On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host Joe Scarborough argued that there is "not a dime's worth of difference between" what the "major party leaders are saying" about the Iraq war. According to Scarborough, "The Democrats will tell you the president screwed up. But heck, even the president is saying he screwed up. So again, no difference." However, an examination at Bush's purported admissions of error shows that he has not admitted to as much as Scarborough suggested he has, and that the president has qualified any acknowledgement of war-related problems with ambiguous language.
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann gave right-wing pundit Ann Coulter third place in his daily "Worst Person in the World" awards for her column describing The New York Times' coverage of the arrest of President Bush's former domestic policy adviser, Claude A. Allen, as the "revenge of the queers."
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Responding to a charge by Ron Christie, a former special assistant to President Bush, that he doesn't report "good things" about the U.S. economy, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said, 'We don't produce bad [economic] news on this show," later adding: "We only put out good news here on the economy."
On the March 17 broadcast of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann awarded Bill O'Reilly both the runner-up and first place awards in his daily "Worst Person in the World" contest for calling liberal media writer Neal Gabler a "bomb-thrower" and a "Kool-Aid drinker" and for telling a caller on his radio program that instead of "denigrat[ing]" guests on his programs, he "just go[es] over to" co-host Lis Wiehl "and whack[s] her around. ... [F]iguratively speaking, of course."
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On Hardball, Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, and Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans if he were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran.
Citing the results of a new Pew Research Center poll -- in which 48 percent of respondents used "negative" words such as "incompetent," "idiot," or "liar" to describe President Bush -- Chris Matthews remarked: "I checked this twice. ... I couldn't believe it, but it's true." Matthews added: "[W]hat happened to respect?"
On two straight days, Chris Matthews cited hypothetical critics in saying that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is reluctant to admit she made a mistake in voting for the Iraq war resolution because she would be denigrated as a woman who is unable to make up her mind.
In reporting on Sen. Russ Feingold's call for the censure of President Bush for authorizing the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program, numerous media outlets have repeated the Republican talking point that Feingold's action provides an opportunity for Bush and the GOP to regain ground by turning the public's attention back to national security.
Discussing a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that just 39 percent of respondents expressed "positive" feelings toward President Bush, compared with 50 percent who expressed "negative" feelings, Chris Mathews stated: "I'm amazed when 50 percent of the people don't like him -- just don't like this guy."
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Chris Matthews claimed that "there's a big question about whether it's even legal or not in the Senate" to censure President Bush, as Sen. Russ Feingold recently proposed, over Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance. But Matthews said something very different about the issue of censure in the context of former President Bill Clinton, at that time taking credit for first promoting the idea of censuring Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky controversy: "I'm not bragging, but I believe I was the first person to talk about the notion of censure because nobody else talked about it."
Appearing on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that there is "more oil offshore in America than there is in Saudi Arabia." In fact, according to the U.S. government, Saudi Arabia has as much as 10 times more oil resources than the U.S.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann awarded Rush Limbaugh top honors in his daily "Worst Person in the World" segment for Limbaugh's March 13 reference to journalists Jay Carney and Claire Shipman as "slave master and ... husband."
Think Progress reported that Chris Matthews "has received tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for delivering speeches to corporate interest groups," in apparent violation of an NBC policy. A Media Matters for America review of these interest groups' political contributions has revealed that in every election cycle since 1998, the groups gave more money to Republicans than to Democrats.
Chris Matthews again characterized Sen. John McCain as "a maverick," without providing any justification, adding that "everyone knows he's a solo fighter pilot out there." Matthews also asked Republican strategist Ed Rogers if Rogers's description of Republicans as "a pretty conservative lot, when it gets down to our activists and our workers," would "exclude John McCain."
In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."