Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters
Brad Wilmouth is a former Media Research Center news analyst and an alumnus of the University of Virginia.
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On Tuesday's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, recurring MSNBC guest Ron Fournier -- formerly of AP -- provocatively claimed that President Donald Trump "has blood on his hands" over Syria during a discussion of President Trump's history of criticizing President Barack Obama's reaction to the Syrian civil war. Fournier: "And it's not good enough to talk about the red line that Barack Obama drew and then walked away from. Donald Trump is the one who's now walking away from this crisis. He's now the one who has blood on his hands. He's the one who's got to step up and lead the world."
On Monday's Tavis Smiley show, PBS's Smiley hosted Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative as part of a week devoted to commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's speech against the Vietnam War at Riverside Church.Toward the end of the show, Stevenson went over the top as he called America a "post-genocide society," asserting that the U.S. had killed Native Americans "by the millions," and then declared that slavery did not really end in 1865, but "evolved" instead.
In multiple appearances on CNN on Monday, CNN political commentator and Spectrum News political anchor Errol Louis fretted over the Republican effort to bar the filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Louis called such a move "radical action" as he appeared on CNN's New Day, and, appearing later on CNN Newsroom, he worried that such an action would begin a precedent that would result in the Supreme Court "greatly denuded from what the Founders wanted," and becoming "just a branch of the Senate, in effect." Over the weekend on New Day Saturday, Louis was notably also still agitated over retired General Michael Flynn leading "lock her up" chants against Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign as the CNN commentator declared that it was "one of the ugliest moments in politics I've ever seen in 30 years."
On Saturday's AM Joy, MSNBC host Joy Reid lauded guest Jason Johnson of The Root for lecturing the ACU's Matt Schlapp earlier in the week about racism. Johnson touched off a tense exchange with Schlapp when he insisted that "You don't get to tell other people what racism is." On Saturday, Johnson renewed his attack on Schlapp as he snarked; "I think he was angry and intimidated about the fact that an African-American man told him that he is not the arbiter of racism. And I think that's what it boils down to."
As father and son comedy writers and liberal activists Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner appeared as guests on Friday's Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, the two lamented that former President Barack Obama -- whom Carl called "the smartest President we've had since way back" -- was replaced by President Donald Trump -- whom Rob derided as "clearly mentally unstable." A bit later, Rob Reiner blamed "racism" that was "unleashed" after Obama's election for the Republican-controlled Senate blocking him from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, as he seemed to tie in birtherism and declared that "all of that is about delegitimizing an African-American person and everything that's followed from that."
As CNN's Jeffrey Toobin appeared as a panel member on Wednesday's CNN Tonight, the network's senior legal analyst was wound up with anti-Republican sentiments as he derided Republican Rep. Devin Nunes as either "clueless" or "corrupt," whined that "sanctimonious" FBI director James Comey "beat Hillary Clinton," and dismissed talk of the Clinton Foundation accepting money from Russia as "talk radio nonsense." Toobin: "What a bunch of sanctimonious nonsense. You know, there's the guy who beat Hillary Clinton by breaking Justice Department policy and announcing investigations of Hillary Clinton on the eve of the election. ... What a bunch of nonsense that was."
On Monday's The View on ABC, as the group discussed Ted Koppel's recent interview with Sean Hannity in which he accused the conservative FNC host of being bad for the country, liberal co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Joy Behar all wrongly accused Fox News of promoting birtherism conspiracy theories against President Barack Obama. Ironically, a Nexis search reveals many examples of FNC anchors over the years disputing the conspiracy theories that Obama was born in Kenya, as they repeatedly made known their belief that he was born in Hawaii and that those who claimed otherwise were misguided.
Appearing as a guest on Friday's Hardball, MSNBC's Joy Reid claimed that Donald Trump's voters wanted him to "get all the brown people" off Obamacare instead of themselves. And then, following up on her AM Joy show the next morning, she hosted New York magazine columnist Frank Rich to discuss his latest article, "No Sympathy for the Hillbilly," in which he argued that Democrats are misguided in thinking that spending more time being sympathetic to Trump voters will lead them to future electoral success as they should work to boost their base turnout instead.
On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, far-left comedian Bill Maher made plenty of room for crass and hyperbolic attacks on President Donald Trump. The show featured everything from incest jokes about Ivanka Trump to offering a serious warning that President Trump might follow Adolf Hitler's lead in bringing "fascism" to America after a terrorist attack reminiscent of the burning of the Germany Reichstag building in the 1930s.
CNN political analyst David Gergen's recent hyperbolic claim that Donald Trump may have had the worst first 100 days of any President in history was so over the top that even his CNN colleagues are still laughing at him the day after. On Saturday's CNN Newsroom, after right-leaning actor and former Gergen subordinate Ben Stein jabbed his former boss by recalling how bad Abraham Lincoln's first 100 days were, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein joined in by noting that William Henry Harrison died in his first month, inspiring laughter from Stein and CNN host Ana Cabrera. Gergen notably made an appearance on CNN Newsroom a couple of hours later and doubled down, claiming Trump's first 100 days may have been worse than Lincoln's.
On Thursday's CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon picked up on Democrats hyping a photograph of President Donald Trump meeting with the House Freedom Caucus because all members of the conservative group are white men. Lemon recalled a friend of his who cracked that "the only thing brown in that picture is the table," while CNN analysts Nia-Malika Henderson and David Gergen also weighed in to fret over the lack of diversity. Debating three panel members who were arguing from the left, conservative CNN political commentator Jack Kingston only got a modest amount of help from CNN political analyst Mark Preston in making the point that the White House had met with other groups other than just the Freedom Caucus.
On Thursday's Tavis Smiley show, PBS host Smiley made one of the most over the top analogies one will hear in the health care debate as he likened the repeal of ObamaCare to a "drive-by" shooting that would "kill" people who are "innocent bystanders" as he hosted liberal activist Sister Simone Campbell as his guest. Smiley wondered how Speaker Paul Ryan views people who might suffer if ObamaCare were repealed: "They may not be the targets, but there are often innocent victims who are -- the bystanders.They get hit in a drive-by. Somebody came through there to kill somebody -- and you weren't the target, but you got killed as an innocent bystander. Does he not -- so if he doesn't see them as the targets, does he see them as potentially innocent persons who are going to get killed in this drive-by?"
As former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte appeared as a guest on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss the Neil Gorsuch nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, host Mitchell brought up "bitterness" from Democrats about the Senate's refusal to take up President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland last year. She ended up claiming that former Vice President Joe Biden was "taken out of context, with all due respect," after Republican Ayotte started to recall that, in 1992, then-Senator Biden advocated blocking action on any potential Supreme Court vacancies until after the election.
On Tuesday's Tavis Smiley show on PBS, as New York magazine's Andrew Sullivan appeared as a guest to discuss current political events, host Smiley at one point fretted that -- because Republicans denied President Barack Obama the chance to appoint Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court -- they were "trampling" on the Constitution, and oddly asked if they might ignore other parts of the Constitution like the abolition of slavery or the right for women to vote. Suggesting that Republicans violated the Constitution in blocking Judge Garland, Smiley whined: "It was, to be sure, a violation of democratic norms, but it was more than that. To me, it was a trampling on the Constitution by the Republican party who did not give Mr. Garland a hearing. ... He was obligated to put forth that nomination, and they were obligated to take it up, I believe, and vote up or down. So it wasn't just a violation or an abrogation of norms, it was a trampling on one of our most precious documents."
On Saturday's AM Joy on MSNBC, during a discussion of the defeat of right-wing politician Geert Wilders's political party in the Netherlands, MSNBC analyst Christopher Dickey derided Donald Trump as a "right-wing extremist" and "lunatic" who is "nuts" as he theorized that Europeans are rejecting such politicians because of the U.S. President. And recurring MSNBC guest and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin declared that GOP ideology under Trump is "abhorrent" as she declared that "I don't consider myself a Republican any longer."
On Friday's PBS NewsHour, the show's regular "Shields and Brooks" segment unintentionally summed up the major problem conservatives have with the show -- that there is no actual conservative panel member giving a contrasting point of view against liberal columnist Mark Shields as he and New York Times columnist David Brooks often show little disagreement when discussing the week's political news. As the two men were both critical of Republicans over both ObamaCare repeal and the White House budget, not only did Shields at one point declare that "I can't argue with any point that David (Brooks) made," but a bit later, host Judy Woodruff observed that "both of you are saying the same thing." Shields then joked: "What? I hope not. I mean, there's no point in watching."
On Thursday's CNN Tonight, Don Lemon hosted a discussion in which he suggested that black Americans would "lose" in President Donald Trump's budget in spite of Trump asking black voters during the campaign, "what do you have to lose?" As conservative CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Paris Dennard was outnumbered 4-1 -- facing off with two liberals guests, a liberal host and a right-leaning guest who was critical of Trump's budget -- Dennard jousted with Lemon and at one point was admonished by the host to "let other people speak" even though Dennard was not the one speaking at the time.
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's CNN Tonight, comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell declared that he was "more offended" by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouting, "You lie!" at President Barack Obama than he was at the depiction of President Donald Trump being shot at, during a discussion of Snoop Dogg's controversial rap video. Host Don Lemon oddly proclaimed that he was not bothered by the video "except for the gun part where he shoots," even though that scene is the primary reason people are criticizing it.
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Charlie Rose on PBS, allegedly right-leaning New York Times columnist David Brooks was negative on House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan to replace ObamaCare as he hyperbolically claimed that it amounted to "declaring war on" those who voted for President Donald Trump as he predicted as many as 15 million people would be "denied insurance."
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's CNN Newsroom to promote the latest episode of his series Believer, CNN host Reza Aslan tried to tie recent bomb threats against Jewish community centers to "rhetoric that's coming out of the White House." It was not mentioned that many of the threats are believed by law enforcement to have originated overseas, or that the one man who has been charged for a small portion of them was an anti-Trump liberal.