Even when Chris Matthews attempts to side with the conservative/Republican position on an issue, he ends up either bashing them or praising Democrats, something he did three times on Wednesday's Hardball.
First up Matthews raised a GOP concern that Barack Obama should not speak in an "elevated" position, by using a podium, at the health care summit because it would present Obama as "standing up there like God" over them. [audio available here]
Later on Matthews appeared to defend tea partiers when he scolded Salon's Joan Walsh for using the term "teabag" which has a "sexual connotation" but just moments earlier accused conservatives of "leaping up and down orgasmically" over Scott Brown's win.
It's been almost three weeks since Sarah Palin addressed the Tea Party convention. More than two weeks since Andrea Mitchell did her taunting little imitation of Palin's hand notes. But there was Norah O'Donnell today, still milking the moment to mock Palin.
O'Donnell worked her hand-note reference into a discussion on today's Morning Joe of Scott Brown's vote for the "jobs bill."
Later, on a different subject, after criticizing socialism, Norah wryly observed "I sound like I'm on another network." See Bonus Coverage, below.
At the top of Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith promoted the idea of division within the GOP as he declared: "A controversial vote for brand new Republican Senator Scott Brown, as he sides with Democrats to help push through a jobs bill."
While it's certainly true that some conservatives took real issue with Brown's support of the $15 billion spending bill, Smith clearly saw an opportunity to stir up conflict on the Right: "the senator who broke the Democrats' super majority, Scott Brown, is taking some heat today from conservatives."
Rather than talk to any conservatives about the issue, Smith instead turned to liberal-leaning political analyst John Dickerson and observed that Brown siding with Democrats was a sign of his independence: "It's very interesting, though, because Scott Brown actually showed up at the CPAC meeting, the conservative meeting over the weekend in Washington, and yesterday he was quoted as 'I said I came to Washington to be an independent voice.'" Dickerson replied: "That's right. He said he was going to be independent and he, in fact, voted independently in this case."
On the Monday, February 22, World News on ABC, host Diane Sawyer seemed to rejoice in the "bipartisanship" of newly elected Republican Senator Scott Brown’s willingness to vote with Democrats on a "job creation bill," as she passed on the "fresh sign" of bipartisanship, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s expression of hope that it is the "beginning of a new day" in the Senate. After correspondent Jake Tapper concluded a report on the ongoing debate over health care reform by noting the unlikelihood that President Obama and Republicans will reach an agreement, Sawyer read the short item on Senator Brown's vote. Sawyer:
We've seen the likes of Time Magazine, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and Newsweek link the Joe Stack airplane attack to the conservative movement. But in an interesting twist, a political blogger for The Nation has inexplicably linked Stack to several players at the recent CPAC convention - including Tim Pawlenty, Scott Brown, and most notably Glenn Beck.
Leslie Savan wastes little time delving into despicable comparisons from the onset with the title to her rant:
Glenn Beck Dodges Incoming Plane at CPAC
From there, the associations to Stack stretch ever further. Savan somehow manages to draw parallels between Pawlenty's comment about taking a 9-iron to big government, and the attack (emphasis mine throughout):
"Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty strained to hit a Southern-sheriff note of populist threat by suggesting, rather oddly, that conservatives were cuckolded wives who, like Tiger Woods's spouse, should "take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country!"--thereby managing to invoke both the wall of shattered glass windows at the Echelon Building and the marital troubles that may have contributed to Stack's anger."
It would seem the term ‘metaphor' is beyond the writer's grasp.
Next up is an out of context quote from Scott Brown:
It wasn't enough (as Brent Baker noted) for Time magazine to run down Sarah Palin's "anti-intellectual drivel" and twitterpate for the umpteenth time over Obama's "gloriously American mongrel ethnicity." They had to run down the tea-party movement by highlighting the media's favorite Republican strategist -- David Frum. Placed at the top of their "Must Reads" section at Time.com, Frum rounded out their trashing of the Tea Party convention by getting in the first Time digs at CPAC:
Ann Coulter made news at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by calling John Edwards a vulgar term for a homosexual. At CPAC 2009, Rush Limbaugh urged conservatives to "stamp out" those in their movement who thought the era of Ronald Reagan had ended.
Bottom scraped? Not quite. Next week, Glenn Beck will headline the 2010 CPAC.
Would it surprise Time editors that Frum is misquoting Limbaugh? He didn't say "stamp out" the moderates. He said "stamp out" the tendency to throw the Reagan voters overboard:
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh believes that many of the Miss America contestants he met last week know more about politics than elected officials he's spoken to.
"I've really been impressed with all of them," Limbaugh told Fox News's Gretchen Carlson in a segment that aired on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday.
In his first interview since being rushed to the hospital in December, Limbaugh discussed the event, how he thought it was "the big one," as well as what he felt about President Obama's State of the Union address last week and the significance of Scott Brown's election in Massachusetts.
Yet, what has really caught the attention of some in the media was Limbaugh's comment, "I love the women's movement -- especially when walking behind it" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t the Right Scoop):
In a contribution to the Boston Globe Magazine published nine days before the January 19 Senate election won by Republican Scott Brown, veteran Globe Magazine writer Charles Pierce ridiculed the idea Brown could win, in a piece formulated as a letter to Brown:
Well, we’re almost here, aren’t we? The end of a long, arduous, four-month campaign for a Senate seat that you have approximately the same chance of filling as you did the pilot’s chair of the Starship Enterprise.
The cocky Pierce wasn’t done, writing in his weekly “Pierced” column toward the front of the January 10 magazine:
The notion that Massachusetts would elect a Republican to fill the seat left vacant by Edward Kennedy was the property of people who buy interesting mushrooms in interesting places. You might as well expect the House of Windsor to be succeeded on the British throne by the Kardashian sisters.
There was a marvelous fireworks display on Sunday's "This Week" when Fox News chairman Roger Ailes squared off against liberal media powerhouses Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, and substitute host Barbara Walters.
The one standing at the end likely didn't vote for Barack Obama.
In the second half of the Roundtable segment, Walters began by asking her conservative guest about the White House's much-publicized battle with his network.
Almost as if scripted, this teed up Huffington and Krugman to voice their displeasure with Fox.
Fortunately, Ailes was up to the challenge making for a very entertaining segment (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary):
Barbara Walters began her This Week interview with Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown by reciting his “fascinating resume,” including how “at 12 you were arrested for shoplifting” and “at 22 you posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine,” before she proceeded to press Brown from the left to distance himself from, or denounce, the Republican Party positions on abortion, same-sex marriage and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” She pushed him: “Are you out of step with your party, or do you think that the party has to broaden and change its platform?”
Given “Massachusetts requires that all residents purchase health insurance” and “you voted for that plan,” a befuddled Walters wondered: “So why doesn't it make sense that all Americans have health insurance? Why isn't what's good for Massachusetts good for the whole country?” When he affirmed opposition to the national Democratic plans, an astonished Walters pleaded: “Goodbye to the whole plan?”
Walters recited President Obama’s contention his administration has captured or killed more al-Qaeda than did the Bush administration in 2008, so: “Do you think that the President has made the country more safe?”
She soon informed Brown that “you replaced a beloved figure,” as she ruminated: “How do you think that Senator Ted Kennedy would feel about your election? Do you think he'd be disappointed?” (MP3 audio of this question; video below)
"In 1984, Ronald Reagan won every Northeastern state. Since then, the leadership of the G.O.P. has systematically shed its idealists in favor of ideologues, reducing itself to the current Cheney-Limbaugh illusionati whose strategy is to exploit faith and ignorance by fanning fear and hatred. But, Northeasterners are not so easily duped. Voters there tend to be wealthier, better educated, less religious and more progressive than those in other regions." -- New York Times columnist Charles Blow, writing on May 23, 2009.
"Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust." -- Charles Blow in his January 23, 2010 column, after Republican Scott Brown's victory in a special Senate election in Massachusetts.
(Hat Tip: James Taranto at Opinion Journal's Best of the Web)
Senator Scott Brown, the victorious Republican in last week's special election in Massachusetts who has re-written the political landscape, is scheduled to appear tonight (Thursday) on NBC's Jay Leno Show. After turning down the Sunday shows this past weekend, this will be his first time on a national television program.
He'll field questions in the “Ten @ Ten” segment, in which the guest commonly appears via satellite, to answer ten questions posed by Leno. The feature usually airs toward the end of the hour-long 10 PM EST/PST, 9 CST/MST show. (With Leno moving back to 11:35 PM EST after the Olympics to host the Tonight Show, this will be the last Thursday night edition of the program which will end next Wednesday night.)
UPDATE: ABC's This Week on Sunday, hosted by Barbara Walters, will have Brown as an "exclusive" guest.
Scott Brown replacing Ted Kennedy in the Senate really irritates the Washington press corps, as evidenced by Washington Post business section columnist Steven Pearlstein, who in Wednesday's paper cited Brown's victory as an example of the “wretched” state of the nation while he scolded Massachusetts voters for selfishness in picking Brown to replace Kennedy who had fought “for social justice.”
Massachusetts, which for nearly half a century proudly sent a senator to Washington to fight for social justice and universal health care, has chosen as his replacement someone who campaigned in effect on the slogan “We've got ours, so the hell with everyone else.”
On Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer twisted the meaning of a recent Washington Post poll on the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts: “Three-fourths of those voters...said they wanted Brown to work with Democrats to get Republican ideas into legislation....the vote for Brown was not so much a vote for or against policy or party, as it was a vote against the process itself.”
Schieffer seemed to completely ignore the fact that the poll showed 65% of those who voted for Brown did so to “express opposition to the Democratic agenda in Washington.” Instead, Schieffer tried to spin the data as evidence that voters were upset with both parties: “People don’t like the political games....if the two sides could somehow pay less attention to the voices on the fringes of the Left and the Right, take the Massachusetts voters’ advice, sit down together and see what they can agree on, who knows? They might get something done.”
At the top of his commentary, Schieffer pretended that the meaning of Brown’s extraordinary win was uncertain, rather than a rebuke of the Democratic Party: “Figuring out what Scott Brown’s victory meant has set off a fiercer debate than trying to divine the meaning of the Book of Job. We were all certain it meant something profound, we just weren’t sure what.”
Building on Brad Wilmouth's critique at NewsBusters of Keith Olbermann's disgraceful treatment of Scott Brown's U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, Johnny Dollar (HT Taxman Blog) measured the coverage of the victory/concession speeches of Brown and his opponent Martha (or is it Marcia?) Coakley.
Imagine my non-surprise when I saw the results (graph follows the jump):
During Tuesday night's coverage of the Massachusetts special election, CNN and MSNBC aired only a fraction of the Republican candidate's speech. Fox News Channel aired both candidates' speeches in their entirety.
.... CNN only ran 26% of Brown's speech, while MSNBC aired 37%. Fox News Channel carried 100% of both speeches:
Democrats now routinely say Martha Coakley was a bad candidate who took too much for granted in Massachusetts, even taking a vacation after winning the nomination for Ted Kennedy’s place in the Senate. But would they say the bad candidate was also failed by bad reporters who took too much for granted? On Monday, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz found a bigwig at the Boston Globe who arrogantly dismissed the race and took a vacation. He wasn’t even apologetic about the arrogance:
Frank Phillips, the Globe's statehouse bureau chief, says he missed the last few days of the campaign by taking a personal trip with his wife that he finalized a couple of weeks earlier. "I made a decision at Christmas that this was not going to be an important race, others could handle it, I could be out of town," Phillips says.
But he says Brown was going nowhere earlier in the campaign: "What would you have written? 'Things were heating up'? Things weren't heating up. It would be unfair to say we had missed it, because it wasn't there."
With the exception of George Will, the panel on ABC’s This Week (hosted by Terry Moran) roundtable insisted Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate seat victory was less an anti-liberal or anti-Obama vote than simply a “pox on both your houses “and “throw the bums” out choice when Democrats happened to be in power. (On Face the Nation, Nancy Cordes described Brown as a “true Republican moderate” and dreamed he “could make being a moderate cool again.”)
Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson also contended people really want ObamaCare and so the White House, Donaldson asserted, should have pushed it more “vigorously” and he despaired that “Republicans were able the make the idea that being on a government health program is terrible. How absurd.”
ABC News veteran Roberts declared of Brown’s win: “I think it's much more the process than the substance” as voters said “‘a pox on both your houses. You know, we don't like any of you guys’” since “when you ask which party do you trust more with various issues, the Republicans do worse than the Democrats. So it's not a Republican tide, but it is a ‘throw the bums out’ tide.”
The retired ABC newsman Sam Donaldson echoed it was “throw the bums out” and “the bums at the moment happen to be in. They're the Democrats. And, therefore, I don't care what your name is, or how much experience you have or don't have, or what your positions are even. You're the other guy.” Former George W. Bush campaign chief Matthew Dowd agreed “it wasn't a Republican victory. It was a victory for an outsider.”
The president of NBC has officially responded to Joe Scarborough criticizing Keith Olbermann for his attacks on Scott Brown.
In a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, Phil Griffin told his on air staff: "We do not publicly criticize our colleagues. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and will not be tolerated."
Griffin was addressing comments made by MSNBC's Scarborough about Olbermann. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the "Morning Joe" host first tweeted his disapproval of the "Countdown" host's comments about Brown -- "How reckless and how sad" -- reiterating on his program Tuesday morning, "Sad and pathetic.
As a result, Griffin sent out the following memo Friday (h/t TVNewser):
Is there anything stranger than a liberal reporter being upset that a semi-nude picture from 1982 didn’t sink a political candidate? Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse stamped on the sour grapes on Wednesday with a temper tantrum of an article on the front page of the Style section headlined "It’s okay. Scott Brown was just being a man. Ah, gender equity. That Cosmo spread might have sunk a woman".
What a snide, opinionated headline! Hesse began by suggesting nude pics had surfaced of Martha Coakley, and then, surprise, it was the other way around. Hesse’s topic sentence: "The morning after the election, a student of gender politics might ask: How different would the story have looked if the shoe -- Lack of shoes? Lack of clothes? -- actually had been on the female body?"
She found an expert to endorse and repeat the complaint:
I guess it takes a liberal comedian to bring a liberal buffoon to his senses, for a day after Comedy Central's Jon Stewart scolded Keith Olbermann for his disgraceful rants against Senator-elect Scott Brown, the "Countdown" host apologized.
After showing the full clip of Stewart's fabulous smackdown on the previous night's "Daily Show," the MSNBCer said Friday:
"You're right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry."
Unfortunately, the apology was to Stewart, not to the object of Olbermann's repeated attacks (video below the fold with partial transcript):
Barack Obama certainly didn't expect to receive as an anniversary gift a previously little-known Republican stealing Ted Kennedy's vacated Senate seat along with the President's precious filibuster-proof majority.
But with Scott Brown's surprising victory in Massachusetts Tuesday night, that's exactly what the chief executive got 364 days after putting his hand on the Bible swearing to protect and defend this great land.
As the Administration and its Party lick their wounds, the recriminations and finger-pointing have become almost as fun to watch as the returns were election night; the excuses for shoo-in Democrat Martha Coakley's colossal collapse comically traverse the political spectrum from the predictable to the theater of the absurd.
Take for example MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who actually smelled a touch of racism in the Massachusetts air Tuesday (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
Whatever version of healthcare reform President Obama gets from Congress will look nothing like the promises he made while campaigning.
According to NPR, it has nothing to do with Obama belting empty campaign slogans. Rather, NPR fired off a litany of conservative bogeymen, from Republicans to moderate Democrats to Sarah Palin's "death panels" to explain why Obama's campaign message has failed to materialize.
In an article printed Thursday called "Why Public Support For Health Care Faltered," NPR, in cooperation with Kaiser Health News, began with the assumption that President Obama really meant his dream of healthcare for all that would magically be free:
CNBC "Squawk Box" co-hosts Joe Kernen and Becky Quick get it. Unfortunately, their CNBC colleague that covers Washington, D.C. for the network doesn't.
On the Jan. 22 broadcast, Harwood appeared on the program to give a status report on the current version of health care reform being negotiated in Congress and what it means in the aftermath of Scott Brown's filibuster-proof busting election victory in Massachusetts on Jan. 20. Kernen suggested that the health care bill might have been forced through if not Brown's election and the public fervor it revealed.
"I think it's unbelievable that it would have gone through and they would have definitely jammed it through if this weird, serendipitous seat hadn't opened up and if there hadn't been a special election, 17 percent of the economy - based on what they wanted to do, based on what these elected officials wanted to do, against what the public wants - they would have just rammed it through, either way," Kernen said.
Comedian Jon Stewart Thursday absolutely tore Keith Olbermann apart for his disgraceful rants against Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown.
As NewsBusters reported here, here, and here, the "Countdown" host this week repeatedly attacked the Senator-elect as "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
On Thursday, the "Daily Show" host scolded Olbermann for his atrocious behavior saying, "I think that's the harshest description of anyone I've ever heard uttered on MSNBC, and that includes descriptions of the guys that star in your weekend prison program."
Maybe even more shocking, Stewart ripped the MSNBCer for attacking other conservatives including Roger Ailes, the owner of Fox News.
Better still, the Comedy Central star surprisingly defended Michelle Malkin stating that Olbermann's October 13 comments regarding her sounded "a lot more like violence against women than anything Scott Brown ever said" (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, h/t Story Balloon):
Watching a dour Norah O'Donnell reporting from Senator-elect Scott Brown's exuberant victory bash in Boston, I half-expected O'Donnell to tell MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ... the mood here tonight is grim ...
O'Donnell didn't quite say that, at least not publicly, though she did cough up this gem --
O'DONNELL: Another interesting thing. You pointed out some of the odd things, talking about the availability of his two attractive daughters and also being willing to take his truck down to show it to the president and play basketball against him, but there was one part of the speech that I don't know if you heard. He said, our tax dollars should not be spent on weapons to stop them and not lawy-, let me start that over. Talking about terrorists, he said, our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to stop them, not on lawyers to defend them.
Appearing on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, Politico.com White House reporter Nia-Malika Henderson argued to co-host Harry Smith that Senator-elect Scott Brown’s humorous remark that his daughters were “available” during his Tuesday night victory speech showed that: “this might be a senator who is gaffe-prone, who has to kind of walk back from remarks that he – that he makes.”
However, Henderson followed that statement by concluding that Brown’s style could make him a “hero for at least folks in the tea bag movement and grassroots folks because he says what’s on his mind.” Smith agreed: “Yeah, a breath of fresh air, as it were.”
Earlier in the segment, Smith admitted he did not see the controversy in the comments: “I’m not seeing sort of what was so horrible about it. And it feels like to me there’s a real sort of nice warm familiarity between the new senator and his daughters.” He then added: “But I guess it’s had other kinds of ramifications and there’s some blow back on this.”
But according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, efforts to spin this in a positive way are futile. Wallace appeared on the Fox Business Network's Jan. 21 "Imus in the Morning" program to explain their efforts to alter the news coverage to a favorable tone in the wake of this news is not the proper course of action.
"I think it means a big deal and I have to laugh, you know, somebody was saying yesterday, there's some events that are just un-spinable," Wallace said. "They're just too big, too dramatic, too obvious - you can't spin them and yet the White House clearly is trying to spin this."