Connor Williams is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.
Connor Williams was a summer 2014 and 2015 News Analysis Division intern for the Media Research Center, and is now freelancing for NewsBusters. He is currently a senior at the University of Michigan, studying political science. He is a native of Novi, Michigan.
Latest from Connor Williams
Tuesday morning on CNN Newsroom, CNN contributor Sally Kohn slammed Donald Trump and his supporters. Kohn argued that the billionaire real estate mogul’s rise “is troubling to anyone who cares about this country and its values.” Kohn asserted there was something more “insidious” about Trump’s surge: “You know, there is disaffected, highly racialized, highly us versus them part of the American electorate that he is firing up, and that’s – Trump’s a clown. We should be worried about who he's speaking to.”
On the July 21 edition of Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski went off on Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after the Senate Majority Leader claimed the gender card would not be enough for Hillary Clinton to win in 2016. The Morning Joe co-host was appalled that McConnell used the term “gender card” and explained: “[T]his is now sexist. It's just unfortunate. It's like those words you can't say, but some people can say.”
Sunday on Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter brought Jay Carney and John King to the program to discuss CBS reporter Major Garrett’s controversial question to President Obama about Iran. Garrett asked the president whether he could be content with the Iran deal knowing that there were four hostages still in Iran.
Carney hit Garrett, calling him “pompous” and deeming his question “offensive.” The long time White House press secretary for the Obama administration said “he understood why the president took offense.” noting it was a “poorly chosen word” on Garrett’s part.
Wednesday night on The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly invited The Blaze’s Dana Loesch and Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman to the program to comment on a disturbing video showing a Planned Parenthood higher-up appearing to explain how the organization traffics the body parts of unborn children. Liberal talking head Robert Zimmerman claimed there was “fraud behind this video.” He cried: “Let’s call it what it is. This is right wing pornography.”
On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell slammed neoconservatives who voiced their opposition to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Appearing on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts, O'Donnell lashed out at opponents of the deal: “Well, look, they are on a straight line of being wrong about every single thing that's come up in the 21st century in foreign policy.”
Following the announcement of a deal reached with Iran to lift economic sanctions in exchange for ostensible restrictions on their nuclear program, MSNBC’s primetime hosts slobbered over the “historic” nature of the agreement. All In host Chris Hayes, on Tuesday night, labeled the deal “one of the most historic days in the Obama presidency and a potentially transformative moment for American foreign policy.” Rachel Maddow claimed the deal could represent “the major foreign policy achievement, not only of this presidency, but of this American generation.”
Today on Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and regular panelist Nicolle Wallace suggested liberals are beginning to recognize that Donald Trump “has a point” on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. Wallace, a former Bush staffer, noted she is “a huge Trump denier. You know, I think he's a bozo. I'm from San Francisco. Right now people in San Francisco, the most liberal city in America, think Trump has a point when it comes to illegal immigration.”
On the July 13 edition of The Kelly File, Fox personalities Megyn Kelly and Howard Kurtz hit The New York Times for leaving Ted Cruz’s new book, A Time For Truth, off their best seller list because of the paper’s suspicions about bulk purchases.
On Monday's Morning Joe, panelists Al Hunt, Mark Halperin, and Steve Schmidt discussed Scott Walker’s entry into the race for the 2016 Republican nomination. All three of them voiced concern about the Wisconsin governor and criticized him for “flip-flopping” and for supposedly being inauthentic. Bloomberg’s Hunt: “I think it's a question of authenticity. He has flipped on a number of issues. And you can do some of that, you can change your mind, but, you know, you have to be authentic. And I'm not sure Scott Walker has passed that test yet.”
On July 10, following the removal of the Confederate battle flag from Capitol grounds in South Carolina, a panel discussed the historic event on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports. Guest host Craig Melvin brought Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson to the program. He asked the author to put the removal of the flag into “historical perspective.” Wilkerson remarked that we are “witnessing today, perhaps, truly the beginning of the end of the Civil War.”
On the July 9 edition of The Kelly File on Fox News, Megyn Kelly slammed pro-amnesty radio host Richard Fowler for refusing to answer her questions about the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. Kelly repeatedly asked her guest why Obama has not commented on her death like he has about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray.
Fowler shifted the blame to Republicans, insinuating this murder would not have occurred if the Republicans had not blocked George Bush’s attempted immigration reform. After continuing to evade directly answering the question, Kelly exploded: “Stop that. Answer my question, please. I'm asking you, give an answer. You can't, because there isn't one. Marc, there's no excuse for it. He picks and chooses the victims he wants to highlight and apparently this victim wasn't deemed worthy.”
On Tuesday July 7, Rachel Maddow – evidently unaware of MSNBC’s and CNN’s similar previous rules on debates – slammed Fox News for their debate policy limiting the stage to the top 10 candidates in national polling. The Rachel Maddow Show host argued that “[t]he next three weeks are going to be off the charts bizarre. We’ve never tried to run a presidential nominating process like this before.”
On the July 8 edition of Fox News’s Hannity, Geraldo Rivera and the host battled over immigration in the aftermath of the death of San Francisco Kate Steinle at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Geraldo insisted repeatedly that “these monstrous criminals” have virtually nothing in common with “the vast majority of undocumented immigrants.”
Hannity conceded that point and argued, “that’s not the issue.” The Fox News personality tried to make the point that these crimes would not happen if America had effective border security. He added: “[H]ere’s the problem. Even if we do deport them, they come back. You know why they can get back? Because we don't secure the border...He went to San Francisco because it's a sanctuary city and America under Obama has become a sanctuary country.”
Monday night, Lawrence O’Donnell gushed over Bernie Sanders’ authenticity and the consistently large crowds he has acquired in his speeches across the country. The July 6 edition of The Last Word featured a panel discussion which emphasized that the Vermont senator’s socialism isn't that far outside the mainstream.
During a Wednesday Hardball discussion with former Democratic senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, Matthews asked about “the ideological direction of the party right now” and added that Bernie Sanders is bringing a kind of 1960s message to Democratic politics. The Hardball host then moved on to discuss Hillary Clinton, making a very dubious observation: “Hillary Clinton [is] more of a conservative in a sense of more of a traditional politician from the center, center.”
On Wednesday, the hosts of The Cycle on MSNBC mocked Republican alternatives to ObamaCare. When Toure read a quote from Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) saying he wants to replace the ACA with a more patient-centric plan, Josh Barro of the New York Times wondered: “What does that mean?” And added that “it can mean whatever the listener wants it to mean.” Toure and Kystal Ball sarcastically threw out words to dismiss Republican arguments against ObamaCare. Ball shouted, “patient centric!...cheaper!...flexible!”
On the June 30 edition of America with Jorge Ramos on Fusion, Ramos and Ted Cruz engaged in a testy back and forth over the Texas senator’s views on gay marriage. Ramos asked Cruz: “But aren’t you discriminating? Are you putting gays and the LGBT community as second class citizen[s]?” Cruz replied by citing his belief that “following the Constitution isn’t discriminating against anyone.”
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, Jeffrey Toobin maintained that the comparison between bans on interracial marriage and gay marriage is “exactly a parallel situation.” After Cooper asked whether officials, in a hypothetical situation, could deny licenses to interracial couples if they had a religious objection, Toobin asserted: “Ted Cruz was asked that exact question today by Savannah Guthrie on the Today show and he ducked it.”
On Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver delved deeply into the topic of transgender rights. The comic argued that those opposed to transgenderism – or even gender-neutral bathrooms – are on the wrong side of history: “[T]his is a civil rights issue, if you are not willing to support transgender people for their own sake, at least do it for your own, because we've been through this before. We know how this thing ends. If you take the anti-civil rights side and deny people access to something they're entitled to, history is not going to be kind to you.”
On June 29, in a discussion about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to affirm gay marriage as a constitutional right, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough slammed President Obama for taking undeserved credit. The former Florida congressman noted: “[I]t’s sort of mind boggling that the president’s up there in 2015 and just as early as 2012 Joe Biden got out in front of the president. And Joe Biden's low point, politically, inside the White House was when he did that. Because he became immediately persona non grata.”