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