Dana The Diva doing her "Libel and Defamation Card" routine.
From the St. Louis Activist Hub's article entitled: Is Dana Loesch suing herself for libel
Dana Loesch was upset about my previous post pointing out her criticisms of third party candidates, so she went back to her dusty old bag of tricks:
Blah blah, libel, defamation, blah. At this point, is there anyone in St. Louis who hasn't been accused of libel and defamation by Loesch?
From the 11.03.2010 edition of The Dana Show:
Even prominent Conservatives went after Dana Loesch for her remarks about Hedrick and Ivanovich costing Martin a seat in Congress.
The tea party does not tolerate dissent, especially from other conservatives.Recently, a local conservative on Twitter criticized Loesch for attacking third parties. Loesch responded by claiming that he didn't know what he was talking about, and that he should listen to her radio show before he said anything. Here's the conversation (in reverse chronological order):
Bungalow Bill, another conservative, criticized Loesch for blindly supporting a "joke" like Ed Martin:I first heard Dana Loesch speak at the Branson Tea Party earlier in April. I was inspired by her passion, but today I am conflicted with her blind enthusiasm for a GOP that also turned its back on the Constitution. Totally ignoring what a joke Ed Martin was claiming to be Constitutional conservative, Loesh blames the Constitution and Libertarian parties for Russ Carnahan's win.He quotes Loesch as saying the following:Good job constitution partry and libertarian party candidates. How does it feel to be solely responsible, along with massive fraud, in possibly handing a victory to a Carnahan? Livid at these foilers. LIVID. Your strategy sucks. You wanted liberty and you got socialism because you have no idea how the hell to win.And then Bill responds:It's no wonder the Tea Parties on a path to fail. They would rather compromise with a GOP guilty of killing the Constitution than take a real stand. I know I won't be attending another Tea Party in which Dana Loesch speaks at. It's just like Tera Sukman over at the Tea Party Patriot HQ who doesn't even have the clarity to see the sins of the GOP as she labels Roy Blunt as a Constitutional conservative.
God bless you Libertarians and Constitutional Party members for doing something most Americans don't have the guts enough to do. Vote against both parties which have violated our Constitution. I know I did this year and it felt great to break the shackles of the Republican Party. Screw Dana Loesch and her ignorant comments!
Loesch's fellow employee and former KMOV journalist Jamie Allman slams her and Hennessy.
From the 11.04.2010 edition of Allman In The Morning:
Dana may as well be getting coal for Christmas.
From the 11.05.2010 edition of AC360:
As expected, Paul Begala owned Dana Loesch. Loesch was repeating her own falsehood-laden talking points.
KAYE: It looks like job one, as they say in the auto industry, will not be jobs but health care repeal. Or else. The New York Times reporting the pressure is on from Dick Armey's FreedomWorks which was a big supporter of Tea Party candidates during the campaign. A FreedomWorks memo being sent to all incoming House Republicans, it says in part, "Politically speaking, your only choice is to get on offense and start moving boldly ahead to repeal, replace and defund Obama care in 2011, or risk rejection by the voters in 2012".
And one footnote, there is new economic data out tonight. It shows private sector job growth for the fourth straight month but the unemployment rate stuck at 9.6 percent.
Joining us now, Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Dana Loesch, blogger and talk radio host and co-organizer of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.
Paul, let's start with you. Will we see a fresh GOP move to repeal health care, do you think?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I think so. I think -- I -- I do think, in fairness to the Republicans, many of them and probably most of them, did campaign promising to repeal Obama care. They're not going to be able to do it, and they knew it when they said that. Our Constitutional system does not allow one Party and one House to repeal legislation. They know that the Senate would never pass repeal, these new House Republicans, so they know the president would never sign it.
So it's a bit of a false promise to begin with. But I do think they risk being wound around the axle of a year-long fight trying to undo or defund Obama care when in fact people do want jobs. I hope the president will step into that breach with the new ideas, with new proposals to create jobs and -- and make that contrast. Democrats can then be for jobs and let the Republicans be for trying to empower insurance companies to -- to have more control over your life.
KAYE: And Dana isn't this really what happened to President Obama? He said we could do both jobs and health care but the perception politically that his energy was split, it cost him, and the fact is, as Paul said, Republicans don't control the Senate. They can't repeal this bill. So was this really a genuine promise on their part?
DANA LOESCH, BLOGGER, TALK RADIO HOST: I do believe so. I mean, there's a lot of things that the Constitution doesn't necessarily provide for, including what we saw the -- the -- the thing with the commerce clause and the health control law.
But at the same time, when we listen to everything that Nancy Pelosi said and everything that President Obama said, Nancy Pelosi herself on video, it's all over YouTube, saying that the health care bill will bring about four million jobs or some such. Health care is tied so closely to jobs.
So while I think it's really important for Republicans to focus on the economy and make things easier, lessen up so that these businesses can create jobs, you also have to note that health care has been so unbelievably wound in with jobs that -- I mean you kind of have to address both sort of simultaneously.
KAYE: So if nothing changes, are you saying voters will be happy with just a symbolic gesture?
LOESCH: Oh, no, voters are not going to be happy with just a symbolic gesture. Republicans need to go whole hog with this. They really do. They need to put forth more than just a symbolic gesture. And I think their -- their speech has been strong, but whether or not they're going to follow that up in the next couple of years, that remains to be seen.
KAYE: And Paul, let's talk about --
BEGALA: And here's -- here --
KAYE: -- go ahead.
BEGALA: -- here's my proposal, and maybe Dana will agree to it -- with this.
These Republicans who ran, they said they hated Obama care, they hate government-funded, government-guaranteed, government-mandated health care. They can't repeal it but you know what they can do, repeal their own.
So repeal your own, Mr. Speaker Boehner, Mr. Speaker to-be- Boehner. They can decline to accept the Congressional health care package, which is a really generous package of health care coverage, paid for by the taxpayers, guaranteed by the government. So they could at least repeal their own. And they should become the change they seek. They should lead by example and reject government-funded health care for themselves and their family.
How is that, Dana? Don't you think they should do that? Because it's socialism you know.
LOESCH: Well, Democrats -- the Democrats exempted themselves from this law. Democrats already exempted themselves from this law.
BEGALA: Well, that's -- that's not true -- actually. That's actually not true. That's actually not true. But -- but shouldn't they --
LOESCH: Oh, so they are going to subject themselves to it, then?
(CROSSTALK) BEGALA: -- shouldn't they -- shouldn't repeal their own health care.
LOESCH: So you're saying that it's not true, so are Democrats going to subject themselves to this legislation then?
BEGALA: Right. Well, of course they are. They're covered by it. They're -- they're going to be covered by the law. There was --
LOESCH: So -- so if they choose to not go on government care, will they accept the penalties that go along with that when those are enacted?
BEGALA: Dana, here is my point. The Republicans say they hate government health care. Democrats like it, so of course they're going to accept it. Why don't the Republicans decline -- why does not John Boehner who has almost 20 years now been on government health care, why doesn't he decline it? Because it's good. That's why. It's a heck of a good policy.
LOESCH: Well, why don't we just actually -- why don't we rework it and make it -- Paul, why don't we rework it and have actual good health care that really addresses being able to have affordable insurance and across state lines.
BEGALA: It's fine, repeal their own law, it is -- it's pernicious socialism. Oh, scary.
LOESCH: Why can't we address that, let's be serious for a moment and let's really address the problem.
KAYE: All right, you two. Let me -- let me jump in here for just a second.
One thing the GOP could try and do is -- is defund health care. Could we see a government shutdown possibly, Paul?
BEGALA: Oh, definitely. Yes. You're going to see a government shutdown and then maybe, you know, impeachment. And there's nothing going to stop these folks.
BEGALA: They -- they have -- oh, sure. You watch. Hide and watch. There's already -- Rush Limbaugh has called for it, Mr. Beck, who's this -- this TV clown over at Fox News has called for it. LOESCH: Oh, come on.
BEGALA: A whole variety -- by the way, about a third of Republicans back in March before the negative ads and everything, back in March, one-third of Republicans, 38 percent, actually, in a Harris poll said they wanted to see Obama impeached.
So they'll get to that. But they'll start with the government shutdown. Sure they will. Now, they -- they have that power under the Constitution. The president, I doubt, would go along with some of their kind of radical plans and so we -- I -- I think we definitely, late 2011, you're looking at a government shutdown.
KAYE: Dana --
LOESCH: I think it will be gridlock. I do think it will be gridlock.
KAYE: You do.
LOESCH: But shutdown, I'm not so sure. Yes.
KAYE: Do you think that -- that -- that -- I mean voters are saying, that we -- that we saw the numbers in the -- in the intro, I mean, a very small minority of the voters are saying that health care is their top priority.
KAYE: So is this a push that's really more about scoring political points than -- than really addressing the country's priorities?
LOESCH: Yes and no. I think one of the reasons that Republicans are prioritizing this is because the -- the Grassroots Movement which really sustained the life of the Republican Party this past couple of years I think that they're sort of -- it's sort of a gesture towards the Grassroots but at the same time I think that they recognize some of the unconstitutionality of the provisions that were included in the law to begin with.
