A liberal, NBC smugfest invaded CNN on Wednesday. Former Today co-host Meredith Vieira appeared with her husband, journalist Richard M. Cohen, on Piers Morgan. Cohen railed against Christian conservatives as the "American equivalent of the Taliban." In another segment, CNBC regular Donny Deutsch, who guest hosted for Morgan, bashed "vicious bully" Rush Limbaugh.
Deutsch began a discussion on Republican chances in 2012 by playing a clip of a new Planned Parenthood ad attacking the GOP. Cohen, a former producer for CBS and CNN, smeared, "...They remind me of sort of the American equivalent of the Taliban. You know, they want to drag women back to a different point in time." His wife, a longtime anchor at NBC, didn't refute this attack. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Vieira dodged, trying not to respond to her husband's comments. She allowed that "there are women who don't believe in Planned Parenthood" and added, "But I walk a fine line because I am a journalist. I can't really give my opinion."
Regarding a supposed anti-woman, prejudiced attitude amongst Republicans, Deutsch insisted, "The Republicans can not win with a 20 percent gender gap. They've gone from five to 20 percent down."
Deutsch himself got into trouble for a racially tinged remark on February 23, 2010. Appearing on the Joy Behar Show, Deutsch mocked then-candidate Marco Rubio as a "coconut." According to Urban Dictionary, this is someone who is "tan on the outside" and "white on the inside." He later apologized.
In a previous segment, Deutsch interviewed Michael J. Fox. He bashed Rush Limbaugh as "more than bully. That's a vicious bully."
A partial transcript of the March 14 segment can be found below:
DONNY DEUTSCH: Okay, DNC, a new ad. I want to watch it and I want you guys to talk about it.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.
DEUTSCH: Okay, Richard, you're a political writer. The Republicans can not win with a 20 percent gender gap. They've gone from five to 20 percent down. You see that ad, forget politics aside, what is your reaction, just from getting somebody elected?
RICHARD M. COHEN: Planned Parenthood for the Christian right is a symbol. And all he has to do is say those two words. You know, they- they remind me of sort of the American equivalent of the Taliban. You know, they want to drag women back to a different point in time.
And yes, there's this huge gender gap. And they're not just going to lose independents. They're going to lose Republican women.
DEUTSCH: Meredith, as a journalist, as a woman, you see -- and we can play hours of various candidates, various both media people on the left and right and candidates, but mostly on the right, just basically saying women, we don't -- you know, on a mass level, that's okay. What am I missing here. They can't win this way?
VIEIRA: I agree with you. But they obviously appeal to a certain segment of the population, including some women who would agree with that statement. There are women who don't believe in Planned Parenthood. And I think that they're speaking to them as well. But I walk a fine line because I am a journalist. I can't really give my opinion.
DEUTSCH: It's neither a question of whether you're pro-choice or anti-abortion. It's a question of strategically, I can't understand how these guys think they're going to get elected just taking such a staunch line there. They've got to play the base obviously now. But is it going to come back to bite them?
COHEN: I have never seen the Republican party dragged this far to the right in the primary process. And I think it's the influence of Santorum. And I think people are afraid of him. I think he has an appeal to the activists who tend to be -- the activists tend to be the pro-life people, the Christian right.
DEUTSCH: I will have to say one thing that is very interesting, and this goes back to a theory I have always, that people vote for people and not issues. I disagree with just about everything Santorum stands for.
VIEIRA: We just had this conversation. He's authentic.
DEUTSCH: He's a real guy. I don't dislike him. Whereas Romney is up there, and that's what he's connecting with. I stand up there and I just go, but I respect the guy. I disagree with everything he says. And that's what people want.
VIEIRA: But his story remains true. He's always true to who he is. And I think you feel that whether you agree with him or not.