NBC Piles on Palin: Confused, Wardrobe, Unqualified, Deposition --10/27/2008
2. CBS's Schieffer: McCain Doomed Because 'He Moved to the Right'
3. Juan Williams: Top Journalists Brought their Kids to Obama Events
4. ABC's David Wright Knocks McCain's 'Angry Rant' Over Taxes
5. CBS's Early Show Touts Ron Howard's Pro-Obama Celebrity Video
6. In 60 Pickens Profile, Rose Slams 'Dirty...Smear' Swift Boat Ads
7. Robbins Warns of 'Another Stolen Election,' This Time from Obama
Friday's NBC Nightly News carried the third excerpt from Brian Williams' time Wednesday with John McCain and Sarah Palin and, unlike his challenging approach to basic McCain-Palin premises in segments aired Wednesday and Thursday night, Williams kept it light as he asked how she's "liking" the campaign trail, wondered, when she cited "lies" about her, if there's "anything you want to correct the record on?" and raised "the inevitable question about her future in politics?" But he made up for the soft take in advance by prefacing the interview excerpt with a recitation of her "tough week."
Though it was more of a "tough week" for Palin through the media's prism than reality, Williams justified the "tough week" description: "She had told a student questioner the Vice President was quote 'in charge' of the U.S. Senate. Then came the story about the RNC ponying up $150,000 for a new high-end wardrobe and other personal items, damaging to the self-described hockey mom. But the more damaging numbers, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing 55 percent of respondents now believe Palin is not qualified to be President. Then just today Palin and her husband were placed under oath for depositions in the so-called Trooper-gate investigation in Alaska."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
"Williams Hits McCain & Palin with Powell's Charge She's Unqualified," the CyberAlert item on the first excerpt, aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News:
Brian Williams, who was enamored with Barack Obama in two interviews this year in which he celebrated the liberal Democrat's achievements, in a Wednesday interview with the Republican ticket challenged the premises of their campaign. Recalling the woman in an audience who claimed Obama is Arab, Williams channeled left-wing efforts to discredit McCain: "Did this campaign get out of your control?"
When McCain raised Joe Biden's warning that Obama's election will precipitate "an international crisis," Williams countered with how "Joe Lieberman said on Face the Nation quote, 'our enemies will test the new President early. And it has happened throughout modern history.'" Unsatisfied by McCain's explanation, Williams followed up: "When he says the new President will be tested, though, I'm missing how that's different from Senator Lieberman saying quote 'our enemies will test the new President early.'"
In the last question in the interview excerpt aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Williams forced them to respond to Colin Powell as Williams cited his assessment Palin is unqualified: "Let me ask you both about what must have been a hurtful Sunday for you especially, you Senator McCain, Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama and Governor, respectfully, the heart of his quote, about Governor Palin, Senator McCain, 'I don't believe she's ready to be President of the United States which is the job of Vice President. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.' When you heard those words from a man you've known for a long time, what was your reaction, saying basically we have little to judge these future leaders on except for the big decision of picking a running mate?"
Williams had set up the segment by highlighting news that the RNC spent $150,000 on clothing for Palin and her family, followed by:
Then there are the polls out there, our own showing the GOP ticket ten points down with most respondents now saying Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President.
Full rundown: www.mrc.org
The Friday CyberAlert article, "Williams Pushes McCain & Palin on Ayers, Avoid Wright, Define 'Elite,'" recounted the second excerpt which ran on Thursday's NBC Nightly News:
In the second excerpt of his interview with John McCain and Sarah Palin, NBC's Brian Williams continued, for the second night, to challenge the premises of the McCain-Palin campaign as he pushed back at describing William Ayers as a "domestic terrorist" since "it give it a vaguely post-9/11 hint" by associating terrorist with "domestic crimes," so "is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist?" Instead of prodding McCain about why he hasn't cited Jeremiah Wright when Obama had a long-time close relationship with the fount of anti-American and racial rants, Williams sought assurance Wright will remain off the table: "Are you going to keep your promise not to involve Reverend Wright in the campaign?"
Williams next snidely demanded to learn from Palin "what is an elite? Who is a member of the elite?" before pressing her: "Governor, are you a feminist?" (Last month, CBS's Katie Couric posed the same question: "Do you consider yourself a feminist?")
