One week after MSNBC.com staff writer Zachary Roth hinted that Ferguson, Missouri's April municipal elections are racially discriminatory, MSNBC host Joy Reid took that argument out for a spin on the Thursday, August 21 edition of her eponymous Reid Report program with guests MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor and Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D). Oddly enough, Ms. Reid laid some blame on the "city's strange politics" resulting from the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as that generally left-leaning movement created the sort of non-partisan, off-year municipal elections that the St. Louis suburb uses. [LISTEN to MP3 audio clip here; video update forthcoming]
For her part, guest Goldie Taylor churned out the usual MSNBC talking points about voter ID laws and "voter suppression", etc., even though moments earlier Reid pointed out that African-American voter turnout in 2012 in Ferguson had been 54 percent, which suggests that lack of interest in municipal politics -- as compared to presidential politics -- was chiefly to blame for the paltry 6 percent African-American voter turnout in the 2013 city elections in Ferguson. What's more, contrary to Taylor's suggestion, the Show-Me State does NOT require voters to show a photo ID. It's categorized by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures as a "ID requested; photo not required" state. Here's what is required as far as identification goes, according to the Missouric Secretary of State's website:
Ten days after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, black filmmaker Spike Lee added his voice to the tumult over the incident. During Tuesday night's edition of Anderson Cooper 360, he told the CNN anchor: “Something smells bad in Ferguson, and it’s not just tear gas.”
“I do not think you should be killed in this country because allegedly you steal some cigarillos. I don’t think you should be killed in this country if there is marijuana in your system,” Lee told Cooper while referring to Brown. “The people -- not only in Ferguson, but all over this country -- do not trust what is happening. I just think there's a war on the black male, and it’s tearing this country apart." [See video below.]
It's important to remember that, in police shooting cases like the one in Ferguson, Missouri, the initial facts are often wrong. You don't want to end up looking like Rich Lowry, National Review editor, whose March 23, 2012, column on the Trayvon Martin shooting was titled, "Al Sharpton Is Right."
Early accounts are especially unreliable when reporters think they have a white racism story. Stirring up racial hatred is how journalists make up for sending their own kids to lily-white private schools.
"Asian-Americans own a number of the stores lining West Florissant Avenue, where more than 20 businesses have suffered damage in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing," Mak noted, adding that "At least five of these stores are Asian-American-owned, according to local sources and business records. Just 0.5 percent of Ferguson is of Asian descent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data." While he made clear that local Asian-American business owners "don’t think looters targeted them because of their race" that it's undisputable that they have suffered store damage and economic loss because of the looting and violence:
On Tuesday, August 19, Governor Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) called for the “vigorous prosecution” of Darren Wilson, the Missouri police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown last week.
Despite the highly charged rhetoric by the state’s Democratic governor, NBC’s Today was the only network morning show to acknowledge Nixon’s comments, giving it a mere 41 seconds on its Wednesday morning broadcast. ABC and CBS’s morning shows ignored the governor’s contentious comments. All three networks failed to cover Governor Nixon’s comments on their Tuesday evening newscasts. [See video below.]
The late media critic Edwin Diamond once notably quipped that to the American news media, “10,000 deaths in Nepal equals 100 deaths in Wales equals 10 deaths in West Virginia equals one death next door.”
When it comes to race relations, a similar rule applies. Four hundred thousand civilians have been murdered in Darfur, but one death of a black man in Missouri allegedly due to white police brutality is infinitely more newsworthy. The national media are currently obsessed with Michael Brown’s killing by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, just as they obsessed over Trayvon Martin’s killing in Sanford, Florida.
Ever since police in Ferguson, Mo., released surveillance footage that appears to show Michael Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store minutes before he was shot to death after a confrontation with a local cop, we've heard an endless chorus of perceived wisdom that releasing the video was certain to cause more chaos.
The fact that civil disorder grew far worse in the wake of the video's release, and only 24 hours after relative calm when the Missouri highway patrol assumed jurisdiction over the case, has repeatedly been cited as evidence that putting the footage in the public domain was sheer folly. (Audio clips after the jump)
On Tuesday's This Hour, Michaela Pereira endorsed guest L. Z. Granderson's take on the media's extensive coverage of the ongoing turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. The liberal commentator pointed out that "this past weekend, we had over 30 people shot – seven of them died – in the neighborhoods in Chicago – many of them black and brown. None of that was covered." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Pereira replied to Granderson by asserting that "because of Ferguson, Chicago is sort of taking a back seat in the headlines. And Chicago's a very concerning thing, and we need to keep watching. We need to keep addressing what's going on there." One wonders if the anchor will criticize her own network, as CNN has only mentioned the violence in the Windy City twice over the past week. Back on the August 13, 2014 edition of The Lead, Jake Tapper cited a recent column by Jesse Jackson:
Move over, War on Women, there's a new war in town. On the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, contributor Michelle Bernard warned there is a "war on black men" in the United States, as evidence both by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and persistent criticism of President Barack Obama from Republicans.
What's more, Bernard insisted, there would be a "genocide" of young black men unless the problem were seriously addressed to her satisfaction. Suffice it to say, Hardball host Chris Matthews at no point called out Ms. Bernard for her heated rhetoric. [see relevant transcript below the page break; MP3 audio here; video update forthcoming]
Presumption of innocence -- A hallowed principle of criminal law to the effect that the government has the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. (As defined by Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition). Presumption of guilt -- The strongly held and default opinion of MSNBC political analysts toward a white police officer involved in a violent altercation with a black youth.
MSNBC's coverage of civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since the shooting death of Michael Brown by a local police officer veered into Alice-in-Wonderland territory Friday night. (Video after the jump)
Wesley Lowery was catapulted from relative obscurity to household-name status last week, at least for obsessive viewers of the MSNBC network, thanks to his arrest and brief detention by authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, last week. So perhaps it's not all too surprising that the Washington Post reporter -- whose beat usually is "Congress and national politics" -- used his Twitter account this afternoon to make some decidedly non-objective, leftward-lurching tweets about President Obama's Monday afternoon Eastern news conference.
"Obama currently discussing our two wars: in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo," Lowery quipped shortly the beginning of the news conference. Minutes later he tweeted about how the president announced that Attorney General Eric Holder was heading to Ferguson. Apparently bemused by a reply to that tweet, Lowery later retweeted a quip from Glenn Fleishman, "He’d better get there before curfew, I guess." Other prominent African-American journalists who frequently appear on MSNBC used Twitter to register frustration with President Obama, hitting him from the Left. Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson tweeted:
Appearing on the Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV, Reverend Jesse Jackson maintained that regardless of the events prior to Michael Brown’s death, there was no instance in which the Ferguson police officer should have shot the unarmed teen.
During the contentious interview on Monday, August 18, Malzberg highlighted details in which Michael Brown allegedly attacked officer Darren Wilson, including trying to obtain his gun, but Jackson remained defiant and claimed that Malzberg was “drawing up the worst possible scenario” surrounding the shooting. [See video below.]
Filling in as host on NBC’s Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell, NBC's Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, rushed to defend her colleague Al Sharpton for his involvement in the Ferguson protests.
During a discussion with the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley, Mitchell declared that Sharpton was in Ferguson “on a peace mission” and not in the words of Riley to “continue to blame whites” for the death of Michael Brown. [See video below.]
Was it a simple mistake, or more deeply revealing of how Luke Russert regards events in Ferguson, MO? With Chuck Todd on his way to Meet The Press, Russert hosted MSNBC's Daily Rundown today.
Speaking with NBC reporter Ron Allen, on the scene in Ferguson, Russert said: "the big news this morning is we expect to hear for the first time the name of the officer who was involved in the murder of Michael Brown -- or the killing of Michael Brown." H/t reader Charles B. View the video after the jump.
Soon after 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by an unidentified policeman on Sunday afternoon in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, Rev. Al Sharpton arrived on the scene to “speak up for the family of the victim” and spend a great deal of time in the spotlight.
However, the host of MSNBC's weekday afternoon PoliticsNation program quickly became the target of several critics, one of whom accused him of being a publicity-seeking “coon.” Sharpton shot back that “using a racial term tells you more about him than me.”
In the wake of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown’s shooting death following a confrontation with local police, two reporters, one with the Washington Post and another with the Huffington Post, were arrested by officials for failing to follow police orders as the town continues to deal with ongoing violence and looting.
