PBS's Mark Shields Sounds Silly: 'Very Sparse' Evidence of FBI Bias Against Trump

June 16th, 2018 10:05 AM

You could tell the PBS NewsHour didn't want to discuss the Inspector General's report on the FBI's egregious failure to live up to its own standards in the 2016 election cycle. Anchor Judy Woodruff started the Friday week-in-review segment with the North Korea summit, and then began the FBI analysis with a no-bias-found verdict: "Very tough on James Comey, saying he was insubordinate, some other tough criticism of him, but, ultimately, 500 pages concluded that the way the FBI handled it didn’t demonstrate bias."

Mark Shields was unintentionally funny: "If you’re a flat-Earth person or you’re a round-Earth person, there’s something. You have got some evidence, very sparse, but nevertheless there, that there was bias on the part of FBI people against Donald Trump."

Very sparse? Did Shields argue Monica Lewinsky's blue dress had sparse evidence of Bill Clinton's perjury?

Brooks surely pleased Woodruff by agreeing the FBI is quite sober and professional and nonpartisan: 

BROOKS: The headline to me is that the institution basically worked, that the actual investigations were basically done without any political bias. And that’s worth reminding people, that there is such a thing as a professional civil service these days, when everyone thinks it’s all political and it’s al a swamp. It’s not a swamp. These are hardworking people, and they seem to have been basically doing their job.

Brooks wrongly described the FBI employee text messages as "e-mails," and admitted people who think the "deep state" dislikes Trump might feel vindicated. He may have upset Woodruff by suggesting that Comey harmed Hillary in the last days of the campaign only because he reminded everyone Hillary was corrupt: 

BROOKS: The only thing I would say is that that story had such effect because it confirmed the key vulnerability that Hillary Clinton brought into the election, that she was part of the corrupt old establishment. And it wasn’t what Comey did. It’s because it reminded people of what they didn’t like about her in the first place. And so some of the error at least was in nominating a person who was exactly wrong on the core issue for a lot of the electorate.

Brooks didn't go there on the week-in-review chat on NPR's All Things Considered, as anchor Audie Cornish said "briefly I want to touch" on this subject, like the topic gives you a rash. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne was even sillier than Shields in suggesting the vast majority of the report proved nothing for Republicans: 

DIONNE: It was two emails versus 500 other pages in the report is the way I see it. I mean, I see two real messages of this report - that in the end, the FBI hurt Clinton and thus helped Trump even if that wasn't its intent. And B, it also showed that the Republicans' ongoing effort to work the refs by attacking the FBI and other institutions succeeded. Comey decided to have that news conference with the -- which the inspector general's report said was extraordinary and insubordinate and had other words criticizing it because he was worried about what the Republicans would say about him.