Are liberal African-American pundits still blindly loyal to Barack Obama? Though you may not see this covered on MSNBC, there IS a growing division.
Case in point: Establishment Suck-Up Al Sharpton versus Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West. While the former spends every broadcast moment lashing out at those who dare to question the Dear Leader, Smiley & West take a different approach, holding Obama to a higher standard. As you'll see below, the difference is clear.
Last night on his PBS talk show, Tavis Smiley sat down for a cozy conversation with Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for left-wing magazine The Nation. Scahill was critical of the Obama administration, as well as the journalists who fail to hold him accountable, throughout much of the interview. However, he did let his mask of objectivity slip at a few points, revealing the liberal face underneath.
Scahill was outraged over the administration’s secrecy surrounding its national security operations, particularly drone strikes. Smiley asked him why the administration has not been more forthcoming about its use of drones, and Scahill partially blamed congressional Republicans: [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
Last week, before the Senate voted on the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill, Tavis Smiley declared that the idea that expanded background checks might not pass made him want to throw up. Well, the Senate has voted down the measure, and Smiley didn’t throw up on-camera. But he did hack up an angry rant on his PBS talk show Monday night.
The host focused on the idea that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor expanded background checks: "If there are polls and studies and surveys that show – and I’ve seen them, so I know this is true. If there are polls and studies and surveys that show that 90 percent of the American people want – or would have wanted, still want – some sort of background check, it raises the question how the president lost on this issue." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harrison Ford made a brutal critique of the news industry Thursday.
Appearing on PBS's Tavis Smiley Show, the actor said the "divisiveness and fractiousness in our society" is caused by "what passes for journalism" today "fostering and supporting our prejudices" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This week, the Senate voted down the proposed Manchin-Toomey gun control bill that would have expanded background checks for potential gun buyers. Somewhere in Los Angeles, Tavis Smiley is cleaning up the mess he made.
On his PBS talk show two days before the Senate vote, Smiley was grilling socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) about the likelihood that gun control legislation would pass. Sanders told Smiley, “I think we stand a reasonable chance to at least pass legislation greatly expanding background checks.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Tavis Smiley invited ultra-liberal Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on his show Monday night for a friendly chat about the American economy. Predictably, Krugman used the appearance as an opportunity to bash Republicans, and on a taxpayer-subsidized television program no less.
Krugman and Smiley both complained that the American people have not yet become “sufficiently outraged” over the budget cuts brought by sequestration. Smiley demanded to know why the outrage has not appeared and when it will come. Don’t worry, Krugman reassured him, pain from the sequester will take time to kick in. The outrage will come once people start losing essential government services. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley recently became the latest media member to refer to the $85 billion sequester as “austerity.” On his self-titled show Tuesday night, the taxpayer-subsidized Smiley got all frowny while discussing the American economy with former FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair:
"Since you raised the issue, let me ask how it is, in your mind at least, the notion of austerity, and whatever people in Washington don’t want to call it, that’s exactly what this is. Sequestration’s a big, fancy word. This is austerity masking as a conversation about deficit reduction as far as I’m concerned." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Tavis Smiley, PBS’s resident liberal activist, unleashed his anger against the Democratic Party on his talk show last night. In a conversation with California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Smiley bemoaned the lack of increase in the federal minimum wage in recent years, attacking Democrats from the left: “Why has your party, the Democrats in Washington, the Democrat as president in the White House, why in the first term are they not more aggressive about that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The taxpayer-subsidized left-wing host was furious that President Obama has lowered his minimum wage demand from $9.50 to $9.00 an hour: “I love the guy, but I keep saying he’s negotiating against himself. He started at $9.50, now he’s down to $9.00, and the debate hasn’t started.” He finished his rant by slamming the entire party once again:
That's right -- not just Nixon ... Nixon and Bush. Can vilification from the left get much worse than that?
Cornel West continues to demonstrate why parents might want to think better of sending their children to Princeton, where West purportedly teaches when he isn't gushing over hip-hop and engaging in arcane rants over the airwaves. (audio clips after page break)
Remember the media’s love affair with George W. Bush during his first term? Me neither. But PBS’s Tavis Smiley and Rolling Stone journalist and author Michael Hastings recall such a scenario. According to Hastings, the media loved President Bush from 2001 to 2005, just as they love President Obama now: “...if you look back at the first four years of the Bush administration, the media – same sort of dynamic. There was a lot of love for George W. Bush. Remember they hated Al Gore, and Bush was their favorite. And things didn’t really go south for Bush with the media until Katrina happened, and, you know, an unpopular war.”
Hastings concluded that media bias always favors the sitting president: “So the bias - the media bias is always towards power; it’s always towards whoever’s in the White House.” Smiley seconded that notion, saying, “I’m glad you said it, and I would have said it if you didn’t, which is that there is a bias toward power.” [See video after the jump. MP3 audio here]
Perhaps Tavis Smiley and Cornel West aren't such fringe dwellers after all.
Late-night TV talk show host Smiley and occasional academic West, co-hosts of a weekend radio show, actually said yesterday that Rush Limbaugh, a figure of towering evil as far as liberals are concerned, may have made a legitimate claim about gun ownership. (audio clips after page break)
While the rest of the media were gushing and fawning over the idea that Barack Obama was going to be sworn in on Martin Luther King Jr's bible during his second inauguration Monday, a surprising voice spoke about the hypocrisy involved.
On Tuesday, PBS's Tavis Smiley aired a discussion on poverty originally broadcast on C-SPAN Thursday wherein black philosopher and activist Cornel West spoke at length about why he "got upset" when he heard Obama was going to do this (video follows with transcript and commentary, photo courtesy UPI):
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin appeared on the public-radio talk show Smiley & West over the weekend and gave his election pick: "You know, I don’t think this election is going to be all that close. I’m sorry, you know,, in my newsman hat, you know, we always want drama, we always want chaos and good stories. I think Obama is going to win this election narrowly, but comfortably. I don’t think we’re in for a long night."
When co-host Tavis Smiley asked about the talk of Superstorm Sandy being politicized, Toobin insisted "Absolutely, we should politicize them" to smack those people who think government is evil, and those global-warming skeptics should not be given equal time:
Like ambulance-chasing lawyers, the heavy-handed liberal activists who populate much of the media raced to exploit Hurricane Sandy even as the storm was lashing the East Coast last night, citing it as proof of “climate change” and a reason to oppose Mitt Romney.
Yesterday afternoon, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir started a panel discussion by claiming that “people are wondering today if the current hurricane has anything to do with global change, climate change, global warming,” and then mentioned the “right-wing nut jobs” supporting Romney.
NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday evening.
Click here for posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2009. Today, the worst bias of 2010: Journalists attack the Tea Party as Nazi “goons;” Arizona’s attempt to thwart illegal immigration is likened to the Nazi occupation of Denmark; and Katie Couric suggests a Muslim version of The Cosby Show as a remedy to American “bigotry.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Roseanne Barr made me laugh. Alas, it was 20 years ago. It was while she was a guest on Arsenio Hall's late night show and decided to rib the host. It's not often you meet a black nerd, Barr told Hall. Most nerds are white -- like you.
If Barr has said anything as piercing since, it's passed my attention. And what she said on the most recent Smiley & West radio show demonstrated how Barr has crossed the line from funny to delusional.
Actor James Earl Jones appeared on the public-radio show Smiley & West last weekend and discussed how he stuttered as a teenager. “There’s a certain terror I still have about confronting people. I can’t debate, I can’t argue, I fall apart...I cannot be an activist, for instance, because of that.”
But as Brian Maloney reported, host Tavis Smiley wanted to draw his politics out. Jones quickly obliged by saying he simply cannot get enough of watching MSNBC, even though he is the voice of CNN, and agrees with the MSNBC notion that the Tea Party must be racist to oppose Obama (audio and transcript below):
Let's call a spade a spade: the arrogance, hypocrisy and racism of Salon's Joan Walsh knows no bounds.
On PBS's Tavis Smiley Show Monday, this so-called "editor at large" had the nerve to depict some Republicans as "a white, older base that doesn’t quite understand the way healthcare works" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman said Tuesday, "We’re going to be in a lot of trouble if we don't reelect [Barack Obama] because people on the other side of the fence scare me."
In the second part of his Tavis Smiley Show interview aired Wednesday on PBS Freeman said, "Women, Hispanics, blacks, there is a large attempt, a great attempt, at disenfranchisement" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On his PBS show Monday night, Tavis Smiley welcomed liberal former Sen. Bill Bradley to discuss his political agenda, which began with repealing the Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United decisions on campaign financing. But what stood out most was Smiley ripping the Tea Party as more Republican than American.
Bradley suggested “even” the Tea Party are Americans first. “I’m just not sure that I’m persuaded,” Smiley said.
It's becoming crystal clear that President Obama stepped on his foot while taking a victory lap for the assassination of Osama bin Laden one year ago.
Joining the growing list of even liberal media members offended by this shameless act of self-promotion was PBS's Tavis Smiley who on ABC's This Week Sunday actually said, "I just hate seeing the president play into the hands of the right by running around bragging about having to off Osama bin Laden...I don't think it's presidential" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley is doing a media tour with his pal, the Marxist professor Cornel West, and no one at PBS seems to care that this underlines PBS as a hard-left media brand. Noel Sheppard noted Smiley bashing Romney on Hannity. Smiley also bashed Romney last week on the taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio show Democracy Now.
Pacifica host Amy Goodman replayed the CNN interview in which Romney told Soledad O'Brien he was not interested in the very rich or the very poor. Smiley found that showed callousness and arrogance and even a demonization of the poor:
Although the list is long and undistinguished, PBS's Tavis Smiley said possibly one of the dumbest things he's ever said on television Wednesday.
In a discussion about class warfare and the politics of envy on Fox News's Hannity show, Smiley actually said with a straight face, "No one who happens to be poor wants what Mr. Romney has" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s Tavis Smiley show on PBS, actress Annie Potts tried to claim that her ABC show “GCB” isn’t a vindictive anti-Christian Hollywood slam on red-state Texas. Potts claims it is designed by Christian creators to “disinfect” the hypocrisy out of Christianity.
“I’m getting a lot of letters and tweets and things from people who are Christian people who are happy to see the hypocrites called out,” Potts declared after mocking Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. “I think all true believers love to have hypocrisy routed out. I mean it’s – what do they say – sunshine is the best disinfectant? Put it out there. Call it what it is. You know, satire is always helpful for society.”
While virtually all of the Obama-loving, Super PAC-bashing media have given the President a pass for his campaign finance hypocrisy, PBS's Tavis Smiley stepped off the bandwagon Sunday to speak the inconvenient truth.
During his Tavis and West radio show, Smiley said Obama's "one of the worst hypocrites in the country is he now on campaign finance reform" (video follows with transcript and commentary):