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Olbermann Pursues Contesting Vote: "Did Kerry Concede Too Soon?" --11/10/2004


1. Olbermann Pursues Contesting Vote: "Did Kerry Concede Too Soon?"
For the second straight night on Tuesday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann devoted more than a fourth of his 8pm EST Countdown show to indulging his fantasies about how a few supposed voting glitches, none of which would alter the results, justify contesting the presidential vote outcome. He complained about "the deafening silence from the mainstream media on this story" and denounced his journalistic colleagues as "wimps" for not joining his cause. Olbermann trumpeted how he received 7,500 e-mails about his Monday show with "the ratio of positive to negative holding at about 22 to 1," a sign his program is mainly watched by conspiracy-minded blue-staters. Interviewing Craig Crawford, Olbermann yearned: "Is there in Ohio a case for a recount, a formal contesting, something?" And he wondered: "Did ultimately, did John Kerry concede too soon?" Turning to law professor Jonathan Turley, Olbermann wanted to know: "Do you think there is enough evidence to justify legal action, recount, a contested election?" Meanwhile, on Tuesday's World News Tonight, ABC's Jake Tapper took on and undermined Olbermann's premise.

2. Lauer Equates G. Washington's Rag Tag Army to Iraqi Insurgents
Seemingly inspired by Chris Matthews, in a Tuesday Today segment with Lynne Cheney about her children's book on George Washington crossing the Delaware River, Matt Lauer referred to how Washington led "a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army," and pivoted to Iraq: "Let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's, what's the lesson?" Lauer argued that "the insurgents believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe." Cheney scolded him: "You're being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It's not as though this is a matter between just 'on the one hand on the other hand.' We are on the side of freedom."

3. After He Presses Kerry from the Left, 60 Minutes Hires Ed Gordon
With the credibility of the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes suffering from the program's effort to smear President George W. Bush in a hit job based on forged documents, CBS has decided to hire another on-air reporter for the show. But their pick hardly addresses concern for the program's leftward tilt: Ed Gordon of CBS's sister Viacom network BET, a reporter who when he interviewed John Kerry last month pressed the liberal candidate from the left. Gordon contended that "people still consider CBS News the gold standard" of journalism.


Olbermann Pursues Contesting Vote: "Did
Kerry Concede Too Soon?"

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann For the second straight night on Tuesday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann devoted more than a fourth of his 8pm EST Countdown show to indulging his fantasies about how a few supposed voting glitches, none of which would alter the results, justify contesting the presidential vote outcome. He complained about "the deafening silence from the mainstream media on this story" and denounced his journalistic colleagues as "wimps" for not joining his cause. Olbermann trumpeted how he received 7,500 e-mails about his Monday show with "the ratio of positive to negative holding at about 22 to 1," a sign his program is mainly watched by conspiracy-minded blue-staters. Interviewing Craig Crawford, Olbermann yearned: "Is there in Ohio a case for a recount, a formal contesting, something?" And he wondered: "Did ultimately, did John Kerry concede too soon?" Turning to law professor Jonathan Turley, Olbermann wanted to know: "Do you think there is enough evidence to justify legal action, recount, a contested election?"

Olbermann also forwarded to Turley a wild conspiracy theory: "Winning candidate A is inaugurated in year X. Six months later, two years later, whatever, there comes definitive proof, confessions, convictions, videotape, DNA evidence that people working for candidate A literally changed the vote in the electorally decisive states, say, on his personal instructions, in writing, something ridiculously transparent like that. What happens then?"

Olbermann's moniker during most of his segment under a variety of on-screen graphics: "Did Your Vote Count?"

Meanwhile, on Tuesday's World News Tonight, ABC's Jake Tapper took on and undermined some of the tales Olbermann highlighted on Monday and repeated on Tuesday. Tapper picked up on a letter to the GAO from one of Olbermann's Monday guests, Congressman John Conyers: "The Congressmen's letter mentions this Web site [shot of unidentified site], which questions why so many counties in Florida with more registered Democrats than Republicans ended up going for Bush. The Web site implies someone fixed the results. But let's take one of the counties in question, Lafayette County. It's true there are far more Democrats in that county than Republicans, and the county went for Bush. But what the Web site does not point out is that Mr. Bush won that county four years ago. Four years before that, the Republican presidential candidate won as well. And four years before that, too."

Tapper addressed another of Olbermann's Monday night canards: "In Ohio, where conspiracy theories abound, a Web site for Cuyahoga County seemed to have more votes than voters in some precincts. But it was a confusing Web site. There were not more votes than voters."

Below are full transcripts of Olbermann's Tuesday night rant, followed by the Tapper story and links to some of the conspiracy pages Olbermann used as sources.

-- Olbermann teased the November 9 Countdown: "Preserving our elections: Ohio begins to count the provisional ballots. Craig Crawford on why little of the mainstream media has touched the stories of voting irregularities. Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley on what happens if those stories turn out to be decisive after an inauguration."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth took down some of Olbermann's plugs for his subsequent story #3 which ran from 8:31 to 8:46pm EST (Olbermann's countdown is of five big stories a day):

# Olbermann: "And the vote tally that put the President in the record books. More states surface with counting problems. Are they normal, regular tabulation problems or a sign of something bigger?"

# Olbermann: "Christmas with the sniffles? How about the election with every bug in the book? What went wrong? Who's going to fix it? Countdown making your vote count, possibly on the second try."


MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann Olbermann then arrived at his favorite topic: "Whether you voted for President Bush or for Senator Kerry in Broward Country, Florida, last Tuesday, your vote counted. Unfortunately, it may have counted as a negative number. Our third story in the Countdown: The countdown and other hair-raising tales of the ballot box and electronic voting angst. Craig Crawford on the deafening silence from the mainstream media on this story. Jonathan Turley on its constitutional implications. But first, it's your tax dollars in action.
"Day eight of the 2004 election irregularities investigations. Elections officials in Broward, that is Fort Lauderdale, said they have undone the damage wrought by optical scanning equipment provided by the company Election Systems and Software. When a vote total for a precinct there reached 32,000, its machines began to count backwards. Count backwards. Broward County officials noticed the 'choose and lose' problem immediately and that the only actual vote counts that got messed up were for eight of the state ballot propositions.
"In Ohio, Secretary of State Jay Kenneth Blackwell has announced that the so-called provisional ballots would be counted starting this week, probably Saturday. There are 155,428 of them, but a large percentage is likely to be ruled invalid by Mr. Blackwell and his employees while the mismatched precinct totals from the Cleveland area in 29 locations there appeared to be more presidential votes than registered voters have still not been officially explained. They may turn out to be absentee ballots added to precinct totals. Youngstown, Ohio, meanwhile, has revealed that one slight glitch there was caught in time. A Youngstown precinct where the vote total was negative 25 million. That was close."

Olbermann pleaded: "Where's the Democratic Party in all this? Ralph Nader asked that question today, issuing what he called a challenge to Senators Kerry and Edwards to fulfill their promises to make sure every vote counts, particularly in Ohio. Nader did not actually go as far as to even urge the Democratic candidates to pursue a recount or legal remedy. He didn't say anything particularly.
"North Carolina has another problem, too. First it was the Unilect Corporation machines in Carteret County that simply could not count higher than 3,000 votes. Officials there say they are now being told by the manufacturer that the votes are not missing, they're gone. Anywhere from 4,500 of them to 12,000. Now from Craven County, North Carolina, comes news of every vote counting twice. 11,283 votes there for both Bush and Kerry were added in, then added in a second time by another Election Systems and Software machine. In correcting that mistake, a human error produced a second set of bad numbers for a local county board seat. When that was fixed, it made a loser out of the Republican who had initially been declared the winner.
"And a new state with a new voting nightmare. Nebraska, home of Election System and Software Company, Sarpy County, that's where Offutt Air Force Base is, has at least 10,000 extra votes in its returns. 32 of the 80 precincts there still do not have their numbers figured out. That's thanks to election equipment borrowed from Election Systems and Software. One candidate for Papillion City council said he was stunned to see that 3,342 people had voted in his ward when less than 3,000 people were registered there.
"Last night we began our newscast with a run-down of the irregularities in Florida and Ohio and talked to Representative John Conyers about the urgent request to the General Accountability Office for an investigation of electronic voting, which he and five other Democratic Congressmen had made. 7,500 e-mails have reached us so far, hundreds of phone calls. The ratio of positive to negative holding at about 22 to 1. Yet otherwise there has been virtually no coverage of either the specifics of the often dubious election of 2004 or the larger issue of the broad unreliability shown this year by electronic voting."

Olbermann set up his first of two guest segments: "I'm joined now by Craig Crawford, MSNBC political analyst and columnist for Congressional Quarterly. Craig, good evening."
Craig Crawford, who also is a regular on CBS's Early Show: "I've already been pre-blogged by some of your e-mailers lobbying me on what to say tonight."
Olbermann: "Sorry about that. But why is it that this is like the second large-scale report on this on a national level? Did every news organization give up on this story the moment John Kerry conceded the election?"
Crawford: "I think two or three things were going on. The glib answer, which is part of the truth, is I think everybody was tired after that election, and it was a grueling one. And so since John Kerry, and this is the second factor, since John Kerry conceded, then there wasn't the great desire to run out to Columbus or wherever and try to figure this stuff out. And the concession is the key because we're often wimps in the media, and we wait for other people to make charges, one political party or another, and then we investigate it. But this is the time to do this. There's still time before the results are certified. It doesn't mean it'll change the outcome. But it's good, and I congratulate you for looking at some of these irregularities."
Olbermann: "Well, I congratulate you, not to turn this into the mutual admiration society that it is when we get together, but I congratulate you for joining me on the crap list for saying that there are wimps in the media. Amen, brother. We know it and now everybody else knows it. But you have actually, you've been studying this much more carefully than I have in Ohio, the voting machines that added 4,000 votes for the President in a town that had 638 voters. The Cuyahoga County precincts where they may have thrown in the absentee ballots in the counts. It's not clear what happened there. Is there in Ohio a case for a recount, a formal contesting, something?"
Crawford: "Well, there is the process where the Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is looking at these matters. That's the first step is, you know, for the secretary of state to investigate any problems. You don't have to file a lawsuit for that. The recounting question comes later actually after the absentee ballots come in November 12th. He's got until probably December 1st, is his target for certifying these results. So there's plenty of time, and this is the window. This is the time to look at this. But I got to say, when I look at the numbers, you know, Bush won so handily well over 130,000 votes in the unofficial count, even if you take everything into account, I mean, it would have to go perfectly for John Kerry for this to even get close in Ohio. But, of course, if it did, if the outcome changed in Ohio, it would change the outcome of the election in the Electoral College. But you'd have to manage such a conspiracy, Keith, of supervisors of elections around the state that -- my experience with election supervisors is, you know, they're very independent, often real characters, and hard people to actually organize into a conspiracy. I think it would be easier to herd a bunch of cats across a parking lot."
Olbermann: "Of course a bunch of cats in a parking lot could probably reprogram some of these computers that have been presented by our fine friends at the various companies. The last question here is really political. Did ultimately, and we know no concession speech is binding legally, but did ultimately, did John Kerry concede too soon, and where is the Democratic National Committee on all of this right now?"
Crawford: "Well, I think, you know, disillusioned Democrats are too busy filling out their naturalization forms for Canada, I think, but if he had conceded, you know, later and opened up this can of worms, and then it just turned out the same, that Bush won, Kerry would have suffered a backlash, I think, and we're already learning that Kerry is definitely interested in running again in 2008. So there's that whole calculation that probably went through his mind. And, you know, to say that Democrats would contest a 136,000-vote deficit when they couldn't overcome 537 votes in Florida in 2000 on the face of it, I think, they're just worried it would look just ridiculous...."

But being ridiculous apparently doesn't bother Olbermann.

Olbermann gushed about how he's not a wimp: "Craig Crawford of MSNBC and Congressional Quarterly with me, I think we're two of the people who are not the wimps in the media, at least this week. Great, thanks, Craig.

Olbermann gave a few seconds to nefarious actions by a pro-Democratic group: "Lest you think this is a one-way street politically, the state of Florida is continuing its investigation of a registration group called ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, claiming to have registered one million new voters this year, virtually all as Democrats, nationwide, but accused also of skirting registration law in Florida and in Ohio, where the Cincinnati Enquirer reported a month before the election that officials in Hamilton County had subpoenaed 19 voter registration cards submitted by ACORN after they proved to have similar handwriting and false addresses. There may have been similar instances in Colorado and Minnesota as well. And in St. Petersburg, Florida, ACORN reportedly signed up voter Charlie Shuh, a 30-year-old Republican woman. The problem was Charlie Shuh is a 68-year-old Democratic man, the former mayor of St. Petersburg. In the remarkable viewer response to our coverage last night, one question was repeated again and again.

Olbermann introduced his second guest: "Where does all the trouble with the voting, whether inadvertent or fraudulent, leave the election? I'm delighted to be joined again by an old friend of this program, Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at the law school at George Washington University.... The states start reporting their electoral slates, the Electoral College, on 7th of December. Is that the drop dead date in terms of everything? If there was fraud, you have to prove it before then or it ceases to matter?"
Jonathan Turley: "Well, the December 7th date is when you essentially certify your electors under a federal law that was passed in one of our earlier debacles. And it gives a presumption of legitimacy to your votes. And then on the 13th, the electors actually vote. But those votes are not opened by Congress until January 6th. Now, if there are controversies, such as some disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry, there is the ability of members of Congress to challenge. It requires a written objection from one House member and one Senator, and then if that objection is recorded, then both houses separate again and they vote by majority vote as to whether to accept the slate of electoral votes from that state."
Olbermann moved even more into a fantasy world: "Let's reduce the partisanship level that's unavoidable because one side lost and one side won this year and make this next question into a theoretical. Winning candidate A is inaugurated in year X. Six months later, two years later, whatever, there comes definitive proof, confessions, convictions, videotape, DNA evidence that people working for candidate A literally changed the vote in the electorally decisive states, say, on his personal instructions, in writing, something ridiculously transparent like that. What happens then?"
Turley: "Well, the definition of the President of the United States is technically the guy that took the oath of office on January 20th. And so the question would become, after that point, of the removal of the President. Now, a President can only be removed for death or incapacity or through impeachment. You can only be removed from impeachment if you can show the President knew of such a criminal conspiracy. If there's no evidence of his personal knowledge or involvement, you can't satisfy that constitutional standard. And so what you have is a very disappointed Senator B."
Olbermann: "That's presuming it's a Senator in our hypothetical."
Turley: "Yes."
Olbermann: "Let's get back to this one, this election in Florida and Ohio from what you've done to examine both states and the voting returns, do you think there is enough evidence to justify legal action, recount, a contested election? And is John Kerry the only person who could legally cause one of those things to happen?"
Turley backed up Olbermann's concerns: "I was surprised on the morning after. I was still on the air around 6am with CBS when the results came on. We went off the air at 6am and at that time, we believed that there was a margin. If you included both the provisional and the absentee votes, and you also looked at some of these pockets of votes that were being challenged, it's a mistake just to talk about provisional ballots. Ohio was rife with allegations. There was litigation over pockets of votes. We also saw that in other states during the day. There was far more litigation than was indicated in the news programming. And so when you look at provisionals and then absentees and then those pockets of votes, yeah, there probably is enough of margin if things broke for Kerry that he could turn the state. Is it likely? No. But it is not impossible. So when Kerry came out that morning and said, oh, it's impossible I could win Ohio based on the provisionals, it was a very narrow view. And I think it was designed to satisfy Democrats that were upset that he didn't fight more. Also, remember, over 70 percent of Ohio's votes were done with punch cards. And we know that when you do a challenge to those, they tend to turn over. So there was room for challenge in that and other states."
Olbermann: "Could there still be one?"
Turley suggested contesting in other states: "Well, there could. But without the candidate, judges don't really work as hard. And also, remember, even if you didn't take Ohio, he could tie Bush 269-269. If he flipped some of those other one or two percent states like Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, those would actually tie it 269-269. So there was a variety of different challenges he could have made."

Olbermann wrapped up with an update on one of his Monday clams: "One clarification tonight about our report last night. We noted that in 29 Florida counties in which Democratic registration exceeded Republican registration, Senator Kerry received fewer votes a week ago than did President Bush. We mentioned five counties where that swing seemed the largest where Democratic registration ranged from 69 to 88 percent. We picked those counties by numbers, not by geography, and thus we did not address that geography, which you see there, those yellow states [all in Northern Florida], those five particular counties, their proximity to what we could call 'Zell Miller country' and the possible, some would say probable, impact of the heritage there of 'Dixiecrating.' Additionally, all five of those counties that we mentioned last night voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, although in each case, by measurably smaller margins. There were 24 others."


ABC's Jake Tapper -- ABC's World News Tonight on Tuesday took on the conspiracy theorists. Anchor Peter Jennings reported: "So it is now a week since the country re-elected President Bush, and we've been a little surprised by how many e-mails we've had suggesting that maybe, once again, the country got it wrong. Now, we're not particularly disposed to conspiracy theories. As you know, Mr. Bush won by a very comfortable margin of more than three million votes. We did think it might be a public service and, quite frankly, cut back on the e-mails, if our ballot watch correspondent, Jake Tapper, took another look."

Tapper acknowledged some problems, but rejected the claims forwarded by the far-left and Olbermann: "There were some small problems on Election Day -- long lines, machine breakdowns, shortages of provisional ballots. But fraud? Doug Chapin is a nonpartisan election analyst."
Doug Chapin, Director of Electionline.org: "There were no problems that would lead me to believe that there were stolen elections or widespread fraud."
Tapper outline the allegations: "Not according to some people, who have devised various theories -- Democratic counties in Florida whose votes were changed for Bush, phantom voters in Ohio, exit polls showing Kerry ahead that were truer than the final tally. Three Democratic Congressmen have heard the theories and have written a letter to the Government Accountability Office."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): "We are requesting an investigation into all the allegations of irregularities with respect to the electronic and other voting machines."
Tapper: "The Congressmen's letter [see link below] mentions this Web site [see link below], which questions why so many counties in Florida with more registered Democrats than Republicans ended up going for Bush. The Web site implies someone fixed the results. But let's take one of the counties in question, Lafayette County. It's true there are far more Democrats in that county than Republicans, and the county went for Bush. But what the Web site does not point out is that Mr. Bush won that county four years ago. Four years before that, the Republican presidential candidate won as well. And four years before that, too."

As Tapper spoke, over a map of Florida with Lafayette County highlighted, ABC rotated these figures:
Democrats: 3,570
Republicans: 570

2004 vote:
Bush: 2,460
Kerry: 845

2000 vote:
Bush: 1,670
Gore: 789

1996 vote
Dole: 1,166
Clinton: 829

1992 vote:
Bush: 1,037
Clinton: 866

For the letter sent by Nadler and Conyers and some other left-wingers, which Olbermann highlighted on Monday night: www.house.gov

That letter, as posted, linked to this inscrutable page, on the USTogether site, in which someone plotted a bunch of variously colored squares and dots along a graph line: ustogether.org

For the follow-up letter from the Congressmen: www.house.gov

Tapper showed a shot of a Web page from a group called USTogether, which touts how "truthful communication empowers good persons to steer a course to security, democracy, peace, and well-being for all." Tapper displayed a page headlined, "Surprising Pattern of Florida's Election Results," a page with table showing how Bush got more votes than Kerry in counties where Democrats outnumber Republicans, as if that voting pattern is unusual in the South. See: ustogether.org

Back to Tapper's story, he picked up: "Congressman Kendrick Meek was the co-chair of the Kerry campaign in Florida. He says he knows why George Bush won, and it has nothing to do with fraud."
Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL): "We did a good job, but the other side did a better job."
Tapper: "In Ohio, where conspiracy theories abound, a Web site for Cuyahoga County seemed to have more votes than voters in some precincts. But it was a confusing Web site. There were not more votes than voters. Just this afternoon, the Web site that first raised the questions took it all back. Finally, there were the networks' exit polls, which seemed early on to indicate a better day for John Kerry than the one he actually had."
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute: "If I'm given exit polls and voting results, and I'm told which do I rely on more, I rely on voting results."
Tapper: "Clearly, for many people, however, results are not enough. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Washington."


-- For even more of Olbermann's rantings, check out his blog postings at: www.bloggermann.msnbc.com

-- November 9 CyberAlert item on Olbermann: With "Did Your Vote Count? The Plot Thickens" as his on-screen header, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Monday night led his Countdown program with more than 15 straight minutes of paranoid and meaningless claims about voting irregularities in states won by President Bush. Olbermann contended: "There is a small but blood curdling group of reports of voting irregularities and possible fraud -- principally in Ohio and Florida." He began with how, citing "homeland security," one of Ohio's 88 counties blocked media observers from watching the vote-counting, a county whose importance he elevated: "Warren County's polls were among the last in Ohio to close, thus among the last to report and thus among the votes that clinched the state and the election for President Bush." Moving on to Florida, Olbermann recited the results in five small counties "with decided Democratic margins" which used optical scan devices and "suddenly voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Bush." In fact, all the counties Olbermann listed voted for Bush in 2000. Olbermann asked left-wing Democratic Congressman John Conyers: "Do you think that what happened...altered the outcome of the presidential election?" www.mediaresearch.org

Lauer Equates G. Washington's Rag Tag
Army to Iraqi Insurgents

Seemingly inspired by Chris Matthews, in a Tuesday Today segment with Lynne Cheney about her children's book on George Washington crossing the Delaware River, Matt Lauer referred to how Washington led "a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army," and pivoted to Iraq: "Let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's, what's the lesson?" Lauer argued that "the insurgents believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe." Cheney scolded him: "You're being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It's not as though this is a matter between just 'on the one hand on the other hand.' We are on the side of freedom."

Back on the October 18 Hardball on MSNBC, Chris Matthews painted the Iraqi insurgents as modern Minute Men when he asked Jimmy Carter, author of a new novel set during the Revolutionary War, whether since that war represented an "insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the, the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?" For Carter's answer, see the October 20 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

Second Lady Lynne Cheney came aboard the November 9 Today to plug her new children's book, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots.

NBC's Matt Lauer Lauer began his 8am half hour session with Cheney, who was in-studio, by wondering "why this story?" Cheney explained that it presented a tale of "bravery." Lauer moved on to how Cheney would want young people to know winning was not a sure thing and Cheney confirmed that Washington's attack on the Hessians in Trenton was a brave and bold move. Lauer brought up how Washington used the "trickery" of leaving fires going to fool the Hessians into believing the colonialists were still encamped, but Cheney had to correct him and point out that maneuver was employed before the later battle in Princeton.

The MRC's Ken Shepherd then caught Lauer's next line of questioning.

Lauer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessian could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today. Where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's, what's the lesson?"
Cheney: "Well, the difference of course is who's fighting on the side of freedom. Ideas motivate people. And the idea of freedom is such a mighty one. There's a very good book by a man named David Hackett Fischer has written a book called Washington's Crossing. And I spent a good deal of time talking to him. He talks about how this is an entirely new thing. These are people who are fighting not because they had to, they could walk off. At one point Washington had to convince many of them to stay."
Lauer: "I think he promised them more pay, actually."
Cheney: "He did. But he also told them they were fighting for a mighty idea. And I think the same has been true. The same advantage has been at the back of Americans forever. We have a mighty cause in which we're fighting."
Lauer: "I'm just saying, but the insurgents believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe. And yet-"
Cheney: "Well, but Matt, you're being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It's not as though this is a matter between just 'on the one hand on the other hand.' We are on the side of freedom. We are on the side that I think that idea is so powerful and does give us wind at our back."

Beaten back, Lauer moved on to how Washington was discouraged during the war.

Amazon.com's page for When Washington Crossed the Delaware : A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots: www.amazon.com

After He Presses Kerry from the Left,
60 Minutes Hires Ed Gordon

With the credibility of the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes suffering from the program's effort to smear President George W. Bush in a hit job based on forged documents, CBS has decided to hire another on-air reporter for the show. But their pick hardly addresses concern for the program's leftward tilt: Ed Gordon of CBS's sister Viacom network BET, a reporter who when he interviewed John Kerry last month pressed the liberal candidate from the left.

As recounted in the October 8 CyberAlert: There's a network even to the left of ABC, CBS and NBC. Thursday night on Black Entertainment Television (BET), a unit of Viacom which also owns CBS, John Kerry was hit repeatedly from the left by Ed Gordon, a former NBC News and MSNBC reporter and anchor, whose questions painted Kerry as too conservative. In the pre-taped session, Gordon pushed Kerry to promise to get the U.S. out of Iraq, reminding him of how "one of the things that put you on the map early was you were one of the few that came back and said, 'Folks, Vietnam is a mistake and we need to get out.'" Gordon asked if President Bush had "knowingly" misled the nation on Iraq and told Kerry that "many Americans" see Iraq "as a vendetta" by Bush. On the domestic side, Gordon pressed Kerry about what he'd do to "implement" affirmative action, told him how one guy complained him, "I'm tired of voting for two wealthy white guys at the top of the ticket" and reminded Kerry that many blacks don't feel voting matters given how their votes weren't counted in Florida.
Unmentioned by Gordon in pressing Kerry about affirmative action and Democrats taking blacks for granted: How the incumbent President has blacks in top level positions never before held by anyone black.

For the full CyberAlert item, with a still shot of Gordon with Kerry: www.mediaresearch.org

In Tuesday's New York Daily News, Gordon acknowledged the controversy over the anti-Bush smear job, but praised CBS as te "gold standard" of journalism: "'Obviously, that's a cloud that is hanging over CBS' head at this point,' Gordon told the Daily News yesterday, 'but let's be honest. I think even with that, people still consider CBS News the gold standard.'"

"People" in the blue states.

For the Daily News article in full: www.nydailynews.com

Gordon's first assignment, a fluff celebrity interview to air tonight with actor Jamie Foxx to promote his movie about Ray Charles. For the CBSNews.com page on that story: www.cbsnews.com

The 60 Minutes with Gordon as part of the crew, airs at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST on Wednesday nights.

-- Brent Baker