The jokes are on us, and so are the lies – Williams & Stewart

Editor’s Note – Over the weekend, the NY Post published an opinion piece by Kyle Smith that examined the way people get their news, who they believe, and why, in a manner that nails it on the head. Well done Kyle Smith!

His piece addresses two major figures in the news recently, Brian Williams of NBC, and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show – and all the lies!

In a well-written, well-researched, and amusing critique of Stewart’s recent show where he tackled and defended Brian Williams, it represents the answer to the questions above.

He concludes the article by saying: “Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.” Couldn’t have said it better.

To be frank, Smith did what we wish we could have done and have been trying for years, showing how societal memes rule the day. Showing how lies become ‘truth,’ and showing how disingenuous the media is today.



Bill O’Reilly might take a valuable lesson from Smith’s piece, so the next time he gives air time to Stewart, he doesn’t lend legitimacy to Stewart so undeservedly. Alan Colmes, Juan Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Kiersten Powers could also learn a thing or two here.

If it ain’t “cool,” eyes glaze over, if it isn’t entertaining, yawns abound, if it ain’t pretty, the thumb on the clicker couldn’t hit ‘next’ fast enough. If it’s about how the left is lazy, hides, spreads lies, or rattles on with tired and untrue memes…crickets! Again, thank you Kyle Smith.

The only thing Smith did not address was the 800 pound ‘lying gorilla’ on all our screens daily; Obama – he of the liar-of-the-year fame. But then again, we all know that already – right? After all, this piece is already long, but well worth the read!

How Jon Stewart turned lies into comedy and brainwashed a generation

So Brian Williams goes out (for six months) humiliated and derided. Jon Stewart goes out (permanently, one hopes) the same day, but on a giant Comedy Homecoming King float, with a 21-gun salute from the media, his path strewn with roses and teardrops.

Why? Brian Williams lied about his personal exploits a few times. Jon Stewart was unabashedly and habitually dishonest.

Though Stewart has often claimed he does a “fake news show,” “The Daily Show” isn’t that. It’s a real news show punctuated with puns, jokes, asides and the occasional moment of staged sanctimony.

It contains real, unstaged sound bites about the day’s events and interviews about important policy matters.

Stewart is a journalist: an irresponsible and unprofessional one.

Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium. Photo: Getty Images
Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium.
Photo: Getty Images

He is especially beloved by others in the journo game. (For every 100 viewers, he generated about 10 fawning profiles in the slicks, all of them saying the same thing: The jester tells the truth!)

Any standard liberal publication was as likely to contain an unflattering thought about Stewart as L’Osservatore Romano is to run a hit piece on the pope.

The hacks have a special love for Stewart because he’s their id. They don’t just think he’s funny, they thrill to his every sarcastic quip. They wish they could get away with being so one-sided, snarky and dismissive.

They wish they could skip over all the boring phone calls and the due diligence and the pretend fairness and just blurt out to their ideological enemies in Stewart style, “What the f–k is wrong with you?”

Most other journalists aren’t allowed to swear or to slam powerful figures (lest they be denied chances to interview them in future). Their editors make them tone down their opinions and cloak them behind weasel words like “critics say.” Journalists have to dress up in neutrality drag every day, and it’s a bore.

Yet Stewart uses his funnyman status as a license to dispense with even the most minimal journalistic standards. Get both sides of the story? Hey, I’m just a comedian, man. Try to be responsible about what the real issues are? Dude, that’s too heavy, we just want to set up the next d- -k joke.

Stewart is often derided by the right as having minimal impact and low ratings. That’s not true. He and Stephen Colbert ruled the late-night ratings among 18- to 34-year-olds for most of the last five years, though Jimmy Fallon has lately surpassed both.

Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject. Photo: Getty Images
Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject.
Photo: Getty Images

About 522,000 Americans in that age range watch “The Daily Show” on an average night, but that means many millions of occasional viewers, with millions more watching clips online.

To a key audience, he was a strong influence. Longtime Cooper Union history professor Fred Siegel says his students constantly came to him repeating Stewart’s talking points.

College students, of course, are both little acquainted with realities of adult existence and walled off from conservative views, so they’re the perfect audience for Stewart’s shtick, which depends on assumptions that are as unquestioned as they are false.

This week’s “Daily Show” segment in which Stewart defended Williams was distilled, Everclear-strength Stewart. It was as amazing as watching Barbra Streisand run through a medley of her greatest hits in only seven minutes: In this little chunk of error, cliche, preening and deception, Stewart managed to pack an example of just about everything that is unbearable about his style. It bears close study.

Stewart made some mild jokes at the anchordude’s expense, interrupted with insufferable Jerry Lewis-style mugging, baby talk, high-pitched silly voices and the inevitable reference to whether Williams was “high” (authority figures getting high: always comedy gold to the campus audience).

Stewart slipped in a line of blatant editorializing: “Being caught is punishment enough, no?” Really? Why? If so, argue it, don’t just point the sheep in the direction you want.

Williams is a news anchor. A guy whose three main skills are being good-looking, an ability to read the English language out loud and seeming credible. To put his case in Stewart-ese: “If you want to be considered a trustworthy source of facts, maybe try NOT LYING!!!”

Declaring that media coverage of Williams’ lies was “overkill,” Stewart then built a wedding cake of bullcrap, layer after layer of untruth.

His first move was to change the subject. He used a variant of the rhetorical fallacy known as the “tu quoque” argument, or calling out alleged hypocrisy. Taken to its endpoint, tu quoque (“you, too”) reasoning means no one would ever slam anyone for anything because, hey, we’re all imperfect.


Tu quoque-ism is a generally meaningless gotcha game that can, of course, be turned right around on Stewart: Hey, Jon, you really think you’re the guy to call foul on nuking media personalities who have made misstatements?

In high dudgeon, as though the thought weren’t already a cliche we’d all seen many times on Twitter and Facebook, Stewart declared sarcastically, “Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War.”

Then came the inevitable gotcha sound bites: News figures discussing intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Why such a bizarre tangent into an unrelated matter? Because in Stewart’s mind, and those of his viewers, everything has to be the fault of an evil Republican, preferably George W. Bush.

Near the end of the segment, Stewart, with the prototypical combination of blustering self-righteousness and sarcasm that crystallizes his appeal to the college mentality, wondered whether the news shows will now start examining the “media malfeasance that led our country into the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades.”

Then (using comic bathos) Stewart cut to more newscasters making apparently trivial points about Williams’ lying. Stewart’s logic is this: The media can’t report negatively on anything anymore, because they dropped the ball on Iraq.

Stewart doesn’t actually believe that: It’s just a cheap gambit meant to get his buddy Williams off the hook by minimizing his serial lying. If Stewart were a public defender, he’d be even funnier than he is as a comic.

What judge or jury could fail to bust out laughing if a defense attorney said, “I have no rebuttal of any of the charges against my client, but lots of other people not in this courtroom are guilty of stuff, too!”?LiesQuoteLenin

I look forward to the next time a Republican assistant municipal treasurer in Dirt Falls, Idaho, says something awkward about race and Stewart says, “I forgive this guy given that the actual vice president of the United States once said of Barack Obama, ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’”

Let’s look at the media reports on Iraq that Stewart is arguing make Williams’ untruths pale in comparison. Problem: Those reports were not lies. Journalists trying to figure out whether the war was justified called up credible experts with experience in the field and passed along what they said. As a more honest version of Stewart might say, “Dude. That’s not malfeasance. That’s Re. Por. Ting.”

Stewart added that “it’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to build a machine that kills the truth.” Even the audience of devotees seemed to find this simile baffling.

The idea that “Bush lied” is itself a lazy, ill-informed and false statement.

As Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, essentially nobody in the Washington intelligence community doubted the major report that Iraq had an active WMD program in 2002.

Obama.Bush.LiesThe National Intelligence Estimate delivered to the Senate and President Bush said there was a 90 percent certainty of WMDs. Democrat George Tenet, the Clinton CIA director who continued to serve under Bush, said the case for WMDs was a “slam dunk.”

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Joe Biden all looked at the intelligence and voted to authorize force. Sen. Jay Rockefeller argued strongly for the war. Then, years later, when it wasn’t going so well, he published a highly politicized report ripping Bush.

There is a serious case to be made against the Iraq War, but it’s a lot more complicated than the playground taunt, “Bush lied about WMDs.” (“Hey, I’m a comic, you expect me to do serious? Please welcome our next guest, Henry Kissinger!”)

Yet another lie on top of that is the absurd implication that the news media were too soft on Bush. The only way you could possibly consider the media to be too conservative would be if you were an extremist well to their left, which Stewart is.

During the Iraq War buildup, even as overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress authorized the use of force, 59 percent of the sound bites aired by the evening newscasts were antiwar, 29 percent pro-war.

To take another of innumerable examples, in 2006 Bush had about the same approval ratings that Obama suffered in 2014. The network news both commissioned far more polls when Bush stood to suffer, and reported on the Bush results far more.

Again, this isn’t close: The score was 52 to 2, as in 52 mentions of low Bush approval ratings versus two mentions of (even lower, at times) Obama approval ratings.

In every Gallup poll this century, more Americans called the media “too liberal” than “too conservative.” The numbers were 45 to 15 in 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion. In 2008, as Obama was being elected, it was 47 to 13. Last fall it was 44 to 19.

Thanks to polemicists and clowns, the myth that “Bush lied” has caught on, and now a majority of Americans believe it. Stewart-ism won the day.

