NPR is supposed to be a very, very civil space to talk. But apparently not when NPR stations air the weekend talk show of PBS star Tavis Smiley and his Marxist professor friend, Cornel West. Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer was disturbed by West alleging the media and the politicians only care about the "vanilla side of town" and the hosts were "laughing hysterically at a 'kill Whitey' joke." Their guest was 1970s Saturday Night Live star Garrett Morris. Maloney asked, "Can you imagine jokes about killing black people airing on NPR?"
PBS host and leftist activist Tavis Smiley called out Republican candidates for their hostility to the poor in America, on Thursday morning on MSNBC. Appearing during the 7 a.m. hour of Morning Joe, he singled out four candidates by name and warned that "we're in a world of trouble" due to their campaign trail rhetoric.
As a PBS host, Smiley benefits from public funding. That has not stopped him in the past for making outrageous liberal remarks, and it didn't stop him on Thursday when he railed against a Congressional "bipartisan consensus that the poor just don't matter." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Hosting two far-left activists, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux teed them up with "controversial" quotes from Republican presidential hopefuls that she said "people found quite offensive and strange." The interview with PBS's Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West aired during the 12 p.m. hour of Newsroom. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Unsurprisingly, the duo bashed Republicans and hit President Obama from the left. Malveaux simply provided a podium for them to proclaim their liberal gospel. The two "controversial" soundbites that were aired were quotes from candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum:
How do you get a liberal talk radio host to do your bidding?
Easy. Just threaten his future invitations to White House events if you are a Democrat president. Such was apparently the case with Tavis Smiley of the Smiley & West radio show which he co-hosts with Cornell West. According to Politico, Smiley was recently ousted as the speaker of the upcoming Martin Luther King luncheon.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter marked the 15th anniversary of Fox News on the front of Monday’s Business section with a profile of host Sean Hannity, whose program has been a channel mainstay from the beginning: “Victory Lap for Fox and Hannity.”
Stelter wasn’t hostile, but did use something a guest said on Hannity’s show to accuse Hannity of instigating “inflammatory rhetoric.” But another Stelter story in the same section failed to criticize a left-wing figure, Tavis Smiley, who engages in truly inflammatory rhetoric from a secure public perch at PBS.
To answer Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's claim that racism is not a big factor in African-American unemployment, CNN brought on radical left-wing activists Professor Cornel West of Princeton and Tavis Smiley of PBS, both of who co-host a public radio talk show.
Not-surprisingly, West and Smiley, both African-Americans, ripped Cain's comments. West griped that Cain needs to "get off the symbolic crack pipe" and added that he has "mediocrity, mendacity, mean-spiritedness toward the poor, and now mean-spiritedness toward black people fighting for their lives in this very ugly economy." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley interviewed Michael Moore on Monday night, and it wasn’t hardball time. Smiley asked: “What about growing up in Flint allowed you, moved you, in the direction of being the humanist that you are?” He also explicitly compared Moore to Martin Luther King, both seeking a “vocation of agony.”
But Smiley stayed true to his record of whacking President Obama from the left, asking Moore if he is finally seeing the light about “the venom and the vitriol and the vulgarity of the enemy that he’s up against?” Smiley isn't looking in the mirror. He means the conservatives.
A skirmish broke out on Morning Joe today as PBS host Tavis Smiley claimed President George W. Bush "lied" the USA into the war in Iraq. Joe Scarborough and--surprisingly--Jon Meacham forcefully refuted Smiley's slur.
Scarborough unwittingly provoked the incident when, commenting on yesterday's 9-11 observances, he called for a Kumbaya moment in which Americans would put aside politics and thank presidents Bush and Obama for keeping the country safe. That set Smiley off: "the reality is that one of those guys lied to the American people"--and the fight was on. View video after the jump.
A taxpayer who doesn’t favor Barack Obama might not mind subsidizing a show where he’s attacked as unserious about the country’s problems. But with PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley, it’s been a relentless attack on Obama from the left. Everything he’s done isn’t half-socialist enough.
... which helps explain why conservative radio continues to dominate the airwaves while Air America Radio, uh, went kaput.
During a recent appearance on Tavis Smiley's PBS show, enviro lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose "Ring of Fire" show ran on Air America, made what reasonable souls among us might construe as a questionable claim.
Here's Kennedy responding to a question from Smiley on how liberals can better hone their message (video clip after page break) --
After radical Princeton professor Cornel West savagely attacked President Obama as a Wall Street mascot and puppet, it would hardly be surprising that PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley would provide him a forum on Wednesday night to repeat his analysis – after all, Smiley and West host a public-radio show together. But it’s still amazing that he doesn’t see his insults as very insulting:
SMILEY: Did he have to be called a Black mascot and a Black puppet? There are those who suggested that you were petty, for a man who talks as much about love as you do, that you were petty for using terminology like "mascot" and "puppet."
WEST: Well, one, I am the kind of Christian, I love mascots. I love puppets, too.
PBS's Tavis Smiley offered his own half-baked assumptions Friday on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders. The far-left anchor dismissed the GOP field as a bunch of nobodies on the 9 a.m. EDT hour of CNN Newsroom.
"You can't beat somebody with nobody," he quipped when asked what GOP contender poses the biggest threat to President Obama's re-election. "I don't see somebody yet that the president should be all that concerned about, at least to the point of losing sleep."
Smiley also hit Obama for not doing more to help unemployed African-Americans. He assumed the reason Obama is hesitant to do so is his fear of accusations of being "tribal."
A PBS viewer might be surprised that Tavis Smiley might recognize the killing of Osama bin Laden as a newsworthy event, since he believes Christians kill people in bombings every day in America. But on the day after the Osama mission succeeded, Smiley went straight to the radical left for the official PBS reaction. There's your tax dollars at work again, providing a megaphone for The Nation magazine and Pacifica Radio in the person of Jeremy Scahill, who brought the usual radical buzzkill. He described his mood as somber over the "idiotic" cheering that signals American "blood lust."
SMILEY: Does that mean that you had your stomach turned by all the cheering and jubilation outside the White House?
SCAHILL: Well, I think that quite frankly it’s idiotic to treat these kinds of international events like sporting events, like it’s the World Cup that we’re cheering for here. I think in a way it really is insulting to those who’ve lost loved ones in these wars and who lost loved ones on 9/11, to trivialize it by jumping up and down like that.
Tavis Smiley on Tuesday said the upcoming presidential race is "going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this republic."
When MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked his guest on "The Last Word" why he thought so, the PBS host predictably blamed it all on the Tea Party and Donald Trump (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Today show actually gave Tavis Smiley an opportunity to criticize the President, but it was from the left, as the PBS commentator claimed that Barack Obama has devoted "too much attention to the rich and the lucky."
Invited on Monday's show to promote his new book Fail Up: 20 Lessons On Building Success From Failure, Smiley was prompted by NBC's Ann Curry about what he thought was Obama's "greatest failure has been so far?" To which Smiley responded by listing a litany of liberal grievances against this president , as seen in the following exchange:
As part of the political panel on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, PBS host Tavis Smiley decried the recent budget deal in Congress to fund the government through the rest of 2011: "I believe that budgets are moral documents....And I'm not so sure that this is not anything more than an immoral document where the poor are concerned."
Smiley went on to lament how the budget negotiations "effectively locked out the American people, namely, the poor." He further ranted: "I don't understand why it is in this town that every debate about money always begins and ends with how we can further reward the rich and more punish the poor. I don't get that."
It’s not surprising that PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley would replay an old interview upon the death of Warren Christopher, Secretary of State in Bill Clinton's first term and chief hostage negotiator/Deputy Secretary of State to Jimmy Carter. On Monday night’s show, Smiley closed by quoting Clinton in tribute: “Warren Christopher had the lowest ratio of ego to accomplishment of any public servant I have ever worked with.”
Conservatives would quibble about how much Carter aides can boast about their management of the Iranian hostage crisis. But if Christopher had a small ego, the Smiley interview (rebroadcast from 2006) was a model of how blatantly a host can try to expand it through aerobic flattery. (Try the line “I’m going to consider myself one of your children.”) If PBS wonders why they’re branded as DNC-TV, take a look. Smiley began to bowing to Christopher’s very “dapper” fashion sense:
Tavis Smiley is a hard-left talk show host on PBS. (He should admit that, since he authored a book called Hard Left.) You might remember him as the man that proclaimed that Christians "blow up people every day" in America. On his Facebook page today, Smiley promotes an interview he gave to one Myron Mays, where he talks about how he does "the Lord's work" on PBS:
PBS is a network that is watched by movers and shakers and by people who run the country, power players and other influencers. It's a great platform for us to try to empower them and try to enlighten them and quite frankly try to expand their inventory of ideas. It's a great platform to try to get them to reexamine the assumptions they hold. I think we're doing the Lord's work.
When Smiley talks of America's movers and shakers needing to "expand their inventory of ideas," he means expand it leftward. Smiley has gained a reputation as a "nitpicker" against Obama for not spending enough on African-American needs. He told Mays:
Bill Maher and Tavis Smiley got into a heated debate Friday about the difference between the treatment of women in America versus in Muslim countries.
When Smiley continually asserted on HBO's "Real Time" that women are maltreated here, Maher said, "It's such bulls--t," and eventually ended the discussion by scolding the PBS host, "When you tolerate intolerance, you’re not really being a liberal” (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The liberal press likes to scold what it sees as lapses in civil rhetoric, usually from conservatives who fail to properly respect the icons of the Left. But as documented by the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2010, the media elite itself lurched into some pretty uncivil rhetoric this year — especially when the targets were Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party and other conservatives.
On Monday’s Tavis Smiley show on PBS, during a discussion with author Robert Putnam to discuss his book American Grace, after Putnam recounted the central thesis that various religions in America - and even non-religious people - tend to tolerate each other well compared to other countries, host Smiley made known his view that tolerance is "decreasing" in America and cited attitudes toward Muslims as a recent example. Smiley:
I'm not so sure that our religiosity these days makes us as tolerant as we think we are. Witness, you know, any number of examples of late - namely, Muslims come to mind - about how our tolerance is, it seems to me, decreasing, not increasing.
Moments later, the PBS host brought up the negative views of America held by some as being a nation that is "arrogant," "elitist," "pompous," and "nationalistic." As he analyzed the book’s title by defining the word "grace" as being "unmerited favor," Smiley continued:
And if American grace is then an unmerited favor, I’m trying to juxtapose that grace with what some see as our increasing arrogance, our increasing elitism, how it is that we could be the beneficiaries of this unmerited favor, this grace, and yet, around the world, we don’t appear to be graceful to so many other people. They see us as arrogant, elitist pompous, and not even just patriotic, but increasingly nationalistic.
Time's Joe Klein, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and CBS's Lesley Stahl were just three journalists to see an outrageously biased quote of theirs land in the Best of Notable Quotables 2010.
A panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers chose the winners, and our news analysts introduce them and a few others in this highlight lowlight reel put together by Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks:
PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley guest-hosted on CNN's Larry King Live on Tuesday night, and perhaps unsurprisingly, encouraged the view that there's racism in the congressional ethics investigations of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. "Facts are facts. The names that keep coming out happen to be members of the Congressional Black Caucus."
Smiley never seemed to consider whether the charges had merit -- on the content of these politicians' character -- only on the color of their skin. He asked actress Aisha Tyler about this alleged outbreak of racism in the Democrat-dominated Congress, and Tyler unleashed an attack on Rush Limbaugh for suggesting the media thinks Michelle Obama's entitled to a lavish vacation in Spain because of America's sordid racial past:
Apparently, Tavis Smiley of PBS knows what's best for Gulf residents, even if it would mean widespread unemployment.
