Jon Meacham, the liberal host of PBS's "Need to Know," frankly admitted Thursday that media scrutiny of President Bush would far surpass the mild criticism of Barack Obama when it comes to a 10-minute ESPN segment on the President filling out his NCAA Tournament bracket.
Stalwart liberals such as MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (D) agreed.
"My only point is that Bush would have gotten more barbecued for this," Meacham claimed on "Morning Joe" Thursday. "Anyone who thinks that he didn't – he wouldn't – is crazy." The panel was debating the merits of President Obama appearing on ESPN to discuss basketball while Libya is in turmoil and Japan is facing a possible nuclear catastrophe.
After the public shaming of NPR this week, Nina Totenberg was given the option of taking a day off from PBS's "Inside Washington" so that she wouldn't have to face the music concerning the so-called "news organization" she works for.
Demonstrating admirable spunk, Totenberg showed up to "defend the product" her radio station produces only to have Charles Krauthammer say in the midst of a lengthy discussion about the issue, "If the product is so superior, why does it have to live on the tit of the state?" (video of entire segment follows with transcript and commentary):
Demonstrating how the mainstream media are an obstacle to any efforts to make any cuts to any federal spending, NBC and ABC on Wednesday night resorted to citing Sesame Street characters as potential “casualties in a war over culture and spending cuts,” without any regard for how the Children’s Television Workshop is a huge generator of revenue from corporate donations and product sales, as NBC’s Lisa Myers went so far as to exploit the kids of the nation:
With American children already falling behind, public broadcasting supporters fear Bert and Ernie could become a casualty of the political wars.
With House conservatives hoping to eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR stations and production projects, Myers warned: “Officials say some stations would go under. Also at risk, programming like Sesame Street.”
Only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday highlighted claims by a NPR executive, caught in an undercover sting operation, that Tea Party members are "seriously racist" people. CBS's Early Show completely skipped the subject. NBC's Today allowed a brief mention during a news read.
GMA's Jake Tapper extensively highlighted quotes by the outgoing Ron Schiller: "The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian." In the tapes he can be seen adding, "They believe the term, white, middle-America, gun-toting – I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."
Tapper noted that shows such as Sesame Street and Frontline are award-winning. He explained, "Republicans say, then, fine. They should be just well and good without federal funding."
The Washington Times took up the issue today of how PBS and NPR stations exploit their own airwaves to lobby against Republican budget-cut proposals. Reporter Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan reported that spokesmen for PBS superstations WGBH in Boston and WETA in Washington “said their appeals never told their audiences which way to lobby Congress, but only to call and let their feelings be known.”
A look at WETA’s ad (which we recorded after the February 22 Frontline) shows this is simply and obviously untrue. The announcer clearly insists the House Republicans are putting kiddie programs at risk and cuts “will have a devastating effect on WETA and the television programs you and your family rely on.” Do they really expect people to agree this isn’t an advocacy ad? Do they think someone would say "I'm so glad they've inspired me to call and say "I hate WordGirl and Sid the Science Kid. Please defund those little jerks.'" Here’s the whole script:
In light of new revelations about NPR's top brass bashing conservatives in a hidden-camera investigation, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham issued the following statements calling on Congress to wake up and stop using tax dollars to fund National Public Radio.
Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center (MRC):
Does a sycophantic devotion to the President make liberal media members lose all connection to reality?
Before you answer, consider that on Friday, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and liberal radio host Bill Press actually said on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" the U.S. auto industry is stronger than it ever was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the fourth time in the last five weeks Evan Thomas has taken a political position quite contrary to the other liberal panelists on PBS's "Inside Washington."
In Friday's installment, Newsweek's assistant managing editor not only took on regulars Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg but also ridiculed the New York Times (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Tavis Smiley is a hard-left talk show host on PBS. (He should admit that, since he authored a book called Hard Left.) You might remember him as the man that proclaimed that Christians "blow up people every day" in America. On his Facebook page today, Smiley promotes an interview he gave to one Myron Mays, where he talks about how he does "the Lord's work" on PBS:
PBS is a network that is watched by movers and shakers and by people who run the country, power players and other influencers. It's a great platform for us to try to empower them and try to enlighten them and quite frankly try to expand their inventory of ideas. It's a great platform to try to get them to reexamine the assumptions they hold. I think we're doing the Lord's work.
When Smiley talks of America's movers and shakers needing to "expand their inventory of ideas," he means expand it leftward. Smiley has gained a reputation as a "nitpicker" against Obama for not spending enough on African-American needs. He told Mays:
Something has definitely gotten into Evan Thomas's water, as for the third time this month, he advanced a viewpoint on PBS's "Inside Washington" quite contrary to the other liberal panelists.
On Friday's installment, with lone conservative regular Charles Krauthammer taking the day off, the Newsweek columnist practically assumed his position as the voice of reason taking on the other guests regarding the budget situation in Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For his documentaries on Fidel Castro and Che Guevara Cuban-American filmmaker Agustin Blazquez’ takes a truly revolutionary approach. Rather than expecting officials of Castro’s police state to reveal facts, Blazquez interviews eye-witnesses to Castroism who are (get this!) free to reveal facts without threat of Castro’s firing squads and torture chambers!
The folks on PBS's "Inside Washington" had some fun as the program moved to a conclusion Friday.
The topic of discussion was Barack Obama awarding Medals of Freedom Tuesday, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was unimpressed by the President "indulging himself in thanking people he’s always liked" (humorous video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday made the idiotic claim that House Republicans are stealing food from babies and pregnant women.
Later that evening, appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer demonstrated just how foolish Krugman's assertion was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill Maher and Tavis Smiley got into a heated debate Friday about the difference between the treatment of women in America versus in Muslim countries.
When Smiley continually asserted on HBO's "Real Time" that women are maltreated here, Maher said, "It's such bulls--t," and eventually ended the discussion by scolding the PBS host, "When you tolerate intolerance, you’re not really being a liberal” (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Every time someone Congress considers reducing federal funding for public broadcasting, PBS lobbyists and liberal Democrats trot out Muppets and lovable cartoon characters in their defense. Chris Moody of the Daily Caller reported that a human-sized Arthur the Aardvark stood behind liberals today on Capitol Hill as they pledged to protect PBS.
The friendly but silent aardvark joined Democratic Reps. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and others to hit back against Republicans who have pledged to cut the funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the next budget.
“We need your help today,” Markey said as a person dressed as the character walked toward the Capitol building. “We can’t leave Arthur and all of his pals in the lurch.”
For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift found herself in a hostile crowd on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
During a lengthy segment about the crisis in Eqypt, after Clift claimed the protesters were secular, the entire panel almost pounced on her with Mort Zuckerman saying several times, "That's nonsense" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Most of the media were predictably jubilant and giddy on Friday when it was announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down.
Acting as the voice of reason was syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer who on PBS's "Inside Washington" spoke some inconvenient truths about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's similarities to pre-Islamic Revolution Iran that America's press have been dishonestly downplaying for weeks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s Need to Know program on PBS, co-host Jon Meacham - formerly of Newsweek - seemed to agree with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s characterization of former President Ronald Reagan as someone who "treated the poor poorly," "broke laws," and "committed nearly impeachable offenses" as he asked the producer of the film Reagan why people should be "lionizing" the former President. The PBS host posed the question:
Let’s go to your criticisms of the President in the film. Basically we have a President who treated the poor poorly, did not tend to the sick, broke laws, committed nearly impeachable offenses by your own reporting. Why should we be lionizing him in the broad public domain? You certainly don’t.
Earlier in the interview, Meacham had also wondered if it could be argued that Reagan was a "kind of Manchurian candidate from the military industrial complex." Meacham:
You’ve made the Trials of Henry Kissinger. You have made Why We Fight about the military industrial complex and there's a moment in the Reagan film that evoked those films for me to some extent where you have Reagan coming out of working for GE mostly in the ‘50s and meeting up with his kitchen cabinet, the big businessmen in California. Is it possible to argue that Ronald Reagan was a kind of Manchurian candidate from the military industrial complex?
As NewsBusters reported in January, Newsweek's Editor at Large Evan Thomas believes ObamaCare "is a disaster."
On Friday's "Inside Washington," Thomas went even further with his criticism of this law calling it a "flawed bill" and claiming, "I think enough justices perceive that it’s not going to work, that will incline them to reach this high constitutional principle and throw it out" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There was some fascinating historical revisionism that took place on Friday's "Inside Washington" as almost the entire panel made the case that Democrats were largely opposed to the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002 and that the decision to invade was mostly George W. Bush's.
This included PBS's Mark Shields who completely misrepresented the historic vote in the Senate that month (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the middle of a rather comical exchange on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday evening, Washington Post columnist Colby King accused fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer of being "cranky" concerning President Obama's State of the Union address.
Not at all surprising to fans of the Fox News contributor, Krauthammer struck back and did so quite impressively (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A heated debate occurred on Friday's "Inside Washington" when the subject of Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) imminent retirement arose.
After Charles Krauthammer praised Lieberman for being "probably the last of a breed that began with Truman and Kennedy and Scoop Jackson," PBS's Mark Shields attacked the long-term senator for supporting John McCain for president in 2008 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For fans of PBS's "McLaughlin Group" that have for years put up with Eleanor Clift screeching and rudely interrupting other guests, a marvelous moment happened Friday that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
While the group discussed gun laws in the wake of the Arizona tragedy, the Newsweek columnist started talking over Pat Buchanan who finally quipped to the delight of all in attendance, "The President told you to cool the rhetoric now Eleanor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Mark Shields on Friday actually asked Charles Krauthammer if Sarah Palin unintentionally made last Saturday's shootings about herself and not the tragic event.
Krauthammer not only set the substitute host of PBS's "Inside Washington" straight, but also called for an apology from all those that shamefully tied the former Alaska governor to this awful tragedy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Okay, who slipped truth serum into Evan Thomas's coffee?
On Friday, Newsweek's "Editor at Large" (according to his bio here) appeared on "Inside Washington" (link to entire show is here; transcript not yet available). After being cued up with a softball from host Gordon Peterson about how supposedly great Friday's news about the drop in the national unemployment rate was (uh, not exactly, Gordon), Thomas segued into a somewhat surprising comment about how ObamaCare's implementation is going as it meets the real world. In a word (Thomas's), it's a disaster (HT Daily Caller via Instapundit):
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of the biggest political mistakes of the year, Washington Post columnist Colby King asserted that the Delaware Republican Party’s choice of Christine O’Donnell for U.S. Senate was an even worse choice than the South Carolina Democratic Party’s selection of Alvin Greene in that state’s Senate election to face Republican Senator Jim DeMint. Greene was facing charges at the time for showing pornography to a college student as he tried to seduce her in a computer lab at the University of South Carolina. After initially declaring it a "tie" between the two, he ended labeling O'Donnell the " absolute worst candidate known to mankind."
Below is a transcript of King's comments from the Friday, December 31, Inside Washington on PBS: