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

Joe Scarborough has once again assumed his role as a strategic advisor to the Democrats. On Morning Joe, Scarborough warns Democrats that it would be a "sucker's deal" for them to trade testimony by Hunter Biden for that of John Bolton at the impeachment trial.



In appearances on both MSNBC's Morning Joe and CNN's New Day today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer repeatedly accused Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of going along with an alleged "coverup" by President Trump of the impeachment trial, "hook, line, and sinker."
 



Question: in addition to her duties as an NBC correspondent, is Heidi Przybyla also serving as a PR flack for the Biden campaign? You have to wonder after watching Przybyla's performance today on Morning Joe. Przybyla didn't merely highlight the memo that the Biden campaign has put out as a pre-emptive response to charges of Ukraine corruption—she passionately embraced the memo's findings. 



Joy Reid's "body-language expert" Janine Driver says she believes Bernie Sanders was "lying" when he denied telling Elizabeth Warren that a woman couldn't beat President Trump. 



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough says that the families, children, and grandchildren of defenders of President Trump will be punished by history. Vengeance will be visited on the descendants of the pro-Trump sinners.



CNN commentator Joe Lockhart spouted the conspiracy theory that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo possibly could have allowed "a Benghazi" against Marie Yovanovitch, who at the time was the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. 



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough expresses great skepticism on Elizabeth Warren's claim that Bernie Sanders told her that a woman couldn't beat President Trump.



Given MSNBC's penchant for propagating wild theories, perhaps the network should rename itself "Conspiracies 'R Us." Rachel Maddow, MSNBC's leading host, damaged her ratings and her reputation, such as it was, by going all-in on wild Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, only to see them debunked. Last week on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski floated the off-the-wall notion that President Trump has "dirt" on Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, and is using it to blackmail them into supporting him.



On her MSNBC show, after praising Iran for having "stepped up" and admitting it shot down the airliner, Joy Reid explicitly adopts Iran's Trump-blaming position on the matter. Using the identical term that Iran employed, Reid put the onus for the shootdown on Trump's "adventurism." 



After CNN rolls a clip of Dem Rep. Jackie Speier saying the airliner shoot-down is "yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken by in a provocative way by the President of the United States," Alisyn Camerota expresses support for Speier's statement, saying, I think it’s fair to say this would not have happened if there were not tensions between the US and Iran."

 



Reacting to Lindsey Graham's praise of President Trump's speech about Iran, and Marco Rubio's praise of the briefing given to senators about the situation, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski suggests that Trump is blackmailing them.



Based on crowd size and man-in-the-street interviews, CNN reporter Fred Pleitgen, reporting from Tehran, claims that the killing of Qasem Soleimani has "unified" Iran.



Joy Reid interviews Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, regarding the strike on Soleimani. Contrary to what she was no doubt hoping for, Engel says it was likely that Soleimani was indeed in Iraq to plan an attack, and moreover that he had no reason to doubt that he directed the attack on the US embassy in Iraq. 



CNN's John Berman calls the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani "murder." Berman and co-host Poppy Harlow also not-so-subtly suggest that President Trump's ordering of the strike was a "wag the dog" move in the context of the impeachment proceedings and re-election campaign. 



Jake Sherman is no fan of Republicans in general or of President Trump in particular. He's the author of an unflattering book about the Trump White House, in which he also described Mitch McConnell's handling of the Kavanaugh confirmation as "merciless" and "Machiavellian." 



During a CNN New Day discussion of the pending Senate impeachment trial on New Year's Eve, substitute host Poppy Harlow managed to work in a snide Merrick Garland shot at Mitch McConnell.



On Morning Joe, WaPo's David Ignatius manages to turn Biden's transparent about-face for political reasons on whether he would comply with a Senate impeachment trial subpoena into a positive mark of his willingness to change positions as necessary, as compared to President Trump. 



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a wide berth to delay her supposedly "urgent" impeachment articles for weeks or even months, knowing the press will back her. Exhibit A is CNN's Alisyn Camerota. The New Day co-host made an impassioned defense this morning of Pelosi's decision to stall the delivery to the Senate of the articles of impeachment. After Camerota made her initial pitch for Pelosi's position, guest host John Avlon and Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim pushed back, saying Pelosi's position wasn't tenable and that she'd have to deliver the articles in fairly short order.



Self-awareness? Apparently not Joe Scarborough's strong suit. On Thursday's Morning Joe, Scarborough claimed to embrace a recent column by frequent panelist David Ignatius of The Washington Post that called for a "love thy neighbor" politics in which people "put aside" their grievances. "Truer words were never written," enthused Scarborough. That's all well and good, but not exactly the best messengers and considering the show that these principles were extolled on.



Gag me with a gavel! On her MSNBC show on Christmas Eve, Nicolle Wallace's Christmas gift to Nancy Pelosi was an opening segment that was nothing short of a love letter to the Speaker.