Bad content? Bad business model? No, those reasons aren't why Air America is no longer with us. Air America, a radio network advertised as the next talk radio juggernaut in 2004, was supposed to revolutionize the format and provide a "counterweight" for those left-of-center politically.
But there's another reason according to HLN host and "The View" panelist Joy Behar. In the usual fashion of citing no statistics and making sweeping generalizations, Behar blamed the collapse of liberal talk radio outlet Air America on a gender gap in listeners on her Jan. 25 HLN broadcast.
"Ok, but can I say that men listen to talk radio more than women and men are more conservative, generally speaking," Behar said, proposing a reason for Air America's bankruptcy.
In his first television interview since withdrawing as Obama's nominee to run the Transporation Security Administration, Erroll Southers make this puzzling observation to Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Thursday --
SOUTHERS (referring to Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt): One of the things that everybody must understand is that this attack was debriefed by the foreign terrorist organizations that sent Mr. Abdulmutallab over here. They learned a great deal. We need to reverse-engineer what happened and think about what we would do to counter the emerging threat instead of yesterday's attack and having policies that are then driven and being reactive instead of really being thought out and being comprehensive in their scope.
MADDOW: In looking into some of your record and what you've worked on in the past today ...
I guess it takes a liberal comedian to bring a liberal buffoon to his senses, for a day after Comedy Central's Jon Stewart scolded Keith Olbermann for his disgraceful rants against Senator-elect Scott Brown, the "Countdown" host apologized.
After showing the full clip of Stewart's fabulous smackdown on the previous night's "Daily Show," the MSNBCer said Friday:
"You're right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry."
Unfortunately, the apology was to Stewart, not to the object of Olbermann's repeated attacks (video below the fold with partial transcript):
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
Watching a dour Norah O'Donnell reporting from Senator-elect Scott Brown's exuberant victory bash in Boston, I half-expected O'Donnell to tell MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ... the mood here tonight is grim ...
O'Donnell didn't quite say that, at least not publicly, though she did cough up this gem --
O'DONNELL: Another interesting thing. You pointed out some of the odd things, talking about the availability of his two attractive daughters and also being willing to take his truck down to show it to the president and play basketball against him, but there was one part of the speech that I don't know if you heard. He said, our tax dollars should not be spent on weapons to stop them and not lawy-, let me start that over. Talking about terrorists, he said, our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to stop them, not on lawyers to defend them.
"I look at the numbers and I`m worried. I`m worried about this government committing itself to so many entitlement programs and committing itself to such a level of taxation that support those entitlement programs."
So surprising said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to colleague Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night just moments after Martha Coakley's concession speech to newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
As they sat in a bar in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Matthews sounded more like a conservative than the devout liberal he's admitted being.
"The country wants something better than what it has," said the "Hardball" host.
"That dissatisfaction has been overwhelmed by bad politics and smart politics on the right by a complaint about fiscal overkill," he continued. "And that is the problem the Democrats face right now -- a sense not that their values are wrong...The debt is too big. The government`s taking on too many responsibilities" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took time out of her busy schedule to appear on the radio show of radical leftist Mike Malloy's radio show on January 12. Malloy showered Maddow with praise about how she was simply the best on the tube. Maddow returned the favor with this jaw-dropper:
"I love your dark thoughts. We all love you for your dark thoughts."
(Audio here.) So Maddow suggested she deeply loves hateful talk niblets like these:
Here's Stewart from Thursday's "The Daily Show" lambasting what he perceived as ideological responses to the cataclysm in Haiti (click here for link to video at Air America site) --
STEWART: Clearly the story people care about right now is the earthquake that devastated Haiti. It is unspeakable as a tragedy. It's still unfolding. Aid groups are coordinating their efforts, donations are pouring in. At times like these I guess the only good thing that you can say is that whenever something this horrific happens, everyone comes together - everyone. (pause) Almost everyone.
(Cuts to video of Rush Limbaugh)
LIMBAUGH: This will play right into Obama's hands - humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community, in both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made to order for him.
Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday mocked MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for using the tragedy in earthquake-rattled Haiti to bash former President George W. Bush.
Not appreciating the ribbing, Maddow foolishly responded on her own program Friday proving once and for all that liberal media members love Jon Stewart -- as long as his target is conservatives, that is.
Precipitating the spat was the MSNBCer on Wednesday politicizing the growing Haitian crisis by saying, "All of that central to what the Obama administration says it wants to do differently than what Bush and Cheney did."
The "Daily Show" host marvelously noted, "Not the right time." Stewart concluded by mocking Maddow's audience, "Congratulations MSNBC viewers -- you're on the right side of this terrible, terrible tragedy" (videos of Stewart's segment and Maddow's response embedded below the fold):
A brief (and humorous) hypothetical: What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if Sean Hannity took the video of President Obama’s obeisant greeting of the Japanese Prime Minister, and turned it into a video loop to be played in the corner of the screen whenever Obama was the subject du jour?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a very similar thing with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele on Friday’s edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’
You may remember the mildly irritating pop-up starring Steele that inhabited the redesigned GOP.com at its first launch. It would launch in the upper corner, helpfully explaining the features of the site like the infamous Microsoft Word paper-clip assistant. Maddow revived this animation for use as a ‘bug’ in the corner.
MADDOW: Also, I‘m very proud that for the first time ever, we had a little dancing Michael Steele as the bug in the corner of our segment there.
When it comes to protecting Americans from al Qaeda, "the buck stops here," President Obama proclaims.
Obama's apologists in the media are finding that too close for comfort.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, for example, offered this novel analysis on the underlying cause of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly bringing down Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit --
MADDOW: Moments after the president was done speaking, his administration's official review of what went wrong was released. Now much of what's in this report we've known for days. The information was available. We had it but the analysis wasn't done, the dots weren't connected. It was a broad failure of the counter-terrorism system but the system itself is not fundamentally broken.
Rachel Maddow was playing the Church Lady of Political Discourse again on Thursday, doing the Superiority Dance of political seriousness. She wants a serious and civil discussion of the issues, but the conservatives keep failing her with "weird lies." She called Climategate "all made up" and insisted "I don‘t want to be fighting with people who refuse to acknowledge reality."
This was MSNBC, so Maddow wasn't discussing this with a conservative opponent. She was complaining to David Corn of the hard-left magazine Mother Jones:
MADDOW: I have to tell you, David, I — without being snarky, I despair over this. I despair over this because there are real fights to have over the response to terrorism. You know, there are real fights to have over health reform But what did we do? We followed the Republicans‘ lead and spent all that time talking about death panels—which is made up.
Appearing as a guest on the Thursday, January 7, Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow praised President Obama claiming that "he’s kind of quietly put together the most legislatively accomplished first year of any President in a generation," right after she referred to Obama’s "opposition" like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party activists as being "crazy." Maddow went on to credit Obama with preventing a Great Depression:
The liberal intelligentsia are often all too eager to accuse conservatives of being fear-mongers, purveyors of hate speech, etc. But when they engage in what they accuse conservatives of doing, it's a different set of rules.
"The problem, I think, we have now is sort of crystallized by former Vice President Cheney's role in this debate," Alter said. "And I think that he has actually gotten to a place where he is emboldening the terrorists. If you have a former vice president who is saying that our current president is weak - by the way, that's the first time in American history that's ever taken place, that a former president - a former vice president has said the sitting president is not protecting the country. Never happened before, must end."
Next time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano needs a media flack/coat catcher, I know just the right person.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is lashing out at critics who took Napolitano to task for claiming "the system worked" in response to a terrorist with explosives boarding Northwest Flight 253 and nearly bringing down the plane on Christmas.
In the lead segment on her show Dec. 29 (click here for audio), Maddow told viewers of a "dramatic, unexpected appearance" by Obama that day, breaking from his vacation in Hawaii to make an "unscheduled statement to the press."
"In the Karl Rove political playbook, more than one chapter covers the tactic of gay-baiting, which Mr. Rove has used to notorious electoral effect," Maddow said. "To quote a 2004 profile of Mr. Rove in The Atlantic magazine, quote, ‘One constant throughout his career is the prevalence of whisper campaigns against opponents. Often, a Rove campaign questions an opponent's sexual orientation.'"
In reviewing the Best Television of the Decade on Sunday, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales named one day’s live news coverage (9/11), six TV shows, and three people – Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow, and Barack Obama. Shales honored Fey (at number 3) for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, with special emphasis on the genius of "a detour to play the role she seemed born for, Alaska politician and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin." Then came the other lefties:
7. Rachel Maddow blossomed forth on the revamped MSNBC and proved that the political left doesn't have to be locked out of TV by the garrulous right.
8. Barack Obama, a president as ideally suited for the new information age (the one that has supplanted the old information age) as his predecessor, George W. Bush, was ill-equipped. Also unlike Bush, Obama seemed to thrive under TV lights, and spent more time under them than any president to precede him.
To Shales, his "President Wonderful" just gets better the more and more he appears on television. He is never overexposed, and he never underperforms.
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
First, a prayer offered by Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at last week's so-called prayercast sponsored by conservative groups opposed to a government takeover of health care.
After the prayer, a spot quiz --
BACHMANN: Lord, as leaders of our country, Lord, I pray as a stand-in for myself, I pray as a stand-in for others, Lord, who may not have looked to you and all your ways, Father, as leaders. Father, we want to represent you in the way that we should and so, Lord, I ask for forgiveness for that and our own country ... Lord, we know that we have failed and we haven't done as we should. And so that's why now, Lord, we ask for your forgiveness and we repent and we turn from that. And we say, oh Lord, we deserve your wrath but would you yet get our nation mercy. We ask for your mercy, we cry out to you, oh God. This is our moment and this is our time. Lord, we are at the end of ourselves and now we need you.
Chuck Norris has drawn a lot of liberal fury for his latest column about abortion and the Christmas story. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow drew a wild analogy on her TV show Thursday night. When Norris suggested people in the time of Christ might get abortions to avoid stoning, Maddow imagined that Norris and other pro-lifers wish that deadly punishment had never gone away: "I look at the whole crux -- the whole crux of his argument rests on the idea if only we still had stoning for abortion."
She then added, with delight: "It's beautiful. If we didn't have them, we’d make it up." She said this, despite the fact that she literally is making this up. Norris has been "Coburned" – liberals are reading more into his commentary than actually existed. Here’s the broader exchange between Maddow and her pop-culture correspondent Kent Jones:
KENT JONES: You know, there`s one conservative voice we really haven`t heard from in all the health reform debate. And frankly, I`m a little scared if we don`t hear from him. So here we go.
It's one thing to justifiably criticize an author for dubious claims. It's quite another to assert that the same author supported something heinous he adamantly opposes. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did both over the last two weeks.
Maddow's regular viewers have recently learned a great deal about Ugandan politics, as nearly every broadcast of her show since late November has featured a segment on proposed legislation in Uganda calling for harsh penalties against gays, including execution.
On Tuesday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, when Maddow recounted a recent incident in which a man unsuccessfully threw a tomato at Sarah Palin at a public event at a mall, Fallon joked that it was "awful" because the thrower "didn’t come close" to hitting Palin. Fallon: "Didn’t hit her at all? Didn’t come close? Awful."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the late Tuesday/early Wednesday, December 8th/9th Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday used the very loaded term of "denier" to deride global warming skeptics. Talking to liberal host Rachel Maddow, she referenced Sarah Palin’s opposition to the Copenhagen climate conference and chided, "Her Facebook entry says, you know, ‘Mr. President, boycott Copenhagen.’ How do you rationalize the deniers and the impact that they are having?" [Audio available here.]
"Deniers" is a word that climate skeptics find quite offensive, as many liberals equate not believing in man-made global warming to denying that the Holocaust occurred. (In March 2006, CBS reporter Scott Pelley famously compared, "If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?")
A dismissive Maddow moved beyond dictionary-approved words while insulting Republicans. She asserted that conservatives will either accept reality or respond, "'We don't believe the problem is real' and become a denialist [sic] about it." A denialist?
How does earnest MSNBC polemicist Rachel Maddow expect anyone to take her seriously when she doubts al Qaeda still threatens American lives?
It took Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations for the most leftward presidency since LBJ, to remind Maddow that al Qaeda's deadly intent is not "hypothetical."
Preceding Rice's appearance on Maddow's show Dec. 2 was this observation from Maddow about the Bush Doctrine, as enunciated by Bush at West Point in June 2002 (first of three segments of embedded video) --
MADDOW: The Bush Doctrine was probably the single most radical thing about the Bush presidency because it dropped the requirement that the United States actually be threatened before we'd start a war with someone, instead saying that if we just thought we might be threatened some time in the future, that would be justification enough for us now to start a war. It is a really radical concept if you think about it, not only about war, but about us, about America. And it may have survived the Bush presidency.
Rachel Maddow on Friday played a video of a man in underwear banging his genitals against another man's forehead in a gay bar.
This was done to explain to her MSNBC audience the derivation of the term "teabagger," the sexually-charged double entendre that sadly became popular this spring and summer as Tea Parties swept the nation.
According to Maddow, "This is where "teabag" comes from. This is a clip from a 1998 film by John Waters that`s called 'Pecker.'"
As the dancer in the fictional gay bar squats to bang his genitals against a customer's forehead, the emcee played by Martha Plimpton says, "Hey, Larry, no teabagging. You know the rules. No balls on foreheads."
At least Maddow warned her viewers to "get the kids out of this room or put them in ear muffs and cover up their eyes" before she rolled the clip (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 2:30, file photo):
Either MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews let one slip tonight, or it was an extremely poor choice of words.
Following President Barack Obama's Dec. 1 speech, which he announced his intentions for increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, MSNBC followed with wrap-up coverage of his speech with arguably three of their most prominent on-air personalities - "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann, "The Rachel Maddow Show" host Rachel Maddow and Matthews.
Matthews referred to a scene from "Gone with the Wind" about the American Civil War as an example of "excitement" going into a war. He said that was lacking in the room during Obama's speech.
Americans have watched a parade of painful episodes of public humiliation of politicians' wives in sex scandals. But in constructing a list of Top Ten Sex Scandal Details of the Decade for its 20/10 project, Newsweek recruited a porn star named Sasha Grey to slam these wronged spouses as knowing shrews and lecture about the horror of "Bible-belt-infused guilt." The number ten scandal detail on the list was "Governor Sanford's Appalachian Adventure," and Jenny Sanford apparently hadn't been insulted enough:
I have to believe that many women who are married to men with power are aware of affairs, and accept it. Don’t ask, don’t tell; as long as they receive something in exchange from their husband—whether that exchange be children, money, material items, or sex. We create our own morals. It’s once the affair goes public that morals change.
You could call it progress in media bias. For years, liberal journalists have blamed Team Bush for the death of hundreds in Hurricane Katrina. The major media found that theme of fatal incompetence simply irresistible. Time’s Michael Grunwald, who has written in-depth articles and a book about the Army Corps of Engineers, is bringing the focus back to long-standing government policies over decades.
But even Grunwald is using harsh language that Time magazine would usually disparage as talk-radio bluster. He said "Hurricane Katrina was a man-made disaster. And some of us have been screaming about that for several years...those of us who have followed this -- you know, we‘re angry about the Army Corps killing 1,000 people."
The occasion to revisit Katrina came from federal District Judge Stanwood Duval, who ruled in favor of plaintiffs who sued the federal government for compensation over hurricane damage. Duval charged the Army Corps with "monumental negligence" in its maintenance of a man-made shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet: