On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of President Obama’s failure to secure passage of the Dream Act in the Senate, after panel member Evan Thomas of Newsweek asserted that "stupid politics" was behind the bill’s defeat, host Gordon Peterson brought up a quip by humorist Jimmy Tingle that "if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem."
After introducing the segment with a clip of President Obama speaking favorably of the proposed law that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status and eventual citizenship if they go to college or into the military, host Peterson asked, "Why would you vote against that, Evan?"
Thomas blamed "stupid politics" and complained that the proposal is being "held hostage" by those who want to secure the border first. Thomas: "Stupid politics. I mean, there’s got to be immigration reform. It just hangs over all the head of this. We’ve got to reform, this is a small attempt to cure a small but real problem. But what hangs over it is the need to do a larger reform of the immigration system. We got to find some way to get better control of our borders, we do-"
Peterson interrupted to note that South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had voiced an unwillingness to vote for "anything until the borders are secure," prompting Thomas to add, "But it’s held hostage."
After the Newsweek columnist recounted the country’s need for more immigrants who are highly skilled, Peterson brought up the Jimmy Tingle comment about Norwegians as he turned to liberal columnist and panel member Mark Shields. Peterson: "Jimmy Tingle said if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem, Mark."
Charles Krauthammer on Friday made a humorous comparison between the Taliban's popularity in Afghanistan and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Cali.) approval rating in America that clearly riled Mark Shields.
So put off was Shields on PBS's "Inside Washington" that he not only took issue with Krauthammer's joke, but he also went after something conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said about Pelosi earlier in the week (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Mark Shields and other liberals for "moaning and bitching" about the President's compromise tax plan after months of demanding the White House implement a second stimulus package.
After Shields on PBS's "Inside Washington" predictably criticized Obama for agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts on the so-called rich, Krauthammer marvelously struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist and PBS regular Mark Shields on Friday actually said on national television that he has never heard a Democratic leader or presidential candidate accuse former President George W. Bush of lying America into the Iraq War.
This was said in response to Charles Krauthammer telling his fellow "Inside Washington" panelists that this all too common media assertion is the "essential untruth of this decade" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday said Sarah Palin's decision to resign as the governor of Alaska is "like Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick."
This astonishingly came moments after he called Nancy Pelosi the most effective House Speaker in his lifetime on the most recent installment of "Inside Washington" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At the end of Friday night's PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff asked their political analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks about NPR's firing of Juan Williams. Shields said "NPR made a serious mistake...and I think they did it in a terrible way, by a telephone call without a personal chance to explain himself. You know, I think it's given the right wing a tremendous opening to attack NPR, which I hate to see happen, because I think it's a valuable public institution."
Brooks disclosed "I work at NPR somewhat" (as part of a similary analyst duo with liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne). Brooks agreed with Mark about the firing and its lack of personal contact. "I think what was said is perfectly within the bounds of debate." But then he insisted NPR has achieved sensible centrism in recent history:
And the damaging thing to me is NPR's worked really hard over the last 10, 20 years to become a straight-down-the-middle network. I'm not sure they were decades ago, but not they really are. And now because of this unfortunate episode, they're beginning to get some ideological baggage again, and that's damaging.
Mark Shields on Friday accused the White House of making up the story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns.
Appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," Shields said of the issue the Administration and many of their media minions have been harping on for over a week, "It was absolutely fallacious on their part. And they made it up, the White House did" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Think President Barack Obama has thin skin? How could one not, after the attacks on media personalities like Rush Limbaugh or his on-the-record comments about the liberal blogs and Fox News?
On PBS’s Oct. 2 broadcast of “Inside Washington,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg pointed out the left-wing blogosphere has been critical of Obama, yet she chalked it up as just being “whiny.” “Inside Washington” panelist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer responded, and pointed out the president’s “thin skin,” in the wake of his remarks about his cable channel in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“You would think that the presidency is slightly higher than the left blogosphere, but it is not, and that is what the problems,” Krauthammer said. “The president has an unbelievably thin skin, left or right. His obsession with Fox is a good example of that.”
Mark Shields on Friday demonstrated just how far a liberal media member is willing to go to support President Obama and the Democrat Party.
Appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," Shields actually made the case that despite a 9.6 percent unemployment rate, and growing fears of a double dip recession, Americans should be uplifted by the fact that more private sector jobs have been created this year than during the entire Bush administration.
Showing just how adept he is at repeating Democrat talking points, Shields even said this with a straight face (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It will be “very difficult for Democrats to demonize” George W. Bush “again” during this campaign season, liberal nationally syndicated columnist Mark Shields despaired on Friday’s Inside Washington, because he’s “a circumspect and discreet former President.” Quite unlike, he didn’t say, the often boorish Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Reacting to Vice President Joe Biden’s indictment of the supposed disastrous results from the Bush administration’s economic policies, Shields fretted:
The problem for the Democrats is this, that the energizer bunny for the 2006, 2008 campaigns has disappeared because of George W. Bush’s being a circumspect and discreet former President it makes it very difficult for Democrats to demonize him again. He’s become a non-person. He shows up at a ball game once in a while, he greets soldiers coming back. He hasn’t said anything controversial and that makes it a tougher fight for Joe Biden to make.
Charles Krauthammer is a regular on the weekly program, so I’ll use that as a hook to highlight his latest column, “The last refuge of a liberal,” which includes this well-framed observation:
Promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday smacked down PBS's Mark Shields in a discussion about late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski's legacy.
As the conversation on this week's "Inside Washington" turned to the passing of the former powerful Democrat, Shields swooned liked so many of his colleagues:
Danny Rostenkowski was a throwback...he worked across the aisle. I mean, he was just phenomenal that way. There was no ideology to him. And, you want to know how politics has changed? Danny Rostenkowski used to go back to Chicago by car. You know who rode with him? Bob Michel, the Republican leader rode with him and back, and Henry Hyde, the conservative leader, and they were friends.
With the ball nicely set up on the tee, Krauthammer ripped a monster drive down the middle of the fairway (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Gordon Peterson, the host of PBS's "Inside Washington," for blaming Shirley Sherrod's termination on Fox News.
As he introduced the first topic of the evening, Peterson said, "Which brings me to the story of ousted Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod who was let go on the basis of a single piece of internet video that was edited out of context, posted on a conservative website, picked up on Fox News, and bought lock, stock and barrel by the Obama administration."
When Krauthammer got his turn, he went right after Peterson saying, "Speaking of apologies, perhaps you ought to apologize for saying that Fox News had her on the air before the administration had fired her" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
They say people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But that saying didn't stop NPR's Nina Totenberg and PBS pundit Mark Shields from making fun of the sex appeal of conservative Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, who resigned this week after admitting an affair with a female staffer.
On the local PBS talk show Inside Washington, Totenberg mentioned the abstinence video Souder made with his lover, and added "I don't know why anybody would want to not abstain with him."
Shields joined in: "Who was it? Henry Kissinger, who said 'power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.' Mark Souder is the real test of that, because a George Clooney look-alike he is not." As if Mark Shields could compare. Shields is just about to turn 73. Totenberg is 66.
The Friday night discussion with Mark Shields and David Brooks on the PBS NewsHour was surprisingly heated. First, anchorman Jim Lehrer seemed to suggest the liberal lingo when the "no" votes were "problem Democrats," as opposed to the Pelosi Democrats:
Where are the -- what -- who are the problem Democrats left right now? We know about the Stupaks and the anti-abortion folks. Who else?
Shields insisted that come the fall, no one will be talking about the process the Democrats used to pass a health-care bill, but Brooks said deem-and-pass was "so repulsive, I'm out of my skin with anger about it." Here's how it unfolded:
The liberals inside the taxpayer-funded PBS sandbox know how to keep looking down their noses at their competitors in conservative talk radio and TV. Once again, on Friday night’s NewsHour, the supposedly opposing duo of Mark Shields and David Brooks offered their shared revulsion of any Republican spokesman to the right of Sen. Lindsey Graham.
