Mark Finkelstein

Mark Finkelstein's picture
Contributing Editor


Lives in Oak Island, North Carolina

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Pilot, parrots, dogs, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein

If as Michael Kinsley once said, "a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth," Joe Scarborough committed a gigantic gaffe on today's Morning Joe. Commenting on a bill proposed by Dem Sen. Mark Warner that would have made it illegal for campaigns not to report offers of foreign assistance to the FBI, Scarborough said, "all we're doing is trying to stop Russians." "We're" doing? Yup, Scarborough, and his fellow Democrats.



On CNN's New Day, New York Times reporter and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman said "Joe Biden's core strength is his decency," and claimed the Trump campaign is "having a very hard time figuring out how to attack that." We'll leave on the table whether the Avenatti-Stormy Network has the credentials to talk about anyone's "decency." But Haberman's phrasing is strange. Trump doesn't have trouble "figuring out" how to attack anyone. Maybe liberal reporters think the punches won't land, but he's going to punch.



Joe Scarborough: not just an MSNBC host anymore. Now a Biden campaign adviser . . . On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski reads from Scarborough's Washington Post column of yesterday, in which he counseled Joe Biden to stick to his script. The column, read by Mika, included this line: "If you think I am trying to send Biden a message with this column, you are correct. Too much is riding on next year’s election for any Democratic candidate to shoot from the hip rhetorically."



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough says "I know" the Roberts Supreme Court won't overturn Roe v. Wade, in light of a recent poll showing only 13% of Americans favor overturning it. Refusing to apply the Constitution, bowing instead to the public sentiment of the day, would represent an appalling abdication of the Court's duty. 



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough jokes about Paul Manafort being incarcerated at the infamous hellhole of Rikers Island in NYC. And thus it was that on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough joked about Paul Manfort being confined at Rikers Island, which has been described as a "hellhole," as here, here, and  "the most notorious jail in America."



To say that Joy Reid has impeachment on the noggin is a vast understatement. Once again today, she devoted the great majority of her MSNBC show to pushing impeachment. For our readers' entertainment, we've put together a mashup in which the I-word was used no fewer than 46 times in a variety of forms and contexts—and we might have missed a few!



On Nicolle Wallace's MSNBC show, Deadline: White House, John Heilemann attacks Fox News in general, and Sean Hannity in particular, for creating a political and business model built on lies, fantasy, hypocrisy, and "bullshit."



MSNBC hosts Ari Melber and Chris Matthews trash Nancy Pelosi's line that, rather than seeing President Trump impeached, she'd like to see him "in prison." Melber suggests it's the equivalent of President Trump's "lock her up" line, and Matthews says it's worthy of a "rinky-dink, fourth-world" country like "Pakistan."



Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist offer surprising praise of President Trump's speech on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, calling it "really good, terrific," and the "most powerful speech" he's given as POTUS.



On CNN, David Gregory says that despite his lengthy sit-down with Prince Charles, and talks with Al Gore and others, President Trump is not convinced about climate change and the "consensus" view in favor of a carbon tax.



Guest hosting Morning Joe, Willie Geist suggests that the Democrats' decision to call John Dean—former star Watergate witness against Richard Nixon—to testify at next week's House Judiciary Committee hearing "add[s] to President Trump’s argument that it's just a big a clown show." 



On her MSNBC show, former John McCain campaign aide Nicolle Wallace calls Jared and Ivanka Kushner a "rot"
 and "malignancy," also calling Jared a "know-nothing nincompoop."



On Joy Reid's MSNBC show, guest Elie Mystal blames white Democrats, who he depicts as "three white truck drivers in a diner," for the failure of Democrat leadership in Congress to commence impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Mystal says that, in contrast, black and brown Democrats "overwhelmingly" support impeachment, and that at some point, Nancy Pelosi must acknowledge her base. 



An entertaining catfight among Trump antagonists broke out on today's Morning Joe over the best way to go after the President. Branding maven Donny Deutsch said Dems should drop talk of impeachment, calling it a losing term. Instead, he recommended that they rebrand the matter as "criminal activity," and constantly talk about "Trump criminal." In the other corner, championing impeachment, was Susan Del Percio.



On Morning Joe, MSNBC 'Republican' Elise Jordan is angered that Robert Mueller does not wish to testify before Congress. She analogizes him to a book author who refuses to go on a promotional tour. She describes the situation as one of "warfare" against President Trump in which Mueller is refusing to participate.



CNN’s Christiane Amanpour praised Angela Merkel on Tuesday, cheering the “courageous, compassionate immigration policy" that has let over one million Muslims into the country. Conversely, she condemned conservative movements, which she described as “dark old demons”  and “very dark forces.” 



Appearing on Joy Reid's MSNBC show, a ghoulish Rick Wilson, billed as a Republican media strategist, urges Democrats to pursue impeachment by raising the "body count" among members of the Trump administration, inflicting a "death of 1,000 cuts," and raising the "pain level." He also analogizes President Trump to OJ Simpson.



Could it be CNN's evaporating audience that has one of its hosts taking one of its infinite swipes at the Fox News behemoth that has so badly thrashed CNN in the ratings? On Friday's New Day, co-host John Berman quipped that the Fox Business Network might be "on the payroll" of President Trump, and might have prepared an edited mashup of Nancy Pelosi stammering her way through remarks during her weekly press conference on Thursday.



Reacting to yesterday's short-lived meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Morning Joe panel hurls a string of insults at President Trump: "stinks, complete idiot, pathetic."



Willie Geist asked Susan Del Percio what she would do about impeachment "if you were a Democrat?" MSNBC still passes Del Percio off as a "Republican" strategist. But it appears that the most recent person she strategized for was Andrew Cuomo, the liberal Democrat governor of New York.