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MSNBC’s Matthews, O’Donnell, Schultz and Uygur Cherry-pick Huckabee to Make Him a Birther

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Four of MSNBC's extended prime time hosts on Tuesday cherry-picked something Mike Huckabee said on Steve Malzberg's radio show in order to depict the possible Republican presidential candidate as a birther.

Before getting to their highly unprofessional snippets, implications, and conclusions, here's what the former Arkansas governor actually said Monday (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):

STEVE MALZBERG, HOST: I mean, don’t you see black liberation theology as a, as something that, that was fair to bring up as McCain did not, and if you were to run against Barack Obama, would you consider Rev. Wright and all those years in the church as fair game or not?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: I would spend more time asking Barack Obama whether he believed in black liberation theology rather than Rev. Wright did. I really want to know, does he believe that salvation is individual or is it corporate and grouped. I’m very frankly delighted that we saw an African-American elected to the presidency. I just wish it had not been someone that was so leftist that he just, world views are just completely opposite of that of any American president. I take great issue with virtually every position Barack Obama takes as a president. In my book, I mean there not, there’s some sharp elbows thrown, but not at him, but at his positions, because I think his actions as president are hurting this country, and hurting our future. I have no hesitancy in taking him on for his domestic policy, his economic policy, his policy toward national security or our role as Americans. One of the comments I make, Steve, in the book that I think sums up my view of his foreign policy is that Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” His is, “Make apologies and throw away the stick.” And it’s hurting this country, and he said that we shouldn’t have any country fear us. I take great exception. I think we ought to have a military that everybody in this world is scared to death of.

MALZBERG: So you would be different than McCain in many ways. You would confront him, especially now since you have four years of policy to scrutinize, correct?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely.

MALZBERG: Alright, one more for you.

HUCKABEE: I think that’s the key is to go, go head to head and show the clarity of differences between the two.

MALZBERG: One more for you, well, two more, the second one will be short. Don't you think it's fair also to ask him - I know your stance on this - "How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record, we don't have a birth cer - why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate." It's one thing to say, I've -- you've seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

MALZBERG: Oh, he despised the West, he despises the Brits, and I think he could take it all out on Israel, and that’s why he despises Israel. He’s not too thrilled with our history either. But let me just try to get an answer from you. Would you say to him or at least ask him in a debate, “Why did you go to court and spend millions of dollars on lawyers to prevent from having to show your birth certificate? If you have one and it’s there, why not show it?”

HUCKABEE: The only reason I'm not as confident that there's something about the birth certificate, Steve, is because I know the Clintons well, and believe me, they have lots of investigators out on him, and I'm convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it.

To be sure, Huckabee was 100 percent wrong about Obama having lived in Kenya. A spokesman Tuesday said the former governor misspoke. However, that didn't prevent the resulting firestorm.

At 1:26 PM, the shills at Media Matters posted a video and transcript of much of Huckabee's relevant comments to Malzberg under the headline "Huckabee: Obama Grew Up 'In Kenya.'"

Not at all surprising, the George Soros-funded, far-left organization concluded from Huckabee's comments that he was claiming Obama wasn't born in Hawaii although he never said that:

PolitiFact has noted that there "is not one shred of evidence to disprove PolitiFact's conclusion that the candidate's name is Barack Hussein Obama, or to support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn't authentic."

As this disgraceful organization's next step is typically to do an e-mail blast of their baseless conclusions, it was not at all surprising that by 3:13 PM, the New York Times Caucus Blog had bitten and bitten hard with a piece entitled "Huckabee Questions Obama's Birth Certificate":

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, said on Monday that he would “love to know more” about where President Obama was born and claimed — falsely — that Mr. Obama was raised in Kenya.

Actually, that's not at all what Huckabee said. In response to a lengthy question from Malzberg in the middle of a lengthy discussion about Obama, when asked, "Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man," the former governor said, "I would love to know more."

But the genie was now fully out of the bottle, and left-wing websites were running with this ball like a wide receiver in the open field seeing nothing but the end zone in front of him.

Consider that at press time, a Google search of "Huckabee, Obama, Kenya" produced 206,000 results.

Dutifully looking to take down any potential presidential threat to the object of their affection in the upcoming elections, the shills at MSNBC were quite willing to similarly cherry-pick Huckabee's comments in order to depict him as a birther:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Back to HARDBALL. Time for the "Sideshow." First up: We know a lot of Republicans wrongly believe that President Obama was born and raised in Kenya, over in Africa. Guess who recently joined the birther chorus? Mike Huckabee. Here’s Huck on radio yesterday talking about the president.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MALZBERG: Don’t you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. But what I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Well, the reality, of course, is President Obama grew up in Hawaii, one of the states of the union, and Indonesia, when he had a stepfather there. In fact, he didn’t even visit Kenya in his entire youth ever.

Huckabee’s spokesperson, by the way, finally backpedaled late today, saying his boss simply misspoke. Yes, he was pandering to that radio guy.

Next up was the totally hapless and unwatchable Cenk Uygur:

CENK UYGUR, HOST: Alright, is Mike Huckabee a birther? During an appearance on the Steve Malzberg radio show, the host was trying to keep the ridiculous conservative theory alive. He wanted to know why President Obama spent millions in court defending against having to present a birth certificate and all that same nonsense. Now here's a response.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MALZBERG: Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

UYGUR: Now there he said that Obama grew up in Kenya not once but twice. In reality of course President Obama was born in Hawaii and was raised in Hawaii. He did go to Indonesia for some years. Oh my God, wait until they get a load of that. And by the way, just in case you’re keeping track, the number of years that President Obama lived in Kenya would be zero. A spokesman for Huckabee commented today saying, “It was nothing more than a misstatement. Of course, we meant that he grew up in Uganda.” Okay, he didn't say that last part, but you know they were thinking it.

At 7PM was a replay of "Hardball" followed by "The Last Word":

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, HOST: Time for tonight's Rewrite. If you think of Mike Huckabee as a genial, guitar playing, singing former governor of Arkansas who meets the basic integrity standards typical of former governors of Arkansas, you will be shocked, absolutely shocked by what he said yesterday.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MALZBERG: Why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It's one thing to say, I've -- you've seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O’DONNELL: Well, maybe it would be if he grew up in Kenya, but Barack Obama did not grow up in Kenya!

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: His perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O’DONNELL: No, no, no, no, no. He did not grow up in Kenya. Yes, he did have a Kenyan father and grandfather, but he did not grow up there. This is what we know. This is what is beyond dispute. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. He lived in the United States until he was six. His mother moved to Indonesia, Indonesia, where Barack Obama went to school from ages six to ten. At age ten, he moved back to Hawaii where he lived until he went off to college in California, not Kenya, California.

Huckabee refers to Obama growing up in Kenya as, quote, “The one thing I do know.” If that is the one thing that Mike Huckabee knows, then Huckabee knows less than nothing. That would presumably hold for governance. What does that mean Huckabee knows about Social Security? What does Huckabee know about Medicare? What does Huckabee know about the defense budget? What does Huckabee know about what we should do next in Libya? What does Huckabee know about anything other than how to lose weight?

As the pressure mounted today on Huckabee for lying about where the President grew up, Huckabee’s handlers issued the lamest possible press release in reaction to getting caught in an outright lie. It was, quote, “Gov. Huckabee simply misspoke.” Huckabee wants to leave it at that because he knows this particular brand of misspeaking is very, very useful for inspiring support of the 51 percent, 51 percent of national Republican primary voters who believe that Barack Obama is not a citizen of the United States. Mike Huckabee desperately wants every one of their votes if he's going to run for president next year. In his ugly pursuit of those votes he has now fallen below the already low standard for integrity that we have come to expect from former governors of Arkansas.

That last sentence of course was a slam on Bill Clinton, which is interesting considering the man setting the “low standard for integrity that we have come to expect from former governors of Arkansas” was honored last week by MSNBC in a love letter from Chris Matthews called “President of the World.”

More importantly, all three of these MSNBC hosts up to this point dishonestly omitted the beginning of Malzberg's relevant question, "Don't you think it's fair also to ask him - I know your stance on this - 'How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record?'"

Malzberg wasn't just talking to Huckabee about the birther issue, but also other questions media members largely ignored during the 2008 campaign. As such, when he asked, "Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man," it wasn't just about where he was born.

Furthermore, not one of the three hosts played the part of the Malzberg interview when Huckabee disavowed birthers altogether:

HUCKABEE: The only reason I'm not as confident that there's something about the birth certificate, Steve, is because I know the Clintons well, and believe me, they have lots of investigators out on him, and I'm convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it.

Indeed.

Yet Matthews, O'Donnell, and Uygur didn't play this part of Malzberg's interview with Huckabee, and neither did Ed Schultz:

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee wants to have his cake and eat it, too, but the only thing is he put his foot in his mouth today. Now Media Matters heard his appearance with conservative radio talk show host on the low-rated Steve Malzberg show. Here’s Huckabee’s response to questions about the President’s citizenship.

Notice Schultz is such an idiot that he doesn't know the interview he was playing happened Monday. But I digress:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MALZBERG: Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So, Mike Huckabee says President Obama grew up in Kenya even though the President’s own biography says he grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. Maybe Huckabee just misspoke.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: His perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Hmmm, hmmm. Interesting. Huckabee tried to clarify these statements on his Huck PAC website saying, “I simply misspoke when I alluded to President Obama growing up in ‘Kenya’ and meant to say Indonesia.”

Actually, here was Huckabee's complete statement concerning this matter:

On Monday, while on Steve Malzberg's radio show on New York's WOR Radio, I was asked about the President Obama's birth certificate issue. In my answer, I simply misspoke when I alluded to President Obama growing up in 'Kenya' and meant to say Indonesia.

As I have stated on page 1 of my new book 'A Simple Government' and in numerous interviews with dozens of reporters - I don't believe there is an issue with Barack Obama's birth certificate. However, I do believe there are serious issues with the President's policies, and I have been openly opposed to the President's world view.

I'm not surprised the NY Times chose to sensationalize this story. In fact, the New York Times, the AP, and other news organizations ran with the "sensationalized story" despite being specifically told by Steve Malzberg himself that they were incorrect in their assessment of the sound bite. You just can't help but laugh when my simple slip of the tongue, becomes a huge story - and a certain Presidential candidate claiming to visit all 57 states, gets widely ignored.

More on that later, but let's get back to Schultz:

SCHULTZ: So he misspoke and meant Indonesia even though he said Kenya twice – you heard it! – and talked about the Mau Mau rebellion against the British in Kenya.

But take a look at Huckabee’s past statements about the President of the United States. This is the first sentence of his new book. Quote: “Since Barack Obama was elected, plenty of books have been written criticizing his administration and accusing him of all sorts of things – from being a Marxist to lying about his citizenship to being a Muslim. But if you know me or you’re familiar with my commentaries on TV and radio, you know I don’t like to make politics personal.”

Well, he made similar comments about birthers on “Good Morning America” last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: For Republicans to even be bringing it up, I think it’s a waste of energy and time. Let’s focus on the issues with which we have disagreement not on really the extraneous personal things that are immaterial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, you may ask, “Why didn’t Huckabee say the same thing to Steve Malzberg on the right-wing radio today?” Well here’s why. A recent poll showed 51 percent of likely Republican primary voters believe President Obama was born in another country. Of those 51 percent, Mike Huckabee is their top choice for president. So, when you ask the non-birthers in the GOP their choice, it is Mitt Romney. Huckabee has to keep the birthers happy. But he can’t win the general election by pandering to them. He hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, but make no mistake about it, Mike Huckabee is already running a couple of campaigns.

So, here's Schultz's logic: Huckabee is comfortable publishing a book in which he disavows birthers, has no compunction against disavowing birthers on a broadcast television morning show that is now averaging 4.7 million viewers, but when he goes on what Schultz described as a "low-rated" radio program, he suddenly feels the need to speak differently on this issue.

And this man has his own show to espouse such utter nonsense.

The reality is that conservatives know Huckabee isn't a birther, so he doesn't have to pretend that he is. As Hot Air's Allahpundit wrote Tuesday:

My read on this is the same as Weigel’s, that Huckabee’s not questioning Obama’s citizenship so much as mistakenly making a hash of his biography. He knows that Obama grew up abroad, but somewhere along the line, between Birther chatter about Kenya and Gingrich’s talking points about Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview,” he forgot that it was Indonesia where O was raised.

Indeed. But such logic is inconsequential when the goal is to take down all of Obama's potential opponents next year.

And this is the kind of unprofessional reporting Americans should expect from MSNBC the next 20 months as these shills do everything within their power to get the object of their affection re-elected.

They're going to cherry-pick, convolute, misrepresent, and flat out lie when necessary.

The folks at NBC and new owners Comcast must be so proud of the lack of integrity and journalistic malpractice now on display at this so-called news network.

Interested readers are advised that Huckabee will be back on Malzberg's show Wednesday to address this issue in greater detail, and can listen to Malzberg's take on the media's pathetic response to the former Arkansas governor's comments at WOR radio's website (relevant section begins at minute 18:40).

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    Tags: arkansas governor, barack obama, black liberation theology, Cenk Uygur, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Hardball, Lawrence O'Donnell, mike huckabee, MSNBC, Steve Malzberg, Teddy Roosevelt, The Ed Show


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