Al Roker’s man crush on Vice President Biden took a new and unusual turn on Friday’s Today.
Speaking with co-hosts Natalie Morales and Willie Geist, the NBC weatherman (jokingly?) expressed his desire to, “make the pitch [for Biden to co-host Today] wrapped in a box. I'm going to deliver myself on the front steps. Big bow in a box. He's going to open it. Mr. Vice president.” [See video after jump.]
All three networks on Tuesday hyped an "interesting" exchange between Barack Obama and a liberal heckler. ABC, CBS and ABC declined, however, to specifically note that the man's concern was that the President simply wasn't liberal enough on the issue of immigration reform. On NBC's Today, Natalie Morales praised, "You know, I think that the President handled it well by engaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Willie Geist defended the President's insistence that he needs Congress to pass legislation. Geist sympathetically noted, "The President's argument was 'I can't wave the magic wand and make this go away.' But he did do that for some of the younger dreamers." The younger dreamers? Quite the loaded term.
On Friday, NBC's Today tried to cast President Obama's Thursday press conference about the ObamaCare disaster in the most sympathetic light possible, with co-host Savannah leading off the show by proclaiming: "The humble president....President Obama does damage control on the botched health care rollout with his legacy hanging in the balance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment moments later, Guthrie claimed the President was "falling on the sword over this health care rollout disaster." In the report that followed, White House correspondent Peter Alexander emphasized Obama's supposedly humility: "The President the first to admit that he has a lot of work ahead of him to regain the confidence of the American people....[he] was strikingly contrite."
Early in the 9 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-hosts Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker mocked a series of new ads designed to promote ObamaCare, even with Geist reading one of them while doing his best impression of Anchorman's Ron Burgundy: "Let's get physical. OMG, he's hot. Let's hope he's as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting it between the covers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Don't take it from conservatives. The co-founder of a "very, very major social-media site" has said the criticism of the Obamacare website is fair because the "technology sucks."
So reported Willie Geist on today's Morning Joe, telling panelists that the person he interviewed was co-founder of a site so major that they would all know it and might have it open on their computers as he spoke. View the video after the jump.
It’s been 25 years since a grand jury concluded that young Tawana Brawley falsely accused a group of white men of raping her, but the Rev. Al Sharpton still believes he did the right thing by supporting Brawley back then. Sharpton was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday to talk about his new book when co-host Mika Brzezinski brought up the infamous Brawley rape case, in which Sharpton played a major advisory role to the 15-year-old. The Politics Nation host claimed that the case had taught him to conduct himself in a more dignified manner when representing alleged victims of discrimination so the public would be more sympathetic to his cause.
However, Sharpton did not express any particular regret that Brawley’s claims were ruled false, so Willie Geist prodded him on the matter: “Do you regret at all, Rev, what you put some of the men through in that case, though, the guys who turned out to be innocent?” Sharpton was unapologetic: [See video below.]
On Monday, the hosts of NBC's Today eagerly played clips of Saturday Night Live bashing Republicans over the government shutdown. In the morning show's 7 a.m. ET half hour, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall played a clip of SNL host Miley Cyrus doing a parody music video blaming the GOP for the shutdown and gushed: "I think she [Cyrus] might become a member of the five-timers club. You know, the group of hosts who've hosted five times." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour, co-host Willie Geist touted: "7th day now of the shutdown. Let's look at the bright side, the SNL side, how they handled it....Weekend Update...had an interesting take on the shutdown's winners and losers." A clip played of SNL cast member Seth Myers ranting: "Loser, John Boehner. I feel sorry for you buddy. It's exhausting watching you trying to maintain your dignity while wrangling those Tea Party maniacs. You're like Seinfeld if they're were 30 Kramers."
Move over, Lord Voldemort. Ted Cruz has taken your place as the man so evil he must not be named . . .
Today's Morning Joe featured a strange trope in which Cruz was being unmistakably referred to by various members of the panel, but, at least in the first hour, never mentioned by name. Instead, Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist variously alluded to Cruz as "one Republican senator specifically" or as one of "a couple of Republican senators" or "certain members of the Senate." Why the aversion to calling Ted Cruz by name? Were the Morning Joers trying to deprive Cruz of publicity? View the video after the jump.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has been making some fairly conservative arguments on his program as of late. On Thursday’s Morning Joe, for instance, he took his liberal guests to task, blasting Politico’s Jim VandeHei and The New York Time’s Steve Rattner for characterizing the House GOP as a do-nothing, radical conference.
Scarborough insisted that Republicans have stood for the same principles “for 100 years,” while dismantling the relentless claim from liberals that the current House of Representatives is the most extreme in American history:
During a discussion on Monday's NBC Today of internet reaction to a controversial new Cheerios commercial, lawyer and regular pundit Star Jones alleged that “social media is the new kind of Ku Klux Klan white hood; it allows you to be anonymous and say the things you would never say to a person to their face.”
The comment was made while the panel, which also included attorney Donny Deutsch and hosts Willie Geist and Samantha Guthrie, was discussing a few incendiary and racist statements that were made in the comment section of a new Cheerios commercial posted on YouTube. However, the commercial drew such comments because it featured “a white mom, biracial child, and an African-American dad.”
Well, that was quick, and sadly predictable. A day after MSNBC’s Morning Joe panel criticized President Obama for his lack of transparency on the three scandals plaguing his administration, the panel kicked off their Thursday show by heaping praise on the president for yesterday’s news conference.
Co-host and liberal activist Mika Brzezinski "felt good about" the conference, lauding the president’s courage for "doing the thing he doesn’t like to do" and promising that things would "get done" (in other words, his job). Panelist Willie Geist chimed in with his agreement, gushing over how the president "encountered" and "took action" on all three of the scandals in one day. There was no word from Geist about President Obama’s silence on both recent scandals up until yesterday, and his refusal to address the Benghazi attacks for more than eight months.
ABC and NBC led their morning shows on Tuesday with nearly 10 minutes of "breaking news" coverage of Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. This celebrity-driven story was apparently deemed more important than abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, as Good Morning America and Today devoted just 38 seconds to the Gosnell trial. (audio clips of Jolie coverage available here; video below the jump)
Altogether, the ABC and NBC morning newscasts aired 19 minutes and 3 seconds of coverage on Jolie. Tuesday's CBS This Morning waited 12 minutes to cover the Hollywood news item, but ultimately ended up setting aside 7 minutes and 49 seconds of air time to the surgeries, versus a 18 second news brief on Gosnell. The total Big Three coverage of Jolie on Tuesday morning, including CBS's reporting, added up to 26 minutes and 52 seconds, as opposed to 56 seconds on the Gosnell case.
As NewsBusters has been reporting all morning, the folks on MSNBC's Morning Joe almost unanimously came down on the Obama administration for using the Internal Revenue Service to intimidate its political opponents.
Putting an exclamation point on the outrage late in Monday's program were co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist who shockingly agreed, "This is tyranny" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
When it comes to investigative reporters, how do you change a bulldog into a lapdog? Easy: change the occupant of the Oval Office from a Republican into a Democrat.
Witness Carl Bernstein's pitiful performance on today's Morning Joe. The man who teamed with Bob Woodward to bring down Richard Nixon now credulously claims that he "can't imagine" that President Obama is possibly involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Bernstein instead blames the "hyper-partisanship" in Washington. Yeah, cause politics were so kumbaya in 1972, Carl. View the video after the jump.
It’s bad enough that MSNBC is extremely liberal, but when they acknowledge their biases but don’t attempt to correct them, it shows how incorrigible they are. Take Monday's Morning Joe, where the panelists discussed offensive comments made on Friday by outgoing South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian.
During his speech, which Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance to hear, Harpootlian disgustingly commented that Haley, who is of Indian decent should be sent, “back wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
As news of a deal in Congress to end FAA furloughs of air traffic controllers broke Friday morning, a panel of NBC hosts on Today immediately fretted over other government programs affected by the sequester, with Willie Geist touting Obama administration fearmongering: "...some of the other things that are hurt by the sequester, namely Head Start, preschool for low-income families....By the White House's account, 70,000 preschoolers will not have Head Start because of what's happening due to sequestration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Geist worried about the "imbalance" of the congressional deal only benefitting airline passengers. Fill-in co-host Tamron Hall agreed: "Now we're seeing this piecemeal, where, like you said, the air travelers, many of them business folks, are able to complain....Squeaky wheel gets the most attention and gets results. And do we really want our country to run that way? It's crazy....And there's the silent victims."
