On Morning Joe, Craig Crawford stated: "I really think the evidence-free bias against the Clintons in the media borders on mental illness." Crawford went on to assert, "I mean, we've gotten into a situation where if you try to be fair to the Clintons, if you try to be objective, if you try to say, 'Well, where's the evidence of racism in the Clinton campaign?' you're accused of being a naïve shill for the Clintons." He later added: "I really think it's a problem."
Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for "push[ing] the wrong button" when casting votes as an Illinois state senator. But they failed to make clear that, according to the Los Angeles Times article they were referencing (which addressed only five of the six alleged mistaken votes), Obama stated that he had voted the wrong way and asked that the record reflect that fact for each of those five votes when he actually cast them in the Illinois state Senate.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described John Gibson's statement in response to the firestorm over remarks he made concerning the death of actor Heath Ledger as "an awful, awful joke of an apology," and later asserted that it was "not an apology." After airing Gibson's statement, Joe Scarborough said, "What he said was, 'I'm sorry if you were offended. ... I'm sorry if you were offended that I mocked the death of a young man.' " Scarborough also asserted that Gibson "got caught in an anti-gay tirade."
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews complained that the January 21 Democratic presidential debate on CNN, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, spent too much time discussing "black/white issues" rather than the candidates' positions on the Iraq war or health care. But Matthews did not ask similar questions about the January 15 Democratic presidential debate on MSNBC, even though many of the first 19 questions asked during the debate focused on race and none dealt explicitly with issues of public policy.
Discussing the most recent Democratic presidential candidates debate on Morning Joe, political and social commentator Mike Barnicle said Sen. Hillary Clinton "look[ed] like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court," eliciting laughter from the all-male panel that featured MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist, and David Shuster.
On Morning Joe, guest host Chris Matthews complained that, during the January 21 Democratic presidential debate, too much time was spent on "black/white issues," and too little time was spent discussing the candidates' positions on the Iraq war or on health care. In fact, health care was discussed for more than 13 minutes during the debate, and the Iraq war was discussed for nearly eight minutes. Yet Morning Joe's analysis of the debate, which featured numerous clips from the event, included no video from the exchanges where the candidates "debat[ed] health care" and the current situation in Iraq.
While discussing a charity event he is scheduled to host that will feature singer Billy Joel, MSNBC's Chris Matthews -- in response to co-host David Shuster's remark, "Billy Joel tickets, Philadelphia Orchestra, we're expecting something in return" -- replied, "I'll getcha Christie Brinkley. Ha!" Matthews recently sparked a firestorm of criticism after saying that "the reason" Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "may be a front-runner is her husband messed around," and that "[s]he didn't win [a Senate seat] there [New York] on her merit."
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Discussing Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's "letter from the editor," in which she addressed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's cancellation of a scheduled cover shoot, MSNBC gossip columnist Courtney Hazlett selectively quoted from Wintour's letter, omitting a portion directly preceding Wintour's assertion, "This is America, not Saudi Arabia." The omitted portion is directed at the media, not Clinton, and said: "How has our culture come to this? How is it that The Washington Post recoils from the slightest hint of cleavage on a senator?"
Chris Matthews falsely suggested on MSNBC's Morning Joe that Sen. John McCain has "stood his ground" on the issue of immigration. In fact, after originally calling for a policy that both strengthened border security and established a guest-worker program, McCain now emphasizes securing the borders first.
On Morning Joe, David Shuster responded to Craig Crawford's assertion that the media "tend to gang up on the Clintons" and are "actually a little unfair to them," asserting: "Well, I think some people are certainly unfair. There was another cable-news organization that rhymes with 'clocks' that said that Bill Clinton had completely lost his cool and blown up at a reporter there from Oakland, when, in fact, when you see the clip of Bill Clinton reacting to that reporter, he's just being very firm."
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On January 18, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said it was "outrageous that Chris Matthews ha[d] to apologize" following his January 9 comment, documented by Media Matters, in which he said that "the reason" Hillary Clinton is "a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." By "apologize," Scarborough was referring to a statement Matthews made at the start of his January 17 show addressing the firestorm sparked by his earlier comments.
MSNBC repeatedly aired a campaign advertisement from Sen. John McCain's campaign attacking Sen. Hillary Clinton's support for a $1 million earmark for a museum at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York, and other media outlets noted the ad. But none of these outlets reported that McCain had skipped the vote on removing the earmark.
In their coverage of the Michigan Republican primary, numerous media outlets and personalities praised Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain as a "maverick" who has challenged his party. However, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, on several major issues, McCain has taken positions consistent with those of his party.