Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.
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CNN anchor Jake Tapper went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday, and naturally the 2016 presidential race came up as a discussion topic. Referring to the battle for the Republican nomination, Tapper proclaimed, “[I]t is a wide-open field, and there is no one, literally no one I would discount.”
The veteran political journalist then rattled off a few GOP hopefuls he would not discount – Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman. He wouldn’t even discount New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in spite of the current bridge controversy. But then Hewitt’s co-host, Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller, asked, “What about Joe Scarborough 2016?” [YouTube video embedded below the break.]
The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has hired Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor Susan Del Percio as a “special advisor to the governor, focusing on operations and special projects.”
At first glance, it might seem odd that a Democratic governor would hire a GOP strategist, but given Del Percio’s track record on the Lean Forward network, it’s really not that surprising. Del Percio is a classic MSNBC Republican – moderate, generally in agreement with her more liberal colleagues, and often willing -- at times eagerly -- to attack the more conservative members of her own party.
PBS found a sly new way to promote ObamaCare on Monday’s NewsHour. It came as part of a feature story on nutrition for young mothers and their infants. Anchor Judy Woodruff introduced the story by talking about malnutrition in young children and the importance of proper nutrition for mothers, particularly young ones. This set up her selling point: “Starting in 2010, a program under the health care reform law made that idea more of a possibility in many states.”
The story that followed centered around the Circle of Life program, which essentially helps young, low-income parents in northern Arkansas raise their children. PBS correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, who narrated the package, explained Circle of Life’s connection to ObamaCare:
It was an absolute certainty that MSNBC would attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) following his Thursday morning speech at CPAC. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host wrung her hands over Cruz’s continued criticism of ObamaCare. With the air of an impatient mother, Witt fumed, “I know he’s just serving up red meat to the base. Republicans believe this is going to help them in the midterms. But aren't we past that yet?”
GOP strategist Susan Del Percio, a real MSNBC-type Republican, seemed to feel the same way about Cruz. She replied to Witt’s question, “Not if you're Ted Cruz. I mean, that's what he has become known as, is as a firebrander. He just throws this stuff out there.” With timid, apologetic Republican analysts like Del Percio, it’s no wonder MSNBC can’t have any real debates on their programs.
You would think that MSNBC hosts might not want to invite Bill Press on their shows to talk about supposedly inflammatory conservative rhetoric, given Press’s track record of vile left-wing bile. But on Thursday, host Al Sharpton once again invited Press onto PoliticsNation to discuss what the reverend called conservatives’ “ugly, very ugly attacks on the president over the crisis in Ukraine.”
Sharpton played some clips of conservative pundits and politicians alike criticizing President Obama for his handling of the crisis in Ukraine. He then asked Press to comment. As he has done in the past, the liberal talk radio host showed his utter hypocrisy when he responded, “I mean, look, Joe [Madison] and I are both talk show hosts. You don't hear that kind of ugly talk coming from the left that you do from the right.”
Anchor Liz Wahl of Russia Today’s Washington, D.C. bureau abruptly resigned her position during a live broadcast this week because she said she “cannot be part of a network, funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” However, ABC’s Barbara Walters was unimpressed by this young anchor’s brave stand.
On Thursday’s episode of The View, Walters responded to Wahl’s resignation with the haughtiness of a veteran journalist. She huffed, “I think what she did is fine, it's a personal choice, but don't make her a hero for protesting. She is working for the government.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got rather self-righteous on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, chiding Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who have criticized President Obama’s weak-kneed response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Scarborough asserted his belief that “politics should really end at the water's edge” during international crises like this, proclaiming, “I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander-in-chief during dangerous international crises, whether it’s with the likes of Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, well, that provides comfort to nation-states who choose to be our enemies.”
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday, MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly refused to characterize either Russian president Vladimir Putin or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “evil.” During a contentious debate over Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Hewitt asked his guest point-blank, “Do you agree that what Russia is doing is evil?”
Reid hedged on her answer, replying:
You reap what you sow. Most MSNBC hosts have excitedly touted ObamaCare over the past four years, despite warnings that the law would increase costs for businesses. Well, now we are beginning to see the natural consequences of what the health care law is doing to businesses, and at least one MSNBC host is upset by it.
On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt was incensed that Gator’s Dockside, a Florida restaurant chain, has started charging its customers a one percent surcharge to help cover expected ObamaCare-related costs. Witt fumed, “[I]s it even legal to just add on a surcharge like that? I mean, it’s essentially a tax.” [See video below the break.]
On his program The Last Word Thursday night, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell glorified the tech experts who repaired Healthcare.gov after its disastrous launch, calling them “heroes.”
And yet, the host lamented, the pocket-protector posse don’t consider themselves to be heroes.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insulted victims of ObamaCare on Wednesday – and the three major networks didn’t seem to care.
Speaking on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat lashed out at those whose lives have been hurt by the law, saying this:
Former liberal talk radio host Jim Hightower emerged from his present-day obscurity to spew venom at wealthy oil executives on national television Tuesday night. Hightower appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes to comment on the news that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has joined a lawsuit to block construction of a 160-foot water tower near his property in Texas. The tower would supply water for, among other purposes, hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.
This was notable to MSNBC because Tillerson, whose company engages in fracking, cited concerns about fracking-related noise and traffic in the lawsuit. So, naturally, the hypocrisy alarm went off in the Lean Forward network’s newsroom. But for Hightower, it wasn’t enough to call Tillerson a hypocrite. He had to go further.
Is Joe Scarborough turning on MSNBC? On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, the host mocked the “total obsession” of “the media on the left” in their coverage of Chris Christie’s bridge scandal since early January.
Naturally, however, he failed to directly call out his own network for being at the forefront of the effort to destroy Christie.
MSNBC truly doesn’t have much use for dissenting views – even from the Republican contributors who appear on the network to offer a supposedly conservative or (lowercase-L) libertarian perspective. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, GOP strategist Susan Del Percio marched in lockstep with all of the liberals on MSNBC by lashing out at Arizona’s proposed religious freedom bill.
Del Percio appeared as part of the episode’s “Big 3" panel. Liberal contributor Goldie Taylor was the first to comment on the Arizona bill, and she was predictably venomous toward it, believing it was just an excuse for business owners to discriminate against homosexuals. Fill-in host T.J. Holmes then turned to Del Percio and gave her a chance to play up the religious freedom aspect of the bill:
First Lady Michelle Obama insulted the young people of America during an appearance on Thursday night’s Tonight Show. Host Jimmy Fallon asked her why young people should sign up for ObamaCare if they can’t afford it, and Mrs. Obama struck a condescending note in her response.
“[A] lot of young people think they’re invincible,” she said. “But the truth is, young people are knuckleheads. You know? They're the ones who are cooking for the first time and slice their finger open. They’re dancing on the bar stool.”
If there was any doubt that MSNBC is a mouthpiece for liberal activism, Chris Hayes should have erased it on Wednesday’s edition of his program All In. Hayes was discussing MSNBC’s favorite current topic – the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” saga – with Dan Cantor, national director of the ultra-liberal Working Families Party.
Near the end of the discussion, Cantor optimistically declared his belief that Christie will be defeated in the end, thanks in part to Cantor’s own organization:
Now for a dose of MSNBC-style conservatism from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent network contributor and former White House communications director under George W. Bush. On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Wallace trashed Tea Party members and other conservative Republicans as children while praising House Speaker John Boehner and his moderate ilk as the “grown-ups” of the party.
During a discussion about Republicans gearing up for the midterm elections, Wallace praised Boehner for caving in on the debt ceiling earlier this month:
MSNBC’s Alex Witt is clearly one of those journalists who wishes Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal would completely fade from memory so as not to obstruct Hillary Clinton’s potential bid for the White House in 2016. On Sunday’s edition of Weekends with Alex Witt, the host went so far as to apologize after her guest mentioned Lewinsky’s name.
Witt was talking to Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) about Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) attempts to link Mrs. Clinton to her husband’s sexual misdeeds in the 1990s. Cicilline, a loyal Democrat, stuck up for Hillary and downplayed the importance of the scandal:
You have to love the hypocrisy of certain liberal media figures regarding hateful rhetoric. On Thursday evening, left-wing talk radio host Bill Press appeared on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation to comment on some supposedly inflammatory remarks from Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Ben Carson.
Yes, this is the same Bill Press who makes inflammatory remarks all the time on his show [as we've documented repeatedly].
There was some huffing at the Huffington Post on Wednesday over House Republicans’ reluctance to pass a clean debt limit increase. Contributing writer Mitchell Bard was glad that the increase was passed, but he was incensed that the vast majority of GOP congressmen (201 of 229) voted against it. He took out his frustrations in a post titled, “Lesson From the House Debt Ceiling Vote: The GOP Is the Tea Party.”
Bard railed against those 201 Republicans: “Voting against the debt ceiling isn't ‘conservative’; it's reckless, ideological, irresponsible and not something anyone charged with governing the nation should consider.” Following that logic, Barack Obama was reckless, ideological, and irresponsible in 2006 when, as a senator, he voted against a debt limit increase.