On Thursday night's PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff interviewed Donna Zaccaro, who has made a new documentary about her mother, Geraldine Ferraro and her historic nomination for vice president in July of 1984. Like Nancy Pelosi's daughter Alexandra, Zaccaro was a longtime producer for NBC News before becoming a filmmaker.
In a film clip, NPR’s Cokie Roberts gushes about the moment at the convention with Ferraro, “Standing up there all in white, looking like this tiny little figure, but looking beautiful and looking female.” Woodruff added she was there, too, and “I remember. It was a special moment for women in — no matter who you were, what party you were in.” But Zaccaro thought Sarah Palin’s nomination in 2008 wasn't a bipartisan moment. It meant nothing:
In the Friday PBS NewsHour,anchor Judy Woodruff lamented the current impasse in Washington: "I don’t know what else to call it, war between congressional Republicans and the president."
She sounded shocked that Speaker John Boehner filed suit to protest the president's constant end-runs around Congress and legislating from the White House on Obamacare, immigration, and other issues. Shields called the suit "absolutely bogus" and compared it to impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998:
Appearing on Wednesday evening’s PBS NewsHour to discuss her book with Gwen Ifill, Hillary Clinton was forced to again explain her comments regarding wealth. Ifill told Clinton that those kind of comments tend to “stick. Ask Romney.” The former Secretary of State shot back, “Well, that’s a false equivalency.”
Gwen Ifill mentioned to Clinton that her husband “was forced to defend you at his own conference.” Hillary thought it was “sweet” of her husband, but said she doesn’t “need anybody to defend my record.”
On Tuesday night’s PBS NewsHour, a panel of journalists were exploring how Democratic candidates for the Senate were going to struggle with Obama’s new crackdown on coal plants. PBS anchor Gwen Ifill even said, “why then does the White House rub salt into the wound on this issue? Why make it so hard for Democrats especially?”
Washington Post reporter Reid Wilson replied that Obama wants it for his legacy as his term winds down, and reminded Ifill that he said his time would be when the planet starts to heal: [See video below.]
On Thursday evening, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared on the PBS NewsHour to discuss his new memoir. Not only did the taxpayer-subsidized anchor Gwen Ifill gently press Geithner from the left on policy matters, she failed to ask him about one of his most startling admissions – that Obama administration officials wanted him to lie during appearances on the Sunday morning TV talk shows.
It's not for a lack of air time either. Ifill gave a two-minute introduction, followed by a 10-minute interview, yet she never got around to this revelation from Geithner’s book Stress Test:
What at times is worse than the Jurassic Press not covering something? The Jurassic Press covering something.
The all-encompassing government-Internet-power-grab that is Network Neutrality rarely gets outside-the-Tech-World media attention. But Thursday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in Democrat Party-line fashion to begin its process of imposing it. This was a big enough deal that it garnered over-the-weekend Big Media coverage from ABC (with a Bloomberg assist) and PBS (with a Washington Post assist).
PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields started with an admission on Benghazi on Friday night: “Has the White House been transparent? Absolutely not.”
But he lamented that the House special committee hearings “will be a disaster. It won’t be good for the country.” It’s only being done for the Tea Party and Fox News. Apparently, hearings are only productive and wonderful when run by liberal Democrats like Henry Waxman:
On Thursday’s NewsHour, PBS ran a full-length segment on the new special committee created by House Republicans to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. However, anchor Judy Woodruff and her guest, Robert Costa from The Washington Post -- formerly of the National Review -- pushed the idea that Republicans are exploiting the tragedy by fundraising off of it. The thing is, the network didn’t seem to care back in 2012 when President Obama gave a brief Rose Garden statement after the attacks and then dashed off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Woodruff brought up the issue of fundraising near the end of the interview:
Donald Sterling, the beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has been banned from the NBA for life. But for some in the media, the league's disciplinary action is something that should be pursued against socially conservative owners by virtue of their political beliefs. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Take Esquire political blogger Charlie Pierce, for example. Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour, Pierce suggested that NBA commissioner Adam Silver should now consider taking action against the DeVos family, which owns the Orlando Magic, for the family’s opposition to gay marriage. Pierce pondered (emphasis mine):
On Monday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff sat down for a conversation with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and she tried to get the amiable, elderly jurist to criticize his more conservative former colleagues. Stevens, to his credit, didn’t take the bait. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The interview focused on Stevens’ new book about six amendments he would like to see added to the Constitution. Near the end of the discussion, Woodruff sought to make waves by getting Stevens to charge conservatives on the court with a partisan agenda:
While HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius was getting a polite shove out the door, PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields offered a note of disclosure: “Well, first of all, let me just admit up front, Kathleen Sebelius has been a personal friend. For 46 years, I have known her.” He even oddly said she “stepped up manfully, to use a bad adverb” in taking the blame for Obamacare.
But Shields and his usual echo-chamber David Brooks disagreed. Brooks said she wasn’t a “dynamo” at HHS, which caused Shields to start touting her. Anchor Judy Woodruff had gently asked, like a good feminist, “What’s her legacy?”
Barack Obama has taken a few soft-soap interviews on the PBS NewsHour, so anchor Judy Woodruff didn't want to say he was sell Obamacare in less than dignified forums -- like prank interviews with the schlub from "The Hangover" movies.
Pseudoconservative analyst David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields typically agreed that Obama has oodles of dignity and cannot be mocked. Brooks said only if Obama's riding "with Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball" -- where she rode naked in a video -- would it be "going a little too far." That's hardly a visual you'd expect from PBS:
Leave it to PBS to take a local controversy and turn it into a symbol of the class war that is supposedly plaguing this country. On Tuesday’s NewsHour, the taxpayer-subsidized network raised a stink over so-called Google buses that carry San Francisco residents to their jobs at high-tech companies 30 or 40 miles south of the city. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Anchor Judy Woodruff drew the battle lines as she introduced the story:
PBS found a sly new way to promote ObamaCare on Monday’s NewsHour. It came as part of a feature story on nutrition for young mothers and their infants. Anchor Judy Woodruff introduced the story by talking about malnutrition in young children and the importance of proper nutrition for mothers, particularly young ones. This set up her selling point: “Starting in 2010, a program under the health care reform law made that idea more of a possibility in many states.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The story that followed centered around the Circle of Life program, which essentially helps young, low-income parents in northern Arkansas raise their children. PBS correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, who narrated the package, explained Circle of Life’s connection to ObamaCare:
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been facing criticism and scorn from some media members for having the audacity to mildly criticize President Obama and some administration officials while Obama is still in office. On Tuesday, Gates appeared on the PBS NewsHour to face another round of questioning about his newly released memoir.
Midway through the interview, anchor Judy Woodruff suggested that the former defense secretary could lower morale among troops on the ground overseas: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday night’s edition, the PBS NewsHour held a discussion about President Obama’s prospects for making 2014 more successful than 2013. Of course, the panelists defined success as the president enacting more of his left-of-center agenda.
Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal posed a “really interesting strategic choice” that he thought the White House had to make: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, media members across the fruited plain have largely gushed and fawned over the former president's legacy and grandeur.
New York Times columnist David Brooks offered a rather unique take on PBS's News Hour Friday saying that Kennedy's utopian vision of what a president can do, along with his subsequent martyrdom, diminished the office because "politics can't live up to that sort of mirage of sort of religiosity" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last week, NewsBusters reported that PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff failed to ask about the “Fast & Furious” Mexican gun-running scandal during an interview with B. Todd Jones, the new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. But on Monday’s NewsHour, Woodruff played a previously unannounced Part Two of her taped interview with Jones, and this time she asked a question about “Fast & Furious.”
That’s not to say Woodruff suddenly turned into a hard-hitting journalist. In fact, she didn’t get to “Fast & Furious” until her very last question. Even then, she brought up the topic very gently: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney about his notorious heart troubles as documented in his new book, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey. Apparently unwilling to let a good conversation about healthcare go to waste, Ifill spent the latter half of the interview trying to use Cheney’s experience as an infomercial for why America needs ObamaCare.
Ifill began to steer the conversation in ObamaCare’s direction in a subtle manner: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
New York Times columnist David Brooks always knows he's sitting on a liberal Democrat set at the PBS NewsHour. PBS viewers don't want a real conservative that makes conservative arguments. Only insults are welcome. So in praising Chris Christie on Friday's show, he said the 2012 GOP presidential debates were "Looney Tunes." He was dead serious.
But when the subject turned to liberal Democrats in New York City, he made a very mild crack about the "Democratic intelligentsia, such as it is," and immediately retracted and apologized:
Over the years, we’ve written a lot about long, slow ratings collapse of broadcast news. But ABC, CBS, and NBC aren’t the only ones experiencing this decline. As reported by David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, the ratings for PBS NewsHour show are almost in a freefall, even compared to their commercial competitors.
By its own count, NewsHour had 2.5 million viewers in 2005. This year the show is at 1.3 million. That’s an astonishing drop, nearly 50 percent, unmatched by any of the commercial broadcast evening news shows.
Apparently PBS has decided to make like MSNBC and spend more time dissecting the Republican Party’s problems real, imagined, and/or overblown. On Monday’s PBSNewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff announced that the program would begin “a series of conversations about where the Republican Party goes from here.” The first installment, a discussion with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), amounted to a lot of hand-wringing over the Tea Party.
Throughout the interview, Lott tried to keep the focus on positive steps Republicans can take, but Woodruff kept calling his attention back to the alleged problem of the Tea Party. The anchor reminded Lott that “you have factions in your party, I mean, all the way from the Tea Party to folks who sympathize with the Tea Party all the way to some moderates.” Interesting how she split the Tea Party into two groups while putting “some moderates” in one group. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
It’s no secret that the liberal media sympathize with the Democrats’ position on the current government shutdown (and on most policy matters, really). Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown underscored that point on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour when she spun the failure of a House bill as a net positive because it was what Democrats were hoping for.
Brown was making a guest appearance on the NewsHour to report on the latest developments in negotiations to end the shutdown. She announced that the latest House GOP bill was collapsing due to a lack of support in that chamber. Brown then gave her two cents on the matter: [See video below the break.]
If you listen to the left, you're probably hearing about food stamp "cuts."
What you're probably not hearing is, as Ira Stoll reported in the New York Sun, that the Democrats wanted to increase food stamp spending by 65% over the next ten years but Republicans passed a bill to raise it by only 57%, so partisan spinners and liberals in the media are calling what the GOP passed "a cut."
While media reporters have hailed the "new" PBS NewsHour for having two female anchors, the liberal-bias formula is exactly the same. PBS Republican-in-Name-Only David Brooks is assigned to trash the Republicans as extremist obstructionists, so that Democrat hack Mark Shields can agree, and add that they don't live in reality.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry is already demonstrating "commitment and passion" by conducting a reality-denying negotiation with the Russians and Syrians to "destroy" Syria's stock of chemical weapons. Brooks and Shields teamed up to endorse and promote the suffocating inside-the-Beltway statist consensus: