2. Fleischer: Does ABC News "Acknowledge Hussein Has
3. Koppel More Suspicious of Bush Motives Than is Ex-Clinton Aide
4. Actress Queen Latifah Implies "Whole Cold War Thing" a Ruse
Grumbles that Media "Sympathetic" to Conservatives
6. Dennis Miller Takes on a Whining Phil Donahue
7. "Top Ten Things I, Saddam Hussein, Want to Get Off My Chest"
Peter Jennings always manages to dig out and focus on detractors of American policy no matter where he goes in the United States. Reviewing what he found during his time in Phoenix as part of his Western U.S. trip, Jennings highlighted the views of a woman married to an Iraqi who believes that force is "not the answer" as she asked, "When is the last time that you hit someone and they became your friend afterwards?", how at an Iraqi refuge center a man "worries about what the U.S. will do in Iraq after the war" and that "many Iraqis here remember the last time they put their faith in the U.S. After the Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. encouraged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein, but the U.S. didn't support their rebellion, and it was crushed."
And he promised that on Thursday night he'd provide a look at where "this country's weapons of mass destruction" were created -- Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Jennings concluded the February 12 World News Tonight with a review which inch included, but was not limited to, a town meeting he moderated Tuesday night on the Phoenix ABC affiliate. Jennings asserted, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
Jennings proceeded to show clips of the Governor and police chief over the lack of border security before Jennings noted how those living in a rural desert area near the California border feel secure.
Back on live at his outside anchor position, Jennings promised: "Tomorrow on the broadcast, we're going to report from New Mexico where many decades ago American scientists developed this country's weapons of mass destruction. We'll pay a visit to Los Alamos."
The KNXV-TV, "ABC 15" home page now features a RealPlayer clip of the entire hour-long town meeting moderated by Jennings: http://www.knxv.com/
Jennings also found a lot of disagreement with Bush's policy on Monday night when he was in Portland. As described in the February 11 CyberAlert, though Jennings noted how a new ABC News poll found solid support for President Bush's Iraq policy, with two-thirds backing military action to oust Saddam Hussein, anchoring from Portland he focused on how in Oregon "there is no consensus about war." Actually, just no consensus amongst a panel at a town meeting which Jennings hosted on the Portland ABC affiliate, at least judging by the anti-war views of those Jennings chose to highlight. For details:
Peter Jennings' hostility toward President Bush's Iraq policy is so obvious that at Wednesday's White House press briefing, when ABC reporter Terry Moran asked about Saddam Hussein's "arsenal of germs and chemicals" getting into the hands of terrorists, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer wondered: "Does this mean that ABC News is acknowledging that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction?"
Living up to ABC's reputation, Moran soon demanded: "Is it possible, though, that by pushing this issue to the brink of war, the President has made Americans less safe from these weapons?"
Indeed, Fleischer may have recalled how just last week, as recounted in the February 6 CyberAlert, after John McWethy warned of the threat Iraq's chemical and biological weapons will pose to U.S. troops, Jennings came to Hussein's defense, assuming he may not have the weapons: "John, very quickly, it's an 'if' still at the Pentagon, is it? 'If' he has all of these provisions?" See:
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught this exchange between Fleischer and Moran at about 12:30pm EST during the February 12 briefing carried by the cable news networks:
Moran: "What is the administration's assessment of the likelihood of the risk that Saddam Hussein with his back up against the wall, with war seeming almost inevitable, will open up his arsenal of germs and chemicals and disperse them to terrorists?"
Just the night before, Jennings had editorialized that the administration "haven't proved the connection" between Iraq and al Qaeda. And, just like Moran at the briefing, on Tuesday's World News Tonight Martha Raddatz seemed to imply the administration's tough line toward Iraq may cause more terrorism: "Many believe this may backfire, saying, 'Who stirred up this hornets nest?'" http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030212.asp#1
In addition to what is documented in item #1 above, a couple of other examples, from just the past few days, of the hostility displayed by Jennings toward the Bush Iraq policy:
-- Jennings' language on Friday night betrayed how he seems to view the Bush administration as unreasonable and out of step on Iraq. Jennings fretted about how, "just as the Iraqis appear to be making some concessions, the U.S. thinks it has growing support for war." Jennings also remarked that we'll soon learn if Iraq follows the UN resolution "and if that means anything to the Bush administration." And, lamenting how the debate over going to war is proceeding "somewhat more timidly in this country" than overseas so, he promised to seek out dissent. See: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030210.asp#1
-- Yes, but. Peter Jennings acknowledged Thursday night that a new ABC News poll found that 71 percent think Colin Powell made a convincing case and 61 percent think the Bush team "has presented enough evidence against Saddam Hussein to justify going to war." With Americans pleased, Jennings went overseas to find discontent as he proceeded to highlight how "there's a degree of opposition to war in every country, even where the government has been supportive" and that "many Arabs, even if they dislike Saddam Hussein, wonder about America's long-term intentions." See:
A former Clinton adviser is more favorably disposed toward the motivations of the Bush team than is Ted Koppel. On Tuesday's Nightline, Koppel wanted to know if the Bush administration isn't questioning whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead "because it's useful at this point to link him together with the Iraqis?" Daniel Benjamin, a former member of the National Security Council under Clinton, dismissed Koppel's premise.
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed this exchange between Koppel and Benjamin on the February 11 Nightline:
Koppel: "Daniel, for some reason or another, the administration this time around doesn't seem to be questioning whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead. Is that because the conclusion now is that he's still alive or because it's useful at this point to link him together with the Iraqis?"
The "incredible timing" of Osama bin Laden linking his cause with Iraq just as the Bush administration was trying to prove such a tie, is better timing "than Hugh Hefner finding Viagra at 78," Joy Behar quipped on ABC's daytime show The View. Also on the Wednesday edition of that show, Queen Latifah, who was just nominated for an Academy Award, suggested the "whole Cold War thing," in which "they made us scared" of the Soviet Union, was a big ruse.
On the February 12 The View, the ABC show created by Barbara Walters, former Good Morning America staffer and WABC Radio talk show host Joy Behar suggested some sort of nefarious doings by Bush operatives: "This is incredible timing. Really. I mean, here we are trying to find the link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, in comes the tape that exact day. The timing is better than Hugh Hefner finding Viagra at 78. You know what I'm saying? Here's a man all his life, did whatever he wanted, and now that he's old he has Viagra. Same idea."
Like anyone rational would trust her to know.
So, because we won the "Cold War thing" there never was a threat, millions didn't die because of communism and no one was enslaved by Soviet expansionism?
For a bio and photo of the rap singer turned actress, check the Internet Movie Database's page for her: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Latifah,+Queen
Add Bill Clinton to the list of liberals who claim there's not only no liberal media bias, there's a conservative media bias.
On Wednesday's Today, he grumbled about how conservatives and Republicans have "got everything from the Heritage Foundation to sympathetic newspapers to sympathetic cable programs that are heavily-weighted in their favor" That prompted even Katie Couric, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, to point out: "They might say, 'Hey everybody else is liberal.'" To that, Clinton countered: "They say that but it hadn't been true for a long, long time." Clinton then cited how Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity "are very outspoken into, on the right wing of the Republican Party," as if that's all there is to the news media -- and none of them are part of the news media anyway.
Couric was in an odd position to challenge Clinton since last September she denied that Today has any liberal bias and maintained it's all in the distorted eyes of her viewers. On the September 18 Donahue on MSNBC, Matt Lauer argued that charges of liberal bias represent "much less, I think, our point of view than it is the point of view of the person watching the interview." Couric agreed: "That's true. I think really that it is sort of" a "Rorschach test" as "people really see what...they want to see from their particular frame of mind or the prism from which they're watching." For more:
An excerpt from Clinton's media rant and what led up to it during the taped interview, in a living room-like set, that was part of Today's week-long pre-President's Day interviews with former Presidents Ford, Clinton and Bush:
Couric: "Let's talk about the Democratic Party. What, in your view, happened to them in the midterm elections?"
Just not satisfied with having ABC News, CBS News, CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, PBS, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times...
Miller so flustered Donahue that he went on a rant about how people like Miller are trying to "marginalize" liberals. Becoming a parody of himself, Donahue whined about how "you're making us to be some sort of wimpy kind of people who, woo, woo, we don't get it. We don't see evil. We think everything is a nice fairy tale. That is an attempt to marginalize us."
Donahue also claimed to be a conservative Republican: "We do not think one man should have the Army, Navy, and Marines to send the war all by himself and without the advice and consent of Congress as the Constitution calls us, upon us to do. That makes me conservative. I'm for the Constitution. I would make a good Republican."
When Donahue charged that dropping "incendiary devices on a crowded city at night where old people and children are sleeping" will give "Osama a poster for recruiting more angry young Islamic militants," an incredulous Miller fired back: "Oh, you believe he needs that, Phil? Do you really believe that he needs that?"
Miller's best two humorous zingers of the night:
-- On the New York Times: "If only Saddam Hussein would open an all-male country club somewhere in Iraq, so the Times could get behind this invasion."
-- On Osama bin Laden: "I think that he made a fatal error when he said that he didn't approve of drinking wine or adultery. Because now the French and Clinton are on board."
Now, from the portion of the February 12 show quoted above, a full transcript of one of the most illuminating exchanges between Miller and Donahue, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, starting after Miller suggested liberals don't see the reality of the world:
Donahue: "Well, first of all, your comment suggests that liberals never see evil. Now, that's, what that does is marginalize liberals. I mean, did you ever talk to a liberal?"
Links to Miller's earlier comments mocking liberals and standing up for President Bush's policies to combat terrorism:
-- On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews a couple of weeks ago, trying to appeal to those in favor of abortion, he suggested "to not think of this as a war, but just think that we've chosen to abort Hussein." Miller explained that liberal opposition to school vouchers turned him to the right and he delivered fresh cracks at Bill Clinton and John Edwards. See:
-- On the Tonight Show in late January Miller delivered some zingers against opponents of taking on Saddam Hussein militarily. He made fun of Sean Penn, the French, the ACLU and the French again. See:
-- Last November on the Tonight Show Miller praised Bush's anti-terrorism efforts, favored attacking Iraq and juxtaposed the "wocka-wocka porno guitar of the Clinton administration" with how Bush "makes me proud to be an American again. He's just a decent guy." See:
-- In a June, 2002 Tonight Show appearance Miller mocked liberal orthodoxy: "If you put the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison outside of Kabul it would be their Epcot." And: "I say we create a new airline, called the ACLA, the American Civil Liberties Airline where you don't check anybody, you don't ask any questions, and let those morons fly on that one." See:
-- And in November of 2001, noting how reporters say "it's the public's need to know about our ground forces being in there," on the Tonight Show Dennis Miller led the audience in a reprimanding journalists: "We don't want to know!" Miller also called for oil drilling in Alaska and praised President Bush for ending "the '70s porno guitar of the Clinton administration." See:
For Miller's Internet Movie Database page with a rundown of his acting credits: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Miller,+Dennis+(I)
Tonight's guest for the hour on Donahue: Atlanta-based conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz. I see a strategy here: Donahue is bringing on conservative guests so that people will actually watch his show.
From the February 12 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things I, Saddam Hussein, Want to Get Off My Chest." The items were announced by a "translator's" voice over video of Hussein.
10. "I don't have links to Al Qaeda, but the same guy does our taxes"
9. "Of my 24 palaces, 19 are just timeshares"
8. "Kim Jong-Il cheats at Scrabble"
7. "I bought most of my medals on E-Bay"
6. "You know what I use to liven up leftovers? Anthrax"
5. "Sometimes even I confuse Iran and Iraq"
4. "Is it just me, or does it seem like Michael Jackson is weird?"
3. "Christiane Amanpour -- call me"
2. "Try to find a parking space in downtown Baghdad, now that's torture -- am I right, people?"
1. "I can't prove it, but I think Hans Blix took a leak in my pool"
The Late Show home page now features a RealPlayer clip of its version of Hussein reading a couple of the Top Ten items: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/
As of tonight the clip will be moved to the "Big Show Highlights" section of "Dave TV" at: