Does Charlie Rose know any liberal columnists?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

I ask because it struck me as odd that Friday night, during his hour-long program that looked at the new president and his first weeks in office, Rose invited a partisan Republican-friendly columnist, David Brooks of the New York Times, to pontificate for the first 24 minutes of the show; to basically list all the mistakes Obama had made.

I can't find archives for the Charlie Rose shows that go back to 2001, but I'd sure be interested if three weeks into George W. Bush's first term, Rose handed over nearly 30 minutes to a liberal columnist and allowed him/her to details all the mistakes Bush had made during his first 20 days in office. My hunch is Rose did not because that would have been seen as an unfair way to treat a new Republican president. But with a Democrat in the White House, it seems perfectly natural for the Beltway media to hand over all kinds of air time to Republican to critique the White House, and do so without interruption.

Brook's message to viewers nationwide on Charlie Rose? The first weeks for Obama had been "not so great." The stimulus bill was "troubling." The bill was "so far to the left" that it "offended Republicans." Brooks was concerned "Barack Obama does not have a mantle of leadership" and blamed Obama for being "a lot more partisan in recent days." The columnist also claimed there was too much White House in-fighting among Obama's senior advisers.

The theme that Brooks hit over and over during his 24-minute interview was that Democrats, and Democrats alone, was responsible for the lack of bipartisan support for the stimulus bill because Democrats had crafted such an awful piece of legislation. And that of course Republicans would have supported Obama, if only Democrats had simply written a better bill.

Brooks lamented the fact that Obama hadn't used the stimulus bill to build bipartisan support for future legislative efforts. And that the White House blew it and Republicans were completely blameless for the lack of cooperation. (It's called the "bipartisan" trap.)

And note Charlie Rose did not interview anybody else during the program to provide any sort of counter balance to Brooks' skewed, GOP-friendly analysis. (The second segment featured D.C. journalists who said pretty much exactly what you'd expect them to about Obama and the stimulus bill.) My hunch is that Beltway elites see critiques like the one Brooks' offered (i.e. it's all the Dems' fault) as the unvarnished truth and so there's really no reason to include any other voices in the discussion.

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