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Oscar Audience Applauds Louder for Fahrenheit 9-11 Than Passion --2/28/2005


1. Oscar Audience Applauds Louder for Fahrenheit 9-11 Than Passion
When in his opening monologue Academy Awards host Chris Rock mentioned Fahrenheit 9-11, the audience delivered loud cheers and applause, but when he cited The Passion of the Christ the Hollywood audience offered a barely audible light smattering of applause. Actor/comedian Rock joked about Fahrenheit 9-11: "Can you imagine applying for a job. And while you're applying for that job, a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you sucked at that job?" Earning sustained cheers and applause, Rock cracked: "I watched Fahrenheit and I learned some stuff, man. Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. When Bush got into office, they had a surplus of money. Now, there's like a $70 trillion deficit. Just imagine you worked at The Gap. You closing out your register and there's $70 trillion short. The average person would get in trouble for something like that. Right? Not Bush."

2. Rooney Hails Liberal Presidents, Dismisses Reagan as a Divider
After fretting about how "it seems wrong that we've never had even one woman President," to mark President's Day Andy Rooney, on Sunday's 60 Minutes, offered his take on the greatness of past Presidents. He showed that he likes the more liberal ones with the more liberal ideas. He listed Woodrow Wilson as a "great" President "because of his idea for the League of Nations," proclaimed that "Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn't popular with everyone, but he'd be up there with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln." Rooney hailed FDR's successor: "Sometimes a President seems greater after he's gone than he seemed while he was in office. That's true of Harry Truman." Rooney insisted that "John F. Kennedy could have been on his way to Mount Rushmore, but he was assassinated," yet dismissed Ronald Reagan because he "divided us down the middle the way President Bush has. Half of us loved him; half of us hated him. I liked Jimmy Carter."

3. Committee Chair Chides WashPost for Groundless Hit on Rumsfeld
In a February 17 Washington Post front page story, Dana Milbank reported that before all members of the House Armed Services Committee had a chance to question Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "he decided he had had enough. At 12:54, he announced that at 1 p.m. he would be taking a break and then going to another hearing in the Senate....When the questioning continued for four more minutes, Rumsfeld picked up his briefcase and began to pack up his papers. The Chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), apologized to his colleagues for a rather 'unusual' situation." But in a letter to the Post which the paper has not published, Hunter explained that "we had agreed in advance that the hearing would terminate after three hours because the Secretary had another hearing commitment. Therefore, the article's suggestion that he got mad and left did a disservice to the truth and to the Secretary."

4. You Read it Here First: FNC Panel Picks up on CyberAlert Points
You read it here first. In a discussion on FNC's Fox Newswatch over the weekend about coverage of President Bush's European trip, Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton observed: "NBC and ABC were, according to the Media Research Center, and I agree with them, were mostly positive towards Bush and CBS was mostly negative." Jane Hall, a former Los Angeles Times reporter noted how "the Media Research Center really went after John Roberts."

5. "Top Ten Revelations in the Secret Bush Tapes"
Letterman's "Top Ten Revelations in the Secret Bush Tapes."


Oscar Audience Applauds Louder for Fahrenheit
9-11 Than Passion

Academy Awards When in his opening monologue Academy Awards host Chris Rock mentioned Fahrenheit 9-11, the audience delivered loud cheers and applause, but when he cited The Passion of the Christ the Hollywood audience offered a barely audible light smattering of applause. Actor/comedian Rock joked about Fahrenheit 9-11: "Can you imagine applying for a job. And while you're applying for that job, a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you sucked at that job?" Earning sustained cheers and applause, Rock cracked: "I watched Fahrenheit and I learned some stuff, man. Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. When Bush got into office, they had a surplus of money. Now, there's like a $70 trillion deficit. Just imagine you worked at The Gap. You closing out your register and there's $70 trillion short. The average person would get in trouble for something like that. Right? Not Bush."

