Although Alex Wagner has donned new glasses for her news show Now, the liberal journalist seems unable to look beyond MSNBC’s favorite response to any Republican: bringing up race. On the July 31 edition, Wagner played a clip of Ari Melber’s July 30 interview with Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker on their new drug law reform initiative the REDEEM Act – the Record Expungement Designed to ENhance Employment Act – and then asked the co-host of The Cycle why Paul and Booker were so “reticent to take up” the issue of “racial disparities inherent in our criminal justice system” and “plumb further depths of it.”
Even though the Senators were pushing a bipartisan bill on the traditionally liberal cause of criminal justice reform, Melber and Wagner were unable to resist weaseling race into the discussion, seemingly unhappy that both politicians were unwilling to play the race game. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Earlier today, the Hollywood Reporter told readers that MSNBC had a horrible July rating period. For the four weeks ended July 27, the self-described "lean forward" network saw "its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54" drop by "33 percent from July 2013," causing it come in "below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status":
This afternoon on MSNBC's The Cycle co-host Ari Melber conducted a live interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and libertarian-conservative Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) about their bipartisan Redeem Act proposal -- Redeem standing for Record Expungement Designed to ENhance EMployment.
Unfortunately for viewers, Melber insisted on playing the Lean Forward's favorite hand, flopping out the race card twice: by suggesting Sen. Paul once opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the second by pressing Sen. Booker to accept the left-wing premise that the nation's drug laws were intentionally racist by design [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; video follows page break].
The women of The View are sick and tired of people picking on Hillary Clinton. On Thursday’s episode the entire cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and guest host Roseanne Barr all took turns defending the former First Lady from Monica Lewinsky, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin.
Whoopi Goldberg, setting up the segment, noted Clinton was asked about Lewinsky in her People magazine interview and then complained that Clinton can’t get away from the Lewinsky questions: (video after the jump)
Appearing as a guest on the Saturday edition of Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC, former NBC News man and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert asserted that Republicans are "hostile to the interests of African-Americans" and suggested that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul would not have a problem with a hotel or restaurant barring black customers from entering.
Herbert's comments came during a discussion of Senator Paul's recent criticism of GOP efforts to change voting laws. [See video below.]
MSNBC efforts to link conservatives to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy continued on Wednesday, May 7, as All In host Chris Hayes suggested that endorsing Tea Party candidates was "basically one step away from endorsing Cliven Bundy." [See video below.]
In a Saturday afternoon tweet, former Bill Clinton campaign strategist and former CNN talking head Paul Begala showed that he's quite a confused guy concerning Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. Sterling, as noted previously (here and here), has been caught on tape chiding a person who is apparently his girlfriend for "taking pictures with minorities" and "associating with black people." Sterling sees her as a "delicate" "Latina or white girl" who shouldn't "associate with black people." He asks her not to bring black people, including NBA legend Magic Johnson, to games.
Given these developments, Begala gave a "friendly tip" to several conservatives and Republicans, specifically talk radio's Sean Hannity and GOP Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. In the process, he betrayed a likely need to broaden his media consumption habits beyond the liberal bubble. Begala's tweet follows the jump:
Digby is far from the biggest name in the left-wing blogosphere, but she's one of its most influential figures. Lefty bloggers often introduce links to posts on her site, Hullabaloo, with the phrase "what Digby said" (it's sort of their equivalent of "megadittoes").
On Monday morning, Digby published a piece in a higher-profile outlet, the liberal online magazine Salon, in which she contended that because Ted Cruz "has his finger on the pulse" of evangelical conservatives, he has a far better shot at the 2016 GOP nomination than does Rand Paul, even though Paul, Digby opined, should have no problem pulling in the racist voters that are (allegedly) so common on the right.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday participated in a question and answer session to promote the launch of MRC Latino. Appearing at the Newseum in Washington D.C., Bozell and Paul discussed the state of Hispanic journalism and took questions on bias, the future of the Republican Party and other topics.
On the subject of the immigration issue, Paul opined, "Part of where I think there is a bias on reporting on the immigration issue is that the whole thing is that the Democrats have proposed comprehensive and it's either that you take that or you're against immigration reform." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Senator Rand Paul appeared at the launch of MRC Latino in Washington D.C., Tuesday, to discuss the state of Hispanic media and what conservatives can do in response. Appearing at the Newseum with MRC Latino Director Ken Oliver-Mendez, Rand Paul asserted, "There is bias in the media. It is good that we monitor and check the media...Part of overcoming that is showing up, but part of that is also having something to say." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Discussing Latinos and his own Republican Party, Paul insisted, "I think that what's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican Party, that we care about where they are coming from and we care about what their problems are." The Kentucky Senator insisted, "Are there many in the Latino community who go to church and believe in traditional values and are conservative? Yes. Maybe half. Maybe 60 percent."
On Tuesday morning, the Media Research Center unveiled its latest arm, MRC Latino, with a symposium in Washington, DC on imbalance and unfairness in Hispanic media, beginning with Univision and Telemundo, introduced with remarks by Sen. Rand Paul. It's time for conservatives to participate more fully in Hispanic media, and for those outlets to present both sides of the nation's most important debates.
MRC Latino director Ken Oliver-Méndez released the findings of a new report called “Hispanic Media in the Balance” (written with MRC research director Rich Noyes) that assesses how much national Spanish-language newscasts on American TV tilt to the left. Take a peek at the summary:
On Thursday’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton was irritated that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dared to suggest that President Obama should be more concerned about NSA spying because of our country’s history of civil rights leaders being spied upon. Sharpton thundered, “[W]ho is Rand Paul to make this point? This is a cynical use of race from some on the right.”
It was “cynical,” according to Sharpton, because some Republicans have done the opposite of Paul and criticized Obama when he does talk about race. But who is Al Sharpton to accuse someone else of the cynical use of race? The reverend has built his career by relentlessly exploiting racial issues. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
So who's being the sexist? Mika Brzezinski went ballistic on today's Morning Joe over Republicans like Rand Paul raising Monica Lewinsky in the context of a possible Hillary presidential run, calling them "sexist" and "misogynistic." But in the course of her rant, Mika mockingly referred to such Republicans as "little peanuts." Hmm.
Did Mika need to use such suggestive, demeaning language in making her point? You have to view the video to get just how derisive was Mika with her "little peanut" line. View the video after the jump.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer pelted Sen. Rand Paul with pro-ObamaCare talking points on Tuesday's The Situation Room, going so far as to list what he thought were the "all the positive features" of the law.
"But you like the fact that people can stay on their parents' health insurance programs until they reach the age of 26. That you don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions any longer. You can change your jobs, still get health insurance. You like all the positive features of the Affordable Care Act?" Blitzer pressed the senator. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sen. Rand Paul sat down with NPR anchor Audie Cornish on the January 29th All Things Considered, and from the moment the interview began, NPR’s listeners knew the likely outcome: a one-sided attack job.
Anchor Robert Siegel explained that while Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official GOP response, Sen. Mike Lee had a Tea Party response, and Paul had an online video response. Cornish began the interview by asking, “How do you convince the independent voter out there who sees this kind of mishmash of responses from various Republicans and no definitive agenda?”
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."
Did Al Sharpton just stumble into some unfortunate phrasing, or did he take an intentionally vulgar shot at Rand Paul?
On his MSNBC show tonight, discussing the fact that Paul recently raised the most salacious scandal of Bill Clinton's presidency, Sharpton said "Rand Paul is really going to try to do the Monica Lewinsky on the Democrats as a way of countering the war on women that they're doing with legislation and all kinds of things." I'm inclined to believe the sly Sharpton knew exactly what he was doing. View the video after the jump.
On Monday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, responding to Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul invoking former President Bill Clinton's behavior toward women, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid ridiculously asserted that linking Hillary Clinton to her husband's behavior "might be the definition of the war on woman, war on women to reduce Hillary Clinton to the wife of the cheating ex-President."
After host Lawrence O'Donnell played the clip of Senator Paul from NBC's Meet the Press, Reid began:
On Monday's Nightly News, NBC's Brian Williams fretted over "personal" shots at Hillary Clinton from Republicans, and correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested that the GOP has an ongoing women problem.
"[T]he attacks are already underway in case she [Clinton] joins the race. And it's indeed already getting personal," said Williams, referring to Sen. Rand Paul's remark that Bill Clinton's sex scandal should "complicate his return to the White House as a spouse." Paul wasn't even referring to Hillary, though, and said as much to Meet the Press host David Gregory.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press and pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats accusing Republicans of a "war on women" despite their support of former President Bill Clinton, who "took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office." Despite Paul making on the comments on NBC, only CBS This Morning on Monday reported the remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers: "Senator Rand Paul says any Democrat who believes there's a GOP war against women should think about former President Bill Clinton....Paul said Sunday that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is a legitimate campaign issue."
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made quite a strong statement Sunday about the so-called “Republican War on Women” and the double standards by which the sexual escapades of both Parties are reported by the media.
Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Paul said, “One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office. And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this” (video follows with transcript commentary, relevant section begins at 2:41):
Friday's All In with Chris Hayes exhibited host Hayes's latest example of fuzzy logic as he argued that paying people unemployment benefits, rather than encouraging them to go longer without taking a new job, actually encourages them to "get back to work."
After applying loaded words and phrases like "unconscionably" and "screwing over millions of people" to Republican opposition to unemployment benefit extension, the MSNBC host played a clip of Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul arguing that unemployment benefits encourage people to remain unemployed longer, and then responded:
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican resistance to extending unemployment benefits, MSNBC political analyst Goldie Taylor charged that the GOP "almost single-handedly blew up this economy," and that it was "as if" they "blew up" the "bridge" and then "dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own."
After host Al Sharpton played several soundbites of Republican elected officials and complained that they "act as though" the unemployed are "dependents, that they're some kind of beggars," he turned to Taylor who responded:
After Martin Bashir lost his MSNBC job for making a vile anatomical suggestion, you might think that others at the "Lean Forward" network would be circumspect about engaging in comparable crudeness.
But that didn't stop John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. Whereas Bashir's remark focused on the beginning of the alimentary canal, Heilemann's went to its other extremity. Asked how he'd deal with Senator Rand Paul's theory that extending unemployment benefits does the unemployed a disservice, Heilmann said "I'd tell Rand Paul to stick that where it belongs." View the video after the jump.
On Monday's All In show, after going through a number of Rand Paul soundbites which he viewed as reflecting poorly on the Republican Senator, host Chris Hayes was impressed by Senator Paul taking a liberal point of view on the war on drugs.
Hayes talked up the possibility of the Kentucky Senator being a plus for the GOP with minority voters. Hayes:
On her Monday 1 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell was shocked by Senator Rand Paul's supposedly "breathtaking" observation that continually extending government unemployment benefits can cause people "to become part of this perpetual unemployed group." She incredulously asked: "It's the unemployment insurance that creates the, quote, 'dependency'?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Teeing up liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus to denounce Paul's comments, Mitchell urged her to "have at it." Marcus ranted: "Can you say Scrooge? Yes, thank you for letting me have at it. My mouth dropped open when I heard that....he just wins my Scrooge award of the year."
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In May, ABCNews.com reported that Democrats were unhappy that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put his family into state tourism ads begging people to come back to beaches on the New Jersey shore. “That Gov. Christie would allow $25 million in federally-funded ads to feature him in the middle of an election year is both supremely arrogant and wildly inappropriate,” his opponent Barbara Buono said. Chris Matthews barely mentioned Buono this year, mostly to note she was getting creamed in the polls.
On Thursday night's "Hardball," MSNBC host Chris Matthews was livid that Sen. Rand Paul would second that critique, that it's unseemly for the governor to put himself in tourism ads in an election year. "Pissant" was the word Matthews used -- twice:
Does Candy Crowley work for CNN or the Democratic Party?
It was tough to tell Sunday when after the State of the Union host asked guest Rand Paul (R-Ky.) if recent polling indicated the beginning of the end of the Republican Party, she actually asked him if he’d ever consider becoming a Democrat (video follows with transcript and commentary):