2. Network Stars Keep Pressing McCain to Join Ticket with Kerry
3. NBC's Mitchell Spins for Kerry, Tagging Bush Ad as "Distortion"
4. Walter Cronkite Urges John Kerry to Run as a Proud Liberal
5. Carl Bernstein: Bush "the Most Radical President" of the Century
6. Fox Newswatch Picks Up on How CBS Spiked Poll With Bush in Lead
7. Rush Limbaugh Recounts His Good Time at the MRC's "DisHonors"
Peter Jennings in Baghdad on Friday contended that Iraqis don't feel so much "liberated" as "humiliated" by the removal of Saddam Hussein and, during a press conference with Secretary of State Colin Powell, forwarded a complaint from the French Foreign Minister who "says terrorism did not exist in Iraq before the war and the Iraq war has not led to a more stable world."
Minutes after President Bush wrapped up his 11am EST speech from the White House to mark the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Iraq war, Jennings in Baghdad told viewers of ABC's special live coverage: "I must say that from here this notion of having been liberated is also shared by Iraqis as something of a campaign of humiliation."
Jennings concluded the March 19 coverage, as taken down by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson: "I must say that from here this notion of having been liberated is also shared by Iraqis as something of a campaign of humiliation, and as you know, if you've been watching or listening to the news in the last several days, American civilians have been killed out here in some number in the last few days, American soldiers and Marines continue to die, and the Secretary of State was here today as well. We'll take care of that on ABC's World News Tonight, as well."
Indeed, on Friday's World News Tonight Jennings played a clip of himself, sporting a salmon-colored shirt, as he posed this question to Powell during a press conference:
Network news stars just can't let go of their dream of a Kerry-McCain ticket. On Sunday's Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer waxed about how "John Kerry's high command" has "not dismissed the idea" of McCain for Vice President and so "the possibility of John McCain as a running mate for Senator Kerry is still alive and is still operating." Last Thursday morning, NBC's Matt Lauer and CBS's Hannah Storm pushed McCain to say that he'd accept an offer from Kerry.
This is a continuing pattern for the networks, as shown by a March 11 CyberAlert item: Salivating for John McCain to make another national run. ABC's Charles Gibson pressed McCain on Wednesday morning about forming "a dream ticket" with John Kerry and when McCain demurred, saying such a scenario is "hard to imagine," Gibson begged: "Let me imagine it." McCain made it clear he had no interest in the idea, but that didn't inhibit the AP from leading an early afternoon dispatch: "Republican Sen. John McCain allowed a glimmer of hope Wednesday for Democrats fantasizing about a bipartisan dream team to defeat President Bush." MSNBC's Chris Jansing soon effused: "Boy, are people going to be buzzing about this one." CNN's Wolf Blitzer excitedly opened his show: "Dream team? Could John Kerry pick a Republican running mate?" Blitzer enthused: "Now an extraordinary, truly extraordinary scenario. A split ticket dream team that pairs a partisan Democrat with a GOP maverick." CNN's Brian Todd was similarly excited about "a fascinating scenario. A powerful bipartisan ticket taking on the Bush political machine." See: www.mediaresearch.org
Back to Sunday, March 21, Schieffer's first "question" to guest Howard Dean:
"McCain should be on Kerry's mind," read the headline over the column Schieffer cited by liberal columnist Thomas Oliphant in the March 21 Boston Globe. It began: "In between ski runs and naps in Idaho, John Kerry needs to think seriously about John McCain and what he represents...." For the column in full: www.boston.com
Though McCain demurred, Lauer wasn't deterred: "Has anyone had a serious discussion from the campaign of John Kerry with, on this subject with you?"
Over on CBS's The Early Show, Hannah Storm told McCain: "Interesting that Senator Joe Biden proposed a unity ticket with you as a running mate for Kerry. You said a week ago on national television that you would actually entertain that thought-"
But she won't be satisfied until she gets a yes.
NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell sounded more like a surrogate for the John Kerry presidential campaign than an independent reporter last Tuesday when she denounced, as "a complete distortion," a Bush campaign TV ad critical of Kerry for voting against the bill to provide $87 billion to support troop operations in Iraq. Mitchell ended up to the left of the host of the show she was on, MSNBC's Hardballl with Chris Matthews. The former aide to Tip O'Neill pointed out how the ad was accurate since Kerry, after voting for the bill if it included an amendment to reduce the tax cut to fund it, voted no on final passage when that amendment failed.
The MRC's Geoff Dickens caught the exchange on the March 16 Hardball. Matthews first played the ad:
When the ad ended, Mitchell charged: "Now that is a complete distortion, Kerry would say, and anybody who really covered the $87 billion supplemental has to agree. A complete distortion."
To view the "Troops" ad: www.georgewbush.com
For the Bush-Cheney "ad facts" on it: www.georgewbush.com
And to watch video of all of Kerry's TV ads: www.johnkerry.com
In his latest syndicated column, published in Sunday's Denver Post, former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite scolded John Kerry for not running for President as an avowed liberal. "What are you ashamed of?" Cronkite asked Kerry in his column, which was styled as an open letter to the presumed Democratic nominee.
[The MRC's Rich Noyes submitted this item for CyberAlert about the column highlighted on Monday by www.drudgereport.com ]
Cronkite advised Kerry that embracing the liberal label would win him respect, while the public would spurn a "candidate who lacks the courage of his convictions." In Cronkite's view, the "far right" is to blame for making liberalism unpopular, although he also blamed liberals who refused to stand up for their own beliefs.
"Are you afflicted with the Dukakis syndrome -- that loss of nerve that has allowed conservatives both to define and to demonize liberalism for the past decade and more?" he wondered. "By ducking the issue, Dukakis opened the way for the far right to make 'L' for liberal a scarlet letter with which to brand all who oppose them. In the course of that 1988 exchange, Bush offered a telling observation, saying, in effect, that liberals don't like being called liberal. You seem to have reaffirmed that analysis."
"If 1988 taught us anything, it is that a candidate who lacks the courage of his convictions cannot hope to convince the nation that he should be given its leadership," he concluded.
Now, a fuller excerpt of the column, titled "Dear Senator Kerry..."
In the interests of your campaign and your party's desire to unseat George W. Bush, you have some explaining to do. During the primary campaign, your Democratic opponents accused you of flip-flopping on several important issues, such as your vote in favor of the Iraq War resolution.
Certainly your sensitivity to nuance, your ability to see shades of gray where George Bush sees only black and white, explains some of your difficulty. Shades of gray don't do well in political campaigns, where primary colors are the rule. And your long and distinguished service in the Senate has no doubt led to genuine changes in some positions. But the denial that you are a liberal is almost impossible to reconcile.
When the National Journal said your Senate record makes you one of the most liberal members of the Senate, you called that "a laughable characterization" and "the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in my life." Wow! Liberals, who make up a substantial portion of the Democratic Party and a significant portion of the independent vote, are entitled to ask, "What gives?"
It isn't just the National Journal that has branded you as a liberal. So has the liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action. Senator, check your own website. It says you are for rolling back tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, for tax credits to both save and create jobs, for real investment in our schools. You've voted, in the words of your own campaign, for "every major piece of civil rights legislation to come before Congress since 1985, as well as the Equal Rights Amendment." You count yourself (and are considered by others) a leader on environmental protection issues.
You are committed to saving Medicare and Social Security, and you are an internationalist in foreign policy.
What are you ashamed of? Are you afflicted with the Dukakis syndrome -- that loss of nerve that has allowed conservatives both to define and to demonize liberalism for the past decade and more? You remember, of course, that it was during the 1988 presidential campaign that George Bush I attacked Democrat Michael Dukakis both for opposing the Vietnam War and for stating he was a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Both proved, Bush said, that Dukakis was a liberal. Dukakis responded to that as an attack on his patriotism. He defended neither liberalism nor the ACLU....
If 1988 taught us anything, it is that a candidate who lacks the courage of his convictions cannot hope to convince the nation that he should be given its leadership. So, senator, some detailed explanations are in order if you hope to have any chance of defeating even a wounded George II in November. You cannot let the Bush league define you or the issues. You have to do that yourself. Take my advice and lay it all out, before it's too late.
END of Excerpt
To read all of Cronkite's advice to Kerry, go to: www.denverpost.com
President Bush a "radical"? In a remarks in Florida on Thursday night, Carl Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter of Watergate famed who moved on to Time magazine and is now with Vanity Fair, tagged Bush as "the most radical President of my lifetime and perhaps in the century." Friday's St. Petersburg Times relayed how "Bernstein said Bush 'is radical in every degree,' from a favoritism of the wealthy to a pre-emptive foreign policy to a lack of concern for civil rights. 'He certainly seems more ideological than any of our Presidents,' Bernstein said."
