As we noted here, there weren't many labor voices booked on the Sunday morning chat shows. One, actually–Richard Trumka from the AFL-CIO. ABC's This Week featured four governors (two Democrats, two Republicans) talking about their fiscal problems. CBS's Face the Nation had a soft interview with New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Host Bob Schieffer asked him one question that began, "You have a reputation as a straight talker, I think…." Schieffer went on to play a clip of Christie bravely calling for Social Security cuts. Instead of questioning Christie's totally inaccurate premise–that you "have to raise the retirement age"–Schieffer […]
Joe Biden on Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak (PBS NewsHour, 1/27/11): I would not refer to him as a dictator. On WikiLeaks' Julian Assange (NBC's Meet the Press, 12/19/10) DAVID GREGORY: Mitch McConnell says he's a high-tech terrorist, others say this is akin to the Pentagon Papers. Where do you come down? JOE BIDEN: I would argue that it's closer to being a high-tech terrorist than the Pentagon Papers. For the record, neither journalist pushed Biden to explain his opinions.
Meet the Press announced that its show this Sunday will feature two conservative Republican guests, Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.). Well, that's only natural, because the GOP did so well on Tuesday, winning back the House…. Right? Oh wait…. Here's Meet the Press's then-host Tim Russert on November 12, 2006: Our issues this Sunday: The voters send a loud and clear message to the White House, and give the Democrats control of the House and the Senate for the first time in 12 years. What now for the Republicans? We'll ask a man who is positioned […]
Wrapping up a panel discussion (10/31/10) on Barack Obama's post-midterm political challenges, NBC reporter Chuck Todd raised the possibility that the Beltway debate on Afghanistan might change: On Afghanistan, the Democratic caucus that will be left, you brought this up, is going to be a very liberal caucus, very anti-war caucus. This is going to be a political challenge for him like no other. And by the way, a lot of these Tea Party conservatives have all talked about "We don't want to be there forever" in these debates…. They're all like, "I don't want to be nation builders." There […]
Thispast Sunday's edition of NBC'sMeet the Press (10/10/10) featuredtwo gueststalking about the midterms, the economy and public sentiment: conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and Time magazine's Joe Klein. Klein has been on a road trip through the middle of the country to assess how Americans are feeling (that is, Americans who don't live in "urban" areas or the "deep South," as Klein explained). Trying to explain how voters feel aboutWashington, Klein provided this anecdote: They have no idea what the Democrats stand for, except for these big, slovenly pieces of legislation that we've seen which inevitably contain ridiculous […]
A new study of the guest lists for the Sunday morning chat shows finds that the networks prefer lawmaker guests who are white, male, older and Republican. The study was publishedby the George Mason University School of Law's Green Bag Journal, and got a brief write-up in the New York Times today (9/13/10). And that means we got to hear excuses from the shows about why this is the case. Meet the Press executive producer Betsy Fischer spoke about how they are "committed to having a diverse group of voices on the program whose opinions and expertise reflect the cultural, […]
Public support for the Afghanistan war continues to drop. Casualties mount. So why is NBC's Meet the Press giving viewers a parade of hawkish pundits and military officials? If you haven't already done so, please join FAIR's call to broaden the debate on the war on the most-watched Sunday morning chat show. And while you're at, RethinkAfghanistan is asking people to sign a petition to CBS anchor Katie Couric to ask tough questions of Gen. David Petraeus.
The Afghanistan documents posted by WikiLeaks were obviously the big story of the week. So how did the network Sunday shows react to these disclosures, which have the potential to open up a real debate about the Afghan War? NBC's Meet the Press interviewed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen. ABC's This Week featured an interview with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On CBS, Face The Nation had Mike Mullen. What would state broadcasting look like again? CBS also had an interview with Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations (formerly of the Bush administration), who urged […]
To hear some of the Beltway media tell it,on Sunday White House press secretary Robert Gibbs predicted that the Democrats could lose their congressional majority in the November midterms. The L.A. Times captured some of the sense of crisis (7/14/10), noting that party leaders also tried to improve the gloomy prognosis. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, reversing course from comments he made over the weekend, said Tuesday he now believed Democrats would retain control of the House, a sentiment shared by the House majority leader, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. It's odd, then, tolook at what actually Gibbs […]
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove is making the rounds to promote his new book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. He landed on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday (3/14/10), interviewed by Tom Brokaw. Brokaw asked him about his book's discussion of the Iraq War: BROKAW: And in it, you acknowledge when weapons of mass destruction were not found, everyone was startled and not very happy about that. If that had been the case before war began, you couldn't have gotten congressional authorization. ROVE: Nor in all likelihood U.N. approval, as we had as well. BROKAW: […]
Mark Weisbrot had a good column in the London Guardian (10/23/09) about the highly circumscribed "debate" over the Afghanistan War (FAIR Action Alert, 8/25/09). He breaks down the lineup of a recent Meet the Press (10/11/09): Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, former Army general and drug czar (under President Clinton) turned defense industry lobbyist. In a news article on McCaffrey entitled "One Man's Military-Industrial-Media Complex," the New York Times reported that McCaffrey had "earned at least $500,000 from his work for Veritas Capital, a private equity firm in New York that has grown into a defense industry powerhouse by buying contractors […]
Blogging from his regular Salon perch (4/20/09, ad-viewing required), Glenn Greenwald notes that the public wants to investigate U.S. torture (that's what the polls tell us), but: These facts about public opinion are virtually always excluded from establishment media discussions, and those who advocate investigations and prosecutions–the view held by large percentages, if not majorities, of Americans–are virtually never heard from. That's because the belief that elites should be exempted from all consequences when they break the law is as close to a trans-partisan religious tenet of Beltway culture as it gets. Consider yesterday's Meet the Press panel discussion of […]