CNN touted ex-president Jimmy Carter as a "new cult favorite" and asked if his image was "being rehabilitated" on Monday's The Situation Room. After friendly interviews of Carter and his grandson last week, it might be more accurate to ask if CNN is trying to "rehabilitate" Carter's image.
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley made the laughably thin case for Carter. "But when you look at the Iran hostage crisis, I mean, Carter eventually negotiated the release of all of those hostages. It cost his political re-election. He could have bombed Tehran during it, and maybe gotten himself re-elected but he didn't," he argued. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl. There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles. Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.
But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today. Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth. View the video after the jump.
CNN hosts were wowed by President Obama's second inaugural address on Monday afternoon, and the love kept coming on Monday evening when a CNN panel gushed over the "marvelous" and "iconic" address in the vein of Martin Luther King and Lincoln.
"And now he's come along with a statement that firmly addresses a progressive, liberal agenda that's very much in the tradition of King and of Lincoln, and he has rallied his base," said CNN senior political analyst David Gergen. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
After President Obama's Monday press conference, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley fawned over him on CNN as a "warm and engaging man," pitted against Republicans who "don't want to be in a photo-op with him."
"I don't think we can blame the President for his style. I think it's just another part of this terrible political gridlock we have. President Obama is a warm and engaging man," Brinkley complimented the President. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley gushed over President Obama on Thursday's CBS This Morning and Friday's CNN Newsroom, and tried to put the incumbent in the best possible light: "He's [Obama] a very natural person....He's a really warm and genial person. What he has going for him is he exudes family values." Brinkley later asserted to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that Obama is an "intellectual...he reads all these books about Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, FDR...he's wonkish, in a sense of detail in history."
Both times, the Rice University professor downplayed the President's "BS-er" smear of his opponent, Mitt Romney, that emerged during his recent Rolling Stone interview of the Democrat by using the veneer of history: "It's another part of 'Romnesia', I suppose. The working man's 'Romnesia' is BS-er....I mean...there's no love between even John F. Kennedy and his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson; let alone Harry Truman, who once said about Eisenhower, he knows no more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday."
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley sang the praises of the Kennedy family on Monday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting the apparently "very important public service work" of Robert F. Kennedy's children: "It's just remarkable to me how Bobby Kennedy's kids keep making public policy influences." Brinkley also claimed that "the Kennedy name is still very popular, and....we're endlessly fascinated by the family."
The author also played up the Democratic family's Catholic background, without mentioning how several prominent members have dissented from the Church's teachings on abortion and sexuality.
Liberal historian and biographer Douglas Brinkley is out with a new book about the late Walter Cronkite and in its pages lie plenty of revelations that damage the late anchor's objective journalist "halo," according to media critic Howard Kurtz, who reviewed the book for the Daily Beast. Among other things, Brinkley wrote about how the allegedly Cronkite bugged a committee room at the 1952 Republican convention, how he literally begged liberal Sen. Robert Kennedy to jump into the 1968 presidential race, and how the avuncular family man figure had a penchant for partying at topless bars.
Yet on the May 31 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, neither Brinkley nor Wagner nor anyone else on the panel brought up any of those interesting revelations, focusing instead on such trivialities as how Cronkite, who got his start in the wire service UPI, perfected his on-air news-reading skills. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break] [Related: Read the MRC's Cronkite "Profile in Bias" here]
Charlie Rose and Gayle King gushed over network forebear Walter Cronkite on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, as they interviewed left-leaning presidential historian Douglas Brinkley about his new book on the journalist. King touted Cronkite as a "legend," while Rose played up the former CBS Evening News anchor's friendship with actor George Clooney and his father. Both anchors ignored how Brinkley documented the anchor's unabashed slant to the left and sometimes unethical conduct.
CNN's Howard Kurtz relied on Brinkley's book in a May 21, 2012 article for The Daily Beast as he pointed out that Cronkite was "far more liberal than the public believed, and he let it show in unacceptable ways." Kurtz also spotlighted some of the deceased journalist's "more serious infractions." But instead of mentioning these details, King zeroed-in on an anecdote of Cronkite attending stripteases as a supposed example of how the anchor was "a very human being, too."
Liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said Monday, "Bill Clinton’s really become a folk figure in America."
Participating in an oftentimes hysterical Hardball segment about how the former President will help Barack Obama get reelected, Brinkley added, "He’s more like Babe Ruth or Buffalo Bill than a politician" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS has not even mentioned a new book spilling unflattering details about former President John F. Kennedy, but they devoted over 8 minutes Tuesday morning to a fawning report on former First Lady Jackie Kennedy's scripted interview with CBS inside the White House.
Liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley hailed the day when Kennedy "became America's sweetheart," adding that "50 years later, she still is." [Video below the break.]
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, White House correspondent Bill Plante hyped an upcoming speech by President Obama: "The President is going to Osawatomie, Kansas....where former President Teddy Roosevelt made a famous speech more than a century ago...it was a call for economic fairness, not unlike the President's own argument for taxing millionaires to extend the payroll tax cuts." [Audio available here]
As Plante quoted Roosevelt's call for a "square deal" in 1910, the headline on screen read: "Channeling Teddy: Obama To Echo Historic Roosevelt Speech." A sound bite was included from liberal historian Douglas Brinkley declaring: "[Obama's] trying to paint the Republicans as sort of being anti-American, of being Grinch-like, being misers....He's got to reclaim the great American center right now, and the figure who speaks for the center is Theodore Roosevelt." [View video after the jump]
CNN used an "In Depth" segment on Tuesday to emphasize the diversity among protesters at Occupy Seattle, featuring a rapper, a group of "Raging Grannies," drummers and more. The report during the 12 p.m. hour was one of multiple segments that ran on Tuesday afternoon giving viewers a close-up look at the Wall Street protests.
The sympathetic look at the protesters can be contrasted with CNN's initial coverage of the Tea Parties in 2009, when reporter Susan Roesgen slammed the Chicago Tea Party as "anti-government" and "anti-CNN" and anchor Anderson Cooper smeared the protesters with an obscene label. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
ABC's "This Week" began its Independence Day weekend program with a segment that echoed Time magazine's cover story questioning whether the Constitution matters anymore.
After historian Douglas Brinkley said, "We shouldn't act like [the Founding Fathers] were somehow omnipotent," ABC's John Donvan responded, "They were not gods, they were guys - guys who didn't give women the vote and let slavery stand" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a segment shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today looking at how much President Obama has aged in the two years since winning the presidential election, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and guest Douglas Brinkley concluded that the commander-in-chief needs to take it easy more often.
The MSNBC host and the liberal presidential historian also blamed the amount of stress President Obama faces in office on unrealistic expectations Americans may have about his handling of the economy (emphases mine):
As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina slamming New Orleans nears, the folks at NBC offered viewers a "Meet the Press" special edition with a sadly predictable conclusion: the disaster was all George W. Bush and the federal government's fault.
The New Orleans mayor at the time was almost entirely ignored in this hour-long examination. The only mention of the state's former governor was actually one of praise.
Rather than offering one new compelling insight into the natural disaster that changed America, the invited guests all fed fill-in host Brian Williams the same old tired lines about racism and classism; despite numerous opportunities to delve into the decades of political corruption in the region that left the levees surrounding New Orleans in a dreadful state of disrepair, the subject was never broached.
Instead, what ensued - given all the time and resources available to really do a groundbreaking exposé on this issue - was something all those involved should be tremendously embarrassed for.
Frankly, that was clear right from the get go (partial video follows with partial transcript and commentary, full video and transcript here and here respectively):
Discussing the Gulf oil spill on Saturday's CBS Evening News, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley fretted over President Obama's left-wing agenda being in jeopardy: "...he was on a roll with the health care legislation. There was a great hope that before the election he was going to get some things done in Washington. This hit, and I think for President Obama, the spill was an inconvenience."
At the top of the segment, anchor Jeff Glor cited the latest CBS News poll showing that only 38% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the spill and wondered if "the oil spill defines the President's legacy?" Brinkley replied: "I have no doubt that he spends every hour micro-studying what's going on in the Gulf, but part of leadership is to get on the back of the flatbed Ford and rally the country with the speech." He explained how Obama "...wanted to farm it out. It was B.P.'s problem." But warned: "You don't want to be Jimmy Carter, holed up in the White House during the Iran hostage crisis."
Brinkley went on to hope that "...future generations will say...the Obama administration marshaled the strength of the American people and did the greatest environmental cleanup the world has ever seen." He proclaimed: "This is a turning point in history. The urban president from Chicago is going to have to become the environmental president of the moment."
CNN's Anderson Cooper first defended the Obama administration's initial response to the Gulf oil leak and then criticized him from the left on Tuesday's AC360: "A month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims...that this was Obama's Katrina." He later continued that "it doesn't seem like there's much pressure being applied to [BP], if it's there at all."
Cooper brought on CNN senior political analyst David Gergen and liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley for a panel discussion on the environmental disaster 25 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. The anchor included his apologetic of the early response by the administration in his first question to Gergen: "David, I mean, a month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims by conservatives that this was Obama's Katrina, and now, it seems that may have been premature."
