Jennings Argues to Powell that Inspections are Working -- 03/10/2003 CyberAlert
2. NBC's Typical Iraqi: "America is a Terrorist Country"
3. GMA Duo Marvel: Iraqis "Love" Hussein Who Earned 100% Vote
4. Iraq "Distracting" from War on Terror? No Says 9-11 Victim
5. Totenberg Calls Iraq Buying U.S. Uniforms "Disinformation"
6. CBS Skips Over Poll Showing Backing of Military Action on Iraq
7. Jane Hall Scolds MRC for "Demonizing" Those Against War
8. Hume: Thomas is "Nutty Aunt in the Attic of the Press Corps"
9. NBC's Matt Lauer Says Now is Time to Raise Taxes
>>> "2003 Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters." CyberAlert subscribers can get tickets for $150, $25 off the regular price, for the Thursday, March 27 event in Washington, DC. For all the info and how to buy tickets:
ABC's Peter Jennings pounded away at Secretary of State Colin Powell from the left in an interview aired on Friday's World News Tonight, pressing him repeatedly about giving the inspectors more time. Jennings declared: "So many people don't understand why you shouldn't let the inspections continue if they are accomplishing anything?"
Jennings also argued: "Most people think they're doing a reasonably effective job at the moment."
And Jennings countered Powell: "But if you have more assets available to you than the inspectors, why don't you tell the inspectors what's going on so that they can catch the Iraqis in the process?"
Jennings assumed the administration keeps raising the bar unfairly: "Mr. Secretary, many people think that your dismissal again today of the inspection process is because your administration keeps moving the goal post, that it is not just about disarming Saddam Hussein. It is, as the President says, about getting rid of Saddam Hussein. So the Security Council is left in the position of either agreeing with you completely or else."
Only after all of that did Jennings forward a point made by conservatives: "Do you in retrospect think it was a mistake to support the inspections? I think it was Vice President Cheney who said in August that these renewed inspections were a trap."
From behind enemy lines in Baghdad, as if Iraqi public opinion is informed or is accurately expressed to a camera, on Friday's NBC Nightly News Ron Allen relayed how "many Iraqis believe whatever they do, the United States will find a reason for war." At a Baghdad café Allen highlighted a man who charged: "America is a terrorist country."
Allen began his March 7 story from Baghdad, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Tonight Iraq's leaders are calling the inspectors' report objective proof this country is disarming. And America's ultimatum is no surprise here because many Iraqis believe whatever they do, the United States will find a reason for war. In Baghdad today, signs many fear war is inevitable. School children taking lessons about what to do if America attacks. People digging trenches for protection as Saddam Hussein has suggested. And another embassy, Japan, sending most staff home. Tonight, word of America's new deadline and threat of war fazed no one at this Baghdad café. 'America is a terrorist country,' he says. This Iraqi lawmaker says America is only interested in removing Saddam from power."
ABC's Diane Sawyer and Dan Harris marveled Friday morning over the "love" Iraqis have for Saddam Hussein. Sawyer brought up how Hussein says "the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their President because he's been loved for 35 years, he says, the whole 35 years" as President. From Baghdad, Dan Harris related Hussein's claim that he is "restoring Iraq to its greatness, its historical greatness. He points out frequently that he was elected with a hundred percent margin recently."
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught this exchange on the March 7 Good Morning America after Harris's story on Saddam's televised meetings with his military leaders:
Sawyer: "Well Dan, it's very hard to look at those and think of his meetings as a laugh riot exactly over in Baghdad, but I read this morning that he's also said the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their President because he's been loved for 35 years, he says, the whole 35 years."
Could they be any more sycophantic?
Not the answer she wanted. On Friday's Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer asked the mother of a 9-11 victim if she worries that war with Iraq "will distract from a concerted, concentrated approach to the war on terror with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda?" The woman replied: "I think that President Bush's focus on Iraq is consistent with his focus on the war on terror."
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed the exchange on the March 7 show between Sawyer and Alice Hoglan, a mother of one of the passengers on Flight 93, te plane which crashed in Pennsylvania:
Sawyer asked: "And as you hear about the prospect of war with Iraq, do you worry that it will distract from a concerted, concentrated approach to the war on terror with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda?"
NPR's Nina Totenberg dismissed as "our own disinformation, it just doesn't seem to be worth the time and effort," the story that the Saddam Hussein regime is obtaining U.S. military uniforms so his operatives can wear them while committing atrocities against Iraqi civilians. Totenberg insisted on Inside Washington over the weekend that it's must more likely Iraq just wants to "confuse us" than they would kill their own people.
Saddam Hussein hasn't shown any reluctance in the past to kill his own people.
After Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas raised the uniform buying report, Totenberg retorted:
More like Totenberg is confused.
CBS skipped over the inconvenient numbers in its own poll. Bill Plante maintained on Thursday's CBS Evening News that "the nation remains almost equally divided on whether the administration has made the case for war" and "a solid majority of Americans...still thinks the President should get UN approval before taking military action."
But that very same CBS News poll, in results Plante didn't tell viewers about, discovered respondents favored taking "military action to remove Saddam Hussein" by 69 to 26 percent. Plus, it found significant reductions from the previous week in the percentage of people who think the U.S. should "wait for UN approval" or "take allies' views into account," and hikes in the percentage who want the U.S. to take action "without UN approval" or "do whatever it thinks is right."
Plante reported on the March 6 CBS Evening News: "The administration is almost having as much trouble with public opinion at home according to the latest CBS News poll. The nation remains almost equally divided on whether the administration has made the case for war and is also split on whether Iraq poses an immediate threat or can be contained. A solid majority of Americans in our latest survey still thinks the President should get UN approval before taking military action."
On screen viewers saw:
And: "Iraqi threat:
But a check of results of the poll "conducted among a nationwide random sample of 723 adults, interviewed by telephone March 4-5, 2003," as listed on the CBS News Web site, yielded a less clear picture of public disagreement with the Bush policy, or at least a public rapidly moving in Bush's direction:
-- "Should U.S. Wait for United Nations Approval?"
No, take action without U.N. approval:
-- "When it Comes to Iraq Action, the U.S. Should...
"Do whatever it thinks is right:
-- "Military Action to Remove Saddam?"
For the poll findings:
Former Los Angeles Times Washington reporter Jane Hall, who insisted on Saturday's Fox Newswatch that "the media are in no way liberal," chided the Media Research Center for fueling "a very unfortunate climate that has built up" in which "people have been demonized for their opposition to this war." The specific case in point: How the MRC's CyberAlert last week reported that Bill Moyers wore a flag lapel pin on his sweater during his PBS show on February 28 as he lashed out at conservatives for "hijacking" the flag.
Fox Newswatch host Eric Burns brought up the Moyers flag lapel pin and noted how Moyers complained that he wore it to protest how the flag has been "hijacked by the super patriots."
Hall, who now teaches journalism classes at American University, bemoaned: "I think it's been a very unfortunate climate that has been built up. Organizations take down anything, I mean, we know about this because the Media Research Center, I think, largely, has been putting out, you know, what Bill Moyers said-"
Hey, Moyers wore it and said it. We just reported it and never questioned his patriotism. Talk about blaming the messenger.
The March 3 CyberAlert recounted how Moyers sported a flag lapel pin on Friday night's (February 28) Now on PBS, not to proclaim his patriotism and/or pride in the U.S., but to "take" the flag "back" which has been "hijacked and turned into a logo -- the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism." Citing how President Bush and Vice President Cheney wear flag lapel pins, Moyers was reminded of communism: "When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little Red Book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread."
To see a picture of Moyers with his flag pin:
Later on Newswatch, after everyone had a good laugh about how Eric Alterman, in his book What Liberal Media?, got the name of Fox Newswatch wrong, Hall agreed with his premise that there is no liberal media bias: "The evidence in my opinion is just the opposite. The media are no way liberal, especially today with this administration."
Picking up on complaints that President Bush did not take a question at Thursday's press conference from Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas, on Fox News Sunday Brit Hume suggested that she's "the nutty aunt in the attic of the Washington press corps" since her questions "have not been questions of the kind that any professional journalist would normally ask. Mostly they are argumentative, she makes statements."
Hume also revealed why she does get to pose questions at the daily briefings: "Privately, they will tell you, that her questions are so outrageous and so over the top, that when the person giving the briefing wants to generate a little sympathy in the TV audience, all you've got to do is call on Helen."
During the roundtable portion of the March 9 program, Hume explained: "I sat next to Helen Thomas when I was covering the White House for eight years. She'd been there for a lot longer
than that and she still shows up. And she deserves a certain amount of our admiration for sheer indefatigability and dedication.
Some examples of the most extreme abuses of her position from just this year as recounted in previous CyberAlerts:
-- Another left-wing harangue from Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas at the White House press briefing. On Monday (January 6), Thomas demanded to know why Bush wants "to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?" She whined about how the Iraqis are "not attacking" the U.S. and wondered if this is "your revenge? Eleven years of revenge?" She also sputtered about how "many countries don't have, people don't have the decision" on U.S. policy, adding in disgust: "Including us." See:
-- More left-wing looniness from Helen Thomas, this one during Friday's (January 24) White House press briefing. She demanded of Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: "Who in this country, besides the President and his courtiers, want to go to war with Iraq?" She followed up by equating U.S. possession of "weapons of mass destruction" with Iraq's possession of them: "We have weapons of mass destruction. Eight other countries have them." See:
-- Another day of wackiness from Helen Thomas at the White House press briefing as she berated Ari Fleischer about how President Bush is going to war in order to gain control of Iraq's oil. She demanded: "Can you categorically deny that the United States will take over the oil fields when we win this war?" Although she was unable to cite a source, Thomas insisted: "There are reports that we've divided up the oil already, divvied it up with the Russians and French and so forth." ABC's Terry Moran pursued her theory, what he dubbed "Helen's very interesting line of questioning." See:
-- The day before a presidential press conference, Hearst's Helen Thomas demanded of White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: "Since we have no direct access to the President, would you state for the record, for the historical record, why he wants to bomb Iraqi people?" When Fleischer suggested Bush wants to eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Thomas fired back: "There is no imminent threat!" See:
-- Plus: President Bush "is the worst President in all of American history," Hearst Newspapers White House reporter Helen Thomas proclaimed at a Society of Professional Journalists awards event in California nearly two weeks ago. See: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030129.asp#8
Calling her a "nutty aunt" is being generous.
Matt Lauer argued on Friday's Today that "a lot of people say, 'why are you cutting taxes now when you're increasing the deficit. Shouldn't be this a time when you're increasing taxes?'" When CNBC's Ron Insana suggested "it would be very difficult to increase taxes right now, given the weakness in the economy" and "doing nothing may be better than raising taxes certainly because the economy is so soft," Lauer came back: "At the very least not cutting taxes."
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught the claim during an interview with Insana on the March 7 Today. And Ken reports that Lauer said "shouldn't be this" instead of "shouldn't this be."
Lauer wondered: "How troubling is it to investors and economists that the President and the administration is unwilling to attach a specific cost to this war and the rebuilding effort in Iraq?"
> Jessica Lange is scheduled to appear tonight, Monday, on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman. You should see a lot of her this week as she promotes a new HBO movie set to debut this weekend in which she stars as the wife of a man who decides to become a woman. This morning she showed up at an anti-war protest in front of the UN. -- Brent Baker