2. MSNBC's Chris Matthews Blames America First for bin Laden's Anger
3. NBC Labels Leftists "Religious Activists" & Cites "Cuts" to Poor
4. Olbermann Confuses Boortz with Cleland, Calls Boortz "Racist"
5. Special Discount on Bozell's Book, Give It As a Christmas Gift
All but the most hard-left Americans have moved on from Cindy Sheehan's summer media boomlet, but CNN remains so enthralled with her that they've followed her to Britain. On Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper championed that though she became "a target of hate" for some, the "criticism has not stopped her. She's taken her cause now overseas to England." From London, reporter Paula Newton touted how "her reception is warm, her cause passionately embraced. These British families not only share Cindy Sheehan's defiance, they share her loss." CNN plastered "A Mother's Mission" on screen throughout as Newton's piece showed a wall with "BUSH IS A CRIMINAL" painted on it while she highlighted how "Sheehan isn't challenged on her opinions about President Bush here in Britain." Amongst the video of people hugging Sheehan, CNN showed a clip of Sheehan with a photographer as she held a balloon with the peace emblem on it. Newton moved on to a British woman, of Stop the War-U.K., who is "joining forces with America's most famous bereaved mom" and "says she will stop Tony Blair a la Sheehan." The woman declared of President Bush: "The man's nothing but a warmonger."
The MRC's Megan McCormack caught the story which aired at 11:30pm EST, during the second hour of the December 13 Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN.
From Baghdad, Cooper announced: "It's often said that war changes soldiers forever. The same is true for those they leave behind. Cindy Sheehan, a mother, has become one of the most visible critics of the war in Iraq. Her vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Texas last summer made her a hero to some, a target of hate for others. Criticism has not stopped her. She's taken her cause now overseas to England, where another mother is ready to take the baton. Here's CNN's Paula Newton."
Paula Newton, over video of people applauding and hugging Sheehan: "Her reception is warm, her cause passionately embraced. These British families not only share Cindy Sheehan's defiance, they share her loss. Sheehan brought her anti-war protest to Britain, and she says for her, it's now a crucial second front. She's backed by strong British resentment towards the war."
During a live interview Tuesday night with Karen Hughes, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, harking back to his days in the Carter administration, pondered if America's polices were to blame for Osama Bin Laden's attacks. Matthews asked Hughes: "Are we sometimes to blame for the hell that we've raised? That's all I'm asking. Is it always the other guys' fault, or do we do things that send signals that we are the enemy of those people?"
[The MRC's Geoff Dickens posted this item Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To offer your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]
About 15 minutes into the Tuesday, December 13 Hardball, Matthews posed the following question to Hughes, who appeared from a remote location:
A couple of left-wing groups organized a small protest outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to denounce imaginary "cuts" in spending on programs for the poor, but instead of properly labeling the protesters or pointing out how the "cuts" are nothing more than a slowing of the rate of long-soaring growths in the programs, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams saw non-ideological "religious activists" who were "arrested after a sit-in protesting a controversial Republican budget bill that will cut $42 billion from a range of federal programs, including health care for the poor and elderly, child care, student loans and food stamps."
Williams probably took his cue from AP reporter Elizabeth White, who led her dispatch by citing how "U.S. Capitol Police arrested 115 religious activists who were protesting a House Republican budget plan's cuts in social programs..." She described Jim Wallis, "the event's organizer," simply as the "founder of the Christian ministry group Sojourners." In fact, Sojourners, and co-sponsor Call to Renewal, are quite liberal. Even Wednesday's Washington Post, in a story previewing the protest, tagged Sojourners as a "liberal Christian journal." Sojourners liked the AP story so much, they posted it on their Web site: www.sojo.net
Of course, due to the shoddy reporting which leaves out basic numbers on how much is currently being spent on a program compared to how much will be spent in future years -- with a measurement against forecast inflation -- it's hard to learn the reality of the "cuts." But based on my experience of hearing media hype for decades about non-existent "cuts," I'm confident all the House bill would do is make a slight reduction in the rate of spending growth, still allowing spending to rise faster than inflation.
NBC and Williams delivered the same "budget cut" distortions last month, as recounted in the Tuesday, November 22 CyberAlert. An excerpt:
Journalists remain unable to tell the difference between a slight reduction in increased spending and an actual spending cut. A budget bill, passed by the House very early Friday morning, the Cato Institute estimated, will provide for $7.75 trillion in entitlement spending over five years instead of $7.8 trillion, a mere 0.6 percent difference as the bill overall would reduce planned ever-rising federal spending over the next five years by a piddling one-third of one percent. Yet reporters saw disaster ahead. "The House narrowly approved a broad five-year budget plan early this morning that squeezes programs for the poor, for college students and for farmers," the Washington Post ominously warned. On Friday's Today, Ann Curry asserted: "During the night the House passed $50 billion in budget cuts by two votes. Opponents say the cuts will hurt the poor." CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer echoed the Post's spin about "cuts in programs for the poor, for farmers and students." The NBC Nightly News devoted a whole story to the "cuts" and how "Democrats charged Republicans with taking from the poor to give more tax cuts to the rich," but Chip Reid at least noted that "Republicans also say the bill doesn't really cut spending, it just slows the rate of spending growth."
But it's not just what Republicans "say," it's a fact and one that undermined the premise of Reid's story....
END of Excerpt
For the rest of the previous CyberAlert article: www.mrc.org
The brief December 14 NBC Nightly News item, in full, which Brian Williams read, after a story on a Katrina hearing, over video of protesters and a few being arrested:
"More Than 100 Arrested in Capitol Protest" read Yahoo's headline over the Wednesday afternoon AP article from Elizabeth White. An excerpt from the top:
WASHINGTON - U.S. Capitol Police arrested 115 religious activists who were protesting a House Republican budget plan's cuts in social programs when they refused to clear the entrance to a congressional office building Wednesday.
"These are political choices being made that are hurting low-income people," said Jim Wallis, the event's organizer and founder of the Christian ministry group Sojourners. "Don't make them the brunt of your deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility."
Wallis called the House budget plan, which would produce $50 billion in savings over five years, "the real Christmas scandal," a reference to a campaign by some conservative Christian groups against the greeting "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
Wallis, who was arrested, said the group had little complaint with a more modest Senate plan.
Outside in the frigid cold for several hours, more than 200 demonstrators sang religious and holiday songs, prayed aloud and chanted, "Stop the cuts." Those who were peacefully arrested and led away from the steps of the Cannon House Office Building faced booking and a $50 fine, said Sgt. Kimberly O'Brien, a Capitol Police spokeswoman.
The prayer vigil was one of dozens taking place around the country....
END of Excerpt
For the AP dispatch in full: news.yahoo.com
In a Wednesday Washington Post story, "A Religious Protest Largely From the Left: Conservative Christians Say Fighting Cuts in Poverty Programs Is Not a Priority," reporters Jonathan Weisman and Alan Cooperman questioned why conservative Christians aren't upset by "cuts" in programs for the poor, but they did refer to "Jim Wallis, editor of the liberal Christian journal Sojourners and an organizer of today's protest..." See: www.washingtonpost.com
On MSNBC's Countdown on Wednesday night, as host Keith Olbermann attacked Atlanta-based syndicated conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz, a photograph of former Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia was mistakenly displayed on-screen. Apparently unable to comprehend a little humor, Olbermann castigated Boortz as "one of those commentators who give free speech a bad name" as he recounted how "Boortz predicted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would commute the sentence of convicted killer Stanley 'Tookie' Williams because if he didn't, quoting Boortz here, 'there will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere.' Boortz added, 'There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now.'" Olbermann proposed: "So the guy's not only got no handle predicting events, but he's also a racist? Okay."
[This item is modified from a Wednesday night posting, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, on the NewsBusters.org blog which features a picture of the real Boortz along with what MSNBC showed. To post your comments, or to listen to MP3 audio of Olbermann's attack -- as well as to watch video (Real or Windows Media) of it -- go to: newsbusters.org ]
During his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann chooses three nominees to be awarded the dishonor of that name. His three nominees are labeled as "Worse," "Worser," and "Worst." Boortz was given the runner-up label of "Worser" because of comments Boortz posted Monday on his blog regarding the possibility of clemency for death row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams. While Olbermann read the story on Boortz, whom he referred to as "one of those commentators who give free speech a bad name," Cleland's photograph was shown on-screen.
Once again, Olbermann picked up on something from the far-left Media Matters, which at least posted a picture of the real Boortz: mediamatters.org
A transcript of Olbermann's comments on Boortz from Wednesday, December 14:
For Boortz's December 12 "Neal's Nuze" posting:
Looking for a Christmas gift for a relative, neighbor or work colleague and not sure what to give them as Christmas fast approaches? Well, as a CyberAlert subscriber you can get a special discount on MRC President Brent Bozell's 2004 book, Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media. The more you buy, the lower the price. To see a picture of the cover of the book as well a short description of it: www.mediaresearch.org
We found an extra stash of books and so let our discovery benefit you. But since Christmas is fast approaching and we want to make sure you receive the book(s) in time, you'll have to move fast and place your order TODAY so we can get them into the mail to you on Friday. (I realize this is a last-minute offer to online readers since the Wednesday CyberAlert Special, which included this offer, went only to e-mail subscribers.)
We regularly sell the books for $21.98. As a CyberAlert subscriber (or online reader) you can buy one for $18.00 -- shipping and handling included. That's cheaper than the Amazon price when you add in their shipping charge. Buy two books and get them for $16.00 each. Buy three or more and get them for $15 each.
You can order by phone or through PayPal. Here's how:
# By phone: Before 5:30pm EST today, call Jennifer Bookwalter at the MRC's office. The MRC's number: (703) 683-9733. Her extension is 122. She can take your order by credit card. If you can't reach her, you can e-mail her and give her a phone number where she can call you back: firstname.lastname@example.org
# Via PayPal, through Friday morning. Go to the MRC donations page: http://www.mrc.org/donate
And under "Online donations" click on the PayPal option. On the PayPal page enter the dollar amount for your book order ($18.00 for one book, $32.00 for two books, $45.00 for three) and then on the next page be sure to select "ship to" and make sure your address is filled in. Finally, in the "Message to Seller" field, please type: "# Bozell books/CyberAlert subscriber offer" and put the actual number, 1, 2, 3 etc where I have the #.
-- Brent Baker