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

Queen Nancy the First? On her Saturday morning MSNBC show, Joy Reid set out on a loud-and-proud feminist jag as she sought to pump up Nancy Pelosi. But the effort backfired. She claimed that impeachment was designed to prevent President Trump from becoming a "king." But she wound up painting an unflattering portrait of Pelosi as a disdainful member of royalty who misuses her power to abuse her lessers. 



Playing off Nancy Pelosi's heated response to James Rosen's question as to whether she hates President Trump, Morning Joe goes off on a long riff, repeatedly praising Pelosi's great "faith." Mika says Pelosi's filling a "moral void." There is much talk of Pelosi's great compassion for children, with Scarborough citing Gospel on "let the children come." There is no discussion of Pelosi's advocacy for abortion on demand. 



CNN New Day co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman scolded former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart for saying he'd heard "rumblings" that Democrats might be seeking a deal that, in return for the White House agreeing to testimony and the submission of documents, would result in a pause of the impeachment proceedings. 



On this Tuesday's New Day, after co-host Alisyn Camerota melodramatically wondered why ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page didn't speak out before, given "what she has lived with" due to President Trump's comments about her, CNN commentator Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, responded: "It goes to how civil servants . . . really have a culture of being apolitical, of not trying to get into partisan fights or in the crosshairs. It's not in their DNA."



Interviewed by Alisyn Camerota on CNN, former Trump communications director turned bitter antagonist Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci calls congressional Republicans opposing impeachment "Vichy Republicans," a reference to the French Nazi collaborators during World War II. Who calls this show New Day? It feels more like Groundhog Day. 



On Joy Reid's MSNBC show today, MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance went on a rant about Trump's pardoning of Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher and other members of the military. Among other things, speaking of the Telly Savalas character in The Dirty Dozen—a murderer and rapist—Nance said: "It's almost as if Donald Trump thought, 'hey, that's my favorite character!' He has a mindset of where he thinks his personal toughness is men doing horrible things."



Just how unknowledgeable about the economy is Joy Reid? So much so that it drove even the liberal Ron Insana . . . insane, obliging him to correct her misstatements.



For the feminist left, it's strictly verboten to call a woman candidate unlikable. Poor Donny Deutsch learned that lesson the hard way on today's Morning Joe. Commenting on Elizabeth Warren's precipitous poll drop, Deutsch attributed her problem not only to her unpopular plan to strip people of their private health insurance, but also to her "likability issue," noting her "high-school principal demeanor." But it wasn't long before Karine Jean-Pierre, an MSNBC analyst and spokesperson for the far-left MoveOn.org, rapped Donny across the knuckles. 



"Mooch's Revenge" could be the working title for the series of interviews that CNN's Alisyn Camerota has conducted with Anthony Scaramucci. Ever since President Trump fired him as Communications Director after a tenure that was record-setting for its brevity, Scaramucci has been carrying out a one-man vendetta against his former boss.



On Monday's Morning Joe, Anand Giridharadas, who seems to be setting himself up to be the left's fiercest critic of Bloomberg, clashed with New York Times columnist and Bloomberg defender Bret Stephens. When Stephens said "this is America" and people like Bloomberg who develop good ideas can be richly rewarded, a thin-skinned Giridharadas shot back, "you don't need to tell me 'this is America.' I'm from America." Giridharadas also gave Stephens the old, "I let you finish," and offered to give him a copy of his new book, since to Giridharadas it seemed Stephens hadn't sufficiently absorbed its wisdom.



How paranoid were the Nixon-hating TV networks during Watergate? Far enough out there that, according to liberal former ABC correspondent Carole Simpson, they feared that instead of resigning, President Nixon would announce a military coup supporting him. Appearing on Joy Reid's MSNBC show this morning, Simpson said that during Nixon's televised address to the nation of August 8, 1974, in which he announced his resignation: "people weren't sure that he wasn't -- the camera wouldn't pull back on Nixon and he’d be surrounded by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying he’s going to take over the government. The networks were really thinking something like that may happen."



For the liberal media, there's nothing like analogizing President Trump to a . . . heinous killer! On MTP Daily, Chuck Todd fretted that President Trump might be acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, in the same way that O.J. Simpson was acquitted at his criminal trial.



The Democrats are facing a grim choice for 2020. Nominate someone who they fear can't complete a sentence and wanders off in his thoughts, or take one of the other contenders and face the prospect of an "electoral blowout" in the Rust Belt again. That was the take of the Morning Joe crew today.



The liberal media is not known for its deep and abiding respect for the US military. Yet in the opening segment alone of today's Morning Joe, there were no fewer than nine instances of members of the panel referring to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as a "hero" or Purple Heart recipient. For good measure, Mike Barnicle melodramatically described him as "wearing the cloth of our country." What accounts for such a sudden onset of hero worship? The answer's obvious: since the Democrats and MSM see Vindman as a key impeachment witness against President Trump, it suits their political purposes to celebrate his status, lending credence to his testimony. 



Marco Rubio was roundly criticized when during the 2016 primary he made suggestive remarks about Donald Trump's supposedly small hands. But Joe Scarborough decided to jump right down in that same gutter on today's Morning Joe. Commenting on the loss of Ed Rispone, the Trump-backed candidate in the Louisiana governor's race, Scarborough smirked: "Little hands, little fingers, little coattails."



When it comes to trashing President Trump, there's nothing nastier than an "MSNBC Republican"--the ilk whose livelihood depends on dishing out a dependable stream of bile about the president. On today's Morning Joe, MSNBC Republican Elise Jordan did her best to promote her job security. After Joe Scarborough claimed that, behind the scenes, Republican elected officials all hate Trump, and Republican senators would all vote to remove him from office if they could get away with it, Jordan chimed in to say: "They know he’s a moron. They know he’s corrupt. They know that his behavior is just a classic scumbag."



Steve Schmidt is a brother-in-arms with Joe Scarborough. Both quit the Republican party, and have made their life's work the taking down of President Trump by any means necessary. And so it was that Schmidt appeared on today's Morning Joe, and unleashed a veritable hailstorm of hyperbole about impeachment, including the allegation that the facts surrounding this impeachment effort "exceed by orders of magnitude anything that occurred in Watergate."



On Joy Reid's MSNBC show, regular guest Tiffany Cross blames white media executives and the voters for Kamala Harris's poor performance in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. On Joy Reid's MSNBC show, Sunday, regular guest Tiffany Cross announced that she was going to ignore the taboo against blaming the voters. She proceeded to blame them, citing the reaction of listeners to Harris's interview on The Breakfast Club podcast with Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy.



Liberals love to condescend to conservatives, imagining us to be a bunch of benighted rubes. We poor, misguided souls will see the light once the veil is lifted from our eyes by kindly liberals carefully explaining things at a level within the ken of our limited intellectual capacity. Combine that with the trope of relatives arguing politics over Thanksgiving, and you have Joy Reid this morning on her MSNBC show. She imagined a "cranky Uncle Roscoe" yelling "read the transcript!" She promised to provide viewers with all they needed to know about impeachment, so they could "easily explain [it] to Uncle Roscoe and Auntie Carol."



When it comes to insulting and disrespecting President Trump in crude terms, Joe Scarborough is the veritable Don Rickles of political pundits. And so, Scarborough's faux-outrage rant this morning about a line Republican Senator John Kennedy used about Nancy Pelosi could go down as one of the most egregious examples of hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness in recorded television history.