MSNBC Chucks the Founding Fathers

In a feat of intellectual vapidity that was stunning even by mainstream media standards, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd demonstrated that he had about as much knowledge of American history as Chuck E. Cheese when he took to the airwaves to sound the alarm about Roy Moore, who just bumped off GOP establishment incumbent Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary last Monday.

Specifically, Todd expressed concern that Moore—who has made no secret of his religious beliefs—is such a Christian fundamentalist that he doesn’t even believe in the Constitution as written.  His basis for that opinion?  Moore thinks that rights come from God, not government.

You don’t say!

“Those are just a taste of what are very fundamentalist views that have gotten him removed from office twice as Alabama’s chief justice,” Todd intones.  What he seems to forget, however, is that the Founding Fathers pretty much held the exact same views.  Or, as they put it in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Just in case Todd missed it, that’s Creator with a capital “C,” which rhymes with “G” and that stands for “God.”  And lest anyone miss out on just how profound a concept this is, keep in mind that it provides  the entire basis for the Bill of Rights, which assumes that since rights are derived from God, they cannot be revoked by any government.

As an elite commentator on the passing political scene, Chuck Todd should know this.  And given the way he delivers his missive, with the clipped tones and smug superiority of a college professor lecturing first year students on critical gender studies, he tries really hard to give his audience the impression that he’s an expert on the subject.  In reality, though, it’s all a con job—because if Todd actually knew the first thing about the Constitution, he would have understood that Moore’s views on rights aren’t so radical.

In other words, Chuck Tood isn’t nearly as smart as he’d like you to believe.

That there was nobody on his staff to stop him from saying something so obviously wrong doesn’t bode too well for the network, either.  After all, these are the same folks who see it as their solemn duty to tell everyone what to think, how to act, who to vote for.  Shoudn’t they hire at least a few people who know what the hell they’re talking about?

In the meanwhile, Chuck, you might want to actually read our founding documents before pontificating on them—or at least get one of your producers to do it.  You’re getting way too old to make rookie mistakes.

Katy Tur and the Mainstream Media: A Terminal Diagnosis

Many years ago, on a PBS series called Ethics in America, Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard University convened a panel of American journalists who were at the top of their profession and asked them a hypothetical question:  If they were embedded with enemy troops and learned of an imminent attack on U.S. forces, would they try to warn their fellow countrymen or would they simply cover the attack as if it were just another story? Peter Jennings, who anchored ABC World News Tonight–and a native Canadian, no less–hesitated for a moment, but then said that he would probably try to sound a warning.  In his view, saving American lives was more important than covering the story.

That’s when Mike Wallace, the famed CBS News correspondent, stepped in and said that other reporters would have a different reaction.  “They would regard it simply as another story that they are there to cover,” Wallace said.  “You’re a reporter covering combat…and I’m at a little bit of a loss to understand why, because you are an American, you would not have covered that story.”  In other words, a journalist’s first duty is to cover the news without fear or favor, regardless of the consequences–even if that means people might get killed.  Video of the exchange is below:

Once Wallace put it in those terms, Jennings quickly relented and said that he would also allow the attack to proceed–much to the chagrin of the military men who were present.  It was a stark moment, but one that illustrated a cardinal rule of journalism at the time:  you’re a reporter first, and everything else a distant second.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about a story–you put all that aside and cover it, no matter what.

My, how times have changed.

These days, we’re all about the feelings–particularly in journalism, where narrative has all but displaced the facts.  Exhibit A:  Katy Tur, MSNBC correspondent and former flame of the disgraced Keith Olbermann, whose personality and politics are so odious that even the most leftist news networks won’t touch him with a ten foot pole.  For some reason, the suits at MSNBC thought that Tur–who had less experience with politics than your average college newspaper reporter–would be a Jim Dandy choice to cover Donald Trump during the 2016 election.  Perhaps it was her sassy persona.  Or maybe it was because she looks like the kind of girl John Cusack is supposed to fall in love with in one of those 80s-era teen rom coms.  Who knows?  But somehow, she found herself at the forefront covering perhaps the strangest presidential election in history, an experience she recounts in her new book Unbelievable.  

As you would imagine, Tur goes into great details about her feelings–such as that visceral moment when she realized that Trump had won the presidency:

“The room goes wavy. My stomach churns,” Tur says. “I can feel the bile in the back of my throat.

“I’ve heard him insult a war hero, brag about grabbing women by the pussy, denigrate the judicial system, demonize immigrants, fight with the pope, doubt the democratic process, advocate torture and war crimes, tout the size of his junk in a presidential debate, trash the media, and endanger my life,” Tur continued.

Tur, 33, adds she fears Trump will be in office 27 years from now at age 98 because he’ll find a way to avoid the two-term limit.

“Does anyone really believe he’ll respect term limits? I have a vision of myself at sixty, Trump at a hundred, in some midwestern convention hall. The children of his 2016 supporters are spitting on me,” Tur writes.

Left unexplained is how someone with such nonexistent professionalism can call herself a reporter.

Never mind Mike Wallace allowing enemy troops to fire on American soldiers for the sake of covering a story.  With Tur, her objectivity couldn’t even get around the size of Donald Trump’s wanker.  Whereas in the past we had journalists agonizing over hypotheticals involving life and death, Tur can only squeal, “Eww!  Gross!” and wallow in her book-length emotions for the entire world to see, as if such exhibitionism might offer some form of therapy or absolution for her failure to stop Trump.

If this is what passes for wisdom from Katy Tur, MSNBC might as well have hired Katy Perry.

Even so, Tur’s bosses saw fit to reward her campaign coverage with a coveted anchor spot on MSNBC Live, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the news business these days.  Rather than promote reporters who prize objectivity above all else, it’s the pundits in disguise who rise to the top–which is what makes Tur emblematic of everything that’s wrong with American journalism.  It used to be that you rarely knew how reporters felt about a given issue, because they didn’t want that perception to taint the public’s view of their news coverage.  Nowadays, feelings are all that matter–and, like a cancer, it’s slowly killing the profession.

That people like Tur aren’t even bothering to hide it anymore means the prognosis isn’t likely to change.

New Survey Shows How the Media Provokes Our Fears and Shapes Our Politics

It’s no secret that the world is not a friendly place, and life, in general, gives up ample opportunity to stress.

A new survey by SafeHome.org claims that what Americans worry about most can be determined, based on what news network they watch regularly.

More specifically, the survey compared the top 10 concerns of Americans – everything ranging from violent crime to financial collapse – between Fox News and MSNBC.

There was not a single concern that the viewership of these two networks had in common, rank-wise.

Of the top 10 things Fox News viewers worried about on a daily basis, the ratings fell this way:

1. Someone breaking into their house
2. The nation becoming fragmented
3. Identity theft
4. Society breaking down
5. The U.S. government
6. Not having access to healthcare
7. Cybercrime
8. Being the victim of a violent crime
9. Economic or financial collapse
10. Terrorism

For viewers of MSNBC, their concerns looked like this:

1. The nation becoming fragmented
2. The U.S. government
3. Someone breaking into their house
4. Not having access to healthcare
5. Society breaking down
6. Identity theft
7. Gun violence
8. Economic or financial collapse
9. Cybercrime
10. Being the victim of a violent crime

Also touched on in the survey was the notion of Fox viewers versus MSNBC viewers, in regards to violence or threats against Christians, Jews, or Muslims.

For Fox News viewers, 41 percent have said violence and threats against Christians is on the rise, as opposed to 17 percent of MSNBC viewers who felt the same. Another 30 percent of Fox News viewers felt conditions for Christians were holding steady, while 41 percent of MSNBC viewers felt that way.

Thirty-two percent of Fox News viewers feel violence against Jews is on the rise, compared to 40 percent of MSNBC viewers.

There is near total agreement between Fox News viewers and MSNBC viewers, with 19 percent of Fox fans and 18 percent of MSNBC watchers believing violence against Jews is on the decline.

And as for Muslims, over half of Fox News viewers (51%) feel violence against Muslims is on the rise. For MSNBC viewers, it is a whopping 72 percent!

Twenty-seven percent of Fox News viewers believe the trend is holding steady, while 17 percent of MSNBC viewers believe the same.

The survey also went on to compare opinions between Breitbart readers and Reddit readers, as well as comparing the trustworthiness of news outlets (newspaper, TV news, blogs, etc…), as considered by Republicans versus Democrats.

I can say this about the survey: Since Donald Trump began his war against American media, it appears that Republicans have a much dimmer view of news media than their Democrat counterparts.

There were 1,000 respondents to the survey, making it a small sampling, but still yielding some interesting insight into how the media is shaping what viewers care about.

Chris Matthews Suggests Trump Should Kill Son-In-Law

Another day, another liberal joking about violence against the Trump family.

