Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Taming of the pundits, part 1
Just witnessed a truly Orwellian moment on MSNBC's "Hardball." Chris Matthews opened the show saying -- and I'll paraphrase while I wait for the transcripts to post on -- "President Bush and Vladimir Putin held a tense, tense press conference today on the subject of democracy..." Then Matthews tosses to reliably Bush-friendly reporter Norah O'Donnell, whose report totally contradicts what he just said. Sounding like an old gal' from the Pravda days (perhaps fitting since she was in Mother Russia), O'Donnell proceeds to talk about how harmonious, genial and warm the presser (and prior meetings) were. She used the word "warm" over and over. When she threw back to Chris, rather than challenge her on her assertion (which conflicts with the actual newswer, which I watched in its entirety, and in which a testy Vlad challenged any notion that his country is any less democratic than the U.S.) Matthews breezed right by it, kicking off his discussion with neocon Richard Perle and neocon sounding David Ignatius of WaPo. I would love to know what the producer said into Matthews' ear... "move on," maybe?

The discussion also trended Orwell, when the three men bantered about the "loony" questions from two Russian journalists who challenged Bush on press freedom in the United States, including assertions that reporters here have been fired for opposing the president.

"Ridiculous", "loony", "I don't know where that came from" were the comments from the chat choir. Matthews even said he had never heard of such a thing happening? Really?

Try this (E&P: Columnists fired after criticizing Bush), and this, and this. And this, too (From MSNBC):

FCNBC and MSNBC on Monday said they had terminated their relationship with Peter Arnett after the journalist told state-run Iraqi TV that the U.S.-led coalition’s initial war plan had failed and that reports from Baghdad about civilian casualties had helped antiwar protesters undermine the Bush administration’s strategy. “IT WAS wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state controlled Iraqi TV — especially at a time of war — and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview,” NBC News President Neal Shapiro said in a statement. “Therefore, Peter Arnett will no longer be reporting for NBC News and MSNBC.” Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize reporting in Vietnam for The Associated Press, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Monday to apologize for his statements. ( is an NBC News-Microsoft joint venture.)

And if you'd prefer threats to firings, try this, courtesy of the Center for American Progress:

REPORTER DEFAMED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT TROOPS: "A White House operative alerted cyber-gossip Matt Drudge to the fact that [ABC News correspondent Jeffrey] Kofman is not only openly gay, he's Canadian. Drudge said he was unaware of the ABC story until 'someone from the White House communications shop tipped me to it'…White House press secretary Scott McClellan tried to be nonchalant, indicating that he wasn't planning an investigation of the incident." [Source: Washington Post, 7/18/03 and 7/20/03]
posted by JReid @ 7:16 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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