Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.
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Michelle Goldberg of The Nation took a cheap shot at Republican voters during an appearance on Monday’s All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Fill-in host Ari Melber brought up Jeb Bush’s recent remark that illegal immigration is an act of love, calling it “an appealing message.” Goldberg cut across him, demanding, “Appealing to who?”
Melber replied, “Well, appealing to people who like love, obviously.” To which Goldberg shot back, “Right, not the Republican base.” At that point, Melber cut to a commercial break, leaving the Republicans watching (if any) to shout at their televisions, “But I like love, too!”
MSNBC talking heads spend a lot of time demonizing Republicans and conservatives, but on Monday’s PoliticsNation, frequent contributor Dana Milbank made that connection directly and compared the Koch brothers to demons.
Milbank and host Al Sharpton were discussing the verbal attacks on David and Charles Koch that many Democrats, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have carried out lately. Sharpton asked why Democrats were pushing this issue so hard, and Milbank responded, “Look, everybody knows that in politics, you need demons. And the Koch brothers are uniquely qualified to play that role. I mean, they couldn't be any better for it if they were carrying around pitchforks and had horns.”
We know that NBC loves to lob softball questions at First Lady Michelle Obama when interviewing her, and apparently they also enjoy it when others do the same. On Saturday’s Today show, co-anchor Lester Holt brought on Nene Sy, a high school girl who recently interviewed the First Lady.
Holt hyped the story, calling Sy, “the young woman who was recently handed a very big assignment – a chance to interview First Lady Michelle Obama.” That’s right, Sy did not seek out this opportunity. She was chosen to do it because Mrs. Obama wanted to be interviewed by someone who, like her, was the first in her family to go to college.
Chris Matthews made a guest appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation and showcased a hilarious lack of self-awareness regarding his network, especially his own show. The Hardball host sneered at the idea that a political campaign’s TV ads amount to free speech, insisting that they are no different than Coca-Cola commercials.
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton was incensed by Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) newly-released budget plan on Wednesday’s PoliticsNation. Referencing President Obama’s comment yesterday that “America is a place for everybody,” Sharpton added his own condemnation of Ryan’s budget as he hollered, “America is a place for everybody, not a place for dangerous ideas and a ruthless war on the poor!”
This sort of harsh language permeated the opening few minutes of Sharpton’s show. In fact, right from the very top, the reverend made it abundantly clear how he felt about the Ryan budget:
MSNBC loves to find a racial controversy in the most unexpected of places and on Wednesday’s NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall seized a golden opportunity to do just that. Hall brought on Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, a soldier who started a White House petition asking the president to force the U.S. Army to reconsider its updated appearance and grooming regulations.
Hall explained the problem as she opened the story:
Uh-oh. The newly appointed head of a prominent company did something, six years ago, to signal his support for traditional marriage. Somebody call the thought police!
On Monday, MSNBC.com called attention to this horror in an article titled “Mozilla Under Fire for New CEO’s Anti-Gay Past.” The new CEO in question is Brendan Eich, who was Mozilla’s chief technology officer for nine years before the company promoted him last week. MSNBC writer Emma Margolin explained Eich’s “anti-gay past” in the article’s third paragraph:
Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert found himself at the center of a controversy on Thursday stemming from a racially insensitive tweet posted to The Colbert Report Twitter account. The well-known satirist tried to distance himself from the tweet (now deleted) early Friday morning – even though it was almost a direct quote from his Wednesday night show.
Here is the offending tweet, posted on Thursday to the verified Twitter account of The Colbert Report:
On Wednesday night, Tavis Smiley welcomed film director Errol Morris onto the set of his PBS program to talk about Morris’ new documentary on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Unlike Bill Maher, who challenged Morris when he interviewed him last Friday, Smiley joined Morris in maligning Rumsfeld throughout the entire interview.
Smiley seemed appalled that Rumsfeld ever came to be in charge of the Defense Department, and by extension managing the prosecution of the Iraq War. He remarked to Morris:
Liberals have a problem, according to MSNBC host Al Sharpton and two of his left-leaning friends. They’re not blaring their pro-ObamaCare message loudly enough.
On Tuesday’s PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams, worried that his side might be losing the PR war over ObamaCare, unleashed a rant against Republicans. He started by defining the difference between the two parties as he sees it:
Appearing on Monday’s PoliticsNation, MSNBC’s Krystal Ball spat on the religious liberty that Hobby Lobby is presently fighting to defend before the U.S. Supreme Court. The co-host of The Cycle refused to believe that the Hobby Lobby case is about religious liberty, insisting it is actually about “whether your employer can decide what kind of health care you're going to have access to.” She scoffed, “Employers and corporations don't have a religion.”
Really, Krystal? A corporation itself may not have a religion, but many employers certainly do. Employers are human beings with thoughts and beliefs just like the rest of us. Should their religious convictions not be respected, as well as their autonomy to run their businesses as they see fit?
Hey, Buckeyes, "Let’s play Hardball."
On Friday, The Ohio State University announced that Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, will deliver the commencement address at the school’s May 4 graduation ceremony. The announcement was made in a glowing press release, which [laughably] read in part (emphasis mine):
MSNBC’s Alex Wagner got very dramatic while talking about birth control on Friday’s episode of her show NOW with Alex Wagner. Ms. Wagner and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood were discussing the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the government (via ObamaCare’s contraception mandate) can order private business owners to violate their religious faith by providing abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
In a moment of raw emotion, Wagner let out her anguish over some unidentified force that is holding back progress toward free birth control for every woman. She mourned:
On Thursday’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton was irritated that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dared to suggest that President Obama should be more concerned about NSA spying because of our country’s history of civil rights leaders being spied upon. Sharpton thundered, “[W]ho is Rand Paul to make this point? This is a cynical use of race from some on the right.”
It was “cynical,” according to Sharpton, because some Republicans have done the opposite of Paul and criticized Obama when he does talk about race. But who is Al Sharpton to accuse someone else of the cynical use of race? The reverend has built his career by relentlessly exploiting racial issues.
Liberals just can’t seem to let go of the myth that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same job. On Wednesday’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, the Rev. Al Sharpton repeated that bogus claim, and his supposedly conservative guest, Abby Huntsman of The Cycle, failed to call him out on it.
Sharpton asked, “Abby, women make about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the same job. Don't Republican needs [sic] to be more sensitive to issues like that?”
Leave it to PBS to take a local controversy and turn it into a symbol of the class war that is supposedly plaguing this country. On Tuesday’s NewsHour, the taxpayer-subsidized network raised a stink over so-called Google buses that carry San Francisco residents to their jobs at high-tech companies 30 or 40 miles south of the city.
Anchor Judy Woodruff drew the battle lines as she introduced the story:
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine.
Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:
On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt on MSNBC, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times showed that she is one of the many liberal media members entranced by President Obama’s appearance on the Web series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Witt asked about those who criticized the president for demeaning the office by going on the show, and Sweet let it be known that she didn’t agree with the critics.
The D.C. bureau chief for the president's hometown paper proclaimed:
MSNBC continues to fail to take the IRS targeting scandal seriously. On Thursday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Ms. Wagner and her guest, Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post, showed their utter disdain for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his committee’s ongoing investigation into the scandal.
Wagner took particular offense to Issa’s move to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, dismissing it as an attempt to “gum up the government works.” Mocking Issa and his fellow House Republicans, Wagner screeched:
MSNBC had a bit of trouble keeping their guests on-message during Wednesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. While speculating as to why Democrat Alex Sink lost to Republican David Jolly in Tuesday's special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, Wagner and her MSNBC crew tried to push the idea that low turnout was to blame.
Addressing Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Wagner wondered: