MSNBC is nothing if not consistent. On the July 23 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent invited David Remnick of The New Yorker on to discuss Putin and his propaganda machine.
Much to Mitchell’s delight, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist did so by comparing ruthless authoritarian Vladimir Putin to none other than the popular conservative radio host Glenn Beck. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Churchill: Never give in. Never, never, never. FDR: The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Obama: Fore left! Sometimes public service demands too much of a man. Take poor Tony Blinken. Appearing on Morning Joe today, President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser actually claimed that the president was exhibiting "extraordinary leadership" in putting pressure on Russia over Ukraine.
Yes, so "extraordinary" that even as Blinken was being introduced, news was breaking that the Putin-backed Ukrainian rebels had resumed their terrorist ways, shooting down two Ukrainian military planes. View the video after the jump.
During the Bush era, the Left were wont to remind us that "dissent is patriotic" and being intensely critical of the president was a hallmark of a vibrant democracy, especially on matters of foreign policy and national defense. But in the Obama Era, especially in a crucial midterm election year, well, not so much.
On the July 21 Hardball, guest host Steve Kornacki brought on Mother Jones magazine writer David Corn and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart to grouse about how Republicans who have been critical of President Obama's handling of Russia vis-a-vis the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Moscow-backed political unrest in Ukraine. "There was a time when politics stopped at the water's edge. That disappeared, apparently, on January 20, 2009," Capehart whined in a segment entitled "Blame Obama First."
In a Friday-morning post, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall likened the Tea Party to pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine who apparently are responsible for the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Marshall wrote, “Here we have them break into nursing homes to photographs [sic] senator's comatose wives; there Putin gives them heavy armaments designed for full scale land war in Europe.”
Of the Big Three evenings newscasts for Thursday, July 17, only ABC's World News failed to mention that President Obama was attending two fundraisers in New York City as previously planned despite the day's events: a downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner in Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into the Gaza Strip.
CBS's Major Garrett mentioned in passing the president flying to New York for a fundraiser and a "political event," while NBC White House correspondent Chris Jansing noted her exchange with White House officials about the planned fundraiser and if the president would proceed with his attendance. The relevant transcript follows the page break (emphasis mine):
The women of The View are sick and tired of people picking on Hillary Clinton. On Thursday’s episode the entire cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and guest host Roseanne Barr all took turns defending the former First Lady from Monica Lewinsky, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin.
Whoopi Goldberg, setting up the segment, noted Clinton was asked about Lewinsky in her People magazine interview and then complained that Clinton can’t get away from the Lewinsky questions: (video after the jump)
CNN's Chris Cuomo tried to get former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin to defend President Obama's response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine during a segment on Wednesday's New Day. Cuomo cited how Russian President Vladimir Putin "did this in Georgia.....under President Bush" in 2008, and wondered, "Is it fair to look at this situation and say, the weakness or perception of weakness of President Obama has given a window of opportunity to Putin?"
The anchor didn't identify Rubin as either a former Clinton administration official or as the husband of CNN personality Christiane Amanpour. Interestingly, the State Department veteran didn't give Cuomo the response he was looking for: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
Longtime NBC sportscaster Bob Costas appeared on Wednesday's edition of the network's hour-long Late Night program, which is hosted by Seth Myers. The former member of the Saturday Night Live cast threw softball questions at his guest regarding “minor controversies” he caused by inserting liberal political commentary into his sports coverage.
After a discussion that included the TV broadcaster's views on the “gun culture” within the National Football League, his fawning description of Vladmir Putin at the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and his strong dislike of the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team, Costas was praised by Myers for “making sports a lot more interesting.” Costas suggested mostly "angry" people on "extreme" venues were upset, not so much the average American on the street.
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius did his best to shill for President Obama following the president’s interview with CBS anchorman Scott Pelley.
Speaking with moderator Bob Schieffer on Sunday, Ignatius opined, “It's crucial for statesmen to try to see the world as their adversaries see it” while urging President Obama to see the world through Vladimir Putin’s eyes. [See video below.]
At President Barack Obama's press conference in The Hague, Netherlands today, as part of a much longer question, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Obama whether "Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe? If not Russia, who?"
It's important to note that Obama's response to that portion of Karl's question pertained to and was directed at Romney. A video containing Karl's question and Obama's answer ("With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia’s our number- one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that, you know, America’s got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors -- not out of strength, but out of weakness") shows that the President's tone at that point was generally calm with a bit of a defiant edge which seemed directed at Romney and Karl (perhaps not in that order). That didn't stop the establishment press from claiming that Obama's statement was really an insult directed at Russia (it wasn't) and that the President supposedly directed his "derisive" statement towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (he didn't).
On Monday's New Day, CNN's John King refreshingly spotlighted one of President Obama's key campaign promises from 2008 about foreign policy during a discussion about how to respond to Russia's aggression in Crimea. King wondered if "a President who came to office saying he could unite the world and would have better international diplomacy than George W. Bush – at least on this one, doesn't have any good options."
The anchor was responding to a comment from Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News, who noted how "the White House doesn't really want to give a whole lot of military assistance here, and they don't think that...most of Europe is going to go along with significant sanctions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Comedian Jimmy Fallon isn't known for his animosity towards the Obamas, but he "burned" the President's health care law on Wednesday's TonightShow.
Impersonating Russian president Vladimir Putin on a mock phone call with Obama, Fallon took a swipe at ObamaCare after the President accused him of forcing Russian allegiance upon Crimea: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Providing, of course, that the Secret Service prevents kryptonite from being brought anywhere near the president.
The Obama-as-godlike-figure meme has appeared again, this time on MSNBC, though it's a safe bet on any given day that this is where it will surface, usually before the end of "Morning Joe." (Video after the jump)
Remember back in the Bush years when the left deemed dissent to be the most glorious form of patriotism? As every conservative knew, that allegedly principled belief was contingent upon a Republican serving as president.
Once a Democrat returned to the White House, this ardent trumpeting of dissent as humanity's highest calling oddly began falling into disrepute, as to be expected whenever cults of personality take hold around leaders of dubious strength. (Audio after the jump)
Former liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin launched a left-wing tirade on his TV One news program on Wednesday, aimed mainly at conservative opponents of President Barack Obama's foreign policy: "Who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade?...the United States, under President Reagan, invaded Grenada....Yet, here we are telling another sovereign nation what countries you can't invade. It's called being hypocritical. It is called being shameless, and frankly, we look silly."
Despite targeting Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham by name for their criticism of Obama, Martin threw a much wider net in his rant: "So Americans, can you please stop with the hypocritical nature of your criticism?...The fact of the matter is, America has always invaded other countries." The host also included some of the left's usual examples of America's meddling around the world: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
As of 11 P.M. Eastern Time Sunday evening, searches at both the Associated Press and at the Politico on "radioactive" returned nothing relating to a comment made on TV by Russian "journalist" Dmitry Kiselyov reminding viewers that his country, as translated by the wire service AFP, "is the only one in the world "realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash." Reuters also has a story here. Further evidence of AP disinterest is the fact that its two "10 Things to Know for Monday" relating to Russia as of 9:03 p.m. noted the West's intent to impose sanctions and penalties but did not mention the Russian threat.
Kiselyov isn't some freelancer mouthing off for "look at me" attention. As such, the failure of these two outlets to report what is clearly a serious escalation in rhetoric emanating from Russia is breathtakingly negligent, even by their non-standards. It's as if they're desperately trying to keep Kiselyov's statement from becoming an item on the U.S. morning news shows.
With Russia poised to seize control of Ukraine, Rachel Maddow might be among the few remaining fans of voluntary nuclear disarmament -- as is Russian president Vladimir Putin, specifically for former Soviet republics that have gotten too uppity for their own good.
How will Maddow handle this one, I wondered, after the Russian military took control of the Crimea. Sure enough, in her first show after the crisis began, Maddow addressed the awkward fact that Ukraine relinquished control of its nuclear weapons to Russia twenty years ago. But typical of Maddow, she couldn't bring herself to ask the blindingly obvious question -- did Ukraine's fateful decision to disarm in the mid-1990s leave it vulnerable to future Russian aggression? (Video after the jump)
Bryan Preston of the PJ Media blog spotlighted in a Wednesday post how Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned from her position at the network's Washington, DC division during a live broadcast because, in her words, she "cannot be part of a network, funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of Putin."
During her impromptu commentary, Wahl referenced how fellow RT on-air personality Abby Martin condemned Russia's invasion of the Crimea peninsula inside the borders Ukraine (video of Wahl's statement, via Washington Free Beacon's YouTube account, below the jump):
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got rather self-righteous on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, chiding Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who have criticized President Obama’s weak-kneed response to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough asserted his belief that “politics should really end at the water's edge” during international crises like this, proclaiming, “I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander-in-chief during dangerous international crises, whether it’s with the likes of Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, well, that provides comfort to nation-states who choose to be our enemies.”
After Russia invaded Ukraine, demonstrating how Vladimir Putin has zero fear of Barack Obama, Fox News anchor Bret Baker reran a snippet from the third presidential debate in 2012, showing who felt Russia was a geopolitical threat, and who thought that sounded silly.
Obama mocked Romney for being concerned about Russia. “When you were asked ‘What’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America?’ you said Russia. Not al-Qaeda. You said Russia, and the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the cold war has been over for 20 years.”
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday, MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly refused to characterize either Russian president Vladimir Putin or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “evil.” During a contentious debate over Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Hewitt asked his guest point-blank, “Do you agree that what Russia is doing is evil?” [Video embedded below the break.]
Perhaps because President Obama is looking pitiably weak in his mano a mano with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, ABC News chose to bury the story during today's Good Morning America. Incredibly, the show-opening teaser didn't mention the Ukraine--but did highlight the latest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As the program unfolded, and before saying a word about the Ukraine, GMA inexcusably chose to air segments on rain in California, snow in the North, a laser being shined into a plane's cockpit, an airplane bird strike, the arrest of a Mexican drug lord, the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and Mardi Gras in Brazil.
When GMA finally got around to the most serious story in the world right now, it did its best to protect President Obama. Two nights ago on FNC, Charles Krauthammer did a devastating take-down on President Obama's feeble statement, saying “the Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” So how did GMA's reporter Alex Marquardt describe the Obama statement? As a "harsh warning." Gag me with a kalashnikov, and view the video after the jump.
Is this how Stalin charmed New York Times reporter/Soviet apologist Walter Duranty?
Former "Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira has become the latest example of a prominent figure in American media with a weak spot for an autocrat ruling Russia. Vieira appeared last night on "Late Show with David Letterman" and described covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi for NBC. (Video after the jump)
What's missing from this list of people Mika Brzezinski blasted on today's Morning Joe for "making a lot of money at the Olympics" while Vladimir Putin's suppression of democracy in the Ukraine unfolds: "the people performing there, the people competing there, the people sponsoring there"?
Did somebody say NBC, Mika's own parent network? Give that guy a gold medal! To whom does Mika think "the people sponsoring there" are paying their millions to promote their products? Has Mika not noticed that regular programming on MSNBC itself has been pre-empted by the Putin Olympics? View the video after the jump.
Everyone knows that President Obama loves to play golf. Since his inauguration in 2008, he has played over 100 rounds of golf, yet he received some unlikely criticism over his love of the game.
During an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked, if the president would “Care to make a friendly bet with President Obama on which country’s going to win more medals, the U.S. Or Russia?” [Click below to see Putin's response.]
The three networks on Thursday morning allowed a scant 65 seconds to Senator John McCain's "blistering" op-ed published in the communist newspaper Pravda, featuringa call for freedom and tolerance in Russia. Although ABC, CBS and NBC quickly summarized the Senator's international rebuttal to Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed, the morning shows offered the briefest of quotes and mostly portrayed the piece as a grudge match with Putin.
CBS This Morning devoted just 19 seconds to the "blistering opinion piece." Rose narrated, "[McCain] accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of corruption and repression." Good Morning America's Josh Elliott allowed 23 seconds and insisted that the Senator "blast[ed] Russian President Vladimir Putin." According to Today's Savannah Guthrie, McCain offered a "scathing" attack on Russian corruption. Mostly absent from the three networks were full quotes highlighting the Senator's main topic, a defense of democracy and freedom.