In the midst of bashing Pres. Bush over Iraq this evening, Rachel Maddow's mic went suddenly dead, forcing her MSNBC show to go to commercial.
When she returned [and after paraphrasing a line from Macbeth], Maddow let it be known she was "such a conspiracy theorist" but didn't dare tell the audience what she was thinking because "it would discredit me forever."
President Barack Obama's decision to include, in his Tuesday night address from the Oval Office on the end to the “combat mission” in Iraq, a sentence respectful toward former President George W. Bush, appalled MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
Anchor Keith Olbermann recited Obama's graciousness toward Bush (“It's well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset, yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security”) and then, obviously speaking for himself and the entire MSNBC team, proposed: “There are people who would support President Obama who would howl at hearing that said aloud more than once.” Maddow indeed howled, launching into an indignant rant:
To have in this speech, as combat operations are ending, to have...the President not only not addressing the circumstances in which we went to war, but these kind words for President Bush, describing his “commitment to our security” despite the recklessness with which President Bush discarded that national security in favor of this war of choice, which only diminished our security, and is responsible, probably, for the Afghanistan war still going on today, for the deaths of people who have died in Afghanistan after the time after which that war would have ended had we not gone to Iraq -- not to mention all of the people who died in Iraq.
Those crack researchers at MSNBC have done it again!
Last week, hosts Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow both did stories about a blogger whose travel instructions for folks going to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally got posted at the Maine Tea Party Patriots website.
Included were warnings about what stops to avoid on the DC Metro.
Predictably, the liberal blogosphere had a field day with this citing it as another "example" of racism within the Tea Party.
There's only one problem: the culprit, a Washington, D.C.-based realtor, is a major contributor to the Democrat Party as well as gay rights groups.
But before we get there, here's what Rachel Maddow reported Monday with the help of the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson (videos follow with transcripts and commentary, h/t Seton Motley):
Here is how the Wall Street Journal began its lead editorial, "Victory in Iraq," on Aug. 20 --
When the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as part of President Bush's surge, American soldiers were being killed or wounded at a rate of about 750 a month, the country was falling into sectarian mayhem, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had declared that the war was 'lost.'
On Wednesday, the 'Raiders' became the last combat brigade to leave Iraq, having helped to defeat an insurgency, secure a democracy and uphold the honor of American arms.
For viewers of NBC and MSNBC earlier that week, the title of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division would likely have struck a chord -- on Aug. 18, both networks interrupted their scheduled broadcasts with exclusive live coverage of the brigade crossing the border into Kuwait, the last US combat brigade to leave Iraq.
Never mind the personal feelings of people, which they're entitled to have, over the notion of a mosque being built in close proximity to Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Those sensitivities have nothing to do with what's really going on. It's really all about President Barack Obama and his political opponents according to New York Times columnist Frank Rich.
On MSNBC's Aug. 26 broadcast of "The Rachel Maddow Show," host Rachel Maddow admitted she was befuddle that anti-Islam sentiment has seemingly peaked in the past few weeks and wondered why it has suddenly been brought to boil, with the mosque in question at the forefront.
"For all the bad decisions made post-9/11, we really didn't see a national, like, open partisan two-minutes hate toward Muslims the way we are seeing now about this mosque debate," Maddow said. "Why is it happening now?"
Rachel Maddow on Wednesday mocked the math skills of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie only seconds before she made the exact same arithmetic mistake she bashed him for.
In a short segment about the state of New Jersey losing some education funding as a result of errors made during the application process, the MSNBC host placed all the blame on the new Republican governor.
To put a fine point on what Maddow claimed was Christie's incompetence, she played a video of the Governor on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier in the day misstating the number of points Ohio edged out New Jersey for this award.
Hysterically, when the clip ended, Maddow made the very same subtraction error (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Alas, it wasn't supposed to end this way, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow lamented to NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel in Baghdad last week after the departure of the last American combat brigade from Iraq.
Engel recounted his experiences covering the war, getting into Iraq on false pretenses just before the US-led invasion in 2003 and spending considerable time in the country thereafter (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: So you were here throughout for the first five, six years of the war?
ENGEL: Yes. I took little breaks but, straight, I was here 10, 11 months a year.
MADDOW: So when you, thinking now in August 2010, this is ending. I mean, Operation Iraqi Freedom ends now and did you have any idea this is the way that it would end?
ENGEL: It's ending with a little bit of a whisper.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is actually about to win an award for her "civility" and "tolerance."
"The Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award, established by Interfaith Alliance in 1998, recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation," reads a statement released by the organization Monday.
"The award recognizes individuals whose actions have embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy on traditionally controversial and divisive issues."
And here's why Maddow qualified according to Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, the organization's President (h/t New York Post):
That's odd, those describing themselves as pro-choice usually aren't this candid when it comes to abortion.
On her MSNBC show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow spoke with Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell about Republican Senate candidates Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Ken Buck opposing abortion, including for pregnancies conceived through rape or incest.
Harris-Lacewell said this in response to a question from Maddow --
Bret Baier on Thursday rebutted Rachel Maddow's claim to David Letterman that Fox News intentionally tries to show images of "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the MSNBC host was a guest of the CBS "Late Show" Tuesday, and made some pretty disgusting comments about a competing cable news network.
Speaking with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, the host of FNC's "Special Report" countered that because Fox addresses stories that other outlets don't, that "doesn't mean that there's political motivation behind covering actual news."
This, of course, is a huge factor in liberal media bias, and is what folks that analyze news reports refer to as bias by omission (transcript follows with commentary, audio available here with relevant section at 10:00):
Rachel Maddow on Friday highly-edited a video from the previous evening's "O'Reilly Factor" in order to make the Fox News host look racist.
For some background, Bill O'Reilly wrote a syndicated column Friday in which he chastized Maddow and David Letterman for "without a shred of evidence" claiming on CBS's "Late Show" Tuesday that FNC intentionally runs stories about "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
Maddow responded by calling this "bullpucky," and presented video "evidence" from "Factor" programs to prove that this indeed is what Fox does.
Unfortunately, in the most damning clip, Maddow's minions conveniently edited out that O'Reilly was referring to a recent Gallup poll about how blacks and whites have differing views of President Obama.
Ironically, this came moments after Maddow scolded O'Reilly for airing the edited version of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod on his July 19 program (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Only a matter of time before MSNBC's answer to Eve Harrington (shown here being introduced to theater critic Addison DeWitt/Keith Olbermann) took a shot across the bow of unsuspecting coworkers.
On her show Wednesday night, Maddow recounted the "single strangest on-air moment for me" on election night in 2008 (video below the fold) --
MADDOW: This happened after midnight East Coast time, Barack Obama had already won the presidency and we were here in this studio (Maddow, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, former congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy) covering the reaction to the election results around the country. And in the midst of that, with everybody else I work with here at MSNBC, this happened --
GREGORY (describing aerial footage of large crowd in downtown San Francisco): I believe we've got some pictures out of San Francisco as well, some of the celebration pouring out in the Castro District of the city as it's known. A place near and dear to your heart, Chris Matthews.
Rachel Maddow on Tuesday told David Letterman that scaring white people is good politics for conservatives.
After the host of CBS's "Late Show" asked his perilously biased guest about the Andrew Breitbart-Shirley Sherrod affair, the MSNBCer predictably pointed her accusatory finger at Fox News and everybody on the right.
"The idea is you sort of rile up the white base to be afraid of an other, to be afraid of the scary immigrants or scary black people," Maddow said.
"Somebody coming to take what is white people's rightful property," she continued. "And you get them riled up so they feel like they need to vote in self-defense, and they vote for conservative candidates because of that fear" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t TVNewser):
If things don't work out for Rachel Maddow at MSNBC, she could always fall back on unintentional comedy.
In last week's back and forth between Fox's Bill O'Reilly and Maddow over the Sherrod controversy, Maddow criticized O'Reilly for mocking MSNBC's meager ratings while also accusing him of playing fast and loose with facts.
Here's the kicker in Maddow's remarks aimed at O'Reilly, stated on her show July 22 (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: You were trying to take the attention off me saying that your network, Fox News, continually crusades on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans, which Fox News most certainly does for a political purpose even if it upends the lives of individuals like Shirley Sherrod, even as it frays the fabric of the nation, and even as it makes the American dream more of a dream and less of a promise. You can insult us all you want about television ratings, Mr. O'Reilly, and you'll be right, that yours are bigger, for now and maybe forever. You are the undisputed champion.
But even if no one watches us at all except for my mom and my girlfriend and people who forgot to turn off the TV after Keith, you are still wrong on what really matters, and that would be the facts, your highness.
... while she and MSNBC, Maddow implies, get it right where it really matters. If only Maddow hadn't gotten it wrong every other day last week, a feat of Rick Sanchezesque proportion.
Fox Business is reporting that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that President Obama signed recently includes a provision that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission from responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Fox wrote:
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Several years ago, the media was confronted by several similar issues involving attempts by the Bush Administration to narrow the provisions of FOIA and exempt certain agencies from having to respond to requests filed under that act. The question that remains in these next few days as the media reports on this story is weather their response will be as condemnatory as it was when George W. Bush was in office.
On The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday night, host Bill O'Reilly apologized to Shirley Sherrod "for for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into the proper context." But then he quickly turned to NBC and MSNBC: "And then there is NBC News howling with left-wing indignation." He ran clips of Matt Lauer saying the whole story was "garbage" and Rachel Maddow sneering:
MADDOW: Just like the fake ACORN controversy, Fox News knows that it has a role in this dance. That's not new. That's not actually even interesting about this scandal. Fox does what Fox does.
O'REILLY: Which is kick your network's butt every single night, madam. And you have to be kidding with this fake ACORN scandal stuff. Unbelievable. Do you live in this country?
Maddow responded on her own show on Thursday night: "A host at the FOX News Channel named Bill O`Reilly accuses us of, quote, 'howling' with left-wing indignation over the Shirley Sherrod affair. We respond with subdued, dignified barking and yipping – next." Maddow flagrantly claimed that the ACORN scandal was a fake:
A surprise video of Barack Obama was presented to the ultra-liberal gathering of the Netroots Nation in Las Vegas on Saturday that included MSNBC's Rachel Maddow listing his accomplishments.
What does it say about this administration that it wouldn't find it at all unseemly to use the most left-leaning television network, along with one of its most liberal hosts, to propagandize political conference attendees?
Unconcerned with the picture this painted, Obama told the gathering, "Change hasn't come fast enough for too many Americans...But I hope you take a moment to consider all we've accomplished so far."
With that, the video switched to short clips from the June 25 "Rachel Maddow Show" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary:
Elena Kagan's record clearly demonstrates she's a liberal, but to Rachel Maddow, she's just not liberal enough to be an "actual liberal." While she did a bit of a victory lap with Newsweek's Dahlia Lithwick on Tuesday night that the Republicans failed to scare people about Kagan and "nobody was terrified," Maddow still felt Obama wimped out by not picking an obvious radical leftist:
LITHWICK: At the end of the day you have a nominee who just utterly slid under the radar. And I don't know how the fundraising went but I know that the narrative was "She's fine, yawn. She's fine."
MADDOW: Yes. Well, should liberals look back at this experience? I mean, we're not out of it yet but should they essentially look back and say, "An actual liberal, a real -- a more liberal justice could have gotten through here?"
LITHWICK: I think so. It seems to me that to the extent that Obama had a moment to put someone a little bit more -- a little closer to a Stevens legacy or a Brennan legacy, a little closer to a passionate firebrand, this would have been the moment to put them up if the rumors are -- and they're only rumors -- true that Ginsburg is going to leave while Obama is still in office.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
In his Monday Media Notes column today, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz lays out the latest liberal complaint against Tea party candidates, that they don't submit to more drubbing like Rachel Maddow gave Rand Paul, and somehow they have no respect for journalism:
Some of the most conservative and combative Republicans running for Congress are convinced that the media have it in for them.
But these candidates seem to regard it as an affront when reporters challenge them on their past statements and inconsistencies, which is a basic function of journalism. They are avoiding or limiting interviews with all but the friendliest faces as a way of circumventing the press. And some of them delight in skewering the mainstream media, a tactic that plays well with their base.
I'm fairly confident but not certain this didn't initially come from The Onion -- a fawning profile of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow written by MarketWatch's Jon Friedman.
"This is the rare 21st-century TV news star," Friedman writes, "an un-self-absorbed celebrity."
"Maddow, 37, is the voice of reason at MSNBC," Friedman elaborates. "Notable for their verbal brawn, the hosts of cable news shows often behave on air as if they're competing for a gold medal in preening. Maddow gets her point across in a restrained but emphatic way. She doesn't feel a need to outshout her guests."
Channeling her inner Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow on Sunday actually said extending unemployment benefits is "the most stimulative thing you can do" to help the ailing economy.
Appearing on the panel discussion of NBC's "Meet the Press," Maddow boldly presented a liberal view of economics that only the current House Speaker would be proud of.
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works."
Indeed, for moments before she falsely stated that Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.
But Maddow's best remark Sunday had to be, "If you really want a stimulus, do what we -- what's proven to work in stimulus, which is things like extending unemployment benefits...It's the most stimulative thing you can do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Happy belated birthday, America, your presence in Afghanistan is "inherently corrupting." That's the message Rachel Maddow gave on her July 6 program.
During the Bush administration, the Left often argued that the president had distracted America by engaging in hostilities in Iraq, bleeding resources and attention away from the real war on terror in Afghanistan, which had harbored al Qaeda pre-9/11.
Now with Iraq all but won following the success of the Bush-approved, Petraeus-executed "surge," the Left is becoming vocal in its opposition to the war in Afghanistan and finding a platform on MSNBC.
Daytime network anchor Dylan Ratigan has been calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan for weeks, arguing that the war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than Vietnam and been a needless waste of money.
Now Ratigan's colleague has joined in the chorus. On the Tuesday, July 6 edition of her eponymous show, Maddow made this argument:
You might wonder the same after hearing what Rachel Maddow said in response to GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle's contentious interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist and local cable show host Jon Ralston.
Maddow, as is her wont, criticized Angle for avoiding left-leaning media prior to Ralston interviewing her June 29 -- followed by Maddow criticizing Angle after the interview. Suffice it to say, had Ralston ended up begging for mercy from Angle, Maddow would have accused Angle of torture.
"But when Sharron Angle's political career ended last night on local television in Nevada," Maddow said on her show Wednesday, "it was a perfect case study in what happens if you don't ever talk to people with whom you disagree."
After showing excepts from the interview, Maddow also said this (first part of embedded video) --
MADDOW: But the bigger story here and the more unexpected story here is how curdled and pitiful and inbredpolicy and even argument itself gets when it is never exposed to opposing views, how weak the political and rhetorical muscles get when they are allowed to atrophy. So, I lament the no-argue bubbles. I lament the reluctance of conservatives and Republican politicians in particular to come on this show, in part because arguing is fun and talking to people with whom you disagree is fun. But also because it makes us all better at what we do. And that's good for us and if you are a politician, that is good for the country.
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."
In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.
"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.
Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.
"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
Liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday mocked the Mount Vernon Statement, a conservative declaration of principles as "a grandiose fake-parchmenty-looking thing." The anchor first described the document as endorsing "the rule of law, and individual liberty, and opposing tyranny in the world, and the defense of family, neighborhood, community and faith." [Audio available here.]
Maddow then dismissed, "In other words, such generic 'I love my mama' platitudes that even a pinko-Commie-liberal-elite-infidel like me would be happy signing on to all but one paragraph of the whole Mount Vernon Statement." (At one point, Maddow appeared to be mimicking the tone and voice of the late William F. Buckley.)
The left-wing host didn't explain which paragraph she objected to, perhaps it was the one about "limited government" or "market solutions." However, if it has caught the ire of MSNBC, conservatives might want to learn more about it. To view the entire document or to sign it yourself, go here.
Imagine waking from a years-long coma this past Wednesday evening, with a television in the room tuned to MSNBC. You slowly open your eyes and see ... President Rachel Maddow speaking from the Oval Office.
Whereupon you lapse back into a coma.
Actually, it was "Fake President" Maddow, as she called herself, delivering a mock speech on the BP spill she wished Obama had given the night before.
Among the things Maddow said she'd do, this one jumped out --
MADDOW: I've asked the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to assist me in the diplomatic side of this, in soliciting, green lighting and expediting all international offers of help, from experts in booming and skimming all over the world. We will bring in the best experts and the best equipment from anywhere on earth to dramatically increase our efforts to get the oil out of the water and off the coast.
" ... in soliciting, green lighting and expediting all international offers of help ..." -- as if offers of help from abroad had not already been extended, which they have, followed by the Obama administration inexplicably rejecting them.