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Olbermann Features Three Bush Critics from Left, Blasts Rumsfeld --9/1/2006


1. Olbermann Features Three Bush Critics from Left, Blasts Rumsfeld
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann continued his attacks on the Bush administration over its current series of speeches defending the Iraq War. Hosting interviews with three Bush critics from the left (Senator Barbara Boxer, the Mayor of Salt Lake City who led a protest against Bush's "lies" and John Dean, who labeled Donald Rumsfeld an "authoritarian"), the Countdown host provided a forum to attack the administration without any Bush supporters for balance. Olbermann also patted himself on the back for his Wednesday night diatribe against Rumsfeld by citing the "thousands of [Countdown viewers] who responded so kindly," and continued his attacks as he claimed that the Defense Secretary, while employing "vicious" rhetoric and "embracing" the "methods" of "fascists" in his recent speech "against your right to dissent," claiming that Rumsfeld was "throwing dissent under the bus." The Countdown host also labeled some of Bush's logic in arguing Iraq's importance in the war on terrorism as "nonsense." Olbermann rounded up his big anti-conservative night by naming conservatives Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Senator Conrad Burns as his three nominees for his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment.

2. Couric Makes First 'CBS Evening News' Appearance, Lauds Schieffer
At the end of Thursday's CBS Evening News, with a slap on her arm Bob Schieffer greeted incoming anchor Katie Couric in front of the new set, which Schieffer said he couldn't show "because it's not quite finished yet." Before viewers saw a pre-taped tribute to Schieffer narrated by Couric, she gushed: "I can't imagine following in the footsteps of a kinder, more gracious person." Following the tribute, which ended with Schieffer choking up while thanking his parents and his wife, Schieffer got what Dan Rather did not on his last night: Handshakes at the side of the studio from CBS executives. For Schieffer, CBS News President Sean McManus and CBS President Les Moonves -- at least it looked like them in the crowd of applauding staffers and family members. AUDIO&VIDEO

3. CBS Re-Airs Rather Special: Liberal Epithet to 'Intimidate' Him
On Friday night at 9pm EDT/PDT, CBS will re-air its special, Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers, that first ran on Wednesday March 9, 2005. The program showed the MRC's logo on screen at one point as Rather, dismissing a series of efforts to "intimidate" him, drew a line from being called "an 'N-lover'" during the civil rights movement to the Vietnam war years when critics tagged him with a "bad name: 'anti-military, anti-American, anti-war,'" and "then, when Watergate came into being was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way." Rather claimed: "People who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.' Now, it is true about me, for better or for worse, if you want to see my neck swell, you just try to tell me where to line up or what to think and mostly what to report." AUDIO&VIDEO

4. CNN Devotes Story to MRC Study on Coverage of Illegal Immigration
On Thursday night, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, anchored by Kitty Pilgrim, featured a full story on the MRC's study by Tim Graham released on Monday, "Election In the Streets: How the Broadcast Networks Promote Illegal Immigration." Pilgrim announced that "this nation's major newscasts are being accused of being blatantly sympathetic to illegal aliens." Reporter Casey Wian explained how "a study released this week by the conservative Media Research Center...claims ABC, CBS, and NBC News have been promoting illegal immigration." After a soundbite from Graham, Wian relayed how "the study examined network news coverage of the issue from March 24th through May 31st. Among the findings, illegal alien amnesty advocates appeared in about twice as many soundbites as supporters of border security." In addition, "networks routinely ignored polls showing the vast majority of Americans favor stronger border security. And the study concluded: 'The networks seemed to offer honorary citizenship to anyone crossing the border.'" AUDIO&VIDEO

5. Letterman's "Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses"
Letterman's "Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses."


Olbermann Features Three Bush Critics
from Left, Blasts Rumsfeld

On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann continued his attacks on the Bush administration over its current series of speeches defending the Iraq War. Hosting interviews with three Bush critics from the left (Senator Barbara Boxer, the Mayor of Salt Lake City who led a protest against Bush's "lies" and John Dean, who labeled Donald Rumsfeld an "authoritarian"), the Countdown host provided a forum to attack the administration without any Bush supporters for balance. Olbermann also patted himself on the back for his Wednesday night diatribe against Rumsfeld by citing the "thousands of [Countdown viewers] who responded so kindly," and continued his attacks as he claimed that the Defense Secretary, while employing "vicious" rhetoric and "embracing" the "methods" of "fascists" in his recent speech "against your right to dissent," claiming that Rumsfeld was "throwing dissent under the bus." The Countdown host also labeled some of Bush's logic in arguing Iraq's importance in the war on terrorism as "nonsense." Olbermann rounded up his big anti-conservative night by naming conservatives Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Senator Conrad Burns as his three nominees for his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment.

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Friday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

During the August 31 show's teaser, Olbermann accused Rumsfeld of opposing "your right to dissent" as he plugged his segment with Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer: "And Senator Boxer of California offering a nonbinding resolution demanding the President remove Mr. Rumsfeld in the wake of his speech against your right to dissent."

As Olbermann introduced the first segment, he mocked Bush as likely to soon claim voters have to choose to either "vote for him or Attila the Hun" and dismissively referred to Bush's comparisons of Islamic terrorists to Nazis and fascists "and anybody else you got." After playing a few clips of Bush's speech at the American Legion convention, he brought aboard Boxer to discuss her call for the President to fire Rumsfeld, during which Olbermann referred to Bush's explanation of Iraq's importance in the war on terrorism as "nonsense": "Senator Boxer, he also said if we leave Iraq, the terrorists will follow us, that we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here, but is there not an implication in that that if we stay in Iraq, they suddenly will stop following us anywhere else, they won't try to attack us here, and is that not just nonsense?"

After the Boxer interview, Olbermann highlighted praise from his viewers for his anti-Rumsfeld commentary from the previous night, referring to the "literally thousands of you who responded so kindly." Olbermann: "And a quick note of thanks to you and the literally thousands of you who responded so kindly to my special comment here last night on Mr. Rumsfeld's remarks. We are simply overwhelmed, especially by those who suggested we should repeat those remarks in full on this newscast tonight. On the theory that that would be akin to making everybody in a theater watch the same movie again immediately, we advise you instead, if you are so inclined, that the video and the transcript remain available on our Web site at Countdown.MSNBC.com."

(The August 31 CyberAlert item with video, "Olbermann Blasts Rumsfeld as a 'Quack' Pushing 'Fascism,'" recounted:
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night used his Countdown show to deliver a vitriolic personal attack on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "a reality check of Donald Rumsfeld's incendiary speech, a special comment on his attack on your right to disagree." Olbermann concluded his program with a six-minute diatribe against Rumsfeld: "The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet." Olbermann equated the Bush administration with "the English government of Neville Chamberlain" which "knew that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated." The MSNBC star charged, "The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought." The U.S., Olbermann asserted before concluding with Edward R. Murrow's "we must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," now "faces a new type of fascism." See: www.mediaresearch.org )

For the second segment, Olbermann brought aboard Salt Lake City's Democratic mayor, Rocky Anderson, who took part in anti-war protests in the city attacking the President's "abuse of power." Although the Countdown host later mentioned to Anderson that John Kerry had won a majority of votes in Salt Lake City, Olbermann introduced the segment citing Utah's overall 71 percent support for Bush implying that the presence of protests in such a state might be a sign of weakness in the President's "core support."

Olbermann: "President Bush won over 71 percent of the vote in Utah in 2004, the greatest percentage of any state in the Union. So when his visit there this week was greeted not only by protesters, but the protesting mayor of Utah's biggest city, it definitely raised some questions about his core support. ... An estimated 4,000 marched to the federal building there and delivered a symbolic indictment against the President and Congress for abuse of power, but before the march began, they gathered at the Salt Lake County building to listen to Mayor Anderson lay out his case against the administration."
Mayor Rocky Anderson (D-Salt Lake City): "This is a new day. We will not be silent. We will continue to raise our voices. And we will bring others with us. We will grow and grow regardless of political party."

As the interview was concluding, and after Anderson contended that it was patriotic to voice dissent over the Iraq War, Olbermann made a response which could be interpreted as implying that war supporters do not care about those who have died in the war as he labeled anti-war protesters as "the" people who did not want to see those deaths. Olbermann: "And we never honor the war dead by smearing the people who did not want them to die in the first place."

For his third anti-Bush interview, Olbermann brought in frequent administration critic and semi-regular guest John Dean, using the interview to further attack Rumsfeld for his recent speech comparing terrorists to fascists, as the Countdown host accused Rumsfeld of "throwing dissent under the bus" and using the "methods" of fascists in a "rhetorical balancing act" even while being critical of fascists, claiming the speech "read like Quisling of Norway and Oswald Moseley of the British Union of Fascists." (A complete list of Olbermann's questions to Dean can be found at the very end of the transcript further down.)

Olbermann: "It has not been gone into at length in the initial responses to the Rumsfeld speech, but why is the administration on this Nazi and fascism terminology kick, especially given that the fact that the rest of Mr. Rumsfeld's speech read like Quisling of Norway or Oswald Moseley of the British Union of Fascists? Is that not quite a rhetorical balancing act to be so vicious in the terminology while embracing, to some degree, the methods of the people you're supposedly criticizing?"

And it turned out the anti-conservative flavor that took up the first 40 minutes of the show was still not enough, as the Countdown host also chose conservatives as all three nominees for his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, as the night's choices were Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Republican Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT).

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the August 31 Countdown show:

Keith Olbermann, during teaser: "And Senator Boxer of California offering a nonbinding resolution demanding the President remove Mr. Rumsfeld in the wake of his speech against your right to dissent."

...

Keith Olbermann: "Good evening. This is Thursday August 31st, 68 days until the 2006 midterm elections, by which time the President may be asking you to vote for him or vote for Attila the Hun. Our fifth story in the Countdown tonight, first the Secretary of Defense comparing critics of the current war in Iraq to those who tried to appease Adolf Hitler and the Nazis before World War II, today Mr. Bush expanding on that theme to equate current terrorists not just with Nazis, but also fascists, communists and other totalitarians. Reaction ahead from Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California, from the mayor who led the protesting in the city where the President spoke, and from John Dean. First, the President's speech. Mr. Bush insisting that his address to the American Legion in Salt Lake City would not be political, and then proceeding to frame the war debate for the upcoming midterm elections. His assertion, the current struggle against Islamic extremists is as important as was the fight against Nazi Germany plus Mussolini, plus the Cold War, and anybody else you got."

[clips from Bush's speech]

Olbermann: "A war we did not ask for, yet for which we managed to mobilize tens of thousands of American troops along the Kuwaiti border with Iraq for an invasion some 6,000 miles from the U.S."

...

Olbermann: "One thing that Mr. Bush did not say during his speech today, that his critics are 'morally' or 'intellectually confused,' that level of vitriol, for the moment at least, still the exclusive territory of his Defense Secretary, when Donald Rumsfeld addressed the American Legion convention on Tuesday. Day three of the fallout over his remarks prompting action on Capitol Hill. Democratic Senator Boxer of California saying she will offer a nonbinding resolution next week calling for Mr. Bush to fire his Defense Secretary and hire a new one.... Senator Boxer joins us now from California...."

Olbermann: "The administration also insisted again today that nothing in Mr. Rumsfeld's speech Tuesday was about stifling dissent, not even the part about those who disagree with the administration being morally or intellectually confused. Do you buy that?"

[Barbara Boxer]

Olbermann: "About the Commander-in-Chief's speech today, there are several parts of that address that a professor of logic might be able to drive a truck through, but there was one in particular that troubled me. I'd like to play a short clip of it and then call on you for your comment."
George W. Bush: "If we give up the fight in the streets of Baghdad, we will face the terrorists in the streets of our own cities. We can decide to stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq, in other parts of the world, but they will not decide to stop fighting us."
Olbermann: "Senator Boxer, he also said if we leave Iraq, the terrorists will follow us, that we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here, but is there not an implication in that that if we stay in Iraq, they suddenly will stop following us anywhere else, they won't try to attack us here, and is that not just nonsense?"

...

Olbermann: "And a quick note of thanks to you and the literally thousands of you who responded so kindly to my special comment here last night on Mr. Rumsfeld's remarks. We are simply overwhelmed, especially by those who suggested we should repeat those remarks in full on this newscast tonight. On the theory that that would be akin to making everybody in a theater watch the same movie again immediately, we advise you instead, if you are so inclined, that the video and the transcript remain available on our Web site at Countdown.MSNBC.com."

Olbermann, during before commercial break: "Much of Salt Lake City did not respond well to the visits of Mr. Rumsfeld or Mr. Bush, its mayor calling the latter a 'dishonest, warmongering, human rights-violating President.' Mayor Rocky Anderson joins us here."

...

8:18 p.m. Olbermann: "President Bush won over 71 percent of the vote in Utah in 2004, the greatest percentage of any state in the Union. So when his visit there this week was greeted not only by protesters, but the protesting mayor of Utah's biggest city, it definitely raised some questions about his core support. Our fourth story on the Countdown, protesting the President, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson joins us in a moment. First the protest itself, an estimated 4,000 marched to the federal building there and delivered a symbolic indictment against the President and Congress for abuse of power, but before the march began, they gathered at the Salt Lake County building to listen to Mayor Anderson lay out his case against the administration."
Mayor Rocky Anderson (D-Salt Lake City): "This is a new day. We will not be silent. We will continue to raise our voices. And we will bring others with us. We will grow and grow regardless of political party."

...

Olbermann: "And we never honor the war dead by smearing the people who did not want them to die in the first place."

...

8:34 p.m. Olbermann: "Our third story on the Countdown tonight is appeasement, suspected appeasement, by the Secretary of Defense. On Tuesday Mr. Rumsfeld explained why he invoked the Nazis."

[clips of Rumsfeld's speech]

Olbermann: "Was Mr. Rumsfeld likening critics of the war to the appeasers of the 30s?"

...

After quoting Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff's contention that Rumsfeld was not comparing war critics to appeasers, and clips of newspaper headlines that all had the same interpretation, proceeded to his interview with John Dean.

Olbermann: "This semantical dilettantism about calling people appeasers or not calling them, is this backtracking or is there some further Machiavellian or Rumsfeldian political plan behind making an obvious reference, whipping up a firestorm, and then taking the position that you were not referring to what you were referring to?"

Olbermann: "When your book came out, we talked at length about the psychological study of authoritarian personalities and how they had overtaken the conservative movement. Is there room in that psychological structure for one of them, like the Secretary, seriously misjudging the playing field and overreaching? Is that one of the symptoms of all of this? And did he do that in this speech?"

Olbermann: "Can there be, in your opinion, a bigger or broader danger to our democracy than when the very notion of debate, never mind the particulars of debate becomes not just anathema to the leaders, but is no longer seen as a requirement for the very survival of the democracy?"

Olbermann: "Dissent is obviously essential to our history. No dissent, no revolution. No dissent, no emancipation of the slaves. No dissent, in fact, no Republican party. So why throughout that history do some of us like Don Rumsfeld in this case, always turn to throwing dissent under the bus first?"

Olbermann: "It has not been gone into at length in the initial responses to the Rumsfeld speech, but why is the administration on this Nazi and fascism terminology kick, especially given that the fact that the rest of Mr. Rumsfeld's speech read like Quisling of Norway or Oswald Moseley of the British Union of Fascists? Is that not quite a rhetorical balancing act to be so vicious in the terminology while embracing, to some degree, the methods of the people you're supposedly criticizing?"

Olbermann: "And the President today, I got the impression that he was, you talk about conflating, he had conflated the Cold War with the fascists, with Mussolini, with Hitler. It really is, is there anything to be gained by exaggerating a threat like this, by putting it in terms of Apocalypse?"
John Dean: "Keith, I'm struck at how they're trying to play the American people as stupid, and I think this election is going to determine whether they're right, whether they're smarter than everybody thinks, or whether they really have made a terrible mistake by playing everybody for being as dumb as they seem to think they are."
Olbermann: "We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Couric Makes First 'CBS Evening News'
Appearance, Lauds Schieffer

At the end of Thursday's CBS Evening News, with a slap on her arm Bob Schieffer greeted incoming anchor Katie Couric in front of the new set, which Schieffer said he couldn't show "because it's not quite finished yet." Before viewers saw a pre-taped tribute to Schieffer narrated by Couric, she gushed: "I can't imagine following in the footsteps of a kinder, more gracious person." Following the tribute, which ended with Schieffer choking up while thanking his parents and his wife,


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Schieffer got what Dan Rather did not on his last night: Handshakes at the side of the studio from CBS executives. For Schieffer, CBS News President Sean McManus and CBS President Les Moonves -- at least it looked like them in the crowd of applauding staffers and family members.

[This item was posted, with video, Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media clip of Schieffer greeting Couric, as well as to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

For the CBSNews.com package on Thursday's transition: www.cbsnews.com

Couric starts as anchor on Tuesday, September 5.

CBS Re-Airs Rather Special: Liberal Epithet
to 'Intimidate' Him

On Friday night at 9pm EDT/PDT, CBS will re-air its special, Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers, that first ran on Wednesday March 9, 2005. The program showed the MRC's logo on screen at one point as Rather, dismissing a series of efforts to "intimidate" him, drew a line from being called "an 'N-lover'" during the civil rights movement to the Vietnam war years when critics tagged him with a "bad name: 'anti-military, anti-American, anti-war,'" and "then, when Watergate came into being


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was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way." Rather claimed: "People who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.' Now, it is true about me, for better or for worse, if you want to see my neck swell, you just try to tell me where to line up or what to think and mostly what to report."

(Video: The posted version of this item will soon include a video clip of Rather's claims about "intimidation" with the MRC's Web site featured on screen. The MRC's Michael Gibbons will add the Real and Windows Media clip as rendered by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey. Check the posted version after 10am EDT Friday for the video, as well as an MP3 audio clip and a screen shot of the MRC logo on CBS.)

The airing tonight may include some new material, but it probably won't be changed too much from what ran in 2005 since the CBS.com page schedule listing links to the page for it put up back in March of 2005, just after Rather's last night as anchor: www.cbsnews.com

Now, a reprint of a Thursday March 10, 2005 CyberAlert article, "Rather Draws Line from Being Called 'N-Lover' to a 'Liberal'"

In his Wednesday night prime time special reviewing his career, Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers, Rather, dismissing bias charges as a just the latest in a series of efforts to "intimidate" him, drew a line from being called "an 'N-lover'" during the civil rights movement to the Vietnam war years when critics tagged him with a "bad name: 'anti-military, anti-American, anti-war,'" and "then, when Watergate came into being was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way." Viewers then saw a montage of video clips and shots of Web sites with text accusing Rather and CBS of being "liberal," including the Media Research Center's logo and a headline over an MRC page on Rather. Without addressing evidence of his liberal tilt on policy, Rather charged that "people who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.'" On the memogate affair, the CBS special touted how the review panel found "no political agenda."

Earlier in the 8pm EST/PST hour, Rather described Iran-Contra as nothing more that "another case of people wanting to keep secret things that citizens had a right to know." Without any mention of the effort to bring freedom, Rather outlined the scheme as one to "get the money from these 'death-to-America' mullahs for the weapons, and then use the money for a secret war they were trying to run in Central America."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video of what aired and below are two excerpts from the March 9 CBS special matching the sequence in which they aired:

-- Dan Rather: "Iran-Contra was another case of people wanting to keep secret things that citizens had a right to know."

Ronald Reagan in undated video: "America will never make concessions to terrorists."

Rather: "The question was whether the top echelons of the United States government had sent some of our very best advanced weapons to the mullahs in Iran, the same people in Iran who'd taken our fellow citizens hostage, who were committed to our destruction. Get the money from these 'death-to-America' mullahs for the weapons, and then use the money for a secret war they were trying to run in Central America. That's a story. That's something people deserve to know about."

George H.W. Bush at campaign event: "I am proud to have been Vice President, and now I want to be your President."

Rather: "The then-Vice President had some knowledge of getting some of our most technologically advanced missiles to the Iranians."

Bush, on the CBS Evening News: "I thought I was here to talk about my views on education or on getting this deficit down."

Rather: "It disintegrated into, not a good situation."

Rather, to Bush in the infamous 1988 interview: "You said that if you had known this was an arms-for-hostages swap-"

Bush: "Yes."

Rather: "-that you would have opposed it. You also said that-"

Bush: "Exactly."

Rather: "-that you did not know that you-"

Bush: "May I answer that?"

Rather: "That wasn't a question. It was a statement."

Bush: "Yes, it was a statement, and I'll answer it."

Rather: "Let me ask the question."

Rather, back in the present: "I can be faulted for maybe I pressed too hard. Maybe I didn't press in the right way."

Rather, in the 1988 interview: "Iran was officially a terrorist state. You went around telling-"

Bush: "I've already explained that, Dan. I wanted those hostages, I wanted Mr. Buckley out of there before he was killed."

Rather: "But Mr. Vice President, the question is, but you made us hypocrites in the face of the world!"

Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony Corporation of America, and former Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, in present day footage: "It was an important issue which Dan Rather pursued characteristically-"

Another Stringer soundbite: "I was news president then. Did I think it was disrespectful? Obviously you don't want to be disrespectful."

Bush, the day after the interview: "I need combat pay for last night, I'll tell you."

Rather, on the CBS Evening News the night after the confrontation: "About last night's interview with George Bush, trying to ask honest questions and trying to be persistent about answers is part of a reporter's job."

Stringer at the time: "The tension between administrations and reporters should be acute. It's in the nature of journalism."


-- With a picture on screen of a sign on a telephone pole which proclaimed, "Up Yours Dan Rather," Rather denigrated charges of bias as he held himself up as a martyr for the truth:

"One way a reporter in this country should be judged is how well he or she stands up to the pressure to intimidate. I remember the first time someone accused me of being an 'N-lover.' [video of Rather in the middle of a crowd of black people and video of civil right protests] There was a lot of that during the '60s when I covered the civil rights movement. Then you move forward from civil rights into the Vietnam War."

Rather, in video from Vietnam: "How can so many die in a war that's supposed to be so small?"

Rather, back in present day: "'We're going to hang a sign around you which calls you some bad name: 'Anti-military, anti-American, anti-war.' Then, when Watergate came into being-"

Rather, old footage with White House in background: "How high up in the White House does it go?"

Rather, picking up rest of remark: "-was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way."
Viewers then saw a montage of video clips and shots of Web sites with text accusing Rather and CBS of being "liberal," including shot of the Media Research Center's logo and an MRCs page on Dan Rather:

Pat Buchanan: "He is the quintessence to millions of Americans of liberal bias on the network news."

Unidentified man's voice: "He's the personification of liberal media bias."

Joseph Scarborough clip #1: "Bias."

Scarborough clip #2: "Bias."

Scarborough clip #3: "-bias and CBS and Dan Rather-"

Rather claimed: "People who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.' Now, it is true about me, for better or for worse, if you want to see my neck swell, you just try to tell me where to line up or what to think and mostly what to report."

Rather, from old footage with Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office: "Some of these dissenters, Mr. President, say that the only way they can get your attention is to do something unlawful."

Rather, in the present: "Pull no punches, play no favorites."

Rather, to Colin Powell: "And to those who said, 'Well, there's no smoking gun,' would you argue with that?"

Colin Powell: "What do you mean by smoking gun? How about lots of smoke?"

Rather, narrating again: "You know, one can have too much zeal. One can have too much passion. And sometimes I have. Too much passion, melded to loving the work, lead to making mistakes."

Rather, on the CBS Evening News in September: "The documents purported to show that George W. Bush received preferential treatment during his years in the Texas Air National Guard. Tonight, after further investigation, we can no longer vouch for their authenticity. CBS News President Andrew Heyward has ordered an independent investigation."

Reporter on sidewalk in front of CBS News: "The panel said today, and I'm quoting, 'There was a myopic zeal to be first on the story.'"

Rather, in the present: "We should have been more rigorous in establishing the validity of the documents."

CBS reporter Wyatt Andrews in a CBS Evening News story: "The panel found no political agenda."

Richard Thornburgh: "We didn't find any actual bias."

Rather, narrating: "First and foremost is that four people lost their jobs over it. And I don't have them, I never have them far from my mind."

Rather on the CBS Evening News: "And I also want to say personally and directly, I'm sorry."

Rather, in the present, wrapped up the segment: "I regret every nanosecond when I let anybody at CBS News down, and even more when I let the audience down. It's painful to me."

END Reprint of March 10, 2005 CyberAlert


For the MRC's compilation of Rather's bias from over the years, with many video clips, "The Dan Rather File: Decades of Liberal Media Bias," go to: www.mrc.org

CNN Devotes Story to MRC Study on Coverage
of Illegal Immigration

On Thursday night, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, anchored by Kitty Pilgrim, featured a full story on the MRC's study by Tim Graham released on Monday, "Election In the Streets: How the Broadcast Networks Promote Illegal Immigration." Pilgrim announced that "this nation's major newscasts are being accused of being blatantly sympathetic to illegal aliens." Reporter Casey Wian explained how "a study released this week by the conservative Media Research Center...claims ABC,


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CBS, and NBC News have been promoting illegal immigration." After a soundbite from Graham, Wian relayed how "the study examined network news coverage of the issue from March 24th through May 31st. Among the findings, illegal alien amnesty advocates appeared in about twice as many soundbites as supporters of border security." In addition, "networks routinely ignored polls showing the vast majority of Americans favor stronger border security. And the study concluded: 'The networks seemed to offer honorary citizenship to anyone crossing the border.'"

For the MRC's study released on August 28: www.mrc.org

[This item was posted, with video, Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media clip of this story, as well as to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

The transcript of the story, corrected by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, as aired on the August 31 Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN:

Anchor Kitty Pilgrim: "Tonight, this nation's major newscasts are being accused of being blatantly sympathetic to illegal aliens. This broadcast has continually made the distinction between legal and illegal immigration in this country. And a group that regularly criticize network news coverage says networks refuse to make that distinction. Casey Wian reports."

Casey Wian, from Los Angeles: "When the House of Representatives passed the Sensenbrenner border security bill in December, the three broadcast television networks did not report the development during their evening newscasts. But months later, when illegal alien advocacy groups organized street protests against the bill, the networks gave those demonstrations glowing coverage. That's just one of the charges in a study released this week by the conservative Media Research Center. It claims ABC, CBS, and NBC News have been promoting illegal immigration."
Tim Graham, Media Research Center: "You've had these illegal aliens marching down the streets en masse in white shirts waving American flags, and it really was a long organized political commercial instead of being a real story about the immigration debate."
Wian: "The study examined network news coverage of the issue from March 24th through May 31st. Among the findings, illegal alien amnesty advocates appeared in about twice as many soundbites as supporters of border security. Not surprisingly, President Bush appeared on both sides. Networks routinely ignored polls showing the vast majority of Americans favor stronger border security. And the study concluded: 'The networks seemed to offer honorary citizenship to anyone crossing the border.' The broadcast networks did not respond to requests for comment on the study, but one media watchdog says it overstates their perceived support of illegal immigration."
Margaret Engel, Newseum: "When you have really significant numbers of people in the streets protesting something, you can't avoid it simply because the Gallup polls show the numbers are 81 percent in a different direction."
Wian concluded from street-side in Los Angeles: "The study also examined language used in coverage of illegal immigration. It found the label 'conservative' used 89 times, but 'liberal' was used just three times. One surprise, network reporters and anchors used the word 'illegal' more than five times as often as the politically correct term, 'undocumented.' However, the word 'alien,' as in 'illegal alien,' was only used seven times in more than 300 reports. One network reporter even referred to protests in support of those who critics 'call' illegal."

Letterman's "Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses"

From the August 31 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

Thursday's Late Show on CBS featured a "Top Ten" list announced by CNN anchor Kyra Phillips, who on Tuesday was caught with her microphone on in a CNN restroom talking over a speech by President Bush. See this CyberAlert item for a transcript and fun video: www.mediaresearch.org

The #5 from Phillips on Letterman: "I was set up by those bastards at Fox News."

To watch video of her presentation from the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, go to the Late Show's "Big Show Highlights" page and click on the top video. The video is available only as a streaming (not downloadable) Real clip: www.cbs.com

As I transcribed from the August 31 Late Show with David Letterman, "Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses"

10. "Still haven't mastered complicated on-off switch"

9. "Larry King told me he does this all the time"

8. "How was I supposed to know we had a reporter embedded in the bathroom?"

7. "I honestly never knew this sort of thing was frowned upon"

6. "I couldn't resist a chance to win $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos"

5. "I was set up by those bastards at Fox News"

4. "Like you've never gone to the bathroom and had it broadcast on national television"

3. "I just wanted that hunky Lou Dobbs to notice me"

2. "Okay, so I was drunk and I couldn't think straight"

1. "You have to admit, it made the speech a lot more interesting"


# Left-winger Al Franken is scheduled to be guest on Friday's Late Show.

-- Brent Baker