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Bush's Budget: "Record Deficits" and "Huge Tax Cuts" -- 02/04/2003 CyberAlert


1. Bush's Budget: "Record Deficits" and "Huge Tax Cuts"
Tom Brokaw stressed how President Bush's proposed budget "contains record deficits" and "huge tax cuts," though the tax cuts represent less than 1/20th the expected federal spending over the next ten years.

2. ABC's Ross Traces NASA Budget Cutting to Clinton Years
While numerous reporters have been raising questions about budget cutbacks at NASA, ABC's Brian Ross actually noted how they were enacted during the Clinton years and continued into Bush's first years. On Monday's Good Morning America Ross cited how the GAO reported "that the cutbacks during the Clinton administration reached the 'point of reducing NASA's ability to safely support the shuttle program.'" Whether budget issues had anything to do with the disaster or not, GMA co-host Charles Gibson wouldn't let go of the idea. When Democratic Senator Bill Nelson denied a connection, Gibson demanded: "But Senator, how can you say that?"

3. CNN's Cooper Wonders If "Peace Activists" Criticize Hussein?
A refreshing question on CNN's NewsNight from fill-in anchor Anderson Cooper. Last Thursday night Cooper asked reporter Nic Robertson in Baghdad if any of the "peace activists" who travel there "ever criticize the Baghdad regime as well? Because what we end up seeing often is them criticizing the United States." Robertson's answer was less impressive as he insisted the activists are "very critical as well of the Iraqi regime."

4. More Dennis Miller, Praising Bush and Zinging Liberals
More from Dennis Miller, the very un-liberal Hollywood-like actor/comedian. Following up on his appearance on NBC's Tonight Show where he praised Bush's Iraq policy and made fun of the French, the Germans and the ACLU, Miller showed up Friday night on MSNBC's Hardball. Trying to appeal to those in favor of abortion, he suggested "to not think of this as a war, but just think that we've chosen to abort Hussein." Miller explained that liberal opposition to school vouchers turned him to the right and he delivered fresh cracks at Bill Clinton and John Edwards.

5. Kerry and Dean Pick Up Hollywood Left Supporters
The Hollywood Left are starting to line up behind their favorite liberal Democratic candidate. Kathleen Turner has decided to back Senator John Kerry while Martin Sheen has announced his endorsement of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

6. Limbaugh Quotes Column Which Praised the "Always-Alert MRC"
MRC in the News. Rush Limbaugh on Monday read aloud on his radio show from a column by Kathleen Parker citing a CyberAlert item about Matt Lauer admitting he feels guilty about owning an SUV. Parker noted: "Credit goes to the always-alert Media Research Center..." Plus, this week's Weekly Standard magazine picked up CyberAlert's quoting of Dennis Miller.

7. Behar Admits Not Hearing of Shuttle Disaster Until Sunday
File under the world through the eyes of a Lifetime "television for women" viewer. On Monday's The View, co-host Joy Behar admitted that though she spent the "whole weekend...watching television," she did not learn of Saturday morning's Columbia space shuttle disaster until Sunday. Behar explained that she avoids television news because "it's too stressful to watch."


>>> Now online, the February 3 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Amongst the topic headings: "He Can't Be Evil -- He Funds Art"; "Still Trusts Saddam, Doubts U.S."; "Loony Left = Mainstream America"; "Justice Gibson Has Ruled"; "Even Tricky Dick Preferable to W."; "Brrrr, It's Getting Too Hot"; "Annoyed by Monica Media Frenzy"; "A Conservative at CBS? Uh..." and "Real Men Are Pro-Abortion."
To read all of those quotes and more:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/notablequotables/2003/nq20030203.asp
To access the Adobe Acrobat PDF version:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/notablequotables/2003/pdf/feb32003.pdf <<<

Bush's Budget: "Record Deficits" and
"Huge Tax Cuts"

Tom Brokaw stressed how President Bush's proposed budget "contains record deficits" and "huge tax cuts," though the tax cuts represent less than 1/20th the expected federal spending over the next ten years.

