During his 19-year tenure as host of the Hardball cable TV political talk show, Chris Matthews has made several mistakes, but the one he will probably be remembered for most was his 2008 off-the-cuff remark that “I felt this thrill going up my leg” while listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Even though he has been razzed about it many times over the years, when the situation calls for it, Matthews isn't above repeating that statement, as he did on Wednesday's edition of his weeknight program. “At least I got my thrill up my leg from Obama,” he told former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt. “You got it from Sarah Palin.”
There was an interesting debate on Newsmax TV Tuesday between host Steve Malzberg and MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe.
In it, the latter claimed that on his network, Joe Scarborough, former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, and former RNC chairman Michael Steele represent – wait for it! – conservative views (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How do you know when an MSM member is pushing pro-Obama spin to the absurd? When even the most partisan of Dems, in the person of James Carville, can't stomach it.
On today's Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell, claiming that the world was "coalescing" around Obama's position on Syria, said that there was "a lot of optimism" surrounding the Obama team's negotiations with the Russians. Mitchell said she had seen this kind of thing before back in the 80s, when the US negotiated arms control with the Soviet Union. "It starts slowly but things happen," comforted Mitchell. All this was too much for Carville, who forsaw a future in which the negotiations went on and on and led nowhere. Said Serpent Head: "I love Andrea and she's optimistic. God love her, I hope she's right. Count me a little more pessimistic." View the video after the jump.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded on Monday to comments from Republican strategists Mike Murphy and Steve Schmidt, who have called on the party to “stray away from a vision” that is right out of the conservative commentator's “dream journal.”
The radio personality deflected the criticism, noting that the moderate GOP consultants got the candidate they wanted -- former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- and stated that strategists get rich regardless of who wins the elections.
Sunday’s Meet the Press featured a panel of five, none of them conservative (Congressman-elect Joaquín Castro, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, author Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and NBC’s Chuck Todd), to assess why Mitt Romney lost and “the future of the GOP.” And they agreed conservatives are the problem.
Todd, NBC’s political director, decided the GOP has become “a coalition of special interest forces” and fretted “the leaders in Washington can’t control the special interest groups” as Republicans, like Democrats in the past, “succumbed to their base.”
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a panel discussion previewing the second presidential debate, co-host Matt Lauer mandated that Mitt Romney answer charges that he's moderated his positions: "How does Mitt Romney answer that question tonight of, 'Why have you moved to the middle, have become more moderate in these closing weeks?'"
Former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt rejected Lauer's assertion: "I don't think he has to answer that question." Lauer immediately interrupted: "What if he's asked that question?" Former Democratic governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm joined Lauer in ganging up on Schmidt: "Oh, I think he does. He absolutely does."
The liberal personalities on MSNBC reacted to President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention in the exact same way they did to Bill Clinton the previous evening - with unanimous praise. Ed Schultz's ecstacy was apparent: "He made me feel good tonight. He made the American people feel good tonight, and he gave us confidence....It was a very visionary speech." Al Sharpton trumpeted the President's "epic" address, and declared, "I think that Barack Obama won the election tonight."
Unsurprisingly, Chris Matthews rambled on and on about the apparent greatness of the speech: "I think tonight he did it again, didn't he?...The most powerful statement tonight he made is, I am the President. I am the President, and you're not, and I've had to do the tough things of leading this country, and you haven't....It was a profound statement of, I've got the best position in this country and in this race, because I am doing the job and you're just twiddling your fingers, thinking about what it might be like to be President....What a home run that was." [audio available here; video below the jump]
MSNBC's on-air personalities were plainly in awe of Bill Clinton on Wednesday night. Moments after the former President finished his speech at the Democratic National Convention, they kept up the praise for almost 20 minutes. Chris Matthews gushed over the "strong offensive" Clinton gave for President Obama. Al Sharpton exclaimed, "Elvis and Bubba showed up tonight."
Ed Schultz was the most enthusiastic for the former Arkansas governor: "Affable, effective - as a Democrat, it doesn't get any better. I'm sitting here - I'm giddy...I just think President Clinton just did Barack Obama the biggest favor he could have ever done." Rachel Maddow and former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt agreed that Clinton's address was "powerful," with Schmidt exclaiming that "I wish to God, as a Republican, we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. We don't. It would be great if we did. Just an amazing performance." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie portrayed Mitt Romney's decision not to release more tax returns as a sign of guilt: "Mitt Romney is within the letter of the law, but he's on the low end of the norm. Do you think that he's left the impression with voters that perhaps he does have something to hide?"
A list appeared on screen of the amount of tax returns released by other presidential candidates in past years as Schmidt provided a bland response that only reinforced Guthrie's assertion: "...when you don't disclose something, one side is demanding you disclose it. People in your own party are saying you ought to disclose it. I think the American people look at it and they go immediately to, 'What's he hiding?' Whether that's a fair conclusion or not."
A very believable moment in Game Change, HBO’s derogatory movie portrayal of Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign. In a scene at a hotel bar in Phoenix on election eve, McCain-Palin senior campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson, tells campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser/speechwriter Mark Salter the state of John McCain’s mood:
He’s the most depressed I’ve seen him in the entire campaign. I can’t get him to stop watching MSNBC, which only makes him more miserable.
Isn’t that a common malady from watching MSNBC? Video below:
As NewsBusters reported last Wednesday, the stars and executives involved in the production of HBO's Sarah Palin-bashing film "Game Change" have given $200,000 to Democrats and liberal causes in recent years whilst donating absolutely nothing to Republicans.
Now we learn from a Men's Journal interview with "Game Change" star Woody Harrelson that what members of the GOP say makes him "weep for humanity" (MJ questions in bold, Harrelson's answers in regular print, serious vulgarity warning):
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, despite his failure as the McCain-Palin campaign’s senior adviser, and his subsequent backstabbing of the candidates he represented, HBO’s “Game Change” made him the hero of its Palin-bashing film that premiered Saturday.
The crew on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, with Schmidt as its guest, continued with this pathetic idol worship Monday (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Now that HBO's Sarah Palin-bashing film "Game Change" has premiered, it is fascinating to note that its two heroes are the very advisers who not only were responsible for the worst presidential campaign in decades, but also ended up backstabbing the candidates they represented.
Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) kept true to his word that he wasn't going to watch HBO's Sarah Palin-bashing film "Game Change" which premiered Saturday evening, he did have some harsh words about it on Fox News Sunday.
"It's based on a book that's completely biased and with unattributed quotes," McCain said before taking issue with the depiction of him as a vulgar man that asked his campaign manager to find him a female running mate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, Obama-loving media members have almost been orgasmic in their adoration for HBO's new Sarah Palin-bashing film "Game Change."
Firmly on the bandwagon is Chris Matthews who on the syndicated program bearing his name this weekend actually said that Woody Harrelson's performance as McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt is "the role of the century" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Days before HBO's anti-Republican propaganda film "Game Change" premieres, it has been revealed that the top stars and executives involved in the movie have given $200,000 to Democrats and liberal causes over the years.
By contrast, according to the Hollywood Reporter, they've given exactly nothing to Republicans:
While the “nonfiction” writers have clearly sharpened their knives for Sarah Palin (and put “writers” in quotes if we’re talking Levi Johnston), the liberal media also can’t help but publicize smear-fiction of Palin. Case in point: Nicolle Wallace, the Palin-hating McCain aide, whose new novel smears Palin with a plot about a vice president who isn’t vetted well who’s exposed after the election as mentally ill.
Wallace, who plays a Republican on TV, was featured and touted on two editions of the Rachel Maddow show (Tuesday and Wednesday). Maddow especially liked and reran Wallace suggesting with a smile, “Look, you know, I was inspired by her to write a book about someone who was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. So don’t ask me.”
Does Chris Matthews listen to himself talk? On Thursday's Hardball, the MSNBC anchor told top McCain '08 aide Steve Schmidt, "We were all rooting for you, by the way. And a lot of us in this business like John McCain a lot."
The cable anchor who famously informed America that Barack Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, added, "He didn't think we did and we were tough on him last time. I liked Obama. But I tell you, I've always liked McCain."
Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are laughing all the way to the bank at the mess Harry Reid is facing. The hottest backstage tidbit of their new campaign chronicle "Game Change" is that Reid praised Barack Obama’s political appeal as a "light-skinned" black man with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
The prestige these authors have among their media colleagues was more weighty than the Democrats pleading to be spared the headache. (Halperin is now at Time after many years at ABC; Heilemann is at New York magazine.) For his part, President Obama quickly proclaimed "the book is closed," even if the uproar was just beginning. Obama did not comment on the book’s report that Ted Kennedy was furious at Bill Clinton after Clinton sneered that Obama was so inexperienced that "a few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
The authors said "trust us" on the book’s anonymous sources, because we know these campaign sources so thoroughly that we know all their motivations. Which leads to Question #2: If you know these sources so well, why did it take a year or two to unload these scoops?
