On a day largely devoted to remembering Margaret Thatcher, one of the 20th century's greatest conservatives, would it really have been too much for Morning Joe to have had on at least one conservative guest to discuss her legacy? Apparently, yes.
Morning Joe's lineup of political guests today leaned 100% left: Jon Meacham, Al Hunt, Cokie Roberts, Sen. Tim Kaine, former Obama aides Robert Gibbs and Melody Barnes, Tony Blair, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mayor Michael Nutter, Eugene Robinson, Maureen Orth and Joe Klein. Joe Scarborough sometimes like to boast in such circumstances that his presence more than counterbalances the liberal avalanche. But on the major political issue of the day, gun control, Scarborough was just one more voice among many ripping Republicans for their opposition to President Obama's proposals. More after the jump.
On a day where politics was supposed to take a back seat to "prayer and reflection" in the wake of a deadly Colorado shooting, CNN let liberal mayors drive the debate about gun control on Friday afternoon.
"[W]hy hasn't your party, the Democratic party done more to legislate guns?" anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. CNN also played a clip of Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak out about guns. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
In a May 25 front-page story headlined "Romney's outreach meets hostile reception," Washington Post staff writers Nia-Malika Henderson and Philip Rucker passed off a political activist by the name of Madaline G. Dunn as simply being a 78-year-old "protester" who has lived in West Philadelphia for 50 years and was "personally offended" by the fact that "Romney would visit her neighborhood."
"It's not appreciated here.... It's absolutely denigrating for him to come in here and speak his garbage," Henderson and Rucker quoted Dunn. Yet what the Post staff writers left out is that Dunn is no otherwise-apolitical resident who happened to be on hand to react to Romney's campaign swing. She's a seasoned political activist, having served as the legislative committee chair for the Philadelphia Congress of the National Congress of Black Women (PCNCBW).
On Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight, during an interview with Obama supporter and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, host Piers Morgan declared that he was "absolutely thrilled" when President Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay, and showed disappointment that Obama "broke that promise."
A story generating a lot of discussion today concerns how former Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who is receiving $905,000 in severance, has applied for unemployment benefits, and has been promised that the school district will not contest her claim.
Not so fast, people. I searched Google and Google News briefly, and found an interesting aspect of the situation which no one in the media apparently wants to consider. It relates to how Ackerman's employment ended. One of many place where that ending is described came from Matt Petrillo at Philadelphia Weekly just three weeks ago. It began thusly: "It’s been 11 weeks since the School Reform Commission unanimously voted to fire public school boss lady Arlene Ackerman." A quick visit to the relevant page at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry would appear to indicate that Ackerman should not get unemployment benefits, and that it shouldn't matter whether the district contests her claim:
Andrea Mitchell, for a second day in a row, pushed for more gun control on her MSNBC show as she encouraged Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, "You and Mike Bloomberg...have all been yelling and screaming," about more restrictive anti-gun measures, "Somebody's got to listen in Washington." Initially invited on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss the Obama administration's push for more green jobs, Nutter wasn't allowed to finish the segment without Mitchell pressing him: "As a big city mayor, what are you saying to the White House about waiting for this gun control speech we keep hearing about?"
On yesterday's show Mitchell expressed disappointment, to the aformentioned New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, that Barack Obama had "absolutely nothing, not one word....not even a sentence" in his State of the Union speech about gun control.
Inspired by Chris Matthews complaining about all the money spent on defense, instead of upgrading America's rail system, Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm endorsed the MSNBC host, on Tuesday's Hardball as she exclaimed: "You should run for office!"
During a discussion about how federal money should be spent on essentially make-work jobs, Matthews cited his own children's love of high-speed trains in Europe, "My kids talk about getting through the Chunnel...in a couple of minutes," and (pun intended) railed, "Why can't the federal government use the power of the workforce...and build a train system...so we can – and this sounds so pathetic – catch up to Europe and Japan!"
Matthews then went further as he targeted defense spending and exclaimed: "I hate to sound like a lefty but the fact is we're spending all this money on our defense programs - McDonnell-Douglas, Boeing...Why can't we do what other major powers do? Build a modern society! Instead of fighting all the wars supposedly for everybody else," to which both his Democratic guests responded with their pleas for him to run for office. [audio available here]
The following exchanges were aired on the December 8, Hardball: