NBC's Today Finds Hillary's 'Evil' Men: Starr, Gingrich and W --1/30/2007
2. Showtime Showcases Barbara Bush's Vacuum Abortion of Son George W
3. Read It Here: Hume Picks Up NYT Hypocrisy, Admission on Iraq News
Monday's Today show pondered if Hillary Clinton was referring to Bill as one of the "evil men" she had much experience with -- when to audience jitters at an Iowa event over the weekend she repeated a question from an audience member: "And what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?" -- but never got around to fully answering the question. Well NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Tuesday's Today, attempted to answer the question and found, via a Clinton surrogate, the "evil men" Hillary was supposedly talking about were Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. During the piece, Mitchell ran a soundbite from Lisa Caputo, who claimed: "Certainly Ken Starr and Newt Gingrich would be at the top of that list as would be this White House." Having addressed that question Mitchell moved on to analyzing the Clinton's "complicated marriage" and how the former President "overshadowed his Senator wife," but concluded that Bill's presence was mostly positive as she regurgitated this old Clinton-line: "So as they used to say back in 1992, 'Buy one, get one free.'"
[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted late Tuesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The following is the entire segment as it aired in the 7am half-hour of the January 30 Today show on NBC:
Meredith Vieira: "Funny thing happened on the road to the White House. Bill Clinton was the butt of a lot of jokes back when he was president but now many are saying he took a shot over the weekend from a very unlikely source, his wife. NBC's Andrea Mitchell is in Washington with more. Andrea good morning to you."
Andrea Mitchell: "Good morning, Meredith. Well one week into her solo campaign for the White House Hillary Clinton is already juggling questions about that other Clinton, her husband Bill."
For the video of Showtime's preview, check the January 26 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
[This item was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In the January 28 episode (which will re-run several times this week), university chancellor "Phyllis," played by Cybill Shepherd, warns "Bette Porter," the dean of the university's art school played by Jennifer Beals, that big potential donor "Skip Collins," who is coming for a visit, is quite conservative: "Conservative is a little left of where he is. He and George W. grew up playing G.I. Joes together." So, Bette Porter asks "Jodi Lerner," an "artist-in-residence" played by Marlee Matlin, to hide anything in her sculpture studio which would upset Collins. Instead, she puts the Bush abortion sculpture in the center of the art studio. When Porter pulls her aside to complain, Lerner lectures: "My understanding was that you wanted me to capitulate to some asshole's reptilian politics to get money out of him and that I will never do."
Lerner then announces to Collins: "This is called the 'Unauthorized Abortion of W.' Some of the most powerful student work I've seen." Collins, seeing the sculpture with a vacuum cleaner at its base, fires back: "It's an abomination and an abuse of university funds." Porter pleads with him: "Look Skip, don't you think, really, that the primary purpose of a university is to provide a safe haven to explore ideas and expand boundaries?" Collins: "Not on my dollar."
After Collins storms out, Lerner urges Porter to "give him the speech about how the impressionists were met with the same response when they debuted their work in Paris in 1874."
You read it here first -- or on the MRC's TimesWatch site. In Monday's "Grapevine" segment, FNC's Brit Hume picked up on two items reported by the MRC's News Analysis Division. First, though the New York Times Washington Bureau Chief scolded a reporter for, during an appearance on PBS's Charlie Rose show, endorsing Bush's "surge" plan for Iraq, "Timeswatch.com points out that last summer Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Rose show, and criticized Bush administration practice of sending bombs to the Middle East, saying the policy quote, 'erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation.' MacFarquhar received no reprimand for his comments."
Second, "NBC's reporter in Baghdad concedes that the media isn't getting the quote 'good news' stories from Iraq on the air. Jane Arraf recently told anchor Brian Williams that life in Iraq quote, 'isn't entirely what it seems' from the constant focus on bombings and other violence."
Hume's "Grapevine" items in full on the January 28 Special Report with Brit Hume:
"A New York Times reporter has been rebuked by his superiors after voicing the hope that the U.S. can accomplish its goals in Iraq. Here's what Times chief military correspondent Michael Gordon said on the Charlie Rose show earlier this month, quote: 'As a purely personal view, I think it's worth it, one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it's done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something,' end quote. Times Public Editor Byron Calame writes that Washington Bureau Chief Philip Taubman said Gordon quote, 'stepped over the line' and quote, 'went too far.' Timeswatch.com points out that last summer Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Rose show, and criticized Bush administration practice of sending bombs to the Middle East, saying the policy quote, 'erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation.' MacFarquhar received no reprimand for his comments.
"NBC's reporter in Baghdad concedes that the media isn't getting the quote 'good news' stories from Iraq on the air. Jane Arraf recently told anchor Brian Williams that life in Iraq quote, 'isn't entirely what it seems' from the constant focus on bombings and other violence. She said quote: 'I'll tell you what I think is a piece of good news that's out there every day that's really hard for us to get at. There are children walking to school...and it's that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there,' end quote. She says doing that story might actually put the children in danger."
A reprint of the January 28 TimesWatch item by Clay Waters:
Times Reporter Chastised for Saying He Wants US to Win in Iraq
The Times' military correspondent got in hot water for advancing a personal opinion on the Iraq War on television. But what about liberal reporters who do the same?
Skip the boring bulk of Public Editor Byron Calame's latest innocuous, inside-baseball column and skip straight to the brief shirt-tail, "Drawing a Line."
Apparently some liberal Times readers complained that Times military reporter Michael Gordon had the bad taste to go on the PBS talk show "Charlie Rose" January 8 and say he wanted the United States to win the war in Iraq.
Calame: "Times editors have carefully made clear their disapproval of the expression of a personal opinion about Iraq on national television by the paper's chief military correspondent, Michael Gordon.
"The rumored military buildup in Iraq was a hot topic on the Jan. 8 'Charlie Rose' show, and the host asked Mr. Gordon if he believed 'victory is within our grasp.' The transcript of Mr. Gordon's response, which he stressed was 'purely personal,' includes these comments:
"'So I think, you know, as a purely personal view, I think it's worth it [sic] one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it's done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something.'"
A Charlie Rose watcher complained, and Calame acted.
"I raised reader concerns about Mr. Gordon's voicing of personal opinions with top editors, and received a response from Philip Taubman, the Washington bureau chief. After noting that Mr. Gordon has 'long been mindful and respectful of the line between analysis and opinion in his television appearances,' Mr. Taubman went on to draw the line in this case.
"'I would agree with you that he stepped over the line on the 'Charlie Rose' show. I have discussed the appearances with Michael and I am satisfied that the comments on the Rose show were an aberration. They were a poorly worded shorthand for some analytical points about the military and political situation in Baghdad that Michael has made in the newspaper in a more nuanced and unopinionated way. He agrees his comments on the show went too far.'
"It's a line drawn correctly by Mr. Taubman -- and accepted honorably by Mr. Gordon."
Apparently Gordon's sin was to admit he was putting forth a personal view. He should have been like his colleague Neil MacFarquhar, who works the Muslim-American beat, and who advanced his own liberal opinion on the Charlie Rose show, without any caveats about it being his "own personal view" (although it obviously was).
MacFarquhar appeared on "Charlie Rose" last July and slipped in this anti-Bush, America-critical personal commentary:
Apparently MacFarquhar didn't get any lectures from Times editors for voicing liberal opinions on the Charlie Rose show.
END of Reprint
That's online, with links, at: www.timeswatch.org
For audio/video of MacFarquhar's rant, check the August 28 Notable Quotables and scroll down a bit to the "'Kennedy Milk' to Bush's Bombs" quote: www.mrc.org
That's online, with video: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker