Friday, 20 February 2015


Ken Berwitz

MSNBC - which, viewership-wise, has been in a tailspin for years - has now started to do something about it which, the network obviously hopes, will reverse its fortunes.

According to Lloyd Grove, writing for the Daily Beast, Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid, two weekday afternoon hosts who have drawn little viewership, are out (though both, at least on paper, will remain with the network in some capacity).

Grove also tells us that he has heard from "well placed sources" that Chris Hayes, the underperforming host at 8:00PM will be canceled, and replaced by Rachel Maddow - with a new host for her current 9:00PM slot to be determined.  Maddow has, for some time, been the single most watched MSNBC prime time personality...but, in keeping with just about everyone else there, her ratings have slipped substantially as well. In any event, it is quite a gamble to put her head-up against Bill O'Reilly, the reigning king of cable news prime time.

There is also talk that al sharpton, the self-aggrandizing racist serial deadbeat buffoon who disgraces MSNBC with his presence, will be consigned to a weekend show.

And, though not in this particular article, I have read elsewhere that Ed Schultz - who was inexplicably moved to weekend duty while getting (relatively) decent ratings versus O'Reilly, and never recovered his audience after subsequently being put back to weekday duty at an earlier time (5:00PM), may also be on the chopping block.

Now the key question:  will any of this help MSNBC? 

In my opinion, if the network remains a cornucopia of little other than left wing propaganda, - which, under Phil Griffin, is a near certainty - I doubt it.

Let me end with my favorite part of Mr. Grove's article:

In the Nielsen period ending Tuesday, Farrows ratings reflected a 70-percent loss in the key demographic over the same period a year ago when Andrea Mitchell anchored the 1 p.m. time slot.  

Reid did slightly better, losing 67 percent of the 25-to-54 viewership that had watched Tamron Hall.


How much trouble is a network in when, by losing 67% of the key demographic in one year's time, one of its shows is actually outperforming another.  That is roughly the equivalent of saying a team on a 20 game losing streak is being outperformed by a team going 2 - 18 over the same stretch.

More on the MSNBC re-invention as it happens.


Ken Berwitz

"I do not believe, and I know this is a terrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the President loves America.  He doesn't love you and he doesn't love me.  He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country:  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Strong words.  Hard, provocative words.  Guaranteed to enrage Democrats and (therefore) the preponderance of what passes these days as mainstream media.

So:  is there any validity to what Mr. Giuliani said, why did he say it, and what will the fallout be?

Let's take them one at a time.

Is there any validity to what Mr. Giuliani said? 

Since the comment itself is subjective, there doesn't have to be.  This is the United States of America and Mr. Giuliani - along with you, me and everyone else - is entitled to his opinion. 

But on the objective side - i.e. actual events that could validate or invalidate Mr. Giuliani's position - there is a lot to talk about:

-The validating events would include the fact that, unless your father was a Kenyan national, your stepfather was an Indonesian national, and you spent four years growing up in Indonesia in a school where your parents classified you as a Muslim, Mr. Obama grew up differently than you did.  Add to that the ongoing instances of Barack Obama, as President, telling country after country what we did wrong and essentially apologizing for our actions - even to countries which owe the world one helluva lot more apologies than we ever could have any reason to - and you've got plenty of ammunition.

-The invalidating events, would include the benefits for the USA which people might perceive as the results of President Obama's actions, and the countless times Mr. Obama has talked up the United States, referred to it as a force for good and said "God Bless the United States" to audiences big and small. 

Conclusion?  Though Mr. Giuliani's words may be harsh - overly harsh if you ask me - there is a case to be made for saying them.

Why did he say it?

No one except Rudy Giuliani can possibly answer that for certain.  It could be because he believes every word of what he said.  It could be because he is a partisan Republican on the attack.  It could be to force politicians on both sides of the aisle to take a public on-the-record stand regarding what they think of Barack Obama's attitude toward the USA - and then have to give their reasons.  It could be a combination of all three.  It could be other possible reasons I'm not thinking of.

Conclusion:  whatever his reasons, the issue of Mr. Obama's regard for the USA has immediately become a major front-burner issue.  If that was Rudy Giuliani's intention, he got exactly what he wanted.

What will the fallout be?

For Rudy Giuliani there will be no fallout at all.  He is not currently running for any office and appears to be entirely out of elective politics. 

But for both Democrat and Republican presidential aspirants, who, as a matter of course, will have to reference the Obama presidency in the 2016 campaign, it - as noted above - forces them to take a stand on Mr. Obama - not just on his actions per se, but on his intentions when taking those actions. 

His refusal to indict radical Islam, his position on illegal aliens, his summary recognition of Cuba, the proposed Iran "deal", his treatment of Israel, etc. are all on the list).  And every one of them will now be judged through the prism of President Obama's love of country.

If Mr. Obama comes out negatively, it will hurt Democrats and help Republicans.  If he comes out positively it will help Democrats and hurt Republicans.  That is a roulette wheel which is currently spinning...and where the little ball lands can have a significant impact on who our next President will be.

I don't know if Rudy Giuliani considered the possibility that his comment had the potential to recalibrate the way Barack Obama's presidency will be judged...and the benefit or damage presidential aspirants sustain for the way they judge it...but that is very likely what will happen because he said what he did.

It will be more than a little interesting to see how this plays out.

free` Found the 2nd one. -- - I read another one about the Communist upbringing he had and mentioned his mentors. Can't find that one, maybe it was the original Rudy comments. (02/20/15)

Warren I saw Giuliani's interview and was disappointed. I used to like him and he has really lost it. He made little sense. Obama hates America because he doesn't say the words Rudy wants to hear? He hates America because he didn't say the Crusades were Christians fighting Muslims? He looked old and fumbled for words. Sometimes it is better to just keep quiet and not make a fool of oneself. Donald Trump is another one who needs to consider that. (02/20/15)

free` I read 2 other commentaries that explain why Rudy is right, here is one and I am still looking for the other. (02/20/15)


Ken Berwitz

It is currently 42 degrees in Miami - tied for the city's all-time low for this date.

In central New Jersey it is currently 2 degrees, a new record by, if I'm not mistaken about 5 degrees. 

Ditto for New York City, and probably countless other cities up and down the east coast.

And that's not all.  According to Angela Fritz's article in today's Washington Post:

It could prove to be the coldest morning of the season for many parts of the eastern U.S. as the plume of Arctic air digs in. All-time February record lows are possible from Ohio to Virginia as temperatures plummet to as much as 40 degrees below average for this time of year.

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Charleston, W.Va., and Roanoke, Va., are all positioned to break all-time records for the month of February just before the sun crests the horizon on Friday. Record low temperatures for the date appear likely across dozens of major Eastern Seaboard cities, including Boston, New York, Washington and Miami.

I guess these days it's not Global Warming, it's Climate Change....until the summer, of course. 

Call it anything you want, though.  Just keep those grants coming.

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 degrees ? ? ? ? That's an Inconvenient Truth for Warm Mongers. . . . . . . . (02/20/15)

free` I am certainly no G.W. zealot, but the obvious question is what were/are the winters around the world doing for this year? Remember it isn't just this country that gets counted. I suspect they had either normal winters or the same as we are seeing. I would like to see the data on it though. (02/20/15)

Ken Berwitz Warm mongers? Great line. (02/20/15)


Ken Berwitz

Two left wing web sites, and - probably a great many more - are currently featuring an article by someone named Robert Naiman - the "Policy Director" at something called "Just Foreign Policy" = which appears to be at least as leftward as the two web sites.

Its title, "Profiles in Courage:  38* Dems Publicly Break with Netanyahu's Tirade for War" does not leave much doubt about either the direction of the article or its tone.

I'll skip by the obvious question of how Naiman can state definitively that a speech he has not seen or heard a word of is a "Tirade for War", and just talk about two other definitive statements in the article:

A recent CNN poll found that four out of five Democratic voters oppose the Israeli Prime Minister's planned March 3 tirade to Congress against diplomacy.

CNN reports that 63% of Americans oppose Netanyahu's planned tirade against diplomacy, including 81% of Democrats and 61% of Independents.

That doesn't leave any room for doubt, does it?  I mean the numbers are what they are.

Well they aren't.  What Naiman is saying is flat-out, 100% untrue.

 See, the sample was not - repeat, NOT - asked a thing about support or opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech. 

The sample was asked whether Speaker John Boehner should have notified President Obama before extending the invitation.  That's it.  Nothing else.  Not one word about the speech itself.

And in case you have any doubt about this, here is the question - every word of it, verbatim:

Do you think Congressional leaders did the right thing or the wrong thing by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without first notifying the president that they would do so?

Do you see anything in that question about whether or not Mr. Netanyahu should have been invited?  No you do not -  only whether the president should have been notified about the invitation first.

Is Robert Naiman a liar?  Or is he incapable of reading and comprehending a simply worded question?  I'll leave that for you to decide. 

Be assured I already have my opinion.  And it doesn't surprise me a bit.

Oh, one other thing.  To my Lost Tribe friends:  38 Democrats turning their backs on Netanyahu and counting.  Is it wakeup time yet?


*For whatever it means, the article headlines says "38 Dems", the headline says "37 Dems".  Make of it what you will.


Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest news about ObamaCare.  I doubt it will be very reassuring.

According to Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar's article for the Associated Press:

-Our highly efficient, eminently frugal government has given something like 800,000 customers the wrong tax information from the government;

-This means about 1 million people will see a delay in their tax refunds;

-In addition, it also may affect the size of those refunds;

-And, as an extra added attraction, an additional 50,000 customers who have already filed may have to file again.

I just thought I'd let you know....

...and I just thought I'd remind you that this is the same government which, via ObamaCare, is in charge of every one of these people's health care - decisions which literally may affect whether they live or die.

Like I said, I doubt this will be very reassuring.

Is it?


A note to Mike Paul, former consultant to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently denouncing him on MSNBC's "Hardball" show:

Please be advised that New York City is not three quarters Black. It is one quarter Black. 

During your denuciation you put it at three quarters, assuring us that Eugene Robinson, who is on the show with you, would agree. 

And in that regard, you were right:  fascinatingly, neither Mr Robinson nor Steve Kornacki, who substituted for Chris Matthews tonight, disagreed. 

Are all three of these political wonks that ignorant of New York City's demography?

Or is the idea of implying that Rudy Giuliani was racist for criticizing Barack Obama - the only apparent reason for bringing the Black population up in the first place - too delicious to sully by correcting such an obvious, egregious mistake?


Ken Berwitz

Suppose evidence was uncovered that a Republican congressperson - no one in a leadership, just a Republican congressperson - was accused of making an overt offer to sell his/her vote for personal gain.  How fast do you think the media would be on top of it?

Now, what about if the congressperson were in a leadership position - say, head of the Republican National Committee?  You can almost hear the howls of indignation, right?

Ok, now what about if the congressperson in question had a "D" instead of an "R" after his/her name?  

On this one we don't have to do a hypothetical, folks.   Marc Caputo of  (usually Democrat-friendly), reported, yesterday, that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat congressperson from Florida - and head of the Democrat National Committee, not to mention a possible Senate candidate for the seat currently held by Republican Marco Rubio - offered to change her position on medical marijuana if  Orlando Trial Lawyer, John Morgan - a major Democrat donor - would recant his criticism of her.

What is your reaction to this?  Something along the lines of SAY WHAT? 

Well, you read it correctly.  That is what the accusation is.  And it is being made by a usually Democrat-friendly site with a claim that it has the emails to back it up.

According to Caputo:

The proposal to Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan was straightforward: retract critical statements he made to a reporter in return for Wasserman Schultz publicly backing his cannabis initiative that she had trashed just months earlier. Morgan declined the offer with a sharp email reply sent to a go-between, who described the congresswoman as being in a "tizzy."

"No," Morgan responded. "She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living."

Wasserman Schultz declined to comment.

Asking again:  what would the media reaction be if this were a Republican?

Well I can tell you what it is for Debbie "D"

Keep in mind that Marc Caputo's article was posted at 7:10PM last night - more than enough time for it to be on every media web site.  But  I just googled "Debbie Wasserman Schultz John Morgan medical marijuana". And on the first three pages? No NBC. No ABC. No CBS. No New York Times. No LA Times. No Washington Post.....

.....getting the idea?

A bunch of generally conservative web sites are all over this. But mainstream media? They are doing the see no evil - hear no evil - speak no evil routine on Ms. Wasserman Schultz's behalf.

That, folks is The Power Of The "D".

And, yes, these are the same media who squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased. 

free` Maybe every Republican in the country should switch to Democrat then the MSM will at least have to look further than the title of D, R or I? (02/20/15)

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