Huffington Post's Howard Fineman veered into left-wing heresy on the Rachel Maddow show the other night. Fortunately, another leftist was on hand to point out Fineman's apostasy, which he duly renounced.
You see, over in MSNBC land, nothing is worse than the tea party -- or "teabaggers" as more unhinged guests such as ambulance chaser Mike Papantonio still like calling them. To MSNBCers, the tea party represents all that's bad in America -- racism, greed, xenophobia, bad fashion, poor spelling, the works.
So it was a bit of a shock to hear Fineman on Friday comparing tea partiers to previously venerated -- at least on the left -- protesters who occupied campus administration buildings way back in the swinging '60s, man. (video after page break)
Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry, guest hosting on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, could hardly contain her mirth at the specter of an elected official actually praying for guidance while Congress struggles over the debt ceiling.
Here's Harris-Perry describing tea party Republicans facing the wrath of House Speaker John Boehner for not supporting his debt plan (video after page break) --
Bradlee Dean, a Christian ministry founder, conservative radio host, and rock drummer has sued Rachel Maddow for claiming he advocated execution of gays on his radio show in May 2010.
Dean is seeking "in excess" of $50 million in damages and stated in his lawsuit that reporting by Maddow and the Minnesota Independent's Andy Birkey has harmed his reputation, hurt his livelihood, and led to death threats against him. Dean is also suing MSNBC, the cable network's parent company NBC, Birkey and the Minnesota Independent.
Maddow first criticized Dean on her program Aug. 9, 2010 after describing how the ministry created by Dean, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, received money from Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Maddow quoted Dean saying this on his radio show May 15, 2010 and played an edited excerpt (video clip after page break) --
You can already see the apologia coming on this one -- Rachel Maddow never actually said that seven towns in Wisconsin are named Union in homage to labor unions.
Which is true, she didn't. Instead, it could not be more obvious that Maddow implied this, with trademark smarm, and more than once at that.
Maddow did so for the first time on her MSNBC show back in February, during the battle over a proposed state budget, since enacted, that would limit collective bargaining by public workers. This was happening, Maddow said, in a place that has long epitomized labor rights. As evidence, Maddow showed a map of Wisconsin with arrows pointing to seven towns named Union (video after page break) --
At least five MSNBC anchors since Tuesday have promoted a cherry-picked House Democratic Caucus video that distorts President Ronald Reagan's position on the debt ceiling, inaccurately asserting that President Barack Obama is more in line with Reagan than the Republicans.
If any of the anchors had played the entirety of Reagan's 1987 radio address, instead of giving free air time to the Democratic Party's deceptively edited spot, they would have heard Reagan articulate a position on the debt ceiling almost identical to House Republicans' and nearly opposite Obama's: "You don't need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget." Lo and behold, the House passed a plan last night, "cut, cap, and balance," that contained both spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment.
A compilation video of MSNBC anchors misrepresenting Reagan is below the page break:
It's not the sources themselves that are deceitful, at least much of the time. It's what she does with the information they provide that is.
On her MSNBC show Friday night, for example, Maddow was riding one of her favorite hobby horses, alleging that new voter ID laws enacted or proposed in 40 states are little more than GOP-led efforts to suppress voter turnout among core Democrat constituencies.
To bolster her argument, Maddow said this about a new voter ID law in Texas (video after page break) --
How can you tell that Rachel Maddow considers GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann a mortal threat to the Obama presidency?
Because the MSNBC propagandist can't bear to let her viewers see or hear what Bachmann has to say. Instead, Maddow acts as censorious middleman, twisting Bachmann's remarks beyond recognition to all but Maddow's fellow denizens of the fringe left.
Here's an example of Maddow doing this on her show July 7, trotting out three hoary falsehoods about Bachmann in the span of a minute (video clip after page break) --
Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert appeared on Thursday night on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC to discuss how the death penalty demonstrates how America is marred by “such a macho culture, such a violent culture” that we would actually execute murderers and politicians haven't completely banned it.
For her part, Maddow tried to imply that there’s race-baiting politics involved, which is like preaching to Herbert’s choir. She insisted a new resurgence of tough-on-crime politics is typified by how Fox News is “trying to hype the issue of urban crime with racial overtones.”
On Thursday’s Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, host Maddow devoted a considerable chunk of her show to the story of convicted murderer Humbarto Leal Garcia's execution in Texas, and Republican Governor Rick Perry’s refusal to delay the execution to give Congress more time to pass legislation to address how the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations should be applied to such cases.
Garcia, who in 1994 raped a 16-year-old girl and then strangled her and crushed her skull with a 35-pound piece of asphalt, was sent to prison in 1998 but did not discover until two years later that he was supposed to be legally entitled to ask for help from the Mexican consulate in his defense.
(Note: This article earlier erroneously claimed that the Vienna Convention does not seem to demand that authorities inform a foreign national of the rights contained in the treaty when, in reality, the treaty does contain text making this demand of authorities.)
Controversy ain't what it used to be, not at MSNBC.
The network's Rachel Maddow cited two odd examples of what she deems controversial on her show Thursday, in the first and only time both examples will ever be cited as controversial (video after page break) --
Those wascally Wepublicans and their corporate-financed efforts to compel voter turnout, Rachel Maddow complained on her MSNBC show Tuesday, before suggesting possible Chinese or Brazilian manipulation of American elections through legalized bribes to unpatriotic conservatives (video after page break) --
Don't you love it when left wingers reveal their actual views on economics?
Rachel Maddow, one of MSNBC's nightly Gang of Five, did this on her show Monday while talking with Chris Hayes of The Nation about Democrats and Republicans battling over the debt ceiling (video after page break) --
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow slammed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...his brand at this point is, 'I'm the guy who screams at my own constituents'....his brand is 'I will be rude.' And rudeness is actually what he's trying to sell as a form of political authenticity."
Co-host Ann Curry mentioned Christie criticizing President Obama for being too focused on popularity rather than policy and wondered: "Does the New Jersey Governor have a point that the President is making mistakes because he wants too much to be liked?" As Maddow launched into her rant against Christie, Curry interrupted: "But beyond argument and ad hominem, let's talk about, though, about Obama specifically. Do you think he's trying too hard to be liked?"
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared that Michele Bachmann "faces new candidate scrutiny, including financial records for a family business" and proceeded to hype a non-controversy of a mental health clinic run by Michele Bachmann's husband accepting Medicaid reimbursements for treating low-income patients.
O'Donnell implied such reimbursements conflicted with the Minnesota Congresswoman calling "for less government spending and opposes an expansion of Medicaid." Appearing on the broadcast minutes later, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow cited O'Donnell's report and proclaimed:"Michele Bachmann is trying to make this case that she's a purist Tea Party candidate despite the fact that she has this hypocrisy problem with having benefitted herself from so much government spending."
... And after Maddow had spoken so glowingly of an FBI strategy for capturing notorious fugitive mobster Whitey Bulger. Or did she?
Rachel Maddow made a curious disclosure on her MSNBC show Friday after interviewing former Boston Globe reporter Dick Lehr, co-author of "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob," about Bulger's court appearance that day in his native Boston (video clip after page break) --
... which helps explain why conservative radio continues to dominate the airwaves while Air America Radio, uh, went kaput.
During a recent appearance on Tavis Smiley's PBS show, enviro lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose "Ring of Fire" show ran on Air America, made what reasonable souls among us might construe as a questionable claim.
Here's Kennedy responding to a question from Smiley on how liberals can better hone their message (video clip after page break) --
Whitey Bulger is the alleged crime boss arrested Wednesday by FBI agents in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig.
The basis for the Jack Nicholson character in "The Departed," Bulger is suspected of involvement in at least 19 murders and myriad other crimes. Until last month, only one other figure on the FBI's most wanted list was considered more dangerous -- Osama bin Laden.
On her MSNBC show Monday, Maddow described new FBI tactics in the agency's 16-year manhunt to bring the notorious fugitive to justice (video clip after page break) --
It's an old saw in journalism that there's no such thing as a dumb question.
On her MSNBC show June 16, Rachel Maddow demonstrated how this belief doesn't have much validity, if it ever did.
