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):
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.”