At least five MSNBC anchors since Tuesday have promoted a cherry-picked House Democratic Caucus video that distorts President Ronald Reagan's position on the debt ceiling, inaccurately asserting that President Barack Obama is more in line with Reagan than the Republicans.
If any of the anchors had played the entirety of Reagan's 1987 radio address, instead of giving free air time to the Democratic Party's deceptively edited spot, they would have heard Reagan articulate a position on the debt ceiling almost identical to House Republicans' and nearly opposite Obama's: "You don't need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget." Lo and behold, the House passed a plan last night, "cut, cap, and balance," that contained both spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment.
A compilation video of MSNBC anchors misrepresenting Reagan is below the page break:
Here are a couple of examples, caught by the eagle-eyed Brent Baker, of MSNBC's supposedly more-restrained "news" anchors mouthing the kind of left-wing rhetoric that's a staple of their prime time hosts.
Immediately after President Obama's press conference earlier today, 11am ET anchor Thomas Roberts framed a question about tax policy thusly: "Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?"
A few minutes later, after the top of the hour, 12pm ET anchor Contessa Brewer disparaged the Republican position against raising tax rates:
With Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) holding a hearing on the radicalization of Muslim inmates in U.S. prisons, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning set out to discredit the premise of the proceedings by interviewing Minnesota Democrat and practicing Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, Roberts reminded viewers of MSNBC's 11 a.m. Eastern hour of live news coverage, provided tearful testimony at a hearing in March on Islamic radicalization.
Roberts began his interview by practically holding Ellison forth as an expert when it comes to the data regarding prisoner radicalization (emphasis mine):
According to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who last week seemed to enjoy correcting Sarah Palin for her historical "flub," President Lyndon Johnson "was never actually elected Commander in Chief." The cable anchor relayed that piece of false information on Monday in a segment downplaying the chances of another Texan, potential 2012 candidate Rick Perry.
In fact, Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 election in a landslide, capturing all but six states. Discussing Texas, Roberts announced, "President Lyndon Johnson was from Texas and he was never actually elected Commander in Chief."
Imagine, if you will, that in 2003 Fox News brought on a disgraced Bush administration official who had been barred from Wall Street trading to talk up the president's economic policies. Imagine also that the anchor doing the interview failed to disclose that fact to viewers.
Well, that's pretty much what happened in the 2 p.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC coverage today, when anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed former Obama car czar Steven Rattner.
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spun furiously for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) Thursday, dismissing the Twitter controversy as a sideshow undeserving of the media's attention.
"He's being pretty transparent," opined the daytime anchor, turning to Republican strategist Joe Watkins. "Joe, wouldn't you agree?"
After Watkins agreed but suggested Weiner's refusal to clarify whether he is the man in the photo does not help his case, Roberts followed up by parroting the Democratic congressman's dodge: "Well why waste taxpayer dollars on something kind of so stupid?"
For a compilation video showing Weiner's lack of transparency and inability to cooperate with the media, see below the fold:
On Tuesday night’s edition of The Ed Show on MSNBC, substitute host Thomas Roberts promoted an upcoming segment: “He is convinced that al-Qaeda is out to get him. And he believes gay activists want to fire bomb his office. Who are we talking about? The delusional world of Roger Ailes, coming up.”
Roberts is shameless. He’s sitting on the same show where Ed Schultz spun delusions like “The Republicans... want to see you dead,” and they like it when women get incurable cancer. But Roberts was spreading stories from Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson, and interviewed him at the end of the Tuesday show.
During the 11AM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Thomas Roberts decried Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels voicing support for legislation to de-fund the state chapter of Planned Parenthood as "a move that has many questioning if politics is playing too much of a role in women's health."
Turning to Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum, Roberts declared: "...here's the national reality for everyone out there that may not understand what it is that Planned Parenthood does, and this was checked by Politifact, only 3% of services at national clinics are abortion-related." What he failed to mention was that Planned Parenthood is America's largest abortion provider, performing over 300,000 abortions per year. According to its annual report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana performed 5,580 abortions in 2010.
MSNBC on Wednesday promoted a study suggesting that gays are more likely to kill themselves in conservative parts of the country. News Live co-host Thomas Roberts explained, "There's a disturbing new study showing suicide attempts by teen, gay or straight, are more frequent in conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights."
Roberts talked to the study's author, Columbia University researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler, and wondered, "Is it strictly something that needs to be looked through a lens of liberal and conservative? It seems kind of daft to think it's just all politics."
So MSNBC's Thomas Roberts actually gave air time this morning to a conservative to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and congressional Republican efforts to defend it in court.
But alas, the openly gay anchor tag-teamed with gay activist Evan Wolfson, putting Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg on the defensive during the entire segment.
With the screen behind him labeled "The Case for Marriage Equality," Roberts set up the debate segment by noting that "a House panel has voted along party lines to defend this controversial law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages."
For the second day in a row, MSNBC worked up a biased segment with Rock the Vote president Heather Smith about a "war on voting" -- see screen capture below page break-- by Republican legislators in numerous states where the GOP controls both state legislative chambers, such as New Hampshire.
"With such a strong bloc of these young people voting Democratic [in presidential elections], Republican leaders in some key swing states are looking to even the playing field coming up in 2012," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts insisted as he introduced Heather Smith of Rock the Vote (RTV) in a segment devoted to that group's fears about "voter suppression" -- see RTV screen capture below the page break -- in states such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Missouri.
Those are four states where Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and are pushing reform laws aimed at voter ID requirements, tightening up residency requirements that largely impact college kids, and/or repealing last-minute voter registration at the polls.
Presenting the same-sex marriage debate in Maryland's state legislature as one about "marriage equality," openly gay MSNBC host Thomas Roberts discussed the matter with Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart, who is also openly gay.
The segment, entitled "Cold Feet In Maryland?" aired today at 11:17 a.m. EST.
"Supporters of Marriage Equality Wavering on Bill" the lower-thirds caption read as Capehart described how supporters of same-sex marriage are a few votes shy of passing the bill in Maryland's House of Delegates. A similar bill has already passed the Democrat-dominated Maryland Senate and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has pledged his signature should the bill reach his desk.
MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on Tuesday argued that, based on Barack Obama's record, it would be fair to label the President a "fairly conservative Democrat." Talking to Ashley Bell, a Georgia politician who left the Democratic Party to become a Republican, the host listed several examples that he suggested could, at the very least, make the President a "centrist."
Bell argued that Obama's moves reflect convenience rather than principle. Explaining his own party switch, the Hall County Commissioner claimed the Democratic Party no longer has room for conservatives. This prompted Roberts to incredulously wonder, "Why did you think you were a Democrat to begin with, then?"
Lobbying for Obama, Roberts argued, "He cut corporate tax rates, kept Guantanamo open, didn't push for the public option. Now promising to cut taxes even more, fewer regulations for businesses. I mean, I could go on and on. Wouldn't this be a definition of a fairly conservative Democrat or at least a definition of a centrist?"
The Early Show on CBS and NBC’s Today show on Friday both gave attention to Lake Superior State University’s "list of words that should be banned in 2011 because of overuse or general uselessness," and both shows mentioned one or two words made famous by Sarah Palin as each show listed four or five out of the 14 words tallied. Both CBS’s Betty Nguyen and NBC’s Thomas Roberts noted the inclusion of "refudiate" on the list, but CBS also mentioned that the term "mama grizzlies" made the cut.
Two years ago, the Today show also noted the inclusion of the term "first dude" - made famous by Palin during the 2008 election - when the 2009 edition of the list came out. On the January 5, 2009, Today show, co-host Meredith Vieira labeled the term as "a little goofy." Notably, co-host Matt Lauer fretted about the inclusion of the word "green," as in "going green," on the 2009 list as he asserted, "I don’t think that should be banished. I mean, we should talk more about that one."
In a segment shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today looking at how much President Obama has aged in the two years since winning the presidential election, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and guest Douglas Brinkley concluded that the commander-in-chief needs to take it easy more often.
The MSNBC host and the liberal presidential historian also blamed the amount of stress President Obama faces in office on unrealistic expectations Americans may have about his handling of the economy (emphases mine):
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts on Wednesday hyped an attack on the "racist" Tea Party by the left-wing Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Roberts never once mentioned the liberal slant of the group, instead passing it off as a "human rights group."
The News Live host interviewed Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP, who wrote the forward to the report. Roberts parroted, "The Tea Party, the Racism Within. That is the provocative headline of a new report out today by a human rights organization. And some of its findings are pretty troubling."
What, exactly, does the IREHR believe? According to the group's website, it's focus is on promoting abortion rights, gay rights and fighting bigotry and racism from religious Americans.
MSNBC News Live host Thomas Roberts on Monday pleaded with his Twitter followers to help get Lady Gaga on his program, at one point hyping the pro-gay rights singer as the "Joan Baez of her time." [MP3 audio here.]
In the 11am hour, Roberts, who is openly gay and hosted The Advocate On-Air, explained that he had Tweeted Lady Gaga to come on the air and talk about her appearance in Maine to rally support for overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell. He lobbied, "And I want Gaga to join me. So, I want you to help me. I've sent her a message at Twitter.com/LadyGaga and you should too."
He later begged, "So, keep it up out there, Gaga little monsters. Write to @LadyGaga. Try and convince her to come on the show at two o'clock. We'll even do a phoner with her." (Little monsters is the nickname for Gaga fans.)
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."
Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime.
At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.
Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics." The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]: