Lauer: Opponents of China During Olympics are 'Party Crashers' --8/5/2008
2. ABC's Snow to Bill Clinton: Feel Free Not to Answer My Question
3. Matthews: Women 'Fear' McCain to Appoint 'Hawkish' Pro-Lifers
4. Olbermann Suggests Govt Delayed Anthrax Case to Push Iraq Attack
5. NYT's Solomon: Swift Boat Vets "Ugly Chapter" in U.S. History
6. McCain Not First to Compare Obama Paris Hilton, Obama Did in 2005
7. Best Wishes to Bob Novak; A Look at His Insights About the Media
8. 'Top Ten Things Overheard at Barack Obama's Birthday Party'
Lauer, who will be in China during the next weeks for the Olympics, interviewed Professor Teng Dimeng of the Beijing Foreign Studies University 20 minutes into 7 am Eastern hour of the NBC program. According to the University's own Web site, it is a "key university under the [Chinese] Ministry of Education" and that "since her initiation, the [Communist] Party Central Committee and the late Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, has provided great care and teachings for the development of the university." Therefore, Lauer, despite introducing Teng as a professor, was actually speaking to an employee of the communist Chinese government.
[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Monday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Teng answered Lauer's questions as you might expect a Chinese government employee would respond. He replied to the host's "party crashers" remark that "China is a nation with a long history of forgiving, and also tolerance." Lauer might want to check with the Dalai Lama and the Catholic bishops in China about that.
Lauer then asked about the hypothetical situation about a protest at the Olympics' Opening Ceremonies: "...[I]f someone brings out a banner that says 'Free Tibet,' what do you anticipate the response of Chinese officials to be to something like that?" Teng answered, "Well, that I don't know, but to me, I think that kind of protest is natural because these guys are actually using every opportunity to disrupt and -- such an event like this will be an opportunity that they won't miss."
At the end of the interview, when Lauer asked about the Chinese government's response to the recent earthquake, the professor quoted a supposed opinion survey that found that "nine out of ten people says [sic] that the leadership -- the nation's leadership played a key role in actually resolving these -- in addressing that crisis and the people also follow them around." That figure kind of sounds like the last electoral result in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein years.
The full transcript of the interview from the August 4 Today:
MATT LAUER: Teng Dimeng is a Chinese citizen and professor at Beijing's Foreign Studies University. Professor, good morning, nice to see you. Eight in ten people in this country say that the Olympics are personally important to them. Why to you think that is?
For Monday's Good Morning America, weekend host Kate Snow interviewed Bill Clinton in Rwanda and at one point told him he didn't have to answer a quasi-tough question. Towards the end of her interview, she prefaced this query by almost apologizing: "Pretty simple question. And maybe you don't want to answer it right now and I respect that fully. But, if you want to answer it, do you personally have any regrets about what you did campaigning for your wife?"
She also allowed the ex-President, who is touring Africa in support of his charity, to get away with a total non-answer about Barack Obama's competency. After Snow asked if the Illinois Senator is ready to be President, Clinton spun: "You could argue that no one is ever ready to be President." He went on to discuss how he learned things on the job, how the presidency is full of pressure. Clinton finished his evasive response by admitting that Obama can "inspire" and by observing in a a tone that sounded slightly condescending, "And he's smart as a whip, so there's nothing he can't learn."
Now, you would think that Snow would realize that she just asked Bill Clinton if Obama was qualified and the ex-commander in chief declined to say yes. But, there was no follow-up.
The same interview clips also aired Monday night on ABC's World News and Nightline.
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Snow offered up a real mixture of her typical softballs and some actual hard questions. She began by tenderly stating: "When your wife, the Senator, finally gave that speech on that Saturday in June, I was there. Watched you a little bit, saw your face. Kind of looked like you'd been crying."
However, later comments resulted in clear agitation by Clinton. Such as when she suggested, "And a lot of people, including your supporters, your donors, say that they blame you at least in part, for her loss. I know you've heard this." The former president suggested he heard such things only in the media. After Snow cited South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn as a supporter of Hillary's campaign and then a friend (Snow was mistaken on the first part), Clinton snapped, "Used to be. He is not my-- He was not Hillary's supporter. Never. Not ever. Not for a day."
At one point, after reflecting on things he wishes he hadn't done, Clinton blurted, "But I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment and I didn't attack him personally."
Snow, has had a long history of bubbling over Bill and Hillary Clinton. On July 24, 2007, she followed the former commander in chief to Africa to report on charity work and gushed, "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former President, shouting 'Bill! Bill!'" In relation to being a possible first husband, Snow cooed, "He may redefine the role of first spouse in America." See a July 24, 2007 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org
Regarding Mrs. Clinton, Snow raved on October 1, 2007, that the New York Senator is skilled at "disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." For a round up of Snow's pro-Hillary bias, see a December 3, 2007 CyberAlert posting: www.mrc.org
A transcript of Snow's interview with Bill Clinton, which aired at 7:03am on the August 4 GMA:
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now, though, to our exclusive interview with former President Bill Clinton. He has said he does not want to talk about his wife's loss in the primary until after the election. But Good Morning America weekend anchor Kate Snow talked with him in Rwanda, in the middle of his four nation Africa tour for his foundation where he's working on nutrition programs to help HIV-infected children. He spoke to Kate about his Africa trip and reflected on what happened in his wife's run for the White House.
On syndicated Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, during a discussion of how well a President McCain might work with a Democratic Congress, host Matthews seemed to generalize about the political opinions of women as he contended that "one of the biggest fears women especially have" is that McCain would appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices, whom Matthews branded as "hawkish" on abortion: "One of the biggest fears women especially have is that we'll have a Supreme Court judge retirements or deaths or whatever, need to [be] replaced. McCain could come in there, he's a pro-lifer, pick some real hawkish people on the topic of a pro-life anti-abortion stance." He also euphemistically referred to the Democratic majority's ability to block pro-life appointments as being a "safety net." Matthews: "Would one of the safety nets be for the Democrats, they've got almost 56, almost 60 Democratic Senators that would say no way?"
Matthews also indirectly labeled Justices Samuel Alito and Antonina Scalia as "hardliners" in response to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson's contention that "you couldn't get a real hardliner through" the Democratic-controlled Senate: "You couldn't be able to get...real hardliner through the Senate." Matthews: "No more Alito's or Scalia's?"
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Monday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Sunday, August 3, The Chris Matthews Show:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: One of the biggest fears women especially have is that we'll have a Supreme Court judge retirements or deaths or whatever, need to [be] replaced. McCain could come in there, he's a pro-lifer, pick some real hawkish people on the topic of a pro-life anti-abortion stance. Would one of the safety nets be for the Democrats, they've got almost 56, almost 60 Democratic Senators that would say no way?
For Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann showed up wearing his tinfoil hat to cover the recent break in the Anthrax attacks case from 2001, as he charged that "the government took advantage of this situation to use it as a tool to build up a case to go to war in Iraq," and, stepping into his "conspiracy theory" mode, even suggested that the Bush administration was not interested in quickly solving the case: "And in that context, there would be no rush to find the deranged, solo killer."
During the show's teaser, Olbermann's bizarre choice of words made it sound as if he were theorizing about the possibility of a conspiracy to carry out the Anthrax attacks to build support for invading Iraq, as the MSNBC host used the loaded phrase "it was an inside job" because the suspect was a government employee, and then seemed to link John McCain's speculation from 2001 that the Anthrax "may have come from Iraq," to the "motive." Before playing a clip of McCain, Olbermann teased: "For motive, for explanation, there are few options, and all of them are terrifying, including why people like U.S. Senators were saying this in 2001."
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Monday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The August 1 Countdown show's teaser:
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? The Anthrax attacks. Nearly seven years after "terror by mail," it was reportedly an inside job by a top government scientist inside our own biological warfare lab in Maryland. The suspect reportedly identified, the FBI readying criminal charges, and the man suddenly dies of a prescription drug overdose, an apparent suicide.
During the introduction for the show's first segment, the MSNBC host posed three questions: "If reporting by the Los Angeles Times today is even remotely accurate, the questions about the Anthrax attacks which terrified this nation late in 2001, would seem tonight to have boiled down to three. First, was the Anthrax sent by just one employee of our own government or more than one employee of our own government? Second, when the FBI missed an easy clue, the unreported spilling of Anthrax in the federal repository of Anthrax, that the suspect did not report, was it incompetence or a cover up? And third, how, if there was evidence of something askew in our biological warfare lab in Maryland as early as December 2001, why did national news organizations in this country receive supposedly reliable leaks from the Bush administration that the Anthrax had originated in Iraq?"
After recounting some of the developments, Olbermann returned to the issue of whether the Anthrax attacks were "used to argue for the invasion of Iraq," and showed the McCain soundbite from 2001:
OLBERMANN: In the wake of the apparent suicide of an alleged suspect in the Anthrax attacks, new questions being raised about the extent to which the attacks were used to argue for the invasion of Iraq. On October 18, 2001, a United States Senator having raised that very possibility with David Letterman.
After being filled in on some of the details in the case by guest David Willman of the Los Angeles Times, the MSNBC host brought aboard investigative journalist Gerald Posner, author of Why America Slept, and seemed to theorize that the Bush administration was deliberately slow in catching the Anthrax killer. Olbermann: "But let me switch over to the other half of this. The government's reaction to this, from the investigation to the Bush administration reaction, the leaks tying all of this to Iraq, getting the wrong man, Hatfill, and dogging him for years, letting the other guy continue to work at Fort Detrick. He was still there until weeks ago, and then close in on him so slowly that he has time to go into the psychiatric ward and then get out and then reportedly kill himself. It smells terribly bad. Is it as bad as conceivably as bad as it smells?"
During his response, Posner mentioned the McCain soundbite and charged that the Bush administration "never had a lie leading up to the war in Iraq and scaring this country into it that they shied away from, and Anthrax was one of those that they embraced."
Olbermann then asked Posner about the possibility the government "took advantage of this situation," but the way he phrased the question he seemed to hold open the possibility that Ivins was part of a deliberate conspiracy to perpetrate the Anthrax attack to bolster the case for invading Iraq, as Olbermann suggested they "assume for a moment there's no pro-activity, that this was Dr. Ivins's flipping out...that the government simply took advantage of this," as if he were holding open the possibility of government involvement in the plot. Olbermann: "Do you see a scenario in which simply, this government took advantage of this situation? Whether or not, let's assume for a moment there's no pro-activity, that this was Dr. Ivins's flipping out to whatever degree it was required to do this, that the government simply took advantage of this to use it as a tool to build up a case to go to war in Iraq?"
Posner charged that "there were individuals inside the Bush administration and in the government that wanted the war in Iraq so badly, that they decided that if there was something that they could use to push it forward, they would. Anthrax fell into their lap, even if he is the deranged solo killer. They used it in order to scare this country and say Iraq is somebody we have to go after, and we did."
Olbermann concluded by repeating his theory that the Bush administration may have been deliberately slow in solving the case: "And in that context, there would be no rush to find the deranged, solo killer." Posner: "They could rely on the blunders of the FBI." Olbermann: "Indeed."
New York Times Sunday Magazine reporter Deborah Solomon confronted T. Boone Pickens on the charges made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: "I thought it was all invented." For the "Q&A" page, Solomon talked to Texas oilman Pickens about his plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil by harnessing wind power. But Solomon, who admitted voting for Al Gore in the 2000 election, also posed hostile questions about Pickens' involvement in the 2004 campaign.
[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Monday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]
From the interview in the August 3 New York Times Magazine:
SOLOMON: You helped re-elect Bush in '04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry's Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement?
For the entire interview as published: www.nytimes.com
In the midst of the media uproar over John McCain's TV ad comparing Barack Obama to vacuous celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, it turns out that back in 2004 Obama himself conceded "I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse." A tipster alerted the MRC's Seton Motley to the quote from Obama, made at the Gridiron Club in December of 2004 before he assumed his Senate office, but reported in February of 2005 by the Washington Post and Time magazine.
A February 24, 2005 "Style" section story, "The Senator's Humble Beginning: Rising Star Barack Obama Is Resolutely Down to Earth," by Mark Leibovich, began:
There's nothing exotic or complicated about how phenoms are made in Washington, and, more to the point, how they are broken.
"Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," says Barack Obama. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."
The new senator from Illinois is dazzling another venue, in this case the Gridiron Club. It is early December and Obama won't start his new job for a few weeks. But he comes well steeped in the basic physics of hype....
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: www.washingtonpost.com
Time magazine picked up the quote too, probably from the Post: www.time.com
Motley's NewsBusters posting: newsbusters.org
The Chicago Sun-Times sadly announced Monday that due to a "dire" prognosis, Robert Novak, who is hospitalized in Boston for treatment of a brain tumor, has decided to retire after more than five decades as a reporter, columnist and television commentator. Starting in 1994, Novak generously helped the MRC as a judge for our annual "Best Notable Quotables" annual awards for "the year's worst reporting," lending his credibility and expertise to our efforts to highlight the worst liberal bias of the year. He faithfully took the time to complete his ballot over the next 13 years and, starting in 1999, was a founding judge for the MRC's "DisHonors Awards."
The Sun-Times posting: www.suntimes.com
The Best of NQ archive: www.mediaresearch.org
DisHonors archive: www.mediaresearch.org
# "Bob Novak: Media's Obama Love Exceeds Their 1960 Love for JFK," from June of this year:
Longtime reporter and columnist Robert Novak appeared on FNC's O'Reilly Factor on Tuesday [June 10] and agreed with host Bill O'Reilly that media bias may not help Barack Obama that much. But that doesn't mean it isn't biased. Novak declared: "I've been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate than when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I'm telling you right now, the enchantment with Obama beats the JFK syndrome."
O'Reilly was amazed and mentioned how Novak recounted his early days in his memoir Prince of Darkness. But a bigger infatuation than with JFK?
Novak reaffirmed: "I believe it is. It is just such a feel-good atmosphere of my colleagues, my senior colleagues, people I've known for years. And I get it from some of the young people, too. They just feel this is such a wonderful thing, in the first place to have an African-American candidate, nominee, but also one that makes them feel so wonderful."
For the complete previous CyberAlert item: www.mediaresearch.org
Reading Bob Novak's new book about his years as a Washington reporter, I came across his recollection about how back in 1980, when marginal income tax rates stood at 70 percent, political reporters considered it bizarre that then-candidate Ronald Reagan supported the Kemp-Roth plan to reduce income taxes by 30 percent. On page 357 of 'The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington,' Novak related a conversation he had, the week before the 1980 election, with Walter Isaacson, then a new Time magazine reporter. Isaacson eventually moved up the ranks to run the magazine and later CNN:
"The connection of Reagan's emphasis on tax reduction to his late  campaign surge was lost on reporters covering the Republican candidate. One of them was Walter Isaacson, a twenty-eight-year-old Time correspondent. The former Rhodes scholar, in his second year with the magazine, was given the plum assignment of covering Reagan. On the campaign trail that last week, he introduced himself to me and started a conversation about Reagan's and my tax-cutting views. He said he believed I was the only journalist he knew who actually supported Kemp-Roth, which accurately reflected the political press corps' mind-set. 'I just wonder if you could explain to me how you got there,' he said. Walter sounded like a modern scientist encountering somebody who believed the earth was flat."
For the entire posting: www.mediaresearch.org
On Friday's [September 15] C-SPAN morning show Washington Journal, host Brian Lamb interviewed columnist Robert Novak in the hour of 9 to 10 AM Eastern time on his column on the unraveling of the Plamegate scandal. (Novak was in Urbana, Illinois, at his alma mater, the University of Illinois.) Perhaps the most entertaining parts were his harsh takes on Chris Matthews (un-watchable) and Jon Stewart, whom he called "a self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur." Novak also scolded his media colleagues: "At the beginning there was a lot of attention played to it and a lot of bad journalism on this story. You could write a book about the bad journalism involved of exaggerating it. But journalists don't say they're sorry."
After a supportive call mentioning Matthews, Novak said Hardball was un-watchable: "Well, thank you. My problem here, sir, is that I never watch Chris Matthews' program because I don't feel that I can possibly learn anything from all that shouting and blathering and interrupting people. So I haven't watched his program in years. I don't know if he said much about this and I don't care. I can imagine that Mr. Matthews believes that being mistaken in journalism means never having to say you're sorry. So I don't think he'll say much of anything."
For the complete article: www.mediaresearch.org
At the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual Bob Novak-Sam Donaldson debate about media bias on Saturday morning [February 2], Novak proposed that many in the media try to pretend they really aren't liberal. To unmask Donaldson's true views, Novak posed a set of five policy questions. While Donaldson tried to evade each, his answers and non-answers showed his beliefs match a liberal "no" reply to all of these questions formulated by Novak:
- "Should taxes be cut across the board for the rich as well as the not-so-rich?"
- "Do you favor prohibiting partial birth abortion?"
- "Do you want to privatize Social Security?"
- "Do you favor the nomination of Antonin Scalia as Chief Justice of the United States?"
- "Do you oppose embryonic cell research?"
For Donaldson's answers: www.mediaresearch.org
From the August 4 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at Barack Obama's Birthday Party." Late Show's home page: lateshow.cbs.com
10. "Where is Britney?"
9. "Hillary, get me another drink"
8. "Brett Favre hasn't decided if he's coming or not"
7. "John McCain has demanded we start drilling for oil in the punch bowl"
6. "Is Senator Craig still in the men's room?"
5. "Where's Paris?"
4. "This is the Barackiest birthday party I've ever been to"
3. No number 3 -- writer watching swimming doggies
2. "Mr. Gore, please put your shirt on"
1. "Spitzer's here and he brought whores!"
-- Brent Baker