Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

Bush "Goading" Iraq Into War Precipitously? Arabs Against War -- 11/21/2002 CyberAlert


1.
Bush "Goading" Iraq Into War Precipitously? Arabs Against War
On Wednesday night Peter Jennings once again showed a distinct hostility toward Bush's Iraq policy. Jennings asked John McWethy about how "some of the President's critics" say the administration is "goading" the Iraqis into firing on planes enforcing the "no-fly" zone and he followed with a look at how "there has been rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia as there has been in many Arab countries. Just one of the ripple effects on the road to possible war with Iraq."

2. Daschle's Scurrilous Charges Against Limbaugh Skipped
In his last press conference as Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle blamed Rush Limbaugh for threats on the lives of public officials and blamed conservative rhetoric for "fomenting" violence. But instead of condemning such irresponsible comments, as they surely would have if uttered by a conservative about liberals, the networks didn't bat an eye. The ABC, CBS and CNBC evening shows ignored it while NBC's Tom Brokaw simply noted how "Daschle had some comments on the tone of political discourse in this country." CNN's Judy Woodruff referred to the remarks as "memorable" and Jonathan Karl called them "fascinating."

3. Cable and ABC Swoon Over "What Would Jesus Drive?"
Normally when religious leaders speak out on public policy matters the networks either ignore them or condemn them for mixing religion and politics. But not on Wednesday when a group publicized its "What Would Jesus Drive?" TV ad campaign against SUVs. The cable networks and ABC swooned, discovering news value to the views of the religious figures on the side of liberal environmentalists, even if Peter Jennings oddly called them "conservative Christians." CNBC's Brian Williams aired a laudatory item in which he gratuitously noted that the Bush administration "has been criticized for having big oil men at the helm."

4. Nachman Decries Liberal Media "Pile-On" Over Ailes
MSNBC's Jerry Nachman on Tuesday criticized the media "pile-on" against Roger Ailes for offering some post September 11th terrorist attack advice to President Bush when the media hardly reacted at all to revelations about how CNN President Rick Kaplan stayed overnight in Clinton's White House. And FNC's Greta Van Susteren lashed out at her old network for impugning FNC, declaring: "Shame on you, CNN."

5. Rooney: Journalists Liberal, I'm "Surprised" Conservatives Won
To Phil Donahue's dismay Tuesday night, CBS's Andy Rooney agreed with Bernard Goldberg: "I think most news people I know tend towards the liberal direction, yes." When Donahue disagreed, Rooney was taken aback: "You don't think that's true? Come on, Phil." Later, Rooney showed his befuddlement over how people could vote for conservatives: "I have always failed to understand how, why it is so many working people are conservative Republicans.... the Republican Party does not represent their best interests."

6. Gumbel to Host UFO Special
Where's Bryant Gumbel? On Friday night he's hosting a Sci Fi channel special, "The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence."


Bush "Goading" Iraq Into War Precipitously?
Arabs Against War

On Wednesday's World News Tonight ABC's Peter Jennings once again showed a hostility toward Bush's Iraq policy not displayed by the other networks. Jennings asked John McWethy about how "some of the President's critics" say the administration is "goading" the Iraqis into firing on planes enforcing the "no-fly" zone, a notion McWethy shot down as he relayed that "some U.S. officials believe, in fact, the Iraqis are trying to goad the U.S. in an effort to gain sympathy."

Jennings followed with a look at how "there has been rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia as there has been in many Arab countries," as if such sentiment in a nation which created most of the 9/11 terrorists should govern U.S. policy. Reporter Jim Sciutto proposed: "Across the Arab world, few would miss Saddam Hussein, but even fewer believe a U.S.-led war is the way to remove him."

After John McWethy finished his piece from the Pentagon about the latest firing upon and by Western planes enforcing the "no-fly" zone, Jennings asked him: "Jack, some of the President's critics take these encounters as a sign the President is not waiting for the weapons inspectors to do their jobs and that the U.S. may even be -- these are their words -- 'goading' the Iraqis to lighting up their air defense systems."

McWethy dismissed that theory: "I think there are some U.S. officials that believe, in fact, the Iraqis are trying to goad the U.S. in an effort to gain sympathy from much of the world because, as those U.S. bombs drop, especially in Moslem countries and Arab countries, it doesn't look that good for the U.S."

Next, Jennings warned on his November 20 broadcast: "In Saudi Arabia today, a man with a gun started a fire in a McDonald's restaurant near a U.S. military base south of the capital Riyad. Caused only minor damage. We don't know why he did it. But there has been rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia as there has been in many Arab countries. Just one of the ripple effects on the road to possible war with Iraq. Here's ABC's Jim Sciutto."

Sciutto began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Across the Arab world, few would miss Saddam Hussein, but even fewer believe a U.S.-led war is the way to remove him. Even America's closest allies are reluctant."
Saud al Faisal, Saudi Foreign Minister: "We think unilateral military action would create more problems than it resolves for the region, and we are a country that has to live with the problems."
General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Army -- Saudi Arabia: "They fear the dual optic on the split screen of Israeli tanks in Palestinian neighborhoods and American tanks in Iraqi neighborhoods."
Sciutto: "Mass protests by ordinary Arabs never materialized during the Gulf War, but this generation is younger and has been radicalized by Israeli violence against Palestinians and by what they regard as America's pro-Israel bias..."

Sciutto concluded from Saudi Arabia by warning that "many here see the U.S., not Iraq, as the greater threat to peace."

Just like liberals in Hollywood and Jim McDermott.

Daschle's Scurrilous Charges Against
Limbaugh Skipped

In his last press conference with reporters as Senate Majority Leader, late Wednesday morning Senator Tom Daschle lashed out at conservatives and Rush Limbaugh, ludicrously blaming Limbaugh for threats on the lives of public officials and blaming conservative rhetoric for "fomenting" physical violence. Noting how "religious fundamentalism" overseas has "become so violent," he credited the "same shrill rhetoric" to U.S. conservatives and warned that "pretty soon it's a foment that becomes physical in addition just verbal and that's happening in this country."

Sen. Tom Daschle But instead of jumping on and condemning such irresponsible comments from a such a high-level public official, as they surely would have if uttered by a conservative about liberals (recall media revulsion in 1994 to Newt Gingrich linking the South Carolina mother who murdered her two small children to the rise of liberal values), the networks barely or did not even blink at all.

ABC's World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and CNBC's The News with Brian Williams all ignored the mean-spirited remarks while the NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw read a short item which treated it as a case of Daschle expressing reasonable concern. On CNN's Inside Politics, anchor Judy Woodruff refused to offer any negative characterization as she referred to Daschle's comments as "memorable" and reporter Jonathan Karl called his remarks "fascinating."

Of evening newscasts, only FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume fully conveyed Daschle's vitriol as Carl Cameron highlighted how Daschle "singled out Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that conservative media are inciting violence."
Daschle: "What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people aren't satisfied just to listen. They want to act because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically."
Cameron: "Then he seemed to compare conservative media to fanaticism overseas."
Daschle: "You know, we see it in foreign countries and we think, well my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent. Well, it's that same shrill rhetoric. It's that same shrill power that motivates. [edit jump] Pretty soon it's a foment that becomes physical in addition just verbal and that's happening in this country."

During a wrap-up look at the 107th Congress on CNN's Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff prompted Jonathan Karl: "I understand Tom Daschle had some memorable comments on the Senate floor."

In fact, Daschle's comments were uttered not on the Senate floor but in the Majority Leader's suite, but Karl confirmed her basic point: "Yes. Fascinating. Daschle really took to task talk radio show host, conservative talk radio, blamed them for their shrill tone, a tone he acknowledged as being entertaining and making it harder for Democrats to get their message out. But he also said that talk radio show hosts and the attacks that they have made on him and on other Democrats have increased personal attacks and threats of physical violence against him and against his family. This is what he had to say."
Daschle: "What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people aren't satisfied just to listen. They want to act, because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically and on our families and on us. In a way that's very disconcerting."

Karl added: "And Senator Daschle said that the threats against him and against his family increased after Republicans labeled him an obstructionist and had the whole Republican campaign, Tom Daschle: obstructionist. Now there is a response from Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh actually went on his show this afternoon and talked about this. He said, in part, every time Democrat lose either elections or a major issue, they blame me, they blame talk radio and they blame you, Rush Limbaugh, told his listeners. So obviously, Rush Limbaugh dismissing that criticism from the Majority Leader."

Brokaw provided the only broadcast network mention Wednesday night of Daschle's scurrilous attack, but one Brokaw did not see that way: "As the 107th Congress came to a close today, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle had some comments on the tone of political discourse in this country, saying that threats have increased against him and his family. He blames talk show host Rush Limbaugh and quote, 'all the Rush Limbaugh wannabees' for an increasingly negative tone in politics.' Daschle said 'some people don't seem to know the difference between entertainment and politics' and that they are then quote, 'energized to go out a hurt somebody,' he want on to say 'that troubles me about where politics in this country is going.' Limbaugh countered by saying that Daschle's comments are a Democratic Party strategy to undermine the power of his talk show."

Related Items:
CNN's Cooper Dismisses Comments as "Catfight"
Rather and CBS Skip Story Altogether

Cable and ABC Swoon Over
"What Would Jesus Drive?"

Normally when religious leaders speak out on public policy matters the networks either ignore them or condemn them for suggesting their religious views should direct public policy. But not on Wednesday when the Evangelical Environmental Network publicized its "What Would Jesus Drive?" (WWJD) TV ad campaign against SUVs. The cable networks and ABC swooned, discovering newsworthiness in the views of the religious leaders who were on the side of liberal environmentalists, even if Peter Jennings called them "conservative Christians," as if all evangelicals are politically conservative.

CNN ran segments on the WWJD gimmick all day, including a full interview segment on Talk Back Live and Inside Politics. FNC got in on the action with a segment on the Big Show with John Gibson and probably more stuff that I missed. ABC's World News Tonight ran a story and on Thursday morning, I noticed a while ago, Good Morning America featured an interview with the minister leading the effort.

Both CNBC and ABC's World News Tonight played lengthy clips of the ad promoting the liberal cause, far lengthier clips than they ever play of political ads during campaigns.

Brian Williams announced on his November 20 CNBC show:
"Perhaps you are familiar with the expression among religious Christians when faced with a moral or ethical dilemma or challenge they sometimes ask, 'WWJD,' or 'What Would Jesus Do?' Tonight, a new twist on that. The environmental and religious groups who are asking, 'What Would Jesus Drive?'"

CNBC played a lengthy ad clip for free, joined in progress: "-saw that it was good, and Jesus says, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Yet too many of the cars, trucks and SUVs that are made that we choose to drive are polluting our air, increasing global warming, changing the weather, and endangering our health, especially the health of our children. So, if we love our neighbor and we cherish God's creation, maybe we should ask, 'What would Jesus drive?'"
Williams helpfully noted: "The decidedly anti-SUV commercial is part of a nationwide ad campaign sponsored by the Pennsylvania-based evangelical environmental network to persuade Detroit to build more fuel-efficient vehicles and convince Americans to buy them. It's an issue that's getting a second look in Washington these days, even though, as we mentioned, the administration has been criticized for having big oil men at the helm."

CNBC then ran a Bob Hager piece, which also aired on the NBC Nightly News, about renewed efforts by others to get the CAFé standard for SUVs/light trucks raised from its present 20.7 mpg.

Over on ABC on Wednesday night, Jennings plugged two upcoming stories: "We are going to take a closer look tonight at the latest pressure on car manufacturers to be more fuel efficient -- from the Bush administration and from, yes, conservative Christians."

There's little evidence those behind the effort are "conservatives," but I'll get to that in a few paragraphs.

Following a piece on how administration officials are considering raising the CAFé standard for SUVs, Jennings intoned:
"There was additional pressure today in Detroit. Executives from the country's largest car makers met with a group of religious leaders trying to persuade car makers and car buyers that manufacturing and purchasing more fuel efficient cars is a moral and religious imperative. In fact, the evangelical Christians in the group have gone further. They are launching a television campaign -- you saw a little bit of it earlier -- asking people to think about Jesus when they buy a car. Here's ABC's Dean Reynolds."

Reynolds explained, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "It's a new voice joining the debate over the wisdom of America's love affair with gas-guzzling SUVs, minivans and pickups. The Reverend Jim Ball of a group called the Evangelical Environmental Network says it's time to reframe the issue and get people to think small."
Rev. Jim Ball: "We wanted to start a discussion in the evangelical community on transportation as a moral issue."
Reynolds: "And this is what he's doing."
Clip of ad: "If we love our neighbor and we cherish God's creation, maybe we should ask, 'What would Jesus drive?'"
Reynolds: "This commercial along with bumper stickers and mailings will initially run in four states."
Second clip of ad: "Too many of the cars, trucks and SUVs that are made that we choose to drive are polluting our air and endangering our health, especially the health of our children."
Reynolds did at least relay some criticism: "The idea is inspired by the popular Christian phrase, 'What would Jesus do?' But no one has narrowed the question in such a way. And other Christian leaders are less than enthusiastic. The Reverend Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network said linking Jesus to a campaign against SUVs borders on blasphemy, and he regards it as a joke. It may be hard to sell buyers, too."
Man: "To put religion behind that is, I think, is a cheap shot."
Woman: "I don't think driving a car has anything to do with morality."
Reynolds: "For their part, the auto makers have been courting devout Christians as well. Chevrolet is currently sponsoring a 'Come Together and Worship' rock tour with a homepage link to the latest truck. The industry is skeptical about Jesus preferring a small car."
Woman: "He may well choose an SUV so that several of his apostles could travel with him."
Reynolds concluded: "And while asking what would Jesus drive is one thing, presuming to know the answer is another, especially since it never came up in the first century. Dean Reynolds, ABC News, Chicago."

Every time I try I cannot access the What Would Jesus Drive? Web page, but it is a project of the Evangelical Environmental Network and its Web page hardly conveys any sense that it is "conservative" as Jennings claimed. Check the EEN's home page: http://www.creationcare.org/

The page for their What Would Jesus Drive? anti-choice campaign: http://whatwouldjesusdrive.org

Nachman Decries Liberal Media
"Pile-On" Over Ailes

MSNBC's Jerry Nachman on Tuesday criticized the media "pile-on" against Roger Ailes for offering some post September 11th terrorist attack advice to President Bush when the media hardly reacted at all to revelations about how CNN President Rick Kaplan stayed overnight in Clinton's White House. And FNC's Greta Van Susteren lashed out at her old network for impugning FNC, declaring: "Shame on you, CNN."

During MSNBC's 4pm EST Lester Holt Live on Tuesday, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, Holt picked up on what Nachman was saying and asked Nachman, who was a guest on the show: "Well, let's cut to the chase. Is this the liberal media at work that Roger Ailes complains about?"
Nachman, who is Editor-in-Chief of MSNBC, confirmed: "In a word, yes. I really believe that. I believe that given his example that the former President of CNN spent nights, not in the Lincoln bedroom but in some other bedroom, some Motel 6 bedroom of the White House, why wasn't there the pile-on? Why weren't there the columns we see today in the New York Times and in all the papers around the country?"

Earlier in the day, Nachman, who seems to sometimes appear on every MSNBC show, informed Pat Buchanan and Bill Press: "I can tell you from personal experience that other news division presidents' bosses were hanging out with Clinton in Hollywood and, believe me, it's human nature, as Pat and Bill will say, that if a guy in a job like that says, 'What do you think?' you answer."

Later Tuesday night, November 19, the MRC's Ken Shepherd observed that FNC's Greta Van Susteren, who moved from CNN to FNC at the start of the year, ended her On the Record show by insisting she had editorial independence at both CNN and FNC as she scolded CNN for trying to impugn FNC's integrity:
"Before we go tonight, there is a controversy brewing in the media. It all relates to a very patriotic note that Roger Ailes, the CEO of this network, sent President Bush within a few days of September 11. Most of the attack comes from my former network, CNN. In the last two days, CNN has spent much of their air time attacking Roger Ailes for this note to the President. When I was at CNN, there were complaints because my then boss Rick Kaplan had a friendship with President Clinton, and there was a suggestion that Rick influenced us in our network content. Rick Kaplan never told me what to say or do on the air, not once. Likewise, except to urge me to be fair and balanced, Roger Ailes has never told me what to say or do on this network, not once. Command editorial influence was nonexistent at CNN when I was there, and we don't have it here at Fox. It doesn't work that way. Apparently command editorial influence is now a fiction in the minds of CNN management as it now desperately struggles against the overwhelming success of the Fox news channel. And at a time of their continuously sagging ratings, it looks too much like sour grapes. As our nation faces war, our military is overseas facing unknown consequences, and our homeland is at risk, we all have bigger fish to fry. Shame on you, CNN."

For more on this subject, see the November 19 CyberAlert: Displaying an amazing level of hypocrisy, on Monday CNN shows focused on the revelation that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes sent a memo to Bush adviser Karl Rove just after the terrorist attacks. Treating this as newsworthy: CNN, a network run until two years ago by Rick Kaplan, who while President of CNN, played golf with President Clinton, stayed overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom and attended a mock debate session with Al Gore -- all after, while at ABC News, advising candidate Clinton on how to handle the Flowers situation and blocking anti-Clinton stories from ABC. Details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021119.asp#4

Rooney: Journalists Liberal, I'm
"Surprised" Conservatives Won

60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney, who expressed "surprise" at "how conservative America has gotten," nonetheless showed he is more aware of political ideology than is Phil Donahue. Appearing on Donahue's MSNBC show on Tuesday night, to Donahue's dismay, Rooney agreed with Bernard Goldberg's contention that most journalists view the world from the left: "I think most news people I know tend towards the liberal direction, yes." When Donahue disagreed, Rooney was taken aback: "You don't think that's true? Come on, Phil."

Later, before discounting FNC as "blatantly conservative," Rooney elaborated on his befuddlement over how people in labor unions could vote for conservatives: "I have always failed to understand how, why it is so many working people are conservative Republicans. I mean, a lot of people in labor unions are conservative Republicans. That always surprises me because, in many respects, the Republican Party does not represent their best interests quite often. It's a puzzle."

At the top of the November 19 Donahue, which MSNBC is broadcasting this week from a studio with an audience at Rockefeller Center in hopes of boosting the viewership, Rooney opined: "The election showed this. I am just surprised at how conservative America has gotten. You can't deny it."

I'm sure many of Rooney's CBS News colleagues are trying to.

Donahue set up a clip of Goldberg: "We had your former colleague, Bernie Goldberg, on the show, pushing me up against the wall. Liberal, nobody cares about you know, they marginalize you. The whole media's liberal. Everybody is liberal. To hear them talk, there would be nobody, there's nobody left to be conservative. Here's how he put it on our program. Bernie Goldberg, ex of CBS."
Bernard Goldberg on tape: "I'm talking about it's liberal bias in the news. Not in opinion, in the news. And the problem is that the only people I think at this late date who don't think that there's a liberal bias in the news are people who are even further to the left than the media elites are."
Donahue: "I guess, I wonder who he was talking about. Do you agree with that? You do, yeah. It's a talk show, Andy."
Rooney: "I thought it was a nodding show."
Donahue: "You believe that the, that the-"
Rooney confirmed: "I think most news people I know tend towards the liberal direction, yes. [reacting to Donahue's head shaking] You don't think that's true? Come on, Phil. Of course, it's true. I mean, I try to steer the middle of the road, but I, most of my friends are liberal. Now the-"
Donahue: "I think that most of the media think that homosexuals are people entitled to all the rights and the privileges in the Constitution. I believe that liberals, most liberals are for choice in the matter of a woman's reproductive capacity. If that's liberal, yeah, I think we're liberal."
Rooney: "It is liberal. Yes, it is liberal."
Donahue: "All right. I also, I also believe that most of the media today want to go get Saddam, agree with the President's decision. I would, I think that's true. I can't prove it."

Donahue must not watch Peter Jennings.

But Rooney agreed with Donahue that going into Iraq is a bad idea: "Well, it's an urge. It's a male urge. I mean, I think all of us would like to see us go in there and straighten things out. But if you give it any thought, it's the wrong thing to do without complete international health. The thing about, there is a way of being liberal and not saying anything about it. Now, for instance, Cronkite, for years, I knew where he stood politically, but I don't think the American public had any impression of his being either liberal or a conservative."

Three earlier CyberAlert items about Goldberg and Donahue or Rooney and Goldberg:

-- Phil Donahue went on a lengthy harangue on his MSNBC show about how conservatives control the media and suppress liberal views because journalists have "white male Republican boardroom attitudes." To which Bernard Goldberg retorted that Donahue thinks that "because you're delusional on this matter." See the October 11 CyberAlert, with a RealPlayer clip: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021011.asp#4

-- 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney conceded that Bernard Goldberg is on target about liberal media bias. "I thought he made some very good points," Rooney told CNN's Larry King on Wednesday night. Rooney admitted he has "a liberal bias" since "I'm consistently liberal in my opinions," adding that he considers Dan Rather to be "transparently liberal." See the June 7 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020607.asp#3

-- Picking up on the non-reaction to Andy Rooney's admission of liberal bias and how Dan Rather is "transparently liberal," Bernard Goldberg recalled in a Wall Street Journal op-ed how CBS News people condemned him for daring to suggest any liberal bias. See the June 14 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020614.asp#4

Now back to the November 19 Donahue and how Rooney displayed his liberal, anti-conservative view of the world:
"There are so many opportunities for fluctuations in the attitude of the American public that it's hard to say whether -- after all, it was very close last time. And I have always failed to understand how, why it is so many working people are conservative Republicans. I mean, a lot of people in labor unions are conservative Republicans. That always surprises me because, in many respects, the Republican Party does not represent their best interests quite often. It's a puzzle."

When Donahue raised the Ailes memo, Rooney opined: "Fox is just one network, and there's no question it is blatantly conservative. But I, after all, political bias should not show in a news broadcast, I mean, one way or the other. I don't care which way it is."

As if CBS News broadcasts are free from any liberal tilt.

Gumbel to Host UFO Special


From NBC Sports to NBC News to CBS News and HBO (where he still hosts the monthly Real Sports), and now to the Sci Fi channel and UFOs -- the career path of Bryant Gumbel.

The MRC's Liz Swasey alerted me to this announcement on the Sci Fi channel Web site (don't ask how she saw it) about Gumbel hosting a Friday night show about aliens landing in New Mexico:
"The SCI FI Channel has sponsored an archaeological excavation of the site of a purported UFO crash near Roswell, N.M., in 1947 and filmed it for a documentary to air on Nov. 22. The two-hour documentary, The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT and features new eyewitness interviews and what the network calls a 'smoking gun' -- new evidence concerning the Roswell incident."

Read all about it at: http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2002-11/18/11.45.sfc

> Back on Earth, Tom Ridge is scheduled to appear tonight, Thursday, on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. -- Brent Baker


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