Tuesday morning on MSNBC, Chris Jansing and Ayman Mohyeldin brought on The Nation’s Sports Editor Dave Zirin to argue that President Trump’s attacks on kneeling NFL players was actually a campaign of “open, ugly racism”  deliberately aimed at discouraging black athletes from expressing their opinions. Last week in The Nation Zirin lambasted “Donald Trump, Fox News, and their neo-Nazi-infused right-wing echo chamber” for spending “a year frothing with rabid barbarism” to shut down black voices. Jansing and Mohyeldin promoted Zirin’s piece as both “thought-provoking” and “absolutely brilliant.”



Since Republican Sam Brownback became the Governor of Kansas, the press has been salivating at the opportunity to declare his fiscally conservative policies a failure, to the point where they believe that their failure is an undisputed truth. Really? If they're such a failure, why have the welfare rolls in The Sunflower State declined by a reported 78 percent, and why have those who have been moved off the welfare rolls into the world of productive work been so financially successful?



Last week, the New York Times published a sympathetic profile of Marwan Barghoutti and his wife Fadwa, who have been separated for 15 years. In 2002, Marwan was convicted of and imprisoned for the murder of five Israeli civilians as part of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The headline was "Fadwa Barghouti is the unflappable voice of a jailed Palestinian freedom fighter."



Reporter Somini Sengupta continued demonstrating her strange hostility toward Nikki Haley, the U.S envoy to the United Nations, in “Trump Envoy Aims to Show That Rights Are a Priority” in Wednesday’s New York Times. The text box read: “A discussion in the Security Council draws criticism.” It’s a follow-up to Sengupta’s previously, and widely condemned, Haley-bashing and ardent defense of the United Nations, which is evidently not at all “corrupt” like Haley rudely claimed. Sengupta tried to put Haley on the backfoot from the lead in her new story.



This is a volatile election year, to say the least. The two major-party candidates are far less than perfect, routinely commit gaffes (or perceived gaffes), and have been hurt by a variety of negative disclosures and actions. Two other challengers have gained a degree of attention and apparent support not seen since Ross Perot's presidential runs in the 1990s. Meanwhile, mistrust of the establishment press is at or near an all-time high, and several journalists have publicly decided that the idea of even trying (or pretending) to report in a fair and balanced manner is not appropriate this year.



On this, all can agree -- when Rachel Maddow stumbles, it's not for lack of intelligence. Through relentless branding, MSNBC has convinced its viewers and many others who should know better that Maddow is the smartest person in television, or at least on MSNBC at any given moment.

Which leads to an awkward conclusion -- when Maddow commits not one but two egregious errors of omission in the same report, it is not through stupidity. That is simply not possible. Such are the pitfalls of embodying her specific brand.



Poor little Lena Dunham. It looks like she’s getting a taste of her own medicine. After constantly berating Republicans – even comparing them to Nazis – Dunham is claiming she receives “more hostility” for backing Hillary Clinton than she has ever received from conservatives. 

“I have received more hostility for voting for a qualified female candidate than I have ever received anywhere from the American right wing…The fact that other members of the Democratic Party have spoken to me like I was an ill informed child for voting for someone who represents everything I think this country should be is outrageous.”



A Sunday morning report by Associated Press political writer John O'Connor acts as if the the sordid history of fiscal irresponsibility in the State of Illinois is a new development brought on by a stubborn Republican governor in just the past seven months.

What hogwash. The state has had a large backlog of delinquent unpaid bills for a decade, if not longer. Five years ago, a Democratic governor and a Democrat-dominated legislature enacted steep income and property tax increases, promising that the additional taxes raised would enable the state to whittle down the unpaid backlog, solve the state's horrific unfunded pension liabilities problem, and generally right the fiscal ship. Naturally, they did no such thing. O'Connor also didn't find any of the tax or bill-delinquency history worth recounting in his 800-word report.



Tomorrow marks one year to the day when Larry Hogan soundly defeated Martin O'Malley protege Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the Maryland gubernatorial contest. Yet with O'Malley in the hot seat on the November 3 edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews failed to ask him how this embarrassing defeat -- and Gov. Hogan's healthy job-approval ratings to this day -- might be a signal to his fellow Democrats that he's a solid pick for leading their party forward.



What happens if you are a candidate for governor and you lose badly? Not just a mere bad loss but one of historically bad proportions following an absolutely horrible campaign marked by the cowardice of shying from previously well known positions. Well, if you are a liberal it could mean you can score a TV show based on the aftermath of your loss. Such is the case with Wendy Davis. The "Abortion Barbie" of Texas who mostly avoided that for which she was best known is the inspiration of a "dramedy" show based on life after going down to complete defeat after refusing to stand up for what she really believed during her gubernatorial campaign.  Deadline Hollywood describes the NBC show based on the cowardly campaigner:



At a time when the conventional liberal-media wisdom insists that social conservatism is a loser for the Republican Party, it’s worth remembering that on abortion, the electoral momentum has been on the pro-life side. 

Sunday’s Washington Post put feminist Cosmopolitan writer Jill Filipovic on the front of the Outlook section under the headline "Reclaiming Abortion: A new generation of activists wants you to know there's nothing wrong with ending an unwanted pregnancy." But she told a tale of Democrats being totally frank in loving abortion....and losing, badly. 



How did Howard Dean go from vivid voice of the New Left to political hack defending Hillary Clinton at all costs? Joe Scarborough called Dean on it today, telling Howard he had become the "New England version of James Carville."

Dean, on today's Morning Joe, dismissed the latest Washington Post story suggesting possible financial improprieties at the Clinton Foundation as "a breathless piece of hot air" and, incredibly, Dean said he'd advise Hillary not to address the rising tide of questions.