Dana Perino, who served as White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, says the president risks “diluting the bully pulpit” by doing so many interviews in such a short period of time.
In talking to former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg about President Obama’s Sunday morning rounds, with the exception of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly says that such a practice, especially if it’s “payback” for Fox TV foregoing to air Obama’s speeches in favor of network programming – is “immature.”
Columnist and commentator Michelle Malkin discussed her new book “Culture of Corruption” on ABC’s “The View” in a segment that was uncharacteristically chilled for the show considering the circumstances. The target of Malkins book is the Obama administration (the full title of the book is: Culture of Corruption. Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies) and is a thorough investigation of his in staff, allegedly revealing corrupt dealings, questionable pasts, and abuses of power throughout his administration
3 of the 4 co-hosts are open Obama supporters (Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar both being lifelong liberal Democrats and Sheri Shepherd announcing that her vote for Barack Obama was the first she had ever cast, only Elizabeth Hasselback supported Republican candidate John McCain in the 2008 election) so with this 3 to 2 unbalance against Malkin on a political figure many feel passionate about, one would expect a hostile and heated disagreement similar to many previous gang-ups on The View featuring a guest in opposition to Obama (ie: Ann Coulter, John McCain and others). However, the segment defied conventional wisdom as Malkin stayed strong and her 3 ideological opponents combated meekly, mostly with questions.
Malkin clearly came into the venue ready for hostility, which is probably what quelled more of it from taking place. Co-host Joy Behar had previously called Malkin “a selfish bitch, probably” for focusing more on opposing middle-class entitlement expansion than stopping the Iraq war. Joy made no similar nasty remarks, but did bring up the Iraq war, as well as the “what about Bush?” response to several of Malkins points against the new Obama administration. When Joy tried to bring the focus back to the Bush administration, asking about it’s own misdeeds that Obama is guilty of, Malkin didn’t hesitate to share the blame, saying “Of course there was. And if you are familiar with my work, Joy, you know that I have been at the forefront of criticizing cronyism, corruption in the Republican Party. I was the largest voice against Harriet Myers and Michael Brown and cronyism at DHS. But guess what? News flash. George Bush is not in office anymore. And it’s time for the American public to reckon with the fact that what they were sold was a huge bill of goods.”
Unmentioned in the interview is the fact that the title of Malkins book is actually a reference to a Democrat attack slogan against the Bush administration, though Malkin made clear she intends not to cover up or ignore the corruption and bumblings of other administrations, but rather hold the Obama administration to the standard it set for itself. By this standard, Malkin alleges it is one of the most corrupt administrations in recent history; a point co-host Whoopi Goldberg (who for some reason was dressed as an 18th century milk maid) attempted to challenge her on, though with a false charge that claimed Malkin had stated that the Obama administration is “more corrupt than other presidencies”. When Malkin began to correct Goldberg that the book isn’t a claim of “worse than others” but rather “really bad when you look at Obama’s claims vs reality”, Whoopi cut off the clarification to show Malkin her host-questions card prepared by The Views producers so as to escape blame for the inaccuracy and let Malkin know that Whoopi was in fact “on the same side of the aisle”. This was a reference to some moments earlier when Malkin switched from Joy to Elizabeth Hasselback, noting the transition as a move “to the friendlier side of the aisle”. This produced groans from the audience and objections from both Joy and Whoopi, though its not known why (logic suggests it cant be a serious denial that the person who agrees with the guest would be the “friendlier” side than the ones who disagree, but perhaps it was thought to be bad form to publicly say so? we’re not sure). When Whoopi took the card back after Malkins verification, she held it up to the audience while Malkin proceeded to explain and mouthed “not me” while pointing to it (as the audience laughed) and then again defensively assured Malkin that she didn’t make up the false charge and it was “just given” to her.
When Michelle was off the set, Whoopi seemingly corrected the dispute about Malkin claiming the Obama administration is the most corrupt by noting that indeed the statement doesn’t appear in the book as Malkin corrected, but rather “the young lady”, as Whoopi referred to Malkin, had made the statement on The Today Show. The full video of Malkin on The Today show can be seen here, but Malkin never makes the claim. Malkin pointed out the false correction to the false statement on her website and implied annoyance that it was made after she had left so she could not correct the assertion on the show.
Speaking of her View appearance on her website, Malkin declared victory, saying “You know you’ve won the argument when the ladies of the View are reduced to arguing how corrupt Team Obama is, and not whether.”