Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

Brown Scolds Limbaugh's 'Outrageous...Foul'; Halperin: 'Off-Key' --1/23/2009


1. Brown Scolds Limbaugh's 'Outrageous...Foul'; Halperin: 'Off-Key'
CNN's Campbell Brown on Thursday night framed a panel segment around Rush Limbaugh's comment that he wishes President Obama will fail if success means implementing socialist policies, a remark she characterized as matching his usual "outrageous" outbursts and which "has a lot of people crying foul out there." Guest Mark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time magazine and the former political director at ABC News, then denounced Limbaugh as "off-key" from the "mainstream media" and "congressional Republicans" -- as it that's a bad thing -- and thus declared expressing the view "a big mistake."

2. CBS's Early Show Trumpets Barack Obama as 'Hugger in Chief'
Thursday's CBS Early Show focused on an important aspect of the Obama administration as co-host Julie Chen declared: "...in a meeting yesterday with senior White House staffers, President Obama showed a lot of love. That's right. The President is a man hugger. We counted nine man-to-man hugs." Co-host Maggie Rodriguez added: "Nothing wrong with that." Chen then asked co-host Harry Smith: "Man of the show, Harry, how do you feel about the man hug?" Smith replied: "I think it's real." Rodriguez asked Smith: "Did he [Obama] ever man hug you?" Smith then recounted: "You know, I got one about a year ago in Wilmington, North Carolina. We were waiting for an interview, we had, you know, really great access. And he came in -- I have never told this story on the air before -- he came in, and he gives me one of these [Smith grasped Rodriguez's hand and place his other hand on top]...and he says, 'Harry Smith, how you doing, my brother?'" Rodriguez was touched: "Awww...He had you."

3. Ashcroft vs. Holder: A Tale of Two Vote Delays in the NY Times
New York Times Double standard? "Democrats...hardening their opposition" to John Ashcroft in 2001, but Senate Republicans are now "denying President Obama the chance to have a key member of his national security team in place as planned."

4. Actor Josh Brolin Tells CBS He 'Waved Goodbye Happily' to Bush
After being nominated for an academy award on Thursday for his role in the movie Milk, actor Josh Brolin appeared on the CBS Early Show, where co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked: "...you played 'W.' You were here on the show talking about it. How did it feel to see him at the inauguration? Did you feel bad for him at all?" Brolin responded: "I don't know, personally? No, I think personally, I do. You know, watching him take off in the helicopter. But then I was also part of the, you know, the group that waved good-bye happily politically." Rodriguez and fellow co-host Harry Smith both laughed at the remark.

5. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on WaPo Writer's Torture Claims: 'Bull!'
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on Thursday aggressively clashed with his liberal co-anchor Mika Brzezinski and Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart about Guantanamo Bay and the definitions of torture. After Capehart asserted, "I do think there's a way to protect America without violating everything that we stand for and everything that we are," a clearly agitated Scarborough shot back, "That is bull!"


Brown Scolds Limbaugh's 'Outrageous...Foul';
Halperin: 'Off-Key'

CNN's Campbell Brown on Thursday night framed a panel segment around Rush Limbaugh's comment that he wishes President Obama will fail if success means implementing socialist policies, a remark she characterized as matching his usual "outrageous" outbursts and which "has a lot of people crying foul out there." Guest Mark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time magazine and the former political director at ABC News, then denounced Limbaugh as "off-key" from the "mainstream media" and "congressional Republicans" -- as it that's a bad thing -- and thus declared expressing the view "a big mistake."

Brown played a clip of Rush Limbaugh telling FNC's Sean Hannity that he wants President Obama to fail, as Limbaugh wondered: "If his agenda is a far-left, collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative...why would I want socialism to succeed?" As if that were some sort of over the line concept, Brown asserted "outrageous [is] Limbaugh's stock and trade, but this has a lot of people crying foul out there."

A lot of people in what Limbaugh dubs the "drive-by" media, apparently, as Halperin scolded Limbaugh for straying from the establishment's party line:
"It is off-key...from what the mainstream media, the dominant media's talked about. It's off-key for a lot of congressional Republicans, it's off-key for a lot of independents. So right now I think that what's missing from Limbaugh's critique is alternative ideas. Just being someone saying no, I want you to fail, without that extra sentence of saying here's what I believe instead, I think is a big mistake right now and it's not going to get much of a following."
Except from all those in Limbaugh's large audience which listen to him, regularly hear him assessing policies and ideas and look to him to point the way out of the political wilderness.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

A night earlier, Wednesday, Limbaugh's take also enraged MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Details and video in the January 22 CyberAlert post, "Chris Matthews: 'Does Rush Limbaugh Hate This Country?'" Go to: www.mediaresearch.org

From about the half-way mark of the January 22 edition of Brown's not very aptly named 8 PM EST show, No Bias, No Bull:

CAMPBELL BROWN: Rush Limbaugh's getting a lot of extra attention today for a jab he took at President Obama last night. With the new administration just getting to work and polls showing a huge majority of Americans backing the new President, listen to what Limbaugh said when Sean Hannity asked him if he wants President Obama to succeed.
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON FNC'S HANNITY: I want him to fail. If his agenda is a far-left, collectivism '€" some people say socialism '€" as a conservative, heart-felt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed? [Video of the entire exchange: www.rushlimbaugh.com ]
BROWN: Now, being outrageous Limbaugh's stock and trade, but this has a lot of people crying foul out there. Does he speak for Republicans?...Given Obama's popularity, his message about bringing the country together right now, is there an appetite out there for comments like that from Rush?
MARK HALPERIN, TIME: There isn't much of one, but Rush Limbaugh's one of the few Republicans who's got some fight in him now and he does have a following, he does have a big audience. It is off-key, though, from what the mainstream media, the dominant media's talked about. It's off-key for a lot of congressional Republicans, it's off-key for a lot of independents. So right now I think that what's missing from Limbaugh's critique is alternative ideas. Just being someone saying no, I want you to fail, without that extra sentence of saying here's what I believe instead, I think is a big mistake right now and it's not going to get much of a following.

Halperin's "The Page" for Time.com: thepage.time.com

CBS's Early Show Trumpets Barack Obama
as 'Hugger in Chief'

Thursday's CBS Early Show focused on an important aspect of the Obama administration as co-host Julie Chen declared: "...in a meeting yesterday with senior White House staffers, President Obama showed a lot of love. That's right. The President is a man hugger. We counted nine man-to-man hugs." Co-host Maggie Rodriguez added: "Nothing wrong with that." Chen then asked co-host Harry Smith: "Man of the show, Harry, how do you feel about the man hug?" Smith replied: "I think it's real." Rodriguez asked Smith: "Did he [Obama] ever man hug you?" Smith then recounted: "You know, I got one about a year ago in Wilmington, North Carolina. We were waiting for an interview, we had, you know, really great access. And he came in -- I have never told this story on the air before -- he came in, and he gives me one of these [Smith grasped Rodriguez's hand and place his other hand on top]...and he says, 'Harry Smith, how you doing, my brother?'" Rodriguez was touched: "Awww...He had you."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]


Here is the full transcript of the January 22 segment:

7:02AM TEASE:
HARRY SMITH: And Julie, I don't know if you've noticed this trend. We started seeing it on the campaign trail a year and a half ago or so, right?
JULIE CHEN: The man hug?
SMITH: Come on. He is the hugger-in-chief.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: I like that.
JULIE CHEN: Well, you know what? Here in Hollywood, we always say 'hug it out.' So, you know, we have to find out where this all came from. Is it an Obama thing? Is it a Hollywood thing?
SMITH: I don't know.
CHEN: I'm sure we'll find the answer to that.

7:13AM TEASE:
SMITH: And the new commander in chief is also the new hugger in chief. We'll explain.

7:31AM SEGMENT:
JULIE CHEN: But first, in a meeting yesterday with senior White House staffers, President Obama showed a lot of love. That's right. The president is a man hugger. We counted nine man-to-man hugs.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Nothing wrong with that.
CHEN: Nothing wrong with that. We think the president could be setting a new trend here. Man of the show, Harry, how do you feel about the man hug?
HARRY SMITH: I think it's real.
RODRIGUEZ: Did he ever man hug you?
SMITH: You know, I got one about a year ago in Wilmington, North Carolina. We were waiting for an interview, we had, you know, really great access. And he came in -- I have never told this story on the air before -- he came in, and he gives me one of these.
[SMITH SHAKES AND GRASPS RODRIGUEZ'S HAND, PLACES OTHER HAND ON TOP]
RODRIGUEZ: Right, which is -- he does that.
SMITH: Right, and he says, 'Harry Smith, how you doing, my brother?'
RODRIGUEZ: Awww.
SMITH: I'm, like-
RODRIGUEZ: He had you.
CHEN: Wait, and then did he pull you in for the hug to complete it?
SMITH: He kind of -- that little kind of -- it wasn't a total-
CHEN: Oh, see, you're embellishing a little here.
RODRIGUEZ: Jules, you know Harry doesn't exactly put off the 'hug me' vibe. I love you but you're a little bit like you want your-
SMITH: Space.
[CLIP OF HARRY SMITH HUGGING DAVE PRICE]
RODRIGUEZ: Is that me? Who's that?
CHEN: That's you and Dave Price, I think, when you guys went on 'The Amazing Race' season four thing.
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, is that what that was?
SMITH: Yeah, there you go.
CHEN: Yeah.
RODRIGUEZ: So see, I was wrong. You are a man hugger.
SMITH: Mm-hmm.
CHEN: It's out of the closet now, you're a man hugger. What can I say?
RODRIGUEZ: Maybe not the best choice of words, Julie.
CHEN: Give me a hug over the air. Give me a hug over the air. Come, come, come.
SMITH: Alright, alright.
CHEN: You're not hugging. Oh, thank you. Alright. Moving on.
SMITH: I'm feeling it.

Ashcroft vs. Holder: A Tale of Two Vote
Delays in the NY Times

New York Times Double standard? "Democrats...hardening their opposition" to John Ashcroft in 2001, but Senate Republicans are now "denying President Obama the chance to have a key member of his national security team in place as planned."

[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Thursday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]

In 2001, during the confirmation of former Sen. John Ashcroft to be attorney general, Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee forced a one-week delay in the vote on Ashcroft, apparently to give liberal interest groups time to build up an attack. Over a January 24, 2001 story with the neutral headline "Ashcroft Vote Is Postponed In Maneuver By Democrats," reporters David Johnston and Neil Lewis presented the Ashcroft delay in mild fashion, not as an affront to the new president, George W. Bush:

Senator Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said today that he would delay for a week a scheduled committee vote on John Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general, the latest signal that Democrats were hardening their opposition to the appointment.

The postponement of the vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, increases the anxiety about the confirmation in both parties, allowing Mr. Ashcroft's opponents more time to mobilize against him and adding to an already acute political problem for many Democrats, particularly those from heavily Republican states.

END of Excerpt

The 2001 article: query.nytimes.com

Only Ashcroft opponent Daschle was quoted in the 2001 story, no supporters of Ashcroft, Bush's eventual attorney general. Instead the Times dwelled on "several Democratic senators" who "expressed doubt that Mr. Ashcroft will fully honor his pledge, made at his confirmation hearings, to enforce laws he has opposed."

On Wednesday, when Senate Republicans forced a similar delay in the vote on Eric Holder, Obama's choice for attorney general, the headline was somewhat stronger: "G.O.P. Forces Delay on Attorney General" read the headline to Eric Lichtblau's Thursday edition story.

Lichtblau also took a sharper opening tone, suggesting the GOP was "denying President Obama" a "key member of his national security team." An excerpt:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday forced a one-week delay in a vote on the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, denying President Obama the chance to have a key member of his national security team in place as planned.

Mr. Holder's ultimate confirmation still appears all but assured. But the procedural delay led Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to accuse each other of souring the spirit of bipartisanship that Mr. Obama's inauguration was supposed to signal.

The January 21 story: www.nytimes.com

While the Times in 2001 ignored Ashcroft supporters and quoted only an Ashcroft opponent, Lichtblau reversed that pattern, devoting one paragraph to the issue at hand -- Holder's involvement in Bill Clinton's controversial pardon of financier Marc Rich and his positions on counterterrorism -- compared to five paragraphs to liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont defending Holder and skewering the GOP for the delay.

Actor Josh Brolin Tells CBS He 'Waved
Goodbye Happily' to Bush

After being nominated for an academy award on Thursday for his role in the movie Milk, actor Josh Brolin appeared on the CBS Early Show, where co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked: "...you played 'W.' You were here on the show talking about it. How did it feel to see him at the inauguration? Did you feel bad for him at all?" Brolin responded: "I don't know, personally? No, I think personally, I do. You know, watching him take off in the helicopter. But then I was also part of the, you know, the group that waved good-bye happily politically." Rodriguez and fellow co-host Harry Smith both laughed at the remark.

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Earlier, Smith asked about Brolin about his role in Milk, about the first gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk, and his murder: "Playing this San Francisco supervisor. This is the guy who ends up killing Harvey Milk. You were so -- you make such a commitment in this role. You made this guy real." Brolin explained his desire to be in the movie: "When I read it, I thought it was a really important film...And then the timeliness of it because of Prop 8, I think it's an incredible movie, I'm glad that there's so much notice for it." On December 10, Smith declared the movie, which also stars left-wing actor Sean Penn, was "...a must-see for everybody."

Read about Smith's review of Milk here: newsbusters.org

(Before the election, CyberAlert illustrated with video, Brolin went on Letterman's show and blinked "vote for Obama." See: www.mrc.org )


Here is the full transcript of the January 22 segment:

8:49AM SEGMENT:
HARRY SMITH: With us -- joining us right now, we have Josh Brolin who, as of about three minutes ago, knows that he just got an Academy Award nomination.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Bravo! Congratulations.
JOSH BROLIN: Thank you, guys. Thank you so much.
RODRIGUEZ: How did it feel when you heard your name?
BROLIN: I had to wear my hat because my hair was sticking straight up, so.
RODRIGUEZ: It's early.
[LAUGHTER]
BROLIN: I'm protecting you guys.
SMITH: Tell me about the moment.
BROLIN: Well, I tell you the truth, actually, because I'm in Sundance right now and it's an hour later, I woke up here at 5:55 and I looked at the clock, and I go, oh, well, I guess it didn't happen.
SMITH: Oh, man.
BROLIN: You know, that's okay. And then I realized that the time had been -- you know what I mean? So I've been up and down, you know, the Himalayas today for sure.
SMITH: A lot of people thought you deserved the nomination for 'No Country' last year. Very different role this time. Playing this San Francisco supervisor. This is the guy who ends up killing Harvey Milk. You were so -- you make such a commitment in this role. You made this guy real.
BROLIN: Thank you. You know, I don't know if that's a compliment or not, but I appreciate it.
RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely.
BROLIN: When I read it, I thought it was a really important film. And I told Gus, look, I'll do it, you know, whatever you want me to do. If you want me to play Harvey Milk, if you want me to play Dan White, whatever you want me to do. And then the timeliness of it because of Prop 8, I think it's an incredible movie, I'm glad that there's so much notice for it.
RODRIGUEZ: What goes into preparing for a role like that? How do you throw yourself in there like that?
BROLIN: Well, I -- you know, I didn't know a lot about him. I knew about Harvey Milk, but, you know, I just started watching videos and reading books. And I was -- it was -- I met a couple of guys that knew him. I got to hear his confessional, which I think was, you know, educational in what I was trying to do. And then we just -- opened it had up, you know. Once Sean and I got together, no rivalry there. A lot of friendship. But it's really easy to work off him. So it was a good contrast that was created, I think.
RODRIGUEZ: I want to ask you real quick, you played 'W.' You were here on the show talking about it. How did it feel to see him at the inauguration? Did you feel bad for him at all?
BROLIN: I -- do I feel bad for him?
RODRIGUEZ: Watching him, after having played him.
BROLIN: I don't know, personally? No, I think personally, I do. You know, watching him take off in the helicopter. But then I was also part of the, you know, the group that waved good-bye happily politically.
[LAUGHTER]
RODRIGUEZ: Alright. Josh Brolin.
BROLIN: But personally, I do. I mean, that was the whole point of the movie. When I did the movie, I think I really got in there personally, and I started to really appreciate some of the milestones that he had hit.
SMITH: Josh, thank you so much. Congratulations. We'll see you soon. Really, really appreciate it.
BROLIN: Thank you so much, guys. I appreciate it.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on WaPo Writer's
Torture Claims: 'Bull!'

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on Thursday aggressively clashed with his liberal co-anchor Mika Brzezinski and Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart about Guantanamo Bay and the definitions of torture. After Capehart asserted, "I do think there's a way to protect America without violating everything that we stand for and everything that we are," a clearly agitated Scarborough shot back, "That is bull!"

The MSNBC host continued: "What you are doing and, Mika, what you are doing and the rabid left, not you all, but the rabid left has done for the past seven years, is just say, 'We are going to apply new standards to the Geneva Convention.'" An undeterred Capehart retorted, "How about following the Geneva Convention?" This prompted Scarborough to lecture, "Oh, guess what, Jonathan? We are! Al Qaeda terrorists that don't wear uniforms. How about reading the Geneva Convention! Because, terrorists that try and blow up civilians are not protected under the Geneva Convention."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Scarborough also launched into Brzezinski for claiming that ex-President Bush saddled Barack Obama with a "mess" in the form of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A very annoyed Scarborough corrected, "Osama bin Laden created the situation when he took down the Twin Towers! After his co-host reiterated, "He [Bush] created this situation which challenges every facet of our Constitution and what our country stands by," Scarborough extrapolated, "I want you to find me the Nazi prisoner that was read the Miranda rights on the beaches of Normandy! This is lunacy!" He then attacked, "You're blaming George Bush for protecting America!"

A partial transcript of the January 22 segment, which also included MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan and aired at 6:43am EST:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I'm refraining from debate because we're not going to have time for the next op-ed. Washington Post. Marc Thiessen. "2,688 days. As the new president receives his intelligence briefings, certain facts must now be apparent. Al Qaeda is actively working to attack our country again. And the policies and institutions that George W. Bush put in place to stop this are succeeding. During the campaign, Obama pledged to dismantle many of these policies. He follows through on those pledges at America's peril and had his own. If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, America will hold Obama responsible and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: It's what we've been saying here, isn't it? That's what we've been talking about now for months.
BRZEZINSKI: I think it's a fine line and you know what? I would just like to add for the sake of argument that the problem that Obama confronts, for example, with Gitmo, is that this is a mess that President Bush has created. Creating this situation-
SCARBOROUGH: A mess that-
BRZEZINSKI: Hold on.
SCARBOROUGH: No, I'm not.
BRZEZINSKI: Creating a situation-
SCARBOROUGH: Osama bin Laden created the situation when he took down the Twin Towers!
BRZEZINSKI: Let me speak for a moment, please. I did not debate you on torture. But, let me debate you on this. He created this situation which challenges every facet of our Constitution and what our country stands by.
SCARBOROUGH: No, it doesn't! I cannot let you say that. You have got to listen, Mika!
BRZEZINSKI: It challenges our principles and now, the question is what to do with these people. It's wrong to have them sitting there for years and years and years on end.
SCARBOROUGH: Mika, that is speaking in generalities. Again-
BRZEZINSKI: As Obama works to-
SCARBOROUGH: I want you to find me the Nazi that was prisoner provided habeas corpus!
BRZEZINSKI: As Barack Obama-
SCARBOROUGH: I want you to find me the Nazi prisoner that was read the Miranda rights on the beaches of Normandy! This is lunacy!
BRZEZINSKI: All right. Let me speak. All I'm saying is this is a situation that is not good, Bush has put in place, and as Obama tries to deal with it is going to run a risk.
SCARBOROUGH: You're blaming George Bush for protecting America!
BRZEZINSKI: No, I'm not. I'm blaming him for creating a very bad-
SCARBOROUGH: He didn't create it. Osama bin Laden did!
BUCHANAN: Lets say we let 150 of these guys go 'cause we just can't make the case against them and they go out and blow up some airliners, would you talk to the parents of the children on those airliners and tell them, "We had to stand up for our ideals. That's why that guy is out there and that's why he put that bomb on that plane?"
BRZEZINSKI: And that is-
BUCHANAN: Would you take moral responsibility for it?
BRZEZINSKI: That is the challenge Obama has to deal with. And I'm not sure what to do now with this Gitmo-
BUCHANAN: But would you not feel responsible yourself for advocating that?
BRZEZINSKI: -And these people are sitting there. -Um, no. And that's my point and that's the point of this op-ed, is that the challenge is now in place, but not because Barack Obama has come up with some bad ideas. He has to now deal with the policies in place from the Bush administration.
SCARBOROUGH: You can't blame George Bush because we live in the age of terror!
BRZEZINSKI: I'm questioning him. I'm not blaming him.
SCARBOROUGH: Question him. That's fine. That's what we as Americans do.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm questioning the whole creation of Gitmo and why it's there and how it's being conducted and I think now Obama has a big problem on his hands because of that.
SCARBOROUGH: And Jonathan, I've always said, show me the paper that has Barack Obama's signature on the bottom that says, "We're going to stop sleep depriving terrorists. We're going to stop, you know-
JONATHAN CAPEHART: He's only been in office for, what, a day?
SCARBOROUGH: It's not going to happen. No, I'm saying in a year. Do we really want to say, "Oh we don't want the NSA to track down the movement of funds with terrorists across the globe?"
CAPEHART: I don't think anybody is talking about that.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, yes they are.
CAPEHART: I do think there's- I do think there's a way to protect America without violating everything that we stand for and everything that we are.
SCARBOROUGH: Okay. Here we go. You've just said, and I'm sorry this early to get this wound up, but you and Mika generally saying, violating everything we stand- That is bull! And I have a seven second delay and I would like to say the second part of the word but I won't. But, that is bull! What you are doing and, Mika, what you are doing and the rabid left, not you all, but the rabid left has done for the past seven years, is just say, 'We are going to apply new standards to the Geneva Convention. We are going to apply new standard to the Constitution.'
CAPEHART: How about following the Geneva Convention?
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, guess what, Jonathan? We are! Al Qaeda terrorists that don't wear uniforms. How about reading the Geneva Convention! Because, terrorists that try and blow up civilians are not protected under the Geneva Convention.
BUCHANAN: Can be shot on sight.
SCARBOROUGH: Terrorists who blow up civilians do not get habeas corpus!
BUCHANAN: They get shot.
SCARBOROUGH: They do not get constitutional protections and some fair minded people in the middle-
BRZEZINSKI: I don't think I'm rabid.
SCARBOROUGH: I just said fair minded people in the middle, persuaded by the left, they're trying to rewrite the rules and then say, America has never done this before. Bull hockey!

-- Brent Baker