CBS’s Harry Smith: A Profile in Bias

From time to time, our analysts at the Media Research Center have compiled in one location the research we have in our files on a major news celebrity. By pulling all of the worst quotes and video clips into a single Web page, we hope that these “Profiles in Bias” can be a useful resource for anyone looking into the topic of media bias or looking for background on a network news personality.

This summer, we’re pulling together reports on the big morning news anchors. MRC’s Kyle Drennen, who watches The Early Show for us, has assembled all of the worst bias from CBS’s Harry Smith, who has co-hosted the show since 2002. Previously, Smith co-hosted CBS’s This Morning from 1987 to 1996; he also occasionally fills in as host of Face the Nation and anchor of the CBS Evening News.

The package Kyle assembled, “A Smattering of Harry Smith’s Liberal Smugness,” contains the worst quotes from the past 20 years. A sample of what he uncovered in his research follows the jump; for the full package, including nearly a dozen video clips, visit

Enthralled with Barack Obama

“As the nation prepares for President-elect Barack Obama to move into the White House, many Americans can’t help but draw similarities between him and the late President John F. Kennedy....The similarities are striking. JFK was 43 when he was inaugurated. Obama is just three years older, bringing a certain youthful vigor to the White House, including, young children....Kennedy had more than his share of charisma and Obama knows how to light up a room. But it’s their wives who might be the real superstars.”
– Smith on The Early Show, November 7, 2008.

America the Racist

“Twenty-three percent of the young black men in America are behind bars, on probation or on parole. As surely as an assembly line, America turns thousands of innocent black children into castoffs....It’s one of the accomplishments of America’s system of apartheid.”
– CBS This Morning, March 2, 1990.

The Reagan-Bush Regime vs. America

“[Ronald Reagan] talked about being proud of what’s happened with the economy, about the millions of new jobs that have been created. And as I listened to that, I also thought one out of five babies born in the United States are born into poverty. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country now that are homeless, have no place to live. I wonder, how does your father reconcile that in his mind?”
– To Maureen Reagan on the January 12, 1989 CBS This Morning, the morning after President Reagan’s farewell address.  [Audio/video (0:42): WMV | Mp3]

“[President Bush] was remarkably upbeat for a man who runs a country with a monstrous national debt, huge balance of trade problems, a crumbling infrastructure, dirty air, countless homeless people, a coast-to-coast drug epidemic, and a faltering self-image.”
– The morning after the State of the Union address, CBS This Morning, February 2, 1990.

Damn Those Scary and Mean Conservatives

“You talk about victims and victimhood in America, which I think is a serious problem. On the other hand, the more I listen to your complaints, the more I kept thinking, well, you’re the whiner. You’re the one who’s claiming victimhood here. That you’re the victim of this great left-wing conspiracy....You should — you should have a cross. You should put yourself up on a cross.”
– Scolding conservative author Ann Coulter about her new book Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America, on the January 6, 2009 Early Show.

Harry’s Liberal Heroes

“Brad and Angelina, Charles and Diana, Burton and Taylor, and you can count Bill and Hillary’s union as one of the most scrutinized marriages of our time. A simple Google search reveals there are more than 40 books about this still young couple. They met in law school — two bookish, wonkish, idealistic kids who somehow transformed themselves into political rock stars.”
– Introducing an interview with Sally Bedell Smith, author of a new book on the Clintons, on the October 23, 2007 Early Show.

Fighting the War in Iraq

“You know, I remember being in Iraq...a couple of weeks before the war started and it came — it was really, really clear to me on the ground that this didn’t make any sense....And if I have a regret in my reporting life that I didn’t stand up then and say, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.’”
– On CBS’s Early Show, May 15, 2009.

Guns Don’t Kill People, the Constitution Does

“A constitutional right which gun lovers have lorded over us for years. But the right to bear arms has blossomed into the right to deliver instruments of certain death into the hands of people who probably aren’t sportsmen and probably aren’t collectors...While our children are being gunned down by thugs and criminals, we continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by a gun lobby which refuses to budge on issues which make simple common sense....Constitutional rights? Ask the parents of the children who were shot this summer about the right to bear arms. They bear only the pain of their loss.”
– Smith in his Friday CBS This Morning feature “The Record of Who We Are,” August 31, 1990.

Promoting Global Warming Hysteria

Co-anchor Julie Chen: “You’ve taken personal action. Tell me what are some of the changes you’ve made in your day to day life.”
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio: “I try to live a ‘green lifestyle,’ quote/unquote. I mean, I’ve, I’ve done the things that I can do in my house to make it, my house green, energy efficient appliances. I drive a hybrid car. I have solar panels.”
Chen: “Where did this passion come from?...”
Co-anchor Harry Smith: “He’s such a smart guy.”
Chen: “He is a smart guy and he’s such a great spokesperson to have for this very important cause.”
– CBS’s Early Show promoting The 11th Hour, DiCaprio’s apocalyptic movie about global warming, August 13, 2007.

When Harry Met Al: A Love Story

Co-host Harry Smith: “President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The President said yesterday we’re not going to participate....If you were President, you would have probably signed on?”
Former Vice President Al Gore: “Yeah, yeah.”
Smith: “Do you mind if I-? [holds up a ‘Gore 2008’ pin]...There you go. You can hold it. [laughter]....Here, let’s see what it looks like.” [holds pin to Gore’s lapel]...All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.”
– Exchange on CBS’s Early Show, May 30, 2007.

Rich Noyes
Rich Noyes
Rich Noyes is the Senior Editor for Newsbusters