Latest Posts

By Brad Wilmouth | | October 1, 2013 | 4:41 PM EDT

On the Monday, September 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, substitute host Alex Wagner read a tweet written by guest Bruce Bartlett in which the former George H.W. Bush administration official expressed hope that the Tea Party would soon "die a well-deserved death."

After Bartlett referred to "Tea Party clowns" as he hoped that Republican leaders would manage to "put them down or limit their influence," Wagner expresed her approval of her guest calling Tea Party Republicans "clowns" as she began her response:

By Noel Sheppard | | October 1, 2013 | 4:24 PM EDT

Syndicated columnist and longtime ABC This Week staple George Will has just been hired by Fox News.

The Wall Street Journal reported moments ago:

By Kyle Drennen | | October 1, 2013 | 4:18 PM EDT

Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews dismissed Republican attempts to delay ObamaCare as a futile effort: "The President was elected – reelected again. He won this fight over health care....the President will not give up his baby, and I think they know that. That's why this is a scary fight. They've gone to ask Obama to give them something he can't give them, which is his health care bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Matthews also ranted about Republican members of Congress having strong political support in their districts: "230 congressional districts are Republican. They voted against this President, they voted for a Republican congressmen. Those congress people, men and women, can't be defeated on this issue. They know they can fight to the death on this....[the President] can't stop those people because they're unbeatable in their districts."

By Tim Graham | | October 1, 2013 | 4:09 PM EDT

The Tom Joyner Morning Show is heard across the country on many black-oriented radio stations. In 2011, Joyner was blunt in demanding blacks re-elect Obama: “Let’s not even deal with the facts right now. Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride — and loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black man.”

In that spirit of racial "loyalty," Joyner's staff comedian Chris Paul offered a "Morning Minute" rap  on BlackAmericaWeb.com with the online headline: "It’s a Government Shut Down Because Obama is Brown." Boehner also "sounds like Satan" for opposing Obamacare (Warning: the rapping stinks):

By Ken Shepherd | | October 1, 2013 | 3:55 PM EDT

Alex Rogers and Zeke Miller of Time magazine dutifully hacked out a 16-paragraph item on President Obama's complaint this afternoon that Republicans were the cause of the government shutdown. It was your typical, garden variety bias-by-stenography.

Only at the very end of their article did Rogers and Miller mention that the Democratic National Committee is having a fundraising field day off the work stoppage. There was, however, no mention that the DNC desperately needs the cash because they're drowning in red ink. Reported Fortune magazine's Tory Newmyer yesterday morning:

By Matt Hadro | | October 1, 2013 | 3:28 PM EDT

CNN anchor Don Lemon was not hesitant in placing his blame for the government shutdown at the feet of Republicans. On Tuesday's Tom Joyner Morning Show, Lemon blamed Republicans but insisted he is not partisan.

"I'm so mad this morning," he ranted, and added it was partly due to "the false narrative that both sides caused this shutdown. That's not true. It was caused by Republicans, mainly Tea Party Republicans."

By Paul Bremmer | | October 1, 2013 | 3:10 PM EDT

This weekend’s editions of NBC’s Today show did their best to drive home the message that Republicans would be to blame for the government shutdown that went into effect last night. On Saturday’s Today, CNBC’s John Harwood showed up to analyze the situation. The chief Washington correspondent did not mince words as he told anchor Erica Hill who would be responsible for the oncoming shutdown:

There is no doubt that if we have a shutdown, Republicans are going to get blamed for it for the simple fact that the whole country will see that this is a shutdown brought on by the Republican Party. Democrats are not making any demands, Erica. The only people making demands here are Republicans.” So I guess requiring every American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine doesn’t count as a demand?

By Noel Sheppard | | October 1, 2013 | 3:06 PM EDT

MSNBC has a new ad for Alec Baldwin's show thate premieres on October 11, and the folks at the Lean Forward network have chosen to make light of the actor's numerous high-profile flare-ups.

In the promo, Ed Schultz says with a straight face, "MSNBC has turned to a man who can restore balance to an unbalanced network" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | | October 1, 2013 | 2:55 PM EDT

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo blamed Republicans for "hurting families" with the government shutdown and asked Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) if he would admit to wrongdoing.

"[Y]ou did shut down the government. It is hurting families, many of whom live on the margins and you know that," Cuomo slammed Issa. "And I want to ask you if you think that that was wrong." Issa called him out for asking the classic "have you stopped beating your wife" trap question.

By Randy Hall | | October 1, 2013 | 2:23 PM EDT

During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network's senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown.

“In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as arsonists, anarchists, extortionists, blackmailers, hostage takers,” Acosta noted. Even Dan Pfeiffer, assistant to the president and senior advisor to the president for strategy and communications, “talked about bombs being strapped to chests.”

By Ken Shepherd | | October 1, 2013 | 1:20 PM EDT

Michelle Cottle is no fan of Republicans and certainly not of Tea Party conservatives. But in a sign that some liberal journalists are worried that Democrats may overreach with their alarmist rhetoric, the Daily Beast staffer called on Democrats to cool it a bit with the hyper-partisan invective during the government shutdown. To Cottle, it's okay to call conservatives hijackers and terrorists and kamikaze pilots, so long as you keep the slurs "generic" and not, for example, compare Republicans to actual real-life villains like Bashar al-Assad and the Ayatollah.

From Cottle's October 1 piece, "Please Don’t Compare House Republicans to Iran or Syria, OK?" (emphasis mine):

By Scott Whitlock | | October 1, 2013 | 12:54 PM EDT

 All three networks on Tuesday morning hyped the partial government shutdown with reports from closed museums in Washington D.C. and live shots of the Statue of Liberty. The journalists of ABC's Good Morning America informed Americans that Republicans would probably "blink first" in the stand-off with the White House and congressional Democrats.

NBC's Peter Alexander checked in live from Washington, touting the "4200 workers at the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo." He narrated, "We're now here in front of the National Air and Space Museum. They tell me last week they had 88,000 visitors come here. Today it'll be zero, the door's are locked." Alexander added, "And there's a very simple message posted to that front door, it reads, 'We apologize for the inconvenience.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Sheffield | | October 1, 2013 | 12:25 PM EDT

Even as Politico and others are urging the public to overlook some of the many flaws in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges which just opened up today, MSNBC anchor Mara Schiavocampo is not playing along with the spin game.

Earlier this morning on “MSNBC Live,” Schiavocampo took viewers along with her as she filed a report on her experience trying to sign up for an exchange. It was an exercise in frustration as she soon found.

By Tom Blumer | | October 1, 2013 | 11:47 AM EDT

Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com has capsulized the Obamacare exchanges' opening day as follows (links are in the original): "HealthCare.gov tried to kick off the Obamacare marketplace this morning … and failed miserably. The website is an error-ridden mess and users are being asked for their patience as the marketplace works out “known issues” with security. But never mind the pesky bugs preventing people from signing up — HealthCare.gov is psyched!"

On the pretty safe assumption that the problems continue, three key questions arise. First, how much exposure will the establishment press give the snafus? Second, to the extent they give them attention, how will they present them — i.e., as "normal startup problems" or "poor execution and planning"? And third, how effective, if at all, will center-right truth-tellers be at breaking through to the general population? Hadas Gold and Kyle Cheney at Politico obsessed over these matters Saturday morning, and in essence virtually begged everyone to be patient (bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | | October 1, 2013 | 11:32 AM EDT

White House press secretary Jay Carney appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday expressing the typical doom and gloom about what the government shutdown means to Americans and the economy.

After he was done, CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera told the MJ crew about how the markets were shrugging off the shutdown due to its likely limited impact on the economy and punctuated her thoughts by saying, “Jay Carney’s been fear mongering on your network” (video follows with transcript and commentary):