Mark Sanford can’t run for President in 2012, all because he went for a hike. [UPDATE: He went to Argentina.]

At least, that’s what Mike Allen of Politico would have you believe.  On June 23, during his normal appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Allen was discussing the recent media snafu over the governor’s jaunt through the woodlands:

I think it might well be that he was just hiking. But the point is, he would have been a promising Republican for 2012. He's the rarest thing in the Republican party, which is a true conservative. There would have been a lot of momentum behind him. He threw out the idea very recently. But, you talk about the finger on the button – you want someone stable, someone you can trust. And this, as they were talking about yesterday on MSNBC right away, in a moment, diminished the brand.


The Associated Press posted an "analysis" piece by writer Tom Raum on June 15 to address the GOP strategy against Obamacare and other administration policies but the APs characterization of the GOPs efforts almost seem meant to belittle and de-legitimize that opposition as opposed to describing it. The entire GOP argument against Obama is boiled down to a use of "buzz words" as far as AP's Raum is concerned. Apparently, no political truth or ideological disagreement really enters into it. Only "tactic," and "strategy" built on "buzz words" and "fear" is offered by the GOP instead of real issues according to the AP.

In "GOP using buzz words to taunt Democrats," with a subhead of "Republicans claim Obama embraces 'socialism,'" Raum never once admits that Republicans just might have a principled ideological opposition to Obama's policies leaving readers to get the vague feeling that the GOP is trying just anything to find a winning issue. Further, the entire article is premised as if the Democrats are correct and the GOP is just trying to chip away at their essentially correct stand on the issues. AP even presents a lefty professor to shore up the AP point of view -- naturally the professor's propensities are not divulged.



**UPDATED WITH VIDEO**

This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough broke the news that – are you sitting down? – the media are biased against Sarah Palin.

The comic potential for this revelation is nearly unlimited.

The Morning Joe Brew Crew provided some very interesting insight, however.  Scarborough led Brzezinski into talking about the insider’s view of the main-stream media attitude toward Palin after her introduction as the Republican VP candidate:



Michael Rowe has an article on the Huffington Post, posted today, that makes a few wild-eyed claims about right-wing extremists.

For example, Ann Coulter is responsible for yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum.

Bill O’Reilly is responsible for the shooting of well-known abortion doctor George Tiller.

Oh, and the coup de grace: Sarah Palin and all of her supporters are raging racists.

That’s not to mention the implication that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and all of Fox News were the favorite news sources of James von Brunn, now-infamous shooter at the Holocaust museum.

Idiotic though these claims most certainly are, liberal bilge of this magnitude demands confrontation.  First, examine what Rowe wrote on Ann Coulter:


To hearty laughter from what sounded like anchor Wolf Blitzer (who would have a live mike, but listen and judge for yourself), CNN's Jack Cafferty on Tuesday afternoon asked on The Situation Room whether viewers would “rather just stick needles” in their eyes than listen to Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich? During the 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT hour “Cafferty File” segment, Cafferty inquired: “Would you rather listen to a speech by Sarah Palin or a speech by Newt Gingrich?” Then he quickly added another option which is what prompted the laughter: “Or would you rather just stick needles in your eyes?”

Finished guffawing, Blitzer soon wondered: “What do you think, Jack? You want to listen to Palin or Gingrich deliver a speech?” Cafferty replied he dislikes them both: “I'm not interested in listening to either one of them.”

Amongst the replies Cafferty read at the end of the hour, this one from Dann: “That’s like asking 'Who do you think is the best hockey player in Ecuador?' It’s not much of a choice. If given a third option, I would rather trim my nose hair with a carrot scraper.”



**UPDATED WITH VIDEO**

In the ever-expanding aura of liberal hysteria surrounding MSNBC, Chris Matthews is regularly outpaced by the formerly coherent sportscaster, Keith Olbermann.  But Matthews may have won the nightly laurel wreath last night, with his insight on Sarah Palin’s warning against federal bailouts.

The offending quote from Palin is not unlike many other things heard from other current leading Republicans:

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population and a fearful lawmakers being lead that believe that big government is the answer. To bail out the private sector because then government gets to get in there and control it and, mark my words, this is going to happen next I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states, then government gets to get in there and control the people.
Palin is referring to the possible federal use of forced funded mandates.  It is conceivable that, if a Mark Sanford is legally required to use federal money, with all of its attached mandates, state governments could be forced to use more money to provide more services – possibly services that the voters in the states do not need or desire.  That is conservatism du jour these days – and not rhetoric outside the norm, for the GOP.

So what was Matthews’ reaction?


When it was announced that Hillary Clinton was going to give her first Sunday interview since becoming Barack Obama's Secretary of State to her husband's former advisor George Stephanopoulos, nobody envisioned a hard-hitting exchange.

However, as he tossed the softest of softballs at his guest, the "This Week" host mysteriously avoided asking any questions about Clinton's future political ambitions or the possibility that Obama, by involving Hillary and Bill in his administration, has effectively marginalized them.

As former Clinton advisor Dick Morris wrote two weeks ago in a piece entitled "The Incredible Shrinking Clintons":



I hate to pull an "I told you so," but... well, I told you so. Remember just three days ago I showed how an unsubstantiated rumor becomes political "fact" in the Old Media? I reported that CNNs Peter Hamby found one woman that wondered if actor Gary Sinise might make a great GOP candidate and based an entirely fictional run for office on that wild speculation. Also you'll recall that at the end of my piece I said that it won't be long until this one person's rumination will suddenly turn into the "fact" that Gary Sinise is running for president. You may have laughed at that. But now I present to you this I told you so moment.

CBS channel 2 in Chicago gave us a May 13 report titled "'CSI: NY' Star Rumored To Be Eyeing White House." I kid you not.

You might ask upon what basis this CBS report claimed that Gary Sinise is now running for president in 2012? Was it an interview with Sinise? How about a statement by any group representing Sinise? How about some statements from a PAC or fundraising group or other draft Sinise effort? Nope, none of those. It was the same ONE person that CNN's Hamby used for his false claim that Sinise is a sudden candidate for office.



Ever wonder how political "facts" become facts? How does a story go from a mere unsubstantiated report to universal truth? Often, it happens with a catchy headline in a report that states as "fact" a claim made by one person even though no one else has been seen backing up the claim. Such may be the case with a recent story on actor Gary Sinise becoming "the savior of the GOP."

Peter Hamby of CNN has decided to make Gary Sinise the new golden boy of the Republican Party. It has all the elements of a good tale: A handsome actor, politically astute and well known for being active is suddenly the "new" face of the party to which he belongs, a man about to save the whole darn shootin' match with his star power. It's a political success story sure to gain big headlines... except for the fact that it basically isn't true.



As he appeared as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC to discuss Joe the Plumber’s recent criticism of the Republican party, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe started off by suggesting that Republicans had "lost their heart" in the 1980s and had "lost their mind" in the 1990s. Wolffe: "You know, if they lost their heart in the 1980s, and they lost their mind in the 1990s, what we've seen in the 2000s is Republicans losing their image, and they lost it on national security."



Once upon a time, there was Dylan Ratigan, host of CNBC's "Fast Money," and co-host of that network's "Closing Bell." He was never partisan and willing to criticize both political parties in Washington, D.C. Now he seems to think Bristol Palin has taken Karl Rove's job as the sinister mastermind of Republican politics.

In late March 2009, Ratigan left CNBC for destinations unknown, but on May 6 it was announced he would begin hosting a show CNBC's sister network, MSNBC. Ratigan appeared on MSNBC's May 6 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," not only to preview his new show, but comment on Bristol Palin, daughter of former GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and her campaign promoting abstinence.

"The thing that really stands out to me with this, because the hypocrisy is obvious - it's as obvious as a closeted gay senator voting against gay marriage," Ratigan said. "There's a prevalence in politics of this type of behavior, unfortunately. That's why the conversations like the one we're now having exist."



**Update: McClatchy Changes Headline**

OK, before we even get into the latest banal attack on Governor Palin's extended family perpetrated by the McClatchy newspaper chain, I would like to ask a few questions about "Those crazy Palins: Todd's half sister indicted in break-ins."

Has McClatchy ever had any headlines like this: "Those Crazy Kennedys"? After all, there is a wealth of craziness with that demented clan. Or since we recently had Obama's half brother denied a visa to England over his rape charges -- not to mention his illegal immigrant aunt -- how about a headline like this: "Those Crazy Obamas"? Did we ever see a headline about "Those Crazy Clintons" when we discovered all the financial misdeeds and drug busts of Hillary and Bill's extended family? How about Carter? Did good ol' Billy Carter ever cause McClatchy to say "Those Crazy Carters"?