Battle Against Terrorism a Failure, Leads to "Chaos and Blood" --8/21/2003
2. Garofalo on Bush: "It Is...a Conspiracy of the 43rd Reich"
3. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Dubs Iraq as "21st Century Vietnam"
4. Fear Judge "Trying to Restore Morality," Equating Him to Wallace
5. CNN Lauds Arnold for "Savvy" of Rejecting "No New Taxes Pledge"
6. For David Broder, "Realism" Always Means Raising Taxes
7. Hunting Scenes Mar Film for
Today Crew, "Mankind's Stupidity"
ABC and CBS on Wednesday night used the terrorist attack on the UN hotel as an opportunity to air broadsides about the overall failures of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq and war on terrorism, instead of as evidence of the desperation of the enemy.
As if Kofi Annan were ever in favor of the Bush policy and thus had made a newsworthy change of mind, ABC anchor Charles Gibson asserted that "one of the people asking questions today about the U.S. mission was the Secretary General of the United Nations." ABC's Martha Raddatz proposed: "Critics say the Bush administration's biggest mistake was assuming that the jubilation expressed when Baghdad fell would continue, that the opposition would simply disappear. When crime and violence did begin to spread, the administration downplayed it."
But in the very next story, Mike Von Fremd in Baghdad found Iraqi revulsion against the terrorists: "If the motive of this terrorist attack was to win support in the hearts and minds of the average Iraqi, the terrorists may have selected the wrong target."
Over on CBS, anchor John Roberts declared: "Iraqis' deepening resentment toward the U.S. military occupation, terrorist-style bombings in Baghdad, and a surge of attacks by suspected Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. This is not at all the way the Bush administration had it figured."
Reporter Mark Phillips then ran through setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan and, without considering that maybe not enough time has passed to make grand conclusions, or that killing the terrorists may have been the key goal, not creating a stable nation, then decreed: "Where the U.S. has violently unseated hostile regimes, chaos and blood, not security and democracy, have been the result."
To support his premise, Phillips used two supposed experts who were clearly hostile to the U.S. One newspaper editor argued: "The occupation of Iraq was a God gift to Osama bin Laden and to al-Qaeda." And a guy with a Web site which calls the 9/11 terrorists "the magnificent 19" argued: "What the American governments have done in Iraq and in Afghanistan has been the best recruitment message for organizations like al-Qaeda, and the fact that operations are increasing is an indication that they are not dismantled."
Full rundowns of the August 20 ABC and CBS stories taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Charles Gibson announced: "The bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad has already increased pressure on the Bush administration, and one of the people asking questions today about the U.S. mission was the Secretary General of the United Nations. Here's ABC's Martha Raddatz."
Raddatz began: "The Secretary General was specific, saying there had been insufficient planning and inaccurate assumptions going into Iraq."
ABC then went to Mike von Fremd in Baghdad who found that Iraqis don't blame the U.S. and are mad at the terrorists: "If the motive of this terrorist attack was to win support in the hearts and minds of the average Iraqi, the terrorists may have selected the wrong target. The greatest anger expressed today came from the Iraqis in the cafes and shops. 'This is wrong, this is wrong,' this man says. 'The UN building belongs to Iraq.' 'If we don't get rid of these people, we won't have stability,' this Iraqi added. 'We must use force against the terrorists.' The U.S. military is determined to do just that."
-- CBS Evening News. Anchor John Roberts stressed the negative: "Iraqis' deepening resentment toward the U.S. military occupation, terrorist-style bombings in Baghdad, and a surge of attacks by suspected Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. This is not at all the way the Bush administration had it figured. Our veteran CBS News foreign correspondent Mark Phillips has a 'Reality Check' tonight."
Phillips contended: "The ideas were simple: use power to fix politics. In Afghanistan, destroy the regime that had harbored the terrorists who launched 9/11. In Iraq, destroy a threatening regime and something better will emerge to take its place. Not only that, but the exercise of American power would serve as a lesson to others harboring unfriendly thoughts -- Iran maybe, or Syria. Not to mention Palestinian suicide bombers attacking Israel. That was the plan. This is the reality. [Over video of bombed buildings] Where the U.S. has violently unseated hostile regimes, chaos and blood, not security and democracy, have been the result. While Iraq has been seething, more than 90 people have been killed this week in Afghanistan's forgotten war and a resurgent campaign by the Taliban and al-Qaeda."
Another round of looniness from left-wing activist/actress Janeane Garofalo as the co-host in the left chair on CNN's Crossfire this week. On Monday she held the Bush administration "responsible" for the blackout. On Wednesday afternoon she blamed the Bush team for the terrorist attack on the UN hotel: "It is the Bush/Cheney cartel's fault for this."
Railing against the Bush administration's efforts to pass and now argue in favor of the benefits of the Patriot Act, Garofalo raised Nazism. Playing off how George W. Bush is the 43rd President, she charged: "It is in fact a conspiracy of the 43rd Reich."
In between, she contended that the war in Iraq "was an attempt at a corporate takeover. This was about oil. It wasn't about human rights. It's not about human rights." And she spewed: "Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be."
Some highlights of Garofalo's rants during the "Political Alert" segment at the top of the August 20 Crossfire at 4:30pm EDT:
Co-host Tucker Carlson: "Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham is making up for his lack of personality with an oversupply of vehemence. After yesterday's truck bombing at the UN's Baghdad headquarters, Graham put out a statement saying quote, 'Had the president pursued the war on terrorism prior to initiating military action against Saddam Hussein, as I advocated last year, it's likely that al Qaeda and other terrorist networks would not have been able to take advantage of the chaos that now exists in Baghdad,' end quote.
Garofalo set up the next topic: "This summer's hottest and most pandering concert tour is U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's 'Scare the dopes and promote the Patriot Act' tour. Today, he took the tour today to Cleveland and Philadelphia. This is an elaborate pre-campaign commercial, not an honest effort to explain why government agencies need to withhold any information we might need to function as a democracy. The Bush administration wants to expand its powers of surveillance over your life, while simultaneously rolling back the Freedom of Information Act. Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be."
CNN deserves some criticism for giving someone as far out as Garofalo a credible spot on one of their shows.
An item in the August 19 CyberAlert recounted how Garofalo contended on Monday's Crossfire that "the majority of people in Iraq and Afghanistan no longer see us as liberators, but as occupiers and trespassers." The now-blonde Garofalo also held the Bush administration "responsible" for the blackout. In a diatribe delivered back in June, Garofalo charged that "the dumb and the mean love patriotism." She impugned conservatives: "What you have now is people that are closet racists, misogynists, homophobes and people who love tilted playing field and the politics of exclusion identifying as conservative." See: www.mediaresearch.org
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Tuesday night raised the specter of Vietnam as he plugged an upcoming segment: "Critics of the war said it would turn into a quagmire like Vietnam. Did today's events start to make them right?"
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth caught how Olbermann, on his Countdown show on Tuesday night, proposed to retired Colonel Sam Gardiner of the Air War College: "Before this war began, it's opponents said -- and some of them were hounded into silence for saying so -- that Iraq had the potential to become a 21st century version of Vietnam. Is the comparison valid? Is it more valid today than it was three months ago?"
Horror of horrors, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is "trying to restore morality." Interviewing Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday's Good Morning America about his defiance of a federal court order to remove, from the Alabama state court building, a stone monument rendition of the Ten Commandments, ABC's Robin Roberts charged: "Some would also say that you're trying to restore morality and that you are forcing your agenda upon people."
CNN's Aaron Brown raised the claim that Moore's defiance is the equivalent of George Wallace's defiance, a Governor who used the power of the state to oppress a class of citizens, sometimes violently. Brown suggested the current battle is "in some respects a replay of what we saw in Alabama a generation and a half ago, when the Governor defied a federal court order on segregation, which he said was unlawful."
The questions from Roberts, on the August 20 Good Morning America, to Moore in Montgomery, as taken down by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
-- "Mr. Chief Justice, as you know, the deadline is looming. You have a two-and-a-half-ton monument that a federal judge says must go. Are you going to follow that court order?"
-- "Chief Justice, why are you so adamant about keeping this monument?"
-- "You bring up the Alabama Constitution, and according to Article I, Section III, it says that 'no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination or mode of worship' and that 'no one shall be compelled by law to pay any taxes or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship.' So some would say that you're going against the Constitution. You're saying that you're upholding it."
-- After Moore noted that the federal court building has a statue of a Greek Goddess: "You bring up a lot of good points and there have been many people that are in favor of what you are doing -- there have been a number of protests -- but some would also say that you're trying to restore morality and that you are forcing your agenda upon people."
Wednesday night on CNN's NewsNight, anchor Aaron Brown set up a session with Moore: "Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is the living embodiment of the phrase 'lightning rod' tonight. We have the e-mail to prove it. His fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument right where it is in the state judicial building has brought out two vastly different opinions. Some believe he is a brave defender of Christian values, others think he's a dangerous force trying to bring down the wall between church and state. Whichever he is, we will leave that for others, he finds himself in a place no judge can possibly relish, perhaps about to defy the law."
After Moore made it quite clear he will not remove the monument, Brown challenged him: "There's a number of things have been said, a goodly number of things have been said today. Let me throw a few of them at you. One is that this is, in some respects, a replay of what we saw in Alabama a generation and a half ago, when the governor defied a federal court order on segregation, which he said was unlawful. Can you tell me why you view this as different, if in fact you view it as different, from what Governor Wallace did?"
Brown countered: "Don't we also, all of us, stand for the rule of law? And, in this case, the rule of law has come from every federal court that has looked at this, and they have ruled against you. How in good conscience can a judge defy the court?"
CNN reporter Kelly Wallace praised Arnold Schwarzenegger for how "he showed some savvy as a politician, refusing to make a no new taxes pledge."
Though Schwarzenegger, at his Wednesday press conference, declared that "I'm very much a believer that the people of this state have not been under-taxed" and that "I am in principle against taxes because I feel the people of California have been taxed enough," on CNN's NewsNight Wallace was much more pleased that he left an escape hatch for his hostility to taxes in the case of an emergency, such as a terrorist attack.
Wallace reported from Los Angeles on the August 20 NewsNight: "Criticized for being short on specifics, the actor turned politician for the first time said what he would do to try and pull California's budget out of the red.
According to Washington Post reporter/columnist David Broder, "realism" always means raising taxes. In an August 20 column written from the National Governor's Association conference in Indianapolis, Broder lavished praise on two Republican Governors, South Carolina's Mark Sanford and Alabama's Bob Riley, for showing the "courage" to do exactly the opposite of what conservatives would prescribe for a weak economy: Raise taxes.
Broder has a long record of using his position to denounce tax cuts and advocate for tax hikes.
[Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Research, submitted this item for CyberAlert.]
"Unlike President Bush, who has allowed budget deficits to spin out of sight and prescribed tax cuts as the chief remedy for what ails the economy, Sanford and Riley have chosen a different -- and more difficult -- course," Broder gushed. "It is ironic to see the anti-tax sentiment emanating from Washington confronted by conscientious Republican governors. But you have to admire their courage -- and their realism."
While Broder equated the two Governors, Riley seems to be the real big taxer. Sanford's plan was to raise cigarette taxes while lowering income tax rates. Even though Broder loved the idea, the "Republican-controlled legislature wouldn't agree," so Sanford will have to "try again next year." Riley wants Alabama voters to support a $1.2 billion tax increase in a referendum next month. That measure is behind in the polls but, Broder noted, Riley's tax hike plan "has found allies in...newspaper editorial page editors."
Here's the relevant portion of Broder's latest tax-increase advocacy, "Conservative Governors With Tax Appeals." An excerpt:
When they were colleagues in the House of Representatives, it was hard to find two more conservative Republicans than Bob Riley of Alabama and Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Both of them decided to run for governor in their home states in 2002 and both defeated the Democrats who were seeking second terms.
And that meant that both of them inherited the same kind of budget woes that afflict almost all the states -- the byproduct of a long economic slump that has sapped tax revenue at the same time that Medicaid costs have been running out of control.
Their response has not been what you would expect. Unlike President Bush, who has allowed budget deficits to spin out of sight and prescribed tax cuts as the chief remedy for what ails the economy, Sanford and Riley have chosen a different -- and more difficult -- course.
Sanford -- a businessman and term-limits advocate who chose to leave the House in 2000 after serving six years -- remarked in an interview during the summer meeting of the National Governors Association here that "no one was further out than I was in Congress when it came to [cutting] taxes. But I still proposed raising cigarette taxes" to bolster the state's Medicaid funds.
He cushioned the blow by coupling the immediate 53-cents-a-pack increase with a provision that would eventually reduce state income tax rates to a level closer to the average for southeastern states. But the immediate effect would have been felt in the wallets of South Carolinians.
What turned tax-cutter Sanford into a tax booster? The realities of budget-making, which is to say, a crash course in the role of government in people's lives....
Riley faces even tougher odds in a Sept. 9 Alabama referendum on a much bolder plan this businessman-politician pushed through the first session of his legislature. Facing a $675 million budget gap, he decided to increase the stakes by seeking to raise $1.2 billion and reform the whole state tax structure in the process.
His argument, Riley said in a telephone interview (campaigning on the referendum prevented him from attending the conference here), is that it made no sense to seek just enough new revenue to maintain the status quo -- a status quo that means inadequate schools, overcrowded jails and lagging social services. His goal, he said, is to do for Alabama what "New South" governors such as North Carolina's Terry Sanford began doing for their states a half-century ago: Prepare his people for a modern economy.... It is ironic to see the anti-tax sentiment emanating from Washington confronted by conscientious Republican governors. But you have to admire their courage -- and their realism.
END of Excerpt
To read the entire column: www.washingtonpost.com
In his July 24, 2002 Post column, headlined "A Time to Face Fiscal Reality," Broder demanded that Congress reduce Bush's tax cuts: "The overriding question -- the one that dwarfs everything else -- is what to do about the huge tax cut that Bush pushed through Congress back when those mythical budget surpluses were still clouding most people's vision....Bush has been adamant in rejecting a rollback or even a delay in the tax cut -- virtually all of which will go to the highest-income voters. His House Republican allies, seeking short-term political gain at the expense of long-term fiscal sanity, have been staging votes to make the tax cuts permanent." For more on that, go to: www.mrc.org
Right after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Broder's first suggestion was to void the tax cut, which he again called "realism." In his September 13, 2001 column Broder wrote: "Assembling that broad coalition...has to be our top diplomatic priority now. If that means heeding their arguments for postponing deployment of a theoretically workable missile defense system against a theoretical 'rogue nation' missile threat, then that is what realism requires of Bush....And if the price for [a] short-term budget deal is suspension of the long-term tax cut Bush pushed through when the economy and the world situation looked far different -- a tax cut that threatens the future viability of Social Security -- that too would be a victory for realism."
And back in 1997, he scolded a Democratic governor for failing to raise taxes, asking "are the kids not worth have a sales tax?" Addressing then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on the February 2, 1997 Meet the Press, Broder challenged her to be more liberal: "Governor Shaheen, you've said that you want kindergarten available for every child in your state. And you're proposing to finance it with higher cigarette taxes and more gambling in the state. I guess you have to do that because you've locked yourself away from calling for any sales tax or income tax in New Hampshire. Are the kids not worth having a sales tax or an income tax?"
For more on that display, go to: www.mrc.org
Hunting scenes marred a movie for the Today show crew as Gene Shalit referred to hunting as "mankind's stupidity" and Matt Lauer and Ann Curry expressed reticence to let their kids see the documentary about migrating birds because of the hunting scenes in it. "Might have to edit that," Lauer suggested.
During a review of a documentary titled, Winged Migration, on the August 20 Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Shalit described how the film followed flocks of migrating birds: "For three years and 40 countries and all seven continents filming from every perch and flying contraption, often gliding along with the birds some 450 participants of surpassing skill and patience recorded this ethereal migration."
But then speaking over footage of birds being shot by hunters, Shalit charged: "And then it's upward and onward challenged by mountainous hazards, mankind's stupidity, sub-zero weather and yet most make it to safe haven."
After Shalit finished, Lauer, referring to his toddler son expressed revulsion at the hunting scenes: "We were just saying I've got to take Jack to go see that and then I saw that little hunting scene and thought-"
The movie, originally released in French in 2001 as Le Peuple Migrateur, is described by the Internet Movie Database as a "documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents." See: www.imdb.com
For a trailer clip about the documentary: www.imdb.com
-- Brent Baker