"MSNBC News Live" co-host David Shuster slammed Dick Cheney on Tuesday's program as a hypocrite, complaining, "Your Iraq war inflamed the Muslim world, bred a new generation of terrorists who hate America and cost the lives of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers." The broadside against the former Vice President occurred during day two of Shuster's newly resurrected "Hypocrisy Watch" segment, a feature that mostly goes after conservatives and Republicans.[audio available here]
Shuster complained about an appearance Cheney made at the National Press Club on Tuesday. The ex-VP decried the closing of Guantanamo Bay and defended the Iraq war, asserting that, in the end, it saved lives. The MSNBC host also lambasted the Republican for mistakenly using Barack Obama's name when he meant Osama bin Laden. "Obama, Osama. Good grief," he exclaimed, before sarcastically asserting, "I'm sure that was an innocent mistake." Now, of course, numerous politicians have made such an error, including Ted Kennedy in 2006. Shuster has never made any of them the subject of "Hypocrisy Watch."
The concept of the segment, which started on Shuster's now-cancelled "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" show, is for the host to highlight a politician behaving hypocritically. However, Shuster's targets have mostly been conservatives and Republicans. After "1600" was cancelled in early April, the cable host began co-anchoring daytime coverage on MSNBC. On June 1, he commenced the segment anew. His target on that day was another conservative, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
At the end of his commentary on Tuesday, Shuster instructed, "If any of you would like to nominate a political figure for 'Hypocrisy Watch,' send it to me via Twitter at Twitter.MSNBC.com." Perhaps this would be an opportunity to ask the cable anchor to broaden his targets and include more liberals and Democrats.
A transcript of the June 2 segment, which aired at 4:48pm, follows:
DAVID SHUSTER: Former Vice President Dick Cheney has spoken out yet again about Obama policies that Cheney claims will make America less safe. And that takes us to tonight's "Hypocrisy Watch." First, the background. Yesterday, Dick Cheney appeared at the National Press Club. He criticized President Obama for planning to move some detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison to facilities in the United States.
DICK CHENEY: These are the folks who, given a chance, would walk in here today and blow themselves up and take as many Americans as they could with them. That's what they believe. There's not a great demand out around the country to have those folks shipped, you know, to your nearest facility.
SHUSTER: Except, Mr. Cheney, as you know, those folks would not be shipped to anybody's nearest facility or local jail. They would be shipped and held at a super max federal prison. Nobody has ever escaped from those prisons and they already hold dangerous terrorists, the most horrific of murderers, even the Unibomber. But, back to the press club. In addition to criticizing Obama policies, Mr. Cheney also defended Bush administration actions, including the war in Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but Cheney said that didn't matter.
CHENEY: I think it was a sound decision to make. I think it was an important part of our overall strategy in the global war on terror. I think it saved lives.
SHUSTER: It saved lives? Mr. Cheney, more than American 4,000 soldiers have been died in Iraq. More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed. And because of the long extended commitment in Iraq, U.S. troops have been stretched thin in Afghanistan. You know, the place where the 9/11 attacks came from? By the way, listen to how Dick Cheney yesterday referred to Osama bin Laden.
CHENEY: I don't think he can have much impact now in terms of managing the organization because that link between Obama and the people under him is pretty fragile.
SHUSTER: Obama, Osama. Good grief! Now, I'm sure, I'm sure that was an innocent mistake. But, here's a fact, Dick. Your Iraq war inflamed the Muslim world, bred a new generation of terrorists who hate America and cost the lives of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers. When you of all people claim the Obama administration is making America less safe, that's hypocrisy and it's wrong. If any of you would like to nominate a political figure for "Hypocrisy Watch," send it to me via Twitter at Twitter.MSNBC.com