With its talk of "change" and images of folks from the Dem demographic, was this an MSNBC promo . . . or an Obama ad? Check out this spot, aired today just before the start of Morning Joe.
VOICEOVER [which I believe is that of Joe Scarborough]: A revolution that happens for us every four years is a quiet revolution that begins and ends at the ballot box. It's the American voter that goes in, and makes a very simple choice that can change the country and change the world.


When Karl Rove went on Fox and suggested former White House press secretary Scott McClellan sounded like a left-wing blogger in his book, he was hardly alone. Reporter Mike Allen of the Politico completely endorsed that view on a giddy Wednesday night "special edition"of MSNBC’s "Hardball" exploiting the McClellan book, even though he thought the valiant David Gregory yelling at a series of press secretaries proved them wrong. MRC’s Geoff Dickens sent me the transcript:

MIKE ALLEN, POLITICO: The other great power of this book is that it validates, as David [Gregory] said, these criticisms that have come from the liberal and left wing bloggers.

MATTHEWS: Right.

ALLEN: Most especially his point that the White House press corps was too deferential to this administration. David and I have fought back about those charges over the years. Largely because of the work of people like David Gregory it just wasn’t true. But now the left can say, "Even Scott McClellan says you guys were too easy on the Bushies."



Olbmermann interviews McClellanEdward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Winston Churchill’s “Second World War.” “What Happened” by Scott McClellan. One of these things is not like the other.

Unless you’re Keith Olbermann, who prophesied yesterday on his show that the former Bush press secretary’s tell-all book would end up being a textbook in college history courses some day.

McClellan was busy making the media rounds yesterday. He first appeared on "The Today Show" and then it was on to the nightly news shows, ABC's "World News" and CBS's "Evening News." His last interview of the day was on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." In his last remarks to McClellan, Olbermann continued his flare for hyperbole. Here's what he said:



Mika Brzezinski realizes that the latest looniness emanating from Barack Obama's church poses political problems for the presidential candidate. But as a person of pallor, the ever-so-PC Morning Joe-er doesn't want to judge a black church—even when the most recent rantings come from the mouth of . . . a white preacher.

Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Father Michael Pfleger guest-preaching this past Sunday at Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ. Pfleger, a fixture on the radical Chicago scene whose endorsement of Obama [h/t Michelle Malkin] until recently appeared on the official Obama campaign website, mocked Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire tears as a sign of her frustrated sense of white entitlement. The screencap shows Pfleger making like Hillary wiping away those tears.

(Watch video above, context included, fast-forward to 3:40 for Brzezinski's humorous comment.)

But while acknowledging the headache Pfleger poses for Obama, Mika was oh-so-loath to comment on the substance or tone of the remarks themselves. Excerpts from her discussion with Tucker Carlson, Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist:



Of all the people to call for a "truce" on excessive partisanship . . .

Interviewing Scott McClellan tonight, Keith Olbermann sanctimoniously suggested that a "truce" on rough political tactics "would be nice." But speaking with John Dean just minutes later, the Countdown host—he who has repeatedly called President Bush a liar and a fascist—reverted to form and regretted that it might be too late to impeach him.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN: [The 1988] election was very much a turning-point election. I think that George Bush, George Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a decent individual, and a man who really believes in civility, but he, his advisors around him, knew the only way they could win was to bring down his opponent and go fully negative, and paint Michael Dukakis completely to the left. A guy who had painted himself—who had a record of trying to work to the center in a lot of ways [Ed: ?].
And, um, that legacy continues to this day, and Senator McCain says that he's going to speak out against that and not let that happen. I think that would be good for the country if that is the case. But there are certainly plenty of groups on the Republican side that are going to go forward with that kind of strategy. [Unlike groups on the Dem side. You know, like the kind-and-gentle one that ran the dragging-murder ad against W in 2000.]
KEITH OLBERMANN: Yeah. Truce would be nice.
View video here.


Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about the Bush administration, he's being lauded with so much praise from the usual liberal media suspects that it must be making MSNBC's Keith Olbermann a tad jealous.

This makes Chris Wallace's interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg even more timely, for the "Fox News Sunday" host showed his colleagues what the term "journalism" really means by going after both of these press darlings.

First, Wallace discussed a key question he'd like to ask McClellan that's been completely absent as media applaud the former press secretary's claims (17 minute audio available here, relevant section at minute 6:00):



Let's take a little time off of more serious matters for some juicy gossip. Over at gawker.com there is a somewhat humorous little tale of an MSNBC photo shoot that saw TV yaker Chris Matthews of "thrill going up my leg" fame storming out after being told he might be required to share the camera frame with blog maven and born again lefty Arianna Huffington. Apparently Chris is still mad at her for supposedly having hired a private investigator to stalk Tim Russert after an unflattering 1994 article written by Russert's wife, Maureen Orth.

Matthews is reported as having said, "I will not be in the same f_ _ _ing picture as Arianna Huffington!! Not a chance of that!"



"I'm not fit to be a Senator. I'm not fit to live. Expel me! Expel me! Not him. Every word that boy said is the truth! Every word about Taylor and me and graft and the rotten political corruption of our state. Every word of it is true. I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for any place of honor or trust. Expel me!"—Claude Rains as the corrupt Sen. Joseph Paine in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
Chris Matthews has broken out a Jimmy Stewart/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington analogy to assess Scott McClellan's book. Here's how the Hardball host put it on this afternoon's show:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: When you read the book, it reads like Claude Rains in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. You know: "everything the guy says is true." I mean, he's admitting that the other guy–the good guy's–right. I mean, if that's your perspective.

View video here.



Lanny Davis let one of the world's worst-kept secrets out of the bag this morning: Mika Brzezinski's a Barack backer. But the Morning Joe host [in Joe Scarborough's absence] insisted on "taking issue" with the incontestable, and yet again cited her family's political diversity as a would-be shield against Davis's assertion.

Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton and die-hard defender of the Clinton clan, made his observation of the incontrovertible on Morning Joe at about 7:50 AM EDT today. It arose in the course of a discussion of Hillary's strategy for winning the nomination.

View video here.



I haven't seen Chris Matthews this excited since a Barack Obama speech sent a certain sensation skyward.

The Hardball host is in an absolute frenzy over Scott McClellan's allegations. So much so that guests on this evening's show are having a hard time expressing themselves as Matthews expounds at length. Ari Fleischer finally called Chris on it. And while David Gregory didn't express his ire in words, his facial expression left little doubt as to his annoyance at being cut off in mid-sentence.

The screencap shows Gregory's grimace. But be sure to view the video here to get the full effect. A bit later, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared. He could be seen on many occasions attempting to speak, only to be submerged in a sea of ceaseless Matthews chatter. Talk at one point turned to VP Cheney's involvement in policy-making. Fleischer was again repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to talk, and finally had enough.


You pathetic little people of the blogosphere. You're nothing more than "nitwits at home with [your] computers" who've deluded yourselves into imagining you're "part of the news media." Just ask Mike Barnicle. The former Boston Globe columnist broke the tough truth to us on today's Morning Joe. WaPo editorial writer Jonathan Capehart was "so glad" to agree.

Capehart was in full courtier mode to Mika Brzezinski, anchoring the show during Joe Scarborough's extended absence awaiting the birth of a child home in Florida. When executive producer Chris Licht read a viewer email critical of Mika, Capehart leapt to her defense, and it was then that Barnicle and he sniffed at the pretenders of the pajamahadeen.

View video here.



If NewsBusters were ever to use in its promotional material a photo this unflattering of Hillary Clinton, we'd be accused of the worst kind of sexism, of unfairly attacking a candidate based on her looks rather than her views. Check out the image of Hillary that MSNBC used in its promo of tonight's Hardball with Chris Matthews that aired at 5:59 AM EDT today just before Morning Joe came on the air.

Hillary, shot from below to highlight her wattles, lit like something in a horror flick about to emerge from a closet wielding an ax. If there's a less-becoming snap of Hillary in MSM circulation, I haven't seen it.

View video of promo, and Carlson's comments, here.