Jan
06
2014

New York Turns to the Left? Let's Ask Our Center-Right Panel

abc-this-week-deblasioProgressive-leaning Democrats are largely enthusiastic about New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the turn to the left is generating national media attention. "Do liberals now have their counter to the Tea Party?" wondered ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos (1/5/14). 

So he thought to put it to that to his panel of pundits:

A lot of liberals thinking this is a sign of a resurgent left. We're going to get into that on the roundtable.  I'm joined by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard; Cokie Roberts from ABC; Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed; Brian Schweitzer, just wrapped up two terms as governor of Montana, Democrat, now spending a little bit of time in Iowa. We're going to talk about that in a little bit as well. And Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ana Navarro.

If the question of whether or not there is a resurgent left, shouldn't there be some left? ABC gave viewers the far-right Kristol and the conservative Navarro, a few middle-of-the-road journalists and a moderate former Democratic governor. 

Schweitzer, the lone "left," mostly dismissed the idea that de Blasio could govern as a progressive:

The point is, you're a mayor, buster, you've got to make sure the snow gets plowed. You've got to make sure the garbage gets picked up. You've got to make sure the bad guys get locked up. Mayors have to run cities. Governors have to balance budgets. Washington, D.C., they get to talk about inequality.

 Cokie Roberts was unsurprisingly unimpressed: 

ROBERTS: This notion, that this resurgence of liberalism, there's a difference between populism and liberalism. And the liberalism, you know, we never see a poll that shows more than about 20 percent of Americans identifying themselves as liberals.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, de Blasio calls it progressivism.

ROBERTS: We know what that means.

Buzzfeed's Smith voiced what seemed to be a popular take among elite journalists, that the inauguration was too politically charged: 

De Blasio also created this total political kind of mess around his inauguration with his very, very confrontational set of speeches. And I think, you know, his tactical choices to not do what Obama did, to not reach out, to basically write off anybody who disagrees with him from the start.

Remind me again why people think the press has a liberal bias?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.