The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd hears racism everywhere. She somehow managed to draw racial motivations from Joe Wilson's 'you lie!' outburst last month. That the comment may have been a valid--if poorly timed--objection to disingenuousness on the President's part was of course out of the question. Because, you know, Wilson's from South Carolina.
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post wanted Democrats to "make the world safe for tax increases." He notably accused President Bush of using "the post-Sept. 11 mood to do all he could to intimidate Democrats from raising questions more of them should have raised."
Another WaPo columnist, Eugene Robinson, suggested in 2005 that fears of a conspiracy in New Orleans to "save the French Quarter and the Garden District at the expense of the Lower Ninth Ward, which is almost all black" were not that crazy, and that the people muttering these theories were "reasonable" and "sober."
New York Times columnist Frank Rich has compared Joy Behar to Edward R. Murrow. He also attributed a large portion of the opposition to Obama to conservatives who are "irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies."
PBS anchor Gwen Ifill penned a book about the Obama campaign that contained these glowing words about inauguration day: "the romance and achievement of 1960s civil rights marches bearing fruit, as the lions of the movement mingled with the up and comers. Some had been slow to embrace Barack Obama. Some had been quick. But, this night, all wanted to bear witness..."
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert claimed that an ad attacking Barack Obama during the campaign was racist because it showed Paris Hilton and Britney Spears (in the context of criticizing Obama's celebrity) and contained the phallic (in Herbert's words) images of the Washington Monument and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
These pundits have certainly shown their willingness to shill for Obama and liberals and to decry opposition as somehow illegitimate. They all have "perspectives," and push their agendas through the media for which they report. If that makes Fox News an enemy, why are these commentators being invited to the White House?