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Journalists Rebuke Army General's Christian Views as "Divisive" --10/17/2003


1. Journalists Rebuke Army General's Christian Views as "Divisive"
Stop the presses! A Christian man has expressed Christian views while speaking inside some Christian churches. A night after Tom Brokaw labeled the comments as "divisive" as he trumpeted how "NBC News has learned that a highly-decorated General has a history of outspoken and divisive views on religion, Islam in particular," the other networks piled on Thursday night, treating a few remarks made months ago by Lt. General Jerry Boykin as suddenly scandalous. ABC and CBS put up a "Holy Warrior" graphic as each teased their respective evening newscasts. Peter Jennings touted: "The holy warrior in the American Army. God, he says, has revealed the enemy." Over on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather teased: "God and the U.S. military: One of the country's top Generals embroiled in controversy for saying we are at war with Satan."

2. Media Too Negative for Public, Koppel Blames Bush's Deception
The public is losing trust in media coverage of Iraq, a new Fox News poll discovered, but Ted Koppel on Wednesday night blamed the Bush administration. The poll found that three times as many "think news reports about Iraq are more likely to focus on the negative and leave out the positive (60 percent), than to focus largely on the positive things happening in Iraq (19 percent)." Approval of coverage has fallen from 52 percent in early April to just 36 percent. But on Wednesday's Nightline, Koppel argued that it is the Bush team which has been deceitful: "There is, actually, a solution and it's deceptively simple: level with the American public about what is going wrong, and then they and we will have a much easier time believing the good news when it occurs."

3. Hume Notes CBS's "Reluctant Witness" Hasn't Been Very Reluctant
FNC's Brit Hume on Thursday night added value to a CyberAlert item by pulling out a gem of a contrast which CyberAlert had failed to highlight in the report about CBS treating as "new" charges leveled by former State Department official Greg Thielmann on the misuse of intelligence on Iraq. Hume recited the numerous times Thielmann was featured on network news programs in June and July and then how, at the end of Wednesday's 60 Minutes II featuring Thielmann, CBS's Scott Pelley insisted that Thielmann "told us he's 'a reluctant witness.'"

4. CBS Castigates the Pope: "His Legacy is Not Without Flaws"
The flawed Pope. CBS's Allen Pizzey on Thursday night marked the Pope's 25th anniversary by listing some of his successes, but then Pizzey declared as fact that "his legacy is not without flaws" with policies which "have alienated many." Not that his legacy is not without detractors or that some think his views are flawed, but that his legacy does include areas in which he has definitively been "flawed." Pizzey, naturally, cited topics on which the Pope's stands upset liberals -- "his staunch refusal to ordain women as priests and rigorous rejection of birth control, abortion and homosexuality, have alienated many."

5. NBC's Today Promotes Gun Rights-Bashing Movie and Novel
The day after NBC's Today devoted a ridiculous story to the NRA's supposed "enemies list," Today returned on Thursday with two segments which featured guests opposed to Second Amendment rights. During the 8:30am half hour, Matt Lauer prompted actor Dustin Hoffman to expound on how the Brady Campaign had provided guidance for the film Runaway Jury about jury manipulation in a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer. In the next half hour, Today promoted a new novel by Richard North Patterson, who sits on the Brady Campaign's Board of Directors, about a President who "vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington -- the Sons of the Second Amendment," an admitted "thinly veiled" stand-in for the NRA.

6. Washington Post Celebrates Left-Wing Award to Joe Wilson
On Thursday, the Washington Post celebrated a left-wing public-relations event spotlighting former diplomat and anti-war activist Joe Wilson, the center of the CIA-leak "scandal," with the panegyrical headline: "Paying Homage to the Truth and Its Consequences." The Post never described Wilson or the event's sponsor, The Nation Institute (part of The Nation magazine) as "leftist" or even "liberal," even though Wilson wrote in The Nation that Bush's "underlying objective" in going to war in Iraq "is the imposition of a Pax Americana on the region and installation of vassal regimes."

7. CBS Paints Unregulated Home Schooling as Dangerous to Kids
"CBS Needs Education on Home Schooling, Say Advocates," reads the headline over a Thursday story on CNSNews.com by Marc Morano about a couple of CBS Evening News stories this week which set out to portray home schooling as a method child abusers use to avoid having anyone notice their abuse.

8. Letterman's "Top Ten Perks of Being Stationed In Iraq"
As announced by ten members of the Army's 1st Armored Division on the grounds of a former Saddam Hussein palace, Letterman's "Top Ten Perks of Being Stationed In Iraq."


Journalists Rebuke Army General's Christian
Views as "Divisive"

Lt. General Jerry Boykin Stop the presses! A Christian man has expressed Christian views while speaking inside some Christian churches. A night after Tom Brokaw labeled the comments as "divisive" as he trumpeted how "NBC News has learned that a highly-decorated General has a history of outspoken and divisive views on religion, Islam in particular," the other networks piled on Thursday night, treating a few remarks made months ago by Lt. General Jerry Boykin as suddenly scandalous.

ABC and CBS put up a "Holy Warrior" graphic as each teased their respective evening newscasts. Peter Jennings previewed the October 16 World News Tonight: "The holy warrior in the American Army. God, he says, has revealed the enemy." Over on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather teased: "God and the U.S. military: One of the country's top Generals embroiled in controversy for saying we are at war with Satan."

Jennings set up the full story by John Cochran: "General Jerry Boykin is making headlines today because he has said so openly that the war on terrorism is God's war against Satan and he's in God's Army."

Rather framed a piece by David Martin: "At the Pentagon today, officials from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on down faced questions about a U.S. Army General who says publicly that God put George Bush in the White House. The issue is this: No matter how strongly he may believe it, should or should not an American General, in uniform, be publicly proclaiming it to the world?"

But he only proclaimed his pretty standard Christian view to people inside some churches where he spoke earlier this year. It's only because of the media that a wider audience has now heard the supposedly dangerous views of the General who heads a secret unit tasked with hunting down Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and, if exposing those views really will hurt America's war on terrorism, which side are the media on in so unnecessarily publicizing them?

This mini-scandal started with a report by Lisa Myers on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News which aired in conjunction with a Thursday story in the Los Angeles Times.

Reporters at Thursday's Pentagon briefing incessantly peppered Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld with questions intended to get him to denounce Boykin.

Thursday night on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes criticized NBC's news judgment, including how they so ridiculously packaged the re-playing of some church-produced video clips someone gave them as some kind of great scoop by their "Investigative Unit." Barnes opined, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
"I think these charges by NBC are totally outrageous, and they are way off, about 100 percent off base. Look, it's one thing to say that this man should not be expressing these views in the public square, but he's, but he's expressing his religious views in church. I mean, that's a place where you're supposed to express your religious views. They're not out of line with President Bush's view. He certainly uses the word 'evil,' and he means it partly in the religious sense. Tony Blair said something very similar. I forget the word he uses, like 'sinful' or something who are the enemies. I read the whole collection of statements that NBC had. I didn't find any of them surprising or different from what you hear, what many, many Christians, if not most, hear in church all the time. Now, President Bush does not say, or I think believe, that God has chosen him and put him in the White House, but certainly many Christians believe that about him."

Brokaw touted the "exclusive report" on the October 15 NBC Nightly News: "There's a strange new development in the war on terror involving one of the leaders of a secretive new Pentagon unit formed to coordinate intelligence on terrorists and help hunt down Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other high-profile targets. NBC News has learned that a highly-decorated General has a history of outspoken and divisive views on religion, Islam in particular."

Lisa Myers began: "He's a highly-decorated officer, twice wounded in combat -- a warrior's warrior. The former commander of Army Special Forces, Lt. Gen. William 'Jerry' Boykin has led or been part of almost every recent U.S. military operation, from the ill-fated attempt to rescue hostages in Iran to Grenada, Panama, Colombia, Somalia.
"This summer, Boykin was promoted to Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, with a new mission for which many say he is uniquely qualified: to aggressively combine intelligence with special operations and hunt down so-called high-value terrorist targets including bin Laden and Saddam.
"But that new assignment may be complicated by controversial views General Boykin -- an evangelical Christian -- has expressed in dozens of speeches at churches and prayer breakfasts around the country. In a half-dozen video and audiotapes obtained by NBC News, Boykin says America's true enemy is not bin Laden."

