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Jennings Takes Snide Shot Over Difficulty to Improve View of U.S. --3/15/2005


1. Jennings Takes Snide Shot Over Difficulty to Improve View of U.S.
Peter Jennings on Monday night uttered one of the kind of remarks which earn him his smug image as one eager to denigrate the U.S. Following a soundbite on World News Tonight of Karen Hughes, the Bush administration's new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, saying "perceptions" of America "do not change quickly or easily. This is a struggle for ideas," Jennings snidely interjected: "In some parts of the world, that will be taken as an understatement."

2. Thomas: Democratic Rumblings in Middle East Make Press Look "Bad"
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas declared on Monday's Imus in the Morning that "I just love" the rise of democratic activity in the Middle East "because it makes the press look so bad." Recalling the media's ridicule of all the problems President Bush's Iraq policy would cause in the region, Thomas, now teaching a writing course at Harvard University, dismissed the arguments from reporters against giving Bush credit: "They say, 'Well, he got lucky, Arafat died and,' you know, 'the Syrians assassinated that former Prime Minister, and it's really not Bush, it was just kind of an accident.' Well, you know, that's nonsense." Thomas proposed that "if it's possible to have a good war -- and I don't know if it is, but if it is, it was, because it enabled those elections and those elections have enabled a lot of people in the region to think there's a chance to take control of their lives."

3. Matthews: Rather "Nothing Like the Portrait Painted...by Critics"
"Dan is nothing like the portrait painted and believed in by critics," MSNBC's Chris Matthews insisted in a eulogy to Dan Rather delivered over the weekend on his syndicated Chris Matthews Show. Matthews contended: "Dan Rather's a hard-charging journalist who has tangled with big shots, Washington insiders who love nothing so much as the closed door. For pounding on that door with all his being, Dan Rather will be remembered when many of the rest of us are long forgotten."

4. Bury or Ignore Finding Media Three Times Negative on W Than Kerry
A study released Sunday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an outfit respected by the mainstream media, determined that across broadcast network newscasts, the cable news networks and major newspapers, "campaign coverage that focused on Bush was three times as negative as coverage of Kerry (36% versus 12%). It was also less likely to be positive (20% positive Bush stories, 30% for Kerry)." Yet, you would have been hard-pressed Monday to notice that finding in stories on the study. "On Fox News, No Shortage of Opinion, Study Finds," read the headline over a Washington Post story by Howard Kurtz who in more than 1,100 words found no space for the campaign coverage analysis. Other stories noted the bias against Bush over Kerry, but led with other aspects of the report. The AP headline: "Iraq Coverage Wasn't Biased." USA Today: "Non-traditional media gain ground, consumers." The New York Times: "Fewer Sources Go Nameless in the Press, Survey Shows." Los Angeles Times: "Study Warns of Junk-News Diet." Reuters, however, led with the campaign bias. The study found a decided bias against Bush but, nonetheless, the report features a section titled: "Press Going Too Easy on Bush."

5. MRC's "DisHonors Awards" Gala Nearly Sold Out, So Buy Tickets Now
The MRC's April 21 annual gala, the "Media DisHonors and Conservative of the Year Award: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporting of the Year," is NEARLY SOLD OUT. We increased seating capacity again this year to more than 900 seats, but if you wish to attend you'll need to BUY YOUR TICKETS THIS WEEK, preferably by Thursday, to ensure you will get a seat. And at this point, even that is not guaranteed.

6. "Top Ten Things Overheard During Bill Clinton's Hospital Stay"
Letterman's "Top Ten Things Overheard During Bill Clinton's Hospital Stay."


Jennings Takes Snide Shot Over Difficulty
to Improve View of U.S.

ABC's Peter Jennings Peter Jennings on Monday night uttered one of the kind of remarks which earn him his smug image as one eager to denigrate the U.S. Following a soundbite on World News Tonight of Karen Hughes, the Bush administration's new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, saying "perceptions" of America "do not change quickly or easily. This is a struggle for ideas," Jennings snidely interjected: "In some parts of the world, that will be taken as an understatement."

Jennings announced on the March 14 World News Tonight: "Also in Washington today, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, announced the appointment of Karen Hughes to the post of Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy. Ms. Hughes, one of the President's most-trusted advisers, will be in charge of improving America's image aboard."
Hughes, at press briefing about her naming: "This job will be difficult. Perceptions do not change quickly or easily. This is a struggle for ideas."
Jennings asserted: "In some parts of the world, that will be taken as an understatement."

Seconds later a news item read by Jennings, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed, suggested many in the Middle East share a quest for democracy: "In Lebanon today, the biggest demonstration in the nation's history. Almost 800,000 people, almost a quarter of the country's population, rallied in Beirut for the withdrawal of Syrian troops and an investigation into the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister. Rafik Hariri was murdered a month ago. The demonstration today by those Lebanese opposed to the Syrians was intended as a response to a smaller demonstration organized by the militant group Hezbollah last week."

Thomas: Democratic Rumblings in Middle
East Make Press Look "Bad"

Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Imus in the Morning Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas declared on Monday's Imus in the Morning that "I just love" the rise of democratic activity in the Middle East "because it makes the press look so bad." Recalling the media's ridicule of all the problems President Bush's Iraq policy would cause in the region, Thomas, now teaching a writing course at Harvard University, dismissed the arguments from reporters against giving Bush credit: "They say, 'Well, he got lucky, Arafat died and,' you know, 'the Syrians assassinated that former Prime Minister, and it's really not Bush, it was just kind of an accident.' Well, you know, that's nonsense." Thomas proposed that "if it's possible to have a good war -- and I don't know if it is, but if it is, it was, because it enabled those elections and those elections have enabled a lot of people in the region to think there's a chance to take control of their lives."

Thomas appeared by phone during the 6:30am EST half hour of the Imus in the Morning show on MSNBC simulcast on radio. He informed Don Imus of how he's away from Newsweek for a while teaching expository writing to freshmen at Harvard University.

The MRC's Jessica Barnes caught the scolding of the media by Thomas, prompted by Imus asking: "So with what's going on throughout the Middle East, these various demonstrations of a thirst for democracy?"
Thomas: "I just love this story because it makes the press look so bad. I mean, I hope it all works out and we do get peace and freedom in the Middle East, but my short-term, narrow entertainment here is that, you know, all the chattering classes, all my friends, including me, were all saying 'Oh,' you know, 'Iraq was a terrible thing and Bush has screwed up the Middle East and we're just creating terrorists and nothing's going to work here and it's the end of the world,' and then the next thing you know, peace and freedom and democracy are breaking out and they can't explain it. You know, they say, 'Well, he got lucky, Arafat died and,' you know, 'the Syrians assassinated that former prime minister, and it's really not Bush, it was just kind of an accident.' Well, you know, that's nonsense. I mean, Bush, this is a case where his absolute inflexible, stubborn insistence that he was going to do it his way, I think is turning out to be the right thing to do. And however horrible the Iraq War has been and there are a lot of dead soldiers and maimed soldiers and all that, you know, it turns out their sacrifice was for something, it wasn't just for nothing, it wasn't just because some politician screwed up. That may be the beginning of something huge happening in the region of actual freedom beginning to break out, and if I was the parent of one of those soldiers, I would be feeling a little better now. Maybe not great, but a little better because I think it's gonna -- I think, think, it's early -- it's going to turn out that that war was, despite the WMD and all that, that war was a meaningful war, if it's possible to have a good war -- and I don't know if it is, but if it is, it was, because it enabled those elections and those elections have enabled a lot of people in the region to think there's a chance to take control of their lives and get rid of their, you know, their crummy old governments."
Imus: "Of course, Tom Friedman's been writing about that forever."
Thomas: "Yeah, he was pretty lonely. I mean, Tom Friedman was, you know, a lot of his liberal friends were sneering at him and he was taking a lot of heat for that position. He was a pretty lonely hawk on the war and a lot of people were saying, you know, 'What happened to Tom Friedman? He's gone overboard and,' you know, 'completely wrong.' Well, it turns out Friedman was right."

Last year, Thomas recognized the obvious about the media bias in favor of John Kerry, but a recognition resisted by his colleagues. As recounted by the July 12, 2004 CyberAlert:
The media "wants Kerry to win" and so "they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic," Evan Thomas, the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek, admitted on Inside Washington over the weekend. He should know. His magazine this week sports a smiling Kerry and Edwards on its cover with the yearning headline, "The Sunshine Boys?" Inside, an article carrying Thomas' byline contrasted how "Dick Cheney projects the bleakness of a Wyoming winter, while John Edwards always appears to be strolling in the Carolina sunshine." The cover story touted how Kerry and Edwards "became a buddy-buddy act, hugging and whispering like Starsky and Hutch after consuming the evidence." See: www.mediaresearch.org

See item #4 below for confirmation of Thomas' prediction.

Matthews: Rather "Nothing Like the Portrait
Painted...by Critics"

MSNBC's Chris Matthews "Dan is nothing like the portrait painted and believed in by critics," MSNBC's Chris Matthews insisted in a eulogy to Dan Rather delivered over the weekend on his syndicated Chris Matthews Show. Matthews contended: "Dan Rather's a hard-charging journalist who has tangled with big shots, Washington insiders who love nothing so much as the closed door. For pounding on that door with all his being, Dan Rather will be remembered when many of the rest of us are long forgotten."

Matthews, the MRC's Geoff Dickens observed, ended the March 13 Chris Matthews Show with the tribute to Rather.

Over the matching scene from the movie, Matthews began:
"There's a great scene in All the President's Men when Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post, played by Jason Robards, raps his knuckle on a desk he's passing. He's got the story. He's nailed it. That moment of truth is to the journalist, what a fix is to the addict. But don't think that's the only motive in this business. There's the competition to be first, a David-and-Goliath attitude toward big-shot secret keepers, and sometimes, and this can be dangerous for a reporter, an underlying sense of how things should be. Dan Rather, who just stepped down from the CBS anchor desk, has spent decades as a reporter very much in the arena. With that, he's taken his knocks, some of them deserved.
"What he deserves right now is some straight reporting about himself. In my experience, Dan is nothing like the portrait painted and believed in by critics. Comfortable among the elite? Not even close. Dan is like those Southern boys who come north to play for some big-league city like New York or Philly but are country boys to the last inning of their last game. Twenty years ago, sitting in his office, Dan glowed with pride about the producers he got to work with. Maybe that confidence was his nemesis at the end. Rather was stretched too thin on too many shows, on the air too many hours. But that's not the big story. Dan Rather's a hard-charging journalist who has tangled with big shots, Washington insiders who love nothing so much as the closed door. For pounding on that door with all his being, Dan Rather will be remembered when many of the rest of us are long forgotten."

Bury or Ignore Finding Media Three Times
Negative on W Than Kerry

A study released Sunday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an outfit respected by the mainstream media, determined that across broadcast network newscasts, the cable news networks and major newspapers, "campaign coverage that focused on Bush was three times as negative as coverage of Kerry (36% versus 12%). It was also less likely to be positive (20% positive Bush stories, 30% for Kerry)." Yet, you would have been hard-pressed Monday to notice that finding in stories on the study. "On Fox News, No Shortage of Opinion, Study Finds," read the headline over a Washington Post story by Howard Kurtz who in more than 1,100 words found no space for the campaign coverage analysis. Other stories noted the bias against Bush over Kerry, but led with other aspects of the report. "Iraq Coverage Wasn't Biased," announced the headline over the AP dispatch. USA Today's headline: "Non-traditional media gain ground, consumers." The New York Times: "Fewer Sources Go Nameless in the Press, Survey Shows." Los Angeles Times: "Study Warns of Junk-News Diet."

Reuters, however, highlighted the campaign bias: "Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush," declared the headline over the March 14 piece by New York-based correspondent Claudia Parsons. She led her story:
"U.S. media coverage of last year's election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday.
"The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.
"Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
"The study looked at 16 newspapers of varying size across the country, four nightly newscasts, three network morning news shows, nine cable programs and nine Web sites through the course of 2004....

For the article in full: www.reuters.com

The study found a decided bias against Bush but, nonetheless, the "State of the Media 2004" report features a section titled, "Press Going Too Easy on Bush: Bottom-Line Pressures Now Hurting Coverage, Say Journalists." See: stateofthemedia.com

That part of the report is actually just a recitation of a May 2004 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: people-press.org

At the time, the May 24 CyberAlert documented the hypocrisy of the surveyed journalists:
Journalists at national media outlets are more liberal and less conservative than nine years ago, and while in 1995 they were upset that the media were too critical of President Clinton, they are now disturbed that the media are going too easy on President Bush, a just-released survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found. Five times more national outlet journalists identify themselves as liberal, 34 percent, than conservative, a mere 7 percent. The poll also discovered that while the reporters, editors, producers and executives have a great deal of trouble naming a "liberal" news outlet, they had no problem seeing a "conservative" outlet, with an incredible 69 percent readily naming the Fox News Channel.
A mere 8 percent of the national press believe the media are being "too critical" of President Bush, compared to nearly seven times as many, 55 percent, who think the media are "not critical enough." Back in 1995, as recounted in the MRC's June, 1995 edition of MediaWatch, Times Mirror determined that just two percent thought the press had given "too much" coverage to Clinton administration achievements, compared to 48 percent to saw "too little" on Clinton's achievements. The remaining 49 percent called coverage "about right."

See: www.mediaresearch.org

The whole Project for Excellence in Journalism report, which consumes about 600 pages, is a hodge-podge of different studies conducted by different sets of researchers. Far from comprehensive, on the campaign study, for instance, the researchers picked just a few select dates to study.

For the home page for the report: stateofthemedia.com

For the PDF of the executive summary: stateofthemedia.com

For an overview of the findings in the "content analysis" section: stateofthemedia.com

For Kurtz's March 14 story without any mention of the campaign bias: www.washingtonpost.com

MRC's "DisHonors Awards" Gala Nearly
Sold Out, So Buy Tickets Now

The MRC's April 21 annual gala, the "Media DisHonors and Conservative of the Year Award: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporting of the Year," is NEARLY SOLD OUT. We increased seating capacity again this year to more than 900 seats, but if you wish to attend you'll need to BUY YOUR TICKETS THIS WEEK, preferably by Thursday, to ensure you will get a seat. And at this point, even that is not guaranteed.

Complimentary invitees: If you received a complimentary invitation in the mail last week, and you wish to attend, if you can please LET US KNOW THIS WEEK. Call Melinda Brown with your name and the name of your guest: (703) 683-9733 ext. 163 between 9am and 5:30pm M-F EST. Or e-mail her at: MBrown@mediaresearch.org

Will C-SPAN show it? That's a common question we get and the answer is that we don't know and won't know until the day beforehand. They did for several years, but did not last year. So, the only way to be sure to see it is to attend.

Now, a rundown of the participants, the ticket price and how to buy tickets:

Join MRC founder and President L. Brent Bozell III, Master of Ceremonies Cal Thomas, presenters Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Neal Boortz and the surprise award "acceptors" as we roast the most blatantly liberal members of the national "news" media. The event will feature a tribute to the Swift Vets and POWS for Truth.

The award categories:
- John Kerry Suck-Up Award
- Time to Retire Award
- Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award
- The "I'm Not a Geopolitical Genius, But I Play One On TV" Award
- Al Franken Award for the Stupidest Analysis

For each award we'll play videos of the top picks, as selected by a panel of leading media observers, and then announce the winner and an admired conservative will "accept" each award in jest on behalf of the media figure.

This year's gala will be held at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC on Thursday evening, April 21.

Prices: $175.00 per ticket, or $300.00 per couple.

Table Sponsorships:
Platinum Sponsors: $25,000
Gold Sponsors: $15,000
Silver Sponsors: $10,000
Bronze Sponsors: $5,000

To order tickets via PayPal and for a direct link to reserve a room at the Marriott: www.mediaresearch.org

[This ticket ordering option on this Web page may soon be taken down so we do not process orders we cannot fulfill.]

Questions? E-mail Melinda Brown at MBrown@mediaresearch.org

To order tickets by phone, call her at (703) 683-9733 ext. 163 between 9am and 5:30pm M-F EST.

(Be sure to mention that you're a CyberAlert subscriber.)

Previous participants include: Joe Scarborough, Hon. Bob Barr, Christopher Buckley, Hon. Lyn Nofziger, William Rusher, Charlie Daniels, Judge Robert Bork, Steve Forbes, John Fund, Laura Ingraham, Mona Charen, Michelle Malkin, David Limbaugh, Kate O'Beirne, Lucianne Goldberg and Hon. Clarence Thomas.

Can't promise anything about this year, but last year Rush Limbaugh and Sam Donaldson were surprise speakers.

For video of our 2004 gala and a description of what you missed if you didn't attend, go to: www.mediaresearch.org

I hope to be able to meet many of you on April 21.

But if you want to meet me, you really must order your tickets in the next day or so.

"Top Ten Things Overheard During Bill
Clinton's Hospital Stay"

From the March 14 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard During Bill Clinton's Hospital Stay." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. "A nurse is coming! Put him in the restraints."

9. "Strange -- his veins have no blood. It's just Crisco."

8. "Canseco's here with something that'll make you feel amazing."

7. "Five more heart surgeries and you'll tie Cheney!"

6. "When I told him no sex for a month, he pulled a scalpel on me."

5. "My, what a lovely bouquet from Osama."

4. "For some reason, he always forgets the surgical gown opens in the back."

3. "We removed the scar tissue from the heart, as well as several impacted french fries."

2. "Al Gore! When did you start working as an orderly?"

1. "Hillary wants to know if you would neuter him?"

-- Brent Baker