In the Friday PBS NewsHour,anchor Judy Woodruff lamented the current impasse in Washington: "I don’t know what else to call it, war between congressional Republicans and the president."
She sounded shocked that Speaker John Boehner filed suit to protest the president's constant end-runs around Congress and legislating from the White House on Obamacare, immigration, and other issues. Shields called the suit "absolutely bogus" and compared it to impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998:
PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields started with an admission on Benghazi on Friday night: “Has the White House been transparent? Absolutely not.”
But he lamented that the House special committee hearings “will be a disaster. It won’t be good for the country.” It’s only being done for the Tea Party and Fox News. Apparently, hearings are only productive and wonderful when run by liberal Democrats like Henry Waxman:
While HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius was getting a polite shove out the door, PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields offered a note of disclosure: “Well, first of all, let me just admit up front, Kathleen Sebelius has been a personal friend. For 46 years, I have known her.” He even oddly said she “stepped up manfully, to use a bad adverb” in taking the blame for Obamacare.
But Shields and his usual echo-chamber David Brooks disagreed. Brooks said she wasn’t a “dynamo” at HHS, which caused Shields to start touting her. Anchor Judy Woodruff had gently asked, like a good feminist, “What’s her legacy?”
Barack Obama has taken a few soft-soap interviews on the PBS NewsHour, so anchor Judy Woodruff didn't want to say he was sell Obamacare in less than dignified forums -- like prank interviews with the schlub from "The Hangover" movies.
Pseudoconservative analyst David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields typically agreed that Obama has oodles of dignity and cannot be mocked. Brooks said only if Obama's riding "with Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball" -- where she rode naked in a video -- would it be "going a little too far." That's hardly a visual you'd expect from PBS:
On PBS’s Inside Washington Friday, the perilously liberal Mark Shields said of ObamaCare, “You can forget 2016 if this thing craters and crashes, the Republicans could run a laundry ticket in 2016 and win.”
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously responded, “I’m going to recommend to my colleagues on the right that we do exactly that. 2016 we’re going to run a laundry ticket and we’re going to win” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist David Brooks always knows he's sitting on a liberal Democrat set at the PBS NewsHour. PBS viewers don't want a real conservative that makes conservative arguments. Only insults are welcome. So in praising Chris Christie on Friday's show, he said the 2012 GOP presidential debates were "Looney Tunes." He was dead serious.
But when the subject turned to liberal Democrats in New York City, he made a very mild crack about the "Democratic intelligentsia, such as it is," and immediately retracted and apologized:
Even before the disastrous ObamaCare launch, many conservative pundits have said the so-called “Affordable Care Act” was the first step toward a single-payer, universal healthcare system in America.
On PBS’s Inside Washington Friday, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Politico’s Evan Thomas both advanced single-payer as the solution to all that ails us with host Gordon Peterson agreeing (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
While media reporters have hailed the "new" PBS NewsHour for having two female anchors, the liberal-bias formula is exactly the same. PBS Republican-in-Name-Only David Brooks is assigned to trash the Republicans as extremist obstructionists, so that Democrat hack Mark Shields can agree, and add that they don't live in reality.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry is already demonstrating "commitment and passion" by conducting a reality-denying negotiation with the Russians and Syrians to "destroy" Syria's stock of chemical weapons. Brooks and Shields teamed up to endorse and promote the suffocating inside-the-Beltway statist consensus:
On Inside Washington Friday, PBS’s Mark Shields and NPR’s Nina Totenberg predictably echoed the Administration’s claims that its threats of force in Syria led Russian President Vladimir Putin to broker a chemical weapons deal.
Fortunately for viewers, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was present to scold his fellow panelists for “spinning from the White House” (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):
On Monday, NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep expressed -- in the face of all the evidence of Fast and Furious, Solyndra, MF Global, and so on -- that the first term of Obama's presidency was "remarkably scandal-free." When I challenged him on the factual inaccuracy of this, he tweeted in reply , "Hm, did I say it was scandal-free or that it 'has been described' as such?"
However passively Inskeep expressed it, he certainly agreed with it. Inskeep asked Cokie Roberts, "This administration has been described -- I don't even know how many times- - as remarkably scandal-free. But when you get into the second term of an administration, there's often some dirty laundry that comes out. Is that what's happening now?" Roberts agreed:
Both NPR and PBS skipped over the Obama-IRS scandal on Friday night’s “week in review” segments. Both led instead by wondering about whether conservatives would ruin immigration “reform” and then briefly touched on Benghazi.
On the PBS Newshour, all the outrage was saved for the end, as Mark Shields railed against Congressman-elect Mark Sanford as an unforgivable “jerk” for having his mistress with him at his special-election victory party next to his sons, and then trashed the GOP voters who elected him:
The PBS NewsHour went into everyone’s favorite subjects last Friday, gays and guns, and discussed the overwhelming cultural shift concerning gay marriage. New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields both commented on how this shift could be irreversible, but noted that the Supreme Court could “Roe v. Wade” the decision. That is, the faux conservative and the liberal pundit both agreed that a court decision could just breath new life and fresh controversy into the same-sex marriage fight.
Yes, this is NOT an April Fools' joke. Brooks and Shields were actually saying that sweeping decisions, if not taken responsibly, could create more problems in the long run. It's a refreshing moment hearing shields, unlike others among his liberal colleagues, acknowledging how social change is best achieved through the political process rather than the courts. It is, however, a shame that Brooks failed to give a conservative constitutional case for why DOMA and Prop 8 should stand, aside from the deleterious effects of a court ruling:
Rejoice, people, it’s pledge drive week on PBS! All of your favorite PBS shows are being interrupted so that a couple of smiling faces can beg you to donate some of your hard-earned income to your local public station. Of course, those of us who pay federal taxes are already subsidizing PBS, albeit involuntarily and indirectly through the federally-chartered Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
It’s not always easy to get folks to part with their money, so PBS is doing more than simply offering a mug to anyone who gives $75 or an umbrella to those who donate $100. They are also aggressively touting their own programming, trying to remind viewers of how much they gain by watching. On Wednesday evening, the pledge drive during the NewsHour attempted to use liberal Mark Shields and quasi-conservative David Brooks as selling points for the network. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Faux conservative David Brooks of the New York Times used his Friday appearance with Mark Shields on the PBS NewsHour to bash Republicans over sequestration, comparing GOP tactics in dealing with spending to a trite circus act. Either Mr. Brooks forgot that sequestration was the president’s idea or doesn't care about facts getting in the way of cozying up to his liberal media buddies. Even liberal Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (Montana) admitted to that, and it’s explicitly mentioned that sequestration was the White House’s idea in Bob Woodward’s new book about the 2011 debt ceiling fiasco.
Shields piggybacked off of Brooks’ remarks, and said that the GOP’s fallback position is blaming the president, as if Obama is blameless in this dismal situation.
PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff had a rough night on Friday, putting her outrage at Republicans ahead of the facts. In her "Shields and Brooks" segment with liberal Mark Shields and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson (subbing for David Brooks), she guessed "The Republicans, I gather, we're told, it is unprecedented, blocking the nomination -- or the confirmation so far of the man President Obama wants to be his defense secretary."
Did Woodruff completely forget Sen. John Tower's nomination for defense secretary, voted down by Democrats in 1989? The name never came up. Hagel's confirmation is only delayed, not defeated. But Woodruff expressed the need for GOP suffering: "Does somebody pay the price, though, for all this?" Naturally, the liberal expert agreed:
"The longest suicide note in the world is being written by the Republicans if they don't support immigration reform. If they don't revamp their image on it, they are truly drinking the potion that’s going to make them disappear."
So said PBS's Mark Shields on Inside Washington Friday (video follows with transcript):
Conservative author Ann Coulter has strongly responded to PBS's Mark Shields calling her "The Marie Antoinette of the Conservative press corps."
Shields made this remark on PBS's Inside Washington Friday in the middle of a discussion about Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fl.) recent views regarding immigration reform (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On PBS's Inside Washington, the perilously liberal syndicated columnist Mark Shields noted the "inconsistency" and "hypocrisy" of the Left being "muted in their criticism" of President Obama's drone attacks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.
Appearing in his role as regular panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas -- formerly of Newsweek -- made known his view that the Second Amendment was meant to be "limited to muskets," but went on to undermine the talk of more gun laws as a "side show" as he asserted that "it's a diversion from what we really need to do, which is deal with bigger issues like debt and climate and things that politicians don't want to deal with."
At one point during the discussion of gun control, liberal columnist Mark Shields suggested taxing bullets to make them more expensive like the governnent did with cigarettes:
"I think quite bluntly leaving and losing their virginity on the issue of tax cuts is an important thing to these Republicans who have not voted – make it understood - no Republican in the House or Senate for 22 years has voted to increase taxes."
So said PBS's Mark Shields on Inside Washington Friday (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
As Colonel Kurtz said at the end of Apocalypse Now: “the horror, the horror.” That sentiment encapsulated New York Times Republican David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields’ reactions to the rejection of the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled in the Senate last week. Brooks called it “embarrassment for the country” – while Shields called it “a profile in cowardice.” Regardless, it seems that both men forget that we have a similar bill called The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed under George H.W. Bush.
During the segment, which aired on December 7, NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff decided to end her interview with Brooks and Shields on this point:
Last Friday, in his first post-election remarks on PBS and NPR, New York Times columnist David Brooks downplayed his usual bash- conservatives narrative, and actually castigated liberals for wanting to go over the looming fiscal cliff. He said that liberals are more organized, they’ve won the election, and will get most of what they yearn for if we do go over the waterfall: increased revenue, tax hikes, and cuts to defense spending.
Strangely, his liberal colleagues, Mark Shields on PBS and E.J. Dionne on NPR, seemed to agree with this claim – undercutting the notion that this "cliff" is dangerous to both parties.