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Battle Against Terrorism a Failure, Leads to "Chaos and Blood" --8/21/2003


1. Battle Against Terrorism a Failure, Leads to "Chaos and Blood"
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 policy in Iraq and war on terrorism. 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 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 a guy with a Web site which calls the 9/11 terrorists "the magnificent 19."

2. Garofalo on Bush: "It Is...a Conspiracy of the 43rd Reich"
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 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 spewed: "Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be."

3. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Dubs Iraq as "21st Century Vietnam"
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?"

4. Fear Judge "Trying to Restore Morality," Equating Him to Wallace
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.

5. CNN Lauds Arnold for "Savvy" of Rejecting "No New Taxes Pledge"
CNN reporter Kelly Wallace praised Arnold Schwarzenegger for how, at his Wednesday press conference, "he showed some savvy as a politician, refusing to make a no new taxes pledge."

6. For David Broder, "Realism" Always Means Raising Taxes
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.

7. Hunting Scenes Mar Film for Today Crew, "Mankind's Stupidity"
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.


Battle Against Terrorism a Failure, Leads
to "Chaos and Blood"

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."
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General: "I don't want to get into finger pointing, but I think we are all aware that along the way, mistakes have been made by all concerned."
Raddatz: "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."
Donald Rumsfeld, April 11: "To move from a repressed dictatorial regime to something that's freer, we've seen in that transition period there's untidiness."
Raddatz: "Rick Barton was part of an independent Pentagon assessment team that recently traveled to Iraq. He says the administration has consistently underestimated the task of rebuilding Iraq. Barton says U.S. troops need to be reconfigured."
Rick Barton, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project: "They need to be more visible, they need to be more in the community, they need to be on the beat. We have to give the average Iraqi a feeling that they can dial 911 and there'll be somebody there to save them, to protect them."
Raddatz: "Senator John McCain, who was in Iraq today, says there will be hearings next month to see if the number of troops in Iraq is sufficient."
Senator John McCain (R-AZ): "After an event like this, you have to evaluate whether we have enough people and if we have the right kind of people and whether we are spending enough money."
Raddatz: "But today Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on a trip to Honduras, fought any suggestion that additional troops were needed."
Donald Rumsfeld: "At the moment, the conclusion of the responsible military officials is that the force levels are where they should be."
Raddatz concluded: "Secretary Rumsfeld says what is important now, Charlie, is for the rebuilding and the security to be turned over to the Iraqis themselves."

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."
Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor of Al-Quds newspaper: "The occupation of Iraq was a God gift to Osama bin Laden and to al-Qaeda."
Phillips: "Abdel Bari Atwan, a newspaper editor who has interviewed bin Laden, sees parallels between Iraq and Afghanistan."
Atwan: "So what's what Americans have achieved? Absolutely nothing. Actually they achieved hatred among the Afghani people and among the Iraqi people."
Phillips: "And hatred further afield than that. Anjem Choudary is the leader of an Islamic militant group which denies links to al-Qaeda, but whose Web site today called the 9/11 hijackers 'the magnificent nineteen.'"
Anjem Choudary, Al-Muhajiroun: "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."
Phillips concluded: "And the increased belligerence of America's enemies has led to calls for an appropriate response, that the U.S. beef up its effort, increase troop numbers, and put those troops back on a combat footing because it's now more clear than ever that this war is not over. Mark Phillips, CBS News, London."

Garofalo on Bush: "It Is...a Conspiracy
of the 43rd Reich"

Janeane Garofalo 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.
"In other words, yesterday's tragedy was the President's fault. Only Bob Graham could have prevented it. The moral of the story: No event, not one, is so tragic that it can't be turned into a political opportunity for a presidential candidate. That's axiomatic. Everybody knows that. But it's still revolting, I have to say, to see it."
Garofalo: "Well, I would say that he is partially right. I blame the President. I blame the media cheerleaders, I blame the pseudo patriots. Iraq was not the threat."
Carlson: "Wait. What about the terrorists who did it?"
Garofalo: "You just did a whole read-through. The lie that brought us into war was that Iraq was a threat to us. Well, now it is a threat. Now it is a terrorist hotbed. The fiction is now reality. And now we have to deal with it. It was an attempt at a corporate takeover. This was about oil. It wasn't about human rights. It's not about human rights.
Carlson: "Terrorists just murdered innocent UN peacekeepers."
Garofalo: "Yes, they did. Yes, they did."
Carlson: "And you're blaming the President, the media and corporations."
Garofalo: "I am blaming the occupation that the terrorists are resisting."
Carlson, waving arm as if to bring her in from far left field: "Come on home, Janeane. You're out there."
Garofalo, to cheers from the audience at George Washington University: "You're politicizing it. And it is the Bush/Cheney cartel's fault for this."

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."
Carlson, after applause for Garofalo's line: "You know what? Statements like that just show -- and I mean no offense by this -- but how out of it the left is. There's actually a lot to criticize about John Ashcroft, his total mishandling of the anthrax investigation, for instance, blaming a potentially innocent man, etcetera. But instead, you hear all this whining, nonspecific whining, about the Patriot Act, which passed with complete bipartisan support. Nobody ever points to anything specific in it. It's just, oh, our civil liberties are gone."
Garofalo: "OK, first of all, the Patriot Act passed in the fear of the aftermath of 9/11. It was passed very hastily. It was passed without any congressional scrutiny, because this administration operates like a private corporation, no public oversight, no congressional scrutiny."
Carlson: "What are you talking about?"
Garofalo: "Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. You have to live here, too, Tucker. And you pretend. And you've got to live with this, too."
Carlson, mocking her: "It is a conspiracy, Janeane. I agree with that. We're powerless, not really a democracy."
Garofalo, at same time as Carlson and in a comment missed by the CNN transcribers for the posted transcript: "It is in fact a conspiracy of the 43rd Reich."
Carlson, ridiculing her: "It's like Apollo 13. There was no moon landing. That's tomorrow's show!"

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 Dubs Iraq as
"21st Century Vietnam"

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?"

Fear Judge "Trying to Restore Morality,"
Equating Him to Wallace

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."
Moore: "I am recognizing the basis of our morality which is in God and the basis of our country. Indeed, we're a nation founded upon God. If we can't acknowledge God then how can we put our national motto 'In God We Trust' or how can the courts open with 'May God save the United States this honorable court'? Indeed, the question before this country is can this state and can this nation acknowledge the God upon which it is founded and upon which our laws are predicated?"
Roberts: "The judge say it's alright for you to do that in your own office, that if you move the monument or you want to do that in your own office that's fine, but you don't want to do that."

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?"
Moore explained: "Oh, it's far different from what Wallace did. Wallace stood in the doorway to keep people out. We're trying to keep God in. Wallace stood for division. We're standing for unity. This is more like what Martin Luther King did in standing for rights for the people of Alabama and the people across this nation. Our rights come from God, and if we do not acknowledge God, we do not know where our rights come from. Indeed, we stand for the proposition that all men are created equal because they're 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' So we're standing for the law."

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?"
Moore: "OK, the rule of law is not what a court says. It is the written statutory law, whether it be the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' or the constitution of the state of Alabama, which acknowledges God..."

CNN Lauds Arnold for "Savvy" of Rejecting
"No New Taxes Pledge"

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.
Schwarzenegger: "Now, does this mean we are going to make cuts? Yes. Does this mean that education is on the table? No. Does this mean I'm willing to raise taxes? No."
Wallace: "He showed some savvy as a politician, refusing to make a no new taxes pledge."
Schwarzenegger: "We can never say never no."
Wallace: "But he refused to say what programs he would cut."

For David Broder, "Realism" Always Means
Raising Taxes

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

Equating tax increases with good government is a familiar mantra for Broder, a columnist who is also a top political reporter for the Post. Back on June 1, Broder belittled Bush's tax cuts during an appearance on NBC' Meet the Press, declaring: "Something got screwed up in terms of your priorities if you think it's more important to get rid of the dividend tax than it is to take care of 11 million kids." For more on that episode, check: www.mrc.org

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 Mar Film for Today Crew,
"Mankind's Stupidity"

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-"
Curry: "Don't think he's gonna like that. My kids otherwise would like it too. Thumbs up from us."
Lauer: "Might have to edit that."

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