In comes MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Speaking Thursday on his show Hardball, Matthews was lamenting at Jared Kushner’s influence within the White House. He brought up issues with nepotism and more conspiracies between the Trump administration and Russia. Arguing that Kushner was the source of many of the president’s problems, the liberal host seemingly suggested Trump channel Benito Mussolini and kill his son-in-law – something the Italian dictator did during WWII.

“So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law. I mean, I’m talking about Ciano,” Matthews said to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

However, we are getting way ahead of ourselves with the Trump-Mussolini comments. Even before suggesting that Trump whack his son-in-law, Matthews equated Trump’s White House to Mengistu’s tyrannical government in Ethiopia; compared Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay; and repeatedly said Trump family members were like “the Romanovs.”

All in one episode.

This is a sign of a man going crazy with Trump Derangement Syndrome. He dredges up comparisons to Romanovs, Mussolini and the Hussein family in just a few short sentences. If you took him at his word, the United States is currently a third-world, banana republic living under gestapo rule. He’s convinced himself Donald Trump will be impeached by the end of the week.

Hey Chris, I think you’re a little paranoid.

BREAKING: Greta Van Susteren Out At MSNBC – Details…

Well that didn’t take long.

Less than six months into her new gig at MSNBC, Greta Van Susteren is out.

Though Van Susteren didn’t elaborate on Twitter, Vanity Fair had more details:

The anchor, whose show struggled to gain traction even as the rest of her colleagues were buoyed by anti-Trump hysteria, has parted ways with the network. She will not appear on the show on Thursday evening. She will be permanently replaced by Ari Melber, the network’s chief legal correspondent and host of the The Point on weekends. He will continue to appear across NBC and MSNBC shows as he takes over the 6 p.m. slot next month. (MSNBC and NBC News declined to comment. Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Van Susteren had no comment.)

In the era of Trump Derangement Syndrome, MSNBC has experienced a bit of a ratings bump, Van Susteren’s show notwithstanding, and top brass and NBC News seemed to have their doubts about her show early on.

Last month, in a New York Times profile about the network’s ascendancy in the age of Trump, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack seemed to hint that there was trouble brewing for the show. “It’s not breaking out,” he said. “Everybody wants every new show to break out Day 1. I think it takes time. He added: “I’ve got a lot of patience.”

What’s next for Greta Van Susteren? MSNBC obviously wasn’t a good fit for her, but it’ll be interesting to see if she can land anywhere outside of the niche Fox News created for her and be successful.

Jon Ossoff Faces Criticism For Not Living In GA-6, And Who Called Him Out May Surprise You

In the heated, expensive, and thoroughly annoying race for Georgia’s 6th district seat in Congress, one of the biggest sticking points is the fact that Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff lives outside of the district, preferring to shack up with his fiancee in the reliably liberal 5th district rather than in the more conservative 6th.

Ossoff has taken plenty of heat from the right for his choice to live outside the district where he’s running, but on Friday, he faced some criticism from a surprising source: MSNBC.

Appearing on the Velshi & Ruhle program (no, I’ve never heard of it either), Ossoff took a question that suggested that his residency may have a negative effect on the campaign.

“You are not able to vote because you don’t live in the district,” Ruhle said to Ossoff, noting that the candidate cannot vote for himself because of his residency. “I understand that you don’t live in the district. You live where your fiancee, your girlfriend, is because you’re supporting her; she is in medical school. Why don’t you move at this point?”

“You want to get this job. To me it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal,” Ruhle added.

“As you know, Stephanie, I grew up in the district, and Alisha [Kramer] walks to work at the hospital every morning at 4:00 a.m. for her medical shifts, her shifts at the hospital,” Ossoff responded.

“I’m proud to be supporting her career even if I take a little political heat for it,” he said.

Ossoff went on to explain that, once his fiancee finished medical school, they will move into the 6th district, where he repeatedly told the hosts he “grew up.”

Check out the entire exchange here:

Will his residency outside the 6th district really make a difference in the outcome? Will it give Handel’s supporters reason to turn out? Does it matter to Democrats at all? I guess we’ll find out as Tuesday’s results come in. Stay tuned.

Unlike the Journos at MSNBC, Capitol Hill Cops Are Professionals

Not to beat a dead horse, but when you’re right, you’re right–and boy, was I ever right when I said that while the rare show of bipartisan unity after the attempted assassination of Republican congressmen last week was good and proper, there was no way the American news media would ever allow it to last.  It took the New York Times less than a day to prove my point, with an editorial so deliberately devoid of fact and reason that the paper was forced to run a correction.  Now, not wanting to be left out, MSNBC’s own Joy Reid has decided to hop on the hate train and show everyone that there’s something about Twitter that short-circuits the ability of even Harvard graduates to tell the difference between profundity and stupidity:

This plays a lot like some talking point that progressives have cooked up to somehow justify the shooting of Steve Scalise, because like a dutiful parrot, George Takei (who is making it increasingly difficult for me to enjoy watching classic Star Trek), tweeted out a similar line:

Oh my.  Where to begin?

I’m going to ignore George, because, frankly, he’s a complete jerk (if you want to see just how bad of a jerk, watch Comedy Central’s roast of William Shatner sometime;  Takei is the only one there not having any fun).  Joy Reid, however, is supposed to be a well-educated, highly-trained journalist whose job description literally includes keeping the public informed about current events.  In that regard, one would at least hope that she leaves said public smarter than before she started talking–but apparently that’s too much to ask, if the bad faith on display in her tweeting as any indication.

To wit:

  • Because Capitol Hill Police officer Crystal Griner is in fact black and a lesbian, Reid assumes she must disagree with Steve Scalise politically.  Perhaps this is true, but did Reid ever bother to ask Officer Griner her opinion?  Not that I’ve seen.
  • In highlighting the fact that Officer Griner is black and a lesbian, Reid has elevated these aspects of Griner’s life to paramount importance–but did she ever bother to ask whether or not Griner herself considers them a big deal?  Most cops I’ve known identify primarily as cops.  It’s more than what they do for a living, it’s who they are.  I’m guessing that from the selfless and heroic way in which Griner conducted herself, devotion to duty is what’s most important to her.
  • Even if you take for granted that Officer Griner’s politics differ from Steve Scalise, she took a bullet for him.  That’s what cops on a protective detail do–and it demonstrated a level of professionalism that Joy Reid, as a journalist, is completely incapable of showing.

Reid, you see, can’t just let a hero be a hero, because that would risk bringing conservatives and liberals closer together–and as a member of the media in good standing, she can’t allow that to happen.  Better to taint that bravery with politics and keep the pot stirred, rather than have us all get along for a few days and see if maybe we can ratchet the tensions in this country down a notch or two.

The contrast between Crystal Griner and Joy Reid couldn’t be clearer.

Yoho Sez Nunes Answers to Prez. Fun Fact: He Doesn’t

Ah, Florida Man.  A day without you in the news is like a day without sunshine in the Sunshine State.

Luckily, Ted Yoho (R, FL 3rd District, A Pirate’s Life For Me) didn’t let that happen.  Appearing on MSNBC of all places, he had this exchange with Craig Melvin as they were talking about Democrat demands that Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from the investigation of purported Russian ties to the Trump transition team:

Here’s the money quote:

“You gotta keep in mind who he works for,” Yoho told MSNBC earlier on Thursday. “He works for the president. He answers to the president.”

 

“Does he?” MSNBC’s Craig Melvin challenged. “Or does he work for the constituents of his district?”

 

“Well, you do both,” Yoho shot back. “But when you’re in that capacity — you know, if you’ve got information — I’m OK with what he did.”

Um, there’s a very simple answer to that.

Civics 101, kiddies:  Congressional representatives are answerable to the constituents in their home districts–and that’s pretty much it.  Sure, they have certain obligations to their parties, and if you’re a deep-pocket donor, we’ll let’s just say you’ll get all kinds of TLC.  But this business about working for the president?  Not so much.

Moreover, Nunes’ position on the Intelligence Committee actually puts him in a position of oversight with the president.  After all, the intelligence agencies work under the authority of the Executive Branch, and it’s the Committee’s responsibility to make sure that there isn’t any hanky-panky going on between the White House and the intelligence community.  That’s why Nunes is looking into the possibility that the Obama administration was eavesdropping on Trump & Co. for political purposes.

Yoho (how I love typing that name) obviously understands this, which is why he’s walking back what he said.  And I’m willing to cut him a little slack, because when you’re in the public eye and yapping to reporters day in and day out, you’re bound to insert your foot in your mouth from time to time.  Still, it’s a little disturbing that such a thought would have ever even have occurred to Yoho.  When you speak off the cuff, what you say is often what you really mean (in politics, this is known as “accidentally telling the truth”).  If this is what Yoho secretly believes, then I’d say he’s in the wrong business.