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Brian Williams Castigates Conservatives, Then Lobs Softballs to Obama

Vol. 24, No. 19

Castigating Conservatives for Their Conservative Views

 

"You have touted your state's low taxes, the lack of regulation, tough tort reform, as the recipe for job growth in the Lone Star state, but Texas ranks last among those who have completed high school, there are only eight other states with more living in poverty, no other state has more working at or below the minimum wage, so is that the kind of answer all Americans are looking for?"

"Governor Perry, you can't have much of a workforce without a basis of education. As you know, your state ranks among the worst in the country in high school graduation rates, as we established. Yet, you recently signed a budget cut for billions in education funding, you pushed for greater cuts than were in the budget that the legislature passed. You've said that education is a top priority, but explain cutting it the way you did, please?"

"Question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times — [ audience cheers and applause ] — have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?"

"What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here, the mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?"
— Some of moderator Brian Williams' questions to Texas Governor Rick Perry during MSNBC's Republican presidential candidates debate, September 7. [Audio/video compilation (2:30): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"Senator Santorum, on another front, you're a devout Catholic, you've always said that you cannot, will not, place it aside in your role in elected public life. In fact, you thought President Kennedy, the first to be elected President, did so a little bit too much with his own religion. Having said that, the Catholic faith, has as a part of it, caring for the poor. One in seven people in this country, now, qualifies as poor. Where do the poor come in, where do they place in this party, on this stage, in a Santorum administration?"
— One of Williams' questions to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

"Governor Perry, you clearly don't like the Massachusetts plan as an example for other states, but Massachusetts has nearly universal health insurance — it's first in the country. In Texas, about a quarter of the people don't have health insurance. That's 50 out of 50, dead last. Sir, it's pretty hard to defend dead last."
Politico editor John Harris to Perry at the same debate.


Williams Shares His Liberal Exasperation With Obama

 

"[It] occurs to me we are sitting thirty feet from Harry Truman's official White House portrait. Members of your base are asking: 'When are you going to get your Harry Truman on?'"

"Did you come to a decision that what the country needs is, in large part, a good old public works bill?"

"You see what's out there. You see what's being said about you. What do you say to those Americans who voted for that man on the poster that said 'Hope'?"
— Brian Williams' questions to President Obama in an interview shown on the NBC Nightly News, September 12. [Audio/video compilation (1:06): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"All of this, of course, is if you get what you want in a highly toxic atmosphere, and it sure looked to me from the outside like you went into the debt ceiling fight thinking, 'Surely they will do the statesman-like thing. Surely they won't go there.' And it seemed to me as if Speaker Boehner was coming to you saying, 'Look, if it were up to me, we would do this, but I've got this membership problem.' And they went there, and now that marks our politics."
— Williams to Obama in the same interview.


CBS Mocks Perry As Extremist, Texas = "Worst Off" State


Cartoonist Mitch Butler (narrating): "Perry is one of the country's most religious and socially conservative governors. He has launched lawsuits against Washington, he calls most scientists who study climate change liars, and he challenges federal authority on issues from taxes to civil rights."
Cartoonist Josh Landis (narrating): "Texas journalist Paul] Burka says a President Perry would probably set his sights on entitlements. Governor Perry has called Social Security a failure and a Ponzi scheme for starters."
Texas Monthly editor Paul Burka: "He would turn back the clock. He would take America back to where there was basically no safety net. I don't think he believes in the safety net."...
Landis: "Texas is also one of the worst-off states when it comes to poverty, health insurance, and education."
— From a September 13 CBS Early Show animated piece, "America's Next Top Republican." [Audio/video (1:02): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Touting Those "Horrified" by Republican Candidates

 

"What I find so interesting is that [the Tea Party] people in this hall really did groove on much of what they heard. This is what they wanted to hear from these candidates. There are a lot of people around the country who are just like the folks in this room. And yet, there are a huge number of people, an equal number of people, who I think were horrified by what they heard in this room. I was getting notes about they ought to keep these people locked up and not let them out. Don't let them do anything to the country."
— Senior political analyst David Gergen following CNN's Republican presidential debate, September 12. [Audio/video (0:33): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Hailing Obama's "Bold" Plan to Spend More Money

 

"More than half of it will be tax cuts — tax cuts for every working American, tax cuts for every small business. Infrastructure spending, help for the unemployed to try and get them back to work. So this is an extraordinarily bold plan by the President...."
— CBS White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell during live coverage before Obama's September 8 jobs speech.

"I mean, this is not the cool, detached college professor that some people have accused Barack Obama of being....I mean, he really went at them tonight. I mean, very — a lot of Harry Truman in this speech tonight."
Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer during CBS's live coverage after the speech.


ABC's Economic Prescription: Spend Like It's World War II

 

"What can government do? The non-political, overwhelming answer from a dominant majority of economists is spend and build. Roads, bridges, schools. A $200 billion a year investment would produce two million jobs and lower unemployment by a point....The debt, say most economists, is only a long-term concern and the U.S. can borrow money right now at practically no interest, so they should launch a stimulus program as big as the one that was launched in World War II."
— Correspondent Jim Avila on ABC's World News, September 2.


Obviously, Racism Is Only Reason to Oppose Magnificent Obama

 

"The interesting question is: what is it about this President that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the office of the President? Why do Republicans think this President is unpresidential — unpresidential, and shouldn't dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008, or it could be, let's face it, the color of his skin."
— MSNBC political analyst and ex-Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe talking about the brief contretemps over scheduling Obama's speech to Congress, The Last Word, August 31. [Audio/video (0:45): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"I am asking you, are you able to be as disrespectful to the office of President by simply walking away from something that every member of the Congress is going to attend? Is that also because he's black?"
— Daytime anchor Martin Bashir on MSNBC's Martin Bashir, September 2, asking Republican Congressman Joe Walsh about his decision to skip Obama's jobs speech.


September 11 Now "An Occasion for Shame"

 

"What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it."
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a September 11 posting to his NYTimes.com blog.

"The dead in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania were used to sanctify the state's lust for war....Because few cared to examine our activities in the Muslim world, the attacks became certified as incomprehensible by the state and its lap dogs, the press....Our brutality and triumphalism, the byproducts of nationalism and our infantile pride, revived the jihadist movement. We became the radical Islamist movement's most effective recruiting tool. We descended to its barbarity. We became terrorists too. The sad legacy of 9/11 is that the assholes, on each side, won."
— Ex-New York Times reporter Chris Hedges writing on Truthdig.com, September 10.


Worst Part of War on Terror = No Money for Liberal Projects

 

"This is a war — if you use the Bush terminology, a 'war against terrorism' — that has been very costly to this country and continues to be costly. Not only the two wars, the extraordinary medical costs associated with it.... When the President goes before the Congress and has to beg for money to modernize schools and build science labs, that's just one small example of the cost we've paid with the obsessive focus on terrorism this last decade."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, September 10. [Audio/video (0:55): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Distressed by "Hard-Driving" Dictator's Grueling Schedule

 

"A hard-driving schedule is the norm his aides say, claiming he sleeps just three hours a night and that his days often stretch to 2:00 a.m. They say even Iran's supreme leader has advised him to sleep more. In his six years as president, Ahmadinejad has visited each province at least three times and every city in each province....[to Ahmadinejad] Keeping obviously a grueling schedule, what is your primary motivation, as president? Why do you work so hard?"
Today co-host Ann Curry profiling Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, September 12. [Audio/video (1:32): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Need to Send Cheney to a Cambodian Re-Education Camp?


Liberal columnist Joe Conason: "You would almost think that Cheney was actually an agent of the nation's enemies, because everything that he advocates, everything he wants us to do, plays so perfectly into the hands of the people who hate America and who want to create propaganda against us. I mean, it's remarkable...."
Host Chris Matthews: "I think we've got to give up on Dick Cheney, by the way....I think it's going to take a Cambodian re-education camp to turn him around."
— MSNBC's Hardball, September 12.


A Glimpse of How Cable News Reporters See the World


"In 2008, a cable news reporter tried to convince me that Cheney was evil incarnate. She was not kidding."
The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes in his September 11 Washington Post piece, "5 Myths About Dick Cheney."


PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
DEPUTY RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Dickens
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Brad Wilmouth, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matt Hadro
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey