Half of MSNBC’s Opinion Hosts Visit The White House…

Ok, well not really half…Maddow, Hayes, and Schultz count as three; three and a half if you want to toss in frequent MSNBC contributors Ezra Klein and Joy-Ann Reid. But it felt like half. ABC’s Jake Tapper wrote about it today…

The group chatted with the president about economic messaging, his agenda for 2012, the various campaign arguments against different GOP candidates, the desire among some Democrats for him to highlight his foreign policy accomplishments, fighting corporate influence and the “crappiness” of the Senate filibuster , as one attendee put it.

Those there included the Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent, MSNBC anchors Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Hayes, the Nation’s editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, the New York Times‘ Frank Bruni, and stars of the interwebs Arianna Huffington, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress and Joy Reid of The Reid Report.

All I’ll say is that if that many of FNC’s hosts and contributors had shown up at the same time for a Bush chat, it would be all over the web and probably the media as well. I don’t like it. It makes me uncomfortable for MSNBC to let that many of its people have open access to the President. It may be innocuous but at the very least it looks bad/smells fishy, especially when we don’t really know what goes on at these things beyond the most cursory of summaries. I feel the same way about the off the record get togethers that beltway reporters occasionally enjoy with D.C. power brokers. I want more distance between D.C. and the people that cover it.


44 Responses to “Half of MSNBC’s Opinion Hosts Visit The White House…”

  1. Didn’t Bush have the same type of confabs? They’re opinion people..I don’t see the problem.

  2. Please.. MSNBC has no shame and they will do whatever is necessary to make sure their guy gets the White House again. From the other side Obama has NO problem with doing this because he knows there will be no blowback from any media source except maybe FOX (though I haven’t heard any yet – may still come). He knows he is free and clear to do things like this with no consequences.

    S, what’s the news in this except … business as usual for this administration. Your desire to have more distance isn’t going to come true. Better find something else to wish for.

  3. Before anyone else starts justifying this with “Bush did it too”,the bottom line is this is wrong from any administration.If you’re going to have some kind of closed door chatfest with the media it should be ALL of the media not just media that is in support of your ideology or agenda.

    The idea that a sitting president would gather major players of supportive media and talk strategy with no opposition present or even unbiased media present is chilling.

    Safe to say,if you watch,listen or read progressive media,you will be taking in a calculated strategy and message formulated by the White House and campaign and sympathetic media.

    Of course there really shouldn’t be any sympathetic media but we all know that it’s too late to stop that.And anyone who draws some kind of line between opinion and the rest of a media outlet’s output is folling themselves.

  4. it’s not like these people cover the White House; they promote it. No reason they shouldn’t show up in person to get a pat on the head and work out the talking points.

  5. If that’s what happened…the thing is we don’t really know exactly what happened. That’s the problem with these things…they’re off the record.

    And Joe, Bush did have similar get togethers. But only one FNCer that that I know of showed up; Hannity. Worse, Ed Schutlz reportedly went ballistic over it. Schultz wasn’t with MSNBC back then but the irony of Ed’s outrage is outrageous…

  6. Why is it that “smells fishy” is always associated with something bad?

  7. I’m waiting for Tommy Christopher @ Mediaite to jump all over this any second now.

    Perhaps he will as soon as he recovers from his case of sulks at not being included. 🙂

  8. TC’s too busy being a liar and hypocrite to be overly concerned about this kind of stuff, Grammie.

    Seriously… his most recent “article” (which starts off discussing a real and reasonable point) veers so far off the tracks into lunatic territory, I can’t imagine even HE believes it.

    He throws out the old “Democrats don’t march in lock step” line, while accusing Republicans of always standing together. He’s forgotten about Lieberman and Bayh. He doesn’t know Olympia Snowe or Scott Brown. And he has apparently completely lost his short-term memory, or he’d remember we’re in the middle of a primary where the party is very divided, and all the talk is about the differences between Ron Paul, Newt, and Romney!

    At some point, TC was on this planet with the rest of us. Now, either as a result of desperation, a desire for extra left-wing popularity, or complete insanity… he’s left “the real world,” and just become another far-left babbler.

  9. I agree, Blue, yet he still has the nerve to describe himself as “a White House Correspondent”.

    His columns at Mediaite and the comments and commenters he draws are pitiful to say the least.

  10. Well, I put the onus of the insane commentators on Colby Hall, and his poor management of that site.

    It’s essentially the same as reading comments on YouTube. They’re rotten folks, pushing nonsense and hate… but it’s really too late for them to be stopped, without starting over from scratch.

    Oh well.

  11. There’s a conspicuous omission from this list…


    PS: This “I’m not trying to push an agenda” ad just became 471% funnier!

  12. It’s hard to get too outraged about this. It’s not like most people don’t understand that the media personalities at this gathering are in the business of promoting the Obama administration or at the very least, left-wing causes, anyway. The best part, though, is that if this happened during the Bush administration with a bunch of FNC people, lefties would have gone nuts. And it makes the daily attacks, by MSNBC, on FNC, ring even more hollow. Schultz & Maddow continue to look more ridiculous with every passing day.

  13. “If it was FNC”. Please. The right trots out this unproveable, and therefore unimpeachable, meme at the drop of a hat. Buncha paranoid crybabies.

  14. There you go again. Did you not read Spud’s comment above? When just One Person from FNC (Hannity) attended one of these shindigs at the Bush White House, the Fox haters went crazy about it. One of them, notably, was Ed Schultz, who spewed spittle all over his microphone as he attacked Fox for letting Hannity attend. The fact that now it’s Ed Schultz going to the Obama White House–as part of a contingent that constitutes 2/3 of MSNBC’s primetime lineup!–just adds to the irony, and the jaw-dropping hypocrisy of it all.

    It’s not umprovable, as it already happened. You can pretend it didn’t happen all day long and call names for the next six hours. But it did happen, and you’re flat-out, spectacularly wrong.

  15. You’re right, Joe. The left is extremely fair in it’s criticism of FNC. Bwahahaahahaahahaha. And, what J$ & Spud said.

  16. I don’t care what one notoriously unhinged radio talker said 6 years ago. “If it was FNC, if it was the right” is a meaningless trope trotted out constantly. I don’t know why it’s so hard for you to comment on a current story without this “alternate universe” crutch. And all it takes is one person to push back on it, and you guys go ballistic. It’s like pulling a string. When I’m bored..pull back and let ‘er rip! Good times.

  17. Gee ‘I’m shocked; shocked I say’ that liberal leaning media has been invited to visit President Obama in the WH. Having various press and media supporters, either left or right, meet the POTUS at the WH has never happened before in the countries history? Get a life guys. 🙂

  18. ^countries >>> country’s Sorry.

  19. lonestar77 Says:

    So, you’re saying the left wouldn’t have gone bonkers over something like this regarding FNC? Do you ever actually pay attention to craziness that comes from your side? Every problem in the world is the fault of FNC, Karl Rove & George Bush; except for the newer problems which are, obviously, the fault of Grover Norquist. Do you not watch Fox News Recap, aka MSNBC? Face it, Maddow & Schultz are hyocritical, hyper partisan, wingnuts.

  20. lonestar77 Says:

    “Get a life guys.”

    Who’s complaining about it? We’re pointing out the obvious double standard and hypocrisy. Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and the rest could have a slumber party at the WH for all I care. They could bake cookies with Michelle, play a game of H.O.R.S.E with the POTUS, watch Dancing with The Stars with the children, I don’t care. It’d be impossible for me to take anybody on that list any less serious than I currently do.

  21. So, you’re saying the left wouldn’t have gone bonkers over something like this regarding FNC?

    I’m saying – and you already know this, so you’re obviously repeating your meme, not actually asking me a question – that conjecture about “what if it was the other way around” is a meaningless, lazy debate point. You can’t bring yourself to care much if these folks meet with Obama, but you need a conservative victimization angle on it so you’re covered.

  22. savefarris Says:

    conjecture about “what if it was the other way around” is a meaningless, lazy debate point.

    ..which, in this specific case, is wholly irrelevant. It’s not “conjecture” to testify about how the left would react if the roles were reversed.

    It. Already. Happened.

  23. Ed = The Left. Got it.

  24. Calling Conservatives “victims” is the latest meme from the “non-organized” left. It’s how they attempt t divert attention from hypocrisy, when they can’t actually defend the actions of one or more people on their side.

    Joe won’t address the obvious and proven hypocrisy, just whine that we’ve noticed it… and that somehow, it’s OUR fault for remembering.

    I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised, though. When you’re this hypocritical yourself, it’s hard to get too worked up over other’s hypocrisy… especially when they’re on “your” side.

  25. Joe, I really think that you should take this up with Spud directly.

    Spud made this point quite prominently in his article:

    “All I’ll say is that if that many of FNC’s hosts and contributors had shown up at the same time for a Bush chat, it would be all over the web and probably the media as well.”.

    I agree with Spud that it would have been publicized and criticized not only on the web but also on more main stream media.

    As for MSNBC participating so heavily it is grossly hypocritical but completely consistent with their long history of similar hypocrisy.

  26. Yes, I’m required to always agree with Spud. That’s not gonna happen.

  27. lonestar77 Says:

    Been a while since I’ve seen that video but it’s definitely classic. That’s Maddow in a nutshell.

  28. Joe, I didn’t say you had to agree with Spud, I suggested that you engage him about his statements regarding this.

    I’m sure it was an oversight on your part but what is your response to this recent incident is just another example of MSNBC wailing about the speck in FNC’s eye while ignoring the plank in their own as evidenced by the J$ video.

  29. Grammie, I don’t allow videos to be posted in the comments. I don’t always catch them all but when I do catch them, I delete them.

  30. I’m sorry.

    I didn’t know that or I wouldn’t have done it.

    Thanks for the courtesy of telling me rather than just zapping it.

  31. He’s such a sweet spud to Grammie. At least he doesn’t yam it up.

  32. Admit it, Al, you’re just jealous. 😉

  33. It’s good that they were able to hash it out.

  34. joeremi doesn’t like us pointing out the double standard. I’m glad joeremi doesn’t like us pointing out the double standard. We will continue to point out the double standard, joeremi.

  35. These are LIBERAL opinion hosts meeting with a Democratic president who pushes LIBERAL policies. What the hell is there to be outraged about? These personalities don’t report news or pretend to be “fair and balanced”. They clearly give an opinion that agrees with Democrats.

    I remember when not only Hannity, but several conservative radio talk show hosts visited the White House, and there were pictures of them sitting in the oval office (if I remember correctly) and they were all chatting it up with Bush. Those were opinion people from conservative radio, just like these are opinion people from a liberal news network.

    It’s not like Chuck Todd, David Gregory, Brian Williams, Chris Jansing or Tamron Hall were there, too.

  36. “In a September 16 posting on his weblog, nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz wrote that he had been invited to “the West Wing of the White House” for a “30-minute meeting with the President in the Oval Office [which] turned into 90 minutes.”

    Boortz added that the “other invitees were [conservative radio hosts] Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved and Laura Ingraham.” As the weblog Think Progress noted, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in a September 17 posting on its website that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been invited to the meeting but could not attend.”


  37. savefarris Says:

    These personalities don’t report news or pretend to be “fair and balanced”.

    No, they just anchor election/SOTU coverage. And claim a “devotion to facts that borders on obsessive”.

    All the while telling you THE OTHER GUYS are the biased ones who have secret, back-room meetings where talking points are distributed for regurgitation.

  38. @ Prog

    You’re coming to the party late, buddy. Nobody is disputing that a similar event happened under Bush.

    The topic has become the hypocritical left-wing outrage over that event, versus the silence and attendence by some of the very same people.

    Heck, you posted the MM link. Did they write up this visit? Did their readers complain like they did about Hannity, Bortz, etc.?

    Gotta read the whole thread before commenting.

  39. Excellent point, Blue, about how the strictly OPINION folks at MSNBC are the only ones hosting election and convention coverage.

    I wish I had thought of it to use in battles over this elsewhere.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but FOX has some of their commentators only in short segments clearly labeled as OPINION. I don’t remember if Hannity, clearly the most conservative of them all at FOX, ever even participated in those segments.

    I clearly remember, though, the squeals and giggles a la prepubescent school girls at a slumber party directed by the MSNBC reporters at and about Repub candidates.

  40. I’ve been bashed by a guy with “LOL” in his Twitter name. How many people can say that? Huh?

  41. […] progressive news background. Its pundit host class is all progressive and the network lets them show up en masse at the White House for off the record get togethers. The network is openly and aggressively courting the African […]

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    […]Half of MSNBC’s Opinion Hosts Visit The White House… « Inside Cable News[…]…

  43. […] Why the shock over Obama inviting a bunch of liberal media hacks to the WH for koffee and komradery Monday?  Whaddaya expect?  Not the first time he’s summoned MSNBC fellow travelers. […]

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    Half of MSNBC’s Opinion Hosts Visit The White House… | Inside Cable News

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