2. Peter Jennings Obsesses About the U.S. "Going It Alone"
3. ABC Finds Hatred Abroad, "Jittery" Nation at Home Facing Slump
4. Jennings: Israelis "Accuse" Hamas "of Sponsoring Terrorism"
5. CBS's Ed Bradley: "Exactly Where is This Liberal Media?"
6. Hollywood Liberals Didn't Mind Clinton's Bombing
>>> "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:
Though on Monday afternoon Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle abandoned any pretense of unity in a time of war, as he charged that President Bush "failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war" and suggested Bush should be blamed for the deaths of U.S. soldiers as asserted he's "saddened that we have to give up one life because this President couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country," ABC's Peter Jennings, CNBC's Brian Williams and NBC's Campbell Brown didn't see any Democratic dissent.
"Democrats began to rally around the President in support of war," NBC's Brown maintained. Afer lamenting how many Democrats were cowed, by fears of being labeled unpatriotic, into supporting the war resolution, CNBC's Williams lamented: "I guess now is certainly not the time when we'll be hearing any criticism of this military effort on the part of the Democrats." Citing the case of Senator Carl Levin, not Tom Daschle, ABC's Jennings rued how there's been "no much" negative reaction from Democrats. Jennings proceeded to stress how "a prominent Democrat in the House of Representatives says today he believes that he may have been misled into supporting war against Iraq."
The March 17 CBS Evening News also skipped over the smarmy Daschle blast.
Throughout the late afternoon and evening CNN and FNC highlighted Daschle's blast at Bush made at about 3pm EST during a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. On CNN's 4pm EST Inside Politics, for instance, Jonathan Karl described "a harshly negative reaction to the breakdown in diplomacy from the Senate's top Democrat, Tom Daschle." CNN viewers then saw this clip of Daschle:
Despite that, on the NBC Nightly News, Campbell Brown maintained: "Congressional leaders came to the White House late today for a preview of Bush's remarks. Even Democrats began to rally around the President in support of war, though some warned relations with the rest of the world have been damaged by the President's strategy."
A few hours later on MSNBC, after Bush's speech, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, Brian Williams in Kuwait suggested to Bill Press: "Let me be perfectly blunt here for a second. A lot of Democrats say privately that if the vote were a secret ballot, a whole bunch of Democratic Senators and members of Congress and perhaps some moderate Republicans would probably have come out in advance against this war but didn't publicly because of pressures to fall in, join the program, even look patriotic. And I guess now is certainly not the time when we'll be hearing any criticism of this military effort on the part of the Democrats."
Back to earlier in the evening, on ABC's World News Tonight Jennings intoned: "Here at home, there's been some negative reaction from Democrats to all this today. Not much. Michigan Senator Carl Levin said the U.S. is in danger of provoking more terrorism, invading without United Nations approval. He is the senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee."
Daschle's hypocrisy is breathtaking and presents an excellent area for the media to explore when they get around to his latest comments. As Stephen Hayes documented in the March 24 Weekly Standard, back in 1996 and 1998 when President Clinton was committing or considering U.S. military action against Hussein, Daschle demanded American unity. Hayes relayed this 1998 quote from Daschle: "I don't know what purpose it serves by attacking one another at this point. I mean, if ever there was a time for us to present a unified front to Iraq, this ought to be it."
For Hayes' piece in full:
At least 18 nations are part of the coalition taking on Iraq, but during ABC's two-and-a-half hour long prime time special Monday night after President Bush's speech, Peter Jennings repeatedly asked about the cost of the U.S. "going it alone."
At about 9:15pm EST/8:15pm CST during the special, titled When Diplomacy Fails, which began at 8:27pm EST and droned on to 11pm EST, Jennings interviewed Professor Fawaz Gerges of Sara Lawrence College, who is also an ABC News consultant, and Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria.
"Before I get to the consequences of going alone," Jennings began with Gerges before posing an unrelated question.
Turning to Zakaria, Jennings wondered: "You're a journalist who's also a historian. Can you recall a time when the United States has been quite so alone?"
Zakaria went on to note that 18 governments are part of the U.S.-led coalition.
Undeterred by that reality, Jennings kept up his mantra, inquiring of Gerges: "I want to come back to you Fawaz and ask you the consequences in the Arab world of the United States going it alone?"
But Gerges had gone too far even for Jennings, who countered: "You meet all sorts of people in the Arab world who tell you this in public, you see all sorts of demonstrations, and you know all sorts of people who say behind closed doors, well it isn't such a bad thing if Saddam Hussein is terminated."
Leave to Peter Jennings and ABC to find war-fueled anxiety at both home and abroad. "Overseas this week," Jennings warned on Monday's World News Tonight, "anti-American sentiment in the Arab and Muslim world appears to have deepened." John Yang argued that "the danger is that many Muslims will see this war as an unprovoked attack on them and their religion" and, Yang ominously warned, "the United States may pay a price for years to come."
Minutes later, Dean Reynolds bemoaned from Columbus, Ohio: "Across much of an already jittery nation today, the first hint of spring is clouded by the specter of war." Reynolds proceeded to highlight the worst possible scenario for the economy as he featured a soundbite from an economist who warned "that if we're still engaged in battle a month or two down the road, that we will be in the middle of a full blown, outright, very debilitating recession."
Yang began his March 17 "A Closer Look" story, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "In Pakistan, a vital ally in the war on terror, anti-American feeling has increased and shifted focus to the impending attack on Iraq. Pervez Hoodbhoy is a nuclear physicist who studied and taught at MIT."
After an ad break, World News Tonight ended with a look by reporter Dean Reynolds at national "uncertainty" and a "sense of insecurity" since "across much of an already jittery nation today, the first hint of Spring is clouded by the specter of war."
Reynolds cited the cancellation of school trips and vacations before he elevated the most dire of economic forecasts: "For many people the uncertainty about whether the country is going to war is now being replaced by uncertainty about what kind of war it's going to be and, especially, how long it's going to last. Left unanswered for long, those questions could keep the nation's economy from recovering, or worse."
For a rundown of examples of Jennings' anti-war skew over he past few months, check this special page on the MRC Web site:
Hamas isn't a terrorist group in the mind of Peter Jennings, it's just a group which the Israelis "accuse of sponsoring terrorism."
Jennings read this short item on the March 17 World News Tonight about the latest Israeli atrocity, at least as conveyed by the ABC anchorman: "In Palestinian Gaza today an Israeli raid killed ten Palestinians, including a four-year-old girl, at a refugee camp. The Israelis say the camp is a stronghold of the Hamas group which they accuse of sponsoring terrorism."
60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley, in a speech last Friday in Denver, denied there's any liberal bias. Accepting an award from the Denver Press Club, the Denver Post reported that he wondered: "Exactly where is this liberal media?"
Try 524 West 57th Street in Manhattan, headquarters of CBS News.
Romenesko (http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45) on Monday highlighted the March 16 Denver Post story on Bradley's comments. An excerpt from the story by J. Sebastian Sinisi:
...The 60 Minutes anchor, who was honored with the ninth Damon Runyon Award, given by the Denver Press Club on Friday night, was wounded as a newsman in Cambodia in 1973. He covered the fall of South Vietnam two years later and reported on the Gulf War in 1991.
So when Bradley, 61, said war will start "sooner, not later," and that he expects less -- not more -- control of media coverage than during the Gulf War, his views carried some weight.
Bradley also rejected the widely held notion of "liberal bias" in American media and questioned the assumption that the media were cheerleaders for war.
"Exactly where is this liberal media?" he asked from the stage of the awards banquet that drew 520 to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, speaking more of television than print media.
"CNN is called liberal, but I don't buy that," he said, hinting that Fox News is conservative.
"You decide," said Bradley, echoing Fox's motto.
In terms of respect, he said, "journalists are right down there with attorneys. We're the messengers of bad news, and bad news angers people. But that's what we do."...
END of Excerpt
For the story in full:
Hollywood hypocrisy. In a piece for OpinionJournal.com last week, John Fund documented how Hollywood liberals who now denounce President Bush's for going to war against Iraq were silent when President Clinton, without UN authorization, bombed Kosovo, Afghanistan and Sudan.
"Hollywood celebs aren't antiwar," read he headline over the March 13 "John Fund's Political Diary" piece, "They just hate the President." An excerpt:
....Actor Mike Farrell, best known for his role as Trapper John's replacement in "M*A*S*H," has emerged as a leading antiwar activist. This month, he even engaged in a surreal debate on geopolitics with former Senator Fred Thompson on "Meet the Press." "It is inappropriate," Farrell declared, "for the administration to trump up a case in which we are ballyhooed into war."
But in 1999, Mr. Farrell defended the Clinton administration's rationale for war in Kosovo: "I think it's appropriate for the international community in situations like this to intervene. I am in favor of an intervention." To avoid casualties, the Clinton administration had bombers fly at such high altitudes that "collateral damage" to civilians was bound to increase.
Hollywood stars were oddly silent when Mr. Clinton dropped bombs on Afghanistan and an aspirin factory in Sudan in 1998 in an unsuccessful attempt to deter Osama bin Laden. They were silent when, also in 1998, Mr. Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law and made regime change official U.S. policy....
[I]n 1999 singer Judy Collins -- best known for her soulful renditions of antiwar songs -- actually sang at a White House gala at the very moment that U.S. and NATO bombs were flattening parts of Belgrade -- accidentally destroying the Chinese Embassy in the process.
Similarly, singer Sheryl Crow is appalled by George Bush's moves against Iraq, but she had no problem with Bill Clinton's intervention in the Balkans. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the singer accompanied Hillary Clinton on a USO tour to entertain U.S. troops in Bosnia. "Once over there, I felt extremely patriotic," Ms. Crow told a reporter that year. "Here are these people, from 18-year-olds to military veterans, enduring real duress for the cause of peace. I don't ever want to play for a regular audience again, only military folks who are starving for music." Ms. Crow hasn't been seen around any military bases lately.
Some celebrities are at least honest about their hypocrisy. Comedian Janeane Garofalo was blunt in explaining why Hollywood types didn't protest any of Mr. Clinton's military ventures: "It wasn't very hip."
That's ironic, because President Clinton's intervention in Kosovo was much less justifiable. Weapons of mass destruction were not an issue; the rationale was exclusively humanitarian. "Our mission is clear," Mr. Clinton said in March, 1999: "to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose, so that the Serbian leaders understand the imperative of reversing course, to deter an even bloodier offensive against innocent civilians in Kosovo, and if necessary, to seriously damage the Serbian military's capacity to harm the people of Kosovo. In short, if President Milosevic will not make peace, we will limit his ability to make war." Insert the words "Iraq" and "Saddam" and "the United Nations" in the above excerpt and you could have a speech that President Bush would be happy to give on Iraq.
In fact, the Clinton administration was far less willing to seek approval from the United Nations for its bombing campaign than the Bush White House has been over Iraq....
Mr. Clinton himself now cautions against going to war in Iraq, but he seems to be having an argument with the man by the same name who occupied the White House for eight years. Here is President Clinton on Iraq in 1998: "What if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction?...Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."
All of this history has been conveniently washed down the Hollywood memory hole....
I also remember when leftists and Hollywood stars of all stripes opposed American intervention in Grenada and supported the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. The people of both countries have shown their gratitude for our help and today live in freedom. I remember, too, how many countries were hesitant to join the allied coalition in the 1991 Gulf War, fearing that it would turn out horribly. History has proved them wrong....
END of Excerpt
For Fund's article in full:
For the MRC's compilation of liberal anti-war outbursts from celebrities, see the "Celebrities on Politics and War" page:
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