Kirsten Powers: Dems Less Tolerant of Dissent, They’re Used to Controlling the Media

On the January 23 broadcast of Fox News’ “Bill O’Reilly Show,” liberal commentator Kirsten Powers found herself agreeing with the concept that liberals are less tolerant of opposing opinions. Powers went further, though, positing that this intolerance might stem from the fact that liberals are too used to controlling the media and not being confronted by opposition.

Powers went on to say that it was “very disconcerting and unsettling” to liberals when they are confronted with ideas they don’t agree with.

During his “personal story” segment, O’Reilly brought up a study from George Washington University that found that liberals that use the Internet are less tolerant of opposing ideas than conservative Internet users. Interestingly, Powers, of the left-leaning Daily Beast website, tended to agree with those findings.

You know, I have to say this actually jibes with sort of real life experience that I have found, especially as I came into more contact with conservatives as I got older because I used to really live very much in a Democratic bubble when I worked in politics. I did find that they were much more open to sort of hearing other viewpoints, where I think liberals because they are so used to controlling all the media pretty much, academia, that for them when they hear things that don’t jibe with what they want to hear, it’s very disconcerting and unsettling to them. And it doesn’t surprise me that they’re really less interested, whereas conservatives are kind of used to it. They’ve lived in a world where pretty much, you know, the whole media has been sort of liberal.

Mimicking her liberal acquaintances, Powers went on saying, “liberals are sort of taken aback because they feel like, ‘What are you talking about? Everybody knows that what I think is right and nobody thinks differently.'”

The other guest for the segment, Republican consultant Kate Obenshain, also chimed in, saying that when conservatives at our colleges and universities “disagree with liberal the orthodoxy, [they] get slapped with violating the campus speech codes.”

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  • GarandFan

    “Powers went on to say that it was “very disconcerting and unsettling” to
    liberals when they are confronted with ideas they don’t agree with.”

    Because they know EVERYTHING. Just ask Barry.

    • Brian_R_Allen

      …. (ms) Powers went on to say that it was “very disconcerting and unsettling” to liberals when they are confronted with ideas they don’t agree with.

      …. Because they know EVERYTHING. Just ask Barry ….

      “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so darned much that isn’t so.” — Then President, Ronald Wilson Reagan

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. Ms Powers went on saying that “liberals” are sort of taken aback because they feel, “What are you talking about? Everybody knows that what I feel is true and nobody feels differently ….

    Ms Powers gives an occasional Tammy Bruce-like flash of realization that we who are Right are also very happy in our skins. But Ms Powers hasn’t yet had her total epiphany of realization that we who are Right are so because we’ve thought things through and insist upon substance over symbolism — and take the requisite actions.

    While her ilk but feel and their (Fascissocialist) psychosis deludes them into the belief that makes everything roses!

    Maybe if she’ll just stay a while longer away from the institutionalized-envy brigades (AKA “Democrats”) there’ll be hope for her yet?

    Let’s pray and trust.

  • herddog505

    It certainly can be very jarring to have one’s ideas challenged. It’s especially jarring when the challenge is so unusual, such a minority view (“I don’t know ANYBODY who voted for Nixon”) that it seems almost the result of mental illness.

    ‘What are you talking about? Everybody knows that what I think is right and nobody thinks differently.’


  • Brucehenry

    Bull. Powers seems to be willing to play the role on FOX that Juan Williams has adopted: “Even the liberal Kirsten Powers says….”

    Validation for conservatives. Congratulations. Feel better?

    Some people will say anything for money. Her Wiki page says she was considered to replace Alan Colmes, willing “liberal” punching bag, on Hannity’s show, on which she frequently appears.

    • Commander_Chico

      I wonder if she shares the “falafel” with O’Reilly.

      • Brucehenry


        • Bruce and Chico demonstrate the correctness of Ms. Powers’ statements. Living in the bubble indeed.

          • Brucehenry

            Really? How so?

          • EricSteel

            Obviously, you don’t see that you are actually validating her point. Instead of disputing the point she makes, you are attacking her as a sellout and a mercenary. That is the whole point, as a lefty you are not tolerating that she has an opposing view. By calling her some kind of sellout, it allows you to invalidate her entire argument, and you don’t have to consider its legitimacy. Bubble maintained.

          • retired.military

            When republicans have differing views the left embraces them as enlightened, leaning across the aisle and insightful on the issue.
            When democrats have differing views from the herd the left rejects them as heretics ala Lieberman.

          • jim_m

            If they are black they are uncle Toms and race traitors. The point is dead on. The left is incapable of dealing with dissent. They cannot understand differing views and cannot place themselves in the shoes of people who disagree with them.

            Not being able to understand different views, the left falls back on demonizing them and creating false caricatures of their opponents. Someone who disagrees with them must be evil or racist or greedy. Never does anyone come to a debate with a different view if they do not have a serious character flaw and ulterior motive. No one could possibly disagree with the leftist viewpoint so the real reason for opposition must be some kind of evil motivation.

            Bruce denies this but rarely if ever disagrees with the demonization.

          • Brucehenry

            “Not being able to understand different views, the left falls back on demonizing them and creating false caricatures of their opponents.”

            This from Jim M, ladies and gentlemen!

            A man who routinely calls folks fascists, commies, followers of Stalin and Hitler, etc etc yada yada.

            EDIT: I forgot “America-hater.”

          • jim_m

            The difference is that I can, if I choose to, articulate the opposing viewpoint in a neutral and honest way. I do understand why people support things like affirmative action, why people believe that increased government spending is a good thing, why people believe that increased government intrusion is better or our lives.

            I also believe that people start down the road to oppression thinking that it is a good way to go. No one starts down that road with the intention of ending up with the Stasi and hoards of political prisoners, but they end up there with alarming regularity.

            I think that you are a willing participant in something that will ultimately end very badly. You have good intentions but are unwilling to recognize the ultimate extensions of your policies and beliefs.

          • Brucehenry

            And your intellectual ability to articulate opposing viewpoints somehow keeps you from being guilty of demonizing those with whom you disagree?

            I thought fascist, commie, America-hater, and follower-of-Stalin were insults. Silly me.

          • jim_m

            I don’t call people followers of Stalin. THat would be silly since he’s dead.

            I do say that the left has an attitude of blame America first and hating American culture and interests. You are going to claim that this never happens? I’d appreciate some prof of that.

            And yes, the left does promote communism, and fascism. When teachers unions in Chicago are openly advocating communism, I think that we are justified in saying that they are commies in Chicago. When the CPUSA endorses obama I think we have justification in saying that at least some of his policies are communist.

            WHen the left endorses the president having the right to appoint federal officials without Senate confirmation, when the left endorses the government being allowed to enforce laws based on a person’s political affiliation, when the left endorses government control of the economy, I think that I am justified in saying that the left s fascist.

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, OK, so no demonization by you! I stand corrected.

          • jim_m

            I’m not saying that you should have your rights taken away form you based n what you believe, so cry me a river about how horribly you’ve been demonized.

          • Brucehenry

            Remind us of how you feel about Snowe, Collins, and that other one…I forget who it is.

          • herddog505

            Let us know when a prominent GOP / conservative website pictures her in blackface as lefties did Joe Lieberman.


          • Brucehenry

            Should I have notified you when my conservative acquaintances and relatives sent me emails featuring photoshops of Obama in a witch doctor get-up? Or as a baby chimp?

            Maybe I’ll hold my breath the next time Michelle is referred to as a “Wookie” here on Wizbang and see if I pass out before a conservative here condemns it.

            Come on.

          • jim_m

            Should I have notified you when my conservative acquaintances and
            relatives sent me emails featuring photoshops of Obama in a witch doctor
            get-up? Or as a baby chimp?

            Seeing as I have never seen even one such photoshop I would say that you should send them all. My bet is that you get more of those from your lefty friends than you do from anyone else since these things don’t circulate in most right wing circles.

          • Ayup.

          • herddog505

            First, the pic of Lieberman in blackface didn’t appear on a random blog or e-mail, but in the (electronic) pages of HuffPo, a major lefty journal. It was done by no less than Jane Hamsher, who I collect is something a leading light amongst lefty journalists and commentators.

            Second, the issue at hand is how the two sides treat their (shall we say?) defectors. I don’t think there’s much love lost between conservative Republicans and the Maine Gals, but I’m not aware that they’ve been shown in blackface on (for example) HotAir, Power Line, or even here at Wizbang.

          • Brucehenry

            Can’t say they have, but they’ve certainly been targets of invective, to put it mildly. Not least by RM (whom I like and respect, but in this case he’s guilty — a little bit — of a certain double standard.)

          • jim_m

            Well you may forget. I am not aware that I have said anything about them at all. Certainly I have not demonized them.

            Having lived n Massachusetts I understand the realities of republicans getting elected up in New England.

            Feel free to lie about what I have said in the past. It is what you do,

          • Brucehenry

            Addressed to RM, not you.

          • Brucehenry

            I see. So skepticism = refusal to consider opposing viewpoints.

            Obviously that’s why I engage in discussions on Wizbang, because I refuse to consider opposing viewpoints. And the fact that engaging with conservatives here and elsewhere has led me to moderate my views on gun control and some other issues means nothing.

            Tell me, Eric, how many liberal-to-moderate blogs do you comment on?

            IS there such a thing as a “sellout”? I’ve heard it said about, oh, say, that Frum guy, David Brooks, and several others, haven’t you? You don’t think Juan Williams qualifies? He’s turned quite a bit more conservative ever since he got so butthurt over the Arabs-on-planes kerfuffle he got himself into a couple of years ago, it seems to me.

          • herddog505

            Of course there’s such a thing as a “sell out”. Just ask Matt Taibbi:


            I will give you full credit for sticking around here in the teeth of constant and often nastily-personal opposition. I also suggest that there’s a line – a shifty, hazy one – between skepticism and outright refusal to consider what’s being presented. All of us are guilty of crossing that line from time to time.

            Finally, painting one’s opponents as dimwits, willfully ignorant, sell-outs, or strongly possessed of some other intellectual / moral failing is a common tactic on all sides of the aisle (of course, *I* never engage in that sort of thing; only the corrupt, ignorant halfwits who don’t agree with me do!).

            For better or for worse, politics ain’t beanbag*: the issues are often great and have the potential to affect millions of people. Thus, people get very… um… passionate. Logic (and courtesy) goes right out the window.

            I blame democrats for this.


            (*) I suggest that some – perhaps most – people just enjoy a scrap. I’ve seen people get into the ugliest fights over such things as the recent Star Wars movies, which sports team is best, etc. And if you REALLY want to stick your head into a hornets nest, suggest that Glock is better than the 1911 (or vice versa) on the wrong blog or discussion board.

          • Brucehenry

            Agreed. But I blame the GOP, lol.

          • herddog505

            Oh, but that’s only because of mental and moral failings!

          • Brucehenry


          • herddog505

            Who in the hell is “voting down” harmless banter??? I mean, honestly…

          • Brucehenry

            It’s personal. I’m so upset I may run away and never comment again.

            BTW I downvoted your comment lol.

          • herddog505

            You B*STARD!

          • Commander_Chico

            Oh yes, the M1911 cult. Or fetish.

          • herddog505

            Careful! Last time I saw such open criticism of John Browning’s greatest achievement, the phrase “Glock homo” was bandied about.

    • herddog505

      What are you implying? That she’s a dimwit, brought on to be nothing but a punching bag*? That she’s merely pretending to be a lefty?

      Or are you more comfortable with the CNN / MSNBC approach, which is to have no “conservatives” in their regular line-up**, but instead bring on guests to be shrieked at?

      And is Powers wrong? Is the media ACTUALLY neutral? Or do you think that it (gasp!) has a CONSERVATIVE bias? Do you think that lefties are really as tolerant and open-minded as they like to claim that they are, and that Powers is misrepresenting them (poor butterflies)?


      (*) I’ve often thought this of poor Juan Williams: he is usually so obviously outclassed on “Special Report” that I almost feel sorry for him. It’s as if somebody let a slow third grader or member of Congress into the Oxford Union debates.

      (**) I suppose that Scarborough is an exception.

      • Brucehenry

        You don’t think Colmes was a willing punching bag for money? Did you ever SEE that show when Colmes was on it? I would say being considered to replace him is a blot on one’s resume. I’m sorry I looked at her Wiki page before commenting. That fact alone makes her less credible.

        I find MSNBC even more unwatchable than FOX, to tell the truth. The bias is even more flagrant. CNN I find laughable most of the time, as they are more interested in showing off their flashy touchscreen gizmos than they are in covering the news.

        Much of the media does try to at least appear neutral. Sure most reporters are liberal, but many try so fucking hard to appear even-handed that viewers and readers are fed this “Some say this, but others say that” bullshit, so that even on issues where “some say” facts and “others say” nonsense, both sides are lent credibility by “fair and balanced” coverage.

        Creationism in the public schools comes to mind. Or the crackpot theories of that Bell Curve guy or Jonah Goldberg. Yada yada. Five minute segments of two talking heads shouting at one another, one talking sense and one spewing nonsense, and then the “moderator” says, “Well, there you have it, folks, we’re gonna have to ‘leave it there.'”

        • Commander_Chico

          I always though they cast Colmes for his looks, too: somewhat creepy looking in contrast to square-jawed handsome Hannity.

          • Brucehenry

            Maybe that’s why Powers didn’t get the job. She may be a sellout but she’s damn sure not creepy looking.

          • Commander_Chico

            Bingo! They are looking for a fat slag warpig bulldyke.

            Too bad Andrea Dworkin is dead, although I suppose she had the integrity not to take that money.

          • jim_m

            They are looking for a fat slag warpig bulldyke.

            More projection from Chico.

        • herddog505

          What would you have? Much in life isn’t cut-and-dried, subject to some sort of logical analysis that leads to the one and only correct answer like a math problem. We do the best that we can with the information that we have. I think that the answer is MORE debate (even shouting), not less.

          I’m not too bothered by talking heads shouting at each other so long as (shall we say?) the odds are even: there’s one or two people from one side, one or two from the other, both sides get equal time, etc. Credit goes to FNC for routinely having lefties in their lineup.

          And who is to decide who has “credibility”? This is one of the things that irritates us conservatives about MiniTru: they set up people as “experts” without bringing in another “expert” to contradict what is claimed. That’s where we are, for example, with the whole global warming (or is it being called something different this morning) thing: “experts / scientists claim that global warming is real and we’re all gonna die!” If somebody contradicts this, they are a “denier!” or “in the pay of Big Oil!”

          If it were up to me, Algore and Phil Jones and Michael Mann would not be “experts”: they’d be laughing stocks, held up as modern examples of Piltdown Man or Lysnekoism.

          But that’s just me.

          • Brucehenry

            And if someone is a proponent of AGW-caused climate change, are they not accused of being alarmists in it for the grant money?

            It seems to me, Herd, that you are demonstrating at least as much propensity to dismiss liberal viewpoints as you claim liberals are demonstrating in regard to conservative ones.

            The “both sides represented” thing would be fine if there was validity to both sides in every case. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see one side arguing for a spherical earth and the other side being given equal time to argue the earth was flat.

          • jim_m

            Many lay people are alarmists who do not understand the science. Academia today is structured to suppress dissenting viewpoints and to protect existing interests. Scientific dissent is actively suppressed because too much money is riding on it. It isn’t that they are all being deliberately dishonest, it is that they don’t even look at the issues because they know that they cannot dissent.

            With academic faculty running 95% to the far left claiming that there is any diversity of viewpoint is laughable.

          • Brucehenry

            While I don’t have statistics at hand, I would say that your assertion of 95% of academic faculty skewing to the “far” left is questionable.

            I don’t doubt that Liberal Arts, English, History and related fields would skew liberal, perhaps even in numbers close to what you assert, (even though “far” left to you probably wouldn’t seem “far” left to me), but I doubt that physicists, chemists, engineers, etc do so.

          • herddog505

            Let’s assume that this was the year 1000 BC: no aerial or satellite footage of the earth to demonstrate that it is round. Why not have “equal time”?

            But let’s further assume that one side or the other was proposing – nay, DEMANDING – various government programs based on their beliefs. Doesn’t that make the urgency for equal time even greater?

            For my money, the gorebots are in the place of the flat-earthers, demanding that no ships sail from port lest they fall off the edge.

          • Brucehenry

            You’re not going to get a strong argument from me on this. This whole AGW issue is another one in which my views have evolved somewhat as a result of my interactions here. Not a “denier” so much as a doubter-of-the-urgent-need-to-spend-trillions-right-fucking-now, if you know what I mean.

          • herddog505

            Join us on the Dark Side…

      • Brucehenry

        I think that liberals as a group are just about exactly as tolerant and open-minded as are conservatives, as a group.

  • herddog505

    Speaking of…

    Apparently, Barry’s been doing one of the things he does best (which, sadly, does not include competently running the government) and whining about how there are squads of Republicans in the Congress who would just LOVE to work with him on his agenda, but – the horror! – their leadership won’t let them. Greta van Susteren shoots back:

    Brace yourself for this one! Some Democrats have told me that they want to come on Fox to discuss issues but they get heat from their Leadership for appearing on Fox. Does President Obama know that? So which Party is intimidating its members? And to say Senator Harry Reid is willing to compromise is just wrong. He has not allowed a budget to get to the Senate Floor for years to even begin a discussion. The budget process is where all compromise begins and ends and ended it before it even got started.


    What are these nasty ol reichwing Rethuglikkkans thinking??? Why, it’s a VIRTUE to compromise (with democrats). Reaching across the aisle (when Republicans do it) is PATRIOTIC! It isn’t selling out one’s party! No, no! And people who do it should by no means be punished by (for example; just spit-ballin’ here) being forced to run as an independent. Republicans need to understand – nay, embrace – the members of their party who’ve got the courage to go along with Barry, to vote “yes” to $900B “stimulus” bills, to $1T+ deficits, to anything that the messiah wants. After all, he’s the only honest, decent, concerned player in the room.

    • Brucehenry

      Lieberman wasn’t “forced” to run as an independent in 2006 any more than that Republican Senator from Alaska, what’s-her-name, was in 2008. Both lost their primaries and both chose to run independently, Lieberman as an “Independent Democrat” and What’s-her-name as a write-in.

      • herddog505

        Oh? You mean to say that Ned Lamont, American Citizen, just happened to stroll down to the Board of Elections, toss his hat in the ring and, by dint of hard work, skillful campaigning, and a message that resonated with Connecticutters (or whatever they’re called) staged a formidable challenge to a multi-term US senator who was also his party’s VP nominee just a few years before? That the national democrat party and the liberal “machine”* had NOTHING to do with it? That they weren’t enraged by what they perceived as Lieberman “selling out” to Bush and Big Oil and were out to punish him?

        Why else would Lieberman, a democrat for his entire political career, choose to suddenly run as an independent if NOT because his party was punishing him?,2933,207516,00.html


        (*) You know: like the conservative machine that Barry thinks scares GOP members of Congress out of even talking to him?

        • Brucehenry

          Yeah, something like that.

          I’m not sure how that whole grass-roots-discontent/primary-challenge thing works, exactly. We might want to check with Sen Murkowski, former Sen Castle of Delaware, or better yet, former Sen Dick Lugar.

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