Check out the geniuses at the NewsHour!


The best Kwame Holman can do: As everyone knows, PBS’ wonderful NewsHour is our smartest TV news program.

Last evening, this was the best Kwame Holman could do while reporting on Susan Rice. Please note the highlighted statement:
HOLMAN (11/14/12): Also on reporters’ agenda today, harsh criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. They strongly criticized her for saying the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had been a spontaneous outburst of Muslim anger, when officials already knew it was a terrorist attack. And they insisted they`d oppose having her replace Hillary Clinton, who’s expected to step down as secretary of state.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (videotape): This is about the role she played around four dead Americans when it seems to be that the story coming out of the administration, and she's the point person, is so disconnected to reality, I don't trust her. And the reason I don't trust her is because I think she knew better. And if she didn't know better, she shouldn`t be the voice of America.

HOLMAN: In response, the president was vehement in his defense of Ambassador Rice.

OBAMA (videotape): Let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. As I have said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.

HOLMAN: Back on domestic issues, President Obama pledged quick action in a second term on comprehensive immigration reform...
That highlighted statement by Holman is journalistic malpractice. If that’s really the best he can do, it’s time for Holman to go.

Just what is Holman reporting there? Is he reporting that Rice really did “say the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi” was “a spontaneous outburst of Muslim anger, when officials already knew it was a terrorist attack?”

Or is he merely reporting that this is what some Republicans have charged? If he's going to repeat such a serious charge, shouldn't he make some attempt to evakluate its accuracy?

As a professional broadcaster, Holman knows how to draw such distinctions. But he didn’t draw those distinctions last night. Reason: Holman was carefully walking a line, trying to avoid angering those on the right.

How about it? Did Ambassador Rice really say that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous outburst of Muslim anger? Did she really make that statement “even when officials already knew it was a terrorist attack?”

Holman kept things nice and fuzzy last night, the way these cowards constantly do. The NewsHour is our smartest news show—until people like Holman get scared.


  1. Did Rice really say the attack was a a spontaneous outburst of Muslim anger? Well, yes. E.g., here's a quote from MTP:

    This is a response to a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Obviously, our view is that there is absolutely no excuse for violence and that-- what has happened is condemnable, but this is a-- a spontaneous reaction to a video, and it’s not dissimilar but, perhaps, on a slightly larger scale than what we have seen in the past with The Satanic Verses with the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

    1. Boy, you really are an ass.

      What question was she answering?

      Hint: Look at Bob's next article.

    2. The good news: at least D inC is not citing Newsmax or Breitbart this time. Other than that, typical useful idiocy.

    3. This is the level of exchange Bob Somerby promotes "typical useful idiocy." I'm tired of this website and even more tired of the constant insulting of people who disagree with you.

  2. I guess about 22 percent of PBS's budget comes from federal expenditures. Who knows how much the News Hour depends on government largesse, but when Republicans talk about Big Bird it's probably code for anything to the left of John McLaughlin.

  3. Just a couple thoughts from a long-time reader and rare commenter:

    1. Bob isn't batting 1.000, but it's remarkable how often he's right about things that no one else touches. He was "on" this mis-statement about Rice and Benghazi right from the start, and it's only now that some of the media are beginning to catch-up to him, even though it may be too late by now to change the script.

    2. Without defending the media (who are as bad as Bob says), I guess I can at least understand their timidity and failure to be rigorous in reporting the facts. As Bob notes, millions of dollars are on the line for these individuals. What I don't understand is why someone in the Obama administration (maybe even the President himself) doesn't clearly say that Rice has been mis-quoted and slandered for the past 2 months.

    1. I couldn't agree more about Bob getting to the heart of matters time after time. I fear you may be right that it may be to late for the facts of this story to see the light of day. I too wish the President would step up and state the situation and not let the feeble press continue to misinform the public. I write this just to say its nice to hear another voice that seems logical and able to grasp the points Bob makes.

  4. Kwame is a newsreader and the best one around. I smoke a joint and groove on Kwame every evening. No hand flapping here, done purely with the face. The crap he reads was written by that whore Woodruff.

  5. The MSM less Fox (which is surely MSM) have ignored a lot of the nonsense side of the Benghazi story, and rightly, because it's nonsense. I suspect that's what makes them sloppy about details the way Kwame Holman is here. (Not an excuse; an explanation, perhaps.)

    That would be fine if they didn't also half hear the nonsense being spewed by Fox and the Dave in Cal's of this world and unthinkingly restate key elements of it -- and even that wouldn't matter if this whole story didn't have ramifications beyond what they, in their Village bubble, seem capable of imagining.

    Like the ramifications of the future of Susan Rice as a viable candidate for Secretary of State. It will be hard to walk back through the accrued nonsense later. Where I agree with Bob S. about Maddow's and others' negligence re the Rice story.

    And maybe it's more than inadvertent negligence (of the inevitable sort, hindsight being 20/20 and all that). The corporate think. I'm eager to see if Bob S. discusses Rachel's odd coverage of the Pelosi/Russert story. Rachel should have been all over their exchange from Day 1. All the internet sites from which she and her interns put together their shows certainly were. Can you imagine Rachel's coverage if a Fox or CNN reporter had asked Luke Russert's questions? The time she would have devoted to the whole business? But Rachel was very restrained last night. Her show tonight, the "exclusive first" interview with Pelosi, felt to me like a weak attempt by Rachel to cover her butt with progressives. Wow. This was a huge feminist story, but since Little Luke was the bad guy in it, Rachel held back.

    Holding back isn't necessarily terrible. You choose your battles, you sometimes lay low in order to maintain influence and authority when it will matter more. But to hold back on this story? Stinks.

  6. "our smartest TV news program" is Thom Hartmann's show on RT.

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