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CBS and Couric Treat 655,000 Iraqi Death Guestimate as Credible --10/12/2006


1. CBS and Couric Treat 655,000 Iraqi Death Guestimate as Credible
Despite how the estimate of 665,000 Iraqi deaths caused by violence since the war began -- a number forwarded in a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -- represents quadruple the highest monthly rate as tracked by the UN and is 13 times larger than the total compiled by the Iraq Body Count group, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric set up a Wednesday story on the guesstimate by declaring as fact: "Now we're learning that the war has been a lot more deadly than we knew." David Martin proceeded to treat the number as perfectly reasonable as he put the blame on the U.S.: "A new and stunning measure of the havoc the American invasion unleashed in Iraq. A study published in the British journal Lancet estimates 655,000 Iraqis -- 2.5 percent of the entire population -- have died as a consequence of the war. To understand how large, consider this: The same percentage of the much larger American population would be 7.5 million dead."

2. WashPost: Bush's Axis of Evil 'Comes Back to Haunt United States'
Tuesday's Washington Post carried one of those editorials, disguised as a "news analysis," headlined: "Bush's 'Axis of Evil' Comes Back to Haunt United States." The writers displayed their liberal stripes by quoting only Democrats and Clinton staffers. Reporters Glenn Kessler and Peter Baker began: "Nearly five years after President Bush introduced the concept of an 'axis of evil' comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the administration has reached a crisis point with each nation: North Korea has claimed it conducted its first nuclear test, Iran refuses to halt its uranium-enrichment program, and Iraq appears to be tipping into a civil war 3 1/2 years after the U.S.-led invasion."

3. Turner's Fantasy of 'Sincere,' Non-Threatening North Korea Nuked
Thirteen months before North Korea exploded a nuclear bomb, CNN founder Ted Turner predicted that such an event would never happen. "I think we can put the North Korea and East Asia problems behind us," Turner confidently proclaimed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer back on September 19, 2005. Referring to the North Korean regime's claim they were "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs," Turner, having just returned from a trip to North Korea, found those promises to be 100 percent credible. "I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere," he told an incredulous Blitzer on The Situation Room.

4. CNN's Cafferty Laments George Allen's Lead; Attacks His Character
CNN's Jack Cafferty asserted, in one of his "Cafferty Files" segments on Tuesday's Situation Room, that Republican Virginia Senator George Allen "may not have much" character and lamented the fact that Allen is leading his opponent in the polls. He derided a new advertisement by Allen that calls for voters to focus on his stand on the issues and, after reciting a litany of presumed Allen misdeeds -- from "Macaca" to the N-word to not divulging stock options -- Cafferty fretted: "In spite of all the things I just mentioned, Allen is leading in the polls, four weeks before the election. Maybe Allen is on to something, maybe character doesn't matter to Virginia voters."

5. Mob at Columbia Squashing Anti-Illegal Immigration Speech Ignored
The networks were exquisitely attuned this spring to the unheard voices of illegal aliens "emerging from the shadows" to protest and demand their "rights." But what about the unheard voices of opponents of illegal immigration? On the evening of Wednesday, October 4, a speech at Columbia University in New York City by Jim Gilchrist of the anti-illegal immigration group the Minutemen was squelched by leftist protesters chanting "Minutemen, Nazis, KKK...racist fascists go away."

6. Stewart Compares Bush to 8-Year-Old, Bush Sees Public as 'Stupid'
On Wednesday's Late Show with David Letterman, guest Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show mimicked President Bush's news conference performance, comparing his style of answering reporters' questions to "an eight-year-old when they didn't read the book." Imitating Bush, Stewart mocked Bush's answer about Dennis Hastert: "Speaker of the House, known him ten years, his father's a coach, he has an epidermis, covers his whole body, he's a mammal..." Stewart went on to joke that while people say "I think President Bush is stupid," that in reality Bush "talks like he's talking to someone who's stupid, which means -- we're stupid." Stewart also remarked that Bush's manner was "becoming particularly odder as it goes along."

7. Letterman's "Top Ten Signs Barbra Streisand's Gone Nuts"
Letterman's "Top Ten Signs Barbra Streisand's Gone Nuts."


CBS and Couric Treat 655,000 Iraqi Death
Guestimate as Credible

Despite how the estimate of 665,000 Iraqi deaths caused by violence since the war began -- a number forwarded in a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -- represents quadruple the highest monthly rate as tracked by the UN and is 13 times larger than the total compiled by the Iraq Body Count group, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric set up a Wednesday story on the guesstimate by declaring as fact: "Now we're learning that the war has been a lot more deadly than we knew." David Martin proceeded to treat the number as perfectly reasonable as he put the blame on the U.S.: "A new and stunning measure of the havoc the American invasion unleashed in Iraq. A study published in the British journal Lancet estimates 655,000 Iraqis -- 2.5 percent of the entire population -- have died as a consequence of the war. To understand how large, consider this: The same percentage of the much larger American population would be 7.5 million dead."

Martin noted how, at his press conference, President Bush disputed the accuracy of the estimate, but that treated it as merely a political spat. Martin, as well as ABC and NBC, failed to note the imprecision of the number extrapolated from interviews with about 1,800 Iraqi families, or expert doubters of the methodology, some of whom were cited in the Wednesday New York Times story which featured this pull-out statement in the middle of the printed article: "It's not a precise count, and the margin of error is wide." In a larger story, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski gave an air of authority as he relayed: "An independent study released today by Johns Hopkins University claims that more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war..."

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

While the New York Times decided to publicize the claim, it didn't consider the report front-page worthy, placing its story, "Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000, Study Says," on page A-16 (at least in the "Washington Final" edition) and the Times, unlike the Washington Post's article on page A-12, "Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000," at least contained several caveats.

For the Washington Post article: www.washingtonpost.com

Some excerpts from the October 11 New York Times story by Sabrina Tavernise and Donald G. McNeil Jr.:

A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.

The figure breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number that is quadruple the one for July given by Iraqi government hospitals and the morgue in Baghdad and published last month in a United Nations report in Iraq. That month was the highest for Iraqi civilian deaths since the American invasion.

But it is an estimate and not a precise count, and researchers acknowledged a margin of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.

It is the second study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It uses samples of casualties from Iraqi households to extrapolate an overall figure of 601,027 Iraqis dead from violence between March 2003 and July 2006.

The findings of the previous study, published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in 2004, had been criticized as high, in part because of its relatively narrow sampling of about 1,000 families, and because it carried a large margin of error.

The new study is more representative, its researchers said, and the sampling is broader: it surveyed 1,849 Iraqi families in 47 different neighborhoods across Iraq. The selection of geographical areas in 18 regions across Iraq was based on population size, not on the level of violence, they said....

Gilbert Burnham, the principle author of the study, said the figures showed an increase of deaths over time that was similar to that of another civilian casualty project, Iraq Body Count, which collates deaths reported in the news media, and even to that of the military. But even Iraq Body Count puts the maximum number of deaths at just short of 49,000.

As far as skepticism about the death count, he said that counts made by journalists and others focused disproportionately on Baghdad, and that death rates were higher elsewhere.

"We found deaths all over the country," he said. Baghdad was an area of medium violence in the country, he said. The provinces of Diyala and Salahuddin, north of Baghdad, and Anbar to the west, all had higher death rates than the capital.

Statistics experts in the United States who were able to review the study said the methods used by the interviewers looked legitimate.

Robert Blendon, director of the Harvard Program on Public Opinion and Health and Social Policy, said interviewing urban dwellers chosen at random was "the best of what you can expect in a war zone."

But he said the number of deaths in the families interviewed -- 547 in the post-invasion period versus 82 in a similar period before the invasion '€" was too few to extrapolate up to more than 600,000 deaths across the country.

Donald Berry, chairman of biostatistics at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, was even more troubled by the study, which he said had "a tone of accuracy that's just inappropriate."

END of Excerpt

For the New York Times story in full: www.nytimes.com

In a NBC Nightly News story on Pentagon planning for the continued deployment in Iraq of current troop levels through 2010, Jim Miklaszewski inserted:
"An independent study released today by Johns Hopkins University claims that more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war, more than ten times U.S. military estimates. President Bush dismissed the report as not credible because he says the way in which the numbers were compiled has been discredited."

On ABC's World News, anchor Charles Gibson at least described the estimate as "controversial" as he used it to set up a story from Iraq on the impact of the ongoing murders:
"There is a controversial new study about civilian deaths in Iraq that was released today. Researchers from Johns Hopkins claim more than 600,000 Iraqis have died in violence since the U.S. invasion. That number is a good deal higher than other estimates, and President Bush maintained today that the new study is 'just not credible.' But he also said that too many innocents are dying, and in our 'Closer Look' tonight, ABC's Terry McCarthy reports the widespread killing is affecting every aspect of life in Iraq."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the coverage on the October 11 broadcast network evening shows, including the full story on the CBS Evening News:

Anchor Katie Couric: "The President called his news conference four years to the day after Congress voted to authorize sending troops to Iraq. Today the Army Chief of Staff announced that plans have been drawn up to keep current troop levels in Iraq through 2010. And now we're learning that the war has been a lot more deadly than we knew. Here's David Martin."

David Martin: "A new and stunning measure of the havoc the American invasion unleashed in Iraq. A study published in the British journal Lancet estimates 655,000 Iraqis -- 2.5 percent of the entire population -- have died as a consequence of the war."
Dr. Gilbert Burnham, Johns Hopkins University: "It shows that to us that violence is widespread in the country and that this is a major risk to people in Iraq now."
Martin: "To understand how large, consider this: The same percentage of the much larger American population would be 7.5 million dead. President bush rejected the study's conclusions."
George W. Bush, at 11am EDT press conference: "I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials."
Martin: "Casey, the American commander in Iraq, met with the President just before that press conference, and later provided a much lower number."
General George Casey, Multinational Forces in Iraq: "That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen. I've not seen a number higher than 50,000."
Martin: "But there's one fact Casey does not dispute."
Casey: "The levels of violence over the last few weeks are as high as they have been."
Martin: "Still, Casey seemed to rule out any major changes in strategy. And when Secretary Rumsfeld was asked if he bore responsibility for what's gone wrong in Iraq, he gave this testy response."
Donald Rumsfeld: "Why do we have to keep going through this? Of course I bear responsibility. My Lord, I'm Secretary of Defense. Write it down. Quote it. You can bank it."
Martin concluded, from outside the Pentagon in Virginia: "Military planners here in the Pentagon are, in fact, conducting a review of Iraq's strategy. One senior officer tells CBS News it will stop short of establishing a timetable for withdrawing troops but will recommend setting target dates for turning responsibility over to the Iraqis."

WashPost: Bush's Axis of Evil 'Comes
Back to Haunt United States'

Tuesday's Washington Post carried one of those editorials, disguised as a "news analysis," headlined: "Bush's 'Axis of Evil' Comes Back to Haunt United States." The writers displayed their liberal stripes by quoting only Democrats and Clinton staffers. Reporters Glenn Kessler and Peter Baker began:
"Nearly five years after President Bush introduced the concept of an 'axis of evil' comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the administration has reached a crisis point with each nation: North Korea has claimed it conducted its first nuclear test, Iran refuses to halt its uranium-enrichment program, and Iraq appears to be tipping into a civil war 3 1/2 years after the U.S.-led invasion.
"Each problem appears to feed on the others, making the stakes higher and requiring Bush and his advisers to make difficult calculations, analysts and U.S. officials said."

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

The analysts in the Kessler-Baker piece were all Democrats and/or Clinton staffers, although only some of them were identified as such:

# Robert J. Einhorn, "senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies," who was a deputy secretary of state under Clinton and his "point man" on WMDs.

# Michael E. O'Hanlon, "a Brookings Institution scholar," known to TV news junkies as CBS's favorite-foreign policy expert, a Democrat and author of "Clinton's Strong Defense Legacy," a man who thinks that Kim Jong Il plays a "delicate game."

# Jim Manley, "spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid."

# Former Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat of Georgia, bashing the Iraq war.

# James B. Steinberg, "President Bill Clinton's deputy national security adviser." He apparently spoke for the Post as he was given the choice spot in the article as the Last Sagacious Words:
"[Steinberg] said the North Korea test will raise a larger question that echoes Ronald Reagan's most famous 1980 campaign line -- 'With respect to the axis of evil,' Steinberg said, 'are you better off today than you were four years ago?...It's clear that the answer is we're worse off with respect to the nuclear proliferation problem in both North Korea and Iran than four to six years ago, and I would argue we're worse off in our overall security because of the situation in Iraq.'"

For the October 10 Washington Post "news analysis" in full: www.washingtonpost.com

Turner's Fantasy of 'Sincere,' Non-Threatening
North Korea Nuked

Thirteen months before North Korea exploded a nuclear bomb, CNN founder Ted Turner predicted that such an event would never happen. "I think we can put the North Korea and East Asia problems behind us," Turner confidently proclaimed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer back on September 19, 2005.

Referring to the North Korean regime's claim they were "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs," Turner, having just returned from a trip to North Korea, found those promises to be 100 percent credible. "I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere," he told an incredulous Blitzer on The Situation Room.

Turner's pleadings on behalf of the North Korean regime won him the "Aaron Brown Award for the Stupidest Analysis" and the "Quote of the Year" accolades at the MRC's annual DisHonors Awards dinner in Washington, DC back in March. The winning video of Turner will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert item, which is lifted from a Tuesday posting by Rich Noyes on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org

In the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media video -- or to listen to MP3 audio, go the MRC's Web site postings of the 2006 DisHonors Awards: www.mrc.org

MRC analyst Megan McCormack took down Turner's comments, as originally published in the September 20, 2005 CyberAlert. Key excerpts:

Wolf Blitzer: "We want to talk a little bit more about today's developments involving North Korea with CNN founder and Chairman of Turner Enterprises, Ted Turner. He's joining us once again from New York. You spent some time recently in North Korea, Ted. Did this agreement come to you as a surprise?"
Ted Turner: "No. No. I talked with quite a few of the North Korean leaders and South Korean leaders, too, and spent really the most time with the head negotiator for North Korea. And I was really over there to try and persuade North and South Korea to make the DMZ into an international peace park when, when they sign a peace treaty, which I anticipate will be fairly soon, now that we have the six-party talks, we have agreement there. But I had a great time. I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There's really no reason -- no reason for them to cheat or do anything to violate this very forward agreement. I mean, I think we can put the North Korea and East Asia problems behind us and concentrate on Iran and Iraq, where, where we still have some ongoing difficulties."
Blitzer: "I've got to tell you, Ted, given the record of North Korea, especially the fact that, in the Clinton administration in '93-'94, they made a similar pledge, which they violated and they backed out of, I'm not exactly sure that I accept all your optimism."
Turner: "Well, you know, I was optimistic about the Cold War when I got to Russia, too. But I looked them right in the eyes. And they looked like they meant the truth. I mean, you know, just because somebody's done something wrong in the past doesn't mean they can't do right in the future or in the present. That happens all the, all the time."

Astonishingly, Turner even rejected Wolf Blitzer's attempt to point out the deplorable human rights abuses of the communist regime, and said North Korea was no threat to the U.S., and that even if a North Korean missile hit Alaska, the only ones affected would be "a few sea lions."

Blitzer: "But this is one of the most despotic regimes and Kim Jong Il is one of the worst men on Earth. Isn't that a fair assessment?"
Turner: "Well, I didn't get, I didn't get to meet him, but he didn't look, in the pictures that I've seen of him on CNN, he didn't look too much different than most other people."
Blitzer: "But look at the way, look at the way he's, look at the way he's treating his own people."
Turner asserted: "Well, hey, listen. I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars, but ah-"
Blitzer: "Lot of those people are starving."
Turner: "I didn't see, I didn't see any, I didn't see any brutality in the capital or out in the, on the DMZ. We went, we visit, drove through the countryside quite a bit to get down to Panmunjom and Kaesong. We traveled around. I'm sure we were on a special route, but I don't see, there's really no reason, North Korea's got enough problems with their, with their economy and their agriculture. I think they want to join the western world and improve the quality of life for their people just like everybody else. And I think that we should give them another chance. It doesn't cost us anything. We already have agreements. And North Korea never posed any significant threat to the United States. I mean, the whole economy of North Korea's only $30 billion a year. It's less than the city of Detroit. It's a small place, and we do not have to worry about them attacking us....They can't reach the USA, and we can pound them into, into oblivion in 24 hours."
Blitzer: "But, you don't want to get, you don't want to get to that. There are some estimates, by the way, that could reach Alaska."
Turner: "Well, what, the Aleutian Islands? There's nothing up there but a few sea lions."

For the September 20, 2005 CyberAlert item in full: www.mrc.org

CNN's Cafferty Laments George Allen's
Lead; Attacks His Character

CNN's Jack Cafferty asserted, in one of his "Cafferty Files" segments on Tuesday's Situation Room, that Republican Virginia Senator George Allen "may not have much" character and lamented the fact that Allen is leading his opponent in the polls. He derided a new advertisement by Allen that calls for voters to focus on his stand on the issues and, after reciting a litany of presumed Allen misdeeds -- from "Macaca" to the N-word to not divulging stock options -- Cafferty fretted: "In spite of all the things I just mentioned, Allen is leading in the polls, four weeks before the election. Maybe Allen is on to something, maybe character doesn't matter to Virginia voters."

[This item is adopted from a Tuesday posting, by Scott Whitlock, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Cafferty opined in the 4pm EDT hour of the October 10 Situation Room:
"Allen doesn't want voters to focus on his character, because it's becoming more and more apparent in recent weeks that he may not have much. There was the time he called an Indian American volunteer from his opponent's campaign 'Macaca' and welcomed him to America. Allen's been accused of using the N-word to refer to blacks. He denies ever doing that.
"He's been in the Senate for six years, but voters just learned a few weeks ago that he's Jewish. He claims his mother never bothered to tell him. Sure.
"And the Associated Press reports that for the last five years, Allen has not bothered to tell Congress about stock options that he got for being a director of a high tech company in Virginia. Allen says he did not report the stock options because he saw them as worthless. When his lawyer was told that Senate ethics require that stock options be reported regardless of their value, his lawyer said he was unfamiliar with that provision. You want to know why things are so screwed up in Washington D.C.? In spite of all the things I just mentioned, Allen is leading in the polls, four weeks before the election. Maybe Allen is on to something, maybe character doesn't matter to Virginia voters."

Cafferty often tries to portray himself as an equal opportunity curmudgeon, someone who will speak his mind about power. He opened the Allen segment by noting that a October 9 debate was the last one scheduled between the two Virginia candidates. "The voters are grateful that's over," he observed. However, the above piece showcased the real Cafferty, a committed left-wing ideologue. He mentioned the allegations that Allen used the N-word in the early 1970s, but completely ignored the allegations that his Democratic opponent, James Webb, also uttered such slurs: www.dailypress.com

Mob at Columbia Squashing Anti-Illegal
Immigration Speech Ignored

The networks were exquisitely attuned this spring to the unheard voices of illegal aliens "emerging from the shadows" to protest and demand their "rights." But what about the unheard voices of opponents of illegal immigration? On the evening of Wednesday, October 4, a speech at Columbia University in New York City by Jim Gilchrist of the anti-illegal immigration group the Minutemen was squelched by leftist protesters chanting "Minutemen, Nazis, KKK...racist fascists go away."

(MRC's study on coverage of illegal immigration: www.mrc.org )

For the CNSNews.com story, "Anarchy at Columbia: Protestors Storm Minuteman's Stage," go to: www.cnsnews.com

Network coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC? In case you hadn't guessed, zero. ABC had a story on a Columbia, Missouri woman donating breast milk to South African orphans. CBS had a story on celiac disease (poor tolerance of glutens) with a Columbia University expert. NBC reported Columbia University professor Edmund Phelps won the Nobel Prize for economics. But nothing on this free speech-trampling event just a few miles from their New York studios (though FNC shows did cover it).

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

On October 5, the one CNN story was narrated with commentary by Lou Dobbs on his program:
"In New York City last night, illegal alien amnesty supporters in an unusual setting attacked Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen Project. Gilchrist had just taken the stage at New York's Columbia University. That's right Columbia University. Columbia Television News was videotaping the event. As you see, suddenly, Columbia students stormed the stage forcing Gilchrist to run for his safety. Students waving banners claiming, quote, 'No one is ever illegal.' Those chanted slogans of the illegal alien amnesty movement. Thankfully no one was hurt but Columbia's reputation as a university is in question tonight as Columbia University Republicans who sponsored the events says this demonstration proves there is no free speech on their campus. And they have the evidence to prove their point.
"Minutemen, whether you like them or not, have been the target of violent protests and demonstrations by illegal aliens and their supporters all this year. Protests across the country, calling the Minutemen racist, all because of their nonviolent efforts to protect borders and keep out illegal aliens....Columbia University, you ought to be ashamed. And I'll tell you, much of this nation who cares about such things as free speech is ashamed of you."

Stewart Compares Bush to 8-Year-Old,
Bush Sees Public as 'Stupid'

On Wednesday's Late Show with David Letterman, guest Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show mimicked President Bush's news conference performance, comparing his style of answering reporters' questions to "an eight-year-old when they didn't read the book." Imitating Bush, Stewart mocked Bush's answer about Dennis Hastert: "Speaker of the House, known him ten years, his father's a coach, he has an epidermis, covers his whole body, he's a mammal..." Stewart went on to joke that while people say "I think President Bush is stupid," that in reality Bush "talks like he's talking to someone who's stupid, which means -- we're stupid." Stewart also remarked that Bush's manner was "becoming particularly odder as it goes along."

[This item by Brad Wilmouth was posted, with video, early Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video and audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert item, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media video -- or to listen to the MP3 audio -- go to: newsbusters.org ]

Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange with Letterman from the October 11 Late Show on CBS:

David Letterman: "Did you see the George Bush press conference this morning?"
Jon Stewart: "I did. He's tremendous. He's doing a, as always, I think he soothed the nation, I think, here's what I like about, he answers questions the way, like an eight-year-old does when they didn't read the book. [applause] You know what I mean? It's that crazy, like, you know, 'Treasure Island is a book about an island,' you know. He just describes facts. I remember they asked him about Dennis Hastert and the Foley situation and should Hastert resign, and he says, [imitating Bush] 'Dennis Hastert,' he says, 'Speaker of the House, known him ten years, his father's a coach, he has an epidermis, covers his whole body, he's a mammal, his kind have live young, no eggs,' you know. And then by the time you're done, he's like, 'Next question,' you know, and you're like, 'You didn't say anything!' People always say, 'Is he,' you know, they say like, 'Oh, I think President Bush is stupid.' He's not stupid. Stupid is, you know, 'Oh my God, I just ate soap.' He's not stupid. When you listen to him talk, you realize he talks like he's talking to someone who's stupid, which means -- we're stupid. That must be. That must be the way that it is."
Letterman: "I feel that way myself. I feel as though I might be stupid."
Stewart: "His manner strikes me now as becoming particularly odder as it goes along. He seems to be wanting to stress things more, you know, 'I make decisions! I'm a decision-maker!' It's that sort of, you know, 'I A B, I'm an 'A B'er,' you know,' I'm a 'B A'er.' I listen to my generals, I'm a general listener.'"

See the link in #7 below for the Late Show's home page.

Comedy Central's page for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: www.comedycentral.com

Letterman's "Top Ten Signs Barbra Streisand's
Gone Nuts"

From the October 11 Late Show with Davis Letterman, prompted by her lashing out at a Bush supporter at her concert, the "Top Ten Signs Barbra Streisand's Gone Nuts." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. When a fan shouted, "Sing 'Memories'," she beat him to death with her high heel

9. Declared jihad on Liza Minnelli

8. At conclusion of "The Way We Were," bites off the head of a bat

7. Turned down an offer to save 15% on car insurance by switching to Geico

6. Invited Mel Gibson to come over and watch "Yentl"

5. Now believes that people who need people are only the third-luckiest people in the world

4. When a cameraman accidentally photographed her from the wrong side, she shot him with a 12-gauge

3. Refers to James Brolin's "Transmission needing work" if you know what I mean

2. Finally had a nose job -- to make it bigger!

1. Well, this is her fifth farewell tour


# Katie Couric is scheduled to be a guest on Thursday night's Late Show.

-- Brent Baker