Setting up the interview excerpt on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Williams highlighted how "Sarah Palin's day today was spent prepping for tomorrow when Sarah and Todd Palin will be deposed under oath in that so-called Trooper-gate case" and: "The deposition, along with yesterday's revelation of that new $150,000 wardrobe and her struggle earlier this week to define the job of Vice President, have all brought a lot of unwelcome attention to the Palin side of the campaign."
Full rundown: www.mrc.org
From the Friday, October 24 NBC Nightly News, the third and final excerpt, with the interview session conducted Wednesday outside an Akron-area high school:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: NBC News "In Depth" Tonight, we're back more on the campaign trail. Specifically more of our interview with Sarah Palin. We caught up with her on the campaign trail in Ohio this past week, an eventful week. Tonight we talk about the campaign experience, her relationship with John McCain, and what she says the media got wrong.
MSNBC.com video of what aired on the NBC Nightly News: www.msnbc.msn.com
Just after CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric noted how there is "some finger-pointing already going on" in the McCain-Palin campaign, CBS's Bob Schieffer did a little finger-pointing of his own as he blamed John McCain's presumed impending loss on his supposed move "to the right." Schieffer observed Friday night that "with this continuing bad economic news, I think it's going to be very hard for any Republican, even one who says he's a maverick, like John McCain." The host of Face the Nation then offered his take on "what's going to make it even harder," that after the primaries: "Instead of moving to the center, he moved to the right. He put Sarah Palin on the ticket which pleased the right but, as we're now seeing in these polls, her appeal does not go much beyond that."
How much of a move "to the right" was it for McCain to refuse to raise Jeremiah Wright's rants? Or to stand by his liberal position on global warming and other policies where he's gone left against the majority on the GOP? You could just as well argue that picking Palin and hitting Obama on taxes are what has given McCain any hope.
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The exchange on the Friday, October 24 CBS Evening News:
KATIE COURIC: Bob Schieffer is our chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation. Bob, the polls are not working in his favor, there's apparently as we just saw, some finger-pointing already going on, but you say don't count John McCain out.
In a Fox News Sunday panel segment on the media's pro-Obama and anti-McCain bias, Juan Williams revealed journalists were in such a swoon for Barack Obama that during the primaries "what you saw was that the executive editors and the top people at the networks were all rushing to Obama events, bringing their children, celebrating it, saying they were, there's this part of history." Though Williams, a former Washington Post reporter who is now a NPR news analyst and regular analyst for Fox News, maintained "there's no question in my mind the media has been more supportive of Senator Obama," he contended it does not explain why McCain is losing.
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Williams on the Sunday, October 26 Fox News Sunday:
If you were going to events during the primaries, what you saw was that the executive editors and the top people at the networks were all rushing to Obama events, bringing their children, celebrating it, saying they were, there's this part of history. I think they plugged into the Obama narrative in a way that they said, "you know what, out with the past." And they've been very critical of President Bush and Senator McCain, as an extension of Bush, playing into the Obama campaign theme. I don't think there's any question about this. The American people are smart, they can see this. That's why Obama's on every magazine cover -- I've spend too much time in airports, you walk through there, it's like you're walking through an Obama campaign event. So, there's no question in my mind the media has been more supportive of Senator Obama.
But if you ask me, you know, so what does this indicate? Has this shifted, is that the reason for this race going as it has? No it's not. I think people understand the drama of what Senator Obama represents and, in some ways, I think, the McCain campaign has not been sufficiently smart in maneuvering themselves to present their candidate and what he has done and his story, his heroism, his willingness to sacrifice, I don't think they've done a very good job of advertising it.
NPR's bio of Williams: www.npr.org
Nightline reporter David Wright on Thursday negatively spun John McCain campaigning in Florida as an "admission of weakness" and knocked the Arizona Senator's "angry rant" on the issue of taxes. The liberal journalist gleefully attempted to portray the state as a lost cause for the Republican. He asserted that in the ad war in Florida, "Obama's message is drowning McCain out." He editorialized: "McCain can't seem to catch a break, especially here in Florida."
Wright visited a McCain campaign headquarters and described supporters as "trying to scrounge up more volunteers." He then moved along to the Miami Obama HQ, where "there were a lot more people and they were busier." Despite Wright's scenario of doom and gloom, the Real Clear Politics average for Florida is only a 2.2 percent lead, with an October 21 NBC poll giving the Republican a one point advantage. See Real Clear Politics: www.realclearpolitics.com
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Unable to refrain from editorializing on a McCain speech, Wright opined that McCain is trying to counter a Democratic edge in voter registration "with his message of economic populism, an angry rant at those tax and spend liberals, which fairly or unfairly, is provoking a response." He closed the segment by arguing, "The fact that McCain was here at all today was an admission of weakness."
In an extremely vulgar moment, Wright discussed the "Joe the Plumber" contest that the McCain campaign is running on his website. After playing a few submissions of Republican voters, Wright noted that Democrats are now posting their own YouTube videos. He then featured this example's disgusting imagery:
Wright is the same liberal reporter who, on Wednesday's Good Morning America, attacked Sarah Palin for living in a "glass house." He also played a clip of the Republican responding to a question about the job of the vice presidency by asserting, the candidate "didn't seem to understand the job description of the position she's running for." See an October 23 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org
A partial transcript of the October 23 segment:
DAVID WRIGHT: The difference in the energy level of the two campaigns was evident today at their campaign headquarters. At one of McCain's two offices in Miami, a handful of volunteers worked the phones-
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed a pro-Obama video created by actor/director Ron Howard with fellow co-host Maggie Rodriguez: "You ever look at the -- Will Ferrell's website?...Well, there's some pretty interesting stuff on there from time to time...Look at -- take a look at this." In the video, posted on Will Ferrell's site "Funny or Die," Howard plays some of his past well-known television roles, Opie from the Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham from Happy Days:
RON HOWARD: When I'm a grown-up, I sure would like to vote for somebody as good as Mr. Obama.
At the end of the clip, Rodriguez did her best Fonzie impersonation: "Heeey," and declared: "That's cool." Smith observed: "So you don't have to guess where -- what side of the political fence Ron Howard falls on, right?" Rodriguez replied: "Yeah, they lean left. They're Barack Obama supporters. What's cool about that is that looks like it came out of the show. They look exactly the same."
[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Watch the video here: www.funnyordie.com
In an otherwise pretty friendly 60 Minutes profile of T. Boone Pickens and his "Pickens Plan" to reduce dependence on foreign oil, Charlie Rose, on loan from PBS, couldn't resist repeating the usual derogatory media descriptions and canards about the 2004 "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" against John Kerry, which Pickens helped fund, as "infamous," "widely criticized" and "representative of dirty politics, smear politics, character assassination." After video of Pickens taking his case to Democrats at their convention in Denver, Rose highlighted:
Rose pressed Pickens about any regrets: "You spent $3 million funding an advertising campaign that, in some people's mind, was representative of dirty politics, smear politics, character assassination, all of that. At this stage, do you have any reservations, do you have any-?" Pickens jumped in with an emphatic "none" and told Rose he'd do it over again.
This part of the 13-minute segment just happens to be the portion highlighted in a minute and-a-half preview clip on CBSNews.com. Check the video titled "Cold Encounters" on the 60 Minutes home page and on the page with a text version of the story, though the preview video may be replaced at some point with video of the full segment. Direct link to the preview video.
Home page for 60 Minutes: www.cbsnews.com
Page with text and video for the entire story: www.cbsnews.com
Direct address for the "Cold Encounters" preview clip: www.cbsnews.com
Home page for the Pickens Plan: www.pickensplan.com
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
From the Sunday, October 26 edition of 60 Minutes:
CHARLIE ROSE: A life-long Republican, Pickens' candidate this election is his Pickens Plan. And in August, we found him venturing into unfamiliar territory.
Actor Tim Robbins warned fellow left-wingers watching, and in the audience, of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night that McCain operatives/Republicans will "try to disenfranchise as many voters" as possible by "doing a lot of dirty tricks" and so: "I am very cautious right now. I don't think this thing is over. I do think there is a chance of another stolen election, so don't get too confident, folks. Get out and vote because this could be very close." When fellow panelist Matthew Dowd, the ex-Bush adviser turned ABC News analyst, predicted an Obama victory by 8 to 10 points, Robbins reiterated: "Don't take anything for granted, folks."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Earlier, Robbins urged people to fight "voter fraud" by voting early and videotaping voters leaving polling stations to "document" how they were denied the right to vote.
He charged: "They're doing a lot of dirty tricks out there to eliminate a lot of voters."
And he contended: "When you have a fraudulent agenda and you don't have the truth on your side you're going to try to disenfranchise as many voters as you can."
HBO's page for Real Time: www.hbo.com
Internet Movie Database's page for Robbins: www.imdb.com
-- Brent Baker