“With just 16 days left, it is getting nasty out there,” ABC reporter David Kerley asserted Sunday night, scolding Republican Senator John McCain because on the campaign trail he “dropped senatorial decorum and viciously attacked a Democratic colleague.” On Saturday, in California, McCain said he’s “had the unpleasant experience of having to serve” with Senator Barbara Boxer.
Kerley, however, expressed less angst over McCain’s daughter, Meghan, insulting Christine O’Donnell as “a nut job.” Kerley simply noted how “the Senator's daughter also went on the attack, but she slammed a fellow Republican, Christine O'Donnell, a Tea Party favorite running for Senate in Delaware.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday discovered “a long and venerable tradition of conservatism in this country” exemplified by Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley and “all of that sort of intellectual conservatism,” but she only showed respect for that tradition in order to contend “people,” who she failed to name, “are saying that right now, it's really gone to the extreme.” Repeating her “people” generality, she insisted: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.”
George Will retorted: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley and Bill Buckley's candidate, Barry Goldwater, who was supposedly representing the paranoid style in American politics.”
Later, during the October 17 roundtable, Amanpour fretted: “Where is campaign finance reform?” Will called the lack of legislative prospects on that front be “an absolutely wonderful development this year,” to which an appalled Amanpour wondered: “How can that be wonderful for a democracy, I mean not to know where all of this money comes from and who is putting it in?”
Europe isn’t socialist enough for ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, who pushed French’s finance minister about how “prominent” economists are urging Europe to abandon “austerity” since “it needs more stimulus to provide more growth,” and later during the This Week roundtable, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman ridiculed Tea Party candidates as “irrational” and “seriously strange” before he insisted that irrationality is demonstrated by their inability to recognize Barack Obama is a “centrist moderate President.”
Krugman asserted: “If we have a Republican Party that actually takes the White House, actually has control of Congress, but contains a large wing of these people, it's going to be incapable of making real choices. These are people who are as irrational as they seem in these ads.” He soon parodied the views of Tea Party enthusiasts:
George Will on Sunday once again proved how little Nobel laureate Paul Krugman actually knows about economics.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC’s “This Week” approached its conclusion, host Christiane Amanpour referred to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s claim earlier in the program that her country’s economy is already growing and doesn’t need any further stimulus spending.
Krugman, who is always interested in government laying out more dollars it doesn’t have, bashed Lagarde’s view saying, “I think she's got a fantasy, which is a popular European fantasy, which bears no relationship to what's actually happening.”
With the ball nicely teed up, Will smacked a monster drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will on Sunday exposed New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as a hypocrite when it comes to political ads.
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour opened the Roundtable segment of “This Week” with a discussion about some of the Tea Party candidates and the campaign commercials they’re running.
After Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell’s “I’m Not A Witch” ad was shown, Krugman and PBS’s Tavis Smiley typically bashed her and other Tea Partiers on the ballot.
Moments later, Will marvelously pointed out, “There are five freshmen Democratic congressmen -- that is, the people who came to Congress in January 2009 -- who are running ads claiming that they voted against TARP, which was voted on months before they came to Congress.”
Krugman’s response was nothing less than preposterous (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While the "media will wade into a Tea Party event with hundreds of thousands of people looking for that one brain-dead Lyndon LaRouche follower" who says something asinine that they can plaster "all over the news," they have ignored the insane rhetoric coming from featured speakers at last Saturday's "One Nation Working Together" rally, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of the October 7 edition of "Hannity."
Appearing on last night's 9 p.m. Eastern program for the popular recurring "Media Mash" segment, the Media Research Center quoted the extreme rhetoric of musician Harry Belafonte, which was ignored by the mainstream media:
"Ever since 9/11, the media have been telling us that we shouldn't be judging all Muslims and blaming all Muslims for 9/11, which is absolutely fair and true. But [the media] can turn around and blame Christianity for any opposition to Muslims," lamented NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on this morning's "Fox & Friends."
Just because "there is some fanatic somewhere in Tennessee who desecrates a mosque somewhere, Gary Bauer is being held responsible for it. This is the double standard," the Media Research Center president argued, responding to a clip from Sunday of a testy exchange ABC "This Week" host Christiane Amanpour and the president of the social conservative group American Values.
"Christiane Amanpour was supposed to be the moderator" of the townhall forum, not a participant, Bozell complained. "She doesn't understand that," instead seeing herself in the role of an "educator" to her television audience.
For the full segment's video, click the play button on the embed above or click here to download the WMV video. For the MP3 audio, click here.
American Values president Gary Bauer on Monday said the audience at ABC's "Holy War" special edition of "This Week" was stocked with people that support radical Islam and the building of the Ground Zero mosque.
As NewsBusters reported after Sunday's program, host Christiane Amanpour presented a tremendously skewed view of so-called American Islamophobia cueing up advocates of the premise while attempting to discredit skeptics.
One of those in attendance was Bauer who in a radio interview with WOR's Steve Malzberg the following day said the audience was also stacked to support the Islamophobia view (audio follows with transcript and commentary):
After two shows featuring six advocates of the Ground Zero mosque, including Iman Faisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, but not a single guest to counter Christiane Amanpour’s contention opposition “has raised profound questions about religious tolerance and prejudice in the United States,” ABC on Sunday decided to air a pre-recorded and edited “special This Week town hall debate, Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?” Amanpour promised: “We air the issue from all sides.”
While twelve guests in total from both sides of the question earned air time (six on stage, three more in the Manhattan studio audience and three via satellite), Amanpour was more hostile to those who answered in the affirmative than she was toward those in the negative, cuing up advocates to correct critics, culminating in Amanpour trying to discredit critics by proposing “you think Daisy Khan is al Qaeda?”
She accused Gary Bauer of “blurring the lines between those who killed and the rest of the religion. Why are you deliberately blurring the lines?” And she charged: “So, Gary Bauer, as you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center, have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns.” Raising the vandalism at the site of a proposed mosque in Tennessee, Amanpour asserted: “After some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer. Do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro?” Bauer was incredulous: “Are you serious?”
You have to wonder what on earth ABC’s “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour is thinking by holding a so-called town hall meeting this close to a pivotal midterm election.
On the Oct. 3 broadcast of “This Week,” the brainiacs at ABC determined it would be appropriate to pitch Christian leaders against moderate and extremist Muslims. This choice of programming comes at a time when many conservatives have been chastised for being outspoken over the placement of an Islamic worship center near the Sept. 11 Ground Zero site.
However, perhaps the most alarming statement on Amanpour’s program came from Anjem Choudary, a former British solicitor, Muslim cleric, and spokesman for the group Islam4UK. Choudary contends eventually you'll see global Islamic rule, including here in the United States.
"You have to wonder, Sean, what planet our friend Matt Lauer is living on right now," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped after watching a clip of the "Today" show co-host all but urging President Obama in an interview to be tougher by "pushing back" against Republicans in the remaining weeks before the November midterms.
"Barack Obama has done nothing but blame George Bush for everything that goes wrong with Barack Obama's agenda ever since Barack Obama starting running for president in 2008, and nothing's changed," the Media Research Center president noted during the "Media Mash" segment on the September 30 "Hannity."
There’s little pretense of media fairness as the 2010 elections approach. Last Thursday, ABC’s World News ran as “news” a video produced by the Obama White House. Diane Sawyer excitedly touted how “we got to listen in on a phone call today,” as viewers saw a brief clip of President Obama talking to a cancer patient who thanked him for the government takeover of health care.
Then on Monday, NBC Universal donated a 30-minute commercial-free interview to Obama, shown not just on NBC’s Today, but on the corporation’s other networks (including USA, SyFy and Bravo). Matt Lauer informed the President how other Democrats (including Bill Clinton) don’t think he’s been “rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks.” Lauer implored: “Do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?”
The Christiane Amanpour as "This Week" host experiment so far is a huge failure for ABC as ratings have plummeted since she took over the Sunday political talk show.
Last Sunday's program attracted 29 percent less viewers than the same day a year ago.
Making matters worse for ABC executives is the fact that Amanpour's numbers are far worse than interim host Jake Tapper's who did most of the anchoring after George Stephanopoulos left for "Good Morning America."
As Steve Krakauer reported Monday, the decision to bring Amanpour over from CNN is so far not looking like a good one:
Interviewing David Axelrod on Sunday’s This Week, Christiane Amanpour asked him to explain why “people don't appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda” that President Barack Obama has “accomplished,” then with Senator Mitch McConnell she denigrated Republican Senate candidates who are Tea Party favorites: “Are you not afraid that their somewhat, one would say, some might say bizarre statements, their sort of fringe quality might actually turn people off?” She also condescendingly demanded of McConnell: “What is Christine O'Donnell's qualification for actually governing? What is Sharron Angle's actual qualification for governing?”
In a third segment, she cued up Jordan’s Queen Rania to confirm “Islamophobia” mars America: “You've seen the reaction and the fallout from the Islamic center, but it goes broader than that. Do you see a sort of a dangerous Islamophobia in the United States?”
While she repeatedly pushed Axelrod about why Democrats were delaying a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts for “the middle class,” with McConnell she tried to discredit extending the tax rates for everyone, childishly describing how “there's also this huge thing that the people of the United States are worried about, and that is the deficit, and keeping the tax cuts will add trillions to that.”
George Will on Sunday gave a much-needed education to the entire "This Week" panel about how the Tea Party is moving the GOP in a positive direction that could alter politics in this nation for years to come.
As Christiane Amanpour and her Roundtable guests - Democrat strategist Donna Brazile, National Journal's Ron Brownstein, and Republican strategist Matthew Dowd - all fretted about the so-called Civil War brewing in the GOP, Will was once again the voice of reason.
"At the beginning of the year, the question was, will the Tea Party people play nicely with others and will they obey the rules of politics? Who's sort of not playing nicely?" asked Will.
"Mr. Crist starts losing the primary to a Tea Party favorite Rubio. He suddenly discovers that he's an independent and changes all his views overnight," he continued.
"Mrs. Murkowski loses a primary and suddenly discovers that she has a property right in her Senate seat and she's going to run as a write-in. Senator Bennett thought of that in Utah, Senator Castle in Delaware is thinking of a write-in candidate. Who are the extremists?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will on Sunday refuted Peter Beinart's claim that former governor Sarah Palin is the Republicans' George McGovern.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Beinart appearing on ABC's "This Week" claimed the GOP today resembles the Democrat Party between 1968 and 1972 when McGovern took it over and moved it so far to the left that it no longer represented the views of average Americans.
This ended up harming the Democrats in the long run leading Beinart to conclude, "The Republicans will do great in 2010, but I think Sarah Palin is really the Republicans' George McGovern."
Will smartly responded (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday, CBS’s Bob Schieffer contended the rise of Tea Party candidates “is very much like 1964” when the Republican Party nominated Barry Goldwater who “was far to the right of most of the people in his party, and they lost in a landslide.” On Sunday morning, another liberal media thinker moved ahead eight years to forward George McGovern’s 1972 Democratic debacle as the proper analogy: “Sarah Palin is really the Republicans' George McGovern.” (So, does that make Barack Obama the modern day Richard Nixon?)
On ABC’s This Week, when host Christiane Amanpour wondered if the Tea Party is “a fad” or “something much deeper?”, Peter Beinart, former top editor of The New Republic and now a senior political writer for The Daily Beast, as well as an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York, asserted:
The Tea Party is now the Republican Party. I mean I think what we're seeing in the Republican Party is something akin to what happened to the Democratic Party between 1968 and 1972 in which the forces of George McGovern took over the Democratic Party, overthrew the Democratic Party establishment and moved it substantially to the left.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, host Jon Scott picked up on a recent "Media Reality Check" report by the Media Research Center – parent organization to NewsBusters – titled "Smearing America as Islamophobic," which documented that the mainstream media have portrayed America as Islamophobic because of public opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Scott: "The Media Research Center, Jim, released a study this week titled 'Smearing America as Islamophobic.' The overall thrust is that networks like NBC, CBS, ABC are calling these protests at Ground Zero, protests over the mosque, Islamophobia. Do they have a point?’"
After panel member Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation voiced his agreement with the MRC’s findings, Scott seemed to pick up on another MRC/NewsBusters item as he quoted ABC’s Christiane Amanpour from last week’s This Week show when she portrayed America as Islamophobic. Scott: "Let me read you a quote from Christiane Amanpour... At the top of her show on Sunday, she noted the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that had just passed, and she said, ‘She said nine years later, the growing hostility toward Muslim-Americans. Not since 9/11 has the country seen such anti-Muslim fervor,’ and said, ‘Muslim-Americans are feeling vulnerable.’ Where’s her proof?"
Emily Lenzner, Executive Director of Communications at ABC News for its DC-based shows, who spent eight months in 2007-2008 as editorial producer for This Week with George Stephanopoulos (for whom she also toiled inside the Clinton White House), has left ABC News for Anita Dunn's “strategic communications firm.” SKDKnickerbocker announced Monday she'll be a Managing Director with the firm led by Dunn, the Obama administration's Communications Director in 2009. SKDKnickerbocker's “About” page boasts:
We helped Barack Obama by being the only firm in America to do direct mail and television advertising for his 2008 presidential victory. We helped SEIU fight to stave off millions of dollars of healthcare cuts.
Their “Case Studies” page, which touts work for a bunch of liberal candidates, highlights “FAR-REACHING ROLE IN ELECTION: Obama for America.” That page trumpets: “No other firm had as far-reaching a role in President Obama's election...with Anita Dunn serving as one of the top officials of the campaign and the firm producing both television advertising and direct mail for the campaign.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour used Sunday’s This Week to again shame Americans for their presumed irrational intolerance and Islamophobia as she railed against the ignorance of too many Americans, provided a friendly forum to Iman Faisal Abdul Rauf, whom she prompted to ridicule Sarah Palin, and then brought aboard a group of three “leading thinkers on faith” to “discuss religious tolerance and Islamophobia in America.” That brings Amanpour’s show tally to six guests in favor of the Ground Zero mosque versus zero opposed (four today, two on the August 22 program).
Unmentioned by Amanpour or her guests: A report presented Friday by former 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton about, according to Reuters, a needed “wake-up call about the radicalization of Muslims in the United States.” The report warned: “The U.S. is arguably now little different from Europe in terms of having a domestic terrorist problem involving immigrant and indigenous Muslims as well as converts to Islam.”
At the top of Sunday’s show, Amanpour noted the 9/11 anniversary and used it to frame her agenda: “Nine years later, the growing hostility towards American Muslims.” In a lengthy set-up piece leading into Rauf, Amanpour fretted that “the plans to build an Islamic center close to Ground Zero have whipped up anti-Muslim sentiment” and insisted: “Not since 9/11 has the country seen such anti-Muslim fervor.” She asserted “Muslim-Americans are feeling vulnerable, with attacks on mosques in California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. And the latest fuel poured on the fire, a threat to burn Korans...” And “these tumultuous events have created a global backlash. From Washington, to the Vatican, to Afghanistan.”
As NewsBusters has previously reported, liberal Internet publisher Arianna Huffington is breathtakingly ignorant when it comes to basic economic theory.
On Sunday, she proved it again by making an absolute fool of herself on ABC's "This Week."
With the "Roundtable" segment beginning on the subject of the economy, Huffington noted how the failure of the banking bailout to stimulate growth was "proof that the government does not work."
In a stunning display of both idiocy and hypocrisy, she moments later demanded more financial regulations, including a reinstatement of the Depression Era Glass-Steagall Act, to - wait for it! - stimulate the economy.
Adding insult to injury, George Will was available to really make clear what an absolute imbecile Huffington is (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on Sunday accused Barack Obama of badly misreading his Election Day mandate, and said the current White House is the worst communicating administration he's ever seen.
Appearing on the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," Friedman blasted the President saying, "I'm for more health care. I'm glad we've extended it to more Americans. But the fact is there's a real, I think, argument for the case that Obama completely over-read his mandate when he came in."
Friedman continued, "He was elected to get rid of one man's job, George Bush, and get the rest of us jobs. I think that was the core thing, and by starting with health care and not making his first year the year of innovation, expanding the economy and expanding jobs, you know, I think looking back, that was a political mistake."
Moments later, the Times columnist said, "I've never seen a worse communicating administration" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
An amazing thing happened on the set of ABC's "This Week" Sunday: a liberal tried to extol the benefits of President Obama's unrestrained federal spending only to get completely smacked down by the entire panel.
Host Christiane Amanpour began the Roundtable segment of the program by showing some of last week's horrendous economic numbers, and opened the debate about what can be done to improve the current condition.
When Democrat strategist Donna Brazile got her turn at the plate, she uttered the same nonsense Americans have been hearing from her ilk for approaching two years:
Congress is divided. They are afraid to put more money back into the system, although most Americans should know by now that the stimulus did create or save 2 million to 4 million jobs, averted the Great Depression 2.0, but Congress doesn't have the appetite to put more money into the system.
The other panelists - George Will, President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass, "Nightly Business Report" host Susie Gharib, and even Amanpour - weren't buying it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Not even feigning the pretense of balance, a week after her roundtable hailed President Obama’s initial endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque (GZM), on this Sunday’s This Week host Christiane Amanpour featured an “exclusive” with two GZM proponents as she declared “the controversy has raised profound questions about religious tolerance and prejudice in the United States. And the backlash against Islam has been seen across the country...”
Holding up the current Time magazine with its “Is America Islamophobic?” cover, she forwarded the contention: “Is America Islamophobic? Are you concerned about the long-term relationship between American Muslims and the rest of society here?”
Amanpour’s guests, to “cut through the heated rhetoric” on the only Sunday interview show with a guest segment on the GZM (Fox News Sunday took it up in its panel time): Daisy Khan, wife of imam behind the project, and Rabbi Joy Levitt, from the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, “who's an adviser on the project.”
Amanpour began by undermining the idea the community center with a prayer room inside is all that close to Ground Zero: “Opponents say that it's just too close to the site of the 9/11 attacks, though it cannot be seen from there. It took an ABC News producer two minutes and 45 seconds to walk from Ground Zero to the site of the proposed center.”
Robert Reich on Sunday falsely accused former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of saying Muslims are like Nazis.
As NewsBusters reported last Monday, Gingrich was quoted by the New York Times as saying that building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."
Gingrich elaborated on "Fox & Friends" that very morning:
Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.
Unfortunately during the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," Reich claimed without challenge that Gingrich said, "Muslims are like Nazis" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
President Barack Obama’s endorsement Friday night of building a mosque near Ground Zero has driven the establishment press corps to find nobility in pursuing conviction even in the face of public opposition, not something MSM journalists admired about the previous President, while suddenly becoming very concerned about protecting private property rights – all while hailing Obama’s “great global message.” [MP3 audio here.]
“I thought the speech Friday night was a model of political courage, in the sense that he said what he believed knowing that it was going to cost him,” hailed Washington Post Associate Editor David Ignatius on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour. Picking up on Matthew Dowd’s suggestion Obama was echoing George W. Bush’s “it’s my way or the highway” attitude, Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Reuters, argued:
Another way of talking about that is leadership, conviction, having your beliefs and not governing according to polls. And I think if you ask most Americans what kind of leader you want, if you ask people in the world what kind of leader do you want, you want someone who governs according to conviction....for American leaders to say in the face of, you know, some political pressure from their voters, tosay actually we believe sufficiently strongly in diversity, in private property rights for our Muslim citizens, I think that's a great global message.
Christiane Amanpour on Sunday asked a rather surprising question of her "This Week" panel concerning President Obama's speech earlier in the week about the troop draw down in Iraq:
Do you think everybody is taking a lot of credit but not giving credit where credit is due?
Obviously, "everybody" in this instance meant the current White House resident who chose not to give credit to former President George W. Bush for the success in Iraq or to even mention "the surge" in his address.
After former Bush speechwriter now Washington Post contributor Michael Gerson said, "I didn't find the speech to be a particularly generous speech...he's attempting to take credit for something that he opposed," some truly shocking statements were made by Amanpour and Politico's John Harris (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Christiane Amanpour elevated a liberal British journalist, with little U.S. television experience, to the This Week roundtable where she presumed the government must run the economy and distribute the economic pie while she took pot shots at how the efforts to control illegal immigration proves America’s descent into a “culture of hate.”
Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of the London-based Financial Times newspaper, began by insisting, that to respond to stagnant employment numbers: “The big question now is can the economy keep growing if the government doesn't keep pumping in money?”
Applying a European economic model, Tett fretted “that so much of America in the last few decades has been about trying to focus on growing the pie, not worrying about how to divide it up” as Americans didn’t “worry about social equity and things like that.” But, showing little faith that Obamanomics will work, she ruminated, “if we are entering a period when the pie is stagnant, the question that’s going to be very political is how do you divide that pie up?”
ABC is fighting back against Washington Post critic Tom Shales asking if ABC's new Sunday show host Christian Amanpour meant to send flowers and regrets to members of the Taliban in her overbroad eulogy on her debut as This Week host. Justin Elliott of Salon's War Room blog found remarks from Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president at ABC, that Shales' criticism here is "utterly fabricated." He can't admit that Amanpour left the door wide open to speculation. Brent Baker noticed the slight, where Amanpour made no moral distinctions among the world's war dead: “We remember all of those who died in war this week. And the Pentagon released the names of eleven U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan.” Technically, "all of those who died in war" could include a suicide bomber or an executioners of whole families. But Schneider insisted Amanpour's Catholic upbringing played a role:
"Christiane took the language from a prayer that she says in her Catholic church every weekend. It's a bidding prayer," Schneider said.