MSNBC's David Shuster, sitting in for Tucker Carlson, criticized the use by Sen. Clinton of her daughter, Chelsea. Shuster said, "Doesn't it seem like Chelsea is being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"
Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson, threatened to pull out from a planned debate. MSNBC quickly offered an on-air apology, and suspended Shuster for his bizarre comment. Wolfson called Shuster's remark one of a "pattern" on that network. (A few weeks earlier, MSNBC's Chris Matthews suggested that Sen. Clinton's rise to power stemmed from her sympathetic portrayal as a woman wronged by her husband. Outraged feminists demanded an apology -- and got one.)
But NBC's cadre of pundits masquerading as journalists -- or journalists masquerading as pundits -- routinely pound, demean and belittle Republicans. So, how about a few apologies for the constant, incessant, mean-spirited, Republican/Bush bashing?
-- Chris Matthews, on NBC's "Today" show, Nov. 14, 2006, said to co-host Matt Lauer, "How many more casualties will we take in what looks to be a losing war? It's just like Vietnam. We could have cut the same deal in '68 that we cut eventually in '73. I think the American people are going to see that."
-- Chris Matthews, at the 10th anniversary celebration of his MSNBC show, accused the Bush administration of "trying to silence him over the years," and then crowed that the Bush White House had "finally been caught in their criminality." The remark presumably referred to the perjury conviction of "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former aide. And this outburst came days before a GOP debate. The moderator? Chris Matthews.
-- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, on Sept. 25, 2006: "For the five years, one month and two weeks, the current administration and in particular the president has been given the greatest pass for incompetence and malfeasance in American history. … As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him by proxy."
-- Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" on Valentine's Day this year. He spoke about the Bush administration's wish to provide immunity to telecommunications companies when they cooperate with government-requested surveillance: "If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You're a fascist! Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it! What else is this but fascism? … And if there's one thing we know about Big Brother, Mr. Bush, it's that he -- well, you -- are a liar. … You said that 'the lives of countless Americans depend' on you getting your way. This is crap. And you sling it with an audacity and a speed unrivaled even by the greatest political felons of our history."
-- NBC's veteran sportscaster Bob Costas, also a "Today" show and "Nightly News" contributor, said on his syndicated radio show: "I think it is now overwhelmingly evident. If you're honest about it. Even if you're a conservative Republican -- if you're honest about it -- this is a failed administration. And no honest conservative would say that George W. Bush was among the 500 most qualified people to be President of the United States. That's not based on political leaning. If a liberal, and I tend to be liberal, disagrees with a conservative, they can still respect that person's competence and the integrity of their point of view. … This administration can be rightly criticized by a fair-minded person who's smack in the middle of the political spectrum on a hundred different counts, and by now they're all self-evident."
-- On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" a "reporter," Erin Burnett, covered French President Sarkozy's visit to China. With videotape rolling of President Bush flanked by Sarkozy to his left and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to his right, the reporter gushed, "Who could not have a man-crush on that man? I'm not talking about the monkey, either. I'm talking about the other one." Questioned by the show's host, "Who's the monkey?" the reporter clarified, "The monkey in the middle" -- meaning President Bush. She later apologized.
If Republicans decline to debate on a network whose pundits/journalists cross the fairness line, they'd never debate in front of these lefty "journalists."
Come to think of it -- not a bad idea.