Maddow was reporting on a Detroit public high school, Catherine Ferguson Academy, that narrowly missed closing due to budget cuts when a charter school company intervened at the 11th hour (video after page break) --
Remember the movie "Say Anything"? Same can be said for Cenk Uygur's approach to criticizing Republicans.
Chatting with his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow on her show Friday night, Uygur apparently forgot he was on the air and described President Obama's opponents in a way one might expect if the audience consisted solely of liberals. (Then again, it was MSNBC).
Here's what Uygur told Maddow about Republican efforts to retool Medicare before it spends itself broke, followed by his overwrought description of Obama's "enemies" (video below page break) --
That Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Chris Hayes of The Nation may be perpetuating the Weiner scandal apparently has not occurred to them.
Maddow told Hayes last night that she could understand why Republicans were calling for Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign, but she was at a loss to understand why his fellow Democrats in Congress were doing likewise (video clip after page break) --
In a desperate attempt to save Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has even been abandoned by the leaders of his own party, MSNBC is still refusing to acknowledge that Weiner's actions should jeopardize his House seat.
Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," ridicules the idea that lying should be grounds for resignation, Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show," describes the situation as "more gossip than news," and Cenk Uygur, MSNBC political commentator, says that "he lied, so what."
Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was probably expecting softball questions from Rachel Maddow last night. That's not quite how it played out.
On Friday, the same evening he previously appeared on Maddow's MSNBC show, a risque photo of Weiner was sent from his Twitter account. An uproar in the blogosphere and broader media quickly followed, with Weiner denying he sent the photo but not addressing whether the photo was of him.
Weiner made another attempt at damage control when he went on Maddow's show again Wednesday. Before he appeared, however, Maddow signaled that the interview would not be business as usual when she said this (video below page break) --
File this one under: Imagine If The Partisan Tables Were Turned.
On her MSNBC show this evening, Rachel Maddow repeatedly mocked Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell as "little Mitch, the rodeo queen."
Maddow was miffed over McConnell's arranging a Senate vote on the raising of the debt ceiling, and by extension the Republican position on Medicare reform. And so, for about ten--interminable--minutes, Maddow beat into the ground a labored metaphor, somehow analogizing McConnell to the cowgirls in Utah who were forced to compete on stick ponies because the real horses had been sidelined by illness.
The potential for over-the-top advertising from Democrats to defend Medicare is definitely there, Rachel Maddow told her MSNBC audience Monday.
She should know, since her show of late is little more than a Medicare commercial for Democrats.
As she talked about the next day's special election in New York's 26th House district, Maddow described Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus advocacy group, stumping for Republican candidate Jane Corwin (video after page break) --
Gail Collins, the New York Times’s editorial page editor (2001-2007) turned feminist columnist, went on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Tuesday night to discuss the revelation that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger having a child with a long-time domestic servant. Although Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and actor, hardly has a reputation as a social conservative, Collins nonetheless used him to tar the social right as hypocrites.
Maddow: But we’re sort of being confronted with the glass houses and throwing stones problem. I understand why people have glass houses. People fail. But why is throwing stones still part of, a main stream part of Republican politics?
COLLINS: Well, because there are people, a lot of people in the country who not only have very strong, you know, family values, but believe that somehow you can legislate them into other people`s families and they’re very powerful within the party. So, the poor Republican candidates, I must say, do get kind of stuck on this one because they toe this very rigid line about personal behavior when like most human beings, they’re failing to live up to it.
So she insulted half her viewers, the straight ones anyway.
Deploying trademark saccharine smarm, Rachel Maddow last night rushed to defend Planned Parenthood from the predations of Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and like-minded Republicans in the legislature who have blocked federal funding to the abortion provider's clinics in their state.
In the process, Maddow used a surreal approach -- briefly converting her MSNBC studio to a "man cave" that looked like the sports den of a middle-class dad -- then talking down to the men in her audience as knuckle-draggers unable to comprehend beyond football and cars (video below page break) --
As NewsBusters has been reporting, so-called "news" organizations have been routinely calling leading Republican figures racists for having the nerve to criticize the policies of President Obama.
On Monday, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin specifically called out NBC News not only for its on-air talent being "blindingly white," but also for "promoting racial division in this country" (embedded audio follows with transcript and commentary):