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COMMENTARY

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.

 

Image via Wikimedia

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COMMENTARY

Trump Calls the US Senate ‘Our Turf’ – Accidentally Admitting He Knows the House Will Vote to Impeach Him

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Making perfectly clear just how corrupt he is President Donald Trump went on yet another morning “executive time” tweetstorm Thursday morning. The President went after the Intelligence Committee chairman while amplifying his belief he has the U.S. Senate in his back pocket – and accidentally admitting he knows the House will vote to impeach him.

“Corrupt politician Adam Schiff’s lies are growing by the day,” the President of the United States tweeted. “Keep fighting tough, Republicans, you are dealing with human scum who have taken Due Process and all of the Republican Party’s rights away from us during the most unfair hearings in American History.”

Literally not one word of those statements is true.

“But we are winning big, and they will soon be on our turf,” Trump declared.

That statement is telling.

If he were “winning big,” the House would not pass the Articles of Impeachment that are expected to be presented before Christmas.

Calling the U.S. Senate “our turf” means he knows he will be impeached – and believes he controls Senate Republicans.

Trump very well may be right. Senate Republicans refuse to challenge him. They are among his top defenders. But every day it becomes increasingly clear just how corrupt this president is.

And when voters finally accept this fact and Trump’s stranglehold on the GOP becomes untenable, when Republican Senators realize they won’t be able to keep their jobs if they keep backing Trump, they will start to say, “Donald who?”

 

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COMMENTARY

‘What Two People Keeping a Story Straight Might Look Like’: Why Are Trump’s ‘I Want Nothing!’ Mad Pad Remarks Going Viral?

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President Donald Trump’s remarks to reporters Wednesday are going viral, and one might wonder what level of co-ordination it takes to make that happen.

The President appeared on the White House lawn Wednesday with notes scratched on a pad in big black marker during the damning, bombshell testimony of his Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland.

Trump’s words were clear and direct, and he read from his notes to reporters – an extremely rare event given this president who generally talks off the top of his head with the press several days a week.

“I WANT NOTHING, I WANT NOTHING, I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO,” his notes read, and the president said those words in front of reporters.

Trump was speaking about Ukraine, and his bribery scheme for which he currently is speeding toward being impeached.

It’s important to note, as CNN’s Marshall Cohen did, that this new “script” is totally in conflict with Trump’s comments that the White House released from the July 25 call summary:

Attorney, commentator, and writer for Yahoo News and Just Security, Luppe Luppen, posted a copy of the photo a reporter took of the president’s notes.

Luppen offers this insight, apparently suggesting Sondland and Trump might be trying to keep their stories straight.

Those words also made their way into a Trump tweet:

And in comments during the impeachment hearings – courtesy of top Trump defender Rep. Jim Jordan and another Republican.

And then in a Fox News segment – which Trump just happened to see and tweet out almost immediately:

The White House press secretary also tweeted out the same script:

But many are clear: Trump wanted something.

 

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COMMENTARY

For Texas Governor Greg Abbott Protecting ‘Religious Liberty’ Appears to Apply Only to Anti-LGBTQ Hate

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Governor Greg Abbott is a strong proponent of religious liberty. The Texas Republican in May signed a bill protecting religious liberty, announcing, “I will always fight to preserve our religious liberty as Americans, and as Texans.”

Over the summer when the local government of San Antonio wanted to ban the Christian chicken chain Chick-fil-A from its airport food court over the company’s long history of supporting anti-LGBTQ charities, Gov. Abbott signed into law the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill. Twice.

“Texas protects religious liberty,” Gov. Abbott declared. “No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization.”

“The Save Chick-fil-A legislation that I’m about to sign is a victory for religious freedom in Texas,” he claimed.

But for Governor Abbott that religious liberty is effectively a one-way street.

On Monday Chick-fil-A announced it would narrow the number of recipients its charity donates to, to focus on hunger, homelessness, and education. As a result it will no longer donate to anti-LGBTQ non-profits including the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Related: Mike Huckabee: It’s ‘Tragic’ Chick-fil-A Will Focus Its Charitable Giving on Causes That Aren’t Anti-LGBTQ – Like Hunger

Abbott isn’t having it, and made clear he apparently will boycott Chick-fil-A as a result.

Retweeting the news of Chick-fil-A’s decision to help reduce hunger and homelessness and help improve education, the Texas governor posted a tweet Monday night announcing he would be dining at a Texas barbecue restaurant Bill Miller’s,

Abbott was willing to go all out to support and protect Chick-fil-A when the company was supporting anti-LGBTQ hate. When they stopped, he pulled his support – in a very public way.

In other words, Abbott’s desire to protect “religious liberty” only applies if that “liberty” is being used to attack LGBTQ people.

RELATED STORIES:

Anti-LGBT Texas Governor Protects Sanctity of Biscuits and Bigotry by Signing ‘Save Chick-fil-A’ Bill Into Law

‘Save Chick-Fil-A’ Bill’s Author Was Lawyer for Anti-LGBT Hate Group and Named Most Homophobic Legislator

WATCH: Fox & Friends Celebrates Signing of New Texas Anti-LGBT Law by Eating and Defending Chick-fil-A

 

 

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