Lives in Granbury, Texas.

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

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Latest from Mark Finkelstein
August 30, 2009, 2:35 PM EDT

It was just one line at the end of a segment. 

But it spoke volumes about the way a media willing to look the other way saved Ted Kennedy's political career at the time of Chappaquiddick.

Jim Pinkerton made the observation on yesterday's Fox News Watch at the very end of the segment on the media's treatment of Kennedy's death.

August 26, 2009, 5:11 PM EDT

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit in segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of million of citizens." -- Sen. Edward Kennedy, floor of the U.S. Senate, 1987.

I'm all for remembering a man's good qualities upon his death.  But not at the price of ignoring—and denying—history.  Yet that's just what David Shuster did during today's 4 PM hour on MSNBC when he claimed that Kennedy "didn't dabble in small personal attacks."  This of the man who invented the dark political art form of "borking."

August 26, 2009, 7:31 AM EDT

Chris Matthews has used the passing of Ted Kennedy to paint opponents of Pres. Obama as a pool of potential assassins.

Participating in a panel discussion on Morning Joe today, Matthews asserted that there was a hateful environment in the Dallas of 1963 in which President Kennedy was assassinated that is "like the mood we're in now."

Matthews made his remark in the course of painting a picture of the Kennedys as a family of risk-takers.

August 24, 2009, 10:28 PM EDT

Latest dispatch from the "dissent is patriotic" front: if you oppose Pres. Obama in his health care initiative, you're "undermining the country."

None less than the great Howard Dean said so on this evening's Rachel Maddow show. 

Alison Stewart was filling in for the eponymous host.

August 22, 2009, 9:49 PM EDT

Only one recently-wronged political wife—Elizabeth Edwards—has written a book discussing her ordeal.  But in its segment today on "forgiveness," Good Morning America ignored John Edwards and his wandering ways.  When it came to polyamorous politicans, ABC focused exclusively—surprise!—on two Republicans: Mark Sanford and David Vitter.

The release of the Libyan Lockerbie murderer, the Manson murders anniversary and the re-entry into the NFL of Michael Vick were the jumping-off points for the segment. But when politics popped up, the only examples bore the GOP label . . .

August 19, 2009, 10:39 AM EDT

Push Poll: technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

By that definition, it sure seems that NBC is push polling on behalf of ObamaCare.  On this morning's Today, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd reported on a new NBC poll that reflected the fact that, according to him, many Americans continue to believe "the myths" about ObamaCare. But Todd reported that the NBC pollsters also gave people "the facts" about ObamaCare.  And after hearing those "facts," a majority supported the plan.  Sounds like classic push polling.

And what were those "myths" that NBC supposedly busted?  That ObamaCare:

August 18, 2009, 9:09 PM EDT

If Napoleon was right about not interfering with an [in this case political] enemy in the process of destroying itself, this could be a time for Republicans to lay low. According to Ed Schultz, the left could be on the verge of an anti-Obama crack-up.

On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz said to the face of a senior admin official that the left is seriously considering dumping support for the president.

Schultz's guest was reporter-turned-Obama-spokesman Linda Douglass.  The point of Schultz's exercise was to hold Obama's feet to the fire for the way the prez is furiously backpedaling away from his pledge that any health care bill "must" contain a public option.

An agitated Schultz conducted this exchange.

August 18, 2009, 5:25 PM EDT

You might call it a decided understatement. Still, it was refreshing to hear a member of the White House press corps state an inconvenient truth about Pres. Obama: that he is under-supplied in the sense of humor department.

Julie Mason, White House correspondent of the Washington Examiner, offered the observation this afternoon on MSNBC. She was on to discuss the awkward situation created by the separate meetings with Pres. Obama that Hillary and Bill Clinton are having this afternoon.

When Monica Novotny asked whether PBO might take the occasion to rib her about her sharp response to the student in the Congo who asked about Bill's views, Mason offered her candid comment.

August 16, 2009, 6:12 PM EDT

Somewhere, Joe McCarthy is smiling . . .

On today's Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow demanded to know whether Dick Armey was a member of a coalition with the Tea Party Patriots, a group she alleges to promote "violence."  Moderator David Gregory joined in the cross-examination of Armey, head of Freedom Works.

August 16, 2009, 7:48 AM EDT

Nothing like a presidential assassination metaphor to spice up an otherwise insipid Sunday column . . .

Churning out yet another anti-Sarah screed, Dowd descended to this today [emphasis added]:

"At the moment, what she wants to do is tap into her visceral talent for aerial-shooting her favorite human prey: cerebral Ivy League Democrats.

Just as she was able to stir up the mob against Barack Obama on the trail, now she is fanning the flames against another Harvard smarty-pants — Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a White House health care adviser and the older brother of Rahmbo."

So Sarah wants to shoot the brother of Pres. Obama's chief of staff, along with the president himself.  Per Dowd, they're nothing but "human prey" to Palin.

August 14, 2009, 9:18 AM EDT

Jonathan Capehart let the mask slip on just how much the MSM is one with Pres. Obama and Democrats at large.  Here's the WaPo editorialist on Morning Joe today, discussing the daunting task of selling ObamaCare to a doubting public:

"We've got two problems here. We: I should say the administration or Democrats have two problems."

Sorry, Jonathan.  Cat out of bag.  Toothpaste out of tube. Bell rung.

August 13, 2009, 7:59 AM EDT

Q. How can you tell that Hillary is blowing her African tour?
A. When even supporters like Tina Brown says she needs to get back home ASAP . . . and hit the gym.

The Daily Beast head made her candid comments on today's Morning Joe.  Mika Brzezinski made a spirited defense of Hillary, claiming her latest gaffe—putting Florida 2000 in the same boat as Nigeria's notoriously rigged elections—was no big deal.  But Scarborough, Buchanan and Barnicle all said it was past time for Hillary to return. And Brown put in the unkindest cut of all . . .

August 11, 2009, 8:01 AM EDT

On today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough was shocked to hear from Mark Halperin of Time and co-host Mika Brzezinski that most people in the MSM don't admit that the press is biased, and to the contrary most in the MSM see themselves as "right down the middle."

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So you're saying that most people in the mainstream media don't admit that the press is biased?

MARK HALPERIN: I don't think so.  You take a survey around the news room --

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: No, they don't admit it: I agree that.

August 10, 2009, 8:42 PM EDT

When it comes to insulting people opposed to ObamaCare, you might say Ed Schultz has plumbed new depths . . .

On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz branded people turning up at town halls as "dumber than Joe the Plumber."  For good measure, he added a variation on the Washington Post's old canard about certain conservatives being "poor, undereducated, and easy to command."

View video here.

August 10, 2009, 6:45 AM EDT

Watch out, Barbra Streisand!  You've got some serious competition in the category of formerly famous woman singers turned loud and illogical liberal lips.

Carole King has proclaimed that people who say that Pres. Obama's cap-and-tax plan is an energy tax are . . . like "birthers."

King made her wacky claim on Willie Geist's "Way Too Early" show this morning. 

View video here.

August 9, 2009, 8:12 PM EDT

"There is not a Black America and a White America and a Latino America and an Asian America -- there's the United States of America." -- Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address.

"theGrio.com. The African-American perspective on news. Our lives, our world, our stories.  theGrio.com.  Part of NBC News." -- promo for new NBC News website, August 9, 2009.

So much for Barack Obama's promise of a post-racial America.  NBC News apparently believes that African-Americans can be pigeonholed.  In NBC's view, there exists "the" African-American perspective on news.  So announced the NBC News promo, aired during today's Meet The Press, for a new website, theGrio.com.

View video here.

August 7, 2009, 9:26 PM EDT

Are you opposed to ObamaCare?  Willing to attend a town hall to express your disapproval?  Odds are good you're a racist.  Just ask Cynthia Tucker . . .

As Clay Waters has noted, Paul Krugman alleges that racist motives are at the heart of the town hall protests against ObamaCare.  On this evening's Hardball, Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was willing to get specific, estimating that "45 to 65%" of the protesters are motivated by racism.

View video here.

August 1, 2009, 8:40 PM EDT

As Dem pundits go, I normally find Kirsten Powers among the more reasonable.  But on this afternoon's Fox News Watch, Powers propounded an incendiary theory of the Gates/Crowley incident: that the sergeant "lured" and "tricked" Gates into coming outside so he could arrest him.

Panelist Jim Pinkerton had just made the point that it was only the conservative media, by focusing attention on the matter, that saved Sgt. Crowley from a "miserable life in Cambridge" at the hands of Prof. Gates, Harvard, the NAACP et. al, when Powers jumped in . . .

July 31, 2009, 8:37 AM EDT

The poor, benighted little people.  They just don't understand what a wonderful hopey-changey world Pres. Obama is offering them . . .

Andrea Mitchell has suggested that the problem Pres. Obama is facing in selling his health care plan to Americans who already have coverage is that people "may not know what's good for them." [H/t reader Restless 1]

Mitchell made her condescending comment on today's Morning Joe.

July 30, 2009, 8:11 PM EDT

Call it damning with fat praise . . .

After Sgt. James Crowley did a good job at his post-beer press conference, a condescending Chris Matthews—apparently surprised that a policeman could handle himself well in such a situation—said "I think we've got our Susan Boyle here."

Here's how Matthews ended the post-Crowley press conference kibitzing on the 7 PM edition of Hardball: