The Conway Conjecture: Morning Joe Makes Case Kellyanne is “Anonymous”

Who’s “anonymous?” On today’s Morning Joe, several members of the panel made the case that “anonymous” is Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. First up, John Heilemann made the following points in support of The Conway Conjecture:

1. The “perspicacious” wife of Charles Pierce of Esquire detected an “unmistakably feminine” tone to the op-ed.
2. Conway is “very cagey; she’s the kind of person who would find out that Mike Pence used the word ‘lodestar’ a lot, and put ‘lodestar’ in to try to pin it on Mike Pence.”
3. Trying to set herself up to be the Carville & Matalin of the future [Conway’s husband is a big Trump critic], “this is a good hedge against Trump failing,” permitting her to say “I was working on the inside for the Resistance all along.” (more…)

CNN’s Camerota “Uncomfortable Going Too Far” in Outing Anonymous

Collusion? You want to see some collusion? Check out CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning. She expressed reluctance in outing the anonymous author of yesterday’s New York Times op-ed. Camerota gave two reasons for her reluctance:

1. “As a journalist, I’m very conflicted about attempting to unearth a confidential source. This is a confidential source that the New York Times agreed to keep confidential.

2. “I also am uncomfortable going too far in trying to out this person who wasn’t, clearly, ready to be outed, because this person argues that they are doing important work inside the White House or inside the administration and therefore doesn’t want to be outed right now.”

Let’s break this down. (more…)

“Cold, Callous Heart”: Scarborough Attacks Kavanaugh for Non-handshake, Mika/Geist Defend

When it comes to condemning all things Trump-related, there’s rarely any daylight between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. They are monolithically, some might say maniacally, united in their condemnation of The Donald.

And so it was notable that on today’s Morning Joe, there was a real rift between Joe and Mika when it came to the handshake that wasn’t between President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and the father of one of the Parkland shooting victims.

Scarborough accused Kavanaugh of having a “cold, callous heart” for failing to shake Fred Guttenberg’s hand, dismissing any innocent explanations of the moment. But Brzezinski gave Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt, saying “no, I think his security people [intervened],” and “I just don’t” think his heart is that cold. (more…)

WaPo’s Robinson: New Yorker Right to Dump Bannon Because He “Upset” Others

Washington Post editor Eugene Robinson has defended the decision by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, to disinvite Steve Bannon from its festival. On today’s Morning Joe, Robinson argued that Remnick “didn’t actually have a choice” because the invitation had “upset” the New Yorker’s staff, contributors and other participants, several of whom announced that they would not participate if Bannon did.

Bannon has it right in calling Remnick’s reversal “gutless.” Remnick should have announced that even if there were no other participants, the festival would go forward with Bannon. That would not only have been gutsy, it would have led to a much more compelling conversation on diversity of opinion, and the way the left has been trying to suppress public speech by conservatives. (more…)

CNN’s Camerota Calls Out Ivanka to Pay for Lilly Ledbetter Visit

Is it the role of a network host to call out the daughter of the President to pay for the visit of a heroine of the left? Alisyn Camerota apparently thinks so.

Interviewing Lilly Ledbetter today, whose failed pay-discrimination lawsuit led to the passage of the Fair Pay Act named in her honor, Camerota mentioned that Ledbetter had reached out to Ivanka Trump. Ledbetter said that Ivanka had responded saying she’d be glad to meet, but that Ledbetter hasn’t been able to get to DC to meet because “I don’t have the financial situation to buy a plane ticket and stay a couple of days in Washington.”

That’s when Camerota got on her platform:

“Hopefully, Ivanka Trump if she’s listening, or the message gets to her, they can find the financial means for you to come so that you and she can have that important conversation.”


Richard Painter: Any Lawyer Helping Trump Fire Mueller Will “End Up Making License Plates . . . In Jail”

Richard Painter has got to be the strangest dude in political TV. Just listen to the guy. Born in Philadelphia, went to a fancy prep school, degrees from Harvard and Yale, speaks with some kind of strange lockjaw. Anyhow, on MSNBC tonight, he did his best to discourage top lawyers from assisting President Trump. Painter threatened that any lawyer who helped Trump fire Robert Mueller would “end up making license plates in jail.”

Specifically, Painter tried to dissuade Emmet Flood, who currently serves as outside counsel to Trump, from replacing Don McGahn as White House counsel. Warned Painter:

“Any lawyer that gets wrapped up in helping Donald Trump fire Robert Mueller and obstruct justice is asking to themselves get hit with an obstruction of justice charge, lose their law license, end up making license plates. I don’t think a good lawyer like Emmet Flood is going to want to end up in jail.”


CNN: Palin Not Invited to McCain Funeral Because She Began Era of “Vitriol”

Remember Ted Kennedy in 1987 claiming that if the Senate confirmed Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, “women would be forced into back-alley abortions [and] blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters?” Not vitriolic.

How about the 1991 “high-tech lynching” by Senate Dems of Clarence Thomas? Again, not vitriolic.

Or the infamous NAACP dragging-death commercial of 2000 in which George W. Bush was accused of killing the victim all over again? Nope, not vitriolic.

No, the political vitriol didn’t begin until 2008. And it was Sarah Palin’s fault. That is, if you believe CNN, and, apparently, John McCain. This morning, CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny said:

“We also know that Sarah Palin is not invited. It’s also I think, to be honest here, a sense of John McCain also trying to sort of reclaim some of his brand, if you will. Because by not having Sarah Palin at the service as well [as Pres. Trump], and this was the wishes of his family, we are learning, he is also trying to perhaps put something back in the bottle that he helped, sort of, create in that 2008 campaign. That’s when this vitriol was sort of first beginning.”


Scarborough: the Press Will Embrace “a Lot of these Candidates on the Far Left”

Today brings a rare but welcome recognition of reality from Joe Scarborough. On Morning Joe, Scarborough said:

“The Democratic party’s darting left . . . And I think you’re going to see the press embracing a lot of these candidates on the far left.”

Joe being Joe, he had to balance that with a shot at the president, saying, “you’re going to have Donald Trump race-baiting all the way to the fall.” (more…)

ESPN Writer: Something “Wrong with You” if Tennis Player’s Feminism Doesn’t Win You Over

And here I thought ESPN had gone non-political . . .

There I was this morning reading an ESPN article on yesterday’s US Open tennis action, when a political screed broke out. Reporting on a win by Andy Murray, ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine [pictured here] wrote:

“And if Murray’s heartfelt win isn’t enough to win you over, perhaps his continuing stance on equality for women might do the trick. (If those two things combined don’t do it, you might want to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what’s wrong with you.)”


Andrea Mitchell Hails McCain for “Giving Cover” to “Accused Draft Dodger” Bill Clinton

Among the endless encomiums for John McCain on today’s Morning Joe, one stood out: Andrea Mitchell lavishing praise on McCain for, together with John Kerry, giving political “cover” to “accused draft dodger” Bill Clinton. Mitchell:

“One of the most sterling parts of his character is the way he grew and changed and reached not just across the aisle but across huge gulfs. And I am really struck by what I was covering back in the ’90s, which was the growing relationship when I was covering the Senate between John Kerry and John McCain, not likely partners on anything when they first joined hands on that POW/MIA Commission in ’90/’91 in the Senate and then decided on a long flight to Kuwait that year to join together across their divide over Vietnam and make peace, help Bill Clinton eventually in ’95.

. . .

Together they gave political cover to an accused draft dodger back in the day when that almost derailed his campaign in the primary in 1992, aside from the other stuff that happened. That was just such a big gesture. I can’t even imagine what it took for John McCain to stand up for Bill Clinton in 1993 when he was under fire and help him satisfy the Joint Chiefs and satisfy all the veterans groups who were out there. I was there on  Memorial Day in 1993 at the Vietnam Memorial, and Bill Clinton was being screamed down by groups — we did a piece that night. And by two years later, he was able to normalize relations with Vietnam.”