Skip to main content

I always suspected that Paul Solman, the economist contributor of PBS News Hour, was sympathetic to Republicans, but I never thought that he would drift into Obama hate territory until today.

In Solman's "Making Sense of Business," in preparation for the GOP convention, he interviewed Romney adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakins, as well as two local Tampa small business owners.  So far, so good.  The three men spewed tired old lies about the President's alleged over-regulation and so forth, without a protest from Mr. Solman.  Still, I am used to journalists NOT doing their jobs.  

What I was not prepared for was Solman's entrance into Obama derangement territory.  One of the small businessmen he interviewed was named Ken Wright, owner of Thundershirt, a t-shirt manufacturer.  Wright made t-shirts for Republicans.  Most were the bland Romney Ryan variety.  Then Wright displayed with pride a best-selling t-shirt showing Obama as Chairman Mao.  Underneath the caption read "ObaMao."  (Yuck, yuck, yuck). This section should have been edited out of the report.

The video for this News Hour segment is not up on the News Hour website, but Mr. Solman alludes to his interview with Ken Wright in this blog post

I was appalled at this feckless display of gratuitous Obama hatred.  I consequently wrote this firm letter to Solman's website:

Mr. Solman: The interview with Ken Wright of Thundershirts was highly inflammatory and inappropriate for PBS. Specifically, you showed Mr. Wright displaying one of his t-shirts, which showed the President as Chairman Mao. The t-shirt stated "Obamao." In allowing this segment to be shown, you aided in buttressing the myth that our President is a Communist, which is hateful, hate-inspiring and downright wrong. It is true that I am a supporter of the President, but I do not view him uncritically. I, however, find that your display of the "Obamao" t-shirt only serves to further the myth that the President is a Communist and also helps divide our country more. Nice work, Mr. Solman.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The video probably should be up soon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, nellgwen

    Newshour always posts the full program on its Website.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:50:38 PM PDT

  •  Whatever, Romney has outspent us in the name (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, nellgwen

    of his corprorate masters. I know what cowardice is for the first time in my life, and Romney is the master of all cowards.

  •  thanks for writing that letter (6+ / 0-)

    i dont know how Obama puts up with all this garbage.

    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot

    by live1 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:56:27 PM PDT

  •  Imagine the outrage (8+ / 0-)

    if it were St. Ronnie being impugned on PBS. I'm sure a bill denouncing the network would be sailing through Congress as we write this.

    You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

    by tomjones on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:56:36 PM PDT

  •  Exactly why I stopped contributing (5+ / 0-)

    several years ago.

    That and the jovial attitude whenever they discuss economics, while millions of Americans suffer.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:58:17 PM PDT

  •  Not just any Communist... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fabucat, nellgwen, little lion, gramofsam1

    Mao. Possibly the biggest monster in all of human history. These people are disgusting.

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

    by Hammerhand on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:02:13 PM PDT

  •  PBS has become very weak. Ever since Newt went (7+ / 0-)

    after them when he was Sspeaker, they've become more concerned with not offending Republicans than with telling the truth.

    Ahh for the days of the old Frontline, when it fearlessly took on hypocrisy, corporate crime, and RW nuts in general.

    (Though I do admire Tom Ashbrook's ability to cleverly and intellingently sneak some good questions through the filters.)

    •  Apparently (0+ / 0-)

      You also stopped watching at that same time, miss the days of  the old 'Frontline', them days ain't changed!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:47:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have the orginial t-shirt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak, nellgwen

    In the interview the guy said he had stolen the image from a Chinese t-shirt, then he laughed for doing a reverse knock off.

    He was right. I recognized it instantly. A very left-y politico friend traveled to China last spring and brought me the Obama-Wearing-A-Mao-Cap t-shirt with Chinese script (not "ObaMao") as a gift.

    Context is EVERYTHING!

    "We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers..." -- Bayard Rustin

    by BK here on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:35:16 PM PDT

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yeah, the Chinese in general still revere Chairman Mao; I could see how a shirt like that would be considered a compliment.  

      China would not be the almost advanced country it is today without him. He was probably the most important leader of the 20th century.  

      One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

      by Anak on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:54:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please tell me this is snark- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and if not, what would you consider Mao's greatest achievement?  The Great Leap Forward?  The Cultural Revolution?  

        •  Are the Chinese still starving? Didn't they (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          send a rocket to space, or at least come close? Aren't many of their scientists graduates of western schools?

          The Chinese have come a long way in a very short time whereas this country is regressing.

          Do you consider the current War on Women the USA's greatest achievement?

          snark my foot. The Chinese are moving forward in a tsunami that will surpass us. Your view is as ignorant as Akin's view of reproductive biology.

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:46:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Anecdote: A Korean friend of mine who is (0+ / 0-)

          a now professor here in the States  and who has travelled around a lot in Asia told me that without a doubt, Chinese women are the strongest. I noticed that myself in China. You've been there, right? If so, surely you've noticed that.  

          All that is directly due to Chairman Mao, including the Cultural Revolution.

          One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

          by Anak on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:29:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And, it's funny, cause I was debating (0+ / 0-)

          whether to restrict him to the 20th-century or not. Frankly, the Chairman might just be the greatest historical figure ever and for all times.