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
On Monday’s Inside Edition, distributed by CBS, host Deborah Norville cited Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt and proclaimed: “‘A debacle of historic and epic proportions.’ That’s how a former McCain campaign strategist is describing Sarah Palin’s performance as the Governor prepared for the vice presidential debate.”
Norville conveniently left out Schmidt’s later remark in the interview that Palin “did a good job in the debate against Senator Biden” and that he thought the Governor “more than held her own.” Instead, Norville only highlighted the adviser’s pre-debate concerns: “Schmidt reveals Palin was ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘ill prepared’ for the debate.”
Norville later mentioned: “Schmidt also claims Palin was so flustered during the prep for debate, she kept referring to Joe Biden as ‘O’Biden.’” She noted how Palin “did slip up once during the nationally televised debate.”
Also left out of the Inside Edition story was Schmidt’s concluding comment in the interview that: “I believe, had she [Palin] not been on the ticket, our margin of defeat would’ve been greater than it would’ve been otherwise.”
Friday’s CBS Early Show previewed an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt as co-host Harry Smith declared: “John McCain’s former top adviser comes out swinging and tells "60 minutes" Sarah Palin often struggled with straight talk.” A clip was played of Schmidt claiming “there were numerous instances” when Palin “said things that were not accurate.”
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez later teased the interview by describing how Schmidt “gets tough on Sarah Palin” and referred to it as “explosive.” While introducing a brief preview clip of the interview, set to air on Sunday’s "60 Minutes", Rodriguez proclaimed: “the blunt-talking political strategist who ran John McCain’s presidential campaign, is going rogue, speaking out for the first time since the election....And when it comes to Sarah Palin, he’s not holding back.”
In the featured clip, Schmidt attacked Palin’s credibility and lamented how “...the campaign had to deal with and that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate.” He added: “And I think that that is something that continues to this day.” A headline on-screen read: “Going Rogue; Fmr. McCain Adviser Slams Palin on '60 Minutes'”
Former Vice President Al Gore a few years ago advised Internet behemoth Google about "aspects of search quality."
Such was reported by the New Yorker in its October 12 issue (subscription required).
By themselves, the following paragraphs from this 6500-word piece don't mean much.
However, given the ongoing concerns about Google's political leanings and how its search algorithms might be manipulated to favor liberal news outlets over conservative points of view, the very idea that Gore might have had any input to this process is worrisome to say the least:
ABC’s World News programs on Friday and Sunday highlighted "frank comments by Republicans" who indicated either an admission to having reservations over, or who called on a reversal of, the Republican party’s conservative stance on social issues. On Friday, Charles Gibson informed viewers that Sarah Palin confessed before a pro-life group to having briefly wondered about having an abortion after she discovered her son Trig would be born with Down’s Syndrome. Gibson also highlighted comments by Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager for John McCain, as he addressed a gathering of the Log Cabin Republicans and "urged the Republican party to support same-sex marriage."
On World News Sunday, correspondent Rachel Martin filed a full story on pro-gay comments by both Schmidt and John McCain’s daughter Meghan. Anchor Dan Harris introduced the report: "There are some new and rather surprising voices wading into the debate over same-sex marriage. Last night, John McCain's daughter, Meghan, jumped into the fray, and she is not the only Republican suggesting that the party might want to reconsider its stance on this very divisive issue."
Martin began her report with a a clip of Meghan McCain boasting that she has many gay friends, and the ABC correspondent then continued: "The daughter of the GOP's most famous maverick headlined a Republican gay rights event, and, while she didn't go so far as to come out for gay marriage, her dad's former campaign manager did. ... even taking on the powerful religious right."
Hard to believe, but Meredith Vieira is apparently not a regular NewsBusters reader. The Today co-anchor would otherwise have avoided an embarrassing lapse. On Today this morning, Vieira claimed that it was only "blogs" that went after Sarah Palin's family matters. That left her vulnerable to McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt's zinger, pointing out that one of her own network's anchors had questioned Palin's ability to serve as vice-president while attending to her children' needs.