1. Dismissal of Charge Against DeLay Barely Touched by ABC and NBC Back on September 28, when a county grand jury in Texas indicted then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on a conspiracy charge related to local Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle's contention DeLay had participated in putting corporate money into Texas campaigns, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all led with the development and aired at least two segments each. Earle subsequently got another grand jury to deliver a money laundering indictment. But on Monday night, after a Texas judge dismissed that original conspiracy indictment which generate so much media... continue reading
1. Schieffer Touts How Close Kerry Came, If Baffled He Lost to Bush CBS's Bob Schieffer set up his Face the Nation interview with Senator John Kerry by touting it as "his first Sunday interview since January" and by heralding how "a shift of fewer than 100,000 votes in Ohio and John Kerry would have become President. So how would he handle Iraq today and will he run again?" Near the end of the interview, Schieffer played a clip of Kerry in front of the entrance to the West Wing of the White House Tuesday when a reporter asked him:... continue reading
1. Roberts Falsely Reports Gen. Pace Admitted Iraq War "Mistakes" On Thursday's CBS Evening News, in a story framed around a supposed "'campaign of contrition' to win back the public trust on Iraq," John Roberts mischaracterized an observation by General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as an admission of a "mistake" in the conduct of the Iraq war. Pace never used the word "mistake" (or any synonym) and his comment actually related to regret about not being vocal enough about successes achieved in Iraq. Roberts cited how "today" Pace "admitted mistakes have been made" and then... continue reading
1. ABC Exploits Christmas Decorations Tour to Hit First Lady on Iraq ABC's Jessica Yellin, live on Wednesday's Good Morning America, exploited First Lady Laura Bush's tour of White House Christmas displays, cards and decorations to hit her with an emotion-laden inquiry about regretting the war in Iraq: "Have you ever met with a mother whose own loss has made you question, even for a moment, whether the U.S. should be in Iraq?" Mrs. Bush replied with how "every loss is too many" and said that "I want to encourage Americans to reach out to our military families who suffer... continue reading
1. Broadcast Networks, Which Led With Murtha, Ignore Lieberman Twelve days ago when Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who had long been critical of the Bush administration's running of the war, advocated withdrawing troops from Iraq, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all emphasized his importance and influence as they led with his press conference. CBS showcased Murtha's attack on Vice President Dick Cheney's lack of military service and ABC ran a 90-second excerpt of Murtha. But on Tuesday night, after the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed ("Our Troops Must Stay") from the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator... continue reading
1. ABC and CBS Fret If Hussein Can "Get Justice" or a "Fair Trial?" More fretting from some television journalists about whether Saddam Hussein can get a "fair trial?" ABC's Charles Gibson opened Monday's Good Morning America: "Breaking news this morning. Saddam Hussein in court, defiant, massive security and the question: Can the former dictator get justice?" The subsequent story, however, didn't raise the justice issue. The night before, on Sunday's CBS Evening News, Lara Logan contended from Baghdad that a foiled assassination attempt against the judge who had prepared charges against Hussein, "plays into the hands of those who... continue reading
1. NBC: Iraq Followed Bush's Travels, "Botched Exit" Symbolizes Trip Another example of network journalists creating their own self-fulfilling story. On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams set up a full story on how President Bush has returned to his Texas ranch "after an overseas trip that was not supposed to be about Iraq, but that topic ended up following him all the way around the world." As if reporters, who were the ones posing the questions to him about Iraq and making it a topic on their newscasts, had nothing to do with it! Then, over video of... continue reading
1. Poll: Media Elite to Left of Public on Iraq and War on Terrorism The news media elite are to the left of the public in several policy areas related to the war on terrorism, a poll "of opinion leaders and the general public conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations," found. While 56 percent of the public believes "efforts to establish a stable democracy" in Iraq will succeed, 63 percent of the news media elite think it will fail; a plurality of 48 percent of the... continue reading
1. CBS Portrays Murtha as Victim of Unfair Attacks on His Patriotism A night after leading with Democratic Congressman John Murtha's call for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq, Friday's CBS Evening News painted him as a victim of unjust attacks on his "patriotism," though CBS provided no supporting soundbite of any such accusation, ludicrously insisted he was a "leading supporter" of the war and featured clips of Democrats, including "another decorated veteran whose own patriotism has also been questioned" (that would be John Kerry), who "fired back" at the "personal attacks" on Murtha. Anchor Bob Schieffer framed the story:... continue reading
1. Nets Lead With Murtha, His Hit on Cheney's Lack of Military Time Though more than a year ago Democratic Congressman John Murtha denounced the Iraq war, asserting that "we cannot prevail in this war at the policy that's going today," on Thursday night ABC, CBS and NBC all led by championing Murtha's call for the immediate withdrawal of troops and showcased his ridicule of Vice President Cheney's lack of military service. With the text on screen, CBS's Bob Schieffer highlighted how Murtha "noted the Vice President had never served in the military and said, and I quote, 'I like... continue reading