The Corner

Re ‘Note to TV Producers’

Jonah, I got a smile out of your item. Late last week, I was on an NPR show in Philadelphia (by which I mean, a Philadelphia-area NPR show — I was on the phone). There were two guests, the other being a liberal. The host introduced the show with Erick Erickson’s remarks about the Pledge. Later, in questioning me, she repeated those remarks. She obviously enjoyed them, as why wouldn’t she? I enjoyed them too, though I disagreed with them. The thing is, would she and similar media figures quote Erick when he is criticizing Obama, or Pelosi, or, I don’t know: Hugo Chávez?

I am all for reading and quoting Erick Erickson, our brother in conservatism. It’s the selectivity that’s irksome. (I bet it’s irksome to him, too.)

Remember when Kathleen Parker got famous, after she went after Palin? This joke would not make sense now — but Ann Coulter said something priceless. She was asked about Parker’s hostility to Palin. She responded, “Kathleen Parker? The Kathleen Parker?”

Erick, of course, criticized the Pledge from the right — but NPR doesn’t dislike the Pledge from the right. Why should these guys be so enamored of his criticisms? He (and we, I’m sure) would make the Republican party a much stronger beer, which NPR would spit out in disgust.

While I am griping: The MSM (to use a lazy shorthand) keeps saying how George W. Bush spent a lot of money. True, though that president was a tightwad compared with the current one. Thing is, no Democrat, at the time, criticized him for spending too much. They thought he was Attila the Hun, in every way: not George McGovern with a mountain bike and a hawkish foreign policy. (Again, I’m being lazy.) On that Philadelphia NPR show, either the host or the liberal guest — I forget which — brought up the prescription-drug benefit, that budget-buster. Okay. But what Democrat ever criticized it on fiscal-prudence grounds at the time?

While I am ranting: Our NPR host cited something she found in a Paul Krugman column — a statement by Howard Gleckman. She stressed that Gleckman was nonpartisan. Here’s the relevant part of the Krugman column:

Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”

Yesterday, I was reading about Christiane Amanpour’s latest performance on the ABC Sunday-morning show. (If they want someone from the blunt, committed Left, why don’t they just put in Michael Moore, who, I’m afraid, has considerable talent?) She, too, used this Gleckman bit. To me, it sounds too hysterical to be “nonpartisan.” But that’s not my point — my main point. What is it?

When they latch on to something, they latch on to something: Erick Erickson, Howard Gleckman. May we all have our 15 minutes, sooner or later! When mine comes, I’ll let you know. Say I really, really dislike the 2012 Republican presidential or vice-presidential nominee . . . Oh, glory!

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