Can They Pull David Brooks’ Pundit License?

New York Times columnist David Brooks is a regular on TV talk shows–including his weekly appearance on the PBS NewsHour (allowing the public to hear regularly from a widely syndicated columnist and commercial TV pundit, just aspublic TV was intended to do!).

On a NewsHour midterm election post-mortem discussion (11/3/10), Brooks made this point about the supposed economic ignorance of some voters:

If you looked at the exit polls, the independents were more likely than other voters to really be alarmed about the deficits. They were also more likely than other voters to want to protect Social Security, Medicare and all the things that create the deficits. If the American people are not willing to square that circle, then how can you expect elected leaders to do that?

If David Brooks believes that Social Security–a government program that at present has amassed a$2 trillion surplus– is “creating” the deficit, he either doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or says things that he knows are false because he feels like they make his arguments sound more appealing.

A decent program would either feature another panelist to refute this nonsense–Mark Shields, the show’s regular liberal, did not–or have a host who would set the record straight–which didn’t happen.

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.