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CBS's Glumness on Iraq: Low Morale, Kids Yell "Go Home Bastards" --7/29/2003


1. CBS's Glumness on Iraq: Low Morale, Kids Yell "Go Home Bastards"
It's amazing American soldiers manage to get anything done in Iraq, judging by the gloom and doom conveyed by CBS News reporter Byron Pitts about how they're angry and have low morale and Iraqis scorn them. On Monday night, he found anger all over. "On the streets of Baghdad," he intoned, "American soldiers are angry because American soldiers are still dying as the search for Saddam Hussein grows bloodier for both sides each day." He soon contended that "children who used to run along convoys waving and smiling now throw rocks. These boys are screaming," he generously added, "'Go home, bastards.'" Pitts asked a U.S. soldier about morale. The soldier chortled: "Morale? What's that?"

2. "Thoughtful" & "Better Educated" Iraqis Don't Want Saddam Killed
The "reflexive reaction" of most Iraqis is to say they want Saddam Hussein killed but, Newsweek's Rod Nordland argued on Monday's Today show in suggesting an elite minority know better, "the more thoughtful people and better educated people I think will think about it a bit and say, 'No, it would be much better if we capture him and put him on trial for what he did.'"

3. ABC Delivers Another Story About Poor Missing Child Credit
ABC News tapped new reporter Jake Tapper, fresh from the liberal Salon.com Web magazine, for the first time on Saturday night, and though he relayed the arguments of those against giving an income tax credit to those who don't pay any income taxes, ABC delivered a story framed around the agenda of Capitol Hill liberals who argue fairness dictates that low income earners should get the $400 increase in the child credit. He and ABC chose a sympathetic military family to portray as a victim. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas fretted: "Today millions of middle-class Americans will begin receiving the $400 per child payments, but many poor Americans will get nothing."

4. Threat in BBC Series on A&E: "Far Right" & "Pro-Life Terrorists"
In this time of international Islamic terrorism with worries about terror cells inside democratic nations, what are the greatest threats to the British homeland in the eye of the BBC? A "pro-life terrorist" bomber who exports her violence to Britain from the U.S. and "far right," anti-immigration terrorists -- at least judging by a BBC drama series picked up last week in the U.S. by the A&E cable channel. No wonder Tony Blair is having problems with British public opinion if this is the kind of entertainment fare offered up by the BBC.


Correction: The July 28 CyberAlert stated that the CBS Evening News on-screen graphic spelled the last name of their favorite senior as "Viola Quiron," and not "Quirion." In fact, CBS did spell it "Quirion."

CBS's Glumness on Iraq: Low Morale, Kids
Yell "Go Home Bastards"

It's amazing American soldiers manage to get anything done in Iraq, judging by the gloom and doom conveyed by CBS News reporter Byron Pitts about how they're angry and have low morale and Iraqis scorn them.

On Monday night, he found anger all over. "On the streets of Baghdad," he intoned, "American soldiers are angry because American soldiers are still dying as the search for Saddam Hussein grows bloodier for both sides each day." He soon contended that "children who used to run along convoys waving and smiling now throw rocks. These boys are screaming," he generously added, "'Go home, bastards.'" Pitts asked a U.S. soldier about morale. The soldier chortled: "Morale? What's that?"

Dan Rather introduced the demoralizing story aired on the July 28 CBS Evening News, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "This was another deadly day for American forces now overseas in Iraq. Since President Bush declared major combat was over, a total of 50 Americans have died in continued attacks. The latest just today, and just as U.S. forces intensify the hunt for Saddam Hussein. CBS's Byron Pitts reports Americans are on the offense and defense in the search for Saddam."

