Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.
Lives in Oak Island, North Carolina
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On Joy Reid's MSNBC show today, guest Elie Mystal called supporters of President Trump "idiots" and "zombies," saying "we have to stop them from infecting everybody else." He elaborated on his ugly message at the end of his rant, saying: "we have to cauterize the wound that is Donald Trump and his supporters, and worry about the people who aren't infected yet."
On Morning Joe, discussing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's opposition to Amazon building an HQ in NYC, which ultimately contributed to Amazon's decision not to proceed, Donny Deutsch describes Ocasio-Cortez as "extremely dangerous," saying she will "hand the presidency back to Donald Trump."
Seeking to deflect criticism of Dem Rep. Ilhan Omar for her history of anti-Semitic remarks, Morning Joe swung into whataboutism mode today. Joe Scarborough flagrantly mischaracterized a tweet by GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy prior to the midterms. Scarborough twice claimed that McCarthy had said: "don't let Jews buy the election."
With the Academy Awards in the offing, Morning Joe had Spike Lee on today to promote his "BlacKkKlansman" movie, which has been nominated for a number of Oscars. Lee predictably seized the opportunity to bash America. He first referred to Christopher Columbus as a "terrorist," and a bit later claimed that the USA was built on the "genocide of Native Americans and slavery."
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough praises as "strong" the conclusion of President Trump's speech in El Paso, and warns: "any Democrat that thinks they're going to cakewalk to beating Donald Trump in 2020, like they thought in 2016, and like everybody in the press thought in 2016, you need to watch the last four or five minutes of his speech and understand: Democrats have an uphill battle here. It's not going to be easy."
Oh, the irony! Liberal activist Sally Kohn is the author of "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity." Amazon describes her as someone "learning how to talk respectfully with people whose views she disagrees with passionately . . . It was time, she decided, to look into the epidemic of hate all around us and learn how we can stop it." But when she appeared on Ari Melber's MSNBC show this evening, Kohn proceeded to . . . hate on President Trump. True, she did it with a smile and a jovial air. But the substance was as hateful as that of your standard, enraged, social justice warrior.
You got 37 days for it to go away, Joe . . . On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said of Elizabeth Warren's candidacy, "am I the only person in America who thinks the Native American controversy is something that probably will not last into the spring?"
"Sudden Respect" is our NewsBusters topic category for situations in which the liberal media suddenly lavishes praise on a conservative because he is now criticizing fellow Republicans or conservatives. Maybe we need a new category: "Sudden Disrespect," to cover cases in which the MSM turns on a Democrat who dares to not march in liberal lockstep. Joy Reid provided a perfect example of the phenomenon on her MSNBC show today. Her guest was Bill Burton, who was a bosom buddy of the liberal media back when he was one of the earliest members of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, later becoming Obama's deputy press secretary. But now that Burton has had the audacity to become an adviser to Howard Schultz's potential presidential campaign, he came in for far from kid-glove treatment. Burton more than held his own. It made for some chippily entertaining TV.
What a difference a week makes! Last Sunday on AM Joy, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson accused Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam of "arrogance" for refusing to resign. Railed Johnson: "he caused this problem on his own, and the best way to save his party would be for him to leave." But now that scandals have engulfed Virginia's Dem lieutenant governor and attorney general, Johnson has changed his tune. He is counseling the Dems not to resign, and to "back off" any resignation talk, because the result could be to elevate a Republican to the governorship.
Not to gratuitously insult Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she has to be one of the, um, most lightly-informed pols in a long time to wander onto the national stage. But that didn't stop Chuck Todd from lavishing praise on her. Discussing his just-concluded interview with Ocasio-Cortez with fellow MSNBC host Ari Melber, Todd found reason to variously describe her as thoughtful, refreshing, impressive and smart.
It was all fun and games for Dems when Brett Kavanaugh was in the barrel. But now that allegations of sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity threaten to take down Virginia's Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, and even—horror of horrors—elevate a Republican to the governorship, the Dem thrill is gone. CNN's New Day was surprisingly tough on the Dems this morning. Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa began by offering an unsparing assessment of the Dem predicament.
Morning Joe, during today's SOTU discussion, manages to blame President Trump for the late-term abortion/infanticide bills that Dem legislatures have recently adopted. For good measure, the show even blames the prez for the Dems' socialist surge. AOC? Trump's fault!
On CNN's New Day, co-host John Berman, before permitting former Trump aide Marc Short to report on his conversation with President Trump regarding the State of the Union, tells him: "you are hardly an impartial reporter here." That's not what he said to former Trump aide Cliff Sims an hour later....perhaps because he just ripped the Trumps in a new tell-all book.
When it comes to having a spokesman for Trump-Hater Nation, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the rest of the loony left must be thrilled. In Joe Scarborough, they have someone who gets three hours of TV time every weekday morning to beam Trump hatred to the masses. Doing his bit on today's Morning Joe, Scarborough sided with Pelosi in proclaiming the wall "immoral."
Here's what passes for humor in the age of CNN Trump-hatred: joking about whether President Trump meant to say that his hospital visit to victims of the Vegas massacre caused many deaths. New Day devoted a segment to Trump's Daily Caller interview of yesterday. Berman: "This is what the President said: you had so many people killed and so badly wounded, because I went to the hospital—I don't think he meant they were killed because he went to the hospital. But he did go to the hospital."
The Morning Joe panel devotes a segment to looking/hoping for signs of a break from President Trump by congressional Republicans. New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller encapsulates the sentiment: "We're always looking for signs of a break with Republicans on the Hill—a public break—from Trump."
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough says, "we [gestures toward Mika] saw him for 12 years behind closed doors. Never, ever, once—I'll say under oath, I'll put into an affidavit—never once heard him say anything close to being racially insensitive. Never once!"
Sounding more like a feminist fan than a "correspondent," Kasie Hunt has enthused over the proliferation of women candidates in the 2020 Dem field. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, MSNBC correspondent Hunt said it was a "real victory" that the fact that Harris is the third woman [along with Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard] to have announced her candidacy is "unremarkable." Sounds like "correspondent" Hunt is cheering a victory for Team Woman.
On Morning Joe, MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler takes obvious pleasure in the breaking news of Roger Stone's arrest, saying: "Roger Stone like Donald Trump is a political con man whose showman shtick has finally caught up with him . . . He's known for dirty tricks, and I think a lifetime of this shtick has finally caught up with him."
CNN isn't stopping at making veiled accusations of witness intimidation against President Trump with respect to Michael Cohen. Instead, the network is doing so in the most dramatic terms. On New Day this morning, CNN played a clip from The Godfather II in which the mob, in order to intimidate a witness at a Senate hearing, has brought the witness's brother into the audience. After the clip rolled, CNN commentator broke out the old mob threat: "what the President of the United States and his lawyer are basically doing is saying, nice family you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to them."