Some of the clearest examples of MSNBC's liberal bias can be found in the
onscreen graphics selected for the network's programming. In the span of 20
minutes on Tuesday, three such Morning Meeting images stated a pretty clear
opinion about Joe Lieberman's opposition to parts of the health care bill. At
9:20am, one whined, "Joe Blowing Health Reform?"
At 9:01, another graphic actually used an exclamation point, not often seen in supposedly objective reporting: "Say It Ain't So, Joe! Lieberman: No on Buy-In." At 9:14, a picture of the senator appeared onscreen with the words "THE SPOILER."
At 9:20, host Dylan Ratigan interviewed Ned Lamont, the Democratic candidate that liberals supported in the 2006 primary against the Connecticut Senator. Fellow guest Jonathan Capehart, the liberal editorial writer for the Washington Post, mused about less honorable reasons as to why Lieberman might oppose lowering the age of Medicare.
He speculated, "Mr. Lamont, can you put to rest one thing I've seen in the
press? and that is maybe one of the reasons why Senator Lieberman is
flip-flopping all over the place on this is because of the insurance interests
in Connecticut. Do you think that that is a valid point or a valid criticism?"
In an earlier tease for the segment, Ratigan wondered if this was "revenge" on the part of Lieberman. Clearly, MSNBC is not happy with the possibility that Lieberman could derail or water down the possibility of government-run health care.
A transcript of the December 15 segment, which aired at 9:20am EST, follows:
9:01 graphic: Say It Ain't So, Joe! Lieberman: No on Buy-In
9:14 graphic [Over picture of Lieberman]: The Spoiler
9:20 graphic: Joe Blowing Health Reform?
[Clips of Lieberman earlier saying he would reserve judgment on the expansion of Medicare.]
DYLAN RATIGAN: So you can see why many Democrats this morning are boiling with rage, pondering Lieberman's sudden about-face. Some are even asking the question, could it have anything to do with this man? Joining the Morning Meeting is Ned Lamont, who challenged Lieberman in 2006 for the U.S. Senate, and won, prompting Lieberman to leave the Democratic party. Lamont now exploring a run for governor. Also with us, Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post editorial writer. And Mr. Lamont, why do you think Senator Lieberman is making the decisions he's making right now?
NED LAMONT: Well, good morning, Dylan. Great to be with you. Look, I thought enator Lieberman made sense about the Medicare buy-in in 2004. During our campaign in 2006, he thought it was a good idea. You know, this is a state that is dead last in job creation and has some of the highest health care costs in the country. And the two are related. If you believe in job creation and growth, you've got to work on the health care costs. And as you pointed out just a few months ago, he reiterated his interest in this.
RATIGAN: But, why, why do you think the decision now, because again, Senator Klobuchar was just here, made a valid point. Listen, one of the issues of expanding Medicare without reforming some aspect of the pricing mechanism, where the pricing that you get as a doctor in Florida is very different than the pricing you get in Minnesota. And I'm not even sure that that's Senator Lieberman's issue, but my point is there could be valid reason to talk about how you want to do this. I'm curious whether you feel like you have any insight as to whether Senator Lieberman's motives are those or are they more political, more gamesmanship?
LAMONT: I think he loves being in the cat bird seat , he loves being the 60th vote, loves having President Obama and others come to him. Look, there's no question that Medicare needs reform. And, you know, Senator Klobuchar's point that it's much more expensive in Miami than it is in Minnesota bears looking at. But, we do have folks, 55 to 65, that desperately need health insurance. It brings down costs for small businesses if they can buy in. We ought to support it. And something else Senator Klobuchar said, we're getting closer to the goal line. It's tough when Senator Lieberman keeps moving the goal line.
RATIGAN: Jonathan Capehart?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yeah. Mr. Lamont, can you put to rest one thing I've seen in the press? and that is maybe one of the reasons why Senator Lieberman is flip-flopping all over the place on this is because of the insurance interests in Connecticut. Do you think that that is a valid point or a valid criticism?
LAMONT: Look, I sure hope not. I would like to think that Senator Lieberman is doing it for principled reasons. But there's no question that he's been all over the map on this and we have a strong health care insurance industry here in the state. But, I think he's got to listen to all the people of the state of Connecticut, because most of us feel strongly that the Medicare buy-in is a reasonable compromise that will bring down health care costs for all of us.
RATIGAN: All right. Ned, a pleasure. Thanks for giving us a moment of your morning. Ned Lamont talking health care out of Connecticut.
-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.