Credit Joe Scarborough not just for devoting a significant Morning Joe segment to the Gosnell abortion-murder trial today--but for declaring that he will have a reporter covering the trial--Joe Slobodzian of the Philadelphia Inquirer--back again tomorrow and throughout the week.
Ed Rendell—who was governor of Pennsylvania from 2003-10 while many of the horrors unfolded and the clinic went uninspected—was on today's Morning Joe panel. Scarborough questioned Rendell as to how this could have happened on his watch. Rendell claimed he knew nothing of the goings-on in the abortion clinic, that it was a question of bureaucratic bungling, and that he came under no pressure from abortion advocates to look the other way. View the video after the jump.
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer accused American society of being intolerant of gay athletes: "There are no openly gay players, but there are lots of gay athletes in major sports, and the fact that they still feel as if they'll be ostracized if they come out is – says something about the times we're living in." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer made the comment in reaction to a story about the son of former basketball star Magic Johnson coming out as gay. In that report, Willie Geist proclaimed: "Magic has been a champion of causes within the gay and lesbian community for decades....with the support of such a beloved icon, there is renewed hope that this will help break the taboo of open sexuality in the sports world....There remain no openly gay players in any of the major professional team sports. But Magic said in that interview yesterday he expects that to change and soon."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Friday morning shows all devoted air time to President Obama labeling California Attorney General Kamala Harris "the best-looking attorney general in the country" at a fundraiser on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, a panel on NBC's Today tried to explain away the remark. Willie Geist asserted, "I think he [Obama] was making a joke." CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell was tougher on the President: "Maybe, [it] was not the right thing to say."
However, the Big Three newscasts didn't report that Mrs. Obama also got caught in a verbal misstep on Thursday. ABCNews.com's Arlette Saenz devoted a Friday morning item to how Michelle Obama mistakenly referred to herself as a "single mother" during an interview with WCAX, a CBS affiliate in Vermont.
NBC's Al Roker was appalled by a poll of conspiracy theories that showed 37 percent of those surveyed believed global warming was a hoax. During a discussion, on Wednesday's Today show, of a Public Policy Polling survey that included respondents' views on everything from the John F. Kennedy assassination to the existence of Bigfoot, co-host Willie Geist reported: "Global warming is a hoax. Thirty-seven percent believe that."
To which Roker responded with an audible, "Wow!" and then later scolded global warming skeptics: "Okay, two words: Superstorm Sandy!" (video after the jump)
A question with a more obvious answer might yet be asked on national TV this morning, but someone's going to have to try very hard . . . On today's Morning Joe, during a segment on the Atlanta school-test scandal, Mike Barnicle actually wondered out loud why more top college grads take jobs with high-tech firms like Google, or in the financial-services sector, instead of teaching.
Barnicle had earlier declared that standardized tests don't teach kids how to think. Might Mike have taken one such test too many in his day? When Willie Geist gently pointed out the obvious to Mike—the difference in pay—Barnicle blubbered that he understood such was a given. So why ask? View the video after the jump.
Way to go out on a limb, Harold!. . . Of all the Morning Joe regulars, Harold Ford, Jr. is on my short list of those who bring the least to the table. Ford seems more interested in cultivating friends and avoiding offense than in saying anything interesting or—heaven forfend—controversial.
Ford took his penchant for finding something good to say about everyone to absurd new heights on today's show. On the one hand, Harold showed respect for Rand Paul's filibuster. On the other, he actually broke out the hoary "my dear friend" in saying he wasn't as worred about the drone policy as is Ron Wyden. And Harold is confident that President Obama will uphold the Constitution. Ford even claimed that AG Eric Holder did "a phenomenal job" in answering questions on the drone policy. We're running out of hands, here, Harold! Matters reached an absurd crescendo when, after observing that those who hang out with terrorists put themselves in peril, Ford proclaimed "I don't dine, socialize or spend time with people who are on a terrorist list around the globe." Good to know! View the video after the jump.
Ping-pong diplomacy worked with China, so why not b-ball diplomacy with North Korea? Mika Brzezinski is clearly not buying that line of logic. On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski confessed to being "angry" with George Stephanopoulos for having the extraterrestrial otherwise known as Dennis Rodman on This Week to discuss his recent trip to North Korea, which included meeting with its new leader, Kim Jong Un.
Mika didn't spare her fellow MJ panelists, calling them "idiots" when they persisted in discussing Rodman's trip and TW appearance. View the video after the jump.
One week after Politico declared President Obama to be a "puppet master" for his ability to manipulate media coverage, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Willie Geist was a willing participant in the string pulling as he conducted a fawning interview with outgoing White House speechwriter Jon Favreau: "[Obama] calls Favreau his mind reader....the departing speechwriter takes us inside his life as the voice of the President."
With a headline on screen declaring "Words That Made History," Geist touted how Favreau "spent the last eight years taking hand scribbled notes...and turning them into soaring speeches for Barack Obama." Geist gushed: "The two have been inseparable writing partners since Favreau joined then-Senator Obama in 2005."
Wrapping up a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poking fun at his weight during a David Letterman appearance, co-host Willie Geist argued the issue was a major political obstacle to Christie: "I think if he didn't weigh what he weighed right now, he'd be talked about as the shoo-in to be the nominee next time. But that's a real problem that people have to think about if they want to cast a vote for him, is his health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Joe Scarborough has said that he doesn't know whether Morning Joe member Willie Geist is a Democrat or a Republican. I'd say Willie leans left on social issues but is not reflexively liberal on other matters. Today, with Scarborough absent from the Morning Joe set, Geist actually rode to the defense of Rand Paul.
The Republican Senator from Kentucky has been taking heat from Dems over telling Hillary Clinton at yesterday's Benghazi hearings that had he been president, he would have fired her for her handling of the matter. Panelist Donny Deutsch made a predictable attack, calling Paul "pathetic, amateur hour" and an "idiot." But Geist weighed in to say that Paul "had a right to challenge" Clinton, and that he's "not supposed to just sit thereand celebrate her," and that he was "doing his job." View the video after the jump.
On Thursday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams took time out of the broadcast to provide this supposed "news" update: "First Lady Michelle Obama turned 49 today. But the big news came as the First Lady's office inaugurated a Twitter account and sent out this picture showing the First Lady's new bangs. Which Vanity Fair's website instantly praised, calling them 'featherly,' and tracing their lineage in hair terms to Brigitte Bardot." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Coverage of the grooming development continued on Friday's Today as White House correspondent Kristen Welker proclaimed: "The buzz over her bangs was immediate. People magazine tweeted: 'Guess who's turning 49 with bangs? Yep. bday girl @michelleobama debuted a fab new cut.' Vanity Fair also weighed in, remarking, 'There's just no other way to put this – got bangs.'"
At the top of Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer gushed over Vice President Biden doing a series of photo-ops while swearing in newly elected senators on Thursday: "Joe Biden welcomes lawmakers and their families to Washington like only he can." In a later report, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell glossed over several awkward moments caused by Biden: "There was certainly a lot of charm being poured on by the Vice President." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A few minutes later, fill-in news reader Willie Geist played a brief montage of some of the especially odd comments by Biden, including the Vice President telling the husband of one senator, "Spread your legs; you're going to be frisked," and declaring after looking a woman up and down, "holy mackerel."
In a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today, the morning show cast excitedly touted the possibility of left-wing actress Ashley Judd running for senate against Mitch McConnell in 2014, with co-host Willie Geist declaring: "She was a delegate to the Democratic convention this summer, she's very involved in politics, she's outspoken." [Watch the video after the jump]
News reader Natalie Morales heaped praise on Judd: "She's a brilliant woman....Harvard, I think....she's a U.N. goodwill ambassador, speaks out on HIV/AIDS prevention. And also, you know, she's done so much good for public – public good and she's a great, very smart woman." Celebrity chef Paula Deen, a guest on the show, chimed in: "I've heard that she's an extremely bright woman." Morales added: "Very."
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cheered the news that President Obama may make one of his major campaign donors, Anna Wintour, an ambassador: "Going Vogue? A report this morning that the President could appoint Vogue's famed editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be his next ambassador to England or France. More on what could be a very fashionable decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion later in the show, fellow co-host Willie Geist excused the obvious patronage job: "This is not unusual...I think something like 30% of appointees to ambassadorships are political, as a reward for people who raise a lot of money." That prompted a round of jokes about giving money to Obama to get an appointment. Fill-in news reader Tamron remarked: "[Wintour] raised more than $500,000 for his campaign, so we need to get on the ball....We need to get it going..."