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MSNBC Follows Bush with Bush-Bashing Diatribe from Matthews --1/16/2009


1. MSNBC Follows Bush with Bush-Bashing Diatribe from Matthews
Democrats and Republicans have the class to allow a President to deliver his farewell address without having it immediately countered by a crass and petty rant from a political opponent trying to settle old scores while issuing cheap insults. Not MSNBC. Seconds after President George W. Bush completed his speech Thursday evening, MSNBC's Countdown featured a diatribe from Chris Matthews ridiculing Bush for picking up, "almost in the way a hermit crab does," some "scary" notions from the nefarious "neo-conservatives."

2. CBS's Early Show Unveils on Set Mural of 44 Barack Obamas
Near the end of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith unveiled the latest painting by artist Peter Max, a mural of 44 portraits of Barack Obama. Max has created numerous paintings for the Early Show set and Smith praised the artist's latest work: "Okay, wow. That is really, really, really cool...Wow. Well, that is pretty impressive. I hope somebody in the President-elect's transition office is taking a look at this. That is really amazing. Wow." Smith asked Max: "What is your feeling as an artist as we come up on to this inauguration time and time of change?" Max replied: "Unbelievable, unbelievable. You know that night when he was announced being president and the whole country cried, I was in that same place...I couldn't believe it." Max later remarked on how: "You know, galleries from all over the country have called. I mean, I don't -- wouldn't even know where to start...I just love doing him. Doesn't he -- he just looks great...Young, energetic, fantastic guy." Smith ended the segment by declaring: "Wow...Yeah. Has a good smile, too, right? There you go. Peter, thank you so much...Really, really like it."

3. Celebs Giddy for Obama's 'Magic Moment' After 'Hell' of Bush
"A truly scholarly man" who will make an "intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President" at a time when "people are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States" so "my eyes well up just thinking about" Barack Obama being sworn in. Some of the giddy excitement expressed by a few of the many celebrities swarming to Washington, DC this weekend for Obama's inauguration which were collected by USA Today reporters Donna Freydkin and Olivia Barker for a Thursday article, "Inauguration will be a 'magic moment' for celebs, too."

4. NBC Revives Barbara Walters' 'Disturbing' Slap at Palin
During a report on Thursday's Today show, NBC News correspondent Norah O'Donnell replayed Barbara Walters' characterization of Sarah Palin's recent interview as "disturbing" from Tuesday's The View. O'Donnell highlighted how the Alaska governor's comments about how the media treated her versus how it treated Caroline Kennedy "drew a reaction" from the ABC host, and that it was "one more sign that as Palin tries to quiet her critics, she is sparking another loud debate."

5. GMA's Sam Champion Uses Freezing Cold to Tout Global Warming
On Thursday's Good Morning America, weatherman and global warming alarmist Sam Champion slipped some reassuring words about the validity of climate change into his report on the bone chilling temperatures hitting much of the country. After admitting that NASA had declared 2008 to be the coldest year since 2000, he added: "But they [NASA] caution this was caused in part by a cooling La Nina in the pacific and warn global warming is still playing an important part in our changing climate."


MSNBC Follows Bush with Bush-Bashing
Diatribe from Matthews

Democrats and Republicans have the class to allow a President to deliver his farewell address without having it immediately countered by a crass and petty rant from a political opponent trying to settle old scores while issuing cheap insults. Not MSNBC.

Seconds after President George W. Bush completed his speech Thursday evening, MSNBC's Countdown featured a diatribe from Chris Matthews ridiculing Bush for picking up, "almost in the way a hermit crab does," some "scary" notions from the nefarious "neo-conservatives."

The condescending Matthews raged:

"He was a rich kid driving his father's car. He got to be President because of his father, let's face it, the same way he got into school and everything else, the same way he got his car probably. But the scary thing about Bush is somewhere he came to meet people like Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz and Feith and the rest of them...
"The scary thing about Bush is he picked up on -- almost in the way that a hermit crab does -- another identity in becoming President....He became this new scholar of freedom, and he's going to spend the rest of his life selling this stuff. This stuff cost the lives of 100,000 Iraqis, it cost the lives of 4,000 U.S. service people....
"The idea that we have some brand new neo-conservative ideology of freedom that's going to bring peace over in that part of the world is not true, and he's still selling it, and that's the tragedy of the last eight years."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday night, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Before Bush spoke, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed, Matthews had laughingly derided the suggestion the fact Bush reads books means he has "knowledge." The exchange at the end of Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: John Kerry, who's not good at telling jokes, a couple of years ago, told a joke about, "If you don't study at school, you end up in Iraq," and that was misconstrued by his critics, like Senator Clinton, to mean you'll be drafted. What he meant, it was clearly what he meant to say was, "If you don't study, if you don't have intellectual curiosity, you don't understand the world, you make mistakes like taking America into an Islamic country and become an army of occupation." Was his lack of curiosity and interest in subjects like the Middle East the biggest problem of this President, he lacked curiosity about what he was doing?
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: I don't know that I think that's true. I mean, President Bush, in fact, has been a big reader, he says, and I believe him, that he's read a lot of history, but I'm not sure-
[LAUGHTER FROM OTHER GUESTS: ROGER SIMON AND BOB SHRUM]
MATTHEWS: You can hear the laughter because he said he read the books, but is there any evidence of knowledge?

Brad also corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the diatribe from Matthews aired live at 8:16 PM EST on Thursday night, January 15:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: ....The scary thing about the last eight years is that George Bush, whatever you think of him, came to office pretty much tabula rasa in terms of philosophy. He didn't have much. He was a rich kid driving his father's car. He got to be President because of his father, let's face it, the same way he got into school and everything else, the same way he got his car probably. But the scary thing about Bush is somewhere he came to meet people like Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz and Feith and the rest of them. They had this ideology that he bought in to, this ideology that somehow the United States in waging war and taking over countries somehow was fighting for freedom, and somehow in doing so we would encourage a moderation in the Arab world. Well, history would have taught him, and I know he just put down history by quoting Jefferson which was unfair to Jefferson, history would have told him that in the Arab world, it's the Arab street, it's the regular people out there, the vast population in numbers, who oppose the state of Israel, who have always been radicalized. It's been the leaders that you could deal with, the potentates, the kings we set up over there, the British did, the people that were propped up with oil wealth. We could deal with those people, but the minute the street had a hand in the politics over there, it was radical.
Look what happened under him. Algeria had a chance at radical politics, and look what we got there, a bit of, a taste of that. Hamas elected on the West Bank, that did a great deal for peace-making in the Middle East. The election of Ahmadinejad. The idea that somehow the mechanical nature of holding elections, somehow moderates a country. He said it again in his speech tonight that somehow elections and democracy and freedom lead to a moderation on the part of these people. Well, these people have a problem in the Middle East. They want to fight. They don't like Israel. They don't like the West. There's a real seething anger over there towards the West. We better start to figure it out instead of retreating to these notions that he's been carrying around with him ever since he met Dick Cheney and the neo-conservatives.
I go back to this. The scary thing about Bush is he picked up on -- almost in the way that a hermit crab does -- another identity in becoming President. He didn't have a book knowledge to come to the White House with, having ignored and made fun of at college the pointy heads, he called them, or the intellectuals. He made fun of the smart kids at school and hung around with the jocks.
He decided he's going to start listening to the intellectuals, so he said this Paul Wolfowitz is such a smart guy, let's go with this neo-conservative idea, let's go into Iraq. He listened to Dick Cheney, he listened to the rest of them. And, all of a sudden, he became this new scholar of freedom, and he's going to spend the rest of his life selling this stuff. This stuff cost the lives of 100,000 Iraqis, it cost the lives of 4,000 U.S. service people, and we don't know what's coming around the corner in Iraq. The Brits took over that part of the world and turned it into a series of monarchies. We've taken over and we supply it with our ideology. Well, we'll see if it lasts because, in the end, the Arabs are going to have their own culture, their own politics, and down the road, we're going to have to make peace with the elements we can find to make peace with.
The idea that we have some brand new neo-conservative ideology of freedom that's going to bring peace over in that part of the world is not true, and he's still selling it, and that's the tragedy of the last eight years. He's learned the wrong lessons, and he's out there selling them again tonight.
KEITH OLBERMANN: To the very last. To the very last.
MATTHEWS: To the last.

CBS's Early Show Unveils on Set Mural
of 44 Barack Obamas

Near the end of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith unveiled the latest painting by artist Peter Max, a mural of 44 portraits of Barack Obama. Max has created numerous paintings for the Early Show set and Smith praised the artist's latest work: "Okay, wow. That is really, really, really cool...Wow. Well, that is pretty impressive. I hope somebody in the President-elect's transition office is taking a look at this. That is really amazing. Wow." Smith asked Max: "What is your feeling as an artist as we come up on to this inauguration time and time of change?" Max replied: "Unbelievable, unbelievable. You know that night when he was announced being president and the whole country cried, I was in that same place...I couldn't believe it."

Max later remarked on how: "You know, galleries from all over the country have called. I mean, I don't -- wouldn't even know where to start...I just love doing him. Doesn't he -- he just looks great...Young, energetic, fantastic guy." Smith ended the segment by declaring: "Wow...Yeah. Has a good smile, too, right? There you go. Peter, thank you so much...Really, really like it."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennnen, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Here is the full transcript of the January 15 segment:

8:31AM TEASE:
JULIE CHEN: Plus, the fabulous Peter Max is here to unveil his brand-new paintings honoring President-elect Obama.

8:44AM TEASE:
HARRY SMITH: Up next, artist Peter Max unveils his new work in honor of President-elect Obama. Morning, Peter.

8:46AM SEGMENT:
HARRY SMITH: Peter Max likes to paint patriotic themes such as the American flag or the Statue of Liberty, we've seen plenty of those. He's painted many of the presidents. And this morning, in honor of President-elect Obama, he has painted -- well, I want to see. Can we make this go up or go down?
[CURTAIN RISES, UNVEILING MURAL OF OBAMA PORTRAITS ON EARLY SHOW SET]
SMITH: How many Obamas?
PETER MAX: 44. 44th president, 44 Obamas.
SMITH: That was -- okay. Way to go. How long does it take to do something like this?
MAX: It took me a long time. You know, I was getting calls about painting Obama forever.
SMITH: Yeah.
MAX: And so I finally, like, decided to do it, and I love the way it came out.
SMITH: Are all of the faces the same?
MAX: There are two kinds, two faces. They go back and forth.
SMITH: Okay, alright, because one is a little-
MAX: He's a little animated that way.
SMITH: Right. So the whole thing becomes a little more animated in a whole different way.
MAX: Yeah.
SMITH: Now, do you know -- you do one at a time and just say 'I'm' -- how do you know that one really shouldn't be over here, and this one shouldn't be over there?
MAX: Well, you know what I do, Harry, I paint them each individually-
SMITH: Right.
MAX: -and then I lay them out and it becomes an editing job.
SMITH: Right.
MAX: And I edit them out until I like the way they look.
SMITH: Okay, wow. That is really, really, really cool. What is your feeling as an artist as we come up on to this inauguration time and time of change?
MAX: Unbelievable, unbelievable. You know that night when he was announced being president and the whole country cried, I was in that same place-
SMITH: Yeah, yeah.
MAX: I couldn't believe it. And I liked it enough -- of course, the first one I ever painted was for you guys here a few months back.
SMITH: Sure. During the actual campaign. Wow. Well, that is pretty impressive. I hope somebody in the President-elect's transition office is taking a look at this. That is really amazing. Wow.
MAX: Yeah. They're going to be on petermax.com. People will be able to see them. I may do some prints of them. And it's unbelievable.
SMITH: Yeah.
MAX: You know, galleries from all over the country have called. I mean, I don't -- wouldn't even know where to start.
SMITH: Right.
MAX: I just love doing him. Doesn't he -- he just looks great.
SMITH: Wow.
MAX: Young, energetic, fantastic guy.
SMITH: Yeah. Has a good smile, too, right? There you go. Peter, thank you so much.
MAX: Thanks.
SMITH: Really, really like it.

Celebs Giddy for Obama's 'Magic Moment'
After 'Hell' of Bush

"A truly scholarly man" who will make an "intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President" at a time when "people are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States" so "my eyes well up just thinking about" Barack Obama being sworn in. Some of the giddy excitement expressed by a few of the many celebrities swarming to Washington, DC this weekend for Obama's inauguration which were collected by USA Today reporters Donna Freydkin and Olivia Barker for a Thursday article, "Inauguration will be a 'magic moment' for celebs, too."

Actress Gloria Reuben, now in TNT's Raising the Bar and formerly on NBC's ER, will be on hand Tuesday "to watch the magic moment happen" since she yearns for an end to the "hell" of the Bush years: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime situation. The last eight years have been such hell. We're all so excited about the hope of things to come. I really think that's part of it. People are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States." (Screen capture to be added to the posted CyberAlert is from Reuben on ABC's This Week in 2006 when she was promoting a play in which she played Condoleezza Rice.)

Actor Josh Lucas: "I've been around him and shook his hand. He's a truly scholarly man. I'm very excited that we have this powerful, intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President. I find him very soulful in private."

Actress Ashley Judd: "A highlight of her inaugural adventure, of course, is her prime seat for watching Obama be sworn in. 'My eyes well up just thinking about it,' Judd says. But she's circumspect about what comes next. 'I do think that everyone is hungry and excited for change. But I also think there is a very grave collective awareness of the fact that we're in a real pickle. I can't believe that we've got this incredible President-elect, and he is inheriting, oh my gosh, one crisis after another.'"

For the January 15 USA Today "Life" section article: www.usatoday.com

Internet Movie Database's page for Judd: www.imdb.com

IMDb for Lucas: www.imdb.com

IMDb for Reuben: www.imdb.com

NBC Revives Barbara Walters' 'Disturbing'
Slap at Palin

During a report on Thursday's Today show, NBC News correspondent Norah O'Donnell replayed Barbara Walters' characterization of Sarah Palin's recent interview as "disturbing" from Tuesday's The View. O'Donnell highlighted how the Alaska governor's comments about how the media treated her versus how it treated Caroline Kennedy "drew a reaction" from the ABC host, and that it was "one more sign that as Palin tries to quiet her critics, she is sparking another loud debate."

Co-host Matt Lauer introduced O'Donnell's report: "During the campaign, handlers tried to keep a tight lid on Sarah Palin, but as Barack Obama's inauguration approaches, she's speaking out more and more. But how much is too much?" The correspondent then began by highlighting "Sarah Palin's latest target -- her online critics," focusing on the governor's counterattacks against those spreading "smears" about her family. The NBC on-screen graphic hyped how Palin had become "unleashed."

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Thursday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

For more on Walters' "disturbing" label of Palin's interview, see the January 14 CyberAlert item, "ABC's Barbara Walters Derides Palin Interview as 'Disturbing,'" at: www.mrc.org

Besides the issue of the governor attacking her critics in the blogosphere, O'Donnell brought up how Palin specifically has "been on a tear defending her 18-year-old daughter Bristol, who recently had a baby boy named Tripp with her fiance Levi Johnston." The governor directed much of her ire at the Anchorage Daily News, which she accused of perpetuating the conspiracy theory that her daughter Bristol was the mother of Trig Palin. She concluded her report with the Palin's criticism of the media and Walters' response.

The full transcript of Norah O'Donnell's report, which began 14 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Thursday's Today show:

MATT LAUER: During the campaign, handlers tried to keep a tight lid on Sarah Palin, but as Barack Obama's inauguration approaches, she's speaking out more and more. But how much is too much? Here's NBC's Norah O'Donnell.
(NBC NEWS GRAPHIC: "Unleashed: New Attacks From Sarah Palin")
NORAH O'DONNELL (voice-over): Sarah Palin's latest target -- her online critics.
ALASKA GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: Oh, I would love for the names to be on the blog entries so that people are held accountable when they lie.
O'DONNELL: And now telling Esquire magazine she is annoyed by the quote, 'bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie.'
O'DONNELL (on-camera): Palin says that she doesn't mind being criticized personally, but when the smears involve her family, that's what makes her angry.
O'DONNELL: She's been on a tear defending her 18-year-old daughter Bristol, who recently had a baby boy named Tripp with her fiance Levi Johnston.
PALIN: This report that Bristol and Levi -- they're high school dropouts and they're going to just look for government handouts to raise their child and stuff -- nothing could be further from the truth.
O'DONNELL: On Monday, the Anchorage Daily News posted a scathing e-mail sent by Palin to the paper's top editor under the subject line 'More Mistakes?' 'Did you really allow a story to run in your paper today claiming Levi Johnston is a high school dropout?' She also added, 'Is your paper really still pursuing this sensational lie that I'm not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?' The paper's editor admits they have been following up on Trig's birth, but only in an effort to debunk the conspiracy theories he calls nutty nonsense.
PATRICK DOUGHERTY, ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS: The way to put an end to it is not to ignore it, but to engage it.
O'DONNELL: And remember when Palin said she's being treated differently than Caroline Kennedy?
PALIN: I think that as we watch that, we will, perhaps, be able to prove that there is a class issue.
O'DONNELL: This week, those comments drew a reaction on The View from Barbara Walters.
BARBARA WALTERS: Why she still makes it a class issue is something that especially right now, and when we all want to work together -- I find disturbing.
O'DONNELL: It's just one more sign that as Palin tries to quiet her critics, she is sparking another loud debate. For Today, Norah O'Donnell, NBC News, Los Angeles.

GMA's Sam Champion Uses Freezing Cold
to Tout Global Warming

On Thursday's Good Morning America, weatherman and global warming alarmist Sam Champion slipped some reassuring words about the validity of climate change into his report on the bone chilling temperatures hitting much of the country. After admitting that NASA had declared 2008 to be the coldest year since 2000, he added: "But they [NASA] caution this was caused in part by a cooling La Nina in the pacific and warn global warming is still playing an important part in our changing climate."

Champion then played a clip of a NASA climate scientist and global warming proponent Gavin Schmidt admonishing: "And, so, it's a little bit difficult to talk about global warming when you're going to have the coldest day of the year. But you have to realize that weather isn't abolished just because there's a long-term trend in the climate."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The liberal weatherman faced a similar problem on April 6, 2007. On that day, he delivered this brutal weather report: "But it's a shot of cold air and it's opened the door for arctic air all the way through the nation. Call it about two thirds of the nation getting this push of arctic cold. This is normally a December, mid-December pattern. As this cold air goes, look at the shades of blue in just about all areas."

Champion then proceeded to segue into yet another discussion of global warming. See an April 9, 2007 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

And, of course, this is the same ABC personality who once hosted a segment that fretted about "billions" dying from climate change. See a February 2, 2007 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the brief mention of global warming on the January 15 show, which aired at 7:04am, follows:

SAM CHAMPION: It feels like the coldest winter in years. And a report from NASA climate scientists says 2008 was the coolest year since 2000. But they caution this was caused in part by a cooling La Nina in the pacific and warn global warming is still playing an important part in our changing climate.
GAVIN SCHMIDT (Climate Scientist, NASA Goddard Inst. For Space Studies): And, so, it's a little bit difficult to talk about global warming when you're going to have the coldest day of the year. But you have to realize that weather isn't abolished just because there's a long-term trend in the climate.

-- Brent Baker