On Tuesday's Morning Edition, actor Ben Affleck was selling his new movie about corporate layoffs, Company Men, and anchorman Steve Inskeep carefully led the left-wing actor onto a soapbox to lecture about the immorality of American capitalism and financiers who do nothing but "move money back and forth":
INSKEEP: There's a line in Company Men that's staying with me. Tommy Lee Jones is at a corporate conference table. Someone else at the conference table is discussing their plans to lay off a bunch of workers. And nearly all the workers being laid off are older, which could be construed as being wrong or illegal. Someone at the table says: "Oh, no. This is going to pass legal scrutiny." And Jones responds: "I always thought we aimed for a little higher standard than that."
AFFLECK: That speaks so perfectly to people's feelings about our country. It's like it's just about getting by, or people can like let people go if they can get away with it, that there's no deeper sense of right or wrong. The banks shouldn't -- people shouldn't make such a giant profit off just moving money back and forth. And CEOs' pay shouldn't be 200 times the average worker. It used to be nine times.
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):
That taxpayer-funded leftist sandbox called National Public Radio promoted the latest work/wreck of “progressive art” on Saturday morning's Weekend Edition. In San Francisco, they're twisting the classic ballet The Nutcracker into a radical-left jeremiad. Anchor Scott Simon announced nonchalantly: "'Tis the season for The Nutcracker. One production in San Francisco is decorated with a grab-bag of liberal political causes. In the Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie, the ice caps melt during the Dance of the Snowflakes and Clara is an undocumented Latina maid."
Liberal reporters think liberals aren't at all noteworthy so they get no label. When the media elite announces something has "liberal causes," it's extremely leftist. Reporter April Dembosky interviewed the show's writer and director, Krissy Keefer, without mentioning she ran for Congress against Nancy Pelosi from the far left, demanding the impeachment of Bush in 2006:
KEEFER: We are a political dance company in that we try to make work that is socially relevant, that is responding to the real ideas and real needs of people today in the community.
After the debacle that was the high-profile Oprah-and-Michelle-Obama politicking in Copenhagen to get the Summer Olympics in Chicago in 2016, it might not be surprising that the networks weren't heavily tracking the U.S. bid to attract the World Cup soccer tournament for 2022. (You could argue that U.S. sports fans are much more indifferent to the World Cup than to the Olympics.) The American delegation that traveled to Switzerland included soccer stars, and former president Bill Clinton, and an Obama cabinet member. The Secretary of Commerce, perhaps? No, Attorney General Eric Holder.
When the tournament was awarded oddly to Qatar on December 2 (promising air-conditioned stadiums since summer temps are in the 120s, not to mention how global warming might ruin the planet by 2022), there was no mention on ABC,CBS, or NBC -- or The Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times, or USA Today, for that matter. But that night, Monica Crowley and Sean Hannity did take it apart on Fox News:
The latest meme among the legions of lefty Fox-haters is that FNC "distorted" or "skewed" the ObamaCare debate by instructing employees to call the "public option" the "government option" or some variation of that. The horror!
Of course none of the Fox-haters uttered a word of criticism when National Public Radio officially instructed employees to drop the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" labels in favor of "abortion rights opponent" and "abortion rights advocate," labels that clearly frame the debate favorably for the pro-choice position (who wants someone's rights denied them, after all?).
On NPR's weekend show On The Media (produced by radio station WNYC), New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller reacted badly to NPR's Bob Garfield suggesting Julian Assange of WikiLeaks was a "looter" or a smasher of windows. Keller insisted the document dump has "more value" than that metaphor, that the dump is "absolutely fascinating...like a graduate seminar" on international relations. It's a "ridiculous standard" to insist these finds must be Earth-shattering to be a positive development:
BOB GARFIELD: Now, the stories so far have been revealing but unsurprising, it seems to me, and not especially indicting. It’s made me wonder whether WikiLeaks is a legitimate whistleblower in this case or just a looter. Has Julian Assange shed light here with the release of 253,000 cables or has he just smashed a very big store window?
BILL KELLER: I think that the documents have more value than your metaphor gives them credit for.
Former president Jimmy Carter lied in an interview with NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm on Tuesday. She ended the interview by asking about the Tea Party and he claimed he had never criticized them -- despite smearing them as racists in 2009 in an NBC interview with Brian Williams:
REHM: Last question, very briefly, what do you think of the Tea Party movement?
CARTER: You know, I never have criticized the Tea Party movement because, strangely enough, I capitalized on the same kind of situation politically that has made the Tea Party successful -- that is, an extreme dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington. Because I came along right after Watergate and right after the Vietnam lost and right after the assassination of the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., and so I capitalized on that, and I was elected over some very wonderful people who were U.S. senators and immersed in the Washington scene.
America was founded on the principle of representative democracy: the government would make policy based on the consent of the governed. Liberal elitists have grown increasingly impatient with this unenlightened system, and more and more, they are relying on judicial activists to remake society in their desired image. Far from being tribunes of the people, these judges are honored by the media elite for going around public opinion – and the Constitution – whenever the liberal impulse beckons.
CBS’s “60 Minutes” earned the title “Syrupy Minutes” on November 28 with a thoroughly one-sided tribute to the “great” liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, with a focus on how this “great” man publicly suggested George W. Bush was a tyrant.
Pelley hailed how Stevens had “shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive.” He especially underlined how liberals see Stevens’ opinions on the rights of terrorist suspects as “among the most important of his career.” The detention center at Guantanamo Bay is a legal and political mess. One could easily blame the “historic” Justice Stevens; CBS lauds him.
It was apparently such a slow news weekend that NPR seemed like it was recycling. Legal correspondent Nina Totenberg dedicated a report on Friday night's All Things Considered to the ultraliberal Supreme Court justice William Brennan, publicizing a biography that's been out for eight weeks. She touted his "incredible" legacy:
For those not familiar with Brennan's incredible record, let us recapitulate. As the conservative National Review put it in writing about the liberal justice: "An examination of Brennan's opinions and his influence upon the opinions of his colleagues, suggests that there is no individual in this country, on or off the court, who has had a more profound and sustained impact on public policy in the United States."
Saying Brennan was influential was not exactly a compliment: as Nat Hentoff put it, NR was suggesting his influence was "pernicious." But Totenberg tried to forward the claim that Brennan was "far more conservative" than his decisions:
It appears that at NPR, even a fat lip for the President is to be heralded as a crowning achievement furthering his prestige and street cred when dealing with despots like Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to Scott Simon, a president with a "gnarly, vivid scar" might even be able to intimidate China's rulers into halting their currency manipulation (audio follows with partial transcript and commentary):
National Public Radio is right to defend itself against charges of Nazism leveled at the radio station by Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who has since apologized for the remark. But NPR decided to make the leap from defending the station to attacking Fox News as uniquely disposed to Nazi comparisons, an absurd claim on its face.
There are commentators on both sides of the political spectrum who routinely prove Godwin right. But being the predictably-liberal news outlet that it is, NPR invoked vague claims by far-left Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (neither his ideological leanings nor the multitude of his most recent baseless Fox accusations are mentioned) to paint FNC as unique in its invocation of Nazism.
Katie Couric's boosterism of "moderate Republican" Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and NPR's cheap shot at former President George W. Bush's recovery from alcoholism were just two of the "Media Mash" topics NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed on the November 20 edition of "Hannity."
"When will you ever hear the word 'liberal' attached to a Republican?" Bozell asked, noting that Murkowski is in fact a liberal Republican.
"In eight years, she was on [CBS] one time. In the last week, she's been on there twice," the Media Research Center president noted after viewing a clip of CBS "Evening News" Katie Couric's November 15 interview with the Alaska senator.
[Video of the full "Media Mash" segment is available after the page break]
The U.S. Catholic bishops' conference disappointed liberals this week by choosing a leader who agreed with the bishops' campaign this year against pro-abortion provisions in ObamaCare. On Tuesday night's All Things Considered, NPR religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty reported the expected moderate winner was apparently smeared by “conservative Catholic bloggers” for being too close to the sex-abuse scandal. (This might be the first time reporters have felt bad about bishops over the sex-abuse scandal.) Hagerty reported:
It's not clear what tipped the election. But over the past few days, conservative Catholic bloggers and activists have waged a campaign against [Tucson Bishop Gerald] Kicanas, who's considered a moderate with a conciliatory style. His critics sent faxes and left voicemails telling bishops to vote against Kicanas, saying Kicanas had been tainted by the sex abuse scandal when he had recommended an abuser to be ordained as a priest.
Kicanas flatly denied knowing about any abuse of minors. But that did not save him. The bishops elected the media-savvy Timothy Dolan, who's considered one of the boldest and more orthodox bishops, and who's willing to speak loudly and publicly on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research.
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.
On Sunday night's All Things Considered newscast, NPR anchor Guy Raz celebrated “Protestant royalty” coming out of the closet. Bishop Jim Swilley of a megachurch appropriately called The Church in the Now decided to reveal his sexual orientation because of the burst of gay-bullying publicity. Former CNN reporter Raz welcomed the change and how it must have been “incredibly liberating” to be openly gay.
NPR lavished 12 minutes of air time on the interview -- currently a hot and very recommended item on NPR.org -- and they also offered a more extended interview online, complete with the minister's coming-out speech to his church. Raz wondered:
RAZ: You come from a long and distinguished line of famous southern preachers. One of your kids said “Protestant royalty,” that's where you come from. Did you feel like - when you were growing up, did you feel like you were a sinner most of your life? I mean, as a kid, when you had certain thoughts, did you feel like, you know, this isn't what you were being taught?
Perhaps obviously, George W. Bush didn't grant an interview around his memoir Decision Points to National Public Radio, since they described his presidency daily as the Triumph of the Dark Side. But when they touched on the new book, the hostility was still there.On Tuesday's Morning Edition, Don Gonyea, who covered the White House for most of Bush's presidency offer a brief summary of Bush's interview with NBC's Matt Lauer. There was a little bit on Iraq, and then more time on the drinking problem:
GONYEA: Part of the book is personal, with stories it's awkward to hear him talk about. There's his history as a serious drinker. Again, from NBC. [NBC clip]
BUSH: So, I'm drunk at the dinner table at mother and dad's house in Maine, and my brothers and sister are there, Laura's there. And I'm sitting next to a beautiful woman - friend of mother and dad's - and I said to her, out loud: “What is sex like after 50?”
On this past weekend’s Fox News Sunday, panel member Mara Liasson - also of NPR - invoked the name of Winston Churchill as she recommended that House Democrats send off Nancy Pelosi "in a blaze of glory" after having "accomplished historic things," rather than keep her on as party leader in the House. Liasson:
Nancy Pelosi did two things for which she will go down in history. She was an incredibly effective majority leader when, and Speaker, there was an opposition President. She helped make the majority. And when she was in the majority, she was the hammer that got through President Obama’s agenda and sent it to the Senate. However, that is a completely different role than what she wants to do now. For which, I think she’s kind of like Winston Churchill. I mean, she accomplished historic things for the Democrats, and they should be sending her off in a blaze of glory and adjusting for this new regime.
Panel member Brit Hume took exception with Liasson connecting Churchill and Pelosi. After Hume argued that "the difference between her and Winston Churchill is that Winston Churchill was turned out after he led his country to a great victory," leading Liasson to respond that she agreed Pelosi "should be turned out," the exchange continued:
The public-radio show "On The Media" explored the debate over defunding public broadcasting on Saturday -- but utterly stepped around any evidence from certain conservative media watchdog groups that NPR or PBS have a liberal bias. Host Brooke Gladstone perfectly characterized how the NPR elite arrogantly conceive of their mission: some say they have a liberal bias, but they are merely seekly to build a better, more informed, more thoughtful democracy. As usual, liberalism and enlightenment are the same thing:
I guess fundamentally this all boils down to what you think of public broadcasting. If you think it’s a left-wing-inflected source of information, then there would be no reason to support it. But if you think – you know, going back to that old chestnut, that it actually leads to a more informed electorate that can make a better democracy, then you might have a different view.
Speaking up for defunding (and bashing conservative Republicans) was Nick Gillespie, the editor of Reason magazine. Later, co-host Bob Garfield brought on former Washington Post editor Steve Coll for the liberal-overdrive position of massively increasing federal support for taxpayer-funded media.
On NPR's Morning Edition on Monday, anchor Steve Inskeep welcomed a regular guest, Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel (from the liberal news side, not the conservative opinion-page side). The new Congress is already too "shrill" and "ugly" with libertarian argument against Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's printing money to buy government bonds:
INSKEEP: Rand Paul is a name that got a lot of attention in the election this past Tuesday. He won a Senate seat from Kentucky. But, of course, his father, Ron Paul, ran for president a couple of years back, is still in the House, and it looks like he's going to chair the committee that oversees Ben Bernanke's Fed.
WESSEL: That's right. Ron Paul, who wrote a book called "End the Fed" - so you know what he thinks ought to happen. He'll definitely give Mr. Bernanke a hard time, but he's really seen as something of an outlier. He's a Libertarian. He doesn't believe in paper money. And I don't think many of the other Republicans are quite comfortable with that view. But it will be interesting to have him in the House and his son, a senator from Kentucky, taking a seat that was vacated by another shrill critic of the Fed, Jim Bunning. So, it will be a lot of fireworks there, I'm sure.
An examination of both the board of NPR's non-profit foundation and its national board of directors recently found that their members are overwhelmingly - almost uniformly - adherents to various left-wing ideologies.
National Review's Matthew Shaffer conducted the examination. He found that "nearly all have demonstrably liberal political sympathies, with heavy support for the Democratic party, pro-abortion-rights groups, and environmental activism in particular."
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):
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
NPR and other liberals are trying to convert the firing of Juan Williams into another episode of bullying conservatism. NPR deployed Jon Stewart in self-defense on Tuesday’s Morning Edition. Anchor Steve Inskeep noted Stewart’s arrival in Washington, DC marked his first show since the Williams purge, and they ran this joke:
STEWART [From the Daily Show]: Are you kidding me, NPR? Are you picking a fight with Fox News? They gave Juan Williams a $2 million contract just for you firing him. NPR, you just brought a tote bag full of David Sedaris books to a knife fight.
NPR suggested that this came in the spirit of "sanity" and that Stewart's rally is designed to "take it down a notch." But wasn’t NPR the network who took a knife to Juan's career, and Fox the ones with a tote bag full of goodies? In The New York Times, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter also explained that liberalism is losing because it’s not doltishly simple, it’s too complex for the average American:
The National Public Radio (NPR) executive who fired Juan Williams is behind an effort lobbying for a new tax to be levied on private media outlets in order to finance a BBC-style state media, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center Brent Bozell told viewers of Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company" at 10:45 a.m. today.
NPR president Vivian Schiller is "part of a group which wants to essentially tax existing media companies... and use that tax money to create a national network of public broadcasting companies to put out a news broadcast on a national basis, like an American BBC," Varney noted.
"Let's put it another way, the attack on Juan Williams... wasn't really an attack on Juan Williams," Bozell replied.
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.
Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.
Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.
Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division -- also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.
Whatever happened to Ed Schultz's solidarity with the working man? Isn't that supposed to be the essence of Schultz's shtick? But on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed played the paid-by-management Pinkerton, busting his nightstick over the head of . . . Juan Williams.
Proclaimed anti-worker Ed: "when you fire somebody: it's over, move on. Don't go back over spilled milk."
Ed Schultz, tool of the bosses--who knew? Video after the jump.
Congressman Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that authorizes spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sent a letter Friday to Media Research Center President Brent Bozell about his call for an investigation in the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio.
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne said Sunday that NPR is one of the best news organizations in the world and challenged anyone to find evidence the radio network is the slightest bit liberally biased.
To prove his claim, Dionne hysterically pointed out to his fellow "Meet the Press" panelists that whenever he's on NPR, he's often countered by "conservatives" - like New York Times columnist David Brooks (video follows with transcript and commentary):