On Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff brought on former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to discuss the problem of gridlock in Washington. The conversation started off well, but Woodruff soon made it clear who she believes is more responsible for a lack of legislative progress in the nation’s capital.
Snowe presented the problem as being caused by members of both parties. She cited the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street as examples of ideologically rigid groups on the right and left respectively. But Woodruff couldn’t let this even-handed approach fly on her program. She jumped in with a slanted question:
The GOP-bashing tag team of Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann was once again welcome on CNN on Sunday. Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz did challenge the duo's leftist indictment of the media, but Ornstein and Mann had plenty of time to insist the press has "embarrassingly failed" to hold Republicans accountable.
When Kurtz posed "Most people think the press does lean to the left," AEI's Ornstein responded with this laugher: "And I think the mainstream media want to do everything they can to avoid any reinforcement of that."
How could a liberal actually be upset with the liberal media for their coverage of the 2012 presidential election? Well, Daniel Froomkin of The Huffington Post (formerly of The Washington Post) is furious. His complaint carried the headline “How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign.”
What would that story be? “Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.”
Just like NPR, the PBS NewsHour on Thursday night invited on liberals Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein to pound away at the "extremism" of the Republican Party (Tea Party Edition). Propose defunding public broadcasting, and this is how the Empire strikes back.
Thomas Mann unleashed on the GOP: "They are ideologically extreme, contemptuous of centuries worth of policy, economics and social; scornful of compromise, no use much for facts, evidence, and science, and really not accepting of the political legitimacy of the other party." As if Mann is sounding like he believes in the political legitimacy of the Republicans?
On Sunday, the Washington Post’s Outlook section was dominated by an article with a headline imposed over an elephant’s rear end: “Admit it. The Republicans are worse. Don’t blame both sides for gridlock. Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein say it’s the GOP’s fault.”
Within about 24 hours, there were Mann and Ornstein, being interviewed on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Anchor Steve Inskeep asked Mann if he would read from their hatchet job on the Republicans:
Alex Wagner made an eye-popping remark on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, as she hinted that she agreed with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton's assertion that Ronald Reagan would feel out of place in today's GOP. When Burton claimed that "Reagan wouldn't have a chance in this Republican primary right now," Wagner stunningly replied, "I think he'd be a Democrat probably" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The anchor, a former employee of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, also touted a quote from Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of AEI, who claim in an upcoming book that the Republican Party has become "an insurgent outlier- ideologically extreme...scornful of compromise...and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."