Brokaw handled the story himself on the February 3 NBC Nightly News, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
NBC's Tom Brokaw "President Bush sent Congress a budget for the next fiscal year today that contains record deficits, huge tax cuts, big spending increases for the Pentagon and homeland defense, and tight controls on most other domestic government programs. The total amount of the federal budget for the year beginning October 1st is $2.23 trillion, which assumes a record budget deficit for the year of $307 billion. It also assumes a ten-year tax cut that totals $1.5 trillion. Agencies receiving big budget increases include the Department of Defense and the new Homeland, Department of Homeland Security. Spending is held to a two percent increase in much of the rest of the government with some agencies including Labor and Agriculture facing budget cuts. One item that is not a factor in this budget, the potential cost of a war in Iraq. Democrats on Capitol Hill were harshly critical, Tom Daschle calling the Bush administration the most fiscally irresponsible in history. The White House budget chief says the projected deficits are a small percentage of the economy as a whole."

Meanwhile, over on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather highlighted the proposed hike in NASA's budget planned well before Saturday's disaster: "President Bush today sent Congress his budget proposal for the next fiscal year. It calls for two and a quarter trillion dollars in spending [on screen: $2.23 trillion] and it projects a $307 billion deficit which President Bush blames on, and I quote him now, 'a recession and a war we did not choose.' The budget includes a 24 percent increase in spending on the space shuttle program, up to nearly four billion dollars [on screen: $3.97 billion]."

ABC's Ross Traces NASA Budget Cutting
to Clinton Years

Finally, a Democrat blamed for a budget cut which supposedly led to a bad result. Usually it's conservatives who are held culpable by journalists for budget cuts that caused a social problem, such as homelessness or the elderly being unable to heat their homes, but while numerous reporters have been raising questions about budget cutbacks at NASA, ABC's Brian Ross has actually pointed out how they were enacted during the Clinton administration and continued into Bush's first years.

On Monday's Good Morning America, Ross cited how "the White House, under both the Clinton and Bush administrations," has forced "NASA to operate the shuttle on a shoestring." He added that the GAO reported "that the cutbacks during the Clinton administration reached the 'point of reducing NASA's ability to safely support the shuttle program.'"

Whether or not budget issues had anything to do with the disaster, GMA co-host Charles Gibson wouldn't let go of the idea. When Democratic Senator Bill Nelson asserted that "this tragedy doesn't appear to be connected with the delay of any of those safety upgrades" which budget constraints prohibited, Gibson demanded: "But Senator, how can you say that?" Gibson argued: "It is possible that some of those safety compromises could have been causative here."

In the 7:30am half hour of Monday's GMA, in a story which largely matched a piece aired on Sunday's two-hour This Week, Ross reported: "There have been repeated warnings over the last few years about Congress and the White House, under both the Clinton and Bush administrations, forcing NASA to operate the shuttle on a shoestring. Richard Blomberg, former chief of NASA's top safety panel, last year warned the agency was planting the seeds for future danger."

Ross soon added that Space Shuttle Columbia was "denied a number of recommended safety upgrades because of budget pressures in the Clinton and Bush administrations."
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison claimed: "In the last six to seven years we've had draconian budget cuts."
Ross: "Despite an excellent overall safety record at NASA, a General Accounting Office report issued just a few weeks ago reached a scathing conclusion, that the cutbacks during the Clinton administration reached the 'point of reducing NASA's ability to safely support the shuttle program' and despite efforts to improve under the Bush White House little has changed. Quote, 'these challenges have not been mitigated,' unquote.'"

GMA went to Gibson in outside of Houston who interviewed Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a former shuttle passenger, via satellite. Nelson insisted that the "last two administrations have been starving NASA of money," but he maintained that "this tragedy doesn't appear to be connected with the delay of any of those safety upgrades."
Gibson jumped in: "But Senator, how can you say that? Because NASA's own administrator has said, look we can't rule anything out, we don't know. It is possible that some of those safety compromises could have been causative here."
Nelson maintained that the delayed safety upgrades were to such things as cockpit technology, rockets and engines, areas not now under suspicion.

The exchange put Gibson to the left of the Democratic Senator.

As for NASA's budget numbers, a chart in Monday's USA Today revealed that the agency's budget has grown from $12.4 billion in 1990 to $14.5 billion in 2002, but to keep up with inflation it would have had to have increased to $20.3 billion in 2002.

But in that time frame NASA reduced the shuttle flight schedule to conform to the budget it had.

CNN's Cooper Wonders If "Peace Activists"
Criticize Hussein?

A refreshing question on CNN's NewsNight, not from usual anchor Aaron Brown but from fill-in anchor Anderson Cooper. Last Thursday night Cooper asked reporter Nic Robertson in Baghdad if any of the "peace activists" who travel there "ever criticize the Baghdad regime as well? Because what we end up seeing often is them criticizing the United States." Robertson's answer was less impressive as he insisted the activists are "very critical as well of the Iraqi regime."

MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught the exchange on the January 30 NewsNight. After a piece from Robertson about foreign protesters in Baghdad against any U.S. action, Cooper wondered:
"Nic, just one more quick question. You know, we see on TV a lot of these, you know, peace activists, so-called human rights activists, going to Baghdad. Do they ever criticize the Baghdad regime as well? Because what we end up seeing often is them criticizing the United States."
Robertson defended the far-left activists: "Anderson, maybe that's our fault here as journalists not to put that across as well. This particular group has some well-accomplished peace activists, if you will, among them. They were very critical as well of the Iraqi regime, saying that they -- if they found them guilty of any war crimes, they would not hesitate to put that forward.
"What they said they came here to do was from -- and even they said, Anderson, that they realized that there's very little room for maneuver here. They're not seeing any changes, they're not expecting, even, to see any particular changes. But they say what they want to do is put on the record the potential for the loss of life and what that means. And that's really what they say they came here to do, this particular group, Anderson."

More Dennis Miller, Praising Bush and
Zinging Liberals

More from Dennis Miller, the very un-liberal Hollywood-like actor/comedian/former Monday Night Football commentator. Following up on his Wednesday night appearance on NBC's Tonight Show where he praised Bush's Iraq policy and made fun of the French, the Germans and the ACLU, Miller showed up Friday night on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Noting how his detractors claim he's "pro-war," he picked up on how those in favor of abortion being legal deny they are "pro-abortion" and suggested: "I would encourage some of those folks to not think of this as a war, but just think that we've chosen to abort Hussein."

Miller reaffirmed how he trusts President Bush to do what is right and told Matthews that he voted for Bush after leaving the Democratic fold because of how "strident" liberals had become, especially in their opposition to school vouchers.

On Bill Clinton, he cracked: "Clinton's the sort of guy who'll always volunteer to help you move, then when you've got four of ya picking up the sofa, he's the one who'll fake lifting."

As for a John Edwards presidency, Miller worried: "I think lawyers are screwing this country up, and I'm afraid that if Edwards gets in there, he might just end up suing other countries. 'Mr. Hussein, you have been served!'"

Below are fuller quotes of what was just recited followed by links to earlier CyberAlert articles quoting Miller.

MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens corrected the transcript against the tape and provided some highlights from the January 31 Hardball:

-- Matthews: "I don't think I have to slow the pitch down for you one bit, Dennis Miller. You are one sharp, smart guy who's in touch with America. You are with George Bush, why, completely with the President, no matter how he decides, you said to me, before we went on the air."
Miller: "Well, listen, you know, that's why earlier on, the tease was going to be, 'he's pro-war.' Now what kind of moron is pro-war? I'm not pro-war any more than I assume most, you know, pro-choice people are for abortion. You know, it's just a necessary, you know, tough thing in life, but as a matter of fact, I would encourage some of those folks to not think of this as a war, but just think that we've chosen to abort Hussein. And I just think that at some point it's our turn. It's almost like we're in a card game, and anybody who says that they can't see that the Taliban or the Al Qaeda and that Iraq would have any affiliation, that seems naive to me."

-- Miller: "I've heard that thing, you know that's what, I'm getting tired of just hearing this go on and on ad nauseam. It's time to do something, and you say that you don't know how can I go in, how I can advocate it if I don't know the numbers. For God's sake, Chris, all I'm saying is I believe in the man we just saw [Bush soundbite earlier], that he knows more about it than I do. I'm not one of these people who thinks everybody has to tell, especially people in Hollywood, exactly what's going on. For God's sake, Hollywood, we can't keep secrets out there. I know Craig Kilborn's deal for God's sake. Why would they want to tell us anything? I'm just saying if he wants to go in, I assume there's good reason. If he doesn't want to go in at some point, I assume there's equally good reason, and I'm just willing to back the President."
Matthews: "When did you develop this 100 percent faith in the President, the new President, that's only been in office a couple years now?"
Miller: "I just think that he seems like a-"
Matthews: "When did you first get that glint in your eye about him?"
Miller: "Well, you know I'm a humorist, that's my, I like his sense of humor about himself. I think that he doesn't take himself as seriously as some people I've seen in that office. I do think he's, as I said earlier, a bit of a humanist. Listen, everybody has different takes on this man. Some people-"
Matthews: "Did you vote for him?"
Miller: "Yes I did."
Matthews: "First time you voted Republican? I feel like I'm Brian Lamb here."
Miller: "Well, you know, a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell. I'll tell you about Bush, but I, you know I-"
Matthews: "Are you a lifelong Republican or a lifelong Democrat?"
Miller: "I was a lifelong Democrat for a long time."
Matthews: "Did you switch for Bush?"
Miller: "Well I switched for other reasons. I began to find the dialogue on the left side of it to be getting a little strident. And I'll tell you what, school vouchers were a thing for me that didn't, I just remember thinking, I look at the public school system and it seems so broken, and I thought well, why don't we try that and when I heard Democrats saying, 'no, no we shouldn't try that,' I thought-"
Matthews: "Because they're in bed with the unions."
Miller: "Yeah, well, that seemed, you know that seemed pretty self-serving to me."
Matthews: "That's the truth."
Miller: "And I thought for God's sakes we've got to do something to solve this, and I began to, you know, look into other sides of the issue."
Matthews: "Did you switch after Clinton or before Clinton? Did you vote for Clinton?"
Miller: "No, I was not a Bill Clinton fan. You know I just, you know, to me, Clinton's the sort of guy who'll always volunteer to help you move, then when you've got four of ya picking up the sofa, he's the one who'll fake lifting."
Matthews: "Yeah, that's pretty good."
Miller: "You know I never got a good, I never good take on that man."
Matthews: "He never follows through on his promises."

-- Miller: "You act like I come in here like a war general hawk. I'm conceding to you, I'm a Hollywood comedian. I'm just saying though, if I have to trust Bush or trust the other side right now, Bush is in there, and I'm gonna go, 'Okay I'll have to believe what he's gonna tell me.' And if he's gonna tell me it's time to go in, that's all I'm saying as far as this hawkishness that you're now inferring on me for the rest of my life. But I would say this about Gephardt, I think he obviously has a Dukakis-issian lack of charisma that is gonna keep him from getting it. You know, most politicians are transparent and Gephardt is translucent actually."
Matthews: "What about John Edwards? Give me your take on him. What's the Hollywood take on him, since you're now speaking for your community."
Miller: "You know what? I'm intrigued by him only to the extent that Hitchens, who I find to be a tough, tough nut, I mean I believe Chris Hitchens is down on Mother Teresa, for God's sake
and he assures me that the guy's got stuff, he told me once. And I thought, 'Wow, Chris Hitchens, I've never heard that come out of his mouth.'"
Matthews: "You've never heard romantic ideas from him before."
Miller: "Yeah he's always scoffing. But I, but I'm afraid that if, I'm not a big lawyer guy. I think lawyers are screwing this country up, and I'm afraid that if Edwards gets in there, he might just end up suing other countries. 'Mr. Hussein, you have been served! If you choose not to show your face-'"
Matthews: "Serve him with a subpoena. Process him..."

> Earlier Miller: As recounted in the January 30 CyberAlert, on Wednesday's Tonight Show on NBC Dennis Miller delivered some zingers against opponents of taking on Saddam Hussein militarily. Since 9-11 the actor/comedian has honed his shtick around mocking liberals opposed to President Bush's tough line against terrorism.

Some of his shots on the January 29 Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
"Sean Penn, for instance, is urging restraint. What could we possibly say to Sean to get him on board? If only Saddam Hussein was a paparazzi." (Penn once punched a photographer.)
"The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq....The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies."

