ABC Focuses on Nationwide Resistance to Bush Iraq Policy; In "Festive" Baghdad, CNN Wonders if Saddam Can Be Re-Elected; Blame Bush's "Hardline" Iraq Policy for New Terrorism; Gorbachev Admires PBS President; Banfield Goes While Donahue Stays; CBS Names Liberal Advocate to Host Early Show; "Top Ten Fun Things the Army Yells While Rappelling"
1) ABC's World News Tonight devoted a story Monday night to proving how, as Peter Jennings put it, "there are growing concerns" across the country about Bush's plans for Iraq. ABC highlighted the opposition of nine people. Bill Redeker painted opponents as sharing Bush's concern, but just differing on the remedy, as he insisted they are "not so much against getting rid of Saddam Hussein but how, when and at what cost." But at that moment ABC was showing video of some very much out of the mainstream protesters carrying signs proclaiming things such as, "No Blood for Oil" and "Bombing = Terrorism."
2) A plug for American Morning with Paula Zahn on CNN's Web site promised a look at how "Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office." The story which actually aired acknowledged that he's the only name on the ballot, but fill-in host Carol Costello nonetheless stressed how in the days before the big vote "the mood on the street" in Iraq "is more festive than afraid." Reporter Nic Robertson passed along how "students at Baghdad's fine arts school, too young to vote in the last referendum in 1995, appear eager now."
3) Blame President Bush's "hardline policy" on Iraq for the al Qaeda terrorist incidents in Kuwait and Yemen, CBS Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood asserted in adding an extra anti-Bush flair to a New York Times story which didn't include the pejorative: "The group's latest round of attacks may be a response to the Bush administration's Iraq policy."
4) The President of PBS is admired by Mikhail Gorbachev. "Actor Robert Redford, former boss Ted Turner and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are among the members of her fan club," Electronic Media stated in its profile of Pat Mitchell in its annual listing of the "most powerful women in television."
5) Bye-bye Banfield, but Donahue remains. MSNBC has dumped the very little-watched On Location with Ashleigh Banfield and replaced it with re-runs of a clip show, MSNBC Investigates. Yet, the low-rated Donahue and Hardball survive for now.
6) CBS's "diversity" of color but not of ideology. In naming the new Early Show hosting team of Jule Chen, Hannah Storm, Rene Syler and Harry Smith, Executive Producer Michael Bass boasted of how "they represent very diverse groups." The team features an African-American woman, an Asian American, a white woman and a white guy, Smith, who has a record of abusing his news host position for liberal advocacy and denigration of conservatives.
>>> Now online, the October 14 edition of Notables Quotables, a bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Amongst the quote headings:
"They Report, We Deride...While They Distort Own Report"; "U.S. Plan: Kill Iraqis for Democracy"; "Saddam Saving GOP From Failure"; "'Bad, Bad' Exxon Owns Bush"; "A Liberal Definition of Progress"; "Make Air Force Beg for Bombs"; "Bush 'Desecrating America'" and "'Embarrassing to Be American.'"
Peter Jennings continued his campaign on Monday night against President Bush's policy on Iraq as World News Tonight devoted a story to proving how "there are growing concerns" across the country about Bush's plans. The "A Closer Look" segment highlighted the opposition of nine people, but not one person in favor.
Reporter Bill Redeker assured viewers that those concerned in San Diego, Denver and Charleston are "not so much against getting rid of Saddam Hussein but how, when and at what cost. Although public opinion polls show that most Americans still support military action, that support is beginning to slip." But at that very moment ABC was showing video of some very much out of the mainstream protesters who displayed no interest in countering Hussein. They were carrying signs proclaiming things such as, "Make War on Corporate Crime," "No Blood for Oil," "Bombing = Terrorism" and "George Bush You Are Not An Army of One."
Redeker warned that "military retirees" in San Diego "remember getting bogged down in Vietnam and losing support at home. Many here are leery of a rerun." Redeker found the same elsewhere, "Unilateral action also troubles those we talked to in Denver. Few want to go it alone," before concluding that "contrary to what the President says, when it comes to war, America does not speak with one voice."
But ABC News does: Against Bush's policy.
Jennings set up the October 14 story, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Not for the first time, nor for the last, we're going to take 'A Closer Look' tonight at the mood in the country as the President's determination to wage war against Iraq becomes more defined. The country appears to be less confident than the President. Tonight we're spending time in three cities where Americans are debating the war: Denver; San Diego; and Charleston, South Carolina. In all three, we listen to people as the country heads down what may be the Road to War. There are growing concerns. Here's ABC's Bill Redeker."
Over video of various scenes of motley protesters carrying signs, including "No War," "No War for Politics!," "Make War on Corporate Crime," "No Blood for Oil," "Bombing = Terrorism" and
"George Bush You Are Not An Army of One," Redeker began by painting opponents of Bush's policy as sharing his concern, but just differing on the remedy:
Afterwards, Jennings promised: "On this broadcast in the days ahead, other voices."
We'll be watching to see an equally one-sided story highlighting widespread, multi-city support of Bush's policy toward Iraq.
A plug for American Morning with Paula Zahn on CNN's Web site promised a look Monday morning at whether "Saddam Hussein's future" will "be determined at the ballot box rather than the battlefield? Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office."
Of course, being the only name on the "ballot," his re-election is a fairly sure thing, to put it mildly, and the story on Monday's show acknowledged that in the last "election" Hussein captured more than 99 percent of the vote.
On Monday's American Morning with Paula Zahn, but without Paula Zahn, fill-in host Carol Costello excitedly relayed how in the days before the big vote "the mood on the street" in Iraq "is more festive than afraid." From Baghdad, correspondent Nic Robertson stressed how "Iraqi reverence for President Saddam Hussein is rarely more expressive than when their leader calls a referendum" as "students at Baghdad's fine arts school, too young to vote in the last referendum in 1995, appear eager now. 'It is my time to challenge the United States' threats against Iraq,' says Samir. 'So I will say yes, yes, yes to President Saddam Hussein.'"
On FNC, however, Greg Palkot emphasized how while "there's only one name on the ballot," a local Baghdad official "isn't taking any chances." The man ominously promised: "Everyone from every family will come under their own will and will vote for President Hussein and will say yes strongly."
In his "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com
(www.opinionjournal.com/best), James Taranto highlighted the plug listed on CNN's page for American Morning with Paula Zahn:
That was online at: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/american.morning/
Picking up on that foolishness, Brit Hume noted on his FNC show: "Seven years ago, Iraq held a referendum on whether Saddam Hussein should stay in power, and voters went to the polls where they were ordered to write their names and addresses on their ballots and to cast them under the watchful eyes of Saddam's election officials. He got nearly 100 percent of the votes. The same exercise is being carried out again in Iraq this week, and no one but CNN seems to take the referendum seriously."
The story the CNN Web site plugged aired at about 8:22am EDT on Monday, October 14. Carol Costello introduced it: "Today we're beginning a week long series Inside Iraq. It takes a close look at a country with which America may soon be at war. Right now, Iraqis are scheduled to vote on the presidency of Saddam Hussein. Guess what the outcome will be? Well, the outcome does seem certain, doesn't it? Dissenters say, though, that while the Iraqi people do not support their leader, they will vote for him because, of course, they fear him. But as Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson found out, as the election approaches, the mood on the street is more festive than afraid."
On screen briefly during Robertson's story: "Last referendum, 1995: 99.96% voted for Saddam."
Robertson claimed: "Iraqi reverence for President Saddam Hussein is rarely more expressive than when their leader calls a referendum. To paint for the President for this special day is important, explains artist Abdul. It shows our love to him. Amid even bolder demonstrations of devotion to the Iraqi leader, students at Baghdad's fine arts school, too young to vote in the last referendum in 1995, appear eager now. 'It is my time to challenge the United States' threats against Iraq,' says Samir (ph?). 'So I will say yes, yes, yes to President Saddam Hussein.'"
Robertson explained: "'Yes, yes, yes,' the catch phrase on referendum posters throughout the city. This vote, it seems, timed to send a message of Iraqi solidarity to the United States. But what is in the vote? Not a choice between politicians, but a simple yes or no, do you accept Saddam Hussein for president of Iraq? Statistically, we'd have to ask two and a half thousand eligible voters to find someone who didn't vote yes last time. And even if we did, they'd be unlikely to admit it because few here want to be seen openly criticizing their leader."
Robertson concluded: "Little wonder, then, that even the humblest of artists here predict a victory for the incumbent. 'With God's grace, he'll get one million percent,' he says. One million percent? Impossible. However, given President Saddam Hussein seems certain to win another seven year term, near enough accurate to make no difference."
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume provided an only slightly less giddy look at the mood in Iraq over the prospect of voting for Hussein. Greg Palkot checked in: "Baghdad is in election fever. Set for Tuesday, a referendum on whether Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should serve another seven years in office. Campaign banners hung all over, likenesses of Saddam Hussein already just about everywhere, are now really everywhere. The result is a foregone conclusion. There's only one name on the ballot. While supposed to be secret, Iraq is a very carefully controlled society. Last time there was a referendum, Saddam Hussein won with 99.96 percent of the vote. Still, Sulaman al-Zawi, local election boss in the Aldora area of Baghdad, isn't taking any chances."
But Palkot soon relayed enthusiastic public opinion for Hussein even though Iraqis have no independent news source or ability to express a negative view: "The limited nature of the referendum seems to be no problem to a younger Iraqi generation who have never known any other leader but Saddam Hussein and have never known any other life than the one he's delivered them."
Blame President Bush's "hardline policy" on Iraq for the al Qaeda terrorist incidents in Kuwait and Yemen, CBS Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood asserted in adding an extra anti-Bush flair to a New York Times story.
On the October 13 Sunday Morning, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed, Osgood announced during the top of the show news rundown: "Today's New York Times reports Washington officials are worried that attacks in recent days and taped messages from leaders of al Qaeda may signal the beginning of a new wave of terrorist activity, possibly in response to the Bush administration's hard-line policy on Iraq."
But all the New York Times story reported was that "the group's latest round of attacks may be a response to the Bush administration's Iraq policy, the officials said." Osgood added the "hardline" pejorative.
What "officials" New York Times reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and David Johnston were referring to was unclear. Their story: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/13/international/middleeast/13TERR.html
After the story went to print a major terrorist attack killed nearly 200 in Bali, an incident Osgood would probably also blame on Bush's "hardline" policy toward Iraq.
For a picture and bio of Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/07/09/sunday/main13584.shtml
Mikhail Gorbachev a big admirer of PBS President Pat Mitchell? "Actor Robert Redford, former boss Ted Turner and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are among the members of her fan club," Electronic Media stated in its annual listing of the "most powerful women in television."
The MRC's Rich Noyes caught the boast by Mitchell in the October 14 Electronic Media profiles compiled by Louis Chunovic, Mike Freeman, Michele Greppi, Doug Halonen and Chris Pursell.
The "Power Base" portion of the entry for Mitchell, who used to oversee documentaries at Turner Broadcasting and CNN before taking over CNN:
I'd bet Now is Gorbachev's favorite PBS program and that he got to know her through the Cold War series she oversaw at CNN.
To see Electronic Media's look at the "most powerful women in television," go to: http://www.emonline.com/topstorys/101402powerfullist.html
Bye-bye Banfield, but Donahue remains. Last week MSNBC moved Jerry Nachman to 5pm EDT and replaced his 7pm EDT hour with a show about the Iraq war. And now the network has dumped the very little-watched On Location with Ashleigh Banfield and replaced it with re-runs of a clip show, MSNBC Investigates.
Yet, the low-rated Donahue and Hardball survive for now. Maybe because MSNBC can't figure out anything better to air and have commitments to the two high-profile hosts.
As a Variety story posted on Yahoo! on Sunday recounted, Banfield's viewership has been declining:
To try to improve its ratings, Variety noted that the network has brought aboard fresh help: "The network has imported Marc Rosenwasser, executive editor of Dateline NBC, to take over, temporarily, as supervisor of MSNBC from 7-11pm, Monday through Sunday."
For the Variety story in full:
CBS's "diversity" of color but not of ideology. In naming the new Early Show hosting team on Monday of Jule Chen, Hannah Storm, Rene Syler and Harry Smith, Executive Producer Michael Bass, according to the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes, boasted that "they represent very diverse groups and backgrounds...with a group of four we have a better chance to create a wider group of people that everybody is going to" relate to.
Except conservatives, unless Syler or Storm are hidden right-wingers.
The new quad team will provide a diversity of color if not ideology. As de Moraes noted in her October 15 story, "CBS News has chosen: one African-American woman [Syler], one Asian American [Chen], one white woman [Storm] and the obligatory older white guy to provide the mature, serious-news background [Smith]."
And a background, she naturally didn't say, of abusing his news host position the last time he co-hosted CBS's morning program to advance liberal advocacy and the denigrating of conservative policies.
For the de Moraes story in its entirety: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26141-2002Oct14.html
During his This Morning days from the late 1980s through 1996, Smith repeatedly condemned the 1980s as "the decade of greed" while scolding how "we continue to dirty our planet like there was no tomorrow." Reviewing President Bush's 1990 State of the Union Address, Smith lamented: "The President was remarkably upbeat for a man who runs a country with a monstrous national debt, huge balance of trade problems, a crumbling infrastructure, dirty air, countless homeless people..."
With Newt Gingrich, he denigrated the Contract with America: "But the real deal here if we're talking about Reaganomics, which this seems to be harkening back to, tax cuts for the rich and everything else...You're talking back to the days when budget deficits ran out of control."
After asking Gingrich one morning whether the elderly should be "afraid" of him, he slobbered another morning all over Mario Cuomo, referring to "the sense of the promise that you may have been able to deliver to people, your eloquence, your intelligence."
He blasted the "gun lobby": "While our children are being gunned down by thugs and criminals, we continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by a gun lobby which refuses to budge on issues which make simple common sense."
In 1996, toward the end of his This Morning tenure, he gushed about the "completely free, good quality, state-run pre-school" offered in France, but earlier he had found less to like about the U.S. as he charged: "America turns thousands of innocent black children into cast-offs. It's one of the accomplishments of America's system of apartheid."
He did sometimes criticize liberals, but from the left. After moving on to a reporting slot for the CBS Evening News in mid-1996, he looked at the supposed victims of welfare reform. He concluded a story which focused on poor women in Chicago: "Their long faith in the Democratic Party has been shaken, and the actions of President Clinton confirm their fear that the poor just do not count."
For details about that and other reporting he delivered during his last stint with CBS News, refer to the complete rundown featured in the July 29
The Early Show home page announced the new team:
Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen, and Rene Syler will become the new anchors of The Early Show, CBS News' weekday morning broadcast, it was announced Monday by Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News. The new two-hour broadcast will premiere Monday, Oct. 28, at 7 a.m. ET/PT on CBS.
The Early Show will offer a fresh twist on the traditional morning news program: four anchors reporting the top stories of the day, mixed with interviews and features, in a more flexible and spontaneous format. This less-rigid structure is designed to provide the opportunity for more direct exchanges among four distinct personalities, while still offering viewers the staples of news, weather and information they've come to expect.
"First and foremost, the new Early Show is a news program," said Heyward, "so we'll continue to provide viewers with the stories and issues of the day, as well as local weather and news.
"But," he adds, "our anchors will also give viewers a more spontaneous broadcast with four distinct personalities adding their own interests to the mix. The result will be a lively, unconventional and engaging program."
END of Excerpt
"Lively, unconventional and engaging program." That would be something new.
Chen now reads the news on the show and Harry Smith will continue hosting A&E's Biography. The two new cast members: Hannah Storm of NBC Sports, who years ago did sports anchoring on CNN, and Rene Syler, an anchor now at the CBS-owned station in Dallas, KTVT-TV.
For a photo of the new team with links to bios for each: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/14/earlyshow/main525444.shtml
From the October 10 Late Show with David Letterman, as announced by five U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and five from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York just before and as they rappelled down the side of the Ed Sullivan Theater, the "Top Ten Fun Things the Army Yells While Rappelling."
10. Spider-Man -- kiss my ass!
9. If we get deployed overseas, tape "Becker" for me
8. All this and Andy Rooney, tonight on "60 Minutes"
6. Help me, Dr. Phil!
5. Rope burns are cool
4. I love cookies!
3. Feng Shui!
2. Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!
To view the first three soldiers announcing their items (numbers 10, 9 and 8) and then rappelling, go to the Late Show's "Big Show Highlights" on the "Dave TV" page where it's up in RealPlayer format: