Appearance Alert
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Lauer Hits John Edwards from the Left on Democratic 'Cave-In' --5/24/2007


1. Lauer Hits John Edwards from the Left on Democratic 'Cave-In'
NBC's Matt Lauer spared no punches when he interviewed John Edwards on Wednesday's Today show, but they were mostly left jabs. After a David Gregory report on the war funding bill, the Today co-host didn't waste any time launching into Edwards as he demanded to know why his fellow Democrats had to "cave-in." Lauer: "David calls it a compromise, whatever we call it, let's talk about this deal that was struck in Congress. They, basically, the supplemental funding bill has 18 benchmarks the Iraqis have to hit on political progress, security, economic progress. Reports from the White House to Congress, July 15th, September 15th. But, and this is a big but, the headline here is no deadline for U.S. troops. Why did the Democrats cave-in?" Apparently not satisfied with Edwards' response, Lauer again repeated: "Why'd they cave-in then?" After that, Lauer, still pressing from the left, regurgitated Edwards' own talking points to him and then hit him with Barack Obama's contention that he had the "best judgment" in opposing the war unlike Edwards and Hillary Clinton. AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

2. ABC and CBS Compete to Expose 'Covert' U.S. Efforts Inside Iran
ABC and CBS are competing to expose "secret" and "covert" U.S. efforts to undermine Iran's quest to create nuclear weapons. ABC anchor Charles Gibson opened Tuesday's World News by introducing a story from Brian Ross: "We begin tonight with exclusive information that the United States has opened a new front in its showdown with Iran. President Bush has directed the CIA to carry out secret operations against Iran, both inside and outside that country." The next night, Wednesday, the CBS Evening News led with Sheila MacVicar's report on how "CBS News has learned U.S. and other allied intelligence agencies are actively engaged in covert efforts to sabotage the country's nuclear program."

3. Showdown Over O'Donnell's U.S. Troops as Terrorists Insinuation
On Wednesday's The View, in widely highlighted confrontation, Elisabeth Hasselbeck stood up to Rosie O'Donnell's bullying as it got very personal between the two co-hosts, with finger-pointing and yelling, when O'Donnell condemned Hasselbeck for failing to defend her against reporting by cable channels that the week before O'Donnell had insinuated that U.S. soldiers in Iraq are the real "terrorists." O'Donnell repeatedly demanded: "Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?...Yes or no?" O'Donnell soon asserted: "You said nothing and that's cowardly." Hasselbeck retorted, "I'll tell you what's cowardly: Asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive


Lauer Hits John Edwards from the Left
on Democratic 'Cave-In'

NBC's Matt Lauer spared no punches when he interviewed John Edwards on Wednesday's Today show, but they were mostly left jabs. After a David Gregory report on the war funding bill, the Today co-host didn't waste any time launching into Edwards as he demanded to know why his fellow Democrats had to "cave-in." Lauer: "David calls it a compromise, whatever we call it, let's talk about this deal that was struck in Congress. They, basically,


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the supplemental funding bill has 18 benchmarks the Iraqis have to hit on political progress, security, economic progress. Reports from the White House to Congress, July 15th, September 15th. But, and this is a big but, the headline here is no deadline for U.S. troops. Why did the Democrats cave-in?"

Apparently not satisfied with Edwards' response, Lauer again repeated: "Why'd they cave-in then?" After that, Lauer, still pressing from the left, regurgitated Edwards' own talking points to him, "Here's what you said recently: 'We need to stand our ground against this President. You can't negotiate with him. Congress should send the same bill back to him again and again,' and you're talking about that deadline-inclusive bill, 'until he realizes he has no choice but to start bringing our troops home. The funding power is the only way Congress can force Bush to end the war. If Congress gives him yet another blank check to fund the war, we're going to get what we've gotten every time before, yet another year of war.' Is this the case in point?"

Lauer did bring up the idea that violence will increase if the U.S. troops leave as he glumly noted: "We are doing a bad job there, in terms of stopping sectarian violence, but just by our presence we must be stopping some." But then Lauer returned to smacking Edwards from the left as he threw Barack Obama in his face: "This, this is the issue of the, of the campaign right now. Let's face it. And, and I'm not trying to hand out gold stars and take gold stars away here. But, but why shouldn't a Senator Barack Obama be able to look at you and Senator Clinton and say look, 'When this was first discussed in 2002, I wasn't in the Senate but I spoke out against it. Senator Edwards voted for authorization. Senator Clinton voted for authorization. So on this paramount issue of, issue of paramount importance I had the best judgment.'"

Lauer then concluded the segment with a bit of liberal guilt-speak when he questioned Edwards on his credentials to talk about the "have-nots," when he, in fact, was a "have." Lauer: "Another subject. There, there seems to be a bit of a growing PR problem in your campaign and it's this idea of two Americas. The, the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' and a candidate who is clearly a 'have,' who has multi-million dollar residences, who's, who's worked for, as an adviser, to a hedge fund and received about a half-a-million dollars in payments. Received a $40,000 honorarium or payment from a public university for sharing ideas on poverty. The haircut, we've all heard about. So how are you gonna change this perception that you aren't just a rich guy talking about poverty?"

[This item, by Geoff Dickens, was posted Wednesday, with audio/video, on the MRC's blog. The video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But to watch or listen to it in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

The following is the full interview as it occurred on the May 23 Today show:

Matt Lauer: "Former Senator John Edwards is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Today he's delivering a major speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on what he would do in Iraq and elsewhere. Senator, good to have you in the studio. Good morning."
John Edwards: "Glad to be with you, Matt."
Lauer: "David calls it a compromise, whatever we call it, let's talk about this deal that was struck in Congress. They, basically, the supplemental funding bill has 18 benchmarks the Iraqis have to hit on political progress, security, economic progress. Reports from the White House to Congress, July 15th, September 15th. But and this is a big but, the headline here is no deadline for U.S. troops. Why did the Democrats cave-in?"
Edwards: "Well the Democrats should be standing their ground. I mean the American people said very clearly in the last election that they wanted to see a different course in Iraq. They sent a mandate by putting the Democrats in charge of the Congress and it's very clear that George Bush has no intention to compromise. And what the Democrats need to do is to [stay] strong, stand their ground and continue-"
Lauer: "Why'd they cave-in then?"
Edwards: "Well I don't know. I mean, I think what they, what the American people wanted them to do was stand their ground, force this President to start withdrawing troops from Iraq and continue to submit bills to him with the timetable withdrawal."
Lauer: "Is, is it possible, Senator, this is all about the Democrats' fear that they'll be seen as unpatriotic and not supporting the troops?"
Edwards: "This should not be about politics at all, Matt. I mean we have men and women dying in Iraq. I was listening to your newscast just a few minutes ago. This is about life and death. This is about war. We have families who are sending young men and women over there to put their lives on the line. We need to stand our ground."
Lauer: "Here's what you said recently: 'We need to stand our ground against this President. You can't negotiate with him. Congress should send the same bill back to him again and again,' and you're talking about that deadline-inclusive bill, 'until he realizes he has no choice but to start bringing our troops home. The funding power is the only way Congress can force Bush to end the war. If Congress gives him yet another blank check to fund the war, we're going to get what we've gotten every time before- yet another year of war.' Is this the case in point?"
Edwards: "It is! I mean the, the Congress needs to stand the ground against this President and force a change in policy. George Bush has shown over and over again that he's stubborn, that he's bull-headed, that he doesn't think he can do anything wrong. He will not change unless the Congress forces him to do it and they need to force him to do it."
Lauer: "You're, you're gonna talk about your plan before the Council on Foreign Relations today and your plan includes 40 to 50,000 U.S. troops coming out immediately, the rest of the troops out by the end of the year and the critics say, and they're critics of not only your plan but similar plans, say that as the U.S. troops leave you're gonna hear a giant sucking sound and that's gonna be a vacuum. And it's gonna be created and the violence that we see now is gonna get larger and fill that vacuum and it could spill out throughout the region. How do you, how do you say that you're right and they're wrong?"
Edwards: "Well all of this doesn't depend on us, it depends on the Iraqis. It depends on what the Sunni and the Shia leadership do. If they can reach some political reconciliation."
Lauer: "Which they haven't."
Edwards: "They will, they have not, that will help squelch the violence. And the question is how do we shift the responsibility to them to reach a political solution?"
Lauer: "But you have to figure that just by our presence we are stopping. We are doing a bad job there, in terms of stopping sectarian violence, but just by our presence we must be stopping some. So if we take our troops out who's responsible for stopping that violence? The Iraqi's troops?"
Edwards: "Yeah, the Iraqis themselves. I mean we have to shift the pressure to them, Matt. That is what has not happened. They don't feel the heat, they're not reaching a political solution.. And can I just add, as we start to pull our combat troops out of Iraq we do need to maintain a presence in the region. I mean we're gonna need to keep troops in Kuwait. We need a naval presence in the Persian Gulf."
Lauer: "This, this is the issue of the, of the campaign right now. Let's face it. And, and I'm not trying to hand out gold stars and take gold stars away here. But, but why shouldn't a Senator Barack Obama be able to look at you and Senator Clinton and say look, 'When this was first discussed in 2002, I wasn't in the Senate but I spoke out against it. Senator Edwards voted for authorization. Senator Clinton voted for authorization. So on this paramount issue of, issue of paramount importance I had the best judgment.'"
Edwards: "Well I think the answer to that is I've said, very clearly, that I think my vote was wrong, I've taken responsibility for it. I hope that it indicates something about how I would lead as President of the United States. Openly, honestly, so that the American people know when I, when I believe I've made a mistake and change course. All of us are human. We've never had a president who wadn't [sic], we're never gonna have one idn't [sic] and we need to be able to have a President who will be honest and open with the country."
Lauer: "Another subject. There, there seems to be a bit of a growing PR problem in your campaign and it's this idea of two Americas. The, the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' and a candidate who is clearly a have, who has multi-million dollar residences, who's, who's worked for, as an adviser, to a hedge fund and received about a half-a-million dollars in payments. Received a $40,000 honorarium or payment from a public university for sharing ideas on poverty. The haircut, we've all heard about. So how are you gonna change this perception that you aren't just a rich guy talking about poverty?"
Edwards: "Well Matt I am a 'have,' there's no doubt about that. I mean it's not where I come from. I come from being a 'have-not.' But I've been lucky in my life and I'm a 'have,' now and if you look at what I've spent my life doing, just since the last election. I mean I've helped raise the minimum wage in six states, helped organize workers into unions all over this country. Started a college program for kids, who otherwise couldn't go to college. I've been all over the world doing humanitarian work."
Lauer: "So you're saying you can relate?"
Edwards: "Oh, oh I don't think there's any doubt about that and I think the American people will see that. They're gonna look at me. They're gonna judge me as a human being whether I have the characteristics, integrity, honesty, openness to be President of the United States. And whether it's specific things I want to do on issues like the war in Iraq, makes sense to them."
Lauer: "How's Mrs. Edwards feeling?"
Edwards: "She's actually doing very well. Thanks for asking."
Lauer: "Good. It's nice to have you in the studio and you're giving a speech, again as I said, a little later this afternoon here in New York."
Edwards: "Thanks Matt, thanks for having me."
Lauer: "Thanks Senator."

ABC and CBS Compete to Expose 'Covert'
U.S. Efforts Inside Iran

ABC and CBS are competing to expose "secret" and "covert" U.S. efforts to undermine Iran's quest to create nuclear weapons. ABC anchor Charles Gibson opened Tuesday's World News by introducing a story from Brian Ross: "We begin tonight with exclusive information that the United States has opened a new front in its showdown with Iran. President Bush has directed the CIA to carry out secret operations against Iran, both inside and outside that country." The next night, Wednesday, the CBS Evening News led with Sheila MacVicar's report on how "CBS News has learned U.S. and other allied intelligence agencies are actively engaged in covert efforts to sabotage the country's nuclear program."

Wednesday's Good Morning America also featured the Ross "exclusive," but on Wednesday night's World News Gibson acknowledged negative reaction to the story but relayed ABC's defense of the exposure in which the network put the burden on the government for not stopping ABC:
"Our report last night on CIA operations designed to destabilize the regime in Iran triggered some intense reactions today from the Internet to the political arena. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was shocked to see a report regarding covert action in Iran, and worried it has the potential of jeopardizing national security. ABC News is aware there is a danger of revealing too much in a time of war, and today we issued a statement saying: 'In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. They had the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report, but they chose not to.'"

This wasn't the first time ABC exposed a secret operation regarding Iran. The April 4 CyberAlert recounted:

A night after leading with an "exclusive" about the more imminent than thought horrific threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons capability, ABC's World News began Tuesday with another Brian Ross "exclusive" in which he exposed a clandestine "secret war" inside Iran, a revelation that seemingly could undermine U.S. efforts to prevent Iran's extremist leaders from using those weapons of mass destruction. "Tonight," anchor Charles Gibson announced at the top of Monday's World News, "an alarming acceleration of Iran's nuclear program. Iran could have material for a bomb in two years. A Brian Ross exclusive." Ross soon explained how "in the last three months Iran has more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium -- meaning, according to weapons experts, that it could have enough material for a nuclear bomb within two years..."

Jump ahead 24 hours, and Gibson teased Tuesday's World News: "Tonight, a secret war going on inside Iran. Deadly stealth attacks in Iran, being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. government. Brian Ross investigates." Ross outlined how "U.S. and Pakistani sources tell ABC News that the U.S. has been secretly advising and encouraging a militant group that has carried out a series of guerrilla raids inside Iran, raids that have led to the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials. The group operates out of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, just across the border from Iran." Naturally, ABC managed to make a connection to Dick Cheney as Ross relayed: "Pakistani sources say the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice President Cheney met with Pakistani President Musharaff in February." See: www.mrc.org

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth provided a transcript of the May 22 World News story:

CHARLES GIBSON: Good evening. We begin tonight with exclusive information that the United States has opened a new front in its showdown with Iran. President Bush has directed the CIA to carry out secret operations against Iran, both inside and outside that country. The U.S. has had many confrontations with Iran over its nuclear program and its influence in Iraq, but this operation is aimed directly at weakening the Iranian regime. And our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, is here with the story. Brian?

BRIAN ROSS: Charlie, current and former intelligence officials tell ABC News that the CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount what is known as a black or covert operation to destabilize the Iranian regime, and that is now under way. The officials say President Bush gave his approval with the formal signing of a presidential finding, a secret document that authorized the CIA to act against Iran.
RICHARD CLARKE, ABC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Any action, lethal or non-lethal, that is U.S. government-sponsored, but the U.S. government is hiding its sponsorship, requires an intelligence finding.
ROSS: Intelligence officials describe the CIA's Iranian plan as non-lethal, involving a coordinated campaign of propaganda broadcasts, placement of negative newspaper articles, and the manipulation of Iran's currency and international banking transactions, all playing to perceived vulnerabilities in Iran, according to former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman.
PETER RODMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think it's economically vulnerable. I think there's ferment in the country. I suspect there are a lot of people in the, among intellectuals, among students, even in political life, who really don't like this clerical regime.
ROSS: Officials say the CIA plan takes the place of proposed U.S. military action against Iran, reportedly advocated by Vice President Cheney.
BRUCE RIEDEL, FORMER CIA OFFICIAL: I think that they've come to the conclusion a military strike has more down sides than up sides.
ROSS: Until six months ago, Bruce Riedel was a senior CIA official dealing with Iran and the region. He would not confirm the CIA covert plan, but says it fits in with overall U.S. policy.
RIEDEL: I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the President has signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach in trying to find ways of putting pressure on the regime. And this regime is extremely paranoid.
ROSS: Officials in Iran have already accused the CIA of running a secret operation to bring down the regime. As ABC News reported last month, the U.S. has been secretly encouraging a Pakistan-based militant group which has carried out a series of attacks on Iranian military units.
VALI NASR, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think everybody in the region knows that there is a proxy war already afoot. And this covert action is now being escalated by the new U.S. directive, and that can very quickly lead to Iranian retaliation, and a cycle of escalation can follow.
ROSS: For the record, officials at both the White House and the CIA declined to comment, saying, as a matter of course, they do not comment on allegations of covert actions.

On Wednesday's Good Morning America, the ABC program attempted to portray the plan in as hyperbolic a manner as possible with this graphic accompanying Ross' report: "America's Hidden War With Iran? CIA's Secret Operation." For a full rundown of the May 23 GMA version of the story, check Scott Whitlock's NewsBusters blog posting: newsbusters.org ]

Katie Couric opened the May 23 CBS Evening News: "Hello, everyone. Iran is defying the world tonight. According to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran is expanding its uranium enrichment program, ignoring a UN demand that it stop. The Iranians insist the program is aimed at developing nuclear power, not bombs. But the United States is not buying it. And it's trying now to stop the program. How? In a word, sabotage. We begin tonight with this CBS News exclusive from Sheila MacVicar."

MacVicar began: "While a defiant Iran continues to enrich more uranium, CBS News has learned U.S. and other allied intelligence agencies are actively engaged in covert efforts to sabotage the country's nuclear program. Mark Fitzpatrick, a former high-level U.S. diplomat, calls sabotage an obvious option..."

Showdown Over O'Donnell's U.S. Troops
as Terrorists Insinuation

On Wednesday's The View, in widely highlighted confrontation, Elisabeth Hasselbeck stood up to Rosie O'Donnell's bullying as it got very personal between the two co-hosts, with finger-pointing and yelling, when O'Donnell condemned Hasselbeck for failing to defend her against reporting by cable channels that the week before O'Donnell had insinuated that U.S. soldiers in Iraq are the real "terrorists." O'Donnell repeatedly demanded: "Do


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you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?...Yes or no?" O'Donnell soon asserted: "You said nothing and that's cowardly." Hasselbeck retorted, "I'll tell you what's cowardly: Asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself."

Indeed, O'Donnell had posed a rhetorical question which reasonable people could interpret as characterizing U.S. soldiers as terrorists. Tuesday's CyberAlert item, "O'Donnell: '655,000 Iraqi Civilians Dead. Who Are the Terrorists?'" recounted:

On last Thursday's The View, Rosie equated the United States with terrorism, strongly implying U.S. soldiers have committed terrorist acts: "I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?" An appalled Elisabeth Hasselbeck demanded: "Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?" O'Donnell stood her ground: "I'm saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?" Then on Monday's show, O'Donnell responded to the fallout from her moral equivalency rant as she claimed some cable news outlets "twisted" her words, and then got personal with token non-liberal Hasselbeck, calling her critics the "crappy shows" that "Elisabeth watches." For the full rundown: www.mrc.org

Back to Wednesday's The View, Joy Behar and guest co-host Sherri Shepherd were knocked out of the conversation and they occasionally chimed in with a joke.

It all started after Behar went on a rant about Bush "lying" and how he should be "thrown out of office." She maintained: "He lied to us to get us into the war. He awarded a no-bid contract to Halliburton, Abu Ghraib. He promoted his friend Michael Brown to take care of Katrina. 'Heck of a job, Brownie.' Remember that? He doesn't listen to the Iraq Study Group. He choked on a pretzel. [laughter] He waited a week to visit New Orleans and then only to watch some jazz. He stood by Alberto Gonzales, who needs to be thrown out, we all know that, and he stood by Rumsfeld, who some people think is a war criminal. He can't pronounce the word 'nuclear.' [laughter] These are just some of the reasons -- [applause] -- that this guy needs to be thrown out of office."

The MRC's Justin McCarthy painstakingly took down the whole showdown in order to provide a full transcript. But it's more enjoyable to watch, and so a four-minute audio/video clip will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But in the meantime, to listen to the MP3 or to watch the Real or Windows Media video, go to this node on the MRC's NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]

Now, the transcript from the May 23 The View on ABC:

JOY BEHAR: I was watching Al Gore on, on "Larry King" last night and, you know, he has a new book out, Al Gore, where he basically really says that Bush was the worst president that we've ever had in the history of the country. And I noticed that Jimmy Carter, a former president, is saying the same thing. So now if the former president Jimmy Carter is saying it and a former vice president of the United States is saying it and I have a list here of the things that Bush has done. I don't really understand why he's still there. Does anyone have any idea why we can't get rid of this guy who stole the election in 2000, killed the surplus with tax cuts'€"
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: According to Gore he stole it.
BEHAR: Wait a minute. It's very long. Wanting to privatize social security. Let me get through the list.
HASSELBECK: It's very long, so we might be here for a while.
BEHAR: We might be here for a while. I let you talk yesterday. Now I'm talking. And I love her, but let me do this. He withdrew us from the Kyoto Treaty, John Ashcroft. Sat in the classroom after learning about 9/11-
HASSELBECK: So he was supposed to freak out the kids when he was reading to them, I suppose.
BEHAR: And read "My Pet Goat" for seven minutes after we were attacked on 9/11.
HASSELBECK: Right, he should have definitely panicked the children.
BEHAR: He lied to us to get us into the war. He awarded a no-bid contract to Halliburton, Abu Ghraib. He promoted his friend Michael Brown to take care of Katrina. Heck of a job, Brownie. Remember that? He doesn't listen to the Iraq Study Group. He choked on a pretzel. [laughter] He waited a week to visit New Orleans and then only to watch some jazz. He stood by Alberto Gonzales, who needs to be thrown out, we all know that, and he stood by Rumsfeld, who some people think is a war criminal. He can't pronounce the word "nuclear." [laughter] These are just some of the reasons -- [Applause] -- That this guy needs to be thrown out of office.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Yes, but he didn't sleep with an intern.
[laughter]
BEHAR: Yes, but maybe he should.
HASSELBECK: No, he did not.
BEHAR: I'm just saying something is wrong in this country when we are continuing to support this administration. I am furious today over all of this and Al Gore makes me mad because he doesn't run. Now, he says in the interview yesterday with Larry King that he's not running because he thinks global warming is more important. Well, the president of the United States has more power than anybody in the world and he needs to run for office if he wants to fix global warming and get us out of this mess that we're in.
SHEPHERD: You think Al Gore could get us out, Al Gore?
BEHAR: Who else could? Who else could?
HASSELBECK: I knew I liked you, Sherri.
SHEPHERD: No I'm just saying, Al Gore, you know what he's talking about with the Green Peace and everything, but you really think Al Gore is the one to get us out of this mess?
BEHAR: Why not?
HASSELBECK: What's his plan to keep us safe other than, in terms of the environment?
BEHAR: He has a plan, read the book. He has a lot of plans in that book.
HASSELBECK: I'm sure he does.
BEHAR: He doesn't just criticize the president. He also criticizes the media. He says when we had that O.J. Simpson trial, he thought that was an aberration and we would not be so stupid as to be watching nonsense like that constantly, that CNN was constantly doing. But it's not an aberration.
HASSELBECK: Isn't he using the media to promote his books and films?
BEHAR: And we watch "Dancing with the Stars" instead of dealing with what's going on-
HASSELBECK: No, not instead of, not instead of. You can watch "Dancing with the Stars" and also watch a lot of things that pertain to world politics, news safety, etcetera, absolutely.
BEHAR: How many people watched him speak on CNN? I'd like to know.
HASSELBECK: It's called Tivo.
BEHAR: I'm just wondering.
SHEPHERD: I'm sorry. I wanted to see Laila and Apollo, but I did.
HASSELBECK: I don't think you're a bad person.
BEHAR: I'm not saying you're a bad person. I'm just saying nobody is interested. HASSELBECK: People are interested. They just can do it on their own time. We're in a situation now where technology allows us to do it.
BEHAR: We need to be furious. This country needs to be furious with what's going on.
[Applause]
HASSELBECK: It's called the election. You have, here is your opportunity, okay. You have, we're a democratic society, you have the election in 2008 to change things.
BEHAR: Do you know how much damage this guy can do in a year and a half? He can invade Iran for all I know.
HASSELBECK: With Congress now as is?
BEHAR: Congress cannot pass anything because he, he vetoes it and they can't override it because his cronies in the Republican party stick by this president for political reasons.
[applause]
HASSELBECK: They stick by him for not demanding a pullout date for the troops, which is essentially saying to your enemies, I don't know any team out there. I don't have any strategy that says-
BEHAR: He doesn't have a plan.
HASSELBECK: -Here is the date that we are going to leave.
ROSIE O'DONNELL: To our enemies?
HASSELBECK: To our enemies, this is when we are going to pull out.
O'DONNELL: The enemies in Iraq?
HASSELBECK: Al Qaeda.
O'DONNELL: Wait, the enemies in Iraq?
HASSELBECK: Al Qaeda.
BEHAR: He didn't even go after Osama Bin Laden when he was supposed to.
O'DONNELL: Elisabeth did, wait Joy. You just said our enemies in Iraq. Did Iraq attack us?
HASSELBECK: No. I'm saying Al Qaeda which is in Iraq.
O'DONNELL: Okay did Iraq talk us, Elisabeth?
HASSELBECK: Iraq did not attack us Rosie.
O'DONNELL: Correct.
HASSELBECK: We've been there before. I'm saying our enemies, Al Qaeda, are you hearing that?
O'DONNELL: I hear it. But where do you want to go?
BEHAR: This is a political discussion. Don't interview each other. Just say what you mean.
HASSELBECK: If you're playing a game, okay, if you're playing a game and I'm going to say okay I'm going to throw to my wide receiver, wide right, okay. Do you do that, what does it do for your enemy? It gives them time to plan.
O'DONNELL: If the enemy are innocent civilians, I don't want to play that kind of football.
[applause]
HASSELBECK: The enemy are not innocent civilians.
O'DONNELL: Iraq did not attack us!

Video Clip Starts Here:
BEHAR: Don't yell at each other. Please let's have a conversation.
O'DONNELL: You know why I don't want to do this, Joy? Let me tell you why I don't want to do this. Because it here's how it gets spun in the media: Rosie, big, fat, lesbian loud Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth.
BEHAR: Wait a minute. You don't have to, let me do it!
HASSELBECK: I haven't heard that line. Listen, I think it's unfair.
O'DONNELL: You should watch some of the shows you don't watch.
HASSELBECK: You accused me of watching all of those shows yesterday.
BEHAR: I'm okay arguing with Elisabeth.
O'DONNELL: You're just as sensitive when I'm hurt as I am when you were. Every time you were hurt, did I reach out to you?
BEHAR: Why is this personal? There's a war going on out there. It's not personal.
SHEPHERD: You know, this is why I like watching "Dancing with the Stars." This is exactly why.
[Applause]
HASSELBECK: I just don't understand why it's my fault if people spin words that you put out there or phrases that suggest things. And I gave you a opportunity, two days ago, to clarify the statement that got you in trouble on all those issues.
O'DONNELL: That, that got me in trouble. As a friend, you gave me the opportunity. That was very sweet of you. What I was asking is you, who actually knows me, do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?
HASSELBECK: I don't think that you --
O'DONNELL: Yes or no?
HASSELBECK: I don't believe that you'€"
O'DONNELL: Do you believe that, yes or no?
HASSELBECK: Excuse me. Let me speak.
O'DONNELL: You're going to double speak. It's just a yes or no.
HASSELBECK: I am not a double speaker and I don't put suggestions out there that lead people to think things and then not answer my own question.
O'DONNELL: I have a question to you and you didn't answer it.
HASSELBECK: I don't believe that you believe troops are terrorists. I have said that before. But when you say something like 650,000 Iraqis are dead, we invaded them.
O'DONNELL: It's true.
HASSELBECK: Let me finish, "who are the terrorist?"
O'DONNELL: You don't like the facts.
HASSELBECK: I'm all about facts. You know that. You tell me not to use facts because you want me to go only on emotion. Guess what? I like facts.
O'DONNELL: You cherry pick the facts you like.
BEHAR: Did I or did i not give this panel a list of facts?
[Applause]
SHEPHERD: And you know what? Oh my gosh! We're going to be right back with Alicia Silverstone!
[applause]
O'DONNELL: No, no, no we're not. Because we have a lot more time.
BEHAR: If you want to change the subject, that's something.
HASSELBECK: People were criticizing you for saying that because it suggested-
BEHAR: Oh, my God!
HASSELBECK: I said take your opportunity now. You have a show right now to tell the world-
O'DONNELL: I did take my opportunity to tell the world. I wanted to know what people like you, but you are my friend, since September, do you believe that I think our troops are terrorists? And you would not even look me in the face, Elisabeth, and say no, Rosie.
HASSELBECK: What are you talking about?
O'DONNELL: "I can understand how people are would have thought that, why don't you take this opportunity" like I'm six.
HASSELBECK: Because you are an adult and I'm certainly not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts to. They're your thoughts. Defend your own insinuations.
[applause]
O'DONNELL: I defend my thoughts.
HASSELBECK: Defend your own thoughts.
O'DONNELL: Right, but every time I defend them, Elisabeth, it's poor little Elisabeth that I'm picking on.
HASSELBECK: You know what? Poor little Elisabeth is not poor little Elisabeth.
O'DONNELL: That's right. That's why I'm not going to fight with you anymore because it's absurd. So for three weeks you can say all the Republican crap you want.
HASSELBECK: It's much easier to fight someone like Donald Trump, isn't it? Because he's obnoxious.
O'DONNELL: I've never fought him. He fought me. I told a fact about him-
BEHAR: How did I get out of this conversation? I was in the middle of this conversation.
HASSELBECK: I gave you an opportunity to clarify.
O'DONNELL: You didn't give me anything. You don't have to give me. I asked you a question.
HASSELBECK: I asked you a question.
O'DONNELL: And you wouldn't even answer it.
HASSELBECK: You wouldn't even answer your own question.
O'DONNELL: Oh Elisabeth, I don't want, you know what? You really don't understand what I'm saying?
HASSELBECK: I understand what you're saying.
BEHAR: Let's go. Come on that's it!
[Applause]
HASSELBECK: I think it's sad. I think it's sad because I don't understand how there can be such hurt feelings when all I did way say, "look, why don't you tell everybody what you said?" I did that as a friend.
O'DONNELL: All you did is not defend me. I asked you if you believe that I thought-
HASSELBECK: You didn't answer your own question. I don't believe that you're defending-
O'DONNELL: Elisabeth, every day since September I have told you I support the troops.
HASSELBECK: I have done the same for you.
O'DONNELL: I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying.
HASSELBECK: Did I say yes?
O'DONNELL: You said nothing and that's cowardly.
HASSELBECK: No, no, no. Do not, do not call me a coward. Because number one, I sit here every single day and open my heart and tell people exactly what I believe. Do not call me a coward, Rosie. I do not hide. I was not cowardly. It was honest.
O'DONNELL: It was.
HASSELBECK: What is cowardly?
BEHAR: Is there no commercial on this show?
[Applause]
HASSELBECK: Asking, asking, I'll tell you what's cowardly. Asking a rhetorical question that you never answer yourself.
BEHAR: Who is directing this show? Let's go to commercial. Let's go to commercial.
HASSELBECK: I need a drink of water. Let's go to commercial.
BEHAR: Man oh man.
SHEPHERD: How is the baby? Is the baby-
HASSELBECK: The baby's fine.

For a lot more of O'Donnell's comments, many with video clips, check the MRC's compilation, "The Full Rosie: Daytime Host's Long Record of Mean-Spirited Left-Wing Ravings," online at: www.mrc.org

-- Brent Baker