David Shuster

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David Shuster is a left-wing political reportor for the low-rated MSNBC news network. Based in Washington, D.C., he is a correspondent for Hardball with Chris Matthews and other MSNBC programs.

Shuster is controversial because of his habit of inserting his liberal political beliefs in to his coverage of stories, which has lead to several false claims and reports. The most well-know incident occurred on May 8, 2006, where he proclaimed, "And I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted" [1] in relation to the Valerie Plame story. He was widely criticized for that blatant political commentary despite the fact that he claims to be a journalist. The proclamation became especially notable a month later, when it was announced the Rove would not be indicted.

An August 24, 2006 report for Hardball was especially criticized for bias and opinionated comments about the Bush Administration, which he labeled as full of "ineptitude." One media watchdog website noted that his report read like a DNC press release.[2] A month later, Shuster claimed that liberal former senator Lincoln Chafee, who received a 100 percent rating from the ACLU, was a "moderate" and "bipartisan." Shuster also characterized Chafee's primary opponent, Stephen Laffey, as a "hard-line conservative."[3]

Similar to the Karl Rove false prediction, in October 2006, Shuster falsely predicted that then House Speaker Dennis Hastert would be ousted from his position as speaker of the House within a week.[4] Hastert remained in that House leadership position until January 2007, when the new congress convened.

In November 2006, Shuster interviewed Feisal Istrabadi, the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. During the interview, for unexplained reason, Shuster was vehemently hostile towards Ambassador Istrabadi. At one point Shuster outright lied about when the Iraqi government had been formed, which had to be corrected by Ambassador Istrabadi.[5]

Continuing his history of giving his left-wing anti-President Bush views while reporting, in August 2007, Shuster declared the Bush Administration "an incompetent administration divorced from reality."[6]

In September 2007, Shuster held another controversial interview. This time with Tennessee Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn supposedly to discuss the MoveOn.org ad that accused General David Petraeus of treason. Out of no where, Shuster asked her to name the last American soldier from her district killed in Iraq. When she couldn't, Shuster launched into a tirade in which he berated her for not knowing the name, identifying the fallen soldier by name and then claimed that she cared more about an ad than the lost serviceman. Pentagon documents later revealed that the soldier Shuster named did not come from Blackburn's district, but from a neighboring one. When a blogger sent Shuster an e-mail pointing this out, he got a reply saying name didn't matter because the story was about Blackburn's hypocrisy and besides, "she didn't know the name, period."[7]

On November 13, 2007, Shuster branded Republican congressman Tom Tancredo a border-control "fanatic."[8]

December 7, 2007, while on the MSNBC's program Morning Joe, Shuster said that evangelical Christians "go to a revival and then go to Guantanamo Bay and torture some people just for fun."[9]

Like the vast majority of personalities on MSNBC, Shuster is a strident supporter of Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries and like Chris Matthews has made personal attacks on the Clinton family. In February 2008, he sparked new controversy when he attacked Chelsea Clinton for supporting her mother's presidential campaign; at one point saying, "Chelsea's sort of being pimped out."[10] NBC News later suspended him for that comment.[11] On February 9, 2008, sources at MSNBC revealed that Phil Griffin, senior vice president at the network, "screamed" at Shuster for not agreeing to immediately apologize to Chelsea Clinton for the comment. Griffin threatened to fire Shuster "on the spot," and it was only with intervention from Tim Russert that Shuster didn't lose his position.[12]