PBS Guests Fret 'Dangerous' Trump, 'Militant' Sessions, FNC Jabbing Al Gore

Twice this week, PBS's Tavis Smiley show has hosted guests from the far-left The Nation magazine, giving them an unchallenged forum to promote their views of the Trump administration and Republicans.

On Tuesday, John Nichols, the Washington Correspondent for The Nation -- while promoting his book Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse -- fearmongered about "militant anti-immigration" Attorney General Jeff Sessions having a "nefarious" record on civil rights. He went on to warn of the "awful things" that could be done by the Trump White House that "could reverse decades -- our entire lifetimes, it could reverse the progress that we've made."

On Thursday, guest Joan Walsh, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, accused Republicans of denying the existence of global warming because of money, and then tied in Fox News as she bemoaned that the news network "made a joke out of climate change" and portrayed Al Gore as a "lunatic."

 

 

Early in his appearance, Nichols accused Sessions of having a "nefarious tenure" as a U.S. attorney who then was elected to the U.S. Senate where he became a "militant anti-immigration, anti-immigrant rights player." Nichols:

After Jeff Sessions's nefarious tenure as a U.S. attorney in Alabama -- his actions in regard to civil rights and voting rights -- and he was turned down for a federal judgeship -- he remade himself politically. He came back into politics, ultimately became a United States Senator, and sort of changed his game just a little to be in this militant anti-immigration, anti-immigrant rights player.

He then complained that Sessions has had supporters who are "incredibly intolerant" as he added: "Jeff Sessions comes with a constituency built up over many decades, and that constituency advocates for an incredibly intolerant view not just on immigration, but on a host of issues."

Smiley then cued up his left-wing guest to complain about the "damage" the Trump administration would do, leading Nichols to invoke the biblical "Apocalypse":

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TAVIS SMILEY: How much damage can they do -- assuming they have best case scenario four years, worst case scenario eight years -- how much damage can they really do?

NICHOLS: They can transform America, and that's why I came up with the word "Trumpocalyse." We all understand the biblical concept of an apocalyse.

The left-wing journalist further worried: "And that transformation could reverse decades -- our entire lifetimes, it could reverse the progress that we've made. And, as a country, we can't afford that."

After Nichols warned of all the "awful things" that could be done by Trump's appointees in various government agencies, Smiley concluded the interview by smiling and looking at the camera to address his viewers: "Sleep on that tonight."

A couple of days later, when Walsh appeared on Thursday's show, host Smiley fretted over Republicans believing global warming is a "hoax," leading Walsh to complain:

I think they are so beholden to their donors in the petrochemical industry and the extractive industry category that they really have a major stake in not seeing the truth or not admitting the truth. I think a lot of them are too smart not to see it, Tavis, but there is a real -- there's an industry built around climate denialism...

 

 

She soon placed some of the blame on Fox News:

And I think that they have a media empire in Fox News that has, you know, made a joke out of climate change and likes to, you know, talk about how much snow we're getting and "there's no global warming," that, you know, depicted former Vice President Al Gore as some kind of a lunatic for his very correct and earnest and sincere and sober -- not crazy at all -- warnings over the last two decades.

Transcripts follow:

#Tuesday, September 5:

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION MAGAZINE: After Jeff Sessions's nefarious tenure as a U.S. attorney in Alabama -- his actions in regard to civil rights and voting rights -- and he was turned down for a federal judgeship -- he remade himself politically. He came back into politics, ultimately became a United States Senator, and sort of changed his game just a little to be in this militant anti-immigration, anti-immigrant rights player.

(...)

NICHOLS: Jeff Sessions comes with a constituency built up over many decades, and that constituency advocates for an incredibly intolerant view not just on immigration, but on a host of issues.

(...)

TAVIS SMILEY: How much damage can they do -- assuming they have best case scenario four years, worst case scenario eight years -- how much damage can they really do?

NICHOLS: They can transform America, and that's why I came up with the word "Trumpocalyse." We all understand the biblical concept of an apocalyse.

(...)

NICHOLS: And that transformation could reverse decades -- our entire lifetimes, it could reverse the progress that we've made. And, as a country, we can't afford that.

(...)

NICHOLS: Donald Trump has empowered people at agencies in places we don't even pay attention to overseeing banking, overseeing environmental protection, overseeing all sorts of major, major aspects of our lives. And as long as they are there, as long as they are doing their bidding, even if at the end of the day, Donald Trump were to take a month off and just lie in bed and not even tweet, right, not even do anything, just take the month off, awful things would be happening. And a deconstruction of the regulatory state and really of America as we want it to be, would continue because of these people who frankly much of the media rarely even cover.

SMILEY (looks into the camera and smiles): Sleep on that tonight.

#Thursday, September 7:

TAVIS SMILEY: How is it, to your mind, Joan, that Republicans will continue to deny the science -- how will they with a straight face continue to say that climate change is a hoax -- how will they continue to say that global warming is a joke -- how do they continue that? It's one thing to have a political point of view -- it's one thing to deny the science, but the reality is going to continue to be what we saw in Houston. Irma is bigger than Harvey, as we speak. 

There's another storm, Jose, coming behind Irma. These are going to happen and continue to happen more and more with greater force. How will they -- with a straight face, I ask again -- continue to make the argument that these realities are not real? That they're unreal?

JOAN WALSH, THE NATION MAGAZINE: I think they are so beholden to their donors in the petrochemical industry and the extractive industry category that they really have a major stake in not seeing the truth or not admitting the truth. I think a lot of them are too smart not to see it, Tavis, but there is a real -- there's an industry built around climate denialism...

(...)

And I think that they have a media empire in Fox News that has, you know, made a joke out of climate change and likes to, you know, talk about how much snow we're getting and "there's no global warming," that, you know, depicted former Vice President Al Gore as some kind of a lunatic for his very correct and earnest and sincere and sober -- not crazy at all -- warnings over the last two decades


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CyberAlerts Environment Global Warming Hurricanes Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Immigration Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism PBS The Nation Video Jeff Sessions Tavis Smiley Joan Walsh John Nichols