The new four-part series Constitution USA embodied the conglomeration of Peter Sagal, one of the more left-leaning NPR hosts, and PBS, which has been scrutinized for its abundance of liberal programming, so one might have expected this series to just be another partisan broadcast espousing solely liberal viewpoints.
However, in a rather pleasant surprise, the show covered most issues in an unbiased, nonpartisan manner. For example, when discussing the issue of homosexual marriage, Sagal interviewed proponents from both sides of the debate on this matter of contention. [Link to the audio here]
On your bike! New York Times's roaming critic Neil Genzlinger reviewed Constitution USA with Peter Sagal, airing Tuesday night on PBS. Judging by the headline, "The Philosophical Rumble Of That Living Document," Genzlinger's editor didn't know what to do with his puzzling, cranky review of the documentary (starring Sagal, liberal host of the NPR game show Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!).
Promoting his new PBS special "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal," the NPR "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" host went a step further than the typical liberal explanation that the nation's governing charter was a "living document." No, "[w]hat makes the Constitution a successful document... is less the document itself than the people's willingness to believe in it," Politico's Patrick Gavin informed readers of his April 23 profile on Sagal, which summarizes a 13-minute interview (embedded below page break).
"The Constitution is only as alive as we collectively have decided it is today," Sagal told Gavin, adding, "I've been calling it the Tinkerbell of national charters because Tinkerbell only lives if you clap, right? Or if you say, 'I do believe in fairies, I do!'"
On Friday, Scott Whitlock reported ABC's Good Morning America reported the morning show milked the 18,000 jobs lost in the shutdown of Hostess for laughs. The same laughing at pink slips occurred Saturday on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Players were given a question after NPR newscaster Karl Kasell asked in a low growl "Where are you, you spongy yellow delicious bastards?"
Host Peter Sagal explained Kasell was delivering a Woody Harrelson line about Twinkies from the movie Zombieland. After a contestant answered that it was Hostess that shut down this week, Sagal started the wise cracks. "Hostess Incorporated, they make Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, Wonder Bread, Fudge Puppies, Fat Crammers, and Lard Bursts [laughter]...said they would liquidate the company if striking workers didn’t come back to work." Of course, there was also a Chris Christie joke:
NPR's weekend game show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" usually saves most of its topical humor for supposed White House drunk George W. Bush or Dick Cheney the Grim Reaper for all the usual smug-liberal laugh lines. On Saturday, host Peter Sagal went on an extended comedy routine with five jokes mocking Pope Benedict XVI, beginning with the notion that he's "another famous gay icon."
By contrast, a review of the last four shows finds there have been zero Barack Obama jokes. However, on March 10, they made fun of Rick Santorum saying if elected, he would not recite the names of former presidents to make excuses for himself. This prompted a "caliphate" joke at the Catholic candidate's expense.
Katie Couric's boosterism of "moderate Republican" Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and NPR's cheap shot at former President George W. Bush's recovery from alcoholism were just two of the "Media Mash" topics NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed on the November 20 edition of "Hannity."
"When will you ever hear the word 'liberal' attached to a Republican?" Bozell asked, noting that Murkowski is in fact a liberal Republican.
"In eight years, she was on [CBS] one time. In the last week, she's been on there twice," the Media Research Center president noted after viewing a clip of CBS "Evening News" Katie Couric's November 15 interview with the Alaska senator.
[Video of the full "Media Mash" segment is available after the page break]
Since National Public Radio somehow missed out on an author interview with George W. Bush -- they did portray his presidency as a horror film -- NPR's Chicago-based weekend game show Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! mocked the former president by "interviewing" clips from his audio book, or as they called it, "A Fake Interview with a Real President." Bush's decision to tell about how he gave up drinking after his 40th birthday in 1986 is apparently a lie, if you're a public-radio comedian. Game-show host Peter Sagal mocked Bush as a drunk in the White House (MP3 AUDIO)
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. With President George W. Bush's memoir, "Decision Points," coming out this week, naturally we reached out to invite the president on for an interview. Now this was the response we got, for real, from his former press secretary Dana Perino, quote, "That's hysterical. You guys are so funny," and then a smiling emoticon. So instead, we'll be interviewing George W. Bush's audio book. So welcome to WAIT WAIT, this is a big honor for us. Now, you tell some great stories in the book. Tell us about your first week as president.
BUSH: I had a few beers with the guys on Monday night. On Tuesday, I’d fix my favorite after dinner drink, Benedictine and brandy. I had a couple of bourbon-and-Sevens after I put Barbara and Jenna to bed on Wednesday.
At almost the same time NPR's Peter Sagal and White House advisor David Axelrod were disgracefully mocking Carrie Prejean in front of a cheering crowd at George Washington University, NPR's Scott Simon was pointing out to his listeners how Barack Obama shares Miss California's views on same-sex marriage.
Talk about your inconvenient truths.
Potentially even more shocking, Simon exposed how absurd it is that folks have attacked Prejean while giving Obama a pass: "If you point out, as I have to a couple of e-mailers, that the president's opinion on gay marriage is more or less identical, the same people dismiss it as a painful insincerity he is forced to adopt because of people like Miss California."
The audio of this marvelous segment is available here with transcript below the fold (h/t JohnK):