On Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney about his notorious heart troubles as documented in his new book, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey. Apparently unwilling to let a good conversation about healthcare go to waste, Ifill spent the latter half of the interview trying to use Cheney’s experience as an infomercial for why America needs ObamaCare.
Ifill began to steer the conversation in ObamaCare’s direction in a subtle manner: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Over the years, we’ve written a lot about long, slow ratings collapse of broadcast news. But ABC, CBS, and NBC aren’t the only ones experiencing this decline. As reported by David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, the ratings for PBS NewsHour show are almost in a freefall, even compared to their commercial competitors.
By its own count, NewsHour had 2.5 million viewers in 2005. This year the show is at 1.3 million. That’s an astonishing drop, nearly 50 percent, unmatched by any of the commercial broadcast evening news shows.
When George W. Bush's faith-based initiative staffer David Kuo came out with a book whacking away at Bush, the media were enthralled (excerpted lovingly by Time magazine and interviewed on 60 Minutes). Now under Obama, they're helping former faith-based initiatives director Joshua Dubois sell his new book "The President's Devotional." In Saturday's Washington Post, religion reporter Elizabeth Tenety asked questions that made it sound like Dubois wrote his own questions: "Let’s talk about your work with the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. What are you most proud of from your time there?"
On the PBS NewsHour Wednesday, anchor Gwen Ifill danced politely around Obama's rare church attendance (especially compared to his golf course time), and raised Rev. Jeremiah Wright just as a time when prayer helped Obama, not as a time Dubois admitted in his book that he wanted to spin around the whole truth:
In remarks that are sure to dismay the race-baiting crew at MSNBC, President Obama admitted in an interview yesterday that he does not think that his conservative critics are racially motivated.
Obama made those remarks in a very flattering discussion with PBS NewsHour hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff after he gave an address commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
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.]
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.
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.]
With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control. Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden. During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.
In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill. While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:
Support for same-sex marriage is on the rise in America, and PBS couldn’t be happier about it. On Tuesday’s NewsHour, the taxpayer-subsidized network ran a story that betrayed more than a hint of elation at the growing acceptance of gay marriage among both politicians and the public. Leading the cheers was co-anchor Gwen Ifill, who narrated the story and moderated the discussion that followed.
At the top of the segment, Ifill promised her viewers that there “ appears to be an evolving sea change on attitudes toward gay marriage.” She then began her package by insisting that, “Steadily and remarkably, public and political support for same-sex marriage is on the rise.”
In the wake of the leaked Department of Justice memo detailing the legality of targeted killings by drones on American citizens, the PBS NewsHour found it fitting to have the ACLU defend its position in why these strikes are troubling, and why American-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki should’ve been kept alive to plan acts of terror against the United States.
Of course, this is maddening to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Liberal publications, like The Nation, detail the dark future of drone warfare, and some anti-drone journalists, like Conor Fierdorsdorff of The Atlantic, have compared Obama to Bush. However, even with the media either criticizing, or ignoring, this development, last night’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour didn’t take into account the hypocrisy of liberals who were on the warpath a few years prior after release of Bush memos related to enhanced interrogation techniques.
During PBS’ coverage of the 2013 Inauguration, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, Gwen Ifill, and Yale University’s Beverly Gage seemed to have forgotten what the definition of liberal is within the context of Obama’s second inaugural address. In fact, Gage said that this wasn’t an “endorsement of collective liberalism,” and Shields called it more “humanitarian.”
The non-taxpayer subsidized liberal media has been more honest. Today’s New York Times said Obama offered a “liberal vision.” Slate’s John Dickerson, who infamously called for Obama to destroy the GOP, called the 44th president’s address “a liberal love letter.” ABC finally figured out that Obama is a progressive liberal.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, PBS has decided to air a series of special programming in response to the tragedy in mid-February. We'll review the specials when they air, but early indications are that it will be heavily skewed towards more onerous gun restrictions.
The PBS specials, according to Diane Haithman of Deadline Hollywood, will be broadcasted between February 18-22. The series “will include a Frontline special report in collaboration with The Hartford Courant profiling the shooter; a NOVA documentary about violence and the brain, a Need To Know report on the “ripple effects of the shooting incident”, and an update on political action surrounding gun control from Washington Week With Gwen Ifill.”
Liberals politicians and journalists are on a full-blown assault on the Second Amendment ever since Friday's horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn. Gun ban-pushers like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are making the rounds in the media, including taxpayer-funded PBS. On December 17, NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill gave Feinstein the floor to push her agenda. Naturally, Ifill failed to bring on an opposing point of view nor did she ask Feinstein tough questions.
During the December 4 edition of the PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill decided to give a lofty eight minute and forty second interview to Obama cheerleader and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman so he can try to convince us that the fiscal cliff isn’t that big of a deal. Of course, in his estimation, Democratic proposals for higher taxes and higher spending were serious, while Republican alternatives to tackle the deficit were trivial. In fact, according to Krugman, “Obama is actually very serious in the real sense. It's just the notion he hasn't done anything on entitlement reform is totally unfair. He's done more than anyone has ever done before.”
And that’s why he needs $1.6 trillion dollars in tax hikes and $50 billion in additional stimulus spending to be "serious" about reining in deficit spending?!
During the October 24 broadcast of the PBS Newshour, Gwen Ifill explored the state of current U.S. Senate races with Rothenberg Political Report’s Nathan Gonzales and Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz.
The first on the list was Indiana race between Richard Mourdock and Rep. Joe Donnelly. Here, liberal media creep leeched into Toeplitz’s analysis as she found Mourdock’s comments about life and conception frivolously similar to what she called Todd Akin's “horrific gaffe” on the matter several weeks ago.
During the September 25 broadcast of the PBS Newshour, anchor Gwen Ifill invited Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and former U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns to discuss President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and his recent address to the UN. Reporter Judy Woodruff also had a segment on the president speech. Yet none of the segments dealing with the address mentioned the fact that the Obama administration has expressed support for anti-blasphemy measures that are completely incongruous with the freedom of speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution.
On last night’s broadcast of the PBS Newshour, anchor Gwen Ifill discussed the latest polls with Pew’s Andrew Kohut and Mark Blumenthal, "senior polling analyst" of The Huffington Post. Her talk about voter engagement and enthusiasm got a little hazy – if not completely insensitive – when she referred to last week’s embassy attacks as a “dust up.”
Perhaps "dust up" in her mind only refers to the liberal media's insular discussions about foreign-policy developments, but could she sound more cavalier about the deaths of Americans in Libya?
Notorious PBS liberal Gwen Ifill took to Twitter to defend David Chalian, the former Yahoo Washington bureau chief who was fired for claiming that Mitt and Ann Romney are "happy to have a party with black people drowning," claiming that he was unjustly fired. Her defense was markedly over-the-top:
"One mistake does not change this. @DavidChalian is God's gift to political journalism. #IStandwithDavid"
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter made a little news at the end of his Saturday report on the picking of the moderators for the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates: "Criticism Greets List of Debate Moderators."
Dismissing conservative concerns of liberal bias on the part of moderators as a predictable Rush Limbaugh talking point, Stelter focused more on liberal concerns about the historical lack of black and female moderators, and reported that PBS political host Gwen Ifill was "livid" about not being chosen (old-time PBS hand Jim Lehrer was coaxed out of retirement to fill the bill insetad).
Gwen Ifill of the PBS Newshour hosted Jonathan Martin of Politico and Molly Ball of The Atlantic magazine in a left wing cuddlefest that bashed Romney over Bain, his taxes, and Solyndra on July 16. Ms. Ifill was not the least concerned that this story is mere fodder for the Obama campaign to pivot away from its abysmal economic record, but nevertheless, started off the shooting gallery by asking Jonathan Martin to "help us explain this Bain back-and-forth."
"At the end of this weekend, was there any more clarity about when he left and if he left Bain?" Ifill asked:
My Wednesday blog on PBS anchor Gwen Ifill emceeing a gay group's fundraiser that honored HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for implementing ObamaCare drew some attention across the web, including The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. WashPost media blogger Erik Wemple looked askance at the PBS star's appearance of a conflict of interest. But the strongest response came from PBS ombudsman Michael Getler: he declared Ifill should have skipped the event.
Ifill responded to Wemple's questions by claiming she isn't being paid, she wasn't going to honor Sebelius, and she accepted without knowing of the honor. She was just going to say "welcome," announce some anodyne agenda items, and "announce dessert." The Whitman-Walker Clinic is "just using me as a draw." That's still using her name (and PBS cachet) to raise money for gay-left lobbying, legal services, and health services. Wemple wrote:
In 2008, it was questionable that PBS NewsHour and Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill could moderate the vice-presidential debate as she was writing a book called “The Breakthrough” about the rise of Barack Obama and other black liberal politicians. On Thursday night, Ifill will cross another Obama line by acting as emcee for a fundraiser for the LGBT health and advocacy group the Whitman-Walker Clinic that will honor Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services for her work in implementing ObamaCare.
The invitation says “Please join Gwen Ifill, managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for the PBS News Hour, and the Whitman-Walker family as we honor United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for advancements in health care.” To be an "event host" and be listed on the program requires a $1,000 donation. Individual tickets are $150.
President Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard also became an occasion for a panel of liberal journalists, politicians, and academics to mourn his alleged mistreatment in the media at a race-and-the-media panel discussion organized by Harvard professor Charles Ogletree. PBS Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill lamented the overwhelming media bias against Obama in the Henry Louis Gates controversy, when Obama said he didn't have all the facts, but the local police "acted stupidly" for their actions in arresting Gates on his own porch.
Ifill somehow ignored that the Obama-supporting news networks pouted over how this comment was a "distraction" from passing ObamaCare, and overpublicized the "beer summit" Obama held at the White House with Gates and his arresting police officer to fix any public-relations damage he might have incurred. (She even ignored the newscast she sometimes anchors, the PBS NewsHour.) On August 18, the Vineyard Gazette reported Ifill complained:
After Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's win in Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll, the Obama-loving media have been working overtime to make darned certain the public doesn't think this has any significance.
Doing her part was PBS's Gwen Ifill who said on Sunday's "Face the Nation," "The last person to actually get elected president to win a Straw Poll was George W. Bush" - as if that was soooo long ago (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS fans love how the show Washington Week is such a peaceful regurgitation of the conventional liberal media wisdom. But there are times in the calm that you wonder what world these liberals are living in. For example, the show's host, Gwen Ifill, seems to think it's plausible that President Obama -- the man who's made trillion-dollar-plus deficits a routine -- could take the "deficit slasher" label away from a conservative. New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny suggested that seniors might be willing to consider seriously Medicare reforms if they'll help lower the debt.
Ifill replied: "Is that why when we see the president come out this week and make speeches like this, it seems like he was snatching the mantle of deficit slasher from Paul Ryan's hands and saying 'No, no, no -- me'?"
Few people really pine for the opportunity to read an 815-page memoir of a former Secretary of Defense. But in Tuesday's Washington Post, the front of the Style section matches a book review of Donald Rumsfeld's new memoir Known and Unknown as equal with...a 110-page Rumsfeld torture fantasy concocted for the small magazine company McSweeney's. The title over both was "Two Shots of Rummy." In his review, novelist and former reporter Dan Fesperman suggested that the leftist "literary guerrilla action" is more authentic about Rumsfeld:
It is tempting at first to dismiss "Donald" as a mere literary guerrilla action, a publication-day ambush by two clever writers whose narrative voice, to their credit, may sound more authentically like Donald Rumsfeld than the former defense secretary's memoir.
If you were to cast this stunt as a war movie, co-authors Eric Martin and Stephen Elliott would be the wily tricksters who don fake uniforms to slip behind enemy lines, speaking the language like natives and clearing all checkpoints until they vanquish the opposing general with his own diabolical weaponry.
The December 31 edition of PBS's Washington Week tried to spin the year 2010 in the most favorable way for Obama. First, Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty tried to suggest the massive Democratic losses in the House were somehow pretty conventional, yawn:
Well, I think it shook out as a pretty conventional midterm election. All year long, right up until Election Day, the Democrats kept telling us elections are really choices between two candidates and the Republicans kept saying no, this is going to be a referendum on the president. And that’s what midterms are for after presidential elections.They are often the American public kind of putting its foot on the brake just a bit.
A 63-seat loss for the Democrats? That's not so high a tidal wave. Then host Gwen Ifill suggested the electorate missed something. It was a better year for America and Obama than the voters thought:
Sarah Palin at Monday's Tea Party rally in Reno, Nevada, told attendees, "Don't be thinking that we've got victory for America in the bag yet...We can't party like it's 1773."
Clearly not understanding that was the year of the famed Boston Tea Party, history challenged media members, including PBS's Gwen Ifill and Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas, mocked Palin via their twitter accounts (screencaps follow with video of Palin's remarks courtesy Right Scoop, h/t Perfunction):