Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.
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On the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning show aired a clip from Obama’s interview with Thomas Friedman that was transcribed in print in the August 9 edition of The New York Times. In the video, Friedman asked the president to comment on “the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans.” According to Obama, the Democratic “consensus” is “a pretty common sense mainstream consensus” while the Republican consensus is based in “wacky ideological nonsense.”
That’s a heck of a way to reach across the aisle and work for bipartisan agreement on the nation’s pressing issues. Of course, the president’s partisan rhetoric has not been picked up by the Big Three broadcast networks. For its part, MSNBC only devoted 2 minutes and 18 seconds to the clip, 38 seconds of which was just a tease before a commercial break. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Amidst the discussion of ISIS’s offensive and Obama’s failed foreign policy with various political experts on the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough took the time to berate his fellow Republicans for refusing to “salute the President for being involved.” The host whined that he is “so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things” and then going “on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan” when Obama actually “does things.”
Scarborough even went so far as to lecture former chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq Dan Senor: “Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the President for being involved?” According to the MSNBC host, Republicans should support the President for “doing what we all know, what realists, what neo-con alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS.” [ See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Friday’s Morning Joe panel made sure to express how it was “disappointed” that a Minnesota restaurant had the audacity to put a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts after the state hiked the wage requirement. While Joe Scarborough acknowledged that “it's hard” for “small business owners running restaurants” he had no sympathy for the restaurant, which had received shocking blowback from its customers for simply specifying why it increased the bill by 35 cents.
The former congressman and MSNBC host, who reportedly earns $99,038 a week for his morning show, stated that he “understand(s) the difficulty of any extra burden” an increase in minimum wage exerts on small businesses. However, he concluded that “with the minimum wage as low as it historically is, you may not want to advertise your contempt for raising it a little bit on the bill.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Ronan Farrow could barely contain his glee on his August 7 program at being able to work an odd twist in a border-crisis story that ensured the segment was a two-fer involving illegal immigrants and, wait for it, the transgendered.
As “schools across the country are bracing for up to 50,000" “undocumented migrants” -- MSNBC no longer refers to them as immigrants, let alone illegal ones -- the host of Ronan Farrow Daily reports, “an interesting wrinkle" has occurred in the form of Marichuy Leal Gamino, “an undocumented transgender woman held in custody with men.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Don't mess with Charles Krauthammer. After President Obama’s lackluster speech on August 6 from the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in which Obama did not address any pressing foreign policy issues such as the building tensions in Ukraine or the multitude of conflicts in the Middle East unless specifically asked by reporters, Bret Baier of Fox News’ Special Report asked panelist Krauthammer to comment on the President’s apparent disengagement with foreign affairs.
Baier remarked that Obama’s “Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel came out and said we could be looking at war between Russia and Ukraine as these troops or amassed along the boarder and yet in the opening statement, there was no statement.” Krauthammer responded by blasting the President for his “lethargy, distance, disinterest, uninterest, where he said you know, 'well if Russia invades we will look at the policy again.'" [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On August 6 the ladies of The View tackled the perpetually thorny hot topic of religion in the public square and moderator Whoopi Goldberg let slip her vehement disgust with religious Americans, but particularly it seems Christians, who pray in public over their food.
The discussion centered on a news item out of Georgia where a group of power-walkers were told by mall security that they were not allowed to bow their heads in group prayer, and “even saying grace at the food court wasn’t allowed.” The discussion quickly devolved into an argument between the two outspoken atheist at the table Whoopi Goldberg and guest host S.E. Cupp, complete with Goldberg clapping her hands in Cupp’s face and asking “Did you hear what I said?!” [See video below]
Amid the usual anti-Israel and anti-Tea Party articles peppering the July 5 homepage of The Daily Beast, one article stands out. In an post titled “In Kentucky, Elaine Chao Endures Racist Attacks From Liberals,” Republican operative Ron Christie calls attention to recent since-deleted tweets from Democratic PAC ElectWomen founder Kathy Groob.
After attending the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky in which Mitch McConnell praised his wife as the “biggest asset I have by far,” Groob tweeted:
Joe Scarborough today continued his new Morning Joe routine of making anti-Israel remarks and then shouting down anyone who disagrees. Unlike the previous editions of the MSNBC morning show in which the former congressman focused on insulting his critics in the media, on the July 5th edition, Scarborough opted to attack a recurring guest at the program’s roundtable discussions, Donny Deutsch, no conservative stalwart he.
The liberal advertising executive had the tenacity to disagree with the MSNBC host about his characterizations of Israel. After Scarborough invited Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd onto the show to emphasize the “deep dismay from the White House and the State Department toward what Israel has done” and how “you get the sense that Israel really listened” to their critiques, Deutsch commented “let’s just not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy.” The former Florida Republican immediately became defensive, demanding “Who disagrees with that?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Bill Maher is known for his pathological, frothing attacks on all things conservative. However, on the August 1 edition of Real Time With Bill Maher, the HBO host took a controversial stance for a liberal: he defended Israel. When his Iranian-American guest Reza Aslan argued that “Amnesty International...have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used,” Maher interrupted to state “It's a war. It's a war that Hamas started.”
The left-wing comedian continued, claiming that “somehow when Israel reacts to this, they have to do everything in a way that doesn't kill any civilians. People die in wars.” Maher repeated his sentiment from July 20, that “if the situation was reversed, Hamas would kill every single person in Israel. The reason that's not happening is because they can't. Because they can't doesn't make them good, it makes them weak.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Stephen Colbert began the July 29 edition of The Colbert Report by doing his best to perpetuate liberal’s favorite myth that, in Obama’s words, women make “77 cents for every dollar a man earns.” Using his faux conservative persona, the comedian evinced over-the-top sexism to blast President Obama comments on putting historical female figures on U.S. currency, stating that he needs to “think of the economic consequences here. If we put a woman on the $1 bill it will be worth only 77 cents.”
Even left-wing news sites like Slate and The Daily Beast have recognized that this statistic is misleading, and the calculation does not take into account “differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week.” While the Comedy Central host was able to play up his persona in order to blast conservatives for sexism, he was unable to stay in character for an interview with the Partnership of Educational Justice founder Campbell Brown. The former CNN host came onto the show to promote the organization’s efforts to support a lawsuit filed by seven New York parents “challenging teacher tenure in the public school.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In response to the media backlash following Joe Scarborough’s harsh remarks about Israel on yesterday’s Morning Joe broadcast, the former Republican congressman spent almost four minutes of air-time on the August 1 edition insulting “the usual suspects” that lacked “the intellectual capacity to actually grasp” his earlier “statement.” He stated that he would use “simple talk that simple minded people can understand” to refine his stance.
For Scarborough, “simple talk” meant backing away from many of the statements he made yesterday. As my NewsBusters colleague Connor Williams noted, on the July 31 edition of the MSNBC morning show, after speaking with MSNBC’s notoriously biased journalist Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, Scarborough went on a rant, blasting the “asinine” and “indiscriminate” attacks by Israel on Palestinian civilians. In contrast, today he asserted that “America must stand with Israel” as “they are America’s strongest ally in the region.”
Although Alex Wagner has donned new glasses for her news show Now, the liberal journalist seems unable to look beyond MSNBC’s favorite response to any Republican: bringing up race. On the July 31 edition, Wagner played a clip of Ari Melber’s July 30 interview with Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker on their new drug law reform initiative the REDEEM Act – the Record Expungement Designed to ENhance Employment Act – and then asked the co-host of The Cycle why Paul and Booker were so “reticent to take up” the issue of “racial disparities inherent in our criminal justice system” and “plumb further depths of it.”
Even though the Senators were pushing a bipartisan bill on the traditionally liberal cause of criminal justice reform, Melber and Wagner were unable to resist weaseling race into the discussion, seemingly unhappy that both politicians were unwilling to play the race game. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Actor David Boreanaz caused an uproar on Twitter Wednesday night by getting political with a tweet critical of President Obama, insisting the nation’s chief executive needs to stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and “grow some.”
The co-star of FOX’s crime drama Bones took a break from promoting his show at Comic-Con in San Diego to write, “so here we are in a Cold War now with Russia. Sanctions aren't going to cut it. Putin is Nuts and a serious threat to the USA.” The tweet garnered 901 retweets and 1,571 favorites.
On July 30, Michele Richinick, a writer for msnbc.com, hyped a Texas protest against Rick Perry’s decision to deploy the National Guard to send a message to the waves of illegal immigrant children flooding over the border. With the title “Texans rally against Rick Perry’s deployment request” and the lede that “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is facing wrath from residents in his home state,” the MSNBC contributor seemed to forget that only 20 members of the Texas Organization Project (TOP) bothered to show up.
It remains unclear why MSNBC thought a 20-person protest in which “protesters held 12 large, blank checks to symbolize the millions of dollars the state will spend on Perry’s plan” was newsworthy. The only direct quote in the article from the TOP was Dallas Country communications director statement that Perry’s decision was “unnecessary.” Strong words.
On a truly idiotic segment of the July 29 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the host of the Lean Forward network’s “next-generation news show” discussed the current state of emojis with linguist John McWhorter, CNet’s Maggie Reardon, and journalist Dave Cullen. Farrow commented how the popular emoticons are “becoming more and more the fabric of the kind of communication you see,” and truly out-liberaled himself with his question to McWhorter, who happens to be black.
After wondering whether emojis, which originated in Japan, could alter “tech-driven communication across international lines,” Farrow asked McWhorter, “do you think there's a limitation we're suffering from in terms of the racial diversity of these emojis?” [See video below]
While Chris Matthews avoided the National Review coverage of Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s leaked campaign strategy, the panel of Morning Joe gave the story a brief three minutes during the three-hour morning news show. MSNBC contributor Willie Geist appealed to Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd to brush the controversy aside, stating “these plans exist on every campaign” and “it’s just that we have got one in the spotlight this morning.”
The plan in question confronted Nunn’s need to appeal to minorities in the Atlanta area, especially African Americans and Hispanics. Strategists also recommended that the Maryland native tap into the financially viable minorities, such as the “very tight” Asian community, the Jewish population that holds “tremendous financial opportunity”, and the gay community. While Todd did have enough time to compare Nunn’s strategy to “that scene in the Simpsons where Montgomery Burns starts running for governor,” the panel only chose to mention her appeal to the Jewish population.
On the July 28 edition of NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall did her part to push the alarmist liberal narrative about how radical Republicans are itching to impeach President Obama. The news hook for this was how “the new incoming House GOP whip, Tea Party backed Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise will not rule out impeaching the president over his use of executive orders.” This despite the fact there’s much “unfinished business” and “that urgent do list” of “the border crisis” and “funding for the nation’s highway and infrastructure project” on Congress’s plate.
The Today show co-anchor aired a clip from Fox News Sunday of host Chris Wallace repeatedly asking the Louisiana Republican if he would “consider impeaching the president.” Wallace responded that “it might be the first White House in history that is trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.” Of course, nowhere in the clip did the Louisiana representative insinuate that he was angling for impeachment. Instead Scalise called out the White House for stressing impeachment talks in an attempt “to fundraise off of that” and “change the topic away from the president's failed agenda.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
According to MSNBC, Republicans are always making things worse. On the July 25 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the cable host began a segment entitled “Kinder, Gentler GOP?” after playing a clip of Rand Paul at the National Urban League annual conference speaking of the “poverty problem.” Farrow asked his guests a stream of leading questions insinuating that Republicans are “catering to a demographic that may have lost Republicans the last general election” rather than actually working to aid low income individuals.
While the president of the National Urban League Marc Morial tried to avoid being too overtly political, MSNBC analyst and former DNC communications director Karen Finney made it clear that Republicans “tend to be policy ideas that actually make things worse, not better.” They oppose “things like an increase in the minimum wage or equal pay for women that we know could actually help communities of color.” (See video below)
While Stephen Colbert usually regulates his humor to bashing Republicans, on the July 24 edition of The Colbert Report the Comedy Central comedian actually made a joke both his liberal and conservative audience could enjoy.
As Colbert’s faux conservative personality expressed his outrage over the “transparent Hollywood attack on Republicans” in HBO’s latest episode of the explicit vampire series True Blood, he joked “we should not be surprised at all that vampires are Democrats. After all, they scream when they see a cross.” (See video below)
From numerous softball interviews to free publicity for her memoir Hard Choices, it is plain to see that the liberal media adores Hillary Clinton and pines for her to run as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. Except, of course, for the panelists on Morning Joe. On the July 25 edition of the MSNBC morning show, Mika Brzezinksi and her guests Mark Halerpin, David Gregory, and Donny Deutsch lamented the “horrible coverage” Clinton is “destined” to receive “if she runs for president.”
Brzezinksi began the segment by recounting former New York Time’s executive editor Jill Abramson’s statement that “the former first lady expected the press, especially female journalists, to be loyal to her” and Clinton’s response that “I'll have to work on my expectations.” While it is true that Clinton expects the liberal media to fawn over her, the Morning Joe panel forgot that usually, they do.