MSNBC's "panel" on today's hearings about radicalization of Muslim-Americans featured liberals Carl Bernstein and Cenk Uygur – with MSNBC's Richard Lui moderating. With no substantial conservative counterpoints to be offered, the two guests sounded their condemnations of the hearings as "cultural warfare" and bigotry.

Bernstein slammed the House inquiry as a joke and as a "debating society for cultural warfare." Referencing the institution's past for producing McCarthy-ite investigations, he compared the current hearings with the gladiatorial combat of the Roman coliseum.

"Now we have this question which is part of this coliseum-like atmosphere of cultural warfare," Bernstein spat.  

Cenk Uygur turned up the invective knob to 11 when it was his turn to speak. He questioned whether Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is a "real American."

Twice within the span of a few minutes on Wednesday's "Morning Joe," journalist Carl Bernstein pressed for a gas tax to be implemented to help deal with the nation's budget crisis.

The panel was covering the debate over the deficit taking place in Washington when Bernstein voiced his sentiments. When the question was if the country is truly serious about fixing the deficit, Bernstein replied in the negative. "I'm not sure we are [serious] as a country either, because again, you'd have a gas tax if we were," he quipped. Liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski immediately chimed in with her approval.

The liberal Watergate "legend" also hit Republicans for cutting programs that "for the most part...really help people." Could Bernstein have meant National Public Radio as one of these "helpful" programs?

A minor historical footnote, perhaps, but arguably an interesting one . . .

A man whose Watergate reporting made his career and led to Richard Nixon's downfall has declared that Pres. Gerald Ford did the right thing in pardoning Nixon.  

Carl Bernstein made the--to me at least--surprising statement on today's Morning Joe, in the course of a discussion of Jeff Greenfield's new book about various what-ifs in history.

View video after the jump.


On MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." Tuesday, liberal journalist Carl Bernstein criticized the continued stance of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) against the right of public unions to collectively bargain. The liberal Watergate journalistic "legend" labeled the governor's efforts as "ahistorical" and "demagogic."

When the governor cut into benefits and pensions of state employees to solve a budget shortfall, union members and supporters of their cause took to the streets of the state capital. Later they were willing to compromise on the amount they had to pay for their benefits, but they demanded to keep their collective bargaining ability. The governor was not willing to cut that deal.

Bernstein said Gov. Walker's move went beyond his own prudence, calling it a "very political, demagogic move by a governor who knows that the Democratic Party subsists to some extent on union contributions." He even called out conservatives for making too many issues into partisan battles.

Paging Dr. Ron Reagan, Jr. . . .

On Morning Joe today, Carl Bernstein insisted Sarah Palin was "ignorant," but couldn't remember why.  When pressed, he claimed she didn't know where Russia was.  Oops.

Bernstein began by denouncing Palin as a "demagogue."  When Joe Scarborough asked him why he had written a column branding Palin as "ignorant" the day after McCain announced her as his running mate, Bernstein simply couldn't remember. At a loss for words, Carl claimed "she didn't know where the hell" Russia was on a map.

Watch the video after the jump and note Mike Barnicle's mortified reaction to Bernstein's bumble.

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosted a pity party for President Obama on Wednesday. Discussing public opinion of President Obama amidst his trials as President, liberal Watergate journalistic "legend" Carl Bernstein won the pity prize, asserted that Obama inherited a bigger mess than any other president since the 1930s. "Very few presidents have come into office inheriting what President Obama has taken on," Bernstein opined on Wednesday's "Morning Joe."

"You'd have to go back, I think, to the thirties to really have a comparable situation," Bernstein continued.

Bernstein also blamed staunch GOP opposition and a broken political system for Obama's travails. "He's been trying to deal with it with a Republican opposition that has said 'no' to everything, and a political system – we keep going back to it – that simply is not functional or concerned with the national good."

The segment began with MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd and "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough agreeing that the current White House suffers more bad news than normal. "This White House always seems to have incoming," Scarborough noted. "Just constant, and it's been constant from the day they walked in the front door."

Generations past and present of the Washington Post heaped abuse on Sarah Palin today.  Appearing on Morning Joe, Carl Bernstein called Palin "ignorant," a "demagogue" and a "flake."  Current WaPo editorialist Jonathan Capehart chimed in to second Bernstein's emotion "100%."

Pat Buchanan stepped in to explain Palin's appeal.

By this time, the NewsBusters connoisseur will have surely heard about yesterday’s unofficial celebration in the White House press briefing.  Like many parties, it was somewhat louder than normal, a bit tense at points, and the press – specifically Chip Reid and Helen Thomas – topped off the early Independence Day festivities by roasting (figuratively, of course) Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

That, incidentally, does not normally happen at parties – even at the White House.

The Robert Roast was, of course, in reference to the recent spate of staged White House press events.  The White House press corps, apparently, do not enjoy heavily produced events, such as the “town hall” meeting with DNC volunteers and union members.  However, Carl Bernstein, appearing on the July 2 Morning Joe, did not take kindly to the gentle press-corps broiling:

Veteran Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein appeared on Monday's "Morning Joe" to highlight the "masterful" leadership of Barack Obama in passing a stimulus bill and also to laud Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her dedication to service. Challenged by MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan over how much impact Hillary Clinton would actually have as secretary of state, Bernstein, author of the Hillary bio "A Woman in Charge," enthused, "You know, she is somebody who really believes in service. Both Clintons do. Whatever cynicism we might have about the Clintons, she believes in service."

He also asserted that celebrity is important on the world stage and cooed, "And nobody is more celebrated. Nobody is more famous than Hillary Clinton. Nobody can have more effect abroad." Earlier in the segment, the former Washington Post journalist applauded Barack Obama for passing his stimulus bill in a way that maneuvered around a "dysfunctional" Congress. "...The reason Barack Obama is showing such masterful- and I think we can use that word- leadership so far is that he's in the process of solving the problem of the U.S. Congress, the fact that it is a largely dysfunctional institution," he explained.

One of the few saving graces from watching "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC? Its unintended amusement value.

Such was the case Friday night when journalist and author Carl Bernstein reined in Maddow during a segment aptly titled, "Talk Me Down."

Although most media members used the occasion of Mark Felt's death on December 18 to praise the former FBI official better known as "Deep Throat," George Friedman of the geopolitical intelligence organization Stratfor warned readers about journalists becoming "tools of various factions in political disputes" as well as "the relationship between security and intelligence organizations and governments in a Democratic society." 

As Friedman indicated, Felt is a pop hero to media members across the fruited plain.

The Associated Press called him an "inspiration to a generation of investigative journalists" the day after his death. The Washington Post wrote days later, "Without a single byline he inspired thousands and thousands of campus misfits to get journalism degrees."

Unlike an adoring press that's always interested in the next gotcha story regardless of the consequences, Friedman, ever the concerned citizen looking out for America's national security interests, didn't write about Felt's role in the Watergate scandal with such glowing praise (emphasis added throughout, h/t many NBers):

Veteran Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein appeared on Wednesday's "Morning Joe" and gushed that Barack Obama's appointment of Hillary Clinton to the State Department will benefit from the "real wisdom" Bill Clinton has "when it comes to foreign policy." Continuing to fawn over the President-elect's cabinet choices, Bernstein enthused, "And the real thing about this appointment, though, is that Obama is assembling a group of people to unite the country."

The author of the Clinton bio "A Woman in Charge" optimistically added, "He [Obama] wants a political consensus so he can do what other presidents haven't been able to do, which is to move the country in the direction he wants without division down the middle." Bernstein didn't explain how the liberal senator, who's lifetime American Conservative Union score is seven, would "unite the country."