Charlie Rose Laughs With Republican-Bashing Poet Calvin Trillin

Thursday night’s episode of PBS’s Charlie Rose proved that left-wing smear jobs can come in many forms - including poetry. The New Yorker’s Calvin Trillin stopped by the show to chat about his latest book, an account of the 2012 presidential election told in comic verse. Trillin shared a few of his poems with Rose, including this one:
 

I did a poem after the election that was called "Republican Soul-Searching." Says, "we're searching our souls and we're wondering why, we got beat so badly our rivals are gloating. It’s obvious now where our campaign went wrong, we should have prevented more people from voting." I mean, that was their strategy.

Rather than act as a responsible journalist by disavowing that ridiculous claim, Rose agreed with Trillin and went even further: “Well, that was the strategy. Some people have said that was, in fact, the strategy  in the 2004 election.” Trillin affirmed, “Probably so, probably so.”

This is not the first time a journalist has used Calvin Trillin to bash Republicans. Back in 2006, Trillin appeared on NBC’s Today show to share a collection of poems that poked fun at George W. Bush. Co-host Campbell Brown, who couldn’t contain her laughter, lavished on the praise for Trillin’s work.

This time around, even the normally stoic Charlie Rose got caught up in the torrent of liberal hilarity. He cracked up as Trillin read a few passages making fun of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.

Below is a partial transcript of the segment:

CHARLIE ROSE: [Democrats are] also good at geography. They can take somebody who wants to vote to the place where they can vote, and that's a big deal.

CALVIN TRILLIN: And this is a more effective method than trying to keep that guy from voting.

ROSE: Exactly.

TRILLIN: I did a poem after the election that was called Republican Soul-Searching. Says, we're searching our souls and we're wondering why, we got beat so badly our rivals are gloating. Its obvious now where our campaign went wrong, we should have prevented more people from voting. I mean, that was their strategy.

ROSE: Well, that was the strategy. Some people have said that was, in fact, the strategy  in the 2004 election.

TRILLIN: Probably so, probably so. But--

ROSE: Although ask Karl Rove, they deny that.

TRILLIN: Yeah. It's a strategy that I find particularly offensive. I mean when you think about how--

ROSE: To suppress the voting.

TRILLIN: To suppress the voting. I mean it’s -- I rarely use this word, it’s un-American. I mean we were taught in what, first grade, this is our sacred duty.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.