2. Couric: Nefarious Talking Point Coordination by McClellan Critics
3. What Happens When the Ex-Press Secretary Doesn't Trash His Boss
4. ABC's Raddatz 'Disappointed' McClellan Didn't Bash Bush Sooner
5. CNN's Roberts:McClellan 'Articulates What We All Came to Believe'
6. Couric: Iraq Coverage: 'Most Embarrassing Chapters in Journalism'
7. Kurtz on CNN: 'Anti-War Voices Had Limited Access' to Media
8. NYT: Conservative 'Fealty' v Smart Obama's Non-Ideological Picks
9. CBS's Glor: Woman 'Pumps Out Own Blood' to Afford to 'Pump Gas'
Peter Osnos, who wrote Wednesday that he "worked very closely" with Scott McClellan on McClellan's new book published by PublicAffairs which Osnos founded, is a liberal whose publishing house is affiliated with the far-left The Nation magazine and the publisher of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. PublicAffairs has a roster of authors who are nearly all liberals and/or liberal-leaning mainstream media figures, including six books by far-left bank-roller George Soros. On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Ari Fleischer related that "Scott told me that his editor did 'tweak,' in Scott's word, a lot of the writing, especially in the last few months." In an "Eat the Press" blog entry Wednesday, Rachel Sklar asked Osnos: "Did you work directly on the book with McClellan? (Who was his editor?)" Osnos replied: "The editor was Lisa Kaufman and yes, I worked very closely with them." Sklar's post: www.huffingtonpost.com
A reporter and editor at the Washington Post during the 1970s and 1980s before going into book publishing, Osnos pens a weekly column for the left of center The Century Foundation. In a March column he denounced Rush Limbaugh as "bombastic, aggressive, and mean," bemoaning how the late William F. Buckley Jr. left behind "a right-wing culture that tends to be as coarse and leaden as his demeanor could be buoyant," charging Buckley provided "unfortunate cover to others who followed with a spirit that was distinctly and consistently malevolent."
In contrast, he hailed the late left-wing columnist Molly Ivins and wished she had more impact: "In the contest for power in America, Molly Ivins had a good perch in her column, nearly perfect pitch, and, alas, too little influence." Ruminating this week about the Kennedy family's legacy in the wake of Senator Ted Kennedy's cancer diagnosis, Osnos asserted that "we are a distinctly better country for the message" which "Ted conveyed about our priorities as a people."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Amongst the authors Osnos has worked with at PublicAffairs and previously at Random House: Wesley Clark, Vernon Jordan, Robert McNamara, Andy Rooney, George Soros, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Sam Donaldson, Morley Safer, Molly Ivins and William Greider. Hard to find more than a few conservative names in the PublicAffairs list of authors: www.publicaffairsbooks.com
At the moment, a George Soros book is displayed alongside the McClellan tome at the top of the PublicAffairs home page.
PublicAffairs is part of the Perseus Books Group, which also owns Nation Books, "a project of The Nation Institute" which publishes the magazine of the same name, and Vanguard Press, whose home page now features The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, a new book by Vincent Bugliosi that "presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq." See: www.vanguardpressbooks.com
Perseus Books: www.perseusbooksgroup.com
Nation Books: www.nationbooks.org
Vanguard Press: www.vanguardpressbooks.com
The PublicAffairs bio for Osnos:
FOUNDER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE
Peter Osnos was a correspondent around the world for The Washington Post and the newspaper's foreign and national editor. He was Associate Publisher and senior editor at Random House and publisher of Random House's Times Books division. In 1997, he founded PublicAffairs, an independent publishing company specializing in books of journalism, history, biography and social criticism. Among the authors he published at PublicAffairs are, Wesley Clark, Dorothy Height, Vernon Jordan, Wendy Kopp, Robert McNamara, Andy Rooney, Natan Sharansky, George Soros, Boris Yeltsin, and Muhammad Yunus, and journalists from America's leading publications and prominent scholars.
He is executive director of The Caravan Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, which is developing a plan for multi-platform publishing of books. He is Vice Chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review and is active in a number of other journalism and human rights organizations. He writes a regular media column that is distributed by the Century Foundation (www.TCF.org). He is a graduate of Brandeis and Columbia Universities. He lives in Greenwich CT with his wife Susan, a consultant to human rights organizations.
PublicAffairs bio page: www.publicaffairsbooks.com
The Century Foundation's bio:
Senior Fellow for Media Program
Peter Osnos is the Founder and Editor-at-Large of PublicAffairs books. Previously, he was Publisher of Random House's Times Books Division from 1991 to 1996 and before that was a Vice President and Associate Publisher of the Random House imprint. Authors he has worked with include President Bill Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, Boris Yeltsin, Paul Volcker, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Donald Trump, Clark Clifford, Sam Donaldson, Morley Safer, Peggy Noonan, Molly Ivins, Stanley Karnow, Jim Lehrer, William Novak, Vassily Aksyonov, and journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and The Economist.
Before entering book publishing, Osnos spent nearly twenty years at The Washington Post, where he was variously Indochina Bureau Chief, Moscow Correspondent, Foreign Editor, National Editor, and London Bureau Chief. He has been a commentator and host for National Public Radio and a contributor to publications including Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. He served as Chair of the Trade Division of the Association of American Publishers, Chair of Human Rights Watch Europe and Central Asia Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of The Columbia Journalism Review and Executive Director of The Caravan Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and based at TCF. A graduate of Brandeis University and the Columbia University School of Journalism, he lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, Susan Osnos, who is a consultant for nonprofit organizations.
That's online at: www.tcf.org
An excerpt from Osnos' May 28 column, as posted by The Century Foundation:
....The Kennedy saga is so rich a tale of melodrama and pain that it tends to overwhelm the real meaning of what it has meant to our politics and national spirit. We are a distinctly better country for the messages, each in their own way and time that JFK, RFK, and Ted conveyed about our priorities as a people. Regularly over the presidential cycles, "the next Kennedy" has been anointed, invariably ending with disappointment. There was Ted himself in 1980, Gary Hart in 1984 and 1988, and aspects of Clinton in 1992 and John Kerry (another JFK, after all) in 2004. It has happened again this year with Barack Obama, and this time the comparison may be genuinely valid....
Obama definitely has elements of JFK's style and eloquence as well as RFK's appeal to blacks and younger people. Ted Kennedy clearly feels a strong bond with Obama, as does his niece, Caroline, given their endorsement and the campaigning they have done on his behalf. Senator Kennedy has been the only member of his clan able to fulfill the potential of early promise (his son Patrick, in Congress; his nephew Joe, a former congressmen; his niece Kathleen, who ran and lost for a Senate seat, have had small impact so far). It is possible that with the Obama candidacy, as Ted Sorensen once wrote (or as, he insists, helped to write), "the torch has been passed to a new generation."
May 28 column: www.tcf.org
From his March 4 column:
....But the dominant voices of the Buckley succession are bombastic, aggressive, and mean -- O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter, among many others. They are despisers, whose vituperative name-calling regards alternative viewpoints as stupid, venal, or treasonous. The #1 bestseller on the New York Times bestseller list for March 9 is a quintessential example of the genre: Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. It has sold about 50,000 copies in its first two months. Among his chapter headings are "Adolph Hitler: Man of the Left"; and "Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism." His argument, as summarized in the Washington Post's review is that "fascists and liberals seek to use the state to solve the problems of modern society." Goldberg is an editor at the National Review Online. His mother, Lucianne Goldberg, made her name (and gave his a career boost) as the literary agent who urged Linda Tripp to tape her conversations with Monica Lewinsky. As vice-president of his mother's agency, Goldberg once wrote, he did his time "in the trenches of Clinton's trousers."
William F. Buckley is getting a splendid send-off as befits a long life of creative activity, discernible impact on the world around, him and extensive personal outreach. But in passing judgment on his influence, it is also fair to single out the sour side of what he leaves behind: a right-wing culture that tends to be as coarse and leaden as his demeanor could be buoyant. Buckley was excellent at what he did, giving unfortunate cover to others who followed with a spirit that was distinctly and consistently malevolent.
March 4 column: www.tcf.org
From his September 18 column:
....We could sure use Molly Ivins's impeccable instincts about these expert opinions. Maybe this time, we'd listen. Molly was a populist in a splendid American tradition. One of her best columns opposing the invasion (the one in which she predicted civil war) was on the occasion of Martin Luther King Day in 2003.
"The war is not inevitable," she wrote "and the person who can stop it is you. Monday Jan. 20 is Dr. King's holiday. People all over the country will be rallying and marching in his honor, celebrating not only his eloquent opposition to racism and poverty, but his equally passionate protests against militarism. You get more than a vote in this country. You get to speak up."
In the contest for power in America, Molly Ivins had a good perch in her column, nearly perfect pitch, and, alas, too little influence.
September 18 column: www.tcf.org
Archive of Osnos columns, as posted by The Century Foundation: www.tcf.org
The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, naturally, all led Wednesday night with Scott McClellan's attacks on the Bush White House, but CBS anchor Katie Couric inaccurately reported McClellan was "forced out" of his Press Secretary position "last year" (he left in early 2006) and, interviewing McClellan's predecessor Ari Fleischer, she tried to discredit White House defenders by demanding to know if they were reading from coordinated talking points. As if that's somehow improper.
Couric told Fleischer: "A lot of people seem to be saying, in response to this book, that 'this doesn't sound like' the Scott McClellan they knew. Let's take a listen." Viewers then saw clips of Karl Rove ("This doesn't sound like Scott"), Dan Bartlett ("He's like a fundamentally different person than all of us knew") and Trent Duffy ("The voice that comes out of this book is certainly not Scott McClellan's"). Couric insisted "it sounds as if you all are operating from the same play book," before asking: "Did you get together and discuss how to respond to this?" Fleischer denied Couric's assumption: "No, I think that it's just that we all worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Scott for so long and we never heard Scott talk about manipulation, talk about propaganda."
Leading her newscast, Couric had asserted: "Scott McClellan was President Bush's chief spokesman from 2003 until he was forced out last year." In fact, he left in 2006. Fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Russ Mitchell teased the Wednesday, April 19, 2006 newscast: "More big changes at the White House. Political guru Karl Rove loses one of his key roles, and Scott McClellan is out as the President's chief spokesman."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the vide to provide this transcript of the questions Couric posed to Fleischer in the interview aired on the Wednesday, May 28 CBS Evening News:
KATIE COURIC: Ari, what do you think of this book and the charges made in it?
KARL ROVE: This doesn't sound like Scott. It really doesn't. Not the Scott McClellan I've known for a long time.
COURIC: With all due respect, Ari, it sounds as if you all are operating from the same play book. Did you get together and discuss how to respond to this?
Before Scott McClellan was President Bush's Press Secretary, there was Ari Fleischer, and when Fleischer left the White House he wrote his own book, "Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House." Unlike McClellan, Fleischer did not take pot shots at his former employer, but did include some telling examples of the liberal bias of press. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, while McClellan's yet-to-be-officially-published book has already become the liberal media's favorite story of the day, a Nexis search shows that Fleischer's memoir generated virtually no broadcast or cable news coverage, and no front-page coverage in the nation's newspapers.
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Amazon's page for Fleischer's book: www.amazon.com
Indeed, TV coverage the week after Fleischer's book was released was limited to just eight interviews, none given that much prominence: one on NBC's Today (7:43am), one on CBS's Early Show (last half-hour), one on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, two on CNN (Lou Dobbs Tonight and Anderson Cooper 360) and three on FNC (Big Story, Special Report, and Hannity & Colmes).
Fleischer also had interviews on non-news shows, like Comedy Central's Daily Show, that would not be included in the Nexis database.
McClellan began his book tour Thursday on Today, just where Fleischer began on March 3, 2005. As CyberAlert recounted at the time, NBC's Matt Lauer seemed upset at Fleischer's accusations of media bias and tried to embarrass him by re-playing his pre-war statements about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:
When former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, on Thursday's Today, raised media bias, maintaining that it's "easier to be a Democrat talking to the press than a Republican," Matt Lauer avoided the topic and jumped in to press Fleischer about "getting things right and wrong" before the Iraq war when Fleischer asserted Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Lauer asserted: "Didn't prove to be true. Regrets, embarrassment, frustration, what?"
Here's how Lauer treated Fleischer when he appeared on the March 3, 2005 Today, as transcribed at the time by MRC's Geoff Dickens:
LAUER: Is it fair to say Ari that there is a certain suspicion on the part of the White House for the press?
And he went on to point out how all intelligence agencies, as well as Bill Clinton and John Kerry, believed Iraq had WMD.
Lauer moved on to the media favorite obsession:
LAUER: I can't let you go without asking about Jeff Gannon who's the reporter, the Washington bureau chief for Talon News, found out now that he had an alias. That of course he was asking some very easy questions of the administration. When you were the press secretary, you stopped going to him for questions. Why did you do that and are you surprised they went back to him after you left?
ABC reporter Martha Raddatz openly editorialized on Wednesday's Good Morning America that she was "disappointed" in former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan for not slamming the Bush White House sooner. McClellan, who has written a tell-all book bashing the President, Karl Rove and other operatives, was prominently featured as GMA's top story.
After being prompted by co-host Robin Roberts for her opinion, Raddatz unloaded: "I'm really surprised....and disappointed." She lamented that as press secretary, "[McClellan] didn't stand up and say wait a minute, I'm not going to say these kind of things anymore. So, we're surprised." Co-host Diane Sawyer could not restrain herself from describing the new book in the most dire terms. In an intro, she breathlessly announced: "A scathing presidential review. One of the President's most loyal political aides turns on him..."
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Later, she termed the book a "bombshell." Raddatz called the tome, which claims that President Bush used "propaganda" to sell the war in Iraq, "brutal" and announced it delivered "one stunning criticism after another."
A transcript of the May 28 segment:
DIANE SAWYER: New this morning: A scathing presidential review. One of the President's most loyal political aides turns on him, saying President Bush is responsible for, quote, strategic blunders, a misguided war and abandoning honesty when it was needed the most.
SAWYER: Bombshell book.
SAWYER: But we begin with the harsh criticism of President Bush, from inside his own camp. Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary is speaking out in a new book, making headlines with this new book, saying the President has made grave mistakes and blunders during his tenure. Our Martha Raddatz has the very latest for us. Good morning, Martha.
CNN's John Roberts wasted no time on Wednesday's American Morning heralding Scott McClellan's "revelation" on how the Bush administration supposedly used "propaganda" to push the Iraq war. After reading an excerpt from McClellan's book on the issue, Roberts responded: "He finally articulates what we all came to believe...and further goes on to say that this war was unnecessary."
Roberts, who, during McClellan's time as White House Press Secretary, was the White House correspondent for CBS, made the comment during an interview of the Politico's Mike Allen, who broke the McClellan story on Tuesday. Allen, like Roberts was a White House correspondent during McClellan's time as Press Secretary, first for the Washington Post, and then for Time magazine.
Allen, in reaction to Roberts's commentary on McClellan, replied: "Well, John, I think that's right, that these aren't particularly novel observations." He continued that McClellan "has put on a new hat. He's put on a historian's hat. He's not an administration flack anymore...."
[This item, by Matthew Balan, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Roberts must have "come to believe," to use his own phrase, the liberal talking points about the Iraq war pretty early on. During the broadcast of CBS Evening News on June 9, 2003, Roberts repeated the liberal finger-pointing already being pushed after the invasion of Iraq (as noted in the June 23, 2003 edition of MRC's Notable Quotables): "Accusations are being leveled that at the very least, administration officials embellished the evidence [of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction] -- at worst, misled the world....It could be a significant scandal for the Bush White House, potentially worse than Watergate, says one man who remembers that era well."
June 23, 2003 edition of Notable Quotables: www.mrc.org
Almost two months later, Roberts made a similar statement before a question he addressed to President Bush himself during a July 30, 2003 press conference (as mentioned in the August 18, 2003 edition of MRC's Notable Quotables): "The world is a better place, and the region certainly a better place, without Saddam Hussein. But there's a sense here in this country, and a feeling around the world, that the U.S. has lost credibility by building the case for Iraq upon sometimes flimsy or, some people have complained, nonexistent evidence. I'm just wondering sir, why did you choose to take the world to war in that way?"
August 18, 2003 edition of Notable Quotables: www.mrc.org
Later on in the segment, Roberts ran a clip of former Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend attacking McClellan, and commented afterwards that "not only is he [McClellan] being thrown under the bus, but they're backing up the bus and they're running over him again."
The transcript of the relevant portion from Roberts's interview of Allen on Wednesday's American Morning:
JOHN ROBERTS: Mike Allen of Politico.com broke the story late yesterday. He joins us now live from Washington. Mike, this is an extraordinary book, and you could certainly tell by the level of pushback coming towards Scott McClellan from administration officials or former administration officials.
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, the evening news anchors, ABC'S Charles Gibson, NBC's Brian Williams, and CBS's Katie Couric, were all on to promote an upcoming cancer research telethon, but near the end of segment, co-host Harry Smith asked about former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's new book in which McClellan claims the media did not ask tough questions leading up to the Iraq war and Couric agreed: "I think it's a very legitimate allegation. I think it's one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism. And I think there was a sense of pressure from corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kinds of dissent or any kind of questioning of it. I think it was extremely subtle but very, very effective. And I think Scott McClellan has a really good point."
[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Perhaps a better example of "one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism" would be Couric's predecessor, Dan Rather, using fraudulent National Guard memos to attempt to smear President Bush just prior to the 2004 election.
By contrast, Gibson disagreed with McClellan's characterization: "No, I think that the media did a pretty good job of focusing and asking the questions." Williams offered a similar diplomatic answer: "I think people have to remember the post-9/11 era and how that felt and what the president felt he was empowered to do and that Colin Powell speech at the U.N."
Smith then replied to Williams: "And what the mood of the country was." At that point, Couric once again shared her thoughts: "Definitely. But you know, our responsibility is to sometimes go against the mood of the country and ask the hard questions." Of course, when Couric interviewed General David Petraeus last month she did not seem interested in going "against the mood of the country": "Finally, general, in our latest poll, 54 percent of Americans think the war is going badly -- more than half, obviously. How can you sustain this effort without more popular support here at home?"
Here is the full transcript of the 7:30 half hour Early Show exchange:
HARRY SMITH: Hey, can we talk about Scott McClellan's book which is in stores now and he talks about the failure of main stream media to hold the Bush Administration's feet to the fire in the run-up to the war. Is that an allegation that feels to you like it has merit or not? Charles?
[This item, by Matthew Balan, was posted Wednesday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The media, in reality, especially the "Big 3" networks, gave plenty of coverage to the anti-war movement. Take, for instance, the first two months of 2003. On January 12, 2003, ABC's World News Tonight hyped anti-war protests that were "lightly attended," as anchor Carole Simpson heralded how "that may change soon." The "Big 3" networks, along with their counterparts at CNN and MSNBC, highlighted the January 18, 2003 anti-war march in Washington, DC, and depicted the protesters as ordinary Americans, despite the far-left background of the organizers. The following month, ABC's Peter Jennings spouted the anti-war stance on five different World News Tonight broadcasts in the course of a week. Later, on the February 14, 2003 edition of World News Tonight, the ABC anchor featured anti-war protests from around the world.
For the January 15, 2003 CyberAlert item, "ABC Again Hypes Small Anti-War Protests," go to: mrc.org
For the January 20, 2003 CyberAlert item, "'Peace' Marchers: 'Republicans,' 'Soccer Moms ' & 'Grandparents,'" see: mrc.org
February 13, 2003 Media Reality Check, "Peter Picks a Peck of Pesky Protester Points," online at: mrc.org
For the February 15, 2003 CyberAlert item, "Jennings Touts 'Another Concession' by Iraq & Insight of French," go to: mrc.org
The claim that "ABC, CBS, NBC, and the rest of the media turned more skeptical" only after "violence surged in Iraq and public opinion began turning against the war" also fails to hold water. As MRC's Rich Noyes noted in his 2007 Media Reality Check, "The Media Before the War: Facts vs. Liberal Mythology," the media expressed its doubts concerning the Bush administration's arguments in the months prior to the start of the Iraq war, and highlighted anti-war arguments during that time period. The Media Reality Check was prompted in part by Kurtz's claim just over a year ago on his Reliable Sources program that "everybody at every news organization I've talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war."
For the May 15, 2007 Media Reality Check, "The Media Before the War: Facts vs. Liberal Mythology," go to: mrc.org
Kurtz made the allegations during a segment about the "Big 3" networks' evening news anchors' response to "one of the most provocative allegations in Scot McClellan's new book about his days in the Bush White House," as The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer put it. The charge, according to Kurtz: "the liberal media didn't exactly live up to its reputation during the run-up to the Iraq war" and that "the press was probably too deferential to the White House." He then played clips of Charles Gibson, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric reacting to McClellan's charge, including Couric's take that the media's coverage in the Iraq war's run-up was "one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism."
The full transcript of Kurtz's segment, which began 18 minutes into the 4pm EDT hour of Wednesday's The Situation Room:
WOLF BLITZER: Now to one of the most provocative allegations in Scott McClellan's new book about his days in the Bush White House. The target -- those of us in the news media who cover the President. The anchors of the three broadcast networks are speaking out about that very subject, reacting to McClellan's charges today. Let's go right to CNN's Howard Kurtz, the host of CNN's 'Reliable Sources;' also from the 'Washington Post.' Howard, these three anchors -- they have some very different views, at least what they're expressing publicly to Scott McClellan's very, very strong accusations against us.
In the world of New York Times reporter Neil Lewis, John McCain will be forced to pay "fealty" to the "conservative faithful" by appointing staunch conservative justices, while Barack Obama, with his "long and deep interest in the courts and the law," will not be "especially ideological." Legal reporter Lewis's Wednesday filing was headlined "Stark Contrasts Between McCain and Obama in Judicial Wars." But the truly "stark contrast" was how Lewis treated the respective camps with regard to their hypothetical Supreme Court nominations. Back in 2003, Lewis identified Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch as a "leading conservative," but Sen. Ted Kennedy was simply "Democrat of Massachusetts." His Wednesday report showed a similar contrast, with tons of "conservatives" (18 in all in a 1,400-word story) emanating from the McCain camp but not a single "liberal" to be found around Obama.
For the Kennedy-Hatch contrast: See: www.timeswatch.org
[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Wednesday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]
An excerpt from the May 28 article, with ideological tags in ALL CAPS:
The presidential election, lawyers and scholars agree, will offer voters a choice between two sharply different visions for the ideological shape of the nation's federal courts.
Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, has already asserted that if elected he would reinforce the conservative judicial counterrevolution that began with President Ronald Reagan by naming candidates for the bench with a RELIABLE CONSERVATIVE OUTLOOK.
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has been less explicit about how he would use the authority to nominate judicial candidates, but he would be able to -- and fellow Democrats certainly expect him to -- reverse or even undo the CURRENT CONSERVATIVE DOMINANCE of the courts.
Despite his record, Mr. McCain has been obliged to deal with the burden that falls on any Republican candidate to deal with the party's CONSERVATIVE WING, which demands commitment to its goal of TILTING THE COURTS RIGHTWARD. In a speech on May 6 at Wake Forest University, Mr. McCain took pains to use the language of the CONSERVATIVE FAITHFUL, notably inveighing against "activist judges," to signal his dedication to continue placing CONSERVATIVE JUDGES on the courts.
In 2005, Mr. McCain aroused the suspicion of SOME CONSERVATIVES ALERT TO IDEOLOGICAL HERESY when he joined six other Republicans and seven Democrats in the Senate to form a compromise on appeals court nominations to break a nasty deadlock. Under the plan brokered by the group, known as the Gang of 14, the Democrats agreed to end their filibuster blocking some of Mr. Bush's appeals court nominees, in exchange for OTHER CONSERVATIVE NOMINEES being dropped from consideration.
Although the plan averted an impasse, SOME CONSERVATIVE LEADERS spoke of it in terms of a near-betrayal and said it suggested that as president, Mr. McCain might use judicial appointments as bargaining chips on other issues.
In response, Mr. McCain has chosen to do everything in his power to demonstrate his fealty to their cause.
He announced an advisory committee on the courts headed by Theodore B. Olson, a LEADING CONSERVATIVE LAWYER and former solicitor general, that is full of people like Charles J. Cooper, who had been influential in selecting RELIABLE CONSERVATIVE NOMINEES in the Bush and Reagan administrations.
In an interview, Mr. Olson said he was confident that Mr. McCain's nominees would be carefully screened to assure that they were in the mold of RELIABLY CONSERVATIVE recent Supreme Court appointments like Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito....
Lewis implied Republicans as ignorant of the nuances of the law, puppets of conservative lawyers, as opposed to Obama's "long and deep interest in the courts and the law," a charge he backed up by quoting yet another unlabeled liberal, law professor Cass Sunstein, an Obama adviser:
Like Mr. McCain, neither Mr. Reagan nor Mr. Bush was a lawyer and, adopting the same rhetoric as Mr. McCain is now using, they became enthusiastic instruments of those conservative lawyers who were diligent in choosing CONSERVATIVE JUDICIAL NOMINEES.
Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is a lawyer and has had a long and deep interest in the courts and the law. Cass R. Sunstein, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and an Obama adviser, said in an interview that because Mr. Obama had taught constitutional law for 10 years at Chicago, "he is immersed in these issues."
"The first thing to know," Professor Sunstein said, "is that he knows this stuff inside and out, and he has the credentials to be easily appointed to the court himself."
From his remarks in the Senate opposing the nominations of Judges Roberts and Alito, among others, Mr. Obama made clear that he would look to name judges with AN EXPANSIVE, PROGRESSIVE VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION.
How about writing "liberal view" instead of the weasel-sounding "progressive view," to balance the several hundred references to conservatives that Lewis made earlier? Lewis can't locate a single liberal on the list of Obama's hypothetical Supreme Court nominees. Indeed, Lewis went on to name five hypothetical Obama Supreme Court nominees, but labeled none of them as liberal.
He even got another unlabeled liberal to deny that Obama would be liberal, or as Lewis puts it, "ideological." Another excerpt:
Prof. Charles J. Ogletree Jr. of Harvard Law School, who taught both Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, sought to dispel the idea that Mr. Obama's nominees would be especially ideological. "It seems likely to me that he won't have an agenda of trying to pack the courts to necessarily move it in a different direction," Professor Ogletree said in an interview.
For the May 28 story in full: www.nytimes.com
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen introduced a segment on rising gas prices and what people are doing to ease the cost: "This morning in our series 'Running on Empty' the news gets worse about gas prices. They jumped 15 cents in one week to a national average of $3.94 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That is a record price. And it's forcing some drivers to take extreme measures to save money on gas." Correspondent Jeff Glor then reported on how "desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are doing anything they can to save on gas, while others are trying to avoid buying gas altogether." As one example, Glor highlighted a woman from San Antonio, Texas named Jessica Busby: "Then there's Jessica Busby, using her bike to get to a blood donation center two times a week. She pumps out her own blood, making $40 a pop so she has enough money to pump gas."
[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In an April Fool's edition of the Media Research Center's Notable Quotables in 2005, the MRC's Rich Noyes came very close to Glor's report with this fictional quote from Early Show correspondent Thalia Assuras: "The evidence is all over the Internet: healthy young people are putting their own organs up for sale, desperate for money to deal with fast-rising gas prices. Grad student Julie Potts just sold her kidney on E-Bay."
Read the April Fool's 2005 Notable Quotable here: www.mediaresearch.org
Glor also mentioned how a farmer in Tennessee has gone back to a horse-drawn plow, students in Oklahoma ride horses to school instead of driving, and police officers in Ohio now use golf carts instead of patrol cars to get around.
Here is the full transcript of the May 28 segment:
JULIE CHEN: This morning in our series "Running on Empty" the news gets worse about gas prices. They jumped 15 cents in one week to a national average of $3.94 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That is a record price. And it's forcing some drivers to take extreme measures to save money on gas. "Early Show" national correspondent Jeff Glor has that part of the story. Good morning Jeff.
JEFF GLOR: Julie, good morning to you. Good morning, everyone. Yeah, desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are doing anything they can to save on gas, while others are trying to avoid buying gas altogether.
-- Brent Baker