Melanie Morgan Bites

Melanie Morgan was her usual sweet self on a recent PBS Newshour program. She was such a darling, in fact, that Newshour viewers arose en masse and demanded never to see her again. A selection:

Soltz vs. Morgan on the NewsHour

“The NewsHour” is where I go to get away from screaming heads. Melanie Morgan was a disgrace to the program. Who in the world thought she would be a rational voice to counter Jon Soltz of

Herb Reeves, Greenville, SC

To have included Melanie Morgan to discuss the Iraq mess was a distinct dilution of the integrity that I believe PBS generally represents. Her qualifications to speak are questionable and her interruptive manner not in keeping with your standards.

Landisville, PA

The May 8 “debate” between Jon Soltz of and Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward was one of the worst such segments I’ve seen on NewsHour in awhile. I turn to NewsHour to escape the shouting heads pervasive on the 24-hour news networks. Between Soltz’s offensive insistence that he represents “the troops” (when in fact, many of the troops vehemently disagree with his views), and Morgan’s insistence that the Democrats don’t want victory (merely because they want to fund it only six months at a time), and their nasty and disrespectful attitudes toward each other and the viewers, I was sickened by the whole display. If I wanted red herrings, straw men, ad hominems, and other such nonsense I wouldn’t be watching NewsHour.

Chris Nandor, Arlington, WA

I’m disturbed by the NewsHour’s new low; providing a television platform for an extreme right-wing attack demagogue, spewing abuse and jingoistic vitriol. Of course I’m referring to Melanie Morgan’s demeaning and disparaging ad hominem attacks on your other guest, along with a slanderous impugning of the patriotism and motives of any and all non-like-minded folks.

Jerry Swingle, Durango, CO

The yelling, interrupting and repeated rudeness by the talk show woman is exactly the kind of thing that keeps me from watching other news/talk shows, and the nastiness that I don’t expect to see on Lehrer. I don’t really blame her, since rudeness and yelling is the shtick of talk show hosts and maybe she’d never seen Lehrer and didn’t realize it was out of place there. A good rule of thumb would be not to invite talk show hosts from either side for these discussions.

Dick Homan, Green Valley, AZ

Please let The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer know that some viewers were aghast at tonight’s broadcast when Judy Woodruff let Melanie Morgan of Move Forward America repeatedly interrupt Judy and the other interviewee. Rudeness and a lack of civility are characteristic of some other so-called news programs, but not The NewsHour! We finally pushed the mute button on our remote.

Carolyn Fox, Mount Angel, OR

This evening (May 8 ) The NewsHour carried a piece that purported to be an interview of two grassroots organizations on the course of the Iraq war. On the Bush side was “Move America Forward.” The spokesperson sounded much more like a Republican front organization than a genuine grassroots one. There is nobody with an impressive resume on their web page. I would hope that PBS would check the funding and principles before putting someone like that on the air.

Ben Ansbacher, Burlington, NC

Lehrer’s NewsHour tonight was kinduv the last straw for me. Allowing Melanie Morgan to yell and block out the words of her opposite number was unforgivably rude, but she was not reprimanded; the camera swung to her, as though this were a contest show. For a long time the effort to “give both sides” has allowed similarly rude people a forum to promote minority, sometimes extreme, views. Please stop it!

ER W, Oberlin, OH

The NewsHour Responds

Last night the NewsHour attempted to help our viewers understand why the members of Congress are having so much difficulty arriving at a decision regarding the way forward in Iraq. We believe the intensity of the pressure being exerted on Democrats and Republicans by the “wings” of their respective parties is having an impact on those who are looking for some sort of compromise position. We decided to let representatives of those wings explain their positions, hoping they would participate in a dialogue with us and each other. As our guests demonstrated, however, that was a forlorn hope and the result was a lot of heat, but very little light.

Since neither guest was in the studio with Judy Woodruff, there wasn’t much she could do to prevent them from interrupting one another, short of saying — as she did at least three times — “please let him/her finish his/her point”. The NewsHour style is to ask pointed questions politely; we expect our guests to subscribe to the same rules. Since the program is produced live, we can’t do much to eliminate rude guests from your television screen once the segment has begun; what we can do is guarantee you will never see that person on our program again.

Linda Winslow
Executive Producer
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Now, without further ado, here’s the segment itself for your viewing pleasure. Part I:

And Part II:

Morgan says she represents Move America Forward, which you can see from their web site is a mature and serious organization.

13 thoughts on “Melanie Morgan Bites

  1. Melanie Morgan was very effective in her presentation. Too bad she hurt the sensibilities of the leftist NewsHour audience. But why should they have the final word? The NewsHour is taxpayer funded and should reflect mainstream public opinion.

  2. nabalzbbfr, dude, if Melanie Morgan is “mainstream,” I’m Franklin Pierce.

    She is not mainstream. You are not mainstream. You are both fringe radical whackjobs. This is America, so you have a right to be fringe radical whackjobs, but don’t for a minute assume you are anything other than fringe radical whackjobs. And part of a shrinking minority of fringe radical whackjobs, at that.

  3. …the sensibilities of the leftist NewsHour audience..

    You mean, intelligent, civilized, respectful discourse between human beings? If that’s leftist, I’m for it.

    Melanie Morgan’s style, along with that of all the other right wing gasbags is nothing more than schoolyard bullying. Why can’t right wingers learn and use manners and respect? Why must right wingers muscle their ideas through, running roughshod on everyone? Why can’t they grow up instead of acting like spoiled children?

    I’m led to draw the only reasonable conclusion: their ideas can’t stand the light of day.

    I’m glad NewsHour responded the way they did, with a promise of no more of Morgan’s childishness.

  4. I didn’t see Morgan’s diatribe. Don’t want to.
    She is infamous here in the San Francisco area for extreme right wing views. She at one time suggested that Nancy Pelosi be targetted for treason, a diatribe that suggested she be shot.
    The audience responded with calls for advertisers to withdraw. That got her to subdue somewhat. Now she just lies and obfuscates.
    Unfortunately she is married to the program manager of KGO, the parent organization of KSFO. KGO is highly respected here as fair and balanced, a credit to her husband, Jack Swanson and Micky Luckoff, it’s president.
    Despite Newshour’s promise, I think the only way to subdue voices like Morgan’s is through advertisers. It worked with Don Imus.

  5. maha – your response to nabalwhatzhisname tickled my funnybone – as they say on instant messaging – LOL.

    On a more serious note, I never watch Lehrer. My clicker has been stuck on CNN, MSNBC, FAUX, etc. Although I’ll give myself some credit – I love C-SPAN (in fact that’s how I found your site). But now that I know there is a program that is actually hosted by mature people and usually has mature people as guests, I will make it a point to tune in. I’m sure my blood pressure will thank me.

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  7. Zeus — I haven’t watched Newhour in a long time, although I can’t say exactly why I stopped watching it. But I’ve got my television rigged to self-destruct if it is tuned to Faux Snooze for more than five minutes.

  8. Yes, Melanie Morgan was very effective in her presentation.
    She is very effective in being an ignorant boor.
    If All these flag waving nut jobs really “supported the troops”, they would give the soldiers a break by taking their place “on the ground”.In Baghdad. Instead they live vicariously through the military, claiming “WE” for every “they”. The son of one of my wife’s clients has been home from Iraq for a little over 6 mos, and was just told he’s going to Afghanistan for an 18 month deployment. He has a little boy that he barely nows. If these fuckers insist on making war, the ought to grow some balls and start the draft. Only then will the peasants storm the castle and impeach the morons.
    I’m bloody sick of the bunch.(including nabelzbbfr)

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  10. Hi Maha,

    I did see Melanie doing her thang….she was yelling at Jon Soltz that he wanted Al Qaeda to win. VoteVets represents thousands of those troops, people who actually put their lives on the line. If they disagree with bush’s policy, they’re not alone.

    And that brings me to this: why is the MSM repeatedly presenting the view that we need a new policy as the “far left” of the Democratic Party? Most of America is begging for a new plan. In fact if people (read hard core republicans) could dig deep inside themselves, they’d be favoring a new plan. Jon Soltz and all the members of VoteVets are concerned about their friends. Is asking for better leadership and better plans somewhere off in some leftist cosmic la-la land?

    No. The media needs to be set straight. If the majority of the country feels the war is a mess, then the people they invite on their shows need to be treated as part of the mainstream; cause they are.

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  13. PBS impartial? BS! The former military man is a hack for the right wing anti-anything. Regardless, let’s make sure that we siilence those that are not sucking up to the leftist elites of the world.

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