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Lead with 'Rebuke' of Bush on Terror Suspect; Skip Clinton Role --6/12/2007


1. Lead with 'Rebuke' of Bush on Terror Suspect; Skip Clinton Role
ABC and CBS on Monday night led by celebrating a 2-to-1 federal appeals court ruling against the Bush administration's policy of holding a sleeper cell suspect at a military brig without redress in civilian courts, but in eagerly quoting from the ruling neither bothered to mention that the two judges in the majority were Clinton appointees. "Tonight," Charles Gibson teased at the top of World News, "a stinging rejection for the President." Gibson set up his lead story by marveling at how "it is not often you will see a federal court call a policy of the President's 'disastrous.'" Gibson recited how the appeals court "says the President 'claims power that far exceeds that granted him by the Constitution,' a strong rebuke of the administration," a characterization soon repeated by ABC legal reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg: "The language in this decision is almost indignant, it's a sharp rebuke to these policies of President Bush..." ABC also featured the suspect's attorney, who asserted: "The court is warning is that if they can do that to Mr. Al Marri, they can do it to you, they can do it to your mother." With "Bush Setback" on screen, CBS anchor Katie Couric trumpeted "a big defeat for President Bush."

2. Today Show Whacks Bush with Powell's Charges on Meet the Press
There's nothing like a Republican turning on his President to get liberal reporters tongues wagging. On Monday's Today, co-host Meredith Vieira along with Tim Russert and Andrea Mitchell repeatedly whacked President Bush over the head with Colin Powell's criticism from his Meet the Press appearance. In the 7am half-hour of the program, Vieira first teased the segment: "President Bush's former Secretary of State Colin Powell is speaking out for the first time in a long time and his former boss cannot be happy about what he is saying." Then Mitchell opened her report with Powell's laundry-list of complaints: "Well breaking a long silence with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Colin Powell expressed regret about the justification for the Iraq war, doubt about the surge and hinted at abandoning the Republican Party in the 2008 election."

3. Dan Rather: Iraq 'Strategic Catastrophe of Historic Proportions'
Appearing on the Monday edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe hosted by Joe Scarborough in the old Imus in the Morning slot, former CBS anchor Dan Rather slammed the war in Iraq as a "strategic catastrophe of historic proportions." Talking via phone with Scarborough, the veteran journalist freely advocated the Moveon.org position, calling for a "a strategic withdrawal from Iraq." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

4. Reviewer: Comedy Central's Lil' Bush a 'Juvenile Pile of Manure'
Comedy Central's new Lil' Bush cartoon show set to debut Wednesday night, in which President Bush and allies are impish little kids in the White House of his father set in present time, is so "borderline-irresponsible" that even the reviewer for Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly magazine "begged" readers not to watch it. Whitney Pastorek denounced it and pleaded: "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice are kids! And they're all stupid and evil! Cheney drinks the blood of chickens! And Jeb Bush is retarded! Etc. It's a juvenile pile of manure aching to hit the conservative pundit fan. Thus, I beg those on the right -- and, while I'm at it, everyone else -- not to watch it." In a Tuesday AP dispatch, Frazier Moore reported that the creator of the cartoon show believes Bush thinks in a "simplistic, cartoony fashion," and in "one episode, Lil' George and his gang protest an unwanted menu change in the school cafeteria by torturing the cafeteria workers a la Abu Ghraib."


Lead with 'Rebuke' of Bush on Terror
Suspect; Skip Clinton Role

ABC and CBS on Monday night led by celebrating a 2-to-1 federal appeals court ruling against the Bush administration's policy of holding a sleeper cell suspect at a military brig without redress in civilian courts, but in eagerly quoting from the ruling neither bothered to mention that the two judges in the majority were Clinton appointees. "Tonight," Charles Gibson teased at the top of World News, "a stinging rejection for the President." Gibson set up his lead story by marveling at how "it is not often you will see a federal court call a policy of the President's 'disastrous.'" Gibson recited how the appeals court "says the President 'claims power that far exceeds that granted him by the Constitution,' a strong rebuke of the administration," a characterization soon repeated by ABC legal reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg: "The language in this decision is almost indignant, it's a sharp rebuke to these policies of President Bush..." ABC also featured the suspect's attorney, who asserted: "The court is warning is that if they can do that to Mr. Al Marri, they can do it to you, they can do it to your mother."

With "Bush Setback" on screen, CBS anchor Katie Couric trumpeted "a big defeat for President Bush." Reporter Wyatt Andrews relayed how "the ruling bluntly tells President Bush he has gone too far arresting civilians as enemy combatants," but he at least quoted a clause from the dissenting judge before concluding by describing the ideology of the court circuit without regard for who nominated the two judges who issued the ruling: "This is a case the White House lost in the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, perhaps the nation's most conservative. And while the President is still arguing he has unquestioned authority to detain terror suspects, the courts are now firmly saying he does not."

[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Oddly, the NBC Nightly News folded the court ruling news into its lead story about the lawsuit alleging a connection between autism and vaccines.

The lengthy ruling (PDF of it: pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov ) was written by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz and joined by Judge Roger L. Gregory, with the dissent from Bush appointee Judge Henry Hudson: http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2954

The federal judiciary page bio of Motz, based in Maryland, reports: "Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 27, 1994, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089." See: www.fjc.gov

Gregory was part of a big showdown with the Republican-controlled Senate and President Bill Clinton made him a recess appointment in late 2000. President Bush later re-nominated him so he could remain on the bench. The federal judiciary bio recounts: "Received a recess appointment from William J. Clinton on December 27, 2000, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089; nominated on May 9, 2001; Confirmed by the Senate on July 20, 2001, and received commission on July 25, 2001." See: www.fjc.gov

A December 28, 2000 Washington Post article by Dan Eggan began:

President Clinton, complaining that Republicans have stymied his attempts to diversify the federal bench, bypassed the Senate yesterday to appoint the first black judge to the all-white 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

The temporary appointment of Richmond lawyer Roger Gregory lasts only a year, but Clinton said he will also formally nominate Gregory to the seat for a second time in January, when the new Congress convenes.

The dramatic gesture marks the first time in 20 years that a president has filled a judicial opening with a recess appointment, which allows him to seat a candidate while Congress is out of session.

Clinton had nominated Gregory for the slot in June, but the recommendation languished without hearings or a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The famously conservative appellate court -- which serves Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas -- has a larger minority population than any other circuit but has no minority judges. It was the first court in the country to strike down college scholarships reserved exclusively for blacks. Last year, the court also ruled that Arlington and Montgomery counties could not consider a student's race as a basis for admission to a particular school...

END of Excerpt

Al Kamen reported in the January 31, 1994 Washington Post:

The Clinton administration made judicial history last week by proposing the first (within recent memory) husband-wife team to the federal judiciary. Clinton nominated Diana Motz, now an associate judge on the Maryland Special Court of Appeals, to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Maryland, Virginia and three other states.

Her husband, former Baltimore U.S. attorney J. Frederick Motz, is a Reagan-appointed federal district judge in Maryland, which means she could reverse his opinions.

Diana Motz told the White House, however, that she will not sit on appeals from her husband's rulings.
END of Excerpt

Transcripts of the June 11 ABC and CBS stories:

# ABC's World News. The tease from Charles Gibson: "Tonight, a stinging rejection for the President. A federal court rules the government cannot hold terrorism suspects in this country indefinitely."

GIBSON OPENED: Good evening. It is not often you will see a federal court call a policy of the President's 'disastrous.' But it happened today as a panel the of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government cannot order the military to hold a civilian in the U.S. indefinitely even if that civilian might be a potential terrorist. The three-judge panel, by a 2-to-1 majority, says the President 'claims power that far exceeds that granted him by the Constitution,' a strong rebuke of the administration. We begin tonight with ABC's Pierre Thomas.

THOMAS: Ali al Marri has been in solitary confinement in this South Carolina naval brig for four years. Al Marri was arrested in December 2001, suspected of being an al Qaeda sleeper agent who was preparing to launch a second wave attack after 9/11.
JOHN ASHCROFT, June 24, 2003: Al Marri was sent to the United States as a facilitator for other al Qaeda individuals who would come in to conduct follow-on attacks.
THOMAS: Although al Marri is not a U.S. citizen, he's from Qatar, he was in the U.S. legally. Today a federal appeals court told the Bush administration al Marr is being held illegally and should set free or tried in criminal court.
JONATHAN HAFETZ, al-Marri's attorney: The court is warning is that if they can do that to Mr. Al Marri, they can do it to you, they can do it to your mother.
THOMAS: Using often piercing language, the court wrote: "The President cannot eliminate constitutional protections with the stroke of a pen by proclaiming" a U.S. citizen an enemy combatant. "Continuing this policy," the court said, "would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution and the country."
PROFESSOR MICHAEL GRENBERGER, Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland: The court today told the President that his unilateral attempt to wage the war on terror goes way beyond that which the Constitution allows.
THOMAS: Reporter: Since 9/11, the Bush administration has argued the President has the authority to immediately and indefinitely detain suspected terrorists who may pose an imminent threat.
PROFESSOR STEPHEN SALTZBURG, George Washington University Law School: Their point of view is that people who are conspiring with al Qaeda, who may be sleepers in the United States, pose a danger that can't adequately be dealt with through normal criminal law proceedings.
THOMAS: The Justice Department said today the President intends to use all available tools at his disposal to protect Americans. It said it would appeal this ruling. Pierre Thomas, ABC News, Washington.

GIBSON: So, how important is this decision today from the appeals court? Our legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg is joining me now. Jan, as I read this decision the court said, in effect, that no matter how bad a guy this may be, even if he was here to set off a second wave of the terrorism after 9/11, you've either got to try him or let him go, correct?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: That's right, Charlie. They said even if were a dangerous enemy of the nation working with a secret group, the President does not have the power to detain him indefinitely without charging him.
GIBSON: So, Pierre says the government will appeal, they can continue to hold him for now?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: They can continue to hold him and they'll quickly appeal, they'll take this case to the full court of appeals or straight to the Supreme Court. They want this decision reversed.
GIBSON: So, what's the overall impact of this?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, this ruling focuses on suspected terrorists here in the United States. But it also could affect all those detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, those prisoners who were picked up on the battlefield or in Pakistan. Lawyers for those detainees believe language in this decision could strengthen their arguments that they, too, cannot be held indefinitely without being charged, so that's another reason why the Bush administration will move very quickly to get this decision overturned if possible.
GIBSON: And the Bush administration, then very upset with today's decision?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: No question, the language in this decision is almost indignant, it's a sharp rebuke to these policies of President Bush and a long line, the latest in a long line of legal setbacks for the administration.
GIBSON: Alright, Jan Crawford Greenburg reporting from Washington, thanks.


# CBS Evening News. With "Bush Setback" on screen Katie Couric teased: "Tonight, a big defeat for President Bush. A federal appeals court strikes down a key element of his war on terror, saying he can't hold civilian suspects like this man without charges."

COURIC LED: Hello, everyone. A key element of President Bush's war on terror was struck down today in court. A federal appeals panel in Richmond, Virginia, ruled the administration cannot continue to hold a legal U.S. resident suspected of terrorism without charges. The government says the suspect in question trained at Osama bin Laden's camp in Afghanistan, met with the master mind of 9/11 plot in the summer of 2001, and arrived in the U.S. just before the attacks. But the court said detaining him without charges violates his constitutional rights. Wyatt Andrews has more now about the ruling and the impact.

WYATT ANDREWS: The ruling bluntly tells President Bush he has gone too far arresting civilians as enemy combatants. In the case of Ali al Marri, a legal U.S. resident who has been held without charge in a South Carolina naval brig for four years, a federal appeals court said the President may not do that to a civilian in America. [With text on screen credited to Judge Diana Gribbon Motz] "The Constitution," the court said, "does not allow the President...to seize civilians in the U.S. and detain them indefinitely...even if he calls them 'enemy combatants.'" Civil liberties groups, and al-Marri's attorney, called it a victory for all Americans."
JONATHAN HAFETZ, al-Marri's attorney: In America, we don't lock people up and jail them based on allegations. If we detain people, we present evidence in a court, we charge them, and we convict them.
ANDREWS: Al Marri may be protected as a U.S. civilian, but to the FBI, he's the enemy. In court filings, al Marri was described as a sleeper agent, sent to the United States by Osama bin Laden to "disrupt the American financial system through computer hacking." In a dissent, one appeals court judge said al Marri's detention was justified because he's a "stealth warrior, used al Qaeda to perpetrate terrorist acts against the United States." The decision has no legal bearing on detainees at Guantanamo, but it is another hurtle for an administration that has yet to try a single enemy combatant. It will also add to demands in Congress to grant Guantanamo prisoners access to U.S. courts.
ANDREW COHEN, CBS News legal analyst: This gives ammunition to Democrats in Congress who already were looking for ways to sort of tweak that new military commissions act so that it would better affect the Guantanamo Bay detainees.
ANDREWS: This ruling does not free al Marri, instead it just transfers him to the normal federal courts. But this is a case the White House lost in the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, perhaps the nation's most conservative. And while the President is still arguing he has unquestioned authority to detain terror suspects, the courts are now firmly saying he does not. Wyatt Andrews, CBS News, Washington.

Today Show Whacks Bush with Powell's
Charges on Meet the Press

There's nothing like a Republican turning on his President to get liberal reporters tongues wagging. On Monday's Today, co-host Meredith Vieira along with Tim Russert and Andrea Mitchell repeatedly whacked President Bush over the head with Colin Powell's criticism from his Meet the Press appearance. In the 7am half-hour of the program, Vieira first teased the segment: "President Bush's former Secretary of State Colin Powell is speaking out for the first time in a long time and his former boss cannot be happy about what he is saying."

Then Mitchell opened her report with Powell's laundry-list of complaints: "Well breaking a long silence with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Colin Powell expressed regret about the justification for the Iraq war, doubt about the surge and hinted at abandoning the Republican Party in the 2008 election."

Throughout the story Mitchell set up the points of contention, from the surge strategy to pre-war intelligence, and then played the corresponding Powell soundbite. Then Mitchell eagerly concluded the piece surmising that the "life-long Republican" could abandon the GOP: "Powell did not rule out serving in a future cabinet and he acknowledged giving advice to a Democrat, Barack Obama. In fact this life-long Republican said he would support the best candidate, hinting it could well be a Democrat or even an independent, Meredith."

[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

After the Mitchell set-up piece Vieira brought on Russert to underscore Powell's charges: "As Powell said to you yesterday, had he known in February 2003, that there were no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Iraq there would've been no case to invade the country. So do you think that now he regrets the role that he played in that decision?"

The following is the entire Mitchell set-up piece followed by Vieira's interview with Russert on the June 11 Today:

Meredith Vieira: "President Bush's former Secretary of State Colin Powell is speaking out for the first time in a long time and his former boss cannot be happy about what he is saying. NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell is here with the details. Andrea, good morning to you."

[On screen headline: "Breaking His Silence, Powell Blasts Bush War Policies."]

Andrea Mitchell: "Good morning Meredith. Well breaking a long silence with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Colin Powell expressed regret about the justification for the Iraq war, doubt about the surge and hinted at abandoning the Republican Party in the 2008 election. In a rare, broad-ranging interview, Colin Powell spoke bluntly on Meet the Press about all aspects of the war and the administration's latest strategy to win it."
Colin Powell: "The military surge, our part of the surge under General Patraeus, the only thing it can do is put a heavier lid on this boiling pot of civil war stew. And it's one thing to send over 30,000 additional troops, but if the other two legs, Iraqi political reconciliation and the build-up of Iraqi forces are not synchronized with that, then it's questionable as to how well it's going to be able to do."
Mitchell: "Powell does not think last week's Pentagon shake-up, removing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace, will fix what's wrong."
Powell: "You can move the deck chairs around and you can bring in new people and you can change the organizational arrangements but ultimately the President has the responsibility."
Mitchell: "Powell was equally critical about pre-war claims that Iraq would be a cakewalk."
Dick Cheney: "My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
Powell: "We were liberators for a moment and then we simply did not handle the aftermath. We didn't realize we were in an insurgency and we, we didn't have enough troops on the ground."
Mitchell: "But as Secretary of State, Powell played a key role, selling the war with flawed evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."
Powell from February 5th, 2003: "My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources."
Powell: "If we knew today or knew then what we know today, that there were no weapons of mass destruction I would have had nothing to take to the United Nations."
Tim Russert: "Did you ever think of resigning?"
Powell: "No. The information was faulty but it wasn't faulty because people in the intelligence community were lying or trying to deceive. It was faulty because intelligence sometimes can be faulty."
Mitchell: "Powell disagrees with the President's current refusal to deal with Iran and Syria."
Powell: "I think it is short-sighted not to talk to Syria and Iran and everybody else in the region."
Mitchell: "And as for Guantanamo?"
Powell: "If it was up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it!"
Mitchell: "Powell did not rule out serving in a future cabinet and he acknowledged giving advice to a Democrat, Barack Obama. In fact this life-long Republican said he would support the best candidate, hinting it could well be a Democrat or even an independent, Meredith."

Meredith Vieira: "Andrea Mitchell, thank you. NBC's Washington bureau chief and moderator of Meet the Press, Tim Russert, conducted that interview with Colin Powell. Tim, good morning to you."
Tim Russert: "Good morning Meredith."
Vieira: "As Powell said to you yesterday, had he known in February 2003, that there were no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Iraq there would've been no case to invade the country. So do you think that now he regrets the role that he played in that decision?"
Russert: "Well he has called it a blot on his career but I thought his comments yesterday were important and candid. President Bush, Vice President Cheney said that they would have gone forward with the war because Saddam Hussein is a bad man and had human rights violations and had the capacity to, perhaps, manufacture weapons of mass destruction, even in the absence of not finding WMD. A much different answer from General Powell, yesterday."
Vieira: "He also was very critical of the Bush administration for mishandling the aftermath of that invasion and for not talking directly to Iran and Syria. Why do you think he is speaking out now?"
Russert: "Well these are critical times and we are at a juncture now, Meredith, where people have to make some very serious and fundamental, decisive decisions about Iraq. It's kind of ironic that practically every Republican candidate running for President, this year, has stepped forward and said, they too, believe the war has been mismanaged. They may differ on speaking to Iran and Syria but there seems to be a consensus about the mismanagement of the war and until the public understands that there's an acknowledgment of mistakes I think it's difficult to unify the country behind a solution to the problem in Iraq."
Vieira: "And how much responsibility, do you think, that Colin Powell believes the President, personally bears, in the state of, of the situation right now in Iraq?"
Russert: "Well the President made the decision to go to war, there's no doubt about it. He did mention yesterday that in August of '02 there was a meeting with the President and Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell talked about the downsides of the war. Some of the things the CIA had suggested in terms of sectarian violence and potential anarchy. But in the end it's the commander-in-chief who makes that decision. Harry Truman had it right, 'The buck stops here.' George Bush bet his presidency on the war in Iraq."

Dan Rather: Iraq 'Strategic Catastrophe
of Historic Proportions'

Appearing on the Monday edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe hosted by Joe Scarborough in the old Imus in the Morning slot, former CBS anchor Dan Rather slammed the war in Iraq as a "strategic catastrophe of historic proportions." Talking via phone with Scarborough, the veteran journalist freely advocated the Moveon.org position, calling for a "a strategic withdrawal from Iraq."


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More See & Hear the Bias

Rather, who was appearing to promote his new special on the HDNet cable channel, seemed to be angling for a moment similar to Walter Cronkite's denouncement of the Vietnam War. The former CBS Evening News host justified a retreat by saying, "There is nothing wrong with a, a strategic withdrawal from Iraq that takes the position, 'Look, hell, we did the best we could there. We've lost more than 3,000 dead. We need a strategic withdrawal.'" The man who prides himself on folksy aphorisms, and advocating "courage," claimed such a withdrawal would be "a different thing than a retreat."

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

The MRC has documented Dan Rather's long history of liberal bias. A collection of "greatest hits" can be found here: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the exchange, which occurred at 7:47am EDT on MSNBC's Morning Joe show:

Dan Rather: "I went to the graduation exercises at West Point as part of doing this program for tomorrow night. And, you know, what sticks in my mind, Joe, is the drumbeat. You know, badarump, badarump, badarump. As I heard that drumbeat and looked out and saw these you know, 21 and 22-year-olds who have dedicated their lives to protecting the country, putting their lives on the line to do so. Saying, you know, with every drumbeat it reminds me that a lot of these young man and woman that I'm watching are going to die.
"Now, I've always I subscribed and I still subscribe to the idea, that we, we better be ready to fight. Because sometime somewhere, sometime we're going to have to. But once we make the decision to fight, there's no excuse, absolutely zero, nada excuse, for not backing the troops completely. And backing the troops doesn't necessarily mean, and I don't think it does mean at all, backing a lousy policy, a very poor strategy, and succumbing to what every politicians call, for what they say is, quote, 'patriotism.' The patriotism, don't question the decision.
"But, strategically in Iraq, the historical question is, has Iraq been, is it now a strategic catastrophe of historic proportions? The answer day after day seems to shout that it is. It doesn't mean that we've lost the, quote, 'war on terror.' This war, is as President Bush has rightly described it several times, is a twilight war that's going to last a long time. And there is nothing wrong with a, a strategic withdrawal from Iraq that takes the position, 'Look, hell, we did the best we could there. We've lost more than 3,000 dead. We need a strategic withdrawal.' That's a different thing than a retreat."

Reviewer: Comedy Central's Lil' Bush
a 'Juvenile Pile of Manure'

Comedy Central's new Lil' Bush cartoon show set to debut Wednesday night, in which President Bush and allies are impish little kids in the White House of his father set in present time, is so "borderline-irresponsible" that even the reviewer for Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly magazine "begged" readers not to watch it. Whitney Pastorek denounced it and pleaded: "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice are kids! And they're all stupid and evil! Cheney drinks the blood of chickens! And Jeb Bush is retarded! Etc. It's a juvenile pile of manure aching to hit the conservative pundit fan. Thus, I beg those on the right -- and, while I'm at it, everyone else -- not to watch it."

In a Tuesday AP dispatch, Frazier Moore reported that the creator of the cartoon show believes Bush thinks in a "simplistic, cartoony fashion," and in "one episode, Lil' George and his gang protest an unwanted menu change in the school cafeteria by torturing the cafeteria workers a la Abu Ghraib." As for whether Bush supporters will take issue with the show, the creator confirmed his own political prejudice: "The good news is, 68 percent of the country aren't his supporters anymore."

An excerpt from "'Lil' Bush': a cartoon take on the prez," a June 11 AP story by Frazier Moore:

Created by Donick Cary, whose credits include writing for David Letterman and a stint on "The Simpsons" as writer-producer, "Lil' Bush" is "this fantastical Bush World bridging the two Bush presidencies, where anything can happen....

"Somehow, this president that we have lends himself to thinking in a simplistic, cartoony fashion," Cary says. "He's always been about soundbites, one-word answers, move ahead, act from the gut."...

At 38, Cary is a veteran decider, too, where comedy is concerned, and he insists the main strategery for "Lil' Bush" is delivering laughs.

Even so, at times the humor packs a punch. In one episode, Lil' George and his gang protest an unwanted menu change in the school cafeteria by torturing the cafeteria workers a la Abu Ghraib.

Will the president's supporters take issue with "Lil' Bush"?

"The good news is, 68 percent of the country aren't his supporters anymore '€" or whatever the number is," says Cary, pretty close to the number in a poll released last week. "But we aren't backing away from viewer criticism. I would have loved this to get on, the first year of his administration."...

END of Excerpt

For the AP article in full: news.yahoo.com

For preview video clips of the show scheduled to run at 10:30pm EDT/PDT on Wednesdays, starting June 13 on the Viacom-owned channel: www.comedycentral.com

Pastorek's item in full in the "What to Watch" section of the June 15 Entertainment Weekly, a portion of the magazine which is not online:
"Pity Jon Stewart, friends. While The Daily Show host offers an urbane perspective on the absurdity of our governmental process, his network uses its commercial breaks to shove this borderline-irresponsible cartoon down our throats. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice are kids! And they're all stupid and evil! Cheney drinks the blood of chickens! And Jeb Bush is retarded! Etc. It's a juvenile pile of manure aching to hit the conservative pundit fan. Thus, I beg those on the right -- and, while I'm at it, everyone else -- not to watch it."

Entertainment Weekly's home page: www.ew.com

-- Brent Baker