On Friday's CBS This Morning, former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel unexpectedly zeroed in on a part of Nelson Mandela's legacy that apparently wasn't sufficiently left wing. Moments after he lionized Mandela as "the George Washington of South Africa", Stengel asserted that "he [Mandela] had not been very progressive about HIV and AIDS when he was president".
Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon also sang Mandela's praises, to the point that he made an eyebrow-raising comment about the supposed extent that the former South African president stands apart in recent history: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday morning CNN hosted Richard Stengel, an Obama administration nominee, to discuss the President's connections to the late Nelson Mandela without disclosing Stengel's pending State Department position.
Stengel is the former managing editor of Time magazine and hailed Obama's "eloquent" words: "I thought the President was very eloquent yesterday, talking about what President Mandela meant to him. I think, in many ways, Mandela was partially responsible for Barack Obama's own political awakening."
Richard Stengel left the managing-editor job at Time magazine to work full-time at the State Department for his hero Barack Obama. But not long before he left, he was telling staff to accept a severance package or be laid off.
Jim McElhatton of The Washington Times reports that these budget cuts “didn't extend to the more than quarter-million-dollar bonus that Time had doled in 2012 out to Mr. Stengel on top of his $700,000 base salary, records obtained by The Washington Times show.” Don't liberal journalists usually think of this as Republican behavior? Is this an Oliver Stone movie come to life?
But rather than see a problem with the liberal media-Democratic administration revolving door, Jacobs's story was decidedly matter-of-fact. Indeed, he portrayed it more as the president "reaching out to journalists" rather than servile liberal scribes clamoring to jump aboard the Obama train and being received happily by the administration. What's more, as an excuse that "both sides do it," Jacobs closed by noting that the late Tony Snow is an example of the politics-journalism revolving door being a centuries-old bipartisan tradition:
Politico and Capital New York are reporting that Time managing editor Richard Stengel is stepping down from his news magazine job to join the Obama administration at the Department of State.
It’s not as powerful a job as held by Time’s Strobe Talbott, who became Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State. It’s the post of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, "which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism," according to the State Department's website.
Legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela is in the hospital today with a lung infection, and MSNBC could not resist using the occasion to compare President Obama to Mr. Mandela. During a discussion with Time managing editor Richard Stengel on her daily program, Andrea Mitchell showed a picture of then-Senator Obama visiting South Africa’s first black president in 2005. Mitchell cooed, “You can imagine the role that Mandela played just in the imagination of a young Barack Obama and all of his generation.”
Stengel picked up on that thread. “And I think, you know, there are similarities between President Obama and Nelson Mandela, I think, in terms of their temperament, in terms of their approach to problems as pragmatists.” [Video after the jump. MP3 audio here.]
Although Time magazine revealed that 15 percent of Obama voters didn't even care about politics, NBC's Today show still wouldn't challenge the President's supposed mandate from the public to raise taxes when Time's Richard Stengel was on Wednesday.
"And one of the things they found out is that there's about 15 percent of voters who actually don't care about politics," Stengel referred to Time's story on the matter. "These are the people we didn't know who were going to show up at the polls who actually like Barack Obama in the sense they feel like he's outside of politics."
As we at NewsBusters have noted, the media's coverage of Mohammed Morsi's self-appointment as virtual dictator in Egypt has been dreadful. Surely TIME magazine would be a little more hard-hitting, right?
Wrong. Despite having the benefit of three reporters on the byline -- Richard Stengel, Bobby Ghosh and Karl Vick -- none of those men posed a really hard-hitting question and all of them let Morsi drone on with filibuster-length answers that dominated the interview. Below the page break you'll find the agenda of questions asked (emphases mine) -- the first one is an incredibly dopey non-question -- and you can read the TIME transcript here:
In the wake of the announcement on Thursday that Newsweek will cease print publication at the end of the year, Time's managing editor appeared on Morning Joe to swear that his magazine won't be next. Co-host Willie Geist quizzed, "But it's still cost effective for you to print this out every week?" Richard Stengel first admitted "the most expensive single thing" is to physically produce the publication.
He hedged, "And obviously the post office has a lot of trouble." Stengel then insisted the print version of the liberal magazine "becomes a premium product that you get in addition to all the other as specks of Time on every other platform." Offering some empty bravado, Stengel asserted, "We will continue to do well. I've always said like the NBA slogan, there can only be one – and that's us."
Corrected from earlier | Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on the September 27 Morning Joe to give viewers a preview of the latest issue of the magazine, the cover story of which is devoted to Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. At the tail end of the segment, teasing other articles in the issue, Stengel plugged Bobby Ghosh's interview with Mohammed Abdel Rahman, the son of Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheikh" serving time in a federal prison for his role in aborted 1993 bombing plot targeting the World Trade Center.
"We have a great piece by Bobby Ghosh, who's been on here before about the rise of the Salafis, in the Middle East, they're the Tea Party of Muslim democracy, and that's a fantastic, insightful story as well," Stengel noted. Neither Joe Scarborough not co-host Willie Geist threw a penalty flag at Stengel's unnecessary roughness, comparing the Tea Party to radical advocates of stringent Sharia law. [MP3 audio here; video at bottom of post]
Time magazine's editor-in-chief Richard Stengel was asked on Sunday's Reliable Sources to respond to NewsBusters criticizing the inclusion of the Occupy Wall Street movement into Time magazine's "Person of the Year" award, given to "The Protester." In contrast, the Tea Party which helped the Republicans win a landslide election victory in 2010 earned only runner-up status in Time that year.
CNN host Howard Kurtz asked Stengel straight-up about criticisms of the magazine's bias: "Now, some of the criticism of this cover selection comes from the right, the conservative site, NewsBusters saying, 'Time is so liberal that it could not consider the Tea Party protest as a 'Person of the Year' entry, but that's not true with Occupy Wall Street.' Your response?" [Video below the break.]
In a recent interview, Time magazine's Richard Stengel asked former President Bill Clinton why he was not a Tea Party "hero." Stengel's "criteria" were that Clinton oversaw a balanced budget and cuts to the rate of growth of the federal government.
However, as CNN's Wolf Blitzer pointed out to Stengel on Thursday, Clinton did so at the behest of a Republican Congress. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
As NewsBusters previously noted, ABC's "This Week" began its Independence Day weekend program disparaging the Founding Fathers as guys who didn't let women vote and allowed slavery.
What followed was a Roundtable discussion about the Constitution which got quite interesting when the host brought up ObamaCare and George Will marvelously asked the group, "Does Congress have the constitutional power to require obese people to sign up for Weight Watchers? If not, why not?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Regular readers of Time magazine this week found in their mailbox yet another pile of leftist tripe in the vein of "the Constitution is a living document." This week's cover article by managing editor Richard Stengel is a freak show of anti-Constitutional babble including an assertion that the Constitution was not intended to limit government: "If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so...The truth is, the Constitution massively strengthened the central government of the U.S. for the simple reason that it established one where none had existed before."
Fans of Newsbusters will recall the geographically challenged Curry got the Wheaton College in Massachusetts mixed up with the college of the same name in Illinois. The mistake actually wasn't that surprising given the fact that Curry once needed her colleague Chuck Todd's help to find the state of Illinois on a map.
As TVNewser's Chris Ariens reported, in his May 21 article, Stengel, a self-described "friend" of the longtime Today snow newsreader, couldn't resist ridiculing Curry:
Appearing as a panel member on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show on Sunday, as host Matthews led the group in discussing potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s recent gaffe about President Obama growing up in Kenya, Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel predicted that the eventual Republican nominee would have a "Sister Souljah moment with the Tea Party." Stengel:
Right, what we've seen in presidential politics always, always, always is that pragmatism trumps purity. These guys are now trying to be too pure. What we’re going to have somewhere... I mean, Huckabee, all of these folks are trying to be ideologically aligned with the Tea Party. What’s going to happen at some point is the Republican candidate will have his or her Sister Souljah moment with the Tea Party and say, you know what, we have to-
After Matthews jumped in and asked if Stengel meant "standing up against ... nativism," the Time managing editor agreed, "Absolutely."
Time's managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, on Thursday, to promote his magazine's Person of the Year issue and after he cited the reasons for selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he explained the reason the Tea Party didn't was because they were a group. After host Andrea Mitchell asked him to explain his rationale for not picking the other runners-up, Stengel lamely told her he disqualified the Tea Party because he's "biased in favor of putting a single person on the cover."
However, devoting a Time Person of the Year cover to a group of people is not without precedent. In recent years Time acknowledged "The Good Samaritans" of Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates in 2005, "The American Soldier" in 2003, and in 2006, when Stengel took over as managing editor of Time he put a mirror on the cover of the magazine as he declared "You" the Person of the Year.
Appearing on Monday's Today show to reveal the finalists for his magazine's Person of the Year issue, Time's managing editor Richard Stengel hyped that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is "changing the way we look at" diplomacy, the "perception of secrecy" and hailed he had "an enormous year." Stengel didn't bother to attach a value judgment to Assange and the negative effect he's had on national security, but Today co-host Matt Lauer did remind Stengel that Assange was "embroiled in some personal scandal."
As for another finalist, the Tea Party, Stengel explained the rationale for putting them on the list is that they tapped into a generalized "feeling of frustration that people have of distrust for authority, of distrust for centralized leadership. That's almost a theme of the whole year." Neither Stengel nor Lauer pointed out the Tea Party also represented a backlash to Barack Obama's liberal policies.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, during a discussion of whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act, panel member and conservative columnist Andrea Tantaros cited the Media Research Center - parent organization to NewsBusters - as she paraphrased the most recent Bozell Column and its reaction to Time magazine editor Richard Stengel’s defense of Assange. Tantaros:
The editor of Time magazine told Charlie Rose on PBS that he thought that Assange was an idealist, and he went on in this letter in Time magazine to say that it's not our job - the media's - to protect the interests in that way, meaning national security. And Brent Bozell, the Media Research Center wisely pointed out, it's very different, though, when journalists are captured. The government doesn't take that stance.
Moments later, Tantaros noted the double standard in the left’s treatment of the Valerie Plame CIA leak, and Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation brought up the Climategate leak of documents from East Anglia University:
On December 7, the notorious radical mastermind of “WikiLeaks,” turned himself in on a sexual assault charge in London. But in the liberal media, the condemnations are few. There are no real enemies to the media elite’s left, especially if they can be (very loosely) identified with journalism. Julian Assange may be highly motivated to cripple American “imperialism,” but his relentless efforts to disrupt American foreign policy is a good thing when the media are manipulating the government’s reaction by choosing which leaks they will publish and promote.
Time magazine editor Richard Stengel, for example, told Charlie Rose on PBS that Assange is an “idealist” that “sees the U.S. since 1945 as being a source of harm throughout the planet,” but he’s not really opposed to him. He put Assange on the cover of Time with an American flag gagging his mouth and feigned a position of balance. In his “To Our Readers” letter, Stengel conceded Assange is out to “harm American national security,” but there is a public good unfolding, in that “the right of news organizations to publish those documents has historically been protected by the First Amendment.” Our founding fathers, Stengel huffed, understood that “letting the government rather than the press choose what to publish was a very bad idea in a democracy.” He tapped the reader on the chest: “I trust you agree.”
Americans the world over could die because of these intelligence betrayals. But hip, hip, hooray for the freedom of speech that got them killed?
Time magazine's managing editor said Sunday with respect to the decision to publish intelligence information recently exposed by WikiLeaks, "Our job is not to protect the U.S."
Chatting with Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Richard Stengel claimed that irrespective of the harm these released documents did to America's national security, "Our job is to publish and be damned" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time magazine's news judgment is truly puzzling. With just weeks to go before a crucial midterm election, their cover story package is ten pages stuffed with “The Secret World of Extreme Militias.” Voters are poised to sweep a pile of Democrats out of office from coast to coast, and they're camped in Zanesville, Ohio with a right-wing militia that claims 300 members as the nation's number one news story? (Katie Couric tweeted on Wednesday that she was eagerly reading it.)
Time editor Richard Stengel announced they gave new hire Barton Gellman six months in the field chasing the whisper of a possibility that some new Timothy McVeigh might emerge and vindicate this bizarre investment of effort. Just weeks after they asked on the cover if America was Islamophobic, it's clear that once again, Obama's sinking popularity reveals an ugly America that can't accept the gift they elected.
While Gellman opened with the usual hackneyed portrait of a Midwestern militia on wacky military exercises against an undefined enemy, it's clear that their deep anxiety over Obama is the main thread. A militia resurgence “now is widely seen among government and academic experts as a reaction to the tectonic shifts in American politics that allowed a black man with a foreign-sounding name and a Muslim-born father to reach the White House.”
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, actor Jon Voight condemned Time magazine for the cover on its September 13 issue which provocatively displays the words "Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace" in the middle of a Star of David made from daisies. Voight charged that there must be anti-Semitism at Time magazine if such a cover could be devised. Voight:
Listen, if Israel falls we all fall. Did you see the Time magazine, did you guys see the Time magazine cover? Cover? It was amazing. Here's a cover with a Star of David on it, and it says Israel doesn't care about peace. ... But this is anti-Semitism. This is, who are the anti-Semites who are running Time magazine? And their prior cover, you know, they alluded to the Islamophobia, they're calling America Islamophobic.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, Time managing editor Richard Stengel bizarrely seemed to see a down side to fewer terrorist attacks against Israelis when he appeared on the Thursday, September 2, Morning Joe on MSNBC, as he suggested that it was a "sad truth" that the low level of recent violence from terrorists -- including the "Hamas folks" -- had made Israelis feel less urgency about negotiating with Palestinians. Stengel:
Time magazine editor Richard Stengel on Thursday appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to bemoan the United States' "ignorance" towards Muslims and to wonder, "Is America Islamophobic?" That particular question is also on the front cover of the current issue of Time.
Leaving only two options, Stengel lectured host Joe Scarborough, "I mean, the extent of the ignorance- where you parse Islamophobia versus ignorance of Islam, I'm not exactly sure. But there is tremendous ignorance of Islam as a religion." Declaring that Christianity Judaism and Islam have great similarities, he derided, "And I think, you know, the American misconception about Islam is amazing."
Scarborough, at times, seemed to go along with the contention that America is Islamophobic. He complained, "As a country, this sort of hatred was visited upon the Irish...the Germans, Jews."
The hosts and guests of a special Sunday edition of Morning Joe fawned over Barack Obama's May 1 performance at the White House Correspondence Dinner. Time managing editor Richard Stengel appeared and knocked host Jay Leno by comparison: "I think that's one of the things that undermined Jay's routine is that it's like coming after the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show."
Stengel highlighted an off-putting moment from the 2009 dinner when the President joked to the assembled journalists: "Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me." He described this as a "sour note" and admitted, "And there was kind of an awkward laughter because no one wants to reckon with that. I mean, we're in an adversarial relationship, but a respectful relationship."
Scarborough also hyped Obama's performance, praising, "The President so easily outperformed Jay Leno, it wasn't even close. It was like Secretariat against my 17-year-old dog..."
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's Hardball, invited on Time editor and Nelson Mandela biographer Richard Stengel to clarify his comparisons of Mandela to Barack Obama as the MSNBC host prodded him to expound on the "kerfuffle" that "will arouse some anxiety on the right." After Matthews recited a quote from the book, that Obama had achieved "a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice" the Hardball host asked how that was possible - to which Stengel offered "I don't how to explain it. It's DNA, it's genetics. I don't really know," as seen in the following exchange:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I want to ask you about a kerfuffle that you've already aroused here. Here's some language from your book that will arouse some anxiety on the right, some interest on the left and perhaps some, well we'll see in the middle. Here you are comparing Nelson Mandela to President Obama. You write, "While it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. While Mandela's world view was forged in the cauldron of racial politics, Obama is creating a post-racial political model. Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American president, Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage." The right wing hates that, because they hate it. Your thoughts? Explain.
Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel, who will be part of the roundtable on today’s Meet the Press, wrote in a new book released on Tuesday: “It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many.”
In the introduction to ‘Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage,’ Stengel, who in 1999 took a brief detour from liberal advocacy inside of journalism to more directly advancing a liberal cause as senior adviser and chief speechwriter for failed Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, asserted:
While it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American President seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a twenty-first century version of Mandela’s values and persona.
“Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President,” Stengel forwarded, “Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”
This is sure to annoy Ron Paul fans. Time editor Richard Stengel announced this morning on NBC's Today that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is Time's 2009 Person of the Year. Stengel called him the "most powerful, least understood" government official and a real force in the economy.
Political timing may have helped. Matt Lauer joked that Bernanke goes to Capitol Hill tomorrow about his reappointment to the Fed, and he should just hold the Time cover up and say they have to vote for him now. Time could feel their choice helped shape the news, not just followed the news.
Stengel suggested Bernanke "hasn't stepped up for full employment" in the bad economy. He also suggested Barack Obama "could be Person of the Year every year," but not this year.
Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were both implausible choices with the health-care bills still swirling around inconclusively. Either choice certainly would have looked like a vote for the Democrats on health care, but they also threatened to look silly if they couldn't actually get the job done for liberals.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal came in second behind Bernanke. This might suggest that Time's comfortable naming the troops as Persons of the Year, as they did a few years ago, but doesn't really want to salute the generals too much.