National Public Radio has been rotating pundits for its Week In Politics roundup in recent months on its evening newscast All Things Considered. Sitting in the "David Brooks chair" on Friday was writer Bethany Mandel (@Bethanyshondark on Twitter). It's encouraging when the conservative half of a public-broadcasting panel actually sounds like a conservative.
Here's a Saturday "parlor game" for political junkies. Guess which statement on NPR's "Week in Politics" segment on Friday night's so-called All Things Considered comes from the supposed liberal/Democrat pundit, and which comes from the supposed conservative/Republican pundit. This can be pretty tricky, since they sound very, very similar.
National Public Radio likes to think it's about civility (not rudeness) and real news (not fake news). But when it comes to Donald Trump, on Friday night NPR became the promoter of a rude and disparaging joke on All Things Considered. Washington Post columnist and NPR contributor E. J. Dionne passed along a joke from unfunny leftist Andy Borowitz in The New Yorker: that Trump's picks were so contrary to the government's mission that next he would name Mexican drug kingpin "El Chapo" to run the DEA.
Washington Post columnist E.J.Dionne on Monday cheered that journalists are finally taking heat for being too sensitive to the complaints of liberal media bias. No, seriously. Dionne insisted that, since the days of Spiro Agnew, “reporters, editors and producers have incessantly looked over their right shoulders, fearing they’d be assailed as secret carriers of the liberal virus.”
On Wednesday night’s Last Word, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner introduced the broadcast by complaining that despite President Obama “riding the political wave of political success” “the Democratic Party just got a brutal reality check” in the 2015 elections. The MSNBC host and liberal Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne repeatedly tried to downplay the bad night for Democrats and chalked it up to low voter turnout among key Democratic demographic groups rather than a rejection of the party's liberal policies.
Hillary Clinton has "plenty of reasons to mistrust the press," that according to a Washington Post columnist. E.J.Dionne appeared on Monday's Last Word he lectured: "I think she is too cautious with the press to say the least. And, while she got plenty of reason to mistrust the press, that does not do you much good." Given the extremely friendly coverage to both Clinton and Obama, it's hard to imagine what those reasons are.
On Tuesday, former Republican Governor of Florida Jeb Bush announced that he is considering running for president in 2016 and that night liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne predictably had a field day with the announcement. Appearing on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday night, Dionne proclaimed “the irony here is, it`s almost a delicious irony, is that Jeb Bush, if he runs, maybe a change agent in the Republican Party.”
The MSNBC freak-out continued following the surprising split rulings regarding the federal ObamaCare health insurance exchanges. The 2-1 DC circuit court decision determined that, consistent with the text in the law, subsidies must come from state insurance exchanges as opposed to federal ones. The panel was appalled that the court could possibly come to such a conclusion, while at the same time they diminished the long-term impacts of the decision.
Towards the end of the segment on the July 22 edition of The Last Word, the Washington Post’s EJ Dionne insinuated – solely based on his negative opinion of the ruling – that it was actually conservatives who are the judicial activists: “If you wonder which side of politics judicial activism is on, it ain't on the side of the liberals anymore.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
“I was struck looking at this,” Washington Post columnist and former foreign editor David Ignatius expressed on ABC’s This Week in admiring how Barack Obama on Friday adjusted the contraception mandate, hailing “the ability to do a do-over quickly” since the administration was not “done deaf” and “they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend.”
Unaddressed, how it’s just an accounting gimmick and Catholic institutions would still be required to cover what they morally oppose, to say nothing of what gives the government the right to require private insurers to offer a service for “free.”
Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, when Peggy Noonan noted how Obama picked the leftist position over the First Amendment, another Washington Post columnist and former reporter, E.J. Dionne Jr. fired back: “Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist.”
Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain's name until the report's eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney's three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service's copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.
Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you're wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:
Three comments that caught my attention on the Sunday morning interview shows:
> ABC News White House reporter Jake Tapper recounted that whenever he has dinner with liberal friends “you can hear them making their peace with Romney,” saying “‘he seems centrist,’ or ‘you know, he’d be good at jobs,’” so “that's a problem for President Obama.”
> On the killing of terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. admitted: “You’ve got to be honest and say, what would liberals say if George Bush had done this?”
In the '80s the liberal media filled the airwaves with tales of woe from the homeless as a way to distract viewers from the runaway success of Reaganomics. In the 2000s, the same media chatted with one frustrated gas station customer after another to slam then-President George W. Bush.
However in 2011, with over 44 million Americans on food stamps, a new high according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (See Table 2), the Big Three broadcast network news programs have been virtually devoid of anecdotal sob stories of moms and dads struggling to pay for their kids' box of Frosted Flakes, as a way to hammer Barack Obama's failed economic policies.