["Obtained" as if they had to sneak into the churches with a hidden camera. In fact, as Myers spoke NBC panned tapes and CDs with professionally printed, graphically-appealing tape and CD labels with titles like "2003 Patriotic Service" over a waving flag background. So, the churches had obviously taped the sessions and reproduced copies for sale.]

Myers played a home video quality clip of Boykin on an altar doing slide a show on June 21 at the Good Shepherd Community Church in Sandy Oregon, with his somewhat muffled words on screen: "Well, is he [bin Laden] the enemy? Next slide. Or is this man [Saddam] the enemy? The enemy is none of these people I have showed you here. The enemy is a spiritual enemy. He's called the principality of darkness. The enemy is a guy called Satan."

Myers: "Why are terrorists out to destroy the U.S.?"
Boykin: "They're after us because we're a Christian nation."
Myers: "NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin, who's been investigating Boykin for the Los Angeles Times, says the General casts the war on terror as a religious war."
Arkin: "I think that it is not only at odds with what the President believes, but it is a dangerous, extreme and pernicious view that really has no place."
Myers: "Boykin recalls a Muslim fighter in Somalia who bragged on television the Americans would never get him because his God, Allah, would protect him."
Audio only of Boykin at the First Baptist Church in Daytona, Florida on January 28 of this year: "Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."
Myers: "In a phone conversation, Boykin tells NBC he respects Muslims and believes the radicals who attack America are 'not true followers of Islam.' Boykin also routinely tells audiences that God, not the voters, chose President Bush."
Boykin on June 21 at the Oregon church: "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
Myers concluded: "General Boykin tells NBC News quote, 'I don't want to be misconstrued. I don't want to come across as a right-wing radical.' He says given his new assignment, he is curtailing such speeches in the future."

Too late. NBC has already smeared him.

For a picture of Boykin and Windows Media Player video of the Myers story: www.msnbc.com

For the collection of quotes from Boykin in churches: www.msnbc.com

For a Boykin bio collected by NBC's liberal analyst Bill Arkin: www.msnbc.com

"General Casts War in Religious Terms" declared the headline over a front page story in the October 16 Los Angeles Times. The subhead: "The top soldier assigned to track down Bin Laden and Hussein is an evangelical Christian who speaks publicly of 'the army of God.'" For the story in full: www.latimes.com

Media Too Negative for Public, Koppel
Blames Bush's Deception

The public is losing trust in media coverage of Iraq, a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll discovered, but ABC's Ted Koppel on Wednesday night blamed the Bush administration for any overly negative coverage.

The poll, released on Thursday, found that "three times as many Americans think news reports about Iraq are more likely to focus on the negative and leave out the positive (60 percent), than to focus largely on the positive things happening in Iraq (19 percent)." Approval of "the way newspapers and television channels have been reporting on U.S. military operations in Iraq" has fallen from 52 percent in early April to just 36 percent this month while disapproval has jumped from 39 to 46 percent.

For a full rundown of the survey of registered voters conducted October 14-15, see: www.foxnews.com

But on Wednesday's Nightline, instead of considering any possibility of media responsibility, Ted Koppel deflected criticism of his colleagues and lectured the Bush team for daring to try to go around the national media by granting interviews with the President to local reporters: "If things are really bad in Iraq, bypassing the mainstream media won't make them any better, and that's what the Bush administration seems to be trying these days."

Koppel argued that it is the Bush administration which has been deceitful and dishonest, not the press corps, that needs to change its attitude: "There is, actually, a solution and it's deceptively simple: level with the American public about what is going wrong, and then they and we will have a much easier time believing the good news when it occurs."

But as noted in the October 16 CyberAlert, Koppel's nominal boss, ABC News President David Westin, acknowledged that his network has been too negative on Iraq. In a memo to ABC News staffers last week which USA Today reported on Wednesday, Westin conveyed his concern: "I've been troubled for some time about the reporting of all news organizations on the situation in Iraq." He explained: "We often seem to be captive to the individual dramatic incident -- and those of us in television subject to one that comes with great video." For more: www.mediaresearch.org

Koppel opened the October 15 Nightline, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed:
"Back in the days of the Nixon administration, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was the problem, as was his counterpart over at NBC, John Chancellor, and the White House didn't much care for Frank Reynolds, either -- he was our anchorman here at ABC News. The Nixon White House didn't like the way that the networks were covering the war in Vietnam, and so they invited local anchors from around the country to come to Washington for a series of one-on-one interviews with the President. 'You don't need Cronkite or Chancellor or Reynolds,' these local anchors were told. 'You're just as smart as they are and we'd rather get the news to your audience directly through you.' It was very flattering, and if anyone at the White House had considered the possibility that these local news people might be a little more nervous interviewing the President of the United States than someone who'd done it many times before, they didn't mention it.
"Indeed, the White House tactic may have worked. Certainly, Richard Nixon was reelected in 1972, with a huge majority. Of course, that didn't change the situation on the ground in Vietnam. The bad news from there had been mostly accurate; redirecting the news flow didn't change that. Which is not to say that the situation in Iraq these days is anything like the situation was in Vietnam in the early '70s. In point of fact, it isn't. But if things are really bad in Iraq, bypassing the mainstream media won't make them any better, and that's what the Bush administration seems to be trying these days."

Following a piece by John Donvan, on the debate over the proper balance between good and bad news in Iraq, Koppel interviewed White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett. This question reflected the theme as Koppel put the burden on the Bush team: "Do you think the context, Dan, might have been a little bit easier to understand if the administration had been a little more forthcoming in acknowledging that things didn't quite go the way you were expecting after the war?"

Koppel echoed that 'don't blame us/blame them' theme in his "Final Thought" segment: "There is no reason to doubt that the Bush administration is doing the very best that it can in Iraq, and when you're doing your best, it's extremely frustrating to have so many reporters seeming to focus principally on what is going wrong. There is, actually, a solution and it's deceptively simple: level with the American public about what is going wrong, and then they and we will have a much easier time believing the good news when it occurs. What's happening now is costing more lives, more injured, and more American treasure than we were originally led to expect. What's been found in the way of weapons of mass destruction does not measure up to the pre-war warnings. When the administration starts dealing forthrightly with those issues, the good news will speak for itself."

If the White House were to cry uncle, all that would do is generate more negative stories about White House duplicity and questions about what other nefarious things are they still hiding.

Hume Notes CBS's "Reluctant Witness"
Hasn't Been Very Reluctant

FNC's Brit Hume on Thursday night added value to a CyberAlert item by pulling out a gem of a contrast which I had failed to highlight in the report about CBS treating as "new" charges leveled by former State Department official Greg Thielmann on the misuse of intelligence on Iraq.

Hume recited the numerous times Thielmann was featured on network news programs in June and July and then how, at the end of Wednesday's 60 Minutes II featuring Thielmann, CBS's Scott Pelley insisted that Thielmann "told us he's 'a reluctant witness.'"

Hume read this item during the "Grapevine" segment on the October 16 Special Report with Brit Hume:
"Last night on the CBS Evening News, former State Department intelligence officer-turned critic, Greg Thielmann, accused the Bush administration and Colin Powell, in particular, of using, quote, 'faith-based intelligence,' on Iraq's weapons programs. Later in the evening, he was shown saying the same thing on 60 Minutes II. If it sounded familiar, there's a reason. Thielmann first emerged as a critic on Iraq back on June 13th in an interview with Bill Moyers on PBS. He was then heard on the CBS Evening News on July 9th saying the same thing. Four days later, he made ABC's World News Tonight with his 'faith-based intelligence' comment, which was also heard that night on Nightline. And a week ago tonight, there he was again on PBS's Frontline. But when 60 Minutes II made him their lead story last night, anchor Scott Pelley said Thielmann, quote, 'told us he's 'a reluctant witness.'"

For the October 16 CyberAlert article on CBS hyping the oft-repeated allegations from Thielmann: www.mediaresearch.org

CBS Castigates the Pope: "His Legacy
is Not Without Flaws"

The flawed Pope. CBS's Allen Pizzey on Thursday night marked the Pope's 25th anniversary by listing some of his successes, but then Pizzey declared as fact that "his legacy is not without flaws" with policies which "have alienated many." Not that his legacy is not without detractors or controversies or that some think his views are flawed, but that his legacy does include areas in which he has definitively been "flawed." Pizzey, naturally, cited topics on which the Pope's stands upset liberals -- "his staunch refusal to ordain women as priests and rigorous rejection of birth control, abortion and homosexuality, have alienated many."

Reviewing the Pope's health and then his legacy, on the October 16 CBS Evening News, Pizzey noted how during his tenure he has traveled to 130 countries and made 19,000 speeches. Pizzey elaborated:
"He helped end communism, reached out to Muslims by entering a mosque, sought reconciliation with the Jews by praying at the Wailing Wall, and has declared more people saints or blessed than all his predecessors combined. Some suggest he could become Saint John Paul II, but his legacy is not without flaws. His staunch refusal to ordain women as priests and rigorous rejection of birth control, abortion and homosexuality, have alienated many."

And media hostility to anyone with those conservative views is what has alienated many from flawed journalists.

NBC's Today Promotes Gun Rights-Bashing
Movie and Novel

The day after NBC's Today devoted a ridiculous story to the NRA's supposed "enemies list," a story which matched to efforts of a left-wing group to raise money off attacking the list, Today returned on Thursday with two segments which featured guests opposed to Second Amendment rights.

During the 8:30am half hour, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Matt Lauer prompted actor Dustin Hoffman to expound on how the Brady Campaign had provided guidance for the film Runaway Jury about jury manipulation in a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer. In the next half hour, Today promoted a new novel by Richard North Patterson, who sits on the Brady Campaign's Board of Directors, about a President who "vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington -- the Sons of the Second Amendment," an admitted "thinly veiled" stand-in for the NRA.

(For details about NBC's NRA "enemies list" story, see: www.mediaresearch.org )

-- Matt Lauer plugged the Hoffman interview on the October 16 Today: "And now Dustin Hoffman is starring in Runaway Jury as the attorney filing suit against a gun manufacturer."
NBC then played a brief clip featuring Hoffman's character talking about enlisting all his anti-gun activist friends.

During the interview, Lauer prompted Hoffman to explain how the antagonist was changed from Big Tobacco in John Grisham's novel to Big Gun in the movie: "The role, the role of this character, in the book, was a lot smaller than the role in the movie."
Hoffman: "Are you talking height?"
Lauer, laughs: "No I'm not going there. We've been there before. No, but actually it's expanded greatly for the movie. Did you have a role in, in deciding how it would be expanded?"
Hoffman: "Well the guy, the lawyer didn't seem to have a point of view in terms of guns. The book was about cigarettes but The Insider really was a wonderful film so they changed it to, to, to a gun, anti-gun, supposedly an anti-gun lawyer. But he didn't seem to have an emotional position so we just expanded that. I called up Dennis Henigan who's the head of the Brady Center Against Gun Violence and he gave me three hours. I introduced him to the director, the director flew him out and he became the prototype for the book, in terms of his feelings about. In other words it took years for the, for the cigarette industry to, to divvy up and give, give some money. All those cases, 'cause they can afford to, you know, have a lot of lawyers. And the gun industry is the same thing. Nobody wins gun cases, as the film shows, but it's following the pattern of cigarettes."

For the Internet Movie Database's (IMDb) page on the film which opens today: us.imdb.com

For 20th Century Fox's page on its movie: www.runawayjurymovie.com

IMDb's page on Hoffman: us.imdb.com

-- During the 9am half hour, Ann Curry set up a session about a pro-gun control novel which Bill Clinton endorsed and the plot of which, Curry boasted, her segment producer "absolutely loved." Curry announced: "Some powerful forces come together when the President of the United States is pitted against a powerful Washington lobby group debating gun laws and dealing with families coping with loss. It's the latest novel of best-selling author Richard North Patterson, called Balance of Power."

Curry cued him up: "You take on a lot of very controversial issues in your books. This is what your eleventh, twelfth book? Who's counting? You're taking on, in this case, the gun lobby, which is a very controversial subject that's close to your heart. You actually serve on boards dealing with this issue."
Richard North Patterson: "Well on the Brady Campaign board which Dustin Hoffman was talking about. But, you know, it's a tragedy. I remember when I was young Robert Kennedy being shot and we tend to think of these, in terms of historic traumas that we've had. The assassination of a President, for example. But in the 40 years since JFK was killed we've lost a million Americans to gunfire. A daily tragedy, 80 people a day. More than we lost in all the wars of the 20th century, the bloodiest in our history. I want to call attention to this to make people ask themselves why this happens even as I'm trying to entertain."
Curry: "So you write a book that the producer of this segment says she absolutely loved. That the President, the former President of the United States says on the back jacket of this big thick book that you have a keen eye for how Washington really works. 'His portrait of the gun lobby is right on. Both in terms of its power and its political tactics.' Now this is not a story about the current gun lobby. This is about something you call, what, the SSA?"
Patterson: "The Sons of the Second Amendment."
Curry: "The thinly-veiled reference to the NRA."
Patterson: "Very thinly."
Curry: "Thinly. So you're saying that it is representative?"
Patterson: "It's representative of the way the gun lobby works. I mean most Americans are in favor of common sense gun measures. I think few Americans, unfortunately, know that it is literally possible to shoot your wife, go to jail for manslaughter, get out, cross the street, go to a gun show, buy an AK-47 and go home and finis the job. And what I'm trying to tell people is that there are things we can do about this. And that gun-owners and non-gun-owners have more in common than we think."
Curry: "Okay but you say thinly-veiled. You actually portrayed this organization, the SSA, this thinly-veiled, as you say, reference to the NRA as going after politicians trying to ruin them if they oppose that point of view of allowing guns."
Patterson: "Which they absolutely do."
Curry: "Okay so your evidence for this, you actually, to create this book of fiction you actually interviewed, what, hundreds of people?"
Patterson: "Hundreds of people-"
Curry: "Including Bill Clinton?"
Patterson: "Including Bill Clinton, including John McCain, including Bob Dole, including Ted Kennedy and John Edwards. People from all sides of this issue, all different backgrounds. And the truth is, is that we have a bad policy not because most people think that any mad man should have any gun that they want. Because we have a small group of extremists who made gun-owners feel there's an elite who's after them to take their guns away and that's just not so. That's another thing I wanted to talk about."
Curry: "But to do all of that, to do all of that research, to, to have all this background, to talk about what is true and then to turn it into a what? Quote, 'Rip-roaring novel,' according to Senator Edward Kennedy. I mean why not write a book of fact? You wrote a book of fiction. What's the aim here?"
Patterson: "A book of fact-based fiction. Well if I write a tome on guns, Ann, maybe five people will read it."
Curry: "Uh huh."
Patterson: "You know I'm telling an exciting story which deals with the murder of the First Lady's niece, six-year-old niece, mother and sister by somebody who's a spousal-abuser and never should have had a gun. I took that tragedy which is very realistic. We lose ten kids a day to guns. And took and told an exciting story about what happens to the First Lady's and President's new marriage and what happens when they also take on the gun lobby. So if I entertain people and make them want to turn the pages and give them characters they care about then I can also challenge them to think about why we're the nation's shooting gallery. You know if I've done all that, then I've done my job."

A journalist's job is to challenge his or her guests. Curry did not.

For Today's posted excerpt of the book about "the terrible toll of gun violence," go to: www.msnbc.com

Amazon's page for the novel: www.amazon.com

Washington Post Celebrates Left-Wing
Award to Joe Wilson

On Thursday, the Washington Post celebrated a left-wing public-relations event spotlighting former diplomat and anti-war activist Joe Wilson, the center of the CIA-leak "scandal," with the panegyrical headline: "Paying Homage to the Truth and Its Consequences." The Post never described Wilson or the event's sponsor, The Nation Institute (part of The Nation magazine) as "leftist" or even "liberal," even though Wilson wrote in The Nation that Bush's "underlying objective" in going to war in Iraq "is the imposition of a Pax Americana on the region and installation of vassal regimes."

[Tim Graham, MRC's Director of Media Analysis, submitted this item for CyberAlert.]

In a piece on the front page of the October 16 "Style" section, reporter Reilly Capps passed on that Wilson had won the first Ron Ridenhour Award for Truth-Telling. Wilson appeared with leftist Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the "Pentagon Papers" on the Vietnam War to the newspapers, who also won a Ridenhour Award for a lifetime of "courage." Ridenhour inspired the prize name by exposing the My Lai massacre by American soldiers in Vietnam.

Capps reported the Ridenhour Awards were organized by the Fertel Foundation and "The Nation magazine's foundation, the Nation Institute." Capps didn't call them "left-wing," "progressive," or even "liberal." It also failed to explain to less knowledgeable readers that the Nation's award to Wilson for standing up for a revealed CIA agent wife is strange, since The Nation has generally been a forum for CIA abolitionists and an enemy of spies, at least those acting on behalf of the U.S. government.

Labeling Wilson on the "left" would fit if Capps had quoted from Wilson's article in the March 3, 2003 edition of The Nation, where he suggested America was seeking nothing less than a Middle Eastern empire: "The underlying objective of this war is the imposition of a Pax Americana on the region and installation of vassal regimes that will control restive populations." He added that "neoconservatives with a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party" aren't satisfied with regional pre-eminence. "Nothing short of conquest, occupation, and imposition of handpicked leaders on a vanquished population will suffice. Iraq is the linchpin for this broader assault on the region. The new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our worldview are implanted throughout the regime, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme."

To read the rest of that screed: www.thenation.com

Unsurprisingly, Capps noted, "In their remarks, Wilson and Ellsberg leveled blistering criticism at the Bush administration." For his part, "Ellsberg compared this war to the Nixon era: 'I believe this situation is exactly parallel,' Ellsberg said. 'By trying to punish him and his wife, they're trying to intimidate those who might be thinking about coming forward....Hopefully the trajectory of this episode will end very similarly,' he said, 'with indictments, resignations.'"

The Post considered that "paying homage to the truth and its consequences."

For the Post's piece: www.washingtonpost.com

CBS Paints Unregulated Home Schooling
as Dangerous to Kids

"CBS Needs Education on Homeschooling, Say Advocates," reads the headline over a Thursday story on CNSNews.com by Marc Morano about a couple of CBS Evening News stories this week which set out to portray home schooling as a method child abusers use to avoid having anyone notice their abuse.

Morano reported: "According to the CBS reports, the practice of educating children at home carries with it the risk that children will be abused or even 'killed while homeschooling.'
"While previewing the Eye on America investigation during CBS's The Early Show Monday morning, Rather said the following: 'Home schooling has produced some brilliant young minds, but there is a dark side to the movement that can put some children's lives at risk.'"

Morano added: "On Monday, CBS News correspondent Vince Gonzales previewed the following day's segment by saying: 'Tomorrow, how children nationwide have been put in danger, even killed while home schooling.'
"The two-part report included several examples of parents who had 'taught their children at home' but who had ended up abusing and killing the children. Texas mother Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in a bathtub, was listed as one of the examples. The series concluded by noting that no states require 'criminal background checks' of the parents who home school their children."

For Morano's entire story, complete with reaction from home schooling advocates, go to: www.cnsnews.com

Letterman's "Top Ten Perks of Being Stationed
In Iraq"

From the October 16 Late Show with David Letterman, as announced by ten members of the Army's 1st Armored Division on the grounds of a former Saddam Hussein palace, the "Top Ten Perks of Being Stationed In Iraq." Late Show Web site: www.cbs.com

10. "Access to Saddam's extensive collection of Barbra Streisand CDs" (Sergeant Lillian Rodriguez)

9. "I'm the only Jonathan Atwood in the Baghdad phonebook" (Specialist Jonathan Atwood)

8. "You play cards with those Iraqi government decks -- we use the actual guys" (Sergeant First Class Timothy Bird)

7. "We get to test out the Army's new bulletproof camel" (Sergeant Kevin Kirk)

6. "You don't need Dr. Phil to lose weight here -- you just sweat your ass off" (Private First Class Daniel Ruiz)

5. "When the C.O. isn't looking, I like to tiptoe around the presidential palace and play dictator for a while" (Specialist Nyria Roach)

4. "It's fun to pick up the phone and say, 'No, Uday and Qusay are not available right now because they're dead'" (Specialist Jason Williams)

3. "Goodbye standard-issue army tent, hello billion-dollar palace" (Sergeant First Class Edwin Kolb)

2. "CBS comedies are even funnier in Kurdish" (Specialist Jonathan Moore)

1. "The farther away from the state of California, the better" (Specialist Noel Ellis)

-- Brent Baker