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:
Don't be surprised if McCain '08 campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace passes up future chances to vent for Rachel Maddow.
Wallace did not appear on the Maddow show, agreeing instead to go on the record off-camera with her criticisms of Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life."
Maddow told viewers of her MSNBC show Tuesday that John McCain held a conference call Nov. 13 and asked that if they wanted to respond to Palin's book, to "at least avoid being interviewed about the book on TV," Maddow said --
Rachel Maddow wants you to stop referring to Nidal Hasan as a terrorist. Please. You know what short fuses they have.
Responding to Republicans' condemnation of Hasan's actions as terrorism, Maddow furrowed her brow and played devil's advocate, as befitting an honorary member of the al Qaeda Legal Defense Foundation --
MADDOW: Remember this one? Yes, it is the old paint-the-Democrats-as-soft-on-terror routine. But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democrat greatest hit, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking -- was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer. And the charges today didn't include anything related to terrorism.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter looked on Tuesday at MSNBC hosts pushing Team Obama from the left. Stelter stuck to supportive sources who believe they apparently have ideological integrity and independence where Fox News has none. They claim to have little contact with the Obama White House, but the staff there love how they’re supposedly "progressive but not partisan." Stelter explained:
It is certainly reaching the White House. Anita Dunn, the departing White House communications director, calls Mr. Olbermann and Ms. Maddow "progressive but not partisan," and in doing so, distinguishes them from Fox News, which she considers a political opponent.
The MSNBC hosts, she said in an e-mail message last month, "often take issues with the administration’s positions or tactics and are never shy about letting their viewers know when they disagree."
Remember those free health care clinics MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow played up back in October after Olbermann's hour-long "Special Comment," about Republican opposition to ObamaCare and/or PelosiCare?
Well, now it's time for their brand of AstroTurf to be put into action. On MSNBC's Nov. 13 "Countdown," fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell raised the issue about the potential opposition Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., might have over the current health care legislation being debated in the U.S. Senate. And, Landrieu so happens to represent Louisiana, the site of one of Olbermann's politicized free health care clinics.
"Republicans, in a new ad, are targeting conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana for indicating she might, might, allow health care to come up for up or down vote on the Senate floor," O'Donnell said.
This sort of thing an actual journalist would have flagged as dubious, but not Rachel Maddow.
On her MSNBC show this past Monday, Maddow and guest Jeff Sharlet, an author and contributing editor at Harper's Magazine, were talking about the so-called Stupak amendment in the House health bill to prevent weakening of the ban on federal funding of abortion.
Here's how the revelant portion of the conversation went --
MADDOW: Let me ask you about some of the other conventional wisdom here because the sort of conventional explanation for this is that this anti-abortion amendment to health reform resulted mostly from the Catholic bishops pressuring Catholic politicians to support it. But I know that you think that it's bigger than that. Can you explain why?
SHARLET: Well, exact-, I think it's unfair to Catholics, I think it's unfair to evangelicals. First of all, most of the press has focused on Catholics despite the fact that a number of the congressmen involved in this are not Catholic, including Congressman (Joseph) Pitts, R-Pa. (co-sponsor of amendment with Bart Stupak, R D-Mich.), including Congressman (Heath) Shuler (D-N.C.) who you mentioned. And frankly the majority of American Catholics are pro-choice. That's not true of the majority of American evangelicals.
Rachel Maddow left her radio program nearly a year ago when she began hosting her cable show on MSNBC, but on Wednesday she still claimed to be a radio talk show host. While she does still have a devoted timeslot on Air America, what runs is merely an audio version of her MSNBC show.
It's one thing to avoid the "terrorist" label when reporting on Ft. Hood suspect Major Nidal Hasan. It's quite another to say that those who do use it are making a political calculation to "paint the Democrats as soft terror." Yet that's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow insisted on her Nov. 11 broadcast.
Maddow launched into a minute-and-a-half soliloquy on why it is bad for the Democratic Party when commentators label Hasan a "terrorist." She even attempted to make the case on Hasan's behalf against a terrorism label. Who needs a legal team when you have friends like Maddow and Chris Matthews, who fretted over the legality of Hasan's al Qaeda communications?
"Remember this one? Yes, it is the old ‘paint the Democrats as soft on terror' routine," Maddow said. "But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democratic greatest hits, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Now, regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer."
On Thursday’s Countdown show, as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann hosted fellow host Rachel Maddow to plug a segment on her show about pro-life Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak’s push to block any ObamaCare proposal that involves taxpayer funding of abortion, Maddow charged that Stupak was being "cowardly" in focusing his pro-life attention "targeting" poor women who "won’t fight back or can’t fight back because they don’t have the resources."
Maddow’s contention came as Olbermann – ignoring the political reality that not only does an individual Congressman have little if any influence in a President’s choice of Supreme Court nominees, but that even mustering a two-thirds vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade by constitutional amendment would be nearly impossible in any Congress, let alone an overwhelmingly Democratic one – tried to undermine Stupak’s moral authority on abortion by suggesting the Michigan Democrat was not willing to "fight that fight in the open."
The left has gotten a lot of "giggles" over the term "teabaggers" in describing Americans who attend the tea parties. For those of you who don't know, teabagging is a perverse sexual term. It is interesting to me that the left not only knew the term, but seemed very comfortable using it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, MSNBC hostess Rachel Maddow broke out the ten-foot-pole of disgust for losing Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. But back in September, she suggested Bob McDonnell’s thesis from "Pat Robertson’s Liberty University" would sink him: "Here’s where Republican electoral chances stop being separate from the wild-excesses of the conservative movement."
Oops. Actually, double oops, Miss Maddow: Robertson’s college is Regent University. Isn’t it amazing that her liberal fans always tout how she "does her homework"?
Here’s Maddow on Sunday:
I think that if, if Republicans could choose to have anything to extrapolate from the, from the Bob McDonnell race, it would be to have as an opponent Creigh Deeds. If they could pick anything that they wanted. I mean, Creigh Deeds was a, was a marketably ineffective Democratic candidate, essentially running away from the president, running from everything popular in the Democratic agenda and doing it in a stylistically poor way. So I'm sure he's a very nice guy; he was a very bad candidate.
Rachel Maddow on Friday apologized for her previous day's Constitution Preamble gaffe by using "Schoolhouse Rock" to educate her viewers.
As NewsBusters reported, Maddow on Thursday ridiculed House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for claiming during that day's "House Call" rally the historic phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident" came from the Preamble to the Constitution.
In so doing, Maddow gaffed herself by claiming there isn't a Preamble to the Constitution.
Maybe after reading our article on the subject the MSNBC host felt the need to make a correction (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Jeff Poor):