Smiley Takes to NBC to Deride ‘American Exceptionalism,’ Government Shutdown the End of Democracy

PBS put its late-night leftism on display on Meet the Press when PBS host Tavis Smiley used his slot, on the Sunday morning NBC News show’s panel, to regret President Barack Obama’s supposed touting of “American Exceptionalism” and claim the presumed desire of conservatives in the House, to shut down the federal government, means “we are going to lose our democracy. It’s that serious.”

Smiley fretted that “the President recently, much to my chagrin, spoke of, advanced once again, this notion of American Exceptionalism, and clearly he isn’t the only one in town who likes to push that notion that we as Americans are exceptional.”

Audio: MP3 clip

He proceeded to counter “the reality is that this week alone gives us all the evidence we need to push back, to question that particular claim. When Republicans want to shut down the government over political posturing, when you can kill innocent children at Sandy Hook and there’s no real gun control debate...”

He wrapped up his rant: “Congress has a six percent approval rating and the answer really is to shut it down? I mean, what kind of nation are we going to be? What kind of people are we gong to be? Very quickly: If we don’t course-correct soon, we are going to lose our democracy. It’s that serious.”

From the September 22 Meet the Press:

DAVID GREGORY: There’s a big fight about government here too, Tavis. You were concerned, as were others, about the vote on food stamps this week. This is about size, scope, the direction of government. In the Republican Party, this is going to become a big campaign issue. It's going to be in 2014 but it's also for those who want to run for President in 2016. The question will be, where were you on ObamaCare?

TAVIS SMILEY: I think not just for Republicans, I think that this country is facing a seminal moment where we have to make a decision about what kind of nation and what kind of people we’re going to be. The President recently, much to my chagrin, spoke of, advanced once again, this notion of American Exceptionalism, and clearly he isn’t the only one in town who likes to push that notion that we as Americans are exceptional.

The reality is that this week alone gives us all the evidence we need to push back, to question  that particular claim. When Republicans want to shut down the government over political posturing, when you can kill innocent children at Sandy Hook and there’s no real gun control debate, those who we are supposed to protect, our babies, now you can fire indiscriminately on those who protect us, and nobody at this table believes that a real gun control debate is going to come out because all this other stuff is gonna push it to the side. And it’s not just mental illness, that’s a real issue, but in North Carolina you’ve got this brother Jonathan Farrell, this black guy who’s running toward the police, asking for help and they shoot and they kill him.

Congress has a six percent approval rating and the answer really is to shut it down? I mean, what kind of nation are we going to be? What kind of people are we gong to be? Very quickly: If we don’t course-correct soon, we are going to lose our democracy. It’s that serious.

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