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

With Bush in Vietnam, Nets Hype 'Inevitable Comparison' to Iraq --11/20/2006


1. With Bush in Vietnam, Nets Hype 'Inevitable Comparison' to Iraq
The Friday broadcast network evening newscasts, seemingly with no self-awareness of the role of the traveling press corps, all focused on how in Vietnam President Bush was pressed about comparisons of the Iraq war to the Vietnam war -- a topic he commented on only when asked by a U.S. reporter. CBS was the most adamant in raising parallels, Bush's avoidance of service in Vietnam and how he is now "creating another" Vietnam. Katie Couric declared that Bush "couldn't get away from the inevitable comparisons between Iraq and the war America lost in Vietnam." Over vintage video of the Vietnam war, Jim Axelrod asserted that the Iraq war "is starting to look more and more like this war. The parallels are plain." Axelrod contended that "Mr. Bush's trip here was bound to fuel his critics who've never bought his explanation about how he managed to avoid military service in Vietnam. But Iraq raises the stakes and changes the focus from what he did during the Vietnam War to whether he's creating another one. On a just-released audiotape, President Johnson in 1966 shared his goals for Vietnam." Following audio of LBJ promising the U.S. would leave Vietnam "just as soon as you can have anybody that will guarantee stability," Axelrod intoned: "Mr. Bush's remarks today had an eerie echo as he spoke about Iraq."

2. Rather Charges FNC Biased and Get Talking Points from White House
Dan Rather, who doesn't recognize any liberal bias in himself, CBS News or the mainstream media, was quick to agree Friday night with Bill Maher's contention on HBO that one sentence in an internal Fox News Channel memo, not any actual newscast content, proves FNC practices "the opposite of journalism." On Real Time with Bill Maher, the host cited a memo from Fox News VP John Moody in which he advised his staff to "be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents thrilled at the prospect of a Democratic-controlled Congress." Maher proposed: "That strikes me as the opposite of journalism, as looking for the end of the story before you find what the real truth is." Rather endorsed Maher's take, insisting that "Fox News operates in at least a somewhat different way than every other news organization that I know." Without citing any evidence, Rather charged: "We know that they get talking points from the White House" and, he added, "I think it's pretty clear that they had wished the election had gone another way and they sought to position their programming which would raise as many questions about it as possible" since "they wanted to frame the news in a certain way actually before the news happened." AUDIO&VIDEO

3. CNN's Cafferty: Arrogant Bush Should Stop Opposing Democrats
What's the definition of bipartisanship? According to CNN's Jack Cafferty, it's completely supporting the Democratic agenda. On the Friday edition of The Situation Room, the CNN commentator complained that President Bush, whose "arrogance" he decried, had the temerity to re-nominate John Bolton as UN Ambassador and still support the terrorist surveillance program: "As proof that [Bush's] arrogance was not lost in the election, he wants Congress to pass legislation legalizing the NSA spy program, the one that's already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. That's not going to happen either. Great idea though, right? You do something illegal, you just get your toadies in Congress to pass a law saying that it's legal. Same thing they did with the violations of the Geneva Conventions."

4. Matthews Laughs As Franken Jokes Fund's GOP Buddies Are 'Crooks'
Is MSNBC a liberal network? Just ask Chris Matthews, who let Al Franken whack John Fund around on Hardball Thursday night, telling Fund his "buddies" in the GOP are "crooks." While Fund took offense at the personal attacks, Matthews treated it like part of Franken's stand-up routine. At the segment's end, though, Matthews oozed all over Franken's performance: "Please come back, Al. You've been doing a lot of homework, and I think you got a 'head of the class.' Very well done. I'm not sarcastic. It's great. Thank you, Al, for coming on."

5. ABC's Conservative Character: 'Acknowledge the War Was a Mistake'
It took ABC until just the ninth episode of its new Sunday night drama, Brothers & Sisters, to have its sole conservative character "grow" -- as they say of conservatives who move to the left -- from a pro-war right-winger to a critic of the Iraq war who declared it "a mistake."

6. "Top Ten Chapter Titles in O.J. Simpson's New Book"
Letterman's "Top Ten Chapter Titles in O.J. Simpson's New Book."


With Bush in Vietnam, Nets Hype 'Inevitable
Comparison' to Iraq

The Friday broadcast network evening newscasts, seemingly with no self-awareness of the role of the traveling press corps, all focused on how in Vietnam President Bush was pressed about comparisons of the Iraq war to the Vietnam war -- a topic he commented on only when asked by a U.S. reporter. CBS was the most adamant in raising parallels, Bush's avoidance of service in Vietnam and how he is now "creating another" Vietnam. Katie Couric declared that Bush "couldn't get away from the inevitable comparisons between Iraq and the war America lost in Vietnam." Over vintage video of the Vietnam war, Jim Axelrod asserted that the Iraq war "is starting to look more and more like this war. The parallels are plain." Axelrod contended that "Mr. Bush's trip here was bound to fuel his critics who've never bought his explanation about how he managed to avoid military service in Vietnam. But Iraq raises the stakes and changes the focus from what he did during the Vietnam War to whether he's creating another one. On a just-released audiotape, President Johnson in 1966 shared his goals for Vietnam." Following audio of LBJ promising the U.S. would leave Vietnam "just as soon as you can have anybody that will guarantee stability," Axelrod intoned: "Mr. Bush's remarks today had an eerie echo as he spoke about Iraq."

On ABC's World News, fill-in anchor Elizabeth Vargas insisted "the war in Iraq shadowed President Bush today during his visit to Vietnam" as the Vietnam war "has drawn comparisons to America's experience in Iraq." From Vietnam, Martha Raddatz echoed Couric: "For President Bush, the comparisons to his own war in Iraq were inevitable." NBC anchor Brian Williams announced that "the topic of the current war followed" Bush "all the way" to Vietnam. David Gregory, in Vietnam, also used the "inevitable" characterization of the comparison made by journalists: "The White House tried to avoid reflecting on the war in Vietnam because of the inevitable comparisons to the Iraq war." Gregory asserted that "the obvious parallel between Vietnam and Iraq is the American public's desire to find a way out," and though the Vietnamese are still oppressed in a communist state, Gregory suggested the U.S. won: "But if there is a hopeful sign in the Vietnam of today, prosperous and western-looking, it is this -- that it is possible to lose the war but win the peace."

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

Bush's comments, outside the Sheraton in Hanoi where he took questions from reporters as he stood with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, occurred a little past 2am EST Friday morning, a bit past 1pm local time Friday in Vietnam. I was unable to locate video of the exchange with reporters, so don't know who asked the question comparing Vietnam with Iraq, but the White House transcript provides this as the question which generated the soundbites of Bush on which the networks pounced: "Are there lessons here for the debate over Iraq?" The transcript: www.whitehouse.gov

In the morning, Friday's Today show put this tag on-screen during Kelly O'Donnell's story, "Vietnam Visit: Lessons for Iraq." Over on ABC's Good Morning America, the MRC's Megan McCormack noticed, anchor Chris Cuomo set up a 7am news update report: "President Bush is in Vietnam today bringing back memories of the unpopular war fought there and comparisons to the current war in Iraq." Jessica Yellin relayed from Vietnam: "Touching down here in Vietnam, President Bush was immediately confronted with comparisons between the war America fought and lost here 30 years ago and what some critics call the quagmire in Iraq."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the stories on the November 17 CBS and NBC evening newscasts (I handled ABC):

# CBS Evening News. Katie Couric: "Meanwhile, no surprise, President Bush faced plenty of questions about Iraq as he became only the second American President to visit Vietnam since that war. He's in Hanoi for an economic summit, but he couldn't get away from the inevitable comparisons between Iraq and the war America lost in Vietnam. Chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod is traveling with the President."

Jim Axelrod: "Meeting in Vietnam with one of his strongest allies on Iraq, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, President Bush would not rule out sending even more troops to fight the war there."
George W. Bush, outside with Australian Prime Minister John Howard: "We've got a lot of people looking at different tactical adjustments. Once I make up my mind what those will be, I'll share it with him right off the bat."
Axelrod: "With pressure building at home to bring U.S. soldiers back from Iraq, Mr. Bush was asked if America's experience in Vietnam held any lessons for today."
Bush: "We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."
Axelrod, over vintage video of the Vietnam war: "The President's trip to Vietnam is inviting the last comparison the White House wants made -- that this war is starting to look more and more like this war. The parallels are plain. For President Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam was part of a broader ideological battle against communism. For President Bush, Iraq is the central front in fighting terrorism. Even without the Iraq War, Mr. Bush's trip here was bound to fuel his critics who've never bought his explanation about how he managed to avoid military service in Vietnam. But Iraq raises the stakes and changes the focus from what he did during the Vietnam War to whether he's creating another one. On a just-released audiotape, President Johnson in 1966 shared his goals for Vietnam."
Lyndon Johnson audio: "We'll come home and we'll be out of there just as soon as you can have anybody that will guarantee stability."
Axelrod: "Mr. Bush's remarks today had an eerie echo as he spoke about Iraq."
Bush: "We're not leaving until this job is done, until Iraq can govern, sustain and defend itself."
Axelrod: "Right now, U.S. troops are bogged down, domestic opposition is growing, a presidency is under fire -- a description that fits Iraq and loudly resonates here as well. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, Hanoi."


# ABC's World News with Charles Gibson, but anchored by Elizabeth Vargas: "The war in Iraq shadowed President Bush today during his visit to Vietnam, the second stop in his trip to Asia. The U.S., of course, fought a long and unpopular war in Vietnam, a war that has drawn comparisons to America's experience in Iraq. Our chief White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz, is traveling with the President. She joins us now from Hanoi, where it is now Saturday morning. Martha?"

Martha Raddatz: "Elizabeth, this visit has really become a story of two wars: The war the U.S. is involved in now in Iraq and the war it was involved in more than 30 years ago. The President was greeted as a friend of Vietnam today, promoting capitalism and trade in a country which fell to communism in 1975. Tonight, at a state dinner, the President toasted his communist hosts."
President Bush: "For decades, you had been torn apart by war. Today, the Vietnamese people are at peace."
Raddatz: "One of the first things the President saw on his drive into Hanoi today was the lake where Senator John McCain was captured after his aircraft was struck by a missile during the war."
President Bush: "He suffered a lot as a result of this imprisonment. He was literally saved, in one way, by the people pulling him out."
Raddatz: "George Bush is only the second U.S. President to visit Vietnam since the war ended in 1975 -- Bill Clinton was the first. But for President Bush, the comparisons to his own war in Iraq were inevitable. President Bush was asked today if there are lessons to be learned in Iraq from the Vietnam experience."
President Bush outside with Australian Prime Minister John Howard: "One lesson is, is that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world. And the task in Iraq is going to take a while. [edit jump] We'll succeed unless we quit."
Martha Raddatz: "Chuck Searcy, a Vietnam vet, runs the Vietnam Memorial Fund here in Hanoi, an organization that honors the memory of U.S. vets."
Chuck Searcy, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund: "The Vietnamese actually feel some sadness, I think, for Americans that we again find ourselves in a very difficult dilemma. They really feel kind of sorry for us."
Raddatz: "We spoke to Nguyen Duy Thos, a former Viet Cong soldier who says the two wars should not be compared. 'The U.S. was trying to overthrow the government in Vietnam,' he said. 'In Iraq, the U.S. is trying to help.' Later today, the President will visit a POW/MIA command center, Elizabeth. There are still 1,800 military personnel who are unaccounted for here."


# NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams: "The President of the United States is tonight in Vietnam. As they say, it's a new world, and that is what the President is finding in Vietnam, even though the topic of the current war followed him all the way there. Our chief White House correspondent David Gregory is traveling with the President in Hanoi."

David Gregory: "Thirty years after America's unsuccessful war in this country, a U.S. President was greeted in Hanoi as a friend. The Vietnamese lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the presidential motorcade speeding through Hanoi's sprawling commercial district. Today the White House tried to avoid reflecting on the war in Vietnam because of the inevitable comparisons to the Iraq War. Still, Mr. Bush said, there are lessons."
George W. Bush: "One lesson is, is that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while. We'll succeed unless we quit."
Gregory: "Vietnam War historian Stanley Karnow thinks Iraq and Vietnam are very different conflicts, but he does see similarities."
Stanley Karnow, historian: "Well, we're making the mistake of not understanding what the nature of the countries we're fighting in."
Gregory: "The President said one of the most poignant moments of his drive into Hanoi was when he passed a Truc Bach Lake where Arizona Senator John McCain, then a Navy pilot, was captured after his war plane was shot down. A baby boomer who was not eager to fight in the war that defined his generation, the President said his first ever trip to Vietnam left him amazed."
Bush: "History has a long march to it and that societies change and relationships can constantly be altered to the good."
Gregory: "These days the U.S.-Vietnamese relationship is all about closer economic ties, a message Mr. Bush underscored in a series of meetings here today, including a visit to Communist Party headquarters where the President sat beneath a bronze bust of Ho Chi Minh. The obvious parallel between Vietnam and Iraq is the American public's desire to find a way out. But if there is a hopeful sign in the Vietnam of today, prosperous and western-looking, it is this: that it is possible to lose the war but win the peace."

Rather Charges FNC Biased and Get Talking
Points from White House

Dan Rather, who doesn't recognize any liberal bias in himself, CBS News or the mainstream media, was quick to agree Friday night with Bill Maher's contention on HBO that one sentence in an internal Fox News Channel memo, not any actual newscast content, proves FNC practices "the opposite of journalism." On Real Time with Bill Maher, the host cited a memo from Fox News VP John Moody in which he advised his staff to "be on the lookout


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More See & Hear the Bias

for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents thrilled at the prospect of a Democratic-controlled Congress." Maher proposed: "That strikes me as the opposite of journalism, as looking for the end of the story before you find what the real truth is."

Rather endorsed Maher's take, insisting that "Fox News operates in at least a somewhat different way than every other news organization that I know." Without citing any evidence, Rather charged: "We know that they get talking points from the White House" and, he added, "I think it's pretty clear that they had wished the election had gone another way and they sought to position their programming which would raise as many questions about it as possible" since "they wanted to frame the news in a certain way actually before the news happened."

Can't imagine that ever occurred at CBS News during Rather's tenure!

An audio (MP3) and video (Real and Windows Media) clip will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert.

Speaking of framing a story, as item #1 above recounted, on Friday night correspondents for ABC, CBS and NBC all used the identical "inevitable comparison" phrase as they framed stories, on President Bush's visit to Vietnam, around equating the situation in Iraq to the Vietnam war, stories made viable by a comment from Bush prompted by a question manufactured by a member of the traveling press corps. Maybe ABC, CBS and NBC news executives didn't issue memos suggesting an Iraq/Vietnam comparison storyline -- they don't have to when everyone on staff already thinks alike -- but that's no less insidious.

Maher referred to the e-mailed memo, sent two days after the election, as being posted "today" by Huffington Post. In fact, the image of the e-mail was posted on Tuesday: www.huffingtonpost.com

The relevant portion of the live interview, with Rather via satellite from New York City to promote his new weekly HDNET show Dan Rather Reports, on the November 17 Real Time with Bill Maher produced live in Los Angeles at 11pm EST:

Bill Maher: "I want to bring your attention to something that was on my friend Arianna Huffington's blog today, the Huffington Post. It was an internal memo from Fox News, an organization I guess that would never hire you-" [audience laughter]
Dan Rather: "Probably not."
Maher: "And it says, 'be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents thrilled at the prospect of a Democratic-controlled Congress.' That strikes me as the opposite of journalism, as looking for the end of the story before you find what the real truth is."
Rather: "Well I think it's fair to say Bill, in fact I know it is, that Fox News operates in at least a somewhat different way than every other news organization that I know [some audience laughter]. They have their talking points. In other words, somebody in the hierarchy -- whether this is Roger Ailes who runs the place or not -- we know that they get talking points from the White House and they can say 'well we don't always take those talking points,' but I think it's pretty clear that they had wished the election had gone another way and they sought to position their programming which would raise as many questions about it as possible. They may consider that unfair, but I think that's, by any reasonable objectivity, is what they were after. That they wanted to frame the news in a certain way actually before the news happened.
"That's not a crime, it's not an indictable offense. This is America, they can do what they want to do, but I think that's the perspective through which one should view it."

HDNET's page for Rather's program: www.hd.net

CNN's Cafferty: Arrogant Bush Should
Stop Opposing Democrats

What's the definition of bipartisanship? According to CNN's Jack Cafferty, it's completely supporting the Democratic agenda. On the Friday edition of The Situation Room, the CNN commentator complained that President Bush, whose "arrogance" he decried, had the temerity to re-nominate John Bolton as UN Ambassador and still support the terrorist surveillance program: "As proof that [Bush's] arrogance was not lost in the election, he wants Congress to pass legislation legalizing the NSA spy program, the one that's already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. That's not going to happen either. Great idea though, right? You do something illegal, you just get your toadies in Congress to pass a law saying that it's legal. Same thing they did with the violations of the Geneva Conventions."

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

A transcript of the "Cafferty File" segment, which aired at 4:12pm EST on November 17:

"After the Republicans got the stuffing knocked out of them in the midterms last week, President Bush wanted to make nice. So he had these little sit-downs with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the new powers in Congress, and talked about how they were all just going to get along. That tired old phrase bipartisanship was heard over and over again, as it always is after somebody get's dusted up at the ballot box. Well, here's what's happened since then: Bush wants John Bolton confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the UN by the lame duck session of Congress. Ain't gonna happen. Bush has resubmitted six formally blocked judicial nominees to federal appeals courts and he wants those confirmed by the lame duck session. Ain't gonna happen. And as proof that his arrogance was not lost in the election, he wants Congress to pass legislation legalizing the NSA spy program, the one that's already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. That's not going to happen either. Great idea, right? You do something illegal, you just get your toadies in Congress to pass a law saying it's legal. Same thing they did with the violations of the Geneva Conventions. Here's the question then: 'Is there really such a thing as bipartisanship in Washington? E-mail your thoughts on that to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to Cnn.com/Caffertyfile.com. Wolf?"
Wolf Blitzer: "We're going to find out very, very soon if there is, Jack. Thanks very much."
Cafferty: "Doesn't exist."
Blitzer: "We'll see in a few weeks. We'll get some initial indications."

Matthews Laughs As Franken Jokes Fund's
GOP Buddies Are 'Crooks'

Is MSNBC a liberal network? Just ask Chris Matthews, who let Al Franken whack John Fund around on Hardball Thursday night, telling Fund his "buddies" in the GOP are "crooks." While Fund took offense at the personal attacks, Matthews treated it like part of Franken's stand-up routine. At the segment's end, though, Matthews oozed all over Franken's performance: "Please come back, Al. You've been doing a lot of homework, and I think you got a 'head of the class.' Very well done. I'm not sarcastic. It's great. Thank you, Al, for coming on."

Fund never responded to the joke-slash-personal attack with the obvious line: Franken, the guy whose buddies at Air America were ripping off the Boys and Girls Clubs to pay his multi-million-dollar salary, making crook jokes? Of course, if he had, Matthews probably would have done a full Malkin on him, and told him he didn't put up with personal attacks: www.mrc.org

[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Here's how it went down on the November 16 Hardball. Fund challenged Franken on how he didn't hear Franken say much about what Democrats would do about ethics reform. Franken began reasonably: "I think they can do it all at the same time and I think they will do it all in the first 100 hours. She talked about lobbying reform right away. I'm glad that Steny Hoyer won. I really admire Jack Murtha for standing up on the Iraq War. I admire his service. But part of the vote is what you were talking about, which is voting for ethics reform."

And then the mockery switch turned on toward Fund: "I mean, let's face it, this was your guys, your pals are corrupt. Your buddies, your chums, they're just, they're crooks."

Matthews didn't come to Fund's defense. He just tried to move on: "Let me ask you about the-"
Fund replied: "Thanks. I didn't know they were my chums."
Franken: "Oh, yeah. Come on, John. They're uh, your uh, your buddies."
Fund: "Thanks for saying I hang around with crooks. That's really nice, Al."
Franken: "Oh, you're welcome."

Matthews shifted the attack back on Fund: "Let me ask you both -- you can start, since he just offended you and I think he did intentionally -- let me ask you, John Fund and then Al Franken, there is a notion around the building, I mean, the great joke is from Mark Russell, I've repeated it before, because it's hilarious, what does a Congressman say to another Congressman on Wednesday? 'Have a nice weekend.' I mean, the fact is, the fact, is people say we shouldn't do up on the Hill, we shouldn't be doing indictments, they shouldn't be using the subpoena power, they shouldn't be trying to find how the hell to end this war because that gets in the way of doing minimum wage and the Medicare stuff and it gets in the way of ethics."

Looking right past Fund and sounding increasingly angry, Matthews said, "You act like, John, if you do minimum wage, they don't do ethics. They can work five days a week, can't they?"
Fund: "Well, they haven't brought a calendar to say to do that. Look, the Republicans had a legitimate problem."
Matthews: "It's their own job!"
Fund: "They did not do oversight that congress was supposed to do. Because you can't do it three days a week."

Matthews: "Right. Who decided that the Hill should only work three days a week? The Republican leadership."
Fund: "It was family friendly. The whole thing was going to be a family-friendly Congress."
Matthews, over the top of Fund's argument: "So you're supposed to work three days a week? What is this, the mommy track on Capitol Hill? Jesus!"
Fund: "A lot of members decided not to move their families to Washington. They decided to keep them in the district."
Matthews, rolling his eyes: "Oh, that was a great decision."

When Matthews oddly brought Franken back in, saying "I'm not going to argue this" -- um, you just did -- Franken went back to the buddies gibe: "John's pals, his buddies, his friends, decided we'll only have 69 full work days in the whole, whole year. Your buddies did that."

Then, as the topic shifted to energy, Fund argued we should not leap again into subsidizing wasteful alternative energy sources like ethanol (which Franken supported), Franken did it again: "By giving tax breaks to oil companies like your buddies did in the last congress? In the last energy bill? Your pals, giving billions of dollars in tax breaks, john?" At this point, Matthews was laughing so hard at this alleged humor that he put his hand on his head, as if to say, please, I can't handle the non-stop hilarity.

Fund reacted defensively: "Al, for somebody who wants to talk about policy, you want to make it personal. I'm sorry."
Franken: "Maybe you're not in on the joke, John...your pal thing. That was a joke. You just didn't get it.
Fund: "Sometimes you're on and sometimes you're off, Al. You know that."
Franken, over Matthews laughing: "I'm always on. You barely ever are."

Then, after Franken held forth on how brilliant "the President" (well, former President Bill Clinton) had been at a dinner, discussing the difference between an ideology and a philosophy, Matthews uncorked his toast to Franken's genius: "Please come back, Al. You've been doing a lot of homework, and I think you got a 'head of the class.' Very well done. I'm not sarcastic. It's great. Thank you, Al, for coming on."
Franken: "Okay,John, say hi to your buddies."
Fund: "Say hi to Bill."
Franken: "He's a great buddy. You've got your corrupt buddies."

Matthews wheezed with laughter.

ABC's Conservative Character: 'Acknowledge
the War Was a Mistake'

It took ABC until just the ninth episode of its new Sunday night drama, Brothers & Sisters, to have its sole conservative character "grow" -- as they say of conservatives who move to the left -- from a pro-war right-winger to a critic of the Iraq war who declared it "a mistake." The show evolves around the "Walkers," a southern California family of two adult sisters and three adult brothers with Sally Field playing "Nora," the liberal widowed matriarch who regularly clashes with daughter "Kitty," the conservative half of a left/right daily TV show, played by Calista Flockhart.

On Sunday's episode, Nora was very upset by the Army's decision to recall her son, "Justin," who had served in Afghanistan, to go to Iraq. Feeling guilty about her pro-war sentiments which may have influenced Justin to enlist in the first place, before an interview with "Senator Robert McCallister," a California Republican played by Rob Lowe, Kitty plead with him to get the order rescinded. He refused, but she did him the favor during the interview of not asking about his divorce and rumors he had sex his family's nanny. Before the taped interview aired, she introduced it with an apology as she asserted: "I made a mistake in compromising the interview that you're about to see, and I made a mistake in continuing to defend a war that is in a desperate need of re-examination, re-examination which cannot come until we acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake."

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

ABC's page for Brothers & Sisters: abc.go.com

From the November 19 episode of Brothers & Sisters, Calista Flockhart, as "Kitty Walker," on the set of the imaginary Red, White and Blue television show:

"In the interview that you are about to see, I asked Senator McCallister about his stem cell bill, his position on Iraq and his aspiration towards higher executive office. What I didn't ask him about was his recent divorce. Now I wish I could I say I didn't ask the Senator about his divorce because of some high-minded notion of journalistic integrity, but it was just the opposite. I have a brother who served in Afghanistan and was recently called back to serve in Iraq. And I did the Senator a favor in the hope that he would do me one and use his influence to keep my brother home, to keep him from fighting in a war that I have defended on this very program.
"Senator McCallister rightly refused to help me. His integrity remains intact. But mine, however, less so. 'Mistakes were made.' President Ronald Reagan said those words 20 years ago at a time when admitting a mistake was perceived as a sign of strength, not weakness. I made a mistake. I made a mistake in compromising the interview that you're about to see, and I made a mistake in continuing to defend a war that is in a desperate need of re-examination, re-examination which cannot come until we acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake. None of this is meant to serve as an excuse for my own conduct, but I do hope that you will find in your hearts to accept my apology."

"Top Ten Chapter Titles in O.J. Simpson's
New Book"

From the November 16 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Chapter Titles in O.J. Simpson's New Book." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. "People On My To-Kill List"

9. "Tuesdays With Robert Blake"

8. "The Murder Weapon: Is It Hidden In Your Town?"

7. "101 Alibis For All Occasions"

6. "Guitar Lessons, Ballroom Dancing And Other Things I've Taken A Stab At"

5. "How I Killed Pat Morita"

4. "My Confession: I Love Pop-Tarts"

3. "Things I Want To Do Before I Go To Hell"

2. "It's Not Like I'm Blaming It On The Jews"

1. "If Murdering Two People Is A Crime, Then Call Me Guilty!"

-- Brent Baker