Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.
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Mike Barnicle was conducting a humdrum conversation about the shutdown with Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown on today's Morning Joe when—out of the blue—Barnicle asked this bizarre question: "Let me ask you: do you think that Donald J. Trump presents a clear and present danger to our democracy?"
On Ari Melber's MSNBC show, MSNBC contributor Eleanor Clift praises the refusal of Democrats to negotiate with Republicans on the government shutdown, saying, "the Democrats are defending a principle here, that you don't negotiate with terrorists when they're holding hostages."
Saying that he blames the Democrats as much as the Republicans for the current DC disarray, Tom Brokaw, appearing on today's Morning Joe, said, "you've got the young people running through the halls, who are the new members of Congress, who are conducting pep rallies every day." Brokaw described the Dems as being "driven hard by the left."
On Joy Reid's show, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley says that although the Buzzfeed allegation that President Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie about Russian collusion has been debunked by the Mueller investigation: "what we are hearing in this does not mean that we know that there won't in the future be corroborated evidence of Donald Trump having knowledge of and in some way being part of what could be, could be -- and I'm speculating -- could be a conspiracy to suborn perjury. That is a possibility. We don't know."
As we noted before, for over two years now Morning Joe has been broadly hinting that Rudy Giuliani has a drinking problem. The show was back at it today, with Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Katty Kay all unsubtly suggesting that Rudy had been drinking before his CNN interview with Chris Cuomo last night.
On New Day, Alisyn Camerota asked why President Trump hasn't accepted a deal that would end the partial government shutdown. Co-host John Berman, referring to a statement by Ann Coulter, offered an explanation, saying he had "a sign, a word from up above." CNN commentator John Avlon interjected: "whoa, whoa: directionally off!"
The liberal media accused President Trump of "dodging" and "evading" Jeannine Pirro's question as to whether he'd ever worked for Russia. Yesterday, Trump made a flat denial, saying, "I never worked for Russia." But that didn't stop MSNBC's John Heilemann on Morning Joe from ripping Trump, saying: "The fact that he said yesterday, I've never worked for Russia, just made you think of [unintelligble] our two previous Presidents embroiled in potential impeachments: Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon saying, Bill Clinton: I never had sexual relations with that woman. And Richard Nixon: I am not a crook. Turned out they were lying. Maybe Donald Trump is, too."
Mika Brzezinski framed it as a "worry," but her statement can also be seen as giving advice [unintentionally, one would hope] to America's enemies, encouraging them to seize the current moment to act against us. On today's Morning Joe, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic imagined America's adversaries saying "we don't know what the hell they're going to do, because this President is completely unpredictable." Responded Mika: "I would take it a step further, and worry that we look weak. And that this is the moment that anybody with ill will has to act."
An article in TheWeek.com entitled "The real lesson of Jeff Bezos' divorce drama? Soak the rich" argues that the Bezos divorce "is a good piece of evidence in the case for confiscatory top marginal tax rates."
On CNN's New Day this morning, Van Jones—host of his own CNN show—commenting on controversial statements on race made by Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa, identified King as representing . . . California. Said Jones: "I'm embarrassed. I mean, I'm raising my family in California. I'm embarrassed that Californians have sent him back [to Congress.]"
On CNN's New Day, co-host Alisyn Camerota asks, regarding the partial government shutdown, "aren't Democrats to blame here as well?" She calls out Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for refusing to make a counter-offer when VP Pence asked them for one at the conclusion of a White House meeting yesterday.
Appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused President Trump of "racist and violent rhetoric" regarding illegal immigration. As a result, said AOC: "We're talking about people feeling unsafe. And no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America, and that includes our amazing, and beautiful, and productive, immigrant community."
MSNBC guest Mark Thompson thinks Trump supporters are "gullible" and "acting against their own interest." Right. Because if you weren't so clueless, you'd be a huge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fan, eagerly awaiting the coming socialist nirvana.
On New Day, CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart says the networks should not give air live President Trump's Oval Office address this evening about the situation at the border. Instead, says Lockhart, Trump should give the networks the text in advance, "and let us decide in advance what's true."
At what point does Trump Derangement Syndrome stop being handy shorthand for the liberal media's hatred of the President, and start being taken seriously as an actual mental disorder? The question arises after witnessing Joe Scarborough—seriously it would appear—raising on today's Morning Joe the possibility that Donald Trump "doesn't know how to read."
On her MSNBC show, in an early bid for 2019's most inane piece of political punditry, Joy Reid claims that a wall would be ineffective in halting the smuggling of drugs into the US because "people who are drug traffickers can get on a plane and come."
Just when you thought the liberal media couldn't sink any lower in its deranged attacks on President Trump, along comes Donny Deutsch. On today's Morning Joe, Deutsch plumbed odious new depths with an allegation that Trump's last card is to prey on the sexual fears or insecurities of his supporters. Said Deutsch: "This is all [Trump] has left. That one metaphor, that one thing that talks to that 39, 40, 41% base that says: either the black man, or the brown man, or the Jewish man, or the media man, or the banker man is coming to take your wife."
On CNN, New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota notes that the composition of the newly-installed House of Representatives includes a record 102 women. But she adds: "if it really reflected the United States, it would be twice that many. Not to be a wet blanket this morning, okay? But, baby steps."
I don't think Jim VandeHei realized what a stunning admission he was making. Discussing the shutdown impasse over funding the border wall, the Axios co-founder said: "I think the [Dem] party's changed on immigration. I think the feeling that they have to appear to be really strong by supporting a lot more border security, that that has waned, and that the enthusiasm of the Democratic party is for protecting immigrants." What kind of immigrants surreptitiously cross the border? By definition, they are illegal immigrants. So VandeHei's statement amounts to a stinging indictment of the Dems. Democrats have "enthusiasm" for protecting illegal immigrants over protecting the borders of the United States.
On CNN, after pointing the finger at President Trump for the deaths of immigrant children at the border, Alisyn Camerota tries to cover her tracks, saying: "not to cast any blame." Right.