It started when NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked their reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney accusing Obama of "dithering" on Afghanistan. Sheields called Cheney a "gift." Brooks lamented that the Republicans lack leaders that sound exactly as moderate as he is:
I always wish it was John McCain or Lindsey Graham or somebody of that nature who was leading the charge.
The Republican Party has a terrible problem of who its spokespeople are. It tends not to be the best voices in the party. Lamar Alexander, senator from Tennessee, said he completely understood why Obama was taking his time to make this decision. And instead of those voices getting prominence, you get Dick Cheney, you get Rush Limbaugh, you get Glenn Beck. That's part of a larger problem.
In the first few moments after Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday night, PBS anchor Jim Lehrer turned to his allegedly liberal vs. conservative duo of pundits, Mark Shields and David Brooks. Shields said the speech was terrific, the best speech of his presidency. Brooks said....the speech was terrific, the best speech of his presidency. Without a Bob Dole flourish about deficits, a viewer would scarcely know there was any difference in opinion.
Shields hailed how Obama had put down the "the slanders and libels" about ObamaCare, and the first words out of the mouth of Brooks? "I agree with Mark." He may not have agreed with the "libels" line, but he never objected to it. He found Obama's exploitation of Ted Kennedy "moving" and then said the center was Obama's "natural milieu." It's too bad conservatives don't seem to have a spokesman on the tax-funded network:
LEHRER: Now we have some reaction to what the president said from Mark Shields and David Brooks. Mark? First, your overview.
CBS Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer held his fifth Schieffer symposium at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Wednesday, and his panel was completely chosen from the set of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: anchor Gwen Ifill and columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields. Associated Press covered it, but not so much on the issue of liberal bias. The headline was "Media panel says constant Obama coverage warranted."
Are the news media biased toward President Barack Obama?
David Brooks, a conservative columnist for The New York Times, said yes before a sold-out crowd of about 700 Wednesday at Texas Christian University. Mark Shields, a nationally syndicated liberal columnist, said no.
Brooks said : "I think the press is pro-Obama. Most of my colleagues are extremely committed to the craft of journalism. So I think most of the bias is unconscious — in framing the issues and what gets paid attention to."
As the Democrat-dominated House and Senate thoughtfully passed judgment on a 1,100-page "stimulus" bill that Sen. Frank Lautenberg admitted no one would read before the vote, the media elite were positively giddy. On the "NewsHour" on PBS, liberal analyst Mark Shields proclaimed "I think it’s a monstrous success" for President Obama. That’s correct, with an emphasis on the "monstrous."
Our news media have insisted on playing the White House soundtrack on this battle, to wit: the "stimulus" is vitally necessary, and by opposing it, Republicans are risking being flattened by the Great Obama Steamroller. A partisan victory is okay, but they’d much rather the vote for Obama’s plans be unanimous.
Why, as Newsweek’s cover proclaimed, "We’re All Socialists Now." Inside, Newsweek’s uber-elitist editor Jon Meacham scolded Sean Hannity and Rep. Mike Pence for stooping to call this Congressional pork-wagon "the European Socialist Act of 2009." Using the S-word in a negative context threatens to doom America to a "fractious and unedifying debate."
In today's "You've Got To Be Kidding Me" moment, PBS's Jim Lehrer actually defended the corrupt actions of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Friday asking his guests, "What's the big deal here?"
I kid you not.
During his discussion with regulars Mark Shields and David Brooks on Friday's "News Hour" the subject of Blago arose, and Lehrer took what has to be considered an absurd position on this issue (video available here with relevant section at 6:00, partial transcript follows, h/t Mike Francesa via NB reader John F.):
As Culture and Media Institute Director Robert Knight has noted, the media are still presenting Obama campaign spin on the McCain sex ed ad as hard facts.
Last week the McCain campaign released an ad charging Senator Obama with supporting sex education for kindergarten children when he was an Illinois state senator.
According to the Obama campaign and the media the legislation in question "was written to protect young children from sexual predators."
That's a line that Obama himself used during last year's CNN/YouTube debate:
I've got a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old daughter. And I want them to know if somebody is doing something wrong to them, encroaching on their privacy, that they should come talk to me or my wife. And we've had that conversation, but not every parent is going to have that conversation with their child, and I think it's important that every child does, to make sure that they're not subject to the sexual predators (emphasis mine).
The only problem is that the goal of the bill wasn't to stop sexual predators, but to revamp the Illinois sex ed curriculum.
The gloves came off and the punching of Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin began early in the night on PBS. Just after the Pledge of Allegiance, the analyst team of Mark Shields and David Brooks got into a squabble over Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter Bristol. Shields insisted a callous Gov. Palin chose national ambition over "love and consideration for her daughter...By accepting John McCain’s offer she guaranteed that her daughter would be known globally as the best known 17-year-old unwed teenager in the world, and that decision many people question."
Brooks suggested we don't know enough to judge the Palin family values, and even suggested that the children of vice presidents have had problems, and that the media that usually lays off the children are covering this story in a "big massive way."
Shields began by suggesting that people in both parties can agree that making an issue out of candidates' children is "really out of bounds." He then turned around and made the mother's allegedly unseemly ambition an issue:
Liberal attitudes emerged on the PBS convention set in the runup to Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night. When right-leaning pundit David Brooks suggested after Al Gore's remarks that it was too bad Gore ruined his chance to be president in 2000 by listening too much to consultants, Mark Shields snippily suggested Gore really won: "Al Gore is a remarkable figure. I'm not sure why he blew his chance. He did get half a million more votes, of course, in a popular election than the man who eventually became president by the Supreme Court decision."
A while later, the PBS historians panel discussed convention history, and Peniel Joseph suggested the Hillary delegates had decided to come to the Messiah: "What we saw last night was Hillary Clinton herself putting Obama over the top and many of these delegates who vowed never to vote for Obama publicly came to Jesus, so to speak, and said they were going to vote for Obama now."
Is Barack Obama beginning to wear out his welcome with some of the mainstream media's old guard, or are the nation's more seasoned journalists just getting fed up with the obvious love affair most press members are having with the Democrat presidential nominee?
Before accusing me of drinking the Kool-Aid, consider that two of the country's most venerable and high-profile liberal pundits -- the Washington Post's David Broder and syndicated columnist Mark Shields -- turned on the junior senator from Illinois in a fashion that would have been unthinkable before Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race.
For instance, here's what Shields said on Friday's "News Hour" (video embedded right, h/t Hot Air):
You better put down your drinks, and make sure there's nothing in your mouths, for the New York Times's David Brooks made a comment on Friday's News Hour that is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter from those on the right side of the aisle.
*****Updates at end of post include similar opinions from conservative bloggers, as well as a video of a CNN correspondent saying roughly the same thing, and a response from the Kos Kidz.
After introducing regular guests Brooks and Mark Shields, host Jim Lehrer asked their opinions concerning the just-released Osama bin Laden video.
Brooks was second up with this absolutely marvelous observation (final warning to put down your drinks, video available here):
“Overkill” from “right-wing radio,” in criticizing Senator Hillary Clinton, is her “secret weapon” that will “transform her into a figure of sympathy by a majority of people” -- and presumably help elect her President -- syndicated columnist and PBS NewsHour political analyst Mark Shields contended Friday night. On Inside Washington, a weekly panel show produced by ABC's Washington, DC affiliate which airs it on Sunday mornings after it first runs Friday night at 8:30pm on DC's PBS affiliate, WETA-TV channel 26, Shields argued:
“I think the secret weapon for Senator Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, is not simply Rudy's shortcomings, the perceived shortcomings of her opponent, I think you'll see on the part of right-wing radio -- conservative talk, however you want to call it -- such overkill that it will make her, transform her into a figure of sympathy by a majority of people.”
NPR's Nina Totenberg then chimed in: “That happened in her first Senate run.”