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MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Fox Business Network at 5:55 p.m. ET

ABC: 'National Shame' Will Propel Obama's Health Plan to Victory --3/2/2009


1. ABC: 'National Shame' Will Propel Obama's Health Plan to Victory
"Ultimately," President Barack Obama will get his way on "universal" health coverage, because of "just one fact" ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson declared "I want to let everybody hear," and that is the "national shame" of how "we spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in his country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage."

2. Nina Totenberg's Friend: 'Oh My God, We Have a President Again!'
NPR's Nina Totenberg revealed Friday, not surprisingly, that she was enchanted by President Barack Obama's address earlier in the week to a joint session of Congress. "It made me feel pretty good. I thought it was a great speech," she enthused before relaying a contrast with former President George W. Bush: "A friend of mine said, 'oh my God, we have a President again!'" Totenberg added that "in some ways, that's not fair to Bush," but she insisted: "That's the way you felt. You felt this was a guy who was totally in charge."

3. Only ABC Credits Bush's 'Surge' for Allowing Obama's Draw Down
In Friday night stories on President Barack Obama's plan to reduce troops in Iraq by 90,000, neither the CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News mentioned a key factor raised by ABC reporters Jake Tapper and Martha Raddatz. On ABC's World News, over video of Tapper standing at Camp Lejeune with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Tapper noted: "Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen today credited President Bush's surge, opposed by then-Senator Obama, with helping to pave the way for today's announcement." Viewers then heard a short soundbite from Gates: "It clearly has put us in a very different place in terms of where Iraq is." Up next on the February 27 newscast, Raddatz addressed the military's reaction, and shared her assessment: "I think if there hadn't been a surge, if there hadn't been such success, you wouldn't have seen those Marines clapping today. It would be a very different kind of speech."

4. Tina Brown: Liberal Ad Elevates 'Blow-hard Bullfrog' Limbaugh
Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Friday's Morning Joe to lament that a liberal ad featuring Rush Limbaugh would only elevate the status of the "blow-hard bullfrog" conservative host. The liberal group Americans United for Change has a new spot running that slams Republicans as a party of no and features a clip of Limbaugh's now famous comment that he wants Obama's liberal policies to fail. After Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist played the ad, Brown asserted of the commercial: "I adore the 'party of no.' I think it is wonderful." She then complained: "The only thing I do regret though is that this giant, you know, blow-hard bullfrog, you know, Rush Limbaugh is being turned into this big icon."

5. 5,000th Wheel of Fortune, Sajak Accepts, Get 'DisHonors' Tickets
Now in its 26th year, Friday the 5,000 edition of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune game show aired around the nation -- which reminded me (always looking for a hook to plug our upcoming "DisHonors Awards") -- that just under two years ago Wheel host Pat Sajak took part in our 2007 event. At the MRC's "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006," the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala on March 29, 2007, Sajak accepted, on behalf of Rosie O'Donnell, the "I'm Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award." Which all goes to remind everyone that this year's "DisHonors Awards for the Worst Reporting of the Year" with the annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence" to be presented to Brit Hume, are just over two weeks away. Every year, we sell out. So don't procrastinate on getting a ticket.


ABC: 'National Shame' Will Propel Obama's
Health Plan to Victory

"Ultimately," President Barack Obama will get his way on "universal" health coverage, because of "just one fact" ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson declared "I want to let everybody hear," and that is the "national shame" of how "we spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in his country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage."

Answering a question from World News anchor David Muir on Sunday night about the likelihood health care reform will pass, Johnson predicted:
"I think there's going to be an intense, partisan debate. But ultimately, David, there is just one fact I want to let everybody hear: We spend more than twice as much, per person, on health care in his country as the average of all other industrialized countries, yet we're the only one that doesn't have universal coverage. That's a national shame and I think ultimately that's what's going to unite Democrats and Republicans."

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

A CyberAlert item last October, "ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, 15 Years of Shilling for Universal Care," cited numerous earlier examples of Johnson's left-wing advocacy: www.mrc.org

Nina Totenberg's Friend: 'Oh My God,
We Have a President Again!'

NPR's Nina Totenberg revealed Friday, not surprisingly, that she was enchanted by President Barack Obama's address earlier in the week to a joint session of Congress. "It made me feel pretty good. I thought it was a great speech," she enthused before relaying a contrast with former President George W. Bush: "A friend of mine said, 'oh my God, we have a President again!'" Totenberg added that "in some ways, that's not fair to Bush," but she insisted: "That's the way you felt. You felt this was a guy who was totally in charge."

Totenberg quoted her friend immediately after Newsweek's Evan Thomas trumpeted on Inside Washington: "He looked like he belonged there unlike President Bush who sometimes seemed like 'what is this guy doing there?' even if you like him, 'he really doesn't belong.' He showed natural leadership and that alone made a big difference."

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

Totenberg's full quote: "You know, a friend of mine said, 'oh my God, we have a President again!' Now, in some ways, that's not fair to Bush, but that's the way you felt. You felt this was a guy who was totally in charge."

Inside Washington is a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, WETA-TV. The show's page: www.insidewashington.tv

Only ABC Credits Bush's 'Surge' for Allowing
Obama's Draw Down

In Friday night stories on President Barack Obama's plan to reduce troops in Iraq by 90,000, neither the CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News mentioned a key factor raised by ABC reporters Jake Tapper and Martha Raddatz. On ABC's World News, over video of Tapper standing at Camp Lejeune with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Tapper noted: "Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen today credited President Bush's surge, opposed by then-Senator Obama, with helping to pave the way for today's announcement." Viewers then heard a short soundbite from Gates: "It clearly has put us in a very different place in terms of where Iraq is."

Up next on the February 27 newscast, Raddatz addressed the military's reaction, and shared her assessment: "I think if there hadn't been a surge, if there hadn't been such success, you wouldn't have seen those Marines clapping today. It would be a very different kind of speech."

Raddatz repeated her observation 90 minutes later on PBS's Washington Week: "This speech today, had the surge not been successful from a security standpoint, would have been a very, very difficult speech. You wouldn't have seen any Marines clapping."

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

Setting up a CBS piece from David Martin, on how those who have served in Iraq greeted Obama's plan, anchor Katie Couric did acknowledge the improved situation in Iraq, though she avoided giving President Bush any credit: "One big reason the administration can withdraw combat troops is the success the U.S. military has had on the ground."

Tina Brown: Liberal Ad Elevates 'Blow-hard
Bullfrog' Limbaugh

Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Friday's Morning Joe to lament that a liberal ad featuring Rush Limbaugh would only elevate the status of the "blow-hard bullfrog" conservative host. The liberal group Americans United for Change has a new spot running that slams Republicans as a party of no and features a clip of Limbaugh's now famous comment that he wants Obama's liberal policies to fail.

After Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist played the ad, Brown asserted of the commercial: "I adore the 'party of no.' I think it is wonderful." She then complained: "The only thing I do regret though is that this giant, you know, blow-hard bullfrog, you know, Rush Limbaugh is being turned into this big icon."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Brown, who now edits a website, "The Daily Beast," added, "So, you know, I love 'the party of no,' but I'd love it not to wind up making Rush now into this kind of giant, you know, figure." (Considering the millions of listeners and influence that Limbaugh has, most people would say Rush already is a giant figure.) When questioned about the "blow-hard bullfrog" line by fellow guest Pat Buchanan, Brown reiterated, "He is a bull frog with a bullhorn. What can I say?"

Another over-the-top Brown comment occurred on October 9, 2008. The liberal journalist appeared on Good Morning America and trashed Senator John McCain and his presidential campaign for being dishonorable. She derided, "Like, what happened to this man who was such, a kind of, honorable, great American? The campaign doesn't seem to live up to his sense of honor in any way. And he's really changing." See an October 10, 2008 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the MSNBC Morning Joe exchange, which occurred at 8:12am EST on February 27:

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah, Tina. I want to get your reaction to an ad put up by a couple of liberal groups going after Rush Limbaugh as, sort of, the new symbol or father of the Republican Party. Let's watch this ad
[AFSCME and Americans United for Change Ad]
AD: An economy in crisis. A President determined to act. But, what did Republican leaders say to President Obama's jobs and recovery plan?
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: No.
ANNOUNCER: What did they say to 3.5 million jobs?
CONGRESSMAN JOHN BOEHNER: No.
ANNOUNCER: What did they say to tax cuts for 95 percent of working Americans?
CONGRESSMAN ERIC CANTOR: No.
ANNOUNCER: What did they say to rebuilding roads, bridges and schools?
[montage of Republican leaders saying "no."]
ANNOUNCER: So, who are Republican leaders listening to?
RUSH LIMBAUGH: I want him to fail.
ANNOUNCER: Tell them America won't take no for an answer anymore.
[Ad ends.]
GEIST: So, the party of no has become the buzz term of the last couple days.
BROWN: I adore the "party of no." I think it is wonderful. The only thing I do regret though is that this giant, you know, blow-hard bullfrog, you know, Rush Limbaugh is being turned into this big icon. I mean, this is a great ad for Rush Limbaugh, too. So, you know, I love the party of no but I'd love it not to wind up making Rush now into this kind of giant, you know, figure.
GEIST: Be careful, because Mika has got a little bit of a crush on Rush these days.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika has a crush on Rush. She also has got a Sarah Palin button on. Either she's gone to the right or she appreciates irony a great deal more than I originally-
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I do appreciate irony. And I would just like to clarify about Rush. I just think he has tremendous communication skills.
SCARBOROUGH: He really does.
PAT BUCHANAN: Tina- Tina- Pat Buchanan. Can I ask you to elaborate on the phrase "blow-hard bullfrog?"
BROWN: He is a bullfrog with a bullhorn. What can I say?

5,000th Wheel of Fortune, Sajak Accepts,
Get 'DisHonors' Tickets

Now in its 26th year, Friday the 5,000 edition of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune game show aired around the nation -- which reminded me (always looking for a hook to plug our upcoming "DisHonors Awards") -- that just under two years ago Wheel host Pat Sajak took part in our 2007 event. At the MRC's "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006," the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala on March 29, 2007, Sajak accepted, on behalf of Rosie O'Donnell, the "I'm Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award."

O'Donnell won for spouting: "As a result of the [9/11] attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries....Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."

The 2007 DisHonors: www.mrc.org

Video, to be added to this CyberAlert, is of Herman Cain introducing Sajak and then Sajak's humorous remarks as he accepted the award in jest for O'Donnell.

USA Today story on the game show's 5,000th edition: www.usatoday.com

Which all goes to remind everyone that this year's "DisHonors Awards for the Worst Reporting of the Year" with the annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence" to be presented to Brit Hume, are just over two weeks away. Every year, we sell out. So don't procrastinate on getting a ticket.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

It will take place on Thursday evening, March 19th, at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

The MRC gala is one of the most fun events of the year. Rush Limbaugh called it "a terrific show...a great, great, great assemblage of people....Everybody just had a blast!" Sean Hannity exclaimed: "I love this event!"

The DisHonors Awards winners will be announced "Oscar-style," with videos played of each nominated hilariously-biased quote followed by surprise guests on hand to accept each award in jest on behalf of a media figure.

Awards will be presented by Ann Coulter, Joe Scarborough and Ken Cribb. And, as always, we'll have a fantastic cast of conservatives joining us to roast of the liberal media. "Joe the Plumber" and Andrew Breitbart are amongst the many who have already confirmed.

DisHonors Awards categories: "The Media's Messiah Award," "The Obamagasm Award" "Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin" and the "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis."

Plus, there'll be lots of funny video clips as we mock the media's infatuation with Barack Obama. It's sure to be an entertaining evening.

Tickets for the Gala are $250 per person. If you are interested in joining us or for more information, e-mail Sara Bell at: sbell@mediaresearch.org

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

We have limited space and this event fills up quickly, so please make your reservation soon.

Online page with information: www.mediaresearch.org

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

DisHonors/Galas from earlier years: www.mediaresearch.org

-- Brent Baker