Why Republicans Don’t Mind Newt’s Brazen Flip-Flops
December 06, 2011

“A flip-flopper of Romnetic proportions”—that’s how The Nation paraphrased MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s attack on his former congressional leader, Newt Gingrich. The two front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination, presumed nominee Mitt Romney and actual front-runner Gingrich, have each compiled staggering records of multiple positions on issues of importance to Republican voters, from health care to climate change.

The Psychological Foundation of Obama’s Political Problems
November 28, 2011

In June 1985, Flora Lewis wrote in the New York Times that then-President Ronald Reagan said he had pounded the walls in frustration over the hostage crisis in Beirut. Given what we know about Reagan, it's not hard to believe that he would resort to such measures to express his rage. Now try to imagine Barack Obama similarly venting his frustration at the Republicans taking his agenda hostage for political gain. Hard to visualize, isn't it? That's no accident.

Wait, the Republican Debates Have Actually Been Really Informative
November 11, 2011

The clichéd phrase “debate season” is inescapable. There was a Republican debate on CNBC Wednesday night. Tomorrow will see another shootout, this one down in South Carolina. But these events seem to have won few fans. They are being mocked and denounced by everyone from Bill O’Reilly to MSNBC contributors.

Why We Should Get Used to This Year’s Endless Slog of Presidential Debates
November 05, 2011

It’s hard to fathom who could be excited by the recent revelation that an additional 13 nationally televised Republican presidential debates have been scheduled to take place between now and the end of January. We’ve already endured eight thus far; four are scheduled for this month, then another three in December, and possibly as many as six will take place in January. Indeed, Rick Perry was almost certainly not alone when he complained (but later was forced to backpedal) about the sheer number of the debates this election cycle.

MacGillis on ‘The Last Word’
October 04, 2011

On Friday, TNR's Alec MacGillis appeared on MSNBC's “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to talk about his excellent profile of Rick Perry. To those of you who missed it, here's the video: Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tonight: Watch TNR's Alec MacGillis on MSNBC at 8 PM Eastern
September 30, 2011

After traveling to Texas and delving deep into Rick Perry’s history, TNR’s Alec MacGillis has written what we think is the definitive profile of the Texas governor. And tonight, you can hear him tell even more of the story.

The Idiot Box
September 14, 2011

It was a self-inflicted, eye-glazing marathon—50 hours in late August spent watching a full sampling of the Fox News lineup. Looking back, it seems like a nine-day hallucination of strident voices, blonde hair, and more pitchmen hawking gold coins than at any time since the heyday of King Midas. Why did I volunteer for this ordeal when a rational person would have been at the beach? Not to belabor the predictable liberal lament that Fox News fails to uphold the high TV journalistic traditions of Edward R. Murrow and Eliot Spitzer.

The Sharpton Renaissance: How the Reverend’s Reputation Got Refurbished
September 06, 2011

There was a time, not long ago, when the dominant arbiters of public opinion relegated Al Sharpton to the outskirts of serious, respectable discussion. Sure, he was a fixture on the Ebony magazine list of the 100 “top” black Americans. Sure, journalists called him when they needed a provocative quip. Sure, Democratic Party politicians courted him. But “the Rev” was unmistakably relegated to the black ghetto of celebrity activism. No one thought to ask his opinion regarding issues other than those perceived as directly pertinent to aggrieved blacks.

How To Decry The Victim Card While Simultaneously Playing It
August 23, 2011

Last week, Rick Perry described the national debt as a "big black cloud that hangs over America." MSNBC host Ed Schultz bizarrely characterized this as a racist metaphor for President Obama.

Mark Halperin Apologized to President Obama. Will His Apology Be Effective?
June 30, 2011

Mark Halperin appeared on MSNBC today and, apparently under the assumption that his language would be bleeped, used an impolite term to describe President Obama. Bad news: His comment wasn’t censored, and now, despite a rapid apology, he’s been suspended by the network. “My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it,” Halperin said. Of course, Barack Obama has thousands of more important things to worry about, and—let’s face it—he’s been called worse. But let’s suppose, for a moment, that he and Halperin were to run into each other soon in an informal context.