CBS's Byron Pitts Concedes He's 'Excited' by Obama's Nomination --6/9/2008
2. CBS: Obama's 'Fist Bump' With Michelle 'Generating A Lot of Buzz'
3. ABC's Cuomo Concerned for Hillary Clinton's Emotional State
4. Jake Tapper's Top 10 Most Unlikely Obama VPs: Ayers? Wright?
5. CBS Frets Energy Price, But Skips 'Climate Change' Bill's Impact
6. Olbermann Ridicules MRC's 'Hilariously Inept Right-Wing' Blog
7. George Lucas: Obama My 'Hero' for Offering 'Dreams and Hope'
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz played a clip of CBS reporter Byron Pitts on Wednesday's CBS Evening News hailing Barack Obama's Democratic nomination victory as proof "one of America's oldest and ugliest color lines has been broken, and there is a new bridge for a new generation," then proposed: "You obviously are paid to be an objective journalist, but some part of you must be excited that Barack Obama won this nomination." Pitts confirmed his excitement: "Well, certainly. I mean, as an African-American man, this is significant. I mean, look, for my entire life I've been able to, as a man, dream of doing great things. But a dream I could never have was being President of the United States. Now, for instance, my sons, my nephew, they can have that dream. And I think those kinds of images are important."
Pitts continued with a quip about getting a cab in Manhattan: "For instance, one reason why I'm a journalist today was because I saw Ed Bradley on television in the 1970s, and that told me that was possible. So I think -- I mean, look, the reality is it's still going to be hard for a black man to get a cab in New York. There is still going to be problems with race in this country. But having Barack Obama as the nominee is significant."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The record, however, shows it may not be African-American candidates who enamor Pitts, but all liberal Democrats, black or white. Pitts earned a couple of entries in the "Bedazzled in Beantown Award (for Democratic Convention Coverage)" in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2004: The Seventeenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
# Pitts during live coverage of John Kerry's speech to the Democratic convention, July 29:
"It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry's home in Boston, I'm told he whispered to his sister, 'Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, 'John,' knowing he would run for President some day, 'remember, John, integrity, that's what matters.' Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity."
# Pitts on CBS's The Early Show, July 29, morning of Kerry's acceptance:
"For Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, tonight's acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it's his destiny....A gifted athlete and captain of the debate team at Yale, Kerry followed his idol's [John F. Kennedy's] lead and enlisted in the Navy in 1966. In Vietnam, Lieutenant John F. Kerry rescued a comrade in combat, killed an enemy soldier, won three Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star....The day before his speech, Kerry crossed Boston Harbor with some of his crewmates from Vietnam, his band of brothers. They have one battle left. But tonight the loner will stand alone here in his hometown one more time and look to do what John F. Kerry has nearly always done '€" find a way to win."
For Real video of both of those quotes: www.mediaresearch.org
David moved on: "Others say it's a symbol of love." She quoted CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield, among others, who said: "To me it was a kind of little light moment, maybe a moment of kind of intimacy. It certainly didn't reach the level of Al and Tipper Gore's record breaking kiss at the 2000 convention. And it is what it is. And you know, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a fist bump is just a fist bump." David then added: "It's not the first time Obama bumped with the younger generation. While bowling in Pennsylvania, this is how he congratulated an 8-year-old boy."
[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Friday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
David went on to describe how much the '€˜fist bump' is ingrained in popular culture: "Commercials are cashing in on the cool factor of 'the bump.' And sports figures have used it for ages." She then observed: "But Obama showed you don't have to be an athlete to pull it off." David again got reaction from Greenfield, who explained that only someone "young" like Obama could pull off such a gesture: "What it tells me is that these are relatively young people for politics. It's not something that Bob Dole would have done with Liddy Dole in 96'. It's not something Bill and Hillary Clinton do. They -- they're from a different time."
Here is the full transcript of the June 6 segment:
HARRY SMITH: And when we come back, the story of this -- this gesture right here. Stay tuned.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Alright everybody, give me a little pound pound. A simple fist bump between Barack Obama and his wife Michelle the night that he secured the Democratic nomination is generating a lot of buzz. CBS News correspondent Priya David has the story.
On Friday's Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo talked with Hillary Clinton supporter Senator Charles Schumer of New York and sympathized about how tough exiting the campaign must be for the candidate. After observing how some dared describe her failure to immediately endorse Barack Obama a calculating move, Cuomo empathized: "But, you know her. You've been talking to her. How difficult has this all been for her emotionally?"
In an earlier segment, reporter Kate Snow recounted the secret meeting between Senators Obama and Clinton on Thursday. After summarizing in an impressed tone how reporters were camped outside the New York Senator's Washington home, Snow marveled: "But somehow, Senator Clinton managed to slip out of her house undetected to meet secretly with Obama at the home of Senator Dianne Feinstein." Yet, in 2003, when President Bush secretly traveled to Baghdad to have Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops, the press did not appear as awed. The December 1, 2003 CyberAlert recounted the annoyed tone that many journalists adopted:
[Howard] Kurtz, hosting CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, grilled his guests repeatedly about the appropriateness of reporters cooperating with the White House, but neither guest -- Washington Post reporter Mike Allen or Newsweek's Don Klaidman -- agreed. Kurtz complained about how "they put out a false story," pressed Allen about how "in retrospect, was the press used here for an elaborate two-hour turkey filled presidential photo-op?" and was disturbed about all the positive coverage Thursday on cable: "It sounded like he landed on the moon instead of in Baghdad."
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
A transcript of Chris Cuomo's interview with Charles Schumer, which aired at 7:05am on June 6, 2008, follows:
CHRIS CUOMO: Not easy to nail things down here. Let's try to get some more insight. Joining us from Washington is a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, fellow New York senator, senior senator from New York, Charles Schumer. Senator, thank you for joining us this morning.
After mentioning Chicago professor William Ayers and how he could be a comfortable VP choice, someone that Obama knows well, Tapper sarcastically noted: "On the minus side, Ayers used to be a fugitive as a member of the domestic terrorist group, the Weather Underground, so he might not pass the vetting process." Highlighting Congressman William Jefferson and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as "Obama's indicted super delegates," the ABC journalist mused: "By waiting until the last minute to announce their support for Obama, they showed their loyalty, which is a pro. On the con side, they could soon be cons."
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
While Jake Tapper has shown a capacity for balance, Nightline reporter David Wright has frequently fawned over Obama. On February 20, 2008, he rhapsodized that Obama rallies are like "[Bruce] Springsteen concerts, but the tickets are free." Making an appearance on the April 30, 2008 edition of Good Morning America, he encouraged viewers to feel bad for Obama after his break from Reverend Wright: "For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break." See the February 21 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
And May 1 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
The June 4 Nightline segment:
TERRY MORAN: So the big news tonight, of course, Hillary Clinton will suspend her race for the White House this weekend after a lot of pushing from party leaders to get this thing wrapped up. A lot of Clinton campaigners are pushing back. They say give her credit, give her respect. Give her a spot on the ticket. Does that sound like a good idea or a bad one? Well, she's not the worst person Barack Obama could choose. Jake Tapper made a list. These are the bottom ten.
After leading Friday's CBS Evening News with Morgan Stanley's prediction of $150 barrel of oil by the 4th of July and reporter Anthony Mason citing the "runaway price of energy," anchor Katie Couric delivered a short item on how "today the Senate gave up on legislation to fight global warming." Couric explained that "faced with a Republican-led filibuster, Democrats withdrew their proposal to cap carbon emissions from power plants and factories," but she failed to make the connection to how the "cap and trade" bill would raise the price gas and other energy.
In a Monday, June 2, column, Robert Samuelson, who dubbed the bill "cap and tax," reported: "The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a 15 percent cut of emissions would raise average household energy costs by almost $1,300 a year."
With "Climate Change Bill" on screen, Couric read this 30-second update: "Senators McCain and Obama both said they supported the bill, but today the Senate gave up on legislation to fight global warming. Faced with a Republican-led filibuster, Democrats withdrew their proposal to cap carbon emissions from power plants and factories. That leaves the issue to the next Congress and the next President."
Neither the CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News mentioned the bill.
Meanwhile, on Friday's NBC Nightly News, after CNBC shouter Jim Cramer asserted that $150 barrel of oil will translate into $5.50 for a gallon of gas, anchor Brian Williams ended the q and a by lamenting: "And sooner or later maybe an energy policy will come forward." Cramer called that "a real leap of faith." Williams regretted: "Yeah, that's true."
An excerpt from Samuelson's June 2 column, "Just Call It 'Cap-and-Tax,'" in the Washington Post:
....Carbon-based fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) provide about 85 percent of U.S. energy and generate most greenhouse gases. So, the simplest way to stop these emissions is to regulate them out of existence. Naturally, that's what cap-and-trade does. Companies could emit greenhouse gases only if they had annual "allowances" -- quotas -- issued by the government. The allowances would gradually decline. That's the "cap." Companies (utilities, oil refineries) that needed extra allowances could buy them from companies willing to sell. That's the "trade."
In one bill, the 2030 cap on greenhouse gases would be 35 percent below the 2005 level and 44 percent below the level projected without any restrictions. By 2050, U.S. greenhouse gases would be rapidly vanishing. Even better, their disappearance would allegedly be painless. Reviewing five economic models, the Environmental Defense Fund asserts that the cuts can be achieved "without significant adverse consequences to the economy." Fuel prices would rise, but because people would use less energy, the impact on household budgets would be modest.
This is mostly make-believe. If we suppress emissions, we also suppress today's energy sources, and because the economy needs energy, we suppress the economy....
As emission cuts deepened, the danger of disruptions would mount. Population increases alone raise energy demand. From 2006 to 2030, the U.S. population will grow 22 percent (to 366 million) and the number of housing units 25 percent (to 141 million), the Energy Information Administration projects. The idea that higher fuel prices will be offset mostly by lower consumption is, at best, optimistic. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a 15 percent cut of emissions would raise average household energy costs by almost $1,300 a year.
That's how cap-and-trade would tax most Americans. As "allowances" became scarcer, their price would rise, and the extra cost would be passed along to customers. Meanwhile, government would expand enormously. It could sell the allowances and spend the proceeds; or it could give them away, providing a windfall to recipients. The Senate proposal does both to the tune of about $1 trillion from 2012 to 2018. Beneficiaries would include farmers, Indian tribes, new technology companies, utilities and states. Call this "environmental pork,"...
A tax is more visible and understandable. If environmentalists still prefer an allowance system, let's call it by its proper name: cap-and-tax.
END of Excerpt
For the column in full: www.washingtonpost.com
But Olbermann is the inept one. The June 2 NewsBusters item did not scold Williams for failing to lead with the development (nor, of course, for any "rape" of drivers by Bush), but for not mentioning it at any time in his newscast: "ABC and CBS on Monday night managed to squeeze in -- more than 20 minutes into their evening newscasts -- brief mentions of how in May the fewest number U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq in any month since the war began five years ago. But not NBC Nightly News."
Derogatorily impersonating O'Reilly, Olbermann recited O'Reilly's Wednesday hit on Williams as his "pinhead" of the night. Olbermann then asked and answered about O'Reilly: "Surprised that you're a blithering sociopath cutting and pasting items from NewsBusters? No, I am not..."
As opposed to Olbermann who often cuts and pastes from Media Matters and other left-wing site to find people to ridicule in his "Worst Persons in the World" segment?
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night, with audio and video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Bill O'Reilly in his "Pinheads and Patriots segment" on the Wednesday, June 4 The O'Reilly Factor:
On the pinhead front, both Charles Gibson and Katie Couric told their viewers that in May U.S. casualties in Iraq were the lowest since the war there began. But somehow, NBC's Brian Williams neglected to mention that. Somehow, old Brian could not work that in, even though his network was the biggest offender of the explosion de jure in Iraq -- carnage without context -- that we exposed last year. Since then it has stopped. Anyway, for ignoring what he has to know is an all-important story for America, Brian Williams is a pinhead. Questions: Are you surprised?
Olbermann's silver in the Friday, June 6 "Worst Person in the World" segment on MSNBC's Countdown:
The runner-up: Bill O, who continues to mail it in, now picking up some of his features from the hilariously inept right-wing Web site NewsBusters, such as one that criticized our colleague Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News for leading Monday's newscast not with the lower May casualty figures from Iraq, but with a story on how underfunded mass transit system can't keep up with increased ridership caused by the rape of the driver by Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and their oil buddies.
Bill O said [impersonating O'Reilly's voice]: "On the pinhead front, both ABC and CBS told their viewers that in the month of May U.S. casualties in Iraq were the lowest since the war there began, but somehow NBC's Brian Williams neglected to mention that. Somehow, old Brian couldn't work that in. For ignoring what he has to know is an all-important story for America, Brian Williams is a pinhead. Questions? Are you surprised?"
Surprised that you're a blithering sociopath cutting and pasting items from NewsBusters? No, I am not. Surprised that you don't have a clue about what's all-important or news to Americans like any casualties in Iraq are too many, Bill, and the country's being strangled by big oil? No, I am not. Surprised that you're going on 59 and he's 49, yet you refer to him as old? No, I am not.
My June 2 NewsBusters/June 3 CyberAlert item, "NBC Nightly News Spikes News About Fewest Troop Deaths of War," began:
As lead-ins to short reports on the posthumous presentation of a Medal of Honor, ABC and CBS on Monday night managed to squeeze in -- more than 20 minutes into their evening newscasts -- brief mentions of how in May the fewest number U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq in any month since the war began five years ago. But not NBC Nightly News. (And Sunday's Today and Nightly News, as well as Monday's Today, also skipped the good news.) NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday led with worries that "because it's been underfunded for decades, mass transit may not be ready for all the Americans leaving their cars behind," and ran his short update, on the Medal of Honor going to Army Private First Class Ross McGinnis, without anything about the decline in troops killed.
Fill-in ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos set up his report on the White House ceremony presenting the honor to the parents of McGinnis by dampening the positive news with the total death number:
The Pentagon reported 19 American troops were killed in May. That's the lowest monthly toll since the war began. The total number of Americans killed in the war is now approaching 4,100.
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric also noted the total, but CBS didn't display it on screen, as she painted the fewest killed as "perhaps" a sign violence is going down:
In Iraq, a sign perhaps that violence is decreasing. In the lowest monthly death U.S. toll since the war began, 19 Americans were killed in May. The total U.S. toll for the war is now 4,086.
For the rest, on NewsBusters: newsbusters.org
In the June 3 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars movies and writer/producer of the Indiana Jones film franchise, has hailed Barack Obama as "a hero in the making," declaring that Obama, "for all of us that have dreams and hope, is a hero." A Wednesday Agence France-Presse (AFP) dispatch headlined, really, "The force is with Obama, 'Star Wars' creator says," reported:
George Lucas has created legendary film heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, but the US director says that in real life, his hero is Barack Obama. Lucas was in Japan on Wednesday to promote his latest film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Obama clinched the Democratic Party's nomination for President.
"We have a hero in the making back in the United States today because we have a new candidate for President of the United States, Barack Obama," Lucas said when asked who his childhood heroes were.
Obama, "for all of us that have dreams and hope, is a hero," Lucas said.
The AFP article -- as posted by Breitbart: www.breitbart.com
By Yahoo: news.yahoo.com
And by Google: afp.google.com
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
I haven't found any coverage of the Lucas remarks in Japan beyond the short AFP item which James Taranto highlighted Thursday in his Best of the Web Today compilation for the Wall Street Journal's online site: online.wsj.com
The Internet Move Database's page on the career of Lucas: www.imdb.com
-- Brent Baker