MSNBC has been relentlessly ripping into congressional Republicans as of late, and it appears their mockery is so pervasive that it can spread into completely unrelated discussions. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, investigative journalist Nina Burleigh took a cheap shot at House Republican leaders Eric Cantor and John Boehner during a segment about the Amanda Knox saga.
Burleigh said she did not think Knox and her boyfriend should return to Italy to face retrial for the murder of Knox’s roommate. She warned of the Italian justice system: “I wouldn't go back there because their system is such that they can put them into jail again right away and hold them. And so you know, why would you go back?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Each morning, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1997, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1998: Journalists disparage Ken Starr for investigating Bill Clinton's tawdry scandals, while an ex-Time magazine correspondent reveals the depth of her appreciation for Clinton's pro-abortion policies. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
"I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
That was Time contributor Nina Burleigh back in July 1998 during the Clinton impeachment saga. Not much has changed in 13 years when it comes to Burleigh's militant and outspoken defense of abortion.
Take her October 20 Time.com piece, "Mississippi's Choice: Personhood and the Rights of Zygotes," in which Burleigh attacked both pro-life activists who are pushing for a personhood amendment in Mississippi as well as "mainstream" pro-lifers who question the political and legal wisdom of the personhood amendment strategy (emphases mine):
Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh is unhappy she was criticized on NewsBusters for her Clinton-defending review in The Washington Post of Sally Bedell Smith’s book For Love of Politics. She lamented on The Huffington Post on Saturday night that before many could even read the review, "an apparently insomniac internet goon named Tim Graham had penned a screed dissing The Washington Post for having me review the book. Graham is the lifetime College Republican running ‘Media Research Center,’ one of the most persistent groups to express shock and awe over what one of the newsweekly wags called my "quote of the century." Those unfamiliar with my sarcastic remark need only google my name and the word blowjob."
Other than Nina recalling her infamous quote about fellatio for abortion-rights presidents, just how much of this is wrong? I don’t "run" the MRC; I work several levels below the pinnacle. I was never a College Republican, although I did work at the RNC as a minimum-wage phone fundraiser in the late 1980s in my first years in Washington. I did post my critique at 6:35 in the morning, but I sleep like a rock, so that should at worst make me a "early-rising Internet goon." A longer look at Burleigh’s article also strangely calls me part of the "self-righteous and supposedly apolitical establishment" that rules Washington. What a strange passage, in which I am also a troll:
One day after former Time reporter Nina Burleigh warned against the "cruelty" of evaluating the Clinton marriage in a book review of Sally Bedell Smith's For Love of Politics for The Washington Post, Sally Smith showed up for an online chat at washingtonpost.com on Friday afternoon and promptly trashed the Post's taste in book reviewers:
I [w]as quite stunned that the Post assigned someone to review my book who had so discredited herself when it comes to the Clintons. Nearly a decade ago Nina Burleigh wrote that while she was a reporter for TIME magazine in the early 90s she had been sexually aroused by what she described as Bill Clinton's ogling of her during a game of cards. She said that if he had asked her to his motel room she would have been "quite willing to let myself be ravished by the President."
On the front page of Thursday's Style section, The Washington Post awarded its book review of Sally Bedell Smith's new book on the Clinton marriage to none other than Nina Burleigh (file photo at right), the former Time reporter who so memorably said she in 1998 that she would gladly offer oral sex to Bill Clinton just for keeping abortion legal: "I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs." Instead of a book review, Burleigh offered a feminist warning to women to avoid judging Hillary Clinton's choices. She surmised that everyone wants to blame Hillary for the adultery, that "A successful wife to Bill Clinton would have had to be a full-time, full-service, round-the-clock succubus, but that doesn't give Hillary a pass."
Her real lecture came at the end of the so-called book review, in which she says judging Hillary's marriage is an act of "cruelty" like judging other mothers, including those sad ones who give up a career:
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.
Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.
The rockier the rib, the more likely you'll find pink lingerie under the trousers or a bullwhip and manacles in the bedside drawer. You can bet those Beltway dominatrices, madams and escorts (gay and straight) have been able to buy second homes -- maybe even in Sun Valley! -- with their haul during W's reign.
Oh, it gets better. According to Burleigh, gay-baiting and the Amish vote were keys to Bush's 2004 re-election victory: