ABC's Raddatz Cites Blix's "Very Hardline" with Iraqi, But... -- 02/25/2003 CyberAlert
2. Ramsey Clark Helps Rather Land Hussein Who "Respects" Americans
3. Brits Complain About the BBC's Anti-American Slant
4. NBC: A Terrorist "Helped Elect the Leader of the War on Terror"
5. 9-11 a Way for "Right-Wing" AEI to Get Hegemony Over Iraq
6. Kid Rock Hangs With Crow & Gumbel, But He Backs Bush on Iraq
7. USA Today's Contrarian Take: AIDS Vaccine "Appears to Work"
8. On ABC's Dragnet, McCain-Feingold Solves a Murder
>>> "2003 Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters." CyberAlert subscribers can get tickets for $150, $25 off the regular price, for the Thursday, March 27 event in Washington, DC. For all the info and how to buy tickets:
ABC's Martha Raddatz insisted Monday night that Chief UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq, Hans Blix, by setting a Saturday deadline for the commencement of destruction of the Al-Samoud missiles, "seems to be taking a very, very hardline with the Iraqis." But seconds later she conceded that "Iraq has only been ordered to 'begin' the process of missile destruction by Saturday" and that Blix "set no time limit to complete the destruction of the missiles."
Not such a "hardline" after all.
Peter Jennings went to Raddatz on the February 24 World News Tonight after he noted how a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that the percent who "approve of how the President is handling the situation with Iraq" has "slipped by six points, to 55 percent."
Raddatz then checked in with a look at the Blix position on the missiles which exceed the distance limit set by an earlier UN resolution: "Hans Blix seems to be taking a very, very hardline with the Iraqis. Today Dr. Blix had a firm message for the Iraqis: No wiggle room on the Saturday deadline."
Thanks at least in part to far-left anti-American crusader Ramsey Clark, who the AP reported "put in a good word" to the Iraqi regime on behalf of CBS News and Dan Rather, the network landed a three hour-long interview with Saddam Hussein.
Trumpeting his exclusive at the top of Monday's CBS Evening News, from Baghdad Rather highlighted Hussein's PR gimmick of offering to debate President Bush, the one aspect of the CBS story picked up by the other networks. Rather relayed how Hussein was quite serious and did it out of "respect" for Americans: "'This is something proposed in earnest,' he said, 'out of my respect for the people of the United States and my respect for the people of Iraq and the people of the world. I call for this because war is not a joke.'"
The CBS Evening News did not show any video of the interview, but Rather seemed impressed by Hussein as he related how "he's about 6 foot two, six foot two and a half. He walked a little stiffly. I think that may be because of these reports that he had a bad back. But he was very calm, at least outwardly, unhurried, as evidenced by the amount of time he spent with us." Rather asserted that "he left no doubt that he believes that Iraq can and will absorb" a big military "punch" from the U.S. but that "if the Americans and their allies come, that they in the end will be defeated."
The AP's David Bauder reported Monday night on how Ramsey Clark aided CBS News and how Rather rejected any complaints about talking with the enemy: "I don't know any journalist who wouldn't take this interview. If you do, have them call me, collect." An excerpt from the February 24 AP dispatch:
....Rather said the fact of his previous Saddam interview probably helped him secure this one....
"We made a point of saying to him that we keep our word," Rather said. "We do what we say we will do and won't do what we say we won't do. They came out of that with the experience that we are who we say we are."
CBS acknowledged that former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is prominent in the global anti-war movement and met with Saddam on Sunday, put in a good word for Rather in helping secure the interview.
Clark has known Rather for a long time, said CBS News spokeswoman Sandra Genelius. In a competitive situation seeking an interview, journalists call on many different resources, she said.
Rather did not anticipate any criticism from supporters of a potential war with Iraq who might be upset that he's talking with the nation's potential enemy.
"I'm a reporter," he said. "What reporters do is try to talk to everybody on all sides of the story. I don't know any journalist who wouldn't take this interview. If you do, have them call me, collect."
END of Excerpt
For the AP story in full:
On the CBS Evening News Rather in Baghdad explained they had no video because of the time needed for a double translation, but he ran through Hussein's comments on the Al Samoud missile and on debating President Bush. On the latter, Rather passed along, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth (quotes were put in text on screen):
Anchor John Roberts soon asked Rather: "The fact that he was willing to sit down with you, did that give you a sense that Saddam Hussein really believes that it's down to crunch time now?"
Rather promised the first video excerpts from the interview would run on Tuesday's Early Show, but this morning Harry Smith told viewers:
Video excerpts may air on tonight's CBS Evening News and CBS is counting on the interview to be the centerpiece of Wednesday night's 60 Minutes II, the last day of the February sweeps.
Think Peter Jennings is slanted against President Bush's Iraq policy. He may be downright balanced compared to the BBC. The London Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday: "The BBC has received an unprecedented number of complaints at the alleged anti-war and anti-American tone of its coverage of the Iraqi crisis."
In a story highlighted by Andrew Sullivan on his http://www.andrewsullivan.com blog, and picked up by FNC's Brit Hume on Monday night, the Telegraph related how British "viewers have complained that BBC interviews with 'ordinary Iraqis' in Baghdad routinely fail to point out that they risk death if they criticise Saddam Hussein." Plus, "many others have been incensed by BBC journalists seeming to add personal comment to their reports that is openly opposed to American policy and a possible war."
An excerpt from the February 23 story, "BBC viewers vent their anger at 'anti-US' bias of Iraq coverage," by David Bamber and Chris Hastings:
....More than 400 viewers have rung the corporation in the past few weeks to complain that it has shown overwhelming bias. It is one of the largest reactions from viewers ever recorded.
One programme to attract opprobrium was the screening of a debate on Newsnight two weeks ago in which Tony Blair was savaged by an overwhelmingly anti-war audience....
Some viewers were angered about a piece by Angus Roxburgh, the BBC's Brussels correspondent, on the BBC website on February 12, which was headlined: "Europe's new gang resists US 'bullying' ". He wrote: "President Bush's attitude has reminded Russians of the bad old days when American presidents branded Russia the axis of evil."
Viewers also complained because he misquoted President Ronald Reagan, who actually said that the Soviet Union was an "evil empire."
There were also complaints about a Radio Five programme on January 25 in which David Loyn, the BBC world affairs correspondent, said it would be better if "America was engaged in the rest of the world, rather than frankly wanting to bomb it."...
END of Excerpt
For the story in its entirety:
Now we know from where Jennings gets his inspiration.
U.S. viewers can get a flavor of BBC television coverage by either seeing BBC News on the BBC America channel, which is a high-end "digital cable" option in many places and is carried by the direct satellite services, or by checking out local PBS affiliates since New York City's WLIW-TV distributes a 30-minute "BBC World" service newscast Monday through Friday. Washington, DC area viewers, for instance, can watch that half hour show at 6pm on WETA-TV, at 10pm on WHUT-TV and at both 10pm and 7am on MHz, the old WNVC-TV, the non-PBS affiliated public TV station based in Merrifield, Virginia.
Many public radio stations also carry BBC World radio broadcasts, usually late at night/overnight, or you can just break out your shortwave radio or tune in via the BBC Web site.
But there's enough bias in the U.S. to keep us plenty busy, so we'll leave the BBC to the British media bias critics.
Catching up with CNN, but going one step further, NBC News on Monday morning highlighted how Bush once appeared in a photo, taken at a campaign stop, with a bunch of people including Sami Al-Arian, who was indicted last week as the leader of Palestinian terrorist group.
As noted in the February 21 CyberAlert, on the February 20 NewsNight, CNN reporter Mike Brooks managed to link President George W. Bush to Al-Arian. Over a blurry photo outside of a bunch of people with Laura and George next to Al-Arian, who was holding a female child, Brooks explained: "Al-Arian has been a high-profile figure in Florida campaigning among Arab-Americans for George W. Bush's presidential bid."
But on Monday's Today, Lisa Myers took it a step further as she treated Al-Arian's boasts as credible evidence, of what news reader Ann Curry described as "a potentially embarrassing connection between the professor and President Bush." Myers relayed how Al-Arian, a professor at the University of South Florida, "boasted last year that he helped elect the leader of the war on terror, President George W. Bush." Her proof? At an event last year Al-Arian claimed: "I wanted to talk about the last elections because I think I personally played a big role in electing Bush." Myers added: "Al-Arian says he campaigned for Bush."
By that standard, hundreds of thousands can claim to have "played a big role in electing Bush."
Curry set up the February 24 Today story caught by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens: "There is a new twist today in the case of the Florida professor arrested last week, accused of supporting terrorism. NBC News has learned about a potentially embarrassing connection between the professor and President Bush. Here's NBC's senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers."
Myers impugned Bush with the claims of an alleged terrorist: "The Florida professor charged last week with being a leader of a violent Palestinian terrorist group boasted last year that he helped elect the leader of the war on terror, President George W. Bush. A tape obtained by NBC News shows Sami Al-Arian speaking last April to an Islamic fundraising dinner."
Doesn't Bush get any points for allowing the prosecution to go forward of a potential terrorist despite these supposedly embarrassing links to himself?
To Tony Snow's consternation, on Fox News Sunday actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo spouted the most far-left of the far-left conspiracy theories as she claimed that "9-11 has been a way to reinvigorate the plan that the right-wingers and the ideologues and people like people at the American Enterprise Institute and Wolfowitz" have to bring "hegemony" over Iraq and to extract its wealth.
A right wing conspiracy involving the barely right of center American Enterprise Institute?
Garofalo made a similar claim about the all-powerful AEI during her February 20 appearance on MSNBC. In that interview, the February 21 CyberAlert reported, she charged that President George W. Bush is just as big a "threat to world peace" as is Saddam Hussein. Asked by Mike Barnicle whether she considers Bush or Hussein to be "a bigger threat to world peace?", Garofalo maintained: "I say at this point, for different reasons, they are both very threatening to world peace and to deny that is to be incredibly naive." Details, plus a RealPlayer clip:
Three days later, MRC analyst Patrick Gregory observed this exchange on the February 23 Fox News Sunday:
Garofalo: "I would say that it has been the idea since 1990, '91 to go into Iraq and to have hegemony over the region, redraw the map; oil is a part of it, not all of it. But this is, but 9/11 has been a way to reinvigorate the plan that the right-wingers and the ideologues and people like people at the American Enterprise Institute and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz-"
For a picture of Garofalo and a full rundown of her TV and movie roles, see her bio on the Internet Movie Database Web site: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Garofalo,+Janeane
This morning, I just noticed, FNC's Fox Friends ended with another session of ranting from Garofalo.
Another celebrity in favor of President Bush's Iraq policy, at least a semi-celebrity sort of in favor of it.
(Monday's CyberAlert noted how James Earl Jones looks favorably upon finishing the job in Iraq, the Fayetteville Observer reported in a story about what he told college students. http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030224.asp#4)
"Kid Rock," who performed a duet at the Grammy Awards with Sheryl Crow, does not share her anti-liberation of Iraq views, the New York Daily News reported on Monday. An excerpt from the February 24 "Rush & Molloy" column:
...."Why is everybody trying to stop the war? George Bush ain't been saying, 'You all, make s-y records.' Politicians and music don't mix. It's like whisky and wine. [Musicians] ought to stay out of it."
But it doesn't take much nudging to hear the Kid's policy analysis. "We got to kill that mother-[bleeper] Saddam," he says. "Slit his throat. Kill him and the guy in North Korea."
Are some women and children going to die? "Yeah. But is doing the right thing. You got money, you sit around talking about peace. People who don't have money need some help."...
END of Excerpt
For the column in full:
For a picture of Kid Rock singing with Sheryl Crow at Sunday's Grammy Awards, with Crow's guitar strap showing only the word "WAR," since her hair covered the "NO" above it: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/030224/168/3cer5.html
And for a photo of Kid Rock gabbing at a pre-Grammy party with someone else who most likely disagrees with him on Iraq, Bryant Gumbel, go to this Yahoo page: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/030222/170/3c6ky.html
USA Today looked at the upside of an apparently unsuccessful test for an AIDS vaccine, offering a front page headline, the MRC's Clay Waters noticed, in conflict with the take of the Washington Post and New York Times.
"1st AIDS Vaccine in Large Test Found to Be Mostly Ineffective," declared the Washington Post headline over a story the Web site stated ran on page A2 of Monday's Post, but did not appear in the "Home Edition."
The New York Times headlined a front page story: "Large Trial Finds AIDS Vaccine Fails to Stop Infection."
Contrast those headlines with USA Today's Monday front page:
But by late afternoon USA Today retreated slightly as it changed its online headline to: "Vaccine for AIDS shows promise."
For the USA today story:
The two New York Times subheads in the hard copy edition hinted at what USA Today decided to highlight: "Ethnic Disparities Noted" and "Researchers are Encouraged that Data Offer Clues into New Lines of Inquiry."
For the New York Times story:
For the Washington Post story:
There's been plenty of liberal advocacy in recent weeks on NBC's The West Wing, with "President Bartlet" railing against a Republican tax cut plan, and on NBC's Mr. Sterling with "Senator Sterling" promoting a minimum wage hike, opposing missile defense and arguing for a surtax on incomes over $10 million to fund Medicare, but ABC's Dragnet on Sunday night managed to concoct a plot in which a murder is solved thanks to Senator John McCain's campaign finance reform disclosure rules.
While I was watching the Grammy Awards on CBS to note any anti-war pontificating, MRC analyst Ken Shepherd tuned in to enjoy Dragnet on ABC and caught the credit given to McCain on the Los Angeles-based crime drama produced by Dick Wolf, the same guy who does the Law & Order shows for NBC.
Here's how the ABC Web site described the plot of the February 23 episode: "When the beautiful and little-known actress Whitney Lynde is found brutally murdered, the detectives hope to get information from a variety of people, including a tabloid journalist (Sandra Bernhard), a wannabe porn star and a socially prominent Los Angeles family."
Now, let's join the show at its mid-way point after the detectives find a photo of the murder victim at a table at a political fundraiser:
Ed O'Neill as "Detective Joe Friday," offering some narration: "Ah politics, a world of high ideals and loads of money. The picture of Whitney and [suspect] Kankaredies was at a fundraiser for a state senator named Hendley, ten grand a table."
Eventually, the names the woman provides of those attending the dinner with the victim lead the detectives to the actual culprit.
But the credit to McCain for any such discovery is fundamentally inaccurate since any McCain-affiliated bill applies only to federal elections, not to a state race, many states and the FEC long ago required campaigns to track donors over a certain contribution level, but no one requires such information to be tracked by table number at an event, and whatever McCain-Feingold did it couldn't have done two years ago since back then it had yet to be passed, never mind have gone into effect.
So many factual errors in such a short scene, but why let reality get in the way of fawning over the media's hero?
ABC's Web site for Dragnet: http://abc.go.com/primetime/dragnet/index.html
For bios and pictures of O'Neill and Embry:
Dragnet airs at 10pm EST/PST, 9pm CST/MST Sunday nights on ABC. -- Brent Baker