Tuesday night saw something rare on PBS, a conservative voice. Senator Ted Cruz appeared on liberal Tavis Smiley's program and hit back at the host's pro-Democrat questions. Smiley demanded, "Well, why can't we raise the minimum wage to a living wage? Why won't you fight for that?" Cruz quickly retorted, "The people who will hurt the most... How does it impact the most vulnerable? Every time you raise the minimum wage, the people who will hurt the most is the most vulnerable."
On Thursday’s edition of PBS’s Tavis Smiley show, William Hurt, the star of AMC’s Humans (a science fiction show that addresses the future of artificial intelligence) assured PBS’s Tavis Smiley that self-aware androids weren’t the monster to worry about. No the real threat, according to the four-time Academy Award nominee, is “global warming.”
Actress and liberal activist Susan Sarandon is still blaming America’s homeless problem on Ronald Reagan. The actress, probably best known for her role in the 1988 baseball hit movie Bull Durham, was invited on the May 13 edition of PBS’s Tavis Smiley to plug her son’s 2014 documentary, Storied Streets, that is now available on AMC’s streaming service. "I think that the conversation changed around the Reagan era, where everything was your fault."
Liberal actor Jack Black is such a big fan of MSNBC he bragged to PBS’s Tavis Smiley “I’ve got like three or four of them queued up on my TiVo every night,” but he wasn’t sure about Joe Scarborough who he claimed “sometimes dances with wolves.”
Don Lemon rushed to President Obama's defense on Monday's CNN Tonight, after guest Tavis Smiley attacked the Democrat from the left over supposedly not doing enough to help blacks. Smiley asserted that the President needed to "provide the kind of moral leadership...the kind of focus on a social justice agenda that would make sure...we aren't still dealing with what he called the triple threat of racism, poverty, and militarism." Lemon went on to confront his guest about his critique of the chief executive.
What’s worse than spending a half-hour revisiting the 60s with some old beatniks and their guitars? Spending that half-hour tip-toeing around the fact that one of them is a convicted sex offender.
On Nov. 18, PBS’ Tavis Smiley hosted Peter Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey on his self-named show, the surviving members of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Smiley's entire interview ignored Yarrow's record as a child sex offender.
On Sunday, October 19, a panel on ABC’s This Week engaged in a highly contentious debate over the Obama administration’s handing of the Ebola crisis. Conservative Mary Matalin mocked PBS host Tavis Smiley for criticizing those who are calling for a travel ban on Ebola stricken nations. The former George W. Bush official argued that “the African leaders who have contained to five countries have done it on the basis of containment. Our CDC now stands for cannot do containment. The reason the president gets blamed for everything, Tavis, because he's responsible for it.”
PBS's Tavis Smiley shamelessly invoked Dr. Martin Luther King on Thursday's CNN Tonight, as he commented on the ongoing controversy surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown: "It underscores that Martin [Luther] King was right about what he called the 'triple threat' almost 50 years ago....He said what's threatening our very democracy is what he called the triple threat of racism, poverty, and militarism. What we saw in Ferguson was racism, poverty and militarism."
Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard dismantled liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday, June 1, Kristol left Smiley speechless surrounding how to solve the VA scandal when he asked his fellow panelist: “If they got a generous voucher to use to purchase the health insurance they need or the health care they need how would that be failing veterans?” [See video below.]
Despite the fact that National Public Radio is a publicly supported network, its long-term financial struggles claimed another casualty on Tuesday: Tell Me More, a program “expressly designed to have a primary appeal for African-American listeners and other people of color” will air its last episode on Friday, August 1.
The move will leave 28 people unemployed, and program host Michel Martin admitted to having “scar tissue” before releasing a statement in which she asserted: “I hoped we could have found a way to save the show, but NPR news management has assured me that the mission that we’ve undertaken will continue in new ways, and I’m sticking around be a part of making that happen.”
On Wednesday night, Tavis Smiley welcomed film director Errol Morris onto the set of his PBS program to talk about Morris’ new documentary on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Unlike Bill Maher, who challenged Morris when he interviewed him last Friday, Smiley joined Morris in maligning Rumsfeld throughout the entire interview.
Smiley seemed appalled that Rumsfeld ever came to be in charge of the Defense Department, and by extension managing the prosecution of the Iraq War. He remarked to Morris:
A few weeks ago, PBS host Tavis Smiley got in some hot water for comments he made about Edward Snowden. On January 19, Smiley appeared as a guest on ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos and argued that, “Edward Snowden might be on a postage stamp somewhere down the road.”
Despite the controversy surrounding Smiley’s extreme comments, the PBS host took to his nightly program on February 4th to double down and argue that someday Snowden would be viewed not as a traitor but rather an “American hero.” [See video below.]