2. In Advocating Draft, Andy Rooney Smears Volunteer Soldiers
3. Poll: Overwhelming Majority See Media Bias, Mostly to the Left
4. Richard Gere: 'We Have a President Right Now Who Lies Constantly'
5. 'Top Ten Signs Your Wife Is Having an Affair With Newt Gingrich'
When the Clinton administration in 1993, in a then-unprecedented decision, gave all 93 U.S. Attorneys ten days to leave their offices, including Jay Stephens who was in the midst of investigating House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News didn't utter a syllable about it. But on Wednesday night, the evening newscasts on both networks led with Republican Senator John Sununu's call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as both highlighted different U.S. Attorneys who were amongst the eight replaced late last year by the Bush administration, painting both as victims of nefarious political maneuvering.
"The pressure on the Attorney General of the United States to resign is growing," ABC anchor Charles Gibson trumpeted, "for the first time, a Republican Senator has said Alberto Gonzales must go." Focusing on the fired U.S. Attorney for San Diego, Carol Lam, reporter Pierre Thomas suggested she was removed for pursuing a case against a GOP Congressman and relayed how "Democrats pointed out that most of the eight fired U.S. attorneys had excellent performance reviews." On CBS, Sandra Hughes delivered a "CBS News Exclusive" about how "John McKay was fired in December for reasons he now believes had nothing to do with the way he did his job, but very much to do with Washington politics." Hughes passed along how "it was what he didn't do that McKay believes got him fired. In the 2004 gubernatorial race in Washington state, the Democratic candidate won by just a couple of hundred votes. McKay didn't call a grand jury to investigate questions of voter fraud." But as Wall Street Journal editorial on Wednesday noted, McKay ignored very real evidence of voter fraud.
An excerpt from the March 14 Wall Street Journal editorial:
....The supposed scandal this week is that Mr. Bush had been informed last fall that some U.S. Attorneys had been less than vigorous in pursuing voter-fraud cases and that the President had made the point to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Voter fraud strikes at the heart of democratic institutions, and it was entirely appropriate for Mr. Bush--or any President--to insist that his appointees act energetically against it.
Take sacked U.S. Attorney John McKay from Washington state. In 2004, the Governor's race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129 votes on a third recount. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other media outlets reported, some of the "voters" were deceased, others were registered in storage-rental facilities, and still others were convicted felons. More than 100 ballots were "discovered" in a Seattle warehouse. None of this constitutes proof that the election was stolen. But it should have been enough to prompt Mr. McKay, a Democrat, to investigate, something he declined to do, apparently on grounds that he had better things to do....
END of Excerpt
For the editorial in full: www.opinionjournal.com
[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The April 1993 edition of the MRC's MediaWatch newsletter reported: "Attorney General Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, a very unusual practice. Republicans charged the Clintonites made the move to take U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens off the House Post Office investigation of Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski. The network response: ABC and CBS never mentioned it." See: www.mediaresearch.org
For an excerpt from a March of 1993 Washington Post story on Reno's move, as well as a rundown of how the Tuesday night broadcast network newscasts all led with the controversy, check the Wednesday CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
(For a rundown of coverage on the Wednesday morning shows, see Tim Graham's Media Reality Check, which was distributed to CyberAlert e-mail subscribers: "Mass Amnesia Over Mass Clinton Firings; ABC, CBS, CNN, FNC, NBC Morning Interviews With Gonzales All Skip 'March Massacre' of 1993," online at: www.mrc.org )
Now, to the March 14 ABC and CBS evening newscast coverage:
# ABC's World News. Anchor Charles Gibson teased: "Tonight, new calls for the Attorney General to resign over the firing of U.S. prosecutors. President Bush comes to his defense, but says he needs to explain."
Gibson led: "Good evening. The pressure on the Attorney General of the United States to resign is growing. For the first time, a Republican Senator has said Alberto Gonzales must go. New Hampshire Senator John Sununu today told ABC News [text on screen] 'the President should fire the Attorney General. That's what's in the President's interest and the country's interest.' President Bush did come to Gonzales' defense earlier in the day, but the President also joined the chorus of criticism."
Pierre Thomas asserted that at a press conference in Mexico President Bush "admitted he had passed along complaints about some U.S. Attorneys to the Attorney General" and Thomas showed a soundbite of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claiming the Bush administration had committed an "illegal" act, before relaying the Democratic spin that painted one U.S. Attorney as a victim of improper political consideration:
After the first story by Jim Axelrod on how Bush took Gonzales "to the woodshed" and how it "appears some [of the U.S. Attorneys] were fired for political reasons," Couric set up what was introduced in the tease as a "CBS News Exclusive" story:
John McKay, former U.S. attorney: "I'm disappointed in the President. I'm disappointed in the Attorney General."
Following Hughes, Couric turned to CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen who declared it "absolutely extraordinary" to remove U.S. Attorneys in middle of a President's term.
[This item is adapted from a posting, by Justin McCarthy, on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog: newsbusters.org ]
Rooney should have checked over his facts before making such a statement. A 2006 study by Tim Kane of the Heritage Foundation, "Who Are the Recruits? The Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Enlistment, 2003'€"2005," directly contradicts his assertions. An excerpt:
....In summary, the additional years of recruit data (2004'€"2005) support the previous finding that U.S. military recruits are more similar than dissimilar to the American youth population. The slight differences are that wartime U.S. military enlistees are better educated, wealthier, and more rural on aver-age than their civilian peers.
Recruits have a higher percentage of high school graduates and representation from Southern and rural areas. No evidence indicates exploitation of racial minorities (either by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). Finally, the distribution of household income of recruits is noticeably higher than that of the entire youth population.
Demographic evidence discredits the argument that a draft is necessary to enforce representation from racial and socioeconomic groups....
END of Excerpt
For the report in full: www.heritage.org
The "vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well" with 83 percent seeing bias in the media and of those, "nearly two-thirds (64 percent)...said the media leans left" while only "slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) said they see a conservative bias," determined a Zogby Interactive survey of 1,757 likely voters nationwide which was released on Wednesday.
An excerpt from the posted findings for the survey conducted in conjunction with the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet (IPDI) at the George Washington University:
Zogby Poll: Voters Believe Media Bias is Very Real
Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet/Zogby Poll shows American voters are skeptical political motivation may be behind blogs run by mainstream news organizations The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well -- 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn't take political sides, a recent IPDI/Zogby Interactive poll shows....
Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias on their TV sets and in their column inches....
While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a conservative bias. Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right -- and 17% said the bias favored the left.
END of Excerpt
Zogby's summary of the poll results: www.zogby.com
IPDI's home page: www.ipdi.org
For many more polls on how the public perceive the media, as well as for the views held by journalists, check the MRC's "Media Bias Basics" section on the MRC's Web site. Rich Noyes updated it this month with "The Liberal Media Exposed," a PDF-formatted collection of the most-illuminating findings: Formatted, easy-to-print pages detailing the key results of nearly two dozen surveys about media bias. The report also includes quotes from top journalists denying a liberal media bias, plus comments from journalists acknowledging the problem. Go to: www.mediaresearch.org
Gere also contended that "the second Watergate where they got caught actually had a lot to do with the material that's in this book, in the fake autobiography, because Clifford made up a lot of things about Hughes and Richard Nixon and they ended up being true. But Nixon was the only one that knew they were true and so the break-in was actually to find out how much the Democratic Party knew."
[This item was posted late Wednesday night, with video, on the MRC's blog. The video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime to watch the Real or Windows Media video, as well as MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]
IMDb's plot summary for The Hoax: "In what would cause a fantastic media frenzy, Clifford Irving (Gere) sells his bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a premiere publishing house in the early 1970s." See: www.imdb.com
Yahoo's plot summary: "The writer Clifford Irving nearly pulled off one of the most audacious media scams in history, when his 'autobiography' of Howard Hughes was published. Irving claimed the book was based on in-person interviews with the reclusive billionaire, which were in fact completely bogus." See: movies.yahoo.com
Wikipedia's page on Clifford Irving: en.wikipedia.org
A transcript of the relevant portion of the interview on the March 14 Late Show with David Letterman on CBS:
Richard Gere: "Hughes was involved with some money-laundering with Richard Nixon and Donald Nixon, which we get into in the film. But, in fact, it's pretty clear now that Watergate -- the second Watergate where they got caught -- actually had a lot to do with the material that's in this book, in the fake autobiography, because Clifford made up a lot of things about Hughes and Richard Nixon and they ended up being true. But Nixon was the only one that knew they were true and so the break-in was actually to find out how much the Democratic Party knew."
From the March 14 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Signs Your Wife Is Having an Affair With Newt Gingrich." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. When people say Newt Gingrich screwed the middle class, wife says, "Damn straight"
9. Comes home late from work smelling all Newty
8. You find a love letter signed by the "Newt-Ron Bomb"
7. She starts buying black-market Vicodin for Rush Limbaugh
6. You find a congressional gavel floating in the hot tub
5. A strange voice on the answering machine asks your wife if she wants to "'Newt' it up this weekend"
4. During sex, she screams provisions from the 1994 Contract With America
3. She's on the phone in the other room and all you can make out is "Trent Lott" and "Threesome"
2. No number 2 -- writer still stuck on grounded JetBlue flight
1. There's a photo of them on NewtGingrichIsSleepingWithYourWife.com
-- Brent Baker