This Week Guest Reminds Viewers of Host's "Former Boss" Clinton --3/6/2006
2. Chris Matthews: Bush "Sneaks" Into Pakistan "Like a Drug Dealer"
3. Prime Time Politics: NBC's ER Swipes at Racist U.S. Congress
4. Actor Derides Bush's Faith: "Son of a Bitch...Very Un-Christlike"
It's not often that a guest on a TV news program has the boldness to put the interviewer's political activism record in play, but Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California, who appeared on Sunday's This Week from San Diego to criticize the ports deal, made sure viewers were reminded of host George Stephanopoulos' past work on behalf of President Bill Clinton's agenda. On three occasions, Hunter answered questions from Stephanopoulos by including a reference to "your former boss," as in how "your former boss, President Clinton," gave the Emir of the United Arab Emirates "advice on who he should hire to get this deal through."
Hunter, who appeared with a Republican Senator from the other side of the nation, Susan Collins of Maine, also proposed: "I don't think President Clinton, your old boss, knows the facts of the transshipments that take place through Dubai, sending nuclear components to all parts of the world and especially to people who don't like America." That slam prompted a defensive Stephanopoulos to jump in: "He actually supports the legislation proposed by you and Senator Clinton which would ban foreign entities from managing our ports." A bit later, when Stephanopoulos wondered if the ports deal would hurt Republicans in the fall election, Hunter came back with how "a few years ago when the Chinese military tried to buy the old naval base in Long Beach, California, we stopped that and that was stopped by Republicans in Congress, even though your boss, President Clinton, supported that."
[This item was posted Sunday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]
From the March 5 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, we join Congressman Duncan Hunter in mid-answer:
An exchange a bit later in the session:
Later, during the roundtable segment, George Will followed Hunter's lead. In commenting on how public reaction to the ports deal symbolizes growing isolationism around the world, Will tied his point back to Stephanopoulos's "former boss":
Would he have preferred Bush arriving in a bright red suit with a bulls-eye painted on his back?
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Beginning the segment at about 5:25pm EST on Friday night, Matthews first asked MSNBC's Hasan Zaidi to describe "the weird way in which our President had to enter your country, enter that country today."
Zaidi replied over video of Bush walking off of Air Force One in Islamabad and waving to a group gathered on the airport tarmac: "Well, someone called it, this is like entering something in the dead of night like a thief. The President came in on a plane that had its lights, its wing lights switched off, they had to, they lowered the shutters on the plane so that there would be no light reflected. The runway lights were switched off, and the plane landed in the dead of night. Once the plane landed, the President and the First Lady were whisked away in what, actually nobody found out. There was a motorcade traveling to the U.S. ambassador's residence as well as two choppers, and the media men as well on the flight as well could not tell which of these two kinds of transport he was on."
Later, Matthews asked ex-Clinton aide David Gergen and security expert Roger Cressey about the heavy security surrounding Bush's visit. Matthews asked Cressey: "This is extraordinary, isn't it?"
Cressey replied that "it's typical for what happens when you bring the President into a very high risk country, very similar to what we did when President Clinton went into Pakistan in 2000."
Matthews cut him off: "But he's coming in like a drug dealer. I mean, having to sneak in like that, with the lights off, with the windows slammed shut on the plane. Is this a security question, really, or is it a problem of that government? Is it a problem that within the security service in Pakistan there are people out to hurt the President?"
Cressey said that it's both, that it is a real security problem but that the Pakistani intelligence service also has elements that support al-Qaeda. They then discussed how the Secret Service fears that Bush's movements could be leaked to al-Qaeda, that they have to assume that Bush's security arrangements may be known to potential terrorists.
"The Secret Service is the best in the business, but their pucker factor right now is really high," Cressey told Matthews. "They're very worried because it is a high risk environment, and they cannot control the environment within which the President is handled."
Matthews then turned to Gergen to opine on "what message this sends to the people of Pakistan. They know how the President's coming in over there. Guess what, the leader of the greatest nation in the world, our ally in the war against terrorism, had to sneak into the country last night by cover of night."
Gergen: "Look, they're exposed to the danger, too. I think they probably give him credit for coming."
Liberal talking points are finding their way onto TV and movie screens. Case in point: Thursday night's ER, NBC's long-running medical drama. The March 2 episode saw the much-promoted return of "Dr. John Carter," played by Noah Wyle, who left the show at the end of last season. The episode had John volunteering at a refugee camp in Darfur, Sudan, where hundreds of thousands have died in a real-life humanitarian catastrophe. Even as they portrayed the Janjaweed militia as the chief villains, the ER writers couldn't resist taking a potshot at inaction by a supposedly racist U.S. Congress as a character declared: "Does not matter whether it is Somalia, Rwanda, Darfur, or New Orleans. When the faces are black, the world moves slow."
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Friday morning, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To watch a clip, in either Real or Windows media format, go to: newsbusters.org ]
About fifteen minutes into the March 2 show, John is walking in the refugee camp with an accented black doctor named "Stephen."
Yet while ER recites liberal demands that the U.S. militarily intervene in places like Sudan, the intervention in Iraq (where hundreds of thousands were killed under Saddam's dictatorship) has been greeted with predictable jeers.
Last November 3, for example, ER showed a family about to have dinner when one character gave a blessing with rhetoric that could have been lifted from MoveOn.org's Web site: "Thank you, Lord, for the blessings we are about to receive. Look over those now who cannot be with us, including the countrymen who fight to protect us in an overseas war founded on lies told to us by our government." See the November 4 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
[Be advised that this item includes accurate quotations of vulgarities.]
When host Bill Maher remarked that "what scares me about a guy like George Bush" is the "certitude" he has because of his faith which means that "no matter how low his approval rating goes, he doesn't care because he sees himself as a messianic figure," Hughley launched this rant: "If I hear one more person tell me how this man is a man of faith, I think I'll lose my mother-fucking mind [audience applause]. Let me tell you why. I'll tell you why. He left his ranch in Crawford to see about one woman, Terry Schiavo, he left his ranch early. But when thousands and thousands of people were being, dying in New Orleans, this son of a bitch didn't do shit, and that's very un-Christlike to me."
[This item was posted Saturday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your take, go to: newsbusters.org ]
The Internet Movie Database's page for Hughley: www.imdb.com
In late 2004, Hughley got a try-out to replace Craig Kilborn as host of the Late Late Show. But CBS went with Craig Ferguson.
The hour-long Real Time with Bill Maher is broadcast live, from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, at 11pm EST Friday nights on HBO East, and repeated several times over the following week.
A couple of noteworthy remarks/exchanges I took down from the March 3 edition on which Hughley shared the panel with Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter and Washington Post reporter Dana Priest:
Actor/comedian D.L. Hughley:
TV Land's page for the "J.J." character on Good Times: www.tvland.com
A little later, Bill Maher reiterated his usual mantra:
-- Brent Baker