MSNBC on Friday continued to mock and deride the "controversial" tea party movement. Host David Shuster commented on the group's Nashville convention and asserted that it's "full of workshops, meetings, funny outfits and speeches." Setting the tone for how the conventioneers would be portrayed, Shuster introduced the segment by playing a clip of an unidentified woman.
"I just couldn't sit down anymore and not do anything, because it reminded me of what happened during the reign of Hitler," the woman asserted. Couldn't MSNBC have found someone complaining about spending or the size of government? Reporter Domenico Montanaro dismissed keynote speaker Sarah Palin. He wondered if "she's a politician first or a political celebrity first, now."
Lamenting a lack of access, Montanaro derided, "She hasn't really been someone who has had to go on Meet the Press, for example, or anything like that." Of course, Palin has not exactly been treated charitably by journalists. But, Montanaro didn't seem to consider that point.
Shuster closed the segment by informing viewers that far-left host Ed Schultz would anchor MSNBC's live coverage of Palin's keynote speech on Saturday night. This is the same person who, on his June 16, 2009 show, trashed Palin as "political slime." Is this MSNBC’s idea of balance?
A transcript of the February 5 News Live segment, which aired at 10:18am, follows:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I just couldn't sit down anymore and not do anything, because it reminded me of what happened during the reign of Hitler.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN DRESSED IN REVOLUTIONARY WAR GARB: Remember what we used to know: The government that governs best, governs least.
MSNBC GRAPHIC: Partying Like It’s 1773
DAVID SHUSTER: The tea party faithful have descended on Nashville, Tennessee, for the start of their first-ever convention. The $550 per ticket event is being held at the Gaylord Opryland hotel and is full of workshops, meetings, funny outfits and speeches. Most notably, Sarah Palin is scheduled to give the keynote address tomorrow night after reportedly receiving a $100,000 speaking fee. NBC's Domenico Montanaro is at the convention right now, covering all the great color and he joins us live right now. And Domenico, tell us, big controversy. Would it controversy. What else?
DOMENICO MONTANARO: David, it's good to be with you. And, you know, as you can probably hear, a little bit of applause in the background. They just had a speaker that got done from JunkScience.com One of his quotes that we had is that "Political extremism masquerading as environmentalism is a greater threat than Islamic extremism." Um, you know, some people might disagree with that. But, you know, that's part of what's going on here. You have got another event here about how this government is similar to the Marxist agendas being put forth by those in South America. You know, you have a lot of that, kind of, going on here. You know, of course in Sarah Palin- she's going to have- she headlines tomorrow, the big event. And, you know, there's some question, we've raised this in First Read today, as to whether or not she's a politician first or a political celebrity first now. You know, there's some questions to that. She doesn't take questions from reporters. She hasn't really been someone who has had to go on Meet the Press, for example, or anything like that. And she doesn't have elected office anymore. So, you know, $100,000 for a speech, ten of those a year, that's a nice cool million that I think some of us would like to have. That's part of what's going on here now.
SHUSTER: Domenico Montanaro from our political unit at the controversial convention in Nashville. We'll be talking to you throughout the weekend. Thanks for the update, Domenico. Sarah Palin's keynote speech at the tea party will be Saturday night, 9pm eastern, 6pm on the west coast. And we will bring it to you live right here on MSNBC. Ed Schultz will host our coverage.