But at the same time, it is unbelievably tight with jobs. You're talking about the Congressional -- the Congressional Budgetary Office is just -- I think like this year they released a report, their economic report, which said that this could cost up to 800,000 jobs. That's more than like Ford, GM and Chrysler combined. You have 550,000 union workers with those three auto plants. That's -- that's more than those -- that's more than that combined.
So that's, when you're talking about jobs, when you're talking about the economy, that absolutely has to factor in. But at the same time, I think that there's a million things that we could do in the interim before we really go aggressively and look at health reform, and -- and talk about remedying things to -- to increase jobs, and like the Bush tax cuts, for instance after the first of the year. That's -- that's one of many steps that could be taken. KAYE: All right, Paul, Dana, stick around.
Let us know what you think. Join the live chat now under way at AC360.com.
Up next, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has done plenty of complaining about money and politics. Tonight, he is on suspension without pay for injecting money into politics. We'll explain.
Later, the $200 million myth: conservative talk radio slamming President Obama's trip to Asia, saying it's costing $200 million a day. They don't have the facts to back it up and they also don't have our Ed Henry who will join us from Mumbai, India, after doing a little price checking of his own.
KAYE: We ordinarily don't talk much about the competition around here, but, tonight, it seems like everybody is.
Keith Olbermann, who anchors Countdown over at MSNBC, is off the air, suspended indefinitely without pay. You'll see why in just a moment.
First, you should know that he is a vocal critic of money in politics, especially big corporate money, especially undisclosed money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: Fox has not only employed numerous Republican politicians, at least two of whom actually were Republican governors, many of whom are active GOP fund-raisers on air and off, but many of its media employees have also raised money for the party or openly campaigned for or endorsed Republican candidates.
We now have another million reasons Fox News is the Republican news channel, correct?
Congressman Clyburn, is there a legislative response to the idea that there is a national cable news outlet that goes beyond having a point of view, and actually starts to shill for partisan causes and actually starts to donate to partisan groups of one party?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: That's Keith Olbermann railing against media figures spending money to influence politics without disclosing it. He gets pretty worked up about it.
With that in mind, take a look at a bit of some interviews he did with Raul Grijalva, a Democratic congressman from Arizona.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Congressman, good to talk to you again.
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Good to talk to you, my friend.
OLBERMANN: Congressman Raul Grijalva, who is one of the great representatives of that state. Great thanks for some of your time tonight. Good luck with this, and we will stay in touch with you on it, if we can.
GRIJALVA: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Very friendly, very complimentary. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find an interview in which the two men disagree on anything, which is not unusual. Congressman Grijalva is a friend of "Countdown" and, by all appearances Keith Olbermann is a friend of the congressman.
What is unusual and until undisclosed is this. Keith Olbermann was also a donor to Mr. Grijalva's campaign this year. In a statement to Politico, Olbermann writes: "One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28th, 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the re-election campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords."
He goes on: "I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky."
The revelation, prompting quick action from his boss. Said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement today: "I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."
Before taking this any further, some disclosure of our own: All three parent companies of all three cable news outlets give hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates and political parties, Democratic and Republican. As a matter of policy, neither CNN, nor MSNBC permit employees to do the same, with the exception of our political contributors. And, there, we try to be as up-front and open as we can about any conflicts of interest.
But Keith Olbermann was not up-front, while expecting others to be.
Back now with our panel, Paul Begala, Dana Loesch, also Joan Walsh, editor of Salon.com and, a few years back, Keith Olbermann's editor.
Paul, let's start with you once again.
Keith's criticisms of the -- of News Corporations' political contributions seem utterly hypocritical, now that it's clear that he's done the very same thing, would you say?
BEGALA: Well, I -- you know, I don't know. The guy, he's a liberal, obviously, and he gave money to liberals. Congressman Grijalva is the Chairman of the Progressive Caucus. And Keith's a progressive.
I suppose, you know, what's fair for one -- obviously, you know, he did criticize Fox News, which gave $1 million. And that was apparently legal under the Citizens United ruling from the Supreme Court. So, I guess it's -- you know, it's not my network. It's not my job. It seems to me an employment dispute. There was a rule there.
MSNBC apparently says he violated that rule, so I guess they are going to sanction him for it. But -- but I don't know. I just -- to me, it's not all that big a deal.
KAYE: You're not surprised at all? And you don't think anybody would be surprised --
BEGALA: Right. I would be surprised --
KAYE: -- given that he --
KAYE: -- views on the air?
BEGALA: Yes. I would be surprised if he gave money to Michele Bachmann, one of the leaders of the conservative movement in the Congress.
But it seems to me like, dog -- not even dog bites man. It's like dog barks. What the heck?
KAYE: Joan, you're the editor of a liberal publication, and you know Keith. But you think the decision to suspend him may actually be the right one. Explain.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, SALON.COM: Well, I -- I think that there are still a lot of questions open, Randi.
