MSNBC has banished the last bastion of objectivity from its line-up of evening hosts. The network has announced that David Shuster [file photo] will be replacing David Gregory as host of '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.' [H/t Mike Allen's Political Playbook.] Gregory, his pending Meet The Press appointment no doubt in mind, had been on his best behavior while hosting 1600. Shuster will be under no such constraints.
Though there's not a ruble's worth of difference between their politics, I normally find Rachel Maddow a kinder, gentler, smarter version of Keith Olbermann. Not tonight. Granted, the Countdown host was on hiatus. But even if Olby had been around, he would have been hard-pressed to outdo Maddow for sheer silliness.
The preposterous proposition Rachel propounded? Republicans just don't want Americans to make good wages. That's how Maddow in part explained the decision of Senate Republicans to oppose the Big Three bailout.
Yes -- "perhaps." Hard to believe there are people who harbor doubts about this. Not so shocking to learn they dwell on the left side of the aisle.
Former "Wonkette" blogger Ana Marie Cox, a contributor to Time magazine and The Daily Beast, appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night to discuss, among other things, a Los Angeles Times story about Bush cabinet members receiving talking points on accomplishments they can cite from the 43rd president's tumultuous tenure.
Two of the achievements cited are that Bush has "kept the American people safe" since 9/11 and the president's work to curb AIDS in Africa. Maddow and Cox take it from here --
Rachel Maddow is on a mission -- to stop what she perceives as egregious revisionism when it comes to the war in Iraq. And if Maddow has to engage in the real thing to indulge her outrage, all while airbrushing away the ominous decade between the Persian Gulf war and 9/11, so be it.
The media's fave lefty mouthpiece of the moment has been in high dudgeon, her indignation initiated by Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard describing the so-called "Bush Legacy Project."
On her MSNBC show Dec. 3, Maddow showed a clip of Bush's interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News where Bush said "the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq." Many people "put their reputations on the line" that Saddam Hussein's suspected possession of WMD justified an invasion, Bush said, and "it wasn't just people in my administration." This is "not a do-over," Bush added, but "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."
Hey gang, didya hear the news? It's official, according to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC -- we're in a recession!
Maddow could barely contain her mirth on her cable show Monday in conveying word of the National Bureau of Economic Research reporting that the economy officially dropped into recession last December.
Here's how Maddow described it --
It may not seem like news to learn as we did officially today that the United States economy is in recession. For months now things have seemed really quite recession-like, even to the non-economists among us. But the rules of economic progrostication dictate that only a select group of economics gurus can officially declare that a recession is underway. Today that very special group, the National Bureau of Economic Research, made it official -- America, you are in recession. And according to the experts, it started last December. Now for most of us, this is not shocking information. Some folks, however, were a little bit behind the curve on this one.
Alas, lamented lefty pundit Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio and MSNBC, President-elect Obama may pursue a 9/11 commission-type inquiry into alleged crimes of the Bush administration instead of full-blown show trials.
Maddow also demonstrated her odd predilection toward condemning Bush officials as guilty who've yet been charged with anything, much less convicted, while wringing her hands over the fate of horribly misunderstood terrorists such as Salim Hamdan, bin Laden's "driver."
Here's what Maddow said on her radio show Monday, initially referring to the death of a high-level al Qaeda operative in Pakistan --
Did you know that not a single American soldier was killed in combat last month in Iraq?
(Updated with correction:October marked the first month since the battle of Baghdad in April 2003 in which an American soldier was not killed in combat in the Iraqi capital).
I didn't, at least not until last week, what with the mainstream media's post-surge interest in Iraq dwindling in proportion to the prospect of a US debacle.
Yet even with conditions in Iraq improving by the month, some observers on the Left can't refrain from invoking apocalyptic outcomes for the conflict.
Here's what one of them, Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio and MSNBC, said on her radio show Thursday about the proposed status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq that would allow an ongoing presence for American troops after a UN mandate expires Dec. 31 (click here for audio) --
Is MSNBC being rewarded for having backed Obama? That's what Jim Pinkerton suggests. On this evening's Fox News Watch, the columnist and New America Foundation fellow cited the news that GE Capital, a subsidiary of MSNBC's parent company GE, has received a $139 billion government loan guarantee.
Host Jon Scott opened this evening's show opened with a clip of Chris Matthews [in a story that NB was first to report], saying that he saw as his "job" making the Obama presidency a success. Pinkerton unloaded.
By definition, projection is revealing of what lurks in a person's heart and mind. Arianna Huffington projected tonight, and what she revealed wasn't pretty. So much so, that even her liberal host hastened to diassociate herself from the HuffPo editor. Huffington, grossly misquoting Grover Norquist's famous line about doing away with government, added an infanticidal twist.
Huffington was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show. The two shed crocodile tears about the diminished state of the Republican party. It was in suggesting that, of all things, she and Maddow should head up a Marshall Plan to save the GOP that Huffington engaged in that ugly bit of projection.
Most recent unintentionally hilarious moment on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show -- her interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie over the upcoming recount in the Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger/reformed court jester Al Franken.
The interview on Wednesday night's show began innocuously enough, with a news caption at the bottom of the screen identifying Ritchie.
Ritchie described the mechanics of the looming recount, which is triggered by state law for margins of victory less than one-half percentage point. The next news caption read, "Sen. Norm Coleman (R) Has 206 Vote Lead Over Challenger Al Franken (D)" (albeit all in capital letters, as with all the captions).
Then came this eye-opener of a caption, presented as fact as with the preceding two when it is an allegation and a kneejerk one at that -- "Before Recount, GOP Trying To Smear Minnesota Secretary of State."
Sayswho ...? All that was needed to make this bird capable of flight were two more words ... "Democrats allege."Adding that, however, might convey an attempt by MSNBC to appear fair and balanced, the last thing its goo-goo viewership wants.
On Monday night’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, radical MSNBC/Air America talk show host Rachel Maddow rehashed the antiquated argument that since conservatives do not believe in the existence of government, they should not be allowed to run the government: "I like vegans, but it’s like letting a vegan be your butcher. If you have somebody that is really against the idea of providing you the service that you have hired them for, they are going to be bad at providing that service." (Vegans are the most ardent vegetarians, the ones that don't even consume animal products like milk or eggs.)
Typically letting his conservative disguise slip, Colbert joked that Hurricane Katrina was a Bush success, since they wanted to show "the government was able to do nothing."
Wearing the kind of thick nerdy glasses that advertise her self-described reputation as a "policy dork," Maddow was half-joking that she believes in government, that "we only have one and we should try to make it a good government," sparking this exchange:
Just after MSNBC declared an Obama victory in the 11pm hour Eastern time on Tuesday night, the liberal network's tributes to the history (and the defeat of prejudice and the "right wing") flowed naturally.
Keith Olbermann proclaimed: "You've seen those videotapes of Walter Cronkite, the night that man landed on the moon for the first time, when Neil Armstrong stepped out, and he could just barely get out monosyllables. Politically, that's what this is. This is man on the moon."
Rachel Maddow compared it to the Emancipation Proclamation: "Slaves built our national capital, that slavery built the firmament of so much of what we think of as the great founding of this nation. And to have, essentially, to have a moment that means this much that you can put alongside the Emancipation Proclamation in our history, in terms of what the idea of America is, and what the relationship of what Americans are to one another, so we can speak to the world with a clearer voice. I mean, it’s sort of worth crying about."
By the second half of Rachel Maddow's interview with Barack Obama last night on MSNBC, the question Maddow kept avoiding became conspicious.
Surely the earnest MSNBC cable host would ask Obama something, anything about Iraq.
After all, Iraq is the main reason Obama became the Democrats' candidate for president and not Clinton, not Biden, Edwards or Kerry. They all voted for the war and later tried in vain to explain it away. Angry McGovernites who regained control of the party would have none of it and wasted little time anointing Obama presumptive nominee right out of the gate in Iowa.
Take Iraq out of the equation and Obama's just a freshman senator still summoning the nerve to ask McCain the time of day.
Here's how Maddow described it on her radio show Friday:
I'm sure the McCain campaign doesn't find this embarrassing at all, but for me the most embarrassing McCain news today on the election is what you can discern by looking at the map that was posted by the Economist magazine today on what would happen if the world could vote in the US election.
Conservatives love this, they love to say, oh yeah, foreign countries would love for you to elect a Democrat 'cause Democrats are good for foreign countries but not for America or somethin'.
Air America Radio host Rachel Maddow condemned a McCain ad critical of Obama while refusing to play the ad -- lest any of her listeners conclude it wasn't as offensive as Maddow claimed.
Here's what Maddow said about the ad on her Air America radio show Friday while referring to a "litany of super-embarrassing things" from the McCain campaign --
The first thing they did to embarrass themselves was put out probably the worst campaign ad I have ever seen in presidential politics, I think, on level with the Daisy ad in terms of its offensiveness and its disregard for the civic health of the United States in favor of political gain. And that is the ad in which they essentially say that there will be a terrorist attack on the United States if Barack Obama is elected and there won't be if John McCain is elected. So intellectually dishonest that it's not even worth playing it or debunking it. It's just disgusting.
An unintentionally hilarious assertion was made by Alaska State Senator Hollis French on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show Friday night.
Maddow and French were discussing the so-called Troopergate scandal and Gov. Sarah Palin's alleged grudge in firing former Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan for not reopening an investigation of a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce with Palin's sister.
Hollis, a Democrat who led the state legislature's investigation into Palin's actions in firing Monegan last July, cited "severe logical fallacies" in claims made by Palin and her husband Todd, including the Palins' request for reduced security despite their assertions that Wooten was a rogue cop.
Then came the coup de grace from French:
Stop and think about, what good does it do to fire a trooper if you really think he's dangerous?
Describing John McCain's alleged rationale for not mentioning '60s radical William Ayers in the second presidential debate, rising liberal media darling Rachel Maddow recently attributed a dubious quote to McCain -- "I didn't have the guts."
Wow -- McCain said that? Well, not exactly.
Maddow, making the assertion during a broadcast of her Air America Radio show, cited politicalwire.com as her source. Here's how it was reported at politicalwire.com on Oct. 14 in a brief post titled, "McCain Pledges to Bring Up Ayers in Debate" --
It appears Sen. John McCain will take Sen. Barack Obama up on his challenge.
In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama's comments that "I didn't have the guts" to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have "probably ensured" that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday's debate.
In other words, McCain stated the words, "I didn't have the guts," at least according to politicalwire.com -- but McCain was quoting Obama saying this about him, McCain.
National Review's David Frum on Monday accused MSNBC's Rachel Maddow of intensifying the ugly tone that exists in politics today.
Appearing on "The Rachel Maddow Show," the former Bush speechwriter, after watching the first part of the program from the Green Room "in horror," was apparently "unprepared for the sarcasm and anger" that is the show's -- and the network's! -- trademark.
As a result, when he "was asked about how awful and hateful the John McCain campaign was" instead of his recent trip to Afghanistan as planned, Frum, feeling "a little grouchy," marvelously replied (video embedded right, h/t Hot Air):
If you're going base an entire TV show on taking potshots at conservatives and Republicans for anything and everything, you might try to get at least the simple things right - things like grade-school U.S. geography.
MSNBC's Oct. 13 "Rachel Maddow Show" must not have read that memo. After launching into a Keith Olbermann-esque tirade criticizing Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's geographic campaign strategy, the best and the brightest couldn't correctly label the state of Indiana, mistaking it for Illinois - which ironically is Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's home state.
It's the kind of socialist attitude that would make Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez proud. Unfortunately, it's coming from a New York Times columnist making recommendations for the U.S. financial system.
"[W]hat we really need is we need, well capital that the banks - we need to put money into the system," Krugman said. "And in effect, what always happens in financial crises is a partial nationalization - partial and temporary nationalization of the financial system. And, that is - you know and, I predict with almost 100-percent confidence that's how it will end, but the [Henry] Paulson Treasury wasn't willing to talk about that."
During a special edition of MSNBC’s Countdown show after Friday’s presidential debate, Keith Olbermann seemed to insert a joke about the weight of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger into a conversation about the performance of John McCain and Barack Obama. As previously documented by the MRC’s Matthew Balan, the Countdown host brought up McCain’s difficulty in pronouncing the name of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and liberal Air America and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow contended that Obama’s most memorable line was when he accused McCain of being "wrong" about Iraq. Referring to Obama’s line in which the Illinois Democrat incorrectly suggested that Kissinger agreed with him about meeting with dictators like Ahmadinejad, Olbermann, who has a history of making fat jokes about conservatives on his Countdown show, made a quip at Kissinger’s expense in which the MSNBC host seemed to pick on his weight: "Or, perhaps, throwing Henry Kissinger back in Senator McCain’s face, which is physically a tough act to do certainly."
CNN’s Iranian-born chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, during the network’s post-debate coverage, made fun of John McCain’s stumble during the debate concerning the pronunciation of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s name [see video at right]: "On sort of a cosmetic level, I was quite -- I sort of giggled a little bit when I saw John McCain stumble over Ahmadinejad's name." Almost simultaneously, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann brought up the very same issue with his liberal counterpart Rachel Maddow, who went on to state that the flub "probably does hurt him [McCain] pretty badly."
Amanpour made her statement as she was giving her analysis of the debate during a round table discussion involving most of CNN’s regular political team. Co-host Anderson Cooper stopped her before she could continue on her "cosmetic" note and replied, "Yeah, it's not really fair though. I mean, people make mistakes all the time." Correspondent Michael Ware tried to interject, but Amanpour shot back and replied, "If it's fair for anybody, why not? I mean, if I stumbled, it would be [a] fair comment."
[For audio of the exchange between Amanpour and Cooper, click here.]
Andrea Mitchell is mad at John McCain and Sarah Palin because the McCain camp excluded the press from Palin's meetings with foreign officials this week. She is so upset that she as much as charged that John McCain's treatment of the press is as bad as that of the dictatorial ruler in North Korea, Kim Jong Il.
On Tuesday's Rachel Maddow show (MSNBC), Mitchell said that excluding the press when Palin met with foreign leaders was not "standard practice" and mentioned that in oppressive countries like Sudan and North Korea the press is often excluded. Mitchell also added that The State Department has a "standard practice" of making sure the press is included in meetings even in foreign countries. But Obama also excluded the press in his meetings with leaders in Europe this Summer, yet this fact didn’t even rate a mention by Mitchell tonight.
"Shovel your ratings" appears to be Morning Joe's subliminal message to Keith Olbermann today. With the latest ratings showing Rachel Maddow's new MSNBC show beating Olbermann's Countdown, the MJ panel went out of its way to congratulate Maddow on her success, repeatedly mentioning what a "good person" she is and how nice it is to see such people do well.
The crew was riffing off the Drudge headline "Move Over, Olbermann, Rachel Maddow Tops MSNBC Ratings." As seen in the Drudge screencap [after the jump], on Tuesday Maddow beat Olbermann--the perennial MSNBC ratings leader--by a count of 1.8 million to 1.63 million. She also bested CNN's Larry King, among others. Scarborough & Co. never mentioned Olbermann by name. But the invidious-comparison-by-omission in their pointed praise of Maddow's good-personhood left little doubt that the wounds opened by Olbermann's open-mic slap at Scarborough, in which, during the Dem convention, he told Joe to "get a shovel" for remarks too GOP-friendly for Keith's liking, have yet to heal.
View the video, and be sure to stay tuned to the end. Mika tries to move the show along, but Scarborough pointedly persists, basking in the times when "good people do well." Got, it, Keith?
As Culture and Media Institute Director Robert Knight has noted, the media are still presenting Obama campaign spin on the McCain sex ed ad as hard facts.
Last week the McCain campaign released an ad charging Senator Obama with supporting sex education for kindergarten children when he was an Illinois state senator.
According to the Obama campaign and the media the legislation in question "was written to protect young children from sexual predators."
That's a line that Obama himself used during last year's CNN/YouTube debate:
I've got a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old daughter. And I want them to know if somebody is doing something wrong to them, encroaching on their privacy, that they should come talk to me or my wife. And we've had that conversation, but not every parent is going to have that conversation with their child, and I think it's important that every child does, to make sure that they're not subject to the sexual predators (emphasis mine).
The only problem is that the goal of the bill wasn't to stop sexual predators, but to revamp the Illinois sex ed curriculum.
Brand-new prime-time MSNBC star Rachel Maddow told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that while Republicans wanted gay people steam-rollered "out of the country," she thought the Democrats were worthless and weak. "I don’t think the Democrats have ever fought the culture war."
Chronicle media writer Joe Garofoli interviewed Maddow for a podcast from the Republican convention in St. Paul last Thursday. Maddow said Sarah Palin’s Wednesday night speech seemed drawn from Pat Buchanan’s 1992 address in Houston. Garofoli nudged the self-described lesbian into repeating her line "I was 19 and I felt my country was declaring war on me."
When asked the difference in the cultural battles between then and now, she replied: "At the time, I think the ascendant right wing was really looking to change America by steamrolling out of the country people they felt like were anathema to their idea of American values. Now I think there is a more self-conscious idea that they’re saying they want to do that, so as to create a divide in the electorate they can exploit for political gain."
Monday night featured MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finding fault with Sarah Palin's religious beliefs and some of the teachings of her former church in Wasilla, Alaska, as the two harped on a speech the Alaska governor delivered at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June.
On the first episode of her new television program, the "Rachel Maddow Show," the eponymous host misinterpreted Palin's request that church members pray for American troops, as the Alaska governor expressed her hope that the Iraq war is part of "God's plan," with the MSNBC host claiming that Palin was "asserting" that the war factually is "God's plan."
Maddow claimed that Palin "said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D." On Countdown, Olbermann and Maddow took exception with Palin's account of a minister who prayed that she would be successful in her political life as they mocked the concept of praying in the hopes that prayers might be answered. Olbermann referred to Palin as "Elmer Gantry" and "Amy Semple McHockey Mom."
On Monday, The Boston Globe greeted the debut of hard-left Air America host Rachel Maddow’s new show on MSNBC with a bouquet of praise. She’s not only "a key face of the new, feisty, ratings-boosted [?] MSNBC," she’s "affable and erudite," she’s "cripplingly patriotic" and has a "yen for national-security issues." MSNBC brass added she "often isn’t expressing an opinion as much as laying out facts," and claimed MSNBC is a brand for "high-powered intellects...an appetite for really smart discussion of the news."
After Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave her speech last night, MSNBC talking heads Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow gathered to discuss the VP candidate's remarks. Among the topics covered was Palin's religious background.
MATTHEWS: Is it true that she believes that God supports the war in Iraq? How does she know?
MADDOW: Was she sitting in the pew in her church in Wasilla two weeks ago when a speaker said that the Israelis deserve terrorist attacks, because Jews are unbelievers in Christ?
MADDOW: That was in the Politico today.Jews for Jesusfounder speaking at her churchwhile she was there two weeks ago making incredibly, incredibly out of line comments about Israel and Jewish people. These are tough questions she'll have to answer.
MATTHEWS: Pro or con?
MADDOW: Saying that's why Israel was subject to terrorist attacks. It was God's judgment for not believing in Christ.