For more, with a picture of Miller:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030130.asp#8

Last November on the Tonight Show Miller praised Bush's anti-terrorism efforts, favored attacking Iraq and juxtaposed the "wocka-wocka porno guitar of the Clinton administration" with how Bush "makes me proud to be an American again. He's just a decent guy." See:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021108.asp#7

In a June, 2002 Tonight Show appearance Miller mocked liberal orthodoxy: "If you put the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison outside of Kabul it would be their Epcot." And: "I say we create a new airline, called the ACLA, the American Civil Liberties Airline where you don't check anybody, you don't ask any questions, and let those morons fly on that one." See:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020620.asp#4

And in November of 2001, noting how reporters say "it's the public's need to know about our ground forces being in there," on the Tonight Show Dennis Miller led the audience in a reprimanding journalists: "We don't want to know!" Miller also called for oil drilling in Alaska and praised President Bush for ending "the '70s porno guitar of the Clinton administration." See:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20011107.asp#7

For Miller's Internet Movie Database page with a rundown of his acting credits: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Miller,+Dennis+(I)

Kerry and Dean Pick Up Hollywood
Left Supporters

Speaking of Hollywood and presidential candidates, actors and actresses are starting to line up behind their favorite liberal Democratic candidate. Kathleen Turner has decided to back Senator John Kerry while Martin Sheen has announced his endorsement of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

-- The January 23 "The Reliable Source" column in the Washington Post by Lloyd Grove related: "It looks like Sen. John Kerry has won the Kathleen Turner primary. Tuesday night at the big NARAL Pro-Choice America dinner commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, the sultry actress confided to The Post's Mark Leibovich that she would support the Massachusetts Democrat's presidential ambitions. 'I spent a half-hour with him this afternoon,' she cooed."

For Kathleen Turner's Internet Movie Database page with a photo: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Turner,+Kathleen

To see the liberal policies espoused by Kerry, check his campaign's page: http://www.johnkerry.com/site/PageServer

Turner's endorsement of Kerry came at the same event where actor Ed Harris charged that President George W. Bush is not "a man," apparently because of his pro-life position. For details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030123.asp#6

-- An unbylined AP dispatch on Saturday reported: "Actor Martin Sheen, who portrays President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's The West Wing, endorsed Democrat Howard Dean last week when Vermont's former chief executive dropped by the set -- on location, by the way, in Washington.
"Sheen thinks Dean is 'the best possible hope for the Democrats because he's not afraid to lose,' said Glennis Liberty, the actor's publicist.
"Dean's staff happily pointed out that the fictional Bartlet, like Dean, is a former governor of a New England state and a Democrat. Both also are married to physicians."

Indeed, on The West Wing the First Lady is a physician and Sheen plays the former Governor of New Hampshire.

For the February 1 Associated Press story in full:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030201
/ap_on_en_mo/people_sheen_2

For Sheen's Internet Movie Database page:
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Sheen,+Martin

For NBC's page for The West Wing:
http://www.nbc.com/The_West_Wing/index.html

For Dean's campaign page proclaiming his liberal positions:
http://www.deanforamerica.com

Limbaugh Quotes Column Which Praised
the "Always-Alert MRC"

MRC in the News. Rush Limbaugh on Monday read aloud on his radio show from a column by Kathleen Parker citing a CyberAlert item about Matt Lauer admitting he feels guilty about owning an SUV. Parker noted: "Credit goes to the always-alert Media Research Center..." Plus, this week's Weekly Standard magazine picked up CyberAlert's quoting of Dennis Miller.

(Back in December, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. referred to us as "the ever-alert Media Research Center.")

-- An excerpt from "If you drive an SUV, park next to me," a nationally syndicated column from the Orlando Sentinel-based Kathleen Parker:

Honestly, if I didn't already own an SUV, I'd go out and buy one. While I'm at it, I might grab a Big Mac and fries, shoot a deer and run over a war protester.

Not because I love SUVs, but because the recent Kafkaesque assault on SUV drivers has just about exhausted my legendary sensitivity reserves.

First it was the "What would Jesus drive?" campaign positing the notion that SUV-driving is a sin second only to stoning pregnant rape victims. Next Arianna Huffington -- columnist, author and FOH (Friend of Hollywood) -- produced a series of anti-SUV ads playing off anti-drug commercials in which teens admit to helping terrorists by smoking pot.

In Huffington's ads, supposed SUV drivers -- soccer moms and the sort -- look into the camera and deadpan phrases such as: "I helped hijack an airplane"; "I helped blow up a night club"; "I gassed 40,000 Kurds." In other words, people like yours truly are guilty of aiding and abetting terrorists.

Now, Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC's Today show, has outed himself as a guilt-addled SUV owner during the show's weeklong exploration of the nation's gas-guzzling problem. As he introduced recent guests, Lauer impersonated a man thinking and mused:

"While it's great to haul my son's junk around, am I using more than my fair share of the precious fuel that's available?"

The segment included Robert Kennedy Jr., senior attorney with the National Resources Defense Council, and Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Kazman's group was identified as receiving some of its funding from the auto industry, while no mention was made of Kennedy's funding sources and donors, but you can guess they don't belong to the vast right wing, which, as everyone knows, supports war at any cost so long as the United States gains dominion over Middle East oil reserves.

Credit goes to the always-alert Media Research Center for noting Lauer's unequal treatment of his guests....

Furthermore, what uses more energy: An SUV that gets filled up once a week? That would be mine. Or, say, a Brentwood mansion with electronic gates, such as the one in which Huffington lives?

I don't resent rich people. In fact, I aspire to be one, find them useful to the economy and prefer their parties. But I do resent when other people insist that you ascend to their higher moral ground just because it makes them feel better....

END of Excerpt

For the column in full:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/columnists/orl-edpparker
02020203feb02,0,3426407.column

For the CyberAlert item that Parker cited:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030129.asp#10

-- "Miller Time" reads the headline over a "Scrapbook" item in the February 10 Weekly Standard. It recounted how, "If you were lucky, you caught comedian Dennis Miller on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last week, when he went off on liberals, Saddam Hussein, and even the ACLU."

The Weekly Standard reported: "Miller admitted he is a Bush fan and that he loved the President's State of the Union speech. With regard to the inspectors in Iraq, Miller asked, 'How long do we have to wait for these morons?' He compared Hans Blix to Inspector Clouseau -- and pictured the U.N. teams 'driving around in the Scooby-Doo van' looking for weapons."...
"'The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq....The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies.'"

The Standard then relayed another zinger which was quoted in last Thursday's CyberAlert: "As for the American Civil Liberties Union, well, we'll let him explain it in his own words:
"'The ACLU spent this entire holiday season protesting public displays of the nativity scene. Yeah, that's the problem with America right now: Public displays of Christ's birth, that's the problem. It's unbelievable to me. The ACLU will no longer fight for your right to put up a nativity scene, but they'll fight for the right of the local freak who wants to stumble onto the scene and have sex with one of the sheep.' (Thanks, as always, to our friends at the Media Research Center for providing some of the transcripts.)"

Weekly Standard subscribers can read the item online at:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Protected/Articles/000/000/002/189jvzbd.asp

Behar Admits Not Hearing of Shuttle Disaster
Until Sunday

File under life goes by some people, or the world through the eyes of a Lifetime "television for women" viewer. On Monday's The View, ABC's daytime show created by Barbara Walters, co-host Joy Behar admitted that though she spent the "whole weekend...watching television," she did not learn of the Columbia space shuttle disaster until Sunday -- at least 24 hours after it happened. Behar explained that she avoids television news because "it's too stressful to watch."

Asked by lead co-host Meredith Vieira where she was when the Columbia disaster occurred, Behar, who once worked for Good Morning America and as a WABC Radio talk show host, replied on the February 3 show:
"I spent the whole weekend, this past weekend, watching television, but movies, and I didn't even know what happened until Sunday. I mean, I didn't even turn on the news because it's too stressful to watch the news these days. And when I heard it it was almost like, 'Oh my God it happened,' and it was already late, you know?"

Not really.

By Saturday night even entertainment cable channels were running bumpers with tributes to the lost Columbia crew, to say nothing of non-stop cable news coverage, extensive coverage by the broadcast networks and local affiliate newscasts and radio news, so it's hard to imagine how anyone could manage to avoid hearing about it.

For a picture of Behar and her bio:
http://abc.abcnews.go.com/theview/hosts/behar.html

> Not that Behar would notice, but in addition to the cable networks, ABC, CBS and NBC all plan live coverage of Tuesday's 1pm EST memorial service for the Columbia crew which President Bush will attend.

-- Brent Baker, Editor of CyberAlert from the "always-alert" and "ever-alert" Media Research Center