Tavis Smiley Publicist Promotes Justice Clarence Thomas Book Discussion with Character Bashing E-Mail
I received an e-mail this week from Brian Steffen who is the online publicist for Tavis Smiley. The e-mail was a promotion for a PBS airing of a panel discussion on "My Grandfather's Son," the new book by Justice Clarence Thomas. The e-mail consisted of an advance set of excerpts that were designed to entice me to watch the program. The only problem was that every excerpt in the e-mail took a pot shot at Justice Thomas by attacking his character, without substance of course, very much in line with most of the criticisms that Thomas has had to endure mainly because he is a black conservative.
But there is more going on here than the criticism of Justice Thomas as it appears in an unsolicited e-mail. The context of the comments reveal the true biases of liberal educators, certain representatives of black activist organizations and that of the media darlings that put these people on a pedestal. You will soon see that their bias feeds into the notion that the Supreme Court should be used as a tool to create policy and subvert the role of the other two branches of government that most readily represents the people. The bias also allows the panel guests to extend the cry for equal time under fairness doctrine like standards; a cry that is increasingly being used as a weapon to try and silence the free speech rights of conservatives in talk radio, on TV and the internet.
On Friday morning’s Today, NBC put the thumb-screws on the Republican PBS debate no-shows in a segment with NBC’s Tim Russert and an outraged PBS host Tavis Smiley, who in his outrage over being snubbed, equated himself with history, that skipping his debate was a "watershed moment" in American history. Russert piled on with the same liberal media spin, quoting all the Republicans who said the no-shows were making a huge mistake, that attending was "good politics" – and no Republican holding a contrary opinion.
Many conservatives who feel passionately about reaching out to black voters are infuriated that the Republican front-runners have not consented to a PBS debate hosted by PBS and public-radio talk show host Tavis Smiley. Newt Gingrich assured ABC viewers the other morning that "Tavis Smiley is a very responsible, very clear-cut commentator and analyst. He's going to run a very fair debate." But have these critical voices ever really looked at Smiley’s actual record when it comes to Republicans?
Start with October 24, 2000. Smiley told Geraldo Rivera on CNBC that George W. Bush was a serial killer. "There are, there are some issues on which if you are a voter of color, certainly if you are an African-American, you have a hard time choosing. For example, both of these guys support the death penalty. As far as I’m concerned, Bush in Texas is nothing more than a serial killer." Does Gingrich think that's "responsible" commentary?
Cooper joins other members of the mainstream media who are "featured attendees" at this year’s "Clinton Global Initiative" annual meeting, including Daljit Dhaliwal of PBS; Nicholas Kristof and George Suroweicki of the New York Times; Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek, and former (current?) Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. Major media executives attending the meeting include Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks; Rupert Murdoch; and Ted Turner.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program once again demonstrated the template for GOP figures to receive air time: Trash your fellow Republicans. GMA featured former Congressman J.C. Watts questioning whether top 2008 GOP presidential candidates are racist for skipping a PBS debate on minority issues. Continuing the theme, co-host Robin Roberts asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, "...Why are Republicans so reluctant to talk to minorities?"
In a piece setting up the Gingrich interview, Roberts intoned that the absence of Republican front-runners at the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." GMA co-host Diane Sawyer teased the segment by not-so-subtlety asking, "...Are the Republican candidates snubbing minority events?" Roberts and Sawyer never bothered to mention that Thursday’s PBS debate will be moderated by liberal host Tavis Smiley who, for instance, wondered in May, "Why shouldn’t we be outraged" at George Bush. Perhaps the Republican front-runners simply don’t want to go into a hostile, left-wing event. Would "Good Morning America" insist that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend a forum hosted by the NRA?
CORRECTION: 2007-09-25 14:20:00 -0400 [An earlier version misidentified Jake Tapper as saying the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." This was actually said by co-host Robin Roberts.]
A presidential election must be approaching: liberals are playing the Republicans-are-evil-racists card. People will recall the notorious NAACP 2000 campaign commercial that equated George W. Bush with someone who dragged a black man to death behind his car on a chain.
On today's "View," Joy Behar [file photo] offered a similar slur: GOP = KKK.
Talk had turned to the fact that most of the Republican presidential candidates declined to participate in two Latino-oriented debates held earlier this year. The leading candidates have now indicated that they will also be taking a pass on a September 27th debate at Morgan State University organized by Tavis Smiley and to be broadcast on PBS.
The Washington Post’s favoritism toward Democrats is obvious in Wednesday’s paper. When Democrats abandon efforts to force a troop pullout from Iraq, the Post puts the story on A3 with the headline "Democrats’ Iraq Push on Hold." Reporter Shailagh Murray says the Democrats are "abandoning a bipartisan effort" for pullout. That’s amusing, since just words before, she says this move is because most Republicans don’t want to be counted in that "bipartisan" effort.
But on page A1, the Republicans are still the ones in political danger, with the story "Debate No-Shows Worry GOP Leaders." Reporter Perry Bacon Jr asserted that GOP presidential contenders turning down debates hosted by Hispanic liberals and black liberals could cause "a backlash that could further erode the party's standing with black and Latino voters." Bacon front-loaded the story with loud lamentations from Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich about failing to stand before Tavis Smiley on PBS and get attacked from the left.
Over at the Intellectual Conservative, writer Gary Larson discusses what he discovered when viewing an episode of PBS's "History Detectives":
Entertaining, a smidgen on the shaggy-dog side, the PBS program showcases four academic “detectives” traipsing around the country tracking down arcane histories of assorted relics. It’s a fun program, a fast hour of delicious cotton candy for us history buffs.
It leads us down paths of little discoveries — a shard of bone, a piece of flag, some old cannon ball. Then a “detective” tells us what parts they played in history, if at all. The joy of watching is in the journey.
You better put down your drinks, and make sure there's nothing in your mouths, for the New York Times's David Brooks made a comment on Friday's News Hour that is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter from those on the right side of the aisle.
*****Updates at end of post include similar opinions from conservative bloggers, as well as a video of a CNN correspondent saying roughly the same thing, and a response from the Kos Kidz.
After introducing regular guests Brooks and Mark Shields, host Jim Lehrer asked their opinions concerning the just-released Osama bin Laden video.
Brooks was second up with this absolutely marvelous observation (final warning to put down your drinks, video available here):
Gabriel Resources, a mining company based in Toronto, Canada, has begun to fight back against the lies and war of misinformation being waged against its proposed Romanian gold mine by leftwing billionaire George Soros. As I have written about several times on my own blog, BillHobbs.com, the poverty-stricken place village of Rosia Montana, Romania, is seeing its best-ever chance at economic progress and a better life for its people blocked by environmental groups and NGOs, and by Soros, a wealthy man who doesn't lack for things like indoor plumbing and electricity the way many of the people do in Rosia.
The New York Times, PBS and other media outlets have in recent weeks presented a false picture of the Rosia Montana project, describing it as a small village trying to fend off destruction by a big Canadian mining company. The real picture is much different - the truth is, the people of the village largely support the proposed mine, and want the benefits it will bring, and the opposition is largely non-local and heavily funded by Soros.
Bill Clinton has a new book out titled Giving (no, it's not free), and the book launch already has loads of media help. Today's Washington Post carries a gooey article from reporter David Segal about a Harlem book launch event and panel discussion in Harlem for Clinton hosted by Tavis Smiley, the nightly PBS chat-show host. The headline on the front of the style section was "Bill Clinton's Got What It Takes for 'Giving.'" Segal can't get over how Clinton consistently sounds like a genius, and how it makes him long for the glory days:
He still has this way of presenting his ideas for reforms as simple, elegant solutions that would all but enact themselves if enough people get behind them or merely get out of their way.
He spoke, at one point, of "whittling down materials to retrofit buildings to combat global warming in Bangladesh, and whatever it means, it sure sounds like a good idea. He said the market for charitable giving was "under-organized" and "under-capitalized," and again -- it makes sense even if you're not sure about what it means.
CORRECTION (17:50 EDT, Sept. 12): In the original entry, quotes attributed to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler should have been attributed to Jeff Bieber, vice president for news and public affairs at WETA, the Washington, D.C. affiliate of PBS. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.
Where conservatives see "Islamist sympathizers" and "egregious conflicts of interest at work" officials with the public broadcasting system see "respected authorities" plying their trade on behalf of objective journalism.
A central complaint registered against PBS concerns the hiring of two outside advisors charged with the responsibility of reviewing films that were under consideration for inclusion the "America at a Crossroads" series this past April.
Martyn Burke, director of documentary films at ABG Films, and Frank Gaffney, president of the conservative Center for Security Policy, and Gaffney's colleague Alex Alexiev, also with CSP, collaborated together in producing the documentary for the series entitled: "Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center."
Where are the moderate Muslims who willingly speak out against the Islamist agenda, and why are their voices not heard in the mainstream media?
These questions are explored in a documentary that is receiving national exposure over the next several weeks via an Oregon affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Producers and advisors with WETA, the Washington D.C. affiliate of PBS, had previously denied airing the film as part of the "America at a Crossroads Series."
Has Bill Moyers become PBS's Jack Cafferty, Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, and Keith Olbermann all rolled into one crusading, Bush-hating, anti-war propagandist funded by American tax dollars?
After all, on Friday, he followed up last week's disgraceful rant about Karl Rove with an eight-minute segment on how "The Bush White House has launched a massive new P.R. campaign with the message: the surge in Iraq is working. Let's stay the course!"
In it, Moyers offered not one shred of balance to this completely anti-war report by totally ignoring recent statements from liberal think tank members, leading Democrats, and military officials indicating that conditions in Iraq are indeed improving.
Instead, Moyers: disgracefully suggested that the White House is misleading Americans about the surge in much the same way it did weapons of mass destruction; mocked military recruiting ads and techniques, and; cited a British newspaper claiming our army is crippled by fatigue. A full transcript of this abomination follows with video available here for those that can stomach it:
As NewsBusters reported last Saturday, PBS's Bill Moyers went on an absolutely disgraceful rant about Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and religion during the August 17 installment of "Bill Moyers Journal."
Two days later, Rove was Chris Wallace's guest on "Fox News Sunday," and took issue with Moyers's comments: "Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."
Moyers followed this up with a letter to Wallace posted at his blog Wednesday suggesting that Wallace didn't do his homework concerning Rove, and that Wallace shouldn't "take his every word as gospel."
You know it's bad when your own ombudsman compares you to Richard Nixon, or suggests that you need an ombudsman devoted only to you. But that's exactly what PBS Ombud Michael Getler has been pushed to with the latest Bill Moyers "editorial", which was covered by our own Noel Sheppard.
Set aside for the moment that in a tirade Moyers referred to the Commander in Chief as "an intellectually incurious draft-averse naughty playboy in a flight jacket with chewing tobacco in his back pocket". That's the PBS equivalent of 'fair and balanced'. At question here is whether or not Karl Rove is a religious man. Moyers postulates that he is not, going off various dubious sources (that Moyers referred to as "circulating reports") such as the outright conjecture of bloggers. Church-attending Karl claims Moyers is wrong. Who are you going to believe?
Getler rightly points out that this type of sourcing "is not up to his [Moyer] standards", which apparently are already far below average journalistic standards. He also points out that, again, Moyers has violated PBS's Editorial Standards and Policies which require that when "a program, segment, or other content is devoted to opinion or commentary, the principle of transparency requires that it be clearly labeled as such" and "should identify who is responsible for the views being presented."
Continue reading the ombud report if you like, but I found it a tiring report of the obvious: Bill Moyers is, as Dan Rather would say - a partisan political operative, cloaked in the auspices of a journalist taking tax money from the public against the will of the majority.
On the heels of last night's PBS broadcast of the biased "documentary" titled "Gold Futures," which portrays the Romanian village of Rosia Montana as a pristine rural village threatened by a behemoth gold mine, village resident and blogger Gheorge Lucian is preparing to send PBS a message in a bottle - literally.
Lucian, as seen on this YouTube video, has collected samples of the highly polluted river water that flows through Rosia Montana from the now-closed former communisty-run state-owned gold mine, an environmental disaster zone that would be cleaned as part of the development of a new, modern, state-of-the-art gold mine in Rosia Montana.
He intends to send a bottle of the water - it's orange - to PBS.
Charges of bias leveled at PBS yesterday in this post here at Newsbusters about PBS's airing nationwide tonight of "Gold Futures," documentary regarding a proposed gold mine in Romania, are backed up today with new information revealed by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal.
"Gold Futures," by Hungarian filmmaker Tibor Kocsis, apparently is based on Kocsis' 2004-released documentary titled "New Eldorado," which had the subtitle "Gold. The Curse of Rosia Montana," and is clearly biased against the mining project.
PBS is scheduled to broadcast nationally Tuesday night a biased documentary about a gold-mining project in Romania. The segment of the PBS series Wide Angle, titled "Gold Futures," looks at the ongoing controversy over a proposed gold mine in the village of Rosia Montana and all indications are that it will follow the anti-mine perspective promoted by a variety of European environmentalists who don't live in the village, an effort now backed by leftwing American financier George Soros, whose Soros Foundation-Romania recently opened an office in Rosia to fight the mining project.
(Soros' history of investment in gold-mining companies raises questions about why he has chosen to oppose the Rosia mining project, but that's a subject for another post some day.)
Is PBS still making money off a discredited documentary that they know is filled with untruths, misquotes, and lies? It would seem so.
In 2003 PBS aired a show titled "Einstein's Wife" that attempted to prove that Albert Einstein's world changing theories of physics were a result of a hidden collaboration with his first wife, Mileva Maric. This documentary claimed that Maric’s work on the theory of relativity was lied about and hidden away all these years by Einstein, his biographies and history. Imagine the implications if the work of what must be the smartest woman on earth was hidden by those evil, greedy men who don't want to share credit with a woman. It's a feminist's dream story promulgated by PBS.
Unfortunately it isn't true. Not only is it not true, but also so many historians have since complained to PBS that they surely know the real truth by now, even if their original airing was a result of their honestly just not knowing the truth then. Yet, this faux documentary still has a PBS sponsored webpage and was recently aired by Australian broadcasters. PBS is also still selling DVDs and attempting to make money off a film hat has been discredited by dozens of historians and even attacked by the scientists in the film who were misquoted and misrepresented by the film's producers.
There are times when I hate being a media analyst, for I am often forced to view and review television reports and newspaper articles that literally make me nauseated while undermining my faith in journalists as a whole as well as my fellow citizens.
The following video is a perfect example, a virtual piece of detritus that unfortunately is likely to offend so many viewers on so many levels that it's almost unimaginable a highly-regarded American journalist was responsible for its content.
Alas, Bill Moyers was at it again Friday evening closing out his Bill Moyers Journal program on PBS with a monologue about President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that is guaranteed to sicken you as much as it did me.
In fact, my disgust over this abomination is so great that I care not to excerpt or highlight any of its contents in fear of ruining my weekend. As such, what follows is a partial transcript of this disgraceful refuse for your reading displeasure (video available here, h/t NBer mattm):
On Friday night’s "Inside Washington," panelists trashed Ross Buettner’s story in the New York Times playing up a close relationship between Fox News boss Roger Ailes and GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said "I think this was the New York Times thinking that Ailes is Darth Vader, because they made him out to be this monster who’s given all this time to Giuliani, but the story itself and the graphics supporting it didn’t support the story." Others agreed. "There’s nothing in this story," said columnist Charles Krauthammer. Colby King of the Washington Post scornfully added, "This is exactly why newspapers in trouble," and said they acted like a tabloid. Thomas concluded, "It says more about the paranoia of the New York Times than anything else."
Senator Charles Schumer is a legendary pursuer of television cameras. But look at the way the national media are covering Schumer’s heavy-breathing pursuit to make Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cry uncle and resign. It makes you wonder just how hard Schumer has to work to get press attention. The media look Schumer-owned and operated.
One interview really captures how the press looks more like a Democratic goon squad than a nonpartisan observers of the national scene. On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” news anchor Christopher Cuomo, son of Mario Cuomo, asked this pushy question on July 27: “Is Alberto Gonzales out of a job at end of business today?” Cuomo wanted the Attorney General whacked, and he wanted it now.
In a letter sent far and wide to anyone (including the MRC) who criticized his hour-long tantrum tub-thumping for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on July 13, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers lectured PBS ombudsman Michael Getler that PBS was created to disturb the "official consensus" and praised his two pro-impeachment guests, a "liberal" and a "conservative scholar who reveres the Constitution," for "they made a valuable contribution to the public dialogue, as confirmed by the roughly 20:1 positive response to the broadcast. Of course I could have aired a Beltway-like 'debate' between a Democrat and a Republican, or a conservative and a liberal, but that’s usually conventional wisdom and standard practice, and public broadcasting was meant to be an alternative, not an echo."
Today FOX News Specials with E.D. Hill aired the film banned by PBS, "Muslims Against Jihad".
According to FOX: "It was commissioned as part of the PBS series "America at the Crossroads" about the post 9/11 world, but PBS executives rejected it."
Why? PBS said it was because the filmmakers were "alarmist, overreaching and unfair."
The filmmakers, which include Frank Gaffney, however say it was because of liberal bias at PBS. One of the filmmakers said he was asked by PBS, "Don't you screen the politics of those you use?" (specifically of Gaffney).
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler has to be getting uncomfortable for calling out unbalanced liberal programs on the taxpayer-funded network. After he agreed with critics last week that a pro-Kerry editorial was wildly out of place on the show "History Detectives," now he has noticed the incredibly one-sided Bill Moyers Journal hour on impeaching Bush and Cheney and mildly noted it could have used a smidgen of balance. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s promise to avoid impeachment hearings, he wrote, "I would argue that it is still a newsworthy topic. So, as a viewer, I'm grateful that it is being addressed....On the other hand, there was almost a complete absence of balance, as I watched it, in the way this program presented the case for impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney."
On his page on the PBS website, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with e-mailers on an episode of gratuitious liberal bias – a seemingly out-of-nowhere attack on the 2004 ad campaign against John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – on the show "History Detectives." In a brief commentary, Wes Cowan denounced how the group known as "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and funded by a wealthy Republican campaign donor smeared Kerry's military record and possibly cost him the election." When Getler asked the executive producer Christopher Bryson about the claim, he shot back: "In stating that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ‘smeared Kerry's military record’ we carefully and believe accurately summarized and characterized a great deal of objective reporting by established media organizations, respected media watchdog groups, and an official Pentagon investigation."
Those "objective" reporters included The Washington Post, and the Annenberg Center’s Factcheck.org, which also relied on the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a Kerry pal’s commentary in the Wall Street Journal. But the "objective" label gets more hilarious when Bryson also cited John Kerry’s incredibly sympathetic liberal biographer and pop-historian Doug Brinkley, and the left-wing Center for Media and Democracy’s online Sourcewatch encylopedia. CMD puts out paperback books with obviously left-wing and partisan titles such as Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq and Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America Into a One-Party State.
Bruce Fein was a member of the Reagan Administration, but during the Dubya years, Fein sounds a lot like your typical "Bush hater," comparing the president to a long list of historical villains, which makes him a more acceptable guest for Bill Moyers or NPR’s Diane Rehm show. Here are the actual places in the Friday Bill Moyers Journal interview where squeaky-voiced Fein took Bush to the historical dark alley and tried to rough him up:
– Today’s Japanese Internment Camps?
FEIN: Take World War II. We locked up 120,000 Japanese Americans, said they were all disloyal. Well, we got 120,000 mistakes. They lost their property. They lost their liberty for years and years because we made a huge mistake. And that can be true after 9/11 as well.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers devoted his entire hour-long Bill Moyers Journal on Friday night to the need to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. The stacked hour had two guests, and both were aggressively pro-impeachment: John Nichols of The Nation magazine, author of the book "The Genius of Impeachment," and lawyer Bruce Fein, who Moyers labeled a "conservative," but he compared Bush to King George III, to Adolf Hitler, to the communist autocrats of the Gulag, and to, well, FDR, in suggesting the post 9-11 era could see a mistake like our interning of Japanese Americans. In this conversation, Moyers sometimes played the skeptic, but the overall tenor of the hour was not only anti-Bush, but anti-Speaker Pelosi for being so timid: "Why doesn't Nancy Pelosi see it her duty to take on at least the impeachment hearings that you say would educate the public?"
It’s really something when PBS is so far to the left it’s bashing both parties for not being radical enough, but this is a routine pose for Moyers, where he somehow thinks he’s "objective" when he sounds roughly in sync with the Dennis Kucinch for President campaign. Pelosi came in for whacks several times, first in this early exchange: