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Nets Take Last Shot at How Europeans Say Good Riddance to Bush --6/16/2008


1. Nets Take Last Shot at How Europeans Say Good Riddance to Bush
Getting in some last shots at President Bush as his trip to Europe came to an end in London, CBS and ABC on Sunday night focused stories on Bush's unpopularity on the continent where "they're glad he's on his way out" and it's "an understatement to say that Mr. Bush is unpopular." CBS correspondent Bill Plante asserted "much of Europe thinks of Mr. Bush as a cowboy who has ridden roughshod over the wishes of his allies and they're glad he's on his way out," before the CBS Evening News featured a woman on the street who declared: "Good-bye. It was not fun. And I am looking forward to the change." Then viewers heard from protesters: "George Bush? Terrorist! George Bush? Terrorist!" Plante proceeded to highlight: "According to a Pew Research Center poll out last week, Europeans -- a majority of Britons, French and Germans -- believe a new President means a better U.S. foreign policy, and for most Britons, French and Germans, Barack Obama's personal story and opposition to the war make him a heavy favorite over John McCain when it comes to their confidence in his handling of foreign policy."

2. Stephanopoulos: Attacks on Obama Like 'Untrue' Anti-Kerry Charges
On Friday's Good Morning America, former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos attacked criticism of Barack Obama as comparable to "the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry's campaign in 2004." In an apparent dig at the Swift Boat veterans and their criticism of John Kerry, the ex-Democratic official-turned journalist maligned the critics: "In both those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges but failed to respond and lost the election." Stephanopoulos, who worked on the Dukakis campaign, didn't mention what "unfair and untrue" charges he was referring to regarding the '88 election.

3. Goldberg Cites Russert's Call for Newsroom Ideological Diversity
Appearing by phone on Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg recalled for fill-in host Laura Ingraham how Tim Russert recognized there should be more to newsroom diversity than just diversity by gender and skin tone, that "you need ideological diversity." Goldberg, who was forced out of CBS News after he pointed out their liberal bias, lamented: "I wish his colleagues understood that part of Tim Russert, too. That he knew that we needed all kinds of people in journalism because if we didn't have it we were going to get one-sided journalism."

4. Actor Jack Nicholson Keeps Donating to Left-Wing Losers
"When it comes to politics, [actor Jack] Nicholson may want to ponder his very own losing streak: He tends to back also-rans in Democratic presidential primary contests," the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers and Paul Kane recounted in their "In the Loop" compilation on Thursday. They reported how "Nicholson's first choice was none other than Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). On Jan. 10, Nicholson cut a $500 check to Kucinich's presidential campaign -- barely a week before the diminutive lawmaker bowed out of the race." Then "he wrote $500 checks in February to the debt retirement efforts of Sens. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), both of whom left the race after dismal showings in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses" and, "finally, on Feb. 29, Nicholson picked a new presidential contender -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)."


Nets Take Last Shot at How Europeans
Say Good Riddance to Bush

Getting in some last shots at President Bush as his trip to Europe came to an end in London, CBS and ABC on Sunday night focused stories on Bush's unpopularity on the continent where "they're glad he's on his way out" and it's "an understatement to say that Mr. Bush is unpopular." CBS correspondent Bill Plante asserted "much of Europe thinks of Mr. Bush as a cowboy who has ridden roughshod over the wishes of his allies and they're glad he's on his way out," before the CBS Evening News featured a woman on the street who declared: "Good-bye. It was not fun. And I am looking forward to the change." Then viewers heard from protesters: "George Bush? Terrorist! George Bush? Terrorist!" Plante proceeded to highlight:
"According to a Pew Research Center poll out last week, Europeans -- a majority of Britons, French and Germans -- believe a new President means a better U.S. foreign policy, and for most Britons, French and Germans, Barack Obama's personal story and opposition to the war make him a heavy favorite over John McCain when it comes to their confidence in his handling of foreign policy."

On ABC's World News, anchor Dan Harris maintained: "It is, perhaps, an understatement to say that Mr. Bush is unpopular in Europe right now." Reporter Jonathan Karl agreed "President Bush hasn't exactly received a warm farewell in Europe," but noted "it hasn't been a hostile one, either" and "that's a big change. Four years ago, as outrage over the Iraq war reached its peak, he was greeted with massive, sometimes violent protests, wherever he went." Today, however, "there are tourists, not protesters in Trafalgar Square. Part of the reason is resentment of the United States is starting to wane. Another is simply that Europe is already looking beyond President Bush."

A Johns Hopkins professor charged that "George Bush is probably the most unpopular figures one can imagine, throughout the continent." After a clip of First Lady Laura Bush arguing her husband is "going to have an unbelievably great legacy, with the advantage of hindsight," Karl snidely observed: "Maybe. But he's got a long, long way to go."

Plante's Pew numbers came from a Pew Global Attitudes Project survey released on June 12: pewglobal.org

A CBS graphic showed those in Britain had more "confidence" in Obama over McCain to handle world affairs by 62 to 37 percent; 77 to 38 percent in France and 73 to 32 percent in Germany.

Transcripts of the Sunday, June 15 stories on CBS and ABC (golf bumped the NBC Nightly News):

# CBS Evening News:

RUSS MITCHELL: President Bush is due back at the White House tomorrow after his week-long trip to Europe. It has been a journey to say good-bye the allies that's brought strong reaction good and bad. Bill Plante is traveling with the President.

BILL PLANTE: Sunday afternoon tea with the Queen at Windsor castle. The President is enjoying the final leg of his European farewell tour. He says he'll have good news for his successor.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. PRESS I will be pleased to report to him that the relationship between the United Sates and Europe is the broadest and most vibrant it has ever been.
PLANTE: But much of Europe thinks of Mr. Bush as a cowboy who has ridden roughshod over the wishes of his allies and they're glad he's on his way out.
WOMAN ON STREET: Good-bye. It was not fun. And I am looking forward to the change.
PROTESTORS: George Bush? Terrorist! George Bush? Terrorist!
PLANTE: Here in London, there's still angry opposition to the Iraq war and particularly to the presence of 4,200 British troops in the south of Iraq. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who suffers from approval ratings as low as the President's, reportedly hoped to bring all his troops home by the end of the year, but Mr. Bush's position is there should be no set timetable.
BUSH ON SKY NEWS: If there's success, we're going to pull troops out. And I have absolutely no problem with how Gordon Brown is managing the Iraqi effort.
PLANTE: The appearance that Washington sets the agenda in Iraq and elsewhere reinforces the European view that Mr. Bush does what he pleases without regard to the feelings of his friends and allies. And according to a Pew Research Center poll out last week, Europeans -- a majority of Britons, French and Germans -- believe a new President means a better U.S. foreign policy, and for most Britons, French and Germans, Barack Obama's personal story and opposition to the war make him a heavy favorite over John McCain when it comes to their confidence in his handling of foreign policy. But there's also a dose of weary European realism.
MAN ON STREET: The problems are still there to be resolved, so I think he will have a hard time when he's President. Anyway, you know.
PLANTE: Sure, because the reality in Washington is that high expectations are usually hard to fulfill. Bill Plante, CBS News, with the President in London.


# ABC's World News:

DAN HARRIS: It is, perhaps, an understatement to say that Mr. Bush is unpopular in Europe right now. That is something that he acknowledged, unapologetically, today. ABC's Jonathan Karl is traveling with the President.

JONATHAN KARL: From the Queen, a warm welcome today at Windsor Castle. From the less lofty President Bush hasn't exactly received a warm farewell in Europe. But it hasn't been a hostile one, either. That's a big change. Four years ago, as outrage over the Iraq war reached its peak, he was greeted with massive, sometimes violent protests, wherever he went. In London's Trafalgar Square, they even tore down a mock statue of him. Today, there are tourists, not protesters in Trafalgar Square. Part of the reason is resentment of the United States is starting to wane. Another is simply that Europe is already looking beyond President Bush.
PATRICK JARREAU, LE MONDE: They don't see the bond to demonstrate against somebody who will be out of power in six months or so.
KARL: Virtually every one of his foreign policy decisions seemed to outrage Europe. The Iraq war. Guantanamo Bay. And global warming, to name a few.
BUSH, ON TUESDAY: Yeah, there are problems. On the other hand, there's much more that unites us than divides us.
KARL: Since his re-election in 2004, Bush has been trying to repair the damage. In stark contrast to how he dealt with Iraq, for example, the President has let Europe take the lead on confronting Iran.
PROFESSOR DANIEL HAMILTON, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: During the second term, the Bush administration started right off saying we want to work with Europe. It's a very important partner, perhaps our most important partner. Let's get this right for our second term.
KARL: America's image may be improving, but Bush still isn't winning any popularity contests.
HAMILTON: George Bush is probably the most unpopular figures one can imagine, throughout the continent.
BUSH ON SKY NEWS: I want it to be said about George W. Bush that when he finished his presidency, he looked in the mirror and a man who did not compromise his core principles for the sake of politics.
KARL: The more popular Bush acknowledged the problem.
LAURA BUSH, ON MONDAY: I know he may not be that popular right now, as you say. But I think he's going to have an unbelievably great legacy, with the advantage of hindsight.
KARL: Maybe. But he's got a long, long way to go. Tomorrow, the President meets with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. And, Dan, he'll also be having breakfast the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, somebody who has been almost as unpopular here as President Bush.

Stephanopoulos: Attacks on Obama Like
'Untrue' Anti-Kerry Charges

On Friday's Good Morning America, former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos attacked criticism of Barack Obama as comparable to "the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry's campaign in 2004." In an apparent dig at the Swift Boat veterans and their criticism of John Kerry, the ex-Democratic official-turned journalist maligned the critics: "In both those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges but failed to respond and lost the election." Stephanopoulos, who worked on the Dukakis campaign, didn't mention what "unfair and untrue" charges he was referring to regarding the '88 election.

Both the Stephanopoulos segment and a previous piece by ABC reporter Jake Tapper discussed attacks and "unflattering and untrue" criticism of both Barack and Michelle Obama. Tapper observed that the candidate's wife has made some "controversial comments." However, Tapper, and later Stephanopoulos and GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, failed to mention what those statements might be. To be fair, Tapper has previously highlighted Mrs. Obama's utterance that, with the 2008 campaign, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country." But it would have been helpful to have played the clip on Friday's segment. After all, is there not a difference between Internet smears that the Illinois Senator is a secret Muslim and criticism of actual statements made on the campaign trail?

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Blurring the lines, Cuomo began the first segment by lamenting: "Despite pledges for the campaign to be about issues, personal attacks are popping up on the internet." Tapper's piece stated that the Tennessee Republican Party ran "a Web ad against [Michelle Obama]." He didn't mention it, but that ad brought up the "proud of my country" comments. Now, contrast that statement, which was most definitely uttered by Mrs. Obama, with the ABC graphic that appeared during the piece: "Stopping the Smear Campaign: Obama Campaign Fights Rumors." It seems as though ABC is attempting to lump together all critiques on the Obamas as "rumors" and smears.

A transcript of the Friday, June 13 segments, which aired at 7:13am:

