On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, host Gordon Peterson used the term "free lunch" to mock Republicans who wish to avoid tax increases while trying to restrain the federal budget deficit. After panel member Jeanne Cummings of Politico predicted a tough fight in Congress over spending, Peterson turned the conversation to Washington Post columnist Colby King. Peterson: "Hold the line on taxes, attack the deficit. Can I offer you a free lunch, Colby?"
After King gave his predictions for the budget fight, Newsweek columnist Evan Thomas accused Republicans of "selling smoking and mirrors," and asserted that "they need to be held accountable by the press." He went on to dismiss the GOP desire to cut taxes. Thomas:
Republicans are going to be selling smoke and mirrors, and they need to be held accountable by the press. They’re gonna be talking about cutting spending, but not big entitlement programs, which is where all the money is. And cutting taxes, which you just cannot do and deal with our fiscal problems. I mean, I’m all for attacking big government, and the Tea Party’s not all wrong about that, but the way that they’re talking about doing it involves a lot of fiction.
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of President Obama’s failure to secure passage of the Dream Act in the Senate, after panel member Evan Thomas of Newsweek asserted that "stupid politics" was behind the bill’s defeat, host Gordon Peterson brought up a quip by humorist Jimmy Tingle that "if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem."
After introducing the segment with a clip of President Obama speaking favorably of the proposed law that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status and eventual citizenship if they go to college or into the military, host Peterson asked, "Why would you vote against that, Evan?"
Thomas blamed "stupid politics" and complained that the proposal is being "held hostage" by those who want to secure the border first. Thomas: "Stupid politics. I mean, there’s got to be immigration reform. It just hangs over all the head of this. We’ve got to reform, this is a small attempt to cure a small but real problem. But what hangs over it is the need to do a larger reform of the immigration system. We got to find some way to get better control of our borders, we do-"
Peterson interrupted to note that South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had voiced an unwillingness to vote for "anything until the borders are secure," prompting Thomas to add, "But it’s held hostage."
After the Newsweek columnist recounted the country’s need for more immigrants who are highly skilled, Peterson brought up the Jimmy Tingle comment about Norwegians as he turned to liberal columnist and panel member Mark Shields. Peterson: "Jimmy Tingle said if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem, Mark."
FNC’s Bret Baier ended his Tuesday night “Grapevine” segment by highlighting NewsBusters’ Monday morning post which has generated quite a buzz on a lot of blog sites, “Nina Totenberg: ‘I Was At – Forgive the Expression – a Christmas Party...’” In Wednesday’s Washington Post, however, The Reliable Source column insisted “her critics got it completely wrong” since “she was, she says, defending Christmas.” As for bloggers who pounced on her, the NPR reporter said “these folks need a life -- and perhaps a touch of the Christmas spirit, as well.”
Baier noted that “NPR's Nina Totenberg is getting a bah humbug from some for something she said on a Washington political program.” Viewers then saw part of a clip of Totenberg posted by NB:
These agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this.
Baier then read from the NB post:
NewsBusters' Brent Baker wrote Totenberg was, quote, “seemingly embarrassed to invoke any religious terminology for Christmas. She didn't say what she'd prefer for parties this time of the year to be named. ‘Winter solstice party'? Just plain old ‘holiday party'? Or a ‘seasonal gathering'?”
“I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party,” NPR reporter Nina Totenberg interjected on Inside Washington in the weekend’s oddest cautionary separation from a common description for a common event, seemingly embarrassed to invoke any religious terminology for Christmas. She didn’t say what she’d prefer for parties this time of the year to be named. “Winter solstice party”? Just plain old “holiday party”? Or a “seasonal gathering”?
Totenberg’s bashfulness came as she explained how the failure of Congress to pass an annual budget has left federal workers in limbo:
Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this.
So, what did Totenberg mean by “forgive the expression”? Watch and judge for yourself. (Audio: MP3 clip)
Charles Krauthammer on Friday made a humorous comparison between the Taliban's popularity in Afghanistan and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Cali.) approval rating in America that clearly riled Mark Shields.
So put off was Shields on PBS's "Inside Washington" that he not only took issue with Krauthammer's joke, but he also went after something conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said about Pelosi earlier in the week (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Gordon Peterson on Friday asked either a staggeringly ignorant or intentionally provocative question.
On the most recent installment of PBS's "Inside Washington," the host queried his guests, "Why is it constitutional to require Americans to buy automobile insurance but un-Constitutional to force them to buy health insurance?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Mark Shields and other liberals for "moaning and bitching" about the President's compromise tax plan after months of demanding the White House implement a second stimulus package.
After Shields on PBS's "Inside Washington" predictably criticized Obama for agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts on the so-called rich, Krauthammer marvelously struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor on FNC, columnist Charles Krauthammer described his role on the political panel show 'Inside Washington': "...it's a very liberal show....it's tag team wrestling in which I don't have a team. It's three on one which I think the odds are rather good that way – for me....we do this exercise every week and it's a good workout."
Host Bill O'Reilly brought up a recent discussion on the broadcast in which Krauthammer called out his liberal colleagues: "You were surrounded by a liberal panel and they were talking about Sarah Palin, which as you pointed out is their obsession, okay?" He then observed: "It was proof that, look, you know, you stack the deck, you're all a bunch of liberals and that's the way it is. I believe that's true and I think most of my viewership does, too." O'Reilly explained that Krauthammer was the sole "token conservative" on the show.
Charles Krauthammer on Friday tore into the liberal media for being obsessed with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
After Krauthammer scolded the "editorial judgment" of the producers of PBS's "Inside Washington" for week after week prominently displaying her as the "only representative of conservatism of any importance" in this nation, the Washington Post's Colby King proved his point (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist and PBS regular Mark Shields on Friday actually said on national television that he has never heard a Democratic leader or presidential candidate accuse former President George W. Bush of lying America into the Iraq War.
This was said in response to Charles Krauthammer telling his fellow "Inside Washington" panelists that this all too common media assertion is the "essential untruth of this decade" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday said Sarah Palin's decision to resign as the governor of Alaska is "like Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick."
This astonishingly came moments after he called Nancy Pelosi the most effective House Speaker in his lifetime on the most recent installment of "Inside Washington" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Nina Totenberg said Friday that she's very afraid of the upcoming elections.
Newsweek's Evan Thomas, her co-panelist on "Inside Washington," said historians might look upon November 2, 2010 "as kind of a joke...obviously the political system’s a mess" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This weekend’s Inside Washington put on full display the liberal sensibilities of the Washington press corps as Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas yearned for a win in Colorado for incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, “a good guy,” wishing “sometimes justice does triumph,” and former Wall Street Journal reporter Jeanne Cummings, now with Politico, was upset Republican Meg Whitman might win the California gubernatorial race: “She’s built a turn-out operation of her own and it worries me.”
Thomas soon hailed Lincoln Chafee, the ex-Republican who campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 and is now an independent candidate for Governor in Rhode Island, as “a tiny little ray of hope” since he’s the kind of “liberal Republican” which “did the Republican Party a lot of good.” Despite the fact he abandoned the GOP, Thomas trumpeted him as “a voice for reason in the Republican Party.”
“Why is it okay for Nina to express opinions, as she has tartly, sharply, unashamedly and openly” while serving as “an honored correspondent” for NPR, while Juan Williams, “because he expresses his opinions, gets canned from NPR?” So Charles Krauthammer demanded while sitting Friday with Totenberg on the same Inside Washington set. “In fact, the standard ought to be lower in the case of Juan because he’s an analyst, whereas Nina is a correspondent.”
Krauthammer had picked up on NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s contention that the network had canned Williams because he violated the policy that “news analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that's what's happened in this situation.”
An uncomfortable Totenberg asserted “it’s a very, very difficult line to draw. And NPR tries to draw it, in my view, using rules that don’t exist anymore.” To which, Krauthammer wondered: “But what’s the difference between you and Juan expressing opinions? You on this show, and him on Fox?” He condemned NPR: “It’s completely illogical and hypocritical.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
Mark Shields on Friday accused the White House of making up the story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns.
Appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," Shields said of the issue the Administration and many of their media minions have been harping on for over a week, "It was absolutely fallacious on their part. And they made it up, the White House did" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Think President Barack Obama has thin skin? How could one not, after the attacks on media personalities like Rush Limbaugh or his on-the-record comments about the liberal blogs and Fox News?
On PBS’s Oct. 2 broadcast of “Inside Washington,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg pointed out the left-wing blogosphere has been critical of Obama, yet she chalked it up as just being “whiny.” “Inside Washington” panelist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer responded, and pointed out the president’s “thin skin,” in the wake of his remarks about his cable channel in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“You would think that the presidency is slightly higher than the left blogosphere, but it is not, and that is what the problems,” Krauthammer said. “The president has an unbelievably thin skin, left or right. His obsession with Fox is a good example of that.”
Charles Krauthammer on Friday had a heated debate with the Washington Post's Colby King over what the Tea Party stands for as well as who its leader is.
As the panel on PBS's "Inside Washington" discussed Delaware Republican senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell's surprising victory Tuesday, the conversation naturally gravitated towards the conservative movement reshaping the face of politics.
"They [the Tea Party] have a litmus test that goes into being right to life, social conservative issues that they're strong on," said King.
Krauthammer pounced, "Look, I hate to say this, but I think that is completely wrong."
The battle was on (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas, who announced a few weeks ago his intention to leave the financially-failing magazine and teach journalism at Princeton, issued a ringing call – in defense of federal spending – for why he hopes Congress and President Obama cannot agree on extending any of the Bush tax cuts, so income tax rates rise next year:
God knows the federal government desperately needs that revenue, so this is one case where I think gridlock is a good thing.
Not exactly in line with the thinking of Tea Party voters. (Audio: MP3 clip)
On this weekend’s Inside Washington, the magazine’s former Washington bureau chief, Assistant Managing Editor and, most-recently, editor-at-large, encapsulated the political/media class’s priority – keeping government spending safe – as he argued:
Mark Shields on Friday demonstrated just how far a liberal media member is willing to go to support President Obama and the Democrat Party.
Appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," Shields actually made the case that despite a 9.6 percent unemployment rate, and growing fears of a double dip recession, Americans should be uplifted by the fact that more private sector jobs have been created this year than during the entire Bush administration.
Showing just how adept he is at repeating Democrat talking points, Shields even said this with a straight face (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It will be “very difficult for Democrats to demonize” George W. Bush “again” during this campaign season, liberal nationally syndicated columnist Mark Shields despaired on Friday’s Inside Washington, because he’s “a circumspect and discreet former President.” Quite unlike, he didn’t say, the often boorish Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Reacting to Vice President Joe Biden’s indictment of the supposed disastrous results from the Bush administration’s economic policies, Shields fretted:
The problem for the Democrats is this, that the energizer bunny for the 2006, 2008 campaigns has disappeared because of George W. Bush’s being a circumspect and discreet former President it makes it very difficult for Democrats to demonize him again. He’s become a non-person. He shows up at a ball game once in a while, he greets soldiers coming back. He hasn’t said anything controversial and that makes it a tougher fight for Joe Biden to make.
Charles Krauthammer is a regular on the weekly program, so I’ll use that as a hook to highlight his latest column, “The last refuge of a liberal,” which includes this well-framed observation:
Promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday smacked down PBS's Mark Shields in a discussion about late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski's legacy.
As the conversation on this week's "Inside Washington" turned to the passing of the former powerful Democrat, Shields swooned liked so many of his colleagues:
Danny Rostenkowski was a throwback...he worked across the aisle. I mean, he was just phenomenal that way. There was no ideology to him. And, you want to know how politics has changed? Danny Rostenkowski used to go back to Chicago by car. You know who rode with him? Bob Michel, the Republican leader rode with him and back, and Henry Hyde, the conservative leader, and they were friends.
With the ball nicely set up on the tee, Krauthammer ripped a monster drive down the middle of the fairway (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday made a truly wonderful observation about how differently the media handle leaks of classified information depending on whether there's a Democrat or a Republican in the White House.
As the discussion on PBS's "Inside Washington" moved to the Wikileaks affair, the Washington Post's Colby King said, "I don't see it as such a difficult issue at all for the Pentagon. It's, you know, it's our material, it's not [Wikileaks']."
This led Krauthammer to ask, "How come in the Bush years and the Nixon years, when you leaked stuff that's our material, classified material, you end up with a Pulitzer Prize, and now if you have a Democratic administration, you end up being condemned from left and right?"
He continued, "I'm not sure I understand" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Gordon Peterson, the host of PBS's "Inside Washington," for blaming Shirley Sherrod's termination on Fox News.
As he introduced the first topic of the evening, Peterson said, "Which brings me to the story of ousted Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod who was let go on the basis of a single piece of internet video that was edited out of context, posted on a conservative website, picked up on Fox News, and bought lock, stock and barrel by the Obama administration."
When Krauthammer got his turn, he went right after Peterson saying, "Speaking of apologies, perhaps you ought to apologize for saying that Fox News had her on the air before the administration had fired her" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
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.”