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):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday told PBS's Charlie Rose, "I believe that it would be very difficult for the Republicans to take over the House...I would rather be in our position right now than theirs."
So absurd were these comments that New York magazine posted a brief piece at its Daily Intel blog with the headline "Denial Is Just a River in Egypt to Nancy Pelosi" (partial video of Pelosi's moronic exchange with Rose follows with transcript and commentary):
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):
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Charlie Rose show on PBS, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin seemed to misunderstand conservative complaints about judicial activism as he seemed to suggest that any court rulings that strike down legislative action could be considered part of judicial activism. The CNN analyst charged that the Supreme Court of the United States has recently engaged in "conservative judicial activism" in its enforcement of the First and Second Amendments.
Missing the point that "judicial activism" often involves a distortion of the Constitution's words to find legal precedent that does not exist, Toobin characterized recent decisions by a "very aggressive conservative wing" of the court as activism: "But what we have seen in recent years is conservative judicial activism, telling Congress you can't ban, you can't regulate campaign finance the way you thought, you can't – state legislatures, city councils – you can't impose gun control. So you have a very aggressive conservative wing of the party telling the democratically elected branches what to do."
Minutes earlier, he had described Chief Justice John Roberts as "very, very conservative."
Conservative commentator Monica Crowley and Newsweek's Eleanor Clift got into another heated debate on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" this weekend.
This time, the perilously liberal Clift claimed policy proposals set forth in the Republican "Pledge to America" were "extreme."
"They should have just stood aside and let [the upcoming elections] be a referendum on the Democrats," claimed Clift.
"This election is a referendum on progressivism," countered Crowley. "What Eleanor refers to as extreme politics, as extreme policies in the Pledge, we are talking about cutting taxes, limiting government, cutting the deficit."
This angered Clift who screeched, "Don't misquote me" (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.”
It’s one thing for the Obama administration to refuse to admit that throwing more than $800 billion in so-called “stimulus” at the recession hasn’t worked. But on Friday night’s Washington Week roundtable on PBS, New York Times national correspondent Jackie Calmes accepted the idea that “it’s too early to say” how Team Obama should be graded while unemployment remains high. That’s called charitable procrastination:
NANCY YOUSSEF, McCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS: So how would you rank or rate the administration on its economic policy? Can you give it a rating this soon, or is it too early to say?
JACKIE CALMES, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it's too early to say when unemployment remains stuck at 9.5 percent. Most people think that -- most economists who aren't partisan think we will avoid a double-dip recession, but, and that the stimulus did work, but it, you know -- maybe should have been more of it, or better designed.
A few seconds earlier, Calmes complained that after the "stimulus" bill passed, “things worked so slowly that people still to this day think it was a failure”:
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):
The PBS NewsHour tried to balance a conservative Republican with a liberal Democrat when it interviewed (on two different Thursdays) Dick Armey and Arianna Huffington. Left-wingers complained to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler that NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff failed to press Armey about the Tea Party's funding from corporate billionaires. The far-left media monitors at FAIR wanted Woodruff to bash Armey as a hypocrite who benefits from government entitlements, like Bill Moyers did.
Getler's response was jaw-dropping. He claimed that PBS had failed to achieve balance, since Armey is conservative and Arianna Huffington is a centrist "and her widely viewed website strike me, as a reader, as an equal-opportunity critic. Armey is not. There are plenty of sharp, critical assessments of the Democratic Party and administration on her site." Doesn't it matter that those critics are banging away that Obama isn't socialist enough?
Worse yet, Getler said this should be "remedied" by bringing on another leftist, author Will Bunch of Media Matters for America, because Arianna was clearly not left-wing enough or critical enough of the Tea Party. Getler lamented that PBS has lost left-wing shows like Now and Bill Moyers Journal that are "not in the safe comfortable center."
On Friday’s Need to Know program on PBS, humorist Andy Borowitz devoted his regular "Next Week’s News" fake news segment to the story that he is supposedly leaving the show after this week. After showing clips of himself from previous episodes, he ended the segment by taking a shot at Fox News Channel as he joked that he will be moving to FNC next week because he so enjoys making up "fake news." Borowitz: "Now, what's next for Andy Borowitz? Well, I love doing two minutes of fake news each week, but it's whetted my appetite to do fake news on a full-time basis. And so, starting next week, I'm moving to my new home: The Fox News Channel." Video of the segment can been here.
Below is a complete transcript of the Friday, September 17, "Next Week’s News" segment from PBS’s Need to Know program:
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):
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):
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):
Reporting a U.S. District Court judge overturning California's Proposition 8, PBS correspondent Spencer Michaels noted that if the case is appealed to a higher court, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would handle it. Michaels watered down the court's infamous history of liberal rulings, saying that though it may be liberal, it is not more so than any other U.S. Circuit Court.
The Ninth Circuit has "kind of a liberal bias – at least that's the charge," Michaels quickly corrected himself. "In actual fact, they probably aren't any more liberal than any other court," he insisted of the circuit with the dubious distinction of being the most-overturned of any by the Supreme Court.
The Ninth Circuit has a long history of being stacked with liberal judges since the days of President Carter, and infamously struck down "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance in 2002. The Court has arguably inched to the right with the addition of moderate and conservative judges, but is still widely regarded as the most liberal of the circuit courts.
James Taranto, member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, described the court as "notoriously liberal," in his piece about the reversal of Proposition 8. Ashby Jones, writing for the WSJ's law blog, said that the court has a reputation for being "packed with liberal judges."
The sentiment isn't confined to conservative-friendly publications.
PBS recently responded to accusations of a liberal slant to its July 23 Need to Know program which featured satirist Andy Borowitz making fun of Sarah Palin’s intelligence as the show's executive director Shelley Lewis claimed that, because the previous week's episode had featured a segment that was critical of President Obama, the program in reality has been balanced in going after political figures. According to TVNewser, quoting from Michael Getler's July 28 "The Ombudsman Column" on the PBS Web site, Lewis argued: "Is a little joking about Ms. Palin's penchant for malaprops really such a big deal? Last week, editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner was pretty tough on President Obama, and we heard plenty from Obama fans about how unfair we were, how right-wing we were, etc. We do try to have some fun at both sides' expense..."
But the July 16 segment that poked fun at Obama actually criticized him for not being liberal enough in keeping his campaign promises as cartoonist Steve Brodner was shown drawing sketches of Obama while a voiceover of the cartoonist lamented that "the presumed anti-war Obama became the 30,000 more troops Obama," and that "the previous stimulus advocate Obama who faced McConnell finally and a vocal conservative movement, he didn't campaign consistently for the stimulus that he mentioned in the State of the Union, wound up advocating for that along with deficit reduction, making him at least partly like McConnell."
Most PBS stations tonight will air Paul McCartney: In Performance at the White House, a concert performed back on Wednesday, June 2 at which the ex-Beatle delivered a cheap shot at former President George W. Bush: “After the last eight years, it's great to have a President who knows what a library is.” (Earlier NB post)
Wednesday's USA Today noted PBS won't air that comment which came after the Obama family had left the East Room, but McCartney told the paper's Edna Gundersen his snarky remark earned “amazing support” as “I got: 'Yeah, man, way to go, rock 'n' roll.” McCartney also added a fresh slam: “And I know George Bush knows what a library is: It's a place to keep DVDs.”
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):
On Friday’s Need to Know program on PBS, during the show’s semi-regular allegedly humor-based "Next Week’s News" portion of the show, Andrew Borowitz devoted the entire segment to mocking Sarah Palin’s intelligence as he faux-predicted that, after winning the 2012 presidential election, "Her first official act will be to cancel the agreement between nouns and verbs," and that she will then "replace the English language with ‘Palinese,’ a language known only to her." He added: "He also asserted: "I figure if we learn three words a day, in two years we might have a shot at understanding her State of the Union Address."
Using Palin’s recent "refudiate" Twitter misspelling as a premise, Borowitz made up other words to jab the former Alaska governor’s intelligence, as he alluded to her history of writing notes on her hands, and used the made-up word "rignorant" to portray her as stupid for wanting to continue oil drilling in the ocean after the BP oil spill disaster.
Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Reuters, believes the new financial regulations are still pretty loose.
"It is still a very feudal, very Byzantine regulatory system," Freeland complained on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, referring to the Senate's approval of a financial regulations bill yesterday.
A radical policy, Freeland maintained, could have done away with the current "fractured" group of regulators and established a much stronger, more unified single regulator.
However, Freeland said the bill succeeds in tempering the rapid movement of capital. She did acknowledge that Main Street folks will have more trouble getting mortgages than they did in the past. "That's the price of having a safer financial system," she said.
Freeland's championing of the new regulations does not diminish some other aspects of the bill, which include no additional regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tougher times ahead for small businesses trying to procure loans from banks, and tough times for small banks themselves, who lack the resources of Wall Street to deal with the new regulations.
Travel writer and public television personality Rick Steves lauded Europeans's "more relaxed" attitude about nudity in public and on television while labeling Americans "overly prudish" by comparison in a Tuesday column on CNN.com: "I like a continent where the human body is considered a divine work of art worth admiring openly."
Steves's ode to European nudity began six paragraphs into the column, "European nudes and American prudes," after he gave a detailed sketch of his 1978 experience at a Turkish bath: "Any traveler to Europe who's visited a bath, perused a newsstand, hung out at a beach or park on a sunny day, or channel-surfed broadcast TV late at night has noticed that Europeans are more relaxed than Americans about nudity."
The writer, who, back in 2003, feared that the American flag was being "hijacked" as a "logo" for support of the war in Iraq, then spent several paragraphs describing how widespread this practice is on the European continent and how apparently great it is (including his "overly prudish" label about Americans):
Apparently, Tavis Smiley of PBS knows what's best for Gulf residents, even if it would mean widespread unemployment.
Smiley hosted a Wednesday night interview with Rep. Henry Waxman (D) on his show, where the liberal Californian admitted that while alternative energy sources need to be explored and developed, America still needs to drill for oil, albeit safely.
But Smiley wondered aloud how American can move beyond politics and transcend its oil-dependent energy policy. He thought Obama's Oval Office speech was one that "most people, left and right, seem not to like."
"How do you move beyond the politics to make that happen?" Smiley then asked Waxman, even though, as he himself claimed, most of the country was not enamored with Obama's words.
Smiley also brought up the Gulf residents' clamors to keep oil drilling alive there. "I say this respectfully, because I understand how their economy works down there," he said, before asking why Gulf residents are hesitant to "move beyond oil drilling."
Advocacy groups have increasingly labelled their opposition as "astroturf," or corporate-funded fake grassroots, groups in order to demean them and lessen the fact that both sides enjoy some measure of public support. Many of the organizations throwing around accusations of astroturfing, such as the Marxist net neutrality advocacy group Free Press and the liberal ThinkProgress not only engage in astroturf strategies, but are financially supported in ways they decry as astroturf. The media, unsurprisngly, has often chosen to ignore leftist astroturfing and focus on accusations of rightist astroturfing.
The Daily Caller reported Wednesday on a pro-neutrality letter circulated around Capitol Hill by Free Press which was a product of the same astroturfing tactics Free Press has decried.
The "signatories" of the letter had no recollection of the letter and had no idea they had signed it. One of the signatories, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation wrote to the Federal Communications Comission, The Hill reported, asking to be removed from the list of signatories. Tellingly, a Free Press spokeswoman suggested that they were pressured to do so. Presumably by the Satan-worshipping board of directors of some telecommunications company.
Given that our tax dollars are subsidizing her salary, is it too much to expect PBS's Bonnie Erbe to have at least some intelligent command of the issues of the day?
On second thought, don't answer that.
In her latest blogging misadventure at USNews.com, the "To the Contrary" host portrayed yesterday's 5-4 ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicagoas a blow to "local rights":
The Supreme Court's decision, taking away important local rights to control gun ownership, marks another sad day in America's now seemingly endless political appetite for increasing the number of privately owned guns in this country.
For taxpayer-funded PBS, the blueprint for America's future is centered on advancing the Obama administration's taxpayer-funded green agenda. In the June 17 installment of "Blueprint America," Miles O'Brien, a "NewsHour" special correspondent, hailed Dubuque, Iowa as the "city of the future" for transforming itself into a liberal beacon of environmental sustainability.
O'Brien's piece showered Dubuque with praise as it promoted the city's liberal environmental initiatives, which the correspondent noted are bankrolled with taxpayer dollars courtesy of the Obama administration's economic stimulus package.
"The people in this old factory town along the Mississippi have signed on to a unique experiment," explained O'Brien. "They're attempting to turn Dubuque into one of the nation's most sustainable cities."
Listing the city's seemingly countless awards for "livability" -- a term the PBS reporter struggled to define -- O'Brien championed President Barack Obama's budgetary boondoggle for the bountiful fruit it has given to Dubuque:
Appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS program, Time magazine's Mark Halperin dismissed the GOP responses to President Obama's Oval Office speech as "childish" and "churlish" adding that the GOP "mocked" the President on Tuesday night, instead of seeking common ground with him on new energy legislation.
The Time reporter thinks the present Gulf disaster constitutes a "national crisis," but also posited that another crisis exists -- "not having a national energy policy," as he framed it.
"I think everything they do must go towards trying to solve the generation's-long crisis of a lack of energy policy," Halperin said of the Obama administration. And of course in Halperin's view, "the biggest barrier to that now is there are no Republicans on board."
Have liberals blacked out the sex-and-perjury impeachment of Bill Clinton? MSNBC's Chris Matthews appeared on the Charlie Rose show on PBS Thursday, and Rose asked him about how Sen. Blanche Lincoln had a “secret weapon” in her primary race in Arkansas. Matthews responded by laying it on thick about how great Bill Clinton is. Surely viewers giggled as Matthews talked about Clinton giving Lincoln “the full Bill.”
Boy, that hug, that goes down in history, he had the French cuffs, looked like a million bucks, he put the full Bill around her. It was really an embrace. And you notice it was gender, because when she came out of that hug she was actually just overwhelmed physically, it was like you could see in her face, "I can`t believe the guy likes me that much and wants to help me that much." It was great. It was very real.
Matthews even claimed Clinton was a terrific asset in “culturally conservative Democratic” areas – as if being a "cultural conservative" isn't at odds with what Bill Clinton represents. But Matthews is still channeling the more-conservative-than-Obama line from 2008, and then he broke down and said Clinton is great anywhere he goes: