Clift & Moyers Denounce Rice's Lies, Shredding U.S. Credibility --11/22/2004
2. Cronkite Repeats Allegation Karl Rove Arranged bin Laden Video
3. Rooney Admits CBS's Hostility to Bush Drove Forged Documents Hit
4. NPR Paints Fullujah as "Holy Resistance" Against U.S. "Genocide"
5. "Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening of the Clinton Library"
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and PBS's Bill Moyers launched angry attacks over the weekend at President Bush's wish to elevate Condoleezza Rice to Secretary of State. Clift charged on the McLaughlin Group: "Rice didn't see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what at she knew." Moyers, on Friday night's Now on PBS, denounced how "we are to have a new Secretary of State who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq." Adding Bush's National Security Adviser pick, Stephen J. Hadley, to his targets, Moyers lectured: "So instead of putting America's foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country's credibility in the world, the President has turned it over to two of the people who helped shred it. Both are known first and foremost for loyalty to the official view of reality, no matter the evidence to the contrary."
On the McLaughlin Group, Clift asserted: "This is foreign policy by fiat. And what he's doing is shutting down any kind of dissent, any kind of opposing views. I mean, Condi Rice will go and do what she does best which is to parrot the administration line. Nobody's quite sure what her views are, but she lined up with Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, either because she agreed with hem or she got rolled, but whichever way, this solidifies Dick Cheney's hold on the government. He is the master of the universe here when it come to foreign policy. Incompetence is so rewarded. I mean, Condi Rice didn't see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what at she knew, what she didn't knew [said knew], what the President knew, what she didn't knew [said it again]. She gets promoted. Colin Powell is out and Donald Rumsfeld, who to me is the biggest incompetent in this administration the way he's handled this war, gets to keep his job. This administration doesn't admit mistakes and rewards incompetence."
Moyers launched a lecture at the top of the November 19 Now with Bill Moyers, as checked against the closed-captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
As for the "phoney statement" about Iraq seeking uranium from Africa, Britain's Butler report backed the British claims about that. As noted in a July 15 Wall Street Journal editorial:
Walter Cronkite on Thursday claimed the U.S. needs a new election, doesn't have an intelligent electorate "and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now." During a promotional visit for the Fisher Island Philanthropic Fund in Florida, a children's charity, Cronkite, the Miami Herald reported, charged that "the administration's deficit spending" means "we do not have the money to do the things that we ought to -- have to -- do here at home." In fact, domestic spending soars every year. Reporter Glenn Garvin relayed how Cronkite "accused Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win re-election."
That would seem to answer any doubts about Cronkite's seriousness in making that allegation on the October 29 Larry King Live, the Friday before the election, as recounted in the October 31 CyberAlert which held open the possibility Cronkite was making a bad joke:
An excerpt from the November 19 Miami Herald story, "Now outspoken, Cronkite rips Bush's record," by Glenn Garvin:
What America needs right now, legendary TV anchor Walter Cronkite said Thursday, is a new election -- and, he warned a laughing press conference full of reporters, he wasn't kidding.
"That's not entirely a joke," Cronkite said solemnly, arguing that the Bush administration has spent itself into ruin while embroiling the country in a war that will eventually make public revulsion to the war in Vietnam look "like peanuts."...
His retirement has mostly been a quiet one. But during the past year, Cronkite -- who turned 88 earlier this month -- has made some startling departures from his old just-the-facts anchorman's demeanor. He proclaimed that most journalists are liberals and praised them for it, and accused Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win reelection.
On Thursday, he whacked away at the Bush administration even harder, accusing it of destroying the nation's infrastructure and wrecking its education system to the point that American democracy itself is in danger.
"You want to get down to the nub of how this democracy is going to defend itself," Cronkite said. "We've got to have an intelligent electorate and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now."
The most immediate problem, Cronkite warned, is Iraq.
"We have a war that is tearing us apart," he said. But, he added, the administration's deficit spending is a close second, creating "a debt that will have to be paid by our great-grandchildren, and maybe beyond that.
"In the meantime, we do not have the money to do the things that we ought to -- have to -- do here at home," Cronkite said....
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: www.miami.com
Speaking at Tufts University on Thursday night, CBS's Andy Rooney attributed the motivation behind CBS's hit on President Bush based on forged documents to the political agenda of CBS News staffers. "There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush," the Tufts Daily's Keith Barry quoted Rooney as revealing during his remarks. Rooney shares that ideological hostility to Bush, as Barry related how "Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance" and "said Christian fundamentalism is a result of 'a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer.'" In addition, "Rooney said he also could not understand how 'men who work with their hands voted for George Bush,' and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education."
An excerpt from the November 19 Tufts Daily article by Keith Barry which was highlighted by Romenesko ( www.poynter.org ):
Andy Rooney, the "60 Minutes" correspondent who turned "curmudgeon" into a job title, spoke at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy last night....
Second year Fletcher student Jeremy Harrington asked Rooney to "skewer people outside our borders," to which Rooney deadpanned, "There's bound to be a conservative in every crowd."
Rooney responded by referring to the American failure to win the support of Iraqis and the world community in the Iraq war. He said the United States started the war "for good reasons," but he did not think the rest of the world agreed....
Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance. "I am an atheist," Rooney said. "I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense."
He said Christian fundamentalism is a result of "a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer."
Rooney said he also could not understand how "men who work with their hands voted for George Bush," and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education. "The labor force is conservative," he said. "How in the world did that happen?"
Rooney said that he hoped Bush's re-election would give him the "confidence" to end the war in Iraq. "I think if George Bush said tomorrow, 'I was wrong, I ask for an apology,' I bet the American people would thank him, and they would like him," he said....
Rooney's own show, "60 Minutes," was involved in a public and politically charged flap when it unwittingly used false documents in a Dan Rather piece on Bush's National Guard service.
"I am very critical of some of the people at CBS who make it apparent what their political leanings are," Rooney said. "That's what happened to this thing of Dan Rather's that got out. There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush."
The veteran reporter said the news business "has been taken over" by 'the moneychangers.'"
"I feel bad about the news business," Rooney said. "It has the prospects of being stronger than ever. There are good young people in the news business," he said, praising his fellow commentators Jon Stewart and Al Franken
Rooney said he enjoys watching television news, "partially because I have a drink of bourbon with it."...
Sophomore Spencer Hickok questioned Rooney's inclusion of Columbus' discovery of America in his list of the greatest moments in American history when, in Hickok's words, it resulted in the "genocide of Native Americans."
"I'm not hearing you," Rooney began. He appeared caught off guard, and then conceded, "I can't answer your question."...
END of Excerpt
For the story in full: www.tuftsdaily.com
National Public Radio has a longstanding reputation for what some would describe as anti-American coverage of foreign news. That stereotype may be exaggerated, but NPR correspondent Emily Harris nonetheless lived up to it on last Wednesday's All Things Considered. Harris offered a positive profile of a man from Fallujah who called the insurgency "holy resistance" and claimed that U.S. forces were committing "genocide" in his hometown. Moreover, when the man, on a political trip to Rome, used his video camera to shoot footage of seagulls, Harris noted that it was the same camera with which he's recorded "ruined houses and dead bodies after U.S. bombings in Fallujah."
[Tom Johnson, who monitors NPR for the MRC, filed this item for CyberAlert.]
Harris began her November 17 contribution: "A buffet lunch is served during a break at a conference on Iraq in a theater in downtown Rome. But 32-year-old Mohammed Abdullah doesn't touch the pasta or grilled vegetables. He's here to get a message to the world about Fallujah, so he'd much rather talk than eat." She paraphrased his assertion that "civilians in Fallujah were slaughtered at the hands of U.S. troops"; in the ensuing soundbite, Abdullah told an interviewer that a "new genocide is taking place" in the city.
Abdullah isn't merely opposed to the joint U.S./Iraqi anti-insurgency campaign; he's pro-insurgency. When a reporter asked him if he was "a member of the resistance movement, but a peaceful member," he answered: "Maybe. Maybe." At one meeting in Rome, Abdullah remarked, through an interpreter: "Think about being in our place. If your country were occupied, and your children killed, and your houses destroyed, what would you do?...You have to make a distinction between terrorism and holy resistance."
Harris, leading into a soundbite from Fabio Alberti, the President of Un Ponte per... (A Bridge to...), the Italian organization that brought Abdullah to Italy, reported that Alberti "says he doesn't know how close Abdullah is to actual [resistance] fighters, but that doesn't matter to him." Perhaps it should matter to him, and to Harris, given that in the soundbite itself, Alberti asserted that "you need to find a way to get out of violence," which apparently isn't a high priority for Abdullah.
Listeners might not have expected a glimpse of Abdullah's softer side, but Harris provided one. Regarding Abdullah's phone call to his family in Iraq, Harris related, "It tickles him to say, 'Hi, Mom, I'm in Rome.'" Then she took the scenic route back to America-bashing: "As he says goodbye, a flock of seagulls takes off, cawing over one of Rome's piazzas. Abdullah pulls out his video camera, the same one he's used to record ruined houses and dead bodies after U.S. bombings in Fallujah."
Harris closed with this ominous statement from Abdullah, again through an interpreter: "We have to go on in a political way and a peaceful way, but of course now after what happened in Fallujah, it's not easy to go tell people to give up their weapons and not to fight again in the military way. That will not be easy to explain to people."
From the November 19 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening of the Clinton Library." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. "I'm sorry, this part of the library is strictly for 21-and-over."
9. "A library in Arkansas -- well, now I've seen everything."
8. "The hours are 9 to ???"
7. "This is the first presidential library I've seen with hourly rates."
6. "He has the largest collection of adult magazines since Herbert Hoover."
5. "Don't forget to try the snack bar's impeachment cobbler."
4. "That concludes our ceremony -- you're all invited to stay for ham hocks and moonshine."
3. "Damn, Bubba has a huge desk."
2. "It's the only presidential library with a ladies' night."
1. "Security to the front -- Kerry is here sobbing again."
-- Brent Baker