CBS Channels WashPost on GOP Forcing 'Ideological Purity'; Lets Noonan Rip 'Freak Show' in Party

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose yet again ripped a line from a liberal print media outlet that portrayed the GOP as a radical faction. Rose quoted a front-page article about Mitt Romney from that morning's Washington Post to Republican media favorite Peggy Noonan: "The Republican Party will have selected an unlikely standard bearer for 2012...a man of moderate temperament in a party fueled by hot rhetoric...a flip-flopper in a party that demands ideological purity."

Noonan herself endorsed this left-leaning spin: "That's very well put." The columnist also denounced the "freak show atmosphere to the Republican primaries in the past six months or so." [audio available here; video below the jump]

Rose led the segment with the controversy over Romney upcoming fundraiser with former Republican candidate/birther Donald Trump and highlighted how George Will (who is ideological akin to Noonan) "over the weekend, said, why is he [Romney] doing this?"

Noonan's used her "freak show" label not once, but twice in her reply:

NOONAN: He [Will] had colorful words- (laughs)

ROSE: Yes, he did- (laughs)

NOONAN: 'Professional ignoramus' or something like that. My view is that the Romney campaign made a mistake. Here is the mistake: there was a certain freak show atmosphere to the Republican primaries in the past six months or so. Now, that's kind of over. The show is over. Mr. Romney wins the nomination tonight....This is a good time for him to differentiate himself from the stranger aspects of the Republican race.

ROSE: How does he do that?

NOONAN: Well, one way you don't do it, I think, is do a fundraiser with Donald Trump, who was part of the freak show aspects....

Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal Columnist; Screen Cap From 29 May 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgMoments later, the CBS anchor quoted from Post writer Philip Rucker's above-the-fold article. After making her "well put" answer, Noonan continued that Romney's "positions, as he has espoused them in '08 and in '12, were very conservative, very in line with party orthodoxy of the right of the party. And yet, in a funny way, he reads and comes across as a classic Republican moderate."

About two weeks earlier, Rose trumpeted a headline from the New York Times that negatively highlighted a GOP-affiliated organization's planned ad campaign against President Obama: "The New York Times has a story today that the GOP super PAC is weighing in on a hard-line attack on the President." The veteran journalist also cited an anti-Romney article from the Times just days after he started his gig at the CBS morning newscast in January 2012.

The full transcript of the Peggy Noonan segment from Tuesday's CBS This Morning, which aired seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, can be read at

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