At the beginning of the July 24 edition of Fast Money, CNBC aired an exclusive interview of President Obama by the network's Steve Liesman focused primarily on taxes and tax reform, particularly the president's call to prevent large corporations from capitalizing on an "inversion" to lessen their federal tax bite.
But after the interview was aired, CNBC panelists excoriated the president as "duplicitous" and "disingenuous" for pretending like he has no share in the blame for a lack of movement on tax reform during his tenure in office and for offering an inaccurate, misleading description of what exactly happens to a U.S. corporation's tax obligations after it undergoes an inversion.
Way to go out on a limb, Harold!. . . Of all the Morning Joe regulars, Harold Ford, Jr. is on my short list of those who bring the least to the table. Ford seems more interested in cultivating friends and avoiding offense than in saying anything interesting or—heaven forfend—controversial.
Ford took his penchant for finding something good to say about everyone to absurd new heights on today's show. On the one hand, Harold showed respect for Rand Paul's filibuster. On the other, he actually broke out the hoary "my dear friend" in saying he wasn't as worred about the drone policy as is Ron Wyden. And Harold is confident that President Obama will uphold the Constitution. Ford even claimed that AG Eric Holder did "a phenomenal job" in answering questions on the drone policy. We're running out of hands, here, Harold! Matters reached an absurd crescendo when, after observing that those who hang out with terrorists put themselves in peril, Ford proclaimed "I don't dine, socialize or spend time with people who are on a terrorist list around the globe." Good to know! View the video after the jump.
Imagine the apoplectic Precious Perfect Special Comment rage Keith Olbermann [remember him?] would have worked himself into had this memo come to light under W . . .
Unusual candor from Mika Brzezinski and Harold Ford, Jr. on the double standard that exists for Republicans and Democrats. Discussing on today's Morning Joe the Obama administration memo that has been uncovered authorizing the use of drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens abroad, Mika admitted that there would have been a "huge controversy" if such a memo had surfaced during the Bush administration. Ford said that "Democrats have to think now about how they conducted themselves and the questions they raised about Bush administration tactics." Joe Scarborough flatly declared that had the policy come to light under Bush, it would have been "stopped" by the ensuing outcry. View the video after the jump.
Of all the Morning Joe regulars, I find Harold Ford, Jr. the least interesting. Ever on the lookout for his next opportunity, the fiercely ambitious Ford is firmly of the "my good friend" so-and-so school of politics, constantly hedging his bets and finding a way to praise or agree with virtually everyone.
So it was an exception this morning when the former Dem congressman from Tennessee actually said something of note, if only for its sheer silliness. Ford somehow managed to maintain a straight face while claiming the media doesn't strongly favor Barack Obama. Video after the jump.
What a curiously incurious Morning Joe bunch! Joe Scarborough says Solyndra "is just not a story I have focused on" and John Heilemann similarly admits to not having "drilled down" on the matter. Meanwhile, Harold Ford, Jr. assures us that when it comes to any potential Solyndra scandal, "there's no there, there" and that no one "has done anything illicit here at all."
A blasé Joe Scarborough grudgingly introduced "this Solyndra thing," citing those pesky "conservatives on Twitter" who keep raising it. The show deigned to devote under two minutes to the story, with nary a mention of the facts that the main driver behind Solyndra was a major Obama fundraiser, that the Bush admin blew off funding for Solyndra after concluding their products weren't competitive and that Solyndra execs are now taking the Fifth. View the video after the jump.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that as a result of how the debt ceiling negotiations are going, the Tea Party freshmen in Congress "may just have proved to be the most cunning and rational of all players in Washington, D.C."
The host of "Morning Joe" told former Democrat Congressman Harold Ford this comes despite media depicting them as radical, reckless extremists (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne said Sunday that NPR is one of the best news organizations in the world and challenged anyone to find evidence the radio network is the slightest bit liberally biased.
To prove his claim, Dionne hysterically pointed out to his fellow "Meet the Press" panelists that whenever he's on NPR, he's often countered by "conservatives" - like New York Times columnist David Brooks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Only a matter of time before MSNBC's answer to Eve Harrington (shown here being introduced to theater critic Addison DeWitt/Keith Olbermann) took a shot across the bow of unsuspecting coworkers.
On her show Wednesday night, Maddow recounted the "single strangest on-air moment for me" on election night in 2008 (video below the fold) --
MADDOW: This happened after midnight East Coast time, Barack Obama had already won the presidency and we were here in this studio (Maddow, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, former congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy) covering the reaction to the election results around the country. And in the midst of that, with everybody else I work with here at MSNBC, this happened --
GREGORY (describing aerial footage of large crowd in downtown San Francisco): I believe we've got some pictures out of San Francisco as well, some of the celebration pouring out in the Castro District of the city as it's known. A place near and dear to your heart, Chris Matthews.
Channeling her inner Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow on Sunday actually said extending unemployment benefits is "the most stimulative thing you can do" to help the ailing economy.
Appearing on the panel discussion of NBC's "Meet the Press," Maddow boldly presented a liberal view of economics that only the current House Speaker would be proud of.
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works."
Indeed, for moments before she falsely stated that Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.
But Maddow's best remark Sunday had to be, "If you really want a stimulus, do what we -- what's proven to work in stimulus, which is things like extending unemployment benefits...It's the most stimulative thing you can do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Back in January, Harold Ford, Jr. proclaimed to Chris Matthews no fewer than four times: "I am a New Yorker" [see amusing video after the jump].
But that profession of Big Apple-hood apparently didn't cut it with NBC. Even as Ford was discussing today his reasons for not entering the New York Dem senatorial primary against Kirsten Gillibrand, Meet The Press displayed the graphic seen here, labelling Ford "(D-TN)."
NBC's Today show, on Monday morning, invited on former Democratic liberal Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and PBS' liberal Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill to discuss whether Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should step down for his "Negro dialect" comments about Barack Obama and not surprisingly neither guest suggested Reid should go.
Both Ford and Ifill dismissed any comparison to when Trent Lott was forced to resign for racially insensitive comments as Ford claimed "I don't believe in any way that Harry Reid had any animus, racial animus," and with Lott there were "other allegations and even proof of racial comments that he had made before." For her part Ifill claimed the two cases were "apples and oranges," as seen in the following exchange with Today co-host Matt Lauer:
Harold Ford, Jr. is the epitome of the equivocating politician who tries to play things both ways. But that strategy came a cropper for the MSNBC contributor on Morning Joe today.
Ford claimed that though Letterman was wrong to make sexual jokes about Sarah Palin's teenage daughter, somehow the Palins are "unique," and thus presumably an understandable target. Mika Brzezinski came down on him. A clearly uncomfortable Ford was soon seeking cover.