ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday again gave national U.S. television exposure to a liberal reporter with the London-based Financial Times as she brought Ed Luce, the newspaper’s Washington Bureau Chief and former Clinton administration operative, aboard her This Week roundtable. Luce declared the world would react “with deep horror, I think, but also some amusement,” to a presidential bid by Sarah Palin and charged Republican opposition to START shows “there's a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.”
Echoing the standard liberal spin about how President Barack Obama just failed to effectively communicate his great achievements, Luce argued that “if GM had gone bankrupt and large portions of it had been closed down, we could have lost several hundred thousand jobs.” He then despaired: “The administration's communications effort on this has been absolutely abysmal. It's quite extraordinary to me how they haven't put this forward more forcefully and how the public still doesn't see just how different a kind of bailout this was than the Wall Street bailouts which remain deservedly unpopular.”
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich made a couple of rather startling comments on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
During the Roundtable segment, the devout liberal not only defended former governor Sarah Palin as a "realistic candidate" for president, but also questioned whether or not the government bailout of GM was necessary (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Since National Public Radio somehow missed out on an author interview with George W. Bush -- they did portray his presidency as a horror film -- NPR's Chicago-based weekend game show Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! mocked the former president by "interviewing" clips from his audio book, or as they called it, "A Fake Interview with a Real President." Bush's decision to tell about how he gave up drinking after his 40th birthday in 1986 is apparently a lie, if you're a public-radio comedian. Game-show host Peter Sagal mocked Bush as a drunk in the White House (MP3 AUDIO)
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. With President George W. Bush's memoir, "Decision Points," coming out this week, naturally we reached out to invite the president on for an interview. Now this was the response we got, for real, from his former press secretary Dana Perino, quote, "That's hysterical. You guys are so funny," and then a smiling emoticon. So instead, we'll be interviewing George W. Bush's audio book. So welcome to WAIT WAIT, this is a big honor for us. Now, you tell some great stories in the book. Tell us about your first week as president.
BUSH: I had a few beers with the guys on Monday night. On Tuesday, I’d fix my favorite after dinner drink, Benedictine and brandy. I had a couple of bourbon-and-Sevens after I put Barbara and Jenna to bed on Wednesday.
As a Monday morning treat for NewsBusters readers, here is a sampling of the quotes from the latest edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. All of the quotes, plus past issues going back to 1988, can be found at www.MRC.org.
Forget What Voters Said, It’s Time for Higher Taxes
Host Christiane Amanpour: “There are many economists who simply say the math does not add up, if you’re not going to agree to raising taxes. Do you agree that taxes will have to be raised, as well?” Senator-elect Rand Paul: “Well, I think it’s not a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.” Amanpour: “But it is a revenue problem according to so many economists.”
— ABC’s This Week, November 7.
Despairing that the current income tax rates will be extended for all income levels, on Sunday’s This Week, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus declared: “I think that the conversation right now is deranged” and “crazy.” In measuring the long-term “cost” of keeping the Bush rates for those below $250,000 versus for all, she argued:
I think that the conversation right now is deranged. We have in one room the deficit commission folks saying look at this huge hole, look at the tax increases and serious spending cuts that we need to do to fill it. And then outside the room, we're having a debate about whether we should add $4 trillion to the deficit long-term or a mere 3.3. This is crazy.
Marcus issued her characterizations after New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had made his case for raising taxes:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Krugman tries to clarify what he said.
Although he was likely taking a swipe at former governor Sarah Palin with the reference, Paul Krugman on Sunday recommended "death panels" as a means of helping to balance the federal budget.
In a Roundtable discussion on ABC's "This Week," the New York Times columnist said of what recently came out of the President's deficit commission, "Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Christine Amanpour spent much of Sunday’s This Week arguing with her guests about how taxes must be raised -- a theme also echoed on Face the Nation and Meet the Press -- as she brought aboard the media’s newest hero, tax-hike advocate David Stockman, and also touted Warren Buffett’s quest to hike taxes and how even conservatives in Britain have agreed to do so: “They’re saying there for every $3 in spending cuts, $1 up in taxes.”
Advancing the media-Democratic line against the agenda of victorious conservatives, Amanpour asserted to Senator-elect Rand Paul: “There are many economists who simply say the math does not add up, if you’re not going to agree to raising taxes. Do you agree that taxes will have to be raised, as well?” Rand retorted: “I think it's not a revenue problem. It's a spending problem.” To which, Amanpour countered: “But it is a revenue problem according to so many economists.”
Amanpour soon repeated: “Without making strong entitlement and other cuts, and even if one does, most of the economists say the math does not add up to keep tax cuts on and on and on. Will you agree to some?”
At the top of her show, with “Tax Cut Mantra” derisively on screen, Amanpour touted Stockman: “Their hero may be Ronald Reagan, but his tax man says that [extending the current tax rates] will finish the economy off.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour spent her last show before the election mimicking Democratic talking points. She cued up Democratic Senator Robert Menendez with how Americans don’t recognize the realities of Obama’s achievements so the Democratic shortcoming is not liberal policies but “bad messaging,” while she pressed Republican Senator John Cornyn about whether Republicans “will agree with President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest and preserve them for the middle class?” She also fretted that it’s been a “very specific-free, substance-free, content-free election” before she scolded Cornyn for a “racist” ad.
Though ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Friday night noted how “a new study of campaign ads finds that more than half of negative Democratic ads [51%] are personal attacks, whereas the overwhelming majority of Republican ads attack Democratic policies [69%],” Amanpour relayed “strong complaints from the Democrats about a lot of the anonymous money that's going on ads.” She then ran a clip of an ad from Republican Senator David Vitter which contended his opponent favors illegal aliens, demanding of Cornyn: “So some people have called that racist. I want to know do you think it's appropriate to finger Hispanics in that way? Do you think it is appropriate?”
Liberal internet publisher Arianna Huffington on Sunday went on ABC's "This Week" to spout some of her typical left-wing nonsense about the significance of the previous day's Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally in Washington as well as what a Republican victory on Election Day means.
Fortunately, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and ABC's Cokie Roberts were there to refute her inanities (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
George Will on Sunday gave Christiane Amanpour a much-needed education on the myth of campaign overspending.
During the Roundtable segment of "This Week," with a chyron below him bemoaning "Big Money Midterms," ABC's lone conservative spelled out the issue in language so simple even a caveman could get it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With less than two weeks before Election Day, the media elite continue to disparage the GOP’s Tea Party candidates while saluting the greatness of the über-unpopular Democratic Congress and its leader, Nancy Pelosi.
On This Week, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour — apparently oblivious to the decades of liberal mockery hurled at Ronald Reagan and William Buckley — cited those leaders as exemplifying “a long and venerable tradition” of “intellectual conservatism.” Her goal was to insult today’s conservatives: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it, but it’s extreme.” Conservative George F. Will educated Amanpour: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley...”
“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?"