Jennings Delivers Saddam Spin, "Encouraged" by U.S. Death -- 01/22/2003 CyberAlert
2. Jennings Also Relays How Saddam Sleeps Well
3. Washington Post Admires Fox News = Nazis Sign
4. Reality of America-Hating Protesters That Nets Ignore
5. Goldberg Sees Bias in Protest Coverage
6. Nets Skip Over Sharpton's Racial Hate-Mongering
7. Pro-Life Guest Appalls Hosts of ABC's
Peter Jennings' self-created Helsinki Syndrome? Anchoring part of Tuesday's World News Tonight from Baghdad, Jennings delivered a Saddam Hussein-like spin on the news of the day, emphasizing how the Iraqi dictator would see the news, including how Hussein "will undoubtedly be encouraged by the latest violence against Americans in next-door Kuwait" where a civilian was killed. Without uttering the word terrorism, Jennings stressed how "anti-Americanism in the region may be a comfort to Saddam Hussein."
Jennings opened the January 21 program by telling viewers how "it looks from here, maybe it looks from everywhere, that Mr. Bush is more and more determined to attack the Iraqis." Jennings soon decided that "when Saddam Hussein looks out from here, he also sees many of America's allies saying that President Bush is in too much of a hurry to go to war."
Jennings also claimed that "when Saddam Hussein looks out at the rest of the Middle East today, he will see anxious governments which are not certain exactly what the Bush administration intends to do with the huge number of men and women and equipment that is being gathered on Iraq's borders." But Hussein's people are thrilled that he supports the arts as Jennings highlighted how he saw "several hundred artists and writers walking through the streets of Baghdad to say thank you to Saddam Hussein. He had just increased their monthly financial support." Jennings conceded they may feel differently in private, "but on this occasion they were praising his defense of the homeland in the face of American threats."
Below is a rundown of how Jennings teased his show and introduced all the Iraq-related stories and then those are each followed by how CBS's Dan Rather and NBC's Tom Brokaw described the same events on the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News. You'll see quite a contrast in tone and spin:
> Show teases:
Rather: "Tonight's headlines: Another terror attack on Americans in the Gulf."
Brokaw: "Showdown over Iraq: President Bush aims tough words at Saddam Hussein and also at U.S. allies who want more time."
> Show lead:
Rather: "Good evening. And angry President Bush insisted today Iraq is not disarming. The chances for war, possibly in six to eight weeks, are growing. Already a kind of hit and run war is being waged just south of the Iraqi border in Kuwait. So far, most of the casualties are Americans. There was deadly new terror attack there today and for the first time the targets were military-connected civilians."
Brokaw: "Tonight the President and key members of his national security team have opened a new phase of their campaign against Saddam Hussein and against allies at the UN who are making it clear they believe more time is needed for the weapons inspectors. Today the Russians said bluntly the majority of the UN Security Council is against military action at this time. All of that could change, of course, when the weapons inspectors make their formal report to the UN is less than a week. But as NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports tonight, the President is pushing hard, now."
> Intro to second story:
Rather: "At the White House today the President dismissed appeals from at home and abroad for a slowdown in the momentum toward war."
> Intro to American killed by terrorist story (for CBS, see lead story above):
Brokaw: "It turns out that Americans in uniform are not the only ones in harms way in the Middle East. Two civilians doing contract work for the U.S. military were ambushed today in their car near in U.S. military base in Kuwait. And one was killed. The United States is calling this a terrorist attack."
More on Jennings: Toward the end of the broadcast Jennings admired how the Iraqi state "has always supported the arts." Over video of a crowd walking and holding up pictures of Hussein, Jennings enthused:
Jennings' "reporting" is certainly no threat to Hussein.
Jennings added that Iraqi officials "say the Bush administration knows they do not have weapons of mass destruction and it can be proved."
The relevant exchange on the January 21 Good Morning America between co-host Charles Gibson and Jennings:
If ABC ever tires of Jennings he should fit right in a Al-Jazeera.
Monday's Washington Post "Style" section loved peace march signs calling President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld "The Asses of Evil" and suggesting the Fox News Channel is a Nazi stronghold.
The admiration, the MRC's Tim Graham noticed, came in a story plastered across the top half of the January 20 Style section, as an "essay" titled, "The Art of Peace: Deploying Posters and Body Paint, the Antiwarriors Take a Scattershot Approach." Graham wrote up this item for CyberAlert:
Style writer Hank Stuever began: "It's the peacemakers -- right? -- who are blessed." A paragraph later, he declared: "Blessed are the people who make great signs: 'The Asses of Evil' reads one, with pictures of the president, vice president, and secretary of defense; 'Real Men Wage Peace'; 'Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer, Ein News Channel -- Fox News; FREEZING out here for PEACE!' Or consider the absurdity of 'Drop Panties, Not Bombs,' a giant banner covered with women's underpants."
Stuever went on to bless Al Sharpton and Jessica Lange for speaking out, and "all the fun-loving lefties in their plastic Dubya masks...Bless 'em, because they usually get such perfunctory, objectively dismissive press." Stuever proceeded to lament "all the ambivalence from network news."
Really? Network coverage was actually glowingly positive, as the Monday and Tuesday CyberAlerts documented. See
Back to Stuever, he was pleased by the turnout: "It's a good world where college students still get on buses because they believe, and because they're mad. How tragic to skip the bus to Washington -- right or wrong, for or against -- when you're young."
Even so, Stuever offered advice on how the leftists could have more impact: "More than anything, this peace march needed more Rockville and less rock. It needed more newcomers. It needed more church congregations. It needed more Disney Worlders. To the rest of everybody, the peace movement seems naive and cluttered, earnestly opposed to the possibility of war, protesting something that has not technically happened yet."
For Steuver's piece in full:
Network coverage of the average, normal Americans, "grandparents," "honor students," "soccer moms," "Republicans," "Black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old," versus the reality of the angry, America-hating demonstrators which the networks ignored but which a writer for National Review Online was unable to avoid in the crowd.
He saw "Bush is the Real Terrorist" signs and discovered many were convinced Bush knew in advance of the 9-11 attacks. "It was like when Hitler burned down the Reichstag," more than one remarked. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld plan, one claimed, "is to build a worldwide planetary death machine."
In a piece posted on Monday, Daniel J. Flynn, author of Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation's Greatness, recounted what he encountered at Saturday's march in DC: "While a small number of families, political moderates, and senior citizens salted the ranks of Saturday's march, a much-larger contingent escaped the notice of most journalists. Waving inflammatory signs, wearing scary costumes, and partaking in street theatre, the anti-American extremists who dominated the event were hard to miss. Yet, they were somehow overlooked in most of the press accounts of the protest."
Below I've excerpted the clauses and sentences with quotes of what protesters said to Flynn and what he saw and then that is contrasted with the soundbites aired by the networks.
> From Flynn's article:
-- "Reesa Rosenberg, a Muslim from New Jersey, came to the nation's capital bearing a sign that read 'Bush Is the Real Terrorist.' 'When it comes down to it, it's all for oil and global domination,' she believes. 'It's almost like Hitler.' Rosenberg contends that people in the U.S. government had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. 'Another thing about 9/11 -- the United States is like a stuck-up little bitch. They just do and take all of what they please. I mean, 9/11 was terrible, but it was the first terrorist attack on this country. It's like, 'oh, no!' Somebody broke the United States' nail, now the whole earth is going to blow up.'"
-- "Bush 'definitely knew in advance,' remarked John Bostrom, who traveled to the march from Staten Island. 'It was like when Hitler burned down the Reichstag.' Why would the Bush administration refuse to act on its prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks? 'What they want to do, basically, is build a worldwide planetary death machine that's technology driven, computer run, and hooked up to satellites that cover every square inch of the globe, and allows them to target and eliminate anything they want to wherever they want to,' maintained Bostrom. 'This is their plan. It's black and white. That's what they've been calling for. That's their strategy and they're obsessed by it.'"
-- "'I saw 9/11 as the Reichstag,' maintained Chris King. 'I'll compare it to what Cassius did to Spartacus back in Rome. I'll compare it to the Lusitania, to the Maine. I'll do it, every single time.' The bearded Vermonter suspects 9/11 'was allowed to happen.'"
-- "Placards read: 'USA Is #1 Terrorist,' 'Bush Is a Terrorist,' 'The NYPD Are Terrorists Too,' and 'Get the Terrorists Out of the White House.'"
-- "And as for Ms. Rosenberg, the Garden State Muslim who believes the U.S. government let 9/11 occur, she summed up the real theme of the 'antiwar' protest by proclaiming that America should be viewed as 'very scary and threatening' by the rest of the world."
For Flynn's piece in full, "The Anti-Warriors: On the streets with the protesters," go to:
Now, compare that reality to how the networks portrayed, as culled from the January 20 and 21 CyberAlerts, the Washington, DC protesters:
-- MSNBC's Jeannie Ohm: "They came from different parts of the country, but all armed with the same message."
-- CNN's Kathleen Koch spotlighted one attendee: "Seventy-six-year-old Ava Cutler was a Jewish teenager in Budapest, Hungary when her country was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1944....Cutler isn't a member of any protest group. She decided to come on her own, catch a ride with a busload of young people, all to stop another war, to stop more suffering."
-- ABC's Lisa Sylvester: "Braving frigid temperatures, they traveled across the country -- black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old. Their worries are varied."
More Sylvester: "Charley Richardson and his wife worry about their son, a Marine in the Persian Gulf."
-- ABC's Geoff Morrell profiled the Blakes, "who traveled all night" to the DC protest. "She's an honor student, he's a medical doctor," Morrell explained, who "fear President Bush is rushing to war with Iraq," so "they rode a bus all night from Asheville, North Carolina. On board were businessmen, soccer moms and military veterans -- all members of the same church."
ABC's Bill Blakemore, previewing the upcoming march on Friday night, from New York: "Never mind the cold, they're going to protest. Democrats and Republicans. Many middle-aged. From all walks of life. And some students. Nancy and Steve Boyda are Republicans, he's a Vietnam veteran."
-- CBS's Joie Chen at the DC march: "Telluride, Colorado sent its peace offering: 1200 of the town's 2000 residents signed it."
Chen celebrated: "Young, old, veterans and veteran activists united in the effort to stop the war before it starts. What may have kept the protest from growing larger, the weather. It was the capital's coldest morning of the year..."
For full rundowns of all those stories with the very selective soundbites chosen to make the protesters seem as appealing as possible, see the January 20 and 21
Goldberg, the CBS News veteran who penned the book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, appeared on Monday's Hannity and Colmes on FNC. MRC analyst Patrick Gregory caught this observation from Goildberg:
See item #4 above for confirmation.
Speaking of glossing over unpleasantness related to a liberal leader, in reading short items Tuesday night on Al Sharpton making his presidential bid official, neither CBS's Dan Rather or NBC's Tom Brokaw mentioned his nefarious history of racial hate-mongering and hustling. Nor did either tag Sharpton as a liberal.
Sharpton made his name by promoting the lie that an underage black girl was
kidnapped and raped by a white man and has used racial appeals which have spurred violence against "interlopers" in black neighborhoods. For a good rundown of Sharpton's outrageous record, check out a January 16 column by Jeff Jacoby:
On the January 21 CBS Evening News, Dan Rather announced: "Saying he could draw more Hispanic and other voters to the Democratic Party, the Reverend Al Sharpton today joined the field seeking the Democrats' presidential nomination. Sharpton, a 48-year-old civil rights activist, said that too many presidential candidates are quote, 'rich white men,' and that he is the only one, again quote, 'anti-war, anti-death penalty and anti-tax cut.'"
Over on the NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw related: "And another Democrat is officially in the race for the 2004 presidential nomination. New York's the Reverend Al Sharpton, who has been campaigning and raising money for weeks now, formally filed his candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission today in Washington. He declared that no other candidate can quote, 'speak to young people, disaffected minorities, women, gays and lesbians with more credibility.'"
Her variance from the "pro-choice" line clearly appalled the regulars on the ABC daytime show, especially Joy Behar and former NBC News reporter Star Jones, though former CBS News reporter Meredith Vieira also revealed where she stands. (Barbara Walters was out, replaced by former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer who was also appalled that O'Neill's work might threaten Roe v Wade.) In the next segment, actress Katey Segal scolded the View team for being so "polite" to O'Neill.
Some of the comments and exchanges on the January 21 The View, as transcribed by MRC intern Rudy Peseckas:
-- Before O'Neill appeared, Behar was upset that a poll about abortion included the views of men:
-- O'Neill noted that "80 percent of women that go in and have the opportunity to have an ultrasound change their mind. They do want their babies. I was not told that, and a lot of women-"
-- Jones lectured her: "But Jennifer, there is a difference between secrecy and privacy, and there are some women who say this is a matter of my business and my body and I need to make a choice that's right for me at this time."
-- O'Neill advised that if you "have a teenager and you think you are doing them a favor with an unwanted pregnancy to go and get an abortion you are sentencing them to 30 percent higher risk of cancer. That's a fact that you need to know before you make that choice."
-- Vieira worried: "But prior to abortion becoming legal that's when things were really secret much more so than after it became legal, and very dangerous. So there is going to be abortion one way or the other."
-- O'Neill urged adoption: "Offer adoption as an option. One-third of our babies conceived in this country are aborted, now perhaps it's a little better now."
-- Jones proposed: "Suppose I am eighteen years old. I'm going to college. I was careless I made a mistake. My life is ahead of me and I have chosen that I want to terminate that pregnancy and I don't want to hear from you Miss O'Neill. In the first trimester, I make the decision in seven weeks. I don't want to hear the options. I've made an informed decision."
-- Ana Gasteyer inadvertently suggested most women are idiots: "The whole point of family planning is to give you options and alternatives. In fact the whole rollback is the fear that people don't know that they have the option of abortion."
-- In the next segment, actress Katey Segal, best-known as the mother in Fox's old Married....With Children, came aboard to plug her new ABC sit-com, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. She scolded The View crew: "Well I thought you girls were extremely polite....I think she is not going to Washington to do much other than probably try and alter things. I mean I have a lot of opinions about that but do you really want to talk about that? It seems you covered that a lot, I'm definitely pro choice that's what I will say [audience applause] and I thought you girls...but you know I like that everybody has an opinion and I think you are extremely polite."
The Web site for The View: http://abc.abcnews.go.com/theview/main.html
The Internet Movie Database bio page for Segal: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Sagal,+Katey
Web site for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter:
Jennifer O'Neill is best-known for her role in the 1972 movie, Summer of '42. For her IMDB bio: http://us.imdb.com/Name?O%27Neill,+Jennifer+(I)
Fun fact, she's in her ninth marriage: http://us.imdb.com/Bio?O%27Neill,%20Jennifer%20(I)
For an old picture of her, check out a poster for the Summer of '42 movie: http://us.imdb.com/Posters?0067803
Her abortion alternatives Web site: www.PregnancyCenters.org
The View boasts having women hosts "with different points of view," but on abortion they all have one view. -- Brent Baker