On the PBS NewsHour last night, anchor Judy Woodruff reported on Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal’s lies that he served in Vietnam, but reported with a straight face that he didn’t lie on every occasion: "In fact, on a number of occasions, Blumenthal has correctly stated his record, including at a debate last March, seen in this clip posted on YouTube."
This may sound like "the pilot usually didn't crash the plane." But this was merely a prelude to Woodruff’s interview with Christopher Keating of the liberal Hartford Courant newspaper, who aggressively worked on the damage control squad for Blumenthal. Keating oozed that "his defenders say they will give him the benefit of the doubt, and, clearly, obviously, the veterans who said that he has been to more funerals than probably literally any politician in the state of Connecticut, including the governor -- almost any time that somebody is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, Blumenthal is there."
Keating’s first defense was that he never heard Blumenthal lie about this before – and he didn’t say lie, he offered Blumenthal’s own weasel word, "misspeak" – and neither had his political opponents, through "almost hundreds" of events:
"In a 7-2 ruling [on Monday], the Supreme Court expanded Congressional powers just a mite, by allowing the federal government to keep sexual predators in prison beyond their terms if they are deemed too dangerous to be released," U.S. News & World Report contributor Bonnie Erbe noted in a May 18 Thomas Jefferson Street blog post.
[T]he two dissenters were arguably the most conservative on a majority conservative court: Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. One would think that law and order conservatives would be more concerned about keeping sexual predators away from the public than about a very minor expansion of federal powers. Apparently not.
Of course that's a patently unfair cheap shot and Erbe knows it. Thomas's dissent in U.S. v. Comstock (scroll to page 36 at this link)-- published to the Supreme Court's Web site on May 17 -- clocks in at a brief 23 pages, easily readable for a journalist, especially one who graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law in 1987.
Catching up on an item from the first episode of PBS’s Need to Know program, which aired on Friday, May 7, liberal satirist Andrew Borowitz suggested that Sarah Palin and Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse during the show’s regular "Next Week’s News" humor segment: "Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will announce that they are looking for, quote, ‘two additional horsemen.’" Imagery of fire burning behind Palin and Bachmann was shown as Borowitz read his item.
According to the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are four beasts that will arrive before the end of the world, and will represent pestilence, war, famine and death.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, on the May 14 Need to Know, Palin was again targeted by Borowitz as he joked about the intelligence of both Palin and conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Borowitz:
On Friday’s Need to Know program on PBS, during the show’s regular "Next Week’s News" humor segment, as liberal satirist Andrew Borowitz recited four predictions for next week, in two of his items he took shots at the intelligence of prominent conservatives – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Playing off the upcoming confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Borowitz predicted:
Blasting Elena Kagan for her lack of judging experience, GOP Senators will propose an alternative: Paula Abdul. As a judge on American Idol, Ms. Abdul often seemed absent and didn’t say anything. But one Senator will argue you could say the same thing about Clarence Thomas.
After poking fun at the idea of people protesting illegal immigration from Canada, and at what leftist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez may do with his new Twitter account, Borowitz returned to trashing the intelligence of conservatives:
And finally, some news out of Wasilla, Alaska. Sarah Palin will make it official: She has now written more books than she has read. When asked which of her two books is her favorite, Governor Palin will reply, "All of them."
Below is a transcript of the relevant segment from the Friday, May 14, Need to Know on PBS:
On his PBS show, Charlie Rose usually begins with a snappy soundbite of the long interview to come. With New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Thursday night, there was this stunning clip at the show's top:
You know, Charlie, for 60 years you could say being a political leader was on balance about giving things away to people. That's what you did most of your time. I think we're entering an era -- how long it will last I dare not predict -- where being in politics is going to be more than anything else about taking things away from people. And that shift from leaders giving things away to leaders taking things away, I don't think we know what that looks like over time.
Put aside for a moment that governments (half-solvent ones, at least) take away as much as they give. Friedman and Rose were discussing the recent British election, where the candidates all talked about the "pain" of government living within its means.
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
PBS's Jim Lehrer on Tuesday wrongly accused Republicans of always being against major social legislation in this country including the Civil Rights Act, Social Security, and Medicare.
