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Did Mark Shields call Judy Woodruff liberal, elite?

Sometimes pundits say the darndest things.

I suspected it might be ideologically revealing to see how the PBS “NewsHour” analyzed Thursday night’s GOP debate on Fox News. But I didn’t think it would get this revealing.

In the Mark Shields and David Brooks segment hosted by Judy Woodruff on Friday, Mark Shields was attempting to explain why he thought it was a bad strategy for Donald Trump to be attacking Fox News and the channel’s prime-time host Megyn Kelly, who took on the GOP candidate by questioning him on crude and ugly characterizations of women that he had made in the past.

The exchange starts 2:15 into the video.

“First of all, Fox News is the validator and it’s the gatekeeper for Republicans, particularly conservative voters,” Shields said. “It isn’t like attacking [NBC host] Chuck Todd or Judy Woodruff or some members of the liberal elite establishment. You’re attacking the mother church.”

He started into another sentence, but Woodruff interrupted to say, “Well, let’s make a distinction here. Please. I’m not part of the liberal media.”

Shield then tried to walk it back or clarify or whatever you want to call it by saying, “I’m talking about by the definition of conservative America where Fox really is the validator.”

Whether a Freudian slip or just a case of failing to give any indication that he was describing Woodruff as “liberal" by the definition of “conservative America,” whatever that is, Shields said the very thing that must never be said on the “NewsHour,” which tells its audience repeatedly how evenhanded and down-the-middle it is in its coverage.

Check out the video and listen to and watch Brooks during the exchange.

Woodruff was recently criticized by the PBS ombudsman for giving $250 to the Clinton Foundation without disclosing until it was reported in the Wall Street Journal. Read about that here.


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