While MSNBC has spent a week or so playing the allegation of Tea Party racism in heavy rotation, on Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, anchor Mika Brzezinski devoted a segment to the controversy over the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation. New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow denounced the group and agreed that the Justice Department needs to answer questions, but he predictably tried to argue conservatives are outrageous in suggesting the "strange logic" that Team Obama’s actions say something about Team Obama and racial justice:
The political part of it is, I think, the most inflammatory part of this. It's strange logic. The idea that the Obama administration – which is what's happening here – people are trying to tie the Obama administration to black radicalism. And that has been happening since the campaign and it continues to happen. Not everybody, but it's an electoral goal if you can tie him somehow to black radicalism. It's strange logic to think that this tiny group, he somehow benefits politically from protecting them. They have a summit the year before this voter intimidation thing came up. There were a hundred people there. There's nobody there. There's nothing to gain. In fact, there's everything to gain in prosecuting.
Mika Brzezinski wants to "cut the crap" when it comes to building speculation as to whether Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. According to Mika, Palin's candidacy is a done deal, and the press is letting itself be sucked into a phony build-up.
Mika is so sure that Sarah is running that on today's Morning Joe she was willing to wager a dubious Jonathan Capehart $1,000. Brzezinski's comments came in response to Politico's report, highlighted by Mike Allen, that Palin has raised significant money and built a nascent campaign staff.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Are we going to go through like months and months of "will she or won't she, oh my gosh, might she?" Come on, can we please cut to the chase? Cut the crap . . . The bottom line is, let's just cut to the chase here: she is . . It's just silly. Are we really going to do this fake build-up like LeBron? . . . You guys have all been in TV too long and you're so used to the fake build-up you don't even know when you've been sucked into it.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," publisher Mort Zuckerman called the Obama administration out for being "without a doubt the most hostile administration to business and to the role of business that we've had in decades."
Panel members Mika Brzezinski and John Heilmann seemed shocked at the severity of the criticism, however.
"Where is the hostility?" John Heilmann, columnist for New York Magazine, asked with incredulity. When Zuckerman responded that the administration deals with businessmen as shady characters trying to rip off the middle class, Heilmann simply called it rhetoric.
"I don't know if that's a good use of words," show host Mika Brzezinski remarked about Zuckerman's claim of hostility.
"And in San Francisco, a ban on sugary drinks in city vending machines is starting to take effect," Brzezinski said. "That's so great. It was issued by Mayor Gavin Newsom, my new hero, Mike Barnicle -- in an effort to combat obesity and improve citizen's health, and it will. In fact, if people would just not drink soda pop, they would be healthier and less fat."
Which is the bigger story: a few power companies out West have started a pilot program to promote solar panels, or . . . police announce they will investigate allegations of sexual assault against a Nobel prize winner and former Vice-President of the United States? I'd guess most people would go with 'B.' But when it came time to highlight a story from the front page of today's Oregonian, Morning Joe went with the solar panels and ignored Gore.
I was all set to play this as a plain-vanilla case of the MSM burying unwelcome news for a Dem, when another theory occurred to me: could the Morning Joe folks actually have found a cleverly subversive way of getting the Gore story out there, perhaps against the wishes of their network overlords?
Have a look at the video of the Oregonian front page as Morning Joe displayed it during the "Morning Papers" segment [screencap after the jump].
"The media, for like five seconds, those with thrill up and down their legs, they were a little critical of the Anointed One and what was one of the worst speeches in the Oval Office... but as soon as he fired McChrystal and hired Petraeus, they went nuts," Sean Hannity observed last night at the beginning of his recurring "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell.
The Fox News host then rolled a montage compiled by Media Research Center (MRC) analyst Kyle Drennen which showed the mainstream media hailing Obama as "brilliant" for the personnel move.
After the montage, Bozell noted that the same media that proclaimed Obama sacking McChrystal as "brilliant" were claiming that the president really had no choice but to fire the Afghanistan commander. "If he had no choice, then it really wasn't really altogether all that brilliant," the MRC president observed.
Bozell and Hannity also discussed the media's double standard in bashing BP CEO Tony Hayward -- who had been relieved of duty for overseeing the cleanup operation -- for yachting over the weekend, while ignoring President Obama's weekend golfing excursion and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski admitting she was parroting White House talking points to defend the administration's handling of the ongoing crisis.
Great idea. While we're at it, let's invite al Qaeda to a conference on Israel's future . . .
On Morning Joe today, Zbigniew Brzezinski recommended that the US organize an "international conference" on Afghanistan's future—and invite Iran to participate. The former Carter National Security Advisor didn't say what positive contributions he might expect from a country working in defiance of international sanctions to develop nuclear weapons and which has stated its desire to wipe Israel off the map.
Yesterday, Joe Scarborough and Jack Welch ribbed Mika Brzezinski for her reading of White House talking points on the oil spill. But after bloggers including this one reported Mika's admission that she was "working with the White House" on the matter, Scarborough has this morning gone all Sir Galahad.
The Morning Joe host said he wasn't going to "call them names," but then proceeded to mockingly imitate bloggers fulminating through their Cheetos.
Cut out the middle-woman and install Obama's teleprompter on the Morning Joe set . . .
Give her high marks for candor: on today's show, Mika Brzezinski admitted that she has been "working with the White House" on oil spill talking points. But that still leaves the issue of the journalistic propriety of someone in Brzezinski's position serving as such a blatant shill for the president. H/t tip NB reader Ray R.
Mika could be seen reading from her notes during exchanges with former GE CEO Jack Welch, who was critical of the PBO's handling of the spill. After repeated ribbing from Welch and Joe Scarborough over her use of White House talking points, Mika came clean . . .
Guess Mike could always get a gig with the Vienna Boys Choir . . .
If MSNBC libs like Olbermann and Matthews were surprisingly critical of Pres. Obama's speech last night, PBO can apparently count on one defender at the network: Mika Brzezinski.
So fiercely did Brzezinski go after Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe today for his criticism of the speech, that the panel agreed poor Mike had been "emasculated." Joe Scarborough took it a graphic step further, saying Mika had "castrated" the former Boston Globe columnist.
Mika Brzezinski, the self-proclaimed Democrat and co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," thinks the two men who tried an "ambush interview" of Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) acted wrongly, along with the congressman.
In a video that surfaced online Monday, the Congressman was caught on camera grabbing a man by the wrist, swatting at his video camera, and demanding to know who he was. The man videotaped the congressman walking down a Washington, DC street, approaching him asking "Do you support the Obama agenda?"
"As a matter of respect to any human being, don't stick a camera two inches away from their face," Mika lectured to the show's audience, assuming her best soapbox demeanor. "That's rude. And a little bit threatening."
'There were two wrongs there," she summarized the situation.
Ad hominem attacks supplanted thoughtful discussion yet again on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” On Monday, co-host Joe Scarborough chastised Republicans as “genuinely stupid” for criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the BP oil spill, adding that the GOP must think the American people are “dumb as hell.”
“The Republicans blaming Obama look genuinely stupid because of eight years of deregulation,” scolded Scarborough, who is developing a penchant for favoring personal attacks over rational debate.
“Is Mitt Romney suggesting he’s more hostile to the oil industry than Barack Obama?” Scarborough sardonically asked an amused Mike Allen, Politico’s chief political correspondent. “Do we want to go back and look at the money? And again, I’m not just knocking Mitt Romney, but when Republicans come out like Sarah Palin and suggest the president is too cozy with the oil industry, this suggests that they think the American people are dumb as hell.”
Has Pres. Obama's ass-kickin' line given license to MSM members to offer cruder commentary? Could be, judging from Mika Brzezinski's Morning Joe performance today, in which she suggested that House Republican leader John Boehner should "just bend over."
Mika normally plays the role of Morning Joe hall monitor, keeping the rambunctious trio of Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist in line. But with Joe away today, it was Mika who indulged in some off-color imagery. Prompting Mika's remark was a clip of Boehner wondering why Pres. Obama isn't looking for someone's "ass to kick" on the subject of unrestrained federal spending.
At this point, it may be safe to say that “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough is no more Republican than Arlen Specter. After all, the show’s “conservative” host takes almost every opportunity to defend the current administration and dismiss Obama's critics.
On June 9, the panelists were reviewing the Obama administration’s response to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Scarborough asserted, “A poll yesterday shows that more people think that the government is mishandling this than Katrina, which is just, I think, ridiculous.”
Fellow MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell agreed, and noted that the president and his team have been down in the Gulf working hard. And then Mitchell asserted that Obama could have diminished criticism if a week earlier, he had "gone down there and stayed and had a meal with the people, eaten some shrimp.” [MP3 audio avaiable here]
Like tar balls on a Pensacola beach, doubts about Pres. Obama's leadership are beginning to accumulate even among his most avid supporters appearing in the MSM. Today's Morning Joe provided two prime examples of the phenomenon in the persons of Jeffrey Sachs and Donny Deutsch.
Both men are self-described Obama supporters. Yet each expressed disappointment at the lack of leadership the president has demonstrated on the oil spill and other issues.
Columbia U. professor Sachs went first, sounding like a serious candidate for a Zoloft transfusion. Sachs was reacting to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that PBO seize the moment by addressing a joint session of Congress and issuing a post-Sputnik like summons for America to rise to the current challenge by leading the world in clean-energy solutions.
On his Friday program, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lashed out at critics who have chastised his show, “Morning Joe,” for covering the political angle of the BP oil spill. Referring specifically to Twitter users, the MSNBC anchor called them “stupid” and “dumb,” and instructed them to “shut up.”
“The people on Twitter who are whining about us covering a very important part of this story are whiners and beyond that they’re just stupid,” fumed Scarborough.
The rant continued:
They need to shut up, okay. If you’re too stupid to follow this, just turn to SpongeBob, okay, and watch it with your kids, and drool out the left side of your mouth because you’re too dumb. You don’t understand politics and you’re going to hurt yourself watching this show.
Just how desperately does the MSM want to bury the Sestak job-bribe story? Yesterday we reported Time editor Rick Stengel's risibly feigned ignorance of the matter.
On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough broke off a colorful metaphor to describe the liberal media's see-no-evil approach to the subject, saying the MSM wouldn't cover the story "if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo."
Mika Brzezinski broached the subject by mentioning that she had gotten "hammered" by her husband and friends for her criticism of the MSM's failure to ask the tough questions on the matter.
On the one hand, you might say it was the least surprising coming-out since Ricky Martin announced he was gay. On the other, it was refreshing to hear Mika Brzezinski say words we knew to be true but at least in my case had never heard her unequivocally pronounce before: "I'm a Democrat."
Mika made her declaration in the context of arguing that just because she's a Democrat doesn't mean she shouldn't ask tough questions about the Sestak job-offer allegations or Pres. Obama's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mika also took a surprising shot at her fellow MSMers for failing to ask the tough questions . . .
On today’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Mike Brzezinski defended Richard Blumenthal, Democratic candidate for Senate in Connecticut, who reportedly misrepresented his military record habitually over the course of his political career.
Even though The New York Times exposed Blumenthal yesterday in an article on its front page, presenting evidence that the Connecticut Attorney General made no effort to correct numerous news stories over several years that described him as a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Brzezinski told co-host Joe Scarborough to “leave him alone.”
Brzezinski grimaced, squirmed, and shook her head in disapproval while Scarborough and MSNBC’s Willie Geist ridiculed Blumenthal for attempting to characterize the discrepancies as “a few misplaced words” at a press conference yesterday.
“It was a few misplaced words,” insisted Brzezinski, parroting Blumenthal’s defense.
MSNBC's Morning Joe scored an interview with Charlie Crist on Friday, but only co-host Mika Brzezinski seemed interested in asking the newly independent governor tough questions. Joe Scarborough spun Crist's defection from the Republican Party as one of conviction. [Audio available here.]
Brzezinski grilled the senatorial candidate with this hardball: "Tell me why this isn't just politically expedient? Why this isn't just sort of a desperate attempt to win because you were losing?" Technical difficulties forced Brzezinski to ask her question again.
Attempting to get an answer to something that apparently didn't occur to Scarborough, she reiterated, "On February 22nd you were actually on this show and you said, 'I am in this race as a Republican.' We asked, "Might you become an independent?' So, how is this not politically expedient?" Scarborough joking referred to his co-host's query as "hateful."
Cramer told MSNBC's April 26 "Morning Joe" that Goldman really has no defense if, as the government alleges, Goldman misled investors when it established a mortgage-backed security in 2007 for a hedge fund client looking to bet against the housing market. And that's in addition to facing heat from shareholders for not revealing that it received a Wells Notice from the SEC.
Hot sparks flew on the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe today igniting a brief but entertaining firestorm. The cause? Joan Walsh somehow being unable to name any leftwing extremists. This set off an angry reaction from co-host Mika Brzezinski which included a funny impersonation of a conveniently clueless Walsh. It was one of those moments that needs to be viewed in order to be fully appreciated but here is a transcript of the heated exchange:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: ...I think it helps us all to say there are extreme voices on the left, there are extreme voices on the right, and it's our responsibility to call out people, I believe, on our side.
JOAN WALSH: Who would you have me call out? I mean who would you say on the left is comparable to Rush and...
SCARBOROUGH: Don't do it.
MIKA BREZEZINSKI: Mmm-mmm! No thanks, Joan. We're good. We're good.
SCARBOROUGH: Can we talk about the Chinese now?
MIKA: I think it's all very obvious.
WALSH: Is it obvious? Who on the left is comparable to Rush and Glenn on the right?
MIKA: Okay, Joan, if it's not obvious to you I'll talk to you off-set. I mean, my God! Alright so let's read from the Washington Post...
Was Gayle King kvetching about polls when candidate, then President, Obama and the Dems were riding high? Doubt it. But now that tide has turned, King pooh-poohs polls, and even asked Mika Brzezinski not to read one on the air. But never fear, "every time he speaks I get inspired all over again" proclaimed the editor of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine.
King's hear-no-evil moment went down on today's Morning Joe, as Mika was about to read a poll showing a preference for Republicans in the generic congressional ballot.
Mike Barnicle has accused "talk radio" of serving as "allies" and a "megaphone" for the worst fringe elements on the right. That's how the former Boston Globe columnist justified the MSM's focus on the right-wing fringe while downplaying that of the left. [H/t reader Ray R.]
Barnicle floated his defense of the MSM on today's Morning Joe. To their credit, Mika Brzezinski and Andrew Ross Sorkin of the NY Times argued that the fringe left has historically received a pass from the MSM.
However, as MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski suggested, discretion should be exercised with the amount of attention given to these radical components of the opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform endeavors.
"Yeah, call it out but also I think we have to be careful along the way," Brzezinski said on the March 26 broadcast. "I think this happened during the campaign. I think this happened during the final hours of the health care debate where certain fringe, really minute members of it were highlighted."
Don't blame Mika—she was just obeying White House orders . . .
When Joe Scarborough tried this morning to comment on Pres. Obama's latest ObamaCare oration, Mika Brzezinski unleashed a series of seemingly serious kicks at his ankles. Having successfully silenced her sidekick, Mika proceeded to read off her Blackberry a statement extolling the glories of what PBO has vouchsafed onto a grateful people.
At one point, Mika said "I have some talking points from the White House." Being the naive and trusting person I am, I assumed Mika was kidding. Except that, upon a bit of Googling, it appears that she wasn't . . . [H/t reader Pam M.]
How much of a pickle is Pelosi potentially in? Enough that Dem loyalist Charles Blow had to resort to some truly twisted reasoning to explain away her delay in responding to allegations against Eric Massa.
Of all things, the New York Times columnist tried to excuse Pelosi's failure to act by blaming . . . "our crazy misogynistic culture." Huh?
Blow offered his odd opinion on today's Morning Joe . . .
Someone submit the Morning Joe java to Henry Waxman for analysis. There seems to be something in it causing top Dems to experience serious delusions . . .
On today's show, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed that the people of her home state of Kansas are "wildly supportive" of the substance of ObamaCare. Unfortunately, suggested Sebelius, they're just too ignorant to know what's in the blessed bill.
Later, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine didn't deny that the Obama admin had engaged in two sleazy patronage deals, involving Joe Sestak and Scott Matheson. Instead, the DNC Chairman laughed off the cynical, and possibly illegal, arrangements. "Life is life," smirked Kaine.
To Morning Joe's credit, the patronage deals and the Charlie Rangel situation were discussed throughout the show. The withdrawal of Dem Rep. Eric Massa from his re-election race, amidst allegations he sexually harrassed a male staffer, was also discussed, though not raised with Kaine. Would an RNC Chairman appearing on the show the day after the Mark Foley affair erupted have gotten a similar pass?
On Wednesday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough pointed out the cover of the latest edition of Newsweek magazine, which proclaimed "Victory At Last; The Emergence of A Democratic Iraq" and featured a picture of President George W. Bush walking the deck of an aircraft carrier. However, the image of Newsweek that appeared on screen cropped out President Bush's face entirely (h/t George Miller).
The magazine cover showed Bush on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in 2003, after making his "Mission Accomplished" speech following the successful invasion of Iraq. While Newsweek cropped the picture to include half of Bush's body and face, MSNBC further cropped the image to leave only the arm of the former president visible (See original Newsweek cover below).
One of Scarborough's guests, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, reacted to Newsweek's declaration of victory in Iraq: "Too positive....For sure. We're going to take months to see a new government formed and we don't know how well the new government's going to operate....Too soon to take out the champagne, if ever." Show co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "Still a lot of controversy as to why we went in."
If you're reading this or spending time at politically oriented, new media websites, you are adding to the caustic tone in Washington, D.C.
Such was discussed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday during a roundtable segment wherein no one disagreed with this premise.
Joining Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were conservative contributor Pat Buchanan, Time's Peter Beinart, and NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
The topic of discussion was the evolution of partisan politics, and although Beinart pointed out how the parties have been much more greatly divided in the past than they currently are, the conversation continually referred back to the Internet being to blame for today's divisions (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):