Archive for Curtis Houck

Silly: CNN Debases Itself, Hires Sketch Artist for Off-Camera WH Briefing

File this one under, ‘no, this not a joke.’ For Friday’s off-camera White House press briefing, CNN hired a sketch artist to render images of press secretary Sean Spicer as yet another example of their pathetic meltdowns over the Trump communications team’s decisions about access.

Fox News White House correspondent Kevin Corke teased this news earlier Friday, but CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin made an on-air announcement following the tape-delayed audio from briefing while sketches appeared next to her.

“We at CNN sent a sketch artist inside to provide you with the visuals the White House won't allow you to see. So you're actually looking at this artist rendering of press secretary Sean Spicer giving the answers. They refused to be recorded on camera. Brian, this is the only way people can see. It's ridiculous,” she complained to Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.

Stelter obviously agreed, touting his network’s latest achievement as an example of CNN “getting creative.” He explained that they were done by “well-known courtroom artist” Bill Hennessy and are open for “other television networks...to use.”

“He's covered a lot of trials but I believe it's his first day sketching a White House press briefing....He was in the back of the briefing, didn't have his easel the way he usually has but he was able to draw the briefing. He's working on color versions of these images now,” Stelter added.

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Almost predicting the onslaught of criticism and mockery that CNN would face (from spaces like this one), Stelter proclaimed that “[t]he point here is serious” and “CNN did not send a cartoonist in order to make fun of the briefing”:

They sent an actual sketch artist because it's a way to create a picture, paint a picture of these briefings for people because we, the viewers, weren't able to watch on camera. You know, Brooke, this is an example of the White House rolling back press access. 

“I think today, CNN trying something new inside the briefing in order to have people have a sense of what it looks like,” the senior CNN media correspondent concluded.

Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny chimed in a few moments later, stating the White House position that they believe off-camera briefings “allow for a more substantive discussion on policy.” Naturally, Zeleny quickly pivoted back to slamming this argument.

If the laughter created by this idea wasn’t enough, Zeleny correctly surmised that these meltdowns (including his) are exactly what President Trump (and, by extension, his supporters) want to see:

This White House is trying to avoid questions about the Russia investigation over and over and the President also, I believe, is trying to have the media sort of fight with itself and talk about itself. He relishes the moment when the media is talking about the media. You know, he enjoys this[.]

Before going back to Baldwin, Zeleny complimented Hennessy by suggesting that this role is no different than one Hennessy has played in courtrooms for murder trials:

I was just talking to Bill Hennessy just before I came out here, Brooke, and I can tell you, he is a very talented artist as we've seen, and he has, you know, a sketching out some more things of the scene in the room there and as Brian said, this isn't a cartoon. This is a real depiction of what's going on there. So certainly, like a courtroom, like a murder trial or something elsewhere cameras aren't allowed, they weren't allowed today so we went in with a sketch artist, Brooke. 

Here’s the relevant transcript from June 23's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
June 23, 2017
3:24 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Let’s also just talk about the briefing now. Brian Stelter is with me and just so we're all transparent, this is the second straight day that the White House has not allowed you to see the briefing. In fact, there have only been two on-camera briefings in the past two weeks, so 15 days. We at CNN sent a sketch artist inside to provide you with the visuals the White House won't allow you to see. So you're actually looking at this artist rendering of press secretary Sean Spicer giving the answers. They refused to be recorded on camera. Brian, this is the only way people can see. It's ridiculous. 

BRIAN STELTER: This is CNN getting creative. Other television networks will be able to use these images later today as well, Brooke. This is by artist Bill Hennessy, who’s a well-known courtroom artist. He works at the Supreme Court all the time for CNN and other news outlets. He's covered a lot of trials but I believe it's his first day sketching a White House press briefing. So you see his images on screen here. He was in the back of the briefing, didn't have his easel the way he usually has but he was able to draw the briefing. He's working on color versions of these images now. The point here is serious. CNN did not send a cartoonist in order to make fun of the briefing. They sent an actual sketch artist because it's a way to create a picture, paint a picture of these briefings for people because we, the viewers, weren't able to watch on camera. You know, Brooke, this is an example of the white house rolling back press access. We've seen what is normally on camera daily briefings become a relatively infrequent exercise. You mentioned only twice in the past two weeks. The briefings have been held on camera. Most of the time they have been off camera, audio only and no live audio. It's weird in this age Periscope and Facebook live that you and I could get our phone out and live stream right now but the White House is being so restrictive and we've seen a number of attempts to change this. There was a meeting yesterday with the head of the White House Correspondents Association with Sean Spicer expressing concerns about these restrictions, but I think today, CNN trying something new inside the briefing in order to have people have a sense of what it looks like. 

BALDWIN: So the concerns have been expressed. Jeff, just back over to you at the White House. I mean, tell me what's the White House's explanation? I'm checking my Twitter during the briefing and getting from viewers like I'm not tuning in to listen to a podcast. I mean, people deserve to see the briefing. Why not? 

JEFF ZELENY: Well, Sean Spicer was asked that directly again today at the audio-only briefing and he said, look, he said that this is something the White House is trying to allow for a more substantive discussion on policy. That's actually, perhaps, some of it and it was a robust briefing today with some serious discussions. Of course, that can happen on camera as well here. I mean, this would not be all that unusual if this happened to be the anomaly. If there were three or four daily briefings and once a week or so — I can remember back in the Obama days, back in the Bush administration, which I was covering as well, the press secretary would have, you know, a group of reporters in his office to talk about things in a more substantive way that weren't necessarily in sound bytes but that's not what this White House is doing. This White House is trying to avoid questions about the Russia investigation over and over and the President also, I believe, is trying to have the media sort of fight with itself and talk about itself. He relishes the moment when the media is talking about the media. You know, he enjoys this, but seeing this sketch artist there, I was just talking to Bill Hennessy just before I came out here, Brooke, and I can tell you, he is a very talented artist as we've seen, and he has, you know, a sketching out some more things of the scene in the room there and as Brian said, this isn't a cartoon. This is a real depiction of what's going on there. So certainly, like a courtroom, like a murder trial or something elsewhere cameras aren't allowed, they weren't allowed today so we went in with a sketch artist, Brooke. 

CBS, NBC Ignore Nebraska Democrat Cheering He's ‘Glad’ Scalise ‘Got Shot’

In Friday’s edition of liberal media double standards, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News saw no reason to cover new audio out of Nebraska in which a state Democratic Party official used an expletive to proclaim he’s “glad” Republican Congressman Steve Scalise (La.) “got shot” on June 14.

While CBS and NBC were caught up covering viral video of a dancing gorilla, ABC’s World News Tonight snuck in Montag’s ludicrous rhetoric in senior national correspondent Matt Gutman’s story about actor Johnny Depp’s jokes about presidential assassinations.

Gutman explained that Depp’s inexcusable jests came “just a week after that shooting at a Virginia baseball field” with “Representative Steve Scalise nearly killed, prompting calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle for more civility.”

Concerning Montag, Gutman observed that “calls apparently ignored by a Nebraska Democratic state party official, Phil Montag, caught on tape” obtained by Omaha’s Fox42.

“I'm [bleeping] glad he got shot,” Montag exclaimed in an excerpt before Gutman added that “Montag claims he was taken out of context, but was fired anyway by the state's party chair.”

To keep alive the notion that the right is equally violent, Gutman dug up a 2016 soundbite from Trump supporter and New Hampshire GOP Rep. Al Baldasaro, who argued that “Hillary Clinton should be put on the firing line and shot” for what happened in Benghazi.

Now, why did Gutman resurrect an old soundbite? Well, Baldasaro was “welcomed” at the White House Friday for an event. 

Here’s the thing: Gutman didn’t say what event it was. Turns out, it was the signing ceremony for the new Veterans Affairs bill to become law. Funny how ABC didn’t mention that at all in the newscast. 

Going back to this attempt at supposedly being fair and balanced, our friend Alex Griswold at the Washington Free Beacon found that, maybe it’s the left that should be worried about policing their own. Since May, Griswold reported in a Thursday piece that 30 Republican members of Congress have either been threatened or shot at.

Here’s the relevant transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on June 23:

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
June 23, 2017
6:42 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Heated Political Rhetoric; Growing Fears Harsh Talk Is Inciting Violence]

MATT GUTMAN [ON JOHNNY DEEP APOLOGY]: In a statement tonight, he admits it wasn't funny. This comes just a week after that shooting at a Virginia baseball field. Representative Steve Scalise nearly killed, prompting calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle for more civility, calls apparently ignored by a Nebraska Democratic state party official, Phil Montag, caught on tape as saying this about Scalise. 

PHIL MONTAG: I'm [bleeping] glad he got shot. 

GUTMAN: Montag claims he was taken out of context, but was fired anyway by the state's party chair. The White House facing its own criticism today after the President welcomed a former Trump delegate who last year suggested that Hillary Clinton be executed. 

REPUBLICAN NEW HAMPSHIRE REPRESENTATIVE AL BALDASARO: Hillary Clinton should be put on the firing line and shot. 

GUTMAN: The White house tonight, David, is condemning both Depp’s comments and all calls to violence. 

Blumenthal, Matthews Swoon: History Will View the Liberal Media as ‘Heroes’ of the Trump Era

Further illustrating the blatant collusion between the Democratic Party and the news media, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) spent Wednesday night predicting that history will look back on the Trump era and conclude the liberal media were “the heroes” who stood for decency and truth.

Matthews swooned to Jeremy Peters of The New York Times that “one thing that is important from your end from The New York Times and the other great papers of the country is the public knew” nothing about the supposed Russia-Trump team ties since the Trump administration wouldn’t admit to anything (which most people would do).

Going over to Blumenthal, Matthews continued whining that “[t]his administration has told us nothing on the record” and instead through “rolling disclosure, when you only admit things when they're already out there.”

