2. CNN: Palin Trip to UN 'Like Speed Dating with World Leaders'
3. CBS: Palin Needs Foreign 'Education'; Chen Put Hawaii in Atlantic
4. Going Where Media Won't: Stanley Kurtz Connects Obama and Ayers
5. Bill Clinton Gives Joy Behar 'A Little Tingle'
The night before CBS's Katie Couric will sit down with Sarah Palin to discuss foreign policy and just under two weeks after ABC's Charles Gibson got three interview sessions over two days with Palin in Alaska, the NBC Nightly News, the only broadcast network evening newscast snubbed so far by Palin, devoted a full story to how reporters were initially barred from her photo-ops with foreign leaders and her general lack of availability to the press.
"The McCain campaign has been launching something of a campaign against the news media these days, and when things heated up for a time today, we almost didn't see those pictures" of her in Manhattan with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe as well as Henry Kissinger. Reporter Savannah Guthrie explained how "campaign officials invited the media to attend the beginning of the meeting but at the last minute banned reporters, a departure from the usual practice, saying only photographers would be allowed. When news organizations threatened to pull the cameras if reporters were banned, the campaign relented." Guthrie rued: "In the months since Palin joined the ticket, she's granted just two major interviews, appeared at one joint town hall and held no news conferences. Reporters on the trail rarely see her."
CNN, which also hasn't been granted an interview with Palin, put "FREE SARAH PALIN!" on screen during an entire 8 PM EDT Election Center segment devoted to journalists complaining about how she's not answering their questions. Host Campbell Brown conceded "it's annoying to reporters that she's being kept under lock and key" and "stage-managed," but she asked about voters: "Do they feel like they're getting a mannequin when they see her now?"
Neither ABC nor CBS on Tuesday night touched on any media upset with McCain-Palin operatives trying to block reporters from the Palin photo-ops.
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The September 23 CyberAlert item, "Couric Has Cushy Chat with Biden, Will She Be as Warm with Palin?" challenged Couric to go as easy on Palin, "whom Couric is scheduled to interview this week," as she did with Joe Biden on Monday after spending last Thursday on the campaign trail with him. While Couric will interview Palin on Wednesday, the more apt comparison to Biden will be the story resulting from Couric spending this coming Sunday and Monday with Palin. September 23 CyberAlert article: www.mrc.org
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the story on the Tuesday, September 23 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Which all brings us back to this campaign trail. With 42 days to go, we're in the mix of news today. There is a new Obama ad airing in Michigan that doesn't just tweak the McCains for owning a reported 13 cars, but criticizes them for owning foreign cars. And it's been a rough couple of days for Joe Biden. Misstatements about coal plants in the U.S., FDR being on television before television was invented, and Barack Obama has been forced to go against Joe Biden on the massive AIG insurance bailout. Biden had come out against it, but Obama told Matt Lauer this morning, his running mate should have held off that judgment at the time.
And that brings us to the GOP running mate, Sarah Palin. Today was designed to showcase her, in pictures like this one, at the big U.N. General Assembly gathering here in New York. The campaign, the McCain campaign has been launching something of a campaign against the news media these days, and when things heated up for a time today, we almost didn't see those pictures. The story tonight from NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: As global leaders gathered for the United Nations General Assembly, the newest player on the world stage, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, made her debut. Meetings with the presidents of Afghanistan and Colombia, and an hour and a half with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. But for Palin, whose public appearances have been carefully controlled and orchestrated, those pictures almost didn't happen. Campaign officials invited the media to attend the beginning of the meeting but at the last minute banned reporters, a departure from the usual practice, saying only photographers would be allowed. When news organizations threatened to pull the cameras if reporters were banned, the campaign relented, calling it a mis-communication.
Without going into the grouping of a mega-rock star like U2 front-man Bono with Hamid Karzai, Henry's "speed dating" line might raise some eyebrows over possible sexism in the media, given how the female Alaska governor is meeting with these nine world leaders, all of whom are men. Katie Couric could be consulted with this matter, given what she said about the coverage Hillary Clinton received during the Democratic primaries.
[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Tuesday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
For more on Katie Couric's claim that "[o]ne of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media," see the June 12, 2008 CyberAlert item, "Couric: Hillary Coverage 'Most Unfair, Hostile...I've Ever Seen'" at: www.mrc.org
After giving this introduction to his report, which began 53 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, Henry played three sound bites, one each from CNN regulars Hilary Rosen of the Huffington Post and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, and one from James Hoge of the Council of Foreign Relations. Interestingly enough, Hoge, a former publisher of the New York Daily News, compared Palin's visit to the UN to Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East and Europe earlier this year: "I think they [the McCain campaign] want to show, just as Obama did when he went to Germany and gave a speech in Berlin and so on, that she is comfortable on the international scene, that she can hold her own in conversations with foreign leaders."
Towards the end of his report, Henry detailed how Palin's UN visit is "going to be pretty low-risk, sort of quick photo-op. She's not even going to be taking questions from the media, Kiran, so that makes it very, very low-risk, and that's what the campaign wants, obviously, right now. They want to just put the image out there that she's getting up to speed on foreign policy."
The full transcript of Ed Henry's report from Tuesday's American Morning:
KIRAN CHETRY: You know, Sarah Palin is just one of the big names who will be here in New York for a big day at the United Nations. President Bush, as well as Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are also among the speakers set to address the U.N. General Assembly today. President Bush's speech is set to begin at 10:30 Eastern this morning, and Sarah Palin's arrival here in New York last night also signals her arrival on the world stage. She will have meetings today with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, as well as the presidents of Iraq and Colombia. Joining me now with a look at the plan for Palin is our Ed Henry. Hi, there, Ed.
At the top of Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on Sarah Palin meeting with world leaders at the United Nations by declaring: "The education of Sarah Palin. The Alaska Governor has her first meetings with world leaders as they gather at the U.N. How will she do?" While Chen wondered about Palin's understanding of foreign policy, on May 22, she thought Hawaii was located in the Atlantic Ocean: www.mrc.org
[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In a later report correspondent Bill Plante proclaimed: "Palin, who got her first passport just last year, is here and will get a crash course in international affairs. The Alaska governor will be meeting with the leaders of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia and Ukraine, as well as with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U2's Bono."
The September 23 segment:
JULIE CHEN: The education of Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor has her first meetings with world leaders as they gather at the U.N. How will she do?
BILL PLANTE: Morning, Julie. This is Mr. Bush's last time to address the United Nations as president and a lot of what he'll have to say today will be an attempt to convince the rest of the world that the U.S. does intend to take action to rescue its economy. But at this gathering, the economy is hardly the president's only problem. Iran's leader, Ahmadinejad, speaks this afternoon on the heels of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that it hasn't been able to tell if Iran is hiding a nuclear weapons program. In New York, thousands protested Ahmadinejad's pro-nuclear, anti-Israel stance. A rally at which John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin had been scheduled to speak before her invitation was withdrawn, but Palin, who got her first passport just last year, is here and will get a crash course in international affairs. The Alaska governor will be meeting with the leaders of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia and Ukraine, as well as with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U2's Bono. The White House says that President Bush, who came to office unconvinced of the need for international cooperation, will stress the need for multinational diplomacy as he leaves office. The president will also tell the world leaders that intervening in the economic crisis was not his first instinct, no surprise there, but that he was convinced to do it by his economic team. Harry.
SMITH: Alright, thanks very much, Bill Plante.
Writing in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal and National Review Online, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz traced Barack Obama's partnership with former domestic terrorist William Ayers when the two collaborated at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charity established to help Chicago's public schools that was commandeered by Ayers to promote his radical agenda.
The association between Obama and Ayers has received virtually no attention from the three broadcast networks, with the conspicuous exception of a primary-season debate sponsored by ABC when George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers. Out of 1,365 broadcast evening news stories about Obama prior to the end of the primaries, only two mentioned Ayers -- one a brief mention of the debate question on the April 17 Nightly News, and the other an April 20 World News Sunday story about McCain raising the Ayers issue on This Week.
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
With just 42 days left until Election Day, the broadcast networks have not presented a single in-depth report on Obama's relationship with Ayers. But Kurtz's review of the documents at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) showed the two "worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda," which "flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism."
For a flavor of Ayers' continuing radicalism, the New York Times profiled the 1960s radical back on September 11, 2001, the same day as the al-Qaeda attack that killed thousands of New Yorkers at the World Trade Center. The piece by Dinitia Smith began: "'I don't regret setting bombs,' Bill Ayers said. 'I feel we didn't do enough.'"
A short excerpt from that piece:
Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at," is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And he says he doesn't actually remember suggesting that rich people be killed or that people kill their parents, but "it's been quoted so many times I'm beginning to think I did," he said. "It was a joke about the distribution of wealth."
He went underground in 1970, after his girlfriend, Diana Oughton, and two other people were killed when bombs they were making exploded in a Greenwich Village town house. With him in the Weather Underground was Bernardine Dohrn, who was put on the F.B.I.'s 10 Most Wanted List. J. Edgar Hoover called her "the most dangerous woman in America" and "la Pasionara of the Lunatic Left." Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn later married....
In 1969, after the Manson family murders in Beverly Hills, Ms. Dohrn told an S.D.S. audience: "Dig it! Manson killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they shoved a fork into a victim's stomach."
END of Excerpt
A month earlier, a profile of Ayers in Chicago Magazine included a picture of Ayers stomping on the American flag. Marcia Froelke Coburn wrote the accompanying article: "Talk to him for any length of time and some rhetoric of the past slips into the conversation. 'I think there will be another mass political movement,' he predicts, 'because I believe that the kind of injustice that is built into our world will not go quietly into the night.'" See: www.chicagomag.com
In the mid-1990s, Obama was hired to be the chairman of Ayers' "brainchild," the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Here are the key excerpts from Kurtz's must-read op-ed in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal:
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.
The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them....
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto....
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement....
Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin....
The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.
END of Excerpt
The entire article can be found here: online.wsj.com
In his National Review Online piece, Kurtz added a valuable point about how the radical left dominated the CAC despite the fact that the funding originated with Republican powerhouse Walter Annenberg:
The Obama camp denies CAC's radicalism by pointing to the fact that this foundation was funded by Nixon Ambassador and Reagan friend, Walter Annenberg. Moderates and Republicans often support Annenberg activities, it's true. Yet the story of modern philanthropy is largely the story of moderate and conservative donors finding their funds "captured" by far more liberal, often radical, beneficiaries. CAC's story is a classic of the genre. Ayers and Obama guided CAC money to community organizers, like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and the Developing Communities Project (Part of the Gamaliel Foundation network), groups self-consciously working in the radical tradition of Saul Alinsky. Walter Annenberg's personal politics don't change that one iota.
The fact that Ayers and other tenured radicals hold power at our universities is in no way negated by the presence of Republican appointees on university boards of trustees. Ayers's radicalism is undeniable. He remains unapologetic for his bombings of the 1960s. Even now, he refuses to rule out violence as a resort. His education writings are deeply politicized and filled with exhortations to "resist" America's racist and oppressive social system. In 2006 -- along with his wife and fellow former-terrorist, Bernardine Dohrn, and Jeff Jones -- Ayers released, Sing A Battle Song, a collection of intensely radical writings from the Weather Underground. Ayers makes it clear in that book that, while he is embarrassed by some of the Weather Underground's rhetoric, he still adheres to the same ideas. Beyond its strictly historical interest, Ayers and his co-editors make a point of hoping that their old writings would be "of use to new generations of militant activists and organizers." By directing CAC funds to groups like ACORN and the Developing Communities Project of the Gamaliel Foundation, Ayers was supporting just such militant activists and organizers....
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge stands as Barack Obama's most important executive experience to date. By its own account, CAC was a largely a failure. And a series of critical evaluations point to reasons for that failure, including a poor strategy, to which the foundation over-committed in 1995, and over-reliance on community organizers with insufficient education expertise. The failure of CAC thus raises entirely legitimate questions, both about Obama's competence, his alliances with radical community organizers, and about Ayers's continuing influence over CAC and its board, headed by Obama. Above all, by continuing to fund Ayers's personal projects, and those of his political-educational allies, Obama was lending moral and material support to Ayers's profoundly radical efforts. Ayers's terrorist history aside, that makes the Ayers-Obama relationship a perfectly legitimate issue in this campaign.
END of Excerpt
For the entire piece: LINK: article.nationalreview.com
Kurtz has documented the connections between Barack Obama and the radical left. The only question is, will the so-called mainstream media find any of this worth reporting between now and Election Day?
Channeling Chris Matthews' "thrill up my leg" remark about Barack Obama, View co-host Joy Behar described acquiring "a little tingle" when former President Bill Clinton appeared on Monday's show. On the September 22 edition of CNN's Larry King Live, Behar described the former President as "charming," "charismatic," "he touched me a little," and "I got a little tingle."
When questioning why Barack Obama holds the elitist label and Bill Clinton does not, despite a perceptively similar background, Behar concluded that it must be racism: "Today we're finding out that, you know, a lot of people in this country are saying they won't vote for an African-American. It's just outright racism, isn't it?" The View co-host seemed to forget that the elitist label primarily stems from Obama's recorded conversation, at a posh San Francisco fundraiser, describing small town Pennsylvanians and midwesterners as "bitter" and "clinging to guns and religion."
[This item, by the MRC's Justin McCarthy, was posted Tuesday on the MRC'sm blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Hyping Obama's background, Behar declared Obama "has no sleaze." (Has she also forgotten about Obama's relationship to Tony Rezko?) Echoing a "what's the matter with Kansas" talking point, Joy hoped those racists voters would "come to their sense" and vote "their needs."
After Larry King asked about their famously tough interview with John McCain, Joy Behar promised if Barack Obama appears on The View this fall "we'll give him a grilling just like we gave John McCain."
After bashing Sarah Palin's family life and her upcoming "shotgun wedding," Behar also mocked the Alaska governor's lack of foreign policy experience. Later in the interview, Joy pronounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "Ahmadinejacket."
After her kind words about Bill Clinton, who blows up on any journalist that asks him a challenging question, the daytime chat show host expressed concern about McCain's temper. Behar exclaimed that "even Pat Buchanan who is a Republican from the -- from the year gimmell...worries about McCain's temper."
After explaining that Obama will only raise taxes on those making over $250,000, but failing to note the potential hit on the working and middle class of Obama's proposed corporate tax hike, Behar proclaimed her "patriotism" and announced: "I'm still going to vote for the person who's going to cost me more and give me less material." How lame of a comedian is one who can't find material from Joe Biden?
Highlights from the September 22 Larry King Live:
LARRY KING: He made the first appearance on "The View" today. What was it like?
KING: He was kind to McCain?
KING: We're back with Joy Behar. Okay, the Behar/McCain clash.
BEHAR: I have to just say one other thing bad before we go to serious stuff.
BEHAR: Although people keep saying he's going to raise your taxes. He's not going to raise all your taxes. He's only raising people who are over 250. And those people over 250 are going to go back to the rate that we were all paying when Clinton was in office.
-- Brent Baker