Farewell to the 'Non-Political' Eric Holder; Worrying About ISIS Is Just a Right-Wing Scam

Vol. 27, No. 19

Farewell to the “Non-Political” Eric Holder

“He’s a very non-political person. And I think people used to mistakenly think that this guy was this long-time political operative who happened to be an Attorney General. That’s not him at all. In fact, that used to get him in some hot water with some of the President’s own political aides who sometimes felt that Eric Holder wasn’t thinking about the politics of an issue....He’d get criticized, say from Republicans on Capitol Hill, because they thought, ‘Oh, he’s being too much — too political.’ The guy wasn’t political at all, and in many ways just ended up being the point person to attract a lot of attacks.”
— NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s NewsNation September 25.


A “Candid” Admission, or Obama’s Own Failure?

“This seemed to be a very candid interview. The President blamed the former U.S.-backed Iraqi government for allowing ISIS to flourish, and said American intelligence didn’t fully appreciate the threat....On Sunday, President Obama told 60 Minutes U.S. intelligence failed to see it coming....It’s a major intelligence failure....”
— Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel on NBC’s Today, September 29.


Correspondent Andrea Mitchell: “The ISIS threat was not a secret, say intelligence leaders, to anyone watching or listening, despite what the President told 60 Minutes....So is this an intelligence failure, or is this a failure of policymakers all the way up to the President of the United States?”
NBC terrorism expert Michael Leiter: “Those warnings were clear and loud, at least over the past two years, in my view.”
NBC Nightly News, September 29.


Correction: What We Wrote About Bush Was Baseless Left-Wing Spin

“An article on Sept. 11 about President Obama’s speech to the nation describing his plans for a military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, gave an incorrect comparison between efforts by the President to seek allies’ support for his plans and President George W. Bush’s efforts on such backing for the Iraq war. The approach Mr. Obama is taking is similar to the one Mr. Bush took; it is not the case that, ‘Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.’”
— Correction printed in the September 23 edition of the New York Times.


Obviously, Worrying About ISIS Is Just a Right-Wing Scam

“I’ll admit that it bothers me deeply to hear people worry aloud about ISIS coming to get them personally....I know the political hucksters love pushing the fear button. They exalt in the word ‘homeland,’ that ominous term, cooked up by the neo-cons to drive us off to the stupidest war decision in history....But that talk was for a purpose of getting us into a stupid war. What’s the purpose now? Why push the Armageddon button now? Could it be that scaring people is one way to justify just about anything right-wing, anything that exploits military force, anything that turns the United States into a relentless military presence, a machine really, in the Middle East, an endless adversary and killer of Arabs and other Muslims.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, September 17.


Republicans’ “Hateful Rhetoric” Endangers Obama

“Our next question is from Jimmy: ‘Do you think that the hateful rhetoric from Republicans puts President Obama and his family in danger?’ Well, the Republicans aren’t the only ones that come up with hateful rhetoric towards the President. Words count and words inspire people. My answer to that is yes.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, October 1.


MSNBC vs. MSNBC on Islam and “Workplace Violence”

Host Melissa Harris-Perry: “I would be remiss not to bring up the story out of Oklahoma. It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story. But I want to play just a little bit of the sound from the press conference that followed — a gentleman who beheaded a woman in the context of his having been fired then he goes back to the plant. He stabs several people; one of the women, her head is severed. But then this gets said at the conference. Let’s just listen for a moment.”
Moore, Oklahoma police sergeant Jeremy Lewis: “After conducting interviews with co-workers of Nolen, information was obtained that he recently started trying to convert some of his coworkers to the Muslim religion.”
Harris-Perry, shaking her head: “And then that’s it. And now this is somehow about Islam.”
— MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, September 27.


“Local news outlets reported that he was shouting Muslim phrases during the attack. So the feds were called in to investigate. Their response, according to the Washington Post: that there was no indication, quote, ‘no indication that Alton Nolen was copying the beheadings of journalists in Syria by the Islamic State, officials said,’ adding that they were treating this as, quote, ‘workplace violence.’ Workplace violence. Really? Despite the fact the attacker’s Facebook page had pictures of Osama bin laden, the Taliban, gruesome beheadings by ISIS, pictures celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers, and his promise that America would go up in flames?...How stupid does the FBI really think we are?”
— Co-host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, September 29.


NBC Host Searches for Proof of Liberal Campaign Comeback

Host Chuck Todd: “Some Americans suddenly saying tax cutting has gone too far?”
Clip of Kansas voter: “It’s been a train wreck.”
Todd: “Could Republicans now become the victims of a new anti anti-tax fever?”
— Opening show tease on the September 21 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, as the on-screen headline trumpeted: “Anti Anti-Tax Fever.”


Williams in Awe of Hillary Quote for the Ages

Anchor Brian Williams: “Whatever else is remembered from Hillary Clinton’s trip to Iowa this past weekend to attend a big political steak fry, along with her husband, it’s this soundbite from her speech that may survive for all-time.”
Hillary Clinton: “I’m back!”
NBC Nightly News, September 15.


Slobbering Over the “Royal” Clintons

“America’s royal baby is on its way. I’m talking, of course, about the next member of the Clinton dynasty, whose arrival is by all accounts imminent....The first major decision affecting the newborn, of course, will be his or her name. Could we really imagine the torch of America’s most esteemed political dynasty being carried by someone named Crystal or Billy Bob? Names matter....”
Politico Magazine’s Adam Lerner in a September 22 feature, “What Should Chelsea Clinton Name Her Baby?”

“The announcement came via Twitter just after midnight on Saturday morning, in a tweet from Chelsea Clinton announcing the birth of the newest member of a family of political royalty.”
— White House correspondent Bill Plante on CBS This Morning, September 29.

Co-anchor Don Lemon: “This is kind of our version — any time a politician’s daughter has a child, this is our version of a royal baby, correct?”
CNN host Fareed Zakaria: “Well, particularly the Clintons, it does feel like that.”
— Exchange on CNN Tonight, September 23.

“Just moments ago, Chelsea Clinton and her new baby girl Charlotte, left the hospital....This is sort of like, you know, kind of reminds of the whole Kate and William moment. I mean, isn’t it even the same dress?”
— Anchor Erin Burnett on CNN’s OutFront, September 29.


Can’t Wait for Bill to “Baby-Proof the White House”

“I was thinking, you know, I haven’t baby-proofed my apartment yet, which is some sort of child abuse, I’m sure, he’s 10 months old, I haven’t done it yet. You have a big project ahead of you, ‘cause you’re going to have to baby-proof the White House. Are you ready for that?”
— Host Erin Burnett to Bill Clinton during a September 24 hour-long special, President Bill Clinton: A CNN Special Town Hall.


Solid Investigative Journalism Finally Makes a Comeback

“Leading astrologers say that Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky is destined for a future working on social justice and will enjoy a strong relationship with her proud grandparents, Hillary and Bill. After Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mezvinsky’s daughter was born..., Politico asked astrologers to weigh in on what is written in the stars for the former first daughter’s first daughter.”
Politico’s Kendall Breitman in a September 29 article.


Who Could Possibly Oppose Liberal Climate Rules?

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius: “There is no plan B because there is no planet B....If we don’t do it and do it quickly — because it’s not a question within 40 years or at the end of this — it’s right now! And we are the first generation to be aware of that and the last generation to be able to act.”
Host Charlie Rose: “There’s a window of opportunity....Where is the resistance?! What stands in the way of something that clearly threatens the planet?”
— PBS’s Charlie Rose, September 25.


Wishing Journalists Were Even Bigger Fear-Mongers on Climate Change

“The media in this country decides that over 300,000 people in New York City isn’t quite enough to be a story. I find it astonishing! I think the media is not covering climate change to the way it should be covered....”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, September 22, talking about a weekend protest in New York City.


Lucky Reagan Only Faced an Evil Empire with 10,000 Nukes

“These days there is a lot of ‘if-only-Obama-could-lead-like-Reagan’ talk by conservatives. I’ll leave it to historians to figure out years from now who was the better president. But what I’d argue is this: In several critical areas, Reagan had a much easier world to lead in than Obama does now.”
— Thomas Friedman in his September 28 New York Times column.


Blame ISIS War on Greedy Oil Companies and NFL Refs

“Even though it doesn’t say so on the news, we went to war yesterday in America against another country in the Mideast. And to me, no matter what, that’s wrong. You don’t fight violence with violence....I can’t get out of my head the fact that Syria has a lot of oil. A lot of oil. Not a lot of oil in Rwanda or the Congo — atrocities there all the time....I do think there’s a financial agenda attached to it.”
— Co-host Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, September 24, talking about Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg: “[Kansas City] Chiefs player Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for bowing in prayer after a big play. Now, players like Tim Tebow, you know, do the whole thing and the [makes sign of the cross]. You know? And so why don’t other people get penalized? Is this — are we feeding into Muslim fear?”
Co-host Rosie O’Donnell: “Yes. I think as a nation we are. I think that, you know, it propels us to war. You have to rally the country in order to bomb a country that did nothing to you.”
— ABC’s The View, September 30.


PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Jeffrey Meyer and Curtis Houck
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeremy Little