PBS led off Thursday’s NewsHour with a story about President Obama’s efforts to defend his healthcare law amid increasing public skepticism. But the taxpayer-funded network managed to avoid mentioning the recent harsh criticism of the law from three prominent labor union leaders, despite a vague reference to “worry from some supporters.”
Anchor Jeffrey Brown, who narrated the package, acknowledged, “Today's speech was part of a broader effort to sell the law that comes amid continuing criticism from Republicans and worry from some supporters about its implementation.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
To those of us who pay attention to the news media, it is clear that journalists played a major role in stirring up public outrage over the Trayvon Martin killing by essentially assuming George Zimmerman’s guilt before all the facts of the case were known. But on Tuesday, ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams tried to absolve the media of any wrongdoing in covering the shooting and subsequent trial, claiming that he and other journalists “evolved” in their view of the incident.
On the July 16 edition of his eponymous program, PBS host Charlie Rose asked Abrams to evaluate the media’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial. Abrams made a confession that might have applied to many journalists and many Americans in general: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Tavis Smiley is furious that President Obama has not done more to combat racism in America, and that anger was on full display Monday night. On his self-titled PBS program, Smiley unleashed a pair of long-winded leftist rants barely disguised as questions to his guest, Dr. Tricia Rose from Brown University.
Rose, who directs Brown’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, had suggested that Obama was incapable of ending structural racism in America by himself. Hearing that, Smiley erupted: “[I]f you’re right about this, then what the heck is the value of us celebrating a black president?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media are out in force Sunday expressing their disgust with the George Zimmerman verdict.
On ABC's This Week, PBS's Tavis Smiley had the nerve to say, "I think this for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Left-wing journalist Bill Moyers made a truly ludicrous attempt on Monday to twist the meaning of a particular two-word phrase. It happened while he was appearing on PBS’s Charlie Rose show to promote an upcoming documentary in which he tells the stories of two struggling families in Milwaukee. Looking the host in the eye, Moyers warned, “Never underestimate the power of learned helplessness.”
Rose appeared confused, so Moyers clarified what he meant: “Learned helplessness. That if you hear propaganda over and again, if you hear ideology over and again, you learn to be helpless because you think there's nothing you can do about it.” That sounds like a good description of what journalists on PBS, MSNBC and other outlets are responsible for. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
We’re halfway through 2013, and PBS’s Washington Week used last Friday’s episode to reflect on the past six months of D.C. politics. During the course of the reflections, moderator Gwen Ifill trotted out the oft-uttered liberal complaint about “distractions” that have impeded President Obama’s second-term agenda so far.
She lamented, “You know, the one thing that's been a common theme throughout this first six months has been distractions. The ways in which pure politics has driven what ends up happening.” [Video below the break.]
It may be 2013, but the race for the White House in 2016 is already heating up. The eventual Republican nominee will have to deal with the liberal media assisting the Democratic candidate in the presidential debates. In his 2011 book Tension City, journalist Jim Lehrer recounts several examples of that happening from 1960 through 2008.
Talking to Lehrer, George H.W. Bush recited his experience in the 1984 vice presidential debate. That year, Bush faced the first female vice presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro. The Republican recalled, "I think a lot of the females in the press corps said this was one of us [Ferraro]. You could hear them clapping [in the] room behind." Lehrer recoiled, "Press people were applauding?"
White liberals often arrogantly see themselves as more qualified to know how blacks should behave politically than blacks who are conservative. Bill Moyers is one such white liberal—a white liberal who has become wealthy by leveraging taxpayer-subsidized public television.
While Clarence Thomas was facing severe racial discrimination and hostility in the mid- and late-1950s as a black child, white Bill Moyers was working for then-outspoken civil rights opponent Lyndon Johnson. But Moyers thinks his bare-knuckled political experience with LBJ in the White House qualifies him to understand discrimination better than someone who’s lived as a black man for 65 years. Following are Moyers’ comments about the Voting Rights Act and Clarence Thomas in an appearance June 26 on the liberal Colbert Report, followed by the video of Moyers’ appearance (start at 4:18):
Texas state senator Wendy Davis has been lauded by the liberal media this week after filibustering legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and put in place common-sense safety measures for abortion clinics. But one liberal Texas journalist went over the top by comparing Davis to a certain fictional folk hero.
Appearing on the PBS NewsHour, Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith told the tale of how Davis filibustered a $4 billion public education cut back in 2011. The Texas legislature later passed the cut anyway, but Davis “became something of a folk hero,” according to Smith. Speaking to anchor Gwen Ifill, he then made a glowing comparison to a cinematic hero from the early 1970s: [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and the Washington Post’s Colby King got into a heated debate on PBS’s Inside Washington Friday over who’s to blame for Iraq spinning out of control now that the United States is no longer there.
Not surprisingly, King was opposed to laying any of the blame on President Obama for failing to negotiate a troop withdrawal that left some of our forces there (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer brilliantly and effortlessly raised an issue on last Friday’s Inside Washington that is near and dear to our hearts here at NewsBusters. It came during a discussion of the immigration reform effort now underway in both houses of Congress. Panelists Evan Thomas and Nina Totenberg agreed that if immigration reform fails to pass, given that many in both parties support it, it would be a sad commentary on Congress.
This prompted moderator Gordon Peterson to confront Krauthammer with some new Gallup poll data about Americans’ confidence in certain institutions, including Congress: “Congress ranks last out of 16 [institutions]. A 10 percent approval rating – 10 percent! The lowest level of confidence Gallup has ever polled. The lowest for any institution on record.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Count PBS’s Tavis Smiley amongst those in the media finally beginning to realize what an absolute joke MSNBC is.
During an interview with new CNNer Morgan Spurlock Wednesday, Smiley mentioned MSNBC chief Phil Griffin’s recent comments about his network not being the place for breaking news and concluded, “They do spin. They spin… If I don’t like your spin, I’ll go to Fox News” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly made a serious statement Tuesday.
Responding to what President Obama said to PBS’s Charlie Rose Monday, O’Reilly asserted that “if evidence is produced that any U.S. intelligence agency is reading emails without a specific warrant, Mr. Obama could very well be impeached.”
On Monday, Charlie Rose was more than halfway through his 47-minute interview with President Obama on PBS before he finally brought up one of the several scandals surrounding the liberal's administration. Rose pursued Obama about the NSA's leaked domestic surveillance program, but failed to mention any of the other scandals, including the IRS's targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department's investigation of journalists.
The veteran journalist also echoed the President's critics from the left about "the notion of that you have simply continued the policies of Bush/Cheney...many people say you're Bush/Cheney-lite. And then, people write columns saying, no, no, no, he's not that at all! He's tougher."
Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan made a statement about Friday's announcement concerning Syria definitively having used chemical weapons on its people that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
Appearing on PBS's McLaughlin Group, Buchanan said, "This has Tonkin Gulf written all over it...false flag."
After being able to avoid ups and downs in the economy, the PBS NewsHour nightly newscast is laying off employees for the first time in nearly 20 years. According to the New York Times, the show's production company will close its two offices outside of the Washington, DC area.
The show is facing a significant budgetary shortfall of almost one-fourth of its $28 million annual budget:
Jonathan Alter showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Wednesday to promote the new book in which he celebrates Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection. The Bloomberg columnist doesn’t seem to understand the irony of his book’s title – The Center Holds. He really does believe President Obama is a centrist, and he attempted to explain the title from the comfort of Rose’s dark studio:
“So the reason I call the book The Center Holds is, you know, not just ObamaCare, but he has defended the American social contract against an assault by the American Right.”
Not content with using her roles as managing editor and moderator of the “Washington Week” program and as a senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour,” Ifill took her crusade online on Sunday, when she posted on Twitter that it's “Fun to see the same (named & unnamed) folks calling for Holder resignation who always have” and asserted that “people don't want to know the details back and forth” of the IRS targeting.
Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift on Friday said something that might explain a lot to conservatives.
After Pat Buchanan commented on PBS’s McLaughlin Group that "the United States is moving towards Third World [education] standards because most of the students coming in now, the principle feeder nation in the country now is Mexico which is at the bottom of the OECD,” Clift replied, “When my ancestors came in they were probably at the low end of the feeder of this also” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday, in an attempt to mock Fox News, actually made a bit of a fool of himself.
After noting on Inside Washington that ObamaCare had passed Congress, been signed into law by the President, and affirmed by the Supreme Court, Shields ridiculed Fox News as being "a fourth branch of government...that hasn't approved it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Politico's Evan Thomas went where few journalists dare on Friday.
Appearing on PBS's Inside Washington, the former Newsweek editor called Barack Obama "dishonest" and said he was guilty of commiting a "huge act of hypocrisy" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
It was only two days ago that one of Charlie Rose’s guests, Politico’s Jim VandeHei, celebrated the disappearance of many outspoken Republicans from the political scene. On last night’s show, Rose invited on a pair of brash Democrats who vanished from Congress recently: former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Rep. Barney Frank.
The former lawmakers were there to discuss the 2010 financial regulatory reform law that bears their names. Rose’s third guest, Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post, recently wrote a book about the Dodd-Frank Act’s journey from conception to passage. Wouldn't you know it, Kaiser was there to sing the praises of the Democrats appearing on the program, hailing the Dodd-Frank Act as a sort of congressional triumph over partisan politics. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The new four-part series Constitution USA embodied the conglomeration of Peter Sagal, one of the more left-leaning NPR hosts, and PBS, which has been scrutinized for its abundance of liberal programming, so one might have expected this series to just be another partisan broadcast espousing solely liberal viewpoints.
However, in a rather pleasant surprise, the show covered most issues in an unbiased, nonpartisan manner. For example, when discussing the issue of homosexual marriage, Sagal interviewed proponents from both sides of the debate on this matter of contention. [Link to the audio here]
Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Wednesday night, and from the comfort of Rose’s pitch-black studio he tossed aside his journalistic objectivity and aired out his own political opinions – particularly his disdain for Republicans.
Rose had asked his guests -- Politico’s Mike Allen was there, too -- what it would take to fix the country economically and whether Washington was capable of doing it. VandeHei used this as an opening to take a shot at some of the left-wing media’s favorite targets: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The top PBS station in New York is marketing itself to potential new donors in the most natural way: by snobbishly mocking commercial TV as “a sea of madness.” Sadly, commercial TV stations probably won’t fight back by mocking prissy British period dramas like “Downton Abbey.” (I might suggest a mop-topped Muppet that looks like Ken Burns that constantly boasts of his own importance as a national story-teller.)
The New York Times reports WNET is undertaking a subway advertising and Twitter campaign mocking fake shows that sound like the “reality” shows currently airing on The History Channel or TLC, channels that conservatives have argued were airing programming similar to PBS fare:
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, PBS's Christina Bellantoni labeled Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli as "very conservative," but, when discussing presumptive Democratic nominee and former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, the PBS NewsHour political editor did not include a liberal ideological label.
Additionally, as she recounted Cuccinelli's history of opposing abortion, she euphemistically inserted the word "freedoms" as being what the Virginia attorney general and former state senator has a record of "fighting against." Discussing Cuccinelli and GOP lieutenant govenor nominee E. W. Jackson, Bellantoni asserted:
Shane Smith, CEO of the online news site Vice, has bought into the lefty claims of climate change as he alarmingly warned it's a "gun to our heads" and likened it to "nuclear war."
The journalist and co-founder of Vice came on Thursday's edition of PBS's Charlie Rose show to promote his partnership with HBO and told the CBS This Morning host he doesn't think there are "two-sides" to the climate change story. (video after the jump)
On last Friday’s Washington Week, PBS moderator Gwen Ifill brought in a panel of four liberal journalists to dissect the three scandals that have plagued the Obama administration the past couple of weeks. Predictably, most of the panelists attempted to downplay the seriousness of the Benghazi fiasco.
Midway through the Benghazi discussion, Ifill turned to The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and posed the question that has surely been on every left-wing reporter’s mind for months: “But Ed, why is this -- why is this stuck? Why is this a story that never went away?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Defending the indefensible can make a liberal journalist a little prickly. How else do you explain Washington Post columnist Colbert I. "Colby" King's specious attack on his fellow Post colleague and Inside Washington panelist Charles Krauthammer this weekend?
It all happened when Krauthammer responded to a Post editorial, published in Thursday’s paper, which asserted that UN Ambassador Susan Rice did not mislead anyone about the nature of the September 11 Benghazi attack. Ninety-seven House Republicans had signed a letter charging that Rice did mislead the public, and the Post editorial demanded that those Republicans apologize to Rice. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]