TV Critic: Pinochet Supporters Wouldn’t Be ‘Out of Place’ on Talk Radio

Kevin McDonoughKevin McDonough (photo at right from UFS) can’t seem to avoid inserting liberal commentary into his TV reviews. The syndicated critic on Tuesday wrote about an upcoming PBS documentary on a Chilean judge’s investigation into the government of Augusto Pinochet, and editorialized that "The Judge and the General" "offers a cautionary tale for Americans," since Chile "had a long history of democratic government" before Pinochet’s coup. He continued that the film "begins and ends with scenes of rallies by fanatical supporters of Pinochet, who died in 2006 before facing trial. None of the attitudes expressed by these angry thugs would seem out of place on American talk radio."

McDonough doesn’t explain what exactly these attitudes are, but the implication of his argument is that conservative talk show hosts and their listeners are "angry thugs," that they’re a threat to "democratic government," and that they would install a Pinochet-like regime if they were given a chance.

On Monday, McDonough inserted another liberal barb into his review of Rory Kennedy’s laudatory documentary on Helen Thomas. First, he discussed how Thomas "enjoyed cordial relations with eight presidents. But she decries the current administration's contempt for journalism, the blending of government and religion, and its collusion with ‘friendly’ media as dangerous, radical and unprecedented." McDonough then added, "In fact, the faith-based, family-values crowd appears to have treated Thomas in a manner we mere sinners might call rude. She is seen here receiving a condescending rebuke from rookie press secretary Dana Perino. There's also a clip of Fox News ratings star Bill O'Reilly calling Thomas, a woman well into her 80s, a ‘pinhead.’" In one version of his review, printed in the Washington Post’s Express publication, McDonough then quipped, "Where are your manners, Bill?"

This isn’t the first time that the TV critic has jabbed O’Reilly. In April, fellow Newsbuster Tim Graham noted how McDonough labeled "The O’Reilly Factors" as a show that characterizes television’s ability to "deceive" and "anger."

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center