The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Wednesday it would not provide additional funds to help the town of West, Texas rebuild after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 and injured 160. MSNBC’s Alex Wagner seemed positively gleeful over the news.
The daytime host treated the development as a political defeat for Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), implying on Thursday’s Now that the tragedy – and FEMA’s denial of funding – were “the seeds” the governor sowed for his opposition to excessive federal spending and regulation. Wagner introduced Perry’s plea for federal funds by pairing it with a sound bite of the conservative governor’s opposition to excessive spending:
Leave it to Ed Schultz to conjure up the most deranged spin yet in response to the Internal Revenue Service admitting to undue scrutiny of tea party groups.
While many liberals have been critical of the Obama administration in the wake of the hardly surprising revelation, Schultz on his radio show yesterday was full-throated in his defense of the IRS -- even to the point of making the absurd claim that it showed how conservatives should support President Obama's plan to "simplify" the tax code. (Audio clips after page break)
Once again, MSNBC has outdone itself with extreme comments on the subject of gun control. The morning after MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir sacrilegiously altered the Lord's Prayer to portray the NRA as ghoulishly bloodthirsty, Morning Joe panelist Donny Deutsch railed against members of Congress who oppose expanding background checks.
At one point in his tirade, Deutsch leveled a rather sexist complaint against a female conservative senator, suggesting that she was not true to her "primal" feminine instincts to abhor guns. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.}
Proving once again that MSNBC is less of a cable news channel and more of a platform for liberal activism, the “Morning Joe” crew today lashed out at members of the U.S. Senate who decided to vote against a gun bill backed by President Obama.
Taking his cue from the fiery and petulant speech the president delivered yesterday, self-described conservative Republican Joe Scarborough lashed out at the “pathetic” vote. His co-host Mika Brzezinski was even more hateful, repeatedly denouncing the senators who voted to support the NRA’s position on the bill as “cowards.” She then ordered producers for the show to put the names and faces of these senators on wanted-style posters in attempt to anger viewers against them.
As Joe Scarborough said, "this is liberal on liberal on liberal violence. I love watching it." He was referring to the intra-squad liberal dogfight, spurred by Rand Paul's filibuster, that broke out on Morning Joe today over the use of drones by the U.S. government. H/t NB reader Ray R.
Though former car czar Steve Rattner played a supporting role, the two main combatants were Sam Stein of the Huffington Post and Richard Wolffe of MSNBC itself. Stein criticized the lack of guidelines that the Obama administration has established for the use of drones on U.S. citizens, supporting Paul's argument that it should be an easy question for the Obama admin to answer. In the other corner, Wolffe was the internationalist, suggesting all terrorists should perhaps be entitled to the same due process, be they Saudi, Kuwaiti or American. Stein and Scarborough had to enlighten Wolffe about the special protections the Constitution extends to U.S. citizens. View the video after the jump.
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made news earlier this week by offering unsubstantiated and unattributed claims about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the Huffington Post.
On Wednesday, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart tore into Reid saying, "You are the Senate Majority Leader. You can’t just run to the Sideboob Gazette with ridiculous speculations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When even a panel of liberal journalists thinks the New York Times has gone too far with its Romney-bashing, you know the paper's descending to uncomfortable subterranean depths of bias. With the lone exception of Jodi Kantor, herself a New York Times reporter, the members of today's Now with Alex Wagner panned the Times for its Home section front-pager about Romney's La Jolla, California, home, "The Candidate Next Door." The story was written by political writer Michael Barbaro in a section that usually has to do interior decorating and other apolitical domestic fare.
"Can I call bull on this?" Nation magazine contributor Ari Melber asked. "What they've done here is taken a campaign reporter who covers the campaign with a really thin, silly story, and then put it in the home section." [audio available here; video update coming shortly]
If you haven't seen the hilariously effective ad by Karl Rove's American Crossroads group that portrays Barack Obama as a celebrity president with a failed economic record, check it out in the video clip.
Mika Brzezinksi was clearly peeved at how well the ad was playing even with her liberal-dominated panel. After Obama fan Donny Deutsch, and no-conservative-he John Heilemann praised the ad, a Mika at wit's end sought to recruit HuffPo's Sam Stein to help her out. "Can you debunk some of the things in the ad?", she entreated. Stumbled Stein: "ah-h-h-h-h, sure, I guess." After offering a paltry defense that Joe Scarborough demolished, Stein was reduced to saying that Mika had invited him to try to debunk the ad, and that "I'm trying my best!" View the amusing video after the break.
The machinations in Congress over extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits into 2012 could be rendered moot if Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee gets her way.
Appearing as a guest on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, the Texas lawmaker suggested Obama extend both by 60 days through executive order and bypass the GOP-led House. (audio clips after page break)
You have to wonder if a day has gone by since the September 7 GOP presidential debate without someone on MSNBC referring to audience members cheering when NBC's Brian Williams asked Texas governor Rick Perry about capital punishment in his state.
Likely the most colorful description of this incident to date occurred on Monday's Hardball when host Chris Matthews said Republicans "look hot and horny for executions out in that Reagan library" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Remember "What's The Matter With Kansas?" That was liberal native Kansan Thomas Frank's extended kvetch over the refusal of average Jayhawkers to engage in class warfare by supporting soak-the-rich policies.
The same mindset was on display on Morning Joe today. The Huffington Post's Sam Stein asserted that the failure of many less-than-rich Americans to support tax increases on the rich amounts to voting "against their own self interest." View video after the jump . . . including the amusing moment when Stein sulks about getting interrrupted by Scarborough.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein suggested that the budget plan that the House Republican leadership is trying to pass would harm the economy, and, as if the government did not take in lots of tax revenue already, referred to the absence of a tax increase as "no revenues." Stein:
Six out of seven reporters, called on by Barack Obama at today's press conference, asked a question of the President that came from the left and/or blamed Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans for standing in the way of a deal on the debt ceiling.
Ben Feller of the AP, began the trend of questioning when he asked how Obama was going to deal with Republicans who were "adamantly" opposed to tax increases. CBS News' Chip Reid followed with "isn't the problem the people who aren't in the room, and in particular Republican presidential candidates and Republican Tea Partiers on the Hill?"
During the 2008 presidential campaign, media members were conspicuously disinterested in one candidate's connection to domestic terrorists as well as his ties to an America-hating reverend.
Following the second debate during this election cycle, the Huffington Post's Sam Stein actually wrote an article about Mitt Romney having knowledge of a hockey game going on at the same time Republican presidential candidates were swapping jabs, and whether that may have violated the rules:
Following its controversial decision to ban Andrew Breitbart from publishing articles at its front page, the Huffington Post has found itself in quite a pickle now that one of its regular contributors, comedian Bill Maher, made disgustingly vulgar references to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Breitbart made some comments about President Obama's former green czar Van Jones that precipitated the following hypocritical statement from HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz last Thursday (readers are warned of vulgar content in full article):
Chris Matthews, once again, abandoned any notion he was serious about establishing a new tone of political civility in the wake of the Tucson shooting, as on Wednesday's Hardball he compared former Speaker of the House and possible GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to a terrorist as he screeched "He looks like a car bomber" and even described him in demonic terms, adding: "He's got that crazy Mephistophelian grin of his. He looks like he loves torturing."
The following Matthews rants came during a discussion about possible GOP presidential contenders with the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page and The Huffington Post's Sam Stein on the March 2 Hardball:
There was almost a full-fledged panic attack on Thursday's "Hardball" as three devout liberal media members fretted over the possibility that Tea Party success at the polls next month could make the GOP more conservative.
So worried about this was MSNBC's Chris Matthews that he opined at the end of the segment, "At some point, they`ll become not the party of the elephant but the party of the barking dogs as the cars go by" (video follows with commentary and full transcript at end of the article):
Chris Matthews bizarrely accused Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of using code language to appeal to the Birther crowd for saying, on Sunday's Meet the Press, that "The President says he's a Christian. I take him at his word." The phrasing of "take him at his word" sent the MSNBC host, on Monday's Hardball, into a rage as he charged McConnell's statement was a "Pitch perfect, dog whistle to the haters."
In fact, Matthews devoted much of his show to "The right wing's attempt to de-Americanize the President" as he invited on Newsweek's Howard Fineman and the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, in the first segment, to dissect what they thought was some sort of nefarious strategy on the parts of McConnell, Reverend Franklin Graham, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to ride a "message of fear" to victory in November.
Matthews began his opening segment by attacking McConnell for failing to denounce any sort of conspiracy theories as he claimed: "The Republican leader of the Senate played Birther politics with abandon." He even brought on Fineman -- who proudly claimed that since he used to work in McConnell's home state of Kentucky and therefore "understands it" -- to explain to viewers that the GOP senator was trying to get Rand Paul elected by playing to a "nativist appeal" that "really works big time" in that state.
However McConnell wasn't the only target of Matthews' ire as the conversation soon turned towards Rush Limbaugh:
On Friday’s The Ed Show on MSNBC, host Ed Schultz trashed conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, repeatedly mispronouncing her name as "Schafly," for linking being a single woman and having a greater likelihood of depending on government programs, as she noted at a recent GOP fundraiser that 70 percent of single women voted for Barack Obama. At the top of the show, Schultz teased: "I`ve got some choice words for the ‘Wicked Witch of the Midwest’ tonight – and that`s what she is." He later plugged before a commercial break: "Speaking of ‘Psycho Talkers,’ ‘Wicked Witch of the Midwest’ Phyllis Schafly [sic] got off her broomstick long enough to take a shot at unmarried women of America."
Later in the show, after conservative talk radio host Heidi Harris had appeared in a segment to defend Schlafly, Daily Show co-creator and regular guest Lizz Winstead appeared for the "Club Ed" segment and bashed Harris as "that teabagging Carol Brady," advising Schultz that "you have got to slam her down when she is absolutely wrong." After the Daily Show co-creator went on to charge that Schlafly "can empty her bowels through her mouth and just exhaust horrifying crap onto the universe," an impressed Schultz laughed and cheered her on as he seemed to refer to Winstead’s rant declaring, "That’s great stuff":
UPDATE: HuffPo's Jason Linkins offers explanation (see bottom)
Maybe this is the way former Hearst Newspapers columnist and so-called dean of the White House Press Corps Helen Thomas would have wanted it.
Although Thomas' old seat in the White House press briefing room hasn't officially been designated for a particular outlet, and this might be wishful thinking on the part of the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, the White House correspondent for website, took the seat for the July 27 briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Stein's questions from the front row dealt with the possibility of President Barack Obama making recess appointment, in dealing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he deemed the "lethargic pace" of judicial confirmations. Stein then followed up with four additional questions for his piece posted on the Huffington Post later that afternoon.
Well that didn't take long. The folks at the left-wing MoveOn.org are practically in mourning over Helen Thomas's "retirement."
Just a few hours after news broke that Hearst columnist Helen Thomas is calling it quits after a viral video of her anti-Semitic comments led to widespead condemnation of the White House press corps dean.
The abrupt retirement of Helen Thomas from her perch as the ranking member of the White House press corps was essentially accepted as a fait accompli by supporters and detractors alike after her controversial remarks urging Jews to leave Israel surfaced.
Indeed, if there was any defense made of Thomas's comments, it wasn't done persuasively or at an influential level. But that didn't stop the progressive community -- many hearing about her retirement while at the Campaign for America's Future conference in D.C. -- from collectively fretting on Monday about what the loss of her voice bodes for the day-to-day interaction between the White House and the Fourth Estate.
Her absence will be felt "significantly," said Ilyse Hogue, Communications Director of Moveon.org. "The burden will fall on the rest of the press corps to make sure the administration feels the need to be transparent about its plans to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, who endured a lot of pointed Helen Thomas questions, told Sam Stein of The Huffington Post that Hearst Newspapers should dismiss Thomas for saying Jews need to "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Poland and Germany.
"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer said in an email. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling."
"She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs."
Thomas knows that she could never say the blacks should go back to Africa or the Hispanics should go back to Mexico, she would ruin her over-celebrated reputation as the "dean" of the White House press corps. Stein offered more details and an update:
In it, he clearly delineates the difference between "the news" as establishment media outlets want it dispensed and the "market for information" that technology has created. Its only shortcoming is that he gives Arianna Huffington a pass for "coming to the table as an honest broker." I'll point out glaring examples that will disprove that notion later.
First, though, behold the beauty of Breitbart's treatment of the issue of "objectivity" and his clear statement relating to the two types of information choices we have:
The launch of the Daily Caller is a necessary step toward creating ideological parity in the all-too-clearly biased mainstream media. It is a good thing that you, Tucker, are admitting that you come to the table with certain ideological baggage, and my new site Big Journalism will be there to watch your back when the well-funded, organized left’s knives come out to try to discredit and attempt to destroy you. Believe me, they will.
In this report we get a nice one-two punch. Not only are we seeing Democrats once again refusing even a tiny compromise with Republicans on Obama's takeover of nearly 20% of our economy with his healthcare plans, but we also get to see another example of why Huffington Post is not journalism. I like a nice one-two punch for a Wednesday.
For one thing, the HuffPo article hilariously calls Democrat pitbull Rahm Emanuel a “conservative Democrat.” But let's start with the more important political point and deal with the HuffPo chicanery second.
During a segment on the “Reliable Sources” hour of CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson agreed that it was fine for President Obama to call on Sam Stein of the Huffington Post at his first press conference, and that the correspondent’s left-wing question on a proposed “truth committee” investigation into the Bush administration was “perfectly reasonable.” Carlson also agreed with host Howard Kurtz’s assessment that the “White House press corps not exactly rolling over for the new president.” Her response: “Never do, do they?”
Ifill and Carlson participated in a panel discussion with The Washington Times’ White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni at the beginning of the 10 am Eastern hour of the CNN program. Kurtz brought up the topic of the first presidential news conference, and specifically, how Stein was one of the reporters who asked a question: “So is this a new era for bloggers, in terms of the White House recognition?”
The title to this article is exactly how I'd write it if I were a political hack trying to drum up a faux controversy for use by other political hacks in the mainstream media. Which is exactly what Sam Stein of the Huffington Post did on February 12th as he broke out the yellowkid journalistic mold for a fantasy leftist hack attack on John McCain headlined in giant font, McCain Received $100,000 From Firm Of Abramoff Notoriety.
Before I comment further on the idiocy of Stein's assertions it is only fair that I mention that there is nothing in his article that isn't true just as there isn't anything untrue in mine here. Barack Obama did in fact receive over $80,000 from the same firm that Stein tries to hang John McCain with. In addition both John McCain and Barack Obama were eclipsed by the $162,450 amount received by Hillary Clinton from employees of the same jaded firm.