MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on both the April 29 "Hannity & Colmes" and the April 30 "Fox & Friends" to discuss media treatment of the ongoing Barack Obama/Rev. Jeremiah Wright saga. Bozell discussed a taxpayer-funded "puff piece" interview by PBS's Bill Moyers on "Hannity & Colmes." The next morning on "Fox & Friends," in addition to addressing Moyers's bias, Bozell discussed reports that Hillary Clinton backer the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds was the person responsible for arranging Rev. Jeremiah Wright's April 27 National Press Club event.
While Reynolds has a political agenda in view, Bozell noted, he doubted there was a direct link to Hillary Clinton herself. [Audio excerpt here]
An excerpt from the "Fox & Friends" segment:
GRETCHEN CARLSON, co-host: Well how did Rev. Jeremiah Wright end up as a keynote speaker at the National Press Club? And what role Barbara Reynolds, openly a Clinton supporter, what role did she play in arranging Rev. Wright's appearance? More details coming out this morning now.
BRIAN KILMEADE, co-host: Yeah, Brent Bozell, you have a theory here. And we know now thanks to one of the reports that she had brought up Rev. Wright's name two years ago as a speaker and he has spoken before at 2007. But when they needed Rev. Wright, they had to go to Reynolds who does know him personally.
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: Yes. Now, the good news there, I guess, for her defense was that she all along has been trying to get him on there. But, here's the reality, she is now a Hillary Clinton partisan, she has savaged Barack Obama in statement[s], she is very partisan in this campaign. She had to know that by putting Jeremiah Wright on the stage at the National Press Club, it was going to wreak havoc in the Obama campaign. So clearly she had a political agenda here. Now, is this the Clinton campaign behind it? The problem is that nobody puts anything past the Clinton campaign, which is why they're always suspicious, people are suspicious of them. But was Hillary behind this? I don't think so, no.
Excerpts from the April 29 H&C [audio available here]:
ALAN COLMES, co-host: So how does Bill Moyers's questioning fair against Hannity & Colmes's handling of Rev. Wright? Joining us now from Media Research Center, Brent Bozell. Brent, two very different kinds of interviews, are they not?
BRENT BOZELL: Well, one was an interview, and one was a set-up piece. I think it's perfectly acceptable to have a hard-hitting interview and it's perfectly acceptable to have a softball interview. But when a softball interview deliberately omits any serious coverage, any serious questions, any serious discussion, and goes so far as to deny things that the person being interviewed actually has said as a statement of fact, then that's just a puff piece.
BOZELL: What is disgraceful about this, Alan, was not that Bill Moyers did it, but that he's using taxpayer dollars. That is simply to me, it's absolutely unacceptable to me.
COLMES: Isn't there a place, isn't there a place --
BOZELL: Alan, it's absolutely unacceptable that anybody left or right would use a forum using American taxpayer money.
COLMES: You would never blame the right, you're always going after the left.
BOZELL: If there was a conservative who was doing that, in a New York second I would do that.
COLMES: Look, William F. Buckley for years used PBS's money. That was fine, he was a conservative that I've got no problem with that either, that's fine.
BOZELL: He spent 30 years debating liberals and eviscerating your side. That was a debate. That wasn't puff pieces to conservatives.
COLMES: I don't have a problem with there being a place to put a guy on like Jeremiah Wright even if it's on PBS, to draw him out, to get a better understanding, to get a better rounded picture of the man. I don't think we have to attack him or do a hard-hitting necessarily challenging or confrontational gotcha interview. I think there's a place for that.
BOZELL: Wait a minute. Jeremiah Wright is on the record as saying that the United States government created the AIDS virus as a form of genocide against black people. Bill Moyers not only didn't question him on this, Bill Moyers started the show by dismissing that as a canard. Just the other day, Wright was asked about this again and he refused to step away from it, and yet Moyers is denying it!
SEAN HANNITY, co-host: Let's talk about, this goes to the heart and core. I found today's developments amazing. I watched the National Press Club and the appearance by Rev. Wright. He didn't say anything different than the quote snippets and the clips that they'd been complaining and Barack Obama was complaining were [aired] over and over again, all he did was reinforce every single thing that was of controversy that had come up. And only now is Barack Obama offended. Now, that that just, it doesn't pass the smell test. This is about a guy that sees the presidency slipping away and needs to throw his friend overboard to get there, right?
BOZELL: Look, he is Barack Obama's worst nightmare. It's one of two things. He's either a megalomaniac who doesn't care about destroying his candidate Obama if he can get his Andy Warhol 15 minutes [of fame], or he's an absolute naïve fool who doesn't realize what he's doing to his candidate. It's one or the other.