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:
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.
The liberal press likes to scold what it sees as lapses in civil rhetoric, usually from conservatives who fail to properly respect the icons of the Left. But as documented by the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2010, the media elite itself lurched into some pretty uncivil rhetoric this year — especially when the targets were Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party and other conservatives.
On Monday’s Tavis Smiley show on PBS, during a discussion with author Robert Putnam to discuss his book American Grace, after Putnam recounted the central thesis that various religions in America - and even non-religious people - tend to tolerate each other well compared to other countries, host Smiley made known his view that tolerance is "decreasing" in America and cited attitudes toward Muslims as a recent example. Smiley:
I'm not so sure that our religiosity these days makes us as tolerant as we think we are. Witness, you know, any number of examples of late - namely, Muslims come to mind - about how our tolerance is, it seems to me, decreasing, not increasing.
Moments later, the PBS host brought up the negative views of America held by some as being a nation that is "arrogant," "elitist," "pompous," and "nationalistic." As he analyzed the book’s title by defining the word "grace" as being "unmerited favor," Smiley continued:
And if American grace is then an unmerited favor, I’m trying to juxtapose that grace with what some see as our increasing arrogance, our increasing elitism, how it is that we could be the beneficiaries of this unmerited favor, this grace, and yet, around the world, we don’t appear to be graceful to so many other people. They see us as arrogant, elitist pompous, and not even just patriotic, but increasingly nationalistic.
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."
Time's Joe Klein, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and CBS's Lesley Stahl were just three journalists to see an outrageously biased quote of theirs land in the Best of Notable Quotables 2010.
A panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers chose the winners, and our news analysts introduce them and a few others in this highlight lowlight reel put together by Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks: