Lives in Granbury, Texas.

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Pilot, parrots, dogs, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
January 15, 2016, 8:24 AM EST

Ted Cruz: undocumented Canadian candidate?  Andrew Cuomo didn't quite go quite that far, but the New York governor surely took a birther shot at Cruz during his appearance on today's Morning Joe.

Invited on to comment on Cruz's claim that Donald Trump represents "New York values," New York Governor Cuomo said: "You think the sign says only people from Canada that happen to come from Spanish-Irish descent? We said everyone is welcome." 

January 13, 2016, 7:29 PM EST

Yesterday, we noted With All Due Respect's report on Chelsea Clinton's absurd attack on Bernie Sanders, in which Chelsea claimed Sanders would "strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance." John Heilemann rightly called Chelsea's line a "lie." Today, Heilemann reported that he and co-host Mark Halperin have received "a lot of blowback," i.e. criticism, from fellow MSM members for their report. 

Heilemann chalked up the MSM's criticism up to its "muscle memory" in not reporting on a president's child. I'd say the real reason for the MSM's reticence is its tendency to rally around liberals of all sorts, and certainly not to accuse them of a "lie"—even when the evidence of it is, as in this case, indisputable.

January 13, 2016, 7:58 AM EST

Here at NewsBusters, one of our classification categories under Media Bias is "Sudden Respect." The notion is that all a Republican has to do to win praise from the MSM is to bash fellow Republicans or conservatives.

There was a perfect illustration of the phenomenon on today's Morning Joe.  In her Republican response to the SOTU, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley counseled Republicans to reject "the siren call of the angriest voices" and urged "welcoming immigrants regardless of race or religion." The shots at Donald Trump and to some extent at Ted Cruz were unmistakeable. Morning Joe loved it. "Welcome to the big stage," enthused Mika Brzezinski.  Willie Geist declared Haley a "star." Gushed former CNN CEO Walter Isaacson: "great."

January 12, 2016, 7:33 PM EST

Proving that there is nothing and no one she won't sacrifice on the altar of her political ambition, Hillary Clinton today sent her daughter Chelsea out to smear Bernie Sanders by claiming his health care plan would "strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance."  On today's With All Due Respect, Mark Halperin repeatedly said he was "stunned" by the attack. John Heilemann put in blunter terms, flatly calling the attack a "lie."

Last night I suggested that Hillary's lurch left in suddenly proposing a big tax increase on the rich suggested panic on her part. But what she pulled today makes yesterday's panic pale in comparison. Let's call it a sign of craven hysteria.

January 11, 2016, 9:09 PM EST

Is Hillary Clinton panicking? We've seen the polls showing the Iowa race closing to within the margin of error, and Hillary losing in New Hampshire. But could Clinton's internal polling be even more calamitous?

The question arises because Hillary is suddenly trying to rival Bernie Sanders in bashing the rich. Nine months after announcing her candidacy, Clinton suddenly called into Chris Hayes' MSNBC show tonight to announce her proposal for "a new fair share surcharge." C'mon Hillary. You only talked about "multimillionaires." Really wanna be like Bernie? Gotta kvetch about "billionaires"—with a bona fide Brooklyn accent.

January 11, 2016, 8:49 AM EST

Is the Hillary camp sensing mortal political danger over her role as "bully" [to use Maureen Dowd's term] toward Bill's women? The question arises given the agitation, defensiveness and anger displayed by the normally mild-mannered Harold Ford, Jr., a Hillary fan, on today's Morning Joe.

Ford warning Joe Scarborough not to raise his voice to him? Ford defensively rejecting comparisons between Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby? Ford angrily rejecting Scarborough's suggestion that he's taking James Carville talking points in defending Hillary? Something's going on. Scarborough clearly hit a sore spot. Does Ford's defensiveness reflect shakiness across Hillary world?

January 10, 2016, 8:13 AM EST

As Rush Limbaugh would say, they're not refugees or illegal immigrants: they're undocumented Democrats . . . On this morning's New Day, CNN political analyst Josh Rogin [formerly of the Daily Beast], repeatedly claimed that President Obama's push to admit refugees from Syria and elsewhere is a "principled" position, not a "political" one. 

Does Rogin or anyone else seriously believe that the admission of refugees is not of a piece with the opening of our borders to immigrants, illegal and otherwise, in an effort to flood the electoral rolls with Democrats-to-be? Does anyone imagine Obama and his fellow Dems would be pushing hard for the admission of millions of new immigrants if they knew, for example, that 70% of them would be voting Republican? Playa please.

January 9, 2016, 10:24 AM EST

Let's see: a guy in a Muslim tunic, who after being arrested tells police he has pledged allegiance to ISIS, and who has made trips to the Middle East, shoots 11 times at a Philly policeman, wounding him. What could be the shooter's motive? If you're Rachel Maddow, the answer is "murky" and "unclear." So said Maddow on her MSNBC show last night. 

January 8, 2016, 9:33 AM EST

Joe Scarborough blew the whistle on the MSM this morning regarding its unwillingess to say publicly what people in major newsrooms have incessantly discussed--Bill Clinton's mistresses and the lurid tales involving Jeffrey Epstein, he of Orgy Island infamy, and Clinton.

But if the MSM won't "go there," on today's Morning Joe Scarborough said that Donald Trump indubitably will: "That's what makes Donald Trump more dangerous than any person out there. He will bring up stuff that nobody else will bring up and anybody thinking in the Clinton campaign that they're going to get a break because it's Donald Trump doing this instead of Jeb Bush, you are in la la land."

January 7, 2016, 8:49 AM EST

Someone remind me: isn't there a term for people with this sort of fixation? Joe Scarborough just can't stop looking at and talking about Marco Rubio's footwear, ever since a photo recently appeared of Rubio sporting a pair of boots.

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough repeatedly circled back to the subject, managing to work it into a number of conversations. For example, when Mika Brzezinski cited a report that Rubio has shifted his message from optimism to "doom," Scarborough jumped in: "what? Did he break a heel?"

January 5, 2016, 9:12 PM EST

Looking for some comic relief after President Obama's teary announcement of new executive orders on gun control, and Chris Matthews' fawning interview of Hillary Clinton? You've come to the right place.

On this evening's O'Reilly FactorDem strategist Nomiki Konst claimed that forcing law-abiding Americans to register their guns would stop the "majority" of mass shootings. You're killing me, Nomiki—you should excuse the expression.

January 5, 2016, 6:28 PM EST

Not merely does Chris Matthews claim that Hillary Clinton was "shocked" to learn that Bill was having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Matthews can't imagine anybody thinking she wasn't shocked.

On today's With All Due Respect, Matthews said "I don't think anybody thought that she wasn't shocked when this Monica thing came about. You just look at her face in the old clips. You can see she couldn't believe it had happened." Of course. After all, Monica is on record in the Starr Report saying that Bill confided to her that he had "hundreds" of affairs before the age of 40. That's on top of the hundreds of affairs that Dick Morris says Clinton had while in the White House. So naturally Hillary "couldn't believe" that Bill would fool around with a zoftig intern. Right.

January 4, 2016, 7:05 PM EST

Let's you and him fight! That was John Heilemann on today's With All Due Respect, trying to lure Chris Christie into a fight with Republican voters. Heilemann's first foray was to invite Christie to "name an issue where you are out of step with the conservative base of the Republican party." When Christie wouldn't bite, Heilemann tried again, asking Christie to name "an issue where you feel like the conservative base is wrong."

Christie called out Heilemann's ploy, saying "you're kind of looking for some Sistah Souljah moment" which Christie described as "manufactured and political." Even those who are not Christie fans might applaud him for refusing to fall into Heilemann's trap.

January 4, 2016, 8:30 AM EST

Mika Brzezinski has let the cat out of the MSM bag. On today's Morning Joe, Mika admitted that the press corps covering Donald Trump can't be objective about him: "it's like their skin is crawling."

Brzezinski said reporters "ooze with a lack of objectivity" when covering Trump, adding "you can sort of see it in their kind of like smiling, sort of slyly and uncomfortably and almost snarkily while they're reporting on his rallies." Of course, what is true about MSM coverage of Trump has been true of the way the liberal media covered many Republicans.  Does anyone think, for instance, that the MSM gave a fair shake to Mitt Romney or George W. Bush?

January 2, 2016, 8:55 AM EST

On Saturday's Good Morning America, co-host Dan Harris suggested Hillary Clinton "may actually have been right" about Donald Trump turning up in ISIS videos. And during the subsequent segment, reporter Mary Bruce said Hillary "predicted" Trump "would" be used in ISIS videos. There's only one hitch: Hillary hadn't "predicted" what ISIS "would" do. On December 19th, during a Democratic debate, Hillary claimed that ISIS was already using Trump in recruitment videos. But no terror group used Trump in a video before today, when he turned up in a video not by ISIS but from an al Qaeda-affiliated group. 

December 31, 2015, 8:39 AM EST

"Is that right? Fourteen??" That's Alisyn Camerota, 1:21 into the video clip. The shock and incredulity in the voice of the CNN host is stupendous! Yes, who could possibly imagine that, as CNN commentator Errol Louis stated, there are 14 women who could potentially make allegations of improprieties against Bill Clinton.

If Camerota had consulted CNN's own files, she wouldn't be so shocked. The Starr report includes Monica Lewinsky's testimony that Clinton personally told her that "he had had hundreds of affairs" before the age of 40. And Dick Morris is on record saying Clinton had "hundreds of women" just during his time in the White House. Whatever the precise number, does Camerota assume that Clinton conducted himself like Sir Galahad in all his encounters?

December 29, 2015, 6:41 PM EST

Judging by Nicolle Wallace's performance on today's With All Due Respect, it looks like establishment Republicans are going full bore against Ted Cruz. Here was Wallace talking about her personal experience with Ted Cruz: "I worked with him on the [2000 Bush/Gore] recount in Florida, and the recount was sort of ground zero for the biggest egos in both parties in the whole country, and he rose to the top in terms of hubris and egomania."

Co-host John Heilemann was flabbergasted: "you're saying that among all of your colleagues in the recount effort, that he was the biggest ego?  Is that really what I heard you say? Wow! That is an incredible thing to say."

December 28, 2015, 8:13 AM EST

What's more sexist: Donald Trump saying "schlonged" to describe the way Hillary Clinton lost in 2008, or Hillary herself orchestrating a campaign to discredit and destroy women, including Monica Lewinsky, whose "bimbo eruptions" threatened Bill and Hillary's hold on power? 

According to Al Sharpton on today's Morning Joe, Trump's offense is the graver. Sharpton suggests that Hillary's attack on Monica Lewinsky should be understood as a woman "dealing with someone who was in an indiscretion with her husband." Sharpton thus paints a picture of poor Hillary, the wronged woman, fighting her rival for the affections of her husband. As Trump said of Hillary playing the woman card: "give me a break."

December 25, 2015, 9:17 AM EST

A very Merry Christmas to NewsBusters readers everywhere! Just out of curiosity, I took a look at the Google doodle for this Christmas Day.  See below: it's bland, boring and above all, void of any reference at all to the holiday itself. I decided to have a look at the ways Google observed other days with its doodles. And sure enough, exactly one month to the day before Christmas Eve, Google celebrated "the 41st anniversary of the discovery of Lucy," she being the skeleton of a hominin found in Ethiopia.  

Google's animated gif doodle shows a monkey walking on all fours, then a lumbering ape-like figure, and finally the tall, striding Lucy. Evolution, baby! Evolutionists everywhere celebrate Lucy Discovery Day by huddling around their Origin of the Species first editions and adorning their bumpers with fish symbols with feet. So, is Google worried about offending non-Christians with a true Christmas doodle? Then why not similar concern for the sensibilites of creationists with its Lucy doodle? 

December 24, 2015, 7:40 AM EST

About the last person you'd expect to have a Vulcan mind meld with Donald Trump is Chris Cuomo. But at a time when the focus is Star Wars, Cuomo went Star Trek today, sounding much like Trump in his description of Hillary Clinton. Trump of course made the phrase "low-energy" famous as he repeatedly battered Jeb Bush with it. Recently, Trump took a similar tack with Hillary, saying she lacked the "stamina" to be president, claiming that after brief, staged appearances, she disappears from the campaign trail to "sleep."  

On this morning's New Day, there was Cuomo saying that in her recent Des Moines Register interview, Hillary was "very low energy." Cuomo even echoed Trump's notion of Hillary disappearing from the trail, saying she's been "keeping a low profile as much as she can."