Lives in Granbury, Texas.

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Pilot, parrots, dogs, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
February 17, 2012, 9:50 AM EST

Let he who is without a Y chromosome cast the first stone . . . Today's Morning Joe afforded viewers a study in hypocrisy: the all-male makeup of a panel at yesterday's House hearing on contraception was bashed by the show's panel consisting entirely of, yes, men. 

With Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough having the day off, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle took guest-hosting turns.  Barnicle introduced the subject, harrumphing about "the absurd picture we just saw of basically, it looks like an all-male locker room in a golf club."  Lawrence O'Donnell and Dem congressman Elijah Cummings joined in the breast-beating. Video after the jump.

February 16, 2012, 8:09 AM EST

Those imagining Mika Brzezinski as a straight-down-the-line liberal will be surprised by her comments on today's Morning Joe.

Brzezinski didn't demur after Joe Scarborough described her as a Catholic who is "more conservative than many" on social issues.  To the contrary, she proceeded to prove Scarborough's point by defending Rick Santorum's stance on contraception.  The show had played two clips of Santorum in which he had called contraception "harmful to women" and said that contraception "is not OK."  Video after the jump.

February 15, 2012, 11:17 AM EST

The MSM loves Jeremy Lin for now.  But how long before he gets the Tebow treatment? Check out the video of the opening of today's Morning Joe.  In just over two minutes, the show ran clips of Knicks player Jeremy Lin hitting a three-point buzzer beater last night . . . no fewer than 10 times.

But Morning Joe was far from finished.  I counted a total of 28 Lin clips during the course of the show. Donnie Deutsch opined that "this is one of the few things where the 1% and the 99% can agree."  Mike Barnicle later expressed a similar sentiment.  Clearly the Lin story is moving America.  But query how long he will remain a uniting figure should the MSM, as in the case of similarly-inspirational Tim Tebow, start mocking his devout Christianity? Video after the jump.

February 14, 2012, 3:19 PM EST

His show's called The Daily Rundown.  And sure enough, Chuck Todd ran down Rick Santorum this morning as just another "flavor of the day" who "probably won't be the nominee."  Apparently, trouncing Mitt Romney in three contests last week, and leading by a reportedly huge margin in Romney's native state of Michigan, isn't enough to impress Chuck.

But Todd totally swerved around Anita Dunn, failing to question his guest about the story of her big-money hypocrisy making today's news.  As Obama's White House communications director, Dunn regularly went after hedge funds.  But now as a PR consultant, as the Washington Free Beacon has reported, Dunn is taking hedge fund money for a campaign to promote the industry's image.  Incredibly, nary a word about it from Todd. Video after the jump.

February 14, 2012, 9:14 AM EST

There was a surprisingly positive consensus on Rick Santorum on today's Morning Joe.  Most remarkable was the observation by Obama fan Mika Brzezinski, who said "I don't agree with anything he says, but I like the guy." H/t  to NewsBusters reader D.B. for audio assistance.

Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist were also upbeat on Santorum, Scarborough astutely observing that "90% of Americans don't obsess on social issues," so that what some would cast as controversial past statements by Santorum won't hurt him nearly as much as might be imagined.  Video after the jump.

February 12, 2012, 12:27 PM EST

On today's Meet The Press, "moderator" David Gregory gave a good preview of how the MSM/Obama industrial complex will try to cariacture and demonize Rick Santorum should he become the Republican presidential candidate.

Gregory asked Santorum whether, if elected president, he would only permit single women without children to work in his administration.  That's right: Gregory was actually wondering whether Santorum would prohibit mothers from serving.  Santorum didn't rise to Gregory's absurd bait, giving a smiling and good-natured response to the effect all women would be welcome in a Santorum administration.  Video after the jump.

February 11, 2012, 9:24 AM EST

Suffer me to begin with a suggestion: if you ever have the chance to hear the Rev. William Dailey of Notre Dame law school speak, jump on it.  Dailey is a stunningly brilliant advocate, among the best I have ever encountered on any issue.

Dailey appeared on today's Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC, where he masterfully made the case against the Obama administration's order forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that violate their moral principles. Predictably, the panel resorted to an ad hominem argument against him.  Panelist Michaela Angela David implicitly, and Hayes himself explicitly, argued that celibate Catholic priests lack the moral authority to make arguments on the issues at hand.  Dailey deftly turned the tables. Video after the jump.

February 10, 2012, 8:21 AM EST

If President Obama didn't already see a sea of red flags, a thunderbolt from Chris Matthews this morning should surely inform him that he has badly misstepped with his decision to force Catholic institutions to provide services that violate their religious principles

Appearing on Morning Joe, Matthews said that "even liberal Catholics are going to be proud" of Catholic leaders who stand up to Obama, and indeed that the Catholic response "may come to civil disobedience."  Video after the jump.

February 9, 2012, 9:32 PM EST

A festering three-fer for the odious Martin Bashir.  Not content to inflict him on the viewing public him during his own slot, MSNBC put Bashir on The Ed Show this evening, where he proceeded to slime, in one fetid fell swoop, Mormons, evangelicals, and Mitt Romney.  With Schultz all too quick to agree, Bashir claimed most evangelicals wouldn't support Romney because of his membership in the LDS church.

For his purposes, Bashir badly misrepresented a Mark Twain quote. Bashir claimed that "the vast majority" of evangelicals share Twain's view that the Book of Mormon is "chloroform," perhaps implying there was something poisonous about it. But reading what Twain wrote, it's obvious he was merely claiming to find the book boring. Video after the jump.

February 6, 2012, 11:39 AM EST

Ezra Klein has unwittingly offered a telling insight into the liberal mind.  On Morning Joe today, the liberal Washington Post blogger actually argued that quintessential big government programs like massive involvement in housing finance and the imposition of a carbon tax aren't "progressive" but simply "good policy."

Joe Scarborough pushed back saying Klein's notion of "good policy" was only so for those who share his liberal mindset.   Video after the jump.

February 6, 2012, 7:33 AM EST

Joe Scarborough had a jocular way this morning of pointing out the pro-Dem bias in ABC/Washington Post polls.

On Morning Joe, after Mark Halperin cited a new poll from the conglomerate with many findings favorable to President Obama, Scarborough facetiously asked "does Axelrod poll for ABC?" He went on to detail the way the polling combine consistently puts its fat left thumb of the scales for Dems. Video after the jump.

February 3, 2012, 9:05 PM EST

Melissa Harris-Perry might have set a new world record in the use of euphemism to avoid calling abortion by its name.

The Tulane professor, soon to be a host of her own MSNBC show, used a string of politically-correct evasions to say anything but the a-word during her appearance on Al Sharpton's show this evening.  It came in the context of discussing the Komen Foundation's cave on funding Planned Parenthood. Video after the jump.

February 1, 2012, 8:28 AM EST

Whatever happened to the good old days, when the MSM glorified "speaking truth to power"?  We all know the answer: that epoch ended on January 20, 2009.

Nowadays, opposing power, particularly in the person of the president, far from being something to be praised, is downright illegitimate in some liberal media eyes.  Take the latest "Lean Forward" promo by MSNBC, in which Ed Schultz actually claims that those "standing up to the president" are nothing but "bullies."  Video after the jump.

January 26, 2012, 8:14 AM EST

Howard Dean: "I need to take you on a tour of America's public schools; that's what I need to do." Joe Scarborough: "I've been fighting for education reform for a generation, and every time we've tried to reform schools . . . it was the Democratic party on the House floor and on the Senate floor and in the White House that stood in the way. I do not need lectures from you on education reform."

And that was the polite part of the exchange! But seriously, Joe Scarborough and Howard Dean had a big-time brawl on today's Morning Joe on the subject of education reform.  Dean defended teachers unions and their Dem lackeys, while Scarborough, who has made education reform a theme of his show, denounced the Dem-union cabal that has thwarted real reform every step of the way.  Video after the jump.

January 25, 2012, 9:19 PM EST

Go ahead, call it shooting fish in a barrel.  As soon as Ed Schultz mentioned at the top of his MSNBC show this evening that Alan Grayson would be a guest, you knew the former Dem congressman from Florida would say something outrageous.

Sure enough, the guy who was roundly defeated last time around—but is giving it another go—delivered, claiming that Newt Gingrich is running "the most overtly racist campaign" since George Wallace.  Grayson also managed to work in a reference to the Ten Commandment's prohibition of adultery.  Video after the jump.

January 25, 2012, 10:05 AM EST

It's one thing for Al Sharpton to spout racialized politics on his MSNBC show every evening.  It's even another when one of his guests attacks Mitt Romney with the lamest of Rosa Parks/racism analogies.

But when MSNBC itself produces a promo featuring Sharpton lumping Republican tax policy with the racism that kept blacks in the back of the bus and denied women the vote, the network has taken a very ugly turn.  Yet that's just what the latest "Lean Forward" Sharpton promo does. Video after the jump.

January 24, 2012, 8:44 AM EST

Rick Santorum to John Heilemann [and by extension to MSM at large] on today's Morning Joe: "it's your responsibility to defend the president, not mine." Ouch! If Newt's deft dicing of John King and Juan Williams paid huge electoral dividends, Santorum might anticipate a much-needed bump after running roughshod over the New York mag reporter.

Heilemann had called on Santorum to explain his failure to correct a woman at a town hall meeting in Florida yesterday who said President Obama was an "avowed Muslim" and legally unqualified to be president. After noting that he has repeatedly been on the record saying that he doesn't believe PBO is a Muslim and recognizes that he is legally qualified to be president, Santorum said that he chose not to chastise an elderly and infirm lady.  Then came Santorum's grand slam, as set forth above.  Heilemann only dug himself deeper when he responded by saying that prez candidate McCain had always defended Obama on the campaign trail. Video after the jump.

January 23, 2012, 7:46 AM EST

Of all the Morning Joe regulars, I find Harold Ford, Jr. the least interesting.  Ever on the lookout for his next opportunity, the fiercely ambitious Ford is firmly of the "my good friend" so-and-so school of politics, constantly hedging his bets and finding a way to praise or agree with virtually everyone.  

So it was an exception this morning when the former Dem congressman from Tennessee actually said something of note, if only for its sheer silliness.  Ford somehow managed to maintain a straight face while claiming the media doesn't strongly favor Barack Obama.  Video after the jump.

January 22, 2012, 8:49 AM EST

There are few things the liberal media like more than a Republican renegade.  David Stockman has made a career out of strutting his independence from the GOP.  So little surprise that he was an honored guest on this morning's Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

That Stockman repaid his hosts by attacking Republicans was utterly predictable.  Even so, the absurdity of Stockman's particular assertion was breathtaking.  The former Reagan budget director actually claimed that the notion of American exceptionalism, a focus of Newt Gingrich's campaign, is nothing less than . . . "neo-con code" for an aggressive foreign policy.  Video after the jump.

January 21, 2012, 6:10 PM EST

Given the abundance of options at the network, it's saying something to name Martin Bashir as the most noisome of MSNBC hosts.  But so he is, in my book.

Witness the low stunt Bashir pulled to open his show today, on the afternoon of the South Carolina primary.  Bashir superimposed photos of the Republican candidates in front of a Confederate flag image.  Lest their be any doubt as to the message Bashir meant to send, the screen graphic read "Rebel Yell."  Oh those racist Republicans.  Video after the jump.