CHRIS CUOMO: And now to the race to '08. Despite pledges for the campaign to be about issues, personal attacks are popping up on the internet. The presumptive Democratic nominee is taking unprecedented action this morning trying to squash rumors about his faith, his background, even his wife Michelle. Jake Tapper has more for us this morning from Chicago. Good morning, Jake.
ABC GRAPHIC: Stopping the Smear Campaign: Obama Campaign Fights Rumors
JAKE TAPPER: Good morning, Chris. Well, Senator Barack Obama has vanquished the powerful Clinton-Democratic machine but has not yet been able to beat back those persistent and untrue rumors about him and his wife. So, he has taken the unusual step of launching a new website called Fightthesmears.com. Barack Obama knows there are some unflattering and untrue e-mails about him circulating.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: All I want to say is, let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama because he sounds pretty scary.
TAPPER: His new website aims to website to correct the record, as with the rumor that Michelle Obama says "whitey" on a tape. The truth, the website declares, no such tape exists.
ROBERT GIBBS (Communications director, Obama campaign): Without a website to let people know the truth, rumor becomes the truth on the internet.
TAPPER: A recent poll showed that one in ten Americans think Obama's a Muslim, which he is not. But the rumor has been circulating for more than a year. Initially, Obama did not want to dignify the rumors with a response.
DREW WESTEN (Author, The Political Brain): I would have gone after them the day they first showed up on the internet.
TAPPER: Psychiatry professor Drew Weston said that was bad strategy, since our brains are wired to take in immediate impressions, even if false.
WESTEN: The reality is, that if you don't respond to an attack, just from the point of view of how our brains work, what you're allowing the other side to do is to shape the associations people have to the candidates in their minds..
TAPPER: The tipping point for Obama dealt with his wife Michelle, whose sometimes controversial comments have made her a lightning rod for criticism. Last week Obama became irritated after a reporter asked him about the apparently non-existent "whitey" tape.
OBAMA: We've seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mail. And they pump 'em out long enough until finally, you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about them.
TAPPER: Obama has been sensitive to attacks on Michelle before. After the Tennessee Republican Party ran a web ad against her, Obama told "Good Morning America" she was off limits.
OBAMA: But I also think these folks should lay off my wife. All right? Just in case they're watching.
TAPPER: Apparently Obama was fired up about the rumor issue. He confronted Senator Joe Lieberman, the independent who is backing John McCain for not doing enough to push back on the Obama-Muslim rumor when Lieberman's asked about it. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO: All right, Jake. Thank you for that. Let's get the bottom line on all of this. For that, we go to chief Washington correspondent, host of This Week, George Stephanopoulos. George, good morning. As always, good to have you.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Hey, Chris.
CUOMO: Let's get right to the heart of the matter here. Barack Obama doesn't like them going after his wife but is it fair game? Should he expect this?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, I mean, you have to be ready for anything. But as you saw in that piece, he's ready to fight back as well, both on the web and across the media. Number one, Michelle Obama herself is going to be out there on the campaign trail. She's campaigning with Obama today at a forum in Ohio. She's going to be on The View next week as a guest host. So -- but the important point the Obama campaign wants to make is that whenever an unfair charge or an untrue charge is leveled, they're going to respond. They're going to hit back hard. They're colored by the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry's campaign in 2004. In both those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges but failed to respond and lost the election.
CUOMO: It's interesting on this one. David Axelrod, one of Obama's advisors said there may be recoil potential going after Michelle, may work against the Republicans. Let me ask about their strategy here so far. The website. Is this going to be enough to stem these kinds of attacks? Obama's website?
STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not going to stop the attacks, but instead of creating just a campaign war room, like we've seen in the past, what the Obama campaign wants to do is basically create a virtual army with foot soldiers all across the country sending along the e-mails to counter what they consider the unfair, untrue e-mails. What you can do on this website is actually download your entire address book so that everyone you know gets the, gets the information from the Obama campaign. The insight here, Chris, is that the campaign realizes, just as George W. Bush's campaign realized in 2004, that most people get most of their political information, not just from the media, but from their friends, from their neighbors, on the internet. So, they're going to fight it e-mail by e-mail, link by link.
CUOMO: All right, George. Thank you very much. Appreciate the insight this morning.

Goldberg Cites Russert's Call for Newsroom
Ideological Diversity

Appearing by phone on Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg recalled for fill-in host Laura Ingraham how Tim Russert recognized there should be more to newsroom diversity than just diversity by gender and skin tone, that "you need ideological diversity." Goldberg, who was forced out of CBS News after he pointed out their liberal bias, lamented: "I wish his colleagues understood that part of Tim Russert, too. That he knew that we needed all kinds of people in journalism because if we didn't have it we were going to get one-sided journalism."

Goldberg read aloud to the FNC audience a quote from Russert contained in an interview featured in Goldberg's 2003 book, Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite:
"I'm all for hiring women in the newsroom and minorities in the newsroom -- I'm all for it. It opens up our eyes and gives us a different perspective. But just as well, let's have people with military experience. Let's have people from all walks of life. People from the top echelon schools, but people from junior colleges and the so-called middling schools -- that's the rich pageantry of America. I'm a great believer in racial diversity and gender diversity, but you need cultural diversity, you need ideological diversity." And then he emphasized, Laura: "You need it."

Amazon's page for Goldberg's book: www.amazon.com

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Goldberg's entire recollection from the Friday, June 13 O'Reilly Factor:

He was one of the good guys. But the reason he was one of the good guys isn't simply because he knew his beat better than almost everybody else, he was one of the good guys because he was fair. He was a blue collar guy who understood America and Americans a lot better than a lot of other people who work in journalism. One of the things that he told me -- I did a long interview with him and published an entire -- I didn't want to take snippets out so I published the entire transcript of the interview. Let me read you a short segment here. This was about the need for real diversity in the newsroom that goes beyond the kind we have now. He said:

"I'm all for hiring women in the newsroom and minorities in the newsroom -- I'm all for it. It opens up our eyes and gives us a different perspective. But just as well, let's have people with military experience. Let's have people from all walks of life. People from the top echelon schools, but people from junior colleges and the so-called middling schools -- that's the rich pageantry of America. I'm a great believer in racial diversity and gender diversity, but you need cultural diversity, you need ideological diversity." And then he emphasized, Laura: "You need it."

You know, I've spent much of the day listening to his colleagues say wonderful things about Russert and I'm glad for every word. But I wish his colleagues understood that part of Tim Russert, too. That he knew that we needed all kinds of people in journalism because if we didn't have it we were going to get one-sided journalism. We were going to get people who brought their biases to the stories. And he didn't. He didn't. He went out of his way to take a position, to look at a position, and say this is how I feel about it and that is totally irrelevant. That's what made him as important as he was. That he was fair.

Goldberg's Web site: www.bernardgoldberg.com


# As distributed late Friday afternoon in a MRC Alert Special:

Statement of Brent Bozell on the Death of Tim Russert:

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Media Research Center President Brent Bozell has issued the following statement regarding Tim Russert's passing:

"Whenever I've been asked to give examples of a fair, balanced and honest journalist, Tim Russert's name was the first name that came to mind. This was a view shared by everyone and was the ultimate testimony to his professionalism. As a moderator he was in a league of his own, always knowing when to speak and when to let his guests do the talking. As an individual he was an absolute class act, and always a gentleman. The world of journalism is vastly diminished today."

Actor Jack Nicholson Keeps Donating to
Left-Wing Losers

"When it comes to politics, [actor Jack] Nicholson may want to ponder his very own losing streak: He tends to back also-rans in Democratic presidential primary contests," the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers and Paul Kane recounted in their "In the Loop" compilation on Thursday. They reported how "Nicholson's first choice was none other than Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). On Jan. 10, Nicholson cut a $500 check to Kucinich's presidential campaign -- barely a week before the diminutive lawmaker bowed out of the race."

Then "he wrote $500 checks in February to the debt retirement efforts of Sens. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), both of whom left the race after dismal showings in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses" and, "finally, on Feb. 29, Nicholson picked a new presidential contender -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Just days before her big primary wins in Ohio and Texas, Nicholson sent a check for $2,300, the maximum, to her campaign."

In fact, "through the end of April, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was the only Democratic presidential contender from the House or Senate not to receive any financial support from the famed actor."

But "this is hardly a new phenomenon for Nicholson," Akers and Kane recalled: "During the 2000 campaign, Nicholson backed former senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), giving him $1,000 for his unsuccessful bid for the nomination eventually won by former Vice President Al Gore."

The June 12 Washington Post article: www.washingtonpost.com

The Internet Movie Database's page for Nicholson: www.imdb.com

-- Brent Baker