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Brokaw Rues Missing Bad News, Shriver Shows "Clenched Teeth" --9/1/2004


1. Brokaw Rues Missing Bad News, Shriver Shows "Clenched Teeth"
Republican schedulers, by filling virtually all of the 10pm EDT hour with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Bush daughters and Laura Bush, allowed the broadcast networks barely three minutes for end of the hour analysis. ABC used it to heap praise on Schwarzenegger's performance before Peter Jennings reminded viewers that Rudy Giuliani had likened the GOP's future to the Yankees which, Jennings pointed out, lost 22 to 0 on Tuesday night. NBC's Tom Brokaw ended on a sour note as he stressed how "things are not going well in many parts of the world for the United States. Despite the speeches tonight of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush, this is a very difficult time in Iraq, the war on terrorism is an uncertain trumpet." On a more humorous note, moments earlier Brian Williams related how NBC News reporter Maria Shriver showed "clenched teeth" in displaying her displeasure when her young son held up a "Four More Years" sign.

2. CNN: Bush Loss Means GOP "Too Far Right," Rue Moderate Hesitancy
CNN reporters were none too happy Tuesday about how the Republicans are hiding their true conservative selves which would prove a ballot box turn off. On Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff asked: "Can the Republicans get away with putting these moderate speakers up there?" If Bush loses, "many would conclude," CNN political analyst Bill Schneider yearned, that "just maybe the Party went too far to the right." At the end of the night, Aaron Brown lamented that the speeches delivered by the supposed moderates "weren't moderate." Schneider agreed, regretting: "They offered no challenge to the conservative ascendency in the party."

3. MSNBC Sees Conflict Between "Compassion" and Gay Marriage Ban
MSNBC on Tuesday night delivered a classic illustration of the media's bias in treating conservative stands as out of the mainstream and a turn off while not challenging advocates of a liberal, or at least antithetical to traditional conservatives, position. Campbell Brown empathized with the head of the Log Cabin Republicans about how "you're now in a situation where the language [against same-sex marriage] is even tougher in the platform than was originally planned. What can you do about that?" But 90 minutes later, Chris Jansing challenged a GOP leader from Oregon: "We are at a convention where tonight the theme is compassion and we're talking about banning gay marriage. Is that a compassionate stance?" Jansing demanded to know: "But does this issue hurt you with moderate Republicans and with those swing voters?" Plus, Newsweek's Jonathan Meacham compared GOP efforts to hide conservatives to Operation Fortitude in World War II.

4. NBC Blames Conservatives for Alienating Log Cabin Republicans
"What you won't see from the stage tonight is the unhappiness of some of these delegates over the party's platform on gay marriage and civil unions," NBC's Tom Brokaw predicted on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News in publicizing a complaint from liberal Republicans. Brokaw warned that "gay Republicans here who had been supporting President Bush now are reconsidering." Reporter Campbell Brown noted that the "party's conservatives say" the party's showcasing of moderates "is a slap to the people most important to the President's re-election." But she soon blamed those conservatives for "the convention's nastiest battle," over same sex marriage, which has alienated gay Republicans who claim "the President is putting his re-election at risk by taking the votes of one million gay Republicans for granted."

5. Brokaw Tells Moderate: "You Have No Place in This Convention"
Tom Brokaw stated as fact Tuesday afternoon to Maine Senator Susan Collins that as a "moderate" woman "you have no place in this convention" and "the platform does not seem to speak to a lot of women in this country" because "it's anti-abortion, it does not expand stem-cell research." He pressed her on his 4pm EDT MSNBC program, Brokaw in New York: "Do you think that this platform and this party is doing enough to reach out to moderate women across the country?"

6. ABC: Bush "Surrogates" Spreading False Charges Against Kerry
Network disgust, with a few delegates sporting purple heart shapes on bandages, was reiterated Tuesday on CNN and expanded to ABC and NBC. CNN's John King confronted Karl Rove with how "those band aids were distributed by a conservative you know well" and critics say "this is proof" that "Karl Rove's friends and minions are out doing the dirty work." ABC's Peter Jennings reminded Rove of his friendship with the creator of the band aids and wanted to know if he approved. Earlier on World News Tonight, Jake Tapper highlighted how delegates "mocked John Kerry's three Purple Hearts" and suggested an unsavory strategy: "While the President praises Kerry's service, surrogates give the story more media attention by giving credence to the anti-Kerry veterans' stories which are disputed by Navy records." Time's Joe Klein insisted that Rove is involved in the swift boat activities. NBC's Brian Williams stressed how non-veterans wore the Kerry-mocking bandages.

7. ABC's Snow Suggests Anti-"Girlie Men" Button Will Offend Some
The purple heart bandages weren't the only displays on delegates to upset some reporters. Another button caught the attention of ABC's Kate Snow: "Girlie Men" with a red line through it, a la an anti-smoking sign. At about 8:45pm EDT during Tuesday night coverage on the limited distribution ABC News Now channel, Snow confronted a California delegate who was wearing the button inspired by a quip from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in scolding Democrats blocking his budget plan: "A lot of people were offended by that. Are you worried your button's going to offend anybody?"

8. CBS Frets About How GOP Stars Overwhelm Democratic Spin
CBS fretted Tuesday night that Democratic spin is being overwhelmed by Republican star power. "The Democrats created a fast-response team," Dan Rather noted, but, he worried, "it may be a case of too little, too late." Jim Axelrod whined: "In the war of message and messengers, it just doesn't seem like a fair fight. George Bush has some of the nation's most popular politicians, moderate Republicans" Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger "delivering a sweeping prime time message" while "the Democrats answer with Tom Vilsack." Axelrod pleaded: "Is there anyone who can compete with Rudy or McCain or Schwarzenegger?"

9. Hosts of ABC's The View Gang Up on Giuliani for Backing Bush
Rudy Giuliani received a hostile reception Tuesday morning from three of the four hosts of ABC's daytime show, The View. Former Good Morning America staffer Joy Behar ridiculed Giuliani for claiming that the first thing he said after the 9/11 attacks was "thank God" George W. Bush "was our President" and she insisted that "of course" Al Gore would have been just as "tough" on terrorism. Star Jones, a former NBC News reporter, proved she doesn't understand the fundamental premise of the Bush doctrine as she revealed she thinks his "you're either with us or with the terrorists" formulation applied to whether U.S. citizens back Bush's policies, not to whether nations are on our side in battling terrorism. She lectured Giuliani: "Don't question people's patriotism because they don't believe in the war...That's not American!" Former CBS News correspondent Meredith Vieira was similarly ignorant as she defended Star and scolded Giuliani.


Brokaw Rues Missing Bad News, Shriver
Shows "Clenched Teeth"

NBC's Tom Brokaw Republican schedulers, by filling virtually all of the 10pm EDT hour with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Bush daughters and Laura Bush, allowed the broadcast networks barely three minutes for end of the hour analysis. ABC used it to heap praise on Schwarzenegger's performance before Peter Jennings reminded viewers that Rudy Giuliani had likened the GOP's future to the Yankees which, Jennings pointed out, lost 22 to 0 on Tuesday night. NBC's Tom Brokaw ended on a sour note as he stressed how "things are not going well in many parts of the world for the United States. Despite the speeches tonight of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush, this is a very difficult time in Iraq, the war on terrorism is an uncertain trumpet."

On a more humorous note, moments earlier NBC's Brian Williams related how NBC News reporter Maria Shriver, whom he did not identify as being with NBC News, showed "clenched teeth" in displaying her displeasure when her young son held up a "Four More Years" sign as his father and her husband, Schwarzenegger, championed George W. Bush. From the podium at about 10:58pm EDT, Williams passed along:
"Perhaps the small story of the night from our vantage point -- we could see the family box where the youngest Schwarzenegger child kept raising a sign and waving it that said 'Four More Years.' And if you're a parent you know how to discipline a child through clinched teeth. That's what Democratic mom Maria Shriver was doing throughout."

CBS's Dan Rather offered only a few words after Laura Bush wrapped up at about 10:56pm EDT, with CBS going to commercials before local news began. ABC and NBC provided about three minutes of comment.

Earlier, following Schwarzenegger's 10pm speech, Stephanopoulos gushed on ABC: "He helped President Bush tonight, Arnold Schwarzenegger did, but he probably helped himself even more. This was his debut on the national stage as a national politician. He was principled, he was patriotic, it was a muscular delivery. And it was relentlessly optimistic. Everything you want in a politician."

Later, just before 11pm EDT, ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin checked in from the platform and praised Schwarzenegger's political abilities: "Arnold Schwarzenegger has only been in politics for just about a year. And I mean no disrespect to the film classic Twins or to Kindergarten Cop, but I think he's already shown he's a better politician than he ever was an actor."

Jennings wrapped up the ABC broadcast network hour: "The one thing we'll leave you with tonight was what Giuliani said last night. He, being a great New York Yankees fan, said the Republican Party's future was like the Yankees'. Maybe a little glib to conclude with, but tonight the Yankees got beaten by Cleveland 22 to nothing."

Over on NBC just before 11pm EDT, Tom Brokaw kvetched: "The fact is we're required to point out here that things are not going well in many parts of the world for the United States. Despite the speeches tonight of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush, this is a very difficult time in Iraq, the war on terrorism is an uncertain trumpet. The President said just over the weekend we don't know whether we can win it, then today saying that we can win it. But part of the big place of the convention of course is to be optimistic and set a vision for the future."

CNN: Bush Loss Means GOP "Too Far Right,"
Rue Moderate Hesitancy

CNN reporters were none too happy Tuesday about how the Republicans are hiding their true conservative selves which would prove a ballot box turn off. On Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff asked: "Can the Republicans get away with putting these moderate speakers up there?" If Bush loses, "many would conclude," CNN political analyst Bill Schneider yearned, that "just maybe the Party went too far to the right." At the end of the night, Aaron Brown lamented that the speeches delivered by the supposed moderates "weren't moderate." Schneider agreed, regretting: "They offered no challenge to the conservative ascendency in the party."

On a 90-minute Inside Politics from 3-4:30pm EDT, Woodruff tossed up this as her final question to Peter Beinart, Editor of The New Republic, Liz Marlantes of the Christian Science Monitor and National Review's Jonah Goldberg:
"Last question, cut right to the core. Can the Republicans get away with putting these moderate speakers up there and saying, 'Hey, we're really more moderate than what a lot of people say we are'?"

All agreed they could given the post-9/11 climate where terrorism trumps domestic policy.

Closing a report on Schwarzenegger's moderate Republicanism, Bill Schneider, the MRC's Jessica Anderson observed, argued: "The market for Schwarzenegger's philosophy would be a lot bigger if Bush loses. Then Republicans would be forced to examine what went wrong, and many would conclude maybe, just maybe the Party went too far to the right."
Judy Woodruff: "But if Bush wins, it'll be a different story."
Schneider: "A very different story."

Many hours later, during a 11pm EDT NewsNight, Aaron Brown asked Schneider, as tracked down by MRC analyst Ken Shepherd: "One of the things you and I have talked about as we've sat and watched this is, there's a lot of talk from people like us about the moderates this, and moderates that. And in some respects, I suppose, you'd say Rudy Giuliani is a moderate, he had a prime time role. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a moderate, he had a prime time role. They weren't moderate speeches."
Schneider: "No, that's exactly right. These are, they featured all these self-described moderates who do differ with the party line and with the President and with the Vice President on the hot button issues of abortion, gay rights, gun control, stem cell research, but they didn't talk about those issues. In the past, when moderates got up at a convention like Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey or Bill Weld of Massachusetts, they would state their position, they would talk about centrist policies, the need to return the Republican Party to the mainstream or at least talk about a big tent. None of them really talked about that much very much, instead it was a ringing affirmation of conservative policies. They offered no challenge to the conservative ascendency in the party."
Brown: "Which tells you what?"
Schneider: "Which tells me that they are speaking on the conservatives' terms, they are there to reinforce the message that everybody, even those who disagree with Bush, are supposed to support George Bush. There is no conflict in this party. There's no conflict and there's no news at this convention. Which is bad news for us, I suppose, but, you know, a political party holding a convention doesn't want to make news."

The lack on intra-GOP conflict hasn't inhibited journalists from trying to create one.

MSNBC Sees Conflict Between "Compassion"
and Gay Marriage Ban

MSNBC on Tuesday night delivered a classic illustration of the media's bias in treating conservative stands as out of the mainstream and a turn off while not challenging advocates of a liberal, or at least antithetical to traditional conservatives, position. Campbell Brown empathized with the head of the Log Cabin Republicans about how "you're now in a situation where the language [against same-sex marriage] is even tougher in the platform than was originally planned. What can you do about that?" But 90 minutes later, Chris Jansing challenged a GOP leader from Oregon: "We are at a convention where tonight the theme is compassion and we're talking about banning gay marriage. Is that a compassionate stance?" Jansing demanded to know: "But does this issue hurt you with moderate Republicans and with those swing voters, especially in your state?"

Plus, to the approval of Chris Matthews, Newsweek's Jonathan Meacham compared GOP efforts to hide conservatives to Operation Fortitude in World War II.

MRC analyst Geoff Dickens noticed that at about 8:13pm EDT, following Elizabeth Dole's address which championed conservative social values, MSNBC host Chris Matthews went to Campbell Brown on the floor: "I'm with Patrick Guerriero who is president of the Log Cabin Republicans. We just heard some very strong words from Elizabeth Dole tonight. Tell me what you thought of what she had to say."

Brown empathized: "But you are not able to challenge the platform and in fact given Vice President Cheney's comments last week that his position was in fact different than the platform's and President Bush's. You're now in a situation where the language is even tougher in the platform than was originally planned. What can you do about that? Are you gonna endorse this president given what the language says?"

At about 9:42pm EDT, Matthews tossed it to Chris Jansing on the floor: "I'm with Kevin Mannix. He is the head of the Republican Party in Oregon, one of five states that opponents of gay marriage were able to get an initiative on the ballot. Thanks very much for joining us. There are moderates in your party who say, here we are at a convention where tonight the theme is compassion and we're talking about banning gay marriage. Is that a compassionate stance?"

Jansing pounded away: "But does this issue hurt you with moderate Republicans and with those swing voters, especially in your state?" And: "Democrats say in Oregon they believe it will energize the base there and in fact turn off swing voters from the Republican Party."

Her last question: "Key speaker tonight California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger disagrees with your position on gay marriage. What do you think he brings to this convention?"

In between those two interviews, Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham, at the table with Matthews at MSNBC's outdoor set up in Herald Square, proposed the most strained metaphor of the night:
"You do see this as sort of like Operation Fortitude. Remember the great Allied mission in 1944 to convince the Germans that we're gonna go across at Calais and so they built these fake camps up there while we're gonna go at Normandy. There's the moderate Operation Fortitude going on-"
Matthews: "But you believe that as Pat Buchanan would say this is a cross-dressing operation here."
Meacham: "It's, it's an unfortunate metaphor given what we were just talking about, but yeah."
Matthews: "I like Operation Fortitude better so let's go with that. That was the one where George Patton was given a phony army."
Meacham: "Right because the Germans couldn't believe they wouldn't let Patton do it. But what you have here at 8 o'clock, not at 10 o'clock but at 8 o'clock is Elizabeth Dole delivering a Jonathan Edwards sermon in a yellow-suit. That was an incredibly red meat speech. It was a sermon."
Matthews: "Who's Jonathan Edwards?"
Meacham: "The great American minister. You know the 'sinner is in the hand of an angry God.' I mean it was the important Puritan message that we, that America was both special and that there was one moral code. And that was clearly what Senator Dole was doing."

NBC Blames Conservatives for Alienating
Log Cabin Republicans

"What you won't see from the stage tonight is the unhappiness of some of these delegates over the party's platform on gay marriage and civil unions," NBC's Tom Brokaw predicted on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News in publicizing a complaint from liberal Republicans. Brokaw warned that "gay Republicans here who had been supporting President Bush now are reconsidering."

Reporter Campbell Brown noted that the "party's conservatives say" the party's showcasing of moderates "is a slap to the people most important to the President's re-election." But she soon blamed those conservatives for "the convention's nastiest battle," over same sex marriage, which has alienated gay Republicans who claim "the President is putting his re-election at risk by taking the votes of one million gay Republicans for granted."

Brokaw set up the August 31 NBC Nightly News story, as checked against the closed captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "What you won't see from the stage tonight is the unhappiness of some of these delegates over the party's platform on gay marriage and civil unions. The platform is firmly against both, and gay Republicans here who had been supporting President Bush now are reconsidering. That story tonight from NBC's Campbell Brown."

Brown explained, in NBC's inexplicable present tense style: "The Republican convention so far featuring moderates who disagree with the President on gay marriage and oppose a constitutional ban. The intended message, that the Republican Party welcomes different views."
John McCain, in convention speech: "We are Americans first, Americans last, and Americans always."
Brown: "But that message, the party's conservatives say, is a slap to the people most important to the President's re-election."
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council: "There's other faces to the party that are not being represented in prime time that represent a majority of the party, that are concerned about the future of the family."
Brown: "Their concerns heightened by Vice President Cheney's comments last week that he has a gay daughter, and even he holds different views on gay marriage than the President."
Dick Cheney: "My general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free, ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to."
Brown: "His remarks prompted conservatives this week to take the party platform language beyond a ban on gay marriage and extend it to any legal recognition of gay partnership. In the process, they've launched what's become the convention's nastiest battle. In a new TV ad, the Log Cabin Republicans, the party's largest gay rights group, threatens the President is putting his re-election at risk by taking the votes of one million gay Republicans for granted."
Patrick Guerriero, Log Cabin Republicans: "The party can't get away with sending mixed messages. The American people expect to find out where this party stands and where this President stands."
Brown: "But privately, Bush campaign sources say the strategy is the opposite. Use the issue to energize the base to vote, with gay marriage on the ballot in as many as eleven states, while keeping moderate Republicans who appeal to undecided voters front and center. A gamble that conventioneers on both sides will opt to stay married to the party, for better or for worse. Campbell Brown, NBC News, New York."

Brokaw Tells Moderate: "You Have No Place
in This Convention"

NBC's Tom Brokaw & Senator Susan Collins Tom Brokaw stated as fact Tuesday afternoon to Maine Senator Susan Collins that as a "moderate" woman "you have no place in this convention" and "the platform does not seem to speak to a lot of women in this country" because "it's anti-abortion, it does not expand stem-cell research." He pressed her on his 4pm EDT MSNBC program, Brokaw in New York: "Do you think that this platform and this party is doing enough to reach out to moderate women across the country?"

Brokaw posed this agenda-laden question to Collins on the August 31 edition of the half-hour show done from NBC's booth in Madison Square Garden, but broadcast on MSNBC:
"You and Olympia Snowe, the other Senator from Maine, are known as moderate Republican women. You have no place in this convention. The platform does not seem to speak to a lot of women in this country. It's anti-abortion, it does not expand stem-cell research, on other social issues in which women have some interest, for example, gay unions, is formally opposed to that. Do you think that this platform and this party is doing enough to reach out to moderate women across the country?"

Collins answered that "we can always improve," but "moderates are playing important roles" at the convention and the GOP welcomes diverse views.

To be fair to Brokaw, when he produced Brokaw in Boston in the same time slot on MSNBC during the Democratic convention, he asked a female Democratic elected official about whether the Kerry/Edwards ticket needed to "pay more attention to" cultural issues -- though he refrained from lecturing her or anyone else about how the Democratic Party had "no place" for anyone.

On the July 26 Brokaw in Boston on MSNBC, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth recalled, Brokaw suggested to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius: "Does this ticket also have to pay more attention to the cultural issues that are important to Kansas, especially in those poor counties, where they may not have a lot of money, but they care deeply about their faith and about guns and about the flag, and they are in opposition to same-sex marriages, which is a big issue in this state?"

ABC: Bush "Surrogates" Spreading False
Charges Against Kerry

Network disgust, with a few delegates sporting purple heart shapes on bandages, was reiterated Tuesday on CNN and expanded to ABC and NBC. CNN's John King confronted Karl Rove with how "those band aids were distributed by a conservative you know well" and critics say "this is proof" that "Karl Rove's friends and minions are out doing the dirty work." ABC's Peter Jennings reminded Rove of his friendship with the creator of the band aids and wanted to know if he approved. Earlier on World News Tonight, Jake Tapper highlighted how delegates "mocked John Kerry's three Purple Hearts" and suggested an unsavory strategy: "While the President praises Kerry's service, surrogates give the story more media attention by giving credence to the anti-Kerry veterans' stories which are disputed by Navy records." On CNN, Time's Joe Klein insisted that Rove is involved in the swift boat activities.

Left unmentioned by Tapper: The Vietnam claims by Kerry which have unraveled or, at the very least, become suspect.

Brian Williams, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, contended that "the emphasis on compassion may have led convention organizers to act to stop a trend among delegates, not all of them veterans, wearing bandages with purple hearts on them, a swipe at Kerry's war record that Democrats angrily answered." NBC then aired a clip from Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel: "This is nothing to play with politically."

(The Tuesday morning CyberAlert recounted how CNN reporters, and George Stephanopoulos on the limited distribution ABC News Now channel, acted aghast Monday night over the customized bandages. For those quotes, plus up close still shots showing the small heart shapes in purple: www.mediaresearch.org)

-- CNN. On Inside Politics in the afternoon, CNN played a lengthy excerpt from a John King interview with Rove, but during the 8pm EDT prime time hour, CNN played back only the portion about the purple hearted bandages and Rove's segue into denouncing the swift boat ads.

King asserted: "Last night on the floor, we had an episode where some delegates were wearing these band-aids with purple hearts on them, and they were mocking the medals given to Senator Kerry. I don't think there's any other way to say it. And those band-aids were distributed by a conservative you know well, Morton Blackwell of Virginia, and many say, well, he was one of your mentors in your prior life and this is proof that, you know, the campaign and the White House say we have nothing to do with this and Karl Rove's friends and minions are out doing the dirty work."

Later, the MRC's Ken Shepherd noticed, during NewsNight in the 11pm EDT hour, Time's Joe Klein turned conspiratorial, telling Aaron Brown: "Well, you know, an old friend of Karl Rove is distributing these disgraceful bandages with purple hearts and another old friend of Karl Rove contributed $200,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans and helped put that group together. At a certain point in all this, you gotta say, 'oh, please, come on.' I mean, this is as clear as clear can be.'"
Brown: "This is walk like a duck, is that what that is?"
Klein: "Yes, I think it's walk like a duck. Or maybe some other animal, I dunno."

-- ABC. From the floor of Madison Square Garden, Jennings introduced a Tuesday World News Tonight piece: "The criticism of Kerry continued on this floor last night."

Tapper began his taped piece by lamenting: "On the first night of the Republican convention, delegates from Virginia and Texas mocked John Kerry's three Purple Hearts."
Male delegate with the bandage on his face, a clip from an interview with George Stephanopoulos run the night before on ABC News Now: "I woke up this morning and I cut myself, so I awarded myself a Purple Heart."
Another male with one of the band aids on his face: "I got a little injury and so I have a purple owie."
Tapper: "This despite President Bush's insistence that he is not questioning John Kerry's service in Vietnam."
President George W. Bush from press gaggle at his Texas ranch on August 23: "I think Senator Kerry served admirably and he ought to be proud of his record."
Stuart Rothenberg, political analyst: "His advisors want him to stay above the fray, they don't want him to look negative and personal, and not only that, the President's own military record is not so sterling that he can really throw stones at John Kerry."
Tapper: "Attacks on John Kerry's military service began more than three weeks ago with TV ads run by a group of anti-Kerry veterans with ties to the Bush campaign."
Joe Lockhart, senior adviser, Kerry campaign: "There's a long family history with Bush on this sort of behavior, the, the Bush principal gets to be the good cop and they use cut-outs to be the bad cop."
Tapper: "While the President praises Kerry's service-"
President George W. Bush from Larry King interview: "Senator Kerry is justifiably proud of his record."
Tapper: "-surrogates give the story more media attention by giving credence to the anti-Kerry veterans' stories which are disputed by Navy records."
Bob Dole from August 22 appearance on CNN: "Three purple hearts and he never bled that I know of. I mean they're all superficial wounds."
Former President George Bush from interview with Paula Zahn aired on CNN on August 31: "I have great confidence in Bob Dole. I don't think he'd be out there just smearing John Kerry."
Tapper: "Even the First Lady weighed in. Asked by Time magazine if she thought the TV ads were unfair to Kerry, she said, 'Do I think they're unfair? Not really. There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband.'"
Tapper concluded from the convention floor: "The Bush campaign says neither the President nor his campaign have ever questioned Kerry's military record, drawing a distinction between the President's campaign and his family."

Later, World News Tonight aired Peter Jennings' session with Rove. Jennings wanted to know: "Last night, your friend Morton Blackwell was out on the floor of the convention here, wearing a band-aid with a purple heart in clearly a slap at John Kerry. Do you approve of that?" Rove made clear he did not approve.

ABC's Snow Suggests Anti-"Girlie Men"
Button Will Offend Some

ABC News displays The purple heart bandages weren't the only displays on delegates to upset some reporters. Another button caught the attention of ABC's Kate Snow: "Girlie Men" with a red line through it, a la an anti-smoking sign. At about 8:45pm EDT during Tuesday night coverage on the limited distribution ABC News Now channel, Snow confronted a California delegate who was wearing the button inspired by a quip from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in scolding Democrats blocking his budget plan: "A lot of people were offended by that. Are you worried your button's going to offend anybody?"

The delegate, Walter Allen, rejected Snow's concern: "No. I think it was all in jest. I think the Governor was using some humor to move the budget along..."

CBS Frets About How GOP Stars Overwhelm
Democratic Spin

CBS fretted Tuesday night that Democratic spin is being overwhelmed by Republican star power. "The Democrats created a fast-response team," Dan Rather noted, but, he worried, "it may be a case of too little, too late." Jim Axelrod whined: "In the war of message and messengers, it just doesn't seem like a fair fight. George Bush has some of the nation's most popular politicians, moderate Republicans" Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger "delivering a sweeping prime time message" while "the Democrats answer with Tom Vilsack." Axelrod pleaded: "Is there anyone who can compete with Rudy or McCain or Schwarzenegger?"

Axelrod opened his August 31 CBS Evening News piece with a clip from John McCain's Monday night address: "Stand up with our President and fight!"
Axelrod: "This week, in the war of message and messengers, it just doesn't seem like a fair fight. George Bush has some of the nation's most popular politicians, moderate Republicans-"
Rudolph Giuliani in convention speech: "We need George Bush now more than ever."
Axelrod: "-delivering a sweeping prime time message."
Larry Sabato, political scientist: "The big message is George Bush can defend us against terrorism, and John Kerry can't."
Axelrod: "And the Democrats answer with Tom Vilsack."
Governor Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa) at press conference: "The mission hasn't been accomplished."
Axelrod: "That's the Governor of Iowa, in case you didn't know."
Giuliani, in convention speech: "So long as George Bush is our President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us?"
Axelrod: "The Republicans have America's Mayor [Giuliani]. The Democrats have a war room of staffers looking for anything to undermine him."
Man in Democratic war room: "They took out the section that said 'until we defeat global terrorism.'"
Another voice in Democratic war room: "Let's get that going."
Axelrod: "So when Rudy Giuliani left out, 'until we defeat global terrorism,' they flooded reporters with calls, getting to CNN just in time."
John King, CNN correspondent, on air: "And when Rudy Giuliani skipped part of a prepared line of his speech, they quickly rushed out a press release."
Man in Democratic war room: "This is beautiful. Very nice."
Axelrod: "Really, that does seem a bit much to be getting all worked up about: Five dropped words. But it does tell us something about what the Democrats count as a win these days. In this day and age, is there anyone who can compete with Rudy or McCain or Schwarzenegger?"
Sabato: "The only person the Democrats have is Bill Clinton."
Axelrod: "And he's nowhere to be found this week?"
Sabato: "He's nowhere to be found this week."
Axelrod ominously concluded: "Maybe, in time-honored tradition, Democrats have conceded these four days and gone on vacation. But in a race this close, there's a huge risk conceding even four minutes. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, New York."

Hosts of ABC's The View Gang Up on Giuliani
for Backing Bush

Rudy Giuliani received a hostile reception Tuesday morning from three of the four hosts of ABC's daytime show created by Barbara Walters, The View, though she was not present. Former Good Morning America staffer Joy Behar ridiculed Giuliani for claiming that the first thing he said after the 9/11 attacks was "thank God" George W. Bush "was our President" and she insisted that "of course" Al Gore would have been just as "tough" on terrorism. ABC's The View
Rudy Giuliani received a hostile reception Tuesday morning from 3 of the 4 hosts of ABC's The View.

Star Jones, a former NBC News reporter, proved she doesn't understand the fundamental premise of the Bush doctrine as she revealed she thinks his "you're either with us or with the terrorists" formulation applied to whether U.S. citizens back Bush's policies, not to whether nations are on our side in battling terrorism. She lectured Giuliani: "Don't question people's patriotism because they don't believe in the war." Jones soon exclaimed: "Do you believe that today? 'Either you're with the terrorists or you're with us' -- that's not American!"

Former CBS News correspondent Meredith Vieira, who participated Sunday in an anti-Bush march, seemed similarly ignorant, scolding Giuliani: "The implication is that if you disagree, I think, with the administration that somehow you are on the side of the terrorists." Giuliani shot back: "That isn't who George Bush said that to, that isn't what it means. That's a way of misunderstanding what he's saying, which is what people do to him all the time."

The only View host not hostile to Giuliani was the only one who has never worked for a network news division: Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

The heated argument consumed nearly eight minutes, so space permits only some limited excerpts as provided by the MRC's Jessica Anderson who caught the August 31 exchange:

Joy Behar: "Did you really say that, 'Thank God he was our President'? That's the first thing you said? You didn't say 'Oh, expletive,' or something?"
Rudy Giuliani: "No, no, that wasn't the first thing I said. That's one of the things that I said on September 11th to my police commissioner. It really came out because that was just a few months after that disputed election, and so I had called the White House to ask for support, and I felt very, very comfortable that he was in the White House because I know him, and because I knew he would be tough about it."
Behar: "I know, but so would Al Gore. Don't you think he would have been as tough on it? Of course he would. Any President would respond."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "I don't think so." [Audience applause]
Giuliani: "No."
Behar: "You don't?"
Giuliani: "No, I don't think there's any chance at all that Al Gore would have been as determined. I think Al Gore would have backed off now about four times with the kind of criticism that George Bush- [trails off]"
[Audience applause and boos]
....
Giuliani: "Taking out Saddam Hussein was critical to defeating global terrorism."
Vieira: "But one is terrorism and one is the particular war in Iraq, and that's what I think people are upset about, because we went to war believing there were weapons of mass destruction. I was at the demonstration there on Sunday, that's what people were talking about. There were mothers of soldiers there. People weren't arguing against terrorism, it was the war in Iraq in particular."
Giuliani: "There's a tremendous amount of emotion always against war, always. In 1863, New York had tremendous riots against the Civil War and against Abraham Lincoln because they didn't want to be in the Civil War anymore. A President has to be able to withstand that. He has to be able to stand up to that."
....
Hasselbeck: "It's a long process."
Giuliani: "The idea that taking out Saddam Hussein wasn't part of the War On Terrorism really misunderstands the War On Terrorism."
Behar: "No, but people say it was a distraction from going after bin Laden."
Giuliani: "No it wasn't! Saddam Hussein was one of the principal supporters of international terrorism. He was sitting on top of $4 billion or $5 billion, he had used weapons of mass destruction, and Abu Nidal, who killed Leon Klinghoffer and maybe about 25 other Americans and a hundred other people, was operating out of Iraq."
Behar: "So were the Saudis!"
....
Giuliani: "But the reality of that, that followed a quote of John Kerry's about an $87 billion supplemental budget that was to support our troops. And John Kerry voted against it, and then he explained it by saying, 'Before I voted against it, I actually voted for it.'"
Hasselbeck: "Right."
Giuliani: "And it seems to me you can't have it both ways and that's what he's been trying to do."
Behar, not joking: "He change his mind based on nuance."
Giuliani: "Everybody changes their mind. He makes it a rule to change his mind."
Vieira: "But being consistent isn't necessarily right if you're wrong in the consistency. You can be consistent, but if you're-"
[Audience applause]
Behar: "You could change your mind. You change your mind."
Giuliani: "Sure I do, occasionally, but I don't change my core principles."
[Audience applause]
Jones: "Come on, Mr. Mayor. You stand at that podium and support that President when you disagree with almost everything the Party socially says. You don't change your core issues? That's not fair, Mr. Mayor."
[Audience applause]
Giuliani: "No, those aren't, my core issues are the national defense of this country, national security, and the economy. To me those are the two things on which I assess candidates that have the biggest impact on us."
Jones: "What about patriotism, Mr. Mayor? Because you know, you quoted something the President said that scared me. You said, you quoted him as saying 'either you're with us or you're with the terrorists,' and the President did make that statement. Don't question people's patriotism because they don't believe in the war."
Giuliani: "I do not."
Jones: "We love America! So why would the President make that statement? That scared me."
Giuliani: "It shouldn't because the president made that statement on September 20th."
Jones: "I don't care if he made it yesterday."
Giuliani: "He made it on September 20th of 2001, just a few days after the horrible attack on this city and Washington, DC."
Jones: "But you quoted it last night, Mr. Mayor!"
Giuliani: "I quoted it and gave you the date, because this country was united then."
Jones: "Do you believe that?"
Giuliani: "This country was united in the effort to go after terrorists and prevent what happened from happening again."
Jones: "Do you believe that today? 'Either you're with the terrorists or you're with us' -- that's not American!"
Giuliani: "Of course it's American."
Jones: "No, it's not! With 'us' -- who is 'us'?"
Giuliani: "You're either with the Nazis or you're with us. You're either with the Communists or you're with us."
[Audience members boo]
Jones: "No, that's still not fair, Mr. Mayor. I'm surprised at you."
Giuliani: "Well, I'm surprised at you."
Jones: "I'm surprised you would say that."
Giuliani: "The terrorists killed almost 3,000 of our people. So what side are you on? Are you on their side or are you on our side?"
Jones: "I am on the side of men and women fighting in Iraq right now, and I want us to support those people."
Giuliani: "You can't be on their side and be on the side of the terrorists."
Jones: "No, being against the war is not on the side of the terrorists, okay?"
Giuliani: "Nobody is saying you can't be against the war. Nobody is saying that."
Vieira: "The implication is that if you disagree, I think, with the administration that somehow you are on the side of the terrorists."
Giuliani: "That isn't who George Bush said that to, that isn't what it means. That's a way of misunderstanding what he's saying, which is what people do to him all the time."
Jones: "Well, please clarify it for us."
Giuliani: "No, I'm not going to clarify. You're either with the terrorists or you're with us."
Jones: "Why not?"
Giuliani: "Because there is no distinction."
Audience member yells out: "Who's 'us'?"
Giuliani: "'Us' is the United States of America. The terrorists are the people who kill innocent people, the people who killed people in Madrid."
Behar: "We agree with that."
Jones: "We agree with that."
Giuliani: "Good, now we agree. Then why try to misunderstand it?"
Vieira: "Can you be on the side of 'us' and also believe that the war in Iraq is flawed and wrong?"
Giuliani: "Yes."
Vieira: "Fine, fine, fine. So you're running for President in 2008, correct?"

+ Check the posted version of this item later this morning for a RealPlayer clip of the contentious session.

For how, on Monday's show, Vieira boasted of marching in the anti-Bush/anti-war march, see the August 30 afternoon edition of CyberAlert which features a picture of her marching with her family: www.mrc.org

The View's home page: abc.go.com

# Reminder: To learn about the latest liberal New York Times bias in convention coverage, check the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org

-- Brent Baker, with the overnight team of Geoff Dickens, Brad Wilmouth and Ken Shepherd, plus Mez Djouadi handling the early morning posting duty