During the 3PM ET hour on MSNBC, co-anchor Tamron Hall attacked Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for travel expenses, going so far as to compare the issue to the scandal involving South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford: "Well, it kind of reminds you of another governor who fought the stimulus and then we found out was using taxpayer dollars to travel. And that Governor was? Sanford."
At the top of the segment, co-anchor David Shuster declared: "In today’s ‘Making Your Case,’ another governor is in hot water for traveling on the taxpayers dime." Hall explained the reason for Jindal being in "hot water": "...claims that the Governor used a taxpayer-funded helicopter to attend Sunday services 14 times at a variety of locations across the state over a five-month period. Total cost, $45,000."
In reality, as the Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate reported, the Louisiana Governor was invited to speak at those church services and met with public officials: "Even though he travels on Sundays, Jindal said he schedules meetings with local officials when he flies to church services. On July 5, for example, his office reported that the governor met with citizens, attended a meeting with local officials and went to church in Monroe. Jindal was back in Monroe four days later to meet with community leaders as part of his ‘Louisiana Working Tour.’"
MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared three times on Wednesday’s Today show to lionize Sen. Ted Kennedy, and twice he promoted Barack Obama as the "last brother" of the Kennedy political tradition. He tried to clarify a little in his appearance in the 10 am hour: "I don’t mean that in an ethnic sense or a black sense. I mean a brother of the Kennedy tradition. And I think he’s the new brother, not that last brother."
Rush Limbaugh joked on Wednesday that he wouldn’t be allowed by the media to use the word "brother" to describe Obama. Matthews suggested Kennedy "took a while to grow up," but portrayed him as the great brother who ran for president not out of power lust, but to bring back the Jack-and-Bobby aura:
MSNBC News Live hosts David Shuster and Tamron Hall on Tuesday embraced a contrarian notion that the tide is shifting in favor of liberal health care reform. Interviewing a Democratic strategist-turned-left-wing columnist, whose political affiliations went unidentified, Shuster tried to be optimistic: "...If the anti, sort-of, reform crowd on the right owned the early part of August, you almost get the sense that things are starting to pick up on the left, as far as the last couple of weeks in this month."
Shuster talked to David Sirota, whom he identified simply as a "syndicated columnist." The cable anchor left out the fact that Sirota is a former Democratic/far-left operative who previously worked for, among others, socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. One MSNBC graphic hopefully speculated that the country may be seeing a health care "momentum shift." Another touted, "Is Tide Beginning to Turn on Health Care Reform?"
It's been a long time since MSNBC could pretend to be anything but a shill for liberal politicians, policies and causes. Any remaining doubts about that can be dispelled by surveying the network's recent coverage of the controversy over gays in the military.
Cable news' self-described "place for politics" covered the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" administrative policy six different times between July 27 and July 29. Opponents of the current policy were able to state their case unchallenged, while network anchors made it clear that they were themselves in favor of allowing openly homosexual men and women to serve in the armed forces. Not one defender of the current policy appeared in any of the conversations about "don't ask, don't tell."
Conversations about the policy, which bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military, were keyed around the actions of Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Penn., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Murphy, the first Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress, kicked-off a seven city tour sponsored by the gay rights' activist group Human Rights Campaign to increase public support for his bill that seeks to allow homosexuals to serve in the armed forces. Gillibrand announced that the Senate Armed Services committee agreed to hold a hearing on the policy in the fall, the first since 1993, when former President Bill Clinton instituted the policy as a compromise.
On Friday, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall exclaimed: "Harsh political discourse against [President Obama] really amped up and people started to push the boundaries of what might be considered decency. From talk radio to those tea parties that we saw with some pretty offensive signs folks were holding, even in the presence of children. The anger has certainly intensified."
As evidence of the supposed lack of "decency" co-anchor David Shuster declared: "And so listen to Glenn Beck make his case against health care reform just yesterday on his radio show, watch." The audio clip that followed featured Beck yelling at a hostile caller during his Wednesday show.
Based on that one example, Shuster wondered: "So are the political attacks, is the language, is the discourse, going too far? And does it have real consequences?" He then teased another segment on the topic in the next hour, but it was preempted by live coverage of President Obama speaking on health care reform.
MSNBC’s David Shuster and Tamron Hall labeled the circulation of a photo of President Obama allegedly glancing at a teenager’s posterior a “right wing smear,” and singled out Fox News and Drudge as culprits. They brought on a Media Matters spokesman, who accused these sites of being motivated by a “racist stereotype of an oversexed black man being a predator.” They let this accusation go unanswered (audio clip from the promos and the segment available here).
Shuster and Hall promoted the segment on the Obama picture from the start of the 4 pm Eastern hour of MSNBC’s live coverage. A graphic on-screen at the top of the hour pondered, “Right Wing Smear?,” as Shuster read the first teaser: “Plus, smearing President Obama- some on the Right went crazy over this photo they claimed shows President Obama with a wandering eye. But check the tape- the actual video shows a far different story- why the Right was so wrong with this one.”
The MSNBC anchor echoed his “why the Right was so wrong” phrase during the second promo at 19 minutes into the hour: “Up next, what the Right did wrong with that President Obama photo that was splashed all across some conservative websites. Why didn’t they bother to check the tape before making false accusations?” Right before the commercial break which preceded the segment, Hall broke back in with the final promo: “And when pictures do not say a thousand words- heck, when pictures right out deceive- why this misleading photograph was very popular on conservative blogs and conservative papers.”
On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor David Shuster made a bold prediction about Sarah Palin’s political future: "I've said it before, I'll say it again, Sarah Palin will never recover from this...No matter what people say, no matter what these polls, she has no future." [audio available here]
Shuster made the comments in the 4:00PM ET hour, following a debate between Democratic strategist David Goodfriend and Republican strategist Chris Wilson about the impact of Palin’s resignation as governor of Alaska. Co-anchor Tamron Hall was somewhat skeptical of the declaration: "I don't know that the answer to that absolute." However, she then added: "But I mean, you're a very smart and wise man that I trust on these things."
The accuracy of Shuster’s predictions are unreliable at best. On May 8, 2006, Shuster appeared on MSNBC’s Countdown and told host Keith Olbermann: "I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted." Shuster was referring to Rove’s role in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation and an indictment failed to ever come.
In the wake of the revelations about South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, considered a potential 2012 GOP presidential contender, Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart declared on MSNBC: “Maybe what the Republican Party is going to have to do is skip a generation and wait for the Meghan McCains to come of age so that they can run for office and take over the mantle of the party.” Capehart proceeded to pass along “a little joke” from Post colleague Charles Lane who “said at the rate Republicans are going, the only marriages that will be worth anything are the gay folks getting married in Vermont.”
At about 3:13 PM EDT, anchor Tamron Hall prompted Capehart's comments as she raised the name of the liberal younger McCain in forwarding the view the party must move left: “We've seen a lot of young Republicans, Meghan McCain and some others who've come out and said listen, this party has to modernize. They can no longer turn their backs on gays and tout family values as the way in.”
During a CNBC interview, New York Times reporter John Harwood shared an intense moment with President Obama: "He had this fly that was persistently buzzing around him during the interview...he swatted his hand and he said ‘I got the sucker’...it was a, you know, Dirty Harry ‘make my day’ moment."
Harwood described the showdown at the end of the 4PM ET hour on MSNBC, after anchor David Shuster remarked: "John, I know that the President is credited with being sometimes awfully lucky, rainbows appear sometimes when he speaks, but I understand there was an instance today where he killed a fly out of mid-air during your interview." Harwood began to tell the tale: "Well, David, this reminded me of that moment during the campaign when he took a three-point shot at a military base and it swished."
After detailing the President’s courage in battling the insect, Harwood also noted Obama’s cleanliness: "...and at the end of the interview, David, he picked up a napkin off the table and said ‘I clean up after myself’ and he picked up the fly off the carpet." In awe, Shuster observed: "Amazing...An amazing interview...it never fails, great weather, rainbows, incredible speeches, and three-point basket. A fly and he nails it. Unbelievable, unbelievable."
Co-anchor Tamron Hall concluded the discussion by comparing Obama’s quick reflexes to that of the martial arts expert in the movie Karate Kid: "Mr. Miyagi, just snapped it right up. Look at that – look at that intense look."
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall attempted to justify multiple stories on Rush Limbaugh supposedly comparing Barack Obama to Al Qaeda: "We have a right to cover people who are speaking out...Many people listen to this man, and we have a responsibility to report all sides and you can't try to duck and hide, throw the rock and then hide in the bush."
Hall was responding to criticism by Republican strategist Alex Conant, who, in the 4PM hour on Thursday, pointed out MSNBC’s excessive coverage of Rush: "Well, let me just make an observation. Two weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh challenged this network, MSNBC, to go a whole month without repeating his name, and this is like the fifth segment you guys have had this afternoon talking about Rush-" Hall immediately interrupted: "Oh, you know – okay, that's ridiculous, absolutely. You know, I don't know if you've ever, ever watched Keith Olbermann, who just obliterated Rush Limbaugh on this topic."
The segment with Conant, opposite liberal talk radio host Bill Press, was the third story MSNBC had done on Rush’s comments on Thursday. Hall herself had covered the story only an hour earlier, with liberal blogger Peter Slutsky and conservative Brian Faughnan from Redstate.com. During that segment in the 3PM hour, Hall asked Slutsky: "...do the Republican leadership, conservatives out there, need to speak out against this kind of language? I cannot imagine, you know, if there was a liberal blogger who had compared George W. Bush directly to Al Qaeda or some of the other language that’s coming out recently."
During the 10am hour of "MSNBC News Live" on Monday, host Tamron Hall completely skipped the ideology of a left-wing documentarian as she talked with him about his new movie "Rethink Afghanistan," which claims that "troops are not the answer" in that country. Hall never identified Director Robert Greenwald, who has made documentaries such as "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," and "WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price," as a liberal. Instead, she simply described him as a "documentary filmmaker."
Additionally, Hall offered almost no tough questions, instead tossing softballs such as "What is your observation, having been [to Afghanistan] recently, regarding the Obama administration's plans?" Uninterrupted, Greenwald was allowed to later assert, "Well, again, remember that many people there believe that troops are not the answer. Troops contribute to the problem." He also instructed that the U.S. should send 17,000 teachers instead of soldiers. At the close of the interview, he complained, "But, I think we all get trapped in, as one of my friends in Afghanistan said, 'Shoot first. Think later.'"
In contrast, on January 9, when MSNBC host David Shuster interviewed John Ziegler about his movie on the media's treatment of Sarah Palin, the anchor got into a heated argument with the filmmaker, repeatedly challenging the "conservative documentary's" thesis and deriding, "John, you and Sarah Palin can't take any responsibility for the fact that she wasn't prepared to run for vice president."
MSNBC host Tamron Hall on Monday talked to a contributor from the liberal Nation magazine who bashed Rush Limbaugh and also highlighted a historical error in the radio host’s address to the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend. Introducing Ari Melber, the "MSNBC News Live" host began, “Well, a lot of people are talking about Mr. Limbaugh’s comments and, perhaps, an- even- a mistake he made.”
After playing a clip in which Limbaugh incorrectly attributed a quote from to the Constitution (it was from the Declaration of Independence), Hall touted the error to Melber, who is also a Democratic strategist. She quizzed, “So, Ari, Rush thought he was quoting the Constitution. It was the Declaration of Independence. How embarrassing is that for him, especially the way he slammed the President?” Of course, Melber helpfully piled on. He derided, “Well, this is the problem for Rush Limbaugh. He really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
It's times like this that make me wonder whether I inhabit a universe different from that occupied by the MSM. This morning, discussing Pres. Bush's reaction to the flying shoe incident, I wrote:
Short of going full Ninja hero and snatching the shoes in mid-air, it's hard to see how Pres. Bush could have been any cooler in his handling of the Hush Puppy Hurler.
But on MSNBC this afternoon, host Tamron Hall claimed that in discussing the matter with the press, the president looked "unnerved" and embarrassed. Here's a clip of Pres. Bush discussing the incident with ABC's Martha Raddatz just after it happened. Does this look like an "unnerved" man to you?
Between 6 a.m. and 12 noon on Monday, MSNBC featured six segments which replayed bits from Tina Fey's Saturday Night Live parody of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's performance in Thursday's debate. The SNL parody of Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was only played twice, and both times were during Morning Joe.
This continues a trend that was also seen last Monday morning when MSNBC replayed Tina Fey's parody of Palin's interview with Katie Couric seven times while avoiding Saturday Night Live's parody of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Along with the free airtime given to Fey's impersonation of Palin came some commentary by the various hosts of both Morning Joe and MSNBC News Live. First, Willie Geist commented that, "Sometimes you watch [Tina Fey] and forget what Sarah Palin actually looks like. She's so dead on."
With the vice presidential debate only a few days away, MSNBC gave a lot of attention on Monday to what Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin are doing to prepare for their one and only debate. Along with this, MSNBC also gave a lot of airtime to Tina Fey's "Saturday Night Live" parody of Palin's interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, showing clips of the skit seven times between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. However, only Morning Joe featured "Saturday Night Live's" parody of Senator Barack Obama, and even then the focus was on the portion of the skit which parodied Senator John McCain's "gimmicks."
Of the seven times that MSNBC showed clips from Tina Fey's Palin impersonation, many of them lead into discussion about Palin's lack of foreign policy expertise and comments about how Fey's impersonation could lead to negative effects for McCain's campaign.
The Biz Flog, the video blog over at the Business and Media Institute, takes at look at the effect the high cost of oil has had on the airline industry, and the effect that has had on passengers seeing higher ticket prices and fees.
Instead of focusing on and explaining the real causes of higher ticket prices, the media have accused the airline industry of trying to “nickel-and-dime” passengers.
On “MSNBC Live” July 9 host Tamron Hall gave a report on the quality of commercial airline travel, calling price increases “nickel-and-dime fees.”
“Passengers think they’re getting nickel-and-dimed,” host of the Today show, Matt Lauer said July 9 on the morning program. “All the things that were free on planes are now costing us.”
In the wake of Barack Obama’s complaints featured in Glamour magazine about Republican attacks on his wife, “MNSBC News Live” host Tamron Hall interviewed the Chicago Tribune’s Mike Dorning on the subject.
After asking Dorning if Democrats have ever attacked Republican spouses, Hall claimed that Cindy McCain has not been a target for the Democrats in this election:
We have not seen the Democrats, uh, during this election cycle attack Cindy McCain. Do you at all believe that that will happen if these attacks from the Republicans continue? Will it be a tit-for-tat that could inevitably make voters feel very uncomfortable?
Dorning went along with the assertion and even brought up criticism of Cindy McCain in the process:
On Cindy McCain, I don’t think people are gonna attack her unless they think it will help the political cause. And the only place I could see something coming up there that would actually be politically effective would be over the whole foreign buyout of Budweiser. Her family owns a lot of stock in Anheuser-Busch and obviously she would benefit from that. But in general it doesn’t quite fit the tone that the Barack Obama campaign wants to establish that they’re supposedly getting beyond attack politics. So I don’t see how that would profit them.
Of course, Cindy McCain has already been the subject of Democratic attacks. As Jake Tapper noted in his Political Punch blog in May, the Democratic National Committee attacked Mrs. McCain for not publicly releasing her tax returns:
During the noon hour of the July 8 "MSNBC News Live," host Tamron Hall discussed McCain's new TV ad with Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman and Washington Post’s Kevin Merida. The ad focused on McCain's time as a POW as demonstrative of his love of country and Hall questioned how Obama could compete with such a story.
Well, look, Senator McCain's got this great story about what he survived and what he endured and his campaign wants to tell that story as much as possible because they think that that's something voters respect and it gives them a sense of what he’s made of. But Senator Obama’s got a great American success story, too, and it’s just a different one and I think voters are equally impressed with what he’s all about.
So, the story of a man who never served in the military but was a community organizer and graduated from Harvard Law is "different" but just as impressive as the story of a man who was a prisoner of war, tortured by his Communist captors and refused special treatment in order to stay with his fellow servicemen in prison?
During the 11:00 a.m. hour of MSNBC’s News Live, host Tamron Hall discussed possible developments late in a presidential campaign such as an October surprise or a terrorist attack. After Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus claimed that Bush would be remembered for his leadership after 9/11, her Democratic counterpart Keith Boykin tried to insist that Bush was to blame:
You know, I disagree with what Cheri said too about 9/11. 9/11 was a failure for George Bush. He was asleep at the switch on 9/11. He had a memo, he had a memo a month before.
The Obama campaign is trying to re-create Michelle Obama after her stumbles on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media are more than willing to pitch in.
Earlier today, NewsBusters contributor Clay Waters, director of the MRC’s Times Watch project, critiqued a New York Times story, written by Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor, which helped Obama soften her image and suggested that her "proud of my country" remarks were unfairly covered.
Powell reprised his work spinning Michelle Obama on MSNBC today.
The Times staffer sat down with MSNBC's Tamron Hall during the 9 AM hour of the June 18 "MSNBC News Live." During this time, Powell claimed that the potential first lady’s harsh image has "certainly been imposed on her," as though Mrs. Obama’s statements do not reflect who she really is and that those who criticize her public pronouncements are somehow putting words in her mouth.
On a "MSNBC Live," report on "sky high gas prices" anchor Tamron Hall relayed the story of one man who is using a horse rather than a vehicle, but did not explain some important reasons why prices have soared.
"The high prices have led ... one Tennessee man to find a more fuel efficient way to get around town in Bradley County: The guy is riding a horse," Hall said on the May 9 broadcast. "It is cheaper to maintain a horse than it is to fill up a gas tank. He says that it costs $150 to $200 a month to ride and feed that pony."
UPDATE: 11-13 9:35 AM: Did Hillary answer a second planted question at the event? See foot.
What did Hillary Clinton know about the planted question in Iowa and when did she know it?
The Clinton campaign and apparently Clinton herself are denying she had any idea she was calling on a plant. But according to information in the New York Times, Clinton campaign aides had in fact prompted her to call on the plant.
At 10:51 AM ET this morning, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall interviewed Hillary campaign co-chair Tom Vilsack, the former Dem governor of Iowa.
TAMRON HALL: Senator Clinton herself said she knew nothing about this and promised it would not happen again . . .
TOM VILSACK: Obviously Hillary Clinton does not condone the planting of questions; she did not know that this young person had been given that question.
See Update at Foot -- FEMA Administrator flatly debunks Garamendi
Good on Tamron Hall.
On the one hand, as I've noted here and here, Hall let her liberal leanings show more than once when serving as a "Morning Joe" panelist. But the MSNBC anchor is also the daughter of a career Army man, and clearly knows and respects the military.
When Dem John Garamendi, the California Lt. Gov., appeared on MSNBC this afternoon, Hall took the occasion to challenge him over the misleading remarks about the California National Guard that he made yesterday to Chris Matthews during an interview in which he also spoke most ungraciously, as I noted here, about Pres. Bush's impending visit to California.
As Brent Baker of MRC/NB has documented, MSNBC has been among the worst MSM offenders in propagating the falsehood that Rush Limbaugh had accused all anti-war military members of being "phony soldiers."
A point of light at that same network this morning, however, as Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist combined to debunk the Media Matters allegation, accusing the organization of using a "phony story about a phony soldier" to go after Rush.
It began at 6:04 A.M. EDT today, during the "Morning Joe" opening coffee klatsch.
Update 15:34 (see bottom of post): Cox explains her rug joke.
I had great expectations when Ana Marie Cox turned up on the "Morning Joe" panel, confident the tart-tongued former Wonkette would produce plenty of grist for our NB mill. But over the course of the week, Cox has been disappointingly subdued, leaving it to the congenial Tamron Hall to produce our headlines. Perhaps Ana Marie's new gig at staid "Time" magazine has caused her to hide her acerbic light under a barrel.
But the strain of being restrained was maybe too much for Ana Marie, for she began this morning's show with a catty swipe at Katie Couric.
Host Joe Scarborough began the opening chit-chat by noting that CBS Evening News anchor Couric has announced her plans to visit Iraq and Syria. That's when Ana Marie pounced.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So Katie's going off to the war zone. Did you read that? Katie Couric.
ANA MARIE COX: Needs some rugs, maybe. I don't know.
Last week, as noted here, Tamron Hall mentioned that "Us Weekly" aside, her main news source is the New York Times. Two days earlier, Hall had defended CNN's "God's Warriors" by suggesting that Christian and Jewish groups could be the next to turn violent. Today comes further evidence of Hall's liberal leanings, as the MSNBCer spoke openly of her participation in events on behalf of the National Organization for Women.
The disclosure came on today's "Morning Joe" at 6:09 A.M. EDT. Host Joe Scarborough, discussing the Michael Vick case, suggested that whereas there has been tremendous media focus on the dogfighting charges, allegations that pro athletes abuse women don't get as much attention.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall [file photo] is a big "Us Weekly" fan. Even more disturbing: she believes that guilty pleasure is expiated by her reliance on the New York Times for her news.
Hall has been taking Mika Brzezinksi's place on this week's "Morning Joe." This morning's show opened with Joe Scarborough decrying the disparately lenient judicial treatment doled out to Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. They have received slaps on the wrist, doing virtually no jail time for their drug-fueled escapades, whereas Paris Hilton spent over 20 days in the hoosegow.
When Joe asserted that Paris has been walking the straight and narrow since exiting the Big House, Tamron corrected the record.
Mika Brzezinski might be taking a break from "Morning Joe," but the MSNBC show hasn't missed a liberal beat with her replacement. Tamron Hall today seemed to suggest that Christians and Jews could be next to emulate Muslim terror tactics.
At 6:35 A.M. EDT today, talk turned to the CNN series "God's Warriors," a classic exercise in moral equivalence. Hosted by Christiane Amanpour, the series focuses on extremists in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Earlier today, Hall had watched the segment on Jewish extremists. Scarborough called CNN on its moral relativism.
JOE SCARBOROUGH [Note: speaking very much tongue-in-cheek]: I'm sure we're going to find that there are Jewish and Christian organizations, international terror networks, that are set on the destruction of entire civilizations as we find in the Muslim world.