          The French Revolution, great as it was, did not do away with a desire for elite emperors and kings in France. The Chairman just utterly did away with all that elitist bullshit. He did away with trying to negotiate deals with imperial powers like the US and the horrific UK; he strived, and succeeded, in improving literacy and education for the masses; he stopped the constant famines that China used to face; he totally rehabilitated the status of women--compare China to S. Korea or Japan, it's a joke.

          So, yeah, once the West, esp. the UK, stops trying to suppress the horror that was their colonial rule over just about the whole world, Westerners will finally be able to see just how great the Chairman was.  

          One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

          by Anak on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:42:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I brought several from (0+ / 0-)

      my trip to China (only size I could find was small). The Chinese characters under the image translate to 'service people', which is how most of the people there felt about Mao

  •  Paul Solman is a bit of a jackass. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good for you for writing the letter.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:43:27 PM PDT

  •  This idiot... (4+ / 0-)

    realizes that Twitt Rmoney wants to defund PBS and put his disgraceful ass out of a job--right?

    Breathe. If you can, you ain't dead yet.

    by Socratic Method on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:02:49 PM PDT

  •  One of the Jesus guys (0+ / 0-)

    at the senior center just can't make an appearance without starting a political "discussion."  Argument is futile because he's one of those people for whom facts and evidence simply don't exist.

    He went to see Romney when he was in town the other day.  When I looked out at the parking lot, something new had been added to his pickup.  Across the back window is "Wake up America.  Get rid of the dumbass."  

    If I were of a violent, vindictive nature, I'd do something to the truck, but I'm pretty sure that someone else will take care of that eventually.  OTOH, I'm not sure I will be able to lay eyes on him again without ripping his face off.  What a Christian example for all to see.  Grrrr.....

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:30:23 PM PDT

  •  Its like NPR. I grew up listening to NPR (0+ / 0-)

    but Diane Rhem and All Things Considered are like FOX-Lite.

    compassion for things i'll never know ~ david byrne

    by little lion on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 08:52:45 PM PDT

    •  YES, Diane Rehm lets her guests spew pro-RWNJ (0+ / 0-)

      garbage frequently.

      ATC - not a good as I'd like.

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:47:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CPUSA, call your office. (0+ / 0-)
    ...a Communist, which is hateful, hate-inspiring and downright wrong.
  •  Caught That Myself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And was, lets say, surprised he let that be a part of the report.

    But what really got me was this clowns wish to be able to 'expand' to fifty employee's from the three, I think he said he has, right now. I just said out loud "Huh, you print T-Shirts like thousands around the country as well as thousands online making up their own to be printed out and sold sharing the profits with the affiliated companies. 50 employee's printing out specialty T-Shirts that for the most part are worn once or twice or not at all, like the coffee cups in the cupboards never used because ya got so many of them. Good luck with them expansion plans but politics and washington have nothing to do with your big dreams of expansion".

    But then in an after thought, "If by chance and huge good luck you can expand and build a bigger T-Shirt printing company, with added products, supporting a vulture capitalists, unless that's all you're after like many, who swoop in give an offer and buy ya out, then totally wreck what you supposedly built with pride and quality and innovative workers and satisfied customers for pure bottom line profit, then maybe you should sell out now."

    But what got me about the whole report, sans the McCain economic adviser who spoke all the right talking points parroted over and over and were done with the total opposite results, were all these business owners left me with a better understanding of what's been going on. They, and thus that once political party, have completely written off the bush and those congresses including the tepub congress reps since Obama and All that happened, not just economically, they're still thinking that trickle down wealth can be had. The bush screwed it all up but if we can retake the federal government we can now do it right, this time! This is why the bush is rarely mentioned and they run from any mention of anything while he was in as the reps in congress continue doing same and in most cases and issues have doubled down even.

    Here's the Report, see what you think:

      AIR DATE: Aug. 24, 2012
    Tax Cuts, Deregulation Among Republican Economic Priorities for 2012 Election

    Ahead of the Republican National Convention, Paul Solman goes to Tampa, Fla., to talk to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, as well as some conservative business owners about their economic priorities going into the 2012 Election, which include tax cuts and deregulation.

    Watch Tax Cuts, Deregulation Among Republican Election Priorities on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.


    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:46:03 AM PDT

    •  As to wiping out the bush years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's also one of the reasons they haven't attacked their own for doing nothing to help the country in these past couple of years since and why the attacks on Obama are working for them. The attacks, mostly blaming Obama for everything that happened the eight years prior to and years before that, they think will give them that chance to 'do it right' this time' and that's all that matters and why some of these reps will get votes and actually be reelected or rehired and want to do the same failures again because now they'll work!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:52:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As to Solman (0+ / 0-)

      Having some sort of tepub swing, you missed the point of the whole report, he's in Tampa, and I did come away thinking there was a number of reasons for why he did do the inteview with the T-Shirt business owner!

      But alas, if the cultist mentality of either political party, more so with the teabag party though, hear something they don't want to actually think about the why or from who and reason for, they quickly get upset and have the need to whine about it!

      Such has gone critical thought and commonsense, and such for the country, and this is the higher education industry era!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:00:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site