Rock paired the two movies in a portion of his opening joke set on the awards program carried live Sunday night on ABC from Los Angeles:
"Some of the best movies of the year, nobody wanted to make. You know, one of my favorite movies this year was Fahrenheit 9/11. Fahrenheit 9/11 was beautiful [loud applause]. Michael Moore did not get nominated for an Oscar, okay. Right now, Michael Moore is going, 'I should have just made Super Size Me. I've done the research.' [laughter and applause]
Academy Awards host Chris Rock "Hey, you know, a lot of people like to bash Bush. I'm not going to bash Bush here tonight. I saw Fahrenheit 9/11. I think Bush is a genius. I think Bush did some things this year nobody in this room could do. Nobody in this room could pull off. Bush basically re-applied for his job this year. Now can you imagine applying for a job. And while you're applying for that job, a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you sucked at that job? [laughter] It would be hard to get hired, wouldn't it? I watched Fahrenheit and I learned some stuff, man. Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. When Bush got into office, they had a surplus of money. Now, there's like a $70 trillion deficit. Just imagine you worked at The Gap. [laughter ] You closing out your register and there's $70 trillion short. The average person would get in trouble for something like that. Right? Not Bush. No. [cheers and applause]
"Then -- then, he started a war. That's cool. Support the troops. He started a war. Now, just imagine you worked at The Gap. You're $70 trillion behind and your register. And you start a war with Banana Republic. Because you say they have toxic tank tops over there. You had the war. People are dying. A thousand Gap employees are dead. That's right. Bleeding all over the khakis. You finally take over Banana Republic. And you find out they never made tank tops in the first place. [cheers and applause]
"Yeah, man. Another movie nobody wanted to make this year -- another movie nobody wanted to make was a big religious movie, Passion of the Christ [smattering of light applause]. That's right. The Passion of the Christ. I saw The Passion of the Christ. Not that funny, really. Nobody wanted to make The Passion of the Christ, man. Come on. They made six Police Academies and can't make one The Passion of the Christ. They had no problem making Hell Boy, but made The Passion of the Christ...."

The page on Rock posted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: www.oscar.com

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

Rooney Hails Liberal Presidents, Dismisses
Reagan as a Divider

60 Minutes' Andy Rooney After fretting about how "it seems wrong that we've never had even one woman President," to mark President's Day Andy Rooney, on Sunday's 60 Minutes, offered his take on the greatness of past Presidents. He showed that he likes the more liberal ones with the more liberal ideas. He listed Woodrow Wilson as a "great" President "because of his idea for the League of Nations," proclaimed that "Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn't popular with everyone, but he'd be up there with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln." Rooney hailed FDR's successor: "Sometimes a President seems greater after he's gone than he seemed while he was in office. That's true of Harry Truman." Rooney insisted that "John F. Kennedy could have been on his way to Mount Rushmore, but he was assassinated," yet dismissed Ronald Reagan because he "divided us down the middle the way President Bush has. Half of us loved him; half of us hated him. I liked Jimmy Carter."

As if a lot of people didn't have little regard for Carter or that Reagan probably seemed a lot less popular to those inside the media than to those not in that cocoon.

In his end of the show commentary for the February 27 60 Minutes, Rooney noted Monday's holiday and then opined:
"It seems wrong that we've never had even one woman President. We haven't had a lot of really great Presidents either, though. We've had some good ones, some bad ones and some mediocre ones, but very few great ones.
"I was trying to think of great Presidents we've had in modern times. Teddy Roosevelt, maybe. Woodrow Wilson, because of his idea for the League of Nations.
"No one ever accused Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover of being great.
"Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn't popular with everyone, but he'd be up there with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. FDR probably made more difference to our country than any President we ever had.
"Sometimes a President seems greater after he's gone than he seemed while he was in office. That's true of Harry Truman.
"There have been times when we didn't need a great President, of course. Dwight Eisenhower wasn't great, but we didn't have a lot of big problems like the Depression, or a war, so Ike was just what we needed: a hands-off President. Ike patted us on the head, told us everything was going to be all right, and went out to play golf.
"John F. Kennedy could have been on his way to Mount Rushmore, but he was assassinated. People are murdered. Presidents are assassinated.
"We were never going to get a day off on the birthdays of Richard Nixon, or the first George Bush. Ronald Reagan divided us down the middle the way President Bush has. Half of us loved him; half of us hated him.
"I liked Jimmy Carter.
"Bill Clinton screwed up any chance he had of going down in history as a great President.
"I often wonder whether President Bush thinks he's great or not. I bet he doesn't. He probably thinks he's okay, but not great. Maybe anyone smart enough to be great is too smart to want to be President. The real smart people who could be President do something easier and for more money."

