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Matthews Rants About Empty-Headed Bush, Wants 'Smarter' President --7/26/2006


1. Matthews Rants About Empty-Headed Bush, Wants 'Smarter' President
Declaring that "I think the next President's got to be stronger and smarter than this one," on Tuesday's Imus in the Morning, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went on a tirade for over two minutes against President Bush and those around him who filled his intellectual vacuum. "All they care about is ideology," Matthews fretted as he charged: "The President bought it hook, line and sinker." Matthews delivered insults as he asserted that Bush "trusts the intellectuals....they're a bunch of pencil-necks and now he buys completely their ideology because he didn't have one of his own coming in. That was his problem. I don't know what Bush stood for except 'I'm a cool guy and Gore isn't.'" The Hardball host yearned: "I hope the next election isn't a problem of who goes to bed with their wife at 9:30 at night or who knows how to tell a joke on a stage, but it's who has the sense of strength that comes from having read books most of their life, tried to understand history." Though Matthews didn't warn of "every single" bad development in Iraq, he contended that "every single thing that's happened in Iraq was predicted by history" and lamented that "Bush didn't have the academic background to challenge" the ignorant ideologues who ignored history. AUDIO&VIDEO

2. With Leno, Olbermann Defends Applying Nazi Salute to O'Reilly
Defending his recent mockery of FNC's Bill O'Reilly that included a Nazi salute, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his appearance on Tuesday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno to defend his actions, implying that he was inspired to do so at the suggestion of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to "do something creative." The segment with Olbermann began just after NBC ran a promo for Olbermann's Countdown show which featured a clip of Olbermann attacking Ann Coulter: "Honestly, if you were Ann Coulter's attorney at a sanity hearing, where could you possibly start?" After taking his seat next Leno, the MSNBC host started off by voicing support for Al Gore's beliefs about global warming as he sarcastically commented on the current heat wave: "Now we know Al Gore was a liar about global warming. He said ten years. We had about ten minutes." Olbermann also expounded on stem cells and Iraq. AUDIO&VIDEO

3. CNN's Anderson Cooper Exposes Hezbollah's Media Manipulations
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Anderson Cooper related his visit to a Hezbollah-controlled section of Beirut where he was supposed to photograph certain damaged buildings, part of the terrorist group's strategy of generating news stories about Lebanese civilian casualties caused by Israeli bombs. But instead of merely transmitting Hezbollah's unverified and unverifiable claims to the outside world, Cooper -- to his credit -- exposed the efforts by Hezbollah to manipulate CNN and other Western reporters. It's quite a contrast from the much more accommodating approach taken by his colleague, Nic Robertson, in a report that aired on a variety of CNN programs (including AC360) back on July 18, a report that Robertson himself has now conceded was put together under Hezbollah's control. Cooper exposed for CNN viewers that the sight of speeding ambulances, sirens blaring, was just a phony play staged by Hezbollah: "One by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians....These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect."

4. Cued by PBS's Tribute to Cronkite, MRC Lays Out His Liberal Views
On Wednesday night (July 26), most PBS stations will carry a 90-minute "American Masters" tribute to Walter Cronkite, anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. While the PBS show, narrated by Katie Couric, will focus on his CBS years, since his retirement Cronkite has made clear his liberal views on a range of issues, including how being a liberal is essential to being a good journalist and his advocacy of "one world government." The MRC has compiled a representative collection of Cronkite's liberal pronouncements, and denunciations of conservatives, since the late 1980s.

5. NPR's History Gap: 'Which War Came First: Korea or Vietnam?'
In a Tuesday USA Today article on the 90th birthday of NPR's left-wing commentator, Daniel Schorr, Peter Johnson revealed the ignorance of NPR producers about modern history. Johnson began his July 25 puff piece on the CBS News veteran, "60 years later, NPR's Schorr is still a 'precious resource,'" with some anecdotes about how NPR producers turn to him for basic facts, such as whether the war in Korea or Vietnam came first.


Correction: The July 25 CyberAlert carried the correct date, but the wrong day. July 25 was Tuesday, not Monday.

Matthews Rants About Empty-Headed Bush,
Wants 'Smarter' President

Declaring that "I think the next President's got to be stronger and smarter than this one," on Tuesday's Imus in the Morning, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went on a tirade for over two minutes against President Bush and those around him who filled his intellectual vacuum. Don Imus pleaded: "Did you plan on taking a breath at any point?"

"It's all ideology with this crowd. All



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they care about is ideology," Matthews fretted as he charged: "The President bought it hook, line and sinker." Matthews delivered insults as he asserted that Bush "trusts the intellectuals, the guys he knew at school. You know, they're a bunch of pencil-necks and now he buys completely their ideology because he didn't have one of his own coming in. That was his problem. I don't know what Bush stood for except 'I'm a cool guy and Gore isn't.'" The Hardball host yearned: "I hope the next election isn't a problem of who goes to bed with their wife at 9:30 at night or who knows how to tell a joke on a stage, but it's who has the sense of strength that comes from having read books most of their life, tried to understand history." Though Matthews didn't warn of "every single" bad development in Iraq, he contended that "every single thing that's happened in Iraq was predicted by history" and lamented that "Bush didn't have the academic background to challenge" the ignorant ideologues who ignored history.

[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. An MP3 audio clip will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but to listen to it in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

While Matthews had just denounced the ideology of those who filled Bush's empty head with nonsense, he castigated Cheney, the leader of those instilling Bush with their ideology -- at least in the world conceived by Matthews -- for not being more visible: "I don't know what this guy, the Vice President. The Vice President, you know how he hides during difficult times? He's in his bunker, he's in his undisclosed location. Where's Cheney in all this?"

Matthews criticized Bush as he, in fact, demanded a world in which the President acts just the way Bush supposedly does -- which so infuriates liberals -- as a cowboy who doesn't consult advisers and just shoots from the hip: "We want a President without a ranch, I'm sorry you're on one. We want someone whose there on the beat. Who seems to be sharp with regard to the issues and moves quick and comes out and speaks before he talks to some guy named Karl Rove."

The rant from Matthews' matched some of the same points he made last week on the July 18 Tonight Show on NBC, but on Imus he had more time to elaborate and pontificate.

MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro caught the diatribe from Matthews, starting at about 7:45am EDT on the July 25 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC, and corrected the closed-captioning against the video:

Chris Matthews, by telephone: "It's all ideology with this crowd. All they care about is ideology. The President bought it hook, line and sinker. It was just put into his head sometime after 9/11. And his philosophy is what was given to him. He didn't have any philosophy when he went in and they handed it to him. The guys you used to make fun of at school, pencil-necks, intellectuals, the guys you never trusted. All of a sudden, he trusts the intellectuals, the guys he knew at school. You know, they're a bunch of pencil-necks and now he buys completely their ideology because he didn't have one of his own coming in. That was his problem. I don't know what Bush stood for except 'I'm a cool guy and Gore isn't.' And that was our problem. We elected a guy because he was a little cooler than the other guy and I hope the next election isn't a problem of who goes to bed with their wife at 9:30 at night or who knows how to tell a joke on a stage, but it's who has the sense of strength that comes from having read books most of their life, tried to understand history.
"Every mistake we're making in the Middle East right now was made years and years ago by the British, by the French. The mistakes we made in Vietnam were made by the French before. In Algeria the French made all the mistakes we're making now. If you engaged in an invasion, you will face resistance from the local people based upon religion and nationalism. You will then have to put down that insurgency and you're going to have to use cruelty and torture to get information because it's the only way to get intel in a counter-insurgency. Every single thing that's happened in Iraq was predicted by history. It's a standard pattern. Ten, twenty years from now when kids are reading this in high school, they're going to say why are the Americans so dumb? They made the same mistakes all the Europeans had made before.
"And its like this guys, everything is a surprise. The insurgency was a surprise. The no WMD was a surprise. Everything that happens, Maliki is out there now taking the Arab side against us. That's a surprise. Some of these guys are anti-Semitic. That's a surprise. Everything is known. And the thing about this crowd that came in around Bush is they must have known it, but they didn't want to know it. And Bush didn't have the academic background to challenge them. And I don't know what this guy, the Vice President. The Vice President, you know how he hides during difficult times? He's in his bunker, he's in his undisclosed location. Where's Cheney in all this?"
Don Imus, trying to cut in after Matthews had gone on for more than two minutes: "Did you plan on taking a breath at any point?"
Matthews: "I'm trying to complete the thought. And I think if we had longer-"
Imus: "Well, I mean you had nine thoughts."
Matthews: "-conversations instead of back and forth and stupid American politics driving this thing, we would be better off."
Imus: "I wanted to comment back with why can't we elect somebody who, not based on whether they can tell a joke or not. And the media won't let them do that because they're not interesting. The American people, I mean they can't get on the Tonight Show and they can't get on most talk shows if they're not interesting and entertaining and charismatic an all that."
Matthews: "Well we've had Presidents who could tell a joke and think (laughs)."
Imus: "Okay, well I mean Kerry was a, I mean whatever you think about John Kerry, unfortunately I voted for this moron. But you know, one would suspect that he probably knows more about what's going on in the world than President Bush does, but I guess he does if he ever made up his mind."
Matthews: "That's the problem. I think the next President's got to be stronger and smarter than this one. And I think, I don't know who it's going to be but every election we have in this country, we try to serve the current problems. Well with Clinton it was Monica, so we brought in a guy who went to bed with his wife at 9:30 every night and who is kind of regular. And the time before that we picked Clinton because we wanted to focus on domestic and George Bush senior was focusing on a new world order or Jimmy Carter was weak so we brought in Reagan or we brought in Jimmy Carter because he was clean after Nixon and Ford. We're always trying to solve the current problem. We've got to step back and say well, what's the bigger picture? What do we need as a President? And part of it is the President, he has a better response time, he doesn't come into these issues 3, 4 days late like Bush does. He's somewhere in the back or on his ranch, God knows where he is when Katrina hits or 9/11 even. He was off somewhere.
"I mean we want a President without a ranch, I'm sorry you're on one. We want someone whose there on the beat. Who seems to be sharp with regard to the issues and moves quick and comes out and speaks before he talks to some guy named Karl Rove or somebody like that. We don't have that kind of, I'm not sure Hillary is going to be any better than Bush because she'll be talking to her people for days before she figures out where she stands. And I think we want a President whose going to be lickety split, 'look, here's what I think based upon history and based upon thinking this through. This is what's going on here.' And I just don't think we have that now, and I think we want it."

With Leno, Olbermann Defends Applying
Nazi Salute to O'Reilly

Defending his recent mockery of FNC's Bill O'Reilly that included a Nazi salute, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his appearance on Tuesday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno to defend his actions, implying that he was inspired to do so at the suggestion of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to "do something creative," and to also viciously smear O'Reilly as a defender of Nazis: "On the air in the last year, Bill O'Reilly has defended the Nazis from


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World War II on three separate occasions....Yes, I wish I were making this up."

An ironic statement coming from Olbermann, who last year scolded public figures who use Nazi references, saying, "There's no place for the reference in this culture," and that the analogies are "wrong, offensive and deeply hurtful." See Olbermann's blog: www.msnbc.msn.com

[This item is adopted from a late Tuesday night posting on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org, by Brad Wilmouth. Two MP3 audio clips, as well as Real and Windows Media video clips, will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But in the meantime, to listen to or watch the clips of how just before Olbermann's appearance, NBC ran a Countdown promo of Olbermann slamming Ann Coulter, then he quipped about Al Gore's prescience on global warming; and of Olbermann explaining why he did a Nazi salute while holding up a Bill O'Reilly mask, check: newsbusters.org ]

The segment with Olbermann began just after NBC ran a promo for Olbermann's Countdown show which featured a clip of Olbermann attacking conservative commentator Ann Coulter: "Honestly, if you were Ann Coulter's attorney at a sanity hearing, where could you possibly start?"

After Olbermann took his seat next Leno, the MSNBC host started off by voicing support for Al Gore's beliefs about global warming as he sarcastically


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commented on the current heat wave: "Now we know Al Gore was a liar about global warming. He said ten years. We had about ten minutes."

Leno soon asked about Olbermann's recent appearance at a Television Critics Association meeting, during which he had appeared holding a Bill O'Reilly mask in front of his face and mocking the FNC host by giving the Nazi salute. Olbermann started off by referring to the inspiration he received from Brian Williams: "And I was told, in fact, by Brian Williams, do something creative, wake them up, they're tired, they're sweaty, they're wearing the same suit for the third day in a row, dress, do something."

After recounting what happened and after a photograph of Olbermann impersonating O'Reilly was shown, the MSNBC host went on to further explain his rationale behind the move, smearing O'Reilly as having defended Nazis:
"The second part is that on the air in the last year, Bill O'Reilly has defended the Nazis from World War II on three separate occasions."
Leno: "Oh, really?"
Olbermann: "Yes, I wish I were making this up."
Leno: "Have you met him in person? Have you two come face to face on any occasion?"
Olbermann: "Well, he can't go out during daylight hours."

Regarding Olbermann's claim that O'Reilly had "defended the Nazis," the MSNBC host was referring to comments made by O'Reilly during The O'Reilly Factor in October 2005 and in May 2006 while he was discussing war crimes allegedly committed by American troops during World War II. O'Reilly had mis-stated the events of the infamous Malmedy massacre as having been perpetrated by American troops against Nazi troops, when in reality Nazi troops had massacred American troops. O'Reilly later corrected his mis-statement, contending that he should have said some American troops committed war crimes later in retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, a claim which is also referenced by Wikipedia. O'Reilly had even made this case before in a column in June 2005, correctly describing the Malmedy massacre, so it would be reasonable to assume O'Reilly had no motive to intentionally fabricate a claim specifically about Malmedy since he could have simply cited war crimes that American troops allegedly committed later. But O'Reilly's correction was not enough for Olbermann, who chose to attribute the worst possible motives to the FNC host's statement as he sought to portray O'Reilly as a defender of Nazis, pursuing the controversy on two separate nights on his Countdown show. [Links in NewsBusters item]

Returning to the July 25 Tonight Show, Leno soon turned the subject to politics, asking Olbermann what he expected from this year's elections. A frequent critic of the Iraq War, Olbermann took the opportunity to mock President Bush's Iraq policy:

Olbermann: "Well, we have a new policy in Iraq. They just announced that today."
Leno: "What's that?"
Olbermann: "I'm not sure what it is. We have a new one. That's the good news. There's a new one: Put all the troops in Baghdad. Last one was take all the troops away from Baghdad. Now, it's put them all back in Baghdad."
Leno: "Well, we keep, we've turned the corner so many times, we're back in again."
Olbermann: "Exactly. We've done a nice little pirouette like an ice skater."

Olbermann then moved his attention to embryonic stem cell research, which he saw as a public opinion advantage for Democrats, as he cited an unidentified poll claiming that 70 percent of Americans support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Forgetting that embryos by definition are created by fertilizing egg cells, Olbermann erroneously stated that the human embryos in question were "never going to be fertilized," and argued that the research is "what humanity dictates," as he contended that President Bush's opposition to federal funding indicates "he may have a narrow kind of presidency."

