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ABC Quicker on Thompson Scandal Than on Hillary's Hsu Scandal --11/6/2007


1. ABC Quicker on Thompson Scandal Than on Hillary's Hsu Scandal
When the Wall Street Journal in late August broke the fugitive Norman Hsu illegal fundraising scandal, it took ABC's World News three days to get around to reporting it -- and despite developments as the fugitive has moved through the court system, ABC hasn't mentioned him since. But after the Washington Post on Sunday disclosed the criminal past of an adviser to Fred Thompson's campaign, ABC pounced immediately with a full story Monday night. CBS also got into the action with a brief item. NBC, which waited two days to touch Hsu, got to Thompson with even less delay, citing the matter in a larger Nightly News story Sunday about Thompson's appearance on Meet the Press where Tim Russert asked him about the Post story. On Monday, Thompson adviser Philip Martin gave the media a hook with his resignation from the campaign, but when the Clinton campaign announced on September 11 that it was returning $850,000 in suspect donations and when the Justice Dept. on September 20 filed a criminal complaint, ABC's World News was silent. Anchor Charles Gibson announced Monday night: "In the presidential race, another candidate has been embarrassed by the conduct of a major fund-raiser. This time it's Republican Fred Thompson."

2. Cokie Roberts Admits Hillary Has Had 'Way Too Favorable' Press
According to ABC reporter Cokie Roberts, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has "had way too favorable press at this point in the season." Appearing on Friday's Good Morning America to discuss whether Clinton is now playing the "gender card" in the '08 race, Roberts asserted that, as a result of this popular coverage, the media are now "going after her." Roberts also claimed that the former First Lady, who stayed with Bill Clinton through the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "has been a strong woman and people have seen examples of that certainly in her personal life." While it's not clear how hard the press is now "going after" the New York Senator, Cokie Roberts could have been referring to GMA when she mentioned "way too favorable press." After all, this is the show that gave Clinton an almost 30 minute infomercial during a March "town hall" edition of the program. And in January, Claire Shipman reported Barack Obama would have to contend with Hillary's "hot factor."

3. Olbermann: 'Criminal Conspiracy to Cover Ass' of 'Fascist' Bush
On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment," inspired by revelations that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin had advised the Bush administration that waterboarding of al-Qaeda terrorists should be considered torture, as the Countdown host charged that "the presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush." He further accused Bush of intentionally inducing al-Qaeda prisoners to make false confessions which Bush could speak of publicly for political gain, a crime that "wouldn't just mean impeachment," Olbermann contended, but would "mean George W. Bush is going to prison." He also warned that Bush would like to use his "nightmare presidency" to move America on a course similar to that of 1930s Japanese fascism: "And then to the giddying prospect that maybe you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism itself would be nearly invisible."

4. CBS's Smith to Bloomberg: 'Manhattan Will Be Underwater by 2050'
Interviewing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday's Early Show, co-host Harry Smith insisted: "Manhattan will be underwater by 2050." Though the liberal Mayor has followed in the footsteps of Al Gore and implored the government to take action to address an impending environmental crisis ("We need to do something now"), amusingly, even Bloomberg thought Smith's fear-mongering went too far: "I don't know that Manhattan will be under water, but certainly the environment's going to be a lot worse that we leave our children." Smith also pressed Bloomberg on a possible 2008 presidential run: "You want to announce -- why won't you announce now?" What is it about liberal environmentalists that makes Harry Smith want to recruit them for the presidency. Like he did with Al Gore in May.

5. Harry Smith 'Admired' Kucinich 'Since He Was Mayor of Cleveland'
While previewing an upcoming interview with extreme left-wing presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, on Friday's Early Show, CBS co-host Harry Smith revealed: "I've actually admired Dennis Kucinich for a long -- since he was Mayor of Cleveland." In addition to Smith admitting that he admired someone as liberal as Kucinich, who wants to establish a Department of Peace and claims to have seen UFOs, Smith specifically mentioned Kucinich's disastrous tenure as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Even the New York Times could not ignore Kucinich's failures as Mayor, noting in a 2003 candidate profile: "But it all came crashing quickly down when Mr. Kucinich presided over the city's plunge into default in 1978. The collapse attracted international ridicule and, except for a brief sojourn on the City Council in the early 80's, left the obstreperous boy wonder in political exile for 15 years..."

6. Cosby: 'Brother Lite' Thomas 'Doesn't Want to Help Anybody'
On Saturday, CNN re-ran an interview with Bill Cosby on Larry King Live, which originally aired on Thursday, October 18, in which the entertainer plugged his new book Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors, about problems faced by America's black population. While Cosby talked about such conservative themes as personal responsibility, which in recent years he has been famous for discussing, the entertainer also demonstrated that he has not entirely made the trip over to the conservative side as he derided Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as "brother lite," repeatedly contending that Thomas "doesn't want to help anybody." Cosby also proclaimed that he "loves" far-left Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

7. Order Now: Week Until Bozell's Book on Media Coverage of Hillary
Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will, a new book by the MRC's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, will be released next week by Crown Forum. You can order a copy now from the MRC, via PayPal, for $25.95, including shipping and handling. Or, go online and order it today from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

8. MRC's 'NewsBusted' Not on Strike! Fresh Comedy Videos This Week
NewsBusted Not on Strike! While Leno, Stewart, Letterman, O'Brien, Ferguson, Kimmel and Colbert are all in re-runs because of the strike called Monday by the Writers Guild of America, the MRC's NewsBusted comedy video show -- with jokes about politics, Hollywood and media bias -- is fresh this week. Check out the latest two-and-a-half-minute comedy show now at the top of the MRC's NewsBusters blog: http://newsbusters.org/


ABC Quicker on Thompson Scandal Than
on Hillary's Hsu Scandal

When the Wall Street Journal in late August broke the fugitive Norman Hsu illegal fundraising scandal, it took ABC's World News three days to get around to reporting it -- and despite developments as the fugitive has moved through the court system, ABC hasn't mentioned him since. But after the Washington Post on Sunday disclosed the criminal past of an adviser to Fred Thompson's campaign, ABC pounced immediately with a full story Monday night. CBS also got into the action with a brief item. NBC, which waited two days to touch Hsu, got to Thompson with even less delay, citing the matter in a larger Nightly News story Sunday about Thompson's appearance on Meet the Press where Tim Russert asked him about the Post story. (In the EST and CST zones, only NBC had a newscast on Sunday night.)

On Monday, Thompson adviser Philip Martin gave the media a hook with his resignation from the campaign, but when the Clinton campaign announced on September 11 that it was returning $850,000 in suspect donations and when the Justice Dept. on September 20 filed a criminal complaint, ABC's World News was silent. Anchor Charles Gibson announced Monday night: "In the presidential race, another candidate has been embarrassed by the conduct of a major fund-raiser. This time it's Republican Fred Thompson." ABC's Brian Ross explained how "the resignation comes just one day after ABC News," apparently a reference to a Sunday posting on "The Blotter" blog, "and the Washington Post reported that not only was Martin a convicted drug trafficker, but that he had left a long trail of unpaid taxes in his business dealings." Ross highlighted how "Thompson has been traveling in style during this campaign on a Cessna Citation Five private jet" owned by Martin.

[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Ross did note the fund-raising problems of Clinton and two other Republicans: "Thompson's not the only presidential candidate who's been embarrassed this year by allegations that forced key campaign fund-raisers and advisers to resign. A fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton turned out to be a wanted fugitive. Rudolph Giuliani's South Carolina chairman was indicted for cocaine dealing. And the Florida co-chairman for Senator John McCain is awaiting trial on charges he solicited sex for money in a men's room."

For the November 4 Washington Post front page article, "Thompson Adviser Has Criminal Past," go to: www.washingtonpost.com

The ABC News blog posting: abcnews.go.com

The short item read by Katie Couric on Monday night's CBS Evening News: "And this political note now: An adviser to Republican Fred Thompson quit his presidential campaign today after a report came out detailing a criminal record for drug dealing. Philip Martin was sentenced to probation in the 70s and again in the 80s for selling cocaine and marijuana."

How ABC handled Hsu:

The Monday, September 4 CyberAlert, "ABC and CBS Catch Up with Fugitive Clinton/Democratic Donor Norman Hsu," recounted:

Norman Hsu's appearance in a San Mateo County, California courtroom Friday to answer for a 1991 grand larceny charge, prompted full stories Friday night on the ABC and CBS evening newscasts catching up with the case of the fugitive donor to many Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton. On Thursday night, the NBC Nightly News became the first broadcast network program to report on Hsu, in a story from Lisa Myers, and on Friday night anchor Brian Williams offered a brief update about Hsu's court appearance.

On Friday's CBS Evening News, Sandra Hughes pointed out how "a large group of Hsu's bundling checks came from this little green house in Daly City, California that Hsu once listed as a home address. The Paw family, which lives here, has given $45,000 to Hillary Clinton since 2005." Hughes also noted how Clinton has returned $23,000 in direct donations from Hsu, but on ABC's World News, Brian Ross reported that "in the last year Hsu has helped to raise more than a million dollars for Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign" and he highlighted how Hsu "was scheduled to be one of the hosts of a major Clinton fund-raiser in California next month." Ross also saw a pattern, as he recalled a fact which has received little broadcast network air time -- that Clinton's "kickoff Senate fund-raiser in 2000 was organized by a convicted felon."...

Newspapers have been out in front on this scandal with the cable news networks picking up on a Tuesday Wall Street Journal article on Hsu's "bundling" of questionable donations followed by a Wednesday front page Los Angeles Times story, "Democratic fund-raiser is a fugitive in plain sight," which revealed how he's been a fugitive from San Mateo County, California for 15 years over fraud charges related to an import scheme involving latex gloves. On Thursday, the New York Times ran a story, "Clinton Donor Under a Cloud in Fraud Case."

For the entire CyberAlert article: www.mediaresearch.org

The September 12 CyberAlert item, "Couric Spends More Time on 'Alex the Parrot' Than Hsu's Money," relayed how ABC ignored the return of Hsu's money:

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, as the New York Times revealed Tuesday, may be concerned about how much evening news program coverage fugitive donor/fund-raiser Norman Hsu attracts, but they had nothing to worry about Tuesday night. ABC didn't utter a word about the campaign's decision to refund the largest amount ever, $850,000 solicited by Hsu, yet anchor Charles Gibson found time to note how the New England Patriots broke an NFL rule by videotaping New York Jets coaches giving signals, while CBS's Katie Couric gave Hsu barely 20 seconds -- about half the time she devoted to the death of "Alex the Parrot" -- and NBC allocated 25 seconds, but only after a three-minute piece framed around how Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 image "stirs angry resentment."

For the rest of the CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org

The CyberAlert article, "ABC Again Refuses to Cover Hsu Case; CBS and NBC Offer Brief Updates," reported:

CBS and NBC on Thursday night [September 20] aired brief updates on how the Justice Department filed a criminal complaint against Norman Hsu, the captured fugitive Democratic/Hillary Clinton campaign donor, for bilking $60 million from investors -- but ABC was once again absent on the story. ABC's World News hasn't uttered Hsu's name since its one and only story the Friday night of Labor Day weekend while Thursday's mention was the fifth for NBC and fourth for CBS. (Coverage details below.) On the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams read this very short item: "Norman Hsu, that Democratic fund-raiser indicted today by federal prosecutors -- accusations of a massive Ponzi scheme. Hsu funneled a lot of money to Senator Clinton's campaign."...

So far, including Thursday night September 20, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts have each run one full story on the Hsu scandal while NBC has aired two. CBS and NBC have aired three additional 20-second or so anchor-briefs. In sum, over the past three-plus weeks, that's two full stories on NBC, plus three brief updates; one full story and three brief items on CBS; and just one full story on ABC which hasn't mentioned Hsu on World News since Friday, August 31.

For the posting in full: www.mediaresearch.org

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the story on the Monday, November 5 edition of ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: In the presidential race, another candidate has been embarrassed by the conduct of a major fund-raiser. This time it's Republican Fred Thompson. One of Thompson's close friends and key fund-raisers, a man named Philip Martin, resigned from Thompson's campaign today following revelations that he has a criminal record. Our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, has been tracking Martin's involvement in the Thompson campaign for months now. Brian?

BRIAN ROSS: Charlie, the resignation comes just one day after ABC News and the Washington Post reported that not only was Martin a convicted drug trafficker, but that he had left a long trail of unpaid taxes in his business dealings. Fred Thompson has been traveling in style during this campaign on a Cessna Citation Five private jet, owned by close adviser and long-time friend Phil Martin, the tall man in the gray jacket. Martin accompanied Thompson on many of his early exploratory trips, and as chairman of a group called First Day Founders, Martin helped to raise an initial $6 million to get Thompson's campaign going.
PHIL MARTIN, FORMER THOMPSON FUND-RAISER: Before you know it, there was more and more people just across the country calling from everywhere, every state. So it's just been really exciting.
ROSS: What Thompson says he did not know until two days ago was that his long-time friend Martin was twice convicted on drug trafficking charges, including a 1983 count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.
FRED THOMPSON: Phil, I'm sure, knows that he should have told me about this, but he thought it was over and done with and forgotten about, I'm sure, but, of course, nothing is ever over and done with and forgotten about in this business.
ROSS: Nor did Thompson apparently know that businesses founded by his long-time friend Martin had almost a million dollars in back unpaid taxes, according to county records in Tennessee discovered by ABC News.
THOMPSON: I know him to be a good man.
ROSS: Thompson's not the only presidential candidate who's been embarrassed this year by allegations that forced key campaign fund-raisers and advisers to resign. A fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton turned out to be a wanted fugitive. Rudolph Giuliani's South Carolina chairman was indicted for cocaine dealing. And the Florida co-chairman for Senator John McCain is awaiting trial on charges he solicited sex for money in a men's room.
FRED WERTHEIMER, DEMOCRACY 21: When you're desperate for bundlers to raise large amounts of money, the vetting system disappears, and you wind up with people who should not be involved let anywhere near these campaigns.
ROSS: Campaign officials said today that in the wake of Phil Martin's resignation, Senator Thompson was no longer using his private jet. In fact, last night, Charlie, he flew commercial.

Cokie Roberts Admits Hillary Has Had
'Way Too Favorable' Press

According to ABC reporter Cokie Roberts, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has "had way too favorable press at this point in the season." Appearing on Friday's Good Morning America to discuss whether Clinton is now playing the "gender card" in the '08 race, Roberts asserted that, as a result of this popular coverage, the media are now "going after her."

Roberts also claimed that the former First Lady, who stayed with Bill Clinton through the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "has been a strong woman and people have seen examples of that certainly in her personal life." While it's not clear how hard the press is now "going after" the New York Senator, Cokie Roberts could have been referring to GMA when she mentioned "way too favorable press." After all, this is the show that gave Clinton an almost 30 minute infomercial during a March "town hall" edition of the program. See: www.mrc.org

And in January, Claire Shipman reported on Good Morning America that Barack Obama would have to contend with Hillary's "hot factor." See: www.mrc.org

An August study by the Media Research Center found that Hillary, along with the other Democratic candidates, received more favorable coverage and more air time overall. From January through July 31 2007, Hillary Clinton garnered 61 stories, more than any other 2008 candidate: www.mrc.org

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

To be fair, Roberts did mention the New York Senator's waffling on the issue of giving drivers licenses to illegals and how it "plays into all of the perceptions of the Clintons, both Clintons, of talking both for and against a lot of issues." Interestingly, while Roberts and co-host Diane Sawyer discussed whether Clinton was playing the gender card at debate, and the subject of drivers licenses, they did it without mentioning Clinton's much-panned complaining that host Tim Russert engaged in a "gotcha" question by even bringing the subject up.

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:10am on November 2:

DIANE SAWYER: Well, now we turn to the race to '08 and what happened yesterday when the Democratic front-runner returned to her roots? This is Hillary Rodham in 1969 when she was giving the graduation speech at Wellesley College. And this was Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, yesterday, uttering the sentence that had everybody talking this morning.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: In so many ways this all women's college prepared me to compete in the all boys club of presidential politics.
SAWYER: So her rivals have been saying is she playing the gender card? Well, who better to weigh in on all this than ABC's Cokie Roberts, joining us now from Washington. Cokie, good morning to you. 58 percent of Democratic primary voters are women. Is this a strategy we see emerging?
COKIE ROBERTS: Certainly it is, Diane, but it's not new. It's not a new strategy. And you and I should point out in full disclosure that you and I both went to Wellesley College.
SAWYER: And wore glasses. I did.
ROBERTS: The, and, what she said there was just a statement of fact, that women's college did prepare her for the life that she has led and presidential politics has been an all-boys club. But, sure, she's been playing the gender card all along. Women are her big base of support. Lately she's been way up in the polls among all groups. But earlier on, her lead was almost entirely among women.
SAWYER: Yes, but something else. Se has on her website now a montage, as we call it in the TV business. And it's called the politics of piling on in which all the candidates, who happen to be men, are using her name. Let's listen a little.
[Montage of all the Democratic rivals saying "Senator Clinton" or "Hillary"]
SAWYER: Okay. And at the end of this, she says, you know, there's got to be a reason they're doing this. But, Fred Thompson, Republican candidate Fred Thompson, has said, "The Clinton campaign goes so far in relying upon her being a strong, strong woman. And then on a dime, they can switch to say, 'Oh, my goodness, the men are ganging up on her."
ROBERTS: Again, they're both true. The fact is that she has been a strong woman and people have seen examples of that certainly in her personal life. But the fact is that the men are ganging up. But they gang up against any front-runner. So the question is, how do voters react to the fact that it's men ganging up on a woman? We were going to hit this point, Diane. She's running way too far ahead in the polls. And so she's, she's a front-runner. And the candidates are beating up on her. The press is going after her. She's had way too favorable press at this point in the season. And so there she is. But the question is how do voters react? Do they say, "Gee, don't like seeing all those guys beating up on that woman?" Or do they say, "She really can't do this?"
SAWYER: All right. A quick final question here about a real issue. Governor Spitzer of New York has talked about issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. And there is something that Senator Clinton said in the debate that got all of her challengers really, really jumping on her. This was her analysis of whether she was for or against that.
CLINTON: It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problem. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of shadows. He's making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform.
SAWYER: And then there was the reaction.
FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS: Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: I can't tell whether she was for it or against.
SAWYER: Is that a turning point of some kind, Cokie?
ROBERTS: No, but it plays into all of the perceptions of the Clintons, both Clintons, of talking both for and against a lot of issues. She has to be careful with that. That's a real weakness with her campaign.

Olbermann: 'Criminal Conspiracy to Cover
Ass' of 'Fascist' Bush

On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment," inspired by revelations that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin had advised the Bush administration that waterboarding of al-Qaeda terrorists should be considered torture, as the Countdown host charged that "the presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush." He further accused Bush of intentionally inducing al-Qaeda prisoners to make false confessions which Bush could speak of publicly for political gain, a crime that "wouldn't just mean impeachment," Olbermann contended, but would "mean George W. Bush is going to prison." He also warned that Bush would like to use his "nightmare presidency" to move America on a course similar to that of 1930s Japanese fascism: "And then to the giddying prospect that maybe you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism itself would be nearly invisible."

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted late Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Olbermann began his November 5 "Special Comment" segment: "Finally tonight, as promised, a 'Special Comment' on the meaning of the story of former U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin. It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity, and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed. The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."

After recounting Levin's decision to go through the experience of waterboarding and concluding that it fit the definition of torture, Olbermann argued that Levin had made Bush into a "liar" and a "criminal." Olbermann: "Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush. Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush."

The MSNBC host chided Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein for announcing their intention to vote to confirm Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey in light of Mukasey's refusal to declare waterboarding to be torture, and urged Congress to "lock this government down financially until a special prosecutor is appointed."

Then came Olbermann's conspiracy theory that, because studies supposedly show that torture is more likely to encourage false confessions than honest confessions from its subjects, Bush knowingly induced detainees to make false confessions of terror plots so the President would have terror plots of "authentic-sounding fiction" that could be recounted publicly for political gain. He further charged that if true, Bush would face not only impeachment, but prison:
"If, say, a President simply needed a constant supply of terrorist threats to keep the country scared, if, say, he needed phony plots to play hero during and to boast about interrupting and he used to distract people from the threat he did not interrupt, if, say, he realized that even terrorized people still need good ghost stories before they will let a President pillage the Constitution. Well, heck, Mr. Bush, who better to dream them up for you than an actual terrorist? He'll tell you everything he ever fantasized doing in his most horrific of day dreams. His equivalent of the day you flew onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you'd won in Iraq. Now, if that's what this is all about, you tortured not because you're stupid and you think that torture produces confession, but that you tortured because you're smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction. Well, then, you're going to need all the lawyers you can find because that crime wouldn't just mean impeachment, would it, sir? That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison."

Olbermann accused Bush's "nightmare presidency" of the "most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country's history," before suggesting that Bush has the ambition to produce a government comparable to that of 1930s fascism in Japan: "And then to the giddying prospect that maybe you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism itself would be nearly invisible."

See the link above to the NewsBusters posting for a complete transcript of Olbermann's "Special Comment" from the Monday, November 5 Countdown on MSNBC.

CBS's Smith to Bloomberg: 'Manhattan
Will Be Underwater by 2050'

Interviewing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday's Early Show, co-host Harry Smith insisted: "Manhattan will be underwater by 2050." Though the liberal Mayor has followed in the footsteps of Al Gore and implored the government to take action to address an impending environmental crisis ("We need to do something now"), amusingly, even Bloomberg thought Smith's fear-mongering went too far: "I don't know that Manhattan will be under water, but certainly the environment's going to be a lot worse that we leave our children." Smith also pressed Bloomberg on a possible 2008 presidential run: "You want to announce -- why won't you announce now?" What is it about liberal environmentalists that makes Harry Smith want to recruit them for the presidency. Like he did with Al Gore in May.

The May 31 CyberAlert, "CBS's Smith Urges Gore to Declare, Presses Gore '08 Button on Him," recounted Smith's enthusiasm for Gore's environmental agenda: www.mrc.org

The interview began with Smith asking about Bloomberg's proposal to impose a national carbon tax: "Who gets taxed?" To which Bloomberg responded: "People who generate carbon and put it into the air, that pollute the air that you breathe, and that I breathe, and that's causing worldwide changes over the long term in our environment." In other words, everyone. Far from challenging Bloomberg on how people would react to such a plan, Smith instead followed up with: "Something similar to this has been advocated for a long time, the sort of cap and trade...Why is yours better than theirs?" Smith's assumption that Bloomberg's plan is "better" is an interesting way of challenging such a policy.

[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Monday afternoon, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Shifting into crisis mode, Smith next wondered: "Why this and why now, and how important do you feel it is to enact something like this as soon as possible?" To ease Smith's fears, Bloomberg proclaimed that the debate was over: "Well, there's no question that we're damaging our environment...and I think everybody understands, the Administration, everybody else, that we are damaging our environment." An incredulous Smith quickly responded: "Do you think the Administration?" Perhaps Bloomberg's best soundbite came at this moment with this great one-liner: "Yeah, I think that the dialogue has gone from 'this is a communist plot,' to maybe we don't have to pay for it now..." That got a roaring laugh from Smith. Apparently anyone who is skeptical of global warming is just some paranoid right-winger who thinks it's a "communist plot."

In addition to helping tout Bloomberg's big government solution to climate change, Smith also fawned over the New York Mayor as a potential presidential candidate in 2008. In a teaser at the top of the show, co-host Hannah Storm excitedly proclaimed: "Also coming up this morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is with us. He's on the cover of Newsweek out today as 'The Billion-Dollar Wild Card' in the upcoming election. We'll ask him if he plans to be a candidate." Smith hinted at the speculation to the "wildcard" himself: "Now, if I didn't know better, you could almost pull that out as a sound bite, and it could have sounded like something said by a presidential candidate....So, speaking of this notion of running for President and why these other candidates haven't said these very things, how frustrating is it for you that they don't say these things?"

At the end of the segment, both Smith and co-host Julie Chen showed their approval of the environmentally friendly Bloomberg. A glowing Smith commented: "Alright, Mayor Bloomberg, thanks so much for being with us...Really appreciate it. I'm breathing easier already. Now here's Julie." Chen followed up with: "Deep inhale."

Harry Smith 'Admired' Kucinich 'Since
He Was Mayor of Cleveland'

While previewing an upcoming interview with extreme left-wing presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, on Friday's Early Show, CBS co-host Harry Smith revealed: "I've actually admired Dennis Kucinich for a long -- since he was Mayor of Cleveland." In addition to Smith admitting that he admired someone as liberal as Kucinich, who wants to establish a Department of Peace and claims to have seen UFOs, Smith specifically mentioned Kucinich's disastrous tenure as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Even the New York Times could not ignore Kucinich's failures as Mayor, noting in a 2003 candidate profile: "But it all came crashing quickly down when Mr. Kucinich presided over the city's plunge into default in 1978. The collapse attracted international ridicule and, except for a brief sojourn on the City Council in the early 80's, left the obstreperous boy wonder in political exile for 15 years...[he] was elected Mayor in 1977 and governed the city with a tight circle of friends. But Cleveland's finances, already troubled, spiraled out of control. The climactic moment came in December 1978, when the city was unable to meet $14.5 million in bond obligations. Despite pressure from the business community, Mayor Kucinich refused to sell the municipal electric system to cover the debt. Cleveland went bust, as did his career."

For the New York Times article: query.nytimes.com

[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Co-host Hannah Storm, who interviewed Kucinich, moved from relevant questions about Kucinich's policy stances to "a lot of people talking about your wife and the fact that she's over three decades younger, and she's statuesque, and beautiful, and has a pierced tongue. What do you make of the attention on her?"
Storm concluded the interview with this question to Elizabeth Kucinich: "I know that your husband doesn't want to focus on your tongue ring, but you do have one, correct?...Can we see it." Kucinich's wife responded: "No, you can't. Sorry."

Harry Smith's tease at the top of the November 2 show: "Good morning. I'm Harry Smith, along with Hannah Storm and Julie Chen. We've got quite a show for you this morning. It's been a big political week. Barack Obama has come out. He says I want to directly negotiate with Iran. Republicans are saying that Hillary's chances of getting the nomination are slipping because of her performance in the debate this week. And we're going to be talking with a dark horse candidate. I've actually admired Dennis Kucinich for a long -- since he was mayor of Cleveland, right."

Storm wondered: "What do you -- do you admire his wife? Look at her. She's statuesque, she's beautiful, she's 31 years younger.

Smith noted: "And she says that when Dennis Kucinich gets elected President, she will continue to wear her tongue ring all the way to the White House."

Cosby: 'Brother Lite' Thomas 'Doesn't
Want to Help Anybody'

On Saturday, CNN re-ran an interview with Bill Cosby on Larry King Live, which originally aired on Thursday, October 18, in which the entertainer plugged his new book Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors, about problems faced by America's black population. While Cosby talked about such conservative themes as personal responsibility, which in recent years he has been famous for discussing, the entertainer also demonstrated that he has not entirely made the trip over to the conservative side as he derided Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as "brother lite," repeatedly contending that Thomas "doesn't want to help anybody." Cosby also proclaimed that he "loves" far-left Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Saturday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Notably, Darryn "Dutch" Martin of Project 21 posted an open letter to Cosby demanding that he apologize for his comments regarding Clarence Thomas, comparing those comments to the attacks Cosby himself had faced after expressing some conservative views during a commemoration three years ago of the 50th anniversary of "Brown v. Board of Education." See: www.nationalcenter.org

About halfway through the October 18 show, as he interviewed Cosby and co-author Dr. Alvin Poussaint of Harvard, King brought up Justice Thomas as he suggested there was a similarity in the views of Cosby and Thomas, to Cosby's apparent chagrin. King: "Judge Clarence Thomas, the conservative black judge on the United States Supreme Court, Bill, says that he went conservative because he thinks that the black responsibility is to himself. He doesn't need any help. He doesn't want any help. He doesn't need that pick-me-up." Cosby jumped in: "And he doesn't want to help anybody."

Cosby was so fixated on this accusation that he repeated the same words four more times in response to several other statements or questions by King:

KING: He doesn't need affirmative action.
COSBY: And he doesn't want to help anybody.
Dr. ALVIN POUSSAINT, Harvard University: But he got affirmative action.
KING: He got affirmative action.
COSBY: He got plenty of, he got a whole lot of help, and now he doesn't want to help anybody.
KING: Do you think he's hypocritical?
COSBY: He doesn't want to help anybody.
KING: I know it. Do you think he's-
COSBY: He doesn't want to help anybody.

King then brought up more directly the apparent "partial" similarity in the views of Cosby and Thomas, prompting Cosby to distance himself from the conservative justice while calling him "brother lite."

KING: All right. But he says blacks don't need help, they can do it themselves. And that's partially what you're saying, isn't it?
COSBY: But, well, that's not, yes, see, partially is where you get into trouble if you're trying to put me in the room with Clarence Thomas, the brother lite.
KING, laughing: Brother lite.
COSBY: Larry-
KING: I'm just asking.
COSBY: No, no, no. I understand. I'm trying, and Alvin is trying to reach those people who feel abandoned, who feel for so many years -- generational, whatever -- that they can't do it.

After a commercial break, King asked Cosby if he was supporting Barack Obama for President. Cosby conveyed some dissatisfaction over the way the media cover Obama and Hillary Clinton, among other things complaining that Obama and Hillary are treated "like some anomaly," and that the media spend too much time covering these candidates at the expense of others. Cosby brought up his "love" for Kucinich as he challenged King to guess his name while pronouncing the "ch" sound from the Democratic Congressman's name: "There's a guy in Ohio I happen to love. Ch, ch, you can't finish his name?"

After King took a moment to guess since "Kucinich" starts with a "k" and not a "ch," Cosby continued, realizing that he had mistakenly pronounced the "ch" instead of the "k": "Well, okay. Kucinich. All right. I love what he says."

Order Now: Week Until Bozell's Book on
Media Coverage of Hillary

Whitewash Book Ad Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will, a new book by the MRC's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, will be released next week by Crown Forum. You can order a copy now from the MRC, via PayPal, for $25.95, including shipping and handling. Or, go online and order it today from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The promotional text for the book:

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To order from the MRC for $25.95 (shipping included), with the amount over our cost of the book going to support the MRC: www.mrc.org/books/whitewash.asp

To order for $17.13 from Amazon, but you'll have to pay an additional shipping charge: www.amazon.com

To order from Barnes & Noble for $20.76 ($18.68 for BN members), plus a shipping charge: search.barnesandnoble.com

Shipping is free from Amazon and Barnes & Noble if your order totals $25 or more.

The book will be released on Tuesday, November 13 and should ship shortly afterward and be available in major chain bookstores next Tuesday or soon thereafter.

MRC's 'NewsBusted' Not on Strike! Fresh
Comedy Videos This Week

NewsBusted Not on Strike! While Leno, Stewart, Letterman, O'Brien, Ferguson, Kimmel and Colbert are all in re-runs because of the strike called Monday by the Writers Guild of America, the MRC's NewsBusted comedy video show -- with jokes about politics, Hollywood and media bias -- is fresh this week. Check out the latest two-and-a-half-minute comedy show now at the top of the MRC's NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org

And enjoy the archive of past shows: www.youtube.com

Actually, one late-night comedy show is new this week and not in re-runs: Chelsea Lately on E!. But NewsBusted is a lot better.

-- Brent Baker