Jun
30
2011

Why Did Mark Halperin Call Obama a Dick?

Time magazine's Mark Halperin called Barack Obama a dick on MSNBC this morning. The video clip is posted all over the web today, and Halperin and MSNBC have both apologized. Forget about that for a second, and ponder why Halperin said it. The media line on Obama's press conference is that he was unusually feisty, partisan and/or populist. These are qualities the media tend to abhor in Democratic politicians, who are constantly counseled to work with Republicans or stay in the media-defined "center" in order to succeed (and remember that their "center" is often off to the right, politically speaking). […]

Feb
07
2011

The Right Way to Support a Friendly Dictator…er, 'Strongman'

From the Friday broadcast of the PBS NewsHour (2/4/11) came a discussion about how the U.S. supports dictators–which elicited some chuckles. Remember, Mark Shields is the one who plays the "left" on the program. MARK SHIELDS: Just one little point of personal privilege on Joe Biden, who did take a hit for not being able to say dictator, but in United States politics, I mean, it's always been, if someone is on our side, he is a strongman. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: If he is on the other side, he is a dictator. I mean, that has sort of been the […]

Jun
11
2009

A Newsweek Story Gets 'Better' for Scarborough–With a Little Help From a Friend

The website Gawker (6/9/09) caught Newsweek making some sneaky changes in an online article–changes that were ordered by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, and which just happened to favor the host of a show that Meacham appears on regularly. On the afternoon of Friday, June 5, Newsweek's website put up an interview with Joe Scarborough, the conservative host of MSNBC's Morning Joe program. The introduction pointed out that Scarborough had once been the defense attorney for an anti-abortion terrorist who murdered a doctor, and noted that the host had been criticized for giving insufficient attention to the murder of Dr. George […]

Jun
01
2009

Brought to You by Starbucks…

MSNBC's Morning Joe program seems to have turned its conspicuous consumption of Starbucks drinks into a paid commercial for the coffee chain, according to this morning's New York Times (6/1/09). As Brian Stelter put it, Joe Scarborough "sips Frappuccinos on camera so often that some viewers have wondered whether it is a form of product placement, paid for by the coffee company. Starting Monday, it will be." The deal is worth over $10 million, and will include "Starbucks graphics and mentions during each hour of the 6 to 9 a.m. program." The show might even broadcast from Starbucks locations from […]