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

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.



Introducing a Meet the Press special edition on climate change, Chuck Todd quite literally announced that dissent would not be permitted. Here was Todd: "just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do. We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause. Period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers."



On MSNBC, ripping President Trump over the shutdown, an overwrought Elise Jordan declared that Trump "won't skip paychecks" as a result of the shutdown. Technically that's true, since by law the President is deemed an essential employee. But Jordan is apparently unaware that Trump has never cashed a presidential paycheck, donating each one instead to different government departments to fund good works.



You just know the liberal media hated it when President Trump and First Lady Melania made a Christmas visit to the troops in Iraq. So CNN went into damage control this morning, doing its best to dump disparaging cold water on the trip. On New Day, it was repeatedly mentioned that this was Trump's first visit to troops in a combat zone, with intimations it was done to deflect attention from the resignation of Jim Mattis and the withdrawal from Syria. Multiple mentions were also made of the fact that Melania wore sunglasses at night upon her return.



Joe Scarborough opened Morning Joe with a canned statement, thundering against President Trump's policies on immigration and asking "what would Jesus do" about it?



A New York Times reporter travels to a small town in Finland billed as the happiest place on earth, and determines that its secret to happiness is . . . multitudinous government programs and high taxes. 



After agreeing with a Washington Post column calling the Trump administration a "rogue presidency," Joe Scarborough declares that the Trump administration is "terminal: this administration will not survive." Then—in describing what he sees as the threat that Trump poses to the world— Scarborough proceeded to use literally apocalyptic language: "what does everybody do, working together, to make sure that this administration, which is terminal, does not behave in a way that creates not only a governing crisis but a pandemic, not only across this country, but across the world?"



In her column this week, Washington Post Givhan was very reluctant to criticize the, shall-we-say, controversial fashion choices that Michelle Obama made for her book-tour appearance with Sarah Jessica Parker earlier this week...especially the $3,900 thigh-high boots. If a former Republican First Lady had worn them, Givhan would have scolded her for conspicuous consumption.



Serious commentary, or just a bad case of ratings envy rearing its ugly head? On CNN's New Day this morning, former Bill Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart, now a CNN political commentator, took some ugly shots at two of the Fox & Friends crew. Reacting to President Trump's decision not to sign a government funding bill that would not have included money for the border wall, Lockhart said that Trump was going to sign the bill, but: "when the great powerhouses like Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy weighed in, and then Ann Coulter weighed in, Trump folded, and folded quickly."



How harsh on President Trump does someone have to be to satisfy CNN? On the floor of the Senate, for gosh sakes, Lindsey Graham called President Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria "a stain on the honor of the United States." It doesn't get much more critical than that. But even that stinging rebuke of the President was insufficient for Alisyn Camerota. On CNN's New Day this morning, Camerota was offended that Graham had gone on to call Trump's declaration of victory over ISIS "fake news."



Yesterday, we surmised that Joe Scarborough had gone "all in" with the Democrats. Scratch that. Scarborough has now placed himself even to the left of many lefties. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough defended Judge Emmet Sullivan's outburst yesterday at Michael Flynn's sentencing hearing. This, while many liberals, like Dan Abrams, and even the young lefties over at Vox, have criticized the judge.



It's one thing for Joe Scarborough to criticize President Trump regarding various controversies. But when Scarborough brazenly boasts about the "Obama recovery," and thanks President Obama for it, you know that the former Republican has gone all-in with the Democrats. Playing off the recent drop on Wall Street, Morning Joe opened today by mocking Trump for his positive comments on the market back in August. Fine. But Scarborough then took things a servile step further, declaring:



On Monday's New Day, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, speaking of President Trump's tweet in which he referred to Michael Cohen as a "rat," Honig says: "people get killed because of that . . . People have been murdered because someone said, that guy's a rat." Honig tried to cover his tracks by adding, "I'm not saying the President is trying to get Michael Cohen injured." Sure. I suppose that's why Alisyn Camerota, picking up on Honig's accusation, said: "bad things happen to cooperators in prison."



Joy Reid guest Jason Johnson warns: "I've heard plenty of black women say, if there's not a black woman on this ticket, I'm not voting." And Reid declares that the Democrats: "can't run two white guys," warning that "women are going to be outraged," and "voters of color are going to say: well, then why are we participating?"



MSNBC host Joy Reid and guest Elie Mystal on Saturday openly connived about the best way to "get to" Trump. They concluded that it would be to "go after" Ivanka. Gloated Mystal: "this is the first time that we have Ivanka . . . in the crosshairs . . . The only way we're really going to get to Trump is if you go after his kids . . . And this [going after Ivanka] could be the way to do it."



On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski apologizes for having called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday's show, a "butt boy." But whereas she apologizes "especially to the LGBT community and to my colleagues,"  Brzezinski doesn't apologize . . . to Mike Pompeo.



On Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch describes President Trump as "pathetic" and "defanged," going from being a "malignant cancer" to a "benign cancer." And so it is for the cast of Morning Joe. No matter how they might have denounced President Trump the day before, as the sun rises they are forced to begin yet again their labor of trying to take Trump down. 



Appearing on MSNBC, Richard Painter, who in 2018 ran as a Democrat for a US Senate seat from Minnesota, declared that President Trump's "goose is cooked," and that he should seek a plea deal and resign from the presidency. 



Turning on the tube this morning, you had to wonder whether you were actually watching Morning Joe, or a rerun of Saturday Night Live's satire of Mika Brzezinski's histrionics on the show. The doubt arose because Mika gave an exceptionally emotional performance that seemed like a virtual parody of the parody. As others spoke, Mika made a series of excited interjections.



Guest hosting for Ari Melber on his MSNBC show The Beat, Yasmin Vossoughian was speaking to Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee when she appeared to question whether Democrats would be patriotic if they don't impeach President Trump: "Congresswoman, are Democrats putting country first by not pursuing impeachment?"