2. Olbermann Touts "Obvious" Ukraine/Ohio Analogy, Cues Up Jackson
3. Woodruff Argues WA Gov. Race "More of a Tie" Than a GOP Win
4. Newsweek 'Alexander' Review Contrasts Him to "Chicken Hawk" Bush
5. Rather: CBS News a "Magical Kingdom," Talks to Murrow's Ghost
6. Moore's Makeover: Suit and Tie, Accepts "Bush Got More Votes"
CBS and ABC on Tuesday night focused on anti-Bush protesters who greeted the President's visit to Ottawa. "Tonight, the angry folks next door," Dan Rather teased, "President Bush gets a cool reception from Canadians at odds over trade, the war, and more." John Roberts, Rather's likely successor, zeroed in on how "thousands of protestors marched through the streets of the Canadian capital, still angry over the war in Iraq." Roberts showed protest signs which declared: "Bush = Hitler" and "Bush the War-Criminal Not Welcome in Canada." He marched alongside a woman, decked out as a pirate, who charged: "Even the vilest of rogues, the vilest of pirates cannot tolerate Bush's global piracy." Over on ABC, Terry Moran explained how Bush's goal was to "put the bitter disputes over Iraq in the past and focus on common goals." But, Moran asserted in blaming Bush, "right off the bat at today's press conference, Mr. Bush struck the defiant tone that has grated on so many allies."
-- CBS Evening News, November 30. Dan Rather opened his broadcast: "Good evening. Trouble with the neighbors. President Bush is in Canada tonight, trying to soothe bruised feelings and rekindle some of the warmth that for decades characterized a uniquely close alliance. In recent years, that relationship has soured, in large part because of deep disagreement over Mr. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq and the aftermath. CBS News chief White House correspondent John Roberts is with the President in Ottawa."
Roberts, a native of Canada where he worked as a music veejay, began: "President Bush came to Canada to do a little diplomatic fence mending today, but it was clear not everyone here was interested in diplomacy. [video of protesters, signs: "Bush = Hitler," "Bush the War-Criminal Not Welcome in Canada" and, above picture of Bush: "World's #1 Terrorist"] Thousands of protestors marched through the streets of the Canadian capital, still angry over the war in Iraq."
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Terry Moran reported that Bush's "conciliatory tone is part of a plan to rebuild key alliances in the coming months. The President will travel to Europe early next year. The goal: Put the bitter disputes over Iraq in the past and focus on common goals. But right off the bat at today's press conference, Mr. Bush struck the defiant tone that has grated on so many allies."
A day after browbeating Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell for supposedly standing in the way of a recount which would prove fraud in the Buckeye state's presidential vote, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Tuesday compared Ohio with the situation in the Ukraine, an analogy he called "obvious," and then tossed softballs to Jesse Jackson which reflected Olbermann's presumption that Jackson is pursuing a worthwhile quest in pushing for a federal probe of the "fraud."
Olbermann teased the segment: "U.S. citizens have as much reason as those in Kiev to be concerned that the fix was in. So writes Jesse Jackson today." A later plug, "Voting irregularities from Kiev to Cleveland: Reverend Jesse Jackson wants to know where's all the outrage here?" After complaining that, on his show the night before, Blackwell had "insulted" Jackson "on eight separate occasions," Olbermann turned to Jackson for wise counsel, wanting to know "why did he [Kerry] concede when he did" and pleading: "If there has been fraud, where are the Democrats in response to it?"
(CNN on Monday, the MRC's Ken Shepherd noticed, also equated the Ukraine situation with Ohio. On the November 29 Inside Politics, Bill Schneider played a clip from Colin Powell: "And because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse." Schneider then opined: "Sounds like what some Democrats are saying about Ohio. But in this case, Russia is involved...")
Olbermann teased at the top of the November 30 Countdown: "U.S. citizens have as much reason as those in Kiev to be concerned that the fix was in. So writes Jesse Jackson today. He will join us. We will have the latest from Ukraine."
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth caught Olbermann's pre-ad break plugs for the #3 segment: "Voting irregularities from Kiev to Cleveland: Reverend Jesse Jackson wants to know where's all the outrage here. He will join us here on Countdown."
Plus: "And the recount here. Last night, Ohio's Secretary of State criticized Jesse Jackson for entering the fray. Tonight, the Reverend joins us to respond and to assess events in Ohio."
Olbermann introduced the eventual #3 segment: "The analogy was so obvious and, in some senses, so loaded, that it had not been used publicly even by any of the 20 percent of this country which still questions whether or not this month's elections were legitimate. Our third story in the Countdown, Jesse Jackson changed that in a hurry today. He entitled his op-ed piece for the Chicago Sun-Times: 'Kiev? What about Cleveland?' The Reverend joins us in a moment. First, the latest from the contested Ukrainian presidential election..."
After finishing with the Ukraine, Olbermann got back to his favorite topic: "It is four weeks to the day since the general election here turned George W. Bush to the White House for a second term. Tomorrow will be four weeks since John Kerry conceded. Tomorrow could also be, although the odds might be approximated at a billion to one, the day an Ohio Supreme Court justice could change all that. As he concluded his trip through Ohio, Jesse Jackson said its Supreme Court should consider setting aside the electoral outcome there. Tomorrow, a political advocacy group plans to make a similar request directly to that Supreme Court. The Boston-based Alliance for Democracy planning to file a contest of election tomorrow. The request requires a single Ohio Supreme Court justice to either let the election stand, declare another winner, or throw the whole thing out. The loser of any such decision can appeal to the full court, which, in Ohio, consists of five Republicans and two Democrats.
Olbermann's questions for Jackson:
-- "I'm interested in your answers to a series of questions on this subject. There had literally been no official response to the possibility of a recount from any major Republican organization until you went to Ohio, and then yesterday there's a press release calling you a professional publicity hound, and Secretary Blackwell on this show calling you a 'provocateur-for-hire,' and you ran around the block and tried to get in front of a parade that was already on the march. What exactly did you do in Ohio that stirred all this up?"
-- "The Republicans did make one seemingly unanswerable point on this. And you and others may be critical of the Ohio count, but as the Baltimore Sun quoted John Kerry's chief election lawyer in Ohio as saying, 'Our eyes have been wide open, and to this date, we found no evidence of confirmed fraud.' If there has been fraud, where are the Democrats in response to it?"
-- "You said that last Friday night you spoke to John Kerry and you quoted him as telling you that he was in favor of the investigations of the Ohio vote. Where is he? Why did he concede when he did, and why does the Democratic Party appear to be trying to fly under the radar in terms of Ohio?"
-- "There are degrees of what could have caused that and the other irregularities you referred to. On one end of the spectrum, as Secretary Blackwell put it last night, it's a free and fair election without significant problems. In the middle, a lot of human and technical mistakes, but they are mostly errors of omission, not errors of commission. And at the other end, would be out-and-out electoral fraud. Where do you stand on that spectrum? What of those things do you think happened?"
-- "Well, let me see if I can pin you down now on that one part of the question. Do you think there was fraud in Ohio?"
Compare Olbermann's tone with Jackson with how he approached Blackwell on Monday night:
-- "When the Green and Libertarian parties filed for the recount, I didn't hear anybody in Ohio's government jumping up and down and applauding, but I also didn't hear anybody accusing them of being professional publicity hounds or of ignoring facts. Why the harsh reaction towards the Reverend Jackson?"
-- "One of his suggestions and that of some of your critics has been that there is an attempt to make the window for a recount in Ohio so narrow as to make a recount meaningless. How would you respond to that criticism, sir?"
-- "Then again, as your law gives you the right to certify under the conditions that you mentioned, your laws also say how much a candidate is charged per precinct. It's not like these are the prices, the prices aren't being set for the candidates?"
-- "As it plays into the recount, though, sir, are you saying that your office does not anticipate taking any steps to try to prevent a recount in Ohio?"
-- "As part of that scrutiny, one of the criticisms regarding the campaign and the election in Ohio that was directed at you personally, that as the state's top election official, it is a conflict of interest or, minimally, it is the appearance of a conflict of interest for you to have also been the honorary co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. As Reverend Jackson put it, you may or may not agree with his presence there, but the phrase is certainly interesting: 'Mr. Blackwell cannot be both the owner of the team and the umpire.' Should those two jobs not be mixed?"
-- "Last question, sir, can you refute or confirm one of the Internet's favorite stories that no one seems to have gotten an answer, that you had a meeting with President Bush on the day of the election in Ohio?"
For more on Olbermann's November 29 coverage, see the November 30 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
After a recount certified on Tuesday, Washington's Republican gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi, was re-affirmed the winner by 42 votes, 1,372,484 to 1,372,442 for Democrat Christine Gregoire. When Rossi told CNN's Judy Woodruff that he considered himself the victor, she shot back: "Are you the winner? Or was this more of a tie?" Rossi educated her: "No, a tie is actually when you tie. When you're one vote ahead, you win. When you're one vote behind, you lose. And, so, it definitely is not a tie." Woodruff soon suggested he "try to make happy the other half of the state" by not governing as a Republican.
Woodruff introduced the November 30 Inside Politics segment:
Governor-elect Dino Rossi affirmed that he does consider himself the winner, prompting Woodruff to counter in the taped satellite interview caught by the MRC's Ken Shepherd: "Well, but what, a margin of 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast. Are you the winner? Or was this more of a tie?"
Woodruff wouldn't concede he had won as she soon suggested he make Democrats "happy" by not governing as a Republican: "If you are, indeed, victorious, do you feel -- how do you pull the state together? And do you feel you govern as a Republican? Or do you -- you know, try to make happy the other half of the state, almost, that voted for Christine Gregoire."
Rossi declined Woodruff's recommendation.
Newsweek: Bush is a "chicken hawk." Catching up with Newsweek's review last week of Oliver Stone's widely-panned movie, Alexander, David Ansen asserted that "Stone's Alexander... slaughters in order to liberate. Sound familiar? But the images that unavoidably arise of Bush, Cheney and Wolfowitz in Iraq seem unintentional: Stone has no political agenda this time; he'd never equate those chicken hawks with the mighty warrior king who led his soldiers across Asia for eight years, never losing a battle."
Clay Waters, editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org site, alerted me to the passage in Ansen's review in the November 29 edition of Newsweek, "Not So Great: Oliver Stone's 'Alexander' will conscript you for a long forced march. Better have an exit strategy."
Ansen described how "Oliver Stone's three-hour epic" is "about Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king who, by the age of 25, dominated the greater part of the known world, lording it over an empire that stretched from Greece to India."
A couple of paragraphs later, Ansen wrote: "Stone's Alexander (Colin Farrell) is an idealistic visionary who dreams of uniting the world, bringing freedom and Hellenic values to the barbarous East. He slaughters in order to liberate. Sound familiar? But the images that unavoidably arise of Bush, Cheney and Wolfowitz in Iraq seem unintentional: Stone has no political agenda this time; he'd never equate those chicken hawks with the mighty warrior king who led his soldiers across Asia for eight years, never losing a battle."
For Ansen's review in full: www.msnbc.msn.com
Dan Rather talks to ghosts? In a Hollywood Reporter story posted Tuesday, a reporter for the left coast daily recalled how in an interview with Dan Rather conducted in late 2003, the soon-to-depart CBS Evening News anchor ruminated about how CBS News is "a magical, mystical kingdom -- our version of Camelot. And we feel we are working at a kind of roundtable of King Arthur proportions." Rather also insisted: "Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he's watching over us."
You'd think Murrow's ghost could have warned Rather about the forged memos.
The DrudgeReport ( www.DrudgeReport.com ) on Tuesday highlighted the Hollywood Reporter article and FNC's Brit Hume, during his "Grapevine segment, spotlighted the ghost story.
An excerpt from the article by the Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond:
There was a telling moment in a telephone interview I conducted with Dan Rather a little more than a year ago in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of CBS.
"I'm not a large part of the legacy (of CBS)," Rather offered. "But whatever part of it that I am and have been, I'm very proud of. At the same time, I'm humbled by the fact that I know that I'm undeserving. I know that I'm still working to be worthy of it."...
It was a given that Rather had long since devolved into something of a jokey caricature, what with his homespun wisdom, his pomp-rich demeanor, his windbag-y tendencies and his overall weirdness....
It also didn't take much to prompt certain peculiarities to exit Rather's lips, such as during my interview with him last year.
Describing his love of CBS and CBS News, Rather observed in the interview last year: "In my mind and the minds of the people I work with, this is a magical, mystical kingdom -- our version of Camelot. And we feel we are working at a kind of roundtable of King Arthur proportions. Now, it may be that this kingdom exists only in our minds. But that makes it no less real for those of us who live it every day."
And then there was this: "Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he's watching over us."
If Rather has been spending too much time of late yakking with the ghost of Murrow and too little confirming the veracity of his sources, maybe we need to cut the dude a little slack. He's earned the right to be eccentric by continuing the quest to be a real journalist when he didn't have to.
We forget that long before he became a right-wing punching bag, he was a true pioneer as an anchor who insisted on continuing to go out, get his hands dirty and report. There have been no ivory towers for Rather, who famously placed himself in harm's way in war zones and the path of hurricanes. And it wasn't just for the photo op....
END of Excerpt
For Richmond's piece in full: www.hollywoodreporter.com
The election effect? Michael Moore clean-shaven and in a suit and tie! Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore, creator of the factually-challenged Fahrenheit 9/11 anti-Bush screed, showed up Monday night on NBC's Tonight Show and prompted Jay Leno to joke he looked like Denny Hastert. Instead of sporting long hair, a beard, baseball cap, a beat up shirt and jeans, Moore came out clean-shaven, with a fresh short haircut, and wearing a snappy suit with a tie. Moore took some indirect shots at Bush, but coached them in some mildly amusing humor, such as how he'll save on wedding gifts for his gay friends, and, unlike MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, accepted the reality that "Bush got more votes."
Moore credited Bush's win to Bush's story that "'out of the ashes of September 11th rose one man, and he stood on the rubble of lower Manhattan with a bullhorn, and he said, 'I will protect you.' And he did. And we were never attacked again.' And that's a powerful story to tell."
Moore's November 29 appearance was ostensibly to plug his book, Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Letters from the War Zone. See: www.michaelmoore.com
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth took down much of the first of Moore's two segments, starting with Leno's reaction when the made-over Moore walked out:
Jay Leno: "Michael?"
Moore: "If you can't beat them, you might as well may try to look like them....And I started thinking, you know, a week or so after the election, you know, I need to start thinking about things that are really important, you know, like me. You know, and so I just, I actually made a list-"
Leno: "So what happened? What do you think happened? What do you think?"
Moore: "I think he's very good at telling that story, and the story was, 'Out of the ashes of September 11th rose one man, and he stood on the rubble of lower Manhattan with a bullhorn, and he said, "I will protect you." And he did. And we were never attacked again.' [light applause]
If Michael Moore can look and sound respectable, even if it's part of a PR gimmick, anything is possible.