MSNBC In a Lather After Newt Tells Occupiers to Take a Bath; Are Republicans Dangerous or Just Stupid?

Vol. 24, No. 24

Are Republicans Dangerous or Just Stupid?


"Last night at the Republican debate, some of the hopefuls, they hope to get your job, they defended the practice of waterboarding, which is a practice you banned in 2009. Herman Cain said quote, 'I don't see that as torture.' Michele Bachmann said that it's quote 'very effective.' So I'm wondering if you think that they're uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?"

— CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian to President Obama at a November 13 press conference in Hawaii.



MSNBC Libs In a Lather After Newt Tells Occupiers to Take a Bath


"Newt Gingrich offers a very personal insult to the protesters, suggesting that they're dirty and need a good wash. But if anyone's dirty, it's Newt Gingrich, a man whose personal morality has been drawn from the sewer....It is much easier to wash the body than it is to cleanse the soul of a man so deeply hypocritical as Newt Gingrich."

— MSNBC daytime anchor Martin Bashir on his 3pm ET program Martin Bashir, November 21.


"Wow. It's really not surprising, coming from me, but that's about the most arrogant and un-self-aware — and those are probably the only words I can use — thing for any politician in this Republican field to say....Someone needs a bath, and I don't think it's the people from Occupy Wall Street....It's absolutely disgusting. It's a very angry way to start the show. I'm extremely sorry. But it's the first time I'd seen that [clip], and it literally made my skin crawl."

— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe, November 21.



How Can You Be Losing to Those Clowns?


"When I hear you talk, Jon Huntsman, about foreign affairs in particular, it's always very impressive. You're smart about it. You're articulate....Are you frustrated that you are still lagging in the polls when the credentials that you seem to offer at this very challenging time for America, particularly in the international stage, seem so much more impressive than many of your rivals?"

— CNN host Piers Morgan to GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Piers Morgan Tonight, November 16. [Audio/video (0:37): Windows Media | MP3 audio]



Can't Fault Obama's "Very Successful" Foreign Policy


"I don't think the Republican nominee for President really feels like that is the most vulnerable area for President Obama. His foreign policy by a lot of accounts has been very successful, particularly on the war on terror, and I think they want to focus on the economy."

— NBC Meet the Press moderator David Gregory on Today, November 13.



Hate-Filled GOP Voters Are Spoiling the Campaign


"The utter confusion in the Republican presidential nominating process results from two discernible facts. One: they hate. That's the simplest explanation of the disastrous course of this selection process. They hate so much they are not in the mood to fall in love with a candidate or even fall in behind someone. Their brains, racked as they are by hatred, they lack the 'like' mode. They are in no mood to go around looking around for a politician they like. The hating is so much more satisfying."

— MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, November 15.



"Real Deficit Hawks" Prefer a $4 Trillion Tax Increase


"The Bush tax cuts, though, I come back to because real deficit hawks — many of them happening to be Republicans — Alan Greenspan, former Fed chief; Michael Bloomberg, now the independent mayor of New York; and Democrats like Peter Orszag, who ran the Budget Office for this President, said let them all expire for everybody — for the rich, for the middle class. If you really want to get serious about the deficit, let the Bush tax cuts expire for everybody."

— David Gregory to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on NBC's Meet the Press, Nov. 20.



Conservative Anti-Tax Pledge = "One of the Problems"


"One of the problems, Senator, is that so many Republicans — I think 238 Congressmen, 48 Senators, including one Democratic Senator, Ben Nelson, and two Democratic Representatives, plus all of the GOP candidates including yourself, Huntsman did not — signed a pledge sponsored by this group called the Americans for Tax Reform. Now this is a group headed by Grover Norquist. He's not a household name, but people in Washington are clearly afraid of him."

— Host Bob Schieffer to Republican Senator Pat Toomey on CBS's Face the Nation, November 20.


"Grover Norquist is not interested in compromise. He likes things ugly....If nothing else, it is a brilliant, bare-knuckled political strategy, with some of the characteristics of a protection racket."

— Correspondent Steve Kroft profiling Norquist on 60 Minutes, November 20.



Anchor Pushes Tax Hikes, But Can't "Convince" Kyl


Anchor Carol Costello: "You went in there and you couldn't negotiate, you know, on a level playing field because you had already made this pledge and you weren't going to budge on it, and you knew that that issue was important to the other side — Democrats."

Republican Senator Jon Kyl: "But we did budge on it...."

Costello: "But a lot of people said that wasn't enough. You didn't raise enough revenue. You could have raised more by doing these other things. But you know, I'm not going to convince you. I realize that."

— Exchange on CNN's American Morning, November 21.



It's a Pity the Tea Party Doesn't Appreciate Your Greatness


Managing editor Richard Stengel: "Speaking of policies, you balanced the budget and cut the size of the government. How come you're not a hero of the Tea Party?"

Former President Bill Clinton: "I thought I should've been their favorite politician."

— From an interview published in the November 9 edition of Time. In fact, the size of government was not reduced during Clinton's presidency. Rather, federal spending increased 32%, from $1.4 trillion in 1993 to $1.9 trillion when he left office in 2001.



Tackling Illegal Immigration: As Evil as Jim Crow


Correspondent Kate Snow: "Maria Sanchez [a fake name] says she believes the charge of criminality isn't the real motivation for the crackdown. Why do you think this law passed?"

"Maria Sanchez," an illegal immigrant in Alabama: "Because of racism. It's as simple as that...."

Historian Wayne Flynt: "They have no political power. And so in a sense it's like the blacks in 1963 who could not vote in Alabama."

Snow: "The Sanchezes agree. They feel like Alabama blacks of the Jim Crow era. And as in 1963, Alabama and the federal government are at odds over a racially charged issue. [to Republican Governor Robert Bentley] The woman who owns this bakery, she said the men who did this are racists. She was talking about you, sir."

— NBC's Rock Center, November 14.



Sawyer Resurrects Sleazy Attack on Sarah Palin


ABC's Diane Sawyer: "After she [Representative Gabrielle Giffords] voted for health care, she faced people in her district calling her a traitor, booing her in townhalls. Someone even fired a gun into her office door. And, you may remember, Sarah Palin targeted her district with an ad that had a gunsight on it. Giffords once worried aloud to her husband."

Giffords' husband Mark Kelly: "She says is, 'Some day, I'm really worried somebody's going to come up to me at one of these events with a gun.'"

— From Sawyer's 20/20 special on Gabrielle Giffords, November 14. In fact, Giffords was shot by a mentally deranged man with no connection to either Palin or the Tea Party.



It's Either Mitt Romney or "the Rise of the Apes"


HBO's Bill Maher: "You've got to feel very bad for Mitt Romney. I mean, he's been led, so far, by Trump, then Bachmann. Then Perry. Then Cain."

Host George Stephanopoulos: "But, he kinda hangs in there. He's everyone's second choice."

Maher: "I'm rooting for him. You know? Because, look, in a country with only two political parties, the Republican can always win. I mean, at least he eats with a knife and fork. I mean, he is all that stands between us and the rise of the apes."

— ABC's Good Morning America, November 14. [Audio/video (0:38): Windows Media | MP3 audio]



NBC's Chelsea Clinton = The Next Tim Russert?


"That her name is Chelsea Clinton is all the better. I can't wait to hear her voice and her viewpoint. And I would remind everybody that there was much kerfuffle about Tim Russert's resume. Oh, my goodness, he worked for a couple elected Democrats. And what that nicely left out was Tim Russert's talent and intellect and ability to call them down the middle. What is he remembered for and what do people miss about him? His decency, his humanity and his incredible ability to call them down the middle. So I would urge everyone to let's sit back and watch some of Chelsea Clinton's work on the air."

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, November 14, touting his network's hiring of Chelsea Clinton.



Just "Slightly" Tilted to the Left


Radio host Larry Elder: "You consider yourself a journalist?"

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "Yeah, I'm a journalist. I'm a columnist. I'm a commentator. I'm an opinion journalist."

Elder: "No, no, no. A journalist. You think you're an objective, down the middle journalist?"

Matthews: "No, I'm not down the middle. I'm slightly to the left."

Elder: "Slightly to the left?"

Matthews: "I'd say, 40 yard line."

— Exchange on Elder's radio program, November 15.



Relax: I'm Just Viciously Vulgar, Not Sexist


"When I point out that Sarah Palin is a vainglorious braggart, a liar, a whiner, a bully who sells patriotism like a pimp, and the leader of a family of inbred weirdos straight out of The Hills Have Eyes, that's not sexist. I'm saying it because it's true."

— Bill Maher, as quoted in a November 21 Newsweek profile of the HBO Real Time host.


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EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham



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