ABC Highlights Disgruntled Army Medic Scoffing at Bush Claim --11/4/2003
2. Olbermann and Maraniss Expound on "Lot of Parallels" to Vietnam
3. A 5 Percent Tax Hike Considered a "Deep Cut" by
4. The Reagans Dropped by CBS? Major Media Pick Up on Controversy
5. Goldberg: MRC "Tells the Truth and the Media Think It's Hell"
In the wake of the helicopter downing which killed 15 on Sunday in Iraq, ABC's John Berman on Monday night highlighted a sarcastic U.S. soldier who "scoffed at what President Bush said last spring about the end of major combat." A disgruntled Army medic then mocked Bush's words, "'All major combat operations of ceased.'" The medic nodded and winked as he condescendingly added: "Right." In contrast, NBC's Richard Engel found that though "the attacks are getting more sophisticated and more deadly," the "morale" of U.S. soldiers "doesn't appear to have suffered."
Over on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather juxtaposed how new attacks in Baghdad "coincided with another 'stay the course' speech President Bush gave in Alabama." Reporter David Hawkins began his piece: "About the same time President Bush was repeating his promise that America will never run from Iraq, three loud explosions echoed across Baghdad as mortars struck the coalition's headquarters here..."
Back to Monday's World News Tonight, over video of a stretcher being carried into a tent and then video of the wounded on tables inside the tent, ABC's John Berman reported: "The wounded from yesterday's attack were taken to the 21st Combat Support Hospital. Trauma medic Travis Wilson was one of the first to see them. He scoffed at what President Bush said last spring about the end of major combat."
But over on the November 3 NBC Nightly News, Richard Engel found: "The attacks are getting more sophisticated and more deadly, but at bases like this one in Fallujah, morale doesn't appear to have suffered, although troops are more nervous."
Risking the wrath of what he called "the reactionary press," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Monday night raised comparisons with Vietnam: "Are there valid comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, if not in the sense of the wars themselves, then in terms of the public reactions to them?" Guest David Maraniss, the former Washington Post reporter and Bill Clinton biographer who has now written a book, They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America October 1967, agreed "there are a lot of parallels" between the U.S. in Vietnam then and in Iraq now.
Maraniss argued: "Eerily, in October of 1967, you had a President who was claiming publicly that he was going to prevail and that the press was getting it wrong, which has a lot of similarities with what's going on today."
Olbermann wondered: "Are we hearing those same set pieces and cliches about Iraq that we did about Vietnam?" Maraniss charged that the Bush team is "starting to lose it again right now as the polls are showing, and so that's why you see this sort of creative Orwellian language, and you also see manipulation of the facts."
Olbermann set up the segment for the #2 story of the day on the November 3 Countdown, as observed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
Olbermann, on his own show in prime time, imagined the existence of some all-powerful and nefarious "reactionary press" as he asked: "We will both get into trouble with the reactionary press -- me for asking you this question and you for answering it -- but you spent years essentially immersed in re-creating October of 1967. Are there valid comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, if not in the sense of the wars themselves, then in terms of the public reactions to them?"
Olbermann soon pressed the parallels: "I was just old enough to understand the news in 1967, and I was struck, even then when I was a kid, by how unnaturally the wording of the statements coming out of the administration about the war seemed to me, even as an eight-year-old, that they were sort of set pieces rather than answers to questions. Again, your research virtually took you back in time. Are we hearing those same set pieces and cliches about Iraq that we did about Vietnam?"
So, despite Olbermann's best wishes, it's not like Vietnam.
Talk about "Orwellian" language (see item #2 above), a Washington Post news story on Sunday described a pledge in a local county race "to cap property increases at 5 percent" as something which "could radically alter the priorities of government" and move the county in question "toward deep tax cuts and probable curbs on spending to make up for them."
So a five percent tax increase is a "deep tax cut" to the Washington Post? No wonder the paper was so upset over President Bush's actual, real cut in tax rates.
"GOP Pushes For a Fairfax Breakthrough," read the headline over the front page story on Sunday. The subhead: "N.Va.'s Big Prize Has Eluded Party."
An excerpt from the November 2 story, about today's election, by reporters Lisa Rein and Michael Laris:
Tuesday's election in Northern Virginia will turn on suburban struggles over taxes, traffic and schools, but another fundamental question looms: whether the state Republican Party can extend a decade of political revolution to Fairfax County....
Now, using a focused, low-tax message and blame for incumbents for failing to get traffic moving, a well-funded Republican slate led by chairman hopeful Mychele B. Brickner is knocking harder than ever on Fairfax's door and claims the county's leadership is within reach.
Democrats, with Supervisor Gerald E. Connolly heading the ticket to face Brickner, are battling an assault they say would turn back a generation of investment in a well-managed suburban county that keeps adding jobs for its residents, runs award-winning schools and maintains affluence alongside services for those with less....
The GOP also hopes to reclaim power in neighboring Loudoun County, lost four years ago when voters frustrated by sprawl ousted a board of supervisors viewed as too friendly to developers.
The election's outcome in both counties could radically alter the priorities of government -- in Fairfax toward deep tax cuts and probable curbs on spending to make up for them. The party also has pledged to trim and remake a county government of 11,000 workers....
Democrats, however, point out that Fairfax is a swing county that has elected many moderates, and they dismiss their challengers' calls to impose caps on property taxes as extreme views voters will reject....
The average real estate tax bill in Fairfax has soared 53 percent in four years, as property values stayed red-hot in a soft economy....
The assessments and last year's defeat of a measure to raise the sales tax for transportation prompted a concerted GOP response.
"This has as much been a process of firming up and shaping the agenda within the party as it has been about clashing with the other side," said Patrick M. McSweeney, a former state GOP chairman. "Everything else in the campaign in Fairfax is seen in the shadow of taxes."
A majority of Republican candidates pledged to cap property tax increases at 5 percent a year -- which Democrats have called a gimmick....
END of Excerpt
For the Post's mathematically-challenged story in full: www.washingtonpost.com
With the DrudgeReport.com breaking the news late Monday night that CBS will announce today that it will not air its mini-series, The Reagans, and will shift it over, "uncut," to the Showtime paid cable channel, which is also part of the Viacom family, the Tuesday editions of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post all carry stories on how CBS is "considering" such a move which would represent a great victory for truth and accuracy over hateful, left-wing propaganda, though it will still be presented to a smaller potential audience.
A big advantage to Showtime for Viacom: Showtime doesn't run any advertising and so Viacom wouldn't have to worry about advertisers afraid to associate their products with a project which has disgusted so many.
For Drudge's latest: www.drudgereport.com
Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning, ABC's Good Morning America devoted a segment to what co-host Charles Gibson referred to, before he interviewed Michael Reagan, as a "fury of criticism" over the movie.
On Monday morning's The View on ABC, Barbara Walters revealed how she had talked to Nancy Reagan: "And Mrs. Reagan herself was terribly upset and hurt. You know, she has been at her husband's side now for nine years. He's in a very serious stage of Alzheimer's." Even Star Jones, a big supporter of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, declared: "It's in tremendously poor taste."
In his November 4 New York Times story, "CBS Is Reconsidering Mini-Series on Reagan," Los Angeles-based reporter Bernard Weintraub noted how CBS has been editing the movie scheduled to debut in less than two weeks and then observed: "It is unusual for a network to start substantively re-editing a completed film only weeks before it is scheduled to be shown."
Weintraub cited the MRC and a quote from Merv Griffin first publicized by CyberAlert after he said it on MSNBC: "L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, sent a letter to 100 top television advertisers, urging them to review the script before agreeing to advertise on the mini-series. Mr. Bozell called the movie 'a partisan attack against one of America's most beloved presidents.' Other conservative commentators have joined in the criticism. Meanwhile Merv Griffin, the former television host and a longtime Reagan friend, called the series a 'cowardly act' on MSNBC recently."
For the New York Times story: www.nytimes.com
In a Tuesday Los Angeles Times story, "GOP Outcry Makes CBS Rethink Airing 'Reagans'; Critics say docudrama taints president's legacy. Network may shelve show or play it on cable," reporters Greg Braxton and Bob Baker also cited the MRC's efforts:
For the November 4 LA Times article: www.calendarlive.com
Barbara Walters: "And Mrs. Reagan herself was terribly upset and hurt. You know, she has been at her husband's side now for nine years. He's in a very serious stage of Alzheimer's."
Bernard Goldberg's new book on the news media is out this week, Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite. You'll find a lot of familiar evidence in it culled from the pages of CyberAlerts and Goldberg effuses about the Media Research Center: "With apologies to Harry Truman: The MRC folks don't give the media hell; they just tell the truth and the media think it's hell."
On page 124, at the top of a chapter titled, "What Liberal Media? Part One," in which the former CBS News correspondent recites a bunch of quotes from the MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter, Goldberg comments on the MRC's activities, orientation and reliability:
"The quotations that follow are courtesy of the Media Research Center, which as far as a lot of liberal media elites are concerned is a right-wing outfit outside Washington, DC, populated by a bunch of conservatives who spend way too much time monitoring way too many television sets and reading way too many newspapers and who get way too excited when they spot even the slightest hint of liberal bias in the news.
Goldberg's new book is published by Warner Books, which offers this promotional overview of it:
In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Bias, Emmy Award-winning journalist Bernard Goldberg created a national firestorm when he exposed the liberal biases of the so-called mainstream media. Now, in his new blockbuster, Goldberg goes even further. He not only takes on Big Journalism, but offers a twelve-step program to help the media elites overcome their addiction to bias
In ARROGANCE, Goldberg punctures the bubble in which the media elites live and work, a culture of denial where contrary views are not welcome. He shows how they base their stories on assumptions many Americans don't share-which inevitably leads to biased reporting and slanted news. With blistering wit and passion, he names names and builds his case, revealing:
-- How the media's coverage of the Jayson Blair scandal missed far more serious problems at the New York Times
-- How some of the toughest watchdogs in journalism became Hillary Clinton's lapdogs
-- Why the media refuse to shoot straight when the subject turns to guns
-- What the real truth is behind the Ms.-information put out by feminists and passed on to you by their friends in the media
-- Which CBS News icon is "transparently liberal," according to commentator Andy Rooney
-- Which Hollywood celebrities say the dopiest things about America
-- Why some think the top journalism school in America is an intellectual gulag
-- Why the only kind of diversity you cannot find in a lot of newsrooms is a diversity of ideas
-- How some journalists, like Bob Costas and Tim Russert, do get it -- and how they think American journalism can be made better.
Unsafe at Any Speed forced an arrogant auto industry to examine itself; Silent Spring spawned the environmental movement; The Feminine Mystique tapped into the discontent of many women and touched off an American revolution. And now comes ARROGANCE, one of those rare books that can change not only a powerful American institution...but the American landscape as well.
END of book publisher's online plug, which can be found at: www.twbookmark.com
For Amazon's page: www.amazon.com
# Barbara Bush, author of a new book herself, is scheduled to appear tonight, Tuesday, on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
-- Brent Baker, chief of the elf crew