In Friday's Washington Times, media and political heavyweights such as Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, James Carville and others remembered the "magnetic personality" of Tony Blankley. The Times devoted four pages to honor its late editorial page editor (who passed away last weekend). Hannity enthused, "It is sad to lose him at such an integral time in our nation’s history, of which he was highly involved and influential. This country will miss him greatly. As will I."

The very liberal James Carville reminisced, "I’m sure that Tony was as partisan as the rest of us but he never resorted to the shouting (yes, I’m guilty as charged) that has become a staple of cable television."

Like a lot of Americans who live outside the D.C. metro area, I was first introduced to Tony Blankley by PBS's McLaughlin Group.

It was therefore quite fitting that host John McLaughlin as well as panelists Michelle Bernard, Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, and Clarence Page on Friday paid tribute to Blankley who sadly passed away last Saturday (video follows with commentary):

Sad news came Sunday (January 8) that Tony Blankley, the long-time leading conservative thinker, author and columnist, who served House Speaker Newt Gingrich and later ran the editorial pages for the Washington Times, passed away at age 63.

Back on Thursday, March 27, 2003 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, Blankley pitched in at the last-minute to help us when a planned speaker (Rush Limbaugh) was unable to attend. At the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2002,” Blankley enthusiastically bound on stage to accept in jest the “I Hate You Conservatives Award” on behalf of Bill Moyers.

MSNBC's Al Sharpton on Friday was being tremendously rude and dismissive to his guest the always well-mannered Tony Blankley.

So discourteous was Sharpton that at the end of the discussion, Blankley sarcastically said, "You are a very polite gentleman" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

As you've watched and read media reports concerning the debt ceiling, have you gotten the feeling the press have given Republicans a pass for standing strong in their pledge to not raise taxes?

CNN's Howard Kurtz thinks they have, and said so quite often on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of sheer misguided reporting than the story in The Washington Post last weekend in which it was reported that "Newt Gingrich thinks he can revive his debilitated campaign by talking about Alzheimer's. ... For most presidential candidates, Alzheimer's is a third- or fourth-tier subject, at best. But as Gingrich sees it, Alzheimer's, as well as other niche topics such as military families' concerns and pharmaceutical issues, are priorities. ... By offering himself as a champion of pet causes, Gingrich believes he can sew together enough narrow constituencies to make a coalition — an unconventional one, yes, but a coalition nevertheless."

Now, I admit, Newt is my old boss, and I am a friend and great admirer of Newt's — so I am hardly an unbiased source. But I also happen to be pretty familiar with Newt's public ideas over the years.

Two of the most toxic political commentators in the nation tried to make the case Monday that violent political rhetoric emanates far more from conservatives than liberals.

Fortunately for the small number of viewers watching MSNBC's "The Ed Show," Tony Blankley was present to set Ed Schultz and Bill Press straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Every time the question about President Barack Obama's faith is brought up, the wizards of smart in the mainstream media get up in arms about "right-wingers" or "tea partiers" perpetuating those allegations. But is it possible that by devoting so much attention to these issues of Obama's faith and his citizenship, the media are creating the very feeding frenzy they're appalled by?

On CNN's Aug. 19 "The Situation Room," host Wolf Blitzer led his program off with at what first glance is a startling chyron: "W.H.: Pres. Obama Isn't Muslim". That graphic was in response to a recent Pew Research Center poll that found 18 percent of respondents thought Obama was Muslim.

Later in the program, Blitzer went to his panel - CNN political analyst James Carville and Washington Times columnist and Heritage Foundation fellow Tony Blankley. Initially Carville said he didn't have a clear explanation.

Video with partial transcript and commentary below fold

MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Monday absolutely got his head handed to him in a debate with syndicated columnist Tony Blankley.

Clearly underestimating his opponent, Schultz rudely introduced the subject of a Republican proposal to not have the Congress come back for a lame duck session after November's elections by saying, "No one knows better about shutting down Congress than someone who was right there working for Newt Gingrich when it happened before."

Not letting this stand, Blankley gave the "Ed Show" host a much-needed history lesson (video follows with transcript and commentary):  

It's called "Left, Right and Center," which claims to be a "civilized yet provocative antidote to the screaming talking heads that dominate political debate." But there's not a whole lot of truth in advertising for KCRW Santa Monica's radio program, which is also podcasted on the Internet.

The show normally features Robert Scheer, editor of the left-wing investigative Web site and a former Los Angeles Times columnist, representing the left. Matt Miller, a former Clintonista and senior fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress represents the so-called center. And former Washington Times editorial page editor and visiting senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation usually represents the right. And for whatever reason, HuffPo editor Arianna Huffington is included to represent what they call the "independent progressive blogosphere," as if that is somehow different from the "left."

For the June 11 edition of this show, both Blankley and Miller were away and replaced with David Frum, a recently terminated fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, representing the "right" and Lawrence O'Donnell, of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" fill-in fame, representing the "center." And it was on the broadcast Frum used the platform to take a shot at the Club for Growth.

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Fox officials agree that all this attention is helping ratings.

Three days before Howard Kurtz talked with White House communications director Anita Dunn about the Obama administration's attacks on the Fox News Channel, a number of CNN contributors pointed out how this strategy is helping FNC's ratings while hurting Democrats.

Such was discussed on Thursday's "Situation Room" by a panel consisting of CNN's Gloria Berger, David Gergen, and John King, as well as Politico's Nia-Malika Henderson and Republican strategist Tony Blankley.

Makes you wonder why Kurtz on Sunday didn't ask Dunn about the following tremendously relevant conversation that happened on his own network a few days earlier (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite): 

Ali Velshi, CNN Substitute Anchor; & Tony Blankley, Republican Strategist | NewsBusters.orgCNN’s Ali Velshi, during a segment on Thursday’s Newsroom program, ignored all the past sex scandals involving Democrats in recent years as he focused on “another sex scandal involving a leading Republican.” When his guest, Tony Blankley, tried to counter with how these scandals are being used to try to get the GOP to abandon social issues, Velshi tried hard to brush this aside.

The segment with Blankley, which aired at the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, began with Velshi recapping the details about the most recent Republican sex scandal involving South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and how legislators in the state were proceeding with possible impeachment of the executive. He then introduced his main point for the segment: “Okay, I’m going to say it- another sex scandal involving a leading Republican- this is the second in two weeks. It’s hardly helping the party to resurrect its image.”

After introducing his guest, Velshi referred to his point and asked, “I wasn’t the first guy to say that. You’ve heard this a lot in the last few days. You heard it before Mark Sanford. What’s going on with the Republicans and scandals?” Blankley first rebuked Sanford and any Republican who had been caught in marital infidelity. He continued by making his point about the push to give up on family values: “As far as the party is concerned, although there’s hypocrisy when one of its members or two or seven of its members breach the standards it advocates, you can’t give up your values. The party believes in supporting families. You have programs that do that.”