CBS's Plante Asks If Sheehan Will "Ignite the Anti-War Movement?" --8/18/2005
2. WW II Press Would've "Mercifully Given No Publicity" to Sheehan
3. Olbermann Distorts Rush, Calls Him "Worst Person in the World!"
4. Soldier to Lauer: "I'd Be Depressed Too If I Got News" from Media
5. AP: Judge Roberts' Hometown Nearly All White and No Jews Allowed
The CBS Evening News on Wednesday night framed Cindy Sheehan as the catalyst for a more aggressive anti-war movement. "Will this woman's camp out in the President's backyard ignite the anti-war movement?" Bill Plante asked in teasing his upcoming story. "Out of nowhere, Cindy Sheehan has suddenly become the red-hot symbol of opposition to the war," Plante soon touted, trumpeting how "in just ten days," Sheehan "has become a magnet for the anti-war movement." Plante acknowledged how "some of Sheehan's rhetoric...has intensified the criticism of her motives," but "at the same time...her cause has been taken up by liberal organizations such as MoveOn.org." Plante relayed that "liberal groups are trying to revive the anti-war message in more than a thousand candlelight vigils across the nation." Plante concluded with a question: "Will she be seen as a divisive figure or a catalyst who ignites anti-war sentiment?" Anchor John Roberts then posed a question which presumed there is "growing anti-war sentiment."
Anchor John Roberts set up the August 17 CBS Evening News story: "The ongoing violence in Iraq and rising U.S. casualties have fed an increasingly vocal campaign against the war here at home. And Cindy Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq last year, has made herself the voice of that campaign. As Bill Plante reports for us now, it began as a one-woman protest near President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas."
From the White House, Plante asserted as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "Out of nowhere, Cindy Sheehan has suddenly become the red-hot symbol of opposition to the war."
Michael Barone of U.S. News told FNC's Chris Wallace on Wednesday night that "if a World War II era Cindy Sheehan had gone to Hyde Park and Warm Springs and camped out and demanded a meeting with President Roosevelt," she "would just been thought to have been a person who was the victim of a personal tragedy and who had gone over the bend as a result of it, and they would have mercifully given her no publicity." Barone, co-editor of the bi-annual Almanac of American Politics, credited the change in media attitude to how in "World War II, the press almost unanimously wanted us to win the war," but "today we have many in the press -- not most I think, but some at least -- who do not want us to win this war and think that we don't deserve to win this war."
[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's new blog, NewsBusters.org, "exposing and combating liberal media bias."]
Wallace, filling in for the vacationing Brit Hume on the 6pm EDT Special Report with Brit Hume, asked Barone if Sheehan is "reflecting...growing concerns about the war?"
Barone, sitting in FNC's DC bureau with the Capitol dome behind him, answered: "I think she's reflecting some growing concerns in the war, at least speaking to people who have those concerns. I don't think President Bush has made a vigorous case for what's going on in recent times. If you watch him in past years he tends to not make a lot of public statements in August and then come out with big ones in September, as he did in 2002, for example, when he talked to the United Nations on September 12, and so forth. So, yeah, I think there's some risk that Bush is getting behind there, and I think part of this is the question of the press corps. I mean, I asked the question if a World War II era Cindy Sheehan had gone to Hyde Park and Warm Springs and camped out and demanded a meeting with President Roosevelt, would she have received coverage from the press in the World War II era? And I've studied this era, and I think the answer is clearly no. She would just been thought to have been a person who was the victim of a personal tragedy and who had gone over the bend as a result of it, and they would have mercifully given her no publicity. We've got a different kind of press. In World War II, the press almost unanimously wanted us to win the war. Today we have many in the press -- not most I think, but some at least -- who do not want us to win this war and think that we don't deserve to win this war. It's a more critical press."
Wallace wondered: "Do you think the press is wrong to report on what she is doing?"
Barone replied: "I think they are over-reporting it. I think serious consideration ought to be given to that World War II standard. Is somebody who is obviously affected by grief and at the, echoing statements at the fringes of American politics, is that person entitled to get the kind of lavish publicity that some of the news outlets have given Cindy Sheehan? I think that's, I think that's a fair question."
Michael Barone's blog: www.usnews.com
To let others see your comment on this item, go to the node for it on NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org
But on his radio show on Wednesday, Limbaugh had already discussed the fact that his comments had been taken out of context by others, explaining that the media see both Sheehan and Burkett as "an opportunity" to exploit and that "it doesn't matter what the specifics of Cindy Sheehan's case are."
(MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth drafted a version of this item for our new blog, NewsBusters.org, but it never it made it online overnight, so I've moved forward with my version, based on his, for CyberAlert and will shortly post it on NewsBusters.org)
The complete transcript of Olbermann's comments about Limbaugh are below, followed by Limbaugh's original comment from his Monday show along with his explanation from Wednesday of how his words were taken out of context:
Keith Olbermann, August 17 Countdown, over a picture of Limbaugh below a "World's Worst" heading: "But the winner, oh, it's the irrepressible Rush Limbaugh. On the radio, he said, quote, 'Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real,' unquote. I guess she made up that dead-son-in-Iraq business. He also referred to her supporters as 'dope-smoking FM types.' I guess the painkillers wipe out your memory along with your ethics. Rush Limbaugh, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
Though Olbermann failed to disclose his left-wing source, Media Matters for America put into play the August 15 Limbaugh quote, which they posted on their site under the headline, "Limbaugh baselessly compared Cindy Sheehan to Bill Burkett." But even their out of context brief quotation showed that, contrary to Olbermann's distortion, Limbaugh was talking about Sheehan in the framework of how the left and the media are exploiting her for their Bush-bashing agenda: "I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real. It's nothing more than an attempt. It's the latest effort made by the coordinated left."
For the Media Matters for America item: mediamatters.org
Wednesday on his radio show, Limbaugh explained: "What I said was the media looks at her the same way they look at Bill Burkett: as an opportunity. It didn't matter whether Burkett was telling the truth or not and it doesn't matter what the specifics of Cindy Sheehan's case are. She is protesting Bush, Burkett hated Bush. That's why they're attractive to the media and that's why the media is willing to exploit her."
That Wednesday Limbaugh quote was not part of the transcribed highlights posted on Limbaugh's Web site, but I had heard it live and so tracked it down by playing back the posted audio from his second hour.
Look for the posting of this item and submit your comment on it.
Matt Lauer sure seemed to have gotten an answer he didn't expect when a soldier in Iraq took a shot at the news media. Live from Camp Liberty in Iraq in the 7:30am half hour of Wednesday's Today, after one soldier told Lauer morale is "always high," Lauer countered that there are "people at home wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the attacks you're facing. What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale can be that high?" Captain Sherman Powell retorted: "Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I'd be pretty depressed as well." Lauer gave him a chance to expound: "What don't you think is being correctly portrayed?" Powell answered that "we are very satisfied with the way things are going here and we are confident that if we're allowed to finish the job we started we'll be very proud of it and our country will be proud of us for doing it."
Mark Finkelstein, a contributor to the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog, posted an item about this minutes after it aired on the August 17 Today. The MRC's Michelle Humphrey enhanced the posting with RealPlayer and Windows Media video of the exchange, which you can view in Finkelstein's posting at: newsbusters.org
From outdoors, as he stood in front of a crowd of Army soldiers, Lauer set up his session with them:
Now that's an Iraqi attitude we haven't heard about on U.S. TV.
Described alternately as "insular," "Mayberry-like," and "nearly all-white," AP writers Tom Coyne and Ashley M. Heher, in an August 17 dispatch, "Roberts' Ind. Hometown Draws Scrutiny," have raised serious questions about the racial integrity of John Roberts' boyhood town.
NewsBusters.org contributor Lisa Fabrizio posted this item Wednesday night on the MRC's new blog:
Having delved into Roberts' religious affiliation, his wife's social activities and even the adoption of his children, the AP, in the ultimate reach, is now conducting investigations into Long Beach, Indiana. The indictment begins: "Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and '70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews."
With no mention of blue-collar Buffalo, New York where Roberts was born and raised until the second grade, the AP plays the race card deftly. With their usual contempt for fly-over country they sniff: "In Long Beach, nearly all residents were white when Roberts was growing up, a makeup that has changed little in four decades. Today, nearly 98 percent of the town's 1,500 residents are white."
While conveniently ignoring the fact that most towns were not integrated when Roberts grew up, that didn't stop our intrepid reporters. They next noted ominously that some properties in the town had racial restrictions dating back to the 1920s!
But after conducting what appears to be exhaustive research on the deed to his parents' house, they were forced to conclude that "the Roberts property did not include a racially restrictive covenant." Better luck next time.
Up next week on AP? Exclusive: Roberts preferred the Osmond Brothers to the Jackson Five!
END of Reprint of NewsBusters.org item online at: newsbusters.org
Now, a lengthier excerpt from the AP story:
Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and '70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews.
Just three miles from the nearly all-white community of Long Beach, two days of looting and vandalism erupted when Roberts was 15, barely intruding on the Mayberry-like community that was largely insulated from the racial strife of that era.
It was here that the 50-year-old Roberts lived from elementary school until he went away to Harvard in 1973, and that decade -- as well as the rest of his life -- is receiving intense scrutiny as the Senate gears up for its Sept. 6 confirmation hearings on President Bush's first Supreme Court nominee.
Some of the attention focuses on Roberts' civil rights record as Bush replaces retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the key swing voter on affirmative action issues....
The family purchased land a few blocks from the beach in 1966 and built an unassuming tri-level house. The Roberts property did not include a racially restrictive covenant, according to LaPorte County deed records, and the restrictions had begun fading away by then.
Other homes built decades earlier in the town had covenants. Deeds on file from the 1940s in Long Beach ban the sale or lease of houses to "any person who is not a Caucasian gentile."...
Covenants have gotten attention in the past. President Bush purchased a house in 1988 in Dallas with a covenant restricting blacks from buying the property. His staff said Bush was unaware of the deed restriction, which was void under Texas law, when he purchased the home.
In Long Beach, nearly all residents were white when Roberts was growing up, a makeup that has changed little in four decades. Today, nearly 98 percent of the town's 1,500 residents are white.
The median income in 1970 topped $18,000, nearly twice that of neighboring communities; today it is more than $71,000, nearly double the state median.
That environment may have sheltered residents from the events of July 1970, when the arrests of three black men over a parking violation outside a bar in Michigan City set off two days of looting, vandalism and fires....
That insulation extended to the all-boys Catholic boarding school Roberts attended in nearby LaPorte.
Bob MacLaverty, a longtime friend and Roberts' roommate at La Lumiere School, said students rarely discussed race and the civil rights movement.
The school admitted its first black students in 1970. By Roberts' graduation in 1973, about 7 percent of its roughly 100 students were minorities, he said....
END of Excerpt
For the AP article in full, as posted by Yahoo: news.yahoo.com
-- Brent Baker