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Moran: Bush Won't "Budge" Despite View He's "Rushing to War" -- 03/13/2003 CyberAlert


1. Moran: Bush Won't "Budge" Despite View He's "Rushing to War"
ABC's Terry Moran adopted the ludicrous "rushing to war" verbiage on Wednesday night as he warned that a stubborn President Bush "is not now willing to budge from the March 17th deadline despite claims from leaders around the world that he is rushing to war."

2. Moran Bemoans Bush Not "Sufficiently Challenged" by Reporters
ABC White House reporter Terry Moran, who blamed President Bush at the presidential press conference last week for how "so many governments and peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power," has complained that Bush was not "sufficiently challenged" by reporters at the press conference.

3. CBS Looks at Backlash Against France and French Products
A story you won't see on ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Wednesday's CBS Evening News ended with a look at how Americans disappointed with France are reacting, from a World War II veteran who is returning to the French a "certificate of gratitude" they sent him, to a store owner who won't sell French products and some people who took sledgehammers to a Peugeot.

4. NBC Notes How Liberal MC Blames Jews for Fueling the War
NBC's Tom Brokaw on Wednesday night offered the first broadcast network evening show mention of liberal Democratic Congressman Jim Moran's claim that "if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war we would not be doing this."

5. CNN's Aaron Brown vs. Winston Churchill on Pre-Emptive Action
CNN's Aaron Brown on Tuesday night got into a bit of an argument with Winston Churchill's grandson about the appropriateness of pre-emptive action.

6. NBC's Historian: Civil War Longer Than Predicted, So...
NBC's resident historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, used an appearance on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning to complain about how President Bush's "bullying" is ruining FDR's "dream" of a United Nations, that Bush's belief in God makes him "so sure" that he is on the right side that he can't put "reason into our doubting minds" and, since someone predicted the "Civil War would last 60 days, and of course it lasted four years with more than 600,000 lives, which is equivalent to five million today," she declared that "I take these predictions," of a short war against Iraq, "with a grain of salt."

7. A Return of Blacklisting? Actor Says: "I'm Afraid of Bush"
In the midst of an Access Hollywood story Wednesday night by Pat O'Brien on fears of a "return of Hollywood's darkest hour, blacklisting," a harkening back to when in the 1950s "actors and writers suspected of communist ties were subjected to a witch hunt," actor Peter Boyle, who plays "Frank Barone" on the CBS sit-com Everybody Loves Raymond, told O'Brien that "I've made a commitment not to make any anti-war statements" because "I'm afraid...of Bush." And Richard Gere revealed he has no clue about public opinion, as he demanded: "Why is it when we have tens of millions of people in this country who say no, we still have a President who says yes in a democracy?"

8. Today Show Again Cites Tax Cut as Negative Force on Economy
Today hosts keep advocating a tax hike, or at the very least, a rejection of Bush's tax cut proposal. The latest example: On Wednesday's Today Ann Curry cited Bush's tax cut proposal as one of the things about which "a lot of people are very worried" will hurt the economy.


>>> "2003 Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters." CyberAlert subscribers can get tickets for $150, $25 off the regular price, for the Thursday, March 27 event in Washington, DC. For all the info and how to buy tickets:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/notablequotables/dishonor/03/info.asp
Cal Thomas will serve as Master of Ceremonies with Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham amongst those helping to present awards.
Rush Limbaugh was one of the judges who picked the winners, along with Lawrence Kudlow, Steve Forbes, Lucianne Goldberg, Michael Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr. and Kate O'Beirne.
Plus, the Charlie Daniels Band will sing some songs. The award titles:
Ozzy Osbourne Award (for the Wackiest Comment of the Year)
I Hate You Conservatives Award
Ashamed of the Red, White, and Blue Award
And They Called It Puppy Love Award
The I'm Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award
Come to the dinner to watch the winning quotes, see who wins and learn which conservatives will accept each award in jest. It will be a lot of media bashing fun. <<<

Moran: Bush Won't "Budge" Despite View
He's "Rushing to War"

ABC's Terry Moran adopted the ludicrous "rushing to war" verbiage on Wednesday night as he warned that a stubborn President Bush "is not now willing to budge from the March 17th deadline despite claims from leaders around the world that he is rushing to war."

Moran's use of the term came during a look at the British proposal for a set of terms for Saddam Hussein to reach. In his March 12 World News Tonight story, Moran cautioned that the Bush administration is not in sync with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in one area:
"The big sticking point between the British and the U.S.: The deadline. British sources say Mr. Blair would like to offer Saddam Hussein a week to ten more days to comply, but U.S. officials say the President is not now willing to budge from the March 17th deadline despite claims from leaders around the world that he is rushing to war."

Moran Bemoans Bush Not
"Sufficiently Challenged" by Reporters

ABC White House reporter Terry Moran, who blamed President Bush at the presidential press conference last week for how "so many governments and peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power," has complained that Bush was not "sufficiently challenged" by reporters at the press conference.

Moran complained, about what he saw as a too compliant press corps, to the New York Observer's Michael Crowley who penned a piece in this week's edition, "Bush Eats the Press," about how the White House supposedly manipulated reporters and avoided tough questions.

Crowley quoted Moran: "'I don't think he was sufficiently challenged,' said ABC News White House correspondent Terry Moran. He said Mr. Bush's hyper-management left the press corps 'looking like zombies.'"

Later, Crowley elaborated: "A lack of follow-ups was also problematic. 'In that room, one of the things a questioner has to do is create a moment, a confrontation with the President,' said Mr. Moran, who got in a question about world opinion-but now regrets not following up more forcefully. 'Not to showboat, not to draw attention to yourself, but to bring the President back down to what he is: a citizen President who needs to be engaged in a normal, ordinary conversation about these issues. So you almost have to issue a challenge to him up there. The point is to get them to answer questions, not just to stand up there and use all the majesty of the Presidency to amplify his image.'"

Moran's "question" in the form of a polemic at the March 6 event: "In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League, and many other countries; opened a rift at NATO and at the UN; and drawn millions of ordinary citizens around the world into the streets and anti-war protests. May I ask what went wrong that so many governments and peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power?"

Some of the other supposedly softball questions posed by reporters pre-selected to be called upon:

-- CNN's John King: "How would you answer your critics who say that they view, they think this is somehow personal? As Senator Kennedy put it tonight, he said your fixation with Saddam Hussein is making the world a more dangerous place. And as you prepare the American people for the possibility of military conflict, could you share with us any of the scenarios your advisors have shared with you about worst case scenarios in terms of the potential cost of American lives, the potential costs to the American economy, and the potential risks of retaliatory terrorist strikes here at home?"

-- CBS's Bill Plante: "Mr. President, to a lot of people, it seems that war is probably inevitable because many people doubt -- most people, I would guess -- that Saddam Hussein will ever do what we are demanding that he do, which is disarm. And if war is inevitable, there are a lot of people in this country -- as much as half, by polling standards -- who agree that he should be disarmed, who listen to you say that you have the evidence but who feel they haven't seen it, and who still wonder why blood has to be shed if he hasn't attacked us."

-- CBS's Mark Knoller: "Mr. President, are you worried that the United States might be viewed as defiant of the United Nations if you went ahead with military action without specific and explicit authorization from the UN?"

-- Ed Chen, Los Angeles Times: "Sir, you've talked a lot about trusting the American people when it comes to making decisions about their own lives, about how to spend their own money. When it comes to the financial costs of the war, sir, it would seem that the administration surely has costed out various scenarios. If that's the case, why not present some of them to the American people so they know what to expect, sir?"

-- And a reporter for Cox or Copley, whose name now escapes me: "Mr. President, millions of Americans can recall a time when leaders from both parties set this country on a mission of regime change in Vietnam. 50,000 Americans died. The regime is still there in Hanoi, and it hasn't harmed or threatened a single American in the 30 years since the war ended. What can you say tonight, sir, to the sons and the daughters of the Americans who served in Vietnam to assure them that you will not lead this country down a similar path in Iraq?"

For the New York Observer story, "Bush Eats the Press," go to:
http://observer.com/pages/frontpage5.asp

CBS Looks at Backlash Against
France and French Products

A story you won't see on ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Wednesday's CBS Evening News ended with a look at how Americans disappointed with France are reacting, from a World War II veteran who is returning to the French a "certificate of gratitude" they sent him, to a store owner who won't sell French products and some people who took sledgehammers to a Peugeot.

Dan Rather set up the March 12 story, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "France's steadfast opposition to Bush's policies against Iraq has many Americans up in arms themselves over the French. CBS's Bobbi Harley reports this wave of French bashing ranges from the humorous to the personal."

Harley began: "Angelo Pizzuti remembers the horrors of liberating France in World War II."
Angelo Pizzuti, World War II veteran: "At Metz, France, I was wounded, and I dropped my blood there."
Harley: "The French government sent him a certificate of gratitude, but now he's sending it back, feeling betrayed because France now refuses to back the United States."
Pizzuti, reading letter: "I am returning the diploma that you issued-"
Harley: "George Lauzon also wants nothing to do with France. He's pulled all French products from the shelves of his bait and tackle shop in suburban Atlanta, starting with Evian water, and posted a list of what else France makes so his customers can boycott them, too."
George Lauzon, store owner: "I was thinking about France, and I was wondering why. Why am I going to help them?"
Harley: "History shows a hot and cold relationship between the two countries that dates back to the American Revolution. But barbs traded about American fast food invading Europe or snobby French sophistication have now risen to a new level. In Nashville, Tennessee, angry Americans said, 'No, merci,' to this French-made Peugeot [video of car being hit with sledgehammers].
"In the nation's capital, the congressional cafeteria is no longer serving french fries, but 'freedom fries.' And as Americans increasingly feel spurned, the love affair with France is off. There are a lot of sour grapes and fine French wine down the drain."

All the more for Peter Jennings to drink.

NBC Notes How Liberal MC Blames
Jews for Fueling the War

NBC's Tom Brokaw on Wednesday night offered the first broadcast network evening show mention of liberal Democratic Congressman Jim Moran's claim that "if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war we would not be doing this."

If such "blame the Jews" sentiment were expressed by a conservative Republican one can only imagine the Trent Lott-like level of media hullabaloo which would certainly have ensued.

Brokaw read this 30-second item on the March 12 NBC Nightly News: "A Virginia Congressman is in big trouble tonight over recent remarks about the looming war on Iraq. Jim Moran, a Democrat, sparked controversy when he said quote, 'if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war we would not be doing this.' Tonight, six of his fellow Democratic House members said Moran should not be re-elected next year. The six, who are all Jewish, called Moran's comments wrong, offensive, ignorant and grossly irresponsible. Moran apologized for the remarks yesterday. Tonight his office had no immediate comment."

The six Democratic House members, as reported by Greg Pierce in Thursday's Washington Times: Henry Waxman and Tom Lantos of California, Martin Frost of Texas, Sander Levin of Michigan, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Nita Lowey of New York.

CyberAlert headquarters, the offices of the Media Research Center, are stuck in Moran's district. But the home office is not.

CNN's Aaron Brown vs. Winston Churchill
on Pre-Emptive Action

CNN's Aaron Brown on Tuesday night got into a bit of an argument with Winston Churchill's grandson about the appropriateness of pre-emptive action.

MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught this exchange between Brown and Winston Churchill, the grandson of the former British Prime Minister, on the March 11 NewsNight:

Brown: "You don't have, you have no concern about the whole notion of pre-emptive war? That is to say to go to war with a country that has yet to fire a shot at you."
Churchill: "If the President of the United States could have, by pre-emptive action, avoided 9/11, would he not have been right in doing so?"
Brown: "Well of course he would. Don't you think that's oversimplifying the question?"
Churchill: "Well, to me-"
Brown: "Isn't the question, Iraq this week, who next week, who the week after that, I mean, how do you decide?"

NBC's Historian: Civil War Longer Than
Predicted, So...

NBC's resident historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, used an appearance on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning to complain about how President Bush's "bullying" is ruining FDR's "dream" of a United Nations, that Bush's belief in God makes him "so sure" that he is on the right side that he can't put "reason into our doubting minds" and since someone predicted the "Civil War would last 60 days, and of course it lasted four years with more than 600,000 lives, which is equivalent to five million today," she declared that "I take these predictions," of a short war against Iraq, "with a grain of salt."

Now that's a new line of reasoning I hadn't heard before, judging a modern war by how someone misjudged one 140-plus years ago.

MRC analyst Jessica Anderson took down some of the comments made by Goodwin on the March 12 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC:

Don Imus: "According to Maureen Dowd this morning, Ari Fleischer, in a White House press briefing, suggested that if the United Nations didn't get on board here, that they would be replaced with another international body."
Goodwin: "Oh yeah, that's wonderful, I mean, FDR's dream coming out of World War II to create the United Nations, which is such an important institution -- I mean, it's just going to sound to the world like we're bullying. I thought Maureen Dowd's column the day before was very good, too, when she talked about -- and somebody else on The New York Times did, too -- what happens when the war becomes a crusade, you know, it becomes right and wrong. Lincoln understood, even in the Civil War, that God was not so intimate to our will, you know, that somehow, even though we believed in God, you couldn't be sure God was on your side, as it seems that Mr. Bush is....
"It's scary to think about the war, the Civil War too, because of all these predictions that we have now that it'll be over in a couple of days and the rosy picture that Mr. Bush has created of what will happen in the Middle East, the Secretary of State under Lincoln predicted that the Civil War would last 60 days, and of course it lasted four years with more than 600,000 lives, which is equivalent to five million today. So I take these predictions with a grain of salt....
"When I hear Blair talk about the fear that he'll be remembered as Chamberlain, when I hear Bush talking -- the one part of his speech that was powerful -- about, you know, the fear that somehow America has to be defended and that it's his responsibility to do that, and he wakes up -- well, he didn't say this, but I remember to Tom Brokaw he did -- he wakes up anxiously every day, then you do wonder, do they know, do they feel something, how am I and the world going to know? But what I do know is that it hasn't been explained to the satisfaction of the people who are going to have to go over there, the people who are going to have to support this. Even in his speech the other night, it seemed like Bush would do all right, sort of, but then he'd immediately back down to 'he's a murderer,' you know. It somehow became, his voice rose every time he talked about Saddam and the connection between that and September 11th wasn't fully clear, and he just makes a series of assertions. He's so sure inside himself, I think, that he has to do this, and that's what I say. I don't know for sure what needs to be done, but I sure know that he's got to make us who aren't sure understand it, and I think he's so sure that he can't reason into our doubting minds."

How do you reason with anyone who sees the prospects for a modern, high-tech warfare against an out-gunned enemy through the prism of a war from more than a century ago involving two largely equally-equipped sides?

A Return of Blacklisting? Actor Says:
"I'm Afraid of Bush"

Actor Peter Boyle Raymond's dad "afraid" of President Bush. In the midst of an Access Hollywood story Wednesday night by Pat O'Brien on fears of a "return of Hollywood's darkest hour, blacklisting," a harkening back to when in the 1950s "actors and writers suspected of communist ties were subjected to a witch hunt," actor Peter Boyle, who plays "Frank Barone" on the CBS sit-com Everybody Loves Raymond, told O'Brien that "I've made a commitment not to make any anti-war statements" because "I'm afraid...of Bush."

In the same story, actor Richard Gere revealed he has no clue about true public opinion, as he demanded: "Why is it when we have tens of millions of people in this country who say no, we still have a President who says yes in a democracy? This is, something's wrong here."

What's wrong is Gere's inability to judge public opinion and realize he's in the minority.

A CBS News/New York Times poll released on Monday determined 66 percent "approve" of "military action against Iraq" compared to just 30 percent who "disapprove."

Even if you do not watch Access Hollywood, a product of NBC Productions that is carried by all NBC-owned stations and syndicated on other stations in non-NBC O&O markets, you may recognize him from his frequent appearances on Imus in the Morning and anchoring duties during NBC's Olympic coverage.

O'Brien opened the March 12 Access Hollywood with the ridiculous fears of "blacklisting," as if people choosing to not watch a show or see a movie because they disagree with an actor is anything like federal officials using the law and subpoena power to intimidate actors.

O'Brien intoned, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
"We are just eleven days away from the Oscars, but the question Hollywood is asking, 'Will we be at war by then?' From Martin Sheen to Susan Sarandon to Sean Penn, many stars are voicing their opinion against using military force. But is that voice going to get them blacklisted in Hollywood?"
Susan Sarandon, a TV ad: "Before our kids start coming home from Iraq in body bags and women and children start dying in Baghdad, I need to know what did Iraq do to us?"
Jessica Lange at a press conference: "I can't help but thinking we are living in a world gone mad."
Richard Gere, outside Sunday's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, showing his lack of connection to reality: "Why is it when we have tens of millions of people in this country who say no, we still have a President who says yes in a democracy? This is, something's wrong here."
O'Brien: "They speak their minds, and because of their fame, it's out there for everybody to hear."
Queen Latifah, outside SAG event: "Actors are people. We are Americans. We have a right to say what we want to say."
Bradley Whitford, of The West Wing, outside the SAG event: "I'm not gonna shut up because I'm an actor."
O'Brien: "But should they be worried about the return of Hollywood's darkest hour? Blacklisting."
Tommy Lee Jones, at SAG: "Oh, yeah, it's possible. Sure. It's always been possible. But it was possible 60 years ago."
O'Brien darkly warned in a gross-oversimplification which skipped over how many did support a communist cause which advocated suppressing all free expression, subjugating people and destroying the United States: "At the McCarthy hearings back in the '50s, actors and writers suspected of communist ties were subjected to a witch hunt that ruined careers and lives."
Unidentified man from McCarthy hearings: "You're trying to discredit the Screen Writers Guild through me."
Peter Boyle, on "red carpet" outside the March 9 SAG Awards in Los Angeles: "I've made a commitment not to make any anti-war statements."
O'Brien to Boyle: "Why?"
Boyle: "Because I'm afraid."
O'Brien: "Of?"
Boyle: "Of Bush."
O'Brien: "The Screen Actors Guild has issued a statement warning against the threat. Melissa Gilbert is SAG's President."
Melissa Gilbert: "There is a sense out there, people who've got these Web sites going where they're asking folks to sign petitions to insist that actors are fired off the shows they're on. And it's, they're getting like 30,000 signatures."
O'Brien prompted her: "It's scary?"
Gilbert: "That's scary."
Martin Sheen, in TV ad: "Inspections work. War won't."
O'Brien: "Activist Martin Sheen says he's received an avalanche of hate mail and claims that NBC has let him know they're very uncomfortable with Martin's public stance. A claim that NBC denies."
Sheen: "There was some concern about that."
O'Brien: "John Wells, one of West Wing's producers, stands by Sheen and has seen no real sign of blacklisting."
John Wells: "Things are heated in the country politically right now, and so, but I don't think it's a real problem, certainly not one that I've witnessed yet."

O'Brien soon found an alleged victim: "But Sean Penn, who made a visit to Iraq, feels he's already been a victim. Sean's suing producer Steven Bing, accusing him of reneging on a film agreement due to Penn's stand against the war. Bing has countersued. Perhaps in part due to fear, no actor this awards season has gone as far as using an acceptance speech as a political platform. Newsweek's Marc Peyser doubts the Oscars will be any different."
Marc Peyser cautioned: "Given how much is at stake for people's careers, I think it would take a very committed Hollywood person to really risk a lot and get up and have Renee Zelweger or whoever say, 'Thank you very much for this. Now let me tell you why you should stay out of Iraq.'"

For the Internet Movie Database's bio and rundown of Boyle's many movie roles over the year, and a picture of him: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Boyle,+Peter

For CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond page on him:
http://www.cbs.com/primetime/everybody_loves_raymond/bio_pboyle.shtml

And for a look at what Melissa Gilbert, "half pint" from Little House on the Prairie, wore, or shall I say didn't wear, to the SAG Awards carried by TNT, and her acting credits: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Gilbert,+Melissa

Monday night on CNN's Connie Chung Tonight, MRC analyst Ken Shepherd observed, Hollywood Reporter correspondent Paul Bond dismissed the idea that public choice equals blacklisting:
"The Screen Actors Guild seems to think it's a problem. I mean, but there's no blacklisting going on in Hollywood. I mean, if moviegoers choose to not see a movie because a star's a celebrity activist they disagree with, I mean, that's perfectly within the moviegoer's right and it's perfectly within the right of the directors and the producers and the casting directors to not cast that person in their movie. We took a poll at the Hollywood Reporter that says 44 percent of Americans might not see -- might not pay to see a movie that stars one of these celebrity activists whom they disagree with."

Bond also pointed out that the courageous position in Hollywood is not denouncing the war, but favoring it. Referring to the upcoming Academy Awards, he suggested: "When you get right down to it, if they're really concerned about good television, maybe they just ought to say, you know what, you've got 30 seconds to make your presentation speech, say whatever you want. You know, that might make the best television, especially if there is a celebrity with the courage to go on the Academy Awards show and actually speak against the grain in support of George Bush and the war on terrorism. You know, in Hollywood, that takes a lot of courage nowadays, because so much of the entertainment community is on the peace movement side."

I wouldn't count on hearing any pro-war comments from the stage.

Today Show Again Cites Tax Cut as
Negative Force on Economy

Today hosts keep advocating a tax hike, or at the very least, a rejection of Bush's tax cut proposal. The latest example: On Wednesday's Today Ann Curry cited Bush's tax cut proposal as one of the things about which "a lot of people are very worried" will hurt the economy.

During a March 12 interview with Lawrence Kudlow, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Curry interrupted Kudlow's optimistic look at the economy: "Well let me interrupt you for just a second because we have a war that we don't know for sure how much is going to cost, maybe $100 billion, maybe not. We've got a, what, a $30 billion deficit occurring in this country. We've got maybe a $700 billion tax cut the President is talking about, so I mean, a lot of people are very worried. So those people who say, 'well look at the numbers,' what do you say?"
Kudlow: "I wouldn't be worried about cutting taxes, I'd be cheering about that. The dividend tax cut is gonna be a big booster for the stock market and lower income taxes are gonna help every family."

Back on the March 5 Today, Curry summarized a question she had posed to Treasury Secretary John Snow: "Some grim news for the U.S. economy today. The Dow closed Tuesday near a five-month low and some disappointing corporate earnings reports are expected today. The Bush administration is pushing for a big tax cut to boost the economy. Well this morning I asked Treasury Secretary John Snow why should taxes should be reduced now when the deficit is high and a war may be coming."

And last Friday, Matt Lauer argued that "a lot of people say, 'why are you cutting taxes now when you're increasing the deficit. Shouldn't be this a time when you're increasing taxes?'" When CNBC's Ron Insana suggested "it would be very difficult to increase taxes right now, given the weakness in the economy" and "doing nothing may be better than raising taxes certainly because the economy is so soft," Lauer came back: "At the very least not cutting taxes." See:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030310.asp#9

> Lange bumped. For those who care, Charlie Rose announced Wednesday night that while he taped an interview with Jessica Lange, it would not air as scheduled on that show. Expect it to run either tonight or Friday night on Rose's PBS show. -- Brent Baker