Talk about a lack of irony. Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish on Thursday lectured Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and the GOP to avoid "retreating" to "echo chambers" such as Fox News. Smerconish did this on MSNBC, the home of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Hayes and Ed Schultz.

Smerconish, with no sense of self awareness for his own network's echo chamber, scolded, "And this is how you [appeal to more people]? By shutting out news outlets and retreating to your own Fox News echo chamber. If [Priebus] gets his way, it isn't new voices that the party will be hearing and reaching, just their own." On this concept of partisans talking to partisans, Smerconish threw a question to the deeply liberal Joan Walsh. [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]



This one is a lead candidate for top placement in this week's "Even a stopped clock is right twice day" file.

MSNBC's Michael Smerconish, whose NewsBusters archive exposes him as a Barack Obama-supporting, right-wing conspiracy-mongering faux conservative, had a perhaps surprising reaction to the District of Columbia City Council's 8-5 vote to force Walmart and other big box retailers in the city -- just the ones which aren't unionized -- a living wage of $12.50 per hour. In a Thursday evening column at the network's website, he advised DC Mayor Vincent Gray to veto it, and was actually quite logical about it (bold is mine):



While serving as guest host of Tuesday's Hardball, Michael Smerconish closed the program by pushing for a legalization of prostitution.  He claimed not to see anything wrong with women selling their bodies for money, calling it “the private affairs of consenting adults.” It's no coincidence that Smerconish's defense of the sex trade came just two days after gushing over prostitution patron Eliot Spitzer and his "unwarranted" resignation as governor. 

In his defense of prostitution, Smerconish made two arguments for its legalization. First, he argued that it would be financially profitable for the government to “bring the world’s oldest profession aboveboard” and allow it to be considered a taxable income. This legalization would also allow for the communities to “clean up the trade,” he argued.



 

Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish on Monday was so gentle with reformed prostitution patron Eliot Spitzer that even the former governor seemed uncomfortable. Talking about Spitzer's new run for New York City comptroller, Smerconish enthused, "Governor, does running now mean that resigning was unwarranted?"

He continued, "Would a Spitzer victory mark the of end of the sex scandal as we know it? And I'm asking, really, have we become too intrusive into our elected officials' and candidates' private lives?" This appeared to be too much for Spitzer. He allowed, "Look, I'm not sure I'm the right person to ask, because I have a perspective that is so tailored to what I've been through." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]



In Monday’s New York Times, reporter Amy Chozick explored how the James Rosen leak probe has turned the media debate upside down, with "Conservatives as Defenders of the Media."

“The press -- often the target of allegations of liberal bias by conservative media -- has found an unlikely ally in right-leaning radio and television hosts who have taken to defending the First Amendment with a fire-and-brimstone zeal,” she wrote.



The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high on Tuesday.

But you wouldn't know that if you watched MSNBC's Hardball where two guests actually made the case that this really isn't an all-time high due to inflation (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):



On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie brought on liberal MSNBC host Krystal Ball and radio host Michael Smerconish to discuss campaign strategy in the final two weeks before the presidential election, with the headline on-screen claiming: "Left vs. Right on Final Race for the White House."

There's one problem with that assertion, Smerconish prominently supported President Obama in 2008 and has routinely filled in for left-wing Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC in the years since. Apparently having someone on the left like Ball and someone center-left like Smerconish is NBC's idea of balance.



When it comes to family members of Republican presidential candidates, looks like the MSM has decided they're fair game for attacks.  Yesterday we noted how ABC's Bianna Golodryga claimed that Paul Ryan's mother was campaigning in a "very calculated" manner.  

Today we offer Joan Walsh into evidence.  Appearing on the weekend edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," the Salon editor accused Ann Romney of throwing a "tantrum" over her husband's decision to release no more than two years of tax returns.  View the video after the jump.



We media analysts see, hear, and read a lot of stupid comments from press members everyday.

For me, the howler of the week has to be MSNBC political analyst Ron Reagan Jr. saying about President Obama on Friday's Hardball, "The media is not giving him enough credit" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Salon editor Joan Walsh took a truly disgusting cheap shot at the late Andrew Breitbart Friday.

Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Walsh said, "I didn’t think it was possible to get lower than Andrew Breitbart, but his spawn have gotten lower than Andrew Breitbart" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Once again, MSNBC has continued to prop up Rev. Al Sharpton’s racist conspiracies that state legislatures led by the GOP are deliberately suppressing minority voters through new voter ID laws.

On Friday’s episode of Jansing & Co., radio host and MSNBC substitute host Michael Smerconish led a left-wing attack on the GOP.  The panelists including Pennsylvania AFL-CIO chief Richard Bloomingdale asserted that a person's signature is sufficient identification to vote in the United States. Indeed, both Smerconish and Bloomingdale insisted they have voted that way for years in Pennsylvania with no problems.  [See video below.  MP3 audio here.] 



From time to time, MSNBC hosts like to do their part to further the meme that Republicans are out to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies such as blacks and the elderly by using voter ID laws as a back-door way to discourage voting by those groups.

Today Hardball fill-in host Michael Smerconish picked up the baton, interviewing Michael Waldman of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice about his group's claim that its new "comprehensive study" finds five million Americans will be effectively disenfranchised in 2012 thanks to new voter ID laws in numerous states.

For his part, Smerconish did play a bit of devil's advocate: