Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

ABC Highlights Disgruntled Army Medic Scoffing at Bush Claim --11/4/2003


1. ABC Highlights Disgruntled Army Medic Scoffing at Bush Claim
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."

2. Olbermann and Maraniss Expound on "Lot of Parallels" to Vietnam
Risking the wrath of what he called "the reactionary press," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Monday night raised comparisons with Vietnam. Guest David Maraniss, the former Washington Post reporter and Bill Clinton biographer, agreed "there are a lot of parallels." He 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 followed up: "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."

3. A 5 Percent Tax Hike Considered a "Deep Cut" by Washington Post
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?

4. The Reagans Dropped by CBS? Major Media Pick Up on Controversy
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. On Tuesday morning, ABC's Good Morning America devoted a segment to what co-host Charles Gibson referred to as a "fury of criticism" over the movie and on Monday's The View on ABC, Barbara Walters revealed how Nancy Reagan is "terribly upset and hurt." Even Star Jones, a big supporter of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, declared: "It's in tremendously poor taste."

5. Goldberg: MRC "Tells the Truth and the Media Think It's Hell"
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."


ABC Highlights Disgruntled Army Medic
Scoffing at Bush Claim

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."
Wilson, in green scrubs: "'All major combat operations of ceased.' [nods and winks] Right."
Berman: "Today Wilson said he has been treating soldiers wounded from three or four attacks every day."
Wilson: "There are a lot of [indecipherable], a lot of accidents, a lot of dead people."
Berman concluded from Baghdad: "He fears there is little relief in sight."

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."
Captain Jay Persons, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne: "Yeah, every time you leave there's a threat out there."
Unidentified soldier: "I mean we're all motivated to do our jobs, but that kind of thing, I mean it's like losing a bunch of brothers."

Olbermann and Maraniss Expound on "Lot
of Parallels" to Vietnam

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:
"And evidently somebody made money off that Chinook disaster. London's Guardian newspaper reporting from Fallujah that there are bounties being paid based on the type of transport attacked....
"If that rings a distant and terrible bell, it should. In Vietnam, the U.S. Fifth Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon was so lethally good that the Viet Cong offered the equivalent of $1000 to anyone who could kill one of them. And if the shudder going through American politics along with the one going through America rings another distant terrible bell, it should. There were also watershed times not unlike those in which that helicopter plummeted to the ground Sunday: Those times in Vietnam. One of them, mid-October, 1967, part of the First ID was ambushed in Vietnam while anti-war protests peaked and a president wondered if we'd ever win. That's the subject of the latest book by the noted historian and author David Maraniss."

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?"
Maraniss: "There are absolutely valid comparisons. But you have to start with the notion that the enemies are far different, the way the wars were fought at first were far different, and the consequences in the Middle East versus Vietnam are far different. That being said, there are a lot of parallels. You have soldiers in a place where they don't know who the friend is, who the enemy is. You have wars based on questionable premises, whether it was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution alleged attack on a ship then for Vietnam, or the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And 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 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?"
Maraniss: "Well, you're seeing an administration that wants desperately to win the battle of public perceptions. And they were starting to lose it in October of '67, they're 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. The key battle in my book, the American military claimed was a victory even though 60 men were killed and 60 men wounded out of less than 150 men who walked into that ambush. They even refused to call it an ambush because they couldn't acknowledge that the great First Infantry Division could walk into one. So you see that sort of manipulation of the language. Unfortunately, history tends to repeat itself in that way."
Olbermann: "The administration, this administration has repeatedly said that not enough positive news has been coming out of Iraq -- reconstruction, democratic inroads. But at some point in the Vietnam experience, the similar signs of apparent progress that were in some cases very real, began to become irrelevant to people here at home, that only one thing mattered, what could be done to lessen the danger to our troops over there. Do you sense that we are nearing a similar kind of watershed point regarding the troops in Iraq and their safety as the primary, in fact the only thing that the U.S. public is interested in?"
Maraniss: "You know, it's quite possible. In October of '67, the war had already gone on for two and a half years, 12,000 men had already died, American soldiers, here we have a few hundred. I think the level of public acceptance of deaths in Iraq is actually far less than it was in Vietnam -- far, far less. In the battle I wrote about, 60 men killed, it was just a blip, barely covered. Here you have 16 men dying in a helicopter crash and it's a huge story, so that shows a difference in the public's acceptance of it as well."

So, despite Olbermann's best wishes, it's not like Vietnam.

A 5 Percent Tax Hike Considered a "Deep
Cut" by Washington Post

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

The Reagans Dropped by CBS? Major Media
Pick Up on Controversy

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:
"Among the protests against CBS: The Republican National Committee late last week asked CBS to screen the film for a team of historians. GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie suggested CBS run a 'crawl' reminding the audience 'that this is not a film that is supposed to be historically accurate.' Brent Bozell, president of the Virginia-based Media Research Center, the largest conservative media watchdog group in the U.S., sent a letter to the country's top 100 corporate advertisers asking them not to support the miniseries. Radio talk-show host Michael Reagan, the former president's eldest son, vented his displeasure...."

For the November 4 LA Times article: www.calendarlive.com

On Monday's The View, this discussion took place, as taken down by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:

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."
Joy Behar: "Has he been ill for that long?"
Walters: "Yes, and it's very difficult for her, in general, and then to have this film made and this time with things that she said were misquoted and very harmful, some of which have already been, I hear, [unclear], taken out of it. You know, we forget when these things are done that the families are deeply affected. Now, there've been lots of other films that have been done as well, but for her this is very painful."
Rachel Campos, one of the three finalists to become the newest member of the View gang: "When you talked to her, did she, I mean, because I was sort of heartened and I wonder if she was also heartened by the response? I mean, so many people have gone on to boycottCBS.com as a result of this hoopla and I think it really, and the fact that they're changing it and backing away, to me, shows that people are recognizing that he really is beloved to so many Americans and I wonder if she at least feels-"
Walters: "Well, I think she does feel, you know, heartened by that, by the love that people do feel for him, and then there have been stories, there's been a Newsweek story and a New York Times story, which, you know, has criticized the film and talked about this so much so that now it says that CBS may not show it, they may give it to Showtime, which is one of their companies as well."
Star Jones: "It may not also be about him being so beloved as much as it's in tremendously poor taste."
Walters: "To do it now."
Jones: "Because the man is in the last stages of his life. That may be what people are responding to."
Behar: "That's probably why."
Campos: "He's beloved, he's beloved."
Meredith Vieira: "Or maybe a combination thereof."
Walters: "And that was her point, as well, that you know, there've been books written, there've been this, there've been that, but now? You know."
Campos: "Yeah, I agree, I think it's tasteless."

Goldberg: MRC "Tells the Truth and the
Media Think It's Hell"

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.
"Are the elves at the MRC conservative? Absolutely! Do they love poking holes in liberal media elites? Sure! But so what? What they put out are actual verbatim quotations that come from journalists themselves. On this, the Media Research Center is meticulous. So, with the understanding that many elite journalists hate them, I offer up this observation, 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."

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

For the Barnes & Noble page for it: search.barnesandnoble.com

Goldberg launched his media promotional tour Friday morning on the beach in Miami with an on-location Fox and Friends crew from FNC, and last night traveled to New York/New Jersey for live spots on FNC's O'Reilly Factor and MSNBC's Scarborough Country.

# 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