“[Y]ou guys broke all these stories and then everybody that defends Trump has to defend the utter secrecy of everything they've been doing and I think that's an important role, the press should be commended, don't you think, Senator...the only reason we know about it is the press,” Matthews added.

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Like a good soldier thanking his comrades, Blumenthal offered some flowery praise for his pals:

When the history of this era is written, Chris, and I mean this very sincerely, just as in the Watergate era, the heroes will be our free press and our independent judiciary and the press has given us information to know we need in Congress to know where the corruption is and where there should be investigations. When we filed our legal action against the Trump administration, we used information divulged by the press. 

This pathetic worshiping of the news media harkened back to Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings (Md.) giving reporters a pep talk on May 19, informing them that “this is your moment” to take down Trump because “we cannot afford to lose” the country.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on June 21:

MSNBC’s Hardball
June 21, 2017
7:30 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Jeremy, one thing that is important from your end from The New York Times and the other great papers of the country is the public knew none of this. They never knew that Jeremy — I’m sorry that Jared was meeting with the Russians, the top bank guy, he was involved with sanctions and all that, they never knew about Flynn and what he was doing. This administration has told us nothing on the record. They've complained about leaks but everything we know has been rolling disclosure, when you only admit things when they're already out there and you guys broke all these stories and then everybody that defends Trump has to defend the utter secrecy of everything they've been doing and I think that's an important role, the press should be commended, don't you think, Senator? There’s so little that Trump hasn’t admitted all the Russian shenanigans from day one. Ought meetings with Carter Page and Manafort and his son-in-law and Sessions, his Attorney General, all these people, and Flynn, all these Russian things going on all the time and the only reason we know about it is the press. 

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (Conn.): When the history of this era is written, Chris, and I mean this very sincerely, just as in the Watergate era, the heroes will be our free press and our independent judiciary. 

MATTHEWS: I agree.

BLUMENTHAL: And the press has given us information to know we need in Congress to know where the corruption is and where there should be investigations. When we filed our legal action against the Trump administration, we used information divulged by the press. 

MATTHEWS: You are a great guest and a great man for this country. Thank you. [TO JEREMY PETERS] You hear that? Get that on tape!

Reporter to Sanders: ‘What’s Your Reaction’ to Lefty Fears GOP Health Care Plan Will Kill People

During Thursdays audio-only White House daily briefing, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders received a question from CBS Radio News that touted far-left Senate protesters that have claimed that the proposed Senate Republican health care bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare would cause people to die.

“I wanted to ask just about some of the reaction from the left that we've seen this week,” White House correspondent Steven Portnoy began to which Huckabee Sanders joked that she’s “sure it’s friendly.”

Portnoy continued, promoting this nonsense from the militant left that a Republican health care plan would kill people:

Well, our microphones caught a woman who was dragged off from McConnell's office this morning. She was screaming, my child is going to die, and my family is going to die and they don't give a damn about it. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said this week the Democrats are going to lie down on the train tracks to stop this bill from passing. What do you make of all that? What's your reaction to it?

Huckabee Sanders immediately responded, in part, that she “certainly think[s] that not just Republicans but I think any American would certainly not support something that allows a child to die and the goal is, again, to look for the best health care possible that actually provides care, not just gives insurance, but actually provides care.”

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Earlier, NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson framed the media’s narrative in the briefing that the health care questions would all be from the left:

And on that final product, the President — the Senate bill — by analysis so far, cuts -Medicaid, it doesn't look like it will cut deductibles for folks. Does that have enough heart? Does the President think that is a bill that is not mean? 

Further indicating the reality that this new proposal was created by Senate GOP leadership and not the White House, Huckabee Sanders maintained that President Trump is “going to continue that process” of negotiations “with both House and Senate members and his administration until we get the best bill that we can.”

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s Wolf on June 22:

CNN’s Wolf
June 22, 2017
1:53 p.m. Eastern

HALLIE JACKSON: And on that final product, the President — the Senate bill — by analysis so far, cuts -Medicaid, it doesn't look like it will cut deductibles for folks. Does that have enough heart? Does the President think that is a bill that is not mean? 

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I haven't had that conversation but I do know that he made a statement earlier that said this is a negotiation and so, he's going to continue that process with both House and Senate members and his administration until we get the best bill that we can.

(....)

1:57 p.m. Eastern

STEVEN PORTNOY (CBS News Radio): I wanted to ask just about some of the reaction from the left that we've seen this week. Our microphones —

HUACKBEE SANDERS: I'm sure it's friendly. 

PORTNOY: Well, our microphones caught a woman who was dragged off from McConnell's office this morning. She was screaming, my child is going to die, and my family is going to die and they don't give a damn about it. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said this week the Democrats are going to lie down on the train tracks to stop this bill from passing. What do you make of all that? What's your reaction to it? 

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I certainly think that not just Republicans but I think any American would certainly not support something that allows a child to die and the goal is, again, to look for the best health care possible that actually provides care, not just gives insurance, but actually provides care. That's been a goal from the administration on front end and we're looking for ways to do that. Right now, we know ObamaCare is not sustainable. It is literally collapsing under itself. Providers are pulling out every single day, out of states. We are down to multiple counties that don't have providers, and we are working day in, day out to make sure we have the best piece of legislation possible. If Democrats really cared, they would try to be involved in on the process. They said from day one that they didn't want to be in the conversation if it had anything to do with repealing or replacing ObamaCare. I think that it's sad that they've chosen to play partisan politics instead of trying to have a seat at the table.

Irony: Matthews Mocks Sean Spicer as ‘Generalissimo Franco,’ White House as a ‘Clown Show’

On Tuesday’s Hardball, MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews lacked any sense of irony, mocking the Trump administration and specifically White House press secretary Sean Spicer as a “clown show” with Spicer’s rumored departure from the briefing room podium reducing him to the sequel of the old SNL riffs about Spanish dictator Generalissimo Franco.

“Plus, we’ve got — we’ve heard the rumors of Sean Spicer's imminent demise for months. It’s like Generalissimo Franco. Anyway, now the President may move him to a role behind the scenes. In other words, kick him upstairs and Spicer is leading the search for his own replacement,” Matthews quipped in a tease prior to a commercial break.

He trotted out the same comparison between Spicer and the long-tenured fascist ruler before another break:

Up next, Sean Spicer was back at the podium at the White House today. First press briefing in a long time but word tonight is that his days are numbered. Of course, Generalissimo Franco’s were numbered but he stuck around. 

For those not familiar with the 1970s gag (as this author was), then-Weekend Update host and SNL cast member Chevy Chase offered repeated riffs mocking the seemingly-endless reports in 1975 that Francro was near death. Chase continued the Franco jokes well after Franco’s death.

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Still on the subject of Spicer, the twice-teased segment on Spicer began with Matthews giving a nod to a story in The Atlantic by Rosie Gray:

In a story in The Atlantic titled “The White House Press Briefing Is Slowly Dying,” chief strategist Steve Bannon of all people showed how little regard the White House has for the press and briefings. “Asked why the briefings are now routinely held off camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a text message, ‘Sean got fatter.’” 

Needless to say, this set Matthews off and led the MSNBC host to scream that “this is high school,” “Trumpian” and a poor reflection on “the great country in the world.” 

“According to Politico, ‘Spicer is searching for his own replacement as part of a larger plan to shake up the White House communications operation.’ This is a clown show. Among the replacements, catch this: Laura Ingraham. Anyway, this is amazing,” Matthews added.

That’s quite intriguing, seeing as how Matthews himself and his entire show could be classified as such. Funny how life works.

Tonight's Matthews bias on MSNBC was brought to you by BMW and Gas-X.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on June 20:

MSNBC’s Hardball
June 20, 2017
7:14 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pressing Questions]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Plus, we’ve got — we’ve heard the rumors of Sean Spicer's imminent demise for months. It’s like Generalissimo Franco. Anyway, now the President may move him to a role behind the scenes. In other words, kick him upstairs and Spicer is leading the search for his own replacement. Could it be Laura Ingraham? Well, we keep hearing it. We’ve the got Spicer sendoff coming up with the roundtable tonight.

(....)

7:27 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Up next, Sean Spicer was back at the podium at the White House today. First press briefing in a long time but word tonight is that his days are numbered. Of course, Generalissimo Franco’s were numbered but he stuck around. This is Hardball where the action is. 

(....)

7:31 p.m. Eastern

[CLIP OF SPICER ON 06/20/17 AT WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pressing Questions]

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. That was White House press secretary Sean Spicer in his first on camera briefing in about eight days, trying to explain why the White House is holding fewer and fewer press briefings like his. In a story in The Atlantic titled “The White House Press Briefing Is Slowly Dying,” chief strategist Steve Bannon of all people showed how little regard the White House has for the press and briefings. “Asked why the briefings are now routinely held off camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a text message, ‘Sean got fatter.’” This is high school. This is so Trumpian. This is supposed to the greatest country in the world and it is, but the government? He said the guy is too fat to respond to a follow-up — anyway, whatever. This comes amid reports that Spicer's time in the briefing room may soon be coming to an end. They keep leaking on this guy. According to Politico, “Spicer is searching for his own replacement as part of a larger plan to shake up the White House communications operation.” This is a clown show. Among the replacements, catch this: Laura Ingraham. Anyway, this is amazing. During his five months on the job so far, Sean Spicer has had to go to great lengths to push against the president's critics and defend even his most outrageous claims. 

(....)

7:34 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Anni, I don’t know how you translate Trump into rational.

ANNI KARNI: That’s the thing. I think —

MATTHEWS: And how much — how much license do you have to take to get it straight? I mean, he's talking about tapes. No, but it sounds like he’s got a screw loose. What are these tapes? What is he talking about? Nobody believes him!

KARNI: There’s no tapes.

(....)

7:36 p.m. Eastern

PETER BAKER: You know a press secretary in trouble when he uses the words, the president says or the President has said or as the President — 

MATTHEWS: My client argues —

BAKER: Exactly. 

MATTHEWS: It’s a criminal lawyer's way of talking. 

BAKER: You’re defending everything the President — because you can't vouch for it yourself and how many times has Sean Spicer or other members of the White House gone out on a limb and discovered the limb cut out from behind them because the president ends up giving a completely different versions than they had just given. 

MATTHEWS: Look-up the word “mouthpiece” in Webster’s dictionary. A mouthpiece is a criminal — a lawyer for criminals, not a lawyer. A lawyer for criminals and a mouthpiece is somebody who simply says what isn't true because the client has to say something. You know?

BAKER: Well, the problem for any — 

MATTHEWS: You know what I mean? 

BAKER: I do, but the problem for any press secretary is to maintain your own credibility because there is going to be life after the White House. 

MATTHEW: He hasn’t done that.

BAKER: And that’s a trip for anybody —

MATTHEWS: He hasn’t done that. He’s broken his pick on this thing.

She Went There: Maddow Laments ‘Partisan Implications’ of ‘Bad Weather’ for Georgia Election

Folks, you had to know it would happen. When it became clear on Tuesday that Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff was going to blow tens of millions of dollars and lose to Republican Karen Handel, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow suggested that heavy rain in Georgia had “partisan implications” that affected the special election.

Speaking to MSNBC elections guru Steve Kornacki, Maddow offered this spin/sad excuse for her snowflake viewers: 

Steve, let me ask you one last question on this. If there was a turnout effect from the bad weather today in the district, does that have any partisan implications that you could foresee in terms of what was expected for same day, election day voting rather than the early vote? 

Kornacki largely dismantled that idea, explaining how that’s only “potentially” a factor but noted broadly how turnout in the district’s liberal portion of Dekalb County was down based on anecdotal reports.

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That being said, Kornacki emphasized to the distraught progressive host:

[Y]ou can attribute that to anything. We'll see if that turns out, but that's something else and obviously, if you get into an election like this where it's going to be decided by a point or two, you could blame anything, whichever side you turn up on.

Later in the hour around the 9:48 p.m. Eastern mark, Maddow again offered a mini-meltdown, this time blaming money in politics for the outcome.

“If nothing else, we're getting a real-time result of what it means when more money is spent to try to win a congressional seat than at any other time and for any other seat in American history,” she fretted.

No, Rachel, I think this proved that just because you had more than $23 million (Ossoff) to your opponent’s $4.5 million (Handel), that doesn’t mean you’ll win the election.

The media have already began spinning the race as yet another moral victory for Democrats. Faux Republican Steve Schmidt told MSNBC viewers in the following hour that Handel’s win should somehow leave moderate GOP district members “nauseous.” 

Excuses, excuses.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on June 20:

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show
June 20, 2017
9:11 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL MADDOW: Steve, let me ask you one last question on this. If there was a turnout effect from the bad weather today in the district, does that have any partisan implications that you could foresee in terms of what was expected for same day, election day voting rather than the early vote? 

STEVE KORNACKI: Yeah. Well, and potentially. It all depends where — this is anecdotal and we’ll see when the results come in. There have been anecdotal reports and I've even heard Republicans saying this. That the turnout in Dekalb — this is the Democratic part of the — this is where, if you're Ossoff you want to be getting 60, 61, 62 percent of the vote. You’re expecting that. He got 60 percent in DeKalb. In the early vote, there have been some anecdotal reports that the turnout here in DeKalb less than expected. That could be a same-day effect — you can attribute that to anything. We'll see if that turns out, but that's something else and obviously, if you get into an election like this where it's going to be decided by a point or two, you could blame anything, whichever side you turn up on. 

MADDOW: Exactly and when it comes to turnout, we always find that, whatever we say about the anecal information we've got about turnout on election day, weeks later when we finally get the real turnout numbers, it always turns out what you can see on election day, it doesn’t really —

KORNACKI: Take it with a huge grain of salt. 

MADDOW: Yeah, exactly. Anecdotes are worth as far as you can throw them.

(....)

9:48 p.m. Eastern

MADDOW: Again, this is the special election in 26th congressional district in Georgia. Democrat Jon Ossoff against Republican Ken Handel. If nothing else, we're getting a real-time result of what it means when more money is spent to try to win a congressional seat than at any other time and for any other seat in American history. 

Brokaw Frets About ‘Common Threats’ of Conspiracy Theorists, Not Leftists Post-Alexandria Shooting

After Wednesday’s attempted murder of Republican congressmen, their staffs, and a protective detail by a far-left activist, NBC’s Tom Brokaw went in the opposite direction, lecturing views on Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly about how America faces the “common threats” of conspiracy theorists like 9/11 truther Alex Jones.

Brokaw appeared near the end of Kelly’s program that featured her controversial interview with Jones (which was taped a few weeks ago). Kelly teed him up by noting how “there's been a lot of conversation about our toxic political culture, largely driven by the shooting of a congressman and others on a baseball field in Virginia.”

“Tom Brokaw joins us to share some of his thoughts about hate speech and the internet in these challenging times,” she concluded.

Despite having covered numerous acts of terrorism and shootings, Brokaw admitted (for some reason) that this commentary tacitly directed at Trump supporters was “not an easy assignment for a journalist, a father, a grandfather, a citizen to try to understand the deep, dark hate that's coercing through our country and the instruments that spread it with a keystroke.”

Brokaw spoke to pedestrian points that the rise of the internet has provided both benefits and negatives before transitioning to Kelly’s earlier interview subject (the disgusting Jones). 

Following the lead of former right-leaning talk radio show host Charlie Sykes (who pathetically argued that Jones’s conspiracies are now “mainstream” in conservatism), Brokaw sought to legitimize Jones:

But the reach and the poisonous claims of Alex Jones and others like him and even establishment public figures would not be slowed. We cannot disrupt the irrational spread of hate by blindly blaming the other side or by looking away. 

The former NBC Nightly News anchor acknowledged the pain Newtown families have suffered as a result of both the tragedy and the belief among Jones and his following that it was all staged. Fair enough and totally appropriate.

However, Brokaw’s two-minute-plus commentary wasn’t used to make a broader argument against far-left rhetoric that nearly did the same to Republican congressmen. No, no, no. 

You see, he suggested the country we all hold near and dear is at stake because of Jones (and, by extension, Donald Trump):

We cannot allow the agents of hate to go unchallenged and become the imprint of our time. We'll always have differences, of course, but in our finest moments, we are a republic that thrives when it recognizes common threats and takes them on. That time is now again. This is the time of common threats requiring uncommon courage. It is a time to step up.

Here’s the transcript of the segment from NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly on June 18:

NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly
June 18, 2017
7:53 p.m. Eastern

MEGYN KELLY: This past week there's been a lot of conversation about our toxic political culture, largely driven by the shooting of a congressman and others on a baseball field in Virginia. Tom Brokaw joins us to share some of his thoughts about hate speech and the internet in these challenging times. Tom? 

TOM BROKAW: Thank you, Megyn. This is not an easy assignment for a journalist, a father, a grandfather, a citizen to try to understand the deep, dark hate that's coercing through our country and the instruments that spread it with a keystroke. When the internet first arrived, like everyone else, I was bedazzled by its possibilities for good and those qualities have only become so much more effective and pervasive. But I was also quickly aware of the underside, the seizure on the net by hate groups of all kinds spreading their cancer of racism and violence. I did two documentaries at the turn of the century called The Web of Hate hoping to slow the trend. But the reach and the poisonous claims of Alex Jones and others like him and even establishment public figures would not be slowed. We cannot disrupt the irrational spread of hate by blindly blaming the other side or by looking away. The parents of Newtown, it is not enough to say I cannot imagine because unless we are the parents, we can never, ever share the unremitting pain, the lifelong loss and anger nor should they have to hear the cruel claim that it was a lie. No parent or grandparent in America today can escape the fear, the fear that it could happen again. We cannot allow the agents of hate to go unchallenged and become the imprint of our time. We'll always have differences, of course, but in our finest moments, we are a republic that thrives when it recognizes common threats and takes them on. That time is now again. This is the time of common threats requiring uncommon courage. It is a time to step up.

MRC’s Tim Graham: ‘Shameless’ NYT Showed Zero ‘Standards’ in False Comey Story

Reacting on Friday to the Comey hearing from Thursday, the Media Research Center’s Tim Graham and FBN’s After the Bell co-host Melissa Francis lambasted both The New York Times for a dubious story about Trump associates speaking to Russian intelligence and Jim Comey for his multi-layered media operation leaking information to The Times.

Hilarious: Huffington Post Piece Declares Trump Leaving Paris Deal ‘Is An Impeachable Offense’

Conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh dedicated time on his Friday program to mocking a deranged Huffington Post column by Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Marjorie Cohn that President Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate deal “constitutes an impeachable offense” and crime against humanity.

Matthews Screeches at Trump on Comey: ‘You Are Not Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe!’

It’s been a long day for old man Chris Matthews. Hosting Hardball on Thursday night after opining all day on the blockbuster Jim Comey Senate hearing, Matthews used his daily “Trump Watch” commentary to compare President Trump to Zimbabwe’s murderous dictator Robert Mughabe who ignores critics and operates with absolute rule.

If It Walks Like A Terrorist

In television it's called a "loop," the replaying of the same scene over and over and over again. The latest and most assuredly not the final terrorist attack in London last weekend was a "loop" that has become all-too familiar. The jihadists who claimed to be acting on orders from their god, killed at least seven and injured more than 45 others, some critically, with a brazen attack on London Bridge and in a nearby pub.

YouTube Banned Me, But Not the Hate Imams

One of the many maddening takeaways from the London Bridge jihad attack is this: If you post videos on YouTube radicalizing Muslim viewers to kill innocent people, YouTube will leave you alone. But if you post a video on YouTube honoring innocent people murdered by barbaric jihadists, your video will get banned.

Democrats’ Hoodwinking of Blacks

Ask any black person which political party has been black people's political ally. With near unanimity, blacks would answer the Democratic Party. Ask which political party has been hostile to blacks, they'd say the Republican Party with similar unanimity. For better answers, check out Prager University's five-minute clip "The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party," by Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.

Rather: Comey Hearing Is ‘Code Red’ for U.S., Furious Trump Was Told He Wasn’t Being Investigated

On Tuesday, disgraced former CBS Evening News anchor and fake news connoisseur Dan Rather was somehow a relevant voice on MSNBC’s Hardball, raging at former FBI Director Jim Comey for admitting in prepared remarks for Thursday’s hearing that he told President Trump that he wasn’t under FBI investigation.

Just Give Me Tomorrow’s Weather: Weather.com Engages in Activism Post-Paris Decision

Opening Weather.com to find my hometown’s weather report this past Friday came as an unpleasant surprise. Several apocalyptic articles attempting to scare readers (or, more appropriately, weather-report-seekers) of the dangers of pulling out of the Paris accord cluttered the website. Apparently, it is no longer possible to search the web for rain predictions without being force-fed politically charged opinions.

Loony Matthews: Thursday Will Be Comey as Jimmy Stewart Versus Trump Playing The Joker

As part of the liberal media’s all-out promotional campaign before James Comey’s Thursday morning Senate testimony, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews spun the hearing as one for the history books with Comey channeling Jimmy Stewart against a President Trump that Matthews compared to Batman’s The Joker.

MRC’s Tim Graham Slams CNN Media Team’s Tepid Aslan Coverage with This Must-See Joke

On the Monday edition of the Fox Business Network’s Risk and Reward, the Media Research Center’s Tim Graham annihilated CNN’s lukewarm response to Believe host Reza Aslan’s vulgar tweet attacking President Donald Trump following Saturday night’s London terror attacks. 
 

Hysteria Over Paris Pullout

For sheer hilarity and hyperbole it's hard to beat a recent headline on a Washington Post editorial opposing President Trump's decision to remove the U.S. from the nonbinding and unenforceable Paris climate agreement. "Trump turns his back on the world," it screamed. A close second goes to the headline on a New York Times piece by columnist David Brooks: "Donald Trump Poisons the World."

Hillary Clinton — Endless Sore Loser

Attacks on President Donald Trump are commonplace -- many depict him as this wildly bizarre, classless person occupying the Oval Office -- but have critics fairly considered what a horror show a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been?

‘It’s Censorship!’ Bloom, Griffin Waste Time Whining About Griffin Losing CNN Job

Desperate for attention, far-left comedienne Kathy Griffin and equally liberal attorney Lisa Bloom wasted everyone’s time on Friday afternoon while the two commiserated over Griffin losing her CNN job, losing comedy gigs, and generally being embarrassed for posting a photo with a bloodied, fake, severed head of President Trump.

Did Someone Say, ‘Have a Happy Memorial Day?’

Last weekend, while visiting the New Jersey shore, I heard an astonishing number of vacationing Americans -- all well-intentioned, to be sure -- greet their fellow vacationers with a cheerful "have a happy Memorial Day." That cannot be right. The more I think about it, that greeting sounds as misguided as saying "have a happy Good Friday" on that solemn day. 

Bozell Lambastes Childish Media, Kathy Griffin Over Trump Attacks; Wonders If Scarborough Is a Good Man

On Friday afternoon, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell joined the Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast and tag-teamed with host Neil Cavuto to trash both the “sophomoric” liberal media’s attacks on President Trump and Kathy Griffin’s pathetic behavior since she held up a bloodied, fake severed head of Trump.

 

Great Job, Humanity! ‘Covfefe’ Mentions Over 50 Times Larger on Twitter Than Griffin Nods

Behold another sign of the apocalypse, if you’re into preparing for that sort of thing. According to the news site Axios (with help from SocialFlow), the Twitter mentions for President Trump’s infamous new typo “covfefe” were over 50 times larger on Wednesday than those involving far-left comedienne Kathy Griffin after her disturbing photo with a fake severed Trump head.

 

Ex-Time Editor, Kerry Aide: Trump Leaving Paris Deal ‘Does Depress Me’

One series of MSNBC hot takes came on Deadline: White House about the U.S. leaving the Paris climate deal from former Time editor and Kerry State Department official Richard Stengel, who admitted that the move “does depress me a little bit” and will mean that the U.S. is now longer the most powerful nation on earth but simply “Little America.”

 

Reports: Anthony Mason Will Become Interim ‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor Post-Pelley Axing

Deadline: Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, and others reported early Wednesday morning that longtime CBS News correspondent, CBS This Morning: Saturday co-host, and regular fill-in personality Anthony Mason will receive the interim CBS Evening News anchor job following Scott Pelley’s firing.

BREAKING: Report Says CBS Has Canned Pelley from ‘CBS Evening News’

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, CBS News has decided to remove Scott Pelley from the anchor desk of CBS Evening News, capping off a tenure that began in 2011 when he took over for the largely disappointing tenure of liberal former Today co-host Katie Couric.

USAA Backtracks, Will Resume Advertisements on ‘Hannity’

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Tuesday afternoon that, after severe backlash from conservatives and military supporters, the military financial services organization USAA will resume showing advertisements on conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show.

‘A Complete Delight’; CBS Crew Goes Ga-Ga for Democratic Senator Al Franken

While these sorts of interviews are unsurprising, they’re still worth documenting. Tuesday’s CBS This Morning featured a gooey interview with Democratic Senator Al Franken (Minn.) to promote his new book, encourage him to run for president, and swoon over “how hard you work” while still being “a complete delight.”

 

The Most Outrageously Liberal Scripted TV Quotes of 2017 (So Far)

As previously demonstrated in this space, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC are relentless in attacking conservatives, Christians, and President Trump. Here’s the thing: It’s not just in their morning and evening newscasts, but also their primetime scripted programs.

 

CNN’s Byers: Conservative ‘Anti-Media Rhetoric,’ ‘Incivility’ Caused Montana Incident

As part of the media’s hysteria-filled reactions to the disturbing event out of Montana Wednesday night in which Republican congressional candidate Steve Gianforte allegedly body slammed The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, CNN senior media reporter Dylan Byers blamed it on “anti-media rhetoric” and “civility” from conservatives.

Hypocrite Rubin Loses It Over Montana Incident, Blames Trump; ‘The Fish Rots from the Head’

On Wednesday night, Montana Republican congressional candidate Steve Gianforte allegedly body-slammed The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs the night before the state’s special election. Jacobs went to a hospital to be checked out and had his glasses smashed, so what’s known about the incident isn’t pretty to say the least.

 

Kooky Tuesday Matthews: Print Reporters Are ‘Heroes,’ Never Heard of Ariana Grande

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews was in tip-top shape when it comes to spouting off wacky quotes, suggesting print journalists are “heroes,” John Brennan is a “patriot,” and admitting he had no clue who Ariana Grande was before Monday night.

 

Pathetic David Frum Ties Trump Intel Leak to Manchester Terrorist Attack

While the scene in England’s Manchester Arena was still a crime scene following Tuesday night’s terror attack, frequent MSNBC guest, The Atlantic writer, and former Bush administration official David Frum thought it was crucial to tie the bombing to President Trump’s intelligence leak. 

Pathetic David Frum Ties Trump Intel Leak to Manchester Terrorist Attack

While the scene in England’s Manchester Arena was still a crime scene following Tuesday night’s terror attack, frequent MSNBC guest, The Atlantic writer, and former Bush administration official David Frum thought it was crucial to tie the bombing to President Trump’s intelligence leak. 

MSNBC’s Hayes Tries to Invoke Politics in Manchester Bombing; Correspondent Wasn’t Having It

By and large, the news media remained calm, collected, and hesitant to speculate on Tuesday night following the terrorist attack in Manchester, England at the Ariana Grande concert. That being said, the evening was not without notable comments, including some from MSNBC’s All In host Chris Hayes.

 

The Dangerous Advance on Assisted Suicide You Probably Haven’t Heard About

For-profit health insurance and government medical care mean one thing for patients: what
was once ‘basic and ordinary’ is increasingly regulated, rationed, and often denied to those who
need it most.

CBS Ignores Weiner Pleading Guilty to Obscenity Charge, ABC Barely Covers

On Friday night, the CBS Evening News found itself divorced from the full picture of the day’s news, ignoring disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) pleading guilty to a federal obscenity charge and will register as a sex offender for sexting with an underage girl.

 

CNN’s Cillizza Begs: ‘Can We Now Stop Talking About Anthony Weiner’ ‘Forever?’

In a piece for CNN.com Friday afternoon, CNN Politics editor-at-large Chris Cillizza displayed the liberal media’s hypocrisy in what’s remembered versus not remembered, demanding that the media (and American people) stop talking about disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner forever after pleading guilty to having sexual discussions with an underage girl.

Liberal Congressman Gives Media Pep Talk: ‘This Is Your Moment…We Cannot Afford to Lose This One’

While speaking to reporters Friday morning at the U.S. Capitol, liberal Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings (Md.) gave his fellow lefties a pep talk and marching orders, telling them that “this is your moment” and “we cannot afford to lose” this fight for America (against President Trump and his supporters).

Sick: Kimmel Jokes Trump Could Shoot Dead ‘Fox and Friends’ Co-Host, Still Have Show’s Support

During the opening monologue of his eponymous ABC late-night comedy show Wednesday, Jimmy Kimmel crudely joked that President Trump could shoot dead one of the three co-hosts on the Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and still have the other two’s full support.

 

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