Smiley hosted a Wednesday night interview with Rep. Henry Waxman (D) on his show, where the liberal Californian admitted that while alternative energy sources need to be explored and developed, America still needs to drill for oil, albeit safely.
But Smiley wondered aloud how American can move beyond politics and transcend its oil-dependent energy policy. He thought Obama's Oval Office speech was one that "most people, left and right, seem not to like."
"How do you move beyond the politics to make that happen?" Smiley then asked Waxman, even though, as he himself claimed, most of the country was not enamored with Obama's words.
Smiley also brought up the Gulf residents' clamors to keep oil drilling alive there. "I say this respectfully, because I understand how their economy works down there," he said, before asking why Gulf residents are hesitant to "move beyond oil drilling."
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler on Tueday addressed Tavis Smiley's claim that Christian terrorists commit far more violence than Muslim ones. Smiley also issued a statement that defended his comments, though it misrepresented what those comments actually were.
"I don't think he made his case, or even came close," Getler said. He rightfully noted that the 2000 Columbine massacre, Smiley's only example of supposed Christian terrorism, "had nothing to do with Christianity." In fact, as Brent Bozell noted in his column today, the shooters even "mocked students who cried out for God to save them."
Though Getler should be applauded for noting Smiley's total failure to offer a convincing argument, he seems to suggest that a convincing case could be made, but simply wasn't in this instance. "One would think," Getler states, "that Smiley would have been better prepared to make what was certain to be a controversial case."
PBS station managers made a big push last year to drive any trace of “sectarian” Christianity out of the taxpayer-funded broadcasting system, banning any church services or religious lectures that appeared on a handful of stations. They ultimately compromised and banned any new church programming. But on at least one program, PBS sounds like it’s declaring war on Christianity, including smears on Christianity that are not based on reality.
If that sounds shocking, imagine what the average Christian PBS viewer might have thought as he watched Tavis Smiley’s weeknight talk show on May 25. The guest was ex-Muslim and atheist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, there to promote her latest book, “Nomad.” Smiley claims to be a Christian, but he attacked Ms. Ali for “idealizing Christianity” and recklessly turning people away from Islam.
Right out of the box, Smiley was out to make a point. “You say unapologetically and rather frankly that your mission here is to inform the West about the danger of Islam,” he began. “What danger do we need to be made aware of?”
Tavis Smiley has apparently been asleep for the last ten years. That, at least, is the only logical explanation for his claim that Christains engage in terrorism far more often than Muslims. He also thinks the Tea Party is a comparably dangerous force to radical Islam.
"There are so many more examples of Christians who do that," Smiley claimed, referring to terrorism, "than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country where you live and work." He was discussing terrorism with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born writer and former member of the Dutch Parliament.
Ali claims it is her mission to "inform the West about the danger of Islam," but Smiley was more concerned with the danger posed by Tea Party protesters, who "are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people." None of those claims are true, but then again the segment was replete with falsehoods (Full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Greg Hengler).
NBC Meet the Press anchor David Gregory appeared on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on Tuesday night, and Smiley was outraged at Rand Paul for canceling on Gregory: "I was waiting for you to walk on the set, assuming that there would be steam coming out your ears, but I assume you calmed down now about Rand Paul canceling on you. How often does that happen, when people cancel on "Meet the Press?"
Gregory said a review found there's only been three cancellations, the others by Louis Farrakhan and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. Gregory said he thought the cancellation wasn't personal, but was about Paul feeling overexposed. Smiley followed up: "But is there a lesson to learn, though, from that strategy of ducking the national press? Sounds Sarah-Palinesque, ducking the national media."
Smiley said this at a time when President Obama hadn't held a full-blown press conference in more than 300 days. How is it only "Palinesque" to avoid the press? And doesn't it make more sense for Palin to avoid the liberal media than the often-hallowed Barack Obama? Gregory added: