Tag Archives: MSNBC

Melissa Harris-Perry Is Officially Out At MSNBC

By Blake Neff – MSNBC confirmed Sunday morning that it has cut ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after her very public attack on the network over having her airtime repeatedly preempted by election coverage.

Rumors of Harris-Perry’s imminent departure have been flying ever since Friday’s publication of an email where Harris-Parry accused the cable network of trying to silence her and sideline her program. (RELATED: Here Are Melissa Harris-Perry’s Most Idiotic Moments)

The shift was confirmed Sunday morning when Harris-Perry made a farewell post on Twitter:

Meanwhile, the network itself confirmed with The New York Times that Harris-Perry was getting the boot. While severance terms are still being negotiated, there is no longer any hope of a reconciliation between the two parties.

NBC News is in the middle of an aggressive reconstruction of MSNBC in an effort to boost weak ratings, and in her email, Harris-Perry complained that multiple preemptions of her show had left her feeling “worthless.” She announced that she would be going on strike against her own program unless it was treated with more respect.

“I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage,” she said. “I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.”

Harris-Perry has routinely been mocked for some of the positions she has pushed while on air, such as comparing the deportation of illegal immigrants to the Fugitive Slave Act and complaining about Star Wars villain Darth Vader being portrayed as white despite being voiced by a black man. She has also landed in hot water for other controversies, such as ridiculing Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson and being hit with a five-figure tax lien by the IRS.

Given that past, it is perhaps unsurprising that the final break between Harris-Perry and NBC came about after executives tried to stop her from discussing the politics of Beyoncé’s new single “Formation.” While Harris-Perry won out and discussed the single on her Feb. 7 show, she hasn’t been allowed on the air since.

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MSM Networks Remove Bernie Sanders’ Criticism of the Media from ‘Damn Emails’ Comments

During the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night, candidate Bernie Sanders gained attention for saying that he was sick of hearing about rival Hillary Clinton’s “damn emails.”

However, what was left out of some news networks’ coverage from the night were Sanders’ comments criticizing media coverage of his campaign and issues such as poverty, inequality and trade policies, which were mixed into his comments about Clinton’s emails.

Clinton admitted to using a private email server for government business during her tenure as Secretary of State, in March, and since then questions have been raised about the security of the server, emails containing classified information and the content she claimed she deleted for personal reasons.

[RELATED: Hillary Clinton Apologizes For Email Controversy, Insists Emails Were Not Classified]

During Tuesday’s debate, Clinton was asked about how what she thought her admission that she “mishandled the email controversy” says about her ability to handle a crisis.

[pull_quote_center]This committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle, as admitted by the House Republican Majority Leader Mr. McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers—big surprise—and that’s what they have attempted to do. I am still standing, I am happy to be a part of this debate, and I intend to keep talking about the issues that matter to the American people.[/pull_quote_center]

Moderator Anderson Cooper interjected, asking why Clinton would call it a “just a partisan issue,” when there is an ongoing “FBI investigation, and President Obama himself just two days ago said this is a legitimate issue.”

[RELATED: Democratic Debate: Clinton, Sanders Clash On NSA Spying]

“Well, I never said it wasn’t legitimate. I said that I have answered all the questions and I will certainly be doing so again before this committee,” said Clinton, who went on to further criticize the House Benghazi Committee.

Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist and Independent U.S. senator for Vermont, responded. “Let me say something that may not be great politics, but I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails,” said Sanders.

Sanders’ comment was met with applause and he continued to speak, criticizing the media’s coverage of not only Clinton’s email scandal, but also of issues facing American voters such as poverty, inequality and trade agreements:

[pull_quote_center]The middle class- Anderson, and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, talk to a whole lot of people. Middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.[/pull_quote_center]

As shown in the video below, while MSNBC covered Clinton’s comments at length, Sanders’ response was edited to begin with his comments about being tired of hearing about Clinton’s “damn emails” and was immediately followed by his comment “Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”

As seen below in Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, Sanders’ comments about Clinton’s “damn emails” were also mentioned, while his criticism of overall media coverage was left out.


The Intercept noted that when talking about the debate on Wednesday morning, CNN host Michaela Periera played an edited clip of Sanders’ comments about Clinton’s “damn emails,” and then commented on how Sanders used his time to defend Clinton.

“What’s interesting, many thought that he might have taken advantage of the fact that this was a big opening, but instead he essentially kind of defended her,” Periera said. “This moment really, really rang true to a lot of people online.”

For more election coverage, click here.

NBC Removes Brian Williams From ‘Nightly News,’ Sends Him To MSNBC

Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor who was suspended from the network for six months after revealing that he had lied about his coverage of the Iraq War, will not return to the “Nightly News” after his suspension ends.

Instead, he will appear on NBC’s sister-network, MSNBC.

Williams admitted that he lied about being on a helicopter that was shot down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on Feb. 4, and from there his overall credibility as a journalist was called into question.

Related: Brian Williams Admits Lying For 12 Years About Iraq War 

NBC launched an internal investigation into the accuracy of Williams’ reporting on Feb. 6. After he revealed that he had lied about his time in Iraq, questions were also raised about Williams’ reporting of other events, such as his claim that he had seen a dead body float by his hotel during Hurricane Katrina and his claim that Katyusha rockets had passed directly underneath his helicopter while he was covering the Israel-Hezbollah war.

NBC News suspended Williams for six months, without pay on Feb. 11. Deborah Turness, the President of NBC News, released a statement saying that Williams’ actions “jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News” and that because “his actions are inexcusable,” his suspension is “severe and appropriate.”

Related: NBC Suspends Brian Williams For 6 Months Without Pay

NBC News chairman Andy Lack released a statement confirming that Lester Holt will be the new anchor for NBC Nightly News. Lack also said that Williams’ “excellent work” has earned him a second chance “to earn back everyone’s trust.”

Holt, who has filled in as the temporary anchor on the “Nightly News” while Williams has been suspended, makes history as the first African American to become a solo anchor of a nightly broadcast network evening newscast.

CNN reported that after Williams’ six-month suspension ends in August, he will have two jobs: an “anchor of breaking news and special reports on MSNBC” and a “breaking news anchor for NBC News live special reports when Holt is not available.”

The Los Angeles Times noted that at MSNBC, Williams be paid “significantly less than the $10-million-a-year” he earned at NBC, and he will have a much smaller audience, with approximately 301,000 viewers instead of about 7.5 million.

Following the announcement, Williams began what CNN referred to as an “apology tour,” where he “met with NBC staffers in both New York and Washington D.C.,” and was “deeply apologetic.”

Williams released a statement saying that he was sorry, and he “said things that weren’t true.”

“I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust,” Williams said. “I will greatly miss working with the team on ‘Nightly News,’ but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it.

Watch: Did Ed Schultz Cut Off Guest’s Mic Because He Was Losing Debate?

By Alex Griswold

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz likely didn’t know what he was getting into when he invited Heritage Foundation Fellow Ryan Anderson on “The Ed Show” to discuss the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In the middle of the heated debate, during which Anderson schooled Schultz on the history and context of RFRAs, Schultz was forced to cut his guest’s mic off to save face.

“This law doesn’t open the door for discrimination,” Anderson began. “This is the law that’s been on the federal books, governing federal courts for 20 years–” (RELATED: Indiana Religious Freedom Law Is Nothing New: I Helped Write The One Clinton Signed)

“That’s not true,” Schultz cut in. “It does not have the definition of person connected to a corporation, would you agree?”

But Anderson noted that in the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court ruled the federal RFRA does apply to corporations. “Most churches are corporate persons, most charities are corporations. So the idea that a Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t protect corporations really doesn’t have any basis in the law.”

Schultz response was, uh, interesting, but not all that coherent. “Mr. Ryan [sic], you’re not a corporation, you’re a human being. Now you may work for a corporation, but the rights of you [sic] far exceed that of a corporation. And this right now, if you connect the two, opens the door for blatant discrimination.”

“Organizations do have rights,” Anderson shot back. “The New York Times has free press rights… so in the same way MSNBC has rights as a journalistic organization, people who form organizations also have their religious liberty rights protected. And this is the law for the whole federal government and 30 states.”

“If a gay couple walks into a restaurant and I own it, you’re telling me in Indiana if I own that restaurant, I can tell them to get out of here and you don’t think that’s discrimination?” Schultz yelled. “That’s not the position of the right wing?”

“Please point to names who are saying restaurant owners should be kicking gay and lesbian people out of restaurants,” Anderson challenged. “You’re demagoguing!” (VIDEO: Al Sharpton Compares Indiana Religious Freedom Law To Slavery, Jim Crow)

That in turn led to a heated shouting match about whether or not Indiana Governor Mike Pence supported kicking gays out of restaurants. “You just slandered the governor,” Anderson said. “You called him a homophobe!”

Schultz’ response was simple. “Cut his mic,” he told his producers. “Cut his mic off. I’m not going to — I gave him a chance. We’ll bring him back if he wants to be courteous.”

True to his word, Schultz threw more questions at Anderson at the end of the segment. After a minute or so of back-and-forth, the interview deteriorated into shouting when Anderson claimed that, “If there’s anyone intolerant in this debate, it seems to be the left.”

Schultz paused for a second. “Alright, we want to hear all sides, even with accusations of slander.”

“You called the governor a homophobe!” shot back Anderson. (VIDEO: MSNBC Host On Indiana RFRA: ‘Smear The Queer’ Doesn’t Work Anymore)

After another shouting match, Schultz ended the interview. “I apologize for the guy from the Heritage Foundation who can’t have a civil conversation,” he said. “We attempted to do that.”

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(Watch) MSNBC To Earnest: How Can You Keep Calling Yemen A ‘Success Story?’

By Al Weave

A cadre of MSNBC personalities challenged White House press secretary Josh Earnest Thursday morning over the administrations refusal to dial back its propping up of Yemen as a counterterrorism “success story.”

Appearing on “Morning Joe,” Earnest tried pushing back against host Mika Brzezinski and White House correspondent Chris Jansing, telling them the U.S. still has “resources in the broader region” to carry out their counterterrorism operations even though Yemen isn’t a stable state anymore.

“Should we dial back on the words that it is a success story, when you have the president fleeing on a boat?” asked Brzezinski, who asked if the state is a success multiple times.

“The fact is that even though U.S. personnel is no longer in Yemen, the United States continues to have the capacity and resources and reach to be able to take strikes when necessary against extremists operating there,” Earnest said.

“How, Josh? How, when you have the embassy closed, Americans have left, you have the parliament that has been dissolved, you have the president fleeing on a boat, maybe towards Djibouti?” asked Jansing. “You have so many less possibilities for intelligence on the ground. How can you say that we are still in a counter-terror situation there?”

“We do continue to be in touch with some elements of the Yemeni government. Obviously, that effort at security cooperation is not as robust and as successful as it would otherwise be if the Yemeni government were stable,” Earnest said. “But the United States continues to have resources in the broader region that we can use to strike terrorists if necessary, and the president has indicated a commitment to using those resources to keep the American people safe.”

Brzezinski and Jansing’s questioning of Earnest comes a day after the White House spokesman was grilled by the likes of ABC’s Jon Karl and Fox’s Ed Henry, who both openly questioned how the administration continues to downplay the Yemen situation.

[h/t: Mediaite]

(Video) Cleveland’s Police Union Leader Defends Officer’s Killing Of Tamir Rice: “When We Tell You To Do Something, Do It”

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Union President Jeffrey Follmer shared tough words with Ari Melber regarding the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on MSNBC’s All In Monday night, defending the actions of Officer Tim Loehmann and concluding that unwavering compliance from citizens is necessary to avoid death at the hands of police.

Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Loehmann- an officer who was declared too emotionally unstable to continue working at his former department in Independence- seconds after he and another officer encountered Rice. The video of the incident appears to have contradicted the account given by police, who had said that officers told the boy to put his hands up several times.

The beginning of the discussion between Melber and Follmer was focused on the story of Cleveland Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins, who wore a shirt that read “Justice for Tamir Brown and John Crawford” last Sunday. Follmer had expressed his disgust over Hawkin’s choice of clothing and sent a statement to NewsNet 5 in Cleveland that said “It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field.” Follmer also demanded an apology from the Browns.

The discussion gradually shifted to the shooting of Rice. “Don’t you think at a certain point that this kind of reaction risks feeding the perception that some of these police unions or some folks here don’t think they’re accountable to public views?” asked Melber.

“You know, there’s a video of this, and everything speaks for itself. The male’s action spoke for itself. The video clearly shows, and by the officers’ statement, that they were justified  in the deadly force,” said Follmer.

“You’re saying that the video clearly shows that the 12-year-old boy was an imminent lethal threat to the officers?” Melber asked.

“Oh, absolutely. I don’t know if you didn’t see it, but yeah absolutely,” Follmer replied.

“What do you think about the concern people have, that folks are being killed in some cases by officers when there’s less than a lethal threat posed?” Melber asked Follmer later on.

“How about this? Listen to police officer’s commands, listen to what we tell us, tell you, and just stop,” Follmer said. “I think that eliminates a lot of problems. I have kids too, they know how to respect the law, they know what to do when a police officer comes up to them. I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it. And if you’re wrong, you’re wrong. If you’re right, then the courts will figure it out.”

Rand Paul On MSNBC: “When Your Network Does 24 Hour News Telling The Truth, Maybe We Can Get Somewhere”

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) recently came together to introduce legislation that would reform the criminal justice system to allow non-violent offenders a chance to resume a normal life after incarceration. The REDEEM Act would reform current laws to seal the records of nonviolent juvenile and low-level offenders to allow for them to transition to gainful employment without carrying the burden of a criminal record.

Paul and Booker went on the MSNBC program “The Cycle” to discuss the problems with the criminal justice system and providing examples of how current laws impede the efforts of a nonviolent convict trying to lead a better life.

Later on in the program, host Ari Melber spoke about Paul “evolving” on his position on the Civil Rights Act, a topic Paul had discussed with Rachel Maddow in 2010. Melber shifted the conversation to that discussion between Paul and Maddow:  “As we’re talking about restoring civil rights here, you stirred up a lot of controversy with the 2010 comments.”

“Me? Controversy?” Paul replied.

“You said at the time that you had concerns about the rules for private business while you support most of the Civil Rights Act. Why did you evolve on rules for private business?” Melber asked Paul.

Paul clarified the discussion with Maddow by saying, “What I would say to be fair to myself, because I like to be fair to myself, is that I’ve always been in favor of the Civil Rights Act. People need to get over themselves writing all this stuff that I’ve changed my mind on the Civil Rights Act.”

Paul continued, “Have I ever had a philosophical discussion about all aspects of it? Yeah, and I’ve learned my lesson: to come onto MSNBC and have a philosophical discussion- the liberals will come out of the woodwork and go crazy and say you’re against the Civil Rights Act and you’re some terrible racist. And I take great objection to that, because in Congress I think there is nobody else trying harder to get people back their voting rights, to get people back and make the criminal justice system fair. So I take great offense to people who want to portray me as something that I’m not,” said Paul.

Melber used the term “evolve” once more to ask Paul, “But when you said well- here’s where the rules for private businesses are concerning- why not explain that you’ve evolved on that?”

“I’m not willing to engage with people who are misrepresenting my viewpoint on this,” replied Paul, who pointed out that he’s been previously accused by people at MSNBC of being opposed to the Civil rights Act because of his discussion with Maddow.

After Melber said that an honest discussion might include talking about different parts of the Act, Paul interrupted: “The honest discussion of it would be that I never was opposed to the Civil Rights Act and when your network does 24-hour news telling the truth, then maybe we can get somewhere with the discussion.”



MSNBC Suggests Conservatives Are Racist In ‘Offensive’ Tweet

Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell

On Wednesday evening, a post from the official MSNBC Twitter account suggested that the conservative Americans are racist. The tweet said, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.”

Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.28.03 AM

The tweet was referring to a new Cheerios ad called “Gracie” that features a biracial family.

MSNBC’s post sparked outrage almost immediately. Here are some reactions from Twitter users:

Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.44.40 AM

The hashtag #MyRightWingBiracialFamily, promoted largely by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, soon began to trend on Twitter. Conservatives flooded the social media site with photos of their own biracial families.

Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.49.41 AM Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.49.05 AM Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.48.45 AM Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.48.21 AM Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.48.06 AM Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.47.53 AM

A few hours (and a lot of angry tweets) after the original post, MSNBC tweeted an apology.

Screenshot 2014-01-30 at 10.55.33 AM

This is not the first time MSNBC has come under fire for questionable comments regarding biracial families. Last month, a panel on the network mocked Mitt Romney for having a black grandson.

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Obama: The IRS Scandal Was A Lie Made Up By The Media

Screen shot 2013-12-07 at 7.08.59 PM

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had specifically targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. In the process of trying to obtain 501(c)(4) status, a large number of Tea Party groups received lengthy delays and excessive questioning from the IRS.

Most of the targeted conservative groups had the words “Tea Party” in their names.

Lois Lerner, director of tax exempt organizations for the IRS, even admitted that such targeting had happened. Lerner said, “They did pick the cases by names and that’s absolutely inappropriate and not the way we should do things.”

Despite this admission, President Obama denied that the IRS scandal ever happened this Thursday during his interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. The President insisted that the “scandal” was merely nonsense created by the media.

He said:

“If on the other hand, you’ve got an office in Cincinnati, an IRS office, that I think for bureaucratic reasons, is trying to streamline a difficult law to begin with, and interpret whether a non-profit is a political organization, deserves a tax exempt agency, and they’ve got a list. Suddenly, everyone’s outraged… And, I’ll point out that there are some so-called progressives and perceived to be liberal commentators during that week that were just outraged at the possibility that these folks had in some way been discriminated against. And, that is what gets news.”

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Sen. Lee Bright Schools MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Common Core

When Chuck Todd interviewed South Carolina Senate candidate Lee Bright about Common Core, it quickly became clear the MSNBC host had no understanding of citizens’ criticisms of the program. His arguments clearly reflect the pro-Core talking points which are emerging in the face of increased scrutiny of the national education standards. The focus of the interview was not just Common Core, but also Monday’s “Don’t Send your Child to School” protest.


Todd’s most predictable point was insinuating that Lee Bright’s speaking at a protest rally while his own children were in class at their public schools was hypocritical.  He also argued that a protest involving pulling children out of class for one day was detrimental to the children’s own education.  Bright had never advocated that parents pull their children out of school, though he has been one of South Carolina’s most vocal CCS opponents.

Regarding the standards, themselves, Todd insisted that the program was an initiative which sprung from the states, and that the federal government had almost nothing to do with the program.  That’s not true, though, as the initial push for the standards came from the National Governors Association, meaning that it was a centralized, national organization with relatively few people and no state-by-state legislative input.  The Federal Government has played a crucial role in pushing CCS forward by bribing states to implement it with the chance of Race to the Top funding.

Todd also indicated that Common Core raises standards, though it has actually significantly lower them in the majority of states. Dr. Duke Pesta argues that Common Core creates “competent drones” instead of free thinkers. Students are voicing their concerns about the program’s lowered standards, potential politicization, and unconstitutionality.

Todd asked Bright if he thought there should be no federal baseline at all, at a time when the U.S. seems to be falling behind educationally, “especially in science.”  When Bright said that a federal baseline would not help, Todd responded by asking “So you would be ok if one of the fifty states essentially said ‘Math is optional’?”  The argument was, as Bright said, absurd, but it’s also ironic given the criticism that CCS math standards place little emphasis on finding the correct answer to problems.  That is certainly not the way to make America competitive in math on the international level.

Instead of centralizing education in the way that many other state responsibilities have been unsuccessfully centralized, Lee Bright advocates adding competition to the education system.  Todd argued that private schools are competition because people can choose to go to them instead of public schools, but Bright countered that it’s not true competition because those schools don’t receive government funding.  Essentially parents have to pay for public schools regardless of where their children go to school, but they can choose to also pay for private schools with no government assistance.  Many people cannot afford that.

States which have implemented this type of voucher system have actually raised their test scores.  Thirteen states, plus Douglas County Colorado and the District of Columbia have implemented voucher systems, and those states and districts have gotten higher standardized test scores at a lower cost than other areas of the country.  Even other countries, like Sweden, have successfully implemented voucher systems.

Chuck Todd seemed to intend his interview of Lee Bright to show that Bright was a hypocrite for sending his child to school while speaking at an anti-Common Core rally on a day some parents were choosing to keep their children out of school in protest of the program.  To the contrary, it revealed the dishonesty of CCS supporters’ arguments in favor of the program. On Monday, Bright showed voters in South Carolina that he is willing to take on issues that families care about and has a voting record that matches his rhetoric.

It was obvious that Chuck Todd did not understand the issues centered around Common Core other than the talking points from his producer, but at least Todd has heard of the program. Bright’s opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham never even heard of the Common Core program until he was asked about it in September.