NBC’s Today devoted a full story Thursday morning to speculation that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush might run for President in 2016. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell vouched for Bush’s “conservative” credentials, then ran a snarky soundbite from Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent political strategist Mark McKinnon: “He said he wants to run joyfully, and in today’s Republican primaries, that’s pretty tough to do.”
Mitchell correctly noted how Bush is “at odds with his party’s base” because of he has “endorsed the Obama Administration’s Common Core education curriculum and he’s passionate about the human side of immigration reform.” But rather than citing a mainstream conservative who has criticized Bush, Mitchell instead employed a soundbite from gadfly businessman Donald Trump.
In her analysis of the vice presidential debate on the October 12 edition of Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski showed disdain for Paul Ryan and utter adulation for Joe Biden's performance. She was alone in her wildly pro-Joe assessment.
As far as she was concerned, Biden utterly thrashed Ryan, and the liberal MSNBC co-host loved every minute of it: [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
The media's ongoing contribution to the Obama reelection effort is fairly obvious: omit or downplay news stories and polling data that cast the Obama administration in a negative light while hyping trivial Romney gaffes or media-manufactured tempests-in-teapots in order to focus the election narrative on the Republican candidate's deficiencies - real or or imagined -- rather than the incumbent Democrat's record.
Mark McKinnon, a regular contributor to the liberal Daily Beast website, which owns Newsweek magazine, made a morbid gaffe as he commented on Texas Governor Rick Perry's stumble during the November 9 Republican presidential debate on CNBC. The New York Times on Wednesday quoted McKinnon labeling Perry's brain freeze as the "human equivalent of shuttle Challenger."
Times writers Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker cited the Democrat, who once served as an aide to former President George W. Bush, as an example of how "Republican operatives almost uniformly declared it [Perry's gaffe] as a sign of great trouble for his candidacy."
Vulgarity sure seems to be more and more commonplace on cable these days.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, CNN not only let an audible "bulls--t" go totally unedited, but host Howard Kurtz didn't even acknowledge that it had occurred (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh accused the No Labels crowd of being a bunch of "washed-up losers."
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took on Limbaugh's criticism saying he has "the luxury of never actually governing, never being a president, never being a senator, never being in Congress" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Last Word on MSNBC, Mark McKinnon - former media advisor to the Bush and McCain presidential campaigns who writes a column for the Daily Beast- blamed Sarah Palin for the Republican Party’s failure to recapture control of the Senate, charging that "she put up some candidates that really weren’t qualified." He continued: "They lost. We lost. The Republicans could have taken the Senate if not for Sarah Palin. And so her stock is falling and pretty rapidly now, I think."
He soon reiterated: "It wasn't strategic. It was impulsive and it cost the Republicans the leadership of the Senate."
After quipping that Palin is "getting closer to her sell-by date," McKinnon also mocked Palin as being unworthy of comparison to Republican hero Ronald Reagan. McKinnon: "You know, she's comparing herself to Ronald Reagan. And, you know, I didn't know Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was not a friend of mine, but I can guarantee you this, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. And she talked about his movie. She didn't even get the name of his movie right."
Chris Matthews Monday went on a twelve minute attack on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin that should make his fellow MSNBCers and the liberal blogosphere quite happy.
Here's how Monday's "Hardball" began:
Can a palm reader be president? What do we think of kids in school who write stuff on their hands to get through a test? What do we think of a would-be political leader who does it to look like she`s speaking without notes? What do we think of Sarah Palin this weekend answering pre-screened questions from a like-minded audience in Nashville, a tea party convention, and still having to put a cheat sheet on her palm to answer what she calls the basics of her beliefs? How can someone presume to be auditioning for president when they can`t even answer questions they know are coming?
And that was just the teaser! Readers are strongly cautioned to prepare themselves for a level of vitriol and invective normally only spewed on television by Matthews' colleague Keith Olbermann (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t The Right Scoop):
Chris Matthews just can't stop implying some sort of racist motives behind tea-partiers as on Tuesday's Hardball, the MSNBC host – in a segment about which candidate they would gravitate towards – asked his guests why the protestors were all "monochromatic," and to add insult to injury repeatedly called them "teabaggers." [audio available here]
The following exchanges were aired on the January 5 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: So who will lead the tea-baggers? Will it be Rick Perry down in Texas? Will it be Michele Bachman out in Minnesota? Will it be Sarah Palin? You first Mark [McKinnon] it's your idea. The tea-baggers are an interesting group to watch. They're not far right. They're probably center-right, in fact some centrists. But they're generally, I think, Republican voters. Right? Is that fair to say? They vote Republican?
It’s really strange when MSNBC personalities wish for more civility in the political process. Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan brought on pseudo-Republican consultant Mark McKinnon on Monday to discuss his attack on talk radio on the liberal Daily Beast website. McKinnon obliged (Audio available here):
I think the Chicago incident, I think it was bad political instincts and bad political judgment, but I was disappointed that it didn't come to America. I think it’s patriotic, that we should have supported that move. So I was very disappointed to see talk show hosts like Mark Levin coming out with just jaw-dropping hate language about the President, and, again, echoing what one your panelists said earlier about reveling in the President's failure. That is very disappointing to see on both sides.
In response, Levin told NewsBusters:
Mark McKinnon -- This guy has a very loose jaw and the political integrity of a Sham-Wow salesman. He first worked at the highest levels on the McCain campaign and then resigned because he couldn't bring himself to campaign against Obama. What a guy. That's why he's invited on MSNBC. McKinnon, Brooks, Frum, et al, do not debate substance. They trash conservatives and conservatism. But if McKinnon wants to hear hate language, I understand the president's chief of staff, former minister, Weather Underground bud -- and the list goes on and on -- might provide McKinnon with some real examples. Or maybe tune in Jon Stewart, who has the craziest things to say about conservatives with a little "f-bomb" thrown in about every other sentence.
When "Hardball," guest and former John McCain adviser Mark McKinnon suggested Barack Obama, in his first few days in office, is discovering what George W. Bush found out, that being President is "a hard job," Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's show, vehemently disagreed, saying Obama "doesn't look he's having a hard time...he's Fred Astaire out there...he still moves around with incredible alacrity."
The following exchange was aired during the February 11 edition of "Hardball":
MARK MCKINNON, FORMER JOHN MCCAIN ADVISER: But I'll tell ya he's discovering one thing that President Bush did early on and that, that's this is a hard job Chris. It's a really hard job.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah but he's not saying that.
KAREN FINNEY, DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He's saying, "It's the job. I know this is what I signed up for."
Let's have some fun deconstructing Frank Rich's NY Times column of today. The gist of The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama is that it will be nearly impossible for McCain to defeat Obama because the Arizona senator reflects the politics of an almost all-white GOP in the age of a changing America.
Rich begins by mocking the the "collection of sallow-faced old Beltway pols" who flanked McCain during his victory speech on the night of the Potomac Primaries. Adding insult to injury, Rich replays Letterman's line about the GOP presidential hopefuls looking like “guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club.”
In Tuesday’s Washington Post, reporter Howard Kurtz focused on how talk show hosts from Limbaugh to Laura (and ahem, Levin!), from Hannity to Hewitt, are opposing John McCain on air. One McCain adviser, a Democrat signed up by George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign, lectured Limbaugh on party loyalty:
Mark McKinnon, a top McCain adviser, called the criticism from Limbaugh and the other hosts "frustrating," saying: "Our question is, 'Isn't it better to get behind a Republican you may disagree with from time to time than work for an outcome that puts a Democrat in the White House with whom you will disagree all of the time?'
But in the latest edition of Newsweek, reporter Richard Wolffe reports that inside the McCain campaign, McKinnon was making pledges not to make any ads disparaging Barack Obama. And he’s lecturing Limbaugh? The article ends: