On MSNBC Live, magician Penn Jillette told a version of a joke about Sen. Hillary Clinton: " '[Sen. Barack] Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month,' right?" After Jillette told the joke, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "I knew I -- you know, I knew I should have warned you before you started it." Co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "I don't like that." But MSNBC had plenty of notice that Jillette likes to tell the joke, which he is seen telling in a Web video, clips of which aired while Scarborough and Brzezinski introduced him.
In writing that Rev. Jeremiah Wright "made it legitimate" to use Sen. Barack Obama's middle name, the Politico's Roger Simon selectively quoted Wright saying at an NAACP dinner, "Please run and tell my stuck-on-stupid friends that Arabic is a language; it's not a religion. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama." Simon omitted the portion of Wright's remarks that immediately followed the part he quoted, in which Wright appeared to criticize those who use Obama's middle name.
Reporting on a New Orleans campaign event at which Sen. John McCain's "carefully scripted imagery was interrupted by a voter's question about Pastor John Hagee," CNN's Dana Bash aired a clip of Hagee -- who has endorsed McCain -- saying of Hurricane Katrina, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God." But Bash did not air the portion of Hagee's comments in which he reaffirmed his previous assertion that Hurricane Katrina was at least in part the result of "sin" that Hagee identified as "a massive homosexual rally." CNN's John Roberts and Kyra Phillips similarly noted that Hagee said that "Katrina was God's punishment for sinful behavior in New Orleans" without mentioning that among the "sinful behavior" Hagee referenced was the gay pride parade.
A week after claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "can't walk into a dinette [sic] with five or six guys there, white guys, in some cases. He can't just shake hands and hang out," Chris Matthews asserted, "[Obama] doesn't seem to have the knack for walking into a dinette [sic] with regular people in it and just having fun, just connecting."
On MSNBC Live, as host Alex Witt reported on a press conference held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on-screen text read: "GOP leaders criticize Dems for delaying vote on Fair Pay Act," falsely suggesting that Republicans wanted to pass the measure. At no point in the coverage of McConnell's press conference did Witt or MSNBC in its on-screen text explain that the Republicans planned to filibuster the bill.
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice."
On Real Time, Bill Maher said to Chris Matthews: "I heard you say on your show, you were talking about Barack Obama and you said -- and I know you like him. But you said when he goes into a diner, he can't ask the average guy, you know, how the Phillies doing and all that stuff. And you said he was -- at one point, he was offered coffee and he turned it down and asked if he could have orange juice instead." After Matthews said, "Yeah," Maher continued: "First of all, Chris, you don't understand black people. They like juice. Preferably gin and juice." In response, Matthews replied: "No, no. Not true. Let me, you know, it's -- you walk into a diner, one of these things where grumpy old men are hanging around because they don't want to be at home with their wives for an hour a morning and they're hanging around there."
On Your World, author Marc Rudov described himself as a "feminist" and said, "I look at women as equal peers." But later that day, on The O'Reilly Factor, Rudov mocked a study finding that "[h]aving a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women" as "a flawed, anti-male, un-academic study that -- the kind you would expect from one of America's leading gyno-versities." He also asserted that if "the woman is complaining that the man doesn't work enough around the house," it may be because "she said 'I do' at the altar and 'I don't' in the bedroom."
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Echoing a familiar Chris Matthews refrain, the Hardball host said of Sen. Barack Obama: "He can't walk into a dinette [sic] with five or six guys there, white guys, in some cases." Matthews continued: "He can't just shake hands and hang out. He doesn't seem to, 'Hey, you know, how are the Eagles doing?' Or 'How are the Phils doing?' " Pat Buchanan responded by claiming that Obama "is very much Columbia and Harvard Law and all the rest of it."
On Imus in the Morning, while discussing the April 16 Democratic debate, Don Imus said, "I thought Senator [Barack] Obama was on the defensive most of the night. But they're both sissy boys or sissy girls, or whatever. Because they talk big when they're out on the campaign trail, wolfing on each other." Charles McCord interjected, "But then," and Imus continued: "And then when they show up at the debate, they fold up like a couple of cheap lawn chairs. I mean, I don't understand that. And he's almost a bigger pussy than she is."
Discussing Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the White House, CNN's Wolf Blitzer stated that President Bush's comment that the United States is "among the most religious" countries in the world "sounded almost like a veiled rebuke of the controversial words that Barack Obama made." Ed Gillespie, counselor to the president, responded: "I think you're reading way too much into it," adding later, "[I]t's not a veiled anything."
Discussing "the Catholic vote" on Hardball, Chris Matthews said: "It isn't like a vote like, for example, if you're a Jewish voter probably you care about Israel, that's a safe bet. You have one key concern. ... But clearly, if you're African-American, you care about civil rights. You care about certain programs of the federal government. That's a generalization, but probably true."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama said of Americans with religious beliefs: "Your faith, the faith of your fathers, the faith of your grandfathers, the faith of your grandmothers -- it's just a crutch. It's just a crutch. You only believe that because you're bitter, because you're poor, because you didn't go to college, because you're working class." In fact, Obama said that "in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania," people are "beaten down" and "feel ... betrayed by government," and "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion."