So-called reform conservatives such as David Frum, Michael Gerson, and Ramesh Ponnuru often get relatively favorable attention from liberal journalists -- relative, that is, to Tea Party types, which in turn reinforces the Tea Party's belief that the reformers aren't really conservatives.
Two lefty pundits recently examined the state of reform conservatism. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne penned an article for the spring issue of the quarterly Democracy in which he analyzed the work of certain reformers and discussed how they might pull the Republican party toward the center. He also denounced the GOP's current message discipline in the service of its supposedly extremist agenda -- or, as Dionne put it, "the right’s version of political correctness."
On Wednesday's Erin Burnett OutFront, lefty radio host Stephanie Miller tried to be funny while downplaying Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal as just an eighth-grade stunt and a "guy thing."
"Which middle school did you go to, Stephanie?" conservative CNN contributor Reihan Salam shot her down. And host Erin Burnett wouldn't have Miller's hackery, either: "I got to say, Stephanie, I beg to differ with you. This is pretty bizarre." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The ignorance and stupidity of Bill Maher know no bounds.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, in a discussion about who created the internet, Maher actually told billionaire businessman Mark Mogul, "You should send a royalty check to Al Gore every f—king day of your life" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
It's become clear that Bill Maher's devotion to Barack Obama is so all encompassing that he's lost any capacity to reason or view things with even an iota of impartiality.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, the host actually accused presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having - wait for it! - "a messiah complex" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday took a position that is likely to shock people on both sides of the aisle.
In a discussion about birth control on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Klein surprisingly said, "Why, in a country where we don't require employers to provide health insurance should we require them to - those who do provide health insurance - to provide contraception? Now, I'm all in favor of contraception, but I think that this is a major overstepping of the state's role" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Review's Reihan Salam on Sunday proved once again that liberal media members no matter what their number are no match for one well-informed conservative.
On CNN's FareedZakaria GPS, Salam took on the host, Time magazine's Joe Klein, and the Nation's Katrina VandenHeuvel on a far-ranging discussion about how both sides of the aisle view taxes, the Tea Party, and social change with the conservative ending up looking like the only knowledgeable person in the room (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is a libertarian who thinks the federal government is far too much of a national nanny. Regardless of what you think of his views, he's pretty consistent on his libertarian philosophy. As such, it's incredibly easy for dismissive journalists to misrepresent his policy stances and campaign promises.
Take for example, MSNBC's Chuck Todd. After airing a clip of the Texas Republican pledging at a rally in New Hampshire to overturn a federal ban on transporting raw milk across state lines, the Daily Rundown host snarked, "So there it is... don't even regulate milk. You know, that's Ron Paul in a nutshell."
National Review's Reihan Salam this weekend demonstrated exactly why it should be required that there be at least one conservative present during televised political discussions.
Appearing on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," Salam had a spirited and at times contentious debate with the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan about conservatism, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's new host Eliot Spitzer slammed the Tea Party movement on Tuesday's Parker-Spitzer: "I think that that piece of the Republican Party is vapid. It has no ideas....They're going to destroy our country." Spitzer also accused Tea Party members of forwarding a "Herbert Hoover vision of government...saying, we want to take away the very pieces of government that created the middle class."
The former New York governor of "Client Number Nine" infamy launched his attack on the nascent political movement minutes into the 8 pm Eastern, as he and his co-host, Kathleen Parker, discussed Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's new ad. After listing what he thought was positive about O'Donnell and her ad, Spitzer gave his "vapid" remark about the Tea Party and made his first mention of former President Hoover:
Chris Matthews this weekend actually invited a real conservative on to the syndicated program bearing his name, and what transpired was a thing of beauty.
National Review's Reihan Salam did such a fabulous job of educating Matthews and his guests - especially Time's Joe Klein - that I imagine him quickly becoming a NewsBusters favorite.
The initial topic of discussion was Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally scheduled to occur after this was taped.
Between Matthews' disrespectful introduction, and Klein calling the conservative talk show host "a paranoid lunatic," one had the feeling this would have devolved into a full on hate-fest if not for Salam's presence.
Fortunately, the National Reviewer was there to set the record straight (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
George Will on Sunday used a Barack Obama quote to smack down a predictable attack on Sarah Palin made by the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus.
As the Roundtable discussion of ABC's "This Week" moved to the former Alaska governor's "Mama Grizzlies" video, Marcus voiced her unsurprising displeasure.
"I think it's the same, old, vapid, platitudinous Sarah Palin," said Marcus. "There is not a shred, not a shred of substance in this ad."
When he got his turn, Will tore Marcus apart, "On the vapidness meter, that ranks nowhere near, 'We are the ones we have been waiting for,' which was Obama's way of flattering the self-esteem of his supporters" (video follows with transcript and commentary):