There is a question about whether everyone knew that this policy of NBC News actually applied to MSNBC. There's some reporting on that today that said it -- it didn't necessarily apply. And Keith has not spoken since the Politico story. And Phil Griffin has not spoken. So, the actual clarity of the policy is now in dispute.
There's also a question, did it apply to CNBC? Because we've got plenty of hosts over at CNBC who -- Larry Kudlow, the main one, who have also contributed to Republicans.
So, you know, and I think NBC and -- and MSNBC are going to have to answer some more questions about whether this rule, if it was a rule, was applied fairly. There are other hosts. My friend -- again, my friend -- full disclosure -- Joe Scarborough, gave money to a Republican. Pat Buchanan gave money to a Republican.
So, there seems to be now a lot of murkiness about what NBC's policy actually was and when it began. And I'm not going to judge Keith at this point without having more answers to those questions.
KAYE: And Dana, we know you don't see eye to eye with Keith on many things, so it may come as a surprise to people that you actually don't agree with the decision to suspend him.
LOESCH: Well, I think as -- honestly, I'm trying to figure out what all the drama's about. For anyone to be surprised that Keith Olbermann would donate to -- to congressional Democratic campaigns is -- if you're shocked, I have a bridge to sell you.
And plus, GE owns NBC, and I know that they contribute to organizations and causes and campaigns and all of that nature. But, at the same time, to me, I -- I kind of side with Paul on this, in that this seems to be a rule that a private business had, and if anything, it would be insubordination, if that.
I think the thing that -- I don't know -- I don't really quite understand why anyone's shocked over this, unless they think it's a credibility thing. But I don't look at Keith Olbermann as a news anchor. I look at him as sort of an editorial-like figure. And so, I think, because of that, I don't understand the drama. I just don't see the need for it.
KAYE: Well, I think the drama or the shock goes back to the idea that he didn't disclose it. It wasn't that he gave money to these people.
LOESCH: Right. Well, yes, right.
KAYE: It was that he didn't disclose it after criticizing News Corporation.
LOESCH: Yes, it was completely hypocritical. But --
WALSH: Disclosure is an issue. And I'll -- I'll just stand up for -- you know, Salon actually has a policy of not allowing editorial employees to contribute to political campaigns.
And I'll tell you why. It's important to us to be a news organization. And also, even though we are liberal, liberals disagree. So, you know, back in the 2008 campaign, I didn't want the problem of somebody reporting on Barack Obama, but having given to Hillary Clinton or vice versa. So, there are reasons to have those policies. But, if have you them, they should be crystal-clear and they should apply to everyone, and there should be no ambiguity.
So, is it in Keith's contract? I would ask that. I would just ask how widely this policy was known about and how -- how fairly it was enforced at this point.
BEGALA: Right and --
LOESCH: Well, and I have an addendum to this, too.
LOESCH: Go ahead, Paul.
BEGALA: Go ahead, Dana.
LOESCH: Oh, I was just going to say --
BEGALA: The reporting I have seen suggests that --
KAYE: One of you wrap this up for us.
BEGALA: I think -- the reporting I have seen says the policy is that not that one cannot donate, but that one must disclose it to MSNBC or NBC bosses and then get permission.
So, maybe that explains the disparity that -- the allegations are that apparently Mr. Olbermann didn't get his bosses' permission before he donated --
WALSH: Well, that's --
WALSH: My understanding, Paul, is that that's the NBC policy and so one of the disputes is whether that even applied at all to MSNBC.
WALSH: And I'm sorry to come on here and be, like, not as informed as I would like to be, but nobody's informed right now about this.
BEGALA: Right. WALSH: That's going to be the thing that we keep talking about.
LOESCH: Well, from -- from what I looked at it --
KAYE: Well, when we see their policy, I'm sure we will get some answers.
LOESCH: Well, the statement given by his boss --
KAYE: What was that, Dana?
LOESCH: -- the statement that was given by his superior said that it could also be applicable on a case-by-case basis.
But the bottom line is that Olbermann's bosses didn't know about it until the Politico piece ran.
LOESCH: So, he possibly could have gotten permission from them. But --
KAYE: Well, we will -- we will know when --
LOESCH: We don't know. We never will.
KAYE: -- when all sides start talking, we hope.
We'll -- we'll stay on this, I'm sure.
Dana, Joan, Paul, thanks very much, as always.
KAYE: Up next: We're one step ahead of President Obama with a live report from India, where he will be staying and where critics are trying to claim it'll be costing taxpayers $200 million a day. We will separate fact from myth -- straight ahead.
Later, we'll talk with Sean Penn in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, about the storm coming through, on top of the cholera outbreak and all of that earthquake damage.