Liberal comics make things up, liberal journalists chortle and praise and internalize the lies.

Before you know it, if you point out that Bill O’Reilly’s audience is just as well informed as NPR’s (as a Pew poll found), or that Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my house” (that was “Saturday Night Live”), you’re just a buzzkill.

Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.

Taking credit – "despicable" – say, Seal Teams and Huffington

Editor’s Note – Once again, a campaign maneuver is blowing up in the face of the Obama 2012 Campaign. The “war on women”, the “war on student loans”, and now the “Gutsy-Call” Ad, to name but a few. Politicizing everything…a must when you have a negative record that eclipses all former Presidents.

When your sole, positive accomplishment in office is achieving what America had been working on, since long before you made the “gutsy call”, we can understand it becoming a campaign slogan.

Do we condone it? Hell NO! And neither do the people who actually performed the act so well, and dutifully.

Why do we not hear more about the man who made the real “Gutsy Call”, Adm. McRaven? Pay special attention in the article below about the amount of time elapsed from when intelligence was found on his location, and the actual event. (High-lighted below)

This message is popping up all over Facebook over this issue.

It is a small person with a giant ego, a narcissist, that does such things. Then to watch Hollywood elites paraded into the situation room, along with television media on the first anniversary of the most famous assassination is unconscionable.

Then there was yesterday’s speech with the Japan’s Prime Minister where Obama answered questions about the campaign usage of the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.

Completely off topic, and in our opinion, a poor way to treat the visit of a fellow national leader, Obama said:

“I hardly think that you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here,” Obama said at a joint White House press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, pushing back at the idea he’s overplayed the marking of the event. “I think that the American people, rightly, remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 citizens.”

Obama continued with a Romney jab: “I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. That’s been at least my practice,” he said. “I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him and I did. if there are others who said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, I’d go ahead and let them explain.” (Read the rest here.)

Then there is Joe Biden, read what the LA Times Dan Turner wrote:

Obama’s Bin Laden ad a low blow

The presidential campaigns are abuzz over a new campaign strategy by President Obama, who is playing up his decisiveness in the military operation that killed Osama bin Laden — and suggesting that his Republican opponent Mitt Romney wouldn’t have done the same. That’s the theme rolled out recently by campaign pit bull (and Vice President) Joe Biden, and it’s the topic of a new Obama ad that blogpreneur Arianna Huffington thinks is “despicable.” (Read the rest here.)

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign


Beyonce and Jay-Z in the White House Situation Room.
Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.’

Brian Williams of NBC gets exclusive interview in Situation Room - Surprised?

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same.

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it. 

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot. 

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command. 

Mr Kyle added: ‘He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier – as would George W. Bush.’

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.

White House press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

‘Obama inherited a very robust package with regards to special ops and the intelligence community. But Obama deserves credit because he got bin Laden – you can’t take that away from him. 

‘My friends that work in Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that have been on video teleconferences with Obama on these kill or capture situations say that Obama has no issue whatsoever with making decisions and typically it’s kill. He’s hitting the kill button every time. I have a lot of respect for him for that.’

But he said that many SEALs were dismayed about the amount of publicity the Obama administration had generated about SEAL Team Six, the very existence of which is highly classified.

‘The majority of the SEALs I know are really proud of the operation but it does become “OK, enough is enough – we’re ready to get back to work and step out of the limelight.” They don’t want to be continuously paraded around a global audience like a show dog.

‘Obama has a very good relationship with the Special Operations community at large, especially the SEALs, and it’s nice to see. We had the same relationship with George W. Bush when he was president.’

It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional. 

‘He may not have charisma but he clearly has leadership skills. I don’t think he’d have any problem taking that decision.’

Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

‘It’s a waste of time to speculate about who would and wouldn’t have made that decision. It was a symphony of opportunity and intelligence that allowed this administration to give the green light. We want to acknowledge that they made that decision.

‘Politicians should let the public know where they stand on national security but not in the play-by-play, detailed way that has been done recently. The intricacies of national security should not become part of stump speeches.’

Watch the Campaign Advertisement here:

Hypocrisy – "Punk Faggot" okay, "C-Word" Okay … Brian Williams?

Editor’s Note – In light of recent events involving the use of less than appropriate language on the air by Rush Limbaugh, his sincere apology, and the refusal of the left and their loyal minions in the main stream media to accept it, the term hypocrisy has taken center stage.

The internet has of course exploded, and many are fighting back hard.

Why? Because there is a clear and stark double-standard, and the left feasts on the knowledge that most of America will not notice, or the sick losers will laugh and cheer, or worse, people are just too focused on their ‘tunnel-vision’ way of life. Then there are the “Fool-Aid” junkies.

Many though, the ardent people who have had enough of this hypocrisy, are now combing through the archives to show this very fact, and the examples are pouring out for all to see.