Pitts, over video of a U.S. soldier yelling at civilians:
"On the streets of Baghdad, American soldiers are angry because American soldiers are still dying as the search for Saddam Hussein grows bloodier for both sides each day. U.S. commanders believe they're getting closer to the former Iraqi leader as members of his inner circle are either captured or killed. In the meantime, the search for Saddam Hussein has only intensified since his sons were cornered and killed last week. Here in Saddam's home town of Tikrit, the raids come almost daily."
Sergeant Wincie Larry, U.S. Army: "We're doing everything we can to stay alive and take care of business."
Pitts: "And business means bullet holes, spattered blood, and burnt-out cars. The markings of a manhunt the Pentagon believes will turn up Saddam Hussein sooner rather than later. Besides the $25 million bounty on his head, more of Saddam's old allies are providing new leads now that Uday and Qusay Hussein are dead. General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived from Washington over the weekend to tell his troops Saddam is running out of hiding places."
General Richard Myers: "In my opinion, if he's alive, it's just a matter of time."
Pitts: "If Saddam is running out of time-"
Unidentified soldier #1: "Every time you go out there's worry in your mind."
Pitts: "-many of America's soldiers are running out of patience."
Soldier #1: "I'm not going to lie. That is an issue. Everybody here is in the same position. The soldiers want to go home."
Pitts: "The heat here can be unbearable. Day to day patrols both dangerous and difficult. Children who used to run along convoys waving and smiling now throw rocks. These boys are screaming, 'Go home, bastards.'"
Pitts, to unidentified soldier #2: "How is morale?"
Unidentified soldier #2, chortling: "Morale? What's that? Well, morale. [laughs] These guys, they're scouts, they're recon, you know, they're not doing recon. They're not doing their job, they're doing a cop's job."
Pitts concluded: "And tonight it is the most dangerous job in Iraq. Byron Pitts, CBS News, Baghdad."

"Thoughtful" & "Better Educated" Iraqis
Don't Want Saddam Killed

Newsweek's Rod Nordland The "reflexive reaction" of most Iraqis is to say they want Saddam Hussein killed but, Newsweek's Rod Nordland argued on Monday's Today show in suggesting an elite minority know better, "the more thoughtful people and better educated people I think will think about it a bit and say, 'No, it would be much better if we capture him and put him on trial for what he did.'"

Nordland appeared from Baghdad on the July 28 Today to discuss his Newsweek cover story about the killing of Uday and Qusay. MRC intern Nicole Casey took down this exchange amongst Today co-host Matt Lauer, Nordland and retired General Wayne Downing, who was in Peoria, Illinois:

Lauer: "Rod, obviously you're still in Baghdad, and, General, I know you just returned from Iraq, and let me start -- I'll ask you both the same question, but General, start with you: the feeling on the street there, is it that the Iraqi people want Saddam captured dead, or would they not mind at all if they were killed -- I mean, captured alive or would they not mind at all if he were killed?"
Downing: "I don't think they really care. I do think they believe -- everyone I talked to told me except one person that that regime is entirely finished. I think they want to see him gone one way or the other. And it'd be good to have good tangible proof that we have killed him."
Lauer: "Rod, what about you, what are you hearing from the people you talk to on the streets?"
Nordland: "Well, I, yeah, I'd agree with that. Most people want to see him gone any way they can. And most people, their reflexive reaction is to say, 'Let's see him killed.' But people, the more thoughtful people and better educated people I think will think about it a bit and say, 'No, it would be much better if we capture him and put him on trial for what he did. That would be a much more thorough kind of closure for the country than just seeing him killed in some raid. And there are some people that say that the way Uday and Qusay died made them martyrs in a sense, that they seemed to be able to hold off such a large number of American troops. It would have been better if we'd captured them alive for that reason."

Indeed, that theme matches a Web-only story by Nordland posted last week: "Excessive Force? The U.S. military is celebrating the deaths of Saddam's sons. But some are questioning whether Uday and Qusay could-and should-have been taken alive." See: www.msnbc.com

For Nordland's piece in the August 4 Newsweek: www.msnbc.com

ABC Delivers Another Story About Poor
Missing Child Credit

ABC News tapped new reporter Jake Tapper, fresh from the liberal Salon.com Web magazine, for the first time on Saturday night and he delivered a story framed around the agenda of Capitol Hill liberals who argue fairness dictates that low income earners should get the $400 increase in the child credit. He and ABC chose a sympathetic military family to portray as a victim.

For a look at Tapper's book on the Florida election and how he has penned stories for both liberal and conservative publications: www.mediaresearch.org

World News Tonight/Saturday anchor Elizabeth Vargas established the parameters of the story as she fretted: "Today millions of middle-class Americans will begin receiving the $400 per child payments, but many poor Americans will get nothing." MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed that earlier in the broadcast, to plug the upcoming story, Vargas resorted to the usual media mantra about kids: "Missing out on the tax credit in the mail this weekend: military families and their loved, one million children."

Tapper began by focusing on someone who will miss out: "Sergeant Diomario Hines is back at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after six months in Afghanistan. He now finds himself in the middle of a different sort of battle: He's one of those who won't be getting a child tax credit check in the mail."

Tapper relayed the liberal argument about how "the Hines family and six and a half million other working poor families pay all sorts of taxes: sales taxes, Social Security taxes," but he did at least point out how "they do not make enough money to pay income taxes, and the way some Republicans see it, common sense dictates that if Sergeant Hines doesn't pay income taxes, he should not get an income tax credit."

By the end, Tapper backed the position of liberals which has been adopted by President Bush, as he concluded that to get more money to pay the costs associated with a new baby Hines will get a second job: "Another job to earn some of the money he won't be getting from the child tax credit."

One hopes that a second job will pay more than just $400 in total.

Tapper deserves credit for at least noting that the child credit applies only to the middle class and cuts off the wealthy, a point his ABC colleague Terry Moran distorted on Thursday night, but like Moran and virtually all stories on this subject, Tapper failed to point out what is likely true in the case of the Hines family: They already get back more from the EITC than they put in through income tax payments.

Tapper's piece came just two days after Moran approached the very same subject from the very same angle about a victimized poor family.

As recounted in the July 25 CyberAlert, ABC's World News Tonight pegged a July 24 piece to how, as anchor Peter Jennings put it, "Mr. Bush has been criticized by Democrats and others for not extending more assistance to some of the poorest families."

Moran found a victim, Cynthia Foster, who pleaded: "Be fair with everybody is what I'm saying. Okay, I know I'm a little guy, but be fair with me." Moran did note how she doesn't pay income taxes, but then he made a misleading claim about how "wealthier families" get the tax credit: "Foster is a 41-year-old single mother of four who earns just over $20,000 a year. Like millions of other low-income workers, she pays no federal income taxes, and thus will not receive the tax credit. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and their allies have launched a campaign to extend the new child tax benefit, which wealthier families will receive, to low-income families like Foster in the form of a direct federal payment."

In fact, in a provision which has yet to draw any media concern about its lack of fairness, once a single parent hits $75,000 in annual income or a two-parent family with two kids makes $110,000, the increased child credit phases out and is gone for virtually all by about $150,000 -- which is not an uncommon income level for the average family in much of suburban America around big cities.

For more on Moran's story: www.mediaresearch.org

Now, Tapper's July 26 story in full. Vargas set it up with the assumption that the present situation is wrong: "Now to a promise of government help. Congress has begun its summer recess without extending President Bush's child tax credit to low-income Americans. Today millions of middle-class Americans will begin receiving the $400 per child payments, but many poor Americans will get nothing. ABC's Jake Tapper has details."

Tapper began: "Sergeant Diomario Hines is back at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after six months in Afghanistan. He now finds himself in the middle of a different sort of battle: He's one of those who won't be getting a child tax credit check in the mail."
Sgt. Hines, U.S. Army: "It makes me feel kind of, like, upset because I pay taxes just like everybody else and I need the same thing they need."
Tapper: "Sergeant Hines and his wife Gwendolyn, who works part-time at a fast-food restaurant, have three children. They're members of the so-called working poor, bringing home less than $26,000 a year. The Hines family and six and a half million other working poor families pay all sorts of taxes: sales taxes, Social Security taxes, but they do not make enough money to pay income taxes, and the way some Republicans see it, common sense dictates that if Sergeant Hines doesn't pay income taxes, he should not get an income tax credit."
Stephen Moore, Club for Growth president: "To give them a $400 check from the government for every child they have would be the equivalent of giving them a welfare check."
Tapper: "Democrats say that misses the point."
Rep. Charles Rangel, (D) New York: "Taxes are taxes. You ask anyone that's working that they don't distinguish that it's city, that it's state, that it's federal."
Tapper: "Congressman Rangel argues that the working poor are more likely to spend the money and stimulate the economy."
Gwendolyn Hines: "We need it worse than the people that's gonna get it, obviously."
Tapper: "President Bush has indicated that he gets the message."
President Bush: "The child credit must be given to low-income Americans as well."
Tapper: "Republican leaders in the House insist that if the tax credit goes to lower income families, it must also go to those earning up to $150,000 a year. Yesterday the House left town for summer recess without resolving this issue. In the meantime, Sergeant Hines just found out Gwendolyn is pregnant with their fourth child."
Sgt. Hines: "She ain't going to be able to work. I'll probably get a second job, or try to get a second job."
Tapper concluded: "Another job to earn some of the money he won't be getting from the child tax credit. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Washington."

As for Rangel's sudden concern that "taxes are taxes. You ask anyone that's working that they don't distinguish that it's city, that it's state, that it's federal," he should know given that he's from the very high-tax state of New York and New York City where a slight cut in the state income tax or the onerously high city add-on to the state sales tax would do a lot more for those at lower-incomes than would a federal income tax credit only for those with kids.

Threat in BBC Series on A&E: "Far Right"
& "Pro-Life Terrorists"

In this time of international Islamic terrorism with worries about terror cells inside democratic nations, what are the greatest threats to the British homeland in the eye of the BBC? A "pro-life terrorist" bomber who exports her violence to Britain from the U.S. and "far right," anti-immigration terrorists -- at least judging by a BBC drama series picked up last week in the U.S. by the A&E cable channel. No wonder Tony Blair is having problems with British public opinion if this is the kind of entertainment fare offered up by the BBC.

How many Americans exactly have ever traveled to Britain to murder abortion doctors?

The series, MI-5, about the adventures of agents with the domestic British intelligence service of the same name, airs Tuesday nights on A&E, a channel controlled by Hearst-Argyle.

The MRC's Larry Gourlay alerted CyberAlert to the choice of pro-life extremists as the bad guys in the first episode and here's the synopsis of that first show from last Tuesday, July 22, as recounted on the A&E Web site:

An MI-5 source passes on information that 20 bombs have gone astray between Ireland and the UK. Within minutes, a car bomb explodes, killing a woman and fatally injuring her daughter.

Upon discovering the mother is a family-planning doctor, MI-5 begins looking for a pro-life terrorist. The prime suspect is an American woman, Mary Kane. She's a fanatic, convinced that murder is justified in her war against abortion.

Mary is pursuing a campaign of terror in honor of her husband, who is about to go to the electric chair for killing another doctor.

MI-5's intelligence leads them to Kane's cottage. Zoe and her team bug the place. Later, Harry tells Tom that the CIA is demanding Mary be caught and handed over to the USA. But Mary needs to be left in the field until they know where the bombs are.

Zoe goes undercover and traps one of Mary's supporters, Rachel. Her phone is bugged and, during a call, Rachel mentions the name 'Sullivan.' The MI-5 team finds an abortion specialist with the same name in London. Sullivan is the next target. Zoe takes her place and poses as the doctor. The lure works and Mary Kane sets out to claim her next victim.

END of Excerpt

That synopsis is online at: www.aetv.com

In watching the episode, I caught a cheeky shot at the pro-life side's disagreement with the "pro-choice" way of framing the issue. After "Mary Kane" is caught, an MI-5 man lectures her:
"Tell us where the bombs are. Tell us your network. You stay with us, we'll fly you back to a state without the death penalty. You keep pretending you're doing this for any other reason than revenge, the CIA will take you back to Florida where I know they'll be more than happy to stick you in the electric chair. Put it another way Mary, I'm giving you the right to choose."

Tonight's episode looks like it will deliver another dose of liberal paranoia. In a preview aired at the end of last week's show, a character warns of what a "far right" group is up to. A&E's Web site summarizes the plot for the Tuesday night episode: "The agents go undercover to stop a man who's trying to start a race war by attacking immigrants."

MI-5 airs twice on Tuesday nights at these times, by time zone:
EDT/PDT: 10pm and 2am
CDT: 9pm and 1am
MDT: 8pm and 11pm MDT

And it runs a third time on Saturday nights at 11pm EDT/PDT, 10pm CDT, 9pm MDT.

A&E's home page for MI-5: www.aetv.com

As if we don't have enough liberal agenda programming already created by our own left-wingers in Hollywood, now a U.S. network is importing it from abroad.

-- Brent Baker