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ABC Second Network to Highlight 106-Year-Old Nun for Obama --10/15/2008


1. ABC Second Network to Highlight 106-Year-Old Nun for Obama
For the second time in three days, a major network program has showcased the story of a 106-year-old nun in Rome who is voting for Senator Barack Obama. On Wednesday's Good Morning America reporter Jim Sciutto highlighted Sister Cecilia Gaudette, an elderly woman who has caught "election fever" for the Democrat. The journalist featured Gaudette gushing: "I think he's the man, really. I think so." Although the nun's story of voting for President for the first time since 1952 was touted on the October 12 edition of the CBS Evening News, Sciutto acted as though there was some mystery as for whom the women might vote. "We didn't ask her to reveal who she chose, but she couldn't help telling us," he announced. (Would journalists trek all the way to Rome just to file a report on a nun voting for a conservative candidate, such as John McCain?) And just as with the CBS piece, there was no mention of any possible conflict over a Catholic nun supporting the pro-abortion Obama.

2. Republican Guest Fires Back at Chris Matthews' Palin Insults
Chris Matthews spent the entire first segment of Tuesday night's Hardball questioning Sarah Palin's "intellectual ability" to lead, but Republican Congressman Dan Lungren wasn't having any of it, as he countered: "You want to talk about my friend Joe Biden who made at least 10 misstatements in the last debate," and even made fun of Matthews' Obama fondness, as the California Congressman fired back: "Chris, she does not send a tingle up my leg like Barack Obama does to you." Matthews later insisted "the comparison between her and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!"

3. ABC's David Wright Bashes McCain's 'Fear and Loathing Strategy'
ABC journalist David Wright on Friday derided John McCain's attacks against Barack Obama as a "fear and loathing strategy" that "seems to be working among some voters." Reporting on the two presidential candidates and their economic plans, the liberal reporter also highlighted an exchange between McCain and a supporter where the Republican asserted that Obama was a decent man who just has bad ideas. Contrasting the remark with past McCain attacks and ads, Wright huffed that this might be an example of the candidate "realizing, perhaps, that Americans already have enough to be afraid of." Friday capped off a week of David Wright aggressively criticizing the Arizona Senator. On Thursday's Good Morning America, he hyperbolically complained that the McCain campaign has suggested Obama is "yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong." Wright also darkly intoned, "But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface."

4. On Today Show, NBC's Mitchell Showcases Obama's Touching Moment
On Tuesday's Today show Andrea Mitchell highlighted John McCain's struggles, as he was forced to campaign in "red states Republicans don't usually have to defend," but when it came to Barack Obama, she promoted Obama's soft side as she aired a clip of the Democratic nominee hugging a tearful college student as she cooed: "During two days of campaigning in Ohio, the nation's economic crisis got personal when Obama met a 19-year-old nursing student named Hannah, already deep in debt with student loans."

5. Clean Sweep? ABC's Stephanopoulos Spins for Democratic Debaters
In his 1999 memoir, All Too Human, George Stephanopoulos defined good spin as "a hope dressed up as an observation." Starting with the 2000 election, however, Stephanopoulos (supposedly) abandoned the role of paid spinner that he filled during Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, instead offering his expert opinion as an analyst and anchor for ABC News. But a review finds Stephanopoulos's campaign-year "observations" seem a whole lot like the spin he used to peddle when he worked for the Clintons. So far this election year, Stephanopoulos the neutral pundit has declared Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden the winners of the first three debates. Does anyone want to bet against him going four-for-four tonight? A look back at the last two presidential campaigns also finds Stephanopoulos tilting in favor of his former Democratic colleagues.

6. British CNN Editor Trashes U.S., Advises Candidates Act European
On Monday, CNN European political editor Robin Oakley pontificated to Senators McCain and Obama on how the U.S. can be more liked by people in Europe. The U.K. native's advice -- change the country's policies, especially its conservative ones, so it's more like the European Union. The best example of this came when Oakley brought up the issue of guns: "While we're on the symbolism, let me remind you how many Europeans see U.S. voters -- as a trigger-happy bunch with a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other....Does either of you senators have any serious plans to reduce the number of guns available in the U.S. or even dare to suggest it? That really would impress the Europeans, that you stand for change." The editor played video of Americans shooting off firearms, especially automatic weapons, at ranges and shoot-offs, playing further on a common European stereotype of Americans.

7. CBS's Smith Scoffs at Giuliani Suggestion of Media Bias...Again
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and asked about negative attacks in the campaign: "Alright, one of the things that's happened in the McCain campaign over the last couple of days is the personal attacks seem to have at least subsided or quieted down a little bit. Do you think, in the long run, this might actually have been a fatal wound to the McCain-Palin campaign?" Giuliani responded: "I think there's a tendency on the media to blame it more on John McCain and Sarah Palin than on Barack Obama and his campaign but, to me, it's -- you know it's been coming from both sides." To that, Smith sarcastically replied: "Yeah, it's got to be the media's fault." Giuliani laughed and added: "Don't be defensive, Harry." This was the not the first time Smith has denied Giuliani's charges of media bias.

8. Bernie Goldberg Notes Double Standard on Right vs. Left Hate
Shocker! The mainstream media highlight right wing hate, but nearly ignore hate coming from the right. Such a topic best selling author and former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg exposed when appearing on Monday's O'Reilly Factor. FNC host Bill O'Reilly scorned the media for accusing John McCain of "fostering and encouraging hatred" from a few crazies at his rallies, but giving Democrats "a complete pass" for attending the vile DailyKos convention. A stunned O'Reilly wondered "am I living in the Twilight Zone?" Bernie Goldberg agreed and added the media elite "were never concerned" about constant references to Bush as a Nazi. Accentuating O'Reilly's point that Democratic presidential candidates attended the DailyKos convention, Goldberg also reminded the audience that these same candidates boycotted Fox News. Goldberg concluded "case closed. That's all you need to know about that."


ABC Second Network to Highlight 106-Year-Old
Nun for Obama

For the second time in three days, a major network program has showcased the story of a 106-year-old nun in Rome who is voting for Senator Barack Obama. On Wednesday's Good Morning America reporter Jim Sciutto highlighted Sister Cecilia Gaudette, an elderly woman who has caught "election fever" for the Democrat. The journalist featured Gaudette gushing: "I think he's the man, really. I think so."

