PBS Host Flustered that Miers’ Moderation, Consensus-Building Considered “Epithets"

<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="/media/2005-10-14-PBSWWMartin.jpg" />On Friday’s <a href="http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/"><i>Washington Week</i></a> on PBS, <i>Washington Post</i> reporter Michael Fletcher informed the panel that “the little bit we know about” the “record” of Harriet Miers “indicates kind of a, you know, bridge-builder, moderate” and “so there's deep concern among conservatives, some of whom have called for her to withdraw.&quot; That prompted befuddled fill-in host <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/News/story?id=128711">Michel Martin</a>, of ABC News, to seemingly presume moderation and consensus-building should be higher values than conservative ideology: &quot;Is that a dirty word, 'bridge-builder,’ 'moderate,’ consensus builder? I'm sorry. I wasn't aware that those were epithets.&quot; Gwen Ifill is the usual host of the show. (More complete transcript of the exchange follows.)<br /><br />The MRC’s Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed captioning against the video for this bit of the October 14 edition of the weekly PBS program:<br /><blockquote>Michael Fletcher, <i>Washington Post</i>: &quot;Week two and things seem to be getting worse. I mean, I think the right is more divided than ever over Harriet Miers. And it's kind of, the criticism is really in two places. One is concern about her lack of experience of constitutional law among some, and others worry about what kind of conservative issues, is she really a committed conservative? The little bit we know about her record indicates kind of a, you know, bridge-builder, moderate. She was like that in the Dallas city council. She was like that at the Texas Bar Association. So there's deep concern among conservatives, some of whom have called for her to withdraw.&quot;<br /><br />Michel Martin: &quot;Is that a dirty word, bridge-builder, moderate, consensus builder? I'm sorry. I wasn't aware that those were epithets.&quot;<br /><br />Fletcher: &quot;Usually they aren't, but I think in this case it's really, really is the case because the Supreme Court is kind of the Holy Grail for the right...&quot;</blockquote><br />

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center