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ABC Finally IDs Spitzer as Democrat, NBC Fails to for Third Night --3/13/2008


1. ABC Finally IDs Spitzer as Democrat, NBC Fails to for Third Night
For the third evening in a row Wednesday, the NBC Nightly News refused to identify Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat, but after ABC's World News failed to cite his party affiliation on Monday and Tuesday night when Elizabeth Vargas anchored, on Wednesday evening substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos finally properly tagged him: "The Democrat resigned today just two days after reports that he patronized a high-priced prostitution service." In contrast, fill-in NBC Nightly News anchor Ann Curry on Wednesday teased news about "New York's crusading Governor" and then led her broadcast sans any party identification: "Good evening. I'm Ann Curry, in for Brian Williams tonight. Today New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who painted himself as a champion of ethics and moral conviction, resigned just two days after the bombshell news linking him to a prostitution ring. NBC's Mike Taibbi now joins us with more on this breathtaking fall from power. Mike?" Taibbi, just as on Monday and Tuesday, avoided informing viewers of Spitzer's party.

2. Today Show Continues Embargo on Spitzer Party Affiliation
For the second consecutive day, NBC's Today show refused to identify Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat. In a total of seven Spitzer-related segments on Wednesday's Today show, and one interview with Barack Obama where the scandal was mentioned, not one anchor, reporter, guest, talking head or on-screen graphic mentioned Spitzer's party affiliation. However, following the pattern of Tuesday's NBC's Nightly News, the Today show graphics department did take time to place an "R" next to Rep. Peter King and New York state Rep. Joe Tedisco.

3. SNL Parody? ABC's GMA Puffs Obama, Grills Clinton Supporter
In a striking resemblance to a pair of recent Saturday Night Live skits, Wednesday's Good Morning America began with a fawning interview of Barack Obama, then grilled Hillary Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro.

4. Tickets Now Available for MRC's 2008 'DisHonors Awards'
Tickets are now available for MRC's 2008 "DisHonors Awards." The MRC's annual video awards with the "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence," this year presented to Tony Snow, will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday evening, April 10. Confirmed participants: Ann Coulter, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, Cal Thomas and many more since surprise conservative guests will accept the awards in jest.

5. 'Top Ten Surprises During Eliot Spitzer's Resignation'
Letterman's "Top Ten Surprises During Eliot Spitzer's Resignation."


ABC Finally IDs Spitzer as Democrat,
NBC Fails to for Third Night

For the third evening in a row Wednesday, the NBC Nightly News refused to identify Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat, but after ABC's World News failed to cite his party affiliation on Monday and Tuesday night when Elizabeth Vargas anchored, on Wednesday evening substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos finally properly tagged him: "The Democrat resigned today just two days after reports that he patronized a high-priced prostitution service."

In contrast, fill-in NBC Nightly News anchor Ann Curry on Wednesday teased news about "New York's crusading Governor" and then led her broadcast sans any party identification: "Good evening. I'm Ann Curry, in for Brian Williams tonight. Today New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who painted himself as a champion of ethics and moral conviction, resigned just two days after the bombshell news linking him to a prostitution ring. NBC's Mike Taibbi now joins us with more on this breathtaking fall from power. Mike?"

Taibbi, just as on Monday and Tuesday, avoided informing viewers of Spitzer's party.

CBS anchor Katie Couric also named Spitzer's party on Wednesday's CBS Evening News -- describing "a dramatic end to the political career of a man who was once one of the Democratic Party's rising stars" -- after CBS was the only broadcast network evening newscast to have done so on Monday, the day news of his dalliance with a prostitute broke.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

(On Wednesday morning, for the second day since the revelation, the broadcast network morning shows all failed to utter the word "Democrat" in relation to Spitzer. As on Tuesday, on CBS's Early Show the only indication of Spitzer's party came from a "(D)" on screen by his name for a few seconds, the MRC's Kyle Drennen informed me. ABC's Good Morning America, the MRC's Justin McCarthy observed, re-ran the Brian Ross story from the night before in which Congressman Peter King was identified on screen as a Republican and Ross noted how "Republicans in the state capital...are threatening to begin impeachment proceedings unless Spitzer is out by the end of the day today."

In CyberAlert item #2 below, the MRC's Geoff Dickens recounts how "in a total of seven Spitzer-related segments on Wednesday's Today show and one interview with Barack Obama, where the scandal was mentioned, not one anchor, reporter, guest, talking head or on-screen graphic mentioned Spitzer's party affiliation." However, matching Tuesday's NBC's Nightly News, "the Today show graphics department did take time to place an '(R)' next to Rep. Peter King and New York state Rep. Joe Tedisco.")

The March 12 CyberAlert posting, "For Second Night, ABC and NBC Refuse to Utter Spitzer's Party ID," reported:

Just as occurred Monday night, viewers of Tuesday's ABC and NBC evening newscasts never heard the word "Democrat" applied to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, nor did they even put a "(D)" on screen by his name as ABC did briefly Monday. CBS didn't announce his party either on Tuesday night, but Katie Couric had done so Monday night. The ABC and NBC newscasts, however, did put "(R)" on screen over soundbites from Republicans and NBC's Mike Taibbi twice referred to the reaction from "Republican" politicians.

Fill-in ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas avoided any party tag: "New York's Governor, Eliot Spitzer, spent most of the day today huddled behind closed doors debating whether to resign after being linked to a prostitution ring." On NBC, substitute anchor Ann Curry led: "Tonight, the investigation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace is broadening..."

Viewers could only figure out Spitzer's party by implication as both shows aired a soundbite from Republican Congressman Peter King with an "(R)" on screen. ABC's Brian Ross led into it by referring to how Spitzer will soon "end what even his political enemies called a once-brilliant career." NBC's Taibbi cited King's party as he described "Republicans threatening impeachment if he doesn't resign." Before video of State Rep. James Tedisco with an "(R-NY)" on screen, Taibbi also noted how "some Republicans in Albany would welcome" the move up by Lieutenant Governor David Paterson....

For the previous CyberAlert in full: www.mrc.org

The March 11 NewsBusters item, "'Straight Arrow' Governor 'Eliot Ness' Spitzer (?-NY)," began:

Incredibly, in lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is. CBS anchor Katie Couric, however, managed to squeeze in a mention of his party. Last August when news of Larry Craig's arrest broke, both ABC and NBC stressed his GOP affiliation....

For the complete CyberAlert rundown: www.mrc.org

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth provided me with excerpts from the Wednesday, March 12 newscasts:

# ABC's World News:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good evening. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace has been far and fast, and it may not be over. The Democrat resigned today just two days after reports that he patronized a high-priced prostitution service. But in these last few days of a political career that took off when he prosecuted corrupt corporate officials, the tables have been turned. Spitzer and his lawyers are now trying to convince prosecutors not to press charges. Our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, is here with more.


# CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: Good evening, everyone. Well, the pressure just kept building on Eliot Spitzer since the news broke that he'd been patronizing a prostitute. And today he resigned as Governor of New York, a dramatic end to the political career of a man who was once one of the Democratic Party's rising stars. Here's our national correspondent, Byron Pitts.

...

COURIC, INTRODUCING A LATER STORY: In a later story: When he steps down Monday, Spitzer, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, will no longer qualify as a Democratic super-delegate.


# NBC Nightly News:

ANN CURRY: Good evening. I'm Ann Curry, in for Brian Williams tonight. Today New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who painted himself as a champion of ethics and moral conviction, resigned just two days after the bombshell news linking him to a prostitution ring. NBC's Mike Taibbi now joins us with more on this breathtaking fall from power. Mike?
MIKE TAIBBI: Breathtaking is right, Ann. You know, there was still speculation early today that the Governor might try to hold on to his job or would only quit once he cut a deal for no criminal charges. In the end, it was neither, just a sad end to this part of the story and to a political career. Ducking past a scrum of cameras and questions, watched from helicopters above for the 30-minute, 40-block drive to his office, Eliot Spitzer, his wife Silda again standing with him, said it was over....

Today Show Continues Embargo on Spitzer
Party Affiliation

For the second consecutive day, NBC's Today show refused to identify Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat. In a total of seven Spitzer-related segments on Wednesday's Today show, and one interview with Barack Obama where the scandal was mentioned, not one anchor, reporter, guest, talking head or on-screen graphic mentioned Spitzer's party affiliation. However, following the pattern of Tuesday's NBC's Nightly News, the Today show graphics department did take time to place an "R" next to Rep. Peter King and New York state Rep. Joe Tedisco.

[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

National correspondent Natalie Morales did note that "the Governor was under lots of pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle" to step down but never bothered to explain on which side of the aisle Spitzer stood.

The following opening story from the March 12 Today show was typical of the rest of NBC News' Spitzer reports, in its refusal to note his party affiliation:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: But we're gonna begin with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer under the gun again today. Our national correspondent Natalie Morales is at the state capital in Albany with an update. Natalie good morning to you.
NATALIE MORALES: And good morning to you Meredith. A lot of confusion here in Albany once again today about whether or not Governor Eliot Spitzer is, in fact, going to resign. As you can see by the local paper, the Times Union, they're already going with the headline that Spitzer is resigning. But meanwhile there are other reports suggesting that people close to Spitzer, including his own wife, may be urging him to stay in office. This as the state's government remains in limbo. Late Tuesday the Governor remained holed up inside his Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City while in Albany the pressure mounted for Spitzer to step down. What if Governor Spitzer doesn't resign?
REP. JAMES TEDISCO, ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER (R): We will have to call upon the speaker to move for articles of impeachment.
MORALES: Spitzer was caught by a federal wiretap after IRS tax investigators found unusual transfers of cash into private accounts.
JONATHAN DIENST, WNBC: First there was some fear that maybe this is money laundering, maybe this is corruption, what's going on here? And then it turned out to be a case of prostitution.
MORALES: Sources now say he used the escort service, Emperors Club VIP, for several years and paid tens of thousands for numerous trysts. This morning, the "Washington Post" reports that the FBI staked out the Mayflower hotel weeks before he was caught on February 13th.
REP. PETER KING, NEW YORK (R): The reality is that, over the years, no one has been more self- righteous or unforgiving than Eliot Spitzer.
MORALES: His year in Albany has been marred by scandal. And it is no secret Spitzer made many enemies as a hard-line law and order crusader.
ELIOT SPITZER ON NOVEMBER 7, 2008: I have been known as the people's lawyer.
SPITZER ON MARCH 10, 2008: I apologize to the public whom I promised better.
MORALES: While Spitzer only admitted to violating his own standards on Monday, he has yet to confess or deny his involvement with the prostitution ring.
DAVID LETTERMAN: He was known as "client nine, client nine." And it looks now like "client nine," will soon be looking for wife number two.
MORALES: He's already the punch line for late night comedians but with all the state's government business on hold, it's no laughing matter. Spitzer's aides have been in contact with Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, next in line for the Governor's job. Paterson, who is legally blind, is New York's highest ranking African-American state legislator.
SPITZER IN CAMPAIGN AD: I simply asked if it was right or wrong. In the end, it's not a bad rule.
MORALES: Only a year into office, a candidate who campaigned on ethics is today tripped up by laws he vowed to enforce. Another interesting note, Spitzer is one of 254 superdelegates already pledged to Senator Hillary Clinton. If he resigns, he will not be replaced as a superdelegate, meaning that Senator Clinton would lose one. Matt.
LAUER: Alright Natalie Morales in Albany this morning. Natalie, thanks very much.

To read more on NBC Nightly News disregarding Spitzer's party affiliation: www.mrc.org

SNL Parody? ABC's GMA Puffs Obama, Grills
Clinton Supporter

In a striking resemblance to a pair of recent Saturday Night Live skits, Wednesday's Good Morning America began with a fawning interview of Barack Obama, then grilled Hillary Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro.

Co-host Chris Cuomo first congratulated Obama for his Mississippi victory, then questioned if it "seals the deal." Cuomo added he is "sure you're [Obama] gaining the confidence that you have a very good change of winning the ticket." Cuomo pressed for an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket then asked Obama for a reaction to Geraldine Ferraro's allegedly racially charged comments. To conclude the interview, he inquired into Obama's family plans for the next six weeks leading to Pennsylvania, asking if he is "going to pretend you're Michael Jordan" with his children?

[This item was adopted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]

Immediately following the interview, co-host Diane Sawyer spoke with Ferraro on her controversial statement that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position." The tone and the questions were noticeably tougher. Sawyer challenged Ferraro's assertion that she is not directly involved with the Clinton campaign. Sawyer also noted Obama's popular vote totals and the 11 Senators that support him, asking if they're just caught up in "the concept." In the end, Sawyer asked if Ferraro is "sorry" for her statement?

The transcript first from the Obama interview at 7:02 AM on March 12:

CHRIS CUOMO: First let's turn to the presidential campaign. I spoke with Senator Obama after his big win in Mississippi, and we wanted to talk specifically about the latest sparks from the Clinton campaign, Geraldine Ferraro's comments to a newspaper that, quote, "if Obama was a white man he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman [of any color] he could not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." Here's what Senator Obama had to say about this, his big win, and more. Senator Obama, thank you for joining us. I congratulate you on winning Mississippi. Let me ask you, do you think this seals the deal for you?
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): Well, I think we've still got some work to do. Obviously, as long as Senator Clinton is running, we've got a contest. And she's a tenacious campaigner. But I'm thrilled with the victory not just in Mississippi but Wyoming. And we're continuing to build delegates.
CUOMO: I'm sure you're gaining confidence that you have a very good chance of winning the ticket, so let's look at vice president. I know you think it's too early, but I'll ask it to you this way. Can you think of anyone better than Hillary Rodham Clinton to be your vice presidential candidate?
OBAMA: Well, I think that Senator Clinton is extraordinarily talented. I've said before, she would be on anybody's short list.
CUOMO: Let me flip it this way. Are you ready to say that you would not accept the vice presidential role with Hillary Rodham Clinton? You're ready to rule it out.
OBAMA: Well, you know, I basically said in Mississippi I'm running for president. I'm not interested in the vice presidency.
CUOMO: Saying you're not running for vice president is different than saying I will not accept the vice presidential role with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Is that what you mean to say? I'm looking for a straight no or a yes.
OBAMA: Chris, I admire your tenacity. I am not running for vice president. I am not thinking about accepting a vice presidency. I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.
CUOMO: Alright. Yesterday, you came out with very specific charges against the Clinton campaign, saying, "you're throwing everything at me. The campaign is leaking photos of me in African garb." Now Geraldine Ferraro comes out, she says if you were a white man, you wouldn't be where you are today. So I ask you for your reaction. Do you think you were singled out by the Democratic party because of your race?
OBAMA: Well, let me put in this way, Chris. I think that if anybody was looking for the quickest path to the presidency, they would not say I want to be an African-American man named Barack Obama. I don't think that's in the handbook for running for president. Anybody who knows the history of this country, I think would not take too seriously the notion that this has been a huge advantage. But I don't think it's a disadvantage either. I will be honest with you, the one thing I am frustrated about during the course of this campaign, and it's typical Washington politics, is we do end up spending a lot of time obsessing over who's up and who's down and what surrogate made what statement. But we don't spend as much time just really feeling the difficulties that people are going through on a day-to-day basis, and I get sucked into that sometimes.
CUOMO: Do you believe that Geraldine Ferraro should leave the Clinton campaign for what she said?
OBAMA: Well, I'll leave that up to the Clinton campaign. But what I have said is this, that, you know, when some of my surrogates have made statements that I don't think were appropriate, they left the campaign. I think that we have to set a tone in the Democratic party that projects bringing the country together, unifying the country. I think that's what we're about, and I respect Geraldine Ferraro. She was a trailblazer and an inspiration for a lot of people, including myself when she ran as vice president. I really think it's important for us to not divide the Democratic party or the American people. I think it's important to bring the people together because the challenges we've got are so enormous.
CUOMO: You have six weeks now before Pennsylvania. You have some time to see your wife, see your kids, play a little ball. You going to take it to the hoop? You going to pretend that you're Michael Jordan trying to take it into the basket a little bit?
OBAMA: Let me tell you, it would take a great feat of imagination to pretend I'm Michael Jordan. I might pretend that I'm 15 years younger than I am. The only problem with that is, sometimes that's how you get injured. So I have to be careful about that.
CUOMO: That's true. I've learned that the hard way. Senator, thank you very much for taking the time. Congratulations on Mississippi.
OBAMA: Thank you so much, Chris.
CUOMO: Senator was upbeat and diplomatic where Geraldine Ferraro was involved. But Diane, it should be noted his campaign was very direct. And they believe that Miss Ferraro should have to leave.

Then the Ferraro interview from 7:06 AM:

DIANE SAWYER: Should have to leave the finance committee of Senator Clinton and we're going to hear from Ms. Ferraro in just a moment. We do turn to her. She has caused a controversy, and of course, we do remember back, 1984, it was pioneering candidate on that national stage, the first woman to be on a national ticket. She ran with Walter Mondale. And as we said, she is a Clinton supporter on the finance committee. Senator Clinton herself issued a statement last night after a couple of milder statements, she did say "Well, I said earlier today in Harrisburg that I obviously disagree and reject the comments. And Senator Obama and I have both said on several occasions that we want this campaign to be about issues." And Geraldine Ferraro is here live this morning.
FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN GERALDINE FERRARO (D-NY): Good morning.
SAWYER: A quick, just a couple of quick news questions if I can. Have you heard from Senator Clinton personally has she said to you, "don't say those things"?
FERRARO: No, which is just- I am not part of the campaign.
SAWYER: No, but you know her. She's a friend.
FERRARO: Undoubtedly. And the sad thing is, is that my comments have been taken so out of context and have been spun by the Obama campaign as racist. That, you know, it's doing precisely what they don't want done is going to the Democratic party and dividing us even more.
SAWYER: Quick followup. Do you think inside the Clinton campaign, they can't say it but they actually agree with you what you're saying or disagree?
FERRARO: That's not of concern to me. Let me just take a step back, Diane. First of all, let me just say to you, people think this is a racist comment, and secondly, let me also point to the fact, just give me a minute, that I've spent 40 years fighting discrimination, not only about gender, but about race, for the disabled, for the elderly, for gays. This is an outrage.
SAWYER: But keying off to what Senator Obama said, I don't think he said it was racist comment. What he said was that that factually-
FERRARO: His campaign did. First of all, there are two things.
SAWYER: Let's talk about what he said. He said factually, it's absurd I think is the word he used. Let's just look at it again. This is how you're quoted in the newspaper. "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."
FERRARO: And I believe that.
SAWYER: "And if he was a woman of any color he would not be in this position."
FERRARO: And I believe that.
SAWYER: "He happens to be very lucky to be who he is and the country is caught up in the concept."
FERRARO: Absolutely. And now let me tell you what the surrounding situation was. I had given a paid speech which had been booked a year and a half ago, had nothing to do with the Clinton campaign. I do not, I am not a surrogate. Somebody suggest I get fired. Fired from what?
SAWYER: Wait, wait, you're on the finance committee.
FERRARO: I'm on the finance committee, so when hundreds of millions of dollars have been made by all of the candidates do you know what my firm- Hold on. In my firm, we have not only, I'm on her finance committee. Put on what you do at a fund-raiser. We have an Obama supporter was one of my partners, who's on the finance committee and we have McCain supporter who's on the finance committee.
SAWYER: But I just want to go back to the words you used because this is really important-
FERRARO: And I'm going to address those. And let me put it in context which is what is absolutely necessary. So I was asked after the speech, what is the reason that you see that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are at this level together? Could I have said because his experience is what puts him there? No. Could I say because the stands on issues have distinguished him? No. What is the real thing that has turned out? Now, he's talking about historic candidacies. And when I started off by saying, if you go back to 1984 and look at my historic campaign, which I just talked about all these things. In 1984 if my name were Gerard Ferraro, instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would have never been chosen as the vice presidential candidate.
SAWYER: Yes, there are people who have heard you say that, and said there is a distinction that should be made. Walter Mondale chose you.
FERRARO: That's not the distinction Diane. It's the candidacy. And that you're missing the point. And let me go one step further. It had also said it had nothing to do with my qualifications. Could I have done the job as vice president? Absolutely. Could I have done it better than George W. Bush? Absolutely.
SAWYER: Okay, so let me get to the words about this on Senator Obama.
FERRARO: The spin on the words has been that somehow I was addressing the his qualifications. I was not. I was celebrating the fact that the black community in this country has come out with pride in the historic candidacy and has shown itself at the polls. You'd think he'd say "yeah thank you for doing that. That's the kind of thing that we want to say thank you to the community." Instead I'm charged with being a racist.
SAWYER: Well, again, I don't think he has said that but this-
FERRARO: His campaign has. I've been deluged with e-mails, phone calls, nasty type of things, contacting my office, awful stuff.
SAWYER: I just want to ask, when you say the country is caught up in the concept, and what it work, in fact you seem to be what you seem to make a determinative thing.
FERRARO: Parsing these words, Diane, these words -- this is not-
SAWYER: In your words, let me just ask. The popular vote, 13,033,386 for Senator Obama. 11 senators who know him and know Senator Clinton are supporting him. Do you think they're doing it because they're just caught up in a concept?
FERRARO: No. Because what you've done is you've gone in and you parsed something out of context again. I just think -- I find that offensive. I was talking about historic candidacy. You know, the numbers are there. Why would you call -- wait. Hold on a minute. Why would you call South Carolina so far ahead of time if people are not reflecting about how the black vote was going to come out? Why would they call Mississippi ahead of time?
SAWYER: That was polling.
FERRARO: It's more than polling. It's looking at who is going to vote.
SAWYER: But as you know, as you know, Bill Clinton won the black vote too.
FERRARO: Oh, yeah. Tell me, then, why, every time somebody opens their mouth, Bill Clinton, racist, Governor Rendell, racist, Gerry Ferraro, all of us have records of anything but racist.
SAWYER: Sorry you said this?
FERRARO: Absolutely not, absolutely not. And to be quite frank, it seems to me that the campaign -- and David Axlerod knows me. He should have called me up and said what do you mean by this? And I would have given the full context. I have only said nice things. When I give a paid speech, I don't pick out one campaign over another. I talk about them both. I give one a little bit of an edge, but I'm also fair to John McCain. I'm not speaking for either the Democratic party or candidate. I think, I have to tell you, my concern has been over how I've been treated as well. And I'm hurt, absolutely hurt, by how they have taken this thing and spun it to imply that in any way, in any way I'm racist. And to use it to attack Hillary, because they can't speak about the issues, I find this just appalling.

Tickets Now Available for MRC's 2008
'DisHonors Awards'

Tickets are now available for MRC's 2008 "DisHonors Awards." The MRC's annual video awards with the "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence," this year presented to Tony Snow, will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday evening, April 10. Confirmed participants: Ann Coulter, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, Cal Thomas and many more since surprise conservative guests will accept the awards in jest.

"It was a terrific show...It was a great, great, great assemblage of people... Everybody just had a blast!" -- Rush Limbaugh, 2007 recipient of the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence.

Make your reservation today. Every year our gala sells out, so don't delay.

Individual seats available for $250. To reserve your seat(s), contact the MRC's Sara Bell at: sbell@mediaresearch.org

Or call, 9 to 5:30 PM EDT weekdays: (800) 672-1423.

Online page with information: www.mrc.org

For a look at all the fun at last year's event: www.mediaresearch.org

'Top Ten Surprises During Eliot Spitzer's
Resignation'

From the March 12 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Surprises During Eliot Spitzer's Resignation." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. Entered to the sounds of Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'"

9. Opening line: "Are you a cop?"

8. Spent two minutes seductively stroking the microphone

7. Reaffirmed his policy of "Bro's before Ho's"

6. His decision not to wear pants

5. Admitted he also once made out with former Governor Pataki

4. Credited downfall to fast-paced lifestyle of Albany

3. He was kinda pitchy, dawg

2. Said he thought the Emperor's Club was a Chinese restaurant

1. When reporters asked how much he paid per hour, his wife said, "Believe me, he doesn't need an hour"

-- Brent Baker