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):
It was a metaphysical certitude the classic battle between Fox News's Roger Ailes and liberal publisher Arianna Huffington on Sunday's "This Week" would send many in the mainstream media over the top, and comedian Joy Behar didn't disappoint.
As "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg gave the audience the background of the matter Monday -- "Fox News president Roger Ailes pointed out that on the Huffington Post he's been called quote a malignant tumor with a face like a fist" -- Behar interrupted, "It's not true."
Moments later, the opinionated comedian demonstrated her astounding lack of knowledge saying, "According to what I've read, first of all, the guy who wrote this tumor thing was not talking about him. He was talking about Fox."
She erroneously continued (video embedded below the fold, h/t NB reader Carla Brehm):
There was a marvelous fireworks display on Sunday's "This Week" when Fox News chairman Roger Ailes squared off against liberal media powerhouses Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, and substitute host Barbara Walters.
The one standing at the end likely didn't vote for Barack Obama.
In the second half of the Roundtable segment, Walters began by asking her conservative guest about the White House's much-publicized battle with his network.
Almost as if scripted, this teed up Huffington and Krugman to voice their displeasure with Fox.
Fortunately, Ailes was up to the challenge making for a very entertaining segment (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary):
Barbara Walters began her This Week interview with Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown by reciting his “fascinating resume,” including how “at 12 you were arrested for shoplifting” and “at 22 you posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine,” before she proceeded to press Brown from the left to distance himself from, or denounce, the Republican Party positions on abortion, same-sex marriage and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” She pushed him: “Are you out of step with your party, or do you think that the party has to broaden and change its platform?”
Given “Massachusetts requires that all residents purchase health insurance” and “you voted for that plan,” a befuddled Walters wondered: “So why doesn't it make sense that all Americans have health insurance? Why isn't what's good for Massachusetts good for the whole country?” When he affirmed opposition to the national Democratic plans, an astonished Walters pleaded: “Goodbye to the whole plan?”
Walters recited President Obama’s contention his administration has captured or killed more al-Qaeda than did the Bush administration in 2008, so: “Do you think that the President has made the country more safe?”
She soon informed Brown that “you replaced a beloved figure,” as she ruminated: “How do you think that Senator Ted Kennedy would feel about your election? Do you think he'd be disappointed?” (MP3 audio of this question; video below)
CRITICAL UPDATE AT END OF POST: Obama praised the 2009 budget when the Senate passed it!
After President Obama told the nation during Wednesday's State of the Union address that he inherited the huge budget deficits befronting the country, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and said, "Blame it on Bush."
In reality, this was one of many Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) moments last night as the President once again played fast and loose with the facts in a nationally televised address.
Sadly, media are deeply at fault here, for if they wouldn't allow the White House to repeatedly blame the nation's current fiscal problems on the previous Administration, Obama would be forced to be more truthful. As NewsBusters has regularly shown, America's so-called journalists have been aiding and abetting these falsehoods for quite some time.
But before we get there, here's what Obama said last night (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript includes McCain saying "Blame it on Bush," file photo):
With the exception of George Will, the panel on ABC’s This Week (hosted by Terry Moran) roundtable insisted Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate seat victory was less an anti-liberal or anti-Obama vote than simply a “pox on both your houses “and “throw the bums” out choice when Democrats happened to be in power. (On Face the Nation, Nancy Cordes described Brown as a “true Republican moderate” and dreamed he “could make being a moderate cool again.”)
Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson also contended people really want ObamaCare and so the White House, Donaldson asserted, should have pushed it more “vigorously” and he despaired that “Republicans were able the make the idea that being on a government health program is terrible. How absurd.”
ABC News veteran Roberts declared of Brown’s win: “I think it's much more the process than the substance” as voters said “‘a pox on both your houses. You know, we don't like any of you guys’” since “when you ask which party do you trust more with various issues, the Republicans do worse than the Democrats. So it's not a Republican tide, but it is a ‘throw the bums out’ tide.”
The retired ABC newsman Sam Donaldson echoed it was “throw the bums out” and “the bums at the moment happen to be in. They're the Democrats. And, therefore, I don't care what your name is, or how much experience you have or don't have, or what your positions are even. You're the other guy.” Former George W. Bush campaign chief Matthew Dowd agreed “it wasn't a Republican victory. It was a victory for an outsider.”
Two Democrats on Sunday blamed the soaring budget deficit on George W. Bush, and ABC's Terry Moran didn't challenge either one of them.
First up on "This Week" was senior White House adviser David Axelrod who told substitute host Moran, "President Clinton left a $237 billion surplus, President Obama received a $1.3 trillion deficit."
Moran didn't challenge this, nor did he press Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) when he uttered virtually the exact same Democrat talking point moments later, "When George Bush came to office, he had a $236 billion surplus; Barack Obama was handed a $1.3 trillion deficit."
Here's how a REAL journalist might have responded the second time somebody made the same stupid comment in the course of about 15 minutes:
ABC on Monday night again empathized with the Obama White House’s disbelief that they could lose “Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat” -- and thus ObamaCare -- if Republican Scott Brown beats Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts. George Stephanopoulos saw a “Shakespearean” tragedy just over a week after PBS’s Judy Woodruff, on ABC’s This Week, described such a scenario as “a tragedy of Greek proportions.”
Stephanopoulos conveyed on Monday’s World News how “Democrats in the White House and Capitol Hill are braced for a shattering loss. And it's really hard for them to wrap their head around it, the idea that...health care reform may be in peril because Democrats can't hold the seat that Teddy Kennedy held for nearly half a century. You know, one White House official summed it up in a single word: ‘Shakespearean.’”
During the roundtable on the January 10 This Week, CNN and NBC veteran Woodruff despaired: “I was just going to say, quoting somebody in the White House, a tragedy of Greek proportions if Ted Kennedy's successor is the one, is the one who was responsible for the death of health care.”
George Will on Sunday spoke an inconvenient truth about healthcare reform the Obama-loving media have dishonestly withheld from the public since this battle began: in order to get something passed, Democrats have resorted to "serial corruption."
Visibly amused by the socialist blatherings of "This Week" guests Donna Brazile and Katrina vanden Heuvel, Will during the Roundtable segment said, "They're trying to pass a bill that is, A, huge, B, radical, C, unpopular, and, therefore, D, they have no choice but to resort to serial corruption."
ABC's lone regular conservative contributor then elaborated as Brazile and vanden Heuvel grunted and moaned in the background (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:20):
An absolutely beautiful thing happened on Sunday: Tucker Carlson asked Katrina vanden Heuvel to stop saying "Teabaggers."
Appearing on ABC's "This Week," the perilously liberal editor of the perilously liberal "The Nation" magazine seemed on a mission to say "Teabaggers" more in a twenty minute television segment than anybody not affiliated with the perilously liberal MSNBC.
Apparently getting offended by the term, the Daily Caller's Carlson finally said, "Katrina, will you stop with the Teabaggers thing?" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 5:40):
A somewhat surprising debate occurred Sunday when conservatives George Will and Liz Cheney took different sides of the Harry Reid racist remark issue.
Appearing on the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," the former Vice President's daughter said, "[O]ne of the things that makes the American people frustrated is when they see time and time again liberals excusing racism from other liberals."
Will, after shaking his head, replied, "I don't think there's a scintilla of racism in what Harry Reid said. At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it."
Likely to the surprise of many viewers, Cheney responded, "George, give me a break" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
At the end of Sunday’s This Week this morning, George Stephanopoulos announced it was his last broadcast as the host (“That’s our show for today. It is also my last regular Sunday here at This Week. Thanks to all of you for watching so faithfully for all these years and thanks to the outstanding crew and staff here at This Week for making it the special program it will always be”) and an item in Sunday’s Boston Herald revealed that ABC had to purchase a special chair for Stephanopoulos, in his new job as co-host of Good Morning America, so Robin Roberts would no longer “tower over” the “diminutive talking head.”
The Herald's “Inside Track” disclosed: “All it took was a new chair from Staples.com!” Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa relayed that “when Stephanopoulos began his early-morning gig last month, the anchor desk appeared out of sync -- with Roberts, who is 5-foot, 10-inches tall, and George, who is soooo not.”
(The accompanying top screen shot is from December 14, Stephanopoulos’s first day as the new permanent co-host and the image below is from this past Thursday’s program. Judge for yourself, but Stephanopoulos is certainly lower in both.)
On Sunday’s This Week, fill-in host Terry Moran, along with Ron Brownstein and Cynthia Tucker, took swipes at Rush Limbaugh for his contention that his good experience at a Honolulu hospital demonstrated the U.S. health system doesn’t need repair. (Friday night NB item “Rush Limbaugh Leaves Hospital ‘Feeling Strong and Rested’”)
After running a clip of Limbaugh from Friday saying “based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy,” Moran couldn’t resist pointing out “the delightful irony” that “Hawaii mandates that employers provide health insurance to their employees,” a fact which in no way contradicts Limbaugh’s assessment of the treatment he received.
“What Rush was saying, Limbaugh was saying was great, except for the 47 million people who don't have health insurance and don't have access,” former Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Brownstein, now with National Journal, snidely insisted. As he spoke, Washington-based Atlanta Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker chimed in: “And are not as wealthy as he is.”
“There's a lot in” the health care bill as it now stands -- even without the “public option” or expanded Medicare -- “that people are going to like” and a “lot of people are going to like a whole lot once they see what's in it,” ABC News veteran Cokie Roberts contended on Sunday's This Week as she blamed Democratic messaging, not the substance, for declining support: “I think the Democrats lost control of the argument – the message – and that's why the polls are as they are.”
If the public just understood all the great things in it, she scolded, they'd realize the Christmas gift they're getting from those Democrats: “It's just a question of understanding it and the Democrats should have been getting that out there more.” As if hey haven't had the news media on their side. Amongst the wonderful benefits: “For he first time” there will be “totally paid-for long term care insurance.” Totally paid for by whom?
Roberts soon praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's deal-making and payoffs: “The person that I have really new-found respect for is Harry Reid, who just has this Senate in session relentlessly until they do this.”
Sam Donaldson said Sunday that if the Democrats pass the current version of the Senate's healthcare reform bill, it probably would be a terrible mistake.
Such was surprisingly said during the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week."
After George Will shared polling numbers indicating how few people are actually in favor of what's currently on the table in Congress, Donaldson agreed saying, "[Y]ou're right, if, in fact, the bill that I conceive is going to come out of the conference committee -- and I think will pass -- is in stone, and that is the healthcare bill from here on."
When George Stephanopoulos asked, "Which part is he right about," Donaldson's response elicited a somewhat startled gasp from the host (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 18:40):
The official announcement will apparently come tomorrow morning (NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported on the early leaks last week): former Clinton campaign operative George Stephanopoulos will start Monday as co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. He’ll also keep his job as the host of ABC’s This Week, at least for the time being.
Here’s one yardstick for measuring the media’s response: Back in 1997, CBS announced that ex-GOP Representative Susan Molinari (pictured at right) would take over as co-host of Saturday Morning. Journalists quickly howled at the breaching of the sacred “barricade that is supposed to exist in journalism between the political people and the officials on the one hand, and the reporters on the other.” NPR’s Mara Liasson said it was “disturbing” of CBS to hire a Republican; Nina Totenberg exclaimed: “This really makes me want to puke.”
Molinari’s Saturday CBS show avoided politics, so she spent most mornings talking about movies and toys and vacation ideas. But according to the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, “Stephanopoulos, now ABC's chief Washington correspondent, had told network executives he wanted to inject GMA with a harder-news focus as a condition of taking the job.”
The Washington Post on Thursday reported that ABC has offered the position of Good Morning America co-host to former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos. According to the Post’s Howard Kurtz, Stephanopoulos, should he take the job, wants more politics in the morning program: "...Stephanopoulos has pushed for a role reshaped to spotlight his interest in politics and hard news rather than feature segments."
Would this mean a greater infusion of liberal bias from the ex-Democratic operative? If his track record on This Week, and guest appearances on GMA are any indication, the answer is yes. The MRC’s Profile in Bias has documented Stephanopoulos’ left-wing spin. For instance, he declared Barack Obama and Joe Biden the winner of all four presidential debates in 2008.
On the May 13, 2007 This Week, Stephanopoulos tarred Republicans as racist and unlikely to vote for Obama: "Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m naive...I guess I think that anyone who’s not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn’t going to vote for a Democrat anyway."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos actually brought up the ClimateGate scandal as a topic for discussion during the Roundtable segment on Sunday's "This Week."
As NewsBusters has been reporting since this story broke more than a week ago, television news outlets have been quite disinterested in the controversy now growing with each passing day.
Breaking this trend, Stephanopoulos aggressively waded into this seemingly verboten subject by mentioning how it complicates President Obama's trip to "Copenhagen to deal with climate change."
George Will of course agreed saying that the release of these e-mail messages raises a serious question about why America should "wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtail freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven."
Not surprisingly, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman found "not a single smoking gun" in those e-mail messages (video in two parts embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary by myself and others involved in this debate):
Throughout the history of this country playing the role of a global power, the United States has faced down threats of fascism and communism. The country is now in the throes of a war against terrorism.
However, on ABC's Nov. 22 "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," a panel consisting of Washington Post columnist George Will, Liz Cheney of Keep America Safe, University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich and Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of The Aspen Institute, warned the next ideological battle facing the country is that which China practices - an authoritarian market society or authoritarian capitalism.
"For 37 years, every administration has bet, since Nixon went to China, on a theory, and the theory was that capitalism, market economy, which requires a judicial system to enforce promises, which are called contracts, needs a vast dissemination of information and decision-making that capitalism by its mores and working would subvert the regime, that you could not have an authoritarian market society," Will said. "It's the Starbucks fallacy. It turns out to be a fallacy, that if the Chinese have a choice of coffees, they'll want a -- they'll demand a choice of political candidates. We may be wrong. It could be you can have an authoritarian system."
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
The Daily Beast on Friday reported that former Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos has now pulled ahead of ex-Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo’s son, Chris Cuomo, in the race to become the new co-host of Good Morning America. Correspondent Rebecca Dana quoted an ABC source as saying, "It’s George’s now to lose."
Dana added, "That both contenders are associated with prominent Democrats has helped to add a campaign vibe to the contest for Sawyer’s anchor chair." She then gossiped, "There is a rumor floating around ABC that Mario Cuomo has placed some calls on his son’s behalf..." (Chris Cuomo is also the brother of New York state’s current Democratic attorney general.)
If Stephanopoulos does become the new host of GMA, there would potentially be an opening at his old show, This Week. The Daily Beast asserted that the contenders are Jake Tapper and Nightline co-host Terry Moran, a well known liberal. On February 20, 2009, Moran famously provided this over-the-top comparison between Barack Obama and George Washington: "I like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office."
With the unemployment rate soaring in 10.2 percent in Friday's report on October, two old hands in the Washington press corps appeared on Sunday morning shows where they asserted that means we need another stimulus bill and/or the problem is the current “stimulus” bill wasn't big enough. On This Week, ABC News vet Sam Donaldson maintained “we're going to have to have more stimulus, more spending.”
Over on NBC's Meet the Press, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, a former Washington correspondent for the New York Times before covering politics for the Post, complained: “The problem is the stimulus was too small, and they compromised it down and so you had less effect. I mean, the fact is these numbers would be a lot worse without the stimulus.”
"If the Republican Party follows the course of Palin and Beck and Company it's doomed."
So said Sam Donaldson on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
Democrat Bill Owens victory Tuesday in the 23rd Congressional district of New York.
Readers are strongly advised to stow all fluids, combustibles, and sharp objects for the ignorance on display here might produce uncontrollable fits of anger (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele accidentally referred to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) as "Speaker Boehner" during Sunday's "This Week," and host George Stephanopoulos surprisingly didn't disagree.
Quite the contrary, he found this so compelling he gave great attention to it at ABC News's website:
Republican Chairman Michael Steele had a Freudian slip this morning on 'This Week' when he referred to Minority Leader John Boehner as "Speaker Boehner."...And Steele stuck by his slip: predicting a Speaker Boehner if Dems continue to push health care.
During the broadcast, Stephanopoulos not only didn't disagree with Steele, but instead used exit poll numbers from Tuesday's elections to show just how much trouble Democrats might be in 2010 (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcript, file photo):
In the wake of liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava suspending her congressional campaign after polls put her behind the Democrat and New York's Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman who has earned support from many conservatives, Los Angeles Times veteran Ron Brownstein fretted over how it's “a sign that the leash that the base is holding on the party is tightening and that the Palins, the talk radio, Rush Limbaughs, the Fox, the definition of what is acceptable as a Republican I think is narrowing.”
Brownstein, who joined National Journal in 2007 after nearly two decades at the LA Times and three years as “chief staff writer” for Ralph Nader, conceded that “in the short run there's clear energy here in the small government/anti–government argument, but in the long run,” he warned, “I do wonder about whether Republicans are going to have the freedom to maneuver they'll need to recover in some of those blue states where they've significantly eroded?”
Undermining his credibility, Brownstein painted Senator Arlen Specter as another victim of the awful right-wingers, claiming “Specter essentially was forced to leave the party after voting for the stimulus.”
A year after Barack Obama was elected President, one thing has become perfectly clear: George Will is THE mainstream media member who seems completely comfortable pointing out the new White House resident's shortcomings.
Such happened again on the latest installment of ABC's "This Week" when host George Stephanopoulos began the Roundtable segment:
George, let me just begin with a threshold question. We're about a year out from the election. Has the President delivered on that promise of change?
Rather than the typical sycophantic response one normally gets from media figures when such questions are asked about Obama, Will marvelously whacked the ball right out of the park (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Sunday ridiculed ABC's Charles Gibson for his ignorance concerning last month's ACORN controversy.
As NewsBuster Tom Blumer reported September 15, when Gibson was asked that morning by a Chicago radio host about the Senate's decision to cut ACORN's funding over the organization's growing scandal, the ABC "World News" anchor didn't have a clue.
With this in mind, as the Roundtable discussion on Sunday's "This Week" turned to recent White House attacks on FNC, Ingraham used the Gibson incident as an example of how "of all the networks, Fox was going to hold the administration the most accountable...That's why they don't like Fox News" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
George Will on Sunday accused the media of manufacturing the return of government mandated healthcare to the current reform debate.
Discussing the subject on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week," Will said it was highly unlikely Democrats actually have the votes for what they call a "public option," but the media are assisting them in "cleverly and skillfully manufacturing a sense of inevitability that they hope will be self-fulfilling."
In effect, although it is quite doubtful the votes are currently there for any form of government run healthcare, the press are doing their darnedest to change that (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):