"[T]hrough history, recent history in particular, Republicans have opposed things like Social Security, Medicare, even civil rights legislation, but then, once they lost, they took some deep breaths and moved on, and then finally ended up embracing many of these major changes in -- in laws and in the way we do business here," the News Hour host amazingly said to his guest Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and Kyl quickly corrected Lehrer (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary, relevant section at 4:40, h/t Cubachi):
The Friday night discussion with Mark Shields and David Brooks on the PBS NewsHour was surprisingly heated. First, anchorman Jim Lehrer seemed to suggest the liberal lingo when the "no" votes were "problem Democrats," as opposed to the Pelosi Democrats:
Where are the -- what -- who are the problem Democrats left right now? We know about the Stupaks and the anti-abortion folks. Who else?
Shields insisted that come the fall, no one will be talking about the process the Democrats used to pass a health-care bill, but Brooks said deem-and-pass was "so repulsive, I'm out of my skin with anger about it." Here's how it unfolded:
On Tuesday night, the PBS Newshour discussed the debate over gays in the military, but that didn’t mean there was a debate on the show. Instead, PBS booked three gay-promoting liberal academics and pollster Andrew Kohut to talk about "American attitudes evolving." The liberal hope and dream of suppressing religious speech against homosexuality was blatantly expressed by Georgetown history professor Michael Kazin:
KAZIN: You know, one of the things that -- when laws change, that helps to change consciousness. When the civil rights law was passed, when the Voting Rights Act was passed in the 1960s, then people's attitudes began to change.
Even if they didn't necessarily -- white people didn't like African-Americans any more, but they felt that, well, it wasn't OK anymore to voice their dislike of African-Americans. Racism began to be something that was marginal, that you had to talk about in private. And that I think could begin to happen also with views about gay rights...
Over the weekend, poor and biased media reporting, dysfunctional politics, blindly ambitious activism, and economic ignorance fed on each other to produce a phenomenally false narrative that went out to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. The result not only doesn't pass the smell test; it fails the stench test from a mile away.
The first origins of the activist narrative burst forth during Friday's PBS News Hour, when the network's Betty Ann Bowser opened her report on health care costs with two sentences that belong in the Sloppy Statement Hall of Shame (bold is mine):
Health care spending devoured 17 percent of the entire economy last year, about $2.5 trillion. That's the biggest one-year growth since record-keeping began in 1960, according to projections from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, this week.
If you don't mind my asking -- What exactly is the "that" to which Ms. Bowser referred?
But what does it mean, to replace capitalism with democracy? He sighs and tries to explain. In the old Soviet bloc, he says, communism was the political system and socialism the economic. But with capitalism, he complains, you get political and economic rolled in to one. Big business buys votes in Congress. Lobbyists write laws. The result is that the US political system is awash in capitalist money that has stripped the system of much of its democratic accountability.
On Monday’s Charlie Rose show on PBS, during a discussion of how the Obama administration might change course after the Democratic party’s loss of the Massachusetts Senate race, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham argued that President Obama has so far pursued “centrist” policies, even claiming that the bailouts could be described as “center right.” After the Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut argued that, at the White House, they are not yet sure which ideological direction they will head next, prompting host Charlie Rose to ask whether they would move “to the center,” Meacham seemed to bristle as he insisted that President Obama is already “in the center,” and scoffed at Tea Party activists:
Want government to fund public media? Then PBS has a place for you. If you back giving news organizations tens of billions of dollars, that's good for nearly 25 minutes of air-time.
That's how the PBS weekly newsmagazine "NOW" addressed a left-wing solution to the decline of the news industry. On Jan. 15, "NOW," welcomed the founders of the left-wing media think tank Free Press - John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney - to tell how tax dollars can be the key component of "Saving American Journalism."
The duo recommended the United States pay $30 billion a year to fund media, what Nichols called a "pretty sane number." "This is sort of the number a free society pays to have credible journalism," he argued.
Driving through Chick-fil-A to get a kid’s meal for my daughter today, the "toy" that came with the chicken nuggets was a CD-Rom from the public-TV kids’ show Between the Lions. The logos for Boston PBS superstation WGBH and Mississippi Public Broadcasting were right on the CD case.
This underlines how blurry the line is between public television and private-sector merchandising. On Thursday, Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes reported from Pasadena that "PBS President Paula Kerger opened her Q&A at Winter TV Press Tour 2010 by blasting commercial broadcasters" for failing to educate children.
DeMoraes was skeptical enough to include how the PBS boss actually faced challenging questions from a troublesome "critic" on the incessant merchandising of public-broadcasting kids’ shows like Sesame Street (once estimated by the Licensing Letter to offer 1,000 licensed products.) This is terrific:
On Friday night’s Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Moyers ran anti-Obama clips from conservative talk show hosts and marveled that anyone would believe them, when they were responsible for what he called the "Decade of Conservative Failure." Moyers’ guest, leftist Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank, cracked wise: "That is America for you. That is the demented logic of our politics."
Frank suggested (and not in a good way) that America is "pretty much unique" in having such a strong belief in free markets, or as Frank put it, half a political system "dedicated to the destruction of the government." Frank bizarrely claimed Democrats never stick up for the government, and need to explain that the present health-care bills are "a way of growing our freedom."
Moyers ran a montage of talk show hosts he can’t stand at the beginning, which was the closest the one-sided PBS showcase came to an opposing viewpoint:
MOYERS: How is it that the people who are responsible for the mess Obama inherited are getting away with demonizing him when he’s only had less than a year to clean it up? Let me show you just a sample of right-wing commentators railing against the president.
Here is the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notables Quotables show, featuring the liberal media’s most outrageous sound bites.
In this week’s episode we have Chris Matthews wondering what’s wrong with a quick phone call to terrorists, Matt Lauer worried about America getting a big head, and Actor Scott Wolf revealing the inspiration behind his role as a sell-out journalist in a new TV series.
Enjoy the show and to see current and past episodes in a larger format, visit the ‘Notable Quotables Show’ channel on the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.
"Sesame Street" producers are getting criticized for a parody that suggested Fox News was "trashy," and the ombudsman for PBS says that the criticism is justified.
Foxnews.com reported that in a two-year old episode that was rebroadcast on October 29, Oscar the Grouch starts the Grouch News Network, or GNN. The skit later featured CNN’s Anderson Cooper filling in for Oscar as he chats with "Walter Cranky" and "Dan Rather-Not."
But when another green grouch Muppet caller decides that the news is not grouchy enough, she says she is changing the channel to Pox News. "I am changing the channel," the irate muppet says. "From now on, I am watching Pox News. Now there is a trashy news show."
PBS ombudsman Michael Getler, like many viewers, thought he heard "Fox" instead of "Pox," but regardless, he suggested it wasn’t classy to suggest Fox was "trashy" in front of the little ones:
If Democrats get a spanking at the polls today, it's not because American voters are trending conservative or are frustrated with the direction liberal Democrats are leading the country, but because the electorate's disdain for the former Bush administration has abated.
That according to liberal PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributing editor Bonnie Erbe.
Barack Obama is just as much a woman-hater as the late conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms in the wild eyes of radical abortion-mongering feminist and PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe.
And just why is Ms. Erbe so steamed at President Obama? Because, and I kid you not, the commander-in-chief doesn't shoot hoops with women.
The liberals inside the taxpayer-funded PBS sandbox know how to keep looking down their noses at their competitors in conservative talk radio and TV. Once again, on Friday night’s NewsHour, the supposedly opposing duo of Mark Shields and David Brooks offered their shared revulsion of any Republican spokesman to the right of Sen. Lindsey Graham.
It started when NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked their reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney accusing Obama of "dithering" on Afghanistan. Sheields called Cheney a "gift." Brooks lamented that the Republicans lack leaders that sound exactly as moderate as he is:
I always wish it was John McCain or Lindsey Graham or somebody of that nature who was leading the charge.
The Republican Party has a terrible problem of who its spokespeople are. It tends not to be the best voices in the party. Lamar Alexander, senator from Tennessee, said he completely understood why Obama was taking his time to make this decision. And instead of those voices getting prominence, you get Dick Cheney, you get Rush Limbaugh, you get Glenn Beck. That's part of a larger problem.
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
With President Obama seeking to nationalize more and more private industry, Michael Moore promoting his latest socialist agit-prop and the left gleefully proclaiming the death of capitalism, a documentary special airing tonight offers a welcome antidote.
“The Power of the Poor with Hernando de Soto” airs Oct. 8 at 10:00 pm ET on PBS. Produced by Free to Choose Media and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the documentary posits – and proves – a simple, powerful hypothesis: fair, unfettered access to the market economy will lift millions of the world’s people out of poverty and inoculate them against extremism.
The hour-long special is hosted by renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, the founder of Peru’s Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) and an advocate for property rights. In the film, he takes viewers on a tour of shanty towns around Lima, Peru the likes of which can be found across the developing world.
In Peru during the 1970s and 80s, millions left subsistence agriculture behind and migrated to Peru’s cities. Across the developing world, the migration continues and major cities grow by hundreds of thousands of people each year. “The poor are no longer isolated,” de Soto said. “They are here, knocking at the door, demanding to be let in.”
These vast squatter communities that ring the cities in poor countries are teeming with what de Soto called “candidates for capitalism.” Indeed, they are already engaged in their own “extralegal” market activity. The economist estimated that 98 percent of all business done in Peru is extralegal, initiated by entrepreneurs who operate outside the official legal and commercial system.
The public-broadcasting-insider newspaper Current passed along a survey from The Chronicle of Philanthropy on executive compensation at large nonprofits in 2008. The salaries can be higher than the current presidential salary of $400,000 (and the current congressional salary of $174,000). The list includes national executives and leaders at large stations like WNET (New York), WETA (Washington), WTTW (Chicago), and KCET (Los Angeles.)
Former NPR C.E.O. Kenneth Stern, who departed in 2008, is atop the pubcasting list, receiving $1,319,541 as part of his four-year contract. Another former exec, PBS C.O.O. Wayne Godwin, who served from 2000 to 2008, was paid $398,063. Current PBS C.E.O. Paula Kerger, $534,500, up from $424,209 at end of fiscal 2007.
In the first few moments after Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday night, PBS anchor Jim Lehrer turned to his allegedly liberal vs. conservative duo of pundits, Mark Shields and David Brooks. Shields said the speech was terrific, the best speech of his presidency. Brooks said....the speech was terrific, the best speech of his presidency. Without a Bob Dole flourish about deficits, a viewer would scarcely know there was any difference in opinion.
Shields hailed how Obama had put down the "the slanders and libels" about ObamaCare, and the first words out of the mouth of Brooks? "I agree with Mark." He may not have agreed with the "libels" line, but he never objected to it. He found Obama's exploitation of Ted Kennedy "moving" and then said the center was Obama's "natural milieu." It's too bad conservatives don't seem to have a spokesman on the tax-funded network:
LEHRER: Now we have some reaction to what the president said from Mark Shields and David Brooks. Mark? First, your overview.
The Charlie Rose show on PBS was a natural place to get the warmest, most exaggerated praise for Ted Kennedy on the night after his death was announced, on August 26. Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of the networks’ favorite pundits, declared he was "an unparalleled giant in history." Rose said his record was a "towering, towering achievement, far beyond many presidents." Newsweek editor Jon Meacham was placing him in a tiny Senate Hall of Fame: "Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Ted Kennedy." After that, he said, a huge dropoff in talent.
Al Hunt was the strangest, but at least he began to realize his exaggeration was too implausible to continue: "He didn't demonize people at all. He demonized positions, but not people. Bob Bork might have been a rare exception of that."
That's the advice PBS host Bill Moyers had for President Barack Obama in an appearance on HBO's August 28 "Real Time with Bill Maher." According to the former press secretary for President Lyndon B. Johnson, a defeat on health care/health insurance reform would do the left more good than crafting some sort of compromise.
"I mean, I would rather see Barack Obama go down fighting for vigorous, strong principled public insurance, than to lose with a bill - look, BusinessWeek had a cover story last week, ‘The Insurers are Winning,'" Moyers said.
Not one to disappoint her fans at NewsBusters, PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News & World Report contributing editor Bonnie Erbe again shot from the hip with factually-challenged anti-gun rights bluster in an August 18 blog post.
Watching CNN between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, I was treated to the sight of a young man with an automatic weapon strapped to his back across the street from a presidential rally in Arizona. This is not the first time armed persons have appeared outside a building where the president is making an appearance.
Of course the man she is referring to, who identified himself to the media only by his first name "Chris," was carrying a semi-automatic AR-15, not an automatic weapon. Yet in the next paragraph, perhaps thinking automatic and semi-automatic are as interchangeable as the terms flammable and inflammable, Erbe described the AR-15 as a "semiautomatic mass killing machine":
With the Obama administration and their friends in the media denouncing the sometimes loud dissent that liberals are facing in town hall meetings on health care, it’s worth recalling how some of those same journalists celebrated the anti-Bush dissenters and denounced what they claimed was the Republican administration’s attempts to stifle dissent.
Back in 2006, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann attacked what he called President Bush’s “portable public chorus” (does President Obama have one of those?) For telling “those who dissent...[that] we are somehow un-American.” PBS’s Bill Moyers in 2003 found it “galling” to see “all those moralistic ideologues in Washington...attacking dissenters as un-American.”
In 2003, Olbermann saluted protests: “It is political dissent that created this country and sustained it and improved it.” But on Friday’s Countdown, Olbermann called the anti-Obama protests “societal sabotage,” determined that the grassroots groups are “fake” and insisted that “the protestors are not interested in hearing any voices other than their own.” (But the anti-Bush protesters were open-minded?)