The following post was based on a misunderstanding of the conversation described. Please see our retraction here.
Tuesday's Morning Joe treated the conviction of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich as a relatively minor affair, and gave it little to no coverage save a brief discussion about the supposed injustice of the process. "It's any other day and that's any other news story," said Mika Brzezinski, who appeared annoyed at being asked to cover the story at all. Later, she insisted "We're not going to waste the first block on this."
With Jon Huntsman's presidential announcement on June 21, the former Utah governor joins a crowded field vying for the Republican nomination. But while MSNBC has put most GOP hopefuls through the ringer, Huntsman has been heralded by the network as Mr. Civility in an otherwise nutty Republican field.
This column makes a living lambasting Mika Brzezinski for her liberalism. So let's give the Morning Joe co-host credit when she dares deviate from the lefty line.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika persistently questioned Jessica Valenti, a feminist proponent of [their term] "Slut Walks," as to whether she'd want her daughter to dress like one. Valenti, happy to push others out into the streets in skimpy clothes, twice dodged Mika's question, the second time with a particularly lame line.
As first picked up by NewsBusters from Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer blog, MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Tuesday demeaned conservative radio host Laura Ingraham as a "right-wing slut," prompting his indefinite suspension on Wednesday.
But on "Morning Joe" today, the panelists demonstrated their devotion to equal treatment of women in the workplace with a special, "Knowing Your Worth," which Ingraham's staff noted completely ignored Schultz's crass insults.
Left-wing Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, a frequent Morning Joe guest, has accused US special operations forces of committing "high-tech murder on a large scale" for their targeted campaign of killing or capturing Al Qaeda Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Sachs made his contemptible accusation on today's Morning Joe in the course of a discussion of the PBS Frontline documentary "Kill/Capture" on the JSOC operations. Stephen Grey, a producer of the documentary, was a guest.
As NB's Mark Finkelstein reported earlier, Time's Mark Halperin and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough expressed their bewilderment on Thursday's "Morning Joe" that President Obama would invite Rep. Paul Ryan to the unveiling of the president's budget, sit him in the front row, and then essential call him un-American on national television.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski, on the other hand, far from being displeased by the move, touted it as evidence of the president's political courage. Obama isn't cowardly like congressional Republicans, she intimated, since he will call you un-American to your face.
"I don't think it was insulting" for the president to slime Ryan as he did, Mika claimed. "He was tough and clear." Check out the video below the break.
Emphasizing that all but one of the top 30 income earners in the United States are white males, Mika Brzezinski clamored that it is time for the wealthy to pay their fair share and help solve the budget crisis on Monday's "Morning Joe."
Co-host Joe Scarborough and liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow were in the midst of a debate about cutting entitlement spending when Mika chimed in. After Scarborough argued that making cuts to middle-class entitlements is necessary for the country's fiscal health, Brzezinski quipped that the rich should be contributing more to solve the budget deficit.
Are you old enough to remember the polio-era line: "funny as an iron lung"? After all, what kind of person would find funny the notion of someone fighting to breathe?
Answer: Mika Brzezinski.
Today's Morning Joe played a Letterman clip of a faux-promo for an imaginary TV show called "The Dick Cheney Story." As the title song from the Mary Tyler Moore Show plays merrily in the background, we're treated to images of Cheney wielding a gun, in a wheelchair and undergoing open-heart surgery. The clip closes with video of Cheney fighting to get a breath of air.
Cut to Mika, doubled-over, laughing hysterically, literally to the point of tears.
During Monday's "Morning Joe," Time's Mark Halperin and co-host Mika Brzezinski helpfully provided some spin for the White House to borrow as President Obama finishes his prepared remarks for Monday evening's address to the nation on the events in Libya.
President Obama has received sharp criticism for his foreign policy concerning Egypt and Libya, but Halperin threw cold water on that, calling Obama's strategy "extremely deft in a very tough situation." Brzezinski agreed with his premise, adding that his "deft" handling is also in accord with promises he previously made.
"He's pro-democracy, right? He's anti-violence. He's anti-unilateral U.S. intervention," Halperin noted of Obama, trying to connect his current policy with the peacemaker he claimed to be as a presidential candidate.
