Long-time liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on Tuesday declared himself an arbiter of conservatism and that all the Republican candidates at the presidential debate are failing his test. The man who has assailed “vile” conservatives appeared on MSNBC and lectured, “...It's really kind of crazy that we call this a conservative political party. There's nothing conservative about it, big-c conservative, small-c conservative.”  



This week, weighing in on the race for a new Speaker, journalists sneer at the "far-right," "hardline" House members who have created "a hostage crisis within the Republican Party," even as they cheer Hillary Clinton for a "flawless," "perfect" and "extraordinary" performance at the Democrats' debate. Plus, the media set the stage for Hillary's Benghazi testimony by vilifying the committee as engaged in a "partisan" "witch hunt," and The View's Joy Behar gets a thrill up her leg over socialist Bernie Sanders: "I actually am aroused by him....Bernie is hot."



Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Up show on MSNBC, Bloomberg View columnist and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter, picking up on what he called "one of Donald Trump's great contributions to this campaign," contended President Bush deserved blame for not stopping the 9/11 attacks as he recounted a vague warning from August 2001 that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S. He further accused the "Bush people" of "Orwellian, deceptive, historically amnesiatic thinking."



Even though Barack Obama is more than four-fifths of the way through his presidency, a large part of his popularity among liberals still rests on what they view as his exceptional talent for speechmaking -- a reputation which dates to his 2004 Democratic convention keynote address.

Now Alter, one of Obama’s biggest fans in the media, wants the POTUS to use his skill as a performer in a different context. In a Sunday column, Alter urged Obama to “challenge Wayne LaPierre, longtime leader of the National Rifle Association, to a one-hour primetime televised debate.”



During a segment on MSNBC’s The Last Word late Thursday, all three liberal panelists spouted off on the ability of the Soviet Union to follow treaties (in context of the Iran deal), comparing the Iran nuclear agreement to Richard Nixon’s China visit, and lamenting the “partisan...political climate” Republicans have caused the deal to be implemented under. 



In the late 1980s, the Bears (a briefly great band, not the football team) pointed out, “This world hangs by a slender thread/Trust.” Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC pundit Alter argued Monday that Hillary Clinton’s current political malaise is rooted in her failure to trust the American people rather than in any real wrongdoing on her part.

“Hillary’s problem is not the emails story itself, but her response to it, which has been halting and defensive,” declared Alter. “The reason so many voters don’t trust Hillary is she doesn’t trust them. Trust is reciprocal. If she trusted the public more, she would be mixing it up in the media more, like [Donald] Trump, and betting that the public will eventually sort out the truth.”



Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- rejoiced over Republicans being uneasy over Donald Trump's presidential campaign as he asserted that GOPers "have created Trumpenstein," "their own Frankenstein monster," adding that they are getting "their just deserts as a political party."

After host Al Sharpton noted that they were awaiting a press conference by Trump, he turned to Alter who declared:



Wednesday night on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter claimed that Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge “has helped to wreck the United States." The discussion centered around New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s decision to sign the pledge, and Jeb Bush’s refusal to do so. The Newsweek veteran declared the pledge was “about the worst kind of public policy for the reasons you just heard...[i]t’s terribly destructive.”



On Monday’s Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell started his program with a panel discussing Mike Huckabee’s controversial comments about the Iran deal. Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter had harsh words for the Republicans, claiming their rhetoric is far worse when compared to the Democrats: “[T]here's a vileness gap that is developing between our political parties.” The ex-Newsweek reporter charged:  “They don't talk this way in the Democratic Party. That's not a partisan comment. It's an examination of the record and the rhetoric.”



Jeb Bush, a convert to the faith, is a bad Catholic who all but denies the dogma of papal infallibility. That's an argument put forward by that eminent Catholic scholar... Jonathan Alter?! Yup, Alter made that argument on the June 19 edition of Now with Alex Wagner as he reacted to the former Florida governor's dismissal of Pope Francis's views on climate change as promulgated in his latest encyclical.



MSNBC journalists on Monday reacted predictably to Ted Cruz's announcement that he is running for President. Former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter summed up the Republican's vision by comparing Cruz to Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign. Connecting the two, Alter concluded, "So, that's the Ted Cruz message, 'extremism is good.'"  



This week, the media’s reaction to the Israeli election seemed indistinguishable from the reaction of the Obama White House. Not only were journalists surprised by Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory on Tuesday (they apparently believed pre-election surveys showing his party trailing by 2 to 4 seats; they ended up winning by 6 seats), but they seemed distressed by the result.