Keith Olbermann was infamous for his in-house feuds during his MSNBC tenure. But Keith's clearing-off has manifestly failed to transform the network into a land of milk and honey. Witness the nasty little spat on today's Morning Joe between Joe Scarborough and Martin Bashir, host of an MSNBC afternoon show.
At hand was the hacking scandal, and in particular Piers Morgan's possible involvement. Scarborough referenced a Morgan statement indicating that at the time he was editor of a British newspaper, he was aware of a phone-hacking technique. Joe asked Bashir if he was surprised that more hadn't been made of it. Bashir condescendingly responded that he wasn't surprised since, "if you read it carefully, Joe" the statement contained no admission by Morgan of having used the technique. For more on the matter, including the suggestion that Morgan's paper in fact used the hacking technique to break a sex scoop, click here.
That set Scarborough off and the two continued to exchange barbs till the end of the segment.
It has been widely reported that President Barack Obama walked out of Wednesday night's debt limit meeting, but MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Thursday was in complete denial that the Democratic president, who's merely "exasperated by Republicans playing this dangerous game," would conduct himself in such a way.
During his daily "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir offered mounds of incredulity but not a shred of evidence to contradict numerous reports of Obama abruptly and prematurely terminating the meeting:
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that...The president losing his temper, abruptly, and rudely cutting short the conversation? Running from a room inside the White House? Does that sound the like president that we've gotten to know during the last two and a half years? Or is that the kind of behavior we've now come to expect from Eric Cantor over the last few weeks?
Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC host Martin Bashir shared his thoughts on the tabloid phone hacking scandal in Britain and proclaimed that News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch was "...a combination of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist, and someone like James 'Whitey' Bulger, the mobster." [Audio available here]
Despite Bashir's outrageous comparison – Abramoff was convicted on corruption charges and Bulger is accused of 19 murders during his time as the head of the Irish mob in Boston – co-host Matt Lauer offered no objection to the claim.
Appearing on Martin Bashir's eponymous 3 p.m. program, conservative columnist S.E. Cupp took the MSNBC anchor to task for his and his network's most recent attacks on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) regarding her husband's views on homosexual orientation being a choice that one can change through therapy, not a deterministically-imposed genetic trait.
When Cupp agreed that it was "valid to call it junk science" that one's sexuality can be changed by counseling and therapy, Bashir seized on Cupp's statement to insist that Michele Bachmann was held captive by junk science, thus calling into question her judgment.
Cupp protested that Michele Bachmann herself may not share her husband's views and that the media's fixation on the matter is part and parcel of an attack on religious Americans:
MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who once argued Sarah Palin's bus tour was in "breach of federal law," attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, wondering if the 69-year-old Republican is "suffering some kind of mild dementia or long-term memory loss?"
Excoriating McConnell for rejecting tax increases as part of a potential budget deal, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor regurgitated a litany of liberal talking points about the Bush years on his eponymous program:
With apologies to King Solomon, as a dog returns to its vomit, so a biased MSNBC anchor repeats his tired talking points. [video follows page break]
On the June 14 edition of his eponymous program, conservative New York Daily News columnist S.E. Cupp hit Martin Bashir for marveling at Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) June 13 debate performance, given her history of gaffes.
At the time, Cupp reminded Bashir of President Obama's "corpseman" gaffe and two of Vice President Biden's gaffes. Today, Bashir had Cupp back on to discuss the 2012 Republican presidential primary race and again raised the issue of Bachmann's gaffes. Once again, Cupp defended Bachmann by noting that all politicians make gaffes on the campaign trail.
In a segment today with Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus, MSNBC's Martin Bashir did his level best to trash the 2012 GOP presidential field, mocking Tim Pawlenty as a "coward," Mitt Romney as an "insensitive" rich guy, and Michele Bachmann as gaffe-prone.
What's more, when Jacobus sought to turn her appearance into an opportunity to remind viewers of Obama's ownership of the economy and on his recent "shovel-ready" jobs joke, Bashir bristled at her attempt to further her talking points on his Obama-boosting program:
On his June 15 program, MSNBC's Martin Bashir misled viewers with claims that GOP presidential candidates, including and especially Newt Gingrich, were dead set on "grounding NASA." Yet not once did Bashir remind viewers it was President Obama who has been criticized by Apollo program veterans for ditching the agency's project to send missions back to the moon.
"Coming up, Newt Gingrich likes Tiffany diamonds but not manned space flight," Bashir teased viewers before a commercial break at 3:10 p.m. Eastern. "Why do he and the other GOP candidates want to ground NASA?" he added.
The June 13 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables has now been posted over at www.MRC.org, showcasing the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media over the past two weeks. This edition features: CNN’s Piers Morgan snootily slamming the Tea Party as “not the brightest” and perhaps similar to the mobs Hitler and Mussolini employed in the 1930s; MSNBC’s Martin Bashir seriously arguing that Sarah Palin is a criminal because of the American flag painted on the side of her tour bus; and news reporters fretting over Weinergate, worried that President Obama might lose a “very important" left-wing critic now that a “rising star” of the Left has become tainted by scandal.
The entire package (including four videos) is posted at www.MRC.org (click here for the nicely-formatted three-page PDF); here are some of the highlights:
Martin Bashir tossed softballs at Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards on his eponymous MSNBC program on Monday, letting his guest spout her talking points in defense of her abortion-providing organization. Bashir even went so far to use a phrase in vogue with the pro-abortion left in one of his questions: "Do you think this is, in effect, a war on women?"
As NewsBusters reported first, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir insisted on his May 31 program that Sarah Palin's Northeast bus tour amounted to a "breach in federal law."
After a number of sites linked to the original NewsBusters piece, Bashir responded today to the "abusive messages" he's allegedly endured in the fallout of his controversial remarks, although he avoided addressing his bizarre claim that the former Alaska governor violated federal law by flying the American flag on her tour bus. [Video embedded after the page break.]
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on May 31 insisted that Sarah Palin's bus tour amounts to a "breach of a federal law."
Anchoring his eponymous program, Bashir scolded, "In fact, the whole thing could be in breach of a federal law because the United States Flag Code establishes important rules for the use and display of the stars and stripes, the flag of the United States."
An eager Martin Bashir on Tuesday parroted vicious claims by a former Sarah Palin staffer and repeated attacks questioning the sincerity of the ex-governor's Christian faith. The MSNBC host offered almost no skepticism or tough questions. Instead, he chided, "Love thy neighbor? Not in Sarah Palin's playbook. Her former aide tells all."
In a tease for the segment, Bashir intoned, "Vindictive attacks, conspiracy, paranoia, and a single-minded ambition." (No, this wasn't a reference to Keith Olbermann, the volatile ex-anchor of MSNBC.)
The daytime host's guest Frank Bailey, the author of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, appeared and received almost total support for the idea that the former vice presidential nominee is a faux Christian. Bahir derided, "Sarah Palin has repeatedly traded, as you know, on her Christian faith...What did you think of her desire for vengeance and that desire to be vindictive?"
The day after Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy for president, MSNBC's Martin Bashir took the opportunity to rail against the Republican contender for criticizing former President Bill Clinton's adulterous behavior while he was engaging in sexual transgressions of his own.
On his eponymous program today, Bashir admonished the former House speaker's "hypocrisy" but failed to mention even once that the Democratic president didn't just cheat on his wife, but committed perjury to cover up the affair.
For the second time in less than 24 hours I find myself wondering how an American television "news" network could have assembled such a collection of ignoramuses.
After MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Monday evening claimed the Founding Fathers would have understood the need to raise the debt ceiling in order to protect the country's credit rating, Martin Bashir on Tuesday actually asked former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo if he would have preferred President Obama's death over Osama bin Laden's (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Martin Bashir has dared go where even most congressional Dems won't: praising Britain's National Health Service and by implication the socialization of medicine it represents.
On today's Morning Joe, Bashir said the National Health Service is "a wonderful idea." For good measure, the British-born Bashir, who hosts a regular afternoon slot in the MSNBC line-up, also vastly overstated the percentage of the British workforce employed by the government. He claimed that "over 40%" in the UK are "in the public workforce." In fact, as per this official-seeming website, the actual percentage as of last month was about half that, in the range of 20-22% [6 million public-sector workers out of a total workforce of 29 million].
Following Martin Bashir's absolutely pathetic interview with Andrew Breitbart Wednesday, the conservative publisher has proposed a $10,000 bet with the perilously liberal MSNBC host.
"I’m willing to take a lie detector test next to him on anything," Breitbart told WOR radio's Steve Malzberg Thursday, "if he’s willing to take a lie detector test next to me talking about whether he read my book" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Martin Bashir did an extremely contentious interview with Andrew Breitbart Wednesday wherein it was clear from the get-go the goal was to paint the conservative publisher and the Tea Party he's affiliated with as racist.
This became obvious to Breitbart after Bashir asked his opinion of a truly offensive picture of Barack Obama leading Breitbart to fire back, "You're trying to insinuate that I'm a racist here, which is what MSNBC does to conservatives every single day" (video follows with commentary and full transcript at end of post):
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) demanded an answer to a question today that the MRC has been asking for years: why do so many journalists refuse to ask President Barack Obama tough questions?
On the April 15 edition of MSNBC's "Martin Bashir," Walsh pressed the anchor after which the program is named on why he and his colleagues are such Obama sycophants, pointing to the media's unwillingness to criticize the Democratic president for ignoring entitlement reform in his initial budget blueprint.
On his 3PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Wednesday, host Martin Bashir enthusiastically reacted to President Obama's budget speech: "'We will invest in the future of America,' that's what President Obama just said in a much-anticipated speech on the budget....He offered a series of broad proposals and said it's time for the wealthiest Americans to pay their way and share in taxes."
Moments later, White House correspondent Mike Viqueira joined Bashir and proclaimed: "..the President's speech was part soaring, speaking to the aspirations and character of a nation, if you will." Bashir observed: "Mike, I don't want to sound as if I'm misrepresenting the President, but it appeared to me that he was suggesting that we can't be self-centered as far as fiscal policy is concerned. We can't simply slash programs everywhere without somehow expecting the wealthiest in society to contribute. Is that your impression?"
On his eponymous program today, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir interviewed a liberal environmental activist aiming to scare viewers into believing that nuclear energy poses an imminent threat to the safety of the United States.
Bashir allowed a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, a left-wing environmental group, to declare nuclear facilities in California dangerous and unsafe, but neglected to report that the nuclear industry claims it has protocols in place to ensure safety.
"The fact of the matter is that what's happening in Japan could certainly have happened here," predicted David Moglan, director of the Climate and Energy Project for Friends of the Earth.
Less than two weeks into his new gig anchoring the 3 p.m. Eastern hour at MSNBC, Martin Bashir has already called the Tea Party "disingenuous," hailed Obama's response to the crisis in Libya, and supported raising taxes on the rich.
This afternoon Bashir added another item to that liberal laundry list.
While President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on education reform in Boston, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor seized on the opportunity to advance the fallacious narrative that Republican governors across the country are trying to vilify public school teachers.
Professional Obama fan Chris Matthews appeared on Friday's edition of the Martin Bashir show to slam the President's critics and to swoon, "Everything he's done has been good for this country."
Matthews went on an extended rant against those who oppose Obama, theorizing, "...They go back to the old nativist root, this old dark night of the soul thing that people worry about, a black man in a White House. And they start working on that. 'Oh, he's a Mau Mau. He goes back to a Muslim background.'"
Indirectly referring to columnists such as Dinesh D'Souza, who have highlighted political beliefs of Obama's father and grandfather, Matthews attacked, "It's using race. It's using the paranoid fear of whites of black males against this President whose life has been spotless, has been the American dream."