Following the arrest of Wesley Lowery, an African American reporter for the Washington Post, and later the arrest of Ryan Kelly, a white reporter for the Huffington Post, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sent out a tweet on Wednesday, August 13 asking if Lowery was “detained for reporting while black?”
Given a national platform on tonight's All In with Chris Hayes, Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (Mo.) charged that the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer was an "execution-style" killing. [WATCH video and READ the relevant transcript following page break]
At no point, however, did host Chris Hayes object to such rhetoric and protest that the facts have not been established in an impartial investigation. Producers and Mr. Hayes should well have known, however, that Ms. Nasheed might make such a heated charge on air. In an August 10 tweet she condemned Brown's shooting as an "execution-style murder" (see embedded tweet below the page break):
NBC anchor Brian Williams went deep into the floodwaters of bias at the end of Rock Center on Thursday night, ripping into Michael Brown and Rush Limbaugh about Hurricane Sandy and then bizarrely claiming these men were playing politics – as if he wasn’t. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams boiled over: “In a related story, ‘Brownie’ is back. Michael Brown, who helped bring us the largest domestic human rights outrage of the modern era – the Katrina response – said this week the lesson of Hurricane Sandy is that people need to chill.”
"Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts," Daniel Patrick Moynihan is credited as having once said. MSNBC's Chris Matthews would do well to heed the counsel of the late liberal New York senator.
The "Hardball" host yesterday smeared former Bush FEMA Director Michael Brown as having this kooky notion that President Obama approved of offshore drilling in March only because he knew the BP oil rig disaster would happen.
But as the video embedded at right shows, this is Matthews's own warped misunderstanding of Brown's argument about how the Obama administration is poised to take advantage of a disaster for political ends. [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]
Matthews is certainly entitled to disagree with Brown's assessment about the Obama administration's motives behind its slow response to the BP oil spill, but not to lie to viewers about Brown's argument.
Below the page break you'll find a transcript excerpt:
Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday said the Obama administration has started a new war with Fox News.
"As you may remember, the President and his team harshly criticized Fox News last fall for not being fair. And that led to a vigorous back and forth between the FNC troop and the White House, which of course jazzed our ratings up a bit. Then things kind of died down."
After White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' childish attack on FNC's Wendell Goler Tuesday, O'Reilly thinks the ceasefire has officially ended.
"The lingering issue is that Fox News is by far the toughest media outlet on President Obama, and he doesn't like it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Wednesday struck back at Robert Gibbs for his "botched White House presser."
On Tuesday, the White House press secretary took exception with Cavuto inviting former FEMA director Michael Brown on the previous day's "Your World" to offer a conspiracy theory about the Obama administration's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As NewsBusters reported, Gibbs badly misstated what Brown said during the interview as he chastised Fox's Wendell Goler who had absolutely nothing to do with it.
On Wednesday, Cavuto corrected the press secretary while setting the record straight (video follows with transcript):
A rather strange thing happened Tuesday when Fox News's Wendell Goler tried asking Robert Gibbs a question at the afternoon briefing: he got scolded by the White House press secretary for an interview Neil Cavuto did with former FEMA director Michael Brown the previous day.
To set this up, Brown on FNC's "Your World" said he felt the White House intentionally delayed action on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in order to advance Obama's green agenda.
"This president has never supported big oil," said Brown. "He has never supported offshore drilling. And now he has an excuse to shut it back down."
With this clearly on his mind, Gibbs was armed for bear Tuesday when Goler began his question, "As for critics who are calling this...President Obama's Katrina" (videos and partial transcripts below the fold with commentary, file photo, h/t Hot Air):
In his "Final Word" on Sunday’s "Face the Nation" on CBS, host Bob Schieffer denounced a fake news conference held by FEMA officials in the wake of the California wildfires. Not content to just say the staged conference was a bad mistake, Schieffer decided to be as arrogant and condescending as possible:
The last time I was at Disney World, they had sticks of a certain height stuck in the ground with signs that said something like, `You must be this tall to ride this ride.' Well, FEMA, the disaster relief agency, must use a variation of that to hire its public relations staff. Somewhere on their employment application there must be a clause that says, `Your IQ must be below a certain level to work here.'