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Did anyone else decide to stay in on Halloween night and watch PBS?  If so, you might have caught Tom Brokaw wax profound on the Charlie Rose Show for an hour.

In an otherwise light and uneventful discussion with two establishment pundits at a wood table, this passage made my jaw drop.

Follow me after the jump, and you'll see what I mean.

Take a look at Friday’s video from Charlie Rose and skip forward to 34:20. (It doesn't seem to embed properly.)

Transcript:

Charlie:  What at this late stage have we missed?  What opportunities would you have wanted to pursue?  For example, education.  For example, in terms of energy.  For example, how they feel about huge problems:  global health and poverty...

Brokaw:  Here are a couple places I would’ve liked to have a chance to press them harder.  There was a question from the Internet from woman who is 78 years old, who had lived through the Depression.  And she said, "In this country since WWII we haven’t been asked to sacrifice anything."  Having written about the Greatest Generation, that’s a big issue with me.  We’ve not been asked to do anything during the Iraq war.  If you don’t have a child or a loved one in uniform serving, you’re completely separated from it.  And I was disappointed that the two candidates really didn’t come up with a kind of list.

Charlie:  There’s no call to service.

Brokaw:  Tom Friedman and I were talking about it later.  Because one friend of mine wrote and said, "Well, you know, Obama did say that you should take a look at public service." I said, "Well, you know, that’s a bromide."

What if he had said--looked in the camera and said--to a family, "At the end of this debate tonight, I’d like you to sit down with your family and decide how you can reduce your energy needs and uses in your family by 20 percent in the next six months."

Tom Brokaw, whose job it is to follow the news, missed an entire theme from Barack Obama’s campaign, articulated repeatedly in stump speeches across the country.

How many of us could recite in our sleep the Obama plan to give every student in America a $4,000 college tax credit in exchange for service?

Here’s MSNBC—Brokaw’s own network—reporting on Barack’s call for service and sacrifice:

Here’s Obama—looking in the camera, if I'm not mistaken—and talking about service in what I recall was something entitled the September 11 Presidential Forum on Service.  I guess they should’ve put the title in neon lights for Brokaw to notice it.

Here’s Obama writing about his call to service in Time magazine.  

Third, we need to integrate service into education. We should help schools develop service programs outside the classroom. And I've proposed an annual college-tuition tax credit of $4,000 in exchange for 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you--that's how we'll make college affordable for every American.
It's time to come together to shape the course of history. After 9/11, all Americans were ready to answer a call to service, but it didn't come. I will issue that call, and make it a central cause of my presidency.

And if you’ve forgotten, or just happen to be the average retired NBC News anchor, here’s Obama’s 27-minute speech on national service, delivered in Colorado Springs on July 2, 2008.

Right on Obama’s campaign website is an entire page about his service tax credit.

Obama even brought up his service credit during his acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention, which we can assume Brokaw watched because he was there reporting on it.

But the central complaint against Brokaw, of course, isn’t that he hadn’t read Obama’s entire platform—it’s that he had been oblivious to a theme that had been echoed throughout the general election.

There’s really no excuse for this omission.

I also found it particularly galling that Brokaw chose energy conservation as his example about what Obama "missed" in his call to service.

Does anyone elose remember when the silly season of the general election officially began in August?

Barack Obama answered an audience question, in the midst of $4 a gallon gas, about what the individual citizen could do to conserve.  Obama suggested, among other things, that we should keep our tires inflated.

The McCain campaign swooped into full "Country First" stupidity and started distributing tire gauges at rallies.  They even sold tire gauges online, bearing the imprint: Obama’s energy plan.

And as an added reminder, here’s Obama delivering one of the more unforgettable (for non-news anchors) responses:

It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

What a perfect encapsulation of the past 8 years of Republican mismanagement.  And after Tom Brokaw’s profound pontification, it seems like the perfect coda to the campaign coverage we've endured from the traditional media.

As a post-script, ever since Inflate-your-tires-gate, I’ve been religiously inflating my tires.  It almost feels as good as when I cast my ballot for Barack Obama this week.

On to November 4!  Get out the vote these last three days, and we'll make sure they hear us from now on.

Originally posted to Lib Stone on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:41 PM PDT.

