2. Democrats Take House and Senate? Matthews: 'That'll Be Fantastic'
3. MSNBC's Scarborough: 'I Bash My Party More Than The Democrats'
4. CNN's Schneider Bedeviled By How Most Vets Backed Allen Over Webb
5. Newsweek Editor: Voter Message in Ousting 'Firebrand' Santorum
6. On CNN Begala Smears Rush Limbaugh as a 'Drug-Addled Gasbag'
7. Cafferty Slams Iraq as a War for Oil; Wonders if Bush Really Won
8. Missouri: NBC Repeatedly Leaves Embryo Out of 'Stem Cell' Story
9. NBC Morning Reporters Highlight GOP Racism, As Alleged 'By Many'
10. Matthews: Racist Voters Like Black Candidates 'Almost Castrated'
11. ABC's Nightline Gushes: Obama, An 'American Political Phenomenon'
12. FNC Shows NewsBusters: 'Leading Mainstream Media Critic Blog'
Just after 11pm EST Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews celebrated how Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, a likelihood following the Democratic takeover of that body, will be "a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women" and an "amazing moment" when at the next State of the Union address she'll be "the incredibly interesting person" next to Dick Cheney with his "fire hydrant build" and "very distinguished snarl." Matthews told Keith Olbermann, his co-anchor:
[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Matthews continued his speculation:
A few minutes later, Matthews chose the words "the damn rich" as he described some of the "populist" sentiments of some Americans angry about the rich making too much money. Matthews: "Every time you ask people questions now, they don't just say I'd like to make more money at work, I'd like to have a higher salary, I'd like to have some break on tuition for the kids, they're saying the damn rich are getting all the money." Matthews went on to mention "Halliburton" and "the rich grabbing it" as reasons some Americans say "we're not doing so well."
[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted with video late Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio of Matthews making his "fantastic" outburst will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Below are transcripts of the two relevant portions from MSNBC's November 7 election night coverage:
Chuck Todd, National Journal, about 7:36pm: "I'm still believing, and I think our line here is about 25 or 30 House seats. If it gets over 25 or 30 House seats, you're going to see six Senate seats. I don't think you're going to see four Senate seats and 30 House seats for the Democrats."
Matthews, about 7:39pm: "And it could be that populist instinct I keep finding in the polling, Howard. I want you to check Gene and I on that, which is every time you ask people questions now, they don't just say I'd like to make more money at work, I'd like to have a higher salary, I'd like to have some break on tuition for the kids, they're saying the damn rich are getting all the money. There's a real anger out there you're seeing, it shows up in discussions of foreign trade, all kinds of ways, the rich are grabbing it, Halliburton, the big shot insider taking the money away from us, that's why we're not doing so well."
So "far and down the middle" means hitting Republicans harder than Democrats? Too bad Matthews, a former staffer to Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, doesn't routinely attack Democrats to prove how "fair and down the middle" he is.
[This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted with video Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]
After Scarborough pointed out how frequently and often he attacks the GOP, Matthews turned to NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, whom he called "not partisan" to settle the issue. Mitchell quipped that "I think that Joe has been too pro-Democrat myself."
While the rest of the panel laughed, Scarborough unsmilingly interjected: "So do all my Republican friends."
What brought on Scarborough's defensive lecture was an earlier exchange after MSNBC declared Democrat Bob Casey the winner in Pennsylvania's Senate contest. Matthews asked whether Casey's victory would mean that Hillary Clinton might have an easier time carrying Pennsylvania if she was the Democratic nominee. Scarborough opined: "There is a big difference between Bob Casey and Hillary Clinton. You know, Bob Casey really is, and I think this is the headline here, Bob Casey is the new breed of Democrat."
He added: "You know, like I have said for sometime, Democrats used to be so easy to pick off in the Southeast and even in states like Pennsylvania, because they would get these people who were ideologically aligned with Hillary Clinton and the far left wing of the Democratic Party. That's not the case this year, and you've got to give a lot of credit to Chuck Schumer," referring to the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
A few moments later, Matthews asked Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean if they were giving too much credit to Schumer and not enough to Dean. Dean replied, "No, my concern was calling Hillary Clinton a member of the far left. I don't know who's making those comments but he certainly isn't anywhere close to neutral. I mean, the fact is-"
Twenty minutes later, Scarborough took an opportunity to complain about how Matthews had agreed with Dean's bias complaint, but he also made it clear that he sees Hillary Clinton as an "excellent" U.S. Senator and not on the far left, saying he should have named someone like Barbara Boxer.
Here's the relevant transcript from just before 9pm EST:
Chris Matthews: "Let's go to our panel. Let's start with Joe Scarborough. Joe, it seems like the evening is following a pattern long predicted: easier victories in Pennsylvania and in Ohio for the Democrats, more questionable results in the other five states."
Based on exit polls, CNN's Bill Schneider reported in the 7pm EST hour Tuesday night that the veteran vote went for Republican Senator George Allen over Democratic challenger Jim Webb. But Schneider seemed baffled as to how such a thing could happen. During the election night coverage, he mentioned that Webb was a "veteran" or "decorated hero" three times in a mere four sentences.
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Schneider asserted at about 7:09pm EST: "These are veterans. Now they could be voting for James Webb because James Webb was the Secretary of the Navy. James Webb is a decorated hero and a veteran of the Vietnam War. He might have done very well with veterans. But this is, if women were a breakthrough for Webb, the veteran vote was a breakthrough for George Allen. George Allen, the Republican, carried 57 percent of the veterans vote in Virginia, despite the fact that Webb is a decorated veteran and a former Naval Secretary."
Newsweek Senior Editor Marcus Mabry, appearing on CNN to deliver a postmortem on Republican Rick Santorum's loss in Pennsylvania, attacked the Senator as a "firebrand partisan" and wondered if Republicans would learn a lesson from his loss and be more cooperative with Democrats: "If a partisan, firebrand partisan like Rick Santorum is not returned to the Senate, maybe the American people are sending a message to the Republican Senators." But, as New York Times columnist David Brooks pointed out last week, Santorum "has pushed through a stream of legislation to help the underprivileged, often with Democratic partners."
[This item is expanded from a Tuesday night NewsBusters posting by Scott Whitlock: newsbusters.org ]
In his October 29 column, Brooks contended that "over the past 12 years almost every time a serious piece of anti-poverty legislation surfaces in Congress, Rick Santorum is there playing a leadership role....
Mabry's comment fro about 10:05pm EST:
During an election night discussion of the Missouri embryonic stem cell debate, CNN analyst Paul Begala slammed Rush Limbaugh as a "drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited." Bill Bennett, also on the panel with James Carville and J.C. Watts, chastised Begala: "Well, it's a nasty comment."
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]
The discussion, with Democratic strategist Begala's insult, began at 8:08pm EST Tuesday night on CNN:
Paul Begala: "There are principled reasons to oppose embryonic stem cell research. There are principled Americans who do. Bill Bennett is one of them. But Bill Bennett was not the face and the voice of the anti-embryonic stem cell debate. It became Rush Limbaugh, a drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited. That's good for Claire McCaskill. And I just talked to her campaign manager, Richard Martin. He says that the turnout in the cities is very high. He's very encouraged that in the very, kind of, Anglo-suburbs of, of Eastern Jackson County, which, traditionally, pretty Democratic and should really care about stem cell research, he thinks turnout is going to be something like 70 percent. So they think the stem cell thing is working big for them."
CNN's Jack Cafferty, who recently called Donald Rumsfeld a war criminal, chose Election Day to accuse the President of going to war in Iraq for oil and of condoning torture. He also wondered if George Bush was "elected at all."
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
A transcript of the November 7 Cafferty File segment aired in the 4pm EST hour of CNN's The Situation Room:
Wolf Blitzer: "Jack Cafferty is here with 'The Cafferty File.' Jack?"
Is Jack Cafferty trying to out-Olbermann Olbermann?
One of the most routine (and inaccurate) tics of news coverage of Missouri's cloning amendment and other medical-research stories is to describe the controversy over embryo-destroying stem cell research as simply a fight over "stem cell research." To declare that a pro-life politician is "against stem cell research" is quite inaccurate (since they favor research on adult stem cells and from umbilical cord blood). But NBC's Kevin Tibbles did that twice Tuesday morning to Sen. Jim Talent on Today, and never once even used the word "embryo" or "embryonic" to describe the specific human lives being destroyed in the research process.
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Co-host Meredith Vieira: "You know Kevin we heard a lot about the race after Rush Limbaugh criticized those ads that Michael Fox did supporting stem cell research and the Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill. How much do you think that controversy will play into the voters' minds today when they go to the polls?"
For those who might think Tibbles isn't being exquisitely sensitive to liberal word choices, we should remind you that in May, the very same Tibbles clumsily used the term "those who critics call illegals" in a story on illegal immigration: www.mrc.org
CBS's Sharyn Alfonsi also had this problem (with less repetitiveness) on Tuesday's The Early Show on CBS:
Alfonsi had a bit of soundbite imbalance in the piece, showing Republican Jim Talent just saying the race would be close, but allowing Democrat McCaskill a 12-second oration on how poor Americans aren't feeling the prosperity like those on Wall Street.
NBC's Today correspondents on Tuesday made sure to underline that Republicans were seen as racist in the Senate campaigns in Tennessee and Virginia. Reporter Tom Costello began his November 7 report: "Matt, good morning. This has been a hard fought race. It's been injected with advertisements viewed by many as being racist by the Republican National Committee. The Corker campaign repudiated those ads, as did the Ford campaign, of course."
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
By many? Try "by many Democrats," at least. From there, David Shuster (usually assigned to Chris Matthews on MSNBC), also underlined the alleged-racist angle on the Virginia race:
As Chris Matthews sees it and decreed it Sunday afternoon, if voters in Maryland decided to go for Republican Michael Steele it would be because they prefer African American candidates who are "unthreatening" or "almost...castrated," and that the "funny" "lighthearted" Steele strikes voters as "a guy I would like to have living next door" -- although he quickly added that "that may be pushing it in some cases."
As Joe Scarborough, one of the rotating anchors of MSNBC's continuing election coverage tried to interrupt, Matthews justified his comments by insisting that, "I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it's coming to the fore, this race problem we have."
Of course, whether or not Steele wins, most of his votes will come from Maryland's more conservative voters. Does this mean that Matthews is blaming liberal Democratic voters for the supposed racist antagonism against Steele?
[This item, by Rich Noyes was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
As Brad Wilmouth already documented, Matthews on Sunday also blamed racism for the fact that Democrat Harold Ford appeared to be trailing in his race for a Tennessee Senate seat: "We all know the history of our country electing white people. Blacks vote for whites. Whites don't vote for blacks. It's just been a problem. It's just a horrible problem. I thought he was really courageous in making this run. I never thought it was really that winnable. He's from Memphis. He's had a history of family illegalities. Talk about the old man being involved in affecting your election. An uncle in trouble. I think he had to overcome an awful lot. But most importantly, he's an African-American guy running in the United States." See: www.mrc.org
Matthews made his comments about Steele around 2:25pm EST on Sunday, during live coverage shortly after President Bush's delivered comments praising the death sentence verdict against Saddam Hussein. As he and Scarborough handicapped the various races, Matthews blurted out what he presented as praise of Michael Steele:
At this point, Scarborough tried to interrupt, but Matthews plowed forward: "And this guy comes on as a funny guy, a lighthearted, positive guy. And the people go 'God, this guy is a guy I would like to have living next door' -- although that may be pushing it in some cases."
After Scarborough tried again to interrupt, Matthews finished up: " And so I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it's coming to the fore, this race problem we have."
Of course, the fact is that in both Tennessee and Maryland voters are siding with the candidate who best represents their positions on the issues -- Republicans voting for the white Bob Corker and black Michael Steele, Democrats picking the white Ben Cardin and black Harold Ford. Matthews could be rejoicing over how color-blind the American political system is in the early 21st century, but instead he's impugning voters as too racist to vote fairly.
On Monday night's edition of Nightline, just hours before the polls opened for Tuesday's midterm election, ABC's Terry Moran prematurely promoted a potential 2008 Democratic presidential contender. Moran went along with Illinois Senator Barack Obama as he campaigned for Democrats across the country. Moran's piece was full of praise for the "American political phenomenon," whom, according to Moran, millions see as "the savior of the Democratic Party."
[This item, by Megan McCormack, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Moran gushed on the November 6 show: "You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon. In state after state, in the furious final days of this crucial campaign, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been the Democrat's not-so-secret get-out-the-vote weapon. He inspires the party faithful and many others, like no one else on the scene today...And the question you can sense on everyone's mind, as they listen so intently to him, is he the one? Is Barack Obama the man, the black man, who could lead the Democrats back to the White House and maybe even unite the country?"
In a softball question to Senator Obama, Moran asked him about the buzz surrounding his political future: "And right now you are on a roll. You're, people,'Obamania,' they, they call it. The rock star. You get a big cheer when you get up there."
Moran then gushed over Obama's rise to political stardom: "So how did this happen? A 45-year-old senator with less than two years experience in the Congress, anointed by millions as the savior of the Democratic Party."
As for his presidential ambitions, Moran played up the hype around Obama repeatedly throughout his report: "St. Louis, Missouri, this is one of the closest Senate races in the country. Democrat Claire McCaskill needs every vote she can find, and once again, Obama is a huge draw...The crowd is transfixed. You can sense their longing for him to run for president...And everywhere he goes, people want him to run for president, especially in Iowa, cradle of presidential contenders. Around here, they're even naming babies after him."
Moran then highlighted concerns that America would be unprepared to deal with a "black, progressive" presidential candidate: "Along with the hope, however, there are fears for the emotions that a black, progressive candidate for president might unleash."
Citing Obama's background, Moran praised the Senator for "bridging divides" and wondered if he brought that sense of unity to his politics: "Raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama seems to have found a way to reconcile many of the most painful differences in American culture. It seems, sometimes, that much of your politics is about bridging divides."
Finally, while Moran offered no conservative criticism of Obama, he did note Democratic criticism of Obama, for wanting to work with President Bush: "Obama's already angered some on the left by insisting that should Democrats take control of Congress tomorrow, they should seek to work with President Bush, rather than try to impeach him or launch investigations into how the Iraq war was started."
The "rock star" label, so often used by the media to describe Obama, continued during Tuesday's Good Morning America, when reporter Kate Snow, discussing probable 2008 presidential candidates, like Moran, labeled him as such: "There are a few wild cards that we're watching. The former vice president, Al Gore, the rock star Senator Barack Obama, the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, and then all the rest."
[This item was posted, with video, Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]
As Malkin spoke, viewers saw a split-screen of her and of this NewsBusters posting, "Polls Remain Open in Pennsylvania, But CBS Announces Casey Victory," by Rich Noyes: newsbusters.org
-- Brent Baker