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ABC Fails to Note Depth of Its Arnold "Admired" Hitler Misquote --10/6/2003


1. ABC Fails to Note Depth of Its Arnold "Admired" Hitler Misquote
Even though the New York Times corrected it in late Thursday editions and again on Friday, Linda Douglass of ABC News waited until Sunday before correcting, sort of, the inaccurate quote she highlighted on Thursday's World News Tonight about how Arnold Schwarzenegger supposedly once asserted of Hitler: "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it." In fact, Schwarzenegger actually said: "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for HIS WAY OF GETTING TO THE PEOPLE AND SO ON. BUT I DON'T ADMIRE HIM FOR what he did with it." But while World News Tonight featured the original quote in on-screen text, when Douglass got around to clarifying it on Sunday's This Week, she did not display the full and accurate text on screen nor read the full quote accurately, and so really did not convey the depth of her misquote.

2. LA Times Gets Angry Reader Backlash for its Last-Minute Stories
The Los Angeles Times has suffered some angry reader feedback over its series of last-minute stories about women who charge Arnold Schwarzenegger with inappropriate sexual advances toward them, allegations that go back decades. To its credit, on Sunday, the paper carried a story about its upset readership: "Readers Angry at The Times for Schwarzenegger Stories."

3. Kay Lashes Out at How Media Downplayed What He Found in Iraq
CIA Iraq arms inspector David Kay on Sunday lashed out at how stories last week on his preliminary report focused on how his team did not find weapons of mass destruction when they did locate stores of deadly biological agents and of other weapons which violated UN resolutions. On Fox News Sunday, Kay asserted: "I'm sort of amazed at what was powerful information about both their intent and their actual activities that were not known and were hidden from UN inspectors seems not to have made it to the press. This is information that, had it been available last year, would have been headline news."

4. Krauthammer: Arnold Went to the Clinton School of Courtship
Best line of the weekend. Charles Krauthammer, on Fox News Sunday, compared the approaches to women favored by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton.


ABC Fails to Note Depth of Its Arnold
"Admired" Hitler Misquote

ABC's Linda Douglass Even though the New York Times corrected it in late Thursday editions and again on Friday, Linda Douglass of ABC News waited until Sunday before correcting, sort of, the inaccurate quote she highlighted on Thursday's World News Tonight about how Arnold Schwarzenegger supposedly once asserted: "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."

In fact, according to a transcript of a portion of the 1970s Pumping Iron documentary which did not make it into the final movie, but which was part of the director of the film's book proposal, Schwarzenegger actually said (with portion ABC News left out in ALL CAPS): "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for HIS WAY OF GETTING TO THE PEOPLE AND SO ON. BUT I DON'T ADMIRE HIM FOR what he did with it."

A bit of a different meaning.

But while World News Tonight featured the original quote in on-screen text, when Douglass got around to clarifying it on Sunday's This Week, she did not display the full and accurate text on screen nor read the full and accurate quote, and so really failed to convey the depth of her misquote. Giving a "This Week" briefing, she noted that the Schwarzenegger campaign has "produced the author of the book which contains some statements that Schwarzenegger made claiming to admire Hitler. Now the author of the book says he admired his speaking style, but not what he did with those speeches."

In a Saturday New York Times story, David Kirkpatrick explained how after the Times contacted George Butler on Thursday for a Friday story about the quotes in his book proposal based on his documentary, Butler called back with a correction. An excerpt from the October 4 New York Times story:

After early editions of The Times were printed Thursday night, Mr. Butler called a reporter to say that he had driven to his home in New Hampshire to find transcripts of the interviews with Mr. Schwarzenegger that Mr. Butler said corrected certain quotations and provided fuller context. Later editions of The Times included the fuller quotations.

Mr. Butler said yesterday that he had located a relevant transcript of about 20 pages. He read portions over the phone to a reporter, but he declined to provide the transcript in full without the authorization of the campaign. By the time that a spokesman for the campaign authorized the release at the end of the day, Mr. Butler could not be reached.

In the portion of the interview read over the phone and later distributed by the campaign, Mr. Schwarzenegger said: "In many ways I admired people -- It depends for what. I admired Hitler for instance because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for his way of getting to the people and so on. But I didn't admire him for what he did with it. It is very hard to say who I admired and who are my heroes. And I admired basically people who are powerful people, like Kennedy. Who people listen to and just wait until he comes out with telling them what to do. People like that I admire a lot."

Mr. Butler said the book proposal had erroneously dropped a few words from a quotation attributed to Mr. Schwarzenegger. According to Mr. Butler's reading of the transcript, Mr. Schwarzenegger followed his comments about Hitler's public speaking by adding, "But I didn't admire him for what he did with it." He did not say, "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it," as he was quoted in the book proposal and in early editions of The Times.

END of Excerpt

For the article in full: www.nytimes.com

On the Thursday, October 2 World News Tonight Linda Douglass trumpeted:
"ABC News obtained a copy of an unpublished book proposal with quotes from what it calls a verbatim transcript of an interview Schwarzenegger gave in 1975 while making the film, 'Pumping Iron.' Asked who his heroes are, he is quoted as saying, 'I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it.' Schwarzenegger is quoted as saying he wished he could experience it, quote, 'like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you and just be in total agreement whatever you say.' The author of the book proposal, Pumping Iron's director, George Butler, told ABC News today that the quotes needed to be seen in the context of Schwarzenegger's admiration of powerful men, and he said Schwarzenegger never said anything anti-Semitic."

For more on that story, see the October 3 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org

On Friday's Good Morning America, after the later editions of the New York Times had the corrected quote, Douglass repeated the misquote and on Friday night's World News Tonight she failed to correct her story from the night before and instead rejected the notion that Schwarzenegger is the victim of Democratic attacks: "Arnold Schwarzenegger says he's being slimed by dirty politics even though there is no evidence that Democrats planted the stories about his alleged groping of women or past statements he might have made about Hitler."

She proceeded to feature clips of a couple of more women who alleged inappropriate sexual advances by Schwarzenegger.

For more on Friday coverage on ABC, see the October 4 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
www.mediaresearch.org

ABC has no newscast on Saturdays during college football season, but Douglass offered California campaign updates on Sunday on both This Week, where she delivered a "This Week Briefing," and on World News Tonight/Sunday where she featured the claims of two more women.

But ABC never gave equal prominence, by displaying it on screen or even by reading it in full, to the correction as they had the original misquote.

And, as of Monday morning, the original story with the false quote was still featured on the ABCNews.com page for World News Tonight: abcnews.go.com

The text of the still-online October 2 Douglass story:
"ABCNEWS obtained a copy of an unpublished book proposal with quotes from a verbatim transcript of an interview Schwarzenegger gave in 1975 while making the film Pumping Iron.
"Asked who his heroes are, he answered, 'I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it.'
"He is quoted as saying he wished he could have an experience, 'like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you and just being total agreement whatever you say.'
"The author of the book proposal, Pumping Iron's director, George Butler, told ABCNEWS today that the quotes needed to be seen in context, and that Arnold never said anything anti-Semitic.
"'I cannot remember any of these,' Schwarzenegger told ABCNEWS. 'All I can tell you is that I despise everything Hitler stood for. I despise everything the Nazis stood for, everything the Third Reich stood for.'"
"In the final days of his campaign, Schwarzenegger may be battling yet another opponent: his own past."

That story is online at: abcnews.go.com

LA Times Gets Angry Reader Backlash for
its Last-Minute Stories

The Los Angeles Times has suffered some angry reader feedback over its series of last-minute stories about women who charge Arnold Schwarzenegger with inappropriate sexual advances toward them, allegations that go back decades. To its credit, on Sunday, the paper carried a story about its upset readership.

An excerpt from the October 5 story, "Readers Angry at The Times for Schwarzenegger Stories," by Steve Hymon, Cara Mia DiMassa and Mitchell Landsberg:

Kathy McIver is a Democrat from La Habra and a longtime subscriber to The Times. Today's paper, she says, will be the last that will be delivered to her door.

Like many readers, McIver is angry. She is angry about The Times' coverage of the California recall campaign, and especially angry about the stories that the newspaper has run in recent days detailing allegations that Arnold Schwarzenegger touched women inappropriately.

"I was disappointed that The Times was being used to be the messenger," she said in an interview Saturday, "and that they would do that type of investigation and not balance it out by having something negative about [Gov. Gray] Davis because, as we all know, he's done some negative things."

Since publishing an article Thursday that described allegations by six women that Schwarzenegger groped them or made inappropriate comments, The Times has come under attack on talk-radio stations and television, and has been the target of vociferous complaints by the Schwarzenegger campaign.

Schwarzenegger complained Saturday that The Times was taking part in an effort "to derail my campaign, and I think that it's part of the puke campaign that Davis launched now."

But the greatest volume of outrage has come from readers, who have flooded the paper with calls, e-mails and letters.

"To me this is a fairness issue," said Debbie Mahoney, a 52-year-old Northern California resident who said she has read the paper periodically for the last five years. She said The Times has demonstrated "true bias" in its coverage of Schwarzenegger.

"You don't even call him by his name," she said. "Whenever I see coverage of Schwarzenegger, I see 'actor.' He's not running as an actor. He's running as a businessman."

As of Saturday evening, about 1,000 readers had canceled their subscriptions to protest the handling of the Schwarzenegger story. In addition, the newspaper had received as many as 400 phone calls critical of its coverage -- many angry, some profane.

About 800 people had written to praise the newspaper's coverage, many apparently motivated by a liberal Web site that urged readers to register their support.

Jamie Gold, who has served as The Times' readers' representative since August 2001 and is responsible for responding to complaints, said she was aware of few events that have ever triggered such anger by the newspaper's readers.

Most of the criticism revolves around a belief that the newspaper has intentionally targeted Schwarzenegger as part of a partisan agenda, and a concern that the stories about him were published too close to Tuesday's election to allow his campaign to respond....

Some readers said they had decided to vote for Schwarzenegger as a reaction to The Times stories.

"You've pushed me over to hold my nose and vote for him," said Kenneth Sesley, a pastor in Lake Elsinore. "Because I just don't think it was fair. And that's the backlash. A lot of Californians don't think it was fair."

Lewis Garrigus, 55, a retired financial analyst who described himself as a longtime Times reader, was among those saying he would cancel his subscription.

"It's not just me saying the L.A. Times is prejudiced," said Garrigus, who lives in the Orange County town of Stanton. "It's everyone. I finally got absolutely sick of it. There is never anything positive about Schwarzenegger on the front page of the paper."

Garrigus said that he hasn't voted in 20 years, but plans to vote Tuesday -- because he is so upset by The Times' coverage. "I swear, I can't stand it anymore," he said. "There are never two sides of something on the front page. Who does your editor think he's kidding?"

Editor John Carroll responded that he believed The Times has provided balanced coverage, and that it has published critical stories about several candidates in the recall race.

"Early in the campaign, we reported that Arianna Huffington had paid no state income taxes, which was devastating to her campaign," he said. "In the case of Davis, we did, three or four weeks ago, a huge front-page story on our biggest circulation day, Sunday, on the case against him. It was the most comprehensive account of all of his shortcomings that I've read in any publication."...

END of Excerpt

For the Times piece in full: www.latimes.com

Kay Lashes Out at How Media Downplayed
What He Found in Iraq

CIA Iraq arms inspector David Kay on Sunday lashed out at how stories last week on his preliminary report focused on how his team did not find weapons of mass destruction when they did locate stores of deadly biological agents and of other weapons which violated UN resolutions. On Fox News Sunday, Kay asserted: "I'm sort of amazed at what was powerful information about both their intent and their actual activities that were not known and were hidden from UN inspectors seems not to have made it to the press. This is information that, had it been available last year, would have been headline news."

Kay made a similar point in his other two Sunday appearance, on ABC's This Week and CNN's Late Edition, but ABC's George Stephanopoulos and George Will and CNN's Wolf Blitzer were more interested in getting him to shoot down specific pre-war claims made by Bush, Powell and Rumsfeld and so did not press him to elaborate on bad stuff that he did find.

Fox's Tony Snow, however, allowed him to expand on his complaint about media coverage.

Snow began the October 5 session by displaying some Friday newspaper headlines:
New York Times: "No Illicit Arms Found in Iraq, U.S. Inspector Tells Congress"
Washington Post: "Search in Iraq Finds No Banned Weapons"
Los Angeles Times: "Inspectors Find No Illicit Iraqi Arms"

Snow asked: "Is that what you found?"
Kay: "Well, we certainly found that -- have not yet found illicit arms. But that's not the only thing the report says. In fact, I'm sort of amazed at what was powerful information about both their intent and their actual activities that were not known and were hidden from UN inspectors seems not to have made it to the press. This is information that, had it been available last year, would have been headline news.
Snow: "One of the things that you found, for instance, is the Mukhabarat, the secret service, in fact had a vigorous weapons program of its own. Tell us about it."
Kay: "Well, we have found right now -- and we're still finding them -- over two dozen laboratories that were hidden in the Iraqi intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, were not declared to the UN, had prohibited equipment, and carried on activities that should have been declared. Now, at the minimum, they kept alive Iraq's capability to produce both biological and chemical weapons. We found assassination tools. So we know that, in fact, they had a prohibited intent to them."
Snow: "You also talk about 'reference strains of biological agents.' What does that mean?"
Kay: "Well, that's one of the most fascinating stories. An Iraqi scientist in 1993 hid in his own refrigerator reference strains for -- active strains, actually would've -- were still active when we found them, Botulinum toxin, one of the most toxic elements known. He was also asked to hide others, including anthrax. After a couple of days, he turned them back because he said they were too dangerous. He had small children in the house.
"This is typical. We now have three cases in which scientists have come forward with equipment, technology, diagrams, documents and, in this case, actual weapons material, reference strains and Botulinum toxin, that they were told to hide and that the U.N. didn't find."
Snow: "You believe that there are similar strains perhaps throughout Iraq right now?"
Kay: "We're actively searching for at least one more cache of weapons -- of strains that we know exists."
Snow: "This is a cache that had been referred to by a scientist. The first bit of information paid off, you're still looking for the second one?"
Kay: "Exactly."
Snow: "And the second one is a large cache."
Kay: "It's much larger. It contains anthrax, and that's one reason we're actively interested in getting it."
Snow: "Now, you also talk about new research on biological capable agents, such as Brucella, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, Ricin and Naflotoxin [ph?]."
Kay: "That's exactly right, and that's the things I'm surprised no one has paid attention to. The new strains they're working on, including Congo-Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, are something that should have been reported to the U.N. In fact, all of the work should have been reported. It was not reported. This is activities, prohibited activities they've carried on. And this continued right up to 2003 in these four cases, unreported, undiscovered."
Snow: "Unreported and undiscovered. When you're analyzing how much information was kept from the U.N., how would you characterize it?"
Kay: "Dozens of cases right now that are significant. The most significant, of course, is in the missile area, where we're talking about activity on four different fronts that would have provided missiles capable of exceeding the U.N. limit of 150 kilometers."
Snow: "All right, I want to get to that in a moment. Before we do that, one final note on Botulinum. The State Department is now calling this discovery in fact the discovery of a weapon of mass destruction. Would you accept that characterization?"
Kay: "It's not a weapon in the sense of it was ready to be fired. It is absolutely the essential element that only time and a little growth media would have produced large amounts of Botulinum toxin."
Snow: "And you also had a number of scientists coming forward and telling you that there were plans afoot that, if they were given the orders to create chemical or biological weapons, there was a certain timetable in which they would be able to produce them."
Kay: "That's correct. We've had very senior scientists -- and this is actually a good news story. People don't realize how many Iraqis we now have cooperating with us. That's one reason for my optimism that we'll get to the bottom of the program. But it would have taken them from weeks to months to restart mustard production, and for months to -- the maximum estimate is two years on VX production."

To be fair to reporters, though both TV and print led with definitive headlines about how no WMD were found, all the stories I saw on the TV networks and in major newspapers did at least briefly convey how Kay had found an effort to build prohibited missiles and possessed deadly biological agents.

For instance, here's the fourth paragraph of the October 3 Washington Post story by Dana Priest and Walter Pincus:
"Kay, who heads the CIA's 1,400-person Iraq Survey Group, said the team had 'discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment' that Iraq had hidden. He said he believes 'there was an intent...to continue production at some point in time.' Among the evidence unearthed was a network of laboratories and safe houses, a laboratory complex hidden in a prison and evidence of a program for ballistic and land-attack missiles with ranges prohibited by the United Nations."

Krauthammer: Arnold Went to the Clinton
School of Courtship

Best line of the weekend. Charles Krauthammer, on Fox News Sunday, on Arnold Schwarzenegger accosting women: "He went to the Bill Clinton School of Courtship and graduated rather high in his class."

# This week on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Monday night, Katie Couric and Al Franken; Tuesday night: Dennis Miller.

And Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart will go live Tuesday at 11pm EDT to cover the recall vote, as will all the cable news networks since California polls close at 11pm EDT.

-- Brent Baker