2. CNN's Jack Cafferty Again Goes on Anti-Bush Tirade, CBS Joins In
3. Olbermann Mocks Condoleezza Rice for Seeing "Comedy on Broadway"
4. Raines: Bush Worries Over Big Oil as "Poor Drown in Their Attics"
5. ABC's Diane Sawyer to Bush: "Will You Call for Tax Increases?"
In the middle of a Thursday CBS Evening News story on the destruction in Slidell, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, reporter Mark Strassmann showcased a distraught man "with a message for the President" who blasted Bush for how he responded in Iraq while not doing so for Louisiana. Anthony Nata charged: "You can go into Iraq and come in with big helicopters and set stuff up for people, but you can't do this for us? Come on, Bush. You can do better than that."
Over video of flattened houses, Strassmann set up that soundbite from Nata: "This community is a landscape of loss -- subdivision after subdivision flattened or flooded. Police whisper to you they suspect hundreds of bodies in those homes. Anthony and Edith Nata now live in a lean-to by the side of the road with a message for the President."
Of course, going into Iraq took months of logistical and transport efforts.
For a picture and bio of Strassmann: www.cbsnews.com
At that node you can also submit your comment about the CBS story.
At about 3:30pm EDT during his "Cafferty File" segment, he suddenly found the conservative New Hampshire Union Leader very wise and quoted approvingly from their Wednesday editorial: "'A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource....The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months following 9/11, has vanished.'" He piled on with how a New York Times editorial excoriated Bush "for 'appearing casual to the point of carelessness.'"
For that Wednesday editorial: www.unionleader.com
Later, on the CBS Evening News, with a montage of newspaper editorials on screen, Bill Plante also found the Union Leader editorial worthy of highlighting: "The Katrina catastrophe comes at one of the lowest points of George Bush's presidency. In a new CBS News poll, his approval rating is as low as it's ever been -- 41 percent -- driven down by both the war in Iraq and the soaring cost of gas. Editorial pages across the nation aimed sharp barbs at Mr. Bush: 'What appeared to be a halting response Tuesday,' and 'A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource.'"
Back to CNN, Cafferty soon launched a rant: "I have never, ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people that are in that Superdome down there? I mean, what is, this is Thursday. This is Thursday. This storm happened five days ago. It's a disgrace."
Cafferty and Plante ignored a Thursday Union Leader editorial which castigated Louisiana's Governor: "Louisiana Gov't Fails Its People." See: www.theunionleader.com
To watch video of Cafferty's rant, go to the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog where RealPlayer and Windows Media clips, rendered by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey, are posted: newsbusters.org
Cafferty: "The thing that's most glaring in all of this is the conditions continue to deteriorate for the people who are victims in this and the efforts to do anything about it don't seem to be anywhere in sight. I want to read you something, Wolf. This is a quote fro an editorial (text on screen): 'A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource....The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months ["immediately' on screen but not said by Cafferty] following 9/11 ["Sept. 11, 2001" on screen], has vanished.'
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Thursday night took a series of gratuitous shots as he strongly suggested George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice have some personal culpability for shortcomings in federal action following Hurricane Katrina. On his Countdown show he asserted that "8,000 Guardsmen from Mississippi and Louisiana who might have helped, might have been deployed in the relief efforts are, in fact, in Iraq and not in Mississippi and Louisiana" and cited how Bush "claimed this morning, quote, 'I don't think anybody anticipated a breach of the levees,'" but countered that "there was a U.S. News and World Report article detailing just what would happen if they were breached that was published exactly six weeks ago." (So, if President Bush read an article in a magazine that would have changed anything? Isn't there a whole federal agency full of people charged with disaster relief?) And, in his cheapest shot, Olbermann pointed out how Rice "has cut short her vacation and made it back to her office just four days after New Orleans was besieged, just a day after she reportedly saw a comedy on Broadway in New York City."
The Secretary of State's attendance at a play in Manhattan impeded rescue efforts in what way? What does the Secretary of State have to do with a hurricane recovery?
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth caught Olbermann's comments on the September 1 Countdown.
At about 8:20pm EDT, Olbermann opined: "The theme throughout this fifth day has been 'Where is the help? Where is the government?' The Secretary of Homeland Security says the government is sending 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to New Orleans, that 2,800 are already there. But 8,000 Guardsmen from Mississippi and Louisiana who might have helped, might have been deployed in the relief efforts are, in fact, in Iraq and not in Mississippi and Louisiana. About 40 percent of all U.S. troops there are drawn from the Guard and Reserves. While the President claimed this morning, quote, 'I don't think anybody anticipated a breach of the levees, there was a U.S. News and World Report article detailing just what would happen if they were breached that was published exactly six weeks ago."
Olbermann soon added: "The President plans to fly over the scene again tomorrow meeting with some local officials. We were told the Secretary of State has cut short her vacation and made it back to her office just four days after New Orleans was besieged, just a day after she reportedly saw a comedy on Broadway in New York City."
In a Thursday column for the Los Angeles Times, former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines joined the left wing in using the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to bash Bush: "The dilatory performance of George Bush during the past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude." Raines ended with this blast which echoed the radical left: "The churchgoing cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the House of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die in foreign deserts."
In a Thursday posting on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog, Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org site, relayed how Raines contrasted Bush with two Governors: "Louisiana's anguished governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, climbed into a helicopter at the first possible moment to survey what may become the worst weather-related disaster in American history. Even Gov. Haley R. Barbour of Mississippi, a tiresome blowhard as chairman of the Republican National Committee, has shown a throat-catching public sorrow and sleepless diligence that put Bush to shame.
For the September 1 Raines rant in full, titled, "The Crescent City blues," go to: www.latimes.com
Update to the Thursday CyberAlert item about how ABC's Diane Sawyer, in a live Good Morning America interview, hit President Bush with a series of liberal talking point questions designed to politicize the hurricane recovery effort. That interview aired in the 7am half hour. At the top of the 7:30am half hour Thursday, Sawyer related some questions she had posed to Bush off air, including her using the tragedy as an excuse to push for a tax hike: "I also asked him about this idea that the whole economy could be torqued by this in such a way. And I said, 'will you call for tax increases, in fact, if that's required?'"
Of course, if the economy were being "torqued," common sense would say a tax hike would be the last thing you'd want to do.
The September 1 CyberAlert recounted: Live from the White House in the 7am EDT half hour of Thursday's Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer pressed President George W. Bush to respond to a series of liberal talking points, starting with how "people have worried that the National Guard is stretched too thin" with "so many overseas" in Iraq. Later, she demanded: "Do we have to make a choice, at some point, between what we're doing in Iraq and what is needed, right now, to funnel massive amounts of money" to the hurricane victims? She also wanted Bush to "guard against price gouging" and wondered: "Is this a time to call on Americans to simply pull back, not use the gas? Pull back and stay at home and save the gas for those who are in dire need." Sawyer forwarded how "some people have said that the oil companies, themselves, should simply forfeit some of their profits in this time of national crisis." She suggested the federal government owes everyone a job as she asked "how far the federal government is going to go to get their lives back? Do you promise jobs? Do you promise that they will be moved back into housing, and how soon?"
-- Brent Baker