Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, Samuel Johnson famously observed. And the courts become a desperate refuge for liberals after they lose an election, political observers inevitably witness. Practically as soon as "controversial" Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski was introduced on Sunday's 60 Minutes by reporter Lesley Stahl, you could see her pitch coming.
Former newspaper reporter and editor from Massachusetts, distance runner, Red Sox fan
In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has again done her part to make the phrase "pulling a Maddow" an enduring addition to the lexicon.
As I'm sure you recall, Maddow last month wildly overhyped her "exclusive" report -- actually obtained by another journalist -- about Trump's "tax returns," when in reality all she had was Trump's 2005 1040 federal tax return that revealed he paid $38 million in federal taxes that year for $150 million in income. The pushback against Maddow, even from the left, was swift and brutal.
Don't hold your breath waiting for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to trumpet her next scoop, assuming the next time it's actually hers and not someone else's. In the wake of Maddow's is that all there is? report about Donald Trump's 2005 tax return that revealed the not at all shocking news that Trump was actually quite wealthy, at least as of a decade ago, and also paid tens of millions in federal income taxes, the backlash from both sides of the divide has been furious.
More than a quarter-century since the demise of the Soviet Union, liberals in American media are still providing useful cover for their favorite failed socialist utopia, just as they did during the Cold War. Latest example comes from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night in one of her tedious, guest-free monologues, this one on the eye-glazing subject of Russian money-laundering and alleged collusion between the Russian government and Trump campaign, six months and counting into this particular conspiracy theory and not a smoking gun yet but I digress.
For many Americans, the British vote to leave the European Union last June was pretty arcane stuff that didn't much matter until it was replicated on this side of the pond months later when Donald Trump was elected president.
Right after the vote, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, always at the ready to sound the alarm regardless of whether it's needed, dubbed the Brexit vote a "global crisis". Instead of actually becoming one, Brexit quickly slipped below the radar at MSNBC and elsewhere, its not so gaping void filled with growing interest in the American presidential campaign.
In a promo she does for the MSNBC channel on SiriusXM, Rachel Maddow claims she delivers the news "without fear or favor" -- but she sure provides useful cover to guests if they share her liberal politics. Such was the case Tuesday night when one of Maddow's guests was former CIA analyst Edward Price, who just quit the agency in a highly public way, accompanied by an op-ed in the Washington Post that laid out the alleged rationale for his departure.
On the plus side, Rachel Maddow isn't teaching history to impressionable youth in high school or college. But it's hardly preferable that she spouts her dubious versions of it from a cable platform at MSNBC. In the wake of President Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he excoriated the media for its persistent bias, Maddow harkened back to a simpler time she considers so much better -- the media's allegedly aggressive coverage of the Kennedy administration.
After he was elected to the Senate from Minnesota in truly dubious fashion, former Saturday Night Live comedian and Air America Radio host Al Franken spent the next several years keeping his head down in Congress while making few appearances on cable. This was the start of Franken's earnest effort to appear a statesman and put the clown act behind him.
Then in November, Donald Trump was elected president and the ongoing left-wing meltdown began in earnest. One of the noticeable changes brought by Trump's victory is that the previously camera-shy Franken, at least as of 2008, was once again the life of the party.
Jon Tester is not a well-known politician who makes frequent appearances on cable news. But what the Montana Democrat lacks in familiarity he compensates by pulling off the most important liberal duty of all -- he shows that he cares. Really, really cares.
Something else to add to the growing list of Things That Have Changed since the election to end all elections -- Trump-hating MSNBC is now trumpeting a term that the president has long been comfortable stating but MSNBC most assuredly had not until after Trump became president.
The wording in question -- "illegal immigrant" -- is usually verboten on the left and anyone who dares utter it is guilty of hate speech or, at the very least, deplorable red-state gauchery.
Don't hold your breath awaiting Michael Wolff's next appearance on CNN. Then again, perhaps CNN keeps inviting Wolff because they've learned he's good for ratings. Here's one viewer who is definitely tuning in next time I know he'll be on. Shortly after Donald Trump's stunning victory in November, Wolff took fellow journalists to task for their collective fake outrage after Trump ditched them to enjoy dinner in New York City with his family, minus the media circus.
Don't you love it when a person on the public dime insults you? Well, perhaps you won't be hearing as much of it in the future from National Public Radio while you're helping pay their budget with your taxes. With President Trump vowing to end federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, the frequent disparaging of conservatives by NPR talking heads might emanate instead from the dreaded private sector, assuming NPR and PBS can survive there.
Remain calm, we're going to get through this. Really.
You've probably seen the headlines, starting with a report in the Washington Post on Thursday that ran under this ominous headline -- "The State Department's entire senior administrative team just resigned." Please tell me you were sitting down when you read that.
Two largely unheralded accomplishments by President Trump right out of the gate -- first, his mere presence in Washington compelled countless women to get more exercise in one day than Michelle Obama could persuade them to exert over eight years. And second, inducing liberal court jester Bill Maher to question the sanctity of a major federal bureaucracy. Not bad for Trump's first weekend in office.
Maher conspicuously deviated from his practice of including at least a token conservative or Trump supporter among his guests on Friday night's season opener of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, opting instead to go unchallenged with a group of like-minded leftists who nodded vigorously in agreement. A safe space indeed for a man who once touted his politically incorrect bona fides.
Lack of trust in the media is at a historic low, pundit and columnist Kayleigh McEnany pointed out on today's Reliable Sources. Isn't that because conservatives have been telling people for 30 years not to trust media, challenged reliably left-of-center Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.
It's taken the better part of a decade, but the tea party is finally getting some respect from a cable network that has long demonized it. The few conservatives inclined to cringe through a broadcast of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show on Jan. 4 were surely surprised to hear both its host and one of her guests say flattering things about tea partiers.
Perhaps it would help if they rescheduled the show and named it Much Later in the Morning, Joe. Syndicated columnist Mike Barnicle, a regular on MSNBC's Morning Joe, struggled yesterday not just with the pronunciation of Electoral College but with a Civics 101-level understanding of how it works.
"Jason Clarke is Ted Kennedy," declares The Daily Beast headline, "The Aussie Actor on the Controversial 'Chappaquiddick.' Based on Clarke's remarks to the Beast, he sure sounds like him. Daily Beast reporter Liza Foreman tells readers in her lede that she was "not all that familiar" with Chappaquiddick, the remote island where Kennedy drove off a bridge late at night with a young woman who drowned in the car while Kennedy escaped.
For years I've wondered if former NBC news anchor Brian Williams is an aspiring stand-up comic. What he said last night on The 11th Hour sealed it -- this guy can make people laugh, albeit not always intentionally. Williams's repeated episodes of fictional story telling fobbed off as news, often accompanied by exaggerations of his journalistic heroics, led to his downfall from NBC in 2015. He was back seven months later in a lesser role, consigned to the purgatory that is late night on MSNBC.
Hardly a news cycle passes without another phony controversy conjured by the left in a flailing effort to discredit Donald Trump before he takes office. The latest mock-outrage du jour stems from Trump's inexplicable refusal to observe the subtleties of diplomatic protocol by taking a phone call from another world leader without first getting it vetted through a State Department still run by the outgoing president of the opposing party. Such indelicacies can cause many a sleepless night for career diplomats. Have you no shame, Mr. President-elect?!