They call it the Public Broadcasting Service, but on too many nights, it’s the Liberal Smearing Service, and they smear the Republican half of the country with their own tax dollars. On Friday night’s PBS NewsHour, their political analyst Mark Shields ranted that somehow, the Trump administration’s handling of the U.S. Postal Service was “nothing less” than segregationist sheriff Bull Connor’s violence against black people in Birmingham in the 1960s.
Liberals present Trump’s warnings about mail-in voting fraud as an unfounded conspiracy theory, and then they uncork their own conspiracy theories:
JUDY WOODRUFF: The president is continually, almost daily now denigrating mail-in voting, is opposed to funding so much of what the Postal Service says it needs. What are we headed for this November?
MARK SHIELDS: Well, Judy, I am not one to often question former President Barack Obama's selection of words or his eloquence, which is demonstrated, but I think he was absolutely wrong when he said that they are trying to kneecap, Republicans are trying to kneecap. I mean, it is a mafia term. And it is very harsh.
I think what we are talking about here is nothing less than Bull Connor in the streets of Birmingham with dogs and fire hoses. I mean, this is repression and suppression of Americans who want to vote. It is nothing less. That is what it is. And let's call it for exactly what it is.
Donald Trump is afraid of losing. So, most candidates, the voters pick the candidate. Donald Trump, in this case, wants to pick the voters. He wants to limit who can vote.
And I just think that they are making an incredible mistake. There are 22 million Americans every month who are kept out of poverty, kept out of poverty by a Social Security check. There are 67 million Americans who live on them; 1,278,000 in Florida get a Social Security check.
You go into the United States mail, you start playing games there, then you are really — talk about misery, and you want to talk outrage, and you want to talk about political unrest, I think it's — I think he's — the whirlwind is about to be set.
And — but it is indefensible. And I have had five Republicans, I think, up to now, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Tom Cole, Kevin McCarthy, and Roy Blunt, who have even said — dissented publicly that this dismantlement of the post office is not — unacceptable.
His partner David Brooks would never tell Shields he sounds like a kook. But he did try to add some reality. “The Postal Service is hemorrhaging money. And it is doing so because the number of pieces of mail has gone down 33 percent in the last several years. And so they — it makes sense to sort of try to make the thing a viable operation. Whether you want to cut some of these services right before a heavy election, where people are going to be mailing in ballots, strikes me as extremely foolish, but not necessarily malevolence.”
For a point of view PBS never allows any more, see The Wall Street Journal editorial board.