What Do You Call a Guy Like Rick Perry?

Frontrunner-of-the-moment Rick Perry is getting a lot of press for his performance at the recent Republican debate–especially because he’s standing by his belief that Social Security is a “monstrous lie” and a Ponzi scheme, and that climate change is an untested theory advanced by corrupt, discredited scientists. You can call such ideas a lot of things. “False” or “untrue,” for example, would work. But a lot of reporters characterized Perry’s performance in positive terms. In today’s New York Times (9/9/11), Michael Shear writes that Perry made clear in his first national appearance that he would campaign as an unabashed Southern […]


Public TV’s Austerity Hour

As you may have heard, the White House-backed deficit commission failed to gain a supermajority vote to support a proposal from co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Their suggestions came under sharp criticism from liberal and progressive critics. Butthe December 3 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, a short report on that failure was tilted heavily in favor of supporters of the plan. Quoted in the piece were Bowles, Simpson and their ally Sen. Kent Conrad. Former SEIU chief Andy Stern, who voted against the plan, was the only no vote who was heard from. On December 1, the NewsHour had […]


Playing the Left on TV

Regular NewsHour left/right panelists Mark Shields and David Brooks were off on April 18. Sitting in on the right was former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson. In the liberal chair was Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who is not exactly known for her strong progressive views. And in fact, Marcus established that fact right from the start on the debate over torture, showing (once again) that a good TV leftist is usually not, well, a leftist: JUDY WOODRUFF: Ruth, to you first. The release of these Bush administration-era interrogation memos and, simultaneously, the decision not to prosecute the CIA agents who […]