Michael Lester

Originally from Scotland, Michael was a freelance video editor before joining TPM in the summer of 2011. He lives in New York with his wife and two cats and is a lifelong fan of The World Famous Dundee United.

Articles by Michael

Conservative media outlets were up in arms Monday over a portion of President Obama's Friday campaign speech in Roanoke, Va., in which he suggested successful business owners often got where they are thanks to help from others.

As the screen introduced viewers to Obama's "war on success," an aggrieved Fox Business host Stu Varney detailed the president's "shocking point of view":

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama said. "Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The line is a variation on a part of Obama's stump speech that he has been using for months, but Varney charged that it goes "against the essence of the American Dream" and is "European."

"I hate to use the word," said Varney, "but that's a near-socialist approach to economics."

"We don't need to have him literally spit in our face and tell us what we're doing that's not worthy," said guest Ed Butowsky. "He just spit in the face of every American that goes to work every day, entrepreneurs who take risk."

The line also outraged Rush Limbaugh and other Fox hosts.

Watch highlights of the exchanges below:

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The Supreme Court's ruling upholding President Obama's health care reform law still had the media buzzing at the start of the week. Conservatives were on the case with a raft of new conspiracies explaining the deciding vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. On the other side, elation ran high with the defection of former conservative child prodigy, Jonathan Krohn.

July 4th came and went and the confusion spread over whether the health care law's individual mandate was a tax or a penalty - Mitt Romney's camp briefly had it down as both. And a disappointing June jobs report gave Romney new fire to close the week.

Take a stroll through these and other highlights of the past week in 100 seconds...

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At a campaign event in New Hampshire today, President Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s campaign response to a Washington Post report about Bain Capital’s work with companies who outsourced jobs during Romney’s tenure. 

“There’s a difference between outsourcing and offshoring,” Obama paraphrased a Romney spox. “That’s what they said –  you cannot make this stuff up.”

“You don’t need someone who’s going to explain the difference between outsourcing and offshoring, you need someone who is going to” focus on creating jobs in the United States,Obama said.


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It was another hectic week in America and Washington DC in particular. From Eric Holder's contempt hearings in congress, to Richard Mourdock's multiple-choice responses to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

Worry not, as cable news outlets kept the spaces in between filled with miniature ponies, "Wawa's" and a "no he won't", "yes he will" story involving Marco Rubio...


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Karl Rove, appearing on America's Newsroom on Fox News responded to a statement from House Minority Leader Nancy pelosi in which she stated she could have "arrested [him] on any given day" for being in contempt of Congress.

Responding to a question on the subject from host Bill Hemmer, Rove called Pelosi "Deputy Nancy" and added called it a "sad, pathetic, laughable little moment". 

"It's nice to know that she dreams of putting me in her little jail" he added.




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