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America Needs MSNBC to Be Better – Especially Now That It’s Election Season

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MSNBC Needs to Ban Far Right Wing Extremists, Give More Airtime to Democrats and Less to Republicans, and Up Its Game Overall – Before It’s Too Late

Despite conservatives’ claims that “the media,” and especially MSNBC, is stuffed with and run by “leftists” and liberals the truth is far different. MSNBC, which at one time proudly pretended to be a bastion of progressivism, has worked hard to shed that cloak – doubling down by inviting on its air daily Republicans, conservatives, and even far right wing extremists.

To be sure, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Ali Velshi, Joy Reid, Nicolle Wallace, (that’s just off the top of my head) and most of the network’s mainstays are excellent journalists. Hayes’ “All In with Chris Hayes,” has won not one but two Emmys, which is impressive.

But MSNBC needs to get better and fast, if Americans are not going to be fed the same tripe that helped land Donald Trump in the White House.

Because MSNBC, NBC News, and Telemundo will be hosting the first 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate in June.

MSNBC and NBC News are run by Andy Lack, a news veteran who should no longer lead the news division. He’s responsible for NBC’s hiring of former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. That was a $69 million mistake that half of Twitter, it seemed, warned Lack about even before it hsppened. (Her “Santa just is white,” and “Jesus is white” comments should have been strong clues. They made her blackface remarks look tame.)

Lack is also responsible for foisting on MSNBC’s viewers another former Fox News anchor, Greta Van Susteren, who was six months of complete disaster.

Conversely, Lack is also responsible for MSNBC parting ways with Ronan Farrow (who went on to The Atlantic where his reporting uncovered the Harvey Weinstein scandals, earning him and the magazine a Pulitzer Prize.) Also, under Lack, MSNBC parted ways with Joan Walsh and Melissa Harris Perry, both of whom were excellent.

Given the disaster NBC’s Matt Lauer created during his stint as anchor for one of the Clinton-Trump presidential debates, Democrats are hoping Lack and the NBC News networks have learned their lessons.

It’s under Lack’s leadership that conservative pundits have been increasingly prominent, and it’s under Lack’s leadership that “Meet the Press” is headed by Chuck Todd, and has on more Republicans than Democrats nearly if not every Sunday.

You can thank Andy Lack for employing on MSNBC far right wing pundits like Hugh Hewitt, and for inviting on its air conservative opinion peddlers and newsmakers in service to President Trump,  including Matt Schlapp, whose wife is a senior Trump White House official, Trump BFF Chris Ruddy, and Alan Dershowitz. There’s also neocon science denier Bret Stephens, accused sexual harasser Eric Bolling, and Erick Erickson, who has compared LGBT people to terrorists and ISIS.

Rev. Al Sharpton had Erickson on as a guest this weekend. Again. It’s not like Erickson’s views are a surprise to anyone, and yet, here he is.

You can also thank Lack for allowing Chuck Todd to interview Carrie Severino, the head of the far right wing lobbying group Judicial Crisis Network – pretending she’s just an ordinary everyday legal expert last September – while running pro-Brett Kavanaugh ads for the Judicial Crisis Network.

Bottom line: We’re in election season now. Democrats, and the country, need MSNBC and NBC News to ban far right wing extremists, clean house of the conservatives who are only there to support the likely-compromised president, and up its game. Before it’s too late.

 

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COMMENTARY

‘Sordid, Corrupt, Lawless’: Experts Call New Ginni Thomas Revelations ‘Breathtaking’ and Ask ‘What Did Her Husband Know?’

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The latest revelations about the actions of Ginni Thomas, the far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice who had unprecedented access to the Trump White House are leading experts to demand Clarence Thomas’ recusal while calling the combination of their actions “breathtaking corruption,” and noting the Justice’s extraordinary hypocrisy.

Later Friday morning The Washington Post reported that Ginni Thomas pressed two Arizona lawmakers to overturn the will of Arizona’s voters in the 2020 presidential election by choosing a “clean” slate of electors, representing Donald Trump and not Joe Biden. The Post notes Thomas did not mention any candidate by name but reports “the context was clear.”

“Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” an email bearing Ginni Thomas’ name, sent to the Arizona lawmakers, reads.

It included a link to a video of a man delivering a message meant for swing-state lawmakers, urging them to “put things right” and “not give in to cowardice.”

“You have only hours to act,” said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.

Thomas also pressed Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work to overturn the election, as has been widely reported.

Her efforts, combined with Justice Thomas’ actions on the Supreme Court, amount to “breathtaking corruption,” writes Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern.

“The conflict of interest between Ginni and Clarence Thomas has never been greater. While Clarence was applying the ‘independent state legislature doctrine’ from the bench, Ginni was using the exact same theory to try to overturn the 2020 election. Just breathtaking corruption,” Stern says.

He adds:

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor, issued a strong warning:

“Either Justice Thomas recuses in every case that comes to the Court where his wife is heavily involved in the action or the public’s confidence in the Court will be damaged beyond repair.”

Reuters reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court, Lawrence Hurley:

Former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder, who is president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says it is “outrageous” Justice Thomas has refused to recuse:

“New evidence that Ginni Thomas’s participation in efforts to overturn the 2020 election was even greater than we knew; in this case pressure on AZ legislators to overturn that state’s vote. Makes it even more outrageous that Justice Thomas did not recuse.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona legislators to overturn Biden’s win and choose a ‘clean slate of electors.’ In other words, she supported a coup to overthrow an elected president. What did her husband know?”

Economist and frequent political commentator David Rothschild observes, “Ginni Thomas was conspiring with high ranking Republicans to overturn [the] republic, and her husband was either privy to or actively involved in this conspiracy before using his position to coverup his wife’s role.”

Former SDNY Asst. U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli sums up:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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COMMENTARY

‘Y’all Don’t Give a Damn’: 192 ‘Heartless’ Republicans Just Voted Against a Bill to Help Ease the Baby Formula Shortage

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Republicans just voted against two bills to ease the baby formula shortage they have spent weeks falsely trying to pin on President Joe Biden.

In tweets and in floor speeches, Republicans have been attacking President Biden for the nationwide baby formula shortage caused by one manufacturer’s recall and closure of its plant for bacterial infection after two infants died. The shortage has been exacerbated by a trade agreement signed by then-President Donald Trump that makes it extremely difficult and expensive to import formula from other countries, and the fact that 90 percent of baby formula in the U.S. is manufactured by just four companies. Also, hoarding, and price-gouging.

Last week President Biden sat down with manufacturers and retailers to map out a plan to get more formula onto store shelves immediately and directed the Food and Drug Administration to help get the plant reopened. This week he went two steps further: he invoked the Defense Production Act to force manufacturers to produce more formula and produce it ahead of other products and created a program to use federal planes to import baby formula from other countries.

House Democrats last week also opened an investigation into the baby formula shortage.

On Wednesday the House voted on two emergency bills to further ease the shortage.

One example of Republicans falsely attacking President Biden and the left is House GOP Caucus chair Elise Stefanik‘s now-infamous tweet accusing Democrats of having “no plan” as she labeled them “pedo grifters.”

One bill would give FDA $28 million to add staff, work to help get more formula to consumers, and create a long-term strategy, including increased safety inspections so this cannot happen again. The second would dramatically increase supply from foreign sources to consumers using the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.

192 House Republicans voted against giving FDA $28 million to help fix the crisis and ensure it does not happen again.

Nine House Republicans voted against making it easier for WIC customers to get access to baby formula.

Many Americans are becoming outraged as the news from last night’s votes is spreading online.

 

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COMMENTARY

‘Straight-Up Contradicting Plain Reality’: Chris Wallace, Mocked for Election Night Claim, Gets New Sunday Show on CNN

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The former top Fox News anchor who headed to CNN’s short-lived streaming service will get his own show on the third-rated cable news network. Chris Wallace, the subject of some mockery during Tuesday night’s primary election coverage, will host a CNN show Sunday nights, Axios reports.

“At a time where most news networks are advocacy networks, we at CNN intend to advocate for journalism first,” announced Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Warner Bros. Discovery is the newly-merged media conglomerate that is now CNN’s parent company.

“Warner Bros. Discovery executives haven’t been shy about their intentions for CNN,” Axios adds, “saying repeatedly that they want to focus the network’s future on nonpartisan reporting instead of personality programming at primetime.”

Wallace was considered one of the best journalists Fox News had. But regardless of which network he works for, many still consider Wallace a right-wing journalist, as he proved Tuesday night.

Wallace was mocked as “out of touch” after declaring that Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who won the Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat, would face difficulty in November’s general election.

“While his authenticity and ‘down-to-earthness,’ if there’s such a phrase, played very well in the Democratic primary, you get to a general election, particularly if you end up with a moderate like [Republican] Dave McCormick, there are a lot of things that the Republicans are going to have, to work with, in going after John Fetterman,” Wallace said.

“This is a guy who’s against limits on abortion, he’s for universal background checks, he wants to end the filibuster, he wants to legalize pot,” Wallace warned.

“CNN’s Chris Wallace says John Fetterman is vulnerable to Republican attacks in the general election because he’s ‘for universal background checks’ and ‘wants to legalize pot,'” tweeted The Recount’s Steve Morris. Polls show 60% of Pennsylvanians support legal pot and 90% support background checks.”

He’s being mocked for being out of touch with voters.

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