No one should believe PBS NewsHour is attempting to have a conservative and a liberal (or a Republican and a Democrat) on their Friday "Week in Review" panel. On Friday, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a gushy column about an interview he had with President Biden. There is no way at this point Team Biden is going to grant an interview to a journalist who isn't completely "safe" for their PR plan.
On Friday night, the NewsHour wanted to help him elaborate....but the remote camera froze, and it didn't happen. So his partner Jonathan Capehart had to fill time by talking about how "terrific" this column was.
Brooks began (as PBS quoted on air):
What happened to Joe Biden? Many people thought he was a moderate incrementalist, but now he’s promoting whopping big legislative packages that make many on the progressive left extremely happy.
I asked him that when I spoke on the phone with him this week. The answer seems to be — it’s complicated.
Brooks claimed his values are "consistent," but "It’s the scale that is gigantically different. It’s as if a company that was making pleasure boats started turning out ocean liners."
How helpful -- Biden's somehow a centrist that delights socialists! What followed was a lot of claptrap about how Biden is somehow beyond ideology: "Some people get their worldviews from ideological constructs or philosophical movements like 'conservatism' or “'progressivism.' Biden derives his worldview from lived experience, especially the world of his youth, and how his parents taught him to see that world." Brooks added the PR line that Biden's influenced by Catholic social teaching.
So it was kind of funny when PBS turned to him to rerun all this publicity on TV, and his camera froze:
AMNA NAWAZ: David, tell us about that conversation with him. How is it complicated?....Oh, I believe we have lost the connection with David Brooks. We will try to get him back in just a moment. In the meantime, Jonathan, let me bring you back in here. You have certainly read this column.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
NAWAZ: It's a long assessment of where President Biden is and faces this criticism of no longer being a moderate incrementalist many accused him of. What do you make of it?
CAPEHART: Well, David's column was terrific, in being able to sit down with the president, particularly this president, who he wears everything on his sleeve. And I have been on a phone call between the president and opinion writers, including — including David, so I have — I can pretty much imagine how that conversation went.
Look, I think President Biden is sort of the president who — the man who is meeting the moment. A lot of people wonder whether progressives have pulled the party farther to the left or are pushing the party farther to the left. And I counter that. And I think President Biden, by doing what he's doing, it's really that the party is catching up to the country. You tick off any issue and ask where the American people are — and let's just take raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The American people want that done.
What PBS has on Friday nights is two experts who love everything Biden is doing, and want to do their part to make Biden look as good as they can...with our tax dollars.