusters reported earlier on the double standard of MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on reporters appearing at fundraisers. During the same news hour, Brewer simply couldn't understand the Republican position on extending the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, and jokingly wondered if the Republicans are even human.
"What I don't get is a lot of the people who are shouting about letting these tax cuts expire...are the same people who are shouting about the deficit, and how troubling it is that the national debt is skyrocketing," Brewer pouted. "And you can't have it both ways."
Russert then pretty much confirmed where the news anchor stands on the issue, noting that it's "an argument that a lot of Democrats are saying."
Reporting Thursday from Capitol Hill, MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert touted a likely win for Senate Democrats on the Financial Reform Bill, saying it would be a "huge victory."
"Obviously, [President Obama] ran on the slogan 'Change you can believe in,' with health care reform and financial regulatory reform," Russert commented, thus tying the passage of the financial reform bill with success of Obama's message of "change."