Media Blog

Re: MSNBC Bias Problem

Here’s the actual exchange I blogged about earlier between David Gregory and Chuck Schumer, as well as the reaction of Olbermann and Matthews. It’s worse than I remembered:

GREGORY: The reality is that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, hard-fought against Barack Obama, provided a template to John McCain. He is running ads using her words against Barack Obama. How does she, in a speech beginning tonight, walk back that criticism?

SCHUMER: I think she is going to repudiate the ad. It is always bad policy to use an opponent’s words. That opponent will turn them around. We never do that in the Senate Campaign Committee. I think McCain made a big mistake. Watch how she begins to turn it around tonight.

GREGORY: Do you hear it on floor, complaints that there is not enough fire in the belly of this Democratic convention, not enough attacks going on against John McCain and George W. Bush. Does she change that tonight?

SCHUMER: A little bit. No. The most important thing we can do at this convention, second, is to unify. First, to show America, the America who doesn’t pay attention to politics 24/7, who Barack Obama is, how much he cares about the middle-class, how he will do something to help him. Michelle’s speech, Hillary’s speech, Biden’s speech, will start doing that.

GREGORY: The template for 2006, Independent voters unhappy with the war and unhappy with George Bush, here, Barack Obama has to close the sale with independent voters, swing voters, culturally conservative democrats. Has he done that yet? And if not, what does he have yet to do?

SCHUMER: He hasn’t done it yet because we are just at the beginning. The voters start paying attention now. They didn’t pay attention to the primaries where the differences between Hillary and Barack were small. They’re starting to pay attention now. There is no one better at making these arguments and closing the deal than Barack. Watch how well he does. He is going to win this election by a lot.

GREGORY: A lot of excitement for you on the floor?

SCHUMER: Yes, there’s a load of excitement. Like all of us in the New York delegation, we feel it in our heart for Hillary, but with a passion, we want to win and we are strongly behind Barack.

GREGORY: New Yorkers are all right here.

SCHUMER: Here we are.

GREOGRY: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Guys, back to you.

MATTHEWS: Thank you, David.

[. . .]

OLBERMANN: Couple things in there. Did you notice the shot of president Clinton seated next to—not next to, a couple spots away from—two people, camera right of there? Somebody is holding a Unity sign. How about that for—for imagery, symbolism tonight?

They’re listening to the Governor Schweitzer from Montana talk. The traffic after that will be the Hillary Clinton video, then the introduction by their daughter. There is the governor. Then comes the video. Then comes Chelsea Clinton’s introduction. And then comes Senator Clinton’s speech.

Interesting in all that we have heard in the last couple minutes. Chuck Schumer said something about the appropriation of the 3:00 a.m. ad by John McCain. He said—I think he gave away a little something here—that Hillary Clinton is going to disavow, disown—the word in fact was repudiate—that ad, and somehow turn it back on John McCain, if not in this speech necessarily, but at some point in the next 70 days.

MATTHEWS: Were you surprised when he said we Democrats, speaking for the Democratic Campaign Committee, don’t do that. They don’t engage in using earlier ads by—by, well, intramural opponents in a general election situation? I was surprised that that was a practice. That seems terribly close to good government.

OLBERMANN: But the first thing you and I would do.

Oh, to dream, the impossible dream, of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann as the leaders of America!

And here’s Olbermann and Matthews on Hillary’s speech:

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Grand slam. Grand slam, out of the ballpark, across the street.


OLBERMANN: Across the buildings across the street.


OLBERMANN: Five, six, maybe seven campaign slogans in that speech, starting out from the initial get-go, a sock to the jaw of disunity, a speech that started about Barack Obama, a proud American, a proud Democrat, a proud senator, and a proud supporter of Barack Obama, then a lot about her, some about George Bush, twisting it all back to get her supporters to recognize that their goals are now best served by Barack Obama, then Michelle, then Biden, then several key, probably the strongest hits against John McCain we have heard at this convention, and finally tying it all back together.

I don’t know how it could have been better. I don’t know how it could have been better, Chris.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well I thought it was—it was hard to describe because it was so new and resilient.

In fact, it wasn’t sentimental. It wasn’t misty-eyed. It was eyes-wide-open exuberance. It was—it had a lift to it. And what it was saying was, this is the compact. I thought that was the best word I could come up with, that this is a compact of those who supported the other candidate and those who support her. And they have a compact now to win.



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