2. Belying Jennings, CBS Reports UN Can't Interview Scientists
3. Anti-U.S. Demonstrators a Second "World Superpower"
4. Ted Turner Hopes Audience Gets Anti-War Message from New Film
5. "Top Ten Good Things About Having 19.8 Inches of Snow" in NYC
By Tuesday night Saturday's protest marches against the liberation of Iraq were three days old, and so the other networks had moved on, but for ABC's Peter Jennings, who was off Monday night, it was his first chance to weigh in on them. He trumpeted on Tuesday's World News Tonight that though the "the enormous anti-war demonstrations" have not "changed" President Bush's "mind about Saddam Hussein," they "have certainly given Mr. Bush's opponents some sense that they have momentum."
Following a story by Martha Raddatz about the continuing split between the U.S. and three nations in Europe and how there was "a chorus of...voices at the UN hammering at what they say is the U.S. rush to war," Jennings suggested that Bush "certainly" saw "those huge demonstrations here and overseas," and so Jennings wanted to know: "They have any effect that you know of?" Raddatz maintained that "they can't stand the fact that the world is having these massive protests" because it "makes the United States look bad" and "they think Saddam Hussein is laughing at them."
Now, that exchange in full. Jennings intoned on the February 18 World News Tonight, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
Raddatz explained: "Peter, the gulf seems to grow wider every day between those who say inspections should continue and the U.S., which says day after day, time is running out.
For the first time today, President Bush responded to the massive worldwide protests against war and against his own administration."
Jennings insisted: "Martha, at the White House, certainly the President and others will have seen, as we all did, those huge demonstrations here and overseas. They have any effect that you know of?"
Peter Jennings versus reality, a second example: A month ago Jennings touted how Iraq made a "deal" to let scientists be interviewed by the UN inspectors, but on Tuesday night CBS News reported that those interviews are not occurring.
As noted in the February 11 CyberAlert, less than three weeks after Jennings scolded Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz for asserting, without providing proof, that Saddam Hussein has ordered that any scientist who talks to UN inspectors be killed along with his family, ABC News reporter Brian Ross found an escaped scientist who confirmed the diabolical threat. Back on January 23 Jennings asserted, "there is no way to know how the administration verifies" what he described as "a very inflammatory charge." For more about the contrast: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030211.asp#1
Back on the January 21 Good Morning America, from Baghdad Jennings assured GMA co-host Charles Gibson that "there's been a lot of talk in the last couple of days about whether or not Iraq is making any progress with the United Nations weapons inspectors, and they have made this deal to allow some of their scientists to talk to the weapons inspectors in private."
Fast forward to Tuesday night, February 18, and while Jennings was fretting about how President Bush was not caving in to the agenda of "the enormous anti-war demonstrations" (see item #1 above), CBS's Mark Phillips in Baghdad was noting how the interviews with scientists had hit a snag.
Phillips reported on the February 18 CBS Evening News: "The UN is actually having only mixed results with its interviews. Of 30 requests it's made to speak with chemical, biological and missiles weapons specialists, only three have actually been interviewed. The problem is the scientists want to tape record their interviews, presumably to protect themselves and their families against retribution. The UN's refusing, saying that would be the same as having a government minder in the room to eavesdrop. And it's all shaping up as another argument over whether Iraq is really cooperating or is merely using other means to stymie the UN."
Those "who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy" are a second "world superpower," MSNBC reporter David Shuster asserted on Monday's Hardball.
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught the claim by Shuster extolled on the February 17 edition of the show hosted by Chris Matthews. Shuster, who provides a set up or background piece for the show each night, insisted: "The size of the demonstrators at least here, at least in Europe, seems to underscore, Chris, that there are now perhaps two world superpowers. There's the United States and then there are those millions of people who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy."
Ted Turner hopes the audience which sees the new movie about the Civil War that he financed, Gods and Generals, gets an anti-war message. The CNN founder told NBC's Matt Lauer that in the movie "they're all good guys. And you feel sorry whenever you see somebody killed and that's really the way war really, really is." Turner, who opposes the liberation of Iraq, argued that since "we now have the power to destroy the human race," we must "learn to negotiate."
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens also came across this item and took down this exchange from the taped interview played on the February 18 Today:
Matt Lauer: "Turner says when he embarked on Gods and Generals he never imagined the country would be on the brink of military conflict. The message, he says though, is timely. A war movie about getting people not to like war."
It's tough to negotiate with an enemy bent on mass murder. Should Roosevelt have "negotiated" with Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany in 1942?
The site for the movie scheduled to open on February 21, and which stars Robert Duvall and Jeff Daniels: http://www.godsandgenerals.com/
For Turner's comments to Lauer, in an excerpt from the same interview shown on the February 10 Today, see the February 11 CyberAlert. That CyberAlert item also recounted how Turner claimed that U.S. plans for Iraq would "kill tens of thousands of people" just to get one man would be just like, Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper summarized, "dropping a nuclear bomb on Washington in an effort to neutralize the two snipers who terrorized the U.S. capital region last fall." See:
From the February 18 Late Show with David Letterman, as announced by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the "Top Ten Good Things About Having 19.8 Inches of Snow in New York City."
Late Show Web page:
10. "Footprints in snow make finding fleeing criminals a snap"
9. "As if by magic, all potholes are filled"
8. "Makes Hartford's 17.5 inches look pathetic"
7. "Dude, the snowboarding has been righteous"
6. "The city's never been so salty"
5. "I made a hundred bucks in overtime shoveling at Gracie Mansion"
4. "Shot in the arm for city's struggling toboggan industry"
3. "Instead of 90 miles per hour, cabs traveling a more reasonable 60 miles per hour"
2. "Any Broadway show can legitimately add the phrase 'On Ice'"
1. "Yesterday I got to run New York City from home in my robe"
To watch a RealPlayer clip of Bloomberg reading a few of the items, go to the "Big Show Highlights" page on "Dave TV" at:
> Scheduled to appear tonight, Wednesday February 19, on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton. -- Brent Baker