Nothing ruins my Sunday more than a pundit defending his or her politician by completely misrepresenting a law and nobody on the program in question bothering to challenge the falsehood.
Such happened on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week" when Democrat strategist Donna Brazile said of President Obama's pathetic response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, "The administration has been constrained by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which basically gives the responsible party the lead role in trying to not only fix the problem, but contain the problem."
Well, why don't we look at the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and see if Brazile was right (video and transcript follow with details about this law and commentary):
“Sooner or later, we’ll blame this on George W. Bush,” George Will presciently predicted on Sunday’s Week during the roundtable’s look as how President Barack Obama is handling the gulf oil leak. Seconds later, the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington didn’t let Will down, declaring “the truth is, that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted. Full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they're supposed to be overseeing the industry.” Then this exchange:
GEORGE WILL: So, it's Bush's fault? Just clear this up.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: It is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney's fault.
Huffington proceeded to hit the Obama administration for not having “really done enough fast enough to change” Bush’s policies so “we are seeing the complete success of the kind of regulatory system that Bush-Cheney wanted.” Prompting Liz Cheney to marvel, “I don't know what planet you live on,” Huffington also charged that “right here we have the poster child of Bush-Cheney crony capitalism, Halliburton, involved in this.”
After making a fool out of himself going up against George Will on last Sunday's "This Week," Bill Maher dug an even deeper hole five days later trying to strike back at the well-known columnist with a peculiar blend of falsehoods and Bill Clinton.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Maher was humiliated on national television last week when he errantly claimed Brazil was "off oil" only to be corrected by ABC's token conservative.
On Friday's "Real Time," the HBO host countered first by citing an ad that former President Bill Clinton did back in 2006 in favor of a California ballot initiative that would have implemented a tax on that state's oil producers.
Next, Maher absurdly claimed that "part of the reason" America isn't off oil yet is "because of global warming deniers like George Will" (video follows with transcript and oodles of commentary):
Bill Maher was clearly out of his league Sunday when he made an absurd claim about Brazil being off oil for decades only to be corrected by a significantly more knowledgeable George Will.
As the Roundtable discussion of ABC's "This Week" turned to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, host Jake Tapper mentioned -- without the vulgarity -- what Maher said on HBO's "Real Time" about President Obama not "getting more shall we say guff" for this crisis.
Maher concluded his answer by erroneously saying, "I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years, we certainly could have."
When Will got his chance to respond, Maher was left looking rather foolish (video embedded below the fold with transcript, commentary, and oil data to further embarrass the "Real Time" host, relevant section at 2:48):
For the second time in six days, liberal publisher Arianna Huffington stuck her foot in her mouth on national television only to get corrected by numerous others on camera.
Appearing on Sunday's "This Week" on ABC, Huffington foolishly claimed that Supreme Court justices John Paul Stevens and David Souter would never be appointed by a Republican President today due to "how far the Party has traveled," obviously meaning to the Right.
All three of her fellow Roundtable panelists were quick to correct her flawed logic beginning with Sam Donaldson (video follows with partial transcript, relevant section at 9:20):
Possible discussion point: with the administration potentially moving on to immigration reform, it's important to understand the constitutional issues involved. Columnist George Will argues that the 14th Amendment, which makes the children of illegal immigrants citizens, derives from flawed constitutional arguments.
A parent from a poor country, writes professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare state." Therefore, "It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."...
If those who wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment had imagined laws restricting immigration -- and had anticipated huge waves of illegal immigration -- is it reasonable to presume they would have wanted to provide the reward of citizenship to the children of the violators of those laws? Surely not.
Is Will correct on the constitutional question? Will constitutionality make a difference?
ABC’s Cokie Roberts, who last December asserted that a "lot of people are going to like a whole lot once they see what's in" ObamaCare, during today’s Roundtable discussion on ABC’s This Week defended the "substance" of the health care bill Democrats in the House are being pressured to vote for, as she referred to civil rights legislation that cost some Democrats their seats and argued that this year some Democrats will "lose their seats over process, but they will take the chance because of the substance."
Before dismissing Republican criticisms of Democrats as inevitable, she argued that parts of the bill are popular and recommended that Democrats push ahead: "The truth is the public is divided on this bill, and when you go into questions about how they feel about particular aspects of it, there's a lot they like. The Democrats have calculated, I think correctly, that they have nothing more to lose on the host of process questions. ... Democrats might as well get the substance and go to the American people and say we've brought about a change in health care because the status quo is unacceptable."
After conservative panel member George Will argued that it is "not good politics" for Democrats to vote for a bill they do not support while depending on a promise by Senate leaders that elements they disagree with will be changed later, Roberts continued to defend the bill:
For the second week in a row George Will gave a much-needed education to one of the media's most beloved liberal economists.
During the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week," Berkeley professor Robert Reich falsely claimed health insurance companies are exhibiting huge profits: "That is money directly out of the pockets of Americans."
Will countered, "[C]onfiscate all the profits of all the health insurance companies, with those profits you could finance our healthcare for 48 hours."
Reich arrogantly responded, "[R]ecipients of health insurance don't know what they are buying very often. Until there are common standards, minimal standards, then people are going to be taken."
This nicely set Will up to drive the ball out of the park, "There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of today's liberalism: the American people are such dopes they can't be counted upon to buy their own insurance" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Congressman Charles Rangel's (D-N.Y.) ethics scandal has absolutely no national significance.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week" turned to new revelations concerning the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Sunday, the New York Times columnist was all by himself in making the case that Rangel hasn't really done anything wrong.
"I'm unhappy with this," he said. "I wish Rangel would go away, but it's, it really has no national significance."
Krugman actually said this after everyone on the panel, including host Elizabeth Vargas, Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson, discussed how egregious Rangel's ethics violations were (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
George Will Sunday gave New York Times columnist Paul Krugman a much-needed lesson on what happens if ObamaCare is passed.
Krugman wrote a piece Friday accusing Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) of lying at Thursday's healthcare summit about premiums going up if the Democrats' plan is enacted.
During the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week," Will pointed out, "You said in the next sentence in your column, "I guess you could say he wasn't technically lying because the Congressional Budget Office says that's true."
Krugman responded by explaining that even though "the average payments go up," many people will receive better coverage.
To this inanity, Will marvelously asked Krugman if the government forced him to buy a more expensive car, but told him it's not really more expensive because it's a better car, "Wouldn't you tell them to get off your land?" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 4:30):
Howard Kurtz asked an interesting question on Sunday's "Reliable Sources": Is it appropriate for Fox News hosts and contributors to be making political speeches at events like this weekend's CPAC?
Given Saturday's extremely successful keynote address by Glenn Beck, as well as the controversial nature of the rising star, such a question seemed inevitable.
But there was still something peculiar about this segment, for although Kurtz mentioned other FNC contributors that spoke at the event including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and John Bolton, he failed to notice George Will of ABC News (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
George Will on Sunday took on Donna Brazile's claim that the Republicans are the Party of No.
After fill-in host Terry Moran on ABC's "This Week" asked Brazile if President Obama is guilty of not challenging dissenting members of his own Party, the Democrat strategist went into the predictable talking point about the gridlock in Washington all being the fault of Republicans.
"I think President Obama is leading," she unsurprisingly said. "But unfortunately, you have a Republican Party that has decided that by saying no, they can, you know, perhaps gain more at the polls this coming fall."
Will was having none of this, and smartly countered, "I want to say something in defense, particularly to Donna, of being the Party of No. The Republican Party elected its first president because he said no to a bright idea a Democratic Senator had."
Of course, that President was Abraham Lincoln, and what he said no to involved slavery (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:30):
George Will said Sunday that people only talk about the government being broken when the Left is having trouble enacting its agenda.
During the Roundtable segment on ABC's "This Week," "Nightline" host Terry Moran brought up the recent announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) that he would not seek reelection in November because "Congress is not operating as it should."
When the baton was tossed to him, Will said, "[W]ith metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments have one thing in common: The Left is having trouble enacting its agenda."
Will followed by noting, "No one when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security said, 'Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken'" (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary):
Nightline anchor Terry Moran started laughing Wednesday night just as George Will finished his critique of President Obama’s State of the Union address while Democratic activist Donna Brazile was also not impressed by Will’s assessment. Leading into the chortling from Moran, who is reportedly under consideration to take over This Week, Will wrapped up:
Finally, he said at one point that we are going to freeze government spending for three years. That’s just not true. We’re proposing to freeze one-sixth of government spending for three years. Finally, the motif of his talk was Washington is tiresome, annoying and dysfunctional -- and Washington should have more of the nation’s revenue and a bigger role directing its affairs.
Was Moran scoffing at Will’s evaluation of Obama’s speech, just amused by Brazile’s disdain for Will as Will spoke which Moran, but not the audience, could see -- or just reacting to something else in the studio? You watch and decide.
George Will on Sunday spoke an inconvenient truth about healthcare reform the Obama-loving media have dishonestly withheld from the public since this battle began: in order to get something passed, Democrats have resorted to "serial corruption."
Visibly amused by the socialist blatherings of "This Week" guests Donna Brazile and Katrina vanden Heuvel, Will during the Roundtable segment said, "They're trying to pass a bill that is, A, huge, B, radical, C, unpopular, and, therefore, D, they have no choice but to resort to serial corruption."
ABC's lone regular conservative contributor then elaborated as Brazile and vanden Heuvel grunted and moaned in the background (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:20):
While he conceded that liberal labor unions, particularly "reactionary" teachers unions have had a role in California's fiscal mess, Time columnist and blogger Joe Klein placed the lion's share of the Golden State's woes on conservatives who have pushed for lower taxes.
Upset that conservative writer George Will had chalked up "all that is wrong in California at liberalism's doorstep," Klein used a January 10 Swampland blog post to slam the columnist for failing to assign any blame on the 1978 property tax-limiting Proposition 13 and the resulting "public pathology that we've inherited from the Reagan Era" whereby "the public wants a modified welfare state, excellent schools, a clean environment, low college tuitions...but it's not willing to pay for them."
A somewhat surprising debate occurred Sunday when conservatives George Will and Liz Cheney took different sides of the Harry Reid racist remark issue.
Appearing on the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," the former Vice President's daughter said, "[O]ne of the things that makes the American people frustrated is when they see time and time again liberals excusing racism from other liberals."
Will, after shaking his head, replied, "I don't think there's a scintilla of racism in what Harry Reid said. At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it."
Likely to the surprise of many viewers, Cheney responded, "George, give me a break" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Sam Donaldson said Sunday that if the Democrats pass the current version of the Senate's healthcare reform bill, it probably would be a terrible mistake.
Such was surprisingly said during the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week."
After George Will shared polling numbers indicating how few people are actually in favor of what's currently on the table in Congress, Donaldson agreed saying, "[Y]ou're right, if, in fact, the bill that I conceive is going to come out of the conference committee -- and I think will pass -- is in stone, and that is the healthcare bill from here on."
When George Stephanopoulos asked, "Which part is he right about," Donaldson's response elicited a somewhat startled gasp from the host (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 18:40):
ABC's George Stephanopoulos actually brought up the ClimateGate scandal as a topic for discussion during the Roundtable segment on Sunday's "This Week."
As NewsBusters has been reporting since this story broke more than a week ago, television news outlets have been quite disinterested in the controversy now growing with each passing day.
Breaking this trend, Stephanopoulos aggressively waded into this seemingly verboten subject by mentioning how it complicates President Obama's trip to "Copenhagen to deal with climate change."
George Will of course agreed saying that the release of these e-mail messages raises a serious question about why America should "wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtail freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven."
Not surprisingly, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman found "not a single smoking gun" in those e-mail messages (video in two parts embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary by myself and others involved in this debate):
Throughout the history of this country playing the role of a global power, the United States has faced down threats of fascism and communism. The country is now in the throes of a war against terrorism.
However, on ABC's Nov. 22 "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," a panel consisting of Washington Post columnist George Will, Liz Cheney of Keep America Safe, University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich and Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of The Aspen Institute, warned the next ideological battle facing the country is that which China practices - an authoritarian market society or authoritarian capitalism.
"For 37 years, every administration has bet, since Nixon went to China, on a theory, and the theory was that capitalism, market economy, which requires a judicial system to enforce promises, which are called contracts, needs a vast dissemination of information and decision-making that capitalism by its mores and working would subvert the regime, that you could not have an authoritarian market society," Will said. "It's the Starbucks fallacy. It turns out to be a fallacy, that if the Chinese have a choice of coffees, they'll want a -- they'll demand a choice of political candidates. We may be wrong. It could be you can have an authoritarian system."
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
A year after Barack Obama was elected President, one thing has become perfectly clear: George Will is THE mainstream media member who seems completely comfortable pointing out the new White House resident's shortcomings.
Such happened again on the latest installment of ABC's "This Week" when host George Stephanopoulos began the Roundtable segment:
George, let me just begin with a threshold question. We're about a year out from the election. Has the President delivered on that promise of change?
Rather than the typical sycophantic response one normally gets from media figures when such questions are asked about Obama, Will marvelously whacked the ball right out of the park (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Want to be noticed by any one of the hosts that have a primetime show on MSNBC's weeknight lineup? Just figure out a way to make Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. the subject matter, and there's an excellent chance either Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow will take a shot at it, or her, during their shows.
In the Oct. 25 Washington Post, George Will penned a column about Bachmann, outlining her ascendancy into the national spotlight, which told of her start in politics and how she grew to become reviled by the left. And it was just a matter time before one of the charming personalities on MSNBC made some sort of remarks about the column, albeit two days later. That came on Olbermann's Oct. 27 "Countdown" broadcast.
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Sunday ridiculed ABC's Charles Gibson for his ignorance concerning last month's ACORN controversy.
As NewsBuster Tom Blumer reported September 15, when Gibson was asked that morning by a Chicago radio host about the Senate's decision to cut ACORN's funding over the organization's growing scandal, the ABC "World News" anchor didn't have a clue.
With this in mind, as the Roundtable discussion on Sunday's "This Week" turned to recent White House attacks on FNC, Ingraham used the Gibson incident as an example of how "of all the networks, Fox was going to hold the administration the most accountable...That's why they don't like Fox News" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
George Will on Sunday accused the media of manufacturing the return of government mandated healthcare to the current reform debate.
Discussing the subject on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week," Will said it was highly unlikely Democrats actually have the votes for what they call a "public option," but the media are assisting them in "cleverly and skillfully manufacturing a sense of inevitability that they hope will be self-fulfilling."
In effect, although it is quite doubtful the votes are currently there for any form of government run healthcare, the press are doing their darnedest to change that (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
"Sentences that begin 'The president says' are not as impressive as they used to be."
So marvelously stated ABC's George Will on Sunday's installment of "This Week."
But Will wasn't the only "Roundtable" panelist to utter something clever and/or revealing.
Quite the contrary, host George Stephanopoulos, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne also made statements on Sunday guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
First up was Stephanopoulos who made a rather startling admission concerning exactly why the White House decided to give every senior citizen $250 (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, relevant section at 19:12):
A marvelous thing happened on Sunday's "This Week": Donna Brazile said Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was "well-deserved," and host George Stephanopoulos couldn't restrain his laughter.
Such deliciously happened moments after George Will said, "[T]he Nobel Prize committee would with this decision have forfeited its reputation for seriousness if it had a reputation for seriousness."
Quite comically, Brazile was as serious as the Nobel committee (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, video available here for Internet Explorer users):
Longtime ABC journalist Cokie Roberts on Sunday harshly criticized fugitive director Roman Polanski, going so far as to joke, "As far as I’m concerned, just take him out and shoot him." Appearing on the internet-only segment of This Week, she bluntly stated, "But, Roman Polanski is a criminal. You know, he raped and drugged and raped and sodomized a child. And then was a fugitive from justice." She followed up with her "shoot him" quip.
Roberts’ comments were in stark contrast to the cautious remarks coming from many other journalists. On Monday’s Good Morning America, host Diane Sawyer referred to the director's arrest for the 1977 rape of a 13-year old as an "international incident." On Tuesday, Sawyer described the capture of Polanski in Switzerland as the culmination of "a 31 year-old prosecutorial obsession."