Poll

If you were put on the spot, would you be able to remember the tuition tax credit?

86%138 votes
5%9 votes
8%13 votes

| 160 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Brokaw = McCain's BumBoy. (7+ / 0-)

    So you see, there is an excuse.

    Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law. James Baldwin

    by evilene689 on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:43:37 PM PDT

  •  In case you haven't noticed (8+ / 0-)

    the average kossack is MUCH better informed than the average bloviating, over-freaking-paid PUNDIT !

    Yeah, we ALL KNEW ABOUT THAT !

    The only question is, why didn't he ?

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:44:25 PM PDT

    •  I can't help wondering what kind of bubble (3+ / 0-)

      surrounds Brokaw's head, that he can so studiously disattend something so heavily reported.

      McCain now decries greed on Wall Street and suggests a commission .... This is like Casanova coming out for chastity. Garrison Keillor

      by tovan on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:53:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I find most disturbing is that this is a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tovan, Brooke In Seattle

        fairly new aspect of Brokaw's intellect, visible only during this campaign.

        I don't know whether he is trying to offset the liberal bias of MSNBC (and reality) or if he is suffering some sort of memory disorder.  We've seen it happen with McCain, so I guess there is no reason why it couldn't happen to Brokaw.

        Perhaps he should have remained in retirement.

        Piffle crack eat monkey snow. Really. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald

        by Susan Grigsby on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:07:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Greatest" Generation Meme Should Tell You (3+ / 0-)

        They're the generation that ran the Vietnam war and launched the Reagan Revolution.

        The point of the meme is to contrast them with their traitorous children.

        There's plenty of bases for compare-and-contrasts, but sanctifying them with "Greatest" is sure to keep most of the balance off the table.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:17:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tom Brok? Aw....Don't fix him. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopeisontheway

    Throw his butt into the dustbin of history.

    He can go hangout in heaven with "The Greatest Generation" for all I care.

    MCCAIN/PALIN - A BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

    by lrbreckenripple on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:44:46 PM PDT

  •  He's re-retiring this week. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Pannich

    Let him...

    -- Hope is the adrenaline of the mind. --

    by Druid800 on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:47:23 PM PDT

    •  More and more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, Druid800

      I've come to realize that Brokaw is the Palin of punditry.   As Palin looks like a charistimatic leader, Brokaw looks like a sensible news man.  Great casting IF you have someone else writing the script for them.   Once they speak off script, you see them for the bubble-heads they are.

      •  He's not a pundit.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, vcthree

        ...that's the problem.  

        He's 'playing' one now and failing miserably.  He's a newsreader, with a little bit of editorial experience...that's it...well other than he used to look good on teevee.  

        The punditry gig is new for him and he's just flat out bad at it...well that and he backed a loser.  

        -- Hope is the adrenaline of the mind. --

        by Druid800 on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:05:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He used to be better, retirement has made him (0+ / 0-)

        sloppy and rely on his dumb arrogant opinions. He really did more research and was more solid when he was working FT. I never liked him much, but I think that's fair to say.

        Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:38:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good bye Tom, You have nothing to say! (3+ / 0-)

    Obama has something they don't, he has US!

    by Chacesnana1 on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:47:52 PM PDT

  •  brokaw is in love with his own voice . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopeisontheway
    isn't it about time he uses it in a job he is actually qualified for...like maybe DJ at a strip club.
  •  Rush Limbaugh's Friday show (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pannich

    featured several edited portions of the show with both Brokaw and Charlie Rose saying they didn't know about Obama's views on various topics.  I assumed it was heavily edited to make it sound worse than what was actually said.  Republicans don't care about what people actually say, just what they can edit into a lie.  Anyway Rush kept laughing at how funny it was that these "news" people don't know stuff and why don't they ever find out.  They main point Rush was pushing was that Obama has mesmerized the media into believing he's a regular guy but that Rush and Fox know who Obama is, terrorist, socialist etc.

  •  Brokaw's been in the tank for McLame so long... (4+ / 0-)

    That he grew a set of gills.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 04:55:08 PM PDT

  •  Ive got two teens looking at college- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopeisontheway, dewley notid

    one next year, one in a couple of years.  The tax credit for college is definatly something that got my attention.  I think its a great idea.

  •  Tom Brokaw is a tool. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I think on Tues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    They should send Brokaw to the Grant Park celebration. There he can report that Obama has won, sob because his favorite friend McCain lost, and relive 1968 all at the same time.

  •  Brokaw has been phoning it in for years now. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Do you mean the call to service that Obama was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    harshly mocked for, because he had the audacity to ask college students to give up some of their time and life to go into service for a few years rather than go out and make a ton of money right out of college?

    Yeah, that one.  I'm surprised Brokaw didn't hear something about it.

  •  Brokaw's a jackass (0+ / 0-)

    but I hope that Obama's idea is just a campaign pander.

    We don't need "service", and we especially don't need "service" that preys on the weak.

  •  Really dislike Tom Brokaw (2+ / 0-)

    He completely panders to the Greatest Generation folks, though there are fewer and fewer left.

    I mean, really, what about the 60's and 70's?  I'm no real Baby Boomer--born in 1964.  But how can they be ignored?????????  Lives were lost in Vietnam.  War was protested on a MASSIVE scale never seen before or since, by the generation that was losing the most lives.  Didn't the "greatest generation" put that generation in harm's way??

    What of gains in civil rights?  What of gains in woman's rights?

    I heard Obama give the call to service, and make comments about everything from tire gauges to turning off the lights--to giving $15 billion to renewable energy.

    The guy just can't come to grips with the fact that subsequent generations can rival, or perhaps even surpass, his so-called "greatest generation".  Things are not looking good...they're not going to get better soon, I hope Tom's around a decade or two from now to eat his words.

    •  Tom was born in 1940 and I think, resented the (0+ / 0-)

      post war baby boom children who got so much more from life than he did.

      When we were busy fighting for rights and against war he was busy sipping martini's and smoking stuff.

      Piffle crack eat monkey snow. Really. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald

      by Susan Grigsby on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:13:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Born in '64, you're part of Generation Jones... (0+ / 0-)

      ...like Obama, who was born in 1961 (Generation Jones was born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Xers).

      This 5 min. video about GenJones is well worth watching:

  •  BROKAW is a Senile Tool!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

    by danieladamsmith on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 05:07:33 PM PDT

  •  Tom you need to retire...PERMANATELY! (0+ / 0-)
  •  It's hard to hear the news when you're that deep (0+ / 0-)

    in the tank for McCain.

  •  Really, Tom it very hard (0+ / 0-)

    Extremely hard to remember Obama's, call to service... FROM THE BOTTOM UP, when your entire head is so far up McCain's orafist your chewing his food for him.

  •  Obama's call to service (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr

    is probably the single aspect of his campaign, and his character as a politician,  which I admire the most.  Saying he hasn't done enough in this area is like saying "Barack who?".

    I look forward to what I hope will be the creation of a truly modern, 21st-century infrastructure for connecting people who can help others with people who could use some help.  It makes no sense to insist on keeping our systems which handle this sort of thing pure and untouched by progress, out of some misguided sense of traditionalism and nostalgia.  We could increase involvement by ordinary Americans in each other's lives by a hundredfold if we decided to make it a national priority.

    Increased involvement breeds empathy and understanding, which breed support for progressive policies.  As far as I'm concerned, the future of progressivism depends on teasing people out of their insular little worlds and showing them first-hand what reality looks like.

    •  Right on (0+ / 0-)

      From the beginning, Obama has talked about getting people engaged in government again and being conscious about what a progressive agenda should look like.  The way he's conducted his campaign has only strengthened his credibility on the issue of service, and I look forward to seeing how he keeps the public involved in his presidential initiatives.  No repeat of 1994.  (Or 2000.  Knock on wood.)

  •  I am only 4 years younger than Tom (0+ / 0-)

    and yet I was able to figure a way to put in 52,596 hours of community service. (and that was before I started my antiwar work)  Little Tommy's obsession with the so called greatest generation is a red herring to divert attention away from the fact that he didn't do shit himself. What a fucking poser.  

  •  i noticed that on charlie rose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr

    brokaw is so full of shit.

    from the 2nd debate that brokaw moderated:

    Obama: But each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings. And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we're providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that's made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea, making sure that you are able to weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient.

    And that's going to require effort from each and every one of us.

    And the last point I just want to make. I think the young people of America are especially interested in how they can serve, and that's one of the reasons why I'm interested in doubling the Peace Corps, making sure that we are creating a volunteer corps all across this country that can be involved in their community, involved in military service, so that military families and our troops are not the only ones bearing the burden of renewing America.

    brokaw also said the candidates were not addressing major issues much, like education.

    but brokaw NEVER asked about that.

    if he wanted them to address education, maybe he should have asked a question about it.

  •  Tom Brokaw Is An Idiot. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ultraslacker

    America deserves so much better than him.

    Why does America continue to put up with Tom Brokaw?

  •  Just sent him the following: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lib Stone

    Dear Tom Brokaw,

    Surely you can do better.  Please address this discrepancy:

    In your recent appearance on Charlie Rose, you stated:

    Brokaw:  Tom Friedman and I were talking about it later.  Because one friend of mine wrote and said, "Well, you know, Obama did say that you should take a look at public service." I said, "Well, you know, that’s a bromide."

    What if he had said--looked in the camera and said--to a family, "At the end of this debate tonight, I’d like you to sit down with your family and decide how you can reduce your energy needs and uses in your family by 20 percent in the next six months."

    Your own network has given coverage to Senator Obama's call for national service and sacrifice.  Anyone who has been paying attention is aware of his proposal for a $4000 college credit to any young person who undertakes national service.  Perhaps you missed Senator Obama's detailed discussion of National Service at the September 11th forum on
    Service - a joint appearance with Sen. McCain, if I recall correctly.

    Or perhaps you missed Senator Obama's statement in Time Magazine:

    Third, we need to integrate service into education. We should help schools develop service programs outside the classroom. And I've proposed an annual college-tuition tax credit of $4,000 in exchange for 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you--that's how we'll make college affordable for every American.
    It's time to come together to shape the course of history. After 9/11, all Americans were ready to answer a call to service, but it didn't come. I will issue that call, and make it a central cause of my presidency.

    Or perhaps you failed to notice that the Obama campaign website has an entire section devoted to National Service:

    http://www.barackobama.com/...

    Or perhaps you forgot that Senator Obama discussed energy conservation at a personal level...and was widely mocked by the McCain campaign for recommending (among other things) that people check their tire pressure  as a factor in fuel conservation?

    Honestly.  If I weren't a firm believer that television news anchors are inherently unbiased (by virtue of their positions at the top of the broadcast media hierarchy), I could read your statement as a deliberate misinterpretation of Senator Obama's record and positions. But since I could never believe someone like you would stoop to misrepresentation, I'm just going to have to go with my second choice: you're ignorant, and you've chosen to remain ignorant.

    The unanswered question, of course, is, "why?"

    Perhaps you can address this in the days and weeks to come. I won't hold my breath.

    Yours sincerely,

    WarrenS
    Medford, MA

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 06:33:49 PM PDT

  •  Apparently, Brokaw is tired and old. (0+ / 0-)

    Tom has been a great reporter of pieces about time.  His piece on 1968 was really well done, as well as his book about the WW2 generation, but his political insights often seem to lack.  Still, I can't recall ever thinking him outright biased.  It is downright strange, therefore, that he would not know of Obama's repeated calls for service and begs for an answer.  My guess is that he's getting old and his faculties are drifting.  He has taken on a great load with MTP and all the Convention coverage.  It seems logical to me that he's tired and not managing objectivity as well as he used to.

    "I am here because of Ashley." - Unknown Obama supporter.

    by rainmanjr on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 06:46:44 PM PDT

  •  Brokaw has no content (0+ / 0-)

    I won't speak to NBC's corporate biases, or to those of certain of his fellow blowdried talking heads like Brian Williams.

    It's not so much that Brokaw appears to be a conservative Republican.  It's his cultural biases that are most striking.  Brokaw serves his viewers a mythical early 1950s view of the country.  Thus his obsession with "the greatest generation", something that he didn't undertake until enough WW2 veterans had died off to make it feasible for him to propagandize it.  Of course, his "greatest generation" is predominantly white, small-town, religious, and culturally like a cross between "Pleasantville" and "The Stepford Wives."  

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