On Thursday's 11AM EST hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall asked Ryan Grim of the left-wing Huffington Post about recent scandals involving the Obama White House tampering with Democratic primaries: "Darrell Issa of California...he wants the FBI involved in this....Any legs here, or is this, again, a situation that may be politicized by the other side?" [Audio available here]
Grim dismissed the idea that there was any need for an investigation: "I mean, this isn't criminal activity. This really is politics as usual." He then lamented: "...the problem for the administration is that, you know, they ran against politics as usual....they were going to move beyond all of this."
Later, Grim described the real "crime" in the Obama administration pressuring candidates like Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania and Andrew Romanoff in Colorado to end their respective primary challenges to incumbent Democratic senators: "...the real problem is that the administration didn't – wasn't willing to allow the Democratic base to choose the candidates....having these primary candidates actually pushes the senator in a more progressive direction....if there's any crime here, it's a political one, in that the administration was holding back a progressive agenda by not allowing these primaries to go forward."
MSNBC on Thursday went on the offensive against Republican and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. In a single day, the cable network devoted 37 minutes over eight segments to implying that the Senate candidate might be a racist.
Each piece featured a clip of Paul's appearance on Wednesday's Rachel Maddow program in which the MSNBC host suggested the libertarian candidate would tolerate bigotry because he opposes government regulation.
Throughout the day, MSNBC touted liberal guest after liberal guest to excoriate the politician. The lineup included Jesse Jackson, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, liberal professors Boyce Watkins and Michael Eric Dyson and Democratic strategist Karen Finney.
"As the MRC calculated, the coverage was 12-to-1 against the Arizona law," Pinkerton noted as he asked liberal contributor Ellis Henican if that disparity in the media's coverage of the issue bothered him.
When Henican brushed off the MRC study, Pinkerton also brought up how MSNBCer Tamron Hall posited that an Arizona sheriff's deputy may have "staged" a shooting to gain political support for the new Arizona law.
On Thursday's 11AM hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall described "growing controversy" surrounding the recent shooting of an Arizona sheriff's deputy by illegal immigrant drug smugglers and noted how: "The Pinal County sheriff released the 911 tapes the injured deputy made, in response to what he called 'growing speculation' that the shooting was staged." [Audio available here]
Hall brought on Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to respond and grilled him on the conspiracy theory put out by the left-leaning Phoenix NewTimes: "a report...comparing the deputy who received that wound...to another officer who had staged a gun battle. The allegation here is that this shooting...was to supposed to help convince people that the tough Arizona law against immigration was needed, that this was the example that you could hold up as proof. What do you say to those claims that this was all staged?"
Babeu replied: "Well, we in law enforcement operate in the realm of facts....We don't have the luxury to operate just with all these wild ideas that could be out there." He went on add: "So this news account, they didn't have the benefit of any of the facts. In fact, they didn't even talk to me or anybody from my agency."
Hosting a debate segment this morning between Republican strategist Alex Conant and Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee that examined the political dimensions of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, MSNBC's Tamron Hall played soundbites from two politicians with rather divergent views on offshore drilling.
The first was liberal Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) opposing expanding offshore drilling to California, the second was conservative Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who gave a rather dopey comment where he downplayed the devastation of the oil spill by comparing its appearance to "chocolate milk."
After playing those clips back-to-back, Hall asked for Conant's reaction, mistakenly referring to Taylor as a Republican.
We at NewsBusters quickly tweeted Hall about her error and she promptly issued an on-air correction, albeit mistakenly tagging Taylor as a "Michigan Democrat" [MP3 audio available here]:
Picking up on a story from Louisiana about a bill to allow concealed carry for firearms in houses of worship, MSNBC's Tamron Hall asked viewers of the network's live coverage shortly before 3 p.m. EDT today if the legislation was "Crossing the Line."
True to the segment's formula, only one side of the controversy was represented in the form of a guest to discuss the matter, in this case, an opponent of the bill, State Rep. Barbara Norton (D). [full interview audio here; click play button on embed at right for video]
While Hall did ask Norton to react to a quote by bill sponsor State Rep. Henry Burns (R), she failed to ask Norton why she believed it was proper for the state to issue a top-down one-size-fits-all gun ban for houses of worship, as dictated by current law.
After all, as New Orleans Times-Picayune capital bureau staffer Ed Anderson reported yesterday, the bill does not require churches to allow parishioners to carry concealed and parishioners must be notified by church officers prior to any move to adopt a security force or allow concealed carry by worshipers:
During Thursday's 11AM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall asked former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean about Florida Governor Charlie Crist's expected announcement to run as an independent in that state's senate race: "Is this a sign that people, perhaps centrists or moderates, like Charlie Crist, have no place in this new emerging Republican Party?"
That set up the left-wing Dean to bash conservatives and the GOP: "What effect does the tea party have on the Republican Party? And this is a really good example. They've driven another moderate out of the Republican Party....there just apparently is no place in the Republican Party for moderate, thoughtful people anymore."
Hall first asked Dean about an odd rumor: "There is a story online that's being picked up by conservative blogs that you offered to contribute to Charlie Crist's campaign if he left the Republican Party. What happened there?" Dean explained: "That was a joke between me and Joe Scarborough which some enterprising staffer for Crist picked up and pushed it around. It's not true. I'm supporting Kendrick Meek." He then added: "I actually think that the two big winners out of this are the United States, who are hopefully going to get a real senator instead of a far-right person, and I do think, of course, it helps the Democratic Party and Kendrick's candidacy as well."
After Hall introduced Dean at the beginning of the segment, she remarked: "I say it like you're a correspondent now....I love that being a possible segment Governor Dean, you coming on and talking about the top political news of the day."
As congressional Democrats press on with their attempts to get financial legislation reform passed, a key component has been lacking from the debate: how to handle the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE).
[UPDATE BELOW: Tamron Hall responds on Twitter.] MSNBC's Tamron Hall on Wednesday worried that Arizona may be turning into the "most conservative state in the nation." A graphic on the liberal cable network chided, "Arizona Too Conservative?" [Audio available here.]
Hall talked to Zachary Roth from the Talking Points Memo web page. His site first sounded the alarm over the threat from this right wing state with an article entitled, "Crazy Arizona: How A State Went From Swinging In '08 To Out On A Limb In 2010."
After discussing several conservative initiatives that the state House has passed, Hall linked the tough new immigration law and other proposals to bigotry: "Here you have a state that could be one of the first with a dominant population of Latino and Hispanics. Is that, perhaps, why we're seeing this conservative push so appealing with people there?"
MSNBC on Monday repeatedly promoted Barack Obama as a pro-Second Amendment President and chastised gun-rights activists for "worrying" so much over this issue. News Live host Monica Novotny talked to Skip Coryell, the founder of the Second Amendment march on Washington and complained, "What are you guys worried about?
She then touted, "Our political unit today was reminding us in the First Read that President Obama has expanded gun rights more than any other Democratic President when he signed legislation that, among other things, allows people to carry weapons in national parks." Host Tamron Hall repeated the talking point in the 11am hour.
MSNBC colleague Norah O'Donnell condescendingly hit the same idea in a Tweet: "irony [sic] of the men-with-guns protests in DC: Obama has expanded gun rights more than other recent Dem president." Of course, Obama also appointed the extremely anti-gun Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme court. Another nominee hostile to the Second Amendment may be coming soon. Candidate Obama famously chastised "bitter" Americans for "clinging" to their guns.
In the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, left-wing Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim commented on the Republican National Committee spending scandal: "You know, what Republican donors do, generally, is pretty obnoxious to the American people. What did they have to cancel? They had to cancel a polo match, some yachting, you know, trips to bondage clubs."
Grim went on to claim: "if you want to get money from rich Republicans, you're going to have to engage in some of these obnoxious activities, so they like that to happen without the entire nation watching. Now that everybody's watching, it makes it a lot harder for them to raise money from these rich Republicans."
While Grim pretended to be a journalist reporting facts, he told Hall: "I actually haven't spoken to any – any big Republican donors the last few days." He simply noted how he was "hearing" things "in general" about RNC donors. Hall even remarked at the end of the segment: "Well Ryan, for a guy who hasn't spoken to any big money donors in 24-48 hours, not bad intel there." Apparently MSNBC now sees liberal ranting against the GOP as "intel."
Is it "crossing the line" to ban salt from use in restaurant kitchens? That's what MSNBC's Tamron Hall asked of her viewers shortly before 3 p.m. on March 11.
To discuss the issue, she interviewed New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D) on his proposed legislation calling for a ban of salt use in Empire State restaurant kitchens. Each violation would carry a $1,000 fine.
Hall failed to balance out Ortiz by giving equal time for an opponent of the proposed legislation, although she did ask Ortiz, "What about the businesses that would suffer under this rule of no salt?"
In answer to Hall's question, Ortiz erroneously insisted that his legislation would further consumer choice, when in fact his bill is an outright ban that doesn't countenance customer preference, declaring in no uncertain terms that:
Imagine the outrage and attempts to implicate hate speech by conservatives if someone planted and threatened to explode bombs, and ended up leaving a suicide note railing against President Obama. But just over a year ago, a similar individual who expressed his hatred of President Bush and Karl Rove in a suicide note received little attention. As Aspen, Colorado, delayed its New Year’s celebrations while the city faced threats from several bombs planted by would-be bank robber James Blanning as he tried to extort money from local banks by threatening to detonate the bombs, little attention was given to the left-wing sentiments expressed in his suicide note in which he railed against President Bush, Karl Rove, the rich, and the war in Iraq.
Anchors Gretchen Carlson on FNC’s Fox and Friends and Tamron Hall on MSNBC News Live mentioned some of the left-wing ramblings on January 2, 2009, while on CNN’s American Morning and The Situation Room, a clip of an Aspen law enforcement official was shown in which he recounted some of the political sentiments. The broadcast networks all reported the general story, but did not mention his political views. FNC’s Carlson informed viewers that Blanning’s note "criticized President Bush," and that he "resented the rich and was upset that Aspen had become a ritzy resort." MSNBC’s Tamron Hall noted that "he hated Bush and Rove with a passion."
CNN’s American Morning twice showed a report by correspondent Thelma Gutierrez that included a clip of Aspen’s Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn relaying that Blanning "had a problem with the Bush administration and wars in the Middle East." The same report ran twice on the same day’s The Situation Room.
Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the January 2, 2009, Fox and Friends on FNC, MSNBC News Live, and CNN’s American Morning and the Situation Room:
Conservative talk radio and political blogs all jumped on Vice President Joe Biden’s claim on CNN’s Larry King Live Wednesday night that the successful resolution of the Iraq war “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.” Biden and President Obama, then both Senators, strongly opposed President Bush’s 2007 troop surge that marked the turning point in the war.
On his Thursday show, Rush Limbaugh scoffed that “I was all set to say that I think maybe Obama is dumber than Biden, until I heard that....This is worse than chutzpah, folks. This is insulting everybody’s intelligence.”
But during the 2pm of MSNBC Live on Thursday, anchor Tamron Hall -- noting that "the Right [is] really honing in on this comment" -- sought reassurance from the Huffington Post’s “senior congressional correspondent” Ryan Grim, who insisted that Biden was correct. “If you can have 90,000 troops leave there, and if it were still a stable country, then actually leaving the country would be a great achievement,” Grim declared, adding: “And it would also, it’s worth nothing, be an achievement for the anti-war movement.” [Video at right, audio link here.]
Grim also refused to see any connection between Bush’s troop surge and the resulting drop in violence: “It’s an open question exactly what led to the decrease in violence that coincided with the surge.” And he deplored how conservatives blame Obama for the poor state of the economy, but refuse to let Obama take credit for the success in Iraq: “This is just utter nonsense.”
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall on Monday interrogated a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and tried to associate conservatism with believing in a bizarre conspiracy theory. Talking to Patrick Hughes of Illinois, she challenged, "For example, one of the questions was, do you think the President was born in the United States? Is that your definition of conservative or is it in the perimeter of a conservative?" [Audio available here.]
Hall prefaced this "birther" query by oddly asserting, "When you say conservative, I know you know that much has been made of this conservative litmus test to be a true conservative in this country." Of course, it was Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) who advocated making this an issue.
According to The Hill, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Democrats should say, "Ask them, 'Do you believe Barack Obama [is a] citizen of the United States?'" It looks as though Hall was more than willing to repeat Democratic talking points.
On Monday, a far-left leaning black college professor stated what few in the liberal media dare: if a white Republican said what Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did about presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, it would be huge news.
Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson elaborated, "They would be making hay out of it, calling for his resignation. I think we're hypocrites and we're morally weak here."
Later on in the morning, Dyson took on Obama's handling of the issue saying, "This president runs from race like a black man runs from a cop" (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
MSNBC host David Shuster on Wednesday attacked conservatives who have a problem with the liberal agenda of the film Avatar, dismissing their arguments as "shameless and crazy." Shuster and New Live co-host Tamron Hall seemed bewildered by right-wing complaints about the environmentally-themed movie.
Talking with film critic Mike Taibbi, Shuster derided, "Could this be just about the political strategy of punching up? That the Weekly Standard, or whoever wants to criticize, they can get a little bit of attention for their point of view, as shameless and crazy as it may sound, by attaching themselves to a movie that's doing so well?"
During the 3PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor David Shuster claimed that Fox News political analyst Brit Hume "denigrated Christianity" when suggesting that scandal-ridden golfer Tiger Woods convert to the faith.
Shuster made the comments while discussing the issue with MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, asking: "Doesn’t it also denigrate Christianity when you do that on a Sunday political talk show? This isn’t church, this isn’t some sort of holy setting, this is a political talk show....Doesn’t that minimize the significance of Christianity, when you bring a discussion of Christianity into a conversation about politics?"
Buchanan replied: "He’s not denigrating Christianity....A lot of us feel that there ought to be more discussion of religion in politics and religious beliefs and what’s moral and right and wrong." Shuster pressed him: "And you don’t think this diminishes Christianity in any way?" Buchanan shot back: "What do you think, the religion’s dropped a peg or two now?" Shuster sarcastically responded: "I do think it diminishes the discussion of Christianity....This wasn’t the ‘700 Club,’ this wasn’t ‘Theocracy Today.’"
H/t MRC's Jeff Poor. I urge people to read the blog entry that Jackie Seal, the impressive young lady that O'Donnell confronted, has written about her experience. Not only does it provide fascinating background material about just what a set-up O'Donnell devised, it also catches Norah out in a fib.
As you'll note from an earlier update at the foot of this item, after O'Donnell began catching heat for her stunt, she went back on the air to defend herself. Among other things, responding to charges she had confronted a young girl, O'Donnell twice claimed that her interview subject "voted in the last election."
Just one problem: Jackie informs us that she is . . . 17. Maybe Norah got confused with ACORN voting standards, but 16-year old conservatives [the age she would presumably have been at last year's election] don't go to the polls.
Have a close look at the screencap [larger image after the jump]. Notice what MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell is holding in her left hand? Those are notes, with factoids from the 2008 presidential campaign. She's reading from them to challenge a Sarah Palin supporter who was waiting in line at the book signing yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We all remember how back during the '08 campaign, MSM reporters would challenge people attending Obama rallies with uncomfortable truths about their candidate, along the lines "would you still support him if you knew he had the most liberal voting record in the Senate?" Or not. I certainly can't remember any MSMer confronting an Obama supporter in such a way.
But let people line up to express their admiration for Sarah Palin . . .
MSNBC anchors David Shuster and Tamron Hall on Thursday lashed out at a speech Dick Cheney gave that was critical of Barack Obama, speculating on whether the Vice President is of a "rational, healthy mind." Attempting to attack the Bush administration’s handling of Afghanistan for eight years, News Live co-host Tamron Hall dismissed, "Is it selective amnesia?"
Shuster and Hall seemed particularly upset over Cheney’s speech on October 21 where the Vice President accused Obama of "dithering" on an Afghanistan strategy and also being "afraid" of making a decision. Talking to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, Hall bristled, "As a woman, of course, I read in all kinds of machismo with this language, you are afraid to come out with a decision, almost taunting there."
The liberal Shuster could barely contain himself. Commenting on Cheney’s frail physical condition, he taunted, "What do you think he is after here, assuming that he is of some sort of rational, healthy mind?"
Just minutes after her colleague David Shuster offered a tepid non-apology for the network running a fake Rush Limbaugh quote, MSNBC's Tamron Hall took Meghan McCain to task for posting a saucy picture of herself on Twitter and also for issuing to followers a non-apology apology for those offended by her doing so.
MSNBC attributed that quote to a football player who was opposed to Limbaugh’s NFL bid. However, we have been unable to verify that quote independently. So, just to clarify.
Oblivious perhaps to the hypocrisy she was about to engage in, a mere fifteen minutes later colleague Tamron Hall, in her "Crossing the Line" segment, lectured Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain for posting, and then issuing a non-apology apology for posting, a sultry picture of herself via Twitter (emphasis mine; MP3 audio available here):
The quotes were widely cited as real by several sports writers and on CNN and MSNBC in the past week as proof that Limbaugh was a racist who did not deserve to own part of the St. Louis Rams football team. But the Huffington Post has now removed them, saying the author has not been able to substantiate them.
[UPDATE: CNN's Rick Sanchez also, apologizes, sort of, via Twitter: "our bad."]
This editor’s note appeared early this evening on the 2006 blog by the liberal Huberman, who was pitching his then-new book, 101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America:
One of the most damaging accusations you can level at opponent is call that individual a racist in one form or another. And that's the tactic MSNBC and others left-wing opponents of Rush Limbaugh are taking to thwart his bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams.
During a segment on MSNBC on Oct. 13, former Pulitzer Prize winner Karen Hunter appeared to voice her opposition to the Limbaugh's NFL bid. She made one of the most outrageous - likening Limbaugh's ownership of an NFL team to being a plantation owner, a metaphor that invokes the image of antebellum South during the 19th Century, when slavery was rampant.
"I can just see the visions of plantation grandeur dancing in his head as we speak," Hunter said. "Yeah, it doesn't make you a racist to want to own a team. But, it does kind of with all his history question his power position over these players who make millions of dollars and his ability to be able to move them around, deny them contracts and do whatever he wants willy-nilly. It's the ultimate power position to be an owner of an NFL team."
Reporting on the prospects of an ObamaCare bill coming up for a Senate committee vote, NBC's Athena Jones told Tamron Hall during MSNBC's 4 PM hour today: "It looks like it's going to work out fine to pass tomorrow."
Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter grouped conservative talk radio with Islamic radicals, specifically singling out Rush Limbaugh for attack, on Friday’s MSNBC Live. While acknowledging that “everybody agrees it was premature” to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, Alter singled out the two groups that, in his view, were actually voicing criticism: “You’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Anchor Tamron Hall brought on the Newsweek senior editor and MSNBC news analyst minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the segment, Hall noted the “reaction from the world” and the “incredible pressure” that President Obama is facing concerning the war in Afghanistan. Alter replied that “it’s important to know that the award doesn’t go for pacifists....There have been plenty of examples of recipients who’ve been heads of state and...were war presidents. But...I also think it’s important to know who is actually sounding off against this. Everybody agrees it was premature, maybe undeserved. But who’s actually attacking it? Well, you’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush [Limbaugh] -- you know, you have his, his [Obama’s] critics here at home” [video from the segment available below the jump].
MSNBC’s David Shuster on Friday slammed conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and RNC Chairman Michael Steele as "un-American" and "extreme" for criticizing Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win. The liberal co-host of News Live applauded the President’s speech on the award and asserted, "...It makes the harsh comments from Michael Steele, from Rush Limbaugh, the rest, seem even more extreme and, as some would argue, un-American." (Audio available here.)
Arguing that Obama came across as humble for stating that he’s not worthy to be in the same category as some of the other nominees, Shuster told co-anchor Tamron Hall that the remarks "made some of the conservatives look silly." Hall herself found the President’s reaction to be "incredible" and unquestioningly cooed, "...The President started out his speech, or address this morning, saying that his daughter Malia walked in and said, ‘Dad, you won the Nobel Peace Prize. And, by the way, it is our dog's first birthday.’"
You would think MSNBC would have learned after getting caught in a deliberately doctored piece of video, which tried to portray town hall protestors as white racists. The video showed a man ‘packing heat' outside an event where the President was speaking, but was edited in such a way as to conceal the fact that the man was actually African-American.
Yet, the opposite has occurred. MSNBC seems more determined and emboldened to portray conservatives and Republicans as racists. How? By continually defining those who oppose the President, an African-American man, as nothing more than angry white men of questionable intelligence.
Since that video aired (and was immediately exposed as altered by NewsBusters Kyle Drennen on August 18th), MSNBC has continuously hammered home the message that town hall and Tea Party attendees, conservatives, Republicans, or generally anyone who opposes the President, is racist. A list of examples follows after the jump (bold mine throughout and each example contains a link):
According to MSNBC’s David Shuster on Friday, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouting ‘you lie’ to President Obama was racism on display: “The fact that Joe Wilson is from South Carolina...it strikes a lot of people as awfully close to the idea that maybe there was some sort of racist or bigoted element there.”
Shuster went on to add: “And especially then when you look up at the picture and you see older white men, all Republicans, sitting there. Just it gives off a strange vibe.” On Thursday, Shuster claimed that Republicans were: “...all white males with short haircuts. They look sort of angry. No women, no minorities, and it looks like they’ve sort of become unhinged.”
During the segment late in the 3PM ET hour, Shuster spoke with Reverend Jesse Jackson, wondering: “What role, if any, do you believe that bigotry is playing in some of this venom toward President Obama?” Jackson seized on the opportunity to cry racism: “Well, substantial. There is a struggle between the hope of going forward and the fear of going backwards....the big C-word, conservative, for some that means fiscal, for some, it means religious ethics, for some it means a code word for race.”
During the 4PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC Thursday, co-host David Shuster denounced the behavior of Republicans at President Obama’s address to Congress, declaring: “You look at the image of the Republican Party, all white males with short haircuts. They look sort of angry. No women, no minorities, and it looks like they’ve sort of become unhinged.”
Shuster and co-host Tamron Hall moderated a debate between Democratic strategist Patrick Murphy and Republican strategist Alex Conant, over the impact of Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouting out ‘you lie!’ during the President’s speech. Shuster claimed: “The video of the Republican lawmakers was almost as striking as the speech itself....Did the Republican image change last night for the worse or was it something minor that may have only had an impact on the conservative base that was energized and wants to kill reform?”
Following the discussion, Hall observed: “...this pride in being an American and what it means to have class in this country and to see something like that. It is hurtful when you know that it is a prestigious place we have in this world and when we are reduced to behavior like that, it is very telling to all of us. We love this country and it is hurtful to see someone play out their – their emotions in such a loser way – I think I can say that.” Shuster replied: “Tamron you said it perfectly. I agree with you 100%.” Hall admitted: “I don’t think my mother would like I said loser, but oh well.”