95 thoughts on “Juan Williams Laid Down with Dogs, Got Fleas.

  1. john sherman says:

    It looks like Williams fell afoul of the biblical admonition against serving two masters, and, judging by the dough Fox offered him, he chose Mammon. I never understood how he survived his comparison of Michelle Obama to Stokley Carmichael which redefines stupidity.

    Wasn’t it O’Reilly who said after a meal at Sylvia’s in Harlem that he was happily surprised that the black customers there were quite civilized and didn’t call each other mother-f*cker out loud? If so, did Williams ever deliver any comment on Bilo’s expressing what everybody, i.e., every old, white, racist jerk, was thinking?

    1. frogster says:

      O’Reilly had Williams on either his TV or radio show while that controversy was raging and Williams backed him up 100 percent. Shortly thereafter, CNN had two African Americans, one a liberal, one a conservative, debating the issue and the liberal called Williams “O’Reilly’s happy negro.”

    2. Mike Thomas says:

      @Brian –
      If an non white defends a white person’s remarks they are a self hating loathsome discredit to their race?
      Obama defended Harry Reid and Joe Liberman’s similar and ridiculous comments made the past two years. Same thoughts for them?

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Always love it when white liberals know best on what minorities are suppose to think, say, and be.,,,,

  2. Mike Kennedy says:

    Oh, I don’t know why anyone would be outraged, anyway.

    NPR is about as relevent as my 7th grade jock strap. I think even I could count high enough to reach the number of listeners it has.

    Any station that has the fake, breathless voices of its “on air talent” and a phony, unfunny hack like Gary Keillor (stop with the Earl of Dorincourt imitation — you’re from Anoka, for Christ’s sake), is not worth outrage.

    If it weren’t publicly funded, it would dry up and blow away, much like Airhead America.

    Yeah, O’Reilly totes around a huge ego, but then so do the “journalists” at NPR. I sometimes listen to and watch both, just for entertainment. I sometimes even get something out of it.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      I always hate to rain on a good SRC Platitude Parade but “NPR is about as relevant as (what???)” begs for a bit of truthiness.

      Harris survey says:

      Some Republicans, including former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson, have griped about the fairness and balance of public broadcasting’s news, but according to a new study, it is the most trusted in the land, topping Fox News Channel, CNN, the broadcast network news operations and major newspapers.

      A Harris telephone survey commissioned by the Public Relations Society of America and released Thursday found that 61% of the general public generally trusted news on PBS and NPR, while 56% trusted papers like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or New York Times, and 53% trusted the commercial broadcast and cable news operations.

      That “trust” category was a combination of three, actually: “trust,” “trust completely” and “trust somewhat”. Nobody got high numbers for “trust completely,” with newspapers topping that category at 13%, followed by noncommercial news at 10% and commercial news at only 4%.

      Toward the bottom of the trust list were conservative radio talk show hosts at 35%, followed by liberal talk radio hosts at 31%.

      1. Dennis Lang says:

        “Platitude Parade”. Perfect. Yes, blogging and commenting on them must be our attempt to fill some inner void. What exactly? The need for some to validate self-esteem through pontification? Or something like that?

    2. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Aaaaaaaaaaand equilibrium is once again restored. All distinctions have been sanded down flat. Everybody does it, no matter what it may be. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Goldilocks’ worldview is restored.

    3. john sherman says:

      Want to look at some numbers 10/20/10: O’Reilly 3,493,000 viewers; Olbermann 1,169,000; Hannity 2,402,000; Maddow 1,062,000, although as Maddow pointed out some time earlier, both she and Hannity are trailing Sponge Bob Squarepants rather badly.

      It’s hard to find, or at least it’s hard for me to find, comparable numbers for NPR since Abritron went to a different system that tends to inflate numbers, but a Wapo story (3/24/09) said that NPR has a cumulative news audience of 20.9 million listeners a week, and the Morning Edition had a daily audience of 7.6 million which put it 60% over GMA and a third more than the Today Show.

      This, of course, takes place in a nation of 308 million +; still, if NPR is irrelevant, than cable and broadcast t.v. news are beneath insignificance.

      I listen to NPR because when a subject is being discussed, the discussion goes more than 45 seconds, the people discussing it actually know what they’re talking about, and they don’t scream at each other trying to score cheap debating points. All this is in stark contrast to most of what else passes for news.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Then why are liberal so fearful of Fox?

        Well, the numbers could be right. With the help of our tax dollars, NPR does seem to reach every nook and cranny, unlike Fox and other cable TV channels.

        However, radio, like newpapers, seem to struggle to stay relevent, particularly news radio, thus my comment.

      2. 1) NPR is radio like the Phillies hit baseballs. Yes, they do that, and they do it well, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle.

        2) The average member station takes about 15 percent of its money from public sources. That’s not negligible, but it’s not like they rely solely on the public dime.

      3. PM says:

        Actually, the most recent numbers I saw suggest that NPR gets at most about 6% of its total revenue from government.

    4. Now, see Mlke, every time you drag your real colors out of the closet with something like this, it pretty well sinks the occasional moments when you seem borderline credible. But then of course that’s only in comparison to Newt.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Surely, you jest, Brian.

        There isn’t anyone on here…….well very few…..who are as black and white ideologically as you are.

        I put about the same amount of credibility in you (left, always right except when not left enough – right, always wrong, no matter what).

      2. So Mike, help me out once in a while. You see, I get myself all bent out of shape watching (and listening) to people like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Tom DeLay, John Boehner, the Tea Party, Michael Steele, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and on … and on … and I start getting real “black and white”, as in “these people are the worst imaginable combination of cynicism and stupidity”. Your (usual) view is that this crowd is no different than Barack Obama, with the implication that you’ve seen a truer path, (which you never quite reveal). So reveal it. Give me an actual reason to see the profound error of my ways.

      3. Mike Kennedy says:

        Brian, I get the same feeling when I see and listen to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Patty Murray, Howard Dean, Alan Grayson, Joe Biden……and on and on.

        And you are going to lecture me about stupidity and ignorance? Thanks for the Monday morning humor.

        I at least recognize that idiocy, ignorance and lack of principles exist in the world, no matter what your skin color, political party or income.

        You seem to think this true, as well, except when it comes to politics and that conservatives have a corner on cynicism and stupidity here. OK by me. It’s your head, and what goes on inside it is your business.

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      That’s the best you could do? Putting a movie clip in as a substitute for an argument?

      Well, all I can say is…………..huh?

      Come on Leinfelder, throw me something meaty that I can take a swing at.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Oh, please, I’m just mildly mocking Kennedy’s standard take of phony equivalency, no matter the argument, with a clip from Steve Martin comedy. Shite, Shinola, it’s all the same, right, Mike?

      What’s to argue? Williams crossed a bright line. He left the Chautauqua tent for the one with the carnival geek, bit the head off a chicken himself, and found that, covered in chicken blood and feathers, he was no longer welcome back at Chautauqua.

      He’s supposed to be a thoughtful analyst. But, in the company of FOX’s in-house Id, Williams felt strangely free to vent from the darkest corners of his mind as though he were seeing HIS analyst.

      Juan’s a needy, conflicted guy. He’s finally found a home.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:


        “Phony equivalency” is the only trick you have in your treat bag.

        Everything is phony equivalency with you. One side is right. The other always wrong. I got that the minute you started posting.

        As for your psychoanalysis of Juan Williams, you are in good company with that nitwit of a CEO from NPR.

        Let’s let qualified journalists like Dr. Charles Krauthammer make the mental diagnosis — someone who actually knows what he’s talking about.

        I highly doubt any of her training in Russian language or journalism qualifies her to talk about anyone’s mental issues, except her own.

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Here’s conflicted:

        An addendum to a piece on salon.com re: The Juan Williams firing.

        In 1986, Juan Williams participated in a forum in The New Republic regarding a column by The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, who had justified the practice of D.C. jewelry store owners who would “admit customers only through a buzzer system, and [] some store owners use this system to exclude young black males on the grounds that these people are most likely to commit a robbery” (h/t). Defending this race-based exclusion, Cohen argued that “young black males commit an inordinate amount of urban crime,” and that “black potential victims as well as white ones often act on this awareness, and that under certain circumstances, the mere recognition of race as a factor . . . is not in itself racism.”

        Responding to Cohen’s argument, Williams said: “In this situation and all others, common sense is my constant guard. Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me.”

  3. Mike Thomas says:

    “By its own design, FoxNews has only the most passing interest in journalism as most of us have known it. It is an unapologetic mouthpiece for a very specific political agenda, and worse, it constantly demonstrates no real concern for civic-minded niceties like, you know, factual accuracy and avoiding fomenting baseless, disinformed hysteria.”
    However we give MSNBC a pass right? Fetching water for any Democrat/DNSC/leftist position out there. Olberman sure knows how to look at the news and report objectively without emotion.

    1. As a matter of fact, I’ll happily take the challenge of an MSNBC v. FoxNews fact check face off, anyday. If I were Olbermann’s producer I’d advise him to work the satirical end of his indignation, but he’s the star and he likes his high dudgeon. But if we’re talking respect for facts … please.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Uh, no it’s not a joke. Krauthammer was a highly respected psychiatrist before he became a journalist. In fact, he’s still licensed to practice.

      2. Mike Thomas says:

        You are talking about two opinion shows. The difference between Bill and Olberman, besides of course ratings, success, viewers, and a quality product is you like the opinions and cherry picked facts that Olberman provides with his spin and worst person segment.
        Have you ever watched O’Reilley? Do you have some specific facts you want to dispute? Can I take you up on that fact check. Even Jon Stewart liberal patron saint owned Olberman recently:
        Talk about dogs and fleas – Olberman is a liberal sports caster hack clown who got fired from his last three jobs (wasn’t he tearing up in the bathroom during his last stop at NBC?)
        And as far as MSNBC when they are trying to counter Fox as the liberal alternative?. (Ed Schultz? Seriously? Was he Olberman’s worst person when he proclaimed he wishes he could vote multiple times to rig an election?) How many hours of their programing is dedicated to “To Catch a Predator” reruns and “Lockup Raw”. This is journalism at it’s best, right?

      3. Mike Thomas says:

        “to work the satrical end of his indignation”
        So Olbermann is a satirist?
        Are we now on to the game Jon Stewart plays that he is a journalist when he wants to get credentials to play with the big time network journalists and then a comedian/satirist when he gets challenged on his content and misrepresentations?

      4. You brought up MSNBC, which obviously exists in its current format as competition for FoxNews. (Remember when its former boss told Phil Donahue et al that they had to put two conservatives on the air for every liberal? Which is essentially the same standard applied by “Meet the Press”). But yes on my advice to Olbermann.

  4. Newt says:

    So Juan strayed a little too far from the liberal plantation, and Ma’ser gonna make him pay.

    This is hilarious. Next to go down? Mara Liasson, Nina Totenberg, Paul Krugman?

    Liberals who get squeamish flying next to chanting, head bobbing Imams are going to have to bite their tongues.

    You folks created PC, now you have to live with it.

    1. Mrs. Fay says:

      I would hope that part of living in a civil society would entail holding our tongues when we know a comment would be unproductive and hurtful.
      Which is why I’m holding mine now about the first part of your last comment…

      1. Newt says:

        Tammy Fay,

        NIna Totenberg, NPR court “reporter,” can say that Jesse Helms’ grandchildren should get AIDS for his opposition to AIDS research funding. And that’s OK?

        Juan was one negro not picking cotton for that poor excuse of an NPR CEO – Vivian Schiller – who said publicly that Williams’ should consult his therapist after she fired him.

        NPR is fucking disgrace.

  5. john sherman says:

    It’s worth pointing out that while, for example, Clear Channel is sinking like the Titanic, NPR is continually gaining listeners; moreover, people actually volunteer to pay for their local public radio and t.v. Do you think any of the shock or rock stations would try that challenge, though I’ve heard some stations I would pay to keep off the air.

    Furthermore, though conservatives seem to have become post-modernists and agree that “there is no truth, only narratives of power,” still as Stephen Colbert pointed out, “Facts have a well-known liberal bias.” Any study seeking to correlate the factually misinformed public with sources of information ends up discovering that people who have their facts straight listen to NPR and watch PBS while people who are shining their shoes with a smelly substance get the bulk of their alleged news from Fox.

    1. The last time I checked the cost per capita of PBS funding was something in the range of 90 cents to $1.10. If we wanted a truly vibrant international powerhouse of a news and (quality) entertainment “service”, we’d do like the Brits/BBC do and assess every household a couple hundred quid. Imagine how Newt and Kennedy would wet themselves over that one.

      1. On “handing out money” to all media outlets … Fine, as long as they all apply rigorous standards of factual accuracy and produce programming on a broad range of topics (i.e. not just partisan politics and wedge issues). This may be your first good idea, Mike. I can’t think of a more productive use of public money.

  6. frogster says:

    I’m not a fan of Fox or Williams, but I just watched the entire interview on youtube and don’t believe he should have been fired. He spent most of the interview (when he could get a word in over O’Reilly’s constant interruptions) trying to make the obvious point that not all Muslims are extremists. Instead of firing him for excessive candor, NPR should have queietly let his contract run out.

  7. PM says:

    I watched the interview with Bill O and then the following night when Juan filled in for Bill O on the Factor.

    Juan sure as hell looked like a fool–a vindictive, mean spirited fool, out for blood/revenge. It was embarrassing. pathetic. No journalism at all. Before watching this, I had felt that NPR made a mistake firing him. Now i think that they made the right call.

    1. I’ll make the argument that by stepping up and flat-out firing Williams NPR is “anti-weenie”. Letting him play out his contract and then dropping him wouldn’t send anywhere near as aggressive a message.

  8. Dennis Lang says:

    @Newt, above. Bored by Bears game just tuned in to pass some time. Newt, you’re becoming a disappointment. Lighten up–or get some help–PLEASE.

  9. Ellen M says:

    Interesting comments here. Some of the best reporting I hear on radio comes from NPR. I especially appreciate hour-long programming devoted to one news topic, something unheard of in commercial radio.

    I watched Fox-n-Friends last night and Juan Williams was on with BO’R. (Hey! His initials sound like word “BORE”. That’s funny.) Williams looked both bitter and confused – as if he were thinking: “I now work WHERE?!”

    BO’R said NPR “would rue the day” it fired Williams because Fox is now going to work doggedly to have tax payer dollars ripped from NPR’s coffers. Colorado (R) Rep. Doug Lamborn introduced legislation last summer to do so ( http://bit.ly/8ZEgqo) and will have Fox riding it hard every night while, as Brian points out, Palin hits it on the Tea Party express during the day.

    Juan Williams never impressed me; his firing, however, was probably a mistake by NPR. Instead, I would have sent Williams on a special story (such as covering the changing political landscape in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional district on the Iron Range, home of Snow and Ice – and that’s in May) until his contract ran out .

    It’s interesting to speculate whether or not Fox would then extend employment to Williams as quickly as it’s done now.

      1. PM says:

        Given that those of you attending the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear are also representatives of the SRC, i expect that you will uphold the highest journalistic expectations and traditions of this august organization. For your reference, here are some guidelines for you:





        Several of you have asked me about this coming weekend’s satirical National Mall rallies featuring Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. As you probably know, at least one other news organization, NPR, has forbidden news staffers from attending. Others, including the Washington Post, have reminded staffers that newsroom policy permits them to witness events, but not to “participate” in ways that could call into question their impartiality—i.e., by chanting, waving signs, etc.

        At a time of grave concerns about our economy and our national security—not to mention a period of tumult in our industry—it is obviously crucial that all media organizations develop appropriate guidelines for staff attendance at mock-political public appearances by cable-television celebrities. After significant consultation with Washington City Paper’s expensive outside team of professional ethicists, we’ve settled on the following guidelines. Please read and follow them closely:

        You may attend the rallies in a non-participatory fashion.
        However, because the rallies are comic events, you may not laugh.
        The act of not laughing, though, can be just as politically loaded as the act of laughing. Therefore, staffers are advised to politely chuckle, in a non-genuine manner, after each joke.
        To avoid any perception of bias, please make sure to chuckle at all jokes, whether or not you find them funny. As journalists, we must make sure to not allow our personal views of “humorous” or “non-humorous” to affect our public demeanor.
        Likewise, it could be devastating to our impartial reputation if our staffers were seen laughing at something that was not intended as a joke, thereby appearing to mock the entire event. If we are lucky, the comedians will have a drummer on hand whose rim-shots may be used as a cue for when to politely chuckle.
        If no non-verbal cues for laughter are available, please observe audience members around you. If they are laughing, imitate their laughter with a non-genuine polite chuckle. If they are not laughing, remain stone-faced. Whatever you do, do not apply your own personal cognitive skills to determining the humorousness of any particular clip. Such an approach exposes us to charges of bias.
        On the other hand, a situation could arise where partisan foes of the Comedy Central hosts laugh at them in a derisive manner unrelated to the timing of their on-stage jokes. In this case, your failure to join in the mockery could potentially be interpreted as a sign that you disagree with the derision—an equally distasteful indication of bias. Please follow the above guidelines and also chuckle politely, but not genuinely, at any instances of counter-comedy.
        In our experience, public appearances by comedy figures also draw audiences whose members frequently make jokes amongst themselves. These attempts at humor might not necessarily fit into the rational example of protesters versus counter-protesters outlined in the guidelines above. However, you could nonetheless indicate a great deal about your personal biases via your decision as to whether or not you laugh along when the person next to you riffs about, say, marginal tax rates. Please make sure to follow the above guidelines and respond via polite, non-genuine, mild guffaws to the jibes of amateur comics in the audience.
        We’re also aware that the large crowds expected at the rallies could produce a cacophonous din, one in which you are unable to discern which jokes are being made by audience members, counter-protestors, or the day’s main attractions—and, worse still, where observers may think you are laughing at an anti-Republican joke when you are actually laughing at an anti-Democrat joke. To protect our cherished reputation against such a danger, I have arranged for each of you to be issued a pair of earplugs. Should the event grow too raucous, please insert these earplugs immediately. Once you have inserted the earplugs, please chuckle politely, and non-genuinely, every 74 seconds, to maintain the appearance of non-biased and appropriate responses to the event.
        You are free to laugh heartily and genuinely at any jokes that target the terrorists.
        Please feel free to see me or Mike Madden should you need any further clarification.





  10. Mike Kennedy says:

    Interesting piece in Reason. No one will defund NPR.

    Again, who cares? The whole thing is a dead horse. NPR finally found a reason (though it seems confused itself to come up with a clear one) for getting rid of Williams.

    He was a bigot……well, no. Actually, we didn’t fire him for what he said but because he had an opinion (never mind the opinions expressed by our other “talent.”

    Good, God. It’s your right to fire him but at least try to be coherent and consistent.

  11. Ellen M says:

    Mike K’s last comment got me thinking…hmm…

    I’ve changed my mind. Williams’ opinion was bigoted. He should have been fired.

    If a white commentator said, “Boy, I really get nervous when I see a bunch of (_fill-in-the-blank__)s walking down the street together,” we’d call him a bigot. Works both ways; works all ways.

    Mike Kennedy, my dear: I’m curious as to which broadcast media outlet you consider a reliable news source?

    1. Mike Kennedy says:


      Did you even watch the full segment? Did you see what he said after that about not categorizing all Muslims as terrorists?

      Broadcast media? Hmm. Tough one. Most reliable? Since I get most of my news by the written word, I honestly wouldn’t give that title to a particular outlet.

      How about most entertaining? Fox News — numero uno, hands down.

      What fun is it watching Chris Matthews (when he doesn’t have a tingle down his leg for Obama), like I did the other day and guests are Dan Rather, Katty Kay, Andrew Sullivan and Cynthia Tucker. Now there are some diverse opinions. Yep, uh, huh. Absolutely. You’re right. Spot on.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:


        Do us the minimal courtesy of an example of the diversity of opinion manifest on FOX. Otherwise, your remarks above amount to little more than self parody.

        Compare, say, FOX’s morning show with Scarborough’s.

        I don’t mean to argue that MSNBC has not positioned themselves to be an anodyne to the monolithic and agitprop conservatism of FOX. But you’re claim of enjoying FOX for its wide-ranging ideological sampling of opinion and perspective is ludicrous.

        Please, make an effort.

        Your subjective claim of finding it more “entertaining” is, of course, not up for debate, but drops the object entirely.

      2. Mike Kennedy says:


        I don’t watch TV in the morning.

        I couldn’t tell you who hosts Fox’s morning show. But I think one is a woman who is really good looking (or am I thinking of Megan Kelly)?

        The only Fox show I sometimes see in the evening is Bill O who does have on people like Dennis Kucinich(sp?), Charlie Rangl, Al Sharpton, John Stewart, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and others.

        Did I say that Fox has more liberal people on than MSNBC has conservatives? I don’t think so.

        But I do like some verbal fisticuffs once in awhile. That’s why I sometimes tune in to Bill O. I am usually entertained.

  12. john sherman says:

    MSNBC would probably have more conservatives on air if they would consent to come one air. Rachel Maddow has a long list conservatives she’s asked on her show, but they appear to prefer hitting the nerf balls served up on Fox.

    As far as divergent voices, Ed Schulz has more labor leaders on than probably the rest of t.v. put together. It seems odd to me that some old, red-faced white guy wearing a tricorn and proclaiming that he’s “mad as hell” can get air time virtually at will, but the elected heads of long standing organizations representing tens of thousands of workers are not considered worthy of notice.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      During prime time, MSNBC is clearly a liberal commentary station. I don’t think they deny that, do they? Does anyone think of them as “fair and balanced” journalism? I don’t, and, unlike Fox, I don’t think MSNBC claims to be that.

      But, they’re not exactly the Obama Amen Chorus. Chris Mathews voted for Bush in 2000, and frequently scolds Democrats on issues like Social Security and federal judges. Rachel Maddow in particular regularly and snarkily criticizes Obama for not being liberal and partisan enough.

      MSNBC seems more pro-liberal than pro-Obama Administration.

      And John is correct, MSNBC does regularly invite Republicans, and they just don’t get takers. That does make them less interesting than they could be if they had more divergent opinion, but I don’t think it’s fair to conclude that MSNBC’s one-sidedness is evidence that they are censoring rebuttal.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Mission Accomplished: A look back at the media’s fawning coverage of Bush’s premature declaration of victory in Iraq
        April 27, 2006 12:45 pm ET

        On May 1, 2003, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln aboard an S-3B Viking jet, emerged from the aircraft in full flight gear, and proceeded to “press[] flesh,” as The Washington Post put it, as he shook hands and hugged crew members in front of the cameras. Later that day, Bush delivered a nationally televised speech from the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in which he declared that “[m]ajor combat operations in Iraq have ended,” all the while standing under a banner reading: “Mission Accomplished.” Despite lingering questions over the continued violence in Iraq, the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction, and the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, as well as evidence that Bush may have shirked his responsibilities in the Texas Air National Guard (TANG) during the Vietnam War, the print and televised media fawned over Bush’s “grand entrance” and the image of Bush as the “jet pilot” and the “Fighter Dog.”

        Chief among the cheerleaders was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. On the May 1, 2003, edition of Hardball, Matthews was joined in his effusive praise of Bush by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and “Democrat” Pat Caddell. Former U.S. Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-CA) also appeared on the program.:

        MATTHEWS: What’s the importance of the president’s amazing display of leadership tonight?


        MATTHEWS: What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that’s the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously. What does that image mean to the American people, a guy who can actually get into a supersonic plane and actually fly in an unpressurized cabin like an actual jet pilot?


        MATTHEWS: Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically […], the president deserves everything he’s doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basically that of commander in chief? That […] if you’re going to run against him, you’d better be ready to take [that] away from him.


        MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Bob Dornan, you were a congressman all those years. Here’s a president who’s really nonverbal. He’s like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?


        MATTHEWS: Ann Coulter, you’re the first to speak tonight on the buzz. The president’s performance tonight, redolent of the best of Reagan — what do you think?

        COULTER: It’s stunning. It’s amazing. I think it’s huge. I mean, he’s landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It’s tremendous. It’s hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesn’t matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. It’s stunning, and it speaks for itself.

        MATTHEWS: Pat Caddell, the president’s performance tonight on television, his arrival on ship?

        CADDELL: Well, first of all, Chris, the — I think that — you know, I was — when I first heard about it, I was kind of annoyed. It sounded like the kind of PR stunt that Bill Clinton would pull. But and then I saw it. And you know, there’s a real — there’s a real affection between him and the troops.


        MATTHEWS: The president there — look at this guy! We’re watching him. He looks like he flew the plane. He only flew it as a passenger, but he’s flown —

        CADDELL: He looks like a fighter pilot.

        MATTHEWS: He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him — I mean, he seems like — he didn’t fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

        CADDELL: Yes. It’s a — I don’t know. You know, it’s an internal thing. I don’t know if you can put it into words. […] You can see it with him and the troops, the ease with which he talks to them. I was amazed by that, frankly, because as I said, I was originally appalled, particularly when I heard he was going in an F-18. But — on there — but the — but you know, that was —

        MATTHEWS: Look at this guy!

        CADDELL: — was hard not to be moved by their reaction to him and his reaction to them and —

        MATTHEWS: You know, Ann —

        CADDELL: — you know, they — it’s a quality. It’s an innate quality. It’s a real quality.

        MATTHEWS: I know. I think you’re right.
        Later that day, on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Matthews said:

        MATTHEWS: We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical, who’s not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who’s president. Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple. We’re not like the Brits. We don’t want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.
        On the May 7, 2003, edition of Hardball, Matthews asked former Nixon administration official G. Gordon Liddy what he thought of the response to Bush’s landing on the Abraham Lincoln. Looking at the footage, Liddy commented that Bush’s flight suit made “the best of his manly characteristic.” From the May 7 Hardball:

        MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?

        LIDDY: Well, I — in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know — and I’ve worn those because I parachute — and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those — run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count — they’re all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

        MATTHEWS: You know, it’s funny. I shouldn’t talk about ratings. I don’t always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time [U.S. Rep.] Henry Waxman [D-CA] was on — and I do respect him on legislative issues — he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody’s tuning in to see these pictures again.
        Various media figures hyped Bush’s National Guard experience but made no mention of evidence that emerged during the 2000 presidential campaign that Bush may have received special treatment in getting into TANG and during his tenure. On the May 1, 2003, edition of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports, Blitzer noted that jets like the F/A-18 Hornet “helped win the war in Iraq” and twice commented on Bush’s TANG background — at one point calling Bush a “one-time Fighter Dog.” From the May 1 edition of Wolf Blitzer Reports:

        BLITZER: There was a riskier landing that the president wanted to make. The Secret Service, though, just wouldn’t let the commander in chief ride in an F/A-18 strike fighter. But CNN’s Kyra Phillips will be doing just that in a matter of only a few minutes. She’s in the cockpit of this F/A-18 Hornet. Right now, Navy jets like this one, of course, helped win the war in Iraq. Now, they’re headed home. We’ll talk with Kyra as soon as she catapults off the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. That’s coming up.

        A little bit of history and a lot of drama today when President Bush became the first commander in chief to make a tailhook landing on an aircraft carrier. A one-time Fighter Dog himself in the Air National Guard, the president flew in the co-pilot seat with a trip to the USS Abraham Lincoln. And he then mingled with the pilots and the crew members of the carrier on its way back from a deployment which covered the war in Iraq and before that, the war in Afghanistan. From that same deck tonight, the president will make more history. He’ll deliver a major address to the nation.


        BLITZER: And the president clearly pleased by his own landing aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.


        And as we mentioned, President Bush is no stranger to military aircraft. He flew F-102 fighter jets in the Texas Air National Guard. He joined at the height of the Vietnam War but was never sent overseas and never saw combat. There’s a picture of the young George W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard.
        On the May 1 edition of CNBC’s The News with Brian Williams, Williams, now anchor of NBC’s Nightly News, said of Bush:

        WILLIAMS: And two immutable truths about the president that the Democrats can’t change: He’s a youthful guy. He looked terrific and full of energy in a flight suit. He is a former pilot, so it’s not a foreign art farm — art form to him. Not all presidents could have pulled this scene off today.

      2. Mike Thomas says:

        Where is the list of conservatives that the network “star” Olbermann has invited on to his program?

      3. Joe Loveland says:

        Mike, I don’t know about Olberman, but MSNBC’s Maddow shows here how closed she is to rebuttal:

        For those of us who work here at MSNBC, one of the most surreal things about this particular election year, has been conservative politicians’ efforts to make us part of the elections: Republican politician or conservative activist X complaining that they’re not represented in our coverage, and then refusing to be represented in our coverage, claiming that we’re afraid to bring you’re their point of view, and then refusing to share their point of view with us.

        You might remember what happened earlier this year with Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

        Would you, Scott Brown, like to push your whatever-agenda on my nightly platform? Because you’re very much invited to do so! You don’t like what I’m doing with my nightly platform? Please, sir! Help me change it! Participate in it! Be on the show!

        Every time we’ve asked Scott Brown to come on the show, he’s said “No.” Your prerogative. Complain about you not-being-here all you want. Or, refuse our invitations to be here. But you can’t simultaneously complain about not-being-here, and also refuse our invitations to be here. You can’t. You are, of course. But it’s craven and pathetic. Come on.

        Remember this scary ad from Liz Cheney’s new conservative group “Keep America Safe”—

        Voiceover: What are they so afraid of? Why don’t they want to talk substance? Why are they panicked? Why don’t they want to debate the issues?

        Okay, Liz Cheney, you could totally run that ad if we here at msnbc actually were afraid to debate you. But when we ask you to come on and debate — over and over and over again– and you’re the one saying “no,” then you can’t complain that we’re afraid to debate!

        There’s also the phenomenon this year, of Republicans using either my name– or the name of somebody else here at this network– to raise money.

        Marco Rubio ad: On Tuesday, Marco Rubio announced 12 simple ideas to grow the economy and create jobs. How can you know the plan is right? Rachel Maddow thinks it’s wrong.

        That was part of a fundraising ad put out by Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio of Florida– Marco Rubio must be right, because Rachel Maddow says he’s wrong!

        Even if I am inherently wrong about everything, to date, Marco Rubio has declined every single one of our requests to interview him.

        Likewise, Sarah Palin. We have asked Sarah Palin to come on this show I-don’t-even-know-how-many-times, and she has never agreed to come on, happy to use me in one of her money-making stump speeches, unhappy to tell me why. Like, to my face.

        It has been a weird year for those of us at msnbc as conservatives have tried to run against us, instead of running against their actual Democratic opponents.

        Here’s the deal: We have big egos, those of us in this business. We all love seeing our faces caricatured in political ads. We all love seeing our names in black-and-white in these fundraising emails. But you can’t simultaneously complain that you’re not being allowed access to “the media juggernaut that is msnbc Primetime airwaves,” and then refuse to come on by, when we offer you that access.

        So… say “yes,” Christine O’Donnell! It will be fun, I promise!

        Say “yes,” Sharron Angle! You will get a fair shake! Pinky swear!

        Say “yes,” Sarah Palin! You have my number!

        Ken Buck, come by any time!

        Joe Miller, I’d love to talk to you!

        Liz Cheney, door’s always open — to anyone in your family! Any Cheney, any time!

        It will be fair. It will be fun. And then– then, you can brag about not being afraid to actually talk to the liberals that you complain about as a means of raising money.

      4. Jim Leinfelder says:

        I dunno’, Mike, but I doubt many would accept the invitation. Make an effort. Do your own research.

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Ok, a disgruntal former employee spouts out to a fringe blog. Again I ask where is the list of conservatives that Olbermann has invited on his show?

  13. Ellen M says:

    November 3 headlines:
    “Republicans Regain House; Democrats Retain Hold on Senate.
    Tea Party wins victories in three states.”

  14. Lambroni:

    Who passes your “journalistic credibility” test?


    I mean, when are you going to recognize that fair and balanced Fox has won the day?

    America’s Most Trusted News Source”.

    You really ought to watch before offering these continual sour grapes vitriolic rants against them.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Betram, as I said above, MSNBC in primetime is obviously liberal. Neither Fox nor MSNBC are fair and balanced. You and I agree on that.

      My point is that Maddow is actively seeking to have her liberal show include conservative viewpoints, but she obviously can’t force conservatives to accept her invitations. So, her show is one-sided, but she doesn’t censor conservative opinion. She can’t be fairly blamed for conservatives censoring themselves.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Don’t kid yourself.

        I’m reading every word that flies out of left field (otherwise known as Lambo Field).

        Just on break because someone has to continue working to help fund our bankrupt government.

        Take a good look at France. That will be the U.S. in 10 years when Big Nanny begins reneging on her promises.

  15. Jim Leinfelder says:

    BJr: See Loveland’s post from some days ago that directly contradicts your regurgitation of FOX’s advertising (scroll up). BTW, that same Harris survey shows conservative talk’s credibility headed due south. How’re things at Clear Channel?

    1. Things are ALWAYS great at Clear Channel, especially if you’re part of the inside shareholder team — the Mays family, Red McCombs and now Mitt Romney’s buy-out execs at Bain Capital. The Mays in particular have kited that company back and forth from private to public, taking staggering fees and profits at every reverse of direction direction … and of course providing enormous public service with their free over-the-air licenses all the way.

  16. Mike Thomas says:

    I think it is more the case that Olbermann does not like to be challenged and can not debate.
    Did my research – found no proof of Olbermann extending invitations to conservatives or any conservatives turning down the invitation.

  17. Mike Thomas says:

    @Leinfelder, yea an article defending MSNBC from a liberal website funded by George Soros really doesn’t firm up your argument (not even sure what you are trying to get at anymore)..If I wanted to spend the time I could probably find a Herritage Foundation article calling Fox News center or even liberal..Point is, Olbermann does not have conservatives on his program, and my deduction is that he is incapable of debate or MSNBC is concerned he will implode on air.
    You guys like the big city newspapers right?

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Thanks, Mike, a blog from Laura Bush’s ex-spokesman, in which he vents his displeasure with Olbermann. Fab.

      As I said, I doubt any conservative would agree to be on the man’s show. They won’t go on the very polite and not-the-lest-bit-bombastic Rachel Maddow’s show. Why would they book with Countdown?

      They can always do Scarborough if they want MSNBC. But why bother? Their base won’t be watching. They can reach you lads over at FOX, and so it goes.

      None of this, however, brings us to the six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other equivalency between MSNBC, or anything else, and FOX, you crave.

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Same way I felt on a George Soros/Moveon.org analysis of Fox News…
        Yes he vents his displeasure but you can’t dispute the numbers that Olbermann’s show is declining in audience.
        To Maddow’s credit conservatives have gone on her show (Tim Pawlenty, Rand Paul) and she does provide the opportunity for rebuttal. Your hero Olbermann is not willing to do that. You doubt a conservative would go on the show? How about just someone who disagrees with his hot air. Still trying to find a situation where Olbermann booked a guest who disagreed with his position…

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Dude, get off this “your hero” conceit. I’m not even a regular viewer. His bombastic proclivities are as well known to me as to you. His polemical style has also not eluded my, or any sentient being with basic cable’s, notice.

  18. Mike Kennedy says:

    Hah, hah. Implode on air?

    Isn’t that SOP with him? I swear I’ve seen spittle fly out. It’s hard to figure, though, how much is legitimate and how much is playing the role.

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