On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, FNC host O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters item which highlighted ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts defending Mexican President Felipe Calderon using his speech in Congress as a forum to criticize Arizona’s effort to enforce laws against illegal immigration. In their defense of Calderon on Sunday's This Week show's Roundtable segment, the the two ABC News veterans brought up past American Presidents criticizing communist dictators in China and the Soviet Union.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Reality Check" from the Monday, May 24, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
ABC News on Sunday marvelously absolved President Obama of any blame concerning the Gulf oil spill by bashing former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
After "World News Sunday's" opening segment about the crisis and how local citizens are being impacted, anchor Dan Harris said, "As we reported, the President is turning up the heat on BP, but the President is also feeling some heat himself with many critics questioning the way the White House is handling this crisis."
He then asked senior Washington editor Rick Klein, "Is there any evidence to substantiate the claim that the White House has been somehow abdicating responsibility and allowing BP to pick up too much of the heavy-lifting in this crisis?"
Strangely, Klein's response involved Palin (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Right Scoop):
Forwarding moral equivalence, ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson, on This Week, defended Mexican President Felipe Calderon for using a speech before Congress to criticize Arizona, by reminding viewers: “President Bill Clinton went to the Great Hall of the People and when Jiang Zemin was President of China. I heard President Clinton say, ‘what you did in Tiananmen Square was wrong.’ He lectured. We all said, that's terrific because it was the ox being gored on the other side.” After all, Donaldson contended, “he said what a lot of Americans are also saying, that that Arizona law is discriminatory.”
Host Jake Tapper pointed out “that law is actually supported by a majority of Americans” and expressed bewilderment at Donaldson’s reasoning: “I can't believe that you're actually comparing it to Tiananmen Square, right? I mean, you’re not?” Donaldson assured Tapper “I’m not comparing a massacre in Tiananmen Square to what’s happening in Arizona. But you raised the subject of having someone come to another country and lecture them.”
Instead of backing off, fellow ABC News vet Cokie Roberts, who used to co-host This Week with Donaldson, reaffirmed his point: “Our Presidents certainly do it. Israel about settlements. You know, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’”
Although Sam Donaldson wouldn't go so far as calling senatorial candidate Rand Paul a racist, he did say that he'd be shocked if enough people in Kentucky voted for the Tea Party candidate in November to send him to Congress.
As the Roundtable discussion of Sunday's "This Week" moved to Paul's primary victory on Tuesday, Donaldson said that comments the Tea Partier made about the Civil Rights Act on "The Rachel Maddow Show" were "stupid."
"So who is going to win in Kentucky? I can't predict," he said adding, "But I would be shocked -- I'll say that now -- if Rand Paul gets most of Kentucky's votes and becomes the senator" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal reporters always think that the liberal politicians they’re covering are the smartest people in the room. In fact, when they’re opposing something, they’re so smart that they don’t have to read the policy they’re discussing. They have a clairvoyant sense of how wrong it is.
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas exposed this liberal arrogance on May 13 at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. He was questioning Attorney General Eric Holder on the “controversial” (to the media, that is) Arizona immigration law. He asked an elementary question, although to liberals, it was shocking in its insolence: “Have you read the Arizona law?”
Holder’s response: “I have not had a chance. I grant that I have not read it.”
An incredulous Poe shot back that it wasn’t exactly a night’s worth of reading: “It's 10 pages. It's a lot shorter than the health care bill, which was 2,000 pages long. I'll give you my copy of it, if you would like to have a copy.”
“This is a damn outrage,” a disgusted David Brooks, the faux conservative columnist for the New York Times, declared on Sunday’s Meet the Press reacting to Republican Senator Bob Bennett’s loss Saturday at Utah’s Republican convention which chose two others to compete in a June primary for the seat. Brooks fretted he was punished for being “a good conservative who was trying to get things done” by “bravely” working with Democrats on health care and supporting TARP. “Now,” he repeated, “he's losing his career over that. And it's just a damn outrage.”
Sitting beside Brooks on NBC’s roundtable, liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr,. a former New York Times correspondent, saw “almost a non-violent coup because they denied the sitting Senator even a chance of getting on the primary ballot.”
Over on Fox News Sunday, NPR’s Juan Williams expressed exasperation: “This is evidence of how the American political center is losing, on the right wing of the party a guy like Bob Bennett, who is a right-wing conservative, is being driven out because he’s not sufficiently conservative?”
ABC’s Jake Tapper brought Rudy Giuliani aboard This Week to address the handling of the Times Square botched bomber, but wouldn’t let him go before bringing up Bennett’s defeat as proof of an intolerant GOP: “Are you worried at all that the Republican Party is not only growing more hostile to more liberal to moderate Republicans such as yourself, but also conservative Republicans who are shown to, at least shown an ability to work with Democrats?”
After making a fool out of himself going up against George Will on last Sunday's "This Week," Bill Maher dug an even deeper hole five days later trying to strike back at the well-known columnist with a peculiar blend of falsehoods and Bill Clinton.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Maher was humiliated on national television last week when he errantly claimed Brazil was "off oil" only to be corrected by ABC's token conservative.
On Friday's "Real Time," the HBO host countered first by citing an ad that former President Bill Clinton did back in 2006 in favor of a California ballot initiative that would have implemented a tax on that state's oil producers.
Next, Maher absurdly claimed that "part of the reason" America isn't off oil yet is "because of global warming deniers like George Will" (video follows with transcript and oodles of commentary):
Bill Maher was clearly out of his league Sunday when he made an absurd claim about Brazil being off oil for decades only to be corrected by a significantly more knowledgeable George Will.
As the Roundtable discussion of ABC's "This Week" turned to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, host Jake Tapper mentioned -- without the vulgarity -- what Maher said on HBO's "Real Time" about President Obama not "getting more shall we say guff" for this crisis.
Maher concluded his answer by erroneously saying, "I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years, we certainly could have."
When Will got his chance to respond, Maher was left looking rather foolish (video embedded below the fold with transcript, commentary, and oil data to further embarrass the "Real Time" host, relevant section at 2:48):
Comments on two Sunday shows reflected an emerging new liberal line of reasoning, which uses the lack of opposition to Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, as a means to discredit conservatives and Tea Party activists as hypocrites and/or racists. HBO’s Bill Maher on ABC’s This Week:
Government intrusion, government power is something that really bothers conservatives, unless it's directed toward people who aren't white, you know, I mean it does seem like there’s some of that going on there.
Chrystia Freeland of Reuters on the McLaughlin Group:
What I think is really important to notice here is the hypocrisy, the intellectual hypocrisy because we have...a lot of the same people who are very exercised right now...about big government and pointing out the American tradition of liberty, of individual rights, are also the people who are on the side of allowing the government to intrude much more into individuals' lives on immigration.
Bloomberg Washington Editor Al Hunt appeared on the web-only section of Sunday's This Week and dismissed the idea that the Tea Party movement has broad appeal. He derided, "They love Glenn Beck and they're skeptical of John McCain. That's not America."
Hunt's comments pivoted off of remarks from the conservative George Will, who pointed to a new Rasmussen poll showing Americans more in line with the thinking of the tea partiers than Barack Obama. Hunt scoffed, "They are angry, conservative, little bit more upper-income Republicans...I don't think they're closer to the country, George, than Barack Obama."
On ABC’s This Week, when retired ABC newsman Sam Donaldson recommended that President Barack Obama nominate, to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, someone who “is going to stand up for the principles – on the left, if you will – that he believes in,” Cokie Roberts jumped in: “I’m not so sure he is so far to the left.” Donaldson agreed: “Well, I’m not sure either.”
Minutes later, Roberts contended the efforts of state attorneys general, to get a federal court to rule unconstitutional ObamaCare’s requirement every citizen get health insurance, reminded her of the “nullification” which led to the Civil War:
You have these fourteen states attorneys general saying that they want to have the court overturn the recently passed health care law. I must say, I was just with my grand kids at Fort Sumter, and the notion of nullification made me extremely nervous because it was, of course, the first step toward the Civil War.
For the second time in six days, liberal publisher Arianna Huffington stuck her foot in her mouth on national television only to get corrected by numerous others on camera.
Appearing on Sunday's "This Week" on ABC, Huffington foolishly claimed that Supreme Court justices John Paul Stevens and David Souter would never be appointed by a Republican President today due to "how far the Party has traveled," obviously meaning to the Right.
All three of her fellow Roundtable panelists were quick to correct her flawed logic beginning with Sam Donaldson (video follows with partial transcript, relevant section at 9:20):
Invoking the name of objectivist/libertarian writer-philosopher Ayn Rand, hardly a common citation in television news, ABC’s Jake Tapper, on Sunday’s This Week, confronted former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan with how he recognized a “flaw” in his perspective as he had conceded “markets cannot necessarily be trusted to completely police themselves.” Tapper wondered:
But isn't it more than a flaw? Isn't it an indictment of Ayn Rand and the view that laissez-faire capitalism can be expected to function properly, that markets can be trusted to police themselves?
Of course, “laissez-faire capitalism” was not allowed to police itself by letting poorly-run firms fail (other than Lehman) and allowing rewards to successful for firms which did not make bad judgments. Greenspan rejected Tapper’s assumption: “Not at all.” He proceeded to point out “there is no alternative if you want to have economic growth and higher standards of living in a democratic society to have competitive markets.”
Reacting to a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll which found 50 percent opposed to the just-passed health bill versus 46 percent in favor of it, on ABC’s This Week, Mississippi’s Republican Governor, Haley Barbour, quipped:
I am surprised that the numbers in the Washington Post poll weren't better. I mean, since this thing passed last weekend, we've been seeing the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media elite and every day it goes by, it’s sloppier.
That prompted a chuckle from host Jake Tapper, before the other guest, Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor, Ed Rendell, countered: “I don't know what Haley watches. I don't know what channels Haley watches, but that's a lousy way to kiss, boy because it's getting pounded in the media, a lot of the media is pounding the bill.”
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Sunday said that since healthcare reform legislation passed a week ago, the liberal media have given the Obama administration the longest wet kiss in political history.
After ABC's Jake Tapper hosting "This Week" asked the Governor about a new Washington Post poll finding Democrats have become a little more popular since the bill passed, Barbour replied, "I am surprised that the, the numbers in the Washington Post poll weren't better."
He marvelously continued, "I mean since this thing passed last weekend, we've been seeing the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media league, and every day it goes by it gets sloppier" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 8:13):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: CBS's Bob Schieffer asked DNC Chairman Tim Kaine about this issue.
On Saturday, NewsBusters asked if journalists should find it interesting that President Obama's campaign arm is using alleged death threats against Democrats as a vehicle to raise funds to defend newly enacted healthcare legislation.
On Sunday, ABC's Jake Tapper was up to the challenge not only addressing this issue on "This Week," but doing so with his guest White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
After reading the text of the solicitation that was posted at the Organizing for America website earlier in the week, Tapper asked, "[I]s it appropriate for Democrats to try to raise money off of those threats?" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 5:50):
The New York Post reported on Thursday that CNN chief international correspondent and anchor Christiane Amanpour, who was recently hired by ABC, will apparently be receiving a $2 million a year salary for her upcoming gig on their This Week program, just as the network is laying off hundreds from its news arm.
The unsigned item stated that the "hiring of Christiane Amanpour...couldn't have come at a worse time for staff morale. With ABC News reducing the payroll by 400 jobs, staffers are bitter that Amanpour, who'd been at CNN for 26 years, will make a rumored $2 million a year. An ABC spokesman refused to comment on Amanpour's salary, but an insider said, 'Those who know don't talk, and those who don't know can't stop talking.'"
In a bizarre choice, ABC News President David Westin has decided to make Christiane Amanpour, CNN's New York City-based international affairs correspondent, the host of ABC's Washington, DC-based This Week -- thus passing over many qualified ABC journalists in favor of replacing a Bill Clinton operative with the wife of an operative for both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Amanpour is married to Jamie Rubin, Assistant Secretary of State for public affairs during the Clinton administration and an adviser in 2007-08 for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. (Of course, until early January, the show was hosted by George Stephanopoulos, a 1992 Clinton campaign operative and subsequently a top Clinton White House adviser.)
At 3:28 PM EDT today, TV Newser reported Amanpour accepted the slot and that Jake Tapper will helm This Week until she takes over in August. Do Sunday morning interview show viewers really desire more international news from someone unfamiliar with domestic politics?
She told Hillary Clinton “a lot of the women that I meet from traveling overseas are very impressed by you and admire your dignity,” scolded Mikhail Gorbachev by raising how he's been “criticized heavily by those who say you opened a pandora's box,” argued the press was “muzzled” and not tough enough on President George W. Bush, warned of scary “totalitarian” Christians and, quite oddly juxtaposed French President Nicolas Sarkozy's criticism of rioters with his welcoming of Barack Obama. Plus, she justified awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize: “He’s obviously done something very significant” since the U.S. now has a “new relationship with the rest of the world.”
Nonetheless, last year she insisted: “Nobody knows my biases.”
For the second week in a row George Will gave a much-needed education to one of the media's most beloved liberal economists.
During the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week," Berkeley professor Robert Reich falsely claimed health insurance companies are exhibiting huge profits: "That is money directly out of the pockets of Americans."
Will countered, "[C]onfiscate all the profits of all the health insurance companies, with those profits you could finance our healthcare for 48 hours."
Reich arrogantly responded, "[R]ecipients of health insurance don't know what they are buying very often. Until there are common standards, minimal standards, then people are going to be taken."
This nicely set Will up to drive the ball out of the park, "There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of today's liberalism: the American people are such dopes they can't be counted upon to buy their own insurance" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Congressman Charles Rangel's (D-N.Y.) ethics scandal has absolutely no national significance.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week" turned to new revelations concerning the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Sunday, the New York Times columnist was all by himself in making the case that Rangel hasn't really done anything wrong.
"I'm unhappy with this," he said. "I wish Rangel would go away, but it's, it really has no national significance."
Krugman actually said this after everyone on the panel, including host Elizabeth Vargas, Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson, discussed how egregious Rangel's ethics violations were (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Quite a contrast in how ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, taking her turn hosting This Week, approached House Speaker Nancy Pelosi versus Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, all before agreeing with Sam Donaldson when he urged President Obama to become “ruthless” to pass his health care reform bill since that’s what FDR and Truman “would have done.” She affirmed: “That's a good point.”
With Pelosi, she forwarded process questions about whether the Speaker has the votes to pass the health bill and whether it would have been “more helpful for you” if Obama had put up his proposal earlier, pressed the Speaker from the left on the size of the “jobs” bill and empathized with her struggles: “Are you frustrated so many bills have been stalled in the Senate? Almost 300 bills passed by the House that are sitting, languishing in the Senate?” Not to mention cuing her up: “How would you rate yourself in the past year?”
But with Alexander, the 20/20 anchor did not wonder if he’s “frustrated” by Obama’s intransigence as she challenged him to help pass the Democratic health bill, raised presumed Republican hypocrisy and rued the inability of Congress to pass “sweeping” legislation to provide “the changes we need in the country.” She demanded to know if Republicans will “play ball,” pressing: “Why not take what you consider to be an imperfect bill and at least attach some proposals that you support?” Raising GOP opposition to passing the health bill via “reconciliation” in the Senate, Vargas asked: “Why are you so opposed to this given the fact that Republicans have used reconciliation more often than the Democrats in the past?”
George Will Sunday gave New York Times columnist Paul Krugman a much-needed lesson on what happens if ObamaCare is passed.
Krugman wrote a piece Friday accusing Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) of lying at Thursday's healthcare summit about premiums going up if the Democrats' plan is enacted.
During the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week," Will pointed out, "You said in the next sentence in your column, "I guess you could say he wasn't technically lying because the Congressional Budget Office says that's true."
Krugman responded by explaining that even though "the average payments go up," many people will receive better coverage.
To this inanity, Will marvelously asked Krugman if the government forced him to buy a more expensive car, but told him it's not really more expensive because it's a better car, "Wouldn't you tell them to get off your land?" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 4:30):
Hosting Sunday’s This Week on ABC, Terry Moran noted during the past week the Obama administration “fanned out across the country” to trumpet how “the stimulus worked,” yet President Obama “sounded a little frustrated that people don't get it” as, Moran fretted: “What did they do wrong? They're playing defense on what was one of their major accomplishments.”
Earlier in his interview with California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell, whom Moran touted as “two prominent Governors who call it like it is,” Moran despaired at the shrinking size of the “jobs bill,” worried $15 billion is not enough and whether “there needs to be another stimulus” bill:
The Senate is taking up a jobs bill this week. $15 billion. When it started at the White House, it was $200 billion. The House passed $185 billion version. There was a deal for $85 billion. We're down to $15 billion now. But do you think there needs to be another stimulus, federal stimulus, like this? Is $15 billion enough?
Later, Moran described former Republican Senator Alan Simpson’s rejection of tax cuts as an effort “to get real.”
George Will on Sunday took on Donna Brazile's claim that the Republicans are the Party of No.
After fill-in host Terry Moran on ABC's "This Week" asked Brazile if President Obama is guilty of not challenging dissenting members of his own Party, the Democrat strategist went into the predictable talking point about the gridlock in Washington all being the fault of Republicans.
"I think President Obama is leading," she unsurprisingly said. "But unfortunately, you have a Republican Party that has decided that by saying no, they can, you know, perhaps gain more at the polls this coming fall."
Will was having none of this, and smartly countered, "I want to say something in defense, particularly to Donna, of being the Party of No. The Republican Party elected its first president because he said no to a bright idea a Democratic Senator had."
Of course, that President was Abraham Lincoln, and what he said no to involved slavery (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:30):
George Will said Sunday that people only talk about the government being broken when the Left is having trouble enacting its agenda.
During the Roundtable segment on ABC's "This Week," "Nightline" host Terry Moran brought up the recent announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) that he would not seek reelection in November because "Congress is not operating as it should."
When the baton was tossed to him, Will said, "[W]ith metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments have one thing in common: The Left is having trouble enacting its agenda."
Will followed by noting, "No one when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security said, 'Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken'" (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary):
Appearing during the "Roundtable" segment on Sunday’s This Week on ABC, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington continued her campaign to portray conservatives as promoters of violence as she recounted what she referred to as the "violent imagery" of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s speech at CPAC in which he, alluding to Tiger Woods’ troubles, suggested that a golf club should be used to "smash a window out of big government."
Huffington connected the Republican governor's remarks to Joe Stack’s suicide attack on the IRS building in Austin, Texas, as she noted that Pawlenty’s speech came "the day after the pilot had flown a plane into a federal government building," and contended that "that kind of rhetoric is disturbing."
On Thursday’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, Huffington had appeared as a guest, and asserted that there were "displays of violence" at the convention, even lumping in people stomping on the Media Research Center’s doormats that display the likenesses of MSNBC hosts Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Huffington:
New York Times columnist David Brooks says that what Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's David Gregory Sunday concerning the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City doesn't pass the laugh test.
"What Joe Biden said on ['Meet the Press'] today will be laughed at around the Arab world."
Maybe even more shocking, speaking during the panel discussion segment that followed Biden's interview, Brooks agreed with some things former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about concerning this matter on ABC's "This Week."
"The KSM trial has become a total mess. What Joe Biden said today on the program doesn't pass the laugh test," Brooks said. "[T]he second thing I think Cheney's actually right about is Mirandizing."
Brooks amazingly continued: "[S]ay we'd captured the 9/11 guys on September 10th, or one of them, should we have read that guy his rights and given him a lawyer? No. We should have tried to get some intelligence out of the guy" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Glenn Beck on Tuesday addressed recent attacks by liberal publisher Arianna Huffington and in so doing thoroughly demolished the proprietor of the Huffington Post on national television.
Beck did such a good job that even the left-leaning website Mediaite took his side.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Huffington went on ABC's "This Week" and accused Beck of "inciting the American people" to commit violence against Obama by talking about "people being slaughtered."
The Fox News host, after calling her "Media Matters after a few drinks," walked viewers through specifically what he said on the "Glenn Beck" installment in question, and exactly how wrong Huffington was (video embedded below the fold with transcript):