Jonathan Karl interviewed RNC chairman Reince Priebus last week for the ABC News online series Politics Confidential, and the veteran reporter tried his very best to create a juicy headline for his video and accompanying article. It took a little stretching and some selective editing, but Karl managed to do it.
The headline for the entry, posted to ABC News’ Power Players blog, reads “Priebus: GOP Hurt by Dumb Comments; Needs to Work Harder to be Competitive in 2016.” The second paragraph of the article contained this Priebus quote regarding recent comments made by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.): “I don’t think any party has a monopoly on dumb things that are said, so I’m not going to sit here and defend those comments.” But here’s the interesting thing: that quote did not appear in the video accompanying the article. All of the other quotes in the article also showed up in the video. If Priebus spoke that line, why did Karl not show him saying it? [Read the article and watch the video here.]
If you have any lingering doubts about which way MSNBC "leans," you don't need to look any farther than the cable channel's coverage of President Obama's speech on Thursday regarding foreign relations and national security.
At times, it seemed that each MSNBC host or contributor was trying to outdo the other with fawning cheers over the latest address from the Democratic occupant of the White House, ranging from "momentous" to "remarkable."
Yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus announced that he is retiring in 2014, making the six-term Montana Democrat the sixth senator of his party to step down two years from now instead of running for re-election.
That statistic alarmed Rachel Maddow, the liberal host of a weeknight program on MSNBC, who asked anxiously on Tuesday: “Tell us if something is wrong there. What is the secret about this place that has you fleeing like rats from a sinking ship?”
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made news last Sunday when he once again claimed that enhanced interrogation techniques aka torture led to the United States assassinating Osama bin Laden.
During his confirmation hearing Thursday, CIA Director nominee John Brennan appeared to dodge a question from Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about this claiming he didn’t have enough information to comment on whether Panetta was right or wrong.
Ed Schultz on Thursday blamed Republicans for all the unemployed people living in America today.
As he began the most recent installment of the "Ed Show" on MSNBC, the host said, "The Republican Party has been on a crusade against the middle class and the poor for the last 30 years. We're now seeing the wreckage of that race to the bottom line culture."
He disgracefully continued, "Today a government report showed weekly jobless claims at a five-month high. 484,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the week ending August 7th. And you know what folks, you can lay this right at the feet, right at the altar of the Republican Party."
Sadly, he wasn't close to done, claiming, "The people you see flooding the streets begging for help, begging for an opportunity are victims of the Republican agenda just to make sure that President Obama fails" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, host Behar cheered on guest Kathy Griffin as she recounted confronting Representative Michele Bachmann and calling the Minnesota Republican a "bigot" as the left-wing actress and comedian recently lobbied Congress for an end to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. After Griffin repeated a story about storming out of a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee while calling Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss "cuckoo pants," Behar brought up Bachmann: "What about Michele Bachmann? She`s a piece of work, that one. What happened with her? I mean, give me a break. She makes Sarah Palin look like a brain trust."
After cracking that Bachmann is "one of the bigger crazies," and that she "makes Sarah Palin look like a genius," Griffin recalled meeting Bachmann: "I said, ‘Congressman Bachmann, are you naturally a bigot or do you just legislate that way?’"
When Behar exclaimed, "Oh!" Griffin asked: "Was that too far?" prompting Behar to effuse, "I love it!"
Griffin finished her story of confronting Bachmann and concluded that "it was sort of a great fun moment for a comedian."
The left-wing actress also recalled the story of her and Levi Johnston traveling to Sarah Palin's home in Wasilla, Alaska, in an unsuccessful attempt to include a sequence with Palin in Griffin's television show on Bravo, "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List."
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann compared Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss’s 2002 campaign against then-Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia to a "turkey-killing machine," as part of a segment with Bloomberg News’s Margaret Carlson, formerly of Time magazine, in which the duo mocked Sarah Palin’s part in a campaign rally for Chambliss. Olbermann: "What is the more grotesque event to be standing in front of and not paying attention to? What we`re seeing now, she`s standing in front of Saxby Chambliss who ran that campaign against Max Cleland six years ago, or standing in front of a turkey-killing machine?" As she laughed, Carlson responded: "Both are killers." Referring to the presence of the rapper Ludacris in Georgia as he campaigned for Democratic candidate Jim Martin, the pair also made cracks about Palin being "ludicrous" as Olbermann tagged her as "Governor Ludicrous of Alaska," and Carlson called her "Miss Slight Ludicrous."
Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss won a run-off election in Georgia on Tuesday, CNN said, denying Democrats the chance for a 60-seat "super majority" in the Senate that would have enabled them to pass legislation virtually at will. Chambliss, an incumbent who first won his U.S. Senate seat in 2002, defeated Democrat Jim Martin for the seat in a race that gained national significance because Democrats and their independent allies held 58 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate after the November 4 election.
Today's run-off election for Georgia's Senate between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin has attracted a lot of attention, especially because it could put the Democratic majority one seat closer to the 60 seats needed for a filibuster-proof Senate. Michael Grunwald of Time magazine has a story up today about the importance of the outcome of the race, but instead of giving a fair-and-balanced look at how both candidates would affect the Senate, Grunwald uses the piece to attack Chambliss for being a "textbook Bush-Cheney Republican" and praise Martin for potentially being a repudiation of Bush and a "candidate of the middle class."
Grunwald starts off by reminding readers that Georgia is still "an extremely conservative state" despite a Time magazine article from June which wondered if Georgia would be "Obama's Ohio" in the election. The writer uses this characterization of Georgia to frame Martin's potential win as "a crowning embarrassment for the GOP" and attacks Republicans by saying it would "rival Obama's own victory as a repudiation of the Bush agenda of tax cuts for the rich, pork for the well-connected, belt-tightening for the working poor, drill-baby-drill, strict-construction judges and military adventurism." That's when the Chambliss-bashing starts, as Grunwald goes on to say, "not to mention the political cynicism that made Chambliss notorious after his ads in 2002 comparing his opponent, triple-amputee Max Cleland, to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein."
The Nobel hasn't conferred any classiness on Paul Krugman. Dancing on the GOP's grave this morning in his NYT column, the newly-minted laureate impugns the party of Lincoln as "a haven for racists and reactionaries."
According to Krugman [file photo], tomorrow's election will purge the Republican congressional delegation of some of its more moderate members, leaving it even more "extreme."
The only evidence Krugman adduces in support of his Republican-are-racists slur is that GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia "observing large-scale early voting by African-Americans, warns his supporters that 'the other folks are voting.'” Where's the racism, given that 90+% of African-Americans are expected to vote for Obama and presumably for Chambliss's Dem opponent?
View video after the jump of Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe ripping Krugman as a "shrill, silly, partisan cartoon-character" who takes his cues from the left-wing kookasphere.
"Obama’s Lobbyist Policy Excludes Cleland" was posted last night on the New York Times's "The Caucus" blog. It relates that former Georgia Senator Max Cleland was disinvited from a Barack Obama fundraiser because the decorated war veteran is now a registered lobbyist.
The piece ends with:
As a surrogate for Senator John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign, Mr. Cleland often got marquee billing at campaign events, even landing a coveted speaking role at the Democratic National Convention. He lost his bid for a second term in 2002 after a Republican television advertisement depicted him as unpatriotic.