A taxpayer who doesn’t favor Barack Obama might not mind subsidizing a show where he’s attacked as unserious about the country’s problems. But with PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley, it’s been a relentless attack on Obama from the left. Everything he’s done isn’t half-socialist enough.
Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert appeared on Thursday night on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC to discuss how the death penalty demonstrates how America is marred by “such a macho culture, such a violent culture” that we would actually execute murderers and politicians haven't completely banned it.
For her part, Maddow tried to imply that there’s race-baiting politics involved, which is like preaching to Herbert’s choir. She insisted a new resurgence of tough-on-crime politics is typified by how Fox News is “trying to hype the issue of urban crime with racial overtones.”
Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff [a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?
Are even the most liberal media members starting to realize the administration's "Recovery Summer" campaign was a complete joke?
Such appears to be the case for New York Times columnist Bob Herbert who on Saturday published a piece absolutely excoriating President Obama for not exclusively focusing on jobs after his inauguration last year:
The Obama administration seems to be feeling sorry for itself. Robert Gibbs, the president's press secretary, is perturbed that Mr. Obama is not getting more hosannas from liberals. Spare me. The country is a mess. The economy is horrendous, and millions of American families are running out of ammunition in their fight against destitution. Steadily increasing numbers of middle-class families, who never thought they'd be seeking charity, have been showing up at food pantries.
"Has the mainstream media -- which turns left -- have they abandoned the president on his economic policies?" Stuart Varney asked NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell in a brief interview held shortly after 10 a.m. today.
The Media Research Center founder answered in the affirmative, noting that staunch liberals in the mainstream media think Obama is too conservative on his spending plans:
BRENT BOZELL: It's the columnists, particularly for the New York Times. It's the four horsemen of the apocalypse from the Times. It's Paul Krugman, it's Frank Rich, it's Maureen Dowd, it's that crowd, they are out to get Obama now. Not from the right, from the left.
STUART VARNEY: Yeah. I mean Bob Herbert, I think it was just yesterday, talking about the failure of the president's policy. Missed opportunity. He wants another trillion dollar stimulus program. So does Paul Krugman.
To watch the full interview, click the play button on the embedded video above at right.
Add New York Times columnist Bob Herbert to the growing list of liberal media members realizing that Barack Obama's campaign slogan "Hope and Change" was nothing but a great sales pitch.
"Mr. Obama and the Democrats have wasted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them in the 2008 election," wrote Herbert Tuesday.
"They did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission."
No, they sure didn't. Instead, they worked on a stimulus package that has done nothing but add to the debt, a healthcare bill that WILL do nothing but add to the debt, and a cap and trade bill that if ever passed will cost jobs in virtually every industry.
As Herbert continued, he surprisingly noted how disappointed Americans are in the failure of this administration to do what the country needed most:
It certainly comes as no surprise that liberal media members hate big business, but the level to which New York Times columnist Bob Herbert attacked some of the nation's largest employers on Saturday should concern everyone interested in preserving what's left of the free market.
"[T]he biggest, most powerful companies do not have the best interests of the American people in mind when they are closing in on the kinds of profits that ancient kingdoms could only envy," wrote Herbert.
"Haven't we just seen how the giant financial firms almost destroyed the American economy?" he then asked.
Sadly, the Times columnist was just getting warmed up:
CNN’s Larry King carried water for President Obama’s move to send more troops to Afghanistan during an interview of Michael Moore on early Wednesday morning. King later shifted further to the left, asking Moore if he agreed with Jesse Ventura’s call for a new draft and a “war tax” and quoting from Bob Herbert of the New York Times, who labeled the Afghan war a “tragic mistake.”
The CNN host interviewed the famous left-wing director for the first two segments of his program. Near the end of the first segment, King sought Moore’s take on something from his interview of Ventura, whom he interviewed the night before: “Jesse Ventura said last night- and he agrees with your position, by the way- that we should consider bringing back the draft and we should have a war tax so that people suffer if we’re all going to pay a price for this. What do you think?”
The leftist one-upped his celebrity counterpart: “There would be no increase in the troops if there was a draft and if people had to pay for it. I actually have proposed bringing back the draft now for some years, but only draft the children of those in the upper five percent income bracket, because if the wealthy have to send their kids over to Iraq or Afghanistan, trust me, there won’t be many wars.”
The host quoted from Herbert in his last question to Moore: “Bob Herbert, writing in The New York Times today, called this a ‘tragic mistake,’ and then he quotes Dwight David Eisenhower...Eisenhower said, ‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can and as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, and its stupidity.’And then he said- this will impress you, I think- Eisenhower: ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.’ That’s from a four star general and a president.”
Back in June, liberal columnists at the New York Times lined up to link conservative talkers Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh to James von Brunn, the 88-year-old man who killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum, and the murder by Scott Roeder of abortionist George Tiller.
Krugman’s “The Big Hate” blamed Fox host Bill O’Reilly’s rhetoric (“Tiller the baby killer”) for the Tiller murder, as well as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, for contributing to the dangerously toxic atmosphere.
Warner’s online entry, “The Wages of Hate,” read: “You can't accuse Beck or Limbaugh of inciting violence. But they almost certainly do stoke the flames.”
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).
Look no further than New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's recent appearance on "The Rachel Maddow Show" for why its namesake should invite guests who don't share her worldview more often than the current once-monthly clip, the better to sharpen the discourse.
Herbert appeared on Maddow's MSNBC program Jan. 13 to describe why he opposes President-elect Barack Obama's plans to double US troop strength in Afghanistan from the current 30,000 soldiers.
What follows is a transcript of the conversation between Maddow and Herbert, with my criticism afterwards. Words that are italicized indicate emphasis by the speaker, words in bold represent my emphasis --
When Bob Herbert, a columnist for the New York Times since 1993, recently charged in his column that the Republican Party deliberately targets black Democrats using ads featuring attractive white women to exploit racial resentment, and claimed as proof that the GOP does not run such ads against opponents who are white, the liberal columnist could have disproved this thesis by consulting a 1994 article in the paper he writes for regarding that year's Virginia Senate race involving former Senator Charles Robb, a white Democrat. The New York Times article, titled "THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: THE AD CAMPAIGN; The Senate Race in Virginia: Robb and North Trade Barbs," from October 15, 1994, describes an ad run by Republican Oliver North's campaign depicting the Playboy cover image of Tai Collins, a young blonde with whom Democrat Robb was romantically linked. (Transcript follows)
Warning: excessive adulation of Barack Obama is harmful to the vision and can in extreme cases cause hallucinations.
We're all familiar with how an Obamania overdose produced strange tingling sensations in Chris Matthews. A new, virulent strain of the affliction has now emerged, claiming its first victim in the person of Bob Herbert, who on live national TV saw visions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument where none existed.
The NYT columnist, a guest on today's Morning Joe, expanded on the theory set forth in his column of this past Saturday, Running While Black, that the McCain campaign ad mocking Obama as a Paris Hilton/Britney Spears-type celebrity was actually "designed to exploit" racist anxiety about black men and white women. Herbert lumped the McCain ad with the "call me" ad the RNC ran against Harold Ford, Jr. in his Tennessee senate race.
It was in describing the McCain ad that Herbert's symptoms surfaced.
Barack Obama is still giving Chris Matthews thrills. On Thursday night's "Hardball," before throwing to an Obama clip, Matthews gave the following rave review, on his July 24 show, to the Illinois senator's speech in Germany:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What, what do you make of this? Let's take another bite here because it was quite a speech. You have to judge for yourself but the speech had its thrill factor, certainly once again. Here he was.
However Matthews wasn't in such a jovial mood near the end of the program.
Got to be good looking 'cause he's so hard to see Come together right now Over me—The Beatles, "Come Together" (1969) [YouTube]
Bob Herbert just doesn't get it. As Noel Sheppard has noted, in his NYT column today Herbert accuses Barack Obama of "lurching right when it suits him, and . . . zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash." The NY Times columnist goes on to condemn the candidate for "pandering to evangelicals;" agreeing with Justices Scalia and Thomas on a "barbaric" interpretation of the 8th Amendment; and playing a "dangerous game" with his "shifts and panders."
No, no, no, Bob! That's not what's happening at all. Obama isn't flip-flopping. He's simply fulfilling his pledge to bring us together. What makes Herbert's obtuseness all the more infuriating is that enlightenment was just a stroll down the corridor away, to the office of Gail Collins. Herbert's fellow Times columnist explained what is really going on during her appearance today on Morning Joe.
You can now add New York Times columnist Bob Herbert to the growing list of liberal media members so concerned with the recent flip-flops by presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama that they're willing to publicly express their angst for all to see.
In this instance, the disappointment regarding the junior senator from Illinois's many changes of heart was palpable.
In an article entitled "Lurching With Abandon," Herbert attacked his candidate of choice with almost a Netroots-like fervor (emphasis added):
See Bonus Video at foot: Mika Victimized by Retching Rover!
In polite liberal circles, Ralph Nader's suggestion that Barack Obama "wants to talk white" and avoid appearing like another Jesse Jackson is infra dig. Take, for example, Joan Walsh's reaction on yesterday's Hardball. Said the editor of Salon.com:
I don't think that racism is too strong a word for what he said.
Added NY Times columnist Bob Herbert:
It's a lousy, reprehensible comment.
But as uncomfortable as Nader's statement might make some people, could there be a kernel of truth to it? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. And even Prof. Michael Dyson—Obama fan and commentator on matters racial—seemed to acknowledge that "ghetto-speak" would hurt Barack, going so far as to imitate the kind of street accent that could damage the candidate's campaign.
My circle of friends lost a fine man, a husband and father of several children, to brain cancer not long ago. He fought with courage and optimism, and received fine treatment, but the disease simply proved too strong. I sympathize with the plight facing Ted Kennedy, his family and loved ones. I'd add that in the course of the current coverage, I've learned of Kennedy's admirable history of extending kindnesses to many, putting him in something of a different light for me.
That said, I cannot help but comment on Bob Herbert's NY Times column of this morning, Tears for Teddy. The gist is that this is but the latest of many challenges that Kennedy has faced. And it's certainly true that the senator's life has been touched by more than its fair share of tragedy.
Even so, read this line, the one the Times placed on its op-ed web page to promo the column, and see if the same thing doesn't come to your mind as did to mine:
The press will tell you that this is Senator Kennedy’s toughest fight. I don’t even know if that’s true. Who knows what the toughest fight has been for someone named Kennedy?
Bob Herbert: voice of reason? On economics and the role of government, no. On the dynamics of the Dem nomination race? Actually, yes. In both his TV appearances and columns, Herbert, a military veteran who grew up largely in a comfortable New Jersey suburb, comes across as more clear-eyed and down-to-earth, less angry and ideological, than his NY Times confreres like Paul Krugman or Frank Rich.
Take Herbert's column of this morning, Heading Toward the Danger Zone. My sense is that, at heart, Herbert backs Obama. But that doesn't deter the columnist from offering an unblinking assessment of the very perilous electoral path on which Obama finds himself. Let's work backwards from Herbert's stunning conclusion [emphasis added]:
One of Senator Obama’s favorite phrases is “the fierce urgency of now.” There is nothing more fiercely urgent for him right now than to reassure voters and superdelegates that an Obama candidacy will not lead to a Democratic debacle in November.
In the second half of today's "As The Left Eat Their Own," the New York Times' Bob Herbert goes after Democrats for "doing everything they can to blow this presidential election."
And that was just the first sentence of his scathing rebuke of all things currently left-leaning.
With that as an appetizer, readers are advised to strap themselves into their comfiest chairs with a nice bucket of popcorn at their sides, and prepare for a ride guaranteed to thrill beyond their wildest expectations (emphasis added throughout):
"The opening of a trapdoor and the sudden snap of a hangman's noose at dawn yesterday brought an extraordinary end to a political era in Iraq." -- Opening line from The Guardian's report of the execution of Saddam, Dec. 31, 2006
"Senator Clinton never gave a second thought to opening the trap door beneath her fellow Democrat." -- Bob Herbert of the NYT, Confronting the Kitchen Sink, March 8, 2008 [emphasis added in both citations].
When Bill O'Reilly, in an impromptu response to a phone caller's question, said that he didn't want to "lynch" Michelle Obama, critics on the left from Media Matters to Keith Olbermann were outraged. Star Jones condemned O'Reilly's statement as "racist, unacceptable and inappropriate on every level."
Admission: over the course of my NewsBusting, I've actually developed a certain admiration for Bob Herbert. Not that I agree with virtually anything the NY Times columnist has to say, but that I appreciate his directness and the absence in his work of the superfluous sarcasm that marks that of a number of his colleagues.
That said, I offer up Herbert's lament of this morning, "Where Are the Big Ideas?", as the epitome of wrong-headed liberal thinking. Herbert's complaint is that when it comes to the role of government, the presidential candidates aren't thinking big enough. Hillary and Obama's proposals to subject 1/7th of the nation's economy [or whatever the current proportion that health care represents] to government control are small beer in Bob's eyes. He dismisses their plans as "masterpieces of minutiae."
Herbert says that "the essential question the candidates should be trying to answer — but that is not even being asked very often — is how to create good jobs in the 21st century." The columnist gives us an idea of the kind of big-government thinking he has in mind to answer his question:
On the east and west coasts today, two liberal columnists unleashed a torrent of vitriol at Hillary and Bill Clinton. At the Los Angeles Times, contributing editor Jonathan Chait [a past master of political hatred] asked Is the right right on the Clintons? Consider these blistering excerpts [emphasis added]:
Something strange happened the other day. All these different people -- friends, co-workers, relatives, people on a liberal e-mail list I read -- kept saying the same thing: They've suddenly developed a disdain for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but I think we've reached an irrevocable turning point in liberal opinion of the Clintons.
With all due respect to the chairman (Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke), he would see the recession that so many others are feeling if he would only open his eyes. While Mr. Bernanke and others are waiting for the official diagnosis (a decline in the gross domestic product for two successive quarters), the disease is spreading and has been spreading for some time.