It is institutional and it’s past hypocrisy when so many examples emerge, indicating a willful desire to hide things, ignore them, or even to promote them. They do so because they are blinded by ideology and they know it. Ahem, Mr. Brian Williams…are you listening?

They purposefully ignore examples of the most crude, lewd, and lascivious comments, jokes, and commentary amongst their own ranks, yet dive bomb anyone from the other side who trips up.

Some say it is both parties doing it, its a two way street, and many say the ‘right’ is more hypocritical. This is true, in a few, very few examples, and that road is a two-way street, but both lanes are not the same size, have the same speed limit, or the same policing.

On the left, the road is a well-paved super highway, it has multiple lanes for more traffic, the speed limit is not listed on signs, and there is no enforcement of civility. That enforcement is only exhibited by those looking over the median strip at the dirt path on the other side and screaming when a lone example walks on by. We’ve been “Fluked”, and we are not going to let it go away this time.

The worst case of institutionalized hypocrisy is of course, anything associated with NBC, and now, its so-called ‘standards’ argument is mere tripe. Ask Brian Williams, Al Sharpton, Phil Griffin, and the cast of bootlickers at the NY Times.

NBC News ‘Punk Faggot’ Scandal Erupts


American Spectator

Phil Griffin, Brian Williams, Al Sharpton, and Comcast: Nightly News anchor and “Reverend Al.”

The cast.

Al Sharpton - Remember Tawana Brawley and "Punk Faggot"?

Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, NBC’s cable sibling.

Brian Williams, anchor of The NBC Nightly News.

Brian Roberts, the Chairman and CEO of Comcast, owners of NBC Universal.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s Politics Nation.

And Quicken Loans, one of the original seven national sponsors of The Rush Limbaugh Show that pretentiously dropped Rush’s show.

That would be the same MSNBC host Reverend Al Sharpton — hired by MSNBC president Phil Griffin — caught on this video clip from Evocateur, a documentary film of the late television host Morton Downey, Jr. Sharpton, seen here on the set of Downey’s television show, is heatedly shouting to an audience member:

You ain’t nothing, you a punk faggot. Now come on, do something!

That video, provided on YouTube courtesy of Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller, is in fact an excerpt of a trailer for the film on Downey produced by Ironbound Films. The entire trailer can be found here at the Ironbound site.

The clip of the MSNBC host hired by Mr. Griffin has now surfaced along with a series of Sharpton audio tapes — found here. Beginning with this reference by Sharpton to the black then-mayor of New York, David Dinkins.

David Dinkins.… You wanna be the only n….on television, the only n….in the newspaper, the only n…to talk.…Don’t cover them, don’t talk to them, cause you got the only n…problem. Cause you know if a black man stood up next to ya they would see you for the whore that you really are.

Other tapes are littered with derogatory references to “Greek homos,” “Chinamen,” “Koreans sell us watermelons,” and so on.

Brian Williams talks about civility regarding the Jan Brewer/Obama tussle.

But there’s one video that has not gotten attention.

That would be this one, which features NBC News anchor Brian Williams speaking to the National Action Network Conference

That would be the National Action Network, a progressive group founded by: Al Sharpton. Whom Williams refers to in warm and familiar terms at the end of the tape as “the Reverend Al.”

The controversy over the relationship between Sharpton and both MSNBC and NBC News anchor Williams has erupted in the wake of the drive by leftists — with MSNBC and Media Matters in the front of the pack — to strip Rush Limbaugh of his sponsors because of the Fluke affair — and hence push his program off the air.

As president of MSNBC, Griffin is directly responsible for Sharpton’s hiring, as well as the relentless attack on Limbaugh’s free speech rights. The accusation that MSNBC is terrified of free debate was an accusation made as well by the recently dismissed MSNBC commentator and longtime conservative Pat Buchanan. Buchanan discussed his firing by MSNBC with Fox’s Sean Hannity here and here.

I called Mr. Griffin’s office directly to get his comments on the Sharpton hate tapes. I was politely shuttled to MSNBC’s Vice President of Communications, Jeremy Gaines. Who dutifully inquired as to my concerns.

This is what I said:

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for getting back.

As you may know, I did a piece on MSNBC and Al Sharpton today.

With all the controversy over free speech, now amplified by the Limbaugh episode, the firing of Pat Buchanan etc., I thought a piece on Phil Griffin was in order. I want to see if I can pin down what are his ideas about “standards”.

I have found, for example, this video clip of Rev. Sharpton calling someone a “punk faggot.”

On top of his “Greek homos” remark, this seems to indicate a toleration by MSNBC of remarks many would see as an indication of homophobia. On top of the audio that has Mr. Sharpton spewing the “n-word” and calling the then-Mayor of New York a “n…..whore” I am curious as to Mr. Griffin’s idea of standards for MSNBC.

Is Rachel Maddow, for example, aware that one of her fellow hosts called someone a “punk faggot” on national television?

You should know that I have also contacted Brian Roberts of Comcast to ask some of these same questions.

I am personally a strong believer in free speech. I believe audiences decide what and who they will listen to or watch. But it appears Mr. Griffin has a different view and I confess I’m somewhat confused as to what that is. There is a report that Mr. Griffin has said the Buchanan book did not belong in the public discourse. Is calling the Mayor of New York a “n…..whore” and a member of a television audience a “punk faggot” acceptable discourse for an MSNBC host?


I’m sure this is an uncomfortable line of questioning. But under the circumstances, it’s a necessary one.

The epitome of CLASS! Bill Maher, guess Obama still won't give the Million Dollars back.

Mr. Gaines has replied, and here is his statement in its entirety on behalf of Phil Griffin and MSNBC:

As we said when we hired Rev. Sharpton, we didn’t hire the Al Sharpton of 1989, we hired the Al Sharpton of 2011. As he has said as recently as on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” he has changed over the years and no longer uses the heated rhetoric of two decades ago. We have been clear and consistent in our actions, we hold our hosts accountable for what they say on our air.

I also contacted The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, through the show’s spokeswoman,

Erika Masonhall. That e-mail said:

Hi Erika…

This is Jeff Lord with The American Spectator.

As you may know, I did a piece on MSNBC and Al Sharpton yesterday.

With all the attention NBC/MSNBC has been devoting to the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident, I wanted to see if I can pin down Brian Williams’ idea of standards for NBC News and its cable sibling, MSNBC. He appears on both networks, as do other NBC News personalities like Andrea Mitchell.

In light of all the coverage directed at Mr. Limbaugh, I am curious as to why the lack of coverage of moments like this one featuring MSNBC host the Reverend Al Sharpton calling someone — on television — a “punk faggot.” This is on top of the audios I have listed in the above column in which Rev. Sharpton refers to “Greek homos” and spews the “n word.” Collectively these things certainly leave the impression that NBC News, its parent company Comcast, and MSNBC in particular — are turning a blind eye to what many would consider outrageous examples of both homophobia and racism.

I have also sent this inquiry to MSNBC president Phil Griffin and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

My questions for Mr. Williams:

• I have a video of you appearing at an Al Sharpton event (here). The “punk faggot” video certainly existed before your appearance, as did common knowledge of Rev. Sharpton’s “Greek Homo” remark and his spewing of the “n-word” in an attack on then-New York Mayor David Dinkins.

Rev. Sharpton is now a host on your network. Do you feel he is representative of the standards set by people like General Sarnoff [Note: this refers to General David Sarnoff, the legendary early leader of NBC], Huntley and Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw — and now yourself?

• Why did you appear at this Sharpton event? Did you not know of your host’s proclivity for these kind of remarks? Do you routinely make appearances of this nature at eventts where the host has a well recorded problem with what many would call homophobia and highly charged racial utterances?

• In light of the fact that NBC News and MSNBC have extensively reported on the Rush Limbaugh episode, why has there been no reporting of Reverend Sharpton’s remarks in terms of how they would affect his presence as an on-air host at MSNBC?

Erica, thanks for your patience. My deadline is 4pm tomorrow, Thursday. I’m sure these are uncomfortable questions for Brian Williams. But clearly the subject of what is/is not appropriate conduct by hosts of radio/television shows has been raised by Mr. Limbaugh’s critics. Reinforced by the dismissal by MSNBC president Phil Griffin of commentator Pat Buchanan over what has been said to be writings that do not belong in the “civil discourse” of American politics. There has been a move to force sponsors from Mr. Limbaugh’s shows — shows no more controversial to conservatives than Mr. Williams’s broadcasts and those of MSNBC are to liberals.

The need to clear the air on NBC News standards, and those of MSNBC and Comcast, is apparent.


Ms. Masonhall did not respond for Mr. Williams, nor did Mr. Williams himself. (And also note: Yes, I typed an extra “t” on “events.” Ah well. Spelling was good for me… typing not so much. Then again, it’s not exactly like hiring a TV host who has a problem with “punk faggots”…)

A third e-mail was sent to the Chairman and CEO of Comcast — the owner of NBC/Universal and of MSNBC. Brian Roberts is the ultimate boss of Phil Griffin, Brian Williams, and Reverend Sharpton.

That letter to Mr. Roberts’ headquarters at the address supplied by Comcast read:

Ed, Laura Ingraham is a what..."slut"?


This is Jeff Lord from The American Spectator.

I had a piece today on the apparent double standard with Comcast’s MSNBC and their approach to free speech. Much has been made at MSNBC over Rush Limbaugh, yet I have found audio tapes of MSNBC’s Al Sharpton castigating former Mayor Dinkins of New York using the “n” word, essentially spewing the “n word” in a speech. In another he refers to “Greek homos” and in still another “Chinamen” etc. The tapes are found here.

I’d like to talk with Brian Roberts about Comcast standards. The recent dismissal of longtime conservative commentator Pat Buchanan generated a press report that MSNBC president Phil Griffin didn’t think Buchanan’s recent book belonged in the public discourse. Yet somehow, when an MSNBC host — on tape — repeatedly uses a racist slur and refers to “Greek homos” etc. — this seems to be of no concern to Comcast.

Mr. Roberts is the boss here. I would like to understand what seems to be a considerable disconnect when it comes to Comcast standards.

I will be working on an article on Mr. Griffin.


There has been no response from Comcast’s Mr. Roberts.

THIS BLATANT DOUBLE STANDARD has drawn the attention of the ever-vigilant Brent Bozell over at the Media Research Center. Mincing no words, Bozell has called for Griffin’s resignation.

Bozell focuses on another MSNBC talk show host, Ed “Laura Ingraham is a Right-Wing Slut” Schultz. And does so again in a second letter to Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts .

Began Bozell bluntly:

Dear Mr. Griffin,

Your network, working on marching orders from Media Matters, is on a mission to take Rush Limbaugh off the air. Far from being an independent journalistic enterprise, MSNBC is the very essence of a political lapdog of the far left.”

After listing chapter and verse about Schulz, Bozell concludes:

A copy of this letter is being sent to Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. Under separate cover we are sending him another letter, calling on him to take responsibility for employing you. We intend to take this message directly to the shareholders of Comcast as well. I doubt very much they want to have anything to do with race-baiting, hate-filled, character-assassinating misogynists.

Oh yes. Quicken Loans. Remember them? Quicken Loans was quick to jump off the sponsorship bandwagon of Rush Limbaugh with this statement:

Due to Rush Limbaugh’s continued inflammatory comments — along with the valued feedback we have received from our clients and team members — Quicken Loans has suspended all advertising on the Rush Limbaugh radio program.

Pat Buchanan - Fired by MSNBC

Got that? They want nothing to do with being a sponsor where a host makes “inflammatory comments.” But yes, you guessed it. As of yesterday — yesterday — long after Quicken Loans made such a public fuss about not advertising on Rush’s show because of a bad joke, Quicken Loans is indeed advertising on MSNBC — home to Reverend Sharpton of the decidedly no joking around “punk faggot” fame. Not to mention the man of the “n-word” and more.

So, I asked Quicken Loans, through their media contact section of their website, this:

I notice you are running ads on MSNBC and presumably on NBC.

Quicken Loans withdrew its advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s show saying:

“Due to Rush Limbaugh’s continued inflammatory comments — along with the valued feedback we have received from our clients and team members — Quicken Loans has suspended all advertising on the Rush Limbaugh radio program.”

The American Spectator now has video tape of MSNBC Host the Reverend Al Sharpton on a television show calling an audience member a “punk faggot.”

We also have audio tapes of this MSNBC host repeatedly referring to the then-Mayor of New York David Dinkins, a black man, as a “n…” and a “whore.”

On another tape he refers to “Greek homos.”

In view of these inflammatory remarks by an MSNBC host, which many see as both virulently homophobic and racist, the obvious question is: will Quicken be pulling its ads from MSNBC and NBC?


My deadline is 4pm today — Thursday.

By hitting the submit button, I got this reply:

Your request has been received.

A member of the Quicken Loans public relations team will contact you shortly.

And that promise to contact me “shortly”?

"Rally for Rush" - Limbaugh apologizes, Sleep Train now cries...

You got it. Nada.

Just like Brian Williams. Just like Brian Roberts.

I know, you knew this would happen, right?

Here’s the thing.

You may not have this particular story right here.

It seems that Sleep Train, the very first drop-Rush sponsor listed in the “Rally for Rush” story has now learned the very predictably very hard lesson of what happens when one is seduced by the siren of the organized left and their not so subtle campaigns to crash conservative talk radio.

Pushed by a leftist campaign, Sleep Train foolishly bought the goods and issued this statement:

As a diverse company, Sleep Train does not condone such negative comments directed toward any person. We have currently pulled our ads with Rush Limbaugh.

As I wrote at the time:

Sleep Train: This gutless company says it has been advertising with Rush for 25 years. They should be ashamed of themselves. Absolutely ashamed. The founder of Sleep Mattress is Dale Carlsen.

Mr. Carlsen may be the salt of the earth, but he is about to give his employee-owned company and his employees an enormous, self-inflicted black-eye. Here’s the information you need to reach Dale Carlsen.

And now? What of Sleep Train?

The Los Angeles Times tells us that Sleep Train, thanks to furious Rush Ralliers, has come crawling back to Rush begging — begging — to come back on the program.

And Rush said: no.

Specifically, a spokesman for Rush said in response to the begging-to return Sleep Train:

Unfortunately, your public comments were not well received by our audience, and did not accurately portray either Rush Limbaugh’s character or the intent of his remarks. Thus, we regret to inform you that Rush will be unable to endorse Sleep Train in the future.

Taken in by the likes of MSNBC’s Phil Griffin, unaware of the association between NBC anchor Brian Williams and Comcast/NBC’s Al “punk faggot” Sharpton, unaware of the Daily Caller series linking MSNBC to its Media Matters ally, Sleep Train, plain and simple, got skunked.

And now, Dale Carlsen and his company are paying the price for this.

Conservatives, as the late Andrew Breitbart memorably noted in his last CPAC speech, are a different breed than they were in the day when Ronald Reagan’s General Electric Theater was forced off the air by the Left in 1962 — because then-actor Reagan had been critical of the Kennedy administration.

Said Breitbart: “Conservatives used to take it and we’re not taking it anymore.”

Indeed they don’t. They understand exactly what Phil Griffin, Brian Williams (who, as I recall, was an intern in the Carter White House), Al Sharpton, and all their progressive buddies are up to. And they know that Brian Roberts sits at the top of the pyramid as the head of Comcast.

In this space? We believe in free speech. To borrow the phrase, we report, YOU decide.

Will you hear about this story by listening to Phil Griffin’s MSNBC or The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams?

What do you think?

There’s more to tell. And we will now be telling this story twice a week right here in The American Spectator.


Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at

Finger Pointing and hypocrisy – Brian Willams

Editor’s Note – Finger pointing is not new, but its only bad when a Republican speaks to President Obama after he dressed her down. If George W. Bush did the same thing impeachment hearings would already be scheduled for conduct unbecoming a President of the United States.

How about these priceless other events (view below):

  • Joe Biden excoriating Clarence Thomas at the Senate confirmation hearings,
  • or Obama dressing down Louisiana Governor Bobbi Jindal,
  • and Canadian PM Harper,
  • or Bill Clinton at a news conference about Monica Lewinsky,
  • or Obama and Hillary Clinton wagging fingers at a 2008 primary debate,
  • or multiple times when Obama addressed Bibi Netanyahu,
  • or when Obama addressed a crowd in Wisconsin?
  • and, how can we forget what happened to Rick Lazio when he merely got too close to Hillary Clinton in their 2000 NY Senatorial debates?

Absolute hypocrisy! Its cognitive dissonance at every turn. Why bother having a memory? It only matters if it happened in the last ten minutes. Then there is Dan Rather, the career imploding fraud! Truth does not count!


Flashback 2006: NBC’s Brian Williams Points Finger At President Bush

By Noel Sheppard


As NewsBusters previously reported, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Thursday, reacting with predictably similar disgust as the rest of the media to the picture of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pointing her finger at Barack Obama, asked viewers, “Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this?”

Maybe he should have looked in the archives of interviews he did with George W. Bush wherein he was guilty of making the exact same supposedly offensive hand gesture at the President of the United States (videos follow with loads of commentary):

The video above was posted by a YouTube user named Stulz on January 21, 2007, and linked at Free Republic by Nachum about an hour ago. Compare this still taken from that video

to this one that has been generating mountains of disgust from media outlets all over the country:

From that Williams still, it looks like he and Bush were in quite a heated argument as opposed to the tremendously cordial exchange they were having, doesn’t it? Remember press members expressing disgust for Williams pointing his finger at the President that way? Apparently Williams doesn’t either, for here’s part of his highly outraged report from Thursday:


BRIAN WILLIAMS: Also, finger pointing. That photo everybody was talking about today. Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this and what was this all about?


WILLIAMS: All of this takes us to the photo everybody’s been talking about today. The governor of Arizona with her finger in the face of the President of the United States. You don’t see that often or maybe ever

You were saying, Mr. Williams? Maybe folks like him should have considered the full context of this discussion rather than jumping to absurd conclusions from one still shot.

That would have been especially reasonable given the raw video of Brewer’s warm greeting of the President as well as the contents of the letter she handed to him. But doing so would have been too much like actual journalism, wouldn’t it?

*****Update: The original article claimed in the headline this Williams interview took place in 2007. Real Clear Politics reported it as August 2006. Upon review, RCP is correct. Actual air date was August 29, 2006. NewsBuster Brent Baker wrote about the interview at the time. Full transcript of interview is available here, video here.

Something else to consider is that this interview took place in New Orleans on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As such, it likely was quite well-viewed.

Yet nobody minded Williams pointing his finger at the President of the United States.


Then there are these:

Joe Biden berating Clarence Thomas during Senate hearing for the Supreme Court appointee
Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky days.


Hillary Clinton and Obama wag fingers in 2008 debate.
Obama actually touches Netanyahu's Chest with a pointed finger.
Obama points angrily at Canadian PM Harper
Barack Obama Pointing dressing down Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana with a mean finger!
President Barack Obama speaks on the economy at the Milwaukee Laborfest in Milwaukee, Monday, Sept. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


Remember how much guff Rick Lazio got for getting too close to Hillary Clinton in a 2000 debate for NY Senator?

Republican Debate – Finally a Moderator that can Moderate

Editor’s Note – For the first time, its seems the debate had only eight participants: Ron Paul, Bachman, Huntsman, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney, Perry, and  Cain.

Why do we say only 8? Because the moderator was not one of them. In past debates, moderators seemed to be more like debate participants than umpires. As we all know, when the umpire is the subject of discussion for any reason after a game, that umpire did not do his job correctly. They should never be a part of the outcome, but that did not stop people like Maria Bartiromo or Brian Williams in past debates.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was perhaps the best so far. He did not challenge answers, bait internecine battles, cut-off speakers mid-answer, place words in participants mouths, or flat out inculcate a left leaning bias.

At one point Herman Cain got his name wrong, and Wolf called him Cain, but that was all in jest.

The banter was great, although at some point, someone has to challenge Obama and the Democrats over the so-called do-nothing Congress issue by pointing out that the Senate and Harry Reid have not produced a budget in any manner in over 1,000 days.

Here is a great summary of the debate by Victor Davis Hanson:

Getting Better

By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Although these debates are by now monotonous, they have the effect of shaping up the candidates (who are doing much better in general) and reminding us why the pre-primary race is really between Romney and Gingrich.

I guess Ron Paul did not consider the incineration of 3,000 Americans on American soil on 9/11 — something that neither Fascists or Communists ever achieved, and that by now would have been replicated without the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism protocols, as apparently the Obama administration believed (it embraced or expanded them all) and over 40 foiled plots attest — an act of war. Foreign relations reflect Paul’s weaknesses, but his isolationism is masked with folksy “let each country be itself” and ”taking money from poor here to give to rich abroad,” etc. All that sounds superficially sort of neat — if we forget that his cocoonism was American policy in the 1930s. It sometimes seems that the candidates are careful to dance around his views, given his possibility of a damaging third-party run.

Bachmann had her best debate, in a sincere sort of Fargo-earnestness and competence. She has no brain freezes, is detailed and animated, and comes across as earnest. If she had done this well earlier, she would be in contention, at least as much a House member can be.

Gingrich, the grand strategist, is in his top professorial, thinking-out-of-the-box mode that seeks to elevate the debate over the heads of other mere tacticians; whether it comes off as condescending or pontificating I’m not sure. Once again, though, he seems to be summarizing the Bush-Obama policy in Pakistan in a way that seems as though he is creating it. His advocacy for energy independence and his nuances on Iran are very good. With each question, we don’t expect an answer but an existential examination of the question itself; does that reflect deeper thinking than Romney’s short, competent answers, or a sort of serial pop philosophizing?

Perry is becoming the almost over-the-top candidate — last time eliminating cabinet departments and now cutting off all “blank checks” to Pakistan (to be replaced by “trade zones”?) and suggesting Leon Panetta resign. I guess he has to push the envelope, given that time is running out. He is getting better, but that is mostly because he was lately so weak.

Rick Santorum does great when he answers directly the question asked. The more he avoids attacking others, or curbs his exasperation that his often superior answers don’t lead to political traction, the better he does. But somehow such an experienced and knowledgeable candidate always seems frustrated to the point of vexation.

Cain seems never to offer any details in any of his answers, but instead offers standard business leadership talking points; I don’t think it works, since his template replies that he wants clarity, defined goals, etc. often come off as a way of avoiding providing any details about the Middle East. When he gets to illegal immigration, his greater detail on this topic reminds us that he cannot offer commensurate information on foreign policy per se.

Romney once again shows that he is sober and judicious on foreign policy in a way that some of the others come off a little scary. He does well counter-punching and avoids the crowd-pleasing gestures. His debate style is the way of his campaign, a sort of rope-a-dope, process-of-elimination candidacy. He gets neither the boos nor the cheers of the others, avoiding the Gingrich-type inspired, existential quips and the Perry-Cain weirdness. Each week that he survives, I think he gets stronger, rather than in need of a “breakout.”

Huntsman keeps harping on the Vietnam-era argument that troops abroad come at the expense of “nation building.” But he doesn’t seem to get the idea that 96 percent of our GDP is not going to defense or war in particular, but to massive social spending. His polish and unconservatism remind me a lot of the old 1960s Republican liberals like Charles Goodell, Mark Hatfield, and John Lindsay who so enthralled Democrats.

All in all, the candidates are all doing much better, and the debate reflects both that fact and that most of all of them would be far better prepared abroad than the president.