John Kerry Portrayed as a Victim of Aggressive Bush Team Attacks --4/27/2004
2. "Keep Your Laws Off My Body!" Screamed Left-Wing Celebrities
3. CBS Followed
NY Times in Pairing Tillman with Homeless Vet
John Kerry appeared on Monday's Good Morning America on ABC to respond to a story from ABC's Brian Ross about how, in contradiction to what he's maintained since, he stated in a 1971 interview that during a protest his threw away his own medals from the Vietnam War, but instead of making Kerry's very contentious interview with Charles Gibson or his credibility the focus of the day's news, ABC and the other networks painted Kerry's post-Vietnam War actions as an unfair burden and/or Kerry as a victim of unfair attacks from pro-Bush political operatives.
With "Kerry's Dilemma" as the on-screen heading, ABC anchor Peter Jennings framed the story, "We'll take 'A Closer Look' tonight at John Kerry dilemma: After brave and honorable service in Vietnam, a post-war record that dogs him."
Despite Kerry's personal attack on President Bush, as he charged that Bush "can't even show or prove that he showed up for duty in the National Guard," and a new matching Kerry TV ad, CBS's Dan Rather portrayed the Bush team as the aggressor: "The Bush-Cheney re-election campaign launched another attack today on Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, implying the United States would be less safe with Kerry as President. The Kerry campaign fired back with a counter-attack against President Bush's campaign."
CBS reporter Byron Pitts continued the theme of a dedicated campaigner for jobs knocked off message by an illegitimate issue: "Starting out on a three-state bus tour through blue collar towns in key swing states, Senator John Kerry had hoped to talk solely about jobs in America, but instead was forced to respond to the latest Republican attacks on his record on national security."
Over on the NBC Nightly News, Kelly O'Donnell ignored ABC's role as she blamed "political digging" and claimed questions about the "credibility" of both candidates had been "renewed." O'Donnell insisted: "Political digging unearthed old film of Kerry and renewed questions about military service and credibility for both campaigns." O'Donnell lamented: "Tonight, as his bus tour rolls through three battleground states, John Kerry tries to focus on jobs, with events from the past never far behind."
FNC's Carl Cameron, on Special Report with Brit Hume, and CNN's Candy Crowley, on NewsNight, at least correctly credited the day's news to the news media over political underhandedness. On CNN's NewsNight on Monday night, Crowley ran a clip of Kerry maintaining on ABC how "this is a complete distraction by the Bush administration. It's their attack method. This is what they do and it's coming from a president who can't even prove that he actually showed up for duty in the National Guard." But she then corrected him as she led into a soundbite from Karen Hughes the day before on CNN's Late Edition: "It is the news media looking through the Kerry records but Republicans are happy to stoke whatever is there."
CNN anchor Aaron Brown framed the day's news through a prism hostile to the Bush camp and favorable toward the Kerry team. He led his broadcast by taking a shot at both campaigns as he charged that "the President and the Vice President both managed to use the system to avoid service in Vietnam. John Kerry surely said some things after his service there that were too harsh and unfair to most American soldiers fighting the war."
Brown demanded: "We can do this tit-for-tat until November and no one will gain a thing, so our advice: Let's get on to today."
Setting up a clip from Dick Cheney's speech in Missouri earlier in the day, Brown recited a litany of supposed Bush-Cheney failures as he seemed to imply disgust at how they still had the chutzpah to criticize Kerry: "The best defense is a good offense they say and the Bush campaign seems to be buying. On a week when the President and Vice President will go before the 9/11 commission, on a week when the Supreme Court will hear a case to open the records of the Vice President's energy task force and, on a week that will end on May 1st, the anniversary of the President's speech declaring major combat over in Iraq, the Vice President took to the stump today to say John Kerry's judgment on national security is questionable. He also made light of the Senator's claim that he enjoys the support of many foreign leaders where Iraq is concerned."
Brown then set up the above-quoted Crowley piece: "Senator Kerry, meanwhile, was dealing with other comments, comments made long ago that will not go away."
A befuddled Brown soon ruminated: "It is a somewhat strange set of circumstances that 33-year-old questions are being asked of a candidate who volunteered to go to Vietnam and served with distinction, however briefly. How can that be, we wondered? And, as we often do when we wonder, we asked Jeff Greenfield for his thoughts."
Greenfield argued that the Bush campaign is using Kerry's post-Vietnam War comments to suggest that Kerry doesn't support today's troops in Iraq.
(Earlier in the day, just past 10am EDT on CNN's Live Today, anchor Daryn Kagan marveled at how the Bush camp would dare raise Vietnam-era service. The MRC's Rich Noyes caught how this was the way Kagan set up a story on Kerry's appearance on GMA to respond to an ABC News story: "It's pretty interesting to hear the Bush camp go into this area of Senator Kerry's military record. It seems like that's the last place they'd want to go, because not wanting to draw any more attention to President Bush's military record, which took them so long to quiet down.")
More on the Monday night, April 26 stories, on ABC, CBS and NBC:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Jennings noted how the campaigns "traded accusations, quite furiously at times, over which candidate can better protect the country. The attacks are personal and very pointed."
Terry Moran outlined how Cheney in Missouris launched the Bush-Cheney campaign's new line of attack on how Kerry called for reductions in key weapons systems and how a new Bush ad stresses that point. The Democrats, Moran observed, "responded rapidly" with DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe claiming that while Kerry was fighting in Vietnam, Cheney got deferments. Meanwhile, the Kerry campaign maintained that Cheney wanted cuts in the same programs cited in the Bush ad. Moran played a clip of a new Kerry ad: "This election is about character. It's between John Kerry who left no man behind and George Bush who simply left."
Later, Jennings got to the segment he had teased up top: "So we are going to take 'A Closer Look' tonight at John Kerry's Vietnam dilemma. By all accounts, he served honorably in the Vietnam War, and then he came home and got very involved in the anti-war movement. In running for President, Senator Kerry emphasizes his military service. And now Vietnam is also a difficult issue to shake. Here's ABC's Dan Harris."
Harris began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "John Kerry, the decorated soldier in the jungles of Vietnam, is now a familiar sight. Increasingly, however, so too is this: John Kerry fending off questions about what he did after the war."
-- CBS Evening News. From Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, Byron Pitts framed the day's news from Kerry's perspective: "Starting out on a three-state bus tour through blue collar towns in key swing states, Senator John Kerry had hoped to talk solely about jobs in America. But instead was forced to respond to the latest Republican attacks on his record on national security."
(One wonders if reporters would be as willing to let a conservative, who has voted for social spending cuts, to boast of how he or she has "voted for the largest welfare budgets in the history of our country"?)
Pitts continued: "Meantime, Democrats want to take Kerry's military record versus George W. Bush's."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw's tease, in contrast to the spin on ABC and CBS, reflected how Kerry's changing story was the news of the day: "Symbols of war. John Kerry: In the '70s he said one thing about his war medals and protests, now it's something else. New questions for the Vietnam veteran as he takes a shot at the President's military record."
Kelly O'Donnell, however, treated Kerry as a victim as she began by maintaining that "the political digging unearthed old film of Kerry and renewed questions about military service and credibility for both campaigns. In this 1971 public affairs show, John Kerry talked about tossing Vietnam honors as an act of protest. Republican officials now charge Kerry has changed his story on this controversial event."
For the online version of the Brian Ross story which aired on Monday's God Morning America, with a video clip from the 1971 Kerry appearance on WRC-TV in Washington, DC: abcnews.go.com
A lot of screaming, left-wing rants from celebrities, and the founder of CNN, during Sunday afternoon's "March for Women's Lives" rally on Washington, DC's Mall carried live by C-SPAN.
Actress Whoopi Goldberg screamed "never again!" as she held up a coat hanger. She argued: "There is a war going on....It's a war on women. Access to family planning, sex education, abortion -- it's been attacked and restricted. Explain to me how if you do not have family planning you can bitch about abortion!" She also preposterously charged: "The government continues to slash and destroy critical family planning."
"Keep your laws off my body!" yelled actress Ashley Judd before she asked: "Can you hear me 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?!" Actress Susan Sarandon ranted about how "we are here today with our daughters, with our mothers, with our husbands, with our boyfriends, with our sisters, with our lovers, and in solidarity with our sisters all over the world, to tell you to keep our hands off our bodies! We will not be gagged! We will not be silenced! And we will vote!" Sarandon charged: "We reject, Mr. Bush, your hypocrisy, your greed, your disrespect for women's bodies, for women everywhere!"
Actress Camryn Manheim warned that "we are one vote away on the Supreme Court from throwing women back to the 19th century." She claimed that "the far right have already squandered your Social Security," so "they better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!" In a personal shot at the Bush family, she contended: "I've heard a lot of women say that they wish opponents of reproductive rights, like George W. Bush, could get pregnant. Personally, I'm glad George Bush can't get pregnant because we don't need any more Bushes in this town."
And in a seemingly unintentional self-parody, Ted Turner proclaimed: "I am anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-AIDS, anti-hunger, anti-hate, and I am pro-UN, pro-freedom, pro-competition, pro-democracy, pro-woman and pro-choice."
The MRC's Jessica Anderson took down, in sequence, the most obnoxious rants and scream-fests from those on stage at the rally/protest carried by C-SPAN on Sunday, April 25 starting at about 2pm EDT:
-- Whoopi Goldberg: "This is no joke. This is still America. This is not a fundamentalist country. The separation of church and state must be maintained. We need to help stop the attacks on women's reproductive rights in the name of religion, not only here at home, but all over the world. Does anybody remember this [holds up wire coat hanger]? You remember what this was used for? There's a whole generation out there standing with us who don't know what this is for. A couple of people said to me, 'Why are you carrying a hanger?' I said because this is what life was like before choice. This was the choice. This was it, and I'm here to tell you never again. We are not going backwards, child, never again. Never again. You understand me, young women under 30? This is what we used! Never again! Never again! Never again! Never again! Never again! Never again! Never again will this be the choice of any woman in our hemisphere, in our world. Never again.
Goldberg's page on the Internet Movie Database: imdb.com
NBC's page for her sit-com on that network: www.nbc.com
-- Ted Turner: "It's an honor and a privilege to be here today with all of you and to have been able to take part in this historic occasion. As you all know, I'm a businessman and a philanthropist. I believe in conserving our national resources. I adhere to the idea that government should be as small as possible and generally stay out of our lives. I am a champion of freedom and free markets, and I am pro-choice. As a philanthropist, I express my compassion for the world. We work to save endangered species and lands under assault. We work to reduce nuclear threats and prevent health pandemics. We support the United Nations and its efforts to promote peace, progress, cooperation and justice. I am anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-AIDS, anti-hunger, anti-hate, and I am pro-UN, pro-freedom, pro-competition, pro-democracy, pro-woman and pro-choice. I believe that women should have equal and completely equal rights with men. Thank you very much."
-- Ashley Judd: "Keep your laws off my body! Can you hear me 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?! Say it with me so they can hear us. Keep your laws off my body! Say it to Congress. Keep your laws off my body! The average woman needs three decades of birth control or she will have 12 to 15 pregnancies in her lifetime. You don't want us to have to abort those pregnancies? Have health insurance cover our birth control."
The Internet Movie Database page for Ashley Judd, who is probably best known for her roles in the movies High Crimes and Double Jeopardy: imdb.com
Photos of Judd: imdb.com
-- Susan Sarandon: "At a time when we are sending our young men and women to a foreign country to fight and die for self-determination, we are here today to say that we demand that right also to self-determine here, as well as for the women in foreign countries. We are here in solidarity with our sisters in Africa and all over the world who are feeling the devastating effects of the current administration's gag rule. One of the first acts of the Bush administration was to reenact a law that effectively denies reproductive services to millions of women in the developing world. The gag rule prevents U.S. funding to any organization that provides abortion service or abortion counseling as part of their larger commitment to reproductive health. This means the closure of significant numbers of planning clinics that serve as one-stop centers that give women access to contraception, pre- and post-natal health care, management of STDs including HIV and AIDS. These clinics are often the only health care providers for entire communities in rural Africa. When clinics close down, women in Africa do what women in this country did years ago when they had no legal abortion, they turned to black market abortion. It is estimated that five million African women seek unsafe, back alley abortions. More than 34,000 of them die. By restricting access to contraception, the effect of this rule is more likely to raise the rate of unsafe abortions."
Susan Sarandon's page on the Internet Movie Database: imdb.com
-- Camryn Manheim: "You heard that CNN has reported that this is the largest march in the history of the universe! Of course, Fox is reporting that nobody is here! But I know you're here and they know you're here! This is a historic day! Another in a noble list of historic days at this place, where the people of America stand up for their rights! We must continue to do so while we still can, at least until the Patriot Act is renewed! I hope John Ashcroft is listening -- he's just over there, you know -- because we are a true threat to his vision of America! That's why it is so great to see so many strong and powerful women coming together to speak with one voice, but it makes me even happier to see the men here who understand that this is not just a woman's issue, it's a human issue! Let's hear it for the boys! We are one vote away on the Supreme Court from throwing women back to the 19th century, a world where after making the most difficult decision of a woman's life, she and her doctor could be prosecuted for murder....We must make it clear that a hundred million women in this country will not have their rights rolled back by political extremists! The far right have already squandered your Social Security. They better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!
Camryn Manheim's Internet Movie Database page: imdb.com
Update: Saturday's New York Times paired, on its front page, the killing in Afghanistan of NFL star-turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman and the plight of supposedly homeless Army veteran Nicole Goodwin -- just as did the CBS Evening News that night, as highlighted in the April 26 CyberAlert which reported:
Under the headline, "Duty, Loss and Hardship: Two Soldiers' Stories," the Times on Saturday devoted the bottom right of its front page to two big (3 inch by 4-and-a-half inch) side-by-side photos of Tillman and Goodwin, holding her one-year-old baby daughter, with three paragraph-long plugs below for stories inside the newspaper. The headline over the three paragraph summary for Tillman: "Ex-NFL Player Killed on Patrol." Over the paragraphs about Goodwin: "Home from Iraq, and Homeless."
Inside, on page A-12 on the Washington edition, reporter Dan Barry sympathetically began his "About New York" article on Goodwin:
This is how Nicole Goodwin travels these days: with her 1-year-old daughter pressed to her chest in a Snugli, a heavy backpack strapped across her shoulders, and a baby stroller crammed with as many bags of clothes and diapers as it can hold. When you are a homeless young mother, these are the things you carry.
And tucked away somewhere are the documents attesting to Ms. Goodwin's recent honorable discharge from the United States Army, as well as Baghdad memories that are still fresh.
Two months ago, she returned to Bronx circumstances that were no less difficult than when she had left them three years earlier; no yellow ribbons greeted her. Now, every day, she soldiers on to find a residence where the rent is not covered by in-kind payments of late-night bus rides to shelters and early-morning rousting. All the while, she keeps in mind the acronym she learned in the Army: Leadership. L is for loyalty; D for duty; R for respect; S for selfless service; H for honor; P for personal courage. "And I is my favorite," she says. "It's integrity."
On Thursday morning, Ms. Goodwin wheeled her heavy-duty stroller into the Lower Manhattan office of the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that is trying to help her. For the last couple of nights it has put her and her nuzzling daughter, Shylah, up in a hotel.
"She needed a breather," said Mary Brosnahan Sullivan, its executive director....
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: www.nytimes.com
By reading the piece in full you'll learn she has options with family members and her mother's apartment. Nonetheless, Barry concluded: "A war veteran wearing a backpack, pushing a stroller and carrying a baby stayed in another strange hotel room last night, mostly because the city of her birth does not know what to do with her. Welcome home."
-- Brent Baker