An excerpt from the March 19 St. Petersburg Times by Brady Dennis, an article highlighted by Romenesko ( www.poynter.org ):
Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein riffed Thursday night about President Bush, the Martha Stewart trial, the war in Iraq and his affection for Florida.
But mostly he talked about an epidemic that troubles him deeply these days. He calls it "the triumph of idiot culture."
Speaking to a crowd of about 200 at the Wyndham Westshore, he placed most of the blame on modern media outlets.
Bernstein, the former Washington Post journalist who, along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, unearthed the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, said much of today's news has deteriorated into gossip, sensationalism and manufactured controversy.
That type of news panders to the public and insults their intelligence, ignoring the context of real life, he said. Good journalism, Bernstein said, "should challenge people, not just mindlessly amuse them."
He said the modern press lacks true leadership, citing such examples as AOL Time Warner and mogul Rupert Murdoch as media owners that have increasingly abandoned the principles of meaningful reporting....
Bernstein also turned his attention Thursday to the coming election, calling President Bush "the most radical president of my lifetime and perhaps in the century."
Bernstein said Bush "is radical in every degree," from a favoritism of the wealthy to a pre-emptive foreign policy to a lack of concern for civil rights.
"He certainly seems more ideological than any of our presidents," Bernstein said.
Even so, Bernstein said he hopes a genuine debate can take place this year about the future of the country, rather than the petty quarrels and meaningless accusations that so often dominate campaign coverage.
"Let's move beyond the absurd name-calling and sound bite journalism," he said. "It is our job...to force a real debate."...
END of Excerpt
For the story in full: www.sptimes.com
You read it here first. Fox Newswatch on FNC over the weekend picked up on a CyberAlert item from last week about how in February the CBS Evening News reported two of its polls showing John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush, but when a March CBS News poll put Bush ahead of Kerry, the newscast didn't mention it.
Host Eric Burns set up the discussion on the March 20 program: "Quick take headline No. 2: 'What, Exactly, Is the Goal of the Poll?' When a CBS News poll found Kerry leading Bush, it was reported on the CBS Evening News February 16. When another CBS News poll found Kerry leading Bush, it was reported on the CBS Evening News two weeks later. But when another CBS News poll two weeks after that found Bush leading Kerry, the CBS Evening News did not run the story, although CBSNews.com did. And we make what of this -- Jim?"
In fact, the poll was conducted from March 10 to 14, with the Madrid bombing coming in the middle of that time frame. And that event didn't deter the New York Times from reporting the result, if deep in their story.
Cal Thomas picked up after Gabler: "Who care what they think about the poll? Let them publish the poll and let the people react. We don't need any kind of exegesis of the poll. They don't do it with the other polls. When Kerry is ahead, they report it and don't say, well, maybe that might be skewed because of something else that happened or didn't happen. Just report the poll. That's all they need to do."
The March 16 CyberAlert reported: When a CBS News poll found John Kerry leading George W. Bush by 48 to 43 percent amongst registered voters, Dan Rather reported it on the February 16 CBS Evening News, and when another CBS News poll two weeks ago put Kerry up by a mere one point over Bush, by 47 to 46 percent with registered voters, the February 28 CBS Evening News highlighted the finding. But on Monday, while the CBSNews.com home page, for much of the afternoon and into the evening featured the results of a new CBS News/New York Times poll, with a headline which declared, "Bush Moves Ahead of Kerry," the CBS Evening News didn't utter a word about the new numbers which put Bush up over Kerry by 46 to 43 percent with registered voters. For details, see: www.mediaresearch.org
Rush Limbaugh has posted the text of his remarks on his radio show Friday about the good time he had Thursday night as a surprise speaker at the MRC's "DisHonors Award" and Monday's Washington Times has a news story about the event.
-- An excerpt from, "Rush Makes Surprise Speech in Washington," as posted on RushLimbaugh.com:
I flew to Washington late yesterday afternoon and was a surprise guest and speaker at the Media Research Center's Annual Dishonor Awards. This is Brent Bozell's group, or as he was once referred to by Michael Kinsley in a conversation with me, "El Brent Bozo." Liberals hate Brent Bozell. He documents their excess, idiocy, and bias.
Every year the Media Research Center gathers in the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington to honor the most outrageous, funniest, most offensive liberal media statements and quotes, from the past year. I was supposed to go last year and I couldn't. I tried to go but, we couldn't get off the ground here for two and a half hours because of weather. So I went to make up for not making it last year.
While Brent Bozell was closing out the evening and thanking everybody, Sam Donaldson strode out there and started giving Bozell grief for attacking the liberal media. They're good friends, and Donaldson contributes some time and work to the Media Research Center. When Donaldson finally left the stage and Brent went back to closing it out, the producer of the evening somewhere off stage said, "Brent, you're forgetting somebody else. There's a VIP you haven't recognized."
Slowly, my theme song started playing. There were 850 people in the room, and after a couple seconds these people were out of their chairs. Folks, I have to tell you. It went on for quite a while, and I finally thanked them and asked them to sit down and I spoke for 15 minutes off the cuff. You can watch the speech in the link to the video of it right here....
I want to thank Brent for inviting me and everybody who was there. You made my day. It was just fabulous. You people were great. A number of you call here on a regular basis, complaining about the mainstream media and I keep trying to tell you that they're losing. They're losing audience, and we're gaining audience. We're gaining ground, they're losing ground. Their era of dominant influence is over. They no longer have a monopoly.
As I said to the assembled gathering of 850 who were on their feet last night, the point is not to convince liberals. The idea is not to persuade them. The objective is to defeat them. And that's what we're doing.
END of Excerpt
For Limbaugh's comments in full: www.rushlimbaugh.com
-- An excerpt from "Humor takes a right turn," a story in the March 22 Washington Times by Christian Toto:
What's so funny about spin, bias and misunderstanding? Plenty, especially if you're a fan of the Media Research Center (MRC), whose sober studies analyzing left-bending newsmakers were celebrated with much laughter Thursday at the group's annual Dishonors Awards gala at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
As it turned out, the main attraction wasn't the usual cavalcade of outrageously biased news bits, but a surprise visit by radio talk show giant Rush Limbaugh.
The conservative broadcaster could be counted upon, of course, to hammer both journalists and Democrats with his usual bombast.
MRC head L. Brent Bozell III feigned annoyance when an unseen voice told him a surprise guest was set to take the stage. After Mr. Limbaugh's radio theme music began pumping through the room, the savvy crowd of about 850 quickly solved the mystery.
Mr. Limbaugh spoke as if his listeners were glued to their radio speakers.
"So much progress is being made [exposing media bias]," Mr. Limbaugh said, "but I wouldn't be able to do what I do if not for people like Brent and others in the conservative movement."
The secret, he noted, is that the message reaches ready ears when it's couched in humor, not preachy sermons.
Veteran newsman Sam Donaldson also paid a surprise visit to the gala, charging the stage in mock anger that his beloved news machine was under assault.
No one, however, despaired that former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines, ABC News' Diane Sawyer, et al., were no-shows for the MRC's not-so-coveted trophy, stamped with the award's slogan "See no balance. Hear no balance. Speak no balance."
A respected gathering of the conservative establishment gladly accepted awards in their absence, including former Ambassador to the United Nations Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Catholic League President Bill Donohue, American Spectator Publisher Al Regnery and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.
Once again, witty Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Cal Thomas served as the evening's emcee....
The crowd guffawed over takes of CBS' Lesley Stahl grilling Secretary of State Colin Powell with her half-baked military strategies, then howled over a clip from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" featuring a daffy war protester chaining himself to the wrong building....
END of Excerpt
For the article in full online: www.washingtontimes.com
# We are aware you may have had/be having trouble viewing the video of Limbaugh at the "DisHonors Awards," getting the message: "Server has reached its capacity and can serve no more streams. Please try again later."
Our equipment and software were overwhelmed on Friday and through much of the weekend, but I know our IT guys were and are doing what they can to improve the situation.
As soon as our systems can handle it, we'll be adding more videos from the event, including of Sam Donaldson and of each award presentation and acceptance. But in the meantime, via RealPlayer, you can watch what Limbaugh said and videos of each award nominee. Go to: www.mediaresearch.org
-- Brent Baker