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Brokaw's Election Template: 'Repubs Running from the Far Right' --11/7/2006


1. Brokaw's Election Template: 'Repubs Running from the Far Right'
Even before any results were known, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw already had his template for the mid-term elections: The people are tired of "far right" Republicans and pleased by the emergence of Democrats who are "moving toward the center." Brokaw, who will be part of the NBC News election team, was asked by Brian Williams, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, what "trends" he sees emerging. Though a Democratic takeover of the House would likely put the far-left Nancy Pelosi into the Speaker's chair along with several other hard-left Congressman into committee chairmanships, Brokaw applied an extremist ideological tag only to Republicans as he saw an end to a "polarized" nation ahead: "The country is sending a signal to both parties: We want you guys to work together to solve problems. You've got Republicans running from the far right much more toward the center. You've got a new breed of Democrats this year in Jim Webb in Virginia and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, moving toward the center. So we may be working our way toward the end of a deeply polarized country politically at the national level."

2. ABC Trumpets Democratic Women and 'Historic First Female Speaker'
ABC's Kate Snow wrapped up a Monday night story on the impact of the large number of Democratic women candidates for Congress by celebrating how if "female voters choose a lot of women tomorrow night, Charlie, there will also be another historic first as you know: The first female Speaker of the House." Anchor Charles Gibson reiterated: "She would be the 52nd Speaker of the House, but the first woman." Neither uttered the name of "that woman," Nancy Pelosi. Citing the words of the late left-wing activist Bella Abzug, whom he benignly described as a "New York Democrat," Gibson had set up the story by recalling how she "famously won a congressional seat 36 years ago with the slogan, 'this woman's place is in the house -- the House of Representatives.'" Snow fondly reminisced about how "1992 was dubbed the Year of the Woman" and "tomorrow night may rival that" since "by most projections, it will be the biggest incoming class of women ever on Capitol Hill." Snow then listed several Democratic candidates and touted how "of the 45 women challenging male incumbents, just 11 are Republicans, 34 are Democrats. Democrats need to gain 15 seats to take back control of the House and women could be key to that."

3. Olbermann's Anti-Bush Rant: 'Unchecked and Unbalanced' So 'Vote'
Contending that "it's hard to imagine there have been many elections more important than this one, certainly not in non-presidential years," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended his election-eve Countdown show with another anti-Bush diatribe in which he urged viewers to vote against the administration. Olbermann saw suspicious timing in the death penalty assessed Sunday on Saddam Hussein: "Each of us must wonder about the convenience of the timing of his conviction and sentencing." Mocking Bush's assertion that if radicals takeover in the Middle East the price of gas will soar, Olbermann asked Bush whether he went "to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here?" He complained: "Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses..." Olbermann fretted: "Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and maybe thousands more. He'll get out faster than we will." He concluded to exhorting his viewers to return "checks and balances" to the political system, slamming the Bush administration: "Unchecked and unbalanced. Vote."

4. Cafferty Smears Rumsfeld as 'Obnoxious Jerk and a War Criminal'
CNN's Jack Cafferty chose the day before the election to morph into a complete Daily-Kos/left wing clone. He slammed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal." The comments, made in reference to an editorial in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps 'Times' newspapers calling for Rumsfeld's ouster, came during his "Cafferty File" segment in the 4pm EST hour of Monday's Situation Room.

5. Predictions from Hume's Panel: Dems Get House, Senate Teetering
On Monday's Special Report with Brit Hume -- broadcast from FNC's (pretty dark) Manhattan headquarters instead of Washington, DC -- Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke and Bill Kristol made some last-minute predictions on what will occur in Tuesday's election. All three agreed that Democrats, who need to capture 15 more seats to re-gain a majority in the House, will succeed. Barnes pegged the Democratic pick-up at 20 to 25 seats, Kondracke at 25 to 30 seats and Kristol at 35 to 40 seats.

6. Matthews Blames Racist White Conservatives If Harold Ford Loses
According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, if Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford loses Tuesday, you can blame it on white conservatives. On Sunday morning, as he appeared in a segment hosted by Alex Witt, Matthews chided whites for an unwillingness to vote for black politicians, contending that "blacks vote for whites," but "whites don't vote for blacks." Matthews added that in states with large black populations, fear leads whites to become conservative Republicans. Matthews: "The larger the black population, where the whites are afraid historically, and in Deep South states, they tend to become very conservative Republican out of fear, whatever, of an overwhelming, or a large number of African-Americans because of the kind of culture." Ignored by Matthews was the willingness of white conservatives to support black statewide candidates like Maryland's Michael Steele, Ohio's Kenneth Blackwell, and Pennsylvania's Lynn Swann, in this year's elections, while white liberals will be supporting white Democratic candidates instead, demonstrating that party affiliation is the deciding factor in whether white conservatives vote for a black candidate.

7. Russert Aghast at Dole's 'Content to Lose' Jab at Democrats
Sparks flew on the set of NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, after Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole observed about Iraq, "It's almost as if the Democrats, you know, it's like they're content with losing because to pull out, to withdraw from this war is losing. No question about it." Both moderator Tim Russert and Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel immediately berated Dole for her statement, but on Monday a liberal Boston Globe columnist revealed the real Democratic mindset on Iraq, suggesting the U.S. must "accept defeat" in Iraq.

8. Election Is 'Iraq, Iraq, Iraq,' But Most Media Have Fled Iraq
As you've probably already heard, journalists are insisting that Tuesday's elections are a referendum on Iraq -- so don't even think about voting based on where the candidates stand on extending or rescinding the effective Bush tax cuts. On Monday's Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually warned voters that if they don't vote Democratic, the President will regard it as a mandate to continue fouling up in Iraq: "If you go in the voting booth and you say 'yes' to the Republican Party, the whole world press, everywhere in the world, they're gonna report Wednesday morning, 'Bush does okay in the election.' If the people vote 'no,' the world press will say, 'Bush's Iraq policies were rejected.' And by the way, the President will read it that way. If you vote Republican Tuesday, the President will say, 'Thank you for supporting my war policy.' It's about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq and there's no real other big issue." So if it's truly "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq," how come there is so little media interest in actually reporting from Iraq itself? A new report from the MRC's CNSNews.com found "fewer than two dozen" journalists are working in Iraq now, down from more than 600 when the war began in 2003.

9. WPost Recognizes Troops Support Bush Policy, Oppose Iraq Pullout
The Washington Post certainly waited until the last-minute, the day before the mid-term elections, to run a story pointing out how soldiers in Iraq are committed to the mission and don't want the U.S. to leave, but they should get kudos for printing the article which contradicts the assumptions of much of the media's reporting on Iraq, "Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results" -- though the paper's editors only squeezed it onto page A-13. From "Forward Operating Base Sykes," Post correspondent Josh White disclosed that he talked to "dozens of soldiers across the country" and they feared "leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences." White reported that "the soldiers...expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own."

10. Helen Thomas: 'I Will Be a Liberal Till the Day I Die'
The liberalism of White House eternal Helen Thomas isn't exactly a state secret, and she readily owned up to it in a sympathetic profile in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer in which she denied it had any impact on her journalism: "I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die. That has nothing to do with whether or not this administration is telling the truth. Nor does it have anything to do with the way I presented my stories when I was a news reporter."


Brokaw's Election Template: 'Repubs Running
from the Far Right'

Even before any results were known, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw already had his template for the mid-term elections: The people are tired of "far right" Republicans and pleased by the emergence of Democrats who are "moving toward the center." Brokaw, who will be part of the NBC News election team, was asked by Brian Williams, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, what "trends" he sees emerging. Though a Democratic takeover of the House would likely put the far-left Nancy Pelosi into the Speaker's chair along with several other hard-left Congressman into committee chairmanships, Brokaw applied an extremist ideological tag only to Republicans as he saw an end to a "polarized" nation ahead:
"The country is sending a signal to both parties: We want you guys to work together to solve problems. You've got Republicans running from the far right much more toward the center. You've got a new breed of Democrats this year in Jim Webb in Virginia and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, moving toward the center. So we may be working our way toward the end of a deeply polarized country politically at the national level."

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

Brokaw's response, in full on the November 6 NBC Nightly News, to the question about election trends:
"I think tomorrow whoever wins control of the House, whoever wins control of the Senate, there are two big lessons. First of all, this is an overture for '08. This sets the table for the big prize, the presidential election in '08 and already the country is sending a signal to both parties: We want you guys to work together to solve problems. You've got Republicans running from the far right much more toward the center. You've got a new breed of Democrats this year in Jim Webb in Virginia and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, moving toward the center. So we may be working our way toward the end of a deeply polarized country politically at the national level. And at the state level, you're finding many more examples of that. Red states with Democratic governors and blue states with Republican governors. That reflects, it seems to me as I go around the country, much more what the country wants."

This wasn't the first time Brokaw has painted Republicans as impeded by the influence of the "hard right." Two years ago, on the night before the Republican National Convention opened in New York City, Brokaw charged that the party's choice of moderate speakers was a ruse, "a popular con game" called "three-card monte." Brokaw was the first runner-up, in the "Bitter in the Big Apple Award (for Republican Convention Coverage)" in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2004: The Seventeenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," for this remark on the August 29, 2004 NBC Nightly News:
"The President's team knows that it can't get back to the White House by taking only hard right turns, so it has, as three of its featured speakers, Republicans who have been successful by navigating the middle of the road as well the right-hand side: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain who often calls himself John Kerry's best friend in the U.S. Senate. Streetwise New Yorkers may call that the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town -- three-card monte. But then, that's a game in which the dealer almost always wins."

For the quotes posted with RealPlayer video and MP3 audio: www.mediaresearch.org

ABC Trumpets Democratic Women and 'Historic
First Female Speaker'

ABC's Kate Snow wrapped up a Monday night story on the impact of the large number of Democratic women candidates for Congress by celebrating how if "female voters choose a lot of women tomorrow night, Charlie, there will also be another historic first as you know: The first female Speaker of the House." Anchor Charles Gibson reiterated: "She would be the 52nd Speaker of the House, but the first woman." Neither uttered the name of "that woman," Nancy Pelosi.
Citing the words of the late left-wing activist Bella Abzug, whom he benignly described as a "New York Democrat," Gibson had set up the story by recalling how she "famously won a congressional seat 36 years ago with the slogan, 'this woman's place is in the house -- the House of Representatives.'" Snow fondly reminisced about how "1992 was dubbed the Year of the Woman" and "tomorrow night may rival that" since "by most projections, it will be the biggest incoming class of women ever on Capitol Hill." Snow then listed several Democratic candidates, focusing on Lois Murphy, who "ran against Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach two years ago and lost by just 6,400 votes. This, she believes, is her year." Snow touted how "of the 45 women challenging male incumbents, just 11 are Republicans, 34 are Democrats. Democrats need to gain 15 seats to take back control of the House and women could be key to that." Ellen Malcolm of EMILY's List got air time to trumpet how the female victories "really sets the stage if we have a woman running for President in the near future."

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

This isn't the first time ABC's World News has trumpeted Pelosi for Speaker. An October 27 CyberAlert item, "ABC's Shipman Daydreams: 'Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?", about the October 26 World News, recounted (with video):

ABC's Claire Shipman ended a Thursday World News profile of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by tilting her head upward and rolling her eyes, as if imagining along with Pelosi, as she wondered: "Do you let yourself think, for example, maybe before you go to sleep at night, 'Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?'" Pelosi denied any such daydreaming: "No. I never do. What I think before I go to sleep at night is how we can get up to 15 new Democratic seats in the Congress of the United States. And then I say my prayers."


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More See & Hear the Bias

Just before the 1994 election, ABC's Jim Wooten treated Newt Gingrich as the perpetrator in a worsening political landscape, declaring that his "slash-and-burn rhetoric against Democrats has made him the poster boy for political resentment and rage, and he's proud of it." But with Pelosi, Shipman painted her as the victim of Republican "scare tactics" and, after a soundbite from President Bush, cued her up: "What do you think when you hear him say the things he says about you?" Shipman acknowledged that "Pelosi's blunt style is polarizing," but characterized it as a positive, citing how "she's used it to pull off something nobody thought was possible: Organizing the congressional Democrats. Under her leadership, they voted as a bloc against the Republicans almost 90 percent of the time."

Go to: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the Democratic women-touting story on the November 6 World News with Charles Gibson on ABC, which I created by correcting the closed-captioning against the video:

Charles Gibson: "Even if Republicans hold the House and Senate, change is coming to Congress. The New York Democrat, Bella Abzug, famously won a congressional seat 36years ago with the slogan [text on screen], 'this woman's place is in the house -- the House of Representatives.' Well, today, there are 67 women in the House and 14 in the Senate. Those numbers are likely to increase tomorrow night. And ABC's Kate Snow is here with that story. Kate?"

Kate Snow: "Charlie, remember 1992 was dubbed the Year of the Woman. But tomorrow night may rival that. The number of women in the Senate could grow. The number in the House could grow by double digits. And by most projections, it will be the biggest incoming class of women ever on Capitol Hill. Lois Murphy, a mother of two young girls, ran against Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach two years ago and lost by just 6,400 votes. This, she believes, is her year."
Murphy to a small group: "With your help, we're going to win."
Snow: "This wealthy district in Philadelphia's mainline suburbs could be part of what some analysts are calling a perfect storm for female candidates."
Snow to Murphy: "There are 139 women running this time around. What does that say to you?"
Murphy: "I think it says that voters are interest in a change of perspective."
Snow: "Voters disgusted by the war in Iraq and sick of scandals are looking for new blood, for outsiders."
Woman candidate before crowd: "Thanks so much for coming."
Snow: "And women such as Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, Christine Jennings in Florida or Kirsten Gillibrand in New York may fit the bill."
Debbie Walsh, Center for American Women and Politics: "They don't even have to open their mouths. They are not the standard issue white man in a blue suit with a red tie."
Professor Dennis Simon, SMU Political Science Dept.: "Women are seen as not part of the Washington inside old boy network, so they are viewed as more trustworthy when the climate is such as it is this year."
Snow: "Of the 45 women challenging male incumbents, just 11 are Republicans, 34 are Democrats. [over video of Snow in Pennsylvania with roadside signs for Lois Murphy in the background] Democrats need to gain 15 seats to take back control of the House and women could be key to that. Of all the most competitive races in the country right now, there are 18 in which a Democratic woman stands a chance to win."
Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist: "We've broken all the political barriers. The last major hurdle was financial. The financial hurdle. And women candidates are now able to raise as much money as their male counterparts."
Snow: "Groups like Emily's List have actively recruited women who favor abortion rights to run."
Ellen Malcolm, EMILY's List: "Seeing women be smart and tough and effective is going to help all of us. And I think really sets the stage if we have a woman running for President in the near future."
Snow to Gibson: "Research indicates women voters prefer women candidates. If those female voters choose a lot of women tomorrow night, Charlie, there will also be another historic first as you know: The first female Speaker of the House."
Gibson: "She would be the 52nd Speaker of the House, but the first woman."

Olbermann's Anti-Bush Rant: 'Unchecked
and Unbalanced' So 'Vote'

Contending that "it's hard to imagine there have been many elections more important than this one, certainly not in non-presidential years," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended his election-eve Countdown show with another anti-Bush diatribe in which he urged viewers to vote against the administration -- though this was his shortest, at just under five minutes. Olbermann saw suspicious timing in the death penalty assessed Sunday on Saddam Hussein:


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More See & Hear the Bias

"Each of us must wonder about the convenience of the timing of his conviction and sentencing." Mocking Bush's assertion that if radicals takeover in the Middle East the price of gas will soar, Olbermann asked Bush whether he went "to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here?" and then proposed: "Or did you go to war in Iraq to keep gas prices down?"

Olbermann complained: "Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you've stayed the course, having belittled us about 'timelines' but instead extolled 'benchmarks,' you've now resorted, sir, to this? We must stay in Iraq to save the $2 gallon of gas?" He argued: "Mr. President, there is no other conclusion we can draw as we go to the polls tomorrow. Sir, you have been making this up as you went along." And Olbermann fretted: "Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and maybe thousands more. He'll get out faster than we will." He concluded to exhorting his viewers to return "checks and balances" to the political system, slamming the Bush administration: "Unchecked and unbalanced. Vote."

[This item was posted, with video, Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

MSNBC has posted a transcript and usually later adds MSN video: www.msnbc.msn.com

Below is that transcript corrected against what he actually said on the air (I added seven or eight words missing from the transcript and deleted a few he didn't speak):

"And finally tonight, a Special Comment about tomorrow's elections:
"We are, as every generation, inseparable from our own time. Thus is our perspective, inevitably that of the explorer looking into the wrong end of the telescope. But even accounting for our myopia, it's hard to imagine there have been many elections more important than this one, certainly not in non-presidential years.
"And so we look at the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein yesterday, and with the very phrase 'October, or November, Surprise' now a part of our vernacular, and the chest-thumping coming from so many of the Republican campaigners today, each of us must wonder about the convenience of the timing of his conviction and sentencing.
"But let us give history and coincidence the benefit of the doubt -- let's say it's just 'happened' that way -- and for a moment not look into the wrong end of the telescope. Let's perceive instead the bigger picture:
"Saddam Hussein, found guilty in an Iraqi court. Who can argue against that? He is officially, what the world always knew he was: a war criminal. Mr. Bush, was this imprimatur, worth the cost of 2,832 American lives, and of perhaps thousands more American lives yet to be lost? Is the conviction of Saddam Hussein the reason you went to war in Iraq? Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the weapons of mass destruction that did not exist? Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda that did not exist? Or did you go to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here? Or did you go to war in Iraq because you felt the need to wreak vengeance against somebody, anybody? Or did you go to war in Iraq to contain a rogue state which, months earlier, your own administration had declared had been fully contained by the sanctions? Or did you go to war in Iraq to keep gas prices down?
"How startling it was, sir, to hear you introduce oil to your own stump speeches over the weekend. Not four years removed from the most dismissive, the most condescending, the most ridiculing denials of the very hint at, as Mr. Rumsfeld put it, this 'nonsense.' There you were, campaigning in Colorado, in Nebraska, in Florida, in Kansas -- suddenly turning this 'unpatriotic idea' into a platform plank. 'You can imagine a world,' you said, ' in which these extremists and radicals got control of energy resources' and then you can imagine them saying, 'We're going to pull a bunch of oil off the market to run your price of oil up unless you do the following.'
"Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you've stayed the course, having belittled us about 'timelines' but instead extolled 'benchmarks,' you've now resorted, sir, to this? We must stay in Iraq to save the $2 gallon of gas?
"Mr. President, there is no other conclusion we can draw as we go to the polls tomorrow. Sir, you have been making this up as you went along.
"This country was founded to prevent anybody from making it up as they went along. Those vaunted Founding Fathers of ours have been so quoted up, that they appear as if marble statues: like the chiseled guards of China, or the faces on Mount Rushmore. But in fact they were practical people and the thing they obviously feared most was a government of men and not laws. They provided the checks and balances for a reason.
"No one man could run the government the way he alone saw fit -- unless he, at the least, took into consideration what those he governed saw. A House of Representatives would be the people's eyes. A Senate would be the corrective force on that House. An executive would do the work, and hold the Constitution to his chest like his child. And a Supreme Court would oversee it all. Checks and balances.
"Where did that go, Mr. Bush? And what price did we pay because we have let it go?
"Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and maybe thousands more. He'll get out faster than we will. And if nothing changes tomorrow, you, sir, will be out of the White House long before the rest of us can say we are out of Iraq. And whose fault is this?
"Not truly yours. You took advantage of those of us who were afraid, and those of us who believed unity and nation took precedence over all else. But we let you take that advantage. And so we let you go to war in Iraq to oust Saddam or find non-existent weapons or avenge 9/11 or fight terrorists who only got there after we did or as cover to change the fabric of our Constitution or for lower prices at the Texaco or?
"There are still a few hours left before the polls open, sir. There are many rationalizations still untried. And whatever your motives of the moment, we the people have, in true good faith and with the genuine patriotism of self-sacrifice -- of which you have shown you know nothing -- we have let you go on making it up as you went along.
"Unchecked and unbalanced.
"Vote."

Cafferty Smears Rumsfeld as 'Obnoxious
Jerk and a War Criminal'

CNN's Jack Cafferty chose the day before the election to morph into a complete Daily-Kos/left wing clone. He slammed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal." The comments, made in reference to an editorial in the Arly, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps 'Times' newspapers calling for Rumsfeld's ouster, came during his "Cafferty File" segment in the 4pm EST hour of Monday's Situation Room.

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

A transcript of the November 6 segment, which began at 4:11pm with Cafferty reading from the editorial:
"'The time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard, bruising truth. Donald Rumsfeld must go.' That is a quote from an editorial in this week's 'Military Times' newspapers. The independent publications owned by Gannett, include 'The Army Times,' 'The Navy Times,' 'Air Force Times,' and 'Marine Corps Times.' The piece goes on to say, quote, 'Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the Secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.'
"They didn't even mention that he's also an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal. A top editor says this wasn't timed for the midterm elections, but, rather, by the President's statement last week that he plans to keep Rumsfeld on the job until the end of his second term. The Defense Department says that the editorial contains a number of inaccurate and misleading statements and the White House calls it 'a shabby piece of work.'
"Here's the question: What does it mean when an editorial in the 'Military Times' newspapers says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 'must go?' E-mail your thoughts to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to cnn.com/Caffertyfile. How many people do you suppose are going to have to suggest that it's time for him to go?"
Blitzer: "The President last week said he's doing a fantastic job."
Cafferty: "Yeah, well, a majority of one, I suppose. He's signing the paycheck."
Blitzer: "We'll see what happens after the election."

Cafferty didn't bother to offer any evidence for his "war criminal" smear. Not surprisingly, his statements became more fevered as the election grew closer. On October 10, he lamented George Allen's lead in the polls: www.mrc.org

A little over a week later, Cafferty wondered if Karl Rove would engineer an "October Surprise." See: www.mrc.org

Last week he suggested Bush deserves to be impeached: www.mrc.org

Predictions from Hume's Panel: Dems Get
House, Senate Teetering

On Monday's Special Report with Brit Hume -- broadcast from FNC's (pretty dark) Manhattan headquarters instead of Washington, DC -- Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke and Bill Kristol made some last-minute predictions on what will occur in Tuesday's election. All three agreed that Democrats, who need to capture 15 more seats to re-gain a majority in the House, will succeed. Barnes pegged the Democratic pick-up at 20 to 25 seats, Kondracke at 25 to 30 seats and Kristol at 35 to 40 seats.
In the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of six seats to take control (counting expected independent victors Sanders of Vermont and Lieberman of Connecticut as organizing with Democrats), only Barnes was confident Republicans will hold the upper body -- but he didn't give a number. Kristol and Kondracke hedged their bets as both forecast a 50-50 split, which Vice President Cheney could break in favor of Republicans, or a 51 to 49 Democratic majority.

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

Meanwhile, on Monday's CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer, the network's Chief Washington Correspondent, predicted the Democrats will takeover the House while the Senate will end up 50-50.

For many more predictions, check the Monday CyberAlert posting: "Pundits on McLaughlin, Beltway Boys, Inside Wash Make Predictions." That's online at: www.mrc.org

Matthews Blames Racist White Conservatives
If Harold Ford Loses

According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, if Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford loses Tuesday, you can blame it on white conservatives. On Sunday morning, as he appeared in a segment hosted by Alex Witt, Matthews chided whites for an unwillingness to vote for black politicians, contending that "blacks vote for whites," but "whites don't vote for blacks." Matthews added that in states with large black populations, fear leads whites to become conservative Republicans. Matthews: "The larger the black population, where the whites are afraid historically, and in Deep South states, they tend to become very conservative Republican out of fear, whatever, of an overwhelming, or a large number of African-Americans because of the kind of culture."

Ignored by Matthews was the willingness of white conservatives to support black statewide candidates like Maryland's Michael Steele, Ohio's Kenneth Blackwell, and Pennsylvania's Lynn Swann, in this year's elections, while white liberals will be supporting white Democratic candidates instead, demonstrating that party affiliation is the deciding factor in whether white conservatives vote for a black candidate. Notably, in Maryland's Senate primary, Democratic voters rejected black Democratic candidate Kweisi Mfume, a former Congressman, in favor of white candidate and Congressman Benjamin Cardin during their party's primary, while the Republican nominee, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, is black.

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Sunday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusteers.org: newsbusters.org ]

Below is a transcript of Matthews' comments, which aired on MSNBC about 9:16am EST on Sunday November 5:

Chris Matthews: "I think it's always been a Hail Mary pass, to use a football term, for Harold Ford Jr. I think it's just a tough one, and we all know the history of our country electing white people. Blacks vote for whites. Whites don't vote for blacks. It's just been a problem. It's just a horrible problem. I thought he was really courageous in making this run. I never thought it was really that winnable. He's from Memphis. He's had a history of family illegalities. Talk about the old man being involved in affecting your election. An uncle in trouble. I think he had to overcome an awful lot. But most importantly, he's an African-American guy running in the United States. That's just a challenge. I mean, Deval Patrick up in Massachusetts will be elected governor, but Massachusetts has an interesting, they don't have that large African-American population like you have in states like Tennessee. They don't therefore have those frictions. I mean, the larger the black population, where the whites are afraid historically, and in Deep South states, they tend to become very conservative Republican out of fear, whatever, of an overwhelming, or a large number of African-Americans because of the kind of culture. Only when we get to these situations where they think they can do it without fear, like Deval Patrick, do they operate this way. I say this as almost like a sermon, but white people aren't voting for black people in this country."
Alex Witt: "Do you think the white Playboy ad, for lack of a better characterization of that, do you think that hurt him?"
Matthews: "Well, that was a racist ad, and it ripped the scab off the old racial animosities in this country and fears. You see a very attractive -- sexy, if you will -- white woman, a blonde, a floozy, saying that you don't have to come for me, I'm coming for you. And after the commercial, she pops back in after the Republicans have said we agree with the content of this ad, she pops in around the corner and says, 'I'll call you later, Howard.' In other words, she's throwing herself at a black guy. You're talking about opening up all the old fears and angers, that was the most racist ad I think I've ever seen. And anybody that doesn't see it is either not born in America or refuses to accept the reality."

Russert Aghast at Dole's 'Content to
Lose' Jab at Democrats

Sparks flew on the set of NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, after Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole observed about Iraq, "It's almost as if the Democrats, you know, it's like they're content with losing because to pull out, to withdraw from this war is losing. No question about it." Both moderator Tim Russert and Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel immediately berated Dole for her statement, but on Monday a liberal Boston Globe columnist revealed the real Democratic mindset on Iraq, suggesting the U.S. must "accept defeat" in Iraq.

[This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Dole made her comment about 40 minutes into the hour-long debate between the GOP senatorial and congressional campaign committee chairman and their Democratic counterparts. After Russert brought up a Vanity Fair article quoting some Iraq war supporters as criticizing the way the war has been handled, Dole responded by going after the Democrats' position of withdrawing troops regardless of whether their mission has been accomplished: "It's almost as if the Democrats, you know, it's like they're content with losing because to pull out, to withdraw from this war is losing. No question about it."

"The Democrats are content with losing?" an astonished Russert demanded, adding. "That's a very strong statement."

What followed was a long period of Congressman Rahm Emanuel protesting Dole and the two talking over each other. Emanuel acted as if Dole had defamed the Democratic party: "I will not sit idly by with an accusation that Democrats are content with losing," he interjected. "We want to win and we want a new direction to Iraq....You should take that back, Senator....We'll have differences, but we do not disparage you like that, Senator."

Too bad for Emanuel, Monday's Boston Globe carried a column by liberal James Carroll, "What It Will Take to End War," suggesting that at least some Democrats have exactly the mindset that Dole alleged. After hoping that Democratic control of the House of Representatives leads to hearings on Iraq, Carroll sought a parallel from the Vietnam era:

We have been here before. Of all the acts of opposition to the war in Vietnam, none was more consequential than the hearings presided over by Senator William Fulbright -- a Democrat challenging a Democratic administration. The Fulbright hearings served as the nation's classroom, with a visceral uneasiness about the war evolving into informed opposition. The decisive election year was 1968, and, sure enough, voters cast their ballots for peace.

But if the past has ever offered instruction to the present, here is one lesson that must not be missed: The Vietnam War dragged on for nearly seven more years after that critical election. Why? Because public uneasiness with the course of the war was not enough. The only way out of the disaster was to accept defeat, and that America was loath to do. President Nixon came into office on the promise that he had a "secret plan" to end the war, but no sooner had he moved into the White House than he swore he would not be the first US president to lose a war. "Peace with honor" became the shibboleth. The killing continued, the air war came into its own, and more people died in Vietnam after 1968 than had died before. The American public's retreat from concern about the war was epitomized by Nixon's overwhelming reelection in 1972. How did that happen?

It is one thing to feel uneasy about your nation's war, or even to move to a position of outright opposition. It is another to face the harsh fact that the only way out of the war is to accept defeat. The goal of "peace with honor" assumes that the nation's honor has not already been squandered. During Vietnam, for all the widespread opposition to the war, the American public was never ready to face the full truth of what had been done in its name, and so the martial band played on. And on. The war ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, with the United States whining that somehow it had been the victim. Not incidental to the present disaster is the fact that the men dragging out that shameful last moment of Vietnam, when our nation's abject defeat was made plain for all the world to see, were Ford administration honchos Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

Rumsfeld and Cheney are prepared to do it to their nation again. The question now is whether America will let them? The general uneasiness with the war in Iraq is mostly tied to how badly it has gone. Tactical and strategic planning have been bungled at every level, and the elusive enemy is yet to be understood in Washington. If the Democrats take power with the elections tomorrow, congressional hearings will have a lot of such questions to consider. But what about the moral question? For all of the anguish felt over the loss of American lives, can we acknowledge that there is something proper in the way that hubristic American power has been thwarted? Can we admit that the loss of honor will not come with how the war ends, because we lost our honor when we began it? This time, can we accept defeat?

END of Excerpt

For Carroll's November 6 column: www.boston.com

Election Is 'Iraq, Iraq, Iraq,' But Most
Media Have Fled Iraq

As you've probably already heard, journalists are insisting that Tuesday's elections are a referendum on Iraq -- so don't even think about voting based on where the candidates stand on extending or rescinding the effective Bush tax cuts.

On Monday's Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews (a highly opinionated anti-war Democrat who will nonetheless anchor the network's election night coverage) actually warned voters that if they don't vote Democratic, the President will regard it as a mandate to continue fouling up in Iraq: "If you go in the voting booth and you say 'yes' to the Republican Party, the whole world press, everywhere in the world, they're gonna report Wednesday morning, 'Bush does okay in the election.' If the people vote 'no,' the world press will say, 'Bush's Iraq policies were rejected.' And by the way, the President will read it that way. If you vote Republican Tuesday, the President will say, 'Thank you for supporting my war policy.' It's about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq and there's no real other big issue."

So if it's truly "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq," how come there is so little media interest in actually reporting from Iraq itself? A new report from the MRC's CNSNews.com found "fewer than two dozen" journalists are working in Iraq now, down from more than 600 when the war began in 2003.
That matches a story by freelancer/blogger Michael Yon in the October 30 Weekly Standard, "Censoring Iraq: Why are there so few reporters with American troops in combat? Don't blame the media." Go to: www.weeklystandard.com

[This item is adopted from a Monday afternoon posting, by Rich Noyes, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

CNSNews reporter Randy Hall interviewed the president of Military Reporters and Editors (MRE), Sig Christenson, who said the paucity of reporters "clearly hurts everyone....We get less news out of Iraq, and more of it focuses on the bombing of the day -- especially from the broadcast spectrum where mass media have such influence over American perceptions and opinion." An excerpt:

Although Iraq is one of the most important issues in Tuesday's midterm election, the number of journalists reporting alongside U.S.-led coalition troops in that country has fallen to "terrible" levels, according to the head of an organization of military journalists.

More than 600 reporters, TV crews and photographers accompanied U.S. and British units during the coalition invasion of Iraq during March of 2003, but that number has dropped to fewer than two dozen in recent months, said Sig Christenson, president of Military Reporters and Editors (MRE).

That figure is also far less than October 2005, when 114 embedded reporters were in Iraq when the nation approved a new constitution, he noted.

By late September this year, the number of journalists fell to its lowest point of 11, and it has rebounded only slightly since.

Christenson, who also covers the military for the San Antonio Express-News, told Cybercast News Service that the coverage levels were "terrible."

"The number of embedded reporters in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad has tumbled precipitously, and the quantity and quality of the reporting from the war zone has gone down with it," Christenson said in a report on the MRE website.

"That clearly hurts everyone," Christenson noted. "We get less news out of Iraq, and more of it focuses on the bombing of the day -- especially from the broadcast spectrum where mass media have such influence over American perceptions and opinion."

END of Excerpt
Hall's story goes on to list some of the factors that have kept reporters away from the war zone, mainly the expense and the risk. You can read the whole report at CNSNews.com: www.cnsnews.com

WPost Recognizes Troops Support Bush
Policy, Oppose Iraq Pullout

The Washington Post certainly waited until the last-minute, the day before the mid-term elections, to run a story pointing out how soldiers in Iraq are committed to the mission and don't want the U.S. to leave, but they should get kudos for printing the article which contradicts the assumptions of much of the media's reporting on Iraq, "Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results" -- though the paper's editors only squeezed it onto page A-13. From "Forward Operating Base Sykes," Post correspondent Josh White disclosed that he talked to "dozens of soldiers across the country" and they feared "leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences."

White reported in the article published November 6: "With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy." In addition, "the soldiers...expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own."

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

An excerpt from the story:

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SYKES, Iraq, Nov. 5 -- For the U.S. troops fighting in Iraq, the war is alternately violent and hopeful, sometimes very hot and sometimes very cold. It is dusty and muddy, calm and chaotic, deafeningly loud and eerily quiet.

The one thing the war is not, however, is finished, dozens of soldiers across the country said in interviews. And leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences, they said.

With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.

"Take us out of that vacuum -- and it's on the edge now -- and boom, it would become a free-for-all," said Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad. "It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."

The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.

Leading Democrats have argued for a timeline to bring U.S. troops home, because obvious progress has been elusive, especially in Baghdad, and even some Republican lawmakers have recently called for a change in strategy. But soldiers criticized the idea of a precipitate withdrawal, largely because they believe their hard work would go for naught.

Capt. Jim Modlin, 26, of Oceanport, N.J., said he thought the situation in Iraq had improved between his deployment in 2003 and his return this year as a liaison officer to Iraqi security forces with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, based here on FOB Sykes outside Tall Afar. Modlin described himself as more liberal than conservative and said he had already cast his absentee ballot in Texas. He said he believed that U.S. elected officials would lead the military in the right direction, regardless of what happens Tuesday.

"Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," Modlin said. "Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated. It's not 'stay the course,' and it's not 'cut and run' or other political catchphrases. There are people's lives here. There are so many different dynamics that go on here that a simple solution just isn't possible."...

"This is a worthwhile endeavor," said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multinational Division North and the 25th Infantry Division. "Nothing that is worthwhile is usually easy, and we need to give this more time for it to all come together. We all want to come home, but we have a significant investment here, and we need to give the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people a chance to succeed."

Numerous soldiers expressed frustration with the nature of the fight, which many said amounted to driving around and waiting for the enemy to engage them, often with roadside bombs, known within the military as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs....

In Rushdi Mullah, a small farming village near Baghdad, Capt. Chris Vitale, 29, of Washington, Pa., said his unit's recent moves to the edge of this insurgent safe haven have made a major difference for residents. "If my unit left town, the insurgents would come back in and use it to stage attacks on Baghdad," he said. "I'm sure of it."

In the north, where Iraqi army and police units have made strides toward controlling their own territory, U.S. soldiers said they were at a critical point in helping the Iraqi forces develop.

Capt. Mike Lingenfelter, 32, of Panhandle, Tex., said that U.S. troops have earned the trust of residents in Tall Afar over the past couple of years and that leaving now would send the wrong message. His Comanche Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment is working with Iraqi forces to give them control of the city.

"We'll pull their feet out from under them if we leave," Lingenfelter said.

"It's still fragile enough now that if the coalition were to leave, it would embolden the insurgents. A lot of people have put their trust and faith in us to see it to the end. It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave."...

END of Excerpt

For the article in full: www.washingtonpost.com

Helen Thomas: 'I Will Be a Liberal Till
the Day I Die'

The liberalism of White House eternal Helen Thomas isn't exactly a state secret, and she readily owned up to it in a sympathetic profile in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer in which she denied it had any impact on her journalism: "I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die. That has nothing to do with whether or not this administration is telling the truth. Nor does it have anything to do with the way I presented my stories when I was a news reporter."

[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The White House Bureau Chief for United Press International since forever (until she quit when it was acquired by the company that owns the conservative Washington Times) at 87 she's now a syndicated columnist for Hearst News Service. She told the Inquirer:
"I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die. That has nothing to do with whether or not this administration is telling the truth. Nor does it have anything to do with the way I presented my stories when I was a news reporter. When I was reporting news, as a person I never bowed out of the human race -- I felt my feelings and had my opinions about things, just as anyone does -- but it never got into my copy. I was never accused of slanting my copy."

For the interview on the November 5 Philadelphia Inquirer: www.philly.com

-- Brent Baker