Although the nun's story of voting for President for the first time since 1952 was touted on the October 12 edition of the CBS Evening News, Sciutto acted as though there was some mystery as for whom the women might vote. "We didn't ask her to reveal who she chose, but she couldn't help telling us," he announced. (Would journalists trek all the way to Rome just to file a report on a nun voting for a conservative candidate, such as John McCain?) And just as with the CBS piece, there was no mention of any possible conflict over a Catholic nun supporting the pro-abortion Obama.

After being prompted by Sciutto as to what qualities the next President needs, the elderly Gaudette replied: "He should be like a father and love his people. And do the best, of course." (The nun is an American citizen and will be voting through the overseas ballot program.)

Sciutto closed the segment by repeating Gaudette's vow to participate in the 2012 election. In a possibly telling remark, co-host Robin Roberts replied: "I'm not voting against her."

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

The October 13 CyberAlert item, "CBS Showcases 106-Year-Old Catholic Nun Voting for Obama," recounted:

Sunday's CBS Evening News ended with a feature piece on a 106-year-old nun in Rome who plans to vote for Barack Obama, her first time to cast a presidential ballot since the New Hampshire native voted for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, because Obama is "a good" and "honest" man. From Rome, reporter Allen Pizzey related how her "simple, old-fashioned standard for politicians," which apparently does not include the Catholic church's opposition to abortion, inspired her to decide to vote for the first time in 56 years. Sister Cecilia Gaudette explained: "As I say, a good straight man; good private life, honest and politically able to govern, of course." As she put her hand over an Obama button on her clothing, Pizzey cautioned that though she's decided "the Democrat fit the bill," she's "not about to campaign for him."

For more on that story: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the October 15 GMA segment, which aired at 7:18am:

7:01am tease
ROBIN ROBERTS: And we're also going to introduce you to America's oldest voter. She's 106. She's a nun. She's living in Rome. The last person she voted for, well, she wanted to be like Ike. Let's just put it that way. We'll tell you why she felt it was so important to cast the ballot once again and her advice for the next President.
DIANE SAWYER: That's right. Love her and love how she had to apply to register, too.

7:18am
ROBERTS: But now, we want to introduce you to America's oldest voter. She's 106. She's a nun living in Rome and the last time she cast a ballot she liked Ike back in 1952. That's the last time she voted. But something about this presidential election has her voting again. And as Sister Cecilia explains to our senior foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto, she does not envy the man who wins in November.

JIM SCIUTTO: This year, election fever has made it all the way to the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Rome. And for no one more so than Mother Cecilia Gaudette. At a sprightly 106-years-old, she is the oldest overseas voter, possibly the oldest American voting anywhere this year. She reads the paper every day and watches the evening news religiously. Politics, though, is a new hobby. The last time she voted was 1952 for Dwight Eisenhower. Do you think this election is important?
CECILIA GAUDETTE: I think it's very important. I pity the poor man who will be President.
SCIUTTO: She asked a younger nun, Mother Mary is only 78 years old, to help her get her overseas ballot. The trouble is, on the U.S. elections website, the birth dates only go back to 1905, three years after Mother Cecilia was born. But they got her a ballot in the end and a chance to speak her mind.
MOTHER MARY: And she was happy to know that she could vote.
GAUDETTE: [Looking at ballot.] Sarah Palin?
SCIUTTO: Having lived through 18 presidents, Mother Cecilia has advice for number 19.
GAUDETTE: He should be like a father and love his people. And do the best, of course.
SCIUTTO: We didn't ask her to reveal who she chose, but she couldn't help telling us.
GAUDETTE: Obama.
SCIUTTO: Yeah.
GAUDETTE: I think he's the man, really. I think so.
SCIUTTO: Her last word? Not likely. She assured us she's planning to vote in 2012, as well. For Good Morning America, Jim Sciutto, ABC News, Rome.
ROBERTS: 2012. I'm not voting against her.
DIANE SAWYER: Not even.
ROBERTS: I'm telling you what. She is something else.

Republican Guest Fires Back at Chris
Matthews' Palin Insults

Chris Matthews spent the entire first segment of Tuesday night's Hardball questioning Sarah Palin's "intellectual ability" to lead, but Republican Congressman Dan Lungren wasn't having any of it, as he countered: "You want to talk about my friend Joe Biden who made at least 10 misstatements in the last debate," and even made fun of Matthews' Obama fondness, as the California Congressman fired back: "Chris, she does not send a tingle up my leg like Barack Obama does to you." Matthews later insisted "the comparison between her and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!"

After playing a clip of Palin on Rush Limbaugh's radio show earlier in the day, Matthews seemed dumbfounded that anyone believed Palin was capable of serving in the White House as he pressed Lungren: "Are you confident in Governor Palin's ability to help lead this country in complicated times? The person you just heard from, in one of the rare moments we've had where she spoke without notes, without a script?"

After Lungren expressed his confidence in Palin's experience, Matthews made fun of Alaska's population as he told Lungren: "You have more constituents than the Governor of Alaska." When Lungren retorted with the "tingle" slam the Hardball host scoffed: "Okay, fine, that's a nice line. That's cute. Let me just ask you Congresswoman she was put on the that ticket because she was a 'she,' clearly. Because Hillary Clinton got, got unfair treatment and maybe shot got too tough treatment and I admit it, even from me occasionally. But the fact of the matter is the comparison between her and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building! There is no comparison from the person we just heard from."

A little later in the program, in a segment where The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza and CNBC's John Harwood compared Palin to Dan Quayle, Matthews blurted: "I'm waiting for the first, I'm amazed but I haven't heard yet, one serious conservative commentator say this was a responsible pick for VP."

[This item, by the MRC's Geoff Dickens, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The following are complete transcripts of the exchanges as they occurred on the October 14, edition of Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: We have to go to the Governor of Alaska, she made an important statement today on Rush Limbaugh. Let's look at what she said about her commentary about Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for President.

(BEGIN CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH: It seems that you are the more forceful in speaking out against Obama and his campaign ideas. Are they giving you pretty much free reign to, to, to attack this campaign as you wish?
SARAH PALIN: Well you know there are just aren't enough hours in the day, I think, to get out there and....Rush I've got nothing to lose in this and I think America has everything to gain by understanding the differences, the contrasts here between Obama and McCain. So, you know, I'm going out there and I'm just simply speaking, so be it that I'm a simple talker, but I'm just going out there and letting people know the differences in how absolutely paramount that it is, that voters are paying attention and that voters are understanding candidates' records.
(END CLIP)

MATTHEWS TO REP. DAN LUNGREN: Congressman are you confident in having that person, we just heard from, as one of the two top people running this country in these complicated economic times? The person you just heard from?

...

MATTHEWS: Are you confident in Governor Palin's ability to help lead this country in complicated times? The person you just heard from, in one of the rare moments we've had where she spoke without notes, without a script?

LUNGREN: You want, you want to talk about my friend Joe Biden who made at least 10 misstatements in the last debate? I mean the fact that you've been around Washington a long time doesn't mean that necessarily you're gonna provide the leadership. Look what she did. She took on the, the Republican and Democratic old boy establishment in Alaska. She turned that place upside down. She met the challenges. She didn't take the conventional wisdom and accept it. She won, when people didn't think she could win.
MATTHEWS: Right.
LUNGREN: She dealt with energy issues that are very difficult to deal with. And now you're saying because she interviewed with somebody, well she shouldn't be capable of, of a job.
MATTHEWS: No I'm asking you, sir.
LUNGREN: I think she is capable.
MATTHEWS: Congressman Lungren I got great respect for you, I want to know if you respect her intellectual ability to help lead this country? Do you actually believe that she has the capacity to help lead this country in very complicated times? Do you? This person we just heard from.
LUNGREN: Yes, yes I do Chris, based, Chris yes I do, based on this. Her experience in government in Alaska. We're not talking about a state the size of Delaware. We're not talking about a state that doesn't have true serious issues-
MATTHEWS: Right.
LUNGREN: -dealing with the economy. Dealing with energy. We're talking about someone who's taking those on.
MATTHEWS: Well you have more constituents than the Governor, but you have more constituents than the Governor of Alaska, sir. Don't you?
LUNGREN: Do, do you want me to be Vice President, Chris? That's the first time I've heard you say that.
MATTHEWS: No I'm just asking, I'm asking you to stand behind this person we just heard from who has a strange way of expressing, I'm not gonna get into it. What do you think?
LUNGREN: I know, I know, I know!
MATTHEWS: I'm asking the question.
LUNGREN: Well wait a second! Yeah.
MATTHEWS: Congresswoman this woman was put up there as kind of a response-
LUNGREN: Chris she does not send a tingle up my leg like Barack Obama does to you.
MATTHEWS: Okay, fine, that's a nice line. That's cute. Let me just ask you Congresswoman she was put on the that ticket because she was a "she," clearly. Because Hillary Clinton got, got unfair treatment and maybe shot got too tough treatment and I admit it, even from me occasionally. But the fact of the matter is the comparison between her and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building! There is no comparison from the person we just heard from. Your thoughts on the capability of, of Governor Palin to lead us through this complicated economic time. I'm just asking your view because the Congressman, on the other side of the aisle, seems to be hesitant to give me his own personal take on Governor Palin and her ability.
REP. JANE SCHAKOWSKY: Chris I'll tell you two things that really concern me about what Governor Palin is doing. One, I think she is running a campaign against smart. That somehow, that, that is a negative, when someone is a really bright and well-informed person.
MATTHEWS: Oh right!

...

MATTHEWS: What do you think Congressman of her statement today, on Rush Limbaugh, that I've got, quote, "I have nothing to lose, saying what I do about Barack Obama." Is that a, is that a, is that a competent statement to say? Is that a, well a responsible statement to say, "I have nothing to lose going after Barack Obama?"
LUNGREN: C'mon, c'mon Chris. What are you trying to make out of this? The fact of the matter is she is not part of the inside the beltway gang, nor is she part of the tight-knit Chicago, political Democratic machine. And somehow you're suggesting that if she had done what Barack Obama did, which is attach himself to some of the most radical aspects of the Chicago political machine that qualifies, would qualify her to be President of the United States or Vice President of the United States. We come from different experiences, different backgrounds. And frankly those of us in the West and people in Alaska are tired of folks in other parts of the country suggesting that somehow we're incapable of dealing with issues on a national, international basis. That dog just won't hunt Chris.

[5:58pm]
MATTHEWS: I'm amazed, well not amazed, I'm unusually bemused again, by, by Governor Palin's comment on Rush Limbaugh '€" which is a huge radio show, the audience is unimaginable '€" where she just comes out and says, "I got nothing to lose. I can keep throwing these darts at this guy. It doesn't bother me any." I mean it's almost irresponsible! The stuff she's saying. "Palling around," I never knew how to spell "palling around," it's two L's. "Palling around with terrorists." What an amazing statement in these post 9/11 times!
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well I gotta say I feel a little bit for Sarah Palin, sort of the way I did for Dan Quayle, years ago. You take a politician who has some skills and some talents and you elevate them-
MATTHEWS: Bring them on too fast.
HARWOOD: You bring 'em up too fast. It's like taking a pitcher in the single A ball and putting them into the World Series for the first time. That could ruin somebody's career.

...

MATTHEWS: But her vision is so narrower than her ambition. I mean when you ask her to say what she believes in, if you ask her any wide open question, you get air balls, Ryan. You don't, I mean she doesn't say anything. And yet she has this grand ambition to be a VP that succeeds to the presidency, apparently.
RYAN LIZZA, THE NEW YORKER: Well look every politician, every governor, every senator in this country thinks that they would be a great VP candidate, so I don't blame her for wanting to do it, and thinking she can do it. I blame John McCain for, you know, I hate to say it, but being irresponsible in putting her in this position and if he were President, putting her in a position where she would take over when most, when by most objective measures she's not ready.
MATTHEWS: I'm waiting for the first, I'm amazed but I haven't heard yet, one serious conservative commentator say this was a responsible pick for VP. Anyway, thank you, especially these incredibly complicated times where it's hard for anybody to figure out what's going on.

ABC's David Wright Bashes McCain's 'Fear
and Loathing Strategy'

ABC journalist David Wright on Friday derided John McCain's attacks against Barack Obama as a "fear and loathing strategy" that "seems to be working among some voters." Reporting on the two presidential candidates and their economic plans, the liberal reporter also highlighted an exchange between McCain and a supporter where the Republican asserted that Obama was a decent man who just has bad ideas.

Contrasting the remark with past McCain attacks and ads, Wright huffed that this might be an example of the candidate "realizing, perhaps, that Americans already have enough to be afraid of." Friday capped off a week of David Wright aggressively criticizing the Arizona Senator. On Thursday's Good Morning America, he hyperbolically complained that the McCain campaign has suggested Obama is "yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong." Wright also darkly intoned, "But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface." See an October 10 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

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

On October 7, just two days earlier and again on GMA, Wright discussed how both campaigns were trading shots over Obama's association to former radical and terrorist bomber William Ayers. At the same time, the Democrat had launched a new campaign spot on McCain and the Keating Five savings and loan scandal. Wright seriously wondered, "Which is worse, a radical terrorist who wanted to blow up the Pentagon 40 years ago or a crooked banker whose failed savings and loan had to be bailed out by the taxpayers 20 years ago?" See an October 7 NewsBusters posting for more: newsbusters.org

A transcript of the Nightline segment, which aired at 11:55pm on October 10:

TERRY MORAN: The financial crisis has taken center stage in this the home stretch in the presidential election, but the candidate's approaches have been in stark contrast. Barack Obama, riding the momentum on this issue so far, has tried to show a steady hand. Now, John McCain, well, he's gone on the attack and his supporters have taken the cue with a vengeance. But today, that dynamic between McCain and his angry crowds took a dramatic turn as David Wright reports in tonight's "Trail Mix".
DAVID WRIGHT: Out on the campaign trail-
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA We meet at a moment of great uncertainty for America.
WRIGHT: -there's no changing the subject now.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: We are in the greatest financial crisis in our lifetime.
WRIGHT: One issue is front and center of two very different approaches. Barack Obama is trying to project calm in the storm.
OBAMA: So now is not the time for fear. Now is not the time for panic. Now is not the time to turn Americans against each other. Now is the time for resolve and steady leadership.
WRIGHT: John McCain is all about urgency.
MCCAIN: And the question is who's ready to lead? Who's ready to lead in a time of trouble and danger for our country?
WRIGHT: They each have their policy proposals. Today, McCain touted his plan to spend $300 billion, nearly half the bailout money, refinancing troubled home mortgages at more affordable rates.
MCCAIN: As long as home values continue to decline, then we're not going to turn this economy around.
WRIGHT: Today, Obama proposed small business assistance grants. Along the lines of the loans the government often gives out in the wake of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
OBAMA: Main Street needs relief and you need it now.
WRIGHT: Each of them tinkering around the edges of the plan taking shape in Washington.
ANNE MATHIAS (DIRECTOR OF POLICY RESEARCH, STANFORD GROUP): They're trying to stake their claim while at the same time not say, oh, this what we have done is a bad idea because that could have negative repercussions to the marketplace and to individual investors like you and me.
WRIGHT: But they each have their gut level pitches as well. More than any one policy proposal, what McCain's offering here to fix the economy is an argument about character that he alone has the independence and integrity to get it done. And there's a corollary to that, that his opponent can't be trusted.
TODD HARRIS (REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST): It's a little bit of a bank shot, because what the campaign is saying is Barack Obama can't be trusted, number one. And because he can't be trusted he certainly can't be trusted to fix the economic mess that we're in.
WRIGHT: For Obama, the gut-level appeal is that John McCain is just more of the same.
OBAMA: It is time to turn the page on eight years of economic policies that put Wall Street before Main Street, but ended up hurting both.
MCCAIN AD: Obama. Blind ambition, bad judgment.
WRIGHT: Today the McCain campaign fired off one campaign ad.
MCCAIN AD: In crisis, we need leadership. Not bad judgment.
OBAMA AD: John McCain admits if the election's about the economy he's going to lose.
WRIGHT: Obama responded in kind.
OBAMA AD: With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all McCain has left.
VOTER (FEMALE): I can't trust Obama.
WRIGHT: McCain's fear and loathing strategy seems to be working among some voters.
VOTER (MALE): In order to win this election-
WRIGHT: Tonight, at a town hall meeting here in Minnesota, at least half a dozen supporters urged him to attack even harder.
SECOND VOTER (MALE): There is a time for fighting.
THIRD VOTER (MALE): We would like you to remain a true American hero. We want you to fight.
FOURTH VOTER (MALE): We want to know is when you're going to sic a hound dog such as Rudy Giuliani as your attorney general on him and set some political blood in this place.
FIFTH VOTER (MALE): Frankly we're scared. We're scared of an Obama presidency and I'll tell you why. I'm concerned about, you know, someone that, you know, cohorts with domestic terrorists such as Ayers.
WRIGHT: But McCain backed down.
MCCAIN: I want to be president of the United States and obviously I do not want Senator Obama to be. But I have to tell you, I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States. Now I just-
WRIGHT: Realizing, perhaps, that Americans already have enough to be afraid of. I'm David Wright for "Nightline" in Minneapolis.
MORAN: A fascinating moment there. Enough was enough for John McCain. At least for today.

On Today Show, NBC's Mitchell Showcases
Obama's Touching Moment

On Tuesday's Today show Andrea Mitchell highlighted John McCain's struggles, as he was forced to campaign in "red states Republicans don't usually have to defend," but when it came to Barack Obama, she promoted Obama's soft side as she aired a clip of the Democratic nominee hugging a tearful college student as she cooed: "During two days of campaigning in Ohio, the nation's economic crisis got personal when Obama met a 19-year-old nursing student named Hannah, already deep in debt with student loans."

[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Tuesday morning, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Mitchell then followed that tease with the following back and forth between Obama and the student:

HANNAH: I'm paying for school myself, so-
BARACK OBAMA: How much, how much you in debt?
HANNAH: Right now about $24,000 and I'm only 19.
OBAMA: Alright well we're gonna try to see if we can provide you some relief, alright?
HANNAH: Yeah I need it because the grants aren't enough.
OBAMA HUGGING STUDENT: I know, I know! I appreciate it, c'mon. Nice to meet you.
HANNAH: Thank you.

As for the McCain campaign Mitchell noted, "Gone were last weeks' personal attacks against Barack Obama," but pointed out:

MITCHELL: While McCain and Sarah Palin soften the personal attacks they were accompanied by Hank Williams Jr., with new lyrics for his song "Family Tradition," attacking Obama and praising McCain and Palin.
HANK WILLIAMS JR SINGING: John and Sarah gonna tell you just what they think, they're not gonna blink! And they don't have radical friends to whom their careers are linked!

The following is the full segment as it occurred on the October 14 Today show:

MATT LAUER: Three weeks from today the nation will elect the next president and the candidates are hard at work revamping their messages. NBC's Andrea Mitchell is keeping track of all of this for us. Andrea, good morning to you.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. Well down in the polls campaigning now in two states, long considered Republican strongholds. John McCain is recasting himself as an underdog and a fighter. And today he will propose new tax cuts aimed at seniors and a capital gains tax cut among other ideas. But Barack Obama got there first on Monday, with some immediate steps for the troubled economy.
JOHN MCCAIN: Don't give up hope! Be strong! Have courage and fight!
MITCHELL: In one campaign speech John McCain used the word "fight," no less than 18 times.
MCCAIN: Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America. Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting, and selfishness in Washington!
MITCHELL: In Virginia and North Carolina, Monday, red states Republicans don't usually have to defend. Gone were last week's personal attacks against Barack Obama. Even some Republicans say those backfired. Under a headline, "Fire the Campaign," commentator William Kristol wrote in the New York Times, "The McCain campaign is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional." So now a toned down candidate is asking, "Whom do you trust to lead America through a crisis?"
MCCAIN: The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes. But they forgot to let you decide. We got them just where we want 'em!
SARAH PALIN: Mr. Hank Williams Jr.!
MITCHELL: But while McCain and Sarah Palin soften the personal attacks they were accompanied by Hank Williams Jr., with new lyrics for his song "Family Tradition," attacking Obama and praising McCain and Palin.
HANK WILLIAMS JR SINGING: John and Sarah gonna tell you just what they think, they're not gonna blink! And they don't have radical friends to whom their careers are linked!
MITCHELL: In Ohio, Obama sounded different notes, trying to build on his lead with new proposals for the economy.
BARACK OBAMA: Senator McCain may be worried about losing an election but I'm worried about you losing your jobs. I'm worried about you losing your homes. I'm worried about you losing your life savings.
MITCHELL: Obama's fix, a 90 day ban on foreclosures for people trying to pay off their mortgages. A two year tax break for businesses that create new jobs. Penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts of up to $10,000 this year and next, similar to a McCain proposal. And short-term direct loans to cash-strapped state and municipal governments.
OBAMA: It's a plan that begins with one word that's on everybody's mind. And it's easy to spell: J-O-B-S. Jobs!
MITCHELL: During two days of campaigning in Ohio, the nation's economic crisis got personal when Obama met a 19-year-old nursing student named Hannah, already deep in debt with student loans.
(BEGIN CLIP)
HANNAH: I'm paying for school myself, so-
OBAMA: How much, how much you in debt?
HANNAH: Right now about $24,000 and I'm only 19.
OBAMA: Alright well we're gonna try to see if we can provide you some relief, alright?
HANNAH: Yeah I need it because the grants aren't enough.
OBAMA HUGGING STUDENT: I know, I know! I appreciate it, c'mon. Nice to meet you.
HANNAH: Thank you.
(END CLIP)
MITCHELL: McCain advisers hope that the economic plan that they unveil today will help restart their campaign before the self-described Republican underdog gets one more chance to take on Obama in the final debate of this campaign tomorrow night. Matt.

Clean Sweep? ABC's Stephanopoulos Spins
for Democratic Debaters

In his 1999 memoir, All Too Human, George Stephanopoulos defined good spin as "a hope dressed up as an observation." Starting with the 2000 election, however, Stephanopoulos (supposedly) abandoned the role of paid spinner that he filled during Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, instead offering his expert opinion as an analyst and anchor for ABC News.

Amazon's page for his book: www.amazon.com

But a review finds Stephanopoulos's campaign-year "observations" seem a whole lot like the spin he used to peddle when he worked for the Clintons. So far this election year, Stephanopoulos the neutral pundit has declared Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden the winners of the first three debates.

Does anyone want to bet against him going four-for-four tonight?

[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

He declared Obama the winner after the first debate on September 26: "Bottom line, the winner is Barack Obama. He comes into this race where the country wants change. His number one goal was to show that he belonged on that stage. He was a credible commander-in-chief, that he could hold his own on national security. He did that tonight. He gets the win." See: www.mrc.org

He applauded Biden after the vice presidential debate on October 2: "What was Joe Biden's strategy? It was clearly, he was going to debate John McCain tonight. He was not going to debate Sarah Palin. And he was going to do everything he could to say that John McCain would be a continuation of George W. Bush's presidency. That is the fundamental strategy of the Obama campaign, and Joe Biden hit it in every single answer tonight. He was coherent, he was consistent." See: www.mrc.org

And after the second presidential on October 7: "Obama is two for two....He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him. Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute." See: www.mrc.org

A look back at the last two presidential campaigns also finds Stephanopoulos tilting in favor of his former Democratic colleagues. Let's start with a look back at Campaign 2004:

# First Presidential Debate, September 30. Stephanopoulos enthusiastically declared John Kerry the winner over George W. Bush: "Tonight was a big opportunity for Senator Kerry. He was up on the stage as an equal to the President. And over 90 minutes, he gave substantive responses to the charge that the President made. But I wonder if stylistically he helped himself even more than substantively, if by appearing calm and confident, for the most part, during this debate. He answered the flip-flopper charge with his demeanor even more than with his words....I think Senator Kerry has momentum coming out of here. He'll come out of here and say, 'Listen, the American people agreed with what I had to say last night, they thought I did a good job,' and he's got five more weeks to argue his case." More: LINK: www.mrc.org


# Vice Presidential Debate, October 4. The morning after the debate, on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos tried to downplay an ABC News snap poll that showed Dick Cheney beating John Edwards, suggesting the debate was really a tie:
"It showed Cheney winning 43 to 35, but you've got to look underneath the poll a little bit, Charlie. It showed that more Republicans watched the debate than Democrats, by 38 to 31 percent. So Cheney wins the debate by eight percent in our poll, but there were seven percent more Republicans than Democrats. That makes up for most of the difference, although Cheney did do a little bit better with Republicans than Edwards did with Democrats, and I think he needed to do that.
"Coming off of President Bush's debate performance Thursday night, he needed to rally those Republicans, I think he did that. On the other hand, Senator Edwards did what he needed to do for himself. He may want to run for President one day. He showed Democrats he could be tough, but without tarnishing his image."

Full rundown: www.mrc.org


# Second Presidential Debate, October 8. Stephanopoulos on Nightline following the debate argued that both Bush and Kerry did well, but proposed that really meant that Kerry won:
"My gut tells me that President Bush helped himself personally by having an improved performance, but that Senator Kerry's campaign is helped more overall because the issues are trending in his direction....He's the challenger and he's now had two debates where people have seen him as either a tie or a win. A credible alternative at a time when you've had job loss, when a majority of the country thinks we're going in the wrong direction -- that's very good news for the challenger." See: : www.mrc.org


# Third Presidential Debate, October 13. The morning after the final debate, Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America argued that Kerry was three for three, and thus favored to win the White House:
"What this shows basically is that John Kerry in three debates had three wins even though last night was narrow. And I think that's the important point: to look at the debates as a whole. If you look at three presidential elections where the challenger has come in behind going into the debates and left ahead -- 1960, 1980, 2000 -- that person went on to win the presidency." See: LINK: www.mrc.org


Now, a look back at Campaign 2000:

# First Presidential Debate, October 3. Working his first debate as an ABC analyst, Stephanopoulos was enthusiastic for Al Gore. Talking about the debate that Saturday Night Live would later mock for Gore's heavy sighing, Stephanopoulos gushed to anchor Peter Jennings:
"Gore dominated the debate, Peter. You know, all year long he's been trailing Governor Bush on the issue of who's the strongest leader. Well, tonight Gore not only took up most of the time, most of the time was spent on the issues that he has the biggest advantage on, most particularly prescription drugs....It was even the way that he would interrupt Jim Lehrer and say, 'Listen, I want one more word.' He looked like he was dominating, and then again, the issues that the time was spent on -- prescription drugs, education, Social Security, even the RU-486 and abortion issue. All of those favor Gore." See: : www.mrc.org

Later on Nightline, Stephanopoulos kept up the spin: "There wasn't a single issue, with perhaps the exception of the energy question, where Gore lost on points over the course of the 90 minutes. He was strong, he was detailed, he was specific, and he posed questions to Bush that Bush left on the table. My guess is also on the issue of foreign policy, Bush was quite shaky, particularly when he was talking about military readiness, when he was talking about the situation in Serbia right now. Gore actually corrected him. Yes, Gore was too much of a know-it-all, a little too arrogant, but I think that people in the end were looking at the substance and the specifics, and on that, Gore won."


# Vice Presidential Debate, October 5. Confronted with a quickie poll showing Cheney beating Joe Lieberman by a 43-24 percent margin, Stephanopoulos gave both sides equal credit:
"I think they both have elevated their tickets' position, which means it's a wash. I think that, Peter, this debate is going to played in college debate classes for years as a model debate. Both candidates were solid and substantive and funny. Both were what debate coaches call appropriately aggressive on policy, and I think they both shored up -- Cheney shored up one of Bush's weaknesses, a sense of gravitas. Joe Lieberman warmed up Al Gore a little bit."

More: LINK: www.mrc.org



# Second Presidential Debate, October 11. Immediately after the debate, Stephanopoulos suggested Bush won: "I thought it was a very strong night for Governor Bush. I mean, Al Gore did do fine; he lowered down the ticks. But the fact that the first 40 minutes of the debate was on foreign policy, I think, really helped Bush." See: www.mrc.org

But the next morning on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos revised his assessment, criticizing Bush for a claim he made about Gore's connection with a corrupt ex-Prime Minister of Russia:
"[Bush] did look strong here and this looked like a high point in the debate for Governor Bush, but on second thought, it looks like he also got some of his facts wrong. Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, while he did get wealthy through the state energy concern, there's no evidence at all that he siphoned money off from the International Monetary Fund. Bush probably brought it up because Gore was chairman of a commission with Chernomyrdin, so he wanted to tie them together, but this looks like an example of what Gore has been criticized of in the past, a case where Governor Bush is stretching the facts to make a political point." See: www.mrc.org


# Third Presidential Debate, October 17: With the liberal media defensive over Gore's frequent misstatements of fact, Stephanopoulos leaped to accuse Bush of making an inaccurate charge:
"Gore seemed to know some of Bush's proposals and facts about his record better than Bush did himself, and they'll point out that many of Bush's charges against Gore, most specifically on his spending proposals, are inaccurate....I think there's a chance he may have lost some ground because when Gore was questioned about it, he was able to say quite firmly Bush's charges are absolutely wrong, and I do believe that Gore will be right, that when the charge that Bush, that Gore spends three times as much as President Clinton is analyzed, it will seem to be more of a partisan analysis than an impartial analysis." See: : www.mrc.org

More of a partisan analysis than an impartial analysis? Sounds like our George.

British CNN Editor Trashes U.S., Advises
Candidates Act European

On Monday, CNN European political editor Robin Oakley pontificated to Senators McCain and Obama on how the U.S. can be more liked by people in Europe. The U.K. native's advice -- change the country's policies, especially its conservative ones, so it's more like the European Union. The best example of this came when Oakley brought up the issue of guns: "While we're on the symbolism, let me remind you how many Europeans see U.S. voters -- as a trigger-happy bunch with a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other....Does either of you senators have any serious plans to reduce the number of guns available in the U.S. or even dare to suggest it? That really would impress the Europeans, that you stand for change." The editor played video of Americans shooting off firearms, especially automatic weapons, at ranges and shoot-offs, playing further on a common European stereotype of Americans.

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Anchor Rick Sanchez introduced Oakley's report just after the top of the 3pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, asking, in so many words, "why does the rest of the world hate us?" "There's no doubt that, as the rest of the world sees that, they do begin to wonder about us. They also wonder about our political system. In many ways, they don't seem to understand us. So, we want you to watch this report. It's coming up now. It's prepared by Robin Oakley, one of our chief international correspondents with oodles of experience." Instead of it being about the entire world however, Oakley focused on Europe. He began with file video of Barack Obama being introduced to a cheering crowd during his trip to Europe earlier this year and with the following commentary: "It's nice to be loved, isn't it, Senator Obama? It's nice to have people who care, don't you find, Senator McCain? But the president of the United States has a wider role, too, as leader of the free world. So, how much do you care about being liked outside the United States, too? Take Europe, for example."

He then began giving advice on different issues that are often contentious in transatlantic relations, starting the war on terror: "[A]llow me to offer some advice on how to be liked and how to make America liked in Europe -- no more, please, of that old-Europe, new-Europe stuff. Let's start with, well, Guantanamo Bay. To some Americans, it's a symbol of America's implacable determination to win the war against terror. For most Europeans, it's a sickening example of how the war against terror is being lost, shaming the defenders of democracy by using torture and imprisonment without trial."

After following the Guantanamo Bay issue with his left-wing advice on gun control, Oakley continued by moaning about another common stereotype that many Europeans have about Americans -- that every American drives a SUV: "Here's another U.S. image that runs across the world, gas-guzzling autos stacked along the U.S. freeways, contributing heftily to the climate change crisis....Over here in Europe, we have the general impression, Senator McCain, Senator Obama, that you would be more cooperative on climate change than the present administration. But let's have some specifics. Will you or will you not sign up to the Kyoto agreement's successor?"

As you might expect, the CNN editor concluded with the issues of "peace and war," as he put it, all the while continuing his Europeans-are-superior tone:

OAKLEY: And what about the really big ones, peace and war? You have given us a clear idea where you stand on some of the particulars, like Iraq.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I know how to win wars. I know how to win wars.
OBAMA: I will give our military a new mission on my first day in office -- ending this war.
OAKLEY: That's fine. But what Europe would like to know, Senator Obama, is just when you expect that mission to end. And winning wars is one thing, Senator McCain. What Europe would like to be assured is that you don't plan to start any more. Are you both ruling out military action against Iran? How, for example, do you see relations with Russia developing, another Cold War, Senators? Sounding tough from Washington is one thing, but for the European Union, Putin and Medvedev are virtually next-door neighbors, and not only that, neighbors who supply some 40 percent of our energy. So, can Europe's politicians really be blamed for preferring to keep talking to the bear, however grumpy he may get?
And that, Senators, brings me to the crux of the matter. Though we don't always have shared interests, we do have shared values. Europeans are your natural allies. And that, our leaders reckon, gives us the right to be consulted. We know you will sometimes have to do your own thing, but we would like to feel that, as president, you will talk, not just to your vice president and the Pentagon, but to your allies, too, before you act. And, if you won't let me tell you that's the way to get results, then ask a certain President George W. Bush. In his first term, he learned it the hard way. Robin Oakley, CNN, London.

This is just what the U.S. needs -- another condescending left-wing European telling Americans that they should be more like him and his buddies overseas.

CBS's Smith Scoffs at Giuliani Suggestion
of Media Bias...Again

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and asked about negative attacks in the campaign: "Alright, one of the things that's happened in the McCain campaign over the last couple of days is the personal attacks seem to have at least subsided or quieted down a little bit. Do you think, in the long run, this might actually have been a fatal wound to the McCain-Palin campaign?" Giuliani responded: "I think there's a tendency on the media to blame it more on John McCain and Sarah Palin than on Barack Obama and his campaign but, to me, it's -- you know it's been coming from both sides." To that, Smith sarcastically replied: "Yeah, it's got to be the media's fault." Giuliani laughed and added: "Don't be defensive, Harry."

This was the not the first time Smith has denied Giuliani's charges of media bias. On September 12, Giuliani criticized the media for attacking Sarah Palin's experience but not applying similar scrutiny to Barack Obama: "The whole issue of whether she knows world affairs or not, these are questions that were never asked of Barack Obama, never asked of him to this day." Smith angrily denied any such bias: "That's not true. That's not true...That's not true. That is absolutely not true...That is absolutely not true. Those -- all those questions have been asked over the last 19 months." However, Smith himself conducted eight interviews with Obama and only asked two foreign policy questions of the inexperienced Senator. See the September 13 CyberAlert on Smith's adamant denial of bias: www.mrc.org

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Not only did Smith find Giuliani's charge of media bias ridiculous, but also Giuliani's characterization of Obama's economic proposals. Earlier in the segment, Smith asked: "This infusion of cash into these banks, as much as $250 billion, did the Fed get there? Is this too little too late and along with this, why should, in three weeks, the American people entrust the economy to another Republican administration?" In response, Giuliani pointed out: "He's [John McCain's] not going to raise taxes. He's not going to cut off -- he's not going to cut off trade with high tariffs, the way Barack Obama wants to do. Barack Obama is talking about the kinds of things Herbert Hoover did and I know, you know people see him as change but this is like retrogression. High taxes, high tariffs, would be a disaster." Smith simply laughed at that legitimate criticism of Obama's policies.

In contrast, Smith was abundantly respectful to left-wing commentator and economist Paul Krugman, whom he spoke to prior to the Giuliani interview: "Joining us now is Paul Krugman, who was just awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. He's a professor at Princeton University and a columnist and blogger for the New York Times. Good morning and congratulations." Smith later observed to Krugman: "We've been listening for all of these years to all these free marketeers, who are saying get the regulation out, keep the government away, yet now, all of a sudden, these banks and the government are literally going to be business partners." Apparently, Giuliani was one of those discredited "free marketeers."

Immediately preceding Smith's interview with Giuliani, correspondent Jeff Glor reported: "Though his lead in the polls may be clear, Barack Obama has been criticized for having an economic plan that's not. His response? This four-part middle class rescue." A clip of University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato was played: "I think deep down, both McCain and Obama understand that there isn't a whole lot that a presidential candidate can do to change the current fiscal meltdown." Despite that analysis, Glor declared Obama the winner: "But it appeared the relentless Obama campaign has at least won the first round in this week's economic rescue race."

Here is the full transcript of the October 14 Giuliani segment:

7:10AM SEGMENT:
HARRY SMITH: With three weeks to go until election day, Barack Obama is out with a new economic plan and John McCain's following up with his own. Early Show correspondent Jeff Glor is in Philadelphia with more. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Hey, good morning to you, Harry. John McCain will be talking about those new plans just outside of Philadelphia here today. Barack Obama will stay in Ohio, preparing for tomorrow's third and final presidential debate. Now with just 21 days left.
BARACK OBAMA: You got to be quicker than that, man.
GLOR: Though his lead in the polls may be clear, Barack Obama has been criticized for having an economic plan that's not. His response? This four-part middle class rescue.
OBAMA: Right now, we face an immediate economic emergency and that requires urgent action.
GLOR: Tax credits for small businesses that create new jobs. Penalty free withdrawals from I.R.A.S or 401(k)s. A 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures. And a federal program to get more credit for struggling local governments. There are serious questions about how he'd pay for all this and how much of a difference it would really make.
LARRY SABATO: I think deep down, both McCain and Obama understand that there isn't a whole lot that a presidential candidate can do to change the current fiscal meltdown.
GLOR: But it appeared the relentless Obama campaign has at least won the first round in this week's economic rescue race.
MCCAIN: I won't raise taxes on small businesses.
GLOR: The McCain camp, following mixed signals about the release of new economic plans, was pushing the message of a comeback kid.
JOHN MCCAIN: We're six points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes.
GLOR: Which is not without precedent. The media has been close to saying good-bye and McCain has come back.
MCCAIN: You know, I'm past the age when I can claim the noun 'kid,' no matter what adjective precedes it, but, tonight, we sure showed them what a comeback looks like.
GLOR: The question is whether his primary wins can be replicated when 130 million vote in a general election.
SABATO: If John McCain manages to win, he'll be compared to Harry Truman and Richard Nixon. Both of them came back from political oblivion to win the presidency.
GLOR: With chances to change this race dwindling right now, McCain will embrace any opportunity he can, which includes this new economic plan out today, which is supposed to target homeowners and seniors. Those, he says, need help the most. Harry.
SMITH: Jeff Glor in Philadelphia, thanks. Joining us now from Washington, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a supporter of the McCain-Palin ticket. Good morning, Mr. Mayor.
RUDY GIULIANI: Good morning, Harry. How are you?

SMITH: Very well. Three weeks to the day to election day. Some polls show McCain's opponent six points, seven points, even ten points ahead. If John McCain were to pick up the phone this very second and say, 'Rudy, give me the best advice you've got for this home stretch,' what would it be?
GIULIANI: Well, I think he's doing it without having to call me. I mean, John has outlined a plan to help get people through this crisis. With what the president is doing today, putting $250 billion into the -- into the banks, John McCain is also making sure that Americans who can't afford their mortgage, Americans who are seniors, who have to take some money out of their 401(k) or I.R.A. or are forced to do it, that they're all going to get relief as well. So I think the plan that he's announcing today reaches right to the core of the people who are the most concerned about our economy, the people who, you know, are really stretched.
SMITH: This infusion of cash into these banks, as much as $250 billion, did the Fed get there? Is this too little too late and along with this, why should, in three weeks, the American people entrust the economy to another Republican administration?
GIULIANI: Well, I mean the reality is John McCain is John McCain. We're not voting for a Republican or Democrat, we're voting for John McCain or Barack Obama. John McCain has the experience. John McCain has led people, led our country through crisis before. Barack Obama never has. John McCain has a much clearer vision of the economy. He's not going to raise taxes. He's not going to cut off -- he's not going to cut off trade with high tariffs, the way Barack Obama wants to do. Barack Obama is talking about the kinds of things Herbert Hoover did and I know, you know people see him as change but this is like retrogression. High taxes, high tariffs, would be a disaster.
SMITH: Okay [Laughter]. Alright, one of the things that's happened in the McCain campaign over the last couple of days is the personal attacks seem to have at least subsided or quieted down a little bit. Do you think, in the long run, this might actually have been a fatal wound to the McCain-Palin campaign?
GIULIANI: No. I mean, unfortunately, you've got examples on all sides of people making horrible attacks. I mean, I don't want to mention names, but there were some pretty horrible attacks on John McCain and Sarah Palin just this weekend by very prominent Democrats very close to Barack Obama. And you know, there have been some on our side, too. So, I think it's a good thing that it's subsided. I think there's a tendency on the media to blame it more on John McCain and Sarah Palin than on Barack Obama and his campaign but, to me, it's -- you know it's been coming from both sides.
SMITH: Yeah, it's got to be the media's fault. Alright, well Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for your time this morning.
GIULIANI: [Laughter] Don't be defensive, Harry.
SMITH: Alright, take care. Thanks for your time. Do appreciate it. Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Bernie Goldberg Notes Double Standard
on Right vs. Left Hate

Shocker! The mainstream media highlight right wing hate, but nearly ignore hate coming from the right. Such a topic best selling author and former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg exposed when appearing on Monday's O'Reilly Factor. FNC host Bill O'Reilly scorned the media for accusing John McCain of "fostering and encouraging hatred" from a few crazies at his rallies, but giving Democrats "a complete pass" for attending the vile DailyKos convention. A stunned O'Reilly wondered "am I living in the Twilight Zone?"

Bernie Goldberg agreed and added the media elite "were never concerned" about constant references to Bush as a Nazi. Accentuating O'Reilly's point that Democratic presidential candidates attended the DailyKos convention, Goldberg also reminded the audience that these same candidates boycotted Fox News. Goldberg concluded "case closed. That's all you need to know about that."

[This item, by the MRC's Justin McCarthy, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

On the topic of the media's love affair with Barack Obama, Goldberg noted their current disdain for McCain despite a very strong past relationship. The former CBS reporter noted "the only time the media has been in love...with John McCain...is when he's sticking a thumb in some Republican's eye." Bernard Goldberg recalled very different (as in positive) treatment of McCain when working with Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold on more liberal legislative initiatives.

The transcript follows of the October 13 segment:

BILL O'REILLY: Now, homestretch, three weeks, 80 percent of the press, we've evaluated, has been rooting for Obama from the, from the jump pretty much. Are they, are the pro-Obama media going to change tactics in the last three weeks or will they just same old, same old?
BERNARD GOLDBERG: I, I think they're not going to change tactics. I think the media, the so-called mainstream media has been on team Obama from jump street, from the very beginning. Look, "Saturday Night Live," it took "Saturday Night Live" to make fun of the media and say "look, look how easy they're going on Obama versus Hillary Clinton." And the reason for that I think is that to liberals whether they're inside or outside of the media race chumps- trumps gender. And then when, when Obama went up against McCain, well that was easy. They always side with the Democrat over the Republican. Let, let's just cut to the point here Bill. The only time the media has been in love as they say with John McCain, the only time, is when he's sticking a thumb in some Republican's eye, when he allies himself with the most liberal members of the Senate, whether it's Russ Feingold or Teddy Kennedy.
O'REILLY: Yeah, on the immigration thing and they're not going to-
GOLDBERG: That's the only time the media loves him.
O'REILLY: They loved him on the immigration thing because they didn't want him to really crack down.
GOLDBERG: That's right.
O'REILLY: Now here's interesting- in my "Talking Points Memo" I made the, I think, valid point that you have the DailyKos and it doesn't get more vicious. Would you agree with that?
GOLDBERG: I, I not only agree, but when I wrote the book "100 People Screwing up America," long before all of this stuff, I had Markos Moulitsas, the head of The DailyKos, as one of the people screwing up America.
O'REILLY: Okay, so you've got that thing and it's on display every day and then all of the Democratic candidates, except Biden who couldn't work it into his schedule. It wasn't- he didn't object to them. They all go and pay their respects to their convention, and not a drop from the media, not a thing, don't say anything. Then you have some yahoo's at, at a McCain rally screaming bad things about Obama and therefore Obama is fostering and encouraging hatred, but the people who actually go and travel to a Kos convention get a complete pass. Am I living in the Twilight Zone here Bernie?
GOLDBERG: No, no, no, no, no. It's an excellent point, and you know I don't blow smoke at you Bill. It's an excellent point and it is a perfect example of how corrupt the media has become. I don't remember the sensitive media types worrying when George Bush was called a Nazi, when Dick Cheney was called a criminal and a Fascist. They were never concerned about that. And The DailyKos, let me tell you, it was nasty long before, you know, the past year. These are bad guys. And, and the very same presidential candidates who, who had to pay homage to these people wouldn't come on Fox and have a debate. They stayed away from Fox, but they went to the DailyKos. Case closed. That's all you need to know about it.

-- Brent Baker