Flashback: MSNBC Hosts Called Bush Fascist, Murderous and War Criminal, Never Faced Suspensions

June 30th, 2011 12:50 PM

On MSNBC you can call a sitting president a "murderous" "fascist" even muse about putting the President on trial for war crimes, so long as that president is a Republican. But if you dare call a Democratic president a "d–ck," as MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin did this morning it's grounds for indefinite suspension.

While calling any president the D-word is probably not showing the proper respect for the office, it has to be asked where does it rank compared to essentially accusing a president of mass murder and war crimes?

The following is a collection of quotes from MSNBC employees past (Keith Olbermann) and present (Chris Matthews, Ron Reagan Jr.) who had some particularly distasteful things to say about a then sitting President George W. Bush:

 "Good evening. A President who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a President whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a President whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the Republic; a President like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century."

— Keith Olbermann on Bush commuting Lewis Libby's prison sentence, MSNBC's Countdown, July 2, 2007

 "If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You're a fascist! Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it!...You, sir, have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom ‘freedom' is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite."

—  Olbermann addressing Bush in a "Special Comment" on Countdown, February 14, 2008.

 "As a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense, when the incontrovertible truth of your panoramic and murderous deceit has even begun to cost your political party seemingly perpetual congressional seats....When somebody asks you, sir, about the cooked books and faked threats you foisted on a sincere and frightened nation; when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead; this advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up! Good night and good luck." 

— Olbermann in a "Special Comment" on Countdown, May 14, 2008.

"What happens when you go in the Oval Office is you start living in a bubble, you know....David Kay, for instance, comes out with a report and says Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction. What does George W. Bush say? 'Well, I still think they had them.' That’s not just spin. That's dementia."

— MSNBC contributor Ron Reagan, Jr., during live coverage of the January 27, 2004 New Hampshire primary.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "Russ Feingold wants to censure the President, the Vice President..."

Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore: "Good idea....Personally I'd like to see a perp walk coming out of the West Wing of the White House."

Matthews: "Do you think they're guilty of war crimes?"

Moore: "Absolutely....I think we need a trial, in this country, where Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush would be brought up on charges for causing the deaths of so many people...."

Matthews: "It's interesting if you go back....the Nuremberg Trials weren't about the genocide, it was about waging an aggressive war. I love reading some of that language. It's interesting."

— MSNBC's Hardball, July 23, 2007


For the record, you will also get suspended by MSNBC for on-air comments, if you say an ex-Democratic president's daughter was being "pimped out" as was the case when David Shuster back in 2008 made this observation:

DAVID SHUSTER: Bill, there's just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea's out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom, and she's apparently also calling these super delegates.

BILL PRESS: Hey, she's working for her mom. What's unseemly about that? During the last campaign, the Bush twins were out working for their dad. I think it's great, I think she's grown up in a political family, she's got politics in her blood, she loves her mom, she thinks she'd make a great president --

SHUSTER: But doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?