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

Cafferty: Bush Deserves Impeachment, Finds 'Amazing 98%' Agree --11/3/2006


1. Cafferty: Bush Deserves Impeachment, Finds 'Amazing 98%' Agree
CNN's Jack Cafferty listed a litany of supposed Bush misdeeds and how Bill Clinton "was impeached for telling a lie" before posing his "Cafferty File" question in the 7pm EST hour of Thursday's The Situation Room: "If the Republicans lose the election Tuesday, what should happen to President Bush?" Naturally, Cafferty's strong suggestion that President George W. Bush deserves the same generated matching e-mails, yet Cafferty expressed astonishment: "It's amazing. 98 percent of the ones that I read -- and I looked at several hundred of them -- said impeach him....There's a lot of anger out there over what this man's done." Amongst the e-mails Cafferty read, one declared: "Of course George Bush deserves to be impeached, and he should also be thrown in jail." Another writer recommended: "He should be 'legally' water-boarded until he can recite the Bill of Rights and define habeas corpus."

2. Williams Uses NBC Time to Dismiss Flimsy Charge of Liberal Bias
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gave air time to dismissing a flimsy charge of liberal media bias based not on any content, but simply on the planned location of the newscast. From Memphis, Williams noted that "emotions are running so high," in the Tennessee Senate contest between Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford, "that we must tell you, even our choice of cities for this broadcast tonight has become controversial because Memphis is the hometown base of the Democrat in this race." Williams then read from an e-mail sent by "Butch," who complained: "There is one reason and one reason only that Briansama is coming to Memphis...for his obvious attempt to promote Ford...This is the liberal media at its very lowest." Williams easily discounted the theory: "The truth is, nothing so sinister. We chose Memphis because it is the largest city in the state and happens to be home to a great NBC television station."

3. Olbermann Slams MRC's Bozell for Criticizing Anti-Bush Diatribe
For daring to criticize Keith Olbermann's Wednesday night "Special Comment" rant against President Bush for inspiring "domestic terrorism," the MSNBC host on Thursday night named Media Research Center President Brent Bozell his "bronze" nominee in his daily "Worst Person in the World" segment. Olbermann, who misidentified the MRC as the "Media Research Council," proceeded to claim that Bozell was on the phone ordering men's underwear to don "on his head." Olbermann ridiculed Bozell: "The bronze to funny man Brent Bozell, self-appointed President of the self-created Media Research Council, responding to my Special Comment last night with a press release headlined, 'MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Preaches Hate Speech.'...[T]his is the guy who wrote the Willie Horton ad and in the press release he calls me a 'brown shirt.' And he thinks other people are preaching hate speech. Buy this man a mirror!" AUDIO&VIDEO

4. Tony Snow Battles CNN, Rips Network for Showing Sniper Video
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow appeared on Thursday's American Morning in a feisty mood, ready to battle CNN's liberal agenda. Co-anchor Miles O'Brien offered Snow a loaded question about Republican opposition to Donald Rumsfeld and Snow fired back by mentioning the cable network's infamous "sniper video." O'Brien proposed: "The President with a show of support for Defense secretary saying he's doing a fantastic job. Let's go through this a little bit. Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel, say they have no confidence in the Defense secretary. A couple of Republicans running right now, Tom Kean, Jr. in New Jersey, Chris Shays in Connecticut, saying Rummy should go. And the public, in general, has a fairly low opinion of him, about 35 percent right now. How does that all add up to a fantastic job?" Snow retorted: "Well, I'll tell you, when was the last time, Miles, you guys reported on real support for Don Rumsfeld, or talking about the successes of the American forces in the battlefield? I know CNN has shown people getting shot."

5. CBS's 'freeSpeech' Segments Fade Away, a Loss to Conservatives?
Last week the CBS Evening News failed to run "freeSpeech" segments on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time that's happened since the feature began with Katie Couric's early September debut. A segment featuring a protesting student from Washington, D.C.'s Gallaudet University appeared on Friday, but since then there's been no "freeSpeech" this week on the CBS Evening News. The feature's disappearance right before the election may be bad news for conservatives, because the first 37 segments of the feature actually showed a decent respect for conservative opinion. While a little more than a third (38%) of the commentaries had no real political angle, the rest were only slightly tilted in a liberal direction -- a degree of fairness that could not be expected from the CBS Evening News during Dan Rather's reign.


Cafferty: Bush Deserves Impeachment,
Finds 'Amazing 98%' Agree

CNN's Jack Cafferty listed a litany of supposed Bush misdeeds and how Bill Clinton "was impeached for telling a lie" before posing his "Cafferty File" question in the 7pm EST hour of Thursday's The Situation Room: "If the Republicans lose the election Tuesday, what should happen to President Bush?" Naturally, Cafferty's strong suggestion that President George W. Bush deserves the same generated matching e-mails, yet Cafferty expressed astonishment: "It's amazing. 98 percent of the ones that I read -- and I looked at several hundred of them -- said impeach him....There's a lot of anger out there over what this man's done."

Cafferty had charged: "This President has pulled off a power grab in the name of the war on terror the likes of which this country hasn't seen in a very long time. And in the process, people who are a lot smarter than I am suggest that he has broken this nation's laws over and over and over again. From invading a sovereign nation without provocation to torturing prisoners to the NSA spy program, to holding people without a right to a court hearing or a lawyer, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." Amongst the e-mails Cafferty read, one declared: "Of course George Bush deserves to be impeached, and he should also be thrown in jail." Another writer recommended: "He should be 'legally' water-boarded until he can recite the Bill of Rights and define habeas corpus."

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

Cafferty outlined his question of the hour about ten minutes into the 7pm EST hour of the November 2 Situation Room:
"There's a very large pink elephant in the room when it comes to these elections. What happens to President Bush if the Republicans lose their grip on power. This President has pulled off a power grab in the name of the war on terror the likes of which this country hasn't seen in a very long time. And in the process, people who are a lot smarter than I am suggest that he has broken this nation's laws over and over and over again. From invading a sovereign nation without provocation to torturing prisoners to the NSA spy program, to holding people without a right to a court hearing or a lawyer, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. If we are indeed a nation of laws then presumably that applies to President Bush as much as it does to you or to me. Now Bill Clinton, you'll recall, was impeached for telling a lie. Here's the question: 'If the Republicans lose the election Tuesday, what should happen to President Bush?' E-mail us at caffertyfile at cnn.com or go to cnn.com/caffertyfile."

A few minutes before the end of he hour, Wolf Blitzer welcomed Cafferty back to deliver the responses:
"Good news Paula, Jack Cafferty's back with the 'Cafferty File.'"
Paula Zahn, who this week is co-hosting the 7 and 8pm EST hours of the show, the 8pm hour of which has replaced her program: "Oh, I'm so excited!"
Cafferty: "Me, too. The question this hour: 'If the Republicans lose the election Tuesday, what should happen to President Bush?' A lot of you had responses to this question. Ed in Pittsburgh: 'Full accountability on the lies and cherry-picked intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq catastrophe. If it leads to impeachment, so be it.'
[e-mail text on screen as Cafferty read the messages]
"Marina, Huntersville, North Carolina: 'For now, I will be satisfied knowing that his disastrous policies will be kept in check by having checks and balances once again. As for the future, Bush's disastrous policies will haunt us for generations, and he will go down in history as a failure.'
"Ganesan, Nashville, Tennessee: 'Nothing. The most important ting is to do the people's business. Congress cannot waste two more years on prosecution and investigation that has nothing to do with jobs, war, health care cost and immigration.'
"Lance writes from San Antonio, Texas: 'He should be censured, putting a black mark on his legacy. Impeachment would be too difficult for the nation.'
"Jeff in Shoreline, Washington: 'Of course George Bush deserves to be impeached, and he should also be thrown in jail. Unfortunately, he has the best anti-impeachment insurance around, Vice President Cheney!'
"And Dave in Ann Arbor, Michigan: 'He should be 'legally' water-boarded until he can recite the Bill of Rights and define habeas corpus.'
Cafferty, back on camera: "If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and read more of them online. And we got a lot of them."
Zahn: "So you didn't get too many gentle ones tonight, did you?"
Cafferty: "It's amazing. 98 percent of the ones that I read -- and I looked at several hundred of them -- said impeach him."
Zahn: "Interesting."
Cafferty: "Pure and simple. There's a lot of anger out there over what this man's done."

Williams Uses NBC Time to Dismiss Flimsy
Charge of Liberal Bias

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gave air time to dismissing a flimsy charge of liberal media bias based not on any content, but simply on the planned location of the newscast. From Memphis, Williams noted that "emotions are running so high," in the Tennessee Senate contest between Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford, "that we must tell you, even our choice of cities for this broadcast tonight has become controversial because Memphis is the hometown base of the Democrat in this race." Williams then read from an e-mail sent by "Butch," who complained: "There is one reason and one reason only that Briansama is coming to Memphis...for his obvious attempt to promote Ford...This is the liberal media at its very lowest." Williams easily discounted the theory: "The truth is, nothing so sinister. We chose Memphis because it is the largest city in the state and happens to be home to a great NBC television station."

It would be nice if Williams some night would give air time to a serious charge of liberal media bias based on content analysis, not silly idle speculation about atmospherics.

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

Setting up an overview of the Corker-Ford race he narrated, Williams delivered this short item on the November 2 NBC Nightly News:
"Now to the Senate race that brings us here to Tennessee tonight. It is such a crucial race and emotions are running so high that we must tell you, even our choice of cities for this broadcast tonight has become controversial because Memphis is the hometown base of the Democrat in this race. We have had several complaining e-mails, but none of them more vehement than this one. A viewer named 'Butch' wrote to us today:"
E-mail text on screen, read aloud by Williams [ellipses on screen]: "There is one reason and one reason only that Briansama is coming to Memphis...for his obvious attempt to promote Ford...This is the liberal media at its very lowest..."
Williams, back on camera: "The truth is, nothing so sinister. We chose Memphis because it is the largest city in the state and happens to be home to a great NBC television station. But that should give you an indication of how hot this race is right now and you're about to see how nasty it has become...."

Olbermann Slams MRC's Bozell for Criticizing
Anti-Bush Diatribe

For daring to criticize Keith Olbermann's Wednesday night "Special Comment" rant against President Bush for inspiring "domestic terrorism," the MSNBC host on Thursday night named Media Research Center President Brent Bozell his "bronze" nominee in his daily "Worst Person in the World" segment. Olbermann, who misidentified the MRC as the "Media Research Council," proceeded to claim that Bozell was on the phone ordering men's underwear to


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More See & Hear the Bias

don "on his head." Olbermann ridiculed Bozell: "The bronze to funny man Brent Bozell, self-appointed President of the self-created Media Research Council, responding to my Special Comment last night with a press release headlined, 'MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Preaches Hate Speech.'...[T]his is the guy who wrote the Willie Horton ad and in the press release he calls me a 'brown shirt.' And he thinks other people are preaching hate speech. Buy this man a mirror!"

Moving to his next nominee, the designer of men's underwear in which "the fabric cup protrudes everything out in front instead of down toward the ground. The design of the underwear separates and lifts," Olbermann sarcastically quipped: "I'm told Brent Bozell is on the phone looking to order a dozen -- to wear on his head."

[This item was posted, with video, Thursday 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 ]

Bozell "wrote the Willie Horton ad"? That 1988 ad, which continues to infuriate liberals, certainly has a lot of fathers.

Full transcript of Olbermann's first two of three nominees in his "Worst Person in the World" segment on the November 2 Countdown:
"Time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for Worst Person in the World: The bronze to funny man Brent Bozell, self-appointed President of the self-created Media Research Council [sic], responding to my Special Comment last night with a press release headlined, 'MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Preaches Hate Speech.' He offers himself up for interviews about me, to which I say, Brent, thank you, keep talking me up, mention 8pm Eastern if you can. Seriously, this is the guy who wrote the Willie Horton ad and in the press release he calls me a 'brown shirt.' And he thinks other people are preaching hate speech. Buy this man a mirror!
[over orange cartoon figure with blue briefs] "Our silver tonight, Sean Ashby of the Aussie Bums Company [?] in Sydney. His new product: The Wonder Jock men's underwear with a difference. Quote: 'The fabric cup protrudes everything out in front instead of down toward the ground. The design of the underwear separates and lifts,' he says. Listen, mate, I don't particularly need to be separated, thank you. But I'm told Brent Bozell is on the phone looking to order a dozen -- to wear on his head."

"MSNBC's KEITH OLBERMANN PREACHES HATE SPEECH AND LIBERAL MEDIA ARE SILENT," blared the headline over the November 2 MRC press release:

Alexandria, VA -- On MSNBC's Countdown Wednesday, host Keith Olbermann, in a derisive 12-minute rant, claimed that President Bush was responsible for inspiring "domestic terrorism" against his critics and further suggested that Bush's supporters are like the pro-slavery congressman who used a cane to attack anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner in the 19th century. Yet the liberal media, who constantly remind the American public about alleged hate speech on the political right, are not talking about Mr. Olbermann's remarks.

Mr. Olbermann, addressing President Bush, said: "You instructed no one to mail the fake Anthrax [received by Olbermann], nor undermine the FBI's case, nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times, nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller, nor beat up a man yelling at Senator George Allen, nor have the First Lady knife Michael J. Fox, nor tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry. No, you did not, sir. And the genius of the thing is the same as in King Henry's rhetorical question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: 'Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?' All you have to do, sir, is hand out enough new canes."

In response to Mr. Olbermann's hateful comments and the hypocritical silence of the liberal media, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement:

"Mr. Olbermann's comments are beyond partisan. They are radically extreme and hateful. If any conservative even came close to the tenor and bitterness of Mr. Olbermann's rhetoric, the liberal media would assail them as hate-mongers who are dividing the country. And if he worked for a network, he'd be fired immediately -- or look at Michael Savage who, incidentally, was fired from MSNBC. But when a leftist like Mr. Olbermann spews his venom, the liberal media say...nothing.

"This is despicable. Mr. Olbermann is using his national program to hatefully savage the President with personal smears in order to help Democrats win in next week's election. This is why the top liberal media are silent. A brown-shirted left-winger spews hate from an NBC-owned podium: That's the face of liberal media today."

END Reprint of press release

That's online at: www.mrc.org

The lead November 2 MRC CyberAlert item, with audio/video of Olbermann's November 1 diatribe, began:

On Wednesday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" not only to demand that President Bush apologize to American troops over the Iraq War, but he also blamed Bush for inspiring acts of "domestic terrorism" against critics, a la King Henry and Archbishop Thomas Becket, and bizarrely chose to inject racism by making a comparison between Bush supporters attacking the President's opponents and the 1856 caning of anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner by pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks, at one point even mentioning charges of racist "fear of miscegenation" in the current Tennessee Senate race.

For much more of Olbermann's diatribe, and audio/video of it: www.mrc.org

Tony Snow Battles CNN, Rips Network for
Showing Sniper Video

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow appeared on Thursday's American Morning in a feisty mood, ready to battle CNN's liberal agenda. Co-anchor Miles O'Brien offered Snow a loaded question about Republican opposition to Donald Rumsfeld and Snow fired back by mentioning the cable network's infamous "sniper video." O'Brien proposed: "The President with a show of support for Defense secretary saying he's doing a fantastic job. Let's go through this a little bit. Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel, say they have no confidence in the Defense secretary. A couple of Republicans running right now, Tom Kean, Jr. in New Jersey, Chris Shays in Connecticut, saying Rummy should go. And the public, in general, has a fairly low opinion of him, about 35 percent right now. How does that all add up to a fantastic job?" Snow retorted: "Well, I'll tell you, when was the last time, Miles, you guys reported on real support for Don Rumsfeld, or talking about the successes of the American forces in the battlefield? I know CNN has shown people getting shot."

O'Brien jumped in: "Well, actually, no, no, no. We didn't actually show them. We did a report, which showed snipers, a propaganda film from insurgents showing sniper activity. We didn't show them being shot."
Snow "All right. I'm sorry, you blurred them out while the picture was showing them getting shot. Here's the key, there are a lot of American forces that are doing some pretty amazing things in Iraq right now. One of the things they've been doing is training up Iraqi forces to assume responsibility. I noted yesterday a lot of people were holding up a chaos chart that was taken at the peak of violence last month in Iraq. Guess what's happened? Last week, violence throughout Iraq was down 23 percent. Deadly violence in Iraq was down 41 -- I mean, in Baghdad was down 41 percent. Nobody did the other story, which was needle would have jumped toward peace yesterday, didn't want to report that."

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, will be posted today on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]

This isn't the first time Snow battled with Miles O'Brien on American Morning. In September, he tangled with the host on whether the Republicans are responsible for disunity in Washington: www.mrc.org

O'Brien, who began the interview at 7:16am EST on November 2, clearly didn't want to talk about John Kerry's gaffe. He only asked one question on it and then implored, "Let's move on here." Snow also had a snappy retort as to whether the story is "over:"

O'Brien: "Let's talk about Kerry's apology? Story over in your mind?"
Snow: "Well, I suppose. The question is whether it's over in your mind. You're the one asking about it."
O'Brien: "Do you accept the apology?"
Snow: "I don't have to accept the apology. He didn't say anything that was offensive directly to me. The people that have to accept the apology are the people in the U.S. military. They're the ones who thought the former presidential candidate had insulted them. Look, like I said yesterday, when you say something like this, even if it's not what you intended, you have to say you're sorry. He put out a piece of paper saying he's sorry. I think that's the right thing to do and at some point, probably, folks will feel better if he come out and says it on camera. Look, it's the right thing to do to say you're sorry, whether you intended or not, you insult people, especially so many people who are serving this country with valor."
O'Brien: "All right, let's move on here."

After rebuffing O'Brien's attack on Rumsfeld, Snow proceeded to cite positive news in Iraq that the media hasn't reported. This led to another intense exchange that saw the White House Press Secretary tell Mr. O'Brien that he had things "completely backwards:"

O'Brien: "Let me ask you this, though, 103 U.S. troops died last month. Another one -- we just told you about another one in November. I can only imagine what it's like to be a family member -- a loved one, a friend who lost somebody this past month. To hear you rattle off statistics like that, it has to leave them with a pretty hollow feeling."
Snow: "You know, Miles, you might want to talk to them. Because what you're insinuating is that they died for nothing. And the people who have been fighting in Iraq -- the President, you also might want to ask the President. He hand signs every condolence letter, he knows the names. He hears about it every day. The insinuation that you talk about battlefield progress is an insult to the people who made that progress possible, gets it completely backwards. Do you not understand that the people in today's military volunteered for this? Many of them believing it's a noble mission to create democracy in that region, so that you can replace the threat of terror with hope and democracy. Do you not understand that they feel pride in it? And yes, the parents, it's got to tear your heart out. If you're a wife, a brother, a sister, of course, it's going to tear your heart out. But the one thing you need to understand is that a lot of those people are proud of the service that their sons and daughters have done in battlefields. That needs to be respected as well."

A few seconds later, O'Brien reiterated his liberal talking points and allowed Tony Snow one more opportunity to fire back at negative coverage:

O'Brien: "Is the U.S. winning?"
Snow: "Yeah. Miles, let me put it this way. You think if somebody dies, we're losing. What you forget is something that General Casey said last week. We have not lost a single battlefield engagement. Let me give you a sense of some things that have gone on in the last couple of weeks. The Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been asserting -- he wants greater control over the military. We want him to have it. There were reports today that the Iraqis intercepted a bunch of missiles coming over the Iranian border. I just told you about violence going down in Baghdad, and throughout Iraq, significantly in the last couple of weeks, in part because of adjustments made on the ground. The other thing that probably isn't reported a lot, they're pumping more oil than ever before. The economy's perking up. The Iraqi people feel confidence in what's going on. The war's more popular in Iraq than it is here. Why? Because the Iraqi people are seeing what they're forces are doing and what we're doing."

One can only hope that the quick-witted Snow will appear on more CNN shows and offer similar tongue lashings.

CBS's 'freeSpeech' Segments Fade Away,
a Loss to Conservatives?

Last week the CBS Evening News failed to run "freeSpeech" segments on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time that's happened since the feature began with Katie Couric's early September debut. A segment featuring a protesting student from Washington, D.C.'s Gallaudet University appeared on Friday, but since then there's been no "freeSpeech" this week on the CBS Evening News. The feature's disappearance right before the election may be bad news for conservatives, because the first 37 segments of the feature actually showed a decent respect for conservative opinion. While a little more than a third (38%) of the commentaries had no real political angle, the rest were only slightly tilted in a liberal direction -- a degree of fairness that could not be expected from the CBS Evening News during Dan Rather's reign.

[This item, by Rich Noyes, will be posted Friday on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]

Last Monday, Brian Stelter at the TV Newser blog said CBS's "freeSpeech" commentary segments (an innovation Katie Couric began when she took over the anchor throne on September 5) had "failed" at their stated goal of opening up the airwaves to more than the media elite's "usual suspects." Looking at the first 34 "freeSpeech" segments, Stelter calculated that "the vast majority of the guests have national media platforms, like books, columns, magazines, and Senate podiums." See: www.mediabistro.com

Three days later, CBS News's own blog, "Public Eye," itself wondered if the segment was too insidery. "I think the answer is that it has been a mix," Evening News Executive Producer Rome Hartman told CBS's bloggers. "If you look at all 30 or so [segments] that have run -- and I haven't counted '€" maybe a third have been from what you might call 'pundits.' The point of the segment is interesting voices from everywhere." See: www.cbsnews.com

Well, something is obviously going on over at the CBS Evening News. Last week the broadcast failed to run "freeSpeech" segments on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time that's happened since the feature began. A segment featuring a protesting student from Washington, D.C.'s Gallaudet University appeared on Friday, but since then there's been no "freeSpeech" on the CBS Evening News.

The feature's disappearance right before the election may be bad news for conservatives, because the first 37 segments of the feature actually showed a decent respect for conservative opinion. While a little more than a third (38%) of the commentaries had no real political angle, the rest were only slightly tilted in a liberal direction -- a degree of fairness that could not be expected from the CBS Evening News during Dan Rather's reign.

Since September 5, 13 commentaries (35%) featured liberal commentators (like the far-left The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and liberal Illinois Senator Barack Obama) or featured liberal points of view, like Bob Schieffer's September 13 editorializing against the Bush administration's "secret prisons" saying the U.S. has adopted "the methods of our enemies." For More on Schieffer's take: www.mrc.org

But 10 commentaries (27%) featured prominent conservatives like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, or presented conservative themes that are often omitted from CBS's news coverage. Examples:

# Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, showed up on October 17 to talk about his city's crackdown on illegal aliens: "There are up to 20 million illegal aliens in this country right now. They have imposed a tremendous burden on many of America's cities....Thousands of Americans are crying out for relief from the burden of illegal immigration."

# Brian Rohrbough's son was killed in the 1999 Columbine high school shooting. He appeared October 2, just after the murders of several girls at an Amish school in Pennsylvania and preached for a return to traditional values and respect for life:
"This country is in a moral free fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences, and life has no inherent value....The murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children."

# On September 26, ex-Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharanaksy appeared to reject suggestions the U.S. was on the same moral plane as the worst regimes in human history. While he scolded the use of tactics such as sleep deprivation against captured terrorists, he argued for moral clarity: "I am deeply concerned that some of those who insist that America not cede the moral high ground don't recognize that America stands on the moral high ground. Those who would use abuses at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay to accuse America of being no different than the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany or Saddam's regime have lost all sense of moral clarity."

# And of course Rush Limbaugh appeared on September 7 to offer a perspective on the War on Terror that you don't get often from CBS: "How do we negotiate with people whose starting point is our death? Ask them to wait for 10 years before they kill us? When Good negotiates with Evil, Evil will always win. And peace follows victory, not words issued by diplomats.
"Unfortunately, some Americans are not interested in victory. And they want us to believe that their irresponsible behavior is patriotic. Well, it's not....
"Patriotism is rallying behind the country, regardless of party affiliation, to defeat Islamo-Fascism. Patriotism is supporting our troops on the battlefield, not undermining the mission and morale."

It's not as if a heavy crush of hard news stories has bumped the "freeSpeech" segments -- Thursday's Evening News had time for a look at Tom Cruise's movie studio deal; Wednesday's featured an author who visits with individual book clubs as a way to boost interest in his books; Tuesday's broadcast included a look at skimpy Halloween costumes.

During nearly eight weeks of "freeSpeech" on CBS, liberals have gotten more airtime than conservatives, but it's still one of the fairest, most balanced segments on the CBS Evening News. Could that be why it's disappeared from the pre-election news mix?

-- Brent Baker