While concluding a segment on racism involved in anti-Obama protests, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews promoted the book of one of his guests, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley, and proceeded to rant: "There’s so much right-wing crap on the best seller list these days. It’s great to see a book that you might want to put on your shelf and let your respected friends see you actually reading."
Brinkley’s book, Teddy Roosevelt: The Wilderness Warrior, did make the New York Times best seller list, coming in at twenty one. However, the list’s top ten was dominated by "right-wing crap." Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption, takes the top spot. Bill O’Reilly’s A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity comes in at number six, with Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny at number seven. Dick Morris’s Castrophe earned a number eight ranking.
Matthews made a point of saying to Brinkley: "It’s great to see one book on the best seller list that’s worth reading these days. And yours is." Apparently readers seem to think conservative literature is worth reading a little more.
Douglas Brinkley continued his use of religious imagery to gush about the legacy of Ted Kennedy and his apparent Catholicism on CNN’s Newsroom on Thursday. Brinkley did his best to paper over the many moral downfalls of the senator: “He’s asked to be forgiven by people. He did a kind of a redemptive work throughout his whole career. He would fall off the wagon....But he constantly said, I can do better.”
Near the end of the 12 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, anchor Tony Harris asked the liberal presidential historian and CBS commentator, “You hear...about some of the failings in the senator’s life, and what is it about us as people that- on a day like today- a day like yesterday, we are willing to, in many cases, look past some of those failings, and focus in on the positive arc of a person’s life?” Brinkley played up Kennedy’s Catholic background, and instead using the “martyr” term he used on Wednesday, used more general religious language in his answer:
During the 2:00AM ET hour of CBS’s Up to the Minute on Wednesday, shortly after news broke of Senator Ted Kenney’s death, historian Douglas Brinkley exclaimed the Massachusetts Democrat was: "...going to be a – a martyr because of all that he’s done and he very well might help, in death, Obama get his health care plan."
Fill-in anchor Michelle Gielan discussed Kennedy’s legacy with Brinkley, soon turning to the current debate over health care reform: "And one of those causes that he was championing was health care reform, and yet, he had to sit out these last few months. How difficult was that for him?" Brinkley began his response: "Well, it was very difficult for him....he’s been forced to be sidelined and unable to talk at town hall meetings. It’s been hard not to watch the nightly news and kind of wish that you had a fiery old Ted Kennedy there, arguing his points for universal health care, it could have made a difference."
USA Today's Chuck Raasch has decided that President Obama is a "transformational American leader abroad" and that his America Stinks tour of Europe is a "confirming stamp of that new reality." This effluvia of over indulgent praise heaped on Obama is ubiquitous in the media, we all know, but what makes Raasch's piece egregious is the assumption of historical "truth" that posits that Obama has already succeeded as president even though he's only been in office a few short months. Raash states as fact that Obama has "transformed" America's image with this one tour and that all sorts of new and better relations have followed.
But, the main problem with Raasch's sycophancy is that "followed" hasn't even arrived yet. In fact, Raasch writes this article before Obama's trip abroad is fairly done. It is idiotic to say what "has" come of it all before the president has even set his feet back on American soil. And this is a key problem with all these fake assessments of the "success" of Obama's presidency. There hasn't BEEN any "success" because history has yet to see the outcome of anything he's done thus far.
But this doesn't stop the slobbering Obama love affair that mediots like Raasch wallow in. It all amounts to little else but propaganda as opposed to serious analysis -- serious prOpaganda, if you will.
During live coverage of President Bush leaving on the presidential helicopter immediately following the swearing in of Barack Obama, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric got reaction from liberal historian Douglas Brinkley, who observed: "Keep in mind, a lot of Americans are thinking it's pretty cool that he's leaving, too. A lot of Americans didn't take him as the real president after the Gore election in 2000. He's been very controversial. And a lot of people voted to get rid of Bush policies. So, and for some people are cheering the helicopter leaving, because they felt stuck for eight years." Couric agreed: "Right. Some people cheer in support, and some people, as Doug said, cheer because he's getting out of town."
Later, Couric asked Brinkley about Bush’s farewell press conference, particularly about the president’s defense of his response to Hurricane Katrina: "Doug Brinkley, you wrote a book all about Katrina and I was just curious to get your reaction to how the president assessed his performance vis-a-vis that disaster in that last news conference." Brinkley went on a left-wing rant:
He created a fairy tale for himself. Everybody knows the Bush Administration did not do a good job during Katrina. In fact, August, 2005, is the turning point. Even the national media -- which had been intimidated by the Rove White House for a while -- they changed. I was in New Orleans for the storm and the media was so angry at the seemingly lackadaisical response of the federal government and then the fact that the President of the United States did a flyover, didn't put his boot heels on the ground in Louisiana or Mississippi, didn't touch the flood waters. Many people I talked to remembered Hurricane Betsy in 1965 when Lyndon Johnson went there in the dead of night with a flashlight in his face saying 'this is your president.' Our president was AWOL during Katrina and it's, I think, probably going to be one of the hardest parts of his legacy to somehow fix by writing it -- changing it in a memoir or something.
During live coverage of Barack Obama’s inauguration at 9:30AM on Tuesday, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric spoke to historian Douglas Brinkley, who observed: "And it reminds me of Franklin Roosevelt in March of 1933 in this regard, I mean the economy was in tatters, Herbert Hoover was an unpopular president, President Bush is not very popular, and he was able to galvanize people with his speech, FDR, move the nation, you know to have nothing -- you know, to fight for all of the civil rights and to start pushing forward the hundred days of the New Deal. And so you see the echoes of that." On the January 11 Sunday Morning program, Brinkley declared Bush in the "...the very bottom-rung of American Presidents."
Brinkley’s comment was prompted by Couric remarking: "...a confluence of events that will make him perhaps one of the most powerful presidents in history. It's hard to predict an administration and how successful it will be, but he really is starting off things in an enviable position, isn't he?" Later, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer shared his thoughts on that point: "But the interesting thing, Katie, is when we stop and think about it, our greatest presidents have always come to us during the worst of times. If history's any guide, the pieces are in place here for the making of a great president." On Monday’s Early Show, Schieffer compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln.
On CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Thalia Assuras examined President Bush’s historical legacy: "On January 20th, 2001, George Walker Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd president of the United States. His presidency and the future, a blank slate...Before the Iraq war. Before Katrina swept ashore. Before the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
Assuras cited two historians in her report, both of whom labeled Bush one of the nation’s worst presidents. She first turned to historian Douglas Brinkley, who declared: "I think it's safe to say that President Bush is going to be seen as the very bottom-rung of American presidents...As a judicial historian looking at what's occurred on his watch, it is almost void of genuine accomplishment." The other historian Assuras included in her report was Joseph Ellis, who said of Bush: "I think that George Bush might very well be the worst president in American history...He's unusual. Most two-term presidents have a mixed record...Bush has nothing on the positive side, virtually nothing."
Following these Bush-bashing historical assessments, Assuras exclaimed: "And that's not a minority opinion. In a 2006 Siena College survey of 744 history professors, 82 percent rated President Bush below average or a failure. Last April, in an informal poll by George Mason University of 109 historians, Mr. Bush fared even worse; 98 percent considered him a failed president. Sixty-one percent judged him, as Ellis does, one of the worst in American history."
Before the networks had even declared Barack Obama the winner Tuesday night, CBS historian Douglas Brinkley announced that the “Age of Ronald Reagan” was “coming to an end tonight.” Shortly before 11pm EST, Brinkley told anchor Katie Couric: “We're looking at a historic victory for the Democrats and Barack Obama. I think you have to go back to 1964 when Lyndon Johnson had such a landslide over Barry Goldwater to see how momentous this is.”
In a Tuesday night piece wrapping up yesterday’s election, Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh sought out liberal historian Robert Dallek, who similarly declared that Obama’s win “is probably going to mark the end of the Reagan era — this whole conservative impulse that has dominated the country's politics for the last generation....I think you're going to see a whole new era of federal progressive activism.”
ABC and NBC pivoted almost immediately from President Bush's State of the Union address to the 2008 presidential campaign, but CBS stuck to Bush's speech in its post-coverage in which Katie Couric complained “a lot of it was Bush redux,” Bob Schieffer kvetched that Bush “did not say what his assessment of the state of the union was until the next to the last sentence” and historian Douglas Brinkley declared: “It's not looking good for his legacy. I mean it's hard to point to any big accomplishments.” Schieffer, however, cautioned it's too soon to assess Bush, noting: “We're only beginning now to understand completely the impact of Ronald Reagan. When he left office, we didn't know that the Soviet Union was going to collapse.”
Meanwhile, on CNN between Bush's address and the Democratic response, Jeffrey Toobin used Bush to condemn all the Republican candidates for lacking “humanity” in their approach to immigration. The MRC's Rich Noyes alerted me to this from Toobin at 10:12 PM EST: