I’m not a fan of Joe Scarborough - who has a three hour show on “liberal” MSNBC five days a week - but he nails it in this clip.
Most of those chortling over Tom Ricks’s highly unusual ninety seconds on Fox News this week were wowed by the way he spoke liberal truth to conservative power, informing his astonished interviewer, Jon Scott, that the Sept. 11 tragedy at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, had been “hyped” for political reasons, especially by … Fox itself. Then, for an encore, he apprised viewers that their preferred news source “functions as a wing of the Republican Party.” Out came the cane, and off went Ricks.
But that was no mere partisan smackdown; it was more subversive than that, and even more bracing. Because as it turns out, Ricks doesn’t want to play on either the red or the blue team, and has no loftier view of Obama-cheering MSNBC than of Obama-jeering Fox.
When I talked to him Tuesday, he said yeah, actually, he had had some other TV invites, but we shouldn’t waste too much time clicking around looking for his next appearance: “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it.’ They wrote back and said, ‘Thank you for your candor.’”
In the derriere-kissing capital of the Western world, little could be less orthodox than indifference to the allure of smiling into the camera, earpiece in place. So the sight of someone going full Will McAvoy on air, letting ‘er rip just like on Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” was a mighty refreshing one, and we should hope his plain speaking catches on.
Joe Barton, he sticks to Republican talking points even when it doesn’t make sense! Today in daily Republican speak Joe Barton insists that people who benefit from Food Stamps and Meals on Wheels should go to work, (scroll up to the 5:20 point) that is the goal of Republicans to put everyone to work. Bashir reminds Barton who are the recipients of Meals on Wheels, Joe Barton looks like a complete ass.
Does Joe Barton realize he didn’t make any sense? Does he realize those standard talking points didn’t really work for what he was discussing with Bashir? Dumb and craven, these traits mark almost every Republican in congress. Do Republicans have any kind of deep policy beliefs other than cut more taxes and make sure corporations get more subsidies.
Of course Joe Barton will be reelected. SMH.
Keith Olbermann is looking for a new job after less than a year as a talk show host at Current TV.
The left-leaning cable network announced just hours before airtime on Friday that Olbermann’s show “Countdown” would be replaced with a new program called “Viewpoint” hosted by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, beginning that night.
The sometimes volatile Olbermann came to Current in June as the centerpiece of its new prime-time initiative after a stormy eight-year stint at MSNBC - his second at that network- followed by his abrupt departure in January 2011.
MSNBC, which has not been devoting as much time to the Republican primary, saw their viewership grow by 3% in March, even though their numbers with younger viewers fell by 3%. For the first quarter of 2012, MSNBC is up 1% overall, but down 6% with younger viewers. MSNBC also has two shows on the rise. Hardball was up 23% in March, and Politics Nation with Al Sharpton was up 32% over what Cenk Uygur did in the same time slot in March of 2011. (It looks like MSNBC made the right call on Uygur, and honestly, he is a much better fit on Current than he ever was at MSNBC).
The Republican primary is such a downer that it is hurting the ratings of the two networks who gave it the most coverage. The reason why Fox News stopped dedicating so much airtime to the GOP primary is that it was hurting their ratings. (Not even Republicans want to watch this stuff). It is also starting to look like CNN made another epically disastrous decision by climbing in to bed with the tea party. CNN’s shift to the right has been an epic failure. CNN gambled that GOP 2012 would be just as hot with viewers as the Obama/Clinton Democratic contest was in 2008.
The problem for those who were expecting a 2012 ratings boon is that Romney/Santorum has been the complete opposite of Obama/Clinton. The only thing that Mitt Romney’s gloom and doom, and Rick Santorum’s Old Testament revival tour have accomplished is the alienation of millions of voters.
The Obama/Clinton contest was unique because it not only got Barack Obama elected, it also rehabilitated Hillary Clinton’s image and turned her into one of the most popular political figures in the United States. It can be argued that both Obama and Clinton came out winners after the 2008 Democratic primary.
REPORT: By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control
Out of a total of 146 guests who discussed contraception, the cables invited 91 men compared to 55 women as commentators. In other words, males comprised 62 percent of the total guests who commented on contraception. Fox was the most gender stratified network – on the Business network, 10 of 11 guests were male; on the News side, male pundits took up 65 percent of the guest lineup (28 men vs. 15 women). Sixty percent of MSNBC’s lineup was male (44 men vs. 31 women). And while CNN was more evenly balanced, it was still slightly tilted in favor of male perspectives (9 men vs. 8 women).
A lot of people on Wall Street should be shaking in their boots after a memo written by a lobbying firm that has done work for the American Bankers’ Association proposed actively countering and undermining OWS. While the ABA says that this proposal was unsolicited, what MSNBC reports is pretty damning of the industry’s attitudes towards OWS and industry reform:
CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct ‘opposition research’ on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct ‘negative narratives’ about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.
According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, ‘This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.’
The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. ‘… (T)he bigger concern,’ the memo says, ‘should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.’
For me, this is the kicker:
The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. ‘Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,’ the memo says. ‘…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.’
Pat Buchanan and his extremist allies are up in arms over liberal media watchdog groups’ recently launched campaign to get him fired from his news analyst position at MSNBC.
Following Buchanan’s Saturday appearance on James Edwards’ racist radio program “Political Cesspool,” to promote his new book, Suicide of a Superpower, Color of Change and Media Matters for America initiated a call for MSNBC to terminate Buchanan’s position. (Full disclosure: Color of Change was co-founded by James Rucker, a member of the board at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes this blog.)
Said Color of Change in a letter that doubled as a petition: “For years, Pat Buchanan has passed off white supremacist ideology as legitimate mainstream political commentary. And MSNBC continues to pay him and give him a platform on national TV to do it. Buchanan has just published a book which says that increasing racial diversity is a threat to this country and will mean the ‘End of White America.’ This weekend, to promote his book, he went on a white supremacist radio show whose host has said things like ‘MLK’s dream is our nightmare,’ and ‘interracial sex is white genocide.’ Buchanan has the right to express his views, but he’s not entitled to a platform that lets him broadcast bigotry and hate to millions. If MSNBC wants to be seen as a trusted, mainstream source of news and commentary, it needs to fire Buchanan now.”
Media Matters said much the same: “For too long, your network has ignored Buchanan’s bigotry. But, enough is enough. MSNBC has the power to send a message — that it will not tolerate bigotry by its employees, on its airwaves or off.”
That letter, which also doubles as a petition, closed by suggesting MSNBC executives review documentation (here and here) detailing Buchanan’s history of bigoted comments, and asking that they “Please … take the necessary steps to ensure that MSNBC stops supporting Buchanan’s bigotry.”
Some on the extreme right are incensed by the watchdogs’ campaign.
Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation (one of the Tea Party movement’s most extreme factions) – has leaped to Buchanan’s defense. In a blog post yesterday, Phillips – who claims not to be a Buchanan fan – wrote: “The racist in this story is the group, the Color of Change. … MSNBC does have some conservative voices. Pat Buchanan is one of them. … [T]he left wing racist nuts at the Color of Change want that to end.” And the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist hate group that has called blacks a “retrograde species of humanity,” also expressed strong support for Buchanan and Edwards.
I am very wary of people who proclaim that they have found the way out of the left-right paradigm (because who guarantees that such supposed centrism doesn’t give rise to nationalism on steroids?). Matt Taibi echoed such sentiments very recently as well in a Rolling Stone article titled “Why Occupy Wall Street Is Bigger Than Left vs. Right”. But the thoughts expressed herein are still worth noting:
Btw, Taibbi has also written extensively about the fraud committed in the banking sector that lead up to the ongoing economic crisis of 2007/2008, and the hows and whys about it not being prosecuted sufficiently. Here are some noteworthy articles in Rolling Stone: