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ABC's World News Hits Hillary from Left, Advances MoveOn's Agenda --10/9/2007


1. ABC's World News Hits Hillary from Left, Advances MoveOn's Agenda
Citing how "members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue," and without once applying a liberal or left wing label, ABC's Word News on Monday night skewered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from the left for voting for a resolution other candidates claim could allow President Bush to launch a war against Iran. Anchor Charles Gibson explained how "Clinton recently voted for an amendment in the Senate that would designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Other Senators running for President...are criticizing her vote, saying the amendment she supported could give the President authority to start a war against Iran." Reporter Kate Snow centered her story around how "Senator Clinton has been taking a lot of heat for that Iran vote, starting at the last debate." Viewers heard saw video of Clinton being confronted at an Iowa event, and Mike Gravel charge "I'm ashamed of you," before Snow maintained "it's the kind of vote that angers the Democratic faithful." Snow concluded by benignly describing MoveOn as simply an "anti-war" group.

2. CNN Reporter: Bad News from Iraq More Newsworthy Than Good News
FNC's Brit Hume had some fun Monday night with how CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr, who in an interview with Howard Kurtz rationalized the media's pattern of downplaying lower casualty figures from Iraq, conceded that if they rose that would be much more newsworthy: "That, by any definition, is news." On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, Kurtz wondered if the "decline in Iraq casualties" should "have gotten more media attention?" Washington Post reporter Robin Wright responded: "Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend -- and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet. There is also an enormous dispute over how to count the numbers. There are different kinds of deaths in Iraq..." Starr agreed with Wright: "But that's the problem, we don't know whether it is a trend about specifically the decline in the number of U.S. troops being killed in Iraq. This is not enduring progress. This is a very positive step on that potential road to progress."

3. GMA Blames Angry, Emotional Americans for Immigration Controversy
On Monday's Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer reported live from Mexico and repeatedly blamed U.S. rage for much of the controversy over illegal immigration. After introducing a segment on the problem, Sawyer lectured: "So a lot of Americans are erupting in anger. While others say, 'Who are we kidding? It's too late to complain.'" Sawyer then opined that efforts to stem the tide of illegals, such as building a 700 mile fence, are "fueled by anger." Sawyer continued this theme of out of control, emotional Americans into an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. She informed the GMA audience that "Felipe Calderon says it's time to stop yelling at each other and face the facts." Later, she described him as "urging less emotion, more strategy." And although Sawyer found time to describe Calderon as the "new action president" and mention that he went to Harvard University, she didn't ask him about the estimated $10 billion a year illegal immigration costs American taxpayers. (Although, the host did touch on the subject in the segment's introduction.)

4. Cuomo to Carter: After Bush, U.S. Would Better Appreciate You
Chris Cuomo conducted a sycophantic interview with former President Jimmy Carter on Monday's Good Morning America. In the introduction alone, the ABC anchor glowingly described Carter as someone who is "waging peace, fighting disease and building hope." A few seconds later, he again cheerfully enthused that Carter is a "a man who is all about peace." Cuomo even went so far as to tell the one-term President that, given some hindsight, America would now appreciate Carter's leadership during the hostage crisis. He described Carter's handling of the 444 day long spectacle of American hostages being held in Iran as the philosophy of saying, "'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.'" To make it perfectly clear that Cuomo was praising Carter and simultaneously slamming President Bush, the ABC host elaborated: "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force." After a brief discussion of the 2008 campaign, Cuomo, the son of the former liberal governor Mario Cuomo, gushed that he hoped the Democrats pay "attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation."


ABC's World News Hits Hillary from Left,
Advances MoveOn's Agenda

Citing how "members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue," and without once applying a liberal or left wing label, ABC's Word News on Monday night skewered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from the left for voting for a resolution other candidates claim could allow President Bush to launch a war against Iran. Anchor Charles Gibson explained how "Clinton recently voted for an amendment in the Senate that would designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Other Senators running for President...are criticizing her vote, saying the amendment she supported could give the President authority to start a war against Iran."

Reporter Kate Snow centered her story around how "Senator Clinton has been taking a lot of heat for that Iran vote, starting at the last debate." Viewers heard saw video of Clinton being confronted at an Iowa event, and Mike Gravel charge "I'm ashamed of you," before Snow maintained "it's the kind of vote that angers the Democratic faithful." Snow concluded by benignly describing MoveOn as simply an "anti-war" group: "Tough talk on Iran is perceived by some Iowans as all too similar to the tough talk from Democrats in the run-up to the Iraq War. And, Charlie, last week, members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue." So, MoveOn speaks and ABC News jumps?

[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the October 8 story on ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: Next on this broadcast, we turn to presidential politics. Senator Hillary Clinton recently voted for an amendment in the Senate that would designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Other Senators running for President -- Biden and Dodd -- voted against it, or, in the case of Senator Obama, missed the vote. But now they are criticizing her vote, saying the amendment she supported could give the President authority to start a war against Iran. ABC's Kate Snow covers Hillary Clinton's campaign for us, and is here tonight. Kate?

KATE SNOW, AT ANCHOR DESK: Charlie, this vote on Iran had a lot to do with standing her ground and looking tough against Iran in a general election, say if she were running against Rudy Giuliani. Problem is we're not there yet. She still has to win the nomination of her own party.
SNOW'S TAPED PIECE: In Iowa Sunday, registered Democrat Randall Rolph asked Hillary Clinton about her vote to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. In her answer, Clinton strongly hinted Rolph's question was planted by another campaign.

EXCHANGE AT EVENT:
HILLARY CLINTON: Because what wasn't in what you read to me that somebody obviously sent to you is that-
RANDALL ROLPH, Iowa Democrat: No, ma'am. I take exception, this is my own research. I have no-
CLINTON: Well, then, let me finish. Let me finish telling you-
ROLPH: These are my words. No one sent that. I am offended that you would suggest that.
CLINTON: Well, then, I apologize. It's just that I've been asked the very same question in three other places. So let me apologize.
END OF EXCHANGE

ROLPH, TO ABC NEWS: And I felt that she was telling me not only to shut up, but that I was stupid.
SNOW: Senator Clinton has been taking a lot of heat for that Iran vote, starting at the last debate.
MIKE GRAVEL, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm ashamed of you and Hillary for voting for it.
JOHN EDWARDS: I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran.
SNOW: It's the kind of vote that angers the Democratic faithful.
MARK HALPERIN, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Sometimes Hillary Clinton votes in ways that will free her up in a general election, but they can come back to bite her as she tries to win this Democratic nomination.
SNOW: And today, Barack Obama piled on.
BARACK OBAMA: Her willingness, I think, to once again extend to the President the benefit of the doubt, I think, indicates that she hasn't fully learned some of the lessons that we saw back in 2002.
SNOW: Clinton's campaign says the criticism is unwarranted -- the measure in no way authorizes the President to go to war. In fact, Obama voted for a similar bill this past spring.
CLINTON, ON SUNDAY: Let me add that I also was the first person to go to the floor of the Senate back in February of this year and said very clearly that President Bush did not have any authority whatsoever to launch an attack on Iran.
SNOW, BACK LIVE: But there may be more questions as she travels through Iowa on a bus tour. Tough talk on Iran is perceived by some Iowans as all too similar to the tough talk from Democrats in the run-up to the Iraq War. And, Charlie, last week, members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue.

CNN Reporter: Bad News from Iraq More
Newsworthy Than Good News

FNC's Brit Hume had some fun Monday night with how CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr, who in an interview with Howard Kurtz rationalized the media's pattern of downplaying lower casualty figures from Iraq, conceded that if they rose that would be much more newsworthy: "That, by any definition, is news." On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, Kurtz wondered if the "decline in Iraq casualties" should "have gotten more media attention?" Washington Post reporter Robin Wright responded: "Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend -- and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet. There is also an enormous dispute over how to count the numbers. There are different kinds of deaths in Iraq..." Starr agreed with Wright: "But that's the problem, we don't know whether it is a trend about specifically the decline in the number of U.S. troops being killed in Iraq. This is not enduring progress. This is a very positive step on that potential road to progress."

Kurtz followed up with the exchange highlighted by Hume: "But let's say that the figures had shown that casualties were going up for U.S. soldiers and going up for Iraqi civilians. I think that would have made some front pages."
Starr: "Oh, I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly -- that, by any definition, is news. Look, nobody more than a Pentagon correspondent would like to stop reporting the number of deaths, interviewing grieving families, talking to soldiers who have lost their arms and their legs in the war. But, is this really enduring progress? We've had five years of the Pentagon telling us there is progress, there is progress. Forgive me for being skeptical, I need to see a little bit more than one month before I get too excited about all of this."

Hume's October 8 "Grapevine" item on Special Report with Brit Hume: "Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz spoke Sunday with Post reporter Robin Wright and CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, on the air, about why the media paid so little attention to the shrinking casualty numbers coming out of Iraq. Kurtz asked Wright if the story should have received more play. She responded quote: 'Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend -- and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet...The numbers themselves are tricky.' Barbara Starr said she needed more than one month's numbers before she gets quote, 'too excited' about the subject. But when Kurtz asked if an increase in casualty figures would have received more coverage, she Barbara Starr replied, quote: 'I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly -- that, by any definition, is news.'"

On Sunday, Noel Sheppard posted, on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, an item about the CNN segment: newsbusters.org

Kurtz set up the October 7 segment by reciting how little attention the good news from Iraq earned from all but ABC News:

HOWARD KURTZ: The news from Iraq has been consistently depressing for several years now, a continuous tableau of death and destruction. But when the administration released more positive casualty figures this week, the media paid little attention. A couple of sentences on the CBS Evening and NBC Nightly News, the New York Times ran it on page 10, The Washington Post, page 14, USA Today page 16. The L.A. Times, a couple of paragraphs at the bottom of a page 4 story.
One exception was Charlie Gibson, who made it the lead story on ABC's World News.
CHARLES GIBSON, ABC ANCHOR: The U.S. military reports the fourth straight month of decline in troop deaths, 66 American troops died in September, each a terrible tragedy for a family, but the number far less than those who died in August. And the Iraqi government says civilian deaths across Iraq fell by half last month. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now to put this into perspective, Robin Wright, who covers national security for The Washington Post. And CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Robin Wright, should that decline in Iraq casualties have gotten more media attention?
ROBIN WRIGHT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend -- and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet. There is also an enormous dispute over how to count the numbers. There are different kinds of deaths in Iraq.
There are combat deaths. There are sectarian deaths. And there are the deaths of criminal -- from criminal acts. There are also a lot of numbers that the U.S. frankly is not counting. For example, in southern Iraq, there is Shiite upon Shiite violence, which is not sectarian in the Shiite versus Sunni. And the U.S. also doesn't have much of a capability in the south. So the numbers themselves are tricky. Long-term, General Odierno, who was in town this week, said he is looking for irreversible momentum, and that, after two months, has not yet been reached.
KURTZ: Barbara Starr, CNN did mostly quick reads by anchors of these numbers. There was a taped report on Lou Dobbs Tonight. Do you think this story deserved more attention? We don't know whether it is a trend or not but those are intriguing numbers.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: But that's the problem, we don't know whether it is a trend about specifically the decline in the number of U.S. troops being killed in Iraq. This is not enduring progress. This is a very positive step on that potential road to progress.
KURTZ: But let's say that the figures had shown that casualties were going up for U.S. soldiers and going up for Iraqi civilians. I think that would have made some front pages.
STARR: Oh, I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly -- that, by any definition, is news. Look, nobody more than a Pentagon correspondent would like to stop reporting the number of deaths, interviewing grieving families, talking to soldiers who have lost their arms and their legs in the war. But, is this really enduring progress? We've had five years of the Pentagon telling us there is progress, there is progress. Forgive me for being skeptical, I need to see a little bit more than one month before I get too excited about all of this.

GMA Blames Angry, Emotional Americans
for Immigration Controversy

On Monday's Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer reported live from Mexico and repeatedly blamed U.S. rage for much of the controversy over illegal immigration. After introducing a segment on the problem, Sawyer lectured: "So a lot of Americans are erupting in anger. While others say, 'Who are we kidding? It's too late to complain.'" Sawyer then opined that efforts to stem the tide of illegals, such as building a 700 mile fence, are "fueled by anger."

Sawyer continued this theme of out of control, emotional Americans into an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. She informed the GMA audience that "Felipe Calderon says it's time to stop yelling at each other and face the facts." Later, she described him as "urging less emotion, more strategy." And although Sawyer found time to describe Calderon as the "new action president" and mention that he went to Harvard University, she didn't ask him about the estimated $10 billion a year illegal immigration costs American taxpayers. (Although, the host did touch on the subject in the segment's introduction.)

For more on the cost of illegals, check this August 26 Washington Post article: www.washingtonpost.com

To be fair, Sawyer did ask a few tough questions. She bluntly told Calderon that, since Mexicans sending money back to their home country is the second largest source of national income, it appears to be in the interest of Mexico to keep its people in the U.S. The ABC host also wondered: "Do you feel that [illegals] have a right to come into the United States?" However, many of Sawyer's queries were softballs, such as asking: "Do you still feel the fence is deplorable?" Additionally, three individuals from business organizations were briefly featured telling the audience how valuable Mexican workers are. The anti-illegal immigration perspective was only seen from unidentified shouting Americans.

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

The GMA anchor even found a way to bash President Bush. She noted that the previous President, Vicente Fox, publicly described Bush's Spanish as "grade school" and asked Calderon to judge the President's bilingual abilities.

On Friday, GMA previewed the blame America tone with a Claire Shipman piece that wondered if local governments were going "too far" in cracking down on illegal immigration. See: www.mrc.org

And Sawyer herself has a long history of giving puff interviews to world leaders. In February, she asked Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad if he used an iPod. See: newsbusters.org

A transcript of the October 8 segment, which aired at 7:07am:

Diane Sawyer: "We're back in Mexico City here in Zocalo Square, which is in at the center of the old part of the city, a giant Mexican flag flying above us there. By some estimates, while we talk to you today, nearly 1,000 Mexicans are making their way toward the U.S. border, hearts pounding, hoping to get to America. And who are they? They're mostly male, mostly young, and scared. Listen to the breathing. [video of someone trampling through brush with heavy breathing.] 400 a year die attempting to cross to the United States. And a surprise. Most of them, in fact, were employed in Mexico, but came to the U.S. for more money, money they'll send back. It's a huge boost to the Mexican economy. $20 million a year. And another surprise, the majority pay taxes, totaling billions Though it's estimated, it still costs American citizens about $60 a year per person to subsidize the illegals health and schooling."
Unidentified woman: "They're not American citizens. These people do not belong in our country."
Second unidentified woman: "They can't come over here and demand things."
Sawyer: "So a lot of Americans are erupting in anger. While others say, 'Who are we kidding? It's too late to complain.' Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York says the city would, quote, 'collapse' if they were deported, and there's a report out of Washington that the apple growers there don't have workers to collect the harvest."
Rod Nilsestuen, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture: "If you took away Hispanic labor from agriculture and from dairy in Wisconsin, we would be in crisis. There's just no two ways about that."
Donald Taylor, Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union: "Las Vegas would stop. We would stop in our tracks. They do everything from cleaning our room to serving a cocktail to cooking a meal to serving a meal to cleaning the casino floor."
John Rosenow, Wisconsin dairy farmer: "It's dirty. It's sometimes very cold, sometimes very warm."
Terry Moran: "And Americans don't really want to do that anymore?"
Rosenow: "I haven't been able to find them."
Sawyer: "And yet, fueled by anger, the U.S. is cracking down. Even building a 700-mile fence on the border at an estimated cost of $10 billion to $50 billion over the next 25 years. Will that work? What is the answer? And what can Mexico do? And those are exactly the questions we wanted to bring to the president of this country whose offices are here in the national palace. He has said that the United States can build its 700-mile fence for billions and billions of dollars and ramp up deportations, but it's not going to solve this problem. His name? President Felipe Calderon. He's the new action president with high approval ratings for his effort to combat drug, crime, and corruption. He is also a man with a graduate degree from Harvard University, who thinks the U.S. approach to illegal immigration is doomed. What are you going to do about illegal immigration into America? Felipe Calderon says it's time to stop yelling at each other and face the facts."
Felipe Calderon: "It's impossible to stop that by decree. It's impossible to try to stop that with a fence. Why? Because the capital in America needs Mexican workers. And Mexican workers need opportunities of jobs. Capital and labor are like right shoe and left shoe, and one needs the other."
Sawyer: "Do you feel that they have a right to come into the United States?"
Calderon: "No. What I think is it's impossible to stop that. It's natural. It's an economic phenomenon."
Sawyer: "So, it's inevitable? It's not a question."
Calderon: "Yes, it's inevitable. It's not a question of-"
Sawyer: "Illegal or not. He even mentioned that apple harvest crisis in Washington State."
Calderon: "The people of Washington State say that the apples of Washington are the best of the world. And probably, that is true. Well, this year, those apples are still in the trees. And the problem is there is not enough Mexican labor or Mexican workers in order to work in the fields."
Sawyer: "It is said in the United States that the 20 billion or so remitted from illegal workers in the United States to their relatives here in Mexico is very important to the Mexican economy. It's the second most important source of income to the Mexican economy. Therefore, it's in the interest of Mexico to keep them in America and get the money."
Calderon: "That is absolutely false. You know, Mexico is losing with every single Mexican crossing the border. Why? Because it's the best of our people, the youngest people, the bravest people, the strongest people. That's a false argument. I don't want to see Mexico as a permanent provider of workers to the United States. I want to build a conditions [sic] in Mexico to provide the opportunities here in our land."
Sawyer: "So can you keep the what, three to 400,000 a year, can you keep them here? Can you keep them from coming to the United States?"
Calderon: "I will try to do so in the future. Of course, it's impossible do now. It's impossible to stop, I don't know, 300, 000 or 400,000. Nobody knows exactly how much people are trying to leave the country. But in the future, I can imagine a Mexico with enough economic growth in order to provide for all of them, enough condition said for prosperity. And that is possible, Diane."
Sawyer: "He says he's already created 900,000 new jobs. And, he says, this is an irony. With the declining birth rate in Mexico and new opportunities here, in a decade, the problem of illegal immigration could be over and the U.S. will be left with a long, expensive fence. Do you still feel the fence is deplorable?"
Calderon: "I think so. Yes."
Sawyer: "And to deport?"
Calderon: "Every country and government has the right to apply the law in its territory. I know that. But at the same time, I can see that the world is open, new ways, new bridges. And we are building fences instead of bridges. And that's a problem. That is a problem for a region."
Sawyer: "President Bush, What do you think of him?"
Calderon: "Well, I know that there are a lot of mixed feelings about President Bush. But I really appreciate him and I appreciate his effort in order to pass a comprehensive immigration reform in the Congress. He failed. We failed. I don't know, but I really appreciate it."
Sawyer: "We ask about something that the former president Vicente Fox wrote, that when he met Governor George Bush, Bush's Spanish was grade school. [Video and audio of Bush speaking Spanish.] How is his Spanish?"
Calderon: "Well, I have -- I can't give you an opinion about that because even my English is really poor."
Sawyer: "And this Harvard graduate student says America and the Latin communities will be stronger if they work together against giant competitors like China. Urging less emotion, more strategy."
Calderon: "The world is changing. The United States is not the center of the world. Both sides of the border need to learn to see each other like allies and probably in the future, as a friend. Friends. I think that it's important. My point is we need to stop this destructive message in media, in politics, in the economy, looking on only enemies on the other side of the border. I hope that one day the people in America can see the Mexican people like friends, like allies for prosperity."

Chris Cuomo: "Very thoughtful answers there. Diane, let me ask you, for all of this talk of keeping immigrants out of the country, this morning, this weekend, all of this talk about the U.S. government trying to get more farm workers into the country. What do you know about that?"
Sawyer: "Well, that's why the president of Mexico says there should be some streamlined guest worker program with controls over what the immigrants do. Because by some estimates, three quarters of the agriculture workers in America are illegal immigrants. And there's always that cautionary tale of the town up in New Jersey that got rid of all of the illegal immigrants and a year later had to turn around because of economic impact and invite them back in. But, You know, Chris, in the next hour, we're going to talk about another component of all this. Americans are not used to Spanish being spoken everywhere in their country. Should there be laws about English? And we're going to be tackling that one too."

Cuomo to Carter: After Bush, U.S. Would
Better Appreciate You

Chris Cuomo conducted a sycophantic interview with former President Jimmy Carter on Monday's Good Morning America. In the introduction alone, the ABC anchor glowingly described Carter as someone who is "waging peace, fighting disease and building hope." A few seconds later, he again cheerfully enthused that Carter is a "a man who is all about peace."
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Cuomo even went so far as to tell the one-term President that, given some hindsight, America would now appreciate Carter's leadership during the hostage crisis. He described Carter's handling of the 444 day long spectacle of American hostages being held in Iran as the philosophy of saying, "'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.'" To make it perfectly clear that Cuomo was praising Carter and simultaneously slamming President Bush, the ABC host elaborated: "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force."

After a brief discussion of the 2008 campaign, Cuomo, the son of the former liberal governor Mario Cuomo, gushed that he hoped the Democrats pay "attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation."

Cuomo also allowed Carter to get away with asserting that, regarding the hostage crisis, "not a single person died in Iran." Of course, in 1980, President Carter oversaw a botched rescue effort that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. military personnel. This disaster, which is widely seen as one of the events precipitating Carter's defeat in November of that year, wasn't mentioned by Cuomo. However, he did manage to ask gooey questions, such as effusively observing of Carter's new book, Beyond the White House: "What does it mean to you when you look back on this book, which, of course, came from your own hand?"

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday, with video, on the MRC's blog. The Real and Windows Media, as well as MP3 audio -- all rendered by NewsBusters Managing Editor Ken Shepherd -- will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But to watch or listen in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 8:41am on October 8:

Chris Cuomo: "President Jimmy Carter left the White House in 1981. Since that time, he has traveled the world waging peace, fighting disease and building hope. That is the motto of the Carter Center, a foundation dedicated to human rights, which this year, celebrates 25 years of service to human kind. It's also the subject of Mr. Carter's new book, 'Beyond the White House.' It's my pleasure to welcome President Carter. Thank you for coming back. It's great to have you here always. So you're a man who is all about peace. And yet, we read in the headlines you go to the Sudan and you almost get into a fight with people in one of the most dangerous places in the world. What happened, Mr. President?"
Former President Jimmy Carter: "Well, we were in Darfur. We visited several sites there. After visiting in Khartoum and also the southern part of Sudan, Juba, then we went to Darfur for a visit with the displaced persons there, about 2.2 million of them. And I was in a little village called Kikabia (PH) which is a strange one in that about 16,000 people live in a little village, and 53,000 displaced persons have moved in with them. They don't live in camps. They just live in the village. So, I was visiting throughout the camp and throughout the village, had been in the schools, talking to the leaders of the displaced persons. Then I decided I wanted to visit with the chief or the mayor, we would call him. So, I started to his house and a security guard told me I was forbidden to go because it wasn't on the schedule. We had already departed a long time ago from the schedule. So I just told him I was going to visit the chief anyway, whether he had orders or not, and if he objected, he could contact President al-Bashir, the president of Sudan and see if I was free to go where I chose. So, eventually, we compromised and the chief came to visit me. And I had a private conversation in my vehicle on the way to the helicopter pad. So, it worked out okay."
Cuomo: "Now, aside from that little bit of intrigue and drama there, you had signs of hope in that latest tour there."
Carter: "Well, there are two major peace agreements that are inseparable. One is the comprehensive peace agreement between the north and south to end 20 years of war within which over two million people died. And we were deeply involved in that peace process ever since 1989. And in the most recent one, obviously, is the Darfur peace agreement that was consummated in Abuja a couple years ago and that's supposed to bring an end to the suffering in Darfur. And I was there with a group of so-called elders, accompanied by Nelson Mandela's wife and by Archbishop Tutu and Mr. Brahimi, who is the chief negotiator for the United Nations. And, so, we were there, trying to see how we as senior statesmen could help bring it to fruition, the hopes and dreams that have been expressed in these peace agreements. And so, it's a very dicey situation in that there's still a lot of tension between north and south Sudan, may re-erupt into war and of course, the suffering of the Darfur people. It is now paramount in the people's conscience around the world."
Cuomo: "What do you think when you look pack on this book? 25 years. You won a Nobel Peace prize. You've been in situations all over the world, all over this country. What does it mean to you when you look back on this book, which, of course, came from your own hand?"
Carter: "I wrote every word of it."
Cuomo: "But what does it mean to you?"
Carter: "Well, it's just a recollection of the importance of preserving peace, and people like me who have had a wonderful life and been president of the greatest nation in the world, using what influence I have to promote peace and justice and promotion of human rights, protecting the environment, and particularly, to alleviate suffering. And the purpose of this book is to just acquaint people who read it and who hear about it with the obligation that we as affluent, blessed people in the world, need to share what we have, our time and our effort and our money with those who are desperately in need. The Carter Center now has programs in 71 different nations in the world, the poorest and most destitute people on Earth. 35 of those countries are in Africa, so I'm often with Rosalynn, the Carter Center people, all over Africa."
Cuomo: "A couple of political questions for you. First one, one of perspective. The Iran hostage situation, if that happened today and the same call was made. 'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.' Do you think the perception of it would be very different?"
Carter: "I doubt it because I was heavily advised by my political advisors to take military action. And I could have destroyed Iran, as you know, with our bombs and missiles and weapons. But it would have rested in the death of our hostages and it would have killed 30, 40, 50,000 innocent Iranians. I decided to be patient and to negotiate. And although it may have cost me the reelection and so forth, not a single person died in Iran, and every hostage came home safe and free."
Cuomo: "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force. Let me ask quickly, what do you see in the election?"
Carter: "Well, I think the Democrats he an excellent chance to win it."
Cuomo: "I'm sure you do."
Carter: "We have a good panoply of good candidates and any one of whom, I believe, would do a very good job in the White House, much better job than is being done now."
Cuomo: "Hopefully, they're paying attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation. And let me congratulate you most of all, not the Nobel Peace Prize, not the 25 years, 61 years of marriage."
Carter: "All right. It's been a good 61 years."
Cuomo: "That is a legacy in and of itself. President Carter, thank you so much."
Carter: "And to the same woman, by the way."
Cuomo: "Yes. Yes. Please. How could you even suggest it? You can all go to ABCnews.com for an excerpt of the book."

-- Brent Baker