(Video below the jump. Comments begin at the 12:30 mark.)
Once again the liberals on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" threw a pity party for President Obama in the face of conservative criticism of his foreign policy. Never mind that President Bush faced withering criticism from all sides during his tenure in office, and the media felt no pathos for him.
On Morning Joe, Major Garrett, formerly of Fox News, now with the National Journal, claimed to be "militantly non-partisan" . . . then proceeded to offer a passionate defense of President Obama's Libya policy.
As an hors d'oeuvre during the discussion of the need for the media to acknowledge their leanings, Katrina vanden Heuvel risibly refused to admit that her Nation magazine is left-wing.
Is Obama more 'hawkish' and yet more charming than his immediate predecessor?
Apparently so, claimed Time's Mark Halperin and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on Thursday's edition of "Morning Joe."
Halperin believes that President Obama has been more cavalier than his predecessor, and Brzezinski thinks that although Obama has extended many of Bush's unpopular policies, he brings a different "characterization" to the table.
The panel harped on the irony of Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize despite his inexperience in the White House at the time (less than a year) and the fact that he has continued American wars overseas and started a third one in Libya. Liberals Mike Barnicle and Mika Brzezinski both admitted to having been taken aback by the 2009 decision to bestow the prize on the president in his freshman year in office. (Interestingly enough, this recalls an episode in 2009 when co-host Joe Scarborough mocked the Nobel committee's decision on the "Morning Joe" set.)
(Video after the jump. Comments from start until 3 minutes in.)
Is a pizza about to push Mika Brzezinski over the edge? Seriously. Her frantic reaction to finding her daughter and friend sharing a Domino's has me worried about Mika's state of mind.
Regular Morning Joe viewers know that Mika's dream job would be as Kommissar of the Food Police. Her concern about obesity, particularly of the childhood variety, is commendable. But her solutions--heavy-handed government intervention of the sort Mayor Bloomberg has made infamous--would flout individual liberties.
Things came to a deep-fried denouement this morning, as a quasi-hysterical Brzezinski described her horror at discovering girls . . . eating pizza.
The Wisconsin public sector unions, in agreeing to compromise on their pensions and benefits in exchange for collective bargaining, have apparently done all they could to negotiate with the state's governor – according to "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski Tuesday. The self-confessed Democrat for whom appeal to sentiment is second-nature, Brzezinski painted the governor as "cold" and "mean" in the eyes of Wisconsin voters, to whom the union has "given blood."
"The union has given blood to this guy. They've given everything he's wanted," Brzezinski lamented. "I don't know what more they can do for him."
Brzezinski highlighted polls of Wisconsin voters, which show a majority now have an unfavorable view of the governor. "You know what the voters are saying?" she rhetorically asked. "He's cold. And he's mean. And he doesn't care about the little guy." Wow, it sounds like someone's getting coal in his stocking next Christmas.
To Washington Post staffers Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, former president Bill Clinton is "Charlie Sheen without the crazy, a polymath with no 'stop' button -- and, yeah, a total bitchin' rock star."
All you need to know about why people on the right were dissatisfied with Kathleen Parker as the supposedly conservative counterweight to Eliot Spitzer on the pair's recently-canned CNN show was crystallized on Morning Joe today. The panel unleashed an absolute gush-a-thon over Parker, Mika Brzezinski declaring her "one of my favorite people" and Willie Geist describing her as "a great writer."
For good measure, the MSNBC folks delighted in dumping on rival CNN. Mike Barnicle took top trash-talking honors, claiming Parker had been "brutalized" at the network.
The Media Research Center is out with another edition of our bi-weekly Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Highlights from this issue include: Network reporters contrasting left-wing union protests in Wisconsin with recent uprisings against brutal Middle Eastern dictators, and journalists suggesting a “coordinated” Republican “assault on unions,” with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski badgering Governor Scott Walker: “How this is not an attempt to crush the unions.”
In other NQ news, we think we’ve finally fixed the problems that have plagued MRC’s e-mail newsletters over the past few weeks, so if you’d like to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to Notable Quotables or any of the MRC’s other fine newsletters, click here.
Now, here’s a sample of our best quotes from the past two weeks, including six video clips — for the full edition (Web page or full-color, printer-friendly PDF), visit www.MRC.org.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski and regular guest John Heilemann both pulled the class warfare card and pressured Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) Tuesday on why he did not raise taxes on the wealthy to cover the state's budget shortfall, rather than pushing to require union members pay into their pensions.
"You're receiving a lot of criticism for only asking the other side to give, and they have given – on health care and pensions. Are you asking people in your state across the board, including the wealthiest, to give, to help deal with the crisis....and I mean tax increases for the wealthy, or in any way, has anyone else been asked to give?" Brzezinski pressed Walker.
Following up on Brzezinski's question, New York Magazine columnist John Heilemann asked Walker why he cut the corporate income tax rate and chose to go after unions – but Walker corrected him. "We didn't cut corporate taxes," he answered.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson trashes conservative leaders in his latest column – for not taking a clear stand on the Egyptian crisis and for not supporting the populist protests. "Why don't conservatives love freedom?" he provocatively asked, concluding that if conservatives think 1.2 billion Muslims cannot be trusted to rule themselves, "that's not what I call loving freedom." His logic is deafening.
Robinson accused conservative leaders of opposing Obama's Egypt policy simply because they are thinking "heaven forbid the that the president get any credit." He used their "ambivalence" at CPAC – which he characterized as either silence or a vague shot at the Obama administration – to condemn what he thinks is their opposition to freedom in the Middle East.
"Mitt Romney went to CPAC and didn't mention Egypt at all, which was, you'd think he'd be paying attention," Robinson noted. He questioned other conservative leaders for being "so kind of silent, and/or grumpy throughout the CPAC gala, and even beyond, in the case of some conservatives. What we're talking about is freedom, which everybody wants and loves."
On Monday's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski launched into a passionate defense of President Obama's handling of tough press coverage in 2008. Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin retorted that Obama received soft coverage on the campaign trail, and has only recently learned how to face tough interviews. Brzezinski apparently thinks that is "revisionist thinking."
"He was raked over the coal– he had to do a freakin' speech about his race! Are you kidding me!?" Mika exclaimed when she was trying to rebut claims of Obama receiving soft media coverage.
When co-host Scarborough and Time magazine's Halperin agreed that President Obama did not receive tough press coverage as a senator or as a presidential candidate, Brzezinski spat back "No. That is revisionist thinking."
Is the cat fight a strictly feminine affair, or can a man and woman engage in one? Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski certainly seemed to offer up a fair facsimile of the genre today. The two traded feline fisticuffs on Morning Joe.
Scarborough went first, swiping at Katie Couric for having cavorted on a Miami beach with her beau before departing for Egypt. Mika later retaliated, archly musing about the number of Limbaugh's marriages during a segment featuring Elton John's comments on El Rushbo.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski broke from the panel discussion Tuesday and implored Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to close the state's so-called gun show loophole. The MSNBC panel was discussing lax gun show laws allowing persons to purchase semi-automatic guns with little or no background check performed on them.
Brzezinski, seemingly abandoning journalism in favor of advocacy, tersely asked Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on camera to close the state's gun show loophole. "Just close the loophole. Governor Bob McDonnell," Brzezinski pleaded, staring into the camera as she singled out the state's chief executive.
Virginia law presently allows private transactions at gun shows to be completed without paperwork. Federal law mandates licenced gun sellers to perform background checks on buyers; private sellers are not obliged by the state to do so.
With Republicans taking control of Congress, those in the media suddenly feel that proposing legislation, such as repealing ObamaCare, is a waste of time. From CBS's Harry Smith referring to it as "a fool's errand" to MSNBC's Chuck Todd fretting over the GOP "relitigating health care," here is a video compilation of the slanted coverage this proposal has received.
Tuesday's "Morning Joe" panel on MSNBC played the class warfare card, highlighting tension between the American middle class and the richest Americans who profit from the global economy. Impassioned co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski gave credence to middle class frustration at the widening gap between them and the ultra-rich.
The Atlantic magazine's editor-in-chief James Bennett referenced a poll touting that 60 percent of Americans advocate higher taxes for the wealthy as the best solution to the budget crisis. "I think part of that is a response to the sense that they're being left behind by these people," Bennet explained.
