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Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

All But CBS Relay Info Which Casts Doubt Explosives Lost by U.S. --10/28/2004


1. All But CBS Relay Info Which Casts Doubt Explosives Lost by U.S.
ABC, NBC, FNC and CNN, but not CBS, on Wednesday night provided new details, about what is known to have happened at the al-Qaqaa compound in January to May of 2003, such as how satellite imagery shows trucks at the facility, which cast more doubts upon the charge that the 377 tons of explosives disappeared after U.S. troops arrived. Jim Axelrod noted on the CBS Evenings News that "the President today finally broke his silence over the missing explosives in Iraq," but it was CBS which remained silent over the revelations which conflicted with their original anti-Bush administration spin. Axelrod gloated over the negative impact on the Bush campaign: "Mr. Bush had to say something. The timing of the story couldn't be worse for him" since "the missing explosives are the kind of development that could push undecideds the other way." ABC's Dean Reynolds ruled that Bush's "counterattack, that Kerry basically doesn't know what he's talking about" on what happened to the explosives, "does not address the fundamental problem that the Senator posed" about how unguarded ammunition has left troops "at greater risk." CNN's Jamie McIntyre picked up on a Pentagon point that "the lost stockpile amounted to less than one-tenth of one percent of the 400,000 tons of total munitions the U.S. has found in Iraq."

2. Gibson & Couric Presume Credibility of Explosives Allegation
ABC's Charles Gibson and NBC's Katie Couric on Wednesday morning both presumed the basic credibility of the allegation about how U.S. Army malfeasance and incompetent direction by the Bush administration led to the loss of 377 tons of explosives from the al Qaqaa compound in Iraq. On Good Morning America, Gibson asked about the "possibility that hundreds of tons of weapons in Iraq have disappeared because of poor oversight or security by American troops. Number one, does this resonate at this point?" On Today, Couric demanded: "Reports that nearly 380 tons of conventional explosives that could be used in missile warheads or to detonate nuclear weapons have raised many concerns about why U.S. forces did not go and secure these weapons if in fact they knew about them. What happened?" Couric at least also raised doubts about the charge.

3. ABC & CBS Take Shots at Bush on Global Warming, Proof Suppressed
Some last minute shots at the Bush administration over global warming. ABC's Peter Jennings on Wednesday night highlighted how Russia's parliament had voted to sign the Kyoto Protocol and so "126 nations support the treaty. The United States does not." Before a CBS Evening News "What Does it Mean to You" piece about where Bush and Kerry stand on global warming, a story in which Jerry Bowen ominously warning that "computer climate models predict the warming will trigger a range of calamities -- more intense hurricane seasons to droughts" and how "Britain's chief science advisor says it's a greater threat than terrorism," Dan Rather asserted: "A top government scientist is accusing President Bush of suppressing evidence that human activities contribute to dangerous global warming."

4. NBC's Today on Embryonic Stem Cells: Brad Pitt and Two Advocates
Four days after ABC and NBC handed the widow of Christopher Reeve several unedited minutes to make her case for the election of John Kerry, NBC's Today returned Tuesday morning to the topic of embryo-destroying stem-cell research with another movie star in the mix: actor Brad Pitt who appeared along with another proponent of a California ballot initiative asking California citizens to subsidize embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Fran Kaufman. For "balance," NBC found the head of the California Nurses Association, who also supports embryonic research, but thinks the ballot initiative's approach is too conservative since "it's giving money to private corporations and the biotech industry and the pharmaceutical industry."


Correction: Item #5 in the October 27 CyberAlert quoted actor Brad Whitford of NBC West Wing as taking this shot which contrasted President Bush with John Kerry: "How many times do you have to get shot in the ass in a rice patty before you're more rough and tumble than a cheerleader from Andover?" "Patty" should have read "paddy."

All But CBS Relay Info Which Casts Doubt
Explosives Lost by U.S.

ABC, NBC, FNC and CNN, but not CBS, on Wednesday night provided new details, about what is known to have happened at the al-Qaqaa facility in January to May of 2003, which cast more doubts upon the charge that the 377 tons of explosives disappeared after U.S. troops arrived. Jim Axelrod noted on the CBS Evenings News that "the President today finally broke his silence over the missing explosives in Iraq," but it was CBS which remained silent over the revelations which conflicted with their original anti-Bush administration spin. CBS, along with the New York Times, had put the story into play on Monday. Axelrod gloated over the negative impact on the Bush campaign: "Mr. Bush had to say something. The timing of the story couldn't be worse for him" since "the missing explosives are the kind of development that could push undecideds the other way."

On ABC's World News Tonight, Dean Reynolds ruled that Bush's "counterattack, that Kerry basically doesn't know what he's talking about" on what happened to the explosives, "does not address the fundamental problem that the Senator posed later in Minnesota." Reynolds then played this clip from Kerry: "You didn't guard the ammunitions dump. And now, our troops are at greater risk. That's the bottom line."

In the previous story on Bush's attacks on Kerry, ABC's Terry Moran had not charged that Kerry failed to "address" any point made by Bush.

NBC: Satellite Imagery NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, FNC's Bret Baier and CNN's Jamie McIntyre all relayed, as Miklaszewski explained on the NBC Nightly News, that Colonel Dave Perkins, commander of the brigade which first arrived at the compound and who the Pentagon on Wednesday made available to journalists, "told reporters from that time on it would have been almost impossible for anyone to remove explosives from the compound because the two main roads leading away were packed for weeks with U.S. military convoys." Miklaszewski added, in a disclosure also noted by Baier, that "the Pentagon is analyzing satellite photos of al Qaqaa taken shortly before the war, which reportedly show large trucks positioned around some bunkers in the vast complex."

FNC's Baier passed along on Special Report with Brit Hume how "Perkins also said he and his commanders were certain by what they saw on the road to Baghdad, that the Iraqi regime had ordered the weapons and explosives throughout the country to be disbursed."

CNN's McIntyre uniquely picked up on a Pentagon point which put the loss in perspective: "The lost stockpile amounted to less than one-tenth of one percent of the 400,000 tons of total munitions the U.S. has found in Iraq."

But were there really 377 tons at al-Qaqaa in the first place? ABC's Martha Raddatz ignored how satellite photos may show trucks removing material before the war and how clogged roads would have prevented removal once the U.S. troops got to the area, but on World News Tonight she reported: "We have obtained a confidential report from the inspectors [presumably the UN inspectors]. In this report, there seems to be a significant discrepancy between what the Iraqis say is missing and what the inspectors said was missing. The Iraqis say there was 141 tons of the explosive RDX in July of 2002. The inspectors, in this report, said there were only three tons left in January of 2003."

For the more detailed ABCNews.com version of the discrepancy between what Iraq claimed and the IAEA inspectors saw, see: www.abcnews.go.com

Now, a full rundown of Wednesday night, October 27, newscast coverage, starting with CBS which ignored all the discrepancies:

-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather led his broadcast: "Good evening. The presidential campaign is down to six days now and the candidates were campaigning for any and all voters today, especially pitching for independents and party switchers, in battleground states. The battle lines today ranged from jobs and the economy to those still missing tons of explosives in Iraq.".

Jim Axelrod reported from the trail: "After two days of relentless hammering from his Democratic opponent, the President today finally broke his silence over the missing explosives in Iraq."
Bush: "Our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site."
Axelrod: "Mr. Bush had to say something. The timing of the story couldn't be worse for him, which is why he didn't just leave it at an explanation, but instead attempted to turn John Kerry's criticism against him."
Bush: "A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without all knowing the facts is not a person you want as commander-in-chief."
Axelrod: "Mr. Kerry was only too happy to have something to respond to. The longer the volley, the more the issue remains center stage."
Kerry: "Because of your wrong decisions, you owe America real answers about what happened, not just political attacks."
Bush TV ad: "Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan."
Axelrod: "As his final ad shows, the President needs undecideds heading to the polls feeling strongly about his handling of national security. The missing explosives are the kind of development that could push undecideds the other way."
Bush: "As the citizens of this nation prepare to vote, I want to speak directly to the democrats."
Axelrod: "But his search for every last vote is no longer limited to undecideds. The President's now appealing to a group he's virtually ignored this campaign: Democrats...."

Up next, Byron Pitts with Kerry.


-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings presumed the Iraq claim is true: "We're going to begin with the President, John Kerry and that ammunition dump in Iraq. The two men were having a nasty, long-distance argument today about a report from the Iraqis that a vast amount of high explosives had disappeared from an ammunition storage facility while the U.S. was in charge of the country."

Terry Moran checked in from the Bush camp with Bush's comments about how Iraq was filled with weapons which Saddam would still have if Kerry had his way. Then ABC went to Dean Reynold who passed along Kerry's attacks over the explosives. Reynolds asserted: "The campaign is increasingly confident this is working for Kerry. And the fact that Bush felt the need to respond today proves it. But the Bush counterattack, that Kerry basically doesn't know what he's talking about, does not address the fundamental problem that the Senator posed later in Minnesota."
Kerry: "You didn't guard the ammunitions dump. And now, our troops are at greater risk. That's the bottom line."
Reynolds concluded by painting Kerry as a potential victim of Bush's incompetence: "And there is undeniable feeling among the Kerry campaign that they have scored some points on the President on this issue. But their enthusiasm, Peter, is tempered a bit by the certain knowledge that if John Kerry is elected President, he will inherit what an advisor today called 'one hell of a mess in Iraq.'"

Jennings then went to Martha Raddatz at the Pentagon for a timeline on the ammo dump: "It was not John Kerry who first blamed the administration for losing the explosives. It was the Iraqi government. [over shot of letter] On October 10th of this year, an Iraqi official wrote the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that the explosives were lost after April 9th, 2003, due to a quote, 'lack of security.' April 9th is the day Baghdad fell [video of Saddam statute toppling], leaving the Americans completely in charge. The Iraqi official has not explained how he knows when the materials disappeared. [Video of discarded weapons outdoors]
"Who last saw the explosives? In March of 2003, just before the war began, UN inspectors visited the site and confirmed that the seals they had placed on the weapons bunkers were still intact. Did the U.S. military secure the facilities? On about April 3rd, 2003, the 3rd infantry division stopped for two days at the site. The former commander of that division said today he wasn't certain whether the area was secured or whether Saddam Hussein had already cleared it."
Major General Buford Blount, in uniform at a table: "I don't think anyone at this point could say whether there was anything there of that magnitude or whether he had already moved it."
Raddatz: "On April 10th, a brigade from the 101st Airborne spent 24 hours at the facility because the assault on Baghdad was delayed. A spokesman said today, 'orders were not given to search or to secure the facility or to search for high explosive type munitions.' Finally, on May 8th 2003, a task force was sent in to search the facility. The Pentagon said today the facility had been looted, stripped and vandalized. There was no sign of the explosives that had once been under seal.
"There is some late-breaking news, Peter. We have obtained a confidential report from the inspectors. In this report, there seems to be a significant discrepancy between what the Iraqis say is missing and what the inspectors said was missing. The Iraqis say there was 141 tons of the explosive RDX in July of 2002. The inspectors, in this report, said there were only three tons left in January of 2003."
Jennings: "Is there clarification on whether or not the U.S. was actually in charge at the time of however much was stolen?"
Raddatz: "I think that is still unclear. The dates to nail down are March 2003 and May 2003. The explosives somehow disappeared between that time frame. But it's unclear when they did."


NBC Nightly News -- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw at "Democracy Plaza," announced: "Good evening. With less than a week to go, this presidential campaign is ending where it began, on the war in Iraq and how it's going. The big issue this week, what happened to tons of very deadly explosives Saddam had stored away, explosives that had been sealed by UN weapons inspectors before the invasion began. Who's responsible for the missing weapons? Did they disappear before U.S. troops arrived, or were they looted because U.S. security was insufficient?"

From Michigan, David Gregory provided the Bush counterattack: "Tom, in a race this close, the White House has decided this is a subject the President cannot afford to ignore. Today, he lashed out at Senator Kerry for making quote, 'wild charges without the facts.' After a dramatic Air Force One flyover in Pennsylvania this morning, Mr. Bush used his first campaign rally of the day for damage control, assuring supporters that the administration is investigating when and how 380 tons of dangerous explosives went missing in Iraq. The President suggested Saddam's regime moved them before the war, arguing the situation would be even more dangerous had Senator Kerry been in the White House."
Bush: "Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would control all those weapons and explosives and could have shared them with our terrorist enemies."
Gregory: "But even with Saddam gone, there are fears those explosives have fallen into the wrong hands, potentially undermining the President's claim that America is safer because of the war. Senator Kerry in Iowa today sees a political opening with the story, though his top advisors have admitted publicly they don't know the truth about what happened at the al Qaqaa facility, Kerry cited the missing explosives as one of the President's major failures."
Kerry: "What we're seeing is a white house that is dodging and bobbing and weaving in their usual efforts to avoid responsibility."

Gregory moved on to other subjects before Brokaw set up another story: "Now, more on those missing explosives. We have new details about them and about the American military personnel who spent time at that storage site in Iraq."

From the Pentagon, over video of falling apart two foot high by one foot wide boxes, Jim Miklaszewski reported: "This is what all the commotion is about. Iraqi high explosives at the al Qaqaa facility. Iraqi video obtained by NBC News shows the H.M.X. contained in flimsy cardboard boxes. Some clearly marked explosives, others labeled as bottled water. It's only a small portion of nearly 380 tons of explosives that was stored in bunkers at al Qaqaa before the war and is now missing. And the pentagon is scrambling to find out what happened.
"NBC News has learned the Pentagon is analyzing satellite photos of al Qaqaa taken shortly before the war [blurry video of truck by a building], which reportedly show large trucks positioned around some bunkers in the vast complex.
"Pentagon officials say the photos raise the possibility the Iraqis were using the trucks to move something, but acknowledge there's no hard proof they were moving the explosives. About two weeks after the war started [calendar on screen with April 3 circled] soldiers from the Third Infantry Division were the first U.S. troops to arrive at al Qaqaa April 3rd. Today, brigade commander Dave Perkins told reporters from that time on it would have been almost impossible for anyone to remove explosives from the compound because the two main roads leading away were packed for weeks with U.S. military convoys.
"Pentagon officials also revealed today [calendar of May] that military weapons inspectors visited the site three times in May, the 8th, 11th, and 27th, earlier and more often than first reported. But each visit lasted only six hours, making it difficult to inspect the entire vast complex, about the size of Manhattan. NBC cameraman Craig White was embedded wit the 3rd ID."
Craig White: "The place was huge. There were dozens and dozens of large dome-shaped bunkers."
Miklaszewski inconclusively concluded: "The fact remains that nearly 400 tons of high explosives disappeared sometime between early March and early April, and Pentagon officials admit they still have no idea where it is or who may have it today."


-- FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume. After stories on what Bush and Kerry had to say, Hume went to Bret Baier at the Pentagon. Baier explained:
"Senior Pentagon officials tell Fox News they are analyzing satellite images of the al Qaqaa storage facility taken before the war began, that appear to show large truck activity there. A decision has not yet been made whether to release those images.
"Meantime, an Army third infantry division commander is speaking out about what his troops saw and did as they were the first troops to reach the facility south of Baghdad after the war began, creating a new, more refined time line about the missing explosives. In January 2003, IAEA inspectors tagged and sealed the 377 tons of hike explosives at al Qaqaa. On March 8, inspectors returned to the site for last time before the war but did not check all of the marked explosives. The war began on March 19th, and on April 3rd the second brigade of the Army's third infantry division arrived at al Qaqaa and engaged in a heavy fire fight with Iraqi forces from inside the massive complex.
"Colonel David Perkins was commanding the brigade at the time. Of the enemy a Qaqaa, Perkins said today quote, [text on screen] 'They were attacking us with small arms and RPGs...it was somewhere between a company and a battalion of Iraqi forces inside the facility...a couple hundred fighters inside.' Perkins said his men killed or captured all of the Iraqis inside after a two-day battle, noting it was obvious Iraqis had occupied the facility for some time. Then he said the Third I.D. troops searched the site looking for weapons of mass destruction, passing up the chain information about the huge bunker of rockets and ammunition but not specifically noting anything with IAEA tags.
"The Third I.D. left on the seventh and on April 9th the first troops from the Army's 101st Airborne division arrived. On April 11th, the 101st left, heading north to Baghdad. On May 8th the 75th Exploitation Task Force arrived at al Qaqaa, starting a massive search, not finding any of the IAEA marked explosives after three consecutive searches over the following two weeks. So Pentagon officials say for the missing explosives to have been looted after U.S. troops arrived it would have had to have happened between April 11 and May 8th, 28 days to move 380 tons of explosives, roughly 38 truckloads of material all while U.S. vehicles filled the Iraqi roadways.
"Asked about the looting possibility, Colonel Perkins said today, quote, 'It would be almost impossible to do that since the roads were packed with U.S. military convoys...The two main roads around the facility east and north were jammed with U.S. vehicles for weeks.'"
Baier concluded: "Perkins also said he and his commanders were certain by what they saw on the road to Baghdad, that the Iraqi regime had ordered the weapons and explosives throughout the country to be disbursed."


-- CNN's NewsNight. After some stories from the campaign trail, anchor Aaron Brown announced: "Back now to the explosives for a few moments. There is, we think, a risk here of what ought to be a very simple story getting gummed up in miles of political and PR silly string. The fact remains tonight we still have only fragmentary information, and none of it conclusively answering how much was at the ammo dump, when it was there, who was watching it before and after the war began. The Defense Department says it is scrambling for evidence. But today, at least, they could only offer theory. Here's CNN's Jamie McIntyre."

CNN McIntyre outlined the Pentagon's case, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "In response to the political firestorm over the missing high explosives, the Pentagon launched a PR offensive. Issuing two pages of talking points [part of memo enlarged on screen], noting among other things the lost stockpile amounted to 'less than one-tenth of one percent of the 400,000 tons of total munitions' the U.S. has found in Iraq.
"And providing access to the former commander of soldiers from the Army's Third Infantry Division, now identified by the Pentagon as the first to get to the al Qaqaa facility on April 3, 2003. Neither the commander nor his troops knew about the tons of high explosives the IAEA said were stored at the facility, much less have any orders to look for them. But Colonel David Perkins told reporters at the Pentagon, quote, 'It would be almost impossible' that the material could have been stolen after his troops arrived. 'There was one main road,' he said, 'packed for weeks, bumper-to-bumper, with U.S. convoys pushing toward Baghdad.' Perkins concluded it would be 'very highly improbable' that a convoy of trucks could have sneaked in and out in the dead of night. But some former arms inspectors find the argument unconvincing."
David Kay, from an appearance earlier in the day on Wolf Blitzer Reports: "I also don't find it hard to believe that looters could carry it off in the dead of night or during the day and not use the road network. I saw many Iraqi facilities in which they came by pickup truck, and constantly, it's amazing to see whole buildings disappear at the hands of looters who are not organized, who do not have heavy equipment."
McIntyre: "Experts like David Kay also question the Pentagon's pet theory -- that the stash of high explosives was dispersed by Saddam's army before the U.S. got there. Kay argues the massive movement would have been easy to spot on the main road. The Pentagon is looking for overhead imagery it hopes might support its version of events. The Pentagon says the inspection team that arrived at the facility on May 8th did know about the explosives and would have looked for them. But their priority was searching for WMD. And it's not clear how hard they looked for the conventional explosives or whether they reported them missing to anyone higher up."

Gibson & Couric Presume Credibility of
Explosives Allegation

ABC's Charles Gibson and NBC's Katie Couric on Wednesday morning both presumed the basic credibility of the allegation about how U.S. Army malfeasance and incompetent direction by the Bush administration led to the loss of 377 tons of explosives from the al Qaqaa compound in Iraq. On Good Morning America, Gibson asked about the "possibility that hundreds of tons of weapons in Iraq have disappeared because of poor oversight or security by American troops. Number one, does this resonate at this point?" On Today, Couric demanded: "Reports that nearly 380 tons of conventional explosives that could be used in missile warheads or to detonate nuclear weapons have raised many concerns about why U.S. forces did not go and secure these weapons if in fact they knew about them. What happened?" Couric at least also raised doubts about the charge.

Gibson's first question to the co-hosts of CNN's Crossfire, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, on the October 27 Good Morning America: "Last-minute issue, this possibility that hundreds of tons of weapons in Iraq have disappeared because of poor oversight or security by American troops. Number one, does this resonate at this point? And number two, does anything resonate, given the fact that these guys are throwing such haymakers at one another? Tucker?"
Carlson replied, as taken down by the MRC's Jessica Anderson: "I think it does resonate. I mean, you know, after two years of attacks on Halliburton and other not very relevant subjects from the Kerry campaign, here's a news story that, while not clear in its details, it's not clear when these weapons disappeared, it is clear that this site was not guarded by the U.S. military and it's clear that there were other weapon sites that were looted and it's clear that the borders of Iraq weren't secured by the administration. So it isn't a reality-based attack that John Kerry is leveling against the Bush administration, and it gets to competence, not character, and I think it's pretty effective. Actually, I think it could hurt Bush."

On Today, the MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed, Couric interviewed Democratic Senator Joseph Biden and Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, both members of the Armed Services Committee. Couric's first question: "Senator Chambliss let me start with you if I could, reports that nearly 380 tons of conventional explosives that could be used in missile warheads or to detonate nuclear weapons have raised many concerns about why U.S. forces did not go and secure these weapons if in fact they knew about them. What happened?"
Chambliss: "Well the fact of the matter, Katie, is that when our troops got there on April 10, 2003 the weapons weren't there. Now that's already been confirmed by your network as well as by Fox News and what we're seeing here is a campaign that's gotten very desperate at the end of the day and they see this thing slipping away from them and what they've done is taken a myth, Katie, a fact that is not true and tried to twist it and politicize it and that's simply wrong. And it's a way to try to alarm the American people that is not right...."
Couric: "But the, the commander of the U.S. troops that went to this particular facility during the war Colonel Joseph Anderson of the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division has said he was never even told about the explosives or to look for them."

Couric soon turned to her other guest: "Senator Biden does Senator Chambliss have a point in terms of whether or not these weapons existed at the time the invasion took place?"

And she challenged him: "Senator Biden let me, let me just interrupt for two seconds. What about the fact Senator Biden that Pentagon officials are saying it's possible that Saddam Hussein had the explosives moved and hidden before the war even began."

Couric also inquired of Biden: "John Kerry said Tuesday that quote, 'the failure to secure those explosives threatens American troops and the American people.' Is this another example of the scare tactics that have been implemented in the final days of this campaign?"

ABC & CBS Take Shots at Bush on Global
Warming, Proof Suppressed

ABC's World News Tonight Some last minute shots at the Bush administration over global warming. ABC's Peter Jennings on Wednesday night highlighted how Russia's parliament had voted to sign the Kyoto Protocol and so "126 nations support the treaty. The United States does not." Before a CBS Evening News "What Does it Mean to You" piece about where Bush and Kerry stand on global warming, a story in which Jerry Bowen ominously warning that "computer climate models predict the warming will trigger a range of calamities -- more intense hurricane seasons to droughts" and how "Britain's chief science advisor says it's a greater threat than terrorism," Dan Rather asserted: "A top government scientist is accusing President Bush of suppressing evidence that human activities contribute to dangerous global warming."

Neither network noted that in 1997 the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 to not have the U.S. sign the treaty, so Bush's position is no more extreme than was Kerry's in 1997.

Jennings read this short item on the October 27 World News Tonight: "In Russia, the parliament has voted to sign the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement that limits greenhouse gas emissions, which are of course blamed for global warming. Russia's agreement was essential for the treaty to take effect because it needs the support of nations that contribute 55 percent of world emissions. Russia alone counts for 17 percent. 126 nations support the treaty. The United States does not."

On screen, scenes of the Russian Parliament followed by text on the left, an image of a globe on the right:
"KYOTO PROTOCOL
126 nations support
U.S. does not"

Over on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather intoned: "A top government scientist is accusing President Bush of suppressing evidence that human activities contribute to dangerous global warming. NASA's James Hansen says scientific findings on the environment are, quote, 'screened and controlled' by the Bush administration. So what do candidates Bush and Kerry say about global warming? CBS's Jerry Bowen has some answers in the Eye on America election series, 'What Does it Mean to You?'"

Hansen is a well-known liberal antagonist to the Bush administration. For more on his comments, see "Expert: Bush Hides Global Warming Evidence," a Wednesday AP dispatch: news.yahoo.com

Bowen began over video of shacks on bare ground: "Top of the world, Barrow, Alaska, is a tiny window on global warming. Average temperatures are up four degrees in the past 30 years reaching the upper 60's in the summertime. Houses are sinking in the thawing permafrost. The nearby arctic ice pack is shrinking. As village elders say, it's just too warm."
Man: "I hope you understand what I say."
Voice cued him up: "Too hot?"
Man: "Too hot."
Bowen conceded a point long made by many scientist out of favor with the media, that warming is largely natural: "Much of the warming is natural, but scientists contend the balance has been tipped dangerously by an increase in man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases -- industry emissions to auto exhaust."
Glenn Sheehan, scientist: "So the warming trend itself may be a natural thing, but the size of it is being affected by people."
Bowen: "Computer climate models predict the warming will trigger a range of calamities -- more intense hurricane seasons to droughts. Britain's chief science advisor says it's a greater threat than terrorism. Both U.S. presidential candidates agree the earth is getting hotter, and they've had one heated exchange on whether an international treaty would have any effect."
John Kerry during one of the debates: "They pulled out of the global warming, declared it dead, didn't even accept the science."
George W. Bush at same debate: "Well, had we joined the Kyoto treaty, which I guess he's referring to, it would have cost America a lot of jobs."
Bowen: "Instead of a treaty that would put limits on industrial production, the President offers a complex proposal to cut what he calls the 'intensity' of greenhouse gases, though his own campaign's calculations indicate overall emissions would actually increase. President Bush also insists science can't definitively link man-made carbon dioxide emissions to a warming planet."
Sherwood Idso, scientist: "It's just coincidental that the Industrial Revolution has come along at the same time and is putting all this extra CO2 into the air."
Bowen painted Idso as in a small minority: "Tempe, Arizona's Sherwood Idso is among the handful of scientists whose views mirror those of President Bush. Man is not a factor?"
Idso: "I believe that. Or if he is a factor, it's a much, much smaller factor than what the climate alarmists are suggesting."
Bowen, standing outside in a desert with a cactus behind him, a fine visual to make viewers feel hot: "But the President's own panel on climate change issued this report [holds it up] this year acknowledging the human impact on warming, a view shared by the majority of the world's scientists."
Kerry: "I'm going to be a President who believes in science."
Bowen: "And Kerry pledges to, quote, 'take the action required that will prevent harmful changes in the earth's climate.' But he offers few specifics. Global warming remains a difficult issue with no quick fix and considerable debate on just how it will affect America and the world. But it's a debate that's taking place largely outside the campaign of 2004. Jerry Bowen, CBS News, Tempe, Arizona."

NBC's Today on Embryonic Stem Cells:
Brad Pitt and Two Advocates

NBC's Katie Couric & Brad Pitt Four days after ABC and NBC handed the widow of Christopher Reeve several unedited minutes to make her case for the election of John Kerry, NBC's Today returned Tuesday morning to the topic of embryo-destroying stem-cell research with another movie star in the mix: actor Brad Pitt who appeared along with another proponent of a California ballot initiative asking California citizens to subsidize embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Fran Kaufman. For "balance," NBC found the head of the California Nurses Association, who also supports embryonic research, but thinks the ballot initiative's approach is too conservative since "it's giving money to private corporations and the biotech industry and the pharmaceutical industry."

[The MRC's Tim Graham filed this item for CyberAlert]

The October 23 CyberAlert recounted: ABC and NBC on Friday morning [October 22] championed Dana Reeve's endorsement of John Kerry by playing lengthy excerpts from her tribute to him and her late husband, Chris. With "Star Power" on screen under a shot of Kerry with Reeve, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted at the top of Good Morning America: "This morning, a new voice. Christopher Reeve's wife speaking out for the first time since her husband's death and coming out strong for John Kerry." Over on Today, NBC's Katie Couric asserted that "Kerry has picked up a key endorsement from Dana Reeve" who told "the nation it needs a President who supports embryonic stem cell research." NBC featured Reeve's concluding words at the Thursday event in Ohio: "Today is the right moment to transform our grief into hope. Chris is the beacon guiding me. So I am here today to honor my husband as I proudly introduce our friend and declare my vote for the next President of the United states, John Kerry." For details: www.mediaresearch.org

Katie Couric began the October 26 8am half hour segment with an upbeat assessment of the effort: "Californians will vote on a controversial proposal next week that could make waves across the country. Proposition 71 earmarks an extraordinary $3 billion in state money for stem cell research over the next 10 years. It has powerful and wealthy supporters behind it. From Bill Gates to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Brad Pitt, who's in Los Angeles with Dr. Fran Kaufman, a doctor who specializes in juvenile diabetes....Brad, let me start with you, I'm just curious why you decided to come out and publicly support this proposition?"
Pitt started the sales job: "Well many reasons, Katie. One is the extraordinary opportunity we have here to eradicate these diseases that are plaguing our friends and families. Diseases like Alzheimer's, MS, diabetes. Our leading scientists, our doctors, our brightest minds are telling us that stem cell research is the new frontier. This is where we're gonna find these cures. What's happening now is we're at a standstill, certainly at the federal level. And in consequence our, our, our scientists are not going into this field because there's not adequate funding, there's not adequate resources. Or if there are, that we're losing them to other countries like Singapore. So it's important that we, that we open up this field and, and that we get them the funding the pathways they need to find these cures that, that our scientists and our doctors believe are there."

Couric also questioned Dr. Kaufman, labeled merely as a "pediatric endocrinologist," who sat beside Pitt in what looked like a hotel room. She is also on a list of women's advocates for the embryo-destroying Proposition 71 initiative. See: www.curesforcalifornia.com

Couric soon pressed Pitt: "And Brad can California afford it because obviously the state is financially strapped. How do you respond to opponents of this proposal who say, 'Hey it might be a good idea but we simply cant afford it at this point in time?'"
Pitt put on his policy wonk hat, as transcribed by the MRC's Geoff Dickens: "Well I think the mistake is looking at this as just a cost. We should be looking at this as an investment for our economy. Certainly, immediately with Proposition 71 if it were to be, if it were to take forth we would immediately have new jobs, as new treatments were found, healthcare costs would go down. What history has shown us is that it's cheaper to, to cure a disease than it is to continue to treat a disease. And analysts who have studied this situation or proposition 71 specifically tell us that if even one cure were to be found this would pay for itself three times over. And I think that's why you see Governor Schwarzenegger, who's our top cop on economy [sic] and has run a hard-line on fiscal responsibility, come out and support stem cell research and Proposition 71 specifically. But more importantly I think it's more than just an investment in our economy but it's an investment in our quality of life. And that's key."

Then Couric brought on the third guest, who felt the initiative was too conservative and corporate: "If you all can stand by for just a second, because the California Nurses Association actually opposes Proposition 71. Deborah Burger is the association's President. She's on business here in New York and happens to be in our studio. Good morning to you. If you're, if you're a proponent of stem cell research, embryonic stem cell research why, what's wrong with this proposition?"
Burger answered that she supported embryonic research "absolutely, absolutely," but when asked her to list her concerns, she complained about how "one of them would be that we're publicly funding an industry that will not benefit our patients in the immediate future. They're promising cures that are a long way away."
Couric smiled at Burger and pleaded: "But even though they are a long, long way away, can't they get started?"
Burger answered with the position of the anti-corporate left: "I think that that they could get started, but this initiative doesn't allow for the public to benefit, because it's giving money to private corporations and the biotech industry and the pharmaceutical industry."

For another group of liberal and conservative opponents united against the Brad Pitt position on Proposition 71, see: www.noon71.com

-- Brent Baker