In her debut Sunday morning as host of ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, the long-time CNN international correspondent brought a foreigner’s perspective to the program as she treated her lack of knowledge and familiarity with U.S. politics as an asset and the current New York City resident seemed to say that after more than two decades of covering the world she had decided to allow herself to deal with U.S. politics now that “the story in this country is turning into one of the most fascinating.” She asserted in an opening explanation: “I'm also eager to open a window on the world.”
In her interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi she approached the Speaker as an empathetic liberal confused about why the public would vote in Republicans after all of the Democratic achievements (“You, by all accounts, are one of the most, if not the most, powerful and successful Speakers in the history of the United States. You’ve passed so much legislation...”) and fretted about “so much polarization” against Pelosi as exemplified by an anti-Pelosi ad which Amanpour described as painting Pelosi as “the bogeyman.” Amanpour despaired: “There seems to be a never-ending partisanship. What is it you can do for the people in this highly-polarized situation?”
She framed questions to Pelosi around phrases such as “from an outsider’s point of view” and “for me, looking in from outside.” Amanpour displayed less ideological affinity and was more engaged and informed about Afghanistan when she quizzed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
On August 1, former CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour will become the permanent host of ABC's This Week, replacing Jake Tapper. In preparation, the MRC has compiled the top ten examples of the journalist's over-the-top liberal bias.
Despite asserting in 2009 that "nobody knows my biases," Amanpour has gushed over many left-wing politicians, including Hillary Clinton: "...A lot of the women that I meet from traveling overseas are very impressed by you and admire your dignity." She also justified Barack Obama's Nobel Prize win, lauding, "He's obviously done something very significant" since the U.S. now has a "new relationship with the rest of the world."
Here are some of the highlights of what the MRC has uncovered. For the full top ten list, including video and MP3 audio clips, visit MRC.org's Profile in Bias.
Picking up on Shirley Sherrod’s allegation Andrew Breitbart “would like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery” and “he'd like to see all black people end up again” in slavery, ABC’s Jake Tapper, during his last Sunday as interim host of This Week before the show goes to Christiane Amanpour next week, expressed astonishment she’d be offered a job building racial harmony:
This woman's been offered a job by the Agriculture Department as a Deputy Director of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And she's saying Andrew Breitbart wants to return to the days of slavery? Now, you can think what Andrew Breitbart did was reprehensible, irresponsible, unfair and a total smear. Does that justify saying he wants us to go back to the days of slavery?
Earlier in the roundtable, Sam Donaldson equated Fox News hosts with Joe McCarthy and yearned for a Joseph Welch “have you no decency” moment, demanding: “Who are these people that they should pay attention to and be afraid of? Who’s Glenn Beck, I mean, who’s Bill O'Reilly? Who’s Bret whatever his name is?” Donaldson recalled how FDR proclaimed: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” So, the retired ABC News veteran advised: “President Obama, don’t be afraid of them. Take ‘em on and let the people judge.”
Despite all the attention given to last week's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's resolution against the Tea Party, all three broadcast evening news programs completely ignored Monday's revelations of racist comments made at one of the civil rights organization's meetings in March.
At 8:18 AM Monday, Big Government reported that on March 27, Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's Rural Development director for the state of Georgia, delivered a racism-laden address at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
Here's a taste of what the so-called news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Monday (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The truth comes out. Okay, it was always out there. It's just that the Barack Obama and the folks in his administration were denying it.
The issue in question is whether the individual mandate and penalties for not purchasing health insurance in the statist health care legislation commonly known as ObamaCare should rightly be considered taxes, or if they are something else.
In a report dated Friday that appeared in the paper's print edition at Page A14 on Sunday, Robert Pear at the New York Times noted that in legal proceedings, in response to litigation brought by state attorneys general, the administration is now characterizing the mandate and penalties as taxes. Note the subtle water-down that occurred between the web page's title bar and the published article's headline:
George Will on Sunday challenged Vice President Joe Biden and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page about the as yet unproven allegation that a Tea Party member called a black Congressman the N-word earlier this year.
During the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," host Jake Tapper asked Page about the recent resolution by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People condemning alleged racism in the Tea Party.
Page replied, "We can debate over whether or not Congressmen really were called the N-word or not. It's a he said/he said dispute."
Will was having none of this, and marvelously addressed the flaw in Page's thinking (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will on Sunday used a Barack Obama quote to smack down a predictable attack on Sarah Palin made by the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus.
As the Roundtable discussion of ABC's "This Week" moved to the former Alaska governor's "Mama Grizzlies" video, Marcus voiced her unsurprising displeasure.
"I think it's the same, old, vapid, platitudinous Sarah Palin," said Marcus. "There is not a shred, not a shred of substance in this ad."
When he got his turn, Will tore Marcus apart, "On the vapidness meter, that ranks nowhere near, 'We are the ones we have been waiting for,' which was Obama's way of flattering the self-esteem of his supporters" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will on Sunday accused Barack Obama of being an expert at selling snake oil.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week" began, host Jake Tapper asked Will if the President's claim Republicans "are peddling that same snake oil that they've been peddling now for years" will resonate with voters this November.
Will marvelously responded, "No, because he is an expert on snake oil."
"This is the man who said, if we pass the $767 billion stimulus bill, which it turns out costs $862 billion, a $95 million oops, we would have unemployment at 8 percent and no higher, and it went higher," continued Will.
"This is the man who last week was out saying, 'I'm going to give $2 billion, about $2 billion, to two companies to create about 1,600 jobs.' That's $1.5 million per job. That is snake oil" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary:
CNN fired an editor for expressing "a lot [of] respect" for a Hezbollah leader the US had designated a terrorist. So how has ABC dealt with someone with similar views? By hiring her and awarding her the prestigious plum of host of This Week.
So what's the difference between Octavia Nasr and Christiane Amanpour? Not much, says Cal Thomas, when it comes to their views. It's just that Amanpour is too smart and sophisticated to stick her views on a Tweet.
Thomas shared his insight on this weekend's editon of Fox News Watch.
The lengths Keith Olbermann will go to attack his adversaries knows no bounds.
On Tuesday, he selectively edited and cherry picked from a Rush Limbaugh radio transcript in order to make the talk show personality look racist.
Most disgracefully, the "Countdown" host completely avoided telling his few viewers that Limbaugh was referring to truly disgusting statements the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker made on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
With total disregard for the truth or any sense of journalistic integrity, here's what Olbermann said during his "Worst Person in the World" segment Tuesday (h/t Meredith Jessup):
In today's "Careful What You Ask For" segment, liberal publisher Arianna Huffington is crying at her website because the folks at PolitiFact didn't back up her claim that Halliburton has defrauded American taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq.
Making this most delicious, Huffington asked to be fact-checked by the group!
For those that have forgotten, the former outspoken conservative was a guest on ABC's "This Week" on June 6 when she get into the following squabble with Liz Cheney (video and transcript follow with commentary, relevant section at 7:30):
“The side that talks about the need to rein in the federal government” is “not very rational,” yet “is winning” the debate over whether to pass another “stimulus” bill, Al Hunt regretted on Sunday’s This Week on ABC.
The former Washington Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, who’s Washington Editor for Bloomberg where he hosts Bloomberg TV’s Political Capital show, fretted over how “right now, that argument – that we have to rein in because the stimulus didn’t work -- well, I think most economists would say the stimulus did work in the sense it would have been a lot worse if there hadn’t been one.”
Hunt’s assessment came in reaction to an outnumbered Dan Senor, the lone voice on the panel against additional government spending to spur the economy and who warned of a Greece in our future. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman charged the 2009 stimulus bill wasn’t big enough and proposed that in the face of a likely $20 trillion debt in ten years, “whether we borrow another $500 billion now” is “really trivial,” Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Constitution yearned for a new “robust stimulus” and Jorge Ramos of Univision declared: “We need more government intervention.”
After nearly three months, the results show far more Democrats and liberals earning a "False" rating, with most of the "True" ratings going to Republicans and conservatives. The discrepency remains even if you take into account that about two-thirds of the evaluated statements came from Democrats in the first place.
From April 11 through June 20, PolitiFact has handed out seven "False" statements -- six to Democrats/liberals, one to a Republican. During that same time, seven "True" labels were handed out -- four for Republicans/conservatives, just two for Democrats (one, ironically, going to former President Bill Clinton).
Retired General Colin Powell also picked up a "True" for a statement about the number of troops President Obama has deployed to Afghanistan, but it's hard to say which side Powell represents these days.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker on Sunday said that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele "is a self-aggrandizing, gaffe-prone incompetent who would have been fired a long time ago were he not black."
Chatting with ABC's Jake Tapper during the Roundtable segment of today's "This Week" about Steele's recent remarks concerning Afghanistan, Tucker went even further with what many would consider overt racism.
"The irony is that he never would have been voted in as Chairman of the Republican Party were he not black" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PolitiFact on Tuesday confirmed NewsBusters' claim that Democrat strategist Donna Brazile badly misrepresented the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 while a guest on Sunday's "This Week."
As NewsBusters reported that day, Brazile said in defense of President Obama's pathetic response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, "The administration has been constrained by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which basically gives the responsible party the lead role in trying to not only fix the problem, but contain the problem."
With quotes from the Act itself, NewsBusters demonstrated that OPA actually INCREASED the President's authority when oil spills impact our nation NOT decreased it.
With the suggestion of ABC's Jake Tapper via Twitter, I sent PolitiFact Sunday's NewsBusters piece. On Tuesday, the fact-checking website declared Brazile's comments "false":
Nothing ruins my Sunday more than a pundit defending his or her politician by completely misrepresenting a law and nobody on the program in question bothering to challenge the falsehood.
Such happened on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week" when Democrat strategist Donna Brazile said of President Obama's pathetic response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, "The administration has been constrained by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which basically gives the responsible party the lead role in trying to not only fix the problem, but contain the problem."
Well, why don't we look at the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and see if Brazile was right (video and transcript follow with details about this law and commentary):
“Sooner or later, we’ll blame this on George W. Bush,” George Will presciently predicted on Sunday’s Week during the roundtable’s look as how President Barack Obama is handling the gulf oil leak. Seconds later, the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington didn’t let Will down, declaring “the truth is, that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted. Full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they're supposed to be overseeing the industry.” Then this exchange:
GEORGE WILL: So, it's Bush's fault? Just clear this up.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: It is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney's fault.
Huffington proceeded to hit the Obama administration for not having “really done enough fast enough to change” Bush’s policies so “we are seeing the complete success of the kind of regulatory system that Bush-Cheney wanted.” Prompting Liz Cheney to marvel, “I don't know what planet you live on,” Huffington also charged that “right here we have the poster child of Bush-Cheney crony capitalism, Halliburton, involved in this.”
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.