They say people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But that saying didn't stop NPR's Nina Totenberg and PBS pundit Mark Shields from making fun of the sex appeal of conservative Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, who resigned this week after admitting an affair with a female staffer.
On the local PBS talk show Inside Washington, Totenberg mentioned the abstinence video Souder made with his lover, and added "I don't know why anybody would want to not abstain with him."
Shields joined in: "Who was it? Henry Kissinger, who said 'power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.' Mark Souder is the real test of that, because a George Clooney look-alike he is not." As if Mark Shields could compare. Shields is just about to turn 73. Totenberg is 66.
Sarah Palin “doesn't have any substance there behind her” and her remarks at the Tea Party convention were “embarrassing at points” since she delivered “simple, simple thoughts, very simple-mindedly expressed,” Washington Post columnist Colby King charged on Inside Washington.
Jumbling the famous “most of the American people are mediocre. And they have a right to be represented” quote and its source, King, the Post's deputy editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007, applied the “mediocre” label to Palin: “Just as the Supreme Court nominee who was defeated said, you know, ‘everybody needs to have a little mediocre representation and that's what I am.’ That's what she is.”
Over the weekend, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas offered an intriguing insight into the MSM’s approach to the liberal health care bill slowly rolling its way through the Democratic-controlled Congress. After conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer accurately pointed out how the Senate bill only pretends to be “deficit-neutral” by front-loading the tax collection process while delaying the payouts, Thomas agreed: “Charles is right. This bill is a fiscal fraud.”
But he quickly added: “I’d still vote for it.” (Video here.)
NPR’s Nina Totenberg attempted to defend the Senate bill as one that “actually tries to do something about costs.” But she, too, was insistent on the need for congressional passage: “I am not saying it’s ideal. But we have to start this. But if we don't get a health care bill this time, it is probably the last chance.”
Here is the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notables Quotables show, featuring the liberal media’s most outrageous sound bites.
In this week’s episode we have Chris Matthews wondering what’s wrong with a quick phone call to terrorists, Matt Lauer worried about America getting a big head, and Actor Scott Wolf revealing the inspiration behind his role as a sell-out journalist in a new TV series.
Enjoy the show and to see current and past episodes in a larger format, visit the ‘Notable Quotables Show’ channel on the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.
Newsweek's Evan Thomas regretted the Fort Hood mass murderer, Major Nidal Hasan, is a Muslim because of how that reality will be abused by conservatives. On this weekend's Inside Washington, Thomas, now Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, rued:
I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just -- I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.
NPR's Nina Totenberg soon chimed in with agreement: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”
Discussing the Obama White House's quest to discredit and banish the Fox News Channel, NPR's Nina Totenberg declared going “on the offensive publicly against Fox was not too bright” and she recalled how, in contrast, the Bush White House “just cut people dead, it froze them out, you know it froze whole institutions out, didn't talk about it.”
Putting it in the most-nefarious light, she charged on the weekly Inside Washington: “It was much more like the Mob.” Seemingly ruing Team Obama's miscue in not matching the Bush method, Totenberg asserted that “when you talk about it, you diminish your influence.”
In full swoon for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, NPR's Nina Totenberg fondly recalled his “greatness” in doing “enormous things” for “millions and millions.” She predicted on the weekly Inside Washington aired Friday night:
I think he'll be remembered as a truly Shakespearean figure: tragic, flawed; who in the end achieved redemption through greatness -- both in his personal life and in his professional life, and did enormous things for millions and millions of people.
(Inside Washington, produced by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, first airs Friday night on DC's PBS station.)
NPR legal reporter Nina Totenberg criticized conservative opposition to socialized medicine on Friday’s edition of the talk-show Inside Washington, distributed to PBS stations. She suggested that Republican delays are "mischief-making," proclaimed "the misinformation on what’s in the bill is astonishing," and even suggested she was about to use a crude metaphor for the overwhelming power of insurers: "The insurance companies have – unless there’s a very aggressive regulator, they have – I was about to use an expression one shouldn’t use on television."
First, she complained that Republican leaders are obstructing progress on health care:
And the reason that the Gang of Six, so-called, in the Senate Finance Committee didn’t produce something is that the Republican leadership intervened and said ‘Don’t do this. Leave us August to do what we can do.’ You can call it mischief-making, you can call it obstructionism, you can call it constructive criticism, but that’s what happened.
From there, the longtime NPR star went on the attack against the overwhelming power of insurers. I’d guess she was going to say insurers have Americans by the family jewels:
NPR's Nina Totenberg scolded the more adversarial approach some in the White House press corps took to President Obama during Tuesday's press conference, but on Inside Washington this weekend columnist Charles Krauthammer rejected the notion the media's honeymoon is “over,” as he cracked:
The hot sex is over, they're in the cigarette stage right now. You get a question or two that's slightly obstreperous, but the adulatory coverage is still all wall-to-wall.
That's a comedic improvement over what he offered Tuesday night on FNC when he suggested “it looked as if the stupor that the press has been in for the last six months is lifting slightly,” before he quipped: “I say that as a psychiatrist who has a lot of experience in watching these things.”
Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas appeared on this weekend's edition of Inside Washington and lauded President Obama as a "brave," "great teacher" who "stands above everybody." These comments were only slightly less hyperbolic than a gushing assertion on Friday's Hardball. On that program, the journalist cooed, "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."
Moderator Gordon Peterson prompted Thomas to expound on Obama after asking him and other panelists for their critiques of Obama's speech last week in Cairo, Egypt. Thomas extolled, "We're understanding what Obama is. He is the great teacher. He is this guy that stands above everybody." He did allow that "there's some condescension" in this attitude. However, the Newsweek editor continued, "But, he stands above everybody and says, 'Now, listen. You people have to stop blaming each other unreasonably. You have to get along here and I am going to show you the way.'"
The Politico's Jeanne Cummings, a veteran of the Wall Street Journal, fretted on this weekend's Inside Washington that former Vice President Dick Cheney has “changed this debate in a way that has made it much, much harder to close Guantanamo, which the President is already committed to doing.” So he's done an awful thing in daring to oppose something President Obama is “committed to doing.” Dreadful!
In fact, she soon charged that in complicating Obama's intention to close Guantanamo -- which Obama had announced without any plan for where to place the detainees -- “Cheney really did damage to the effort to keep our country secure by turning this into a political issue. We were going to have to deal with this and to make it a political issue is not helpful. It's just not.”
To which a befuddled columnist Charles Krauthammer retorted by pointing out the overwhelming bi-partisan vote to block the closing: “Cheney is the one who turned it into a political issue? I thought it was a 90-6 vote in the Senate. Just about every Democrat in the Senate-” Cummings jumped in to blame Cheney for turning virtually every Senate Democrat against Obama: “No, Cheney started making political arguments a week ago. That is when you did start to see the tide turn up on Capitol Hill. It was after Cheney started to talk about 'I don't want to be the Member who says I brought a terrorist to a jail in my district.'”
Asked “why does it matter” what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “knew or did not know” about the “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects, Newsweek's Evan Thomas and NPR's Nina Totenberg failed to address Pelosi's hypocrisy in now condemning others for what she knew about years go, as both dismissed the relevance of her evolving memory.
On Friday's Inside Washington, Thomas insisted “it doesn't” matter, maintaining “this is all noise, this is all noise.” Totenberg declared “I don't think it matters, except that it is a diversion that is encouraged by former Bush people who don't want to have this conversation.” On the facts, Totenberg came down on Pelosi's side as she charged the CIA “did mislead” the Speaker: “I think it's entirely plausible -- and maybe even probable -- that the CIA told the technical truth in a way that did mislead Nancy Pelosi.”
Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, contended “Rush Limbaugh is good” for the Republican Party since he'll “take it down as low as it can go”so Republicans “make complete fools of themselves” and “then maybe,” Thomas yearned, “a moderate can come in and rescue them.”
Commenting on Senator Arlen Specter's switch from the Republican to Democratic Party, Newsweek's Evan Thomas declared Republicans are now “exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down.” As if that would upset Thomas and the Washington press corps -- whose very characterization of conservatives as “extremists” is only helping uninformed Americans to see Republicans and conservatives as outside the mainstream.
The assessment from Thomas about how conservatives are “extremists” came on Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, proposed:
I don't think the Republicans would appreciate the comparison, but they're exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down. The same thing as going to happen -- they had to disappear for a while and when they reinvented themselves they did it with moderates, they did it with Tony Blair.
NPR's Nina Totenberg on Friday night was unsure as to whether the tea parties have “any legs are not” since “at almost any given time any cockamamie proposition in America will have at least 25 percent of those polled supporting it.” On Inside Washington she called the anti-tax and anti-spending rallies “a good stunt,” before declaring Americans “pay relatively small taxes” and then lecturing those unappreciative protesters about how taxes provide, as if they want taxes totally eliminated, “a civilized kind of social compact where you don't have massive civil eruptions. That is what taxes are for.”
To which, Newsweek's Evan Thomas chimed in: “I'm all for paying more taxes.”
NPR's Nina Totenberg must live in a world of Obama fanatics. But she works for NPR, so that's tautological. Weeks after she relayed how “a friend of mine said, 'oh my God, we have a President again!,'” this weekend she excitedly recounted how, following President Barack Obama's trip to Europe, she “heard...all over Washington” people saying “'I'm going to go on YouTube and watch the President's speech because I heard it was so good.'” She hailed that as “just an amazing thing.”
On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced at DC's ABC affiliate and aired on it and its local all-news cable channel, Totenberg rejected the notion Obama's speeches and remarks in any way celebrated America's decline. Without specifying which speech she was talking about, but most likely Obama's address in Prague or before Turkey's parliament, Totenberg asserted:
He spoke of the modern realities and the modern difficulties that we've had in our relations with other countries. How many times have you heard people say “I'm going to go on YouTube and watch the President's speech because I heard it was so good”? And I heard that all over Washington this week. And that is just an amazing thing.
Since “I've really been getting pretty upset in the last week, just like every other American,” NPR's Nina Totenberg decided to watch President Obama on the Tonight Show “and he calmed me down. And he was presidential. I thought it was just a masterful performance.”
The eager-to-be-impressed Totenberg made her comment on Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate and its all-news cable channel, News Channel 8:
When I heard he was going to do this I thought, should a President really do that? Then I actually stayed up and watched it and he calmed me down. I've really been getting pretty upset in the last week, just like every other American I think. And he calmed me down. And he was presidential. I thought it was just a masterful performance.
NPR's Nina Totenberg revealed Friday, not surprisingly, that she was enchanted by President Barack Obama's address earlier in the week to a joint session of Congress. “It made me feel pretty good. I thought it was a great speech,” she enthused before relaying a contrast with former President George W. Bush: “A friend of mine said, 'oh my God, we have a President again!'” Totenberg added that “in some ways, that's not fair to Bush,” but she insisted: “That's the way you felt. You felt this was a guy who was totally in charge.”
Totenberg quoted her friend immediately after Newsweek's Evan Thomas trumpeted on Inside Washington: “He looked like he belonged there unlike President Bush who sometimes seemed like 'what is this guy doing there?' even if you like him, 'he really doesn't belong.' He showed natural leadership and that alone made a big difference.”
Washington Post columnist Colby King scoffed Friday at the notion former President Ronald Reagan brought more substance to the White House than does President Barack Obama as King also raised the Iran-Contra scandal as evidence of Reagan's mismanagement of foreign policy.
On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, King contended: “This President connects with people.” That prompted fill-in moderator Mark Shields to ask columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Is it Reagan-like in that sense?” Krauthammer cautioned: “Well, except that Reagan, I think, had a lot more substance and he had a lot more ideas-” Cutting Krauthammer off, a chortling King jeered: “More substance than Obama?!”
Krauthammer held firm and then pointed out how Obama's “never managed a candy store, and the way he put together his cabinet shows that he's got a long way to go,” so while “he's very fluid in his speech,” on foreign affairs he's “extremely slow on delivery because he's extremely unsure.” To which King -- the Post's deputy editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007 -- derisively interjected: “He's managed as well as Reagan with Iran-Contra.”
Washington Post columnist Colby King charged Friday night that a look those who attended McCain-Palin rallies -- presumably meaning all-white -- versus those who went to Obama events, plus a “look at the census projections and what do you see? The Nationalist Party of South Africa.”
On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, the Post's deputy editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007 framed the challenge ahead for Republicans:
I think we're looking at something different here, a larger problem. If you just look at the optics, look at the Republican and Democratic conventions, look at the McCain-Palin rallies and Obama rallies, look at the demographics and then look at the census projections and what do you see? The Nationalist Party of South Africa -- not with the ideology, but in the make up -- in the future.
Newsweek's Evan Thomas and NPR's Nina Totenberg, likely reflecting the attitude of many of their Washington press corps colleagues, declared Barack Obama's connection to unrepentant terrorist William Ayers as an out of bounds subject for the campaign. On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek, charged: “If he loses the election because of that, it's a disgrace.” Totenberg alleged Sarah Palin's anti-Obama rhetoric is “pretty ugly and a little scary” and scolded the panel for even arguing over the relevance of Ayers: “Given what we are in, this is a stupid conversation.”
If he [Obama] loses the election because of that, it's a disgrace for him. If the Republicans make that the issue at the end, it's a disgrace....They should not be trying to beat Obama based on the company he kept. It's bad company, shouldn't have done it, but it shouldn't be the controlling issue.
Evan Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek, on Friday night likened Sarah Palin to Louisiana's infamous demagogic Democrat of the 1920s, Huey Long. On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas reacted to Palin's suggestion in the VP debate that the Vice President has a legislative role:
Here's what's disturbing: Either she didn't know, because actually the legislative role is just about zero as Biden says, or scarier she has a little bit of Huey Long in her. The kind of -- you could see her being a demagogue, saying “I got to do this, the rules are in the way, to heck with the rules, let's do it.”
Earlier on the October 3 show, Thomas (Newsweek's bio), until 2006 Newsweek's Assistant Managing Editor and before that the magazine's Washington bureau chief, contended she reflected the worst aspects of President George W. Bush:
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
“Overkill” from “right-wing radio,” in criticizing Senator Hillary Clinton, is her “secret weapon” that will “transform her into a figure of sympathy by a majority of people” -- and presumably help elect her President -- syndicated columnist and PBS NewsHour political analyst Mark Shields contended Friday night. On Inside Washington, a weekly panel show produced by ABC's Washington, DC affiliate which airs it on Sunday mornings after it first runs Friday night at 8:30pm on DC's PBS affiliate, WETA-TV channel 26, Shields argued:
“I think the secret weapon for Senator Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, is not simply Rudy's shortcomings, the perceived shortcomings of her opponent, I think you'll see on the part of right-wing radio -- conservative talk, however you want to call it -- such overkill that it will make her, transform her into a figure of sympathy by a majority of people.”
NPR's Nina Totenberg then chimed in: “That happened in her first Senate run.”
Time magazine veteran Margaret Carlson, now with Bloomberg News and The Week magazine, used the Minnesota bridge collapse tragedy as a fresh excuse to tout how the public really wants a tax hike while she regretted the lack of political “will” to raise taxes and that the government can't find more money for infrastructure but can afford “$4,000 a minute on the Iraq war.” Citing a poll conducted a decade ago when Democrat Ed Rendell was Mayor of Philadelphia, on Friday's Inside Washington aired on the DC PBS station, WETA-TV channel 26, Carlson claimed that “nearly 70 percent of people polled would pay more in taxes to actually know that they could cross the 14th Street bridge safely,” a reference to a bridge between Washington, DC and Virginia. “But,” she fretted, “you can't get the will to do it. I mean, we certainly had the wake-up call in Katrina, everyone knows the situation, but can you really get it done when there's, by the way, very little money left?”