Committee Chair Chides WashPost for Groundless Hit on Rumsfeld

In a February 17 Washington Post front page story, Dana Milbank reported that before all members of the House Armed Services Committee had a chance to question Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "he decided he had had enough. At 12:54, he announced that at 1 p.m. he would be taking a break and then going to another hearing in the Senate....When the questioning continued for four more minutes, Rumsfeld picked up his briefcase and began to pack up his papers. The Chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), apologized to his colleagues for a rather 'unusual' situation." But in a letter to the Post which the paper has not published, Hunter explained that "we had agreed in advance that the hearing would terminate after three hours because the Secretary had another hearing commitment. Therefore, the article's suggestion that he got mad and left did a disservice to the truth and to the Secretary."

FNC's Brit Hume, in the "Grapevine" segment on the February 24 Special Report with Brit Hume, noted the correction issued by Hunter's office.

The text of Hunter's press release:


Hunter Statement on Secretary Rumsfeld's Recent Appearance at the House Armed Services Committee and the Inaccurate Washington Post Coverage That Followed

Washington, D.C. -- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) made the following statement regarding Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's testimony on February 16th -- and an erroneous Washington Post front page commentary the following day. A letter to the editor of the Post was submitted on the 17th but has not yet been published. In an effort to set the record straight in a timely manner, the letter is being released today.

"The February 17 front-page Washington Post Capitol Hill Journal piece, 'Secretary on the Offensive' was incorrect.

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hadn't 'had enough' when he left my committee's hearing. We had agreed in advance that the hearing would terminate after three hours because the secretary had another hearing commitment. Therefore, the article's suggestion that he got mad and left did a disservice to the truth and to the secretary. Further, Secretary Rumsfeld graciously invited the handful of members in line to ask questions to a private breakfast in the Pentagon in the next few weeks. Hardly the actions of someone discourteous.

"As for his style, the secretary answers questions forthrightly. Sometimes the correct and honest answer is 'I don't know.' Dana Milbank's focus on 10 seconds of exchanges left out the remaining three hours of Secretary Rumsfeld's expansive remarks on numerous complex topics.

"Secretary Rumsfeld is responsible for a war in two theaters, reshaping the 2.5 million defense force of the United States and preparing the nation to meet present and future security threats. His success should be judged on his professional competence, not innuendo. In my judgment, he has done an outstanding job."

END of reprint of press release.

It's posted online as a PDF: www.house.gov

An excerpt from the top of Milbank's February 17 front page news story, "Secretary On the Offensive."

Two dozen members of the House Armed Services Committee had not yet had their turn to question Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at yesterday's hearings when he decided he had had enough.

At 12:54, he announced that at 1 p.m. he would be taking a break and then going to another hearing in the Senate. "We're going to have to get out and get lunch and get over there," he said. When the questioning continued for four more minutes, Rumsfeld picked up his briefcase and began to pack up his papers.

The chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), apologized to his colleagues for a rather "unusual" situation.

With the Bush administration asking Congress this month to write checks for half a trillion dollars for the Pentagon, you might think the secretary of defense would set an accommodating posture on Capitol Hill. But, to paraphrase Rumsfeld's remark in December about the Army, you go to budget hearings with the defense secretary you have, not the defense secretary you might want or wish to have at a later time. And Donald Rumsfeld doesn't do accommodating very well.

Asked about the number of insurgents in Iraq, Rumsfeld replied: "I am not going to give you a number."

Did he care to voice an opinion on efforts by U.S. pilots to seek damages from their imprisonment in Iraq? "I don't."

Could he comment on what basing agreements he might seek in Iraq? "I can't."

How about the widely publicized cuts to programs for veterans? "I'm not familiar with the cuts you're referring to."

How long will the war last? "There's never been a war that was predictable as to length, casualty or cost in the history of mankind."

Rumsfeld's blunt manner was seen as refreshing four years ago, but these are different times. A few prominent Republican legislators have called for Rumsfeld's resignation, over his resistance to increased troop strength in Iraq, his perceived disparagement of the armed forces in December and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. Yesterday, GOP lawmakers greeted him with doubts on a variety of matters including war spending, death payments and veterans' benefits....

END of Excerpt

For the article in full: www.washingtonpost.com

You Read it Here First: FNC Panel Picks
up on CyberAlert Points

FNC's Fox Newswatch You read it here first. In a discussion on FNC's Fox Newswatch over the weekend about coverage of President Bush's European trip, Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton observed: "NBC and ABC were, according to the Media Research Center, and I agree with them, were mostly positive towards Bush and CBS was mostly negative." Jane Hall, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, noted how "the Media Research Center really went after John Roberts."

After Pinkerton's observation, on the pre-taped February 26 program, Jane Hall, now a professor at American University, asserted: "It was very interesting to me. The Media Research Center really went after John Roberts-"
Host Eric Burns jumped in: "Let us say that is a conservative media watchdog group."
Hall: "Right, conservative media watch group -- really went after John Roberts for pointing out that some of the Europeans were alarmed by Bush's statement about 'all options' are on the table about Iran. He then goes on to say, 'was it carrot or stick?' I mean it's a question. He did need to repair relations and public opinion over there was not with him..."

Pinkerton and Hall were referring to these CyberAlert items from last week:

-- February 23 CyberAlert: ABC and NBC passed along mildly upbeat assessments Tuesday night about President Bush's meetings with European leaders, but not CBS's John Roberts. Picking up on Bush's comment that "this notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that, all options are on the table," ABC's Terry Moran tagged it "a mixed signal" and NBC's David Gregory called it "a mixed message." Moran concluded that Bush "achieved mostly symbolic gains here. But, as one top U.S. official put it, after the past two years, we'll take the symbolism." Gregory characterized the U.S.-European relationship as "far from perfect. But at least, as one European official commented today, the U.S. and Europe have reconnected." But Roberts scolded: "Mr. Bush insists he wants a diplomatic solution, but just the mention of the war option was enough to throw a chill on this last night of the Brussels summit. The President says he came here to listen, but many Europeans were left to wonder just how much he heard." www.mediaresearch.org

-- February 24 CyberAlert. While ABC and NBC stressed the "united" front against Iran presented by President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, CBS's John Roberts only grudgingly acknowledged that Bush and Schroeder "papered over their differences long enough today to present a united front against Iran." Roberts asserted that Bush's "hard line" on Iran "has the majority of Germans believing that Mr. Bush will take military action." Citing Bush's statement that "all options are on the table," over video of anti-Bush protesters and their signs, Roberts insisted Bush's "statement was jarring to European nations, who are just now getting over the Iraq War." Roberts lectured: "His European charm offensive aside, President Bush still has image problems here. Many people mistrust his policies and think rather than embracing Europe's way of thinking, he wants Europe to embrace his." Neither ABC or NBC considered the protesters newsworthy as NBC's David Gregory described how Bush "was treated to a warm welcome in Germany." www.mediaresearch.org

"Top Ten Revelations in the Secret Bush
Tapes"

From the February 25 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Revelations in the Secret Bush Tapes." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

Since the Late Show Web page does not yet have the list posted, the MRC's Brian Boyd took it down for me from the MRC's DVR of the show.

10. Frequent silences result from Bush talking into wrong end of receiver.

9. He can recite the alphabet backwards when he's drunk.

8. On answering machine, Bush does his hilarious "nobody's home" rap.

7. When his dad ran in '88, W. voted for Dukakis.

6. Bush spent three months learning to play the Popeye theme on touch-tones.

5. Had no desire to be President until he saw the chicks Bubba was getting.

4. Before every speech, he'd slip into the men's room with Canseco.

3. Bush's version of Seals and Croft's "Summer Breeze" is simply delightful.

2. In high school, Bush stole Osama's girl and that's when the trouble started.

1. Still has flashbacks from when he saw his mother, Barbara, naked.


# Dan Rather will be a guest on Thursday's Late Show.


-- Brent Baker