Archive for Curtis Houck

BOOM! Ex-RNC Official Shields Demolishes CNN’s Irresponsible Trump Rally Coverage

<p>Fighting a brave battle against CNN’s emotionally hysterical, overwhelmed, and triggered liberals after Tuesday’s Trump rally, CNN political commentator and former RNC official Mike Shields thoroughly lambasted his colleagues losing their minds for spending time “chiming in that we just think the President is insane” and deeming him mentally ill.</p>

Deranged, Unstable CNN Loses Its Mind Post-Trump Rally, Led by This Don Lemon Rant

<p><em>CNN Tonight</em> led the way in providing the left’s response to Tuesday’s Trump rally in Arizona, openly rooting for the President’s removal from office. It was all kickstarted by host Don Lemon’s rant immediately afterward denouncing Trump as a unstable, unintelligent child attacking “an imaginary friend.”</p>

Disturbing: Matthews Does His Best Hulk Impression, Hints Trump Rally Could Turn Violent

<p>MSNBC’s <em>Hardball </em>host Chris Matthews left viewers on Tuesday night with a rather disturbing image of Matthews grunting and stretching while giving his best Incredible Hulk impression ahead of a Phoenix Trump rally that he insinuated could turn violent. <em>The Atlantic</em>’s Rosie Gray was noting the difference between Trump with a Teleprompter versus without when Matthews interjected that the latter is “[w]hen his Incredible Hulk thing grows in him.”</p>

ABC, NBC Dump Cold Water on Trump’s Afghanistan Plan Due to Bad Polls, Charlottesville

On Monday night, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC each broke in with special reports for President Trump’s speech announcing his Afghanistan strategy and, in the course of the post-speech analyses, ABC and NBC lobbed cold water on the plans seeing as how low Trump’s approval ratings have been.

Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd followed up his recent streak of giving aid and comfort to Antifa by expressing skepticism about the President’s decision. Todd ruled that Trump’s “selling a country on extending a war that has already been lasted — already lasted 16 years” with a low approval rating.

“And signaling more troops are going and signaling that there is no end date or no end date that I want to share with you, that would be a difficult task if — if he were an extraordinarily popular President right now. It's even harder considering the sort of the wounds politically that he has. Something that he did try to address a bit at the top of his remarks,” Todd added.

Over on ABC, chief anchor and former Clinton administration official George Stephanopoulos started with faux Republican and senior strategic adviser Matthew Dowd, invoking the President’s opening few lines and noting they were in reference to the events of Charlottesville:

I want to begin — start with our chief political analyst, Matthew Dowd. Something that was made good there after those remarks about the Charlottesville violence were widely criticized here in the United States. We have a new poll showing 2-to-1 disapproval. The President said we cannot remain at peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other. 

Dowd was speaking at almost the exact same time as Todd, so it was only natural that their dubious conclusions were similar.

“[T]his is a very unpopular President engaging in a very unpopular war with a President who has a huge trust deficit in this and now this is his. He owns this is war now he didn't start,” Dowd began. 

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He also made the rest of his comments about how the President indirectly referenced the country’s strife following Charlottesville:

But, more importantly, the first five minutes of his speech was about — it was obviously post-Charlotte — post-Charlottesville. It was about race — racism. It was about bigotry, and I think he and his staff understood before he could even get to talking about the strategy and the war, he had to figure out a way to go back to his Monday talking points before his disastrous press conference where he went both sides, and he had to figure out a way to go back before he could go forward on this war.

CBS took a different approach, offering a far shorter post-speech discussion with interim CBS Evening News anchor Anthony Mason and chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. Mason noted Trump’s “marked shift and a marked shift in tone” based on his past opinions about the war.

Garrett offered criticism of the speech not due to Charlottesville or his poll numbers but the lack of specifics, harping on “[a] marked shift in tone but a great absence of specifics.” 

He then added, in part, the following: 

If anyone in America's living room was watching the speech was waiting to hear that precise number from President Trump about an increase in U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, well, they listened in vein.....But without those numbers it's hard to measure and it will be hard to measure in the future exactly how much progress is being achieved. One White House official told us tonight, we will know progress when we see it. Will the country? That’s the open question.

Here’s the relevant transcript from the NBC News Special Report on August 21:

NBC Presidential Speech
August 21, 2017
9:28 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: President Trump including his remarks describing the path forward in Afghanistan. The President readily acknowledging the about face he's done on the issue saying that things change, paraphrasing that things change when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. He did not answer a lot of questions and that apparently by design as to how many troops would now be committed saying that that sort of operational detail they will no longer provide or how long the U.S. military commitment will last as we are now in the 16th year of the war in Afghanistan. Let's bring in our political director, Chuck Todd, who’s been watching long with me. Chuck, what do you make of the President's path forward? 

CHUCK TODD: You know, Lester, under the best of circumstances, I think selling a country on extending a war that has already been lasted — already lasted 16 years and signaling more troops are going and signaling that there is no end date or no end date that I want to share with you, that would be a difficult task if — if he were an extraordinarily popular President right now. It's even harder considering the sort of the wounds politically that he has. Something that he did try to address a bit at the top of his remarks, but Lester, on the policy front, I think the most remarkable announcement he made was the rhetorical ratcheting up of pressure Pakistan, not just talking about Pakistan being a safe harbor for these terrorists, but even inviting Pakistan's sworn enemy, India, to play an even bigger role in Afghanistan, which is really more of a threat to Pakistan. If you don't get your act together, we could actually stop working with you as an ally and work more with India. So I think the policy announcement and the most significant thing that he said tonight had to do with ratcheting up things with Pakistan.

Here’s the relevant transcript from the ABC News Special Report on August 21:

ABC Presidential Speech
August 21, 2017
9:28 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump laying it out there. The path forward in Afghanistan. No more deadlines, no more timetables. Tough conditions on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He didn't say so in the speech, but this will require more troops. His generals have already recommended that about 4,000 more troops. But this was also a plea for unity here at home. That was how the President began his speech. I want to begin — start with our chief political analyst, Matthew Dowd. Something that was made good there after those remarks about the Charlottesville violence were widely criticized here in the United States. We have a new poll showing 2-to-1 disapproval. The President said we cannot remain at peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other. 

MATTHEW DOWD: George, you know, I was struck by a couple of things. First is this is a very unpopular President engaging in a very unpopular war with a President who has a huge trust deficit in this and now this is his. He owns this is war now he didn't start. But, more importantly, the first five minutes of his speech was about — it was obviously post-Charlotte — post-Charlottesville. It was about race — racism. It was about bigotry, and I think he and his staff understood before he could even get to talking about the strategy and the war, he had to figure out a way to go back to his Monday talking points before his disastrous press conference where he went both sides, and he had to figure out a way to go back before he could go forward on this war.

Here’s the relevant transcript from the CBS News Special Report on August 21:

CBS Presidential Speech
August 21, 2017
9:28 p.m. Eastern

ANTHONY MASON: President Trump, at Joint Baser Myer in Virginia, announcing a shift in policy towards Afghanistan and a shift in his attitude. He said my original instinct was to pull out but he said he came to decision last Friday at the Camp David meeting that an honorable and enduring outcome was necessary, that the consequence of rapid exit were unacceptable and security threats immense. Major Garrett is there. Major, a marked shift and a marked shift in tone from the President. 

MAJOR GARRETT: A marked shift in tone but a great absence of specifics, Anthony. If anyone in America's living room was watching the speech was waiting to hear that precise number from President Trump about an increase in U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, well, they listened in vein. The President did not disclose what many of his advisors have let us know that the number is anywhere between 3,800 and 4,000. What the White House now says the president simply not going to get involved in those specifics. He in June gave Defense Secretary Mattis authority to deploy upward of that number of U.S. military personnel but that authority is his. Of course, the Defense Secretary was simply not going to make a move like that without an endorsement — a strategic endorsement of what you just heard from the President tonight. A way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan that the President says will increase security. But without those numbers it's hard to measure and it will be hard to measure in the future exactly how much progress is being achieved. One White House official told us tonight, we will know progress when we see it. Will the country? That’s the open question.

MASON: It is an open question. Major, the President said tonight we are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.

‘I’m Already Worried About Tonight!’ Matthews Concerned About Trump Afghanistan Decision

Hours before President Trump’s Monday night speech announcing a U.S. troops surge in Afghanistan, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews admitted that he’s a “dove” “already worried about tonight” because it’s a “pure” escalation by the military “establishment.” 

It’s worth noting that this represented an admirable consistency by Matthews, seeing as how he also criticized a troop surge by President Obama on December 1, 2009 (but more on that later).

In the middle of a segment about Steve Bannon’s White House departure, Matthews interjected [emphasis mine]: 

I'm worried about tonight, by the way. I'm already worried about tonight. We will get it in the next segment. Then escalate in Afghanistan which is pure, the old style of establishment. Let's put more troops in like Johnson did, Kennedy did, Nixon did. We always go to war and then we put more and more troops in. We think we’re going to solve the problem and I'm wondering, that isn't McMaster talking. If that isn't Jared and Javanka talking.

“Well, we have a real problem that it seems, to me, people like me are doves, we just wonder what is going to happen without Bannon there. At least, the one thing that Bannon did was escape from wars,” Matthews added in comments directed to the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey.

Right on cue, the next segment was about Afghanistan and Matthews set the tone by telling BBC’s Katty Katy that he’s “a skeptic” and “dove” since “I do not see where you go into these wars, you go in and you never can come home.”

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He pointed to nameless generals who are supposedly “opposed going to work because they know we’re going to get stuck” as reason for him to “worry” that “we’re going in for a bigger war in Afghanistan tonight.”

The longtime liberal pundit later aired his opinions about war:

This is my view of war. Katy, when you go in, if you're from here, and you're going there, you know you're coming back here. Eventually. The enemy over there, whether it’s Vietnam, or it’s Taliban, knows we are coming back here. All they have to do is wait us out. Now, we can say, in four years, it will be different. No, it don't because we’re coming home four years and they know home we’re coming home in four years. It changes the timetable but not the reality. It is their country and they will rule it. Just like the Vietnamese did. All the fighting and 60,000 guys of my generation getting killed trying to stop history from taking place. It’s their country. We’re coming home. It’s going to be their country. That's arithmetic fact that military guys and everybody else should get into their heads.

Going back to 2009, Matthews also expressed concern about Obama’s Afghanistan decision-making. 

Then-NewsBusters writer Jeff Poor wrote about it that night as Matthews deemed West Point audience members to be “the enemy camp” and “strange venue” choice: 

It seems like in this case, there isn't a lot of excitement,” Matthews said. “I watched the cadets, they were young kids - men and women who were committed to serving their country professionally it must be said, as officers. And, I didn't see much excitement. But among the older people there, I saw, if not resentment, skepticism. I didn't see a lot of warmth in that crowd out there. The president chose to address tonight and I thought it was interesting. He went to maybe the enemy camp tonight to make his case. I mean, that's where Paul Wolfowitz used to write speeches for, back in the old Bush days. That's where he went to rabble rouse the ‘we're going to democratize the world’ campaign back in '02. So, I thought it was a strange venue.

So, Matthews has put down his marker ahead of the President’s speech, showing an unwavering opinion about Afghanistan. We’ll see if the rest of the media follows suit, seeing as how similar the policies appear to be. 

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcripts from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 21:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 21, 2017
7:07 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm worried about tonight, by the way. I'm already worried about tonight. We will get it in the next segment. Then escalate in Afghanistan which is pure, the old style of establishment. Let's put more troops in like Johnson did, Kennedy did, Nixon did. We always go to war and then we put more and more troops in. We think we’re going to solve the problem and I'm wondering, that isn't McMaster talking. If that isn't Jared and Javanka talking. 

ANNIE LINSKEY: I think it would be more of the generals talking. You have powerful generals in this sort of militarized White House at this point. And you know, their influence is felt very clearly but it was General Kelly who sort of has quite a bit of credit for pushing out, you know, not only Scaramucci but also Bannon. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

LINSKEY: So, he’s clearly asserting his power in a number of places. 

MATTHEWS: Well, we have a real problem that it seems, to me, people like me are doves, we just wonder what is going to happen without Bannon there. At least, the one thing that Bannon did was escape from wars. 

(....)

7:17 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS [TO KATTY KAY]: I'm a skeptic. I am a dove. I do not see where you go into these wars, you go in and you never can come home. We never say we’re going — and I understand why the general is generally opposed going to work because they know we’re going to get stuck. Then generals say we have to stay there because justifying blood and treasure justifies staying in. That’s my worry. Is it justified? Katy Kay, do you think we’re going in for a bigger war in Afghanistan tonight? 

(....)

7:23 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: This is my view of war. Katy, when you go in, if you're from here, and you're going there, you know you're coming back here. Eventually. The enemy over there, whether it’s Vietnam, or it’s Taliban, knows we are coming back here. All they have to do is wait us out. Now, we can say, in four years, it will be different. No, it don't because we’re coming home four years and they know home we’re coming home in four years. It changes the timetable but not the reality. It is their country and they will rule it. Just like the Vietnamese did. All the fighting and 60,000 guys of my generation getting killed trying to stop history from taking place. It’s their country. We’re coming home. It’s going to be their country. That's arithmetic fact that military guys and everybody else should get into their heads. 

MSNBC’s Butler: Trump’s Neo-Nazi, Racist Behavior Is Just Following Ronald Reagan’s Legacy

One can always count on the left to overreach. Thursday’s Hardball featured MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler arguing that President Trump’s Charlottesville response was only a continuation of “white racism” put forth by former Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. 

To make the show’s A-block even more loony, USC professor Erroll Southers later argued that “the right-wing” is “the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security” thanks to Trump being “a champion in the White House.”

Host Chris Matthews teed Butler up by wondering if Trump “allowed himself to be identified with the cause of the Civil War to support the continuation and extension of slavery into the territories.”

Butler then unloaded, lumping Trump in with Reagan:

You know, I think that he’s just being more open and transparent about his close connection with white racism than some other Republicans, like Reagan and Nixon, whose whole “Southern strategy” used code words like “welfare queen” and “urban crime” to talk about black people. Again, Trump’s friendliness with white supremacists is more open, it’s more transparent, and in a sense, it’s more frightening, it’s more threatening to our nation.

Matthews largely agreed, proclaiming that “Reagan did some good things” before trashing him: “He knew what he said, not just ‘welfare queens,’ he talked — his phrase — the ‘young buck’ who would come into the supermarket and buy liquor with food stamps. That was one of his babies, too.”

The pair can try and assert that Reagan was supportive of such hatred, but the facts are not on their side. Newsmax wrote an article on Wednesday about how Reagan specifically called out such groups

“To those individuals who persist in such hateful behavior . . . you are the ones who are out of step with our society; you are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America. And this country, because of what it stands for, will not stand for your conduct,” Reagan told the audience.

In March of that year, 20-year-old Michael Donald was found beaten and lynched in Birmingham. Three members of the Ku Klux Klan were eventually convicted and one was later executed.

Reagan attacked the “disturbing reoccurrence of bigotry and violence.”

“A few isolated groups in the backwater of American life still hold perverted notions of     what America is all about.”

Southers continued to dig further by slamming Trump as offering “not just a dog whistle” to racists but “a foghorn to his base.” Sure, professor, there’s 63 million racists in the country (since that’s the number of people that voted for the President). Good luck making that claim without people laughing or taking offense to it.

“He’s actually defending what has become the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security, which is the right wing. You’ve seen the statistics, over twice as many attacks in the last decade put out by the right wing. We knew this past weekend, we’d have trouble in Charlottesville,” Southers argued.

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The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein stepped in to call out this over-generalization (even though Stein himself is no conservative):

I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t paint the entire right-wing as the threat here. I think we need to be more specific about it. We’re talking about white nationalist right-wing extremists. Let’s not paint too broad a [brush].

Southers somewhat back-tracked, responding: “Well, what I would say is we all know that what we saw on Saturday were neo-Nazis, militia conservatives, we saw neo-Confederates, we saw several factions of the Klan. These are groups that usually are fragmented.”

Butler returned later to double down on his Republican smear, hoping that more in the GOP would condemn the President while also trashing them:

So I hope it will become even too much for the Republicans. But we have to understand that mainstream Republicans have always appealed to white resentment. No Democrat since Lyndon Johnson has gotten a majority of the vote. So these Republicans who are okay with the more subtle signs, the attacks on African-American, on civil rights, and the lack of concern about police brutality and people of color, the attacks on immigration -- again, what Trump is, is the chickens coming home to roost. But there`s always been stirring up of resentment by Republicans.

Spoiler alert, when you’re looking to convert someone to your opinion, don’t attack them at the same time.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 17:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 17, 2017
7:03 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Paul Butler on this whole question. Let’s talk about what Trump’s up to, apparently, saying that the Lincoln — rather, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial are in danger. This isn’t about me marching or hanging around with people who march with Nazis. I got a new angle on this baby. What do you think of this attempt to squirm out of his historic reputation problem, I think.

PAUL BUTLER Yes, so Chris, this is about deflecting and pivoting from his coziness with white supremacists to this academic debate about different ways to remember history, but here’s the thing. President Trump is not an intellectual thought leader. This week, he sounded like a bigot who just doesn’t get that the white supremacist side lost the Civil War and we now live in a country that should not honor terrorists who use violence and rape to keep black people down.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he allowed himself to be identified with the cause of the Civil War to support the continuation and extension of slavery into the territories? Do you think he got that bad off?

BUTLER: You know, I think that he’s just being more open and transparent about his close connection with white racism than some other Republicans, like Reagan and Nixon, whose whole “Southern strategy” used code words like “welfare queen” and “urban crime” to talk about black people. Again, Trump’s friendliness with white supremacists is more open, it’s more transparent, and in a sense, it’s more frightening, it’s more threatening to our nation.

MATTHEWS: Well, Reagan did some good things, but one of the bad things he did, he talked about, as he — look, you can’t disguise what he said. He knew what he said, not just "welfare queens," he talked — his phrase — the “young buck” who would come into the supermarket and buy liquor with food stamps. That was one of his babies, too.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Professor Southers, let me ask you about this whole question of — what do you hear when you hear Trump defend — basically, defend those who march with Nazis, as well as with KKK people, as well as defending the monuments to the people who really caused the Civil War?

ERROLL SOUTHERS: Well, Chris, as your previous guest mentioned, this is not just a dog whistle anymore. This is a foghorn to his base. He’s actually defending what has become the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security, which is the right wing. You’ve seen the statistics, over twice as many attacks in the last decade put out by the right wing. We knew this past weekend, we’d have trouble in Charlottesville. And they see this as an incredible movement in terms of their ability to move on, be emboldened, recruit, radicalize and engage and now they’re out in force. They’re not wearing hoods or sheets anymore. They don’t feel they need to hide. And they have a champion in the White House.

SAM STEIN: I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t paint the entire right-wing as the threat here. I think we need to be more specific about it. We’re talking about white nationalist right-wing extremists. Let’s not paint too broad a —

MATTHEWS: What do you make of that, Professor?

SOUTHERS: Well, what I would say is we all know that what we saw on Saturday were neo-Nazis, militia conservatives, we saw neo-Confederates, we saw several factions of the Klan. These are groups that usually are fragmented. They usually have a lot of internal strife. They don’t usually coalesce to one location for one cause, and they did that. And with all due respect, we’re not going to paint the right wing in that way, but we are going to paint the extremists that were there, and these are the people that are being emboldened by his activities. We’ve seen attacks over the last several weeks and months that have gone ignored and not been reported, and they know what’s going on and they have a champion in what was said again for the third iteration of his explanation about what was going on...

MATTHEWS: Do you think those pictures that we’re showing, Professor, the pictures we just showed — while you couldn’t see, we’re showing people fighting with each other hands -- it’s fist to fist. It’s not exactly gun to gun, but it’s pretty rough. We’re looking at -- is that a recruitment poster for the alt-right?

SOUTHERS: Absolutely. What they wanted to have on Saturday was they wanted to be attacked by the counter-protesters. We’ve seen this in activities in other protests. We had one in Los Angeles in 2010, where the alt-right was attacked by the protesters. The following day on their Web site, they had a notice saying, We were there peacefully protesting when we were attacked. Unfortunately, on Saturday, things went tragically and deadly awry, and they were unable to respond to that. So what they’re trying to do now is to lay low. The word is out. They didn’t expect on someone to get killed, especially someone on the other side, and they have to regroup and restrategize of how they’re going to go forward.

(....)

MATTHEWS: What do you think will happen politically if that becomes the case in the rest of the summer?

BUTLER: So I hope it will become even too much for the Republicans. But we have to understand that mainstream Republicans have always appealed to white resentment. No Democrat since Lyndon Johnson has gotten a majority of the vote. So these Republicans who are okay with the more subtle signs, the attacks on African-American, on civil rights, and the lack of concern about police brutality and people of color, the attacks on immigration -- again, what Trump is, is the chickens coming home to roost. But there`s always been stirring up of resentment by Republicans.

MSNBC’s Butler: Trump’s Neo-Nazi, Racist Behavior Is Just Following Ronald Reagan’s Legacy

One can always count on the left to overreach. Thursday’s Hardball featured MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler arguing that President Trump’s Charlottesville response was only a continuation of “white racism” put forth by former Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. 

To make the show’s A-block even more loony, USC professor Erroll Southers later argued that “the right-wing” is “the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security” thanks to Trump being “a champion in the White House.”

Host Chris Matthews teed Butler up by wondering if Trump “allowed himself to be identified with the cause of the Civil War to support the continuation and extension of slavery into the territories.”

Butler then unloaded, lumping Trump in with Reagan:

You know, I think that he’s just being more open and transparent about his close connection with white racism than some other Republicans, like Reagan and Nixon, whose whole “Southern strategy” used code words like “welfare queen” and “urban crime” to talk about black people. Again, Trump’s friendliness with white supremacists is more open, it’s more transparent, and in a sense, it’s more frightening, it’s more threatening to our nation.

Matthews largely agreed, proclaiming that “Reagan did some good things” before trashing him: “He knew what he said, not just ‘welfare queens,’ he talked — his phrase — the ‘young buck’ who would come into the supermarket and buy liquor with food stamps. That was one of his babies, too.”

The pair can try and assert that Reagan was supportive of such hatred, but the facts are not on their side. Newsmax wrote an article on Wednesday about how Reagan specifically called out such groups

“To those individuals who persist in such hateful behavior . . . you are the ones who are out of step with our society; you are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America. And this country, because of what it stands for, will not stand for your conduct,” Reagan told the audience.

In March of that year, 20-year-old Michael Donald was found beaten and lynched in Birmingham. Three members of the Ku Klux Klan were eventually convicted and one was later executed.

Reagan attacked the “disturbing reoccurrence of bigotry and violence.”

“A few isolated groups in the backwater of American life still hold perverted notions of     what America is all about.”

Southers continued to dig further by slamming Trump as offering “not just a dog whistle” to racists but “a foghorn to his base.” Sure, professor, there’s 63 million racists in the country (since that’s the number of people that voted for the President). Good luck making that claim without people laughing or taking offense to it.

“He’s actually defending what has become the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security, which is the right wing. You’ve seen the statistics, over twice as many attacks in the last decade put out by the right wing. We knew this past weekend, we’d have trouble in Charlottesville,” Southers argued.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein stepped in to call out this over-generalization (even though Stein himself is no conservative):

I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t paint the entire right-wing as the threat here. I think we need to be more specific about it. We’re talking about white nationalist right-wing extremists. Let’s not paint too broad a [brush].

Southers somewhat back-tracked, responding: “Well, what I would say is we all know that what we saw on Saturday were neo-Nazis, militia conservatives, we saw neo-Confederates, we saw several factions of the Klan. These are groups that usually are fragmented.”

Butler returned later to double down on his Republican smear, hoping that more in the GOP would condemn the President while also trashing them:

So I hope it will become even too much for the Republicans. But we have to understand that mainstream Republicans have always appealed to white resentment. No Democrat since Lyndon Johnson has gotten a majority of the vote. So these Republicans who are okay with the more subtle signs, the attacks on African-American, on civil rights, and the lack of concern about police brutality and people of color, the attacks on immigration -- again, what Trump is, is the chickens coming home to roost. But there`s always been stirring up of resentment by Republicans.

Spoiler alert, when you’re looking to convert someone to your opinion, don’t attack them at the same time.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 17:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 17, 2017
7:03 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Paul Butler on this whole question. Let’s talk about what Trump’s up to, apparently, saying that the Lincoln — rather, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial are in danger. This isn’t about me marching or hanging around with people who march with Nazis. I got a new angle on this baby. What do you think of this attempt to squirm out of his historic reputation problem, I think.

PAUL BUTLER Yes, so Chris, this is about deflecting and pivoting from his coziness with white supremacists to this academic debate about different ways to remember history, but here’s the thing. President Trump is not an intellectual thought leader. This week, he sounded like a bigot who just doesn’t get that the white supremacist side lost the Civil War and we now live in a country that should not honor terrorists who use violence and rape to keep black people down.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he allowed himself to be identified with the cause of the Civil War to support the continuation and extension of slavery into the territories? Do you think he got that bad off?

BUTLER: You know, I think that he’s just being more open and transparent about his close connection with white racism than some other Republicans, like Reagan and Nixon, whose whole “Southern strategy” used code words like “welfare queen” and “urban crime” to talk about black people. Again, Trump’s friendliness with white supremacists is more open, it’s more transparent, and in a sense, it’s more frightening, it’s more threatening to our nation.

MATTHEWS: Well, Reagan did some good things, but one of the bad things he did, he talked about, as he — look, you can’t disguise what he said. He knew what he said, not just "welfare queens," he talked — his phrase — the “young buck” who would come into the supermarket and buy liquor with food stamps. That was one of his babies, too.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Professor Southers, let me ask you about this whole question of — what do you hear when you hear Trump defend — basically, defend those who march with Nazis, as well as with KKK people, as well as defending the monuments to the people who really caused the Civil War?

ERROLL SOUTHERS: Well, Chris, as your previous guest mentioned, this is not just a dog whistle anymore. This is a foghorn to his base. He’s actually defending what has become the greatest threat to our nation’s homeland and national security, which is the right wing. You’ve seen the statistics, over twice as many attacks in the last decade put out by the right wing. We knew this past weekend, we’d have trouble in Charlottesville. And they see this as an incredible movement in terms of their ability to move on, be emboldened, recruit, radicalize and engage and now they’re out in force. They’re not wearing hoods or sheets anymore. They don’t feel they need to hide. And they have a champion in the White House.

SAM STEIN: I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t paint the entire right-wing as the threat here. I think we need to be more specific about it. We’re talking about white nationalist right-wing extremists. Let’s not paint too broad a —

MATTHEWS: What do you make of that, Professor?

SOUTHERS: Well, what I would say is we all know that what we saw on Saturday were neo-Nazis, militia conservatives, we saw neo-Confederates, we saw several factions of the Klan. These are groups that usually are fragmented. They usually have a lot of internal strife. They don’t usually coalesce to one location for one cause, and they did that. And with all due respect, we’re not going to paint the right wing in that way, but we are going to paint the extremists that were there, and these are the people that are being emboldened by his activities. We’ve seen attacks over the last several weeks and months that have gone ignored and not been reported, and they know what’s going on and they have a champion in what was said again for the third iteration of his explanation about what was going on...

MATTHEWS: Do you think those pictures that we’re showing, Professor, the pictures we just showed — while you couldn’t see, we’re showing people fighting with each other hands -- it’s fist to fist. It’s not exactly gun to gun, but it’s pretty rough. We’re looking at -- is that a recruitment poster for the alt-right?

SOUTHERS: Absolutely. What they wanted to have on Saturday was they wanted to be attacked by the counter-protesters. We’ve seen this in activities in other protests. We had one in Los Angeles in 2010, where the alt-right was attacked by the protesters. The following day on their Web site, they had a notice saying, We were there peacefully protesting when we were attacked. Unfortunately, on Saturday, things went tragically and deadly awry, and they were unable to respond to that. So what they’re trying to do now is to lay low. The word is out. They didn’t expect on someone to get killed, especially someone on the other side, and they have to regroup and restrategize of how they’re going to go forward.

(....)

MATTHEWS: What do you think will happen politically if that becomes the case in the rest of the summer?

BUTLER: So I hope it will become even too much for the Republicans. But we have to understand that mainstream Republicans have always appealed to white resentment. No Democrat since Lyndon Johnson has gotten a majority of the vote. So these Republicans who are okay with the more subtle signs, the attacks on African-American, on civil rights, and the lack of concern about police brutality and people of color, the attacks on immigration -- again, what Trump is, is the chickens coming home to roost. But there`s always been stirring up of resentment by Republicans.

CNNers Argue Lee Statues Are Like Having a Bin Laden School, Defend Lefty Who Made Assassination Plea

Late in the going on Thursday’s CNN Tonight, two eyebrow-raising claims arose when host Don Lemon compared Robert E. Lee statues to having schools named after Osama Bin Laden while political commentator Keith Boykin defended the Missouri liberal who called for President Trump’s assassination.

Even though CNN political commentator Alice Stewart and The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro made solid points about removing Confederate statues, Lemon interjected as if the two conservatives had argued that the statues should all stay. 

“Let me give you — let me give you — let me give you — this is a stark example and pardons me for my clumsiness here. Imagine if someone wanted the erect - I have a school called Osama Bin Laden Middle School for Learning — whatever,” asserted Lemon.

Stewart noted that this wouldn’t be the case in the U.S., but Lemon continued by arguing that Lee is on the same footing with African-Americans:

But that is not a part of African-American. But that represents Robert E. Lee. That was our holocaust, right? This is what happened to us. We would rather not go to schools — we're not saying people shouldn't learn about Robert E. Lee. We're not saying that Robert E. Lee — Robert E. Lee statues should not exist in some form some wear, but it should not be part of a public building, a building — especially something that is paid for with federal tax dollars. If you want to have it in the privacy of your home, have as many Robert E. Lee statues as you want.

Shapiro stepped in to ask for a clarification, wondering if Lemon’s implying “here that everyone who opposes taking down the statues is a racist.”

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“That’s not what I’m saying at all. That’s not what I'm not saying. I'm saying we should have a conversation just like we do now and I don’t think that at all. I'm trying to get you and others to understand how people of color feel about those statues, especially as a son of the south,” responded Lemon.

In the same week where he questioned Trump supporter Paris Dennard’s blackness, fellow political commentator Keith Boykin showcased the left’s intolerance when it comes to allowing people not of their ideology to stand with them:

With respect to Alice and John and everyone, this is not a local issue. This is an issue about America's history, national history that affected millions of Americans, 600,000 people died in the Civil War. It was the bloodiest war in American history. 50,000 people died at Gettysburg. 20,000 at Vicksburg, 20,000 at Antietam. We can't celebrate the history of a man named Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis who took up arms against the United States of America. I don't know where anyone else draws the line. But I can draw a line there...George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, though they were slave owners, never took up arms against the United States of America...And for a President of the United States in 2017 to endorse treason traitors, murderess, and racist and to celebrate that is unacceptable and anyone who stands up in favor of that is, in my opinion is not respecting the true culture of what America is supposed to represent.

Boykin returned in the next segment when he offered a defense of Missouri Democratic State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal after she suggested that the President be assassinated. 

Showing no shame, Boykin argued despite appropriate pushback from Lemon:

BOYKIN: At least — I don't think what she said was right, but had the courage to say she was wrong. This President never says he was wrong. This is a President who got up there last year in the campaign — 

LEMON: Making excuses for her? 

BOYKIN: I'm not. He spoke about second amendment remedies in case Hillary Clinton was elected, which was a clear threat of assassination. He never admitted that at all.

LEMON: I understand that, but this is, yea, yes, you're right, but, still —

BOYKIN: Right, it's wrong. You can't say anything. It's wrong, but the point is, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. He is supposed to be, not only the political leader, but moral leader of the country. He cannot do that. He cannot condemn other people when he is creating culture of violence himself.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from August 17's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
August 17, 2017
11:45 p.m. Eastern

BEN SHAPIRO: There have been decent arguments expressed for not taking down the statue, people like Condoleezza Rice who have said it's an opportunity to teach people when you walk by about the darkness of some of our history. And I've heard the argument that is partially correct that if you remove some statues and there was a commentator on CNN that said we should pull down statues of Washington and Jefferson. People on the left are actually suggesting that. But I think there are great arguments for taking the statues down. I think a lot of these towns are looking into taking down these statues and a lot of people on all sides of the political aisle basically grabbing hold of this issue. So I think you have folks on the left who are suggesting everyone who purports retaining the confederate statues is a racist and everyone who says they should come down is a nut job and I think you have President Trump who's taking advantage of the situation in order to misdirect away from the press conferences that we saw earlier. 

(....)

ALICE STEWART: I saw you raise the Confederate flag at the beginning of the show. Now we understand how that is harmful to people and hurtful to people and we need to take that into consideration. But at the same time this is not something for the President to do a full swoop across the board. This is a local issue that needs to be decided —

LEMON: Let me give you — let me give you — let me give you — this is a stark example and pardons me for my clumsiness here. Imagine if someone wanted the erect - I have a school called Osama Bin Laden Middle School for Learning — whatever. 

STEWART: That’s not in part of America.

LEMON: But that is not a part of African-American. But that represents Robert E. Lee. That was our holocaust, right? This is what happened to us. We would rather not go to schools — we're not saying people shouldn't learn about Robert E. Lee. We're not saying that Robert E. Lee — Robert E. Lee statues should not exist in some form some wear, but it should not be part of a public building, a building — especially something that is paid for with federal tax dollars. If you want to have it in the privacy of your home, have as many Robert E. Lee statues as you want. If you — 

SHAPIRO: Is the implication here that everyone who opposes taking down the statues is a racist or a bigot? Is that — 

LEMON: — no. That’s not what I’m saying at all. That’s not what I'm not saying. I'm saying we should have a conversation just like we do now and I don’t think that at all. I'm trying to get you and others to understand how people of color feel about those statues, especially as a son of the south.

(....)

KEITH BOYKIN: The only person on the so-called left who hasn't spoken about this. With respect to Alice and John and everyone, this is not a local issue. This is an issue about America's history, national history that affected millions of Americans, 600,000 people died in the Civil War. It was the bloodiest war in American history. 50,000 people died at Gettysburg. 20,000 at Vicksburg, 20,000 at Antietam. We can't celebrate the history of a man named Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis who took up arms against the United States of America. I don't know where anyone else draws the line. But I can draw a line there, you can distinguish, it is very possible to distinguish what Robert E. Lee did, what Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson did from Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, though they were slave owners, never took up arms against the United States of America and for a President -- it is treason. And for a President of the United States in 2017 to endorse treason traitors, murderess, and racist and to celebrate that is unacceptable and anyone who stands up in favor of that is, in my opinion is not respecting the true culture of what America is supposed to represent.

(....)

LEMON: So, I’m back now with our panel, and, yes, we talked all about this during the break, all of us here, but moving on now to talk about a Democratic Missouri state Senator from the University City posted this is in St. Louis, posted and quickly deleted this Facebook thing saying she hoped that President Trump would be assassinated. She came to prominence in the Ferguson and Michael Brown situation. Quickly took it down. The U.S. Secret Service and St. Louis office investigating the chairman and Democratic Party called on her to resign. What do you say? 

(....)

LEMON: Yeah. Look, the President has to own his words, responsible for his words, and she said the way I responded this morning was wrong. She told The Star, I guess the newspaper. “I am frustrated. Did I mean the statement, no, I'm frustrated. Absolutely, the President is causing damage and causing hate.” She has to be responsible for her words like the President's responsible for his. 

BOYKIN: At least — I don't think what she said was right, but had the courage to say she was wrong. This President never says he was wrong. This is a President who got up there last year in the campaign — 

LEMON: Making excuses for her? 

BOYKIN: I'm not. He spoke about second amendment remedies in case Hillary Clinton was elected, which was a clear threat of assassination. He never admitted that at all.

LEMON: I understand that, but this is, yea, yes, you're right, but, still —

BOYKIN: Right, it's wrong. You can't say anything. It's wrong, but the point is, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. He is supposed to be, not only the political leader, but moral leader of the country. He cannot do that. He cannot condemn other people when he is creating culture of violence himself.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: Barcelona Terrorism Could Be ‘A Copycat’ of Charlottesville Attack

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was anchoring the network’s breaking news coverage Thursday afternoon on the possible radical Islamic terror attack in Barcelona, Spain when he made the inartful and arguably pathetic assertion that the truck attack could be “a copycat” of the neo-Nazi car attack on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Former Obama administration official and CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto actually laid out the recent rap sheet of ISIS and Islamic terror attacks across Europe (including Nice and Belgium) with Spain being a country featuring a less-known track record of problems that France and Belgium have had. 

Sciutto brought the matter back to Charlottesville, but only from the standpoint of how that also involved a vehicle:

And the final point I would make, Wolf, is just know that, in light of the uproar over the last several days, five days apart you have whites supremacists in Charlottesville use a vehicle to kill and here you have — attackers at least following the modus operandi of terrorists using vehicles apparently to kill as well and that — those shared tactics that should be alarming. 

Blitzer’s word choice could obviously have been better, but it was nonetheless a head-scratching statement when he responded that “there will be questions about copycats” of Charlottesville.

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What made his rhetoric even more absurd was that he immediately doubled down [emphasis mine]:

There will be questions, if not what happened in Barcelona, was at all, at all, a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though they may be different characters and different political ambitions, they use the same killing device. A vehicle going at high speed into a group, a large group, of pedestrians and as local police are saying, at least one person is now dead. 32 injured. Many of them in critical condition right now.

It’s clear that the news media want to capitalize on Charlottesville, but perhaps they should leave this horrifying event aside for the moment. Connecting something on the other side of the world likely done by Islamists who are far different than neo-Nazis other than the key point that they’re anti-Semitic is a stretch.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Wolf on August 17:

CNN’s Wolf
August 17, 2017
1:18 p.m. Eastern

JIM SCIUTTO:  Well, Wolf, an eyewitness shared a video in the immediate minutes after the attack walking down the stretch of Las Ramblas, this tourist attraction in the middle of Barcelona, and just a tangle of bodies, Wolf. It was horrific to see, and the nature of the injuries so severe that it wouldn't be surprising to see the human toll of this rise and it’s evocative of those pictures, you and I remember, our viewers as well, of the attack in Nice. A long stretch of street with a lot of bodies left in the trail of the vehicle and — it's — this is, the scale looks particularly alarming. That's one thing. Two, Spain has not had the numbers that, say, France had, for instance, in terms of jihadi suspects et cetera or volunteers for ISIS in Syria and Iraq. That said, I was speaking to a security source in Europe a short time ago who was just in Barcelona in March, profiling what is still a large and insulated, isolated Muslim community there. Within it a militant presence authorities have been aware of. Typical for them to penetrate because of the insularity of that group. A number of Pakistani nationals, Moroccan nationals, ties to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a powerful Pakistani terrorist group. So, at the top of the list, like Belgium, for instance, or France, it has had a presence and it's something that not just Spanish authorities but U.S. authorities have been aware of. And the final point I would make, Wolf, is just know that, in light of the uproar over the last several days, five days apart you have whites supremacists in Charlottesville use a vehicle to kill and here you have — attackers at least following the modus operandi of terrorists using vehicles apparently to kill as well and that — those shared tactics that should be alarming. 

WOLF BLITZER: Yeah and there will be questions about copycats. There will be questions, if not what happened in Barcelona, was at all, at all, a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though they may be different characters and different political ambitions, they use the same killing device. A vehicle going at high speed into a group, a large group, of pedestrians and as local police are saying, at least one person is now dead. 32 injured. Many of them in critical condition right now. They fully expect the death toll to go up. No official statement yet from U.S. officials, although the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of Defense James Mattis, they have been meeting at the State Department with Japanese counterparts. They’re going to be speaking shortly. We'll see if they do make a statement. Let’s take a quick break. We’ll have special breaking news coverage right after this.

‘Hardball’ Goes Off the Rails: Guest Defend Antifa as Mostly ‘Peaceful,’ Other Demands Cover Up

On Wednesday, Antifa was given prominent and positive coverage on MSNBC and not only did it go beyond the pro-Antifa MTP Daily segment but extended to Hardball. Host Chris Matthews featured a guest that gushed over the violent leftists as “diverse” and mostly “peaceful” while another was pathetic unprepared. 

When Matthews seemed curious about why there were people in Charlottesville with “clubs...jumping in” but not on the side of neo-Nazis, Brooks shamefully defended the violent group denounced by the Department of Homeland Security as simply “protecting themselves.”

Surprisingly, Matthews kept pressing to the point that Brooks hilariously admitted that she’s “not an expert on Antifa”:

MATTHEWS: There was one group that was jumping in and punching the Nazi types. I have seen pictures from — I have seen a lot of pictures, like you have. And I have seen people reaching in and slugging them. Who were those people?

BROOKS: Yes, but they — they may have been part of Antifa. Antifa is not a nonviolent group. So, let me just say that and the Southern Poverty Law Center certainly prefers and promotes nonviolent protests. But I do want to point out that there’s no moral equivalency between white supremacists, white nationalists, and Antifa.

MATTHEWS: Well, I know. I know. I’m with you on that. Let me ask you about this use of the term fascist. I remember in grad school, way back in the ‘60s, I first heard to somebody refer to a fascist as a business, anybody working in the administration at the time. Anybody working for Johnson. Anybody in the government. Any businessperson was a fascist. How loose a term is that for the Antifa people?

BROOKS: They’re very serious about it.

MATTHEWS: I know they’re serious objectively. But how wide a sweep do they say fascist? Do they mean Mussolini people? Who do they mean? Anybody they don’t like?

BROOKS: No, I believe that they’re referring to anti-democracy and kind of a rabid nationalism that we see that is growing in this country.

MATTHEWS: I thought they were opposed to globalization as well.

BROOKS: I couldn’t say. I’m not an expert on Antifa.

Matthews went next to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism’s Brian Levin, who stated that “[t]here is no moral equivalency and their cause is standing up to the bigotry and fascism that they see from white nationalists and they’re somewhat diverse.”

Levin only conceded that there’s “an offshoot” of Antifa “that is violent and must be condemned” before embarrassing himself in swooning over the black bloc, Marxist group:

But as someone who had his life at risk and protected a Klansman from a mob of these folks, I can tell that you there is an offshoot that is violent and should be condemned. However, when we see these protests, most of the counter-protests are peaceful. Most of the Antifa people are peaceful. However, to be sure, there’s a sliver that is violent and is looking to bash heads. And they should be condemned. But there is no moral equivalency between Nazis and white nationalists and a broad diversity of counter-protesters, which include a sliver of violent people.

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Matthews continued to distinguish himself from Chuck Todd, inching down the path of realizing that Antifa was similar to Occupy Wall Street and other violent protest groups, but Brooks wanted none of that. She suggested the conversation be diverted back to white supremacists:

BROOKS: They were in Charlottesville to stand against white supremacists.

MATTHEWS: No, I mean other cases, in other examples.

BROOKS: But that’s not what we’re talking about, Chris.

MATTHEWS: No, I’m talking about this. I want to know who these people are.

BROOKS: I understand, but when you do that, you feed into the false narrative that there’s some kind of equivalency.

MATTHEWS: How does information work into a false narrative? I’m trying to get the truth here.

BROOKS: We gave you information about who they are and what they believe in.

“So, there’s no moral equivalency with regard to Nazis. But I will say this that this is an reactive type of extremism and what is happening is these violent Antifa folks do not see them part of a democratic type of initiative. And they have to be separate from the more peaceful counter-protesters,” Levin responded.

Matthews asked Brooks to respond to “what you just heard,” but she declined because she was clearly in over her head:

Well, I think — I’d like to keep the conversation to Charlottesville and what happened in Charlottesville. I know that the Antifas came there to stand it’s against white supremacists to protect — I know that they protected — I heard that from Reverend Barber and from Reverend Blackman and that they protected the clergy from the white supremacists that night. They said that they saved their lives and so, I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want -- I don’t want the conversation now to about Antifa. We need to keep the focus on the white supremacists.

This left Matthews perturbed, so he informed her that “I’m going to ask the questions” because, “[t]hat’s the way this show works” since he “want[s] to learn from you, the experts.”

“Then you said you know nothing, you don’t know enough about Antifa. I want to learn. Brian is helping me and you’re challenging — I think we have to find out who are the violent people because, you know, we can argue about their points. Of course, the Nazis are the worst in terms of values and purpose. But if this other group wants to have trouble, they’re going to find trouble too, Lecia. They’re going to find trouble,” Matthews added.

Before the end of the segment, Levin also denounced Matthews as having muddied the waters between Antifa and white supremacists: “[T]here’s a broad set of Antifa folks, many of whom are in fact peaceful. But the bottom line is, we had an act of terrorism here. Why aren’t we talking about that?”

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 16:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 16, 2017
7:35 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, invoking the term alt-left, the President created, you might say, a moral equivalence, I think, between the neo-Nazis and KKK member in one group and the counter-protesters known as Antifa, or anti- fascists. While there were self-professed anti-fascists, of course, among the protesters down in Charlottesville on Saturday, some reportedly wielding clubs, as the President noted, it was an alleged Nazi admirer who is now accused of plowing his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others.....Lecia, educate us to this. What — when we’re talking with the Antifa crowd, what are they really? I know their name is anti-fascist. Do they only go after fascists or do they go after anybody, say, in the global economic community they don’t like?

LECIA BROOKS: No. They are strictly principled anti-fascists. And what they see in the Trump administration and what they see happening in this country, they see the neo-fascism that we see and they have taken a principled stand to stand against white supremacists and white nationalists wherever they may show up. I like to point out that Antifa at Charlottesville protected peaceful protesters. I don’t know what President Trump was talking about.

MATTHEWS: Who were waving the clubs on that side? I mean, I looked at pictures that people were jumping in.

BROOKS: They were protecting themselves.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Anti-fascist is a great word, because we’re against fascism. Is that what they mean? If that is what they mean, fine, if that is what they mean.

BRIAN LEVIN: Yes, they do. But I’m going to diverge here.

MATTHEWS: Well, don’t diverge yet. I want to you explain who Antifa is, because Trump is calling them the moral equivalence of neo-Nazis and KKK members. Put that in perspective. What is their method? What is their cause, Antifa?

LEVIN: There is no moral equivalency and their cause is standing up to the bigotry and fascism that they see from white nationalists. And they’re somewhat diverse. But as someone who had his life at risk and protected a Klansman from a mob of these folks, I can tell that you there is an offshoot that is violent and should be condemned. However, when we see these protests, most of the counter-protests are peaceful. Most of the Antifa people are peaceful. However, to be sure, there’s a sliver that is violent and is looking to bash heads. And they should be condemned. But there is no moral equivalency between Nazis and white nationalists and a broad diversity of counter-protesters, which include a sliver of violent people.

BROOKS: Chris, let me also say, because I think it has to be said, that Antifa would not -- they would not be there if it weren’t for the white supremacists calling that rally, calling for the race war.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Obviously, Nazis are not equivalent to anyone else in terms of cause. They support racism and all the rest of it but in terms of method, is there a difference in their methods?

LEVIN: Sure. There’s a difference in their methods. Many of them are people of goodwill who are outraged at what they’re seeing with the division in our society and the racial hatred within our society and I understand that, but I also faced some of these folks who were armed with wooden planks and metal rods and who were going to murder somebody. And I’m going to tell you something. The fault of this starts with candidate Trump, who lit a fire, and is now complaining that —

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know.

LEVIN: — the bushes at his house got singed. So, there’s no moral equivalency with regard to Nazis. But I will say this that this is an reactive type of extremism and what is happening is these violent Antifa folks do not see them part of a democratic type of initiative. And they have to be separate from the more peaceful counter-protesters.

(....)

LEVIN: That being said, there’s a broad set of Antifa folks, many of whom are in fact peaceful. But the bottom line is, we had an act of terrorism here. Why aren’t we talking about that?

MATTHEWS: Yes, OK.

LEVIN: People armed with clubs is one thing. But like ISIS and white national extremist who represent the biggest extremist threats to the United States should be noted that this is a big deal. This is the big —

MATTHEWS: Brian, we have shown that picture over and over again of that terrible person ramming their car and driving it backwards to kill people. I know that and you’re dead right. That’s the heart of the violence here.

LEVIN: And we live in an era, we live in an era of reactive extremism.

MATTHEWS: We do focus on that. But we also want to learn all the players and thank you so much, Brian Levin. You’re great. And so is, Lecia, thank you. Lecia, please come back again.

THIS Is CNN: Guest Rules the GOP ‘Are’ Neo-Nazis, ‘Old Slave Owners’ Ignoring Lynchings

For anyone who thinks CNN is dedicated to bringing the American people together, you’re sadly mistaken. Case in point two examples from CNN International on early Tuesday and Wednesday mornings where guest Segun Oduolowu declared the GOP to be neo-Nazis while leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are “old slave owners” who ignored lynchings.

Let’s take the early Tuesday comments first. Oduolowu first lambasted the business CEOs who quit the President’s economic councils for even joining them to begin with because “this feels like fake outrage to me” since “[y]ou knew what this man was.” [Beginning at the 4:43 mark]

Oduolowu pivoted to addressing fellow Los Angeles-based guest and GOP strategist John Thomas, informing him that the neo-Nazis are the Republican Party and he’s “in bed” with them [emphasis mine]: 

As a Republican, when you have basically sold your soul to the alt-right, to people who are marching the streets of a college town — an institution for high learning where slaves actually built that university. When they are marching and you own the presidency, you pretty much own the judiciary, you own most of the elected officials and the government, what country were they — are they losing? They are the GOP right now. They are the GOP. You are in bed. You are in bed with the enemy, John. So, please, look. I love you, brother, but defend what you’ve guys done. 

Roughly 24 hours later, Oduolowu was back at it following President Trump’s controversial press conference saying that there were good people on “both sides” in Saturday’s antifa and neo-Nazi clashes that left well-being counter-protesters caught up in the violence.

Oduolowu argued that it’s unfair to state that “this rabid base of white nationalists and alt-right that support Trump is a small one, but I think it's larger than people really actually realize because when the leadership of the Republican Party are turning their heads and looking the other way when all of this is going on, it shows almost tacit agreement.” [Remarks start at the 6:12 mark]

Trashing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s condemnation of the President and Mitch McConnell’s lack thereof (at the time), Oduolowu declared the Republican leaders remind him of “slave owners” and people who did nothing to stop lynchings of African-Americans [emphasis mine]:

These people that are surrounding him remind of the old slave owners in the South who knew that lynching and all of that stuff was bad but they prefer to turn their head and look the other way as long as they weren't the ones who were taking the front fire and they weren't the ones actually saying what Trump is saying. So I don't want to read the body language of generals anymore. I don't want the statements to be measured. I want to call those people who say that they're conservative but that they don't agree with the racism and the bigotry. How they can still keep supporting this man. Because to me it looks like that old Southern gentlemen turning his head while the black people got lynched. And that kid that got beaten in a parking garage didn't get any — didn't get the type of news coverage he was supposed to but a white girl that got run over by a car did.

How classy. And he received zero pushback for this from co-hosts Isaha Sesay and John Vause. 

Earlier in the late-night Los Angles CNN Newsroom, CNN political commentator and conservative talk radio host John Phillips thrashed these neo-Nazi losers and even brought some humor to the discussion when it came to how no serious person should happen to stumble upon a neo-Nazi rally [Starts at the 1:28 mark]: 

I think that if you went to that rally and you saw one swastika, you would turn around and leave. It's like if you go into a women's restroom by accident, you look around, if you don't see any urinals except for the sinks then you say those are really high urinals over there, you turn around and leave.

Oduolowu wouldn’t concede it to this writer on Twitter, but by suggesting all conservatives and Republicans are or are okay with neo-Nazis and slave owners, he’s making in-kind contributions to the President’s reelection campaign. 

Insulting almost 63 million people who voted for the President isn’t a wise move. Then again, we know this is the media strategy because anything less than full suppression of conservative thought in favor of leftist rule with abortions for everyone, an anti-Israeli foreign policy, and single-payer health care.

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Spoiler alert, conservatives and Republicans don’t have to become full-blown liberals in order to stand against the hate of these KKK, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist losers. Unfortunately, the media won’t be satisfied until there’s full dissension from the GOP and President Trump is called out by name. 

Exit question for the lefties out there: Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush released a joint statement denouncing “racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.” Because they didn’t mention President Trump by name, are they also racist cowards?

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN International’s CNN Newsroom: Live from Los Angeles on August 15 and 16:

CNN Newsroom: Live from Los Angeles
August 15, 2017
12:15 a.m. Eastern

SEGUN ODUOLOWU: Well, I think that they should not take much comfort at all because this feels like fake outrage to me. You knew what this man was when you supported him. You knew what this man was. He entered politics by denouncing the first African-American President and asking for his birth certificate then he attacked a woman running for president and denounced women and called them all types of sexist names, so this is par for the course. I don’t expect much from this President but I would ask John this. [TO JOHN THOMAS] As a Republican, when you have basically sold your soul to the alt-right, to people who are marching the streets of a college town — an institution for high learning where slaves actually built that university. When they are marching and you own the presidency, you pretty much own the judiciary, you own most of the elected officials and the government, what country were they — are they losing? They are the GOP right now. They are the GOP. You are in bed. You are in bed with the enemy, John. So, please, look. I love you, brother, but defend what you’ve guys done. 

(....)

August 16, 2017
12:05 a.m. Eastern

JOHN PHILLIPS: Look, I don't think Donald Trump is a racist. I think on this subject though there are four points that should be made and made in this order. The first point is the groups that were behind the Unite the Right march are horrible people — all of them. The neo-Nazis, the white supremacists, the white nationalists — all of them. Number two is that they have a constitutional right to be there. They had a constitutional right to spew their hatred. We've seen the courts reaffirm this over and over and over again going back to Skokie and the KKK to this particular case where the ACLU defended their right to be there and they had the proper permit. Three — any one of those members of those groups that broke the law when they were there, that attacked police officers, that attacked counter protesters, that ran someone over with their car -- they should be prosecuted by the fullest extent of the law. And four, counter-protesters who were there who broke the law and committed acts of violence — acts of violence should also be prosecuted. I think the problem that he made today was he over-emphasized four, instead of going through one, two, three —

VAUSE: So there were fine people over in that group —

PHILLIPS: No, I don't believe that. I think that if you went to that rally and you saw one swastika, you would turn around and leave. It's like if you go into a women's restroom by accident, you look around, if you don't see any urinals except for the sinks then you say those are really high urinals over there, you turn around and leave.

VAUSE: Ok.

ISHA SESAY: Segun — to you, let me bring you in. Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader said, by the President not taking sides on Tuesday, he's shown what side he is on. Where do you stand on this issue? I mean you just heard John say that he doesn't believe the President is racist. Where do you stand?

SEGUN ODUOLOWU: Well, I agree with Chuck Schumer on that point. Again — I know John pretty well and we've spoken on the radio before so let me measure these comments correctly. John — you can't be serious. I mean what President Trump did today was probably the dumbest, most idiotic thing I've ever actually seen a sitting president do where just like you said there were fine people in the march. If you're marching alongside swastikas and the Nazi flag, I don't care what your point is anymore. You lost me at Nazi. And I saw confederate flags marching side by side with neo-Nazi flags. So when the President is going to say that the people that protest Nazis and are violently opposed to Nazis are just as bad as the Nazis themselves, he loses that argument. He loses me. And quite frankly, he should lose — he should lose all credibility and the power to govern anymore because what he is doing is dividing a nation and doing it piece by piece.

(....)

SESAY: John Phillips — a lot of people looking to the GOP. They have of course, come out and expressed their displeasure. A lot of them including Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, has put a tweet that he posted earlier on and basically in that tweet he effectively as we see it there: We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no more ambiguity.” Yes, that's Paul Ryan there. He's saying we must clear. White Supremacy is repulsive. But he doesn't call the President out by name. Why?

PHILLIPS: Yes. Look, Paul Ryan is 100 percent right with what he said in that tweet. John McCain and other Republicans who are leaders in the legislature have done the exact same thing. That's what they all should be doing. There is a big disagreement when it comes to politics between Republicans in the legislature and the President. We've seen that not just when it comes to, you know, stylistic politics. We've seen it come down to policy. We saw it with health care. We've seen it happen with certain foreign policy issues. We're going to see it with tax reform. This is not something that's going to go away. They're going to butt heads.

SESAY: Can I push back on that just for a second —

PHILLIPS: Sure.

SESAY: This is bigger than politics. This is about what this country is. It's about who this country — what it is, where it's come from, where it's going —

PHILLIPS: Right. And they're making their — 

SESAY: This is a moment that —

PHILLIPS: — they're making their position very clear. And by the way, the position that Trump had earlier in this week was the position that he should have just left it at because that was the right tone. That statement that came out earlier this week —

MATTHEW LITTMAN: But that's not his position. That's not —

VAUSE: That was like — that was like, you know, a hostage video.

(....)

VAUSE: Segun — yes very quickly, Segun. I wanted to ask you this question because we heard from Paul Ryan a very tepid statement. Mitch McConnell was — according to Politico, a spokesman for Senator Mitch McConnell said the Kentucky Republican had no new comment in response to Trump's remarks on Tuesday. So that's the leadership of the Republican Party. Yes, Republicans lawmakers have condemned Trump but the leadership is not really taking a stand here.

ODUOLOWU: Right. [TO SARA SIDNER] And so I just wanted to address this to Sara — while I was shaking my head while you were talking I think — I meant no disrespect by it. What I was doing was you said that that base, this rabid base of white nationalists and alt-right that support Trump is a small one. But I think it's larger than people really actually realize because when the leadership of the Republican Party are turning their heads and looking the other way when all of this is going on, it shows almost tacit agreement. I know what Trump is. That really — it doesn't bother me as much as it used to. But bothers me is when a Mitch McConnell has no new comments. It bothers me when Paul Ryan won't call out what he says to be wrong and repugnant. These people that are surrounding him remind of the old slave owners in the South who knew that lynching and all of that stuff was bad but they prefer to turn their head and look the other way as long as they weren't the ones who were taking the front fire and they weren't the ones actually saying what Trump is saying. So I don't want to read the body language of generals anymore. I don't want the statements to be measured. I want to call those people who say that they're conservative but that they don't agree with the racism and the bigotry. How they can still keep supporting this man. Because to me it looks like that old Southern gentlemen turning his head while the black people got lynched. And that kid that got beaten in a parking garage didn't get any — didn't get the type of news coverage he was supposed to but a white girl that got run over by a car did.

Fake News: Matthews Claims GOPers Are Not Condemning Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks

On Tuesday’s Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews irresponsibly dabbled in fake/false news by claiming that Republicans and those in GOP leadership haven’t spoken out against President Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville violence, including his Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Matthews was squabbling with frequent Hardball guest and GOP strategist John Brabender when he went down that path (despite Brabender largely agreeing with Matthews). 

Brabender promoted the notion that Republicans and Democrats should be unified with “a very loud and clear voice” against the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, but Matthews only seemed interested in attacking the GOP.

After telling Brabender that Trump’s behavior and those responsible for the Charlottesville terrorism represent “a problem for the Republican Party,” he let lose the falsehoods [emphasis mine]:

Okay, I’m with you. John, I’m with you, but your party is not with you because I remember when we had Speaker Boehner a couple years ago. And we was asked, why don't you tell the president to stop pushing this birther thing, that the President of the United States at that time, Barack Obama, is not some foreign who snuck into the country and he said as follows. I'm not going to tell people what to think. Isn't that the goal of leadership, to be able to tell people what to think? Why does your party leadership shy away from saying, Trump is wrong. It seems to me, that McConnell and the Speaker, Ryan, should be standing right now and saying, whatever Trump thinks personally, we know where we stand. We're the party of Lincoln still and we don't stand for this and nobody’s doing it. 

Brabender put forth a measly response by citing Speaker Paul Ryan’s statement (tweet below) to which Matthews shot back “not really.” 

Brabender then just cited an old statement by Vice President Pence before moving on to largely agreeing with Matthews:

The problem is this Presidents falls into this terrible trap of talking about things like monuments and statues. When that is not the purpose today, the purpose today is purpose is clarity of message. And anybody allowing him to do that, it is disappointing they even put him in that position[.]

One could go on all night with interviews, quotes, and tweets from Republicans up and down the proverbial food chain taking issue with Trump’s Tuesday press conference and maintaining the belief that the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists were the leading causes of last weekend’s terrorism in Charlottesville. Marco Rubio’s thread were compiled in a number of places (including here). In addition, here’s a sampling: 

And those are just the tweets regarding the President’s Tuesday statements. Matthews can level these deceiving claims, but that doesn’t mean they’re right and that they won’t be refuted. Such irresponsible talk alleging millions of people are silent in the face of hate serves zero purpose in uniting the country.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 15:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 15, 2017
7:40 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go — let me go to John Brabender and this is a problem for the Republican Party, isn't it? 

JOHN BRABENDER: Well, first of all, let me say this. We really should put Republican and Democrat aside right now and stand up as Americans with a very loud and clear voice that says, collectively, we're unified and repudiating the KKK and the neo-Nazis. That needs to be said. We need to be united to do that.

MATTHEWS: Why didn't he say that on Saturday? 

BRABENDER: Well, personally, I think it should have been. I also marvel at how anybody would put on that press conference today and think that they were going to walk out of there talking about infrastructure without this being addressed. It should have been addressed right up front. This is one of the issues that’s so important and where words matter so much. It should have been a statement.

MATTHEWS: Okay, I’m with you. John, I’m with you, but your party is not with you because I remember when we had Speaker Boehner a couple years ago. And we was asked, why don't you tell the president to stop pushing this birther thing, that the President of the United States at that time, Barack Obama, is not some foreign who snuck into the country and he said as follows. I'm not going to tell people what to think. Isn't that the goal of leadership, to be able to tell people what to think? Why does your party leadership shy away from saying, Trump is wrong. It seems to me, that McConnell and the Speaker, Ryan, should be standing right now and saying, whatever Trump thinks personally, we know where we stand. We're the party of Lincoln still and we don't stand for this and nobody’s doing it. 

BRABENDER: Chris, Chris, Speaker Ryan put out a very strong comment just a few moments ago.

MATTHEWS: Not really. Oh, okay.

BRABENDER: Mike Pence put out a very strong statement two days ago. There are certainly people in this party. The problem is this Presidents falls into this terrible trap of talking about things like monuments and statues. When that is not the purpose today, the purpose today is purpose is clarity of message. And anybody allowing him to do that, it is disappointing they even put him in that position and the other thing too though, Chris, is that there’s a lot of people say, well, he's playing to the base. I would tell you that's a — that’s a very judgmental statement as well about the base. The base is a lot of Democrats right now too. This is an issue where there should be unity in this entire country and I think it is disappointing that we're not all united on this. 

MATTHEWS: Well, there’s two — you're not happy, but there are two people that are happy tonight. One is Donald Trump, the President of the United States and the other one is David Duke. 

Out of Control ‘Hardball’ Lumps GOP in with Neo-Nazis, Shocked Wilson Loved ‘Birth of a Nation’

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews was back and firing on all cylinders Monday night, overseeing a show devoid of reason as it linked conservatives, Republicans, and anyone in the “right-wing” to the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists associated with Saturday’s Charlottesville terrorism. 

Matthews also showed ineptitude in not knowing until very recently that progressive heartthrob and President Woodrow Wilson loved the KKK film Birth of a Nation so much that he had it shown at the White House. 

He began his show with a personal summation of racism in America:

There’s been an historic evil in this country. It’s an evil that began with slavery, of course, an institution that subjugated millions of human beings with whips and shackles until it ended in the blood of a civil war. It’s an evil that reemerged as the Ku Klux Klan, founded in the spirit of slavery, which terrorized the country in the decades after that war, nor was it limited to the South. A full half century after the Civil War’s end, the 1915 film Birth of a Nation found a national audience, stirring and refueling a resurgence of the Klan for decades thereafter. Well, the events of this weekend in beautiful, historic Charlottesville, Virginia, show that the KKK may have been suppressed but not extinguished. We saw that the evil whose seeds were in slavery remains still in the American soil, still waiting for its moment to rise again. 

After highlighting the violence in Charlottesville, Matthews suggested the violence “may have matched the horror” of what President Trump was unable to do on Saturday, which was condemn the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists by name.

“It’s the same man who built his national following on his original sin of charging the country’s first African-American President of being foreign born, therefore, in his telling, not constitutional. Well, rather than hold them responsible, Trump instead blamed ‘many sides,’ drawing a moral equivalency between the white supremacists and the counter-protesters demonstrating against them,” Matthews added.

NAACP president Derrick Johnson continued to prove that nothing the President said could have satisfied him and even extended conservative principles like voter ID to be examples of pro-Nazi policies:  

Well, words don’t matter in this case. Actions speak. This President should have made these comments during his campaign season. He set a tone that allowed for individuals to feel as if it’s OK to spout racial hatred, individuals who feel it’s OK to hold up Nazism in a way in which they murdered a woman this week....If he wanted to take real action, he really should take a look at the policies he is establishing dealing with affirmative action, the policies he’s establishing deal with voting, the fact that he has a white supremacist as his adviser. So his words mean little. His actions will speak loud.

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson continued to link those who have denounced that Charlottesville hate to those people anyway because, as expected, leftists like Robinson aren’t interested in uniting people across various ideologies. 

It’s difficult to do that when you’re lumping millions of people in with neo-Nazis:

[T]he silence on Saturday was disgraceful, I thought. I mean, it’s not what, you know, you want to hear from the President of the United States. You want to hear the President come out forcefully in defense of American values, in defense of the better angels of our nature, in defense of what we aspire to be and this nonsense about "many sides" was, you know, a sop to the right wing, alt-right, white supremacists who formed, you know, part of his support base. I mean, let’s be honest. They supported him.

In the latest installment of Matthews showing cluelessness, Matthews revealed that he didn’t know Wilson held a White House screening of a pro-KKK filming. Seconds earlier, Johnson spread fake news that Republicans haven’t denounced Trump’s tepid Charlottesville response:

JOHNSON: Well, this is the equivalent to Woodrow Wilson showing Birth of a Nation in the White House. He’s pandering to a -- the lower denomination of this nation is not the values that we should hold. If this is what it means to make America great again, it’s the 1950 versions of it, and (INAUDIBLE) not great during that time. We have to decide, are we going to be an America that’s looking forward, that’s inclusive? And I call on his colleagues, his Republican Party colleagues, to denounce his actions. This is something that has been taking place for a while. We started with dog whistle politics. Now we are open and notorious (ph) with supporting individuals who espouse white supremacist notions. It should not be accepted in this America.

MATTHEWS: Yes, you’re so right about Birth of a Nation. I just saw a documentary on it the other night, and it’s about -- you know, this guy, Griffith, D.W. Griffith, puts out a movie that glorifies the Ku Klux Klan, makes them the heroes of our time. And it goes out across the country and people — white people all go see it and cheer it. This is 1915. I didn’t realize that Wilson had had the thing played in the White House. But it was outrageous. And we’re seeing — we don’t know the total reaction -- everyone on this show knows. We don’t know the total reaction of what happened in Charlottesville. We’re hearing the outcry against it. But what’s happening out in the country? We don’t know yet if they’re not picking up recruits.

Later, guest and former FBI agent Mike German also conflated Trump’s failures and rhetoric with policies being put forth by not only the White House but Republicans as “discriminatory, that are having disparate impacts on Muslim communities, on Latino communities and communities of color across the country.”

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 14:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 14, 2017
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Silence is consent. Let’s play Hardball. [HARDBALL OPENING SEQUENCE] Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews back in Washington. There’s been an historic evil in this country. It’s an evil that began with slavery, of course, an institution that subjugated millions of human beings with whips and shackles until it ended in the blood of a civil war. It’s an evil that reemerged as the Ku Klux Klan, founded in the spirit of slavery, which terrorized the country in the decades after that war, nor was it limited to the South. A full half century after the Civil War’s end, the 1915 film Birth of a Nation found a national audience, stirring and refueling a resurgence of the Klan for decades thereafter. Well, the events of this weekend in beautiful, historic Charlottesville, Virginia, show that the KKK may have been suppressed but not extinguished. We saw that the evil whose seeds were in slavery remains still in the American soil, still waiting for its moment to rise again. Starting on Friday night, white supremacists, including the KKK, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right descended on Charlottesville to join in a weekend of provocation and violence that culminated with the death of 32- year-old Heather Heyer. What came next may have matched the horror itself. For two days, the President of our country not only refused to condemn this rising up of America’s ancient evil by name but dared by his strategic silence to side with it. It’s the same man who built his national following on his original sin of charging the country’s first African-American President of being foreign born, therefore, in his telling, not constitutional. Well, rather than hold them responsible, Trump instead blamed “many sides,” drawing a moral equivalency between the white supremacists and the counter-protesters demonstrating against them.

(....)

DERRICK JOHNSON: Well, words don’t matter in this case. Actions speak. This President should have made these comments during his campaign season. He set a tone that allowed for individuals to feel as if it’s OK to spout racial hatred, individuals who feel it’s OK to hold up Nazism in a way in which they murdered a woman this week. It wasn’t an African-American woman, it was a white woman, who was simply saying that all citizens of this country should be treated with respect, and racial hatred should not be tolerated. So his words today only came after pressure. If he wanted to take real action, he really should take a look at the policies he is establishing dealing with affirmative action, the policies he’s establishing deal with voting, the fact that he has a white supremacist as his adviser. So his words mean little. His actions will speak loud.

MATTHEWS: Gene, let me talk to about how do we interpret what happened this weekend of silence?

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well —

MATTHEWS: In common law, I believe, silence is approval, but I don’t know how to read —

ROBINSON: — the silence on Saturday was disgraceful, I thought. I mean, it’s not what, you know, you want to hear from the President of the United States. You want to hear the President come out forcefully in defense of American values, in defense of the better angels of our nature, in defense of what we aspire to be and this nonsense about "many sides" was, you know, a sop to the right wing, alt-right, white supremacists who formed, you know, part of his support base. I mean, let’s be honest. They supported him. They’ve been cheering him on in their march. They, after his remarks, applauded the remarks and say, Gee, he wasn’t — he wasn’t bad on us, you know?

(....)

CATHERINE RAMPELL: But as to the point that we were discussing earlier about the long-term consequences of the President normalizing racial animus in some respect, whether it’s Woodrow Wilson and Birth of a Nation or Trump — I mean, one thing that really terrified me about the events this weekend is how many of the people there were young white men, not like old racist grandpas who you can sort of write off their bigotry as, Oh, well, no, no, that was -- they’re a product of their time. These are young people who are going to be with us for a very long time who have seen someone who has embraced racial prejudice use that to pave his way to the White House and see him as a hero. The lasting legacy of Trump is not only going to be the kinds of policies that are abhorrent that his administration is pursuing on many of these issues. It’s not just going to be the fact that he has disgraced himself on many levels. But it’s the fact that he has encouraged and emboldened a new generation of people to pursue racial bigotry, or at least to think that they can get away with it if they profess it openly.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Do they vote? Do they tend to vote? In other words, do they get the most right-wing candidate they can get and vote for what’s there, even if they don’t go the full route to their right-wing position? do they vote? Did David Duke vote for Trump? I mean, that kind of thing, does go on?

MIKE GERMAN: Sure. Of course it does and I think Trump was a candidate that was very different. This was no longer a dog whistle. This was a bullhorn that he was talking to these communities through when he made the types of comments that you showed at the beginning of this segment. I think they realized this was going to be a very different Presidential candidate, and were happy to publicly support him, when typically that would not be the way they reacted. And, in fact, if you look early, they were very skeptical of him being somebody who would support the causes and the policies they’re interested in and that’s what I find most troubling, not just the rhetoric, but that actual policies are being put in place that are discriminatory, that are having disparate impacts on Muslim communities, on Latino communities and communities of color across the country.

(....)

GERMAN: And I think that’s — it was very relieving to hear so many Republicans come out and strongly denounce the violence and strongly denounce Trump’s refusal to denounce the violence. But, you know, when we talk about immigration, I would hope that they look at their own language and how they talk about other people and when they talk about terrorism and the way they talk about Muslim communities, that they would realize how much that rhetoric divides our society in ways that become dangerous and provide fuel for these hate groups that they live on.

‘I Like Real News…You’re Fake News’; CNN’s Acosta Tussles with President Trump (Again)

The never-ending saga of CNN’s Jim Acosta making a fool of himself in front of the Trump White House took another turn on Monday, as he hurled questions at President Trump following a White House event that allowed the President to respond by calling him “fake news.”

Once Trump finished announcing a probe being launched into China’s questionable trade practices, Acosta yelled: “Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?”

Trump responded twice that “they have been condemned,” but Acosta continued pressing and gave Trump the opportunity for a mic drop by calling Acosta “fake news”

ACOSTA: And why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday we’ll have a press conference.

TRUMP: We had a press conference. We just had a press conference. 

ACOSTA: Can we ask you some more questions then, sir?
                            
TRUMP: It doesn't bother mer at all, but I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news. Thank you everyone. 

ACOSTA: With all due respect — Mr. President haven't you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir? 

Acosta tweeted afterward about that final jab he got in at the President like it was such a proud achievement. Gold star for you, buddy. Not all heroes wear capes. You can find all of Jim Acosta’s faceplants here because, surely, those would be worth an infinite number of gold stars.

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Once again, Acosta’s egocentric and pompous behavior became the story. He can call out the President with charges of fake news and thoughtlessness, but Acosta best not go too far. After all, the President isn’t the person acting like someone trying to become a TV star and future liberal administrative or campaign operative.

CNN Newsroom afternoon host Brooke Baldwin then took back her newscast after the White House event, referencing Jim Acosta as the person “shouting the questions to the President why didn't you condemn the racist clashes in Charlottesville earlier.”

She then rolled her eyes in disugst while tossing to chief political analyst Gloria Borger: “He said they've been condemned, they've been condemned, and there was yelling — I think he was yelling back at Jim, you're fake news.”

Just as she did throughout the day, Borger continued her all-out war on Trump’s behavior: 

I think is this is a President who we've seen over the last six months lacks a sense of history and a sense of the gravity of the job of the presidency and lacks a sense of understanding of the leadership that's needed from the bully pulpit at moments like we just saw over the weekend in Charlottesville. And at a time when he needs to start building credibility in the country, you saw our polls last week that said an overwhelming majority don’t believe things that are coming from the White House. Instead, he sort of squanders it and so I think that everybody's been grappling with what occurred on Saturday, and condemning Nazis and KKK members ought to be one of the easiest things that anyone can possibly do from the bully pulpit, yet it took a long time. 

Here’s the relevant transcript from August 14's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
August 14, 2017
3:08 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They have been condemned. They have been condemned.

ACOSTA: And why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday we’ll have a press conference.

TRUMP: We had a press conference. We just had a press conference. 

ACOSTA: Can we ask you some more questions then, sir?

TRUMP: It doesn't bother mer at all, but I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news. Thank you everyone. 

ACOSTA: With all due respect — Mr. President haven't you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir? 

BALDWIN: Alright. So let’s respond to all of that. Gloria Borger, first here. That was the voice, obviously, the voice of Jim Acosta, our senior White House correspondent, shouting the questions to the President why didn't you condemn the racist clashes in Charlottesville earlier. He said they've been condemned, they've been condemned, and there was yelling — I think he was yelling back at Jim, you're fake news. [BALDWIN ROLLS HER EYES]

GLORIA BORGER: Right. 

BALDWIN: How do you respond? 

BORGER: Well, look, I think the President didn't want to talk about it anymore, honestly. 

BALDWIN: You think? 

BORGER: I think — I think he believes he said what he finally needed to say 48 hours ago, and I think the questions ought to be asked about, quite frankly why he didn't say it 48 hours ago. And, you know, I think if you sort of want to take a step back here. I think is this is a President who we've seen over the last six months lacks a sense of history and a sense of the gravity of the job of the presidency and lacks a sense of understanding of the leadership that's needed from the bully pulpit at moments like we just saw over the weekend in Charlottesville. And at a time when he needs to start building credibility in the country, you saw our polls last week that said an overwhelming majority don’t believe things that are coming from the White House. Instead, he sort of squanders it and so I think that everybody's been grappling with what occurred on Saturday, and condemning Nazis and KKK members ought to be one of the easiest things that anyone can possibly do from the bully pulpit, yet it took a long time. 

Never Satisfied: CNN Lambastes Trump for New Charlottesville Remarks

Seconds after President Trump’s Monday remarks finally calling out the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists by name, CNN hosts and panelists made clear that there was nothing Trump could have said that would have satisfied them, excoriating him for not going far enough and announcing “policy in terms of addressing this.”

Inside Politics aired during and immediately after the President’s statement and Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev got the first crack, slamming Trump for not doing “outreach to people not white or who might feel that they were on the victimized end of the message that the protesters were carrying.”

“I think that’s a criticism that will probably continue beyond today. He said a minimum of what he need to say but there were a lot of questions as he left the room you heard being shouted out,” Talev added.

CNN senior political reporter Manu Raju conceded that at least Trump didn’t use his now-infamous “many sides” line from Saturday and condemned the hate by name, but also had concerned:

The question, we talked about earlier, what does he do now? What does he do when he’s off script? What does he do when he’s asked directly about this? Does he get defensive? Does he spread out the blame? That's going to be the big question going forward. This is not the end of this test. Probably the beginning.

More along the lines of Talev in terms of outrage, The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser stated that he “seem[ed] defensive in starting with the economy” and added with a tone of disgust that “he was very clearly reading a statement that had been well crafted by his advisers, but it did strike me, same as Margaret.”

“Sort of the minimum what he needed to do. Inserting some of those phrases and things that you expected him to do earlier without the outreach to some groups that probably feel victimized at this point,” Viser concluded.

This fear and dread of how Trump would react to future events dominated the rest of the discussion prior to the 1:00 p.m. Eastern mark with a few exceptions. Host John King framed the debate not by his own opinions, but what other people were supposedly saying: “There will be a debate whether it was genuine, whether he was forced to do it, whether he means it. We’ll see that in the follow-through.” 

King unloaded moments later about Trump to White House correspondent Sara Murray:

I don't know there's an answer to this. But what is it about this President that he knew what the country was waiting for? He knew what politically he had to do. Why does he need the windup? Why does he need to walk in and brag about the economy before he gets to the point? Why can't he just walk in the room and, I’m just back in Washington, I just met with my Attorney General and the FBI director, let tell you about Charlottesville and then make the denunciation of these groups that he should have done Saturday. Why?

CNN’s Wolf took over at the top of the hour, featuring even more meltdowns. Political director David Chalian seemed in pain that Trump need to be “give[n]...credit for finally getting out there and making very strong remarks” before quickly dismissing them.

Chalian went onto behave as if Monday never even happened, hinting that Trump had ceded moral presidency authority:

[B]ut don't do it without asking the question what have we learned fundamentally about this President in this episode? About his initial instincts? Can you sort abdicate the moral authority of the presidency on Saturday and get it back on Monday with a makeup statement. I think that's the question that we should be asking. So, while, this may now check the boxes for some of his Republican critics in his own party, for others to say, yes, this is what we looked for here. I don't think it erases the question of, why was this not his initial instinct on Saturday? 

Chief political analyst Gloria Borger strongly agreed, also going as if Trump’s remarks never took place: “What is the test of leadership here? The test of leadership is having moral clarity, I believe, in the moment, when something like this occurs. Again, you have to say, yes, he gave the right statement days later.”

Perhaps most egregious was senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, who thought it would be pertinent to give the hateful neo-Nazi David Duke more media credibility and suggested that Trump’s remarks failed to go far enough:

I think, also, incumbent on this President, I think, in a way it hasn't been necessarily on others to really separate himself from white supremacists, right? If you listen to what white supremacists have said, David Duke, for instance, he has essentially has said he sees Donald Trump as a fellow traveler, as someone in word and deed articulates the kind of America that white supremacists want to see. So, I think it's incumbent upon this president to disavow them, essentially say that white supremacists and Nazis, and neo-Nazis don't speak for him or the kind of America he wants to create. The so-called idea of American being great, well neo-Nazis have no part of that America that Donald Trump says he wants to create. He didn't really do that. 

Henderson ended her first set of comments by demanding that the President do more besides simply, you know, allow the Department of Justice plus local and state law enforcement to do their jobs in the numerous investigations that have already been launched:

I think we also have seen from this President, when he see as threat, right? He sees a threat for instance in illegal immigrants voting and he set up a commission to look into that. When he talks about illegal immigrants creating — he set up a hot line. Right? To look into that. There isn't much policy at this point in terms of addressing this. The DOJ is certainly looking into it, but any kind of full-scale investigation into this, we haven't seen that.

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Borger was also triggered by the President briefly talking about the economy, which he had originally planned to dedicate his time to on Monday. She complained that it “struck in the wrong way” and that the economic focus could have been “a separate address” because “this is a moment for us to sit and reflect and maybe we're going to have a commission that's needed as Nia talks about.”

“Maybe we need more public conversation about this and as your President, let me talk to you about what I'm thinking about and what we are doing, and then at some other point perhaps later today talk about trade policy and et cetera, et cetera. I mean, I think honestly, this deserved, particularly since it was a very detailed statement, this deserved its own address from the President to the nation,” she suggested.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics and CNN's Wolf on August 14:

CNN’s Inside Politics
August 14, 2017
12:45 p.m. Eastern

MARGARET TALEV: It was important to say some of those key lines that he said. I'll note one thing he didn't do was a lot of outreach to people not white or who might feel that they were on the victimized end of the message that the protesters were carrying. I think that’s a criticism that will probably continue beyond today. He said a minimum of what he need to say but there were a lot of questions as he left the room you heard being shouted out. 

MANU RAJU: And he didn’t, of course, saying on many sides, which was what got him in trouble Saturday. He did not place the blame on many sides, did very clearly said, the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, are repugnant, as he said, everything we hold dear as Americans. The question, we talked about earlier, what does he do now? What does he do when he’s off script? What does he do when he’s asked directly about this? Does he get defensive? Does he spread out the blame? That's going to be the big question going forward. This is not the end of this test. Probably the beginning.

MATT VISER: And he did seem defensive in starting with the economy. By the way, the economy's great, and then let me address this thing that I have to address, you know, because I didn't address it two days ago. You know, so, and he was very clearly reading a statement that had been well crafted by his advisers, but it did strike me, same as Margaret. Sort of the minimum what he needed to do. Inserting some of those phrases and things that you expected him to do earlier without the outreach to some groups that probably feel victimized at this point.

(....)

JOHN KING: There will be a debate whether it was genuine, whether he was forced to do it, whether he means it. We’ll see that in the follow-through. 

(....)

KING [TO SARA MURRAY]:  I don't know there's an answer to this. But what is it about this President that he knew what the country was waiting for? He knew what politically he had to do. Why does he need the windup? Why does he need to walk in and brag about the economy before he gets to the point? Why can't he just walk in the room and, I’m just back in Washington, I just met with my Attorney General and the FBI director, let tell you about Charlottesville and then make the denunciation of these groups that he should have done Saturday. Why?

(....)

CNN’s Wolf
August 14, 2017
1:08 p.m. Eastern

DAVID CHALIAN: Right. Well, to Gloria's point, as I said on Saturday, hoping to blur the lines. That is not what he said Saturday, that’s why he had to go give this statement today. I mean, here is the — that was a really, really strong statement against what happened three days after the fact. Imagine a reality, Wolf, if he'd given that statement Saturday, what all of us around the table would be saying about the President's remarks? The fact — so give him his credit for finally getting out there and making very strong remarks, but don't do it without asking the question what have we learned fundamentally about this President in this episode? About his initial instincts? Can you sort abdicate the moral authority of the presidency on Saturday and get it back on Monday with a makeup statement. I think that's the question that we should be asking. So, while, this may now check the boxes for some of his Republican critics in his own party, for others to say, yes, this is what we looked for here. I don't think it erases the question of, why was this not his initial instinct on Saturday? 

GLORIA BORGER: And it wasn't his instinct on Saturday. I mean, we have to look at Donald Trump and say what was his instinct on Saturday to do? His instinct to say, on both sides. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Right. 

BORGER: And now as they're trying to reboot, clean it up, whatever you want to call it, this was a strong statement. And so you have to ask yourself the question. What is the test of leadership here? The test of leadership is having moral clarity, I believe, in the moment, when something like this occurs. Again, you have to say, yes, he gave the right statement days later. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Right and what did it take to get him there? Right? I mean, these days and days of condemnation from Republicans, and real outrage at his both sides kind of framing on Saturday. I think, also, incumbent on this President, I think, in a way it hasn't been necessarily on others to really separate himself from white supremacists, right? If you listen to what white supremacists have said, David Duke, for instance, he has essentially has said he sees Donald Trump as a fellow traveler, as someone in word and deed articulates the kind of America that white supremacists want to see. So, I think it's incumbent upon this president to disavow them, essentially say that white supremacists and Nazis, and neo-Nazis don't speak for him or the kind of America he wants to create. The so-called idea of American being great, well neo-nNazis have no part of that America that Donald Trump says he wants to create. He didn't really do that. I think we also have seen from this President, when he see as threat, right? He sees a threat for instance in illegal immigrants voting and he set up a commission to look into that. When he talks about illegal immigrants creating — he set up a hot line. Right? To look into that. There isn't much policy at this point in terms of addressing this. The DOJ is certainly looking into it, but any kind of full-scale investigation into this, we haven't seen that.

(....)

WOLF BLITZER: You know, Gloria, he opened up his statement with a few sentences about how strong the U.S. economy is right and then made the transition to his meeting with the FBI director, the Attorney General, and went into a strong statement — a very strong statement condemning the Ku klux Klan, white supremacist and neo-Bazi groups. Some saying why did he need to open with rhetoric about the strong economy? 

BORGER: You know, what struck me in the wrong way as well. I must say. I think this is sort of a moment for the country and the President needs to recognize that, or should recognize that, and start out by saying, look, this is something that needs to be addressed here and I would argue that — that you can address the country on this in a — in a separate address, and say, this is a moment for us to sit and reflect and maybe we're going to have a commission that's needed as Nia talks about. Maybe we need more public conversation about this and as your President, let me talk to you about what I'm thinking about and what we are doing, and then at some other point perhaps later today talk about trade policy and et cetera, et cetera. I mean, I think honestly, this deserved, particularly since it was a very detailed statement, this deserved its own address from the President to the nation.

Not a Joke: AP Wonders If U.S. ‘Should’ Shoot Down North Korean Missiles Headed for Guam, U.S.

Leave it to the wire service providing national and world news to hundreds of American newspapers to leave people scratching their heads. On Thursday night, the Associated Press (AP) tweeted a confusing question about whether the U.S. military “should” take action to shoot down North Korean missiles if they’re headed towards Guam or any U.S. state.

Here’s the tweet, sent in the 10:00 p.m. Eastern hour: 

The tweet linked to a dispatch from Seoul, South Korea by Eric Talmadge, laying out the hypothetical pros and cons.

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Talmadge acknowledged that the U.S. military possesses a “multibillion-dollar missile defense system” that could blast North Korea missiles “out of the air.” He also pointed out that “[i]f  U.S. territory is threatened, countermeasures are a no-brainer.” He went on with respective pros and cons section, but here’s the rest of the setup:

But if the missiles aren’t expected to hit the island — the stated goal is to have them hit waters well offshore — should it? Could it?

It’s not an easy call.

North Korea claims it is in the final stages of preparing a plan to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and into waters off the tiny island of Guam, where about 7,000 U.S. troops are based and 160,000 U.S. civilians live.

Guam is a launching point for U.S. strategic bombers that the North, virtually flattened by U.S. bombs during the 1950-53 Korean War, sees as particularly threatening. U.S. bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula several times to show American strength after Pyongyang’s missile tests.

Unlike past missile launches that landed much closer to North Korean territory, firing a barrage near Guam would be extremely provocative, almost compelling a response. Trying to intercept the missiles, however, would open up a whole new range of potential dangers.

The story itself is a more serious discussion about responding to military action by the North Koreans. However, perhaps the AP should think twice about how they use their 150 characters and avoid such an awkward tweet that provoked a backlash.

Jim Acosta Attacks Trump, Blaming Him for Deadly Events in Charlottesville

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta unleashed a series of tweets throughout the day on Saturday blaming President Trump for the white supremacists rally and subsequently deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

“These are the consequences of sanitizing white supremacists who seek to be rebranded as part of American ‘right.’ They are peddling hatred,” Acosta complained in his first tweet. 

Acosta made no attempt to look at his own employer or the rest of the news media in the mirror for the amount of free publicity they’ve given neo-Nazis over the last few years, but that would require a level-headed kind of analysis that he lacks. 

Even though Acosta wasn’t going to be pleased with whatever the President said, he offered this take beforehand: 

After two tweets quoting Trump’s remarks and a picture from Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein stating that Trump didn’t take questions afterward, Acosta continued his on-going audition to become a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee: 

Acosta seemed to ignore the fact that almost 63 million people voted for Donald Trump and unless he wants to condemn them as white supremacists, he’s not interested in unifying the country.

Kooky Late-Night MSNBC: Trump Is Like Kim-Jong-un, Journalism Is Having a ‘Renaissance’

Two days after informing viewers that his “job...actually is to scare people to death” about war with North Korea, MSNBC host Brian Williams and guests served up more kooky thoughts on Thursday’s The 11th Hour by comparing President Trump to Kim Jong-un and swooning over a “renaissance” in American journalism.

Oh, and that was all within the show’s opening segment, aka the A-Block. As we saw during the 2016 conventions and on election night, late-night MSNBC is a strange place.

“We have made it to Thursday. Good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York. Day 203 of the Trump administration was wide ranging. It started out with great stress over the tensions with North Korea, including this new talk of war, and the day is ending that same way,” the mortified fake news anchor began.

In teeing up guest and New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller to follow him down into the bunker of liberal bias, Williams made the media’s latest comparison between Trump and Kim: “[C]an you remind the good folks watching just how unusual this kind of wording from an American president is? Almost borrowing the vocabulary and nomenclature of the North. Say nothing of this a daily event now?”

Bumiller responded just as a Times reporter would, claiming that the bureau thought about the President’s words before concluding “that this was the most militant language we have ever heard from an American president, and especially the doubling down.”

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Williams has frequently praised his comrades in the media (like here), so it wasn’t surprising when he touted the newspaper industry to Bumiller for all their work (after an eight-year vacation):

Elisabeth, it strikes me we have representatives of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and yet, the difference is, you're kind of management, so I’ll ask you this question. Can you remember an era like this for the American newspaper and print journalism business? 

Bumiller responded that she couldn’t recall one “in my lifetime” and despite “the President refer[ring] to us as the failing New York Times,” she ruled that business has been “good.”

Now here’s the punchline. Bumiller swooned that “[w]e feel a sort of renaissance of journalism, and it's focused us on the mission of journalism, and also there's just no lack of news.” 

After years and years of dismissing or ignoring scandals during the Obama administration, it’s no surprise that journalism has emerged from the wilderness like Hillary Clinton to complain about how she should have won the election. With liberal elected officials shrinking in numbers, the media have taken on the status as the opposition party (whether they admit it or not).

“I mean, this morning, I came to the office and, you know, it's August in Washington. The President's on vacation. Congress is out. There's always a certain scrounging for stories in August, and, you know, by about 4:00 this afternoon, that was — we had our hands full,” she concluded.

“Another unbelievable day,” Williams replied.

Earlier in the block, Williams hailed Washington Post White House bureau chief Phil Rucker for questioning Trump at each Q&A session, claiming that “[w]e were cheering at the sound of your voice at not one, but both venues today.”

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on August 10:

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
August 10, 2017
11:00 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: We have made it to Thursday. Good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York. Day 203 of the Trump administration was wide ranging. It started out with great stress over the tensions with North Korea, including this new talk of war, and the day is ending that same way, but along the way, during the afternoon, the stress over any possible conflict on the Korean peninsula was interrupted by a thrill ride. As the President making two rare on camera appearances for his working vacation, decided to take questions from reporters at his golf resort in New Jersey. He proceeded to take reporters on a tour of his mind and his world from Manafort to Mueller to McMaster to McConnell to the Middle East to Michigan. The latter as he relitigated his victory over Hillary. From Putin to transgender Americans in the military, from our southern border to the DMZ, from coal to leaks to nukes.

(....)

11:06 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS [TO PHIL RUCKER]: We were cheering at the sound of your voice at not one, but both venues today. Give us what we like to call the atmospherics. What we couldn't see because we weren't there. What a responsibility on you members of the small pool of reporters covering the President today because, in effect, you conducted the longest press conference since February. 

(....)

11:09 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: Elisabeth, first of all, great to see you again. Welcome to the broadcast. I think we’ve elected you Dean of this press pool, and having said that, can you remind the good folks watching just how unusual this kind of wording from an American president is? Almost borrowing the vocabulary and nomenclature of the North. Say nothing of this a daily event now?

ELISABETH BUMILLER: Right. We looked back and the reporters at the Washington bureau of The Times, looked back and decided that this was the most militant language we have ever heard from an American president, and especially the doubling down, and we know the first time he said fire and fury, that — it was not scripted. He had said it in private, but his aides weren't expecting him to say it and there was scrambling afterwards to try to explain it and they tried to explain it the last couple of days. There was differing interpretations from the secretary of state and from defense secretary, and then today we have, as you have all said, we have the president again repeating it, but going even further today.

(....)

11:14 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: Elisabeth, it strikes me we have representatives of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and yet, the difference is, you're kind of management, so I’ll ask you this question. Can you remember an era like this for the American newspaper and print journalism business? 

BUMILLER: No. Not in my lifetime. You know, as we all know, the President refers to us as the failing New York Times.

WILLIAMS: Of course.

BUMILLER: But, you know, that it’s been good for The New York Times in one case because it’s been — there’s — we feel a sort of renaissance of journalism, and it's focused us on the mission of journalism, and also there's just no lack of news. I mean, this morning, I came to the office and, you know, it's August in Washington. The President's on vacation. Congress is out. There's always a certain scrounging for stories in August, and, you know, by about 4:00 this afternoon, that was — we had our hands full. 

WILLIAMS: Another unbelievable day. 

Deranged: Matthew Dowd Compares Trump to Kim Jong-un, Speculates Europe Fears Trump More

ABC political analyst and faux Republican Matthew Dowd spent Wednesday afternoon with fellow liberal Republican Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline White House, serenading MSNBC viewers with the claim that Trump’s “fire and fury” statement could easily be said by North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un. 

Receiving zero pushback, Dowd also speculated that Europe is more scared of Trump than a murderous communist like Kim Jong-un, so there’s that for what passes as acceptable political rhetoric. Surely the reaction would different if someone stated that about Barack Obama.

Wallace did her part in teeing up fellow ex-Bush official:

Let me just ask you about the character of a president who would threaten fire and fury without having enough respect for his military leadership, for his national security adviser, for his chief of staff and for his secretary of state to give them a heads up.

Dowd began by imploring everyone to “end this whole story that keeps developing that somehow Donald Trump is going to change and be something different than he is” as no one or anything (even retired General John Kelly) have been able to change Trump. 

This set the table for part one of Dowd’s imprudent tangentt:

There weren’t a strategy in this. To me, if you read a paragraph in the beginning of the newspaper that said this. A bellicose, threatening, emotionally immature, insecure leader did “X,” a year ago would you have thought the President of the United States was that person or would you thought that the head of North Korea was that person? That's the problem today. 

He soon added, when taking into consideration “stable actors” versus unstable ones: “[I]t's hard for me to believe that the people in Europe aren't looking at this situation today and who are they more worried about? That's actually an honest question in this time that we have.”

Dowd is arguably correct in Trump’s ill-timing when it comes to the “fire and fury” comments in relation to the Nagasaki anniversary and his tweets about transgender people in the military. Fair enough. 

But putting a U.S. President who uses colorful language to someone who starves millions of people and used anti-aircraft guns to murder security officials? Give me a break. Spare us this pathetic attempt at moral equivalency.

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This was not the first such piece of lunacy from Dowd. For frequent fliers here at NewsBusters, Dowd makes near daily appearances on our pages. Just this summer, Dowd has argued that Trump’s tweets are as distracting as skinny dippers and Congress is treating Trump “like a child” so he can’t “harm” them.

Dowd and Wallace continue to show on a daily basis why they’re such beloved members of the New York-Washington media elite. 

Whether it’s Wallace suggesting the Trump immigration policy push last week centered on “xenophobia” or Dowd touting single-payer health care, folks like these have come media case studies in what they’d like to see in conservative and Republicans.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on August 9:

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
August 9, 2017
4:16 p.m. Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE: Let me just ask you about the character of a president who would threaten fire and fury without having enough respect for his military leadership, for his national security adviser, for his chief of staff and for his secretary of state to give them a heads up. 

MATTHEWS DOWD: So the first thing I hope we can end this whole story that keeps developing that somehow Donald Trump is going to change and be something different than he is, and he has some master strategy he's going to take over the world and make the United States – let's just end that. General Kelly made no difference, every speech that Donald Trump has made no difference, the statements that he’s made, yesterday — had made a lot of difference badly in this. But they weren't planned. There weren’t a strategy in this To me, if you read a paragraph in the beginning of the newspaper that said this. A bellicose, threatening, emotionally immature, insecure leader did “X,” a year ago would you have thought the President of the United States was that person or would you thought that the head of North Korea was that person? That's the problem today. When we talk about stable actors and people we can count on in all of this, it's hard for me to believe that the people in Europe aren't looking at this situation today and who are they more worried about? That's actually an honest question in this time that we have. The other thing that he doesn’t — I think Donald Trump does — I think he has no consent of history. Today is the anniversary of dropping the bomb on Nagasaki, right? That is the anniversary today. When he announced that transgender people were no longer to be in the military it was on the anniversary of Harry Truman desegregating the military. He has no concept of what he says in how it relates to history and what impact it has on the world.

SARA FAGEN: It goes to Nicolle's point there's no vetting process there because, in a normal White House somebody would look at the history of the issues that are being talked about and make sure that the President and the rest of the staff knew, hey, if we're going to do something on transgender people in the military, we might want to wait a week. 

WALLACE: And Michael Steele, just quickly, I bang my head on this table, but I did that a lot during the campaign and it actually hurts if anyone’s is wondering where the bleep are the Republicans? 

MICHAEL STEEL: I think right now the President is moving so fast during a congressional recess that there's not a lot of response. And here you see Senator McCain —

WALLACE: So fast. He's going in one direction. Down. 

STEEL: You see John McCain showing up about that. What's terrifying to the earlier points here, they're now comparing this to the Cuban missile crisis. In the Cuban missile crisis, the hinge between war and peace, was carefully chosen words between the president of the united States and we have to illusion that, in this situation, we will hear carefully vetted, appropriate words from the President of the United States. 

(....)

4:20 p.m. Eastern

DOWD: The only hope I have in this — the only hope I have in this, I think them as the five linemen protecting the Americans in the pocket.

WALLACE: Name them and then we’re going to have to hit pause.

DOWD: Nikki Haley, General Mattis, General Kelly, General McMaster, and Rex Tillerson, right? And I think those five — there’s like a trip wire, right? That's my hope that all of Donald Trump's belligerence and the stuff he does and not reacting — hoping he doesn't react emotionally the five people are between the American public and something really bad happening.

Shocker: CNN Analysts Implore Media to Relax, Stop Using ‘Incendiary’ Rhetoric on North Korea

Amidst the media’s raging meltdowns on Tuesday over the possibility President Trump will trigger a nuclear holocaust with North Korea, liberal CNN analysts Jeffrey Toobin and James Clapper implored the media writ large to “dial this all back a little bit” with the “quite incendiary” rhetoric.

Our friends at Mediaite uncovered the gem of Toobin’s comments during Erin Burnett OutFront amidst the hysteria that included a live report on what Hawaii would do in the event of a North Korea nuclear attack.

“Can we just dial this all back a little bit? You know, I think this is an important story, but it is an unconfirmed report of a possible technological development from North Korea. And suddenly, on television, we’re talking about people hiding in caves on Hawaii,” Toobin declared.

Toobin reminded colleagues that the North Korean regime’s instability has been a problem “for a long time” so, therefore, “[t]he idea that we are now in some unprecedented new territory, it does not serve anybody's interests to talk about this as if nuclear war were imminent.”

Burnett seemed flustered by this and asked if that meant the media should ignore Trump, to which Toobin responded that we shouldn’t, but at least quote him correctly:

I mean, you know, we're so used to editing what he said. What he actually said is if there's going to be more threats, not an attack, but more threats from North Korea, we're going to see, in effect, a nuclear war. Because he said, like — like the world has never seen. 

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Toobin doubled down a few moments later, stating that the media should not be “creat[ing] some sort of panic that we are on the brink of a nuclear war, because, you know, it’s just one person’s opinion. I don’t think we’re on the brink of a nuclear war and I don’t think anybody needs to do anything in Hawaii, except take a great, enjoyable, long vacation.”

Former Defense Intelligence Agency head James Clapper channeled similar sentiments the next hour on Anderson Cooper 360. He first fretted that he was pleased to be on the show, but paraphrased “Elizabeth Taylor's eighth husband, when he said I know what I'm supposed to do but how do I make it different after listening to all the commentary about this all day long.”

The man who lied about NSA spying offered plenty of criticism for Trump, but he also called out the media:

So I'm of a mind to — I'm sort of in the Secretary of State Tillerson camp of more moderate rhetoric and I would also appeal to those in the media to tone down the rhetoric, as well because the rhetoric itself now is becoming quite incendiary. And I don't think it's very productive to engage in this dueling banjo rhetoric back and forth, which is quite provocative. 

Not to be left out, Fox News Channel guest and former Obama official Patrick Granfield told Tucker Carlson Tonight fill-in host Laura Ingraham that “it is helpful to dial down some of the rhetoric and also take a couple of steps back.”

“I think we have to give credit where credit is due, to the Trump administration, to Nikki Haley, to Secretary Tillerson for the sanction package that was passed this past weekend,” Granfield added.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and CNN’s AC360 on August 8:

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront
August 8, 2017
7:38 p.m. Eastern

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Can we just dial this all back a little bit? You know, I think this is an important story, but it is an unconfirmed report of a possible technological development from North Korea. And suddenly, on television, we’re talking about people hiding in caves on Hawaii. You know, I think, you know, North Korea has had unstable leadership for a long time. They've been developing nuclear weapons for a long time. The idea that we are now in some unprecedented new territory, it does not serve anybody's interests to talk about this as if nuclear war were imminent. I mean, it just seems crazy to me that we’re talking about this —

ERIN BURNETT: So what do we do? Do we ignore the words of the President of the United States? 

TOOBIN: No. I mean, I think the President — I think the words of the President of United States are — are are not — not helping the situation. I mean, you know, we're so used to editing what he said. What he actually said is if there's going to be more threats, not an attack, but more threats from North Korea, we're going to see, in effect, a nuclear war. Because he said, like — like the world has never seen. 

BURNETT: Right. In which — in which case, Jeffrey, to your point, that — that truly is a game changer. I mean, I think that's what John McCain is pointing out. You're setting a red line there that you know North Korea is going to cross. Threats is what they trade in. 

TOOBIN: That’s right. That’s how they talk. That’s the lingua franca of the North Korean government. But I think everybody should dial this all back a little bit and not create some sort of panic that we are on the brink of a nuclear war, because, you know, it’s just one person’s opinion. I don’t think we’re on the brink of a nuclear war. and I don’t think anybody needs to do anything in Hawaii, except take a great, enjoyable, long vacation.

(....)

CNN’s AC360
August 8, 2017
8:08 p.m. Eastern

JAMES CLAPPER: Although I am reminded of the....line ascribed to Elizabeth Taylor's eighth husband, when he said I know what I'm supposed to do but how do I make it different after listening to all the commentary about this all day long? To be serious, the rhetoric itself is quite serious. And what is bothersome to me is, for year — for decades, we've heard this kind of rhetoric coming out of North Korea and typically, we ignore it and certainly at a presidential level we ignore it. So the rhetoric itself is not helpful and I am in agreement with Senator Feinstein's comments about the way ahead here is diplomacy. Certainly, the North Koreans are going to convey the image of a capability which we cannot confirm they have. DIA — my old agency came out with an assessment ascribing the capability to miniaturize a weapon in a warhead. Well, we've actually anticipated that for years and it's only logical that as they aggressively pursued their missile technology, so would they a weapon to go with it. But in truth, neither they or we know that these weapons will actually work. So I'm of a mind to — I'm sort of in the Secretary of State Tillerson camp of more moderate rhetoric and I would also appeal to those in the media to tone down the rhetoric, as well because the rhetoric itself now is becoming quite incendiary. And I don't think it's very productive to engage in this dueling banjo rhetoric back and forth, which is quite provocative. 

NYT’s Alcindor Treats Statue of Liberty Poem Like Founding Document, Blames White Tilt on Reagan

On MSNBC Wednesday night, the Hardball Roundtable circled the wagons to defend CNN’s Jim Acosta after he got his clock cleaned by Stephen Miller on immigration. New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor led the way, treating the Statue of Liberty poem like a legally-binding document we have to abide by and blaming Ronald Reagan for supposedly pro-white pandering.

“So, Stephen Miller — today’s exchange was extraordinary, because Stephen Miller literally questioned whether or not the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty was something that was actually a mission of this country, whether or not we actually mean that we want to bring people’s poor and people’s weary,” Alcindor complained.

Oh, and what’s the Constitution then? What’s the immigration laws on the books compared to this poem? They’re all equal or something? Give me a break.

She also lamented that the Trump White House made the sinister determination that “we’re not going to try to even hold our tongues and say that we’re trying to be egalitarian or trying to be fair here.”

Politico’s Annie Karni wasn’t any less partisan, suggesting Trump supporters are so inept that fights with the media keep them happy: 

No, but the fireworks in the briefing, the audience of this isn’t just Trump. It is an audience of a base that’s scared of immigrants and hates the media. And they see yelling with CNN and yelling with The New York Times and they think that it is going well. The show is the point.

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Turns out, conservatives and Trump supporters enjoy plenty of things besides taking on the liberal media. Lower taxes, stopping MS-13, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, appointing conservative judges, and spurring economic growth are just a few of the things people not on the left enjoy. 

“In the Left's America, Emma Lazarus' poem on the Statue of Liberty is to be read literally as law, but the Constitution is vague poetry,” conservative and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro tweeted.

Shapiro’s point is excellent. For the left, the Constitution is seen as a living, breathing document, but this poem? No, no! That is and will remain impenetrable!

A few minutes later, Alcindor returned and blamed Ronald Reagan for starting the campaign by Republicans to engage in white identity politics:

[B]ut at the end of the day, his base is sticking with him....The Republican Party, going back to Reagan, was about this idea that you have to challenge whether or not white people are being in some ways discriminated against, whether or not trying to reset, trying to pass civil rights issues and trying to really go after civil rights and justices, whether or not that is somehow hurting middle- class white Americans who are watching Trump and voting for Trump and saying, we want to be taken care of. Some people really thought the country is going in a direction that’s leaving behind white people, essentially.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 2:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 2, 2017
7:34 p.m. Eastern

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: One of the truest things that Stephen Miller said was that this is what people voted for and that this is what they were promising.

MATTHEWS: The red meat.

ALCINDOR: Exactly. So, Stephen Miller — today’s exchange was extraordinary, because Stephen Miller literally questioned whether or not the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty was something that was actually a mission of this country, whether or not we actually mean that we want to bring people’s poor and people’s weary. So, what they’re doing really is saying, look, we’re going to go back to our basics and we’re going to give you exactly what you said. And, by the way, we’re not going to try to even hold our tongues and say that we’re trying to be egalitarian or trying to be fair here.

MATTHEWS: Go back to the — it goes back to the beginning, Annie. Half this country spoke German, as well as English. German was a really big language. So, we weren’t all English speakers when we started.

ANNIE KARNI: No, but the fireworks in the briefing, the audience of this isn’t just Trump. It is an audience of a base that’s scared of immigrants and hates the media. And they see yelling with CNN and yelling with The New York Times and they think that it is going well. The show is the point.

MATTHEWS: By the way, Sabrina, I think he was playing to one audience, Mr. Trump. Trump loved that explosion of id. He just lost Scaramucci. He has got to figure that — fill that hole.

(....)

7:36 p.m. Eastern

ALCINDOR: Yes, but there’s a lot of talk about approval ratings with Trump, but at the end of the day, his base is sticking with him. The people are saying, this is exactly the person that we want and these are exactly the policies. And I was talking to some experts today who said this is also not just Trump. The Republican Party, going back to Reagan, was about this idea that you have to challenge whether or not white people are being in some ways discriminated against, whether or not trying to reset, trying to pass civil rights issues and trying to really go after civil rights and justices, whether or not that is somehow hurting middle- class white Americans who are watching Trump and voting for Trump and saying, we want to be taken care of. Some people really thought the country is going in a direction that’s leaving behind white people, essentially.

Matthews Blames Americans Not Caring About Russia on Lack of Newspapers with D.C. Stories

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews put forth a theory on Thursday night that the reason droves of everyday Americans aren’t as obsessed with the Trump-Russia investigation (aka removing Trump from office) as the New York City and Washington D.C. liberal media are due to the decline of local newspapers featuring national news stories about Russian collusion.

The Hardball Roundtable was mocking the ongoing Trump rally in West Virginia with Matthews quipping that the crowd “was nodding at everything he said” and “just waiting” for the proverbial “match to be lit” with red meat rhetoric.

Matthews fired back that the people who actually matter like Robert Mueller and the impaneled grand jury do care about Russia.

Moments later, Matthews showed his contempt for the peons outside the Acela Corridor, arguing that they’d be much more sophisticated when it came to their current political views if they had a newspaper filled with wire stories (like ones by Werner) to tell them how Russia matters to them:

Erica, I think you got a point. But I think part of that is the loss of newspapers in many parts of the country. I was out — no, I was just out in the west with my wife. We were driving around, you know, in Colorado and Utah and Wyoming. There is no local big serious newspaper in the — the Denver papers, they’re — you don't pick it up in the morning when you go down the drive way or whatever, the mail box — there's no newspaper telling you what's going to nationally. 

“There are local newspapers that are okay but the days where people had a pretty good newspaper to read. So, how are you going to keep up with Russia? Even if you're slightly interested, there’s no story to read. That’s a fact,” he added.

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Matthews lives and breathes politics, perhaps even more so now that wife and failed congressional candidate Kathleen is the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. Unfortunately, he’s missed the point that there’s millions of other issues out there (some local, some national) that directly affect people’s lives a lot more than this. 

In most elections, people vote with their pocketbooks. So, what does Russia have to do with people being able to keep more of what they earn?

Anyway, Werner agreed, lamenting it as “a bigger issue” due to “[t]he bifurcation of the party and where we get our sources of news that is just confirmation bias.” What’s amusing is when the media talk about confirmation bias, they always direct it at conservatives and not themselves.

Whether you’re on Amtrak train between D.C. and NYC or at a ritzy party stocked with establishment politicians and journalists, there’s plenty of sources that people all flock to read such as The New York Times, New Yorker, Time, or Vox. Before lecturing conservatives about branching out to other news sources, perhaps Matthews and company should examine themselves first.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 3:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 3, 2017
7:46 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: They were ready. That group was nodding at everything he said. That group was just waiting for the match to be lit. 

JEREMY PETERS: Of course. Exactly. Hillary — 

ERICA WERNER: But that said, even apart from the reaction of a group like that, we hear from lawmakers of both parties, including liberal Democrats that, when they go home, people do not care about Russia. So, you know, we're obsessed with it in the bubble. 

MATTHEWS: Do you know who cares about Russia? 

WERNER: Robert Mueller? 

MATTHEWS: The people investigating it. 

PETERS: The grand jury. 

WERNER: Correct.

MATTHEWS: I think if you're sitting, waiting to be prosecuted, I would be more worried that the prosecutor than the fan base. Go ahead.

PETERS: No, but, I mean, this is all part of a broader —

MATTHEW: By the way, from Watergate, a lot of the Republican faithful, said — I remember the bumper sticker: Get off his back. I mean, that was until it got later on. 

PETERS: Until the day Nixon resigned, he still had 50 percent approval rating among Republicans. So, the support among conservative base should not be surprising, but at the same time, it also shows you that trump is going to have a certain amount of durability going into 2018 and 2020 even. I just don't, their strategy is protect the base, keep what you have, and attack your opponent mercilessly. 

MATTHEWS: Erica, I think you got a point. But I think part of that is the loss of newspapers in many parts of the country. I was out — no, I was just out in the west with my wife. We were driving around, you know, in Colorado and Utah and Wyoming. There is no local big serious newspaper in the — the Denver papers, they’re — you don't pick it up in the morning when you go down the drive way or whatever, the mail box — there's no newspaper telling you what's going to nationally. There are local newspapers that are okay but the days where people had a pretty good newspaper to read. So, how are you going to keep up with Russia? Even if you're slightly interested, there’s no story to read. That’s a fact.

WERNER: I mean, that's a bigger issue, right? The bifurcation of the party and where we get our sources of news that is just confirmation bias.

Fake News, Pandering, and Propaganda: A Night of the Absurd with CNN’s Acosta, Cuomo, and Ryan

With Don Lemon taking some vacation, CNN Tonight has featured New Day co-host Chris Cuomo, so Wednesday’s show went as well as you’d expect with liberal propaganda, a full defense of Jim Acosta after being thrashed by Stephen Miller, and unchallenged fake news by April Ryan.

Let’s first take Cuomo’s first minute or so, because that in of itself could serve as a piece worthy of ridicule. The show started with a live shot of the Statue of Liberty with Cuomo declaring: “There she is, lady liberty. A symbol of America's benevolent invitation.”

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. But the new White House policy on immigrants calls that promise into doubt. Let's take into question of who exactly we are and what this country is about,” Cuomo continued. 

Just like many of his comrades throughout the day, Cuomo acted as if the poem by Emma Lazarus sets the country’s immigration policies alongside the Constitution or any other law. And this is the same industry that sides with liberal judicial activists when it comes to the U.S. Constitution being an ever-evolving document. But a poem is rock solid?

Referring to the President, Cuomo added: 

He proposes changing the signature promise of our country to welcome those in need by creating a merit-based system that would have kept people like me, my family and many of you from ever being here.  When CNN's Jim Acosta put these concerns to White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, it got heated.

Once video replaying a significant portion of the debate ended, Cuomo seemed disgusted with Miller as he implored viewers like Acosta was riding high horse:

Let's just put the theater of the absurd to the side for a moment and get to the main point. The words, the poem was added later, Miller said. The words being the signature promise of this country from the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. Of course they were added later. The pedestal on which the words were placed came after the gift of the statue.

Cuomo must have been auditioning for a speechwriter position if his brother and Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo runs for president as he proclaimed that the President’s plan “would brush aside America's greatest strength, the diversity of people who have sacrificed to come here with nothing except a passion of purpose to make better lives and to make this country great.”

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“They're not just words added later. They are a solemn vow that was supposed to endure forever. So let's talk about what this policy could mean...You know, I got where you were going with this. Who are we? What is our definitional premise about who we want in this country,” Cuomo wondered to Acosta.

Acosta responded that it wasn’t exactly “a highly skilled performance, if I could borrow a term there from the president's immigration policy on the part of Stephen Miller.” Two words, Jim: Fake news. 

When you’re granted airtime on an hourly basis to defend yourself while your colleagues state their support, you’ve lost the debate.

“It was very much attack the messenger and, you know, who would have thought that the Statue of Liberty doesn't mean what the Statue of Liberty means because a poem was attached to it later on and wasn't originally inscribed with those words. I think most Americans understand, Chris, what the Statue of Liberty is all about. It's odd to see the White House, the United States of America try to redefine what the Statue of Liberty means,” Acosta foolishly stated.

So, Acosta conceded that he didn’t have his facts right about the Statue of Liberty poem. But no matter! Acosta simply moved the goal posts on the debate, which is what the left always does when they’re losing, have lost an argument, or looking for more out of their adversaries.

Fake news was referenced at the top as something that transpired during CNN Tonight thanks to Ryan’s foolish claim about the level of decorum she had seen at a White House briefing room:

CUOMO: I saw the look on your face there, April. What was this about for you? Where are we in terms of the level of discourse between the free media and the White House? 

APRIL RYAN: Well, the level of discourse today, it reached a new low when -- especially when he laid into Jim saying he was ignorant. I've never heard anything like that from a White House principal in that room.
    
Speaking of the word “ignorant,” a basic Google search would yield this result about Jay Carney using that word to refer to people critical of ObamaCare. 

Here’s the story that now-Washington Examiner writer Becket Adams wrote on July 10, 2013 when he worked for The Blaze: 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that critics of the Obama administration’s decision to delay the so-called “employer mandate” in the Affordable Care Act are being “willfully ignorant.”

Mr. Carney’s comments were made in reference to Republican criticism and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) saying of the delay: “This was the law. How can they change the law?”

“People who suggest that there is anything unusual about the delaying of a deadline in the implementation of a complicated law are either sticking their heads in the sand are just willfully ignorant about past precedent,” Jay Carney said.

Whoops. For someone like Ryan who’s been in the White House press corps for decades, one would think she’d have more hindsight.

Cuomo eventually moved on to other topics (like the state of the West Wing under new chief of Staff John Kelly), but not before he gave Acosta and Ryan a brief pep talk: “Now, Jim Acosta, one of the things that you've got to love about you and April, you just #PressOn. Keep doing the job. Keep reporting. Keep getting it out there.”

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from August 2's CNN Tonight:

CNN Tonight
August 2, 2017
10:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: There she is, lady liberty. A symbol of America's benevolent invitation. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. But the new White House policy on immigrants calls that promise into doubt. Let's take into question of who exactly we are and what this country is about. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Chris Cuomo in for Don Lemon. Here's the main point. There's a new White House proposal that seeks to cut the flow of immigrants, legal immigrants in half but it is how our president wants to do that that is a concern. He proposes changing the signature promise of our country to welcome those in need by creating a merit-based system that would have kept people like me, my family and many of you from ever being here.  When CNN's Jim Acosta put these concerns to White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, it got heated.

(....)

10:05 p.m. Eastern

CUOMO: Let's just put the theater of the absurd to the side for a moment and get to the main point. The words, the poem was added later, Miller said. The words being the signature promise of this country from the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. Of course they were added later. The pedestal on which the words were placed came after the gift of the statue. But that's not what Miller was really trying to brush aside. He was trying to brush aside their significance. This isn't about calling illegal immigration or bad hombres, as the president likes to say. This is about changing not just how many but who gets to come in legally. Restrictions that would brush aside America's greatest strength, the diversity of people who have sacrificed to come here with nothing except a passion of purpose to make better lives and to make this country great. They're not just words added later. They are a solemn vow that was supposed to endure forever. So let's talk about what this policy could mean. Let's bring in CNN's Jim Acosta now along with CNN political analyst April Ryan. That was kind of a bizarre exchange. You know, I got where you were going with this. Who are we? What is our definitional premise about who we want in this country? 

JIM ACOSTA: Right.

CUOMO: And Miller wanted to dance. You know, talking about numbers and what you know and don't know. But at bottom, what do you think this policy is about for the White House? 

ACOSTA: Well, I'm not sure it was a highly skilled performance, if I could borrow a term there from the president's immigration policy on the part of Stephen Miller. It was very much attack the messenger and, you know, who would have thought that the Statue of Liberty doesn't mean what the Statue of Liberty means because a poem was attached to it later on and wasn't originally inscribed with those words. I think most Americans understand, Chris, what the Statue of Liberty is all about. It's odd to see the White House, the United States of America try to redefine what the Statue of Liberty means.

(....)

10:10 p.m. Eastern

CUOMO: I saw the look on your face there, April. What was this about for you? Where are we in terms of the level of discourse between the free media and the White House? 

APRIL RYAN: Well, the level of discourse today, it reached a new low when -- especially when he laid into Jim saying he was ignorant. I've never heard anything like that from a White House principal in that room.
    
(....)

10:12 p.m. Eastern

CUOMO: Now, Jim Acosta, one of the things that you've got to love about you and April, you just #PressOn. Keep doing the job. Keep reporting. Keep getting it out there. 

WH’s Stephen Miller Slams NYT’s Glenn Thrush; ‘You're Not Asking for Common Sense’

Prior to his epic thrashing of CNN’s Jim Acosta on Wednesday, White House policy adviser Stephen Miller threw down with self-described liberal hack New York Times correspondent Glenn Thrush over the administration’s new immigration proposals through the proposed RAISE Act. 

The spat began when Thrush snidely told Miller that he wanted “some statistics” seeing as how ones he had seen “don't show a correlation between low skilled immigration and the loss of jobs for native workers.” Thrush added that he’s heard infrastructure was pushed off the table in favor of this immigration push. 

Miller was not pleased, but nonetheless, he persisted by citing studies:

Well, the latter statement isn't true. I think the most recent study I will point to is the study from George Borhas that he just did about the Mariel boat lift and he went back and re-examined and opened up the old data and talked about how it actually did reduce wages for workers who were living there at the time and Borhas, of course, has done enormous amounts of research on this, as has the — Peter Kersenow on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission as has Steve Camerota at the Center for Immigration Studies and so on and so forth.

He added that some “common sense” should be used and wondered rhetorically “why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers?”

When Thrush hit back that he’s “not asking for common sense” but data, Miller fired back that “it’s pretty clear, Glenn, that you’re not asking for common sense.”

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Miller had more ammunition in reserve when he suggested that The New York Times be subjected to being filled with “less-skilled, low-paid workers from other countries” so people like Thrush could “see how” they “feel then” about the issue:

THRUSH: How many — how many — common sense is wonderful. Statistics are not. Could you —

MILLER: I named — I named the studies, Glenn. 

THRUSH: Just let me finish the question. Tell me the — tell me the —

MILLER: Glenn, I named the studies. I named the studies. 

THRUSH: I asked you for a statistic. Can you tell me how many —

MILLER: Glenn, maybe we'll make a carve out in the bill that says The New York Times can hire all the less skilled, low paid workers from other countries and see how you feel then about low wage substitution. This is a reality that’s happening in our country — 

THRUSH: I’m not talking about The New York Times.

MILLER: Maybe it's time we had compassion, Glenn, for American workers. President Trump has met with American workers who have been replaced by foreign workers. 

Thrush continued filibustering Miller before he gave a lengthy answer before moving onto April Ryan:

First of all, if you look at the premise, Glenn, of bringing in low-skilled labor, it's based on the idea that there's a labor shortage for lower skilled jobs. There isn't. The number of people living in the United States in the working ages who aren't working today is at a record high. One in four Americans or almost one in four Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 aren't even employed.....The reality is that if you just common sense, and yes, I will use common sense. The reason why some companies want to bring in more unskilled labor is because they know that it drives down wages and reduces labor costs. Our question is as a government is, to whom is our duty. Our duty is to U.S. citizens and U.S. workers to promote rising wages for them. If low-skilled immigration was an unalloyed good for the economy, then why have we been growing at 1.5 percent for the last 17 years at a time of unprecedented new low wage arrivals. They just — the facts speak for themselves. At some point, we're accountable to reality.

Here’s the relevant portion of the White House press briefing from August 2:

White House press briefing
August 2, 2017
3:02 p.m. Eastern

GLENN THRUSH: Stephen, two quick questions. First of all, let's have some statistics. There have been a lot of studies out there that don't show a correlation between low skilled immigration and the loss of jobs for native workers. Cite for me, if you could, one or two studies with specific numbers that prove the correlation between those two things because your entire policy is based on that and secondly, I have sources that told me about a month ago that you guys have sort of elbowed infrastructure out of the way to get legislation out of the way to get immigration on the legislative queue. Tell me why this is more important than infrastructure.

STEPHEN MILLER: Well, the latter statement isn't true. I think the most recent study I will point to is the study from George Borhas that he just did about the Mariel boat lift and he went back and re-examined and opened up the old data and talked about how it actually did reduce wages for workers who were living there at the time and Borhas, of course, has done enormous amounts of research on this, as has the — Peter Kersenow on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission as has Steve Camerota at the Center for Immigration Studies and so on and so forth.

THRUSH: How about the National Council of Scientists, Engineering, and Medicine

MILLER: And right, the recent study said that as much as $300 billion a year may be lost as a result of our current immigration system in terms of folks drawing more public benefits than they're paying in. But let's also use common sense here, folks. At the end of the day, why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers? And why, historically —

THRUSH: I'm not asking for common sense. I'm asking for specific statistical data. 

MILLER: Well, I think it's pretty clear, Glenn, that you're not asking for common sense. But if I could just — if I could just answer your question. 

THRUSH: How many — how many — common sense is wonderful. Statistics are not. Could you —

MILLER: I named — I named the studies, Glenn. 

THRUSH: Just let me finish the question. Tell me the — tell me the —

MILLER: Glenn, I named the studies. I named the studies. 

THRUSH: I asked you for a statistic. Can you tell me how many —

MILLER: Glenn, maybe we'll make a carve out in the bill that says The New York Times can hire all the less skilled, low paid workers from other countries and see how you feel then about low wage substitution. This is a reality that’s happening in our country — 

THRUSH: I’m not talking about The New York Times.

MILLER: Maybe it's time we had compassion, Glen, for American workers. President Trump has met with American workers who have been replaced by foreign workers. 

THRUSH: I'm not questioning any of that. I'm asking for statistics. 

MILLER: Ask them how this has affected their lives. 

THRUSH: I'm asking you for statistics. 

MILLER: Look at — I just told you.

THRUSH: The number of low skilled jobs that Americans might otherwise have. Why — [CROSSTALK] — where’s the evidence —

MILLER: First of all, if you look at the premise, Glenn, of bringing in low-skilled labor, it's based on the idea that there's a labor shortage for lower skilled jobs. There isn't. The number of people living in the United States in the working ages who aren't working today is at a record high. One in four Americans or almost one in four Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 aren't even employed. For African-American workers, their labor force participation rate who don't have a high school diploma — I guess, African-American males without a high school diploma has plummeted some 40 percentage points since the mass wave of unskilled migration began. The reality is that if you just common sense, and yes, I will use common sense. The reason why some companies want to bring in more unskilled labor is because they know that it drives down wages and reduces labor costs. Our question is as a government is, to whom is our duty. Our duty is to U.S. citizens and U.S. workers to promote rising wages for them. If low-skilled immigration was an unalloyed good for the economy, then why have we been growing at 1.5 percent for the last 17 years at a time of unprecedented new low wage arrivals. They just — the facts speak for themselves. At some point, we're accountable to reality. And on the other hand, like I said, you have ultra-high-skilled workers who are at the back of the line which makes no sense in the year 2017. 

Acosta: Trump Immigration Rollout Is a 'Dog-Whistle' to Base, Not Mexicans, Muslims, or Media

Wednesday was quite the day for the feckless CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta as he had his clock cleaned by White House policy adviser Stephen Miller over immigration. CNN gave Acosta hourly opportunities to change the narrative, but they did quite the opposite by only reinforcing Acosta’s derisory behavior masquerading as moralism.

Taking his first appearance after the blockbuster White House press briefing, Acosta childishly played doctor, telling CNN Newsroom’s Brooke Baldwin that he had diagnosed Trump with having been “sort of infected” by a disdain for Mexicans and Latinos following the launch of his presidential campaign in June 2015.

Acosta then introduced the idea that this policy rollout was a “dog whistle” to his base (read: racist code):

And does the President come out and say that emphatically and does he say it overtly? No, but when you hear the President make some of the comments that he makes about immigrants during the course of the campaign, talking about deportation forces and when you see Stephen Miller, a policy adviser to the President, talking about an English language preference for people coming into this country, it is a wink, it is a dog whistle to certain parts of this country that they are going to be looking at the racial and ethnic flow of immigrants coming into this country. I just think that's undeniable[.]

Ignoring the fact that plenty of countries have points based systems for immigration and that the world we live in is a far different one than any previous century, he continued on as if he were auditioning to be 2020 presidential candidate:

I just wanted to remind him, this is what the Statue of Liberty says. This is what our tradition has always been in this country. We bring in people from all walks of life. It's what makes America great. It was already great because of immigrants in this country.

Shifting gears to the 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour and The Situation Room, Acosta returned with help from host Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer seemed exasperated as he teed up Acosta to trash the White House.

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Acosta replied by promoting Republicans as seemingly on his side of this equation using none other than Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.), so not exactly the best barometer:

Stephen Miller is right that when you're naturalized, they do want you to have some English-speaking skills. But that, of course, is at the end of the process of becoming a citizen of this country. The other thing we should point out is even though they touted this plan up here at the White House and had two Republican senators along with the President earlier today, there is Republican opposition to this up on Capitol Jill, Senator Graham from South Carolina speaking really on behalf of a lot of Republicans, I would suspect, as his plan is going to be looked at. He said earlier today that he's concerned that this immigration plan would damage his agricultural and hotel business that are big industries in South Carolina, and obviously that's going to be a concern in places like the southwest and other parts of the country where they rely on agricultural workers to do the kinds of jobs many Americans don't want to do. Of course, many of those immigrants don't speak English, Wolf. 

While former NAACP president Cornell Brooks and American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan offered typical accusations of racism against the right, Acosta went on a length tirade about how “this White House as an unhealthy fixation on what I call the three M's, the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the media.”

“Their politics tend to be crafted around bashing one of those three groups, and we just see it time and time again. And today on immigration, what the White House is essentially saying with a wink and a dog whistle to these battle states that they won is that immigrants coming in from Latin American are not taking your jobs,” Acosta continued.

Even though he wasn’t 100 percent right in his facts about the Statue of Liberty, Acosta continued to assert that he was correct:

It was odd to see the White House, Wolf, in the form of Steve Miller, one of the top policy advisers sort of sound like a Statue of Liberty originalist, as if there’s some difference between what the Statue of Liberty looked like when it was first brought over here to the united States, and what it looks like now with a poem attached to it. I just thought that was an odd moment. It was just a poor argument[.]

He concluded by stating that “whenever they’re bashing the media, Wolf, my sense always is — is that they’re always losing the argument and I think you saw that today.” 

The funny part is, for anyone who’s not a liberal (or trying to be one), they will always be under constant assault by the media. Put simply, they’re not there to be your publicists because that’s what they do for liberals.

What this White House press shop has done is fight back against the lunacy that’s being spouted daily by the likes of Acosta. I will admit that they certainly haven’t always been honest or truthful, but you can always count on the liberal media to overact.

In the end, Acosta’s arrogance, egocentrism, and grandstanding have served as a uniting force against the media claiming to be holding the Trump administration accountable. Seemingly, whenever the going gets tough for the White House, they can always count on the media’s pompous behavior to bail them out.

Here’s the relevant transcript from August 2's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
August 2, 2017
3:45 p.m. Easter

JIM ACOSTA: Remember when the President launched his campaign for President, he referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals and that bias against Latino immigrants has just sort of infected the President, some of his top officials who deal with this issue of immigration throughout that entire time period, and I think you saw some of that spill out in the briefing room today.

(....)

ACOSTA: And does the President come out and say that emphatically and does he say it overtly? No, but when you hear the President make some of the comments that he makes about immigrants during the course of the campaign, talking about deportation forces and when you see Stephen Miller, a policy adviser to the President, talking about an English language preference for people coming into this country, it is a wink, it is a dog whistle to certain parts of this country that they are going to be looking at the racial and ethnic flow of immigrants coming into this country. I just think that's undeniable and so, I just wanted to remind him, this is what the statue of liberty says. This is what our tradition has always been in this country. We bring in people from all walks of life. It's what makes America great. It was already great because of immigrants in this country.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on August 2:

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
August 2, 2017
5:03 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: Steven Miller, senior policy adviser to the President, came into the briefing room today to sell the President's new immigration plan, and as you said, it hopes to revamp the nation’s immigration system but it would do so in a pretty striking way. It would prioritize English-speaking people coming into the U.S., highly skilled people coming into the U.S. which, obviously, is not in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigrants coming into the United States. So, during what became a testy exchange with Stephen Miller, I reminded him what it says on the statue of liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.” Statue of Liberty says nothing about speaking English or being highly skilled coming into the United States. 

(....)

5:06 p.m. Eastern

ACOSTA: After that exchange, Wolf, he referred to me as being ignorant and made some other comments there. We should point out, Wolf, as you know, generations of Americans have come into this country for decades not being able to speak English. They take classes such as English as a second language. Stephen Miller is right that when you're naturalized, they do want you to have some English-speaking skills. But that, of course, is at the end of the process of becoming a citizen of this country. The other thing we should point out is even though they touted this plan up here at the White House and had two Republican senators along with the President earlier today, there is Republican opposition to this up on Capitol Jill, Senator Graham from South Carolina speaking really on behalf of a lot of Republicans, I would suspect, as his plan is going to be looked at. He said earlier today that he's concerned that this immigration plan would damage his agricultural and hotel business that are big industries in South Carolina, and obviously that's going to be a concern in places like the southwest and other parts of the country where they rely on agricultural workers to do the kinds of jobs many Americans don't want to do. Of course, many of those immigrants don't speak English, Wolf. 

(....)

5:34 p.m. Eastern

ACOSTA: Well, Wolf, I think, at times, this White House as an unhealthy fixation on what I call the three M's, the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the media. Their politics tend to be crafted around bashing one of those three groups, and we just see it time and time again. And today on immigration, what the White House is essentially saying with a wink and a dog whistle to these battle states that they won is that immigrants coming in from Latin American are not taking your jobs. Wolf, immigration is not the reason why the factory closed in Pittsburgh or the coal mine was shut down in West Virginia. The people who are struggling there, they need policies that will help get them out of this mess that they've been for a generation where a lot of communities have been left behind. I saw it first hand out on the campaign trail, following Donald Trump around, trying to appeal to these workers and he did wisely target those workers, but he’s targeted them with, I think, a message just runs counter to what we see as an American tradition in this country. That’s why I quoted the Statue of Liberty to Stephen Miller. It was odd to see the White House, Wolf, in the form of Steve Miller, one of the top policy advisers sort of sound like a Statue of Liberty originalist, as if there’s some difference between what the Statue of Liberty looked like when it was first brought over here to the united States, and what it looks like now with a poem attached to it. I just thought that was an odd moment. It was just a poor argument and whenever they’re bashing the media, Wolf, my sense always is — is that they’re always losing the argument and I think you saw that today.

MSNBC: Miller’s Battle with Media Using ‘Xenophobia’ Was Maybe Because He Got Bullied as a Kid

Talk about a bad day to be a member of the liberal media. Licking their wounds from White House official Stephen Miller sparing with the press corps on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Deadline: White House denounced Miller as the kid who probably got bullied in school while his words were filled with “xenophobia” and nothing but “white identity politics.”

Host and failed McCain campaign official Nicolle Wallace was speaking to White House correspondent Kristen Welker at the top of the show when she slammed the briefing with Miller as the “shining object of the day” using “some weird mix of xenophobia and reporter bombast.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Eli Stokols was on the same wavelength as the liberal Wallace. Less than 10 minutes later, he displayed no regard for the partisanship of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi over the years when he stated that the Trump White House is “okay if this country remains divided.”

As for Miller and the RAISE Act proposed on Wednesday, Stokols lashed out against the bill as if he were a Democratic Congressman:

This bill has no chance, but they're pushing the same white identity politics that we saw throughout the campaign. The engaging with the different reporters with Acosta, with Thrush. We might look at that and say, oh my god, this is a train wreck but I think the White House likes mixing it up with the press because it riles up their base.

Wallace’s open disdain for the White House came up later when speaking to frequent Morning Joe panelist and serial plagiarist Mike Barnicle: “Mike Barnicle, we know what John Kelly thought of Scaramucci and his short tenure. What do you think his tolerance will be for just how deeply personal, how unprofessional this performance was in that room today?”

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Barnicle responded that he wasn’t so certain seeing as how “Kelly is used to dealing with men and women who have some caliber and some nobility.”

Even though Barnicle admitted that he doesn’t know Stephen Miller, he quipped that Miller came across as someone who had probably been bullied in school and was symbolically getting back at them:

[A]nd then it also just visually and verbally it struck me as someone taking the podium, a young guy, who, in his earlier life, I don't how many times he probably had his lunch stolen from him, you know? And give me the Twinkies too and now this is his get back moment. 

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on August 2:

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
August 2, 2017
4:03 p.m. Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE [TO KRISTEN WELKER]: Two briefings and one shiny object which is usually the takeaway from what happens in that room. But seems like Sarah finally admitted that with signing this statement the President acknowledges as he did in Poland Russian meddling in our election, acknowledged they would sign the sanctions bill and then shining object of the day seemed to be some weird mix of xenophobia and reporter bombast from presidential adviser Steven Miller. 

(....)

4:12 a.m. Eastern

ELI STOKOLS: He's also sitting there today in the White House with the remarks he gave for the immigration bill and sending Stephen Miller to the podium, pushing a bill that would be lucky to get 20 senators to vote for it in the Senate. This bill has no chance, but they're pushing the same white identity politics that we saw throughout the campaign. The engaging with the different reporters with Acosta, with Thrush. We might look at that and say, oh my god, this is a train wreck but I think the White House likes mixing it up with the press because it riles up their base. This is a White House that — it is it's okay if this country remains divided. The words the President said — 

WALLACE: They’re helping to divide it. 

STOKOLS: — to the boy scouts were divisive a week and so it sort of what they want to keep the country divided, which is a stunning thing to say about a President.

(....)

4:40 p.m. Eastern

WALLACE: Mike Barnicle, we know what John Kelly thought of Scaramucci and his short tenure. What do you think his tolerance will be for just how deeply personal, how unprofessional this performance was in that room today? 

MIKE BARNICLE: I don't know. I mean, John Kelly is used to dealing with men and women who have some caliber and some nobility. So, I don't know what his estimation will be of performances like you saw from Stephen Miller today. I watched the performance as we all did. I don't know Stephen Miller but it smacked to me he was looking for a thumbs up from the Oval Office which I'm sure he got. Good job, Stephen, you did it. You threw it right back at them and then it also just visually and verbally it struck me as someone taking the podium, a young guy, who, in his earlier life, I don't how many times he probably had his lunch stolen from him, you know? And give me the Twinkies too and now this is his get back moment. 

Matthews Swoons Over Flake’s ‘Tough, Hard-Hitting,’ ‘Very Compelling’ Book Attacking Trump

While on his book tour, Republican Senator Jeff Flake (Ariz.) stopped by Tuesday’s Hardball for an interview in which host Chris Matthews heaped effusive praise on Flake’s book Conscience of a Conservative as one that’s not only “tough” and “hard-hitting” on the GOP and President Trump, but a “very compelling” one too.

Flake strangely didn’t wade too deep into slamming Trump and the party’s voters as he did in previous interviews, but it was nonetheless a friendly segment in which his comments were no different than if Nicolle Wallace or Steve Schmidt were instead sitting next to Matthews.

Right from the get-go, Matthews set the tone: 

With the publication of the new book today, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has quickly emerged as the most outspoken Republican critic of president Donald Trump. And he makes it clear he blames his own party for enabling Trump's rise to power. Well, with the title borrowed from former Senator Barry Goldwater, the book is called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle

After the interview started with a pointed back-and-forth about whether Trump is the leader of the Republican Party, Matthews teed up Flake by asking “what’s wrong with Trump.” 

Flake flaunted himself as Goldwater (and, by extension, L. Brent Bozell II) when the latter wrote the original Conscience of a Conservative:

I talk about it in the book. Barry Goldwater in 1960 thought that the conservative party, the Republican Party had been compromised by the New Deal. And so he wrote Conscience of a Conservative. I think today we've been compromised by other forces. Protectionism, you know, populism and I don’t think those bode well in the long term. That’s not a government policy.

Eventually, Matthews expressed disappointment with how the interview was going but not the book, declaring he’s “fascinated with how tough you are on Donald Trump.”

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“Very hard hitting on Trump. Demagoguery is the word you used. Populism, protectionism, you used all the tough words and you don’t like them. You don't think this President is good for the country, do you,” Matthews wondered.

Flake noted that he’s backed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Trump’s “great...cabinet picks” yet “where I think that he's profoundly unconservative is on things like free trade.”

Matthews then continued to sit by as Flake offered red meat for viewers:

FLAKE: I mean, that's something that we can't abandon as Republicans. We are decidedly less conservative if we do so and also, being conservative on policy is just part of it. You’ve to be conservative in demeanor as well. Conservatives —

MATTHEWS: Is he? 

FLAKE: — a conservative — No. Conservative foreign policy ought to be measured and deliberate and sober and that's not what we have today. 

Despite it having been at least five to six years after Trump’s despicable birtherism crusade against Barack Obama, Matthews gushed over how Flake spent time on this subject in his book.

“I think it is a tough, well-written book and I just want to keep you to it. Anyway, a portion of your book focuses on conservative conspiracy theories and the recent spread of fake news. Most notably, you criticized those who pushed the false notion that Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S.,” Matthews explained before reading two book excerpts. 

“To me, the original sin was saying Barack Obama was born in Kenya or whatever and denying he was a legitimate President, calling him sort of a con-artist. That was, to me, racist in its nature, to claim the guy’s not a true American when he was clearly, to make fun of his documentation to say he was sort of an illegal immigrant. I think you're dead right on that. I don't understand why your party went along with it,” an appreciative Matthews added.

At the end of the interview, the longtime liberal pundit and former aide to Jimmy Carter and Tip O’Neil argued that Flake’s book contained the “same principles” as Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. Media Research Center president Brent Bozell would probably disagree with that, as per his statement earlier Tuesday.

He also predicted that “everybody’s going to talk about this book” seeing as how “it’s a tough, hard-hitting book” and “very compelling.” 

To be honest, Matthews’s asinine claim of “everybody” falling for this book should just be contained to The New York Times, MSNBC hosts, failed GOP campaign officials, and adoring liberal elites on the East and West coasts.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on August 1:

MSNBC’s Hardball
August 1, 2017
7:30 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. With the publication of the new book today, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has quickly emerged as the most outspoken Republican critic of president Donald Trump. And he makes it clear he blames his own party for enabling Trump's rise to power. Well, with the title borrowed from former Senator Barry Goldwater, the book is called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle. Flake says that, in the Trump era: “Conservatism has been compromised by a decidedly conservative stew of celebrity and authoritarianism.” And he argues that Republicans are “in denial” about Trump’s presidency: “That unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility.” With this book, Flake is calling on conservatives to stand up for their values and challenge President Trump, personally. It comes as the President's son, Eric Trump, echoes his father’s message the party needs on protect President Trump and defend him even more.

(....)

MATTHEWS: I'm joined now by the author of Conscience of a Conservative, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. I think it was Frank Mankins who said ignore everything anybody says in Washington before the word “but.” And there he was, Eric coming out saying it is you guys' fault. What do you owe Donald Trump in terms of loyalty as a party? 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (Ariz.): Well, obviously, I’m a Republican. The President is a Republican. 

(....)

MATTHEWS: Okay, let’s talk about what's wrong with Trump? What's wrong with Trump? 

FLAKE: I talk about it in the book. Barry Goldwater in 1960 thought that the conservative party, the Republican Party had been compromised by the New Deal. And so he wrote Conscience of a Conservative. I think today we've been compromised by other forces. Protectionism, you know, populism and I don’t think those bode well in the long term. That’s not a government policy.

MATTHEWS: You skipped demagoguery this time. It’s your book. Is Trump a demagogue? 

FLAKE: I think that all of us, at times, as politicians, demagogue and he does some of it too. But I do think that we bear the responsibility as elected officials to stand up more than we have and I talk, this problem isn't just this administration. It came long before. I talk a lot in the book my time in Congress, 2001 to 2012 in the House of Representatives. We became a decidedly less conservative party and we jettisoned limited government party and we sent like drunken sailors. And then when we couldn’t argue that we were the limited government party, then we started to argue on thing like flag burning and the wedge issues and then, you know, we lost the majority in 2006 and we deserved to do so and then we lost the presidency in 2008. And I fear this majority the Republicans think is here to stay won't be here very long if we continue down the path we' on. 

MATTHEWS: What is it in the nature of the Republican Party? Is it just a fact that the polling numbers show that 80something percent of Republicans — registered Republicans — self-identified Republicans like Trump's position on everything and they like him? That explains why there's been such party loyalty to this guy who’s not really a Republican. What explains that sort of everybody down the line refused to do what you're doing? Challenge him? 

FLAKE: I think you see it on both the Republican and the Democratic side. There’s fidelity to —

MATTHEWS: This book is about your side. This book is about your side. 

(....)

MATTHEWS: What’s getting this book a lot of publicity and a lot of attention — the reason I'm fascinated with how tough you are on Donald Trump. Not this sort of generalized critique you're offering about the world conditions you’re giving me here. You have a different tone right now in this room than you have in this book. This book is very hard hitting. Very hard hitting on Trump. Demagoguery is the word you used. Populism, protectionism, you used all the tough words and you don’t like them. You don't think this President is good for the country, do you? 

FLAKE: Well, let me say — 

MATTHEWS: Well, no, in this book, it says he’s not good.

FLAKE: I'll talk about what I talk about in the book. 

MATTHEWS: Okay, good. 

FLAKE: I say in the book that I've agreed with him on many things. You know, Supreme Court justice, great one. Great, you know, cabinet picks. I worked him on regulatory reform. But where I think that he's profoundly unconservative is on things like free trade. I mean, that's something that we can't abandon as Republicans. We are decidedly less conservative if we do so and also, being conservative on policy is just part of it. You’ve to be conservative in demeanor as well. Conservatives —

MATTHEWS: Is he? 

FLAKE: — a conservative — No. Conservative foreign policy ought to be measured and deliberate and sober and that's not what we have today. 

MATTHEWS: I think it is a tough, well-written book and I just want to keep you to it. Anyway, a portion of your book focuses on conservative conspiracy theories and the recent spread of fake news. Most notably, you criticized those who pushed the false notion that Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S. saying that: “When a conspiracy theory becomes a litmus test orthodoxy, objective reality is at risk.” When it comes to the use of alternative facts, you say “giving away one's agency to such confusion of fact and fantasy when one has power – well, that's truly dangerous.” I agree with you. To me, the original sin was saying Barack Obama was born in Kenya or whatever and denying he was a legitimate President, calling him sort of a con-artist. That was, to me, racist in its nature, to claim the guy’s not a true American when he was clearly, to make fun of his documentation to say he was sort of an illegal immigrant. I think you're dead right on that. I don't understand why your party went along with it.

FLAKE: Well it was an awful thing and not everybody in the party did but more of the party should have stood up at that time and said, hey, this is baloney. Let's get off this kick. Some of us did. More of us should have and because we didn't, we allowed people to move forward spouting that stuff and then it gets worse and you come to a point where today, I saw a poll just last week that half of all Republicans believe that President Trump won the popular vote. No, he won the election. He is the president legitimately. But he didn't win the popular vote. That's an objective fact. 

(....)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, I think it’s great you came on. I think it’s a tough, hard hitting book. It is very compelling and everybody’s going to talk about this book. 

FLAKE: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Conscience of Conservative. I read the first one by Barry Goldwater. This one is little different. Same principles, thank you, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

CNN’s Stelter Offers No Pushback as Brinkley Loses Mind, Links Trump to Franco and Mussolini

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter offered zero pushback on CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley’s latest unhinged tirade in which he compared President Trump to 20th century dictators Francisco Franco of Spain and Benito Mussolini of Italy.

Brinkley also ripped Trump as overseeing a White House in “utter disarray” and gave The Resistance something to cheer for as he added that Trump’s “unfit for command.” That drew a brief interjection from Stelter, who only asked him to clarify (to which Brinkley doubled down).

Stelter teed up Brinkley with this softball: 

To our historian for some context here. Douglas Brinkley, I find myself reaching for words, trying to figure out how to put a week like his in context. The banners on screen say things like White House in crisis. Anchors say things like chaos, trying to express just how extraordinary the situation is. Help us out, how do you convey what's going on with the Trump White House? 

Brinkley responded that the White House is in “utter disarray and you can't really compartmentalize everything because it's all morphed together as Donald Trump unfit for command in my opinion.”

Stelter stepped in but Brinkley dug in, citing communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s unprofessional New Yorker interview while his administration has been “leaking like crazy.”

“He thinks you can govern by chaos and it's not working. It is true. He has this 36 percent of the American public backing him. That means over 60 percent of Americans think that he's doing a miserable job and the rest of the world is laughing,” Brinkley proclaimed before linking Trump’s tweets to how Nixon behaved on his Watergate tapes.

Out of left field, Brinkley went down to the dictatorship path when Stelter put forth the notion that Trump could ideologically move to the center:

Yes, except he's going independent in a kind of revolutionary way. It's sort of the Trump movement. You're either with me or against me. The key to Donald Trump is just this kind of blind fierce loyalty, and that's what Franco expected in Spain. That's what Mussolini wanted to do in Italy. I mean, these are kind of ways if you're asking people to march in lock step with you and we saw John McCain give the big thumbs down to Donald Trump. No, we're not all in lock step with you. 

Just when you thought the eye-rolling nominees for a future Notable Quotables edition were done, Stelter predicted McCain’s “thumbs down” might be a new sign for one wing of The Resistance:

And journalists love a come back story. They love a story about a new change, a new chapter. I'll go in record here and predict that that thumbs down is going to become a symbol for anti-Trump Republicans. This is gong to become a sort of meme of some sort.

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Stelter’s reluctance to challenge Brinkley was no surprise, seeing as how he’s repeatedly referred to Trump as a dictator. Stelter has disagreed with my colleague Nick Fondacaro’s assertions in the past, but it’s difficult when he’s said Trump’s behavior was “exactly what authoritarians do,” and that “citizens in dictatorships” identify with the current state of America.

Further, one can throw in his December 11 declaration that Trump’s election warranted a “national emergency” and you have a show that one could make a solid case as being divorced from reality.

This argument is even more of a slam dunk when he’s previously offered no disagreement for Trump-dictator comparisons. CNN political commentator Carl Bernstein and longtime liberal journalist Jeff Greenfield went on February 19 rampages against Trump as someone akin to Hitler and Stalin that saw no disagreement. Here's Greenfield's meltdown:

STELTER: Jeff, your impression here. Carl is using words like authoritarian would you agree with that characterization?

JEFF GREENFIELD: Well, that's certainly the whisper of it. When you use a term like ‘enemy of the people.’ A lot of people have pointed to totalitarian regimes that use that phrase whether it was Stalin or whether it was Hitler. And I'm certainly not going there at this point.

Now here’s what Bernstein uttered in the same hour: “There's a history of what ‘enemy of the people,’ that phrase means as used by dictators and authoritarians including Stalin, including Hitler.”

One week later, Stelter used the term “authoritarian tendencies” on February 26 in describing Trump’s behavior while interviewing New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. 

Despite all this, Stelter claimed in an April podcast with BuzzFeed News that he’s not “freaked out” or “crusading” against the President even though he thinks his rallies are “poison.”

To tie all this up, here’s a series of exit questions (to borrow from contributing writer P.J. Gladnick): Has Trump imprisoned any journalists? Have there been any reports of innocent Americans being rounded up and shot by the government? Has there been any word about the government creating labor camps for political enemies or anyone who goes against the State? Have liberal protesters been allowed to demonstrate without being run down by tanks? And finally, are journalists still allowed to do their jobs?

One could do this all day, but those are enough for liberal minds to ponder.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Reliable Sources on July 30:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
July 30, 2017
11:05 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: To our historian for some context here. Douglas Brinkley, I find myself reaching for words, trying to figure out how to put a week like his in context. The banners on screen say things like White House in crisis. Anchors say things like chaos, trying to express just how extraordinary the situation is. Help us out, how do you convey what's going on with the Trump White House? 

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: It's an utter disarray and you can't really compartmentalize everything because it's all morphed together as Donald Trump unfit for command in my opinion. I mean, you could go and look at Godfather movies and — 

STELTER: You said he's unfit — let me be clear, you said he's unfit for command? 

BRINKLEY: I think so. I think when you have a White House communications director that uses the kind of foul language that he does against fellow employees of the federal government and makes threats the way that he did, and that's supposed to be your solution to the United States as a way they're going to communicate with the world, it means Donald Trump picked the wrong person to be his communication director. He has a White House that's leaking like crazy, as just mentioned. There are people ready to whistle-blow. He thinks you can govern by chaos and it's not working. It is true. He has this 36 percent of the American public backing him. That means over 60 percent of Americans think that he's doing a miserable job and the rest of the world is laughing. We have a crisis in North Korea and we're playing these reality TV, big time wrestling games, because Donald Trump was weaned and raised on television, and it's becoming a TV episodic president, where every day, you've got to say something sensational to make sure your name is on the headlines. We had a problem with Nixon. If it’s any president, this is like it's Nixon. If you listen to the Nixon Watergate tapes, the secret tapes, and you hear Nixon ramble, it sounds like Donald Trump's tweets and it didn't turn out well for Nixon. 

STELTER: I was just Googling to make sure I have the facts right, Doug. Back in December, you went down to Mar-a-Lago and met with then-President-elect Trump, didn't you? 

BRINKLEY: I did. 

STELTER: Did you think things were going to work out this way? 

BRINKLEY: You never know. You know, I don't do how things are going to work out. If you're a historian, you try to deal with kind of just deal with real events. There was this moment of hope that he might try to unite the country and do infrastructure, be really the third rail candidate, which he is in ways, not really a Republican. Republicans don't like Donald Trump.

STELTER: And he's drifting more in that direction, as being an independent of some sort. 

BRINKLEY: Yes, except he's going independent in a kind of revolutionary way. It's sort of the Trump movement. You're either with me or against me. The key to Donald Trump is just this kind of blind fierce loyalty, and that's what Franco expected in Spain. That's what Mussolini wanted to do in Italy. I mean, these are kind of ways if you're asking people to march in lock step with you and we saw John McCain give the big thumbs down to Donald Trump. No, we're not all in lock step with you. So, what do you have, six months of a dysfunctional White House, nothing has gotten done, the biggest thing Congress got done was keeping and strengthening sanctions with Russia. But it's a failed agenda so far, and we'll have to see whether he's able to kind of get in a new form of leadership going with a White House chief of staff, but it's been a wreck so far. 

STELTER: And journalists love a come back story. They love a story about a new change, a new chapter. I'll go in record here and predict that that thumbs down is going to become a symbol for anti-Trump Republicans. This is gong to become a sort of meme of some sort. 

What About Obama’s IRS? Hayes, Reid Lose It Over Chances FBI Becomes Trump’s ‘Political Tool’

The Thursday edition of MSNBC’s All In saw quite some rhetorical hyperventilating as host Chris Hayes and AM Joy host Joy Reid expressed grave concern that the Trump administration will use the FBI as their “political tool” against their enemies a la “lions eat[ing] Christians” at the Roman Coliseum.

“I mean, so there’s two things to me. The most worrisome, substantive — the thing worrying me is him calling the FBI, the Department of Justice’s press person, Sarah Isgur Flores, putting out a statement basically saying attaboy Anthony,” Hayes began while speaking to Reid.

He added without any sort of sarcasm that “we are in really bad territory when you are invoking the FBI as a political tool to investigate not just your enemies like Hillary Clinton, your rivalries within the White House” and “[t]hink of what that would mean for the rule of law in this country.”

Um, hello? What about the IRS until President Barack Obama? Try Google searching for why Lois Lerner is living a comfortable life in secrecy nowadays. Conservative groups were unfairly targeted by the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status and it occurred on Obama’s watch. Plain and simple.

Then again, the liberal media would like us to ignore that as the Obama presidency was supposedly scandal-free.

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Anyway, Reid was onboard with this hysteria and not dismissing communication director Anthony Scaramucci’s lewd, profanity-laced tirade as an immature and unprofessional outburst: “I mean, I think the sad part of it is Donald Trump is only having fun being President when’s either destroying some norm of American life or something about the presidency or when he’s watching other people be cruel.”

Exhibiting the same disdain that she showed yours truly earlier this week, Reid suggested Trump is akin to someone watching Christians die inside the Roman Coliseum: “He’s sort of the — he’s the stadium, the Roman Coliseum stadium seat holder who just wants to see the lions eat Christians, you know, in that parlance, and that’s the only way he can be happy is to see them fight”

Earlier, frequent MSNBC primetime guest Charles Pierce joked that “constitutional democracies had a good run here in America” and “it’s done a lot of good, produced a lot of good music.”

“Maybe it’s time to switch over to Deadwood or something. We’ve got Al Swearingin running the White House communications shop all of a sudden. No, I mean, at least people like — well, Nixon had it on tape, which was kind of embarrassing. At least Lyndon used to do this privately when nobody was watching,” he added.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on July 27:

MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes
July 27, 2017
8:53 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES: So, let’s put aside the profanity and the colorful language, which I like, is funny, and people that know me know that I’ve been known to engage in that. This — have you ever seen anything remotely like this?

CHARLIE PIERCE: Well, you know, Chris, constitutional democracies had a good run here in America. You know, it’s done a lot of good, produced a lot of good music. Maybe it’s time to switch over to Deadwood or something. We’ve got Al Swearingin running the White House communications shop all of a sudden. No, I mean, at least people like — well, Nixon had it on tape, which was kind of embarrassing. 

HAYES: That’s true.

PIERCE: At least Lyndon used to do this privately when nobody was watching. No, this is extraordinary to me. The White House communications director, who has been on the job for about 11 minutes, is completely at war with the White House chief of staff who is apparently entirely friendless and the president seems to like this, which is I think the scariest thing of all.

HAYES: That part of it — I mean, so there’s two things to me. The most worrisome, substantive -- the thing worrying me is him calling the FBI, the Department of Justice’s press person, Sarah Isgur Flores, putting out a statement basically saying attaboy Anthony. I mean, we are in really bad territory when you are invoking the FBI as a political tool to investigate not just your enemies like Hillary Clinton, your rivalries within the White House. Think of what that would mean for the rule of law in this country.

JOY REID: Right and also the fact that Scaramucci should not even be having conversations with Jeff Sessions — 

HAYES: Or the FBI.

REID: — or the FBI at all. He shouldn’t be talking to them at all. But I think it’s just one more way in which they’ve just exploded all of the norms. I mean, I think the sad part of it is Donald Trump is only having fun being President when’s either destroying some norm of American life or something about the presidency or when he’s watching other people be cruel. He’s sort of the — he’s the stadium, the Roman Coliseum stadium seat holder who just wants to see the lions eat Christians, you know, in that parlance, and that’s the only way he can be happy is to see them fight.

CBS, NBC Ignore White House Event Honoring Heroic Alexandria Shooting Officers

Amidst all the warranted coverage of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s disturbingly vulgar tirade about Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News ignored the poignant White House event honoring the law enforcement officers who responded to the June 14 congressional GOP baseball shooting.

While those two newscasts and ABC’s World News Tonight spent roughly nine minutes and 15 seconds on Scaramucci (with some technical cutting short ABC’s coverage), ABC highlighted the emotional ceremony but only in the form of a 22-second news brief.

Anchor David Muir brought it up at the end of the A-block, prior to commercial break:

At the White House today, President Trump honoring five first responders to rushed to help when that congressional baseball practice came under fire, presenting the Medal of Valor to two U.S. Capitol Police officers, both of them injured, racing through the bullets to help everyone. Three police officers from the Alexandria, Virginia force also honored. The President calling them all American heroes who saved innocent lives.

Again, Scaramucci using repeated f-bombs and oral sex references in his on-the-record interview with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza is a big deal and was properly treated as such on the network evening newscasts. 

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As my colleague Rich Noyes stated earlier on the Fox Business network, such drama will never serve the Trump White House any good when it comes to advancing their policy goals (especially the GOP’s current efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare).

That being said, the media should also be covering an ceremony honoring law enforcement officials that prevented the murder of multiple GOP congressmen, staffers, family members, and friends. Gravely injured Republican Congressman Steve Scalise’s wife was even there and acknowledged by the President.

Instead, NBC used a news brief to promote Jeff Bezos spending a few moments as the world’s richest man while CBS offered an investigative report on a new, severe non-disclosure agreement employees of The Trump Organization have been subjected to since Donald Trump became President.

Here’s the transcript of the brief from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on July 27:

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
July 27, 2017
6:45 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Honoring First Responders]

DAVID MUIR: At the White House today, President Trump honoring five first responders to rushed to help when that congressional baseball practice came under fire, presenting the Medal of Valor to two U.S. Capitol Police officers, both of them injured, racing through the bullets to help everyone. Three police officers from the Alexandria, Virginia force also honored. The President calling them all American heroes who saved innocent lives. 

NBC Promotes Covert Liberal Activist Mother in Effort to Save ObamaCare

Thursday’s NBC Nightly News featured one of the classic tricks in the liberal media playbook as Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt declined to disclose the liberal activist history of a woman in her story about the Senate push to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Prior to the live shot at the end of her segment, Hunt explained that “all the uncertainty” about ObamaCare “worries Theresa Bohannan” because “[h]er son was born with a rare heart condition.”

Bohannan then tearfully opined in a soundbite: “I think they should meet with people. I think they should slow down and, you know, hear as many stories as they — as they can.”

Hunt summarized Bohannan as someone “[p]leading with Congress to get it right instead of just getting it done.”

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A quick Google search of “Theresa Bohannan” would yield search results that include a link to a March 21 press release the far-left group Ultraviolet touting her as the star of an ad targeting Republican Senator Dean Heller (Nev.). 

Here’s an excerpt: 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — As the House prepares to vote on whether to strip away healthcare from millions of Americans, UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy group, is launching an new video ad campaign in The Las Vegas Sun urging Nevada Senator Dean Heller to vote against repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and alerting Nevadans to place a call to Heller’s office urging him to vote no.

The ad features Reno residents Theresa Bohannan and Briant Gibb, the mother and father of a toddler, Dean, who was born with a congenital heart defect. They discuss how the Affordable Care Act has been a lifesaver for her son. In the video, Theresa and her spouse Briant argue that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with the Republican plan – the American Health Care Act – would be a disaster for their family, and other Nevada families, who rely on coverage from the ACA.

Along with an interview in The Wall Street Journal that also didn’t disclose her liberal tilt, another link went to a July 13 story from Reno, Nevada’ CBS affiliate KTVN 2. Bohannan was prominently featured in the report about ObamaCare supporters and two Nevada Democratic lawmakers teaming up for a phone bank targeting Heller.

An accompany text article of the story also included her:

"For us, the repeal of the ACA is a direct threat for our family and our son," phone tree volunteer Theresa Bohannan said.

She has a two-year-old son with a congenital heart defect. She said his medical bills since he was born already total more than $1.3 million.

"For families like mine, the fear would be either being denied the services that he needs to save his life or potentially having to pay anything extra out of pocket," she said, "which would obviously bankrupt us."

It should be made clear that Bohannan’s son deserves the best care possible and her passion is undeniable and certainly warranted. 

However, NBC’s failure to disclose her as having a clear partisan affiliation was the real issue. And it should be noted that the other networks have done this as well to their respective audiences (see two examples here and here). If NBC or any outlet wants the trust of its viewers, how can they do so by withholding important tidbits like these from them?

Here’s the relevant transcript from July 27's NBC Nightly News:

NBC Nightly News
July 27, 2017
7:08 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Senate Marathon Ahead of “Skinny Repeal” Vote]

KASIE HUNT: All the uncertainty worries Theresa Bohannan. Her son was born with a rare heart condition. 

THERESA BOHANNAN: I think they should meet with people. I think they should slow down and, you know, hear as many stories as they — as they can. 

HUNT: Pleading with Congress to get it right instead of just getting it done.

[BOHANNAN’S SON MAKING BABY NOISES]

Matthews Bizarrely Obsesses Over Southerners Backing Sessions; ‘You Can Almost Hear Dixie in Their Voices’

While covering on Wednesday the public ridiculing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Trump, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews bizarrely claimed that it’s “mostly southern senators” with “Dixie in their voices” who are supporting “a favorite of the old Confederacy.”

The loony train was off and running seconds into the show as Matthews declared that “we're watching civil war between mostly southern senators loyal to the man from Alabama as he challenges the President out there loudly trying to dump him.”

“The fight is now making Republicans take sides between Donald Trump, a former Democrat from New York, lets remember, and Jeff Sessions, a favorite of the old Confederacy. Well, the President’s latest assault is to hit Jeff Sessions for not removing the acting FBI director,” he continued.

Yeesh. Everything has to be about racism with liberals.

Matthews wasn’t done, telling a panel eight minutes later that Republicans and conservatives defending Sessions are “mostly southern senators” and thus, in his mind, “[t]here’s a real sort of regional thing here.”

“They consider Sessions one of their own — sort of an old southern guy. You can almost hear Dixie in their voices. Watch this,” Matthews added while The Washington Post’s Philip Bump could be heard laughing.

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However, there was just one problem: not all of the Republicans in the video montage were southerners. Sure, Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich from Georgia are from the South and Deep South, but the other three arguably are not.

John Cornyn is from Texas, but many would contend that Texas stands on her own. As for the other two, John Barrasso represents Wyoming and Orrin Hatch hails from Utah. So, in other words, this space deems this hatchet job fake news (pun intended).

Nevertheless, Matthews unsuccessfully tried to keep this southern obsession alive, wondering Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley (Ill.):

Congressman Quigley, you're from Illinois, but figure this out. There seems to be a regional loyalty to one their own — to Sessions. I mean, he is one of the post-1964 I mean that seriously, southern Republicans now. They used to be all southern Democrats. Dixiecrats. Now they're all very loyal to Trump and it looks line he's the leader among them. They're all sticking to him.

Quigley turned matters back to Trump, arguing that the President has gone to great lengths in order to blame anyone but himself when things don’t go his way.

Tonight's crazy talk on Hardball was brought to you by Birds Eye Voila! Skillet Meals, Hilton Hotels, Liberty Mutual and TUMS.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on July 26:

MSNBC’s Hardball
July 26, 2017
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, the battle between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is escalating. Tonight, we're watching civil war between mostly southern senators loyal to the man from Alabama as he challenges the President out there loudly trying to dump him. The fight is now making Republicans take sides between Donald Trump, a former Democrat from New York, lets remember, and Jeff Sessions, a favorite of the old Confederacy. Well, the President’s latest assault is to hit Jeff Sessions for not removing the acting FBI director, remember that one? He tweeted: “Why didn't [Attorney General] Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend, who was in charge of the Clinton investigation but got big dollars for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the swamp.” That's Trump. But, once again, Trump’s bugle call was unrelated to reality. For one thing, Sessions wasn't Attorney General when the FBI was going after the Clinton e-mail. And second, President Trump himself has the authority to remove McCabe and he hasn’t done so. Well, the President’s real problem here with Sessions is that he can’t protect Trump from Special Counsel Bob Mueller. For this reason, Trump has spent this week leveling a steady stream of attacks.

(....)

7:08 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the President’s attacks on Jeff Sessions have drawn significant criticism from Republican Senators and conservatives. Watch these. They're mostly southern senators. There’s a real sort of regional thing here. They consider Sessions one of their own — sort of an old southern guy. You can almost hear Dixie in their voices. Watch this [PHILLIP BUMP LAUGHS]

REPUBLICAN SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (S.C.): I would fire somebody that I did not believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate them in public which is a sign of weakness. [SCREEN WIPE] He's trying to get Sessions to quit. And I hope Sessions doesn't quit and if the President wants to fire him, fire him. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (Tex.): Jeff Sessions is an honorable man. He did what I believe any ethical Attorney General would do under the circumstances. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN BARRASSO (Wyo.): He is one of the honest people you would ever know. He is a man of very high integrity and he is an Eagle Scout. [SCREEN WIPE] Jeff Sessions has my confidence. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY (Ala.): He is a man of courage. He is a man of purpose. And he is a man of substance. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR THOM TILLIS (N.C.): I think that his independence has been proven by his willingness to recuse himself. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR ORRIN HATCH (Utah): Jeff has been very loyal to the President and I think he deserves loyalty back. 

NEWT GINGRICH: I personally would strongly recommend against firing Sessions. [SCREEN WIPE] Sessions has been remarkably loyal to the President and loyalty, I think, has to be a two-way street.

MATTHEWS [TO QUIGLEY]: Congressman Quigley, you're from Illinois, but figure this out. There seems to be a regional loyalty to one their own — to Sessions. I mean, he is one of the post-1964 I mean that seriously, southern Republicans now. They used to be all southern Democrats. Dixiecrats. Now they're all very loyal to Trump and it looks line he's the leader among them. They're all sticking to him.

MSNBC's Joy Reid Says I'm Ugly, Hate Jesus, and 'Represent the Foulest Tradition'

MSNBC’s AM Joy host Joy Reid went on unhinged Twitter tirade against none other than yours truly on Tuesday afternoon, decrying me as, among other things, an ugly person “represent[ing] the foulest tradition in American history” who hates not only Jesus but the poor too.

This whole meltdown began when Reid tweeted this tasteless attack on brain cancer-stricken Republican Senator John McCain (Ariz.):

I followed with this quip: “Stop fearmongering with fake news. This love-now-hate for John McCain shows how nothing matters to you people.”

Little did I know, this was more than a trigger for Reid. She started off by taking issue with my tweet: “I find it hilarious that you -- well in your parlance ‘you people’ -- dare to talk about civility.”

Reid might have thought I was talking about African-Americans, but I was obviously referring to the media. As I noted in my last item about the reaction to McCain returning for the motion to proceed, the media have gone from loving McCain to despising him to loving him again last week to now trashing him. 

As you’ll see below, basic human decency was lost in Reid’s responses, devolving into name-calling and making assumptions about me that I will each briefly address. Here’s her next tweet:

First of all, this one alone showed how little she knew about me. It’s downright offensive that she would suggest I belong to “the foulest tradition in American history and the barest incivility.”

My father was a Marine before becoming a teacher, recreation center executive, and now hospital security official while my mother helps to oversee my aunt’s small manufacturing business. I lived a middle class life where my parents sacrificed so much and taught me the values that made this country great. 

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Even when things didn’t go our way, I was shown how to hold fast to the belief that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes, it’s hard to do the right thing. 

I’ve had plenty of friends from diverse backgrounds throughout the years. No matter what, I didn’t let my political beliefs get in the way of friendships.

Moving on, here’s her next two tweets: 

As far as my personal beliefs go, this is not the space for that. Reid also ranted in those two passages that I possessed a “sheer ugliness” that “merits none.” Yikes. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemies. Again, she exhibited a reckless disregard for my personal history.

Whether it’s my internships through college, working as the NewsBusters evening and Sunday analyst, or the ups and downs of my life, I truly love writing for you, the readers and people of the conservative movement.

Needless to say, Reid’s type of language is unbecoming anyone in American political discourse. Period.

She concluded by saying “get the hell out of my mentions,” but immediately continued tweeting at me: 

My colleague Tim Graham astutely mentioned earlier how the Boy Scouts were beaten and battered by the left and “the LGBT Pressure Bus” so that they would kowtow and promote nefarious lifestyles. So, it’s intriguing that the left is now concerned about upholding the Boy Scout Oath and Law.

I did respond with smaller quibbles, but here’s the uninterrupted tweetstorm I first sent out (with links to stories for emphasis):

Yikes. First of all, if I was so horrible, why are you still messaging me? You know nothing about me and my beliefs over the years. 2nd of all, whatever happened to praying for your enemies, as you and Rev. Barber denounced. You want to talk about loving Jesus? That's it, not wishing the worst on someone. Also believing in the abortion of innocent children, but that's for another debate. You showed your contempt for huge swaths of the American people by denouncing millions as "hillbillies" back in March. You allow guests like Jennifer Rubin to decry Trump cabinet picks as ignoramuses. NewsBusters uses no such language and doesn't accept it. You also said people are too dumb to understand Hillary's e-mails in August '16. YOU are supposed to be role model for people and you're doing anything but that. All the best to you.

Nevertheless, she expressed doubt that I prayed for my enemies, saying that she’d be “shocked you don’t choke on the word ‘love.’” I tweeted that I certainly have, as per Matthew 5:43-48. I also made clear that I find Barack Obama to be a good man who loves his family and I still prayed for him despite my vehement disagreements. 

Alas, she countered with Jeremiah 22 to claim that conservatives like myself want to rob the poor of their health care, creating a fallacy that conservative policymakers a lot smarter and older than I am could debate.

Joy Reid can lob these insults and claims I don’t know Christ, but following Christ has been the center of my life, above any material possession or person. All that we have is because of God’s blessings and His Son’s sacrifice on the cross so that our sinful selves would have a chance at eternal life.

So, yes, I do pray. And I pray for my enemies. I don’t see how any of that is ugly or foul. But then again, call me old-fashioned.

Networks Cover Up Wasserman Schultz’s Shady IT Staffer Being Arrested, Fired

Late Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl.) had fired shady I.T. staffer Imran Awan after being arrested trying to flee the country amid a criminal investigation. And yet the “big three” networks ignored this piece of breaking news.

ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News saw no reason to cover this disturbing story involving double billing, Hezbollah, smashed hard drives, and possessing the e-mails and files of leading congressional Democrats.

Thankfully, the Fox News Channel’s Special Report filed a full report. Host Bret Baier began by stating he had “some breaking news”:

The investigation to a Capitol Hill computer scandal has taken a dramatic turn. Fox News has learned one of the I.T. staffers are being investigated in the case is now under arrest, caught as investigative say they tried to leave the country last night. 

Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen revealed that Wasserman Schultz had just fired Awan, “a Pakistani-born I.T. technician who has worked with several family members to perform computer services for Wasserman Schultz and other leading Democratic lawmakers.”

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“Awan was arraigned on one count of bank fraud charges in U.S. District Court here in Washington to date following his arrest last night at Dulles International Airport prior to boarding at overseas flight. He pleaded not guilty and was released under strict monitoring. Iwan started working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005,” Rosen added.

Rosen repeatedly credited The Daily Caller for its reporting on Awan, which has been nothing short of exemplary:

In all, The Daily Caller reports that Awan, his brothers, their wives and others collected, at least $4 million for I.T. services performed for Democratic lawmakers. In addition to Wasserman Schultz, these included Diana DeGette of Colorado, chairman of an investigative subcommittee, Jackie Speier of California who sits on the Intelligence Committee, and Ted Deutch, ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. The investigation started with allegations that the Awan Group was arranged in double billing but then reportedly expanded to include how sensitive House data was stored. The group was barred from House computer networks in February when the U.S. Capitol Police identified them as suspects in a criminal investigation.

After reading from Wasserman Schultz’s statement, he again hat-tipped The Daily Caller for unearthing a disturbing discovery that “authorities seized smash computer drives from Awan's residence.”

So, we have a shady I.T. staffer and his family running a firm that possibly compromised the e-mails and files for a number of key congressional Democrats. To the casual observer, that would probably strike them as disturbing. 

If that wasn’t enough, The Daily Caller’s intrepid work revealed that, among other bombshells, Awan and his brother “secretly took” $100,000 of Iraqi money, “owned money to Hezbollah-connected fugitive,” fetched $4 million from Democrats, and had access to DNC e-mails.

Despite all this, ABC, CBS, and NBC haven’t shown interest in this story, according to a Nexis search of Imran Awan and Wasserman Schultz.

Instead, ABC’s World News Tonight covered a brawl between a Delta Airlines pilot and flight attendant. Really earth shattering news, ABC. On CBS, interim anchor Anthony Mason gave a news brief to a rare Andy Warhol painting that could be worth millions being discovered inside a storage unit belonging to rock star Alice Cooper.

NBC Nightly News decided to pass on this Democratic scandal to instead push a Harvard Business School study that proved money could indeed buy happiness.

Here’s the transcript of the segment from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on July 25:

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
July 25, 2017
6:28 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Capitol Hill Computer Scandal; Feds: Staffer Arrested Trying to Flee Country]

BRET BAIER: Now to some breaking news about a story we have been falling here on Special Report. The investigation to a Capitol Hill computer scandal has taken a dramatic turn. Fox News has learned one of the I.T. staffers are being investigated in the case is now under arrest, caught as investigative say they tried to leave the country last night. Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen is following the latest development in this case and joins us live. Good evening, James. 

JAMES ROSEN: Good evening, Bret. Just minutes ago, Democratic Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired Imran Awan, a Pakistani-born I.T. technician who has worked with several family members to perform computer services for Wasserman Schultz and other leading Democratic lawmakers. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: House Democratic Aide Arrested; Feds Detain Imran Awan on Bake Fraud Charges]

Awan was arraigned on one count of bank fraud charges in U.S. District Court here in Washington to date following his arrest last night at Dulles International Airport prior to boarding at overseas flight. He pleaded not guilty and was released under strict monitoring. Iwan started working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005. She, of course, was forced to resigned as chair of the Democratic National Committee one year ago after Wikileaks began posting her hacked emails online. In all, The Daily Caller reports that Awan, his brothers, their wives and others collected, at least $4 million for I.T. services performed for Democratic lawmakers. In addition to Wasserman Schultz, these included Diana DeGette of Colorado, chairman of an investigative subcommittee, Jackie Speier of California who sits on the Intelligence Committee, and Ted Deutch, ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. The investigation started with allegations that the Awan Group was arranged in double billing but then reportedly expanded to include how sensitive House data was stored. The group was barred from House computer networks in February when the U.S. Capitol Police identified them as suspects in a criminal investigation. In announcing today's firing, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz said, and I quote: “Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them.” 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: House Democratic Aide Arrested; Wasserman Schultz: Awan Services Terminated]

The Daily Caller has reported that authorities seized smash computer drives from Awan's residence, charging documents released today, however, do not explicit link this bank fraud charge to the House I.T. case. 

BAIER: We will continue to follow the story. James, thank you.

ROSEN: You bet. 

White House Study Shows Adam Schiff Loves the Cameras, Fetching Over 14 Hours of Hits Post-Inauguration

The Washington Free Beacon’s video editor and 2016 Noel Sheppard Media Blogger of the Year Award recipient David Rutz published on Monday afternoon a study put out by the Trump White House, showing how camera-loving Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif.) has spent over 14 hours on cable and network TV since President Trump’s inauguration.

While officially serving as the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and representing a dark blue district filled with movie studios and Hollywood elites, this space and others have noticed that Schiff has added TV news star to his resume. 

Trump seemed to pick up on that tidbit, tweeting Monday morning about Schiff (with a response from Schiff that can be found here).

Rutz reported that the White House found that “Schiff has been on television for 14 hours, 8 minutes, 55 seconds since Trump was inaugurated” with his most recent hit coming on CBS’s Face The Nation

Here’s more from Rutz on the White House’s parameters of the study:

The report comes on the heels of President Donald Trump attacking Schiff on Monday for his frequent TV appearances. The vast majority of them have been on cable networks CNN and MSNBC, although Schiff has also done interviews on Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Comedy Central, and HBO.

A count by this writer found that, going back through May 7, Schiff has appeared one of the top Sunday morning political talk shows eight times out of a possible 12 Sundays, most of them to discuss and promote the liberal media’s mission to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This includes appearances over the last three Sundays in a row.

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Rutz received comment from Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel about the disparity with Schiff being someone “build[ing] their own brand” instead of fulfilling his congressional duties. He did not hear back from Schiff’s office when requesting comment.

For what it’s worth, the study also looked at TV appearances featuring ranking Senate Intelligence Committee member and Democratic Senator Mark Warner (Va.) since the January 20 inauguration. Warner sat for 60 interviews, which clocked in at 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 13 seconds.

Of Course: New York Times Removes Mark Levin’s New Book from Top Bestseller Spot

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard had a Friday morning piece that called out The New York Times for “diss-mot[ing]” conservative talk radio host Mark Levin’s new book Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism from the number one spot on their secret bestseller list.

“Media mogul Mark R. Levin's new conservative book, Rediscovering Americanism, has swamped the competition, selling over 100,000 copies in three weeks, but its deserved No. 1 ranking in the New York Times best-seller list is over,” reported Bedard.

Bedard pointed out that Levin’s book will be slotted at number two in the latest rankings even thoughThe Wall Street Journal has the Threshold Editions book as the nation's top selling nonfiction book as does the Conservative Book Club.”

Levin told Bedard that “[t]his is a disgrace” and lashed out at The Times on his eponymous radio talk show earlier in the week, proclaiming that The New York Times obviously hates [the book].”

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Here’s more of what Levin had to say to Bedard: 

Despite the fact that my book sold more hardcover copies than any other non-fiction book last week, the New York Times just announced it was declaring a different book #1 on its list and my book would be dropped to #2. This isn't the first time the New York Times has done this to one of my books. There really needs to be an expose of this secretive process. It's one thing to ignore my books and not review them, it is quite another ignore the facts. The book sale numbers speak for themselves.

As NewsBusters has chronicled for years, The New York Times has routinely blacklisted and fudged the sales of books by conservatives, including Levin, Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.), David Limbaugh, and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.

My colleague Tim Graham wrote this about the paper’s bestseller list on June 30, 2016 concerning The Times and Strassel’s book The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech:

Every week, Nielsen's BookScan produces a ranking of book sales around the country, and is estimated to capture 70 to 80 percent of all retail sales. Most organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, use BookScan as their way of ranking best-sellers.  According to BookScan's list on Wednesday, The Intimidation Game was the sixth bestselling hardcover book in the nation for the past week. It came out on June 21 from Twelve Books.

When The New York Times announced its latest weekend best-seller list on Wednesday evening, The Intimidation Game was nowhere in the the top 15. In fact, it wasn't even on the extended list of the top 20 hardcover bestsellers, despite outselling books that did make the list. It did come up as No. 13 on the New York Times's e-book bestseller list for July 10. So the Times is aware of its sales, but its secret-sauce formula is somehow keeping it at bay....like other conservative best-sellers.

Of Course: New York Times Removes Mark Levin’s New Book from Top Bestseller Spot

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard had a Friday morning piece that called out The New York Times for “diss-mot[ing]” conservative talk radio host Mark Levin’s new book Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism from the number one spot on their secret bestseller list.

“Media mogul Mark R. Levin's new conservative book, Rediscovering Americanism, has swamped the competition, selling over 100,000 copies in three weeks, but its deserved No. 1 ranking in the New York Times best-seller list is over,” reported Bedard.

Bedard pointed out that Levin’s book will be slotted at number two in the latest rankings even thoughThe Wall Street Journal has the Threshold Editions book as the nation's top selling nonfiction book as does the Conservative Book Club.”

Levin told Bedard that “[t]his is a disgrace” and lashed out at The Times on his eponymous radio talk show earlier in the week, proclaiming that The New York Times obviously hates [the book].”

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Here’s more of what Levin had to say to Bedard: 

Despite the fact that my book sold more hardcover copies than any other non-fiction book last week, the New York Times just announced it was declaring a different book #1 on its list and my book would be dropped to #2. This isn't the first time the New York Times has done this to one of my books. There really needs to be an expose of this secretive process. It's one thing to ignore my books and not review them, it is quite another ignore the facts. The book sale numbers speak for themselves.

As NewsBusters has chronicled for years, The New York Times has routinely blacklisted and fudged the sales of books by conservatives, including Levin, Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.), David Limbaugh, and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.

My colleague Tim Graham wrote this about the paper’s bestseller list on June 30, 2016 concerning The Times and Strassel’s book The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech:

Every week, Nielsen's BookScan produces a ranking of book sales around the country, and is estimated to capture 70 to 80 percent of all retail sales. Most organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, use BookScan as their way of ranking best-sellers.  According to BookScan's list on Wednesday, The Intimidation Game was the sixth bestselling hardcover book in the nation for the past week. It came out on June 21 from Twelve Books.

When The New York Times announced its latest weekend best-seller list on Wednesday evening, The Intimidation Game was nowhere in the the top 15. In fact, it wasn't even on the extended list of the top 20 hardcover bestsellers, despite outselling books that did make the list. It did come up as No. 13 on the New York Times's e-book bestseller list for July 10. So the Times is aware of its sales, but its secret-sauce formula is somehow keeping it at bay....like other conservative best-sellers.

Of Course: New York Times Removes Mark Levin’s New Book from Top Bestseller Spot

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard had a Friday morning piece that called out The New York Times for “diss-mot[ing]” conservative talk radio host Mark Levin’s new book Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism from the number one spot on their secret bestseller list.

“Media mogul Mark R. Levin's new conservative book, Rediscovering Americanism, has swamped the competition, selling over 100,000 copies in three weeks, but its deserved No. 1 ranking in the New York Times best-seller list is over,” reported Bedard.

Bedard pointed out that Levin’s book will be slotted at number two in the latest rankings even thoughThe Wall Street Journal has the Threshold Editions book as the nation's top selling nonfiction book as does the Conservative Book Club.”

Levin told Bedard that “[t]his is a disgrace” and lashed out at The Times on his eponymous radio talk show earlier in the week, proclaiming that The New York Times obviously hates [the book].”

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Here’s more of what Levin had to say to Bedard: 

Despite the fact that my book sold more hardcover copies than any other non-fiction book last week, the New York Times just announced it was declaring a different book #1 on its list and my book would be dropped to #2. This isn't the first time the New York Times has done this to one of my books. There really needs to be an expose of this secretive process. It's one thing to ignore my books and not review them, it is quite another ignore the facts. The book sale numbers speak for themselves.

As NewsBusters has chronicled for years, The New York Times has routinely blacklisted and fudged the sales of books by conservatives, including Levin, Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.), David Limbaugh, and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.

My colleague Tim Graham wrote this about the paper’s bestseller list on June 30, 2016 concerning The Times and Strassel’s book The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech:

Every week, Nielsen's BookScan produces a ranking of book sales around the country, and is estimated to capture 70 to 80 percent of all retail sales. Most organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, use BookScan as their way of ranking best-sellers.  According to BookScan's list on Wednesday, The Intimidation Game was the sixth bestselling hardcover book in the nation for the past week. It came out on June 21 from Twelve Books.

When The New York Times announced its latest weekend best-seller list on Wednesday evening, The Intimidation Game was nowhere in the the top 15. In fact, it wasn't even on the extended list of the top 20 hardcover bestsellers, despite outselling books that did make the list. It did come up as No. 13 on the New York Times's e-book bestseller list for July 10. So the Times is aware of its sales, but its secret-sauce formula is somehow keeping it at bay....like other conservative best-sellers.

Now He’s Gone, CNN’s Jim Acosta Notes How Spicer ‘Was Raked Over the Coals Publicly’

Calling into CNN’s Inside Politics after news broke Friday afternoon Sean Spicer would resign from the position of White House press secretary, senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta trumpeted the reality that Spicer “was raked over the coals publicly” on Saturday Night Live and in the media (especially by people like Acosta). 

“I talked to a source close to the White House just a few moments ago about all of this, and it sounds like there is a lot of turmoil going on behind the scenes in this press shop, in this communications shop,” Acosta began before noting how the President reportedly wanted Spicer to do the job of communications director while Anthony Scaramucci had the title.

Looking at Spicer’s tenure, Acosta flaunted “these battles” he and his colleagues have waged against Spicer and thus “the President just did not have confidence in Sean Spicer in that sort of TV job as the press secretary, which you know, John, from so many years covering all of this, the White House press secretary is a TV job.”

“If you can't do this job on television, you are not going to stay in the good graces of this President, and all we have to do is mention two words — Melissa McCarthy. I mean, Sean Spicer was — was raked over the coals publicly. Culturally, as the press secretary, and he was just not living up to Donald Trump TV standards,” Acosta added.

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Ah yes, “raked over the coals.” For anyone who has watched CNN or White House press briefings, Acosta and company have taken delight in going after Spicer and that doesn’t even include the ridicule he received from Melissa McCarthy lampooning him on SNL

Without a doubt, those two groups must be hardest hit by Friday’s news.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on July 21:

CNN’s Inside Politics
July 21, 2017
12:41 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: I talked to a source close to the White House just a few moments ago about all of this, and it sounds like there is a lot of turmoil going on behind the scenes in this press shop, in this communications shop. I am told by a source close to the White House that Trump wanted Scaramucci on television essentially as a surrogate to the White House. He likes the way Scaramucci performs on television and wanted to give him a more formal title, but according to the source, John, there was simply no understanding by the President that the communications director title comes with lots of responsibilities, not just going on television, and get this — the President was expecting in all of this as he was topping — tapping Scaramucci for this job, expecting Sean Spicer to stay on as press secretary and essentially as the communications director while Scaramucci would play the ceremonial role essentially have the title but go on TV as a surrogate for the White House. I mean, it's very clear, John, that, you know, and we've been having these battles in the press briefing room for the last several months, that the President just did not have confidence in Sean Spicer in that sort of TV job as the press secretary, which you know, John, from so many years covering all of this, the White House press secretary is a TV job. If you can't do this job on television, you are not going to stay in the good graces of this President, and all we have to do is mention two words — Melissa McCarthy. I mean, Sean Spicer was — was raked over the coals publicly. 

Culturally, as the press secretary, and he was just not living up to Donald Trump TV standards. This is a President who understands television, perhaps better than any President who's ever served in the Oval Office and the President simply wanted a better TV performer to sort of be front and center for this White House and it sounded like he had settled on Scaramucci for this job, but according to the source posted at the White House, Sean Spicer was not going to have that. And there was a feeling that the President did not understand that the job of communications director is more than just being a surrogate on television and as you and I know and so many others know here at CNN, sometimes the President judges how his communications is going for the White House based simply on what he sees on the shows. What he sees on the multiple cable news network, who’s speaking on behalf of his administration, how they're performing and so on but what he doesn’t understand, if go back to past administrations like Jennifer Palmieri in the Obama administration and so on, the job of communications director is someone who crafts the message for the White House, who makes sure that the White House is getting the President out there to do a health care event to push repeal of ObamaCare and so on, and according to the source, the President was just not understanding that — that — that there are so many other things that go on with the job of communications director. Sean was doing both of those jobs for so many weeks now and I think because of that dissatisfaction, Sean decided as others have been saying here on CNN, that it was time to go.

Disgusting: Reuters Broadcasts Livestream of Sean Spicer’s House

Roughly two hours after White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced his resignation, Reuters disturbingly set up shop outside Spicer’s house and provided a livestream for viewers to follow along with. 

It doesn’t take a whole lot of decency to conclude that this is a disgusting and tasteless display by an organization who’s White House correspondent (Jeff Mason) is the president of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA). One has to wonder if Mason thinks this is good journalism.

As of 2:15 p.m. Eastern, there were zero signs of movement inside Spicer’s Virginia house. This being said, the debasing, paparazzi-like behavior by Reuters has actually given the American people a valuable takeaway, which is just now little the media take this seriously. 

For the liberal media, they couldn’t be any more overjoyed by the chaos at the White House. Friday marked another day of fun and games for the media with Spicer acting as another notch in their belt as their warpath to remove President Trump from office drags on.

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