Olbermann: "But the President may have handed them something with stem cell. Stem cell research is where the Democrats may have, on a moral issue and a, you know, and a societal issue, they seem to have the upper hand by, like, seven out of ten people think, all right, you're going to throw these stem cells, these embryos away, they're never going to be fertilized, these are not the ones that are going to be adopted, these are not the ones that are going to become people. These are the ones that are going out in the trash unless we do something with them, or we could, you know, maybe cure Alzheimer's with it. Seven out of ten people say go for it. That's what humanity dictates, and the President vetoed that, so he sort of is, he may have a narrow kind of presidency. We call it a cable presidency if you work in my,...If you're going for 28 percent of that audience out there, wow!"

Below is a transcript of relevant portions from the July 25 Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Keith Olbermann, during a promo for Countdown aired during commercial break: "Honestly, if you were Ann Coulter's attorney at a sanity hearing, where could you possibly start?"

...

Jay Leno: "Enjoying our wonderful weather?"
Keith Olbermann: "Got out of here before the freeways melted. I feel very comfortable. Now we know Al Gore was a liar about global warming."
Leno: "Really?"
Olbermann: "He said ten years. We had about ten minutes."
Leno: "Right, 10 minutes, wow!"

...

Leno: "Now, I mention this because I saw something in the paper where you had a Bill O'Reilly mask."
Olbermann: "Yes, I did."
Leno: "Where's that picture? Put that picture up."
Olbermann: "I'll explain what, you want me to explain that?"
Leno: "Explain what that was all about."
Olbermann: "Again, I had the 9am Saturday thing with these press TV guys."
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "And I was told, in fact, by Brian Williams, do something creative, wake them up, they're tired, they're sweaty, they're wearing the same suit for the third day in a row."
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "-dress, do something. I said I've got it. With the whole thing with me and Bill O'Reilly over the years, AP, the Associated Press, had a problem with Fox. They were taking pictures of the Fox talent without Fox's permission, so Fox said no pictures of our guys at the press tour."
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "So I thought, well, I'll give them a picture of the Fox guys. I'll just wear a Bill O'Reilly mask, and then they can use that picture."
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "And everybody sat down, we all had a big meeting about it beforehand, and everything went great -- until the next picture was taken."
Leno: "Well, let's see, let's see the next one. Where's the next one? Now, there you're doing a-"
[laughter from audience]
Leno: "You seem to enjoy tweaking Bill."
Olbermann: "Well, this is not just about Bill, Jay. There's a two-part explanation."
Leno: "All right. Go ahead."
Olbermann: "Would you like to hear it?"
Leno: "Go ahead."
Olbermann: "The first half is, I saw a guy in the back who I recognized, and I was giving him a yoo-hoo, you know, yoo-hoo!"
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "And they got me in between the yoo and the hoo. So that's that one."
Leno: "Right."
Olbermann: "The second part is that on the air in the last year, Bill O'Reilly has defended the Nazis from World War II on three separate occasions."
Leno: "Oh, really?"
Olbermann: "Yes, I wish I were making this up."
Leno: "Have you met him in person? Have you two come face to face on any occasion?"
Olbermann: "Well, he can't go out during daylight hours."

...

Leno: "Now, what do you think's going to happen in the November elections here? Is thing going to, Bush mandate out, boom, goodbye, what's going to happen?"
Olbermann: "Well, we have a new policy in Iraq. They just announced that today."
Leno: "What's that."
Olbermann: "I'm not sure what it is. We have a new one. That's the good news. There's a new one: Put all the troops in Baghdad. Last one was take all the troops away from Baghdad. Now, it's put them all back in Baghdad."
Leno: "Well, we keep, we've turned the corner so many times, we're back in again."
Olbermann: "Exactly. We've done a nice little pirouette like an ice skater. The Democrats have a couple of things to run on, but, as usual, their major opponent is the Democrats."
Leno: "Right, it seems that way. It seems like they would have, here you go, it's yours for the taking. Yet, there doesn't seem to be anybody emerging."
Olbermann: "But the President may have handed them something with stem cell. Stem cell research is where the Democrats may have, on a moral issue and a, you know, and a societal issue, they seem to have the upper hand by, like, seven out of ten people think, all right, you're going to throw these stem cells, these embryos away, they're never going to be fertilized, these are not the ones that are going to be adopted, these are not the ones that are going to become people. These are the ones that are going out in the trash unless we do something with them, or we could, you know, maybe cure Alzheimer's with it. Seven out of ten people say go for it. That's what humanity dictates, and the President vetoed that, so he sort of is, he may have a narrow kind of presidency. We call it a cable presidency if you work in my-"
Leno: "Really?"
Olbermann: "If you're going for 28 percent of that audience out there."
Leno: "Yeah?"
Olbermann: "Wow!"

CNN's Anderson Cooper Exposes Hezbollah's
Media Manipulations

On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Anderson Cooper related his visit to a Hezbollah-controlled section of Beirut where he was supposed to photograph certain damaged buildings, part of the terrorist group's strategy of generating news stories about Lebanese civilian casualties caused by Israeli bombs. But instead of merely transmitting Hezbollah's unverified and unverifiable claims to the outside world, Cooper -- to his credit -- exposed the efforts by Hezbollah to manipulate CNN and other Western reporters. It's quite a contrast from the much more accommodating approach taken by his colleague, Nic Robertson, in a report that aired on a variety of CNN programs (including AC360) back on July 18, a report that Robertson himself has now conceded was put together under Hezbollah's control.

Unlike Robertson, Cooper was explicit about how Hezbollah's operatives had set all of the rules: "Young men on motor scooters followed our every movement. They only allowed us to videotape certain streets, certain buildings," he explained. He countered Hezbollah claims that Israel targets civilians by pointing out that the group based itself in civilian areas and that Israel's air force drops leaflets warning of attacks.

[This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

# The July 20 CyberAlert recounted: Tuesday night (July 18) on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, senior international correspondent Nic Robertson touted his "exclusive" exchange with a Hezbollah propagandist who led Robertson on a tour of a bombed-out block of southern Beirut. Hezbollah claimed to show that Israeli bombs had struck civilian areas of the city, not the terrorist group's headquarters. The Hezbollah "press officer," Hussein Nabulsi, even directed CNN's camera: "Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?" A few moments later, Nabulsi instructed CNN to videotape him as he ran up to a pile of rubble: "Shoot me. Shoot. This is here where they said Sheikh Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, is living. This is wrong!" For more, including an audio/video clip of Robertson's piece: www.mediaresearch.org

# The July 25 CyberAlert reported: Better late than never? On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson added all of the caveats and disclaimers that he should have included in his story last week that amounted to his giving an uncritical forum for the terrorist group Hezbollah to spout unverifiable anti-Israeli propaganda. Challenged by Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Robertson suggested Hezbollah has "very, very sophisticated and slick media operations," that the terrorist group "had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath," and he even contradicted Hezbollah's self-serving spin: "There's no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities." See: www.mediaresearch.org


Back to Monday night. Cooper exposed for CNN viewers that the sight of speeding ambulances, sirens blaring, was just a phony play staged by Hezbollah: "One by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians....These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect."

CNN showed cameramen from other news organizations dutifully photographing the ambulances as they went by.

Cooper had left Lebanon and was stationed in Haifa, Israel for Monday's broadcast. His report on his trip "Inside Hezbollah" appeared at about 10:40pm EDT Monday (6:40am Tuesday, local time), the first hour of his two-hour program.

Cooper explained: "We'd come to get a look at the damage and had hoped to talk with a Hezbollah representative. Instead, we found ourselves with other foreign reporters taken on a guided tour by Hezbollah. Young men on motor scooters followed our every movement. They only allowed us to videotape certain streets, certain buildings. Once, when they thought we'd videotaped them, they asked us to erase the tape. These men are called al-Shabab, Hezbollah volunteers who are the organization's eyes and ears."
Gesturing to racks of music CDs in a building that had lost at least one of its walls, Cooper remarked, "You see their CDs on the wall still."
He continued: "Hezbollah representatives are with us now but don't want to be photographed. They'll point to something like that and they'll say, 'Well, look, this is a store.' The civilians lived in this building. This is a residential complex.
"And while that may be true, what the Israelis will say is that Hezbollah has their offices, their leadership has offices and bunkers even in residential neighborhoods. And if you're trying to knock out the Hezbollah leadership with air strikes, it's very difficult to do that without killing civilians.
"As bad as this damage is, it certainly could have been much worse in terms of civilian casualties. Before they started heavily bombing this area, Israeli warplanes did drop leaflets in this area, telling people to get out. The civilian death toll, though, has angered many Lebanese. Even those who do not support Hezbollah are outraged by the pictures they've seen on television of civilian casualties."
As the video showed a group reporters and photographers interviewing a single woman on a blanket, Cooper explained, "Civilian casualties are clearly what Hezbollah wants foreign reporters to focus on. It keeps the attention off them '€" and questions about why Hezbollah should still be allowed to have weapons when all the other militias in Lebanon have already disarmed.
"After letting us take pictures of a few damaged buildings, they take us to another location, where there are ambulances waiting.
"This is a heavily orchestrated Hezbollah media event. When we got here, all the ambulances were lined up. We were allowed a few minutes to talk to the ambulance drivers. Then one by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians. That's the story that Hezbollah wants people to know about.
"These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect."
Cooper concluded: "Hezbollah may not be terribly subtle about spinning a story, but it is telling perhaps that they try. Even after all this bombing, Hezbollah is still organized enough to have a public relations strategy, still in control enough to try and get its message out."

Cued by PBS's Tribute to Cronkite, MRC
Lays Out His Liberal Views

On Wednesday night (July 26), most PBS stations will carry a 90-minute "American Masters" tribute to Walter Cronkite, anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. While the PBS show, narrated by Katie Couric, will focus on his CBS years, since his retirement Cronkite has made clear his liberal views on a range of issues, including how being a liberal is essential to being a good journalist and his advocacy of "one world government." The MRC has compiled a representative collection of Cronkite's liberal pronouncements, and denunciations of conservatives, since the late 1980s.

For our "Profile in Bias" compilation, "Walter Cronkite: Liberal Media Icon," go to: www.mrc.org

For PBS's page for Walter Cronkite: Witness to History, see: www.pbs.org

As they say, check local listings for the air time in your city. Most PBS stations will start it in the second hour of prime time (9pm EDT/PDT, 8pm CDT). In the Washington, DC area, WETA-TV channel 26 will run it at 10pm.

NPR's History Gap: 'Which War Came First:
Korea or Vietnam?'

In a Tuesday USA Today article on the 90th birthday of NPR's left-wing commentator, Daniel Schorr, Peter Johnson revealed the ignorance of NPR producers about modern history. Johnson began his July 25 puff piece on the CBS News veteran, "60 years later, NPR's Schorr is still a 'precious resource,'" with some anecdotes about how NPR producers turn to him for basic facts, such as whether the war in Korea or Vietnam came first.

[This item was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org, where you can offer your comments: newsbusters.org ]

Johnson led his story:
"Daniel Schorr is used to producers popping into his Washington, D.C., office at National Public Radio to ask, on deadline: Which war came first, Korea or Vietnam? (Answer: Korea.)
"But when one asked, 'You covered the Spanish-American War, didn't you?' Schorr couldn't help but respond, matter-of-factly: 'That was 1898.'
"'Oh, sorry, of course,' the younger man said, excusing himself."

Sad that Johnson or his editor felt it necessary to provide the answer on the sequence of the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

For the USA Today article: www.usatoday.com

-- Brent Baker