Lives in Granbury, Texas.

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Parrots, dogs, small planes, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
October 14, 2015, 8:57 PM EDT

Even conservatives not inclined toward Trump might rally to the Donald's defense after seeing this sneering condescension from the New York Times .

On this evening's With All Due Respect, the Times' Jonathan Martin was asked, after viewing a clip of Ivanka Trump, how her more active involvement would affect the campaign. Responded Martin: "the comments that you heard right there are so stark to me, because they are a departure from the Trump brand that we know.  I mean, she sounds like a really sort of poised, smart, capable person."  So Donald's flustered, stupid and incompetent, Jonathan?

October 14, 2015, 7:30 AM EDT

Wow: an MSMer who not only has "many" conservative friends, but is willing to admit it on live national TV?

On today's Morning Joe, in the course of praising Anderson Cooper's performance as debate moderator, Geist let drop that prior to the debate "many of my conservative friends" thought CNN would go easy on the Dems, but that five minutes in, they told him "oh, I guess he's not going to go easy."

October 13, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

First Sanders, now Trumka—are there any capitalists left on the left? On the most recent Meet the Press, Bernie Sanders made news when Chuck Todd asked him if he was a capitalist.  "No," shot back Sanders, "I'm a democratic socialist." Mark Halperin was obviously taken enough by the question as to pose it on today's With All Due Respect to Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

"No, I'm a trade unionist, quite frankly," retorted Trumka.  When Halperin tried to pursue the issue, Trumka laughed it off, calling it  a "silly question." Silly? The biggest union boss in America opposes the economic system that made this country great and which creates the private sector jobs his members fill?  Employers have to bargain with people who reject the very premise upon which their businesses rest? Silly? You're killing us, Richard.  Or should we say "Mr. President," which was the obsequious way in which Halperin and co-host John Heilemann addressed Trumka. But kudos to Halperin for posing and then pursuing the question.

October 13, 2015, 9:21 AM EDT

Rush Limbaugh likes to facetiously refer to Hillary Clinton as "the smartest woman in the world." Today's Morning Joe brought us three people who might actually believe it.

Previewing tonight's Dem debate, Mike Barnicle led off the love-in, fantasizing about people coming away from the debate saying "wow, there is a prepared, thorough, knowledgeable candidate. All the Benghazi stuff goes out the window." Next was Joe Scarborough, who said the debate gives Hillary the chance to show voters "she may be the smartest person on the stage and in politics right now."  And finally, the incomparable Cokie Roberts, who gushed that any time Hillary is with "actual people" [as opposed to droids?] she "always wows them" adding that Hillary "knows everything about every issue."  

October 13, 2015, 8:21 AM EDT

Michelle might want to gently tap the president on the shoulder and remind him "umm, Barack, you're not in the faculty lounge any more.  You're actually, uh, President and Commander-in-Chief.  So you don't get to criticize your own failed policies as if you're not responsible for them.  They're, umm, your policies, you know?"

Commenting on President Obama's 60 Minutes interview in which he said he was "skeptical from the get-go" about his administration's failed policy of training Syrian rebels, WaPo's David Ignatius on today's Morning Joe called the president's reaction "weird," adding "he spoke almost like a man vindicated when a policy of his own administration had collapsed in failure. And he was, he took the line almost of, see, I told you so."

October 12, 2015, 10:13 PM EDT

Isn't that sweet: a Politico reporter assures a far-left MSNBC host that when it comes to a major issue, he shares her political viewpoint.

On this evening's Rachel Maddow show, guest host Melissa Harris-Perry happened to mention that she was a "feminist." Hardly had Harris-Perry uttered the words when Jake Sherman, congressional correspondent for Politico, broke in to assure her "me too!"

October 12, 2015, 8:03 AM EDT

Says Joe Scarborough, if Jeb Bush had Donald Trump's poll numbers, the media would proclaim the race "T-K-Over." Yet rather than touting Trump's commanding lead, the liberal media speculates instead on the Donald's "exit strategy." That had Scarborough blasting CNN and other MSM outlets as "Trump deniers" on today's Morning Joe.

Why is the MSM unwilling to give Donald his due?  Scarborough suggested the media should "just admit: we hate him so much, that even when he is trouncing everybody, we loathe this vulgarian from Queens who we've never accepted into our club and screw him, we're never going to give him any sort of respect." Concluded Joe: "I call them Trump deniers."

October 11, 2015, 12:51 PM EDT

Yeah, that's been our big beef with the New York Times: it's too tough on top Democrats . . . 

So we'll all sleep better now that Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet has assured us that the paper is not "too aggressive" or "unfair" in its coverage of Hillary Clinton. On CNN's Reliable Sources today, Bacquet, as proof of the paper's even-handedness, noted to host Brian Stelter a Times story on Benghazi that "did not point a finger at her" and another story probing problems within the Benghazi committee.

October 9, 2015, 10:34 AM EDT

Who is taking more glee from the current Republican turmoil over the selection of the next Speaker: Democrats or the MSM—or do I repeat myself?

Today's Morning Joe featured a clip from Andrea Mitchell's interview of Ben Carson in which she asked: "what does this just say about the Republican brand and the Republican party. Can it survive after this kind of chaos?" Wishful thinking, Andrea?

October 8, 2015, 8:36 AM EDT

For weeks now, Joe Scarborough has been expressing befuddlement over Ben Carson's appeal.  It boiled over on today's Morning Joe, as Scarborough went on an extended anti-Carson rant.

Scarborough unleashed after clips were played from town halls in Iowa and New Hampshire in which Republican voters expressed strong support for the notion of Carson as a qualified president. Calling Carson unqualified to be president, Joe railed that he'd seen people like Carson on school boards who got into trouble because they were in "over their heads."

October 7, 2015, 8:45 AM EDT

Is it the MSM's role to protect Hillary Clinton's image by preventing the public from seeing what members of her own party think of her?  Today's Morning Joe played a clip from a Dem focus group in New Hampshire in which there was near unanamity that Hillary's personality could be a serious turn-off to voters, particularly male ones.

Joe Scarborough then said: "we actually cut a good bit in there, out, that was even more negative of Hillary because we thought it was actually too negative and didn't like some of the connotations there."

October 6, 2015, 7:53 AM EDT

A week ago, we noted that—negating Nicolle Wallace's notion that the woman who aided the New York prison break shouldn't do any time herself—Willie Geist observed "you can't help convicted murderers escape from jail."  An NB reader remarked: "I get the sense that Willie Geist is a good guy trapped inside the leftwing matrix."

Far be it from us to cause workplace problems for Willie by praising him too much, but Geist was at it again on today's Morning Joe, this time making some common sense remarks on gun control.  After Eugene Robinson praised Australia's "very serious" gun control laws, Willie first cut through the haze, noting that "Australia, to be clear, confiscated guns." He went on to make this observation—as remarkable for its truth as it is for his rarity in the MSM—"there are so many laws out there, and you can make more laws and still wouldn't capture the people, the criminal element, that wants to get his hands on a gun." 

October 5, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

They really are coming for your guns . . . After the Charleston church shootings, President Obama praised Australia's draconian gun laws, which included a mandatory buy-back program, AKA confiscation.

On today's Morning Joe, Mika wondered "why" we couldn't institute a similar gun ban in the United States, throwing in support for a database of all gun ownership for good measure.  Joe Scarborough was actually obliged to explain to Mika that her gun ban was never going to happen because we have the Second Amendment here. That left Mika grimacing in regret [see the screengrab].

October 1, 2015, 8:03 AM EDT

There was Hillary Clinton, telling Al Sharpton of all people that she found Kevin McCarthy's comments about the Benghazi hearings "deeply distressing."  

That was too much for the Morning Joe panel, which just had to laugh.  As John Heilemann put it, far from being distressed, Hillary surely sees McCarthy's comments—implying a political motive behind the hearings—as a Christmas and birthday gift wrapped into one that sent her "skipping through the park."

September 30, 2015, 6:22 PM EDT

How damaging to Republicans are Speaker-presumptive Kevin McCarthy's comments in which he tied the drop in Hillary's poll numbers to the Benghazi hearings? Very damaging, according to the With All Due Respect duo on today's show. John Heilemann called them a "disaster" for congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates alike.  Mark Halperin called them a "huge, huge problem" for the GOP.

Interestingly, Halperin praised committee chairman Trey Gowdy, saying that he had been "carefully preparing the hearings, trying to do what no Republican has done in a long time, run a politically effective, substantive hearing." But, said Halperin, there's "almost nothing he can do now."

September 30, 2015, 7:03 AM EDT

Did the tragic irony of his statement not strike Jonathan Capehart? On today's Morning Joe, after disclosing that he could not bear to watch the Planned Parenthood videosWashington Post editor Capehart expressed opposition to cutting off all funding for it. Arguing that "they do so many other things providing health care to women," Capehart continued "on my Twitter feed yesterday there was a woman who tweeted at me and said thanks to Planned Parenthood I'm still alive."

Jonathan, have you given any thought to the six million people who will never be able to tweet you because their lives were ended by Planned Parenthood abortions?

September 29, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

You know the saying: once is a fluke, twice is a trend. Yesterday, Stephen Colbert and First Lady Michelle Obama shared a laugh over Bill Clinton's "passion." On today's With All Due Respect, responding to Mark Halperin's report that Bill Clinton "keeps saying he doesn't know what Snapchat is," John Heilemann quipped "let's hope not, for his sake."

For those who might not be familiar, Snapchat is an app that lets users send photos or videos that self-destruct within seconds—ideal for "sexting."  All snickering aside, will Bill's wandering ways become an issue for Hillary?

September 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

Our NewsBusters readers are a prescient bunch.  On an item posted earlier this morning about Nicolle Wallace calling Hillary a "terrible" candidate, one reader commented "Nicolle is pretending to be conservative again. Not to worry, she'll be back to her normal liberal self soon."

And sure enough, just seven minutes later, Wallace was letting her bleeding-heart side show.  Discussing the news that Joyce Mitchell—the accomplice who helped two convicted murderers escape—had been sentenced to prison, Wallace said "I feel bad for her.  Can't she just wear an ankle bracelet?" Nicolle even threw in an empathetic "awww" for the plight of "romancer" Mitchell.

September 29, 2015, 9:54 AM EDT

Vladimir Putin probably had to wait 20 minutes for an elevator. Yeah, that's the ticket . . . 

Josh Earnest, Barack Obama's spokesman, has excused Vladimir Putin's snub of the President of the United States, in which the Russian strongman turned up 20 minutes late for their lunch at the UN yesterday.  On today's Morning Joe, Earnest lamely defended Vlad's tardiness: "anybody that's been around the UN during the General Assembly knows it's total chaos inside that building, so people ae running late quite frequently. " Right. And if you believe that, we've got an oceanfront condo in Moscow to sell you.

September 29, 2015, 7:36 AM EDT

Good ol' Mike Barnicle dutifully carried Dem water this morning, maintaining a straight face while calling Hillary Clinton a "strong" candidate.  But also on the Morning Joe set was Nicolle Wallace, who reported that "Democrats think she's terrible. I hope [Biden] doesn't run, because he's better than her."

For good measure, Mark Halperin opined that Biden might want to wait until February, on the theory that if Bernie Sanders beats Hillary in Iowa or New Hampshire, "there'll be panic," or as Wallace put it, "pandemonium."