In Rare Recognition, AP's Peoples Chronicles Dissatisfaction With Obama on the 'Far-Left'

January 30th, 2014 1:43 PM

At the Associated Press, labeling conservative politicians as "far-right" comes pretty easily. "Far-left"? Not so much.

That there was even one item in the "far-left" search just noted is unusual. It's even more remarkable that the underlying report was written by Steve Peoples, a far-lefty disguised as a reporter if there ever was one. Excerpts from his Wednesday dispatch follow the jump.

Note that by the time Peoples is done, readers would have to conclude that people like Elizabeth Warren and Howard Dean are "far-left":

TENSION IN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AFTER OBAMA SPEECH (Note: The headline chosen at the Huffington Post is "Obama State Of The Union Speech Creates Tension Among Liberals" — Ed.)


Tensions within the Democratic Party were on display in the living rooms of Massachusetts, where liberal activists watched President Barack Obama's State of the Union address with skepticism.

Like many in the party's far-left wing, those who enjoyed pizza and beer at a Boston-area watch party Tuesday night have been disappointed by the president's performance while facing a divided Congress. Some offered positive marks for his speech, but said that it did little to resurrect their once-passionate enthusiasm for the nation's top Democrat.

"I think he offered some good things," said party host Josh Tauber, a software engineer and Democratic activist who volunteered for both of Obama's campaigns. "I would get more excited if I believed those things would happen."

Note at this point that in Peoples' narrative, "liberal" equals "far-left," which becomes important in the next excerpt:

Liberal leaders across the nation shared Tauber's mixed response, expressing optimism about Obama's focus on economic inequality, but also frustration with a president some think hasn't fought hard enough for liberal policies on health care, taxes and Wall Street reform. Their sentiments underscore a lingering tension between moderate and liberal Democrats pressing to shape the party's priorities during Obama's final term.

The dozen or so activists gathered in Tauber's living room hope Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will play a key role in that debate, even if she honors her recent pledge not to run for president in 2016.

Therefore, Elizabeth Warren is "far-left." Though that's completely obvious to anyone without blinders on, it's an extremely rare acknowledgment at the AP.

There's more. Based on Peoples' tagging, Howard Dean is also "far-left":

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a liberal favorite and former presidential contender, says he's "overwhelmingly not satisfied" with the federal government in general, but doesn't blame Obama because he's up against "the worst Congress in history." Dean cheered the president's push to bypass congressional Republicans whenever necessary.

"The president is now going to do what he should do, which is do the best he can without them since they're useless," he said of Congress.

It is clear from his "reporting" rectord that Steve Peoples is an agenda-driven guy. In September 2012, he described the crowd greeting Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan as being in the "hundreds," when every locally-based report said it was "thousands" or "several thousand." He has characterized the tea party movement's posture as involving "unyielding tactics and bare-bones vision of the federal government."

If there's an underlying motivation in Peoples' work, it may be first, to try to push President Obama to follow through on his promise to overstep his executive authority with hard-left moves, and second, to encourage Lizzie Warren to reconsider her pledge not to run against the supposedly "moderate" Hillary Clinton.

It's also another rarity for anyone in the nation's establishment press to recognize political tensions within the left. They're usually all over any kind of disagreements, real or imagined, on the right.

Cross-posted at