Video: Ziegler gets his mike cut off by MS-NBC

posted at 1:15 pm on June 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If you want to see irony in action, watch as the “tingle up the leg” and the “Obama is sort of like God” network challenge John Ziegler on his credibility. Contessa Brewer doesn’t want to actually talk about the subject – David Letterman’s two attacks on Palin’s 14-year-old daughter – but wants to make the interview about Ziegler instead. John has his own idea about what he wants to say, which is when Brewer demands that his mike get silenced:

RealClearPolitics reports (from John) that MS-NBC pulled a bait-and-switch on him. Norah O’Donnell was supposed to be his interviewer, who has interviewed John in the past. For some reason, they threw Brewer at him, who clearly wanted to keep John on a tight leash.  Brewer had no interest in talking about the topic at hand (Letterman), but in trying to zing Palin and John’s interview of her.

I’d call this red meat for everyone. The Left can cheer Brewer for her manhandling of Ziegler, while the rest of us can point out that (a) everyone at MS-NBC knows that Ziegler criticizes their coverage every chance he gets, and (b) they invited him, and not the other way around.

Besides, MS-NBC is the absolutely last media organization that can level charges of “cheerleading” at anyone else in the industry.  Have they canned Evan Thomas for calling Obama “sort of God” or Chris Matthews for his “tingle up my leg”?  When they do that, then Contessa Brewer can sniff at John Ziegler for a lack of journalistic objectivity.

Update: On a related note, Tommy Christopher rips David Letterman:

There’s a whole lot of justified outrage going on about David Letterman’s recent attacks on Sarah Palin and her 14 year-old daughter.  There really is no denunciation strong enough for these attacks, which are in many ways more egregious than the Guy Cimbalo “Hate F*** List” that Playboy and Politico took down.

Letterman’s attacks were made in an exponentially larger, broader forum, and included the statutory rape of a minor child.  They cannot be taken down or redacted.

But he also makes a good point here:

There are some who would try to hang Letterman’s attack on “the Left.” I’ll get to “the Left” in a minute, but Letterman is no more a liberal, in the political “team sports” sense of the word, than Guy Cimbalo is.  They are not conservatives, but they are also basically apolitical.  Their words are owned by a popular culture that is hostile to conservatism, but also to liberal ideals (of feminism as well as others).  They are a third column.

The attacks aren’t coming from “the Left”, but the silence certainly is.  Read all of Tommy’s post.

Update: Like some commenters, I’m particularly amused at Brewer’s offense at Ziegler’s claims of bias, but her lack of outrage over the personal attacks on a 14-year-old girl.  Stay classy, Contessa!


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I like Ziegler, I think he takes a fresh approach to reporting media bias, and it’s tempered with his own unique brand of humor. Watching msnbc, however, is like bizarro world for me. I’ll just never understand these people.

long_cat on June 10, 2009 at 8:36 PM

(sorry for the double comment) I think I can sum up this whole interview in a few sentences:

BREWER: “I saw nothing insulting in what Letterman said.”
ZIEGLER: “…as a woman, you don’t find it insulting to be called slutty?”
BREWER: “Yes, and I’ve been called that publicly (just not by anyone I can reference). Let’s pretend this never happened. Moving on…”

CatsGodot on June 10, 2009 at 8:39 PM

coyoterex on June 10, 2009 at 8:32 PM

LOL, i would agree that the insults are superfluous to a reasoned argument. But then again, I don’t consider letterman worthy of a reasoned argument. To go back to a previous point about boycotting, etc. The thing that makes a boycott effective is the passion of those doing the boycotting. If the company doesn’t believe that the passion and willpower are there, they won’t take the threat seriously. A highly agitated and noisy contingent will carry more influence in these matters than cogent, calm, and reasoned discussion.

That and frankly it’s fun to belittle the self important prima donna.

Fighton03 on June 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Just wondering if Ms. Brewer was referring to an Imus comment when she thought she could keep up with his “wit” when she read the news during “Imus in the Morning” on MSNBC?

yoda on June 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Contessa Brewer said its no big deal, it’s happened to her, that whole joking about when she was 14 years-old and being raped in front of thousands during the 7th inning stretch, and having Letterman joking about her, Contessa Brewer, being raped at 14?

I missed that one.

Contessa Brewer at the age of 14, had some jerk on TV claiming she, Contessa Brewer, was/is a whore a hooker a prostitute broadcast WORLD WIDE!

I could see that happening today, cuz its kinda sorta true, but I missed that when she was 14.

Did anyone else get the impression Contessa Brewer couldn’t or wouldn’t seethe 800 lb Gorilla in the room?

DSchoen on June 10, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Incidentally, where was the “man-handling”?

Yeah, I’m not sure why anyone would use that phrase in this context.

Blake on June 10, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Solly on June 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM

So why didn’t he just call her a slut right there on camera, afterall she said it’s no big deal.

Typically girls that don’t mind being called sluts are major sluts. It’s the girls with morals who don’t like to be called sluts.

jeffn21 on June 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM

With the “mainstream news media” of America, as well as the European- you have to face the fact, that you are indeed, dealing with the criminally insane.

8-track-vinyl on June 10, 2009 at 11:40 PM

Keep hitting them Ziegler.

Mcguyver on June 10, 2009 at 11:42 PM

MSNBC- the Reds, and I ain’t talkin’ baseball.

protonspinner on June 10, 2009 at 11:46 PM

It would be difficult for me to boycott CBS/MSNBC any more than I have for years. I can’t even remember the last time I actually watched any of their shows. If not for sites like this I would be blissfully unaware of their hack journalists faux outrage when Chelsea is “pimped” by David Shuster or Hillary insulted. Feminists have long ago stopped being relevant. Anyone recall the last time you heard about workplace harassment? LOL I think it was about the time Bill Clinton was being serviced in the “workplace”, uh I mean the Oval Office.

Spunky06 on June 11, 2009 at 12:21 AM

Remember when Shuster asked if Hillary was “pimping out” Chelsea? He got suspended and Olbermann made a sniveling apology for the network.

Now they’re shrugging their shoulders at the Palin jokes?

Also, I want to know more about Contessa being called slutty.

GW on June 11, 2009 at 12:39 AM

That was entertaining. Clearly, Ziegler was brought on the show to be the victim of Contessa’s hard-hitting questions that would demonstrate (in the ethical, unbiased manner typical of MSNBC’s pseudo-journalists) what complete tools all conservatives are. I guess Ziegler didn’t get his copy of the script beforehand, because he sure didn’t seem inclined to play along.

morganfrost on June 11, 2009 at 12:59 AM

Frankly, in sports terms, Ziegler came into MSNBC’s house and pwned them. He didn’t wait for them to set the stage he seized the initiative and openly demonstrated his contempt for their operation. About time somebody burst their little self important bubble, especially in their own interview.

Fighton03 on June 11, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Brewer made a crack about Ziegler being Palin’s “unofficial spokesperson”, yet she became indignant when he returned the salvo and called NBC the official Obama network. She defended Letterman’s “slutty” comment as neither offensive or sexist, though in a workplace that would be grounds for firing and / or a lawsuit. Ziegler should have pointed that out. I would have liked someone bringing up the outcry when a “joke” was made about “pimping out Chelsea Clinton.”

alliebobbitt on June 11, 2009 at 1:42 AM

I can bet Brewer’s been called “slutty” or worse. He should have said she’s a good sport for not letting the truth hurt.

alliebobbitt on June 11, 2009 at 1:44 AM

Typically girls that don’t mind being called sluts are major sluts. It’s the girls with morals who don’t like to be called sluts.
jeffn21 on June 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM

Unfortunately, that’s no longer nearly as true as it once was.

Our jettisoning of moral standards coupled with “sex ed” in our publik skrewls has led to a generation where many girls – and guys – are not fazed in the slightest by the accusation of sexual promiscuity. In their minds nobody has the right to judge them (“my body, my choice”), and there’s really no such thing as being a slut/whore/etc. in the first place. Those are supposedly just outdated labels thrown around by bigoted sexually repressed Victorian leftovers.

Dark-Star on June 11, 2009 at 4:24 AM

Wow, Contessa Brewer claims she too was impregnated as a 14 year old at the Yankee game by Alex Rodriguez, when her mom, the sluttly, outfitted skank ran for VP of the US. The very next night was solicited by ex-Gov Spitzer? Who Knew?

Only in the mind of a confused liberal can one reach for empathy with the audience in such a distorted manner.

dthorny on June 11, 2009 at 4:38 AM

He shoots, he scores!

Is Contessa her given name or her hope of fame? The moniker tells all.

Tennman on June 11, 2009 at 8:51 AM

2 words.

cucking funt.

exsanguine on June 11, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Contessa says, “I have no real answer for this guy or any interviewing abilities so I’ll change topics and ask a completely asinine question….. Then when he tries to answer it, I’ll interrupt him with a ridiculous accusation of being a Sarah Palin cheerleader. Yeah, no one will notice that. Then when I get all flustered over nothing because all I have in my head is a load of helium, I’ll ask that someone cut the guy’s mic. That’ll learn ‘em!”

Good lord what an idiot.

forgetfulmuse on June 11, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Contessa Brewer — just not ready!

littleguy on June 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Whoa! That was GOOD!
“CONTESSA”? My God, what a name.

hopefloats on June 11, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Great debate Mr. John Ziegler.

The fact is this is how we have to deal with the leftist that bait you into a dialogue (sic).

We have to play fire with fire and let the bodies lay where they fall.

Remember everyone likes a winners not whinny winners.

David Letterman’s stalker will win using the insanity plea. Because anyone who would want to stalk Letterman must be insane, she just confused Letterman for a Maleman.

MSGTAS on June 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Although I’ve heard of the Contessa Brewer before, I had never seen her. The face certainly doesn’t fit the name. She looks like a nag I bet on in the Derby. That horse was a loser too.

bw222 on June 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM

How do you compare Brewer to the other ditz (CNN reporter at the Chicago Tea Party)? I’d say they are on a par.

bw222 on June 11, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Although I’ve heard of the Contessa Brewer before, I had never seen her. The face certainly doesn’t fit the name. She looks like a nag I bet on in the Derby. That horse was a loser too.

bw222 on June 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM

I think she’s pretty hot.

For the record, I think Norah O’Donnell is gorgeous too.

Not that I’d want to spend any of my precious time with either of these leftist propagandists. Not even for a hatef**k. I’d rather JO to a picture of Carrie Prejean.

UltimateBob on June 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Contessa Brewer reads what is on the teleprompter, lets be real here…if they threw Brewer at Ziegler it’s because they don’t respect him, and he is being handed off to the end of the chain in the pecking order that is MSNBC. Who is taking Contessa serious, is this where we are today? Discussing Contessa’s interviewing prowess? LOL!

Dr Evil on June 11, 2009 at 10:50 AM

As Imus likes to say, Contessa Brewer not bringing the potato salad to the Mensa picnic.

Dr Evil on June 11, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Why does the Left hate freedom of speech and censor and silence all opposing views?

MaximusConfessor on June 11, 2009 at 11:49 AM

They cant argue with substance so they just make up anything that comes to mind sling it and hope it sticks.Sad thing is when they control the msm like they do it does stick.

LSUMama on June 11, 2009 at 12:42 PM

(sorry for the double comment) I think I can sum up this whole interview in a few sentences:

BREWER: “I saw nothing insulting in what Letterman said.”
ZIEGLER: “…as a woman, you don’t find it insulting to be called slutty?”
BREWER: “Yes, and I’ve been called that publicly (just not by anyone I can reference). Let’s pretend this never happened. Moving on…”

CatsGodot on June 10, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Apparently, Brewer confuses being called “slutty” at a swinger’s party with being called “slutty” on national television.

olesparkie on June 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM

It’s funny how touchy they get when “MS-NBC” is mentioned.

jaboba on June 11, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I am amazed of the arrogance from this news presenter! They are the government news network. Don’t like what you say and cut your mic off. More and more I am losing any respect for those news organizations, such as ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC.

WileECoyote1952 on June 11, 2009 at 2:12 PM

BREWER: “I saw nothing insulting in what Letterman said.”
ZIEGLER: “…as a woman, you don’t find it insulting to be called slutty?”
BREWER: “Yes, and I’ve been called that publicly and I’m just fine”

Later:
ZEIGLER:”She’s shown a lot more class than anyone on this network has.”
BREWER: “I consider myself a common sense thinker, I haven’t attacked you, and for you to come on and use those sort of insults, insults me.”

Okay, just so we’re clear, you can’t insult MSNBC, but feel free to call her “slutty”.

jjverdi on June 11, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Okay, just so we’re clear, you can’t insult MSNBC, but feel free to call her “slutty”.

jjverdi on June 11, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Fair enough.

Contessa Brewer, you ignorant slut…

JohnGalt23 on June 11, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Do we know of the times Contessa publicly criticized and what her response was? She claims it happened to her and it happened publicly, so what exactly went down there?

Advocate For Change on June 11, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Every conservative going on one of these programs ought to
emulate John Ziegler.If they dish it out give it right back.
Don’t bend over and take it with a whimper.
For someone like Contessa Brewer to defend what David Letterman said about a 14 year old girl is beyond belief.

norryrr on June 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I mean its been said but I gotta say it again…I love that she’s offended he challenges her and her dear network but doesn’t think Gov. Palin should care about being called a slut and having her daughter insulted.
Even weirder is that in some way it seems like MSNBC likes to have people like Ziegler on…apparently to revel in their own high-minded naivete. If you’re gonna be biased might as well feel good about it…

lexingtonconcert on June 11, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Every conservative going on one of these programs ought to
emulate John Ziegler.If they dish it out give it right back.
Don’t bend over and take it with a whimper.
For someone like Contessa Brewer to defend what David Letterman said about a 14 year old girl is beyond belief.

norryrr on June 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Contessa Brewer was correct, she was called those names. But in her case, they were the truth, so she couldn’t be upset.

Jeff from WI on June 11, 2009 at 4:23 PM

This is why NBC is going to the dogs. This Contessa slut is just another liberal trying to make the news instead of reporting the news just like CBS, ABC, Time magazine, Newsweek, PBS, CNN and so on. Like all liberals they can’t stand the truth. Just imagine if Lettergirl made a joke of how Obambi has big ears like Dumbo, or how he looks like Buckwheat, or better yet how Michelle reminds him of Aunt Esther on Sanford and son. Would the left defend him and say he’s a comedian, come on it’s a joke. Of course they wouldn’t because Obambi is god like Newsweek said.

Rene C on June 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Ha. She’s offended by her invited guest speaking truth to power, but Letterman being a male chauvinist pig as well as debasing a young innocent teenaged girl is just good clean fun.

That’s NBC.

SilverStar830 on June 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I finally watched the clip. I heart John Ziegler. What a great attitude. I think HE speaks for the Republican party.

Mojave Mark on June 12, 2009 at 8:24 AM

Contessa Brewer was clearly upset and tense. She also clearly had animosity in her heart toward Ziegler and Sarah Palin even as she began the interview.

Ziegler kicked her you-know-what and he did not even have to be the person working for MSNBC, having home court advantage.

Brewer’s nonsense just jumped off the screen, while Ziegler’s clever question, paraphrased “As a woman, are you offended being called a whore, slutty? Have been called a slutty whore by David Letterman on national television?”

How doe people like Chris Matthews, Jane Madow, Keith Olberman, and Contessa Brewer get a job as anchors or hosts on a major television network?

William2006 on June 12, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6