ABC Frets About Bush's "Hardline" and Cameroon "Setback" -- 03/12/2003 CyberAlert
2. CBS's Logan on Hussein: "Remarkably Relaxed, Almost Paternal"
3. CBS Suppresses Own Poll Finding on War Support Sans UN
4. ABC's Jennings Skips How 71% Pro-War Sans UN But With Allies
5. GMA Showcases Anti-Bush Comments of a "Pint-Sized Peacemaker"
6. FNC Picks Up MRC Item on Lange Resenting Anti-American Image
>>> "2003 Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters." CyberAlert subscribers can get tickets for $150, $25 off the regular price, for the Thursday, March 27 event in Washington, DC. For all the info and how to buy tickets:
Without ever mentioning how the move represents another Iraqi violation of a UN resolution, ABC's Peter Jennings on Tuesday night reported how Iraq says "it will no longer allow the U.S. spy plane the U-2...to fly over Iraqi territory" because, Iraq claims, the flights are "simply helping the U.S. prepare for war."
Seconds later reporter Terry Moran characterized the Bush administration position as "hardline" and fretted about "another sign of another possible setback" -- the ambassador from Cameron will not be coming to the White House.
And, noting how journalists were being embedded with troops, Jennings worried that in this second Gulf War "another Bush administration will have the final say" on what journalists will be allowed to report.
Just another day of the world through the prism of Jennings and his World News Tonight team. The MRC's Tim Jones has collated all of the CyberAlert items on the slanted skew of Jennings this year in reporting on the impending war. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/mrcspotlight/jennings/welcome.asp
Back to Tuesday night, March 11, Jennings teased his broadcast: "On World News Tonight, war and diplomacy, the U.S. and its friends. It is getting really messy. The Bush administration isn't doing very well."
From Kuwait, Jennings then offered some headlines of the day, including this item: "Iraq has told the UN weapons inspectors it will no longer allow the U.S. spy plane the U-2, working for the UN, to fly over Iraqi territory. The Iraqis say it is simply helping the U.S. prepare for war."
No subsequent story offered any more detail.
Jennings set up Terry Moran at the White House by citing the latest effort to delay a deadline: "Terry, I gather the President is disinclined, to say the least, to give anybody 45 more days."
ABC were then treated to clips of the ambassadors from Malaysia and South Africa.
Moran proceeded to warn: "In what may be the deepest sign of potential U.S. isolation, a startling public admission for the first time by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld that the U.S. might have to go to war in Iraq without Great Britain, far and away Mr. Bush's staunchest ally."
Moran also fretted: "There was another sign of another possible setback. After announcing last week that the President of Cameroon, a key Security Council nation, would be coming to the White House tomorrow, officials now say he's not coming. And Peter, they call the change a mix up."
Later in the show, Jennings announced: "Hundreds of journalists in the region today are now joining military units to which they have been assigned. It is called 'embedding' by the military. They will live and travel with the troops. ABC and other television news organizations will now have the capacity to broadcast live from the battlefield for the very first time. ABC's policy is to screen the material first. The military command has told us more than once they want Americans to see war as it really is. They remember how little Americans saw during the Gulf War. This time, another Bush administration will have the final say."
Much to Jennings' consternation.
Saddam Hussein was "looking remarkably relaxed, almost paternal," reporter Lara Logan asserted from Baghdad on Tuesday's CBS Evening News as she described his "daily appearance on Iraqi TV" to lecture "his top military commanders to prepare their men for war." Logan added that men are coming to Iraq "from across the Middle East to defend the capital and carry out suicide bombings against U.S. forces."
Meanwhile, over on the NBC Nightly News, Jim Miklaszewski saw a far less intimidating Hussein as he reported that "entire units" of the Iraqi army "already possess white flags to prepare for a quick surrender."
Dan Rather introduced Logan's March 11 dispatch: "If Saddam Hussein is worried that his regular army will cut and run or surrender without a fight, he is keeping it well hidden."
Logan in Baghdad, over video of Hussein behind a big concrete podium and in front of a marble-looking wall, began: "Looking remarkably relaxed, almost paternal, President Saddam Hussein today, in what's become his daily appearance on Iraqi TV. From the podium he lectured his top military commanders to prepare their men for war."
Then, over video of a few guys sliding down ropes, Logan caught up with "news" which ABC highlighted several days ago: "They won't be fighting alone according to the Arab television station al-Jazeera. These men, it said, are Arab volunteers training at a camp northeast of Baghdad. They've come from across the Middle East to defend the capital and carry out suicide bombings against U.S. forces."
Logan went on to explain that though life seems normal in Baghdad, a sure sign that conflict is expected is that shopkeepers are taking valuable products to their homes for safety.
Logan concluded: "UN inspectors continue their work. The destruction of banned missiles proceeds daily. But a report promised by Iraq, that it claims will prove they destroyed their stocks of VX gas and Anthrax, has yet to emerge."
The London-based, South African born, Logan may see Hussein as "paternal," but she certainly is the best-looking U.S. television network correspondent in Baghdad. For her bio and a picture:
As noted above, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski predicted more dour prospects for Hussein, reporting on the NBC Nightly News:
A CBS News/New York Times poll released on Monday night discovered that even "if the UN Security Council votes against the U.S. sponsored resolution to take military action against Iraq," 55 percent of the public would still approve of the U.S. taking that military action. But you wouldn't know that from watching CBS News. Neither the CBS Evening News on Monday or Tuesday night, nor The Early Show on Tuesday, cited that poll finding.
CBS competitors CNN and CNBC, however, both highlighted that particular finding and the New York Times put it into the subhead of a front page story.
"More Americans Now Faulting UN On Iraq, Poll Finds," announced the lead headline on the front page of the hard copy of Tuesday's New York Times. A subhead disclosed: "More Than Half in Survey Back U.S. Invasion Even Without Security Council Vote"
An excerpt from the top of the March 11 story by Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder:
Americans are growing impatient with the United Nations and say they would support military action against Iraq even if the Security Council refuses to support an invasion, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
The poll found that 58 percent of Americans said the United Nations was doing a poor job in managing the Iraqi crisis, a jump of 10 points from a month ago. And 55 percent of respondents in the latest poll would support an American invasion of Iraq, even if it was in defiance of a vote of the Security Council.
But a majority of respondents, 52 percent, say inspectors should be given more time to search for evidence of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons on the ground in Iraq. Still, that number has dropped over the past month, and there has been an increase in the number of Americans who say the United States has done enough to find a diplomatic solution in Iraq.
Taken together, the Times/CBS News findings suggest that President Bush has made progress, at least at home, in portraying Saddam Hussein as a threat to peace while rallying support for a war over rising objections in the international community. They also signal that the nation may be moving toward the traditional wartime rallying around the President that the White House -- and Mr. Bush's Democratic opponents -- have anticipated....
END of Excerpt
For the story in full: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/11/politics/11POLL.html
An accompanying page on the Web site lists all the poll questions, including the one CBS ignored:
But on Tuesday's Early Show, the very morning the New York Times showcased the 55 percent number in its front page headline and second paragraph of its story, Bill Plante, as he did the night before on Monday's CBS Evening News, skipped that finding.
Plante, MRC analyst Brian Boyd documented, relayed: "A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that the public's sense of urgency over how to handle Iraq is growing. Support for taking military action soon has risen by nine points since last week, though a majority still favors giving the UN inspectors more time."
Plante continued: "Half the nation now sees Iraq as an immediate threat to the U.S., one which requires military action."
(Could the 5 percent be Phil Donahue and his old MSNBC staff?)
Plante's last numbers: "But a majority would be more comfortable if the administration took the allies' views into account."
As noted in the March 11 CyberAlert, Monday night's CBS Evening News skipped over how the poll determined, as reported on the CBS New Web site, that "55 percent would still approve of military action against Iraq even if the UN did not support a U.S.-sponsored resolution to take such action." Plus, CBS refused to tell viewers that its respondents favor military action against Iraq by 66 to 30 percent and a majority "are confident Bush will make the right decisions" on Iraq. See:
CBS may have ignored the 55 percent number, but at least CNN and CNBC viewers heard about it.
In a piece aired on both Tuesday's Inside Politics and NewsNight, CNN analyst Bill Schneider reported (IP version): "Today's New York Times/CBS News poll shows a majority of Americans, 55 percent, endorsing U.S. military action against Iraq without, that is without UN approval. Previously polling had showed most Americans unwilling to go in without a new UN mandate. Now last Thursday President Bush said at his news conference, when it comes to our security we don't need anybody's permission. Most Americans, apparently, now agree."
On CNBC's The News with Brian Williams on Tuesday night, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, substitute anchor Forrest Sawyer observed: "Tonight, with the clock running down, diplomatic wrangling over a United Nations resolution is in full roar. Both France and Russia have said they will oppose -- and somewhere in there, you can read 'veto' -- a resolution that leads to war. But the Bush White House still wants a vote this week, and they are still trying to get the nine-vote majority that can represent a kind of political victory. But deals will be hard to make. As White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer put it today, there is room for diplomacy, but not much room. And not much time. It appears the American public largely agrees. A new poll out tonight from the New York Times and CBS News shows 58 percent think the UN has done a poor job with handling this crisis. That is up 10 points from just a month ago. And a majority of Americans -- 55 percent -- also believe the U.S. should go to war with Iraq even without the United Nations' support."
"Experience. CBS News." And you'll miss their own news.
On Monday night even Peter Jennings couldn't avoid reporting how a new ABC News poll found that "61 percent believe support from the UN Security Council is not necessary to attack." But a check of the ABC News Web site found another interesting number Jennings did not highlight: That the percent who feel UN authorization is not necessary jumps to an impressive 71 percent "if allies participate."
Jennings noted on the March 10 World News Tonight: "A new ABC News poll this evening finds public support at home holding steady for war against Iraq: 59 percent of Americans support a war, 35 percent oppose one. 61 percent believe support from the UN Security Council is not necessary to attack and 62 percent of Americans believe that a war will lead to significant American casualties."
Online, ABC News polling chief Gary Langer pointed out that "while Americans would prefer more international support, most say it's not a condition for war. In this poll, 61 percent say UN authorization isn't necessary for the United States to act. That rises to 71 percent if some U.S. allies participate. And in the final analysis, 59 percent support war with Iraq, unchanged in the last week."
For Langer's report on the poll:
Not satisfied with just passing along celebrity rants against President Bush's Iraq policy, Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC upped the ante and gave air time to a kid suffering from muscular dystrophy, whose hero is Jimmy Carter, to denounce, from a hospital bed and with air tubes connected to his face, Bush's policies.
ABC News reporter Chris Cuomo, the son of the liberal former Governor of New York, gushed: "With clouds gathering over the Middle East, and voices of peace struggling to rise above the war drums, the pint-sized peacemaker comes with a special message."
The 12-year-old read aloud from his letter to Bush in which he pleaded: "We've gone from battlefields to backyards, from arrows to anthrax. You don't have to go to war, you don't."
"Battlefields to backyards, from arrows to anthrax." Huh?
The kid in question is Mattie Stepanek, who has written several books of poems and has made previous appearances on GMA and shown up more than once recently on CNN's Larry King Live.
MRC analyst Patrick Gregory caught how Tuesday's Good Morning America, during its 8am half hour, gave Stepanek a forum for his anti-war, pro-peace pleadings.
Co-host Charlie Gibson set up the March 11 taped piece: "We want to give you now an update on someone that you have seen often on this broadcast, someone who has touched millions of lives, talking about 12 year old Mattie Stepanek, one of our favorite people in the world. He is battling a rare disease that has already killed all of his siblings and weakened his mother. Our Chris Cuomo visited him in the intensive care unit at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Mattie is there now on a ventilator."
Cuomo reminded viewers: "You all remember Mattie Stepanek, the 12-year-old poet fighting off death from a rare form of muscular dystrophy....His best selling poetry books have enlightened millions, with messages of peace and love. And of course it was here [over video from the December 4, 2001 GMA] that Mattie had a dream come true, meeting his hero, President Jimmy Carter, who Mattie calls a humble peacemaker. Well now there's a new book, 'Loving Through Heartsongs,' the fifth in a series about the power of love."
Cuomo explained: "Mattie says just consider this question: Is America fighting for a just cause, or fighting just because?"
Cuomo proceeded to look at how Mattie and his mother are facing his inevitable premature death, how he left the hospital just to present a Muscular Dystrophy Association award to Ed McMahon and that singer Billy Gilman has recorded a CD made up entirely of Mattie's poems.
For the ABCNews.com version of the story, with a picture of Mattie, go to:
For samples of some of his peace poems:
And for a look at his latest book:
I'd bet any Iraqi kids suffering from muscular dystrophy will have a lot better chance of living as long as has Mattie if the U.S. succeeds in liberating that nation's people.
You read it here first. FNC's Brit Hume on Tuesday night picked up on the CyberAlert item about how actress Jessica Lange, who last September complained that because of President Bush's Iraq policy it is "an embarrassing time to be an American, it is humiliating," on Monday's Late Show propounded that "the thing I resent most is...some kind of equation between being anti-war and anti-American."
Hume read this item during his "Grapevine" segment on the March 11 Special Report with Brit Hume:
On screen, FNC listed:
To see a still shot of Lange on the Late Show with Goldberg:
Lange is scheduled to be a guest tonight, Wednesday, on PBS's Charlie Rose. -- Brent Baker