Bennet pointed out top hedge fund managers making over a billion dollars a year, and suggested Americans would like to see more of that money back. "You'd think," huffed Mika Brzezinski. "Good luck getting it from them," Joe Scarborough warned. Scarborough was a critic of the recent tax deal between Obama and the GOP, arguing that millionaires did not need the tax cuts as much as the country needed their tax revenue to pay down the deficit.
Monday's "Morning Joe" panel on MSNBC mocked the House Republicans' plan to vote to repeal President Obama's health care legislation in full. "Waste of time" and "meaningless legislative exercise" were some of the phrases used to describe the first announced GOP priority.
"It's going to take them fifteen minutes, they're going to vote to repeal it, and the Senate's not going to do it," explained co-host Joe Scarborough. "It is a meaningless legislative exercise, but you know what? The base will like it."
"Republicans in Washington are planning to waste some time. Is anyone surprised by that?" co-host Mika Brzezinski tersely introduced the segment in the 7 a.m. EDT news hour.
Both Scarborough and Brzezinski sarcastically mocked the plan. "Good for them. Thank you," Brzezinski spat. "You are big men," she derided the House Republicans. "You so tough," Scarborough chimed in, followed by Brzezinski making strange growling noises.
Suggesting that Nicolle Wallace engaged in feline fisticuffs might be called sexist. But when Wallace actually accused Sarah Palin of seeking to "claw" critics, illustrating her assertion with a cat-like hand gesture, well . . .
It's no secret that Wallace is no fan of Sarah Palin. But the former Bush communications director and McCain campaign aide perhaps took things to another level with her attack on Palin on today's Morning Joe. Wallace was on to comment on Joe Scarborough's astonishing claim of yesterday, noted here, that "all" conservatives and talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken are harshly critical of Palin off the record, but are afraid to express their views publicly.
Wallace opined that if it ever looked as if Palin were close to copping the Republican presidential nomination, many GOP leaders who have to date been too timid to criticize her would step forward to expose Palin's putative shortcomings. In the course of propounding her theory, Wallace unleashed a hail of criticism of her own:
"Mistakes were made [by McCain in choosing Palin]."
"Her troubling deficiencies."
"Her incredible cynicism, her bitterness, her aggressive attempts to claw [makes clawing hand-gesture] anyone" who criticizes her.
Today's Politico piece takes Scarborough’s swipes a quantum leap further [see examples after jump]. But what makes this morning’s diatribe truly remarkable is Joe's repeated claim that "all" Republican leaders and conservative talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken have—off the record—agreed with his criticism of Palin.
Columnist Mike Barnicle had some pointed words on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday for travelers exasperated with the new TSA airport scanning procedures: "Take the train or take the bus."
"Here's a tip for travelers this Thanksgiving," the "Morning Joe" regular remarked Tuesday. "If you're upset about this at airports, take the train or take the bus." He added later in the show "Hop in your car and drive to Detroit," as another alternative for air travel.
Barnicle, continuing his rant from Monday, lamented that Americans are so upset with the controversial security procedures when the U.S. is involved in two wars and real unemployment stands at 15 percent. "This again, if we ever needed it, is proof-positive that we live in a time where we have such a limited attention-span as a nation, it is sickening," he preached. "We're now more afraid at airports, apparently, of being felt-up rather than blown-up in the air."
"Are you telling them to 'keep calm and carry on' in the White House?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough supportively asked the Vice President of the United States on Friday morning. "Morning Joe" hosted Joe Biden, but skipped the more embarrassing subjects: the recent trial fiasco of terrorist Ahmed Ghailani and the ethics charges against Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The topics of conversation ranged from the START Treaty to the "stimulus" bill to Sarah Palin – the MSNBC crew all laughed at her claim that she could beat Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential race – but Scarborough changed subjects toward the end and asked Biden about the demonizing of presidents once they enter office.
"As you know...at least since Clinton was elected, the second a President gets elected, the other side tries to de-legitimize that president from day one," Scarborough claimed. "You've seen that from the outside since early '93. Have you been shocked since you got on the inside at just how tough it is?" he asked Biden.