On Monday night's PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff and her "Politics Monday" panelists were still obsessing over how President Trump responded to the widow of LaDavid Johnson, who was killed in Niger. Woodruff and her guests suggested to the audience that this controversy with a grieving relative was completely unprecedented, that no politician would ever suggest a grieving relative was not telling the truth. But in a March 2016 presidential debate, Mrs. Clinton explicitly said Patricia Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, was lying. “I can’t imagine the grief she has about losing her son,” Clinton said. “But she’s wrong. She’s absolutely wrong!”
PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff recently boasted her show rose above "a false sense of combativeness." So when their week-in-review segment airs on Fridays, typically no one stands up for the conservative side as liberal NewsHour analyst Mark Shields combatively whacks at Republican officials as the worst kind of political villains and vandals. On Friday, Shields responded to efforts to curtail Obamacare by quoting an old Democrat that "any jackass can kick down a barn...that's what they're about, dismantling." But David Brooks actually disagreed.
President Trump drew rave reviews on the right for a forceful address on global issues at the United Nations. But you wouldn't know that from the Week in Politics segment on Friday's PBS NewsHour. Liberal analyst Mark Shields gave it a "B for bombast and bullying and belligerence." Pseudo-conservative analyst David Brooks called it "self-destructive." Shields compared Trump unfavorably to JFK and Reagan...but three years ago, Shields suggested Barack Obama was Reaganesque.
In a pre-recorded interview aired on Friday's PBS NewsHour, PBS host Judy Woodruff asked guest Hillary Clinton if she believes President Donald Trump is "racist," and then did not challenge her when she claimed that Trump had "accepted the support of David Duke," and that he "has not condemned the neo-Nazis and the self-proclaimed white supremacists." Substitute host Hari Sreenivasan also teased that, in part two of the interview to be aired next week, Clinton had blamed "well-executed voter suppression of African-American voters" for her loss in Wisconsin.
On Friday, the blog TV Newser posted a puffy interview with PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, touting her show and how ‘We Have Never Had As Many Smart, Talented Women Covering Washington As We Do Today.’ Woodruff cited all her liberal friends in that category. A.J. Katz began by touting the PBS ratings, and then came the obligatory gush for how PBS is somehow a civil ground where no one raises their voice...because everyone tends to agree on a very narrow range of liberal opinion.
This week journalists and networks have been in a tizzy after Trump railed against them during rallies in Arizona this week. From openly wondering if he’s a sociopath to worrying his supporters would endanger their lives, journalists have been more concerned with expressing their own paranoia then reporting on the news. But conservative Matt Schlapp tried to break through all the hoopla during Wednesday’s PBS Newshour, explaining to host Judy Woodruff that fighting back at the media is exactly what his voters wanted.
As expected, on Friday night the PBS NewsHour greeted the failure to repeal Obamacare as a happy "flame-out" by the Republican Party, and pseudo-conservative PBS pundit David Brooks insisted it's time for Republicans to "wrap their minds around the fact" that Americans want to preserve health care as a "right."
Monday's PBS NewsHour spotlighted the low trust in the news media, according to the results of their latest poll. Only 30 percent of those surveyed by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist trust the press "a good deal" or "a great amount." The Trump administration scored seven points better in the same poll. Guest Stuart Rothenberg bemoaned the "horrible trend" towards distrust of the media over the past several decades.
Here's why people hate the liberal tilt of public broadcasting. Both PBS and NPR buried the Scalise shooting in their "week in review" segments. When the PBS NewsHour arrived there, anchor Judy Woodruff couldn't even mention the shooter was a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer, couldn't mention his favorite TV shows, and couldn't ponder if anyone on the Left could have provoked him with their outrageous statements. Instead, liberal analyst Mark Shields blamed it on Newt Gingrich, and his "clone" Donald Trump:
On Tuesday, the PBS NewsHour featured a report on teaching public school students to spot fake news on the internet. One of the articles that PBS gave as an example was a Breitbart article about religious freedom in the military.
On Thursday night’s PBS NewsHour, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) called out anchor Judy Woodruff for using a much different style of questioning than she used for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California.
Geoffrey Dickens noted Charlie Rose interviewed Al Franken for most of his hour on Wednesday and never brought up Kathy Griffin. The same thing happened on the PBS NewsHour. And a search of National Public Radio transcripts comes up empty for Kathy Griffin stories. So much for public broadcasting standing against the coarsening of public discourse. (UPDATED: NPR media correspondent tweeted that he did a one-minute report in hourly newscasts.)